When Worlds Collide

THE FOLLOWING IS an approach to Paul Currys wonderful "Out of This World" that Ive been doing for over thirty years. I frequendy use it as a platform effect, as it plays very well for large audiences. However, a similar handling can be used in more intimate circumstances. In fact, whenever! give interviews or want to impress a prospective client, this is one of the effects I invariably do. (The others are magic squares and predicting the amount of change in someone's pocket or the sum of the serial numbers on a borrowed bill.) I will explain the platform version here and leave it to you to figure out the simple adaptations to tailor it tor dose-up.

Effect and prestation: A spectator is thrown a pack of cards still in its case, and invited to come to the stage Two others are also requested to assist vou. Their job is to be human tables. The cards arc taken from the case and the performer fans them to show them well mixed. He asks die principal spectator to give them a shuffle, before taking them back and further mixing them himself.

"Please cut offhalf the pack," he requests. "That will dofor our experiment.

"You, sir, 'addressing one of the human tables. "Put out your right harui This will bt a table—a red table!

"You, sir/' to die other human table. "Put out your right hand! Your hand will be a black table.19

- Theater of the Mind

The person with the cards is now requested to distribute them, facedown: red to the red table, black to the black. Ofcour.se she does not know the colors; so has to do the sorting by* intuition. .After helping her make a start, the mentalist walks into the audience or over to. the side of the stage. While the cards are being sorted, the woman can be asked* once in a while, if she wants to change her mind about any particular one. After about twenty cards have been -dealt, she is told to stop. \

The cards are then held up and displayed, upon which it is seen tharthc volunteer has correctly separated the reds from the blacks!

METHOD: Although the central principle is Paul Qirrys, I have had.to make some changes in the handling to produce a viable platform method.

Before you start, you must separate the cards, with all the red cards, together on top. I use a stripper deck (an idea early applied to Mr. Currys trick by a number of magicians}, with the reds and blacks turned in opposite directions. This can be overhand shuffled by anyone. When I take it back, I perform a quick Hindu shuffle, separating the colors in the process. There are other ways of achieving the separation of colors, some of which I'll mention later. However, a stripper deck is my preferred method and the one I use for formal shows.

When the spectator cuts offhalf (or to be more precise, slightly less than half) of the pack, she will haw only red cards. Ifsheinsistson cutting off more than half, simply take the packet from her and hand her the remainder with a request that she further shuffle them. While this is happening, retain the larger packet and say nothing about it. She will then use the black packet.

When the assistant divides the cards between the two ' tables,n keep an eye on how many arc being delivered to the black pile (or red, if she has only blacks—in other words, the pile that would show the wrong color at the finish), If the number is, say, eight, thumb count roughly that number from the bottom of the packet you retain. (If your helper has cut too deep and is working with black cards, you must casually cut your packet to transfer the black cards on the bottom to the top before executing the rhumb count. Of course, this cut need only be approximate, so long as all the black cards arc removed from the bottom.) Your thumb count needn't be accurate: you only require approximately the same number of cards. -After all, you arc die only person keeping track of the number, so no one else will know.

At the finish, both dealt piles contain only cards of the same color— assume for this explanation that the color is red. One pile is supposed to have only that color, which is fine, but the other pile is hoped to contain all black cards. Its now necessary to do a simple switch of that pile to rectify- matters.

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