Fig20

Exposed View

with its palm towards the audience, and the penny allowed to drop to the finger tips. The right hand reaches the position over the breast pocket as before and this time the half-crown is carefully dropped into the pocket. At the same time the left hand is extended and the handkerchief is drawn back to uncover the fingers and reveal the left hand holding the penny.

"Just like a Copper—it's turned up at last"!

NOTE.—Always remember to keep your eyes on the centre of the handkerchief as it is being drawn over the fingers of the left hand, and do not for a moment allow your gaze to pass to the coin which is being dropped, unobtrusively into the breast pocket. Your audience watch your eyes and where you look—they look—we hope!

"The majority of card tricks are dependent mainly on personal address and dexterity, and, as such, will always be highly esteemed by connoisseurs in the art Before very large audiences, indeed, much of the effect of a card trick is lost, which is probably the reason that, of late years, tricks of this class (with few exceptions) have been rather neglected by professors".

Thai is Professor Hoffmann writing in Modern Magic, and what he said then regarding card tricks applies pretty much the same today. The "few exceptions" he refers to, are, I have no doubt, The Rising Cards (in various forms), The Card Sword, The Torn Card, and possibly The Card Star, those four effects being about the limit of Card Tricks suitable for stage presentation.

The advent of Jumbo Cards has undoubtedly extended the narrow limits, bringing into line such a classic as the Four Aces, and even enhancing, for stage work, the presentation of The Rising Cards and The Card Star. Even so, amongst the thousands of card effects which must exist, it is truly surprising the small number there are which can be effectively used behind the footlights. Many, no doubt, 'kill' themselves for stage work because they cannot be adapted for use with giant cards but mainly because the presentation must necessarily take place upon the horizontal top of a card table, which is taboo as far as the stage is concerned.

If however, a card effect can be brought 'away from the card table', can be presented by the performer (with the possible addition of a volunteer) while standing before (or behind, whichever way you view it) the footlights, then it becomes acceptable, and given the right amount of action, drama, and situation, can become well worthy of inclusion in a stage show. The Card in the Cigarette will readily come to mind as a fitting illustration.

The Thirty Card Trick (the passing of three chosen cards from one packet to another) was always a favourite of mine, but, as stated above, always fell into the ' close-quarter' category, until, given a little dressing, I tried it out in the form which follows.

This effect was sent along to Bruce Elliott of The Phoenix way back in February 1949, but I guess it hard'y fitted into the class of effect which Bruce was publishing, for, after all, the Phoenix is recognised as the rendezvous of those delightful tit-bi ts of magic which gladden the heart of the c'ose-up worker. Maybe Bruce didn't think much of it, but I hope you do and I hope you get as much enjoyment from its performance as I have.

While I have stressed its adaptation for stage use, may I hasten to point out that it can be used equally well on the concert platform, or, for that matter, in the drawing room.

'TARGET FOR TO-NIGHT"

A volunteer assistant thoroughly shuffles a pack of cards, while the performer explains that he would like him, the assistant, to perform most of the effect. When he has shuffled the cards to his heart's content, he is requested to count off ANY ten cards and take them down into the audience to have three people chose a card each. The performer remains on stage ho'ding the remainder of the cards.

The assistant is instructed to leave each chosen card with the member of the audience, until three are chosen, then to re-collect them, thus avoiding two persons taking the same card. Incidentally, if you care to carry the preliminaries thus far, the chosen cards may be signed by the choosers. The budding conjurer is then instructed, having had the three cards returned, to shuffle the packet and return to the stage with it.

The performer takes the packet of ten and places them in a houlette, the latter being set on one side, for a moment. Now the assistant is again handed the pack and asked to count off another ten cards, the remainder being placed on one side. A second houlette is taken up, the ten cards placed therein, and the assistant asked to stand side stage, holding the second houlette.

Taking up the first one, the performer ca'ls attention to the 'design' painted on it and agrees that the design signifies just nothing until—he fixes a small metal tube to one side of the houlette and a rubber bulb to the other, when the houlette assumes the form of a revolver. The performer now calls attention to the assistant's houlette and to the fact that it has a target painted on its face.

Asking the assistant to hold the 'target' steady, he takes 'aim' with his revolver houlette, three puffs of smoke emerge from the nozzle, one, supposedly for each of the three cards chosen. Performer tips the cards from his houlette, counts them faces to the audience and the number is seen to have diminished from ten to seven. The members of the audience confirm that their chosen cards are not amongst the seven remaining after the 'target practice', and it remains for the assistant to take out the cards from his 'target' houlette. First he counts them and finds thirteen. The performer then asks each in turn what card he or she chose, and the assistant, in each case finds the selected card amongst his thirteen. Had the cards been initialled, then, needless to say, those very cards would have been found in the assistant's houlette.

If you will take the trouble to make this up, you will be agreeably surprised how easy it is to work, indeed it is almost self working, and thus the performer can devote most of his attention to presentation. As will have been guessed, the houlettes are responsible and, in part, this is correct. Actually, only one houlette, the 'revolver' is faked, the 'target' houlette being merely what it is, a small box or container, very much like a card case, but having its opening along the long edge. One face side is painted to represent

"rARcer

"rARcer

Nozzle to ft ton £ubber8u/6 to fit on. "8"

a target. It can be made of as thin a material as you wish, and its inner dimensions need be no more than will safely house thirteen cards. Mine is three and three quarter inches by three inches, and the 'mouth' is no more than one quarter inch, by, of course, three and three quarter inches. (See Figure 1).

The 'revolver' houlette has the same face dimensions but is slightly thicker, so that the smoke feke may be contained within its frame. (See Figure 2). This smoke feke is merely a piece of fine copper tubing, which runs along the bottom of the houlette, partly up one end and exits about a quarter of an inch from the top. A small portion of the tubing is left protruding at each end so that a 'nozzle' may be fitted on at one end to act as the revolver barrel, and a rubber bulb at the other to form the stock. The il'ustration will, I think make this perfectly clear.

The most important part of this houlette, however, is the rear portion, as shown in Figure 3. This is so constructed that, with a slight pressure it will bend back into the houlette, and while so pressed, anything apparently placed into its top opening will actually finish up behind the houlette. This movable side can be spring hinged if you wish, but I find that, using very thin stock, it need be no more than glued along the bottom edge and its own springiness is sufficient for it to be pressed in and for it to return to its normal position. This houlette is then painted in silver and grey to simulate the body of a gun or revolver.

With the two houlettes, the rubber bulb and nozzle handy, and of course a pack of cards, very little preparation is needed. First place a little talcum powder into the rubber bulb, and have it handy upon a table up stage, with the nozzle also nearby.

From the pack of cards take any three and place them into the 'target' houlette, backs outward, that is towards the target side of the houlette. Into the 'revolver' houlette place any seven cards, and you are all set.

The assistant having been enveigled into 'performing a trick', hand him the cards and ask him to give them a vigorous shuffle, illustrating this by overhand shuffling the cards yourself. If you keep him occupied by emphasis on the thorough shuffle he will not notice that the pack is only 42 strong instead of 52. I have never had it commented upon. Now ask him to count off ANY ten cards and hand you the remainder.

Instruct him to have three cards separately chosen, to leave the cards with the choosers 'to give them time to memorise and concentrate upon them', and then to return to the choosers, and have the cards individually returned. Meanwhile, you have placed the remainder of the pack in your left hand, ONE LONG EDGE RESTING ALONG THE BASE OF THE FOUR FINGERS, THE LEFT THUMB RESTING ON THE UPPER LONG EDGE, AND THE CARDS FACE TOWARDS THE AUDIENCE. If anyone notices the face card, so much the better, for it will still be the same face card after a coming 'manoeuvre'.

The right hand reaches over to the table and picks up the 'revolver' houlette and places it in front of the pack, with the face card resting squarely on the back of the houlette. When the assistant returns with the ten cards, take them from him so that the four fingers of the right hand are along ONE SHORT EDGE AND THE THUMB IS ON THE OTHER SHORT EDGE, FACES TOWARDS YOUR PALM.

You explain that for safe keeping you will place the ten cards into the container,, and you bring the right hand over to place the cards into its mouth. As you do so, the left thumb slides down the rear card of the pack and presses the latter into the houlette. The ten cards are then apparently placed into the houlette but actually they go behind and on top of the pack of cards.

Pressure is immediately released and the houlette lifted off the palm, the right hand giving the houlette a shake as though to settle the cards down. Actually it is the seven cards already there, which rattle, but, if this, the only 'move' in the whole effect, is performed continuously and with confidence, the illusion of having placed the packet of ten cards into the container will be perfect. The cards are brought over, dropped into the houlette, the latter is lifted and shaken to 'settle' the cards, and that's that.

Placing the houlette on one side for a moment the pack is again handed to the assistant and he is asked to count off another ten cards from the top of the pack and to give you the remainder. Stand at his side expectantly holding out the hand for the return of the remainder of the cards, and there will be no hesitation on the part of the assistant in counting off ten cards from the top of the pack.

As you by now have realised, he actually counts off the same ten cards which he originally took, and you deposit the pack and take up the 'target' houlette, and, taking the ten cards from him, drop them therein, giving the container a shake to settle them down, just as you did with first batch. Ask him to stand side-stage, take up the first houlette and call attention to its 'design', demonstrating that, with the addition of a little nozzle here and a stock or handle there, you have something in the form of a revolver or gun. Pointing to the assistant's houlette, remark upon the target painted on its side and you are all set to enact the drama of Target for Tonight'.

Hold your houlette in the manner of a revolver and giving the bu'b a slight squeeze a little puff of talcum powder will be ejected from the nozzle in the form of smoke. This is repeated twice more, and then the houlette is inverted so that the cards fall out into the other hand. They are first of all counted to show that there are only 7, and then they are shown face out and their denominations called out, with the request that the three choosers listen for their chosen cards. They will agree that all three are missing, and it only remains for you to call the assistant to centre stage, ask him to remove his cards and confirm that there are now thirteen.

Now you ask each individual what card he chose and as the assistant succeeds in finding each one take it from him and display it, concluding with the three chosen cards in a fan. Take the houlette and cards from him, thank him for helping ypu and for bringing about such a remarkable effect. I find it great fun to solicit applause on the assistant's behalf, apparently letting him have all the credit for a wonderful trick.

Poisson. Strangely enough Jean himself has written on another subject but he mentions that he has a climax to the routine wherein TWO knots appear. He cannot give me details as to where this climax appeared but I shall be meeting him in Brighton on the occasion of the British Ring Convention and no doubt we'll get together on the subject.

Then came another climax. This time from Hubert Lambert, who tells me that such a rope routine appeared in "Magic of 1937" by Tom Sellers. As Jack Potter says, I think the effect had better be called the Ambrose-Bennett-Blake-Poisson-Sellers Rope Routine !! The order (alphabetical) is Jack's and not mine. So where do we go from here? Excuse me, I too have just remembered an appointment !

Yours Magically,

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