When Fred Robinson first suggested that I contribute a complete issue of Pabular, I wondered, frankly, whether he was still in his right mind. However, after thinking things over I came to the conclusion that even if he was not, it still gave me a golden opportunity to describe in print a style of performing that I feel is under exploited at present — namely the use of routining as a psychological "weapon".
Anybody who has seen me lecture, or knr/ my work, will have realised that I build all myf tricks into routines. This gives me several advantages over the chap who just does single tricks. One obvious advantage is that the magic flows, without any hesitation on my part. I do not have to keep stopping to think what I can do next. Also there is a technical advantage, for with a little thought it becomes possible to set up one trick, while performing another — a great psychological throw off for the knowing ones! Most important, it is a commercial approach. The whole thing becomes a complete entertainment, with a start a finish and a middle. In addition, the audience, being given little time to think, stop worrying about how things are done and abandon themselves to enjoying the effect.
So much then for the basic preamble. Here is a routine of five card effects blended together to form a complete ten minute act, which has comedy, surprise and entertainment. You can of course perform any of the tricks separately, but take my tip and do the whole routine as described, it is far more effective that way.
Perform seated at a table, with a spectator (preferably a lady) to your left. The pack has been shuffled and you are ready to go. The first effect is the Mario Elevator as described in the "Cardician". Those who are familiar with this need not really study this part, as they will be able to pick up the routine from the second rick. However for completeness sake, I am ving my handling, which varies slightly from original.
1 — The First Elevator
Take the cards and run through them with the faces towards you, saying that you are going to show your version of the three card trick. The difference is that your version uses fifty-two cards! As you say this, quickly locate a red three and cut it to the top. Assume that it is the 3H. Now continue running the cards and upjog the 2H, AH & AD. This last card (AD) could really be any indifferent card but I always use it just in case the audience catch a flash of its face at this point. The three cards are placed on top of the pack face down, so that the AD is the top card, the AH is below it followed by the 2H & 3H.
Explain that for this demonstration you need the ace, two and three of hearts. Double lift the two top cards showing the ace. Hold these face up and use them as a lever to flip over the 2H. Take this face up on top of the ace(s) and use all the cards to flip over the three, which is also taken face up on top.
Display the block of four cards as three, then reverse the above sequence of moves, as the left thumb draw£ the cards one at a time from the right hand and replaces them face down on the pack. Attention at this point must be drawn to the order of the cards. It must be made clear to the audience that the ace is the top card, th, two below that and the three underneath.
Deal the cards face down in a row from right to left saying as you do so, "Ace, two, three." In reality the cards will be as shown
The three is on top of the pack. Take the pack in the right hand, holding it from above, with the fingers at the outer end and the thumb at the inner (Biddle Grip). Hold it directly over the supposed 3H and about six inches above it. Allow the cards to dribble from the right hand onto the supposed three until only one card remains. Snap this one face up and show it to be the three. This is an uncanny effect, the three having apparently risen magically through the dribbled cards into the right hand. Place the three face down but about nine inches in front of the other face down cards.
Pick up the pack, square it taking care not to flash the 2H on the bottom. Take the pack in the right hand in the same grip as for the dribbling action. During the transfer of the pack from the left hand to the right, slightly separate the bottom card (21^) at its inner end. Hold this break with the right thumb. Take the supposed 2H (really the ace) and place it face down on top of the pack. Tap the pack smartly with the left forefinger at the same time releasing the bottom card with the right thumb. The pack should be held about a foot above the table top during this part of the effect. When the card lands on the table, turn it over and show the 2H. It appears to have magically penetrated the pack. Place the two face down alongside the three.
Finally take the supposed AH (really the AD) and push it into the centre of the pack. Now take the cards in the dribble position and dribble them onto the table from a height of about six inches. When only one card remains in the right hand, snap it face up and show it to be the ace. Place this face down along with the others.
This concludes the first part of the routine. No originality is claimed for the method, but the dribbling business and dropping the two are my own. At the conclusion of this effect you have
the ace, two and three of hearts on the table in a face down row. You are now ready to repeat the effect using a completely different method. This is:-
Part 2 — The Cold Elevator (So called because it does not require you to be one ahead)
This is one of the variations on the "Elevator" eme, which I have worked out over the years. It has two points in its favour. Firstly you do not have to get one ahead before starting, secondly the finish leaves you one ahead in readiness for a repeat of the previous trick.
At the finish of the first "Elevator", the AH, 2H & 3H are face down on the table. Take the rest of the pack in a dealing position in the left hand, getting a little finger break below the second card from top. Trvoimally accomplish this by thumb counting down with the left hand, under cover of the larger action of the right drawing the three tabled cards slightly nearer. The left thumb takes a break below the two top cards. This break is transferred to the little finger.
When you have got the break, allow it to open at the rear to a width of W as shown in fig.2. This is done by allowing the back end of the pack to drop slightly. The gap is only visible from behind.
This is the position for the well known, and very deceptive Vernon Tilt. From the front it will look as though a card pushed into the gap is entering the centre of the pack. The illusion can be further heightened by slightly disturbing the cards at the centre of the pack with the right thumb. This action is shown in fig.3. The dodge was first shown to me by Fred Robinson.
In this particular instance you pick up the ace and insert it into the gap as in fig. 3. There will be two cards above the gap. Do not show the face of the card just prior to pushing it home. Just give them a flash of it as you pick it up from the table. That is enough. As the ace is pushed home the left little finger holds a break below it. Square up the pack, at the same time closing the gap, but keeping the break below the ace. Now riffle the outer end of the pack, then turn over the top three cards as one. They should be layed face up on top of the pack and square with it. The ace has apparently returned to the top.
With the ace face up on top of the pacK and two face up indifferent cards beneath it, you carry out the following action in one continuous movement. The right hand apparently deals the ace off the pack and turns it face down at the same time, placing it on the table. In reality you deal a second, placing the indifferent card on the table instead of the ace. As the second is dealt, both hands turn over simultaneously, holding the pack and the supposed ace back outwards. As the right hand puts the card down, the left deposites the face up pack on the face down 2H. The left hand does not release the pack, but picks up the 2H and turns over showing it face up on top. There are also two other cards face up, which are hidden by the two of hearts.
Turn the top three cards face down as one. Remove the top card and insert it into the pack. Copy exactly the movements made when doing the Vernon Tilt. Riffle the pack, then double left the top two cards showing the 2H back on top. Turn the two cards face down as one, place the top^card (supposedly the 2H but really AH) on the table.
The left hand picks up the three, copying exactly the action used in picking up the two previously. The three is turned face down and during this action a break is obtained below the 2H on top of the pack. The pack is then positioned for the Vernon Tilt, putting the 3H directly below the 2H. Riffle the pack, then double lift showing the three back on top. Turn the two cards face down as one and deal the 2H (supposedly the 3H) onto the table.
At this point the cards will be face down on the table in the positions shown in fig.l, except that there will be an unknown card in place of the AD. In other words you are all set to quickly repeat the first "Elevator" sequence from that point. Do this rapidly as a climax to the first part of the routine.
Execute all of the above well, and by the third repeat of the effect you should have lost even those magicians who use the Elevator Cards themselves.
At this point in the festivities the spectator is brought into the action, as you perform a version of the "Triumph" effect. This is similar to the Garcia version described in "Super Subtle Mysteries", using the Zarrow shuffle. But there is a little more to it, because during the course of the trick you secretly set up the pack for the one which follows.
Collect up the three tabled cards in the following manner. Turn them all face up. Place the ace on top of the three then put both on top of the two. Put all three face down on top of the pack. As far as the audience is concerned you have finished with them.
Give the pack a quick shuffle, retaining the top three cards in position. Take the pack in the left hand in a position for the spectator peek. Have the lady peek at a card. Keep a little finger break below it. Hold the pack face down in the left hand. With the right cut off half the cards above the break and drop them casually face down on the table. Try to get them to spread about a bit as they land. Now cut to the break and drop the cut portion onto the tabled cards. In doing so, contrive to slightly side jog the bottom, — selected card — card of the packet to the right. This card should project from the tabled cards, but will only be noticeable if you know how to look for it, because of the haphazard way in which the cards have landed. Continue cutting off small packets and dropping them onto the tabled portion until the whole pack is exhausted.
Pick up the pack and cut the side jogged card to the top. Immediately below this card will be the 2H followed by the 3 & A. Place the pack face down on the table.
Undercut half the pack, turn these cards face up and Zarrow shuffle them into the face down packet. Work the Zarrow so that the face up cards go in immediately below the AH. Square up the pack. Locate the point at the centre where the face up cards meet the face down ones. This is easily located by the natural bridge that forms there. When you have found this point, undercut all the face down cards, turn them face up and really riffle shuffle them into the others. Take care not to let the faces of the cards be seen during this shuffle, otherwise the audience will notice that none of the cards are face down. Also do not disturb the four card set up on top of the pack. At the completion of this shuffle there will be a four card set up on top of the pack, face down, followed by the balance of the pack face up. Square up the pack and do a table slip cut, taking the top (selected) card to the centre.
Pick up the pack, secretly getting a break below the top two cards. Double cut them to the bottom. This double cut simply appears to be a way of showing that some cards are face up and others face down. After the double cut get a break below the two new top cards and cut them to the bottom in the same way. At the completion of this sequence the position will be that the entire pack is face up, except for the selected card, which is reversed in the centre, and the A, 2 & 3H which are face down on the bottom, hidden by an indifferent card.
All that remains is to make a few magic passes, then turn the whole pack face down and ribbon spread it across the table, revealing the face up chosen card. Care must be taken to keep the last few cards bunched so as not to expose the A, 2 & 3H, which are ready for the next trick.
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