Brown Study

THE method to achieve the effect of E. G. Brown described in this issue as a " Divination of Two Mentally Chosen Cards," was worked out by T. S. Ransom and his colleagues. Ransom, using a similar theme, has come along with a most deceptive version. Once again our thanks are due to P. Howard Lyons, Editor of Ibidem, for permission to re-publish the description and method.

With a patter introduction similar to that used in the original Brown effect, the performer introduces a pack of cards. It is placed face down on the table. Turning his back, the performer makes a request to spectator A, that he shall cut off some ten to fifteen cards . . . ' about one quarter of the pack.' He is to shuffle this small packet, replace one or two back on the remainder of the pack should he so desire and finally note the face card of the packet. Another spectator B, is requested to cut the remainder of the pack still lying on the table. He is to complete the cut, and then like spectator A, he is to cut off a small packet, shuffle it, replace a few should he wish and then like the first spectator remember the face card of the packet.

Now spectator A replaces his packet of cards on top of the talon of the pack lying on the table, B puts his cards back on top of A's and then a final instruction is given that the pack shall be given a complete cut and squared.

The performer turns round and picking up the pack. Fanning the cards in front of him he removes two cards. One he places in front of A and the other in front of B.

" I believe," he says, " that I have been successful in reading each of your thoughts relating to the cards you looked at." To A, " For the first time will you name the card you had in mind ? " Supposing that the answer is " Ten of clubs," the card in front of A is slowly turned over and it is shown to be the ten of clubs. Similarly the card in front of B proves to be that which he remembered.

Requisites. One pack of cards.

Preparation. It is necessary to have at the top of the pack a group of sixteen cards. These cards can be formed of a group of say the court cards and the aces. There is no need to remember their order.

Presentation. The cards are placed down upon the table. Should the performer feel that it is necessary a false shuffle that will not disturb the top stock may be effected. The same goes for a false cut.

With the instructions given to the first spectator the first cut will be somewhere amongst the top sixteen cards, which remember are not looked at but simply shuffled by the spectator. Whether he replaces any or none the position will be unaltered so far as the means for ascertaining the cards at a later stage. The card he thinks of is the face card of this packet.

Spectator B now gives the pack a complete cut which has the effect of bringing the remainder of the original ' key' stack to the centre of the remaining cards. B now cuts off a portion of the pack, and with a similar procedure he thinks of the face card. A's cards now go back on top of the talon which means that as the pack now stands, there is a large group of ' key' cards and somewhere farther down the pack a small group of ' key' cards and under them the remainder of the pack. B's cards go back on top of A's and the pack is given a complete cut.

Now the run of the pack instantly reveals the two cards. All the performer has to do is to look for a long run of ' key cards. The card at the end of the run nearest the face of the pack will be that noted by A, whilst B's will be the first card above the group.

There is only one danger spot in the effect and that is where spectator A, trying to pull a fast one, replaces nearly all the cards retaining a few, so that at a later stage, the performer might well plump for the larger group. Ransom suggests that rather than be definite about A's card, one should fish whilst naming A's card. My own attitude would be that of not turning round whilst the selection of the cards is made. I feel that the fairness of the procedure is such that the direction of operations, say from a fair distance, which a full knowledge of what is taking place, is preferable to being completely in the dark regarding the possible outcome of the effect.

THOSE who missed the TV debut in this country of Victor Borge, failed to see and hear one of the finest pieces of adult entertainment screened by the B.B.C. It struck us that apart from those international professionals who are members, that the whole membership of the magical societies in this country, were their essence to be distilled could not provide one quarter of an hour (let alone the three-quarters provided by Borge) of such fine entertainment.

The undeniable beauty of a great artiste is his appeal to all ages. When Jay Marshall appeared at the Palladium (and the same goes for Channing Pollock) he was taken to heart just as much by the teenagers as by those of more mature years. These men are few in magic. They comprise the great international magicians whether their act be small or large. Few English magicians have the capability. Perhaps the outstanding example in post-war years was the ill-starred Peter Waring, whose sophistication and presentation carried him to great heights.

In the previous issue we wrote up an effect called ' Colourfuso.' When showing this to our good friend Jack Avis, he thought that though the plot were good it could be bettered by showing the back of the card dealt from the pack. We fully agree with him, and to those who might like to try out the effect in the new form the procedure is altered as follows:—

At the commencement of the effect and assuming that you are going to deal from a red-backed pack, a blue backer is placed at the face of the pack, the force card corresponding with a duplicate red backer in the blue pack being on top of the pack.

The pack of red-backed cards is fanned showing the faces of the cards to the audience. The backs too are shown, taking care that the back of the face card is hidden.

When the hour glass is turned over and the cue to start dealing given, the performer deals seconds retaining the force card at the top of the pack. When the order to stop comes, the deal is discontinued and the force card dealt in front of the other cards face down. Thus the back of the card is allowed to register with the audience. The dealt cards are taken and replaced on the balance of the pack which is still held by the performer. Keeping the cards face down, the performer with his free hand turns over the card on the table showing for the first time its face. Casually he places it at the face of the deck and with the covering of the original blue-backed face complete he turns the pack so that the face of the force card can be seen by the audience. As he reminds his audience what has taken place, the thumb riffle counts the two face cards ready for a double lift. Saying that he will attempt to make the known card change places with the unknown one held by the spectator, the two face cards are now double lifted and slid into the centre of the pack so that half of the face of the force card can be seen. With the words ' Hocus Pocus,' the protruding card (?) is tapped on its face. Nothing happens. This is repeated. Again no visible change. The spectator is then asked to look at the card cut by him and he finds that it matches the card protruding from the pack held by the performer. The spectator turns over his card and finds that it is a red backer. Slowly the pack is turned round showing the apparent back of the protruding card. Finis.

Brighton, as we write this is a shade over five weeks ahead. The programme and the arrangements would seem to offer tremendous value. The lecture sessions alone are well worth the registration cost. It is heartening to think that nowhere else in the magical world do members of a magical organisation get so very very much for so little. The opening night show is our own responsibility and repeating in the sixty-minute show part, the format recently used at the Magic Circle in a ' Skulk of Sorcerers ' we shall have one spot where four magicians do just one effect each. We are very proud to have as one of these performers Johnny Ramsay who will perform as only Johnny can, his devilishly deceptive " Torn and Restored Paper."

Dominique, that terrific French personality, is holding sway at the Lido, and Channing Pollock continues to captivate Continental and Scandinavian audiences.

A NEW CLOTH BOUND BOOK

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BY WILL DEXTER

Will DEXTIR

Blindfold Cycle Ride, Blindfold blindfold effects.

LIVE MAGICIANS on the look-out for first-rate publicity stunts, as well as confirmed Mentalists will welcome this latest book by Will Dexter, for it is a standard work on all that is best in Blindfold effects and methods.

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In the seventy odd pages there are described no less than fifteen fake blindfolds, from simple paper bags placed over the head, to leather masks, coins and sticking plaster over the eyes and heavy cloth bags placed over the head and tied round the neck. Yet in every case the performer has clear straight-ahead vision, whilst there is nothing messy (such as dough) or unsure in the methods.

The second section describes eight more blindfold methods using unfaked blindfolds such as surgical sticking plaster, thick pads over the eyes, reflectors, etc.

Part three deals with subtleties that can be allied to the use of blindfolds, the property plot, stage setting, psychological approach to the audience and so-on.

Finally, in part four are described the sensational publicity stunts that these blindfold methods can be used for. There is the Blindfold Drive, Letter Delivery, etc., and in addition a full stage programme of reputation making

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