FREDDIE FAH has four of them already.
There's No Place Like KEN BROOKE'S MAGIC PLACE - 145 WARDOUR STREET LONDON. W.I. - ENGLAND Tel : 01-734 9240
Pabular is published after the second week in every month and is printed by Instance Printers, Paddock Wood, Kent, England. Subscriptions may be obtained direct from the publishers. Pabular, P.O. Box 180, London SE12 8JJ or through many magic dealers. Price 60 pence per copy (or US $1.25) surface post included. Air Mail extra (US $0.50) per copy or (US $6.00).per year. Editorial or content copy should be sent to Fred Robinson, 1 Crescent Court, 24 Crescent Road, New Barnet, Herts, England. Advertising rates sent on request — smalls 3 pence per word (US 10 cents). Dealer enquiries welcomed. Reproductions of old prints and historical magical items by kind permission of Tony Faro.
In 1931 Anneman introduced "Seven Keys to Baldpate" which he explained in 'The Book Without a Name'. Briefly, the effect consisted in the performer divining which one of seven keys would open the lock, and required a changing bag. Henry Fetsch suggested a fascinating approach to the problem in the Jinx some seven years later which involved a second lock, and since that time several methods have been devised to produce the effect.
My own solution depends on the Fetsch principle, and though it may be open for debate, I believe it has the advantage of being cleaner in operation.
Two locks are required. Seven keys which open one lock and one key which opens the other. Let's call the lock with the seven keys B. which is closed and placed in the right coat pocket. The other lock A is opened and the key bafrie richardsoti
LOCK AND KEY MYSTERY Barrie Richardson which is not required during the performance placed aside. One of the seven keys is tied to a piece of ribbon and placed into the open lock A.
Commence by distributing the six keys among the audience. Hold up the open lock with the tagged key in it saying, "A lock which I testify has not been tampered with. I offer one thousand dollars (or pounds) to anyone who can prove that this lock is not exactly as it left the factory. Six keys which will not open the lock, and one, this one, which will. Please take the lock, Miss, remove the key and snap the lock shut." The audience will believe that the ribbon is on the key as a means of identifying which key will open the lock and assume that it was Used for that purpose.
The lock is now passed around for examination and to allow those with keys to satisfy themselves that they will not open the lock. While they are trying secretly take the other lock from the pocket and ask the spectator to remove key from the ribbon.
This request should be so timed that the attention of the audience is directed to the person untying the ribbon as you regain the iocl-taking it with the hand not holding the duplicat A\S The locks are now switched by apparently putting the visible lock into the hand cOntaiq the duplicate and bringing the latter into vi^ During this action you should be watching person untying the ribbon and if some relev remark is made to this person it will further ensure no-one will be watching you as the switch is made, which should be made casually without, any attempt to make the move invisible. This would be a pointless exercise as the misdirectio is so strong that all eyes will be on the ribbon it is being untied.
The ribbon is now taken and put into the! pocket together with the original lock and the 'switched in' lock handed back to the helper< with the request to open the lock again (criminal isn't it) and then lock it.
All seven keys are then mixed and you discover the right key in whatever fashion you prefer.
You may wish to again switch locks back again after it is open, along with the key which I do when at the table. Another idea is to put each key as it is eliminated into the right coat pocket as you take it back. At the conclusion apparently remove them from the pocket, actually bringing out six duplicates which had been placed in the ticket pocket. It is advisable to make sure that none of these will open the lock. 414
A final note. The routine I now use may l?e of interest to the readers. In addition to the divination effect the routine also embraces a prediction.
With a felt tipped marker I write the following on a 9 inch by 11 inch folder — "Joe Bloggs will have the only key which will open the lock". No-one is allowed to see what has been written. A hole is now punched near the edge of the folder and the person assisting in the experiment who has the lock snaps it around the folder. The keys are then distributed after being mixed and using a fork or pencil in the manner of a dowser six of the key holders are eliminated leaving only the seventh in this case Joe Bloggs who opens the lock.
Now the misdirection is very strong for making the second switch of both lock and key as the message is being read. Everything can now be examined.
Much has been written to help acts attain a more professional standard, from the limitless : supply of new tricks to the unending stream of presentation and rehearsal tips.
One wonders, however, why the average |ayman/booker should consider close-up magic îy better than "party tricks" when even magic îlubs themselves continually foster the idea by almost casual disregard for the work and efforts of the close-up magician.
Although a relative newcomer to the close-p business, I have been appalled by the lack of jourtesy, primitive conditions and deprivation meted out to the performer by the organisers of the average close-up show.
I have had the misfortune to watch shows wherein the acts have not been introduced — screens and resetting facilities have been non-existant, working surfaces supplied that were totally unsuitable. At other functions I have personally been asked to perform simultaneously with other acts — no less than 8 times creating the atmosphere of a demented 3-ring circus.
Think about it, and see if you don't agree that considering their valuable entertainment input to the present day convention, close-up magicians are, in general treated deplorably by the average club.
Respect, like charity, begins at home and it is surely encumbent upon our own fraternity to take the first steps.
Here is a 9 point plan designed to improve working conditions and provide a smoother structure for the benefit of performers and audience.
Appoint a reliable committee official to take sole charge of the close-up show. His duties will include booking and paying the acts, welcoming the performers on arrival, co-opting members to arrange seating, arrange introductions at each table and overall responsibility for the welfare of the entertainers and smooth running of the show.
Don't leave this appointment until "the day" — and advise the acts who this link-man is well in advance.
Take a leaf from the Blackpool boys and send a contract with 2 copies stating time, place, fee.
3. Special Requirements
Go one further and — like the Leeds MC ask the acts, before the great day, if they have any special requirements i.e. music - lights -props etc.
Please provide at least the basic essentials. A dressing room, if possible with wash basin as even close-up acts like to change for a performance. A screen in the hall behind which the act can reset. Reliable card tables — i.e. 4 legs of approximate equal length with reasonable size working surface. Please invest in a number of green baize cloths large enough to hang to the floor on the front edge of the table. Oh, and a large jug of water and glasses —it's a thirsty hour.
The Leicester MC actually arrange for the audience to sit around circular tables with overhead lights — and I'm told the Ramsay Reunion took place in a lecture theatre with rakes seating. These are, of course, exceptional conditions but if you can't arrange different rooms for each act, at least have as few tables as possible — in the largest available room — and have the acts work diagonal corners instead of clock/anti clockwise. This way the audience is not as obviously "tipped off" about what is coming next. ^
Don't ask the performers to work 6 tabled — 4 is enough. Try to have the performers work in teams of two, i.e. one working, one setting up. This way you have no stage waits, no restive audience and no panic.
Check with each performer the effects to be performed. Act as mediator to eradicate duplication — do not expect the performers to resolve this. Ask if the performers have any objections to members of the audience using tape recorders.
Introduce all the artistes to the audience before the show. Delegate someone at each table to introduce the act and thank all the performers and organising staff after the show and before the audience start to leave. Let's not have the mismanaged shambles we've seen in the past. Close-up shows should run as smoothly as stage shows with the start, middle and end clearly defined. Have a club member write a factual and interesting account of the acts for the magic magazines — this need not be an eulogy neither a bald list of effects, but enough to convey what was done and the style and standard — and get the name right.
See that the performer is given his money — preferably cash rather than cheque — in a sealed envelope with a short letter of thanks IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE SHOW.
OK, follow just some of the above points and you will end up with a more professional balanced show. The audience will feel more comfortable watching a show that has been well produced and the acts will give more of their best.
Most of all, you will have contributed more positively to the elevation of the art of close-up magic.
In this effect four cards of particular denomination appear one at a time protruding face up from a face down blue-backed pack. On being turned face up they are seen to have red backs. They then mysteriously change their faces only, first to kings and finally to aces still retaining their red backs.
To prepare remove the four aces and four kings from a blue backed pack and replace them with similar cards from a red backed pack. The blue backed pack with the red strangers is now set up as follows. Face down blue backed card
— face up blue backed card — the four red backed kings face up — and the following all face down:
— blue backed card — red backed ace — three blue backed cards — red backed ace — three blue backed cards — red backed ace — three blue backed cards and a red backed ace, followed by the remainder of the pack. To complete the set-up turn the four bottom cards face up.
The production of the four face up cards to commence the routine uses Piet Forton's effective method explained in the February issue Vol. 3 No. 6, and are the four faced cards from the bottom of the pack. As each one is produced it is allowed to fall face up on to the table.
With the pack held in the left hand a left little finger break is taken below the face up kings. The natural break provided by these reversed cards makes this a simple matter. The tabled cards are placed face up on top of the pack and the block of eight cards above the break turned over on top of the pack. To the audience it will appear that the four face up cards have been added to the pack and turned over. The four red backed kings now on top of the pack are dealt face down in a row on to the table the audience supposing them to be the four cards just produced.
The tabled cards are turned face up to reveal that they have changed to kmgs at the same time taking a left little finger break below the second card — a red ace. Count off three cards from the top of the pack taking two on the first count and put the three cards (actually four) on top of one of the face up kings. The little finger break simplifies the taking of the two cards as one and as the second and third cards are counted off they should be placed on top of the double card which will result in the red backed ace being at the bottom of the face down packet on the king. Again take a left little finger break under the second card and count off four as three and place the packet on another king. Repeat the procedure twice more covering the other two kings.
Pick up one of the packets keeping it face down. Take the king from the bottom and put it face down third from the top of the packet taking care not to expose the red backed ace. Elmsley count the packet of five cards as four putting the last card on the bottom of the packet. The top card of the packet is a red one which the audience believe to be a king is thumbed off on to the table and the packet put on top of the pack. The tabled card is turned face up to reveal the change from king to ace.
Pick up the second packet and after squaring it up take the king turn it face down replace it on the bottom. Count off the three blue backed cards with the right hand taking care to keep the two red backed cards squared as one card. Replace two of the blue backers on top of the red cards in the left hand injogged for about an inch, and the remaining one similarly injogged below the two red backed cards. Left hand turns bringing the packet faces of the cards towards audience allowing spectators to see the outjogged king. The red backed ace is concealed behind the king. The left hand now turns bringing the packet back to its original position and the right hand grasps the outjogged red backed cards thumb on top and fingers below and keeping them aligned 'wiggles' them and finally pulling the top card, the ace, clear as the left index finger tip engages the outer end of the king below pulling into and square with the blue backed cards in the left hand. Right hand turns the king face up showing it to be an ace and dropping it face up on to the table. The packet of four cards in the
left hand are now shown as three blue backed cards and keeping the red backed king, which is third from the top, hidden. This is achieved by holding the packet in the right hand in the Biddle position, thumb at inner right corner and index finger tip at right outer corner as the left finger tips pull the bottom card of the packet towards the left and the left thumb moves the top card also towards the left, leaving the two middle cards out jogged towards the right (1). The right hand now moves from the Biddle grip position and takes the cards from the left hand commencing with the double then the remaining two singly and placing them in a squared packet face down on top of the pack.
The face down cards only of the third packet are picked up leaving the king on the table. The packet of four are counted as three with the backs towards the audience. Hold the four cards faces down in the left hand and take the top card with the right, then the next going on top and finally the next two as one on top of the other two. Turn the packet faces up and show the faces of three cards only keeping the ace hidden using the same means to achieve this end as taken to show the backs of three cards while keeping the red backed card hidden when dealing with the second packet to which sketch (1) refers. Having reached the position in the illustration but with the faces of the cards towards the audience the right hand pulls out the double card and places it/them on top of the other two. Still with faces towards the audience square up the cards and take a break under the top card with the left little finger tip. Pick up the king from the table and place it face up on to the face up packet.
This time the king is changed into an ace by means of a colour change. The right hand takes up a position over the packet with the thumb at the inner end and fingers at the outer end and the three cards under the break are swivelled into the right palm using the left fingers. The left hand moves away with the two cards and the right hand implants it three palmed on those in the left changing .the king into an ace. If desired a Herrman or other pass may be used to bring about the effect. The ace is now removed, its back shown and dropped on to the table. The faces of.three of the remaining four cards are shown keeping the king hidden using the method explained previously. The packet is then placed face down on to the pack.
Pick up the last packet and place the king face down on the bottom of the face down packet which is then held in the left hand. The right hand takes the three blue backed cards singly, and the two remaining red backed cards turned over in the left hand as one card to show the king. Place one of the cards in the right hand face down on top of the two in the left hand and the other two on top. Show three blue backed cards with the face up king second from the top using the Ascanio Spread. Move the king with the ace below it below the second card and repeat the sleight revealing that the face up king has changed to an ace.
Cut the packet bringing the ace to the top and thumb it on to the table. Take a break above the bottom card and turn the top card face up and push it into the* break flush with the rest of the cards. Take the new top card, show its face and put it face up on the bottom of the packet. Repeat with the next card which will reveal the face of the first of the three cards shown at the face of the packet creating the illusion that there are only three cards in the packet and the face and backs of all three have been shown, and the trick is over.
Five cards are freely chosen from the pack by a spectator. He remembers one of these and the performer magically locates the noted card. When the remaining four cards are turned face up they are found to have changed to aces.
Start by having the aces palmed in the right hand, backs towards the palm. They can be palmed from the pack after culling, or simply kept in your pocket or on your lap until you are ready to go into the routine when you sneak them into your palm.
Fan out the pack face down using both hands requesting a spectator to remove any five cards from the pack. Note that the spread pack perfectly conceals the palmed cards, the right thumb being on the backs of the cards and the fingers below.
When the five cards have been taken close up the pack and hold it face down in the left hand in a casually squared condition. The right hand with the palmed aces drops down into a relaxed position. One of the big secrets of successful palming is to keep the hand and arm relaxed with complete absence of tension. Imagine your hand has just taken an aspirin to remove tension and you won't get caught.
Ask the spectator to discard any four of the cards he is holding extending the left hand so that he will automatically drop them on top of the pack. Take them in a fairly sloppy manner so that they are not neatly squared on top of the pack.
The spectator is now requested to look at the card he has retained, remember it, and show it to any others present. As he looks at the card bring up the right hand and add the palmed cards to the top of the pack. The unsquared condition of the four cards returned by the spectator
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