After Hours Magic: A Book of Al Thatcher Card Magic

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A few weeks ago I was cleaning out the vaults below Pabular Buildings and I stumbled pon a letter addressed to past editor Fred Robinson.

It contained four or five stunts, not tricks that, to put it politely .. . are a bit near the knuckle. I can see why Fred decided not to publish them but times change and I think that you lot are ready for them now. I'll only be describing two of the stunts here as the other three are physically impossible!

The first is an ideal stunt to pull at your next stag night. I've been using it for years and it always gets a great response. The actual actions are quite within the bounds of the law but the spectators minds do the rest!

At some time during the evening, bring the conversation round to impersonations. Explain that you have made a study of the animal world and over the years have mastered a perfect impersonation of the rare, white eared elephant.

Offer to demonstrate it for them as you empty your trouser pockets.

Take a deep breath and reach into both trouser pockets at the same time. Pause for a second and then pull the linings completely out.

Without hesitation, unzip your fly and ... stop!!

Look up at the audience and say ... "Ohhh, you've seen it before!"

Make yourself decent again and enjoy the laughter that will ensue!

The second stunt makes use of an envelope as depicted in fig:l A white envelope is preferable.

During the conversation ask your audience if they have heard about the Vicar in the village down the road.

Explain that you've heard that he's a bit of a ladies man and continue that... the other day he was paying a visit on one of his female parishioners but unfortunately she was out. The Vicar wanted to leave her a note but all he had was an envelope. He couldn't write anything on it as he didn't even have a pen with him.

He sealed the envelope, tore off the upper edge .. (As in fig:2)... then made two tears in the enveloped like this .. . (See fig:3). . and finally tote a' ay this piece. (See fig:4).

He then popped the torn envelope through the letter-box and left.

Several hours later, the housewife returned and found the envelope on the floor. She

wondered who might have left it, then she opened it out and said . . . "Ahhh I see that the Vicar called!"

Ask the spectator to open out the envelope and just watch his face!

I won't tell you what he/she saw, I'll leave it to you to try out the stunt for yourself.

Obviously both of these stunts must be presented at the right time and to the right kind of audience. If you think these are raunchy, you should have seen the other three!!


This brief description is of an effect that I thought up a few weeks ago at the Marlborough Arms, the pub opposite the Magic Circle.

I discovered that I had two identical cards in my deck and when no one was looking, I sneaked one into my card case and placed it to one side on the table. I later forced the duplicate of the cased card on an unsuspecting and extremely inebriated conjuror. I handed him the deck and asked him to riffle it at the card case. Due to the draft caused by the riffle, the case jumped as if receiving the selected card. I asked another spectator to open the card case and remove the contents, needless to say he removed what appeared to be the selection.

I apologised for the fact that I had forgotten to have the card signed, purely an oversight on my part I assured them.

Everything seemed to have gone well, when suddenly the spectator holding the deck said ... "Hie, I bet there's another Queen of Clubs in here burp!!"

All the others explained that I was an expert at sleight of hand and wouldn't lower myself to the use of duplicates. It was all I could do to prevent them from lynching him there and then!

To cut a long story short. .. The spectator found the other Queen of Clubs in the deck and my reputation took another kick in the groin.

It was at that point that I had the idea that... If I had opened the card case and removed the duplicate card from within, showed it and apparently replaced it in the case but really slipping against the outer wall of the case and closing the flap , . . I cou\d easily allow the pinned card to fall free and into my lap, once the heat was off me.

I could then point out that it would have been a really great trick if there wasn't another Queen of Clubs in the deck.

I would then have ^he spectator look through the cards and one of two things would happen ... 1) He might spread past the duplicate card and not notice it, making the previous trick quite effective or ... 2) He will most likely find the duplicate card and hold it aloft in triumph.

I would then simply state that the whole effect was an illusion and there never was a card in the card case at all. They would then open the card case and discover it empty. The overall effect would be quite weird and I'd be left with a straight deck with which to continue.

Notes . . . Instead of pretending to place the card in the card case and later lapping it. You could actually replace the card in the case, close it and later switch the case for an empty one as you toss it to the spectator.

You might like to try slipping the duplicate card between the sellophane wrapper and the card case but I don't think this would pass later examination?

If you have any ideas on the strange effect . .. drop me a line!

If you have any ideas on the strange effect . .. drop me a line!


I would imagine that this routine has been at the bottom of the contribution box for quite some time. In fact, if I hadn't accidentally dropped the contents the other day, I doubt if you'd have ever seen it!

I have a feeling that it was sent in when Fred Robinson was editor.

I will type the description exactly as it is written here before me . . .

"Basically this is a means of finding two selected cards reversed between the four Queens, which were earlier shown and placed aside.

This can be, I find, coupled with an effect very recently shown to me by Pat Page called 'The Cannibals.' The effect being that the chosen missionaries are gobbled up by the Cannibal Kings."


The four Queens are removed and momentarily squared face up against the top of the face down deck. During this action, the top two face down cards are stolen beneath the Queen packet and the deck is tabled for the moment.

You are now about to interlace the two face down cards between the Queens . . . Hold the Queen packet in your right hand in the Biddle grip and obtain a thumb break above the lowermost face down card. You now appear to reverse the order of the Queens as they are passed, one at a time, to the other hand.

With your left thumb slide off the face Queen onto the left hand, then slide the next Queen on top of it but as you do so .. . allow the card beneath the thumb break to fall between them. 1267

Continue by sliding off the next Queen on to the previous two? and finally place the last Queen, with the face down card still hidden beneath it, on top of the others. It appears that you have merely counted the Queens into your left hand but the actual order of the cards is ... face up Queen, face down card, face up Queen, face up Queen, face down card, face up Queen.

Square the Queens and obtain a thumb break above the lower two cards as you pass the packet back into your right hand again and pick up the deck with your left hand. Explain that you will have two cards selected from the deck and as you say, "From the deck." you drop the two cards below the break onto the top of the deck, under the action of tapping the deck with the Queen packet.

You can now table the assumed Queen packet face down to your right and continue with the selection procedure . . .

Your opening patter should be along the lines of the Queens being maneaters .. . Turn the deck face up and undercut the bottom card to the top. This leaves the previously unloaded Queen face down beneath the face up deck.

You now perform the slip-around reverse as you turn the deck face down again. This leaves the Queen face down at the bottom of the face down deck.

Note . . . Any other procedure can be adopted to set the Queen in the required position.

Have two cards selected and control them to the bottom, below the Queen.

Half pass the two selections and as you table the deck, palm the lower three cards into your right hand so that the Queen is face down against the palm.

Palm the three cards onto the face down Queen packet and pick it up.

Flip the packet face up and explain that you will use the Queens to locate the selections. Wave the face up packet over the deck and finish by showing that the two selections have interlaced between the face up Queens .. .

Buckle count the 7 card packet as 6 and you will display a fan of four face up Queens with a face down card interlaced between the 1st and 2nd Queens and the 3rd and 4th Queens. The lower face down card is in fact two face down cards squared as one. During the Buckle count or to be more precise .. . Buckle spread, the face down cards should be up-jogged.

Strip out these face down cards and flip them face up onto the Queen packet. If you now spread the top two cards only, the two selections will be revealed and they will be

assumed to be the ones that were separated in the Queen packet.

Ed % %. The above handling is Alf's original and I'm sure that it looks like a miracle in his hands but I am but a mortal being and decided to work out a simpler handling for my own use. Firstly I didn't like the idea of the central position in the Queen packet being vacant. I also didn't like the idea that you can't deal the two selections off the Queens, due to the other indifferent card beneath them. Add to this barrage of dislikes the fact that the presence of the extra indifferent card left the Queens unusable and the following handling was devised ...

Set up

Arrange the Queens from the top down ... red, black, red, black. The underlined black Queen is face up in the face down packet.

These four cards can be at the face of the deck and removed as a unit. Table the deck face down for the moment' and flip the Queen packet face up. Immediately perform an Elmsley count and four? Queens are displayed. Cut the face two cards to the bottom, flip the packet face down and table it.

Explain that you will only use three of the Queens for the following routine and so saying, remove the top face down card from the packet, place it atop the deck and perform any quick false shuffle that will make it appear that the card has been lost.

Spread the deck face down and have two cards removed and, if you wish, signed. Square up the deck and set the top card in the Mario Tilt' position. Take back the first selection, flip it face up and explain that you'll bury it face up in the centre. Insert the card into the Tilt break, then repeat the action with the other selection.

Situation is. .. Top card is a face down Queen, followed by the two face up selections, followed by the rest of the face up deck.

Flex the deck, putting a downward crimp into the cards . .. The inner and outer narrow edges will be slightly higher than the centre of the cards, which will be slightly bowed.

This crimping of the cards allows you to perform a one hand top palm of the upper three cards as a single unit. This is not difficult, just try it!

Table the deck and immediately pick up the Qoeen packet, at the same time adding the palmed trio onto them.

Perform the Buckle spread and up-jog the two face down cards from between the three Queens.

Strip out the face down cards and flip them face up onto the face up Queens. You can now deal the two selections face up to the table and a Queen will show at the face of the packet.

This Queen is a different one than was on the face prior to the removal of the face down cards, it is even a different colour but these facts will not be noticed if you patter for a few seconds before dealing the selections off the packet.

The situation is . . . all four Queens are in your hand but the spectators assume that one is still in the deck.

Explain that the Queens somehow sucked the selections out of the deck and between them, they will now attempt to find their sister.

Wave them over the deck again and end by dealing the four Queens onto the table. You are now in a situation to perform further effects with the Queens and there are no extra indifferent cards to dispose of.

Eastbourne again, I thought as I drove into this small seaside town. You see, I had been working there only a matter of days before^ the I.B.M. Convention from which I have just returned.

So what have I to say about Eastbourne? Well, the first thing that comes to mind is the winning act of the Shield Competition, Richard Kyall and Diana. Well performed, well presented, well rehearsed. I think it's the first time I have ever seen a five handed act in this competition. It can best be described as an Illusion Act, in that all of the effects were of the larger type.

It was a pity so many of them were of the standard variety. Not just the effects but the presentation of the first illusion looked almost like a carbon copy of a well known which is currently riding high. The act was head and shoulders above any other that evening. A lot of time trouble and money had been spent on it, but (?)

What else? Yes it was the debut of a new magic dealer, one Miss Debbie McGee. If the name sounds familiar, she is the young lady who assists Paul Daniels in his TV shows. On the dealers stand their roles were reversed. He appeared to be assisting her, off and on, throughout the day. Needless to say whenever Paul stood up to demonstrate their trick, a large crowd gathered immediately. Yes you read that correctly, their trick. Debbie appeared to be selling ^and demonstrating one effect only. A tea mug with the name of a card printed on the outside which actually changed. Paul had it nicely routined and no doubt they sold a lot of them. I wish I had been selling it.

As usual for me I didn t see anything that happened during the day, being strapped to my stand by my wife who spent the whole week gallivanting around Eastbourne spending it before I actuallyhad it. I hear that business for most of the dealers could have been better. I have no complaints, because, as dear old Percy. Press used to say "Whatever you earn, it's better than sitting at home burning coal". He's right. I think. Or maybe I'm just a magic nut who never will be, doesn't want to be, and can't becured.

Apart from my own items, which, being Patrick Page originals, were received with complete indifference, I didn't see anything in the dealers hall which set the place alight. I hesitate to use the phrase 'same old items', because, as any performer knows, it's those same old items which seem to register strongest with the audience., but once in a while a Ribbon Fountain or a Coin Thru Rubber Dam crops up which does create a certain amount of excitement.. In that respect this was one of the less exciting conventions. The competition for the Shield was of a good s standard, with no real stinkers as there often are. The Gala Show was good. I hear that the Mike Caveney lecture had an astounding variation on Corinda's Powers of Darkness. The best thing I heard was a short gag come effect for childrens shows from the Eric Sharpe book. I haven't seen the book yet, but if this one item is an example of the material, I will, when I can afford it. For the record, the name of of the book is 'Eric Sharp's Specialised Childrens Routines With Funny Patter And Situation Comedy Using Standard Props. You're right, I didn't believe it either. It's his second book and with titles like that you don t have to write many. But like I said it could be a worthwhile investment for anyone interested in that particular subject.

Vic Pinto had a display of magician's business cards which included a photograph of the performer and it looked real classy. Come to think of it, this was one of the best items in the Convention. I wonder just how. many people realised that fact and took advantage of it. The overall cost includes taking the pictures, designing the layout and printing the cards. If you are interested give him a ring on 01-405-6048 and if you think that's a plug you are right. They're great. Ask Terri Rogers, Alan Alan, Joe Elman, Bobby Bernard, me or any of the other non magic acts who can see their possibilities for the working performer. (He'll send you samples).

Bob Little a dealer from the U.S of A. was there as usual, plus Magic Hands from Germany, Fantasio from Mexico, Timmerman from Holland, Dominic Dante from Italy, Banshee Magic from Eire, Mike Caveney from the U.S.A. There were upwards of forty dealers there-and as you can see six of them were non British, which I think must be a record. Most of the old faces were there, and sadly, one of them, Alf Moore, has seen his last convention. He collapsed and died at the event.

I heard dealers complaining that there so many events taking place that they didn't have time to demonstrate and sell their wares. Someone said that the Dealers Demonstration should be cut out altogether on Thursday morning and some bright spark in the council suggested replacing it with another lecture, which surely defeats the object of the exercise. One of thé council took a straw poll to find out their reactions but I couldn't find out what the result was. It would be interesting to know. As for me I'd hang on to the Dealers Dem. But then who am I? The last time I tried poking my nose into magical politics I had it cut off. Now I don't care what the hell they do. I ll go along with the trowd. If you have something worthwhile to sell you'll sell it. If you haven't you walk home.

Goodbye Patrick Page

EDITORIAL January, 1985

Once more my Typewriter obliterates yet another page of introduction. This month's issue is devoted entirely to the ingenious contributions of Phil Goldstein alias Max Maven.

I'm certain that not one of our readers will be muttering. . ." Who??"

I think that Max must be the most well known mentalist of our time. His contributions to the myriad magazines when added to the deluge of fine material in his manuscripts, would easily fill a telephone directory!

I have already had the pleasure of trying out the enclosed items on living flesh and can assure you that every one is a winner. My personal favourite must be 'TAG TEAM'. It is simple to perform, direct and easily followed by the viewer. Anyway, I'll leave you to sing their praises and I'll get on with telling you what's new

Quite recently I've had some correspondence from Ian Land and indeed he's forwarded a review of the Card Puzzle book by John Racherbaumer.

Those who are fleet of mind will remember that this item has been previously reviewed a few issues back by Peter Brunning but I thought you might like to hear a second opinion. The review will foil my giberish. Ian also forwarded a copy of his latest and first project titled. . . 'Five Knuckle Shuffles.' This is the first of a series of, wait for it. .. . FREE manuscripts. Yes, all you have to do is send a stamped S.A.E. to the following address and Ian will forward you the manuscripts.

The address to write to is. . . . Ian Land, Alcuin College, York University, Heslington, York, England.

In the first issue of F.K.S. Ian details two versions of, what he calls, 'Diminishing Twists'. The idea being that you start with the Ace through 4 of a suit and, with the cards face down, you twist the packet, count through it and the Ace has flipped face up. The Ace is removed and tabled, then you repeat the experience with the other three values, after each flip-over the card is removed and tabled.

More details of F.K.S. next month.

A few days ago I received my copy of the new book. . . .'The Best of Close-up' (by Britain's leading magicians.)

I am a little biased to give the book a review so here's a little background information. It costs £19.00 ($25.00) and contains 188 pages of type-set material from the following contributors David Britland,

Gordon Bruce, Roger Crosthwaite, Peter Duffie,

Shiv Duggal, Andrew Galloway, Mike Gancia, Steven Hamilton, Peter Kane, Ian Land, Mark Leveridge, Simon Lovell, Eric Mason, Chris Powers, Fred Robinson, A1 Smith, Stephen Tucker and Dick Turpin. The book details 22 routines by the aforementioned and is illustrated throughout by the master pen pusher Eric Mason. I almost forgot to mention that it was written by Walt Lees and one wonders why his name does not appear in the list of contributors. A little bird told me that modesty prevented him from including any of his own material?

The book is produced by the Magico Magazine of New York and is hard bound and topped with a gloss dust-jacket.

I was a little dismayed not to find material from either Roy Walton or Alex Elmsley and quite a few others. It would seem to me that many of the best have been omitted and perhaps a second volume is in the making?

The standard of the effects is extremely high and I can't recommend 'The Best of Close-up Magic' highly enough. This is definitely the best buy of 1984!


Available from Magic Books by Post, price £4.20).

This short manuscript contains material by Racherbaumer, Mario, Solomon, Castillon, & Aronson. Some of it appeared in the M-U-M last year, and some is previously unpublished. Pick of the crop is Dave Solomon's 'Casolomon Olram Aces' — a version of Gene Castillon's version of Jon Racherbaumer's version (...) of the classic Ace Assembly. Solomon's routine uses the same gaffs as Castillon's (which appeared in the Last Hierophant) and is very strong indeed. Many performers (both so-called 'purists' and those who are just plain lazy) will be put off by the preparation required — the manufacture of three gaffed cards — but those who bother to make or steal the gaffs needed will have one of the most magical Assemblies extant (along with Solomon's version of 'Succession Aces' from The Lost Pages of the Kabbala). There are no fiddly shenanigans in the formation of the initial layout of the Aces, and the vanishes are impressively clean and direct. If you wish to find a routine that best expresses the Assembly concept, you will be hard-pressed to find an ungaffed method that does it better.

What else? — Lots of good material by the Marvelous Mister Mario, including versions of the 'Card Puzzle' and 'Interlaced Transposition,'

coin material by Castillon & Dan Garrett, and a Racherbaumer handling of Elmsley's 'Point of Departure' that uses Jokers with holes punched in their centres, allowing for a very visual vanish of the selected card. Altogether, this 25 page booklet contains 15 items and is excellent value for money. Racherbaumer is one of the few magic writers who knows how to put a sentence together, and one of the few who takes an interest in the minutiae of magic. His books and magazines are of consistently high standard, and the fact that he has access to some of Mario's best material is a definite plus. The Card Puzzle is as stimulating as we have come to expect; it is highly recommended.

Ian Land.

TAG TEAM Phil Goldstein

The performer displays five pairs of cards. Each depicts a different famous team. One set features the comedy team of Laurel and Hardy; another shows the romantic team of Romeo and Juliet; a third pair has the fairytale team of Hansel and Gretel; another, the dance team of Astaire and Rogers. The final pair features the detective team, Holmes and Watson.

The detectives are placed aside. The other eight cards are shuffled, and while the performer's back is turned, one is removed from the packet by the spectator, who places the chosen card out of view. The Holmes and Watson cards are then set to work . . . and they successfully track down the mate card to the one retained by the spectator.

There are no gimmicks involved; merely the ten cards described above. For impromptu circumstances, these could be written out on business cards. For more formal situations, drawings would be preferable.

Begin by displaying the cards in pairs, discussing the "team" nature of the two-card sets. Explain that, of these five famous teams, it is the detective team that will have the most bearing on the demonstration about to be shown. Place the Holmes and Watson cards aside.

Gather up the four remaining pairs, in any order (but, keeping the paired cards together). This eight-card set is now shuffled, using an in-the-hands Milk Build: hold the packet in the right hand, as if for an Overhand Shuffle. The left hand milks off the top and bottom cards. The hands come together again, and the left hand again milks off the top and bottom cards, depositing this two-card stock on top of the first stripped-off couple. Again, milk off the top and bottom cards, finally tossing the final two cards on top of all. The resulting situation is that the mate of any given card will now be exactly four cards away.

You may wish to give the packet a further shuffle, in which case you can Overhand Shuffle by running off three cards, singly, and tossing the balance on top; then, running off five cards, singly, and tossing the rest on top. This does not alter the positional relationships, and this shuffling sequence can be repeated as many times as desired.

Hand the packet to a spectator. Turn your back. Instruct the spectator to give the face down stock as many complete cuts as desired. Then, the spectator is to remove the top card, putting that card in his/her pocket for safekeeping. Depending on your presentational inclinations, the spectator may be directed to note the selection, or to keep it unseen.

The mate of the selection is now fourth from the top of the remaining seven-card stock, though the spectators are unaware of this fact. Direct the spectator to take the Holmes and Watson cards, placing those cards face up on the top and bottom of the face down packet. Explain that the great detective and his companion have thus surrounded their suspects .. . and now they must close in on the proper one.

The spectator is instructed to give the packet an Under/Down Shuffle (i.e., the top card is transferred to the bottom; the next is dealt to the table; next to the bottom, and so on, until the stock is exhausted).

At the conclusion of this "random sorting procedure", the spectator is asked to spread out the nine-card packet. It will be seen that the face up Holmes and Watson cards are sandwiching a single face down card-which will prove to be the proper suspect, as it is the mate to the previously selected card.

Obviously, there are many other famous teams that can be used for this routine, from sports, music, politics, cartoons, theatre, and so forth. Depending on the audiences you are working for, you may wish to gear the choice of teams toward appropriate patter vehicles.

QUEENS & WATER Phil Goldstein

The following is a variant handling for Roy Walton's classic "Oil & Queens". The reader will note a relationship between this handling and my "Brackets", elsewhere in this issue. As in the Walton routine, nine cards are employed: three red spot cards, two black spot cards, and the four queens. Arrange these in order from the face: R,B,R,B,R,Q,Q,Q,Q.

1) State that you will perform with eight cards. Hold the packet face up, and Hamman Count to display eight cards, alternating in colour. The switch action of this count is done on the count of "5"; the last card taken is actually a squared pair. At the conclusion of this, the order of the cards will be, from the face: B,R,R,B,R,Q,Q,Q,Q.

2) Flip the packet face down, and say that you will deal the cards into two piles, thus separating the colours. Deal two piles, starting at your left. The final card dealt will be a squared pair. (Note that you can flash the faces on the final four deals.)

3) Make sure at this point that the spectators have followed, and understand the (presumed) situation. Pick up the right-hand packet. Say, "Obviously, if I reverse the procedure, the colours will become mixed once more." Here, you seem to do this. Remove the top card of the tabled packet. Flash its face (red), and table it face down at centre. Double Lift the top card(s) of the packet in your hands, to flash a black face. Drop this double face down onto the packet for a moment, as you reach over to adjust the red card which was moved to the centre. Now, apparently re-take the black card from atop the packet in your hands. You actually take a single card this time-a red. This is deposited face down onto the central card.

4) Again, remove the top card of the tabled packet, flashing its red face, and deal it face down onto the central group. Perform a Double Lift, from the stock in your hands. Flash the face of this squared pair (black), and deposit the pair on top of the central group. You have, seemingly, made an open, deliberate alternation with four cards.

5) Drop the remainder from your hand onto the remainder from the tabled pile. Pick up the central pile. There should be no doubt in the spectators' minds that you hold an alternating mix of red and black. Make a mystical gesture. Flip the packet face up, and perform a Jordan Count, displaying four reds.

6) Say, "If the reds are together over here, then what must be there on the table?" The spectator will naturally tell you, the blacks. Invite the spectator to turn over the tabled pile, for the surprise appearance of the queens.


The following routine is somewhat unusual, in that it is a packet effect designed for a large audience. The development stems from a time last year, when Earl Nelson was performing in the Parlour at the Magic Castle. One of the routines he was using in that show was his variation on Jerry Sadowitz' version of the Vernon "Travellers" effect, "The More Things Change" (from "Alternative Card Magic", 1982).

The handling Earl devised was extremely good. However, the Parlour seats 56 people, and for that size audience I felt it to be somewhat awkward to use standard counting procedures, with the cards held horizontally. Thus, I set out to create an approach which looked more normal in that context. The handling I will describe here is one of several I worked out. In this write-up, I will apply the procedure to a simple transport transposition effect. If the reader cares to look up the Sadowitz reference given above, it will be quickly observed how my display procedure can be applied to that routine.

Eight cards are used: the four kings and the four aces. At the start of the routine, the aces are on top of the kings, with the red aces first and fourth, and the colours of the kings alternating. To make this write-up to follow, easier we will say that the specific order is, from the top: AD, AC, AS, AH, KS, KH, KC, KD.

The routine will be performed standing up. You should have a table, set to your right.

1) Start by holding the packet face down in the left hand. The right hand approaches the left, and the top card (AD) is thumbed off into the right hand, which raises that card to a vertical position to display it to the audience. The hands come together, and the next card (AC) is thumbed off in front of the right hand's card, and again raised to display. Continue with this mode of display, cleanly showing all eight cards as you comment that you will work with the aces and kings. As the cards are taken into the right hand, they do not need to be precisely squared. The final two cards (KC and KD) are down-jogged about half an inch.

2) The display completed, the eight-card packet is re-taken into the left hand, face down. The hands come together, and square the cards, keeping the lowermost pair in-jogged. During this squaring action, the top single card is also down-jogged, to line up with the lowermost pair.

3) The right hand now apparently removes the top portion of the packet, as you state that you will place the four aces aside. What actually happens here is that the right hand grasps the three in-jogged cards, as shown in figure one. The in-jogged stock is pivoted to the angled position shown in figure two, then pulled away from the left-hand stock, and placed face down on the table.

Two factors aid in this gambit. First, the packet is tilted slightly forward, so that the stock being removed appears to be coming directly off the top of the packet. Too, as the right-hand stock is tabled, the left hand raises its five-card packet to display the KH at the face of that stock. This cements the idea that you are retaining the kings. (Note that the face card of the stock has changed, from the KD to the KH, but as it is still a red suit that shows, this change will not be discerned.)

4) At this point, there will be a three-card packet face down on the table, in order from the top: AD, KC, KD. The five-card stock in your left hand is, from the top: AC, AS, AH, KS, KH. Lower the left hand, returning the packet to a horizontal position. The right hand removes the lowermost card of the left-hand stock (KH), and uses that card to gesture toward the tabled group as you explain that you will cause the tabled aces to transpose, one at a time, with the kings in your hand. Replace the card from your right hand on top of the left-hand stock.

5) Make a mystical gesture. State that the first transposition has taken place. The packet is now counted in a display fashion, similar in appearance to the initial display of step one. We will refer to this procedure as a Vertical Ghost Count: the packet is held face down in the left hand, rather deep in the thumb crotch (refer to figure three), clipped at the join of the thumb and forefinger. The remaining fingers of the left hand are not actually holding the packet. Thus, there is a gap between those fingers and the bottom of the packet.

On the count of "one", the right hand descends to the packet, and removes the top single card (KH). This card is raised to a vertical position for display. Now, the right hand returns to the left-hand stock, seemingly in order to take the next card in front of the first. In fact, as the hands come together, the left thumb does a Push-Off of the top three cards of its stock. The right-hand card goes beneath the packet, into the gap above the left fingers. That card is retained by the left fingers, and the right hand comes away with the three-card block that was pushed over by the left thumb. The right hand raises its stock to a vertical position, displaying the AH at the face of that stock, on the count of "two".

On the count of "three", the right hand returns to the left-hand stock, and the top card of the left-hand pair (KS) is taken beneath the right. Again, the right hand raises its cards to a vertical position to display the face card of its stock.

On the count of "four", the right hand stays raised. The left hand moves up to show its card vertically (KH), snapping that card to indicate its singularity. Now, both hands move down to bring their cards to a face down horizontal position, and the left-hand card is placed on top of the right-hand packet. The entire stock is again taken in the left hand.

This count is rather difficult to properly describe in print. There is a rhythm involved. Done correctly, it will seem to be a very fair sequence of actions, as if you are doing no more than thumbing the cards over, one at a time, from the left hand to the right. During this display you will have shown three kings and one ace. (The KH will be shown twice, but the duplication will not be realized, if your actions are fluid.)

At the conclusion of this count, the order of the packet is, from the top: KH, AC, AS, AH, KS.

6) Make a mystical gesture, and announce that the second transposition has.taken place. The packet is now counted in a manner which has the same appearance as previous displays: the first card (KH) is taken by the right hand, raised and shown. The next card (AC) is taken beneath the right-hand card, raised and shown. The left hand does a Push-Off of the top two cards of its stock, and that pair is taken beneath the right-hand stock, raised and shown (AH). As before, the final card (KS) is raised by the left hand, and displayed. As the hands move back to horizontal display, the left-hand card is replaced on top of the right-hand packet.

You will have thus displayed two kings and two aces. The order of the cards at the conclusion of this phase is, from the top: KS, KH, AC, AS, AH.

7) Make a mystical gesture, to effect the third transposition. The packet is counted as follows: perform a Double Lift, so that the right hand takes away the top two cards, squared as one. This squared pair is raised to a vertical position, displaying the KH. The next card (AC) is taken beneath that pair, raised and shown. The next card (AS) is taken beneath the right-hand stock, raised and shown. The left hand raises the final card (AH), and displays it. The card is replaced on top of the right-hand stock.

You have now shown one king and three aces. The order of the packet is now, from the top: AH, KS, KH, AC, AS.

8) Make a mystical gesture, to complete the transposition. Now, perform the Vertical Ghost Count described in step five. The last card of this display (AH) goes to the bottom at the conclusion of the count. With this action, you will have displayed four aces. The ace of hearts will be seen twice, but again, a proper handling will allow this to pass, as the correct colour quantity (two red, two black) will be shown.

9) At this point, the transposition is finished. It is possible, however, to show that the four kings are now contained in the tabled packet. The packet you hold reads, from the top: KS, KH, AC, AS, AH. Take that stock into the left hand, obtaining a break beneath the top two cards. The right hand contacts the packet, and palms off the two kings above your break. Now, the right hand goes to the table, picking up the tabled cards and loading the two palmed cards on top. At the same time, the left hand tosses its stock onto the table, face up. An ace will show at the face of that stock, as expected. In fact, it does not matter if the packet spreads a bit, as only aces will show. (Take care not to allow the cards to spread too much, or the fact that there are only three aces will be evident.)

10) Your are now holding a five-card packet: the four kings, with the AD at centre. These can be displayed as four kings only, using the counting action described in step six to hide the ace.

11) If you feel it absolutely necessary, at this point you can cut the packet to bring the AD

to the top, then palm that away and add it to the tabled group in order to end with two complete and separate sets of cards. A far simpler solution is to conclude by pushing the packets together. By this merging, the evidence is destroyed.

Describing this approach to false counting has not been easy. However, if the reader will experiment with cards in hand, the idea should eventually define itself comfortably. Do realize that the routine just described is nowhere near as long as it seems in print. The sequence covered in steps five through eight can be applied to many other routines, allowing for performance before far larger groups than would be viable with standard counting actions.

GREETINGS Phil Goldstein

In Pabular V8 #3, Gay Ljungberg's "Christmas Cards" offers a routine in which an Elmsley Count is used to bring about an ungaffed close-up version of the old "Stung Again" plot. The idea has merit, and need not be restricted to the year-end holidays.

One very practical application would be for those performers working in restaurants, table-hopping. It is not infrequent in such a venue to come across a group celebrating a birthday. Therefore, why not perform the effect using cards bearing birthday cakes. When the final card is withdrawn from the napkin, it reads, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" ... and on the other side the message concludes, "TO YOU!"

This makes for an inexpensive give-away for the birthday subject. If the idea appeals, it might be worth having the cards printed up in quantity, with your name and address in small type on each card. In a normal evening at a restaurant, most performers would be able to give away several such cards to different parties. Surely one would be remembered, and subsequently contacted for private shows.

You can increase the number of uses for this idea by also having on hand cards for anniversaries, and a general "CONGRATULATIONS" message to cover any other sort of party.

For the presentation, refer to the article referenced above. I would add, however, that I think the initial false count used in that routine to show four backs is quite unnecessary. In this instance, it is actually to your advantages if the spectators assume you do not have four normal backs on the cards. Such an assumption only intensifies the surprise of the second message.

Phil Goldstein

Peter Warlock's "A Matter Of Design", from the Willane "Methods For Miracles" series, is a superb effect. In that routine, the performer predicts which of several designs is freely chosen by a participant.

The method makes use of a predictive drawing made with permanent ink, modified with extra lines drawn with "It's A Pip" fluid. The mentalist is thus able to erase various parts of the prediction, to alter that picture so as to duplicate any of the shown designs.

The effect has been re-invented many times. Recently, versions have made use of commercially available erasable marking pens (for example, Velleda) in place of the pip fluid.

There is one small problem with the Warlock routine: in order to have any of the designs covered by the one prediction, it is necessary to make all of the designs somewhat similar. Here, I will describe a new presentational dressing which offers a logical reason as to why the designs are similar, thus turning a flaw into a presentational advantage. Too, the version about to be detailed alters the effect from a demonstration of the performer's precognitive abilities into a test of the spectator's intuitional skills.

The mentalist asks whether his spectators are familiar with a common puzzle, wherein a group of deliberately similar designs are shown. Two of them are identical; the challenge is to locate the matching pair, in as little time as possible.

The audience will, for the most part, be familiar with this type of puzzle. The performer goes on to discuss the nature of the game; that it is a test of visual observation skills, and that different players will take very different legnths of time in spotting the matching designs. He does on to explain that he has come up with a new approach to this type of puzzle — which depends not on one's powers of visual observation, but rather on intuitive abilities.

Ten squares of card stock are introduced. The performer explains that he has taken one of the puzzles under discussion, and cut it up into separate units. One square is placed aside, undisplayed. The performer states that this discarded piece bears one of the matching drawings. The other nine designs are shown, and a spectator invited to try his/her intuitive efforts toward guessing which of the remaining nine mates the one placed aside.Of course, the spectator is successful, bringing the routine to a happy conclusion.

You will need ten squares of card. The size is determined purely by your own desires. Obviously, the larger the audience you intend to be working for, the larger the squares should be. For informal close-up performing, they can be pocket-size.

The squares must be laminated with a material appropriate for use with erasable ink. (Stationery shops can supply adhesive-backed sheets of white laminate, perfect for this.)

The designs I use for this test are not the same as for the Warlock routine, although those will serve well. They are shown in the illustration. These designs are drawn onto the squares with a permanent ink pen. Now, on a tenth square, use the permanent market to draw the basic cross-and-circle design shown in figure B. Then, using an erasable marker, add the four lines indicated by the broken lines in figure C:

You will note that, with a maximum of two erasures, your tenth drawing can be made to match any of the nine options.

PAPER CHASE Phil Goldstein

This routine is a version of the classic Living & Dead Test, incorporating both precognitive and telepathic demonstrations.

You will require a Himber-style wallet. Into one side of this, place an index card, upon which you have written, "The dead name will be third in the row." In the other side of the wallet, another card is placed, with the message, "The dead name will be fourth in the row." A pencil, plus five pre-folded billets, complete the list of materials. Your only further preparation is to

mark one of the folded billets. (A nail-nick is probably the simplest, most functional mode for this.)

At the start of the routine, the four un-marked billets are handed out to as many spectators. One is asked to write down the name of someone who has passed "into the spirit world"; the others write down living persons' names. Turn your back while thfe names are written onto the slips of paper. Once the writing

Bring the wallet into view, held in the right hand with the thumb on top, fingers below. The marked dummy billet is held beneath the wallet, with the right fingers.

Use the wallet as a tray, to collect the billets from the four spectators. Carry the collected papers to the table. The quartet of billets is seemingly dumped onto the table. In fact, press your right thumb onto the dead-name billet. As the right hand turns palm down, the three other billets are tossed to the table — along with the hidden dummy billet from beneath the wallet. (My thanks to T. A. Waters for suggesting this most appropriate method for switching out the target slip.)

A spectator is directed to mix the billets. While this is being done, the dead-name paper is secretly opened, under cover of the raised wallet, and the name read and remembered. Re-fold the billet. (Some performers may prefer to turn their backs while this mixing is being done, which of course affords yet more cover for this secret reading.)

Explain that, inside the wallet, you have a document; a prediction concerning the outcome of the spectator's mixing. The spectator is asked to arrange the slips, in any other, into a row on the table.

Note the location of the marked dummy billet. It will either be at one end of the row, or second from the end. Thus, depending on which end of the row you count from, the dummy billet, can be either third or fourth in line. Open the wallet to the appropriate side, and have the statement on the card within read aloud.

Say, "Let's see if I'm correct. . ." Pick up the first slip, and open it. Read the name out loud, and inquire as to whether it is the dead name or not. Continue with the remaining live-name billets. Your precognitive "hunch" is thus proven correct.

Pick up the final paper (the blank dummy, thought to be the dead name). Offer a further test. The still-folded slip is raised to your forehead, and in the course of that action, switched for the actual dead-name billet. Toss the dead-name paper to the table, and with proper histrionics, reveal the name.

BRACKETS Phil Goldstein

This multi-phase packet routine takes as its starting point the Fulves "Black Out" plot, which is in turn a variant on the Mario "Oil & Water" premise. I have published two related routines in the New Tops ("Broil", November 1983; "Broker", December 1983). This latest version employs gaffed cards, which allow for a rather strong climax. Of interest is the extent to which surfaces are able to be kept hidden during the first two phases of the routine.

Material such as this runs a certain risk: that of confusing the spectators. The reader is thus advised to present this routine clearly and deliberately, taking enough time to let the various pieces of information establish themselves prior to continuing. For related reasons, I suggest that you obtain the necessary cards before attempting to read the rest of this write-up.

You will require, from a blue-backed deck, three medium-value red spot cards, and three medium-value black spot cards. You will also need two red-backed blank-facers, one blue-backed blank-facer, and a red/blue double-backer.

At the start of the routine, the cards are in order from the top: black; black; black; double-backer (blue-side-up); red-backed blank-facer; red; red; red; blue-backed blank-facer; red-backed blank-facer.

1) Hold the ten-card packet face down. Obtain a left little finger break beneath the fifth card from the top. State that you will work with eight cards. Now, deal a pile of (apparently) four cards onto the table, face down. In fact, the fourth card dealt is actually a double (the two cards above the break, squared as one). In the same fashion, deal a second pile of (apparently) four to the right of the first pile, the final card being a squared pair. Eight blue backs will show during this dealing.

2) Pick up the first pile at left. Flip the cards face up. Perform a Jordan Count to display four blacks. (A note here: in this routine, the display actions will be Jordan Counts and Ascanio Spreads. To provide some consistancy of handling, I suggest that the Jordan Count be done from a Biddle Grip.) Flip the packet face down. Perform an Ascanio Spread as you reiterate that the pile contains four black spot cards. Strip out the double card from the Ascanio Spread, replacing the stripped-out card(s) to the bottom of the packet. Table this pile, face down, well off to your right.

3) Pick up the other packet. Perform a face up Jordan Count to display four reds. Flip the cards face down. Ascanio Spread, stripping the double to the bottom. Retain this pile in your hands.

4) Explain that you will form a combined pile. Perform a Double Lift of the top two cards of the packet in your hand, flashing the face of the card(s) to display a red. Deal this squared pair to the table, in a central position. Remove the top card of the tabled packet, flashing its face (black) and placing it on top of the central card(s). Remove the top card of the packet in hand, flashing its face (red), and place it onto the central pile. Remove the top card of the tabled pile, flashing its face (black), and drop it on top of the central group.

5) Pick up the balance of the "black" packet on the table, and drop it on top of the remainder of the cards in your hand. This combined pile is placed off to the side.

6) Pick up the combined pile from the central position. Jordan Count the face down packet, as you say, "Black-red-black-red." Make a magic gesture . . . Flip the packet face up. Jordan Count, showing four reds.

7) Offer to repeat the effect. Flip the packet face down. Ascanio Spread as you remind the audience that you have the four reds in hand. Strip out the double from the spread, transferring it to the top. The packet is tabled.

8) Pick up the other packet. You will again form a combined pile. This time, it is important that the packet in your left hand be held in a rather deep grip, for reasons which will be explained momentarily. To form the combined pile, this time start with the top card of the tabled packet. Do not flash the face of this card. Next, remove the top card of the packet in your hand, flashing its face (black) and dealing it onto the first central card. The top card of the tabled group is removed, unshown, and dealt onto the central pile. Now, the top card of the packet in hand is dealt onto the central pile. However, as the right hand takes this card, the left wrist turns inward, to conceal the red back which is now atop the left-hand packet. Here is the reason for holding the packet deep in the left hand: you don't want to expose that the face card of this packet is blank.

9) Having dealt this fourth card onto the combined pile, the right hand picks up the remainder of the tabled "red" pile, and deposits it on top of the remaining stock in the left hand (the left wrist turning forward as this is done, to bring the cards back to horizontal position). This set of cards is placed off to the side.

10) Pick up the central pile. Jordan Count, face down, saying, "Black-red-black-red." (In the interests of saving time, you can dispense with this count, if you wish, and simply proceed to the next step.)

11) Flip the packet face up. Jordan Count, to show four blacks.

12) At the conclusion of this count, obtain a break beneath the top two cards. Perform a Half-Pass, to secretly reverse the two cards below the break. Table the packet; a black spot card shows on top.

13) Pick up the other pile. Say, "If the blacks are there, what must be here?" The spectators will say, "red". Make another mystical gesture. Flip the packet face up, and Jordan Count showing four blank faces — the red surfaces have disappeared.

14) At the conclusion of this count, hold the packet in your left hand. The right hand extracts the lowermost card of this packet, and gestures with it to display it cleanly (blue-backed blank-facer). At the same time, the left hand obtains a break beneath the top two cards of the packet. The right hand card is now inserted into this break, and a break is taken above this inserted card, held by the left little finger.

15) The right hand picks up the tabled "black" pile, grasping the packet with the right hand from above (Biddle Grip). Gesture with the right hand toward the left, saying, "If the red surfaces have vanished, where do you suppose they've gone?" As this gesture is made, the top two cards of the left hand stock (above the break) are stolen beneath the right hand group, via a "kissing" action. As a blank face still shows atop the left hand packet, nothing seems to have changed. The left hand turns palm down, and spreads its packet face down onto the table. Four blue backs will show, as expected.

16) Answer your own question, by flipping the packet in the hands face down. Jordan Count, displaying four red backs-^or the final kicker.

Well was George Orwell right? We have had 1984 and I don't feel any different. Apart from one or two isolated instances magic has not become automated. No one has invented a machine to do an invisible pass. I am convinced that audiences still prefer an assistant with big boobs to a magic table which moves around on command. I think that as a race magicians are pretty safe for a while yet. I see another magicienne is getting her slice of national publicity by trying to join the London Magic Circle. I wish luck but privately (?) hope she doesn't make it. If women are going to talk about equality I want a room at the Y.W.C.A.

Did you get your share during the December/ January rush? There seemed to bea lot of work around. One thing was notable, I had more work for close-up magic than ever before and the money was better than average.

I was talking to a nameless friend of mine recently. He does a stand up act, but has been trying for years to build up some kind of connection for close-up magic at which he is probably better. Like me, he seemed to do a lot better this Christmas/New Year season doing close-up and he made a discovery.

He was working in restaurants, office parties, dinner-dances whatever, and as there was a festive spirit around the audiences tended to be a little noisier and perhaps more outgoing than usual. It follows that a little less attentive than usual as well, which in turn meant that he had to curtail some of his routines. Over a period of weeks he has had to revise his whole outlook on the presentation of close-up magic and in his own words he discovered after a couple of weeks that he was presenting

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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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