Remove any four red cards and any four blacks from the pack. Drop the red cards face upwards in a pile on the table. Next place the blacks face up on top of the reds. This should be done as part of the removing process and not as a separate action. In other words, go through the pack and remove four red cards first of all. Then, having placed these on the table, remove four blacks. In this manner, the position of the eight cards in the pile is arrived at naturally, rather than appearing contrived.
Pick up the pile and place it, face downwards, into the left hand. With.the. left thumb, spread off the top four cards. These are taken by the right hand, which holds them in a small fan. Casually turn them, face towards the audience, showing four reds. Ask, "Do you know why these are called playing cards?" Pause and wait for an answer. While waiting, look enquiringly at the spectator(s). It is this business of asking a question and waiting for a reply which starts the misdirective cover for the critical move. As you look at the audience, relax and casually return the cards from the right hand to the top of the packet in the left. In the process, the left little finter obtains a break beneath the top three red cards. When you have heard whatever answers the audience suggest to your question, provide your own. Say, "They are called playing cards because they like playing games!"
As you say the line, the right hand casually retakes the three red cards, above the left little finger break. Hold the packet between the tips of the right fingers and thumb. This is a similar grip to that used in the Vernon version of the Elmsley count.
Separate the hands about eight inches and using the left thumb push the remaining five card packet into a similar fingertip grip. Do not make a move of this. Just casually do it, while gesturing in a natural manner. Follow this up by rotating both hands in unison at the wrists to bring the palms towards the floor and, of course, the cards face upwards. This will allow the audience to see the reds in one hand and the blacks in the other. Or so they should think; if you have carried out the above actions with the right air of nonchalance.
Rotate the hands back to their original position again, turning the cards face down once more. Making a remark such as, "For instance, these cards like to play 'Follow the Leader", replace the three cards from the right hand beneath the five held in the left.
If the above action is to be executed without arousing suspicion, it must be performed in a casual, guileless manner. There must not be the least suggestion of any chicanery. The timing will come from the three lines of patter so far given. These are all that need be said, and indeed all that should be said. The action should have been completed with the words ". . .'Follow the Leader'. Remember that so far nothing magical has happened. Nothing has been done that should arouse suspicion or require explanation. The trick, as far as the spectator(s) is concerned, has not even started. The only thing that could give you away is your own manner. The whole of this move should be a casual gesture, with no emphasis placed upon it.
The packet will now read, from top to bottom (with all the cards face down) one red, four blacks, three reds. The audience should believe that there are four blacks followed by four reds.
Say, "I'll show you how they play it." With the left thumb, push off the top four cards, face down into the right hand. Place these in a face up pile, reasonably square so as not to betray the presence of the odd red one. Many performers would contrive at this point to perform an Elmsley/Jordan type count to show four blacks. If your acting and timing have been correct this is totally unnecessary. Indeed to do so would not only be a tacit admission of lack of faith, it would also serve to arouse suspicion. The audience would wonder why you were taking the trouble to keep showing that which you suppose they already know. It is far better that they be allowed to assume what they have no reason for disbelieving, than to have their suspicions aroused by excessive "proof" and handling.
The four cards remaining in the left hand are squared and placed face up alongside the first pile, to its left.
Take the top card of each pile and place it face up on the table, in front of its pile i.e. towards the spectator(s). Explain that these are the "leader" cards. The other cards always follow them. So saying, turn the two piles face down and replace them behind their respective "leaders".
Change the "leader" cards over, so that they are in front of the wrong piles. Next turn over the top card of each pile, showing that it matches the new "leader". In other words, that the piles have somehow changed places. Place these two cards face up on top of their "leader" cards. -
Leave the face up cards where they are. This time, exchange the two face down piles. Having done so, turn over the top card of each pile and show that once more they match the face up cards. Place them on top of their respective "leaders".
The position will now be that on the table, face up, are two piles of cards (three in each). Behind these are two face down cards, which match their respective piles. Casually turn these over and show them.
The final move is an optical illusion, which is credited to Dr Jacob Daley. It brings the effect to an extremely strong climax. It must be performed smoothly. When it is, the result is very striking. The effect is that the audience see you change the last two cards over and deal the red onto the black pile and vice versa. The cards still, almost visibly, change colour. It is one of those stunning optical illusions, which fool you, even when you have them explained.
Assuming that the right hand pile contains the red cards, (which it will if the directions so far given have been faithfully followed), pick up the red card between the tips of the right first and second fingers. Take the black into the left in a similar grip. Both cards should be face down at this point.
Rotate the hands slightly towards yourself, so that the cards are tilted sufficiently for their faces to be seen by the audience. Once the fact that the cards match their respective leaders has been grasped, bring them back to a horizontal position.
You are now going to apparently deal the right hand's card, face down onto the left hand pile. At the same time you are going to deal the left hand's card onto the pile on the right. In the process, however, the cards will be switched.
To perform the switch, bring the hands together so that the right hand cari now take a hold of the left hand's card between the second and third fingers. Simultaneously, the left hand can grasp the right hand's card between the first finger and thumb. In this manner the two cards can be changed over.
Separate the hands and cross over the wrists. Deal the card in the left hand, face down, onto the right hand pile. At the same time, deal the right hand's card onto the pile on the left.
Obviously the above move needs to be performed very smoothly. There must be no hesitation or noise as the cards are exchanged.
Uncross the hands and with the right hand turn over the top card of the right hand pile, while the left hand turns over its top card. Do not finish there, however. Do the last move one more time, causing the cards to end up back where they started. In theory this double exchange of the last two cards should be bad magic. The two changes apparently cancelling each other out. This, in point of fact is not the case. The optical illusion gains from the repetition.
EDITORIAL February 1982
First of all, an apology to those readers who normally renew their subs at the International Day in December. This year we were denied the stand that we usually have. Obviously Ron MacMillan has every right to do this, if he chooses.
Nice to see that Paul Daniels was in the top ten Christmas television shows. Mind you, with the plum spot on Christmas day, it was hardly surprising. None the less, it is still pleasant to see a magician well up in the ratings and to see the B.B.C. having sufficient faith in him to give him that spot. Of most interest to close-up workers, no doubt, would be his handling of the Glide in one of the card routines. The manner, in which he approached the sleight, was diametrically the opposite one to that of myself and I believe most other cardmen. He performed it very slowly and deliberately, calling attention to the "fairness" of the action. Amazingly enough, it worked. The lay people watching with me were totally unsuspecting. There is no doubt that Paul Daniels is a very deep thinker when it comes to magic. A much deeper thinker than most magicians possibly realise or give him credit for. His handling of this simple sleight showed this very clearly indeed.
A very nice gentleman (judging by his letter) called Verner Seitz, wrote from Copenhagen on several matters. One was the "Spirit Count" mentioned in Pabular Vol.6 No. 12. He pointed out that this first appeared in Kabbala Vol.3 No.4.
Mr Seitz also suggested that we might try to put together a Fred Kaps memorial issue of Pabular. I wonder how readers feel about this. Would it be presumptuous of us? I would like to hear from anyone who knew Kaps and who has any personal experience of him, his approach to magic, his thinking and ideas. We did publish an article by him some years ago, setting out a basic philosophy of magic. It is a great loss that he was taken away at such a comparatively early age. I now throw the matter open to our readers.
Had a 'phone call from "The New Cresta Hotel", Hobs Moat Road, Solihull. They are having a Magical Extravaganza from 3rd-6th March. This opens at 8.00pm each evening and the cabaret is from 9pm to midnight. The acts featured will be Alan Shaxon, Mark Raffles and Shahad Malik. The compere will be Simon Lovell, an occasional contributor to these pages. There is no close-up as such, but no doubt Simon will be only too pleased to make contact with fellow enthusiasts.
The prospectus for Blackpool has just arrived. Those who did not attend the British Ring convention at Great Yarmouth will find much of interest. Those who did may have to keep ducking out and looking at the tower just to remind themselves that they are at a different convention (with at least nine performers the same). Still, Blackpool is always an enjoyable event and one not to be missed.
Just after Blackpool, on March 6th to be exact, Martin Breese is putting on a one-day close-up convention. The venue will be The Royal National Hotel, Bedford Way, Russell Square, London W.C.I. Starting time is 10.00am. Lecturers/teachers include Bobby Bernard, Ted Lesley and John Mendoza. Performers include Ralph Brackman, Ken de Courcy, Graham Jolley, Stephen Tucker and Steven Hamilton. Host and compere Pat Page. Admission is to be by ticket only; tickets are available from Martin at £15.
All in all, it looks like being a good line-up and should be an interesting and enjoyable day. Pabular will be represented too.
John Mendoza will be in the country all week, and is holding a series of mini-lectures and private lessons. Tickets for these are very limited. It is suggested that interested readers contact Martin personally for details.
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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.