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Copyright 1981 by Ron Bauer

Ron Bauer's TOOTSIE! is a fantasy come true for kids. You'll know why when you perform it and see the looks in their eyes.


"Sometimes, when I'm hungry," says the Magical Person (MP), "I get this terrific urge for a TOOTSIE ROLL... Wait! Don't tell me that's bad... Don't tell me I should want something nourishing, like a glass of milk, or something, but not candy! I know that. But Tootsie Rolls are special to me... So special that I have developed. THE TOOTSIE TOUCH!"

(The MP closes his empty hand into a loose fist.) "Watch... when I touch this empty hand..." (He touches the back of his closed hand, then opens it. It's not empty.) "...a Tootsie Roll appears! I'll bet you didn't believe me! Well, you ain't seen nothin' yet. I'll get a bag and show you what I mean."

(The MP snaps open a paper bag and drops the Tootsie Roll into it. Then he proceeds to produce several Tootsie Rolls, one after another, dropping them into the bag. Not satisfied, he moves into the audience and, using his Tootsie Touch on the persons of several of the kids, he finds more and more.)

Suddenly he stops and looks into the bag. "You know what? I think I over did it. I've got too many Tootsie Rolls in this bag. I'd better give some away." (The MP distributes several of his tasty treasures while working his way back to the front.)

"That's better. I gave some away, but I've still got lots of candy for myself., more than anyone else. Probably too much for one person. Probably even this amount is not good for me either, like some of you said earlier. Probably I should have put milk into this bag instead of candy. But that's silly, who carries milk in a bag? What? Someone over there said a cow!"

"Hey! Do you know what? You've made me feel so guilty about my candy, I've decided to change these Tootsie Rolls into milk and drink it! What? You don't think I can do it? Watch!" (Reaching into the bag, the MP apparently molds and squeezes the contents.)

"...I'll just squeeze 'em and mold 'em and reform them. All it takes is a little magic and a lot of hammy acting! But it works. Look, now the bag is empty... except for this..." (He slowly raises the bag away from his right hand, which is holding...) "...a great big glass of milk!"

(Toasting his audience, the MP begins to drink the milk, then stops.) "Boy, I think I got carried away again and ended up with more milk than I can drink. You've probably had the same problem from time to time. You like milk, but sometimes you don't feel like you can drink it all. Know what I mean? Well, I used to just force myself and finish it anyway. But, I don't do that anymore... No! I don't waste it, either! I'll show you what I do do..."

(Setting the tumbler of milk on the table, the MP picks up a cylinder.) "Now this probably looks like a decorated tin can with no bottom or top that will just exactly cover my tumbler of milk. Well, it is! But it's also a milk shrinker! A very useful gadget as I will now demonstrate." (And, that's just what the MP does: Covers the tumbler of milk... magic words... raises the milk shrinker to reveal a tiny glass of milk which he promptly polishes off in one gulp.)


Doug Henning will have some difficulty with TOOTSIE! because all but one of the Tootsie Rolls are in pockets. (He doesn't have any.) However, for the rest of us, here's the set-up:

EIGHT 3¢ TOOTSIE ROLLS -- 1 in breast pocket, 1 in right pants pocket, 2 in right coat pocket, 3 in left coat pocket and 1 thums-palmed in right hand. The other props are on your table; the bag, the tray, and the small glass of milk. But some preparation is required.

Click to Enlarge

Figure 1 shows a Tupperware container and an ear syringe. The quantity of milk needed for the small glass can be conveniently and safely transported in a water-tight container like this one shown. And, if you have the kind of double-walled tumbler that must be refilled, an ear syringe is a useful device for quickly and neatly doing it. (Charlie Miller blows and cleans eggs using an ear syringe. He only puts one hole into an egg to do it!)

The shot glass full of milk is on a tray until needed. It must not be seen or you'll spoil the ending. So, place the tray on the table with some prop, a fluffed hank, or something between it and the audience. At the appropriate time during the presentation, you cover the shot glass with the tumbler (Figure 2). And, the cover, or milk shrinker, fits over the tumbler and glass as in in Figure 3. The milk shrinker and a double-walled tumbler of milk are parts of a trick available from Abbott's called "The Expose Vanish."

Now let's learn the opening move. Thumb palm a Tootsie Roll in your right hand. Hold your left hand with the palm toward the audience as in Figure 4. The captions tell you what to do up to Figure 6. At this point turn both hands palms upward rotating them at the wrists. As you turn them, lead and mask the left with the right so the audience can't see the secret loading action. When you reach the position in Figure 6, momentarily open and close the left fingers in order to catch the Tootsie Roll as you release it from the thumb palm. Don't pause until both hands are palms up. Keep the left hand, which secretly contains the Tootsie Roll, closed. The right is open and slightly beneath it.

The surprise comes to the audience when you open your left hand and out rolls a Tootsie Roll onto your right palm. (Figure 7). I got this idea from Milt Kort. He's used it for years to secretly load various hidden items into his supposedly empty left hand. The details for Milt's handling are in Modern Coin Magic under "Copper and Silver Transposition." His method, by the way, requires only two regular coins to accomplish what traditionally requires duplicates, fakes, etc. It's a terrific method.

Finally, the paper bag (a size 4) has the tumbler in it from the start, but must seem empty. Load the tumbler into the bag as shown in Figure 8. The bottom of the tumbler is toward the opening of the bag, which is near the rear of your table.

During the presentation, when you pick up the bag, put your thumb on the outside of the bag and your ring and middle fingers into the tumbler. Lift the bag off the table and snap it open. (Fig. 6). Then hold the bag in front of you and drop a Tootsie Roll into it. The Tootsie Roll (TR) should be dropped from about six inches above the bag. Aim so it will fall through the tumbler. The sound it makes when it hits the bottom of the bag convinces everyone that the bag's otherwise empty.


  1. Produce one TR... Milt Kort loading move. Display it clearly in your right hand.
  2. Pick up and snap open bag with left hand. Openly drop TR into it.
  3. Touch breast pocket. Remove one TR. Drop it into bag.
  4. Touch trouser pocket. Remove one TR. Drop it into bag.
  5. Take bag with right hand. Don't drop the tumbler.
  6. Touch left coat pocket. Remove one TR, secretly bringing out two more. Hold them against the base of fingers with your ring and little fingers.
  7. Drop the visible TR into the bag. Then take the bag back into the left hand, again freeing the right. By holding the bag with the index and middle fingers on the inside, thumb on the outside, the hidden TRs are masked. Don't drop the tumbler. (See Fig. 9)
  8. Touch right coat pocket. Remove one TR visibly from coat pocket, the other secretly.
  9. NOTE #1: Up to now you've been taking Tootsie Rolls out of your pockets and dropping them into a bag. Because of the first production plus what follows, the impression left on the audience is just what you want... they remember it all as magic. (I've done Tootsie for over 15 years, and it still amazes me that it amazes them.)

  10. Approach the audience, toward your right, as you drop the visible TR into the bag. Time your action so immediately after you've dropped the TR you're in position to reach out to produce the hidden TR from behind a spectator's ear.
  11. NOTE #2: Don't do this like the Miser's Dream or you'll break down the plot. Touch first, produce second. First touch his ear, pull your hand back about six inches, then reach forward again. Push the hidden TR to your fingertips and bring it from behind the ear.

    NOTE #3: As a magician, you must deal with two conflicting problems when you employ this kind of in-audience activity. First, covering the secret moves usually results in also covering you from maximum view. Very bad, because this annoys those people whose lines of sight are obscured. Second, ignoring technique in order to be seen is a form of double-exposure. Letting the audience see you is good, letting them see the secret moves is bad. Audiences do not like to see how it's done. I've dealt with these problems in TOOTSIE by learning to produce the TRs with either hand. The solution is based on using the appropriate hand to give you maximum visibility regardless of where you are in the audience.

  12. As you move from the right side of the audience toward the center, you "sham-produce" eight to ten TRs. Actually, you're producing the same TR over and over. This is possible because of a fake dropping into the bag. You don't really drop. As your hand enters the top of the bag, you palm the TR. The audience can't see the palming because of the cover of the bag. This action plus the sound made by your wrist striking the edge of the bag completes the illusion. It looks and sounds like dropping. Produce them from places on members of the audience which give cover: lapels, behind ears under hair, in hats, collars, purses, etc. Also move quickly from person to person.
  13. As you approach the center of your audience, or just left of center, spot someone with an accessible pocket. Openly drop the TR you're holding into the bag. Then change the bag from left hand to right. Immediately place your left hand at the bottom of the bag. This serves two secret purposes. One, it makes it easy to shake the bag and release the tumbler so it falls to the bottom of the bag. Two, it provides you with a resting place for your left hand which is hiding two TRs.
  14. When you're in position, point to the spectator's pocket with your left forefinger. Reach forward and touch the pocket, reach inside, drop one TR and bring out the other. "Don't you wish you could do that? You do? Try it..."
  15. Make sure the audience sees that the spectator has found a "magically produced Tootsie Roll" before moving on.
  16. Continue the sham TR productions for another dozen or so, then suddenly stop. Look puzzled, shake the bag and look inside. The bulk of the tumbler helps the illusion of a bag full of Tootsie Rolls.
  17. Once again cross the audience, this time in the opposite direction, distributing all eight TRs in the bag. Shake the bag a few times so the audience gets the idea it's still pretty full. Time this hand-out so as the last TR is gone, you've arrived back at the performing position.
  18. Put you right hand into the bag and broadly pantomime and mug the "reforming" of the remaining TRs.
  19. Grasp the bottom of the tumber with your right hand.
  20. Dramatically remove the bag from the right hand with your left hand, revealing the tumbler full of milk. Make sure the audience can see the liquid moves.
  21. Start to drink, but don't expose the open bottom. Stop. Crumple bag and toss it into audience, off to one side.
  22. Place the tumbler onto the tray, covering the small glass.
  23. Pick up and display the tube.
  24. Hold tube in one hand and pick up tumbler on the tray with the other.
  25. Cover the tumbler. Lift it halfway to show nothing has happened. Cover again...magic words...lift cover (and tumbler) revealing small glass.
  26. Set the tube upside down onto the table. Retain the small glass, but put aside the tray, covering the tube.
  27. Now clearly show everyone the small glass of milk. Toast them and drink it down.

After the show, youngsters will probably approach you with requests to "touch me! ...I wanna Tootsie Roll!...etc." Need I suggest you'd better have a few spare TRs or know how to disappear?

Finally, I will briefly address the Afterthoughts Mentality... Yes, you can use droppers, holders, sleight-of-hand moves from Keith Clark's Encyclopedia of Cigarette Tricks, etc. You can and may do what you wish. You have my permission.

Copyright 1981 by Ron Bauer