Written, Edited

Copyrighted ^

by Steven L.Beam

Mark showed this to me in Gatlinburg at the Winter Carnival of Magic. After 1 stopped laughing, 1 carried him around asking him to show it to everyone. It is visually funny, and provides opportunities for humorous patter if desired.

In effect, the magician walks out on stage wearing only a sports coat above the waist. Other than the coat, he is topless. (For other forms of being topless, refer to the bald issue.) He states that he is wanting to open his show with the "Don Johnson" trick. He turns around so that his back is toward the audience. He lifts the collar of his coat up as if using it as a foulard to cover himself. He shakes it a few times and then lowers it. Apparently, nothing has happened. However, upon turning around to face the audience, he is now seen to be wearing a shirt.

The Work. This is clever stuff. Start by donning a tee shirt. Place the shirt on in the regular manner. To set up for the trick, grab the front shirt tail and accordion pleat it up toward your neck. When you have the bulk of the material together, lift this over your head and bring it to rest on the back of your neck. Note that your arms are still in the sleeves. Only your head has been removed from the shirt. This position, the starting position, is shown in the illustration.

Now place your sports coat on in the regular fashion. Check to make sure none of the shirt is visible to the audience. It should appear that you are wearing only a sports coat above your waist. You are now ready to perform.

Enter wearing the coat as described. You may lift up the front edges of the coat to allow a glimpse of your naked sides if you desire. It appears to be impossible that you could actually be wearing a shirt at this point.

When you are ready for the shirt to appear, turn your back on the audience. Grasp the collar of the coat behind your neck with both hands. Hold the collar between the thumbs and first fingers of each hand. As you grasp the coat, your little fingers reach under the shirt from the front and engage the bulk of the accordion pleated fabric.

This fabric is pulled up by the fingers as the hands pull the coat up over the head. The coat is pulled upward and slightly forward. As soon as the head is out of sight, the little fingers release the shirt. It wi1L fall down over the head. It will faL1 aLmost completely into the regular wearing position.

The coat is shaken gently a few times for effect. It is then lowered. The audience can't see the shirt from the back. As you turn around, both hands make the last few adjustments on the shirt. The audience should not see these adjustments. Since they only take a second, start them as soon as you release the coat by having your hands come to rest on the shirt. Adjust, and then immediately turn around revealing the appearance of the shirt.

Regurgitations. There are some tricks and gags that 1 find inherently funny. They present so many opportunities for humor that they almost make me tend to over do the humor. 1 just can't seem to leave them alone. Other examples of this are Wayne Kyzer's Reserved Seating (#9) and Glenn Strange's Time Bomb (#8).

Make no mistake. This item can stand on its own as it is magical in appearance. However, since you are standing there wearing only a coat, it seems a shame not to compliment the routine with something verbal.

1 like Mark's gag which is simple and to the point. He states simply that he wants to show the audience the "Don Johnson Trick". As Long as Miami Vice is on television, this is topical.

When its popularity fades, here are a few ideas 1 have been kicking around. The first thing that dawned on me was the need for an alternative opening. Enter with, "1 was playing cards with a few magicians last night... and 1 lost my shirt!"

Then, show your sides by lifting the coat up. After a second or two, look at the audience. "1 usually get applause at this point." (Or, if performing for magicians, say, "1 was doing some card tricks back stage and one of the spectators said 1 flashed." At this, imitate a flasher using your coat. This shows your chest empty without saying so.)

Another possible gag would be to rubber cement two handles to your sides. Lift the coat up to show the naked skin, accidentally exposing the "love handles".

Upon turning around and revealing the tee shirt, "Did someone say it was tea ('tee') time?" Or, if you don't feel comfortable doing the rest of the show in a tee shirt, you could assemble a special shirt using the front of a regular shirt and the back of a tee shirt. This would give you enough flexibility to get the button down shirt over your head and behind your neck.

The compromise here would be one of the tuxedo tee shirts. This is a tee shirt with the front of a tuxedo (ruffled shirt and tie) printed on it. This would appear a little more formal (and humorous) than a plain tee shirt.

Because you are semi-clothed, you have to choose your audiences carefully. After all, the sight of a bare busted beauty will probably take their minds off your card tricks. When you do have the right audience, this is a stunner.


One of the most useful items which has appeared in these pages is John Riggs's "Cold Fold" from page 92 of issue number six. 1 wanted to follow up with two of the uses John has been using with the sleight.

The first is to use the fold for a visual color change. Instead of doing the move as a secret sleight, it is done as a flourish. Start by holding the deck in the left hand by the very edge. The thumb is on top and the forefinger is underneath. (See the illustration.) The right hand holds the deck from above in Biddle position.

The deck is lifted up so that the face of the bottom card can be seen by the audience. From here, the left hand slides up to the Lop of the card, with the left second finger coming to rest on the top most part of the face of the card. This is the starting position for "Cold Fold" except that the deck is held vertically.

You now execute the sleight as follows. As soon as the hand reaches the top of the card, the pad of the left second finger drags the top of the card downward, causing it to buckle into the left hand. The righL thumb forms the

barrier against which the card is forced to fold in half.

The card is brought down to a position where it is folded completely in half. At this point, you have finished the color change. All that is necessary is to finish the sleight as per the original. That is, you use the left second and third fingers to fold the card around the right thumb.

The right thumb provides the pressure to make the crease necessary to fold the card into quarters. At this point, the card is fingerpalmed away in the left hand.

Don't worry about the heat being on the left hand. The hand is in such a position that it couldn't possibly hide a whole card --- and that is what they should be looking for. It is much easier to conceal something one fourth the size of a card in the hands.

Regurgitations. Smoothness is the only thing you need to perfect. It is a powerful change when done properly. The up and down motion of the left hand should appear as a flourish. There is no hint of a sleight being performed. It should appear as in any other color change where the hand is passed over the card which changes. As a card is destroyed with each change, practice with a borrowed deck.

COLD CASE John Riggs

This was derived from the preceeding. However, this use for the Cold fold causes the card case to change color. It is probably stronger than the preceding because if they are looking for anything, it's where the whole case just went. Since a case is much bulkier than a card, palming should not even enter into the guesses which will fo1 low .

It is necessary to slightly gimmick the case, just the bottom short edge. This must be of a different color than the rest of the case. If you don't want to use glue, you can remove the cellophane wrapper, place the new bottom on, and then replace the wrapper. I prefer glue so there is no discrepancy between the finish of the card and the finish of a cellophane encased case. The alternative would be to put a shiny finish of some sort on the card. The card is reusable for a number of times

--- but somehow it just doesn't seem worth the effort.

The last bit of preparation is to cut a half moon out of the card which should make it resemble the front side of a card case. Place this card in position on the case in the proper position so that the two half moons are aligned. The case is held in the left hand in dealing position with the gimmicked end toward the audience.

This is the opening position. To perform the change, you must lift the deck up so that it is held vertically

--- while at the same time not showing more than the two sides odd colored sides. The palm down right hand approaches the case from the near short edge. The thumb goes underneath the edge and the fingers go on top.

This short edge (the Lop of the case) is lifted upward so that the case is vertical, being held by the right hand from above. The left hand now moves around to the front of the case (the side nearest the audience) and takes possession of the case. The left thumb goes on the left side, the fingers on the right. This blocks out any side angles .

The right hand is now free to change positions. The right thumb goes underneath the case and the fingers come to rest on the top of the case. You are now in position for the vertical "Cold Fold" move described in the last trick.

Your left hand comes down beneath the case to allow for a full view of the case. Actually, the audience sees ihe gimmicked card. A simple up and down wave is all that is necessary to execute the move previously described ---

resulting in the visual change of the case.

At the conclusion of the change, the left hand (with the fingerpalmed gimmick) is in position to take possession of the case at the lower left corner between the first finger and thumb. The right hand now grasps the upper right corner with the thumb on the outside (side nearest the audience) and the forefinger on the side nearest the magician. The right hand now turns clockwise at the wrist turning the case over end for end. This is done as the case is handed to the spectator to remove the cards. If the cards same color as the case, that the contents have color."

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