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Samuel Catoe
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South Carolina
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Profile of Samuel Catoe
I perform C&R but have yet to arrive at a true reason for cutting the rope. Could I get some advice for patter? I am not looking to steal your patter, but I do believe that by hearing how you present the effect I may be moved to discover something that is more me than just "Here we have this rope, and I'm going to cut it just so I can put it back together again." Any help is welcome. Thanks. Smile

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Peter Marucci
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Profile of Peter Marucci
Look at the rope as something that is not a rope but looks like it:
"If it were green, it could be a viper; if it were black it could be a vindshield viper."
Okay, maybe not that!<G>

But the rope could be a strand of spaghetti that's too long and can never be cut to the right length.

Or a belt that you are trying to fit on someone who gains and loses a lot of weight.

Or dental floss for a giant.

Okay, we're going over the top with that last one, but those are just some ideas off the top of my head. The important thing is, come up with something that the rope could be that, in fact, looks like rope.

Please, do NOT say the rope is going to represent a bear, a plane, an umbrella or anything else that doesn't look like a rope!
I find that sort of thing just dumb!
(Although others will no doubt disagree.)
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Profile of mvmagic
I have done a comical presentation of C&R rope.

So I basically need a length of rope for another effect but the rope I have is way too long. So I cut it but it is restored— it refuses to stay cut.

I personally love it because it has a sucker quality. Nobody expects me to do any magic and yet a simple task of cutting a rope turns into a small magic number.

I ended up doing it this way because I didn´t find any good reason to take the rope and cut it. Incorporating it to the flow of show has worked really well for me.
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Johnstown, PA
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Profile of jkvand
I have a couple different routines for C&R. One is that I talk about my days as a boy scout and tell the story of my scoutmaster asking me to cut a rope into smaller pieces in order to stake out a tent. No matter how many times I cut the rope, of course it doesn't work. Also, I do gospel magic and use a routine where the rope represents our lifeline to God, but because of sin our lifeline is cut. Then I use a cross to wave over the rope and talk about how Jesus forgives our sins and restores our lifeline to God. Maybe these will get your creative juices flowing a little.
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Profile of Bilwonder
It would fit the holidays to talk about tying packages and having trouble cutting the right length and restoring it to try again. I've always enjoyed Sid Lorraine's books on patter and he has a few ideas there. The idea of a magi cutting rope is almost expected (like pulling a rabbit from a hat). Sid in one routine makes fun of this by calling himself a "rope addict" who can't help himself...

I have also used object lessons... but you have to be careful with that for two reasons. One is unintended and silly analogies (as the magi who said "this coin represents Jesus" then dropped it and retrieved it by stepping on it few times), and second, if you are trying to get an important message across, the trick can actually be distracting... I've learned this a a teacher... the message is over powered by the "trick" (unless they are actually closely related).
"You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." Mark Twain
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Profile of DanTheMagicMan
My routine in a nutshell: When I do this for kids, I tell the kids this next trick requires two equal lengths of rope. I slide my hand along the length of the rope and have them shout out when I reach the middle. I cut the rope and make sure the ropes are not equal, however I don't see it. The kids shout out they are not equal. I tie the knot, hold the rope on the end that the knot is closest to and ask the kids to tell me where the middle is. I point to the middle and say "is this the middle?"; I slide the knot "you mean right here?"; I slide it further down, "Do you mean here?". It dawns on the kids that something magical has taken place. I eventually slide the knot off the rope and say "well, it wasn't a very good trick anyway".

Here is a groaner for you. "This isn't a rope, it is actually the world's largest shoelace! It was owned by Ed Sullivan... he had a really big shoe!"

People over 35 groan over this one. I don't know if Ed Sullivan is known as well outside of the United States, so it may be funny only here. (Rent the movie "Bye-Bye Birdie" starring Dick Van Dyke for a cameo of Ed Sullivan.)
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Geoff Ray
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Profile of Geoff Ray
I say that I have to do a trick using two unequal pieces of rope, so I cut the rope and show the two unequal pieces. Then I `remember` that it wasn't a very good trick, and say that I can do a better trick with one piece— so I restore it.
Shawn D
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Profile of Shawn D
All I do for the trick is I say, "For this next trick we are going to use a piece of rope. We are going to take a piece of rope, cut it into two pieces of rope and put it back together. We will call this trick, ummm, cutting a piece of rope into two and put it back together". Gets a little laugh.
BIlly James
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Profile of BIlly James
I have always done cut and restored in my adult stage show and over many years have tried many different presentations; unfortunately for me the idea of using the rope as a metaphor for a road or whatever just doesn't play. So I have found myself time and again where you are— "what is the point of this".

What I do now is just put as many gags in the routine as possible and I find that it plays like an absolute dream. Give it a go if the other ideas don't work for you.

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Profile of oldwilson_2000
My patter is about a magician's logic and how it differs from normal people's logic.
For example, when the "two ropes" are not equal in length, I talk about "normal" people cutting the long rope shorter to make both pieces equal. But magicians just pull on the rope and...

Or I talk about the usual way of finding the middle by holding the ends parallel and taking the opposite loop as the middle. Magicians just take the two ends and make them change places with the middle. You get the idea...

I don't like to sell the rope as something different (like dental floss or something). I found it sufficient to simply take the rope as a means to demonstrate a magician's logic.

impossible man
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Profile of impossible man
You could just offer no explanation. Show the rope, ask a specatator to cut it, then start explaining that the normal way to put pieces of rope together is to "Use a knot, like this..." then move on to restore the rope.

The only reason for making someone take a card is to put it back in the deck! But I might actually need to cut a rope. Of course then you would have to build all the drama in the trick through timing, body language, etc. rather than get help from any patter.
Dean Gilbert
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Profile of johnwolfe
I announce with a flair that my next effect is going to be the world famous magician's cut rope mystery. I have a volunteer come up and examine rope. Rope is cut in middle by volunteer and I hold the pieces up proudly and announce, "The famous magician's cut rope." After a pause for the laugh, I turn to my volunteer and say, "You don't seem very impressed...would you be more impressed if I could join the ropes into one piece again?" After the obvious yes, I tie the knot in the middle of the rope. I proudly display the rope and say, "Ladies and gentlemen, the rope has been restored into one piece." Again, after a pause and laugh I turn to my helper and say, "I guess you'd be more impressed if the knot weren't in the rope?" I then slide the knot and say, "How about if I move it here?" I slide it again further down the rope and say, "Or here?" I then slide it off the rope and give it to the volunteer and say, "How about we just get rid of the knot and give it to you." I then again display the restored rope and announce, "The famous magician's cut rope mystery and take a bow.
Whit Haydn
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Profile of Whit Haydn
My routine is called Mongolian Pop Knot, and the patter is about teaching the audience how to do the old "cut and restored rope trick."

You can see the routine on my website at

You are welcome to use any of the lines or ideas from the video, as the routine has been in print for more than thirty years and many of the lines from it have become practically "stock" lines. You may find some good ideas there. Good luck.
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Profile of leftytheclown
I like stories, so my patter usually regards some one (Santa, elf, etc.) who needs one long piece of rope. It is cut by "mistake" and then it is magically restored.

Happy cutting.
Lefty (aka) Sterling Dare
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Matt Pulsar
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Profile of Matt Pulsar
Pantomime. I have tried many variations of patter. I still use some for my children's show when making "the big rope become small and the small rope become big," while switching the ends behind my back. But other than that I do my normal routine silently. I find they will be able to follow what is happening and the words take the focus away from the rope in most routines I have seen. The beautiful mystery that happens is well focused without patter.
Belief Manifests Reality.
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Profile of nucinud
I usually pick a girl or lady with long hair.
I state that I will now perform the famous cut and restored hair trick. After some nonsense I say okay let's use a rope instead. I also ask the younger girls to say stop when I get to the middle, and teach them that stop is a very important word you will need to know when you are teenager.
"We are what we pretend to be" Kurt Vonnegut, jr.

Now U C It Now U Don't

Harry Mandel
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Oakdale, CA.
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Profile of Magicjohnathon
I perform my cut & restored rope routine to music, using only mime to instruct my audience helpers. I never break my silence. This formula has served me well for the past 4 years. Occassionally I do try to add new moves whenever possible.
1. Rope routine
2. Rope & ring
3. Linking Ring routine
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Magically Johnathon Marshall
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Profile of Myrddin
When I perform Slydini's rope routine, I also use his story line. Never fails to get good reactions.

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Profile of 61magic
I personally never used a story line patter for the C&R rope. The rope, and sissors speak for themselves. They are such common items people know the premise as soon as they see you handle the items.
Story patter can be effective if used correctly, fits into your character, and motif of your act.
If you have a spectator assisting you can do a comedy "do as I do" routine where you can restore your rope, but they can't.
Whit Haydn's patter for his verions is great. He uses the teaching a trick theme in several of his routine so it works well.
One thing that helped me develop patter was a friend who works as a director in civic theater. He gave solid advice on dialogue. If you can find a source like that the value is like gold.
Professor J. P. Fawkes
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