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The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

Foreword

The Award-Winning

First Major Award

Magic of John Cornelius


Written by Lance Pierce Photographs by Anne White Design & Composition by Andrew J. Pinard

L & L Publishing
P.O. Box 100 Tahoma, CA 96142 800.626.6572 www.llpub.com

FIRST EDITION Copyright 2001 by L & L Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or any information storage or retrieval system now known or to be invented, without the permission of the publishers. All manufacturing rights reserved. Printed and bound in the United States of America. Design and Composition by Andrew J. Pinard. iv Foreword

Contents

BITS

Baby Boom ........................................................................................................................ 3 Prints Valiant ................................................................................................................... 5 Roughly Mental ............................................................................................................... 7 MoonShine Locations..................................................................................................... 9 Passages ........................................................................................................................... 13 On the Tip of My Tongue .................................................................................... 13 A Toast ...................................................................................................................... 14 Instant Travelers ...................................................................................................... 15 KnotSoTuff.................................................................................................................... 17 MOVES 21

The Fan Steal ................................................................................................................. 23 Flicker.............................................................................................................................. 27 Fold-A-Card .................................................................................................................. 29 Peeping Tom ................................................................................................................. 31 The Master Cut ............................................................................................................ 33 The Charlier Cut...................................................................................................... 33 The Circle and Roll Cut ........................................................................................ 34 The Apprentice Cut ..................................................................................................... 37 The Oh, Calcutta! Shuffle........................................................................................... 39 Spring Set ....................................................................................................................... 41 The Winter Change ..................................................................................................... 43 Go for Go Switch ......................................................................................................... 47 CASUAL INTERFACES 49

Armed and Ready ......................................................................................................... 51 DArtagnans Release ................................................................................................... 53 Foreword Contents v

Dial-A-Trick .................................................................................................................. 55 Lines of Flux .................................................................................................................. 57 Impromptu Ghost Trap .............................................................................................. 59 Arisen! ............................................................................................................................. 63 An Assemblage of Silver .............................................................................................. 67 Bluff Poker ..................................................................................................................... 71 Marked for Life............................................................................................................. 75 THE JOHN CORNELIUS CARD SYSTEM MORE BITS 79 87

Hanky .............................................................................................................................. 89 Deck in the Round (Pocket Rocket Aces) ......................................................... 90 SmokeFree ...................................................................................................................... 93 Trying to Quit............................................................................................................... 95 Ephemeral .................................................................................................................. 95 Chain Smoker ........................................................................................................... 96 Lip Service ................................................................................................................. 96 Flashes ............................................................................................................................. 99 A Smoke for Old Scratch ....................................................................................... 99 My Card, Sir ........................................................................................................... 100 Hot Silver ................................................................................................................ 101 Fanning the Flames................................................................................................ 102 The Pendulum Principle ........................................................................................... 105 FORMAL MIRACLES 107

Super (Ball) Card Rise ............................................................................................... 109 Meta-Fusion ................................................................................................................. 111 MoneyTalk .................................................................................................................. 113 Shrinkage ...................................................................................................................... 115 Slow Motion Fadeaway ............................................................................................. 119 The Jawbreakers .......................................................................................................... 123 The IncrediBill Routine ............................................................................................ 129 The $100 Bill Change .......................................................................................... 129 Change of Mind .......................................................................................................... 137 My Ladys Ring .......................................................................................................... 139 The Fickle Nickel ....................................................................................................... 143 The Ball, The Bowl, and the Big, Big Cake ........................................................... 147 THE F.I.S.M. ACT 155

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Foreword Contents

Foreword

re you seated and comfortable? Would you like to get anything, a drink perhaps, before we begin? Okay, then. I know, Dear Reader, that you are anxious to turn the next few pages; to jump into the material that makes the meat of this book. But first, allow me a few moments of your time, if you will. You see, the routines, the effects, the ideas embodied in what follows . . . they are all important. They are, after all, presumably why you purchased this book. Im willing to wager, though, that as famous as some of these routines are, as much as you may have heard about some of them, that you have heard little or nothing about John Cornelius himself. When I say that, Im not referring to trivial biographical data such as his place of domicile (which is San Antonio, by the way) or when he learned his first trick (which was probably around the age of five). No, Im referring to what kind of mind John has and how he thinks about things. If you would like some kind of indication, consider this: Karl Fulves once showcased the magic of John Cornelius in an issue of The Pallbearers Review (republished by L & L Publishing). In that issue are several magical routines and ideas, most of which used offbeat methods that relied on materials you were more likely to find in the Edmund Scientific catalog rather than at your local magic dealer. In the middle of all that interesting arcana, however, is an idea, seemingly unrelated, designed to foil would-be car thieves. In short, by extending the electrical loop leading to your ignition and running it through a magnetic reed switch (which is mounted on the underside of your dashboard directly in the center), you can control the flow of current to your starter. Now, if you take a small statue or some other common dashboard item (John used a statue of St. Christopher that people used to place on their dashboards back in the 1950s and 60s) and put a magnet in its base, when you place it on the dashboard directly over the reed switch the circuit is closed and you can start your car. If the magnet is moved or taken away entirely, though, the circuit is broken and Foreword vii

you cannot start the car with the ignition or by hotwiring it. The thief would have to trace the wiring to determine the nature of the mechanism and even then he would have to have a magnet to close the circuit or remove the reed switch from the loop entirely. Now, if youre like me, reading this in The Pallbearers Review for the first time, you have to wonderwhat kind of a mind does this man have? His creativity is certainly not limited to the field of magic. Wherein developed this particular idea? Later, in this book, youll see how he puts the reed switch to more magical applications. Okay, stay with me now, because Id like to present another example. The setting is Oklahoma City, where a small magic convention is being held. John is one of the featured performers and has flown into the local airport, where I and several others are waiting to pick him up. He is quiet-spoken, almost shy. At the baggage claim, he picks up one small garment bag, one very small satchel, and a monster trunk decorated with shipping labels from all over the world. It is large enough for Mama Cass Elliot to have performed the Metamorphosis illusion with Meat Loaf. Pulling out a metal device of some unknown origin, John snaps it out into a luggage caddy and attaches the trunk to it with practiced ease. When we get to my car, it barely fits. The ride back is not too comfortable. Someone suggests dinner before hitting the convention hotel. Good idea. Before long, were sitting at a restaurant and the conversation is lively. John is continuing his quiet ways, listening, taking everything in. At one point I turn in his direction and I see that he has unobtrusively pulled toward him the small placard display, which shows tantalizing pictures of desserts and mixed drinks. He has in his hand a fork and a straw, twisted together in some odd fashion, and he is attempting to lever the placard into the air with it. He makes many minute adjustments, finding centers of gravity, shifting points of counterbalance. Then, seeing he needs cover for the apparatus, he masks part of the assembly with a napkin and makes more adjustments. He is, in essence, manufacturing some sort of levitation device. Suddenly realizing now that he has gained the attention of the entire table, he softly says, Well, you never know. The fork, straw, and napkin go back down to the table and he resumes his quiet posture. What kind of a mind does this man have? Constant. Watchful. Active. Now lets consider some of the material in this book. In the first item, for instance, John uses a baby bottle nipple to cleanly cause four coins to penetrate a table top. Think about that for a moment, then ask yourself What kind of a person would see a baby bottle nipple and think Hey! That would make a great coin clip!? Or, as in other items, where did this man make the connection between a two-inch piece of Romex sleeve and Glorpy? And how did heat-shrinkable tubing become a cigarette? Not that all the effects here require a trip to your local home builders supply store. There is also what can be considered standard fare, although these items as well have a particular stamp on theman essence of Johns approach. The methods are clean, the effects are solid. And each of them is another clue into the mind of John Cornelius. viii Foreword

I could think of no better metaphor for this mindset than that of a fine craftsman constructing a minutely-tuned mechanism. Thats how his material feels when you begin examining it on the most fundamental levelsyoull see that pattern evolve throughout the book. In keeping with that metaphor, each section symbolizes another step in the building of such a mechanism. The first, Bits, begins with singular concepts and ideas. As the chapters progress, the material becomes more involved until at the end of the book, the final product stands as a whole greater than the sum of its parts: The F.I.S.M. Card Act. This final presentation is so intricately woven and well-constructed that it stands as the best possible representation of what John is all about. It is a device that in its simple complexity and complex simplicity exemplifies the very essence of Johns thinking. It combines beauty and function, eloquence and efficiency. But for now, I have taken far too much of your time. You are anxious to continue, and I am equally anxious for you to do so. The journey was mine in writing it, and is now yours in the reading. What more can I say? I envy you the trip. For me, a journey into a mind is more fascinating than anything. Bon Voyage. Happy returns. See you when you get back. Lance Pierce Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Foreword

ix

Bits

The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

Baby Boom

or this clean and baffling penetration with coins, go into the nursery, reach lovingly toward your young offspring with tenderness in your eyes, and yank that bottle out of his hands. Its the baby bottle nipple youre after, and John finds that the Nuk brand orthodontic nipple works best (being slightly larger). The nipples come in clear or flesh colorflesh may be preferable, but take your pickand are just the right size to hold four half-dollars very comfortably (see Figure 1). To prepare the appliance, insert a " dowel of plastic or wood into the tip of the nipple (gluing a thimble in the same place also works well) and fill about half the body with cotton. If youve found a nipple that bears a wide rim around the mouth, feel free to cut it off. Also, you can apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly around the lip of the gaff, if you feel that will help the coins enter it more readily. With this minor preparation complete, you now have a different kind of coin clip, one that you can handle easily, is flexible, and silent. Hold the gaff, open end up, in right finger-palm position (Figure 2). By this time, the baby should be emphatically screaming. To distract him, lay four half dollars on the table in front of him. As he starts to reach for one, pick it up with the first and second fingers of your right hand, followed by another. Shake your hand slightly, which causes the coins to align together and settle on the mouth of the hidden gimmick (Figure 3). As he reaches for the other coins, say, No, no, no . . . and pick those up as well. Push the coins into your Bits

Figure 1

Figure 2

Figure 3

Figure 4

hand with your thumb, setting them firmly into the mouth of the nipple. This insertion is automatic and quick, requiring almost no motion of your hand. The tears should be welling up again. Reach out with your left hand and gesture to the table, asking him to point to a spot. As you move this hand forward, bring your right back toward you, relaxed, until it rests on the edge of the table. Under the misdirection of your request, drop the gimmick and its coins silently into your lap. If he doesnt point to a spot like you asked, pretend he did and say, Oh, right here? Move your right hand, apparently still holding the coins, to the chosen site and point to it. Showing your other hand completely empty, take it beneath the table directly under the spot where your right hand points. When your hand is out of sight, press your left upper arm against the edge of the table as you lean forward. This secures your upper body and reduces the visible movement as you double back to your lap and pick up the gimmick. As Vernon and others have pointed out, this is superior to getting the gimmick as your hand travels past your lap. Secretly take the gimmick, mouth down, in your left hand. Pressing on the tip of the nipple with your thumb (the dowel provides the body to push againstwe knew you were wondering what it was for) will force the coins into the lower part of your hand, where you hold them with your third and fourth fingers (Figure 4). Drop the nipple silently into your lap. While this is going on, gesture with your right hand above the table, in preparation for apparently pushing the coins through. Lightly slap this hand down simultaneously slapping the coins in your left hand against the underside of the table to emphasize the penetrationand lift it to show the coins have gone. After a short beat, bring your other hand with its coins into view, much to the babys amazement, and slowly drop them on the table. An idea such as this has applications beyond that described here, so put the kid back in his crib with a copy of Marlos Magazine, Volume 6 while you conduct your further explorations. He should be kept quite occupied until college.

The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

Prints Valiant

ere is a clever idea that allows you to make an impression on your customers seemingly without any planning on your part. Basically, when asked for your business card, you notice that the stack of cards you have is still blank. With just a snap of your fingers, though, your name, address, and any other personal information you wish to reveal suddenly appear on all the cards. For this, you must have business cards with raised lettering (typeface that is higher than the surface of the card around it and has texture). In the industry, this process is often called thermography. If youve ever run your fingers across the type, you probably noted that it feels tacky, and therein lies the heart of this routine. Take a group of business cards (about 15 to start) and trim a small amount from the short ends. Then, by placing individual long (untrimmed) business cards face down on top of face-up short business cards and stacking the pairs, you have, in essence, a miniature mental photography decksometimes called a nudist pack.1 The lettering on the cards acts the same as roughing fluid, holding the pairs together. Perform your rope and coin miracles with aplomb. When someone asks you for your business card (and we hope they will), take out your prepared stack and spread them between your hands, looking at both sides. They are apparently blank. Uh, oh, you say, I hope I have a good one left. At this point, if you turn the stack over so the short cards are the top cards of each pair, you can dribble them from hand to hand to casually show nothing but blank faces (Figure 1). Turn the pack over again, so the long cards are the top cards of each pair and say, I remember . . . I just have to put a snap into it! Snap your fingers and then lift off about half the cards, exposing a printed card in the middle of the packet.
1. For those purists who have decried the use of this deck, obviously a tricky one in the eyes of the lay public, consider that Michael Skinner and Albert Goshman both found it worthy enough to include in their working repertoires, perhaps even as a feature in the act . . . need we say more?

Bits

Figure 1

Complete the cut so the printed card is the top card of the packet, saying, Luckily, I dont think it was my last one after all. Either riffle the cards at their front edges or dribble them from hand to hand to show that there is now printing on all the cards. Take the top card and hand it to your spectator as you turn your left hand to prevent him from seeing the blank card beneath. Later, by placing another short card face up on the bottom of the stack, youre ready to go again. With a little tinkering, you can also incorporate your favorite techniques, such as color changes, to exemplify the magical effect of printing the cards. Give it a try. Go on. We dare you.

The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

Roughly Mental

his is another effect using the thermography principle explained in the previous item. Here, when asked for your business card, you take out a stack of blank cards and in turn ask the spectator to name any number between one and fifteen. When he does, you count down to his number and there you find the only printed card in the stack. To top it off, his number is written on it! To do this, get about forty business cards and arrange them in face-up/facedown pairs as before (you wont need to trim any of these cardsunless you just absolutely want to). On the face of the bottom card of each pair, number them boldly from one to twenty. Next, place an inconspicuous pencil mark on the back of the top card of the tenth pair. With this simple preparation, youre ready. When asked for your card, say to your spectator-turned-prospective-client, How odd! Last night I had a dream that a man who looked exactly like you and was wearing that same tie would ask me for my business card. In fact, in my dream, I told him that I had just had this dream! He didnt believe me, so I showed him. Look, I brought some cardsbecause I knew you were going to askbut theyre all blank; theres nothing on them. Spread the cards, your pairs clinging tenaciously, and show both sides to emphasize your point. Ask your spectator to name his number and when he does, count down in the stack, taking the cards in twos and counting them as single cards. The pencil dot on the tenth pair serves as a point of reference to ensure that you do not miscount. When you reach his number, split the corresponding pair of cards and say, Look, we take off exactly that many cards and there is the only card which is printed! Show the balance of the cards to be blank, then say, And on top of that, it has your number written on it! It must be good luck, so take it with you and be sure you keep it. Oh, and next time you decide to drop in on one of my dreams? Bring a date. Later, in a moments privacy, replace the missing card with another and youre set to roll again. Obviously, almost any playing card effect that takes advantage of roughing fluid can be converted in some fashion to using business cards instead . . . its simply a matter of exercising your imagination. Bits 7

Viewed from a distance, the visage of Dai Vernon becomes apparent. Proposed cover by David Zieglar for a set of Johns lecture notes.

The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

MoonShine Locations

t looks just like this: You spread through a borrowed shuffled pack and the spectator removes onea free selection. Upon his replacing it, without looking at the faces of any of the cards, you immediately have a known key card. ~ or ~ You dribble cards from a shuffled pack and the spectator tells you when to stop. You raise the right-hand cards to allow him to see the card at which he stopped youno force. Upon restoring the deck, without looking at any of the cards, without any work in the deck, and without any sleights or manipulative ploys or any sort, you already know the identity of the selection. ~ or ~ You allow the spectator to select a card as you turn your head away and close your eyes. Once he returns the card, you square the pack and set it on the table or hand it to the spectator, who can put it away. Only then do you open your eyes and turn to face full front again. Nevertheless, you know the exact identity of the free and uncontrolled selection. This is an idea that John has used for many years to deceive the best minds in the business. The ploy is easy to understand . . . so easy, in fact, that the brevity of description may fail to impress upon you just how strong the idea is. Nevertheless, we form great mysteries by the simplest means, especially when the method is as direct as that of the shinera gamblers term used to refer to any mirror-like surface with which one can discretely glimpse the identity, color, or value of playing cards. Gamblers and hustlers have used shiners for centuries (most likely since the discovery of reflective surfaces, and how far back does that go?), but explorations Bits 9

Figure 1

Figure 2

Figure 3

with shiners in the magic world have been limitedat least in print. From polished dimes to buffed money clips to small convex mirrors, the shiner has taken many forms and worn many masks. The best, however, lie in the open, innocent and unassumingand John has taken advantage of this to the fullest degree. There is a minor bit of preparation involved, but one that will last you for years. To make use of this principle, you must wear a wristwatch, and it must be of the kind shown in Figure 1, which has a curved metal clasp that closes on the inside of your wrist. Take your watch to a jeweler and have him buff the surface of the clasp to a mirror finish. Afterwards, you have a permanent and seemingly innocuous shiner that you can carry with you everywhere you go. With deck in hand and watch ready, have a spectator thoroughly shuffle the cards. Taking back the deck, spread the cards for a free selection. When your assistant removes a card, separate the deck at that point and hold this pose as he notes his selection. When he has, extend your left hand with its cards for him to return it. If you look in the reflection of your watchband, you can see the bottom card of the right hand spread (Figure 2), so when the selection is back in the pack and the deck restored, you have availed yourself of a known key by which you can locate the card in most mysterious manners. As another option, you can dribble cards from your right hand into your left, asking your spectator to stop you at anytime. When he does, ask, Would you like this card or this card? as you point to the top card of the lower portion and then the bottom card of the upper. It is when you point to the top card of the lower half that you glimpse the bottom card of the right-hand packet in your shiner (Figure 3). No matter which he names, you have achieved your objective, for in one case you use the glimpsed card as a key, in the other it will be the selection itself. The ploy that is most deadly here, though, is this one, where you follow either of the above procedures, but offer first to turn away and close your eyes. Turn your head to the extreme left, presenting your right profile to the audience. When the card is selected, open only your left eye. From the audiences point of view, both eyes are still closed (the bridge of your nose prevents them from seeing the one eye), but you can use your shiner to make the necessary glimpse. Leave your eye open only long enough to obtain your needed information. Once he replaces the selection and you know its identity (or have a key) hand the deck The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

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to the spectator. Turn back to him againboth eyes firmly shutand, verifying with him again that everything is fair, only then do you open your eyes and continue with your most baffling location. This is a subtle and devious principle that extends beyond its reachone that permits you to bring in other ideas and maneuvers to blend a baffling mystery. Those who are willing to stretch the boundaries will find this to be a useful tool at least when used with honest intent. You wouldnt have it any other way, would you? John suggests as a real fooler to use the Apprentice Cut. Have a card peeked at and controlled to the bottom. Perform the Apprentice Cut as described on pages 37 and 38 and catch your glimpse before the Charlier Cut (see Figure 5 on page 38).

Bits

11

John Cornelius, age 13.

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The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

Passages

t always begins with the germ of an idea and flowers into fine mysteries. When playing with his topit years ago, John noted that once an item went into the bag, he couldnt get it back out without reaching inside his jacket. It didnt take long before the scissors came out and, by cutting a slit between the inside of the jacket and the left outer side pocket, he had a way to reach into the topit unobtrusively (he was obviously not the only one to think this way, as later this idea was incorporated into the topit design publicized and marketed by Michael Ammar). From there, it was a simple matter to explore the possibilities of using a slit both with and without a topit. Gimmicked jackets may seem an odd idea for practical work. In the proper environment, however, their use makes the baffling commonplace. For example, these items:

ON THE TIP OF MY TONGUE Have a card selected and secretly control it to the top (shift, cut, side steal, shuffle, bluff, palm and replacement, whatever). Saying that you will perform this effect in the dark, place the deck in your left side pocket. Also, you say, I will perform this effect without the benefit of looking at your amazed faces. Hold your left hand up, showing it empty and, maintaining this position, turn your back on your audience. Standing thus, slowly reach in your left pocket and pretend to be attempting to locate the card. As you do, take the card from the top of the deck and bring it through the slit where you can see it by glimpsing downward out of the corner of your eye (Figure 1). Do not tip Bits

Figure 1

13

your head to do this. Assume the card is the Nine of Diamonds (the Curse of Scotland!). Say, I think your card is a red one, correct? Gesture broadly with your right hand as you talk. The spectator will say yes. Say, And I think its a spot card, right? The spectator will say yes again. And furthermore its a diamond? A nine? The Nine of Diamonds? Now the spectator will again concur with each of these points as you gesture widely again with your right hand. Moving your jacket as little as possible, reach down with your right hand, take the card from your left, and place it by one corner in your mouth (Figure 2). There should be no pause as your hand passes your mouth and it continues outward as if to make your sweeping gesture with an empty hand. Note how the previous open gesturing establishes and covers the movement now. Turn around to show the spectators the surprise appearance of the card between your teeth as you murmur out of the corners of your mouth, Yeah, I thought so!
Figure 2

A TOAST This is a fine piece for those moments when youre standing around with friends in a relaxed atmosphere. Obtain a glass that will accommodate a plastic lid to form a good seal (perhaps the top of a tennis ball can or similar). Attach the lid to a short length of string, the other end of which you fasten to a safety pin. Fill the glass with your favorite drink (okay, maybe not your favorite drink), place the lid on it, and set it upright in your left rear pants pocket (Calvin Kleins are not recommended for this). Fasten the safety pin to the back of the inside of your coat somewhere, high enough so that if you let the lid hang freely, it would not be exposed below the hemline of your jacket. Now, as youre hanging out in some seedy bar, place your left hand in your jacket pocket, as if youre just lounging around, but you actually reach through the slit and behind you to remove the lid from the glass. Letting it dangle, take the glass and hold it beneath your coat (Figure 3). Hold your right hand casually in front of you and say, I think Im thirsty. Turn your back on your friends briefly and pass the drink from your left hand to your right. Immediately turn around again. When you do, you have a full glass of liquid, from which you take a sip and say, There, thats better. Naturally, you can work the effect in reverse, by which you begin with a glass half-full of liquid in your right hand. At some point, place your left hand in your pocket (through the slit) as youre standing around socializing. When the moment is right, turn your back on your audience very briefly and pass the drink from your right hand to your left. As you turn back, place the glass in your left rear pocket (which explains why the glass should only be half full) and complain about how the drinks are so expensive there. You can reproduce the glass later or not, as you want. The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

Figure 3

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INSTANT TRAVELERS Vernons Travelers routine is still the acid test for many cardmen. It has become such a classic that there have been many other methods and approaches over the years of making four cards travel to four different pockets, sometimes more than once. Johns, though, has to be one of the easiest, because the four cards shoot to four pockets with only one top palm. This takes advantage of the slit in the jacket weve discussed (this time with topit), but makes use of one additional ploy: By removing the partition separating the outer breast pocket from the inner one, they become one pocket and anything placed in one can be retrieved from the other. Prepare your jacket in such a manner and find a group of people sitting somewhere waiting for someone to watch. You can use four selections or four aces, but having the cards signed is best (as Vernon learned from experience when working cruise ships). How you control the cards is a matter of preference, but most efficient is a multiple shift, where you insert the cards into different places in the pack and control them to the top (or bottom) all at the same time.2 Once the cards are on top of the deck, obtain a break beneath them and palm all four in your right hand, immediately placing the deck on the table. Say, Watch . . . I have something in my pockets . . . Reach inside your jacket with your right hand as if youre going for your inner breast pocket. When your hand is out of sight, drop two cards in your topit, continue upward, drop one card in your inner breast pocket, and produce the remaining one. Toss this card face up to the table. Show your right hand empty, then reach into your outer breast pocket and pull out the second selection. After disposing of this second card, show your left hand barren of pasteboard (empty). Smiling, reach in your left outside jacket pocket (really going in the topit through the slit), and take hold of both cards. Under the cover of your jacket, place one card in your trouser pocket and immediately bring your left hand back out through the pocket with the third selection. After showing it, toss it away also. For the last card, pull your jacket wide open, cleanly reach in your pants pocket, remove the card, and accept your laudations. Try not to brag too much.

2. Techniques for multiple shifts can be found in many sources, i.e., several Vernon books, more than one routine in The Classic Magic of Larry Jennings by Mike Maxwell, and of course, Ed Marlos Multiple Shift chapter of the Revolutionary Card Technique series. Check em out.

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15

John Davidson and John Cornelius (1979).

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The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

KnotSoTuff

hown to John by Harry Anderson years ago, heres a component you can include in many existing rope routines, or can use to form the core of a new one. The basic effect is that of the sliding knot. To prepare, take a length of rope approximately 4-feet long and cut it exactly in half. Next, cut about eight inches from one rope so that you now have three pieces, the combined lengths of two equaling the third. Next, tie a knot at the very end of the medium-length piece, which you then hold in your right hand, your little finger securely grasping the knot. Hold the short piece of rope in the same hand by the second and third fingers (Figure 1) so that the two appear to be one continuous length. Take the long piece in your right hand beside the other two and youre ready to begin. Say, I have here two pieces of rope. . . . Begin to twist the upper ends of the ropes around each other, as if youre about to tie a knot (Figure 2). Say, No, I wouldnt cheat you . . . , as you take the end of the long rope with your left hand and pull it clear of your right hand (Figure 3). Each hand now appears to hold an identical length of rope. As you say, There really are two pieces of rope . . . show the ropes around with about four inches of the ends dangling from the tops of your hands. And Im going to join them together into one piece, right before your very eyes. Bring the ends of the rope together, the piece in your right hand going in front of (nearer to the audience) and crossing your left. Pinch both ropes at their point of Bits

Figure 1

Figure 2

17

Figure 3

intersection with your right thumb and forefinger (Figure 4), in preparation for the following knot: With your left thumb, reach under the loop and hook the loose end hanging on the left (the end of the short piece of rope). Bring it through and straight up (Figure 5). Pinch the ropes in this position with your left fingers so your right hand can let go of the end it holds and slide straight down, grasping the other (Figure 6). This is easily covered by turning your wrists or slightly turning your body. Now that you have secretly switched the ends with your right hand, the audience is unaware that you actually have the middle length of rope dangling from your right hand, one end of the long piece also in your right hand, and the short piece wrapped around the long. Tie a simple knot in the short piece of rope around the long piece (Figure 7). Look, a little magic, a little squeeze, and voila! ladies and gentlemen, one piece of rope! Cover the knot momentarily with your left hand and give it a squeeze. At the word voila! pull your left hand away from the knot (grasping the rope again

Figure 4

Figure 5

Figure 6

Figure 7

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The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

about four inches away from the knot), dramatically displaying it to your audience (Figure 8). Let go of the rope with your left hand and point to the knot, muttering, Oh, it has a knot in it. You could probably see that, huh? Well, if you dont like the knot there, you can just pinch it and move it somewhere else. Take the knot with your left hand and slide it toward the end of the rope (Figure 9). Say, Or if you dont like it there, you can slide it over here. Move the knot further down, almost to the end. Or, you say, if you dont like it there, you can move it way over here. Hold the end of the rope up with your left hand and use your right to slide the knot back to its original position (Figure 10). Be careful not to expose the configuration of the ropes in your hand as you do. And then when you untie the ropes, you have two pieces again. Untie the knot and, as your hands move around, take hold of either end of the short rope with your right hand as you let go of the end of the long one (Figure 11). Without pausing, continue by pulling your hands slowly apart, each appearing to hold one rope. So much for that, you say, as you put your ropes away.
Figure 9

Figure 8

Figure 10

Figure 11

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The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

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The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

The Fan Steal

here have been techniques to secretly remove cards from a fan before (for example, Russell Barnharts from Marlo in Spades, by Ed Marlo), but few have been as simple and elegant as this one. As a matter of fact, almost no skill is involved, other than that required to form a pressure fan with the deck, yet the action delivers the card smoothly and automatically to angle palm position. First, a brief description of the mechanics behind the pressure fan: Hold the deck in your left hand, your right hand framing the deck from above as in Figure 1. Your left thumb extends across the top of the deck, your right thumb extends across the rear end, and your right first and second fingers are near the upper right corner. Note that the deck bevels to the right. With your right hand, carry the deck forward so that it now rests further up in your left hand. Figures 2 and 3 show the situation at this point, from the top and bottom, respectively. Your left thumb in Figure 2 rests mainly at the center

Figure 1

Figure 2

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Figure 3

Figure 4

of the top card near its lower end, while your left first and second fingers in Figure 3 reach all the way across the bottom card of the pack. Next, by applying pressure with your right hand, bow the cards downward as in Figures 4 and 5, using your left fingers for leverage. You are now going to turn your right hand at the wrist, so that your fingers follow the circumference of an imaginary circle. Your right thumb turns also, but stays in the same place, pivoting at the center of the circle. Simultaneously, allow the cards to slip off your right first finger in even succession (much like springing the cards from hand to handFigures 6 and 7). With a little practice and familiarity with the amounts of pressure needed in certain directions, you will find yourself making perfectly circular fans with almost any deck. For the fan steal, lets assume youve already had a card selected, which the spectator still holds. Form a neat pressure fan, take the card from the spectator, and place it into the fan to the left of center, as in Figure 8. Without any hesitation, pull the card through the fan to the right until it appears to be at the center of the pack. In reality, the card has been partially slid clear of the fan on the underside as in Figure 9. Your left second fingertip rests on the face of the selection. Push the card flush into the fan, apparently losing it (after it is pushed flush, your left middle finger should be in the exact center of the card). Now, holding the fan parallel to the floor, begin closing it by pushing to your left with your right second finger as in Figure 10. This finger points directly downward as it closes the fan. As you move the cards to the left, you will feel the side of the selection against your finger. Continue closing the fan, applying slight upward and backward pressure with

Figure 5

Figure 6

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The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

Figure 7

Figure 8

Figure 9

Figure 10

Figure 11

Figure 12

the tip of your left second finger. The card will swivel and end up both injogged and sidejogged from the deck (Figures 11, 12, and 13). The back of your right hand shields this card from your audiences view. Immediately take the deck from above in Biddle grip, which all but places the card in angle palm for you (Figure 14). By grasping the card in Tenkai Palm while

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it still protrudes from the pack, you can then take the pack by its upper left corner with your left hand, carry it forward (leaving the selected card behind), and set it on the table (Figure 15). The action is as fast and deceptive as it is simple to execute. In appearance, the card is no sooner lost in the deck, then the fan is closed and the deck set on the table or handed to a spectator. Deriving its strength from its practicality, it can become a useful tool in any performers repertoire.
Figure 13

Figure 14

Figure 15

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The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

Flicker

his popular idea of Johns is an instantaneous change of a card that is snapped from the deck onto the table. Lets assume that youve had a card selected and it is now secretly on top of the deck. Do a double turnover and leave the two cards face up on the deck, showing an indifferent card. You may ask if this is the spectators selected card, although both of you already know the answer. Move the double over the right side of the deck (Figure 1) and hold it there with your left thumb on top and the pad of the left middle finger touching the back of the double. You next will apparently snap the card with your right middle finger, flicking it off the deck and onto the table. Curl your right middle finger inward against your thumb as in Figure 2 (much like you were going to give your little brother a good one on the noggin). Bend both hands

Figure 1

Figure 2

Figure 3

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upward at the wrists slightly (were talking about a very small degree in movement here) and during this motion, pull back the indifferent card with your left thumb (Figure 3). This leaves the selection side-jogged beneath it. This action is completed just as you reach the apex of the movement of your left hand and the card is out of the audiences line of vision (necktie-ing the deck). Because youve pulled your left thumb to the side, there is nothing holding the selection except the weight of the card above it. Drop both hands (again, not an exaggerated motion) as you snap the center of the right edge of the selection with your right middle finger. The card will fly from the deck, landing on the table for a startling visual change. As this is executed, the left hand turns palm down to shade the face-up indifferent card on the back of the deck. You are left with one indifferent card face up on the deck that you can clean up at your leisure. John accomplishes this clean up by scooping up the tabled card face up onto the face-up card at the top of the deck. He once again displays the card and performs a Double Lift, turning the two cards face down.

Santa (the real one) telling John what he wants.

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The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

Fold-A-Card

here are many effects in which you reproduce a card, folded, in some impossible location. Quite naturally, then, there are several methods to secretly fold cards so one can put them in those unlikely places. Hugard and Braues Expert Card Technique lists at least two. Jos Bema has a wonder-ful method. Gary Kurtz and David Williamson have also sported their excellent approaches. All these, though, make the folds barehanded or under cover of a squared deck. Johns handling of the idea is interesting, as it takes place while you spread the deck from hand to hand, providing greater cover and motivation. The move, then, can be performed standing or sitting in almost any type of environment. The card to be folded is on the bottom of the deck. Holding the deck face down in your left hand, pull down the bottom card with your little finger to obtain a break above it. Take the deck as in Figure 1 to turn it face up end for end. Your right thumb contacts the inner right corner of the bottom card. As you rotate the deck face up into the left hand (Figure 2), bend the bottom card downward with your right thumb. Once the pack moves to a vertical position, grasp it with your left hand (Figure 3). Your left thumb comes down on the bent card and completes the folding action. Now spread the cards from hand to hand, the folded card being held in place by your thumbs (Figure 4). Apparently sighting a card that youre looking for in the spread, push the spread back into your left hand slightly, folding the card again from right to left with your right thumb Moves

Figure 1

Figure 2

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Figure 3

(Figure 5). Once the card is in quarters, place your left thumb on it to hold it steady so you can remove a card from the spread with your right hand. From this point, the avenue you choose is largely one of preference or need. The deck can be placed face down in your left hand, the folded card riding beneath it and ending in left-hand palm; the folded card can be stolen behind the card you removed from the fan; or it can be loaded under or into another object. Another ruse would be to remove the unnecessary Joker, placing it and the folded card in your pocket. There are distinct advantages in using a spread of cards to cover the folding actions. This is a utility move that can find a comfortable place in many routines.

Figure 4

Figure 5

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The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

Peeping Tom

ot a peek of a selection, but of a key card that you can use in any way you need. It takes advantage of the standard actions of a Faro shuffle, in which you weave two packets together at their ends, then bridge the deck to cascade them together (Figures 1, 2, and 3if you need further information on this technique, check out Ed Marlos The Faro Shuffle, Faro Notes, and Faro Controlled Miracles, for starters). Do a couple of Faro shuffles, weaving and cascading the cards. When ready, prepare for your next shuffle, taking less than half the deck in your left hand. Matching the ends, straddle faro the left-hand half into the right-hand half (Figure 4). Adjust the deck so you are now holding it upright in your left hand, the smaller packet extending upward. The faces of the cards are toward your assistant. With your

Figure 1

Figure 2

Figure 3

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Figure 4

right hand, riffle through the upper cards as in the standard spectator peek, asking that he stop you any time. When he does, pull back the cards, allowing him to see his selection. This will open a gap along the side of the deck that extends into the lower telescoping portion (Figure 5). Take a left little finger break in these lower cards where the opening lies and allow the deck to close. Once the spectator has noted his card, bring the right hand over the cards, preparing to complete the shuffle by cascading the cards together. When your right hand provides cover, however, kick the cards above the break to your left with your left little finger (Figure 6, the finger has been removed for clarity). Now when you bow the cards to spring them together, you will find that you can clearly see the index of the card on the face of the angled packet (Figure 7, where the Ace of Spades is visible). Once you have sighted this card, allow the deck to cascade together, finishing your shuffle. Handle the pack very fairly to allow a critical observer to appreciate that you hold no breaks or steps. You may even set the deck on the table and hold light conversation. The situation is under control, however, since the card you glimpsed lies directly above the selection in the deck.

Figure 5

Figure 6

Figure 7

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The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

The Master Cut

hey say nothing worthwhile comes without practice. They say no pain, no gain. Its lucky, then, that with only a minimal amount of time and effort and a miniscule amount of practice, the cards can flow through your fingers like water with this simple flourish cut. Before working on the actual cutting sequence, two components must be mastered first. The first is the simple and sometimes lowly-regarded Charlier Cut.

THE CHARLIER CUT With your left hand, hold the deck at your fingertips as in Figure 1. Note that your first and little fingers straddle the ends of the deck for control, while your thumb and opposite fingers hold the sides. Some performers may wish to curl the first finger underneath for more control. Your right hand does not take part in the following actions: By gently lifting pressure with your thumb, allow the lower half of the deck to fall in the cradle of your left hand (Figure 2). Move your forefinger beneath the bottom cards and push gently upwards. This will cause the packet to rise on its side, its lower edge resting comfortably in the fork of the thumb (Figure 3). As you keep pushing upward, the packet will eventually lift the top half of the deck up and their edges will clear (Figure 4). When this happens, the upper packet will fall and rest on the nail of your index finger. Now slowly lower your Moves

Figure 1

Figure 2

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forefinger, allowing the now lower packet to drop down and the new upper packet to coalesce with it (Figure 5). You control this new top half with your thumb and the edge of the packet beneath it.

THE CIRCLE AND ROLL CUT If the Charlier Cut is the left hands task, then the Circle and Roll Cut (for want of a better name) becomes the rights. To learn this, hold the deck as shown in Figure 6. Turn the pack clockwise as far as is gracefully possible to allow your right third and fourth fingers to come below the deck and contact it on your near side (Figure 7). Once there, your third finger can take approximately half the cards from the bottom of the deck and control this packet by using your forefinger as an opposing support. Move your second finger beneath the cards (Figure 8) to get it out of the way. Now, by spreading the fingers of your hand, your thumb going to your right while your

Figure 3

Figure 4

Figure 5

Figure 6

Figure 7

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The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

third finger moves to your left, the packets will turn in opposite directions and end nearly parallel to one another. This is the double circle, shown in Figure 9. Next, bring your palm-up left hand next to your contorted right and, by lifting your right forefinger a little, allow the left packet to tumble over and end face down in dealing position. Figures 10 and 11 show thisthe roll. You can now roll the remainder of the deck into your left hand, or pivot it (as you did the last packet) 180 degrees first with your third finger before rolling it over and onto your other hand. We should also note (since this comes into play in the actual combined flourish) that when the packets are side by side, as in Figure 9, and you are ready to roll, you dont have to allow all the cards in your right hands left packet to tumble over into the left hand. You may opt to drop only portions of the packet, by releasing pressure with your right forefinger, and allow them to roll in succession. This will become more clear in a moment. In any event, you are ready to combine all the actions. With the deck in your left hand, riffle down the outer corner with your thumb. When you are about halfway

Figure 8

Figure 9

Figure 10

Figure 11

Figure 12

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Figure 13

Figure 14

through the deck, turn your left hand downward and allow all the cards above your break to flop over, ending face up on your right fingers. Continuing the momentum, flop the packet over once more, so that it ends face down in your right hand (Figure 12). Now that each hand has half a deck, adjust the positions of both so that you hold the cards in your left in Charlier Cut position and the cards in your right are ready for the Circle and Roll Cut (Figure 13). Begin the Charlier action with your left hand while your right pivots the packets for the circle and roll. Just as your left hand clears its packets, your right should have a packet ready to roll over. Allow about half this packet to tumble into the left halfbetween the packets of the Charlier Cut (Figure 14). Close the Charlier and begin another with your left hand. As the packets clear again, allow another batch of cards to fall from your right hand into the left hands cut. Repeat as necessary. When the left packet in your right hand is depleted, swing your third finger under again and take another fifteen cards or so to restart the process. This continues until you pour all the right-hand cards into your left hand. The cards move in tandem and look almost as if theyre alive as they move from place to place. When you achieve the proper rhythm and economy of movement, the entire sequence flows quite fluidly and is aesthetic to watch. And was it said that this requires only a minimal amount of time and effort and a miniscule amount of practice? Okay, that was a lie.

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The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

The Apprentice Cut

kay, youve tried the Master Cut and strained your patience, your wifes loyalty, and your social credibility. Youve missed meetings, dinner dates, parties, and conventions because youre obsessed with sitting in front of your mirror wondering why your fingers wont stretch just a little more in just the right way. Youve lost the respect of friends and family, slowly eroded your self-esteem beyond any hope of retrieval, and have developed a severe textbook case of tendonitis in both hands. And youve made a silent but sincere promise to hurt John severely if you ever meet him. For you, poor lost wandering soul, castaway to pasteboard purgatory, here is a simpler yet quite effective flourish false cut. Hold the deck from above with your right hand as in Figure 1. Bring your left hand back as in Figure 2, the

Figure 1

Figure 2

Figure 3

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Figure 4

Figure 5

Figure 6

Figure 7

Figure 8

back of your left forefinger contacting the rear end of the cards. Now move your left hand forward again, your forefinger picking off and carrying about two-thirds of the deck (Figure 3). Your right second finger is the pivot point for the upper packet, which turns end for end clockwise (Figure 4) and finishes at the left fingertips as in Figure 5, in perfect position for the Charlier Cut. Do the Charlier with your left hand. After the bottom packet has come over and theyre about to close, insert the packet in your right hand between the two packets in your left (Figure 6). The right-hand packet goes flush with the upper packet in your left, but maintain a separation between this combined packet and the lower one in your left hand. Immediately lever the bottom packet onto its right side as in Figure 7 (a turnover pass type of action, but here done openly). Continue by moving the tilted packet up and over the other, bringing it to the top of the deck (Figure 8). Square up. The order of the entire deck has been restored. Happy now? The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

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The Oh, Calcutta! Shuffle

alse dovetail shuffles that completely preserve the order of the deck abound. Every close-up worker out there seems to know two or three, but ask them about completely false overhand or Hindu shuffles and their faces often go blank (as if with some of them you could tell the difference). There are a few good shuffle techniques out there, but most are unpublished or otherwise well protectedand Ricky and Persi arent talking. When working in the casual world of the laity, however, overhand techniques can become more valuable than your Zarrows, strip-outs, Spades, or pull-throughs, because overhand shuffles are what they know. This shuffle perfectly emulates a casual Hindu shuffle and, even though it is blatantly discrepant, it is also extremely deceptive. Figures 1 through 6 show the actions of a normal Hindu shuffle, where you hold the cards at their long sides by your right hand as your left hand takes successive packets from the top of the deck. Your right hand moves in small clockwise circles to clear the packets youre taking and to set up for the next removal of cards from the top. The movements take place more in the wrists than in your arms as you casually mix the cards. To execute the false shuffle, your hands move in exactly the same manner, and you adopt the same nonchalant demeanor and rhythm, but your left hand takes the packets from the bottom of the deck instead. Pay no attention to your hands as you do this. Note that in the figures of the real shuffle, your left forefinger is at the ends of the cards to keep them from escaping your conMoves

Figure 1

Figure 2

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Figure 3

trol. This is also true in the false shuffle. In fact, the placement of every finger is exactly the same as in the genuine shuffle and your hands make the same circular motions. The only difference is the removal of the cards from the bottom of the pack instead of the top. For the most deceptive point of all, begin with your right side to your audience. As you do the shuffle, slowly turn to your right (clockwise, bringing your left side to your audience), and tilt the deck on its side so they can see the faces. Although in a genuine shuffle the face of the right-hand packet should always show the same card, here they will see the cards constantly change, which further drives home the illusion of mixing. Again, a relaxed demeanor and guiltless attitude account more for the illusion than anything else. This is a tool that derives its strength from its simplicitywhich makes the solution even more elegant.

Figure 4

Figure 5

Figure 6

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The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

Spring Set

his is a flourish revelation that is much easier to do than it reads. First released in The New York Magic Symposium: Close-Up Collection One by Richard Kaufman, Spring Set became a favorite of many workers, especially after being popularized by Bill Malone in his handling of the ever-classic Sam the Bellhop (see the August 1988 Linking Ring for Bill Malones One-Man Parade). With almost no movement of your hand, the top card of the deck suddenly flips over and lands face up on the pack. For starters, here is the basic underlying movement: Holding the deck in your left hand, your thumb rests on top of the pack at the outer left corner, as in Figure 1. If you pull this thumb to your left while pressing downward, youll find that the right edge of the top card will lift up (Figure 2). What you want to achieve is a springing

Figure 1

Figure 2

Figure 3

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Figure 4

up of the card; your left thumb snaps around the corner of the deck. No other part of the hand moves. To do the actual production, the second card from the top of the deck is the one youre going to pop. Push the top card to your right with your left thumb. This will expose the outer left corner of the second card (Figure 3). Place your thumb on this corner and execute the spring action previously described. The second card will pop up, causing the top card to turn over and land face up on the deck (Figure 4). By the time this card descends, youve already relaxed your thumb and lowered the sprung card. It may help to tip the right side of the deck down a little. Thats the idea of it, and the brevity of the description belies its surprising effectiveness with audiences. Undoubtedly, a few tries will be necessary to achieve the desired result. The only thing that moves during the action is your left thumband that motion is a very slight one. It all happens so quickly that onlookers are unable to figure out exactly what caused the card to turn face up. It almost seems to happen of its own accord. In fact, given practice, if you can get the top card to turn over within a minimum of height from the pack, it will look as though the selection simply appeared on top of the deck. The turnover of the card completely escapes the eye, changing the effect from one of sudden animation to a suddenand quite magicalproduction.

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The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

The Winter Change

irst released in Harry Loraynes Apocalypse, this startling color change has been a preference of many for several years. Its casual and soft appearance enhances the simple yet surprising change of the face card of the deck. It is also used in the F.I.S.M. Card Act described at the end of the book. Hold the cards face up in your left hand. Your left little finger holds a break near the center of the pack, perhaps beneath a selection. As you talk, casually gesture with your empty right hand, then grasp the deck from above. Your right thumb is at the inner end of the cards, your fingers are at the outer (Figure 1). Your right hand will provide shade for the following mechanics: As soon as you hold the deck between your hands, place your left thumb across the face of the deck (Figure 2) and insert your left second and third fingers into the break

Figure 1

Figure 2

Figure 3

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Figure 4

Figure 5

Figure 6

(Figure 3). Without pausing, use your left fingers to push the card to the right from the center of the pack, in a direction that will set the outer right corner of the card directly beneath the base of your right little finger and the card itself parallel with your hand (Figure 4). Now move your left second finger back to the side of the deck and apply a slight upward pressure against the face of the card with your fingertip. Glide your right hand to your right (the card moving beneath it), relaxing it, and opening your fingers slightly. Your left second finger helps to push the selection completely from the center of the pack while holding it against the palm of your right hand. Also, you must always keep the card parallel to the deck to prevent a clicking sound as its corner leaves the deck. Never should you attempt to palm or grip the card with your right handthis hand remains open and relaxed. The card is back far enough beneath your hand that its top edge does not show between your fingers. As you keep moving your hand to the right, you will end with the card completely clear of the deck, supported by your left second finger (Figure 5). Note that you are now free to move your right hand about, as long as you maintain the support of your left finger. Because you are not in any way holding the card with your right hand, your appearance is very casual and relaxed. Also, because of the extension of your left second finger, your right hand is high above the face of the deck, which will play an important part in the color change that occurs in the next movement. Move your right hand to your left, your left second finger coming to rest again at the side of the pack. Your right hand keeps going, however, the card gliding off your left second finger and onto the heel of your left thumb (Figure 6), which now supports it. Completely pass over the pack until it is visible on the other side of your right hand, the card now held in place by the mound of your left thumb (Figure 7). Next, pass your hand over the deck once more, moving it to your right again. As your right hand obscures the deck from view, move your left thumb to the side of the pack, allowing the card to drop onto the face. Your right hand never breaks its flow and once it passes over the deck, the card appears to have transformed. The moment following the change is the most important. As you complete the movement with your right hand, slow down somewhat, allowing the audience to The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

44

perceive and appreciate the change, and possibly form any suspicions before you nonchalantly show the hand empty. The important points to remember through the entire process are threefold: 1) maintain a constant and flowing movement with your right hand, 2) your right fingers are always relaxed and partly open, and 3) due to the mechanics of the routine, your right hand seems to float some distance above and away from the face of the pack, making the change seem even more impossible.

Figure 7

Relaxing with Roger Klause and Michael Skinner in the early 1970s.

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Siegfried, Cornelius, and Roy.

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The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

Go For Go Switch

lever enough to have been invented by the Japanese (should you subscribe to stereotypes), this technique holds its own as a very deceptive switch of two packets of five cards. You can use it in a gambling (pseudo) expos or in a magical context, or just in a session with the boys, but skillfully plied, it will always get by. For purposes of explanation, we will use five red cards and five black cards. Palm the red cards, backs to your skin, in your right hand and hold the black cards in a spread between your hands (Figure 1) as if playing poker. Separate the two rear black cards slightly from their spread so you can feed their lower right corners behind the upper right corners of the palmed cards (that is to say, the upper left corner of the palmed packet feeds between the second and third card in the black packet you might have to raise your right forefinger a tad to allow this). Figure 2 is an exposed view, looking down from the top of your hand. Once the packets are interlocked, square up the black cards as in Figure 3. Moving your right thumb to the upper end of the black cards and releasing them with your left hand, turn your right hand palm down so that your left can approach the cards from below (Figure 4). Your left hand appears to simply take the visible packet from your right, but as you make the transfer, reach under your right hand with your left fingers and pull the palmed red cards into the center of the black packet (Figure 5). It is an easy matter to obtain a left little finger break beneath the red cards as they are pulled flush. Moves

Figure 1

Figure 2

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Figure 3

Once the red packet has been fed in, take the combined packet in Biddle Grip, transferring the break to your right thumb. Your right forefingers cover the front edge of the packet, hiding its thickness. Toying with the cards, peel the top two cards singly from the top to the bottom of the packet. You now have the five red cards on top of the black ones, with a break between them. Place your left little finger on the near end of the bottom five cards. You will find that with this finger alone, you can swivel these cards to the right, using your right first finger as a pivot point. Move all the cards beneath the break under your right hand and take them in full palm (Figure 6). This is done as you turn both hands palm up and spread the red cards between them to check your poker hand again. Now you can simply take the red cards with your left hand and lay them face down on the table as your right hand withdraws and reposes to the edge of the table. The fluidity of the move will not come without practice. Have faith, though, for its appearance is most casual and deceptive. Remember, the onlookers only see you spread a packet of cards, square them, turn them face down, transfer two to the bottom, and then spread them again. You merely seem to be toying with the cards while youre waiting for the next bet. Also, the switch is almost retentive (in a psychological way), since the back of the packet never seems to leave the audiences sight.

Figure 4

Figure 5

Figure 6

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The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

Casual Interfaces

Casual Interfaces

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The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

Armed & Ready

here was a brief time, when a gallon of gasoline cost less than a days wages, during which it seemed everyone was spending much of their time balancing coins on their elbows. The challenge was, ostensibly, to bring the arm down and catch the coins in midair. Increasing the number of coins in the stack made the feat proportionally more difficult, until at last it became nearly impossible to balance the coins at all, let alone catch them. The greater challenge may have been to avoid looking foolish while doing it, but finally the fad subsided, along with disco, wide lapels, and good customer service. Roger Klause, ever eager to throw the boys for a loop, began doing the stunt on occasionexcept for a minor variation: After adeptly catching the coins, which clinked solidly as he snatched them from the air, he opened his hand to show it completely empty. The coins had vanished! His presentation has necessarily changed with the times, evolving from Have you tried the stunt where . . . ? to Remember when people used to . . . ? This is Johns variation on Rogers effectone of transformation instead of a vanish. Here, when you catch the quarters in the air, you open your hand to reveal a cluster of pennies instead. The effect is strong and sure to surprise. To prepare, obtain three quarters and three pennies, some magicians wax and an instant bonding glue, such as Krazy Glue. On two of the quarters, place a small dab of magicians wax on one side. Put these quarters, separated, in your right trouser pocket. Now take the third quarter and glue it to your left arm just above your elbow (Figure 1). Use a very small amount of glue and no one gets hurt. Dont worry, it can be removed later with nail polish remover or some acetone-based solvent (if you happen to have skin allergies to these chemical comCasual Interfaces

Figure 1

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Figure 2

Figure 3

pounds, please dont send us your medical bills). The pennies go in your left pants pocket. Roll your sleeves down, button your cuffs, and youre ready. Later, when youre hanging around (preferably next to a sign that says No Loitering), tell your prospective audience that you would like to show them an amazing stunt. Unbutton your cuffs and roll both sleeves up one turn only. Push your right sleeve up past your elbow; your left arm wont come into play until later. Place each hand into your pants pockets, searching for change. Take all three pennies in your left hand, holding them loosely in fingerpalm. As this hand comes out, your right hand brings one of the quarters into view. Take this coin at your left fingertips as you raise your right arm in cocked position (Figure 2). Place the quarter on your arm just above your elbow. When ready, snap your right arm out, catching the coin in the air. The best way to ensure success is to spring from the knees slightly just before the snap. This will cause the coin to move upward a little, suspending it in the air long enough for you to make your catch. Say, I can even do it left-handed! Take the quarter again with your left fingers and use your right hand to push (not roll) your left sleeve up past your elbow. Turn to your left slightly and take the quarter with your right hand as you bring your left arm up. As it rises, your right hand comes to meet it, to prevent the quarter already there from coming into view too early. Pretend to place the quarter on your arm and bring your hand away, showing the glued quarter instead. The waxed quarter is concealed in your relaxed right hand and your left arm appears ready to catch the coin on its elbow. Say, Ill even make it more difficult. Reach in your pocket with your right hand and apparently remove another quarter, really bringing forth the one hidden in your hand. Place this coin onto the quarter on your elbow, firmly fixing the two with the wax. Reach in your pocket again and bring out the third quarter, placing it delicately on the stack. As you do, press the coins together so all three now bond to each other. Spring and snap your left arm out as if catching the coins. The pennies in your hand create the perfect sound of catching the coins. Bring your right hand in front of you, palm up, and pour the pennies from your otherwise empty left hand. At this point, since your right side mainly faces the audience, you can turn the left hand over to show both sides (Figure 3). You will find that your arm will not turn nearly as much as your hand, and the quarters will remain safely concealed behind. To end, lower your left arm, which will allow your sleeve to fall down, covering the quarters. Button your cuffs again and you have all the time in the world to clean up later at your convenience. The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

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DArtagnans Release

rom the mentalists parlor to the cocktail lounge, John has devised effects to meet every situation. Here, a cocktail sword is threaded onto a straw, which a spectator holds from both ends. Another spectator holds the sword. Nevertheless, the objects penetrate each other and are magically released! You will need an opaque handkerchief, a cocktail straw, and two cocktail swords. Because you want this to appear as impromptu as possible, when everyone at your table has received their drink orders, you have already obtained two cocktail swords by some devious manner. One goes in a convenient pocket, with your handkerchief. Prepare the other by breaking the guard between your fingers, creating a slit in the plastic handle (Figure 1). This can be done furtively at the table, or you can retire for a moment to the restroom to set the gaff. Once the work is in the sword, casually place it on the table in front of you and continue your social interaction. When you feel the time is right, ask for the loan of your friends cocktail straw. Looking around the table, set your attention on your sword, pick it up, and thread the straw through its handle. The minute fracture in the handle is practically invisible and will escape notice. Ask your friend to hold the straw by its end, trapping the sword on it (Figure 2). Reach in your pocket for your handkerchief, finger-palming the other sword in the process (if youve forgotten your handkerchief, a cocktail napkin is an acceptable substitute). Open the handkerchief and drape Casual Interfaces

Figure 1

Figure 2

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Figure 3

Figure 4

it over the sword and straw, leaving the spectators hands uncovered (Figure 3). Say, Now we know that the sword is firmly linked to the straw . . . Reach under the handkerchief with both hands and tug lightly on the prepared sword as you put the shaft of the other sword through its handle (Figure 4, in which the handkerchief is removed for clarity). The spectator holding the straw understands that you are doing this only to emphasize the condition of the sword and straw. Immediately bring both hands from beneath the handkerchief, showing them empty. The swords remain securely settled together beneath the cloth. Finish your sentence by saying, . . . and there is no way it can escape unharmed as long as you keep a tight hold on the ends. Move one hand beneath the handkerchief again and grasp the hilt of the unprepared sword. With the thumb and fingers of your other hand, locate the point of this sword through the cloth and ask another spectator to pinch it firmly here (Figure 5 shows what the spectators see; Figure 6 shows the actual situation with the handkerchief removed). Take both of your hands away. Ask the spectator to pull gently on the sword to make sure its still linked. When youve built sufficient drama, reach under the handkerchief with both hands, grasp the guard of the prepared sword, and open its fracture just far enough to pass over the straw. As soon as it is free, finger-palm the gimmick as you take the handkerchief away. One spectator is holding only the straw, the other the handkerchief and sword, with no clue about how the penetration took place. Either pocket the gimmick with your handkerchief or lap it at a relaxed moment. Walter Wilson contributed a method for the exact reverse of this effect, putting a sword onto a straw, in a Linking Ring parade (Cocktail Sword and Straw, November 1982, p. 58). Combining the two could make for an effective routine and a well-deserved reputation among your peers.

Figure 5

Figure 6

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The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

Dial-A-Trick

t didnt take long after the commercial introduction of the telephone before magicians started taking advantage of some longdistance subtleties, thanks to Hilliard. Telephone tricks now number in the dozens, some of which can be real bafflers, such as Eddie Fieldss contribution in The Artful Dodges of Eddie Fields, written by Jon Racherbaumer. There is a difference, though, between those effects that take place on the telephone between spectator and magi, and those in which the performer uses a telephone to contact a third party, who makes an uncanny revelation. John has typically taken a more radical avenue toward the latter, which expands the horizons of the effect beyond anything that has come previous. No longer is the magician limited to playing cards or having the information written on small pieces of paperthe audience may decide the nature of the challenge. Most baffling of all, the spectator calls the Wizard himself. To our knowledge, all previous versions of this effect rely in part on some type of code, however clever, between the performer and his assistant. Here, though, no code is necessary, and the performer truly does participate only as a coordinator of events. You need no special skills, except some electrical facility, because it is the telephone itself that is the instrument of conveyance. If basic circuitry lies outside your comfort zone, have a knowledgeable friend install a magnetic reed switch in the base of your telephone. This type of switch will maintain an open circuit as long as a magnetic field is present. Once the field is taken away, the circuit closes. The upshot of this is that if the switch is properly installed in your telephone, and a magnet is near enough, then hanging up the phone will not break the connection. Although the handset rests in the cradle, the caller on the other end can hear everything in the room as if you had merely laid the handset on the table. Moving the base of the telephone away from the magnet, however, will break the connection and you can use the phone normally. Once the switch is in place, set a shim magnet inside a small telephone directory or address book. The magnet must be strong enough that it activates the reed Casual Interfaces 55

when the telephone sits on the directory (earth magnets, which are very strong, are well suited for this). The prepared book sits on the table next to your telephone, and youre ready to perform. When guests are over, choose a convenient and unsuspicious moment to call your secret assistant at his telephone or have a prior arrangement for him to call you. You can pretend it is a caller who has dialed a wrong number or use some other ploy, but before you hang up, place the phone on top of your directory and then put the handset in the cradle. The connection is still live and your assistant can hear most of the conversation in the room. Steer the conversation toward psychic phenomena or some related subject and mention that you have an unusual friend who constantly exhibits such abilities. Say, Hes made something of a profession out of it, and he calls himself The Wizard. Have the spectators choose a thought in particular, perhaps the name of any city in the world, a person, or anything they desire. Once the choice is made, say to the spectators, in a voice clear enough for your assistant to hear, You want to concentrate on the city of Chicago? Are you sure? Would you like to change your mind? Assuming they wish to retain their choice, say, Lets call him now; but I dont want to call him myself . . . I dont want to say a word to him. Ask a nearby spectator to look up the name of your friend in your address book. When he lifts the phone off the book, the connection is broken. Your assistant hangs up his telephone on the other end. Say with a smile, Look under W. After he finds the number and picks up the handset, a dial tone is present, just as it should be. When your helper answers the phone, he reveals in his most mysterious manner, preferably before the spectator has had a chance to say a word, that he knows what thought the group holds. A speaker phone might also further the effect, since the entire group can hear the revelation simultaneously, rather than experience it vicariously through the reaction of the one caller. You must be careful, though, not to allow the speaker connection to be turned on until after the reed switch deactivates, otherwise the dial tone will be missing. As an alternative to the reed switch, John has also used a push button switch, which works equally well, though its a little more visible. Each time you push the button, the circuit changes from an open one to a closed one, or vice versa. By installing this switch on the base of the telephone, every time the phone is picked up and set down again, the line is either opened or disconnected. Ring, ring . . .

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The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

Lines of Flux

n essence, this is a simple effect, but one you can expand in many directions. It also appeared in The Pallbearers Review under the title of The Magnetic Fork. The principle is here described as one you would use in a social setting, although you can also modify it to work within professional venues as well. It is a cunning demonstration of your anomalous powers over forces of magnetism and gravity. Obtain a small but powerful bar magnet. Earth magnets exert the most force per volume of any magnet and their strength is quite impressive, but their range is limited. John has found that ceramic magnets work well here. Although theyre not as intense, their magnetic fields will pass through a table top more effectively (essential for this effect). One about 1 inch square and 1 inches long should suffice. By way of short preparation, insert a small flat metal bar inside your shoe. The barthe same type that comes with many magnetsis placed near the ball of your foot along the inside edge of the shoe. The magnet goes in your pocket (preferably on the opposite side of your body far from your wristwatch and credit cards). For the actual performance (and in his lectures), John has used steel pennies. Any small objects, though, such as paper clips or some bottle caps, are appropriate (steel-shimmed coins are ideal, because of their natural appearance and hidden properties). You will also need a standard dinner fork, made of some magnetically conductive metal, such as steel or iron. Be certain that such items will be available to you when you plan to perform the effect. You must sit at a table with your spectatorsand wearing your shoes. At an opportune time, covertly remove the magnet from your pocket and cross your legs, the shoe containing the metal bar now being just beneath the underside of the table. Place the magnet on your shoe, so that the metal bar within holds it in place. You can now delay the moment by uncrossing your legs, enjoying the social activity, and gently steering conversation toward your presentation. The magnet is secure and will stay on the outside of your shoe. Casual Interfaces 57

Figure 1

When ready, cross your legs again, bringing the magnet near the table. Show the coins (or whatever items you are using) and place them on the table, next to your fork, directly above the hidden magnet. Next, pick up the fork, rub it on your sleeve (for show), and touch it to the penny (Figure 1). Because of the proximity of the magnet, the fork itself conducts part of the magnetic field and acts with an attractive force. The penny will stick to the fork. If you wish, you can hold your hand in a cramped, suspicious position to lead your onlookers to believe that you hold a magnet there. When you open your hand, however, it is empty. There are other touches you can also add to your presentation. For instance, first borrow a wedding or finger ring. Place some steel-shimmed coins on the table and patter about universal forces of attraction. When you try to attract the coins to the ring and fail, state that it is due to the interference from your own biochemical energy. To rectify this, place the ring on the tines of the fork. When you bring the fork near the coins, it is the ring which appears to attract them and you have led the spectators further away from the correct solution. With the right magnet, you can even pick up two steel pennies or Canadian nickels edge to edge. Semi-transparent silks can also be placed over the coins on the table as a cover, which gives the effect a more ethereal quality and adds to a strange atmosphere. Obviously, though, it has no bearing on the method itself.

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The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

Impromptu Ghost Trap

ere is an odd effect: The materialization of something solid were not sure whatinside the folds of a handkerchief. Yet, when the cloth is opened, there is nothing there. This is an (apparently) impromptu version of Glorpy, the Gerkulating Ghost, first marketed in 1963, and still available from dealers under various names. For an interesting history of this effect and its various permutations, see Max Mavens article A Brief History of It in the May 2000 issue of MAGIC magazine. First, go to your local hardware store (a phrase that could have become a subtitle of Johns lectures as well as this book) and purchase some Romex 12/2 electrical wire. This is a thick gauge wire in a protective coating and you only need about a three-inch length. When you have the appropriate piece, take a pair of needle-nosed pliers, pull the copper wire out of the sleeve, and throw it away. Its the thick sleeve you want, and what is the modus for the effect. John has found that aquarium or surgical tubing will also work well (Figure 1). Sit at a table with a tablecloth (to keep things from sliding around later). With the gimmick fingerpalmed in your right hand (Figure 2), borrow a handkerchief from a kind spectator and offer to show him a ghost. You see, you say, there are always ghosts in the air everywhere you go and theyre made of ectoplasm. The easiest way to catch one is to form a ghost trap. Lay the cloth flat on the table, one corner nearest you, so youre looking at a diamond-shaped polygon before you. Grasp this near corner with your right hand, Casual Interfaces

Figure 1

Figure 2

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Figure 3

Figure 4

folding it over and toward the center. Set the corner down in the middle of the hanky, allowing the gimmick to fall from your hand onto the hanky as you do. With your left hand, fold the left corner over and onto the center, momentarily covering your right hand, which you immediately withdraw. This prevents the spectators from seeing the object youve placed there. Fold the right corner over next, followed by the far corner. Now that we have the trap, all we need is to gather some ectoplasm. Lift the top layers of the cloth with your left hand. Reach into the air with your right hand, showing it empty, and pretend to grab some ectoplasm and place it within the folds of the handkerchief. Repeat this two or three times. On one of your trips into the handkerchief, bend the gimmick at its middle in half (Figure 3). Hold it down like this, as your left hand takes over outside the cloth and holds the gimmick so you can remove your hand. Use your flat palms to smooth out the fabric (Figure 4), which will make the cloth taut and continue the pressure on the Romex sleeve. When your hands are near the edge of the hanky, slowly release the pressure, allowing the gimmick to straighten up beneath the cloth. To your spectators, the center of the handkerchief will mysteriously rise. See, you say, Thats a ghost, believe it or not, and contrary to what people believe about ghosts, its really quite solid . . . Place your flat right hand on top of the gimmick and move it around in circles (Figure 5). This gives the curious illusion that whatever object may be under the cloth is spherical. To further emphasize its solidity, take a spoon, pen, comb, or some nearby object, and tap it firmly on top. The gimmick will not fall and you appear to be striking something quite solid. But we have to return it to where it came from before we bring the forces of doom on us, so we take out the ectoplasm . . . Lift the

Figure 5

Figure 6

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The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

top layers of the hank again with your left hand, reach in the folds with your right (pretending to remove the stuff), and throw it back out in the air. When your hand goes in the last time, use your thumb to kick the gimmick straight back, out of the hanky, off the table, and in your lap (Figure 6). If you wish, you can pretend to hand different spectators some ectoplasm, on the last stroke removing the gimmick and placing it in your pocket, saving some ectoplasm for yourself. Many handkerchiefs will have enough body that they will retain the general shape of the ghost, even after the gimmick has gone. If that is the case here, slowly press it down, flattening the cloth, then cleanly unfold the handkerchief and give it back to the spectator, thanking him and reminding him to launder it as quickly as possible. D. D. Home would be proud.

To the winner of the D.C. look-alike contestDick Cavett

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Ouch!

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The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

Arisen!

en Krenzel and Richard Kaufman pretty much started it all with On the Up and Up, a treatise on pure sleight-of-hand methods to achieve the classic rising cards effect. Recently, Chris Kenner also published a version in his in-some-waysadmirable book, Totally Out of Control. As usual, John derived this method without benefit of comparison and he has a few touches on the basic idea of jogging the selection and using the exposed corner to push the card from the deck. Where most use the little finger of the hand to move the card, however, John goes in the opposite direction by using the thumb. The difference is worth evaluating. In fact, of all the magic John does, this is one of the most talked-about items among those who are familiar with the Krenzel/ Kaufman handling. Dribbling the cards from hand to hand (as in Figure 1), ask your spectator to stop you any time. When he does, raise your right hand so he can note the face card where he stopped you. After youre sure he has committed the card to memory, replace the cards in your right hand on those in your left, obtaining a standard pinky break beneath the selection with your left little finger. As your right hand covers the deck from above, use your left third finger to side jog the selection for at least half its width (Figure 2). Without pause, take the deck solely with your right hand from above and by the ends and begin to turn it clockwise, so that your right thumb becomes uppermost. This also brings the jogged selecCasual Interfaces

Figure 1

Figure 2

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Figure 3

Figure 4

tion to the side of the deck nearest your body. During this, your left hand also turns in the opposite direction, in preparation for taking the deck at what is now its uppermost end (Figure 3). In taking the pack, the upper end of the side-jogged card is pushed back in by your left thumb, angling the card (Figure 4) and you now hold the deck in your left hand, between thumb and second fingers. You hold the deck this way only momentarily, however, as you retake the upright pack with your right hand, your little finger supporting the deck from beneath at center, your thumb going beneath the protruding corner of the selection, and your fingers along the opposite side. Just before you take your left hand away, angle a few of the face cards over to cover the protruding selection (Figure 5). When youre ready to reveal the card, shake the deck gently, allowing the cards to settle deeper into your right hand as you push the selection up with your right thumb. Your right forefinger provides some stability on the other side of the card (Figure 6). Because of the mechanics of the situation, the card will not rise straight up, but will snake its way upward with a slight side-to-side motion. This is effectively covered by the soft shaking motion that you use. As the card slowly rises, turn the deck so that the side that your fingers are on is nearest the spectators, then turn it back again so theyre looking at the full face of the cards. By this time, the selection should fully extend from the pack and youve moved your thumb back near the bottom. Tilt the deck forward (so they can appreciate that the card is really in the center of the pack) and remove the card with your left hand to give it to the nearest spectator, or let the spectator remove it himself. With practice, you can achieve the desired effect that of a card rising slowly and gracefully from the cen-

Figure 5

Figure 6

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The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

ter of the pack. The Rising Card has long been recognized as one of the strongest effects in card magic. Handled well and skillfully, the use of a borrowed pack increases its impact dramatically.

Brussels, site of the Worlds Fair and F.I.S.M. And I thought we had big Tinkertoys in Texas! (1979)

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John entertains Dai Vernon at a Faucett Ross picnic in St. Joseph, Missouri.

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The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

An Assemblage of Silver

he Matrix routines out there are too many to consider (appreciations to Al Schneider, although Derek Dingle seems to have had a hand in spreading the word). Perhaps, though, the reason this plot is so overworked is because, like the sponge balls and the paddle move, it is good. Effectwise, it is fast, visual, and quite baffling. There are few commercial workers who do not perform some variation of Matrix, and John contributes this method to the wash, thereby increasing the already exponentially-increasing number of routines by a factor of one. Youll need four half-dollars for this, an expanded half-dollar shell (hurry to your local dealer), two playing cards1, and a soft performing surface. Place the four coins in a stack, set the shell on the uppermost coin, and hold the stack in your right hand. The two face-up cards sit to your left. Say, Heres a trick with one, two, three, four half-dollars . . . Keeping time with your words, place the coins on the table in an imaginary square formation, the first (with shell) being set at your near left, the second at your far left, the third at your far right, and the last at your near right.
1. And just what, exactly, is the real difference between Matrix and Sympathetic Coins? To most of us, perhaps, very little indeed, with not enough left over to worry about. For others, however, well . . . It is true that Sympathetic Coins is normally performed with two cards while Matrix most often uses four, but more than that, there is a difference of attitude. In Sympathetic Coins (at least in the best versions weve seen performedMichael Skinners, for instance), the performer handles each coin in succession, causing them to vanish from his hands mysteriously. After each one, a card is then picked up to reveal that the coin is somehow beneath it. Matrix, though, has a much more visual element to it, the coins seemingly jumping from card to card as they lay on the table, the performer merely covering them for a moment. The coins are never picked up from the table to make them disappear and the routine can be quite animated and lively. Take your pick. Strictly speaking, Johns routine seems to be a hybrid of the two concepts, using two cards, but still with the essence of Matrix. All this is mentioned for the benefit of those purists, historians, and verbophiles who perceive importance in these matters and without which their lives would cease to have meaning.

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Figure 1

Figure 2

Figure 3

As you place the last coin on the table, pull your right hand away furtively, as if you were hiding a fifth coin there. You might even feign a classic-palming action for the knowing crowd. Pick up the cards with your left hand as you finish your sentence by saying . . . and two playing cards. Revolve the cards face down and take one with your right hand, with an attitude that might strongly suggest that youve just loaded a coin beneath it. Turn the card in your left hand over a couple of times to show both sides, but hold the right-hand card motionless and stiff. Finally, as if begrudgingly, turn the right-hand card face toward your audience, pulling your fingers back as if you were sliding a coin up behind them to show the card. You are holding the card by its edge now, reminiscent of a standard coin ruse. Place the left-hand card on the coin and shell, and the right-hand card suspiciously on the coin in the upper right corner, as if you put a coin down with it. Those who have been scrutinizing your actions will believe that there are two coins in the upper corner and will anticipate that the assembly will take place there. Instead, pick up both playing cards with the respective hands, your second and third fingers going beneath the cards, thumbs on top (Figure 1). With your right hand, you also clip the coin beneath the card as, with your left first finger, you lift the edge of the shell beneath its cover card and push it to the right. The shell will overlap the coin as in Figure 2.2 Shake your hands (and the cards) slightly, then raise both hands straight up, lifting the cards to reveal the sudden journey of the first coin. Show the faces of first the right-hand card, then the left. When showing the right-hand one, this time you do pull the coin back so you are holding the card by its extreme edge, the coin hidden behind your fingers (Figure 3). When you turn the card face down again, slide the coin back beneath it to keep it hidden from view. For the next jump, hold the right-hand card over the inner left coins and the left-hand card over the outer left half-dollar. Shake the cards again as you gently and silently lay the coin beneath the right-hand card onto the two overlapping coins on the table, itself overlapping to the right. With your left fingers, pick up the coin beneath their card in the

2. Note here that we are not using the Schneider/Dingle Pick-Up Move which has become something of an unspoken requirement in this type of routine.

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same manner as before. After a proper time, lift both cards to show the migration of the second coin. Briefly show the faces of the cards again, pulling the coin behind your left fingers as you do. Turn the cards face down again (sliding the hidden coin back beneath the left-hand card) and hold the righthand card over the remaining coin on your right, the other card over the coins on your left. Shake the cards again as you pinch the single coin with your right fingers while laying the left-hand coin, again overlapping, on its stack. Lift the coins to reveal all four at the inner left position. To clean everything up, turn the cards face up, sliding the right-hand coin behind your fingers as before, and lay the cards on the table well in front of you (Figure 4). The hidden coin stays behind your fingers when the cards are left on the table. Immediately bring both hands back to the stack of coins on the table, the coin in your right hand sitting idly in fingertip rest position (Figure 5).3 Place your fingers on either side of the stack and begin pushing the coins inwards between your hands, as if gathering them up (Figure 6). The shell will nest with the coin beneath it. Take the nested shell and the coin above it with your left hand as you pick up the remaining coin in your right hand (on top of the coin you were secretly holding there). Open your palm-up hands wide to show apparently two coins on each (perfect applause cue) and take your bow.

Figure 4

Figure 5

Figure 6

3. The Fingertip Rest: see David Roths Expert Coin Magic by Richard Kaufman for the value of this all too obviousand extremely artisticpiece of finesse. It allows moments of relaxation and a casual air which would not otherwise be possible.

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Siegfried enjoying a lecture by John Cornelius at Darwins Club in Las Vegas (1980).

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The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

Bluff Poker

ears ago, when the masters were young, Ace assemblies were the rage. Vernon and Miller concocted several wonderful versions of the slow-motion assembly plot, Mac MacDonald performed his destined-to-be-classic MacDonalds Aces, and Bob Stencels underground handling (not released until almost thirty years later!) amazed and confounded. The plot may be older than Reginald Scots Discoverie of Witchcraft, but that seems to be where it began. Even in recent times, thinkers such as Daryl Martinez (Diamond Bar and The Psychological Joker Assembly) and John Bannon (Mirage Assembly) have explored the possible avenues, finding new approaches and lending a more modern fascination to what could be a timeworn trick. Somewhere in all this, Ed Marlo typically did what no one else did. Rather than execute an assembly that relied on gaffed cards or consummate skill, Marlo published Bluff Aces. It was an apt title since no assembly really takes place. Marlo put away his moves for the moment and constructed a routine that takes place mostly in the mind of the spectator. To top it off, he offered a surprising repeat phase that neatly cleaned everything up. Bluff Aces appeared in one of the Ireland Yearbooks, which were released again by Magic, Incorporated a few years ago. Here is Johns handling: To start, openly remove the four Aces from the deck and place them face down on top of the pack in Spade, Heart, Club, Diamond order (the Spade is the top card of the deck). Say, Many people ask if its possible for a gambler to cheat with cards that are out of his hands. Well, I dont know about gamblers, but Ill show you how a magician might do it. Push off the four Aces face down into your right hand, without reversing their order. As you do, push three more cards from the top of the deck. Pull these cards back, holding a break beneath them with your left little finger as you flip the Aces as a group face up onto the pack. Immediately pick up all seven cards from above in your right hand (Figure 1, in which your right fingers cover the thickness of the Casual Interfaces 71

Figure 1

Figure 2

Figure 3

packet from the front). Name the Ace of Diamonds aloud as you pull it onto the deck with your left thumb and flip it face down with the right-hand packet (Figure 2). Continue by flipping the Aces of Clubs and Hearts face down onto the deck. Youre left with four cards in your right hand, the Ace of Spades face up on top of three facedown indifferent cards. Continuing in the same rhythm, place all the cards on top of the deck and turn the Ace of Spades face down. Say, Now, Im going to deal everyone an Ace. Deal the Ace of Spades to yourself, then deal the next three cards (supposedly Aces) from left to right in a row in front of your spectators. Say, And on top of each Ace, Im going to place some cards. As you say this, push off the next three cards (the actual Aces) as a group and take them by the near right corner so you can use them to tap each of the tabled face down cards. While your active right hand controls your audiences attention, push over the top card of the deck slightly with your left thumb and pull it back to obtain a little finger break beneath it. Place the right-hand cards on the deck for the briefest of moments and then raise all four cards above the break to your left fingertips to square them fairly (Figure 3). With the cards held high above the deck by your left fingers, reach with your right hand and turn the nearest Ace face up on the table, saying, Since this one, the Ace of Spades, is near me, it will be my Ace. Turn the Ace face down again and take the cards above the deck with your right hand. Casually allow the audience to see the indifferent face card of this packet as you place the cards on the Ace of Spades. Ill place a few cards on my Ace, a few cards on this Ace, a few on this one, and this one. Spread the next three cards from the top of the deck and take them from above, still spread, with your right hand. As in Figures 4 and 5, move your right hand to your left, squaring the cards against your left thumb above the deck. As you do, however, allow the bottom card of the three to coalesce with the deck and really take two cards with your right hand, which you place on the supposed Ace on the right end of the row. Spread the next three cards, square them, and place them on the center card of the tabled row. In the same manner, place three more cards on the supposed Ace on the left end of the row. Table the deck to one side. Say, Now the object is for me to sneak your Aces away from you without your seeing me do it. This is how I might go about doing that. Pick up the leftmost packet and hold it face down from above with your right hand, saying, Watch this first Ace. Take each card singly The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

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into your left hand, reversing their order in classic Biddle-counting style (Figure 6). As soon as you take the last card, snap your right fingers and turn your left hand palm down, pushing the cards through your fist with your thumb (Figure 7). Take the emerging cards, which will be face up, with your right hand and then deal them to their former tabled position one at a time, showing the face of each card. Point to your packet and pick it up, saying, Its traveled over here to join my Ace. Turn the packet face up in your left hand, showing the Ace of Spades. Deal the Ace into your right hand, and on top of that, take the next indifferent card. The Ace of Diamonds will be the next card on the face of the packet. Replace the two cards in your right hand on the packet (the indifferent card on the face) and place the cards face down in their former position. Pick up the center packet and glance at its face as you apparently remind yourself of the suit of the next Ace. Say, And now, the second Ace, the, uh, Ace of Clubs. After miscalling the card, hold the packet in your right hand as before and reverse the order of the cards as you take them singly in your left. Again, immediately follow through by pushing the cards through your fist and taking them from the other side. Deal them face up to the table to show the Ace of Clubs is no longer there. Pick up your packet and turn it face up, holding it from above by your right hand. Peel off cards singly with your left thumb, showing first the indifferent card, then the Ace of Spades, the Ace of Diamonds, and the Ace of Clubs. The Club is really a double card, which you place on the face of the left-hand packet. Turn the cards face down and hold them in your left hand. Say, As for the last Ace, it goes like this . . . Make a gesture with your right hand, as if you are invisibly removing the Ace of Hearts from the last packet and dropping it into

Figure 4

Figure 5

Figure 6

Figure 7

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yours. Turn the packet in your left hand face up again, taking it from above with your right. Peel off the Aces of Clubs, Hearts, and Diamonds with your left thumb into a fan in your left hand, leaving the Ace of Spades (and the concealed indifferent card) held by your right. Place the double on the face of the fan and then turn your left hand palm down and back up to show the faces and backs of the cards. Square the packet and turn the cards face down, taking them again from above by your right hand. Say, Ill do it for you again, just one last time. Heres one, two, three, four Aces. Reverse count the four cards into your left hand, the last being a double. As you place the double on top of the other three Aces, hold a little finger break beneath it. Turn the two cards above the break face up as one as you say, Heres the Ace of Spades. Turn it face down and say, Now, Im going to put it in this pile, right here. Take the top card from the packet in your left hand (the indifferent card) and place it beneath the cards at the right end of the tabled row. Say, Now that leaves me over here with just these three Aces, the Club, Heart, and Diamond. Turn your left-hand packet face up and take it from above with your right hand. Name the Aces as you peel them into your left hand one at a time, ending with a double card. Place the double card on the face of the packet and turn the cards face down again. Say, Watch, just a little move . . . and now the Ace is back. Spread the face-down cards in your left hand to show four backs. Close the spread and deal the first two Aces singly from the top of the packet to the table. For the third Ace, take the bottom card instead (not difficult from a two-card packet) and deal it face up also. Dramatically turn the last card, the Ace of Spades, over and place it with the tabled Aces. The packet at the right end of the row still lies face down, tantalizing your audience. Most likely, someone will grab for it, but the routine has already been cleaned up and there is nothing to find.

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Marked for Life

rom Derek Dingles Well TwistIf You Insist (Derek Dingles Complete Works, one of Kaufmans earliestand bestworks) to this handling of the same plot. Both, if we are to believe the historians, owe a tipped hat to Sam Schwartzs Backflip sequence, an approach to twisting the pasteboards that raced through the card world like wildfire. Vernon started it all, though (perhaps to his dismay), for even today, twisters still continue to twist, turning cards up and down, changing them, multiplying them, transforming them . . . and if you think that there will never be enough routines, keep in mind Robert Walkers alleged Crux manuscript, a private tome that Jon Racherbaumer has often made reference to over the years, which supposedly contains hundreds of twisted ideas. Here, four cards (an Ace, Two, Three, and Four) each mysteriously turn face up within the packet. At the end, all the backs suddenly change. To do this, obtain an Ace, Two, and Three from a red-backed deck and a Four with a blue back. Also, you need one double-backed card with a blue back on one side and a red one on the other. With a heavy magic marker, draw a large capital A on the back of the Ace, a 2 on the back of the Two, a 3 on the back of the Three, and finally a 4 on the red-backed side of the double-backed card. The packet, from the top down, lies in this order: the face-up Four, the double-backed card (red side up), and then the face-up Three, Two, and Ace (Figure 1). Hold the packet in left-hand dealing position, the double-backed card on top. Say, When I was about twelve years old, my uncle had a game he used to play and he used only four cards. He used an Ace, a Two, a Three, and a Four. Take the packet from above with your right hand so you can spread the cards from the rear of the packet with your left fingers, showing the faces of the cards (Figure 2). The two face cards are squared as one. Casual Interfaces

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Figure 2

Figure 3

Figure 4

What hed do is hed take one card behind his back and hed reverse it. Take the double card with your right hand and the remainder of the cards in your left. Take both hands behind your back for a moment, turn over the two cards in your right hand, and place them on the left hands packet. When you bring your hands forward again, the order of the packet should be double backer (blue-side up), face-down Four, face-up Three, Two, and Ace. Then hed come back and say, John, if you can tell me which card Ive turned over in there, Ill give you ten dollars. But if you name the wrong card, you have to mow the grass. Needless to say, we had the best-looking lawn in town. Ill show you why. If I had named any card but the Ace, hed show that the Ace was the one that was reversed, so Id have to mow the grass. Do the following modified Elmsley Count. Begin with the five cards in left-hand dealers grip. The palm-up right hand takes the packet at the inner-right corner with thumb on top and first and second fingers underneath. As this happens, the left thumb draws the first card off onto the left palm, while the right thumb does a multiple push-off of the second, third, and fourth cards. The multiple push-off is most easily accomplished by using the right-hand second and third fingers to draw the bottom card of the packet diagonally towards you and to the right. This helps to keep the block of cards in alignment and serves primarily as a get-ready for the next move. The palm-up left hand comes back under the packet and wedges the first card beneath the right-hand packet (between the right-hand thumb and fingers) and leaves it behind as it draws off the three-card block. As you count off the ostensibly third and fourth cards (but actually the fifth and first), outjog them in stepped fashion so they end as in Figure 3 (in a conventional Elmsley Count the last two cards would be stacked flush singly on top of the packet). It should appear as if the left hand is merely drawing cards from the right hand (which remains essentially still) into the left, displaying each card in the process. To close this spread, pinch the rear cards with your right thumb and forefinger (thumb on topFigure 4) and pull the top card of these three back slightly. Now push these rear cards forward, holding the one pinched card as you push the outjogged cards flush with your left first finger. As the packet comes square, pull out the pinched card and place it on top of the packet. The face-up cards beneath it should remain concealed from the audience. Now I found out that my uncle was a cheat, you see, because if I had named the Ace, hed say, No, the one I reversed in there was the Two. And Id lose and Id have to mow the grass. Repeat The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

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the Elmsley Count technique to show the Two face up. Displace a card to the top in the same manner as before, by stepping the cards and pinching the center card from the rear as you close the spread. Repeat the count and the displacement to show the Three face up as you say, If I had said the Two, hed say, No, Im sorry, the one I reversed in there was the Three, and Id lose and Id have to mow the grass again. Well, one day he said, Hey, John, come here. I said, I dont want to play. He said, Look, which one of these is reversed? Take the top card of the packet (the Four) and cleanly turn it face up onto the other cards. I said, Well, its the four. Then he did a little move like that and said, No, theyre all reversed; go mow the grass. Make a gesture, then take the cards from above in your right hand as you spread them from the back with your left finger (holding the two on the face as one) to show all the cards face up. To make a long story short, I snuck into his room one day and I figured the entire trick out. See, he was actually using marked cards and that way he knew which card to flip face up. In fact, if you look on the backs of the cards, you can see the little marks he had. Square the cards and turn the entire packet face down in your left hand. A red back will show. Take the cards from above with your right hand and peel them off singly with your left thumb into a spread (Figure 5) as you say, Theres the Ace, theres the Two, theres the Three, and theres the Four . . . and thats the little trick with the four cards! The last card will be a double card, which you place on the face of the fan. Take the top two (really three) cards with your right hand, thumb on the double, and the bottom two with your left (Figure 6). Separate your hands and turn them over to also show the faces of the cards before you put them away. Andrew J. Pinard suggests beginning the routine with the cards set in the following order (from the top down): The face-up Ace, Two, Three, and Four, with the double-backed card (red-side up) on the bottom. This allows the back of the packet (as well as the second card) to be casually shown as having blue backs while minimizing the risk of premature flashing of the markings. Hold the packet face up in right-hand Biddle Grip and display the cards individually by drawing the Ace, Two, and Three with the left-hand thumb off into left-hand Dealers Grip (in the process reversing their order). The Four (actually a double, with the doublebacker concealed) is then placed on top of the cards already in the left hand, ending up in the set-up as described on page 75. This display is virtually identical to a Flushtration Count without flashing the right-hand packets back each time (which you could do, but is completely unnecessary). He also suggests when marking the cards to align them in accordance with the direction of the pip on the Ace, such that when the time comes to display them, they will be appropriately aligned towards the audience. Casual Interfaces

Figure 5

Figure 6

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or several years a marketed item, this idea quickly became a favorite of many workers in the fraternity. When it was first released, it rivaled the effectiveness of any system yet in print, not only for its many possibilities, but also for its ease in use and the effects it made possible. As an example:

THREEFOLD After shuffling the deck, you allow each of three spectators to cut off a portion. Each looks at the face card to which he cut (point #1no force), then each shuffles his cards (point #2destroying the suspicion of a stacked deck), losing his selection. The performer then addresses one of the spectators and writes his first prediction on a business card or other piece of paper (point #3you are really writing the name of the persons card at this point). Taking the cards back from the spectator, you remove one and place it with his prediction. You then write another prediction for the second spectator, place it in front of him, then retrieve his cards and place one before him. This sequence is repeated with the last spectator (point #4the predictions are always written first). Without coming near the predictions or cards again, you ask each person to name his thought-of card. Each turns over the card you gave them and their prediction (point #5this eliminates in the spectators minds the possibility of switches or one-ahead maneuvers). The predictions are correct and each card matches its prediction! * * * If you have studied any previously published card systems, it is obvious that this routine could be accomplished using the Nikola Card System (described in Jean The John Cornelius Card System 81

Hugards Encyclopedia of Card Tricks). The Nikola system, however, is difficult to master and is learned only through diligent memorization. Without constant use, the stack is easily forgotten. The effect can also be accomplished using a Si Stebbins or similar stack. Here, though, it would demand the marking of the cards or glimpses at crucial moments, damaging the fairness of the effect. With the Cornelius system in play, the spectators can note their cards and shuffle their packets while your back is turned. It is also not necessary to see the faces of their cards to learn the identity of the selections. Before explaining this effect, which was honed by both John Cornelius and John Novak, it is first important to understand the system and its advantages. In essence, it is a stacked deck combined with a radically nontraditional keying principle. Whereas in the Si Stebbins sequence a cards identity provides information concerning its relationship to the rest of the stack, the Cornelius system works from the other direction: A cards position in the sequence tells you its identity. Also, unlike Si Stebbins, a critical but unknowing observer could examine the order of the deck for as long as he might desire and never discover the pattern. You may enjoy setting a deck of cards in the sequence of the Cornelius system and attempting to derive its underlying scheme. The stack is as follows: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 82 J of Hearts 2 of Hearts Q of Clubs Q of Hearts A of Hearts 2 of Diamonds J of Clubs Q of Spades A of Diamonds J of Spades 10 of Spades 3 of Hearts 2 of Clubs 5 of Diamonds 4 of Spades 7 of Hearts 6 of Clubs 9 of Diamonds 8 of Clubs K of Hearts 9 of Spades 4 of Hearts A of Clubs 6 of Diamonds 3 of Spades 8 of Hearts 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51. 52. 5 of Clubs 10 of Diamonds 7 of Clubs K of Clubs 8 of Spades 5 of Hearts 10 of Clubs 7 of Diamonds 2 of Spades 9 of Hearts 4 of Clubs J of Diamonds 6 of Spades K of Diamonds 7 of Spades 6 of Hearts 9 of Clubs 8 of Diamonds A of Spades 10 of Hearts 3 of Clubs Q of Diamonds 5 of Spades K of Spades 4 of Diamonds 3 of Diamonds

The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

THE SYSTEM Here, then, is the crux of the system: With few exceptions, a particular cards numeric position in the deck cues the identity and suit of the card. For example, the number 25 encodes the suit and value of the 25th card, the 3 of Spades. The basic rules are very simple. To derive a cards value, if the position number is even, add the digits together. If the position number is odd, subtract the left digit from the right (if the left digit is larger than the right, then bump the right digit up by ten). Now you can see that the card in the 36th position is a Nine, because the sum of the digits in 36 (which is even) is nine. Similarly, the card in the 39th position (an odd number) is a Six, since subtracting the 3 from the 9 leaves six. Taking another possibility, the card in the 41st position is a Seven. Because 41 is an odd number, we subtract the left digit from the right (remembering to increase the value of the right digit by ten, since it is initially the smaller of the two). As 4 from 11 leaves 7, we have derived the value of this card. For the suit of the card, consider only the right digit in the position number. If this digit is a one, two, three, or four, then you know the suit, since 1 = Spades 2 = Hearts 3 = Clubs 4 = Diamonds To remember this easily, note that a Spade has ONE prominent point, a Heart has TWO distinct halves, a Club has THREE principal sections, and a Diamond has FOUR corners. Now, if the right digit of the position number is larger than 4, subtract either four or eight until you are left with a number between one and four (casting out fours). For example, the suit of the card in position 32 is a Heart, because the right digit is a 2. Similarly, the suit of the 49th card is a Spade, since the right digit is 9. Removing all the fours from 9 (or to say the same thing a different way, subtracting eight from nine), leaves us with one, which represents Spades. The formula is really quite simple once you are familiar with its workings. For some further examples, consider the 22nd position in the stack. Because the number is even, we add the digits together, giving us four. Since the right digit is a two, we know the suit is Hearts. The card, therefore, is the 4 of Hearts. For position 17, since the number is odd, we subtract one from seven, giving us six for the value, and since the right digit is a 7, subtracting four from it will give us three for the suit. We know, then, that the card at that position is the 6 of Clubs. As one more example, consider the 31st position. Because the number is odd, we subtract the left digit (3) from the right (1). We first have to bump up the one (by adding ten) to eleven, where we can then deduce that eleven minus three equals eight. The right digit also tells us that the suit of the card is Spades, giving us the 8 of Spades. As we mentioned earlier, there are some exceptions to this formula, none of which affect the Threefold routine described a few pages back. You can easily take them into account for most any routine. The John Cornelius Card System 83

For the first exception, remember that the Kings do not prescribe to the formula. Instead, they are placed at positions 20, 30, 40, and 50. For them, the left digit represents the suit (position 20 = the K of Hearts, 30 = the K of Clubs, 40 = the K of Diamonds, and, remembering to subtract four, 50 = the K of Spades). Secondly, the first ten and the last two cards do not conform to the system. Instead, they were distributed randomly and could be memorized in these positions if needed for another routine. Lastly, the cards in the 19th and 29th positions (the first two positions in the formula that end in 9) are not Spade cards, as you would expect, but Clubs. This does not affect the value of the cards, but only the suit. (This also does not involve the cards at positions 39 and 49they are still Spades). Perhaps the best way to learn the system is with the help of another, who calls out positions for you to interpret as rapidly as you are able. Another possibility is to write the position numbers on the back of a deck of cards and test yourself repeatedly. You can overlook the first ten cards and the last two (which do not follow the formula) if you like, or you can commit them to memory anyway, which may help you in other effects. As you practice, you may also wish to start with the identity of the cards and work backwards to their positionsan interesting exercise. After working with the system in this way, you will soon find that simply seeing the number will bring the identity of the card to mind without going through the calculations. At this point, you know that you have formed a firm memory link in your mind. Now, we come to the explanation for the effect Threefold. To perform, have handy some slips of paper on which to write your predictions or, as John Novak suggests, pay envelopes. Here is the routine with the Novak handling: With a deck stacked in the Cornelius order, false shuffle the cards (the Oh, Calcutta Shuffle fits perfectly here) as you ask the spectators to help you in an unusual experiment. If you wish, you can say that the experiment you are about to perform is the same as one done by Dr. Rhine at Duke University when he conducted his famous studies in extrasensory perception. Ask the first spectator to cut off a packet of cards from the top of the deck. Because of the ten-card block atop the deck that is not part of the actual system, ensure that the spectator cuts more than ten cards by asking him to cut off about half the deck. If he fails, ask him to return them and cut them a little deeper. Let us assume he cuts off 15 cards. Offer the remainder of the deck to a second spectator, who cuts off another packet of cards (let us assume 19). A third spectator also cuts off a packet (perhaps 11) from what is left of the deck. Pick up the remainder of the cards and ask each person to look at the face card of his packetthe card to which he cutremember it, and shuffle his packet thoroughly. Overhand shuffle your packet to demonstrate, but count the cards as you do (here, you will have seven cards). Because of this, you know that the third spectator looked at the 45th card in the stack (52 minus 7). Therefore you also know that his card is the Ace of Spades (for this routine, John removed the 51st and 52nd cards of the deckthe 3 of Diamonds and 4 of Diamondsbecause 84 The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

its easier to subtract from 50 than 52. The result is the same; in this case there would be five cards left in your packet instead of seven). Picking up your first envelope, write Ace of Spades on its outside and lay it on the table, writing-side down. Take the packet from the third spectator, spread it faces toward yourself and locate the Ace of Spades. At this time, you also count the number of cards in his packet (in our example, 11 cards). Upjog the Ace of Spades without revealing its identity, say, This is the card I am thinking of, and place the card in the envelope. Because you know that the third spectator thought of the 45th card and he cut off 11 cards, you know now that the second spectator thought of the 34th card (4511 = 34). If you think back to the original cutting procedure, this should become obvious. A quicker and safer way to arrive at the correct number, though, rather than counting the number of cards in the third spectators packet and then subtracting, is simply to count down in threes as you locate the Ace of Spades in the packet. In other words, since you know that the third spectator thought of the 45th card, as you look for his selection, thumb the cards in his packet over in groups of three, thinking to yourself, 45, 42, 39, 36, at which point you will have two cards remaining, which brings you to 34. The 34th card in the system is the 7 of Diamonds. Write Seven of Diamonds on the next envelope and place it on the table, writing-side down. Take the packet back from this spectator and spread it before yourself, counting down the cards and locating the 7 of Diamonds. In our example, since the second spectator cut off 19 cards, you will silently count, 34, 31, 28, 25, 22, 19, 16 . . . 15. Remove the 7 of Diamonds, saying, This is my second thought, and place it in the envelope. Since you have already deduced that the first spectator is thinking of the 15th card (because the previous position number, which was 34, minus the 19 cards in the second spectators packet equals 15), you now know his card to be the 4 of Spades. Write that name on the remaining envelope. Remove the 4 of Spades from the spectators packet, saying, Ah, here is the third one I was thinking of, and place it inside the envelope. There is nothing left to do now but ask each spectator, one by one, to name his card and remove it from the envelope to verify that you were correct. Then, by reading your prediction on the envelope, youve proven yourself to be doubly correct with each of the three cards! Some may note that in order for it to be a true prediction, it would be more proper to write the name of the card on the envelope before each spectator looks at the bottom of his packet and shuffles his cards. With some rework, this is possible, but you should reconsider the rhythm of the performance and adjust your presentation and patter accordingly. Considering all the elements, this is a powerful effect derived from simple meansoften the best kind of magic.

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Hanky

ts a classic ruse to place an object in the upper corner of your pants pocket so that you can turn the pocket inside out to apparently show it empty. Bobos Modern Coin Magic and several other works contain routines that exploit this idea. Changes (or, perhaps, alterations?) in mens tailoring, though, have made the idea less practical these days, and the ploy seems to have been pretty much forgotten by the modern magician. John, however, has typically approached the idea from another direction, one that is (if you will pardon the pun) cut from a different cloth. It is a simple idea that allows you to hide not only small objects, but very large ones as well, in your pocket while you apparently turn it inside out. Simply take a pocket handkerchief (or a piece of cloth that roughly matches the inside of your pants pocket) and pinch it at its center as in Figure 1. Place the handkerchief in your pocket on top of your secret props, which can be anything that your pocket will hold. At an appropriate point in your routine, reach in and grasp the center of the handkerchief, pulling it out. Let it dangle from your pocket as you gesture with your empty hand (Figure 2). When ready, simply push the cloth back in your pocket and continue with your routine, retrieving your props whenever you desire. The illusion of showing the inside of an empty pocket is compelling. Lest you think the fabric of the idea is frayed, here is a routine that uses it well. It is tightly woven and seams to be one you can perform off the cuff. In essence, as the performer gently needles the audience, the four Aces More Bits

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thread their way to his pocket. Before he can button it down, though, the entire deck zips away and he finds it elsewhere. Sounds like work, but the method is very thimble.

DECK IN THE ROUND (Pocket Rocket Aces) For this, you need two identical decks of cards and a handkerchief. Take one deck and set the Aces of Hearts, Clubs, and Diamonds on top. Remove the Ace of Spades entirely. Now pinch the center of the handkerchief, preparing it for the pocket ploy just described. Place the deck near the open end of the handkerchief and fold the corners of the cloth up and around the cards (Figure 3). When the handkerchief and deck are placed in your pocket, the pack will act as an anchor, preventing you from pulling the fabric out too far. Place the assembly in your right trouser pocket so that the face of the deck is toward your body. When ready to perform, take the other deck and hold it in your left hand, as you pull the handkerchief from your right pocket to apparently show it empty. Push the cloth back in and say that you are going to do an unusual feat with the four special cards. Spread the deck and remove the Aces. Say, Now anyone can find Aces like that, but what I wanted to show you is how to find them in a mysterious manner. So to start, well completely lose the Aces in four different parts of the deck. Holding the deck face down now, place the Aces in four different parts of the pack. As you do, you must control one Ace, the Spade, to the bottom of the deck. How you do this is largely a matter of choice, and a simple one, since the other Aces can be totally lost. As an example, you can place the Aces in different parts of the deck, the Spade being closest to the bottom, and then use a cull or a well-timed cut to bring it to the face. Once the Ace of Spades is at the face of the deck and the others are out of play, completely square up the cards and display them in a way that makes it obvious you hold no breaks or jogs. Afterwards, take the deck back in dealing position in your left hand and pull the bottom card down with your little finger to obtain a break above it (Figure 4). Riffle the front end of the deck lightly with your right fingers as you say Watch . . . Show your right hand empty and turn your right side toward the audience somewhat to give them a view of your pants pocket on that side. Reach in your pocket and cleanly remove the top Ace from the hidden deck within. Drop it to the table or hand it to a spectator as you turn full-front and say, Thats number one. The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

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Lightly riffle the deck again and turn your body farther to the left, giving your audience a fuller view of your pocket. Reach in with your right hand and remove the next Ace, turning to face your audience again as you say, Thats number two. Discard this Ace in the same manner. Riffle the cards once more, show your right hand empty and turn nearly full left as you remove the third Ace from your pocket. At this moment, drop all the cards from your left handexcept the bottom oneinto your left jacket pocket. Quickly adjust the Ace of Spades in your left hand to hold it as in Figure 5, your left fingers and thumb covering the front edges of the card. As you Figure 5 drop the third Ace to the table, turn to face your audience again. The remaining Ace masquerades as the top card of the deck. Say, Thats number three. Reach over with your right hand and casually pretend to square the cards in your left hand. When the moment is right, say, And heres number four! Turn your left hand palm down as you push the card through your fist with your thumb (Figure 6). The Ace of Spades will present itself face up. Say, That one didnt go anywhere at all . . . but wheres the deck? Look toward the back of the room as if someone is pointing at you. Say, Im sorry? Oh, the pocket? Reach in Figure 6 your right pocket and bring out the rest of the cards. Thank goodness I didnt have to do that forty-eight more times! You are now left with a full deck with which to perform any further miraclesand that about sews that up.

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Visiting with Doug Henning on casual Friday at The Magic Castle.

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SmokeFree

he disappearance of a lit cigarette has been considered by many to be one of the strongest (if not the strongest) closeup effect one could hope to perform.1 Johns method is something of a departure from most and when followed with Lip Service (described a little later), a baffling combination is born. We should mention now that the cigarette that vanishes is not a true cigarette. Obtain some brass tubing with the same inside diameter as a cigarette, but about an eighth or a quarter of an inch shorter. Clean the tube with vinegar and then, after it is dry, paint it white. Tape a flesh-colored bandage to one end (which from a short distance can be easily mistaken for a filter tipFigure 1). Attach a small nicotineremoving plastic filter (available at most drug stores for detail see Figure 1) to a reel, then use a strip of bandage to fasten the tube to the plastic filter against the end. Pin the reel under the inside breast pocket of your jacket or thereabouts (body frames are different, so you should experiment to find the best position for you). Now place a real cigarette inside the tube with a little of the tobacco end sticking out. Put the tube in a cigarette case (which then goes in a pocket) or loose inside a convenient pocket on the right side of your body where you can get to it easily. The cigarette can even hang free under the right side of your jacket if you wish to pretend to remove it from an inner pocket. Put a cigarette lighter in a left pocket.

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1. How can I vanish thee? Let me count the ways . . . the thumbtip (of course), the fingertip, the pull (second favorite), the pendulum principle, the secret pocketing action, the sleeve, the cuff, over the head (out of doors, naturally), the collapsible cigarette, lapping, flooring, vanishing into some type of prop, tonguing, or most likely the least popular: the grimace-evoking, jawgrinding, tear-jerking insertion method.

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Figure 2

When ready, reach in your right pocket and remove the cigarette, gripping it as in Figure 2. The filament to the reel is hidden behind your arm. Take the lighter from your left pocket. Hold the cigarette with your right hand as in Figure 3, clipping it between your first and second fingers and thumb. The thread now stays behind your hand as you bring the cigarette to your face with the lighter to light it. Set the cigarette aflame and take a puff or two as you talk. It will not stay lit for long, because the flame has no room to breathe. Put the lighter away (or perhaps make it disappear). Now grip the cigarette and place it against your left hand as in Figure 4 (think of this as a retention vanish with a coin and youll get the feel). As you curl your left fingers around the tube, they begin to form a screen, obscuring your audiences view of the cigarette (Figure 5). As soon as the cigarette is out of sight, let it go with your right hand, avoiding any finger movements the spectators might notice. The reel will pull the cigarette behind your right hand and inside your jacket. Move your left fingers back and forth in a crumbling motion as you take your right hand away from it and gesture with your open palm. Slowly open your left hand to show it empty. There isnt much more to say about the technique the simplicity stands on its own. With a little rehearsal, the movements follow each other very naturally, and the apparent lack of effort lends a magical quality to the sequence.

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Trying to Quit

ome of us go to museums, theaters, or great libraries. Some peruse fine clothing stores. Then there are some, like John, who hang out at Radio Shack, a veritable playground of low-end electrical consumer goods. While loitering in this rheostat heaven one day, John happened upon some white heat-shrinkable tubing, which looked to him remarkably like a cigarette, even if it was three feet long. That connection was all it took. Later, at home, he further found that by cutting the tube to an appropriate length and putting a flesh-colored bandage at one end (to resemble a filter), from a short distance the item looked more like a cigarette than some cigarettes do, but it was extremely pliable and fun to play with. From there came several ideas, which he presented in lectures around the world. . . .
Figure 1

EPHEMERAL Display one of these rubber cigarettes to your audience and hold it between both hands as in Figure 1. As you talk about making the cigarette invisible and then breaking it in two, bring your hands together. The cigarette will fold into a Z shape as in Figure 2, which you can shove deeper into your right thumb and fingertips (Figure 3). Separate your hands and turn them fingertips toward your spectators. The audience sees the situation as in Figure 4 while you talk about the two invisible pieces you supposedly hold in your hands (this is something of a slow-motion cigarette vanish). More Bits

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When youre ready to bring the cigarette back, bring the hands together again and grasp the end of the cigarette with your left thumb and fingers (Figure 5). Separate your hands, stretching the cigarette to its full length, so you end in the same position in which you started.

CHAIN SMOKER For this multiple production, start with eight rubber cigarettes in a fingerpalm position in your right hand (Figure 6). The filter ends are closer to the base of your hand. Because the tubes compress so easily, your hand can be very relaxed and casual as you gesture and talk. To produce the first cigarette, wave your hand up and down slightly as you place your thumb beneath the one nearest your forefinger. Under cover of the gentle shaking movement, push this cigarette out between your first and second fingers (Figure 7), ending in classic American smokers position. Take the cigarette in your left hand. Repeat the movement for the remaining cigarettes, gracefully producing each with flair, aplomb, and consummate skill.

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LIP SERVICE John sometimes uses this immediately after Smoke Free (the cigarette vanish using a reel, presented earlier in the book) to great effect. Showing his hands perfectly empty, the magician turns around for the briefest of moments. When he turns back around, a cigarette is protruding from his mouth. 96 The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

To do this, place a rubber cigarette behind your upper lip, in front of your teeth. Held here, the cigarette is secure and you can speak freely without impediment. After some other effects, say, Watch, nothing in the hands, as you show your hands completely bare. Holding your hands where they are visible, turn around, facing the opposite direction. As soon as you do, pry the cigarette out of your mouth with your tongue and hold it between your lips. Turn back around and say, See? I told you to watch! For a nice touch, take the cigarette from your mouth and throw it to the ground, stepping on it as if you were smothering the flame. Nasty things, you mutter, as you move on to your next routine.

Figure 7

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David Copperfield, before the hair and the supermodels.

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Flashes

lash paper has long been a staple of magicians. The story of Dorny Dornfield (one of Chicagos true originals) comes to mind, who was hanging out one day in the back of Joe Bergs magic shop in Chicago. A large shipment of flash paper had just arrived and Berg was busy unpacking the material and checking in the merchandise while Dorny stood nearby, talking in his grand manner and relating his tall tales. As he gestured carelessly, waving his hands to make a vital point, a small, almost microscopic, ash from his trademark cigar fell to the table. WHHOOOOOOOOOOSH! The explosion was nearly blinding as the flame swept across the table in a matter of seconds. The two men stood for a minute, dazed and shocked. My God, said Joe, whos going to pay for all that flash paper? Dorny looked around him for a moment, blank-faced, took a long puff on his cigar and, after some consideration, said, What flash paper? John has developed several ideas with flash paper which have long been a staple of his lectures. Some of these thoughts follow:

A SMOKE FOR OLD SCRATCH Showing a small piece of paper, the performer folds it into something resembling a cigarette. When it is lit, however, it erupts in flame and the performer is left holding a genuine filter king. This is another item that John has used for several years to great effect. The idea is also incorporated in The Incredibill Routine, a routine to be described later in the book. Have a package of flash paper and a cigarette in your outside right coat pocket. Your cigarette lighter is in your left pocket. Take out the package of paper and, while talking to your audience, remove one sheet and put the package back in your right pocket. As you continue to speak, roll the paper into the shape of a cigarette (Figure 1). Reach into the right jacket More Bits 99

pocket while pretending to look for a lighter and get the unfiltered end of the cigarette in a clipped position between your first and second fingers (Figure 2). Now bring your hand from your pocket and place the paper in your right hand (Figure 3) as you reach in your left pocket for the lighter. The entire series of actions should appear as though you have merely been searching for the lighter. When you light the end of the paper, the flame will cover the motion of your right hand as you move your thumb beneath the hidden cigarette (Figure 4) and push it up, so that it pops out at your fingertips (Figure 5). Ideally, the cigarette should occupy the same position as the paper did a minute ago. From here, you can put your lighter away and continue with your chosen effect.

MY CARD, SIR For this idea, maneuver to have one of your business cards backpalmed behind your right hand as in Figure 6. Place the piece of flash paper at your fingertips and hold it for

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a moment while you light your lighter with your left. Touch the paper with the flame and, as it burns, produce the card from backpalm as in Figures 7 and 8 (the flame is omitted for clarity). Hand your card to your prospective client and promise to do lunch.

HOT SILVER Similar to the previous and a little easier, this is a fine component for many coin routines. Hold a coin in Downs Palm in your right hand (Figure 9). From the front, when you hold the hand level and the coin parallel to the floor, the audience sees your empty palm. Lighting the paper and taking advantage of the cover provided by the burst of flame, produce the coin as in Figures 10 and 11. From here you can follow through with the routine of your choice. As an alternative, you can start with the coin in backclip position (Figure 12) and move it to the front as

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in Figures 13 and 14 under cover of the sudden flash. Either way, the appearance is surprising.

FANNING THE FLAMES The Automatic Card Fan is a standard prop among stage magicians and is available under many different marketed names (Max Londonos Auto Fan is one). Basically, the deck is spring-loaded to form a perfect fan when you let it go. It was always a better-used item when the fan was formed under the benefit of some type of cover, rather than letting it spring open in plain view. The use of flash paper walks the balance between the two alternatives and provides a most magical occurrence. Close the deck and hold it in an angle-palmed position (Tenkai) in your right hand as in Figure 15. This grip permits an open appearance of the hand, while keeping a secure hold of the cards. With your left hand, place a piece of flash paper at your right fingertips (Figure 16). When you light the paper, bring the fan up to your fingers and let it open (Figures 17 and 18). Curiously, as the paper burns, because The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

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it is in front of the cards, it looks like the flame shrinks and vanishes directly in front of the center of the fan, as if the deck appears from the edges inward. With proper timing, the opening of the fan is invisible and the effect is very startling. Standing there, smile at your audience and say, Marlo. Pretty good, huh? The possibilities for these types of flash productions are limitless. Play, albeit carefully, but play . . . and explore.

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Working a private party for IBM.

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The Pendulum Principle

ot a move or a strategy, but a concept. John began demonstrating this idea in his lectures several years ago, showing several applications and uses. Since then, others have made use of the principle. Danny Korems various uses of The Upside Down Topit, for instance (somewhat chidingly titled as such by Charlie Miller, we hear), are the Pendulum Principle cast in different molds. To understand the idea, get a piece of strong black thread (carpet thread is good, as is black fishing line) thats about 20 inches long. The exact length will vary according to your height, so feel free to adjust it as necessary. Tie a sewing needle onto one end of the thread and insert it into the middle of a 2 rubber ball. On the other end of the thread, attach a safety pin, which is then fixed to the seam in your shirt that runs above your right shoulder. The thread runs over your shoulder and down the right side of your back, where the ball hangs quietly. After you put your jacket on, you will find that you have good movement without fear of exposing the ball (assuming its properly positioned), yet by reaching beneath the hem of your coat with your right hand, you can retrieve it easily. Take the ball and place it in your inside right jacket pocket. Now, take a handkerchief and drape it over your right palm. Reach in your inside pocket with your left hand and take out the ball, placing it on the handkerchief. Very slowly bring a corner of the handkerchief up to cover the ball. When the ball is hidden from the audiences view, tilt your right hand inward at the wrist just a little bit. The ball will roll off your hand and swing beneath your coat out of sight. Although the audience has seen no movement of either hand (the right hands action is very minute) and everything appears fair, you show the ball has gone. An alternative is to place the ball on your right hand first and, holding the handkerchief at its center with your left hand, cover the ball, letting it roll away as you do. Keep in mind that it is a simple tilt of your right hand that releases the ball, a gentle motion rather than tossing the ball from your hand or abruptly dropping it. It is the apparent lack of any moves that lends a magical quality to the vanish. More Bits 105

Try this: Drill a fine hole through two dice and thread them both onto your string. The die on the end is fixed there, but the other die is loose and can slide easily up and down the thread. You can now take the dice from your pocket, shake them, toss them from hand to hand, and move them about in other casual manners. Finally, cover the dice with a handkerchief and hold it so the spectators can see the pips through the fabric. Despite this, assure your audience that they will not be able to tell you the total of the numbers on top of the dice. When they try, pull the handkerchief slowly away, as you tilt your hand just far enough to allow the dice to silently fall and swing beneath your coat. Your onlookers will be nonplussed.

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Formal Miracles

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Super (Ball ) Card Rise

ust how many methods have there been for the Rising Card? The amount of thought alone that has gone into the effect should validate it, and unlike Arisen! (described elsewhere in the book) this one is nearly self-working yet quite baffling. Here, three cards are selected and the deck is placed upright in a drinking glass. In succession, each selection rises from the deck, after which the audience may examine the glass and all the cards. John first noticed years ago that the tacky surface of a childs rubber ball (commonly called a super ball) can be used to move playing cards. He first showed his handling to Derek Dingle years ago and since then it has become a very popular underground approach to the rising card effect. His handling (and all the others) put the upright deck in the hand with the ball behind it. By squeezing slightly, the ball would roll, pushing the rear card of the deck straight upwards. This new application of the principle makes the handling even easier while possibly increasing the deceptiveness. First, obtain a super ball that is approximately one inch in diameter, a length of strong black thread, a needle, and a button. Tie the thread firmly to the button and, about four inches away, secure the needle at its other end. Next, jam the needle into the center of the super ball (Figure 1). If it comes out the other side, thats okay, just snip off the excess. Now place the super ball in the bottom of a dark colored or opaque drinking glass. The thread and button hang over the rim behind the glass, away from the audiences view (Figure 2). The glass rests on the table in front of you while you perform other routines. When ready, have three cards selected and returned to the deck. You must control the three cards to the top of the deckdare we say it? by your favorite method. The cards can be placed simulFormal Miracles

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taneously in the deck and brought to the top by a multiple shift or returned individually and controlled with a variety of techniques . . . just get them there. Once the selections are in position (lets assume youve controlled them in first, second, and third order from the top of the deck), pick up the glass with your right hand and place the deck upright in it, faces to the audience. As you place the deck in the glass, tilt the glass back toward you slightly, which will ensure the ball rolls to the near side and ends behind the pack (Figure 3). To make the first card rise, place your right thumb on the button while you magically wave your left hand around the glass. Ask the first spectator the name of his card. When he tells you, pull down on the button, which will pull the ball up inside the glass, dragging the top card of the deck with it (Figure 4). It helps to tilt the glass backwards again just a tad. From the front, the card appears to rise from somewhere within the pack; the audience cannot distinguish that its coming from the rear. When the card has risen to its full height, take hold of it with your left hand and tilt the glass forward a little. This way, you can remove the card without dragging the ball out of the glass with it. Keeping your thumb on the button, let it slide back up, lowering the ball to the bottom of the glass again. Place the selection on the table. For the second and third selections, repeat the mechanics exactly, causing each card to rise. After youve removed the third selection, hold your left hand palm up and invert the glass onto it. The deck will fall into your left hand, the ball and button assembly landing on your palm behind it (Figure 5). Show the glass around and hand it out, then take the deck in your right hand and fan it before setting on the table for examination. Your left hand continues holding the ball, button, and thread, and you secretly dispose of it at an opportune moment.

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Meta-Fusion

his item first appeared in Johns special issue of The Pallbearers Review, under the title S=C2. The offbeat effect and method were typical of Johns thinking in those days and became a standard item in his lectures. For this quick interlude, in which a silver coin changes into two coppers, all you need are the three coins. With a small amount of wax or putty, fix the two copper coins together. All three coins are in your right jacket pocket and you sit at the table with your spectators. To perform, reach in your pocket and take all three coins. When your hand comes out, though, it is still below the level of the table. Silently let the copper coins fall in your lap just before you raise your right hand to display the silver. Place the silver on your palm up left hand to display it. As you show it and talk about its unusual properties, casually drop your right hand to your lap and obtain the copper coins, classic palming them. Once youve secured them, bring your right hand above the table and to your left to take the silver coin. When you pick it up, also allow the coppers to fall secretly onto your left fingers (Figure 1). As you carry the silver away, form a loose fist with your left hand and turn it with your thumb uppermost (Figure 2). Place the silver coin on your left fist near the hole formed by your thumb (Figure 3) and push it in. Unknown to the audience, you work the silver coin out of the back of the fist (Figure 4). Formal Miracles

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Gesture with your right hand and slowly poke your forefinger into the top of your left fist, separating the waxed coins and pushing one partly out of the bottom of your left hand (Figure 5). From below, pull out the copper, showing it for a moment, then drop it to the table. As the coin hits the table (drawing attention), momentarily rest your left hand near the table edge and lap the silver coin. Immediately bring your left hand further onto the table again as you say, Some people suspect I still have a coin in my hand. I do, but its a copper one, too. Open your left hand and show the second copper coin to end. Obviously, you can use any denomination of coins for this effect, which would make a fine component in many routines. Here, then, we have a larval idea that can be reborn many times in many different guises, depending on your immediate need.

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MoneyTalk

arl Fulvess The Pallbearers Review was a fascinating magazine, containing many routines, ideas, subterfuges, and even puzzles from the finest minds in magic (weve already referenced Johns special issue several times). In 1993, the complete collection was released again by L&L Publishingan event most welcomed by those dearly interested in their craft who were unable to locate any of the rare issues themselves. Within its pages appeared an item for the mentalist readers, entitled Nor Eyes to See With (p. 291 / Volume 5, No. 1). Fulves offered several possible effects, all based on the same principle contributed by Don Nielsen. Basically, the performer could divulge several qualities about articles given to him behind his back, including the ability to interpret writing, determine color, and divine the settings on watch dials. This was possible by using a length of fiber-optic tubing, which gave a more literal meaning to the mentalists term: reading. Inspired by this, John wenttypicallyin another direction and devised this routine involving three borrowed bills. Because it is seemingly impromptu, it is a baffling demonstration of psychic prowess. Before performing, memorize the serial number on a dollar bill, then attach the bill underneath the rear of your coat or tuck it in your waistband (or under your belt) behind you. Have a blindfold in your pocket or nearby. When ready to go into the routine, ask your audience for the loan of a one-, a five-, and a ten-dollar bill. Saying that you want to avoid having prior knowledge of any of the numbers on the bills, ask your helpers to place the bills face down on your hand. Immediately upon receiving the one-dollar bill, secretly press down on its center with your thumbnail, your fingers applying upward pressure from below (Figure 1). This Formal Miracles

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will leave an impression in the billan identifying mark you can feel later. You easily cover this small action by the movement of your hand as you walk to the next spectator to receive his bill. When he gives you the five-dollar bill, mark it in the same way you did the one, but near a corner. Obtain a ten-dollar bill from your next assistant. Leave this bill, however, unmarked. Hand all the bills to another spectator and ask him to thoroughly mix them while you put on your blindfold. Allow the spectators to verify that you have totally deprived yourself of sight. Turn around and ask your assistant with the bills to hand you one behind your back. When he does, turn back around to face your audience and divine the bills denominationmade easy by feeling for the location (or absence) of your marks. As soon as youve named the bill, hand it back to your helper and ask for the other two behind your back. Turn to face your spectators again, reading the bills, and bringing them forth one at a time as you name them. Obviously, the spectator could hand you the one-dollar bill any time, and you will know when this happens. While the bill is behind your back, switch it for the one-dollar bill under your jacket. Then, after youve named and returned all the bills to the spectator, ask for the one-dollar bill again and hold it high above your head. With much effort and persistence (and maybe some perspiration), recite the serial number of the bill in your most dramatic manner and then let the spectator check your accuracy. Thanking him for his help, you now ask him to return all three bills to their rightful owners as you remove your blindfold and take your gracious applause. With a minor amount of added effort, you can mysteriously read the serial numbers on all three bills. To do this, memorize the serial numbers on a one-, five-, and ten-dollar bill, and mark all three bills with unique crimps. All three bills are placed under your jacket behind you. Now continue the routine as above, but as you reveal the values of all three bills, switch them for their appropriate counterparts beneath your jacket. When the spectator is again holding the bills youve returned to him, they are now all three with memorized serial numbers. Ask him to hand you any of the bills. Because of your crimping system, you can tell which bill it is and recite the appropriate number. The spectator then hands you either of the two remaining bills, which you read just as easily. Follow this by not having him hand you the last bill, but reading it from where he stands, before taking your ovations.

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Shrinkage

thers have contributed methods for this effect (a brainchild of Peter Kanes) to the fraternity, but few are as direct and simple as this one. It is an element that John uses in his F.I.S.M. Card Act (detailed later in the book) so before studying that routine, it is wise to first learn this item. The effect itself is as straightforward as the method: You show a card case, from which you take a normal deck. Instantly, the case shrinks to half its size! To prepare the card box, take a Playtime card case and open the glued side (on the right of the flap) as in Figure 1. With your artists knife or other razor, neatly cut the side from the case and glue it to the end of the flap on a regular card box (Figure 2). Next, cut the bottom half away from the regular card case (Figure 3) and discard it. You will use only the top half of this case. Place

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a normal sized deck, backs up (from which youve removed one card), into the open side of the miniature card case, which is also back up. As in Figure 4, it will protrude for half its length. Next, put the top half of the regular card case over the exposed portion of the pack (Figure 5note that this case is also back up). Lastly, take the one card you removed from the deck and insert it under the top half of the case (on the flap side) so that at a glance the back of the card case appears whole (Figure 6).1 Now that youre ready to perform, bring out the assembled case, saying, People often tell me they dont understand how magicians do some of the things we do. Handle the box casually, giving them a brief view of its back as you talk, but hiding the front of the case from their eye. Place the case in your left hand, which turns palm down so you can open the flap with your right (Figure 7). The back of your left hand keeps the bad half of the case out of sight. Say, Even when it comes to something as simple as card tricks, because a lot of people assume that it has something to do with sleight of hand or mathematics. Pull all the cards from the box, including the cover card that extended outside the case, and set the deck on the table. Coming back with your right hand, fold the flap over (but dont tuck it in) and squeeze the case on the ends as in Figure 8, collapsing it. Press down on the center of the case with your right forefinger to aid this action. The top half of the case will telescope into the bottom half. Finish by showing the front of the miniature case upright and
1. If youd rather save all this effort, the gaff is available in Bicycle card cases from John or your local dealer. Since this prop is plastic, they tend to look cleaner and last longer than one made from a standard card case.

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toward your audience (Figure 9). At the same time say, I guess I can understand that, but what I dont understand is how either one of those can explain how these cards fit into this itsy-bitsy little card case! Show the box on all sides before putting it away and continuing with your chosen routine. As an alternative, you may choose not to point out the discrepant size of the card case just yet, but set it aside without comment. If you focus all your attention on your cards, your audience will discredit the box as having no meaning and will not notice the transformation. At a later opportune time, you can point out the magical change, long after the moment has passed. This is obviously not a routine in itself, but a component that furthers the set in which you use it. Its effectiveness is proven, but becomes even greater when the concept of shrinking or enlarging is a central theme of the presentation, such as in Johns F.I.S.M. Card Act. In this way, its place is better defined in the sequence of events and is not just a random, disturbing element with seemingly no connection to what surrounds it. Used properly, it is always baffling, unexpected, and entertaining.

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Anything you can do . . . I can do better. Who in their right mind would argue with Muhammad Ali?

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Slow Motion Fadeaway

t was Vernon who popularized Nate Leipzigs Slow Motion Coin Vanish, which has become an example of fine manipulative sleight of hand. Few performers seem to realize that such maneuvers walk the thin line between panache and nonchalance, requiring a thorough understanding by the magician. For a more strenuous and challenging exercise, try Vernons Slow Motion Card Vanish (cigar required). John published his handling of the coin vanish in The Pallbearers Review and has since earned a reputation with it, mostly from showing it to other magicians at conventions and get-togethers. For this type of magic, it is exceptionally clean in appearance, and John performs it with the casual air of a master. Display a quarter or half-dollar between the fingertips of your hands as in Figure 1. Do the standard Rubber Coin illusion, where you move your hands back and forth as if flexing the coin between your fingers. In an apparent effort to break the coin in two, move both hands inward, pinching the coin with your left hand and snapping it off your thumbnail as you doproviding an effective sound as your right hand carries it away. The fingers bend slightlyjust enough to conceal the coin behind your right fingers. Figures 2 and 3 show audience and backstage views, respectively. Now turn your hands upward and palms out, in the process pushing the coin with your right forefinger into a rear thumb-palm position (Figures 4 and 5). With your hands held palm toward the audience, move them together Formal Miracles

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slightly, your left thumb coming behind your right. When your left thumb touches the coin, turn both hands palm toward yourself, pushing the coin through the crotch of your right thumb into a standard thumb-palm position (Figures 6 and 7). The spectators have now seen both sides of your hands. For the next movement, bring your hands together, curling your right fingers inward and allowing the coin to fall to your fingertips (Figures 8 and 9). Notice that your left fingers provide some screen for this action. Simultaneously raise your hands to the posi120 The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

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tion shown in Figure 10 (apparently pinching the invisible coin between your thumbs and forefingers), using your right thumb to move the coin to behind your fingers as in Figure 11. Next, separate your hands (Figures 12 and 13), paying careful attention to your angles of view. The coin has little cover at this point, barely concealed as it is behind your right finger and thumb tips. Ostensibly, you are showing the invisible halves of the coin, one in each hand. Formal Miracles 121

Figure 15

Turn your left hand palm inward, as if you were putting the pieces of the coin back together (Figure 14). As your left hand screens your right, use your left thumb to move the coin into the vertical position shown in Figure 15. Slowly pull your left hand away to reveal the restoration and production of the coin. The technique can be demanding. It is critically important that it be executed flawlessly and, most importantly, in a completely relaxed manner. If you see John at a convention, ask him to perform it for you. While youre at it, ask to see it from the backside, too. You might be surprised at how it looks.

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The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

The Jawbreakers

nspired by John Benzaiss 4-D Ball Trick from The Best of Benzais, this routine was another prize winning piece at the 1979 F.I.S.M. event, and received the award for Best Effect at the First Southwest Invitational Close-Up Convention. John has revised some of the techniques involved and strengthened the climax for greater effect. Following his cue, other performers have also taken the routine to heart, most notably Mr. Frank Price, of Houston, Texas, who added his own touches (with different colored balls, no less!) and in whose hands it is no less than an artful mystery. In essence, you will show the audience a box containing three orange balls (jawbreakers, supposedly). You then cause each ball to become invisible one at a time. After displaying this magical mystery, they disappear altogether, only to be found in the box again! As you might expect, there is some preparation for this, but it is a one-time effort, for once you put the box together, it will last many performances. Obtain six orange rubber balls, each approximately 1" in diameter, or slightly less. The box itself should be a rectangular one about 3" long, 2" wide, and 1" high, with a lid. The lid should be deep enough to fit over the entire box, or nearly so. John uses a miniature Russell Stover candy box, which you can purchase (with sweets) at many retailers. The size of the box dictates that only six balls can fit within, in two rows of three. Next get a piece of sheet metal that measures just less than 3" by 2". Holding the metal so the 3" sides are at the right and left, bend the upper and lower thirds of the metal at right angles, as in Figure 1 (note that three balls should fit loosely in this trench youve formed). Formal Miracles

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Figure 2

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Figure 4

Permanently affix the metal piece into the lid as in Figure 2. The open side of the metal is at the center of the lid. It is important that the back of the metal flange is not against the inside wall of the lid, since that would prevent the lid from being put on the box. This is also the reason that the metal piece was less than 3" along two sides. Leaving this space around the edges of the lid ensures that it fits the body of the box properly. Thats all the preparation needed. To set up for the routine, set the lid upside down on your table and place three balls in the metal shelf. The other three balls fit next to these in the remaining space in the lid (Figure 3). Slide the body of the box down into the lid, trapping the balls in place. Because youve inset the metal from the edges of the lid, you should find that placing the body of the box within it will trap the balls snugly, preventing them from falling into the body of the box when you turn it upright. Sit at a table when youre performing. Although you can use the time-honored idea of lapping in this routine, John uses a servante, which is a device made of two connected halves, the first of which is a flat, rigid piece of plastic or wood (covered with cloth), the second being a soft fabric with pockets. The rigid flange is placed on the top of the table, beneath your close-up mat or other performing surface, and the pockets hang behind the table, ready to receive whatever objects you secretly drop in them. Many variations are available on the magical market, one of the most impressive being Peter Kanes, which allows you to set your performing area openly, while secretly (yet automatically) putting the servante in place. Using a servante will allow you to use a particularly gratifying ploy later. Set the box topside up on the table to your extreme right, the metal shelf inside being closest to the audience. The design on the lid or a marking of your own invention will cue you as to its orientation. Say, You know, a lot of people think that magicians make things disappear. Well, Ive found this is not true. What they actually do is make things invisible. Thats when theyre really there, but you just cant see them. To demonstrate this, Id like to show you The Mystery of the Little Orange Jawbreakers. Pick up the box with your right hand and place it in your left. Tilting the top of the box toward your audience, remove the lid, which will allow three of the balls to fall inside the box. The shelf holds the other three balls securely in the lid (Figure 4). Dump the balls from the box onto the table, allowing your audience to The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

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see there is nothing else within. Replace the lid onto the box and set it in its former position, turning it end for end as you do to put the metal insert nearest your side now. Move the balls on the table into a line, one on your left, one at center, and the remaining one on your right. Say, Here we have three little balls, two hands, and a lot of nerve. Well do them one at a time. Heres ball number one . . . Pick up the ball on your right with your right hand as you form a loose fist with your left (Figure 5). Put the ball on top of your left fist and relax your fingers to allow the ball to fall deep inside your hand. Continue, saying, . . . and heres ball number two . . . Pick up the second ball (the one directly in front of you) with your right hand and place it on top of your left fist, like you did the first. Relax your left fingers again, allowing the ball to fall inside the hand on top of the other ball there. The second ball, however, should not fall far enough to leave your sight. Saying, . . . and heres ball number three, take the remaining ball on the table with your right hand. As you reach across your body, giving your other hand shade, pull your left hand back to the edge of the table (ostensibly to make room for your right arms reach). At the same moment you pick up the tabled ball with your right hand, drop your left hands lower ball into your servante. Say, Have you ever seen this done before? Say no. Very good. Ill do it for you, one at a time. Bring your left hand forward again and place the last ball on top of the fist. Allow the ball to fall inside your hand. Hold your left hand above your right and openly drop the lower ball within into your right hand. Since this is supposedly the first ball you placed in your hand, set the ball to your right in its original position. Next, drop the remaining ball from your left hand into your right and place it on the table in front of you. You still apparently hold a ball in your left hand. Say, Watch. The first ball goes like this. Squeeze your imaginary ball and make a gesture, as if you tried to drop a ball cleverly yet secretly into your right hand. Using your best acting ability, shift the invisible ball to your left fingertips and display it as in Figure 6. Your audience will believe that youre trying to hide the ball in your other hand. You see, you say, its actually there, but you cant see it. Well place it right there. Take the invisible ball between your right fingers and thumb, and turn your full palm to the audience to display it. During this, they will see that your right hand is totally empty and react accordingly. Pretend to table the ball to your left. Say, Ball number two goes like this . . . Pick up the ball on your right with your right hand. Form a loose fist with this hand around the ball and squeeze it to the top until you display it in the same way that your left hand held it previously. Holding your open left hand palm up, bring your right hand over it. You are going Formal Miracles

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Figure 7

Figure 8

to open your right fingers, apparently allowing the ball to fall through your right hand onto your left below. What really happens, though, is that you trap the ball with your right thumb. Figure 7 shows the positions of the hands and ball as you make the supposed drop. The ball remains securely in thumb-palm position. Notice that your left fingers curl a little and they cover the space between the hands so the audience is unable to see that no ball really fell. Also, breaking the wrists at the moment of the supposed transfer, giving the illusion of weight, will further the effect. Close your left hand immediately upon catching the ball, holding your hand as if you had an object within. Keeping your attention focused on your left hand, pull your right hand toward yourself and to your right, preparing to snap your fingers. On the way, however, bring the hand near the edge of the table, where you release the ball into the servante. With no pause in the action, raise your right hand, snap your fingers, and make a magical gesture (this very Slydini-like sequence of movements appears in Figures 8, 9, and 10). Finish your sentence, saying, . . . just a squeeze and a snap, and the second ball becomes invisible. As you can see, its actually there, but you cant see it there, actually. Open your left hand and hold the invisible ball at your left fingertips as before, then pretend to set it on the table to your right. Say, The third ball goes like this . . .. Pick up the remaining ball from the table. If youve been using the servante to catch the balls, then you can now use a bit of business to throw the discerning spectators off track. Start to do the next vanish, then suddenly stop, apparently realizing that those in the back may be having difficulty seeing the effect. What? you say, you cant see? Here, Ill do it for you. How about if I get up? Stand up behind the table. Those who have suspected lapping at this point find themselves

Figure 9

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perplexed. (If youve actually been lapping all this time, its probably best not to stand up right now. Just make the third ball vanish in the same way that you did the previous.) Now hold the ball on top of your right hand as you did before and use the same technique to cause the ball to become invisible (where you keep the ball in right thumb palm as you pretend to place it in your left). Now, you say, the third ball goes just like this. Just a squeeze and its invisible. Well place it right here. Again show the invisible ball at your left fingertips and, taking it with your right hand, place it on the table in front of you. Then as your right hand reposes, bring it to the edge of the table as you move your left hand forward to pick up the invisible ball on your left. As you pretend to pick up this ball, release the ball in your right hand into the servante. Immediately move your right hand forward to pick up the two remaining balls. Bring your hands together, apparently touching the balls to each other as you say, Now, you dont want to let the balls touch, because if you do that, they disappear altogether. If you own a F.I.S.M. Flash (a wonderful device still available from John, built to release a flash of light any time you desire), set it off the moment you apparently touch the balls. The explosion of light will astound your spectators. Gesture with both empty hands and drop your arms to a relaxed, reposed position. Say, Would you like to see that again? Pick up the box with your right hand, tilting the top toward the audience (which helps the balls inside fall off their shelf into the box). Set the box in your left hand and remove the cover, showing the three balls within. Dump them out and replace the lid, setting the box aside, as you say, Okay, this is the Mystery of the Three Little Orange Jawbreakers . . . . Wave your hand over the balls and stop suddenly. Say, Naw, youve already seen that trick. Put all your props away to end.

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At the Magic Castle awards with Michael Cole (The Mod Squad) and David Roth.

John and wife Linda Cornelius with Michael Cole (circa late 1970s/early 1980s).

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The IncrediBill Routine

lthough the effect predates him, Roger Klause started something when he began sharing his thoughts on the Bill Switch concept. Mike Kozlowski also landed a foothold in the history of the effect when he published his handlingand both approaches have their individual merits. A refined approach appeared in Roger Klause: In Concert under the more accurate title of The $100.00 Bill Change. There, Roger (ever the critical artist) revealed that his work on the technique was not yet done. At the same time, he gave several different routines using the principle, proving just how flexible it really is. Like many others years ago, John became enamored with the possibilities of the effect and built a highly commercial routine around it, which immediately follows this. It has since become a staple of his professional act and honored by other performers as well. First, though, you must become familiar with Rogers handling of the Bill Change. Of course, his book is highly recommended, but to learn Johns routine, we offer a brief description of the technique here:

Figure 1

THE $100 BILL CHANGE To set up the effect, take a bill (oh, lets say a $100 bill) and hold it between your hands, the face away from you (Figure 1). You are going to make four folds, each toward your audience. Fold the left half of the bill to the right (Figure 2). Next, fold the top half of the bill Formal Miracles

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Figure 3

Figure 4

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over and down (Figure 3). Third, fold the left half of the bill again to the right (Figure 4), and finally, fold the top half down once more (Figure 5). Flip the bill over, top for bottom (so the solid creased edges are to your left and at the bottom) and place it in your thumbtip as in Figure 6. The tip then goes on your right thumb, the bill being trapped between the inner wall of the tip and the ball of your thumb. Fold a one-dollar bill in the same manner (to precrease it) and unfold it. Your preparation is complete. 130 The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

Figure 9

Figure 10

Figure 11

Figure 12

For the change, hold the one dollar bill between your hands, Washingtons portrait facing the audience. Make the first fold in the dollar as your left thumb comes to rest on the end of your thumbtip and loosens it on your right thumb (Figure 7). Make the next fold as in Figure 8, where your right fingers push the top half of the bill over and down. Note here that the tip further loosens in this action. For the third fold, push the left half of the bill over and to the right with your left fingers (Figure 9). This will place the thumbtip in perfect position to be stolen into your left hand as in Figure 10, where it moves into a finger-palm position. The $100 bill stays behind the lower half of the one-dollar bill, concealed from the audiences view. Your right fingers make the next and final fold as they push the top half of the bill over and down (Figure 11). During these folds and through the following movements, the bill has never left the audiences sight. This is a critical point to remember when performing the technique. The spectators must be certain that the bill was in their view during the entire folding and unfolding process. To reveal the change, unfold the $100 bill, swinging its front half out and down (Figure 12). The one-dollar bill will ride with this half of the $100 bill, until it ends behind it and concealed behind its lower half (Figure 13). Next, youre going to load the tip onto the left end of the one-dollar bill. To prevent any hangups, however, you must do it in a specific manner. Place your left Formal Miracles 131

Figure 13

Figure 14

Figure 15

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Figure 18

thumb on the open end of the thumbtip as in Figure 14 and pull it away from your fingers slightly. This happens as you push the next fold of the bill open with your right fingers (Figure 15). Once this fold of the bill is sufficiently open, your left fingers take over and open it the rest of the way. During this, move the thumbtip onto the end of the hidden one-dollar bill (Figure 16). Move the tip further onto the bill and partially onto your right thumb as you open the third fold of the $100 bill (Figure 17it is here that the audience realizes that the change has occurred). As you 132 The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

Figure 19

Figure 20

Figure 21

Figure 22

open the last fold in the $100 bill (Figure 18), push the tip a little further onto your thumb. Finally, turn the bill around, end for end, as in Figures 19, 20, and 21 to show the other side. As your right hand travels behind the bill to take its end (Figure 20 again), shove the tip securely onto your thumb with your right second finger. That, then, is the basic technique of Rogers $100 Bill Change. Again, we recommend a study of the technique as outlined in Roger Klause: In Concert, as many more details are to be found there on the handling of this idea. For now, though, here is Johns routine . . .

THE INCREDIBILL ROUTINE For this, you will need a one-dollar bill, a flash-bill, a paper clip, a thumb tip, a cigarette lighter, and a small, square piece of flash paper. Fold the one-dollar bill as for Rogers Bill Change. When the creases are firmly set in the paper, unfold it completely and then fold it in half once, bringing its ends together (Figure 22). Roll the bill into the shape of a cigarette (Figure 23in progress) and twist the ends slightly (Figure 24) to keep it from unraveling. Place this bill and your cigarette lighter in your right jacket pocket. Formal Miracles 133

Figure 23

Figure 24

Figure 25

Figure 26

Next, fold the flash bill as for the Bill Change and place it into your thumbtip. Place the paper clip on the tip and bill as in Figure 25 to keep the paper from falling out or turning inside the tip (you will easily remove it during the performance). This assembly also goes in your right jacket pocket. Finally, place the flash paper in your left jacket pocket and youre ready to go. Begin bantering with your audience, saying, Can anyone here offer me the loan of a $1,000 bill? No? And you call yourself professionals? Okay, how about a hundred? A fifty? At a convenient time before or during this patter, reach in your right pocket, partially insert your thumb into the tip, and slide the paper clip off, letting it fall in your pocket. Place the tip the rest of the way on your thumb. Gently cajole someone into lending you a billthe larger the denomination, the better. Lets assume your assistant offered a fifty-dollar bill. Say, Many of you dont know this, but in my lifetime, Ive become very attached to certain high-level government officials. Usually at the wrists and ankles, but thats another story. Anyway, Ive been asked by the Treasury Department, as I travel around the country, to demonstrate to you how you can tell if a bill is counterfeit or not. All you have to do is fold your money in a tight bundle like this. . . . Take the spectators bill and begin folding it by way of example, using the mechanics of the $100 Bill Change to exchange his bill for the flash bill. Here, 134 The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

Figure 27

Figure 28

you are not going to unfold the flash bill, so in the guise of folding the flash bill one extra time, push his bill to the left into the thumbtip, and then load the tip back on your right thumb (Figure 26). Say, Now you need a light source . . . Gesture with your right hand to show it empty and reach in your right jacket pocket. Push the thumbtip off and leave it there as you come out with the cigarette lighter. Continue, saying, . . . which you just hold under the bill, and if you look very close you can see some little threads running through your money . . . As youre talking, turn toward the audience for a moment, not paying any attention to the bill you hold. Inadvertently, set fire to it and throw it away in surprise as it bursts into flames and vanishes. Whoa, you say, you know what that means? That was a real one! You could have spent that one! When the laughter subsides, say, Well, so much for your twenty bucks! Oh, Im sorry. Fifty dollars? Whatever. Would you like to see a rope trick instead? I didnt think so. Well, how about a trick with this piece of paper? Place the lighter in your left jacket pocket and come out with the piece of flash paper. Show both hands otherwise empty and roll the paper into the shape of a cigarette. Watch, you say, a trick with a piece of paper and a lighter. Reach in your right pocket, apparently for the lighter, and clip the rolled-up one-dollar bill between your first and second fingers (Figure 27). Apparently failing to find your lighter, a moments confusion crosses your face and you come out and take the paper with your right hand as in Figures 28 and 29 so your left can search for the lighter in your other pocket. Note that your head turns to look at your left pocket just before your hand starts to travel there, foreshadowing your intent. The rolled-up dollar bill is securely hidden in fingerclip position. Say, Watch the wonderful illusion as the paper appears to burn and turn into your ten-dollar bill! Fifty? Whatever. Light the end of the flash paper and as it burns, move your right thumb under the hidden bill and push it to your fingertips as in Figures 30 and 31. A slight upward shake of the wrist will further conceal the movement. The Formal Miracles

Figure 29

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Figure 30

Figure 31

paper will appear to have transformed to the bill in a flash of fire. Say, Sir, would you unroll this and verify that it is, indeed, your bill? Turn to your audience. Lets give him a big hand for being such a sport! As they applaud enthusiastically, casually place your lighter in your right jacket pocket and secretly place the thumbtip back on your thumb before bringing your hand back out. Only now do you apparently realize that your assistants reaction is one of dismay. Whats the matter? you ask him. When he points out that he has only a onedollar bill, take it from him and look at it strangely for a long time. Huh, you finally mutter. What a bummer. Try to hand it back to him. Well, you say, thats the first time thats ever happened . . . again. Just look at it this waythink of how much enjoyment youve given everyone here tonight and it only cost you a few dollars. Youre the life of the party! Youve been such a good sport, Ill show you one more trick. Im going to show you how to INCREASE your money. First, make sure you have nothing but the one bill . . . . Show your hands empty except the bill you hold. Begin folding the bill, executing Rogers Bill Change in the process, as you say, . . . and then you fold it this way, and this way, and this way, and this way, and when its unfolded in a minute, it will be IN CREASES! After the groans let up, complete the Bill Change as you say, No, no, it increases until it becomes YOUR fifty-dollar bill! Would you verify for the audience that it is your bill? Hand the bill to your helper. Thanks for helping me, and you all have been a great audience! Lead the applause as you honor your helper and dont be guilty enough to ditch the tip right away. Hold onto it for a while as you gesture or use your hand to do anything but dive for your pocket. You have all the time in the world to clean yourself up.

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Change of Mind

arketed items seem to come and go.2 Several years back, one effect titled In Space made its appearance and caught Johns eye. This method, a collaboration between John and Allan Ackerman, can be performed with an ordinary pack of cards. In effect, the spectator looks at a group of five cards and mentally selects one. The performer lays the cards on the table and asserts that he already knows the spectators card. To prove it dramatically, he will place it in a specific position in the deck. Picking up a card and placing it somewhere in the deck, the performer then asks the spectator to name his card. When he does, the magus deals cards from the deck, spelling the name of the selection as he does. When he reaches the last letter, he turns over the corresponding cardit is the mental selection! Of course, the spectator will wonder what would have happened if he had thought of a different card. The performer then reveals that the choice was destined, as he turns over the other cards from the group and shows that they are now the four Aces! Beforehand, place the following cards on top of the deck, from the top down: Ace of Spades, Two of Clubs, King of Clubs, Jack of Hearts, Seven of Hearts, Ace of Hearts, Ace of Diamonds, Ace of Clubs. Next, take the bottom nine cards of the deck and put a downward longitudinal bridge in their center as in Figure 1. When they are placed on the bottom of the pack, there will be a slight gap, as in Figure 2, which will make it easy
2. Does anyone remember a vanishing aquarium effect many moons ago? Nuff said.

Figure 1

Figure 2

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Figure 3

Figure 4

to cut exactly nine cards from the bottom to the top of the deck. To perform, ask your spectator to clear his mind for a moment (an easier task for some), as you are going to have him look over some cards and think of one that he sees. Spread the top eight cards of the deck over to your right and take the top five in your right hand as you pull the remaining three back onto the pack, obtaining a left little finger break beneath them. Flip the five cards in your right hand face up onto the deck and immediately pick up all eight cards above the break from above and by their ends (Figure 3). Notice that the angled position of your right fingers conceals the extra thickness of the packet from the front. Ask your spectator to think of one of the cards as you peel them singly onto the deck with your left thumb. As you peel each card off, flip it face down onto the deck. The first will be the Seven of Hearts, followed by the Jack of Hearts, the King of Clubs, and the Two of Clubs. The remaining Ace is actually four cards, which you set onto the deck before turning the ace face down. Tell the spectator that the Ace is too easy, that he shouldnt think of that one, but of any of the other cards he has seen. Deal the top five cards to the table (actually the four Aces and the Two of Clubs). After the spectator confirms that he has made a selection, move the cards around on the table with your finger, as if trying to decide which he might be thinking of. Finally, pick up the Two of Clubs and, without showing it, hold it before you. Say, As a matter of fact, Im so certain that this is your card that I will prove it in a theatrical manner by using a magic spell. Place the Two of Clubs on top of the deck and openly cut the nine bridged cards from the bottom of the deck to the top. As you do, bend the cards between your left little finger and the base of your thumb in the opposite direction of the bridge, taking out the work (Figure 4). Now, because the names of each of the possible selections spells with one more letter than the previous (Two of Clubs spells with ten letters, King of Clubs with eleven, and so on), it doesnt matter which the spectator names. By spelling the name aloud as you take cards from the top of the deck, their selection will always be the last card dealt. Reveal, that you did, indeed, find the thought-of-card and then say, But many people wonder what would have happened if they had thought of a different card. Well, if you had, I would have had to use a different kind of magic spell. Turn the supposed other possible selections face up to reveal that they are now the four Aces.

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My Ladys Ring

his is a slightly confusing yet brightly amusing interlude that takes advantage of the interplay between the performer and members of his audience. The magical effect is deliberately overshadowed by the performers attitude and willingness to play, and his desire to entertain by simple means. Here, the performer borrows a ladys finger ring and causes it to disappear in a (hopefully) mysterious and surprising manner. Presenting her with a jewelry box wrapped in a ribbon, he asks her to open it, where she will find the missing ring. She finds a ring inside, but claims it is not hers. Moving forward undaunted, the performer then audaciously borrows a second ring from another lady. When the first lady looks at it, however, she claims it as hers. The ring in the box turns out to be the one borrowed from the second woman! The method is mostly bluff and bluster, with a dash of nerve thrown in for good measure. Obtain an inexpensive ladys ring (the more generic, the better) and a jewelry box. Place the ring in the box, wrap it in a ribbon if youd like, and put it in your right jacket pocket. Also, in this pocket, place a small wand or a pen. Lastly, remind yourself that the object here is to play. To begin, borrow a ring from a good-natured lady. Compliment her profusely on her taste and the beauty of the ring as you examine it closely while holding it in your right hand. Look directly at her and say with childlike innocence, Can I have it? At that moment, pretend to lightly toss the ring into your left hand, actually keeping it in right fingerpalm. Your left fingers close around the object they supposedly hold. Whatever her response, play off of it and say, Well, I really just wanted to show you something amazing with your ring and a wand. Reach in your right pocket, drop the ring, and come out with your wand. See, what Im going to do is have you hold both ends of the wand so nothing can get on or off, but even so, your ring will penetrate onto the center of it right before your very eyes. Its going to go right there on the center, right there, as you hold it. . . . As you talk, become more animated about the feat youre about to do and allow your Formal Miracles 139

left hand to relax and open slightly. Suddenly notice that your hand is open and there is no ring there. Look about you as if confused. Oh, you say to the spectator, becoming slightly embarrassed. Look around on the floor, then at your hands again, and then blankly at the lady. Sorry. Put the wand away as you say, Well! I dont guess I need the wand now! Listen, have I shown you a card trick yet? No, dont worry, you say, I know exactly where it is . . . okay, not exactly, but pretty much . . . its . . . its, uh . . . Suddenly getting an inspiration, you continue, saying, Its in your pocket! Thats where it is! Check it out. Go ahead. She will look and say that its not there. Turn to the man beside her and say, Are you with her tonight? If he says yes, say, Then I feel sorry for you because shes not going to be very happy when you get her home! If he says no, adjust the line accordingly, saying, Good thing, because she doesnt look like shed be very happy when you got her home! Turn back to the lady and say, No, Im just kidding with you, really . . . look. . . . Reach in your right pocket and finger palm the ring as you bring out the jewelry box. See, you say, Im a professional. Go ahead and open itand thank you for your help. Turn to the audience and say, How about a round of applause for her being such a good sport? The audience will applaud, but she will quickly inform you that the ring in the box is not hers. What? you say. Its not? Pause for an extended moment, then say, Bummer. Take the box from her and look at the ring inside, then set the box on the table, angled to one side just enough that the audience cannot see the ring within. Look, you say, Id really like to do this trick right just once, so . . . Nail your gaze on another lady sitting in another part of the audience. Can I borrow your ring? At this point, this second lady will probably be a little reluctant to lend you her jewelry. You can ease this by asking her permission before you start the show, advising her that you are going to have some fun with some rings and would like to use hers. Later, in the middle of the routine, her resistance will be less. After you ask to borrow her ring, cajole her a little into giving it to you if you have to, and then, when shes consented, look at the first lady and say, She was easy. As you walk back to the first lady, shuttle pass the ring from your left hand to your right, switching them. Say, Now look at her ring, how nice and shiny it is; isnt that beautiful? She will say it is her ring. What? you say, confused. Yours? No, she was wearing it over there. She will insist it is her ring. Are you sure youre not just trying to upgrade here? you ask her playfully. Finally, after some argument, give her the ring and turn to the second lady and say, Well, thats the way it goes . . . but wait, theres still one ring here, thats been here for some time. . . . Go to the box on the table and pretend to take the ring out of it with your left hand, really producing the borrowed ring you had concealed in fingerpalm. Close the box and put it in your pocket. How does this one look to you . . . any better? As a matter of factis it YOUR ring? She will affirm that it is and you can take your applause in stride.

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This idea originally appeared in Johns lecture notes over twenty years ago. Recently, John had the pleasure of seeing Billy McComb perform a similar presentation at a lecture. Obviously great minds think alike! Of course, you can expand this presentation in many different directions to suit the personality of the performer (In Workers 3, Michael Close turns this theme into a circus of bizarre events and gags). More jokes and lines can be added, the structure can be changed, or the overall mood altered. Remember, though, that there is a distinct difference between teasing an audience and abusing them. They will find one entertaining, the other not. Above all, have fun.

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From Debbie Reynolds . . .

. . . to Liberace.

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The Fickle Nickel

ou couldnt really ask for a cleaner, slower, more mystical disappearance of a coin than this one, which Doug Henning used as an opening effect on one of his earliest television specials. Showing a nickel, you place it on your outstretched hand, arm extended from your body, sleeves rolled up. Under these conditions, you slowly enfold the coin with your fingers and then, just as slowly open them. The coin is gone. To drive home the point, you then show both sides of your hand very slowly and thoroughly before closing your hand again. When you open it once more, the coin has returned! The method is simplicity itself once youve become comfortable with it. The secret is a subtle use of thread (in that nothing floats or levitates) and Johns application has baffled the best, including Roger Klause and Dai Vernon. To begin, you may wish to use a strong basting thread attached to a real nickel, which will let you practice without difficulty. The routine itself, however, uses a hollow replica of a nickel (which weighs practically nothing)3 that you attach to a lightweight, hard-to-see, not quite there invisible thread. To set this up in the best manner, wrap each end of the thread (which should be from 18 to 24 inches in length, depending on your personal size) around a small portion of a match stick and imbed them in pellets of wax. This secure grip makes it very difficult for the thread to slip free from the wax. Place one wax pellet on the backside of the hollow nickel and affix a paper disc over the wax as in Figure 1. This binds the wax
3. Such items are available at some novelty stores, your local magic dealer, or (naturally) from John himself. They look good, too. I plugged one in a vending machine once. I dont really want to talk about it.

Figure 1

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Figure 2

Figure 3

Figure 4

Figure 5

Figure 6

to the coin to where it cannot fall off. The other pellet goes firmly underneath your belt buckle. Place the coin in your right trouser pocket (Figure 2). Later, the coin will disappear from your left hand. Now youre ready to perform. Make sure no one is standing directly left or behind you, or it will be a levitation effect after all. Take the coin from your pocket and show it at your right fingertips. The immediate object is to get the thread wrapped over the back of your left hand, which you do by first reaching beneath (but in front of) the thread to adjust your right sleeve as you talk (Figure 3). Now when you bring your left hand back to the left and turn it palm up at the same time, the thread will wrap around your hand as in Figure 4 (where it goes from your belt over your wrist, behind the hand, then under your hand). When you place the coin on your left palm, the thread wraps all the way around your hand (Figure 5). Use your right hand to roll your left sleeve as far back as it will go. Pause for drama, then slowly close your fingers around the coin one at a time, beginning with your little finger and ending with your index finger.4 Slowly roll The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

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Figure 7

Figure 8

Figure 9

Figure 10

your left fist over until its back is toward the audience. As the hand completes its turn, give it a little magical shake. As you do, extend your arm slightly, and you will feel the coin being pulled from the little finger side of your fist. Loosen your grip on the coin and allow it to slide out as in Figure 6, unseen by the spectators. From your angle, you can see the coin emerge. As it comes from your fist, turn your hand back to its original position, again with great deliberation (Figure 7). The coin will remain behind your fist, hidden from the onlookers view.5 Open your fingers, one at a time, and show your hand completely empty. With your fingers wide open like a starfish, turn your hand over again to show the back of it (Figures 8, 9, and 10 show this sequence, and how the coin always remains hidden behind your wrist). The weight of the coin works itself, so to speak, to stay out of sight.
4. The key here and throughout the sequence is to move veeerrrry slowly, which will not only build drama, but make it easier to work the method while covering your angles. It also keeps you from putting too much tension on the thread and snapping it. 5. A bit of mirror practice will be necessary here, to ensure that you properly understand the angles and relatives positions of the coin and hand.

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Figure 11

Reverse the turn of your hand, bringing it palm to the audience again, fingers still outstretched. The coin is nowhere to be seen. Turn your hand back to the audience once more and close your fingers one at a time as you did before. As you do, move your left hand backwards and grasp the coin, which is hanging right against your palm (Figure 11). Turn your closed fist over again, bringing it finger-side to the spectators and slowly open it. The coin is seen lying quietly on your palm, where it had not been a moment before. To finish, pick up the nickle and display it at your fingertips (Figure 12). This allows the thread to fall free from around your hand. Toss the coin to your right hand and put it away in your trouser pocket. We cannot stress enough how slowly the hand moves and how dramatic the effect becomes as a result. What would normally be only an interesting component in a routine becomes a solid mystery of its own simply by the importance lent to it by your attitude. Such is the performance of magic.6

Figure 12

6. The Fickle Nickel was invented in 1972. John later learned that Ronnie Gann had come up with a very similar handling in 1968 which he called Dime on my Hands. Still later, John found that it had been invented even earlier by T. Nordnes in 1933. John recently taught The Fickle Nickel to Siegfried, who performs it on the Siegfried & Roy special seen currently in IMAX theatres around the country.

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The Ball, The Bowl, and the Big, Big Cake

ohn achieved much of his initial fame in the magic world for his performances of the F.I.S.M. Card Act (described later) and for another itemthe execution of a Benson bowl routine which ends with the appearance of a birthday cake, complete with frosting. When he was booked to appear at one of Joe Stevens Desert Magic Seminars, though, John realized he would need something with a little extra punch and, using the birthday cake routine as a springboard, he expanded the concept to amazing proportions. It worked well; magicians who thought they knew what they were seeing were totally unprepared for the additional climaxes, a Japanese television crew immediately booked him for appearances on one of their specials, and this routine later won the International Brotherhood of Magicians 1991 Originality Contest.7 Heres what they see (what they remember may be a different story): Showing a bowl (which you remove from a bag) and several small red balls, you show how the balls come and go at will and often reappear under the bowl. As the momentum of the routine increases, you suddenly lift the bowl to reveal a small birthday cake beneath it. Your eyes open wide as you take some of the frosting with your finger and taste it. Continuing with flair, you then take the bag from which you removed the first bowl and it instantly changes into a large foulard. Holding the foulard in front of the cake, you pause for a dramatic moment, then whip the cloth away to reveal a larger birthday cake with lit candles! You interrupt your audiences exclamations of surprise, though, when you hold the foulard in front of the cake again. When you pull it away, there is now a triple-layer wedding cake complete with burning candles! A moments thought will make it obvious that the set-up on something like this must be extensive and that its performance is limited to certain environments.
7. A yearly competition with standards strict enough that many fail to even qualify, let alone succeed.

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Figure 1

Figure 2

However, the impact cannot be denied or ignored, and John offers it here for those willing to invest themselves in its perfection.8 Heres your preparation: For starters, acquire a candy bowl with a lid and an empty margarine tub. The bowl must be large enough so that when the tub is fastened to the top of the lid and the assembly inverted, the tub will fit completely within the candy bowl. The bowl will be the one you use in the Benson bowl routine and the margarine tub will be the body frame for the first cake you will produce later. First, invert the candy bowl lid. Place the margarine tub mouth down on the convex side of the candy bowl lid and seal its rim to the lid with white G.E. Silicon seal. When the seal is set and you know the tub wont slide around, cover the entire surface of the tub with the white silicon seal, striving for a texture like cake icing. You can also add colored decoration to your cake, bogus fruit slices, a fake cherry on top, and other items to add to its realism. From only a short distance, it will appear to be an actual cake (Figure 1). Well get to the actual performance momentarily. For now, lets examine the construction of the next item, which is the daylight seance. Johns idea for this is original and intriguing. Take two pieces of black cloth (each of which would be of a sufficient size to provide cover for the productions of the cakes) and sew them together as in Figure 2 (completed). Note that by following the trace lines you are left with a foulard which has a pocket in the center of one of its sides. This pocket must be large enough to hold the candy bowl. On the opposite side, insert a telescoping rod (like that used as pointers in lectures or as television antennasvisit an office supply store or Radio Shack) in the hem. To the wide end of the rod (which should be on your right) and outside the cloth, attach a thumb tip as in Figure 2. To set up for the performance, collapse the rod, which compresses the width of the foulard, and fold the cloth as in Figures 3 and 4, where the rod is folded behind, then up and into the pocket. Neatly done, you now appear to have a small black bag. For the second cake, you will need a metal cookie or candy canister approximately eight inches in diameter and four inches in height. You also need a sturdy pie pan about nine inches in diameter. At your local hardware store, buy ten 1/8" by 4" springs, a " by 1" copper coupling, a couple more tubes of G.E. silicon seal, and a can of red spray paint. Then go to your local hobby shop and pick up

Figure 3

8. Please keep in mind that, since the mechanics of this effect use electrical connections and flash string, extreme caution is requested, recommended, and demanded. You will be using fire in this routine, and the author, publisher, and creator will assume no responsibility for any mishap, damage, or injury which may arise as a result of experimentation with this method or the use, improper or otherwise, of the items described here. Did I cover all the bases? Did I make myself clear? Thank you. We now return you to your normally scheduled programming.

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a model airplane glow plug. Swing by Radio Shack on your way home and get a pack of AA batteries, a battery holder for them, an SPST toggle switch, and a momentary push button switch. Got everything? Okay, throw the canister lid away. Turn the canister over and in the bottom, drill nine holes approximately of an inch in from the outside diameter. Also, drill a -inch hole in the exact middle of the canister bottom to accommodate the copper coupling. Paint your springs red to look like candles and insert them in the holes. Glue them in place from underneath with your silicon seal. Cut a 7-inch hole out of your pie pan (John recommends a tool he found at where else?Radio Shack called The Nibbler.) Mount the SPST toggle switch and the momentary switch in the rim of the pie pan and your glow plug into the copper coupling. Run an electrical wire from your SPST toggle switch (which will act as a safety switch) to the glow plug, then to the battery holder, and then to the momentary switch (Figure 5). Mount your battery holder inside the canister and glue the canister onto the pie pan with your silicon seal. When everything so far is set, spread silicon seal all over the cake, just as you did the first one. Decorate it tastefully. Because your pie tin is essentially bottomless, you can still access the battery holder within. Making sure your safety switch is in the off position, insert a battery into the holder. Now get some Q-Tips or other cotton swabs and break off nine pieces about one inch in length. Place them into the tops of the spring candles. Next place a piece of flash paper or cotton, and put it into the copper coupling next to the glow plug (Need we say it again? Make sure your safety switch is OFF). Next wrap flash string around the head of each cotton swab, run string between each candle, and a string from each to the center of the cake. Tie them off in the middle and run a small piece straight down into the coupling (Figure 6). With this configuration, when the glow plug heats, it will ignite the flash cotton, which will in turn light the flash string and the flame will run up each string to light the cotton swabs.9 Thats pretty much it for the second cake. When you flip the safety switch and press the momentary switch, all the candles will light within a second or two. Watch your eyebrows. The last production is that of the triple-layer cake. If youre still with us, you will need eight " by 3" high white wooden dowels. On top of each of the dowels, fasten a " by 11/8" flat magnet (again, from Radio Shack). Obtain two other canisters, the first slightly smaller than the original one you prepared ear-

Figure 4

Figure 5

9. As we mentioned before, your medical bills are your own, so be careful!

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Figure 7

Figure 8

lier, the second even smaller than that. These will form the tiers for your cake. Prepare each cake as you did the earlier one, but here there are no candles on the middle layer. The second momentary and safety switches are at the back of the middle tier of the cake and the second glow plug is in the center of this same section. The flash string, however, runs from the center coupling to the coupling in the top tier, where the flash string and candles assembly is the same as before. The assembly of the top two tiers is shown in Figure 7. This construct, when placed upon the previous cake, will form the entire three-tier figure. Note also that the coupling in the top cake, after the three tiers have been produced, will hold a tapered candle easily, which means that as a final touch, you can produce a Fantasio candle to top off your cake. Now, back to the beginning. Before performing this, you must set the various production items behind your table in a manner that they can be easily obtained. How you do this is largely up to you; John has used various methods such as retrieval from the lap (requiring a seated performance), steals from his close-up case (which sits unobtrusively just behind the table within easy reach), or taking the items from brackets which held them suspended from the table itself. They are all practical and the important point is that they be within your easy grasp. Place the bowl in the pocket of your bag and place it on the table. The Benson bowl routine you use is also a matter of choice; practically any sequence can be used. Johns is short and sweet and uses four sponge balls10 and a wand. Place one of the sponges under your shirt collar, behind the left side of your neck. Your close-up case is behind the table to your right. Say, A little experiment with a bowl, a wand, and these three little red balls. As you speak, remove the bowl from the bag and place the cloth to one side. Invert the bowl and set it in front of you. Pick up the wand with your right hand and place it under your left arm. Next pick up a sponge and pretend to place it in your left hand, actually executing the most natural vanish you know. As your left hand closes to apparently take the sponge, bring your right hand up to take the wand from under your arm. Tap your left hand with the wand as you say, The object here is to take a ball, give it a little squeeze and a little tap, and have it disappear. Open your left hand to show the ball is gone. From there, you continue, it goes up the sleeve . . . Trace the supposed path of the ball with your wand. . . . across my body, down this sleeve and into the bowl. Tap the bowl with your wand and then lift it from the table with your left hand. Act surprised to find nothing there. Reach under your collar and produce the ball.
10. Actually, John uses sponge cubes, which keeps them from rolling around.

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Oh, wait, you say, as you place the wand beneath your left arm again and transfer the bowl to your right hand. By holding the bowl as in Figure 8, it covers the ball in your finger palm. This one got stuck on the way across, you continue, as you reach behind your collar with your left hand and remove the ball. It must be a little too big. Ill try again. Hold the bowl vertically, open side to the audience, so they can see its emptiness (the sponge in your right hand is concealed behind your fingers. Adopt a tongue-in-cheek attitude as you say, Ill do that again, but right this time. Place the left-hand ball in the bowl. This is what it looks like when it works. Turn the bowl mouth down (your right hand palm up) and place it on the table. The front edge of the bowl touches the table first and then the rear edge slides off your right fingers as you retract your hand. Unknown to the audience, you have introduced a second ball under the bowl. Okay, here we go, you say, one in the bowl . . . Pick up one of the two remaining sponges with your right hand and pretend to place it in your left. As before, your left hand closes as your right travels up to take the wand. . . . the second one in my hand. Tap your left hand with the wand as you say, It disappears, travels up the sleeve, across my body, down this sleeve, and into the bowl. As before, trace the path of the ball with your wand, and end by tapping the bowl. Lift the bowl with your left hand, showing the sponges underneath and moving them about with your wand. Place the wand under your left arm again and then transfer the bowl to your right hand, concealing the ball. Pick up the two balls with your left hand. Say, Im having so much fun, Im going to do it again! Put the balls in the upturned bowl one at a time and then invert the bowl onto the table, secretly loading an extra ball just as you did before. Pick up the remaining ball with your right hand and repeat the actions to make it disappeartaking the wand, tapping your hand, your sleeve, your body, and the bowl. Pick up the bowl with your left hand to show all three balls beneath. Transfer the wand to beneath your left arm and the bowl to your right hand, but this time the rim of the bowl rests directly on the hidden ball in your hand (Figure 9). Turn the bowl mouth up, take two balls from the table with your left hand, and place them inside. Invert the bowl again and place it on the table, but now a portion of the hidden sponge ball protrudes from under the lip of the bowl on your side (Figure 10). Pick up the remaining sponge and say, This one Ill place here, in my case. Pretend to take the sponge with your left hand, closing it. With your right hand, gesture toward your case and, using the upright lid as a shield, drop the ball in. Bring your left hand, closed, over the table as you say, No, dont get ahead of me. Open your right hand and pick up the bowl Formal Miracles

Figure 9

Figure 10

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Figure 11

by its rim, your fingers on the far side and your thumb nearest you. Your thumb clips the protruding ball as you pick up the bowl (Figure 11), its rear edge leaving the table first, the front edge remaining tipped downward. If you need to, you can tip the bowl slightly to your left as well, which will shield the ball from any spectators on your left-hand side, while your right hand will shield your angles from the other direction. Say, I wouldnt cheat you; we really do only have two under the bowl. Replace the bowl, allowing the clipped sponge to fall beneath it. Two in the bowl, one in the hand, you say as you take the wand from under your left arm. Or is that none in the hand . . . Open your left hand. . . . and all in the bowl? Tap the bowl and place the wand on the table. Raise the bowl with your right hand (gripping it by the rim again), scooting the sponges forward a bit as they come into view, as if by accident. As you lift the bowl, reach down with your left hand and take hold of the small birthday cake. Noticing that the balls are rolling away from you (and carrying the audiences collective eye with them) bring the bowl back as your left hand comes forward. Load the cake beneath the bowl and continue forward with your left hand as you lean with your body to catch the balls before they escape you.11 Because you are gripping the bowl by the rim, your fingers will not get in the way of the load insertion. After the load, your right hand holds both bowl and insert in place with this same grip, using your fingertips. Say, Just one more time, as you move the balls to your left. Ill place one here; thats the big one . . . With your left hand, put one ball in the center of the table. . . . and the bowl right over it. Casually lift the bowl to show the interior before you place it and the insert over the ball. Because the underside of the candy bowl lid was concave, your audience will still see a curved surface and assume the bowl is empty, not realizing the discrepancy in apparent depth. Only give them a brief glimpse of the inside of the bowl. Pick up another sponge with your right hand and pretend to place it in your left. Say, This one goes here . . . John uses a simple put-and-take vanish shown in Figures 12 and 13. Pick up a third sponge and place both as one in a nearby spectators hand, per many standard sponge ball routines, as you continue, . . . and this one goes right here! Will you hold this one please? Take the wand and tap your left hand, then the spectators hand. Open your hand and say, Uh-oh, mines gone. Did yours go, too? Have her open her hand to find both balls. Set the wand down again. Take the sponges from the spectator and place one on each side of the bowl. Say, Okay, Ill do it just one last time! But only because youre nice! Pick up a sponge
11. As an alternative, if you are sitting down, the cake could have been sitting on your right knee all this time. Then, as the balls are rolling away and you reach out with your left hand to get them, your right hand drops back and you place the bowl directly over the cake on your knee. As you catch the balls, raise the bowl and place it on the table so your right hand can assist your left. Either way, the cake is now beneath the bowl, hopefully unbeknownst to your spectators.

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and pretend to place it in your left hand. This one goes here . . . Pick up the wand and tap your hand and then the bowl, saying, . . . and it becomes invisible. As your left hand opens, lap the ball, drop it on the floor, toss it in your case, or otherwise unobtrusively dispose of it. Repeat this with the remaining visible ball. When it has gone, tap the bowl with your wand and say, So, how many sponges are under the bowl? Whatever their answer, say, No, theres only one . . . the one you saw me put there, remember? The BIG ONE! Lift the bowl to show the cake beneath it. In fact, you exclaim, theres enough sponge here to make a whole cake! Reach behind the cake with your left forefinger and apparently swipe some icing from it. In reality, you dip your finger in the reservoir and come away with some whipped cream. Taste it delightfully as you say, And it tastes delicious! For the next incredible climax, pick up your cloth bag and place both hands into it. Insert your right thumb into the thumbtip as you allow the bag to fall from your hands and expand the rod at the same time. The bag will appear to instantly expand and change into the foulard, which you are holding between your hands, both thumbs in view. Your right hand, however, can move away because the thumbtip leaves the impression you are still holding the cloth there. To produce the second cake, move the foulard in front of the small cake as you reach behind the table to obtain the next load. Bring it up behind the foulard and place it directly over the first cake (remember, it is bottomless). Flip the safety switch and press the momentary switch, igniting all the candles as you whip the foulard away with both hands. Say, I didnt think I had enough for all of you! As the audience reacts, move the foulard in front of the cake again as you move away with your right hand and obtain the third load. Place this on top of the first cake, setting the dowels in place, and ignite the flash string with a candle from the first cake. Pull the foulard away to reveal the transformation to a triple-layer cake. As we mentioned before, you can also produce a dinner candle on top of the cake for a nice finish. When John performed this at the Desert Magic Seminar, he rolled the cake off stage after his performance and switched it for a duplicate, real cake with candles, which he then left in the lobby for people to partake of. Not much can be added that isnt already self-evident. This is a powerhouse routine with a stunning finish, worthy of those special occasions when you need a real reputation-maker. Special thanks to Editor Phil Willmarth for allowing the line-art illustrations to be reproduced from the May 1993 issue of The Linking Ring. Formal Miracles

Figure 12

Figure 13

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The F.I.S.M. Act

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The F.I.S.M. Act or Every Card Trick in the World in Ten Minutes

his routine has become one of Johns signatures, earning him the world prize at F.I.S.M. and delighting audiences everywhere. A complex, rapid-fire act that leaves spectators breathless and disarmed, it is guaranteed to be impossible to follow by any other cardman, for in the performance, youve scooped every effect they could possibly do. We dont recommend learning the entire act, but there are tricks and ideas that can be incorporated into your own routines. The subtitle is literal: John, ever-ready to bedazzle the crowds, offers to show within the next ten minutesevery card trick ever invented. Removing a card case from his pocket, he opens it and takes out the deck, setting it on the table. Instantly, the card case is half its normal size, an impossible configuration! Placing the box away and continuing, he shuffles the deck and has four cards fairly noted. After more shuffling and the like, one card flies from the center of the deck, which John shows to be a selection. When he spins it wildly in the air, it comes down and enters the deck, whereon he shows that it now lies next to another selection. John shuffles the cards some more, but he appears to have problems locating the third selected card. No worry, it seems, for when the spectator names his card, John not only finds it instantly, but also its three mates! Placing the four cards in a diamond formation, John then asks the remaining spectator the name of his card. When he does, John begins dealing cards onto the four tabled cards (as if playing poker), spelling the name of the remaining selection as he deals. When the spelling is complete, he shows the next card to be the fourth spectators very one! Asking then if anyone thought of the Two of Spades, it rises mysteriously from the center of the deck. Once he removes it, John shuffles the deck again, and then cuts it into two packets. With a rapidly increasing rhythm, he shows that all the cards in one hand are red, while the remainder in the other hand is all black. Placing all the cards aside except the nearest packet on the table, he then reveals that he has dealt himself a royal flush in spades! The F.I.S.M. Act 157

Collecting the cards, John again holds up the miniature card case and shows that the deck, being so much larger, is no longer able to fit within it. With the application of some shrinking powder, however, the deck collapses in on itself and fits smoothly in the case. Johns smugness lasts only a moment, though, when he realizes that he used too much powder. Turning the case over, the cards he dumps out are only -inch high! No bother, he says, as he removes supposedly the same deck of cards from his pocket, which has meanwhile changed to a blue-backed one. Shuffling them, John also shows that the faces have all gone. Holding the pack face down, he waves his hand over it to change the backs from blue to red again! Taking the (now) red deck, he fans it, backs to the audience, to show that there is still one blue back in the center. He asks a spectator to name any card. When the spectator does, John turns the blue card over to shownot the named selectionbut a Visa charge card. Oh, well. But the spectator named a card, and it is still up to John to find it. Perhaps its in his pocket. . . . John holds up a piece of fabric for everyone to see. Immediately, everyone recognizes it as a cutoff portion of a mans sport coatthat part that has the jacket pocket. Reaching in the pocket, he takes out a secretary wallet that has a large envelopelarger than the wallet itselftucked inside. And its a zippered wallet! he exclaims as he turns the wallet around to show a false zipper that obviously goes nowhere. Taking out the envelope, he opens the flap and removes a jumbo playing card, back to the audience, which bears his signature and has one corner removed. Pointing out the missing corner, John opens his real jacket to show, pasted inside, a multitude of torn corners and pieces of playing card. He says, I dont know which one it is, but Im sure its one of these! John then asks the spectator who thought of a card, Wouldnt you be amazed if I turned this over and it had your card on the other side? The good person agrees heartily. When John turns the card around, the audience sees that written on the blank face of the jumbo card are the words Your Card. After this easy laugh, John tears the card into pieces and holds them in one hand. Saying, I couldnt find yours by doing The Card in the Balloon, but I could find the balloon in the card! From between the torn pieces of the jumbo card, one ordinary sized playing card rises. On its back is a picture of a balloon. John says, And if that werent enough, if I just give it a snap, it changes to your card! Flicking his finger against the picture of the balloon, the card instantly transforms itself to the spectators thoughtof card! Finis! If perhaps youre thinking that the description of the effect was long, sit back with a good cup of coffee. It goes without saying (to use a clich) that the amount of preparation for this act is extensive, and our explanation will be no less so. We have previously described certain elements in this book, though, so part of the groundwork is already laid. If you havent already, you may want to study the following items (which will be only briefly touched upon in this chapter): The

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Apprentice Cut, The Master Cut, Shrinkage, The Oh, Calcutta Shuffle, On the Upswing, and The Winter Change. To make the explanation clear, first we give a summary description of the method. Later, when we detail the finer points, it will be easier to understand their objectives. 1. After announcing that you will perform every card trick in the world, you remove a deck of cards from a card case. The case immediately shrinks to half its size, using the gimmicked card case described earlier in Shrinkage. You then put the card box in your close-up case. 2. The deck has two cards, the Eight of Diamonds and the Ten of Spades, preset on top. You do several false shuffles and cuts. The first spectator is forced to select the Eight of Diamonds, after which you force the second person to take the Ten of Spades. You cut both cards to near the bottom of the deck. The next selection is free and you secretly move it to the top of the deck via a side steal. Selection number four is also free and similarly controlled to the top. 3. You produce the fourth selection by using a move published by John Benzais. You then toss this card in the air and as it boomerangs back, you cut the deck and trap the card face-up between the halves. Spreading the deck on the table, you slide out the fourth selection and the card immediately beneath itthe third selection. Scooping up the rest of the cards, you ask the third spectator the name of his selection. When he tells you, you cautiously lift up a corner of the face-down card to see for yourself if youve succeeded. At this moment, you switch the deck in your hand for another in your close-up case. You then turn over the card on the table to show that youve indeed found it. 4. The deck you have switched in is stacked. It is segregated by color and set for the poker deal and revelations. Therefore, when the next spectator names his cardthe Ten of Spadesyou produce all four tens. After the last spectator also names his selection, you deal cards into piles, poker-fashion, dealing one card for each letter in the name Eight of Diamonds. When the deal is complete, the next card is the selection. 5. You now perform Arisen! to make a card rise from the center of the deck. After some more false shuffles, you then show that the deck has segregated itself into blacks and reds, after which you reveal that you previously dealt yourself a royal flush in spades. 6. You collect all the cards and reach into your case for the miniature card box. While your hand is momentarily out of sight, you switch the deck you hold for a third, gimmicked, deck. This new deck is really two solid half-decks held together by a flange. The tiny card box you remove is also not the same one the spectators saw earlier, but one specially prepared for the next sequence. 7. You show that the cards will not fit in the box. Reaching in your pocket (secretly stealing and ditching half the gimmicked deck), you remove a small bottle of shrinking powder. Tapping some powder on the deck, you now easily slide it into the card case (this half-deck turns and fits smoothly). The case has a secret pocket in it that already holds several miniature replicas of playing cards"

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Figure 1

high. Turning the box over, these fakes fall to the table, showing the deck has shrunk to ridiculous proportions. 8. After you put this case and cards away, you remove another deck from your pocket. This is a red-backed, blank-faced deck (with one blue card) which is in a blue card case. After shuffling and showing blank faces and blue backs, you do The Winter Change to transform all the backs from blue to red. After you cut the deck, you pressure fan the cards to show one blue back in the center. 9. A spectator names any card. You remove the blue-backed card and show the other side, which has a Visa charge card label affixed to it. Putting the deck away, you take out the section of a mans sports jacket. The partial jacket has the outer pocket and the inner breast pocket intact on either side. Duplicate wallets and envelopes are placed in each pocket. Each wallet contains a 26-card index; the red cards are in one wallet, the blacks in the other. All the cards have a picture of a balloon on the back. Also tucked in each wallet is a jumbo envelope, both of which contain identical blank-faced jumbo cards with one corner removed. 10. Depending on the color of the card called by the spectator, you remove the appropriate wallet and show it. As you remove the envelope from the wallet, you reach in the index with your thumb and steal the named selection behind the envelope. You tear the top of the envelope and remove the jumbo card, secretly sliding the selection behind it as you do. You then show the interior of your jacket, where you have many pieces of cards already hanging. Next, you steal the hidden card from behind the jumbo prediction into your right hand, so you can turn the giant card over (to show the words Your Card), and replace the selection behind it. 11. After this, you tear the jumbo card into pieces, loading the selection among them. Using your forefinger, you pivot the selection up and into view, back to the audience. Taking it from the pieces, you then snap the card to the table, turning it over in the process, and apparently transform it into the named selection. Okay, if youre still with us (and youd better bewe dont want to write all this for nothing), lets first discuss the special items you will need to perform this routine:

THE CARD CLIP This holder is specially fashioned to keep a deck of cards (or in our case, a fake deck of cards) outside the close-up case for easy retrieval. Figures 1, 2, and 3 show the item from various angles. It is formed from a rectangular piece of sheet metal (approximately 3 by 4 inches) with a slot cut from one of the long edges. This slot is in the center of the edge, is as wide as the middle third of the sheet, and is The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

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approximately 1 inches deep. Bending the metal at right angles at the end of the slot, then bending each flange upwards at right angles again forms the basic body. Set two bankers clips over the back of the holder and cover their inside legs with Teflon tape (found at plastic supply stores), which will hold them securely in place. As an alternative you can obtain a Card Clip such as the type manufactured by Randall Whitworth of Houston, Texas (metal) or that made by Phil Young of Tulsa, Oklahoma (acrylic). By cutting a center slot from one side of the clip and the middle of the spine, then attaching the bankers clips on the back, you have an item that perfectly matches Johns.

THE CLOSE-UP CASE John uses a case with an interior tray that raises when the lid is opened (Figure 4). The tray is similar to one you might find in a jewelry box. You can use other types of cases, although some modification may be needed. What is crucial, however, is the positioning of the inner tray. For the first deck switch, a pack of cards will be resting upright in this tray. When the lid is open and the case is behind the table, it is important that you can rest your left fingers on the edge of the table and, without moving them, reach down into the case to retrieve this deck. The exact technique on this switch will become clearer in the upcoming description.

Figure 3

THE GIMMICKED DECK To make this interesting gimmick, get a red-backed deck of cards, a Playtime card (a miniature playing card), a clamp or vise, a drill, a jigsaw or other straight but fine cutting device, strong thread, silicon seal, a metal flange (approximately " wide by 1" long), glue, and some cellophane tape. Set the Playtime card aside, with a card from the deck, and cut the remainder of the deck in half, parallel to the short ends. You can cut the cards individually with a paper cutter or scissors, or take the deck to a printer/copy shop and have them do the cutting for you. Remove the top five half-cards of each packet (so you have ten pieces of playing cards) and lay them aside also. Next, take a half-deck and, clamping it securely with the cards perfectly square, drill four holes in the locations shown in Figure 5 (or you can punch the holes The F.I.S.M. Act

Figure 4

Figure 5

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Figure 6

Figure 7

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individually with a paper punch, if you have the time and desire). Using strong basting or nylon thread, tie the cards securely together through the holes, joining the top and bottom holes of each side (Figure 6). Once the cards are tightly bound, fill the holes with silicon seal (the use of this compound instead of gluing the cards together permits some movement and freedom of the deck, such as beveling the cards, which looks more natural). Now, insert the stiff metal flange halfway into the center of the cut end of the deck (Figure 7)setting it in place with glue. Be careful not to shove the flange through the thread that is running through the cards. About " of the flange should protrude from the end of the packet. Prepare the other half-deck the same wayholes, thread, glue, and allexcept there is no flange. Now youre going to find two matching halves of the cut cards you laid aside earlier and glue them to the faces of the packets to cover the holes. If you do this now, however, the thickness of the thread will cause a space to appear between the packet and this cover card. To prevent this, first take a half card and cut slots in it as in Figure 8. Make four of these slotted cards in all and glue one to the tops and faces of each packet (Figure 9). These act as spacers beneath your cover cards and will fill the area created by the thickness of the thread when you fix the cover cards in place. Now take your two halves of a card that match and glue one to each face of the half-decks (so that when you hold the halves next to each other, they look like one card on the face). Glue another half card to the top of each packet in the same way. Take one of the two remaining half-cards and glue the Playtime cardback showingon its face (essentially a double-backed card now, but with a miniaThe Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

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Figure 10

Figure 11

Figure 12

Figure 13

ture back on one side and half a regular back on the other). For the last steps, cut off a length of cellophane tape just less than the width of a playing card. Take your last remaining half-card and place the tape along its cut edge on its face, offset so half the tapes surface is still exposed (Figure 10). Then, take the odd double-backer youve made and place it along the overhanging portion of the tape, so that the backs of the half-cards match (Figure 11). Finally, take this jointed card and glue the exposed halfface to the top of the packet that does not have a flange. The resulting configuration appears in Figure 12, where you apparently have half a deck with one whole card (even if one with a large crack in it). If you will now take the other half-deck and insert its flange into the center of this packet (Figure 13), you will have a reasonable facsimile of a whole deck. By stealing the flanged packet away and folding the hinged card in half on top of the remaining packet (Figure 14), you will be left with a fairly good replica of a Playtime deck. We will detail the exact use of this gimmick shortly. The F.I.S.M. Act

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Figure 15

Figure 16

THE MINIATURE CARD CASE This is a Playtime card case with an extra space inside to hold the " cards you dump out later. Obtain two Playtime cases, an artists knife or razor, and a small plastic case that you get when you buy fuses for your automobile (this little case consists of a cover and a small plastic sliding drawer). Discard the fuses and remove the plastic drawer from the sleeve. With your knife or other tool, cut away the top end of the drawer, so youre left with a base and three sides (Figure 15). Put the drawer back into the sleeve and glue the box, open end up, to the front of a card case as in Figure 16. Take the other card case and cut away the top (including the flap and tabs) and the back (Figure 17). Glue this shell of a case to the front of the other case, covering the fuse box. What you now have is a Playtime card case that can hold a miniature deck, with an extra pocket in its front. Put your card case aside for the moment. Well get back to it in a little while.

Figure 17

Figure 18

THE CARD INDEXES This is probably the most interesting item in the routine, and will be one you can use in many contexts. Obtain two pocket secretary wallets, such as that shown in Figure 18. John finds that the At-A-Glance pocket calendars work well. You will also need thin black poster board, numbered and lettered embossing tape (or an embossing device, like a Dymo embosser and some small index tabs), adhesive corner mounts for photographs, two zippers, and a blank-backed deck of cards.

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Figure 19

Figure 20

Figure 21

Figure 22

Take your poster board and cut it into at least 28 identical rectangular pieces, just small enough to fit inside your wallet. Once you have your pieces, divide them into two groups of fourteen, take them to your local printer and have them fasten each group along one long edge with plastic comb binding (Figure 19).1 Back home again, place the numbered embossing tape along the right edge of each page (staggering them as in Figure 20). Label the first page A, the next 2, then 3, and so on, up to K for King. Leave the last page unlabeled. Next, fasten a clear vinyl adhesive-backed business card holder (available at most office supply stores) at the bottom of each right-hand page (Figure 21). If you cannot find self-adhesive holders, standard vinyl business card holders can be affixed with double-sided carpet tape. These holders will hold the playing cards. On the back of each playing card, draw or affix a cartoon of a red balloon (Figure 22), then separate the cards into same-colored pairs (two red Aces, two red Deuces, two red Threesall the way to the black Kings). In one book, place the red Aces in the corner mounts on the first page, the Heart above the Diamond
1. This type of binding has become known in the industry as GBC Binding and it is in great favor with magicians who own large numbers of photocopied books and lecture notes (not that I would personally know anything about that, you understand).

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Figure 23

Figure 24

(Figure 23). On the next page, place the Twos, then the Threes, and so on. On every page, the Heart should be behind and above the Diamond. The other book is set up the same way with the black cards, the Spades always being above the Clubs. In both indexes, the cards should be oriented so the pictures of the balloons on their backsides are upside-down. Holding one wallet so its opening is on your left, affix a zipper along its center (Figure 24). Do the same to the other. Then take the card indexes and place one in each wallet (use the blank pages as insertsslide them into the rear pocket of the wallets to hold the indexes in place). Position the indexes so that when you hold the wallet with the opening to your right the embossed labels are rightside up. The preparation of the wallets is complete. In the routine, when the last spectator names any card, you will take the appropriate wallet from your pocket (assume he named the Three of Hearts, so you will take out the wallet containing the red cards). By pulling the wallet cover to the left with your left thumb, you will expose the tabs enough that you can place your right thumb on the embossed index 3. Once youve located the proper tab, move your right thumb to the left, onto the page. It is no challenge to put your thumb directly on the Heart, for you know it is above the Diamond. Because at that point in the routine you also hold a large envelope, it is a simple matter to remove the envelope from the wallet, stealing the Three of Hearts behind it.

SETTING UP Besides all these special items, you will also need: 166 Two decks of ordinary red-backed cards A gimmicked collapsing red card case (see Shrinkage) A deck of red-backed cards with blank faces An adhesive label with the Visa charge card logo on it (seen in the windows of many stores; you can obtain these labels from a local bank) A blue-backed card A blue card case Two red-backed jumbo cards with blank faces Two large clasp envelopes to hold the jumbo cards Two gold foil seals The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

Ten to fifteen torn pieces of jumbo cards A 12" by 8" piece of black felt with safety pin at each corner The front left half of a mans dinner jacket (which has the inner breast pocket and the outer pocket intactfind an old coat and cut what you need . . . keep the sleeve intact, if youd like) A tube or vial of glitter A magic marker or Sharpie brand pen Some miniature playing cards (approximately " highthese can be found at some novelty stores or gum machine vendors. You can cut up some regular playing cards and use those pieces if the miniatures prove hard to find) One balloon Some tape or pins. Go ahead and get all this stuff now. Well wait. Okay, now that youre back,2 place your close-up case behind the table and to your left, at a height that brings the open lid of the case even with the table top. Take one of your regular red-backed decks and place the Eight of Diamonds and Ten of Spades on top as the first and second cards, respectively. Remove the other four Tens from the deck completely (since youre going to force the Ten of Spades on one spectator and produce all four Tens when you find his card, you dont want someone else to take a Ten during the routine). Place this deck in your shrinking card case, set up for Shrinkage. This assembly goes in your close-up case in any convenient location in the top tray. Take your other red-backed deck and remove the Two of Spades, the Ten of Clubs, and the Ten of Hearts. Place these to one side for the moment. Arrange the remaining cards in this order: Ten of Spades (on top), Ten of Diamonds, Ace of Clubs, Nine of Clubs, Joker, Jack of Spades, Seven of Clubs, Four of Clubs, Queen of Clubs, Queen of Spades, Seven of Diamonds, Five of Clubs, Queen of Hearts, King of Spades, Seven of Hearts, Jack of Clubs, Queen of Diamonds, Ace of Spades, Eight of Diamonds, then all the remaining red cards. Next comes the Two of Spades you placed aside earlier, then all the remaining black cards, followed by the Ten of Clubs, and finally (at the face of the deck), the Ten of Hearts. Place this deck upright (on end) in the top tray of your close-up case, the backs facing to your right in preparation for the first deck switch (Figure 25). A block of foam or other support will keep the pack from falling over. Affix the Visa label to the face of the blue-backed card, trimming away any edges as necessary. Put this card face down on top of the red-backed blank deck, and place the pack in the blue card case. This deck goes in your outer left jacket pocket. Hang the card clip outside your close-up case. The gaffed deck (the one which separates into two solid halves) rests in this clip, faces toward you, ready for the second deck switch. The half-deck with the folding cover card should be on your left (the half
2. Good timing. I had popped out for a bit myself.

Figure 25

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Figure 26

that does not have the protruding flange). Check out Figure 25 again for the placement of the clip and deck. Now take each of the jumbo cards and, holding them with their faces to you, tear off the upper right-hand corners. Take these piecesand the various torn pieces you obtained earlierand glue them to the rectangular piece of black felt in haphazard positions (Figure 26). Pin the piece of felt to the inside of your jacket (the one you will wear during your performance) on your left side. Turn each of the jumbo cards so that the missing corner is at your upper right and, with your marking pen, neatly write Your Card on the remainder of their faces. Then, turn each card over, end for end, and on the back, sign your name boldly. Next, orient the envelopes so their flaps are uppermost and on the back of each envelope (the same side that has the clasp), write the words Sealed Prediction in large letters. Place a gold foil seal on the back of each envelope, partially under the flap (the foil doesnt seal anything; its presence is for one of a series of gags). Holding the cards so the torn corners are at your lower right (youll be looking at the backs), place each of them in an envelope and fold the flap down. Tuck each envelope in the back of a wallet (behind the indexes) so that, as you open the wallet, the writing side is lowermost and the clasp end of the envelope will be nearest your audience. As a precaution, draw a Spade and a Club symbol just below the left edge of the flap on the envelope you placed in the wallet that contains the black-card index. In the same manner, draw the Heart and Diamond symbols on the other envelope. Place the wallet with the black-card index in the outer pocket of the jacket remnant (from the coat you destroyed not too long ago). The other walletwith the red cardsgoes in the breast pocket (red cards closer to the Heart). Neither wallet can protrude from the jacketthey must be totally concealed in the pocket, for you cannot allow the audience to suspect there is more than one. Bundle the jacket and place it in the lower part of your close-up case. Fill the pocket (the fuse box) in your expanded Playtime card case with the miniature novelty cards. Close the box and place it in a convenient location in the bottom half of your close-up case. The tube of glitter rests nearby in the same section. Loosen the lid of the tube so that one more turn will make it easy to remove. Both the tube and the box rest on top of your jacket. Finally, place the balloon in any convenient pocket. Stop for a moment, review your props and setup, and take a deep breath. Here we go . . . .

THE PERFORMANCE Say, Thank you ladies and gentlemen. I realized before I came out here tonight that I would be performing with some people that I respect and admire. Because of this, I thought what I would do is 168 The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

pay homage to these wonderful performers, sort of a preview of what you can expect from themby doing some of their favorite and best tricks! In fact, what the heck, Ill just do them all! What Im going to do is every card trick in the world ever invented at any time by anyone . . . and Im going to do them all in the next ten minutes. For those of you who dont think thats very special, Im also going to find fifty-two mentally selected cards and deal myself four Aces from a shuffled deck. Finally, I will end up with the famous Mentally Selected Card in the Balloon Trick. Take the balloon from your pocket and hold it up for everyone to see. Now, if I were to have someone just think of a card and that card was to end up in a balloon, you would think that he and I were in on it together. To eliminate that thought, I have here a spectator selector, so would someone catch this? Blow up the balloon and hold the end closed between your thumb and fingers. Pointing it toward your audience, let it go, flying into the crowd. Okay, sir, you say, addressing whoever caught the balloon, think of any card in the deck except maybe a Joker; thats a little too obvious. Dont tell me what it is just yet, just think of one and whatever you do, dont forget it. Reach into your close-up case and take out the deck in the collapsing box (see Shrinkage). Now, Im going to find your card, but first . . . EVERY CARD TRICK IN THE WORLD IN TEN MINUTES! Rest assured, I use only a normal pack of playing cards. Take the deck out of the box, saying, And I only use poker-sized cards for these because theyre a little bit easier to see. Set the deck on the table in front of you while you talk, then close the top of the card box, collapsing it in the process. Look at it in surprise as you say, Oh, I think the trick comes at the end when I have to put them back in this tiny little card boxthats kind of a strange thing. As you show the little card case, pick up the deck and hold it next to the box for comparison, then put the box in your close-up case. Okay, to begin with, Im going to shuffle the cards. Begin riffleshuffling the cards in your hands, as in Figures 27, 28, and 29. As you mix them, retain the original top cards of the deck (the Eight of Diamonds and Ten of Spades) in place by allowing them to fall last in the shuffle. Say, Now I think youll agree these cards are being shuffled. Im now going to have some people select a card. Follow this with a brief Hindu Shuffle, by stripping off approximately half the cards (see The Oh, Calcutta Shuffle for a description of the Hindu action). As you go to take the next packet from the top of the deck, push the Eight of Diamonds over a tad to get a left little finger break and shuffle off normally. When the shuffle is completed, you should be holding a break in the center of the deck, between the Eight of Diamonds and Ten of Spades. The F.I.S.M. Act

Figure 27

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Figure 29

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Figure 30

Figure 31

Address a member of your audience, saying, Sir, would you say stop anywhere in the middle of the deck? Begin riffling down the outer corner of the deck with your left thumb. Wherever he stops you, riffle force the Eight of Diamonds, lifting all the cards above the break and holding this packet full-face toward him (Figure 30). As your hand comes up to show him the card, push over the top card of the packet remaining in your left hand (the Ten of Spades) and hold a little finger break beneath it. When youre certain he has registered his selection, place the right-hand cards on top of the left, restoring the deck. Turning to another member of the audience, say, And Miss? Would you also say stop anywhere in the middle? Riffle force the Ten of Spades on her in the same manner as you forced the Eight of Diamonds on the first person. When she has remembered her card, replace the cards. It is no longer necessary to maintain a break, but do remember approximately where they lie in the deck. Cut the deck several cards below the selections and complete it, bringing the Eight of Diamonds and the Ten of Spades to within a few cards from the face. Now turn to a third person, saying, And would you stop me anywhere? Allow the cards to dribble from your right hand into your left (Figure 31), letting the spectator stop you at any point (a free choice). When she says to stop, lift the remaining right-hand cards, allowing her to note the face card of this packet as her selection (lets assume it is the Three of Clubs). Restore the deck, then sidesteal the chosen Three of Clubs to the top of the deck (Marlos Direct Side Steal from The Side Steal chapter of the Revolutionary Card Technique series is a perfect choice, and the one that John uses). Repeat the dribble and free selection for the fourth spectator (assume theyve stopped you at a Queen of Hearts), side-stealing it to the top as well. The order of the deck from the top down is now Queen of Hearts, Three of Clubs, and the rest of the pack. Say, Now we have four cards selected and, just to be safe, Im going to shuffle them again. Begin riffle-shuffling them in your hands again, mixing them well, but keeping the top two cards in position. Turn to the fourth spectator and say, Okay, what was your card? The Queen of Hearts? All right, now Im going to shuffle your card, the Queen of Hearts, to exactly the 26th position from the top of the deck. To do that, all I do are two shuffles . . . Shuffle the cards twice. And that puts your card at the 32nd position. Awesome. Now to get your card from 32 to 26, all I have to do is one simple little cut . . . Begin the Master Cut (described earlier in the book), a look of concentration dominating your face, the packets swirling around your fingers from hand to hand.

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Figure 32

Figure 33

There. That puts it exactly 26 cards down. Now its just a simple matter of cutting to the 26th card . . . Place the deck before you on the table, gripped between both hands as in Figure 32. Lift the top half of the deck at the near side with your left thumb while you carry the bottom half forward with your right hand, slightly snapping your wrist. At the same time that the bottom half starts moving forward, your right forefinger also presses down on the top card of the deck, spinning it off and in front of you (Figure 33the wrist motion provides the momentum). As soon as the top card flies forward, reverse the direction of your right hand, placing its packet back beneath the left. The illusion of the card coming from the center of the pack is quite good, once the timing is right.3 Pick up the card and hold it upright, back to your audience. Say, Im sorry, what was your card? The Queen of Hearts? Look disconcerted for a moment. Well, I didnt say it worked all the time . . . but it did that time, ladies and gentlemen! Thank you very much. Show the card to the audience, then lay it face up to one side. Turn to the third spectator and say, Okay, what was your card? The Three of Clubs? All right, give me any number between 20 and 30. 29? Okay, then, Im going to shuffle your card to the exact 29th position in the deck. Riffle shuffle the cards some more, keeping the selection on top. Now your card is 29th, you say as you pick up the Queen of Hearts, and in order to find it more quickly Im going to take her card, the Queen of Hearts, toss it up in the air, have it spin around 29 times, and land in the deck right next to your Three of Clubs. Wouldnt that be a good trick? When your spectators agree, say, Yeah, I know. I wish I could do it. Oh, well, you continue, well give it a shot. Look, I toss the Queen of Hearts up in the air, it lands in the deck . . . Spin the card upward in front of you at a slight angle so that it will boomerang back toward you. As the card comes down, give the deck
3. This is John Benzaiss revelation from Bewilderment, a routine that appeared in his book, The Best of Benzais. Benzais was an impressive worker who, from the feel of his writings, thoroughly enjoyed magic. If you recall, he also inspired Johns routine, The Jawbreakers, described earlier.

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Figure 34

Figure 35

Figure 36

Figure 37

a quick Hindu Cut, trapping the Queen of Hearts between the halves (Figures 34, 35, and 36). . . . right next to the 29th card. Here, Ill prove it to you . . . Begin spreading cards from hand to hand to get to the face-up card, mock counting as you go, . . . two, four, fifteen, twenty-five, twenty-nine! Spread to the face-up card and the face-down card directly beneath it, cleanly placing the back-to-back pair on the table. Show the cards in the deck above and below where the pair rested, saying, You see, if we went one card higher, we would have gotten this card, the Seven of Spades . . . and one card lower would have been this card, the Two of Clubs. But we landed right next to THIS card. Point to the facedown card on the table as you restore the deck and hold it in left-hand dealing position. Lean over to your left as you reach for the face-down card with your right hand, turning up a corner to peek at its face. As you do, say, What was your card again? For support, rest your left hand on the table edge, your fingers lying on the table surface, the remainder of your hand behind and below the table (Figure 37). Your hand should rest on the table directly over the tray in your close-up case, just to the left of the stacked deck, which is sitting upright near the right end of the tray. Under the misdirecting action of peeking at the card, drop the deck from your left hand onto the tray and pick up the stacked deck, using the same dealing grip (Figures 38, 39, and 40). Bring your hand into view immediately after that. As your hand comes up, say, The Three of Clubs? Thats close enough. Turn the tabled card face up with your right hand to show it. The action takes but a second and the deck is almost never out of sight during the switch. Okay, now, let me see . . . you thought of a card, right? Point to the second spectator. Name your card. The Ten of Spades? Okay, to find the Ten of Spades, all I have to do is give the deck a cut like this. . . . The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

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Figure 38

Figure 39

Figure 40

Figure 41

Perform the Apprentice Cut, described elsewhere in the book. . . . and your card comes right to the top. Glance at the top card, without showing it, and blush a little. Oops, not right to the top. Maybe its on the bottom. Peek at the bottom card. Oh, well, I missed that one, but Ill make it up to you by making it harder on me. Ill find all four Tens at the same time! Holding the deck in your left hand, toss it sharply into your right, the top and bottom cards clinging to your fingertips and remaining in your hand (Figure 41). Immediately toss the deck in the same way from your right hand softly to the table, keeping the top and bottom cards again. To reveal the four cards with a flourish, push the top cards forward with your thumbs (Figure 42). Bring your third fingers up and over the rear cards and press down to cause these cards to snap over end for end (Figure 43 in progress and Figure 44). Next, pull the face-down cards deeper into the crotch of your thumbs, and bring your second finger tips over their inside edges (Figure 45). By pulling down with your second fingers and applying upward pressure with your forefingers, the The F.I.S.M. Act

Figure 42

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Figure 43

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Figure 45

Figure 46

Figure 47

Figure 48

cards will snap over sideways (Figure 46). Place your thumbs on the faces of the rear cards (so you hold them by your thumbs and third fingers while your first and second fingers hold the front cards) and open your hands as in Figure 47, crossing your arms at the same time to end as in Figure 48. After the applause, place the Tens face down in diamond formation before you, the Spade being closest to your edge of the table. Now were down to the last card and I guess Ill have to play you poker for it . . . what was your card? The Eight of Diamonds? All I 174 The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

have to do is shuffle like this . . . Do The Oh, Calcutta Shuffle, retaining the order of the deck. . . . so that it ends up at a certain position in the deck, and that would be E, I, G, H, T, O, F, D, I, A, M, O, N, D, S . . . Begin spelling the name of the card, dealing one card for each letter on the Tens that are already on the table. Begin with the Ten on your left and deal around the table, as if completing poker hands. The letter S will fall on the third hand. Pause for a moment, then deal another card onto your pile, saying . . . Period! Push over the next card on the deck as you say, And thats how we get the Eight of Diamonds. Turn over the card to show the selection and table it to one side. As your audience reacts, spread the cards before you, looking over their faces. Sight the Two of Spades, getting a break above it as you close the deck. Keep holding your little finger break as you turn your left hand palm down as in Figure 49. You will find that this will cause the halves of the deck to form a step where the break lies (Figure 50). Take the deck from above with your right hand, allowing you to let go with your left long enough to retake it in standard dealing position. By now pulling down on this step with your left little finger, you can regain your break in the same place it was, beneath the Two of Spades (this ploy is generally credited to Marlo). Say, Now, I had everyone in the room think of a card. Did anyone think of the Two of Spades? While you speak, use your little finger to secretly kick the Two of Spades out the right side of the deck beneath your right hand, preparing for Arisen! If no one says they thought of it, say, I knew no one would think of the Two of Spades, so I took the liberty of thinking of it myself! Turn the deck end for end (executing the mechanics of Johns card rise), bringing it up on your right side, face to the audience, and cause the card to rise from the center of the pack (Figure 51). Naturally if someone does say they thought of the Two of Spades, claim this is their card. After the card has risen, put the deck, with the Two of Spades still outjogged in dealing position in your left hand. Grasp the outer end of the Two of Spades with your right hand and lift slightly, which will cause the deck to open a little along its entire right side. Take a little finger break here (between the red and black cards) as you pull out the Two of Spades and place it on the table with the selections. Now everyone in here is thinking of a card and Im going to find them all, but first, Im going to shuffle one last time. Begin an overhand shuffle, tossing cards from the top of the The F.I.S.M. Act

Figure 49

Figure 50

Figure 51

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Figure 53

Figure 54

deck into your right hand. Shuffle normally until you reach the break, then injog the next card and shuffle off. After the shuffle, lift the injogged card to get a break beneath it and square the cards. Cut the cards again and hold a break between the halves. The deck is still divided into reds and blacks and you still hold a break between them. Take all the top cards above the break in your right hand as you say, Now, in order to save time, Im going to find them all at once. If you thought of a red card, heres your card. Do a one-handed fan of all the red cards so the audience can see their faces. And if you thought of a black card, theres YOUR card. Do a reverse one-handed fan with your left hand (Figure 52) to show all the black faces there.4 After a pause, set all the reds and blacks off to the side with the selections. Point to the remaining hands on the table and say, Now I dealt four poker hands a little while ago to find the Eight of Diamonds and I did promise to deal myself four Aces from a shuffled pack. A lot of people ask me if thats possible . . . Pick up your poker hand and look at it for a moment. Look at your audience as if youve missed again and say, No! No, you see, I wouldnt do that because theres still a hand that is higher than four Aces. Thats a royal flush in spades, the Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and Ten of Spades. Thank you very much. Take the cards from the top of the packet as you name them, forming a fan face toward the audience to let them see your winning hand. Pick up all the cards from the table, reassemble your deck, and hold it in your left hand. Say, Now the problem, like I said, will be to get this deck back into its little box. With your left hand, reach into your prop case for the miniature card box. As soon as your hand is out of sight, though, drop the deck you hold, pick up the deck thats resting in the clip outside your case and then pick up the other miniature card casethe one with the secret pocket in it. Come out with the box and take it in your right hand, showing it, then set it upright on the table in front of you. For this, you say, what I use is a little bit of shrinking powder, and I happen to have some right here. Transfer the deck from your left hand to your right in dealing position. As your left hand moves away, though, it retains the rear half of the deck (Figure 53) and immediately goes to the case for the shrinking powder. Your right hand

4. It only takes a little bit of practice. Really.

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holds its half deck and cover card in dealing position (Figure 54). Drop the stolen half deck into the case, come out with your vial of powder, and set it on the table before you. Because the lid is loose, you can easily remove it with your left hand. Set it to one side and pick up the bottle again. You see, if I just sprinkle a little on the deck, the cards will shrink enough to where I can get them back in that box. Begin sprinkling some powder on the deck in your right hand. Get a little careless and jump back suddenly, getting your lap area out of the way of the falling powder. Oh, gosh, you say with a grin, that was close . . . dont spill any on yourself! Set the bottle on the table and move your right hand back and forth with a gentle shaking motion. Believe it or not, those cards are shrinking. Theyre getting smaller, smaller, and smaller . . . until they fit right into the box. Pick up the box on the table with your left hand as you tilt your right hand back, obscuring the view of the deck from your audience. At the same time, push up on the flap of the deck with your little finger (Figure 55). Bringing the box up to your right hand, use your right thumb to pull the flap the rest of the way over and slowly slide the gimmick into the case (Figure 56). Once the cards are halfway into the box you can flash the miniature back, after which you fold the flap of the case over and hold it down with your left thumb (Figure 57). Your audience will respond to this and, during their reaction, you lift up the flap of the box and look inside. Uh-oh, you say, I think I used a little too much shrinking powder. If you ever do that, youre in trouble. Fold the flap of the case back onto the other side, holding it down with your fingers. Press firmly with your fingers and thumb to hold the half-deck in place while you turn the case upside down, letting the itsy-bitsy playing cards flutter to the table. Scoop them up quickly and throw them and the card case into your close-up case. But wait, were running out of time, so Id better hurry, because I said that I would do EVERY card trick in the world in under ten minutes. Now, youre not going to believe this, but if I snap my fingers, that deck of cards jumps right back into my pocket. Reach into your outer left jacket pocket and remove the deck, bringing it before your spectators. Not only has it jumped back into my pocketand grown to its original size, I might addbut the card case has now turned to blue! Point to the outside of the box. Open the case and remove the cards. And if I take the cards out of the case, the card case does not shrink. Bow slightly as you add, Thank you very much. Put the card box in your close-up case. The F.I.S.M. Act

Figure 55

Figure 56

Figure 57

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Figure 58

Turn the deck face up in your hand and begin doing a Hindu shuffle, every so often showing the blue-backed card at the rear of the right-hand packet. Say, Not only did the cards turn blue, but you will notice that the faces have all turned blank. When youre left with a small packet in your right hand, place these on the face of the deck, holding a momentary break, then cut them to the rear of the deck. Spread the cards face up, showing the blank faces. Square the cards and turn them face down in your left hand. And not only did all the cards in the deck turn blank, but if I take my hand and wave it over the deck like this, all the cards in the deck turn BACK to red! Do the Winter Change (taught in another chapter), stealing any card from the center and loading it on top of the deck. Immediately spread the cards, keeping the top two aligned, showing all red backs. Cut the deck as you close the cards and turn them face up in your left hand. And not only did all the cards turn red again, but if I snap my fingers once more, one and only one card turns back to blue! Bring the deck upright so the audience is looking at the back again and do a pressure fan in your left hand. Pull the blue-backed card partially from the fan and leave it outjogged. This is the Visa gag card you made earlier. Who caught the balloon a while ago? You? Sir, would you tell us for the first time what card you merely thought of? The Two of Hearts? Remove the outjogged card from the fan. Would it be a good trick if this was your card? I know, but its not. Its my Visa card. Turn the card over so the audience can recognize the label. After the laugh, put the card and the deck on the table. No, not only does the card turn blue, but YOUR card, the Two of Hearts, jumps right inside my coat pocket. No, not this one . . . THIS ONE! Reach in your case and pull out the portion of jacket you have there. And not only does your card jump into my pocket, but it jumps inside a wallet . . . Depending on the card hes called, reach in the appropriate pocket and remove the wallet index and envelope. Since in our example the spectator thought of the Two of Hearts, you would remove the wallet from the breast pocket, keeping the one in the side pocket well out of sight. Show the zipper on the wallet (as if it means anything here) and say, . . . and it has a zipper on it! Now point to the envelope jutting out on all sides and say, And not only did it jump inside a zippered wallet, but it jumped right into an envelope. Pull the cover of the wallet slightly to your left with your left thumb, exposing the tabs on the other side. Press down on the 2 tab in the wallet with your right thumb and move your thumb onto the upper card on that page (the Two of Hearts). Pull the envelope straight up from the wallet, your right thumb carrying the Two of Hearts behind it (Figure 58). Say, And, ladies and gentlemen, it is a sealed envelope! Lift the flap slightly to show that while the envelope is open, there is a gold foil seal stuck to it. Holding the flap open, reach inside and take out the jumbo card. As you do, take the Two of Hearts straight up behind the card and set the envelope The Award-Winning Magic of John Cornelius

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Figure 59

Figure 60

aside. The blank face of the card will be on your side and the missing corner will be at your lower left. And not only did it jump to a sealed envelope, it has expanded to five times its original size. It has also changed back to a red card . . . there is my signature on the back . . . and yes, ladies and gentlemen, one of these pieces does fit! Point first to the size of the card, then to the color of the back, then to your signature on the back, and then open your coat with your left hand to reveal all the pieces of playing card you have fastened there. After the laughter has died down, say, And there it is, ladies and gentlemen, finally . . . YOUR CARD! With your left thumb, push the Two of Hearts to your right and into a right-hand full palm (Figure 59) so that you can turn the card over end for end with your left hand. Immediately tap the backs of your right fingers sharply against your side of the card, pushing the Two of Hearts past your fingertips, where your left thumb can grasp it behind the jumbo card again (Figure 60). The audience is looking at the words Your Card printed on the face of the jumbo card. Gesture with your empty right hand. Say, Oh, I guess thats not what you expected. Hang on, let me try this again. Turn the card(s) 90 counterclockwise and tear the jumbo card in half, keeping the Two of Hearts concealed behind the right piece (Figure 61). Next turn both of your hands in toward each other at the wrists, which turns the half-jumbo card in your left hand 90 counter-clockwise and the pieces in your right hand 90 clockwise (Figure 62). Place the left-hand piece on top of the right-hand piece, sandwiching the Two of Hearts between them so you end up in the position shown in Figure 63. The missing corner will be on the piece nearest you at the upper right, and you can see the corner of the Two of Hearts there. The F.I.S.M. Act

Figure 61

Figure 62

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Figure 63

Figure 64

Figure 65

Figure 66

Take all three pieces in your right hand as in Figure 64, your second and third fingers on the right edge, your thumb on the left, and your forefinger on the Two of Hearts at the missing corner. Say, Now, if you remember, I promised I would end with someone just thinking of a card and I would find it in a balloon, right? Watch. Youve heard of the card in the balloon? This is the balloon on the card! Push the Two of Hearts to the right with your right forefinger, causing it to pivot when it comes against your second finger, rising from between the pieces as in Figure 65. The audience will see a card with a picture of a balloon on it. Take it with your left hand and put the pieces of the jumbo card to one side. Now all that remains is to pop that balloon, finding your card . . . what was the card you just thought of? The Two of Hearts? Look, we pop the balloon, getting the Two of Hearts . . . Hold the card by its left long edge between your left thumb and fingertips, as in Figure 66. Snap the right edge of the card forcefully, causing it to fly down from your left hand to the table, turning over in the process. The audience will see the card change to the Two of Hearts. Pick it up and display it, finishing by saying, . . . which gives us EVERY CARD EFFECT IN THE WORLD IN UNDER TEN MINUTES! Thank you very much! Thus ends the routine, to which you may take your well-earned applause! In closing, the entire magic world would be understandably surprised if anyone was to put forth the effort required to perfect and perform Johns routine, amazing and brilliant as it is. However, there are many components contained within that could be used in a variety of circumstances, and we would be both surprised and chagrined if many did not take advantage of them. The wallet index idea, for

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example, is a utility idea that will fit in many routines and in many forms, depending on your needs and imagination. Of particular interest is a study of the structure of the F.I.S.M. Act; the manner in which the effects, despite their dissimilarity, blend into a logical progression of events; and how John adroitly solved the many problems that were inherent in trying to develop an act of this intricacy. From studying the management (the manner in which each part of the act supports the events to follow), we obtain a glimpse of how his mind works and perhaps come a little closer to understanding the essence of creativity. Part imagination, part tenacity, this routine stands as a prime example of the rewards of thinking diligently about our craft. John could have taken several parts of the routine in different directions, adding other elements or tossing in more tricks and moves. He consistently pruned himself, however, favoring the direct route both in method and effect, which makes the magic shine ever clearer. More important than learning the routine, then, is understanding it, so that we can carry this knowledge through the rest of our magicand perhaps much further. John has continued developing this routine over time, and currently finishes by pulling an electric deck attached to a reel that is in turn affixed inside his case. Part way down the line of cards is the balloon card. He holds the line of cards and sets off an electric card fountain which shoots cards up in front of the electric deck. While the cards are streaming up from the fountain, he releases the electric deck, maintaining his grip on the balloon card. The electric deck shoots back into the case, and when the cards have all fallen, the balloon card is revealed!

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Misdirection is about attitude. To clarify effect and make method truly invisible, or more the point, unimportant to audiences, there must be no incongruous movements, gestures, or illogical feints intended to distract. Participants must be drawn into the presentation, feel connected to the performer and relax their inhibitions. Misdirection is not something you do, it is something that is . AJP (05/04/01)

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