Performing the Rice Stabbing Illusion for 38 Years!

Mark Brandyberry Performs the Indian Rice Stabbing IllusionMark Brandyberry performs the Indian Rice Stabbing IllusionMark A. Brandyberry

(Photo on the left above is from today.  The other two are from previous performances.)

I have written about the trick called the Indian Rice Stabbing Illusion on a couple of occasions.  Today, I performed it again at the West Lafayette Public Library.  It was great fun, and I was reminded by my friend, Howard Robinson, that I’ve been doing this trick for nearly 38 years.  To this day, I have never seen anyone else do the Rice Stabbing Illusion.  Neil Foster told me that he saw Johnny Platt do it many times at a bar in Chicago.  When I was developing the trick Neil Foster was impressed with my interest in this oddity.  He told me about Johnny’s performance, but it wasn’t much to go on.  Neil didn’t really know much about the trick either.

It is a real treat to see Purdue professors wrinkle their brows and shift in their seats when I release my hold on the jar.  They have never seen this scientific principle demonstrated, so it must be a real mystery to them. .

Around 1981 Harry Lorayne wrote in his magazine, Apocalypse, that he had never seen this trick ever performed, and he questioned if it had ever been performed.  By coincidence, he was working an Abbott’s close up convention a few weeks later.  I performed the trick for the entire crowd, and he got a huge kick out of finally seeing it done.  Decades later, I connected with Mr. Lorayne on Facebook.  I asked if he remembered me performing it.  Of course, he did!  He’s the world’s finest memory expert.

My performance of the Indian Rice Stabbing Illusion has changed many times over the years.  I’ve done it to patter, and I’ve even done it to music.  Now, I tend to prove how even tiny grains of rice can be strong if they cooperate with one another.  It’s is great fun to do, and I’m impressed every time I don’t send rice, bowl and knife flinging off into the audience.  There is a sigh of relief when it is over.    MB

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