The Quickchange Artists

The following short vox nine may stand alone or be used as a lead-in to a more elaborate four-Ace sequence. I conceived tills effect as an induction to a great canl classic, Dai Vemons travelers , which together with a few odier items famed mv winning canl ad at the FTSM World Congress in 1988. The techniques and theme used produce a very visual effect dun appals to boÜi the eye and the mind As die effects lake place on a vertical plane, this routine is also suitable for formal close-up perfonnances in front of laiger audiences.

Four quick-change artists, represented by the four Queens, slowly and visibly change into what they really are, the four Aces!

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A setup of only four cards Ls needed I use tills routine as the second segment of an opening sequence, so the deck Ls already set when I take it from its case. Fmm die top down the setup reads: Ace of Spades-red Ace-face-up red Ace-balance of deck-Ace of Clubs.

This arrangement can be easily achieved right in front of the spectator. An efficient way to reach this position in an impromptu setting would lx? to bring die Aces to the top—perhaps widi a spread cull (Volume I, page 185)—in older from die top of die deck down: Clubs-Spades-red-red This can be done during the performance of a previous effect or in a moment of relaxation.

Obtain a break below die four top cards and, using the K. M move (Volume 3, ¡>age 618), secretly turn the lowermost red Ace of die packet face up on die deck and immediately replace the odier three Aces face down on top. Cut die top Ace to the bottom using die bluff cut (Volumes, page5l4) or a double or triple cut (Volume /, page 95).

Ckmstructiorif Management and Saipt

Either use the four Queens in die previous effect or take them from the deck. They should rest face up on the table in a row from left to right. The deck, with die Aces in place as just described, is held in left-hand dealing position.

Introduce the theme along these lines: *You pyvbably think these cants resting her* are Queens Actually they mv not Queens, hut quick+hmur artists. They seem ta!» Quivns, but—for instance, this cmxL^Vñíhyour right hand, pick up die Queen of Spades. As this hand moves fonvanl, the left Utile finger obtains a break below the to,> card of the deck, die Ace of Spades. T\im the face-up Queen of Spades lace down as follows:

, tfht hand onto the face of the card as the thumb lifts lUvilK-rourflngiWoftlH' a? jnovement of turning the card face down

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ilgilillSt ftfc the Rip the

Grasp the double card, (he right thumb above and the fiist two fingers below. Immediately draw the double to the right as you say, "h tokes the Queen exactly—{time seconds..."

Simultaneously turn the left hand palm down and catch the right hand's double card square beneath the deck while releasing the right hand's grip on it. This is the same movement you would make when looking at your wrist watch, and that is exactly what you do. With your right index finger, point to your watch, providing die outward motivation for the right liand to release its card. You have been looking at your hands while doing this.

Now raise your eyes, following the right hand as it stretches out three fingers, and look at the audience tlwough the three spread fingers, saying,"... to turn into what it really is—the Ace qf Spades!" As you make this surprising claim, mni your left liand hark up to normal dealing position, exposing the Ace oi Spades—but you iuv still looking into the audience. It is only after finishing the sentence that you look down at the changed card, drawing everyone's attention to the magical change tl\at lias occurred

The Ace is then brought to the top in a casual squaring action If anyone Is watching you al tills moment, it appears as if you are casually squaring the ends of the deck

With your right hand, deal the Ace of Spades onto the table. After the strong moment Grèatéd by the effect, a few seconds of relaxation occur. Use this time to side slip the bottom Ace of Gubs quietly to the top of the deck (Volume 3, ¡>age 739). However, rather tlian taking the Ace into classic palm for the transfer, I grip it between the hase of the riglit little finger at the outer right comer and the thumb al the inner left comer. The illustration shows a dead mans view.

With your right hand, pick up the Queen of Clubs and hold it at its inner right comer, thumb on the back, second and third fingers on the face, tare towml the audience. As you say, "The

Quern of Clubs is even faster. It changes in mid-airl" execute the fadeaway card change (Volume $ page 748).

After effecting the transformation of the Queen of Gubs to the Ace. you display the Ace and then deposit it face up on the table.

In the interval of relaxation thai naturally follows tlüs eliange. casualty transfer the top two cards of the deck to die bottom, using a bluff cut or a double undercut Hits leaves the two red Aces face to face on top of the deck, ready to be used for the paintbrush color change/1

With the right hand, pick up the remaining two red Queens and hold them face u\ >. I sing this action as misdimction, obtain a led IMk-finger break below the t w<» 6ce4o&ce cards on U >\ > of the deck. Because of die natural bow in the cards this is easily done by pressing your leit thumb lightly on the outer left edge of the deck.

You arc now going to load these two cards below the red Queens. "The ml Queens— that is, the Queen of Hearts ami the Queen qf Diamonds..:' As you say this, the right hand thunil)s the upper Queen—assume it to Ik» the Queen of Hearts—onto the deck, so dial the right liand can tap the Queen of Hearts with die remaining Queen of Diamonds in a minting gesture.

Immediately place the Queen of Diamonds onto the Queen of Hearts, jogged slightly to die right, so diat the right forefinger can |X)int to the Queen of Diamonds.

It is vital to obseiu* die timing and the importance given to these actions. Do not put the Queens square on die deck, as diis always gives the impression that they arc being placed Uiere for a purpose. It is like saying. "Ready-set-go!" Each placement of the Queen on the deck hapjx»ns as an in-transit action (Volume 2, page 457) and lias l)een given an ;ipj>arent reason by simply pointing at them, using die correct timing.

I/xjk up at die audience as you bring your right liand over die deck in end grip position...

Show the packet, which supposedly consists just of the two red Queens, casually on both sides. With your left thumb, draw the upper Queen (the Queen of Diamonds) square^ onto the deck. Then slide die right duimb along die face of the triple card, clianging your grasp from end grip to a pinch grip.

...and pick up all four cards above the break, squaring than against the left thumb in a smoodi and natural action.

Immediately start to brush die face of u* Queen of Diamonds with the outer end of the right hand's triple card Make the stakes diagonally, from outer right to inner left, rather tlian square over the deck. Your narrative continues: "...They need specif hvatnrenl They like to lx> caressed."

After a couple of these brushing actions you perform the color change: As the right hand brings its triple card momentarily over the deck, the right thumb pushes off the lower two cards and leaves them square on the deck It is only now tJiat the Queen of Diamonds, which was resting in an unsquared condition on top of the deck, is squared together with the cards received from the right hand Study these actions veiy carefully. It is difficult to explain, but this handling adds tremendously to the visual impact of the change

Hie right hand immediately turns its can! face toward the audience, revealing a red Ace, as the left thumb pushes the top card of the deck (the other red Ace) into a position tlial should resemble as closely as possible that the Queen of Diamonds occupied just before the transformation Mold this position for at least three seconds, to give the audience time to notice and appreciate the diange. Then deal both cards face up onto the table.

The reason you make several bnishing actions is to focus all attention on the cards when the traiisfomiaiiun occurs. If the change were done on the firet brush, the audience's attention would I* less focused on the cards, and consequently the effect would be diminished.

^Z m m Uie revt?^1 one with a Christ twist f Volume 4, page 988) or

Zl^^T"! acWeVes s*™ PwP°se. Tlie best tiling, of course, is to make atomrn^ m a 8ubsequent Choose an approach that best suits the

Final Notes lb produce the Aces a! .he beginning 2 The order of the Qum« in the »-tup or dus routine sugge* you use an does not malt« „„ a „.luurj lev,! , opener m whrch (he order of the is used purely for us,,J and draLir dec* or at least the on lor or die top reason* It is good to haW Ao> of stodc, us not disturbed. In this way the Spades appear fli«, bera.*e .1 has the unplimentauon of Ore setup is delayed greatest visual impact. At the end it ls and therefore more deceptive. For this good to lave two Queens (if the same purpose I favor "Thompson^ At«" color, as this focuses the visual impaci

(page 1183). niiher than blurting it.

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