We have already encountered the Hit variation of this Double Lift in Step 5 of "Trapped Ace Surprise," page 20. However, this seems the right place to address the handling in a bit more detail. The Hit method is nearly as efficient as the Push-Off and is easier of execution. Its weakness, if it has one, is that it is does not seem to prove the card is single. If the situation doesn't require such proof, or other actions in the effect prove the point sufficiently, the Hit is acceptable. The Vernon notion can be used in conjunction with the Hit approach (an approach most often associated with Doc Daley) and helps make the approach more outwardly logical and thus more natural. One advantage of the Hit approach over many alternatives is that a break need not be previously obtained. Securing a grip on the desired number of cards is integral to the technique. Unfortunately, many of those who use the technique lose sight of the important requirement that securing the multiple cards must remain secret. I was greatly pleased to learn that Steve Draun observes this same, all too common, fault in Secrets Draun from Underground, (1993; see "Double Lifts and Turnovers," page 14). We have also embraced a similar remedy. Thus, with a nod to Steve Draun's Heavenly Turnover, I'll describe my handling of the Hit technique, the WJ Two-Step Double Lift Hit Variation.
We will assume you intend to perform a Double Lift, rather than a Triple or Quadruple Lift, though the same approach would apply to each. With the deck held in Dealing Grip, use the left thumb to cleanly push over the top card.
NOTE: This genuine push-oft precludes the use of this technique where the card second from the top must be concealed. In such instances, you may wish to begin by obtaining a break, then apply Vernon's Double Lift, a one-handed simulated push-off approach (see The Dai Vernon Book of Magic, 1957, page 1 19). This negates the advantage of the Hit approach but may be necessary to preserve a consistent look in some situations.
When the card is side-jogged off the deck for about a third of its width, carry the deck to the right hand so the near right edge contacts the side of the first finger. This makes it very easy and logical to tip the deck back, necktie fashion, removing top of the deck from view. As soon as contact is made with the right first finger, the left thumb pushes off the second card to join the first (Figure 120). The right hand, at the same time, moves the top card back to the left and into alignment with the second card. When the two cards are perfectly aligned against the right first finger, that finger and the right thumb grip the right side of the card(s). You may find it helpful to curl the right second finger so it can assist in aligning the near edges of the cards. As in the original Two-Step Double Lift, raise the cards slightly, more at the back than at the front, and carry them forward and further to the right. Release the double card when it rests diagonally relative to the top of the deck (see Figure 121), pressing it against the top of the deck with the left thumb. The pretense is that you pushed the card to the right with your left thumb then took hold of the card with the right hand to move it forward. (This is quite similar to Steve Draun's technique.)
( That constitutes Step 1 of the TWo-Step Double Lift Hit Variatioi$
Having isolated the card(s), the right hand can release its grip and pause to gesture or perform some other action. When it returns, it can regrip the two cards as one at the right side, near the middle of the long edge. The right thumb takes hold from above while the first and second fingers grip from below.
When the right hand's grip is secure, release the left thumb's pressure completely but don't move the thumb. Instead, move the right hand to the right and
upward slightly. Allow the left fingertips to contact the left edge of the lower card. The left fingers will serve to guide the turnover. Lever the card over book-fashion, with the right edge of the deck as the hinge. Handle this as casually as possible. The card will fall face up in an out-jogged position. If you wish to leave the card(s) face up, you can obviously use the left first finger to pull the card(s) square with the deck. More often, you will want to duplicate the turnover action but release the card(s) to fall face squarely onto the deck.
NOTES: An argument can be made for performing the initial turnover so that the card(s) fall square with the deck or that a Heel Break be formed as they fall (the Airman Trap technique). This practice challenges the logic of having moved the card forward. However, it is not completely without logic, as the purpose for moving the card forward is as much related to demonstrating that the card came from the top as it is to positioning it where will ultimately be displayed. Thus, this approach, while viable, is not as logical.
There will be those who argue that the necktie action used to cover the alignment of the cards, prior to their turnover, weakens audience conviction that a single card is being displayed. I acknowledged this point earlier when I stated, "it does not seem to prove the card is single." This must be kept in mind when choosing whether to apply the Hit approach. The alternative is to lose the no-break advantage of the Hit or risk exposing the secret portion of the technique. I can't make that choice for you, but I have made it for myself and this technique offers those who share my convictions a way to salvage most of the desirable features of the approach. Having provided the tools, I leave it to your consideration.
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