this is a version of an E. G. Brown treatment of the Thought-of Card Across plot (see the aforementioned "Wandering Card" in Willane's Method's for Miracles, No. Three, 1952, or Trevor Hall's The Card Magic of Edward G. Brown, 1973, page 39), and is therefore related to "The Blushing Leaper." (I think Jordan's "Unknown Leaper" [see his Four Full Hands, 1921, page 27] plays a part in this history, but it would take some work to figure out exactly where.) Unlike "The Blushing Leaper," it has no kicker ending. Fortunately, because of its construction, it doesn't need one. Frankly, I never expected this effect to play as strongly as it does for lay audiences. I, therefore, originally relegated its use to once in a while, when I was sitting around with non-magician friends. After a few performances I knew I had a blockbuster. This is as strong an effect as anything you can do, and I present it that way. It doesn't read nearly as well as it plays, and magicians aren't nearly as impressed as lay people. It is not exaggeration to say that the most common reaction of lay audiences is a collective, audible gasp. The method is technically easy but it does require a fair amount of presentational ability. Learn it with the patter I've included and you'll have a powerhouse. You will need to rehearse this piece thoroughly before presenting it but, except for the Veeser Concept, the actions won't require much practice. By the way, I am aware that the name "Brownian Movement" was given to a treatment of this problem that appeared in Ibidem, though I didn't know it when I named the effect. I don't care; I like the name and I'm using it.
EFFECT: A remembered card at a thought-of position vanishes from its isolated packet to appear at the same position in the performer s packet.
Hand a spectator the cards and have them shuffled until he is satisfied they are mixed. While this shuffling is done, introduce the effect: "This next experiment is one I was reluctant to put into my program. It's risky, in that it doesn't always work. I have gotten it to the point where it works most of the time, so if it doesn't work, I'll repeat it until it does. You may wonder why I'd bother to go through all this trouble. It's like this: When I do it for you, you'll be impressed, but over the next week, when you think about it—and you will think about it— it will become increasingly impossible to believe. Perhaps a month from now, you'll be sitting around with some friends and you'll try to describe what you saw here today. You'll become increasingly incredulous that you could possibly be remembering it correctly. And perhaps a year from now we'll meet again, and you'll have had plenty of time to think about it. You'll try to describe to me what you remember me doing for you but with no faith in your own recall. You see, it becomes more impossible the more you think about it. That's a big build-up, so let's get on with it. Remove any twelve cards."
When the spectator has complied with your instructions, say, "It's not that I don't trust you, but it's important, so I'll count them." Do so, dropping the cards slowly and fairly into a pile.
Pick up the cards and spread them face up between your hands for all to see, and point out that there are some pairs, possible straights, etc.—whatever happens to be in the group. Offer the spectator the chance to change some cards for others. He is to be satisfied that the cards are a random, representative sampling. When he expresses satisfaction, proceed.
Give the packet an Overhand Shuffle; in that process in-jog the fourth card from the top. Here is how I manage this: I shuffle the cards briefly in sloppy blocks, then complete the shuffle by undercutting more than four cards, in-jogging a card and running three cards onto it. The remaining unshuffled cards are then thrown back to the bottom to complete the shuffle. While the cards are still somewhat messy, flip them face-up in your left hand. As you square them, convert the in-jog to a fourth-finger break above the four lowermost cards.
"Six of these cards are yours and six are mine. In a moment I'll show you your six cards; but before I do, I'd like you to think—just think—of a number between [stress the word] one and six.—You've thought of a number? Good. As I show you the cards, I'd like you to remember the card that appears at your number. Since you already have a number, you'll only have to concentrate on one thing, spotting your card, and I'll make it easy for you; I'll show them to you one at a time."
Sft THE VEESER CONCEPT AND ALIGNMENT INSURANCE
SSij;; The technique you are about to perform is a version of the Veeser Concept fM display It accomplishes the same goal as the Hamman Count but is far supe-fJS riot. Any time the Hamman Count is called lor. the Veeser Concept can be JMf substituted and I always do. It is to my way of thinking always a much better choice. I make no claim to the creation of this technique, only to some of the . fine points that give it additional deceptiveness. The key to making the count deceptive is the way in which you square the packet prior to beginning and the
. smoothness with which the count is performed. When you square the cards " a in preparation for the Veeser Concept, bevel the packet so that the uppermost m
w card is forward and to the left. This is accomplished by pressing against the left . .. side of the packet with the left thumb to produce the left bevel, and rocking fejw? the packet forward on your right thumb and second fingertip to produce the front bevel. With the packet "squared" in this way, its thickness is impossible to judge because the spectators can see only the edge of the uppermost card of the packet. I believe it was Mario, in a different context, who referred to this as the "razor edge." It is a useful mental image to help remind one of the need for attention to this detail. The bevel also makes it easier to pull off the card cleanly, iffig; I can assure you, once you have learned this technique, particularly adding my pgf extra touch, you will not want to go back to the Hamman Count. Fortunately, you won't have to.
With your right hand, grasp the packet of twelve cards in Overhand Grip. The right second finger should hold the packet at the extreme outer left corner. The Svji right thumb contacts and holds the packet at a point left of center at the near end. The right first finger should stay out of the way, curled above the face of fKti the packet. The left hand has a fairly wide fourth-finger break above four cards.
While the break is wide, the fourth finger does not enter into it but only holds Jiit it open with the flesh. Remember to keep the razor edge.
6 The left thumb pushes down on the card at the face of the packet and moves to the left, taking along the face card and the four cards below the break. The left first finger should press against the front edge of the cards producing the bevel discussed earlier. The slight overhang of the top card prevents the block below i'jv; it from being seen from the front and left sides. The large break is maintained between the single, upper card and the four-card packet below it, and the entire ■iffi packet is tipped downward fairly sharply at the front. Aim the forward left corner toward the leftmost eye in your audience. This cants the packet slightly but helps to protect the vulnerable right side from exposure. To the audience it should appear that the left hand holds only one card. As you take this "card" you say, "If you're thinking of one, this will be your card."
The left hand returns to the right-hand packet and draws the next card off the face and onto the left hand's card (actually a packet). "If you're thinking of two, this will be your card." Continue to draw off cards and specify their positions until you've taken the fifth card from the face of the right-hand packet. As you pull the sixth card into the left hand, leave all the cards above the break beneath the right-hand packet and draw the sixth card onto the four cards that remain in your left hand. If you've done everything correctly, you should have five cards in your left hand, only one of which has been seen by the spectator. Gesturing with the left-hand packet, say, "These are your six cards." Place this packet face down on the table. Make sure that the spectators see your hand come away empty from the tabled packet.
Take the right-hand cards and turn them face down. Use a Push-Off Count to display the seven cards as six, without reversing their order, making the packet somewhat sloppy and holding the last two cards squared as one. Use the Steranko Move on the last card (see my variant on page 35), if you can do it well. Close the spread with the double sixth card, adding it to the bottom. The accompanying patter is "And these are my one, two, three, four, five, six cards." Square your packet and lay it face down on the table.
With your hands obviously empty, make a magical gesture, moving from the spectator's packet toward yours. Look at the assisting spectator and say, "I think I got it, but I'm never sure." Ask the spectator, "Do you remember how many cards there were in your packet?" The spectator will respond, "Six." Count them to the table saying, "There are now one, two, three, four, five cards."
Fairly pick up your packet and ask, "And in this packet?" The spectator will respond, "Six." Count the packet into a fan: "There are now one, two, three, four, five, six, seven cards." Look straight at the spectator and say, "Don't tell me the name of your card just yet, only the number you're thinking of. What number did you think of?" The spectator should answer with a number between one and six. If he says, "Six," drop your cards on top of his with a sense of resignation and say, "It didn't work." Shuffle the cards, have the spectator think of another number and repeat the display and Veeser switch. This will rarely happen because of the stress on the word between in your instructions. This miss is not a real problem since you've warned the spectators that it doesn't always work. It's been my experience that on the rare occasion when this happens, it's stronger the second time. It's like a juggler missing.
We will assume that the spectator said, "Five." Count from the top down in your fan to the fifth card. Jog it forward and say, "At the same position in my packet as it was originally in yours, a merely thought-of card.—For the first time name your card." When the spectator does, dramatically turn over the card protruding from the fan and drop it in front of him. The audience will be stunned. I am honestly accustomed to hearing an audible gasp. Don't say a word; let the silence hang. Drop your cards on top of the spectator's and the whole packet on top of the deck. Take a bow.
NOTES: The key to selling this effect is that everything must be done slowly and with painstaking fairness. Your every word must convey precision. The combination causes the audience to believe they've seen a miracle. You may be happily surprised to have people come back a week or so later and tell you that you were right: They do keep thinking about the effect and its impossibility. It is, of course, a self-fulfilling prophecy.
If doing a standing performance, I will perform Ed Mario's handling of this effect, using his extremely clever Switchless Switch. This can be found in Ireland's Card Annual 1956, page 15; and in Card Tricks for Cardicians, 1978, page 15. When I do Eddie's version I skip the False Counts of the two packets he uses just before effecting the magical translocation. I feel the Counts add little to the conviction of the piece and may arouse as much suspicion as they quell, at a high cost to the pacing.
In performances before larger groups, up to about a hundred people, this is one of my favorite effects to perform. Lay people seem to respond almost viscerally to it. With proper presentational skills, in formal performance, this is a most highly recommended effect. I've also fooled rooms full of magicians with this handling. The Switchless Switch is one of Eddie's many under-appreciated and little-known techniques.
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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.