.:216/365: 3 Ropes And A Baby:.
Falling more in line with parlor magic than stage magic, the 3 Ropes and a Baby routine is a very elegant rope routine that plays tricks with your eyes. While more people are currently familiar with Richard Sander’s jazzed up version, Fiber Optics, this version of the routine emphasizes smooth, deliberate moves over the flashy flourishes Fiber Optics has come to be known for.
It’s a simple premise, really: 3 ropes of varying lengths, they slowly change and become of equal length right before your eyes, and with one less rope from the equation, the two remaining ropes become one rope, loses its ends, loses it s middle, become two ropes again, and at the end of the routine, all three ropes can be passed on for examination. In fact, all three ropes can also be passed for examination at the beginning of the routine.
I like rope routines because ropes are easily examinable to show that there’s nothing funky about them. It’s hard to disbelieve magic happening with ropes simply because it’s pretty apparent what’s going on when you do some thing or some other with the ropes, thereby casually implying to whoever is watching that you are achieving the impossible through pure skill or genuine magic. Either way, people are significantly less on guard for “tricks” when they are presented with a rope that they can examine to their hearts content to prove nothing is up.
While I do like Richard Sanders’s take on this, what with Fiber Optics being a part of my routine for about half a year until I stuck with Michael Finney’s Lady and the Rope, I wanted to show a routine that emphasized very solid technical skill over flashiness. The flashy stuff will come with practice, rest assured. For most beginners, it’s best to get a handle on the fundamentals first, so that when you start going to more advanced material, you don’t develop nasty habits or shortcuts you wouldn’t have developed if you started your magical education properly.