"Casino Royale" was created after seeing David Copperfield perform an effect on one of his television specials that greatly appealed to me. David called it the "Blackboard Illusion." Some time later, Don Wayne marketed a version, credited to Andre Kole, called "Dream Vision." Both the stage and the commercial version enabled the performer to accurately predict actions executed on stage by a spectator, either audibly or visually, on a cloth covered blackboard which was in full view of the audience throughout. I eventually constructed a routine that met the criteria established by the Copperfield effect by changing the working principle from a one-ahead, to three forces. Please note that the method employed here bears no resemblance to the one used in the Copperfield presentation.
"Casino Caper" allowed the performer to predict the outcome of three games of chance, for example, Roulette, Craps and Blackjack. I altered the presentation of "Casino Royale" to enable me to predict the name of the gambling casino the spectator would visit, the amount of money he would wager and the outcome of a hand of Blackjack upon which he had wagered his money. The subterfuge I created to force the name of the casino is one you'll love. Once you've digested the explanation, I think you'll be quick to agree. However, the first few times I publicly performed the effect, I used a pre-show set-up to force the amount of money the spectator elected to wager. You'll soon note that this phase of the effect has been altered. The reason is quite interesting.
Just before showtime, I would approach an amiable looking spectator sitting in the front row and introduce myself as unobtrusively as possible. I chose a spectator in the first row because I could later invite him on stage without alluding to any pre-show contact. I've seen some mentalists invite a spectator on stage to participate in an effect, calling him by name! This is one of the reasons I dislike using pre-show work. In my opinion it immediately triggers a red light of suspicion and/or collusion in the minds of the audience. Therefore, if I can make the selection of a volunteer appear to be extemporaneous, so much the better.
At any rate, I explained that in a few minutes I would invite him (or her) on stage to take an imaginary trip to a gambling casino. In connection with this, I further explained that I would ask him to also make an imaginary wager by removing a quantity of invisible $100 bills from his pocket. However, to ensure that the number of bills he chose to wager was his choice and not influenced in any way by me, I pretended to hand him ten invisible $100 bills. I held out my hand and asked the spectator to think of any number between one and ten and to pretend to count that number of bills one at a time onto the palm of my hand. Naturally, he would then innocently reveal exactly how much he was going to wager by pretending to count the number of bills he had settled on into my extended hand. I would then chuckle and ask him to place the invisible bills back in his pocket until they were needed during the performance.
As soon as I returned backstage, I would print my prediction on a large dry erase board including the spectator's first name and the amount of money he or she was going to wager. The remaining two forces would cover the name of the casino and the outcome of the game of chance. This pre-show activity worked perfectly the first few times I publicly tested the effect, until the night I performed at a well known conference resort in Scottsdale, Arizona.
I selected my pre-show victim in the first row and quickly set him up for the "Casino Royale" effect. He was most cordial and decided to wager $500. I went back stage and proceeded to print my prediction on the display board which I then covered with a black cloth. When the M.C. finished my introduction, I strode through the curtain break and, as my eyes adjusted to the spotlight, I got a royal shock. My volunteer had vanished from the front row. He was nowhere in sight and since I didn't want to call him up by name, I had no choice but to proceed without him.
For some unknown reason, I selected the spectator sitting where my set-up should have been. Apparently I was subconsciously grasping at straws. I asked his name hoping that it would rhyme with "Tim," the name of my would-be volunteer. Unfortunately for me, his name was Walt! One down and three to go. I was beginning to sweat bullets. I asked him to think of a number between one and ten and to remove that many invisible hundred dollar bills from his pocket to represent the amount of money he wished to wager on a game of chance.
Instinctively I decided to go for a timing force to arrive at the required $500. As he counted the invisible bills aloud, I let him reach the count of two before I instructed him to stop any time that he wished. Slowly I began to pull my hand back to subliminally hurry him along. Unfortunately, he got to four and stopped! I was about to slip further down the tube when suddenly I blurted out, "...and one more for good measure," which of course, brought him to the predicted total of $500. Without a doubt, somebody up there was looking out for me. With the exception of the spectator's name, the prediction concerning the casino name, the amount to be wagered and the outcome of the Blackjack hand were right on.
It was following this show that I opted to eliminate any pre-show force in connection with the effect. What I substituted works beautifully and I can once again rest easy. There's no question about it, Murphy's Law is forever lurking in the wings. Notwithstanding what course of action I've taken, the pre-show preparation I formerly used is still a viable one, provided you have a strong stomach and a spectator who sits where he's supposed to.
I honestly believe that the presentation you're about to delve into is one of the finest cabaret or stage effects I've ever created. It's a joy to perform and has become one of the features of my act. If you don't use one other offering from this book, I guarantee that "Casino Royale" could very well become one of the features of your act. It's an effective piece of mentalism that's both entertaining and extremely baffling to the uninitiated. You'll know what I mean the minute you hear the audible gasp from your audience as you reveal the prediction at the climax.
A spectator's invited to take an imaginary trip to a glittering gambling casino in Las Vegas, Reno, Atlantic City, or Monte Carlo. A large glass goblet filled with colorful, genuine casino chips representing over forty world-famous casinos is introduced. The performer displays the chips, removing and reading aloud the names of some of the casinos. The Desert Inn, Caesar's Palace, the Taj Mahal, and the Mirage. Asking if anyone in the audience would like a souvenir, the performer removes a chip from the goblet and tosses it to a spectator in the audience. "Which casino did that come from?," asks the performer. "The Flamingo," responds the spectator. The performer states, "Hang on to that, it's a collector's item. As you probably know, ladies and gentlemen, the Flamingo was the very first major casino to be built in Las Vegas, and we all know who built the Flamingo, don't we? That's right, Warren Beatty." Thanks to the popular movie, "Bugsy," you'll get a nice chuckle with that one.
The performer has the spectator on stage hold the stem of the glass in his left hand and cover the mouth of the goblet with his right. The spectator is then instructed to shake the goblet, randomly mixing the chips. When he's satisfied that they have been well mixed, the spectator is asked to remove any one of the chips and to immediately place it in his right hand jacket pocket without looking at it.
The performer removes a wallet from his jacket pocket and opens it. Extracting a packet of $10 bills, the performer explains that he wants the spectator to randomly divide the packet into two smaller packets, holding an unknown quantity of bills in each hand. As he explains what the spectator is to do, the performer demonstrates by randomly splitting the packet in two, holding a small packet of bills in each hand. The performer then reassembles the two packets of bills and hands them to the spectator.
As soon as the spectator has done as instructed, the performer requests that he hand over either packet to represent the amount of his wager. As the spectator extends one of the packets, the performer takes it and places it back in the wallet. "Do you have any idea how many bills you just handed me" the performer asks. "No," responds the spectator. "Neither do I," says the performer as he hands the wallet to the spectator. "Please keep the wallet in your right hand pocket for safekeeping." The performer then pockets the balance of the bills.
The performer displays a deck of playing cards and removes them from the case. As the cards are fanned, the performer points out that the deck consists of fifty-two separate and distinct personalities. Reassembling the cards, the performer hands the deck to the spectator. "Please begin to deal the cards face-up, one at a time, in a pile on the table," asks the performer. As the spectator begins to deal, the performer states that he may stop dealing at any time he wishes. When the spectator stops, the performer requests that he place the card that he stopped on, face-down alongside of the pile of cards already dealt. Again, the spectator is instructed to continue dealing cards face-up on the pile until he again has an urge to stop. When the spectator stops dealing, the performer requests that the card where the spectator stopped be placed face-up on the face-down card adjacent to the pile.
The performer now explains that the spectator has just visited a world famous gambling casino selected from an absolutely free choice of fifty, wagered an unknown amount of money by randomly choosing a quantity of $10 bills and dealt himself a Blackjack hand, selecting the cards that he wanted in the fairest way possible, by dealing the cards face-up. Turning to the spectator, the performer asks him to remove the casino chip that he randomly selected moments before, and to read aloud the name of the casino imprinted on the chip. The spectator does so and calls out, "Harrah's Casino." The performer asks the spectator to remove and hand over the wallet in his pocket.
Opening the wallet, the performer asks the spectator to remove the packet of bills placed there earlier. The spectator is now requested to count the bills aloud onto the performer's outstretched palm. For example, the spectator counts off eight $10 bills, a total of $80. Now, the performer asks the spectator to total the Blackjack hand that he dealt himself. The spectator checks the two cards on the table and announces that his hand totals 20!
"Wouldn't it be amazing if somehow, I knew in advance exactly how this story would end?" the performer inquires. Moving to a cloth covered display board on an tripod easel, the performer flips back the cloth. "Please read aloud what's printed on that board," the performer asks the spectator. The spectator does so and states, "I visited Harrah's Hotel and Casino, wagered exactly $80.00 on one hand of Blackjack, which I won with a score of 20!" If that doesn't earn you a strong round of applause, then it's time to take up stamp collecting.
If you've previously read "Casino Caper" detailed elsewhere in this book, then the last part of the prophecy will come as no surprise. The total of the Blackjack hand is forced! If you are familar with the Himber Wallet, then the secret of the second part of the prediction will also be deduced; the amount of money the spectator wagers is forced. What makes this routine so effective is the unique force employed in the selection of the casino chip. Believe it or not, all but one of the forty multicolored chips in the goblet come from Harrah's, but they're all different from one another. The lone remaining chip comes from the Flamingo Hotel and Casino. From a distance of a just a couple of feet, the chips in the goblet will look as if they come from a variety of casinos because of the difference in color, design and denomination of each chip.
I first discovered the fact that casino chips are changed from time to time in order to prevent or discourage counterfeiting while attending a Coin Show in Long Beach, California. One of the token dealers participating in the bourse specialized in casino chips. In other words, previous years chips are considered a collector's item and as such, are sold at premium prices to collectors of chips and tokens. After examining his collection, I purchased a dozen Harrah's chips, all different from one another in color, design and denomination. But, this was just the beginning. Several weeks later, I discovered a classified advertisement in the Numismatic News. The advertiser was Deb's Gaming Tokens, P.O. Box 6445, Burbank, CA 91505. This dealer specializes in Casino Chips, Gaming Tokens and Casino Collectibles. I immediately stuffed $2 in an envelope and wrote for a catalog. I canvassed the catalog for additional Harrah's chips and struck the mother lode; a total of 24 additional chips, all different from one another. A trip to Atlantic City and the Harrah's Casino there, added a few more which made a total of 40 chips from Harrah's Hotel and Casino.
I then wrote to friend Terry Nosek who lives in Las Vegas and asked Terry to procure twenty $1.00 chips from any casino in Vegas. As luck would have it, Terry visited the Flamingo Hilton, Bugsy's place, to pick up a supply of my giveaway chips. Everything had fallen into place. The final force was complete and I even had a gag line thanks to Terry randomly selecting the Flamingo Hilton.
That's the good news. The bad news is assembling the chips cost me several hundred dollars. Believe me, once you've performed this beauty, the money it costs you will be more than well worth it. Be sure to check the catalogs carefully to find a force casino that has a sufficient number of chips available to eventually fill a large goblet. Unfortunately, I've recently been informed by the proprietor of Deb's that they're winding down the operation and liquidating their collection. Notwithstanding the demise of this dealer, you can find other dealers specializing in tokens and casino chips at major coin and stamp shows throughout the United States. Consult such publications as Numismatic News, c/o Krause Publications,
700 East State Street, Iola, WI 54990 or Coin World for information on upcoming shows.
Naturally, as previously stated, you'll need as many different chips as you can assemble, each with the name of the same casino on them. You'll also need a quantity of $1.00 chips from the Flamingo Hilton to use as the souvenir chip detailed in the description of this effect (please don't write to Terry Nosek). "Sue's Las Vegas Chip & Tokenry," 521 South Maryland Parkway, Suite A-6, Las Vegas, NV 89101 - phone: 702-385-1187, will supply them at a cost of $2.00 per chip. Please note there is a 20 token minimum.) Also required are large water goblet (mine is fashioned from heavy plastic), a Himber Wallet, a total of 28 ten dollar bills (use dollar bills if this has been a slow year), and an unprepared deck of playing cards. To display the prediction, I use a large dry erase board on an easel.
Print your prediction in bold letters on the dry erase board, substituting the name of your force casino. Fasten a black cloth to the top edge of the board so that it'll hang down and cover the prediction. Place eight (8) $10 bills in one side of the Himber Wallet and the remaining twenty (20) bills in the other side. If you're David Copperfield, you can use $100 bills.
Put your force chips in the large goblet with the giveaway "Flamingo" chip resting on top. You'll also have to stack the deck of playing cards as explained in the previous effect, "Casino Caper." In other words, from the top down, place three spot cards under the value of 10. Then, begin alternating the next 31 cards between cards with a value of 10 in a game of Blackjack; i.e. the Tens, Jacks, Queens and Kings, and the remaining low spot cards. Be sure not to include any Aces as alternating cards. The Aces should be spread among the remaining 18 cards, close to the bottom of the deck to prevent the spectator from accidentally selecting two cards with a total of "21." To sum it up, every other card in the stack (below the top three cards) has a value of 10.
Not once since I began performing this piece several years ago has a spectator noticed anything out of the ordinary while dealing the cards face-up on the table, primarily because you do not mention the game of Blackjack until after the cards have been dealt. Replace the cards in the case and you're all set to go.
The easel should be positioned center stage, approximately three feet behind you (assuming you're standing at the microphone). Naturally, the prediction is covered by the black cloth. The Himber Wallet should be in your inside left hand jacket pocket. The deck of cards should be placed in your right hand jacket pocket. The goblet, filled with chips as previously described is placed on your side table. My table is to my right, about a foot behind me.
Invite a spectator to join you on an imaginary trip to a world famous gambling casino. If possible, have this spectator selected in a manner that precludes any possibility of collusion, such as turning your back to the audience and tossing a knotted napkin over your shoulder. Follow the routine as described under "THE EFFECT." Naturally as you remove chips (any except the Flamingo Hilton chip) from the goblet, you miscall the name of the casino on each chip to give the illusion that they're all different. Don't worry about the spectator to your right. He won't be close enough to see anything.
After you've removed and replaced three or four chips, ask if anyone wants a souvenir. Pick up the Flamingo Hilton chip and toss it to someone in the audience as a souvenir. When the spectator who catches it calls out the name on the chip as the Flamingo Hilton, it will help to later reinforce the fact that the chips in the goblet are all different. As soon as you have delivered the "Warren Beatty" gag, hand the goblet to the spectator after explaining that you want him to shake up the chips in the goblet. Have him turn his head away so that he won't be influenced in any way. (This also keeps him from examining the chips too closely.) Ask him to remove and pocket any chip in the goblet. Retrieve the goblet when he has done so. The first force is complete.
Place the goblet on the side table and remove the Himber Wallet from your inside jacket pocket. Take out the 20 bills and leaving the wallet open, place it under your right arm (this will help you remember which side of the wallet to which you should return the bills). Fan the bills briefly and then square them up. Casually split the packet into two unequal portions, holding one packet in each hand, as you explain what you want the spectator to do. When he has done as you have instructed, ask him to hand you either packet to place in the wallet. Insert the packet of bills in the wallet and close same before handing it to the spectator to place in his pocket.
Remove the deck of cards from your pocket. Remove the cards and after displaying them as previously described, hand the deck to the spectator. Place the empty card box on top of the tabled goblet. This will help prevent the spectator from glancing down into the goblet.
Have the spectator begin dealing the cards face-up in a pile on the table. After he has dealt two or three cards, instruct him that he can "stop the deal at any time that he wishes." Do not ask him to stop on any card! When he does choose to stop, the face-up card on the table will either be a 10-value card or a spot card lower than a 10. If it's a card with a value of 10, have him place "his" card face-down adjacent to the pile. (You're beginning to create the look of a Blackjack hand). If the card showing is not a 10-value card, you know the next card on top of the undealt portion of the deck will be. In this case, have the spectator deal the next card facedown adjacent to the pile, as his first card. Either way, you have forced the spectator to deal himself a face-down card with a value of 10 Ask the spectator to continue dealing the cards face-up, one at a time, on the pile. Have him stop at any time that he wishes and using the same scam as just described, force the spectator to deal himself another card with a value of 10.
This time, have the card placed face-up on the previously dealt face-down card. Naturally, the value of the two "freely" selected cards will be 20. At this point you could ask the spectator to check the total of his two cards and inquire as to whether or not he'd like to "hit" his hand. Obviously, with a total of 20, he won't, unless he's never played Blackjack before. If that possibility makes you nervous just leave well enough alone when he's dealt himself two cards that total 20.
Incidentally, many times I have allowed the spectator to alternately deal two hands of Blackjack, one for him and one for me. This is actually quite easy to do. Have him select the first card for himself, placing it face-down as previously described. Then, have him continue dealing face-up until he wishes to stop. When he does so, you'll have to direct which card he is to deal face-down for you on the other side of the pile of dealt cards. A quick glance will indicate which of the two possible choices, the top card of the deck or the face-up card just dealt, you should receive as your first card.
Let's assume the card just dealt has a value under ten. In this case, have him place that card face-down to one side as your first card. If the last card dealt face-up has a value of 10, then have the top card of the deck (which will automatically have a value less than 10) dealt face-down to one side as your first card. In either case, this will guarantee that he will end up with the winning hand, since your hand will have to total less than twenty.
Have the spectator continue dealing the cards face-up on the large pile until he has the urge to stop. Now, depending on where the 10 value card is (on top of the deck or the last card dealt) have him deal it to himself face-up as his second card. Now, all that remains is to have him continue the deal until he wishes to stop. At this point, have the last card dealt face-up as your second card. Since your first card had a value under 10, the value of this card makes no difference. Naturally, the spectator will always beat you with his score of twenty. Since you have over 30 cards in the stacked portion of the deck, you'll have plenty of cards from which to select the two hands. If, for any reason, the spectator is dealing too many cards in between each selection, hurry him along with comments like, "Today!" or "Take your time. I get paid by the minute."
Recap what has transpired. Have the spectator call out the name on his freely selected casino chip. Have him remove the wallet and hand it to you. Open the wallet to the side containing your eight $10 bills and have the spectator remove and count them aloud.
(Note: For many years I've used a simple idea to enable me to immediately identify each side of a Himber Wallet. Since my wallet is fashioned from black leather. I simply affixed a small black vinyl letter "L" to the lower right hand corner of one side of the wallet and a small black vinyl "B" in the lower right hand corner of the reverse side. These half-inch vinyl letters are available in any office or art supply store. In other words, I monogram the wallet in a way that cannot be seen from a few feet away and is meaningless to the person handling the wallet. However, it's like having a neon sign to let me know which side of the wallet is which.)
Finish by having the spectator turn over the face-down and face-up pair of cards he dealt himself and call aloud the total of his Blackjack hand. Note, this is the first time that you refer to the two freely selected cards as a Blackjack hand. Of course, if you've decided to have two hands dealt, have him call out the total of each hand.
Immediately uncover the board and have the spectator read aloud what is printed on it as you hold the microphone so the audience can hear what he's saying. You'll get a big round of applause when the audience realizes that you have accomplished an impossibility. When I performed this effect for the distinguished gathering of magicians at Bob Weill's 1991 "Inn Event," a well known magician was heard to exclaim, "Oh no!" as I began to uncover the display board. It's a real gasper. The beauty of "Casino Royale" is its utter simplicity. It's so easy to perform, but don't let that stop you from practicing the routine until it flows as smooth as silk. Believe me, this is a Killer effect! Milk it for all it's worth. If the spectator happens to ask for his $80 winnings, having won the hand of Blackjack, remind him that the trip was imaginary.
s your definition of a good mental effect?
er to that question. One man's meat is a er man's poison. However, a good mental effect should employ as lime visible apparatus as possible. Thai doesn't ,
.Excerpt from Vibrations interview with Robert L. Bluemle mean that you shouldn t strive to create eye appeal, because it is important to give your audience something to look at. This would include colorful E.S.P. designs, a large easel on which impressions are written, or interesting but essential properties such as travel folders or celebrity photographs. Items such as these are an integral part of the presentation, but an interesting or entertaining feast for the eyes as well.
More important, the effect must be easy for the audience to comprehend, In other words, your audience must have a crystal clear idea of what you're attempting to do and should be able to stay with you until it's done.
Naturally, the effect should also be extremely direct, enigmatic and as entertaining as possible.
I knew when I wrote to Richard Osterlind requesting an effect for this book, I would receive something special. When I received his contribution I was surprised to see that Richard had developed a variation on one of my favorite effects, "Some Total," for use on radio talk shows. Following the performance of the effect on a local radio talk show, Richard reported that on the way home he heard caller after caller on his car radio contacting the station to rave about the unbelievable psychic feat they had just heard. It's that effect that Richard is about to disclose. Richard writes:
This is one effect that I have found invaluable for radio talk shows, because it allows the spectators listening at home to take part in the effect and be as amazed as the radio host is. (Anyone who has witnessed David Copperfield's interactive TV trickery can attest to that.) It is of course, based upon Larry Becker's "Some Total," but with some modifications for use on radio. All that you'll need to perform it are a pen and some blank business or index cards.
Prepare two cards as shown below. Notice that all the columns in card (B) add up to either 11 or 21. You should make up a number of these using different numbers for each so that your secret will never be discovered. Also note that card (A) matches card (B) with the exception of the blank spaces which have been filled in with random numbers and the line drawn under the column of figures on card (B).
It's important to remember that, when working a radio show, it's possible to get away with murder. The host usually has his hands full with running the program and having all the commercial cartridges ready to play at the right times. His attention to you, therefore, will be constantly interrupted, allowing you to make moves which he has no chance of seeing. The listening audience, on the other hand, will assume that everything they hear is being verified by the host whom they have grown to trust for many years. My friend, Steve Shaw, has produced a set of audio tapes called, "Radio Magic," which illustrate the in's and out's of this type of work. These tapes are available from "Magic Inspirations," 14506 Silver Lace Lane, Houston, TX 77070. If, however, you're still faint of heart after reading these instructions, rest assured that you can still perform the effect using Larry's
Let's assume that you are seated opposite the host of the program and that you have already startled him and his listening audience with some earlier effects. You now explain that you want to try a very difficult test that will involve five callers and everyone at home. A mathematical problem with one solution out of a million possibilities. Instruct everyone listening to get a pencil and a fairly large piece of paper in order to participate. This makes an excellent time for your host to go into a commercial so as not to have any dead time.
When you return to the air, most listeners will be ready to take part at home. Instruct the host that you will need five listeners at home to call in. The host has the option of accepting or rejecting any caller that he might think is a set-up or a plant. As the calls begin to ring, you first show the host, card (A) and explain that this is a problem which you hope to solve with the help of his callers. Do not be afraid to show the card openly. You might even begin to read off the top line of numbers (notice that card (B) does not have any missing numbers in the top two lines), but before you go to far, stop and say that you don't want to influence any of the choices that are about to be made. With that, you place the card face up, but turned upside down toward the host somewhere on the counter between you and the host. It should be close enough to you so that it's possible to reach over and pick it up when you need it.
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25815 37123 27 1 1 43 35 42
Later, the audience will remember that the card was sitting on the table the entire time. Of course, the card being some distance from the host and being upside down, will prevent him from being able to read it. You will also keep him busy with other duties so there is nothing to worry about. If he should make an effort to read it, simply explain that it is your prediction and that he is not allowed to see it yet. Then, turn the card face-down.
You should have the rest of the cards in your hands with card (B) on top. This stack is held in such a way as to prevent the host from seeing the top card. Hand him a blank card from the bottom of the stack and move another from the bottom and place it on top of your own stack. State that, since the solution to the problem is one in a million, the host should write the number "1" on his card. You do likewise and tell the audience at home to do the same.
(Note: Hold the card on which you're writing perpendicular to the rest of the stack. This will expose enough of card (B) to fill-in the missing numbers.)
Speak to the first caller and verify that he or she is not a plant and has no idea what is about to happen. Have that person call out any single digit over "1" (this ensures that the digit will be "2" or higher). Let's say the caller chooses the number "4." Quickly write down the number next to the "1" on your card and show it to the host. Have him do the same on his card as you also instruct the home audience do likewise on their own paper. As the host and the audience are doing this, you have ample time and cover to fill-in the first blank space in column one of card (B) (the real prediction) with the number "3." In other words, you are subtracting "1" from the digit called out by the spectator at home. Look at the illustration of card (B). The numbers above of the card denote the columns. Notice in the first column on the left, the third number down is missing. This is where you fill-in the number "3."
Remember that you're sort of one ahead with the host. You show him the way to write the number and while he is busy doing that, you fill-in the prediction number . Also, you have to allow the audience at home time to write down their number as well. This gives you all the time in the world to do your dirty business.
Thank the caller and have the host move on to the second caller. Once again verify that he or she is not a stooge. As with the first caller, have this person call out any number from "1" through "9." At this point, there are no restrictions on the number selected. For example, the spectator chooses, "9." As before, tell the audience and the host to write this number adjacent to the first two. You do likewise, double-writing an "8" in the blank spot in column two, fourth from the top (9-1=8). The callers have now created (with your help on the first digit) the number 149.
The third caller is asked to call out any digit over "1" to force a selection of "2" or higher, i.e., "7." As the host writes this digit down, you double write, entering the numeral "6" (7-1=6) in the blank space in the third column. The fourth caller is asked to call aloud any number over "1." The fifth caller is asked to call out any number between "1" and "9." This restricts the selection from "2" through "8." In each instance, you first write the digit on the top card, and again, minus "1," in the blanks on card(B).
Let's say the fourth and fifth callers have selected an "8" and a "2." Naturally, you have filled-in a "7" and a "1" in columns four and five. At this point, have everyone, at home and in the studio, place a comma between the first three digits and the last three digits. Five callers have randomly created one number in a million: 149,782.
Here's where the only sleight of hand takes place. Pick up the card you placed down earlier, card (A), and bring it to the stack in your hand. Draw a line under the column of figures, duplicating the line already drawn on card (B), to indicate that a total is needed. Drawing the line is the justification for picking up the card. It is during this procedure that you switch card (A) with card (B). The mechanics are simple.
Tilt the packet towards yourself, slide the top card (A) down towards you, exposing the end of card (B). Do a deliberate second deal by taking the now exposed card (B) with the right thumb and fingers and place it on the table or counter in front of the host. Mention that you earlier placed a card on the table and that you would like the host to pick it up and slowly read aloud the five numbers written on it. The misdirection is so strong that you can take all the time you need. Microphones, tape cartridges, and plenty of papers will be obstructing his view so there's no need to run when you aren't being chased. After all, the card has been in full view all along, so there's no reason to suspect foul play, especially if the card has been lying there face up. Also, you will be explaining that the numbers on the card are a series of five, 5-digit numbers that should be recorded one under the other to enable everyone at home and in the studio to total them in a few moments. This enables you to cover your moves within the explanation to the host as to how he is to relate these numbers to the home audience. This is one of the beautiful aspects of this routine
The host has the job of both dealing with you and the callers from home. He has to interpret what you are saying to him as well as conveying instructions to his audience. You will find in actual practice that you will have about three times as much time as necessary to accomplish your moves. When you pick up card (A) and switch it for card (B), the host will still be talking about the 6-digit number that you have formed with the callers. He will still be on the phone with the fifth caller and may be asking why he or she selected the number they did. When you ask the host to pick up the card (after you've made the switch) the audience will assume that you never touched the card and the host just picked it up himself. You can even mention that the card has been in full view since the moment you began.
As the host reads aloud the 5-digit numbers so the audience at home can copy them down, you casually place the stack of cards in your pocket. You're clean and the effect hasn't even begun yet. Remember to keep the last caller on the line so he can take part in the next phase also. Ask the host and everyone at home to add up the column of five, 5-digit numbers. Sometimes the home caller will finish first and react over the air. When this happens, it sounds so sweet to have them say something like, "I don't believe it!" on the air. I've been told by people afterward what a thrill it was to add up the numbers and see that they match the number created by the callers phoning in. It's radio magic at its best and I can thank Larry Becker for the effect in the first place.
In his last two TV Specials, David Copperfield has done a "do-it-at-home" magic trick where you touch the screen. This interactive effect has met with tremendous success despite the fact that if you record the show and play it back a few times you will quickly see that the effects are mathematical and always work.
In this effect, because you staggered the placement of the numbers on card (B), no amount of examination will ever reveal the secret. Good luck with "Radio Some Total" and I hope you get the kind of results it has brought me.
What a dynamite improvement over the original version. Thanks Richard. There have been few effects revealed over the years for performing mentalism on radio. This has to be one of the finest and most baffling ever devised. If the reader is looking for an absolute miracle effect for use on radio, this is it.
The performer tells of the beautiful Lucrezia Borgia, who lived in Italy about five hundred years ago and was said to have dispatched many victims with a bit of poison secreted in a compartment under the stone in her ring. The performer explains that while Lucrezia was renowned as lethal mixologist, few knew that she was also a psychic. With that bit of background, the performer announces that he intends to resurrect the spirit of Lucrezia Borgia by hypnotizing a member of the audience.
A young lady is invited to participate in the demonstration and after apparently casting a hypnotic spell over his volunteer, the performer tells the volunteer that before her are six invisible crystal goblets of wine resting on an invisible table. Five contain deadly poison, the performer continues, while the sixth contains a perfectly safe and delectable Italian wine, circa 1500, and just right for drinking. The hypnotized spectator is reminded that she is now, indeed, the resurrected spirit of Lucrezia Borgia and is capable, utilizing her psychic ability, of determining which of the goblets of wine aren't poisoned.
At this point, the spectator eliminates five of the six imaginary goblets. As the spectator eliminates each goblet by number, the performer uses a hammer to smash the goblet and dumps the pieces into a paper bag. The audience can see the hammer, but not the goblets; they can actually hear the glass shattering! To prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the young lady has correctly identified the one goblet that is safe to drink (for example, goblet number four), the performer reveals that there is a message engraved in the surface of the silver tray.
The spectator is handed the tray and asked to read the message aloud. The engraved message states, "Congratulations Lucrezia. Goblet number four does not contain the poison."
Following the tumultuous applause by the audience, the performer awakens the spectator from her hypnotic state. As he calls for a round of a round of applause for her participation in the demonstration, he pretends to hand her the remaining invisible goblet of wine as a souvenir of the occasion.
You will need the novelty item known as the "Crazy Hammer," which is sold in magic and novelty shops. This plastic replica of a hammer has a sound effects device built into it that creates the sound of breaking glass when you swing the hammer and stop short. The jerking motion at the end of the swing activates the sound device.
You will also need a paper bag constructed of paper stiff enough to enable the bag to stand alone when opened and placed on a table. I acquired mine at a Hallmark Card Shop. It was a small coated paper shopping bag. I simply cut off the cord handles and used it as is. Also needed is a small silver plated tray, engraved as outlined in the description of the "effect" above. My tray is approximately 7" in diameter and was purchased in a shop that sells articles suitable for engraving. Naturally, for a price they engrave any item in the store.
In the event you cannot find a silver plated tray as described, a plastic or wooden tray will suffice but will have to be prepared differently from the engraved tray. An 8 1/2" x 11" piece of parchment-like paper rounds out the items required to perform this entertaining piece of mentalism.
Using a label maker (or similar device and if none is available, use a piece of paper 1/4" wide x 4 1/2" long). Fashion a prediction that reads, "Goblet no. 2 does not contain poison!" Affix or glue this prediction to the side of the hammer directly above the three embossed battery images. Next, have the silver plated tray engraved on its upper surface as follows: "Congratulations Lucrezia, goblet number four does not contain poison!" Finally, on the parchment-like paper, print the following prediction: "Congratulations Lucrezia, goblet number six does not contain poison!"
In the event you cannot obtain the proper type of silver plated tray to have engraved, utilize any tray approximately 7" in diameter. Use a label maker or an adhesive backed label suitably inscribed with the necessary prediction, and affix it to the bottom of the tray.
Open the paper bag which measures, when fully opened, 8 1/2" wide x 10 1/2" tall x 4 1/2" at the sides. Place the quarter-folded parchment prediction in the bottom of the bag. Place the tray inside the bag on its edge with the prediction side facing away from the audience's view. Place the hammer in the bag with the prediction side of the hammer facing away from the audience's view. Prior to your performance, have the bag on your table, with the proper non prediction side facing the audience. Just before you go on, switch the hammer's on-off switch at the base of the handle to "on."
Follow the description of the effect as outlined, selecting a lady from the audience to assist you. Pretend to hypnotize her by having her close her eyes as you state that when she opens her eyes, she will be the reincarnation of Lucrezia Borgia. Have her open her eyes as you snap your fingers. After describing the six invisible goblets (numbered one thru six for purposes of identification) and table, remove the tray from the paper bag. Your helper should be on one side of you and your table with the paper bag on it, on the other.
Hold the tray in the hand furthermost from the lady so she cannot see the engraving. Naturally, if the prediction is glued to the bottom of the tray you only have to keep it hidden from the audience's view. Tell her that to speed things up, she's to call out "odd" or "even." If she chooses odd, pretend that you're picking up goblets one, three and five and are placing them on the tray. Take the hammer from the bag and deliver a well aimed blow at the position above the tray where the three imaginary goblets have been placed. Stop your swing abruptly and the sound of breaking glass will be heard. Allow the audience a moment to react as they will be surprised to hear the sound. Now, pretend to dump the broken glass into the bag.
Depending on which type of tray you use, make sure the audience doesn't see the prediction surface. Continue by stating that this leaves goblets two, four and six. Have the spectator freely select the next goblet to be destroyed. Repeat the action of destroying the goblet selected by the spectator. Ask her to select one more goblet to be eliminated and do likewise. The freedom of the elimination process makes it very fair in the eyes of the audience.
If the spectator calls out, "even", the process is just as fair. State that she is now to make her final choice. "Which of the three even numbered goblets do you wish to select? Number two, number four or number six?" For example, she selects number four. Proceed to place imaginary goblets one, two and three on the tray and then "destroy" them. Place goblets number five and six and repeat the destruction. In either case, depending upon which of the three limited choice goblets the spectator has selected, you can produce the proper prediction to prove that the young lady (Lucrezia) does, in fact, possess psychic powers.
For number two, hand her the hammer and have her read aloud the prediction on the handle. As she does this, you dump the tray into the bag. When number four is chosen, hand her the tray and have her read aloud the prediction engraved or affixed to the tray. In similar fashion, dump the hammer into the bag.
If number six is selected, have the spectator reach into the bag and remove the folded piece of parchment which she is to open and read aloud to the audience. As she does this, you get rid of both the tray and the hammer in the bag. Finish as described under the "THE EFFECT."
In my second book, "Mentalism for Magicians," I revealed an interesting effect that utilized a battery operated card shuffler. The make that I recommended was manufactured by Hoyle, and I've been using mine for over 10 years. Briefly, by using the card shuffler to eliminate the possibility that the cards can somehow be manipulated, the performer establishes a "Test Conditions" scenario. In the original, the force cards, usually five in number, were placed face-up inside the shuffler's removable drawer.
The pack was split into two halves which were placed face-up in the two trays on top of the unit. In the act of showing how the spectator is to activate the shuffler, i.e., pressing on a bar that starts the rollers spinning, the performer actually allows a few cards to be shuffled into the interior drawer on top of the five force cards, disguising the fact that the force cards were already there. The spectator can now be allowed to press the bar until all of the cards in the two trays have been shuffled together. When the pack is removed and turned face-down, the force stack will be on top of the mechanically shuffled deck.
Over the years, I've heard a few self-styled experts state that the use of a battery operated card shuffler is suspect. Give me a break. Of course, these same critics wouldn't think twice about using a multi-colored box decorated with Chinese lettering. The truth of the matter is, anytime you can use an unprepared object which has not been specifically manufactured to perform a feat of magic or mentalism, you're practicing the most sophisticated form of deception.
After the book was published I devised a devilish idea that allowed me to repeat the automatic shuffle by the machine. In fact, the shuffler is handed out for examination after the first shuffle and with no further preparation, the pack is shuffled again by the machine, and the force stack will still be in place on top of the shuffled deck. It is this repeat feature that is so sneaky!
To begin, you can use just about any climax that you want, but for the sake of this example, let's suppose you want to force five playing cards in a known order. In your pocket you have five prediction envelopes in the same order as the force cards. To prepare, place the five force cards, face-up in the removable drawer on the side of the shuffler. The remainder of the deck is boxed and placed on the table in front of the card shuffler.
You begin by removing the cards from the case and fanning them so the audience can see that they are all different. State that you could shuffle the cards (as you say this, actually shuffle the pack), however, perhaps there are some in the audience who might suspect that you can somehow manipulate the cards. You continue by stating that you could also have someone in the audience shuffle the cards. As you say this, hand the pack to a member of the audience and have him or her shuffle the cards. After he has started to shuffle the cards, say, "Thank you Uncle. But," you continue, "perhaps there are some of you who might think this gentleman is in collusion with me." Retrieve the pack and dramatically announce that there is one infallible way to have the pack shuffled under test conditions. Pick up the card shuffler and show it as you explain that it is a battery operated card shuffler made by the Hoyle Playing Card Co.
Return the shuffler to the table. Cut the pack into two halves and place one half face-up in each of the two trays on the opposite ends of the shuffler. Pick up the shuffler and state that the deck will now be automatically shuffled. Press the activator bar and the cards will begin to be shuffled as they are alternately pulled into the machine by the rollers. The face-up pack has now been shuffled on top of the five face-up cards you previously placed in the drawer. Remove the drawer and extract the pack. Place the shuffler on the table momentarily.
Fan the cards and allow the audience to see that the cards are all different and well shuffled. Put the pack on the table and once again pick up the shuffler. Walk over to the spectators in the first row and allow them to freely examine the card shuffler. Make sure if they remove the tray, that it is replaced. Place the shuffler on the table and pick up the deck. Once again, cut the pack into two halves, placing the original top half of the deck face-up in the left hand tray and the bottom half of the pack face-up in the right hand tray.
Read this carefully: Pick up the shuffler in the left hand. The left thumb should rest on top of the right rear corner of the raised center portion of the shuffler. Tilt the front edge of the shuffler slightly upward as you begin to walk towards the first row of spectators. Simultaneously, allow the left thumb to slip down from its perch on the right rear portion of the raised center section, so that it rests on top of the card packet in the right hand tray. Press your thumb down and maintain the pressure on top of the cards as you state that you want someone in the audience to activate the shuffler.
As you say this, as if to demonstrate, use the right forefinger and press the activator bar. The pressure of the left thumb on the right hand packet prevents any of its cards from entering the shuffler. Only the bottom cards of the left hand tray (your five card stack) will be pulled into the machine. Just allow a few cards, at least 7 or 8, to enter the machine, then remove your right forefinger from the bar, and simultaneously allow the left thumb to slip back on top of the raised center section. By this time you will have reached someone in the front row. Allow them to press the activator bar to complete the shuffling process. Your five card stack will once again be on top of the pack after it is removed and turned face-down. State that there is absolutely no question that the cards have been thoroughly and repeatedly shuffled by both man and machine. Hand the pack to a spectator and have them deal five cards, face-down, in a row on the table. Ask the spectator to eliminate four of the five cards. Since you know the order of the five card force stack, you'll immediately know which card is left. Remove the proper envelope from your pocket and hand it to the spectator to be read before you have the freely selected card turned face-up and shown. Your prediction is right on the money.
CAUTION: The condition of the playing cards will often vary, depending on the age and the amount of usage they've been subjected to. For instance, older cards tend to stick together, while a new pack is extremely slippery. I've found one bit of advance preparation that seems to ensure that the required packet of cards is pulled into the shuffler in the correct order during the second machine shuffle. Remember, during the initial shuffle, the stack is already in the tray. During the second shuffle, the half containing the stack is immobilized. At this point, you must be sure that the cards are pulled into the shuffler in order.
To do this, before my performance and prior to placing the required stack in the drawer, I put a healthy crimp (a lengthwise upper bend) in the face-up packet. This seems to ensure that the cards will be drawn into the shuffler in the order they were originally stacked. The crimp is quite easy to hide while the pack is held in the hand by exerting a slight pressure on the pack. After the shuffle, the concave nature of the stacked packet also makes it easy to see whether or not the required cards are on top of the pack.
Try this out a few times and you'll see what I mean. Naturally, few things in life are infallible, but this procedure seems to do the trick practically every time. If a precise order of the stack does not have to be maintained, then this is about as close to infallible as you could want. To be absolutely certain that the cards are in the proper order, as soon as you remove the pack from the shuffler, following a control of the stacked half-pack, fan the cards as if to show the audience that the cards are well mixed. As you do this, check the order of the top few cards of the pack. If the cards are not in the proper order, at least you have an opportunity to reset before proceeding with your effect since, in all likelihood, only one or two cards at most will be out of order.
Experiment with different brands of cards. I've used a brand new pack of Hoyle brand cards and the cards require no crimping to work perfectly. A little experimentation will determine the procedure best for you. There are many uses for this diabolical procedure for controlling a force stack, even though the pack is shuffled by both man and machine. Just use your imagination.
At the publication time of this book, the proper type of shuffler is available from Johnson Smith Company, 4514-19th St., Court East, P.O. Box 25500, Bradenton, FL 34206-5500. For 24 hour credit card orders, phone (813) 747-2356. The item is #4745 Card Shuffler @ $16.95 plus $4.95 shipping & handling. Phone for additional information and availability. Requires two (2) "C" batteries.
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