Circa 1973

As you deliver this short monologue, your left hand is busy at your side, moving the card in Gambler's Cop to a sort of Front Palm with all four fingers wrapped

around one end of the card (Figure 150). (My dear friend, the late Russell Barnhart, refers to a similar position as "Master Palm.") The left: hand next moves to the left edge of your jacket, just below your lapel. Feed the edge of the card closest to your wrist under your jacket as you take hold just below where your lapel begins. Once the card is concealed by the jacket, slide the hand up, until it has hold of your lapel, and pull your jacket away from your body. Your right hand moves toward the opening you've just created. Stop just before your right hand enters your jacket and clearly show the hand empty by exaggeratedly wiping your brow, adjusting your glasses or some similar action. Finally, move your right hand all the way into your jacket, as though reaching into your inside jacket pocket. Actually, you move the right hand all the way to your left armpit but break the wrist back sharply and extend your right fingers to grab the card you hold behind your lapel (Figure 151). As soon as you've grabbed the card, rotate it in your fingers so it is aligned to be loaded into your wallet. With a Balducci or Washington Wallet, for example, the card should be oriented vertically and held at your fingertips. Jam the card into your wallet, grab the wallet securely and withdraw it from your pocket. As the wallet is being withdrawn, your right fingers will be wrapped around the end of it, where it was just loaded. If the card isn't perfectly loaded, you can finish driving it in by pulling the wallet against the innermost phalanges of the fingers. With just a little bit of practice, you will find you can load the wallet as rapidly as you can get your hand into and out of your pocket. Viewed from outside the jacket, it appears that the empty right hand did just that and no more. It is uncanny how rapidly and convincingly this sequence can be performed.

NOTE: This is the technique that Derek Dingle and I developed one late night, at a bar called "Mikado," in New York City. It was a joint effort and I can no longer determine exactly who came up with which part of it. Such is the nature of ideas that grow from brainstorming sessions. I am certain that when I performed the technique for Frank Garcia, about two days after Derek and I had developed it, Frank was incredulous that I could be doing what it was clear 1 was. He had me perform it dozens of times and

eventually teach it to him in detail, then watch him perform it until he had mastered it. At some time thereafter, it was reported to me, he did a series of lectures in various parts of the country. During those lectures or in subsequent post-lecture sessions, he would perform the technique and allow or encourage those for whom he was performing it to believe that the technique was of his creation. From that day to this, some people who have taken to using this Speed Load technique, which has never been published in detail, have assumed it to be Garcias idea. I might also mention that Gary Kurtz has an excellent touch on loading a card into an inside jacket pocket or wallet that can be applied to many types of wallets but does not readily lend itself to use with the Balducci wallet (see "The Empty Hand," page 51 of Unexplainable Acts, 1990). I recommend it for those who prefer other types of wallets.

Bring the loaded Ambitious Card from the compartment in your wallet—and enjoy the audience's reaction.

CLOSING NOTES: As I observed earlier, I have long felt that the performer must set up at least a rudimentary reason for the repeated insertion of the card into the deck. My reason, albeit contrived (not placing the card into the middle when I say that is what I'm doing), allows for the repeats. As I've also mentioned, I have never been completely happy with this presentational approach, nor with the Card-in-Wallet ending for an Ambitious Card routine. These matters, however, have attracted little attention from the magic community at large. I'd be extremely pleased to find or learn of a better presentational device. Nevertheless, the plot is so fundamentally sound that even without this element it works for almost all audiences. I experimented at one time, briefly, with the idea of doing this routine without patter, and the plot still worked. I suspect that the reason more attention hasn't been paid to this void is that the plot seemingly always carries the day. I may never find a way to satisfy my desire for a better presentation for the Ambitious Card plot but by raising the issue I hope I'll motivate others to consider the matter. If you come up with anything, please share it. Don't heed those who assert that there's nothing left to contribute to the Ambitious Card plot. Remember, there were those who wanted to close the patent office in 1900.

Section Three

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