I consider "Card Warp" (released as a one-trick manuscript in 1974) to be among the most unique effects of the twentieth century, and a masterpiece as it was originally intended to be performed. In spite of all the variations that have seen print in the ensuing years, none have improved upon the gem at the core. I will not either, nor is there any need for me to do so. Instead, I will offer an improved means of beginning the effect and an ending that approaches par with the rest of it. I believe these both to be important contributions, without losing sight of Walton's original stroke of genius. To Roy Walton, I offer my most heartfelt congratulations and my enduring gratitude for sharing this fruit of his brilliance.
I first learned about "Card Warp" and began performing it in early 1973. My earliest notes, which include the method for how I get into the effect, are as dated above. From that date, I did not change a move or handling detail for almost twenty years. In 1992, my dear friend, Noel Coughlin, showed me an unknown creator's bit of topological kirigami called "The Hyper Card," which Kim lies, Martin Gardner and Karl Fulves had introduced to the fraternity (Pallbearers Review, Vol. 10, No. 10, August 1975, page 1042; and Chronicles, No. 1, 1978, page 1067). Somewhere along the way, in playing with the idea, it dawned on me that the Hyper Card would combine very nicely with "Card Warp." Within fifteen minutes I had figured out how to make the combination.
I've performed "Card Warp" easily a thousand times. It was a regular part of my trade-show work. Still, no sooner had I come up with this new ending and my method for performing it than I knew this was a change I would have immediately added. As it happens, having retired in 1982, I haven't done a trade show since. Nevertheless, since creating it I've done it at nearly every cocktail party, bar mitzvah and dinner show at which I've had occasion to perform. That is, admittedly, far fewer performances than the main part of the routine but still sufficient to persuade me that my enthusiasm is justified.
EFFECT Two cards are selected from an incomplete deck. They are put through the original "Card Warp" machinations. At the end of the sequence they are torn and twisted into the visually impossible configuration known as a Hyper Card and given to the spectator as a souvenir.
REQUIREMENTS: You will need twenty or more cards and a box in which to carry them. You will also need a small stapler that is convenient to carry in your pocket.
SET-UP: Prepare one card as required for "Card Warp" and place it on top of the deck, prepared edge oriented toward the right. Place any other card above it. Put the cards into the box so that, when the notched side is up, the prepared portion of the card is on your right.
DISCLAIMERS: "Card Warp" presents an ethical dilemma any resolution of which is unsatisfactory. When one encounters such a situation, each individual must find a position that he or she can abide. "Card Warp" is, or was, a marketed item, offered by its creator in manuscript form. Remuneration for its content should accrue to its creator. Since it was marketed, others have taken it upon themselves to expose the secret in print. These individuals—with possible exceptions—have not altered the method or the effect. At best, they have altered the handling or some superficial details. Thus, they have justified the theft of the originator's idea with incidental alterations. The result of these actions has been to deprive the originator of a potential sale of his manuscript. Legally, they may be within their rights to do so. I find it ethically deplorable. That said, an ethical problem arises when one has the legitimate goal of sharing newly created elements that may prove desirable without depriving the creator of his just compensation. My solution, however problematic, is to share my handling, little of which is original with me (except as noted), and presentation, which is an amalgamation of ideas from various sources, without directly divulging the original method. It may be possible to ascertain the core secret from this description but that is not my intent. You might work out the method by seeing it performed as well, but that would not be the intent of the performer. Provided the performance is competent, no ethical line is crossed by doing so, from either side. I strongly recommend that you obtain the original "Card Warp" manuscript from a reputable dealer. This act will ethically entitle you to know, use and perform the original version. As owner of this book, you will then be entitled to perform my version. In sum, if you don't own the original "Card Warp" manuscript or some other version that may come from Mr. Walton, you should not perform the routine in any form, including that herein described. I would suggest that if you know the method as a result of the theft of some other individual who published the secret without permission, you owe Mr. Walton his just recompense. That's a decision you must make for yourself. I am strictly offering counsel.
Some of the details of this handling are as they are as much due to habit as for any other compelling reason. It is important that you set up and perform the sequence the same way each time, so you don't need to think about it. It is not essential that it be exactly the way I do it. It is easiest for me to assure that I'm giving you complete instructions if I describe it as I do it, so I will. I do not suggest you are bound by my choices.
I have great difficulty doing this routine without the patter and almost as much trouble doing the patter without the handling. The two are intricately keyed to each other. I, therefore, audio taped a performance and dutifully transcribed it. I will endeavor to integrate that transcription with my description of the handling. This is, I believe, the best way to teach it. I've put all the patter in italics and the actions in normal type. While the patter will appear to precede or follow the action, in performance they are coordinated.
1 Most people have no idea how many decks of cards a performing magician goes through in an average year. I could tell you but you wouldn't believe me—no one ever does. Suffice it to say life is not easy for a working magician. I could tell you stories The important thing is that I've found something absolutely incredible to do with my old, worn, used, sticky, battered, beaten—you get the idea—decks of cards.
As you can see, this isn't a full deck. I've often been told I wasn't playing with...any way.
2 Remove the cards from their box and give them a brief Overhand Shuffle. As you cut the cards at the prepared card, bringing it to the top, raise your hands and tip them back slightly in preparation for showing the faces to the audience. This has the additional function of preventing the preparation from being seen. After completing the cut, spread the cards between your hands, with the faces toward the audience.
They are, however, all different.
3 Close the spread and lightly square the deck. Place your right thumb over the prepared area of the top card. Lower your hands and spread the deck for the spectator to touch two cards. Out-jog the two selections in place as they are indicated.
You, sir [or ma'am], would you just touch the backs of any two of the cards?
Close the spread and, without squaring, adjust the deck to right-hand Pinch Grip. Use your left hand to strip out the two out-jogged cards. Slide them onto the deck, slipping them far enough under the right thumb so they will stay as you move the deck into left-hand Dealing Grip. As you square the cards, obtain a break under the top three. Tipping the deck back slightly will help ensure that the preparation doesn't inadvertently flash before it is covered by the two cards above. Lift off the three cards, as two, with your right hand holding them from above.
NOTE: If your thumb is long enough, you can span the deck and keep the preparation covered, saving yourself a few grip transfers. (My thumbs are too short.) You would extend your left thumb across the deck and, with your right hand, strip out the out-jogged cards, swiveling them out to the right. Place them on top of the deck by sliding them under your left thumb. Then pick up the break under the top three cards as you square the deck.
Peel the top card onto the deck and put the remaining double card on top of it.
Square extremely briefly, using only the left fingers, and immediately push over the top two cards, taking them into your right hand, thumb above and fingers below. The prepared section of the lower card will be hidden under the upper card. Place the rest of the cards aside. I often spread them on the table.
These are the two cards with which we will demonstrate our visual phenomenon.
NOTE: This sequence, which switches one of the two selections, is my application of a Clarke Crandall control technique (see Alton Sharpe's Expert Card Conjuring, 1968, page 77) to a Switch-Force. You will find it used elsewhere in this volume as well. I like it.
Hand the upper card of the two you hold to the spectator who made the selections. This is easy but requires some attention to detail. Make sure your right thumb is over the prepared area of the lower card, ignoring the presence of the upper card, before your left hand slides the upper card from under your right thumb and presents it to the spectator.
Here, you take one—and fold it in half across its width, with the face on the outside. Neatness counts!
Make sure the spectator complies with your instructions by folding his or her card in half, neatly, with the face on the outside. Miming the action helps assure that the spectator understands. Continuing the preparation, fold your card in half along its length, with the face on the outside. Be careful not to reveal the prepared area but you need not be too "cozy" while folding.
I'llfold this one along its length, also with its face on the outside.
Take the widthwise folded card into your left hand and hold it with the creased edge on the right. Hold the lengthwise folded card in your right hand with the creased edge also to your right. Your right second finger should rest upon the prepared area, and your thumb should keep it closed with pressure from above. Bring the two cards together, the right hand approaching from the near right corner. It should appear that you're simply placing the long card onto the wide card (Figure 75). Actually, you engage the prepared section at the near edge so the near quarter passes below the wide card. This can largely be done by feel, so don't stare at your actions. When you're finished putting the cards together, the lengthwise folded card should extend past the far edge of the widthwise folded card (Figure 76).
Now, this may appear to be preparation for some bizarre form of modular origami but it's bizarre-er-er.
Reverse the fold of the widthwise folded card, flipping it over side for side and trapping the lengthwise folded card within. The creases in both cards, after this maneuver, should be on your left. This also sets the prepared section for the "warp illusion." The lengthwise folded card should be protruding from the widthwise folded card on the side farthest from you. Take hold of the packet with both hands (Figure 77). The thumbs rest above, and the second tl and third fingertips make contact below, at approximately the line where the edges of the lengthwise card run within the widthwise card. Your first fingers should remain free, as they will be used to push the lengthwise card through the widthwise card. Your other gripping fingers, in addition to providing a guide path, contribute control pressure.
If I put the two cards together, with the long card on the outside, nothing worth looking at happens—hut if I put them together with the long card on the inside, so the card on the inside has its outside on its outside but its outside is inside the inside of the outside card, then things get interesting.
Push the lengthwise folded card slowly through the widthwise card until its forward edge is flush with the forward edge of the widthwise card (Figure 78). The warp illusion is revealed. I find it best to remain silent during the moments when the warp illusion becomes visible. \ /
When I push on the card inside, the card turns from outside in to outside out, or is it inside out to inside in?
Turn the entire packet over sideways, then end for end. Open the widthwise card from right to left, the lengthwise card remaining on the right (Figure 79). This may seem strange at first, because it isn't the way one normally opens an object with its hinge on the left. It seems like opening a book with the pages turned downward. You will become accustomed to this odd procedure. As you open the widthwise card, within it a flap on the lengthwise card will also open. Move this flap to the left, along with the left half of the widthwise card. Use your left fingers to cover the opened flap of the lengthwise card, extending them across the face of the left portion of the widthwise card. Rotate the left hand palm down and raise the hand to allow the audience to view the lengthwise card held pinned to the right side of the opened widthwise card (Figure 80).
Rotate the left hand palm up again and lower it. Close the widthwise card from left to right, the reverse of the way you opened it.
The important thing is that it happens to the whole card, end to end, side to side, for the entire inside and outside, as long as they remain inside the outside card. Some people find this rather incredible display incredulous [sic]. I know I do.
13 Once again, position the packet in your hands in readiness for pushing the lengthwise card through the widthwise one. Push the lengthwise folded card through the widthwise card and the warp illusion is revealed again. Turn the entire packet end over end.
Still, if I push the inside card in, it goes from inside in to inside out, or outside out to outside in.
14 Open the widthwise packet from right to left again. And again open the flap along with the left half of the widthwise card. Use your extended left fingers to once more conceal the flap of the lengthwise card. If you've performed the sequence as I have described it, a face will show. Rotate the left hand palm down and raise it. Then return the hand to its previous palm-up position. Close the widthwise card from left to right and turn over the packet sideways.
And, like I said, it happens from end to end, side to side, for the entire inside and outside as long as they remain inside the outside card. Remember, the important thing is that it happens to the whole card, end to end, side to side, for the entire inside and outside as long as they remain inside the outside card.
15 Once again take the packet in both hands to provide a guide path through which the lengthwise card can travel. Begin to push the lengthwise card through but stop half way. Angle the lengthwise card by moving its far end to the right within the widthwise card. Swivel the near end to the left until the forward left corner of the width-wise card covers the middle of the lengthwise card, concealing the division line. Pinch that corner between the left first finger and thumb, with the first finger below (Figure 81).
Rotate your left hand palm down, showing the opposite side of the angled card. Rotate the hand palm up.
Now, I could do this all day but, as impressed as you are now, you would tire of this amazing visual illusion. That's the kind of world we live in. So, for the jaded but insatiable, I'll go one step further.
Rotate the lengthwise card back to its original parallel position within the widthwise card, then rotate the ^^V/^^ii'
packet a quarter turn clockwise. j j \
about one-quarter extends on the \ \ X
quite inside or outside, like so, it's amazing but half the card is inside in and half the card is inside out. Half the card is outside in and half the card is outside out, all at the same time. Aside from that, it's inside in and inside out on both sides and the other side. Now I'm beside myself. I used to have a wife but all this playing with the cards and with the house allfull of used decks Well, she decided she'd rather be outside than inside. Like I said, life is not easy for a working magician. I could tell you stories Anyway, let me show you the strangest part of this whole spectacle.
Tear the upper layer (the unprepared half) of the protruding section upward and back, tearing it from the edge to the center crease (Figure 83). Press the newly torn section closed again g^
trudes for about one-quarter \
unprepared half) of the pro- \ , truding section, from edge to \ /
If I catch the card halfway inside in and halfway outside in and tear it, I can then push it back through until it's half outside out and halfway inside out and tear it again.
17 Pull the lengthwise card toward the left, aligning its mid-line with that of the widthwise card. While holding the cards vertically, let the widthwise card spring open at the top and slip your left thumb and right fingers inside their respective ends of the lengthwise card (Figure 84). If you now spread open both cards together and press their creases at both ends flat, a small flap will open toward you under your right fingers, and another will open away from you under your
left thumb (Figure 85). This is as it should be. Rotate the widthwise card ninety degrees (Figure 86)—and, voila, Hyper Card!
18 Adjust the Hyper Card on the opened widthwise card so all four corners are aligned. Pull the stapler from your pocket and staple the two ends of the Hyper Card, directly across the center seam, perpendicular to the lengthwise crease (Figure 87).
...but you, sir [or ma'am], for being so helpful, can take it home with you. Show left thumb (Figure 85). This is as it should be. Rotate the widthwise card ninety degrees (Figure 86)—and, voila, Hyper Card!
Once it's torn, it can't be turned inside out or outside in anymore, so the card is trapped, so to speak, in a topological no man's land. No words can explain it, no mind can retain it...
it to your friends. Show it to your bved ones. Leave it to your grandkids in the will. Tell 'em that a bnely magician with too many cards and not enough room for a bed gave you these cards. Tell'em no words can explain it; no mind can retain it. Tell'em life is not easy for a working magician. Oh, and don't forget to tell 'em he thanked you. Thank you!
Section Four Two Principles
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Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.