The Menace Harry Levine

After Hours Magic: A Book of Al Thatcher Card Magic

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Making Your Bones was, and still is, a perfect example of a well sculpted routine. Watching Harry perform it, you can tell that he's done it a thousand times. (I made him do it at least a dozen times forme.) Despite the difficult sleights (the most difficult being his own) he executes it flawlessly. It hums.

The routine which follows is built like a brick pinky break, zlt blends a humorous premise with funny patter and beautiful magic. This is my favorite use of the change and is one of my favorite card routines. If you were only going to perform one routine formagicians or laymen, this would certainly fill the bill.

In effect, the magician takes the four jacks one at a timeand causes them to turn invisible (vanish). (This part is reminiscent of an Invisible Palm routine.) One at a time, the jacks turn visible again (reappear). Watching this, you really get the feeling that the cards are there, just that you can't see them. Do not attempt this routine unless you are proficient with the change. If you can' t do it perfectly each time, this routine will embarrass you.

The verbal part of the routine contributes to the assault on the senses. It ties all the actions together in a logical and entertaining story line. Even though the patter is about a five year old, the patter is adult oriented. Work to understand how the patter complements the action and to maximize the effect.

The crux of the patter for the routine is that when you cover something, it is not visible, but it's not invisible. You are going to show them something that is invisible. This is the hook on which the magic hangs.

You are going to use the Hurricane Change four times. You are going to do it as if you are picking up a card rather than simply passing over it. Start with a jack face up on top of the face down pack. As with the change, you will slide your right hand up the left wrist with the stolen second card. You will slide it back down over the deck, depositing the stolen card on top of the pack. Unlike the original change, you will pause here over the deck and cramp your right hand slightly as if picking up the card. To finish, slowly rotate your right hand palm up in book fashion. Since face up card on the top is no longer visible (it's under the face down card you just left) the jack appears to have vanished. (Appears to have disappeared?) This is the basic concept of using the change for a vanish.

The Work. Start with the four jacks on the bottom of the pack alternating in color. To allow you to check your status at various points during the description, arrange them from the face in clubs, hearts, spades, diamonds order.

Dennis the Menace is my hero. He's the world's hippest five year old. Dennis once asked his father what something invisible looked like. I thought, that's a helluva question for a five year old. Okay, he's been five for 35 years, but it's still a helluva question. And, I thought the only way you could show somebody what something invisible looks like would be tomake it invisible... thenyou couldsee it.I know, it's kind of we ird but trus t me, it's an interesting ride.

Hold the deck face down in the left hand. During the opening patter, while using your right hand to assist, pivot the deck up on its right long edge which rests on the left fingers. Sneak your left thumb around to the face of the pack. Here, the tip of the thumb engages the face card of the pack, the jack of clubs. Remove your right hand which is no longer needed for support. Lift the card upward until it pivots over and around the upper long edge of the pack. The pack drops into the left palm and the jack arrives face up on top of the pack.

First Vanish. Since all I do is card tricks, we'll use the four jacks, make them invisib le one at a time. And then you'll be able to see what something invisible looks like. If I cover the jack of clubs, (cover the face up jack with your right hand) it's not visible. Turn your right hand palm up again and hold it to the right of the deck in preparation for the Hurricane Change. Obtain a break under the face up jack during the following line using either Harvey Rosenthal's Pop Up move or the pinky count. But, to the average five year old, not a hip one like Dennis, it's invisible.

You have used the cover/uncover action to set up the colorchange's action which you are about to execute. Watch the patter as it matches the change. Cover the jack as you start the change. The moment you start your slide up your left wrist say, But you guys know that it's not invisible... Uncover the jack so that it is visible just as you say this line, then slide the hand back down the wrist and pause on top of the deck as if picking up the jack. ...until I pick it up... Rotate the hand palm up as if it were holding an invisible card and then pretend to place it on the table in the center. Then you can see that it's invisible... Make a two hand fan and hold it near the place on the table where you have placed the invisible card. Be careful not to flash the face up card second from the top of the pack____And you can compare the invisible card with the visible ones.

The fan accomplishes two things. It provides contrast between the visible and invisible cards. This gives your patter a logical pause to allow what just happened to sink in. Secondly, it shows that the face up jack just vanished is nowhere to be seen.

Do not perform the change as fast as possible, Johnny Ringo style. Instead, pause as your hand comes back over the card and cramp the right hand slightly to give the appearance that you are picking up the card. Also, in this vanish and in the three that follow, it's not that when you pick up the card it becomes invisible. It's when you pick up the card that they can see that the card is invisible.

Second Vanish. Use your left thumb to pivot the second jack, the jack of hearts now on the bottom of the pack, face up over onto the top of the pack. That's kind of weird. /' 11 do it again with the second jack. If I cover it... (do so as the first part of the change) it's not visible.. .but it's notinvisible. Uncover the jack as you slide up the left wrist as the last part of the line is uttered. You are showing them that the card is visible and that nothing has changed (even though you have now stolen the card underneath it.)

Cover the jack with the right hand and deposit the stolen card on top of it. But ifI were to pick it up, then put it here (on the table) now you can see it's invisible... right. This second vanish occurs in the same manner as the first one.

Third Vanish. Still not clear, huh? Tell you what. Let's do it a little bit differently. We'11 use the last two jacks, the spade and the diamond. Use your left thumb to lever the lasttwojacks from the bottom face up onto the top of the pack, one at a time as you call their suits. This puts the diamond on top. So, although the jack of diamonds was the fourth in the original sequence, it will be the third jack to vanish. You called their suits as they appeared on top of the pack for a reason. You are going to vanish the two remaining jacks one at a time. You will do this by stealing the jack of spades and depositing it on top of the jack of diamonds using the Hurricane Change. You want them to expect the jack of spades to remain on top (after the diamond vanishes) rather than a face down card. This is an interesting concept. You are creating the impression that one card vanishes by replacing it with another.

Now if I were to cover the diamond so that it's not visible, pick it up, so it's invisible, leaving the spade. As with the first two vanishes, steal the second card and deposit it on the top. Pretend to remove the jack of diamonds and place it on the table.

Fourth Vanish. Now use a pinky count to obtain a break under the top two cards of the pack. You are going to use the technique taught for the Hurricane Change where you steal a card which is third from the top. This will be the first face down card from the top. You will execute the change/vanish with the following patter.

And if I were to pick the spade up (pretend to) it would become invisible (place it on the table) andyou could compare the invisible cards with the invisible ones. As you tell them to make the comparison, execute another two hand fan, hiding the four face up jacks (in SDHC order from the top) under the top card.

Reappearance Setup. You are now going to do Harry' s version of Ed Mario' s handling of the (Larry) fennings Revelation. (Reference The Classic Magic of Larry Jennings.) Harry credits the lecture notes of Jamie Swiss with the combination of vanishing jacks with the Jennings Revelation.

You now have to setup for the revelation. You will use a method similar to the one used by Jennings in the original. (You may wish to consult the above reference if you don't like the handling I'm about to describe.) Square the fan and turn the pack face up. Buckle the bottom card of the face up pack so that you can steal the card out with your right fingers as you spread the cards from your left hand to your right. The bottom card gets lost among the rest of the pack. (I find it easier to spread half the pack and come back and steal the bottom card with the right fingers.) As you spread the cards, So now you can compare the visible cards (half pass) with the invisible cards.

Now that you have lost the extra card, you can deal with the aces. Buckle the bottom two cards. Harry does not use the standard buckle here because the cards are spread. Instead, apply a diagonal pressure between your left forefinger and palm. This will cause the bottom cards cards to pop off the bottom of thepack near the leftpinky as shown in the illustration. Your leftpinky can easily pull down two single cards to complete the move.

You are now set for a spread half pass. You are going to reverse the bottom two cards under cover of the spread as I will describe. Square the spread, but not too square. As soon as the spread comes flush with the left palm, use your left fingers to reverse the two bottom cards in standard half pass fashion. That is, you will clip the right edge of the two cards between your second, third, and fourth fingers on top and your curled forefinger underneath. Pull this two card packet down and to the right. The left edge of the cards slides along the bottom of the remaining cards. When the cards have been pulled to a vertical position, they will snap to the right side of the pack where the right hand will stop them.

You will now alter the standard half pass move. Lower the left edge of the pack to meet the two cards which are in a vertical position. Now flip the whole deck over book fashion face down into the left hand. The above action takes about two seconds. The order from the top is: face down jack of diamonds and spades, face up jack of hearts and clubs, the rest of the deck.

Hold the pack in the left hand in dealing position. Get a break under the top three cards using a pinky count. Pick up this break with your right thumb. Pull the top three cards to the right, holding the cards in Biddle position. A s you pull them to the right, the left thumb holds the top card flush with the top of the pack. This ensures that the face up jack of clubs (4th from the top) remains covered. Pull the two cards (2nd & 3rd) free of the pack, holding them between the right thumb and second finger. You are going to patter to cover the gesture/move. As you do the split, Okay, I admit it. A tfirst, the invisible cards are a little difficult to see

Bring these two cards directly over the rest of the pack. Before you lower the two cards on to the pack, your right thumb and third finger steal the top half of the left hand's cards. As this half of the pack is pivoted out from between the bottom half and the two jacks hovering above, the left thumb comes to rest on top of the two card packet held between the right thumb and second finger. The left thumb pulls these two cards down flush with the lower half as the upper half is pulled clear. Finally, the right hand picks up the lower half, holding a break between the two halves. During this cutting action, you will finish the sentence you started above. What do you say, we try it in reverse?

The setup at this point is as follows. The right hand holds the pack by the short ends from above with a thumb break between the two halves. The cards above the break consist of the face down jack of diamonds, face up jack of clubs, approximately half the pack face down. The cards below the break consist of the face down jack of spades, face up jack of hearts, approximately half the pack face down.

The Layout. You have placed the invisible jacks in the middle of the table. You are going to form a diamond around the center using quarters of the pack. I will describe the formation of the diamond from your point of view. The patter goes as follows: Let's surround the invisible cards with the visible cards.

Place the deck to the left of the invisible cards. Release about a quarter of the pack. Now bring the remainder of the pack back toward your side of the table to form the near point of the diamond. Deposit all the cards beneath the break onto the table.

Carry the remaining half of the pack forward to drop half the remaining cards to form the far side of the diamond. Finally, place the remaining quarter of the pack to the right of the invisible cards forming the right side of the diamond. See the illustration for the results of the layout.

The Revelation. Now, if I pick up this card, put it over here, snap my fingers, it becomes visible. Pick up this one, put it here, and it becomes visible. This one here... (snap of the fingers). As you reproduce the last one, say, And now you can tell ally ourfriends what something invisible looks like.

This accompanies the following actions. With the left hand, pretend to pick up one of the invisible jacks. Rotate your left hand palm up as if displaying the invisible jack. Your right handis palm up below your left hand. Turn your left hand palm down onto your right hand as if transferring its contents to the right hand.

Now, you are going to shake hands with yourself. In other words, rotate your right hand palm down and your left hand palm up, using the same action used in the Vernon Handwash described below.

Bring your flat right hand down onto the top card of the packet nearest you. It should arrive there as your left hand arrives at a position directly over the right hand. As you snap your left fingers, use your right thumb to lift up the left side of the top card of the packet. Clip this card between the right thumb and fourth finger. This is flat handed palm is the gambler's palm position.

Bring both hands back to the edge of the table at the same time revealing the face up jack remaining on the packet. This will lower the heat on the "dirty" right hand. Remember that you are supposed to have placed something on the packet, the now face up jack.

Hand-to-Hand Card Transfer (Vernon's Handwash) - To produce the second jack, pretend to

■ ■ \ nr.: -.-. tft.-rani >■ iro.K >ferrttf» • »/.v !*j'f pick up an invisible jack with the right hand from the pile of invisible jacks. You can do this with a flat right hand as you have already held the invisible cards with the right hand opened flat. Bring both of your hands together palm to palm in prayer fashion as shown in figure 1. Just before they meet, use your right little finger to kick the card up over the edge of the right forefinger.

When the hands come together, your left forefinger levers the palmed card into the left palm which takes possession of the card. The left hand continues up and over the right fingers as shown in figure 2. The left hand with the palmed card now slides off the right fingers as shown in figure 3. (This

handwash appears in the 3rd edition of Expert Card Technique, page 455. This is the expanded edition with the additional chapters by Vernon and Daley.)

It is ironic that you are pretending to do exactly what you are doing. That is, you are apparently transferring the invisible card from the right hand to the left. Actually, you are transferring the palmed card (which the audience doesn't know about) to the left hand.

The left hand, with the invisible card (and the palmed card, for that matter) travels over to the packet on your left. Your right hand moves to a position immediately above the left. Snap your right fingers as you release the left hand's card.

This second jack is accompanied with, I pick it up, put it there, and that one becomes visible.

The third jack and fourth jacks are produced in the same way as the first two. Pretend to pick up another invisible card with your left hand and transfer it to the right emulating the handwash. Place the right hand and the invisible jack onto the packet on your right. Secretly pick up the top card from the pile on the right (revealing the face up jack) and transfer it to the left hand with the handwash. Place the left hand down on the far packet, depositing the face up jack on the pile.

Harry leaves you with a great closing line which ties up a great routine. Now you can go home and tell your friends you saw what something invisible looks like.

Regurgitations. Mario's approach to the Jennings Revelation using the face to face pairs was a great improvement on the original. However, there was no justification for the handwash. You appear to be cleaning off your fingers in between moves. The idea of picking up an invisible card, transferring it to your other hand and placing it down provided the reasoning.

Harry also added Frank Thompson's diamond layout for both appearance and functionality. With this formation, the closest effect is the strongest, and it is saved for the last.

Finally, Bill Goldman suggested the pause as the card was supposedly being picked up off the pack (as opposed to the non-stop action used for the color change.) To fit the patter, the hand should actually stop, cramp, and lift to make it appear as if the invisible card is being picked up.

Figure.} The left,fingers slide off the right.

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