The Face-Up Incredible Card Tunnel
The inspiration for this effect was Ken Krenzel's "Incredible Card Tunnel" (see The New Stars Of Magic), where two blank cards apparently changed into two selections as they were "tunneled" through the deck. There were two things about the routine I didn't like. One was the fact that you didn't really have two blank cards, and so they couldn't be examined; and the other was that when the blanks changed into the selections one was face-up while the other was face-down — you had to keep turning the deck over to show that both cards were changing. This handling eliminates both those restrictions.
You must make a rather bizarre gimmicked card for this. One look at Figure 1 tells the story. The upper ends of two blank cards have been used; one is pasted flatly onto the back of a regular card (let's say it's the Five of Hearts) — the other is affixed at only its left end by a piece of Scotch-brand tape on the inside so that it swings freely back and forth (a flap, in other words). Finally, corner short the indicated corner; when the card is in the position shown it's the outer right.
You also need two blank cards whose backs match that of the deck used. To set up, take the gimmick and lay it face-up on the table with the flap beneath its right side. Place the two blanks on top of it, face-up; and place the whole business into your pocket, faces outward without turning it end for end.
Once you're set you can do this effect any time. Whenever you're ready simply cut the Five of Hearts to the face of the deck that you've been using. Hold that in your left hand in face-up dealing position. Your right hand reaches into the pocket containing the prepared cards and brings them out, dropping them directly onto the face of the deck. Your left thumb immediately spreads them to the right as you say, 'Two blank cards with photographic abilities."
Take the two blanks with your right hand and table them or, if necessary, place them onto a spectator's hand. (They can be examined if you like.) The card on the deck's face has remained the same throughout — the Five of Hearts — so everything looks as it should. Actually, of course, you've secretly added the gimmick to the deck.
Turn the deck face-down and shuffle without disturbing the bottom card. Have two cards selected and control them to the top without disturbing the gimmick on the bottom. I usually do the Kelly Bottom Placement twice, getting both cards to the bottom, and then Double Cut them to the top. No matter what method you use, add the following cut to the end of your sequence; your right hand grasps the face-down deck from above, thumb at inner end and fingers at outer end. Your first finger lifts about a quarter of the deck at the outer end. Your left hand undercuts about a quarter of the deck to the left and inserts it into the break created by your right first finger. Square the deck. All you've done is relocated the gimmick at the center without disturbing the selections on top.
Obtain a left fourth-finger break beneath the selections; you're going to switch them for the blank cards using J.K. Hartman's Secret Subtraction move, as follows: Your right hand lifts the two blank cards from the table and drops them face-up onto the deck. Your right hand lifts all four cards above the break, thumb at inner right end and fingers at outer end. Your left thumb pulls the top blank to the left, revolving it face-down as it passes around the side of the packet. Slide it beneath the packet maintaining a right thumbtip break between it and the three cards above. Repeat with a second blank, revolving it face-down beneath the packet. As soon as it's beneath the cards your right hand moves directly over the deck and releases the two cards beneath the break. The blanks will fall secretly flush onto the deck.
Without pausing your right hand moves diagonally forward and to the right a tiny bit. Your left thumb pulls the upper card of the pair to the left about a half inch — Figure 2. Your left thumb clamps down on it, holding the spread pair firmly on the deck for a moment so that your right hand can regrip.
Your palm-down right hand grasps the inner end of the face-down pair; first and second fingers above and thumb beneath (Figure 3). Lift the pair and raise your hand, tilting the faces of the selections toward you — be careful not to allow the spectators to see them beause they still think these are the blank cards.
Your left thumb riffles down the outer left corner of the deck and automatically stops at the corner-shorted gimmick. (Prior to this, so the corner short is at the outer left at this point, your left thumb should riffle down to check. If you have only turned the deck over once, from side to side, the corner short should automatically be in the proper place.)
You actually stop riffling in the middle of the deck, and also in the middle of the gimmick-i.e., between the flap and the base card to which it's attached. Insert the right corner of the face card of the pair between the flap and base card. Your left thumb lets the base card riffle past it, and the rear card of the pair goes behind it (Figure 4 — an exposed illustration).
Push the pair in counterclockwise a bit, sidewise in tunnel position; then grasp the whole deck with your right hand for a moment so your left hand can regrip; thumb at the left end, first finger curled beneath, other fingers at the right end. Your right hand arranges the selections so that they fill the length of the deck and are nearly aligned (Figure 5). You must keep the faces of the pair toward you when you insert and arrange it.
Squeeze your left thumb and fingers toward each other to provide a strong crossgrip pressure so the gimmick does not move as your right fingers push the pair downward (see Figure 6).
Once the upper end of the pair is aligned with the deck your left fingers change grip pressure. Relax your left thumb and fingers and press firmly upward against the bottom of the deck with your first finger. Your right thumb now moves onto the lower end of the pair and pushes it upward — the gimmick emerging at the deck's upper side (Figure 7). Lower your left hand so that the spectators can see the top of the deck, and two apparently blank cards protruding.
Move your left first finger onto the outer end of the pair and push it inward a tiny bit — just enough so that some of it protrudes at the inner end (Figure 8). Note that your right hand hovers over the deck to cover the inner right "bad" corner where a pip might show.
Let's backtrack a second. You've got to time the lowering of your left hand properly; it can't be too soon because you'll expose the inner ends of the selections before they're'in the deck; and it can't be too late because you'll expose the back of the gimmick as it is ■plunged" out of the outer end. It's not nearly as tricky as it sounds, and if you make a fairly large motion out of lowering your hands you don't even have to push the cards through very quickly.
After you've paused to patter for a moment (and with your left first finger now pushing firmly upward beneath the deck), your right thumb pushes the inner end of the pair flush with the deck. Your left first finger immediately moves to the outer ends of the protruding cards and pushes them back toward you — the faces of the selections appearing at the inner end (Figure 9). Quickly squeeze the deck between your left thumb and fingers so the gimmick stays in place and push the pair back out the outer side of the deck with your right thumb (Figure 10). The faces of the selections instantly appear!
I Maintaining the strong left thumb and fingers crossgrip pressure, your right hand
| reaches around and pulls the two selections out of the deck and drops them onto the table i to end.
I'm going to leave the cleanup to you. The gimmick is still in the center of the deck, but can be easily located, cut to the bottom and copped. The blanks are on top of the deck.
It's vital that you do the last series of two push- through movements very quickly — the less time that elapses between the display of the blanks and the appearance of the selections, the more magical it will look.
This is a two-deck variant of Daryl's In The Pinch (Secrets of a Puerto Rican Gambler, pp. 81-87). The use of two decks with contrasting back colors adds an extra element of visual conviction to an already strong illusion.
You need a regular red deck and a blue deck for this routine. Place a red card on the bottom of the blue deck. This can be done before the trick begins, or you can do it when you bring out the two decks to perform the routine, as follows: Hold the red deck in the left hand, with a left little finger break below the top card. The blue deck is held in the right hand, from above in a Biddle Grip. Before you actually start the routine, you hold the two decks in your hands as described. Bring the blue deck in the right hand over the red deck in the left hand; the right hand's fingers take the top card off the red deck.
To perform, place the red deck on the table in front of you. Have a card chosen from the blue deck, making sure not to reveal the back of the red card on the bottom of the blue deck. Cut the blue deck, holding a little finger break beneath the red card which is now in the center of the deck.
Grab the deck with the right hand from above, with the right thumb getting and holding a break above the red card. The left hand now moves half of the deck — the cards below the red card — to the left. The chosen blue card is replaced on top of this half pack.
Get a left little finger break below the chosen card. Bring the hands together. The right hand's red card goes on top of the left hand's chosen card — both the left little finger and the right thumb retain their breaks, while the red card and the chosen card come together. Thus, you hold a break above and below the two cards — see Figure 1.
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