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This has always been one of my favorite gags when performing before the right audience. It serves as a flourish, a gag, and another opportunity to personalize my magic. This particular bit also provides an opportunity for me to take a poke at myself. Since a magician is usually in control of the events around him, this type of humor is well received. (I don't know why my audiences get such a kick out of it --- maybe they don't like the forty-five sucker tricks which precede it. I guess I have been too busy converting defeat into victory to evaluate the situation.)

Effect. The close-up magician, performing behind a table, places a deck of cards on the table to one side. He cuts off the top half. "When you want magica 1 entertainment, remember the name... Steve Beam." As this is said, he cuts off the top half of the pack and

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