Second Repeat Version

After Hours Magic: A Book of Al Thatcher Card Magic

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The first phase of the Second Repeat Version consists of Method Seven, combined with a repeat of Method One as a second phase. Method Seven also embodies two variations, each featuring their own strengths.

In Phase One it is best to steal two new and different cards. A Stik-Tack is attached to the back (center)of one, and both cards are placed face-to-face. The identity of the card without the Stik-Tack must be known. It will be the one openly predicted in the next phase. To avoid time-consuming and troublesome techniques, the performer can suggest to the spectator that the decks should be switched. That is, the deck used to remove the facsimile cards is exchanged for the performer's deck. The performer, needless to say, has previously removed two cards (preferably duplicates with matching backs, so the facsimile deck is a complete one) and has set them for the Second Repeat Version. This has the obvious shortcoming of having to use a deck that is not borrowed.

Method: The two stolen cards are maneuvered into a Gambler's Flat Rear Palm, with the Killer Card away from your palm and the predicted card next to it. Suppose that the predicted card is the 10H.

A facsimile card is removed from the other deck(10H) and the spectator follows the usual procedure of the Open Prediction, up to and including the moment of commitment. As soon as the spectator has dealt a face-down card, the performer comes over with both hands to square the sides of the dealt packet, using the extended first and second fingers of both hands. (Fig. 1)

The two stolen cards are still rear palmed in your right hand, the squaring action will subliminally suggest that your hands are empty. As soon as the cards are squared, your right hand comes over and scoops up the tabled packet, adding the two palmed cards. The packet is then further squared and squeezed as per usual technique. The cards are immediately tabled and the facedown card on top, supposedly the card just dealt by the spectator, is pushed slightly aside—just enough to reveal a face-up card beneath it. This pushing action is lightly accomplished by your right forefinger, as you say, "Deal the rest of the cards face up on top of this one like you've been doing all along." This is the second time the spectator has dealt all the cards himself, reinforcing the notion that he handles the cards most of the time.

The performer again picks up the pack and ribbon-spreads it face up across the table or pad. The spectator is asked to remove the face-down card himself. Phase Two of this Repeat Routine consists of repeating Method One, as the conditions for accomplishing this are preset. Fulfilling a mania for thoroughness, here are two more variations of the Second Repeat Version that should appeal to those who dislike palming or holding out the initial cards.

FIRST VARIATION

Set-up: On the bottom of the deck are the two face-to-face cards, with the Killer Card back outwards.

Method: The performer shuffles, retaining these cards on the bottom. The deck is then handed to the spectator for the usual dealing procedure. When the spectator has dealt a card face down, the pack is retaken and placed face down in the left hand.

The right hand Spider Grips the tabled packet, squaring it, then simultaneously moves the packet toward the center of the performing area and inwards toward the performer. During this action, the left pinky performs a Pull Down of the bottom two cards and obtains a break above them.

The performer, while squaring the tabled cards, says: "Are you sure you didn't see my predicted card?" He then taps the top of the cards in his left hand with his right forefinger, adding: "Then it must be in this half."The right hand takes the cards from the left hand to give them to the spectator. At the same time, the Marlo Drop Sleight is executed.18

Here is a brief description: As the right hand takes the cards, the right thumb maintains a break on the two bottom cards at the back end. The right hand moves to the right and forward, across the tabled packet. The left hand follows closely, its palm facing the left side of the deck, but not too closely.

18 This Drop Sleight Technique is fully described in The New Tops (January-1968).

When the cards in the right hand are directly over the tabled packet, the right thumb releases the bottom two cards. By then, the left hand is turning palm downwards. As the right hand continues moving forward, the left hand sweeps down and flat onto the tabled packet. The right hand gives its cards to the spectator as the left hand pulls the tabled packet to the edge of the table. Once the hands have been handed to the spectator for further scrutiny, the right hand comes back under the table's edge and receives the packet being dragged off by the left hand. These cards are further squared and squeezed. Finally, they are tabled and the effect is concluded as per the Second Repeat Version.

SECOND VARIATION

This uses the secret transfer move from "Direct Aces" in Alton Sharpe's Expert Card Conjuring. The technique is fundamentally the same, with a slight technical revision.

Set-up: Two faced cards are on the bottom of the pack as in the First Variation.

Method: After the usual shuffle, the deck is given to the spectator, who begins the standard procedure. Once a card has been dealt face down, the performer retakes the pack, holding it face down in the left hand. The right hand Spider-Squares the tabled packet, simultaneously moving it inwards and towards the center of the performing area.

The left pinky performs a Pull Down of the two bottom cards, obtaining a break above them. The right hand then comes over to square the cards in the left hand. Under cover of the right hand, the bottom two cards are nipped at their right side between the tips of the left first and fourth fingers (below) and the left second and third fingers (on top). These left fingers extend, carrying both cards to the right for about half their width. Then they are sidejogged and covered from above by the right hand.

The right hand runs the packet back and forth as the left thumb rests along the left side of the cards, giving the appearance of side-squaring the packet. This action is accompanied by the patter line, "The card we're looking for should be in this half."The left hand now shifts to grasp the left side of the packet between the left thumb on top and the fingers below.

Both hands, still holding onto the packet, move forward and across the tabled cards. At the precise instant, the cards in the hands are slightly to the left of the tabled cards and the side-jogged cards are directly above the tabled packet (just a few inches above). The right hand, carrying the two sidejogged cards, without hesitation, come down onto the tabled packet.

The right hand, continuing its flow of action, scoops up the tabled packet, including the two added cards and moves it backwards toward the rear edge of the table. As in the First Variation, the left hand simultaneously gives its cards to the spectator and comes back under the table, receiving the packet being dragged off the table by the right hand. These cards are squared and squeezed, using the usual technique. The effect is concluded by performing the rest of the Second Repeat Version.

The following methods can be performed separately or as a continuation of the same routine. These methods are interchangeable. However, certain methods coalesce together better than others. It is your responsibility to assess the performing conditions, the nature of your spectators, and then establish performing protocols with variable aspects and priorities.

At this stage, critics may question the need to have so many methods and variations to accomplish the same effect. The temptation is to oversimplify the question, concluding that the wisest action is to choose the best method, learn it well, and perform it when circumstances dictate. Perhaps Howard Lyons said it best: "If you'll think about this, you'll see the value of the large number of alternate methods Ed often supplies. Aside from their intrinsic interest, you'll find --often times-- the method you like best, and which is perhaps the cleverest, is not the most suitable for you in your routine in the way you work." 19 Also, each method is a specific item that satisfies a generalized situation with specific applications. You must work loosely enough, applying encyclopedic knowledge to the permutable aspects of the given situation, and have enough alternate methods to satisfy whatever changes occur.

Method Eight embodies all the ingredients to make it a favorite choice. It has semi-automatic mechanics combined with a subtlety aimed at magicians. There are not any best methods. The features that finally enhance any method will be the appropriateness of its application to the performing situation.

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