Blackstone's Dancing Handkerchief
BLACKSTONE'S SPIRIT DANCING HANDKERCHIEF ACT by Master Magician Harry Blackstone Sr. Routine: The performer borrows a gentleman's large plain cotton handkerchief (not a silk). Ask for a folded one, it is usually clean. Open the handkerchief by taking hold of the corners with the thumb and first finger of each hand, grasping each corner, palms up and thumbs out. The illusion is perfect. You are stretching the handkerchief to a larger size.
The performer speaks, “Now I am going to show you a Real Live Spook!” Performer starts toward the chair, stops, turns toward the audience and pauses a second, then says, "A Spook with muscles, very rare...” Said properly, this is a sure laugh. He turns the hat over and throws the handkerchief in the hat. Performer walks away a few steps. The handkerchief slowly, very slowly, peeks over the edge of the hat, looking around from side to side, as if it were “Alive.” Then it makes a leap in the air and lands on the stage.
The performer walks toward the handkerchief and steps over the thread, which is now lying on the stage. He is now behind the handkerchief facing the audience. He now picks up the handkerchief and grasps it by the bottom with the left hand. The right hand pulls the knot up straight, making it stand in the left hand. The right hand lets go and the handkerchief remains standing straight up in the left hand. You point to the left with your right thumb and the handkerchief leans that way. Your right thumb points to the right and the handkerchief leans that way, your eyes following the movement. The same movement goes back and forth, faster and faster, several times, finishing by standing straight up. Now, snap the fingers of the right hand. The handkerchief drops down in the left hand limp.Thank you Greg St. Pierre and Hollywood Magic for allowing us to sell this great item.
Snap the fingers a second time, and the handkerchief comes to life standing straight up. The performer then tickles the handkerchief with his finger, saying, “Couchy couchy coo.” The handkerchief jiggles back and forth in response to the ticking. While the handkerchief is still jiggling, he passes it back and forth from hand to hand. End up with it in the left hand holding it by the bottom. The handkerchief stands up straight in your left hand. With the other hand, you strike the handkerchief, knocking it down into the hand. But the handkerchief pops back up into a straight position. Repeat this one or two times. Slap it real hard several times. “It’s dead,” he says.
Picking it up with the right hand and putting it in your breast pocket he says, “That’s that, you know when you kill a spook...” Then it starts to wiggle all over again in your pocket. Pull it out of your pocket and throw it on the floor. Step on it. Step on it in such a way that the knot is free to wiggle. It stops wiggling for a few seconds, then starts again while under your shoe. The knot pops its head up and wiggles. It remains standing by itself.
Slowly, the handkerchief starts to dance back and forth on the floor. Then it speeds up to faster music. Stand patiently to the side and watch it along with the amused audience. Walk over to the handkerchief, pop or clap your hands together, snap your fingers, and the handkerchief jumps into your hands. Performer Walks Toward the Audience: He is now holding the handkerchief in the right hand below the knot, walking toward the audience. The knot is wiggling, as though it were trying to escape from your hand. He starts to hand it to the owner. It makes a loud noise. This startles the owner and will get a laugh.
Performer hands the handkerchief to the owner and thanks him. Take your bow, “...And I thank you.”