Topit is an adaptation of the old time poacher's pocket. It can be obtained from Davenports together with the Topit Handbook written by Patrick Page.
It would be simpler to prepare if a screw topped bottle was used, but I think that the impact is greater if a crown-sealed bottle is used and well worth the extra effort. Also pubs sell crown topped bottles.
Offer to pay for the 'spoilt' tonic. If your offer is accepted take it away for use elsewhere. Don't let them open it and find the Blu-Tac in the cap. If the landlord wants to keep it displayed as a souvenir, great! The story will grow as he exaggerates every time he tells it, and your reputation will grow with it. Several pubs have a bottled card on the top shelf as a result of my proving trials.
Last month's issue contained an article by Bert Graham entitled A Plea giving excellent advise for those responsible for arranging the close-up part of Convention programmes.
For the third year in succession I am responsible for the Pabular evening of close-up magic at The Magic Circle which takes place this evening, the 5th September. It is a small event it in which the performers are chiefly members and the requirements are not so exacting as those of large Conventions. Nevertheless, some organisation is necessary to ensure success, and the following details regarding our methods may be of interest to those involved in similar events.
Seating accommodation for all spectators is a must to prevent them from moving around and causing distraction and spoiling the general atmosphere.
There must be sufficient tables — one for each twenty or so spectators will ensure everyone has an uninterrupted view of the performers without the need to move position in order to follow the action. These tables should be as far as possible from each other and round the sides of the room leaving the centre of the room for the performers, for whom chairs should be provided.
Citing our own circumstances we have five tables and about a dozen performers whose only instruction is that they can perform one or more tricks, but not to exceed ten minutes in time, and that they introduce themselves at each table. Giving members the option of doing just one or two tricks encourages them to participate. Many magicians who do not have an 'act' as such, perform the odd trick very well which they are quite willing to perform but refuse if invited to do an act.
The show commences with a performer at each table, the remainder of the performers with the organiser in the centre, seated in comfort. Immediately a performer finishes at a table he returns to the pool and his place is taken by one from the pool. This continues for the stipulated time of the show, in our case about an hour.
The advantages of this arrangement are obvious. The spectators are assured of a continuous show without the usual waiting for a performer coming from another table. For the performer, he can re-set at his leisure and go to a vacant table completely relaxed. It only requires one organiser whose duties are — to brief the performers, start the show and declare it over when he finds he has run out of performers. This latter announcement is made as briefly as possible leaving the performers still working to finish their acts.
There is only one slight snag. All performers will not appear at every table so it is best to have the more popular performers among those starting the show which will make it more likely everyone will have a chance to see them.
The above was written yesterday, and I can report that again everything ran smoothly and take the opportunity of thanking the following performers who provided such a high standard of magic. David Carre, Arthur Carter, Tony Faro, Jan Heins, Basil Horwitz (from South Africa), David Beckley, Jim Jones, Brian King, Eric Mason, Nikolas, Chris Pratt and Phil Wye.
Apologies to Geoff Ray, one of the first to volunteer to help us in any way he could with the Ramsay Reunion. Giving up professional engagements to be there and perform we repaid this generous gesture by omitting his name from those who performed. Again Sorry.
A present from Ricky Jay, his newly published book Cards as Weapons dispelled all the gloom resulting from our errors of omission and commission referred to above. An extremely amusing book which covers every conceivable aspect of card throwing. An effort will be made to review this unusual piece of literature next month.
Next month will see the start of a series of articles on stunts, gags, bits of business etc mainly with common objects. Some effort will be made to devote each article to a particular class of objects. Our first effort will be entitled Where there's Smoke and will cover pipes, cigarettes, cigarette packets, matches, matchboxes, in short, anything to do with smoking.
Til next month, Fred Robinson
This variation of the cannibal cards brings into use a faked card which enables further entertainment to be extracted from the effect.
To make the fake take any queen from the pack and apply a narrow strip of adhesive on the back along both ends. Take another card, not a ten, and place it face down on top of the queen to form a double card which is open^ along both long sides. Take a duplicate queen and cut it into small pieces. These pieces are stackecf and placed into the fake which is then placed on the face of the pack. Place the four tens on top of the pack and proceed as follows:-
1. Run through the pack and toss out the four jacks face up onto the table.
2. Hold the pack in the left hand in dealing position face down and with the right hand pick up the jacks from the table and hold them face up in that hand also in dealing position and say, "These four jacks represent four hungry cannibals and the pack represents the jungle which contains the greatest cannibal delicacy, raw missionary. Let me show you how a typical cannibal tribe spend their day. In the morning they have breakfast which consists of one, two, three missionaries." As you say this last sentence thumb off the top jack face up onto the table, then a card
(a ten) face down from the top of the pack onto the jack. The face down card you explain is a missionary. Continue dealing alternately until you have a packet of seven cards on the table, four face up jacks with three face down cards (tens) alternating between them.
3. Place the pack on the table and pick up the packet and hold it in Biddle position in the right hand between thumb at the inner end and the fingers at the outer end. Pull off the first jack with the left thumb then the first face down card taking a little finger break between the two cards. Next pull off the second jack at the same time steal the face down card above the break
taking it below the cards in the right hand Biddle fashion. Left thumb pulls off the next face down card and then the jack, again Biddling the face down card as before. Pull off the last face down card and hold a break below it then drop the last jack with the two face down cards below it on top of the cards in the left hand, which now holds all the cards in the following order from top to bottom: face up jack, three face down tens, little finger break, three face up jacks. To the spectators you have merely emphasised the position of the missionaries between the cannibals.
4. Take the packet from above with the right hand, thumb at the inner end, fingers at the outer end. When the cards are squeezed and then the pressure relaxed the long ends will open and close at the break point. Repetition of this action produces the now well known simulation of a mouth opening and closing. After this action place the cards back into the left hand retaining the break under the top four cards.
5. You now count the four jacks one at a time into the right hand by taking first the block of four cards above the break then the remaining three one at a time on top thus showing the three missionaries have gone.
6. You continue the story by saying "In the afternoon the cannibals go into the jungle to catch some missionaries for their evening meal." You now perform the first part of Frank Garcia's Apex Ace which can be found in Harry Lorayne's Close Up Card Magic, page 88. The Apex Ace is also used by Walt Lees in his very good cannibal routine. Vanish the first three jacks by the Apex Ace handling. The final jack is inserted face up into the centre of the pack and apparently lost, but really it is stolen into the palm of the right hand via the side steal. Pass your right hand over the pack and deposit the palmed jack on top to reveal the cannibals.
Spread the top seven cards to reveal the four cannibals with the captured missionaries between them. Left thumb pushes off one more card making eight in the spread and the right hand squares up the eight cards holding them in Biddle position. The left hand places the pack on the table face down with the outer and pointing to about two o'clock position.
7. The face down cards are made to vanish by the process of step 3, but this time when the last jack is dropped on top three cards are concealed under it instead of two. Again show the vanish by the push off count.
8. You now cause the jacks to mysteriously turn face down one at a time by using an automatic reverse sequence of Dai Vernon's explained in Expert Card Technique. Hold the packet in the left hand in dealing position and with the left thumb push off the face up jacks one at a time into the right hand buckling on the third. Do not reverse the order. This action will reveal three of the jacks face up and a face down card last in the spread. Put this last card on top as you remark, "Too much raw meat gives the cannibals a funny turn." Repeat the above sequence three times apparently causing all four jacks to turn face down. Actually they are the four tens, the jacks are now face up below them.
9. Hold the packet in the left hand in dealing position and take a little finger break above the jacks. Using the gambler's cop, steal the jacks in the left hand which then picks up the pack adding the palmed cards. Turn the pack face up to reveal the face of the faked queen and say, "Cannibals are not averse to lady missionaries." Thumb the fake over the side and push it into the centre of the four face down cards in the right hand which should be fanned slightly. The fake goes in face down. Put pack on table.
10. Square up the packet and hold it in the right hand and do the mouth business gradually angling the packet allowing the pieces of card to dribble from the fake as you remark, "You can't keep a good missionary down".
Finally take the packet in the left hand and deal the cards face up onto the table buckling on the third which you deal together with the fake. The last card is dropped casually on top and slightly forward of the others to prevent the fake being seen. As you deal remark, "In fact they've eaten so much food that they've come out in spots."
The 'Spots Finish' is an idea of Roy Walton's from the 'return of the cannibals' in 'CARDSCRIPT'.
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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.