1. Some might be tempted to tear the cards originally instead of cutting them but I find it often prevents a clean mesh of the cards leading to disaster. I repeat, I have never had the 'cuts' spotted, even by magicians.
2. Please don't perform this trick with just four cards taken from your pocket. Always take them from a pack as described.
3. The 'fake' of two meshed cards has obvious application in other tunnel effects of the Ken Krenzel-Derek Dingle type.
4. It is possible to mesh cards cut in this way face-to-face and back-to-back giving other applications.
5. It is possible to mesh more than two cards. It would take too long to go into this here. Experiment if you wish and have fun.
THIMBLE FINGER — Arthur Setterington
Here are a couple of gags which create a great deal of amusement and surprise especially amongst the ladies.
The performer asks a lady if she has a thimble. When she replies in the negative he says that it's a good thing he remembered to bring one. He takes a small box from his pocket, making sure that the lady has a good view of it. Taking off the lid he shows that it contains a thimble. . .attached to a "mummified" finger. He gives a little whistle and the finger springs up. He removes the thimble, replaces the lid, and puts the box back into his pocket.
Finally he pushes the thimble into his left hand from where it vanishes, only to be produced from some unlikely place. The thimble is pushed into the hand again and the lady is asked to remove it before it disappears again. She does so, only to find that the thimble is attached to a finger.
The mummified finger is the old gag where the performer's finger goes through a hole in the bottom of the box. This should be done in a very off-hand manner as though it was nothing unusual. Presented this way it will register well.
The second "finger" is a novelty eraser which can be purchased from novelty stores. A duplicate thimble is attached to this. It is held
The concluding thimble sleight should be the one in which the performer pushes the thimble, open end first, into his partially closed left hand. To do this, he pushes with his right thumb. The third finger of the right hand curls up under cover of the closed left and slides into the waiting thimble. The left hand can then be shown empty. The thimble is retrieved from» perhaps, behind the knee.
At this point the rubber finger is secured from the clip, and is held in the slightly closed left hand. The thimble is on the right forefinger, and is apparently pushed through the left hand until it emerges from the other end. It is the attached thimble that is seen. The lady is asked to femove the thimble, which she does with hilarious results.
At the time of writing the British Ring Convention has just been upon us. Unfortunately this year I could only get to Hastings for one day and this meant missing most of the close up which takes place on the Saturday - the day when I was back home ploughing through the weekly quota of kids' shows and trying to earn a crust.
The reason for my missing the Convention, is one of plain mismanagement. Earlier on in the year, I got the dates muddled and kept the wrong week free. By the time that the error was discovered, several bookings had already been taken and there was nobody to pass these on to. All of the other toddler bashers, in this area, will be at Hastings. Some of you may not be altogether sorry to see the Convention going unreported. Perhaps you are right.
Having read many reports of conventions, over the years, I wonder whether they really convey anything at all, to those who were not actually present. Indeed, I sometimes wonder about the whole business of writing reports of magical events. Is it totally pointless, or does it serve some useful purpose?
We are frequently told that the purpose of writing a report, is to convey to those who could not be there, an idea of what took place and the effect that it had. It is extremely doubtful if many of the reports, that we read in periodicals, really succeed in doing this. If you doubt the veracity of that statement, get hold of a copy of "The Linking Ring" and wade through that vast wasteland of tightly spaced print, under the heading of "Ring Reports". I will leave you to make your own judgements on how much of those doings, in far away places, are brought to life for the reader!
Magic and all of the performing arts, can only exist at the moment of performance. How can the written word convey the impact of Fred Kaps presenting "The Homing Card" or Bob Read suddenly producing a bottle of wine? Will future generations be able to grasp the significance of these magical masterpieces, from anything that is currently in writing? It is extremely doubtful, anymore than the present generation can understand from the printed word, the profound impressions created by David Devant, Houdini or Thurston. Showmanship is, by its very nature, intangible. It defies the printed word. To ask somebody to describe Paul Daniels on paper is about as unrealistic as asking him to be Paul Daniels.
There are, dotted about in English literature, examples of a performance by some great actor, singer or musician, being beautifully described by a great writer. A study of these, however, usually shows that they are mainly concerned with the subjective feelings of the writer. It is nearly always his ideas, opinions and observations, which have become more important than the performance, being recorded. The whole thing becomes an introspective essay rather than a relaying of information.
Frequently, in magazines, there are pleas for reporting to be more factual, or more critical, or more detailed. Really this is just asking for the superfluous. We all know that it is unsatisfying to read ". . .Harold Taylor was his usual breezy self, presenting those effects, for which he is justly famed. .." What is the alternative? Those who were there, and those who know the performer's work, will understand exactly what is meant. Those who have never seen Harold work, would be none the wiser, even if the reporter were to expend ten thousand words describing every detail of his dress, stage technique, sleights, gags and nuances. Only by actually seeing Harold Taylor's act would the reader begin to comprehend.
All that the written word can do is to convey facts, ideas and opinions. Everything, from the Daily Mirror headlines to "War and Peace", is a combination of one or more of these three things. In the performing arts, facts, ideas and opinions are relatively unimportant. Personalities, timing and other intangibles count for much more. Professional television critics understand this. They tend, on the whole, to avoid mentioning experienced entertainers. There is little in the way of facts, ideas and opinions that can be written about the work of Ken Dodd or Frank Sinatra. Other performers can see a depth of artistry that laymen miss. Writing about it would be of little interest to those laymen. On the other hand, there are reams that can be written about plays and documentries. These are vehicles for facts, ideas and opinions; the stuff that journalism grows fat on.
Magic is a performing art. In common with all such arts, the actual work of art can only exist, while the performance is taking place. Because of this ephemeral nature, the artists must take steps to ensure that their work does not become forgotten. They must fight to keep their names in front of their public. Being frequently mentioned in the magical press is one small factor, in this battle. This is especially true for that select band of top international performers, who derive a substantial slice of their income from the work that they do for other magicians. Continually getting their names into print is not just egotism, it is often a matter of bread and butter.
Then there are the reporters. Who are they? Why do they choose to do the job? Some, no doubt, see it as a means of gaining recognition for themselves. It gives them the chance to publicly express their own views and ideas. Some even go so far as to assume the mantle of the critic or commentator. Others even distort the facts, so as to avoid embarrassing a performer, who flopped. (This latter tendency is a somewhat inexplicable one, because everybody, who was there, knows that the act flopped. The performer knows it and so does the audience. As the report can only have any significance to those who know the performer and his work, who is kidding who?)
Having rambled on at some length, I am fast coming to the conclusion that reports of convention events are not written for the benefit of those who were not there, and who do not know the people mentioned in them. They are in fact written for the benefit of the performers, organisers, reporters themselves, those people who were there and those absentees who already know the people involved.
September 6th was Pabular Night at the Magic Circle. I would like to thank Stephen Blood, Tony Brahams, Pat Conway, Sam Gupta, Johnny Johnston, Ian Keable-Elliott, Mike O'Brien, Chris Powers and Phil Wye. Also I would like to thank Ken Ward, who stepped in to fill a gap, when we were a performer short on one table. Well done lads.
Piet Forton was over here a few days ago. While in this country he went to Birmingham and had a session with Andrew Pargeter. Andrew showed him "Card Trek", which is in this issue. It absolutely floored Piet, which is no mean feat. Anyway, Piet prevailed upon Andrew to let Pabular have the effect and such was his enthusiasm and persuasiveness that Andrew Pargeter wrote it up and got it in the post to me within two days!! Piet Forton was greatly impressed by "Card Trek" and very baffled, which, considering that he is an ex F.I.S.M. champion and friend of some of the world's leading exponents, is saying a lot. So if you have passed this one up, go back and take a good, hard look at it.
LOCATION — Steve Kuske
A card peeked at by a spectator is discovered by the magi under the fairest of conditions.
Was this article helpful?
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.