If you are still baffled by Franz Harary walking through a girl trick, then you might like to check out my take on how this penetration effect is done.
I think he just walks past by the side of the girl who is inside the two pieces of panels or behind the cloth.
Remember, this so-called secret is just my view, my opinion, my guess, my theory or my postulation; and I could be grossly wrong.
There are two versions of this going through a woman/girl stage illusion; one with just a piece of cloth and the other is with two pieces of panels.
After viewing various video clips found online, I think Franz Harary uses slightly different methods over time throughout his years of performing this walking through a girl illusion.
If I am not wrong, he used a fake hand in 1998 “Harary ImagineNation” show in Genting International Showroom, Malaysia.
Watch the hole of the left panel, which the female assistant turning it around after the act.
I think there is a fake hand behind the torn paper, which she secretly trying to hide it at the end of the show at 3:10 to 3:15.
Penetration Magic Trick Methods
As I have said before in my other blog posts, magicians use various methods to achieve the solid through solid penetration magic tricks.
Among them are using a fake hand when walking through mirror or steel plate.
You can find this popular method called “A-Frame” in Andrew Mayne’s book “Solo-X“.
Then we have this common method where the obstacle has to make way for the magic to happen, so to speak.
For instance Jim Steinmeyer‘s “Walking Through A Brick Wall“, “Through Steel Illusion By Tim Kole“, “Dan Wolfe’s Through Steel” (above), or Magic Wagon’s “Impossible Glass Penetration“, “Ultimate Penetration Frame” and “Steel Ball Through Glass” closeup trick.
The other common gimmick used in penetration trick is the concealed hole.
For instance, the plastic “Penetration Frame” (above), “Scarf Through Mirror“, “Michael Grandinetti Walks Through Steel“, ”Jet Engine Turbine Illusion”, “T-114 Wonder Window“ or “Hand Through Glass Table” as explained below.
Watch this video clip, and focus your attention on the glass at the edge of the hole next to the performer as indicated below.
You can clearly see the glass piece moving from his left to right at 0:42 to 0:51, while he is wiping the glass with a piece of crumpled tissue paper and knocking it with his knuckles.
This is when the concealed hole slides out from the left side of the table.
Then again the glass slides back from his right to left to be hidden away, after he has lifted up the stalk of rose at 1:39 to 1:45.
Franz Harary Walking Through A Girl Trick Secret Revealed
Now let’s get back to Franz Harary walking through a girl or a lady trick.
I think the secret of this trick is the obstacle (arm) has to give way for Franz Harary to do his supposedly impossible feat.
The so-called secret move of this illusion occurs on the LEFT side of the act.
The LEFT panel, the LEFT arm of the girl between the two panels, the LEFT arm of the stage assistant outside the LEFT panel holding the LEFT arm of the girl in the middle.
Basically, the left arm of the girl between the two panels or behind the cloth briefly make way for Franz Harary to walk past by her left side.
The assistant on the left who is holding the left arm of the girl, uses her own left arm to simulate the left arm of the girl between the two panels or behind the cloth.
I would elaborate and explain how this switching of arms between the two girls is done, together with performance angle and the art of Misdirection.
Franz Harary Walks Past Beside The Girl
Firstly, look at Harary’s legs when he apparently walks through the girl or woman.
From these video clips, you can see Harary is squeezing past the left side of the girl inside the two panels or behind the cloth.
The above image is captured from this clip when Franz Harary’s legs are struggling to get past the left leg of the girl within the panels from 0:13 to 0:19.
This is from another show where Harary’s right leg pushing his way past the girl’s left leg from 2:56 to 3:01.
This video you can clearly see Franz Harary walking past by the left side of the girl from 0:31 to 0:36.
To ease Harary squeezing through the limited space, and also to keep herself in balance, the girl puts one foot forward and other backward.
Now we know illusionist Franz Harary is actually walking past by the left side of the girl inside the panels and behind the cloth.
How Franz Harary Gets Through The Left Arm
So how does Harary seem to walk through the left arm of the girl when it is seen extended out through the panel hole or outside the cloth, and being held by the stage assistant throughout the performance?
This is my assumption what actually happens.
Penetration Trick With Cloth
The act with the help of a piece of cloth can be performed directly to the camera and also to a fairly closed up live audience.
Below is the video clip of Franz Harary entertaining some Hard Rock cafe staff in the corridor.
As I have highlighted earlier, the secret happens at the LEFT arm of the girl in the middle, and the stage assistant on the left holding it.
First Part Of The Secret
The cloth is purposely handled over to Harary from the left side.
It is to momentarily blocked the assistant on the left and also the outstreched left arm of girl in the middle as seen from the video from 0:06 to 0:10.
This is another performance shot in India, where both the left hand of the guy in the middle and the assistant on the left is briefly, but completely hidden away by the cloth.
To the general public, what they see is merely handling a piece of cloth to the magician to do the trick.
In fact, the trick has already begun, without the audience’s knowledge.
This covert move in conjuring tricks is called Misdirection.
Related: For those of you who would like to read up more about the art of Misdirection in magic tricks, check out these free books below:
This is where and when the switch of arms between the girl in the middle and the stage assistant on the left holding up her forearm.
The girl in the middle bends in her left elbow, while the assistant on her left, hold up left elbow next to her bent elbow.
It is sort of linking two elbows together, to simulate the middle girl’s forearm.
In other words, now the left forearm is actually belongs to the assistant on the left, and she is holding up her own forearm with her right hand.
Related: Franz Harary also uses this method in his other illusion called “Split A Girl In Half“, as explained below.
Remember in the beginning the act, before the cloth is brought in, the girl in the middle, both her arms are stretched out STRAIGHT.
Now look carefully at the picture below, when she is covered with the cloth, her left arm is now slightly lowered.
She bends in her left elbow, to let the assistant on her left using her left forearm to simulate hers.
This is the crux of this penetration illusion secret.
The scene below is captured from the video from 0:13 onward.
You can see the assistant on the left uses her right hand to grip the cloth onto her own left forearm, to avoid this part of the secret being exposed .
Next, when Harary raises the sheet of cloth, girl in the middle lowers her bent arm to her side, to give space for him to walk past her, as seen below.
Second Part Of The Secret
After magician Harary has walked past through the narrow space between the two girls, he stands there momentarily, moves the cloth to the left side.
Harary uses the cloth to hide the two girls briefly, allowing them to switch back their original arm positions.
The girl in the middle quickly straighten up her left arm and the assistant holds it up with both her hands as before.
To cover up this deceptive move, Franz Harary hands the cloth back to the fourth assistant standing on the left side, to end the act.
He does it one smooth casual act (pausing and passing the cloth to his assistant) which appears natural enough, without raising suspicion from the viewers.
Yes, this is another use of Misdirection.
You can see this similar tricky move of momentarily hiding the two girls when he uses the two panels prop below.
So, this is what I reckon how Franz Harary walks through a girl or woman trick is done with a sheet of cloth.
Now, let’s see how internationally acclaimed illusionist Franz Harary perform this trick with two pieces of panels in more details.
Penetration Trick With Two Panels
Watch this video clip of Franz Harary walking through a girl or woman magic act with the two pieces of panels performed in Macau:
This version of Franz Harary walking through a woman illusion inside two pieces of panels uses a slightly different method.
It is because the secret move made by the two girls is not fully concealed or hidden, like with the big piece of cloth version.
That’s is why the video clips of this trick with two panels have to be precisely edited, to avoid the secret being exposed.
Panels Position On Stage
In all the shows using the two pieces of panels, I notice they are placed slightly askew towards the audience.
The two pieces of panels are NOT positioned directly straight on stage facing the audience.
To be precise, the left panel is facing somewhat away from the distant live audience.
Even his own edited video clips, you can see the shot angle is towards the right panel, leaving the left panel slightly away from the camera.
You do not get to fully see the assistant outside the left panel actually holding the forearm of the girl in the middle.
As you can see from the following pictures, the two panels are specially arranged off-center on the stage.
See how the two panels are set at an angle in his Guangzhou in China show.
This is from Franz Harary’s performance in Malaysia, where you could hardly see the female assistant outside the left panel.
The image below is when illusionist Harary performed for TV Singapore back in the 90s.
There are magic tricks where the magicians have to position themselves or the props at an angle facing away from the spectators.
Balducci Levitation Secret Explained
For instance the popular levitation illusion called “Balducci Levitation“.
The performer has to position his body at about 45-degree angle from the audience.
For more tips on self-levitation tricks, you can check out Paul Osborne‘s book “Easy To Build illusion” where he talks about Tom Palmer‘s version.
Then you might like to check out this video “How To Perform Impromptu Levitations” by Docc Hilford.
Panel Border Trims To Conceal Secret Move
To further conceal the secret of the two girls switching arms, Harary adds a about 6-inch black color border trim to each panels.
Over time, Harary has modified this panel border trim.
Initially the two black panel border trims were self-attached to the paper-like piece, that is used to block the girl during the act.
The two pictures are from shows during his early years.
Below Harary is affixing paper-like piece edged with black border trims to the panels.
In his later shows, the black color border trim is built into the panel itself.
Then in his latest design, he added two white color lines to these black color border trims.
This is not for aesthetic reason, but to camouflage the rather wide strip of black border trims.
Optically the two white/silver lines can distract your visual attention from seeing these wide black border trims.
Many stage illusion apparatus with deep hiding compartment used this kind of optical illusion, so the audience would not easily notice the actual wide area.
It is used in the popular Zig-Zag Girl Illusion cabinet.
So is this Spiker Illusion apparatus.
Now let’s see how Franz Harary walking Through A Girl trick is done with two panels.
First Part Of The Secret
Just like as with the cloth version, the assistant outside the left panel has to secretly bend her left elbow to simulate the forearm of the girl between the panels.
She needs to bring her bent left elbow close to the hole on the outside of the panel.
In order to do that, Franz Harary has to briefly block the assistant outside the left panel.
Then she let go the forearm of the girl inside the panels, and hold up her own forearm.
The left forearm of the girl between the panels is still outside the hole, either dangling or holding it against the outer side of the panel.
This crucial part of the secret (elbow to elbow) cannot be seen by the audience because the panel is positioned slightly away from their eye view, and it is also blocked by the panel border trim.
This same tricky part is also used in his show in Guangzhou, China.
This part of the video clip is not edited away, so you can clearly see both arms of the girl slotted into the holes.
To execute this first part of the secret, Harary pauses precisely at the edge of the panel, where he uses his body to briefly block the female assistant outside the left panel from 42:01.
This sneaky act is well-planned out.
He picks up the cloth from the left panel, walks to the front edge of the left panel, pauses under the pretext of presenting the act to the audience.
The sequence appears normal to the audience, without them knowing he is actually up to his trick, so to speak.
This is a Misdirection, which I have mentioned above.
From the video you can see the cloth is already draped over the left panel before the act.
First Part Of The Secret Edited Away
The following two video clips are specially edited, so you don’t get to see the first part of secret.
This clip is a show in India where at the beginning you could see the girl inserting both her arms through the holes of the panels.
The first part of secret where Harary has to briefly block the assistant outside the left panel is missing.
I strongly think Harary uses the same method as I have just explained above.
He picks up the cloth from the left panel, walks to the front edge of the left panel, pauses to block the assistant outside the left panel.
Why do I say so?
The clue is at the beginning of the act, you can see the cloth drapes over the left panel just like in the Guangzhou, China video clip above.
So is this edited video of his show in Macau, where the first part of the secret is also missing.
Again you can see the cloth hanging over the left panel at the beginning of the show.
In this live performance, Harary make use of the revolving stage platform to briefly conceal the two girls to secretly switch arms from the audience’s view, from 2:28 to 2:42.
Second Part Of The Secret
Now we know the left forearm outside of the left panel actually belongs to the assistant outside the panel.
The left arm of the girl between the panels is still outside the hole of the left panel.
As soon as Harary has raised the cloth concealing the girl inside the panels, she quickly pulls her left arm out from the hole, to let him go past her.
After Harary has just stepped past her side, she pushes her left arm back into the hole of the panel again.
The size of the hole on the panels is big enough for the girl to pull in and push out her arm comfortably.
He pauses momentarily, under the guise of wanting to pass the cloth to the assistant outside the left panel.
This is to allow both girls to switch back to their original arms position as how they started off at the beginning of the act.
Again, this is another deceptive use of misdirection in this illusion.
This image is taken from one his past shows.
The picture below you can see Harary briefly uses the cloth and his own body to block off the two girls during his show in Macau.
Here is the another one captured from the live show in Guangzhou China.
In this early TV performance from 1:05, Harary uses the paper-like piece to momentarily block the assistant outside the left panel.
As you can see from this clip, after he has attached the paper-like piece to the left panel, he stretches it to the left side and pauses briefly.
It is to block the assistant outside the panel, so she can release the girl’s forearm outside the hole, and hold up her own left arm with her right hand.
From 1:10 onward, the female assistant outside the left panel is actually holding up her own forearm.
For this old TV Singapore video clip, the second part of the secret where the two girls has to secretly switch back their arm position is cut away.
After Harary has apparently goes through the girl, the scene cuts to the applauding studio audience.
The following scene shows the girl between the panels with his two arms stretched out, while the assistants busy pushing out the panels.
Harary’s earlier version of this illusion with panels, he does not use a piece of cloth to hide the second part of the secret.
This is what I think how the girls do it.
After Harary has squeezed past the side of the girl between the panels, she pushes her left arm back into the hole.
The assistant outside the left panel still continues simulating the left arm of the girl inside the panels.
To end the act, the assistant let go of her right hand from her forearm, but still hold up her left arm and continue rotating its wrist.
Then she uses her right hand to pull the panel out, and turning it inward (away from the audience).
Her left arm will gradually be blocked by the panel, and the left arm of the girl inside the panels which is outside the hole will automatically be lifted up.
To the audience, they see the girl’s arm through the hole at the inner wall of the panel throughout the performance.
The gradual switching or replacing of the arms between these two girls is seamless; the distant audience will not notice the switch.
To further convince the audience to believe the left arm outside the hole during the entire show is hers, she continues keeping her both arms outstretched at the end of the show.
Well, this is my opinion how Franz Harary walking through a girl stage illusion is done solely based on viewing YouTube video clips.
This performance uses two confederates or stooges to hold up a large piece of cloth to produce another girl.
The second girl sneaks up most likely from a trapdoor to the girl on stage just after Harary properly lifts up the cloth.
Note: Why I believe it is probably a trapdoor, is when Harary gingerly steps down away from the step ladder, and he keeps looking at the stage floor.
The switching of the girl’s hand is when the confederate/stooge on the right pretends to lift up the cloth at the wrong place at 0:50 to 0:55.
That brief moment both the confederate and the girl’s left hand are momentarily hidden away by the cloth.
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