ACE-STOUNDING was originally published in the Derek Dingle issue of the Genii magazine. The effect is that the four aces are placed in four random positions in the pack, which is then shuffled in a variety of ways, including several face-up/face-down shuffles. The pack is shown to be in a face-up and face-down condition at the conclusion of these various shuffles. The magician then cuts the pack four times, each cut revealing a face-up ace after which the pack is immediately ribbon spread across the table revealing that all the remaining cards are face down.
The original method required a rather complicated set-up and handling, while the one outlined below requires no pre-arrangement of the cards and is easier to do. At the same time I believe the effect to be as strong as the original version.
Commence by removing the aces and ribbon spreading the remainder of the pack face-up across the table. The aces are then inserted for about half their length at four random positions, towards the centre of the spread. Square up the pack keeping the four aces out-jogged half way out of the end of the pack.
Now perform the D'Amico 'Multiple Shift' as explained by Mario in his book of the same title. Here's how. Hold the pack face up on the palm of the left hand with its index finger jn contact with the protruding ends of the out-jogged aces. This finger acts as a stop when the pack is tilted causing the cards above the uppermost ace to slide down covering it. The left thumb and fingers now grip the aces and the cards above the topmost ace by the sides near the outer end, and the right thumb and fingers likewise grip the inner end of the lower portion which has remained stationary. The left thumb and fingers retain the cards they are holding as the right hand strips out the bottom portion and drops them on top of the left hand packet. This casual move which appears to the onlookers as a simple cut brings the four aces to the bottom of the face up pack.
At this stage a number of Hindu, overhand and riffle shuffles can be done, provided the four aces remain in position.
Now the pack is shuffled in the following manner. With the pack face downwards on the table, undercut the bottom half to the right and turn them face up, spread to their face up condition. Show the other half to be face down in a similar manner. Square up both halves and Zarrow under the top four cards of the face down half, and when squaring up retain a break between the two halves.
Undercut the lower half to the right and turn them over. Faro the two halves together. The Faro need not be a perfect one — all that is necessary is to ensure that the top four cards of each half alternate.
Show that some of the cards are face up and some face down by spreading the top eight or ten cards, and as you close the spread get a break below the fourth face down card from the top. Cut at the break and complete the cut, and turn the pack over.
That's about it. Produce the four aces using slip cuts and ribbon spread showing that the rest of the cards are all face down.
And a happy and prosperous New Year. So nineteenseventy eight has come and gone. We are all another year older, and with luck, a little bit wiser. John/ Osbome, I think, coined a phrase, Look Back In Anger. How do YOU look back on nineteenseventy eight? For me, it was a good year in many respects. I had two trips abroad, first to the South of France, the land of topless bathing suits, film festivals, and idiot magicians, and secondly, the United States, Los Angeles and New York, to be precise, the land of opportunity (or is it opportunists) and still more idiot magicians.
The parts I liked best was meeting the idiot magicians and I include myself in this category. What other group of entertainers (?) are so hospitable, friendly, backstabbing as us lot? Why am I talking like this? Is there a reason? You bet there is. It seems that every time I see a magician perform these days he is doing something that really belongs to someone else. The magical societies are no help. Not only do they condone it, but by booking these thieves they actually encourage it. Now, before you start getting as hotted-up as I am at the moment, let me explain. I am not talking particularly about some guys original effect, a rare event in any case, but more of the cute ideas or routines. Take the Linking Rings for instance. No-one can take exception to anyone performing the Linking Rings? No? That's what you think. I remember a few years ago a fellow professional telling me that he had done a job the night before and as he had to do a longer show than normal, he added the Rings to his act, and the point of his conversation was that he was telling me how well that OLD GAG where the spectator did so and so had gone. OLD GAG???? Yes, it IS an old gag. I've been doing it for around twenty years, AND IT'S MINE..: ALL MINE. Now although my act, or rather the effects in it are all pretty standard, it is all the little bits and pieces that go with it that make it work for me, and here is someone telling me how well he has been doing with my material. So my New Year message to you and you and you is GO STAB SOMEONE ELSE IN THE BACK.
To return to sanity. I attended a wedding over the Xmas period which had one of those Disco units playing non-stop all evening with no breaks, and after an hour or more of it I told my wife I was going home, which fortunately was only round the corner. Leaving my son and daughter to look after their dear old Mum, I' vanished. Switching on the TV set (I am now at home) I started to doze off until I heard loud music, and upon opening my eyes it was to discover that the Doug Henning Magic Show was about to start. For the benefit of the US, magicians this is last year's show. I sat and watched it enthralled. It was great, it was marvellous. I loved it. And it put me in such a good mood I went back to the wedding and enjoyed myself all over again. It was one of those little pleasant surprises. I didn't know it was on TV and suddenly BANG there it was, and Henning does one helluva job for magic on TV.
The only other TV magic I have seen lately on my magic box were the three magic specials produced by John Fisher. Sorry, I only saw two of them, the Fred Kaps Special and the Ricky Jay Magic Show. A friend of mine has video taped the Randi show but as yet I haven't had a chance to see it. My non-magical friends tell me that they liked the Kaps show best of all, but out of the three shows, the one they remember best is Ricky Jay. For me it was a toss up between the individual performances of Kaps and Jay. Kaps' did the Chinese sticks better than I have ever seen it done. But all of the performers in both shows I saw were good.
I love everybody,
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