Daryl, if pressed, does the Real Work. The rest of the time he glibly and felicitously entertains audiences. Proximity is no problem. Nose to nose or from afar, he moves with equal grace and seems to have fun when he is funning and fooling. This is important. During a stay in New Orleans, he showed me a nice touch for performing Tilt. It requires practice, but once mastered, it is the kind of finesse that separates real workers from real work.
Method: As your right hand shows a single card, your left hand gets the top card of the deck into Tilt Position. (Fig. 1) Use any of the one-hand Tilt methods. Once the deck is readied, your left thumb tip moves to the upper left corner of the deck and lifts the upper half to the angled position. (Fig. 2)
Your left first fingertip presses against the front end of the tilted uppermost portion and keeps the tilted top card flush at the front. (Fig. 3 - the view from the audience's vantage point.) Say, "I'm going to insert this card into the center of the pack." The angled upper half and obvious V-opening at the left substantiates your verbal intention. Your right hand then moves its card to back opening. (Fig. 4)
As you move the deck slightly to the left, bending your left wrist outward a fraction, two simultaneous actions occur: (1) The upper portion is released and lowered without disturbing the Tilt condition; (2) The single card is actually inserted at the back end under the tilted top card. This dual action should be fluid and free from hook-ups. If done properly, the illusion is perfect. The audience will swear that the card is inserted in the center.
Leave the inserted card momentarily injogged at the back end, then push it flush and square-up as in conventional Tilt handlings. The most difficult part of the whole technique is the maintenance of the Tilt condition during the raising and lowering of the upper half. The rest of your practice-time should focus on the split-second timing of the actual insertion.
June - 1979
This was one of the Tilt finesses that was adopted by many expert close-up workers, especially those whose consciousness was raised by Paul Harris.
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