The Break-Away Fan


The break-away fan is a classic of magic, that really lends itself to a clown or children’s performance. The trick is offered for purchase by Clown Antics.  I will not discuss the trick’s method, although it is easy.  I will discuss presentation.  image

The usual handling of the trick is as follows:   The performer shows the fan, but when they hand it to an assistant the fan breaks apart. When the magician takes the fan back from the assistant it is totally restored. This is repeated several times and creates funny byplay between the assistant and the magician.


The performer pictured doing this trick is Dawn ” Miss Silly Bubbles” Spaven. Dawn was A very well known performer and artist in the New York metropolitan area. She was featured on a local children’s television show called “The Neighborhood Playground.”  Dawn unfortunately passed away last year.

In Dawn’s hands the break-away fan became a masterpiece. The trick was not only used in her stage shows but also her walk around performances. She  would do such things as:

1) Dance with the fan like a flamenco dancer

2) Express  emotion of shyness by hiding behind the fan 

3) Express  happiness by laughing and flapping the fan with exaggerated gestures 

4) Express mock flirting by batting her eyes as she moved the fan 

5)  she expressed exertion by fanning herself to cool down after performing a strenuous routine 

6) The  fan was also used as a prop for when she took pictures with audience members 


When she finally would hand the fan to an audience member and it broke apart and was restored, Dawn would get a huge reaction from the audience. The prop was seen in her hands for so long during the show that the break apart feature came as a real surprise to the audience.

It is amazing what wonderful things can be done with a simple trick or prop. It is all about the presentation.  Try to come up with your own routines that fit you and your character’s traits. Until the next time ” keep em’ Laughin’.”

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