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One of David Zanthor's most famous magic illusions is when he appears to shoot an arrow through a woman without harming her. What actually happens is much different than what appears to happen.
First, the gun, similar to a standard rifle, is not real. This means that the arrow never leaves the gun, so it could not have passed through his female assistant. Instead, he use a little bit of pyrotechnics to make it appear as though the gun has fired.
Around the arrow is a loosely coiled ribbon. That ribbon is attached to fishing wire that cannot be seen by the audience. The wire travels across the stage and into a piece of copper tubing hidden under the front of the assistant's shirt. The tube travels around to the back of the shirt and exits, ending in the center of a bullseye.
Another assistant hides behind the target and thrusts a new arrow out through the center after the pyrotechnics go off. This gives the appearance that the original arrow traveled across the stage when the gun‘s trigger was pulled, through the first assistant and into the target.
What really happened was the ribbon was pulled across the stage via the fishing line, which was pulled by a rapidly descending sand bag.
To see exactly how the pyrotechnics, ribbon, fishing line, fake gun, arrows and sand bag all work together to create this magic illusion, pay close attention to David Zanthor's free magic tricks video.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|