SPS Magic

Tailspin Outspun


By Tony L. Lewis 

This routine uses one of the donkey cards from the Tail Spin effect produced by SPS Magic. It eliminates the use of the folder and the duplicate card.


The performer displays a picture of a donkey and gets a boy volunteer (extroverted but not to the point where it jeopardizes the effect) from the audience to play a game of Pin the Tail on the Donkey. The boy is given a small tail with an adhesive attached and told to step back about 10 feet from the performer. He is then instructed to close his eyes, turn around three times, and attempt to pin the tail on the donkey.

If the boy cheats and peeks, that is fine. Otherwise, the magician maneuvers the picture so that the boy hits the target. The performer then “makes the tail invisible” and says he will make the pinning a little harder. He instructs the boy to return to the starting point and attempt to pin the tail to the donkey by throwing it.  After the tail is “thrown,” it can be heard to hit the donkey as it magically appears attached to the donkey’s nose.

After the laughter subsides, the magician again makes the tail invisible and encourages the boy to give it one more try. This time the performer moves a little as if he has been hit by the tail. After a small amount of time is consumed in searching for the missing tail, the performer looks behind him. At this point the children see the tail is hanging down from the performers rear end. As they yell this out, the magician pretends not to understand them for a short interval before he too discovers the whereabouts of the tail.

If the last phase of the trick is well staged it will bring down the house. In any case it is a hilarious finale to the effect.

The Necessary Props 

Use the plaque with the tail-less donkey on the front and the words “Tail Spin” on the back. Attach to the nose of the donkey a small patch of white Velcro. Attach a similar patch to the bottom section of the “l” in Tail Spin. 

With Tail Spin from SPS Magic, you receive two small “tails,” one of which has a felt-like patch that sticks easily to Velcro. Finally you get one long tail.  Apply a small ring of reusable adhesive such as Fun-Tak around the end of the plain small tail.

You will also need a prop to make the tail(s) invisible, such as a small tear-apart change bag. You can also use sleight of hand for this purpose.

The Set-up

Attach the felt-tipped tail to the Velcro patch on the back of the picture, and then place the picture face up on any convenient surface. Wrap a small piece of Scotch tape around the long tail just below the tassel, leaving about a half-inch flap of tape when you do so. Use a one-inch safety pin to attach the other end of the tail to the very bottom of the inside of your jacket in the back. Stick a second one inch safety pin through the flap of scotch tape and attach it to the upper part of the inside of the back of the jacket. This will hold the tail securely in place, but a small tug on the middle of the tail will free it and cause it to drop down behind you.

Details of the Presentation

Invite the volunteer up.  Give him the sticky tail and instruct him to pin it on the donkey as described above. After he has done so, make the tail “invisible” with your chosen method and instruct him to go back and throw it at the donkey. Here is the key move of the presentation.  With your left handuse the picture as a pointer to motion the boy back to his starting spot. As you do this, the right hand secretly “plucks” the Velcro tail from the rear of the picture. If you take the tail at its felt end with the thumb and four finger tips together, it will be completely concealed.  Now attach the tail to the donkey’s nose as you flatten your hand out with the tail concealed behind it.  Your hand should now be in a position to once again hold the edge of the picture.  If executed smoothly, the preceding sequence will appear very natural to the audience.   

When the boy “throws” the tail, strike the back edge of the picture with your left index finger. As the audience is momentarily distracted by this sound, you reveal the tail on the nose of the donkey. This creates a perfect illusion of the tail landing on the nose. It is quite amazing to watch.

Finally you “make the [Velcro] tail invisible” and give it to the boy once more. As he walks back to his starting point, you reach back and release the long tail by giving it a slight tug. The effect then concludes as described above.


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