Turnabout Card

Effect: A known card, held face-down in one hand, turns instantly face-up when snapped. There is absolutely no hint of the card being turned or flipped over—since it is not. The visual effect is akin to a color change and must be seen to be fully appreciated.

Method: The secret to this surprising reversal resides in an unusual application of the "Hofzinser" top change. Though this top-change handling was inspired by one of J.N. Hofzinser's (Hofzinser's Card Conjuring, pp. 47-48), it is more accurately the invention of Cy Endfield (ref. The Gen, Vol. 8, No. 3, July 1952, pp. 88-89; also Cy Endjield's Entertaining Card Magic, PartTwo, pp. 41-43). In the early 1950s Fred Kaps showed Mr. Elmsley his variant of the Endfield top change, in which the card to be changed was held between the tips of the right first and second fingers. While experimenting with the sleight, Mr. Elmsley devised the surprising reversal just described.

The Elmsley sequence is extremely visual and, from start to finish, consumes roughly ten seconds. Therefore, you will more than likely wish to integrate it into a longer trick or routine. The card that will be turned must, in the beginning, be positioned second from the top of the deck. This can be a chosen car d, an "ambitious" card, a specific card that has been in play previously, or any card at all.

With the deck held face-down in left-hand dealing grip, execute a double lift and display the face of the double card. Then deposit it, still face-up, on top of the face-down deck, sidejogged for half its width. Extend the left thumb fully across the deck to hold the double card In place: and lightly contact the back of the double with the tips of the left second and third fingers (Figure 79).

Revolve the left hand palm-down, at the same time retracting the thumb and pulling the displayed card square

Move the face-down card to the right and away from the deck. As the card leaves the pack, catch a left fourth-finger break between the reversed card and the deck. Immediately turn the left hand partially palm-up, but keep the outer end of the deck tilted slightly upward, so that the face-up card on top cannot be seen by the spectators (Figure 82).

Now, as you stroke the right hand's card once, flicking it off the left thumb, execute the "Hofzinser" top change, exchanging the face-up card from the deck with the face-down card in the right hand. Mr. Elmsley uses the End-field handling of this sleight, with only a minor alteration: he works the change from the fourth finger's break, instead of pushing the top card to the right, which would expose its reversed condition.

First, it is most important that the right hand not move during the top change. Mr. Endfleld recommends anchoring the right elbow against your side to ensure this. Hold the right hand and its card at roughly waist height. The deck rests in left-hand mechanic's grip, with the thumb angled diagonally across the outer left corner.

with the pack (Figure 80). The second card of the double is kept stationary by the fingertips. The action is very close to that of a Downs change.

Grasp the inner right corner of the projecting card, pinching it between the right thumb (above) and forefinger (below), as shown in Figure 81. In the eyes of the audience, this is the card they just saw face-up a moment before.

Mention the name of the card that was just shown, and make a small gesture with the right hand's card, to affirm its alias. Move the left hand to the right and swing the deck up under the right hand's card, allowing the card to glide beneath the left thumb (Figure 83). As the deck moves square with the right hand's card, slip the tip of the right first finger into the fourth finger's break; that is, permit the right inner corner of the face-up card to slide between the right hand's card and the tip of the right forefinger.

Immediately pull back with the right forefinger, drawing the face-up card diagonally inward while both thumbs retain the upper face-down card square on the deck (Figure 84). When the face-up card has been pulled back half an inch or so, it can be gripped by its inner right corner between the right thumb and forefinger; and the left thumb can bear down on the outer left corner of the facedown card, clipping it to the deck.

Now turn the left hand smartly outward and palm-down with a deft flick of the wrist (Figure 85). This causes the face-up card to snap from the deck, as if it had been snapped off the left thumb — and the change is done.

Some performers snap the card off the left thumb once or twice, using actions that appear

outwardly identical to those of the top change, before actually executing the change. Others follow the change with one more snap off the thumb. (Both ideas were originally suggested by Mr. Endfield.) This, of course, is a matter of style best left to the discretion of the individual. The action of stroking or stropping the card, by the way, in the context of such maneuvers, is believed to be an idea of Carmen D'Amico's (ref. Sharpe's Expert Card Conjuring, p. 44).

The secrets to perfecting this style of top change are smoothness and sureness of action, combined with a lightness of finger pressures as the cards are exchanged. Done properly, the change of the facedown card to a face-up one is startling and instantaneous.

One last note: If the left fourth finger catches a break under the face-down card as the change is made, the sleight can be immediately repeated, causing the card in the right hand to turn face-down again.

November 1953

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