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a IC
DAVID REGAL

Photographs

by

Leslie Davis Regal

Layout Design

by

Jonathan Levit

Contents
Foreword
Introduction

A DECK OF CARDS
Flight Attendants
The 5280 Opener

Context
Off Beat Aces
Stand-Up Showdown
Going and Gone
Never There Aces
The Automatic Computerized Deck with Spell-Check

11
16
20
22

26
35
42

48

Goodwill

53

Getting to Know You


Hidden Powers
Right & Wrong
King Back

55
60
63

CONDITIONS & IMPACT

77

Copyright e 2008 by David Regal

COCOA

83

Cover design by Steve Mitchell

LUCK

97

All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions.


Published in the United States by Blue Bikes Productions, Inc.
Manufacturing rights for all effects in this book are reserved by David Regal
Printed in the United States of America.
First Edition

654321

A HOOKUP
Not Quite Dead
The Haunted Pack

68

111
116

124

REMUNERATION

Visual Magic
Consolidation
An Attractive Vanish
A Quiet Good-Bye
Brass-Ackwards
Restored Credit
The Money Cup
Strolling Abroad
Laptop Printer
Paper Money

129
131

136
142
147

154
159
165
173

176

MORE THAN A DECK OF CARDS

l/lLlsioll vs. Reality


Scratched
Ad Space

Character
The Curiously Strong Nest of Boxes
A Card at a Number
The Fifty-Fifty Deck
Doubly Stuck
Satan's Sandwich
Sanitized for Your Deception

A CONVERSATION WITH ARMANDO LUCERO

SELF-WORKING MAGIC
185
188
193
197
200
203
203
207
209
213

Hotel 52
Simpatico
312
312.5
The Impossible Envelope
Porn in Your Pants
Special Bulletin
The Harlequin Book Test

233
238
243
246
254
259
261
265
271
279
288
294
299
306

FINDING MOMENTS

315

Window Replacement
Thinking Ahead
Medicinal Value
Will the Socks Match?
Equiv-O-Cash

Olle Thing Happens

PACKET MAGIC

Packet Tricks
Royal Jazz Quartet
Jewel Thief
The No-Extra-Card Version
The Eye Exam
A Progressive Swindle
Oil Slick .
Not My Last Trick

Raising Kane

LIQUID REFRESHMENT
Amstel Heavy
A Drinking Problem
The World's Greatest Invention

323
324
329
334
339
344
349
356
362

377
381
387

OUR SECRET

Storytelling and Magic


Change For a Five
Exhibit A
See-Through Monte

399
400
405
409

SCRIPTING

419

The Puppy Trick

432

221

MENTALISM

369

THREE-PIECE BAND

Fear
The Power of Love
A Distant Ring
In Darkness

Method and Effect

445
447
453
461
467

SLEIGHTS WITH CARDS


A Control
A One-Hand Half Pass
The One-Hand Turnover Half Pass
The Toss Pass
A Double Change
An Isolated Change
A Double Isolated Change
An Oil & Water
The Follow the Leader Switch
The Galileo Switch
The No-Switch Switch
A Fan of Herrmann's
Doing Nothing
Ninety Degrees in the Shade
Pulling a One-Eighty
In Conclusion

471
473
473
476
477
480

481
482
488

490
493
496
498
498

501
503

foreword
David Regal had a nice collection of columns in Genii Magazine wherein he and
o th ers would share their favorltL' magic effects which were hidden in print. David
has con tributed a nice colil'ctlon of these kinds of hidden treasures himself.
Regn l's first book Slnr Qllnltly hnd no introduction, but it offered two forewords,

for Leslie, jake and Salltnl/titn,


who were there when the cards fell al/d
tile beer spilled.

one by th e lege nd ary I larry I.orayne, the other by David Regal. What are the actual
ljunlities of a s tnr? It IS a body made up of hot, burning gas, and the brightness \'1'>Ible today IS i:lctui:llly the ghost of a faLling li g ht which hi:lS taken (i:lr too long to trav'el
close enough to Ei:lr th for human s to see By the time the glimmer reaches us, the
origina l source of th e light IS long gone Star QUi:llity, indeed
In thiS 1987 book you will find "A n) Card - Any umber" on page 37; presaging
the current fi xa tion by two decndes, hiS four piece, Signed card restoration " Piece
by Piece" on page 151 which predated the developments of Guy Hollingsworth and
" Dave's Move -A Card" on pi:lge 170, an un -ga ffed , sti:lck free, non -memory wrs ion of Moe's mlfilcle that came long after the original but remi:lIl1S \\ay ahead of
Its lime
The year 1990 brought the Stephen 1\1l11ch collection Sper/nell', It too had no intro
ductlon On page 27 is Di:lvid's effect "Ba by Pace" it is essentii:lll\' Dan Harli:ln'!,
Cn rdTonn utilIZIng photogmphs, Regal Just happenl'd to CrL'i:lte It betllfl~ CardToon
wns born
Ill9l) was the year

01

[)nvld's next book, Clo~c-LIp t,.".(

PCNlIItll.

It hnd n preface b

"-en "-renzel nnd an Introduction b~ ~tax tvtn\'l~n. It oifl'rs sevwal grl'at tricb
that hnvc not vl.'l bL'en dlswvwed and rev'i:lmpl'd by othl'r modern magic greats:
"Ten Second Poker," "TherL' & Back," "Got A Light? " and "Gambit in a Box.
N

Get mov IIlg, guys.


Then, in 2002, Regnl rL'ic.1sl'd Cmlslmll Fooling. Two volumes, a pre -preface by Stephen Minch, ,]Ilother prl'lace by R. Pnul Wilson nnd Regal wrote his own introduction . If nny of these writers had read what others wrote in David's earlier books
tvtinch might not haw lound it neCl'ssary to rehash David's improv work with

FOREWORD

Chicago City Limits, his "discovery" by Harry Lorayne, or his work as a p~ofessio~~
al television writer Wilson would have probably name-dropped Jen nings name
matter what. If "Cups & Balls & Cups & Balls" was the only effect in these books,
it would have been more than enough for me. David wJII someday regret he shared
thiS with the Fraternity if he does not already. Those who don't learn, contJllue to

4) David Regal

teach.

7) David Regal seems to be a good father.

And so we come to 2008 and this, most recent collection of David's magical thlllking-Approachillg Magic. It offers way too many card tricks (some very good ones)
several thought-provoking essays and some flat-out great magic. Look at the
transformational bill change "Paper Money" which turns your fingers JIlto a fl esh
and bone Adam's Money Maker Check out his new takes on Move-A-Ca rd and
ACAAN-"Scratched" and "A Card at a Number." "Will the Socks Match?" is
pleaslllg for personal reasons, and "Hotel 52" will be skipped over by all those who
do not see David perform it-their loss.

So that 15 what I think of the material-you spent your money well. You bought a
good book. Good for you, well done.
What do I think of the writer? Harder to say.
Because ...
I have never seen him perform for a lay audience.
I have never seen him do a full show.
I have never seen him lecture or work at a convention or at the Magic Castle.
In all, David and I have spent a total of fewer than twenty-four hours together
spr~ad ~ut across many years. But in this brief amount of time here are the feel ' '
which linger:
JIlgs
1) David Regal appears to be a nice guy.

2) David Regal LOVES magic.

DavId Regal is a good storyteller.

a talented performer.

5) David Regal LOVES magic.


6) David Regal is an intelligent and clever creator of magic effects and methods.

8) And David Regal LOVES magic.


If you want to know more about the material or the guy who created it, you're gomg
to have to break down and actually read the book for yourself.

Michael Weber
2008

But for me, the star of this book is "The Impossible Envelope." I've sa id too much
already

IS

INTRODUCTION

introduction
If, when J was twelve years old and excitedly performing magic tricks, you told me
that I'd be doing the same thing as a middle-aged man I'd have stared at you in disbelIef. Magic was my enthusiasm, my love, and I naturally assumed it was the sort
of lrivial thing one was expected to stop doing once one "grew up." As it turns out I
never grew up and magic is something I cou ldn't stop doing. I had It all backwards.
The episodes of television that I've had something to do with are transitory, and
my love, magic, is my rock. Twenty years from now It IS unlikely that many will be
watching TV shows dating from the turn of the millenn ium, but there's a chance
that a twelve yea r old boy will open up a magic book of mine and excitedly perform
a trick found within.

The first collection of my magic, written by Harry Lorayne, was published over
twenty yea rs ago. That seems unlikely, and ternfYIng, but I am resigned to It. In the
six years since my last book of magic effects was released much has occurred. Video
instruction, by and large, has become the way one passes along magic methods.
This quick, inexpensive form of distribution has released an enormous amount of
material to the marketplace. Why, then, write a book? As it turns out, while video
instruction is a good way to learn many things, there are some things better communicated in other ways. There IS more to magic than the technical underpinnings
used to bring about an effect or the details of a move. The secret is not The Secret.
We all approach magic with our unique strengths and obJectives, and this book's
aim is to put forward a process that will allow you to inject more of yourself into
your magic, making both you and your presentations more memorable to audiences
and increasing your own pleasure of performing. This is a book of tricks, yes, but
it IS also a pathway that can guide you to performing magic not more like me, but
more like you, with the attendant rewards and satisfactions that come with personal expression .
Magic is misunderstood . Although seldom awarded this stature, it is one of our
performing arts and, like the word "music," is an umbrella that covers an infinitely
wide spectrum of potential approaches, moods, comment and tone. Magic has given me some of the most creatively satisfying experiences of my life, and whatever
successes I've had arc due to approaching it in the manner described in the pieces

APPROACH NG MAG r

shpped In between the effects. As for the effects themselves, the} are the result of
an itch 1 can't stop scratching. 1, like man} others, have "the bug" whIch leads me
to occasionally hammer In the early morning hours and destroy useful household
utensils. I cannot explain the compulsIon. [feel at this late date It'S best to succumb
and continue
As Infants, before we can talk we are tossed on our backs and tIckled That sensation of glee IS pure, unfiltered, and taken away from us at an carl} age. It is qualified
as soon as we begin to apply logic and reason to those things we wish to enjoy.
Magic does away wIth logic, skews or punctures it. I think that IS why, when done
well, it can reach people in a special way. It can toss an entire audience onto its back
and tickle them, bypaSSing a II reasoning.
None of us can perform real magic. All we can do is approach magic, and commUnIcate a sensatIon of It to our audiences. On those days when we come close, I
beheve that we perform a unique and benefiCIal service.
David Regal
March,2008

Approaching Magic

ADEC OF CAPOS

FLIGHT ATTE
EFFECT: The transportation of a card or cards, depending on one 's pomt of \ ew

With this effect I\'e push the mock duplicate concept to Its hmlb, te"ting It:' boundaries. Due to the nature of the method, I magnify one element of the ettect while
minimizing another. By doing this it is possible that some people in the audience
Will perceh'e a slightly different effect than others.
EEDED: A deck of cards. A marker.
THE SETUP: At the face of the deck IS an mdifferent card, followed b\' two Queens

of opposite colors, reversed .


It's easy to get into this pOSition from a shuffled deck. Spread the cards, cutting any
Queen secretly to the face. Openly upjog two Queens of different colors. and in the
process secretly slip the remaining Queen to the face. Toss the upjogged Queens to
the table. Tum the deck face down Reverse the two Queens at the face (half pass.
Christ Twist, etc.) while pattering, then overhand shuft1e one card to the bottom
To describe this trick, we'll assume the deck has been pre-set, and two Queens of
diffe rent colors are tabled face up, in a loose pile.
STEP 1) Point to the tabled Queens.

Those are more than just Queens, they are flight attendants. Don't call
them stewardesses-it's not politIcally correct. I made that mistake ollce
and the woman handed me my nuts in a bag. Let me show you ({lhy
Queens are called "the flight attendallts of the deck." For this wc'llllced
a passenger. Pick one.
Spread the cards face down for a selection. Do not spread so far as to expose the
reversed Queens.

You can show it to me-I promise I won't try to find it. We're way past
those cheap theatrics.
Square the cards into the left hand. As you make the above remark. drop the deck to
your side and reverse the top card by levering it against your left leg. Several effects

- - - - --- ---

In

( r

ADEC~ OF CARDS

want the spectator to aimlessly fiddle with the cards in his hands, possibly exposIng the switch. By giving the spectator a task, he wIll be paying attention to what is
reqUIred of him instead of being left to his own deVIces.! '0 worries-this is audi-

thIs btJok gIVe tl~tlm{Jny tn thl' fact that /love thIS old chestnut

IJ( a mlJV

ence management, and it works.

()kIlY IIII' CjI'VI'tl of f}tamond , lor whahVI'rl '[ hI' Srven of [Jia
mil/it;:} WIll iI(' our pa,.,rnXl'r loday. Hul every plalJe has row! of
'('111 ,lind 1'1Jl'ry H'ol IIssig1WlI'nl ha) a tl/Jmiler and a le/ler. Is otlr
r)(f'i ,1'nKI'r hI 61'111 J I-IF 32 /)? YUII 11'11 ml' "
Sf f.f' 2) I he nght hond r 'al ht:~ (Of th'

Take the flight attendant on top and turn her over, so she can nap.
Indicate this by picking up the top card of the deck (the selection) for a moment,
then replacing it.

~clt!ctl{Jn, As you speak,

tllt'leit haml rt~CS with the dl'(k, tilting It so the audIence can
not., the rever I'd top card IHg. 1), '/ he right hand places th,I'
61,II'cllon (aci' up onto the dl'(k J" the dl'ck is tilted to the audl
t i l l ' I, mld PfoPl'r1y, thl" is iJ very bold and dl'crptlve proce

Now slide out the flIght attendant on the bottom, and


turn her face down, too.
Slide out the bottom card of the deck, by way of demonstration,
and reinsert it into the center of the deck. This leaves two reversed Queens at the bottom of the deck.

duff' (I igs. 2 tl :3).


(Jkll1/, 11'1', ~lVe lillIl ~('{/I 11IImiJI'r loollr pUN'l1!<er l

I Ill' right II,md I'rodw I'S a mMh'f I hi' movcml'nts ~hlJuld be or


dll'\ tr"tl'd ~(I t!l.Jl tht' hand goes (or tht' mJfkl'f the mom!'nt afler
til ~r. "dion hiJ~ bl'lm pl.'(f'd onto thl' dl'ck, IJst!'nsibly to (ree
III' till' hand Writ, the ~I 'il t numbl:r on thl' self 'clion (Fig. 4). If
dl'~lf('d, you r.m h~Vl'.1 ~ rl! ttiJ tof initial thl' ca fd, as a "ticket conhrmation," but In thi s c,,~r.1 dlln't fl)t:i it is nl'(('~sary.

Figure 2

Figule 5

And we all know that every tllne you try to sleep all a
plane there's turbulence, so give the cards a nllX.
The left first finger applies pressure to the outer right comer of
the bottommost Queen, so that it breaks at the inner right comer
(Fig. 6) Slip the left little finger into the break. You wIll now demonstrate a "mix" of the cards without looking at the deck:

STEP 3) You ar(' w.IY alH'i1d of tIll' "utiil'nn', as undl'f th!' (are up
s 'I('clion is a (i1ll' up IIltiiffl'r!'nt lard,

Let's go on a trip, Pleas!' pllk lip Imr flixhl attl'ndants,


lIave the Mpectator hold the Queens face up. Per(orm a doublp
turnover. I apply downward pressure on the sc\ecl1on at the outer
left corner with my left thumb, causing thl' doubk' card to rise
at the Inner right corner (Fig. 5). making the turnover sure and
Iwlft.lmmedlately deal the top card (an indifferent card) into the
right hand. The right hand inserts Its face down card between
the Mfllght attendants" In the spectator's hand,

STEP 4) The spectator is now holding three face-down cards.


You will use a little time misdirection so that the precise Identities of the Queens are forgot ten, were they ever known.

Figule 3

Figule 6

Figu/e 4

Figure 7

ThiI will bt a "red tyt"...


It'. impottut to armt the attention of the spectator the moment
the indiffIrent card hu been added to his Queens. You don't

The left thumb is placed on the top card of the deck (the selectIOn) as the right hand pulls all but the top and bottom cards to
the right. The selection will fall onto what was the bottommost
Queen The right hand slaps its cards onto the two cards in the
left hand, jogged slightly to the right. Because the Queen is reversed, you will want to provide cover for this cut with the right
hand, holding the deck deeper than is normal (Fig. 7). Of course,
you need not procure the left little-finger break if you choose to
simply "milk" the top and bottom cards with the left thumb and
fingers while performing the cut.

APPROACH~G MAGIC

ADECK OF CARD-.:...
S_ _ _ __

the cards In the left hand . See to It that the spectator's packet is
left protruuing from the left hand's cards (Fig. 12).
The right hand rises and slaps Its cards onto the cards In the left
hand . Immediately sq ua re the cards and riffle the deck as a magica l gesture.
I~elllelllber

Figure 12
flgule 8

how we wrote the seat number right on the


passenger? There was a reason for that ... so you'd recogI1Ize hilll when he came back fro 111 his vacation !
STEP 6) For the first time, look over at the packet you secretly
deposited on the right side of the table. Extend a finger of the
e mpty rIght hand a nd use it to sp read the Queens, revealing the
selected marked card to end (Fig. 13).

figure 11

figure 10

While squaring the deck, the left little finger sldejogs the bottom ca rd of the right
hand's portion, the remaining Queen (Fig. 8). The left little finger contacts the sidejogged Queen and pulls down (Fig. 9), securing a break above it as the card is
squared with the deck.
During the above, your attention should be on the cards in the spectator's hands.
STEP SI The right hand takes the deck from above, the right thumb taking over
the break. Kick over half the deck with the right first finger (Fig. 10). The left hand
takes the kicked-over cards and opens a large gap in the half deck with the thumb
(Fig. 11).

Okay, place them all into the airport. Let's go on our trip.
Extend the left hand toward the spectator. As you focus on the spectator's insertion
of the packet, turning the body slightly to the left, allow the right hand to fall to
the table top and secretly deposit all the cards below the break (the selection surlOUIIded by two diffolelll flight attendants). You will feel guilty doing this at first.
CaDlltr* on iJd.eiltly watching the spectator's actions. Never take your eyes off

Figure 13

The clearly defined effect is th e transportation of the "passenger."


The implied effect IS the transportation of the Queens as well. I do
not stress their importance to the effect, as the method requires
that they receive little heat. As I saId earlier, the effect might be
different for different people in the audience. The script, however,
a llows viewers to perceive the effect in their own way.
Max Maven pointed out th at the discrepancy could be eliminated by simply havIng the selec tion slart off between two red Queens and appear between two black
Queens, an open change of the sa ndWich ca rd s. Alternatively, one could start off
with the card sa ndWi ched between red and black Queens, and end with it sandwiched between red and black Kings, concluding on a theme of "political correctness."
Finally, although I describe secretly depOSiting the sandwich on the table, the sandWich can be deposited wherever opportunity dictates. That concept was the starting
pOint for thiS effect. The further away the "selection sandwich" can be discovered
from the selection's alleged position, the better. In impromptu situations I've been
known to place the sandwich onto a bookshelf and walk several steps away before
causing the out jogged selection to vanish.

APPROAlH'NG MAG (

ADECK OF CARDS

Down Undel Double, a move that


has been exrlored rn a ll my books .

THE 5280 OPENER

hd~

many application s and

The left hand II ~es as the Ace IS dlsrlayed (I-rg naudiencl'


view). Th IS positron is Importa nt, as It set ~ up for a later rereal
which wi ll covel a move.

I ca ll thi s si mple effect the 5280 Opener because the magician is a .ml~e ahead of the

audience. It utilizes one of my favorite principles of magiC: Plot Misdirection .

Thill's Ace 1//I/llbrr Oll l!

EFFECT: The Aces are produced from the deck, then turn into the four Kings.

Figule 4
NEEDED: A deck of ca rds.
THE SET-UP: Two red Aces are at the bottom of the deck. At the

top of the deck is the Ace of Spades, followed by the face-up Ace
of Clubs and the four face-up Kings (five cards are face up under
the facedown Ace of Spades)
STEP 1) False shuffle and cut, if desired . Spread the deck be-

tween the hands, first pushing over a group to hide the reversed
cards (Fig. 1)
Figure 1

STEP 3) The left hand lowers as the little finger pulls down on
a ll the cards below the break. The right hand slides the outer
left corner of Its cards Into the break and the right first finger
clamps down on the double card (Pig. 7) . Move the rrght hand
forward, carry ing the double card, untrl the Inner Jeft corner of
th e double res ts on the outer rrght corner of the left hand's cards
(Pig. 8). The left second fi ngertlr conlacts the underside of the
double and hold s the bottom card in rlace as the two hands
make a snapping acllon, vIsibly "splitting" the single red Ace
into two red Aces (Fig. 9)

Figure 5

Thill's two ...

When I was a c1l1ld of SIX I learned I had Ihe ability to find the
fOllr Aces in any deck of cards.
Square the deck into the left hand, securing a left little-finger
break above the bottom two cards.

I'm not sure if I remember how I did it, but I'll give it a try ...
STEP 2) Grasp the deck from above with the right hand, the
thumb taking over the break. The right first finger kicks half
the deck to the left (Fig. 2). The left hand grasps the kicked-off
portion and the hands turn sharply at the wrists as the deck
is cut. You want to produce a bit of sound as the two packets
are separated (Fig. 3). The right hand places its cards onto the
left hand's cards, but out jogged about ninety percent of their
length, so that the left thumb and second finger can grasp the
red Aes below the break at their inner left and right corners
hand omitted). The right hand moves back, pivot<Piscard, a~rentIy a single red Ace, face up so that
~"* ties square WIth the pack (Fig. 5). The left little finger
under the double card in the process. This is the

Figure 2

Figure 6

figure 3

Figure 8

4-:
.-1Ik

Frgure 7

APP~~A(

It GMAGI'

--

ADECK OF CARDS

The left little finger secures a break under the five cards. The right
hand scoops up the tabled Aces and places them onto the deck in
an unstudied manner (Fig. 13).

The hands move together, tabling the red Aces about four inches
apart (Fig. 10).
STEP 4) The hands come back toward the body, and on the way
the left little finger secures a break under the top card of Its portion The right hand places its cards onto the left hand's cards,
the thumb picking up the top card and holding a break between
It and the right hand's packet. The hands "snap" the halves of
the deck apart in the same manner as Figure 3.

Yes, J learned to find the Aces when J was SIX.

Flgule 10

Figule 12

Perform a block push-off of all the cards above the break as the
Aces are turned face down. Immediately spread off the top four
cards (Kings) and table them in a horizontal row (Fig. 14).

When J was seven J learned how to find the Kings ....

Position check: The top card of the left hand's portion should be
the face up Ace of Clubs, and the bottom card of the right hand's portion should be
the Ace of Spades, a thumb break above it.

Riffle the deck toward the table, then turn over the tabled cards to
reveal their transformation (Fig. 15).

Raise the left hand to display the face of the Ace of Clubs to the audience At the
same time, the right hand lowers to the table, depositing the face-down Ace of
Spades between the two face-up red Aces (Fig. ll-audlence view).

That's three ..
Figure 13

All your attention must be on the displayed Ace of Clubs. The hands come together
as the right hand places its cards beneath the left hand's cards.
The deck is now in lefthand dealing position. Take a step back
and riffle the deck toward the table. Look at the tabled Aces for
the first time-the audience will suddenly become aware of the
face-down card. ThiS is a very magical moment.
Lower the left-hand packet to keep the Ace of Clubs in view as
the rig~t hand turns the Ace of Spades face up, displaying all four
Aces (Flg.12-audience view).

Figure 14

And that's four!

s-r:
:n

5) The discovery of the Aces is over. The aUdience relaxes


ey assume they've viewed the conclusion of a pretty effect'
you are set up to do an extremely clean packet switch Th'
left thumb presses dow
th
. e
Ii the
n on e outer left corner of its cards
QlI ng
reversed cards to lift up at the inner right corner. '

Figure 11

Figure 15

Of course the final climax can be omitted, and thiS sequence can
become a secret maneuver. Instead of placing four face-up Kings
under the Ace of Clubs at the start, place three indifferent cards.
After the block turnover in Step 5 you will in a perfect position
for an Ace Assembly, as three of the four Aces will have been
sWitched out.

APPROACH NG "MG ~

CONTEXT
We've all seen performances of magic that are exercises In confusion. We may not und~rstand
how this or that was accomplished, but we also don't care. Effective performances of magic share
a common element, a context for the effect that gives the audience just the nght am~un~ of 1Oformation to allow both to enjoy the proceedings and to be hit in the gut by the effect s chmax.

If we consider a magic effect to be something like watching a short film, we can seek those elements that make a film work:

The audience understands the objective of a main character.


The audience wants to follow the main character on a journey to attain that goal.
Obstacles arise that present a challenge for the main character.
The objective is reached in a satisfying and/or surprising manner.

In the context of a maglC performance, the main character is most likely you or a chosen spectator. Here's an example of what can occur during a bad performance of magic that might otherwise be technically correct:
The audience Isn't sure why the performer is doing what he's doing.
The audience isn't interested in the actions of the performer, as they are busy trying to
understand the meaning of what is being said or done.
The audience isn't sure who or what is important in the body of the presentation.
The audience sees the climax, and realizes that they have been fooled.
In the first scenario, the well-made film, the audience is fascinated from beginning to end. In the
second scenario, the bad performance of magic, the audience is alienated until the final moment
which arrives ~ith litt~e effect because the audience has not inserted themselves into the journe;
that
.. ledIvup to It. Even In the mystery genre, where facts are intentionally held back' th e au d'lence
IS mvo ed, desperate to know the meaning of events, hooked by information that has been parceled out. In fact, one can ~eigh the success of a mystery story or film by just how much the audi. I
't
ence wants to unravel the nddle. If the audience is confused and doesn't care the fil
work. So 't . th
.
m simp y won
I IS WI magic. Here are two examples of story beats laid out in slightly different ways:

NOT SO INTERESTING:
-I< on the street reads 9:55. A man walks down the sidewalk with a bag H .
. e IS

ADECK OF CARDS

stopped by an old friend from his college days who engages him 10 conversatlon. He
quickly tnes to end the conversation, becomes rude and hurries off
INTERESTING:

We see a sweating man hold 109 a random note. It reads "We have her Place one milhon dollars into the trash can at First and MalO by ten o'clock. Tell no one." A clock on the
street reads 9:55. The man walks down the sidewalk with a bag. He is stopped by an old
friend from his college days who engages him in conversation. He qUIckly tries to end the
conversation, becomes rude and hurries off in order to save the woman before time runs out.
In the first example an apparently busy and unpleasa nt man won't speak to an old acquaintance,
but in the second example we are involved with a character's need, and sense urgency \\'e are on
his side as he seeks to fulfi ll an objective. When he meets an obstacle we feel his predicament,
and we cheer inwardly when he hurdles past th e impediment.
Both scenarios might eventually tell the same story, but in the first example we are supplied with
a context for all that follows, so we, as an audience, are involved with the proceedmgs as they
happen. Caring about something retroactively doesn't work-that IS why puzzle elements in a
film cannot sustain themselves wi thout eventually providing some context for the viewer. In the
case of a magic effec t, we have to compress the story we tell into a matter of a few minutes, so we
do not have the lu xury to leave an audience confused or uninvolved. Too often, the entire context
of a magic trick comes down to:
Is this your card [display the wrong card]. No? How about this [change the wrong card to the correct card]?
The above is an example of the barest possible context for an effect .. but sometimes even less is
offered to the audience:

Look-now it's all Americall COill, now it's a Chillese coill. Now it's all Amt'ricall coi'l
again, now it's a Chinese coin.
W h ile it's possible for people to watch magic that is free of context, how much can they watch
before it all becomes a wash? A presentation of allythillg without context will not be as involving
as a presentation that includes context. Magic falls into the category of "anything," so magic can
benefit from a context.

------------------

ADECK OF CARDS

OFF BEAT ACES


[ love the Spectator-Cuts-the-Aces plot, and collect methods. Ver) often, the per
former must find a way to rid himself of unwanted cards In his hand s. The solution
offered here has an atypical and beneficial rhythm to it, as the neceSSil1\ mOVC5 fa ll
on "off beats."

Figure 3

EFFECT: A spectator cuts to the Aces.


NEEDED: A deck of cards.
TO PREPARE: Set the Aces atop the deck In alternating color order. Remember the

lowermost Ace. For simplicity's sake I always make sure it is the Ace of Spades.
The Aces are crimped, at the inner end only, in any manner that will make them
easy to pick up as a block later (Fig. 1).
STEP 1) Place the deck on the table toward your left. Have the deck cut Into four

Figure 6

Figure 5

packets, ending with the former top portion of the deck on the right.

I want to see how good you are at estilllating. Clit abollt threequarters of the deck from here to here. Nice. Now CIIt six-eighths
of the deck from here to here. Interesting. Let's shake it lip now.
Cut twelve-sixteenths of the cards from here to here. That's
twelve-sixteentlls-don't get that confused with three-qllarters
or six-eighths. Now if you were perfect we should have four piles,
each exactly the same height. Oh well, at least this proves I didn't
control your actions ... dammit. You cut to four different spots in
the deck.

have cut exactl y four cards. If you see an II1different card, you hilvc cut morc thun
four cards-as you ' ll see, that 's no problem

Figure 1

STEP 2) Point to the packets. The left hand goes to the pile second from the right and, an instant later, the right hand goes to
the pile at ~he ~ar right. The left hand starts to pick up the top
card from Its pile at the inner end, then a half a beat later the
right ~d picks up the block of Aces-actually four or more
cards IS fine, but try and get just the Aces (Fig. 2).

In a continurng action the cards arc placed 111 a rrght hand fun Thc block of four
goes into the right thumb crotch (thc thumb rtself slidcs off thc cnd of the block and
goes behind It) as the single indifferent card in the Icft hund i~ plilced behll1d thc
block, srde)ogged to the left to hide the thick edge Figure::l shows the mugician's
view, Figure 4 shows the iludience view. The left hilnd contll1ues b ' pICkll1g up the
top card of the pile second from the left ilnd adding it to till' rCur 01 the fan. followed
by the top card of the leftmost pile (fig. 5). You appcilr to hilVL' picked lip four single
cards and placed them mto the right hand.

Was tilere allY rraSOl1 wily .'1011 wi ('xactly wilerI' .'lOll did?
STEP 3) The left hilnd takes the filn as, in il continuing action, the right hand
counts the "four" cards into the right hand, starting with the block (Fig. 6). This
count does not have to be hurried. The easy but constant motion of the hands
masks the block. The count can be performed absently, or motivated by an urge to
look again at the cards' faces. In addition, the cards need not be perfectly squared

Ashnthe cards are raised you have a natural checkpoint. If you


s14'R the Aa! of Spades at the face of the right hand block you
Figure 2

ADECK OF CARDS

th ards are lowered into leftin the nght hand after the count. After the chou~t' eecnd The nght hand comes
..
th
mp agaIn at t e Inner
.
.
th t the left little finger can
hand dealing pOSItIOn, e en
over the packet to square it, lifting up at the cnmp so a
secure a break under the Aces.
In the event that you initially pICked up extra cards in addItion to the Aces, it is her:
as you get a break under the crimp that the "correctIOn" is made. All the unwante
cards will be disposed of in the procedure that follows. You are read} to perform a
slow and convincing turnover of the Aces, and apparently nothing more.

figU/e 10

figure 11

figU/el 2

figure 13

1'111 JlISt slirprised by what lzappened here. YOli see, one of tile
cards YOll C/lt to was all Ace ...
The right hand turns over the top card of the packet
stud style, reveali ng an Ace, and returns it to the packet, sidelogged to the right about half Its width (Fig. 7). The left hand
travels to the leftmost packet and deposits the Ace onto that pile
(Fig. 8)
STEP 4)

The Ilext card was


oftell.

nil

Ace, too. You dOIl't see that happell too

The right hand turns over the new top card stud style, revealing a
second Ace, which is placed atop the left hand's cards, sidejogged
but not released. Instead, as the Ace is displayed between the
thumb and first finger, the tIps of the right first and second fingers clip the inner right corners of the cards above the break (the
remaining face-down Aces). Figure 9 shows this position exposed
with the face up Ace removed-in practice the clip is completely
hidden by the Ace (Fig. lO-audience view). Contrive to have the
hands slightly to the right of the pile second from the left.

figure 7

figure B

figure 14

It is as this second Ace is placed onto the tabled packet second


from the left that the secret move is accomplished. The move produces a perfect illusion of the face-up Ace sliding over the facedown cards of the in-hand packet as it is placed onto a tabled

along with the indifferent face-down cards squared beneath it.


Figures 11 & 12 show the moments before and after the im;sible
move takes place. As the left hand's cards are placed onto the
pile second from the left, the right hand moves the two cards it
holds toward the pile second from the right. the thumb pushing
the top card of the pair forward as the first finger is brought under the packet. The outer end of the top Ace is paced just behind
the inner end of the pile (Fig. 13) and the Ace is levered face
up onto the packet (Fig. 14). The timing is important: The left
hand cards are deposited on the tabled pile as the Ace is being
levered with the right hand. It is the levering of this card that
provides misdirection for the " killing" of the left hand 's packet.
This must not be rushed, but kept at a slow, natural tempo.

Of COllrse, this aile is all Acc, and the last one is all Ace,
too. YOIl did pretty ll'CI/!

pl1e.

ITEP 5) The left thumb slides the Ace to the left, flushing it with
the packet. The instant the Ace is flush, the left hand, still movJag to the left (there is no pause), carries away the face-up Ace

figU/e 9

figure 15

STEP 6) You are left with a single face-down card in the right
hand. Snap it over and cleanly drop it onto the far right pile to
end (Fig. 15). You are clean.

--

ADECK OF CARDS

...
r,~ ( r

Jy
?

df

lefor:)!,)!; jc
,!, .eat:'1 f,n' -:19

, P llrl
.-

r JU 1'"If <."1d

W"Q IfIf

7r

'I'lt')

at

pr

he

~t.K;

culling th e rema ining three Aces to th e face. J spread left to right,


so J first alig n th e ca rd to the left of th e Ace J wa nt to cull wi th
th e Ace Itself. The ri g ht fin ge rlips contact th e ri ght edge of the
alig ned ca rd as th e thumb pulls th e left edge of th e Ace to the left,
to d ise ngage It from th e spread (Fig. 1). The thumb th en pushes
th e Ace to th e ri ght, whe re it rid es ove r th e spread cards to th e
face of th e pac k (Fig. 2).

1'"

tl-je

~'-r:l~

'IIQ\\ CO'-

rlue.(1~

S.arf P9 ~

r)'J

........

4.

figure 1
" cr

r r

f>(

,t

. . ~'

'F

tr'P
b .,pre,,~ ng f;)\ er

pf (' 1oe:.r rg<l ~

') r c...

"

r.d 'mf

r~f"

del>'" .r..;~

&;

ga
6 er rea under
f

rna

'

Of course, gamblers and magicwns don 't duel with pistols... we duel with a deck of cards. This gambler took
the four Kings oul of the deck and decided to brag a little
bit. Could you hold Ollt your hand for me? Thanks.

Place the four Kings face up onto the spectator's open palm .

t>t?':: 4.

He told me to shuffle the cards and put the Kmgs into


four different spots in the deck. He told me that he could
cut to the Kings no matter where they were placed 111
the pack.

D- P SH

DO
g am

il .~w_ "~nd
I ~ I!f{~t li ~ gned /.<) l:w j)l;'noflnf.'d ....
~, .....
mglinoss fromaspeciAt<)f who ,A<h car.d~
aflo S p<) In f !' ro mAs ,......" or_ ;,., I'
I.<
d
" ... tr"'- VJ' ve come
) W ecw ~r l'fw1s that p%SI'SS a t !ana a Th1515 land
.
WIt mult/{k e{{t"<"ts and ~ (based Qj') 'emon',> M(ut 1
a <;
-~p routme
bI! dlJfk' with 8 /x)f(l)wed ~k
ng the Aces ) that can

figure 2

STEP 2) Spread the cards face down between the hands and

close the spread, securing a left little-finger break above the


bottom four cards (the Aces). Reverse the Aces as the spread is closed. I perform
Henry Christ's Christ Twist. In brief: The deck is held in left hand dealing position . The right hand grasps the deck from above and starts to rotate the deck 180
degrees clockwise (the inner end becoming the outer end and vice-versa). As this
action is taking place, the left little finger lowers and levers the cards above the
break over, then brings them back flush with the deck (Figs. 3-6, next page). The
turning of the pack masks the secret reversal of the cards.
J sard, "[ call shuffle allY way [want, right7" He sard, "SlIre," so [

HE OED; A deck of card~

decided to toss him a Clln.le.


OPlIfO&M:

I' Spread the deck tau. tuward yourielf and cut any Aa! to the face of the

PICk II you ptturC!.

I"", """.", 1#tU,,,,,, hi ~ me to II dud.

...." Id the deck, upjoqI"I the klnp

II you

come to them, at the same time

You will now perform a very clever Tenkai maneuver. The right hand grasps the
upper half of the deck from above. The hand now turns palm up as the left hand
turns palm down, slapping its cards on the right hand's portion, sidejogged for half
their length (Fig. 7, next page). This is a subtle swindle. It appears that half the cards
are face up and half are face down, but in reality all the cards are face up with the
exception of the four Aces atop the left hand's portion of cards .

AD[CKOF CARDS

- --- -

lis1/1'1 '"

I rIII/ld

/11 l1 k l'

IIIIIIS'

1111, ' /1

,l illS III/ ,1I1/JlIIIIS III,' (IIn/ , jOtl' "I'

IIl/ n /tl n' dO e/l1/

'1I w 1l'1I III1gl'I S sqlldll' llH' It' ll hdl1d I"'l kl'l, 11ll'l1llll' IIghl holl1d dnSl'S li s Idn nnlllL'
1I111L'I l'l1d III IIll' 1l'1I h,lllll \ ( dllk IIll' IIghl hdl1d \ ("lid , d'l' pldll'd illjllggL'd linin
Ihl ' ll'1I hdl1d \ r,ml s, dlld IIll' Il'lI hdnd hold , ,III .I S VllU I,' glll'llH' IWll'"lli(ll h lit
IIll' dl'c k 111 1'1 l'1',lldllllllIlli .I Idlll shlllllL'
S'III' 3) 1',lIll 11lL' IWIl h,1I1 dl'c ks IlIgl'lhl'l, so 11lL' Wl',I\'(' 1t'.lll'

" llllUI SI L,lId s


Illlm IIll' Ilghl h.1I1d \ lolCl' 111'1'"111011 ,llul' 11ll' kit h,lIld ' l',lId s (I 'ig, ll l. I Ill' L' .ILl
I1I11nbL'1 dUL's n't m,lt IL'I, .I s Y"U will SL'L' ,1Ild onl \' till' IUllI 1.ll ' dUWI1 J\'" nl'vel
II1tl'II.IL L' I'L' dL'eth 1 1,1111 ,hu II It, 11I11l1 till' tup d(1\\'I1 , h'l\" ing ""\lIlL'd till' hulIlL'
110m I I,ll I \' 1.111 ilY 1lL''s Uo , ,'
laId "' /n~ It' bu t ,I ny lolIll IV Ii I du

fiUUlo4
flgUID

"I'

.'>0 I 1I11\1'd IIII' CIII'I /, 10SI'l/Il'I , S(l1I1I' SOIllS

(l/It' !I'1lI1 sOll1,' S";IIS

lilt, 01111'1 ,

SqU illL' thl' dL'Lk, tlll'Il sl'lL'old It lw ll\'L'L'n till' h,lmb. III,t pll',hlng (1ll'l .1 blllck uf
th"'L' 01 loul l..lId s, I'Ill' IlIlIlII\lI1g I'" It'L'du IL' 1\111 Lh,lngl' ,I "tt ll' bit L'Il'I\' tlllll' VUU
PL' I tll! m 1 llLl hill l' t WI lubJl'l'I Ill'S:
FIQUIDS

ONF: l OU \\',ln t till' I,KL' up l'oll d th 'lt is tll till' It'll II till' til,t 1,ILl' down All' (tilL'

An' tlusL's l to till' liln') til bl' ,1Iu\\' numhl'll'd spllt l,lId , ulh "s
il t h IL'L' "'UI 01 III L'
The right hand grips Doth h,lll'L's ot till' dl'ck lor a monll'nl, allowlI1g thl' kit hand
to take the "facL' down" half in dL'o1"ng position. USlI1g thL' lell thumb, splL'ad (l1'L'1
two or three cards, bL'ing L'<uL'ful not to rel'L'al any filce up curds. 1'IlL' I ight hand
adjusts its grip to allow the cards It holds to De fanned filCl' up, uSll1 g onl\ till' onL'
hand, This affords a clear and convincing picture of face -up and lill'l' down pilckl't s
(Fig, 8),

.011d

TWO: VVh il tl'IL'1 th 'l t nllmbL' IL'd sl'ot l .ud I ~, '(Ill 1\'olnt tIl ,ltid

tL'IIL'1 imlitll'll' nt (',lIlb lln tLlp lIt It (lw lll\\' th.lt I" "t 1,1lc'
dlll\' n .\ CL').

11Ilt'

Figuro9

\I thi S ~llllI1d ~ clIl1lplic,ltL'd, It is till' 1ll'l'llSltl'. I kll' 's ,'11 l'

.1 111 I'll'

uSing till' 1,1I1dUI1l l'i1Jds ,1S thl'\' al'l'l\ 1J in tlw dL'ck (' uHl'nth In
Illlnt lit 11lL' Sl'l' hgllll' Ill. Nlltl' till' 1,lll' lip II1diltl'll'nt l'ards that
Ii,' tll till' Il,1t III tlw 1,ll'L' dO\\,11 l'Md .. (An's) , l)( till' llptilll1S avail
,1 bit', till' ILlllI "pot IS till' Illlist dl'slr.lbll'. A .. Vllll t,llk about the
1,1l'L' lip, 1,ln' dll\\'n clinditll1J1 III till' l'.utis, thL' It'lt hand takes the
Spll\ld cis till' right h,1I1d H'111OVl'S thl' lour spot and the face down
l"lId (,111 At'l') to its light bv Wily 01 e planation,

FlgurD 8

Figure 10

ADECKOF CARDS

11/1' '{I/IJ//Jln /11 'It ,mrlr'd Ilr' handf'd rlU' thr YmX of Clubs, and 1 put 11
III/I! /1/1' dr'( k, nllxmflll m WIth thr fac('-up and faff-down cards. f did the
,({mr' Ihmy WIth till' Ymx of flr'arts, thrn thr King of Spades, and finally
1//1' rlllX (if /)f(fmrmd"

Ar 'In 111f' ~IJfI'df1 (hg II)


I
II (( IIII' 111'1"'Ir1II1~1 (~G' IlIwn
lu 1'1. (( Ihl'l',iIr II> I IC rig ,
I,' 'It. (11111 ~1'l>1 ( 1,lnlT1"I1II'
II II III d.. k I' IIIIIlf' ,lldl hllJ" (lfIgl'l hI ',I'" ,Il IIIV! 11
''I '
"
I I
II ,I I' k 1111111111)'
"f1'l\'Ilh,lIld ,hll(lIl', IIII' Ilghl 1i,IIl111'II king III' Ihl' (,III ,I ,OVI (f II "1'1 'II Illh':
y, II Iw ,yq Tlifl 0 I>'1f' ''', 101
1.(1 lill ,( 1,,,,1 , ,md 111~ ,Ing Ih' II' I "ll I"I"
(, " ,
,
'

f1lllnl,,'1 I,f Ih' '1',,1!"lrilholIIG 1111 111' I"fl r,( Ihr' 1I1'1'l'rrnl ,41 (,III' dowlI Ar ()fl! 11;
I wIIII'1 I~I 11 b,.1I1I'1 wllh 111f' (1,1/11,11 IIV!'lh,1I1r1 "hllffl,'. I 01'1 Illy In"VI' 1111 ell",lrl'(
1,'11111"" "f 1,I'c III'

(<lfd~ 11111'1'"..1111111 "b"VI' Ih'

f,1'01

(oIld

,I~ If I'm

'1111' King" gu IIltr, I hI' dr( r rn ( lubs, I I"arts, Spaul's, IJlclme}nuc; e}ruer (ClfaS([)
I/lf' in"r'llirlll prurr,ullf!' will b( ur'strlb(:d in drtiJiI, but kne}w that It hiJppens 111 a

,.llfll'ly ,nlxlllg

'1111(

111' 11Jf' .lId II bll"",n'

k ndluri" tr'mpe)

ilS

yr,u SPl'aY: '[ah' thr King (,( ( lubs (rt}m the spectator and

III'-,!'rt II (dC!' dl)wn IIllo thr bnak (rom thr rear (unul'r the face uown Ace), leaveIn); rl injoggr'rI f(,r hillf liS Irngth As !'!}on as thr' King enters the break, the break IS

( " 111\11,(', 111.IIIY IIIIWG" eI'''.IId 111,1 (,lid will ,dr ,lI lyl"I,, 1111' I,ft ,,11/11 111'1'1'1
ifl ll I " I' . d"wrll\,(' 111 11111111 IM11 ,.~ wllI'lI' 1III'It'1 TIll d,' ,1I"hl,. I dId I" 1111' I,(t "(
.IIIV III Ihl' AI (:1, I,,' ,r 1I1I"' lgiJ 11 11' f.1I t'

111'

Il1dlf/l'1I'111

("lriG

Wll"hl'd. I<elilx th('ll'ft hand and r'pl'n thr! fingers fl}r ulspliJY, c1arifylllg the fact that
till' r.ing I" going int!} thr middll'!}f th!' deck,

"I 1111' I,ll,' ,,( 1111' ",H k

Idl'lIlrf y d d" ~ llI'dl"w V, d'I1 ' '1'"1 (,Ird, 1111'11111,111 " 1"'II IWII 1i,IIIf I"i1 (, II" III' "mtx
IlIg" 1'1111 r/1II 1', 1.,,1' IIII' d" '.IIId ~ 1'"1 1' lId b,IIIW 1111' (, II I' "I' II Hlif ft' II'l1 l ldrrl lh,lt
II ". I ~ II/'IIIW II", fll .1 f,II" dllwlI A" , III Ihll ( 01 '.1', ,11111 IWII f, 'W," 1I1I 11ff"II'111 (" Id"

.[ 111' IIghl hlmd (I)m"li owr thl' cJe'ck from "boY!', the right thumb pu~hing tht in

(I WIJ II" I~ IIi,/l1 tlil' V,dlll ,,( II,,' <,1",1 r.lld) """'W Ih, ' fl, ~1 (,H" d" wlI A'l ', I>lIlhl ',

ci o\lb/e II IHlrrr Ijt to tl1l' bn'ak, bringi ng the facl' d(}wn King to the' top. T he illUSion

elllll' l

"1'I'I1I y, III

VIol

Joggl'd Vlng flush, ,mel sl'luring


(wd lrrI I ~

till " VI' rlroll1d IlIlffllllg I1l1'lh"rI ,Ill dl"I II.',('d

!. l' tI'd ri

YIIII Will

Ilf'VI' I

h,IV,' III IIIIIK

ill

1111' blJd y 01 tl1I' r/"I k

fI,1 , I

1,lI gl'l

(oIld ,

hl'l "II ~I ' I(

Id( ('

1111

III'

(J I ll'

il

thumb bn'iJk abovc It In a c{Jntrnuing action,

of ru t l ing t h!' King drl'p into a face-up, face-down deck. As you talk,

(,vl'r "hrJl lt IWl'lw' (arc/ s. Agilin thl' lipectatms

C;CI'

a "rilnuom" w Jlcc tion of

dl1ft fde (. c/r ,w n (Mck Square thl' dl'ck, ~t'currng iJ left li tt le finger break un -

low V,IIIIId 1,1,"/1 ,lid 1'1holl1d y Y"1111l1I II l' I1I,Hk, (,/111'1: 11"1 KlI1g, ,lI1d /,111 I hl" '11 thl'
fllfd 'q 11,11111' 11'111'1 by 11'111'1 1,,1111'/ Ih,II11 Ollllt dllWII II .. y,JlIII '. 111 Ihl'l l 01 ',1', " 1,1/ k III

ci ('r 1111' !J('wnd ("(( ' down (did from th l! facl', As before, the rrght thu mb takes aver

KIf1~ wouldllf' h,lIl1l1l'd

h,llf II H' (d rd" to th! top, und till' !tft httle finger re o:;ecurec; the brea k ,

Irk ,I flllll

tl H' bWdk ,1<; 11ll' right hil nd grasps thl' deck frr>m ubove 'Ihe left hand undercuts

~ I'0l, /lnd Ih, VIII'I 'II wOllld hl'

Irt'oh'd like n (1Vl' ~I'0l.


I"k(, tlw Kin g o( IIt'ilIt s from th e spectil tor i1 nd repea t th e ac tions ju st performed
(Iuh ~

If y"u run Ihroul\h Ih,' ,lhoV!' n h'w tlml'~ with I ilfd ~ in Ihlnd, YOIl

With IIH' Krn g

wllllleC! jU"1 how Hlmrlt'lhi ~ I~ 10 l1((omrli~h, .lnd, mort' impor


tanl, how hapho~ord IIIlPPt'M".

hllnglng II to til(' 1,,1', You flOW n('!'" ,1 breilk under th e third card from th e top (the

(J(

~ l'(f)lld fdU' d"wll (drd) , Spreild over h'llf

"11(1 (,I(!' dowll (Md"


pt) Spread th upper qUllrl'r o( Ihe deck betw(,l'n Ihl! hllndH.

A. lhe f. e up, fa down 0 rd~ do nul 81rktly all 'rnatl', you


htY very convincing dl' pllY of a d ck In dltlorroy (Pig. 12).

lqulrt the c.rd" H euring. lefl lillie finger break und 'r Ihe
..,rlClltftct down Ace The rlghllhumb lemporarlly lake.
the rtp,t hand ..... ptlhe deck from above.
dIrl:utt half the card. to the top, Ihe lefl little
break u the deck I. t.ken Into left h.nd
,_il4clthe Kin" to the deck one.1
deck, the audlenee will He

ill!>I'rt It f,!C!' dow n Into th e bre<Jk i1nd double under cut,

In"

n dozen cilfds.. [ his will display face-up

(il sual Wily, ilnd eni.lble you to get the break quickly, Again,

Ilw I ighl thllrnh tilk/'s owr the brl'ilk ilS the right hilnd grasps the deck from above.
'1111' I('ft 11,II1d

11l1(il-rC

IIts hillf thl' cOlrd s, and the left little finger re -secures the break,

f IIJUIO 11
'1,00' Ill!' King of Spildl'!> from the spectator, insert it into the break and carry out

""taka

1111' ",.1111' IIndl'rrutting pron'durc, bringing it to the top. Get a break under the third
clml from thl' top, as bdore, The right thumb takes over the break as the deck is
IIndl'rcut, thlll'ft little finger once again re -securing the break.

."""'Itt",

I nSl'rt the King of Diamonds into the break and double undercut, bringing it to the
top. Conclude by double undercutting the bottom face- down Ace to the top. Ipt'"

V".Ii1r
a quarter-Inch. Undercut ".11.1'1

the Dick Koester technique published in Allan Ackerman's La


all but the bottom card forward about

lowing what was the bottom card to remain Injogged (it

Figure 12

now ....til

APP~OA(HING MAGIC

ADECK OF CARDS

The top two ca rds of the deck are face down, enabling the ri ght thumb to easily secure a break benea th them as the deck IS grasped from above and a sma rt two-bea t
double undercut is performed du ring the coun t. Aga in, there will be a face- up Ace
hidden below the King. Perform a double turnover and dea l the top face- down ca rd
onto the ca rd already In the spectator's hand .

center of the deck). The right thumb presses the Injogged card
flush, breakIng the deck above It as the cards are undercut, bringIng the card that started at the bottom to the top.
STEP 5) Spread over the top two cards, then take the deck from
above with the right hand as the left fingers slIde the boltom
dozen or so cards to the left in an uneven spread-another display of a deck In a face up, face-down condition (Fig. 13).

STEP 7) You now need to d is pl ace th e top ca rd . I accompli sh this openl y:

He was really showing off now. He smd, "Okay, the next one I'm gomg
to find is Ihe King of Heart s, and to make II harder... " "Walt a second!" I
said, because rwas /lobody's fool . "Bury the top card of the deck, like they
do when you play in a casino."

flgule 13

I smd, "Yoll're really gOing to filld all the Kings In tillS mess? " He
smd "Not only am I gOing to find the Kings, I'll name each one
before Ifind it and tell YOll exactly hOlV long it's going to take me." "What
do you mean-'how long II will take?" He just smiled and smd, "Tile
King of Dwmonds I'll find at the COWlt of three. One ... two .. .three!"

Take the top card (a Kin g) a nd Insert It into the deck. Do not flash its face ..

Okay- now show me Ihe bot/olll card of the deck.

Square the deck and turn it over. Since face-down cards are seen on both sides, it
Simply appears that you are displaying the nature of the deck, but you are now In
position to find each KIng In a slIghtly different manner. The right hand grasps the
deck from above as you secure a thumb break above the two bottom cards. Their
reversed condition makes this easy. After you mention the "count of three," you
reveal the KIng of Diamonds using a three-beat revelation. Note: The Kings wIll be
revealed in the opposite order than they were inserted.

Pick lip the deck from above with the right hand and slowly rotate the Wrist to diSplay the bottom indifferent card to the audience. Reverse the action to replace the
deck Into the left hand .

The gambler Just sorl ofgrinned. He went, "And to make it even tougher
I'll do it on the count of one. One!"

The deck is held from above by the right hand. Place the tip of the left first finger at
the inner end of the deck. As you say "one," perform a SWivel cut, cutti ng the top
half of the deck into the left hand. On "two," crisply slide the right hand's cards
flush onto the left hand's cards, retaining the thumb break. On "three," cut at the
break and co~plete t~e cut, bringing the face-up King of Diamonds to the top of the
d~ck. The audience will not be aware that there is a face-up Ace directly beneath the
Kmg. Ask the spectator to hold out his hand as you perform a double turnovereasy due to the reversed nature of the cards-and deal the top face down card Into
the spectator's palm.

As no breaks are needed for this revelation, take advantage of this fact by allowing
the deck to lIe flat on the open left palm for a beat. The right hand grasps half the
deck from above as the left thu mb contacts the top card, and a fast slip cut is performed. The left thumb Simply holds back the top card as the right hand pulls av,;ay
the top half of the deck and slaps it on top of the held back card with a "thwack!"
(Figs. 14 & 15) This slmplc~ reveal is very effective. Of course, the King also has
a face -up Ace beneath it. Perform a double turnover and again deal the top facedown card onto the cards already in the spectator's hand.

s~p 6) ~on~inue speaking, immediately going on to the production of the next


King. thiS Will keep the audience's attention focused on what is about to ha en,
rather than on the face-down card in the spectator's hand.
pp

The gambler lItIid, "Now I'U find the King of Spades, and to make it
hatrkr, l'U do it on the count of two. One... two!"

figure 14

f9n15

APf

~A(H~0

MAGI(

- -

ADECK OF CARDS

lhe sl1l'Cli1lor's hand

.
f' K'
s the same kicker as
STEP 8) The final dlsco\'er)
0 a Ing use
Vernon's "Cutting the Aces."

STE P 9) Im medii1tely conlrnue the story, as there are two more


errecl~

He said "The lasl KilJg IS Ihe Kmg of C1l1bs, and 10 make II exira
diffiCill1 /'111 gOlllg 10 locale it all the COllnt of zero." Just as I was
abolll 10 ask how II's possible 10 do allythlllg on Ihe counl of zero,
he Ihrew half llle cards frolll aile hand to Ihe other
Hold the deck In left-hand dealing position and secure a break in
about the center of the pack With the left little finger. Allow the
left thumb to contact the top card at the outer left corner (Fig. 16),
holding It back, as you toss all the cards above the break (exceptIng the top card) into the right hand, which catches them (Fig.
17). The cards should be tossed eight to twelve inches through
the air, and when caught In the right hand, the half deck must be
square, or the reversed King could be unintentionally flashed.

figure 16

Flgule 20

lo corne, i1nd th ey will happen Withou t m(JVl'~ .

The ga il/bier Ilnl1e/ed IIII' Ihl! deck alld wel1l, "U lllli' see
whal YOII can do." I snJd, "Well, 1'111 a IIlnXICia II , 1101
a ga il/bier. I call'l do allylhinx wllh cards Ihal are face
lip alld face dOWIl ." So I sl1apped Illy fillgers alld iliadI'
evel'll card face Ihl' sallie way.
Snap and spread the deck, clearly showing that the deck has
magically rr ghled Itselr (Fig. 20)

Theil I said, "Lei 's see

if I call do YOll 0111' belfer "

Dribble the ca rds rrom hand to hand.

/ said "/ dOIl'1see a KlIlg." He told me 10 tllrn over the card he


clIl 10.
Figure 17

Use the left first finger to Indicate the top card of the right hand's
portion.

Figure 21

"I did II. YOII fO llnd Ihe Killgs, bill I fall lid the Aces!"
III! looked allhe deck alld said, "Where arl! Ihey?" I lold
/11111 , "They're 1101 over here .Ihcl/re over hne."
Snap your fingers over the cMds In the specti1tor's hi1nd, then turn them over (or
allow him to), revea ling the four Aces (Fig. 21).

I tllmed It over... mld il was a Four!

Turn the card face up on the packet (Fig. 18). The card will be
whatever low-valued spot card was set in Step 3.

I knw he wasn't as good as he was making himself alit to be.


But he just smiled again and said, "I didn't say I'd cut to the
last King...1 said I'd locate it. That's a Four. What do you say
we count to the fourth card down and see what we find? One ...
two ...three .. four.

Figure 16

GOING AND GONE


This is a two phase Ace Assembly with a kicker. Thl' plot, ,all~ kicker, is a staple of
card nli1gic, and thiS version has an attractive simplicity to it. The effect is brought
i1bout pi1rtly by moves, but equally by the trick's structure.

The right hand places its half deck onto the left hand's half d k

'l\un over the four spot and place it to the bottom of the d:~k'
Ceanly spread off the top t~ree cards as you count, revealing th~
them In the face, in fourth position (Fig. 19).
the counted-off cards to the bottom of the deck. This King,
~
others, has a face-up Aa beneath it. Perform a double
deal the top face-down card onto the other cards in

EFFECT: The Aces gathl'r... tlll'n go away.


NEEDED: A deck of eMds.

Figure 19

ADECK OF CARDS

At the face of the deck are any nine number cards, followed by the four Kings. This can be preset or done on the fly,
as the Aces are removed from the deck.
SET-UP:

TO PERFORM:

Openly remove the Aces from the deck and table them
in a loose face-up pile, the Ace of Spades lowermost.

STEP 1)

Ever sillce the first deck of cards was created, It became apparellt
that the Aces were special.

flgule I

figure 3

figure 4

figure 2

figure 5

figure 6

Tilt the deck faces toward the body and remove the twelve cards at
the face (simpl)' take all the cards up to and including the Kings).
Place the balance of the deck aside.

Of all the cards ill the deck, the Aces took all all alll/ost mystical
fascillatlOll, which is why they were qllickly consIdered the "Il/ost
valllable."
As you speak, spread the twelve cards, faces toward the body,
and secure a left little-finger break above the four Kings as the
spread is closed. Lower the left hand. The right hand grasps the packet from above,
the right thumb takIng over the break as the left thumb draws the top card of the
packet into the left hand (Fig. 1). Repeat with the next two cards. As the fourth card
is drawn into the left hand, the cards below the break are released and secretly
added under the drawn card (Fig. 2). Continue peeling the remaining cards Into the
left hand. ThiS display is done absently as you talk, Without looking at the hands.
The number of cards apparently shown is unimportant-you are simply displaying
a handful of cards that are not Aces.

STEP 2) You will now perform an add-on move. Any add-on, such as the Braue, will
work, but I prefer the following, a Chris Kenner handling of a John Mendoza move:
The right hand will apparently simply turn the Aces face down onto the packet, but
in that instant the add-on occurs. The right hand picks up the face-up Aces, spreading then between the hands and staggering them a bit to afford more cover (Fig. 3).
The left thumb moves to the side of the packet as the right hand places the left edge
of the spread Aces against the thumb (Fig. 4). The left hand turne; slightly clockwise
at the wrist, turning the palm toward the right, as the cards above the break are
levered over by the left tlllrd and little fingers (Fig. 5-exposed view). The levered
cards are concealed by the Aces. In a continuing action, the right hand flips the Aces
face down, the levered cards coalescing on top of them (Figs. 6 & 7).

With the help of a few other cards, I'm going to show you exactly why
Aces are held in such high regard.

Immediately deal the top four cards of the packet (supposedly the
Aces) onto the table in a left to right row.

Flip the packet face down. in the left hand. Spread over the top three cards and
square the packet, the left httle finger securing a break beneath them I do 't
d
over cards so much as allow th t
d'
.
n sprea
way. th
.
e~ 0 sprea , holdmg the cards very loosely. This
and'the7nsa;:d~~n;:hd~mcal achons aSSOciated with getting the necessary brea k
I
n mg renders the moment invisible.
'

I bet YOIl know the Ace that's considered the most pow-

erflll of all. That's right, the Ace of Spades ...

figure 7

APPROAC HING MAGIC

ADECK OF CARDS

be seen to have vanished, but we have hidden a King as well.


During this count, allow the final three (non-King) cards to remain un -squared. The left hand tables them in this state, adding

d (h A
fSpades) to the audl The right hand flashes the face of the rightmost car t e ce 0
ence and returns it to position (Fig. 8).
.

STEP 3) S read over three cards, at the same time secu

to the casualness of the count (Fig. 11).

r"ng a left little-finger


I

break und~r the fourth card of the packet. The right hand takes the three car~s
and squares them against the thumb, adding the card above the break. Drop t e
packet onto the face-down Aces of Spades.

.. .also knolVn as "The Big BlIlIet," "The Spade-a-reeno," and "The Cobbler's Doormat." Okay, I made lip that last Olle, but I think it's gomg to

Figure II

catch on.
The above "joke"-or any joke-affords a bit of misdirection as
the packet is tabled onto the Ace.

Let's move the Ace of Spades pile over a little bit, so YOH can keep
YOHr eye 011 it.
Slide the rightmost pile a bit further to the right. You will now
add cards onto the three remaining cards: Deal the top card of
the in-hand packet onto the tabled card that lies third from the
left. I drop the card from a few inches up, giving the procedure an
airy no-moves feel. The left thumb then spreads over two cards.
The right hand takes the top card of the pair and drops it onto the
card second from the left as the left hand drops the lower card of
the two on the leftmost card (Fig. 9). This streamlines the dealing
process. Repeat this dealing procedure with the remaining cards
of the packet.

Look, yuu can almost see it go ... and it's gone. Let's try that
again ...

Figure 8

Figure 12

Repeat the above squiggle maneuver and Elmsley vanish with


the remaining two piles. Each time the Elmsley count is completed, add the un-squared cards to those already tabled. After
three piles have been dealt with, there will be a nice display of
indifferent cards on the table (Fig. 12). All Kings are hidden.
Pick up the face-down Ace of Spades pile with the right hand and
place it into the left. Stud deal the first three Aces onto the table
in an un-squared condition. You are left with a double card in the
left hand, the Ace of Spades with a King behind it. You can stud
deal the double in the same manner as the other cards or perform
the following sequence: Grasp the double at the right edge with
the right hand as the left thumb snaps the outer left corner (Fig.
13). Carry the double to the table with the right hand, laying its
left edge just to the right of the tabled Aces, and lever it face up so
it lands atop the other Aces (Fig. 14 & 15).

.. .alld over here we now have one, two, three,follr Aces.


All the Aces have joined The Cobble,s Doormat!
The Aces have assembled. End of Phase One.
STEP 5) You have conditioned the audience, and by way of an

effect explained the concept of an Assembly. IOU are leading


them down the garden path toward a very surprising kicker.

figure 9

Figure 13

STEP 4) Pick up the leftmost packet and spread it between the


hands. Exchange the two center cards as a "squiggle flourish"
is performed (Fig. 10). Square the cards, the right hand's cards
going onto the left's. This has displaced the King to second from
the top. Flick the outer left comer of the packet with the left
thumb. With your eyes, follow the invisible path of a card over to
i;be At!e of Spades packet Flip the packet face up in the left hand
immediately perforn, an Elmsley count. Four number cards
The audience will be looking for an Ace, which wiJJ

Figure 10

Figure 14

. . 15

---

ADECK OF CARDS

--- --

Pick up the face up ,\Cl'S and plilCl' thei11 In the lell hand, sqUill
mg thl'm IOU willnt1\\ pl'iloli11 f...ll'n/l'i\ 1'1 essul l' Ilideout I he
c,lILh die grasped frOI11 above, thumb ,It the Innel light. sl'cond
lingertlp at the OUtl'l light COlnt'I, the fllst f1ngl'l cuded on top
(Fig. 16). In a 1'1 essu II.' lannlng atllon, the light hand "wc b " till'
packet to the left ,1Ild spre,lds thl' cards In a clrcul,ll ciockwlSl' dl
fl'C tlon ,1' the left til st ,lnd second Ii ngl'rs hold bile k the rca I thIl'e
CMtb of the packet one aftI.'I the othef (hg. 17) rhe upper card 01
the fan will be an aligned doublt' rhe light hdnd can lelease thl'
lan, a... everythll1g CJn safel} be held bv the lelt hdnd
Now IIInl 1/011 IIm'c nl/ Him Ofj1lS111'11II111/(' An's n,.c cnpn/JIc (if,
tlli' 1I'ords of [11'(///(1" Rooscl'elt,/el's kick t1l11lgs 1111 n I/olcll

WI"ill/lakl' 1'1'1'11/11/1/1,'\ a III/ 1IIIl/l' rlrj!11 1//1

Oil,

Ilrl' l'cI,'\I' PI/I yll/ll //lI.v.I'1

11/1 1111'

II/ II,,' I"h' W,.iI

rlOIl/' /11'11' w,' so

flUUIO 16

YIlIl w ril I1IlW 111' IfOI 111 ,rilllll~ I II 11' ~.r /11,' V. 1111 ~11<" .I ~ I" fill' I'll f III' 1111' I,' IIlllo!, I I'ri,'
wllh IIll' Ilghl hdl1t1.rnd 1,I,III'I II.ru' dllWl1ll1l1l 1111' I< II "1',,',1d Ih,' "nd51".lw, 1'\1
IIll' h,1I1d, I Ill' Ilgill h.r nil 1,1 kl " IIll' I Ill' I Wll C.II .I" "n" 1111' 11'1 t h.r nil 111<' hili Io III t WIl
(l1lL' /I'ntl'l /,11'11" .III' !llli ~wl ltl1<'d 1111', 1 11111') d', 111<' "qlllgg ll' flllllll~h I~ pClfr lltn,'d
(Fig ?()) 1'1 ,1(1' I Ill' Ilghl h.rl1ti \ I ,lid" Ill1ti"1 IIll' II'" h.rl1d ',. I ,lI d ~ ,11111 fill' till' 1',1/ k"1
Idll'UPIIlI() till' Iell hdl1d l't'1I11I1ll11H' 1111 squ.II,'d 11111,II'Y UHIIlI .'" h,'fll"', .. how
111 g 111l' d I" IJ 'I'" .I I.I III I' IJ I ,I n 1\ I I', .r III I I, rill I' t 111' I' iI C f", " UI' .I" hI' f' II ,

II/

Rl'Wfse count the fan of Aces Into ,1 squdled facl' up packet In the
right hand The first Ace counted will be a double cJrd (\org. IH)
Imml'tliatl'iv nip the packetlacl' down Into the left hdnd and deal
the top card to the table, lace down, nn the light This card, sup
posl'dly an Ace, Will be a King. Continue by dealing the next lard
to its Ielt, startmg a nght to left /Ow You are nnw holdrng three
cards In the left hand Grasp them from abovc by the light hand
ilS the lefl lingers slide off the bottom card of the packet If de
sired, you can tla,h the cards' lan's 10 the audlt'nee (hg. 19 au
dience' view). The righl hand drops lis double cilrd to the table to
the left of the Itrst two as the left h,lIld drops Its card beSide It, to
complete' the row.

1/I 'IIIr / '/1/ 1/(11/1,'\ 11/1

I Ill' '('(OIlLi p'(d,l' t hd" dl1 "xtld I dId 111 It , hul yllu wril ,1I11lriolll' 1111' !;.rIT1" pTOn',itl"',
Sp"'.rd IlV\'1 Ihll'l' (.lIds, Il'''plllg lilt' hottll/ll Iwo ,llrglll'd.r, Oil!' 111t' Ilghl h,lld
f,lkl'S IIll' tllplWIJ ldld., .I" I Ill' "qulggIl' I, 1\'1'\'.111'\1.1111 h(1ll1l1lllwo 1.lId~ 1"llhril1ll1g
dllglll'd, ,111 I\S[d11111 11'/ hllJ(IU" I Ill' Ilghl h,II1<1 I'ld(('~ lis I.llds 1I11t1"1 Ih,' Il'It h,lnd'!;
(dlds ,111t1 IIH' pd,J...1'1 I ~ flll'l1L'Li lolli' III' 1't'1Ioll11 ,111 1111 "'Ilinted
l'lm"l"y (,IlUIlI, d" Wllh Ihl filq 1',1/ KI'I 1111' Ii"" (,lId~ Will (01/111
d" IOUI ,Ind 1111 An' will 11(' ~l','n I,rill<' IIH' loin' "I' (".lIds 1111 Ih,'
fll sl l'iI\'

fIUUIO 1/

/ ) II /yo/l./I'd II IIIIIPC'

This is an ultra-convincing lay-down of the Aces, made j1osslbiL'


by the fact that they will nevcr assemble',

II IW/IISI'

1/111/1'1

1/01/1

Nil' I ('/'

II !I

liSa ;/1 , , ,rI irl

1/0/1

sri

./11 lSI' I ? Oklll/, 11,,'/(/ 111111'"

11lL' 11110011'0IIK\'I, I\Tl'oIt tlH' V.11l1 h Sl'q\l Ill!' \10,1'<1 With the
f",1 1',11 ~"t. l/(',lllllg 01 Idlgl' pil,' (11 f,lIl' III' 1I1t!llfl'l 'nt lard>; on
1111' I"bl" I )ill'L1 oIltl'nli(111 t(1 1111' pih' llI1dt'1 till' ~pl[t.ltur' ftngl'r
1-111

STEP 61 The palm-down left hand picks up the pile of indifferent


cards from above and turns palm up, squaring them. Deal till'
face-down cards onto the tabled Aces, working from the right
to the left. Spread over two cards as the hands work together:
The right hand takes the top card of the pair and drops it on the
rightmost tabled card as the left hand drops the remaining card
of the pair on the tabled card to its left. Spread over another
two cards The right hand drops the top card of the pair on the

figure 18

[IUUIO 20

Willi I tio Ilf/ll IIIII/k 11'1"" fllltl IlIItier Ilf/llr flllSt'r IThe
"'P('lI,ltor will !oo.IY "till' 1\( l's"l No, II',~ till' Ki",~'!
''/rll/\ IIII' II/Ir/ of /lti~ /1/111,,\ 111111'1'1/1'//0 {is"rl' [lil/.

'\'\11IlI1V/'1 till' \ .1IdH 111 tl1\' Il'ildl'r pill', or allow thl' lip tator to, to
I'nd ("'g. 21)

: ..
dlllcarci",wthat
lies second from the left as the left hand drops

card of the pair onto the leftmost tabled card. As


t:t~>~~".lVPJ the Kings will all fall onto the rightmost pile, the
Flgule 19

Figule 71

ADECK OF CARDS

My vision isn't great-I can see things neither near nor far. For this reason I'll sometimes end up performing an out-faro instead of an in-faro. If this happens to you,

NEVER THERE ACES

spread the face-down deck and say:

Believe it or not, J now know where every Ace in the deck is positioned!
This assembly has the same plot, and plot misdirection, as "Down Under Ace~"
from Close-lip & Persol1al. This version of the effect has a nIce econom, to It. r.t IS
particularly easy to vanish and transport Aces that were never there In the first

Remove any card from the center of the deck, as if you've located an Ace, and dramatical ly snap it face up, displaying an indifferent card Shrug and say:

place.

Trust me, I do.


EFFECT: A demonstration of card tracking is performed, followed by a demon-

Turn the indifferent card face down, and place it on top of the deck as the cards are
squared. You are now in position. This moment plays very well and helps sell the
"fact" that th e Aces are lost-you may want to intentionally do an out-faro just to
include th is sequence.

stration of invisible palming.


NEEDED: A deck of cards.
TO PERFORM:

STEP 2) Perform a false cut.


STEP 1) Openly remove the four Aces.

if I was following the cards properly, by C/ltting the deck at the twentyWhen a person stlldles to be a card cheat, there are lessons he leaTlls that
he continlles to practice for the remainder of his life, whIch, if he's any
good at his craft, S110Uld be a long time. One of the first things a cheat
stud,es is somethhlg called "Card Tracking." That simply means following the location of certain cards when they are placed into the deck.

first position I should find all Ace.


NOTE: If desired, you can memorize the order of the Aces at

the beginning of the effect, and name each Ace before it IS produced.

As you talk, clearly show the faces of the Aces as you insert them into four different
parts of the deck. Perform any multiple shift, bringing them to the top of the deck. If
you do not know a multiple shift, a basic one is described at the conclusion of these
instructions. Do not talk about how you are placing the Aces into different parts of
the deck-let It be self-evident.

Perform a double turnover, reveali ng an Ace. \'\Then performing a


double turnover I always catch the double with the heel of the left
thumb, the Altman Trap (Fig. 1). If the double you like to perform
requires a get-ready, you have motivation to get the necessary
break as you pretend to examine the state of the deck.
Figure 1

When the deck is cut, it's the job of the cheat to keep track of where the
Aces go, and where they lie relative to each other.

Flip the double face down and deal the top (indifferent) card to
the right. See Figure 2. By catching the double in the Altman
Trap, this second double turnover can be done with disarming
smoothness, as with practice one can use the heel of the thumb
to push over the double in perfect alignment.

~ut the deck ~n half and perform an in-faro. Bridge-spring the cards at its conclu81OI\,

to magnify the completion of the shuffle.


Ewn if the cards

lie.

RTt shuffled,

the cheat can approximate where the Aces

STEP 3) Double or triple undercut the top card, an Ace, to the


bottom. While you do this, pretend you are making precise cuts
at specific places in the deck.

now lie 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 8th from the top of the deck.
Figure 2

ADECK OF CARDS

In left hand dealing position

Seve/ltee/l, twelve, cigllt.. 1 slrould Iral'e allotllcr Ace at tire top


rrglrt /lOW.

You arc now set up for a very clean Ace Assembly, as three of the four Aces are not
where the audience thinks they are. Due to plot misdirection, the feeling of the
Aces being on the table is profound It's worth taking a moment to look at why plot
misdirection works as well as It does

Perform a double turnover, reveahng an Ace. Fltp the double face


down and deal the top card to the left of the first. Once again,
double or triple undercut the top card to the bottom.

An audience wants very much to understand the purpose behind a magician's actions. Here, we give them a premise: The locating of the four Aces. They follow this
slim plot as the Aces are discovered, and as each Ace IS found, they internally say,
"There's another Ace." By saying this to themselves, they are conVincing themselves.
They deeply feel that the Aces are resting on the table as they can't participate in the
effect of locating the Aces without belieVing that the Aces are on the table.

Add one, IIl11lfrply by two. I tlrillk Ilravc mlOtlrer Ace


figure 3

Perform another double turnover, revealtng a third Ace. Fhp It


face down and deal the top card to the left of the row.
STEP 4) The final Ace Ites under the top two cards of the deck.
Double or triple cut the top card to the bottom

STEP 5) Spread the face-down deck between the hands and square It, procuring a
left little-finger break above the bottom three cards (Aces).

DIPlde, conquer, square root oj pi. . Dam-l Jorgot tile square


root oj pI Tlris IS II0t gOllIg to be an Ace
'
Turn the top Indifferent card face up then insert it into the center
of the deck. This simple element should not be omitted, as it aids
in making the final location of an Ace appear to be more challengIng.
I'II1Jape to re-compute tlris

III

Of course, now that we've found the Aces III the deck [this line justifies
the spreading of the deck]. I might as well try and show you how a
gambler call palm thelll durlllg the course of actual game play.

figure 4

Push over four groups of three and flip the cards face up. Spread
them bnefly and square them again, leaVing them face up.

base elglrt. Ti,e last Ace should

be ... here.

To do that, we'll add sOllie /IIore cards-if doesn't matfer what they are.

The final Ace, now on top of the deck, can be produced in a variety of ways. I am partial to thiS sequence by Piet Forton
Place the deck on the table as if for shuffling, thumbs at the inner edge, second fingers at the outer edge, first fingers resting on
top (Fig. 3). The right hand turns palm outward and SWIftly undercuts about half the deck. The left hand brings its cards to the
table ~op a~ the left first. finger contacts the top card of its packet
and ptvo~ It outw~rd (FIg. 4). The right hand brings the inner left
comer of I~ cards In contact with the swiveled-out card (the final
Ae). The nght hand moves down and slightly inward as the left
hand moves up and slightly outward, flipping the Ace face up
~ between the ~ts (Fig. 5). The hands move to the lef;
Ji1 :" deposIt the Ace to position (Fig. 6). The left hand
....
onto the right hand's cards, and the deck is taken

figure 5

figure 7

The left thumb spreads over three cards. The palm-down right
hand takes the three cards and deals them stud-snle face down
onto the "Ace" on the nght end of the row (Figs. 7 & 8). Allow the
three cards to loosely square as they are laid on the "Ace."
Repeat twice more, modng left, dealing three cards face down
onto the next two cards of the row. This procedure avoids excess
turning of cards face up and face down.

By putting some cards on fop of each Ace, we'll more


cIoschl simulate a card game in process.

a:!

figure 6

figule 8

M ) llA( H jr, MAGIC

--

OPTION 2) Graceful Deception

It IS Important to say something like the above to clarify the start


Ing position' The Aces are in different places with cards on top
of them . If the audience IS not absolutely clear about the starting
pusition, there will be no effect.

Look at the audience and say:

Okay, I shouldn't be doillg this, bUll'll show you the move.

STEP 6) You will now switch the three face-up cards atop the

deck for the Aces at the bottom. Remember, all this time you've
been holding a little Rnger break above the Aces. As before, the
left thumb pushes over three face up cards and they are taken
by the right hand Act as if you are about to deal the cards studstyle onto the leftmost Ace (Fig 9), then heSitate, as If you are
Just now noticing that the last Ace has been accidentally left
face up. Don't verbalize thiS-Just act it The right hand casu
ally places the three cards it holds face down onto the deck,
then goes to the Ace and turns It face down (Fig. 10). The right
hand returns to the deck as the left hand moves forward. The
right hand grasps the deck from above, taking all but the cards
below the break (the Aces), and moves the deck to the right, out
of pIa" where It IS tabled (Fig. 11) As this occurs, the left hand
spreads ItS cards to the right and lays them on the last Ace. This
IS a handling of the Jinx Switch. It is wildly discrepant, and for
that reason might RII one with dread if one has never used it,
but it's one of those things that plays exceptionally well in the
right context.

Slowly place your hands on top of different piles, allOWing the hands to come together at least once, as if palming and performing a change-over, and including the
leader pile at least once. Now turn over the piles as above.
figure 9
OPTION 3) Hard Labor

Deal with each pile as a separate event. Pick up the rightmost pile, give it a snap (as
if doing a "move" or magical gesture), then turn each card face up one at a time-no
Ace is seen. Move to the next packet and do the same thing, eventually displaying
the collected Aces in the final packet.
OPTION 4) Faster & Furiouser

figure 10

Immediately turn over the leftmost packet to display the gathered Aces, then, as an
afterthought, turn the remaining piles face up.

The above options have nothing to do to With the method, but each results in a
slightly different effect.

Square the piles. You are done With the technical demands of
the effect, and have many options, as the Aces have already assembled. Here are a couple of possible avenues:

And that's why you should Ilever gamble .. except with me, ill the back
after the show.

OPTION 1) Fast &t Furious

figure 11

Look at the audience and say:

Did you see the move? Because 1 did it. Look no Aces h h
here... they're all over here.
, e r e , ere, or

::e:.

Thrn over three piles work'


leftmost pile, revealing the

ADECK OF CARDS

. h
1g
t to left, displaying indifferent cards, then the

_ - - - - - -- -- -----AP-NOACH Nt MAGIC

ADECK OF CARDS

THE AUTOMATIC
COMPUTERIZED DECK
WITH SPELL-CHECK

Would you help me out? Creat. In a minute I'm going to have you pick a
card. Now how about you ...
Form a second pile by milking the top and bottom cards, followed by ten more cards
in sma ll groups. You will have a pile of twelve cards with the Ace of Hearts at the
bottom . Table this pile face down to the left of the first.

Four spectators select cards, which are lost in the deck The magician
demonstrates the unique qualities of his "computerized" deck by spellmg to each
of the four Aces The Aces change places with the selections, then the Aces make
EFFECT:

Excellent. I appreciate your willingness to jump in!


Form a third pile by performmg the same shuffle sequence as the second pile. You
will have another pile of twelve cards, this time with the Ace of Spades at the bot-

an lOstant reappearance.

tom . Table the pile face down to the left of the second.

A deck of fifty-two cards. So if the Jokers are in the deck-take them


out Give the (face-down) deck a convex bend along Its length . This will help out

NEEDED:

The more the merrier. Do you want to join your peer group?

later 10 the routme.


The four Aces are at the bottom of the deck 10 CHaSeD order, the Ace of
Clubs at the face.

Take the remaining cards and perform an overhand shuffle without disturbing the
bottom card (the Ace of Diamonds) . Table this final pile face down to the left of the
third . There are now four face-down piles on the table. At the bottom of each is an

TO PERFORM:

Ace.

SETUP:

In this step you will divide the deck into four piles, setting specific numbers Of. cards atop the Aces. I will outline two different procedures for this, one
that utilizes an overhand shuffle sequence and one that requires a bottom deal.

The Bottom Deal Approach:


This procedure is more direct. Holding the deck In left-hand dealing position, spread
over a small group of cards and perform a covered bottom deal to set an Ace to the
bottom of the packet as it is taken by the right hand (Fig. 2) and tabled. Spread over
additional small groups of cards and add them to the tabled packet until the desired
number of cards is reached. To recap: The first pile must have thirteen cards atop the
Ace of Clubs, the second pile must have eleven cards atop the Ace of Hearts, and the
third pile must have eleven cards atop the Ace of Spades. You will automatically be
left with thirteen cards atop the Ace of Diamonds.

The Overhand Shuffle Approach:

STEP 3) Starting with the first pile (the rightmost), spread the pile for the first

STEP 1)

Shuffle the deck without disturbing the four Aces at the bottom.

[ know this appears to be nil ordinary deck of cards, but it's actually all
Automatic ComputerIZed Deck WIth Spell-Check. [need afew of you to
help me out in order to show you what it can do.
STEP 2)

spectator to make a selection. He can take any card but the bottom card of the packet (the Ace). The following instructions are

As you solicit volunteers to help with the demonstration start a


overhand milk shuffle, taking the top and bottom cards on thn
count ~f one (Fig. 1), then continue to shuffle off thirteen mor:
cards, In small groups. For example, after milking the top and
bottom cards you might shuffle off two groups of five then a
group of two. The reason for breaking up the count is to make the
rwmber of cards'In the pi'1e appear to be random The pile how

important:

Take allY card you'd like, but dOll't look at it until I turn
away!

ewr, must be .........nrl~


"
the bot -~'Y'''''''' of fourteen cards with the Ace of Oubs
tooL As you shuffle, speak to the spectators:

After the spectator removes a card, you must do something


sneaky. After experimenting with many methods. including halfFigure 1

Figure 2

) Rl

ADECK OF CARDS

packd i:lnd drop it onto the packd tll its light. ,lnd linally ti:lh'
all the lelt hand 's cards and dmp them onto till' I,lst IL' maining
pile Take card not to e'pose lale-up cards liUJIng thl~ PflKl'SS .
\s the selections \\'ele not squall' With the cards bl'lll\\' them , a
compelh ng Image of a lace dO\\ n deck is cll'ated (Fig. h) . SqUall'
the delk and lea\'e It on the table lo! a beat. '1hiS I'> a WI y dL'an
leplacement of four selectIOns .

Figure 4

figure 3

)0/1 /111711 tlllllk Illere s 110 way for lilt' 10 Icll YOII YOllr
cards, /1111 as I SllId, IllIs IS flll Alltolllalic COlllplilcri:cd
Deck WIlli Spell-Clleck. TillS is till' kllld older!.. /lftldCI II

figure 7

galllblers

IN',

11 IIell's IIIelll clleal.

STEP 5) Now comes my favonte SWIndle in till' fllutll1e. The right

hand grasps the deck from abo\'e (Fig, 7) and tUlns palm up as
the Idt thumb goes Into a bJld merhand shuffle. shuffling 011
JLlst two ca rds (Fig. 8) <It \\hlCh pOint the right hand tosses the
rest of the deck on top, The deck ends up, for the mllst part. facl'
down In the Idt hand IOU ha\'e secretly turned the deck OWL
figure 5

Figure 6

passes and secret "flops," the most deceptive approach turned out to be the most
straightforward. With the packet squared in the left hand, turn away to the left
to give the spectator a moment of privacy to look at the selected card 'a nd show it
ar~und. Raise your right hand to your eyes as if to prevent you from seeing anythmg. As you are turned away the left fingers flip the packet face up, then the left
thumb pushes over the Ace and levers it against the body (Fig. 3) so that it lands
face down atop the face-up packet. This is the work of a second. When you turn
b.ack around, all will look exactly the same. Have the spectator table his card to the
nght, and place the pa~ket in front of it. Repeat this procedure with the remainm
workmg to the left. You will be left w'Ith 'Lour face- down cards m
. ga
three
spectators,
.
h '
onzo~tal row, with four apparently face-down packets behind them (Fig 4) E h
packet IS actually comprised of a face-down Ace atop face-up cards.
"ac

Now all ~ have to do is remember the card you took. That's why 1h d
you show It around to some peop1e cl
' case you panic. a
ose to you-m
STEP " Starting with the rightmost '1 d

pile behind it The selections shoUld) e, rop the face-down selections onto the
5). This will create a nice ill . ~ot fall perfectly square with the packets
.1eft hand and drop it
m ~ moment. Pick up the leftmost packet

on::

e pac et to its right, then take the combined

Figure 8

Perform a false cut to the table if desired, taking calC not to l'
pose the face up pam; that rest in the lkck. I simply break thl'
deck V\ ith m) left thumb a bit prior to the false cut, tll catch a ghmpse and ensure
that a face down card will be e'posed

If till' gnlttbler wattls OttC of lire Aces, all


ittstattcr, wlral

Ill'

lias 10 do j, spell In II. rOI

if he 1I'Iltrts till' Acc of Clttbs?

Pilk up the deck. Starting at a spot on the light, qUickly deal cJrds llnlll the table
as you spell ACE- 0 r C L U RS, dealing one card fOl l'ach IctlL'!. Attl'r thl'
last letter IS spelled, the Ace of Clubs Will appear face -up on the lett hand's l'<lrd~, <I
face Lip selection hidden bene<lth It. Perform a double tU!l111VL'r (thi., is why you put
a come, bend in the deck-to makl' this easy) and dl'al thl' facl' down selection.
suppDsedly an Ace, to the table III front 01 the just-dealt pile.
Wlrat

if Ire WillIts till' ACt' l~r HCflrts? Ellsy!

Stnrtlllg left of the first pile, quickl\' de<ll c<lrds onto the table as you spell A-C-E O-F
H FAR-T-S. The Ace of Hearts will appear face up. Perform a double tumoverand
deal the face down "Ace" (actually a selection), to the table in front of the just-dealt
pile.

ADECK OF CARDS

How about the Ace of Spades?

GO()DWILL

StartIng left of the second pile, deal cards onto the table as you
spell A-C-E O-F S-P-A-D-E-S. The Ace of Spades will appear
face up. Perform a double turnover and deal the face down "Ace"
(another selection), to the table In front of the newly dealt pile.

Of all the qualities lhat are desirable for an enlertainer to possess, the ability to engender goodwi ll is withoul a doubt the single most valuable. 1 recently sat through the full evening show of a
magician who presented a fine array of effects, wllh excellent production values ... and was hated
by the audience, as he addressed them with palpable disdain. What could be more insulting than
paying money with the expectation of being entertained for a couple of hours and instead winding up in front of a human being who behaves as if he'd rather be anywhere else than on that
stage, performing for you and the rest of that aud ience? My father, a layman in every sense of the
word, had a si mila r experience. He ca lled me several months ago beside himself as had seen a
ma gicia n perform, a nd this ma g ician had so offend ed him by projecting a self-important attitude
that my fath er needed an outlet w ith which to ve nt hi s steaming anger. To be fair, my father reacts

There's just one left-might as well see if 11 works.


Figure 9
Starting left of the third pile, deal cards onto the table as you
spell A-C-E O-F D-l-A-M-O-N-D-S, dealing one card for each
letter The Ace of Diamonds will appear face up. Perform a double
turnover and deal the face down "Ace" (the final selection), to the
table In front of this last pile.

that way to most people.

STEP 6) Take the top card of the three remaining in the left hand

Into the right hand, and use It to gesture toward the four "Aces"
as you speak, then return it beneath the other two cards, taking
the three cards into right-hand dealing position.

See what Spell-Check Call do? Of course, in an actual game, it isn't done
that slowly. With all Automatic Computerized Deck, it all occurs at the
speed of electricity. Watch ... [snap your fingers] .. .did you see that? It
happened. What was your card? And yours? And yours? And finallyyours?

A few years back 1 was hired to entertain at The Magic Castle on a Sunday, for a "group buy-out"
Often that turn s out to be a large group of tourists, none of whom have ever set foot in The Magie
Castle, and arc very exci ted to be there. Such was the case on this day. At the conclusion of my
se t, I stayed to watch th e other performer on the bill perform. As he stepped in front of the large
crowd, a crowd composed of families and their children, I couldn't help but notice twin girls,
maybe ten years old, seated in front in their crisp Sunday dresses. This magician immediately
informed the assembled that those in the back wouldn't be able to see what he was doi ng, and
that he didn't like performing for kids. Needless to say, a chill came over the room, so much so
that I quietly departed in order to escape frostbite.

Figure 10

Starting with the first spectator, ask for the name of the selected card . When it is
named, tum over the appropriate card-you will start at the right and work to the
left. Each selection will be revealed.

Conversely, I've had the experience ofwatchll1g a God-awful television sitcom being shot in front
of a live audience only to hear the audience roar with laughter. .. even when there \..:as nothing to
laugh at. As everyone knows, bad TV comedy is often sweetened with a laugh track, but other
times the audience will laugh like banshees for no apparent reason. Why? The audience likes the
performers and wants to express their affection in some way. This syndrome can run so deep that
an audience will laugh at straight lines. The love of an audience is a wonderful and precious thing.
With it, a performer is carried along by a flow of affection-without it, a performer is forever
swimming against the tide. With it, failures arc forgiven-without it, an audience becomes the
performer's ha rshest critic.

What happened to the Aces? 1told you, this deck is automatic!

~:t~:~:~;~!~:tc;:,e~et~~~~~~h:~~~~:I::re~:~~::~C~~dowbn cards) goi

t~ urn s are placed


atop the packets as the fingertips lever the packets face up
hand adds its three cards to the face of th . h h
. n e process, the right
revealed. The hands now move to th . eng t and packet (Fig. 9). Two Aces are
~ all four Aces behind the
Inner ~ackets and flip them face up as well,
r selections for a final tableau (Fig. 10).

ro:

_lie

Magic is far more effective when a performer is embraced by an audience, as they trust the performer to safely transport them, and are willing to be taken wherever the performer wishes them
to go.

the acript can be adjusted to allow


IhouJd )'OIl prefet.
you to reveal the Aces first, then the

ADECK OF CARDS

Jeff McBride has had a great act from the start, filled with fantastic images, artful concepts and
thrilling manipulation ... but when he introduced his version of The Miser's Dream into his show,
the show didn't get just a little stronger-it became one hundred percent stronger. The trick, in
which Jeff bnngs up a member of the audience and engages in a playful back and-forth, humanizes him In the eyes of the audience and suddenly he becomes more than an awe-inspiring performer, he becomes a beloved performer.
Magic, by Its nature, Wishes to stir emotion In a spectator, and Will n IIlg acceptance from an audience opens them to us, allowing us to affect them In a more profound, IIltimate way. When there
is no goodwill, a spectator's internal walls are up. He is closed off to any possibility of experiencIng a sensation of magic, and our efforts are reduced to a demonstration of fiim -fi am, or worse,
we become a substitute for a trained seal act. No, something less than that, as most people hold
some ad miration for the sea I.

GETTING TO KNOW YOU


The presentation for this effect solves many problems inherent III the transposition
plot and makes for a good open ing effect. No cards need be remembered by the audience and the structure allows the performer to introduce two spectators, converse
with them and start off a set with quick, visual magic-a lot gets accomplished in a
brief amount of time. The window dressing in use here also makes the effect seem,
in a strange way, more amazi ng.
EFFECT: Two specta tors make "name tags" for one another out of playlllg cards.

The ca rd s magica ll y change places, matching up the name with the individual.
NEEDED: A deck of cards, a marker, one spectator on your left and one on your

right.
TO PREPARE: Give the face-down deck a slight longitudinal convex bend . This

wi ll aid in turnovers to come.


TO PERFORM:
STEP 1): Spread the cards face up from hand to hand .

Have YOIl two lIlet? No? Well then let's 110t start by havlIlg YOII pick
cards and /lie jindhlg thelll . Life is too damned short for that. illstead,
let's get to know each other a little better.
If they know each other, adjust your patter:

Good, YOIl know each other. III the spirit of friendS/lip let's start Ollt by
havlllg YOII give cach other a gift. Let's all lem.e the room. No, no, noit's //0/ like that at all.
Introduce yourself to the two spectators, and discover their names. Let's call the
spectator on your left "Sue," and the Spectator on the right "Bob." Hand Sue the
ma rker.

YOII're going /0 lise a playing card as a canvas and make a little name
card for Bob. Which card 'Woliid you like to use? Remember, you're going
to bt' writing on it.

ADECK OF CARDS

STEP 2) Allow Sue to take any card, but discourage use of a

picture card, as It doesn't have much white space Flip the deck
face down in the left hand .

Now write Bob's name right across the middle of tile card, /lice
mid big.
As you watch Sue draw the name, turn to the left as the left hand
with the deck drops to the side and reverses the top (indifferent)
card against the left leg. Take the card with the right hand as the
bod) turns forward, the left hand slightly necktie-ing the deck so
the reversed card on top IS not seen. Blow on the ink (Fig. 1). Place
the right hand's face-up playing card onto the deck, covering the
reversed card. You are ostensibly doing this to better display the
signed card.

Figure 5

Figure 4

NOTE: Place the card onto the deck so that the written name

starts at the outer end of the card (Fig. 2). You want the name to
be rIghtslde-up for the audience when the left hand displays the
card as In Figure 3 (audience view).
Figure I

Bring the left hand to rest position In front of the body and perform a double turnover, tabling an indifferent card face down in
front of Sue. The angle of the card is important. Lay it in front
o~ her, but so that it points, from your perspective, to about two
a clock (Fig. 4)

In that moment the left hand neckties its cards and the right thumb lifts the inner
end of its cards upward, pivoting them against the first finger which rests at the
outer end of the deck (Fig. 5). The right hand snaps its cards into a one-hand fan
(Fig. 6-audience view), then the fan is brought down and closed III front of the left
hand's cards, faces toward the audience (Fig. 7-audience view). Flop the deck face
up onto the fingers of both hands as you spread the deck for a selection. This appears to be nothing more than a prettI way of dlsplavmg the cards. It takes Just a

Excellent. Such a lovely testimony to your feelings for this man.


S.TEP 3) You now need to reverse Sue's selection. While it is osSible to repeat the against-the-Ieg method I h
P
dure with the following sequence:
' e ange up proee-

Figure 7

Figure 6

couple of seconds, and


Figure 2

IS

done as you speak

To Spectator Two:

I'd like YOIl to do the sallie, take a card yOll'd like to lISC for your canpas.
Wonderfill choice. Write Sue's name on the lIIiddle of tilt' card, adding
whatever hearts, wmking eyes and smiley faces YOll feci are appropriate.

Fhe'Pbothtte deck fadee ~p, like closing a book, in the left hand Buckle
th
am caf WIth the I ft fi fi
.
above with the right hand ~h r~th nger and grasp the deck from
The right first fin r kic' e ng t thumb taking over the break.
hand. Using the ~ft ed ke~:s :alf. the face-up deck into the left
hand's cards face d
g
.t e nght hand's cards, flip the left

After the card is selected, square the face-up deck into the left hand, then grasp its
inner end with the right hand, fingertips on top, thumb underneath, and tum it
over, end over end, to a necktied position in the left hand. The first selection is face
up atop the deck, but hidden from the audience. Notice that the man's name now
starts at the inner end of the deck. After the second card is signed, place it face up

Al'4:1s and the ~:::~~t ~~d comes over the left hand's
in the right hand .
InStant. The card below the
IS taken on top of the left hand's card.

Figure 3

51

__----------------------------Af--UA-lH~~~

ADECK OF CARDS

onto the deck, covering the reversed card and seemg to it that the
written name starts at the outer end of the card (Fig. 8). Dlspla)
the card as in Figure 9-audlence view Bring the left hand back
to rest position in front of the body. Perform a double turnover
and table the face-down card (the first selection) in front of Bob.
PositIon it so it points to about ten o'clock (Fig. 10).

Secure a left little-finger break under the top card, the second
selection.

flg0l88

figure 12

figure 9

figure 14

figUie 13

Ifcc/like we're all a 101 closer //Ow. He's become pari of your life,
mId you've become pari of /lIS. Alld II's all because you wrote
"Bob," alld you wrole "Sue."
It's Important to lock m the fact that they each wrote the other's
name.

You kllow, I've bel'li lold Ihere's a 101 of power 111 a lIame. Let's
see if ii's I rue.
Snap your fingers or clap your hands to indicate that magic has
taken place. You will now perform a Marlo varIation of the Curry
turnover with the left hand, switching the card in front of Sue.
At the same time, the right hand legitimately turns over the card
in front of Bob. The hands mirror each other. Here are the left
hand's actions:
The left hand turns palm down as the left first finger pushes the
d~k down .a bit in the hand in order to give the first finger a
bIt more latitude to move (I find this helps me, as I have small
hands). The hand moves to the card on the left. The thumb contacts the back of the card as the first finger digs under the left side
of the card, near the outer end (Fig. 11). This is the normal action
~ would use to tu~ over the card-the deck just happens to
be m your hand while you're doing it, and the break continues
to be held. The hand naturally starts turning palm down as this
:::..Lever the card up with the first finger so that its left edge
........, passes the edge of the deck
.
die deck is almost face .
as seen m Fig. 12. At this

.~i1J118

f.""'

figure 15

a slight tossing motion to the left. While thiS occurs, two other things take place at
lhe same moment:
1. The left hand releases the card above the break, which gracefully sails to
the table, face up, and ...
2. The left thumb pulls the sWitched-out card flush with the deck.

figure 10

Figure 13 shows the completion of the switch. The left hand stays close to the tabletop as the switch is performed. Properly executed, the face of the originally tabled
card is never seen, and the switch-out looks like nothing more than the simple
turning over of a card. Completll1g the stage picture is the action of the right hand,
which turns over the card in front of Bob in synchronization with the motions of the
left hand, mimicking the left hand's actions (Figs. 14 & 1S-just prior to, and just
after the switch). After the switch, the left hand casually (no rush) returns to a rest
position, palm up in front of the body.

Look, Bob's namt' is with Bob, and SlIt,'5 name is with Sue. You guys are
amazing. There really is power in a name!

.
up mthe palm-down hand. The left
its !POtion until it is fully palm down and makes
figure II

AF:>ROACHI~C

MAGIC

ADECK OF CARDS

y--s. Illteresting.

HIDDEN POWERS

You mu st now ask two more yes/no questIOns that will produce answers you could
not possibl y have known .

This effect relies more on subtlety than sleight of hand, but its simplicity enhances
its deceptIveness.

Question Ilumber fwo: 00 YOllhave a pet dog?


Spell "yes" or "no" depending on the answer, adding the dealt cards to the row.

EFFECT: The spectator's "hidden powers" locate the four Aces.

Questiollnlllllber three: WIthill the last year, have YOIl eaten a mango?
NEEDED: A deck of cards

Again spell "yes" or "no" depending on the answer. Here are the possible outcomes
TO PREPARE: Set the four Aces to the bottom of the deck and cover them With an

Indifferent card. The indifferent card

IS

(remember, the first "yes" is a given):

at the face.
SCENARIO ONE - Two "no"s: An Ace is atop the cards remaining in the hand, and
below it lies another Ace. Hand the spec tator the top card of those remaining in the

TO PERFORM:

hand .
STEP 1) Shuffle the deck Without disturbing the bottom five cards. Spread the

cards face down between the hands as you talk and square the deck, securing
a left little-finger break above the bottom three cards. Commence a face-down
overhand shuffle, pulling off all the cards below the break and run seven additional cards onto them, then toss the right hand's cards under the cards in the left
hand . This places two Aces at positions eight and nine, and two at the bottom .

You know, wilen I looked at YOII I wondered "Does slle have lIidden POlVer~?" That and "Is slle allergic to glllten?" I dOll'! know wily I ask tllese
tllmgs, bllt I do. In tile case of hidden powers, well, they say some people
ha.ve them, and .those powers enable a person to win at all forms of gam~Img. 1can tell if YOII have Judden powers by giving YOII a brief personalIty test...

SCENARIO TWO - A "no" a nd a "yes": The last card dealt is an Ace, and atop the

deck lies another. Hand th e spec tator the last card dealt
SCENARIO THREE - Two "yes"es. The last card dealt is an Ace, as is the card below

it on the dealt pile. Hand the spectator the last card dealt.
Allow the spectator to turn the card over, revealing an Ace.

All Ace, that's the best card you call get-maybe YOIl do hmle JuddI'll
powers.
STEP 3) You will now display indifferent cards, proving no other Aces were near-

by, and reassemble the deck accordIng to the above outcome.


Secure a break above the bottom two cards (Aces) and half pass them, leaving them
reversed at the bottom of the deck.

STEP 2) Perform a false cut, if desired.

SCENARIO ONE: Perform a casual double turnover showing an indifferent card,


and flip the double back down. Scoop up the tabled row of cards, nash their faces

and return them to the center of the deck.

. these
.
~g
three questions. Question number one: Do you
ramt to PC ttSttd for hidden powers?

Start by

lL'qfC!l!lla "yes," because If the answer is


.,.
th .
~~fII:le down to t h e .
no,
ere 15 no reason to proceed. Deal
table In an overlapping row as you say:
U

"

SCENARIO TWO: Same as above.


SCENARIO THREE: Turn over the top (indifferent) card of the deck, then flip it
back down. Scoop up the tabled cards and nash their faces, taking care not to flash

the Ace on top. The pile is placed on top of the deck.

ADECK OF CARDS

Faro shuffle the packets together, apparently mixing face-up and


face-down cards together. Give the deck a cut, contriving to place
the lone face-down card (the remaining Ace) at the center of the

POSITION CHECK: An Ace is atop the deck. Two reversed Aces are at the

bottom

deck.

STEP 4) Hold the deck on the left palm and extend the hand to the spectator.

Wave your hand over the deck and concentrate on the


last Ace ...

Let's dig a llitle deeper and give YOllr powers allotiler test. ellt off some
cards alld put them here. 11 call be a lot, a little, or you call cut right il1
tile middle.

Snap your fingers and tell the spectator you think she's been successful. Ribbon spread the deck face up on the table, revealing

Figure 3

Have the spectator cut off a portion of cards and place them to the table, taking care
that the bottom two cards of the deck (reversed Aces) are not exposed. Give the cutoff pile your full attention as the left hand turns palm down and tables its cards to
the left. You have flopped the left hand's cards, which are now face up on the table,
with the exception of the top two cards (Aces) which are face-down.

on ly one reversed card (Fig. 3).

Look-every card has turned around ... all bllt one!


Turn over the lone reversed card, revealing the final Ace (Fig. 4).

About how many did you cut off do you tilink?


Tel/me you'll onLy lise YOHr powers for good!
Openly estimate the number of cards:

I'd say that's about thirty-one cards. You decided to wt about twotilirds ...

Figure 4

The left hand now slides the "flopped" packet over next to the
cut-off packet.
... Q

RIGHT & WRONG

pretty good spot to choose.

Turn over the top card of the two piles Simultaneously, being
careful .not to reveal face-up cards on the left-hand pi'1e. Two more
Aces Will be revealed (Fig. 1). Place them with the first Ace.

Wow. Now I think it's time to test your powers to the limit.

This is a contribution to the four-to-one transposition plot.

Figure 1

EFFECT: A selection changes places with the four Aces.


SET-UP: None.

STEP 5) The right hand picks up the left (flopped) packet from
above
and. places
it into the left hand . The right h and now grasps
th
.

TO PERFORM:

o::~~ammg packet and turns it face up. Fan the face-up cards

STEP 1) Take the shuffled deck and spread it between the hands. Casually cut
a red Ace to second from the face . Openly out jog the remaining three Aces,
first pushing over a small group of cards to hide the red Ace second from the
face. Slowly raise the deck to hide the faces of the cards from the audience as
you upjog the three Aces. Contrive to have the remaining red Ace positioned

Let~ mix foa-.up ~ with foce-down cards, in Il precise se""'tors 1M DNA molecule.

Figure 2

ADECK OF CARDS

in front of the two black Aces (Fig. 1). When the faces of the
cards can no longer be seen by the audience, uPJog an indifferent card, but not quite as far as the upjogged Aces. Square
the deck, retaining the Jogged cards, as the deck is returned
to dealing position in the left hand . The left first finger pulls
the outJogged indifferent card flush with the deck as the right
first finger swivels out the outJogged Aces (three cards) from
the deck and tables them in a not perfectly squared face-up pile.

figure 5

figure 1
I need YOII to pick a card for tlus, bllt it's Important that YOII don't

pick an Ace. I'll be needing them for myself later on.

cards in the hand. As this occurs, the left


hand returns to dealing position and deals
the supposed selection (actually a red Ace)
face down to the table (Fig. 5). Place the left
hand's cards atop the right hand's cards.
The selection is now on top of the deck.

ThiS lIne justifies the removal of the Aces, and Implies that all
four Aces have been tabled. Do not perform a false count of the
Aces at thiS point.
Perform a face-down overhand shuffle with the deck,
first milking off the top and bottom cards. After most of the
cards have been shuffled off, toss the remainder to the bottom.
This places a red Ace at the deck's bottom.
STEP 2)

figure 2

Apply pressure to the outer right corner of the bottom card with
the left first finger, causing it to break at the inner end. Take the
deck from above in the right hand, securing a right thumb break
above the red Ace. The right first finger swing cuts about half the
deck into the left palm. The left thumb now peels cards one at a
time from the top of the right hand's packet onto the left hand's
packet as you ask a spectator to tell you when to stop. See to it
that the "stopped-at" card rests atop the left hand's cards. You
now perform a Wesley James move:

ISds

eyes:

:ds

am'finger

will not be visible. After the selection has been


up to pull the selection square with the rest of the

figure 4

STEP 3) Continue to hold the deck in the left hand. The right hand picks up the
tabled Aces. The left thumb and fingertips reach around the deck as you perform
an at-the-fingertips Elmsley count, displaying four Aces (actually three). Hold the

Aces in the right hand for a beat as you say:

figure 3
Bring the .right hand's cards over to the left hand's cards, injogged
'.
about an Inch and a half (Fig 2) Th . h
the right hand
. '. e rig t second fingerttp contacts the selection as
halves of th d~oves forward, simultaneously out jogging the selection as the two
break (a rede},ce . are brought flush for a moment. The card below the right thumb
hand raises Its ) taken onto the left hand's cards, above the selection as the left
the -Kiienc:e asCaJI so that the identity of th e outjogged selection can 'be seen by
tadl!llCll!'s'::: ; : your
Figure 3 is the performer's view, Figure 4 is
riles 'the
tip ~nward slightly before the hands separate and

I'm going to show you what a gambler does when he accidentally leaves his marked cards at home. He can still
learn the identity of your cards in the middle of game by
using the Aces ...

A professional gambler taught me this tecilll1que while he was hiding


from police with his transsexual midget partner in the back of a stolell ice
cream truck, and he seemed like the kind of guy I could trust. Yes, believe
it or not, the Aces can tell me the identity of your card.
Secure a left little-finger break under the top card of the deck. The right hand places
the face-up Aces onto the deck and picks up all the cards above the break, adding
the face-down selection under the three Aces. Place the deck aside, it is no longer
used in the effect.
STEP 4) You will now perform an odd duck of a move. It starts with a Veeser-style
maneuver: The face-up "Aces" are held from above in the right hand. The left
hand comes over to ostensibly peel the face Ace (it will be red) into the left palm.
but buckles the bottom card (the selection) and peels off the top and bottom cuds

APPROA(~I~J MAGI(

ADECK OF CARDS

whispering to you (Fig. 11). As the hand rises glImpse the selection, which is at the face of the packet. After the Aces have
"whispered" to you, let the left hand rest about waIst-hIgh as
you an nou nce the color of the selectIon

Ah ... they tell l11e it's a red card.


Bring the Aces back up to the left ear and have them whIsper
some more. Return the hand to rest pOSitIon and announce the
Figure)

Figure 6

Figure 10

suit.

Al1d not any red card, it's a Diamol1d.


You may choose to string out the whisperIng business to further
narrow down the selection (number card/picture card; odd/even),
but eventua lly reach a point when you state in a declarative manner that you know the identity of the card chosen.

I've got it! The Aces have done their job.


Figure B

aligned as one (Fig. 6). Let the two cards fall flush . Also, see to it that the cards are
in a fairly deep grip in the left hand . The left hand, now holding two black Aces
from above, returns to the card(s) in the left hand and for an instant brings its
cards flush . In a smooth unhurried motion, the right hand picks off the top card
of the two in the left hand under the cards it holds and moves a couple of inches
to the right as the left hand turns partially palm down (Fig. 7). Using the left
edge of the right hand's cards, pretend to flip the left hand's card over (Fig. 8), but
actually do nothing. Simply turn the left hand back palm up with a bit of a snap,
and allow the fingers to open (Fig. 9). The illusion produced is one of flipping the
just-displayed red Ace face down. This is an interesting swindle.

Casually reverse count the four cards and square them ~gain as
you speak, taking them from above in the.right hand. ThIs brIngs
the selection to the top and provides addItIonal cover for the palm
to come.

I call state for afact that YOHr card, the card all the table,
is the
[announce a card that is incorrect].

Figure 11

Make the card you name very close to bemg right, but a little off.
It is at the moment when the spectator informs you that you are
mistaken that you palm the bottom three cards of the packe~ into
the right hand. The top card (the selection) affords cover. FIgure
12 is a worm's eye vIew.

Immediately continue the action by peeling the next face-up Ace onto the faced.own card }n the left hand, sidejogged to the right, and using the left edge of the
nght hand s cards to honestly flip the Ace face down onto the left hand's card
(Fig. 10). Repeat with the next Ace, then flip the final Ace (a red Ace, displayed
twice) face down onto the left hand's cards.

STEP 6) The left hand takes the face-down selection (apparently


the four Aces) into dealing position and rises as the right hand
drops to rest position . Say:

Jtan: The above is a casual display, not a hurried or studied "count."

Really? Olr, it looks like you were right ...

., Bring the left hand up to the left ear as you pretend that that Aces are
Figure 12

Atl IROAC rll~G MAGI~

ADECK OF CARDS

mainrng King It's eas\ to set this up on the fh ')pread through


the shufned deck and look for a Krng. Break the spread at the
card to the left of the King and casuall\ cut the deck bringing
the Indifferent card to the top, the Krng second from the top.
Now state that you need "a couple of Krngs" for the effect, and
secretly cull a King the opposite color of the one second from
the top to the face as you open I) remove the two remarning

The left hand snaps the selection so it faces the audience


(Fig. 13).

Alld Ihose guys were wrong!


The right hand reaches down to the tabled card and adds its
palmed cards to it as all four cards are spread left to right. Turn
the cards over, displaying the four Aces to end (Fig. 14).
YOII

Kings with the rrght hand

Figule 13

Figule I

We' ll assume you are setting up the effect on the fly, as abo\e.

can't trust allybody Ihese days.


STEP 1) Secure a left httle-finger break under the King at the
face of the deck as the right hand openl\' places the t\,,o removed Kings onto the face of the deck Contrive to ha\'e the odd
colored King In the center. Spread over the King on the face, so
that two Krngs are displayed (Fig. 1)

The structure of this transposition continually reinforces which


cards are where prior to the effect takmg place. The Aces are talking to you, telling you about the selection on the table.

Ever wonder how lIlag/cimls find tile cards tlral people

Figule 14

Figure 2

The right hand grasps the spread cards at the lOner right edge,
the fingertips enter the break, and the hand moves away \\,Ith the
fan of "two" (actually three) Kings Use the fan to flip the deck
face down In the left hand (Fig. 2). Immediately secure a left little
finger break under the top rndlfferent card

KING BACK
Bill Goldman's
. I . clever marketed card effect "Monkey in the MI'ddl e" spawne d at h er
ff
e eets, me udmg my "Primate" from Close-Up & P I '
d
.
.
ersona , a version of the effect
one with ordmary cards. A few years ago, Florida magician The Amazing Ada
sent me an outgrowth of the trick with a second
.
m
Swigert's "Kiekba k" I ( ' .
phase that mcorporated Ryan

~:tgletogether
an; enx~tu;g:~~ ~~:~f;~ f~i~:: ::r~~~~ea:~:~eidt tOonmtheMhanact.
y aglc

Flgule 3

mECT: Two Kings trap a seI


' between them with a
ectlon
lowed by a two-for-one transposition.
pparently no moves, fol-

NJJDID: A deck of cards.


On the face of the deck are three Ki
...nne color. On top of the deck is an ~gs~n odd King between two Kings
In
erent card, followed by the re-

pick? We Irave Irelpcrs. ['11/ gomg to lise two Kmgs 10


Irelp lIle witlr tillS Irick, so, to deillonstrate tlreir POll'cr,
wlrell YOII pICk a card all I ask /s tlral 1/011 do/diet lire
KlIlgs set' il.

STEP 2) Place the "two" Kings face up onto the deck and square
them The right hand lifts off all the cards abo\'e the break
(three Kings and an indifferent card) and performs the standard
loading sequence: The right hand moves to thl' right as the left
thumb holds back the top King, allowing it to land tlush with
the deck (Fig. 3). The right hand drops its "King" (actually three
cards) onto the deck as the left thumb immediately spreads over
the top two face-up Kings (Fig. 4). This is very disarming. A
King's suit has changed, but this will not be noticed. Drop the
two face-up Kings onto the table without changing their order.
You have just secretly loaded a face-up King under the top indifferent card.

Figure 4

APP~OACH

NC MAG C

ADECK OF CARDS

King (actua lly a double) as the right hand strips out the selection
(Fig. 7), turning it face up and dropping it on the table.

STE P 3) Spread the deck for a selection, first pushing over a bloc!.. of three or more,

to conceal the reversed Kmg second from the top. Have the selection signed, If
desired. As the selection IS being noted, casually swing cu t the top half the deck
Into the left hand. The left little fi nger secures a break under the top card of its
half as the right hand completes the cut, placing its cards on top of th e left hand's
cards. The left little finger now holds a break above the reversed King. Take the
selection from the spectator with the right hand and gesture with it, bringing it

Thus far, you have performed "Pnm ate," but now comes The
Amazing Adam's second phase:

over the tabled Kings as you talk.


Figure 7

Remember, do IlOt let the Kings see YOllr card. That lVould make it IIIlIeh
too easy.
Act as if you are surreptitiously trying to show the Kings the face of the selection.
This IS nonsense, but an amusing moment. Insert the selection face down into the
break from the rear (Fig. 5). Release the break as the card enters. You ca n now
openly display the rear of the deck to show the selection truly going into the center
of the deck.

chan ged (Fig. 8).

STEP 4) Secure a break above the selection as it is pushed flush, and control the

selection to the top via a pass or double cut. Have a spectator hand you the two
face-up tabled Kmgs.

Figure 8

I do nothing-the Kings do it all ...

Drop the Kings onto the deck, allowing them to square, but securing a left little-finger break beneath them. Perform a magical
gesture. The right hand comes over the deck and grasps the cards
a.bove the break as one between the thumb and second finger. The
nght hand moves to the right, carrying the double card, as the left
thumb moves to t~e right, creating the illusion of a push-off. A
face-do~ card will be seen. The left thumb continues by hon~tly pu~hmg over the face-down card, revealing another face-up
King (FIg. ~). It appears that a card has been caught by the Kings
that were SImply dropped onto the deck by a spectator-with no
: : : .The ~it of a King ~as changed again, but this second
betweenncy IS ~lso never noticed. The arrival of a face-down card
the Kings arrests the audience's attention.

STEP 5) Take the rIghtmost face-up King (actually a double) at


the right edge, thumb on top and fingers beneath. Slide this
double to the right, clearing the deck, at which point the left
thumb pushes the remaining face-up Kmg onto the double. In a
con tinuing action, flip all three cards face down onto the deck.
Immediately spread over the top two cards and take them into
the right hand, casually allowing them to flash to the the audience. Two Kings will again be seen, and once again a suit has

The effect appears to be over, so this is a perfect moment to secure a left little-fi nger break under the top two cards of the deck
(Kings). With the selection still face up on the table, and under the
cover of this off beat, the right hand places its Kmgs face up onto
the deck a nd squares them. The standard loading move is performed agai n : The right hand grasps all the cards above the break (four) and moves
to the right as the left thumb holds back the top King. Secure a left little-finger
break under the King as it falls flu sh with the deck. The right hand bnngs Its cards
(three) flush onto the dec k, picks up all th e cards above the break and tables them.
You have just sandwiched two face-down Kings between two face-up J(jngs. The
audience still sees the selection on the table, so there is zero heat on the Kings.
It happened fast. Those Kings are good. I don't know abollt YOII, bllt I'm WO/l-

dering if they could do it again, with all of liS paying closer aUentioll ...
figure 5

STEP 6) Place the selection face down on top of the pack. You will now execute a
wonderful move by Jerry Sadowitz: The right hand grasps about
half the deck from above then moves outward and to the right.
As this is done, the left thumb makes as if to draw the top card
off the deck, but that is not what occurs. Instead, the left second
and third fingertips contact the bottom card of the right hand's
portion, and that card is drawn off as the thumb glides over the
top card, doing nothing. The right hand's packet continues to
the right (Fig. 9) and the left thumb pulls the drawn-off card
square with the deck, but out jogged, as the right hand slaps its

;,:",,....... WId it looIcs like it's done alretldy!

thumb clamps down on the inner left comer of the top


Figure 6

Figure 9

APDROA(HI~G MAG:~

ADECK OF CARDS

a deft touch, but that's why they call Adam "Amazing."

A card jumped between the Kings! Man, they're good.


Take a look at the card ....

Flgule 10

Figure 14

STEP 8) Secure a left little-finger break under the top card of


the deck (the selection). The right hand places Its two face-up
Kings onto the deck. You will now perform a card change by
Father Cyprian: The right hand grasps the three cards above ~he
break at the right edge, thumb on top, first and second fingertips
underneath (Fig. 14). The right hand draws the three cards .to
the right as the left hand turns palm down and flops the entire
deck over to the right, onto the three cards (Figs. 15 & 16). ~he
left hand grasps all the cards and returns palm up, exposing
the selection, in this example the Four of Clubs, atop the deck
(Fig. 17). Of course, as the preceding is taking place, the spectator is turning over the "card" on the table, and every eye In the
audience is upon it. The "card" will be revealed to be two Kings
(Fig. 18).

Figure 12

Figure 15

portion of the deck lush onto the left hand's cards (Figs. 10 & 11). The entire move
is one continuous action that perfectly mimics the sliding off of the top card After
the audience clearly sees what they believe to be the selection out jogged from the
pack, square the outjogged card.

. 1- I
No, it's over here-I told you those Kings were tncl\y.

Focus your attention on the deck, drawing the audience's ~tten


tion to it. The Kings and the selection have apparently SWitched
places. This is a "Whoa!" moment, and is based on Ryan Swigert's
"Kickback."

STEP 7) The right hand picks up the tabled pile of four Kings (the audience believes they are two Kings). Hold the packet in right-hand dealing position .

... here we go ...


Figure 16

The left little finger pulls down on some cards and releases them, creating an audible "snap!" As this occurs, the right hand adjusts its grip on the packet, so that the
~b is on top, fi.~gers be~eath, and while maintaining a loose grip performs the
actions of the familiar Hofzmser toss/catch: The right hand snaps at the wrist then
abrupt.ly stops, allowing the face down, aligned double to pop out from between the
two Kings (Fig. 12). The combination of the sharp riffling sound and the appeardee of a face d~ "~n between the Kings creates the illusion of a card shooting
pack into the nght hand. The right hand moves down to the table top and
away the top and bottom cards of the packet, allowing the double
Mqtperfectiy aligned to the table's surface (Fig. 13). This sequence requires
Figure 17

ADECK OF CARDS

r am slightly less amazing than Adam, and perform a different


sequence of moves after Step 5. Picking up from there ...
ALTERNATE STEP 6) Set the deck for the Tilt move or Depth

illusion, levering Up the inner end of the top card (Fig. 19). Say
that you will repeat the effect. Insert the selection into the Tilt
break (Fig. 20), then allow the tilted card to fall flush . Display
the face of the top card to show that the selection is not on top,
then casually Insert it into the center of the deck. Display the
face of the bottom card to prove that the selection IS not on the
bottom. The deck IS held In left-hand dealing position as the
[lght hand makes a magical gesture over the Kings, then picks
them up from above. State that a card has appeared between the
Kings as you bring them close to a spectator's eyes.

figure 19

Figure 23

Figure 20

Figure 25

ALTERNATE STEP 7) The right hand brings its packet over to

the left hand. The left thumb reaches over the deck, and the left
second and third fingertips reach under the deck, allowing them
to contact the upper and lower cards of the right hand's packet
(Fig. 21). The right hand draws the center face-down double to
the right and outward as the left thumb and fingertips spread
the face up Kings. The face-down double is sidejogged and outjogged between two slightly fanned face-up Kings (Fig. 22).

down, closing onto the packet as If clOSIng a book. Instead of performing the
change as a continuous action, and turning the hand palm up, this time you insert
a delay. The left thumb extends, contacting the packet. You can now remove the
right hand. The packet and deck is held by the left hand only (Fig. 25). This is an
odd position, but it is only held for a moment, and it affords a view of the Kings

ALTERNATE STEP 8) The right hand grasps the packet at its in-

ner end, holding what appears to be a single face-down card(s)


trapped between two face-up Kings (Fig. 23). The right hand
then lowers the packet until the outer edge of the double card
touches the table's surface. Release pressure with the right fingers and move the hand back, leaVing the double card on the
tabletop, perfectly aligned. All will assume that the face-down
card(s) to be the selection.

figure 26

up until the moment of the surprise transposition

figure 21

ALTERNATE STEP 10) The right hand turns over the "card" that was placed on
the table, spreading the double and revealing two Kings. As this occurs, the left
hand carnes out the final actions of the Cyprian change-the left fingertips curl
and square the cards With the deck as the left hand turns palm up, rcvcaling the
selection. An impossible two-for-one transposition has occurred. Thumb off the
selection onto the table to end (Fig. 26).

ALTERNATE STEP 9) Secure a left little-finger break under the


card of the deck (the selection) as the right hand returns
face-up I<ings. onto the deck. You will now perform a

~ of the Cyprian change. As before, the

grasps the three cards above the break at


ftdI~ind IiloYes to the right The left hand turns palm
.r12Itlt

figure 22

Conditic)ns & Impact

CONDITIONS & IMPACT

When Wl' tull< of i1 tnck bl'lng ama/ing, or possessing a "Holy %*&#!" factor, we are referring
to the trICk's impact, ilnd more than iJkely we arC' not referring to the trick's intrinsIc quaiJties,
but the Impilct of th(' performance. It is after the technical clements of an effect arc learned that
thl' real "Real Work" begins, for one magician might very well get an ovation after performing the saml' effect that drew little audience response from another performer who possessed
equal technical ahility What then, 15 the difference? Why did one magician receive the desired
respon~e

while the other did not?

One of the answers to this questIOn iJes in the communication of conditions. If an audience understands, consciously or unconSCiously, the conditions surrounding an effect, and why what is
about to transpire IS ImpOSSible, the resulting response will be heightened. How can It not be?
Too often a magician will assume that an effect based on the result of months of practice of a
particular move or method will be self-eVident, when that is far from the case. When I watch Juan
Tamanl perform hiS bnliJant card magiC for an audience of hundreds, I'm watching a man who
continually states and reinforces conditions to devastating effect.
When I watch Armando Lucero, interviewed in this book, perform his flawless Coin Assembly
roullne, I sec superb technique as well as a man who truly understands where the magic iJes and
frames his routine with clearly communicated conditions. The alteration of a set of conditions is
what escalates Armando's routine, and Increases the sense of Impossibility to a point where the
audience is left awash With wonder by a version of a coin trick that is in every close-up magician's
repertclife Armando is the only magician I've seen close hiS act with that simple plot, and in his
hand s, his performance, nothing can top It.
In order for Impact to eXist, an audience's response to an effect must never be an intellectual
process entered Into after its conclUSIOn That may result In a puzzlement, but never the astonishment that is the sensation of magiC. We don't want an audience to have to labor to understand
why something was ImpOSSible, so that they can later evaluate the expenence and come to a
conclUSion ilS to how amaled they should or should not have been.
A performnnce of a tnck that possesses impact produces nn immediilte visceral, non-intellectual
response, and the only wny to produce that kind of a response is to c1ilrify conditions prior to the
tnck's denouement One might go il step farther and sny that if the magician chooses to clarify
conditions exclUSively aftcr the moment of magic, any impact that the trick might have had will
be extingUIshed.

"

APf~OAlH

NG MAGIC

--

CONDITIONS &IMPACT

r
AN EXAMPLE, EXAGGERATED:

A magician performs a Chop Cup routine, chmaxlIlg with the pmductlon of n bnsebnll th <]t he
drops onto the table with a thunk. Then, instead of ending the efiec i at thJt choice moment with
an applause stance, he hands the cup to a spectator and says
Wml, lake a look al Iile cllp-lIlcrc's lIolillllgf"IlIlY abolll

II

nl all. [YI1I1I1I1t'

II!

The above seems insane, but that's exactly what we do when, alter we conclude a COIll rou tlllC
that employed a shell or an extra coin, we perform a switch and hand ou t the COIllS for examilla
tlon What ISa spectator to think?
Hmlll, II,csc coills renlh, do seclII ordlllary. Mnybe I silollid reevnlllnie lilt' respollse I
llild Ihirly secollds ngo ...

No, by the time the trick is over the opportunity to produce Impact has ended It is too late, and
worse, If an audience happened to be in the throes of an emotional response produced by the
moment of magic, that response will abruptly stop If the magician essenlially <lsks the audience
to Intellectually consider the conditions that existed in the past Yes, the audience may be barned,
but In the same way we are baffled by a Chinese Puzzle Box. The audience will not, can not, be
amazed.
The sole mission of my Tossed-Out Deck routine ("In Flight," a marketed effect) is to cl<lrify
condlho~s before the effect occurs. The audience knows that the deck is ordinary, they know ev.
e~y ~;r~ : different, they know the cards are not prearranged, as they have been exa mined and
sue ya spectator. I want the audience to be thinking:

The magician cannot possibly know the identities of the cards Illnt were peeked nl.
If they are saying the equivalent of the above .
.
of the thought-of cards will ha d
.
pnor to my revealing the selections, the naming
Ve eeper Impact The same
.
b
feet we choose to perform W h '
.
reasonmg can e applied to any cf
.
en usmg, say. a secret fifth "
C
audience must know deep in the fibe f h ' . .
com m a oms Across routine, the
rot elr bemgs that 0 If
'
.
the effect tales place When perf
.
n your COinS are In play before
d'
.
ormlng any force of a card th
lOUIs that it is a free selection prior to th ff
.
, e au lence must know in their
e e eet that IS to follow t f
h
. ' a trick was put on the market . h' h
,no a ter t e effect. Some yea rs
the L-..
In W Ie a needle was
d h
UUA was opened to reveal a solid bl k of br
"
passe t rough a matchbox, thcn
:-'~_1Od: How did the needle pass throu; th brass IIlSlde. The impossibility was easily une ass block? Well, anyone who has performed

this tllck knows that It IS 0 magiCian's cffect, not an effcct for lay people, as It 15 structured to
hovc no Impoct, fOI the conllitions Lire made clear after the fact. The audience IS forced to re
cva luote thc <lct lons thot occurrcd previously. It IS a punic, but not a trick with any kind of
"wow factor." A simplc change In the structu re of the plot would increase Its Impact, and that
change would involvc making the aud lcncc aware of condllions prior to the effect taklllg place:
1. Il and the motchbox, needle and brass block out for examillalion.
2. PI<lcC the block IIlto thc box and shut the drawer
3. Pass the nccdlc th rough the box.
The effect IS no longc l <l conundrum . It becomes omaZing. Without an underst<lnding of condition s, all vorietlcs of magic suffer:
A gambling routine cannot impress unless an audience has an appreciatIOn of why
whot you arc about to attempt is difficult.
A mcntallsm act will put on audience to slecp unlcss they feel there IS no way for you
to possess the information that you will soon spout
A monipulotlon act becomes visual "whitc noise" If the audience doesn't belicvc a
hand is cmpty before It plucks a card from the air
An illUSion <let IS a parade of boxes if the audience IS not fully convinccd that the lovcly
i.1SSlstont has nowhere to hide as the blode is sent through the box.
We 011 strive 10 makc our m<lglc better. While there arc many ways to accomplish this, certallll)
one of the simplest ovenues IS to clarify conditions prior to the occurrencc of the effcct.

- - - - - l[

COCOA

COCOA

I hdVl' 1'"1 IOg1' 11lI '1 .I [I'W ( 'III'S ,lIld II ,d l ~/( hop ('up '011 I 1111'S, .11111 sldll'llloy IlI'r
rOlllllll)', "My Ill 's l 1111 '111 1" .11111 "( lipS & Il,d l ~ & ( "I'S & lI,dls" f"JII' Iny 1',lrI/I'r
I>oll~ ',. Ilowl'VI' I, fOI SOl1l1' 111111 ' I'v" Wi lllll ,d 10 dl'v,'lop .I 101111111' 1" ,11 ilIIOfJ)(lf,lll'd

.I Illll); ,11,, 1.1 III dI',1 1JIliI II II W. Iii dl1Y0l11' Idl ,,,d III N I'w 1' l1gldI1l1, 11,, 'sl' ilt'lns 1)(,1011).;
11I);I' IIll'1 ,11 11 1 III ' IIIH 'I Sl1lde! S of Iwing .I I11dgll prop, I k llf' w 1" ,11 my 1011111'" wOllld
1111 111111 ' 1,11'1111'111, III w hl l' h I Ill' !Till); WdS Ilillllll"cilTlolllh lip, 1111' Wi ly ClipS .III' /lor
111.111)' II sl'd, ,1111 11111' I IIIJlil x Wi!, sl' lf I'Vld1'111. ['mdIlCl ' (01'0.1 [ wlI',lll'd wl lh 1111
pllll, I" 0(( II IJIg I11l1gs .I 111 1 (",11IOlllllg Wily" WII h w i III h 10 prodlll I' Iiqllid f rOIn "
0,1 'l'llllllg ly 1'111 pi Y(liP II H' so il 111011 ,,'vI',dl'd II ~" I ( .I" ~I JI rll'l hi Ilg VI 'ry dowll III L',1t I h,
.IS ,01111 iOlls of l I'11 d I(' 1111' rllill 1111' II s,,1 f IS o( 1111' I WIJ (II P Vi It il'l y, ,Ii lowi I1g fCJf Sf JI Ill'
11111 '11',1111); SI'qIH 'Il(('S dllti l>ypldY. I hi s IS nol " w, dk ,IIlJund toutll"', bill II IS prd).;
J11dll ( .IS 1111' "'Iul(l Cd ll 1>1' " 'lI sl,d .111111111' rL'sl'I is slmpll'
NI:EDEi): I h,, '(' ,,11 '11111 ,d I11UgS, ITldl s l1JT1,dlows, JI1i1gll(,ts, I'dl"'n 1'Ils (or ml'l,,1

, 111111), .I I.IIgl' Illhl>l' l S II1~ SIOPI II' I, 1l1llltiillg 111" s l"r, williI' ).;itll', {,(ICO<l.
1'0 1'1{J, t'A H Ii: 1111' mugs sholiid 1)(' of 1111' Iy pl' I hdl laIH're; dowll IIIWi1Jd d n'll'SS 'd

i>olIIJI11

Ill ,llly fll Ihis dl'SCliplHlI1 Olll' !Till).; l11u s l Ill' lT1"dl' I11dgnl'lll 'lurl1 1111'

lTlu).; upslIll' dowll <111111,1,,11''' dlSI 111").;lwl 011101111' 11'(1'

,,0, III

Il gIIII' I) Mi x .,on1l' 1110ldll1g pldsll'r

eli hottom, olf (Ul!l:r

,Ivdllal>!l> oil loy slllll'

"l1d pour II 111111

1111' ,,'(( 'sst'd hlllloi11 o( II I(' I11l1g, ('(lVI 'Jlllg Ill(' ITldgl1('l , ,11111 ,d low II 10 dry. Add pl,,~
11'1 10

III('

1l'( I'SSI't/ i>ollol11s of 1111' 1('J11dil1l11g mugs 10 I11dllh , M,lIk 1111' gimmiLkl't/

11111); III ""Y wily Ih"l ,II lows YO Il 10 disllllglilsh II (rom IIH' 11111('1 I11l1gS - " dill mddl'
w llh" Ill,IIkl'l IS rim'
YOII 111'1'd " h,,); o( l11011'sl1l1l, d lows,

"S 0111'

IS ('1 II 1S 11I11l'tI WII h ('VI'I Y 111'1 (III 111,1111 I' 'I h n'I'

111,11 "hl11,IIIows ,II(' III pld Y will' 11 you III 'r(oll11 111l' rOlll illI', (Jrll' IS gi 111 11111 kl'd - tlon'l
WIlilY, 11 '., 1101 II\!'
III

P" II ~ 011 I<,HIIO

11111'

UJl1sUl1ll'd Iluy IWII ~111,dl, ~lrol1g 111,lglH' ls, ' lh!'!;I'

all'

Sh,1('~ ("I " tllllpil' "f d"",,, .... FlIIllIIlo1ll'ly. 1ll.1I!'oh 111,1Illlws,

"Id

heing

~ofl, 0111' l'010,), 10 ,dl!'1 1'1,,( t' 01 slllall 111,1).;11('10111" 01 P,IPCll'lip or otl1l'r Ihm metJ!.
U~(' ~"'l'1 Shllll 1,1"(,11 flOIll

il

shill1/1ll'tI plolyil1g (',ml

il I llil" hil !o111.11ll'r Ihan the

/1101 ISlllll" IIl1w ,1/1d giVl'11 ,I POll1ll'd lip (hg. 2),

fIgure I

fIIIIIt 2

COCOA

Place a small magnet onto the center of the paperclip or shim, moisten it, then in sert it into the marshmallow from the side, close to an end (Fig. 3). Repeat with the
other end of the marshmallow. You will be left with an intact marshm all ow save for
two narrow slits. These slits can be squeezed closed. The marshmallow w ill rema in
fresh for a very long time if stored in an airtight container. If the gimmick. should
eventually harden, transferring the magnets to a fresh marshmallow is the work of
a minute.

T he g immicked ma rsh ma llow is placed in to the right pants pocket. The remaining
marshm a llow is placed by the two remai n ing m ugs in the close- up case.

Using a utility blade, remove most of the projecting portion of the rubber stopper,
leaving a "tab" that can be easily grasped (Fig. 4).

TO PERFORM:

You a re se t.
For purposes of ex planati on photos of the routine w ill be from the aud ience's perspec ti ve, unless otherw ise ind ica ted .

STEP 1) Establish th e pre mi se:


THE SETUP: Pour cocoa into an un-gimmicked mug, filling it about hal f way
(Fig. 5). Turn the stopper upside down and press it into the mug until it wedges inside (Fig. 6). This is why you use a tapered mug-the stopper will continue down
until the taper prevents further motion. You want a small bit of space between the
stopper and the liquid, so adjust the level of the cocoa accordingly. As a non-sticky
alternative to Cocoa I use a mixture of Tempera paints and water.

People ask me "How did you get started in magic?" ThetJ assume I was
given a magic set of some kind. No, not really. This was my magic set.
Display the gimmicked mug, clearly showing it empty, and place It in front of the
spectator on the right.

Place a marshmallow onto the stopper. This mug will be switched in during the
course Of. the routine. Set it anywhere below table level where it can be easily procured. I Simply place It In my close-up case along with my other props.

NOTE: I've become pigheaded about some things in magic, and one of those
things is the ineffectiveness of handing an object to a spectator with the demand
to examine it. The object in question does not suddenly appear "ordinary." To the
contrary, the demand may serve to bring the ordinariness of the object into question. An intelligent spectator may think "I guess this thing is so darned tricky I
can't figure out how it's tricky-you win." The way to make an object seem truly
ordinary is to place it outside the performer's sphere of control, such as in front of
a spectator. If the spectator picks it up and examines it, fine. If not, also fine. The
result is the communication of an object that is without guile.

I grew up in New England, and willter was a magical time. If ellough SIlOW fell from the sky, we didll't
have to go to school. As a child, there was Ilothillg more
wondrous than that. My sister and I wOllld go olltside
and play ill the sllowdrifts until mom called liS ill or lPe
couldn't feel ollr toes, whichever came first.

Figure 4

Reach down for the un-gimmicked mug. Take the gimmicked


marshmallow into right-hand finger palm, then grasp the mug
with the same hand. Display the empty un-gimmicked mug and
place it to the right, inward of the first tabled mug (Fig. 7). Let
your right hand drop to the side.
Figure 7

COCOA

We'd huddle around the breakfast room table, shivering, and 1110111
would pour in the cocoa.
Ivlime the pounng of cocoa Into the mugs.

She'd put a lIIug iii frollt of each of us, alld for a m0111ent, life
wOllld be perfect ..
The right hand reaches for the outer (gimmicked) mug. To do thiS,
the hand must pass the Inner mug, and it is at this IS done that the
finger-palmed marshmallow is allowed to fall into that mug (Fig. B-performer's
view, exposed). The marshmallow is soft and silent. Place the empty gimm icked
mug In front of the spectator on the left.

Figure 8

Figure 10

Figure 9

.. .lInless the unthinkable Iwppened. Unless we ran out of marshmallows.


To a ten-year old, that rendered the cocoa undrinkable. So I'd always keep
one marshmallow hidden from my sister.
Raise the hands to waist level, miming holding a marshmallow. The left hand picks
up the mug on the left as the right hand drops in the invisible marshmallow.

Not in here, in there.


Show that the mug is still empty, then table it as you indicate the mug on the right,
which has been sitting in plain view in front of a spectator.

Could you pour it out, please?

Figure 12

Figure 11

The right fingers dip into the mug on the right and emerge displaying the fingerpalmed marshmallow (Figs. 9 & 10). This leaves the un-gimmicked marshmallow
sitting on the mug's bottom. The right hand cleanly drops the gimmicked marshmallow into the mug on the left, then picks up the mug by the handle. If desired,
the interior of the mug can be shown (Fig. 11). Notice that due to the off center
placement of the cup's magnet, the marshmallow appears to rest on the mug's wall
as It naturally would .

The spectator will pour out a marshmallow. During this moment of surprise take
a ste~ bac~ and place both hands into the pants pockets, the right ha nd roc'u ri n
the gtmmlcked marshmallow in right-hand finger palm.
p
g
: ' ~The han~s.em~rge from the pockets. See to it that the mug in the right is
m. to a position In front of the spectator, mouth up. The right hand h
to the side as the left ha d . ks UP h
angs
the left, and drops it ~k .p~c: th t e marshm~llow, shows it to the spectator on
In 0

loIJI!Iimysisttr.buttltm

. . .. . .fD,
"

'

e mug on the nght.

WI

no way she was going to get the IDst

10 that'. *"11111rW to lmn

magic and misdirection.

Perform the standard Chop Cup move, mock dumping the marshmallow into the
left hand (Fig. 12). Of course, the gimmicked marshmallov. adheres to the mug's
bottom. Do not close the left hand too tightly as that would ruin the illusion of
holding an object. Magically "squeeze" the marshmallow to nothingness, opening
the left hand to display the vanish.

Could you pOllr it alit for me again? Thanks.


The spectator on the right will pour a marshmallow out of the mouth-up mug for
the second time. As this is done the left hand takes the mouth-down mug from the
right hand.

COCOA

- - - - -SOOIl /wns n/l/C to fOO/IIII! s/Stcr...

'I he right hand pkks up the marshmallow as t.he left


hand 1,11~eS It~ mug, dlsplayll1g nothll1g underneath (Fig. 13)
I he Ilgh l hand goes to the pocket with the marshmallow and
rl'ldlns II In finger palm as the left hand places the gimm icked
mug 10 the center of the table, dislodging Ihe gllnmicked marsh
mJllow.

STEP 3)

Figure 16
S/I('

IIC1'l'r kllew wllm' tlmt IIInrs/IllIn/lowlllns.

Bill evell illally she I ned to tmp me, keep lIle from dOlllg

rhe Il'It fll1gers snap as the right hand emerges from the pocket
,1Ild drops to the Side, the finger palmed marshmallow hidden.
rhe left hand raises the mug, displaying a marshmallow, and
IX1SSL'S the mug to the right hand, which loads its finger palmed
marsh ma lIow r nto the mug (hg. 14 performer's view, exposed).
ThiS IS a standard Cups and Halls sequence. The mug IS trans
fl'fled lrom hand to hand ostenSibly so that the left fingers may
pick up the marshmallow to display It (hg. 15).
The light hand tables the loaded mug mouth down The
Idt hand performs a false transfer of the gimmicked marsh
mallow II1to the right hand- I don't do anything fancy, the left
thumb simply prevents the marshmallow from fallll1g Into the
right hand (Fig. In-performl'r's view, exposed).

alllj slIeaky slllff willI Ihe lIlarshll1allow. She pllt her


halld dow II

011

the 1Il1lg.

Il old th e mug above the table, mouth down, In a diSplay of "emptiness," then place it on to the table, dislodging the
marshmallow.

STEP 5)

[To spectator on right] Why dOIl 't YOll do that? rllt


Figure 13

Figure 15

YOllr halld dowlI all the 1Il1lg.

STEP 4)

1 lave

the spec tator on the right place her right hand flat on the mug. The right hand
goes to the pocket with Its marshmallow, retaining It In finger palm .

Of COllrse, ii 's I/Order IllIs WOI/' bill IIOt rlllpossib/e.

Ill't no obstacle stalld ill my way .. "

Snap your lert fingers as you remove the right hand (with Its concealed marshmal low) from the pocket.

The right hand immediately slams down on the mug's bottom


as in Figure 17, as the left hand, still holding the gimmickcd
marshmallow, drops to the side. The right hand lifts the mug revealing the "penetration" of the marshmallow and transfers it to
the left hand, which loads the gimmicked marshmallow inside
(Fig. 18-performer's view, exposed). The right hand picks up the
marshmallow on the table for display.

11001l't lift tire /illig - you WIll .. . now.

The gimmicked marshmallow must be adhered to the top of the


.i\JI\Jlcklld mug. Tum the hands partially palm up, allowing the
. . .'" IlWIhmaJlow to slide to the bottom of the mug and

-.,.a."eulpty"' mug and marshmallow are displayed.


Figure 14

Figure 17

COCOA

AHd that', called "sleight of glalld "

The nght thumb and first finger grasp the spectator's hand at the
wnst-the remaining fingers hold and hide the marshmallowand move up and to the right. She wiJI lIft the mug displa) Ing a
marshmallow under the cup, apparently appearing under even
more challenging conditions. As the right hand continues to the
nght, Its hidden marshmallow is allowed to fall Into the mug on
the right (Fig. 19-performer's View, exposed), a mug that has
been ignored for the last few beats.

Pick up the gimmicked marshmallow and drop It In the gimmicked mug. You are about to SWitch In the mug containing liq uid , and the hands you usc will depend on where you have set
the prop. For explanation purposes, we'll assume that the liquid filled mug ha s been set below table level on the right.
STEP 8) The right hand picks up the un-gimmicked mug on the

That bllgged her a little-she didn't realize It was all abollt sleight
Of hand.

FlgUie 19

Figure 21

fight and takes It below table level

Nothing got
table.

STEP 6) Take the gimmicked mug from the spectator on the right and hold it in

the right hand as the left hand picks up the tabled (gimmicked) marshmallow a nd
drops it into the mug, where it wiJI adhere. Perform another false dump of the
marshmallow into the left hand, and cause it to vanish.

ill 1111)

way,

Ilot

eveH a gellllllll! FornHca

The left hand picks up the gimmicked mug, which now has a
marshmall ow adhered to ItS bottom, and inverts it on the center of
the table. As this is happening, the right hand secretly exchanges
mugs. You do not need to rush, as you have plenty of time The
right hand must grasp the liqUid-filled mug by the handle as in

[To spectator on right] COllld .11011 pOllr it alit for me again? Thanks.
The spectator will pour out a marshmallow for the third time. The time that has
elapsed between this and the previous occurrence make the moment particularly
effective.

Figure 21 (bird's eye View), palm up.

Figure 22

Say "Go." ft's gOHe!, all the way tilrollgh.


The left hand lifts the tabled mug-nothing is beneath it. The
right hand immediately come up with the Itquld filled mug, its
opening canted toward your body (Fig. 22) hiding the Interior of
the mug from the audience. The right hand dumps the marshmallow out of the Itqllld filled mug (Fig. 23).

STEP 7) The left hand takes the gimmicked mug from the right

hand and places it mouth-down to the table, dislodging the


marshmallow.
[To spectator on left] I'm sorry, I should let you do it, too, this

tI.me with test conditions. Put your hand on the mug. Test conditions.

And as I tallght IIIl)self sleight of haHd, Illy sister got


1II0re and l1lore all/rayed-just tile way [liked it

Figure 23

Have the spectator place her left hand onto the mug. Pick up the
tabled marshm~lIo,:' look at it for a beat, then pop it into your
mouth and eat It (FIg. ?O). This will take a little time, but that is
all right as ~e absurdity of these utest conditions" make the se-

Leave both mugs mouth down on the table, the liquid-filled mug on the right. Perform any false transfer, vantsh, and appearance of the marshmallow. I transfer from
my left hand to right, then smack my right hand on my left elbow as the left hand
revea ls the marshmallow by my right elbow. Figures 24-27 (next page) show the

quence amustng.

sequence.

Sire wanted to know IlOw I got the marshmallow from here to here...
IS revea1ed

under the mug. Touch your throat


Figul820

AP lROA{ ~I\G MAGIC

COCOA

Place the visible marshmallow under the right cup. The left hand Irfts the mug on
lhe left, lhen tables it, dislodging the marshmallow.

.. .bllt she was on the wrong track. She thought 1 grabbed it and tossed it
IInder tile /JIug when she wasn't looking. ..
The left hand tips back the mug on the right as the right hand pretends to grab the
marshmallow that's there (Fig. 28). In actuality you grab nothing. The mouth of the
mug is returned to the table and the hands move to the mug on the left. The left
hand tips back the mug as the right hand acts as if it is deposltmg the marshmallow
that is revealed (Figs. 29 & 30) .

.. .but that would be much too obviolls.


STEP 9) The lefL hand turns the mug mouth up as the right hand
picks up the (gimmicked) marshmallow. Drop the marshmallow into the mug, where it adheres to the bottom, and place the
mug back to position on the table, mouth down.

Figure 24

Figure 25

Figure 28

So I'd never do that.


Snap your fingers. The left hand lifts the mug on the left as the
right hand lifts the mug on the right, reveahng the marshmallow.
The marshmallow has apparently instantly Jumped back to the
mug from which it came. Return the mugs to the table, covenng
the visible marshmallow.

The truth is the marshmallow always stays ill the sallie


place. It's always over here.
Figure 29

Indicate the mug on the right.

No matter what I do, it's over here.


Switch the position of the two mugs, sliding them across the table
by crossing the arms. Lift the mug on the right, showing nothing,
and return it to the table, dislodging the marshmallow.

It never goes away!

Figure 27

Figure 30

- - -- 'on Ihl' fI hi, llisplayll1ga marshmallow


I h( 11'1 I halld lifts the mUll
gI
'Ih' right hand qUICkly
.
, thL'rL' was notlll1g. l
wlll'rl' ,111 1I1',tant ,1go
I
k' is It SWitch Ihe
I.lb's till' !\llI1lllllkL'd lllarshlll,lIlow anL poe l .
posilions of Ihl' mug" ,1 second Iillll'

APf OM HJG MAG:'

--

--

It 's II/WIIYS /Il'YI'

TIll' ,,!\hl h,ll1d Itfh Ihe Illug on IIll' light, [('waling the apparL'111
Idillfl of till' lllarshlll<1l1ow

F,gule 31

Hili Ilk,. I ~(//d, Ilt/'; IS nil S/"Ig/II of Ilnlld, It', 1101 renlly /IInx ,e

c.;np HI) l'bt, left hand Iurns 11ll' liqUid ftliL'd mug

~ollthup,

loward 1111' body so that 11ll' mug's inll'fI()J is hidden rhe fi ght
".Illd rl' gflps Ihe mug and !.IISl'S II sl'vl'ral,nches as Ihe fight
nrst Imgt'r lowl'rs Into the mug <1 ilL! pressl's down on the stl:PPl'r
I , j'IqUll. I (Ii'Ig. 31-bl rd S. l'ye
)lIsl "flough 10 open <1 lhanm' I to III
Vil'W). !'Ill' rPJson you want some aIr space below the stoppl'r
IS 10 "('l'P till' liquid from hl'll1g forCl'd up at this moment r he
flfsl fll1gt'r can ll'lurn to till' outside of thl' mug after the deed
IS dOI1l'
WI' nil kIlOW, IIU'

renl /IInglc ItnI'I'I'IIS WI'I'1I YOIl ndd IIii' cocoa I

The left hand takes the mug on the left and turns II mouth up,
holding it under thl' right hand's mug. Pour thl' cocoa from thl'
uppl'r mug to the lower (Fig. 32). The righl hand lowers its empt y
(save for a stopper) mug as the left hand nests the full mug Il1sidc.
The right hand picks up the marshmallow as you strike a pose of
finality to end.
Figule 32

...
To Reset: Pull the stopper out of the mug using the tab you created when trimming
the rubber. Pour the liquid back into its mug and return the stopper to position. Dry
off IIGC 'II liquid with a paper towel and set the props as described. I performed this
.. c;loeer In recent Magic Cutle act and the liqUid-filled mug was re-set for the
beloit the audience had exited the room.

LUCK

LUCK

lUI ~

Ihl 'S " Sldl ~ I'd dl'l ~ ,\I1d 101 I h ,'1 ll\ lSIlIl

',fJlW

m ,l\' I'" q~ II \1\

hul 1111'; I ~ .1

uSI' lulllllllilll' 'Ilhou g h li s I', ll' l1dl 'd Il'l1 g lh J11 ,'~{'S II JJ1 ,lppIOI'II,lll 101111 ;\11\' 1"'1
101J11I11g, IIU.1IIIlI1 S, II "!,c' /Jt'cf 1010Ihl 'I',, 11 l ,ll1lwlorm ,llh 1'1 1",('111 I'd IO.1I1 ,llldll': l1lC'
,1s ,1 h 11111')J OU S dl' Illnll s il d 11011 01 I'0SIII VI ' I h 111 ~ JJ1 g 01 S0J111 I hill g Ii 1111<' ~ I'I ' I11l11gl} 1111

till' lull !lVI'1 " dlll11L'1 I" lolc' wllh Illl ' mh. It '" ,1 Illullllt' Ihdl hi. ,1ks Ill\' lourlh 1",111
hl'!\\\'I'11 11L'1 101 I11l'l ,1I1d ,'Udll '1111 IUllllllg Ihl I'l'l fOI mal1ll' 1111".111 1'\l'nl
" I Ul I IS 1101 " qUIl~ tlld II 's ,1 s ho\\'I'II'! I ,1Ild allhl1ugh ,1 [,ldu'li til'! k IS u'<'d Jl
dl1L'SI1 'lfl'd s l,1(J..l'd ( ,lid " all' ', hullll'd b\ ,pl'LlaIOi \\,llhlll 111(' 10utl11f', alld Inll
dml1l\ Illl xl'd l LlJds ,lie liJspldvl'd I hi S loulJll I' IS all dmalg,'1l1 !lllhl '1'1'1111 8

i\ Cut til Illgh Llld I'trell


') i\ C \lIm Sl'l1SlllVlt V L'lIl'd
1 'I Ill' lell Clld l'okl'l iJl',i1
W h ill' II 's l'oSSI bil'l {l) a II I h I1'1' III I hl'sl' l'1 fI'll <; Ifl be I'c I 101 11wd 11 S ,1 l III1II'~ I hel \\ICI' 11
the J11dgILl,ll1 ,1I1d ,1udIC11ll' 1111'111bl'l , I Ill' go,,1 fli 1111', lf1ulll1\' 19 10 Il'I.1ill till' 111dgiC
,1Ild dlllUSl'llll'l1lll1hl'll'l1tllll'ffl'L!s oll11l'i IVI'I' \\'hill L'llIni 11.11 1I1g illicil'I11Cllls Ihill
SI11.ll l of Ihl' advl'lsLlIl,ll I hiS IS d01l1' b) ICll1nVlllg thL 11,,'gILl,'l1ll!1l11thl! l'qualJrll1
,md ut lil/lI1g two Il1I'J11bl'l sill t hc ,1lId IUllC I hc l'ellOi mel 1'l1dl'.lVIlrR, \01.1 .1 ~CIII'S III
"I\'s\<.," to dCl11onsll"tl' how 11Il1' 01 the twn audlell(l' VnlUllll'cls IS biL'ssI'd wllh I'hl'
11 11 111 L'11 ,1 I Iud rh c stdL~ " ll mvs Ihl'sl' thlel' L'HeLls 10 bt: LI1I1'L'LUIIVLh 1'l'lllllJ11l'd
w llh VIIILI .,l ly IlU sle igh t 111 h,lIld, ,1I1d glVl'S a ~tl{1l1g h"l1dQ IrL'I' guliL'iL'sS tcl'iing til
Ihl' 1'1 Oll'L'd Il1 gs,

Ily dd0l'tlllg ,1 two speLt., t{11 "l'pll1,lLh, Ih L' 111,1gllJ.111 L.ll1 "L,,~t" thl' lI1ulll1l' ,1~ hL'
SI'L'S fit I'L' l h" I'S " w il l' IS 1'1 ovell to bL' I,ll Iud IL'r [hall ,1 hu~h,lIld III ,1 t;l'llinl pill 111 I
11Ilk1L'1 th ,1I1 a IUIlII1I 1','ltI1L'1 f\1"vbc d vnul1g 1VI1111,1I1 whl1 h,ls luq ~t,lIIL'd !idling
d you ll g 111,111 is ~hl1wl1 " dl'11111n~tl"tIl1l1 of 111', ,1I11aZlI1g I'"WL'I~ Jl'r; up 111 IhL' pel
1011111'1 i\ II 01 t hesl' Sll'l1.lI 111', "Ie 1'1 cil'I.1 hil'I 0 till' " Lol1k, I gilt Villi "1'\.,111'" 111I111111a
~o of II '11 L'l11bl,lCCd In this IYl'e (111'1111

NlrDID: /\ dl'Lk 111 r,lILl ..


TlIIi STACK: 'Tou will hi' ~l' lllllg UI' ,1 s l.llk IIh1t fundil1n '! 111 ditfl'Tl'nl wave; for
ddfl'll'nl tlllk~

the st,lI k 14 Ill'WI lIsed In IIll' sal11' wny Iwill' 'I h'rl' is nolhing

10 1l1l'111011/L', .1~ Ihe ~I"lk h.1 4 ~onll' til' ibilily It I'O<;C;P!l<;I'S il fE'W attrlbule!!:

'I Ill' l"lILb "rl' .1I1I1ngl'd ill .1 ~l'erifil lllior !;('qllel1ll'


h) 'I Ill' I ,mlH .1fl .1frflnged in gnllll''1 of Ihrl'l' lIkl' va luI's

01)

I) rill' l,<mls .l<;rl'nd in villlll' (tlll'l' (,I'I'Iion bl'ing "cover cards")

_ _A_P~_OA[~ !QU

LUCK

left hand . The right hand docs a couple of demonstration cuts at


different spots to show different cards "random ly" placed In the
deck. I often Irke to conclude by dribbling the cards to the table
inlo an un squared pde from a few Inches above, resulting In the
disarming stage picture of a fully mixed deck (hg. 3).

You wdl be stacking three Twos, followed by three Threes, three Fours ilnd so on
up to the Aces.
The color sequence, however, IS a six card pattern. The sequence IS:
Red, Black, Red; Red, Red, Black

YOII blow lrow Ihey lesl people's IlIck 111 ga lllbllllg halls
arolllld tile world? They cllillre deck 10 see who gels Ihe
high card. Bob, sill ce YOII are Ihe one Irere who IS "Ilick
chnllellged," I'll lei YOll have Ihe firsl wi, 50 YOII have
Ihe ndvalliage.

Therefore, the first SIX cards of the stack would be:


Figure 3

Red Two, Black Two, Red Two; Red Three, Red Three, Black Three (Fig. 1).
The next six cards would run:

STEP 2)

Red [our, Black Four, Red Four; Red Five Red Five, Black Five (Fig. 2)

to him .

Continue In thiS manner all the way up to the set of three Aces. Notice that the Aces
and even cards arc In Red, Black, Red order, and the odd cards (exceptrng the Aces)
are In Red, Red, Black order You wrll be left with thirteen black cards, representing
every value, that are not part of the stack proper Set the black Seven through Two
to the top of the deck, in descending order (Seven on top), and set the rema111111g
hlghvalued black cards to the bottom, Ace through Eight (Eight at the face).

CIII off SOllie cards, nnd Iry 10 be ns IlIcky ns ljOIl cnll, bill lenve SOIlli' for
SlIsnll.
Bob will cut cards Into your left palm To play It safe, sec that he cuts off more than
three cards-this gives you a lot of leeway! If he cuts fewer than three cards or
more than forty-nine (something that wrll probably never occur in your history of
performing thiS effect) simply replace his cut cards and remind him that Susan will
need cards to work with, too

The deck is set.


TO PERFORM:

Indicate the top card of the portion remaining on the table, the honestly cut to card.
Clean ly remove It from the pile and place it face down in front of Bob.

PART ONE-CUTTING THE DECK

Okny, frere's the cnrd YOII C/ll 10. SlIsall, YOII C/ll off sOllie cards, 100.

STEP 1) Establish the premise.

Susan,
, how long have you been married to Bob'. I ask because
~ou re such an unusual match. You're so much luckier tha h
IS. SerioUSly, it's the first thing I noticed about you. It's easn te
prove. Bob may think he's lucky because P7""'J Sunda h y 0
m4ke . - t tL:- 1.__
---':!
Y e gets to
Will:' 0 m:I KUlltiful woman ... but Susan is the lucky one
laaust she only has to m4ke love to Bob once a week. There a~
: ; .fIKlysof
....~~frrlU Susan's luck. We'U use the ultimate
IoDIllIU'J a dk of amIs .

Place the deck face down, sq uared, 111 front of Bob Extend your left palm

Figure I

Turn to Susan, IJldlcating the tabled portion of the deck and agalJl extending your
left hand, which already holds cards. She will cut off a batch and place them onto
the cards IJl your left hand. Hold a left little-finger break between thl' packets. Susan can cut anywhere, so long as at least a couple of cards remain on the table. The
reason you placed descending black cards at the face is to provide an extra wide
spectrum of safety for this second cut.
STEP 3)

Indicate the top card of the pill' in front of Susan.

Alld !lOll Cllt right tht'rt' ... let's see how lucky you two were. Bob cut to Q
Sev!'11 [or whatever) ... "

the declt &om its cue. You may false shuffle and
but it is not Millry. 1\un the deck faa up in :
Figure 2

LUCK

The right hand picks up Bob's card and turns It face up as its value
IS announced. Place the card, still face up, onto the cards in the
left hand, for display. The right hand turns over the top card of
Susan's pile-It will be a higher value (Fig. 4).

See !IOW easy this is?


rush the other five face-down dealt cards into the discard pile, the Idea being that
these were used for explanation purposes only.

"Not bad. Was SlIsan able to beat it? Oh, she did, with a Tell [or
whatever]. Lucky girl!"

POSITION CHECK: The top card of the deck wIll be a red Two.

The right hand flips Susan's card face down onto the tabled pIle,
then flips Bob's card face down onto the cards in the left hand. Cut the cards above
the break onto the tabled cards, then drop the cards that remain In the left hand
onto the tabled pile. This appears to mix up the cards, but you have actually reassembled the stack and can repeat this mitial effect, if desired. You are set for the
next phase.

There are red cards in a deck and black cards. For our purposes one color
will be our "target color" and the other color we'll try to avoid like the
plaglle. Bob, take the deck and name a color, black or red.

flgule 4

If he says "red":

Okay, red cards will be the cards you are going to try and sense wllhout
looking.

PART TWO-COLOR SENSITIVITY

If he says "black":
STEP 1) Establish the premise.

Okay, black cards are the cards you're going to try and avoid, they'll go
in this pile over here.

Now was that luck. This next test IS all about luck's little cOllsin in,

~~

In either case, continue with:


False shuffle and/or cut, if desired-again, not really necessary.

Bob, deal a card to Susan and yourself as if you're playing a card game.
But this is a special Bob card game-deal as many cards as you want!

Bob, you came up kind of short-not your fault, Susan's just a little more
specMI than you. I want to give you extra control this time. Our little test
Will be very simple. It's all about color.

Have Bob deal a card to Susan, then himself, back and forth in the traditional manner. If he doesn't stop before the half-way point (he virtually always will) say:

Deal the top six cards to the table as if dealing to Susan and B b .
d
dealing to Susan first.
a In a car game,

Okay, deal just a few more, we'll need some cards for ollr next test.
You're
"";"0 to oet some
. your hand Th
, each "-.
""
cands that you 'II hold In
you II try and do something that sounds imposslibie
'
. ' en
and g e t .
-you re gomg to try
~mental ~mage the color of each card. We'll assign ourselves a

After Bob has completed dealing, place the balance of the deck aside for the time
being. Bob and Susan each have a pile of cards in front of them.
You are in a unique position thanks to the stack, as all of Susan's
cards are red, but Bob's are a combination of reds and blacks. This
allows for a very subtle sequence.

of.

:::ofyou.'andIf not,if youyou~hlnk


Yc:u. are holding that color, you'll deal in it
II put
a discard pile over
Th' '11 b
our tliscllrd pile.

it III

L -..."
TlCT<..

IS WI

STEP 2) Turn over Bob's cards so that a mixture of colors is dis-

demonstration. pick up one of the dealt cards "

be black), then place it aside in what will ' concen~te," guess its col~"81-the color led, the wrnn.. col become the discard pile for this
-----'0 or, so I can follow up by saying:

played (Fig. 5).

figure 5

LUCK

/t's illlportallt that YOII dOIl't kllow the positioll of allY of the colors.

Turn over Susan's cards one at a time, building the moment and highlighting the
Impossibility.

Turn the pile face down and give it a little mix in the hands, then place the pile, un squared, in front of Bob.

Red, red, red, red, red, and RED!

SO IIIIX them, both of YOII. Jllst 511100sh thelll arolllld all table-doll't
clleat!

Susan has somehow sensed only red cards under impossible conditions. Toss Bob
and Susan's cards face down onto the discards. You are ready for the final phase.

We have never seen Susan's cards, but the fact that we saw Bob's cards, and the)
were comprised of reds and blacks, locks In the "fact" that the piles of cards indeed
contain mixed colors. Obviously, when Susan mixes her face down cards it IS meanIngless, as they are all red. Have them square their packets and hold them III their
hands.

NOTE: The above sequence is a version of John Kennedy's Red/Black effect. Had
the cards been alternated in color, Bob would have received only black cards, and
Susan only red. In the context of this routine I prefer this variant, for a few rea-

sons:
The extra proof of mixed cards makes any control seem particularly im-

Relllember, YOII're trying to lock ill all the red cards. Each of YOII take
YOllr top card. Keep it face dOWIl, becallse here's where we test illstillct.
If YOli feel ill YOllr heart that YOli are holdil1g a red card, put it ill frOl1t of
yOli. If 110t, set it over here ill a discard pile.

possible.
A perfect red/black separation reeks of a "trick." This seems more "real,"
and, I think, even more amazing.
A perfect separation is a pathway to the method. In this version, the
method is completely obfuscated.

Have Bob and Susan deal cards Simultaneously, placing cards either in a pile in
front of themselves, or the discard pile (Fig. 6). Continue until they are out of cards.
Roughly square the discards, then turn them face up and spread
them, first pushing over a block of four or more (Fig. 7). You push
over a block in order to conceal the multitude of black cards at
the face (the original "demo" cards). The audience will see a mix
of reds and blacks, testament to the "random" order of the cards.
Turn the discards back face down and push them aside.

It is technically possible, although highly improbable, that Bob might actually get
lucky (or have ESP) and correctly discard all the black cards. If that should ever
happen, it really is a miracle. Point out how well they both did and say that the final
test will serve as a tie-breaker. Conversely, it's possible that Bob could rid himself of
everyone of his red cards. This is equally amazing in context, as a mixture of reds
and blacks was shown before he dealt.
PART THREE-THE TEN CARD POKER DEAL

Hmmm, the discards are a /ittle of everything.. .let's see who did
the best job offinding red cards.
Turn Bob's cards face up. His packet will hold an

k
un nown numo~ red and black cards, depending on how he randomly dealt
That IS the beauty of this
ed
C
.
ability
proc ure. omment favorably on Bob's
black to sense colors, but point out that he did end up with some

her

STEP 1) Establish the premise:


figure 6

Ollr final test deals with a brallch of Ilick called 'Jate." Bob, let's face it,

YOli had bad IlIck Cl/ttillg to a card, alld bad illstillcts whell you tried to
feel colors-hopeflllly fate will be killder. Whell card players bemoall fate
it mealls only olle thing-they've beell playillg poker, so we're going to
playa little poker. Let me find some good cards for us ....

cards.

: "brId, Bob. N~ perfocl, but lIult's Un4erstandllb/e. Yau 1uroe


bIIIClc amIs m t1rere, it's about lull! and hIllf. Let's see how

Pick up the remaining cards and fan them toward yourself. Look at the left side of
the spread. You need to know how many cards lie to the left of a complete run of
three (three like values). There are only three possible variables:
figure 7

LUCK

what card the spectator selects, you can see where it lies in the set
of three, and you simply follow one iron-clad rule: No other cards
of the selected va lue ca n be used in the effect.

1 The left Side of the spread already IS a complete set of three


cards (rig. 8). In this case, nothing need be remembered.
2 One ca rd precedes a se t of three (Fig. 9). Think "one."
3. Two cards precede a se t of three (Fig. 10). Think "two."

In fact, let's simpLify things-we'll only use ten cards


total. That's the absolute minimum we need for two
poker hands. That way, even a child offour couLd follow
what's going 011. Bob, I didn't mean anything by that.

Let's assume for expla nation purposes that one card lies before
the set of three. You are remembering "one."

Now, if 1gave you five cards for your poker lIalld, I'd have too
IIIl1cll control.

figure 8

Spread five cards frolll the bottom of the deck and place them in
front of Bob, by way of demonstration, then toss them away With
the discards. Shuffle one card (the number you are remembenng)
from the top to the face. ThiS leaves a complete set of three atop
the pile of cards. Of course, had you been remembering the number two, you'd have shuffled off two cards.

You take a card for yourself mid leave It face down


you..

111

figure 12

You'll now place nine additional cards to the table, three sets of
three. The cards you use are up to you. Let's look at a couple of
exa mples of easy ways to bring desired cards into play. Remember, I like to incorpora te picture cards and I don't want the Jonah card to be the lowest value in the
mr x:

a) The spectator has selected a Queen.

front of
L-_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _~_=~_=_...:J

figure 9
Spread the face-down cards between the hands, pushing over
groups of three as in Figure 11, and counting the values silently
to yourself-easy, you Just looked at the cards!

Nothing could be simpler. Since you know that, in this case, nine cards lie
above the selected value (a set of Nines, Tens, and Jacks) you can Just close
the spread and deal the top nine cards to the table. Done. If they picked a
King, same thing. An Ace, same thing. This outcome is the most likely-it
will occur the lion's share of the time.
b) The spectator has selected a Jack.

For example, let's suppose that when you looked at the cards
you saw the situation depicted in Figure 9, one Eight preceding a
complete set ~f Nines. You've shuffled that Eight to the bottom, so
when spreading over the first group of three, you'd think "nine."
When you push over the next group of three (Fig. 12) you'd th' k
"ten" and soon.
'
In

You know there are not three complete sets of three above the Jacks, but
there are three sets of three below the Jacks-the Kings, Queens and Aces.
So, if you'd like to avoid having the Jonah card be the lowest value in play,
drop the three card set above the remaining Jacks to the table (three Tens),
spread past the Jacks, and deal six more cards to the table (three Queens and

figure 10

Thanks to the stack:

three Kings).
c) The spectator has selected a card that lies past the set of three Aces.
This will probably never happen, but if it does, it doesn't matter. You know
the value that was selected thanks to the stack. Close the spread and deal
cards from the top, refraining from dealing any cards of the same value.
If you should reach the like-value set in the count, just shuffle those three
cards to the bottom and continue the count until you have nine cards on the
table. It looks like you are further randomizing the procedure.

Any card selected can become the "Jonah card"


The ca~ds req~ired for a Ten Card Poker Demo~stration
can be unmediately procured.

Picture cards can be included as part of the ten cards.


~~eatatq can select any card at all
.
""~IU always know the
-you are m complete convalue of the selected card. No matter

Of course, you can always shuffle a set of three to the bottom as an aesthetic choice.

Figure II

LUCK

Bob has dealt himself the Jonah card . He will lose.

to reach a bank of picture cards or to avoid having all cards In sequence

Now mix the cards lip. That's right, you shuffle them-/ won't even
toucit them! Creat. Deal another to Susan and another to you ...

To recap, A freely selected card IS In front of Bob. A pile of nine cards is on the table
Place the remainder of the cards aSide with the earlter discards. The prInCiple of the
classic Ten Card Poker Deal IS simple: Whoever receives the Jonah card loses.

Continue in this manner, with Bob shuffling after every two cards are dealt, at
which pOint you give him even more freedom .

Step 2) When the Ten Card Poker Deal is performed, It is often with five phases (or
more) In the context of thiS extended routine, however, I feel three phases is just
right, each growing In Impossiblltty.

I'IIl sorry, are you frustrated? Would you like to shuffle after every single
card Instead of after every two? Co ahead!

Shufne the tabled cards (except for Bob's selection) and spread them between the
hands In front of Susan

ContInue until the cards are exhausted.

Silsall, Bob got to pick IllS OWII card. It would ollly be fair to allow YOIl to

Let's see how YOLI fared this time ...

pick a card for yourself Bllt /'IIIIlOt gOi/lg to do the fair tiling, because /'/11
dOlllg everythillg In my power to IlIIprove Bob's luck, so Bob-you pick a
card for SII5all and pllt it ill front of her. Now another one for YOll ... alld
allot her aile for Sllsan ....

Turn over his cards and callout his hand. Pick up Susan's hand faces toward yourself and again layout only those cards needed to beat Bob's hand (Fig. 14)

Bob, this time you got two pair - sweet! Oh ... but she has three of a kind.
Susan, did you wake up feeling extra lucky today?

Continue having Bob select cards for both their hands.

Bob, let's see what YOll got!

STEP 4) Square up the cards, keeping the Jonah card on top,


or second from the top, as long as you know where it is. Deal
the top two cards next to each other on the center of the table
(Fig. 15).

Turn over his cards and call out whatever his hand may be. Pick up Susan's hand
faces toward yourself and lay onto the table, face up, only those cards needed to beat
Bob (Fig. 13).

Bob, 1'111 really trying to help you here! This is YOllr last
chance. After this one, it's over. This tll11e, Susan iSII't
even allowed to tOL/ch the cards! Bob, put your finger
on a card ...

Bob, you got a pair, not bad! Oh ... but Susan has two pair. Tough luck.
In the example ~h~n, the Ten is the Jonah card-whoever has it must lose Gather
.
the cards, contnvlng to have the Jonah card second from the top.

Figure 14

If he places it on the Jonah card, continue with:

STEP 3) Overhand shuffle, first running two cards sin I


d
shuffling off. Overhand shuffle again mak'
g y an
bo
'
Ing sure you run the
ttom two cards singly. The Jonah card is back second from the
top. Hand the packet to Bob.

.. .and pull it over to your side. Susan gets tire otlrer


aile.

:=::,-.

With one finger, slide the remaining card over to Susan.

your lucie, I retU1y do. I was holding the cards


~.'''''''IIIn!IJ.grveyou rnorrconhol. Deal a cardfor Susan and

If he places it on the indifferent card, continue with:

.. .and push it over to Susan. You get the other one.


Figure 13

Figure 15

--

lln.lh) (.lId On'1 to Rllb. I his IS ,j Pl'l it'rt m,j


With one hngel slide thl rcIlhllIlIng 0 .1 tl t lr'cl'ded till' ,1rt11l11 rlll'l1,ll1ll'
.
. , ' II 1I11..s tothl' WOll Ing 1,1 f l
giCian s chOice Slenam) 1. .
'I
tl' ' ]1 i The (.lld's 111(1\ l'I11l'l1t 111
SUS,1I1 is c\lll..cd, yet Rob IS thl' om' tOllL lIng II l. l
l'lthel direction IS justilled ,

In Cit' I"ll'l

' nl , ""lu te'l)


C\C

"

\'oursell
" h.l\Ing l110wd a card and sal
.

/'111 1101 gOlllg 10 b!' al101I'I'd 10 10llch 11 mrd !'llhl'r. For Ihl'

111'\ I ,' I \ III ,'I'C-

olld;;, OIl/II 0111' persoll III till;; roolll/lll;; tlll'I1I1t1Wnll / loIOllchl,l:rrf,: I1l1d
Ih!' 1II'\IIiI'O cards IlIld 11111<
I. till III 10
Ihl1l I'!'r;;oll IS. 11111111'1f "8[J/Il, Takc
/I
,
.

Ihl' c!'lIler Noll' slid!' OIlC opcr 10 SIISl1l1l1l1d 0111' (l1'1'r 10 !lml ::;lhllII dOli I
IOllch tlll'lIl! Wc hapc 10 gil'!' Ihis sad, sad 1111111 CI'l'rY p(lsSlhlc cliallce

Ila\'e Rob slide the cards over In the sal11e order (SusaniRob or Hob/Sus.1I1) Ihat thl'
earlier magician's chOice dictated There ale now twolaec dnll'l1 cards In 11[ll1t [lj
both Hob and Susan
Plilihe 111'.\111[10 IIIlhe IIl1ddft', Wml .110, II s cm:y. IVlIallhl' IIdl /lob,
111m Ihe cnrds face liP. That's righi, Ilml Ihelll bolli face IIVI Docs tillS
hell' wIlh Ihe dec/slOlI-lIIaklllg I'roce,s7 Now gil'!' nile 10 SIiSalll1l1d kl'I'1'
Oil!' for lIolirseif. Alld Bob, if .11011 dOIl'1 like IIII' looks of a card, 1/011 mil
slick II back III Ilie pIle alld lake m/[JllIcr! Ilw!,!' YOII feci /'111 b!'illg Jilll

Continue this face-up dealing process until Bob and Susan each have five carLis,
Reach for Bob's face-down cards but stop yourself before you touch thcl11.
Now let's see how you did, Oh, wail-you lum Ihrlll oller.

Announce his hand, whatever it is.


Three of a kind! Bob, I'm getting a good feeling about this. You hall!' Ih!'
honors-turn over the rest of Susan's cards.

Allow Bob to reveal Susan's hand (Fig. 16).

[
I

Oh no, II full lunistl Foiles, give it up for Susan _one lucky lady!
Next .top, Vegasl

clf.'~dbIe, in the final phase, to allow Bob to tum four cards


1IleId of three, but having two cards face down seems

....... ftfurtlwr . . . the Jonah card.

A HOOKUP

AHOOK UP

Under the right conditions, effects utilizing invisible thread can thrill an audience.
The thread system I'm about to describe (first explained on my Premise, Power &
Participation DVDs) has some interesting benefits, including the ability to detach
from the thread connection and easily regain control when desired. It also allows
for some unique animations.
The method I use involves attaching invisible thread to a close-up mat. Therefore, if
you perform walk-around magic exclusively, this is not a hook-up that you will use.
However, if you ever perform using a close-up pad, this will be of great utility, as it
will be ready to go at any time during your set.
The Thread:

The thread I use is stand ard black Invisible thread. It's not elastic, Kevlar, or tied
into a loop. It is what is known as "wooly nylon." It's easily available and a lifetime
supply ca n be purchased for around ten dollars.
A Myth:

A prevalent myth about invisible thread is that it can break at any moment, but the
truth is in normal use the thread is very dependable and can withstand gentle pressure. When a thread breaks, more often than not it is because the performer has lost
track of where it lies, and it IS accidentally pulled to the breaking pOint. The answer
is to create a situation where the thread is always in a known location, eliminating
situations where control is lost and a break can occur. This hook-up does that.
Another Myth:

Some shy away from thread work because they think it's difficult to split thread,
and remove a single strand from the whole. In the case of wooly nylon this is simply
not the case. Even though I have poor eyesight I have no trouble removing a length
of thread in seconds. It can take me longer to set up a card trick.
A Truth:

Anyone who performs thread work should indeed have a back-up effect to do with
the prop in question in the event an accident occurs ... but I'd say the same thing to
anyone who performs an electronic effect, or an effect with a rubber band. A magician should always be prepared for the day when the thing that can fail, fails.

AHOOK UP

Another Truth:

Animations with thread can produce phenomenal bang-for- the-buck when it comes
to dellvenng magical impact to an audience. Yes, they can be over-done, or poorl}
executed, but the right effect can hit an audience with such resonance that nothmg
can top It.
THE HOOK-UP:

You will need a length of invisible thread, a black close-up pad, and some ad hesive
tape. The precise length of the thread will be determined by the size of your mat
and personal preference, but I'll explain the setup as I do it with a mat that is about
13Y, x 18 Inches.
Snip a length of wooly nylon about three feet In length from the spool and tape
one end to the wall . Examine the free end. It will already be unraveling. Grasp
the end of a single invisible strand (you may have to move the thread in front of a
light-colored object in order to see it). Once you are holding a single strand, use the
thumb and first finger of your free hand to lightly pinch the rest of the length of nylon and scoot it upward a couple of inches. Take a piece of tape, about an inch long,
stick the end of the Single strand to its center, then fold the tape m half over the
thread, adhering the tape to itself. One end of the invisible strand
is now accounted for. Continue the stripping process by grasping
the invisible strand with one hand and scooting up the remainder
of the nylon with the other. You will find that after a few inches
of wooly nylon has been raised upward, it will bunch and catch
(Fig. 1). At this point, the hand that's doing the stripping must
move a couple of inches above the bunched thread and again pull
upward, essentially moving the bunched area to a higher spot
on the length of thread. As this is done, the hand that holds the
in~sible strand can move up as well, anchoring the strand. In
thiS manner, the body of the wooly nylon is raised up and away
from the single strand, and the strand can be separated from the
whole.

When the remaining end of the single strand is freed, or broken


the whole when the desired length is reached, it too should
aecured with a piece of tape that has been folded in half upon
You now have a 1ength of invisible thread with a piece of
each end. We will call these folded pieces of tape "tabs,"

:;m

:_:u.

'-'.IOIongerpoaa as exposed adhesive.

Figure 2

Figure 3

Figure 4

Figure 5

Flip your close-up mat over so that is it upside down on a table. Secure the tabs to
the rear of the mat using fresh pieces of tape. Keep m mmd that you are adhenng
the tab, not the piece of thread itself. Each tab should be placed at about the mat 's
center, an inch from the edge. See Figure 2 where a thick string has been substituted for the invisible thread, for clarity.
NOTE: In the photographs that accompany this effect, I'll use \ isible thread when

it

IS

helpful, and invisible thread to communicate the look of the effect.

Fold a criSp bill in half and hang it over the thread (Fig. 3). Thi~ will apply continuous gentle pressure to the thread, so you will al\',:a)'5 know where it is. Flip the mat
rightside-up, then gently bend up the inner corners of the mat and raise the thread
so it travels over the mat (Fig. 4). The bill should hang down two or three inches
below the table's edge (Fig. 5)-again this is a matter of taste. If your thread is too
long, it's a simple matter to flip the mat over and roll some of the thread around a
tab.
The hook-up is complete.

115

AFP~OA( rll~G

MAGIC

AHOOK UP

hand keeping a gentle tension on the thread in a natural gesture position (Fig. 9).
The thread srmply rides over the hand . Place the right hand palm down on the
table, relaxed, the thread still running over the hand. Agarn, by keeping a gentle
tension on the thread it is a lways under your control.

A one-dollar bill. At one time, in Canada, they called this a dollar and a
half Have a look at it. If you'd rather we use your bill, I'll buy one from
yOll, a dollar for a dollar.
Figure 6

Figure 7

If they want to trade dollars, do so. Simply fold the borrowed dollar in half rn the
same manner as the pre-set bill, or allow the spectator to do it

With this system, the two Inner corners of the mat have exposed thread running
diagonally across them at all times, but the vast majority of the mat space is unencumbered. The bIll can be left hanging unseen by the audience over the table edge
during an entire set of close-up magic, or slipped under the mat to get it out of the
way (Fig. 6). The bill can be freed by "adjusting" the mat. By pulling the mat inward,
then back out, the bill is released. One can even transport the mat with the bill remaining hidden behind it (Fig. 7).

George Washington is on the dollar bill, one of our most fa1110lls presIdents. Growing up we learn aLI kinds of things about George Washll1gton . What are some of the things we learn?
You will get varied responses. Repeat them as they are suggested.

Couldn't tell a lie .. .cherry tree ... crossll1g the Delaware ... woodell
teeth ...

Here are two effects that work well with the hook-up. I often perform one followed
by the other.

r-.iot Quite Dead

After ticking off the typical Washington associations, add one


more:

EFFECT: A bill goes through a series of animations.

. .. and of COllrse, when they bllried hi11l he wasll't quitc


dead. We all know that, TIght? No? Well it's trllC. III
fact, some say that cvery dollar bill still cOlltains a littlc
bit of George's life encrgy. Let's see if that's the case.

NEEDED: The hook-up, a bill, a clear glass cup and saucer.


TO PERFORM:
S!EP 1) The right hand reaches down, as if into a pocket, and brings up the folded
bl~l, crease downw~rd. The thread now runs from each side of the bill to the mat
(FIg. 8). Open the bIll and remove it from the thread with the left hand, the right

Figure 10

STEP 2) If the bill is criSp enough to form an "L" shape. start


with this animatIOn (if the bill isn't criSp, move on to Step 3):
Place the bill onto the thread so that the lower part of the "L"
faces the right hand (Fig. 10).

Let's see if I call add my ellergy to George's alld make a


little somctiring irappcll.
Raise both hands in a mystical gesture, causing the bill to move
slightly (Fig. ll-audience view). What I like about this animation is the fact that the direction of the motivating force is unclear.
Is something pushing from the right or pulling from the left? Rest
Figure 9

Figure 11

AHOOK UP

outward, the bill will seem to move away from the hand in a sympathetic/antimagnetic manner (Fig. 15). Due to the fact that the left hand has Just been seen moving
rreely, the fact that it's now controlling the bill seems truly impossible. The left hand
travels back, rreeing itself from the thread, then hands the bill to a spectator on the
left, proving once again that the bill is connected to nothing.

Wmlt to take a look at It again? It's kind of bizarre, I know.


STEP 4) ThiS next, optional step creates another "magnetic connection" illusion.

Figure 13

Figure12

Re-take the bill with the left hand and fold it In half as In the beginning. This
time, place it on the mat, over the thread in the manner of a
teepee (Fig. 16). As in Step 3, the left fingertips rub the right
palm in an effort to 'pick up energy', catching the thread as the
right hand returns to the table. Now by hovering the left hand
over th e folded bill, the bill will lean in the direction of the hand
(Fig. 17-audience view). The placement of the fight hand will
determine at what point the bill will begin to move.
I can actually feel the energtJ.

Figure 14

Figure 15

Figure 16

STEP 5) The left hand lifts the bill from the table, clearly show-

the hands, then repeat the animation once or twice. If desired, the bill can be made
to pass its fulcrum point and fall over to the left (Fig. 12-audience view).

ing it is unattached .

The l~ft hand takes the bill and passes it to a spectator on the left. The right hand
remains tabled In a relaxed pose, maintaining gentle pressure on the thread.

There's another thing 1 call try .. .I can't gllarnlltee It


will work.

Take a look. It's weird, isn't it?


S!EP 3) Take back the bill with the left hand and open it so it is flat. Place the
blil on the mat, on top of the thread so that the thread passes und 't'
d
. 13)
er I sinner en
(FIg.
. What follows is a very strange-looking animation.

After doing this once or twice, continue on to the next sequence

Figure 17

Both hands rise, coming together in front of the body and folding the bill in half around the thread, crease at the bottom as at
the beginning of the routine. This is easily done as you will feel
where the thread rides over the hands.
NOTE: Pay attention to the orientation of the bill. You will want

Watch .. .I'm going to give myself some concentrated life energy.

to get back into this position at the conclusion of the routine, to


safely un-hook the bill from the thread.

1bm your 'ght hand palm


rJaht ~ ostensibly up as the left han~ comes over to rub its fingertips on

w:

~lI!IJjpll one or more A ..~

r.

Crush the bill into a ball around the thread (Fig. 18). Give the
thread slack as you do this.

up a psychic charge. During this action the left


"''fi
er the thread (Fig. 14). The right hand returns to
~~}IIlJrn-dDWn rest position as the left hand
.
~w.tIIe .palm faces the mat As
moves over the bill, opening
Q

''

I'm trying to trap a little bit of that lifo energy inside.

you move your hand slowly to the left and


Figure 18

A;lPRCAClI~J

MAGIC

AHOOK UP

NOTE: Once the bill is on the table there are any number of ani-

mations possible. The bill could rise, floating up to a hand (Fig.


23-audience view), but I prefer not to do this as the connection
seems too clear. I prefer animations that appear counter-intuitive. For example, the bill could be placed to the right, with the
thread rising over the left hand (Fig. 24) By raising the left hand
as it moves to the right, the bill moves toward the left, in the opposite direction of the hand in motion (Fig. 25). That action is far
more confounding than dangling a bill at the end of a thread.
figure 20

figure 19

figure 23

STEP 6) The hands move inward, disengaging from the thread

frgure 21

figure22

frgure 24

as they prod uce the glass cup and saucer. The left hand holds
the clear cup as th e right hand drops the bill into it (Fig. 26). Tip
the cup towa rd th e aud ie nce. This is ostensibly to dIsplay the bIll
inside th e cup, but it serves another purpose, it ensures tha t the
thread w ill ru n ove r th e outer ri m of the cup (Fig. 27-audience
view). Place the cup mou th up on the center of the mat, then
place th e saucer on top of the mouth of the cup, but not perfectly
centered . Instead, see that the saucer rests about half an inc h
forward. This creates a li ttle crescent of free space where the
th read has some play (Fig. 28).

Let. the bill fall to the table as the hands lower' the thread n'd'Ing over bat h h ands
(FIg. 19). I~ you'd prefer, you can simply drop the bill onto the mat, leaving the hands
free. That s .part of the beauty of this hook-up. One can get back in control of the
thread by sImply dIsplaYing the bill with one hand while slipping the other hand
' the bill beunder the thread as It moves to the side (Fig. 20) . At any ra te, en d WIth
tween the hands and the thread riding over the hands as in Figure 19.

Let's see if there's a response ...

figure 2S

The right hand rises above the bill and makes am '
.
move slightly (Fig. 21).
ystlcal gesture, causIng the bill to

Hmm .. .I wonder if it wiJl work with the other hand.

Ictwn the right hand to the side and d I'


.
~lPOInds to the left hand
up Icate the actions with the left hand-the
as well (Fig. 22) This is baffl'
both bands affect the bill D.._ thread'
mg, as both hands seem
ioof;l.it~ IIIIVJ!o fathom how one
"yen
-workers will ",:onder what's going
...
hand could
move an object, but not both.

figure 27

Figure 26

-J

You arc now m an excellent p(J<;ition. You arc frce of the thread,
but It Cdn be mstantly engaged byvirtue of the fact that the height
r,f the cup cau<,('s the thread to run down tl) the mat at an angle.
'I he hllnd~ can enter under the thread whenever desired and c,imply move to the Sid" to begin an anlmatum. In addition, there IS
huge clntlclpatlon r,n the part (,f the spectators, who have been
cOf'ldltioned t" expect an anima tion, and now you are scttmg up
I mp()s~lble c(mdltirms. After the cup and Silucer arc m place, turn
to the audl 'nee, gl..-,tunng in 11 way that makes It clear there IS no
(onm'c tlOI' between you and thr gla~s

AHOOK UP

Figure 29

FigUie 33

Figure 34

Figule30

Figule35

FigUie 36

Okay,for Ihis /'111 going 10 need rvrrybody's life energy I need all
o/you 10 hl'ip. l.ook al Ihl' bill and collcenlralc.. concentrate., .
As you return your attention to th(! bill, thc' hands move forward,
l'Jlg,lglOg the thread {fig. 29) and to the Sid!' (/-ig. 30), stopping
wlll'n the thu.'iJd is taut but before the bill moves. You want to be
slire eVl'ryonc I ~ look 109 at the bill before it starts to animate En (~)uragc e\l('ryone
focus on the bill as you lean 10, at the same
time moving thr' hands ~ iJghtly tr)ward their rtospectlve sides. The
hilml~ "nly h,we to move thc' tlnlP...,t amount in order to cause the
bill to slowly ri~e in th!' ~ealed off cup. 'I he motion of your head
as you "(omcntratc," moving It Inward and from Side to side as
t~~ bill risc~, providc: perfect misdirection . This looks pretty cool
(fig. 3~ ~udlcnce VICW). A~ impo<,siblc as this is, you arc going
to cap It With !lomething lovcn more astounding.

'0

you choose, the bill remains in its rIsen state as if held by an invisible force (Fig. 34),
which is, in effect, the actual method .
When you are ready to conclude, return to the cup and saucer and say'

At the count of three I'm goillg to release the ellergy. Olle ... two .. .tlzree!
When
the bill reaches the top of the cup and I't's hl'tt'109 th e saucer
F"
( Ig. 32-audlence view), the hands rise and move '
d I
'f I'
,"war. act
as I m shocked at what is occurring.

FigUie 31

I CRn'l ht/ieve Ihis ... it's /ike it's trying to get oul!

!!..~8moving the hands inward for a reason. Due to th _


~"''8 of the l8UCer, and the
e po
CllII*" you are able to
bi crescent of open space that was
hturen tht IIIUre1fert a t of pressure on the thread, wedgl.11y puUed
tm4 tht rim of Iht cup. Invisible thread
_._ ~
reaonabIe amount, and that's exactly what
'1N11pfn:'~ two pieces of glass (Fig. 33). Now
au can walk away from the table if

Lift the saucer from the glass. The bill will drop to the bottom of the cup as if a magnetic charge has been shut off (Fig. 35-audience view). Place the saucer aside and
pour the bill out of the cup onto the table. Again it apparently moves freely, without
any connectIOn whatsoever (Fig. 36). The hands come together and open up the
bill. When the bill is un-crumpled to the point where it is folded in half, make sure
it faces the same way as it did in Step 5. This will allow you to safely unfold the bill
and free the thread. If you wish to end here, the thread can be released to the mat
or gUIded back over the edge of the table as you hand the bill to a spectator.
I, however, retain control of the thread, allowing it to ride over the left hand, which
falls to rest position and segue into a second effect that makes use of the hook-up:

FiguI832

111

---

AHOOK UP

The H,mnted P,l(k


Thi~ simplification of AI BaJ..er's "PacJ..that (uts Itself" IS made paltil' lll" i1y b,ll i1ing
due to the hook- up.

STEP 1) Pa'is the deck to a spectator on the nght with the nght hand .

As 10llg ns we hOl'e nlllills cllergy Imppelllllg III tilt' roOIIl , let 's Ily SOllIe
Ihlllg clsl'. Tnke Ihe cards 0111 of Iht' /lox, nnllllllt' tllt'lII nlld 11m Ihl'lIl "V
WIIt'lIl/oll 're rendy, Inke nlly cord 0111 of Ihe dL'ck fllld Illmd IIIL' Ihe
rL'51 of Ihe cords. /'111 gOlllg 10 ile ns fnir ns possllJ/e.

IlijulO41

FlgUIO40

As you sa) "as fair as possible" the left hand rises 111 a gesture,
Iift1l1g the thread off the mat. The nght hand ribbon spreads the
deck face down on the mat, on the spot where the thread formerly
lav (Fig. 37). The left hand lowers and moves to the left, caus1l1g
the thread to run horizontally along the spread, kept taut by the
left ha nd (Fig. 38).
Tnke n look nl YOllr card, mId show il nrolllld. Hmld II 10

Figuro 37

Figuro 42

1111'

whell YOII're dOIlL'. YOllr cnrd goes rlglll hae-I dOIl'1 evell wnlll
10 IOllel, il. ..

STEP 3) 111~v t() m()w dWilY Irllllltilv dVI~ ,It this I'Uillt , 'lI'I'oIlllltl) 111I'11';!11f\ It s

STEP 2) The right hand takes the spectator's card and drops it

I'IlSIIIIlII dl1d IIISIIII(lll1g SI'"'lloIltJIS III 1'"'1'0111' Itll"tJIlll'l1lrollt- II', 111'l'tlltollll lilolt
111l' Ill' l ltJI 11"'1 IS SI't'n (,Ilmplvlvly lIiSI'I1gol!\I'd 1111111 11ll' Illtll' lil,I1 I'. oIholll ttl ,lui
1110111'

onto the center of the spread. The thread lies tautly above the
spread and under the chosen card, You must now make an ad
justment to ensure easy handling. The right hand slightly lifts
the card to the immediate right of the selection and moves it to
the left, just enough to start to ride over the selection (Fig. 3'1).

... so let's just leave it here in the middle of the deck ....

()klli/, 1111((1 ij' I'I'I' dlllll' till' /"is/II, 1111111111' dl'I" I~ IJlh/IiIlIlI't! 111'(,1 IIII' t PII'
IU till' 1'111111, Illld Ih IIllf 11111 1IIIIIIit!, 11'1' I 1111 fll/ 'IIIIII'I/IIIIS ,/we liz!

Figuro 38

The left thumb and second finger contact the inner and outer corners of the cards at the left end of the spread as the right hand
performs the same action on the right, ensuring that the thread
c:annot escape (Pig. 40). The hands now gently come together
ICp.Wing the deck (Figs. 41 &t 42). The hands move inward agai~
'las themse1ves from the thread.
'

YOtl IoVdlllllW l'l1g<1gl' Iht' thll",d wl11II' I'lovilig 111l'1l' ,III' 1111 utloll'\lIllt lit wll,li~o
L'Vl'1 WoIVl' till' h,ll1ds OVt'l IIH' tol' III till' dt' 1-:, lIl' ,md dllwll till' ILll' , tlwll pil Ii.
lIJlllll' dL'tJ.. wllh tlw It'lt Ihll1d 01 ... till' light h,lIld 1<; w,l\"l'd lIlidt'lllI',lth, "l'ltlvlng"
I.ltJ.. III oIllY l'0I111t'lII01l 11H' light holl1d 1110Vt'~ tllllw light, t'ng,lgtl1g Illl' Ihrr,ld I
IIII' 11'lt holllllll'tllll1S till' dl'lJ.. til till' t,lbll' YOIl willlll1d th.lt tl1l' lhk t.1II nt' hdd
Il1lht,l .. lt 1I,lIld as 1111' light h.ll1d obt,lins 111011' SI.lt,,", il dt' .. in'd, bv moving Il bHlo
111l' light. AIIt'1 thl<; "plool," tl1l' L1t'tk should 11l' 111 till' tt'ntt'r 01 till' mal, Ilw hands
tilhlt'd .It tlH' ,idt', till' thn.ld running owr till' right h,lI1d (\ Ig. 4~) .
( 11//(/'//1 mil'

figure 39

NOW.

A'>PR( A'
------~

I~

t\AGI(

--

Figure 44

The hands move In concert over the deck, slowly crossIng, the right hand gently moving toward the left, and vice
versa The top portion of the deck will gracefully move to the
side (Pig. 44-audlence view). When this happens, you will gam
more ~Iack In the thread You can back up or stand to take up
this slack Make another magical gesture with both hands whde
pulling on the thread, and the selection will pivot out of the
deck (hg. 45-audience view). Turn the selection face up to conclude (Frg. 46).
STEP 4)

Of course you can Immediately hand the cards out to the audience, but if you do, let it be a casual afterthought. The effect
ended when the card was revealed.

...
The thread can be dropped to the mat, or carried over the edge of the table. If you
are seated and have a folded bill at the ready you can drop it over the thread, securing it in place for the next performance.

--

REMUNERATION

REMUNERATION

VISUAL MAGIC
We arc all seeking the same thing: Effects with magical impact. Many live by the adage, "The
more visual an effect IS, the more magical it will appear to an audience." Some years ago I was
taught a lesson by a man many years my senior that challenged that assumption.
New York magicians used to gather on Saturdays at Reuben's Delicatessen, a restaurant in the
Murray Hill section of New York. They hated us there. And why not? Our group was notoriously
cheap-some would go so far as to bring food from home to eat in the back room of this restaurant that allowed us to congregate at no charge. The management looked at us the way one looks
at the raccoon that knocks over the garbage cans, with a resigned knowledge that no defense
exists that will rid the premises of the nuisance.
One Saturday, the subject at hand was the Color-Changing KllIves. Dozens of magicians were
chiming in, demonstrating moves that had the knives changing in a blink. Startling changes
were occurring left and right. Then a gentleman who was, without exaggeration, ten thousand
years old, said:

"No,

110, 110, 110, 110.

It doesn't always have to be visllal..."

He placed a white knife and a red knife on his open palm, then covered them with a handkerchief. Reaching underneath, he removed the white knife and placed it on top of the cloth. The
situation was c1ear-a complete absence of confusion. He then gracefully lifted a corner of the
handkerchief, concealing the white knife for perhaps a second. When the corner was lowered,
the red knife was now atop the handkerchief, and the white knife below The effect was the opposite of visual, It was concealed, but the sensatIOn of magic was profound
There are thlllgs to consider when it comes to utilizing direct methods, as well. Generally, the
most direct method to solve a magical problem is the best, but sometimes the effect is whittled
away in the process, streamlined to the point where the effect happens too quickl)~ without context, and the impact isn't there. In the above example of the Color-Changing Knives, the method
utilized by the elderly gentleman used the same basic principle found in all knife routines, but
the effect was heightened by an illdirect series of actions that painted clear pictures, created a
sense of mystery and allowed the audience a beat to understand conditions prior to the effect occurring. If we consider a method to be the thing that produces a desired effect, then the packaging and framing of an effect is part of the method.

REMUNERATION

(,O~SOLIDATIO;\f
As a result of the lesson that man taught me at Reuben's Delicatcsscn, whcn I look at an effcct
I try to keep an open m1l1d as I evaluate the effectiveness of its \ isual and non visual clemen ts.
For tillS reason [ can appreciate those C01l1 Assemblies that utIli ze coins covcrcd with cards, as
well as those in which the C01l1S arc obscured only by the hand I'vc felt the magical punch of nocards C01l1 Assemblies, but I've also come to understand the feelll1g of mystcry, and lIlagic, that

bill The COInS va nish and th e bill is revealed to have changed into a two-dollar
bill, which is give n to a spectator. This is, in a way, the reverse of John Carney's

is generated by a less "visual" approach.

"Logica I Bi II Trick."

EFFECT: Four borrowed quarters are placed into the folds of a borrowed dollar

NEEDED: A two-dollar bill, a lighter.

Two-dollar bills can be found at banks-if your local branch has none on hand they
wi ll be able to get some for you. Two-dollars bills are neither rare nor valuable. For
example, in 2005 alone, sixty-one million two-dollar bills were printed by the U.S.
Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Each is worth exactly two dollars.
TO PREPARE: You need to fold the two-dollar bill into eighths a simple but spe-

cific manner. Hold the bill facing yourself (Fig. 1). All folds are made away from
you: Fold the right half to the left, the top down, and the left half to the right.
Figures 2-4 show the steps. Notice that, in this state, the bill can easily pass for a
one-dollar bill-that will prove useful later. Place the folded bill into a left pants

figure 1

figure 3

figure 2

APF~OALH ~G

MAGIC

REMUNERATION

-------

or Jacket pocket. Jn the routine, vou wunt to be able to reach into


the pocket und fillger palm the bill uS III Figure 5. Note that the
word "doll ars" IS on top and upside dow n The lighter is placed
in a left side pocket as well.
TO PERFORM:
STEP 1) Establish the premise:

WOIIIL'lllwl'C it IlIcky. They grl 10 carry tllm loose cllallge Ilrolll1d

figure 5

figure 10

figure 9

11111 hllIldy little pllrse, bill if 11 glly docs IIwt IIc looks, well . .like 11
WOIIIIlII. / hllve 11 sO/lIliolllo III is Ilge-o/d prob/elll. COllld I borrow
11 dollllr bill frolll SOIllCOlle 10 deillollsirate? Alld / IIccd qllllriers,
100...

The hands reach into pockets as if looklllg for change, and it is at


thiS paint that the folded two dollar bill is hnger palmed III the
lett hand. See Figure 5 agalll
/ IIccd fOllr qllllriers, 100, so hC/p 1111' 0111 l/ere. / pro/JIise 110t 10
SICIl/llllyolle's lIIolley.

figure 6

Accept quarters from any assortment of people in the audience.lf


desired, yOU can walk around with your own quarters handy in a
right pocket, to streamline the procedure. Place the quarters on a
table, or allow a spectator to hold them.

"pockets" have been formed on the right, one rn the front and one in the rear
(Fig. IO- bird's eye view). Take a qual ter and cleanl\ drop It rnto a pocket
(Fig. II -nudlence view). Continue With the rell1ninrng qUJrters, placing two rn the
rront pocket nnd two in the rear pocket

STEP 2) You will fold the one-dollar bill while keeping the fold-

ed two-~ollar bill in finger palm . Hold the one-dollar bill faCing


the audience (Fig. 6). Fold it in half away from yourself as in
Fi~ure 7, then in half again by folding upward toward yourself
(Fig. 8). While making this final fold, allow the upper right corner of the folded two-dollar bill to come on top of the folded
one-dollar bill (Fig. 9). The left fingers hold the folded dollar at
the far left edge. Notice that the creases of the bill are at at the
far right and bottom.

SCC how this works?

The lclt thumb slides the two dollar bdlup and to the right,
of the one dollm bill (Fig. 12),

figure 7

er the left real side

Prctly slick, hllh?

Fold the lclt side of the onl' -dollar bill in half nway trom you,
bringing the folded two -dollar bill to the front. This is a clean
swindle. The portion of the bill the audience sees is not the logical portion of the bill that would be seen had the actions been
legitimate, but it jt'ris correct. Press on the sides of the package
(Fig. 13-audience view) as if to firm up the creases, also letting
the hands be seen empty. The left thumb stretches to cover most

1Jiprel ~~ to turn a dollar bill into a very manly change-

down at the

0\

one-dollar bill, you'll see that two

figure 13

APOROA' 'i1~G MAGIC

REMUNERATION

downward-again the right fingers cover or obscure the n~mer


als (Fig. 20). Unfold the rear of the bill to the left, all fingers
hiding the numerals on the bill, which is upsrde down, further
masking its identity (Fig. 21). Show both sides of the bill, keeping it in gentle motion (Fig. 22). The audience will be focused on
the vanish of the quarters.

Figure 15

Figure 14

of the rear of the package (Fig. 14).

I know, I promised you J wouldn't steal your money,


and 1 didn't. It didn't really disappear, it was absorbed.

STEP 3) The right hand releases the bills to make a gesture.

I'd say lire problem IS solved.


The hands come together, the left hand performing a classic steal.
The thumb pulls the dollar bill and its trapped contents into left
finger palm as the right fingers grasp the top of the two-dollar
bill (Figs. IS-performer's view, and 16-audience view, a moment later). Daintily hold the folded bill in the manner of a purse
(Fig. 17-audicnce view).

Figure 18

1don't look feminille at all! Of course, it's not afoolproof system.


We're dealillg with paper, so there are precautions one must take,
SUcll as avoiding all opell flame.
The left hand reaches into the pocket, leaves the folded bill behind and comes out with the lighter. Light the lighter and hold
the Harne under the "purse" for a beat (Fig. 18). Place the lighter
aside or hand it to a spectator.

Figure 19

No, it's not the bill you have to worry about, it's the quarters ....
STEP .) You will now open the bill revealing the vanish of the
quarters, and the audience will not realize they are being shown
two-do1Iar bill. This sounds odd, I know, but follow along.
~1ect\Iel\I:e of photos is from the audience's perspective: Un-

the

section of the bill to the right, the right fingers


numeraJ '"2'" (Fig. 19). Unfold the rear of the bill
Figure 21

A~ Y'"1 ~I""'Y., 1""",'ly rold

1 r"

rjr

REMUNERATION

I he Magnets: These arc sold rn pairs at Radio Shack (as well as

II" bill ill h,d( ,lIld hold 11111 1111' rlghl

other places) and arc available both in their stores and onlrne.
f~ac h is a flat disk onc cighth of an inch in diameter. The part
number for the magnets f usc arc 64 1895. At the time of this
writrng thc pair sells for $1,89.

Ilollld ,I', ill I iglll' 21, Ih"IIII1Jl1>I,d~ ~IIIII/l,,~h'd


1l"1 111/',,' If 1/111/

/1l1li tllIl/llr /1//1

II/Ilk , 1/111/'/1 ,1'1' 11111/ I/IIl/r IIIII' 1111/1l1r /,,/1


I'lwy 11'11/ h ,III/III ((11111/1'11 I"r!

h 111171' 1/

ConstructJ(JIl of the GimmIck.

()I"'II Ih, Iw" d"I1", 1,,11 ,11111 dl,l'l.ly II~ (.H" I" Ih, ,JlJdi,'Il(I',

""",dlllg 11,1' Ir,lIl~f'''II1"II''1l (hg, 21), II,Hld 1111' Iwo d"lIoil hili

STEP J) f .xpose

",,, I 10 II,,' 1"" h"ll will' lo,IIl,'d YOlllh"Glllgl",


1/"11 111/'1' ,"1/11' /11'"/)/1' II /1111,' 111/1111'1/

/ ,\111'

Figule 13

Figure 1

,1'1 111' 111/1/111'

/'lIrk II/I' /11/

the sticky SIde of an adheSIve bandage and place


a magnct In a spot that allows you to fold the bandage over, adhering It to itself and trapping the magnet (Figs. 1 & 2).
Trrm the bandage with a pair of sCIssors so that your
wrapped magnet has a "tail" of cloth behrnd it (Fig. 3).

STEP 2)

Cut a piece of the gauze area of the bandage and adhere it around the package you just made (Fig. 4). You can either
usc the adheSIve portIon of the bandage to do thIS, or rubber
cement. This extra layer of cushIoning is simply to eltminate
unwanted nOIse during the vanish The completed package can
be tri m mcd WI th sCIssors to reduce its size.

STEP 3)

,,,,'.I YOIII

YOIl h,IVI'

"W/1 '1',llll<

I~, YO II (, 11\

"iiiII'I ,dlow 1/11'


"111" I,ll<" I" 111,,1-<' ,I 1',,,111, , I ~ ~ 10/ ,h,lIlgl', 01 b"'!' IIII' Iwo doll.1I
1,,11 ,I/HI h,lIld 1/11' "1"'( 1.110' " ~ll1g '" "0111 YOllr w,llI,,1. (Jf (C)u,~(',
II ' I" >1,1I0 I, ' ,I VI' I Ill' ~ III'( ' I" I0' wllh I h, ' I wo d"II,1I hi II, ,I', I holl i~ till' f1l1'lIl0I,1 hi .. II, '111
,1111111, IIhl .. VOIl lIolhlllg, 0I~ Y"II
1,,(1 wll hoi borr"w.. d doll.1I ilnd (OUI qllollll'rs 011
1/

Figure 74

Figure 2

",I'

Thread an end of the monofilament through the "tai l"


of the gimmIck and tIC It off (Fig 5). Spool out approximately
twenty inches of thread and tic the free end to a safety pin The
exact length reqUired IS dependant on the size of the magician,
but twenl y Inches is a good place to start, as you can easily adJust the spot where the gimmick is anchored

STEP 4)

IIII' "1111 "I I h" dli'll.

A TRA( lYE

VANI~II

STEP 5)

After pending ~()ml' lime working WIth my down to ('.trth lOIn holdout from till'
Constant Foo/lnK books, I put toglther this ~ystl'm for v,mishing ol min. UniJkl' otlll'l
pffed vanish systems, this onl' l'an bl' wrun",., in ilnd out of r I

I
ily t
I urtng Iwr 0,
mance, requ Ires no jacket ur bullon duwn shirt, ilnd it ciln bl' l'asily bUI'lt f h t
flw dollar.,
or ,I Oil

Figure 3

earth magnet. (more on these later), fabric adhesive bandages th'


- I t , llIftty pin, I needle, SCissors, rubber cement, a large coin.
' In
Figule 4

Rubber cement the remaining magnet to the back of the

REMUNERATION

large COin, near an edge. [use a silver dollar The best way t~ use rubber cement tn
this context I~ to first coat the two surfaces that arc to be 101lled, allow the rubbel

TillS

cement to full} dr), then JOIll the two pieces

pocket. Tmsi 1111', sOlllewlf[' rc fI on Illig I h rollgh COilS /"L'SS


righ l IIOW is n "New Pallis III/Ilnl/lle." Hold 0111 1/0111

wisdo lll, crrnlcd n COlli 1I1n1 's 100 largc fOI Ihe nlcmgc

hnlld. Sce,

trap a belt loop with the safet} pin.


Figure 9

Place the magnet portion of the gimmick Into a pocket on the fight side, and the
COin in a pocket in the left Side.
TO PERFORM:

hrnv\f, lao. If \fall Willed cllollgh for a

I lave a spectator hold out hiS hand. Take the cotn with the left
hand and drop the COin Into his palm, magnet Side down . lie will
not be able to feel the magnet I know thiS sounds unlikel\', but
try It on yourself and you' ll see It IS true. I'lck up the coin after a
beat-you simply want him to sense the weight and ilttest to It.
Drsplay th e cotn resttng at the left ilngertips (f"ig. 9)
The magnet touches the pad of the second finger. Slowly close
th e hand Wlthtn the hand, the magnet is now on the side away
from the palm. You want to establish absolute conviction a
vanish is simpl, not possible The nght hilnd rises Jnd moves
toward the left hand (Prg lO-audlence '>lew)
STEP 3)

STEP 1)

figure 6

figure 10

IlIsl a ,hndow..

It is not necessary to arrange the thread In any particular way

when thumb palming it and removing the hand from the pocket.
The thread may end up in one of two pOSSible positions, both
of which arc acceptable. The thread may run over the back of
the hand to the thumb crotch . We'll call this Position One
(Fig. ~-thread highlighted and gimmick exposed). Alternately,
the gimmick can be palmed without the thread running over the
back of the hand. We'll call this Position Two (Fig. 7). The beauty
~f this s~stem is the fact that all you need to concern yourself with
IS graspmg the gimmick. I'll explain the procedure for the vanish
from both starting positions.

It'S

Happy Mrn/l/oll collid gcl a henlln

Safd, pin the gimmick to the right side of the waistband I simph

The hands reach into the pockets. The left hand procures the COin. The fingers can feel the small magnet and bring
the COin out so that the magnet IS on the rear side The rIght
hand procures the magnet portion of the gimmick In thumb
palm . The hands come out of the pockets, the right hand drop ping to the side as the left hand displays the coin

nil CiScllllOwer Silver dollnl YOII dOIl'1 sce a /01

of people sprlldlllg IIlese, becallse ollr govclllillelll, III lis

Your vanish system IS complete.


TO PREPARE:

IS

The nght hand allows the gimmick to descend, the left fingers
opening slightly to receive It (fig. II) The gimmick will find the
magnet on the coin In J contrOlling action, the right h<1nd travels
down, pas5J1lg over the left fist - Ihe lin lids ,//(Il1ld IIcra 1011Ch. The
right hand pauses for <1 beat ilt the conclusion of thl' downward
movement (Fig. 12~il udrence view). If desirl'd, the hilnd CJn DC
tilted to show an l'mpty p<1lm (Fig. 13-amhence view)
figure 7

Figure 11

For now, we'll assume you are using Position One.

mp 2) Transfer the coin from the left hand to the right, and
allow both hands to be seen empty (Fig. 8). The flesh color of
the gimmick helps here. It's important to magnify the challenge

e1i!ments of the vanish. The audience must know that the coin
it1oqee, qttached to anything, and should sense that it is a

heavy object. I do this with the script:


Figure 12

Figule 13

139

REMUNERATION

Figure15

Flgule 14

Figure 17

Figure 16

STEP 4) The right hand rises up, reversing the actions just made. Now that the
gimmick has married itself to the coin, the left fingers can allow the coin to rise
up out of the fist as it is lifted by the thread, concealed by the open right hand .
Figures 14 & 15 show this from the magician's perspective; Figures 16 & 17
show the audience view. When the right hand has moved above the left fist and
st~len the coin, make a soft, gentle back and forth motion with the open hand
(Fig. 18-audience view).
Figure 21

.. .and a wallt'.

The right ~~d drops dead to the side, catching the coin in fingertip rest position as all attention is placed on the left hand. Make a

Two: Dr splay the COin as rn Step 3 above, clo~e the hand Into il
fist and bring the right hand to th e left hand rn the same man ner. The rrght hand passes over the left, dropprng the gimmick
Into the hand, where It will find the magnet on the corn, and
the rrght hand continues on, unencumbered by the thredd rhi~
time you can move the right hand in any gesture you'd lIke to
drsplay Its emptiness (Fig. 20-audience view) . Now you must
engage the thread with the right thumb (Fig. 21) before [)<;lllg
and stealing the coin (Fig. 22). This method has some advilntilg
es, but the moment of engilging the thread must be well thought
out so as not to appeilr unniltural. I use the script to help justify
the motions of the hilnd:

If / jllst cast a slladow, / call feel tile II/o/ew/es

slow crumbling motion with the left hand, then open it to display

larl to

break lip. [Gesture with the right hand, then lower


it and focus in the left). You call see them scatter to
the wind ....

thevanish (Fig. 19-audience view).


Ifdl bed, the coin can be reproduced in the right hand

., rn now describe the vanish if starting from

Figure 20

Figure 19

The right hand rises, engaging the thread with the thumb, and

Position
Figure 22

NO

141

REMUNERATION

makes the waving gesture above the hand Drop the right hand to the

~Ide as the

left hand mimes the vanish of the COin

If you place a magnet under the jacket (or an open shirt) at the fight lower edge, the
COIn, with gimmick attached, can be ditched there as the vanish IS executed with
Figure 2

the leit hand


Of course, a steel core COin, sold by magiC dealers, can be substituted for the coin
with the magnet adhered to its back. This will Increase your investment by about
twenty dollars, but you will have no glued magnet to conceal.

Another way to employ this system is to usc a longer monofi lament that is th readed
though the sleeves of your jacket and attached to the opposite wrist, making a sim
pie magnetic holdout of the type described in Constant Fooling

Figure 4

Figure 3

by on the Internet, and inexpensive. They are avaJiable In various sizes. The ones
I use are about the size of a quarter (Fig. 1). The magnets are shinv silver in color,
and are so strong they can easily grasp and hold a stack of four half dollars between
them . That is the core principle at work here. If you were to have one of these magnets finger palmed in each hand, you could toss four half dollars from the right hand
to the left, then "dribble" the stack with the right hand to shQ\o\' independent coins,
allowing the right hand's finger-palmed magnet to fall on top of all, and you'd be
left With a solid, bonded group of coins that could be silently lapped. However, for

A QUlET GOOD-BYI
EFFECT: A silent vanish of four coins.
NEEDED: An inexpensive gimmick.

this application we will add one more element:

The gimmick described here has a myriad of uses and applications. It should not be
considered a self-working thing, but when employed in conjunction with simple,
rel.axed movements it produces a stunning result-a silent vanish of four ordinary
coms.

Cut a small (approximately one-inch) length of adhesive fabric from a cloth bandage (Fig. 2). Tie a length of monofilament
around the center of the strip (Fig. 3). Adhere the cloth around a
disk magnet (Fig. 4). Break the thread at ten to twelve inches, and
tie the remaining end to a safety pin (Fig. 5).

I have explored magnetism in other effects, in this book and others but this contribution.is one th.at possesses a unique utility. In its most basic form i~ can replace the
coin chp, allowmg a magician to silently ditch or lap a group of coins. In the form
I am about to describe it allows for a stand-up vanish of a group of coins. It looks
~~.~

The ..l...... IAk .


6"'u,....

IS constructed

This is your gimmick.

,
The precise length will be determined by your size. Pin the gimmick to the inside of your jacket near the inner comer of the

out of rare earth disk magnets. These are easy to come


figure 5

143

REMUNERATION

h,lfld, nnln Ihl' l11olglll't I Ill' ... ound of Ihl' Iwo (oms hl"nd~ wrth
Ihl' sound of IIll' lOin hlllrng IIll' Ihrl'dell'd rndgnl'1 (Olltll1l1{ by
lossing IIll' Il'ITh1 111 Ing ('{.Ins Inlo til!' Il'fl ham!. 'Ill!' 11'11 h,1(1d cun
bl' opl'ned I'ou r lo rn s wil l bt' sl'C'n Ih,' rnolgnl'1 is und{'rTlL'<1lh
illloflhernflig Il)

nlll'lllllg nllhl' pnlkl'l (lig b). <'Illlll' Illlghlpldl'l Inpln II cieN'1


10 1111' ,111111'11 When Vou I'ul nn VIlUI 1,lckl'l Ihl' glmlllick will
h,lIlg dowll II, Illnl'1 Iell 'Ilk

I nfll'1l lI~l' Ihls glmllllCk Wllhnul ,1 1,llkl'l Whl'1l I Wl'M an opl'n


"hili owr ,1 I 'ihlill 'impl\ I'ln Ihl' glmlllllk Inlo ,1 nmesl'ondlllg
"1'01 nil Ihl' ,hll L v.hlch should be nl J Iw,lVY mall'rlal
I gelll'I,I"V I'IOlllll' Ihl Ihll'adl'd m,lgnl'l In Ihl' lefl h,1Ild when
I lurn Ill\' body In thl' lefl 111 ,ldllil"s ,1 SI'l'cl,ltor ,lIld plilce my

Sf Ill' 3) I hl' rIghl Ihllld lomr's o {er 10 Ihl' sl,lCk of (orn'! from

dbovl' ,1J1d 11110., Iwn or thll'l' of lhl ({Jrn~ ,1 fl'w rnchl's, ,ll1owrng
thl'rn 10 "drrbbll''' b,lC~ down 11110 thl' Il'ft h'1ml, l'rnl'hasi/lng
therr slngul 'lIlly (f rg II, fll'xi pagl') III the 10m ILlsron of th,.
dr Ibble, dllow 11ll' rlghl h,lml\ hnger rdlml'd m,lgncl to 1,111 on
tor of the sldd I hL' rndgnel will blend in wrth Ihr' lom<;, ,lfld
fall wrlh rls pol'IfIIY dllr,lClcd In lhl' thrl'adl'd mdgnl'l fh,. Iefl
fingers Sldllto closL', mask rng Ihl' stdck Thl h,lfld, .II Ihlq pornt,
should nol be rnadl' full y min a fist

I
FigUie 6

h'lIld~ on IllV hlJ's fhg 7). J\nolhu ,ll'l'rnuch IS 10 place J plL'ce of


d(luhk' slilk Idl'l' on Ihl' l'dgl' (II Ihe l,lCkl'l, ,lIld ,ldhele Ihe gim

Illil k Ihl'le CIIg~) I hIS W,IY, a sublle body ,1(llon Cdn be used
whl'1l gld'plllg Ihe gllmnick flig ti)

fall I COlliS

TO I'REI'ARE: I he grmmick IS rn pl,lCl', pinnl'd tn Ihe Idt side of


Ihl'I,llkel rill' Ino e magnet 1<' ,1I1ywherl' II can bc l'usrly pro
lurl'd hv tlw righl h,1I1d ,lnd hl'id in fiogef pillm I often have

.Dlld (/

lillie

Illngle

STIlI' 4) You wrllnow begin lhl ,Ktrons of Ihl v,lnl<;h, fhe Idt

hand performs sornething simrlilr to ~Iydinl's RlVlllVl' Vanish,

Ihl' rn,lgnl'l along wrlh soml' coins in Ihe right Idcket pocket,
hulon [J(l'd~H.n I wrll borrow (nrn~ for Ihl<, dfed, rn which case
I srmplv kel'p the loose rn,lgnl'lln Ihe p,1I1ls pocket, dnd obtarn
rt In right h,lIld fillger p,llrn uS Ildlk
TO PERFORM:
STEP 1) Obtain thl' Ihrl'ildl'd magnel In thr' left h,1Ild dnd Ihe

loose magnet III thl' right. (,rasp edch III frnger pdlm, <;0 you
can procure the WillS ilnd display two half dollars rn ('dch hund,
concealing the mugnetR. hgurl' ID I.. your view, Figurl' 11 is Ihl'
audience's view. Hand the coins out for examinatlfill.

frgure 11

Figure 7

NOTEI You obviously can procure thl' two pmts of thl' gimmrck
at any tIme, Some might choose to finger palm the lose mag
net at the beginning, then procure the thrcaded milgnet ilS the
coins are being examined, In any event, the two halves of the
pnmlck should be in palm position as the coins arc examined.
2) btend

the rtght hand for return of the coins, Allow the


thrtadtd magnet to lay Aat onto the left hand, hidden by the
left fingers (FIg. 12) Tos8 two of the coins into the left
Figure 12

Figull 13

145

---

REMUNERATION

which is typically done at the edge of a table. Here, the left hand further closes
Into a I()()se fist as it turns palm down. As this is done, the left little finger catches
the edge of the Jacket (or shirt), ensuring that it is open (Fig. 15). The body bends
slightly forward at the waist, as if you are seeing "magic" in front of you, a bit to
the right. The right hand reaches for this "magic," your eyes focused on it as well,
as the left hand allows the stack of coins to slip out of the loose fist, and the) invisibly swing under the jacket or shirt (Fig. 16-audience view). This pendulum
action for vanishes was developed by Danny Korem .

~-

.
figure 15

STEP 5) The right hand mimes catching "magic" as the body straightens, the left
hand moving forwa rd so that the right hand can sprinkle its "magic" onto the
back of the left hand (Fig. 17-audience view). Make a crumbli ng motion wi th the
left fi ngers, then open the hand to revea l the va n ish (Fig. 18- aud ience view).

1~
f,gu,e U

___B_R_A_S_S_-~_C_.K_W_~_R__D_S__~------

figure 16
The Copper/Silver/Brass gimmick is one I often use, especially as my coin effect in
a strolling set as it often does not require a surface For those unfamiliar v:ith the
gimmick, it is this: A Chinese coin shell with an insert that is a ~1exican coin on one
side, and an AmerIcan fifty-cent piece on the other. The gimmICk can be displayed
as two foreign COinS, or a single American coin. This allows for some amazing,
magical sequences. Here, I experimented with maximizing the types of effects possible with the gimmick, giving the routine variation as opposed to repetition. This
routine is like a Coins-Across effect that blows a fuse in the middle.
NEEDED: A Copper/Silver/Brass gimmick, and matching regular cOIns.
TO PREPARE: The gimmick is in the right pants pocket, silver side away from the
body The three regular coins are anywhere that is handy.
TO PERFORM:
STEP 1) Hand out the three different (regular) coins. This is another case where
it pays to establish conviction prior to the commencement of the effect. As the
coins are being examined and you are speaking, the hands go into the pockets.
The right hand retrieves the gimmick, and the hands come out of the pockets, the
figure 18

147

APf

I'

(H Jb ~A M

REMUNERATION

\//111111'1'1(1 dl'll I (II/( 1'11111111',


IWII ((1111 11111 /"111 II

II JIIIIII'S

(1('(/

I (Opk

1 (1111 IIIAI'

111'/1' 1111/ 1/1

1111'1"11111'1

tlllllk ", 111/1'1/1"11"

/1111 A (01'1'1 tllr""

I he Il' ll h,1I1ti l'l ,KI'" 11ll' sll\I'1 111111 111111 11ll' kit 1.111l'1 (III 1',ll1 ls)
I'(1Lkl't al1tiull111's 11111 1'1111'1, 1 11I'~ ,11 Ihl Ilghl h,lllIl" ,""I1I1 11"w
tht' lli sl'l,l\"l'ti UlIl1S 111 1,111 111111 1111' h,1I1ti, 1I1I1I1IIlh "11 1,,1' "I Ihl'
h Iddl'l1 !o\ 1Il1l1l1L I III IlIl!o\l'l 1',11 Ill , It '... ,1" Ilgh I II 1111' 11111lG 101 n I..... "
lO lll S Wll llitilhlllllolll , tlilll A' Villi l l" ~I'IIll' h,1I1I1. ~'iIIl'I'ZI' IIVI
Ih e st,ll ~ S(1 Ih'll 1111' !o\illllll id I, IUllll'ti ~II\I'I ~ IJ I' III' SIl' 'l,lllI'
Iell 1111gl' IS 111 s lgllilv 1ll1gl1 Iht'll "1'1'11 Ih, ' IIghl h'lllIl, JI<I'I,1\'
1I1!o\ Ihl' Sll Vl'1 1I11111111 1,,1' 01 Ihl "lhl'l 1\ 11 (I ig 11 , 1111''1 IG Ihl ' IlIsl
dlell , IIlll' 111 IhIll SI'!1lt ,11111Il il LO lll llll11l'~ 111I111lhl 1'"111'1 b,lIl
Illto Ihe h,lIld I he Il'g ll 101 I SHVL'I (11111 I' I1(1W (1111 III ,,11l\', ,Illtl Ih'
ga rl h,IS bel'lllllllg ill
S I Ill' 2) IUIIl Ihl' Il!o\hl h.lnd 1',1 IIII dl'WIl, .11I"WlIlg Iht' ~1.1< I
or COIll~ to sqlltlll' ,IS 11ll'\< IUll1I1VL'1 <lilt! 1,111<11111 IhL' Ilngl'IIII''!

(11g 'i) You w ill


flgule 3

flgUie 4

figule B

gimmick in iI loose finger palm, silver side agilinst the fingers


(Fig. Ji In thi~ position the insert of the gimmick is secure It
is not Ol'cessury to remove the hands from the pockets the instant the gimmick is retrieved-you don't want to create the
sensation of shooting into the pocket and out Instead, wait for a
natural moment. Done this way, the entry into the pockets will
be invisible to the i1udicncc.

Here are some coins / always keep all my pcrso/I. Have Vall sem
these beft:re? On~ is American, the Kennedy half-dollar. 'The copper one IS a MexIcan centavo, and the one with a hall' is Chinese.
Why do / a/ways carry them with me? So / can prove to people
all uoer the world that / can't keep track of my money!

1111\'\

1'1,lll' IhL' Llllll<; 111111 IhL' 1,'11 h,llld

Olll'

III ,1

lim e, pe ifolllllllg ,1 1"lsL' II.lll ~ It'1 111 Ihl g,llt 1111 1111' 1I111d h .11
1 he I Ig h I I h 11111 h I'll Shl <; Illl 1(11' L(1i 11 111 1111' '3 1, II ~ 11 w II I he (111'
pe l 01 bl ,I S~ 1(1lh( Iln gL' 1IiI'S dS Iht Ilghl h,lIld ,I I'l'l ll 11 Ill'S 11ll'
OpCI1 Il'fl h,ll1d (11!o\ (,

,11l dl l'llL!' v iI w)

Placc Ihe Will 1111(1 1111' 11'11 h,lIld, w hic h 11'1ll11IlG "I'l'll Allllw
Ihl' rlghl b,llld II11111 11 pillm IIlW,lId, Ll lIllL'd lill g Ihl (I illiG, fiG VI'II
lrallsfel I hI' ~I'I(1lllll(1iI1111 Ihl' "1,ILk 1Il1ll1lhl' ll1il1l1lll' dv IIllh e

flgule S

flgule 9

left hill1d FIll Ihl' Ihlld CI1IIl, 1'1I"h Ihe 11I''' ll'd gll1l11l1lk III til
ringel lips, dl sl'l,ly ing " "II vL'! LI'I1l (fIg 7 tlll(/It'llll VIPW), lind
perform a f,llsL' 11 ,'I1 Gf"1 IIltll Ih L' It'lt h .lI1(/ .1'1 il e ll1<;es II' ' If/,rlll
,1 rl'll'l1lilm vnnish (I igG. H IOJ , Ag.lill, 11 ''111 11 Jlght lur Ihe Clllnq
to mol ke n(1i~(', ,,'I lI11'y Ildlurl1 IIv wl1uld AI I he COIll lu 1(1I1 uf the
VililiSh thL' giTlllTlil k wllll1(' In fmgL'!111' 11'.. 1 l'oGIllllll, Ihl' qilver
side ag.l i n,,1 Ihl' fi ngl'l III''' .

['/Iln//o s/rml l 1/011 1I'iI/, ('I'ml ((//11 Ilhillk " M"T/( (/,"

Extend the left hand for the return of the coins. The right hand
picks up the copper and brass coins and holds them spread
at the fingertips, the gimmick hidden in Ramsay subtlety
(PIp 2 &t 3-performer's view and audience view). The silver
coin is displayed on the left palm,

ami tI,r Mrxir {/II (0;11 ;111111" (/1''''


Ml1h' the hand" intn flste;, about two feet Paft. Ilt the !'111m' timp
classic palming the gimmk Ie: tn thl' righl hand Allow IhE' lI1!1t'tl

fIgUre 10

148

149

---

-~-

-----

--

REMUNERATION

if I tlrllr k " Clrllln," tlrt' C/rllr L'sL' CUIII Irops over, loo!
Pel f(lI m anothe l milglca l gesture with the hands . Opc'n
the ri ght hilnd pa lm up, at till' Silme tllne all()wll1g till' clas
SIC pa lmed shell to fil ii beside the insert, Chlill'se side up (Fig.
15- aud lc'nce view).

ST EP 3)

Th is is the third crft'ct the bfilss COIl1 has flown from hand to
hand, as well Now you wlil break the pattern
flgule 12

figu re 15
Bill 10 be lrulIl's l, SO IIl ' IIIII t'S I mn 1111 0 Iro ll ble w lflr lire
A IIIl'n Cnll CO llI. I tlllllk "Mo lII 's apple pit' .baseball ."
and I gel lire A lller/Wil CO lli, bill II sellds lire ollrer 111'0
back!

figure 13

figule 14

figure 16

to fall onto the right fingertips It wlil fnll copper-side up (Fig. 11 ). Perform a magica l
action, then display the arrival of the copper coin, in one of two ways:

This IS the fourth effect, the O lll' typicil lly assoc iated With the
gimmick- il two for-one transportation

DISPLAY A) If there are no spectators to the extreme left, you can rotilte the

hand so the palm faces left as you slIde the insert to the fingertips (l'ig. 12- ilUdl
enee view). The claSSic-palmed portion of the gaff is hidden in the Kaps/MalInl
subtlety. Reverse the action to bring the insert back into fingertip rest position as
the hand is again closed into a palm -down loose fist.
DISPLAY BI In surrounded conditions, after the shell is classic palmed, the left
thumb can lift up on the insert (Fig. 13), levering it over before pushing it to the

Close the ri ght hand II1to a palm dow n loose fis t ilS the right
thumb slides the shell over the II1sert, nesting the gimmick as
It IS moved to fll1 ge rtlp res t pOSition, silver side down. MakL' a
magica l gest ure, then turn the right ha nd pil lm up (turning the
gimmick over In thc' process) and open the hand . O nl' silver CO Il1
will be di spl ayed Open the left hand to revea l the t wn forl'lg n
coins (Fig. 16)

The right hilnd openl y places the gimmick ont o the


foreign coins . The hands are seen empty eXcl'pt for the Item~
known to be III plily.

STEP 4)

flgule 17

So II's I'rvba/JJy /Jesl ij- we gel nd of tlU' AlllericlllI


COllI ..

fingertips where it is displayed by the palm -down hand (Fig. 14- audiL'ncl' view) .
To return to starting position, the right fingers reach over and wrap around the
Insert, taking it in fingertip rest position as the hand is made into a palm down
loose fist.

Close the left fingl'rs, catching the stack at till' fingertips, the
gimmick on thL' bottom (silver sidl' against till' flngl'rs), and turn
the hand palm down . Thc'll'ft thumb lifts lip on thl' stack, allowing the insert to fall to the left tingertips, copper side up (Pig. 17).
Gentlv toss the insert onto the right tingl'rs (Fig. Ill). Of course,
the in'sert must not !lip ovcr as this is done.

This is the second effect-the copper coin has jumped from the left hand to the

right.

So if I keep the foreign coins ollt'r here...


figure 18

150

151

RI MIINI RAlI()N

IIII' 1tllll1l11l1h 1'11.,111'41111' .,111'1 111111111

jllllll'I '" 11111 "ill, 11'111 "'11 '1 111'"

~ I .II~, 1,1,111 111', II h 11 11'

il1'i'II, n\I'II.'I'I'II1/: 11,11)'.1111\ (i It: 1'1)


, 111'0/(1 h(/I'I' 10 dl'lll'l'lllI

tI".

,III' Itl 1111 11 ,11111 11111,11'1"11, 1111 III~III 111111111, I 'VI' I ~ "I' 1111 1(11111111,1
",11 1'1 ' "I " ld I ~ I dll " h ll ~I' 1 I ltill ' " 1111 ' 11 1', 111 lill i',' 1111" (III~ '\

IIII' "11I',I,liIlIG will .111',\\"1 "1111 ' l1,dl d"II,1I

nl "1111' A "11'1 11

II

IIldll'''' I vi' WI

fY llIl//". I ,Jlllltid I" ,I ,.,,,, I III ,,/11/11/11111/1111 '1111 I'" ,tI'/1


'"

(ClII1, "

I'igllli

1'111 1'"11 lil Y t.d ,I 11,,11,.1, I "III" , ),,11111111' I Jilll' III' I, II Ii ",.1 III .! III' 1I'1i'I' II 1111
11"111," 1111' 1' III 1,," ('0111' 'I, III" I eI" 11" I '1'1'.1 , I" I"' I ,Illy 11111),,11 1'111,,1 II"
glllllllil l 1111/',111 111,.1 I ""11111',1111 I'"
AIIII 11111 1IIIII,It'I, III I' II "'01' I'
II., 11" .' 1111', II ", ltill,'WIIY 111'1" III' I ,,,elv Willi IIII' "" /111,,1 II,
1\111' 111 .11111'1111 . "1 II II, V.I II I II AIIII 1111\1,,111101 11111 ,\",,1,11

H'"

111111111 III

1111' IIgll1 h,"I1It1""I'~, III"IIIIg I,.dlll dllwlI.I'. 11ll' Ihlll"\. 11I'~1" 1111
.111'11 nVl'I 1111' III ,111 ,11 Jill' IIglllllllgl'IIIJ'~ (il)', 'Il) 1111' Idl h.lIl1l
"11I'11~,II'\I.,dlllgll11' IWII Inll'lgll I 11111', AIII'I ,,111,.11 . 1111,,1111' 11[;111
11.11111 I'.dlll
IIIIIIIIlg "VII 1111' gllllllill k. ,1111111111'11 1111' 11,,1111
III dl~l'l"y" Inlll' .!lII'1 111111 111,1111' IIghl I',dlll (I ig li) rJlIllI I '
Ih"l111 111Iq ,IIlI,llhl'l11"gllldll dt:"'I'H willi 1111' ~ I ... '1i111'I~. ,I,ll,..

I,y" ', llllIlIll rllll', ,,1'1,'11"11111,.1, II

"I'.

1"'Jinll"oIllI 'd"1'" 11111 "I'IIIITIl .1 g,II"I' 1,1 1""VllTg 1111' " I'" 1,111'1

WIIIIII, II lllIlIi Ilfll I

,III" 1,1111' I",.ty

I (/'11111 I" 0,;/1

111/111 ,II

11111111,111' 111111111<;1111,1,11111111.11111,11'

11111111" 1.lIjlll.II,,1

1'"111 .) 1"" I 1'1, 1111" I'I"'lIlv 1111'''\11 Ijl' I'.' 1111111' 1,111 ",,11,1/ l'I'1l "
1111'11' 1'1' vl'," I, ly (III',,"
.11 ,.1,",11 I ViI'W) A 1111 I dlill III!
111',111 hlilid "'[IIllyd""I' ill' f',l1l1ll1lt1 In III' "HIIII',lId jll'd 1'1,

WII'");
II1IG"IIII'f"lh'lIl'll

,,111"

,,111,1111'1 IWII II" 1,111'11,111'1,"',1111,"

IIIIIIIN III

1" I 'Vll'~\ 11 1, 11 1"1 ,Id,' 1,111

'/ 1I11f'~ }II'I 1111 1'I11111X' //1'/1' 1111'11/1/ Will 1/1111 III' III IllIIrgl' 11/1/11'
AI/writ (11/ I lIill? //o/d 1I1111/II11r /IIII/d.

lid ', I ~" """'1111,

f1", I (1,1011,,1

1'" I 111'[1 11111"" ill I

"llllli

I,I",~ 1111" II'''f'I'II,I''IIIIII,. 1"" 1"1

STEP 5) KIT.'ell Ih., "I'l'nillg ell linll I "I SII'I'~' .Idd"I~: till' "dvI'I
'' '. " 7, II,,' I"" l'Ilid I'lflll

10 I h ' wi nH In I hl' It'll he 1111, I h"n 1'1.11 illy, till' 1/1~I'r I .JI,d til"
~he" Inlo Ih' "p,'n right h, nd il~ III hJ.\' 19. Addn' q Ihl' .I""VI'
queMl/on to a ~pl'dilt(!r on Ihl' righl Ililve him "1'1'/1 hi'! h,1I1d,
Ih n Crolill Ih,' handH, bringing Ih(' Irft hilnd owr till' rly,hl,11j th '
left hand approa(hl'~ Ihe ~pl'(le tor'q p, 1m, pUt;hiny, 1111 loill tIl
the flngerllpfl, J)urlng thlli art lon, the moml'nl thl' rlghl h,lnd 1'1
covered by the left, th right thumb nCHt" thl' glmml( k. nd th1'
finger. curl, flipping the glmmkk IIVl'r, thl'n thl' hand IIp,'n,,
once more (FIg. 22) After the effect of the Iranllp"IIUlon regl"
ter., drop the two forelgn coinfl Into the "pectatm'" hand,
COin

""W

II,.

"'K"I1/

It .II

itlill lin

tllIlIllI

I'IIIIt1y 111'./111, Ilid

Mill/III' /IIId/l'1

!lnllll' II/III 1'111 1/1,11 11

Ali Y"II Iy ""'nllll\ll I" 1 II", 1II\IIt IInl d, /'II tthl~ tit, Wl" I",,,
(1IIlhlll/.IIIII "" will IIf'W I" ",11'" fll'fI~IHII ,,\llInl .. 11 IItrllH"t

III",,, ,h"

"'Ilid "I"'II~, dl~r'l yll1/1,ll" ",111,1111" " .. II If t'IIoltltlK


I!'I I 1111/1" with 11 .. hl1tl' "1011"", flit/linK lilt' ",,1m WIlY

Ifllm Ih

l1IullI'I1I1"III"'I",,' vl"I"11 A """I,,n "f III1f'IIImllllt ,,111 1 fI h n I

II, 1I1dlltiK Iltl' ,,,111 (11K :2 ) Allhl/u,,'" "1/11~n , lIy


ftllVl'llI, wIn Ii till' IImltt" I" rlKhl ,h" uJI M4 " 1I",h.t nln ny
from tht' II"hl II Ntl til ,h,,' (, 'hi I w,,,,d tul
Ir Iff
Illl! 1111

WDW-II hRpptnll with you, tool


the tixth effect I. a repeat two tor one tranlpotltlon,
hit. different look Not only don It occur more opm~
of the handt maUt It appear that the Illver coin ha~

I'M'

t'

IIf

"'" 2~

,,~n

REMUNI RAIION

-dJ(1p~ tllihe ~Kk ,1~ till' kll


Ihll1d ,llh ,1~ II 10~~ll1g ,1 COIll ~tl'lIgh llip IIlIIl till' ,111 l 'IlIIIllV 11ll'
I1lghl nlllll' r<l111 1~llh yOllll'\l'~, then IVdll'h II ~t,lIltlllk~ll'nd
III ,1 1Il1111l1111g ,1(111111, thl' light h,lnd

Llh (1/' ,II'S C(1I11II1S lmck

,I

'IlloIlit ' l lilt 11,11,11111, ,1 (11g

.) 11111>'\ 1""11 1'"111 '.1 . V'"'

1'. "1'111,' wllllll' ",dll I ,lit! .Illd 111111111,.111 ('IglI.lt"I")

IIle "I'

NIIII'III.l 1 I II dll I .lId, .Ill ' 111.1,11 III >.III'Ii.l W,IV 111.11 will II 11 ' 1, I
Ill) 1111' 1.111 ' I'. 1I1',hl ',III,' "1,. 1111' I,

11\ b,lll. IlIdglng Ih

11111 Ih, ' 1".11 I. "I" Id,' dllWIl

l'II,. lllrllllh, ', .lId ,.lIlholl Ih, ' I, I '"111' II " " I'; IIghl""" III'

posilion (hg. ~.b.ludll~n(l~ vll'W) \vhdl' 1IlllO\v1I1g 11lL' 11,lll'LilllY

11111110 7

01 I Ill' Will dOWI1\I',lId, dllnw thl.' IIghl h,lnd 10 hOWl oWl tlw two

1..1."

((1111, ~lillill 11ll' ~Pl'Li,ltOI \ h,lIld dllli dll)p I Ill' half doll,1I oul 01

IIH' IIghl ',1.1" 1111111' I III 'lI'dll 1,lId ,lIld 111111 111.1." III', II

1.11',);1'" I'dgl' 11I111I11IIg III 1111 ' IIglil

cI,lS~IC p,lll1l . It wrlll'lI1d Oil the millS 111 till' slwct,ltol 's h,1Ild With

(til, I, I \\11111,,' "1'~ld,' d"wlI)

I h, III g I 101 II I ,I I " " I, 'I '" I II, ' I,' II "d f'. I' "I 1111 Ill' " " I" III!' \\Iii II Ie I I' 'd II

dll1t... Bv till' t!nll' thL' c1111t..1~ hl'<lId, til\' light h,lIld should hdVl'

1.11" "IlIIl,1I 1I " I.lV,gl dll ', III, ',,, lid 1" '; 1 p,I',1 11"'llghl 'old, (lip,. I)

l1loVl'd dSllk Act .1S surpllsl'd ,IS thl' speri,llol


I/'//t', H'I"II III'!'cr I/I/(/cl's/llIId

1I11 ~! "III',

w illi,, ' 11 ' 11 IVIIII 111'11 I'll " , ,~ ,,1.1, ICdl1 '111.1 tll.ll .11"

11111.1"11.11111111; lilt ' 111111111"

(/,'\(/111

lillk' k\lgUl' 1'1,1\1.'1 gelling Il\lll\ 10 (,11.11 ,I

/ gllt'ss II'S

'Y1l1l

w, lilld I,, ' .1hll' IIl 1"11 Ilioi I Iii, 1.11 .I I', II" , ,lilll I hili I 11 II I,,, I w III [I,

A, Ihe 11ll,1g1l1.1IV ((1ln lalb, till' h,lI1ds IN', In 11lL' 111,1I11ll'1 III 01

.I

P.lIi"111

li llp 1111 ' h."1 1.1111111111,' 11 '11

111, 1. 1J" ,.1I t .I ,I

11 II I}'."

.1I1dII'I,lv

1.1pl ' "Illil' 111'.1i1 ~ I"" 01111>' 1i."ll .IIII , 01' IV '11 (11g I) ,

till' AIIII'IIClIII

I'C(1I/(1/1HI!

IIii' gllllll1l1 ~ r .111 IIIIW I,,' di"I'I.I~,'d III 1111" III IWII w"Y

\,VI,..II

1111' gill 11 1111 ~ I'. III "1 1<I'H'd 1'''' 11"111 , Ih,

'[ h is is t II\' Ii 11.1 Il'Iil'ct-,lIl II1V lSI bll' COl 11 Lwcol1lL's VI0,1 hi I' ,1~ It f,Ills
Il1to (] sl1l'rtator's hands. You .Hl' lIl',lI1, ,111t1 11',ldy to 111'1 fmm the

JiUIiIO 16

11111110 3

l'tfer! ,lgJil1 With 110 rl'Sl'l.

11,'1' h"ld"11 1,,'III1ItI Ih, '


wlIlIll' ( .I III , I h, ' I 11'1 h I I .11 d .11'1'(' II' 11111111." WIt'll I II,' Hi 111111 II t I,
IIII1P"llllIl',lll1l1l, II1'W"\'11 1111' <lIt" <.1111,,'111111"" !lV<'1 nllli It,'ld
111.11110111111'1111011 dl';pl .. y,.1 It."1 I lid

1111' 1111'1' ~f'l'I"1 11I ,III1I1~

(Jitg. e,)

--L

R[ST()RED CRIJ)I [

l'l.II'I ' lhl 'f\IIIIIIIII~ 111111,..1,""<', 1.IIL'''lIwn 1".llillllllll'II'lllo1l1l

Ilig h.1I1 I .lId (.. ,II,,"ly, ill>ll "",',lh,IIIIi,III) I,,' .Id,' Ih" 1I'1p 1 II Villi
0111' .Ihllill III 1111 11'1 Ily .1'1,.<'1111>1" ,I Jig lI1W I'lIul,' (ilp" It) Slip 1111'
1111"1\' P"'I 1'1111111'1 Ih<'llnp YIIIIII1,lV h,IV" til 11.1111 I II" IIIJle IlIlIgl',
,"IIIWIII}'." /11111' 111111<' ,.1.11 k.111 "11i<'1 III nll"w II,,' till' t(ll,IY tlil!

This ~roken and Restored

Crt'till Card is till' kmd of tri( k th,lt you'll w,1I11 10 ,dwdYs


keep III your wallet. It's ea5Y to make, pal ks a magical punch, and II1.,t.1l1t Iy I('~('I~,

11111110 4

~H~ GIMM!CK: To create the gimmick you will n'LJuirc two


Similar credit cards. You can usc old cards, if you've saved thl'm,
or those mock cards we receive as soli citOltions in thl.mail on
a regular basis. Any plastic credit card type item will work
you can simply have two

Take one

ID cards made up,

of th~ cards and cut

1;0

'

it in hOllf, in a ZigZOlg fashion a bit

left of center (FIg. 1). Take the remaining piece and trim off about
a quarter of an inch, following, approximately, the same zigzag

FIgIt.1

f IQUIU S

ftgw. 6

ISS

-- - - -

REMUNERATION

~--

Olt, I ;/011 '/ ~II(I(f I " I mil rhl'llth 10ld Iflfl/rrfIJ'I'

I'rl' It 'nd III Il'ad 1111' ' 111,dll)l llti

f10UI0 8

flgule 7

figuro 11

)'I'OIt,

lI'h I'IlI'I l 1'hl

II Ig

tJ /'(11111 ;/

II

I'YJlII/ ';/

1111

IIll' Cd ld

I ,/1I1Ii/;/I/ '1 /'1'/'1/

Ill' (lflll/ -

STPr 2) 1{,l ISI' IIll' lIl'dilldld III IIll' Ilgl1l Ill1g. 'rllp~, lI sing IIllly
Ihe II ghl h,lml (Ilg . II) I Ill' ldld IS 1111\\' I" 01 ~IIII III !-i1,,'lIblJlIlld
p()sili()l1, 'lIlLl oIg,lll1llll' I' 11 ,l lhlLl ill'S' I" Lilli lI'd '{lIl1 ,III "blJlIl
IOlwrloll1l.l 1IlIILl hll', d'll1g III lilt' Ldld, 11111-111,,1 wllllllLlIl Wllh
,111

ill1dlhiL' ''Sl101pl ''

I Ill' Icll h,lnd Lllllll'" In Ilunl III 11ll' llt'Lll1 L.lld, lilt' IhulI1b '"Il
laLilng IIll' iL'lI sidl' 01 IIll' lolld, I"esslng 11l\\',IILl lilt' willll., cilld
still hill Il'VlllVl' ,1" Ihl I ighl thUlIlb ,1I1d Ilngl'r llps hllid IIlltll illl'
slillionill} flilP ,md 1Il0Sl pi''ll (1Igs. 12 & 11)
figure 10

figure 9

Iln lop of the

Illo~e

flOuro12

piece (Fig. 7).

This i, YOUI gimmick---}'ou

c~n m~ke

It

In

lust

few minutes.

TO PREPARE: I'I~le the f~(eup gimmick In ~ wnllet ~Iot upside d()wn as in


Fig. H.

Allow lilt' whllll' L.tId 111 cllntll1l1l' ILVlllvlIlg ,111 till' \VoIy IIIl1l1lld,
until Ihe Il'lI h,1I1d l,m gl,).,p Illl' l'dgl' III tilt' 1I,1P ,1I1d hHI';"
piece (I ig 14 ,llldll'IlL'l' lill'W). Withllul polllSl', till' Ilghl h:lnd
Ilirn s pall1l Illw.Hd ,1Ild gl,l~I)~ Illl' light l'dgl' ut Ilw I.HN' plt'Ll'
(Fig. I'1 ,111dIL'nU'VIl'w) lwlllhingswillll11wh,lppl'n,1I thl'bolllW
lillll' I Ill' Ilghl h,)l1d 11I1ll~ p,lll11 IIlW,lId lightl}' ,]S till' lI'It h.lIld
turns pallllllulwilld, lolllSlllg till' IllllSt' PIl'U' til ~NAI' oIgtllllslth ..
gllllIllllk as YULI I11ln1<' bll'olking till' C,lld in tWII

TO PERFORM:

This is a quick visual eHeLl, om' that rl'quirl's few words to bt' undl'r"l()od, I most
often do this in the real world, when I'm with friends at a fl'stnurant and il'H tilll('
to pay the bill. However, one could ndjust the script for a formal pl'rforlll.Jnn', t.llk
ing about how, "The last time I used my credit card, I was renlly embarrassl'd" ," (Ir
something to that effect. I'll describe the trick the way I typically do it.
STEP 1) Holding the wallet in the right hand, remove the credit card with the Il'ft
fingers as in Figure 9, Note how the left hand masks the extra thickness, Thl' right
hand tables/pockets the wallet and the credit card is placed into the right hand
u In FI8. 10, Again, the thickness is hidden. The credit card should be removed
absently, By the time attention is brought to it, it is already in the right hand,

156

figure 13

figure 14

157

Nl t \ It

R[MUNl RATION

.. .
pi thi s 1l101lll'nl. h C'" lI le 17
l'igul l' 111 , hpws Ill'
I ll1,lgl( I,1I1 S Ill'll
shows IIll' ,1lIe1ll' lln' l'il'll'
51 LI' 3) l tll1llnUl' 10 tU111 till' Ilghl h,lIld Sl1 that the audle ncl'

1\ 111 Sl'l' 11ll' 1\'<11 nl the Iposl' I'I I'Cl' then Il' tUII1 thl' li g ht h,1I1d
1',11111 11lI1 ,1Id thl' bndY soth,lt the I'll'('l'S Il!1ntl,1( l's thl' ,1lIdl
l'lll l'. J\d ,IS II you lust 111.ldl' ,I bi g I11lSt,l[..l'

()h , il ('\/,"t', al 1I1l' l'lId I~ nl'\t1l1l111111 I 1111 It' If

i p/lt'll

11m; 1111,,-

1'('IIs. I hllnil' i"'/IIlln dn ,


th l' lIPJ11111' 1I l I1l1I I' IIlIIIlL' I IL'dll l,'IlII' IIll ldl ' 11\ 1<\1 ,11 "111,111"1 "
,1ilL! I1 I'IL' I SL'L' I11 ~ III gil \Ill I III "Ig ht ,j' I h, IIlll ~I ' 1' 1" 1I I', . lIh ~ llllIl c d

PI ,Ill' 11ll' lOIN' Pll'll' nnlp till' g ll11l11ll[.. \ 11.11' not pelleeth
'slJU,IIl'd " ,11ll1 hnld the ,ISSI'l11bhi 1',1(k,lge Illth lelt hand ,

IlIIthew hnk' l ,lld Ihl Il1l1se l' " 'll' hcl s l11lwbl l' ll111 1l1l1dhl' 111I'
lIap, ,1Ild Ihe g 1111 111 III S L' tl .llhld III ", 19 ,lg.III1 hlddll1

,1g,1I11 pl'Klllg ell'lvthlllg at till' light ilngeltll's, sqllJllng the


IOllSl'l'll'll' 1IIIh thl' 11.11' In till' PlIlll'SS (Sl'l' hg I~ .lg.lln)

'11/(/1 , {will'I IvI/lllbl'

III

\11'1111' I ,I'Pllld pOll nt ,l/'

nll'

kit h,lIld nl1W II'H'lSl'S thl' ,1Lllons of bL'IOIl' Ihl' thumb


I'll'SSI'~ 11lI11'clid nn the lett silk 01 the wlwll' l,lId and stalts It
plvnllllg .Htlulld the flap ,lI1d loosl' pil'cl'. which .Ill' held ,t,ltlon
,H\ by Ihl' light thul11b ,lIld IingL'1 tipS (hgs. 1!l21) figs 22 'J..j
"how 1111' 11'<,lol,ltlOn IlI1l11thl' aUllil'nel"s pOint 01 view Note how

Rclllll1thl' glllll11lll IlllhL 1111 Il1tlw \Volt. I ,lIld

Villi 1111'

1I ',ld y 111

Il'l'l',lt thL' I'IIL'L t

[liE M()NFY

11

I hIS IlllltlllL' is illY I'II'Sl'nl"lllll1 Illi Ihl' tlfillil hl1l' llll' I Ill' 1'11I1' I II~L iq IIIIll'lllly
,lV,1I1.1bll' IIl1l11 tlll1l1i~SI'\' 1\1,'gll 1111 iL"'<' 1111111 tWI'nlv dllll.lIq , I 11k\' 11lL' I\Iini ll1l1p
Illi 01 (,lllll'll' OIII',1'i11l,q. U's l' 1I'I'III1Il.,llv 1'"llnhk'l1nd ,'G 1I1'1'"~l'd III "111t'll'rllp~ (It
Ih 1<.; 11,11 III\, il Illllk, ~OI11c! hI I1g "kl' ,I I "I" I'H' "I'I'i1l'd ,1 I'll'l11 i~l' I" I hl' l'i fpc I, RU I hili
II", slll11l'Ihll1g {llhL'I lh,II1 ,1 gllL'qt;ing g,lI1ll'. 111 .Hldllllll1, th,' 111l'1h"d I IIGl' III lurn

figUI8 18

" bl1III1Wl'd. slglll'd hili 111111 " "l hilI' lIill" i~ 11111' 1111'1'1' yl111 find l1l1ih I'lilcfil,,1 I1l1d
Slll,tlky

NllIiDHIJ: A MlI1i ( hill' l'up, 111llll' dull'lI hilt. Rill11e Ihl1l1!\l'.

1\

'lll'rlll1l11

NOTE: TIll' '1ll,,,1 ll1in IIIR{' Iq n 1441 U.S I'l'I1IlY. plnl{'d 111 lOppl'r til IUlIk tikI' II
IYl'll,ll pL'nny. Tlll'~l' tHe ell rrl'nlly IIqled I JI1 "0 n k Ll.'{"!1 wrhq\tr for onr dollor

figur.71

lS9

REMUNERATION

I 1'1 III 'd

TO PRePARE: (Iumple a dllilar brllinto J ball wllh Wdshlnglol1's I,KL' Oil 1111' olll

I hi"

iI'l hllllllll' 1"IIVl dl ", 0111 ,lI ldlllOlioil "l'IH'III 1111 ' hili I ,III Ill ' I'l.lIl'd 111111 1111 "I' ',11

.,Iue ("g. I). Place this Into Ihe left pdnt<. pockel, In till' uppel "SPl'L'I,1 1,1Il'<I" lIsI'd

Iholl II dOl '" III dlll'~ 1101 ,lIlhl'II' 10 1111' I "p\ 1011l1"III'd 11101,', 111 '1, .II l'l'llIlllIg Oil 1111'

b~ m.1glclDns since time immemorial If you h,lVe no spetl.1 1 ,Ill',' 111 YOli l P,ll1ts,
see a phySICian Place the steel penny amongst a handful of dlJngl', ,11 1sil vl'l

II II ' 11.11 s" II' (II I hi ' hiliI', I, II 111(111 ' 011'1" III 'II I III yllil I h, 111 II \I ,111.1 \1'111 l

woly Ihl ' hllll ~ dlllpjll'd 111 1111 ,,1 11111 ' dl 'loIlI I',

11ll'

g"'011 WPoI l"11I

.I

(()',lly' "I'" holvP

hl'I'1i IIIo1d l'II'd Iltoilolll 'l Ihi " 1"0111111 '

only penny vou want In the pile of chDngL' is the copper clad stL'l'l IWI1I1Y 1111'
ch'1I1ge is plDced II1tO the Chop Cup, the pcnn} resting on top of Ihe olhl'1 LOllIS

/ tll'l IIII'tll1I ~ III/ I ~11 /II/I,,, 11/11/ tllIl/lIl /,,1/ .. / jlllll/r1/lJlIlg 1II'II/II/rlIII/' /11111 ""
<' II/'1'I'l/llIlgh, 1111'1 rllIl/Ig 11/1/ /11/1/11/'.'1/ jllll/l1ll1 m//,'rI 11/1/111/11/ 1111/1'11/1/',

so that illS not attracted to the magnet In the basl' of the cup

/'111 Ad, 'II I rlm,,/II't/1I 1/1/11 IIII', "/I

TO PERrORM:

'J,lkl ' IIH" "I' hold 1""111111' " 11l '1 l,tI"l 011111 h"ld it ill IIII' light h,1I1<1.

STEP 1) Display Ihe ~mall cup of change

I ) 101' IIII' 10111 ,d hll I 1111" II H' I "I',

',Il

I It 01 I II!; II" I 'lldp i h "1'1 Il I II I Il', I,

oIWd Y (1""IIItI ' 11101",111'111 h"lIolll (Iig. ~J ,

Mil Ullc/e IIsed 10 SaliC /115 c/ulI/se III /IllS /Ill/e CII/I Ihnl he kepi

/Iis dresser. WhclI he passed army he 111 II/(' /IIS Clip, n/ol/g
wll/I a lIole Ihal said "Use tllis Clip 10 snve YOIi/ COlliS, alld yOIl'1l
be happy all YOllr /ife" / 1/loIIXhl tlml was profolil/d, 1II11" / I/O ,
liced Ihe Clip oll/y held Ihrec dollars al/d sevel/ly five ((,I/Is worlh
of challXc
011

Pour the coins onto the table f land the cup to a spectator.

/ tll'Utll'tI//1I' 1/1'\/111111' / {/II'II//IIIIII' /11111" I'rI ' /11//111/1'11'


11/(1111111, /1/,/./,1/ 1111/ 11//1 11111/11'1/ / tllIllIlI' lilli/II, II/II/ /
fl,lillrl'tI If I Vl1l1'tlll/ll' tllIl/llI
II 11//1111/11/ n'.

Figule 1

rIUUIO 4

11

II/III1II'1'tI 1111/" "

i\"~I'lIlly 1'0111 IIH' ""11111" IIH' I, II 1t,II1d oI~

1''' III ' 11

Y"" I,ll

1111 ':1 glVl''1

,,111'111 iI, .. IIITlOJ1Y 1111111' ',11111'1" I'hy II " ,,11111<; eli"1 I WIIl'11 illI" "I'
1'< 111 t II ('d "VI'I IIII' 11I1I t" II" 11111 I) I "P 1111 ' bII I h, II ~ i III" 1111 ' "I', II, II

Sec? It's jllsillolihal big.

Sid" dOWJ1lhl~ 111111' Ii will ',111 k I" 1111' I III"s hlllllllil


Pick up the coins and take them in the It'ft hand Contrive to place

S'II W~) 1111' I igltl h,lIlIllllIlI~ 1I1!" lil' OVl'I, ''1'P,III'lIlly dllllll'"lg
1111' hill illio 1111' Ipil h.tIHI, wid, h cI"',I's (I igs, C; & (,) l'I,IIi' th'

the stcel coin into left hand finger palm posllion

II'fI h;1I1d illill IIII' l'oIJ1l~ I"" ~ el ,I/IIII.lhll' IIH'I III' 1I1,,"th d"wlI

50 / decided 10 xel rid of Ihe coins and slarl keeping paper /IIom'y
111 the cup. That's when slranxe things slarled 10 happell.

wllholll dl'illidgilig Ihi' hill I he Ii II h,IIld g/ol"I'S

IIIP

1,,1I.'d hill

pll' !.I'I III Ihe I"" ~,'I ,11111 I ""11'~ 11111 III 1111' III'lk.'f, gl'r,tllTllIg
Place the coins into the left pants pocket and remove the hand
the steel coin concealed in finger palm.
'

wllh II. I hl<, 1111 k~ ill til' 1111 oIII1HIIIIIIII' hlllill the mind III th'
flgule 1

flglJle S

oIl1c1il'lIu',

/ 1/11'(111, 1111' 1I'ord'~ ,<o;rl'lll,'si jllrl/ll/l'

Who here has a dollar?

elol/llr

II/II

Il'l'YI'

/1/11/1

II/l/'

1111/1'.

Receive the loaned bill with your right hand.


The

STEP 2) The left hand opens as the right hand places the bill

Idl h,lI1d rl'turns thl' hill 10 thl.' pOlk 'r!! uppl'r ML'1l and With

draws from thl.' pOlk!.'l, empty.

directly onto the steel coin (Fig. 2). Squeeze the bill into a ball
wrapping the penny d'Irectly under George's head. This will'

'0

The trouble was, whrn / Kot


III' bank I couldn" find
the billl When I got back home, / found it back under

result in the ~ter of the bill ending up fairly flat, so try and
keep the Oat side toward your body (Fig. 3). Don't be overly con-

the cup.

figur.3

figure 6

161

REMUNERATION

J didll'l krlOW whal the proble1l1 was.

Lift the cup with the right hand and point to the empty spot on
the table beneath it. This is an Importa nt moment, as you are
reca pping an event that took place hi the past, and not something
transpiring /lOW. Replace the cup with enough force to dislodge

STEP 5) The left hand drops the bi ll back Into the cup, flat side

up (Fig. 11)

the btll

How can something start alit in 011e place, bill end lip
someplace else?

Ca/l \fall believe that?


Lift the cup agam, revealmg the bill.

Flgule)

FigUie 11

Neither cOllld If

Pour the bill mto the left hand as you talk, by way of demonstration, then drop the bill back Into the cup flat side dowlI .

J had only aile hypot/lesis, and it seemed logical ell ollglr.


The top of 1I1y dresser had to be a portal to a jourth
dimensio11 . So as IlII experime11t J izad a frielld pili /I1S
ha11d down 011 the dresser, so the ClIp would 11ever COlliI.'
into direct contact With it. WOllid YOII do that jar 1111'7

This IS the first magic moment, when the story you are recounting
suddenly becomes reaUty. You will nottce that the weight of the
pennv causes the bill to automatically roll to a position where Its
flat side IS against the table (Fig. 7).
STEP 4) The left hand drops the bill back into the cup, flat side

down
FigUie 8

Figure 12

1decided to be extra careflll the 11ext day when I carried the bill
to the ba11k.
Pretend once again to pour the bill mto the left hand and table the
cup without dislodging the bill. Do not place the hand into the
pocket, simply hold it in front of you (Fig. 8)

Have a spectator place his hand palm down on the table. Pretend
to pour the bill into the left hand, as before, and place the left
hand into the pants pocket. Lay the cup mouth down on the back
of the spectator's hand with enough force to dislodge the bill. The
skin on the back of the hand is not senSitive, so the sensatton of
the rim of the cup hlttmg the hand is all the spectator will feclhe will not realize that a bill IS restmg on the back of hiS hand .

Now if a jOllrth dlllll'11Siollal portal shollid opell lip,


yOll'd know it, right?

I double checked the Clip, everything looked copasetic.


The right hand lifts the cup, revealing nothing underneath, and
replaces it onto the table, dislodging the bill.

Figure 9

Figure 13

But before I even got to the bank, the bill disappeared from my
hand ...

While in the pocket, the left hand sHently grasps a handful of


change and holds it in a loose finger palm. It is not necessary to
grasp all the change in the pocket. The right hand lifts the cup,
revealing a bill on the back of the spectator'., hand (Fig. 12-spectatar's view), as the left hand emerges from the pocket.

Right?
Open the left hand, revealing the disappearance (Fig. 9).
STEP 6) In this moment of surprise, the cup is passed to the left
hand, mouth down as in Fig. 13. Your motivation to transfer the
cup is the desire to pick up the bill with the right hand, which

...and appeared back under the cup!

The right hand lifts the cup, revealing the bill (Fig. 10).

you immediately do (Fig. 14).


Figure 14

162

163

RfMUNfRATION

-- -- -- -- --

S'I I ()LLI!\I(, ABI ()AI


llih I', 1111 ' ',,'I 111\1/ I ' II"('IIIIIIiI ~ 11111,1 1110I11 ~ I"'Jilll 1111 ,01 w illi III' ( 'IIPI" ' I /S il l" "I/IIloI '~
'" 'I II I , 11111 ', I III ' III Iill III ' ',10 II IY III II 1111 ' ~ 01111" ,I' , IIII' , 1.1 ',', II 111111 IIII ' III, II Iii, 1'1',11' I. iI , 01
w llh Ih, ' 1',11111111' I , 1t ',"III1!', III 01 1111111'11 ' I,liol "" (01 \,.I1I1 ,,1i1 ,lilll ,1 III 'lt y , /1,1111'," 111011
liol " 111/11 '1 011'1,111 01111111 ', 1111'11 0'" ,ii "" 01 1'" '1111 ',", I hl 'i i ~ 01 1111111111 ' llioll '0111 I,, ' 01111"
111101, '1 oIlIy llll"IJIIIII1 ~ III oIlI y ',11110111,,"

f Iuule 16

N I' I~ I) I I): A ( "I 'I '" I1,0., II v, '1/11, 01 % 1', I11111 il L I ' I III 'I' III I ); I 11111 III ~ ,01 , "III , I" II' 01" Ii

A 11111111111 '",.
Alit/ tllIllwtls Wlll'll I rl'llll::l'd 11'".11 111.'/ Lim It, lolt! 1111' tllIIl SlllIlIlg
COlliS III till' !lIp wllll id lIIakl' IIIL' IIl1ppy. III IllS 111111' n /Jollie oj
wlllskl'lj

TO l'IU il'Allli: 1'1.111' Iii" 11I ",II,t1I',IIIII'11t I 111111 IIII' I'III "!', ( /1111' ''''' ,1,1, Ilfll" 11,111'1

l"l y 1111' IWII III1 1',1111111111'1 ,01 11111'11'011' lilli " IJlIIIII' III Iii, gllllllill , ,11111 Iii, ' II til ,1,,1

cosliliree dol/tII's III1Ii SI'1I/'1I/1/ Jil'" cl'lIls!

Ihe Il'fl hand lurn" palm down, appall'nlly pouring 1111' rhangt'
from 1111' CLIp (hg. 15). As an Jltl'rIldllVl', you Jt1,IY With 10 lIl'ale
till' apfwMancc of knocking thl' lhangt' out of till' cup by ~Jt1,ll~
mg the cup's bottom with the hl'I'1 of till' right h,lI1d (Fig. 16).

1.11 1111 1111' III ,ti l

fluure 17
I Ilhl' III 1IIIIIh /'111 III"I'IIII/t 't/ Jill 111/ l'II/I'IYI'IIIII'.

'I his is thl' climJx, and till' Irick IS owr, but till' (1l'an up takl'S
plaCl' on the outro lin!':

111111', {(III II I ,111111

1I1/ ~

I )1'll'loIY IIII' 1'"1 ," . Sll,, ~ t' ii,

So .11011 enll keel' YOllr VII~I wl'altll. rI/(' imporltl/ll tll1l1:';, III/ijl', Y()II Irlkl'
Olll' ~/IOI al a 111111'.

/)11 1/1111 hllll((l {/lilil/" IIli1t'1l"

As you talk, open up the bill fJce up ju~t aboY(' till' pill' of changl' 'I hI' ulIllI'illl'd
penny will fall onto the coins already on the tabk' (Fig. 17). II.lnd til!' bill hill k 10

111I/t/11li1 1/11111 illillt/

()pl'lIlh"I'III!>", 1IlIIllih IIIW,lId ylill 11"ld 111,,/11,1111111 IIllh,' holg IIllh"IIA"1 h,m.!,
IIll" I 1111'0' 'I" 1'1 I11 II ill)', Ih,' g IIIIIII II \.; t hi' III g h Iii,' I, Ii II i, "I III,' 1'111 ", I) lllJl P Iill' till ns
illl" ylili/ 1,'11 hoilld, ,dl"willl\ IIII' Ilglll 11,111111" 111I111',dlll d"wII With IIll' pllr t', lill
I'lyilll-\ "lIlpllll" ~ (Iig. I) 1/011101 IIII' '"111'11" 01 .,[H" t"IIII( )

person who inJIialed it to end.

.. ,

WI/II II,,' /' /III1IS

1/1111

1'lIrk

1I1I1I1','r

II,,'

1/111,.""

11/111'1'

II

( 111111"" 1111/1, II M,'I/III11 ,"111 111/11111/ AIII/'rtlllll ,"111,

YI'~, I kllow iI's II IIi1lf dllllllr It'~ I"r 11'1"/' Yc'III1I/ /II,'.:
I/II'I/'r/l 111/'1/'''' slllrlill,1( III IINI', 1'111 Allr,' I/ml'l',' NI'I'"
tllI'III , I kL'L'11 IIII'll(' 11/1//8 Ulillllll"IIIIIIII/JIII'~ .. ,

A nice feature of this routine is the fact that it is always ready 10 go. 'I here is no re!.l'I
just put the coins back into the cup.
'

(,ath~'r up Ihe.' luln

nd wpl.l I' Ih,'m Inlll Iht pur "by WilY of


e.'xplanatiun, placing thl' Iwo for'lgn oln on top uf Ih,' glmmilk
ligull I

164

165

-----d~J-:MGIC-

REMUNERATION

~Iwll

oIl1d holll t\olloll ,tillllg 1111' WdY (Ilg . .,) Nolt I!roll 1111'
OWriolp

\'I1I1l~

Wi'll , (/~ II 11I11111t'1I1 't!, 1111 ' 111111 II illS 1 1/11" III 111111'111'11 , 'II

Ij lsr lll 't!


It

I't! II SI' 1111' 11 /111 '111'1111 1'11111111

1II11S 1'11111'1 111111 , III II SI' 11 ' /1 11111111111

IIII' IllIrAIIIS
Mn illlll

1111'11'1

111111, .

llll~l'

Flgule 2

Flgule 3

rloure 6

IIll' 11'11 holllll, ,IIIIIWIIlg Ihl' 1\1 11111111 h In Ill'sl, oIllllllllrl lil,rl ~ 1 p,til11 dllwn 1~1'0I1 h Illl n 1111' Iisl wl lil 1111' Ilglrl Ilr~1 lil1g"1 oIr.HI
Il1lIrnh, Il'l11l1v lng 1111' glr11 I11ll~ (i l wil l Ill' 'JIlinI' 1111111' sld'~) sri
WI sldl- slWWl l1g, liluI11h 011 lOp, rll~1 I1l1gl'l Ul1d"IIH'dlh (1'11\. I,) ,
U~ing 1111' IIgill Ihllll1h, slid,' 1111' glrlll11llh oilin IIIl' righl IllIg"1
("'g. 7) 'II\(' It-II hdllllll'lIlo1ll1 S III d Irsl
So

111I11I1 ,t! 0111 /111' 111111'11('(/11 1'0111 jrolll /111/111111' 1'11111'1

/ lOll ..

TEl' 3) Fll1phdSl/l' 1111' Idl'nill y II( thl will III 1111' IIglrt holl1d II

the ,IUdll'l1l'l' dlll'sn'l lI'gl sl"1 wh,lt II IS, II1I'r"


Figure 4

Figure 5

Figure 7

.. /111/ 10111'11

STEP 2) Hold the purse with the right hand as the left hand reaches In and grasps

COlliS

/rot! 1/11' 111111'11('(1/1 1'11111 II ,

11'1'11/ /0 /111 '

/lit'

gol IIlI'n', I

/1/1'
IIl1'rt'!

lOllS Iwltllllg

111111'1'11111/ (0111 101/' 01'1'1'

/11'0

/Ort'lgll

C\O,l' tl1l' riglll h,lnt! into ,I list .lI1d turn it 1',11111 down . Thl' rlghl

Figure 6

A Mexican coin, a Chinese coin, and a Half Dollar-two foreign coills


and one American coin.

166

IIllow tl1l' gl111111il kin slldl' down into till' right !"tirll , Ih"llrlllllh
call did Inlhls, illll'l'l'S~,IIY.

... il/ cnse Iforget whnt country I'm Ill. But lately I've been having problems. Tin' COIllS are actlllg up 01/ me. 1'/1 show you what I mean ...

The right hand closes the purse without snapping it shut, and places it into a convenient pocket. The right hand now moves to the coins, palm toward the body, and
grasps them by the edges (Fig. 4). Immediately hold the left hand palm open as the
right hand turns palm down, allowing the insert to fall from the gimmick onto the
left palm, and moving the right hand toward the fingers, dropping the remaining

l/10S SIII'I'

11(, ,11,',1.

1IIt'/I'r

and the half dollar on top of all. Do not snap the purse closed.

the stack of coins, the first finger on top, the thumb underneath. By releasi ng pres
sure with the left hand, the center two coins (the un-gimmicked foreign corns)
can be left in the purse as the half dollar and gimmick are removed (Fig. 2).lc)
the audience, it simply appears that coins have been removed from the pu rse
(Fig. 3-audience view).

1<;

".Ind tl'rnp()f,lIily gr,l~ps till' slll'll in 11.I~SIl p.t1111 0" tlw lingers
ill'gln 10 0pl'n ,lilt! till' h.lnd turns 1',11111 up. 'I Ill' II1M'rt wiH fall
onto t 111' 11I1gl'll ips, displ'ly1l1g t111' Ml'xII.ln l "Ill Wlll'n thIS Ol
CUIS, ,llIow tl1l' !.Iwll to 1,111 (rom dassll' palm, 1,lIlding ol'hind the
insl'rt, displaying tIll' ( hinesl' (oin (Figs. H & 4). It doesn'l matter
if thl' loins "talk" as this happl'nf; two (oins would nuturally
make some sound . 0pl'n the left hand, rl'vealing thl' half dollar.
After the effect registers, the right hand places the Ml'xican win
onto the half dollar in the left hand, overlapping forward, then

Figure 9

167

REMUNERATION

--- ----------- - - - the Chlnc,e

COIl1

IS added, stepped lorward of the Mexican

You wrll now perform a retention pass with the gimmick, osten Sibly plaCing It Into the left hand, whrlt, the half dollilf is retaIned
in right hand finger palm "I his wrll fcl'l awkward at fir"t, so PrelC
tice IS necessary to ensure that the procedure IS smooth, ilnd that
the coins don't talk. If they do talk, again It is not tilt' end of the
world, as the right hand is known to hold other coins

COIl1

(Fig. 10).
I decided 10 Iry ngnlll TIlls lillie I //Indc dnmed 511/'e I hnd Ille
A//Icricnll COlli.

Close the left hand Into a palm down fist, nesting the gimmick.
The right hand again remove~ the gllnmlck (this time it wIll be
on the bottom of the stack) Dlspla} the gimmick on the right
palm, then cross the forearms, dlsplaving the American COIl1 to a
spectator on the left
I'lll 1101 hnvlIIg n brn//l hICCllP, nllI 1? Whnl COlll

IS

I~ or

figure 10

figure 14

IllIs?

those who are not familIar with a retention pa'>s, thl' concept
is Simple: A coin IS held at the right fingertips and placed Into the
left palm . As the left fingers close around the coin, it IS secretly
stolen back Into the right hand ro steal back the coin, the COIn j<, balanced on the
tiP of the right second finger as It bends Inward Figs. 15- 18 show a retention pass
being executed wi th a half dollar hidden In right hand finger palm .
After the pass, yo ur hands move In concert, both formIng palm down fists as the
gimm ICk is re~ ted on top of the hnif dollnr In the right hnnd . Remember, It\ nil right
if thl' WillS talk.

As he answers, close the right hand into a palm down fist, and
perform the same un nesting actIon used in Step 3-the on ly dif
ference is the fact that the hands arc crossed

.. .blll II always ended rip back wllir tlr' o/lll:rsl

That's what I Ihollght!


figure 11

Open the right hand (which IS now on the left), displaYing two
foreign coins, then open the left hand, looking at It at the same
tIme, displaYing the American coin (Fig. 11).
Clearly I was doing something wrong.

Notice that I blame myself for Inattention, or mistakes, and not


the audience.
STEP 4) Uncross the hands. The left hand places the half dol -

lar into the right hand, sliding it under the coins already there
(Fig. 12).

figure 12

figure 15

figure 16

figure 17

Figule 18

I decided to keep the American coin as far away as possible ...


The right thumb contacts the Chinese shell and slides it forward
as the hand rises, palm toward the body. The shell will nest over
the Mexican insert. Continue sliding it to the fingertips in one
smooth movement. The genuine half dollar is held in finger palm.
Figure 13 shows the magician's view at this moment Figure 14
the audience VIew.
.
'
,

168

169

REMUNERATION

Option One:

The left hand opens, re\'eahng the vanish, then the nght thumb
contacts the inner edge ot gimmICk's shell and raises it as the
right hands open, un-nesting the gimmick and di playing the
cOIns as in Fig. 19.
It took some space to describe thiS pass equence, but it tales no
longer to execute than it does to ,peak the patter. A Simple a
sequence as this IS, the \'anish, in the context oi the routine, follOWIng two transpositions, is very strong as it break a pattern
and astounds the audience 10 an unexpected \\'ay It IS a highlight
of the routine.

Figure 19

Figure 23

ThIS b J I<w,'ly sequencl' b\ J.e \\Jgnel DI,,\,l.IY thl' gimmick in


the open right hand , h mg J(1<lS., lhl' "l'cnnd ,md lhird Imge'l ~
The left hJnd opl'n-. palm up Jnd the' nght hJnd .,1.111., tll turn
palm down the lir"t and 10uIlh finger" pmd1ing the' ~kk-. (11 the'
gimmick (rtg. :!3), The' right hJnd c<mtmue'S tllt ning I'Jlm d<1\\'n .
just abow the' PJlm of thl' ll'tt hJnd . The ;"!c\Il'Jn cpm in"l'rt \\'111
tall onto the pJlm . Without he-'ltJtmg. mlwe till' right h.md f(11
ward , towJrd the lett tmgel -'. dropptng the Chl1ll'Sl' (,<lin ... hell ,1n
inch trom the insert (Fig. :!.J).
Option Two:

STEP 5) Ha\'e a spectator in front of you hold out her right hand,

palm up.
The dlspla\ ot the COtns u-.ed hele b useful \\hen .11,l1gl'l nu mbl'l
a t people a l e \I'atch111 g you pel fO I m and !"1 condl111ln" l' i ~l lh.1t
ma ke higher placemenl ot lhe h,1I1ds pre'il' l.lbll'.

Let's try this a differellt <my ...


Place the half dollar onto her palm, followed by the 11exican insert, overlapping to the left. then the Chmese shell, overlapping
the insert (Fig. 20). Place the first finger of the right hand onto
the Chinese shell and slide It over the insert, nesting them, as
you talk. The nested lOsert must still o\'erlap the half dollar to
the left.

Figure 20

Figure 24

Figure 21

Figure 25

Here, close your halld aroulld the coins. Great, now turn your
hand or'!?r. This way I call try to isolate the problem. Let me
sneak in there for a second ...
The palm-up right hand moves to the thumb opening of the
spect~tor's fist ~nd i~serts the thumb (on top) and the first finger,
pmchmg the gimmick and removing it (Figs. 21 & 22). This is
made simple due to the fact that after the fist is turned over the
gimmick will be overlapping to the right of the half dollar i~ the
spectator's hand.

_\fter !ellllwing the g Immick from the ~Pl' l' t.11l'l 's h,1I1d. d t"pl,1\'
it at the nght fingert ips and place it 11110 the left h.1I1ci, stlH'1 ~i de'
tacing the audience held bel\leen the lhumb 11n tllp and till' II1~t
and second f111ge!~ on the bllttllm (hg. :!!'i - .1Udll'l1ll' \'le\\'). Thl~
is a c\assiL Spellbound posltlOI1 ote that I Ill' gImmick is ,mgkd
shght" back, thiS is Impol t,ml I he light h.lIld tUI n-. p,1lm tn
wilrd the bod\ ilnd moyes tn the lett. c<wering the gimmick . llncl'
the coin is concealed. the leftlhumb lOlls it slightly tl' the' Il'It, Sll
thilt It is held between the left fltst tingl'! ,md thumb. 1 he' light
thumb contacts the right edge nf thl' gimmick. ,111.1 a ... till' h.md
cont111ues Its mlweml'nt to the Il'It till' thumb 10t.1tl'S till' nesll'd
C0111S (figs. 2(1 & 27). Freeze thl' right h.md tnl ,1 bl,.tt \\ Ith the

Ah, the Amerialn coin, the one thill's been giving me all the trouble, Let'~ detll ~th this one individually... l don't care if I ever see
the Jumgn corns again. Oh, no-they're back!

~ I offer two different options, depending on the conditions


auu where your audience is situated.

Figure 26

Figure 27

171

--

REMUNERATION

I,APTO_P_P_R_IN_T_E_R
__ ~-As the title suggests, In ordl'l 10 pel rOI m this money pnntlng eHelt you mu~t be
sl'ated rhe good news it that thiS IS J rJsI and very visual plll1ting efrectlll whICh
the gllllmilk IS ditched, leaving vou cleJn
FlgUie 29

figure 28

TilE GIMMICK: Cut two pieces of white cardboard slightly larger than a bill and

adhere them on thl ee sides, leavlI1g one shOit end open . ThiS
re5ulh In a simpl e pocket Adheslvc tape can be u..,ed to adhere
the cardbonrd, and Ir one Wishes to go the ex tra mill' It's pos
sible to rold the tape <lnd <ldhele the pocke t from the III Sldc Cut
a notch III the open end or the pocket (Pig I) Inselt a bill into
the gimmick When It IS completely in serted , you will be able
to display the gimmICk as a Single piece or blank paper (Fig. 2) .
[like to pencil dot the gimmick so I CJn dlwilys be sure to have
the head Side or the bill racing the audience during the trJns formation

glnlmlcf.. completef\ co\ered, and allow the IIlsert to fall onto the
right thumb, where friction holds It (Fig. 28). The right hand re
verses direction, moving to the right, the thumb carrying the Insert to the ri ght as
well, where it IS grasped by the left second hnger and held In place as the nght ha nd
continues to the left, re\'ealingthe two foreign coins, side by side (Fig. 29). The coins
arc allowed to fall back Into the hand .
YOII //IlIslhapc Ihe A//Ierlcall

COIll!

The spectator opens his hand, revealing the Amencan coin .


I glll'SS 11l'aslr'i //lei/III 10 park. Fro//l

1I0W

Cut il few Identically sized white pieces of pilper or cJrd stoc\.;.

all I'll lake Ihe bus!

TO PREPARE: Place the ordlnilry pieces or cJrdboard on top of

The effect is over as far as the audience IS concerned Here's what I do to reset:
The left thumb slides the shell onto the insert as the hand IS loosely closed Retrieve
the purse With the right hand. The left hand aids III opening the mouth of the purse.
Hold t~e upper law of the frame with the ri.ght fingertips as the left hand openly
places Its COIll.S IIltO the purse, laYlIlg the gimmick onto the coins already in the
purse, sllve.r Side up. Noise is all right, as you openly are placing two coins into a
purse. Retneve the half dollar and place it beneath the other coins in the purse You
are ready for your next performance.

the gimmick l' lilce the stack Into an mnel pocket.


TO PERFORM:
STEP 1) l'stilbltsh the need ror money.

Figure 2

for litis III'Xlttfl'eI 1 rl'qlllrl' a Iwcllly-dol/ar /Jill.

Produce the stack of white p,lpet The gimmICk IS on bottom, the


notch covcrld by the right hami (Fig. ~). Act sllrprisl'd by the sight
of till? bl,lIl k papl'f.

...
If
delired, the left hand can per
plUltkk) into
. orm a false placement of the left hand's coins (the
the purse, which effectively switches out the gaff.

Olt, I/or,'\ol to prill I tI'I'St' "I' at /1IlII/e ...

Hand the top pil'ce of paper til a spectator.

I dOI/'t SIiPPOse 1 cOlild sell YOII one 0/ t/lese for twenty


figure 3

172

173

--

--

REMUNERATION

------

(Jllcb , No, IlI'lIr" Ilr'l, III

'"11 Imp

011

'''''if'

1/011

H,III" 10 rI" ~r II""

"'0111'11

51 liP 2) 11 ,lI1d till' whl tl' I"l'( l'~ III 1',1111'1 til V,lIIIlU" ,!lldl"IKl'
I1lCl1lbl'IS, Il'dvtng you wllh till' glll1lllllh

{-{old " nl

0111'

1'1Il1, I,A,'

1111',

I/lic/ ,Ii"'e " n ,,,I, H'ltI, 1/011'

f"'Sl'd'I"s,
Il cl C you 1ll'1 fill 111 d fl'i nt I Ill' light h,1I1d holds I Ill' g1l1111l1LJ.,; IVlt h
thc notlh pOinting upw'lIll, stilll11,ls~I'd by I Ill' h,1I1d ,

(1l\l'1

1111'

top nltlll' glllll11llh wi th thc Idtlll1gCI, ,tnd ~tlokl dllwll\\-.lId on


thL' gll1ll11lLh (Figs, I & 'i

Scc nlll! c/'fJl'f'I'II((,7


I C/" ,I

dudll'IlLC Vll'W)

~"""'III'''',,

,, \ , ,,1,1/(' WI/I ell

"OiP

STEP 3) 1\ ~ you SpCd ", IC,1I1 b,ld, bltng In/-; I Ill' light h,1 nd lll"ll
thc CdgL' of till' t"bIL' I Ill' IL'1l h,lIld I11IlVL'S 1(1')tlo"\' till' /;111111111 J.,;

Figule 4

" sL'cnnd tllnc ,IS till' Ilghl h,1I1d lowcl s, bltngll1g thL' bottom of

f,gu,e 5

Ihc gllnll1lLh Illthc l'dgL' nltlll' t,lbIL' (rig, h

IIlIllil'I1l1 \ Il'W)

I "CII' WI'S"!

,lilt! l111gl'ls gldsp 11lL' hit 01 bdll' pll~L'd "t thL'


nolLh dS till' IL'l1 h,1Ild mows dOWI1 , tdklllg thL' glll1 III Il k ,lillllg
I hc light Ihul11b

wllh II, sL'L'llllngly 1'III1tll1g thL' bill .IS IhL' gl1111111\ k IS <;Cl1t til till'
IdP (FIgs ,

t)

,1lldll'11l1'VIL'W), I Ill' 111(1\l' (lILlIIS ,IS Y"U

f"

V till'

abovc, YOlll voiLl' nhlskll1g ,II1\' ~nul1d I L'SU II 111),: 110111 till tlOI1 rill'
audIL'I1U' WIIII1(1t PL'ILl'IVl' till' gll11l11l(k dl'SlCl1dll1g flll two rca
figUID

SOilS: ()I1L', tllL'Il' ,ilL' 11(1 dlstll1gUlshll1g lh,1Io1lICII~tll'll1l1.1I1.:111

Wh,tl' fiL'ILI, ,111.1 Ihcll'i(1I(' 1l(1IIlLI1Loltilll1s th,lt It iG


IWI1, you holv!' "sd" 11ll' I'
l'nl11l',1I1' tl1l' photl1s nf thc

III

l11(1tll1l1, .1I1d

111 1111' J11lmls nl thL' ,llIdll'IllC With till' !ell1t


th Figllll

v(1l1'l1 get a h,ttL'r IdL'i1l1f

whdl I 111l',1 11 ,

I r,1I1d I Ill' bi II to

174

ItR U!lC.

REMUNfRAllON

PAPER M();\JE.Y

'1IlI','II11I'Il'l'iI"li Is,Ullahle'l,ll Lit", ul', l',lIlnl PI 'o 1.lg' ,1Ild lIillll'lllll1d 1,111 ,11 IIll'
1'1.1'011' ~ 1\l11l'1 ~1.1I,'1 IIlU buughl wlwil \,PUII'lI,lw,I\L \,'011' nld
IIUIIIU 6

IIOUIO ~
NrI IJFIJ: 1\\,11 bills (,111\' d"I11111111l01111111 bUllh,') shpuld lw IIll' 'o"I1W), .11',I IWI,11J 1,

dpuhl,' " IIl'~ 1"Ill' I'.IJWI I usc' ') ~ Ib, Whill' 1'<l IWI
I Ill' Ci111 Illi,l I'hl' gll11l11ll'h.l1Lld pnly l", l11ildl' OI1L,', .l nd II wil l 1,1'01 It 11 hllndl"d,
01 1ll'liollll.II1l" 'S, Cui IpUI I'll'n'S 01 1',1 1ll'1 Ilw '0.1111,' "". ,IS 11ll' hll I IPU .1I l I1'01 IIg,
II 's .lllllghl II IIll' 1'.11"'1 IS sli ghll \ ,,111<1 11,'1, bul II 'o hould nol l", l.llgl1 l'I<I(,l' ,Ihllll i .1
tIU.HI"1 1I1th pi dpuble' .. ll"~ 1"1'" oil Ilw "nd pi 01 .. 11\' pi 1'001WI (hg, I) \dh,,,.1 bill
10111l'1<l1'" I,Ill' up, W\'l'llng Ilw 1"'1"'1 (rig. 2)
lurn IIll' gllnmich. OWl <ll1d I'lall' anol h"1 '0111\1 oj dllubll' "lich. 1.11'" Oil 11lL' I,'\'l'l '0"
sid,. Adhl'I,' llll' sl'l"Ill1Ll blilllllhl' gillll11l"~ foill' down 'wu <Ill' 1,'11 \\'llh Iwp hill ..

flOUIo I

oIllolIlH'ti Itl ,l I'll'''' tlll'oIllL'l, 111111'\" '1,,,' '.I, h's 1I1111l' 'oI llll"lIti (l'lg 1)
Th ,lll'o 11 11' HlllIllIIl'1
TO I'IUd'AIH : 1011..1' 1111' Ill',' ,' lid IIIIIH' I,ll" ti,,\\ 11 I>i11 ,lllti Ilgl1lh 1111111

flgule 1

IlgUIO 7

lIl" '0 1111'

l'lllg ill "I , IH,,1 III IIll' '0 11111 wlll'II' IIH' hili 1'0 oI"III'Il'd ,\ 1" '11,11,.1111,,' 11 ,." III 1.111
111l' 11I11111f\ 1'"11' .... (111-\" 1 &. 'I ) till' Ihl ' III!I,'" I>lIlll1lh"I'oIl" ' 1 ,II I Ill' IIghl I""
1111' ,iiI' 11111" .. 11111 I'I00l" ,111" 1'"'\'1'111'0 1111"111 11I1I11l1ll1g (lig (1) 111111 lilt' bill lI\'t'!
,Ill" dolh,' SdllH' wilh 111l' loI," ul' hill. 1I001IIg 11)(' SoIlIH' tlip hi 11111" I Ill' loll"d dllll.1I
111 1'1,1l1' 1'11-\1I1l' 7 1'0.111" III'S"" \i,'\\' IIIIIH' I'! "1'.11 ,d gilllllli' k,
1'loIll' lIl1' Ih,, '" "'III,lIll1l1g whllL'l'h''''~ 1111'.11"'1 IIlld,'! Illl' lhl" lighll\' miR,llig!wd
10 hl'II"1 hid,' 1111' gllllll1ll'h. (l'Ig H) 1'1"", IIll' gill1lllilk IIlIIl Illl' Il'III,llkl'1 pOlk"1 A""
0111 tll'llIlll , IIll' gllllllllll C,lll blI'I.1l'ld 111.1 SllIll.ny slyl,' w.lli,I ,

f IQuie ~

177

RfMUN[RA110N

I () t'IIH (lit I
~

III' III

,I.lhlt~h

11\1 1'1, 11\1 "

1/e1,'" I/IIIS" III,' 1,1/'" h""" d I" 1/111/"1/1111 ,"/"11,'1./


/111' I ,/Iellild ,,1,,',11" /1111',' ""1/"""".,\ III I"l/h.), k ""
1\"11\1'", 11\l' ,1t1'1" ,I 11,11" I \1\.\ 1\1,1,1 11"'11\ 1"1 ,h~JlI,1\ ,I III
111-\111" q .llIdl"Il,,' 1"\\ 1'1.1 11\1 P,II" I 1""llh, 1,'11 h.I,,,1 II"
,1'1,.11 II", IIlII"1 IIKhl ',,",,"1 h,",III[,1 11", 11ItI Ih"".11 "I Ih,
~ 1.1,k Ih,' 1,'11 IlIlg,'I' hhl,' Ih,' 1"11,,.1 1,,11, (111-\ III ,11'.\\1'\1,

IigUID 13

, "'11)

. 1t'",III'''"11"",' /""1/, {,I,'

I h"I \ ,"'11/1

II ", II Khllill~\"I~ ~"".II.Ii,' 11\1' 1,1.1I1~ ",11" '1" ,II 11h'1I .\111< '1 '.\/",,' , .,," II 11\111' 10"
"I ~" I.I' (I 'ig. II

.111"1"11",,1"11')

~ III' 2)1\,'11\11\" 11\1' ,1'1' lIilh Ih,' Ilflbl h.llld 1111.11",,1 .'1 II

Flgule 9

Ftgule \0

, k""lllh, ",' 1111'/, I 1/11/ /1, .1.


li lt' 1,'11 h,lIl.1 Irlh 1,. rllIl ' Ir ~" hl" ,, 1\\.\ 1<1 \,'"1 "",1\ I ,11,1 Ih
lilt' 1111 g lll\lI\ld,'.1 ".IJI,'"I'l 1'> ,11\1 .11" 11111, , 111(, 1 lit. 1It\1r1 h,'ll.1
(11g I) ,111.1" '11'" 'h'lI) Il,'p"II.llllg"" 1<1111 l"II,IIIII I I1H","1r
IlIlI h V,llI , .111 Jllld ,'I Ih,' itl'" \.Ibl, 11" '111 "I h.llld II" 111,1111 111
.tIll' "" 'Ill Ih,'V

oil!'

JlIII ,1 11\"

111"/1,11/" """1'1'['11 1,tIIl/iIiS' /l/""k ."I/I,lhlll,' IIA,III" ...


11"'I'.dlll .I'IWllllflltl h,lIld HI,I I" III<' 11111<'1' lid ,II Iii. KIOIIII\. \.
[1"11'.," ' 11 IIll' Ihlllllh 1111" Id,' .,111", fir 1IIIIg"1 (\ IH I II
!'.Ii.,,' II", Ilfjbl h,lIl" \'1' h,' I 1.'\" '1 I V,I\I 111111 II Pllitll I,lw.lld
YUill blldy. 1'!u' III!I.'\ hill III.' 1".\.1"11 hv III<' 111-\111 h,\IId (1-11-1 14
IIldi"I\,,1 VII'W).

Flgule 11

IlQUle 14

179

REMUNERATION

figure 16

figure IB

frgure 19

figure 15

The left hand grasps the end of the gimmick between


the first finger and thumb (Fig. IS-audience view). Lower the
right hand allowing the bills to unroll by applying modest pressure just above the bills with the right thumb and first finger.
Figures 16-18 show the change from the audience's view. The
bills unroll behind the fingers of the hand creating the illusion
of a visible printing. The right hand stops when the thumb and
first finger are at the bottom edge.

STEP 3)

When this thing dries it looks pretty realistic.


Raise the bill to blow on it, then lower the left hand, displaying
the gimmick's back (Fig. 19). Turn the palms toward each other
for a final display of the bill's face (Fig. 20-audience view). The
right fingers and thumb never lose contact with the the gimmick,
the gimmick pivots between them. The right hand returns the
gimmick to the left jacket pocket (Fig. 21-audience view).

It's not the most honorable trade, but it's better than politics.
figure 20

180

FigUT8 21

181

~---

MORE THAN A
DECK OF CARDS

MORE THAN ADECK OF CARDS

I I LliSION VS. H.AIJTY


AI Koran's classic " Medallion" effect has all the elements of a dynamite mentalism routine A
freel y selected number appears engraved on a medallion that has never been touched AmaziIlg . .but it possesses a core problem.
Alan Shaxon's "ConfabulatIon" is a masterpIece of Impossibility and structure. freely named
specifics such as a vacatIon location, alritne, and price are found written on a prediction enclosed
in a wa llet. .. butthls Incredible result can produce a tepid response.
The Nest of Boxes effect is invented and re-invented . Magicians agree that that best versions al low the spectator to open the boxes within the boxes, eventually discovenng the borrowed persona lltem within the innermost container. Yet these versions are often the weakest.
The Any Card at Any Number plot has captured the imagll1ation of magicIans around the world.
All labor for the perfect presentation in which the spectator deals the cards, discovering the card
he named at the desired number. What if that is 110t the perfect presentation? What if that is sim
ply the most impossible set of circumstances that one mIght apply to the effect?
Magicians hold tightly to the Illusion that the most ImpOSSIble condItions applied to a plot must
lI/wllYs produce the strongest possible effect. That, however, IS not reaitty.

In this book I've discussed the importance of clarifying conditions prior to the performance of
an effect. This is true, but many elements contribute to the impact an effect has on an audIence,
and only one of those clements is the set of conditions that magicians use a~ their yardstick of
Impossibility
The above mentIOned effects all share the same weakness, a very basic one All, as described,
leave the playtng out of a \ Ital moment of the effect, the denouement, ill tile hal1ds of a spectator. That is like playing a piano concerto and pausing to let the final measure be played by an
elementary school student who happens to be sitting in the front row. It doesn't make a lot of
sense to plan for the final moments of a five-mll1ute routine to be the reading of a piece of paper
by a spectator who possesses a quiet, hesitant voice and a vacant expression. It is just as illogical
to hand a nest of boxes to a spectator who might drop a key, have trouble removing successive
boxes, then hide the magically-transported object from the audience's vision when it is finally
produced Ilow dynamic is it to have all eyes of the audience focused on an awkward spectator
fumbling with a dl'ck of cards as he slowly counts down to a card at the thirty-eighth position?

185

MORE THAN ADECK OF CARDS

l' impossible events may indeed occur, but In a manner with little
deep J of pure stinking death. As performers, we arc allegedl y the ones
moments
In the a bove examp'Ies,
Impact, prece d ed b)
'. .
who best understand the basics of commumcatlOn, therefore:
The most Impossible versIOn of an effect is not necessanly the best verSion of an effect.
A set of clearlv-defined conditions is an Important factor in creat1l1g a strong presentatIOn, but
It is on I} one of several variables that 1I1clude the effect's Row, clarity, 1I1volvement, escalation,
stage piCture, and more. It is for this reason that two very different Saw1l1g-in-Half Illusions, Alan
Wakeling's verSion in wh ich the woman is completely covered by a wooden box, and The Pend ragon's presentation in wh ich Charlotte IS encased in a see-th rough casket, are bot h mystifying,

in question, a folded, Signed card, was inside it. The touches that were added to the baSIC method
are, to some, unnecessary, but without a doubllhey allow some elements to be magmfied in a
way that was not prevIOusly possible What is interesting, however, is that while these variables
are debated,.lhe bigger picture is never debated . All versions possess the same stage picture: The
performer displays a card 111 a box and dumps it into his other hand No one argues that the effect
would be better if the spectator opened the box and dumped the contents into his own hand No
one argues this, because the effect would be weakened It is for this reason that we remove cards
from ou: own wallets, reveal the faces of selections with our own sense of tim1l1g, and, when
perform1l1g an Asrah levitation, choose the best moment to pull the sheet. In things other than
method we shou ld know something our audiences do not.

entcrta1l1 g, and amazing 111 their ow n way, and for differe nt reasons.
111

In th e close- up a ren a, there is some debate over the Card-to-Ca mster effect. Th is is th e effect
where a signed, selected ca rd is found folded inside a small box of some sort The classic visual illusion is attributed to Bruno Henn ig: A folded "X" card is ta ped inside a pocke t-sized tin ca n ister.
At the conclusion of the effect the camster is opened, the "X" card is displayed to the aud ience,
then it is supposedly tipped into the opposite hand . Of course, as the ca nister is inve rted th e
adhered "X" ca rd is hidden from sight, and, in a shuttle pass action, the other hand brings the
folded, palmed selectIOn 1I1tO view
Scotty York enhanced this illusion by connecting the "X" ca rd to the ca nister w ith a short length
of thread . Now the "X" card could be seen to move a bit in the ca nister before it was dumped 1I1to
the other hand . Jamy Ian Swiss came up with the idea of hav1l1g some loose items in the box that
would actually fall out of the container when it was inverted, furth er solidify ing th e sensation of
contents falling from one hand to the other. Tommy Wonder added the Idea of th e lid catchin g
onto the folded selection, so it apparently had to be shaken out of the box. Actor/Magicia n Sleve
Valentine gimmicked a tin box in such a way that it could be shown empty after th e folded "X"
card was dumped from it, as did Jamy Ian Swiss (different methods). John Kennedy fa shion ed a
small wooden box that allowed for the same touch.

Th~re is conti~ued debate over these improvements as the simple Hennig method is perfectly il lUSIVe. There IS no heat on the canister and no doubt in the minds of the audience that the object

187

116

MORE THAN ADECK OF CARDS

STE P 2) Ribbon spread the cards face down across the table.

I like to warm up wIth a little memory stunt. It's not a trick, just a mental

SCRATCIIED

exercise. Here's what we're going to do: I'll tllrn my back, and when I do
you slide a card out from either the left side or the right side of the spread.
OOl1't evel1 look at it. Square up the deck, cover the card with your hand,

EFFECT: The performer correctly Identifies cards moved In the deck by spectators

the/1 teilme to turn around.

when his back is turned

When you are told to turn back, immediately flip the deck face up end for end, reversIng the orientation of the marks-they are now near your body. Ribbon spread
the deck face up across the table. No marks will be visible, save the one on the face

This mock memory effect, an elaboration of the Moe's Move-a-Card plot, IS baffling
and very easy to do. It also has the benefit of being a trick that can be repeated with
escalating phases, or performed a single time. I'm including a description of a threephase routine, but it's a simple matter to perform just the first or last phase

ca rd of the deck.
STEP 3) Quickly scan the faces of the cards.

NEEDED: A prepared deck of cards. The deck is easy to make-It will take you
ten minutes and last indefinitely. I use an X-acto knife to make the deck, but if
vou like you can use Wite-out or a white gel pen The concept is simple: You are
'making a face-up one-way deck by creating a subtle broken line on the Indices at

What 1'/11 doing is tryil1g to create a mental photograph of the cards ill the
order they are Iyillg in. Okay ...
Your scan must be brief, but long enough to be convincing. That said, it should not
seem qUite possible to memorize the order of the cards from the once-over you are

the cards' upper left corner.


I find the easiest way to make the deck is to hold the cards face up in the left hand,
and with the right hand draw the tip of the X-acto blade across the numberiletter
with a scratching motion This can be done more than once if a more prominent

white line IS desired, but you will find that even a hair-thin white
line across the printing lumps out if one knows what to look for
See Figures 1 & 2. When the deck's preparation is complete, you
will have a deck that is marked on the faces at one end, but not

the other.
This principle, an Annemann idea, IS a devious weapon if one
constructs effects in which the overt "reading" of the faces is jus-

giving the deck.

I'm going to tllm back aroul1d. When I do, and only then, take a peek at
tile card you picked, and return it to the deck. All I ask is that you retunt

it to somewhere in the opposite side of the deck. In other words, if you


took it from the right side, put it back somewhere in the left side; if you
took it from the left side, put it back somewhere all the right. Let's do this
before my mental snapshot starts to go out of focus.
STEP 4) Turn your back to the spectators.

Peek at your card and slide it back into the deck. Have you done that?

tified and motivated .

Now square up the cards. Cap! I tum back?


TO PERFORM:

Turn around and immediately turn the deck face up, side to side, like a book. Ribbon
spread the face up deck and working left to right, scan the cards. I like to focus on
five or six cards at a time, commenting on the order of the cards, but actually look-

STEP 1) Overhand shuffle the cards, keeping the orientation of

the marks away from the body. If you are performing for magicians and wish to lead them down the garden path, perform a
semi-false shuffle by shuffling only one half of the deck. It is

ing for the one visible mark:

meaningless, but useful as a throw-off.

Hmm".I remember those two Tens, the King, the red Two and the b/Qck
Two ...
figUle 2

189

188

APPKOA(ti\~G

MORE THAN ADECK OF CARDS

MAule
\

.
II groupS it becomes a simple matter to see the mark-It jumps
By focusmg on sma
.1 h
to stop the scan when you see t he mar k . Con t mue
out You
aveleap back to it, dramatIcally
.
'
.It from tll e
. dofnot necessan)
. d then
removmg
past It as I you mlss e ,

spread

Five, S'x, Seven, that mini-straight was easy to remember... the Jack, 1'111
a little lost 110W [going back to an earlier spot in the spread1
,
tl .
rd?
because of this Five of Clubs-was liS your co .

~ettlllg

When 1 turn around, Twant each of you to sltde out a card Close the deck
up, then cover your cards with YOllr hands .

After your instructions have been earned out, turn back around and give the deck
a quarter turn counter clockwise, immedIately going into a riffle shuffle. After the
shuffle, the left hand grasps the deck at its left end as you offer it to someone on the
left for a cut. This reverses the orientation of the marks. You can contmue as before
and perform this phase as a memory stunt, but I'll sometimes alter the premise to

I
I

inject va riety:

Let's go il1to uncharted waters.

Toss the card to the table, lettmg It turn end-for-end in the process, so its mark
lands at Its mner end, like the rest of the cards in the deck. When you return the

It is at this point that, previously, you scanned the faces of the cards. In this phase,

however, you do not. Spread the deck face down on the table

ca rd to the deck you'll be set for a repeat.


Overhand shuffle the deck face up, then lip over the cards and shuffle
face down ThIS not only shows the audience that the cards are Indeed being
mixed, It gives you Justification for turning the deck over end-to-end at one point

STEP 5)

m order to orient the marks toward the spectator.


Repeat Steps 1-4 with one exceptiOn:

Okay, last tllne I had you put your card back in the opposite side of the
deck. This time, you can put your card back wherever you'd like.
This means nothing to you, but again it is a wrinkle that intrigues. You can, if desired have the deck cut as well, to differentiate this phase. End as before.
Again, overhand shuffle the deck both face up and face down, contriving
to orient the marks toward the spectators. Place the deck on the table and perform
a riffle shuffle. This will worry those observers who thought the cards weren't being mixed sufficiently previously. Spread the deck face down on the table. Point to

STEP 6)

three different spectators.

I
\

I'm 110t going to look at the order of the cards. 1'111 turnmg around again.
Each of you peek at your cards, then slide them back mto the spread wherever you want, thel1 sqllare up the deck.
When this ultra-fair procedure has been accomplished, turn back to face the spectators and start riffle shuffling the cards again.

1'111 going to say the four swts aloud, then the values. Try to leave your
faces completely blank.
By saying the above, the audience wi1l believe you are going to look for subtle "tells'
from the spectators, giving you clues as to the cards' identities.

Hearts, Clubs, Spades, Dial1londs. Ace, Two, TIlTee, Four, Fir'l?, Six, Seven, Eight, Nil1e, Ten, Jack, Queen, King.
Pick up the deck and spread it faces toward you, marks at the top. Spread
small groups, upJogging marked cards as you come to them, pausing to "quiz" a

STEP 7)

spectator by repeati ng su its or va lues.

I'll try something now I really shouldn't do. It could possibly work in
theory, but I've never tried it out on human beings.
This is a lie, but a lie of showmanship. One of the most durable premises in entertainment is the false claim that tonight, your audience is seeing something unique

and special.

One more time,

if that's all right. Hearts, Clubs, Spades, Diamonds.

Strip out the three cards keeping the faces toward the body. Table the deck.

For the first time, please name the cards you are simply thinking of.

191

190

MORE THAN ADECK OF CARDS


I

I
After the spectators name their cards, pause, repeat the car.ds named, then slowly
deal the cards face up to the table in the order named, repeatmg the names one final
time a5 you do so.
Extend the arms and exhale as loudly as possible, conveymg the conclusIOn of an
extreme effort. This IS your applause cue, and you'll get it.

see that it is returned to the table In such a way that the selection, when slid
back in, will be returned reversed. You do not spread the deck yourself. Tum
your back, have Spectator A spread the cards, and tell Spectator B to peek his
selection, slide it back into the spread, and square the cards. You are noW set
to discover the card under "impossible" conditions. Have Spectator A simply
concentrate on hiS card as you ask another spectator to hand you "a bunch of
cards." Fan the packet, holding it in front of Spectator J>.:s eyes, then toss it to
the table, quickly asking for another "bunch." This is repeated until the deck
is exhausted, and in the process the identity of the selection is gleaned. At this
point you can excitedly run th rough the mass of cards on the table, locate the
selection (keeping it face down), and ask the spectator to name his card. End
by dramatically turning over the card.

OTHCR AVE UES:

u
1. With this deck, you can have a card selected from a press re fa n, then
c1o~e the fan, reversing the onentation of the cards. The card can be returned anywhere, at which pomt the magician can shuffle the deck. The
spectator can even shuffle the deck, so long as care is taken (by you) that
that the orientation of the cards is not disturbed. Ribbon spread the cards
face up on the table so that the marks are hidden . Have the spectator push
five cards out of the spread, with the stipulation that one be the selection.
I-an the five cards toward the spectator, telling him to try and give you no
clues with his eyes. but look at his eyes, then the fan, going back and forth
several times. This procedure allows you to see the marked card easily. Revea l
the selection and reonent the card with the rest of the deck, setling up for a
repeat if desired.
2. A very baffling effect can be produced if you can orchestrate the
selection/insertion process in such a way that It appears you never touch the cards, using actions that are motivated. Shuffle the deck
and hand it to Spectator A (allowing him to shuffle, if desired). Contrive to have the marks at the mner end from the spectator's perspective.
Tell him that when you turn back he IS to spread the cards on the table.
Designate a spectator across from Spectator A as Spectator B. This second
spectator is to draw out a single card and cover it with his hand, without looking at it, and the cards are to be squared. After these actions arc performed,
turn back around and pretend to get a idea-you'll involve someone else in
this "random" procedure. Absently hand the deck over to another spectator
for shuffling, reversing the orientation of the deck in the process. An easy way
to do this is to pick up the deck by grasping it at its inner end, then turning to
someone at the far right or left. Pay attention to the orientation of the deck and

AD SPACE
This simple effect is one of my favorites. You will have to make it up yourself, out
of the normally discarded advertising/informational cards that come with various
brands of playing cards. What I like about it is A) It's amazing, B) It's humorous, and
C) It utilizes cards that are novel, yet organically so. In other words, you get that
commercial "zing" without employing a "Tree of Hearts."
EFFECT: The spectator selects the only card in the deck that is actuallv a card.

NEEDED: Fifty "ad cards," With ads on both sides, one ad card with a Bin'de back,

and a regular playing card to match.


TO PREPARE: Place the ad card with the back face down on

top of the fifty double-sided ad cards. On top of this, place the


regular card, also face down. Place the deck into a matching
card box, and you are ready to go.
TO PERFORM:
STEP 1) Remove the deck from the box. The back of the regular
card will make this non-deck look like a regular deck (Fig. 1).

193

192

MORE THAN ADECK OF CARDS

1}lIst got tllis deck today. Whell they're new tlley're a little Iw/'d

length (Fig. 6). In a continuing action, the right third fingertip


contacts the back of the top card of the left hand's portion (the
lone regular card) and the right hand moves forward, squaring

to lVo/'k lVltl,. COllld you Ilelp me brea k It

the deck while out jogging the "selection."

1/1.

Place the case aside. Perform a tight thumb fan of the deck in the
left hand (Fig. 2) Do this as If fiddling with the "new" cards
fan will have to be very tight to avoid exposing the advertIsements. Think of it as the kind of fan one makes when making the
standard "rosette" flourish. Close the fan and riffle up the rear of
the deck wIth the thumb, as if getting the feel of the cards.

All right, show that card around and remember it. After you've COl1lmitted it to memory, place it back in the
deck, wherever you'd like.

~he

With your head still averted, extend the left hand, holding the
FigUie 2

returns his card.

Perform a brisk slip cut in the hands (Fig. 3-in progress), cutting
the regular card to the center of the deck. Place the right hand 's
cards onto the left's, securing a left little-finger break between
the portions Practice this in the mirror to ensure that you are
masking the ad cards as the cut IS made. The regular card acts as

STEP 3) Square th e cards and turn to face the audience. You are not holdIng any

breaks, so you ca n play up this fact by riffling the cards, squaring them on the
tabl e, etc. End with th e deck face down in the left hand.

a cover

fllst say "stop" as I riffle dOlVn ...


STEP 2) Turn toward a spectator on the right (to better hid e

deck, to the spectator. The deck is held beveled to the right (Fig. 7) as the spectator

FigUie 3

the break) and perform a riffle force Tilt the deck down so that
the spectator is looking almost flat at the backs of the cards
(Fig. 4-audience vIew). The spectator will still be able to see
cards rIffling by, but will not be able to detect the fact that the

All rIght, a card has been selected. Not only do I propose to find it, I
will attempt to do it withollt looking, in less than one second Milch /ike
my first sexual experience. I need you to COllnt to three and say, "Go!"
Wlrich was like my second sexual experience.
Act as If preparing for a difficult Olympian feat Turn your head away Quickly cut
off any amount of cards with the nght hand as the left hand turns palm down,
dealing an ad card to the table (Fig. 8). Reassemble the deck. I generally cut very
shallow or very deep, to ensure that I wLll not aCCidentally cut to the selection. Note
that, during the deal to the table, the face of the deck (an ad card) is masked by the

cards have text on them . Turn away as this is done:

I'll look the other way, so you don't think I'm controlling you

left hand .

with my mirld.

The head is still turned away Say:

When the spectator says "stop," lift up all the cards above the
break with the right hand. The audience sees two backs (Fig. 5).
Bring the right hand cards over the deck, injogged for half their

Figure 4

Did I get it?


They will reply "no." Argue with them.

Are YOll slIre? Some people ltape trollble remembering


the card they picked.
They will be quite sure that you have found the wrong card.

FigUie 6

195

APPROAlHINC MAGIC

MORE THAN ADECK OF CARDS

Figure 10

CHARACTER
Although I sometimes approach magic from the point of view of a magician, I more often approach it from the mindset of a writer, performer, and improviser. In the case of magic, we are
writing little "plays" that we can revisit and revise after every performance, should we choose.
These plays are our tricks, routines, and presentations that, like it or not, all share one thing in
common: No matter how varied our repertoire, one of the characters in our plays will always be
ourselves. As we know that going in, we can tailor our writing to that character.

frgure 9

A character is defined by unique characteristics, so when we write to a character our work must be
tailored with intent. Every well-written character we encounter in literature has qualities that differentiate him or her from other characters. When this is not the case, we react with indifference.
When audiences see a magician perform in a manner that is interchangeable with the manner of
many other magicians, they are apt to respond similarly. No one leaves the house and goes to see
a performer motivated by the thought that the performer is no different from any other. Any time
we are excited by the prospect of seeing a performance it is because of the unique characteristics
of the performer. Therefore, the act of defining the person we are on stage, or the character we
want to portray, is a reasonable step to take when trying to create an engaging presentation .

STEP 41 Turn around and appear surprised as you look at the

card (U~t ;abled.

Oh.

iJw; '5

one of those ad cards that come with the deck. What

iIrt;he odds? AdunIly,

the odds are pretty good, I guess ...

Tolm the dec . face up and spread through the cards, displaying
aL dd .cards. You want to aVoid seeing the selection, although it's
not mtical. 50 push over a block near the center (Fig. 9).

. .because every card

IS

an ad card ...

You [1OW perform a subtlety. When you reach the final ad card, it
\'- ,I be the one that possesses a back. As you talk, simply place it

or to the face of the deck (Fig. 10).


..and not just on one side-on both sides!
Turn the deck over and spread through it, looking for the back of
a card near the middle of the deck. When you come to it, out jog it,
then continue spreading the cards, stopping before the last card
to avoid flashing a back (Fig. 11).

Could it be that you picked the only card that is a card? What card did

yuu pick?
Turn over the outjogged selection, revealing its face to end (Fig. 12).

figure 11

Once we have defined a character for ourselves, our mission is to embrace and express that
character. Just as an audience doesn't want the character of Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman
to start dancing like Shakira, an audience expects a performer to present a character that is, in a
basic way, true to him or herself. If this sounds like a limitation, it is the opposite, as an understanding of character opens up creative avenues that would not otherwise present themselves.
When we view a performance, we identify the character(s) presented, albeit unconsciously:
Ricky Jay is the erudite magic historian.
Lance Burton is the humble country boy with a wink in his eye.
And, in other performing arts ...
Chris Rock is the outraged black man.
Bruce Springsteen is the mouthpiece of the average Joe.
Within these characterizations are countless facets, but Bruce Springsteen probably won't start
singing about cashing royalty checks, just as Ricky Jay most likely won't walk onto a stage and
tell the audience, "1 don't get no respect." Without a doubt the greatest failing of a mediocre ma-

Proving for once and for all the power of advertising!

197
196

MORE THANADECK OF CARDS

ment. I performed Improvisation for many years with Chicago City Limits, and over the course of
two thousand shows that is not the type of improvisation I performed, taught, or was particularly
adept at. Yes, I sometimes got lucky with a word or a line, as we all do, but for the most part I
aided the illusion of wit by merely shutting up when I had nothing to say. The most common error made by a neophyte is to speak the most when he has the least to say You'll never hear more
words uttered in a row than those said by a bad impro,;ser who hasn't a thought in his head.
The kind of improvisation my group performed was unscripted character and scene work, and it
IS thiS type of improvisation that is particularly applicable to the performance of magic. This is a
book of, for the most part, close-up and parlor magic- magic that very often becomes a give and
take between the performer and members of the audience. Vl h erever there is audience involvement one fi nds a houseguest named The Unexpected . That does not equate to The Unwanted,
for it's the unexpected elements inherent in aud ience involvement that can keep an ac t fresh and
enjoyable for both the audience and performer, and often generate material that can later be in-

........ d,...

corporated into a routine.


One needs to celebrate the unexpected, and the best way to approach that is with the same skill
sets used in improvisation. First and foremost, in a magic performance, as in an imprmoised
performance, there is never an inescapable need to make a mad !Ush to the verbal. Sometimes,
when the unexpected occurs, words will be appropriate, other times not. There will be occasions
when a choice line will be offered up by one's brain, but not always, or even often. A confident
improviser doesn't necessarily require the verbal, because he has a complete understanding of
his cha rac ter. The proper response to the u nexpected is to behave as your character would behave
under those circumsta nces, with a n emotion your charac ter would respond with at that moment.
Th is is primary. The word s your character mayor may not say are of less importa nce. Improvised

_~_~.. ~ .L~ '" ,L - a:e nee:) E"a:'s pedorr.;o; WI:! a:'


--3=_ as a ~_ e.~:-ce PeT - Ie er ra'o-e a ;-orec co""",:c

_:::.~

- .,....-

~ - " - , L . e -red to rea:~.e cl al< of ourset<.-es " ;-~ woo d we


_n:-':: _~ _~ ::-" we ;:.est ex.:cl as ::e:: -Jr.;"ers 15 r.G~ a::: ~'la.::.orir.g'O ~d,j some_

_ - 7

.._ =--::us:.::-z
ed _ ;::;

..

alX _ c..:: -;:

- "'~'

to tear dov..r w:-at is

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~!ClrU"2=.ce ~re 17 S(ir=e~ ~z =,uc, more caSK ~at =",-,,,;: :::e


0; car core ~- r.ar< pa{;rrnm:;; IS
ser.JfC mdustry E..-er. [[e leas;: oripnal.,
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!"S

0] ar a-Jd ", .ce if t.;.:at a-Jd:e .ce 51rcerely behe'<es ~ at ci'e


ye":r.r.e: IS aedxated to er.tertam:.rg fr.e= w z.e :;est of;: -; or - er aDult) Tr.e JO] of perform~l;' - ;c:...-etr .:'2 tr",t b c.omrnumcated, a nd w;-,e a:- a",d.er.ce feel; tr a! tney are bemg arruaclj

scene work, at its core, is four steps:

.;:;i act car' ;;e et::.1-aced

1. Know your cha racter.


2. Pay attention to what is occurring on stage.
3. React as your character would react.

se ed ~ are apt :) enJoy the expenence. For tr 5 reaso- , t.;.e successful performer e~er trU.y
r
en ~'S rr.akmg an audIence happy or 15 good a: fa -g ~ 0 e or the other 15 a necessqr, a5 [' ;:;--

4. Verbali ze.

g earns enmlty more effiCIently than a perCffi:ed d;scialr' for the aud..en<:e

You might laugh, weep, shake your head in despair, recoil, embrace the person opposite you,
dance a jig .... None of these things have words necessarily attached to them . The emotional reac'
tion comes first, the words later. On those occasions when a witticism rolls off the tongue, make
a note in your journal with a little star next to it, but know that when improvisers and actors talk
about "being in the moment," that it doesn't mean they could say funny things quickly. It means
that their complete understanding of their character and the surrounding circumstances allowed

or.,~.ow ~:e

We have all seen performers who act as if they'd ratr:er :;Je c;orI'fwhere else, and
bate
them. In the case of magIC, what a stupid, stuptd profess-.:on go lr'to ,f one does not ev OJrrrIi
What kind of ill-advised wrong turn could occur ITA' WOO' lead a person who d ' es perro ing magic to choose, of all things, to be a ma21oar.?
'tet
15
we occa51onaliv see..
~
es
and I pity those magidans who are dead} un:-,apfry w het' perf rrm ng I, Lke tnelr aud.enc

fu~ somethm~-

leave their proximity as soon as I possIbly can..


The word "improvisation" means, to man) people. say g funny thIrgs on the spur ot the mo-

them to react appropriately. In the context of comedy, it makes funny things happen.
l

199
198

MORE THAN ADECK OF CARDS

deck can be easily held and handled keeping the folded card in
finger palm (Fig. 4).
1 dOIl't kllow wlrat YOll r card

or wirerI.' It IS, bllt 1I111


doppelganger II I tlrc fO ll rtlr d'lllell sion IS 1111/ 1Il0lcclilar
OPPOSl tC. He kllows cverlftlr /llg abollt \jOll r card tlrat 1
do 1I0t. Hc also Iras clrcst Ilmr. To opell lip a doont'n ll to
tire fOllrtl 1dll ll(, IlS/OIl, all 1Iravc to do IS tIllS.
.

THE CURIOUSLY STR()l (.


NEST OF BOXES

~Y

Altoid peppermints are sold in varioUs sized tins (Fig. 1).


utilizing both a large
and a small tin a practical and illusive version of the card-in-canister ettect IS possible. Of course, you can substitute other types/brands of tins, as man) \'anetles are

figure 4

STEP 2) Snap your fi ngers oyer the deck.

YOllr card Iras }tls t left Ollr plane of existellcc alld Clltered tire fotlrtlr dllll(, IlS/011. Sce for YOllrself- your card

available.

',as galle away.

EFFECT: A spectator-signed playing card appears fold ed inside

a small tin canister that is nested within a larger tin canister.

Have this confirmed by ribbon spreading the deck on the


table or having the deck examined b) a spectator

TO PREPARE: Fold a playing card in quarters, back side out, and

adhere It to the bottom of the small Altoid tin (Fig. 2).


Turn the small tin upside-down and place it into the larger tln,
the hinges of the small tin on the same side as the large tin
(Fig. 3). Close the larger tin and table it to the right before beginning the routine. A logical way to bring the tin into play is to place
a single Altoid mint into the large tin (there will be room). During
your show produce the tin, open it toward yourself, consume an

IS

Figurel

flgule 5

Perlraps YOII'd like proof that YOllr card Iras clltercd tire
fOllrtlr dll/l(,lIsiOlI. TillS is caslly dOlle as ['ve brollglrt a
little bit of tire fOllrtl1 dllllellsioll witll IIlC Ilcrc todal/.
STEP 3) Pick up the Altold tin with the right hand and place it

into the left hand, hinge toward you, covering the folded card
(Fig. 5). Extend the open lett hand to displa\ the box to the audi ence and to Justlfv the transfer of the box into that hand .

Altoid then close and table the container.


TO PERFORM:

Notice tllat tillS tm box IS 1I0t flat. It has Ireiglrt, brcadth


alld widtll. It's 3-D. It cxists ill till.' tlrird dimcllsioll, as

STEP 1) Have a card selected, signed, and returned to the deck.

do we. Agreed?

I'd like to show yOIl how magicians do their tricks. I know I'm
breaking the magicians' code of ethics by doing this, but I got a
parking ticket the last time I was at The Magic Castle, and those
bastards are gonna pay. All magic tricks are based on the same
simple principle: We lise the fOllrth dimension. Shuffle lip the
cards and I'll show you what J mean.
Control the card to the top, turn the deck face up and use
the Mercury Fold to fold the selection into quarters (those
unfamiliar with this sleight can find it described on page 216).

figure 2

figure 6

Open the box with the right fingers-the tin\'. box will be
seen inside (Fig. 6).
So, obviollsly, allY box foulld ills ide something from tilt'
third dilllL'ltsioll IIIust be fro III the Jourth dimellsioll.
STEP 4) The left hand holds onto the opened box as it turns

palm down, dumping the smaller box into the right hand, where
it will land face up, hinge toward you (Fig. 7). During this procedure there is a strong i11usion created of the left hand being

End with the folded selection in finger palm in the left hand. The

201

200

MORE THAN ADECK OF CARDS

A CARD AT A NUMBER
empty except for the tin it holds.

I reali:e this IS elemelltary phYSlcs- 1dOIl't //Ieall to bore YOII.


STEP 5) The nght fingertips hold the bottom of the

In Star Quality by Harry Lorayne (1986) I described a practical method for having a
selected card arrive at a freely-chosen number, using an ordinary deck. Here now

sma~l tin

are a couple of deceptive methods that utilize something extra.

as the right thumb reaches over and opens its lld, reveahng a
folded card insIde (Fig. 8).

figure B

SO//letlrillg !ras illdeed arrived.


Straddle grip the bottom of the small tin between the right first
and little finger. You will noW perform an illusive version of Han
Ping Chien: The right hand turns over and moves a bit to the left,
ostensibly to dump out the displayed folded card. As this happens, the left hand moves to the left, releasing the folded card to
the table with as little finger movement as possible (Fig. 9). If you
try thIs switch in the mirror you'll see that even though you know
you are concealing a folded card that lies under the canister, it
seems to appear from nowhere. When possible, instead of dumpmg the card to the tabletop, drop the folded card into a spectator's
cupped hands (a suggestion from Gordon Bean).

The Fifty-Fifty Deck


NEEDED: A gaffed deck. The most obvious solution to this plot is a one-way
force deck, with an indifferent cover card(s). However, the subtle use of a deck
comprised of twenty-six indifferent cards and twenty-six force cards can be put

to good effect.
TO PREPARE: Place the twenty-six indifferent cards at the face, and pencil dot the

top card of the deck (one of the duplicates).


TO PERFORM:

figure 9

STEP 1) Casually spread the deck face up, stopping before the duplicates begin. I

slowly spread the cards face up as I say...

STEP 6) The right thumb snaps the tiny tin closed. It is placed into the larger tin

Look at the cards ... now look at my eyes ... look at the cards ... now my

in "reset position" (Fig. 3, again) which is also closed, then pocketed. All attention

eyes .... Okay, you're a complete enigma.

is on the folded card.

looks none tile worse for wear, just a little Irungry, because nowadays
whell you travel from the third dimension to the fourth they no longer
serve a meal. I suppose we should make SlIre it arrived intact. That's your

It

signatllre, isn't it?


Open the card, displaying the signature to end.

This procedure creates the impression that the magician is somehow trying to get a
"read" on the spectator, and it displays many indifferent cards within a context. Cut
about twelve indifferent cards from the face to the rear of the deck. This centralizes
the twenty-six duplicates.

Some magicians can look into a person's eyes and know


the card they'll pick. I'm clearly not one of those magicians .

...
)amy Ian Swiss' excellent Card-to-Altoid-Tin routine "A Curiously Strong Card
TrickH can be found in his Another Interesting Application Of That Principle (2003).

Spread the deck in a face-down diagonal ribbon from the outer


left to the inner right of the table (Fig. 1). Have a spectator on the
right pull a card from the center of the spread, contriving to make
this happen by holding the hands over the ends of the spread
while gesturing. You are classic forcing one of twenty-six cards!

203

APPKOACtllNG MAGIC

MORE THAN ADECK OF CARDS


If a number from one to twenty-six was selected, direct that last
remark to someone on the right If the number was higher than
twenty-six, direct the number to someone on the left This IS the
reason for the diagonal spread. There is no clear startIng POInt
for a count. In addition, there is time misdirection-the cards are
spread prior to a short speech, which lessens any reSidual notion
of "top" or "bottom" By having a spectator(s) count along With

ectator should decide to reach under your hands to select


a sp
In the rare
. h even
h t thated to me ollce\ have no fear. After the card has been removed
".
a car d (It as a p p e n ) '
from the spread have it replaced into the bank of duplicates and
an Impossible" location. Finding the lone odd card amidst the duplicates will not present too

pe~'form

great a challenge.
Remove the spectator's selection from the bank of duplicates, display it, then return
it to a group of indifferent cards. False shuffle, keeping the stock .Intact. Ask another

you, you maintain control of the pacing.


figure 2

STEP

4)

Instruct the spectator to hold out one finger and slide

spectator to select a card. You will not miss this force a second time.

the card arrIved at forward .

STEP 2) Have the spectator peek at hIS selection then slide it back into the deck,
into the bank of duplicates. Gather the spread and perform some false cuts a nd l
or shuffles. Along the way, allow the indifferent face card of the deck to be seen.

H ere you ca n continue With an optiona l convincer It is an application of a principle first used by J. B. Bernat and later independently developed by Piet Forton and Wolff von Keyserlingk'

If desired, you can spread about ten cards at the face, saying:
The hands scoop up the deck, the left hand gathering the cards
that lie to the left of the counted- to card, the right hand the cards
to the right (Fig. 2). The hands allow their portions of the deck to

Now evell if you tiTink I nllgl7t know where your card lies in the pack, you
do Ilot, correct?
Hold the deck face down and spread It between the hands. Cut the deck at one
above the pencil-dotted card, bringing the twenty-six duplicates plus an indifferent
card to the top. The duplicates are now the upper twenty-six cards of the deck. Perform another diagonal spread of the deck on the table. The reason for the diagonal

square, then reverse spread the cards they hold


figure 3
The left fingers spread cards to the right from the bottom as the
right hand fingers spread cards to the left, from the top (Fig. 3).
As you execute this gentle action, which is not a secret move, you
address a remark to the spectators.

spread will soon become apparent.


STEP 3) At thiS pOint you can either continue with the spectator who chose the
card, or a different spectator. When a spouse or significant other is available, that's

I don't want to toueil the card you jllst cOllnted to.


Here comes the swindle:

who I'll generally use.

As you know, there are fifty-two cards in a deck. When I snap my fingers
I want you to call out any number between one and fifty-two.
Snap your fingers. Any number but "one" may be selected. If "one" is called out
(this may never happen), remind the spectator that you need a number between one

If you'd cOlin ted Olle l1Iore, you'd have landed onJname


figure 4

the indifferent card].


The right hand deals its top card to the table, using the rest of the
spread to flip it face up (Figs. 4 & 5), then tables its portion.

and fifty-two.

If you'd coullted Ollt' less, you'd /tallt? lallded


I think that your brain saw how I shuffled the deck and made uncol1-

scious calculations that caused you to call out that particular number.
We're going to look at the card that falls on that number. If I were to hold
the cards in my hand while counting, I might be suspected of sleight of
hand, of doing second deals and things like that. So I won't touch the
cards, I'll just point, and you can do the counting along with me!

all

[name

the indifferent card].


The left hand flips the bottommost card of those spread in the

205
204

APP~OA(MI

GMAGIC

MORE THAN ADECK OF CARDS

I )uubly "tud.
EFFECT: The same as the prevIOus, but no table is reqUired.
hand face up onto the table (Figs. 6 & 7).
NEEDED: Double stick tape .. and the sole reason it is used is to prevent the neThe right hand drops its cards onto those

III

the left hand.

cessity of a double lift at precisely the wrong moment


TO PREPARE: Place a bit of double stick tape on the center of the face and back of
a picture card (Fig. 1). It's Important to lessen the stickiness of the exposed tape,
so tap it with a finger several times. An alternative is to cover the exposed double
stick tape with an equal sized piece of removable double stick
tape. Place this treated card onto the bottom of the deck. It will
natura lly stick to the card above it, but you'll remed} thiS within

NOTE: The words "more" and "less" above may be exchanged,


depending on the direction of the counting.
Table the deck aside, face up, allowing some cards to spread

Figure 6

(Fig 8)

For tiJe first time-name your card.

th e routine.
I'll omit patter and simply describe the method, as I included two

Turn over the counted-to card to end.

script approaches above.


TO PERFORM:

Of course it IS possible to create the impression that a card was


thought of as opposed to selected. To do this the script must be
changed in order to minimize the idea that a card was ever removed from the deck, and maximize the notion of mentally se-

Figure 7

Figure 1

lecting a card:

I Ileed you to cOllcelltrate all a card, so slide one out of the deck
alld peek at it, just so you'll have a mental lmage. Great. Now
we're going to see if you and your wife make a good team. Look
illto your husband's eyes and call alit any number from one to
fifty-two. You probably kllow there are fifty-two cards in a deck.
Was there any reason you called out the Ilumber you did? Let's
count to that number... 'lOW all this time your husband has just
been thinking of a card, a card unknown to you. Before you came tOlllgiJt,
you two didn't set anything up, did you? Did your husband say "Hey
look, if a magician asks me to think of a card, here's what it'll be ..."

STEP 1) Spread the deck between the hands for a selection.


Under the cover of this procedure the left fingers separate the
treated (bottom) card from the card above It, using a cigaretterolling action-the left thumb pushes the top card of the adhered double to the right as the fingers pull to the left Square
the cards, obtaining a left little-finger break above the treated
card. The nght hand grasps the deck from above, the thumb
taking over the break (Fig. 2).

Figure B

Figure 2

STEP 2) The right first finger kicks half the deck into the left
hand, which extends for return of the selection (Fig. 3). The
right hand places its cards onto those in the left hand, the left
little finger taking over the thumb break, above the treated card.
The right hand cuts small groups of cards to the table, eventually cutting at the break, then returns to take the remainder of
the cards in the left hand and drops them on all.
Position check: The top card of the deck is the treated card, fol-

You get the idea-it becomes a different sort of trick.

lowed by the selection.

207
206

A~PROACHING

MAGIC

MORE THAN ADECK OF CARDS

SATAN'S SANDWICH
EFFECT: A signed, freel y-selected card appears between two tabled Jokers. The

magician is not near the Jokers when this happens.


I am not particularly enamored of card magic's Sandwich plot-and there are many,
many existing solutions. That said, some versions have visual or hands-off elements
that make for good magic. This method is not impromptu, but it delivers an eerie
effect.
NEEDED: A deck of cards, a permanent marker, Scotch tape, a length of invisible
STEP 3) Ask for a number from one to fifty-two. If "one" is se-

thread .

lected, turn over the top two adhered cards as one. If "two" is
selected, spread the top two cards, breaking the adhesion, and
turn over the single second card. For any other number, count
the cards by cleanly spreading them from the left hand into the
rIght, taking each counted card under the card before it. This
leaves the treated card and the selection on the top.

TO PREPARE: Remove the two Jokers from the deck and flex them so that their

curve when face up matches the curve of the deck when it's face down. Tape one
end of an approximately two and a half foot length of invisible thread to the back
of a Joker, on the center of its right edge (Fig. 1). Secure the other end of the thread
to the underside (non-thumb notch side) of the card case, at the center of its left
edge (Fig. 2).

NOTE: The top two cards, if adhered, can be counted as one

card. If not adhered they can be counted as two-it makes no

THE SETUP: Place the cased deck, minus the Jokers, into the

difference whatsoever.

right pants or jacket pocket. Hold the threaded Joker face down
and place it onto the ungimmicked Joker. Place both into the left
shirt or jacket pocket. The Jokers can face inward or outwardit makes no difference. The marker is kept anywhere handy on

When you arrive at the named number, deal it on top of the right hand
cards (Fig. 4) as you slowly place the nght hand's cards onto those in the left, allowing a\l to square. Under cover of a gesture, press on the top of the deck, assuring adhesion. The reason you are using double-stick tape is for this moment-to

STEP

4)

the left.
This simple set-up is durable-one can perform the effect
repeatedly in restaurant or walk-around situations. I've driv-

avoid a double turnover.


STEP 5) The left thumb pushes over the top three cards-automatIc, as they are

stuck together. In a continuing action, the right hand picks up the triple and turns
it so that you can look at its face (Fig. 5-audience view). This hides its thickness.
Address a remark to the audience, then turn the face of the triple card toward the
audience, displaying the selection. Drop the triple face up onto the deck, again
masking its thickness.
NOTE: If you wish to double-stick a double-backer as opposed to a picture card,

you can follow up by breaking the adhesion below the selection, revealing a card
back where one would logically be and ending with a clean selection.

figure 1

en to gigs already hooked up.


TO PERFORM:
STEP 1) Remove the cards from the box and drop the box back

onto the table, to the right. Drop the box so it is thumb-notch


side up, flap toward the audience. A spectator can now shuffle
the deck and effects can be performed, as the deck is clean.
STEP 2) When you are ready to perform "Satan's Sandwich,"

209
208

APPROA(~ING

MORE THAN ADECK OF CARDS

MAGIC

We'll get back to your card in a minute. Maybe you


notlced J put the Jokers over here. I didn't want you to
acciden tally pick one of them. That would have ruined
everything. You see, over time I've started to believe that
the Jokers are truly that-living breathing troublemakers who can't be trusted. I also believe in Sasquatch.

remove the two Jokers from the pocket. Casually display thelr
faces, then table them face down to the left, the taped Joker on
top, thread running to the right. It's importan t that the card case
and Jokers are kept a distance apart, as you want to create an
lmage of a segregated performlng area. [ sometimes place the
Joke rs aside a trick or two pnor to performing "Satan's Sandwich " Set the premlse

SOllletlllles ['III asked if, being a lIIaglcian, ['III ever fooled by


lIIagic. Well sllre I all/, In fact, what /'111 about to SIIOW you.. .I

Figure 3

figure 7

still Cnll't figure the darll/lcd UHlig alit.


I do not menti on the Jokers at th is POIllt.
STEP

3)

Have a card selected by a spectator on the n ght, th en

square the deck Illto the left hand

not gOlllg to try and find yOllr card. In fact, you can turn It
over so we all can see it. Is that card okay, or would you like to
exchange It for another? Fin e, now 111 order to create scienllfic
test cOlldltions for this little expenlllellt, please sign or illitial

['lJI

Figure 4

figure 8

the double card (Fig. 9).

I realize that nothing amazing has happe/led yet. Some

your card.
While reachlllg for the marker, the left hand drops to the side as
you reverse the top card of the deck against the left leg, a very old
and equally effective stratagem used III other effects in this book
(Figs. 3 & 4-exposed). Hand the spectator the marker, and have
him sign the face of the selection. Take the selection from the
spectator. Raise the left hand, keeping the deck necktied so the
reversed card atop the deck is not seen . You will place the selection face up onto the reversed card atop the deck as you blow on
the ink to dry it. As the selection is placed onto the deck (Fig. 5)
the hand can turn palm up, drsplaying the face of the selection .
With proper timing, the secretly reversed card is not seen .

With the nght hand, turn the tabled Jokers over end for end and
place them face up onto the deck in the left hand. The right hand
comes from above, grasps the Jokers plus the card above the
break, and starts to move the three cards to the right After the
cards have been sidejogged about an inch, the left thumb holds
back the top Joker as the right hand conti nues to the right, carryi ng away the rema ining Joker with a face down card, the selection, hidden below it (Fig. 8). The right ha nd places its double card
onto the Joker atop the deck, but fur ther sidejogged to the right
about th ree quarters of an inch . Table the three cards to the left
(supposed ly just two face- up Joke rs), takin g care not to spread
the top double ca rd . The reason you flexed the Jokers as you d id
du ri ng the preparation is to lllsure that there will be no flaring of

of you might be wonderiJlg if and whell tlzat will ever


happen . Well , I call tell you. It happeJls when you S/lap
your fingers three times. Don't do it now! Wait for your
we.
STEP 5) Return attention to the card atop the card box. Glance
at it and miscall it (or pretend to read the spectator's signature)
Figure 5

figure 9

then insert it into the deck of cards in the left hand . Leave it protruding from the
front of the deck about an inch, and insert the deck into the card box.

Okay, the [name the card]. We'll put eperytlli/lg i/l tile tamper-proof
box, and let's Pllsl1 it tile rest of tile way ill.

So far, this is kind of classic stuff but we haven't got to tlte part

Push the protruding card Hush, or let the spectator do it, then close the case.

that bugs me yet.


I'd like el>eryone to note that this box is /lot composed of ordinary cardboard-it Ilas been sealed with an air-cushion finish.

STEP 41 Comment on the signature, then perform a double turn over and deal the top face down card (supposedly the selection)
onto the card box (Figs. 6 & 7).

Figure 6

211
210

MORE THAN ADECK OF CARDS

(nol inside with the deck), and secure the package with a rubber band.
_

._

:,~;a, r~ 1001- at the Jokers one last time before

:....~.~ 15 an effect where just one thing occurs,


h "b f ".
_ ~-,. ___~,_ --~e J.udience understands t e e ore 1D
~ __ . gre::ra.:i! -~.e aiter: I look at the Jokers and say...
-

~~_ : bv !}II~m. TIus is your 11I0/1ll'l1t. Bril1g


~ rn,; - -: inches over till' card case al1d sl1ap
~ t!=zf ;'""'" ~ -buz1iing in rolume, tempo al1d elllO-

Figule 10

;cnat arfZT<_c.6;.

~. ::0=- ~

Some magicians have commented that watching the card magically move looks
amazing, and could be part of the effect. Gordon Bean suggested having one person watch the Jokers while everyone else watches the spectator perform the snapping procedure, so an audible reaction will direct the audience's attention back to
the tabled Jokers. I like to perform the effect with the most disturbing simplicity:
They saw the Jokers with nothing between them, they look away for a second, and
when they look back a card has appeared.

Jle nght as you ask a spectator to help


~
: ~ 50 ~;at you are partially facing the Jokers,
-e ~~ce ,; ;""acing away from them. If possible, see to
t- _ == _ ,rE t:= -0'5<' .0 the Jokers for the simple reason that
~. _, .... ~_ collusIon suspected. Continue moving to the
","","" ~=~ _-;: ti"a~ i~'5 important for the "test conditions." The
;u;.e..er . : ~ ;'0. yet understand what you mean by that-but
E
_~ ",-ct" wIl. _~ vou move to the right, let your peripheral vi- o;a: ",;,en the top
. Joker slides to the right, exposing the face
~ _ card beneath it. With practice, and an understanding of
-e le-tigm of your thread, you can time this so it occurs as the spectator is snap~ .Z;'!5 fingers. The top card just has to move an inch or so (Fig. 10).
-:!lot' [0

STEP 7) Direct the audience's attention back to the tabled Jokers, which are a

dIStance away, now with a face-down card between them . ThiS seems uniquely
impossible.

Look, tllere's a card betweel1 the Jokers! Those scamps! Those incorrigible
ragamuffins!

FigUie 11

SANITIZED FOR
YOUR DECEPTION
Jonathan Levit is one of the staples ofThe Magic Castle, featured In both the Closeup Gallery and Parlour of Prestidigitation. His performances are notable for the
screams of laughter he produces and the murderously high impact of the magic he
presents. I asked Jonathan if he would consider allowing one of his pet routines
to appear in this book and he graciously agreed. The plot of this effect is simply
Card to Impossible Location, but the routine is much more than that. This piece is
that rare thing-a stand-up trick that can be successfully performed for a group of
twelve of twelve hundred, one that requires nothing in the way of expensive props
yet delivers many minutes of entertainment capped by a deeply baffling event.

Cleanly turn over the face-down card (or let the spectator do it), revealing the signed
selection (Fig. 11).

And look, it's your card-that's the part that still fools me!
TO RESET: Place the selection back into the deck (or give it away as a souvenir).

Continue to do card effects with the Jokers tabled to the left, and when ready to
leave, openly replace the props as per the set-up.

EFFECT: After a humorous demonstration of magical forensics, a selected card


appears inside the package of a moist towelette.
NEEDED: A medium to large-sized glass bow\, a case that can contain the bow\,
a deck of cards, a Sharpie marker, an X-acto knife, a large paper clip or banker's
clip, a pane of glass or clear plastic (approximately 8" x 10"), a roll of paper towels,
a quantity of moist towelettes.

When not performing, do not un-tape anything. Wrap the thread around the attached Joker, cover it with the remaining Joker, place both Jokers onto the card box
213

212

MORE THAN ADECK OF CARDS

DId she do it?


The audience will respond, lettmg you know that she kissed the card.

TO PREPARE: You must alter a towelette package in such a

manner that you can easily slip a folded card into it. Use the Xacto knife to cut a slit at the top of the package, on one side only
(Fig. 1). Remove the towelette and slightly open the package.
Due to the metallic nature of the packaging, it will remam open
(Fig. 2). Use the paper clip to attach the open package to outside
of your case, on the side opposite the hinge, out of sight of the
audience (Fig. 3).

Awesome! Did she leave a mark?


If confirmation arrives that she left a visible lipstICk mark, move on with the routine.
If not, have her add a written mark with the Sharpie, adding:
Figure 1

It's best to apply black tape to the edges the pane of glass or plastic. This gives the glass a finished look and covers its sharp edges

The important point is that YOli have left your DNA sIgnature on the
card. DNA, as we know from these shows is often inVIsible, bllt still
there. JlISt a little tip to SOllie of YOli out there. Please take tlllS pen and
initial the comer of the card so we can identify it later, but, again, we
know your DNA is all the card.

(Fig. 4).

STEP 2) Have the card replaced into the deck. Control it to the top then flip the
deck face up in the left hand. You will now perform two secret actions during a

THE SET-UP:

The bowl of towelettes is placed Into the case along with the roll
of paper towels and the pane of glass. The table upon which the
case rests should be set center, slightly upstage (behind the performer). Place the deck of cards and marker into a pocket.

gesture and an offbeat:

Figure 2

1. You will glimpse the selection.


2. You will fold the selection into quarters.
Gesture to the audience with the left hand.

TO PERFORM:

My job is to track down YOllr card lIsing YOllr DNA evidence.

STEP 1) Estabhsh the premise:

I love to watch TV, especially those CST investigation shows. Do

As you gesture, bring the face-up deck to eye level. Dunng thiS motion the left first
finger contacts the outer right corner of the rear card of the deck and applies mward
pressure. This "bubbles" the outer left corner of the rear card, the selection, allow-

YOli watch those shows? Have you noticed that it always comes
dowll to the DNA? They find DNA everywhere, but mostly on
toothbrllshes. I thOlight, as a magician, wouldn't it be cool to

ing you to glimpse its index (Fig. 5).

solve a mystery usmg DNA?


Figure 3
Select a female spectator to assist you, keeping in mind that lipstick is a big plus. Position her so that she stands to your right.
You should stand slightly left of center-the table is between you.
Produce the deck of cards and spread them for a selection.

I believe I call do this, Mary, if YOll ... KTSS ME!

Turn toward Mary with outstretched arms, as if waiting for her


to approach . She will have one of two possible reactions, she will
either hesitate or quickly give in and approach. If she is tentative, give her a gentle head nod to indicate that she should come
closer-the audience will usually lend some encouragement as
well. In any event, when she comes toward you take a step back

Mary (or whomever), please choose a card and then mark it


with your DNA. You can use any DNA you like, but I'd suggest a kiss. So, please plant some good DNA on the front of that

as if you are surprised.

card.
1bm your back as she follows your instructions.

Figure 4

215
214

MORE THAN ADECK OF CARDS

APPROACtllNG MAGIC

Reach into the case and bring out the bowl of towelettes.
. r. 't?'
WIlDa' Really? YOll were really gomg;or I .,

ThIS will invoke a reactIon from the audience. This is perfect cover to perform a Mercury Fold of the chosen card under the deck.
In brief: The right hand holds the face-up deck from above, deep
Into the crotch of the thumb. The left hand comes under the deck,
the side of the first finger contacting the outer end of the rear
card, the selectIon (Fig. 6). The left hand slides inward, folding
the selection In ha lf (Fig. 7). In a continui ng ac tion the left hand
presses the ca rd aga inst the left thumb, folding it into quarter.s
(Fig 8). The left hand adjusts the roughly-folded card so that It
is fl at aga inst the rea r of the deck and presses it to sharpen the
creases (Fig. 9). Take the deck and the hidden folded card with

Please pick a Wet-nap, any Wet-nap [substitute the


n ame of you r local moist towelette provider].
Allow them to change their mind if they desIre. This is important
as you will ask this agaIn just prior to the denouement, clarifying
the fairness of the procedure:
figure 6

figure 10

WO llid you like to change your mind, or are you happy


with the Wet-nap you have just chosen?
If they change their mind, say:

You changed your mind? They're just Wet-naps.

the right hand.

STEP 4) Take the towelette from the spectator as you h and her th e bowl. O pen the

As /lJl/e" as I would like this to happen, I realize that this is a


cril/le scene, and it's important we not cOlltaminate the area with

towelette and proceed to clean the glass with it.

By the way, this is how tlley clean the scene on those investIgation shows.

otller DNA.
figure 7
Step 3) You are about to open the case and reach into it, so it is
Important to justi fy your actions prior to the moment when your

Th ey use Wet-naps. Really.


Once done, place the used towelette into the case and remove the roll of paper towels. Hold the roll toward Mary, indicating that she should tear off a sheet. "Vhen she
does this, immediately start wiping off both sides of the glass with the entire roll,
leaving the assistant with the sheet of paper towel in addition to the bowl of towelettes. Ignore the resultin g laugh and stay committed to cleaning the glass. This

hands are briefly out of sight.

1 brought tile perfect solution with me ....


The right hand drops the deck into the case then loads the folded
selection into the open towelette package (Fig. 10) as the left hand
picks up the pane of glass and displays it to the audience. The lid

will generate a bigger laugh.

of the case should remain open .


figure 8
NOTE: The folded card will not fit entirely inside the package,
but that is completely covered by the handling to come.

Put the roll back into the case and close the lid. Place the pane of glass under your
arm, then take the bowl and towel from Mary. Set the bowl of towelettes on top of
the case and dab your forehead with the sheet of towel. Fold the paper towel and
stuff it into your front jacket pocket in the manner of a fine silk handkerchief.

Okny, Mary, please kiss mc ... through the glnss.

For the protection of the scene, kiss me through the glass.

Holding the glass toward the audience, press it against your lips before turning to
Mary. This moderately horrific image will create a laugh from the audience. Pivot
your body to face Mary and gesture to her to approach and kiss the glass. Once she

Begin to approach the glass with your lips, then pull back as you

say:

docs so, pull away and hold up the glass.

We should probably clean this first, as we don't want to introduce


foreign matter into the scene.
figure 9

217
216

MORE THAN ADECK OF CARDS

APPROACt\ING MAGIC

WOLlld YOLl like to change your mind, or are you happy


with the Wet-nap you've chosen?
Awesome! That's fnlltnsticl

Allow her to switch towelettes. Place the bowl back down on your
case and drop the right hand, with the loaded towelette, to your
side. Take back the chosen Wet-nap with your left hand.

Show the kiss mark to an audience member and say:

YOLI call see her DNA, right?

STEP 6) You are going to perform a Shuttle Pass: The left hand

pulls the towelette it holds into finger-palm position (Fig. 14).


Hold the glass up to the light.

Figure 11

Yep, I cnll see it.


Bring Mary in closer to show them their Imprint.

Cnn yOIl see tile card in the DNA? You can see here, in the right
quadrant of tile lower lip, you cnll see that tire cnrd is a black card
[or red-name the color of the glimpsed card]. And, here,
in the lower left qlladrant, YOIl can see it is n Spade [name the
suit]. And tile IIpper lip always shows liS the value. If you look
close, YOll can see that it is a King [nnllle tile vallie]. YOII see it,
right? The King of Spades. Is tllat YOllr card?

Mary picked a card and planted her DNA all tllat card.
She then picked one Wet-nap ...
The hands come together. The left hand turns palm down over
the right hand, which turns palm up. The left hand's towelette is
finger-palmed as the right hand's loaded towelette IS brought into
view, the hand rising. Figures 15-17 show the switch from the
audience's view. The portion of the card that protrudes from the
package is concealed by the right fingers. Of course, do not look
at your hands as the SWitch is made.

Figure 12

Look to the audience, and ask:

The King of Spades? Magic with DNAI


STEP 5) Accept your applause, then turn to Mary.

Mary, YOII've been so great, I want to offer you a parting gift.


Step slightly behind the case as the left hand places the pane of
glass onto the table, to the left of the bowl. Steal the loaded towelette with your right hand (the slit should remain on the outside,
near the base of the fingers) and in a continuing action pick up
the bowl with both hands as in Figures 11 & 12. The loaded towelette is pressed against the side of the bowl and is camouflaged
by the towelettes that remain within (Fig. 13).

Figure 13

Please, pick your very own Wet-nap.

Once she takes a Wet-nap, again offer the opportunity for her to
switch one Wet-nap for another.

Fpl1
Figure 14

219
218

., .out of all of these ...


The left hand goes to the bowl and graspS a handful of towelettes,
then releases them, allowing the palmed towelette to fall and coalesce with the others In the bowl (Fig. 18-20) .

.. .nnd plnced Iler DNA on the Wet-nnp. Whnt's interesting is


that she picked the only Wet-nnp ... with n card inside!

Figure 18

Rip open the Wet-nap along the eXIsting slit by turning the left
hand palm up, revealing the card that has been hidden behind
your fingers (Figs. 21 & 22_audience vIew). Extend the package
to Mary and have her open the folded card, then take it and dispia)' Its face to the audience.

Does It have your DNA signature? It does! Give her a hand!


Mnry, you hnve some pretty al1lnzlIlg DNA ... but I bet you henr
thnt a lot.

Figure 19

Hand the marked card to Mary and lead the applause as she returns to her seat.

a conversation with

Figure 20

Armando Lucero

~--_\

FigUle 22

220

ACONVERSATION

WITH ARMANDO LUCERO

The magical artists [ most admire combine technical mastery with a deep understanding of the
steps necessary to proVide an audience with the sensation of magic. A man who typifies these
qualities is Armando Lucero. His performance skills are exceptional, but equally Impressive is
the manner in which he presents his effects, leading the audience down a devious pathway of his
own carefu l design, structured to delIver ultimate impact.
He works with a variety of Items, but has become Justly famous for his version of the Coin Assembly, or "MatrIx." His multi-phase, esca lating routine leaves an audience's jaws hanging. This
well-traveled plot that is stuck in the middle of the average close-up magician's set concludes
Armando's act, and does so spectacularly. In his words:
"1 started with the most basic of routines, then eliminated all things unnecessa ry and refined
what was left. In the original routine, the coins vanished from underneath cards, one at a time,
then ended up together. Simple, powerful, and seemingly complete. This raises the question, why
fix something that isn't broken? I never believed in that adage. Though to say 'fix' is a bit harsh
and not quite accurate, especially with a well-established routine known by many as 'Matrix.' I
prefer to think in terms of evolution. There are models of truth that we tend to adhere to, until
something profound challenges the model, and the model is destroyed, altered, or elaborated
upon . Often, we want to cling to the old models because they are so familiar and comfortable to
us, so change is not an easy thing. I hope to never become so dogmatic in my wa) that I can no
longer see an opportunity to learn and grow. As Bruce Lee, said 'Be like water' Water will change
and adapt to its environment. It is yielding but powerful."
Armando and 1 had a conversation about his approach to magiC .

...
Why do some people do thil1gs teclll1ically as well as ot/lers, but receive a different response from the

audience?
ARMANDO: 1 think it comes from the individual, it's intrinsic. The way I usually describe it is

that everybody is unique. They can't help but be that. They are their own person, so every action they make is coming out of a part of them. That's why one person can do a double lift and
another person can do a double lift, but it comes off differently when they perform, because
it's infused with their personality, whatever it is they have. Some people have a stronger personality than others. Obviously, when we're kids, we're not as developed as when we're older,

~PPROAC~I~G

MAGIC

ACONVERSATION WITH ARMANDO LUCERO

----

Do YO llllave al1 approacll 10 deliverillg an effect 10 all alldlence and givll1g Ihem tile sensallOn of mag
. d'ff

t Some people arc more dIfferent than others- some people are very

but everybo d y IS I eren .

. if "~,ff. t"
are renow ned (or yo ur Coin Asselllbly "MatriX" is a plot IIIat, III ils
01/ tile sllbJect
you oif l1Iost 11wgicians
J'
.
r. 0 . u~Jeren,
tl
ertol're
bllt when yOIl do It, 115' differellt.
YOII close YOllr
/1/051 basIC Jor/n, IS III Ie rep
. .
.
act
with "Coin Mel/agene," and nollllllg cOllld follOW ,/I. Clearly, pari of ti,e
111 5 dlfferenl IS yOllr

odd .

tec/nllqlle, bllt do you think that's all tllere is to II?

~ow nwcI., of YOI; rOil I

trlbllte to the techniques employed, and how I/HI Ch

IS

re~son

lIle 5

ic?
It's a multitudc of things. 13aslcally, thc way I approach a PICCC of magiC, cspcClally c1osc -up
magIc, IS first by Icarnlng WIth my hands, thcn undcrstandIng It WIth my mInd, and finally tryIng
to givc it somcthing from my hcart. That's Just a basic way of approaching it

Wilen yOIl say "lInderslal1d II Wi llI your mil1d," wllal does tITat lIIean to YOll?

effecllveness do YOII al-

somethll1g else.

I think a lot of young magIcians miss thi s part-It's more a holistic approach. ll's all. of It put
together. The finIshed piece IS more than the parts of It. When I worked out the routIne,
I
ple
the opportunIty and the privilege of workIng not for magicianS, but for regular peo.
who Just
wanted to see the magiC After years and years of performing verSIons of the routIne for these
people, getting their opinions and observing their reactions, even theIr eye movements, I was
able to go back and refine every thIn g. And there was a lot of refining. Over and over: lIttle touch es, until eventually I came up with a bit of knowledge, a psychology of why somethIng worked.

~ad

MagiCIans often work toward a goal with magIc crowds, especially at magiC conventions, through
no fault of their own, but structure follows function. They are functioning at a magic convention,
so unfortunately or fortunately, they are going to create magIc that is something for magicians.
Until they go and test it in the real world it's going to be hard to break that. That's why I said I had
the privilege and opportunity to perform for regular people. 1t's IrOnIChow many people come up
to me and say, "That's great, but does it work in the real world?"

l mean understandIng wily it works, why something IS foohng somebody Jumping into thclr
perspectIve, t rying to become the audIence for a whIlc, tryIng to see what they ~ec, trying to
understand thcir point of view. Some people, like mcntallsts, want peoplc to believe that what
they're doing is real. That's why a lot of mentalIsts don't want to be secn as dOIng "trIcks," per se,
because they want thClr audience to think they're dOIng edgy, real stuff I have nothIng against
that approach, but that's not my approach .
I prefer, for many reasons, approachIng magiC In a way where I assume pcople arc as intelligent
as I am about thIS stuff. They understand, basic<llly, that I'm using sleight of hand, I'm using
methods. They may not know how I'm doing It, but they <lre aware that I'm doing it. I prefer this
because I feel that when somebody tri es to pretend that something is real when I know It's not,
they are insulting my intelligence. I can't do it to someone else, because I wouldn't want It done
to me.

It's stral1ge. TYPically, a magician is perfortlllllg III a verlll' where tl/c aud,ellce klloll's thai tlley are beII1g enterlallled, and Illey are cOlllplicll in the agrcel1lellt that, ycs, we kllow till S is a performallce, alld

now tlwt Ihat is l//1derstood let's go 011 a little Jo/m/cy togetller


When that was the birthplace of it!
That's where it all started.

Some people assume my Cups & Balls routme, With the little plastic cups at the beginning and end, was
designed for magicians, but it was the opposite-it came from trying to make the plot more meaningful to a lay audience. An audience is a focus group. They act as a barometer, and it's a free service. But
the key word you said was "observe." Needless to say, a person could perform for laypeople a thollsand
times and never see any benefit if he paid no attention to how they responded.
That's true. In fact, some of the words I like to use are: "Learn how to learn ." I think that's ap
propriate. We constantly have to remain open to what people are doing, thinking, and sayIng to
us. That becomes something of a tool for us.

That's It I prefer the cha llenge of tellIng an audIence, "I'm doing mere tricks. " and by the lime
I'm finIshed, I get them to doubt I thInk it's morc re!>pectful to their intelligence. Also, I think
that in most magIc shows, especially in thc casc of illusionists, wc have a hard time closing the
doors of possibIlitIes. With close-up we can take a routine and usc multiple m('thods in the
course of thrce seconds, but on st<lge it's a whole different anim<ll.
SometImes I'll go to a stage shoW and watch the audience- a person wi\lll'an over <lnd tell his
friend "I think I know how he did that ... " Then he'll explain some kind of a method that may be
plausible, although it might not be correct. What bothers me is that if they have that notion, did
the magic h<lve enough impact?

ACONVERSATION WITH ARMANDO LUCERO

---------------

------------ ---

' t f ther I want to remove that pos!,-bl e 5OIution The". 'latnx"


ndd ta:e
beyond
1(,hal'enge mvselfI tl> n an
I ur and
, leave the audience In a pwce where they had nothmg

~y,

"
was, for me, a too to try a g o '
'I:(t, nowhere to go. Eventuall} they
"Okay, I have no theones.

Well, anything co~cre:e in,the mind is not "wonder," the magical experience, 50 the minute that guy
knew a way you d Idn t do It, he knew somethmg concrete, something that was afact, and that took some
of the wonder away.
That's absolutely true

You also mentioned working from a place in your heart. What does that mean to you?
You wm
I thml: that's the most magtcal (')(penence that I can gi... e them. That's as close as I can get From
a theoretical point of VIeW, there are two methods [of 5tructurel that are popular'
t remove poJ5sibihtlCS until there IS only one left, and that one remainmg possibility IS
nelS 0
d"
htt
u fI
obviOUS so that's no good The other popular method is to camo age or IsgUise w a I IS you
O
are domg amongst many other possibilities, and that's not good either. becau<;e they know the
answer IS someWhere there So 1 started thinking about a different approach Why not miXboth
the methods? I like to take an audience metaphorically down a hallway, and there are doors,
doors to rooms that contain different possibihtles.

Different potentwl solutions.

here~

I qay, "Hey group, come


Look at thiS door. ." And 1 have to educate them, because they
don't know how to look, and I want to make sure everyone sees it. I'm ,>ort of saying "Hey man,
look here, look under the bed, look under the couch, look in the closet-did you check everything?" Then I close the door, nail it shut. Then 1 take them down the hallway and close more
doors,. but I don't close a\l the doors, and there's a reason for that

~ow,

Th(.'fe was a time I was doing the assembly and a guy said, "But can I sign the coin?"
it
had always seemed wrong to have somebody sign It, but I'd never done it before so 1 said, "Sure,
go ahead, sign the coin." I did the tnck, and it got a really big reactIOn because I took up the
challenge and I seemed to succeed, but afterward he said somethmg really Important He said,

Smcerity is a very powerful tool. 1 feel often a performer plays a role as an actor, and puts on a
mask to play the role of a magician. They have an alter-ego. In real life they might be a shy, quiet
individual, and then all of a sudden when they get up on stage they have this per50na that's very
powerful, and it's like "Where the hell did that come from?" It works, and they get rewarded for
it, so they continue to make that mask stronger each time they perform. But it's not "them" that
they're working on, and that part always bothered me.
When 1 look at people who have an emotJOnal impact upon other individuals that is long-lasting,
I've often found that it's not the people who wear the masks that achieve this, it's the people who
are completely naked in front of their audience, who are very sincere. They are the most powerful, and I think it's because they develop themselves, rather than develop the mask So I've taken
it upon myself to work on myself. That's a little riskier, because you're up there revealing yourself
rather than the actor, so when they pick on you, they're really picking on you

What you're saymg about the power of Sincerity is something that stand-up comedians have often found
is true. They might, for example, have an act where they abuse everyone in the audIence, but at the end
they'll become themselves and essentially say, "Ill the past hour I've been doing my best to entertam
you ... " and they are forgiven. Jean Giraudoux said, "The secret of success IS sincerit\(. Once 1{ou can
fake that you've got It made,"

It has to be real It can't be fake unless you're a good actor, because I've found that eventually
performers will get caught, and if you get caught-then you're hated. When 1 hear people tell

"That's amazing, but noW I know how you don't do it."

stories that aren't true, but bring the audience in emotionally, 1 think it's a risk.

That's a fascinating statement. It took some of the magic away.

How do you know when a beat in a routine IS right, and, conversely, hall' do you knoll' lI'hen something

Yeah! And I said "Never again," If you remove a\l the doors, it's Just too impossible-it's one of
those discrepancies you have to Jive with. It's good for them to vacillate back and forth , To con-

needs improvement?

tinually ponder, over and over, is a vicious cycle and a good place for them to be.

It's always the audience. I take my signals from the audience because they are the goal. 111 give
you an example: I noticed that when I did the assembly people were suspicious, and I didn't
understand why, I thought I did everything perfectly. Nobody was catching the technique, but

227

ACONVERSATION

with some people lhelr condilioning is so powerful that they proJecl an image m lhelr mmd of
that pen going into the hand, even though the pen Isn't lhere, and it really.. .just. .disappears. I
tell them, "So I don'l create the magic-you do." And they go, "Ohhhhhh." So while they are
being entertained they arc reali zing, "Hey, this IS not stupid stuff, thiS IS intelligent stuff"

\
.
.'
'1
t ally realized that it came down to a few moments. 1 had been
.
.
people
I hadu been turning over both cards at the same time,
somethmg
. were still SUSpICIOUS.
. kl even
. d too quIC .,y. was the perfect thing to do. What better magic can you do than
dOlllg everythmg
that,
to my
. has Jomed
.
'
.
h mllld as
d a magician,
th n turn them over and show that one COln
the other
com ?.

It remi/lds me of Jerry A/ld/'lls-Ire has a fantastic beglllillng to his act. He talks to the alldlence for a

Just set t e car sown, e


WelL I learned that it doesn't work.

1llOI/Ient abollt perception ... tllCn reveals that there are no lenses in ti,e glasses Ire's been wearingfor the
past millllte, a/ld tire deck of cards he's holding IS actllally a solid block of plastic. Your introdllction IS
very can ny, becallse YOII're esse/ltially telling people "Dol1't worry, YOII're not fai/lllg if I fool you. All it
does is prove how i/ltelligent YOIl are." That COl1lpletely takes the sting out of being fooled.

I slowed it down and broke it up into more steps. I added a couple of pauses. I removed a card to
show that a coin had vanished, paused, then I removed the other card to show that the coin had
1 I:ad
appeared there. A much better reaction. People were not suspicious any more.
been thinking too much like a magician . I was thinking that they cou ld handle the mformatlOn

Bas~cally,

That is absolutely the truth. Some people have a hard time believing that, but [ tell them, "Look,
you need to have th e capacity to follow what I'm doing in order for me to create these illusions for

the way I do, but it was information overload.

glad yOll said tlmt, becallse YOll know what I think can be the most confusing trick in magiC? A coptransposition! Only two objects, but unless one takes pains to clarify thil1gs, the audience cal1'!

per/~i1ver

I'IIl

Iialldle it. "Wlrat's where?" And if they don't know, there's

110

WITH ARMANDO LUCERO

you. It doesn't work on somebody who doesn't have that capacity."


It there SIlCIr a tllil1g as a bad audience?

effect.

In the beginning I used to blame audiences, because of my own immaturit) at that time I do
think that there are bad audiences, but I believe I blamed the audiences more often than they
deserved. When we approach an audience we have to understand what the\ 're about

I understand what you're saying. There are a lot of great effects out there that would work if we
only had the chance to repeat them, or slow them down, or at least break them down into more
steps. I know when I first starting doing "Matrix" it was at its most basic and it just didn't seem to
hit the way I wanted it to. This is no offense to AI Schneider, but doing it one time didn't seem to
be enough, because it seemed like people were going, "I'm not sure I saw what I saw-coU Id you
do it again?" That's when I realized the power of repetition and using multiple methods.

I worked at Balboa Park in San Diego as a street performer many yea rs ago, when I was a teenager. From there I went to Vemce Beach and performed on the street, to a completely different
crowd. We're comparing a respectful crowd that appreciates art in Balboa Park, to a crowd at
Venice Beach where every other word is a cuss word and they're all holding up beer cans. Believe
it or not, the advice I was given from another one of the street performers there was, "Hey man,
they don't understand It, you're going to have to dumb it down" I know that sounds like an insult, but there's somethmg in there that's important-I had to learn to understand my audience,

How do you get rid of the adversarial relationship that some spectators bring to magic?
What I've learned is, education is absolutely necessary because without it there is no appreciation. They don't know how to appreciate something they don't understand . We live in a place
where we don't have what musicians have, a conditioned response from individuals, because of
the education that people have been given about music. We don't have that with magiC. The art
world has museums where they can hang their art. We don't have close-up museums where we
can hang our art. We are sort of lost, and because of that we are not as appreciated, even when
people are staring at something wonderful. But I can change that when I give them a little bit of
education, which is part of the art, too; because it's got to be part of the entertainment.

because every audience is different.


I'll give you another example: I was trying out different versions of a card trick I'd always wanted
to do, a time travel effect. None of them seemed to have the impact 1 wanted. But then 1 did the
same effect for a group of MIT graduates, and they all got it. So 1 realized that 1 had to make sure
that the people who were about to watch a particular piece of magic were ready to watch it. I had
to gear it toward them.

1 tell the audience, "I'm not going to reveal any secrets, but I'm going to give you an idea of some
of the tools that we use." I'll take a pen and do the trick where is supposedly vanishes, but I leave
it behind my ear. They react, then I point to my ear, they see the pen and they "get it." I tell them
it's just a bit of psychology, and what is really interesting-and this is absolutely true-is that
------

---

APPROACrll GMAGIC

I like hearlllg you say that, becallse you are recognized as bei/1g at the top of YOllr field, yet you realize

that tIllS is a servIce industry. The job IS to commullicate, and part of cO/ll/Jw/1icatioll is knowing who it
is that YOIl are cOI//llIIl/1icatil1g with.
That IS the key of what an artIst IS: communication. The definition of an artist, for me, centers on
the process of communication It is not the finished product, it is the process of getting there that
allows the communicatIon to happen How does one become recognIzed as an artist? It is when
a person starts communicatIng things that seem impossible for others to communicate. MagIc is
no dIfferent. Magic is nght up there with all the other arts. It's sad that it's not as respected as a
Van Gogh painting, but I really do recognize it as such. Van Gogh or Rembrandt. .. they succeed
because they have taken something they have looked at, or something from within themselves,
and they were able to communicate their vision of It so strongly that It reaches that realm of being
magic, because people don't know how to explain it. That's when it becomes art.
When there are no words anymore to describe something, when it leaves a person with that feeling of awe, that indescribable feeling that can't be put in words and all they can say is, "Wow,"
that for me is the pinnacle of high art. It's sort of like love. I defy anyone to define it, but everybody recognizes it.

230

MENTALISM

MENTALISM

WINDOW REPLACEMENT
EFFECT: The magician demonstrates to the audience the opacity of a business

card by \Hitmg on It and placing It first into a small envelope, then into a larger
envelope. The audience can handle the envelopes-they cannot read the writing.
With these test conditions understood, a member of the audience writes a thought
on the back of the business card. The spectator holds the envelope up to his head,
and the mentahst divines the thought.

Tn this effect, I've tried to incorporate my current goals relating to establishing complete conviction in the minds of the audience prior to an effect taking place. The
method used is a switch, exchanging an examined object for an unexamined object,
but the switch incorporates a convincer, "proving" that nothing has changed. This
is a fun method, and although it might require a trip to a store, the necessary materials will cost a fraction of the expense of a "peek wallet," and the items im'olved
appear far more ordmary
NEEDED: Two small opaque envelopes, just large enough to hold a business card,
one larger envelope (I use a 6" x 9" manila envelope); double stick tape, a "'riting
implement.
NOTE: It's important that writing cannot be seen on the busmess card when the

card is turned over. For this reason you will either need a business card that is
printed on thick stock, or you will need to write with a pencil or mk that does not
sho\', through the paper. The same is true with the envelopes. It is difficult to obtain opaque envelopes that are made from a suitably thick stock off the shelves of
office supply stores, but most stores offer a catalog from which specialty supplies
can be purchased.
TO PREPARE: Cut a square window on the non-nap side of one of the small enve-

lopes, in the center. The window should be about an inch and a


half square (Fig. 1). An easy way to do this is to insert a piece of
cardboard into the envelope, then cut the square with an X-acto
knife or a utility blade. The placement of the window should be
such that any writing in the center of a business card is visible
when the card is inserted into the envelope.

233

MENTALISM

APPROACn\ GMAGIC

Let l1le sir ow you what r mean. See what I've drawn? It's not a Circle, it's
a target, a place where r can foClls a tlrought. In fact, think of this circle as
l1ly Iread, and alI my thoughts are inside It. It looks like you're not quite
On the reverse of a business card, in the center, using the same
writing implement you will use when performing the effect, draw
a circle. Underneath the circle, write the word "Me" (Fig. 2). HoldIng the gaffed envelope \Nindow-side down, insert the face-down
business card. If you tum the envelope O\'er, you should be able to
see the circle through the window (Fig. 3). Turn the gaffed envelope window-side down and insert It into the larger e~velope so
that it rests horizontally across the bottom-see FIg. 4 10 whICh a

buying this. Here, I'II make it easier...


Write the word "Me" under the circle. This business card should now closely match
the one that was pre-loaded in the gaffed envelope (Fig. 6).
STEP 2) Turn the business card writing side down.

Now I want you to notice that when the card is turned


over, any thought that miglrt be in my head cannot be
seen, correct? And if I put the card into this envelope,
the writing cannot be seen though it. Here, have a look.

dotted line represents the gaffed envelope


Place a piece of double-stick tape into the larger envelope, on the
non-flap side, just above the spot where the gaffed envelope rests.
Remove some of the stickiness from the exposed portion of the
tape by touching it repeatedly. Other adhesives can be used, such

Do as you say, slipping the business card, writing side down, into
the envelope. Hand the envelope out for examination.

as Blu-Tak or removable double-stick tape.


Place a quantity of business cards tnto the ungaffed small envelope, then place this envelope into the large envelope, above the
double-stick tape Insert the pen into the envelope, using it to
hold the smaller envelope in place All the necessary materials are
in a compact packet. Figure 5, an X-ray view, shows the position

And if we put the elmelope mto a bigger one, we create


what are known as "test conditions."
figure 3

figure 6
Pick up the large envelope and bow it open, allowing the spectators to see partially down into the envelope-the pre-loaded
envelope will remain hidden (Fig. 7-audience view). This casuaL

of the envelopes and the tape.

open handling creates a sensation of emptiness.

TO PERFORM:
STEP 1) Place the materials on the table while introducing the

theme of the effect.

People are always asking me if it's possible for someone to read


another person's mind. Well, r get hung up on the phrase "reading a person's mind." No, r don't think a mind can be read like
a book, but if a person focuses on a thought, often, just as in life,
those feelings, that thought, can be perceived by others.

figure 4

figure 7

Take the small envelope back from the spectator and insert it
lengthwise, flap first into the large envelope, seeing to It that it
goes under the horizontal gaffed envelope (Fig. 8). The reason for
inserting the envelope flap first is simply to keep the flap from
interfering with the switch that "ill take place in a moment. If
there is a clip on your large em'elope, you can secure it. Hand the
envelope to a spectator, at the same time pressing the large envelope so that the un-gaffed envelope adheres to the tape.

Here, take a look .. .it's impossible to see through it.


Remove the pen from the envelope. Holding the envelope from
the bottom, retaining the gaffed envelope in place via pressure,
tip out the un-gaffed envelope. Remove the business cards from
the envelope and place one blank-side up on the center of the
table-the rest are placed aside. Draw a circle on the center of the

STEP 3) The demonstration of the conditions is complete. Take

the large envelope back and open it, holding it by its sides, parallel to the table. Shake out the contents. The only envelope that
can fall free is the gaffed one, which will slide out of the larger

cani

235

MENTALISM

ADFKUACHI. GMAGIC

Remember, test cOl1ditions ...


Holding the gaffed envelope in the left hand, lift it to your lips,
licking the flap and sealing it. During this process the left fingers
cover the window (Fig ll-audience view). This is an effective
subtlety. After the envelope is sealed, toss it gaffed side down to
the table. Do not get a glimpse at this point. You want to motivate
a look at thc envelope. It's that motivation that will completely

affed side down (Fig. 9). Place the large envelope asidc,
h t bl e, g
.
.d
envelope onto tea
to the right, and immediately open the gaffed envelope, keeptng th.C gaff:d Sl c
toward the table Remove the pre-loaded card and turn it over, dlsplaymg the
"Me" card already seen (actually a duplicate, Fig. 10). This is the convmcer
nothing has changed. Even as a performer, when I turn over this card I I nsttnCtively feel that everything is status quo, though I know that a switch has taken

~hat

mask the glimpse.

place. Leave the gaffed envelope in front of you on the table.

figure 11

But we don't want to target aile of my though ts, we wal1t to target one of

Hmm .. .I'm getting something, but it's hazy. Either you


have to concentrate harder or we have to call the cable
guy. Here, PLit this up to your forehead.

I/our tlrougllts.
Place the "Me" card aside. Take a second business card, turn it over, and draw a
circle In the center. Under the circle write the word "You ."

One ha nd picks up the gaffed envelope as the other plCks up the


larger envelope. Place the gaffed envelope inside the large envelope, and as this is done look directly at the window cut in the
gaffed envelope (Fig. 12). This is the work of an instant, so pausing is unnecessary. Seal the large envelope and hand it to the

Tills is your Ilead. It's not to scale.


Add some hair, ears, etc., to the picture. It will still be faceless and odd, so this will
generate a laugh .

figure 12

spectator.

I'm going to tum away. Wilen J do, put a thought in your head. Write a
word, a 1lI//Ilber, maybe even draw a little shape or design in the center of
your head, where you can foClls the thollght. When you're done,
put the card 011 the table with your writing face down, so I cal1't

Let your thought grow. See it ill the center of your mind,
then see it travelling over into my mind. Here, I'll see if J
can catclz it ...

see what you've written.

Take the "Me" card, still on the table, and, with effort, act as if you are procuring a
thought from the spectator. Tipping the card toward yourself, write the "thought"
in the circle, then turn the card writing side down and slide It to the middle of the

Turn away, and as you do so, rest your hand/arm on the gaffed
envelope. This should be done in an unstudied manner, and isn't
strictly necessary, but it prevents any possibility of a spectator
picking up the envelope.
STEP

4)

table.

figure 9

Make sure the writing is hidden before turning back

around.

Okay, have you done that? Is the card on the table? No one can
see your writing now, correct? [Turn back} Fine, you're focusing
on a thought, and your eyes are already starting to betray you!

or close, match, depending on your desires.

Pick up the card and slip it into the envelope, keeping the gaffed
side toWard the table, and looking up at the spectator as much as

possible.

Take back the large envelope. At this point, you have two choices. If the spectator
wrote something concrete, such as a number, simple shape or a name, ask him what
his thought was, then have him turn over the "Me" card to reveal the same thought.
If, however, the spectator drew an abstract shape, it's best to open the envelopes
and remove the spectator's card (it's a simple matter to keep the gaff hidden). Show
the spectator's drawing, then have him turn over the "Me" card, revealing an exact,

Tizanks for thinking of me. I enjoyed thinking of you.


figure 10

237

MENTALISM
tators, as the boxes appear identical from both sides. Figure 2
shows a box with the paper inserted, the number hidden on the
bottom. Figure 3 is what you would see if the box were turned
over. Stack the boxes so that they are in 3-1-2 order from the top

----I

THINKING AI-IEAI)

down . Place the dry erase marker in a handy spot.


TO PERFORM:

ThIS IS the first of a few tricks in this chapter that utilizes the one-ahead principle, a
principle that often involves secretly moving Written information from one known
location to another Here we secretly change the identities of the locations.

STEP 1) Establish the premise:

figure 2

\
\
\

EFFECT: As three questions are asked of the audience, three predictions are placed

into numbered plastiC boxes, whIch are isolated in a cloth sack to keep them free
from tampering. A spectator is given the sack to hold, and opens the numbered
boxes to reveal that the predictions are correct.
NEEDED: Three plastiC boxes of the type used to store baseball cards, paper, a
cloth sack (1 use one from an old Cups & Balls set), a black dry-erase marker, a

black permanent marker, a deck of cards, a large pad (optional).


NOTE: Clear trading card snap-lid boxes are available in many places, such as
comic book stores, sports shops, etc. They are also easy to find online. I prefer to
use slIm boxes, designed to hold ten or fifteen cards. The effect can be performed
wIth opaque boxes as well, but they are harder to find. Of course, you can spray
paint clear boxes in order to render them opaque. If you elect to do this, be sure
to open the boxes and spray the inside, as opposed to the outside. This way, the

fIgure 3

\
\

Turn to Spectator #1.

desired slIck surface of the boxes will not be affected.


You will need to test the dry-erase marker on the plastiC boxes. Draw a line on a
plastic box, then wipe it off. It should instantly vanish. In some cases, the writing
will not dIsappear-that means you need to try a different brand of marker. I found
that most dry-erase markers work just fine, but as formulations change, you may
need to experiment. The dry-erase marker should be altered so that it no longer
reads "Dry-Erase." An easy way to do this is to paste a label from a permanent
marker onto the dry-erase marker (Fig. 1). If desired, the body of the marker can be

I
\

1 need each of you to think of wildly different things. I'll be honest Wltl,
you, it makes this easier for me. I'd like you to think of a denomination of
a coin, and to make that a present, vital thought in your mind, I'd like you
to hold that coin in your hand. Do you have coins with YOII? If not, I'll
give you a bag of different coins and you can pick the one you'd like. I'll
tum around, and wilen 1 do, close YOllr hand around your chosen coin.
[Turn around] Do you have one? Good. [Turn back] Even though you
can't see the coin now, visualize it inside your hand. I'm not getting it.
I! might help if YOIl imagined using the coin to help pay Jor something, a
specific object.

sprayed black.
TO PREPARE: Using the permanent black marker, draw a "1" on
the center of one box, a "2" on the center of another, and a "3"
on the center of the final box. Cut the paper you will be using so
that when folded in half, it fits easily into the box, but fills most
of its interior. I use paper approximately 3 JA" x 4 1,4." Turn the
boxes so that the permanent number is on the bottom half. This
bottom half will later be mistaken for the top half by the spec-

You've all seen performers attempt to "read the


thoughts" of people ill the audience. Well, as you probably know, what you are seeing is one of two tlungs. It's
either some trick, or he's just making wild guesses until
he hits sometlling that's right. We've all seen that "talk
to the dead" guy on TV lance saw him tell a woman
her first initial after twenty-five guesses. Well, today
I'm going to establish test conditions for what I'll be
attempting, so you'll know it's not a craz:IJ trick, and
I'll tell you right off the bat that I won't be reading your
mind, just your face, your posture, and your minute involuntary responses. Kind of like being on a date.

Take the top plastiC box, the one with a hidden "3" on the underside, and place it
into the left hand. Take care not to flash the number already written. Open the box
and remove the piece of paper. Close the box, but don't snap the lid shut. Open the
paper and place it onto the box. Remove the dry erase marker and uncap it as you
scrutinize the spectator.

figure I

239

238

MENTALISM
\

------------

-------

Note that portions of the box ca n be seen (Pig. 4- aud ience vicw)
Write the name of a card you wJlI1ater force on the tlwd specta
tor Fold the paper, place It into the box, and 5nap the box shut.

rill

locklllg

1111/

predictlOli

III

a box.

TillS

IIIC/c wlrntevel 1/0II 'rl' I/SlI1g III yOllr Ilalld Have YOll dOlle tirnt? \Turn
bilck\ Okay, COIlCi!lItrate all tire letters. JI/st tilose three. 111I1/1I1I1. ..look at
IIll' alld //lake 110 facial cilallgl's. /I, B, C, 0, [, r, G .. yes .. ..
After reCiting the alphabet, take the second box of the stack, the one secretly marked
" I" underneath, and place It mto the left hand As before, remove the piece of paper
and lay it opened on the partIally
box Write down the coin selected by the
first spectator, in thIS case "DIme," ami under It wnte what was purchased, "TV."
lose the box, draw "2" on it, and dIsplay It to the audIence. PIck up the sack <It its
outer edge (Pig. 6) and I\1sert the box mto the bag so that it goes on top of the box
alread, there, the dry crase writmg against the fabm . As you pl<lce the sack back
on the table, casually turn it so that the lust <ldded box is at the bottom . Make no

\
\

WIll be "PredictlOli

clo~ed

Nlllllber Olle."

Draw a "1" on the box usmg the same dry erase marker you used
to write m the paper Due to the fact that white paper IS behmd
the writing, It WIll show up very well Displav the box to the audl

effOit to WIpe off the marker <ltthls pornt.

ence, making sure they do not sec the box's bottom.

All riglll, please tell tire alldlellcc til(' Illree letters YOll w('/'e tlllllklllg of,

Alld to keep anyolle frail I talllper/lig witll tile call tents, cspecrnlly
IIIe,

it goes illto tile bag.

Place the box Into the bag, at the same time rubbing the "1"
agamst the Inside of the bag, instantly erasing It (Fig. 5-audl
ence view).

figure 4

rill COII/l1l1tted.

Now lrold lip ti,e COII1 YOll were tillnkll1g of, so


everl/o Cnll see If. A dlllIC, one tentil of a dollar. And YOll IIsed
lle
It to pllrclwse ... wlwt? A blg-screel1 TV? Good deal

and ret 11m till! Itelll to !f0llr wallet.


If pOSSIble note the t,pc of Item that WilS used It could be a bill or il particul<lr credit

card Write "#2" on the pad, under the first spectator's inform<ltion, and beside it

WrIte the three letters

Turn to Spectator #3. i\t thIS point you need to force <l
card rn the fairest pOSSIble manner If you do not know <l good
force, usc a one way forcrng deck WIth a block of IndIfferent
cards at the face Try not to feel whorishyllu WIll fool people

STEP

3)

badly with thlsl

If you are using a large pad m this presentation, now is the tIme
to write "#1" at the top, and next to it the words "Ten Cents." The
pad should be placed upright on an easel or wherever It can be
eaSIly viewed. Note: It's important to remember that you have
ostensibly predicted what is being saId, so you must never act

For YOII, we'll lise pial/lllg cards, /Jilt dOIl't look at tile
card yOIl take, lIot yet Jllst lrap tile card face dOWII betw('en I/Ollrl/ollds. Yes, }lIslllke tilal.

Sllrprised by what you hear.

Place the remainder of the deck into thl' case.

STEP 2) Turn to Spectator #2.

I'm goillg to 111m away IIOW. Wile II I do, pt't'k al your


Cllrd, tilell cOPt'r it up agaill. Rt'ady? lTurn around}
Go! NOl(l COPt'r il up! Is it CtJtlt'Ted? lTurn back} You
1101.'1' all image of alit' card alld alit' card only, yes? Con-

I need you to take anything out of your wallet that has a row of

letters on it, anything at all. I'll turn around. [Do sol When YO/l
have something, I'll need you to concentrate on any three letters.
They can be at the beginning of a word, in the middle, or at the
end. So long as they appear in sequence.

Ct'nlrate.
Pick up the final box and set the paper on top as before.

Of course the above is nonsense, yet it adds an odd veracity.


figule S

APPROACHINE MAGIC

MENTALISM

I
I

\
guess what he'd spend it on? Yes! Thank you all for givil1g me a p,ece of

yOllr l1lind!

f'/Hltavillg trollble. fll st tltink of the vallie.

\
Write Spectator #2's Information on the paper, perhaps it's "STE."
llike to Write one incorrect letter, then cross it out and write the

II

correct one

Okay, /lOWCO/lCelltrnte all the sllit.

\
I

STEP 4) You are now In position to erase two numbers in an instant Hold the bag proper with the right hand as the left hand
pulls the drawstrings closed . As the left hand pulls the strings,
the right fingers and thumb rub the sides of the bag, erasing
numbers off the top and bottom boxes simultaneously (Fig. 7).

\,

YOII're thinking of

hidden due to the black art principle.

upward

Here-you take charge of the predictioJ1s. Don't let me into that bag 110
matter Itow I may plead. For the first time, tel/me the J1ame of tlte card

mance.
Some may have noticed that, as a subtlety when the lighting is right, the clear boxes
may be emptied, opened, and placed on a black mat, the secret numbers remaining

If possible, write something about the item Spectator #2 used under the number, such as "Am Ex" or "$100 Bill." Fold the paper
and place it into the box. Write a "3" on the box's lid, display it to
the audience, then place the box into the bag on top of the other
two predictions in such a way that the dry erase writing faces

Hand the bag to a spectator.

desired, the boxes can be pre-set w ith erasable numbers draw n on them before
show time. That way, one ca n use a regular, permanent marker dunng the perfo r-

[f

Figure 7

__-----\~__-M-E-.D-ICI-N-A-L-~-~-L-~-E--~-----This effect, a comical demonstration of precognitIOn, will not take much space to
describe. That said, it possesses a quality that other tricks often lack: it is an effect
the spectator can and will describe to others. This is best performed informally for
one or two people as the climax involves words that are read by a spectator, not a
desirable situation in a formal performing arena.
NEEDED: An engraved tag, a neck chain, a deck of cards.

Write "#3" on the pad, and beside it the name of the card. Re-cap the choices made.
Turn to the spectator who is holding the bag,
I don't want to touch anything. Let's work ollr way back. Take out predIC-

tion number three. What does it say?


The prediction of the card will be correct.

And now the letters-open prediction number two. I crossed out a letter.
I almost missed, but I pulled it out at the last second!
The letters will be correct.

A couple of years ago, while at a large pet store with my wife, 1 saw a vending machme that engraved pet tags while you watched. For about twelve dollars, one could
purchase the "deluxe" model, a classy-looking silver tag that could be engraved
with the message of one's choice. The message I chose was "Allergic to the Four of Clubs" (Fig. 1). You know where this is going.
I went home, found an old silver chain, and 1 was in business.

TO PREPARE: Wear the tag under your shirt, so the tag cannot
be seen. Alternately, you can wear the tag over the shirt, with
the engraved side against the body.

And how about the first prediction-the prediction of a coin. Did I get
the amount correct? All right, there aren't that many coins, but did I

243

MEN1ALlSM

APPROACHING MAGIC

Look at this card, remember it, and put it back in the deck wherever you'd

like.

STEP 2) Obviously the spectator can shuffle the cards if desired. I like to pocket

STEP 1) Produce the deck of cards If the Four of Clubs is not yet

in positIon to be forced, spread through the deck face up as you


talk about mInd reading, and cut the Four to top or bottom, as

the deck as soon as possible, to get rid of the physical props and better sell the idea
that I'm reading a mind . The entire effect is presentation and a little acting. You
know the card, and you will use that knowledge to guess the wrong card:

TO PERFORM:

required

If It's all right with you, I'd like to try and read yOllr mind. And
to keep /lie frO/II revealing allY tiling too personal, I'll have

Figure 2

YOll

cOllcellt rate on a playillg card.

Shuffle the deck, keeping the force card in position. Everyone has
hIS or her favorite forces. To be complete, \'11 describe an extremely clever force I often use, created by Trevor LeWIS. The force ca rd

Really?
Clear your throat as if something is caught in it.

You're right, the face didn't belong to a King. It was more feminine, correct? Like a Queen?

Figure 3

where the spectator tells you to stop.


Once stopped, the left thumb holds the deck open (Fig. 2). The
right hand graspS the deck from above, the first finger immediately kicking the cards above the thumb to the left (Fig. 3). The
kicked cards are taken by the left hand (Fig. 4), and, in a smooth
continuing action, the right hand places the remaining cards onto
the packet in the left hand, injogged for half their length. The
right second fingertip contacts the top card of the bottom portion
(the force card) as the right hand moves forward, out jogging the
"free" selection (Fig. 5). Allow the spectator to remove the card, or
pivot the card from the deck (Fig. 6) and hand it to the spectator.

The spectator will say "no."

must be on top of the deck.


Hold the deck in the left hand . Tell the spectator to say stop as you
nffle down the deck with your thumb. This is the same procedure
as a nffle force, but there is no secret break, and you actually stop

All right, you're thinking of one card. One card out of fifty-two. See the
image in your mind. Pretend you're sending me that image, a pzcture of
the card is moving from your mind into mine ... I'm seeing a face. It's not
your face, it's the face of royalty. I'm seeing a King. Like your card?

Aga in, the spectator will tell you that you are barking up the wrong tree.

Not a Queen?
Clear your throat again, louder.

Is it a picture card at all?


The spectator will shake his head.
Figure 4

Cough a tiny bit. Close your throat as you continue to speak, giving your voice a
pi nched quality.

I didn't think so. I'm going by process of elimination, I meant to tell you

that.
Cough a bit more. Now when you speak, do it in a harsh whisper as if it is growing
progressively more difficult.

figure 6

245

APP~OA(I

ING MAGIC

MENTALISM

Sel' hg. I. Thl' "nedJiL' btl c'~ ,\tc' .. il11l''' tlw ~1t\1\ c,\t,lh',\td
btl\c'" th,1t 11l'~ktll'-; ,1(c' 1'1,1,,'d mtC) \\Iwn I'lIlch,\"c'd tl<1111 ,\,,1< Ic'
The .. a\cs{11,1t1 ,1t I,K\'\ Itlt)kl'd ,1t nw tunn) \\ Iwn I t' 1'1,\llWd \1\\'

No I've known what YOllr card is all along [clear your throat]. I (lias
jll:t pulling your challl [cough again, and hit your chest]. 1. ..1. ..

need ... thl'n l'onCl)lIed ,1 prtl"L' \\ L' kit \\ ..\~ It',\-;tln,lblt-

TO PR EP RE: l'I.Kl' tIll' btl\L's t1\1 tl1\' t.lble- In t\\c l ~t,ll' k .. \It I\\C',
at le,1st -;1\ melw ... bet\\el'n the ... t,ld;.. I.llk tlw ltd \It till' b"tl<ll11
bo\ l)1 the lelt hand .. t,K\..- .1l'l'I1l'i1 dot in til\' l"\Hlll'l" 1\\11""
fme 11th' to sl'l the IL'lt st,Kk lIt bll c'S in "tll't'n" 1'''!'<itIlHl, th,ll
is, \\ Ith the con'ls pl.1l"ed bl'lw.1th the btl c ... ,I I Illld It \1\,11..""

Point to your throat as you appear in distress, and wave the spectator to come closer Remove the necklace or simpl) pull it out/turn it over so that the spectator can
read the message.
flQUIe I

Read It to evenJone ...

for smoothel handing

The spectator will read: "Allergic to the Four of Clubs."


\Vorkll1g from the top d()\ln, placL' ont' sock lrol11 l',1lh I',lit inl" tl1<' !'<t,I"\.; "I bp\,'"

Clear your throat as if to finally rid yourself of your malady.

Was tllat it? Tile Four of Cl/lbs? Great-it almost killed me, but at least

on the nghl. The" I" (uppermost) bt l\ \\ III wn t"tn ont' 'ooc\.; Il lnll 111<' 11111ll,tlP,lil
The ne\t bo\ down, the "2" bo\. con t,lIns onL' ,1thletll "'llck. Ill" ";V' c"nt,lill!'< PIll'
multi colored sock, bo\ "4" holds a SpIdel man .. oc"-. ,lnd Ilw 11)\\'l'IIllII!'<1 b" ,till' "5"

you were eJ1tertained ....

box, cont;)ins o ne Scaob, DOll soc" Wh.ltl'\ CI 'Pl'Cllll

'Ill'''~ I<llll'nd til' 1'1 III III ing.

th e pOint IS to st;)rt with "norma l' SllC"S, ,1nd \\,Ilr" IIIUI \\,l\ tn .. illll'l !'<Illks
The nve ret11<lllltng socks from thl' pall .. all' picKed mtn tlw -;Illk ell ,1\\ l'!.

WILL THE SOCKS MATCH?!

1---1
-

TO PERFORM:
STEP 1) E&tablish the premisl'.

Larry Becker's "Will the Cards Match?," based on the work of Howard Adams,
appeared in Apocalypse in 1987. I've been performing versions that trick since that
time. In my explorations of the eHect, one of my goals was to see if I could come up
with a way to use the principle on the platform or stage. I've met that goal thanks to
an item that everyone in the world matches-up on a day-to-day basis: Socks.
NEEDED: Five pairs of clearly diHerent socks, ten necktie boxes, a sock drawer.

I procured most everything I needed from a trip to the mall. The socks I use for
this effect will differ from the ones you find. The point is to make them clearly distinguishable, so they can be instantly recognized and possibly provide a source of
humor. Mine are:

A pair of formal dress socks


A pair of white athletic socks
A pair of multi-colored socks with toes
A pair of Spiderman Socks
A pair of Scooby-Doo Socks

I dOIl 'llIlenll to iJl'lllg IlIl' roo II I d!l1('II , /Jilt

/ollSII 1I10lllillg, I tllillk


It's till' killd of tllIIlg yO/l CllII all rc/ate to. I got III' lit jOllrll.IIl., /t'lIdll to
work tll(, lalld, becallse, of CO Im;l', II 's Illmlest sellSOIl /'Ill' I'CIOIll 7/'lls I'lt(/1
black alld I started gettlllg dressed /II ti,e dark, heellllse tile !I'iji' 1/'lls stIll
asleep, alld sill' doesll't likl' Imgllt IIgllt, , ,or s/lIIs/"'II'" .01' 101/ I I'I'llllled
IIItO till' sock drawl'/' arlit fislled a/'OlIIId JilT aliI! tl1'O socks tllllt w,'/'(' tile
sallie color, becallse God klw!/Is 1/011 timl't lI'lIIIt /0 s/Ilr/ IIllillS till' fidd~
/II socks tllat dOlI't IIIatell. Well, 1111 IIOllr IIIIIt a IIl1lf Itller 11(,IIS slill tllt're
ill till' dark, lookillg jilr two IIIlItcllillg soch, IIIIt! Iwm,' /0 tilt' n'lIliZ/lliml
tlmt perllaps I was IWt IIsillg my limt' tifeetitldy. TIII'II i/ otcurrcd Itl m,',
I S/lOlIldll't be doillS til is job III all. Malcllill,11 socks i~ a job for a l's ycl,ic,
So I figured, lIey, /'m paformillg a w",'k al Til,' Magic Castle, what a
pafed opporlullily 1,1 se,' if I cOllld filld someone in the audience who
11OsSl'ssed this valllable quality. Yes, /'m looking to find a Psychic Sock
Sdeclor. To find sllch an individual, it was necessary to devise a ttst, and
111111111

I brollght Illal tesl here with me today.

247

MENTALISM

--

- -

- --

Figure 4
Figure 3

Place the black sock in the top open box of the stack on the left (Fig. 3). Close the
box and lay it to the right of the stack. This is the reason you need at least six inches
between the two stacks.
Remove the white sock.

All aNlletic sock for my daily workouts. You didn't tlzink all tllis [indicate your body] came wit/lOut a price, did YOll?
::r bo.h of us!

Place the white sock in the next open box of the stack on the left (Fig. 01). Close the
box and lay it on top of the box just tabled.
Remove the colorful sock with toes.

IX

? Thanks. Ignore that maga::.ine at the bottom.


11t1J underwear. Let's take a look at my socks,

TlIis nllll/ber is sometlzing 1 picked lip for my honeymoon .


... or ...

My tosie sock. Let's not judge.


A dlfMY block fOcIcjor bus'Iness meetings
. or a night
. out on the town.

249

ApPROACH.NC MAG'~

MENTALISM

marked box, and cut the stack, bnngmg that box to the top. The boxes are back in
th ei r proper order (a reverse order from the boxes sti ll tabled).
Place the toe sock in the next open box (Fig. 5). Close the box and

Do .'1011 know tl1e order of tile socks ill any of the boxes? No? excellent.
We're now going to pair lip tllese boxes IISillg a procedllre approved by
Tile Center for Psycllic Studies of o like University, Undergarmellt DIvision, but first we need tiuee 11101'1' stalwart 1I1diVldilais to act as a CO II' -

add it to the pile on the left.


Remove the Spiderman sock.

All, my Spiderman sock ... [hold for a laugh, then, without


smiling] Oh please. I do not consider til is a cartoon character.
ThiS IS a symbolic statement of mail's ability to trill mph over

mittee ...
Bring three more members of the aud ience onto the stage, learning each of their
names and thanking them for bemg of aid in the experiment Arrange them m a

adversity.

hori zontal line facing the audience, stage right.

Place the Spiderman sock in the next open box (Fig. 6). Close the
box and add it to the growing pile.

STEP 4) Address the audience.

Remove the Scoob)- Doo sock. Act like an excited toddler.

I think we're ready to begil1 our little test. We have John ,

And tillS one's Scooby Doo!


Place the Scooby Doo sock in the last open box. Close the box and
place it atop the pile.
If you have followed the directions, the socks will now be stacked
in the boxes in reverse order, the exact position necessary for Adams' principle to work.
STEP

3)

Take the sock drawer from John and place it aside. In-

dicate the boxes.

We have jllSt placed a sock into each of these boxes. Have you
wondered what's in the other boxes? That's right-each one contains a sock that matches one from my collection. This is where
your psychic powers are going to be put to the test.
Pick up the just-stacked boxes. The marked lid will now be in top.
If desired, perform a Charlier shuffle with your socks. In brief:
The stack of five boxes is cradled in the left hand/arm. Push over
a number of boxes (one or more, the exact number doesn't matter) from the top of the stack and take them with the right hand.
Now push over a number of boxes from the bottom of the stack
with the left hand and take them on top of the right hand's boxes.
Place the box(es) that remain to the bottom of the right hand's
stack Repeat this procedure, then spread the stack, sighting the

Figure 5

Psychic
Sock Selector, three audience members, and ten boxes that will determ/lle
0111' fate. Yes, there's aile question on everyone's 111111d nght 11OW, and It's
this: Will the socks IIwtCil? To answer that question, we're going to spell
that question, movillg a box for each letter of every word. Bllt I'm not going to determine whicll boxes are moved. John-you are. Tell 1111', where
0111'

shollid I start Ilere or there?


Point to the stacks as you speak. It doesn't matter which stack John mdlcates, the
trick will work. Pick up the appropriate stack

I'm going to spell the word "Will," the first word ill the qllestlon tllat IS
on everyone's mind. J'II movl! one box from the top to tile bottom 1I'itll
every letter, but as 1 do tilis, at any time .'1011 call call alit "S1I'itcil!" and
I'll move to the other pile of boxes and cOlltilllll!. It's III your hands. Hae
we go ... w. ..I ... L. .. L.
Slowly and fairly do as you say, movmg a box from the top to the bottom of the
stack. If the spectator calls out "Switch!," put down the stack of boxes you are working with, and continue spelling the word with the other stack of boxes. When the
word is completed, place the stack of boxes you are holding back down onto the
table. Lift off the two top boxes, one from each stack.

Here's where we elided up.

251

250

ADPROA(rll~G

MAGIC

MENTALISM

Comment on the selection, then place PhIl's sock on his right shoulder, toss the
.
hh d
to the volunteer on the far right of the hori zontal
HoldIng a box In eac an , cross

empty box aside, and give hIm the remaining box to hold .
Return to the tabled boxes.

roW

Mary, opell aile of these boxes.


After a box is opened, comment on the sock Mar) ended up with . You wIll not know
which
it will be, but whIchever It is, the remaining box wIll conta11l the match
for it, thanks to Adams' principle. Drape the sock over t-lary's right shoulder and

~ock

toss the empty box aside. Give Mary the rema11ling bo:-- to hold

Okay, dOIl't peek. We'll get back to YOIl

/11

a IIlIllIlIe.

Repeat the procedure. This time there will be two boxes in each pile. When you are
done spelling the word "match," take the top box from each pile and give them to
John .

remInd hIm that It IS an optIon'

call say "Switc/II" lI'IIclll'I'CI' YOllll mllt , willie 1'111

111

till'

IIlIddle of spelllllg a word-It's lip to YOII.

John, here are SOllie socks for YOll ... opell aile of tile boxes.
Again, comment on the appropriate or comIcally inappropriate sock. Place John's
sock on his right shoulder, toss the empty box aside, and give him the remainmg

STEP 5) Retu rn to the tabled bo:--es

"WiII tlll'socks IIIntcll?" Wl' spe//l'd tI,C word "Will," 1l0W


spC/ltlll' WOld "Tilt'. JOIIII, wilen' do I stnrt, here or tlICrc?

That isn't true, but it seems so.

Jolll1 , wllere do 1 start, here 01' tllere?

NOTE: John mayor may not have said "Switch!" during the first count. 1f not,

Rl'IIICIII/ll'l, 1/011

Okay, tile last word, "Match ." There's ollly two boxes ill each pile, so YOIl
call clearly see, every tillle YOIl say "Switch!" it clwl1ges the olltcome.

box to hold. Pick up the two remaining boxes.


It'S

till Ie to

Jolin, YOllr psychically call trolled decisiolls left me with til esc two boxes.
Let's see what I got ....

Repeat the spelling/switching procedure. This time there will be four boxes in each
pile When you are done spelling the word "The, take the top box from each pile

Comment on the remaining sock, and place It on your right shoulder. Toss the emp-

and cross to the ne:--t volunteer in your hOrizontal ro\\.

ty box aside.

Harry. kt's sec what you t'mlt'd up wit/I. Opell 0111' of these boxes ...
Again, comment on the appropriate or comIcally inappropriate sock. Place Harry's
sock on his right shoulder, toss the empty bo:-- aside, and gi\'e him the remainmg
bo to hold. Go back to the tabled boxes.

We spelled MTht," noUl it's tim!' to spell tile word "Socks." Jolll1, lIere or
thrt?

Repeat the spelling/switching procedure. This time there will be three boxes in each
pile. When you are done spelling Socks," take the top boxes and cross to the next

STEP 6) Recap the events.

Let's review what's takell place. Five pairs of tasteflll desigller socks were
sepamted and mixed, thell Johll utilized the mental powers hc's famous
for to see if he could bring them back together. Speakillg for myself, I'm
bU/'l1illg with Cllriosity. Get ready to opell your boxes. When I say your
l1ame, reacil into YOllr box witll YOllr left lIand and 1I0id tile sock you find
higll hI tile air.
The reason you draped a sock over each participant's shoulder is so that is it clearly
on display to the audience, and all matches will be immediately apparent.

wlunteer in the row.

WMt did you gd? Opm one of the boxes ...

253

MI NIAll

IIJI'IHI(JI(M

111"'1/ I/P" 1',111 /III' 1,/", k /p/I""I 11",,11,1'1 11,111 II' l/p,1I IIPI fl'l '"
,I',' II ,_" """,/"//,,, '1/ 1/(111 I/"d " I 'lI,f'I// Ipp, ,,'lf/'lI If/(' 1'111

b ill' I) 1 11111 11""1 Ih' 11/11111/1'"

" 11,,,/,1,' 1'111/ 1/1'" /II'i 'I' /I/(' 'IIIi"iI/,/,' 'IPI k ,p"f, 111(", IIl1d ", /I".
1'11\ , ,/, f'''' fn I ",,,1 .. /(1/'" II',' If S""'" 11''/11 1/ d",,/I/, /1'1 '" fl/llh
"/'''" PI k N( 11 \ \, ' ,1'1 dill ,Ii /1'1 1/1/ 1'1' 1/ ,p/llid IIf (/II/'/I/II/,
/1,,11,1/ 11" .... " ",/,11,1 ,,,III/p/,,, IIii' /"1/,1111 "~II' k "l'il'l/(I"

/ fll/II

1/

""" II/IIr'GIIII,~Ir' , 111111/11/1'11' 1/1111

1'111111 III" 1,,111" II, IIllh' III 1111 ",,' "1"

till 111111 ,111111 '"Y 'H ili" 1111"'1,"1".1 I'


11111 1111111"11, III Ih, 111 .1 '"111,1, III III

,I ".I,~"I ,I"I III '\' I' Ii

\ 11,( I f 111'111 1/1111

litl, ,'llb'II,lllllllg 1111'111," ,,11,', I "w.llllq 1111 I [l'dtl III "

~llf'l l oll"I ,

11"

tI,,, 11111

1111' .11'1,1.111'<' 1111 \,1(11 g,ll1g ,11101 .h,tli Ih"11 h,111" 4 014 Ih, 'y' XII,
g.11111'III1r, \"1111"111'" .111h, " ,I II H, IIIIH ' All ,111"111011 lVI' III g, dl w i
Il1g 1111' 1'/1'1" ," h' 111" 11111 111f ' 11I'11'f'1~ III 1"oIVI' ,'vl',ylhillg I,ll 01
III

1I " I"IIIII" 'I1I ~ 11111,, ' I"


11111111,1 ,",11,01 111I'1I ,w llllll w"y I" 'III"II ~ I
II I 111'11 Ihl "'1111\"" ,1111111 I" f\"'~' 111111 "

"'W 111111, ','/

I, I IIJI 1111" Itl" "" 111 11111'11, h" I'llI'lI ' 1111,, ' ~ llIillp, 1111 II,,,, 1t ,11I liI ,ll It , q
II" I'" 'till 111111 ~","Il y 1111" '" III II 1",1\11111 , 11 ,' ii" " ,,1""11' II, , 11111 ;1111111{ 1I,11t"
111111 It ,d , 1, .111 ~ 11I11,1 " "tld" ~ ~'IIII1 11 '111 ,111 III lit" II' ,111 ~ I 1111111,111'

Illk, ' ,I I"" '" "I III1 ,tllI\ ,111t1hl1ld 111111 II \11 ', ,1 (jI g 7), 1111'/1 1-.1, 111

1,1"'" "I

11'11111, 1/" 11/'11 ",/' ""11111''''

[III"

II

,f''! 11]1 1"' 11

,,.,,,,1,( f'I ' 1,1'11', /"lI f

'I hi' 1,.11 '1 II~ I I '1111'1 I, IliI ,d ,, ~ il I"" V ~I" ' II1 , ~'J 1,,1I11w ,,11111)0\ II \l llIj '\.'" Ii III" I,'d 1/11' III ~ I
1'1I1"d III ,I \ '111110111 III lit" 111,1.1, II Itdl' , ,,,I""'~H 1!Il q !,,'" '11" I(,"",k III 11 1I 'llIl,y

1\\' 1I"III'.lh.11 ,III' 1111\,'\. yl'll,lITldl,1I II I'I00 Y"vI'rY \llg, ,Hid 14 lrill y 01 ,llIlllId lllf'.

1110111 " IH'w , " ,, YIIII \ ' "ill " II '" 1111' I' Ilidd I"" 1"1111' ", ~""I"" 1/1'1111 111 1111
1",,,1," ,1",1, dill' 11111 ,,"1111.1 11111111 111 Wit,,, V,'I i ~ ~11I11Ip' III lit' 111,,,1, Ii 11"d, I,,'
II

]I V-()-

III'iI"llly I"'J/IIWI"U ,I ml'fll,tli


IIf whl! It

W"II'

'I'K J,'ngth

A~II

mol' t tI'TlIlI~tlllV, IIf I,nly Ihrt" dIl'l I~, Ih, flllolll WI,

ptl'U II,

,I 1tllll"1 dlllollilln, III l' !tlnh It til'

~nl W thtlt

t,,,,

I Tltl'dl'd II, III" fI wllh ~ltllI .. lhlll}', ,,(


(,f thl' ,It! 'III mtt! thin tTld I tI, ~1v,I".d II '

1IIIIIIwing L1"I",r"lll'" 1,( n .. quIV(Jljl' ""l(UI fill' 1he rnelh(,,j I I;/JI'I'J,, 1(, lilly Ihl

1t"I~I, !rllll!tl' t glr g m,JI'ltIv, 'II til lurn

Ingtl'

tI

ptl'lI

(,f

1"'I"'r Hit" tin flP' ,Itr

II'

tI, III 1'11\,1" ()III IIllhl !till Ihlllg~ ,d"",1 Ihl I'I""I' ~ Ih, ' wnv II" I'll'ti\ll'l'l'

I. 11i1,'" "1'''11 II , I"

, I I I' '1 ) AI I 1'1

rI lit ,I I i" L1" lltllllill d I II 11 I " I ,II 1 ,,", 'I I, lit, 11 1'1' I " I d Iq I 'I " '"lll' Ii I"., I

1111 ,11 1"1"1/11' d,,,r.I1 ' 1 ;lIlli" YIII II

I"Y

Wf",/ 1/11" ,(11111 f'l'/il''''' 11/1" I ~II'I'I" , III 1111/1/11'1",1 IIII'''' 1/'11 IIIIIlflI/l1
/11'1' f'l 'IIII'llI' .IIIIIW ",:11/ "1' /,,,111, /11/11111('/1' 1/1111111'" ('!1I11 I 1/11/ 1'/1'('"
II III" 1I1111flll' rl'lll/ 1/1111,\' /1/1' II I fll//,,'.I'I,' 1','/1 flll',l1 JI1'''' (1/11' ~ I"" "II/II
,/1/1:1' III IIII' IIlhl'l

TO PREPARE: On a PI('II' (If Wlt1l1' 1',,<:,1 'r b"d/d, Wrl l, ', lrlliHY,"I ,till I"tll'r'" "VA
LET KILLS (,UIlS'1 OVI.K I VIQIlIU 111,11 (Jr1 II,.. Il'v!'r',!' wille, "IWl! 41'11 1
IN PRO T (jOI~S 110M!. wn II $20 I'l,'ll' thl" pt l 'dKtl l ,'l in, Ii 'rwl't"", 'IIHI
tape It to th~ bottom of il chair In thl' ftont r(lW '1I1f.' thl' dlrt'tllI,n Jrt whlth tht'
"valet prediction" face .. , I UIJ(' a black ('nvelllpl', atld 11,1J'" it tl' Ihl ('"II(1lfi I,f ,1
black chair with black lap" Tnl .. way 111'1 ""WT rll,hu'd until f II /JI'~I' t" It,ll I

""~f dl,,' Ih,' ,IIII" .. ~IiIIl', WIII~ 1111111 ~1,1p,r' IIp,hl III t;I'1P.l
Iln,W.III,I/Y dlllhl'~IIIII'II/~lllllIl\'" VUIIl h"ld I ,'II' h illt" (\ I'"lkl'l

/\!t '1/,/1

ill)'. ,I W,lli "I (,I',1t 11111111

II

tent"," to It

tI,,

It'll Il1dllnlit1g lin

IIllmllll(! trtf1UV
1.1 h If, 1111' 111'11 11/11111 Ill' VI,I/'VI' I hI' rl1 Iti Ihl' lIudl

'''~,' II,/q 11'(111 1/1 f'II,/qlll/I' 11/1/1/1'1/ I AIWII'" II 'fir 1/ 11"11, 11'11/ dm,.,
1(1 ~I'/'/' "1/11 II,/q Iq 1111,,1/,,"1 mIlQ/rll,"IIII.'i 11,1' II/rllllll WI' ""I'd /II

I 11'1,'/

1\1'1
IIIIIIX QIII""

'"I"" II "I'

r/"IIIIIIIIIIII/I"1/ III II

1/1/

IIII' ,1f/lllr~/I'1I' (1II1"tlI II drlllllllIHIII/""

""'III'rr~IIII IIIIKIIIIIIIIlf' III 111- wallrll

IIn/l

APPROAU%G MAGIC

MENTALISM

If the &pec tator hands you the twenty, mIme handIng the twenty over to the bruSTEP 3) If the person calls out "Twenty," ask for an InvIsible twent y from th e wad

n~t

and pretend to hang it on the center of the clothesline. In thIs case you do
need to solicIt addItional denOlnlnatlons. However, we'll assume that a den omI natIon other than twenty IS called out, say "Five." Turn to the audIence and say:

All right, aJive- we 'lllwng It up here. Now call alit sO/lle /IIore deno/l/l/latIOns for liS to hang on ollr c1othesI1l1e!
The word "twenty" should be called out among other denomInations If not, repeat
a denomInation that was called, then add a twenty yourself "so there's a good mi x."
Pretend to hang the bills in such a manner that the three selected denominatIons
hang left, center and right. It doesn't matter which imaginary bill IS where, simpl y
make note of their pOSitions, and where the twenty lies. Recap the pOSitIons of the
bills

A Jive, a twenty, and a one hundred. Now to fllrther rando/lllze the proceed1l1gs, please step lip and remot'(' two of the three bills, one 111 each

nette in front and say:

Alld we distribllte the wealth like I promised. This is for you, Wltll IllS
CO /ll pi i 171en ts!
If the spectator hands you the bill that IS not the twenty, say'

Thank YOIl for your generosi ty. /,11 spend it wisely at the 1I1vIsibie /1lall
downtown. Now Iland over whatever YOII're left with to our brunette m
front. That's for you, with his compliments!
See that th e spectator mImes handing the twenty to the brunette.
NOTE: If "twenty" was the first denomInatIon called after Step 2, you can opt to

simply have the brunette rise and remove the Invisible twenty dollar bIll, with no
eq uivoque. However, llike dreSSing the effect with the sequence regardless.
STEP 5) Turn to the spectator who holds the wad of pretend cash

hand.
The above instructIOn is glVen to the person holding the wad of inVIsible cash.
YOII

can put the rest of your mVlsible loot

/11

a pocket if you 11eed to free

yourself up.
STEP 4) The spectator will remove two of the three bills. You segue into another

bit of equivoque.

If the twenty remains on the clothesline, say:

Okay, you took away the Jive and the hundred, leav1l1g the twenty for our
brunette in front!
Have the spectator sit and hand the invisible twenty to the brunette in front.

If the twenty is one of the two in the spectator's hands, say:

Okay, you're holding the twenty and the hundred (or whatever). Did I
force your decision in any way? When 1count to three hand either one of
those bills to me. One ... two .. .three!

Now remel1lber, I told you that this is all about redlstnbutmg the wealth,
so when you leave here today give some of that InVISible money to the
valet as a tip. They love it when they get lI1viSlble /1loney. In fact, as
you drive off you might see thell1 running after your car, shouting their
thanks in a language that's unfamiliar to you. [Turn to the brunette]
Now how much are you 110Idmg again? Twenty dollars? I knew you'd be
holding twenty dollars. In fact, I knew everything that would happen lip
to this pomt! You don't believe me? Theil /1laybe you should Iwld up tile
mysteriolls envelope tilat's Wider your cilalr...
ThIS last instruction is delIvered to the person sitting in the loaded seat (it will either
be the brunette or the person holding the wad of cash). Here I do one of my favorite
things-l try to induce an event. Once, while performing this effect, the person in
the loaded seat thought the envelope must be imaginary, like everything else, and
held up nothing. This led to a very funny moment when I corrected the spectator:

It's not prl'tefld, it's real! For God's sake-something's got to be real in all
this! It's stuck under your chair, I swear to you!
I realized that I could attempt to make happen every time I perform the effect. That
is why I added the word "mysterious" in the script, and why I choose to deliver the

257

MENTALISM

-L._\ .. ~ that make<:. seem I ~m -till .n the world of make

mstruc\10!' m a fanCu'-' .. g}
belie-.e lithe per;.o 0 ds ,-,pthe actua1ep\e'pe take rt from hIm or per, but If the

()N

THING HAPPENS

persof' TlI'1eS ho dwg an em-elt'pt; :-e he;0o\e


STEP 6) C Qarh reeel\<' the \-elope

the p' dlC

tm-ard .- e aud e;

pop 's:' ap anG old

-0

-he "\ alet" side of

CE

lnsuie tins or.>elvpE IS {l ~ ~.

rr.-~

;. n, U"1i1 prove I kne-d

I'm a fan of many types of magic, and even though I'll often perform a card or COIn routine that
contains many phases or elements, I'm becoming increasingly more appreciatIve of effects where
just one thing happens. These types of effects contain a clarity and purity that casts a spotlight on
the magical event and are the kind of effects that one layperson can easily describe to another.

nadht U'hIlt . ;o!d trl!nSr-" .m


Sa) theaoc cv. e" ?Ort- \pred tCiJon \:ill' 0: e t'2::'! :::- ' -e
tlo!' loudh as
IE> eaJeC:

_ L

en~~ =- me pre~lction. Hold the top of the


tQ-~ Le e:-n'lope aside. Read the predic-

Ar..d (!f c:".L!"5e .~ dhrr suk 50"15 "Brune:te in front goes home with
rll'mhl drihzr;. "

Fl:p
used

r:eu.nJO!l as} dm'' home tills denouement. The reason you have
Vi.ds .::or_~e m front" repeatedly, and recapped the amount she holds
moment has munediate Impact. It seems impossible that the magithe gender and the hal! color of a "random" guest, as well as the

7'" the

CJZ.!' -

pen

Ie

Consider the plots that the lay public becomes fascinated with. All can be SImply expressed :

The woman was cut in two ...


The Statue of Liberty disappeared ...
He told her the name she was thinking of. ..
The light bulb floated over the audience ...

In our own repertoires we most likely have complex effects as well as SImpler effects I'm not
referring to the methods employed to create the effects, but the plots themselves. Over time I
noticed that it was an easy matter for me to exchange or remove from my set those tricks that had
more involved plots, but very difficult to elimi nate a trick where a lone, easily grasped magical
moment occurred. For exa mple, although I like to change things up in my Magic Castle close-up
act, I resisted losing the effect "Pasteboard Massacre" (from Close-up & Personal) as it was the
trick that I heard people taking about in the lobby after my show:

Did you see the magician downstairs? He actually cut the deck ill half!

dpoommation she holds.


It was a trick where, basically, one thing happened: I "cut" cards in two until I arrived at a signed

es, thIS entIre trick IS magidan's choice, in more than one form, but magIcian's
choice IS an unjustly maligned principle. In the right circumstances, used the right
way, it is a wonderful thing. I had a good time opening my act with an effect that is
nothing more than a piece of paper.

selection. I imagine many audience members forgot that a selection v,,as located, they simply
remembered the deck being cut in two because it is a concept easily digested and recollected. For
that reason, when I eventually replaced the trick, in its stead I inserted "The Disposable Deck" (a
marketed item-a paper shell that appears to be a deck of cards). I ended my card set by crushing
the deck into a little ball and tossing it away. Again, one thing happened. a thing that could be
easily brought to mind .
Another effect ['II often hear discussed whenever performed by a magician is the Linking Finger
Ring effect. What happens in that trick? One thing: Borrowed rings are linked. I perform an
effect with a borrowed ring in which the ring moves from under one inverted glass to another.
That's it. A single thing happens, but because it is such a memorable, easily understood plot, it
became my closer. When I think of the great effects I've seen performed over the years, the ones

259

MENTALISM

HOTEL 52
that come to mind are those I can easIly express:

I can still see a penny nsibl) changing into a dime on the back of my hand ("Double XU)

" lloleI52" is a handling for eq uivoque that leads to one specific card, The "fire" approach comes from Larry Becker, the "buildmg" approach from Ken Krenzel, and
I've introduced a wrinkle or two. 1 perform this in conjunction with my "Disposable
Deck" prop, but it can absolutely be used in other ways, such as forcing the audience
to "select" a card that has been placed in a wallet or envelope,

I recall my weak knees the first time I saw Finn )onn's spectacular effect where a nut removes

We'll assume you want to force the Queen of Hearts (the system can of course be

Itself from a bolt.

used for other cards).

I feel the amazement that washed over me when Torko\a placed a silk into a clear glass tube"

TO PREPARE: Place the Queen of Hearts in a spot where It wIll later be revealed,

and it visibly vamshed,

a spot that is clearly tamper-proof. In addition to an envelope or wallet, you might


choose to place the Queen under a close-up mat, or a nearby object in the room.
For purposes of description, however, I'll describe the trick as it would be done
with the Queen atop a Disposable Deck, The Disposable Deck (a marketed item)
is a paper shell that perfectly resembles a deck of cards, ThIS fits my presentation which, at the end, conjures an image of a crumbling building, Alternate ap-

I remember being a 'id at a magJc shop and seeing a com penetrate a thm square of rubber

(thanks to Lubor Fiedler).

I have no cherished memories of a magJcian doing "all kinds of things" with a deck of cards, or
"a bunch of neat stuff" wIth cams, and I doubt many do, For this reason, I think we all should

perform an effect or two where lust one thing happens,

proaches will also be discussed.


Place th e Queen of Hearts face down atop a Disposable Deck and insert both into
the card case,
STEP 1) Remove the deck (actually a shell with one card atop it) and casually table

it. You will not touch the deck again until the climax,

l'wd the 1II0st amazing drealll last night, bllt 1 woke lip before the t'/ld.
Don't you hate that? It was a very exciting dream. It was abollt a hotel
called "The Hotel 52," A strange nallle for a hotel, I didn 't know what it
meant at first, bllt then I thougllt "Hmm, there are fifty-two cards in a
deck-l bet this has to do with playing cards." In my dream I walked up
to a window of this hotel, and slIre enol/gh inside was an entire deck of
cards, dancing and having a great time. The red cards were dancing in
aliI' room, and tile black cards were dancing in another. Then, tragedy.
TIle worst thing that could happen in a hotel: A fire broke out. [Clap
your hands together sharply]. That's when I woke up. I don't know
what happened in that dream, and it's driving me nuts. Could you help
me? I want you to finish this dream Jor me, so I'll know how it ended.
Where was the fire headed-toward the black cards or the red cards?

261

ArPROACHING M~G'~

spect~,tors'

Remember, In this case we are going to gUIde the


replies to eventually
like to "play the room, ask1l1g different specta"
land on the Queen 0 f H ear ts. I
tors to continue the story as it progresses. This amplifies the
of the
proce
g and ups the energy of the presentation as I can phySICally move from
ed1l1 s to the next. Let's look at the possible outcomes, and the appropnate
one participant

"ran~omness

responses.

MENTALISM

tile nIlIJlber cards bllrst 111 to flame and are no more. Now aU we have left
are ti,e pictllre cards, the Jack, QIIeel1 al1d King of Hearts, al1d 110t aU of
thelll are going to sllrvive!
Option two-the reply is "the picture cards":

Oh no, the picture cards? So according to you, the Jack, Queen and KlI1g
of Hearts are beillg hit by sparks? This is bad - not aU of them are gOll1g
to SII rvive!

Option one-the reply is "the black cards":

The black cards? Of course! And what a tragedy! There they go, COII~
pletely bumed to asll by the fire. That leaves the red cards, who are still
dal1cll1g away, oblivious, but the fire IS coming closer.
Option two-the reply is "the red cards":
Oh no, the red cards? Of course! They're ill terrible danger!

Continue with ...

They're running across tile rOOl1l in a panic. They see an exll door that
leads to the roof of the hotel, and safety, when suddenly a bUTllll1g bealll
crashes down from the ceilil1g, blocking the doorway. TeU me, who Pllts
IlimselJ in harm's way and decides to lift tile buming beam? Is it the two
feUas, the Jack and the King, or is it the Queen?
Option one-the reply is "the Jack and King":

Cont1l1ue with ...

Smoke is pouring in through the keyhole, and it's starting to overpower


some cards. Is the smoke Ileaded for tile Diamonds or the Hearts?

All right, there they go-the Jack and KlIlg put themselves in harm's
way and raise the bUT11ing beam, catching on fire as the Queen slips
undeJ'/1eath and makes Iler way up to the roof of the hotel, where she's
resC!led seconds before it cTilmbles to the ground.

Option one-the reply is "the Diamonds":

The Diamonds? Thank you for clarifying that. There they go, all the Diamonds,fal/ing to the ground, overcome. All that's left are the Hearts!
Option two-the reply is "the Hearts":

Option two-the reply is "the Queen":

ReaUy? What a brave lady! The Queen risks all and grabs the beam, tossing it out of ti,e way and TIlshillg lip to tile roof of the hotel, where slle's
resClled secollds before it crumbles to the ground.

Oh no, the Hearts? Thank you for clarifying that. I can see them. They're
getting dizzy .. .it's hard for them to stand.
Continue with ...

Now sparks are coming in through a vent, headed for the Hearts. The
sparks land on some of the Hearts. Do they land on the number cards or
the picture cards?
Option one-the reply is Uthe number cards":

STEP 2)

Look at the audience.

Wow, thallks for teUing me how that dream ended. It was so exciting. I
could almost see it, the Queen of Hearts on the roojof the hotel. It's amazillg what the mind can conjure up. Know what's even more amazing?
[Clap your hands together sharply] Now it's become a reality.
Walk over to the deck and slowly remove the top card (actually the only card), its
back to the audience.

The number cards? You're sure? Oh no, paper and sparks are a bad mix-

263

262

ApPROACH N( MAG'~

The Qlleen of Hearts really did make it to the top.


Display the face of the Queen to the audience. ThIs is a strong effect.

fll st before tile hotel crllll/bled to the grollnd.

MENTALISM

You may feel transparent when using equivoque to this extent, in which case your
practice sessions will include, in addition to memorizing the variables, ridding
yourself of that feeling. This simple thing is a stunning effect when presented with
confidence.

Place the DIsposable Deck into the left hand. Look at it, then crumble It into a bal\.

SIMPATICO
Other script options:
The Queen is in an envelopePreset the envelope in the breast pocket, where it is partially visible, and lead the
script to say somethmg to the effect of'

Harry Lorayne wrote and published Star QlIality, a book of my effects, m 1986. One
of my favorite effects from the book was a si mple thing that Harry dubbed "SelfEvident." Its basic effect was well-trod, the spectator finds the lone odd-backed card
under impossible conditions, but it found an audience. This effect works exactly
- the
sa me way, but it contains a richer premise and the routine plays bigger. In truth, it

That story of hllman drama YOll jllst told me is one that will always be

is a different effect-it just happens to have the same method

near to Illy heart ...

THE EFFECT: A spectator selects a card from a deck that has been displayed front
and back. The card is lost in the deck. A second spectator deals cards face down,

Remove the envelope from its placement near the heart, and reveal the Queen.
The Queen is in your walletLead the script to say something to the effect of:

That is inspiring. It makes me wallt to keep the QlIeen of Hearts with


me always.
Remove the card from the wallet.
The Queen is under an object in the spectator's home -

stopping whenever he likes. The stopped-at card is the selection.


The above description is the bare bones of this trick, but the reality is something
greater, due to elements along the way that mstill absolute conviction in the minds
of the audience. They know the cards are all different. They know the magician
cannot control the outcome. They know the impossibility of what is being attempted. The power of this routine lies in the details.
NEEDED: A deck of cards, a dozen duplicates. The duplicates can be taken from
a forcing deck, available (inexpensively) from any magic shop. Alternatively, you
can purchase three decks of pinochle cards, which will give you a dozen dupli-

cates.
Lead the script to say something to the effect of:

Then tire building crumbled to tire ground, but the Queen survived. She
was safe under a jltrwerpot [or whatever].

Reveal the card under the object.

TO PREPARE: Toss out a dozen cards from your deck. Place the dozen duplicates-let's say they are the Nine of Diamonds-on top of the deck, along with
the Nine of Diamonds from the original deck, giving you a total of thirteen duplicate cards. Atop these, place any four indifferent cards. Mark the back of the top
indifferent card at the outer left and inner right comers. I simply color in a bit of

265

MfNTALISM
Scoop up the tabled cards and flIp them face up, spreadmg them
between the hands (Fig. 2). Do not spread mto the stock of duplithe corner with a pen the same color as the back of the deck I'm

cates at the rear.

usi ng (Fig. 1).


If the spectator replies "Yes, because they're face up," say:

Yes, this deck is "special" and necessary for the effect, but as forty
cards are different, you will find that you can perform an enormous number of tricks without revealing the duplicates-indeed,

I see you've played cards before. Yes, you are correct!


But what if the cards were face down? That's a whole
other ball game, right?

an entire act.
TO PERFORM:
STEP 1) Find a pair of spectators who have an existi ng relatJon-

ship. They could be dating, married, or business partners. If two people with a
relationship are not available, you ca n still do the effect, I just like framing it wi th
a couple when possible. Establish the premise:

The two of you are going to be working together, so I think it's importal1t
to do a little compatibility test, you know, to see if the two of you are
simpatico. I do this free of charge, as a service. I know, I lot of magicians
wOllldn't go this extra mile.

figure 1

figure 2

If the spectator replies "No," say:

Actually, with the cards face up, he does stand a fair chance of figuring
things out, though I agree it's iffiI But if I turn the cards face down, it
adds more of a chal/enge element ...
This sequence provides a way to show the faces of the cards without overtly saying
"Look, they're different!"
STEP 2) Cut the deck, bringing the stock to the center. Keep an eye on the spot

w here the deck was cut.


Alternate Patter, for use with a couple:

WI,enever I get a cOllple lip here, I like to bring them closer together. [To
the female] I mean, it's exciting being in a relationship. I bet sometimes
YOIl wake up in the morning thinking "I wonder what our future will
be like ..," right? You think "Out of all the people in the world, this man
beside me is the olle I've chosen to be my partner." Then you wonder
"Did I do the right thing? 11 all happened so fast ... what the hell was I
thinking?"[building, shouting to the sky] "Did I just make the biggest mistake of my life?" Well, we're about to find out! Let's try a little
compatibility test ...

Here, take out any card. YOll can show it around, but don't let Jim see it.
Spread the deck face down between the hands. When you see the marked card, you
know that it and the three cards beneath it are indifferent, but the thirteen cards
that follow are all force cards. Classic Force one of the thirteen force cards. This is
very easy, in fact it is twelve times simpler than a standard classic force. Have the
selection returned anywhere within the bank of duplicates. Cut (or multiple cut) the
deck to the table, bringing the marked card to the top. You are back in position, four
indifferent cards covering a bank of duplicates. Place the face-down deck in the left
hand . Spread the top three or four cards into the right hand and display them to the
audience (Fig. 3-audience view).

Remove the deck from the box and ribbon spread it face down on the table.

Jallet, YOllr card is nowhere lIear tile top ...


Fifty-two cards. A deck of possibilities.

We'll assume that Spectator One is named Janet, and Spectator Two is named Jim.
Janet, if lluuI you remove a card from this deck, is there any way Jim over
here could know the card you selected?

267

266

MfNTALISM

If "no":
Replace the indifferent cards and flIp the deck face up mto the

Than J hope to hell you'll have your first one today.

left hand

Perform a thumb fan of the deck, seeing to it that you fan the deck

Place the dealt cards back onto the half deck you are holding. If you are holding the
half with the stock, hand them to the spectator and casually push the other half to
the side. If you are holding the non-stock half, put them to the side and indicate to

above the stock of duplIcates (Fig. 4).

the spectator that he should pick up "his" cards.

It's /lot

011

the bottom.

It's somewhere mixed ill WIth all the other cards.

Figure 4

STEP 4) After the spectator deals four cards into a pile (the indifferent cards),

say:
STEP 3) Close the fan and place the deck face down in front of

And stop dealing whenever you'd like. Let yourself be open to the moment. It's all about you.

Jim

Jim , CIIt the deck mto two piles. Great, now give me eIther half It doesn't

Pay attention to where the top half of the deck falls. Of course, since the top card
is marked, even if you pay no attention at all, it's easy enough to figure out. In fact,

Your attitude here is important. Act as if you are clarifying something that should
already be understood. As these four cards are dealt, you have a moment to evaluate
the spectator's hand positions. If he is inadvertently flashing the faces of the cards
to the audience, have him deal by placing the cards on the table as they are dealt. I

you could turn your back as the deck is cut.

cover this with the script:

matter which

If he hands you the half containing the stock, say:

Okay, we'll use these cards. Here's what I'm going to have you do. I need
you to deal the cards to the table, one at a time, into a lzttle pile. Take your
time, because this is all about psychic urges.

Hey, that guy thinks you Just dealt off the bottom, so let's make super test
conditions. Put the cards on the table, and take them off aile at a time, so
everyone can see that it's all honest deal.
See that the spectator deals slowly, m order to get "psychic impressions." He will
stop within the bank of thirteen duplicates. Offer him a choice.

If he hands you the half that does not contain the stock, say:

Did you want thIS one [the dealt card] or this one [the card remaining
Here's what you're going to do with your cards [indicate the cards remaining on the table] in just a minute. I need you to deal the cards to
the table, one at a time, into a little pile. Take your time, because this is
all about psychic urges.
Slowly deal a few cards to the table. Continue with ...

Have you ever had a psychic urge?


If "yes":

on top of the packet]?


Slide whichever card the spectator indicates forward, or better, have him do it.
STEP 5) Re-state the conditions:

Let's recap. The cards hape been completely out of my hands. Jim, you
stopped on that card due to a psychic Jorce that we can't /IOpe to understand. You could'pe stopped on one of these, but you didn't.

Then you know where I'm coming from.

269

APPROACH ~C MAG ("

MfNTALISM

312

Pick up the dealt pile and flip it face up in the left hand. Spread
over three cards, all indifferent, and table the fanned cards
(Figo5).

This mental effect utilIzes a gaff that is easily made. It IS a simple, practical solutlOn
for the classic mentalists' necessity of getting one-ahead. Although the gaff must be
rung in and out, the hands' motions are motivated throughout, and the sensation of

YOII cOlild've stopped 0/1 one of these cards, bllt YOII didn't.
Take the un-dealt cards and flip them face up in the left hand.
Spread over a group of cards, showing indifferent faces. Table this
new fan of cards on top of the already-tabled cards. ate: Since
you know there are thirteen duplicates, when the spectator deals
you'll also know the number of duplicates remaining in the undealt portion, and know how far is it safe to spread.

"doing something" at the wrong time is eliminated.


NEEDED: A supply of small manila envelopes, a pad of paper (mine IS 3Y.!" square),
a black Flair-style pen, a deck of cards, and a gaff.

figure 5

THE GAFF: The gaff can be made 111 a few seconds with a pair
of scissors. Hold an envelope flap side up, the flap In "closed"
position. Using scissors, cut through the envelope, following the
edge of the flap (Fig. 1). Discard the large portion of the envelope. You are left with a double flap that makes a natural "V"
(Fig. 2). Open the double flap and trim off anv excess (Fig. 3).
The double flap, when opened, need only be a single thickness.

Pick up the face-down half deck that was never used, and perform my favonte part of the tnck, the bald bluff. Hold the cards in
the left hand as the right hand grabs groups of cards and tosses
them face up onto the already tabled cards, creating a stage picture of a chaotic mass of clearly indifferent cards (Fig. 6).

YOII didn't stop here ... or here ... or here ... yO!! stopped on that one

figure 6

figure 1

card.
Of course they never could've stopped at those cards, since they
were never offered to the spectator! Point to the selection.

YO!! dealt. Tnever tOllched that card and I don't want to to!!ch it
/lOW. Janet, what was yo!!r card? The Nine of Diamonds? Jim,
turn over the one card you decided to stop at. Yes! You've done
it! Simpatico in every way!
After Jim turns his selection face up, touch it for the first time
(Fig. 7), displaying it to the entire audience as you encourage ap-

figure 7

figure 2

TO PREPARE: Remove any cardboard backing from the pad of


paper. You want the pad to appear the same from either side.
Using the Flair pen, on the flap of an envelope write 01," on
another write "2," and on the final envelope write "3." The way
you write the numbers "2" and "3" IS important. Dra\\ the "'2"
in a manner that appears simIlar to the upper half of a 003," and
draw the "3" as if it IS a continuation of that "2." Figure -l is
a close-up view of these two flaps, and wIll best illustrate the
concept here Set the "2" em'elope on the table, flap side down,
the flap at the inner end, On top of this place the "1" envelope,
oriented the same way

plause for the two spectators.

It's a simple matter to tilt the dealt cards toward you as they are
squared and put away (Fig. 8). This is a very effective trick-don't
let its simple method dissuade you from trying it out.

Figure 4
figure 8

271

APPROACrllNG MAGIC

-- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ----------...:...:..:

MfNTALISM

Open the deck with the right first finger to clarify what is meant
by "peck" (Fig. 8).

Cover the flap of the "3" envelope with the gaff (Figs 5 & 6).
It will appear to be blank. Place thIS last envelope onto the two
Use a rub
tabled envelopes flap side up, flap at the outer end
ber band to hold the package of envelopes together and keep the

Is that fair?
As you speak, the right hand moves the deck into left-hand peek
position. This IS slightly forward of dealing position, with the
cards beveled to the right (Fig. 9). The left little finger should rest
at the lower right corner of the deck. Raise the left hand 50 the

gaff In place (Fig. 7).


The deck of cards should be in a handy pocket.
TO PERFORM :

Figure 5

Figure 8

deck faces the spec tator and turn you r head away.

Okay, get a card in your mind .. .

STEP 1) Place the pen, paper and enve lopes on the table. Es tab -

lish the premise:

Do you ever watch those "psychIcs" all TV, the ones who'll tell
YOII the name of your dead COUSin? They never commit anythll1g
to wrllmg, they just keep gllessll1g IIntii they get a "/lIt"; ''I'm
seemg someone whose name beg illS WIth the letter "J." ''j'' or
"M," does that mean anythll1g to YOII ? Maybe not the first name,
it could be the last name. PossIbly a lJIiddle initial. ''j'' or OM?"
This person may have once smoked a "J," or eaten an "M & M,"
does this sound like someone yOIl know? Well I'm not going to do
that today. I'm going to try and honestly read your thoughts, and
for better or worse I'm going to commit myself m writing.

The spec tator wi ll open the deck to gli mpse a ca rd. As the deck
closes, the left little fi nger secures a m inute break below the selec tion. Act as if you do not know a ca rd has been chosen yet.

Tell me whell you've peeked at one. Oh, you have? Excel/ent. Are you happy with the one you saw, or do you
wallt to do it agal11 alld get a differellt aile?
Figure 6

figure 9
T always give the spectators the optIon of re -peekIng, as It cre-

ates a sen sation of true randomness. With the break secured, riffle the upper right
corner of the deck . This can be done wIthout losing the break. Allow the left hand
to drop to the side.

Remove the deck of ca rds from the pocket. Un case them, and
hand the deck to a spectator on the left for examInation.

We are going to do three different tests, IIsing three completely


different types of thollghts. I want one thought to be something
t'iSllal and concrete-so we'll lise a playmg card. Make sure the
cards are all dIfferent, and mix them up. When you're satisfied
that all is on the lip and lip, hand me back the cards.
You are going to perform a peek of a "thought-of" card . Any method will do. I use
a standard procedure: Hold the deck at the inner left corner, beveled to the right,
faces toward the spectator.

1don't want you to pick a card-l just want you to get a visual mental
image of one, so when my head is turned, push open the deck wherever
you'd like and peek at any card.

Okay, YOll have all image of a card 111 your mind? That's the ollly place
the card exists right 1l0W, so if YOll decided to lie, YOII could make me look
like a fool. Bllt I Ileed you to be hOliest. COllcentrate.
Figure 7

Act as if you are havIng trouble reading his thought.

Hl/IlJlm .. .I'm seeillg darkness. So the card is either black or a very dark
red.
The above joke can of course be said without knowing the identity of the selection,
and it provides useful time misdirection between the selection and the glimpse.

Okay, truth be told, this is harder than I thought it would be. 1 think 1
hat'e to work up to YOIl. Can 1 ask you to keep that same card in mind
while 1start with some simpler tests? Thanks.

273

272

MENTALISM

I fllink I've gal YOllr card. Bill so I can'l cha nge IIlIj IIlllld
in a /lIolllenl of panic, il goes inlo all envelope.

\ \ Ith thl~ line Yl)U h.:t\ e moti\ ;lted yourself to .lction. IOU are go
mg k) ~)I.:t.:e th~ de(~ .:t'lde in order to dt:'\'ote your attention to .:t
,ilfferent ~Fe.:tator .:tnd it', during thi~ action that the selection IS

Place th e prediction into the envelope. Bring the envelope to the


lips and lick th e flap. Fold over the double flap to seal the envelope. Of course, only the Inner flap wtll adhere to the envelope.
The left thumb holds the gaff down against the envelope.

gI1l11F' ed.
-TEP :!) The leit hand n ,es a, the left thumb goes under the

dec .lnd le\ el' the card, tace up. \~ the dec~ turn~ . the place
n ent ,)t the left httll' tinl?;er
, causes the card~ abo\'e the brea~ to
.mgle ~hghtl~ .1, the brea~ j., lost. ThiS happens as the dec~ IS
~).:t"'ed twm the lett h.:tnd to the right. s the transfer IS malk.
Ie),): dC)\\'n at the ded~ and you \I ill be able to sight the ll1de:>- of
the chl)sen card (Fig 10). In a continuing action. the right hand
ta
the dec lrom abl)\e ,md sqUJres it as it is placed aside. or

We'll ca ll tl,is "Tesl Nlll1lber One."


F19U1e 10

Figure 14

With the pen, openly draw a ''1'' on the flap of the envelopeactually on the gaff (Fig. 14). Table the pen Note that the top of
the envelope does not extend past the hand The left hand tilts
toward the body as the ri ght hand grasps the lower right corner of
the envelope, thumb on top, first and second fingers underneath
The right hand slides the envelope free of the gaff as the envelope
is tabled flap side down, flap at the outer end (Figs. 15 & 16). The
"1" envelope has become the "3" envelope The gaff is retained In
finger palm in the left hand as the hand naturally falls to the side.
Very lrttle pressure IS required to hold onto the gaff. Do not crush

"s

mto the c.:t-d h):>Turn to .1 ~Fectator on the right.


drram up a ~illll'lf kmd of t/Illl/gilt. Illstt'ad of 1'1"uIII. tiu/lk /lUlllaical III .I(ll ll milld , t' IllIll. tllrt't' 1IlIIlIl>t'rs. Tllell.
mil bt' Oil, 'It" ;'.'111 your Ilddn.'" . ytlllr l"lllllt' 1I11111l>cr, SOCIal St'C 11ntv ,)lrtf, l dl"t"t il\lllt Itl k/WiI'./lIst pick tllrt't' 11I1II1l'crs tllllt IIm'c
,Onlt.' IIIlJ~llt 'lr yll/l Gllt tllelll?
I

.t mt Wit

tll

F19U1e 11

Figure 15

your weapon In your hand!

I llOve CO/lllllilled lIlyself 111 writlllg, and placed Ihal


Wrltillg illio all envelope thai llOS beclI scaled With acIrtal hlllllall saliva What 11lIIIlbers werc IIOll Ihillklllg
of? [The ~pectator announces the numbers]. Arc

Pic' up the p.:td .lnd the pen. keepll1g the race of the p.ld tipped
toward \'\:IU. \I rite the name ot the c.lrd gltmpsed. USll1g a 1\\'0 character ~\'stem (m thb C.l'e M ~ .). Fold the paper in half, from
the bottom up. cO\'ering the wntmg. IOU can now lower the pad.
Te.:tr off the sheet .lnd fold It one more, so the paper is in quarters
(Fil?;. 11). Place the p.ld on the table, the folded prediction on top
of It

yorl sllre? Really? Moving all ..


STEP 3) In thiS step you will be turning over the g.lff, necessary

Figure 11

Picl-: up the enwlopt:s and remo\e the rubber b.lnd . T.l~e the top
l'm ell)Pl' (.:tnd g.lff) into the left h.lnd as you drop the remaining
two em elope, onto the t.lble. During these actions, do not .lllow
the wntmg on the under'ide of the bottom envelope to be seen.
Open the flap along \\ Ith the gaff-it's essentially a double !l.lp.
A, \'OU L.ln see from Figs 12 13, the hand can move freely as
the em'elope loob perfectly normal trom all angles.
.

Figure 16

for the workings of the effect, and the way thiS is handled is my
filvorite moment In the routIne. Turn to another spectator.
We'll try all ClIlollOllal COIIIII'CIiOIl with YOll. TIllllk of a placl'. A cily, a
tOWII, a cOllll/nr I dOIl't carl' whl'rc it is, bill it I1IIISt hm.1' SOIllI' I'lIIotiOllal
slgllificance 10 YOll.

Pick LIp till' p.ld with the right hand and lay it directly on the gaff in the left hand.
Mal/bl' a plllcl' when' you

Jell

in lotI(' ... or you rt.'llllited with all old

frie~lLt ... or wht'rl' YOll bought a big-scrt.'t.'11 TV.


Figure 13

274

275

APPI(CACH'NG MAG''"

MfNTALISM

Figure 22
Figure 18
Figure 17

Figure 24
Figure 20
Figure 19

Figure 23

will always cause the gaff, if closed, to open. Once the gaff is in place, the hand can
lower.

As you talk, the right hand grasps the pad, fingers on top, thumb underneath, also
holding the gaff In a gesture, while looking at the spectator, turn the pad over
with the right hand, tilted toward the body so that the gaff is hidden (Fig. 17). Place
the pad and gaff back into the left hand, the gaff held in place by the left thumb
(Fig. 18).

You lIave a place? Concentrate!


Pick up the pen and write Spectator One's number on the paper. It's a simple matter to move the gaff up or down with the left thumb, if need be. Table the pen. The
right hand lifts the pad, the left thumb holding onto the gaff so that it remains in
the hand (Fig. 19). Stare at the pad as if reconsidering, then lay it back onto the left
hand, on top of the gaff.
Fold the paper in half as before, then into quarters. Place the pad and prediction
onto the table. Pick up the top envelope from the pile of two on the table. Lift it at
the inner end with the right hand and turn it flap toward the body (Figs. 20 & 21).
Bring the envelope to the left hand, inserting the envelope into the gaff (Figs. 22
&: 23). This is easy, as the flap naturally wants to spring open. Loosening pressure

This will be Test Number Two.


With the pen, draw a "2" on the gaff, but see to it that the "2" can later double as the
top half of a "3" (Fig. 24). Table the pen and lower the envelope so that the audience
can see the number written on the flap. Insert the prediction into the envelope. As
you did at the end of Step 2, seal the flap and table the envelope, stealing away the
gaff. The envelope should be tabled on top of the first sealed envelope, stepped to
the left (Fig. 25). Envelope "2" has become Envelope" 1."

Again, ['m committed. WIJat place were you tllinking


of? [The spectator names the place]. Alld I couldn't
lIave knOll'll tllat, because it's IlOt like I was tllere the
same tillle you were, right? Will you swear on that if
someday, a judge is considering a restraining order?
Tllallk 1/011.

277
276

APP~OA(~ING

MAGIC

The right hand takes Envelope One and hands it to the first spectator, then Envelope Two to the second spectator as the left hand extends Envelope Three to the

STEP 4) Pick up the pad with the nght hand and place it onto th e

third . It's allover except for the build-up.

gaff in the left hand. Look at the spectator who peeked a card .

Okay, all this time YOll have been thinking of one card, and one
card only. What makes this hard for me is tile fact that it's really
two things YOII are tlllnking of a vallie and a suit. And the way
YOII're tlunking of it, YOII're seeing the face, so on this side 1'111 seeing the back. See, there are lots of considerations. Please tllrn the
card arollnd in YOllr lIl/l1d and show me the freaking thing.

MfNTALISM

figure 26

Write the name of Spectator Two's place on the pad. Fold the prediction as before and table the pad with prediction on the table.
Pick up the last envelope at the inner end with the right hand,
and turn the envelope over as you insert it into the gaff. Do not
lower the hand yet. Take the pen and convert the "2" into a "3"
(Fig. 26). Again, lower the hand so that the audience can see the

These are now true test conditions. Rip open the envelopes! Were they
truly sealed? I asked you to think of any number, and what number did
YOll concoct? Did J write
on tile paper? I asked you to think of a
place YOII'd like to take me to, all expenses paid ... No? Then you misunderstood, but again, what place were you thinking of? Does my prediction say
? Finally, you put a playing card in your mind and tried
to trip me up at every turn because you just don't like my attitude. What
was the card? And did 1 write
on that piece of paper? Wow, are
YaH thinking what 1'111 thinking?
Do not wa it for the spectator. Control the pace of the ending by telling them what
you wrote and getting confirmation. A minimum of props, a minimum of cost, and
a big, big effect.

number written on the envelope.

This will be Test Nllmber Three.

figure 27

Place the prediction into the envelope and seal it. Table the envelope as you did the others, stealing away the gaff as the envelope
is placed onto the first two, stepped to the left (Fig. 27). Envelope

312.5

"3" has become Envelope "2."

Place the pad and pen onto the gaff and place the props away,

This is exactly the same effect as "312" but it has a very different method, one that
employs some sleight of hand as well as the one-ahead pnnciple and makes good
use of two of the most durable illUSIons in card magJc, the Card in CanIster and LePaul's Card to Sealed Envelope. The various methods conspire to produce an effect

ditching the gaff as the same time.

that, to an audience, appears simple and clean.

For the first time, tell everyone here the card on your mind!

A number, a place, a playing card. 1 bet a lot of you are thinking

"Now he's going to rip open the envelopes and read what's written inside." Nah. You're going to open them!

figure 28

NEEDED: Three opaque pay envelopes, Four 3" x 3" slips of paper of the same

color, each pre-folded into quarters.


TO PREPARE: Make a horizontal tear across the center of the

STEP 51 The left hand scoops up the envelopes from above,


squaring them as the hand turns palm up, but keeping the envelopes tilted toward the body. In the same action, the left thumb
pushes Envelope Three down about half an inch (Fig. 28). The
situation is obscured from the front (Fig. 29-audience view).

front of one of the envelopes, as in Figure 1.


A force is used in this effect. We'll assume it is a card force, and
the card is the Three of Clubs. Write "Three of Clubs" on one of
the slips, using the writing implement you will later use when
performing the trick. Needless to say, this prediction can be any-

The downjogged envelope allows for an automatic "second dea\."

279

278

APPROAlrll~G

MAGIC

MENTALISM

ThIS trick shou ld be performed for a group, as it requires the assistance of three
spec tators.

thing at all you will force, or information you will glea n. Fold the shp into quarters,
writing insIde, and place it into one of the un-slit envelopes.

TO PERFORM:
Turn all the envelopes rear-side up (where the flap is jOliled to the envelope) and
STEP 1) Introduce the envelopes and slips of paper and drop them onto the table.
The envelope with the slit will be concealed, as it is in the center. If desired, you
can hold the stack in the left hand, then lift off the top envelope with the right
hand and nonchalantly gesture wi th it before returning It and tabling the stack.

stack them in the following manner:


On top is the empty un-slit envelope (this envelope will be referred to as "Envelope
One"). In the middle is the slit envelope (which will be referred to as "Envelope
Two"). On the bottom is the envelope that already has the force slip lIlslde it (our

We've all experienced moments when it seems like we know what a person is thinking. Often it's afriend or a co-worker, someone we know well
and whose instincts we've seen demon strated many times in the past.
What I'm going to attempt right now is a little different. I'm gomg to
attempt to deduce the thoughts of people I've never met before, a more
difficult proposition. I want each of you to think of something different.
1n a little while I'm going to ask you to think of a playing card, so cut the
deck, just lift off any amollnt of cards. Excellellt. We'll keep these out of
my /wnds and get back to you in a minute.

"Envelope Three").
Have the writing implement in a convenient pocket. I prefer to use a dark marker so
the writlllg will be visible from a distance. However, the writing should not bleed
through the paper slips, as the method requires that the words written on the slips
remain unseen until the effect's climax.
I'll take a moment to explalll the workings of the card force I use in this effect, a
force based on an old chestnut. You will need a deck and a card case. The actions of
the force are made a little simpler if the small tabs are cut off the case. Remove the
force card from the deck, in this case the Three of Clubs. Turn the deck face up and
reverse the top two cards, turning them face down . Place the Three of Clubs on top
of all, also face down. Now turn the entire deck over. The whole deck is now face
down, with the exception of the bottom three cards, which are face up. The bottommost card is the force card, the Three of Clubs. Place the deck in the case.

Perform the first part of the force described above, to the POll1t where the cards remaining in the left hand are inserted into the case, and the case is tabled (the cards
the spectator cut off are placed aside). Turn to Spectator Number One, an II1dividual
who is standing to your right.

Would you like to be a part of this? Please think of a COlin try. This Gan
be a country YOIl've visited or maybe just one YOH've read about or heard
of-whatever pops into your mind. Do YOH have one? COllcentrate Oil

Impromptu set-up: Spread through the deck, casually cutting It so that the force
card is third from the bottom. Turn the deck face down, secure a break over the
force card and half pass the bottom three cards. You are in position.
To perform the force, remove the deck from the case. Table the case or hand it to a
spectator. Holding the deck face down in the left hand, spread off groups of cards
into the right hand and tilt the hand to display faces to the audience, then return the
cards to the left hand. Demonstrate that you'd like a spectator to the left (Spectator Three, in the effect) to cut off any amount of cards. The right hand retrieves the
card box, holding it with the thumb notch down. Extend the deck to the spectator
on the left. After he has cut off a portion of cards, insert the cards that remain in
the left hand into the case (if desired, this entire procedure can be done with your
eyes averted). You will now close the flap, and it is perfectly natural to turn the case
so that the thumb notch faces the body in order to do so. Table the case, half moon
side up. When the time comes for the spectator to look at the card he "cut to," the
case can be opened and the "top card" slid out, the force card.

it.
Pick up the top envelope and hold it in the left hand. Place a slip of paper onto the
envelope, and turn the wrist so that the paper is toward your body, out of sight of
the audience. Write "France" on the slip of paper, then
fold the paper into quarters, writing side in, and insert
the slip into the envelope, making sure it goes all the way
to the bottom. Lick the flap, then seal it. Write a clear "1"
on the rear of the envelope (Fig. 2). The "rear" side is the
side with the sealed flap.
Place the envelope on the table.
Figure 2

281

MENTALISM

- - - - -- - - -

sert it into the top of the second envelope. At this point lower the hand so it is palm
up as you continue pushing the slip in, secretly sliding it partially through the slit on
the underside. Raise the hand to seal the flap-the slip will be perfectly concealed
by the left hand (Fig, 5-audience view). Lower the hand and draw a large "2" on
the rear of the envelope Contact the protrudIng slIp with the left fingers as the right
hand moves the envelope forvv'ard a bit in the left hand This will serve to pull the
slip the rest of the way out of the slit. To justify this SImple motion, say:

' 111I~ ~Iip

will, 10 Jno~1 ca~l"", be a "dummy slip," and never be


,I'I'n JgJin J IIJWl'Vl'r, Ilwrl' 15 J fair chance that the predIction
of "/-rallll'" wJlI /IlaLLh till' spt'clator's mental selection . If this
should happt.n, ~t'l' tilt' JllernalL' procedure laid out at the con dU~lon of thl'se in,lrul t l(Jn~. Of cour~e, thb predIction needn't be
J I "ulltry, It tan bt' anythIng that allows the performer to make a
ll'dson.Jbll' gut''>s at Ihe IJUtCOJnt', bJ~ed on probabIlity.

This will be "Prediction Number Two."


All rlgltl, I've lIIadt' Illy pmltellOll
I rli

1'111 cotllmllled Wltal COIIII-

Figule 3

Place the envelope on the table in front of you as the left hand finger palms the slip

were ljOLI /llIlIk/llg of?

and turns in toward the body, concealIng it.


No Jnattl'l what tIlt' spl.'llator say", reply:
HI'lIl1lj? YOLI

Now tell everyone the name you were thinking of Uh huh, you were
thinking that name pretty loudly-did anyone else hear It?

dldll'l JLlsl cJ/IIlIXI' YOLir IIl1l1d? !lIIIIII/II ...

I l'\ 'h d%UJ11t' the ~r!'dator ;l'lelled "Gl.'rmany."

Write the name on the flap of the second envelope, then turn the envelope so that
the writing is oriented for the spectators. As you write, the left hand supports the
envelope-don't worry about the palmed slip beIng suspected, it's a perfectly natu-

It \ Important til allow for a bit of ten,lon, so avoid the tempta

tlOll 10 smilk ,md say " I'w gol il!" Write the name of the coun try
1I11 111t' lidl' of Ih l.' ,.nwlopl (Iig. 3) Jnd orient the envelope so th e
willing IS III J('nlt'd cOlfl'ctly for thl' 'reclatmS.
I t'I's 11'1/ SO/llI'Oll' l'IGt'

1I0W.

SI'I-.I' 2) lurn 10 Sp!'l talm Two, ,OJlll'One standing 10 the (JP-

Figule 4

ral action (Fig. 6-audience view).


STEP 3) You have a slip in left-hand finger palm. Pick up the final
envelope with the right hand and place it onto the left fingers,
concealing the palmed slip. Draw a large "3" on the envelope

Now Jor PredictIOn Number Three. ,.

IJlO.IIJldh' u'nlt'I,
Take the inalslip of paper and place it onto the envelope, Turn to
10 11,;lIk lif'sollll'/lIIII,II ciSI' ill YOJll' IIl1l1d's I'yl!, SCi'
'/Il1/l'tlllI' 'I'll led lit I'W,' f/'(llll ljOJl III a dlllller lable. 5011/('0/1' Irv
IIIg or delld, a J1er~lJJ/ I/lm'd Irkl' 10 '1'1', If yOJl Itad Ihe power. Call
\fOJl IIIIlIgIIII' SOllleOlll' Irke /lIIII? Good 110111 /lIIlIk oj Iltal per
M"''s f,,,1 /1111111', Nol lite IIl/Ill/I' Irnll/(', Iltlll'<; Jar lIIorl' Ihall I CIlII

I'd Irkl'

IJlllltiit',

yOJl

IJist tile fir~1

11111111',."

Pilk up till' sl'rlmd l'nVl'lopl' ,1I1d plarl' it into the left h(lnd, t(Jking ~arl' Ihat the slit in till' l'nwlopl' dlJl'~n't flash, a slmpll' mat
ler. You can l'Vl'n t1a~h thl' n'M of tlw I.'nwlorl' a, you talk, as in
PIg. 4 audienll' view. 'I~lkl' ,motlwr slir ot rarer and lay it onto
the envelore, thl'n turn tlw h,md so the rarer is toward the body
IS before, and writl' the naml' of the first spectator's selected
country, Germany, on the slip. Fold the slir into quarters and in

Spectator Three, a person standing to the left.

Finally, I'd like you to concentrate on the card you cut to.
Open the flap of the card case, keeping the case's thumb notch up.
By now, thanks to time misdirection, the audience will not recall
the orientation of the cards in the case. Indicate the top card of
the packet in the case. You can even pull it part of the way out,
turning your head.

283
282

MENTALISM

The right hand picks up Envelope One and places it into the left
hand, on top of the two finger-palmed slips. Hold the envelope so
the number faces the audience, for clarity

Here, I'll tllm away. YOII slide It Ollt, peek at it, tllenllOld it against
YOllr chest so / call't see Ii. DOlle? Call J tum back arolilld? Okay,
1I0W cOllcentrate 011 tile card. First tlte c%r, now the suit ... now
il1lagllle a giallt versioll of tlte card floating ill the air in f rollt of
I/ou. / thlllk I've got It.
The reason three cards were reversed at the start was to afford extra protection-if desired, you can reverse more than three. After
the card has been removed, re-c1ose the case and set it aside.

['ve committed myseIfto three predictIOns, three thoughts


dreamt lip by three different spectators. J tned my best
to get what Impressions J could. Let's see IlOw I did .
The country you picked was "Germany," and I sealed
my prediction ill this envelope.
Figure 7

Figure 10

Tear off the top of the envelope and let it fall to the table. Squeeze
the sides of the envelope with the right hand in such a manner
that it pops open like a coin purse (Fig. 10).

I roldlllg the slip of paper toward the body, write the name Spectator Two was thinking of on the slip of paper, and fold it in quarters. We'll assume the name was "Phil." I like to write a more
formal or casual version of the name, so that my match won't
be one hundred percent perfect. This adds some veracity to the

Display the folded slip that lies inside to the aud lence

demonstration
You have already conditIOned the audience by performing two
open IIlsertions of slips into envelopes. Now you'll execute a
simple bluff Hold the left hand, with envelope, palm toward the
body as the right hand takes the final slip and makes as If to
insert in IIlside, actually plaCing It behind the envelope and hold Ing It In place with the left thumb (Fig. 7). Bring the envelope to
the mouth to seal the flap, then pull the envelope out of the left
hand With the right fingers (Fig. 8) and drop it to the table, to the
left The stolen slip remains in the hand, falling onto the fingerpalmed slip already there (the left thumb aids III this). The motion
of the envelope falling to the table takes all the heat off the steal.
Allow the left hand to drop to rest position. Forget the palmed
~hps are there.

Figure 8

Figure 11

You will now perform the card-in-canister move ~ormally, this


effect involves a card somehow secured to the bottom of a container. In this case, the fact that you are squeezing the envelope
open to display the contents provides a useful service-when the
envelope is IIlverted the slip Just displayed will not be able to fall
out. Try this for yourself, and you'll see that it is one hundred
percent reliable.
As with the Card in Canister, you must coordinate the movements of both hands and fight the urge to rush in order to create

a perfect illusion:

Figure 9

Figure 12

All right, wltat is the olle card you are thinking of?

The hands move toward each other. The right hand pretends to
dump out the slip into the left hand as the left hand turns palm
up. As the left hand moves, the fingers ensure that the slips are
aligned, as they will masquerade as a single slip. See Figures 11
& 12-audlence view.

The spectator will reply, "Three of Clubs." Write "Three of Clubs" on the flap and
table the envelope by the others (Fig. 9-audience view).

Carelessly toss the inverted envelope aside, taking care that it


lands with its mouth away from the audience's view. Some may
wish to pocket the dirty envelope, although I don't feel it is neces-

STEP 4) Even though you have been very busy, as far as the spectators are concerned, you have only performed the natural movements necessary in order to
execute the overt actions taking place. You will now reveal all thre~ predictions
to be correct.

sary at this point.


Grasp the two slips between the left thumb and second finger
and gesture with them (Fig. 13), then tum the hand palm down
Figure 13

284

2m

APPROACHI~J

MAGIC

MENTALISM

You are now in an excellent positIOn. You can casually hold the
envelope with one hand at an extreme corner as you talk, or even
drop it on the table and pick it up again, so long as you ensure
that the underside is not seen. When you are ready to reveal the
prediction in the envelope, pick up the envelope and hold it so
that the slit faces your body (Fig. 19).

Figure 14

Figure 15

Push the slip further into the slit so that it fully enters the envelope, then tear the envelope along the existing slit, destroying
the evidence. Drop the empty half of the envelope on the table
and squeeze the remaining half open. A single folded slip will be
seen inside (Fig. 20). Have a spectator remove the slip and read it
aloud.

Figure 19

You were thinking of the name "Doug," and what name


did I predict? "Douglas"-which I think you'll agree
was pretty close.
STEP 6) You have nothing at all to do as far as technique goes
Figure 16

Figure 17

for the final envelope.

Figure 20

Last but not least I asked YOIl to think of any card in the
deck. Here-open the envelope and read what it says
inside!

as the thumb pulls the slip it touches (the second prediction) into finger palm
(Fig. 14). Table the visible slip to the right, by Spectator One (Fig. 15). This is a classic
billet switch.

The spectator will confirm that you predicted the playing card correctly.

Here-yoll read it YOllrself Read it alolld so everyolle call hear what's


written 011 it.

In this effect, the revelations of the predictions grow cleaner and cleaner as the routine progresses, culminating in a hands-off sequence that will be remembered.

The spectator wIll confirm that the slip says "Germany."


STEP 5) You now have the second prediction finger palmed in the left hand. Pick

up the second envelope and place it into the left hand, directly
onto the palmed slip as the hand turns palm up (Fig. 16). You do
this, ostensibly, to read the flap. Hold the inner portion of the
envelope between the left thumb (on top) and fingers (underneath). Grasp the envelope with the right hand at the outer right
corner as in Fig. 17. Press down slightly with the right thumb as
the left fingertips press upward . This will open the slit, and allow the left fingers to insert the folded slip partially into it (Fig.
18-worm's eye view).

If You Hit:

In the event you correctly hit the named country already written on the slip in Envelope One, the procedure can change a bit:
In Step 2, it doesn't matter what you write on the slip, as it will be stolen out and
discarded. When the slip is finger palmed in the left hand, and the number "2" has
been written on the envelope, take the pen with the left hand, and place it into the
Figure 18

286

APP~OAC ,I~G

pocket, ditching the slip at the same time. "Remember" that there's one prediction to go, and remove the pen . ThIs entire action can occur in a second, with the
pen never completely entering the pocket or being released by the left hand . As an
alternative, don't use the pen at all and simply place the hands into both pockets,

MAGIC

MENTALISM

THE METHOD: One of the principles at play is the fact that all of the questions

put to the audience member are multiple choice, and at minimum two of the three
questions result in a response, that, although unknown, falls into the eltherlor
category. I call these Al B questions. For now, let's assume all three questions are
AlB, but as yo u'll see, that is not necessary.

dltch1l1g the slip.


After the slip IS fake-inserted 1I1to Envelope 3, and the envelope is tabled, you will
have onl) one slip to contend with in the left hand . The first envelope can now be
cleanly opened, and the prediction removed. Treat Envelopes Two and Three in the
same manner as before.
The benefit of "hitting" is having two of the three envelopes contain perfect predictions with no moves necessary.

THE I:\1POSSIBLE
ENVELOPE
I designed this effect to close a particular incarnation of my parlor act of mentalism.
It's an interesting effect, because not only can it be performed for a large audience,
using a giant envelope, it can be done with a standard envelope in a more intimate
setting-over lunch, in an office, or at an interview for a gig. It is simplicity itself,
but when I introduced this effect into my act, many magicIans asked me how it was
accomplished. Months later, at a party unrelated to magic I bumped into a woman
who had seen the act. She said, "I'm still freaked out-how did you know all those
things about the person in the front row?" I believe this effect "gets people" because
it employs more than one principle, so although the principles involved are basic,
their combination results in something impenetrable.
THE EFFECT: During an act, or a conversation, the performer casually learns
three things about a participant he could not have known beforehand. He opens
an envelope that has been in plain view and inside, on a single piece of cardboard,
is clearly printed the information he could have in no way predicted.
NEEDED: Envelopes, paper, and a marker.

288

It's best to explain this method in reverse. It's simple to understand how, with a
piece of cardboard that is white on both sides, the outcome of an AlB question can
be predicted. All one needs to do is write one of the possibilities on each SIde of the
cardboard, then open the envelope in such a way so that the correct prediction is
revealed. Similarly, it's not difficult to visualize how two AlB questions could be
predicted. One could have two pieces of cardboard in the envelope, one slightly
shorter than the other for purposes of easy removal, and use the four available sides
to "predict" the four possible outcomes to the two AlB questions: AlA, AlB, BIA,
and BIB. The Impossible Envelope includes a third prediction written on a single
piece of paper, and that is a major "fooling element," as it just seems like too much
information. A simple swindle allows this to occur. Unknown to the audience, more
than one envelope exists. By casually obtaining the first bit of unknown, seemingly
unimportant, information very early on, I can procure the desired envelope and
display it in plain view as the remaining information is gleaned pIecemeal during
my act.
By using this procedure, the first question posed can have three or four possible
responses. All that is necessary is to prepare multiple "prediction envelopes" that
cover the possible responses to the first question, thus negating the need to have
options for more than four possible additional outcomes in any single envelope.
Let's look at an example. The questions you use are of course limited only by your
imagination. We will assume that, over the course of an act, a meal, or a meeting,
the following questions are asked:
Is your family predominantly on the East Coast, West Coast, or in the
middle of the country?
If you had a choice of a meal right now, would it be spicy food or mild
food?
Have you ever traveled abroad?
The first question has three possible outcomes, but the second and third are AlB
questions. Therefore, I would make up three envelopes, each containing two pieces
of cardboard with writing on both sides (the audience is only aware of writing on
one side). I would call the envelopes "East Coast," uWest Coast" and "Middle.-

('

--'I ht...e three envelopes would be placed in my jacket, In a case, or, In the case of my
parlor act, lust offstage where 1 can extend my hand and grasp whichever envelope
1 rl'qUlrl
On the flaps of these envelopes 1 Write, in pencil, "East Coast," "West Coast" and
h
t "h k" 1 place
"\1Iddle" tl) identify the contents and provide myse If Wit a secre c ec .
the three envelop('s in an order that makes internal sense to me, so that Instead of
meml)rIIlng som('thlng unfamiliar I exploit my predispOSitIOn . I naturally think
"I'ast Coast, West Coast, 1Iddle," 50 that IS the order J use.

MENTALISM

paper, Card Two, Side "A" information IS revealed, but If you remove the rear paper
Card One, Side "B" information IS seen. With the props In hand you'll see this is
a logical organizational system, based on the manner in which the possible vanations are laid out.
As the first piece of informatIOn gleaned becomes a given, one may Ignore It after
the proper envelope is introduced and deal only with the AlB permutations of the
remaining two questions.
Place the two pieces of cardboard into the envelope facing front, Card One, Side A"
on top of Card Two, Side "B." Note that the first two variables are identical on the
two cards- only the bottom variable offers two options. When holding the em'elope front side to the audience, the predICtions will follow your natural inclination
In sorting the va riables.
U

In thl'

"La~t ('r)ast" envelope, the information on the two pieces of cardboard would

bl' organl / ed in thiS manner'


I \" I ( ( ) \" I I '\ \ I I ( WI

F ..

Card One

Card Two:

Side "X'
East Coast

Side "X'
East Coast

SpICY
World Traveler

Mild
World Traveler

Side "B"

Side "8"

East Coast
Mild

East Coast

I Iomebody

Jn the case of food, I happen to think "Spicy, :Vlild," which is why the Spicy" variable is seen regardless of which piece of cardboard is removed when the envelope
faces the audience. Visualize the envelope haVing, In this case, a "Spicy Side" and
a " Mild Side"

Jn the con text of performance, after I've conversed with the spectator and obtained
the necessary information, I remove the "East Coast Envelope," mentioning how it
contains my final effect and will remain in full view during my entire act.

SpI CY
Homebody

I he chart 15 for explanatory purposes, the only writing on the predictions are the
three speCifics running from top to bottom Notice that there arc many variables,
but tht: top prediction on every side IS, in thiS case, "East Coast." You ca n sec how,
hy milking the first question a given, the permutations needed within each enve
lope arc gn'iltly reduced.

Later, after I've asked the food question, I immediately know which way I'll be
holding the envelope when I display the prediction, front or back toward the audience. The final prediction is organized by personal predilection as welL forward to
rear. I happen to think "Traveler/Homebody," so "Traveler" will always be on the
front piece of paper, and "Homebody" will always be found on the rear. Again, by
Writing on two pieces of paper and using the props in hand, the procedure can be
more easily grasped.

1 hiS simplt: idea gets confusing without props in hand, due to the geometry

In

volved. To best visualize the logic behind the placement of information on the plec
es of cardboard, take two pll'ces of paper and mark them as deScribed, then put
Card One, Side "N' on top of Card Two, Side "8" and place them Into an envelope

The remaining two envelopes have the predictions laid out in exactly the same
manner. The only difference is the change in the "given" prediction.

large enough to contain them without folding them.

For the West Coast Envelope, every word and placement is the same except for the
filCt that "West Coast" is substituted for "East Coast." In a like manner the Middle
Envelope has the word "Middle of U.S." written in the top position on all four sides

Hold the envelope so that Card One, Side "A" is toward the front. Naturally, by
reaching into the envelope and taking out the front paper, the Card One, Side "A"
information is displayed, but by taking (lut the rear paper, Card Two, Side "13" information is displayed. Similarly, if you turn over the envelope and remove the front

290

of the predictions.

291

APP~OA~ "I~S

\\"EST Cl HST E:\\TLOI'E

Card One:
Side "A"
West Coast
SpICy
\'\'orld Traveler

Card Two:
Side "K
West Coast
Wid
\ "orld Traveler

Side "8"
\Vest Coast
11ild
Homebodv

Side "8"
\'\'est Coast
Spicy
Homebody

World Traveler

itA"
Middle of U.S.
MIld
World Traveler

~fiddle

Middle of U.S

of u.s.

of U.S.
}.liId

MENTALISM

By tile way, did you notice the envelope that I put on the table when we
first sat down? Last nigilt I had a vision, a vision of this lunch, and in
this vision I learned sOl11e things about you, like ...
I then withdraw the correct piece of cardboard so the approprIate side is showing,
and drop it onto the envelope Itself as I read off the predictions. By placing the
cardboard back onto the envelope, the reverse side, containing additional \'\Titing,
cannot accidentally be flashed .
In the case of a formal performance, I'll perform a quick openIng effect that utilizes
a woman in the front row. I then ask her the question I will later use as the first prediction (the "given"), but in a conversational manner, trying to find a bit of humor
in the answer. I mention that my final effect will be In plain view, and I remove the
approprIate envelope, placing it where it can be seen by all.

Card One
~1iddle

MAGIC

---....,

TO PERFORM:

Obviously, your venue is going to determine the manner in which this effect is performed. In the case of a lunch meeting, for example, in the course of conversation I
obtain the answer to my first question then a bit later I'll casually place the appropriate envelope onto the table, over to the side, and ignore it until later. During the
meal, I'll manage to ask the remaining two questions. When I want to segue into
the effect I say:

Gee, I've learned a lot of things about you today, things you never shared
with me before this evening.

As the act progresses, I take the opportunity to ask this same woman the remaining
two questions, questions that relate in some way to the effects I am presenting. Of
course, if desired one can pose questions to three different individuals. Some may
find this preferable, as it involves more people and may help cancel out possible
thoughts of a stooge.
In my act I involve an envelope in every effect. The first has a "1" on it, the second
a "2," and the third a "3." The envelopes used in this effect have a large black "4"
drawn on one side, and the words "The Final Envelope" on the other. This way,
when executing the effect I have motivation to tum the large envelope toward the
audience in a way that favors the side I wish to have facing them. I can say "You
remember Envelope 4, our Final Envelope," and tum over the envelope to match
the patter. .. or not.
During the act, I find reasons to recap the answers given by the woman in the audience, but in a light-hearted manner. I absolutely do not want the audience to guess
that the answers have anything to do with an effect to come. By repeating the free
responses, they remain in the audience's memory and give immediate impact to the
final reveal of the prediction.
Finally, I don't introduce this effect-it's almost over before it has begun. After my
penultimate trick, I "forget" that I have an effect to follow:

Well, that's my show. I enjoyed spending this time with you, and I then recap those items I will later reveal.
I interrupt myself, acting as if someone has reminded me about The Final BnveIope.

292

APPROAChiNG MAG r

MENTALISM

EFFECT: A spectator places three different DVDs into three different pockets

Sometimes they \\ III remind me, as the envelope is in plain view.

Oh, that's I'Igllt-1allllost forgot Errvrlope NII/rrber Fa II 1': The Firral EIIvrlope! It wOllld've beell a sharlle, becallse It'S all abollt YOII ...
During the above I have picked up the envelope and faced It

In

the proper direc-

while the performer's back IS turned. The performer faces the spectator and correctly identifies the DVD that lies in each pocket. He then pOInts out a prediction
that has been in fu ll vieW-It, too, correctly names where each DVD was placed.
NEEDED: Three very different DVDs

their cases. I use a romantic film, a horror


film, and an X-rated film with a funny title (there are many of these).
In

tIon.

.. .abollt holV YOllr farrrily's frolll tire East Coast, YOII like SPICY food, arId
YOII're a lVorld traveler!
I whip out the proper piece of cardboard and immediately place It on the envelope,
preventing the "bad" side from flashing.
With arms outstretched, the prediction faCing the audience, I strike a pose of fina lity.

Tlrank YOII and good /light'

So, the effect itself truly only takes seconds, but th e act has led up to it. It provides a
nice final "Wow," something they can take with them as a memory of th e act.

TO PREPARE: Standard DVD cases possess two intenor plastic latches that pro-

duce a CLICK every time the box is opened or closed Remove those two latches
on one of the boxes With a pair of plrers. The box can still be opened or closed,
but it wi ll not produce the typical loud CLICK. Sound IS the heart of this method .
The ot her two cases are unprepared, but in one case the DVD is placed on top of
the interior spind le, wi th out pushing it fast-in other words, the DVD is loose in
the case. Now, when these boxes are opened and the DVDs removed, the sound
produced wi ll tell the performer precisely which box the spectator is hold mg. That
is because there are three different possible sound combinations:
SNAP/SNAP
SNAP/SILENCE
SILENCE/SNAP
Memorize which box produces which set of sou nds The idea of using sounds to
identify co ntainers, in his case envelopes, belongs to Bob Somerfeld.
On a large piece of poster board, write the following with a Wide marker:

PORN IN YOUR PANTS

LOVE STORY-RIGHT
HORROR-LEFT
XXX-PANTS
ThiS prediction should be pre -set with its back toward the audience, but plainly vis-

This routine uses one of the great methods in mentalism, one pioneered by Ned
Rutledge in the 19605, and adapted by Stephen Tucker in his brilliant effect "Vi$a
Cabaret." I have adapted the routine for use with three different DVDs, and it is
published here with his permission. This routine "plays big"-useful in larger
venues-plus opens up avenues for humor. When I first performed this routine I
employed an extraordinarily expensive transmission device to provide me with the
needed information. It was a finicky thing, causing me no small amount of anxiety
whenever I presented the effect. Since that time I've developed a method that re quires no specially-purchased gimmick, and it works every time.

294

ible at a II tI meso
TO PERFORM:
STEP 1) Display the DVDs on a table. Introduce the premise:

Whether or 1I0t you believe ill ESP, you have to admit that we sense emotiolls every day. We might see afriend and say, "What's the maHer?" not
because he said something, but because we could simply frel that some-

A1f KOA(rll~G MAGIC

tiling was wrollg in the sallie way we call tell wllell sOll/eone Ilns heard
good news. All 1'111 going to attell/pt rigilt now is to sense elliot 10115, al~d
to do that 1 brollght along sOll/e objects tllnt, I/Opeflllly, Will generate different elllotions frail/ one of YOIl. r have tllI'ee DVDs rep::eselltin~ three
different types of filll/s. First, "Whell Harry Met Sally, a claSSIC love
story. Next, a different type of fillll, "Sound of Horror." 1'111 not slIre
what horror sounds like, bllt jlldgillg fro/11 tile covel' it II/akes YOllr eyes
bleed. Finally, we have tile tasteflll erotic fill1l "Missionary III/possible."
SlIrpnsil1gly, TOIll C/'/Iise IS not III til is filll/. His agency really goofed all
this aile, because I've seen all ti,e Missio111l1lpossible fi lllls , alld this is ti,e
only one that held l1Iy attentioll frail/ beginning to end. So sOli/cone really
dropped the ball-oops, 1galle away the ending.
As you discuss each film, hold up its corresponding case.

Now r need SOllleOl1e from the alldience to serve as my "reactor." How


about you?
BrIng the spectator onto the stage. After learning his name, pick up a DVD case and

MENTALISM

Please ~1/ck lip allY one of the DVD boxes alld show It to the alldlcllce, so
tI/('!! call all seL' which aile YOII picked Opell the case alld lIIake slIrc thc
correct DVD IS IIlslde. Now take the DVD alit, hold It to YOllr forciwad
alld WIIl:1I I slIap Illy fingers, feci the elllotion prodllced by that fillll.
Ready? Go!
Have the spectator do as instructed. Of course, when the DVD case is opened and
the DVD IS removed from the case, you wIll know which title has been selected The
ke} is to make sure he performs two separate actIons. He first opens the case (Cue
#1), then he remo\'es the DVD (Cue #2).
It IS here that the ver, sneaky Rutledge/Tucker method comes Into play. Once you
know which DVD lhe spectator IS holdIng, you instruct hIm to place it Into the
pocket that matches what you've written on your predICtion I This 10\'ely ruse fools
people hombl). [n other words, if he is holding the love stan, you <;<1\

Okay, take whatever DVD yOIl're 110idillg and pllt it ill


pocket ...

1/0111'

nght Jacket

If the X-rated film IS chosen It's Important to keep things lo\\'-ke\ SImply say:

try to Insert it into his jacket pocket.

Will this fit in your packet?


It typically will not fit. On those rare occasions when it can squeeze in, act as if it is

too difficult.

Never mind-we don 't need the case. We can use the DVD by itself.
Open the case that produces two "clicks," remove the DVD by way of explanation,
and replace It into the case.
STEP 2) Leave all three DVDs on the table.

In a moment I'll ask YOIl to tilink of one of the films, and wilen you do,

don't simply think of the title, bllt experience the emotion that the film
represents. So, for the love film YOII'd project afeeling of romance, the IlOrror film a sensation offear, and the adult film, well, lise YOllr imaginatioll.
And audience, don't give me any clues. Okay, I'm turning away.
Match actions to words, making it clear that you cannot see the spectator or the

DVDs.

296

Whatwer DV 0 yOIl're holdlllg, pllt It


back pocket-it lIIakes 110 difference.

III

a pants pocket, Side pocket or

Have him pick up a second DVD ..

Leave the elllpty box all the tablc alld pIck lip IlIlOtlll'r DVD ca~L'. Show
it arollnd. Make sure the right DVD IS IIIslde, thL'll take It Ollt alld hold
It up to YOllrforehead ... [etc.]
As before, simply Instruct the spectator to place the DVO in the pocket that matches
the predIctIOn . Continue with.

There's olle DVD left. Si/(lll' it arolllld, tilL'1I '/(lld tile DVD III' to your
forehead ...
Obviously, you instruct the spectator to place this third DVD in whatever spot you
have pred icted .

May I tllm back around? Is etJf?rything concealed? Good, now look in


myeyt's. Uh illlh, jllst as I suspected. You know, I picked you from tM

2fT

APP~OAC~I~G

MAGIC

MENTALISM

SPECIAL BULLETIN

alldience for a reason. You strllck I/le as the sort of glly wllO wOllld do
things in a certain way, and wIlen YOIl sellt over tllOse elllotlollS YOIl confi rllled what I suspected. So please rel/love tile love story "When Harry
Met Sally" from YOllr right jacket pocket alld show it to liS. Now take the
horror film from YOllr left jacket pocket ... and please, take that porn alit

Hen Fetsch's "Mental Epic" (based on Peter Warlock's "The Taped Slate") is a classic prop, and a very good way to get one-ahead. For a long time I've wanted to use
the principle in another manner, for the simple reason that a slate/white board dIvided into six squares is not a common object. I don't recall ever seeing a board dIvided into six squares in real life. My solution is this, a prop that is based on Mental
Epic, but comprised of everyday materials. Look at Figure 1. The prop appears to be
a standard cork board with a few numbered envelopes tacked to it, as well as a few
file cards. For those who roll their eyes at an effect that requires a small amount of
effort to assemble, all I can say to console you is that it's not very difficult-I have
no gift at all for construction or arts & crafts (or "art" or "craft" individually). This
prop was constructed after a trip to the office supply store and hardware store, and
an outlay of perhaps thirty dollars. Once I worked out the design, the assembly took
place over an afternoon. If you perform mentalism, it's really a small price to pa)

of YOllr pants!
Stnke a pose of finality and let the audience applaud. Shake your subject'S hand and
allow him to start to go, then stop him as if you have just had a thought.

Wait, I want to be fair. I wasn't completely forthrigllt with YOIl. I told YOIl
that I sensed you'd do things in a certain way, and you probably aSSllllle
1got that impression when llooked at you seated in that chair, but no. I
got that impression last Ilight when 1 dreamt about you. That's right, 1
saw you in a dreallllast lligl7t alld in tlwt dream you placed tile love story
in your right pocket, the horror film in your left pocket, and ti,e X-rated
fill/l in your pants pocket. It l/lade sllch nil impression I jotted it down all
a little piece of paper, and that piece of paper is right over... tlJere.

NEEDED: A cork board, manila envelopes, expanding file folders (also called "expanding jackets"), glue, a small easel, monofilament or thread, stiff wire, a marker, a pencil eraser, poster board, a utility knife, scissors, adhesive tape, four small
screw eyes, push pins.

Act as if you are about to remove a small scrap of paper from a pocket, then direct
attention to the prediction and cleanly turn it to face the audience.

As YOIl can see, 1 knew you'd put love stan) in your right pocket, the
horror film in your left, and the X-rated film in your pants! Let's have a
round of applause for Bob, a mall of many emotions!

The "forced placement" stratagem works well in this context, because it allows the
performer to always end the first part of the routine with a reaction of amazement
and laughter that is a natural applause cue ("Take that porn out of your pants!"),
after which the coda of the prediction is deeply baffling.
The concept of sound delivering information regarding the identity of particular
containers (envelopes) was explored by mentalist Bob Somerfield.

298

The measurements used to construct the gImmIck are variable,


as one can make a "parlor" Special Bulletin, or a larger model for
stage, utilizing a larger board and envelopes. The prop pictured
measures approximately 17" x 23." The numbered manila envelopes are 6" x 9," and the 6le cards are 4" x 6." The construction is
simple, and easily adapted.
Figule 1

TO CONSTRUCT:

STEP 1) Turn the cork board face down. It's wise to lay the board
on corrugated cardboard or the like to avoid damaging the
surface below the board (floor, tabletop, etc.) during construction. Lay three envelopes on the board near the bottom, evenly
spaced. Use a straight edge and pencil to draw the outlines of
the envelopes on the rear of the board, which is never seen. You
must now cut three holes in the rear of the board, each slightly
smaller than the envelope that will lie in front of it (Fig. 2), I use
a utility knife to cut through the rear of the board-an

APPROACH NC MAGI:

MENTALISM

inexpensive board with a backing made of compressed paper. .Of


course, you can use a jigsaw or small handsaw to d~ the cuttl.ng
If you wish to use a cork board with a harder backing matenal.
In any event, cut holes approximately l/.j" to lh" smaller than tl~e
envelopes used. In the case of 6" ). 9" envelopes, the holes cut wIll
measure about 5 W' ). 8 112."
NOTE: If desired, this prop can also be made from easily-cut

white foam core covered with thin adhesive-backed rolled cork,

Figure 3

Figure 8

Figure 9

Figure 10

Figure 11

both ava ilable at office supply shops.


STEP 2) Using a marker, draw a large "1," "2," and "3" on the

clasp side of three envelopes. Turn the envelopes over and .cut a
rectangular hole out of the reverse side of the envelopes (FIg. 3).
The holes should be the same size as the holes in the board . Place
an envelope to position on the cork side of the board, covering
a hole. Glue or otherwise adhere the envelope to the board . The
envelope will essentially be backless, and held tight against the
board. Treat the remaining two envelopes in the same manner
(Fig. 4).

123
Figure 4

the board, one at the far left sIde and one at the right, a couple
of inches above the cut-out holes, then run a length of stiff wire
between the eyelets (Fig. 5). Make sure it is taut. Screw the remaining two eyelets into the board, again at the left side and
right, about even with the tops of the holes (Fig. 6).

horizontal wire on the rear of the board and tape the free ends
of the strips back onto the folder (Fig. 9). The file folder "pocket"
can now be flipped over so that it is hidden behind the board,
and is able to slide freely along the wire A center divider may
be added to the pocket, if desired . The pocket must cover two
holes, as is shown in Figure 10.

STEP 4) Take an expanding file folder and cut down its front side

STEP 5) Tape an end of thread or monofilament to the upper

as 111 Figure 7. Cut two stripS off the discarded portion of the
folder, approximately 1" x 5," fold them in half and tape an end
of each to the folder as in Figure 8. Fold the strips over the taut

right corner of the pocket, at about the same level as the lower
eyelets (Fig. 11). It's best to zigzag the thread between layers of
tape, so the thread cannot slip free.

STEP 3) Turn the board over, face down. Screw two eyelets into

Figure 12

STEP 6) Break the thread off the spool at about the three-foot

FigIn 6

300

F~ure 13

mark and thread the free end through the lower right eyelet,
then move the pocket so that its left side lines up with the left
side of the leftmost hole (Fig. 12). Run the thread to the left and
pass it down through the lower left eyelet. Attach a bead or pencil
eraser (the latter is my preference) to the thread just below the
eyelet and tie it off (Fig. 13). Now if you pull on the bead. the
pocket will move away from you and travel to the other side of

---

----

---

A)PROA(rll~C MAGIC

MENTALISM

Pin three blank file cards above the envelopes (see Fig. 1 again).
Any ea~el you employ must not interfere wrth the mechanrcs of
your Special BulleLin Jt can be leaned against almost anything.
In Figure 20 I have It propped up against a practice mirror.
Set the board so that the secret pocket is behind Envelopes #3
and #2. J lave a marker and a stack of blank file cards handy
figure 15
figure 14

Figure 20

TO PERFORM:
STEP 1) Establish the premise.

Figure 16

figure 17

the board Figure 14 shows the manner In which the thread IS nt


tached to the prop.

The spectator you begin with Will actually be Spectator #3, but I like haVing the
card selected at the top, to put distance between myself and the deck carlyon . You
must, of course, force the Ace of Hearts (in thiS case). A couple of deceptive forces
are described in "MediCinal Value" and "The Three Envelopes."

STEP 7) Create "stoppers" b, plaung push pins ncar the bottom


left and right corners of the board (llgs 15 & 16). The obJecLive

IS to ensure that the pocket halts when It lines up With holes In


thl' board, on both the left and right Sides
Tilke a strip of poster board and tape It or staple it across the back
of the cork board just below the lower eyelets. ThiS will serve to
keep the pocket pressed light against the board (Fig. 17).

STEP 2) Turn to Spectator #1

figure 1B

STEP 8) Make two envelope diViders by cutting two envelopes

as shown in Figure 18. Slip the dividers into envelopes number


"1" and "3" (Fig. 19). These envelopes have now become double
envelopes, although that's not cntirely accuratc, as they have no
backs. Write "Ace of Hearts" (or any card you will later force)
on a file card with the marker you will use in performance, and
slip that card into the secret (front) pocket of Envelope #3, faCing
away from the audience.

302

Is lliere slIcli 17 llilllg I7S lIIind readil1g? /'/1/ 110t SlIre, but I kl10w there's
slI cli a lliillg as 1101I-verbal cOll1l11ul1icatiol1. We all receive 1101l-verbal
CO IIIIIIIIII/CI7IiOIl fro/1/ pcople every dl7y- dllrrllg bus1I1ess lIIeet1l1gs,
dates, 01/ llie liigliway whell YOll wi someolle off .. /'m gomg to use three
people III all experrlllellt 1I1volving the recelvil1g of slgnl7/s-slgl1als they
tlielllseives I7re III/aluare of Let's start witli sOlllething sl/1/ple, sO/1/ctlimg
/'111 very fl7lllillar wltli, pll7ylllg cards. WOllid YOIl tl7ke one alit I7nd don't
evell look al If for IIOW, ]lIst pili it 111 17 pocket or sit all it, I7nytIllllg that
prcvellts IIII! fro 111 seelllg it. We'll cOllie back to YOIl III a blf

It like YOII to tIllllk of tlie illltials of anyoni' .'lOll kllOw. fllst two illitials,
lIIake il easy 01/ 1111'. Got tlI'1II 7 Look at IIIi' ami concClltrate on tI,C il/ilials, bill d(l/I'I COIISClOlIslt! s(,lId IIII! alH! c/lIl's.

Take the stack of frle cards, look at the spectator as if getting information, then write
anything at all on the fill' card, as it is a dummy and will not be seen again.

Figure 19

A;>PROAlHl~G

MAGIC

MENTALISM

Write down the numbers thought of by Spectator #2, and insert that file card, back
to the audience, into Envelope #3, angling it so that It falls into the secret pocket.

Take the file card, back toward the audIence, and place it in the secret (front) compartment of Envelope #1 (Fig. 21)

I was halfguessing with that one. Let's see your card ... tlIe Ace of

['ve made my prediction. Now almOlmce to tire audience the imtials you

Hearts.

were tlrmking of
Display the card, then place it aside-do this now so you will not have to gather the
card at the conclusion of the effect. Write "AH" on the file card above Envelope #3.

Repeat the thought-of initials and wnte them on the blank file card above Envelope
#1 (Fig. 22).

STEP 3) Recap the events to prepare the audience for the denouement

Turn to Spectator #2~

All rig/It, let's make It slightly more complex. Think of any three
IJIIl1lbers that appear in a pirone I1Il11lber that you know. You
//lust think of tile nWllbers in the order they appear, but you don't
have to begin with the first digit. For example, you can concel1trate on the fifth, sixt/I and seventh digits of the number. Got it?
Concentrate. See the l1umbers ill front of you. Now look at me.
HI1lIll .. . this time concentrate on the numbers one at a time, one
after the other. Okay .. .J think ['m close.

All right .. .I don't know about you, but I've exerted a lot of energy. I could
use a Red Bull right now. You thought of any two letters, you thought of
any three numbers-all right, they were consecutive /lumbers in a phone
number, bllt that's still preth) tough, and you sent me a mental picture
of a card you never even looked at until a second before you sellt me the
image. Let's see how I did. We'll start with the card, because that was half
guesswork, to be honest.

123

Reach into the secret (forward) compartment of Envelope #3 with the left hand as
the right hand pulls the bead (or eraser), sending the secret pocket over behind
Envelopes #1 and #2 (Fig. 24). The operation is almost completely
silent, but the crinkling produced by the left hand as it reaches
into the envelope masks any extraneous sound. Display the prediction to the audience.

figure 21

Write Spectator #l's initials on a file card, the stack tipped toward
yourself so no one can see the writing. Place this card into Envelope #2, back toward the audience. Of course, it doesn't really go
into Envelope #2, it goes out the back of the envelope and into the
secret traveling pocket. This is automatic if the file card is angled
toward the rear as it is inserted into Envelope #2 (Fig. 23).

Ace of Hearts. I got lucky 011 that olle.

1'111 locked ill. What numbers were you thinking of?


Repeat the numbers and wnte them on the file card pinned above
Envelope #2.

Place the file card partially into Envelope #3 on a diagonaL for


display (Fig. 25).
figure 22

figure 24

The right hand reaches into Envelope #2, goes through the hole
in the rear and grasps the file card sitting in the secret pocket,
withdrawing it from the envelope.

Turn to Spectator #3:

For you, it's important that you do not think in words, but instead
think in pictures. I'll turn away. Look at the card you took for the
first time, then hide it again. Okay-can I turn back around?
Now look me in the eye and see a picture, an image of the card.
No, you're letting words creep in there, just a picture ... I'm not
sure, but I'm going to commit myself.

This olle I was pretty sure about!

2.

Read the prediction and set it partially in Envelope #2, for display.

And I've always been considered a man ofletters....


figure 23

304

385

APt>ROAC~I~:;

MAGIC

MENTALISM

The right hand reaches Into Envelope #1 and removes the card In
the secret pocket. Read the card and place it partially into Envelope #1 for a final display (Fig. 26).

J
In addition to "Mental Epic," the concept of secretly moving
objects from within one container to another has been utilized b)
magicians such as George Sands, Bob Mason and u.F. Grant.

2 3
figule 26

E-TIME PREPARATIO : 'tau must remO\'e the co\ers from the four a~~orted

paperbacks and glue them onto the four duplicate copies of, in n1\ case, Hellrt.;
Dn'ldrd. When remo\'ing the cowr of a paperback some care must be e"\erosed:
Rip a few pages out of the book as you pull back the front co\er and break the
glue at the spine Turn the book owr and rip out some pages as you pull baCK the
rear cO\-er, agaIn breakIng the glue at the spine lOU can now peel ott the spine,
remO\ ing the entire cover of the book intact. After the coyer has been remo\ed.
tear off the loose pages that came along with It. lOU will find that by purchasIng
paperbacks In used book stores you can often buy dIfterent printings of a title that
are laid out In e"\actly the same manner, sometimes even hanng different tints to
the pages, making the duplicates appear different e\-en from the Side.
You must make a crib sheet of words and phrases located on thirty-si"\ different
pages of your force book. The pages from which YOU need to e"\tract information are
those comprised of numbers that can be formed with two dICe:

THE HARLEQUIN
BOOK TEST
Books tests are beloved by magiCians and mentalists, but one need only view an
assortment of performances to come to the conclusion that the cost of the props
used has nothing whatsoever to do with the effectiveness of the routine. I will spare
you the details of watching a magician numb a theater full of once-alert audience
members with a four-hundred dollar book test. I suppose they were fooled, but they
simply didn 't care. Here then, is a book test that can be made up for about twentyfive dollars which is designed to entertain as well as fool.
NEEDED: Nine paperback books (to be discussed), an artist's sketch pad, a mark-

er, a paper shopping bag, rubber cement.


The paperback books must all be cheap romance novels. I got mine from a used
book store, and many of them cost twenty-five cents each. The books should have
tiles that immediately identify them as romance paperbacks, and they should be
approximately the same size. You will need five copies of one book, and one each
of the four others. The titles of my books are Hearts Divided (five copies), Captivated
Hearts, Oklahoma Bride, Dangerous Love, and The Lightkeeper's Woman. Although
the titles are different, after the gaffs are constructed the interior of every book is

Hearts Divided.

306

11

21
31
41
51
61

12
22
32
42
52
62

13
23
33
43
53
63

14
24
34
44
54
64

15
25
35
45
55
65

16
26
36
46
56
66

I prefer not to use the first or last words of a pilge, but II1steild tr.:mscribe the beginning of a paragraph that falls in the middle of a page, or lust aboH~ the middle.
Type words from each of these pages Into a crib (il "cheat sheet") For the saKe of
completeness, at the conclusion of these Instructions you wIll find my Crib for Ht'Ilrts
Dh'ided by Debbie t-vlacomber, KatherIne Stone and LOIS Filye Dyer, published by
MIRA Books.
The crib IS cut out and pasted onto the bottom of the sKetch pad';. coyer, where it
appears to be mndom sales te"\t. If you use "Hearts Divided" as your force book, you
can copy and cut out the appropriilte crib. J hilye reproduced the crib white-on-black
as well as black-on white. The pad IusI.' has a black cover, so I use the crib with the
black background.
Place the books into the shopping bag along with the sketch pad. Have the marker
somewhere handy.

APPROACHING MAGIC

MENTALISM

Have the books collected and bring Mary next to you, center stage.
TO PERFORM:

Now for the duration of this experiment [ want us to be back-Io-back.


STEP 1) Introduce the premise:

Ladies and gentlemen, perhaps yOIl've seell television programs where


they tn) to prove the existence of psychic COIllI1Hlnicat!on. Typically
someone will look at a word in a book and the medllll1l wIll try to guess
the word. Not that impressive, because if YOIl think abollt it, if you know
what the book is you can probably dedllce ti,e kind of word a person
is thinking of TOl1igilt we're going to attempt our own experiment in
telepathic C0l111111l11ication, bllt we're going to do it under test conditions
IISll1g a member of this alldience. Is there anyone here who feels they have
the ability 10 cOllll11l1nicate telepathically? [As if hearing a thought] 1
Just got a "yes." Was that from YOII? Want to give it a shot?
Bring up a volunteer from the audience.

Your name?
She will say her name, for example, "Mary."

No, 1 meant for you to think it ... [concentrate] "Mary?"


She will acknowledge that you are correct.

1'111 getting a good feeling about this. Now unlike television shows where
they use one book, I brought five novels with me, randomly selected, each
comprised of completely different subject matter.
Produce the books and display each.

They are .. .Hearts Divided, Captivated Hearts, Oklahoma Bride,


Dangerous Love and The Lightkeeper's Woman.
Hand the books to different members of the audience.

Here, look them aver, make sure the words are different on every page,
because if every word was the same, this would not be sufficiently challenging. Mnry, I'm going to put you to work, please take this bag and
gather up all the books.

308

Turn Mary so her back is to yours.

Take any book out of the bag then leave the bag on the floor. I don't want
to know which book you decided on. Now open the book you selected to
any page.
Turn to an audience member who sits within your field of VISion. You do not want
to turn your head toward Mary.

While she's doing that, would you, sir, please count the change in YOllr
pocket and arrive at a total?
It's important to have an audience member start adding up his change prior to the
initial "effect," in order to minimize a stage wait. If the spectator carries no coins
tell him to imagine sitting on a couch at home, reaching between the cushions and
coming up with a handful of change. I aim for a large number by saying:

Maybe it's ninety-seven cents, maybe a dollar fifty-three ....


STEP 2) Pick up the sketch pad and remove the marker from your pocket.

Have you opened the book you chose to any page? Great. Start reading to
yourself, sending me your thoughts, and I'll see what I call pick up.
Stare down at the pad's cover as you concentrate You are not yet procuring information, you are setting a stage picture that will be repeated later. Flip the pad open
and write the words "MAN" and "WOMAN" on the top half of the sheet.

Okay, I'm getting nil image. I'm sensing that a l1Ian and a woman are
somehow involved. Yes?
Show the audience what you have written. Your volunteer will generally say "yes."
If, however, she says no, it's even better, because you want the audience to believe
this is all a sham. In that event, continue with:

Well, I think it's implied. That's a hit!

309

MENTALISM

A Iwo alld a SI\" ?


Turn to the audience member who has the loose change.

Have YOll cOllllled YOllr c/mllge yet? Whal is Ihe tolal? A dollartwelllySIX? Go to page one hllndred a1ld twellty-six, and as YOll flip the pages
I/Otlce that every page is differellt fro 111 the last. Read page aile III/Ildred
and Iwenhj-six and selld 111e YOllr tho lights.
Write the words "LOVE, NO, PASSION" on the bottom half of the shee t.

Ah yes, 1'111 sensing an e1110lion . Between this man and tllis W0111all are
feelings of love-no, passion!
Triumphantly show the audience what you have written.

If f am correct, say nothing! Another hit!

YaH know, [ tho ugh I [ saw a

heaving bOS0111 for a second, blltl didn'l want to c011lmit.


Act as if no one is buy this, and close the pad.

[ know what you all are thinking... f must be USl11g stooges. YOll're thillking that before the show I told Mary to opell that book at a partiCIIlar
spot, then I snuck a dollar twenty-six cents into that man's pocket. Illeed
to prove to you this is on the lip and up.
Point to a spectator within your field of vision. Again, you do not want to turn your
head toward Mary.

You, yes, you-the one trying to set fire to me with his eyes-here are
two invisible dice.
Mime placing two dice onto the cover of the sketch pad, then lob the dice toward
the spectator using the pad.

Assume your "concenlri.lIIOn" slance, sliHing dlf(~ctly i.lt the crib on the cover of the
pad in your hand .

Okay go to page Iwelll y-sh Tellille when YOII 're Ihere


You will have the information you need before she IS able to locate the proper pi.lge
As soon as you have the information, In this case the words " Never felt this strongly
about a woman" open the pad, tear off the top page i.lnd turn it over, providing you
With a blank surface

YOII're all page Iwelll y-sh:? SIarl read111g if. No, let's 111ake il harder,
don't look al Ihe lop line or tile boll0111 l111e. Go 10 a paragraph III Iht'
111iddle a1ld starl 10 read, send111g III' the 111essage. Ah ha l This love beIween Ihe 111all and Ihe w0111all-1 sense ... a complicalioll' 1111los111g Ihe
connectioll, go lip a paragraph and read sOl11e 11101'1'
The reason you tell your volunteer to go up a paragraph IS to ensure that the portion
of the page with the known words has Indeed been rei.ld.

Stillnolhing, go back dowII. Ah-Ihe love

IS

in

S0111t'

way IIl1n'qlllledl

You must now segue to the known phrase as you write It in large bloc\.. letters on
the pad, a bit at a time. In the case of this pi.lrliCular page, the verbal segue might
go something like thiS:

/ lIeed YaH to really COIICL'lIlratl' 1I0W. Send a s/rollg ~igllallo 111C. Wail ..
"strong"... wlien I Said tlial word [felt S0111et/llng. YOllr cycs glallccd over
tliat word. Is Ihe word "sl rOllg" s0111ewhere Oil Ilml page?
You are in fact requesting thi.lt the volunteer look nround for the word "strong," but
to the audience it seems that there wns nn instant connection.

You have the dice? Roll them in front of you. Look at the numbers that
just came up. Call them out in any order and that'll be our page number!

The word is Ihere?


The audience will be surprised-they relaxed during the preliminaries but now

STEP 3) It is here that the method for the effect is (finally) brought into play. The
number called out will be a page number that exists on your crib. As soon as the
number is called out, issue a command:

310

something impossible is occurring.

311

APPROACH NG MAG ~

MENTALISM

I knew it, I felt it. It's Ilever been tMs strollg before. Wait ... is that part

of it? SOlllethillg abollt 'feelillg strollgly ... alld a wOlllall"... wonld YOII
please read that selltcllce alolld so everyolle call hear?
After she reads the sentence in the book, smile, then turn the pad to face the audience, reading a loud what you have written

"Never felt this strollgly abollt a WOIIWII I" Please, a rolllld of applallse for
Mary, who jllst gave liS all a piece of I,er 1II11ldi
Lead the applause for your volunteer as you have her bow.

The use of invisible dice of course restricts the spectator's possible choices but appears to be an escalation of test conditions-what could be fairer than allowing a
person to Imagll1e something?
A side note: I originally wanted to perform this effect uSll1g "adult" papcrbacksthe kind [ used to find 111 the back of my father's desk drawer. I went online and
found a store called "jason's Adult Books" located in North Hollywood . I got in my
car and drove to what turned out to me a unkempt storefront with squares of plywood covering the glass of the windows. A moldering sign informed me I'd found
"Jason's Adult Books." I walked in to the dimly-lit nook and saw nothll1g but wallto-wall DVDs. I asked the equally moldering shopkeeper (possibly Jason) where the
paperbacks where. He replied, "They haven't made those in years!" At that moment
I honestly thought, "That's the problem with this country-nobody reads"

312

313

" Finding Mom nt

FINDING MOMENTS

After we arc satisfied wi th the technical modus operandi of an effect and a presentation has
been developed, we perform the effect for human bemgs. All right, let's be honest. Before the
presentation is complete we often perform an effect for others, be they family, friends, or the mail
carrier. At some point the presentation is more or less. presentable. Now begins the process of
confirm ing moments and discovering new ones.
But what

IS

a "moment?"

Moments are signposts that every good routi ne has, key points in a routme where a deSired result
is reac hed, a result th at has been engi neered into the presentation. There can be moments of...

Humor
Amazement
Curi osity
Surprise
Fear
Incred ulity
Relief
Satisfaction
Elation

The birth of moments such as these can only be the result of one of two possibilities-either you
have scripted the presentation in a way that anticipates certam moments, endeavoring to create
them, or a moment has found you. You wlil know when a moment has found you because you
will get a laugh where none existed before, or perhaps a gasp, or a "No way. n If you're like me,
you will then spend the drive home wondering how to recapture that magiC wlthm the magic.

An Example:
Once, while performing "The Puppy Trick" (included in this book), my spectator was a real "re_
actor" and almost leapt from her chair when she turned over the top card to discover the Puppy
Card . It was clear that the audience got morc from that moment in the routine due to the fact that
my spectator was clearly, visually surprised. Therefore, I decided to attempt to capture that moment in every show. Now when I perform the effect, at the moment the spectator turns over that
card, I smack the table for emphasis, goosing the reaction. It's cheating. It's showbiz.

III

FINDING MOMENTS

Another example:
A humor moment is a partICularly easy moment to gauge. Years ago, I frequently performed BIlly
McComb's classic "McCombical Prediction" using a female assistant from the audience. At one
point in the routme I needed her to say "Stop" as I moved jumbo cards fr~m the top to the bottom
of a deck. I would always do a dry run with the woman, so I knew she d be heard at the crucial
moment, asking her to say "Stop" once, for practice. O ne day, as often happened, she said "Stop"
duri ng the dry ru n far too quietly to be effective, and, as I'd often done before, I instructed he r to
try one more time, so the people in the back could hear. O n thiS day, however, she did some thmg
never done before. She repeated "Stop" in the exact sa me way. I paused, then looked out at the
aud ience, stone-faced. There was a laugh . I then sa id "Viva la diffe rence!" There was a bigger
laugh, not because the line was pa rticularly clever, but because the audi ence fe lt part of a unique
eve nt, a "happening." I was si mply voicing what they were th inki ng, so the laugh was born of a
shared unspoken understand ing. After that night, the question before me was "Ca n I induce a
spectator to say 'Stop' qu ietly twice in a row, even though I'm telling her to say it loud er?"

onstrator AI t Emerson IS responsible for developlllg several of the following ke\ moments in the
routine
Moment #1: The edge of the Joker IS used to cut into the deck, then released, remainmg perpendicular to the deck. The audience does not yet bUj into the idea that the deck has been cut,
but they wonder how the card is remaining in position
Moment #2: The edge of the Joker IS used to push the two halves of the deck slIghtly apart,
ope n ing a channel between the halves. The aud ience begins to murmur-could the deck trul)
have bee n severed?
Moment #3: The pieces are spread nbbonsty le on eit her Side of the deck, clearly comm un ica ting that the deck has bee n cut. Ex ple tives start to emerge fro m th e audience
Moment #4: ThiS moment occurs w hen J turn to the ma n on my right, who has bee n helping
me a ll d uri ng my act, lea n in a nd stage whisper, " I cut the deck l "

The answer was yes.


At around this time I was teaching improvisation fo r the stage, and one of the games I'd devised
was a simple one. I'd have two people improvise a scene based on two assigned emotions, but
only let the scene go on for perhaps SIX lines. I'd then put two other students on stage and tell th en
to perform a scene with the same words, but I'd assign them two comple tely different emotions.
As illogical as this might sound, the scenes always worked, because words are onl y one way we
communicate with one another. Attitude and emotion convey the real truth of a situation . Using
this exercise as a template, the next night I told the spectator to say "Stop" in a very casual manner, and she said the word quietly. I then told her to repeat the word "Stop" so that the people in
the back could hear her, but I acted in the same casual manner. She repeated 'Stop' .. .quie tly. No
one was more astonished than myself, but the technique continued to work, show after show.
A Final Example:
I love this instance of a found moment because it's so simple, yet it took me so long to discoverthe effect in question had been in my repertoire for over ten years. It's a good example of engineering a moment into a routine that appears, night after night, to be a happen mg.
A staple of my act was "Pasteboard Massacre" (also mentioned in "One Thing Happens"), an
effect where I tell the audience I will cut to their card, then I literally cut the deck, using the edge
of a Joker to slice about half the cards in two, stopping at the signed selection. The great dem -

For over ten yea rs, those we re a ll the moments prior to the fi na l reveal. but one day the unexpec ted happe ned . I had begun the show, as I always did, bv mtroduci ng myself to the volunteers
at my left a nd ri ght. O n this night, I asked the ma n his occ upatIOn The a nswer: " ~lol e cul a r
Engineer." Seventeen minutes la ter I was perfo rmin g "Pasteboa rd Massac re," a nd I'd Just stage
whispered, "I cut th e dec k," rece h mg the standard light laugh I paused , then added, "Try to do
that with your molec ules, you sunnuvabltch!" A big laugh, because It was a happenmg-the au
dience kn ew th at this g U) was really a nd truh a molecula r engineer. and that the words I spoke
were unique to th at nIght and specia l only to them.
Of course, th at moment can be ensily replIcated. From then on, I always found out my helper's
occupntlOn, nnd I re phrased the moment to SUIt it. If my helper was a doctor, I might -;ay, "Try to
heal th at, you sunnuvabitch! " If he was u lawyer I might say "Object to thut, you sunnuyabitch! "
The word s would chunge, but the moment remained the same.
I don't menn to say thnt we should all sturt culling our helpers a "sunnuvabitch," but I think the
macro point is clear. It is no accident thnt when I get spectators up on stage with me, one is generally n mnn about a foot taller than myself who ends up to my right, and I say to the audience:
"Paul here is wearing a striped tic, creating the illusion ... of height."
As far ns the nudience is concerned, the moment is a quirk of fate that they were present to witness, to their great delight.

' - - - - - - - - -~---

318

319

L_ _ _

PACKET MAGIC ,

r - -------l

PACKET MAGIC

PACKET TRICKS
I grew up during a time when packet tricks spread through the magic landscape like locusts
through a cornfield. Many wonderful effects were born thanks to people such as Elmsley, Hamman and Kane, but along with them came truckloads of abominations as specially-printed cards
and convoluted plots turned the packet trick's place in magic into something akin to a prop
comic's place at the Algonquin Round Table. Indeed, the words "packet trick" came to symbolize
something cheap and crass, the opposite of artful, considered magic.
I enjoy packet tricks. Having admitted this, let me admit that perhaps the claSSification is in need
of a new name as we continue the exploration of minimal card magic. Tricks that utilize small
numbers of cards can harness a desirable elegance, clarity, and simplicity. Just as the last coin in
a Coins Through the Table routine possesses a crisp sense of effect thanks to the boiled-down
set of conditions presented to the audience, so too can a proper packet trick A good packet trick,
well presented, can be a wonderful thing. Tricks such as Vernon's "Twistmg the Aces," Hamman's "Final Ace Routine," Kane's "Jazz Aces" (a version of which I've included in this book), or
a Three-Card Monte demonstration are among the very best effects one can perform with a deck
of cards ... rather, with less than a deck of cards.
To be sure, many tricks that start out by using a deck of cards become, in essence, packet effects
once a preliminary sequence is concluded and the deck is placed aside. When we perform a
double lift sequence in order to cause a card to change while in a spectator's hand, the end effect,
to the audience, a miracle that employs only one card. I still recall the first time I witnessed performances of "Wild Card," "Jazz Aces," and watchIng Jeff Justice at New York's Magic Townehouse
as he introduced me to Roger Smith's incredible "Maxi-Twist." The sensation was one of pure
magic, of being blown over by astonishment. If that isn't great card magic, what is?
In this section, I've explored different plots, but all of the effects could be classified as packet
tricks. With each, I tried to meet certain unique objectiYes, but in every case my goal was to tap
into the sensation of the impossible.

APP~OAC '11~~

MAE'

PACKET MAGIC

STE P 2) ])ispla\ the Queen~

the hand~, then return them to


position on the table Pick up the left palket and Ilmsley count
It, displa) Ing four black spot cards, Dur II1g the count, do not
perfelll,. square the packet ThiS displays more than one II1dex
at a time, and IS disarming (fig, :!)

ROYAL JAZZ QUARTET


EFFECT: Peter Kane's "Jazz Aces," with a kicker.

"Jazz Aces" IS a 101'el) plot and a stud) In economy. J am not the fIrst to add a kicker
to this trick, but I've attempted to make it appropriate to the theme, and, more Im portantly, I've attempted to preserve the elegance, directness and sl.mpliclt) of the
origin al method . Part of the cred it for this goes to the late Oscar Weigle. Oscar was
a very clever man when It ca me to magic, and was freq uentl, mentioned 111 New
York Magazine's humor con tests. When 1 was living 111 ew York, he s howed me a
way in which he strea mlIn ed "Ja zz Aces." It used to infuriate Oscar that after four
indifferent cards were clearly displayed, magicians typica lly nipped th e packet face
down and performed a double lift, to prove that the card Ju st show n as II1dlfferent
was stIli indifferent As you' ll see, Oscar did away with that. I received hi s permission to explain his approach, The only sleig ht required in "Roya l Jazz Quartet" is a n
Elmsle), Count, but please don't discount the effect due to Its ease.

111

Tlrc ordlllan! cards, flrl' IIl1l11bel carc1s ... flrc QIII'CIIS


(,(lIlS/c1crL'c1 flrl'lII "COIIIIIIOIIL'rs. '

figure 2
The rrght hand picks up the Queens, allowlI1g them to spread
111 the hand Use the left edge of the fan of Queens to lever
Ovel the left hand 's packet so It falls lace down 111 the left hand
(Figs. 3 & 4). Secure a left Irttle llI1ger blea/.. lInder the top card of
th e left hand 's packet
Tlrcl! c1ldll'f Irkc fo 111111.'1/1' wifh tilL' Implr! COllllllOllers.
/'1/ show YOII wlraf IlIIcall ..

STEP 3) The rIght hand drops the face up QlIeens onto the lett
NEEDED: A deck of cards-actually, only ten cards

Frgure 3

hand's cards, ostensibh to free lip the right hand to point to fOllr
spots on the table, corners of an im Isible sqllare (rig. 5).

PREPARATION: None.

Prcf'lld fllerc 's a sqllarl' IICII' 111 frollf of 1!01l


TO PERFORM:

COI"IICP;.

STEP 1) Although the needed cards can be pre-se t, I prefer to do thiS on the fly:

With the cards facll1gyourself, cut a black spot card to the face of the deck. Remove
three Kings and add them to the face, the odd-colored King 111 the middle. You do
not have to hide the fact that you are cherry-picking cards, as the plot of the effect
involves explaining the differences between picture cards and spot cards Remove
two more black spot cards and place them to the face. Position check: At the face
of the deck are two black spot cards, followed by the three Kings and a final black
spot card , Place these six cards to the table in a loose pile on the
left, allowing more than one black pip to be seen, but concealing all the Kings, On the right, place the four Queens, colors
separated. Figure 1 shows the necessary cards. In practice, the
packet on the left would be somewhat squared, Kings hidden,

There's something about playing cards you perhaps didll't kllow:


The Janey ones .. .the ones with aI/ the illk on them, they thillk
they're special. They consider themselves royalty.

WI til fil/lr

r============;:;;;:;;;;l

The right hand pic/"s lip the four QUl'ens and the card abole the
bll'ak as you perform the Braue addition :

Frgure 4

The light hand mo\'('s to the right as the left thumb slides the top
Queen onto its cards (Fig. b) , The rIght hand USl'S the left edge ot
the cards It holds to tllp the Queen 1~1l:e down . This IS repl'ak'd
\'\Ith the next two Queens. The final Queen is a double card . It is

ApOROACH NG MAGIC

PACKET MAGIC

don't want th e suit to register, just the color, which will match
that of the Queen just tabled face down on the leader packetFig. 10). Place th e right hand's Queen onto the left hand's cards
out jogged about an inch . Cut the bottom card of the packet to th;
top and sq uare the cards-it should look like you simply cut the
Queen into the packet.

placed onto the left hand's ca rds, then the right hand turns the (single) Queen face
down .
ds and take them into the right hand as the left
ImmedIately sprea d over four car ,
.I I
.
d f
pRe-take the right hand's packet Wit 1 t l e
hand tables the rema lnmg car s, ace u .
. .
left hand You will now perform Marlo's OLRAM subtlety as a~phed to a layout.
The left thumb pushes over the top card which is taken by the nght hand, thumb
on top fingers beneath . Turn the hands pa lm down, displaymg a red Queen and a
black Queen (Fig. 7). No mention is made of suits. The hands turn palm up, turn down The right hand places its card on the table, forward
mg tIle Q ueens face
.
and to th e right, as th e left hand dea ls the top card ~f Its packet r-----============~
to the table, forward and to the left. The hands agam come to,gether. The right hand grasps th e bottom ca rd of the left hand s
two-card packet as the left hand reta ms the remainmg card. The
hands separate and again turn palm dow n. A second black and
red Queen are displayed-no one will notice th at one Queen has
been seen twice (Fig. 8) These two cards are placed face down
near the edge of the table, inward of the already tabled ca rd s,
creatmg a square formation
I want to be as fair as possible. Walch where the QlIeens go, one

al each corner. If YaH don'lnotice where Ihe QlIeens are before we


beg1l1, trust me, nolhing happens.
Position check: At the outer left IS a King, and the remainmg
cards that make up the square are Queens.
STEP 4) Pick up the spot packet and hold it face down in the left

hand . The right hand removes the bottom card of the packet
and uses it to fhp over the Queen at the outer nght (Fig. 9).

1'/1 even te/1 you where a/1 the action will be happening-right
over here.
The card that was used to flip over the Queen is returned to the
top of the left hand's cards. You have displaced one card. Flip the
left hand's cards face up and perform an Elmsley count, displaying four black spot cards. Flip the packet face down and immediately deal the top card face down onto the face-up Queen, injogged for about half its length. Pick up the Queen at the inner
right of the square formation. Allow a brief flash of its face (you

Figure \0

I'll put a commoner with a Queen, and a Queen with


the commoners. But I told you, The Queens prefer to
keep to themselves.
Touch th e com moner packet to the Queen pile for an IIlstant.

All they have to do is touch ...


F~ip the left hand's cards face up and perform an Elmsley count,
displaying four black spot cards-the Queen has vanished.

.. .and all we have here are com mOilers.


Figure 7

Figure 11

Flip the packet face down. Take the top card of the packet with
the right hand and use it to flip the face-down card III the leader
packet face up, revealing the arrival of a Queen (Figs. 11 & 12).

The Queell decided to visit her frielld.


Drop the card In the right hand face down on top of the two faceup Queens. This is the Weigle handling that I mentioned earlier.
Pick up the Queen at the inner left of the square formation. Do
not flash its face, as its color will not match that of the "travelled"
card. Place it atop the left hand's cards, out jogged. Cut the bottom card of the packet
to the top and square the cards.

Allother QlIeell. All we /ralle to do is let them touch ...


Touch the commoner packet to the Queen pile, then flip the left hand's cards face up
and perform an Elmsley count, displaying four black spot cards-another Queen
has vanished.

.. .and the Qlleen goes away.

A.JpROACH NG MAGIC

PACKET MAGIC

take the top card of the left


ace
Flip the packet fd d.~~nfIiAp~~~nfa:e_down card atop the leader
.
)
hand's packet an use I 0
pac ke t face u P-another Queen has arrived (Fig. 13 .

... because Queens like keepil1g to thelllseives.


h .g ht hand's card onto the three face-up Queens. Place
Dro~flnat lefnace down "Queen" at the outer left corner onto the left
the
hand's cards, outjogged. Once more cut a card from the bottom
to the top and square the cards.

Relllember how I said they had to tOl/ch. I lied abolll thai.


Perform any magical gesture, then flip the comm~ner packet face
up and perform an Elmsley count, this time allowmg the last two
cards counted to end in a spread conditIOn.

Now all we have over here are COI1l1ll0ners ... the final Queen
made the trip!
Hold the spread cards in place with the left thum~, and use the
right hand to flip over the final Queen (Fig. 14). Climax.

JEWEL THIEF
Phil Goldstein's "Relative Interchange," published first in a Pallbearers Review Folio
(1976), then in Scattershot (1977) and more recently in Focus (1990), is a wonderful
packet effect that delivers a strong sensation of magic. It was inspired by Stewart
Judah's "Aces & Jacks." "Jewel Thief" is an outgrowth of Mr. Goldstein's effect. The
addition of an extra card allows for some very clean shows and a strong climax.
Using Diamond pips to represent jewels provides an easy-to-grasp premise and a
simple plot for the audience to follow. A method of doing the effect with no extra
card follows the initial description. This second method has some trade-offs, but
some benefits as well, and some may prefer it.
EFFECT: The magician uses the Ace, Two, Three and Four of Diamonds in a dem-

onstration of thievery. He hands back his pilfered gems in an act of honesty, but
as a climax all the Diamonds are once more in the magiCian's possession.
NEEDED: A deck of cards.
TO PERFORM:
STEP 1) The set-up can be done on the fly: Casually cut a black spot card to the

Now that's an ending, but it's 110t a happy ending. I feel bad for
these commoners.
STEP 5) Square the left hand's cards and fliP. the packet face

down. Spread off the top two cards into the nght hand as the
left thumb pushes over another card, holding the bot.tom three
as one. The thumbs "squiggle" the upper card of their packets,
implying only four cards, an Ascanio subtlety (Fig. 15). Place the
right hand's cards under the left hand's cards.

I wish those Queens weren't so superficial. I wish they could see


beneath the surface, and see that underneath it all, these commoners are Kings!
Flip the cards face up and Elmsley count, displaying four Ki~gs,
allowing the last three counted to remain in a spread condition.
The right hand picks up the Queens for a final display (Fig. 16).
Place the Queens onto the Kings, still spread, to end.

328

face of the deck, then out jog four more as you spread through the cards. Square
the deck into the left hand, acquiring a left little-finger break under the face card.
Strip out the out jogged cards with the right hand and add them to the face of the
deck in a squaring actIOn. Pick up all the cards above the break (five cards) and
table them in a face-up pile Now spread through the deck a second time, upjogging the Ace through Four of Diamonds. Arrange them in Ace-Four order (Ace
on the face) and drop them onto the black spot cards.
Throughout this routine the audience IS only aware of the Ace through Four of Diamonds and four black spot cards.
STEP 2) Hold the packet face up in the left hand. Spread the

packet, holding the last two cards (black spot cards) aligned as
one. Separate the cards at the division of reds and blacks, displaying the red cards in the right hand and the black cards in
the left (Fig. 1).

APP~OACHI~G MA~ ~

PACKET MAGIC

I try to always lise Illy powers for good, bllt I thought I'd take a /llOllIent
to show you how they cOllld be IIsed for evil. Sleight of halld call be IIsed
to COllllllit crimes. 1'111 goillg to lise all these Diamonds to represent, well,
diamonds! The black cards will represent worthless IUlllps of coal. Now
let's see if I call show you how a jewel thief migllt operate ...
Place the right hand's cards onto the left hand's cards and square the packet, securIng a left little-finger break under the first black card (the fifth card from the face of
the packet). Lift off the cards above the break wi th the right hand as the left hand
gestures Wi th the black cards, allowing them to casually spread. Four black cards
Will be seen and accounted for (Fig. 2). Use the left edge of the
right hand's packet to flip the black cards face down in the left
hand. Place the left thumb onto the Ace of Diamonds and peel it
onto the left hand's packet (Fig. 3), sidejogged for half its width,
then flip it face down and flush with the left hand's cards, again
using the edge of the right hand's packet. Do the same with the
Two of Diamonds, then the Three of Diamonds. You will be left
holding a double card in the right hand (the Four of Diamonds
With a black spot card aligned behind it). Place the double card
face up onto the left hand's cards, sidejogged for half its width,
then lip it face down onto the packet with the right fi ngertips.
Deal the top four cards onto the table in a right to left row.

Figure 5

Of course, stealing is wrong, so I'll put it back.

Figure 2

STEP 3) Turn the cards in the left hand face up and spread them,
keeping the last two cards aligned as one (the Ace of Diamonds
will be hidden behind the last card). Four black cards will be
seen, a clean moment that testifies to the "fact" that the Diamond cards are all on the table.

A jewel thief has 110 use for lumps of coal-he wants diamonds.
Let's start small, with the olle-carat diamond ...
The right hand grasps the upper black card at its right edge and
uses it to flip the remainder of the packet face down in the left
hand. The right hand then gestures with its card to the spot where
the Ace of Diamonds supposedly lies (Fig. 4). During this gesture,
the left little finger secures a break under the top card of the left
hand's packet. The right hand replaces the card it holds face down
onto the left hand's packet. You are holding a break under the
top two cards. Make a magical gesture. I turn the left hand palm
down over the card on the extreme left (the spot where my "target

card" supposedly lies) and snap my right fingers as I give the lefthand packet a small sharp motion as if something has happened.
This gesture flashes a black card at the face of the packet. Turn the
left hand palm up and perform a double turnover, catching the
double with the heel of the thumb so that it doesn't fall flush (the
Altman trap-Fig. 5). The Ace of Diamonds has apparently been
"stolen." Extend the right first finger and slide back the leftmost
card a few inches (Fig. 6). For ease of description, we'll call this
"i nner position."

Figure 3

Figure 6

Flip the double face down and deal the top card, supposedly the
Ace, to the empty spot on the far left. The right hand takes the
packet at its right edge and uses it to scoop up the card at inner
position . Bring the packet to the left hand and flip it face up, immediately performing a Jordan count, shOwing all black cards in
the packet. I perform the count from dealing grip. In short: The
packet is face up in the left hand. The right hand grasps the extreme right edge of the packet at the center, thumb on top, first
and second fingertips underneath. Using a light touch, the left
thumb peels the top card into the left hand. The left first finger can aid this process
at the outer edge of the packet, helping ensure that one card only is taken.
Peel the second card onto the first on the same manner. On the third beat of the
count, the left hand's two cards are placed flush under the right hand's cards, and in
that instant the left hand pushes all but the bottom card into the left hand, where
they are taken in the same manner as the first two cards of the count. A single black
spot card will be left in the right hand. Take that card onto the cards already in the
left hand. Properly performed, there is a slow, easy rhythm to the count, and it is
that rhythm that makes it perfectly deceptive. At the conclusion of the count, Hip
the packet face down.
STEP 4) The right hand takes the top card of the left hand's packet and flips it face
up to gesture at the tabled card second from the left, the supposed position of the
Two of Diamonds. During this gesture, the left little finger secures a break under
the top card of the left hand's packet. Replace the right hand's card face down onto
the left hand's packet.

Besides, a two-carat diamond is worth twice as much, right?

APPR8ACH I \IG MAGIC

PACKET MAGIC

STEP 6) The left thumb peels the top three cards into the left hand, then places

Perform the same magical gesture over the tabled card second
from the left, then perform a double turnover (catching it in the
Altman trap) revealing the Two of Diamonds on top of the left
hand's packet (Fig. 7). Using the right first finger, slide the tabled
card second from the left to lI1ner position (Fig. 8).

the double It holds (the Four of Diamonds with a black spot card atop it) onto the
packet, securing a break under it. The right hand takes the top card and gestures
with it, briefly flashing a black face. Return the card (face down) onto the packet,
the justification being to snap the fingers over the card at the far right. Perform
a double turnover, revealing the Four of Diamonds, catching the double in the
Altman trap. The right hand turns the rightmost card on the row end over end
toward you, revealing a black spot card (Fig. 10). Leave thIS black spot card face
up at rightmost inner position.

But as tillS is just for demonstmllon purposes, I'll give the dialIlond back.
Figure 7

Flip the double face down and deal the top card of the packet to
the open spot you just cleared. Take the packet at its right edge by
the right fingers and use it to scoop up the card at inner position.
In a contll1uing action, flip the packet face up in the left hand and
take the face black card with the right hand, revealing a second
back face underneath it.

Up IIntil now I've shown YOIl the techniques of a common crimina/. Now I'll demonstmte the work of a master thief Watch ...

STEP 5) The right hand uses the black card it holds to gesture at

the tabled card second from the right, the spot where the Th ree
of Diamonds supposedly lies. During this gesture, the left fingers close, turning the packet face down in the left hand, then
the lIttle finger secures a break under the top card of the left
hand's packet. Replace the nght hand's card face down onto the
left hand's packet.

Figure 8

Figure 10

Of course, a three-carat diamond is pretty tempting.


Perform the same magical gesture over the tabled card second
from the right, then perform a double turnover (catching it in the
Altman trap) revealing the Three of Diamonds on top of the left
hand's packet. Using the right first finger, slide the tabled card
second from the right to inner position (Fig. 9).

A master thief doesn't izave the smile morals and etizics


as you alld I. He doesn't pllt the diamonds back. In fact,
he steals them all!
Figure 9

Figure 11

The right hand grasps the double from above and uses its left
edge to flip the remaining cards of the packet face up. The left
ha nd spreads the cards and places them under the double, taking
all four cards (actually five) in a fan to display (Fig. 11).

But there isn't an evil bone in my body, so I'll give it back.


Flip the double face down and deal the top card of the packet to the open spot. The
right hand takes the left hand's packet from above and lowers it onto the card at inner position, adding it to the bottom of the packet. If desired, on the way to picki ng
up the tabled card, the right hand can flash the bottom card of its packet.

The four-carat diamond is worth the most, so I have to be particularly


subtle. Just a snap... and I've got it-I've switched it for the coal.

332

The right hand returns to the packet. Perform a double turnover


and deal the top card to the far right position in the row. The right
hand picks up the face up card at inner position as the left little
finger secures a break under the top card of the left hand's packet. Replace the right hand's card face down onto the left hand's
packet. The right hand snaps the fingers over the rightmost card
of the row in a magical gesture (do not flash the bottom card of
the packet, as it is no longer a black spot card). Perform a double
turnover, catching the double in the Altman trap, ctisplaying the
Four of Diamonds once again "stolen." This repeat is particularly
effective, as both the Four of Diamonds and a black spot card
were just openly displayed, yet they have transposed.

And all that's left behind are four lumps of coal.


The right hand turns over the tabled cards one at a time, left to
right, displaying four black spot cards to conclude (Ftg. 12).
Figure 12

APPROACrll~G

MAGIC

PACKET MAGIC

fro~ the top of the packet). The thumb continues pushing its block, now comprised

lhe f"Ijo-htra-Card Version


Since you will only be using eight cards, they can open Iy be removed from the deck.
You'll need four black spot cards and the Ace through Four of Diamonds. 1 use the
black Eights and Ni nes.

of Just two cards, an aligned double. The right fingers can now easily perform a
double turnover of t~e top two cards. The key to this move is a relaxed approach. It
IS done smoothly, With no hesitation .
All J have to do is "The Secret Move," and I've stolen a one-carat diamond! Of course, it goes right back in the jewelry store window.

TO PERFORM:
STEP 1) Arrange the cards, from the face, Ace of

Diamon~s, Two of D~amonds,

Three of Diamonds, Four of Diamonds, black Eight, black Eight, black Nine, black
Nine. See to it that the suits of the centralized Eight/Nine are the sa me. Spre.ad
the cards to display, taking the red cards with the right hand and the black Wit h
the left. As before, explai n that you will be demonstrating the techniques of a
Jewel thief.
Place the red cards onto the black and square them, securing a break under the firs t
black card (the fifth card from the face). Lift off the cards above the break with the
right hand and use the left edge of the right hand's packet to lip the black cards face
down in the left hand. Place the left thumb onto the Ace of Diamonds and peel it
onto the left hand's packet, sidejogged for half its width, then lip it face down and
flush with the left hand's cards, again using the edge of the right hand's packet.
Do the same with the Two of Diamonds, then the Three of Diamonds. You will be
left holding a double card in the right hand (the Four of Diamonds with a black spot
card aligned behind it). Place the double card face up onto the left hand's cards,
sidejogged for half its width, then flip it face down onto the left hand's packet with
the right fingertips. Deal the top four cards onto the table in a right to left row.
STEP 2) Turn the left hand's packet face up and perform a Jordan count as de-

scribed in the previous handling, Step 3. Two black Eights and two black Nines
will be seen. Flip the packet face down . Here I adopt the philosophy Oscar Weigle brought to "Jazz Aces" (discussed in "Royal Jazz Quartet"), streamlining the
effect:
Make a magical gesture over the leftmost "target card"-such as tapping it with the
packet-then perform a double turnover, catching the double in the Altman trap, to
display the Ace of Diamonds. I use the Hamman/Lorayne no get-ready technique.
In brief, the packet is held in left-hand dealing position. The left thumb performs a
block push-off of all but the bottom card. As the moving block passes the left second fingertip, that fingertip applies slight pressure to the bottom card of the block
at the outer right comer, holding back the bottom card of that block (the third card

~xtend the right first finger and slide back the leftmost card of the tabled spread to
Inner position . Flip the double face down and deal the top card of the packet to the
open spot in the row.
STEP 3) The right hand takes the left hand's cards at the right edge and scoops the

packet under the card at Inner position, immediately flipping the packet face up
llltO the left han.d . Perform a two-as-four count: The right hand grasps the packet
at the extreme rIght edge, thumb on top, first and second fingers underneath. The
left thumb draws off the top card into the left hand, then the left hand returns to
the packet to ostensibly draw off the second card. What really happens is this:
The left hand's card is placed under the packet, and the moment it is flush the right
t~umb pus~es over all the cards above it, taking them into the left palm. In a contlllumg action, the left hand returns to the right, placing its packet under the righthand card. The moment the cards are flush, the left thumb pulls off the top card into
the left palm. Finally, the cards remaining in the right hand are taken by the left
hand onto the card already there. Two black Eights and two black Nines are seen.
Flip the left hand's packet face down. Make a magical gesture twice over the card
second from the left of the row. Perform a double turnover, catching the double in
the Altman trap, displaying the Two of Diamonds.

If I do the move twice, it's /lot a subtle, but I get the two-carat diamond.
It's tempting, bllt back it goes.
Extend the right first finger and slide back the card second from the left to inner
position. Flip the double face down and deal the top card of the packet to the open
spot in the row. Again, use the packet to scoop up the slid-back card.

The three-carat diamond is tougher. There's no way I can do the move


three times-it'd attract too much attention. The smart thing to do is to
just make a wave ...

APPRJACHI~G

MAGIC

PACKET MAGIC

STEP 4) The packet IS in left-hand dealing position . The right

scoop up the card at inner pOSition.

fingers openly slide out th e bottom card and flip it face up onto
the top of the packet. During this actio n the left little finger secu res a break under the uppermost card, so that when the bottom (black) card is flipped face up on top, a break is held beneath
the top two cards. You wi ll now perform what is often called the
Twirl Change, which can be traced, I believe, to Bob Hummer:

Unk nown to th e audience, you now hold all the red cards. You
ca n, if you choose, end the effect by mak ll1g a final ges ture as
a "Master Thief," revea ling all fo ur diamonds in the hands and
the coal on the table. Here though, is a fun vanatlOn from the
procedure:

The right ha nd comes over the packet and grasps the top two
ca rds as one between the thum b, at the inner right corner, and
the second finger, at the outer left corner (Fig. 13). By flexll1g
the cards slightly, separation between the back-to-back cards is
eliminated. The right hand makes a gentle outward and inwa rd
wave of the card over the third ca rd in the row. The larger motion
masks the secret action:
The right first fi nger reaches over to the left edge of the double
card and pivots it over (Figs. 14 & 15). This is a lovely changeone card seems to melt into the other. Normally at th e conclusion
of this change the double is returned to the top of the packet (or
deck) and the top card is dealt off, the bottom card of the double
coalescing with the other face-down cards. In this case, the double is returned to the top of the packet side jogged to the right for
half its width. Upward pressure from the left fingertips keeps the
double from splaying. Extend the right first finger and slide back
the card second from the right to inner positIOn.

Figure13

136

th e row.

SOl11e people are il11pressed when I steal the fall r-cara t diamond
motion . Would YOLI like to see that?

1/1

slow

As you point, the left first fi nger secures a break under the top ca rd of the left hand 's
packet. Openly and slowly reach out with the right ha nd, pick up the face-down
card at the far ri ght of the row and place it atop the pac ke t.

Got it!
Figure 14

Perform a double turnover, catching the double in the Altman trap, displaying the
Four of Diamonds (Fig. 18). The audience sees thiS sequence as a
gag, but you have set them up for a very strong, clean climax.

For some reason, not everyone IS impressed with that.


When that happells I offer to try and steal the fOllrCIlrat dial110nd alit from lInder their hand ...

.. .and I get the three-carat diamond! Bllt back to the store window it goes.
You will now perform a simple switch developed by both Ed Ma r10
and Harry Lorayne. The right hand grasps the double card at its
right edge (Fig. 16). Two things happen at once, in a smooth action. The right fingers flip the double over onto the packet as the
left hand turns palm down and pushes the top card over the side
of the packet (Fig. 17). In a continuing action, the right hand takes
the dealt-off card and places it to the open spot in the row. This
switch is discrepant, logically the dealt-off card should be facing the opposite direction, but the combination of movements-a
card being flipped over as a hand turns palm down-obscures
this fact. As before, the right hand takes the packet and uses it to

STEP 5) With the right ha nd, poin t to the card at the far right of

Figure17

Figure 15

Figure 18

Slowly turn the double face down and deal the top card of the
packet to the empty spot In the row. Have a spectator place her
hand onto the Just-dealt card. This, to the audience, sets up even
more Impossible conditions.
Make a magical gesture, then turn over the top card of the left
hand's packet, showing that you have stolen the Four of Diamonds
successfully. When this sinks in, deal it face up to the table, followed by the remaining cards in the left hand (Fig. 19).

But I didn't stop there. I stole all the diamonds ...

PACKET MAGIC

Turn over all the tabled cards, save the one under the spectator's
hand.

look lllIria

flllsel, I Ihlllk yo II 'II /11/[1 a IlIlIIp oj coal Bill lite 11th!


dILIII '1 sloll Ihere, ht'sol all Ihe olher dtalllOllds, 100, Il'flPlIIg bellllid 110
ellidellce .. .JlIsl a few 11I1IIJ1S of coal .
1/0111

.. .leaving behind all tile coal!


Indicate for the spectator to raise her hand, then turn over the
final "lump of coal" to conclude (Fig. 20).

TIlE EYE EXAM


Sometimes, when dOl11g this version of the trick, the spectator will turn over the
card under her hand immediately after you reveal that the Four of Diamonds has
been successfully stolen. This is fine. Follow by turning over the other three lumps
of coal (the tabled black spot cards), and conclude by revealing the fact that you ha ve
stolen all the diamonds.
A script variation I sometimes use follows:

A gang ofJewel till eves started arglllllg abollt who was the better at their
craft. They decided to pllt it to the test by visiting a jewelry store after
hOllrs and seeing who cOllld make the best halli. There was an assortment ofgellls in the window, a one-carat dial1lond, a two-carat dialllond,
a three-carat diamond, and a fOllr-carat diamond [lay the "diamonds"
on the table]. All the thieves had was a sack of coal. The first thief Said,
"Watch me get the one-carat diamond ... " and with a flick of IllS wrist,
there in the sack of coal was the one-carat diamond. Because this was jllst
a gentlemen's wager, he pllt the diamond back in the display. The second
thief said, "[ can get the two-carat diamond." Another subtle flick, and
there it was. He said, "It proves ['m twice as good as you because it's
worth twice as much." But as he only stole to prove a point, he pllt it
back in the window. The third thief just laughed, and before YOIl can say
"grand felony," he had the three-carat diamond. He said, "That's how II's
done, fellas" as he returned the diamond beside the other two. The last
thief knew it would be tough to impress the other three, so he said, "/'ll
get the four-carat diamond using misdirection. Look over there!" When
they all looked, he just reached out and took the biggest diamond of all
[double turnover, displaying the Four of Diamonds]. They weren't
buying it for a second, so he said, "Okay, okay.. .now I'll do it witlt no
misdirection at all, under test conditions. Put your finger on the fourcorat diamond." That's all it took to get the biggest diamond of all. If you

338

EFFECT: Dllling thc coursc of Lin "eye examln,ltion," rcd balkcd cLilds rcpcat

cd ly van l~h from wlthl11 a blue backcd packct. As a climax, thc packct IIlstJntl
changcs color and thc Icmalnlllg cards arc rcvcalcd to bc glccn
NEEDED: Th,cc rcd back cLirds, thrce bluc backcd cards, Jnd four odd backcd

cards. Thc odd backers can bc an, back that IS Llcarh nClthcl rcd nor bluc. I u<.;c
thc grccn backcd cards now commonly ,wailablc but Illost drug stOICS sell pro
motional deck~ of cards With unusual backs Thc faccs of thl' cards Ciln bc anv
.
Innocuous number cards, but no cards uscd fOI thiS cffcct should bc dupiJc.ltcs.
TilE SET-UP: I hc card~ alc diVided IIlto two slllall pilekcls (this IS il pcrfect tlick

to carry III OIlC's bn.'Jst pocket wallet). OIlC packet contJIIlS IPlIr cJrd~ and IS (11
dcrcd, facc down fmlll thc top rcd back, rcd back, grcl'n back, rl'd back Thc othcr
pilc is COlllpllscd of six cards and is ordcrcd, facc dllv.n frolll thc top: bluc b,lck,
bluc back, grecn back, glccn back, grecn back, bluc back
tc,llhlng purposcs, the bluc baci,ed (Md, in till' 'lll:Olllpilllying photo
graphs will bc indlcatcd b\ diagonallrncs on their backs, ,1Ild till' grecn cards wIll
bc markcd With polka dots.
NOTE:

])I

TO PERFORM:
STEP 1) RL'Il1OVl' the two packcls of cdrds and placc thl'lll slluJrcd on the table in

flOnt of yOll, thc "bllll'" packl'l to the right, thc "fl,Lin packl'l to the left.

to telll/ou n stor,l/ about 111,1/ r,l/e doclor. He would do anything to


sell a I'er~oll a pair ofglassrs. He called lIIe for a "special rxamination"
alld here', whnt Ill' did. He said, "Wr're going to use these cards in ordtr
to perform n killd of observatioll test." One of the piles had blue cards,
J lI'nllt

.,

APPROACrll~G

MAGIC

PACKET MAGIC

Ihe olher had red cards. It seell/ed pretty sill/pIe. Oue card weill
in frolll of each pile.
Elmslev count the right packet, displaying fo ur blue-backed cards.
Flip th~ packet face up and deal the top card to the table, directly
in front of the spot the packet held. Re turn the packet face down
to the table, behind the just-tabled card. The top two blue-backers
can be allowed to spread a bit. You have supposed ly counted four
blue-backed cards and isolated one of them.
El msley coun t the left packet, displayi ng red-backed cards. As
you did with th e other packe t, flip it face up and deal the top ca rd to the ta ble. Turn
the packet back face dow n and table it inwa rd of the ca rd just tabled. The th ree redbacked ca rds ca n be slightly spread, a nice convincer (Fig. 1).

He satd "1 want YOIl 10 pay attention to where the cards are, all right?"
And then he pointed 10 an eye clwrl on the wall, and when I looked away,
he did this... "
STEP 2) Slowly a nd clearly switch the positions of the two face-up cards.

J saw what he was lip to, the old switcheroo-it was kind of obvious.

Pick up the right (blue) packet and turn it face up. Push over the top card, then
pick up the tabled card on the right. Insert the card underneath the top card of the
packet, square the packet and turn it face down in the left hand . Openly cut the top
card to the bottom . It will not be clear how many cards have been cut, simply that
the packet has been cut somewhere.

Figure 1

Frgure2

card, then flip the packe t face dow n (Note: a bottom deal from
the face- dow n packet may be substit uted, turning th e card face
up away from you as it's dealt, to hide the odd back). Apply
press ure with the left fi rst fi nger on the outer right corner of
the packet, ca using cards to buck le at the inne r right corner.
With practice, you' ll be able to make two cards break away from
th e others (Fig. 2). The right hand picks up the top red-backer
fro m the face-dow n tabled pi le a nd inserts it th ird fro m the botto m of the packet. O penly cut th e top card of the packet to th e
bottom .

He very clearly put a red-backed card into the blue pile and said "1 have
all bllle cards here... " I went "No, there's definitely a red one in there!"
He shook his head.
Tap th e packet on the tabled fa ce-up cards.

"These have bllle backs. How long have you had this problem? "
Elmsley count th e packet, displaying four blue-backed cards.

"Maybe we shollid try again." At that moment IllS receptionist in the


corner loosened afew buttons, exposing a lacy bra from Victoria's Secret.
The receptionist was a thin Vietnamese man named Kenny.
Flip the packet face up and deal the top card onto the two face-up cards already
tabled, then flip the packet face down (or perform a bottom deal).
STEP 4) Apply pressure with the left first finger on the outer right corner of the

He said "Okay, 1have the cards with the bllle backs over here ... " I stopped
him and said "No, one of them is red." He went, "Really? That's what
YOll saw? No, these all have blue backs."
Tap the packet on the tabled face-up card, as if doing a "move," then Elmsley count
the packet, displaying four blue backs.

The doctor said "Maybe you need to pay closer attention. Let's do it
again." At that moment he pointed to his diploma on the wall, and the
second 1 was distracted, he did this ...
STEP 3) Turn the packet face up and deal the top card onto the tabled face -up

340

packet, causing a single card to break at the Inner right corner. The right hand
takes a red -backed card from the face-down tabled packet (of two cards) and inserts it second from the bottom in the left hand's packet. Cut the top card to the
bottom.

I said "Hey, you Pllt another red card in with the blues."
Tap the packet on the tabled face-up cards, then perform an Elmsley count.

"BIlle, bIlle, blue and blue. We can only try one last time. This time I will
switch a card, if that'll make it easier for you."

rlr
J

PACKET MAGIC

He Said, 'Tm sorry, bllt I thillk you're color blilld. The


reds are over here."

Flip the packet face up and deal the top card onto the three face-up cards already
tabled, then flip the packet face down (or bottom deal).

"J'll go as slowly as possible. I want you to pass this test." I refused to


look away.

STEP 6) Elmsley count the packet, displaying four red-backed


cards. Allow the last three counted to remain slightly fanned.

I said, "Theil I guess those are the blues." He weill ":Va,


those are the greells. I'd better pill YOII all a paymellt
pial I !"

STEP 5) The right hand takes the left hand's packet from above and cleanly drops
It onto the red-backed card left on the table. Cut the top card of the packet to the

bottom.

figure 5

The doctor said, "If you get thiS question wrong, I'm afraid I'm gOll1g to
have to prescribe very expensIVe color-correctmg lenses for YaH. Now
what am I holdmg in my hand?"

Flip the tabled cards face down, revealing the odd backs to end
(Fig. 5)

Tap the tabled face-up cards wrth the packet.

I was no fool. I was catchmg on. I said, "All you have are bille-backed
cards."

The story theme delivers a three-beat joke as the doctor distracts the patient. The
first two distractIOns should be straightfonvard, the thIrd beat breaking the pattern.
Other examples:

Elmsley count the packet, displaYing four blue-backed cards.


1. The doctor pointed to the eye chart.
2. The doctor pOinted to his diploma.
3. The doctor suddenly checked me for a hernIa.

He went, "Excellent! Now one final question: If I have the blue


cards, what are over here? "
Casually turn the packet face up as you speak and absently go
into a Flushtration count The face-up packet IS taken from above
in the right hand. The rrght hand moves to the right with the
packet as the left thumb holds back the top card of the packet
(Fig. 3). The right hand turns partially palm up, flashing a blue
back (Fig. 4), then turns back palm down as the left thumb peels
a second card onto the first, in a fanned condition. Repeat this
procedure with the third card. The right hand will be left hold ing three cards aligned as one. Flash the back of this "card" and
insert it second from the face of the left hand fan, then square the
packet into the left hand.

I told him, "The reds are over there!"


The right hand takes the packet and taps the tabled cards with it.

342

... or. ..

figure 3

1. The doctor pointed to the eye chart.


2. The doctor pOinted to his diploma.
3. The doctor pressed a button, and Kate Smith ran through singing "God
Bless America." She didn't sing it well, but I cut her some slack as she'd
been dead for twenty years.

-------

---------

--{f\ PROGRESSIVE SWI

>If ~

(H

----~

PACKET MAGIC

IJLE

As In the case of "lhe Jewel ThieL" r used Phil Goldstein's "Relative Interchange"
as a springboard, this time toward the Progressive Aces plot. This IS not the first
time I have approached this plot (see "Blues ProgressIOn" from Close lip & Personal)
but It is the first time I've used the tool of discrepancy to create the appearallce of the
effect In the mind of the audience. r think It's safe to say that with "A Progressive
Swindle" r have layered multiple discrepancies In a way I've not done before. The
result is a routine that plays to viewers' visual sense above Intellectual reasoning.
In addition, the routine uses specific language at different spots along the way In
order to best manipulate the audience's thoughts and their overall sense of what is
occurring. Having said all that, this IS a truly simply routine, whittled down to essential clements.

Figure 3

hand and the left thumb spreads the top three Aces to the right.
The right first and second fingers enter the break as the right
hand lifts off the four Aces as well as the card above the break,
which is aligned with the rear Ace (Fig. 3). Use the left edge of
the fanned Aces to flip the black cards face down in the left hand,
then after a beat, turn the Aces face down onto the packet, allowing them to coalesce. Deal the top (indifferent) card to the right,
the second card to its left, continuing with the third and fourth
card, forming a row. Leave a couple of inches between each card
(Fig 4). Although you cannot allow the face of the first dealt card
to be seen, you can casually flash the faces of the three Aces as
they are dealt to the table
STEP 2) Flip the left hand's packet face up.

YOIl might wonder "If thrs is all about Ihe fOllr Aces,
why do you need the other cards?" The other cards crealI' the mystery.

EfFECT: Aces hop along four piles, gathering until they end up in the final pile.
NEEDED: A deck of cards.

Figure 4

Perform a Jordan count, displaying four black cards, apparently


two Eights and two Nines. This count is explained in "The Jewel
Thief." Flip the packet back face down.

TO PERFORM:
STEP 1) Remove the four Aces from the deck, along with the

blad( bghts and Nines. Place the rest of the deck aside as It is
not used in thiS routine Arrange the cards face up as follows.
The two Eights should follow the two Nines or vice versa The
Aces should alternate rn color, the Ace of Spades resting second from the face. For purposes of description, we'll assume the
Aces run Diamonds, Spades, Hearts and Clubs. The left hand
holds the face-up Eights and Nines, the right hand holds the
Aces (Jig. 1).

You see, when I give the command, tire Aces change


places witlr the otlrer cards. I'll slrow YOIl what lmean
before we begll1, so YOIl can gel the idea. Go!

Figure 1

Tile Aces are tile mosl well-lrained cards III tile deck. They're
capable of some amazing tllings. I'll show you what I mean ...

Figure 5

The left hand brings its packet near the rightmost tabled card as
the right hand makes a gesture indicating a command to travel
(Fig. 5). Perform a double turnover of the top two cards in the
packet, displaying an Ace. The Hamman technique for executing
this IS also explained in "The Jewel ThieL"
It happened-the Ace of Diamonds jumped over and

changed places with one of the other cards.


Place the Aces onto the black cards in the left hand and allow the
cards to square as the left little finger secures a break under the
fifth card from the face (the first black card). The motivation for
this placement is to free the right hand to apparently "clean off"
the performance area (Fig. 2). The right hand returns to the left

The right hand turns the rightmost card face up, displaying a
black card (Fig. 6). Turn the black card face down onto the table
and drop the packet on top, taking care that the face-up double
card does not spread.
Figure 2

344

345

APPROAC~

NG NAG (

PACKET MAGIC
-------

If you

Display the Ace of Clubs (the double) for a beat, then flip It face
down on to th e packet an d deal the top (black) Gird to posrtlon
second from th e right.

lInderstand the basIc idea, let's begin. I sllOlild wa1'11 YOll- this
happens pretty quickly, and It gets progressively strnnger.

Place the packet Into the left hand . Flip the double face down and deal the "Ace"
(actua lly a black card) back to position . Do this slowly. The audience must be crysta l

STEP 4) The fight hand takes the left hand's cards from above
a nd slowly places them onto the card second from th e left (the
Ace of Ilear ts).

clear regarding the starting position, as you are about to sWind le them
STEP 3) The right hand takes the left hand 's cards from above and slowly places

th em onto th e card second from the right (the Ace of Clubs).

Figure JO

As you say "go," make a gesture that rmplles you arc com
manding th e two ca rd s at th e right of the row to make the Jump
(Fig. 12). Thrs rs the second sw indle. One of the Aces has been
open ly carried to the new posrtion rt holds, but the script com
blned with the body actron and the stage picture communicates
the travel of two Aces as opposed to one.

Go! It happened. The Ace of DW11l0nds jUlilped over, joining tile


Ace of Clubs.
Make a magical gesture over the rightmost card, as if to send it
to the tabled packet. Pick up the packet and place it into the left
hand Deal the Ace of Diamonds s tud -style to the table, second
from the right. Deal the next two cards onto the Ace, sideJogged
to the left, forming a tabled spread (Fig. 7). This is one reason
why you want a few inches between each tabled card at the start.
A good amount of space between the packets also adds to the
impact of the effect, as the sensation is one of cards traveling a

And look, they've come over-the Ace of Clubs is here


along with the Ace of OW/JIonds a/ld Ace of Hearts I
Figure 7

Figure II
The right hand picks up the packet and places It Into the left hand .
Deal the packet stud style to the open pOSitIOn on the table In
the same manner as In Step 3, displaying three Aces and an odd
card Again usc the remainrng double to flip the three face -up
cards face down into the left hand (Figs. 13 & 14). Display the Ace
of Hearts (the double), then flip it face down onto the packet and
deal the top (black) card to position second from the left.

greater distance.
You are left with two cards In the left hand. These must be
squared, and handled as one as they are flipped face up: Take the
double at its nght edge with the right fingertips, thumb underneath, and deal it stud-style as with the other cards of the packet,
but catch its inner left corner with the heel of the thumb as it is
turned over, producing a snap (Figs. 8 & 9). This gives a desired
emphasis to the identity of the final card. The first sWindle has
occurred . By placing four cards onto a tabled card, a packet of five
should in fact be created, but only four cards are shown. This is
true throughout this trick.

Let's try II again. Go!

STEP 5) The fight hand takes the left hand's cards from above and
places them onto the leftmost tabled card (the Ace of Spades).

Figure B

Figure 12

Figure 9

Figure 13

The double card is held at its right edge with the right hand, thumb
on top, first and second fingers underneath. The hands approach
the face-up spread cards on the table. The right hand slides the
left edge of the double card it holds under the face-up cards and
uses the double to flip the three face-up cards face down into the
left hand (Figs. 10 & 11).

346

347

AP lROACH NC NAC C

PACKET MAGIC

Lei's see if we can do it anI? last time. Go!

OIL SLICK

Make a gesture implying the movement of all three cards lying to


the right of the packet.

It's all over...


Scoop up the three tabled cards to the right of the tabled packet
and place them, still face down, in front of you. See to It that the
card to the far right ends up on the bottom.

figure 15

I've always loved Stewart Judah's version of Oil & Water. It has a desired simplicity
to it, as well as being very deceptive. It was a specialty of New York's "Uncle Pete"
Kougasian, one that he expertly performed every week at The Magic Townehouse,
where I was first fooled by the trick. Judah's method is a wonderful thing. I spent
some time designing this Oil & Water effect that retained Judah's thinking, but also
created the impression that the face of every card is seen during the procedure.
EFFECT: The classic Oil & Water plot-red cards separate from black.

Pick up the packet with the right hand and drop it face down into
the left hand. Deal the packet as you've dealt the others, but this
time deal the cards into a reasonably squared pile in the center,
implying finality.

NEEDED: A deck of cards.


TO PERFORM:

Tile Ace of Diamonds is Ilere along with Ihe Ace of Clubs, the Ace
of Hearts and Ille Ace of Spades!
The final double is turned face up and slid under the pile of three
(Fig. 15). Leave the Ace pile on the table, the extra card concealed.

And these cards, they create the mystery....


Turn the face-down packet of three black cards face up in the left hand and Elmsley
count them as four-two Eights and two Nines will show. This is another swindle.
Although only three cards were originally placed in that squared pile, four cards are
now apparently displayed. The right hand takes the face-up packet by its right edge
and brings it over to the tabled Aces, sliding the packet underneath as the cards are
gently tossed toward a spectator for examination (Fig. 16). All is now clean.

Note that as the Aces make their way, the language used "clarifies" the situation,
but no words state a position that could be challenged. Just as in the case of physical
sleight of hand, a larger action hides a smaller. In this routine, a crystal clear stage
picture of Aces moving in a consistent direction hides the discrepancies that allow
that stage pictu re to occu r.

348

STEP 1) Set the following seven cards from the face of the deck (this can be done

frgure 16

openly); Black Two or Three, black spot card, black spot card; three red spot cards,
a black spot card. Think of it as two groups of three, a black group and a red
group, with an extra black spot card at the rear. The order is shown in Fig. 1. See
to it that none of the red cards are Two spots or Three spots. Tilt the deck toward
yourself, hiding the faces, and remove the seven cards at the face, squaring them.
Place the deck aside, it is not used.

['m going to show YOll something llnuSltal with red


cards and black cards. Have YOll ever noliced that when
you buy a deck of cards from tlze store and Opl?ll them
lip, the red cards are separate from the blacks? That's
becallse black ink is Ilea vier than red ink, alld when the
deck is sitting lip there all the shelf, the colors lIaturally
move apart. I'm 1I0t kidding. I know what YOII're thinkillg. You're thinking "Wait a minute, I was at my AUllt
Sophie's last week. I took a deck of cards from one of
her drawers and all the cards were mixed up." That's
because when you grabbed them from the drawer, you
gave them a shake, and that mixed the colors. See? It's
all explained with science.

349

A'PROACHI% ,\AGIC

PACKET MAGIC

The audience sees three red cards, the three cards arc turned face
down and the top card is dealt-It feds like the card's face has
been seen, but you have Just dealt the extra black card

/'II show YOII what J lIIeall, becallse I call tel/yoll IIced


proof I pllt dOWIl a black, thclI a red ..
STEP 3) The nght hand spreads Its two cards and turns palm

Figure 2

Figure 3

down, displaying their faces for a beat (rig. 7). The hand returns
palm up and the top card IS dealt on the tabled pile. The left
hand mimics the act ion Just performed by the left hand, pushing
ove r th e top ca rd, keeping the bottom two aligned, and turning
palm down, displaying th e faces (Fig 8 -audience view) Turn
the hand palm up and deal th e top card onto the tabled pile .

Figure 7

... a black, a red ....

Figure 4

Frgure 5

Flash the last black card In the right hand and drop it onto the
tabled pile. Take the left hand 's double with the right hand, flash
its face (Fig. 9-audience \'Iew), a nd drop It on top of all. If you
add a few words to the script, breaking the rhythm, the transfer of
the double card from one hand to another is covered.

Figure B

STEP 2)

... a black, alld last bllt 1I0tleast, a red.


First Phase' Hold the packet face up In the left hand. Deal the top three ca rds (black)
onto the table, to the right, stepping them outward (Fig. 2). Deal the next two cards
(red) to the left, stepped in the same manner. You are left holding a double card in
the left hand (a red card covering a black card). The right hand takes the double at
its right edge and slides it under the two tabled red cards, stepped inward (Fig. 3).
In a continuing action, the hands pick up the entire package (supposedly three red
cards) and it is taken face up in the left hand, maintaining the stepped condition
(Fig. 4).

STEP 4) Pick up the supposedly alternating packet and place it face down into the

left hand .

If we wait JIIst a few ,(,COllds, the colors sholiid separate.


Flip the packet face up and deal the top three black cards onto the table, to the right,
stepped inward thiS time (Fig. 10)_ As the last black card is dealt, the left fingers

The right hand turns palm down and grasps the tabled black
cards. The hand turns palm up, squaring them and dealing the
top (now face-down) black card to the table, center (Fig. 5). The
left hand will now supposedly do the same thing. The left fingers
curl, flipping the packet face down as the first finger squares the
"three" cards and the top card of the packet is dealt onto the justtabled card (Fig. 6).

F/gIftl0

350

351

;,

....10\,. .....
I~'

...

....

~::.

,.'

i-

...:~~.~."

,.... j. ~

I"

,'"
......,r'P\

lD"'''':'
;

,.

..:

'f'4 "-/'

'

~'~'14'~'

-c r .:1'

",

~_,

I~"'t

,~

,,: ."

~i'

~"

'" .,

"

PACKET MAGIC

Figure 11

Figure 12

Figure 16

Figure 17

Figure 13

Figure 14

Figure 1B

Figure 19

Get it? The density of the red ink is completely different from the black.
Let's try that again, now that YO!l're getting the idea.

perform a double buckle: the little finger pulls inward, buckling the bottom card,
and the third finger buckles the card second from the bottom (Fig. 11). This leaves
two cards aligned as one on top of the packet, a double. The left hand grasps the
double card at its right edge, keeping it square as left fingers relax and the packet is
allowed to open into a spread, displaying three red cards (Fig. 12). Close the spread,
securing a left little-finger break under the double on top as the packet is held in
left-hand dealing position, the thumb lying on the face of the packet.

STEP 5)

Second Phase: This phase will be burned by the spectators, and is completely convincing. The right hand reaches over to the top, inner, black card (Fig. 16) and turns
it face down as it is placed to the center.

You will now create the impression that the top red card, actually a double, is
dragged by the left thumb off the packet: The right thumb and first finger reach
into the break and grasp the cards below the break at the inner
right corner (Fig. 13). The right hand does nothing, simply holds
onto the cards below the break as the left hand moves outward
in an arc to the left (Fig. 14). It looks exactly like a single card has
been peeled off the packet into the hand. In a continuing action,
the left hand returns to the right, peeling the remaining two red
cards onto the double, each stepped inward (Fig. 15). The cards in
the left hand now mirror the positions of the cards on the table.

Figure 20

352

You now perform an interesting move: The right hand reaches over to the outer right
corner of the left hand's lowermost double (Fig. 17). The left first
fingertip contacts the outer edge of the cards as the hand neckties the packet (Fig. 18-audience view), The right hand takes the
outermost (single) card and deals it face down onto the tabled
card (Fig, 19-audience view) as the left hand returns palm upand as this occurs the left first finger pulls the lowermost card of
the packet flush with the card above it (Fig. 20-audience view).
There is no discrepancy. Three red cards are displayed, one is
dealt to the table, and two red cards are seen remaining in the left
hand. The move utilizes the principle of a larger action conceaJing

353

Ap.JROACI-'ING NAG:

PACKET MAGIC

STEP 7)

a smaller ac ti on, and It IS execu ted In a n easy rhythm .

Ilcre'5 a Mack cnrd, alld a red card ...


Ihe right hand takes the next black card and dea ls It face down
onto the tabled packet, but slightlt IIlJogged (thi s wil l help a bit
later). The right hand takes the lop (slI1gle) red card and deals It
onto the pile.

.. a Mack card, alld a red card ..

Figule 21

Figure 25

111 case there are still afew DOllbling TllOmases alii there

The ri ght hand takes the last black card In th e right and brings its
left edge next to the right edge of th e tab led packet Flip th e card
fa ce down onto the packet, then take th e double In the right ha nd
and place It next to the tabled packet in the same manner (Fig. 21).
Gently nip the double ca rd face down onto th e packet (Fig. 22)

who refllse to believe this is simply a matter of phYSICS,


here's what we'll do-we'll leave the black cards alone,
and do nothillg. ..

STEP 6) Pick up the packet with the right hand and place it II1to

the left, the right thumb pushing down on the Injogged card,
allOWing you to secure a left lillie finger break above the bollom
three cards of the packet

Figure 26

Figure 22

All we need is a little lillie ... tlwl sholiid do it.


The right hand takes the top card of the packet at Its right edge
and snaps the outer left corner of the card off the left thumb (Fig.
23). The hand brings the card to the table, to the left, lays down
Its left edge and flips the card face up, book style Repeat With the
next card, allowing it to fall roughly square With the first. The
right hand now returns to the packet and lifts off a double, easy
due to the break, and performs the same actions with the double
card, flipping it onto the already tabled cards. Continue by tablll1g
the black cards one at a time in the same manner, creating a pile
of black cards to the right of the red cards. The piles should not be
perfectly squared (Fig. 24).

The black packet is placed into the left hand. The top card is pushed
off, turned face down by the right hand, and placed to the bottom
of th e packet. The sa me procedure is performed with the second
black card The final black card is turned over, but replaced on the
top of the packet. The squared packet apparently contains three
and only three black cards. The right hand takes the packet from above and cleanly
drops it onto the table as the left hand picks up the red packet, allowing it to square.
The left hand reverse spreads the packet for a final display (the thumb pulls to the
left as the fingers push to the right). Show the faces of the cards to the audience for
a beat (Fig. 26-audlence view). Only red cards will be seen, thanks to the fact that
the centralized black Two or Three spot IS hidden due to the reverse spread. Turn
the hand palm up, squaring the packet, and drop it onto the tabled cards. You have
supposedly dropped three red cards onto three black cards.

.. .Ihe red cards go 01/ top. Clearly 1I0t mixed. That is, IIntil we gir.e them
a shake.
Pick up the packet from above and give it a shake. Place the packet into the left
hand.

And once again the reds separate from the blacks, as I/at lire
intended.

STEP 8) The left hand pushes over the top card of the packet. As before, the card

354

Third Pha se. The pa lm down left hand picks up the red pile and
turn s pa lm up, sec uring a left little-finger break under the top
ca rd of the packet 111 the process. The right hand picks up the
black ca rd s from above, and, keeping them face up, places them
onto th e red pile 111 the left hand, squaring them. Immediately lift
off the four cards above the break, spreading the remaining cards
in the left hand and droppll1g them onto the table (Fig. 25) Cover
thi S action w ith patter

is taken by the right hand at its right edge, snapped off the left thumb, then its left
edge is rested on the table, a bit to the left, and is flipped face up book-style. Continue with the remaining cards, stepping them, forming a row, until a double card
remains in the left hand. The right hand performs the same actions with the dou-

355

APPROACH NG MAC ~

PACKET MAGIC

For years, psychologists have used the four Aces to test


people's powers of observation. As simple as it may
seem, it's hard to retain a nrental picture of where four
cards lie.

Figure 28

Figure 27

Figure 2

Square the cards and flip the packet face down. Overhand shuffle
the cards, drawing one card at a time. The last "card" will be a
double-toss it on top. The blank-facer should now be at the bottom of the face-down packet.

For example, by giving the cards the briefest of shuffles,


there's no way to know which color Aces are on top.

ble card, displaying the "six" cards, now magically mixed, to end
(Figs. 27 & 28).

Now we have red, black, red, black, red and a black-a trillnrph of
science!

Figure 3

NOT MY LAST TRICK

STEP 2) Hold the packet in left-hand dealing position. The left


thumb pushes over the top card (Fig. 2), then performs a block
push-off of all but the bottom card (Fig. 3). The block coalesces
with the card initially pushed off, and all cards but the bottommost are flipped face up in a block-this is a Zarrow technique.
The illusion is that of simply flippIng over the top two cards
of the packet. Immediately push over the top card (the Ace of
Clubs) with the left thumb, displaying the black Aces (Fig. 4).

I can even pause, show you the black Aces, bllt by turning them face-down I throw off your perspective, and if

This effect, an outgrowth of Dr. Daley's last trick, is a full routine with five cards. It
can be performed using either a table or a spectator's hand .

1 deal them one after the other, reversing theIr original


order, there's 110 way a person could reason which aile is
on top. Some say Clubs .. .others say Spades ....

EFFECT: The black Aces continually change places with the red Aces, then the
cards vanish (turn blank) one after another.
NEEDED: The four Aces and a blank-faced card with a matching back.
Figure 4

SET-UP: From the face, all cards face-up, the order is Red Ace, Red Ace, Ace of
Spades, Ace of Clubs, blank-facer.
TO PERFORM:
STEP 1) Display the five cards as four by spreading them face up,
keeping the last two cards aligned as one (Fig. 1).

Repeat the Zarrow procedure, performing a block push-off of


all but the bottommost card, allowing the fan to coalesce as the
cards are flipped face down. Deal the top two cards onto the table, reversing their order. As you say".. .which aile is on top" the
right hand takes the top card off the left hand's packet, uses it to
gesture toward the tabled two Aces (Fig. 5), and returns it to the
bottom of the left hand's cards. As you do this, do not allow the
two squared cards in the left hand to spread.

Of course, the Ace of Spades is on top of the Ace of


Clubs.
The palm-down right hand grasps the right edge of the left hand's
Figure 1

356

Figure 5

PACKET MAGIC

cards and turns palm up, turning the cards face up, and simu ltaneously performs a double push -off (all but the bottommost
card). The left hand takes the double (apparently only the Ace of
Spades) then takes the Ace of Clubs atop it (Fig. 6). The [lght hand
Immediately goes to the cards on the table and turns them face
up, revealing the two red Aces. Place the red Aces face up onto
the face up black Aces In the left hand. As you do this, contrive to
Injog the lowermost red Ace a bit (Fig. 7). Square the cards as you
flip them face down into the left hand, maintaining the injog.

The audience will assume they have caught you in a lie. The left hand takes the
packet and im med iately performs the tu rnover seq uence from Step Two, displaying
two black Aces (Fig. 10). The audience will react, as they were sure they just saw the
two red Aces. I Told for a beat, then perform the identical turnover to turn the cards
face down and deal the top two cards to the table (it doesn't matter if you reverse the
order or not). Again, the right hand takes the top card from the left hand's packet to
indicate the tabled cards, then returns it to the bottom of the left hand's packet.

.. .bllt for some reason it's hard for some people to keep track.

Figule 6

STEP 3) The right hand grasps the packet from above, pressing

Turn over the tabled cards, revealing the red Aces. This change
is very surprising, as the audience has relaxed from having just
been fooled, and you've fooled them again.

down on the inJogged card and procuring a right thumb break


above it. The break is transferred to the left little finger as the
cards are squared

We both knew that the black Aces were over here.

It's odd, Isn 't it? By just giving the cards the tiniest mix, there's
no way for anyone to know which color Aces are on top!
You will now apparently start to reverse count the cards as they
are passed into the right hand The first card IS legitimately taken,
but thanks to the break you can take a double on the count of
"two" atop the right ha nd's ca rd-the left thumb pushes over the
two cards above the break, aligned as one (Fig. 8). With practice,
this alignment will be perfect, but since the cards are in motion, a slight misalignment will not be seen. After "two" cards have been passed to the right hand, the
left hand nses in a gesture, flashing the faces of the two red Aces to the audience
(Fig. 9). It should appear that the flash is done by accident. After the flash, drop the
two red Aces face down onto the right hand's cards.

Figule 7

Flgule 10

As before the palm-down right hand grasps the right edge of the
left hand's cards and turns palm up while performing a block
push-off. Dealing a double (the Ace of Spades) into the left hand,
then the Ace of Clubs atop it. See Figure 6 again. This variation of
the first phase is an escalation of the premise.
STEP 4) The right hand picks up the red Aces and places them

under the left hand's black Aces You will now perform an Ascanio spread: The right hand grasps the packet from above
as the left fingertips contact the bottommost card and the left
thumb contacts the top card. The right hand slides to the right.
The left hand holds back first the bottommost card (a red Ace)
then the top card (the Ace of Clubs). See Figure 11.

Position Check, from the top: Red Ace, red Ace, black Ace, black Ace, blank-facer.

Of course the black Aces are on top. You knew that ...

358

Figure 11

The right hand continues its movement to the right and the
left fingertips hold back the second red Ace. The right hand is
now holding a double, supposedly only the Ace of Spades. As
the Ace of Spades clears the packet, the left thumb pushes the
Ace of Clubs to the right, so that the three cards in the left hand
are spread. The right hand deposits the double card onto the left
hand's cards, making a fan, as the left thumb clamps down on the
double, securing all (Fig. 12). The entire spreading of the cards
takes about a second.

359

APP~OA(YI~G ~AGIC

PACKET MAGIC

The proble11l is, we have fall I' cards alld that's too lIIallY thillgs to
cOllcelltrate 0/1 at the same time, let's face it. To make thillgs silupier, why dOIl't we forget aile? The Ace of CllIbs, that's a pretty
iIlIlOC/lOIlS Ace. Why dOIl't you clear your milld of the Ace of
Clubs, alld just forget it's there. Excellent-nice job forgetting!
Square the cards, then perform another Ascanio spread as described above, stopping when the right hand's double card (now a
blank-faced card) is separated from the three in the left hand (Fig.
13). Apparently the Ace of Clubs has been "wiped clean" or "forgotten." Use the left edge of the right hand's double to flip the left
hand's cards face down into the open hand, then lay the face-up
double on top of the face down cards. Pause a beat, then flip the
double face down (easy, because of the natural curvature of the
cards). Take the top (supposedly blank) card with the right hand,
and place it into a pocket. Obviously, do not flash its face.

of the double card and moves inward, displaying the remaining


red Ace for half its length (Fig. 15). Move the right hand forward,
squaring the cards, then back, displaying the red Ace a second
time. To effect the change, bring the double square with the red
Ace a final time, then, with the nght fingertips, pull back only the
top card of the double, revealIng a blank face (Fig. 16). Without
hesitation, the right hand turns the Ace of Spades face down and
places it underneath what is now a double card m the left hand.
Figure 13

Figure 15

Pretend to wipe off a bit of remaining Ace from the blank-facer,


then flip the double card face down. Deal off the top card into the
right hand-making sure to keep the remaming double in the left
hand aligned-and place it into the pocket. You are supposedly
left with only one card in the left hand.

STEP 5) Flip the packet face up in the left hand. The right hand

takes the packet from above as the left thumb reverse counts the
cards into the left hand . After two cards are counted, the last
card (actually a double) is taken onto the other two.

STEP 7) The right hand grasps the double at its inner right corFigure 14

Figure 16

That leaves the Ace of Spades, Hearts and Diamo/1ds. Let's make it
easier-forget the Ace of
[name the centralized red Ace].
Perform the first actions of the Ascanio Spread. The top and bottom cards are held
back by the left hand as the right hand moves to the right with what appears to be
a second blank card (Fig. 14). As before, use the left edge of the right hand's double
to flip the left hand's cards face down, drop the double on top, then flip the double
face down. Take the top card and-without flashing its face-place it into the same
pocket as the first card.

ner, thumb on top, fingers below, and rises, flicking the outer
left corner off the left thumb with a snap. Flip the double face up
in the left hand, displaying the Ace of Spades.

The Ace of Spades. That Ace is impossible to forget. But


if we work together... still there, still there ... GONE!

figure 17

STEP 6) Flip the "two" remaining cards face up in the left hand. The right hand

grasps them from above as the left thumb peels the last red Ace into the left hand.
The double in the right hand, supposedly the single Ace of Spades, is placed on
top, as you secure a left little-finger break under the double card.

The Ace of

J think you missed a spot.

[whichever red Ace remains] is a memorable Ace, so

I'm going to have to ask you to work extra hard as you try to forget it.

The right hand grasps the double from above. The hand makes a
shrugging gesture as you say "impossible to forget." As the right
hand returns the double to the left hand, perform a side steal,
stealing the blank-facer into the right palm. Figure 17 is a view
from below. The right hand places the blank-facer onto the Ace
of Spades in a standard color change action, but do not reveal the
change yet. Spread the fingers and wave the right hand over the
"card" in the left hand creating more and more distance between
the card and the hand. Eventually, the blank card in the left hand
will be revealed (Fig. 18). The change will not be immediately apparent, so this delayed change is particularly effective. Give the
double a snap in the same manner as before, flip it face down.
then grasp it with the right hand and place it into the pocket.

You've done a wonderful job. Let's remember to forget


again sometime.

PetfOilll the Paintbrush Change: The palm-down right hand grasps the inner end
Figure 18

361

APP~OAC~I~S

MAGIC

PACKET MAGIC

If a gal1lbler's lucky, he'll be dealt the Ace of Spades, but

RAISING KANE

a real cheater always has a way to l1Iake one for himself .. with these.

Peter Kane is no longer wIth us, but will always be remembered for his legacy of
creative, original magic. The April 1962 issue of HlIgard's Magic Montllly Includ~d a
startlIng Peter Kane effect titled "Watch the Ace!" Versions of :his ef~~ct.have sIn,~e
proliferated, many sold without credit to Mr. Kane under the tItle of WIld Card.
This handling requires more sleight of hand than is typical for this effect, but I feel
it possesses a desirable directness, builds in impossibility, and most importantly
of all, creates the sensation that the spectators are handing the cards themselves
throughout. The changes often seem to occur in the spectators' hands.

Flip the packet face up in the left hand, displaYIng a blank face.
You will now perform a Hamman count, but as there are many
ways to do this count, I'll briefly detail the method I prefer:
Flgule 2

Any standard Wild Card set can be used, but I use a blank-faced set, comprised of
blank cards that will, in the course of the routine, change into Aces of Spades. I use
the typical nine cards: four blank/AS double-faced cards, and five regular Aces of
Spades. If you choose to use a standard set, some simple changes to the script will
be necessary, and are noted within the routine.

Have you ever seen cards that are printed on Just aile
side?

Figure 3

THE SET-UP: From the face, all four blank/AS cards (blank sides showing), all five

Aces of Spades, face up. If desired, one of the Aces of Spades can be placed in a
separate wallet or pocket.
TO PERFORM:
STEP 1) Introduce the premise of the effect.

What's a gambler's favorite card? His Lucky Card? That's right, the Ace
of Spades.
Figure 4

NOTE: If using a different Wild Card, the script should talk about your personal

"lucky card."
Display a (normal) Ace of Spades, either dealing it off the facedown packet or producing it from a pocket. Place it face up to the
center of the table. Show the packet, holding it face down in the
left hand. The top few cards may be allowed to spread (Fig. 1).

The face-up packet is grasped between the right thumb and


second finger from above at the inner and outer nght corners
(Fig. 2). The left thumb peels the top three cards Into the left hand,
one at a time. The cards land in dealing position, or mechanic's
grip if preferred. I insert a justified pause in the count prior to the
actual SWItch.

Matching the patter, the right hand turns palm up, dlsplaving
the back of a card to the audience (Fig. 3). The hand turns back
palm down, and the Hamman SWItch is made: The right hand
brings the packet to the left hand, as if peelIng off a fourth card,
but instead of peeling the fourth card, the entire packet is placed
atop the left card's cards, a bit further to the left (about a quarter
of an inch, Fig 4). In a continuing actIon, the right hand makes a
minute adjustment and the lower packet is grasped between the
right third finger and thumb as the upper packet is grasped by the
crotch of the left thumb and pulled to the left in an imitation of a
single-card peel (Fig. 5). Continue by peeling the remaining three
blank-faced cards onto the packet in the left hand, one at a time.
Of course, you are actually displaying those cards for a second
time. This count should be learned without the pause, as well. It
must be performed in a relaxed, loose manner, with as much of
the cards' faces visible as possible.
NOTE: If you are using a standard Wild Card set, change the

patter accordingly, saying something to the effect of:

I always carry some spare cards with me. Have you ~


seen a bunch of cards that are all the SlIme? llmow wIIIlt
you're SIIying, those don't match your LucJcy Oml.

362

PACKET MAGIC

----------------------------------

That's because 110 gambler wallis 10 be callghl wilh Ihe eVidence.


If II/eed a Lllcky Card, I can make one whenever I wanl ..
You have Just (apparently) peeled a group of blank-faced
cards Into the left hand You will now perform a bottom deal [
execute a one-handed bottom deal, as it IS very casual : The left
thumb pushes the top blank facer to the right a bit, as If about
to deal (rig. 6). The left second finger reaches up and contacts
the outer right corner of the bottom card of the packet, applyIng a small amount of downward pressure (Fig. 7-worm's eye
view) This wi ll serve to "loosen" the bottom card from the rest
of th e packet The left hand turns palm down in a gentle tossing
act){)n as two things happen Simu ltaneo usly: The thumb draws
th e top card (now the bottom card, as the hand has turned pa lm
down) back flush wi th the packet as the bottom card (now the
top card) IS tossed face down to the table, on top of the already
tabled Ace of Spades (Fig. 8). This toss IS facilitated by the left
second finger stra ighten ing as it relaxes. The illusion created is
of the blank- fa cer being pushed over, then tossed face down to
the table Thi s is the most difficult move in the routine, but it
must be mastered, as It will be exec uted three more times. The
bottom deal is a good move to use In this context, as the audi
ence sees both Sides of the "same" card.

Oh, I'm sorry. Drd you want to do it, too? Here, just
grve It a little rub.

STEP 2)

l.ook, /Ilisl have 10 give II a rub .. YOIl give It a rllb,


111m II over See? It becomes an Ace of Spades!

flgule 6

figure 9

As the Ace is revealed, the right hand grasps the packet


from above in preparation for a side steal: the right thumb lies
along the inner edge, the pad of the little finger rests on the
outer right corner, and the first finger is lightly curled on top
of the packet (Fig. 10). Make a gesture with the hand, lashing
a back, then return the cards to the left hand, performing the
steal-the left fingertips push the bottom card of the packet (an
Ace of Spades) into right hand palm (Fig. 11, worm's eye \;ew).
The fight hand moves to the right with the palmed card until it
IS clear of the packet, then returns to make a gentle rubbing action on the face of the packet, depositing the Ace of Spades onto
the cards in the classic manner (Fig. 12).
STEP 4)

figure 7

figure 10

Look, I can even rub a card over here, and It becomes an


Ace of Spades!

100 ... now

The right hand rubs the face down card on the Ace of Spades_
I lave a spectator do the same, then have him turn over the face
down card, revealing a second Ace of Spades.
figure 11

STEP 3) Adjust the "new" Ace of Spades so it lies to the right


of the first. As you do this, you will apparently deal another blank facer onto the
table. In actually, perform another one-handed bottom deal, tabling a face down
Ace of Spades onto the two visible Aces. Rub the face-down card on an Ace of
Spades.

As you speak, casually perform a final one-handed bottom deal,


dealing a face-down Ace of Spades to the table. I usually deal it directly onto the center Ace (Fig_ 9)_ Do not look at the hands as you
do this-all the false deals occur on an off-beat, while addressing
the audience Rub the face-down card, then allow the spectator to
rub it and turn it over, revealing a fourth Ace of Spades_

Take the card with the right hand and look it over as if examining it, allOWing its front and back to be seen. Deal it face up to the
table, forward of the other four Aces of Spades, and see to it that
those four Aces are arranged in a neat row. Deal the remaining
cards, all double-facers, to the rear of the row of Aces (Fig. 13).
You will be happy to know that from this point on, we make good

All it takes is a rub, see?

Turn over the face-down card, revealing another Ace of Spades_ Place it to the left of
the row, then pretend to notice that a spectator is disappointed.

,...13

364

APP~OAC ,I~G

MAGIC

PACKET MAGIC

use of the gaffs with some easier sequences.


palm down, bringing the double back flush with the packet. At
that IIlstant the bottom card of the double IS allowed to fall onto
the packet as the right hand outjogs the remaining card for half
ItS length . The left thumb holds the outJogged card in place for a
moment as the right hand grasps it at its outer right corner and
rubs it on the top of the packet. Allow the spectator to take over,
then turn the card over, revealing another change.

I call evell isolate a card-it will still work.

STEP 5) The left hand and right hand work in concert, picking
up the leftmost and rightmost Aces from the face-up row. The
nght hand places its Ace onto the left hand's Ace, then helps the
left hand scoop up the double-facer second from the left of the
inner row (Fig. 14). The cards are allowed to square in the left
hand . Perform a double turnover (I use the push-off technique)
and Immediately spread the three cards in the left hand . A facedown card will be seen atop two face-up Aces (Fig. 15). This is
a standard Wild Card move and a perfect deception. The right
hand places the face-down card between the two face-up Aces.
Display the situatIon for a moment, then wiggle the face-down
card a bit with the right fingers, and allow a spectator to do the
same.

All it takes is a wiggle-here, you do it. And it turns into all


Ace.

Figure 14

Figure 1B

Place the newly-changed Ace on top of the others already in


the hand, a nd fan for a display of four Aces of Spades (Fig' 18).
Position check: Ace of Spades, double-facer, double-facer, Ace of
Spades.

Figure 15

Figure 19

The right fingers strip out the face-down card and snap it face
up-it is an Ace. Place it face up onto the packet and square the
packet into the left hand, securing a left little-finger break under
the top Ace.

Some people don't like me to tOllch tile cards at alI!


You will now perform the classic switch move that dates back to
Hofzinser, executing it with the left and right hands at the same
time. The left hand slides its (genuine) Ace under the leftmost
double-facer as the right hand slide its (genuine) Ace under the
rightmost double-facer (Fig 20).

STEP 6) The right hand picks up the double-facer second from


the right of the inner row and places it onto the packet. You now
have a break under two cards. Perform a double turnover, catching the double in the Altman trap (Fig. 16).
Figure 20

Not everyone likes it wilen I stick the card in between, so for you,
we'll just leave it on top. Give it a rub. Now it's an Ace!
In this "convincer" sequence, the right hand grasps the double
from above and turns palm up as the left hand spreads the two
cards it holds, matching the patter (Fig. 17). This displays, supposedly, the front and back of the blank-facer in a logical gesture. As fair as this looks, the moment is actually discrepant, as
there should be three cards in the left hand, not two, but this is a
"golden" discrepancy, and never noticed. The right hand returns

366

STEP 7) The hands again work in concert. The right hand takes
the upper two cards of the face-up fan as the left hand takes the
lower two cards. The hands move to the table top, simultaneously depositing the double-facers (Aces showlllg) behveen the
already tabled double-facers (blanks showing). See Fig. 19.

The thumbs are placed onto the double-facers. The hands now
mirror each other, turning palm down. The thumbs pull the double cards inward as the fingertips move outward, tOSSing the (now
face down) genuine Aces to the table, near a spectator on the left
and right (Fig. 21). The hands return the cards they hold (doublefacers) to the right and left ends of the inner row, Aces shOWing.
This classic switch is used just once in the routine, when it is most
effective, as a hands-off climax. Have a spectator on each side rub
a face-down card.

Give it a rub! You, too! And that's why a gambler never


runs out of Lucky Cards!

APP~OACrll~G

MAGIC

Turn over the cards to reveal the final two transformations. Replace the Aces to the right and left side of the center row and open
the arms with a gesture of finality to end (Fig. 22).
TO CLEAN UP: The right hand takes the outermost Ace and uses

it to scoop up the innermost row (the left hand helps). When the
cards are square, they are flipped face down into the left hand.
The right hand picks up two of the remaining four tabled cards
and casually flips them face down onto the packet, unsquared,
then returns and does the same with the remaining two tabled
cards. Square the packet and put it away. A multitude of backs
are seen, and the casual handling of the cards is disarming.

Figure 22

TO RESET: Spread the packet face up between the hands. Turn over the top four

Aces (the double-facers). Square the packet. You are ready to go.

Self-working
Magic
... - -.--.----.-~~~~~~..J

SELF-WORKING MAGIC

f
There was a ti me when magic dealers enthusiastically used the term "self-working" as a sellmg
point in th eir description of tricks. Though still used, the designation has become slightly less
popular in th e current climate as magicians and hobbyists often wish to be viewed as capable of
better things. It's as if the self-working magic effect is an attractive woman who also happens to
be a ten-dollar hooker. I exaggerate Who today can buy a magic trick for ten dollars?
While different effects certainly require varying amounts of physical dexterity, no effect possesses an adequate presentation "automatically," or is impervious to failures of a type that go beyond
technical mastery. Conversely, effects that are difficult to execute technically do not necessarily
possess a quality that makes them, by definition, "good."
Why do the words "self-working" often create an emotional response, as if an internal happy
button has been pressed? There are different reasons. Some might attribute the number one
reason to sloth, but I think it is more than that. It is fantasy.
The dream dealer item, the one we all imagine is hidden on a back shelf ready to be purchased
if we Just knew its name, is one that is unquestionably amazing, a prop or gimmIck that can
produce an astounding event, yet is so simple to employ and execute it can be added to one's
repertoire immediately. Let me add my name to the list of people who have dreamed about this
mysterious thing! But here's why we know that thing will not often be found : If we look at all
magic effects, both technically easy to execute and technically difficult, very few are great things
to behold when merely performed competently. In the right (wrong?) hands, even the execution
of gloriously difficult sleight of hand can be boring.
With "self-workmg" magic, the performer is glVen the dubious advantage of being capable of
bonng others with greater ease. Nothing done well "works itself."
Another reason self-working effects hold a beacon of comfort for some is due to fear. I discuss
fear, from another perspective, elsewhere in this book. Fear is a great motivator in life and it is no
less a factor in our peculiar art. There is so much to be afraid of. We have the opportunity to be
afraid of hidden objects being seen, lies being detected, discrepancies being exposed, methods
being deduced, props hanging up, moves failing to deceive. Racing bravely forward without the
tools necessary to do one's job is of course foolish, but equally foolish is to assume that the tools
arc impossible to obtain, or not equal to the task at hand. This is the common difficulty of conviction, of belieVing in one's own ability to deceive with a lie that comes from within.
I recall trying to teach a popular actor the use of a thumb tip for a scene that required a simple
vanish. I failed. Why was the use of a thumb tip, one of the magic's great tried and true utility

APP~OA( ~I

GMAGIC

Items, usc Iess t0 tile u'ctor? lie, a man who assumes different characters for a living, a man who
es~entlillly lies about the person he IS while the world watches, could not get past the basIc Inter

SELF-WORKING MAGIC

ferent) card Into the right pocket.

d"bl'''~

down ,nd

pl'~

'h' 'op (lnM

nal lie that a thumb tip requires:

b) Double turnover to display Card " 8," flip the double face down and place the top card
onto the table.

I do not have an odd object stuck on my thumb.

c) Have the spectator turn over the tabled card, revealing Card "A."

He couldn't manage the act of dOing something fairly down and dirty while behaving as if a
miraculous event was taking place. I had to revert to placing the object on a pull so all the actor
had to do was let go, anti the object would vanish . He required a method that was ama/lng eVeI!
10 lite persall perJorflllllg tite lIIagic. This brand of unease is what drives many toward so called
self working magic, but this fear, excusable for an actor, is not excusable for a magician . It is a key
hurdle we must overcome, or progress stops.

As the spectator IS turning over the tabled card, palm the top card of the deck with the right hand.
Inser t the right hand into the pocket and remove the palmed card, revealing Card "B." The cards
ha ve cha nged places.
1 performed the effect, and to my shock my friend was fooled. I figured he must have looked
away at the key moment, and I wanted my palm properly evaluated, so I defied the magicians'
creed and performed the effect again . And again . And again. Eventually my friend, a bright man,
said

We have to be able to lie in every way, verbally, physically, as well as with methods that do the
lying for us. It is a leap that can be difficult to make, but one that, once conquered, changes e~.
erything. It is for this rea~on I think the false transfer of an object IS a good barometer of one s
ability to lie. There are many ways to execute a false transfer that require no specia l physical
skill, but all false transfers require the ability to lie with one's entire being. We know we have not
transferred an object, yet we must act as If we have. [t IS thiS lie, more than the physical actions,
that becomes the stumbling block. How will you know when you are performing a good false
transfer? You will be relaxed, your actions will feel automatic, and part oj you will believe you are

"[ tll/nk [ have it figured out except Jar one part ... how'd the card get ill your pocket~"
And my educatIOn began.

itolding tite object ill the el1lpty hand.


You must subscribe to your own lie In order to present convincing illusions. For this reason, once
you can perform a good false transfer, the baldest of all falsehoods, you arc on your way to being
able to do many, many things.
When I got into card magic, one of my greatest apprehensions was palming cards. My hands arc
barely large enough to conceal a poker-sized card, and whenever I grabbed onto that card I felt
gloriously exposed. I simply coultl not believe that my very full hand could possibly appear empty
to another human being. Well, I was lucky. I had friends for whom I cou ld perform, laypeople
who would have no compunction about busting me should I flash a card inadvertently. I finally
decided to experiment with the horror of palming on one of these friends-if I failed, the Earth
would not stop revolving.
I remember the effect I did. It was a chestnut from one of the Rufus Steele booklets. Ilere were
the necessary steps:

L
372

,) O"bl, '"'"0'" '0 d"pl,y C"d "A: flip 'h,

LIQUID -----;
REFRESHMENT
I

LIQUID REFRESHMENT

AMSTEL IfEAVY
This production of a Pilsner glass of beer uses no gimmick, and it is practical for use
as an opener in any situation where the audience is in fron t of the performer. An
additional feature is the fact that no jacket is necessary.
NEEDED: A pilsner glass of beer, a menu. I purchased an inexpensive set of pil-

sner glasses from Target, and a "menu holder" from a restaura nt supply shop.

THE

IS H I T I
L

Figure 1

Figure 2

The pilsner glass I use is a little more than mne inches tall. The
menu, when opened, is approximately 9" x 1n~."
TO PREPARE: Wnte or computer print "The Good Shit" (or

"The Good Stuff") on two pieces of paper, and place them into
the menu holder (Fig. 1) Place the glass of beer (not filled all the
way to the top) into the waistband of your pants, in front of your
body (Fig. 2).
TO PERFORM:
STEP 1) The Entrance:

If entering from a wing, the menu can be held by its spine as


in Fig. 3-audience view, concealing the glass while walking to
center stage.

APP~OACrll~J MAGIC

LIQUID REFRESHMENT

When facing front, the hand holding the menu simply adjusts to conceal the glass
(Fig. 4-audience view). Of course, if entering from the center, Fig. 4 becomes the
starting position. This position can be assumed with the menu In either hand, but
for the purposes of instruction the menu will be held in the nght hand.
The right fingertips gently snap upward, propelling the menu counter-clockwise,
where it is caught by the left hand (Figs. 5 & 6-audlence view). The nght hand
re-grasps the upper right edge of the menu, and, as you talk, the lower right edge
is carelessly tapped against the body (Figs. 7 & 8-audience view). This sequence
creates a nice sensation of emptiness.

Flgule 5

I know the cocktail hostess took your orders, but J thollght I'd show YOIl
the drink menll they give the performers. J don't like to brag, bllt tlzey're
clearly giving us the good shit [or "stuff"].

Figure 4

STEP 2) The left hand holds the menu as the nght hand moves to the top, inserts
the right first finger into the menu and swings It open, ending up grasping the
right side of the menu, fingers in front, thumb at the rear (Fig. 9-audience view).
The hands move the menu to the left as you bend at the waist to address a spectator on that side of the room. The glass is now behind the right side of the open
me nu (Fig. IO-audience view).

Figure6

SH IT
Frgure 9

Jt l,'-fI, ..

,~

.'"

'Y

..

to

'1fIiI~ en,'.

'

"'.)f ' JiP.~'~~


,.
11.
'r.;iht.,:
~

'Jjt'~.

~'

.,

'4'" ""

..,... ".,

"

'.:

,~

,..,,
,,)

, fl"

..

.'l> . , '

,.

,j:It

"

.,

a,
~

LIQUID REFRESHMENT

I know what you're thinking-this is one classy establishment.


ST EP 3) The hands move down slightly, slipping the rim of the glass between the

figure 12

figure 11

right thumb and the menu (Fig. 11). The hands come forward, stealing the glass
and moving away from the body (Fig. 12). The left hand closes the menu, trapping
the right fingers . In a continuing action the left hand moves to the bottom of the
menu and the glass is rested on the palm, allowing the right fingers to re-adjust
and move to the front of the menu. The audience has now seen all sides of the
menu (Fig. 13-audience view).

Personally, I refuse to settle fo r anything less than the best ...


STEP 4) The right hand hold s both the menu and the glass fo r a beat as the left

ha nd re-grips the menu (a nd glass) at the bottom. The glass of beer is now held
only by the left ha nd .

" .even if /'/1/ just having a beer!


The right hand sharply rises above the head, revealing the beer in the left hand
(Fig. 14-audlence view). The menu is replaced under the right arm, conveying its
thinness (Fig. IS-aud ience view) as you strike an applause pose.

A DRlNKING PROBLEM
figure 13

figure 14

This bottle production possesses a useful feature-a vanishing gimmick. I stumbled upon this method while contemplating the problem as I paced my office in my
underwear. The elastic waistband of my boxers was the starting point. My understanding is that Einstein used this same method to discover the Theory of Relativity. A classic method (a hole in the rear of a paper bag) is married to a sequence that
is practical, simple, and, best of all, is motivated.
NEEDED: An elastic belt, a paper lunch sack, a bottie, a box of Tic-Tacs.

If you cannot find elastic belts for sale in your neighborhood, go online-manysites
Figure 15

SID

seil them at a cost of around fifteen dollars. Purchase a belt a bit larger than ODe
you'd ordinarily use.

APP~OAC 'i1\G

MA: C

LIQUID REFRESHMENT

TO PREPARE: Loop the belt Into the waistband of your pants, skipping over a

loop on the right side. By doing this, an exposed length of elastic is ~lade avai lable to you (Fig. 1). Cut a rectangle from the rear of the paper bag (F~g. 2). Place
the Tic-Tacs into the bag, then close the bag, flattening it around the Tlc-Tacs, and
fold it up, the hole on the inside (Fig. 3). You are left with a small package that can

easily be placed in a pocket.


Shp the bottle under the exposed length of elastic, neck upward . The bottle should
be held securely in place, vertically (Fig. 4). If the bottle is too loose, simply tighten
the belt. The beauty of an elastic belt is the fact that there are no preset holes that
one IS limited to when it comes to sizi ng the belt-it can be adJusted with precision .
TO PERFORM:

Most of the photographs that follow will show the effect from the
audience's Viewpoint.
STEP 1) Remove the folded bag and display it to the audience.

Figure I

I'm sorry, but J was 1/1 a rHsh and J didn't have time to eat before
J came here. I hope YOH don't mind if I have my dinner right now.
I'm 011 a special diet, but it's working out great.
Shake the bag, making the Tic-Tacs rattle. This is important, as it
brings attention both to the fact that the folded bag is very small
and that something IS within it. The audience will wonder what
it is that is making the noise, and by doing that, they ask themselves "What is very small, that could fit inside that folded up bag,
and rattles ... ?" You are programming them to be shocked by the
production that will follow.
STEP 2) Unfold the bag and open it, keeping the secret hole to-

ward your body. Hold the bag at the outer edge with the left
hand and raise it slightly, peering down into it (Fig. 5). This is a
feint. The right hand reaches into the bag and removes the box
of Tic-Tacs.

It's called "The Tic-Tac Diet."


Using the right thumb, pop open the lid and pretend to pour a

Figure 4

Figure 5

single Tic-Tac into your mouth. Close the lid, again using only the right hand.

One Tic-Tac for breakfast, olle for lunch, alld one for dillner.
occasionally, bllt your breath is minty fresh.

YOH

faint

As you speak, gesture with the left hand, holding the bag (Fig. 6). The airy way in
which the bag moves again signifies its emptiness.
STEP 3) The right hand places the Tic-Tac box into the right jacket pocket as the

Figure 2

left hand moves slightly to the right, so that the right side of the bag hits the edge
of the right side of the jacket. Figure 7 makes this clear.

APP~OAt rll

LIQUID REFRESHMENT

Of course, there are sOllie "doctors" who claim that the hUl11al1 body
requires a little sOl11ethillg lIIore ...
Look into the bag, raising it slightly as before. The right hand, within the pocket,
drops the Tic-Tacs as the 6ngers extend and move upward, contacting the bottom
of the bottle through the material of your jacket and levering it so that the top of the
bottle pivots toward the left. Due to the fact that you are looking into the bag, it's a
simple matter to see to it that the neck of the bottle enters the bag through the hole
in the rear (Fig. 8). Note that the look into the bag is justi6ed, as you are looking
for a "little" addition to the meal, and the bag conceals the bottle from all angles as
long as it contacts the jacket. The bottle is not released from the belt at this point, it
is simply angled so that it can begin to enter the bag. Because the bottle is still held
by the belt, the right hand can emerge from the pocket (Fig. 9). The left hand can
now shake the bag a bit with a small up and down motion, as if looking for a little
something that may have rolled into a corner. During this up/down action the bag's
lightness and emptiness is once more conveyed.
STEP 4) The right hand reaches Into the bag and grasps the top of the bottle. Both
hands move forward, away from the body, as the right hand pulls the bottle out
of the bag (Figs. 10 & 11).

Figure 9

... like a beverage!


Crumple the bag with the left hand and toss it aside. Give the bottle to a member of
the audience, or slam it down onto a nearby table, proving its solidity, to end.
Alternate Handling:
I will omit the patter included above, and simply describe the actions. Set up as
before.
STEP 1) The folded bag is displayed and rattled. The right hand holds the top of
the bag as it unfolds, the secret hole toward the body. The left
hand enters the bag, opening it, the right hand holding the bag
at its outer edge (Fig. 12).
STEP 2) The Tic-Tacs are removed with the left hand, and the
left thumb opens the box so that you can mime pouring a mint
into the mouth. The left hand pockets the Tic-Tacs, placing them
into the left jacket pocket.
Figure 8

Figure 10

AP~ROAChING

NAC C

LIQUID REFRESHMENT

THE WORLD'S
GREATEST INVENTION
STEP 3) Look into the bag, then blow down into it, causing the

About thirty-five years ago I purchased a trick at a local ma81c shop. It was put out
by E-Z Magic and called "Chinese Egg Bag." Invented by the ingenious Joe Karson,
it was comprised of a bamboo mat and a wooden egg that had a loop of monofilament attached to it. These simple props resulted In a baffling and amusing appearance/vanish routine. This effect uses the same basic principal,
combined with another.

bag to rise up a few Inches, but not so much that the secret hole
is exposed (Fig. 13). You blow in the manner people blow into
bags to ensure that they are fully open, but at the same time the
emptiness of the bag is being clearly conveyed.
STEP 4) The left hand reaches into the bag, nat urally angling

it slightly, as in Figure 14. The hand reaches through the hole


in the bag's rear, grasping the neck of the bottle (Fig. 15). The
hand emerges with the bottle as the bag is brought away from
the body (Fig. 16).

EFFECT: Using "The World's Greatest Invention," I repeatedly


make an un-gi mmicked glass of beer vanish and reappear.
NEEDED: A glass of beer, strong disc magnets, monofilament, a
bamboo mat. The mat should be more than tWIce as tall as the
glass being used . Use a plastic glass for safety purposes.
Figure 13

Figure 1

My gimmick utilizes three magnets-two solid disc magnets,


about the size of a quarter and one wIth a hole in its center. You
may choose to use more or fewer magnets depending on the
weight of the glass and the amount of liquid you \'.:ish to use.
The mat must be opaque. If light shInes through the mat, cover
one side with black felt.

Figure 14

figIIe 15

386

Figure 2

TO PREPARE: Place the two solid disk magnets together (they


will want to stick together) and cover them with adhesive bandages, so that the exterior of the package is soft. Tie an approximately six-inch piece of monofilament to the washer-shaped
magnet, and make a loop in the free end that will admit your
thumb. Figure 1 shows the two pieces that make up the gimmick. Fill the glass two-thirds of the way with beer...or, as an
option, you can pour the beer into the glass as part of the performance. The cushioned magnets are finger palmed in the left
hand. Place the loop over the right thumb and finger palm the
washer magnet in the right hand (Fig. 2-exposed). Hold the
beer in the left hand and the rolled up mat in the
palmed objects naturally concealed (Fig. 3--autClie1.'

LIQUID REFRESHMENT

TO PERFORM:
STEP 1: Display the glass of beer.

You kllow, I used to think beer was the greatest invention of lIIan,
but 1 was wrong. The world's greatest invention is this little
itelll-the Magic Beer Mat!
Allow the mat to fall open, and drop the washer magnet out of
finger palm, so that it hangs behind the mat.

I'll show you what lmeall. A few weeks ago I was shocked to
leal'll that a person is no longer allowed to bring beer to a baseball
game. It's true! AdmittedLy it was my son's Little League ga l1le,
but hey-gimme a break. That's when 1 discovered the Magic
Beer Mat.
STEP 2) The left hand brings the glass of beer behind the

mat, allowing the hanging washer magnet to enter th e glass


(Figs. 4 & 5). The magnet should be lowered quietly to the glass'
bottom.

Figure4

Figure 7

Figure B

It lets you waLk in hiding the glass of beer ill a perfectly Ilatural way. I

could be any guy at all, holding a mat in front of him as one Ilormally
wOlild.
Act guilty as you mime walking in. As you do this, the left hand mo\'es the cushioned gimmick out of finger palm and onto the bottom of the glass, where it will
seek out the hanging washer magnet (Fig. 6).

At least I thought so. The umpire decided to stir up trouble. He said


"Wait a secolld-what are you hiding behind that mat?" I sweaT, it was
like he lIad X-ray vision. He said, "Where '5 your otheT hand?" I said,
"Right here, pal."
Lower the left hand to the bottom of the mat and grasp it in the manner you would
if balancing the glass of beer on the palm. Of course, thanks to the gimmick the
glass of liquid will remain suspended (Fig. 7). Figure 8 is the view from the front
From this point on, most of the photographs will be from the audience's pel~1Ilt';
tive.

388

APP~OA(HI~G

MAGIC

Figure 10

Figure 9

LIQUID REFRESHMENT

Figure 11

The man insisted I was hiding something, and that's when I pllt the mat
to work. I said there's nothil1g ill this hand, nothil1g il1 that hand, nothing
here, nothing there .. .
Remove the left hand and give the bottom of the mat a flick (Fig. 9). Grasp the upper left corner of the mat with the tips of the left fingers and open the nght hand for
display (Fig. 10). Re-grasp the mat with the right hand. The left hand reaches down
and grasps the bottom of the mat, raising it up in front of the right hand (Fig. 11,
in process). As the left hand reaches the right hand, the right hand releases its hold
on the mat, grasps the former bottom of the mat held in the left hand, and the left
hand releases. Figures 12 & 13 show this display sequence. It seems impossible that
a glass of liquid could be concealed. The left hand grasps the bottom of the mat and
the display sequence is repeated .

.. .and when I got to my seat I reached in and enjoyed my glass of beer!


STEP 3) The left hand reaches behind the mat and grasps the glass as the left

fingers pull the cushioned magnet gimmick back into finger palm (Fig. 14-just
before the gimmick is slid off).
Figure 13

Figure 12

LIQUID REFRESHMENT

.. .all accounted for!


Gesture with the empty left hand, showing It empty and apart from the mat
(Fig. 18), then re-grasp the mat and show the right hand empty as you segue into
the same display sequence as before, turnmg the mat over twice.

There's nothing in this hand, nothing in that hand, Ilothing here, nothing
there, nothing anywhere ... but when the boss walks away, Just reach in
fo r some cool refreshment. I love this thing!
The left hand reaches behind the mat and grasps the glass while fi nger palming the
cushioned gimmick. Withdraw the glass aga in (Fig. 19) and take a Sip.

And you know what else it's perfect for? Carpooling the kids!
The left hand brings the glass behind the ma t, re-a ttaching the gi mm icks
as before.
STEP 4)

flgule 15
'I hl' hand emerges with the beer (Fig. 15). Drink a bit of the

liquid, or slosh it, to show that it is genuine.

What a great illvelltioll! Perfect for the workplace.


The left hand brings the glass behind the mat, suspending it between the magnets as before. As a variation, I bring my left hand
to the top of the mat, intentionally concealing my thumb behind
the mat, as if it is holding the glass (Fig. 16).

You want to take the edge off a busy day, this is all you Ileed. If
your boss says, "Anderson-what's behind that mat?" just let
him see all your fingers over here ...
Give a little wave with the right hand (Fig. 17) then re-grasp the

mat.
. and the rest oj your fingers over there ...

Look at your left hand-the thumb will be clearly missing.

392

Figure 18

LIQUID REFRESHMENT

To vary the procedure, I eliminate any sucker element this tIme and immediately
bring out my empty left hand and gesture with it (Fig. 20) as I say:

I swem; officer, /'m a very responsible man. There's nothing here, nothmg
there ...
The left hand grasps the mat and brings it forward, toward the audience, still concealing the glass (Fig. 21). This seems extra-impossible, and is the start of an escalation in impact. The left hand gives the mat a bit of an up and down shake-the
looseness of the mat's motions is baffling. The left hand returns the mat to the right
hand, which grasps it as the same display sequence is performed .

. .. nothing there, nothing here ....


Halt with the mat held only by the right hand, as If you Just had an idea.

Wait, here I am demonstrating this wonderfill invention withollt showing YOH how it works. It confllses people becallse they're thinking vertically, when they shollid be thinking IlOrizontally . ..

Figure 20

The right hand releases the mat as the left hand swings
it a quarter-turn counter-clockwise, to a horizontal position.
The glass remains concealed the entire time, and this, too,
seems more impossible and escalates the effect (Fig. 22). Figure
23 shows the performer'S view.
STEP 5)

When it's horizontal, all YOIl hape to do is roll it i/lto a


tllbe ...
Figure 25

fVa22

The left hand grips the mat at the top, about five inches in from
the left side. The right little finger pushes inward, rolling the right
side of the mat around the glass (Fig. 24. The left little finger performs the same action with the left side of the mat (Fig. 25). The
left hand moves a bit to the right, far enough to allow the right
little finger to lift up and re-grip the (former) left edge of the mat.
now folded over the right (Fig. 26).

Then you reach onto the tube and pull out fIfIIt WOlfderful glass of ice-cold beer. llldies and gmltal--""!"tl
present the World's Greatest lrromtion/
Figure 26

The left hand reaches into the rolled mat from the bottom
(Fig. 27), pulls the cushioned gimmick into finger palm and withdraws the glass (Fig. 28). Toast the audience in an applause cue
to end (Fig. 29).

When placing the props aside in order to move on to another effect, leave the monofilament gimmick rolled up in the mat. Set
the glass down, leaving the cushioned gimmick behind it.

Figure 27

,-

Figure 29

OUR SECRET

OUR SECRET

- 1

STC)RYTELLING AND MAGIC


As long as history has been recorded, there has been storytelling.
Regardless of era, culture, or race, human beings are born into a world they do not completely
understand. We cannot truly comprehend the beginning of ourselves, or our end. In addition,
life is capricious in its meting out of justice, and we seek to make sense of the arbitrary nature
of those things we cannot control in an attempt to ascribe meaning to chaos. From this need,
stories evolved. Stories of explanation, stories of transcendence, stories of suffering, and stories of
victory. These stories allowed us to share communal fears, guide us through the maelstrom, and
provide faith in the notion that our time on Earth has plan, structure, and permanence.
As we grow, and better understand the limitations of our world and our place in it, our sense of
hope can be diminished. Stories serve to communicate alternatives and possibilities, the ability
we have within us to effect change. When we sense possibilities we are hopeful. At its core, possibility is hope.
Stories take many forms-tales around a campfire, bedtime stories, the written word, plays, radio, film, and television. All are versions of the same thing, a window that shows the listener or
spectator something other than the literal world that surrounds them. Magic is a kind of storytelling. Although it may not be overt, the message that magic communicates is "The notions you
have of what can and cannot be accomplished are false." Therefore, it's reasonable to say that a
performance of magic is in some ways about possibility. Possibility is hope, so magic is hope.
What is the "sense of wonder" that magic can at times create? It's a feeling of the walls that
constrict us being suddenly made vaporous. Even though we know that we are witnessing an
illusion, a chord is rung within us, one that bypasses the brain and delivers the deep pleasure of
the possible.

OUR SECRET

CHANGE FOR A FIVE

TO PERFORM:

EFFECT: The game of Three-Card Monte is demonstrated. With no pocketi ng of


cards or trips to a deck, the routine climaxes with all three cards changing.

This effect is done with ordinary cards and double-stick tape (or any other removable adhesive). An interestmg technique is employed to add additional utility to
the "stuck card" concept. By adhering tape to different locations on multiple cards,
magical changes can be realized by applying pressure to specific
areas.
NEEDED: A Queen of Hearts, a Joker, three Fives, and doublestick tape.

For purposes of description we'll assume you are using two red
Fives and one black Five.
TO PREPARE: Place an approximately one-inch strip of double-stick tape at the outer edge of the back of the Queen and
the Joker. In the case of the Joker, the tape should be placed at
the end of the card with the "bicycle wheels" so that the card
will always be displayed rightside-up from the audience's perspective during the routine. Also, place similarly-sized pieces of
double-stick tape onto the rear of two Fives (each of a different
color), centered. Figures 1 and 2 show the cards front and rear
and the placement of the tape. Burnish the tape onto the cards
with a fingernail.
NOTE: You will want to tap the exposed tape with a finger to
lessen the stickiness of its surface.

Adhere the red Five that has no tape on its back to the rear of the
Queen. Adhere the red Five with tape on its back to the rear of
the Joker. It's easy to transport these cards without any tape being exposed. Place the face-down "Joker" (double card) onto the
face-down black Five, fanned slightly to the right. Place the facedown uQueen" (double card) fanned on top of all (Fig. 3). The
cards will be ready to go, with no exposed adhesive to concern
oneself with.

(9

STEP 1) Hold the fan of "three" cards in the left hand. The right
hand grasps the fan from above and moves the top double card
clockwise just enough to break the adhesion between it and
the double beneath it. In a continuing action the center double
is moved clockwise, breaking the adheslOn between it and the
single Five beneath it.

Figure 4

From this point on I will refer to the double cards simply as


"Queen" and "JokeL"

.1.
II

Table the black Five, face down, to the left (position "N'), the Joker
to the center (position "B"), and the Queen to the right (position
"C"). See Figure 4.

Figure I

Figure 5

I was walking through the city at night when a guy said


to me "Hey, you want to playa game? All you have
to do is find the Queen. If you find it I'll give you five
bucks, but if you don't, you give me five bucks."
Flip the Queen at "C" face up, book style (Fig. 5). In this routine,
all cards are turned over side-to-side, and never end-to-end.

gl.

"Now I'm gonna tn) and confuse you with the Jokers,
just to make the game interesting, bllt all you have to do
is follow the Queen."

II
I

Figure 6

STEP 2) The left hand grasps the Five at "N' from above, between the thumb and second finger, then picks up the Joker at
"B" as well, held slightly in front of the Five in preparation for
the classic monte hype. The left hand turns palm up, displaying
the Joker (Fig. 6).

The right hand moves inward giving the left hand room to perform the hype. In brief: The left third finger lightly contacts the
corner of the Joker (Fig. 7-some may prefer to use the little
finger).

OUR SECRET

The hand turns palm down in a tossing action as the second fin ger releases its hold on the Five The Joker remains in the hand as
the Five is tossed to "C" (Fig. 8). The audience believes that the
Joker they have just seen was tossed to "c."
In a continuing action, the right hand comes forward and Aips
the Queen face down at "8, ' then the left hand turns palm-up,
dIsplaying the Joker a second time (Fig. 9) and dropping it face
down to UA." The audience believes they have seen two Jokers
and a Queen.

The guy said, "Sorry, you awe me five bucks. Want to play again?" 1
didn't like lasing, but he said he was sorry, so 1figured "Why nat?"
STEP 4) Flip the Joker face down. The left hand picks up the Five at "/\' from

above, then the Queen at "8" in hype position as the right hand picks up the
Joker. The hands turn palm up, once again displaying a Joker and a Queen.

He started slow again ....


Figure B

The left hand legitimately tosses the Queen to "8," retaining hold on the Five. The
right hand, still holding the Joker, picks up the Queen at "8."

He stmck me as an honest sort of guy, and there was 110 one else
to talk to //I that abandoned bus terminal, so 1said "SlIre, 1'1/ give
it a try!"

... then he did that fast thing. ..


The right hand performs the hype, tossing the Joker (supposedly the Queen) to "A."
The left hand tosses the Five to "C," then the right hand drops the Queen to "8."

STEP 3) The right hand pIcks up the Five at " C" from above
bt: r een the thumb and second finger, then picks up the Queen

hype posItion . The left hand picks up the Joker at "A." The
hands turn palm up In a gesture as you speak (Fig. 10), displayIng the Joker and the Queen
In

.. .and added a little something at the end.


figure 9

The hands exchange the cards at positions "1\' and "8." Position check: The Queen
is at position "A," the Joker is at " 8" and the Five is at "c." The audience will think
the Queen is in the center.

He started slow, which I appreciated ...


The right hand legItimately tosses the Queen to "8" in the same
manner as the hype so that the Five will not be seen. The left
hand which still holds the Joker, picks up the Queen in hype position, turning palm up to dIsplay it.

1 guessed the middle, bllt I got a Joker! He said "YOll


awe me another five-haw about we do it again? "
Tum over the center card, revealing a Joker (Fig. 12)

... then he did something fast that was a little harder to fallow.
Perform the hype, tossing the Joker (supposedly the Queen) to
"c." In a continuing action the right hand tosses the Five to "A,"
then the left hand drops the Queen to "8." The audience will
think the Queen rests at "c."

Figure 10

Figure 12

STEP 5) The right hand picks up the Five at "C" and places it,

face down, into the left hand, then picks up the Joker at u8,"
turning it face down, book-style, as it is laid flush on top of the
five.

I guessed aver here, but 1was wrong.


The right hand turns the Joker at "C" face up and points to it
(Fig. 11).

Well, I'm no idiot. I knew he was a thief and I was being


robbed, so I figllred "lllst one mare time." 1watched him
very ca refully ...

.. .and I knew without a doubt where the Queen WWlSit was on top. He went very slowly this time...
Display the Queen (Fig. 13), then lay it face down 0111

402

OUR SECRET

EXHIBIT A
Some years ago, while at an office supply shop I came upon "Legal Exhibit Labels."
I purchased some and eventually deSigned an effect that makes use of them. The
brand I use are from the Tabbies company, stock no. 58090, but frankly, any blank
sticker can be used and labeled appropriately. This effect was first published in
Frgure 15

Figure 14

The right hand squares the packet from above as the left hand
grips the cards at the center, thumb on top, fingers underneath
(Fig 14). Apply pressure to the packet at the center, applying force
from both sides and slowly spreading the cards-it may help to
use both hands. The adhesion at the ends will break as new bonds
are formed between the cards at the center (Fig. 15).

Penumbra .
EFFECT: A red-backed card marked "Exhibit 1\' is placed sight unseen face down

onto the table. A blue-backed card is freely selected and signed across the face,
then lost in the deck. The red-backed card-Exhibit A-IS then shown to be the
signed selection.

Slowly deal the top card (a single) to "C," the next card (a double)
to "B," and the final card (a double) to "N (Fig. 16).
Figure 16

He mixed them up a little, but I thought I could handle it.


Just as slowly, swrtch the cards at positions "AN and "B."

Well, you k/loW how this ends. I paid him five, ten, fiftee/l
dollars!

The plot of a freely-selected card having an odd back is a classic one. It's the climax of such tricks as "Brainwave," "Red-Hot Mama," and Annemann's "Remote
Control." This effect is more along the lines of Hamman's "Signed Card"-a card is
isolated at the beginning of the effect, prior to the selection of a card. ""'hen, at the
effect's end, the isolated odd-backed card is shown to be the signed selection, the
effect is not of coincidence or precognition, or even a magical change-the effect is
a bizarre impossibility as it appears that time itself has been bent.
This method allows for a very clear stage picture, and an apparent
lack of handling.
NEEDED: A red-backed indifferent card, a blue-backed deck, an

Exhibit A label, double-stick tape.


Turn each card over, displaying three Fives (Fig. 17).

...
Of course, one can alter the cards used in this effect if desired,
starting, say, with two black Tens and a Queen, causing them to all change to Jokers
at the effect's end. The patter could be changed accordingly;

Let's just say I played the fool, not once or twice-but three times!

404

Figure 17

TO PREPARE: Adhere an Exhibit A label onto the back of the


red-backed card (Fig. 1). On the face of this red-backer, place a
length of double-stick tape, running down its center. The face
of this card is never seen, but for teaching purposes we will assume it is the Jack of Diamonds. This card will be introduced as
an oddity, so it can be kept in a wallet or envelope, or simply in
a sh irt pocket.
Place a small square of double-stick tape on the back of a black
King, on the outer end of the card. Figure 2 shows the placement
of the tape on both cards-the card on the left is the face ol the
Exhibit A card, the card on the right is the face-down ~ .".".'r.

ApPROAC "I~G MAGIC

OUR SECRET

NOTE: After applyi ng the tape, touch the exposed surfaces of th e tape a few tim es

to redu ce Its sti cki ness.


SETUP: The red-backer IS so mewhere handy, as discussed above. O n top of th e

blue- bac ked deck is th e King with the tape on ItS bac k (a t th e outer end), followed
by the rema inin g black King.
TO PERFORM:
STEP 1) Toss th e red-bac ked Exhibit A ca rd fa ce down onto th e tabl e.

Figure 5

Have YOIl ever started watching a mystenj show on TV, and in the first
thirty seconds-before the cril1le has even been comlllitted-yoll know
who did it? Let's see if we can recreate that experience right now. I sllbmit
Exhibit A! This is all the evidence we need to solve a crime-a crime that
hasn't been committed yet. Help me alit by selecting a card to represent
the criminal, and to gIVe the criminal a unique identifiable characteristic,
please sign YOllr name across the face of the card.
Display the blue-backed deck, faces and backs. Shuffle without disturbing the top
two cards. Have a card selected and signed . Swing cut the upper half of the deck
into the left hand, and have the selection replaced on top. Make
certain the selection is squared with the cards beneath it. Gesture
with the left hand as the left thumb presses down on the outer
end of the selection (Fig. 3). This adheres the selection to the back
of the black King. Reassemble the deck, holding a break between
the halves, and control the three vital cards to the top.
STEP 2) Give the deck a nffle to imply that something magical

has occurred.

That's my signal. Two detectives have now come to the top of the
deck to help me examine the evidence.
The left thumb lightly pushes the adhered double to the right. It is
taken by the right hand at its right edge (thumb on top, fingertips
underneath) and moved to the right of the tabled red-backer as
the left thumb pushes the new top card of the deck, the remaining black King, over the side of the deck and moves to the left
side of the tabled card (Fig. 4). By releasing the thumbs, the cards
will tumble over the fingertips and fall to the table face up (Fig 5).

Figure 7

Figure B

Place the deck aside-you will not use it for the duration of the effect.

These two fellas will examine the evidence and tell me the name of YOllr
card. I know what YOll're thinking, how can a couple of playing cards
examine eVidence? But you forget-they have little eyes!
Pick up the face-up Kings, one in each hand, ostensibly motivated by a desire to
better display their eyes. The right hand drops the adhered double on top of the
King in the left hand. Remember that the double is adhered only at its outer end.
This will enable you to get a sneaky glimpse of the selection. As you speak of the
Kings' eyes, the right thumb lifts up the inner end of the top card of the adhered
double, as if to emphasize the face of that King, allOWing for a glimpse of the selection (Fig. 6). Allow the double to spring closed, and take the double in the right
hand, the single King in the left.
STEP 3) Without letting go of the cards, each hand flips its card(s) face down, book

style. The right hand cleanly slides its double under the tabled red-backer as the
left hand places its card atop it (Fig. 7). Pick up the package, square it. and hold it
in the left hand, thumb at the center (Fig. 8).

OUR SECRET

It 's lip to these two IIpstallding representatIVes of the law to look


al the evidence alld dedllce the idelltity of tonight's clliprit. Of
course, aile of the Kings has all easier job thall the other. This aile
IS looklllg at the evidence, bllt the other one is staril1g dowl1 at the
table! Nevertheless, they can provide me with illforlllation.
As you speak, the left thumb pushes the top King over to the right
and displays the face of the topmost King (Fig. 9), then replaces
it flush onto the packet In the left hand. The left hand now turns
to dIsplay the face of the bottom King, the one who is "looking"
at the table top, to the audience (Fig. 10). The hand returns palm
up.
Deal the top blue-backed card to the table. The left thumb now
applIes pressure to the center of the red-backed card (and the
card now adhered beneath It) as it is pushed to the right. This
action wIll break the bond between the originally adhered cards,
the bottom two, as a new bond is created between the top two
cards. The red-backed card-with the selection now adhered to
its face-will move to the right. Deal it onto the blue-backed card
(rig. 11). Finally, drop the last blue-backed card on top of all. This
deal to the table takes only a couple of seconds.

Flip the red-backer face up. The signed selection will be revealed
(Fig. 12).

...
I usually pocket the red-backer (along with the adhered selec-

tion), saying:
Figure 9

Figure 12

Now you'd better watch it, 'cause I've got evidence on


YaH, my friend!
I then return the Kings to the deck, adhered together so that there is no exposed
tape to interfere with future effects.

SUE-THROUGH MONTE

Figure 10

EFFECT: The classic "Two-Card Monte" is performed as a prelude to an imposSTEP 4) Pick up the package and hold it at the left fingertips. I

sible sequence in which a large hole moves from one card to another.

like to "squiggle" the cards at the fingertips a bit, as if the Kings


are busy wIth their work. As the tape is now on the back of the
top card, nothing impedes thIs action.

This version of the moving hole plot has good visual impact at the final magic moment.

Hmm-this detective says your card was a ___ card [name

NEEDED: One double-faced card, two normal cards that match one side of the

the selection's suit).

double-facer, one normal card that matches the remaining side of the doublefacer, a small envelope (about the size of a playing card), double-stick tape.

The right hand deals the "three" cards to the table in a right to
left row, turning the Kings face up but leaving the Exhibit A card face down in the
center.

For description purposes, we'll assume that the double-facer is comprised of the
King of Spades/Eight of Hearts. Whatever cards you use, one of
. them should be a face card.

And this one said it's a


[name the selection's value). But here's
the weird part. Even though Exhibit A was here on the table before the
crime was even committed, sometimes the evidence paints a very clear
picture of the perpetrator!

TO PREPARE: Cut a large uniform hole through a normal King


of Spades and Eight of Hearts (Fig.1). The holes should line up
when the cards are placed onto one another. I use a hole cutting
device-hole cutters can be purchased at art supply houses It
low cost. Apply two small pieces of double-stick
to
Figure 1

408

APPROAlHI~G

""'AG '

OUR SECRET

"holed" King of Spades, across the face of the King at both ends
(Fig. 2). Tap the exposed tape with a finger to reduce its stickiness.
Place the holed Eight behind the King (so that the holed cards
will not adhere) and place both cards into the small envelope.

STEP 2) Bring the cards behind your back. Turn the King face down in the right
hand, and bring that hand to the front of your body, displaying It to the audIence.
The double-facer remains behind the back with the Eight side up.

He said, "/ have a King and an Eight. All YOll have to do is guess wllich
card is where after [ mix them lip." He Pllt the cards behilld his back for a
secolld, then had lIle glless. It wasn't as easy as [ thollght. Here-yoll be
me. The gllY said, "Which card do you thillk IS behmd my back?"

NOTE: The taped card will want to stick to the envelope, but
due to the fact that it was rendered less sticky, it will be easily
removable.

Place the double-facer on the face of the normal King, Eight-side


up, and insert both into the enve lope, behind the holed cards. You
are ready to perform .

Figure 2

The spectator will guess a card, Kmg or Eight. One of two procedures is followed, depending on the card named

If "Eight" is named (remember, the spectator is guessmg which


card is being held behind the back) flip the double-facer over and
bring the left hand forward, displaymg the King.

STEP 1) Remove the two un -holed cards from the envelope,


squared. You can allow the rear of the two -card packet to flash,
as it has a back.

/ was walklllg dowl1 the street the other day when this gllY on
the comer said "Hey mall, YOll want to play some Three-Card
Monte? Have a little ftm?" I tllmed to him and said, "Excuse
me, bllt 1'111 not the mbe YOll think I am. Three-Card Monte is
a rip-off and if it's all right with yOll, I'd just as soon not play
your little game." The guy realized he'd made a mistake. He said,
"Obviollsly YOll were not born yesterday. You're right, ThreeCard Monte is a scam. If YOll think about it, if you pick a card in
Three-Card Monte, there's a two alit of three chance you're going
to be wrong. That's why,for you, I'll play Two-Card Monte .... "
Hold the face-up packet at the inner right comer with the right
hand (Fig. 3). Turn the wrist to flash the rear of the packet, then
return the cards face up as the left hand takes the top card, the
Eight (actually the double-facer, Fig. 4). In a gesture, flash the
back of the King. This is simply a casual way of doing Hamman's
Flushtration move.

"With Two-Card Monte, when you pick a card you have a fifty-fifty
chance of being right, so it's not even gambling, really. It's more like a
sport." He was talking sense, so I decided to playa little of this Two Card
Monte.

410

See? It's harder than it looks!

Figure 3

Figure 5

Without pause, place the double-facer onto the face-down card


in the right hand (Fig. 5) and take both cards with the left hand ,
bringing them behind the back to ostensibly mix them again .
If "King" is named, leave the double-facer as it IS, and bring the left hand fonvard to
display the Eight.In this case, you can use the Eightto flip theKingin the right hand face
up, revealing the faces of both cards. The left hand takes the two cards behind the back.

Figure 4

In either event the spectator-playing the part of YOU-is proven wrong,


and the cards are returned behind the back. Both hands act as if mixing the
cards, but in reality you simply return them to starting position: The King
is held face down in the right hand, and the hand is brought in front of the
body. The double-facer is held Eight-Side up in the left hand behind the back.
STEP 3) Repeat this Two-Card Monte sequence once or twice. I like to end after
the spectator chooses "King," as it affords a clean display of both cards. If you
have a working surface, table the two cards. If not, simply hold them.

Soon I'd lost just about all my money. I was beginning to suspect ~
was more to this game than my new friend was letting on. I hlrnllo go,
but he said, "Come on, just one more bet-double or nothing." llIIeJI.,.t
about it and said, "Well ...if you let me come btd . , . " .
own cards, then I'll play some more. n He said, "Sift," SO I

ApPROAC t<1~J MAGIC

OUR SECRET

and rigged lip a special card of Illy own. It looked jllst like the
Killg, with one little difference. Let's see if you can detect the
adjustment I lIIade .. .
Place the normal KIng in your shIrt pocket. Pick up the envelope.
You are about to remove the two holed cards aligned as one. ThIs
IS easy to do: Open the flap of the envelope and pinch the ends
of the cards, ailgnIng them and pullIng them out as far as possible whIle still keeping them concealed from the audience by the
extended flap (Fig. 6). Apply downward pressure with the right
thumb to prevent the double card from splaying and slide It out of
the envelope (Fig. 7, audIence view). The left hand tables (or pockets) the envelope, then returns to the holed card(s), graspIng it at
the long sides, thumb on top, fingers underneath . Immediately
turn the hand palm outward so the face of the King is displayed
to the audience (Fig. 8-audience view).

That looks pretty good, doesn't it? The guy would never
suspect there was a hole in the King.
As you say those words, the left first finger pushes the bottom
card inward (Fig. ll-worm's eye view). It will hit the tip of the
right first finger and align Itself with the top double-faced card.
The above patter justifies the momentary placement of the right
finger.
Figure 6

I said, "I brought a couple of cards-can we bet with


these? He said, "Sure." I went, "Great, let the games

begin!"
Place the tip of the right second finger on the outer left comer
of the outjogged card (the holed King). Pivot the Kmg out from
between the two other cards by moving the hand in a clockwise
direction (Fig. 12). The double card in the left hand is held between the left little finger and the heel of the thumb as the card is
pivoted out, to allow clearance. End by holding the double card in
left-hand dealing position, and the holed King in the right hand
at it its inner nght corner (Fig. 13). The left fingers give the double
card a slight convex bend, aiding in alignment.

I pllt a hole in it! This way I figllred I'd be able to follow the King

no matter where it ended lip.


STEP 4) Place the Eight onto the King, injogged for about half

an inch.

Of course I had to hide the fact It had a hole in it ... but I could still
show enollgh of the King to make it look normal.
With the right fingertips, pull the King (the top card of the double)
a tiny bit forward, but not so much that the hole is visible (Fig. 9).
The left first finger is now able to secretly contact the outer edge
of the bottom card of the double (the holed Eight). Place the tip
of the right first finger at the inner end of the packet (Fig. 10) as
you say...

Frgure 10

When he saw the hole, the blood drained from his face.
STEP 5) Ask the spectator to hold out a finger. Place the holed

King on his finger, facing him, and spin it.

What do you think? I kind of had the adt.antage now,


didn't I?
Figure 7

Take the King back, and bring the hands behind the back. Tum
the holed King face down in the right hand, and bring the hand
to the front of the body.

Now when he asked me which ami was where, I was


right every time. I could always tell which ami was the
King, because oj the hole.

FiguIt 8

412

Thm the King face up as the left hand (... es


holding its double. Thm the left hand

palin.,.

OUR SECRET

Soonlau:onbactallZ!!! 1!1C11q.II1J{F~.;.J !out :heguySillii, MOne


nwre bd-Jout>~ or nGilrzn? I ;;gure.i ~ run; Eam Ijhe :urned . 1l'
Kmg f;ue duwn. I btr.... Li stiIJ ~ my ....~ ,-eppor.'lllll;Y.
M

e aoled Ki. i!"ace dO\', - a:,d place - 5~Jare or-o ci e card s 1..'1~' e Ie:. ha.'1ci.
Tne left - 15- finger
- ~;. ";.l der -:.e .pac 'e- 50 -:"e firs' . r' uC .e can brieny press the
packet agams' -' e ng.~ iiIs -. ger a- ~ e O'';,e: enG. (BI7 ~5-' orm's eye \;ew) ThIS
msures aGo esIOr: As jOll say M\nndow of op;x;rru:ur:. gra~p t e pac et at its inner end will- . e right nand and give - a squeeze as you display it to ~he audience
(Fig. 16-aud.:er. e view). They will see ;he Eight through the hole in the ,ace-down
g. Tms procedure adheres e double-facer ro the holed r ng at both ends.
T\"I

t;

Figure 14
Figure 15

The guy said, NHere's your last questwn. wilich card has the hole In
it?" I thought he was cra:y. It was obvious-the King had the hole in it.
That's when I lost my money for the second time!
STEP 6) You will now perform the climax of the effect, the nsual transportation

of a hOle, and there are many ways to accomplish it:

Figure 17

a) Hold the package hole-side up in the left hand. The right hand grasps
the packet at Its outer end, thumb on top. first and second fingers underneath. The left hand grasps the inner end, first and second fingers on
top, thumb underneath (Fig. 17). The right hand turns palm down, turning over the adhered double as both hands drop the card(s) they hold
to the table. The hole IS now seen in the Eight, and the King is solid.
b) Have the spectator hold out a finger agam. Grasp the packet as in Fig. 17. The
right hand snaps the adhered double so the King faces the audience as the left
hand turns palm down so that the holed Eight faces the audience (Fig. 18audience view). In a continuing action, place the holed Eight on the finger of
thespectatorandspin it. Iuse thisdisplaymost often when no ta ble isavailable.

Figure 16

c) The Through The Fist Change: This is a very pretty use of Vernon's classic

move. Place the packet onto the left fingertips as in Fig. 19. The left hand
makes a loose fist around the packet and turns palm down as the thumb
smoothly pushes on the right short end of the packet, so the left end of the
packet emerges from the far side of the fist (Fig. 20). In a continuing action,
the right hand ptvots the padeet clockwise as the left hand turns palm up,
F~ure

414

19

APrROAC~ NG MAGIC

and the packet IS placed on the left fingers (Figs. 21 & 22).
Repeat the push-though . After the second push -through,
the packet is again pivoted out, but this time it IS placed on
the pallll of the left hand (Fig. 23). By repeating the push
though the fist, the packet IS turned over, and the King will
suddenly be seen through the hole instead of the Eight (Fig.
24). Pivot the packet around as before, and take it in the left
hand. Cleanly push the top card into the right hand and
flip It over to displa} (Fig. 25). The application of the hole to
this change is very strong, as the oddity, the hole, is registered as a fixed element during the push-throughs, so when
the card ullder the hole changes, it is particularly effec tive.
d) Max Maven suggested a Larry West move: The packet is
held at its right edge by the right hand, thumb on top, first
and second fingers undernea th (Fig. 26). The left hand open s
palm up and the packet IS brought to where the fingers meet
the palm (Fig. 27). In a stropping action, the right thumb
pushes the top adhered double to the left as the packet is
raised, flipping the double over (Figs. 28 & 29). The holed
Eight is laid on the hand to the right of the now-solid King.

Figure 21

OUR SECRET

Figure 26
Figure 27

Figure 22

Figure 2B
Figure 29

e) Twirl Change: Grasp the packet by the right hand as in


Fig. 30. The thumb contacts the inner right corner and the
second finger contacts the outer left corner. The right hand
moves smoothly forward and back. During this action,
the right first finger contacts the right edge of the packet
and revolves the packet over (Figs. 31-33). The larger action hides the smaller in this gentle and beautiful change.
Figure 23

Figure 30

F~ure 32

416

Figura 31

APF~OAl YI~G MAGIC

Figure 34

Figure 35

f) Turn and Toss: A very clean and simple ending can be accomplished by
graspmg the packet at its inner end with the right hand, first and second
finger on top, thumb underneath. Turn the packet over, at the same time
spreading the cards and either tossing them to the table (Fig. 34) or placing
them on the palm of the left hand. Slowly turn the face-down holed card
over, revealing the Eight to end (Fig. 35).

Scripting
l

418

SCRIPTING

r
I believe in scripting a presentation of magic. This is born not from a philosophical stance but a
desire for self-preservation, as when I do it things generally turn out better than when I don't.
The word "scripting," however, means different things to different people. For me, scripting is
not just about sitting down and writing things to say during a performance. It's not about turning
every trick into a "story trick," or concocting a series of jokes. When a playwright writes a play, he
does more than lay dialogue onto paper, he imagines a complete experience, a presentation with
a beginning, middle and end, settings, moods, events, turns in plot.. .in short, the whole of what
he'd like an audience to experience once they've planted their seats in their chalrs.
The same thing can be done when developing a presentation for a magic effect, and that is the
heart of scripting. I advocate scripting not because I believe you should perform magic more hke
me, but the opposite. Scripting is about performing magic more hke yOli . It is a tool that can be
used to meet your own goals, whatever they are, more efficiently.
Some find the simple notion of scripting to be onerous, but that apprehension is misplaced, as it is
nothing new. Everyone does it. Every time we choose to perform we are, in a sense, delivering a
script-even if it is a script we are concocting on the spot. I began my career in improvised comedy, and I understand the benefits of remaining open to discovering new pathways and ideas,
but by devoting time to scripting magic in advance we give ourselves an additional advantage
as we both apply order to the process of creating a presentation, and streamline it. Scripting is
something all magicians do, and the great performers do it very well.
By way of example, we'll look at a manipulation act:
A bad manipulation act might feature a man with a frozen smile catching cards in the air. Cardini
was not that. He was a man bedeviled by the intrusion of items that appeared at his fingertips
against his will. He had a script. He is memorable. The other man cannot be remembered-it's
like trying to recall one particular marshmallow in a bag of a hundred.
Scripting delivers enormous benefits relative to the effort expended. In addition to making a
performer more memorable, it can clarify an effect for an audience. It can add magical impact.
It can even give a presentation moments that become more valuable than the effect itself. If this
sounds unlikely, consider that in a typical three-minute effect, perhaps only the last five seconds
are devoted to "the magical moment." That means the lion's share of the performance time, two
minutes and fifty-five seconds, is devoted to something else. Certainly that something
serves attending to.

else.

APP~OACHI~G

MAG:

SCRIPTING

r
I

So how does one begin the process of scripting?


To proVlde an answer for this, and in addition, lay waste to the notIOn that every prese~ta~ion I've
ever written is perfection, I'll use as an example a fairly weak illustratIOn of some sCrIptmg. It IS
the presentation I developed for "Cheating," a Twisting the Aces style effect that was published
in the mid-1980s (Star QlIality by Harry Lorayne). The script starts off strong, then becomes progressively less compelling:

YOli know, you're a nice bunch of people, so I want to show you sOlllething. I want to
show you The Move. Now 1'111 not supposed to show you The Move. If certain people
foulld Ollt I was showing YOll The Move, I'd be disbarred fr0111 the National Association
of Magic .. .GlIYs.
I remove four-of-a-kind and do "The Move," a slight twitch of the hand. I then reveal that one of
the cards is reversed.

Did you see The Move? Well I dzd it, causing olle of my cards to tllm face downlIseful in n card game if someone is looking over my shoulder...
What? Come again? How does that make any sense? If someone were looking over my shoulder
at my cards, any cards I "magically turned around" would be visible to everyone else playing at
the table. It's idiocy. Having admitted that, as tenuous as the above script is, it makes the trick better. The audIence is given a point of reference, something to mentally grasp as they latch onto the
"fact" that the trick is all about a useful gambling move, and the script, as flawed as it is, solidifies
the routine, adheres its elements into a whole, and allows the audience to enjoy the presentation
from the start.
All I did was take the first step in scripting a performance-I introduced a premise.
THE PREMISE

Deciding upon a premise is perhaps the most valuable and pragmatic act one can make when
seeking to develop or improve a presentation. The crafting of a premise is not a mysterious ritual
or vague theory, it is the simple, clear-cut act of making a choice. The lack of attention to this basic step is the most easily reversible mistake common to weak presentations. When scripting a
magic routine, a reasonable place to begin is to explore ways to communicate what it is ostensibly
about.

'-----------------_._422

.....

_- _.... _

..

There are, without a doubt, some effects that require no explanatIOn. A Chmk-a-Chmk routine,
for example, is easily grasped visually and will amaze an audience when performed with grace.
However, only a minority of effects fall into this category. Most routines can benefit by having the
performer clarify the effect's premise to an audience. One reason for this is a seldom-acknowledged fact:

The average American audience does not know how to watch magic.
More often than not, the people you are performing for have never seen magic performed live,
and for that reason they are unsure how to play their part-the part of the audience. They wonder, is this a game where you will try to trick them while they try to catch you at it? Is your plan
to try and make them look foolish in front of their loved ones? Are they allowed to chat with their
friends while you perform, as if you are a television in a sports bar? Can they participate, or is this
like theater, where they are supposed to remain silent? We have to clarify these things for our
audience, as they are in uncharted waters.
Scripting does this, and by communicating a premise we put the audience mto a receptive state.
They are hungry for context, something to which they can hitch their imaginations that will allow
them to appreciate and enjoy what is taking place. Without context, the audience must attempt
to apply meaning to our actions on their own, and that "sorting out" is not entertainment-it
is a thing that must be conquered before the experience of magic can take place. One does not
need to obsess about hitting upon the perfect choice, what is most important is to make a choice.
Almost any premise gives an audience more than:

Look, it's gone. Now it's here! Now it's there! Where is it now? Under here!
That type of play-by-play commentary loses its vibrancy pretty qUickly.
All effects can include a premise. A Spectator Cuts the Aces routine can be a way to test a person's innate luck. A Coin Transposition can be an occasion of deja vu. The "Nudist Deck" can be
a demonstration of the printing process. Finger rings can link as the result of alchemy. A sound
first step to scripting is establishing a premise, and the first step to creating a premise is simply
making the decision to do so.

SCRIPTING

INTENT

probably saw what 1 did. I paid attention to where the Aces were m the deck, so
now I can do what is known as "card tracking." That means I can follow every Ace in
the deck, even after a CLlt.
YOLI

The choice of premise, and the scnptmg that follows it, is guided by intent. There will be, or
should be, a reason you chose the premise you did, and that reason will have everything to do
with your mtended end result. One magician might choose a premise that sounds comically
impossible, while another may wish to create a mood of deep mystery. You must identify what
it is you want to achieve when performing the effect as a whole, as well as moments within the
routine. Do you want the audience to be startled .. .impressed ... amused ... emotionally touched?
Every performer might have different objectives, but without these objectives we are working in
a vacuum, and there is no way to evaluate choices we have made. Conversely, when we possess a
target we can see if our choices have had the desired effect, a nd move forwa rd.

The above establishes a clear premIse.

Take the deck and give it a cut.


Look the cards over after the cut.
Got 'em. Give it another cut. Okay, now that I see the way you handle cards, 1 don't
even have to look at the deck. I can intuit what you're going to do. Give the cards another cut, and really mix them up.

I'll stitch together an example.


The Plot: The Magician Cuts to the Aces.

This escalates the proceedings, making the challenge seem even more impossible, perhaps insanely so. Mime "smooshing" the cards all over the table, then look away, addressing another
spectator. The intent is to get the first spectator to cover the table with cards, but without actually
telling him to.
-

The Premise: I am an expert in shuffle tracking.


The Intent of the Effect: I want the spectators to be amazed by my ability to cut Aces from a
spectator-shuffled deck.

A lot of card cheaters wouldn't dare do what 1'111 domg right now: having all erotic
daydream. And, ill addition, looking away fro 111 the deck as it's beillg mixed.

The Intent of the Script: I'd like the presentation to have a moment where it appears that I am in
over my head, so that, hopefully, the climax has maximum impact.

The intent of repeating the word "mix" is to again encourage the spectator to create a chaotic
stage picture with the cards. Turn back. Hopefully, the cards will be scattered over the table. Act
horrified .

The Method: Anyone of the dozens extant.


Obviously, the intent of any semi-humorous lines that follow is to provoke laughter, but the intent of the script-to create a moment when the situation appears out of my control-is the core
concern.

What the hell... I thought you were just cutting the cards!
The spectator will say you told him to shuffle. Don't act at all mad, just confused by what you
"inadvertently" communicated. Use this moment to palm the lapped Aces and add them to the
deck as it is squared.

Every so often someone says to me, "Boy, I wouldn't like to play cards with you." Generally, it's not because I do magic, they just don't want me as a friend. But other times,
it is because they've seen me do tricks and whatnot, and are afraid I'd cheat them. Well,
they're right.

Thallk you, alld goodlliglzt! Well you can't expect much at this point, can you? Oh,
okay, I guess 1 COil try and find one .. .two .. .three... oh please fate smile upon meFOUR ACES!

While speaking, lap the Aces. Spread the deck face up on the table and pretend to carefully sight
certain cards, then scoop up the deck.
I

_J

i
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Cut to the Aces via the chosen method, building in intensity to the last, holding it in a displayci
finality as an applause cue.

SCRIPTING

Were I to practi(l! and pprfflrm the above veTSlfm of thl! effect, I'd have rc/'!Vant qUestlrms to a<;r.
myr,eH above and btoy'md the technical i1Jusivl.'ll $5 of the palming out and adding on of th,'
Ans.

Did th,' audIence buy intr> the preml ..e?


IJlcl the humorllus m',ments land (get laughs)?
[Jld the r.pectdtor mi:r the cards as desired?
Old thr' audience brIif,.'V(' s"methlng unexpected (Iccurred?

DId th" iJudience C'nj"y the peru'ived mIshap (good), ',r dId th,'Y fecI sorry f'lf me
Ibdd)?
[Jld [ re((We a stHmg cathartIC re<;prmse uprm the di<,coVl'ry of the Aces?
Wlthr)ut mtl'll!, I would have n', way t" m'JVl the prest'nlati'm forward, to attf'mpt to strengthen
It" weakne<;~cs, chl'ck riff it9 SU(Cpss('s, or replace any pH)bl':m el('ments. Applying a premise and
flutlJning Intent bl'((>ml'<; il framlwork upon which a presentatl'm can be devel"ped .
THE JMP055JBI.f.

Imprlssiblc requires a brfOH! and after An audif'nn' needs to understand why thp thing we are
about to df) cann')t, undr'r n')rmal ClrCUm.,t,mcl's, be drme. ("uf/'JUsly, laYing imposslbdlty uprm
impr"'Slbdlty d',es not npcl,.,sdrJly impmve a routine. It can hav' the opposite effect. By virtue of
human natur" We df'fine specml things as thrlse things that are rare and/I)r transitory. Applying
that yardstick, the more Imp')%lblc things we d,), the 11'55 c;pecial and impossible tht'Y become.
Th,lIls the ("re prublf'm with, f',r example, badly sCflptf'd min routines - they can erod" Impact
by phases:

l..ook thry all vanishl'd .... nrrw they're back.. .now they're gone af\a/nl
By executing the aboV(', ilnd repeating it, we eventuaJly cI)mmuniratl' to the <lUdlenCl' thl' filet
that the COinS werl' nlover really gone. Clearly thle; IOj Sf), a~ they keep coming back. Without ClJntext,
repcatedly doing the imp'",slble rmly Infflrms the audlenn' that, apparently, what you arc dOing
rl'ally isn't so impfJ<;sibll' after all.
METHOD LAST

Scripting is so beneflelal it can be used to discover an effect before a method even exists. One of

--

my favrmte rr)utlnPs IS Cups &. Balls &. Cups &. BaJl!> (from Constant Fooling) My presentation is
mr}((' or less .. variant of the Vernon routine with one core wnnkle. At the beginning of the effect
[ discuss my early love of magic and the plastiC Cups &. BaJls set I purchased as a kId. I produce
the weJl-r.nown plastic cups and perform the basic routine that com,,!, with the instructions. Putting away the plastic cups, I teJl the audience that adult magicians are requIred to use the fancy
metal ones. I produce a set of metal cups and perform a short routine, culminating with large
final loads, but the routine docs not end there. I stop the applause with

No, WllIt J haven't shown you the best part Because no matter how many times J
perform the Cups & Balls, no matter how much pleasure they gIve me, they never gIVe
me more pleasure than when J was a boy With one two .. three plastic ClIpS, and three
balls!
Lifting up the metal cups [ dbcover a plastic cup under each, and under each pla'5l!c cup I reveal
another large load ball [he story goes full circle. I mention this scnpt for a SImple reasonwhen I developed It, I had no method That came much later. All [ had was a moment that seemed
right, and the only reason I had that moment is because I took the tIme to conSIder the scnpt of
a potential presentation . The script, at that early stage, wasn't about words. It was about a more
central thIng-it was about what happens. By first setting aside the necessity of having a method,
avenues presented themselves.
PERFORMERS AND COLLABORATORS

When scripting, we are writing not only for ourselves, but also for the other members of our cast:
The AudIence The audience has a part to playas well. They are to gasp at the right moment,
laugh, stare in wonder, exclaim, whatever it IS we have Intended in our script Of course, as per_
formers we are happy to play (Jur Intended role, as it was written for ourselves by ourselves, but
the audIence is unaware that they are plaYing a role. They haven't any knowledge of the moments
we have intended for them, and therefore their contributions may be less forthcoming. Any good
Scene In a book, play or film involves something happening between the characters. We would
not be engaged by a scene that depicted "just another day" when nothing of any Import or color
r>(curred. Part of the craft of magic and its guile is our ability, as presenters of our play, to orchestrate events in such a way that our spectators unknowingly play the parts that have been written
for them. If we find that the audience is not performing in the manner we intended, they cannot
be blamed, as our Job is to invisibly lead them. Audiences are not created equal. There are ..hot'"
aud iences and "cold" audiences, but none signed up for the responsibility of acting appopt! t .,
When the spotlight is upon them. The fault must aJways lie in the stan, and not themIeIwI.

APP~OA(HI~G

MAG::

SCRIPTING

In addition to unwittingly becoming members of the cast, our audiences are our co-writers, uttering useful dialogue we can add to our script, discovering elements within the routine that
we had not considered, and finding humor that we can adapt for future performances that fee ls
spontaneous and special. But if we wish to make use of our "co-writers" effectively, we have to
pay close attention to them. Scripting, then, is not about locking down a presentation . Scripting
allows for a structure that we can both rely upon and build upon . The script is scaffolding, and
we continue to place beneficial elements that grow from audience involvement into the proper
spot in the structure.

An example of meeting an expectation:


The magician states he wi ll find a selected card that has been shuffled into the deck by spectators,
making any location seemi ngly impossible. He does so.
An example of failing to meet an ex pectation:
The magician states he will find a selected card that has been shuffled into the deck by spectators. He produces a card upon which all fifty-two cards are printed, and claIms to have found the
spectator's card.

THE END OF THE LINE

When a member of the audience recalls the specifics of an effect, he is likely to first remember
the ending. SometImes it's the only thing that he will clearly remember. The ending of an effect
IS obviously important. .. and often mismanaged, playing flat. The handling of an ending can be
approached in different ways. The audience might be shocked, lifted in wonder, or awed and
mystified . Regardless of the specifics or our intent, there are certain things all performers share
when it comes to the fashioning of a trick's ending:

An example of exceeding an expectation:


The magician states he will find a selected card that has been shuffled into the deck by spectators.
He finds the card .. .in the middle of an odd-backed, sealed pack of cards that he removes from
his pocket.
A successful ending is an outgrowth of the pattern that has preceded it, by either following the
pattern to its conclusion or breaking the pattern for effect, but always with connective tissue that
ties it to the presentation. Some say that concluding a Chop Cup routine by producing an oddball
item such as a bagel or a giant nut makes no sense, but in a way it makes perfect sense. The effect is elemental: A ball which is placed into a hand or pocket continually appears back under the
cup. This can be reduced further to: A known object repeatedly appears under a cup. Producing
an unknown item breaks the pattern ... but still maintains a relationship to what came before. All
object is still appearing Illlder a ClIp. If you watch cup routines, you'll typically hear a boisterous
reaction from the audience when a large unexpected item is found under the cup. However, one
does not hear a thunderous reaction if a performer chooses as a finale to show that the hollow cup
has suddenly become solid. That left-field turn produces a collective "Hmm .... " It fools, and, yes,
it breaks the pattern, but it breaks the pattern in a manner that is distant from what came before.
Instead of an enthusiastic release it creates intellectual befuddlement.

We do not want the audience to think "That was bad ."


We do not want them to think "I was bored."
We do not want them to think "I don't understand what was supposed to have happened."
If we can agree that the above three reactions are not desired, we can work backward and develop
commonalities that a good ending might share:
We want the audience to think, "That was great."
We want them to think, "I enjoyed this performer."
We want them to think, "What just happened was incredible."
Good endings have common characteristics. There are not a million different things to aim for.
A good rule to follow is th is:

Another example of breaking a pattern, yet connecting it to the presentation that preceded it is
one often used in gambling demonstrations. After locating the Aces in a shuffled deck in several
different ways, the performer takes a beat then adds:

The ending of a magic presentation should meet or exceed the audience's expectations.
That means the ending does not necessarily need to be the ending the audience is expecting, but
if it is something other it should not be less than what they were anticipating, as that is the definiHon of d'''ppointm",t. No on. w.n', th , p",,,,,.tion of .n ,f"" to d'''Ppo'nt.

i
'

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Alld this time while I was finding the Aces, I also found all the Clubs, Hetlrls, SptUIes
and Diamonds, in numerical order!
,
j

l_______________________________________________~~
428

APP~OACYI~G

MAG (

SCRIPTING

r
Revealing that the deck is now in order is an unexpected outgrowth of what came before, a continuation of a demonstratIon of card control with the addition of surprise. If, instead of the above,
the performer revealed that the cards now spelled out the names of the fifty states, the audience
would be fooled and surprised, but the lack of connection to what led up to it would squander any
emotional build that might have already been created by the presentation.
Surprise is a wonderful tool, which leads magicians to add climax upon climax to many routines. How many surprises are enough? There is no one answer, as this can vary from routine to
routine, but consider that the meaning of "surprise" is something unexpected, something that
breaks a pattern As I've written before, if one produces surprise after surprise, that becollles the
pattern.

People often talk about the theatrical "rule of three," and how it often "feels right." There is a
reason for this. Three is the smallest number one can use to break a pattern.
"One" IS the introduction of a theme.
"Two" IS the smallest number that can establish a pattern.
"Three" is the first opportunity that exists to break the pattern .
The Rule of Three is a rule of economy.

If the concept of scripting still seems daunting, do this. Consider an effect you would like to
perform and make one choice that relates to it. It doesn't have to be a difficult choice, or one that
requires any internal debate to arrive at an answer. We make choices like this all the time without thinking about it-I'm suggesting only that you make the choice consciously. The choice can
involve any aspect of the presentation: What is the effect I am demonstrating? Is it a special event
that occurs once in a lifetime? It is a scientific oddity? Is it a feat of skill? How difficult should it
appear to be? How quickly or slowly should I approach each part of the effect? When should I
speak loudly or softly? When should I pause? When does the magic happen?

430

We have all seen performers begin an effect and successfully conclude it from a technical standpomt with no effect whatsoever on the audience. Very often this is due to a complete absence
of choice-making. A fair analogy is thIS: Imagine your favorite song playing in your head. Now
imagine it being played with one finger on a piano, with zero dynamics and every note given the
same duration. It becomes something reminiscent of the song you love, but possesses none of
the things you love about it. That is because that while there is, at its center, a melody; no choices
have been made as to its interpretation and the manner in which it is to be communicated to an
audience.
The pOint of scripting, making choices with intent, is not to keep score of how many times our
initial selections are correct, but to approach necessary work in a craftsmanlike way. Scripting
is not a mechanism that produces instant perfection, but it is a mechanIsm, one we can use to
evaluate the results of our intent and string together choices that, together, work to make an effective presentation.

APPROA(rll~G

MAGIC

SCRIPTING

THE PUPPY TRICK

Hand the woman the pen. She will hesitate, as you've made an
odd reques t.

Really. Anything at all will do. BlIt not a dog, a puppy.

EFFECT: A spectator draws a puppy on a card, and it comes when she calls.

As she sta rts to draw:

This is my presentation for the Ambitious Card plot.


NEEDED: A deck of cards, a marker, a double-backed card, double-stick tape, a
Figure 4

length of thick string, approximately 26" long.

Ten weeks or younger would be great. That's important,


becallse if it's too old, it's too difficult to train.
Hold up the "puppy card" and display it to the audience
(Fig 2-audience view).

TO PREPARE: Place a small square of double-stick tape on the

back of any card, at the inner right corner (Fig. 1). Tap the exposed side of the tape with a fi nger to make it less sticky. Ad here
the double-backer to the taped card, and place a pencil dot at its
outer left corner. These two adhered cards are placed at the face
of the deck (the double-backer second from the face). Have the
string someplace handy.

What an adorable little fella .


STEP 2) Table the card face up.

TO PERFORM:
Figure 1

Figure 5

Now I forgot to ask, can you willstie? Terrific. I need


you to give a little whistle alld say, [in falsetto] "Come
here!" First let's put your puppy ill the deck.

I have a woman to my right and a man to my left.


NOTE: If the woman cannot whistle, have her snap her fingers.
STEP 1) Establish the prem ise:

Have you ever wondered how magicians do their tricks with


cards, make the cards go from hither to yon? Well, we train cards.
That way they'll obey our commands and do whatever we ask.
[To the woman] Would you like to train your very own card,
so it'll obey your commands? Excellent! Take out any card at all,
and that'll be the one we'll train.
Spread the deck face up for a selection. This immediately lets the
audience know that this is not going to be a magician-figuresout-what-the-spectator's-card_is effect, and it allows you the opportunity to suggest a card with more white space on it in the
event the spectator should choose a picture card.

Now in order to train that card, all you need to do is one simple
thing: Take this pen, and with this pen, on this card .. .draw a
puppy.

Spread the deck between the hands and turn the left hand palm
down and picks up the selection (Fig. 3). Turn the hand back
palm up as the right hand places its cards on top and the deck is
squared. During this process the left little finger procures a break
two cards above the selection.

Figure 6

You will control the card to third from the top by using Gilles
Couture's Swivel Cut Control:
The right hand grasps the deck from above, the thumb taking
over the break. The thumb now reaches down and picks up a
batch of cards below the break (Fig. 4). The right hand moves
forward, bringing the inner left comer of the cards it holds to the
tip of the left thumb (Fig. 5).
The thumb contacts the cards above the break as the riSht''''14
moves smartly back, causing the cards above the ~~,~
180 0 (Figs. 6 &: 7). The right hand concludes the _

SCRIPTING

ing its remaining cards on top.


STEP 4) Display the new top card with the right hand as the left

He's 110t all top-he's nowhere near the top.

little-finger secures a break under the selection.

He's not on top ...

Display the top card with the right hand, then pick up the next
card and display it as well (Fig. 8). As this IS done the left little finger secures a break under the selection. The right hand replaces
its two cards face down onto the deck. You are now holding a
break under three cards.

The right hand replaces its card onto the deck. You are now holdIng a break under two cards. Turn to the woman.
Figure 8

Figure 11

Do YOHr thing.

STEP 3) Here I try to engineer a moment of comedy. I lock eyes

with the woman and say:

After she commands the puppy to come, perform a double turnover, again catchi ng it in the Altman Trap.

Now whistle and say "Collie here!"


Who could resist that woman? And look, he came again-he followed the
sOllnd of his master's voice! I think it's time for test conditions now...

The woman wm often do as I say, but looking straight at me instead of at the deck. When this occurs I remark:

Flip the double face down and immedIately take the top card (an indifferent card)
with the right hand, holding it face down. The left hand extends the deck to the
woman.

That's really very nice, and I appreciate it, but say it to the
puppy...
Figure 9

After the woman whistles to the puppy, look at the audience.

Do you think the puppy heard her? Yes! He followed the sOLlnd
of his master's voice!
Perform a triple turnover, catchIng the cards with the heel of
the left thumb, the Altman Trap (Fig. 9). If the puppy is oriented
properly for the aUdience, leave the hand palm up at table level. If
the puppy is upSide down, simply turn the hand palm toward the
audience to display the card (Fig. lO-audience view).

Wow. Now that we understand the premise, let's try it again.


Perform another triple turnover, flipping the aligned cards face
down. I apply pressure with the left thumb, which pushes the triple card to the right (Fig. 11). The triple card is then easily flipped
over. The right hand takes the top card and loses it into the center
of the deck.

YOLI C/lt off some cards, abollt half the deck.


After she lifts off some cards, place the right hand's card onto the left hand's cards,
injogged .

Now you put them back. And YOll pllsh eperything together. Do your
thing.
After she commands the puppy, move the right hand toward the deck, as if in preparation to turn the top card over, then stop.

I'll tell YOIl what ... yoll tllm it over.


Allow the woman to turn over the top card, the selection. The moment the face of
the card is visible I slap the table, "goosing" the moment, while saying:

Always follows the sound of his master's voice!


The above is one of my favorite sequences from the Ambitious Card lepatUnt.

SCRIPTING

STEP 5) Take the puppy card from the woman and display it to the audience. Ap-

pear concerned.

Break the spread, displaying the puppy card as the face card of
the left hand's portion (Fig. 12). Bring the hands back together,
placing the right hand's spread directly onto the puppy card and
immediately culling it to the rear: The left thumb contacts the left
edge of the card above the selection as the right fingertips pull
the selection to the right, where is slides under the spread as the
deck is squared. Figures 13 & 14 display a worm's eye view of this
procedure.

You kn(TU), I detect some negativity in the room. I detect a nay-sayer.


Look directly at the man to your left.

Allen [or whome\-er] over here ... he does not believe in the power of the
puppy. Yet for him I hove conclUSIVe proof ..
figure 12

Oeanly insert the puppy card Into the center of the deck, and slowly push it home.
Turn to the man.

The cull takes one second . When it's complete the right hand absently places the deck in front of the woman as you address the
man.

You whistle and say "Come here!"


It has to be in the middle, and you know why, right?

Because he always follows the sOlmd ...

Often, the man wllI sound far rougher than the women. When that occurs I say:
It SOl/lItis like you want to beat the puppy! A little IIlcer, please.

Slow to allow members of the audience to say it with you:

Often he will sa)~ NCome here" In falsetto, imitating my delivery. If that happens,
remark:

. ..of his master's voice!


figure 13

Turn to the woman.

Hmm ... oddly more feminine than ___ [female helper's name].
What do you have to do to make the puppy come?
...or. ..
Again, you are trying to engineer a moment here. You want the
woman to whistle and say "Come here!" without overtly asking
her. Most of the time, this will happen. When it does, act horrified.

I do not SOl/nd like thot.


Continue with:

Ladies and gentlemen, tl

I didn't say to do it now!


figure 14

Snap over the top Indltt.l!i


at it. After a beat:

I, " )k

Back up a few steps.

Well, it's too late. Tum it over.

S I P 6) Flip the

the puppy card.

Indicate the deck. The woman will hesitate-surely the puppy could not have responded. When she tentatively turns over the card, slap the table and say:

Always follows the sound of his master's voice!


In the event she does not whistle on her own, try to lead her to it

br.,.

SCRIPTING
STEP 5) Take the puppy card from the woman and dlsplay it to the audience. Appear concerned.

Break the spread, displaying the puppy card as the face card of
the left hand's portion (Flg. 12). Bring the hands back together,
plaCing the right hand's spread directly onto the puppy card and
immediately culling it to the rear: The left thumb contacts the left
edge of the card above the selection as the right fingertips pull
the selection to the right, where is slides under the spread as the
deck lS squared. Figures 13 & 14 display a worm's eye view of this
procedure.

YOll know, I detect some negatIvity in the room. J detect a nay-sayer.


Look directly at the man to your left

AI/en [or whomever] over here ... he does not befteve in the power of the
Pllppy. Yet for him J have conclusive proof ..
Cleanly insert the puppy card Into th e center of th e deck, and slowly push it home.
Turn to th e man.

figure 12

The cull takes one second . When it's complete the right hand absently places the deck in front of the woman as you address the
ma n.

You whistle and say "Come here!"

It has to be in the mIddle, and you

Often, th e man will sound fa r rougher th an the women. When that Occurs I say:

blOW

why, rIght?

Because he always follows the sound ...

It sounds like you want to beat the puppy! A little nicer, please.

Slow to allow members of the audience to say it with you:

O ften he will say, "Come here" in falsetto, imitating my delivery. If that happens,
remark.

. ..of hIs master's voice!


figure 13

Turn to the woman.

Hmm .. .oddly more feminine than ___ [female helper's name].


.. or..

What do YOll lrave to do to make the puppy come?

I do not sound like that.

Again, you are trying to engineer a moment here. You want the
woman to whistle and say "Come here! " without overtly asking
her. Most of the time, this will happen. When it does, act horrified .

Continue with:

Ladies and gentlemen, the conclusive proof .. is here!


I didn't say to do it now!
figure 14

Snap over the top indifferent card so that the aUdience can see its face. Do not look
at it. After a beat:

Of Course it's not the card-it's not his puppy!


STEP 6) Flip the deck face up and quickly spread it between the hands, locating

the PUppy card.

Hasn't anyone been paying attention? This proves my point!

Back up a few steps.

Well, it's too late. Turn it over.


Indicate the deck. The woman will hesitate-surely the puppy could not ha\Ie responded. When she tentatively turns over the card, slap the table and say:

Always follows the sound of his rtUISIer's ~/

APPROACMI~G

MAGIC

SCRIPTING

What do you have to do?


Ah ... 1 see we have one cllte adorable puppy, and
DOIlllen, the Hound from Hell

If that doesn't produce results, simply ask her to "do her thing" once again.

The above phase, the culling and hands-off appearance of the puppy card on top
of the deck, was suggested by the clever Pete McCabe, and it is one of the strongest
sequences of this routine.

STEP 8) Place the PUPP) card face up onto the deck. for display.

You are now holding a break under two cards. Flip the double
O\'er and immediately take the top card, the double-backer, in
the rIght hand.

STEP 7) Pick up the puppy card and turn to the man .


Figure 15

No matter, we'll pllt him abOllt halfway hlto the deck.

There's ollly one way this card will ever obey your commands.
Cleanly insert the double-backer into the center of the deck.
The use of a double-backer In an Ambitious sequence IS very
deceptive.

Toss the puppy card toward him and produce the pen .

Add your own puppy.


Now that wasn't exactly halfwOII. What wOllld YOII say
it is? About twenty-eIght cards down?

Hand the man the pen. As he draws ...

Now I'm trusting you here, trusting you to add a second puppy to the
one already there in the most tasteful manner possible.
Figure 16

As you speak, overhand shuffle the adhered double from the bottom of the deck to
the top. I don't make a big deal out of this, I just shuffle the double card to the top
with a Single "chop." Hold the deck in left hand dealing position, the pencil dot at
the outer left corner-the tape will be at the inner left corner.

At least we know he's not on top-nowhere near the


top.

Like every great artist, he's studying the canvas ...


As you talk, push over the adhered double. The right thumb and fingers separate
the upper card of the double, the double-backer, the thumb pulling to the right as
the fingers push to the left. Return the cards flush with the deck, the left little finger
securing a break under the top card. This is all done casually and openly, it is not a
move.

Ah ... a fine piece of work. Not actually a puppy, but an impressionistic


suggestion of a puppy!
I always compare the two puppies, as it creates the feeling of a happening for the
audience, as if this one time there existed a humorous counterpoint between the two
drawings-but there always will be. Another possible scenario:

438

The adhesive will stick to the selection. The above line justifies
grasping the deck at the inner right corner as the left thumb riftles
down the cards (Fig. 15). This procedure insures that the double
card is firmly adhered.

Deal the top four cards onto the table, face up (Fig. 16). The first
card dealt will be the adhered double, the selection covered by the
taped indifferent card. Place the deck onto the table face down,
behind the dealt cards.
Figure 17

Now we have to go very slowly at this point. We need


to be extra careful.
Gingerly pick up the dealt cards at their edges by the fingettips.
Turn the cards face down and deposit them on top of the deck
(Figs. 17 & 18). Square the deck with the fingertips, neua aDa::
ing the deck to go out of sight.

In fad, I brought a leIlsh wiIII"~.


son. A leIlsh for OUT P"PI'tl

APP~OACHI~G

MAGIC

SCRIPTING

Produce the string and lay it in front of the deck, stretched out horizontally (Fig. 19).
Place the deck onto the string and tie the string around the deck in the same manner as tying a shoelace (Fig. 20)-1 have the female place a finger on the knot as it's
tied. Using one finger, scoot the deck over in front of the male.

YOll know what to do ...


He will whistle and say "Come here." Cleanly pic