Published By Trapdoor Productions

Band On The Run Hiro Sakai

This is a startling revelation of a selected card with a rubber band. It owes some credit to items which have appeared before which utilize both rubber bands and cards.

In effect, a card is selected and returned to the deck which is shuffled. A rubber band is placed around the pack the so that it encircles the midsection. The pack is placed on the table. A spectator is asked to hand you the pack. When he picks up the pack, the rubber band disappears for a moment. Upon closer investigation, there is still one card left on the table — encircled by the band. When that card is turned over, it is the selected card.

The Work. You will need to pay close attention to these instructions. Start with a #19 rubber band. If you find you have trouble getting the trick to work, try changing the size of the band. Bigger and smaller bands will make other similar effects possible as I will explain. The relative sizes of your hands, the cards (bridge versus poker) and the rubber band will all play a part in this.

Have a card selected, remembered, and returned to the pack. Control it to the bottom of the pack. Hold the deck in the left hand in dealing position. Obtain a left little finger break above the

selection. Pickup the rubber band and loop it around the right fingers and thumb as shown in figure 1.

Approach the pack from the near short end. You are going to wrap the rubber band around the pack proper. The length of rubber band between your right thumb and pinky should go between the deck and the selection. The pinky break creates the separation between the deck and the card necessary to get the band between the two.

As soon as the band is around the middle of the pack, stretch it out to the right as shown in figure 2. As the break is no longer required, you may release

Continue holding the band as in figure 2 as you lift the band straight up above the pack as shown in figure 3. The band should be stretched taught. This is to show the apparent openness of the procedure. Release the band and allow it to snap against the top of the pack.

With the right hand from above, pick up the band again where it lays across the middle of the pack. Pull it out to the right again, only this time allow the band to be pulled downward by the right hand. This allows the left second finger to secretly catch the band as shown in figure 4. Note that the illustration is the exposed view. Actually, the action occurs out of the spectators' line of vision, beneath the pack of cards.

Once the second finger has a hold on the band, turn your right hand palm down and pull it over to the left side of the pack as shown in figure 5. Note that both strands of the band held by the right hand go between the deck and the hand. That is, the upper strand goes between the thumb and the pack. The lower strand goes between the fingers and the pack.

Loop this end around to the left of the pack and release it. It will appear that you have looped the pack twice with the rubber band as shown in figure 6. Your left second finger retains a loop of the band. Without this, the band would prematurely leap off the pack and remain around the bottom card of the pack.

You are now going to change this loop into a "bite" which will be held by the band. As you slide your left second finger out of the loop of the band, roll the band down the pack toward you. This rolling action will cause the band to wrap around the loop so that it will not come free.

It is important here to mention that the kind of rubber band you are dealing with will play a big part in the effect from this point forward. With some bands, the rolling action isn'tneeded. Simply slide your finger out of the loop and the tautness of

Figure 6

the band will hold it in place. This usually applies to small or flat bands. With larger or round bands, I go for a lot of "bite."

Once the band is securely on the pack, place the the deck on the table. You want the spectators glance to see the front short edge of the pack, not either of the long edges. A close inspection of the left long edge would show one card broken away from the pack with one strand of band above it. A view of the right long edge, might reveal the "bite" in the band which holds the band around the pack.

The Ending. This is where the fun starts. How are you going to end this thing. When Hiro showed this to me, he asked me to pick up the pack and hand it to him. He demonstrated with his hand how I was to grasp the pack. As I picked up the pack, the rubber band vanished from my view and appeared around one card which remained on the table. I can vouch for the strength of this ending!

However, you may have made too big of a bite and the card and the band may cling to the pack. Here is where you get creative. One surefire ending is to take the pack from the spectator in your left hand in dealing position. Take the pack from above between your right thumb at the rear and second finger at the far end. Your left first finger is curled on top.

Position your right third finger on the bite. From here, it is a simple matter to "trip" the band so that it vanishes. Because of the force, it will usually shoot around the left edge of the pack and jerk the bottom card off to the left. The selection falls to the table where it is looped by the band. This is another strong (and simple) ending.

The final variation I will teach works best with a smaller band, one that just fits around the narrow width of a card. Take the wrapped pack from the spectator with the left hand in dealing position. Pinch the front edge of the pack with the left thumb, clamping it against the base of the left forefinger. This allows the rest of the pack to hang naturally from what is, in effect, a thumbpalm. See figure 7.

You now have the freedom to riffle the rear of the pack a few times. This works the pinched band free. Finally, it will snap around the left end of the

Figure 7

deck, apparently vanishing. Actually it is out of sight on the bottom of the pack, circling the selection. By clipping the deck with the thumb, you move the palm, base of thumb, and fingers out of the path of the rubber band.

Execute a turnover pass and spread through the cards. The band will reveal the chosen card it is surrounding. The band has apparently penetrated through the rest of the pack, landing on a card in the middle. This is another very impressive variation. It is also surefire.

As I said, on this one you will want to use a smaller band, just big enough to fit around a playing card. Otherwise, the band will not vanish, it will be hanging out the left side of the pack. Also, during the course of the half pass, too large a band may slip off the selection.

It's okay if the band is slightly visible on the edges of the pack. You don't have to play it as a vanish. It can just appear that it penetrated through the top half of the pack and landed somewhere in the middle.

Hiro had several other outs. With the exception of the spectator option at the beginning, these are all surefire. I will explain one more which isn't. It is simply to hold the deck above your left hand. Riffle the cards as you allow them to drop into the left hand. All kinds of interesting variations will occur. The lassoed car may leap out of the pack face up or facedown to the left. This is visually startling. Or, the band may appear to vanish as in the method just explained. If this happens, be ready with your half pass. Or, nothing may happen, in which case you would repeat the maneuver.

Regurgitations. Several uses of this occur to me. I will elaborate on the best of these. Assume you are doing a jack sandwich routine. The two red jacks are placed face up in the pack far apart. The selection is somewhere between them face down. Actually, the three cards have been secretly brought to the bottom of the pack.

You introduce the rubber band in order to keep the cards in their respective locations (or to preclude the use of sleight of hand). Get a break above the three cards and execute the routine. Treat the three card packet as you did the one card selection. When you riffle the pack at the conclusion, the rubber band will vanish. When you spread the cards, the band will be around the three card sandwich.

I feel the fun-index in magic is greatly overlooked. That is, how much fun are you having doing a particular magic related task. In the interest of increasing the fun-index rating of reading The Trapdoor, I am going to discuss the following fun thing instead of telling you about why you ought to renew your subscription.

While I haven't actually tried it yet, this has the makings of a great practical joke. With the increasing popularity of video cameras, more magicians are bringing them to conventions in hopes of filming the performers. Realizing this is their livelihood, most performers do not want to be captured on tape. Almost all conventions now forbid the taping of the performers without the performer's permission.

Understand that when you are performing, there is very little you can make out in the audience. The glare of the lights along with the fact that you must keep moving give you little time to focus on any individual long enough to tell much about him or her.

However, there is one thing that stands out like a blinking red light. It is the blinking red light on the front of a video camera. The little red light can be easily seen by the performer. So, the next time you want to have a little fun with a performer who is a good friend (but whose friendship is not all that important to you) with a good sense of humor, who appreciates practical jokes, who is not clever enough to retaliate, who is disliked by everyone, who doesn't subscribe to this magazine, who doesn't know where you live or what kind of car you drive, who performs after you, who doesn't know you subscribe to this magazine, and who wouldn't link you with the gag, then this is the practical joke for you. (For the index, "Run On Sentences.") In summary, this is not something you do to someone you don't know!

Recently these flashing red lights have been sold by magic dealers. (For a hundredth of the price, they are also sold by Radio Shack.) You have to arrange for the use of as many as possible. Distribute these throughout the dark audience. When the victim makes his entrance, start flashing. There are no cameras to be seen, only blinking lights. Since it is virtually impossible to focus in on the source of the lights, the magician will assume he is being videotaped by just about everyone in the audience.

That is all there is to it. Choose your victim carefully, or you might end up removing thoselittle light bulbs from parts of your anatomy which they were never intended to illuminate.

Now, is that fun or what? Was that worth $50.00? $100.00? How about $30? If you would like more fun like this, send in $30 ($42.50 overseas airmail) to:

The Trapdoor 407 Carrington Drive Knightdale, NC 27545 USA.

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