Out Of Body

After Hours Magic: A Book of Al Thatcher Card Magic

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WHAT THE AUDIENCE SEES: The performer displays and shuffles an ordinary deck of playing cards. The deck is then distributed between several members of the audience so they can also examine and shuffle the cards. There is absolutely no question in anyone's mind that the deck consists of 52 different, well mixed playing cards. The deck is then reassembled and retained by one spectator. The performer instructs that spectator to deal a bridge hand consisting of thirteen cards, face down, to the person seated next to him. That person is now requested to fan the cards so he can see the faces of the cards. The performer asks him to remove whichever color cards he has less of. In other words, if he has less red cards than blacks, he is to discard the red cards by returning them to the person holding the balance of the deck. If he has less black cards than red cards, he is to discard the black cards. Now, for example, instead of thirteen cards, the spectator has eight cards left. No one but the spectator has seen the faces of any of the cards. The performer asks if the spectator is now holding more than one suit. When the spectator states that he is, the performer asks that he discard whichever suit he has less of. At this point, for example, the spectator is holding five cards whose identity is known only to him. With his back turned, the performer now asks the spectator to concentrate on the five cards. One by one, the performer correctly identifies the cards the spectator is holding, until the fifth and final card. Unable to identify the final card, the performer asks that the spectator return the card to the deck being held by the second spectator. The now complete deck is shuffled and then handed to the performer who states that he will now memorize the order of the shuffled deck. Running the cards from hand to hand, the performer proceeds to quickly memorize the deck which he then places in his jacket pocket. The performer asks the spectator to call out the name of the fifth card. Plunging his hand into his pocket, the performer quickly removes one card which he holds aloft with the back of the card facing the audience. "Would you be surprised if the card I removed in a matter of seconds is your card?" the performer asks. Before the spectator can respond, the performer turns the card around and everyone sees that it is the spectator's card. The audience applauds an incredible feat of memory!

The performer now removes the balance of the cards from his pocket and after cutting the deck a few times, hands it to a third spectator. While the performer's back is turned the spectator is allowed to freely cut the deck anywhere he wishes and to pocket one card without looking at it. The spectator then returns the face down deck to the card box which he closes. In addition, two rubber bands are placed around the box completely securing the deck inside. The performer places the bound card box on the palm of his outstretched left hand. The box is never turned over and never leaves the audience's sight. The performer explains that the only way he can learn the identity of the card in the spectator's pocket is to astrally project himself inside the pocket, which he proceeds to do, and immediately identifies the selected card. The spectator removes the card from his pocket and it is seen that the performer was absolutely correct. And Larry will teach you how to end on a standing ovation!

• Ordinary, ungaffed playing cards are used • No sleight of hand • The cards are legitimately shuffled and cut by the spectators • The spectator is free to select and pocket any card in the deck • No stooges • Magician or mentalist, this staggering effect is a reputation maker. And to top it off, it's easy to do. Two of Larry's most ingenious creations, updated and morphed into a double-barreled entertainment powerhouse. If you missed it the first time around, now you've got twice as many reasons to add it to your act. "Out-of-Body 2" comes complete with everything you need. Detailed instructions and routine. Only $39.50 postpaid. Overseas orders, please add 20% for airmail delivery. Order from Larry Becker • P.O. Box 6023, Carefree, AZ 85377. Visa and MasterCard accepted. Phone/fax: 480-488-0980

Out Of Body 2

The original Out of Body was a collaboration between myself and good friend, Larry White. Larry came up with the idea of gaffing an Aviator card box with a mirrored flap. Then he sent it to me to figure out how to make it work. The end result is now in your possession.

What the audience sees: (Phase 1)

The performer displays and shuffles an ordinary deck of playing cards. The deck is then distributed between several members of the audience so they can also examine and shuffle the cards. There is absolutely no question in anyone's mind that the deck consists of 52 different, well mixed playing cards. The deck is then reassembled and retained by one spectator. The performer instructs that spectator to deal a bridge hand consisting of thirteen cards, face down, to the person seated next to him. That person is now requested to fan the cards so he can see the faces of the cards. The performer asks him to remove whichever color cards he has less of. In other words, if he has fewer red cards than blacks, he is to discard the red cards, returning them to the person holding the balance of the deck. If he has fewer black cards than red cards, he is to discard the black cards.

Now, for example, instead of thirteen cards, the spectator has eight cards left. No one but the spectator has seen the faces of any of the cards. The performer asks if the spectator is left holding more than one suit. When the spectator states that he is, the performer asks that he discard whichever suit he has less of. At this point, for example, the spectator is holding five cards whose identity is known onlyto him. With his back turned, the performer now asks the spectator to concentrate on the five cards. One by one, the performer correctly identifies the cards the spectator is holding, until the fifth and final card. Unable to identify the final card, the performer asks the spectator to return the unknown card to the deck being held by the second spectator. The now complete deck is shuffled and then handed to the performer who states that he will memorize the order of the shuffled deck. Running the cards from hand to hand, the performer proceeds to quickly memorize the deck which he then places in his jacket pocket. The performer asks the spectator to call out the name of the fifth card. Plunging his hand into his pocket, the performer quickly removes one card which he holds aloft with the back of the card facing the audience. "Would you be surprised if the card I removed in a matter of seconds is your card?" the performer asks. Before the spectator can respond, the performer turns the card around and everyone sees that it is the spectator's card. The audience applauds an incredible feat of memory!

The performer now removes the balance of the cards from his pocket and after cutting the deck a few times, hands it to a third spectator. While the performer's back is turned the spectator is allowed to freely cut the deck anywhere he wishes and to pocket the top card without looking at it. The spectator then returns the face down deck to the card box which he closes. In addition, rubber bands are placed around the box completely securing the deck inside. The performer places the bound card box on the palm of his outstretched left hand. The box never leaves the audience's sight. The performer explains that the only way he can learn the identity of the card in the spectator's pocket is to astrally project himself inside the card box to determine which card is missing. After a few moments, the performer calls out the name of a playing card. The spectator removes the card from his pocket and it is seen that the performer correctly named the card in the spectator's pocket.

What you will need:

You will need two decks of Aviator playing cards. One of the boxes should be gaffed (the one with the rubber bands around it) and one is not. To begin, remove the rubber bands and examine the front panel of the gaffed Aviator card case. In the lower right hand corner of the case are the words, "poker size playing cards." A 1-1/2" three-sided trapdoor should be cut in the case. On the back of this door a panel of mirrored mylar has been affixed. If you place the card case on the palm of your left hand, with the secret door side down, a slight inward pressure of the flesh at the base of the left thumb will catch the edge of the secret door and enable you to drag it downward. You only have to open the door 1/4" to 1/2" to see a reflection of the index of the bottom card of the deck.

The right hand supports the case from above and the flesh of the left thumb does the dirty work. A quick glance is all it takes to learn the identity of the bottom card of the deck inside the case. (See illustration on the last page of these instructions). Now, replace the two rubber bands around the belly of the card case. Position one of them across the word "PLAYING" and the other across the middle of the word, "AVIATOR" on the front (non-flap side of the card case. This will enable the spectator to handle the box without seeing the secret door.

Stack the deck in the Si Stebbins order. This is a stacking system in which each card in the deck is followed by a card whose value is three higher, while the suits are rotated in a Clubs, Hearts, Spades and Diamonds (CHaSeD) order. For example, when you add "3" to the court cards, you get Jack + 3 equals Ace; Queen + 3 equals Two and King + 3 equals Three. For example, begin with the Ace of Clubs face up on the table. To determine the value and suit of the next card, add 3 to the value (Ace + 3 equals 4) and select the next suit in the "CHaSeD" sequence (Hearts). Place the Four of Hearts face up on the Ace of Clubs. The next card will be the Seven of Spades, followed by the Ten of Diamonds, and so on, until all the cards are used. The final face up card will be the Jack of Diamonds. The next card in the rotation will be the Ace of Clubs which is, of course, the top card of the deck. Thus, the Si Stebbins stack is known as a cyclical stack. The stacked deck can be given any number of complete, single cuts without altering the cyclical order of the cards.

If someone were to give the pack a complete cut and then pocket the top card of the deck, if you learn the identity of the bottom card of the deck you will instantly know which card was pocketed by the spectator. It will, of course, be the next card in the Si Stebbins seq-quence. For example, if you see the Ace of Diamonds on the bottom of the deck, you immediately know the card in the spectator's pocket is the Four of Clubs.

Unlike the original Out of Body, you won't have to learn a false shuffle to convince the audience that the deck is not stacked in any way. The beauty of "Out of Body 2" is the fact that not only do you double the impact by having two climaxes, the routine permits you to do an undetectable in-the-pocket deck switch (*). But first, let's take a look at the first half of the effect designated as "Phase 1" of "What the audience sees!" This is performed using the second deck of Aviator cards that you have been supplied.

This portion of the effect was originally performed by me as a separate effect. It was called, "Psi-Stebbins" and was first published in 1979 in "World of Super Mentalism-Vol. II." To facilitate your understanding of this phase, I have already arranged the deck by stacking only the bottom 13 cards in a special way. In short, through an eliminatgion procedure, you are going to force this 13-card stack on one of the spectators. In the process, the deck will be repeatedly shuffled by you and four members of the audience. (*) Credit Dave Solomon and Roberto Giobbi.

The 13 card stack consists of a mixture of red and black cards and a representation of all four suits. From the bottom of the deck these cards are the JS, QH, 5S, KC, 7D, AC, 10D, 8C, 6D, 4C, 7S, 3H and the 9C. The upper left hand and lower right hand corners of the back of the 12 th card in the stack, the 3H has been marked with small dots. The reason for this is to be able to hand the packet to the first spectator with no dots visible on the back of the top card of the 13 cards stack.

To prepare:

You will only be using the gaffed card case. The deck stacked in the Si Stebbins order is going to initially be horizontally placed, loose, in your left hand jacket pocket. I have cut the deck so the top card is the KC, however, the deck is still in cyclical Si Stebbins order. The bottom of the deck should be facing your body. Also supplied is a laminated card that will be used as a divider to separate the stacked deck from the shuffled, ordinary deck that will eventually be placed in the same pocket. So, place the divider horizontally in your left hand jacket pocket so it is between the bottom card of the deck and your body. The deck containing the 13 card stack on the bottom is placed in the gaffed card case, with the two rubber bands in place as previously described and positioned horizontally in your right hand jacket pocket. You are now ready to rock and roll.

To perform:

Remove the rubber banded card case and deck from your right hand pocket. Open the case and remove the cards placing the empty card case on your table with the half-moon side face up. Approach the audience and display the faces of the cards as you run them from hand to hand. Note that the cards are all different from one another and well mixed. Square the cards and give the deck a riffle shuffle, making sure that you do not disturb the packet of 13 cards on the bottom of the deck.

This is quite easy to do. Simply riffle the end of the deck with your right thumb as you separate approximately the top quarter of the deck, which is held by the right fingers as the left fingers hold the remaining three-quarters of the deck. Riffle shuffle by allowing the bottom 13 + cards of the left hand packet to be riffled off by the left thumb before the two packets are shuffled into one another. This will preserve the bottom 13-20 cards of the deck while the audience will perceive the shuffle to be a legitimate mixing of the cards. Repeat the riffle shuffle and then, commenting that to guarantee that the cards are well mixed, you'll have several members of the audience join in the fun.

You are now going to divide the deck between four members of the audience so they can individually mix their respective packets. To do this, begin to spread the cards at the bottom of the deck. When you spot the dotted card, remove the dotted card and all the cards below it, as well as the card above the dotted card. You are removing the bottom 13 cards of the deck. Again, the reason the dotted card was positioned below the thirteenth card is to prevent the spectator who will receive the packet from noticing a dotted card. Square the 13 card packet and hand it to any spectator to your left.

Continue to spread the deck, cutting off another packet of cards from the bottom approximately the same size as the packet handed to the first spectator. Skip the person to his left and hand this packet to a second spectator, Repeat with two more spectators, dividing the remaining cards between them, making sure there are spectators separating them. The reason you separate the four spectators is to make sure they shuffle only their respective packets. You don't want them swapping cards with one another. Ask the four spectators to thoroughly mix their respective packets. When it is apparent that the cards have been well mixed, collect the packets in any order, just as long as the final 13 card stack is placed on top of the other three packets. Immediately hand the assembled deck to the third spectator from your left.

Now instruct the spectator to deal a Bridge hand, consisting of 13 cards, to the person on his right. Ask the spectator who was dealt the 13 card Bridge hand if the cards are made up of both red and black cards? He'll reply that both are represented. Explain that while your back is turned he is to discard whichever color cards he has less of. In other words, if he has fewer red cards than black, he is to discard the red cards. If he has fewer black cards than red, he is to discard the black cards. The cards he discards are to be returned to the spectator who dealt the cards. (Note: the 13 cards the spectator is dealt will be made up of 5 red cards and 8 black cards, therefore he will discard the red cards).

The performer then asks if the if the spectator is holding more than one suit. When the spectator responds that he is, ask that he discard whichever suit he has less of. (Note: the black cards are made up of 3 spades and 5 club cards, therefore the spectator will discard the three spade cards). At this point the spectator will be holding five cards, supposedly known only to him. They are, of course, the AC, 4C, 8C, 9C and the KC.

As dramatically as possible, proceed to identify four of the five cards held by the spectator, in a staggered numerical order, leaving the KC for last. Feign great difficulty with the final card and state that you will have to deal with the final card in another way. Ask the spectator to return the final card to the deck being held by the second spectator. Ask that the deck be thoroughly shuffled and then handed to you. Announce that you are going to memorize the order of the cards in a matter of seconds. Quickly run the cards from hand to hand, pretending to memorize the order. As soon as you've finished, square the cards and place the deck in your left hand jacket pocket between the divider and your body. At this point, you have the stacked deck with the King of Clubs on top positioned on one side of the divider and the shuffled deck on the other. Now, ask the spectator who is thinking of the fifth and final card to call it aloud. As soon as the spectator says, "The King of Clubs", reach into your left hand jacket pocket and remove the top card (KC) of the outside deck. Remove it from your pocket with the back of the card facing the spectator and the audience. Ask the spectator if he would be surprised if the card you removed from the deck in a matter of seconds is the card he is thinking of? Before the spectator can respond, turn the card so everyone can see that it is, in fact, the King of Clubs. Acknowledge the applause and simultaneously remove the balance of the stacked deck from your pocket. Place the KC back on top and give the deck a single complete cut. The first phase of OOB 2 has been completed. In the process, you have secretly switched decks and are now ready for the second phase. Ask the audience to reward the participating spectators with a warm round of applause. You are still holding the deck of cards and the card case with the rubber bands is on the table.

Phase two:

Invite another spectator to step forward. State that in a moment you are going to ask him to cut the deck. Demonstrate how to give the deck a single complete cut. Hand the cards to the spectator and picking up the card case from the table, move 8 to 10 feet away. Naturally, this is far enough away to prevent you from seeing the backs of the cards (should anyone suspect that perhaps the cards are marked), but close enough to make sure the spectator follows your instructions relative to how he is to cut the deck. Ask the spectator to cut the deck and to complete the cut. Now ask him to remove the top card of the deck and to place it in his pocket without looking at it or allowing anyone else to see what it is.

Turn your back to the spectator and hold the empty card box behind your back half-moon side up as you instruct the spectator to slide the deck, face down into the box. As soon as he has done this, ask that he insert the flap, closing the box. Now, turn and hand the case to the spectator and ask that he hold it up to the light and to confirm that he cannot see through either side of the box. In other words, you explain, the box is totally opaque. This handling is quite strong and totally eliminates any thought that the performer can in any way, see through the box. Now, retrieve the box from the spectator holding it half-moon side up and stating that you will secure the box so it cannot be opened, you remove the lower of the two rubber bands and place it around the box from top to bottom as shown in the illustration.

Immediately place the cased deck on the palm of your upturned left hand. The crossed bands make the box look impenetrable, but don't actually interfere with the opening of the secret door. Patter about attempting an out-of-body experience to astrally project yourself inside the card case in order to determine the identity of the card in the spectator's pocket. It's at this point that you pull down the trapdoor using the fleshy part at the base of the left thumb as shown in the illustration. A quick glance is all it takes to see the reflection of the index of the bottom card of the deck and it's this card that tells you the identity of the card in the spectator's pocket. For example, if you see the reflection of the AD, then the next card in the sequence would be the 4C, the card in the spectator's pocket.

As soon as you have the necessary information, pretend that you are using a complicated mathematical process to flush out the identity of the missing card. tell the audience that what you are about to do is so difficult, the least they can do should you be successful, is to give you a standing ovation. (Note: I always smile when I say this). Explain that you are astrally projecting yourself inside the box totalling the values of the cards in the box. Then you will subtract that amount from 364, add a value of 1 to 4 which you have assigned to each suit and the resulting total reveals to you that the card in the spectator's pocket has to be the 4 of clubs. Request the spectator to remove the card in his pocket and to show it to the audience. It is the 4 of clubs. You'd be surprised how many times the inexplicable revelation under impossible conditions and my little prompt has resulted in the standing ovation that I asked for. Incidentally, the props for this effect already made up are available from me at a reduced price if you purchased these lecture notes. Otherwise, you can make them up for yourself.

An excellent performance video of me performing this effect and many other of my creations is on a two volume video that I did for Mike Maxwell in 1994. Mike sold the rights to Meir Yedid who has just released them in DVD format with bonus footage that I recorded this year (2002).

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The Art Of Cold Reading

The Art Of Cold Reading

Today I'm going to teach you a fundamental Mentalism technique known as 'cold reading'. Cold reading is a technique employed by mentalists and charlatans and by charlatan I refer to psychics, mediums, fortune tellers or anyone that claims false abilities that is used to give the illusion that the person has some form of super natural power.

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