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| BEWILDERING BLOCKS with a Sucker Finish |

Preliminary: Whatever the potential effect of the "Bewildering Blocks", the trick is based upon too obvious a device; namely, an extra block concealed in the tube. In performances of the intimate type, the magician is too often asked to show the tube, at embarrassing moments, and even a smooth routine may not satisfy the wiser spectators. This, plus the need of a surprise finish, has led to the following oreation, which may well be termed the "Sucker Block Trick'

Effects Three blocks, red,white and blue, are drooped into a tube. The tube is turned over, making the order blue, red and white, but when the tube is lifted, the blocks are just as they were before: red, white and blue.

The effect la repeated, perhaps with slight variations, and about the time the spectators think there Is another block In the tube, they are assured on that point, as they begin to hear It click and thump. Hearing talk about an "extra1 block, the magician says, "Well do It with two", and takes away the red. But the spectators don't mean the red, so he offers to take away the blue and then the white. Finally realising that they mean none of the three blocks, after he has passed them for examination, the performer recognizee that people are talking about a "block In the tube". He agrees that there Is something in the tube.

Lifting the tube, he lets the "something" drop. It proves to be a silver ball, which he says, has nothing to do with the trick, but was simply put in the tube to make it harder. He gives both ball and tube for examination along with the blocks, and leaves the audience really bewildered.

Properties: Two faked blocks, both alike. Bach has three red sides, all adjacent, and three blue sides, all adjacent. One block, set with a red corner toward the audience, and a red side on top, appears to be red. The other, set with a blue corner toward the audience, and a blue side on top, appears to be blue. This is on the old and well-known principle that only three sides of a block can be seen at one time.

Also: An unprepared white block. A tube about the height of five blocks. A ball, painted sliver, that fits neatly Into the tube. Two extra blocks: one all red, one all blue, each in a coat pocket. (Stage variation of this further on). The blocks are stacked on the table, white on top of the "red" and "blue". The tube is standing near, with the ball inside it.

Presentation: Drop the blocks In order red, white and blue, down into the tube, keeping the "red" aid "blue" tilted forward so as not to reveal their bottoms. With both hands, turn the tube over, in a FORWARD direction, gripping It tightly so that none of the contents slip. This forward turnover puts the BALL OH TOP. It also makes the original "red" block "blue" and the original "blue" block "red".

Lift the tuV'i carrying the ball with it, and set the tub« - 'tie. Show that the blocks have mysteriously returned to their original position or order, despite the Inversion of the tube Ibis process Is repeated. As a variation, the white may be dropped In first, but the red and blue still exchange positions. In proceeding, let the ball begin to droD and thwack within the tube, as soon as "wise" spectators suggest there is another block, or sooner, If they make no consents •

Now comes the Important subterfuge. Start to "play dumb" about the extra block which people mention. Pick up the fake red, saying; "This is an extra block. We don't need it." Put the block In the pocket that contains the real red. Then, hearing people say: "Not THAT block," reply: "All right, we'll keep the red, and do without the blue."

Bring the REAL red from the pocket. Pick up the FAKE blue, and put It In the other pooket. As the tumult Increases, say: "You still want the blue? Very well, we can use it, end do without the white." Bring out the REAL blue, and pick up the white block.

By now, you "Imagine" that the audience wants to see the trick all over again. Stack up the red, white and blue, and reach for the tube. Then, as If puzzled by the continuing objections, pick up the blocks and hand them around, saying; Here are ALL the blocks. Look them over, and decide which ones you like." That, of course, makes people call for the tube.

All is then ready for the pay-off. No more blocks, not even In the tube. Nothing but a ball, a sliver one at that. Drop It from the tube and hand both ball and tube for inspection. Further note: For stage presentation, with blocks too large to put into the pockets, have a tip-over box, already tipped over. The original blocks, two fakes and a white, are in the box; the real red and blue behind It on the shelf. Open the box, take out the blocks that are in sight, close the box, and casually tip It back.

Now, in offering to dispose of first the red and next the blue, you naturally place them in the UPRIGHT box, making the exchanges of fakes for real. At the conclusion of the trlok, tip the box forward, showing It empty when you raise the lid, and simply put the ordinary blocks baok In it, adding the ball. No comment, of course, on the box being "empty".

EDITRIVIA (continued from next page)

the way It should be done. For the Index' sake, let's pretend a title, "G.W.Hunter's Laugh".

Otherwise, the British magi seem to be taking their troubles in stride. Magical columns from across the water talk of meetings, parties, and such things as "The present headquarters of the Wessex Magical Association for the duration of the war are at the 'Conjuror's Paradise,' —

---and on Tuesdey, August 13th, the monthly meeting was enthusiastically supported ---" We bow low to the power of magic and all hobbles which can thus help save the mind.

A sense of humor to be recorded belongs to one and constant companion of all magicians within "big bertha" distance. He has a paper weight on his desk that looks like an ordinary paok of cards. It's simply a casting of lead inside a re<?ular playing card case. He figures that there are many people not inter ested in cards, but the magically Inclined person who can resist picking up the pack with a "Have you seen this one?" attitude, Just does not exist. So far he's had a laugh on several of the "well knowns" who nearly broke their arms in a haste to "show off" when they saw a deck of cards handy. --- Zufall's No. 5 booklet came In to-day. Of the memory series it deals with numbers. The dollar bill memorization (in the octillion manner!) is very useful for impromptu moments. --- It seems like so long ago when we first saw Roberta and Marion Byron, In fact, we think we saw Roberta before Marlon was old enough to do tricks in the act. Roberta is married now, to John J. Badley, who is a legalite as Is Roberta. Be happy, please, but please don't forget the act that helped so many conventions and magical gatherings. —- The pay-off line this week is pointed towards those who don't talk loud enough, on stage. Just remember that If you talk to the last fellow in the gallery, all the rest of the audience can hear you.

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V f ever there was an example of showmanship and downright personality making Itself a success - that example Is Dante. We've been a great advooate of David (Fu-Manohu) Bamberg and we've certainly extolled his merits here while lamenting conditions In this country that make it hard for a theatrical venture to succeed. Dante came to New York with a deprecating air. He wandered (?) westward, bought himself a piece of property, and, ostensibly retired. Rupert (Danton) Howard, for all that we hoys knew, had the show. Dante came baok. Mrs. Jansen and Mary remained In seclusion. Without so much as a "do you mind" "Sim Sala Bim" opened In the Times Square district.

The opening night looked like seven magical conventions rolled into one. Thursday had been named as SAM night but everyone sneaked in on a personal preview Monday night. Naturally, everything got applause. Magicians are like that.Loyal to the last anap of a rubber band. They always oan be depended upon to applaud, not when the trick la over, but when the pull goes. It is often difficult for the lay speotators to figure why the magus is getting a band.

We might have written this last Issue but we were skeptical of that first night. The newspapers proved us wrong. Dante has reoeived the best "press" of any legitimate show on Broadway in years. During the week we've talked to nine legit actors and actresses of current B'way plays and musicalea. They say he's a "smash". In no one oaae did they think he'd last less than four months. In our center spread, this week, we've given you plenty of Dante reviews. We are of the opinion he deserves them.

Now let's get back among ourselves. Dante is an old Chicago magio dealer. Dave Bamberg has a seven generation heritage of maglo, and left New York about the time Dante did, around 1926. Dante is just past 50. Dave is about 34. Dave brought a show into New York five times as beautiful as Dante's. But he opened in a little Spanish theatre uptown, did the show in Esperanto, and muddled through two weeks at 40 and 60 cent prioes. Dante, no greater traveller than the son of Oklto, opened at $8.75 top price and is holding It there!

There are magicians in New York to-day who are tearing their hair out by the roots. They scream "Why?" and "How?". Thank Ood we oan be In a spot as to tell them why and how without being in the position of a person trying to get a hooking. The answer is in two parts. Part One is "Graciousness and faith in one's self." Part Two is "Be a business man and learn the angles pertinent to your business." Offstage Dante makes magicians dislike him, possibly because he tipples a bit and gets bombastio. On stage he is part of Blaokstone and part of Thurston. You must like his aplomb for you sense that his tongue Is in his cheek.

Boil it all down and the difference between Bamberg and Dante is experience and age. The show? An awful lot is exactly as when Dante left this country 14 years ago. His most original number is an illusion done with its hack to the audience. Novel and exceptionally different also is the early morning rehearsal of aa illusion, Dante's most natural acting having a flavor of "master" Thurston's habits at such a time. Other items are the usual illusions interspersed with hanky-panky tricks, several of which will see dealer's counters if only because

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Dante "did them".

The finale Is a hodge-podge of stars and stripes and flags and Star Bangle Banner music in a manner to excite the patriotic minded without making them wonder from where came the many "stage fillers". The routine was substituted for the classic water-fountain illusion which, due to union plumbing trouble, couldn't be installed.

This brings us to a finale, too. The ironic note is that Dante does not use one printed line about Thurston, while others have played up the name and their alleged suocessorship no end. Maybe one just doesn't have to hypnotize himself into believing he's great, when he really has "something on the ball".

The show definitely is set for three weeks, ending September 28th. It may run on and on,and we certainly hope it does, for magic's sake. However, there are union troubles, guarantees, and a million and one angles that only a business man-magician Oan appreciate. We still predict that once the Dante show leaves New York it will head for Mexico and South America. So please try and see it now, if only to get a glimpse (full-si«e) of magic done in the mysterious manner.

The September.Linking Ring should be in the hands of all modern day magioians, if even for the Henry R. Evans' article "The Passing of The Wand." It has a lot of possibilities when considered as a base for publicity by those of you who get access to the press for a story. It's worth joining up to receive the issue. -— Some people have discussed as to when the first magician-detective story appeared in print. Our only record is "Mystery Magazine" for Sept.1918. It contained a feature story "The Magician Detective" by Charles Pulton Oursler. The same number contained a clairvoyant mystery story entitled "The Passage Invisible", by C.T.Jordan, who was the Charles of card magio fame. Vie hope it all helps to solve the problem. --- The

"Modern Monte" effect of Chris Charlton has started the rounds because of its impromptu points (No.107) but the Jack Vosburgh "Future Deck" is getting a big play to gratify us and make happy a budding genius (No.108).

While thinking of tricks (What? In this journal? Ed.) we'd like to reprint a pretty effect by the late 0. W. Sinter. We use George (Magic Wand) Johnson's own words.

-—Perform every move at moment of reading. Note the fourth oard down. Deal casually four cards on table, pick up and replace on pack.

___Patters- "I want you to deal a few cards,Just like this. Any number you please." Performer gives pack to helper and turns his back. ___Patter:- "You have dealt a few cards as directed, sir? Nov look at the next card. Replace on the pack. Plaoe the cards dealt on top and give me the pack." Performer holds pack with faoes towards him. Sorts cards front and baok in a rough and ready shuffle. When he comes to the known "fourth" card, he leaves this and the NEXT one to it (card looked at) at top of pack. Performer, unseen, moistens back of right hand. Picks up top card by its top and bottom edge. Turns it over and RESTS BACK OF HAND on the next card of paok.

-Patter:- "That is your card, sir? Nol Well, it must be this one." Turn hand over and noted oard is found adhering to it.

We like the denouement very much, especially (continued one page back)

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