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Review: Tear Down by Andrew Mayne

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Review: Tear Down by Andrew Mayne
I've been performing a newspaper tear for years. It used to be my stand-up opener but is only brought out on occasions when I need it. The tear, based on a popular method, has served me well, but I may well be tossing it to employ Andrew Mayne's excellent "Tear Down."

On a Tear

"Tear Down" is based on Jim Steinmeyer's "Incessant Newspaper." In classic "newspaper tear" fashion, you rip a newspaper to shreds, crumple the pieces together and then visually restore the paper.

The difference here is that the newspaper can be signed, and before and after the effect the newspaper can be carefully examined by audience members. Believe it or not, there are no switches and the restored newspaper can be given away. And best yet, there's no preparation, the effect is impromptu.


I've dealt with the gluing and gimmicks. I can recall late nights where I would tediously create up to four newspapers for four shows the next day.

And after each performance, I would destroy the newspapers, which can be reused, to ensure that I wouldn't accidentally employ a used paper during a show. I also recall problems with paper that had been folded too long and wouldn't open properly and gimmicks that broke.

With "Tear Down," the preparation goes away. You can literally pickup up a newspaper and immediately perform the effect. While the restoration is not instantaneous as with my current method, it's convincing and fairly fast.

In the Tabloids

The only downside is a key moment that may make some nervous. With performances, most will gain confidence with it. Another observation, while practicing this one, I noticed that my hands tended to accumulate more newsprint than with my previous method. However, I don't think that this will be a problem during performance.

On the DVD, Mayne offers excellent and thorough instruction. He prefers to perform the effect with a tabloid-sized newspaper, but shows how to perform the effect with a full-sized newspaper or even a magazine. After experimenting, I agree with Mayne and prefer tabloid-sized papers.

I wasn't looking for a new newspaper tear, but I think I just found one that will save me lots of time. My newspaper tear and I go way back to when I was first starting to perform shows and I've never given up a routine that I've used for years. But I guess there's a first time for everything.

-Wayne N. Kawamoto

MSRP: (US) $15

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