Remarker Able

Jay is one of the few young and truly innovative thinkers in magic today. His thoughts and writings on the philosophy of magic — as an art — impress some, incense others, while we hope all will at least respect the fact that he is thinking. Jay was one of the special Close-Up Hosts at the 1984 Symposium in New York. This routine is given in Jay's own words.

The following truly visual and startlingly impromptu production of three magic markers was created to avoid the tedious and definitely anti-magical task of having three people share one magic marker while they sign previously selected cards. And though it was designed for a three-selection routine, this three marker production can also be utilized in a single- selection routine. It is so easy and so fun do do, I've actually made a point of performing it even though it meant that the three spectators would sometimes all sign the same card. That's how much I like it.

You will need a jacket with two inside breast-pockets, and three identical magic markers. I use "Marks-A-Lot" (Carter's) indelible felt-tipped markers which have big plastic end-caps, metallic exteriors, and measure about five inches in length. Put two of the three markers in your left inner breast- pocket, and the remaining marker in your right inner breast- pocket. All the markers should be pointing with their caps uppermost. Now, due to the fact that the markers are going to be effortlessly (and secretly) sliding down your jacket sleeves, you may find it helpful to roll up your shirt sleeves. I just pull, not roll, my shirt sleeves up my arms until the cuffs touch my shoulders. This not only makes the production smooth, but also keeps you cool. Slip into your jacket and you are set to go.

To perform, mention that you would like each of the three spectators to sign their names across the faces of their respective playing cards. While you are mentioning this, several natural actions occur, during which you load a marker into both sleeves: First, your left hand goes into your inner right pocket, slipping the marker from that pocket down into the right sleeve while there; then bring the hand out empty, apparently not being able to find your marker. Then, your right hand goes into the left inner breast-pocket, pulls both markers upward until they clear the pocket, slips one of the two markers down into the top of the left sleeve, then moves out of the jacket to introduce the remaining marker which is already in its possession. Therefore, in checking the right pocket, then the left, both markers are loaded into the sleeves and the third marker is obtained. This handling is natural and straightforward. I cannot over-emphasize the brevity and casualness of the above actions.

You should now have a marker resting in the upper half of each sleeve and a marker held in your right hand. Toss the marker into your left hand where it is held at the finger tips.

Gesture with the marker while saying: "I know what you are all thinking...no, I'm not a mind reader...though I know you are all thinking, 'What an unprofessional performer! He's going to have three people sign three cards and yet he only has one marker!'...not to worry..." Lean slightly toward the spectator on your left, simultaneously letting your right arm fall to your side. This causes the right-sleeved marker to silently slide down into your loosely cupped right hand — Figure 1.

Your right hand pauses a beat or two as you gesture with your left hand's marker and say to the person on your left, "You can have this marker..." The right and left hands simultaneously swing together at about chest height, clicking the two markers together, and then immediately pull them apart with a theatrical effort — Figure 2.

The production of this second marker is very surprising. It is an audio-visual demonstration of an apparent impossibility: the ripping of one magic marker into two.

Hand the righthand marker to the spectator directly in front of you and say, "...you can have this marker..." Then toss the lefthand marker into your right hand, naturally allowing your left arm to fall to your side and momentarily rest there as you lean toward the spectator on your right. This causes the marker in your left sleeve to slide down into your loosely cupped left hand. Finish your sentence, and the production, by saying to the spectator on your right, "...and you can have this marker!..." Swing your two hands together and repeat the "splitting" action, breaking the marker, yet again, into two.

Part II

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