The performer takes a plastic tube two inches long and through it, threads an elastic band. Into one of the loops protruding from the tube the left thumb is inserted and into the left little finger. The tube is obviously secure on the band which is stretched taut between the thumb and little finger.
A handkerchief is draped over the hand and a moment later the tube drops from beneath the handkerchief. The handkerchief is removed, and the elastic band is seen still stretched between the thumb and little finger.
This is a puzzling, uncomplicated close-up quickie with a simple plot, using simple articles.
Plastic tube two inches long with a half inch diameter — rubber band — and handkerchief.
Thread the rubber band through the tube and insert left thumb and little finger through protruding loops (Fig.l) shows this arrangement. Cover the hand with the handkerchief and proceed as follows.
Push the index finger into the band between the thun^b and tube and then withdraw the thumb. Now push the thumb into the band at the other end of the tube between the little finger and the tube. With the thumb push the tube up against the second finger and withdraw the index finger. The tube is now gripped between the index and second fingers and when it is required to drop the tube, open these two fingers and move-the thumb and little fingers apart stretching the band taut. Remove the handkerchief and show the band stretched between the thumb and little finger as at the beginning, but minus the tube.
Although the description may seem complicated the action is very simple in practice.
Some months back we printed an excellent article by Bert Graham which criticised in a constructive way the treatment meted out to performers participating in close-up at conventions and the like, giving valuable hints to organisers of such events.
No such article regarding these same hardworking gentlemen is required on how to treat visiting lecturers — at least that has been my experience with one exception which shall remain nameless. Perhaps I had better mention the others — which will not take long. The Leicester Magic Circle, The British Magical Society and recently The Order of the Magi all making sure that someone was delegated to meet me and looked after the 'inner man' before being taken to the headquarters. This kind of hospitality which makes the lecturer feel at home with some of the boys prior to doing his stint ensures that he gets off to a good start having already made 'contact' with some of his audience, thus avoiding to some extent starting cold, it is part of the business of making the event more enjoyable and is especially applicable when the subject is of a close-up nature depending on a more intimate contact with the onlookers than would be the case if the lecturer's subject matter was related to the various aspects of platform and stage magic. Either way its an advantage to have a friendly rapport with the audience from the beginning even if one is an experienced lecturer — which I am not.
Manchester — the home of the 'Magi' — has a reputation for being a city where it rains every •lay proved to be a disappointment when I arrived — it was fine. Met by Max Robertson this year's President and Arthur Day who recently showed me a trick which seemed familiar, it was Mark Weston's 'SPLITZ' from Vol.3 No. 11 of this magazine. After an excellent meal, which consisted of more courses than Mario has methods for doing Oil and Water, we moved on to the - .-nue.
Among the forty or so attending, apart from my escorts, I had only previously met Bayard Grimshaw editor of the I.B.M. Budget v/ho perf orms a monthly miracle by getting it out on time. Kevin Fox once published a trick in this magazine nd worked it at the Ramsay
Reunion — must twist his arm for another. Mark Weston, a regular contributor, Mo Howarth a regular reader and appreciative of our efforts told me of the fun he was getting from a trick in the Barrie Richardson issue — the Magnetic orce. Brian Glover was only a name to me until this visit. Proved that all I'd heard about his card work was true by showing me a couple of tricks. Both will be appearing in this magazine. It was raining when I left.
Back in London — and in the Blenheim Bar to see someone jacketless with short shirt sleeves causing a coin to appear and multiply first to two then three and finally four as he tossed them from hand to hand. Another coin effect in which the coin appeared and disappeared — no give away moves in either effect, wondering how the first was done, but Bill Spooner did give me the lowdown on how he did the second one — a hooked coin. He also kindly gave me his booklet 'Here's Hoo' with Coins which explained all. Apparently purchasers get the gimmicked coin included. If Bill, who hails from North Carolina, lets me know price and details I will review it fully.
Same place the Monday following. This evening Martino from South Africa entertaining magicians and lay persons alike with card tricks and an effect which he gave us permission to publish and will appear fairly soon. Changing a scrap of paper into a pound note. None of the magicians caught on to the fact he was using a thumb tip and some who saw it performed twice were still in the dark so get your thumb tip at the ready, preferably one which is a reasonable match to your flesh and does not stick out like a sore thumb. This is an item from the repertoire of a busy professional magician and one that has considerable impact on magicians and also on people who do not like magic — everyone likes money.
Bev Bergeron writes re the Simplified Spin Pass Aces — if you have any contact with A. Pargeter please tell him that I have been looking for this effect for years. I must have paid over one hundred dollars throughout the years trying to get a SIMPLE ace cutting effect that I could work from table to table. I'm a pro — I do not sit at a table for magicians. I have to be ready to perform as I approach a group of people sitting or standing. With the Pargeter method I can set faster than with any other method I know.
Anthony Brahams on his last visit to the U.S. tells me he managed to see some top class close-up magic — Jimmy Grippo at Las Vegas — J.C. Wagner, bar magician of San Diego doing tricks from his own book and those of Paul
Harris which seems to point to a source of practical material — at the Magic Castle Martin Nash looking the part of a gambler cutting aces and centre dealing and other relevant material. He also attended the Fetchter Convention and was impressed by the high standard of the magic most of which could be considered commercial.
Lecturers booked for the I.B.M. British Ring Annual Convention included Elizabeth Warlock and Phil Goldstein — will be there and — we will be reporting anything that was of interest to close-uppers.
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