A thimble is displayed on the right index finger and still in that position is pushed into the left fist and disappears, both hands being shown completely empty.
Before displaying the thimble button up your jacket. After showing the thimble on the index finger push it just inside the left fist which is held waist high fairly close to the body, Figur-e (1). Withdraw the index finger leaving the rim of the thimble just visible to the spectators and then push it further into the fist this time with the right second finger. Withdraw the second finger stealing the thimble out of the left fist in the process and again push the index finger into the fist leaving it in that position. Figure (2) gives a 'navel's eye' view of the situation at this point both hands being in close proximity to the bottom of the left lapel.
Both hands, with the right index finger still within the left fist, move upwards until they are about level with the outer left breast pocket the thimble on the right second finger going beneath the left lapel. Pause for a moment and look directly at the spectators at the same time gently press outside the lapel with the fleshy part of the hand at the base of the thumb marked 'X' in (2). This pressure is made directly onto the thimble through the fabric of the lapel in order to enable the second finger to be eased out of the thimble.
Turn the body bringing the right shoulder towards the spectators at the same time move both hands a few inches away from the body leaving the thimble hidden behind the lapel. Still keeping the index finger within the fist, twist the right hand bringing its palm towards the audience keeping the second, third and little fingers closed. Next turn the right hand back to its original position and withdraw its index finger from the left fist keeping it extended.
Open the left hand to show that the thimble has disappeared. Magicians will immediately conclude that it is in the right hand, a view that may also be shared by non-magicians due to the manner in which this hand was turned with three of its fingers kept closed. Conclude by showing the suspect hand also to be empty. DO NOT reproduce the thimble.
Thimble workers may have other methods of reaching the point shown in (2). The method given is wellknown to thimble workers, but for those seeking a full explanation the finest description of this move appears in the 'The Ramsay Classics' under the chapter heading 'A Lesson in Misdirection'.
Finally, should the thimble have a tendency to fall from under the lapel — as it will with some suits — try covering it with one of those finger stalls used by the banking fraternity to facilitate counting notes. You will of course change the title to ODDLE-O.
Or;e of the difficulties in bringing this periodical up to date is that there never seems to be a break from magical activities of various kinds that seem to demand attendance.
The first two weeks of this month (July) began with Johnny Paul performing his inimitable brand of close-up magic to a record crowd at Vic Pinto's studio and arranged as usual by Ken Brooke. This was not a lecture, but a performance of the actual material used by Mr Paul professionally. No tricks were explained as is the general practice with lecturers, in fact there was little in the way of new effects to be explained though there were a few 'moves' which had most of us guessing, but the real value lay in having the opportunity to observe the results of one man's lifetime experience of performing close-up magic to non-magicians. There, was a conspicious absence of those clever moves which delight so many magicians and mean so little to the audience other than to cause them to wonder why the performer is holding the cards in such an odd manner, thus violating one of the cardinal principles — that of making every action appear to be necessary and normal and excluding everything likely to arouse suspicion in the minds of the spectators.
Instead we saw — or did not see — the standard sleights such as the force, top change, and palm used to achieve effects which were mainly old classics and included the Cards Across, Torn and Restored Card and a variation of the Card on the Ceiling using a board held in the hand on which to bang the pack. It was during these effects that the value of the old sleights was most evident. Covered by misdirection provided by the actions, patter and spectator involvement the use of these sleights to achieve the effects provided plenty of evidence to show their superiority in achieving a clear cut effect not possible with many of the substitute sleights which are mainly devised by magicians to fool other magicians or because they have not troubled to master the basic tools of their trade. These substitutes, most of which appear contrived and circuitous, usually involve extraneous actions which in addition to arousing suspicion tend to lessen the directness of the effect.
To clarify the point I am trying to make Jet us consider forcing a card. There are ¡numerous complicated and roundabout ways of causing a particular card to be chosen such as counting down to a given number — adding umbers together — pushing a knife or a face up card into the pack — covering the pack with a handkerchief and having someone cut it etc. All this kind of irrelevant business adds nothing whatsoever to the effect in hand either by increasing its entertainment value or making the effect appear more magical. It would be almost impossible to visualise Johnny Paul resorting to such devious methods. He takes the shortest distance between two points merely spreading the cards casually as he is chatting to the spectator making the selection appear —at least to himself — to be of no particular importance.
Other tricks performed included — Devano Rising Cards — Sponge Balls — extremely skilful Dice Stacking — and a Cups and Balls routine. This latter defied explanation, even by the best informed, one of its chief merits being that it did not come over as being a 'set' routine, the general effect being that the various effects just happened rather than that they were expected to occur.
It was a rewarding evening, especially for those performing close-up magic outside the magic scene. To have the opportunity to witness a working performer of the calibre of Johnny Paul can only be regarded as a considerable priviledge and of inestimable value to those attending.
Attending the recording of three magical shows which should appear on your TV screens (BBD 2) during November accounted for three days away from the typewriter. These will appear as — The Fred Kaps Magic Show — The Amazing Randi Magic Show — and The Ricky Jay Magic Show. Close-up magicians appearing in these shows will be Tony Slydini and Johnny Paul. All are produced by John Fisher who thanked Ken Brooke during the recording fqr his valuable assistance — somebody should present these gentlemen with a medal or something — you can be assured these shows will be top class entertainment.
All these events brought the usual crop of magicians to the city. Geoff Ray in between cruises showed me the use he has made of Walt Lees Cull —a Separation Vol.1 No.4 Dec 1974 and Firewater by Jan Heinz and Carl Lauchli in Vol.3 No.4 Dec 1976 both in his regular professional programme. In the latter he partially fills a glass with drink and then releases the gas into it sealing it in with a suitably sized rubber ball which is attached inside the coat. Producing the drink with appropriate patter he sets fire to the drink.
Gaeton Bloom in The Magic Place Studio utilising what can best be described as an 'Open Crimp' performed an hilarious (in his hands) routine with a cardboard box, a piece of cheese and a clockwork mouse which failed to find a chosen card. Gaeton has decided to let us have his Chop Cup routine for the magazine which he promised on his last visit should he decide to release it. Thanks very much.
Pauline thought he was a double act Gate and Bloom and was looking for the other half, which brings me to Bob Read who squeezed in a lecture during a business visit to Chicago. This was a predictable success and someone out there must have the 'savvy' to book him for a lecture tour. Whoever does will have no regrets.
Gordon Bruce came down from Scotland for a day and stayed nearly a week and Alex Elmsley also broke cover after almost a year in hiding and joined Gordon, Ricky Jay, Steve Freeman and yours truly for a session. Steve is a superb card worker who works slowly and deliberately without a suspicion of finger flinging. When he performs the Tilt move it looks just the way it would look if a card was being pushed into the centre of the pack and not as generally performed with the pack held shoulder high as if taking aim with a rifle. You may smile, but how do you do it?
Chatting with Peter Warlock soon after the magazine started we discussed the hazard of printing tricks and sleights already published. He assured me that it would happen to us, The Simplified Spin Pass Aces Vol.4 No.6 he informs me is explained in an early Pentagram the originator being Jack Avis.
We regret omitting to credit Jack with the original conception but Mr Pargetter's idea of replacing the bottom half back in its original position after flipping over each ace eliminates the necessity of cutting the pack each time before spin cutting to reveal the next ace. This economy of movement plus the fact that the illusion of a genuine cut before producing each ace seems to justify its publication.
Have just received from "Obie" O'Brien (brought over by Bob Read in his diplomatic bag), a report of the 8th Annual Close-Up Convention held as usual at the Forks Hotel, Buffalo. Everyone knows that the genial Eddie Fechter is mine host of this establishment, the atmosphere of which appears to be something akin to that of an English pub. This is undoubtedly the event of the year in the USA for close-uppers and its popularity is such that next year it will only be possible to attend if you are specifically invited. No space to give details but the names of those attending which reads something like a 'who's who' in the close-up magic field, and brings credit to Obie O'Brien who has been responsible over the years for this event. Should be scope for a similar event in Britain — any suggestions?
Notions by Phil Goldstein. Available from the author at 121 Charles Street, apt. 4a, Boston, Mass. 02114. USA. Three dollars. Outside the USA four dollars.
This booklet of 12 pages contains 10 items of a varied nature and resembles his previous publications both in format and practical nature of the effects it contains.
Very Good Hand is a small packet ambitious effect in which the ace of spades jumps around until the audience suspect that you have five of them until at the climax all change into a royal flush — in hearts. Broken Elevator is a six-part elevator routine with a spectator involved climax. In Contrasting Prediction a red backed card matches one freely selected card from a blue backed pack. Prints Charming in which three blank cards acquire faces and backs. MacDonald Goldstein — the authors version of the MacDonald aces. Maybe and Pop-off are two excellent gags — the first an old mindreading gag re-vamped to good effect and the second a stunt for balloon workers. Another Birthday proves to be a variation of the effect in which a spectator looks in a diary for his birthdate and finds the name of a previously chosen written beside it. Just Chance is embellishedwith an applause cue at the end under the caption The Coupon Caper and finally In Case of E.S.P. the performer divines a selected E.S.P. sign.
None of the effects are technically difficult. If you can buckle count, glide, do the Hamman back count — have some blank cards, a rough and smooth forcing pack and can make a simple flap card and double envelope all the effects are within your scope.
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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.