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For some time we have thought that the average magician has come to know more tricks than he is capable of using, and, instead of acquiring new ones, he would be better employed improving some of the old ones.
Given enough thought almost any trick can be improved. So with these thoughts in mind I
submit what I feel to be a strong commercial handling of the Capt. Collins concept which appeared in No.7, Vol. 2 of this magazine. To save you the trouble of referring back, or if you do not have this particular issue the effect was -->
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MONIKER by Eric Mason that a ribbon was threaded through the handle of a cup, the ends were held by a spectator and the cup covered with a handkerchief. The magician on reaching underneath the handkerchief removed the cup from the ribbon after which everything could be examined. The secret was beautifully simple. An additional handle was added to the cup and it was through this extra handle that the ribbon was threaded, the real handle being covered by the fingers.
The Captain had some difficulty in finding the right kind of adhesive with which to make the handle stick temporarily to the cup and come free leaving no trace. This is no longer a problem as I have found that Bostik Blue Tak is just the job.
Instead of a cup, not readily available in bars, I use a pint beer mug. It will, of course, be necessary to get a spare handle. I was lucky to find a glass merchant who was persuaded for the price of a pint to do the necessary cutting and grinding.
To prepare put a couple of blobs of the Blue Tak on the handle and stick it to the side of the mug as shown in (1), that is, at nine o'clock with the real handle at 12 o'clock. You will also need a cloth readily available.
To perform hold the mug in the right hand, thumb inside and fingers outside covering the real handle (2), standard casual beerdrinkers' hold. Held in this manner it is easy to keep the real handle hidden from the spectators on the handle side with the fingers, and it will be invisible through the glass to those on the opposite side. It would of course be clearly seen by anyone lying on the floor and for that reason it is perhaps advisable to perform the effect early in the evening. With some liquid in the glass find yourself another 'mug' and ask him if he would like to see your pet miracle. On receiving an affirmative reply drain your glass and pick up the cloth from the bar and tuck it under the right arm (the hand of which is holding the glass) — you could ask the barmaid for one if she has been suitably primed beforehand.
Saying that many people consider hypnosis to be the solution to the problem about to be shown, request the victim to hold his fingers like this demonstrating what you mean by bringing the tips of the thumb and second finger together as in (3). Kiss the tips of the fingers remarking that "This is going to be superb."
You now request him to part his finger and thumb for you to pass the extra handle and ask him to close them again interlocking them with the handle, but not to hold it.
You now STRESS, repeat STRESS, that you require him to keep his finger and thumb-tip tightly together and on no account to let them come apart whatever you do or say. As you take the cloth from under your arm ask him to let go for a second. Remembering what you said previously he may refuse to do so, in which case you congratulate him for not getting caught. If on the other hand he does release the handle admonish him and say, "You must understand that in no circumstances must you let go."
The position is now that he has his finger and thumb around the extra handle and you are also holding the glass with the fingers shielding
the real handle. The bottom of the glass is within a few inches of his nose.
You now cover the glass and both his and your hand with the cloth. Again coax him to release the handle at the same time the left hand goes beneath the cloth and presses the handle down onto his thumb. This pressure is continue until you are finally 'begging on your knees' fo! him to release the handle. When you are in this position the right hand removes the mug from the handle and puts it on the floor. Still keeping the pressure on the fake handle you straighten up and slow down for effect. Reach under the cloth with your right hand and take the handle out of his fingers without touching them and ask him what has happened. "Can he still feel the glass?", Did he feel it getting lighter? Has he let go? etc and finally say "WATCH" and whip the cloth off his hand with your right hand concealing the handle in the folds. Not only have you succeeded in releasing the glass it has also completely disappeared.
The success of this trick largely depends on the spectator being convinced that by regulating the pressure of the handle on his thumb that the glass is still there after it has been spirited away.
The vanish can also be accomplished by handing the glass to a stooge standing behind you and slightly to your right. A stooge can also be used in another way by dispensing with the vanish and only performing the magical release. Tell him beforehand about the effect and that it is just a gag and that the release is obtained by the confederate parting the thumb and fingertips. You also tell him that he will be the second one to take part.
With the first spectator perform the release only, using the extra handle as before without the vanish. You now immediately repeat the effect with the stooge who believes he is doing what the first spectator did. Not only are any theories held by the first spectator destroyed, you can come back at a later date and fool the stooge by using the extra handle.
A considerable amount of fun can be obtained with this effect which has been thoroughly tested in the Blenheim Bar and has fooled more than one reader of Pabular who had obviously missed the effect with the cup and ribbon.
This effect has also been offered to our favourite dealer who had to refuse it because of the difficulty of supplying an international handle. Don't you think you are lucky?
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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.