moves straight off to the left. In the present method this angling is necessary to ensure a continuity of action: i.e., during the switch this angling is necessary therefore the audience must be prepared to accept the action during the switch.
The left hand pulls off each card by pivoting at the wrist: the left forearm does not move, but remains as rock steady as the right hand and arm. Again this enhances the illusion and makes the 45 degree pull-off appear more natural.
As the left hand begins to move back towards the right hand to remove the second card the card in the left hand is shifted slightly towards the body (i.e. an injog) by placing the left forefinger slightly over the top outer edge of the card. Please refer to figure 3B which depicts the action. Note also the left hand position in figure 3C. In effect the left hand "cradles" the card.
Figure 3C depicts the left hand beginning to remove the second card. As in the original Hamman count the first card in the left hand is placed directly below the packet in the right hand as the secon,d card is pulled off. The second card is pulled onto the left hand card and the left hand moves off to the left as before. Again as the left hand begins to approach the right hand to pull off the third card the two cards in the left hand are shifted slightly towards the body by the left forefinger. Thus far the audience has seen two blue-backed cards pulled off into the left hand and are now prepared to see a third blue-backed card pulled off into the left hand.
At this point two cards are squared and injogged in the left hand. The left hand is moving towards the right hand to pull off the third blue-backed card. The right hand holds a three card packet which, from the top down, consists of a blue-backed card, a red-backed card, and a red-backed card. In this part of the action the three cards in the right hand are pulled into the left hand while the two cards already in the left hand are left in the right hand to be counted as cards number 4 and 5 respectively. The effect is that five blue-backed cards have been counted into the left hand.
The switch is performed as follows: As the left hand reaches the right hand the cards in the left hand are placed below the cards in the right but injogged a fraction of an inch. As this happens the injogged packet contacts the pad of the right thumb. Figure 4 depicts the action at this point. Figure 4A depicts the injog, however the packets are shown separate: this is merely for clarity in practice the packets are contiguous
Contemporaneously with step 4 the following action occurs: because the lower packet is injogged the upper 3-card packet can be nipped by the left thumb and forefinger (middle joint) in a manner identical to the first two pull-offs. The technical problem at this point is to retain the two card packet in the right hand without dropping it on the floor (it is unsupported). ---
right thumb _
left little finger(4th)
^ To retain the two card packet the right thumb pushes down slightly on the injogged packet as the left little finger pushes up. The entire left little finger is utilized in this action. If reference is made to figure five you will note that the right forefinger is not touching either packet (more about this in a moment). The injogged packet is supported or nipped by the right thumb and the side of the left little finger. The upper packet is nipped between the left thumb and forefinger.
As the left hand moves away (and the pressure and presence of the left little finger departs) the right forefinger moves to the top outer right edge of the two card packet: see figure 6. It is not necessary to consciously control the movement of the right forefinger, it automatically "flops" from one packet to the other. Figure 5 is actually a frozen action shot. In practice the switch of the forefinger, though visible, is not noticed. I proved this empirically through demonstrations before magicians (a demonstration without explanation followed by explanation and a second demonstration confirmed that the movement is not noticeable).
The two cards now in the right hand are counted as cards 4 and 5 respectively onto the cards in the left hand. Of course a similar manner of removal is employed. The audience has seen five blue-backed cards and the two red-backed cards have been hidden.
Points to Note
1. The right arm and hand, and the left forearm remain rock steady throughout the count.
2. The left hand always approaches the right: the hands never move towards each other.
3. The actions during the switch are simultaneously executed.
4. The cards are counted 1-2-3-4-5 in a smooth continuous rhythm. I have timed my execution of the sleight and it occupies just under four seconds from beginning to end
(i.e. from the time the cards are held in the right hand until they are all in the left hand).
5. The attitude of the performer during this count is very important to the construction of the illusion. The impression you are trying to convey is that you are trying to display the cards as neatly and fairly as possible. Of course the ideal way to do this would be to deal the cards singly onto the table. However, this obviously is not possible. The position of the hands in this count, especially the right hand, appears slightly awkward (or "unnatural") to the spectators and therefore they must be placed at ease. To do this the performer must convey the impression that the cards are purposefully held in such a position so that the spectators can get a better (and fairer view): if the spectators believe this they will'ignore the grips.
6. The Hamman Count is not a false count but a false display: that is, the correct use of the count is to display the physical appearance of the cards, not establish the number of cards. As a false count (that is as a method of counting a packet as containing more or less the number of cards it actually contains) the Hamman count is inappropriate.
7. It may be necessary for the individual performer to make adaptations of some of the positions to suit the hands available.
MODIFIED Ray Waters
MODIFIED Ray Waters must have been one of the first people to be on the receiving end of Eric Mason's Moniker (Pabular Vol.3 No.2) during its road-testing in the Blenhiem Bar. I am surprised to find that as far as Eric knows, he and I are the only people using this most spectacular item of bar magic.
When I began to use this effect, I was rather worried by the fact that in some conditions it is necessary to have a 'fielder' to take the glass; my worry stemmed from the fact that I have no friends. I therefore decided that the glass must be deposited on my person, and got out my Topit (a device for vanishing a pack of cards, available from Davenport's). This is my presentation using the said device.
Make your fake by removing the handle from a standard beer glass using your favourite method; put Blu-Tak on the ends and lie in wait for your prey. Stick the fake on to the glass as described in the original routine, and persuade your victim that he must hold the glass by the (fake) handle with his finger and thumb, and must not open his fingers. Cover the glass and hand with a borrowed towel.
Now, with your coat unbottoned, and both hands under the cloth, remove thé glass with one hand while maintaining slight pressure of the fake on your assistant's fingers with your other hand. Say "Even if I put my hand on my heart and beg you to let go, don't open your fingers." As you say "Hand on my heart", suit the action to the words, dropping the glass into the Topit as your hand goes under your lapel. For lady assistants, the vulgar among us may wish to add "Even if I put my hand on YOUR heart, don't open your fingers, just scream."
Now, having more or less done the trick, announce that you are about to perform a great and beautiful wonder, to wit:- you will cause the glass to float with no means of support. Raise the fake and craftily slip it out of the encircling digits. Remove your hands to the corners of the towel and get your assistant to confirm that the glass is indeed floating. Ask if he would like to SEE this marvel, and when he says "Yes" reply "So would I", and whip away the cloth, immediately showing it empty. You now allow him to buy you a drink. If he says he DOESN'T want to see the glass floating, just say "Okay" and remove the cloth, he won't see it float. Do not buy him a drink.
Note:- You now have in your Topit a beer glass that nobody knows about; this is a good way to ensure a supply of glasses for making spare fakes. I offer to pay the landlord for the vanished glass as I can't get them back but have never been asked for the money. I hope that the prospect of free beer glasses may encourage other magicians to use Moniker. It's too good to file away and forget.
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