Now for something entirely different, an amusing stunt from Jan Heins. Take out a match and place it in your mouth. Remove a cigarette from its packet and strike it — as you would a match on the side of the packet. A flame appears on the end of it from which you light your match and smoke as you would a cigarette.
The preparation, which only takes a moment or two is quite simple. Cut a cigarette paper in half crosswise, and using one half make a miniature cigarette about the size of a match, and into one end push a small piece of liquorice cigarette paper (or similar coloured paper) to represent the head of the match, and put it in the box. On the cigarette packet stick the striking surface from the matchbox in the appropriate place and push a match into one end of a cigarette and replace in the packet.
An idea to give this stunt a magical finish. As the group watch you smoking the match — ^ (which they will) secretly obtain the pull you have previously fixed, and direct attention to the real cigarette, cause it to vanish, meanwhile 'tongue' the miniature which leaves you clean. Continue by taking a cigarette and lighting up in the normal way.
Finally, for this month a couple of stunts which are included mainly to make the list as complete as possible. A needle pushed down a cigarette enables it to be smoked through without any ash falling off. Can be interesting if you lean over something liable to be damaged by falling ash when there is about an inch or so of ash on the end. Also slightly sadistic — when offering to light someone's cigarette let the lighter close on the end trapping it. Not only does he lose the cigarette but very often some skin from his lip, when you take the lighter away.
torn cragi pyramid variation
I really liked the Pyramid Aces routine in the August 1977 issue of Pabular by Jerry Christensen. In working it out however, I find that the Ascanio Spread does not look like a pyramid even though the patter refers to it as such. I devised the following handling which makes the "Pyramid Patter" more logical.
Follow the Christensen handling up to and including the point where the aces are to be stripped out. The ace whose suit matches the selected card is taken last, so it is the rearmost ace. The selected card will be added to the rear of this ace. Now follow the JC moves of dropping the aces to the table. This leaves you with the selected card 2nd from the face. Now instead of turning the packet over, you call out the suit of the face ace. The right hand goes to the outer edge of the packet and withdraws the lowermost ace calling its suit, and places it to the face of the packet face up and then repeats this two more times. This leaves you with (reading from the face of the packet) three aces, the ace matching the selection and finally at the rear is the selection. Now you patter about the power of the Pyramid. The talon on the table is cut into three packets and placed as shown in A, B, and C.
The right hand lifts the face ace off the packet and holding it with thumb on top and index finger below, it lays the left edge of the card on the table linec^-up with and at the right edge of A. The thumb is released and the index finger flips the card over onto A. Immediately the right thumb and fingers pick this card off face down and place it at D.
The procedure is repeated twice more, placing the aces at E and F. You are now left with a double card. The ace visible to the audience and the selection beneath. The flip over move is repeated and the right thumb and fingers pick off the top face down card (the selection) and places it at G. You have now constructed a Pyramid. You patter about the power of a Pyramid and how the power starts at the top and works its way to the bottom. As this is said, you pick up the packet at A and get a break under the top card and perform the Braue reversal. The packet at B is put below this packet, and C is put on top. Now have the spectator name his selected card. Show aces at D, E and F. Snap the card at G and reveal it to have changed to the selection. lNow ribbon spread the talon face down revealing the remaining ace face up in the deck. If you merely wish to have the ace change to the selection, you eliminate the Braue reversal.
The RAMSAY CLASSICS by Andrew Galloway
Available from the author and publisher Andrew Galloway, 14 Bellevue Avenue, AYR, Scotland. £9.50 UK, £10 Europe, 25 Dollars US Airmail.
In the preface the author informs us that the purpose of the book is not only to bring all the published material of John Ramsay within the covers of one book, but to stand as a tribute to his memory in the year that marks the centenary of his birth.
Present day lovers of close-up magic, and especially those who make a serious study of the methods used by masters in this particular field of magic are fortunate indeed that Andrew Galloway should pay tribute to his mentor in this manner.
Those who were not priviledged to see John Ramsay perform now have available a precise explanation of the methods used to obtain the effects with which this master of magicians' magic baffled his contemporaries for so many years. Furthermore these are described with commendable clarity by the only person ever to perform these tricks with the skill and deceptiveness approaching that of his tutor. Some 300 excellent illustrations by F. Gordon Bruce supplementing the text minimise the time required to obtain an understanding of the working of each effect.
Whilst the descriptions of the routines, in which almost every sleight and move is accompanied with a sketch leaves nothing to be desired regarding the understanding of the necessary technical requirements, there is far more that requires to be understood before the magic of Ramsay, of which technical skill was only a part, can be really appreciated.
It was for information other than the mere technical 'know how' of the tricks that I first sought when opening the book — what had the author to say about the real secret of John Ramsay. It was there in the chapter headed
'Ramsay on Misdirection'. Having already explained these principles in 'The Ramsay Legend', it was, as expected a restatement. There were'however, a few additional words, and I quote 'and of this book (The Ramsay Legend) Dai Vernon said, "Only six people in the world would really appreciate it". I would go as far as to say that probably even less tried out the principles explained'. End of quote.
I believe this to be substantially true, and one reason may be that many had difficulty in applying these principles to a particular trick, and needed a specific detailed example in order to grasp the essentials of this all-important facility.
This is provided for in chapter 6 'On Thimbles' with a seemingly simple vanish of a thimble under the heading 'A lesson in misdirection'. If the reader MASTERS this one effect — which is not technically difficult — he will have progressed to a point enabling him, not only to understand, but to get a 'feeling' of what the real secret of what the magic of Ramsay is all about. The successful presentation of this one effect depends almost entirely on misdirection and the explanation deals with this in detail, and is undoubtedly the most valuable item in a book of fine close-up magic.
Containing the finest creations of a man regarded as the greatest close-up magician of his era the book requires no recommendation either, from me, or anyone else. For true lovers of close-up magic all that is really necessary to know is that it is now available.
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