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Self-tying shoelace effects are in the same vein as animated scarfs and levitating silk magic tricks. This particular self-tying shoelace trick by Abracadabra NYC is perfectly scaled for small crowd performances and street magic. This illusion is great for entertainment purposes and connecting with a crowd for the suspension of disbelief.
Though as you master it, you will likely also find that it’s a great canvas for exploring different performance styles. In one iteration, you could use it as an illusion, in another as a distraction, or even tweak the self-tying shoelaces into a comedy skit. With so much versatility, you ultimately get a lot of replay value out of a single gimmick!
As a piece of street performance art, you can start out by walking down a relatively crowded, but not choked street, with one shoe noticeably untied. Getting this part of the performance just right is actually more of a challenge than the mechanics of the trick itself. As the goal it to get a total stranger/spectator to notice and point out that your shoe is untied.
This phase of the self-tying shoelaces trick is where you get them to invest in the suspension of disbelief. Afterall, they’re the one in engaging you, not the other way around.
With a little recognition, and perhaps a touch of your own personal charm, you can connect with them. Then give your foot a little shake, which causes the shoelaces to slap back and forth, unerringly crisscrossing. A little more “Sleight of Foot” and they tie snug, without you so much as having to bend down to touch the shoelaces.
It’s a great gimmick for that inevitable skeptic who wants to pry a little further into the trick beyond the performance. For the knot and bows of the self-tying shoelaces are indeed truly tied together, and will easily standup to even a physical inspection!
With a tip of your cap and a casual “Thanks” you can then be on your way to find yet more unsuspecting spectators to try your self-tying shoelaces trick on.