Itarting a new year of The Jinx seemed (to call for the picture of a birthday cake and candle. Tess Holden told me, however, that such a thing was bad luck. How she could figure that would be an ominous sign Is beyond me because now I find myself with a sheet named The Jinx; two black cats over my head, and It Is
_ issue No. 13! Thinking about things lat have occured this summer I believe that if any black feline crosses my particular path-----
the cat will have all of the bad luck!
There is one thing I have never seen mentioned in magical print. Why do magicians invariably locate three cards or make three cards rise? The fascination of 'three' is beyond my comprehension because it is psychologically wrong. If you are going to do the rising card trick, do it with two cards only. If you are going to do anything in which the climax of each is the same, do It twice only. The first time it happens, the audience Is surprised and mystified. The second time they are not surprised but they are still mystified. (We hope) If you Insist upon a third time you may even nullify that. It's like seeing a play or picture. The first time it is great and you go away with the desire of seeing it again. The second time, however, is a little disappointing. You don't go the third time. I know one clever amateur who does a 3uperb rising card effect with a borrowed deck and tumbler. It is done within three feet of anyone and with a simple hookup he is always ready. But — he only does it once! A selected card Is initialed, returned and shuffled. The deck Is In the glass and they are told to watch the cards closely. Slowly and beautifully the card comes up. The cards and glass are given the spectator and all is over. Can you imagine the letdown should he do It the second and third times?
Last month I mentioned the Bird Cage trick and described a method used once by Carl Kertz to convince that the bird couldn't have been harmed. Since then I've learned of a method of procedure that Robert Heller used In the trick. Heller had an empty cage In his hands and called for a bird. An assistant would come on with a canary at his fingertips but as he reached the performer, the bird would vanish. Heller, with the remark that a cage was of no use without a bird, would vanish it Instantly. This might be a nice angle for many who do not like doing the trick with a live bird in the cage.
Humdrum, the mystic is not supersti-touB. He firmly believes that the only lucky horseshoes are those on the winning horse.
Max Holden has found an ideal binder for The Jinx. With a spring back and heavy board covers it will firmly hold a one Inch file of copies without mutilation. It Is being advertised in the current magazines, or you can write him about It.
I saw a clever cigarette vanish several weeks ago by Mr. Calvert Cole, and which fooled me completely. Taking the cigarette from his lips into his closed fist, the hand was squeezed tightly and opened to show the cigarette gone. I suspected everything but the right thing. He tongued it and then swallowed it! To tongue an lr.ch and a half lighted cigarette is simple and has been explained many times. Putting a burning cigarette out on the tongue is another old stunt which only requires nerve as It never burns. Combining the two made a fooler of a trick. The cigarette was tongued as the fingers of hand closed over it. Eendlng the head down so as to watch and draw attention to the hand, the cigarette was rolled on tongued and extinguished, whereupon it was swallowed. I know a good many will shudder but if you had seen it the way I did, and been fooled the way I was, you'd admit that it Is worth doing by those who put the art of declevlng above a moment of discomfiture.
I want every reader to send me any news clips, printed photos, stationary heads and magical business cards. Each month I'll reproduce a page of then on the Insert starting next month. As the collection grows you will have a vast array of magical news items and stories from around the world.
U. F. Grant has published a booklet called Tricks with a One Way Deck. There has been need for such a collection under one cover, and although I've worked a lot with the principle and published many Ideas and effects based upon it, I never got around to collectively publishing them. The booklet Is worth its price to card lovers who want subtle magic that will deceive magicians as well as laymen. Grant's Gee 7/hlzz combination is an excellent routine for
club and stage workers and can be done with very little preparation and apparatus. It Is funny In parts, and has some subterfuges that have been carefully worked out to minimize any needed skill. I like It a lot.
Dollar devaluation has become quite a pastime with magi since the stunt was explained in the Linking Ring and repeated here. Andrew Bren-nan, of Ardmore, Pa., has written that he would have missed it had It not appeared here and gives me a cute additional wrinkle. After the bill effect Is presented, the performer states, "The secret of the present 59/ dollars is that they have bigger cents." He shoves a penny into his fist and when hand is opened it has become three inches in diameter. The moves are as follows: The large penny is of the souvenir variety obtainable from any city souvenir store. Put it in one half of the bill compartment of your wallet. It fits perfectly. Have a new penny in one of the small pockets of wallet. Bring out wallet and hold at open side to hide big penny. Get small penny, close wallet, and hold it upside down so that big penny rests at base of the fingers. Now lift wallet off coin and it will be clipped against palm by all fingers. Your hand looks like a fist. Small penny is shoved into fist between thumb and base of first finger, (Thumb palmed) Open fist and show the change, keeping the coin in same hand to make thumb palm natural.
October 1, 1935
Iir. Burling Hull "The Edison of Magic" 4329 Lowery Street Long Island City, N.Y.
Stage Magic was first advertised in The Sphinx for August, 1927. The price was to be 50/ per Issue 'based on an assured circulation of 6000 copies.' The ads continued for several months and I have no idea how many subscribed or ordered copies. As you know, Stage Magic never appeared. Seven years passed by and in October, 1934 I produced The Jinx. Several weeks later you came out with Stage Magic and your ads were taken In most cases verbatim from the originals. Issue No. 1 stated that It was to be a 'perpetual book' in monthly p&rts. Issue No. 2 was boosted 25/ In price when it appeared several months later. Issue No. 3 came out of hiding in June of this year and the price went up another quarter. In this issue it was plainly put that Stage Magic was not a monthly and that during the year ten parts wo-uld be published.
Well, Burling, I've waited for the year to pass. Three copies are out and the pertinent query is what you are going to do about your subscribers. Are you fcolng to refund their money or give them their ten Issues? If you do not do the first, and cannot do the second, do you expect to continue as 'the Edison of Haglc' and still have the confidence of your patrons? Certainly you could easily do the first, if an avalanche of engagements has prevented publication, for you state in Issue No. 2, to wit; 'numerous subscriptions which poured in, nearly doubling my expectations.' With an expectation of 6000, Burling, you haven't, don§ badly. No doubt a good many of your subscribers, especially those whose subscriptions start with No. 4 will complain to their local postmaster, who in turn will forward the details to New York via Washington. I feel certain that you will clear up the matter and continue to intrigue the world of magic with your Edlsonian complex.
In case you would like Jinx readers to hear from you, this column is open to any reply you care to make. Because of printing limits though, I can only promise you the same amount of space as this letter to you has taken.
AN ORIGINAL TIE FOR LOADS. (Ottokar Fischer)
Ottokar Fischer performed for twelve consecutive years at Kratky-Baschlk' s Magical Theatre in Wien, giving two hour performances of magic, illusions and ghost shows. This original method for tying loads of any nature or size is therefore a most practical piece of knowledge. It allows of Instantaneous release without cutting, opening knots or fumbling. It consists of only an endless loop of cord onto which has been threaded a ring for hanging the load on backs of chairs or the performer's body. A dress hook is also threaded on the cord, and the sketches will show more clearly than words the hookup. The cord is of a size to fit the load and there is no danger of a premature release. The heavier the load, the surer the tie.
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