It seems to me that the only people in Britain who are likely to have a half-dollar in their pockets are magicians. And there's not much doubt that the only ones who carry one of those giant halfdollars sold by the dealers, are also magicians.
Assuming you have a giant half and a 1971 Kennedy half, you'll need a Kennedy half with the date 1964, to match the jumbo. The normal Kennedy half (1964) is in the bag with your fair coins. The 1971 is#in the bag of 1971 coins. The giant half is in your ticket pocket, or anywhere else handy enough to be picked up in the right hand easily.
Now — if you include the 1971 half among the coins for Cash Match, it is almost a certainty that it will be selected by the spectator, as it looks so different from your English coins.
If he does pick that one, good. While he is examining it afterwards, reach for your giant half and bring it out held against the heel of your right hand by the third and fourth fingers. Don't try to palm it cleverly; there's no need, as this grip conceals it quite satisfactorily. Rest your hand on the table top, palm down, thumb towards yourself, hand canted a little.
When the spectator has finished examining the normal half dollar, take it from him in left finger and thumb and lay it on the ends of the left first and second fingers. Look at it, turn it over a time or two, and comment: "They do say that inflation in USA is even worse that it is here"
Saying this, advance right hand to left as though to pick up the normal half with right thumb, forefinger and second finger. Turn left hand palm in towards you, continue leftward movement with right hand (which has closed thumb and forefinger as though picking up the smaller coin), and drop the giant coin on the table. As it falls with a clang, continue: "...and I believe them."
No doubt you (being a reader of Pabular) have your own two-handed switch for coins. If so, use it. If not, try my easy method. It HAS to be easy, if I'm to be able to do it, as I am most definitely dreadful at sleight of hand.
Going back to the spectator's choice of coin: if he doesn't pick the half-dollar, not to worry. When you bring out your bag of fair coins, tip them out on the table, and spread them. Someone is bound to pick up (more likely to grab than merely pick up) the American coin. Then you go ahead with the same patter and same switch. But this time you can draw attention to the date on the two coins.
Now I'm waiting for someone else to come up with a short easy routine using the giant Indian head one-cent piece. I've got one of those, too, and haven't yet found a use for it.
It is more than likely that a large number of the people who read this magazine knew that for quite a number of years I have been associated with a Magic Dealer, namely L. Davenport & Co of London. This, unfortunately, has come to an end. I have received so many letters and telephone calls from people in a panic, or worrying etc., that I thought I would mention here that I am no longer in this employment. Reasons? No reasons, though I must point out that I have spent 13 of the happiest years of my life standing behind a magic shop counter. Most magicians probably don't realise just how large a cross section of the public are interested in Magic. In those years I have met everyone from dustman and bricklayers to surgeons, barristers, company directors and millionaires. Even, (and you won't believe this) cabinet ministers. (For foreign readers, that is an acting member of our Government). I was actually asked not to mention that he was interested in magic and wild horses couldn't pull his name from me. Can you imagine the comments in the press when an important government decision was being made? Being able to meet people from all walks of life is an opportunity that few other occupations enjoy.
My place behind that counter has been taken by a longstanding friend of mine who prefers just to be known as 'Jake'. He is a nice guy, knows his magic and I am sure he will do well. I wish him luck and bon appetit — or whatever the French would say.
OK, that's that. What am I doing now? Well, for the first couple of weeks I did nothing but lie back at home and rest. I haven't quite got used to the fact that I don't have to get up early in the morning any more. Over the years there were so many things that I wanted to do but somehow never had the time. Now that I appear to have lots of time for them I find that I just haven't got a minute to myself because I am so busy doing other things that I hadn't intended doing. Like washing dishes and tidying up. (If my children were younger I'd be changing their nappies). I'm still doing a few shows here and there and just now that's all I intend to do — until something turns up — which it probably won't. Maybe I'll retire, some people think I'm that old.
Change of subject. Jay Marshall is back in town. Also in town for the Magic Circle Christmas Show was a whole bunch of Americans, but unfortunately space only allows me to mention one — which was one act I hadn't seen before, namely John Shirley from Chicago, who c; be described as 'The Wind-bag from the Windy City'. John blows up balloons for a living, which is quite different from those of us who do a little * balloon modelling in our kid-shows. His act is a lesson to all performers on how to get the most from almost nothing. I remember he made a little tiny dog and had it jump through a hoop and he made a swan. That's it, I have just described his act. What I haven't described are all the little bits inbetween, the subtleties and wrinkles that can only come from a life-time's experience.
Now, a problem. We all have our weird little pipe-dreams and I have one but have no solution and so I hope someone will be able to give me one. The first time I went to Chicago Jay Marshall (sorry to mention him again), took me around the bars and I saw several performers working — people like Heba Haba Al, Frank Everhart, Bobby Wonder, Jack Murray, plus several others. They impressed me so much that I probably stole most of their bits of business and am still doing them to this day. I did not see the Daddy of them all, Matt Schulien but I did meet his two sons. What struck me most about all of them was that they presented what I would call 'Instant Magic' — no long drawn out routines, boring tricks: you took a card and bang, they found it. One way or another. And they did it again and again, each time in a different way, though sometimes the same way.
I have discovered that this type of magic really works for me. I am not a particularly slow performer and like everyone else, I'm always looking for something different. Back to the problem; I have devised an effect and have several methods but none are suitable for my purposes. The plot is simple — but remember this is for close-up. A card is selected and returned to the deck which is ribbon spread across the table face up. The spectator looks through them and cannot find his card. At which point you raise your left coat sleeve with your right hand and there is the card. There are several methods, like having a duplicate there already and using a force etc., but for reasons I will not go into here, it has to be the same card. The card could be palmed-off and pushed up your sleeve behind your back but that isn't right either. Close-up card men will realise that what is required is some form of misdirection — the technique is unimportant. In the book 'The Magic of Matt Schulien' there was an effect in which he stole a card, folded his arms and pushed the card into his rolled up shirtsleeve. Something like this is required: simple, straightforward, obvious and no-one sees it. Problem over !
It occurred to me, and maybe to others that with the pack stacked for thirteen cards of the same suit to fall to the dealer in a four handed game the pack could be false shuffled using the Zarrow at the same time dispensing with the usual initial strip-out. Simply make a straight cut at one of the cards forming the stack and Zarrow in under the top four cards.
Double riffle control:-
Riffle the outer end of a previously shuffled pack and ask a spectator to stop you at any point and let him peek at the card. Hold a break with the little finger and double cut to the bottom. Glimpse or mark the peeked card and shuffle it to the top of the pack.
Riffle pack again and invite a second spectator to stop and peek, holding break as before.
Cut off a section of cards above the little finger and insert them into the little finger break. Cut the pack at the break and place the bottom half on top. Both selections will now be together in the pack.
It is possible to separate the selected cards prior to disclosing them. After glimpsing the first selection and shuffling it to the top of the pack, assuming it is the seven of clubs, shuffle a further six cards on top of this card before having a second card selected. For disclosure explain that the value of the first card will find the second card. With the pack face up find the seven of clubs, the first selection, and the second selection will be seven below.
This idea can be taken further. If a block of six cards were cut into the second break and the section below the second selected card was cut to the top, the selected cards would then be seventh and eighth from the bottom of the pack. If this block of eight cards were cut to the top a third selection could be made and the block of eight cut off the top and inserted into the third break, at the same time forming a new break below the bottom card of the block. By cutting at this fresh break and completing the cut the selections would be seventh, eighth, and ninth, from the bottom of the pack.
With this information it is possible to have over forty cards selected — but then we are not all Ed Mario's.
As we can't all deal from the middle, like some we know, the following fake middle might be I deal or should that be U deal.
Double riffle control:-
Explain that are going to show how gamblers, and the others we mentioned are able to deal cards from the middle of the pack. Double lift the top cards showing the face of the second card, and drop both cards as one on top of the pack. Taking the top card push it into the middle of the pack. Now second deal until requested to deal from the middle, then just deal off the top card.
Riffle force a card, or stop the riffle at the spectators choice and glimpse. Fake palming the selection from the middle into the right palm. Request spectator to concentrate on his card and place the back of your own hand on his forehead. Explaining that the thought waves are getting through deliberately glance at your right palm, giving the spectator the impression that you are looking at his card. Name his card and watch him pounce at your right hand. He will be surprised to find it as empty as Pat Page's sporran.
Transpo plus: -
You need a ten pence and a five pence piece (Pat Page can use a two pence and a penny). Remove a five pence and a ten pence piece from the right pants pocket. Display the five pence but keep the ten pence concealed. Apparently throw the five pence piece into the left hand but perform the throw change and it is the ten pence which is dropped into the left hand. Suddenly you remember another five pence is required to perform the trick. Right hand goes into right trouser pocket and removes another five pence really the one which was already in the hand. Display the coin and close hand to match left hand which has been kept closed around the ten pence. With both hands above the table do the throw over sleight bringing both coins under the left hand so that the five pence is under the palm of the left hand and the ten pence under the fingers. Gradually move the left hand back towards the edge of the table until the five pence falls onto the knees. Explain that you are going to blow the coin under the right hand across to join the one under the left hand. Comment that you think you have blown too hard, raise right hand showing there is no coin there then left left revealing ten pence piece.
Ladies in waiting:-
Remove four Queens from the pack and drop them face up on the table, asking spectator if he can find the lady. Holding the pack in the left hand face down turn the bottom three quarters of the cards face up under the top quarter, using the half pass or other preferred method. Explaining the pack represents a block of flats show a couple of cards and comment "and you won't get many flatter than that." The four Queens represent four ladies of easy repute, one lives in the basement, (place one queen on the bottom). One lives and works on the first floor (place second queen face down in the pack). The third lady lives on the second floor (place third queen in the pack). The last lady lives in the top flat. With the left thumb riffle the pack until you get to the break between the face down and face up cards where you insert the last Queen. Hold break with left little finger and bring all the cards face down by secretly turning face-up cards face down. Comment that the police raided the flats and although the girls tried to hide, someone shouted shop and they all adopted their working positions. Fan pack and show Queens face up.
IT'S IN THE BAG
You will require a polythene bag approximately 16" x 9" and a pack of cards which should be fairly new. Have card selected and put back into the pack bringing it to the top. Place the pack into the bag and as you do so palm off the selection using the one hand top palm. The pack is now squared up from the outside of the bag at the same time adding the chosen card to the pack on the outside. Wrap the bag around both the pack which is in the bag and the selected card which is outside. Hold the bag by the opening edge and let it unroll and the chosen card will appear to penetrate the bag. I know it looks cheeky but just try it. If you don't think it looks good ask Frank Farrow.
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