Invisible Thread Reel
Important: You are dealing with very thin invisible thread so it is understandably its very easy to break you can add more invisible thread by carefully removing the black ends and re-threading the reel… also keep the wax out of strong sunlight because it could melt into your reel and thread and reel.
Tention on the Reel and Breaking the Thread: The tension increases the more you pull the thread out of the reel. Eventually you will get to the point were the elastic over powers the thread and causes it to snap. Bare in mind that this is part of the learning curve and that you will tend to break the thread more often as your body is still learning were the breaking point is with the thread. With effort and time on your part, you will get to the point were you know exactly how much tension the thread can take. The most common reason beginners break the thread is they forget that the thread can’t reel out of the wax ball. To avoid this error, be pushing away from your self as you load an object on the line such as a bill etc. It is always best to have a back up reel pinned in your clothing as even the most experienced reel workers may break a thread during a performance. This will allow you to anchor the second wax ball and immediately continue were you left off in the performance and baffling the audience that much more!
Objects to Float: You want an object that is light enough as to not sag too much on the line. It is best to stick with items that you can move towards and have them maintain their position in space. This is why a paper money is so popular, since not only can you move towards it, you can also borrow it very easily. Finger rings are a second favorite choice. The other thought is objects that look extremely heavy but are actually quite light. One of the greatest benefits of the Thread Reel is the fact that by walking away from the floating object that you are transferring energy into the reel. This energy can now be utilized to cause the bill to float from the floor back up to your hand.
Best Lighting: Lighting is a critical issue when considering performance of thread magic. What you wear and where is the light source coming from are the two biggest factors to take note of upon consideration of using the reel. The best lighting is outdoors on a cloudy day. When in this environment it is close to impossible to see the thread. The worst conditions is to have direct light coming from behind you. The light bounces off the thread right into the spectators eyes.
More often it is logic that has them blurting out that its thread not because they actually see it! What is more important that you be conscience of is the fact that your body language and actions tell them it is a thread. You need to get to the place where you can perform the routine without even thinking about the thread. Just like the thumb or any other magic move. If your mind has to think about it, then your actions tell the audience exactly what you are concentrating on. You must practice this until you can completely forget about the string and not have any concern for it. This is what takes so much time. Most people will never get to this point as they will be too quick to blame the fact that people can see the string not realizing that it is their actions that tell the audience it is a string. I would not recommend performing the reel for anyone until you have put in a good solid two weeks of practice and critical thinking about your moves and routine. Keep it short sweet and simple and you will blow them away. It is definitely a case of less is more. The temptation on your part will be to continue to want to show it to people, but maintaining self control will be well worth it!
The Z Grip: The Z grip is used to catch the thread between the fingers of one hand in such a way that it prevents the reel from rewinding. For the purpose of description and illustration the handling here will be written left handed. The practiced magician, however, should be able to use the Z grip with either hand. Start by facing your anchor at a distance suitable for your routine. Raise your left hand to thread level with your index finger pointing right, your left palm facing right, and the remaining left fingers pointing toward the ceiling. This hand position will enable you to place your index finger under the thread, bend your wrist so that the palm of your hand is facing downward and the thread is trapped on top of your left index finger and underneath of the remaining fingers. Rotate your left wrist counter clockwise and up until your palm faces toward you and to your right. The thread will now be travelling in a Z shaped path through your fingers. The angle that the thread is forced to travel through your fingers, they will generate enough friction to keep the reel from rewinding, although it may be necessary to clamp your fingers a bit depending on what Reel you have and how much tension is on it. Once in this position, you can pull more thread out of the reel and lower your hand and cause an object to float down to the floor if you relax your grip the object will rise back up to your hand since the thread still feeds between your fingers. This is the Z grip! With experimentation and practice it is not to hard to perfect. By playing with the tension you will get to the point where you can control the amount of friction generated and therefore control the speed of the rewind.
The Floating Bill Routine
The Effect: The performer borrows a bill of any denomination from a spectator, wrinkles it into a ball then balances it on the tip of his finger. Stating that he has EXCELLENT balance, the performer places his finger on top of the bill and balances it upside down. Not stopping there, the performer releases the bill completely and waves his hands completely around the bill to show it floating freely. Leaving the bill floating in midair. Then with a wave of his hand the bill mysteriously floats down to the table. Upon command the bill floats up and into the performers hand. The bill is then immediately returned to the spectator.
Secret: You will need an anchor point for the wax (i use the deck of cards in my demo video) and the reel need to be under you collar. this makes a diagonal slope to the table and you can wrap the note to the the thread. used the z grip to make the note float to the table then to your hand.
Bar Workers: When using the ITR in a bar situation always use the bottom of a beer bottle as the anchor point. Swigging from a bottle of Bud, you have all the time in the World to attach the wax end to the base of the bottle. It’s then a natural thing to do to put the bottle down to borrow and fold the note. It’s also a natural thing to do to pick it back up and take a swig once you’ve finished the effect – so it’s also easy to steal back as your 3rd/4th fingers are near its base. Just a point… it’s better for the bottle to be nearly full because a) the weight of the beer is going to steady the bottle better and b) the barmaid won’t clear it off the bar!
The Hoop Pass:
One of the coolest moves you can learn with the Thread reel is the hoop pass move. This is very convincing as you completely pass a solid ungimmicked hoop of the bill it is best to use a ring that has a fairly thick stock. This will put less strain on the thread as it has to slide over the metal surface of the hoop.
Start by laying the hoop on the thread between you and the floating bill. Scoop your hand through the ring so that the thread is on the back of your left hand. Then all you do is use your right hand to pass the hoop over the bill and due to the nature of the reel it just feeds the necessary thread out as the hoop passes over the floating bill. Then it is just a matter of letting the thread slide off the back of your hand, basically reversing the process to finish and be able to set the hoop down.
Self Contained Floating Bill
A bill is borrowed from a spectator. The bill is crumpled into a ball, “Making it aerodynamic,” and then placed in your palm. The bill rises and is under your complete control. The bill then floats from hand to hand. Finally, it is uncrumpled and handed back to the spectator.
Set-Up: Start with the thread hooked to the tip of your right finger. The only disadvantage to this routine is that you will not be able to perform the part where you walk away from the bill.
Performance: Start off by attaching the wax ball to your right finger tip. Use the Z-grip in the left hand to keep the thread from being retracted into the Reel. You should be able to control the tension of the thread between your hands. There should be a one foot distance between your left and right hand. This distance will be important when you start.
Hold the bill over the top of the thread and crumple it into a ball. You want the bill cenered between your two hands. Place the bill in the open palm of your right hand. Snap your fingers over the bill, as you life your left hand, the bill will float into the air. the spectator’s attention will be focused on the bill and will not notice your left hand rising up into the air. Continue to seperatue your hands until the bill is floating at the center of both hands.
By rotating your hands, you can cause the bill to float to your left hand. If you maintain tension on the thread, the bill will float down into your left hand. You have complete control of the bill by adjusting the positions of your two hands.
Reverse the above and the bill will go the other way. Give it to the owner and unhook the thread while they are distracted. The reel should automatically be pulled back into the reel.
Effect: You can perform this effect with playing cards, however, you can present it with business cards or any other card of your choice. A playing card is balanced on its edge on a table surface where it remains standing on edge. When the spectator tries, he is unable to duplicate the effect.
Set-Up: Place the reel in your right front pocket. The reel should be located relatively low on your body, about waist level. it should be lower than the performing surface. You will also need an anchor object such as a glass or pack of cards. the best performing situation is to be seated at a table, but the spectators can completely surround you.
Performance: Hand the spectator the deck of cards, tell him to shuffle the cards, As he is shuffling the deck, attach the wax ball to the card box. The spectator’s attention will be on shuffling the cards. This provides the misdirection. Spread the cards face up and have the spectator take two of them. Take the rest of the cards and place them back in the case. put the cased deck of cards on the table about 2 feet in front of you. Now you have a line of thread that runs from the reel, up over the table and to the deck of cards. The reel keeps constant tension on the thread which will be needed to make the trick work.
Take one of the cards and rub it against your shirt as if you’re building up a charge in the card. Slide the card under the line and balance it on it’s edge. Slowly let go of the card and it will remain standing. The card is held by the tension on the invisible thread.
the spectator may try to his hearts content, but no matter how hard he tries he will not be able to balance his card. You can also trade cards with the spectator. you can also balance another card on top of the card that is already balanced. This seems really impossible. It will wind up in a T shape. Put the cards away in the box and you finish clean.
Floating Ring no external anchors
Set Up: The Reel need to be attached under your collar or in your top pocket and the thread needs to run diagonally across your body this the wax attached to something in your right front pocket (like a pack of cards)
Performance: Secretly thread the thread between your right first finger and middle finger, keep your hands natural. Borrow two wedding rings, you need to use a fairly smooth one like a standard wedding band. Place woman’s ring on the table and the mans ring on your first finger. Move the thread so it is only hooked by this finger. Next pull the ring off the finger retaining the thread on your finger. ( the thread is looped around the back part of your finger and running through the ring)
Switch the thread hoop so it is now around your thumb. Bring the ring to the left allowing your hands to act like a pulley. Separate your hands by about a foot. the guys ring is in the left hand and you pick up the woman’s ring with the right hand.
Balance the mans ring on your left fore finger the thread will keep it in place. by moving your right hand you can control the tension of the thread and where the ring is suspended. Remove your left hand and allow the ring to float in mid air. (don’t leave it there for very long)
Move your right hand down very slowly and the ring will slowly float down to join the other ring. unhook your right finger and the thread will retractdiagnally across your body and you are left clean 😉
Think Different: Always try to invent your own effects to become unique… it takes a very confident performer to do big floating effects and less is very much more when it comes to the reel and floating.