What A Party

Effect: As the performer discusses the trials of hosting a successful party, he removes twelve red and twelve black cards from the deck. These cards are used to represent the guests at the party. The red and black cards are alternated, but then, in illustration of the host's problems in keeping his guests amicably mixed, the cards magically form pairs of colors, then go back to single alternation, only to group in color triplets, and finally to segregate completely into red and black cliques.

Method: Mr. Elmsley, commenting on this trick, observes: "I consider Bill Simon's effect 'Call to the Colors' among the most original tricks we have had in a very long time. One of the marks of a really good trick is that one immediately alters it completely in an effort to gild the lily. My gilded lily grew in an effort to find a presentation and climax for the effect."

Bill Simon's "Call to the Colors" (ref. Effective Card Magic, pp. 7981) was founded on a packet effect by John Scarne, "The Scarne Puzzle", which Mr. Simon described in his booklet, Controlled Miracles (p. 21). Both tricks are built on the second deal. In the treatment about to be taught, Mr. Elmsley has added faro techniques and a whimsical presentation, elevating the effect from a merely interesting display of skill to an intriguing and entertaining premise with which many in the audience can identify.

Run quickly through the deck and assemble on the table a pile of twenty-four face-up cards, the colors of which alternate. As you openly sort through and arrange the cards, explain: "Have you ever thrown a party for friends? I wonder then if you have the same anxieties that I do? You pick your guests so carefully. You introduce Bill to Sam, because they're both interested in music. You ask Henry to meet Jean because they both have a dachshund."

Once the twenty-four car ds are set in alternating color order, put aside the balance of the pack. "Imagine that these cards are my guests. As you see, the cards are alternated red and black, which your flustered flight up the stairs and down again by removing the top card of the packet and gesturing comically with it. Then replace it on top. This is done to support the ear lier transference of the top (though actually the second) card to the bottom of the packet.

"...you find your party completely divided into two groups at opposite ends of the room." The two faro shuffles have completely segregated the colors for you. All you need do is rapidly deal the first twelve cards into a face-up column on one side of the table, and the second dozen into another column on the other side.

Notice how Mr. Elmsley has neatly edited the original Simon trick, using only twenty-four cards instead of the full deck. This eliminates any chance of tedium, and lessens the number of second deals required. It is worth noting that (as he has done in previous tricks, like "Second Link", pp. 183-185, and "Diamond Cut Diamond", pp. 186-188) attention is naturally drawn to the faces of the dealt cards as you turn them up, and away from the actions of the second deals themselves. The faro shuffles are also simplified by the use of small packets. But the most important contribution here is the entertaining stoiy line that enhances the magical rearrangement of the colors, making the trick as charming as it is astonishing.

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