A borrowed pack is thoroughly shuffled and handed to the performer who patters about mnemonics — the science of memory, and offers to give a demonstration.
Inviting someone to watch the second hand of his watch to time him, the performer asks for silence and proceeds to thumb through the entire pack and then enquires of the timekeeper "How long?" Fifty-five seconds in the response. "That is my new record" announces the performer. "Let us see how accurate I am."
"Please call out any number between 5 and 45. Higher numbers are the most interesting but I will, if you wish, attempt the demonstration with any number you care to call." Someone calls 27.
The performer pauses (for effect) and then announces in a dramatic manner that the 27th card is the seven of spades and that it is sandwiched between the three of clubs and the Jack of hearts.
The cards and dealt and counted onto the table face downwards and on arriving at the 26th card it turns face up — it is the three of clubs — the next card, the 27th and chosen numbers is dealt face down (suspense) and the next card the Jack of hearts is turned face up. The spectator's memory is now tested by asking "What did I say was the 27th card?" When he replies "Seven of spades" invite him to turn the card face up.
Obviously you do not memorise the whole pack but you do memorise the 4th, 5th and 6th cards reading from the bottom of the face up pack, in this example the three of clubs, seven of spades and the Jack of hearts respectively. A break is also taken eight or nine cards up from the bottom of the pack as you squareitup.
When you ask the timekeeper for the time taken all eyes including your own, will be directed towards him. At this moment turn over all the cards above the break face down. Should anyone be watching, which they will not, it would appear that you only turned the pack over, face downwards. The misdirection is perfect.
You now have eight or nine cards face up on the bottom of the pack with the memorised cards still 4th, 5th and 6th from the bottom.
When the number is called — 27 in this case and you have announced the card at that number and the cards either side of it deal the cards face downwards onto the table counting as you go until you reach five less than the chosen number, in this case 22. The extended forefinger of the left hand, which is holding the pack, points to this card and as the right hand turns it face up the left hand places the pack onto the table with the faced bottom cards containing the three memorised cards uppermost. This manoeuvre to secretly turn the pack over is simple and undetectable — it is already half over as the finger points to the face down card and strong misdirection is provided as the right hand turns the card face for the turn to be completed as the pack is placed onto the table.
The 23rd, 24th and 25th cards are now counted off and the 26th card shown to be the three of spades one of the sandwich cards. The 27th card is pushed forward keeping it face down (suspense) and the 28th card shown to be the other sandwich card, the Jack of hearts. Finally, pick up the 27th card keeping it face down as you ask spectators if they remember what you said was the 27th card and as they say "Seven of spades" look directly at them and slowly turn it face up.
The effect achieved is out of all proportion to simple moves used to produce it, which are both well covered by misdirection. A shorter version is possible wherein it is only necessary to remember the fifth card. Again subtract five from the number called, and eliminate calling the sandwich cards. _/
coin in bottle mentalism molecules inspection and get possession of a genuine coin of the same denomination which you have previously marked and put in some place from where it can easily be obtained with the right hand. You now apparently take the coin marked by the spectator from the left hand and give it to another spectator some distance away to examine — you have of course switched the coins by leaving the gimmicked one in the left hand and handing the stolen one out. Both the bottle and the marked? coin are with the spectators. All is fair.
Regain possession of the bottle and hold it by the neck in the left — blow into the mouth of the bottle and load the coin, which you have folded, into the neck and take the coin back from the spectator. Let the spectator who marked the coin hold the bottle by the neck as you knock the visible coin on the bottom of the bottle and then palm or sleeve it. The action of itting the bottom of the bottle causes the folded
The performance begins with the following preamble. "Have you ever seen 'Magic Putty' — the putty-like material which bounces. I recently learned that this material is actually a slow flowing liquid. This information caused me to think about the differences between solids, liquids and gases. In fact all matter is merely molecules in motion. I read, for example, that there are viruses able to pass freely through granite one foot thick. That these small specks of matter are able to pass cleanly through a sol d object suggests that if one is able to line up the molecules of two 'solid' objects, one could easily flow through the other. Let me give you a demonstration of this phenomena — may I borrow a few solid metal objects — keys, rings and coins. Miss, will you help me — please put a mark on one of these objects with this felt marking pen. Make sure that you will recognise it later."
What I do, is to add a folding coin to the objects, and force this coin by covering the other objects with my fingers as I point to the folding coin with the pen. It never fails if done casually and without mentioning anything about having a free choice.
Now the bold part of the presentation — I allow the spectator to mark the gimmicked coin. Keep it flat and there is no problem. Pick up the coin and hold It on your left palm. Pass out the bottle (which should be transparent) for careful coin to fall from the neck into the bottle (see Bobo's COIN MAGIC for details).
Now for the fun. Shake the bottle causing the coin within to rattle and request the spectator to examine the mark on the coin through the glass and ask "Is that your marked coin?"
To get the coin out place the bottle on a sheet of newspaper or better still inside a paper bag. Hand a small hammer to the spectator requesting that she breaks the bottle — this is good drama as you say "Stand back Miss, I want no-one to touch this coin until you identify it as the one you marked." When she has ascertained that it really is the one she marked pick it up and switch for the genuine coin as you clean off the marking ink with a clean white handkerchief. All can now be examined.
My modest contribution is not in the handling of the mechanics of the trick, but in the perplexing enigma which comes from marking the coin and the drama of breaking the bottle. In any case, this is one close-up miracle that can be performed before hundreds of spectators — at least that has been experience. Good luck. I j
thinkjiot think cold
The effect is direct. The presentation appeals to me because the attention of the audience is directed to the performer's powers and also because you apparently explain to the participant what you are doing.
The bare bones sound extremely simple — even dull, but believe me, if this demonstration is performed properly it is a memorable stunt.
When performing I explain the essence of contact telepathy — which I insist is not mental telepathy, but an involuntary physical way of communicating much like the lie detector. I sometimes review the nature of the pendulum — the wellknown weighted thread which supposedly enables one to detect the sex of a chicken before it is hatched etc. The mood is set.
A pack of cards is borrowed, or your own offered to be shuffled. With the spectator on your left and holding the pack face down in your left hand say, "I have not looked at these cards and cannot possibly know the order — please watch carefully." Turn your face away from the cards which you hold face towards the spectator and with the thumb near the upper left corner allow the cards to escape very slowly (as when thumb counting) requesting the spectator to call 'Stop'. When he does so, ask him if he would like you to proceed, or is he satisfied, keeping your face still turned away. Right hand lifts up the cards above the division asking the spectator to note the card at the face and replace the cards on the pack.
Now you say, "If your card was a red card please think of fire, and if it was a black card think of something cold like ice. You are thinking -good."
Holding the pack loosely and casually on your open left hand ask the spectator to keep thinking hot or cold as the case may be and to place his hand palm downwards on top of the pack. Place your right hand on top of his and repeat hot, cold, hot, cold a few times and finally say "You are thinking 'hot'." If you have performed with authority and in a convincing manner up to this point, there will be a nervous smile on the face of the spectator.
When he agrees say "If your card is a heart please think of something smooth — a smooth stone — if it is a diamond think of something sharp." Again you request him to keep thinking as you repeat smooth, sharp a few times, before saying "You are thinking sharp — your card is a diamond. Continue by repeating picture card — spot card and eventually say "Please do not try to fool me, it is a picture card — Jack, Queen — King — it is a man — the King of Diamonds."
Others will certainly wish to try — you can repeat it immediately.
How is it done? I have performed this effect for many sophisticated card men both in the States and Great Britain and many have been puzzled, but fooling magicians is not the purpose. Having fun and entertaining others is what this trick is all about. The secret if a piece of mirror about one and a half inches long by half an inch wide. This is about the same size as the billets I use and is finger palmed between the base of the left second finger and the palm (1). It is important that this hand be held in a natural position throughout the trick.
With the mirror comfortably finger palmed you are ready to begin. After the pack has been shuffled it is taken in the left hand which holds it high up in the hand (2).
"You have thoroughly mixed the cards. I ask you to watch very closely because we must randomise your selection. Please do not allow me to influence your choice in any way." Now turn your head and holding the pack up almost at eye-level and thumb through the cards slowly as you say "Please tell me to stop anytime you wish." When 'Stop' is called (still with your head turned away) ask "Shall I move on, or start again?", make sure the choice is perfectly fair. It is, of course.
Still keeping the head turned away lift up the top half of the pack at the point stopped at, in a deliberate and in a way that is obviously fair' and show the face card of this top half to the spectator asking him to concentrate on it and remember it.
The timing of what now follows is of the utmost importance because you are now about to glimpse the card through the mirror.
Still keeping the left hand at chest height bring down the packet in the right replacing it on the bottom half in the left hand. During this action you say "Will you please concentrate on the colour of your card." As you say "your card" turn your head — at this point the two halves of the pack should be coming together with the selection clearly visible in the mirror. The sequence of movements appears perfectly normal, and after glimpsing the card, which takes a split second, the cards are squared and pulled deeper into the hand completely covering the mirror.
What could be fairer? The card is freely selected with your head turned. Everything looks perfectly natural — no fancy moves, it is clean, direct and after some practice indetectable
The co-ordination of the hands and the proper position of the mirror to ensure that the image of the selected card is reflected in the mirror as you turn to face the spectator. Each person must find the correct angle for himself.
Once the card is glimpsed the rest is pure acting and the most should be made of it. Please, please do not just say "Your card is the King of Diamonds."
The method is simple — but believe me — I know of few card tricks which can be presented in a manner which makes them appear as genuine mindreading.
the clean second-card force concept
The legendary Ted Annemann believed that the effect was everything — the method being of little consequence. The effect is based on an idea I heard John Scarne present some 25 years ago. The idea may have appeared in print, but in any case, the approach in terms of method is new to me and may be applied in a variety of ways.
The essence of the effect being an envelope containing a prediction is handed to a spectator. Another spectator is invited to stop the performer any time he wishes as the cards are dealt singly from the top of the pack. The envelope is opened and is found to contain a card matching the one on top of the pack when stopped by the other spectator. Great room for drama, if this is your cup of tea.
All the cards are different, and there are no psychological forces, rough and smooth cards or any sleight of hand. The trick is dependent on a gimmicked card — the one to be forced, has a semi-circular piece cut from the right hand side as shown in sketch. This card is placed on top of the pack and with a matching card sealed in an envelope you are ready to present the effect.
The gimmicked card is forced by dealing seconds until requested by the spectators to stop, and keeping the cut out section covered with the fingers when displaying the selection to the audience. Dealing seconds is as easy as dealing from the top the thumb contacts the second card at the point where it is exposed due to the cut out and pulls it free.
As the cards are being taken keep the pack angled to prevent the possibility of exposure, though if a Bee back designed pack is used certain liberties can be taken. It is very important that you concentrate your vision on the cards as they are being shown — do not look at the pack.
When title spectator calls 'stop' it makes the selection look fair and free from guile if you ask if he is satisfied or if you should proceed to deal further. Your demeanour, actions and patter should be directed to convincing the spectator that he has an absolutely free choice and that you could not have influenced his choice in any way.
The same concept can be used with children's cards, alphabet and number cards etc. It may also be possible to use 'the clean second' for a torn newspaper prediction a la Nelson thus obviating the use of any extra pieces, though I have not worked this out as yet.
the magnetic force
Performing mentalists, if they are to stay in character, are quite limited in their approach to close-up entertainment. Magical props, sleight of hand demonstrations and comedy stunts are in disharmony with the basic premise of mentalism.
I usually fall back on the centre tear, billet reading, contact telepathy and cold readings. Here is a ruse which has served me well. The patter and presentation sell the effect which should not be done as a quick joke or bar stunt.
"Do you know there is a life force within each one of us — this is not a sexual force because it is found in all of us before ¡puberty. This life force is similar to a magnetic force — it can be directed by our minds."
"Try this — clasp your hands together with your fingers interwoven. Imagine this magnetic force is between your fingers and palms. You have the power to direct this force. Do it — I will you to be successful. Now try and pull your hands apart — do you sense the force?" Now comes the fun.
Pick up a ball point pen or pencil and place it across your open left hand (1). Ask a lady to take hold of the pen between her right fingers and thumb. Now hold her wrist with your right hand as though taking her pulse.
"Now please direct your magnetic force through your fingers — can you imagine this? — your force gives immense weight to the pen. It now weighs several pounds. It has a strong downwards pull — can you imagine this? Good."
"Now try and lift the pen. Easy — you cannot do it." Both the woman and the audience believe you are inhibiting her by the pressure you
are putting on her wrist which you are still holding.
Lift your right hand away. "I will you to be successful — your magnetic force is growing in intensity. Try and lift the pen." She tries and fails. You release her force and she easily lifts the pen.
The method is simple and somewhat bold. It is a piece of thread tied around the middle finger of the left hand about as tight as a wedding ring. When placing the pen on the hand it is pushed under the thread and twisted towards right (2) so that it rests naturally across the palm. To release it you obviously move it back which loosens the thread enabling it to be pulled clear and replaced on hand.
The thread I use is freely available in the U.S. and is known as 'invisible sewing thread'. No doubt similar thread is available in other countries. I have not tried the hair-like thread used for floating small objects — it is doubtful if it would be sufficiently strong. My thread has been on for months — it is not affected by showers or physical activity.
Sometimes I use a spoon and after the lifting business it slowly grows soft and bent finally breaking off at the bowl.
the undisturbed deck prediction
The method is old and simple but very effective. The presentation creates a stunning effect especially variation No.3.
You ask your host for a pencil, a piece of paper and a pack of cards. Ask several persons questions relative to finding a suitable subject. Finally point to one person saying "Please shuffle the cards on the table."
Pick up the cards from the table and continue "You would testify that I have no idea of the order of these cards and I have not disturbed them." As you patter on glimpse the top card by pushing it forward sighting it as you turn the pack towards you (or use your favourite method) and then glimpse the bottom card and place the pack onto the table. If the pack is held with the thumb on the face card and the fingers on the back of the top card with the arm at full stretch as the pack is placed down this second glimpse can be obtained by angling the pack very slightly. Remember both cards.
Request the spectator to hold out his hands and grasp them in yours saying "I am going to influence you. I will you to be successful." Release his hands and pick up the paper and pencil and write 'The cards selected in the undisturbed pack on July 15 (current date) will be the eight of hearts and the two of spades (the cards glimpsed).' Fold the paper and give it to someone to hold or simply put it on the table blank side uppermost.
The spectator is now asked to cut the pack into two fairly equal heaps. Pick up the bottom half and put it on the original top half 'crossed'.
The patter continues about precognition and the prediction read. The top half of the pack is lifted and the face card shown to be one of the cards predicted and the top card of bottom half is turned face up and seen to be the other.
This method of forcing two cards, a favourite with Blackstone is very old and being direct makes it possibly the best in the context of this effect. It is important that there is a time lapse between the cards being cut and the eventual revelation, to prevent it being realised that the predicted were originally the top and bottom cards of the pack. Given this lapse, which is occupied with patter, it will be accepted by the spectators that the two halves were merely crossed to mark the cut which is logical.
(1) It will be found effective to miss out on one card. For instance, by predicting the two of spades as the two of clubs. IN MENTALISM A NEAR HIT IS VERY IMPRESSIVE.
(2) At the start hand out an envelope containing the prediction in which the names of the cards has been omitted leaving spaces for their insertion later.
After the cut take back the envelope, open it and read the prediction including the names of the forced cards. Then when all eyes are on the pack as the spectator checks your prediction fill in the spaces with names of the cards 7C and 8H using a Swami gimmick.
(3) This variation I have used on television and follows the first method up to the point when the two cards have been glimpsed and the pack is on the table. I then write the following prediction, 'On July 15th Stan Steele will cut off cards. He will cut to the eight of hearts and the two of spades. I am sure of this. Barrie Richardson'.
The cards are then cut as before and the spectator asked to count the cards in the top half without disturbing their order. You then open the prediction and read it out aloud including the number of cards counted by the spectator. Fill this number in with your Swami or Boon after the cards are announced by the spectator when you are repeating the names of these cards. This presentation is very strong and easy to perform, and the misdirection provided by the spectator looking at the cards to check your prediction makes it possible for the secret writing to be done without haste.
where there's smokg
The mere mention of the name Percy Hird to Ken Brooke is sure to bring a smile to his face, which, if he is not busy, will be followed with a story about this character who was a tram driver in the city of Leeds.
In addition to his stage manipulative act which consisted primarily of producing fans of cards a la Cardini he had a close-up speciality which he made all his own. It was a good example of the Professor's dictum of taking one effect and really going to work on it. Almost everyone knows of it and many have tried it — the old effect of vanishing a cigarette by leaving it behind the ear. ■ ■ -^
The starting position is as in sketch, the cigarette being held by one end between fingers of the right hand letting it rest on the open palm of the left hand which is held waist high. Raise the right hand above the shoulder bringing the cigarette close to the right ear and bring it immediately back to its original position as you count one. Repeat the action as you count two. Count three and repeat the action this time leaving the cigarette behind the right ear. Complete deception is dependent on an even rhythmic count and eliminating any pause on the third count when the cigarette is left behind the ear. It will be found helpful when practising to almost put the cigarette behind the ear when making the first two counts. The cigarette will then automatically be in the right position as you count three.
For readers who like building up short routines the following ideas may be welcomed. ^
To the cigarette you are going to use for the above stunt attach a piece of invisible thread — the kind everyone can see but you can't find — to one end of the cigarette and the other to front of the coat on the right side. The length of the thread and the precise point where it is attached to the coat should be such that when the cigarette is pushed into its packet, the end to which the thread is attached first, the thread should be just long enough to allow the packet to be put in the right coat pocket. You will also require a false ear with an imitation cigarette glued to the back of it. This must be hidden from where it can easily be obtained with the left hand, either up the left sleeve or under the edge of the coat.
Commence the routine by taking the packet of cigarettes from the right coat pocket and cause the cigarette to rise by moving the hand forward tightening the thread. Remove the cigarette with the left hand and replace the packet back into the right coat pocket, and perform the vanish behind the ear as explained above.
Repeat this until someone catches on treating the business more as a gag than a magical effect at this point and finally do it once more, this time instead of leaving it behind the ear, toss it over the shoulder. It will then hang on the thread behind the back.
As the spectators look towards your right ear get possession of the gimmick with your left hand and produce it from the region of the left ear remarking "Sometimes it goes behind my left ear." The cigarette hanging down behind your back can be produced from the air by pushing your right thumb under the thread at the front of the coat and extending the right hand sharply forward. 506
If it is desired to eliminate the 'exposure' dispense with vanish behind the ear. This way you will catch those knowing the old method. More next time.
If it is desired to eliminate the 'exposure' dispense with vanish behind the ear. This way you will catch those knowing the old method. More next time.
VERBAL CONTROL. Phil Goldstein. Two dollars. Obtainable from the author — 121 Charles Street, Apt 4a, Boston Mass. 02114.
This eight page booklet is a treatise on the under-explored art of equivoque, its technique and applications — for equivoque read Magicians Choice.
First written in 1976 this publication is the results of the authors experimentation into the possibilities of utilising the forcing principle, and goes far beyond the old 'your right or mine' when forcing the choice of one of two objects.
Claiming that equivoque is the mentalists perfect solution when suddenly confronted by someone who demands that you read his mind — now. Just grab a handful of change and successfully predict the coin that the spectator will choose — using Verbal Control.
It is the forcing of one particular coin from five all different that is used as an example. All the psychological factors necessary for success are dealt with in detail from the important opening spiel to how to condition the mind of the spectator by emphasising the importance of the correct phrasing of sentences, together with naming certain words which have an adverse effect if used as you steer the spectator towards choosing the coin you have predicted.
Suggestions for using the principle is other such as Seven Keys to Baldpate, Bank Night etc are given, and will be a welcome addition to the library of readers who are interested in psychological magic and wish to add further to their knowledge on the subject.
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