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Wayne Kawamoto

Broken Mirror Shatters Reality

By October 13, 2011

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Here's an intriguing illusion where a magician breaks a mirror, and in seemingly no time, the broken mirror is restored to its original state. It's a take on the classic broken and restored magic plot. You can learn how to build the prop and perform the illusion in the instructional booklet, "Shattered Reality," by Lance Richardson.

In this visual effect, the magician allows the audience to inspect a mirror, which is housed in a frame. After placing the mirror on a stand and covering it with a cloth, the magician brings out a hammer and slams it into the mirror, which causes shards of the broken mirror to fall from the frame. When the cloth is lifted, the audience will see that there is no mirror as they can view right through the frame.

The frame and former mirror is covered by the cloth once more. The magician gathers the broken pieces in another cloth and the pieces vanish. At the end, the magician shows a fully restored mirror back in its frame.

Smoke and Mirrors
This illusion appears to be workable and good, but there are some considerations. The picture on the front of the booklet depicts the magician standing next to a clearly broken mirror. However, the mirror never appears in this state during the actual performance of this routine. This is strictly a publicity shot.

In fact, the "breaking" of the mirror occurs under the cloth and the audience only sees through the space where the mirror once stood, along with a single, leftover shard. During the performance, the breaking sound comes from a soundtrack that is played as you swing the hammer.

Safety-wise, there are no sharp shards of broken mirror to deal with, which I think is a plus. Inherent to the illusion, you will have to deal with a real plexiglass mirror that has to be packed and safely transported and stored. As the ads state, the illusion is mostly self-contained. There are no assistants required, unless you need one to trigger the audio at the appropriate time. The instructions in this booklet are clear and adequately show how to build and perform the illusion.

Transporter
One thing lacking, Richardson shows how to construct the stand, but doesn't offer suggestions on how to make it portable. As it's designed, I think this prop will be clumsy to pack and move around, although with a little ingenuity, one can probably figure out how to make it break down for easier packing.

If your show can use an illusion with a broken and restored mirror, you may want to consider "Shattered Reality."

More Reading
Review of Urban Illusions by JC Sum
Review of Pack Flat Illusions for Kid's and Family Shows by J.C. Sum

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