Encoded Steve Beam

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You are about to read a different type of rubber band trick. I will explain it here as a concept which may be applied to other comedic and mental effects. Most are best performed impromptu for reasons that will become evident shortly. In effect, the magician removes a stack of rubber bands from his pocket and drops them on the table. You have afree choice of any of the bands which I will use to perform the next effect. If you pick the right one, you and the close-up magician of your choice will be skirted away to an all expense paid vacation of four days and three nights in the Bahamas. The pressure is on. Which one would you like? The big orange one? The dull brown one? Take your time and take your choice.

When the spectator selects a band, the magician calls her attention to a spot on the band. Well, I'm sorry, this band is defective and therefore all offers of prizes and vacations are null and void. It's interesting. I've held onto my tickets to the Bahamas for the last ten years and everyone always chooses that band. Everyone! Isn't that amazing ? (Pregnant pause for effect.) If you don't believe me, maybe you' 11 believe the band. Keep your eye on the defect. At this, the magician stretches the band between his two hands. The "spot" elongates into a sentence. "You will pick me." Now, I think you' 11 agree that this is incredible. The magician then proceeds into any trick with a band that has previously appeared in The Trapdoor.

At their leisure, the more suspicious of the audience members will pick up the other bands and discover that they too are flawed and contain a mark on them. Upon stretching them out, they find such messages as, "Don't be a schmuck"or"My aren't we suspicious." Be creative with the the wording on the other bands but I personally would refrain from "Skeptics suck."

The Work. There is a small amount of one-time preparation involved with this. Obtain a wide variety of rubber bands. Discard the bright ones in favor of the darker colors. A cross-section of the band should show a band of the flat type versus the round type. Note that on many bands, there is a natural oval shape (referring to the band, not a cross-section of one). If you have bands of this type (they aren't necessary for the trick) you will write "You will select me" on one of the "ends" of the oval. Lacking a band of this type, you can write your message anywhere.

To assist in writing this message, stretch the band over a ruler lengthwise. I strongly recommend you wear protective goggles for this as the band may break at any point. The farther you can stretch the band while still keeping it intact, the better. With the finest permanent marker you can find (I use an ultra-fine Sharpie TM) write the message on the band. Write as small and as legibly as you can. Experimentation with a few bands will let you know just how big you can write the message and still make this effective. If this appears as more than a speck on the band, your message is too long or you wrote too big. When properly done, the specks have to be brought to the attention of the audience. They should not be obvious when holding or looking at the bands.

As soon as you have written your message on all the bands, turn the bands inside out and write a different sucker message on each in the same elongated

manner. When finished, gather the bands and place them in your outside coat pocket ready for performance.

To perform, remove the bands and drop them on the table. Offer the free choice. Take the band your spectator chooses from him. Hold it between your right thumb on the inside and forefinger on the outside. Grasp the other end of the band between your left thumb on the outside and forefinger on the inside. See figure 1. Now, by reversing the relative positions of your hands as shown in figure 2, the band will turn inside out. Your right thumb will now be on the outside and right forefinger on the inside. The relative positions of your left thumb and forefinger will also reverse. Apply outward pressure with the right forefinger and left thumb. This will allow you to release your grip with the right thumb and left forefinger.

Continue, as if part of the same reversing motion, to roll the band over and over (as you would turn a wheel) between your right forefinger and left thumb. Do this casually as if inspecting the band. After several revolutions of the band, pretend to notice the speck for the first time. Call them in closely so they too can read the message. Stretch the speck out slowly until it forms the message.

Later, when one picks up one of the tabled bands (it will happen) he will tend to inspect the band in the same fashion you did, by revolving it between your fingers. This is because a rubber band is perceived as having an inside and an outside. Your speck was on the outside, they will assume the rest are. Your subtle method of turning the band inside out is imperceptible. Further, they see no benefit in looking at the inside the band. Before that thought might occur to them, they will spot the speck on the outside and will be reading the punchline aloud.

Regurgitations. Ifdon'tfeelcomfortableallowing them to have free reign with the bands, you can point out the specks on the other bands before you reveal the speck on the band they selected. Take the band they select and make the move which turns it inside outcasually before dropping it on the other side of the table. Tell the spectator that you noticed him hesitate a moment before he reached for the band he ultimately selected. "Which was your other choice?" Pick this band up and stretch it out to read the message. Without reversing it, they will see the alternative message. Do this for a couple of bands, then pocket all the bands except the selection. Since you have already performed the move with the band, you can lift slowly. Casually stretch the band out to read the selection message.

Note that if you use this presentation, the alternative messages should be something nicer than the original sucker messages. These should state in short form that they weren't selected. Some suggestions are:

I would have chosen you.

...Always a bridesmaid It coulda been me. Don't like brown?

My spot frighten you?

Second choice.

1st runner up.

I didn't wanna be picked.

If you have a particular favorite, remember the color of that band to make sure it is one of the bands you read. This is because you don't want the trick to drag by reading all the messages.


You will need a 35mm slide mount for this routine. (If I'm as ambitious when I mail this as I am while I write this, I will include one with your envelope.) You can obtain them in boxes of 100 from a camera store for about $7.00. Ask for the slide mounts with the hinged backs. The ones Scott gave me are made by Polaroid.

Examine the mount. There are two parts hinged together. The largest is the mount proper which I will refer to it as "the base" from this point forward. The other (smaller) part is hinged to the base and I will refer to it as "the flap." You will notice that the flap has five tiny projections or "teeth" which are used to snap into the depressions or "dimples" of the base. For your purposes during the routine, you will never have more than one of the teeth engaged when the flap is closed. This is because you will be secretly opening it and closing it and engaging all the teeth would make that too difficult.

Note that the audience will not be aware that the mount even opens. If they are familiar with the mounts, they will know that they open but they will not think that's what you're doing. Also, you should notice that when you view the base from the front (the side away from the flap) you can't tell whether the flap is open or closed. If the flap is open and hidden, it will appear to be complete and closed.

Take a 35mm negative and trim it down so that it will fit on the flap without protruding over the edge. Use wax to wax the slide to the flap. Scott uses something called "Stick-um" which is available at candle shops. It is used to stick candles to their bases. Scott says it has a better texture than magicians' wax.

You will also need to make your own envelope to hold the mount. Start with opaque paper and fold it in half. Cut the folded paper so that it is just large enough to hold the mount. The paper has one edge folded. Tape two of the other edges together so that the square envelope is open on one end. You will also need a sharp object such as a knife, pencil, or pen.


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Fundamentals of Magick

Fundamentals of Magick

Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.

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