To Birmingham to see Philippe Socrate (pronounced Sock-rat), best known for his superb stage act of a zombie routine with a rose that turns into a woman's head. This though was his close-up lecture which was divided into two -parts — the first in the main consists of items from his own close-up act ( first seen in England at Ron Macmillan's International Day of Magic in December last year).
I must admit to some bias towards Socrate: his entire manner reeks of a suave and sophisticated Frenchman. One can easily imagine him working in the top Parisian restaurants. Debonair, stylish, elegant, supremely courteous with Continental charm oozing out of every gesture and word. The effects, as in all the best magic, are supremely simple: a spoon penetrates a coin, a pound note floats, a rope is cut and restored, a cigarette lighter, rapidly followed by a cigarette, disappear. His humour arises from the magic and his presentation (acting, if you like). There are no obvious gags, no remarks out of context. Because the humour is an integral part'of the whole presentation it is all the more memorable and never, for an instant, detracts from the magic that is taking place.
He clearly thinks in detail about his magical technique and skills as well as his presentation. For example the timing on the disappearing cigarette was analysed in great depth: the hand containing the cigarette should move from the mouth to the table (ready for lapping) in two distinct steps: the first step on the misdirection of the cigarette lighter vanishing, the second on the surprise from the performer at its disappearance. Similarly the effect of a spoon penetrating a coin, as well as being completely angle proof, had a logical presentation that made it far more magical than its counterpart with a cigarette.
For Pabular writers (if not readers) obsessed with technique, Socrate's card work would be disappointing. However for those who have had the good fortune to witness his short scenario of cards mishandled and falling everywhere, the selected card shooting out of the pack everytime the spectator replaces it and various other clumsy attempts to handle the deck whilst telling the audience how important it is to be slick and professional, have seen something worth infinitely more than intricate sleight of hand and, incidentially, something that is far more difficult to achieve.
The second half of his lecture was wholly devoted to threads: how to make them, how to use them in all lights and in all situations, how to easily pick them up and get rid of them, the various gimmicks needed to keep them untangled and free from snapping: and, of course, the numerous floating and moving effects that can be done with them. From his detailed exposition it was clear that Socrate uses them continually and with great success in his commercial close-up. I wish anybody luck who tries to duplicate his achievements — they'll need it!
There was, as might be anticipated after the pathetic attendance for Martin Nash's London lecture, a poor turnout. I understand that the other lecture in Liverpool did better in terms of numbers. I only hope that Paul Stone (who organised the tour) made enough to make it financially worthwhile. As for me, I just quietly despair for the future of close-up in England.
Ian Keable-Elliott 15/5/84'
Ian Keable-Elliott 15/5/84'
RAINBOW ROAD Roy Walton
This is an easy to do handling of the Colour change pack trick. In addition to a standard pack you will require two other cards, each with a different coloured back to the pack in use.
For ease of explanation, let's assume that the» pack is Blue backed and the two extra cards are Red backed and Yellow backed.
Place one of the extra cards at the top of the pack and the other at the face and you're all set to perform.
We'll assume that the Yellow backed card is atop the pack and the Red backed one is at the face. The deck is cased and you're ready to go.
Remove the cards from the case and after accidentally flashing the Yellow back, hold them face up in the right hand in Hindu-shuffle position.
Use the left thumb to pull off the face card into the left hand and then continue to pull off very small packets from the face one by one, turning the right hand to flash the Yellow back after each group is pulled off, in the well known sequence.
Do this until you reach the approximate centre of the pack and then throw the remainder of the cards from the right hand on top of those in the left and pick up a left little finger break between the two sections.
Give the pack a single cut, cutting at the break and retake a break with the left little finger as the halves come together. Whilst the right hand is still over the pack, use its thumb to drop one card from the bottom of the face section onto the face of the lower section and retake the left little finger break at this point.
Carry out a standard riffle force with the pack face up and thumb off the card stopped at? Thumb the card face up to the table, then reassemble the main pack and place it face down on the table, carefully squared.
Pick up the chosen card and hold it face up in the right hand. Move it towards the main pack and make a slow circular motion with it about two inches above the cards. Say, "Did you see what happened to your card?" Pause and then say, "Look!" Turn the card face down to reveal the Red back design.
Explain that magicians should never repeat their tricks but on this special occasion, you will break the golden rule and give them another chance to see how it's done.
As you are saying this, quietly place the chosen card away in your pocket. Pick up the main pack and place it face up in the right hand and repeat the procedure already explained for showing the yellow backs, ending with the face up Riffle-force of the Yellow backed card.
After the card has been tabled, place the rest of the pack face up next to it. Pick up the single card from the table and hold it face up in the right hand. Move it towards the main pack and repeat the circular motioh above the cards. Turn the card over to reveal the Yellow back design and appear a little puzzled that it is still Yellow. Turn it face up and repeat the circular motion once more but to no avail! Finally flip the entire deck face up and make a long ribbon-spread across the table to reveal the Blue back designs, as you say . . . "Look, this time the whole pack has changed colour!"
If you own one of the special packs with 52 different hack designs, available from Piatnik, you can perform a stronger version of the previous effect.
Open by removing the cards face up from the case and performing a face up Hindu-shuffle, flashing the back of the original top card as you did before. Continue this display until you have about a quarter of the cards left, then throw these cards onto the ones in the left hand, holding a break between the portions as they come together.
Cut at the break and table the deck face up. Spread the cards face up across the table and invite a spectator to slide a card out from the spread. Whilst he's doing this, note and remember the name of the top card of the pack.
Square up the rest of the pack and leave it face down to one side. Wave the selection over the cards and show that its back has changed colour, exactly as you did before.
Place the chosen card in your pocket and offer to repeat the trick . . . Pick up the pack, turn it face up and give it a single complete cut. Spread through and toss out the card you remembered, trying to make its selection seem as unimportant as possible.
Table the face up pack and repeat the circular motion over the cards with the card just removed. You apparently fail, finally flipping the deck face up and spreading to reveal all the different coloured backs!
A DEVIL'S DOZEN PLUS TWO!
Sorry about the title, I couldn't think of anything else.
This brief interlude was one of the first items I forwarded to past editor Walt Lees. It never saw the light of day for some reason or other. Quite recently I discovered it in a crumpled state at the bottom of the Pabular waste-basket.
My devotion to the furtherance of magical knowledge compelled me to salvage it so here it is ... .
One regular Five of Diamonds, one blank faced card and one Fifteen of Diamonds card. All three back designs should match that of the deck in use and you may like to note that the two fakes can be found within the Piatnik 'Trick deck'.
From your regular deck force the Five of Diamonds, have it signed, returned and control it reversed to a position 15th from the top. (The reversal is optional!) Table the deck to one side and explain that you're a bit of a Klutz when it comes to predicting which card from the 52 will be selected so, just to be on the safe side, you've taken the liberty of making *3* predictions.
Introduce the three cards and comment that his card might be on the bottom, top or even the middle.
You now perform Mario's 'Quick three way sequence', which shows that the top, bottom and middle cards are all the Five of Diamonds.
I'm not going to describe this well known sequence but here's a clue . . . It's the main move in the Emerson and West packet card effect, 'Colour Monte',
Drive home the fact that all the cards are the Five of Diamonds by now performing the Hamman 'Flushtration Count' (Or 'All backs count' as it is sometimes referred to.) You are now set for the finale ...
The spectator confirms that all three of your predictions are correct and bowled over by this coincidence . . . You offer to locate his actual selection in the deck.
Explain that playing cards can be used in much the same way as a pocket calculator, first we need to make the display BLANK.
Perform a double turnover and the apparent top card of the three is seen to be blank faced. Flip the double face down, remove the top card only and pocket it. Now flip the next card face up and it too is blank, flip it face down and pocket it. Comment that the cards are adding themselves together and as you flip over the final card the 15 of Diamonds card is seen. (Three fives being 15!!)
Comment that the cards seem to be telling us that 15 has something to do with your selection. __%
It only remains for the spectator to deal down 15 cards and find his actual signed card at that position!
The whole routine isn't a mind-blower but I can assure you that it plays extremely well to living flesh laymen!
INTRIGUE : 2
Ed ... . With the recent influx of Bicycle card fakes, available from M. Breese LTD., I think more cardicians will be willing to try the variousj packet-card effects that require the odd fake card or two.
Two Blue backed cards, two Red backed cards and one double backer Red/Blue.
Place the two red backed cards between the blue backed ones, then place the double-backer on top with the Blue side uppermost. (All cards are backs up.)
Elmsley count the packet to show four Blue backed cards. Repeat the count and one of the cards suddenly changes to a Red backed one. Repeat it once more and you have two Blue backers and two Red backers.
Double turnover the top card(s) and rub the back of the face up card onto the card below. After a second or two, remove the face up card and show that it too is now Red backed. Place this card face down to the bottom of the packet and buckle spread to show that you do indeed have three Red backed cards and a single Blue backed one.
Finally Elmsley count again and all four cards are Red backed.
You now appear to flip the cards face up but in fact, you flip all the cards below the top card face up and onto it. At the same time you perform the 'Through The Fist Flourish.' and the cards emerge face up.
Spread over the top three cards and hold the lower two cards squared as one. Take the upper two single cards in your right hand and the lower two? (Really three.) in the left hand. Insert the left hand cards between those in the right hand and square up the packet.
Flip it face down, Elmsley count and all the cards have reverted to their original Blue backed state.
Ed ... . Obviously logical patter to accompany the moves will help things along. Quite recently I was shown Phil Goldstein's 'Cycle' effects and they are quite similar to Bill's idea. To be honest, the Goldstein variations are better structured and well worth a look. The gimmick is the same as used above and, to the best of my knowledge, is; supplied in Aviator card stock. In fact all the cards necessary for the 'Cycle' routines are supplied with the M/S.
1, 2, 3 AND 4 QUEENS Roberto Giobbi
The general idea of combining the Ace, Two, Three-plot with a final four-of-a-kind production was shown to me by friend Shiv Duggal of London. This is the result of my study on the effect he showed me.
The spectator selects a card from a shuffled deck and puts it back after having shown it to everybody. The magician produces the Ace, 2 and 3 of hearts giving the choice of any of these three cards to the spectator. This card then turns face down in the packet of three cards and eventually changes into the spectator's selected card (e.g. a Queen). As an additional kicker the other three Queens are produced in a quick and magical way in readiness to be used for the next routine.
Management and Handling
1) Take the deck in left hand dealing position. Slip cut the top Queen, which is going to be forced in a few instants, to one third down into the deck and slap the cut off top half (now minus the slip cut Queen) on top of the lower half injogged as shown in fig. 1. Place the deck in this condition to the right on the table as., you make some introductory remarks to the effect. This has been done in preparation of my
handling of the riffle force (s. "The Riffle Force — A Study In The Management And Handling of a Classic Sleight").
2) Pick up the deck and riffle force the slip cut Queen onto a spectator.
3) Have the card replaced controlling it to a position fourth from the top by means of the Bluff Pass. For details of handling of this sleight you might want to look up my thoughts on the subject in "The Bluff Pass — Study on a Standard Sleight".
4) You are now going to produce the Ace, 2 and 3 of hearts. Table the deck and hold as for a riffle shuffle. Your right thumb riffles halfway up the deck; with the right hand cut the top portion to the right while the left forefinger retains the top card (slip cut). Replace the right hand portion on top of the lower half maintaining a break with the left thumb.
5) Now cut the deck at the separation, the left hand holding the top portion and the right hand the bottom. In this cutting action, which has to be swiftly executed, the right forefinger presses onto the top card of the left hand portion thus spinning it (the Ace) out on the table (s. M. Nash in Ever so Sleightly "Spinning the Aces"). The situation as it presents itself to the spectators is depicted in fig. 2.
6) The right and left hand respectively each take i the top card of their portion and use them to lever the ace face up onto the table, the face down ace revolving on its front short end face up as the two cards lever it up from the back short end. As you say: "The Ace . . . two and three of hearts!" snap first the right hand card and then the card in the left hand face up in coordination with your patter. The display is now as in fig. 3.
7) Assemble the two fade down halves putting the left half on top of the right half.
Situation from top of deck: Q (selection), Q, Q, deck, Q.
Take the deck in left hand dealing position as the right hand picks up the three face up cards and ask the spectator to name one. As you are doing this your left pinky obtains a break under the top two cards. Still holding these three cards face up bring the chosen one to the face by moving around the cards in what seems to be a haphazard order.
8) Square the three cards on top of the deck picking up the two separated cards secretly underneath. As the right hand holds this five card packet in biddle position the left second finger pulls down the bottom card of this packet and allows the fourth finger of the right hand to catch an Erdnase break above it.
9) You are now about to get rid of the top face up card (say the spectator chose the two of hearts) by means of ATFUS. Execute ATFUS which leaves the two face up under a Queen on top of the deck while your right hand holds a three card packet: face up Ace, face down Queen, face up three.
10) Table the deck to the left. Pause. Reveal the card of their choice to have turned face up. Turn the face down card face up to reveal that it has changed into their selection. The display of the cards on the table is as in fig. 4 Climax. Apparently this marks the end of the effect.
11) Your left hand picks up the deck in left hand dealing position. The right hand takes over the deck from above in Biddle Position in order to allow your left hand to pick up the face up three of hearts on the left. Apparently put the three face up on the bottom of the deck, but in reality it goes second from the bottom as you separate the bottom card from the deck by means of the Kelly Bottom Placement technique. Leave the face up three side-jogged to the left as your right hand places the deck on the open left palm in order to go to the table and pick up the face up Ace which it places on top of the deck. Let this visual image sink in (fig. 5, hand removed).
12) Square the deck and give it a slow Charlier or Spin Cut. Pause.
13) Ribbon spread the deck on the table revealing the ace, 2, 3 face up with two cards trapped between them. With the right forefinger push all the cards above the 3 to the right while the left fingers push all the cards under the first card to the left of the face up two to the left. Display as in fig. 6. Pause.
14) Turn the three trapped face down cards face up revealing the 3 Queens. Display as in fig. 7.
For the spectators the climax occurs after step 10. It could therefore be argued that the actions up to and including step 14 are of an anticlimatic nature. This, however, is not so if step 11 to 14 Eire handled as lead-in to a following routine utilising the four Queens.
This effect is an exercise in display of the cards and of pauses. Study carefully the impact of the visual images on the spectator's mind. Compare your results with Henning Nelms' chapter on "Pointing" in Magic and Showmanship
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