For the second trick with the mount, you are going to perform a penetration effect. Pick up the tabled mount after the conclusion of the previous effect. Hold it up at chest level between the thumbs on the flap side and the fingers on the opposite side. The hinge should be toward the floor. Flex the mount back and forth which will cause the tooth to disengage and allow you to separate the flap from the base.
Rotate the mount around so that the right hand is holding it between the thumb and forefinger with the hinge toward the right. By releasing the right thumb's pressure, the flap will open away from the base. This allows you to place the envelope over the base while leaving the flap outside.
Transfer the envelope to the left hand and take it in Spellbound position. As you transfer it, rotate it so the mount' s hinge is against the fingers. You can now pick up any sharp object (a pencil for example) and shove it through the center of the envelope without harming the slide. (Stop before ramming it all the way through and impaling your palm.) See figure 1.
Remove the sharp object and table it. Bring your right fingers up to cover the hole in the envelope. Your right thumb goes beneath the flap and pivots it up against the envelope. Rub the slide gently through the envelope as if magically repairing it. For the climax, quickly slide the envelope off the mount
showing the negative intact. In the process of displaying the mount on all sides, snap all the teeth closed.
Patter. Picking up the newly developed slide from the last trick, There is a problem. This is a secret and there has to be a way for me to destroy it— just like a secret agent. (Place the base in the envelope as described.) Just take a pencil and poke it through the envelope, thus destroying the slide. (Restore it as above.) But if a magician rubs it slowly, it repairs itself. But that's another secret.
Leftovers (Continued from the back page.)
overlooked by the younger crowd. I have always enjoyed conversations with the veterans who provide an insight to magic as it once was. And maybe I've been doing card tricks too long, but I'm starting to like the way Lefty sings. I wonder if we could talk him into doing an album.
Alan was a wonderful host, probably because of his conscience. When I arrived early, I wanted to grab a quick nap. (I had a virus I was trying to recover from —it had nothing to do with my age.) Alan handed me a draft of the next Stewart James book to take back to my room. Wow! Rather than a three hour nap, I had a three hour reading frenzy. You already know how I feel about Stewart James and his first huge book. The second book will be at least as big as the first; the draft is already over three inches thick. From my three hour perusal, I can already vouch for the material and its presentation. They have continued their habit of intoducing each chapter with a history or anecdote regarding the contents of the chapter. It will be another great one!
Stephen Minch's Saturday morning lecture immediately followed mine. In a previous issue I told you how I feel it is important to try to do something with yourname so thatpeople will remember it. I told Steve that I had one of the hottest lectures around. I knew that because when you put Steve and Beam together, you get steam. When I realized what happens when you combine Steve and Minch, I decided to drop the subject altogether.
The people were the best feature of the gettogether. It's a relaxed atmosphere with a lot of conversation and comradery. I strongly encourage those of you who have a free weekend at the end of May to try to join Stewart, Alan, and the rest of the gang. It will be a weekend you won't soon forget (unless you're above the average age).
While we are on the subject of steam, I will relay a story which happened to a magician friend of mine. He flew into Atlanta and was staying at what used to be the Hyatt Ravinia. When he got to his room, he unpacked his clothes. His shirts were wrinkled from the trip. He didn' t have time to iron them since he was due at an appointment, so he hung them in the shower and turned on the hot water and closed the door. He then headed out for the appointment. As many of you who travel know, this is an excellent way to get the wrinkles out of your shirts.
There are five steps to this process.
(1) Hang your shirts.
(3) Turn on the hot shower on low.
(4) Close the bathroom door.
(5) Turn off the water when finished.
When he returned to the hotel two hours later, he stepped off the elevator into a puddle of water. (Scan the four steps above and see which one he omitted. Hint - #2.) This particular magician (we'll call him Andy) waded into his room only to find that he was the cause. Shall we say Andy is no longer welcome at the Hyatt. (I personally think that this was the reason that this Hyatt later became a Sheraton. Hyatt couldn't afford to fix all the water damage.) On the positive side, Andy was wearing wrinkle free shirts as he explained the cause of the flood to ten unhappy maintenance men.
On a separate trip, Andy was staying at the Westin in Washington D.C. The large lobby of the Westin is complete with gardens and reflecting pools. When he was running late for a plane to return home, he came running out of the elevator with hi s eyes dead set on his destination, the front desk. With bags under both arms he raced across the lobby. Being the big fan of water sports that he had previously demonstrated in Atlanta, Andy fell waist deep into the reflecting pool. There he was, up to his naval in water while trying to hold his suitcases above the flood level. Climbing out of the pool, he swished his way to the checkout desk. He paid his account and headed for the airport, soaked through and through. (Soaked but wrinkle free.)
The magic thought for today. Repeating a trick is like repeating your lunch. It's only fresh the first time through.
It's commercial time. Tom Craven's Super Speller is super. You can order it straight from Craven 'sHaven by sending a check for $7.50 postpaid to Tom at 5217-G Cline Road, Kent, OH 44240. He sold a bunch of them at Fechter' s. It is easily worth the asking price and it's now my favorite spelling trick.
From the mail bag (our female mail carrier) I received a renewal from Abe Carnow who also happens to be a CPA. (For those of you who aren't accountants, that stands for Couldn't Pass Again). As afellow magician and accountant, I can sympathize. I mean, talk about double jeopardy when it comes to image problems — a magician and an accountant. Picture it in your mind. A tuxedo with a pocket protector. Add a visor and you are ready.
Anyway, he called my attention to the fact that the watch hand on the cover of the last issue was holding acopy of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 (TRA). This wasparticularly appropriate since time deadlines are featured in most of our tax laws. (Abe noticing this probably isn't going to help that image problem I mentioned.)
In response to my reprint comments in the last Leftovers: "I think you should publish a bound copy of the early issues of The Trapdoor. You should also give it away free to all red headed magicians/C.P. A.s living in the 90036 zip code." Any guesses as to what color hair Abe is sporting this year?
For the last several months we have all been bombarded with hype relating to USA's entrance into the Olympics basketball competition, "The Dream Team." The team has one more game before it finishes the qualifying tournament. In today's newspaper (July 5) there's a reference to the final game.
The final game pits US A against Venezuela. Part of the current hype concerns Sam Shepard of the Venezuela team competing against Earvin "Magic" Johnson of the USA team. Shepard, 39 years old (I wonder if he's been to Fechter's of The North) is a native of LaGrange, NC. Playing professional basketball in Venezuela, he has earned the nickname of "El Mago." While being called "Mr. Mago" in North America sounds like a cartoon, "El Mago" means "The Magician" in South America. So today, it's Magic versus The Magician.
It's not like the visiting team has a prayer. The USA team is demolishing the competition this year. With that in mind, couldn't Shepherd have been "El Plumbero," "El Jugglero," or "El Mimeo"? Anything but a magician. Now, when the visiting teamis blown to basketball heaven, we (magicians) will catch the rap. I'm becoming paranoid. They will figure out some way to blame us. If not openly, they will have a bunch of puns during the post show wrap-up.
At least one positive may come of this. It may create some future patter possibilities for card tricks using court cards.
Okay, so the I edited the picture of Harry Levine slightly before placing in in the Leftovers section of the last issue. At the top of the next column you will find a completely unedited picture.
Is it just me or do the rest of you have a tough time taking magic magazines and books on planes? When flying, I like to catch up on my reading. Every time I go, I have to run through my library looking for something which won't call attention to itself. It's not that I don't want to be seen reading something called Pallbearer's Review or Apocalypse. Right away, this would allow the people I'm cramped into the airline seats for two to five hours with know that I'm the kind of fun guy they should get to know.
And just when did this devilish looking stuff -798
become the standard for things magical? Was it Anneman's Jinx which popularized it? If so, that would explain the use of the symbols on things mental. But now Genii, the magazine I feel comfortable reading in tight quarters, thought it would be a good idea to plaster all kinds of that stuff to the cover of their issue #666.
Call me old fashioned, but if I'm going to rise up 35,000 feet over the earth, I'd prefer sitting between a couple of preachers to reading magazines filled with satanic references.
Perhaps thi s i s the result of magicians overreacting to the fear that people think magic is for kids. They want to do anything to distance their magic from anything for children. But there's a difference in the perception of mystery and evil. It seems that we are hellbent (pardon the expression) on blurring the lines between white and black magic. Again, this may make sense to mentalists. But, what benefit is this going to be to the average magician? Is the Max Maven look going to help you get more birthday party, banquet, and corporate shows? I'm not sure the average office would want to have a spook show at its Christmas banquet this year. Maybe magicians should do what most businesses do. They should target their audiences.
At the very least, most people find the devils tacky. Many will find them offensive. The dragons on the props magicians have been known to sport may have offended previous audience's senses of taste, but they didn't generally offend them. From a practical standpoint, magicians have enough problems with their image already. The next time I fly, perhaps I'll just take along a Readers Digest (or The Trapdoor).
And speaking of the problems with the magician' s image, now we come to this issue's contribution to the literature. The next time you feel like you are a magician as opposed to a mere layman, try giving your ego a rest by consulting Confessions From The Bathroom (Martin Riskin, Ivory Tower Publishing Co.,Watertown,MA). This colorful book is dedicated to describing the types of, well, dumps. That is, the author describes and labels the various types of bathroom experiences.
Prominent among these experieinces is The HoudiniDump. "You go, then you stand up to flush, and the dam thing has disappeared. 'Where'd it go?' Should you flush? You'd better, because if you don't you know it'll reappear and smile at the next person who comes in."
That's right. They have now linked (probably permanently) Harry Houdini's name with the final step in the digestive process. "So, what's in a name?" you ask. Ask John Crapper who invented the flush toilet. His first name is forever enshrined in our memories when we go to "the John." His last name is associated with the verb which springs into action upon our arrival. I bet this is not what he had in mind when he developed the flusher.
While you may not think this is any big deal, let me show you how it can get out of control. A magician friend of mine didn'tlike aparticular person when he was a child. The child's last name was Canaday. For the last twenty plus years, the above verb has been referred to by my friend and his family (and their friends) as "the Canaday thing." Old habits die hard. One harmless reference to the "Canaday thing" has permanently etched it into the vocabulary of an ever-growing population. (The newest members of this population are the subscribers to The Trapdoor.)
Using history as the model, soon the rest of the world will associate our handcuff king with another binding activity. And just so that you don't get too comfortable thinking you are above comment (and because I know where you sit when you read The
Door) I have taken the liberty of inventing some of my own magic-related descriptions of the event.
The Collector's Dump - Suitable for hanging on the wall between magic posters. The Malini Dump - It's shorter than average. The Copperfield Dump - It's a large, spectacular production that lasts an hour, and occurs during prime time.
The Asrah Dump - It hangs by a thread.
The Sleight of Hand Dump - Necessary when there's no paper.
The Mario Dump - When there's a crimp in your intestine.
The Amateur Magician s Dump - When you enjoy it but you wish you were getting paid for it. The Chair Suspension Dump - When you hoverin the air over the seat.
The Wonderbar Dump - When it feels "wunderbar." The Magic Auction Dump - When you expect a lot and get a little.
The Flash Pot Dump - Hot, over in an instant, and usually accompanied by smoke.
The Stage Size Dump - Self explanatory.
The Final Load Dump - The last in a series (like this one is).
(And I censored out some of the better ones...) Pretty soon, our whole art form will be permanently linked to this activity. The phrase "the magician's act" will have a whole new meaning. And, this magazine is particularly vulnerable. The rear section of long johns (another obscure reference?) which opens for the act is referred to as "the trapdoor." And, part of the plumbing which leads from the bowl is referred to as "the trap." The trap opens and closes using a valve. It's a natural progression to make from calling the device a valve to calling it a door. And there you have it once again, "the trapdoor." This is depressing to say the very least.
Well, that's enough "food for thought." I'm kind of feeling down in the dumps...
Until the next time, I remain,
Steve Beam July 5, 1992
Steve Beam July 5, 1992
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