Tour De Force

Effect: Five cards are quickly chosen by as many persons, then lost in the pack. These selections are rapidly produced from the shuffled deck in a variety of magical ways. Next, unexpectedly, the lucky selection from the datebook trick appears. This is followed by the two selections made during the deck stab; the jacks, queens, kings and aces from the poker deal; and a number of cards with various back-patterns from the joker packet.

This flurry of productions constitutes a summation of the entire act. Everything is drawn together in a remarkable and astonishing manner that has tremendous impact.

Method: Deck Two lies on the table after the Dazzle routine is finished. You will soon force the five cards at the face of this pack. First, however, during the interim following the previous effect, as everyone relaxes, reach into your right-side coat pocket and check the position of Deck Three to assure that it is still on end.

"I would like to do a trick in which lots of cards are chosen." With your right hand, pick up Deck Two and liold it in position to execute a Hindu shuffle; that is, gripped by the sides near the inner end, with the thumb on the left corner and the second finger Just forward of the right corner. The edge of the pack must contact the middle phalanx of the second finger, enabling the tip of the third finger to curl onto the face of the deck when necessaiy (Figure 281).

"This time I want to use some of you who are a bit farther back. Will you help me?" Single out someone to your right in one of the farther rows. "No need to move. Will you just say slop while I'm cutting the pack?"

Cutting the pack, as the reader will have surmised, consists of doing the Hindu shuffle force. Bring

the deck over the palm-up left hand and, with the left fingers and thumb, draw small packets of cards from the top of the deck. Let these packets fall, each onto the previous, on the left palm. When the spectator stops the procedure, hold up the balance of the right-hand cards so that he can see the card at the face—the three of clubs.

"Will you remember that card? Will all of you over there remember it? Good. And would someone over there call out stop again? How about you?" Here indicate someone to the left of the first person, but still in the right-hand section of the audience. Resume the Hindu shuffle until this person calls stop. As the first packet is pulled from the talon, the force card just shown is deposed from the face of the deck. This is accomplished by buckling the card lengthwise, using the tip of the right third finger to press it inward. Force the card against the tip of the thumb and make it belly downward (Figure 282).

This buckling is done as the top packet is gripped by the left hand. With the left fourth finger, contact the right edge of the buckled card and pull it down onto the packet on the left palm (Figure 283). Simultaneously move the right hand back, drawing its packet from between the top cards and those already in the left hand.

Pull further small packets from the top of the right-hand stock until a halt is called. Hold up the right hand's portion so that the second force card—the ten of hearts—can be noted.

Next indicate someone in the center and repeat the shuffle force. In doing so, strip the second force card from the face of the right-hand packet and display the third force card when stopped.

"Please remember the cards. This is my last trick, and if you forget your cards you'll ruin my climax." This caution, delivered in a mildly humorous fashion, is given to alert those spectators who have already noted cards and those who will in a moment. It is necessary at this point, as some people become so involved with the progress of the trick, they do forget their card.

Force the fourth and fifth cards in an identical manner on persons in the left section of the audience. If you draw off thin packets throughout the shuffle, you should be able to service all five spectators before you deplete the stock. However, if the spectators fail to respond quickly enough to have all five cards chosen on one run through the deck, replace the remaining force stock onto the left-hand portion, holding a break beneath it, and cut it to the bottom with a Hindu shuflle action. Then begin a second shuffle to complete the forces.

The Hindu shuffle force is shunned by some magicians as old hat. Such a judgment is most often myopic. The procedure allows cards to be selected quickly, without inconvenience to the spectators. Too, the selections are seen by a number of people, eliminating possible arguments about the identity of the cards, and thereby solving the problem of having cards forgotten. This method of swiftly forcing five cards is completely convincing to laymen; and, the handling Just explained, in which the face card of the right-hand stock changes each time it is shown, deceives magicians as well.

"Five cards chosen, five cards to be found—all by clever handling." As you say this, give the deck one further quick and casual mix. The style of shuffle is not of consequence, as no cards are being controlled. (Indeed, the deck may be shuffled by a spectator. However, Mr. Elmsley believes that such a course would slow the action without adding appreciably to the overall impact.)

After shuffling, check the position of the edge-marked card. If you find it too near the top or bottom of the pack, cut it to a more central location. It will be recalled that this marked card is the three of clubs—the fust selection.

Take the deck squared and face-down into left-hand dealing position, and address the first spectator on your right: "The first card chosen was over there. What was your card, please? The three of clubs... the three of clubs."

When the card is named, gaze at the deck and riffle with the left thumb down the outer left corner to the edge-marked card. Stop the

riffle just as the marked card escapes the thumb. Dig the thumb into the deck (Figure 284), below the three of clubs, then slide it to the left, from the center, and flip it face-up onto the pack (Figure 285).

"The three of clubs. The second card was chosen by someone over there. What was the card you chose, please?" As the spectator replies, the three is dealt face-up onto the table, about one foot forward of the near edge.

When the second selection is named, place the deck into your right-side coat pocket, investing much importance in this act. Lay the pack on its side so that it does not become confused with Deck Three, already there. Remove your hand from the pocket and blow on the fingertips, in the manner of a cinematic safe-cracker.

"The ten of hearts?" Shoot the right hand back into the pocket and bring forth the bottom card of Deck Three (that card nearest the body). "The ten of hearts."

Lay this face-up with the first selection, overlapping it slightly on the left. Return the hand to the pocket and remove Deck Three. The decks have thus been subtly switched in the action of producing the second selection. This location accomplished in the pocket is a strong effect to laymen, despite the simplicity of method. However, Mr. Elmsley moves briskly on, purposely suppressing its power and thus underplaying the momentary presence of the deck in the pocket. His aim here is to obscure the switch of decks as much as possible.

"The third card was chosen by someone there. What was the card you have chosen? The two of spades?" Turn up the deck to display an indifferent card on its face. Then perform the Houdini color-change, transforming this card to the two of spades:

Casually show the right hand empty, then lay it, fingers outstretched, over the face of the pack. With the tip of the right fourth finger, contact the outer right corner of the card on the face, and rest the tip of the left forefinger lightly against the end of the deck.

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Move the right hand slightly forward, sliding the card beneath it outward an inch, while the left forefinger follows along on the end of the card (Figure 286, right hand raised to expose the situation). Then draw the right hand back about two-and-a-half inches, apparently to provide one last look at the indifferent card. In doing so, bring the fleshy base of the right fingers lightly against the exposed inner end of the two of spades. Slide this card back with the right hand, letting the hand conceal it (Figure 287).

Halt the right hand's inward motion the instant the end of the two of spades clears the card above it. With the minutest downward pressure of the right hand, you can now cause the two to lever up and over the indifferent card. Immediately move the right hand forward again, carty-ing the two square onto the face of the deck (Figure 288). Under the screen of the right fingers, use the left forefinger to push the outjogged indifferent card flush; and raise the right hand away from the pack to reveal the change. Gentle pressures and cards in good condition greatly aid the execution of this sleight. (See Volume I, pp. 137-140, for a variant handling of this transformation.)

"The two of spades." Deal the two onto the ten of hearts, overlapping its left edge. As you do this, let the right hand be seen empty.

"That's one, two, three cards. The fourth one was over there somewhere. What was your card? The seven of diamonds?" As you ask this and await the answer, give the deck a brief overhand shuffle in which you run only the top three cards singly and toss the balance onto them. This action delivers the selections from the datebook effect and the card stab to the bottom of the deck in three-two-one order from the face. It also brings the fourth force card to the top of the pack, with the fifth just beneath it.

When the seven is named, take the deck face-up into left-hand dealing grip and turn it upright, left edge uppermost and face toward the audience. The seven of diamonds at the back of the deck is produced on cue with Jules Dhotel's pop-up card flourish (ref. Hugard's More Card Manipulation, No. 2, p. 25; Hugard and Braue's Royal Road to Card Magic, p. 183; or Dai Vernon's Inner Secrets of Card Magic by Ganson, pp. 65-66): With the tip of the left forefinger, contact the veiy edge of the top card at its outer end and pull it slightly away from the pack (Figure 289). Then, with the forefinger, push the card inward behind the pack for as great a distance as you can manage. The near upper corner of the pack should rest lightly on the left thenar, and friction between the sliding card and the heel of the thumb will cause the card to pivot and pop up behind the pack at a right angle to it (Figure 290, performer's view; Figure 291, audience view).

"The seven of diamonds." With the right hand, remove the seven and lay it on the tabled row of selections.

"The fifth card was chosen over here. What was your card?" The instant the nine of clubs is named it is snapped from the pack with a card spinning technique Invented by Audley Walsh (ref. The Tarbell Course in Magic, Vol. 4, pp. 127-128):

Adjust the deck to the following left-hand grip: With the face of the pack kept toward the audience, straddle the left end of the cards with the left first and third fingers. Curl the left second finger around the end of the deck and press its tip firmly against the card on the face (Figure 292). With the tip of the left thumb, contact the back of the deck at the lower left corner (Figure 293). The thumb must be kept straight and applies strong pressure to the pack.

You can now cause the top card to shoot from the deck by snapping the thumb upward (Figure 294). This imparts a counterclockwise spin to the card as it pivots around the forefinger and flies, in a rightward arc, through the air. Catch it neatly in the right hand and display it.

Mr. Walsh mentions several fine points that aid in learning this pretty flourish. The thumbnail should be clipped short, so that it does not impede the thumbtip's contact with the card. A slight convex bridge down the length of the face-down deck (Figure 293 again) can make the spin easier. Finally, it should be stressed once more that the thumb must remain straight and firm on the car d as it snaps it upward.

Should the reader wish to experiment, another technique by Audley Walsh for spinning a card from the deck can be found in the same Tarbell volume: it immediately precedes the one just described. Harry Lorayne's method hi Reputation-Makers (pp. 100-103) is also worthwhile, as is Martin Lewis' technique in Ricky Jay's Cards as Weapons, pp. 37-39; and there is Mr, Elmsley's "Little Finger Spinner" on pages 11-12 of this volume.

This concludes the near breakneck production of the five chosen cards. Place the fifth card onto the row with the previous selections. The audience, at this point, will burst into applause if given the chance. Once again, this natural response must be curbed, with the goal of building the applause into a larger hand. Leave no break for applause to start, but instead Immediately begin the final production of cards.

"I started this evening by telling our fortunes,.." As this is said, give the pack a brief casual overhand shuffle, transferring the three early selections from the face to the top of the deck: Hold the deck with its face to the left while the left thumb runs the first two cards and the balance is thrown onto them. Then run another card and toss the deck onto it. The datebook selection is now on top of the pack, and the two stabbed selections are just below it. Having completed the shuffle, let the deck settle face-up onto the left fingers.

"...and your card of fate was the eight of diamonds [or whatever]." Toss the deck onto the palm-up right hand, then immediately back into the left. On this return toss, though, let the right fingers hold back the lowermost card of the pack, using nothing more than simple friction. Display it, then lay it on the table just ahead of the row of selections already there.

"Then two cards were chosen and stabbed: the two of diamonds and the nine of spades." Here do an in-the-hands slip cut, dividing the deck into two packets, the right hand carrying away the upper third of the deck while the left thumb draws the top card onto the lower portion, (This cut must be made one or several cards above the bank of Dazzle backs to avoid exposing them prematurely.) Adjust the right hand's packet to dealing grip and cross the hands. Then with both hands perform simultaneous Vernon flourish deals (ref. Greater Magic, p. 220) to turn up the top card of each packet. That is, push over the top card with the thumb, as if about to deal it; clip it between the tips of the curled first finger, below, and second finger, above (Figure 295); then straighten the fingers, carrying the card off the packet and face-up (Figure 296).

Keep your arms crossed and raise both hands to shoulder height, while using the thumbs to pivot the two selections so that their faces

are always toward the audience (Figure 297), Hold this pose briefly, then lay the selections in an overlapping row on the datebook card. Reassemble the deck, placing the right hand's packet onto the left's.

"Then we talked about gambling and I cut the pack.,. to the four jacks... the four queens,.. mid the four kings." In time to these words, quickly riffle off three groups of four cards and spread each group face-up and vertically as its value is mentioned. Do this just forward of the new row of three selections.

It will be recalled that the fourth card in each of these court-card groups is corner shorted. This makes their production fast and sure. The left thumb merely riffles down to the first short corner and the right hand neatly cuts the group away. It will occur to some that the corner-shorted cards might be eliminated. But to what purpose? The deck is inescapably prepared, so the inclusion of corner-shorted cards is no debility. Why make things harder than they need be?

"We shuffled the pack and I dealt the ace of clubs, the ace of hearts, the ace of spades and the ace of diamonds," Deal the aces face-up, two to the left of the layout and two to the right of it.

"And finally there was magic, when the backs of all the cards changed color." Perform a Houdini color-change—or any other change—transforming the top card of the pack to an odd backdesign.

"And, in behalf of the supporting cast, the stars and myself, I would like to thank you." Ribbon spread the packet of multipatterned backs on the words "the stars". Keep the top few cards squared as the spread is finished, to conceal the blue back of the card second from the top.

Make this spread forward of all the other cards on the table (Figure 298), performing it with an expansive gesture that, in combination with the closing line, cues the end of the act.

Anyone who doubts the intensity of an audience's response at this point should reread the text. Everything is designed to elicit a thunderous hand.

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