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6 " he SDS Vanish
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f ..' " ( ·,md~ '. C\'p~ n ghl 0 20 16 O} Bc nJdnllll h u i

I'ht* I~ ; lph\ . Itlu'lr.lItl'll and tk'lgn b) Hcn}ilOIIn Ear!
I ..Iued h) Ju,lml h ~h,i/ll anJ ,\ l 11ot' Vancc
lu,. cJll ll lli '\ugu'12lJI6
Evc COII(zr featurcs three hyper-visual routines that will causc spcctators to thin~
you have either slipped thcm a halluci nogenic substance or that YOU wem to 'Frmnc",ork' was inspired by a clcver gimmick callcd ' Humbug. invcntcd and
1logwarts School 01' Witchcraft and Wizardry, Who can say? Rcgardless, youll sold by Angelo Carbonc, Angclo's gimmick crcatcs the impression ofa lul]dcck
force spectators ta question reality, before you dance back into the shadow, l i~c of playing-cards vanishing. hui yo u don ' 1 eno elean - YOlJ cnd \\ ith rhe gimmic k
in your hand. ' Framcwork' 3 110\\'5 you 10 creatc the samc illusion wiih a nonnal
a magical crcaturc from anothcr realm... my prccious!
dcck 01' cards! 0 gimmick! Thcreforc, this can be pcrformcd \\ ith 01/1 ' deck
of whitc-bordcred cnrds... and you end elean! Thcrc iSI1 ' t anothcr impromptu
All magic is a combination 01' physical, psychological and thcatrical c1ements.
bUI what wc think a f as ' visual magic tcnds to conccntratc on the most
vanishing dcck method out there that looks this good.
obscrvable cha racteristics 01' those elc me nts on1)'. Anything. visual only has
1 sent all 01' my ideas and routines ta Angela in 2009, but out 01' respcct I have
meaningor context when filteredthrough psychological and cognitive proccsses,
kept this to mysclf for almost 8 years. Howcver, I think enough time has passcd
so conside red development 01' these pracesses is, in m)' o p inio n, Iillldamental
for this impromptu handling to fi nally be put in print.
to strang ' visual magic ' . Therefore. the routines featured in /:) ." CW/(Zl' are
not just ' visual', they also contain a huge amount 01' intcntional psychological
methodology in order to maximise their impact, A deck 01' playing-cards visually dissolves/vanishcs lcaving nothing but tw o,
three or four cards.
The se ro utines nave been a part of my perform ing re pert oi re for a velY long time
and I have always used them when the situation called for something particularly Method
eye-catching. ,Framcwork' is a deck vanish which looks like trick photography, Look at Fig. 1, this is what 'Framewo rkt looks Ii ke: it looks like a normal deck !
' Mernento' is an amazing routine which repeatedly assaults a spectator 's eyes, The fundamcntal illusion is caused through the Ilse 01' a faec-upAce 01' Diamonds
and fi nally, 'The SDS Vanish' is a eomplete vanish 01' a coin, wh ich p"t simply... beneath a raee-down eover card. What YOllr brain pereeives as the vertical side
looks like "el//"I magic. In all three routines, the ' magic moment' is /OwlZI' 01' the deck is in raet the fi at, white, !w r iZOIl/,,1 sllrraee 01' the race-lIp " ce 01'
lInexpected, \\ hile allowing YOll to end eompletely e1ean. Diamonds! Berore I explain how to use this prineiple I need to explain 1\\0 hasie
'fmme' positions:
Ali YOll reqllire is a deck 01' cards, a coin and a Sharpie pen - I ' m asslImingyou
have hands'? YOll 'lIneed a working pair of those. You mllst also be able to read. The Basie Frame
If yoll ean' t read, jllst look at the photographs and listen to the accompanying Ilold the raee.up Aee 01' Diamonds in the palm-lIp len hand: now hold a faee-
audio book which doesn't exist. down eard Y. of an inch ahove the Aee with the tips or the fin gers and base of lhe
thumb. In ordcr to achievc the correet illusion at the front of lhc fral1lc YOLl l11 l1st
Enjoy, YOll 11Icky hllggers. cover the corncr index of thc Ace by holding the frame in a dccp grip. allo\\i ng
the thumb and forefi nger 10 curl araund the rront end (Fig. I j. This pasition is
Ben also aidcd by angling the frame slightly downwartls anti to the right. '1'0 gct into
;/ 11)(//.\ / ] IJ /6 this position, hold the Iwo cards togelher in Ihe hand and simply raise the IOp
canJ whilc al10wing the Acc to rcmain in the palm.

This is the most basic version af the fmme and will allo\\' YOll 10 play \\ ith the
anglcs and ways 01' co\'cring the index of thcAcc. Aftcr playing aroulld \\ ith thi...
framc conccpt you'lI quickly scc how dcccpti"c it is anll ho\\ lIluch frCl:lh1l11 0 1'
JlHWCIl1Cnt YO ll havc.
\l l ht nl ~ l i ll g. thc /1i.:.IbH1!c
1111.' positiou ott hc tunne in thc hauds is idcntical, howcvcr thcre is sOl1lcthing
clsc ~o i ng. on iuside thc Irumc which eHU crcutc an amnzing illusion. This uses
threc cards: thc '\0 0 " I' Diamonds is tace up on the hottunt aud thcre is still a
tace-down card on top. hut inside thcre is anothcr card positiuncd diagonall\'
bctwceu thc 1\\ 0 cards (Fig. 2). '1'0 gct into Ihis position hokt the thrce eaflis
tlat in thc hand und gct u brcak ubove thc Ace hy pulling down on it with the
lctl liu lc finger, 0\\ hold the 111'0 top cards and lower the lront end oft hc Al)
Y.. ofa n inch while allowing the rcar cnds to now contuct the H1CC·Up Ace - the
hands completcly cover this procedure. Now raisc the top card into a horizontal
position 50 that it is parnllcl with the faec-up Ace, making SUI'C the front end is
still in contact with the second card (Fig, 2). The !ingers now dclicately squecze
the frame to hold it in position; from the front it looks like Fig. 1. Although this
may Se'Cm awkward, with practice in front 0 1' a mirror you 'Il see how quickly
and easily you' Il he able to get into this position.

The Z· fmme pesitien allows you to do something amazing: yo u can apparently

push a card into thc rniddle 0 1' the deck (Fig. 3) by inserti ng a card into the
opening in the fmme at the back (Fig. 4) and holding it in place with pressure
between the pad 0 1'the little fingerand base 01' the thumb (Fig, 5). IIcan be pushed
in slowly and yet the illusion created at the front 01' the frame is not broken (Fig.
6). There is a depth illusion happening at the back and a solid surface iIIuSiOlI
occurring at the front: this is a deeply sophisticated visual illusion occurring in
the palm ofyour hand!

The Visual Deck Vanish

In order 10 vanish the 'deck' you will essentially collapse Ihe frame, There are
two main ways to do this. The most obvious way is to bring the right hand on
10P and squeeze the hands together; when the hands separate the deck appears
to have vanished, leavingjust a few cards. This method is veI')' simple and veI')'

HOII'ever. Ihere is another way which looks like a special effect : simply allow
Ihe frame 10 v;s;bly collapse by reducing the pressl"e on the sides 0 1' the fmme
as you veI')' sublly shake your hand (Fig. 7). With some pmctice yo u' lI be able
10 cause the frame to slowly collapse. making it look like the deck is visibly
shrinking 0 1' evapomting from view! Once the fmme has collap sed, open the
hand (Fig. 8). This is Ilot hard to do and people \ViII freak oul. Tl)' this in front
of a mirror - it looks insane!
Fig.. 7 Fig.. S
Jll,1:1ei11l:!!H FIN DtNG FO UR AClOS \VITI I FRA M E WO R K
Regardlc.: ss \..) 1' \\ hcthcr ) 0 11 have two. thrce or more cards, th c bOHOIll Ace is
still rcvcrscd and thc re arc a num be r 01" ways to elean this s ituat io n upo The
A card is e ho se n. Th e sc lcctio n is th en inscrtcd into the dcck an d t he dc ck is
fo llowing two mct hods are the o nes I have a lways uscd , It dcpcnds on wh at
sq uarcd IIp. S uddc nly thc dc ck s lowly sta rts to di ssol ve leav ing j ust the sc lcctio n
handling y OLI prefcr, and ho\\ Y Oll are pacing the ctf ect:
and its three matcs - in this casc the ('OLIT Accs. Evcrything can he inspcctcd.
1) One-handed: Obtain a bre ak above the bottom, revcrscd Aee with yo ur pink ie
and perform ' Flippant' hy Looy Simo no fT:' basical ly YOll ra ise your ha nd s lightlv i' Mcthod
Fo ur Aces are o n thc top of thc d eck in th c fo llo wi ng order from the to p: A I t.
and then drop it. a llow ing the top three ca rds above the break 10 rap id ly l1ip fae~
AC, AS , A D. Fo ree the A li in wh ate vcr way yo u wi sh . Mak c sure the stoe k
up outo the bottom taec -up Ace . This looks arnazi ng; the deck has va n ishcd and
of Aces goe s bac k o n to p of the dec k a nd ge t a brcak under the m whilc the
you have 'cleaned up' with o ne hand!
spcctator is look ing/sho win g the ca rd. You ca n now d itch thc deck in a nv wav

2 ) Two-h anded : Obtain a brea k ab ove the bottom. reversed Aee a nd perform a yo u wis h (sce page "'), but 1'11 descr ibe thc ' pen rcmoval' tcch nique in' more
ha lf pass ofsome kind such as a Christ Twisf or A sher Twist"- person a lly I pre fer de ta il here :
the Asher Twist as it is a covered rnove and look s smooth in thi s context .
Mention that yo u wa nt them to s ign the ca rd, gra bbi ng the A ces abovc t he break
Diteh ing The Dee k in Il iddl e gri p in yo ur right hand as yo ur left hand retrea ts to a lc ft jac ket/trouscr
how do yo u diteh the de ck ? Well. there are two main ways I do it, and
S I) .
pocket and ditch es the dcc k, You ea n e ithe r co me Olit wit h a pe n a nd ha nd it
altho ugh there are man y mOle. these have pro ved slleeessfu l fo r me. Ali you to them o r... come o ut w ith nothing and tran sfer the three Aees to the le n han d
need is an o ppo n unity or reason to go to your JXleket. (simu lating a fllll de ek ) as YO llr right hand dans into ano the r poek et to rem o vc
the pen. Hand the pen to the spee ta tor and ask them to s ign the ir eard o n the
1) Pen Rem o\a l: This is an ex tremely s imple and eovereu dite h, whie h you w ill faee .
ha« to eho reograph based o n your c10thi ng and where you wan t to di teh the
eards or remove the pen from . But basiea lly, yo u dite h the deek w h ile lo ok ing \Vh ile they sign the ir A H you exeeute a ha lf pass o f the botto m ea rd in your
lo r the pen. an u wh ile they are re mo ving the cap and s ig ning a ea rd, you set the han d (AD) and eon struet the Z-frame (as de serihed o n page 2). If YO ll d o n' t
eards into the Z· frame positi o n. I will ex pla in in a bit more de taiJ how to do thi s wa nt to do a hal f pass s im ply set II p the deek w ith the AD a lrcady reve rsed.
in a momcnt. mak ing sure yo u do n't expose this ea rd w he n YO ll initia Jl y ge t a b reak lInder
them . Ta ke th e ir ea rd, and w itho llt look ing at its faee, insert it into th e haek of
2 ) The Tum Away : This is devio us. O nee they have made a se leetio n tum away the frame and arparent ly sq llare up the ' dee k' . No w say,
anu ask them to show the ea rd aro llnd . \Vh ile they d o thi s d ite h th e deek! I love
this methoJ and it is undoubtaed ly my fav ourite . O ften you ea n diteh th e ueek " Whot ll' CIS YOIIl" ca l"d ? Ali ,lee... ok. 1"lItl")' oll djill d YO IIl" ,lee. p llls the ol hel"
and set the eards into the Z-fra me position a ll wh ile yo ur ba ck is tu m ed. Aees... allhe ,'jame lime. JValeh. ..

As yo u ea n probably guess th ere are man \" wa\"s to uit eh th e ueek anu use the Now a llo w the ' deek ' to s low ly d issoll"e from I" iew ( Fig. 7 & Fig. 8 ) and then
Framew o rk van ish in the eontext o f an e free t. ·You ean leave the fO llr Aees or .. lIse the o ne-ha nded e lea n-lIp proee d llre o n page", to insta ntl y sho w a ll the Aees
two. three. four scle etio ns : it depcnds o n w hat you want to do. No w tha t the in Y OUf hand.
tee hniques and prinei plc s are thor oughly und erstood, it's u p to you to dec ide
ho\\ ) ou \\ anl to u ~c it. Thi s is the way I havc always prcferrcd to lISC ' Framc\\ ork "" howcvcr I oon ' t
always hal"e the Aee s igned: I o ften j llst tum alOund and dit eh the de ek w hile the
~- ..... l""" ~~_ Htr-, L<.UHlot , ,, - , \ 1.Ii I "" ... pII);
: ~ # '~..J iw·, l.<.n,',c -1\:
p ...~.
eard is hc ing ' remembered· . I then tllm haek and take the Aee flOm them .
iw _IV-rt ler '>kr :J \ • •
Nott;1i,;. T I-!E 50S VAN / 51-!
Rcmemb cr, if'you ean turn around and d itch the dc c k, do it. Dite hin g thc dec k th is
\\ay is pcrfectly accc ptablc, psyeh ologic a lly invis ible a nd cx trc me ly praet iea J. The S DS Vanish (S lip, Diteh & S mo ke) is a eo mp lete va n ish 01' a coin, It is
UI'course ifyou have the opportunity to do it this way thc n do . If yo u don ' t wa nr
the rcsu lt o f rnan y yca rs o f cxp erimentat ion a nd de vc topm cnt and has beco me
to have the Ace or any cards signcd, then simp ly find anothe r eonven ie nt rcason refincd into th is smooth ma gical sequence wh ich ca n be perf orm ed surro unded

to d itch the dec k. such as rem ovi ng the box or some other ruse. a nd in a t-sh irt, Th e scq ue nec is dc s igned 50 the spec ta tor wil l sce a coi n blink
Olit 01' existenec a bove the ir ha nds; therc is no tabl e, no slccves, thcre is nowhe re
II' you want to find some sc lections (two, th ree o r fou r), ir's up ta yo u; a ll for the eoi n 10 go, it simp ly me lts into th in a ir. Th at 's it. YOLl eo uld sta rt a cu lt
) OU need to do is make sure one af the se lections is the AD, a nd yo u ean then
csscntially proceed as prcvi ously describcd . There are 50 many potent ia l ways
1 with this.

that Framework ean be used in these e ffects that it' s not worth ex plai ning thcm 1 love the mixtu re 01' physieal ehoreography, ti mi ng and psyehol ogy th at a Il
a lI. Howc ver, remembe r that if yo u j ust wa nt ta reveal two ca rds, yo u can' t flow togeth e r to e rca tc something im possible. I initiall y sta rted de velo ping th is
insert an add itional ca rd into the frame. In th is sce na rio, yo u would co ntro l the tcchn iquc after trying to create a coi n va nish based on the sty lc a nd mov e m e nt
two se lections, find a natu ral way to d itch the dcck, eo nstrue t the Basic Framc, oft he To p C ha nge. I lowc ve r, there a rc man y pcoplc I m ust tha nk for ind ire ctl y
execu te the ' visua l va nish' sequence a nd then clean up o lr's my Icast favo urite inl1 uc nci ng this techn iquc ov er the yea rs sue h as: Da i Vernon 's wa nd sp in
version a f Framework but it's an option avai la ble ta yo u. va nish,' an unp ublishcd ' Ilurry" mo ve by my fr icnd Ke vin Bake r, a eo in va nish
by Fred Ro binson,' Ihe Ill ufTVan ish by Hobo" and ,,1/ o f S lydin i's eo in ma g ie -
Many effect s are passible with Framewo rk: if yo u a lrcady have anothe r deck a lthough it's hard 10 say exactty what e leme nts ha ve influe nced wh at, Ho we ve r,
in thc box, yo u ea n have an interesting tran sposit ion effec t, a nd )lO U ea n find the S DS Vanish is somcth ing ncw ; it creatcs a new typ e o f psye ho logica l illusio n
the Aces without a se leetion or without insert ing a card, there are a lso ma ny by forc ing an obse rver to men ta lly sim ulate th e presen cc o f'a n objec t in multip le
sandwhieh. eo lleetor or transpositi on efTeets possihle. Il's a lso possible ta end physieal dimcn sio ns... when, in fact, no objeet is prcsen t.
with one eard by using the basie frame and stea ling o fTthe A D at the e nd, T he re
are so man)' possibilit ies. I co uld wr ite a book on th is co nce pt a lone, howe ver I Method
only like 10 use i\ in the way deseribed on page 5. Fo r cxplan ati on pllrposes I ha ve used a Morga n silve r do llar in thc pho to gra ph s
in order to make the rno ves casy to see, but thi s ea n be useo for any co in and
There ar< oth<r ways a f setting up the illu sion ; for exampl e, by simp ly e re ating othe r sma ll obj ee ts. 1 have expl a ined eaeh phase in det ail , but rem em be r Ihal in
a ' V' with the eards (o pening at the front ) and inse rting a ear d he/ml' the faee- up rca lily there is virtua lly no d istin ction between them as th cy a ll l1 0w togct he r in
Ace . Ali aspccts 01' thc illusioll are the sa me. Il owe ver, Ihesc var iatiolls on en olle srnoo th seque ncc.
don' t look as good or they ereate olhe r iss ues w ith the 'elea n-up' phase. liike
the Z-frame position the best. lli
Framc\\ or k is, of coursc, a nglc sensitivc. so bccom ing co mp lete ly fam ilia r with
thosc anglcs is vita l. Put the eards in yo ur han d a nd praet isc in front o f a m irror,
SOO I1 )'ou' ll dcyclop a very good sensc of yo ur rangc o f mo tion or wh at aspce ts
, 1I0 ld the eoi n a\ the t ips a f the fingers be fore the spee la lo r (F ig . 9 ). S low ly
rolate the hand palm dow n and place the thum b on it 10 hol d it in p lace ( Fig . 10).
No w say to the spectator,
j "Plell.w hoiti Olli y our lumtij lu/ lik I! /hi.\'. "
01' your ' fro me ' lIeed ta be improv ed . VeI)' quiekly yo u' lI rea lise how praeti ea l
Frarnewor k iso Pcrform ing for a sing le person is, o f ea urse , the best see nario, You dem on strat c by hol d ing o ut yo ur le n hand l1 at a no subtly rctract ing you r
but if you ha\c a largcr crO\\'d j ust tr)' to a ng lc the ha m) s lightly do wnward a nd right hand by scyc ra l inchcs (F ig. II ). T he Ilcx t 11l0VC happclls in a fract ion
10 th< right.
~ /".. 110M 1 ~" .... 1l< .'" uJ.\ 4«f< . 1 ~,~ (jUl o.on. 1·ln . p 1)1
\''''' '4«1<. ..1.' h' J.·",N.,"'",
bJ H H.. I>u \
,~.J ,. 1'C1~1 l)u'''~.
21JO'). P 21>7
"IJ{I, . 1'1\2 , IItu l" VUlloh, P \'J
! 9

of a second beforc the spectator has even had time to foll ow your instruetio n
and raises their hand : retraet your left hand and extend yo ur righ t hand. but as
you do so you r left hand passes beneath the right hand (Fig . 12) an d the eo in is
allowed to fall into the left hand ( Fig, 13) - the aet ion is more exposed in the
photogra ph for clarity: in reality the left hand is never this ope n. This mom ent is
smoo th and !here is literally no hes itat ion o f the left hand as it rno ves: tim ing the
drop allows there to be zero hesitation. Th is requ ires pra etiee but o nee aequi red
it w illloo . perfeet.

I also use a vanish by Fred Rob inson ca lled the Pick-up Van ish.' in which
the coin is openly pickcd up from the left hand at the right fingertips and is
immcd iately dropped baek into the left hand as the righ t hand pas ses ovcr the
Ieft fingers and adva nces forw ard ( Figs , 12 & 13).

The left hand con tinues to retrael and drops to yo ur side: it immediatel y enters
yoer left pocket and deposits the coin.At the same time yo ur right hand co ntinues
10rnove forw ard and pos itions itselfabove the spectator's hand - whi ch by now
\hou ld be raised 10 !he same pos ition you dern onstratcd (Fig, 14) .
Fig. II I ig. 12
Your left hand on ly enters the pocket for a fraeti on o f a second before eo ming
out with nothing and taking ho ld o f the spectato r's hand (F ig, 15 j . This momen t
vimply appears av if you relaxed by uncon sc iou sly plaein g your hand in your
pocket and then rernoved it in order to adjust their hand . Do nottry and hide the
movernent o f !he left hand; if performed with the corrcc t attitude and o penness
it w ill 001 register, 1 have performed thi s sequcnee thousands o f times and ean
tL-.t ify 10 how psychologica lly invisible it iso

You afe ne", about to exccute a deviou s sequence o f moverncrns wh ieh ,, ;11
ereate a dcc ply convinc ing impression that tbe coin is still pre sent and tberefore
rnake the moment the ' vanish' is revealed seern utterly impossible. To co ntinue,
you r lell hand is \tili ho lding thei r hand and yo ur right band is apparently hold ing
the coin (/i g. 15,. Now tran sfer tbe ' coin' into the left hand ( Fig. 161 '" that
YOI" righ hand can al...... adj ust thei r hand (Fig, 17). At the moment yo ur right
hand adjUSh Iheir hand, subtly adj u,t the ' coin' in yo ur left hand (by rem oving
the thumb and subtly ' bouncing' it a few millirnetre.. he fo re holding it again
with the thumbj. 'l hi, happens extrem ely subtly - appa rently uncon seiou,ly -
a, ) "ur right hand adju\t' the ir hand . I nstead o f plae ing the coin in Ihe len hand
1 ",ill o hen " h" ",' it into the Ieli hand , crcaling a sen... o f movemenl. Iill- ' S

Now the right hand comes up to gras p the co in .hy its 'ed.g e~' het ween the
~ fi er and thumb (Fig. 1.8). As soon as your right hand IS rn this position
rore IOg . . F' 19) d h b
the left thumb lcts go of the 'cOl n ( I ~ . an, t en co mes ae k down on top
't as the right fi ngers also c lose (F ig. 20) . m e mo vem ent o f the thumh i
of I . ,. hi . h s
exaggerated in the images; 10 rea rty t IS movem ent j ust as to he eno ugh for
them 10 notice it.

. Iow both hands rotate 90 degree s forward as the left hand ' Iets go' o f the 'eo in'
and adj uslS itself by apparently pinch ing the edgc o f the ' eo in ' w ith the forelinger
and thumb (Fig, 21 J. Stay in this pos ition for a second before yo u s lowly begin
10 sqUCC7,e and flex the fingers - as if you a re sq uee zing/erushing the coin into a
small ball. lmagine you are holding a tiny bali between the forefin ger and thumb
of both hands: now slowly a llow the hand s to sc pa ra te (F ig. 22 J, an d the n slowly
separate the fingcrs.

This entire sequence takes place above the ir hand and looks ineredibly magieal.
The speetator will have no clue as to how the coin has va nished ; it simply look.
as if the coin Das melted into thin air. Co ngru ent/natura l bod y mo vem cnt and a h g. I') hg.2JJ
brief visual flash of the coin at the beginning are all that is req uircd . Th e Slip
sequence will take practice, but once acquired it will become as easy as habit
and completely decept ive,

The Ditch sequence is psycho logica lly invisible if you pcrform the act ions as
described in a easual way with a nonehalant auitude. II'. as if you are about
10 pcrform sornething with one hand, 50 yo u relax and easua lly put yo ur hand
into your pocket, then you realisc you necd to adjust their hand, 50 your hand
exits the pocket and adj usts the ir hand. 1)0 not try to hide yo ur hand go ing
into the pocket; if you perform th is scquence with a correet understa nd ing of
the psychology involvcd, the ditch bccomes absolutcly invisible. I have fooled
many magicians with this exact handl ing . Don' t feel guilty that the co in isn' t act ually ther e >- ifyou believe it is, and your
actions are smooth, the re is nothing to fear. '/ake yo ur time and enjoy crearing
The Smoke sequence is aetua lly doing somet hing rcally intcrcsting on a an impossible momen!. 1 cannot stress strongly eno ugh how irnpossible and
~eh{)lo<~ ical level. The specta tor constructs the existe nce o f the ' co in' at rnagical th is vanish look s.
a pure!). P'>yehological lev el through a unique com bination o f pc reep tion,
L'X~tJ(m and mentai simulation; thLJ' pcrcei ve mom entum and two distinet 'Ihe SDS Vanish can o f coursc be used as part o f any larger coin ro utine
ph)slcal l,rill1tatilms of a non-cxiSlent eoi n. This is e xtremcly inle resting to . uch as ' Co in on Shoul der' or uny routine where you rcq uire a C{,m ple le c{Jin
me, /)0 not rush through the Smoke scq uencc, it ca n be done very s lowly. The vanish. Cau.sing a eo in to vanish through p urcl y psychol og ieal mea n. has ma rrv
slcJ\l> er you do this the more imposs ihle it wi ll \Ce m, as the re ap pears to be appli cat ions; ho wever, 1 preler to usc it l:xaL1ly as de sc ribed ... as an isola tcd
nowhl'l'e tllat !he et )Jn mornent of pure ma gic.
can PUSSI'hly be hut bl1wccn your fJ. nger s.
12 JJ


'Mcmcnto is rclatcd ' Backlash" by Paul Harris and 'The Ambitious Card'."
Howcvcr, il has OCCOIllC its own unique piccc of strangc.

[ fleet
A playing-card is signed both sides by a spcctator, The card pcrforms a numhcr
of impossiblc/magical movcmcnts beforc one of thc signatures visibly Ill orphs
into the pcrformcr's name/signature!
Fig. 23 Fig.24
Place the Joker on the face of the deck and any advertising card or additional
Joker behind it. With the Joker on the face, make sure it is positioned so that it's
the right way UI' when they look at it - 1' 11 refer to this position as 'fac ing thcrn'
(Fig. 23). Now push the eard over the right side of the pack with the left thumb
and use your right hand to tum it faee down. Sign your name along the right
side of the eard (Fig. 24). Turn the Joker faee UI' onto the faee of the deek and
you are ready to begin. Although Memento ean use any playing-eard, I would
suggest using a ' pointer' eard to aid the ehoreography.

With the two eards in your set-up at the bottom, execute a simple overhand
shuffle and some eomplete euts, sending them into the middle. You are about
to exeeute the simplest foree in the world, Start spreading through the pack as
you say,

"1 want to give yo u a memento... a eool one. 80 1'11 ase the Joker. "

Spread to the Joker and eut the deek so that it is now on the faee; this is quite a
Fig. 27 Fig. 2S
simple foree, but psyehologieally very innocent. Now you will ask them to sign
the eard along the right side of the eard - while handing them the pen simply
make sure that the Joker is orientated so it faees the speetator as they sign the
face (Fig, 25). After they have signed the face of the card, perform a double
tumover and have them sign the back in the same relative position (Fig, 26).

1usually tum the eard over a eouple of times - as if allowing the ink to dry and
simultaneously eompounding the image of the card signed on both sides - and
fin ish with eard face UI' on the faee of the deck. Spread the deck between your
7 1Jtt 14"0/A"fHIIVrmt'lll . 1m J. 1996. P 29 Fig. 29 Fig. 30
8 The Amblliou$ ratd l' MC' af tbe 8rC'1.1~1 c~d uickt af alltime II js gene rally artribu ted 10the Pao sian ml gicil n Alberti, II WI' first pubh'hrd
rn II., book Rt f;Wlf Ik /Oll fl Jt,IIt} \lIf'It Umt''01I1<" 1886
,-, "
hand- a'i vo u conuncnt that only their card has thcir sig naturc (Fig. 27) and thcn Place the Jo kcr back o uto th e ch.-c k. Yo u are ubo ut to excc utc the IIlIal "gym na stic '
closc the 'sprcad nud roll the dcck ovc r into th e lcft han d. Yo ur rig ht han d ho lds se q uc nce. whcr e o nc c agai n mak e s ure that th e Jo ker is ' fac ing them ' . l lo wc ve r,
tbc dcc k in Hiddl c gr ip as the lcf finge rs vlidc the bo ttom ca rd o ut 10 the lcfl do n ' t rc \'ol vc the dcc k to o r ic ntate it: re vo lvc th e card itsel l" - Ihi s is im po rta nt.
(Fig. 2X) aud then di agonal ly up und ovet the rop lcft cornc r (Fi g. 29 ), whcre O nce aga in uxec ute a S wi ng C ut to se nd th e Jok c r into the m idd le 0 1" the deck
your ri ghl li r~l fingcr can ho iti it in place (Fig . J O). IlIO\\i u n thc 1; ICC of' thc Jokcr a ud sp read th e ca rd s. d isp lay ing its po s itio n, Yo u will no w cxcc ute a n cx trc mcty
uud then tum the hac k 01' the Jokcr toward you rse lf a nd bl ow o n th e back , Th iv cOllv inci ng ha ndl ing o f the Ti p-O ve r Add ition .!" se pa rute th e spread a bove the
scqu cncc crca tcs a stro ng im prcss ion o f a si ngle ca rd th at ha s hc e n writtcu on sc tcctio n 1I11d pu ... h th e Jo ke r to th e rig ht: now use the lc tl cdge o f' thc righ t-hand
both s ides by the spcc tnto r - bo th sides having bccn c lcnr ly/casua ly di sp laycd . , prclId (0 tu rn the Jok er face d own (Eig. 3 1). As the Jo ker is tu miug over, the
right spreud m o vc s to the lcfl . c tfectively co ve ring th e Jo kcr us it turus, and the
The hand is no w lowc red and the dcck is pl accd into th e lc f hund - sqllarillg lef] thu m b c lamps d o wn 0 11 th e cx posed corner of the bot tom card ofthe rig ht-
the sc lcction on top by d rnw ing th e forcfi nger bac kwa rd s. O nce the sclcction lumd s prcad (Fig. 32 ). l he right huud rctrea ts, leaving the c lam pcd ca rd in view
is sq uare. exee ute a s low Sw ing e ut - se nd ing th e fae e up scl ec lion into the 0 11 to p o r the len-h and seclio n (Fig. 3 3 ).
middle nr the dc ek. Spread Ihe d eek . show illg th e scl ectio n in the m iddle. anti
in e losing the sprea d. lakc a orcak abo\'c th e t:, ce-d o wll clIn l im m cd inlc1y aho \'c Thi s si m p le s w itc h 01" the Jok cr looks ama /i ng hccilllse thei r na rne/si g na tllTc is
the sch.'Ctio n. No w 5a)'. SIili in vie w o n lhe haek ! This makc s the s w ilCh eo rnp lete ly unu clecl a h le anu
fu rther com poumls the idea that Ihe Jo ker hns the ir narn e 0 11 bo th s id cs . You
"Fir.\'/~l' ,m lllel hill }! .'ii lllp le...l he ccm l ccm cli.'iu pp eu r.... ..cmc/ ,heli C01l1(' hac:k. .. have a rc lalivel y largc am Olll1t 01' frced om wi th the lIse of this tec hn illlle. so you
cun a ll(mJ 10 ex ee llte Ih is sc q ue nc e in a re la xcd . casua l ma nne r.
Sprcad lh rou gh the deck up 10 the hrcak . an d no\\' e xe c ulc a sma ll hlock push-
o tf ofsc\'eral ca rds that were prcvioll sly hcl ow th e breal.. and conl in lle sprcading No\\' s lighlly spread the eards in th e rig,ht han d 1111<1 oe gi n to insert the s igned
to thc cnd. The card is nowherc to bc sc en. Spread the d eck aga in to show the card un ywhere in lhe righ t-ha nu port ion ( Fig. 34 ). Now re mo ve the le n hand
sc!t.'Ction o ncc aga in faee IIp in the midd le o f lhe s p rcad . Al1holl gh th is scquencc and re volve il pal m do wn ll S yo u poi nt 10 th e p rolrud ing ca rd (Fig. 35 ) - ma k ing
is cXlrel11 c ly s imp le. it is a lso incrcdibly mag ical a nd looks pcrfeet if pcrfonn cd s ure you hidc th c s ignature o n th e top ca rd o f the len-h all d paeket.
withou t hcs itHt ion in a rclaxcd. sm ooth fashion. No\\' c10 sc the sprcad. taking a
hrenk nho \'c the se lcction. as y ou say. Nmv ex tcnd thc ca rd s in th e right hand 10ward th e spee tato r. us ki ng th cm to
pllsh the prot rlluing eard into the pack . A s YOll do thi s rai se th e ca rtls in yo ur
"0,. i' ecm i".'i/Cm'~\' CljJJ1<'Clr Oli loJ'. .. le n hand lIpWllrJ s a nti scc retly p lace th e top curd bet ween YOllr tccth; ho wc ver.
p luce thc Jokcr pa ra lle l to the tloor in a perfeel ly hori/onta l plane anti m a ke s lITe
Thc 1110011ent YOll fini sh th is line. excc ute a fast C las s ic Pnss; the Jokcr \\'illj ump
Q that YOllr lo wc r jaw s lightly pro trudes bcy o nd YO llr u ppc r ja\\' - thi s is ex tre mcl y
to the top ort he dc e k. RClllove th e Jo kcr and cxccu tc a P iro llette flourish with
im po rta nt in o rde r to exec ute the ncxt seq ue llec eorrect ly. Onee they ha ve pll ~h ed
thc Jok cr (sp in thc ca rd on your m id dl c fin gcr) to add Illo rc v is ua l movCl11c nt.
the enni tl us h. p lace the ha lves tugether nnd then louu ly riIHe the deck . At th e
Nol' rcl1l0VC the seleelion as YOllr leO thlll1lb rimes down Ihe side of lhe deck, Sllm c momenl that YOll ri lll e the Jeck. dr a\\' YOllr 100\'er j aw back wa rd s Hnd
inse rt the face-lIp se lcctio n sOlllew here in the midd lc a nd appare ntly push it upward s: thi s insta ntly levers th e car d bclwcen y o ur teeth do wn wa n ls. e rcat ing
tlush - instc ad exec llt ing a s id e stea l into the right hand . tf YOll can' t do th is. the insl ant llppearll nce o f the Joker in the s pectato r 's peri phera l vi si o ll.
cxcc utc a doub lc unde rc ut - send ing the facc-u p Jokcr to the bottom - alld then
C.\ cc utc a ho ttolll s ide stca l into thc riglH hand. O uce the Joker is in palm . sa)', BCClluse the ca rd be twce n YOllr tceth was ho ril.ontal to the gro ulld. it occupied
virt lla lly no s pac e in th e spcela to r ' s per iph eral fiel d 01' vi si o n; the ll. Occause it
"Or il ('(JulcI appear J01J1('U'l1ere else... like CI po{'kel. .. lIlo ve s to a vert icn l po s itio n. it sccm s to a ppc ar from no wh c re .
10 h"'l Ii. ""~ r". ' ''''1 ·' . 'IM" "' '' l "'.\u ; ,.... 'UI \ . ,,, ' . ""~ ...bocl' 1'M" , P I I h ( Ml .ai.., W I,~nd 11\1 ',..1«" o/I~~,< 1,0/ ~ . I'N~. P ~ I ~
Di\ C into a !l0c ket wit h the r ha nd and ex it the pocket w ith the Joke r. l>ndct lhe lul~ 1he Clrd"l'ft.J ' .... .. ,h· Ih l'" a ..n&nl handl ,nll ,,( lhe ' l l p-( h ~ .\ dd ,Don· ,n,cnlc.l b~ ' lMIlro l ',>Il'n . anJ &r ...." btol. ft
A",J<lI '... &../ f ·unJ•. I.....II.P 1 ~ .b'oJ.. ~\I~ hn .
., his h:mdling rcmoves thc slow, s ~lIggc rc~ l n a t n re .o r this revclation und luru s il
into sOlllclhing instun t, visuul und n~lpo SS lh le , While the spee.tator is rcacting Io
this momcnt placc thc dcck uway with thc lcfl hand IIS your right hand rcnlOvcs
thc card Imm YOllr mouth. Act as ir this wus thc cud 01' the e ffcct - this is
importnnt. 0 \\ with hoth hands cmpty - cxccpt for thc signcd card - say the

'" wuntyou to tuke this card hom e as a m C'IIIe" / ( ). . ..\"ll let m e s JU}U' Y OII {JIle ntore
thing. "

Exccutc a vcry quick vanish and rcappcarnncc 01' thc Jokcr by using a back
palm and then rccovering the card from back palm. Th is has an important
psychological function (sce otes). Aftcr this immcdiately say,

"Without thinking about it.i. just sayfront or back. "

As you say the word ' back' flash the back of tbe Jokcr, by revolving thc hand
palm down for a split second - making sure your fingcrs subtly obscure your
name/signature on the back (Fig. 36). Then as you say ' front' revolve the card
again to show the front. Depcnding on what they say will depend on how you
frame their response; ifth ey say, "Front ", you will say,

"Ok... 1'1/ keep your signature on the front... "

Or ifthey say "Back", you say,

"Ok... Fll use YOll r signature on the back... "

This is an extremely simple ' magician's choice ' which creates the impression
that they could have ehosen either side 01' the card. Regardless, you will now
end the sequence by creating the illusion of their signature morphing into yours. Fig. 35 Fig. 36
Start by revolving the back of their card into view as you shake it (Fig, 37). This
obscures the true nature 01' the signature.

" Jl aICh... YOII '/1 see yo ur signature change... into mine. "

Choreography is important in order to make the spectator expericnce the ilillSioll

01' their nameisignature visibly changing. Begin to slow down as you say the
word .c/ulII}!.e. and then slow down further as you say mine. before slowly
stoP?lTlg all rnovcmeru a beat or two later (Fig. 38). This rnixture 01' decreasll1g
rnouon and verbal priming will cause them to pcrcieve their name/signalllrt:
l'l.lIhiy ehanging. Give the spectator the Joker to kecp as a memento. Done.

x otes:
~lemento is an effi cient blend of simplicity, psych.ology a nd movement. It is a
remarkable amount of magic to result from such sirnple mean s and I have kept
this routine a closely guarded secret for long er than ! can remember.

The use of the pointer card (in this case the Joker) creates an ext remely easy
wav to remember how to orientate the card; you only need to 'point' or face the
card toward the spectator when they interac t wit h it (sign it at the beginning and
push it into the spread at the end). The rest of the time it face s yo u, Beca use we
have uscd the Joker(s) for this effect yo u can simply throw the ot her sig ned card
away after the effect and the deck is normal.

lf you get the chance, you can also casually flash the back of the ca rd (F ig. 36)
after you have ' removed it from a pocket' , but don 't overdo it. I have mentioned
using this flash once, but twice is acceptable. They already see their name!
signature at the beginning and durin g the card-to-mouth sequence, so one or
two flashes is perfect.

Study the card-to-mouth sequence carefully. 1 have given yo u a tec hnique which
in itself will get gasps. 1 have been doing it thi s way since 1 was a teenager and
have only ever shared it with a coupl e of mag icia ns. Be prepared for some rather
loud reactions.

The use of the Pirouette flourish and back palm are not just superfluous
additions; they increase the observable movement and visua! dyn amic s within
' Mernento' - which is exactly what we want. Any single card visual movements
or fiourishes that yo u can do will suit the purpose perfectly. After a while the
spectator accepts that you can make a card j ump abo ut, vanish or disappear in
impossible ways, and because there is so much visua! stimulus the spectator
simultaneously assumes that the card is sig ned on both sides and that this effect
is simply a display of virtuosic sle ight of hand. However, w hen the signature
changes, they will freak out. This end ing is totally unexpected and is see mingly
beyond anything that sleight of hand can possibly ex plain . The more visual
sltmul ~s, the more impactful the signature change w ill becom e. Therefore, if
~'ou think about it, 99% of 'M emento' is j ust psych ological cover designed to
rmpacj the ending.