This offering was inspired by, and is an adaption of the vanishing deck idea from the lecture notes of Ron Wilson (French edition).
I have taken what was just a quickie and turned it into a what has proved to be a very commercial routine. Over the past weeks I have worked it in pubs, restaurants and at magical societies and the result has always been the same — stunned silence — followed by 'Where the so-and-so did the cards go!' It has now become a regular item in my repertoire.
The advance preparation consists in cutting a bridge pack card case in halves across its width. Throw away the half with the flap and into the other half put the pack with the Joker reversed on the bottom. Remove the bottom from a poker sized pack and push the pack and half case inside it. Although a close-up mat is not essential it will help with the explanation if it is assumed that one is being used, and that the pack is resting on it near the right inner corner) before commencing the trick.
Begin by saying "My final effect is an experiment with E.S.P. using this pack of cards." During these remarks, plus any others you care to add, remove the cards from the case. Care must be taken not to flash the bottom of the cardcase, the reversed joker or allow the half case to fall out. It can be done quite easily — unless you have the half case at the wrong end. Removing a pack from its case is, to any self-respecting cardman a simple matter, and whilst taking the above precautions the removal of the cards from the case should be done as you are chatting to the spectators with scarcely a glance at the pack.
When removing the cards from the case they should be taken out with the left hand leaving the case in the right because after the removal of the cards it is replaced back on the mat in the position it originally occupied. If the cards were to be removed with the right hand the replacement of its case with the left in the desired position would be an awkward movement detrimental to a smooth performance — one of the little things which are so important.
The joker is now required. Personally I produce it using the Paul Harris 'Open Revelation' hence the reason for having it reversed on the bottom of the pack. Another excellent way would be the Piet Forton 'Pop Out' move. If you are not conversant with either of these simply cut the pack and ribbon spread across the table to reveal the joker. Whichever method is used it is finally placed FACE UP on the left side of the mat.
Next have a card selected by someone who is within arms length of the face up joker — this will be a spectator on your left. He is asked to remember it and show it around. Have it returned to the pack and control it to the bottom. A neat way to get the selection to the required position and at the same time enable the maximum number of the audience to see it, is to hold the pack squared and have it pushed halfway into the pack. With the chosen card protruding from the pack hold it face towards the spectators moving it around giving everyone an opportunity to see which card has been chosen at the same time keeping your head turned making it clear that you are not taking a sneaky peek. Lower the pack to a face down position, face front, and bring the card to the bottom using the 'Multiple Shift' action.
Saying "The test will be done under strict scientific conditions, so I will put the pack inside the case out of sight of the joker who is going to show his powers in the field of E.S.P." As the above statement is being made the pack is positioned in left hand to perform the Curry 'Turnover Change' and the right hand has picked up the card case. 615
"For a start" you say "the joker should not be looking." Under cover of this remark which should be made suddenly as if you have just realised this card should be face down you turn it over exchanging it for the chosen card using the Curry sleight. The pack is put into the case out of sight 'to stop any of the cards giving the game away' — that's your story. Naturally it goes back into the half case which is still within the larger poker sized case.
Hold the pack in the right hand — retaining its contents by pressure with the . thumb and fingers on the front and back of the case, and call attention to the face down card on the table saying "The joker will now demonstrate his powers." Push the card towards the person who chose the card and request him to place his fingers on it. This action will cause you to lean forward slightly making it perfectly natural for the right hand holding the case to move back towards the edge of the table. Immediately the bottom of the case is over the edge of the table the pressure is released and the pack inside the half case falls unsuspected into the lap.
The misdirection provided by pushing the joker towards the spectator plus your request to him and his responses ensures that no-one is at all interested in the case or its contents at this particular moment.
You patter to the effect that the joker begins to exercise his E.S.P. powers now that the pack is safely out of sight in the case, which, if there are no spectators behind is placed on the table with the bottomless end pointing away from the audience. If you are surrounded retain it in the right hand keeping the open bottom masked by the fingers, but this is less effective than if the pack? is put onto the table because there is some restriction on your movements as you build up towards the climax, and also the impact of the pack vanishing is greater if it has been out of your hands for several moments previously. Covering the pack? with a handkerchief overcomes the problem, the excuse for this being that you are making sure that the joker cannot see anything.
Continue to patter about the extraordinary E.S.P. powers of the joker and ask the spectator with his fingers on it, if he is getting any 'vibes'. From now on play it your way. There is plenty of scope for extracting fun out of the situation such as getting the spectator to stroke its back gently with the tip of his forefinger, placing his ear right down on to the card asking "Can you hear anything?" etc. Finally ask him to name the card he chose and then turn it over. When the spectator sees the card he has chosen his expression is really worth seeing. ^
When the spectators have fully realised what has happened, remove the handkerchief — if you have used one — and say "That's all I have, NO, not all the tricks — all the cards I have." With that remark smash your hand really hard down onto the case — flattening it. Pick it up and rip it open to show the complete disappearance of the pack.
Believe me — this routine is really commercial, hard hitting magic — give it a trial and listen to dead silence as the climax is reached.
Note: The Paul Curry 'Turnover Change' was first explained in Hugard's 'More Card Manipulations, Part Two' and subsequently in other publications including Harry Lor ay ne's 'Close-up Card Magic'.
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