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The performer writes a prediction during which time a spectator shuffles a pack of cards. One of the cards is freely selected and the performer, without looking at the face of the card, throws it into a book as he riffles the pages. The spectator is then requested to concentrate on the first few words on the page at which the card was found. After due concentration the performer succeeds in divining the words which he reveals in his best dramatic manner. The prediction is then read disclosing the name of the chosen card.
For this efrect you will require a book with ¡oft covers and containing about 300 pages, an ordinary pack of cards, and pen and paper.
The only preparation required is to place a known card, say the ten of spades, about a third of the way from the front of the book near the long edge as shown in (Fig.l). You must also note the number of the page at which it is inserted and the first few words on that page.
PRESTIDIGITATIONAL PREDICTION by Gaeton Bloom
With the book on the table commence the presentation by handing the pack out to be shuffled as you write your prediction, the name of the card in the book, on a piece of paper which is folded up and placed in a prominent position, or given to someone to hold.
Have pack placed onto the table and ask assisting spectator to cut off about ten cards, which you take and deal out on the table in haphazard fashion, with the LONG EDGES towards you, see (Fig.2).
Request spectator to select one of the cards by placing his finger on it. Take the chosen card with the right hand and pick up the book with the left. Position the chosen card in the right hand and place the book on the dealt out cards, opening towards you and bending it upwards in readiness for the riffling action as shown in (Fig.3) which also indicates how the card is held in the right hand.
You are now ready to create the appearance of throwing the chosen card into the book at some chance position as the left thumb riffles the pages. At the conclusion of the acti&n the card is seen to be trapped in the book leaving half its area protruding. That is the illusion, the reality is that the card is thrown under the book where it mingles with the cards on the table, and the card sticking out from the book which the audience believe to be the one thrown, is actually the ten of spades which automatically shoots from the book as the pages are riffled. When the right hand throws the card its second finger is placed on the table in front of the pack to prevent the ten of spades from jumping completely out of the book. The position at this point is indicated in (Fig.4).
This is the only move in the trick and takes less than a second to perform. It is entirely dependent on correct timing for its success, which we will attempt to explain.
A split second after the card is thrown you start to riffle the book. If the riffling is started too soon the card will hit the book and if too late there will be a time lag between the throwing action and the appearance of the card. Immediately the card leaves the right hand its second finger is placed on the table to stop the card when it is about half way out of the book. Some practice is necessary, but once you have it the illusion is perfect.
Returning to the presentation of the effect, the book with the card protruding is handed to a spectator asking him to note the page at which the card has entered the book and concentrate on the first line. You dramatically reveal word by word this line, and then ask that the paper be opened to show that you correctly predicted the name of the freely? chosen card.
A variation of the presentation can be made be eliminating the written prediction and instead divine the name of the card by 'reading' its back. You also pretend to read the first line of the page at which the card has chanced to arrive, proving that you have X-ray eyes.
Another approach would be to write, say, the ten of spades across page 123 with a red marker and wrap the book in a parcel. Put the ten of spades at page 123 in another book with which you do the trick up to the point where the selected card is thrown into the book. A spectator is invited to open the parcel* and on opening the book at the same page as the chosen card was thrown into the other book he will see your prediction.
Finally a couple of precautionary notes. Always make sure a note is made of the page number before the thrown card is removed, and that the card put in the book before starting the trick is the right way up.
It is many years since Ted Annemann presented Pseudo-Psychometry to the world of magic and mentalism. Based on the idea of identifying the owner of an object, or the writer of a message by the use of marked envelopes it has been used by many modern mentalists in some manner or fashion with great success.
This alternative way of achieving the same end was inspired by seeing a comedy magician getting laughs with a paper bag and some coloured marbles. The bag had a large transparent
window in the side, and when a person's hand entered the bag it could be clearly seen by the audience.
The bag I use is a common opaque brown paper one which is folded flat in a special way, the sides being pleated inwards and the bottom folded over. When folded the bag measures ten inches by five or thereabouts. Near the bottom of one side of the bag it is necessary to cut our a rectangular hole two inches by one, in such a position that when the bottom of the bag is folded over the hole is within the fold and hidden from view. Reference to the illustrations should make everything clear. If desired the hole may be covered with transparent plastic though I have not found this to be necessary.
Briefly, here are three variations using the principle.The mentalist, who may either be standing or seated at a table begins by saying — 'Let's try an experiment. Will three of you please remove some small object from your pocket or handbag keeping |t hidden and say — This is my object—this is my object.' As this is happening the performer takes out in a casual manner the paper bag without saying anything about it. Its purpose becomes obvious when the mentalist holding the top edge of the side of the bag with the cut-out, and turning his head away, requests that a spectator drops the object into the bag without anyone seeing it. It is essential that the bag be held with the bottom of the bag at eye level making it obvious that the objects cannot be seen over the top of the bag and it also brings the opening in the side of the bag in position so that the object deposited inside is instantly visible to the mentalist as he turns round for a split second to request the second spectator to drop his object into the bag. Repeat with third spectator and turn fully round to face the spectators. This time it will be unnecessary to glimpse the object as it will only be the one not known, therefore the mentalist can keep the bag away from his direct line of vision as he places the palm of his free hand over the cut-out and dumps the objects onto the table.
The participants are now requested to pick up an object which is not his own and hold it behind his back, the performer noting who takes the first object. The rest is showmanship. Tell spectator No.2 to kindly give the object he holds to spectator No.l — for example a key — and No.l to return the comb to No.3 and No.3 to give the coin back to No.2.
The opportunity may arise to make light-hearted remarks when requesting the return of the objects to their rightful owners. For instance a baldheaded man may have a comb, a man may have a lady's lipstick or key etc.
The effect as a whole may sound very simple, but it is direct and very perplexing to the lay audience.
In the second presentation the mentalist gives a brief spiel on the different vibrations, due ^ to body chemistry, between a person's left and right hands.
To demonstrate this fact in a practical manner a person is invited to hold two small objects, one in each hand taking care that the performer does not know the disposition of the objects. The performer after asking the spectator to count up to fifteen turns his head away and when the counting is completed he requests the spectator to drop the object he is holding in the left hand into the bag. He now turns face to spectator and glimpses the object as he asks him to drop the other object into the bag and immediately turns away.
The mentalist now reaches into the bag and removes one of the objects, studies it for a moment and then returns it to the bag. He then repeats the procedure with the other object. Both objects are now removed from the bag and brought into contact with the spectator's palms 'to test the vibrations'. Finally putting the objects into the correct hands. Conclude by giving a cold reading to the spectator.
For the third variation collect five objects remembering the order of the first four. Dump objects onto the table and do the psychometric reading business to establish ownership of the objects.
When performing any of the above every effort should be made to prevent the audience from regarding the paper bag as having any importance. It should be handled in a casual manner and no verbal reference made to it at any time, nor should it be held by the bottom lest it be suspected that you are able to recognise the articles by sense of touch. The success of the experiments depend solely on your ability as an actor to dramatise the effects and convince the spectators that there may be something in this mentalism business. Any action or statement remotely similar to those used by conjurers should be carefully avoided to prevent any suspicion that the effects are brought about by trickery.
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