The Torn is Restored at Assembly #31

Indianapolis, Indiana



Concluding our â??Year of the Classicâ?? at the Harry Riser Assembly #31, the theme for our May meeting was the Torn and Restored Newspaper. A lot of newspapers were sacrificed throughout the evening.  Fortunately, they were all restored!


We began by watching Al Pacino flawlessly perform the torn and restored newspaper in the movie, â??The Recruit.â??  We noted with interest that immediately upon completing the effect, he ordered a martini!


Jay Newby, Mike Engle and Dale Benson then did a pantomime skit where they occupied seats A, B, and C in a crowded airliner.  Dale, in the middle seat, was trying to read his newspaper.  As you can imagine, Jay and Mike were annoyed by the newspaper in front of their faces. The solutionâ??tear the newspaper into pieces.  When Mike and Jay eventually left their seats, Dale was able to restore the newspaper to its full size and continue perusing the news undisturbed.  The skit was based upon a Robert Harbin idea from seventy years ago!


What followed was a brief history of the effect with quick visits to eighteen men who over the past century have originated and then refined the basic ideas and methods.  Interspersed with the history, SAM #31 members Chris Henderson performed the Richard Osterlind version and Jay Newby performed the Commando version.  We also enjoyed and discussed several DVD and You Tube downloaded versions of the effect.  Of course, much of the focus of the evening was on Gene Anderson, his method and his book, Newspaper Magic.


We concluded the evening with three more members performing variations on the theme.  Mike Engle did the No Tear.  Jim Croop did Farquharâ??s Torn 2 Pieces, and Taylor Martin did Clippo, Torn and Restored Bill, and Broken and Restored Coins.


Our Year of the Classic turned out to be a great experience.  We learned a lot and had a lot of fun.  More importantly, we gained renewed respect for the magicians who have developed these classics over the years and then made them available for our generation to enjoy and to perform.




Submitted by: Dale Benson, Secretary

May 2009


Harry E. Riser Assembly No. 31, usually meets the first Monday of the month at 7 pm at Mystic Tie Lodge (2nd floor), corner of Illinois and North Street, Indianapolis.