I read with interest the article in Pabular about close-up magic in Tunbridge Wells. I thought it might be of interest to know that I have had a similar contract for over fifteen months with the AMY'S BISTRO in Chelmsford where I perform every Saturday at the tables. The tables are very small so I have to perform standing up with only sufficient space for a small close-up mat. As you can probably guess the accent is on comedy and entertainment as opposed to a long drawn out boring display of finger flinging.
The routines I regularly use include such items as Dotty Spots, Nemo mini card castle, Chop Cup, a very silly version of the Wild Card, Sponge Balls with the Goshman Ding Dong finish (if I feel the table can take it) and a few of my own originals. Obviously I don't use the whole lot at any one time, only two or three per table, which with patter and chat normally last from seven to ten minutes. The old adage of leaving them wanting more really works in this case as many patrons make return bookings to see more. This is not only nice for me but also keeps the owners happy, which is very important. It was smashing to hear of other establishments engaging magicians as I was beginning to feel a bit alone in that field. As a young professional of twenty years it is encouraging to see magic breaking new ground.
I am particularly interested in making contact with other magicians having similar interests and experience and would welcome correspondence addressed to me at — 145 Hillside Grove, Chelmsford, Essex.
The following is an effect I regularly use, and is one of the most requested items from clients on return visits to the restaurant. It is only a short item and I regard it more as a 'magical one liner' than a routine. It is very easy to do, which means I can concentrate wholly on the presentation — the really important part of any trick. Try it out and I think you will be surprised at the response, which is out of all proportion to its difficulty. I have entitled it, jack catch
The effect having the appearance of being a juggling feat should be 'hammed' up as such.
Run through a pack of cards face up and remove the two black Jacks dropping them onto the table. During this.action I get a few laughs by using odd gags such as — what is to follow has taken years of practise and self denial — notice my hands never leave the ends of my arms. I know they are old and magicians may squirm, but so long as audiences continue to be amused by them they stay in the act.
Next have a card chosen — any card. Again you can get laughs using the wellknown business of having a card sticking out of the fan and causing it to travel back and forth outside the edge of the fan by using the fingers hidden below the fan which is held in the left hand.
Eventually a card is taken and the person having looked at it, and shown it around (in case he forgets it) have it returned to the pack taking a break above it and control it to the top of the pack. I do not make a big thing of this — I simply cut at the break and riffle shuffle the two halves into each other letting the chosen card fall last on top of the pack.
Next pick up the two Jacks, square them up and place them face up on top of the face down pack. Take a break under the top three cards (the two Jacks and the chosen card). All three are taken with the right hand in the Biddle grip, fingers at the outer and thumb at the inner. It is now necessary to get the chosen card between the two Jacks. ,L
Hold the pack face down in the left hand with its thumb across the back of the top card. The hands now move together and the left thumb is brought into contact with the face of the Jack on top of the three held squared in the right hand. The thumb retains this Jack as the right moves away to the right with the other two cards held squared as one. (1) shows the position at this stage. Name these two Jacks as the above action takes place.
You now have a Jack face up on the pack in the left hand and the other face up in the right hand with the chosen card hidden face down beneath it. The right hand now picks off the Jack from the top of the pack beneath the two it already holds in such a manner as to leave half its length visible as shown in (2). The pack is now handed to spectator and the three cards taken into the left hand and held as in (3). The chosen card is now face down between the two face up Jacks hidden beneath the uppermost one.
The spectator is now instructed how to hold the pack and riffle the outer end in the way used by us all when having a spectator call 'stop' during the riffle for the purpose of having a card freely selected. A big thing is made of this by having him hold the pack exactly right and riffling the cards slowly. Again laughs can be obtained by saying "not too fast" then "not too slow" etc.
What now follows is for the spectators — a fantastic piece of visual magic. As the spectator riffles the pack plunge your two Jacks into the pack and immediately withdraw them at the same time spreading the two Jacks bringing the
face down card into view. Properly performed it will appear that you have caught a card between the two Jacks. This face down card is then revealed and seen to be the one previously selected. Though it has taken ages to explain, its performance takes about a minute and a half. I am aware that the gags are corny but they get the laughs, and that's what counts. It is also amazing how many people really believe that the card is actually caught between the Jacks as they are plunged into the pack.
No originality is claimed for anything other than the presentation. ^ ^ ^
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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.