Wot i Another Pass ? Yes, that's all but it really is invisible. It was Jean Hugard who said in Number 4 of Volume Two (Sept., 1944) of his excellent Hiijsurd's Magic Monthly that " it is easy to understand how anyone desirous of learning card magic, after a prolonged and vain struggle with the intricacies of the pass, and firmly believing as he was told that success without it was impossible, would finally decide that conjuring with cards was not for him and turn to stamp collecting or some other easier hobby." He later produced with Fred Braue his admirable version of " The Invisible Pass." But the fact remains that his original contention was probably right.
All the so-called invisible passes can only be achieved after considerable practice and even then their all-round invisibility is open to doubt.
Now here is a pass that really is invisible yet can be pertormtd by the ham-fisted chaps who have learnt the rudiments of the pass at some time in their careers but have since given it up in favour of one of the many excellent substitutes (or possibly stamp collecting!). The only person w ho might see this pass is one lying on the floor looking upwards—and he would only infer it from the change of bottom cards. As dead drunks are not normally capable of making such inferences it can safely be claimed that this pass is 100% invisible. (Gee ! This is going to be good !).
The inevitable card having been chosen and returned it is very soon available to the conjurer on the cop of the pack for him to produce in one of the many dramatic ways of which he is no doubt master.
(b) ability to perform a pretty indifferent pass.
(c) sufficient enthusiasm to read on.
The card has been chosen and while it is being shown around you naturally interest yourself elsewhere. Wander away glancing at newspaper headings on the table, looking at the customers" photographs on the walls, picking your teeth in the mirror ... in other words adopting a casual air. Whilst thus preoccupied begin to play with the pack as follows: The pack is face down in the left hand, first finger at the right outer corner of the pack (" outer "meaning the end away from the body), second, third and little fingers along the right side, and the thumb resting along the left hand side. This is in fact the normal starting position for the standard pass and no doubt individual performers vary regarding the exact details. The left hand is waist high. The right hand approaches from above, cuts off about half the pack and rises again to about nine inches above the left hand. The right hand then slaps its cards back on top of the left hand packet. This is repeated several times and is varied once or twice by dropping the cards from the right hand in small packets instead of throwing them in one. This casual playing with the cards (which is all it is) I call " the slaphappy procedure."
You are casually playing with the cards in this way while equally casually interesting yourself in other things in the room. When all have seen the card, approach the chooser still playing with the cards as described and invite the return of the card in this fashion, And now will you please return your card anywhere you like."
Contrive to have the card returned when roughly half the pack is in each hand. The card is, of course, placed on top of the bottom half (i.e., the half in the left hand). Without any change in tempo (this is the essence of the whole business) the slaphappy procedure is continued two or three times. As you finish you remark, " Well, your card might be anywhere now, mightn't it.-'" Indeed it might, but in fact it i-nestling quietly on top of the pack !
All that has happened is this. The moment the card was returned you inserted (yes, I'm sorry !) your little finger to hold the usual break. At the same moment your right hand descended and rose again but instead of carrying away the same packet it took away the bottom packet. Then without any change of tempo (I must emphasise this) the right hand slapped its packet back and then straightaway descended to pick up half the pack to continue the slaphappy procedure until you choose to finish.
The change of hold when you take away the bottom packet needs a further word. The moment the upper (right hand) packet strikes the bottom packet the right thumb goes to the left inner (i.e., near the body) corner of the bottom packet and the right second finger goes to the left outer (i.e., away from the body) corner of the bottom packet. The bottom packet then comes away upwards (held by the thumb and second finger only) passing between the left thumb and the old top packet. The remaining right hand finger take hold of it at the top of the rise and the packet is promptly slapped back on the near bottom one to continue the slaphappy procedure.
(a) This is nothing more than an ordinary standard pass. The invisibility arises from the fact that the pass is done during the casual separating and bringing together of the hands and cards (the slaphappy procedure) . I am ashamed to say it is a case of the quickness of the hand deceiving the eve !
(b) You will find that this slaphappy procedure makes a bit of noise. With a little practice you will find that you rather enjoy slapping the cards together. This certainly adds to the cover but you must reduce the difference in noise between when the little finger is inserted and when it is not. Practice will show you what I mean by this.
(c) One of the joys of this pass is that it doesn't matter if you don't get a clear hold of the bottom packet the first time. If you fail just carry on slapping away until you do get a good hold and then take awav the bottom packet. Again the important thing is not to alter the tempo.
Although longwinded in description there is nothing difficult about this stall. Anyone who has ever played about with the pass can master this invisible one in no time. And it is invisible. I use it. Why not you?
(An Alternative Method.) Introduction.
It is suggested that the following method of performing " The Two Thoughts " has advantages over that given in the Pentagram for January, 1948. The effect is exactly as previously described—namely the performer removes from a spectator-shuffled pack now in his pocket the duplicates of two cards freely chosen from another spectator-shuffled pack
Both packs are shuffled by spectators and replaced on the table. A spectator is then invited to pick up a pack, remove a card and pass the pack to a second spectator who also removes a card. The performer collects the pack from the second spectator and the two volunteers concentrate on their cards and show them to other members of the audience.
The cards are returned to the pack and brought to the top (I use my Slaphappy pass). The second pack is then taken by any spectator who confirms that the duplicates of both chosen cards are present He then gives the pack a thorough shuffling so that even he does not know where the two duplicates are. He then places the pack in the performer's right trouser pocket.
In the meantime, with plenty of time and all the cover in the world, the performer quietly palms in his right hand the two top cards from the first pack and replaces the pack on the table. The performer puts his right hand in his trouser pocket, contrives to get any card from the pack that's there over the two palmed cards and then produces and displays the cards as described in the original effect.
The method appears to have the following advantages over that given in the January, 1948, Pentagram:—
(a) there is no transference at the start of a card from one pack to the other.
(b) there is no conjurer's choice regarding which pack the cards are to be chosen from.
(c) there is no transference back of four cards from the first pack to the second.
(d) the thumb count and holding of a break are eliminated.
(e) the effect (as opposed to the method) is slightly improved in that the performer does not handle the second pack at all after both packs have been produced at the beginning.
On the debit side the only sleight which you have to perform and which is not required in the original version is the palming of two cards.
Tho' I'm only a child in arms in the realms of Mentaiism, it has otten struck me that mentalists sometimes go thru' a helluva lot of trouble and complications to get a number selected. If you have a loaded die you can get a number in a reasonable fashion; but so many people in England DROP a die instead of ROLLING it, that it makes it rather chancy. The other night 1 evolved the following idea and thought it might be some use to you and the other members of your " cult "
Performer (sorry . . . operator) states he wishes to have a number selected purely by chance and without giving anyone suspicion that he is i a Mumfr&c using a " stooge " previously arranged to give a certain number. To do this he produces a die and rolls it on to the table; he then removes a matchbox from his pocket, empties the matches out on to the table and places the die in the box. The box is now passed to several people to shake and is finally placed in the centre of the table. With the finger and thumb only the operator (remembered this time) opens the box tray and the predicted number (or number to be used) is seen to be the uppermost number on the die.
How. The tray of the box is partitioned across the centre. The partition does not reach quite up to the full height of the tray to allow a row of matches to be placed above it. In one side of fashion. The trav is replaced in the box STILL MOUTH DOWNWARDS and pushed in till it is slightly more than halfway in. You can make a small mark on the base of the tray to eliminate guesswork. The idea of this is so that the assembly won't notice the partition when the box is turned tray mouth upwards. The die is placed into the tray ... for Gawd sake make sure you put it in the empty compartment. Pass the box around to be shaken. Then take it from the shaker before they have a chance to open it at the wrong side (lest they shake you too). Place the box on the table and openly push out tray exposing the glued die and the number required. Better mark the top of the box on the faked up side.
Well there it is, Peter. Seems natural, normal, and free from trickery to a layman, yet easy and beyond hazard to the operator. I doubt if a trick of any variety demands any more attributes than that.
Oh, by the way, I'm thinking of a card . . . I'll concentrate on it hard to-morrow morning between ten and eleven o'clock and perhaps you will phone me and tell me what it is?
" Very often," says the magician, " we claim that if we had our time over again we should act differently in given circumstances. On the other hand we might be inclined to the opinion that no matter what we do our destiny is already fixed."
Let us take just a very small section of outlives, introduce an element of chance, and let us see what we will see. Could I have the assistance of two gentlemen, please, each of whom will pursue a line of action decided by pure chance? Here is a die with the usual six faces, and spots, one to six. Will you make a few trial rolls, please, to assure yourselves that the die is quite normal? Here also are six cards, on which are written sets of simple instructions. Will you examine the cards, and note that the instructions are all different? I will ask a disinterested person to mix them thoroughly, and set them out on this stand so that the faces are hidden.
Now you, sir, I want you to roll the die, note the number on the top, and count along to that card; you may decide for yourself which end you will count from. Or, better still, we will ask someone in the audience to spin a coin. If it falls " heads," you must count from the left-hand side, if " tails," count from the right.
the partitioned tray a die is glued . . . NOT in the exact centre please. . . . The number you require is uppermost on the glued die. With match layer in piace the box is removed from the pocket and opened MOUTH OF TRAY DOWNWARDS, as the tray is withdrawn from the box, the matches will fall out on to the table giving the illusion that they were contained in the bottom of the match tray in the normal g?uit£. ushmhct
BEfcit Utf om top g?uit£. ushmhct
Heads? Thank you. You have your card, sir? Will you please keep the instructions hidden while our friend rolls the die and chooses his card. You, sir, must also count from the left, and should you arrive at the same number, will you please roll again? It is essential that you each have a different set of instructions.
You have your card now? Good. To return to the first chooser. Please read out the first instruction on your card. " Look at the exact time on your watch, and add together all the figures." Will you do that? For instance, if the time happened to be 7-24, then your total would be 13. Don't tell us the number, just make a note of it.
And your first instruction, sir? " Count the loose coins in your pocket." Keep the total to yourself. Your second instruction, sir? " Open a book at any page, note the number and add it to the first number you have." Please do that.
Your second instruction, sir? " Add your age to the first number you have." Thank you.
You have one more instruction, sir? " Add the number of your house to the total you already have."
And your final instruction, sir? " Think of a two figure number, and add it to your total."
Each of my helpers has arrived at a number, purely by chance. Will each of you reduce his number to one figure, by adding the digits together.
Here are two packs of cards, the left hand one we will call " heads," and the right hand " tails." You have first choice, sir, and if our friend in the audience will be so kind as to spin a coin again perhaps you will call? Heads? Thank you. Please cut this pack, cut it again if you wish. And you, sir, please cut this pack— as many times as you please.
Will you stand, one on either side of the stage. I will ask this gentleman first to whisper his number to me, and then I will count down to the card at that spot, without letting my other volunteer know what the number is. This is the number, sir? Please take that card, and keep its face hidden.
Now your number, sir? Is that the card? Please take it, and keep it hidden.
You are both satisfied that everything you have done, was arrived at by chance? You are convinced that if you had your time over again you would probably choose different instructions, and different figures?
Then let us see what we have arrived at. Your card, sir, is? The Ten of Clubs? And your's, sir? The Ten of Clubs?
Perhaps there is something in this Destiny business after all?
To a magician this effect probably explains itself. All that is required are six largish cards, each of which bears three simple instructions similar to those quoted above, all the cards being different, of course, a die (preferably a large one) and two rough and smooth forcing packs, each of which forces the same card. If one pack has red backs and one blue, so much the better.
The routine is a rest-cure for the performer: it makes no difference what numbers the assistants arrive at, he simply counts down in each pack to the number given, and he is on a force card.
The performer could, of course, make some kind of a prediction as to the card, but this would weaken the effect: the fact that the names of the cards are used merely to illustrate the process of inevitability lends versimilitude to—but it isn't so unconvincing as all that.
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