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After Hours Magic: A Book of Al Thatcher Card Magic

Encyclopedia of Card Tricks

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The next act from Spain was a double one, or nearly so;Los Magicos (Anton and Tamarix), each with one arm, sat side by side and what appeared at first to be a deficiency became a definite asset as they used the missing arms to produce some standard magic. Others please do not copy. They had a couple more hands belonging to R.M. (Bob) Davis who provided the musical accompaniment.

Juan Tamarix reappeared with arm restored to perform his act which won for him the first prize (Card Magic) at the 1973 F.I.S.M. held in Paris. In this very novel act the performer accompanies himself on the mouth-organ as he performs card tricks which is very unusual.

David Roth closed this session with coin magic, the like of which we have never seen before. There is little point in listing the tricks which he performed even if we could remember them all, but here is one effect for your consideration. Taking a few coins in one hand and shaking it he causes them to rattle. The noise ceases as he opens his hand to show it empty — the coins have completely vanished. This he did coatless wearing a short sleeved shirt. This was an act never to be forgotten.

Even magicians have to eat sometimes so we left to dine at The Albany Hotel, a few minutes walk away. The meal proved to be an excellent one and immediately it was over it was magic again. This time really close-up, with groups forming all over the Arden suite, later spreading to other parts of the hotel and lasting until the early hours of the morning. The chief attraction was the 'Professor' who seemed tireless. For about three hours he showed trickes and moves, many of the latter appertaining to gambling were new to us, or maybe he was doing some of the old ones a little better — one never knows with the 'Professor'. And so to bed.

The Sunday morning session started at 10.80am with a Lewis Ganson film of the work of David Carre. Some of the card work was excellent.

Promptly at 11.00 came the lecture of David Roth in which he performed nine tricks

— a four coin transposition from hand to hand

— a repeat copper and silver transposition — a retention of vision coin vanish — an Okito coin box routine — chop cup, chink-a-chink, purse and glass routines and a three coin effect all were explained and are included in the lecture notes which found a ready sale.

A large birthday cake made its appearance to the strains of 'Happy Birthday' — it <

happened to be David's birthday. «

First to appear was Kevin Fox with a trick he contributed to an early Pabular and closing with the production of a live rabbit.

Doug Alker opened with an All Backs routine (another contribution to this magazine), plus a variation of The Fred Kaps note trick.

Trevor Lewis with his card act that was a first prize winner last year in Vienna at the F.I.S.M. Congress.

Piet Forton from Switzerland, who won the F.I.S.M. card competition three times in succession did effects with Jumbo cards.

Bob Read closed the event with his usual act — a bottle production — some other effects and closed with an unrecognisable version of the Vernon cups and balls.

An unscheduled event took place on Sunday morning when John Fisher, producer of the Parkinson Christmas Magic Show made a presentation to the 'Professor' on behalf of Ken Brooke and friends, a fine silver medallion, the work of Quintin Mann. On one side was engraved the Verner Coat of Arms, and on the other a suitably worded inscription.

Being personally involved in organising the event makes it impossible to assess objectively. However, we are in general agreement with the following observations.-

Goodliffe — Editor of Abracadabra 'must surely be the world's greatest close-up gathering ever held. I loved it.' In the same issue

Paul Stone took space to say ' the greatest magical weekend ever held in Britain the greatest thrill in my magical life.' Arthur Day

'the climax of my magical lifetime the greatest

Convention ever.' Trevor Dawson 'an occasion of a lifetime.' Doug Alker 'the Convention was fantastic.' Many others have offered their congratulations personally, but a considerable amount of credit must go to others not connected with the magazine.

A very specjal 'Thank You' to our very good friend Ken Brooke who came to our aid when we needed it. Within days of our request for help he rang to say "Dai Vernon is coming to Birmingham." He was directly responsible for turning what could have been a parochial event into one which has become a talking point in the world of close-up magic. Our regret is that he could not have been with us — our hope is that his health continues to improve and he will be with us next time around,

Thanks also to Ray Mills and Mike Ganeia who relieved us of many responsibilities during the two days, and to all others who gave a helping hand.


Some years ago I explained a plot to Roy Walton who thought it would be a good idea to describe it in this issue because of the misdirection involved in the method used to obtain the effect.


Two cards selected by different spectators are returned to the pack which is shuffled. The performer removes a card from the pack and gives it to one of the spectators after both have denied at being the one they chose. They are shown another card, again they both deny that it is their card and it is given to the other spectator. They are asked to name their selections and each spectator is found to be holding the card chosen by the other.


With a spectator on either side the performer has each take any card, remember it and return it to the pack. The card chosen by the spectator on the performer's right is secretly brought second from the top, and the one chosen by the spectator on the left third from the top, using whatever methods the performer prefers.

The top card is shown to the spectator on the performers right who denies that it is the one he chose. A top change is made and the card shown to the spectator on the left who also denies that it is the one he selected. This card, actually the one chosen by the other spectator, is placed face down on the palm of the right hand of the spectator on the left. He is now shown the top card of the pack which he also denies being his card, another top change is made and the card held is shown to the spectator on the right who rejects it as being his selection. The card is placed face down on his left palm. Each spectator is now holding the others chosen card after having denied that either card is the one he chose. Care must of course be taken during the trick that when a card is being shown to one of the spectators it is not seen by the other.

The trick is an excellent one for getting experience in performing the top change and some pointers towards achieving success with this particular sleight may be welcomed by readers.

First it must be understood that success does not depend on technical skill. Once one has the facility to make the change neatly any further practise with a view to making the sleight 'invisible' to anyone who happens to be watching the hands is a sheer waste of time. At this point it may be a good idea to quote from a book written over one hundred years ago. In 'The History of Playing Cards etc.' this is what its author, the Rev. Taylor has to say:-

It must ever be kept in mind, that in any kind of conjuring, but particularly with cards the performer must never look at his hands; for, if he does, the spectators will most certainly do the same, a consummation most devoutly to be avoided.

In all instances, the performer must keep continually talking to the bystanders, looking them full in the face, so that they may do the same, minus the talking to him.

Returning to the point in the trick where the spectator on the right has denied that the card he has been shown is the one he selected and you are standing completely relaxed with the hands in a position ready to execute the change. Looking him 'full in the face' you ask the following questions,

Are you sure it is not your card?

Is it the same colour? It is an instinctive reaction for anyone replying to a question to look the questioner in the face as he replies, and as he does so perform the sleight slowly and say., "Perhaps it is the other chosen card.'v As you finish this sentence turn to the spectator on the left who also denies that he selected that particular card. Put the card on the palm of his hand and show him the top card saying, "then this must be your card.5" He denies that also, and you lower the hand holding the card and say, "You are sure this is not your card?" bringing the hand up again giving him another chance to see the face of tne card. He will of course again deny that it is his chosen card, and you lower the card bringing it into position in readiness for the change. As you do this day, "You did say the card on your hand was not the one you chose" — pause here for a second and continue, — "perhaps you had better take another sly peep and make sure." As he looks at the card on his hand you slowly make the top change. It cannot be emphasised too strongly that to escape detection under close-up conditions the top change must be done slowly and without excessive movements of either the body or the hands, and the idea that a greater movement, such as turning quickly or a sweeping movement of the arms will cover the smaller one of exchanging the cards is completely erroneous. Such movements may have some validity when performing on the stage, but under conditions where the spectators are within a few feet such actions will only bring their attention to an action which you are attempting to conceal and will tend to nullify any advantage gained by following the advice of the reverend gentleman quoted earlier.

In the letter which was responsible for the appearance of this effect Roy said he found the climax rather confusing and felt that the effect would be more clear-cut if each spectator was holding his own selected card at the finish. The following are two methods he suggests for bringing about this result:-

Method 1

Spectator A and B select cards and return them to the pack which the performer shuffles keeping the chosen cards on top in B. A. order.

A card is taken from the pack (really B's card) and shown to A who denies it's his. It is top changed for A's which is then shown to B who denies it is his. It is given to A to hold between his palms.

Indifferent card is now taken from the pack and shown to B who denies it as being his. This card is top changed for B's card and then shown to A who denies it is his. Card is given to hold between his palms. Climax is that held cards change to the ones chosen.

Method 2

This method uses the bottom change which some may find easier.

Cards controlled to top in A. B. order. Any card pulled from centre of the pack and shown to A. Bottom changed and shown to B. Given to A to hold. Any card pulled from centre of the pack and shown to B. Bottom changed and shown to A. Given to B to hold.

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Fundamentals of Magick

Fundamentals of Magick

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.

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