(RON MACMILLAN) 89 CLERKENWELL ROAD, HOLBORN LONDON E.C.1.
Phil Goldstein RINGLEADER
The following is a solution to a self-posed problem. Extending from the performer's breast pocket can be seen both ends of a cord. A finger-ring is borrowed, and wrapped in a piece of paper. The paper is set on fire. When the paper has been consumed, the ring is nowhere to be found. The cord is withdrawn from the performer's pocket. There, at the centre of the cord, is the borrowed ring — tied onto the cord.
Neither the cord nor the ring are gimmicked. The ring is legitimately borrowed, and there are no duplicates involved. The performer's hands do not come near the ends of the rope until it is withdrawn from the pocket (and, in fact, the cord may be taken out by a spectator).
There is a gimmick involved: the performer's coat. U.F. Grant, A1 Koran and John Cornelius have all created ingenious routines using prepared coats. To prepare for this effect, two slits must be cut into the lining of your jacket. One slit is through the back of the breast pocket, allowing access to the interior of the coat. The second slit goes from the inside of the coat into the left side pocket. Each slit should be at least two inches long.
The starting situation is as shown in figure one. The ends of the cord extend from the breast pocket, and the audience assumes the rest of the cord to be bunched up inside that pocket. In fact, the centre of the cord goes down through the first slit, and through the second slit into the side pocket. The length of the cord is approximately five feet, but this will depend on the size of the performer's body. Use a cord of medium weight — thicker than string, but thinner than rope.
Place a pack of matches into your left coat pocket, and a piece of paper in another pocket, and you're set to start.
Any ring may be borrowed, but you will find some rings to be easier to work with than others. A large setting can get in the way, and a small diameter can also provide difficulties. Therefore, the ideal ring is a man's wedding band. However, you will find that the handling about to be described will function with just about any ring.
The ring is now apparently wrapped inside the paper. In fact, it is stolen out of the folded paper, using any of the age-old folds used for coin vanishes. (See the notes at the end of this write-up for alternate possibilities). The right hand holds up the paper packet, and the left goes into the side pocket (with the concealed ring), to obtain the book of matches.
During the brief time that the left hand is inside the pocket, the ring is tied onto the centre of the cord, using a Girth Knot, which does not require the ring to pass over the ends of the cord: the centre of the cord is pulled through the ring (refer to figure two). The thumb and forefinger grip the ring at its far side (point A in the illustration), and the middle and ring fingers spread and push the loop around the ring (refer to figure three). Tug on the ring, causing the loop to tighten into a knot (see figure four).
The above actions take but a moment. The left hand comes out of the pocket with the matches. A spectator is handed the matches, and told to light one, and set the packet on fire. The paper is burned; the ring is gone.
The ends of the cord are drawn out of the breast pocket, bringing the ring into view. You may, if you wish, have a spectator pull the cord out. For a bigger display, have two spectators stand on either side of you, and each pull an end of the cord in opposite directions.
The impact at this point is very strong. Remember, from the audience's vantage point, your hands have never come anywhere near the cord. The Girth Knot will play as a "real" knot. This concept is strengthened by the manner in which you untie the knot. You do not undo the knot in the reverse of the procedure used to place it on. Instead, undo one of the two loops
of the knot by drawing the end of the cord up through the ring — much in the manner you would use to untie an Overhand Knot. The fact that this takes a lot of movement and a significant number of seconds will point out the impossibility of the ring having gotten tied onto the cord in the first place.
NOTES: Instead of a folded piece of paper, you may choose to vanish the ring from a small envelope — a slit in the bottom of which allowing you to steal the ring. (For some subtleties with this, refer to my "Thither", which appeared in Genii, December 1977).
An alternate approach to vanishing the ring is to use a Rattle Box. The excuse for going to the pocket is an idea shown to me by Roy Kissell, in conjunction with a next-of-boxes routine: you bring out a rubberband, which is then wrapped around the box. After appropriate patter, the box is opened, found to be empty, and the ring re-produced on the cord.
A1 Smith SECONDS OUT
Peter Kane's "Audio Card Session" Vol.2 contains an interesting item which very neatly combines the Si Stebbins Set-Up and the second deal. Having worked the effect as per the tape I can testify as to its effectiveness. However, I'm sure the idea has been by-passed by many because of its reliance on the second deal, which is surely one of the most under-rated sleights in the whole card spectrum. The following version of Peter's effect (called, incidentally, "Son of Tetradism'''') dispenses with the second deal, and so should appeal to some. It features instead, a fairly well-known subtlety. Simply stated, the effect is that of a quadruple coincidence.
Stack the deck in either Si Stebbins or Eight Kings: actually, any recurring stack will suffice. Ace to king repeated four times will work, though the arrangement is a little obvious, of course.
False shuffle and spread the deck for a free selection. Have the card removed, placed down unseen to one side, and cut deck at point of removal as you square. If you are using the Stebbins or Eight Kings stack, a glance now at the bottom card will tell you what the selected card is. However, this is not necessary in actual performance.
With one card out of the deck, 51 remain, of course, and, 51 being divisible by three (17) makes the rest of the trick a natural. Mention gQ^ this "51" business and proceed as follows:
Reverse deal 17 cards into a face-down pile. Deal another 17 to form a second pile, but deal as follows: thumb off 4 cards, without reversing their order, and drop onto the table to form a new pile. Repeat with 4 more cards — then 5 — then 4. The final 17 simply drop onto the table to make up the last pile.
Turn over the top card of each pile to show three entirely different and unconnected cards. (Actually, faint traces of the stack can be seen, but no-one is likely to notice it). Continue dealing and turning. The fifth card in each pile will match its mates — three fours for example. And to cap it all, the kicker comes when the selected card is shown to be the fourth member of the quartet. It sounds a little unimpressive in cold print, but is really very strong and totally inexplicable.
The strength of the Kane version was in the (apparent) uniformity of the deal of the first two piles. That uniformity is lost here, but most of it can be regained if the following method of dealing is adopted — first pile only remember.
Thumb off 4 cards, drop to table. Repeat twice: and then reverse deal the last 5 cards. Conclude as stated. Or:
Thumb off 4 cards and drop onto table face-up. Repeat: 4 then 4 then 5. Leave this pile face-up. Conclude as already related, but deal from the face of this pile. Also, to improve the layout, make this the centre pile of the three. Offer no explanation for the face-up pile — none is necessary. Or:
Reverse count the first pile as follows: count fairly quickly 1-2-3-4 — drop to table: then 1-2-3-4 — to table: then 1-2-3-4 - to table: and finally 1-2-3-4-5 — to table/This is the normal reverse deal broken down into stages — apparently for speed and ease.
Follow up as follows for the second pile: 1-2-3-4 (reverse) then 1-2-3-4 (reverse) 1-2-3-4-5 (no reverse) and 1-2-3-4 (reverse).
There has to be a discrepancy in the dealing procedure, whether it be as described here, or the second deal approach used by Peter Kane. The important thing is to decide on a deal and stick to it. But make sure the deal is performed nonchalantly — do not draw any attention to it. The important thing is the selected card. Go to town on the freedom of choice. The deal will then be regarded (if at all) as just something that has to be done — and the sooner it's done and out of the way the better. Comments: Credits: Chatter: The idea of the displacement deal comes from Les Johnson (The Phantom). My main contribution is to write the thing up and show that a number of different combinations are in fact possible. Peter Kane, as is so often the case, is the instigator of the whole concept.
Do you agree? The most inefficient companies in the world are suitcase manufacturers. I've had every conceivable model. The "Distorted metal rim won't close", the "Tear off handle" type, the "Metal prong on straps which snaps" version. I've even used the "Will lock/won't lock guess which", the "Punctured top/hole in the side" and the Mark I-Mark IV prototypes of the "Round corners nothing will fit" line.
I've crossed the Atlantic 6 times in as many weeks — with a different case on each occasion.
Mind you, the one with the bloody bones, plastic fish, ice qubes and wierd cups and balls goes with me on the 747 — the other one with non essentials like clothes, money, papers — travels in the hold.
This time the act was on its way to Wichita to appal the adults and frighten the kids at the Joe Stevens Mid American Conclave.
This is the real Joe Stevens country. Joe is Mr Magic in Wichita, where he runs a successful magic shop, is big in community events, and is known to every media head and personality for miles around.
The cases and I — both battered — were picked up at the airport and whisked to Joe's fine home, where a barbeque was in full swing.
Big Obie O'Brien, Johnny Thompson, David Copperfield, Roger Crabtree, Roger Klaus, Ralph Marcom, Art Emerson, Gene de Voe and about 60 other finger licking finger flingers were all there.
The following day really started at 7.00pm at a press reception and party in which Joe introduced everybody who was anybody and a nobody masquerading as a somebody. I was the only one I'd never heard of — but I fooled 'em by wearing the 1940 gas mask that I took as protection against the volcanic dust.
At 9.30pm we adjourned to the Little Theatre, banked seating for 250, good views for all, where Ralph Marcom was in his element as an assured compere and introduced some excellent acts. Notable amongst these were Howard Hale, a fine manipulator with some clean off-beat steals and Lance, a youthful 19 going on 45 sophisticate with a delightfully superior air, presenting an unhurried clever Silent act (or as I once saw an oriental dancer billed — a different slant on all the old tricks). Both Howard and Lance are worthy of a place on any bill — young and refreshing.
Not quite as young but just as refreshing was Art Emmerson (Peter Kane's agent) with a mental act, direct material and nice story line.
Everyone partied through to Saturday and, somewhat hungover, attended the John Cornelius lecture in which he casually performed miracles and tried to set light to his shirt.
This gave way at 3.00pm to what for me was the highlight of the entire week. The Foan Family Circus Show. Foan consists of 7 (unrelated) young people who each in their own right are talented speciality acts but gestalt like when working together create a very funny, poignant happening which exudes no harm or ill will, no blue humour or snide jokes, no sarcasm or cynicism. Magic well done and laced with a gentle endearing humour.
There were at least 4 very competent jugglers in Foan, but it was only towards the end of the show when Julio Foan (Barrett Felker) did his solo 4 minutes did you realise you were watching a world beating class act. The kid was terrific. Throwing up seven balls, seven hoops, clubs — such talent — me, I was just throwing up.
Other very funny skits were David Copperfield doing the Dancing Handkerchief which ran amok and strangled most of the cast. The Jugglers anonymous running gag about compulsive jugglers, the sub trunk with a clever use of 3 ball juggling which continued over the cloth even as the change was taking place — think about it! The "12 days to Christmas" using standard effects — hilarious.
The whole act was well dressed and choreographed and was linked by a looker called Kathi de Francis who played piano, sang and provided a counter balance of charm and grace to the boys crazy antics. As I said to someone afterwards — "That's not a show — it's an emotional experience" beautiful people.
After the break came the big show, lecture and close-up and I'll tell you about that next
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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.