This is a short chapter detailing some of the bits and pieces that baeked-up so much of A1 Koran's material. He never used very expensive devices, preferring to place his faitli in simple things that could, at worst, only develop simple faults.
This is very disarming. The pack can be spread between the hands to show the cards all different, then turned face down to force a card. AJ Koran did not like rough and smooth packs, as you always have to help the spectator to remove his card. With tills pack, the cards can be on the table when the selection is made. It is simply a pack made up of twenty-six indifferent cards and, on top of these, twenty-six identical cards. So, when you spread the pack face-up, you spread only the lower part. Close up the pack, turn it over, and spread the top half. The force is accomplished, quickly and effectively.
Good as the pack is, it should not be abused. As with everything else, sparing application is the most productive in the long term.
About the most serious drawback to the swami-gimmick or
thumb lull writer is that it tan be elusive just when you want it.. Ai Koran overcame this problem in 3 shrewd manner. He recced the fead at rose bluni end of an ordimsry pencil with a rope mLinnet, widening the bore to accommodate the magnet, Tlie pencil wa.-> turned point uppermost in his breast pocket, and the mng.net uiid at I lie bottom ol" the pocket, Where also reposed half a dozen swami gimmicks, All lie had to d<> was teeinove the pencil and he had a choice or six writers, all at once" He even practised until lie could t?ct the device on to his thumb nail directly frPrti the a-nd of the pencil.
Barely a trick in itself, tins procedure could prove useful in many ways, especially when one is challenged to do something with a new pack. The idea is that, while flie puck is in thelei't hand, the icfl thumb-nail is drawn down one long side, making ^ diugonuJ scratch. Now, il any card is removed frenj the pack, looked rii und then replaced in the pack, its whereabouts wiil be Ljuilc apparent ho in the position ¡it which its diare of ihs SCO re-mark deviate.1; from the otherwise regular diagonal lirtti AI Koran used the lactic when other magicians were present, so that he wo tiki n't he caught stopping tt) taeiics that everyone else knew. Of course, if somebody is bright enough to replace a selected card in the spot it came frflffl in the pack, then the whole thing is hust abandoned until one's faith is restored by some other piece tif deception.
in some of his stage routines, Al Koran would coin bine halt" a dozen principles in one presentation. The one described here was used when, during a blind J old routine, a spectator was asked tLt.go to :i table; wrtie a word on a piece of paper, fold the paper and keep ir. Ail the time, Koran was hlaeked-out with a blind ibid and several foyers of cotton wool and so on. When the spectator came near, Al would touch his arm very briefly,
leaving behind a trace of curette ash.
Came the finale, among other revelations, the performer, now Tree of his blindfold, could not only tell what had been written on the paper (thanks to an impression device) but he could tell, by iookfiip for the ash, who had written the word-
There me, course, a number pf alternative instances where this ruse would he effective in heightening the mystery. Just be careful not to overdo the ash, though.
This gadget is almost a compiele trick. It consists of a frame, nude of wood. I'rain which hang abend twenty strings. The strings are about three Teei long, ¡md each lias a small plastic bulldog-type etip auaehed a! I wo inch intervals a1pJig Its length, Ai fie front of the frame, si* or seven ot" these strings hang side by side, their clips each holding, face-out wards, a playing card. So. you have a banging vertical display of playing oafiis,. all diflerent ptueeij verlapping&ws ;d ting the lengths of slime-
Thu other stfjijis tie behind the front display, and they hang in <wo ruws oi Hit same width as the one at Lhc franl ot ihe frame, The difference between the from and rear displays is that idl id' tlie cards on the rear display are identical.
A spectator is confronted wuli tite frame and its sway i tit! Siring* uf Lards. Ik is <<>ld to pltmge his hand into the middle und pull out ;i vard. Ik-spite the fact thai alt the curds fosids are the same. It does inn show beeatise of Ihe bewildering variety ai
The Jumbo eard or blackboard or whatever is being used is lumed round to reveal that the performs had a premonition of how this 'random' selection would turn otit, Worth making up if yew w»rk in cabaret, THE INDEX CAJID,
This fluid gimmick is a lovely one. During a routine wh^te u c.iTiit was selected, first 11/11; i>f u page of a hook J molted ai ani.1 a coluur chosen, Koran wurked Hit; Look part tlitis: lie took a card from his pocket, a playing card ... or so it seemed. On the fate, which he kept towards iiimself, was a photographically reduced list of tiie first tines in ttie book bom;- used. Wiuk he puttered about the card he held being possibly the out thought of, lie got tin- ap^-dpriiitc line. The real card, when (lie rime came to reveal it, was produced from art index.
Inc identity, it may be worth mention ins 'he Koran pocket c;ird index, lie used double-faced cards, in envelopes, thus cutting down the index space lo half. The envelopes were
I'.U .iiillu'iiLr^il;, . .ill: ■ I.: •• r '¡ILii-ji^il' jni^loi Koran's Hnl'jiilin;: instinct tor th6 tcuch nf credibility.
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