Vertically Challenged

After Hours Magic: A Book of Al Thatcher Card Magic

Encyclopedia of Card Tricks

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Over the past year, watching magicians in various parts of the United States and Europe perform their card tricks, I have become aware of a rather strange situation. It happens quite frequently. Basically, the magician is sitting at a table with other magicians doing card magic. Suddenly, the performer stands up to perform the next effect. Why did the performer suddenly stand up?

Invariably the answer is that the next card trick requires an Elmsley Count -- and the two basic handlings for that sleight (the finger tip method associated with Dai Vernon or the handling where the cards are held in a Mechanic's Grip associated with Ed Marlo) do not work very well when the performer is seated. Both methods, in fact, provide better viewing for the performer than they do for audience. Hence, the performer stands up so that everyone can better see the faces of the cards.

Yet, the fact that the performer suddenly stands up is strange. Why not continue the show sitting? (The answer is that it puts a terrible strain on the performer's wrists which observant spectators can easily detect!)

Here's the challenge: why not learn to perform this useful and popular sleight holding the cards with their faces toward the spectators? For all our endless magical talk about "being natural" the NATURAL way to display four playing cards to a person sitting at a table across from me is to hold them vertically, so the faces are toward the spectators.

Can the Elmsley Count be performed with the cards in this position? Certainly, it can! To do so usually requires adjustments in our routines (because, among other things, the performer is seeing the cards in a different way) but I believe these adjustments -- and the thought required to make them -- will help us create more deceptive card magic. Will you accept this challenge?

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Fundamentals of Magick

Fundamentals of Magick

Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.

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