Alls wells That Ends wells

The phenomenon of time lias intrigued humankind since wnii . ™

preted by several renowned authors over the centuries. Among them wasH G Weis"^th his novella 77* Time Mart tin, Hüs work and a n.utine by the brZt ^^ Jennings^ inspired me to create a version of my owa*

Tliis is a routine that requires an attentive audience Nevertheless, I have received many positive comments on it. The most memorable for me was when I performed in the Cicsi came to see my show twice in die same evening, and reacted so spontaneously during the performance, he was my best spectator. This was my first encounter with diLs exceptional man. After the performance he introduced himself and asked me to explain the various changes I liad marie to Iiis routine, about which he was very complimentary.


The performer divides the deck into red and black cards, then puts it through three physical changes. Fiirst, he shuffles the red cards into die black cards. Second, he turns lialf of the deck face up and shuffles into the face-down half. And third, he displays die card brought by chance to die top and buries it in die middle of the deck

The deck Is now introduced into die lime machine" (die card case) and is made to travel back in time—this symbolized by an hourglass. As a consequence, the canl placed into the middle of die pack just moments before returns magically to the top, all the cards are seen to be face down and, finally, dieir red-black division Is amazingly restored!


■ The cards of die deck must be separated into reels and blacks. Let s suppose, for the purpose of this explanation, dial the red canls lie over die black in the face-down deck The last card of the red lialf. the twenty-sixth card from die top, is crimped downward at its inner loll comer. Tliis arrangement can be obtained openly, in front of the spectators, since it doesn't constitute a secret, but is merely the starting point of the routine.

■ The card case rests on the table.

■ You also require a small hoiu^lass, one that !h;ü runs at least for two t<) three minutes; Ave minutes is i< l< iaL This is used to represent the passing of time in a visual manner < hoose

(lesign for die hourglass diat fits your style ofperfbnnance, your dne» and die other pro] is you are using. There is a wide range of designs, from modem u > classic.

Construction Management and Script

The deck rests face clown on the table in frort of you I begin this routine with the folk >mng prologue. 'Hie lime Machine This is Uu> title vfafavimting strny by t»*''*» auUurr //. a ptibHOwä in 1895. In this late Wells nils of a man who tons able to n mld forth in time tig of« tem^m nxmder: a tune mdnrn ^

SiS - A* tfmmMor-aM rn^ein W of hmreader /oa she in n <Mtt — «W htelm of nativity, « g8*1 tml^onmn'171 to //TO/; efcn jty uxmi i r/Wr /o /rf/ u| to mnwi 6a<* in ton*

"But MitPfX 1 as <> nun/ician, wiheable, with the Mowing illusion, to lent you into a uwl'loffnnUm/, /i mach ine does exi$L Letfc not lose any mon> time-oras the Gentian author Erich Kdstnerput it., ^WWr tf the fifth commandment: Don't kill time'

»4 ^ Oimfe A? am At' separated the red cants j)vm the black mnk Viisdakshall represent the pnxent, which we are going to submit to the process i(f time." As you say this, ribbon spread the deck face up. Don't ribbon spread the cards from left to right, but from right to left, so that the indices of the cards Appear right-side up for your spectators, making them easier to mad.

Leave the cards spread face up on the table as you show die hourglass: "Our symbol for time willl>e this hourglass. The upjxr amtainer harbors the future, the lower will receive the emits of the ¡xist, and this nanrnv passage is the gale from one dimension into the other—the piesenl. "Set down the hourglass to your right, with the filled half on the bottom "And this shall be the time machine\"Show die empty card case and replace it to your left. Htm die hourglass to start die sand running. "71vie starts!

"1 will now destroy theJbst natural mndition of the deck, the separation of the ml and black oatd& by cutting it Not only will ¡cut it several times, 77/ also shujjle it Please push the amis together yourself... and square the dak yourself" As you say Oils deliver several false cuts to the deck (Volume 1, Chapter 3, and Volume 2, Chapter 25), followed by a false shuffle that retains the red-black separatioa In my opinion Dai Vernon's method is die best in this context (Volumepage 649). But if you prefer, you can simply cut less than lialf of the deck to die right and Zarrow shuffle it under the top few cards of the bottom portion (Volume.I jiage 629). You could even use a red-black overhand shuffle (page 1119), but I prefer die red-black riffle shuffle, since it is more consistent widi the next shuffle.

If you use this shuffle, remember to do ¿is Juan Ihmariz does: When the cards are still in an interfaced condition, don't push the portions square; rather, ribbon spread diem in a double column and let a spectator use the palms of liis hands to push die cards togedier. By involving the spectator in the action, 1 laving him j^erform an unusual procedure and making some humorous remark about it, you create three points that make it easier for your audience to remenilxT that the deck was really shuffled When tile spectator lias finished his task, gather the spread and square die cards

Now riblxjn spread the cards from left, to rißliL "77,is/«„^ 1(, „

-*• TZ t; " '"'ki"r -»* «äs sk3kä

portion consists flf all red carts. ^CSS^r

T\irn the packet on your right face up—a red card should show. As you do this you can slide die criniped comer over the surface of the close-up mat, straightening out or at least diminishing die crimp, so dial it Ls no longer perceptible.

7 will destroy this oondiHOn by shuffling a face-up portion of the deck into a face-down portion>" 1 Jse a Zarrow shuffle to shuffle the right hand's faceup packet beneath the top two cards of the left hand's face-down packeL Tlien square the deck

"Now the amis are completely miml—total chaos." You support these words by showing the cards to be mixed. The action lasts only four to five seconds, although the following description might make it seem much longer.

Hold the deck in riffle shuffle position. Willi your right hand, cut the cards near the middle, were they meet back to back. This should Ix» easy, due to the opposing natural curvature of the factMip and facedown blocks of cards. T\ini your right liand palm up to display a back on the underside of its [jacket

Willi your left hand, grasp the pile still on the table. As you turn the left hand palni up, simultaneously turn the right hand palm down and place its packet onto die table.

Thuisfer die left I land's fare-up packet to the right hand, then place it onto the tabled packet in an off-set configuration.

The external reality of these actions Is to display the face-up-fiace-down condition of die cards; the internal reality Ls to turn all the cards but two the same way. Tliis is essentially die righting action familial- from Dai Vernon's "Triumph" (Volume 3, page 654) and many of its variants.

Widi your right hand, pick up die deck and place it into lefWiand dealing position. As you do this, retain the stepped configuration of the packets, then use your right thumb to press down on the inner end of die lower ticket, thus converting die step into a break, wliich Ls transferred to die left Utile finger. Double cut to die break (Volume 1, [)age 95) as you [>oint out, "Some eanlsfaee up, some caixtsfaee (¡own."

Then use a transfer cut (Volume 1, page 97) to shuttle die top two canLs to the bottom, taking care to,ut into the black lower section first, and then into the red section. During llils you say. Back amis, slntfhl together wilh ml amis. F,vm this side—as i/vV/ asfmm this

S" . J*deck on,J wer end, showing the other side. You are now holding a facedown <leck in deatag position, excepting two blac k cartis, wliich are face up on top. All actions

T*1"'U ,WI yoU havt' ^ dmu!«l liave die appearance of being executed without premeditation, as if you are merely toying with the carts.

Z!o ZnZTl^JS^ Ki»<> <*Ovbs «> the top. I place it somnohere Z^Zr Z ' t ,hp ™doni —' visible on top, do a double

** 3< W6713), remow die top (inditTcn-nt, canland

N H u,)Ixr '»alfdiat consists solely of black caixLs.

Slowly take the deck from its case and set the case to your lelt "The King qf Clubs that we just placed info the center qf the deck conies back to the top."'I\im the face of the top caid toward the audience, revealing die King of Clubs. Place this card face up onto the table

"The cards that were shufflet!face up and face down into each other—the second action— air again all facing downwanl." Ribbon spread the cairis from left to right, which assures diat, on the cards being flipped over, their indices will Ix? right-side up to the audience. All the cards are seen to be face down.

"And the separation of ml and black—the original state—has been ivstomLr Take the face-up King of (lute and use it to turn the ribbon spread face up (Volume I, page 183).

"Vie cards now go into the time machine Place the deck into its card case and close the flap. Then turn your attention to die hourglass, which you take into your right hand "Look at how time Jlies— until toe stop it!" As you say this, bring the hourglass into a horizontal position and place it onto the card case. "And if you really believe, we can now move back in time "Turn the hourglass upright again, but inverted from its ear lier position, causing the sand to run back into the half from which it came "77le suction of time brings the emits of the past back into the present" Replace die hourglass on your right, so that the sand continues to run back.

Pause briefly and let the applause subside. Then end with a wonderful bon mot, tan«'given to me by David Williamson: "Hfehave n turned to the beginning qf this illusion But do you know uhnf is mm Mler-the fact that all of us mi now Ourr mi nut.* t/ounyn.

Final Notes

J. In tills routine, displays of amis piay an imj>oiiani part. In such cases I like to use a large ivrfonnmg surface, so diat the cards can be clearly seen. Rirther-moir, such a surface looks generous and liandsome, and should Ix» favored over small dose-up mats whenever table space permits its use.

2. DonY mistake the hourglass as mere window-dressing. It plays an im|)ortant role in the presentation of "All's Wells Tlial Ends Wells". It serves to make die abstract concept of time visible and understandable for everyone, especially for those spectators sitting some distance away.

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