The joker Folds Uy

mercial itont sold by the late Ken Bnx>ke, while the folded card to box remained e^aS an unmarketed performance piece. Since it liad become one of his favorite effects it also became associated throughout die magical wodd with die late Fred Kaps although Kans always made it a point to credit the tme creator whenever he talked with magicians abort die effect. Whoever saw Fred Kaps perfomi it live or on video will agree dial in liis hands it was a miracle.

Tliis effect is, widiout doubt, one of die true classics of caid magic Not only is die effect dear and direct, it can also l>e performed under almost any performing situation and on almost any platform. I can easily imagine Nate Leipzig perfonning this effect for his committee of four and projecting it to a thousand people in his theater

Effect

A Joker, signed by a spectator, changes into a card he freely thought ot The Joker Is found folded up in a small box, which has been in full view id all times.

Pivliminaiy Considemtions

In the Final Notes I will give a brief sumniaiy of the presentation and method Fred Kaps used, and you might want to mad tliis now, before studying my liandling which came about as a result of die following considerations

When I started studying tliis effect, I identified several situations tliat 1 found problematic.

1. The Joker is folded with its face outward rather than widi its !>ack showing Tliis is a <iis-tinct cirh-antage over previous handlings dial use a can! folded with its I wick out ward, for the spectators immediately recognize "dieir" card w hen the lid is lifted from die box This feature also makes die liandling useable with any deck dial lias a similar style of Joker, regardless of back design or color. I liave a nice story diat liinges on this point, which lH

recount in Final Note 5.

2. The routine is structured in two parts, with the first effect building up to die second climax. Since die effect of finding a signed card folded in a closed receptacle is so strong IVe always felt it needs some kind of "overture"; otherwise it s over too quickly

3. The misdirection for the secret folding Is veiy solid, anc I is coherently iml*dded within dle dramatic structure of the routine.

Last but, to some periiaps, not least No raid from the deck proper is dcstmmUmly a Joker. 1 always amy diree Jokei* in my deck (which Is nomial with the Foamier

always cany amis I use), so fm ready for repeat work

Aftersevoal yea* of trial and enor I came up with the present routine, which I would d* ^ asone oft he battle hoises in my closer world»

Materials f

. Ymi «ill need a small lx>x ffffl a telescoping removable lid, similar to a nng box. Inside it , , f, ided Joker. The lx>x I use is made of stiff leaiher. When the box is closed, the lid and the I jase appear to be practically (he same size. The base has an inner lip over which the lid fits snugly This lip should be black, making it almost invisible, with the result tJml the lid can be mistaken for the base and \ice vensa, a jxjint you will come to appreciate shortly.

The Joker must l>e of the same type used in the deck with wliich you perform, and it must l)e folded in quarteis, in the same fashion as the card that will Ix? secretly folded during the routine. The method of folding will be detailed at the appropriate place in the description Mow. Since I use the Mercury cairl-fold," the Joker is not folded perfectly in quarters, since the Joker you will secretly fold won't Ik- perfectly folded either. Tiike care, though, tliat die color of the back Isn't exposed Tliis cairl is fastened to the I »ttom of the box by a veiy sliort thread tliat allows it to rattle and move freely within the box when it is shaken. (This ingenious touch was contributed by Scotty York) If the Ixjx is tipped over when the lid is removed, the rani must stay wit! tin. On the quarter face oi the Joker showing, write your initials with the marker you will later use in the performance.

Tlus marker must be of the waterproof type. I have used a dark green mariter, ever since my ftiend (¡arihorst Meyer ¡jointed out to me tliat tliis color provides the most visible contrast with a card face.

The deck of cards you perfonn with must contain at least one Joker tliat matches the folded Jokerm the box.

■ Last you need a stemmed glass or other container, large enough to cover the box.

Constmclion,, Management and Script

^SSSnT m ",tX1Kl,KlJO,u 'Magicians have senvls. And this boxoantaws a

Show it ; : " T"''' 'nw,/ at "U; a,d P«fi»nuK*." Bring forth the box, •show rt and place it on die table at a little distance to your right."It's imjJanl, rfamm

thai no onegets near (he box, Because it n ic m .

fiar um ojwwod—pet ndemon ^^toaSteiob^^^ /Warn:, uf io! flt'lU wW\" Tlus presumes, of coun*, that you am using the glass. 1 so, tomtit and cover the box with It If the situation doesn't allow you to canyyour own glass, or if the glasses available on site wont fit over the box, look for a glass ashtoy or some other container tliat can be used Isolating the lx>x makes it clear toyr>ur audience tltet you cannot get at the bo* without diem noticing It, which Is an important point that strengthens the effect Furthermore, die objects, in this arrangement, make an interesting visual display. The bonus for the performer Is that he, too, can l>e sure dial no curious specta-

tor can touch the box.

Ask someone to name any playing card from the deck. "Bui (font name an obviou* awl, lib' fin of Spades or the King qf Hearts. Most jyeojie think of these cants. Name a difficult cardi one I (Xjuldn't enpeeCT\us eliminates die naming of obvious ranis and the l>ossil>ility of anodier spectator exclaiming. "Oh, dials the samecard I would have named." rve found such (xrurrejices undesirable, as diey suggest a possible solution to the audience, which weakeas die sense of magic. The above request makes a generally boring procedure more interesting, and the following effect appear more difficult Pick up die deck, which lias been resting on the table, awaiting its entry, and hold it with the faces toward yourself. Spreai I a few cards, as if to illustrate what you are saying

The Joker should be at the rear of the deck. You can achieve this during a previous effect, in a moment of rest, or you can do it now, usingasj >read cull {Volume /, page 187).

Wliile the si>ectator Is thinking (sometimes with other spectators making suggesdons), remove your pen and set it on die table. If you grasp die |*?n as shown, as you place it on the table it is jxissiblc to unlock die cap widi just one liand, by pressing outward with the thumb, so tliat later you can just slide the ix*n out of the cap without using your other I iancL

Well assume the spectator names the King of ('lulis. "As t/ou know, every deck has a Joker. In etise a and is last, the Joker aw take its place. So the Joker is the only card m the deck thai can laJa theidentilytfany other mid. We're going to give the Joker the identity of the cant you just named " Explain dial you will write the name of his card on the fact? of the Joker. Run through the deck, with the feces towanl yourself, until you reach the King of Clubs.

,ve tlus card and place it on top of the Vurr which is already on top of the deck U ^ as if you have looked for the .loker, fdU ^d placed it on top. litis belief is iecl by squaring die deck, turning it Xr and flipping the top two cards as one Tin,, on the deck, using a double turnover, SSt^push^ double (Voi^

F,T3) The Joker is seen anil eveiything i^taasit shoiilcl (Some may like tliis ruse of aettingtlw spectator's selection. It is perfectly lined bv the presentation and saves your

U . card physically sedected,

^d and controlled to the top.)

Push the double canl back and square with the deck, catching a left little-finger break beneath it. Pick up the pen and write K* in the white space near die outer end of the Joker. Near the inner end and to die right, write your owti initials more or less in the same manner and orientation that you did on die dummy Joker inside the box.

Briefly turn the deck outward to display wltai you've written. Then hand the pen to a second spectator, someone on your right, and ask him to make a simple sign or to put lus initials on the face of the Joker. If you hold the deck in your left hand, turning to your right affords maximum cover for the break held Mow die top two ranis. The Joker is still showing face up all, j.the• fimMlown deck as you hold it steady for his writing. I liave found that tills process or double identification" is necessary, since die effect is so incredible As a bonus, die initials PXlra nusdlre^on at the moment of the switch-but Tm getting ahead of myself.

to wSS ¡¡S"*?m **,0 ***,he *** J"5» because he Uriioks it is le^ awkward

U7 J1 su;1' «■«1 immediately say, Its okay, I can hold it for you a,ul Jus'make a W <»■ .mr initials. " 11,Ls Iras never failed ^ ; ;"ask **to »* "We name « „, it, I>ecause if his name ha,>

BuHf^l v ' wSr°nUI(XYJ (U Castrocu« ^ i- '.light be justified to give him the me mention that you Z alTÎ '' y°U sti" feel want ,he ranL

• f an use tlie k M. move (Volume 3, page 518) to get rid of the King of

Clubs behind the Joker Aftmvard, use a top change (WW 1. page 233) to switch it back. However, a much stapler mute is to turn the left hand palm InwSdSmStoo^

^ on ,he deck 35 y™"" right Iiand takes the Joker and gives it to the ZZ, Z replace the Joker on the deck by simply reversing the a,i!oS thes**c,ator- Y°°'ltel

Eventually turn the double card face down and take it by its inner right comer, with thumb on its bock and index finger on its face. If you do any type of retention-of-vision replacements* this is the place to use* one of them (Volume .7, pages 579-682). The right liand shakes the card slighdy up and down, as if to dry the ink Take care not to flash the face, though-

Still holding the deck in facedown dealing position, stretch out your left index finger and slide it over die face of the presumed Joker. Then look closely at the finger, as if to verity there Is no ink on it, implying dial the ink is diy. Sometimes I will be unnien iful here. Ill secretly touch die Up of die marker with my left index finger when I write die name of the card on the Joker. When I then nin my finger over die face of the switched card. Til expose die mark on niy fingertip and say, "Oh, not quite dry yet. "(But HI unt leistand if you fun I dils to be too unediicaL) . -^¡«g

Place the presumed Joker on top of die upturned glass. Then, toying with the deck, either shuffle the top card—die Joker—to the bottom, or use a transfer cut to achieve the same result {Volume /, page 91). As you square die deck, execute die bottom card all-around square-up glimpse (Volume 2} l>age 357). This turns die deck end for end, so dial your initials will be correctly placed whei i you later apparently dump die < lummy Joker from die box into your liancL In addition, sighting die Joker will give you Rather peace of mind.

Tell your audience that you are going to make the Joker on top of the glass disappear. Make a nu^c pass over die presumed Joker I want to stmss die importance oftHs mr unent. It is die instant when die magic happens and demonstrates the force of die magician, which <m*s die effect. . r^^raLB

"Please, you *nn*iituni aver the.lobr eery slowly, so that mryotw can its fan " As the first spectator does so, the audience realizes that the Joker has not only vanished, In* the freely named can! lias appeared in its place-quite a nu«M moment for nciwiuwdai*

As the impact strikes home, you take advantage of the natural n^directic » to secretly into quarters I>eneath die deck lb dc> this you use a mediod known as the Mmmj

rrt-fhlH Outwardly your luuids casually «uani the deck, witi» actions that seem almc*, S^S^ne's attention is focused on the King of Clubs, which you* helper ¡J jasUiimed tk* up, you bring yöüT right hand over die deck assuming end gnp, Your right £ni! nu LSI be extendi tower than usual, with its inner phalanx pressed against die middle of the inner end of the deck.

Your left index finger makes the first fold: Move die pad of tills finger from die outer end of die deck to die outer index comer of die Joker on die face of die deck. Then exert an upward and backward pressure with dils finger, causing die Joker to buckle downward along its width This movement is swiftly continued until die index finger and middle finger of the left Iiand can compress the card, now doubled in lialf against the outer phalanx of die right thumb. The outer side of die left index finger remains in constant contact widi the face of the deck—diis is one of die secrets to assuring a neat fold

Widiout hesitation, and while maintaining die points of pressure of the left fingers and right thumb, the first three fingere of the left hand wrap the Joker around the outer plialanx of die right thumb. This results in folding die card a second time, it now being folded into quarters. Note the role played by the coiuiterpressure of the right thumb in these actions.

As v m >n as you feel the canl wrapping around die Uiumb, turn your left hand vew slightly out want arid pflm up. This cairies die folded card away from die right timrnb and towaid die

Zfn'H I d0Ck m^OV^f dose die left finger* further, widi speed and

, ! * ltel °l*n ** fin«ere md ^ of your left index finger to flatten the folds m the Joker a final time against die bottom of the deck.

The (leek Is immediately taken into dotding position, with the folded Joker perfectly hidden beneath it. The folded card is concealed in a sort of loose left-liand finger patirt, but to the spectators it looks as if the deck rests in dealing positioa Move your right hand away from the deck, nahnally and without haste, to perform some gesture or task.

You have the best possible misdirection during which to achieve this fold namely a very good effect, since die Joker lias changed into a freely selected cairl To ils this Is just adouble turnover, to the public it is magic. Reinforce die effect by saying, me Joker has vanished but the amI yaufiveiy named has npjmmi in its jj(mn Take the King of Clubs from the spectator and lay it face up on die inverted glass.

The audience often applauds at diis point, tthinking that this Is the final effect Intenupt die applause at its peak and explain, "You might think this is good Actuaty this is t)u ¡xirt that isn V txid. The part that is tvallg (food is about to happen. "Give dieni a few seconds to ponder diis; then continue,'!Because each time I remh this point, every iiOdHgenl pernor! always asks the same (piestion." 1 look slowly around from left to right, gazing at each pereon at the tal >le widi an expectant look on my face. If no one answers your lead, re[>eai the statement. Sooner or later someone always asks, 'Whathappened to the Jóker?n Immediately look relieved and say, 'Thank you. You just saved the honor ojijour table. "(Tliis business fits my style; however, you may wish to capture its essence, but find an interpretation dial suits you)

The function of this exciiange is to give die audience a little time to anticipate die fart dial the Joker could be inside die box. The greater the expectation, the more relaxed they will be when diey eventually see the (dummy) Joker in die box—and the better the psychological misdirection will be when you liave to execute die switch

'Hie situation created above should cause the whole group to laugh, which is the state of relaxation you desire, as it allows you to claim their attention and focus it on die space occupied by the glass

"Please, sir, you nmore the King qf Clubs yours*irTl\\s is said to someone seated to your left Keeping y< >ur attentioi i fixed and your body turned toward the glass, at ldress die Relator next to him: "And you, madam, l{ft the glass "

As soon as she lias done so, ask her to take the box and carefully shake it next tí) her ear.

"Can you hear something?" She must admit—unless you are working in noisy surroundings—that she does hear somediing inside die box

Now comes a critical moment in the pqychc >IogM construction of the n miine. All kindlings I have seen have the magician take the Ik>x and open it himself. IVe always thought this precisely the wrong moment to do dial, and it took me many years to amve at the following solution, which Is so simple—once you think of it

„ , . talfP her other hand and lift off the lid. Don't say open, as tlus focus« SSSi «d .W lead her to pick up the en,he U^ ^

^h" w, as this ghes a clear image of what you dean?.

remove the «* One l*nd holcLs the I k>x fn.ni Mow, 2 other hand the lid FMhennore, I assure you, the surpnse almost paralyzes dte spectator: Shereally is in a mild state oftrance, which is usually evidenced by her jaw dropping, literally, and by some comment of disbelief.

Tills state lasts about three or four seconds. During it, with moderate speed, take die box fh>ni her, but hold it clearly at your right fingertips. "Lei's show the others."

Simultaneously, set die deck in your left hand onto die table; you will likely find it most comfortable to turn your left liand inward and leave die deck face up. Tlus action isn't liidden, but happens entirely beyond the frame of attention, and Ls dierefore psychologically invisible.

T\im slighUy away from the spectator who Ls still holding the lid, and hold the box out toward those spectators sitting Tardier away, giving diem a better view. Tlus action also moves die Joker inside die box, letting it be seen apparendy loose, and at die same time making it difficult for the initials to be closely observed.

Whether you're sitting or standing at die table, you can rest your left liand c omfortably on the tabletop. This is all die cover necessary for keeping die folded card concealed in finger palm. Should you feel tliat die card Ls not neatly folded, you can use your left thumb at dtis point to press it a little and make any necessary correction.

Apparendy dump the folded card from die box and into your left hand hi reality the card in die lx>x remains in place and die folded Joker in your left hand is brought into view. Here is exactly how I pnxeed: After showing the lx>x around briefly, hold it at about waist height and look at the folded Joker inside.

Now look up and ask, "Who sigard the Joker?" This will invariabjy result in most people pointing out ti\e pereon in qjiesfloa T\im toward die spectator indicated and look at him, splitting the audience's attention as you appear to dump die contents or die box into your left hand Tb do tills, tiring your liands togedier and, die moment they almost touch (see the fflustratiori), expose die folded Joker inside your left liancL I low-ever, your left thumb effectively blocks the audience's view of die liands folded card

As you turn your left liand palm up, turn your right hand inward and palm down. By extending the left fingers, the finger-|)almed Joker can be lightly pressed onto die Joker in the box. Immediately use your right ring finger to engage die previously palmed Joker and hold it against die underside of the box. The shifting of your gaze from the box to the spectator when you ask, "Who signed the Joker?" mast l>e synchronized with the loading of the folded card inside die box. Lift die box an inch over the left hand and, for a second, allow everyone to see dial the folded card is seemingly jammed inside the Ik>x and won't come out.

Now look back at the box to see wliat has happened, find shake your right hand once or twice, attempting to Mfiw~ the .jammed card- Let die folded Joker drop onto your left hand* wliich continues to wait; palm up, to receive it. As this happens^ say, 'ffli; please take the card yaurs^f, unfold it and an {(inn that this isi/oursi(jnatiur\"

I land il to the spectator and have him unfold il and verify his "signature". Now it is a go^ idea to call his initials a "signature", as this magnifies their importance. Climax!

1 realize it is difficult to imagine from mere reading die pacing and style in which all diese actions are executed You will probably first liave to learn how you would do the whole sequence without deceit; tiien discover how you would do each necessary smaller action, while keeping in mind the innocent larger whole. Eventually you must practice die single actions over and over, until die whole feels right to yon

In my opinion, it's imperative diat the spectators believe they have opened the box dienv selves. Every line and action has been composed to contribute to tJxls belief. Notice how die repeated phrasing, liyon youiseff' is linked to an action dial is performed entirely by the spectator. The diinl time it is used, its meaning lias been conditioned, and there Ls a liigh probability that it will be accepted as true by most. In reality, when you tip die card from the box, it is die first time you touch sometliing—but merely as an auxiliary action dial leads to die main action performed by the spectator. Yoi 1 immediately continue by Iiaving the spectator tymeff unfold the cant and verify your signatmv" which connects to what you said previously and linguistically closes die circle of logic

Let s look at die management of die box alter die rard lias been revealed. The base of the box, with the dummy Joker inside, Ls set opening downward on the table, very close to you, so dial no one ran reach for it witiiout you being diere first Retrieve the lid ftom the spectators the o^ers axe showing the Joker around. When you again have everyone^ attention, reinforee

T*1 once morp ljy Piling with your right index finger into the opening of the lid, held mm up myour left hand, and say, 'You may keep the Joker that was. inside this tan"lb

S12 a ^^iPtercame out of this half of the box, and as if the other half, resfiflf mtn tits> ma ^ .. u,u.v wiuinn uus assumption, pick up the Iwse and place it down

Ule bdl 38 ^ M base. Then put the closed tox into your pocket

Final Notes

1. Here Ls Fred KapJ presentation and open .he hinged lid He immediately method, as ho performed the Signed * • • »«"ut*iwiuy

Card in Box for Brother John I lamnian at Philippe Miilhos home in the South Of I^Yance. 1 never had the privilege of seeing Kaps perfomft this piece live, but die videotape made of the perfbr-manege at Flalhofe is, I have been told by several friends, representative of his performances of the trick for magicians fllld laymen alike. ( I would like to thank my dear friend Aurelio Paviato for las help with dils video reference.) Hie method arid presentation wen» ;is straightforward as you could imagine. Kaps spread the cards face up and had Hamman select any one and sign it on its face. On taking it back, Kaps controlled the card to second from the top of die deck, using a subtle handling of the bluff pass (Volume J, page 665). After si lowing dial the caid was i »either on top nor bottom, die selection ended up on top of tile deck. He tinned the deck casually face up and executed the Mercury card-fold as he made a humorous remark. He dien pointed to die Ih>x and explained dutf it contained a prediction. As lie made some further comine-iits, die deck widi the folded card hidden beneath it was transferred to his right hand, which momentarily held it and then returned it to die left hand Tills action subtly showed botff liands empty. 'Hie right hand next took the deck into end giip, and his teit hand dropped naturally to the table as his right hand ribbon spread the deck face up. He did not point out that die can) was still in die deck. K;ips would then take die box from die table and briefly deposit it over the folded can I hidden in his left hand in Older to lhp took the opened box into lus right hand and showed a folded, facedown card inside, rattling it around slighdy. He then performed a shuttle pass u > apj *u-endy dump the contentsoTthe box into Ills left I land, while actually bringing the palmed folded canl into view. He continued to speak of this canl as a pn< diction, and emphasized several times dial it came from the 1h>x. He realty took his time in unfolding the catd and showing the signature on it. Eventually die opened canl was handed t« > Brother John Hanimaa whose expression Is one of sincere amazement

As you see, the staging is very direc t, an approach typinil of Ftod Kaps's work. Yet, througli sheer pereonai presence, flawless and invisible technique, straightforward construction, masterful Iiandling and choice of effect, he created a stronger impad tlian many who say they are mak-ing "triviid" tricks more meaningful tlirough the addition of almost endless sti >ries and a cluttering of the essential effect Another master with a simibir approach to the presentation of magic was the late Michael Skinner, whose scripts most of the time were of ;ui explanatory nature—some will say almost negligible—but whose magic was as strong as you could wish for. I say diLs as a mere observer of the scene, and suggest this «something to be thought about

Returning to my luuuliing, I liave chosen to give you my script because it is important to understand how I use words to stage the actions and lead the spectator^ thoughts ami expectations

The text works well with my personality, hut I urge you to find your own words» without losing Uteir effect.

a .After you have executed the Mercury card-fold, you must finger palm the folded cartl Hem's another easy method for doing tills: With your right hand, remove die deck tan your left. As you do so. do not Oft your left thumb; rafter slide it over the top of die deck without loosing contact with the top caul The thumb than naturally slicks over the 5. inner end of the deck and past die left side of die right thumb. Meanwhile, underneath, the entire outer side the left index finger remains in contact with the face of the deck as die right liand moves die deck forward and to the right, away friHtl the left hand Your right hand moves at least twice as fast as your left. When the left diumb drops naturally onto die folded card, it's an easy matter to make die minimal adjustment necessary to move die card into a comfortable finger palni Drop your left hand to the tabletop, to die side of your Ixxly or onto your left tliigh, depending on die performing circumstances. Whatever the case though, remember not to drop die left hand as if it carried a Stone; instead, simulate die normal action and speed die unoccupied hand uses when moving to a rest position.

4 In many years of perfomiing diis effect, under die most demanding cirninv dances, I can say that the number of people who want to see the box is statistically irrelevant. If you don't agree or wW. to by something else, here are a few ideas I have experimented with

■ You can, if you wish, switch the base of the box containing the folded card for another empty section on your lap. 11 lis leaves you with everything examinable Finding a standup solution for this problem shouldn't take you long.

■ The card in die box can be loose and simply Ix* retained by your right thumb when you apparently dump it into your left hand Later the folded card in die box can be lapped or palmed away to a pocket, again leaving you cleaa

In the introduction to tills article I mentioned dial a particular event prompted in me the idea of nsing the folded card face outward, rather than back outward as Fred Kaps did and others have done ever since. The event occurred at an open-air parly where I liad ended my stage performance arid was sitting at the table with a few guests. It didn't take much pressure for me (at dial time) to perform a few cluse-up effects for the company at the table. I eventually performed the original Kaps version of die signed card to l>ox, but with a little dramatic difference—at least for me. When I opened the Ix>x, I was surprised to notice tliat the hack of the card inside was blue, while I was at die time using a red-backed deck. I immediately shuttled the card into my lefl hand, where its back turned to red again—what a nice effect! Some might c^all this bad timing. I call it too much wine. Anyway, the situation was saved by the fact dial, it teing late at niglii and outdoors, the difference in colors could hardly be seen, and those sitting close by, who thought they had noticed a strange» kind of color change, must have blamed it on their consumption of too much wine In any case, no one said anything, but 1 changed the method soon after.

CARD COLLEGE

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