The Lady And The Tramp

AN ACT FOR TWO PERSONS PETER WARLOCK

MANY a time I have been asked to recommend publications to those who want information regarding a two person mental routine which required a minimum of practice on the part of the female part of the act. The two items that I have recommended invariably have been Anne-mann's En Rapport and Thompson's Moonlight Madness. Way back in the forties we wrote up a two person thought reading act for a book " Methods for Miracles " the manuscript of which was held by Willane. The main purpose in this was to use a one ahead system of coding in the various tests used. Later we were to see a similar routine put out in mimeographed form, a true case of telepathy!

The routine about to be described is one in which the presenter of the act tells the audience that his partner has a psychic sense which covers various phases of mental phenomena. Because of its detail it will be started in this issue and concluded in the April number. The tests used cover telepathy, extra sensory perception and precognition. At the conclusion I intend to detail items which could be added should the performance time be too short. The running time of the act under normal conditions should be approximately seventeen minutes. Each item will be dealt with as a complete trick.

1. The opening of the act.

COLOURS AND NUMBERS

The stage is set as in the accompanying diagram:—

A ...WASTEPAPER BASKET C...BLACKBOARD & B TABLE EASEL

D...CHAIR FOR LADY E CHAIR3 NUMBERED 1,2 and 3 FOR COMMITTEE

A ...WASTEPAPER BASKET C...BLACKBOARD & B TABLE EASEL

D...CHAIR FOR LADY E CHAIR3 NUMBERED 1,2 and 3 FOR COMMITTEE

The chairs marked 1, 2 and 3 have number cards attached to them by tapes.

The presenter of the act makes his appearance and briefly acquaints his audience with the possibilities of mental phenomena. The lady a sist-ant is next introduced and seated on the chair marked "X." In her hands she carries a large envelope. Three volunteers to help with the experiments are requested to step upon the stage. They should be stationed on the performer's right. Their attention is called to three coloured handkerchiefs on the table, say one red, one green and one yellow. The spectator nearest to the performer is asked to look at the colours, change his mind as much as he likes but finally fix on one and pick it up. When he has done this he is asked to look at the numbered chairs. Again he is asked to do some thinking. This time he is to look at the three numbers, change his mind as much as he likes, settle on one and seat himself on that chair which bears his chosen number. We will suppose that he chooses the red handkerch ief and sits in chair number two.

The second person is asked to choose one of the remaining handkerchiefs and also one of the remaining numbers. He too takes his handkerchief and seats himself upon the chosen chair. In this case we will suppose yellow and chair number three.

The third spectator has no choice but takes the remaining handkerchief which is green and sits in the empty chair ; in our example number one.

Taking the large envelope from the Psychic Lady, the performer tells his audience that she has already been successful with the first test. He slits the envelope open and withdraws a large card on which is written in equally large letters :—" The person sitting on number one chair has the green handkerchief, the person on number two the red, whilst the one on number three has the yellow."

Well presented, despite its simplicity, this first test can be most effective for there is colour and a certain amount of action. The means for accomplishing are very simple.

First of all the numbered cards attached by their corners to the chair backs should measure twelve inches square. If they are covered with cellophane they will look better, the gloss giving them a professional finish.

Besides the three coloured handkerchiefs the performer will require some large envelopes. They should vary in size so that two can be nested in the third. A duplicate of the largest is now taken and a double envelope made. A similar procedure is adopted with the second size envelope. Three pieces of cardboard or stiffish paper are next required. These should be of varying sizes in order that they may fit comfortably into the envelopes. On the smallest piece print in large letters (using a dark crayon or Indian ink),

(Number 1 Set)

The person sitting on number one chair has the red handkerchief.

The person sitting on number two chair has the green handkerchief.

The person sitting on number three chair has the yellow handkerchief.

On the middle size piece print a similar message, but this time :

(Number 2 Set)

The person sitting on number one chair has the yellow handkerchief.

The person sitting on number two chair has the green handkerchief.

The person sitting on number three chair has the red handkerchief.

On the largest card print :

(Number 3 Set)

The person sitting on number one chair has the yellow handkerchief.

The person sitting on number two chair has the red handkerchief.

The person sitting on number three chair has the green handkerchief.

The smallest card goes into the smallest envelope which is then sealed down. The middle sized card goes into one compartment of its respective envelope, and finally the largest card goes into one compartment of the large envelope.

The envelopes now come in for attention. On the address side of the largest envelope print words to the effect that :

(Number 4 Set)

The person on number one chair has the green handkerchief.

The person on number two chair has the red handkerchief.

The person on number three chair has the yellow handkerchief.

This combination is the most common, judging by experience.

On the address side of the middle sized envelope, print:

(Number 5 Set)

The person on number one chair has the red handkerchief.

The person on number two chair has the yellow handkerchief.

The person on number three chair has the green handkerchief.

On the address side of the smallest envelope, print:

(Number 6 Set)

The person on number one chair has the green handkerchief.

The person on number two chair has the yellow handkerchief.

The person on number three chair has the red handkerchief.

The smallest sized envelope is now nested into the middle sized envelope so that the address sides correspond and finally these envelopes are placed inside the free compartment of the double envelope where here too the address sides correspond. The largest envelope is now sealed down and the lady has it with her offstage. The performer should memorise the order of the articles against the envelopes or alternatively have a small " key " handy which will give him the information without any stalling.

The three handkerchiefs lie on the table.

Presentation.

The lady is introduced. As she makes her entrance holding the envelope she must make quite sure that it is held quite casually against her body so that in this position it is impossible for any member of the audience to glimpse the printing on the address side.

She is seated and then three members of the audience are invited to assist. They come up on to the stage or platform and are grouped on the performer's right on the right hand side of the stage.

Ihe first one is asked to take a handkerchief and then choose a chair. The odds are in favour that he'll take the red and go to the second chair. The two other spectators then take their respective handkerchiefs and chairs. By the time that the second spectator has taken his seat the performer should have in mind the position of the message in or on the envelopes.

With the third person seated, he moves across to the lady and relieves her of the envelope keeping the blank side towards the audience whilst the positioning of the assistants on the stage makes it impossible for them to see the rear part of the envelope.

He tells them that the lady has already accomplished the first test successfully.

If the layout of colours and numbers is number four set, all the performer has to do is to slowly turn the large envelope round and allow the audience to read the message. If number five set, keeping the printed side of the large envelope towards him, he slits open the envelope and removes from the correct compartment the second size envelope. The large envelope is placed printing side down on the table and the envelope just withdrawn is turned round. If number six set is required, the smallest sized envelope is removed and the message on its address side shown.

To obtain number one set we have again to go to the smallest envelope this time however not showing the printing but slitting it open and revealing the card inside. For message number two the appropriate card is removed from the compartment of the middle sized envelope a similar process being adopted for number three set which appears on the largest card in the compartment in the largest envelope.

May I suggest that rather than leave the envelopes lying on the table that a fairly large paper basket be at hand into which they can be deposited.

The Second Test A MATTER OF DESIGN

The lady is blindfolded and she stands at the right hand corner of the platform. A member of the committee is asked to go to the table. On it rests a drawing-board to which a sheet of paper is tacked with drawing pins. The persormer tells his audience that he now wishes to demonstrate a feat of telepathy. The performer is facing his audience as he talks and his back is towards the spectator at the drawing board. A gesture of his left hand however towards this helper accompanies the request that he draws on the paper with the piece of charcoal pencil at the side some pattern or geometrical design It may be as complicated as he likes. The spectator is told to inform the performer when he has completed the task. When he has done so, the performer asks him to hand the lady a piece of chalk and then to guide her to the blackboard. When she has been placed in a position where it is easy for her to write, the spectator is to bring the drawing he made to the performer.

With all this carried out the performer apparently concentrates upon the drawing, and without any word being spoken between performer or lady, the latter successfully reproduces the spectator's drawing on the blackboard.

The technique of this test is extremely simple, the whole effect being brought about by careful thought regarding the positioning of the various people taking part. Look once again at the layout of the stage and note the relative position of the blackboard. If the lady is led to the blackboard by her right hand, she is compelled to pass alongside the drawing board lying on the table. It is whilst doing this that she glimpses down the sides of a normal blindfold, or alternatively a trick blindfold could be used which would allow her even fuller vision.

We'll take it a little further. The following illustration shows the positioning of performer, lady and spectator at the time when the last named is drawing on the drawing board.

A...POSITION OP SPECTATOR AT DRAWING BOARD

B...POSITION OP PERFORMER

C...POSITION OP LADY.

A...POSITION OP SPECTATOR AT DRAWING BOARD

B...POSITION OP PERFORMER

C...POSITION OP LADY.

Dotted lines indicate the path of Lady towards blackboard.

When he informs the performer that the drawing is complete he is brought to the front of the stage on the performer's left, the latter still keeping his gaze averted from the board. " Now, sir, I want you to guide the lady to the blackboard . . . . just give her this piece of chalk as well. (The performer takes a piece of chalk from his pocket, and places it in the spectator's hand). The lady, who is facing front, apparently to co-operate in this part of the routine, extends her right hand. This is quite natural for it is nearest to the spectator.

The spectator also quite naturally takes hold of her hand and this means that a complete turnabout results, for the spectator has to move over to the right side of the stage and in guiding her towards the blackboard a quick glimpse of the drawing is made and remembered.

The lady, with her back towards the audience, takes up her station in front of the blackboard. The spectator then takes the drawing board and brings it to the performer.

Holding the drawing in front of him and not allowing the audience to see what the design comprises, the performer appears to concentrate. (This doesn't mean that heavy theatricals are called into play, just appear to be in deep thought). The lady commences to draw, and she indicates that she has completed the task by saying, "That is the picture I appear to be receiving." At this point, after the lady has moved aside and the full drawing on the blackboard is revealed, the performer turns round the drawing board showing that both pictures coincide. The performer then places the board down so that it rests against the legs of the table.

The props for this effect are really few, a drawing board that will take a sheet of paper measuring sixteen inches by twelve, some drawing pins, charcoal pencil, and blindfold. In many cases the easel and blackboard can be found where one is performing. For the exceptions a portable artist's easel and a blackboard made from fibreboard make for light gear.

The Third Test THE QUINTUPLETS

The performer thanks the spectator who helped him and asks him to be reseated.

Another test is proposed.

A pack of blue back cards is handed to the lady whilst the performer keeps for himself a pack of red-backed cards. At this point a small stand which has been lying flat upon the table is erected into position, It is slotted to receive five pairs of playing cards.

The lady fans the cards in front of her and withdraws one which the performer takes and places face outwards upon the stand. Spreading the red backed cards on a tray the performer now approaches the first member of the committee and asks him to touch the back of one card. This card is pulled out of the spread and without its face being shown it is placed back outwards on top of the first card given to the performer by the lady. This procedure is repeated four more times so that finally the performer has on the stand five cards of the lady's choice and five chosen by various members of the committee. The climax comes when each pair of cards is shown to match.

This is a revised version of " Rhinegold" which published in "The Phoenix" about seven years ago. In fact a sight of that particular trick might make the reader substitute it for this version.

Requirements : One red backed pack of cards. One blue backed pack of cards. Five double faced cards, the same pattern must be on each side. A tray. A stand to hold the cards. This may be made from any material but undoubtedly perspex or lucite are preferable. The illustration here gives an idea of how the stand should be made.

Preparation.

Supposing the five double facers are as follows :—two of clubs, five of hearts, eight of spades, jack of diamonds and ace of clubs.

Remove their mates from the blue backed pack and then get hold of some roughing fluid.

Place the double facers on the table and completely roughen one side. When dry turn the cards over and half roughen the other side. Each of the five cards from the blue backed pack is now roughened over half the face. When dry the half roughened side of the double facer is placed on its half roughened mate so that the two portions of roughing correspond and the two cards may be handled as one. These five pairs of cards are now replaced in the blue backed pack and their names memorised by the lady.

The faces of all the cards in the red backed pack are treated with roughing fluid.

Both packs of cards are replaced in their cases and with the tray and stand at hand you are ready for the presentation.

Presentation.

The spectator who helped in the previous test and the lady take the seats they occupied at the beginning of the act. Picking up both packs of cards, the blue backed cards are removed from their case and handed to the lady. The case is placed aside and then the red backed cards are withdrawn, the case again being dispensed with. Placing the stand in an upright position on the table the performer commences to describe the scope of the test to be carried out, namely one of controlled coincidence. The faces of the red backed pack are casually shown to be different and then the pack is spread upon the tray which in turn is placed upon the table. " Please hand me the first card," says the conjurer to the lady, and she removes one of the pairs from the fan by the roughened end. The conjurer takes it at the other end with his left hand, then passing it to the right and places it in the first compartment of the stand.

The tray is now taken and the first member of the committee is asked to touch the back of one card. This card is slid from the spread and without the face being seen is placed back outwards against the card taken from the blue pack. This process is now continued with the remaining four sets of cards.

The tray is placed aside and the blue backed cards are taken from the lady.

Picking up the first set of cards from the stand, the performer says that the chance of the spectator touching the mate of the card chosen

One must congratulate Virgil for obtaining such a fine write-up in the London "Times." Sorcar too seems to be getting tasty write-ups in the local weeklies. We knew that this self styled " Greatest of the Greats" would have to play London at some time and as we go to press we hear that he is taking one of London's theatres, the Duke of York's for a short season. If you have not yet seen Richiardi junior please repair that omission should he come your way for here is one of the truly great magical showmen carrying on a family tradition.

Kalanag is still breaking records on the continent and as these words appear in print he will possibly be on his way to South Africa for yet another tour in that country. Arnold Furst, who was in London for a couple of days told us of the long review he wrote for the Genii respecting this truly greatest of all modern illusionists. Arnold who is like a whirlwind decided that in those few hours at his disposal he was going to see Virgil at Cardiff, Richiardi at Portsmouth and Channing Pollock at the London Hippodrome.

Just to hand is a new book from the Armstrong Press, " Sealed Vision," by our good friend Will Dexter. It was a long while ago when we saw the manuscript and wrote a forward and it is good to see it in solid book form. For those interested in various methods of blindfolds that allow limited or unlimited vision, at the price of 17/6 this is a must and we'll go into greater detail next month regarding the individual contents.

by the lady is fifty-two to one. It could happen by chance that he might match the card, but the lady made certain, she controlled what is known as " coincidence " and made the spectator touch the mate of the first card. Here the conjurer separates the cards, turning round what appears to be the card from the red backed pack, but which, because of the roughing, is actually any card from the red backed pack with one of the roughened sides of the double facer clinging to it. The two cards, one red backed and one blue backed are shown to match. The cards are then dropped on to the table.

As each set of cards is taken, the performer builds up the odds against mere chance*

To be continued.

One of the most pleasant afternoons and evenings that we have spent recently was in the company of Tonny van Dommelen, whose manipulations with coins or poker chips are a delight to watch. A thing that invariably occurs to us on such an occasion is the manner in which these lovely people the Dutch have become the foremost exponents of continental magic and whilst all praise goes to the individual, a great tribute must be paid to Henk Vermeyden who with his great flair for the true theatre has tended and nurtured these magicians and helped them to win their success. All this reminds us that Fred Kaps will be in America this month. He will appear for the Foreign Press Club and after appearing in the Ed Sullivan TV show will go on to Chicago before returning home to Holland. Henk Vermeyden will travel with him.

From our favourite comic magical magazine we read of the recent death of Hofzinser at the age of 75. Next month we shall expect a report on the sudden closing of Maskelynes Theatre.

The film, " Melies the Magician," first televised on January 31st and repeated on Tuesday, April 3rd was most interesting showing as it did some of the early Melies films and also a reconstruction of the Robert-Houdin Theatre which was acquired by Melies in 1888. It seemed a pity that in one magic sequence circa 1896, that the Lloyd production of candles at the fingertips was introduced.

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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.

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