Smack Dab In The Middle

BRIAN GLOVER

IN the November, 1955 issue of the Pentagram

(Volume 10, No. 2) Dr. Stanley Jaks described under the heading of "Variation on a theme Take Three Again" an appealing routine with a mental slant. Under this present heading I am describing a faked card case which makes the retention of the proposed reversed card, and the placing of it in the centre of the replaced pack 100% certain.

The faked card case can also be used in numerous other effects of a similar nature. (I use it in a torn and restored card effect in which the selected and mutilated card is later found, minus the corner held by an assisting spectator, reversed in the centre of the pack).

Preparation

A card case is taken and a tab cut as shown in Figure 1.

The backing card and case are cut along the lines AB, BC and CD leaving a tab which can be hinged along AD.

A small length of sellotape is now taken and it is secured to the tab as shown in Figure 2. Note that it is held securely between the cut backing card and the card case back proper, so that the adhesive side of the tape is facing towards the inside of the case. The tab and the sellotape are now pushed through the aperture, so that the sellotape is now inside the case, and adjacent to the back of the case. The card to be reversed is now placed inside the case and fixed to the tape and tab as shown in Figure 3.

The remaining part of the pack is now inserted inside the card case, keeping the 'stuck' card pressed against the rear side of the case.

Performance

The cards are tipped out of the card case into the waiting left hand but thanks to the sellotape,

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the card to be reversed is left stuck to the rear part of the case. Incidentally during the removal of the pack from the case, it matters little whether the audience see the back of the case as owing to the presence of the backing card the tab is well camouflaged.

When the point has been reached for the cards to be returned to the case the procedure is as follows:—

The case is held in the left hand, with the left forefinger pressing on the tab. This action brings the reversed card to the centre of the case so that it is an easy thing to place the remaining cards into the case and at the same time bring the 'reversed' card, smack, dab in the middle!

Figure 4 shows, by means of the arrows the direction taken by the cards and the way that the sellotape is disengaged from the reversed card and the tab brought in alignment with the rear part of the card case, as the pack finally rests inside.

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with a request that he takes away the folded paper, gets a firm grip upon the side of the box with his right hand thumb thus preventing any movement of the base of the box. The piece of paper being removed and opened and the reading aloud of the contents brings the effect its desired end.

To those who make this effect up, they are welcome to a tip that could improve the mechani cal technique. This improvement is to insert a couple of reasonably strong magnets into opposite sides of the box. Actually of course, in view of the size of the box this means building two sides round the magnets. The poles of the magnets should come to the base of the box sides. Now provided tinplate, i.e. tin coated iron is used for the squares, immediately the right hand brings

THE winter months whirl by and before one can say "Knife" the Buxton Convention will be upon us. May we add a word of thanks to all who sent us Christmas cards. Each succeeding year our collection seems to grow larger than ever, and there seem to be few nationalities not represented.

Those who remember the performances of Chung Ling Soo will never forget his presentation of the twentieth century silks, in which two handkerchiefs were tied together and placed upon a slender stand and a third was pushed into a decanter. The firing of a pistol produced the magical and highly visual effect of the silk vanishing from the decanter and re-appearing visibly tightly tied between the silks on the stand. I don't think that the effect was confined to Soo for 1 have the feeling that I also saw Horace Goldin use the same effect. That's by the way. The efi'ect as described has dropped into obscurity although I know that my old friend Charlie Harrison used it quite a lot in his Rajah Khan act and what is more he now describes his version in the December number of the 'Linking Ring'. Whilst the reproduction of the third handkerchief between the two tied on the stand follows a conventional pattern, the devise for causing the vanish from the decanter is truly delightful in its simplicity. We remember Charles telling us about this many many years ago, and thought then what a wonderful means he had devised for obviating the use of a catgut loop with its attendant fiddling. If you are apparatus-minded see that you don't miss reading this tib-bit of mechanical magic.

How merciless can television be if the camera is not just right. We viewed a performance of A1 Koran in company with some non-magicians the other evening; there were the usual 'Ohs' and 'Ahs' until he started a version of 'Do as I Do' in which the Curry Turnover accounted for two changes of the helper's cards whilst a third made use of the Mexican Turnover. The camera came in with a close-up shot and whilst up till now they had marvelled, the lay portion of the onlookers simultaneously and without any inhibitions said aloud ..." He's changed the card for the one he's holding."

The fact that to be up-to-date you should present something truly old has never been better exemplified than to-day when quite a number of stage and cabaret performers are cashing in with presentations of the Broomstick version of the aerial suspension. It must be almost one hundred and twenty years ago when this trick in its original form was a standard litem amongst nineteenth century illusionists. Quite obviously the coming of Aga. Maskelyne lévitation, and Asrah, with their true forms of lévitation put the suspension under the counter. To-day the pendulum has swung the other way and when Abbott marketed his Super X suspension and Winston Freer had a one man suspension there was an appreciation, mainly because of changing stage conditions, for a static form of lévitation. To-day the chance of seeing a magician perform a true lévitation effect is a rarity. There is, of course, the superb work of Kalanag in this respect and Richiardi Jr., and Calvert when he was over here used the Aga. If a trick like the aerial suspension can come back into favour and seem in modern audience's eyes a miracle, there must be many other old and almost forgotten effects lying ready to be dusted and presented. One trick which we have never seen presented and one which we feel could be a great success in a good performer's hands is the inexhaustible bottle, and we mean bottle, not kettle or cocktail shaker. Then there was the effect which Maskelyne called "The Spirits are Here". Simple principle of counterweights and a plot which had possibilities of both magic and humour the cascade of cards the glass lined trunk a terrific hat production, and so on, and so on.

It was a great pleasure to look at some of George Armstrong's magical books and memor-ablia the other evening. A magnificent collection of books with a number of editions of "Hocus Pocus" as well as a non-listed third edition of Scot. Prints in quantity with standard framing. An enviable collection indeed, which like most collections, needs great houseroom.

Colour Number—from Page 30

one of the squares near the underside of the box two sides of it will be attracted by the magnets and it will be retained in position without any work from the performer's hands. The handling overall will be far neater.

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