With this issue, U»e Trapdoor starts its third year, 1986. I had no idea what publishing a magazine would be like two years ago. I originally had planned to have six tricks per issue, four issuès a year. In the first year alone, I went through sixty tricks — more than most monthlies. I've prided myself on thé fact that I wasn't giving you the four hundredth method for the Coins Across or the ace assembly. (I gave you the 350th.) Also, you didn't receive minor variations of already published material passed off as something new and newsworthy.

Instead, you received something that I use or would use. Since I don't often use tricks with giirmicks, you don't often see them in these pages. Most of the material is directly out of ny "active" file. Some of it is out of my "inactive- but - still- good" file. None of it is from ny "garbage- but- okay- to- put-in- as- filler- file" or ny "Looks-good- on- paper- file". (I'm saving that stuff for a complete book on the subject.) When I can't find enough good material to give you your money's worth, this publication will fold and I will go back to being the second best magician in Metropolitan Willisten.

As far as contributions are concerned, I'm in the fortunate position of having a backlog of my own material. If I receive a contribution that is something that I would not do, I don't publish it. It's that sinple. Also, the name of the contributor doesn't affect ny decision on the material. I won't publish something just because the person who contributed it is a "name". If Ed Never-say-Dai Mario & Dai TVo-Eds-are -not-better-than-one Vernon were to contribute two losers today, I would not waste space in this magazine explaining them. (I might spend eight or nijie pages telling you why I was not going to use them.)

Anyway, I hope Hie Trapdoor will continue on your list of must-Xerox publications and that you will continue. to get more out of it than you put in it. I do -— and each issue costs me a whole lot more than it does you.

When I was first starting out in magic, I hated to be fooled — especially with card tricks. I always wanted to know how the magician I was watching accomplished his favorite miracles. One of the major prerequisites to not being fooled is to follow the control. Therefore, I devised the following method to see if, and with what, he was holding a break. Hopefully, this will help some of the younger magicians who are just starting out.

The next time you are watching a magician do card tricks and you want to know if he is holding a break, quickly reach over and squeeze the deck as hard as you can. If he yells, he was holding a break.

If you want to know what type of break, use a pair of pliers. Whichever part of the hand he is holding while he yells (after he drops the deck) is the part he was using to hold the break. These are magic tidbits you just can't find anywhere other than The Trapdoor.

An interesting letter from John Riggs. (Are you listening Dexter?) "In Trapdoor #9 you documented some of the ever-growing controversy that is fast arising, over "duck" or "duct" tape. My operatives have discovered that "Duck Tape" is a brand name for a superior quality duct tape that is available in hardware stores. It is superior in all ways to any other brand of duct tape available, and I am

(Continued on page 189)

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