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Editor Speaking

Boston's gift to the world of funny men, Mr. Lane, is muchly over-drenched when he persists in advertising the 'famous three pellet card ■trick' as his own, or method either. Originally the idea was A1 Baker's. I know of one individual who bought it with two other effects from Al over 15 years ago and paid 5 cash. X learned it just ten years ago this pa3t summer. Baker gives me credit for having work 3d on it a good deal and being the first to put switches on it. John Northern Hilliard used to do it (over five years ago) with the Two Souls trick which also was Al'3. The funny part is that Prank took down notes of my routine three years ago for a Mss. he put out of my routines on various effects. I had my method in my 'Complete Mental Routine' book which Holden copyrighted in February 1935, so it proceeded Prank by quite a spell. The method Frank uses with a stacked deck was just one of Al's versions. I know of six different methods and routines. Pour are Al's and two mine. I can't understand though why Prank should have given it to Rufus Steele for his book too. It doesn't seem quite fair to the buyers disregarding the ownership. And my, my, what are fellows going to say when they buy it on the strenghth of that Sphinx ad to wit: 'with your back turned, and the cards in the possession of three spectators, each one selects any caid he wishes. The deck is thoroughly shuffled, yet when you turn your back, you look in each spectator's eyes and tell him positively and without fail, the name of each of the cards.' How will the purchaser feel when he finds out about the writing on the paper, the collecting, etc.? Such an ad (despite the trick still being good) is what makes Prank Lane the funny fellow that he is. Excuse for the use of space. I just want to keep the records straight.

JINX effects must be good. Petrie-Lewis has put out a combination with a pencil in which it is apparently shown pliable when shaken and finally vanished. They are including a bent pencil with the set a la Swizzle Stick in Jinx No. 3 which was this writer's conception. While we are too pessimistic to expect royalties we would have appreciated a little credit. However, We're glad to know that the material within these pages is found so practical.

Anew low in magical psychology was hit during the past months when a well known inventor marketed a slate and flap for spirit work. It is a very nice addition or improvement on the regular slates in use, but the demonstration and selling point is that it can be tossed In the air! Can anyone please give me just one little reason for a slate being tossed in the air? And what effect such a maneuvre is supposed to have on the devout sitters?

Telephone conversations "Is this Mr. Holden? We are having a little church supper and would like to have a magician come up and entertain us." (Max) "This is the time of year when even the bad ones are working. How much do you want to pay?" (Voice) "Oh, we can't pay anything, but we'll give him refreshments and his subway fare." (Max) "What are the refreshments?'! (Voice) "Ice cream and cake." (Max) "I'm sorry, but magicians are very hearty eaters and attend only full course dinners on those terms."

Harlan Tarbell is exposing (there's no other word for it) in Opportunities Magazine. Without being told I know they're just small things to stimulate Interest in our Art. What makes this so tragically funny is* the way every magic paper has mentioned the modern trend and wave of night club table magic without the definite thought that such magic is of the small and close-up type. And it is this type of trick the stage and auditorium magician exposes. DO EX POSERS EVER EXPOSE TRICKS FROM THEIR OWN PROGRAM? Would Mr. Tarbell like to have a local magus expose the colored sands effect the day before he landed in town? Or the Seeing with the Fingertips method? I dreamed of great revenge one time. The exposer was beaten to each town by an expose of his program tricks, one after the other. Then the mean magicians 3ent a copy of each expose as it appeared to the exposer's booking agent who figured it was bad policy to use a magician whose tricks were all exposed ahead of him, and so, dear childfen, the magician had to go back to work. However, it was but a dream.

Declining memberships in various magical societies might be stemmed a bit if the committee or officers in charge of stimulation would issue a auestionaire to the delinquent ones as to why they had allowed their membership to fade. After all, it's more reasonable to suppose that members dropping out could give ways for the club to be jacked up a bit rather than from members who are evidently satisfied with the running enough to remain in. If an organization drops to half of its living members, something should be done over. It is what they generally do with apartment houses, and apartment houses don't use whitewash either.

Did anyone ever see in print before the advice never to ask a magician how he does his tricks? I haven't and so I bring it up. It's terrible form, and very bad manners. Magicians who should know better persist in asking others how they do this trick or make that move. If YOU do it, just stop it for a while and see if you don't get along better with the boys. You'll probably learn more too, because If eager to learn how something is done, the wise boys generally close down and you are out of luck. And after all, if another magician has a move or a trick you can use in your act, did you ever consider buying it or making it a business deal? If you can make money doing a trick, isn't it worth buying? But although you. don't buy your tricks and moves, don't make yourself appear like the veriest beginner when you ask someone to show you his pet trick.

Jacob Steisel, of New York, passes on a very cute tip when he suggests that those who have used the floating match trick, try It now with a small Christmas candle. This makes a miniature illusion of the trick. Use the match box as usual and take a mtch from it to start. The candle can be taken from vest pocket and stood on box where it is set burning. Prom hereon the working is the same as with the match version.

Controversies about the glass penetration frame have about dies out so I'll suggest that we go back to the original base of the trick which was the Lady Through the Looking Glass Illusion. Instead of clear glass in the frame, use a mirror. Have the clips on both sides as usual and a silk handkerchief with Alice, of Wonderland fame on it. Have the cards to be used in front and back of mirror plain white with star traps cut with razor blades. If you have a locking frame you are set for an excellent effect when you Illustrate Low Alice went through the looking glass into Wonderland. (Dealers please thank me for this if you decide to use the idea.)

Al Baker dropped in and asked me to suggest that buyers of magical effects always read the instructions with the trick first, and then do the trick at least once according to the inventor's method. After that one can work in his own variations. Everyone will admit that improvements are possible, but generally the originator has spent time and experimentation before putting out a trick and has reason behind each move. As Al very aptly remarked, "liany a trick has died of improvement."

Page 82

Impromptu l/isiott

J.Jb. ZfhoHijosoH, Jr.

Borrow a business or plain card and ask the owner to write a question, line of verse, or nane of a dead friend on Its back. Take It from him at one end with the writing underneath and with your left thumb on top and the first finger under. With right hand pull out your pocket handkerchief by one corner and cover the card drawing the corner back along forearm until the card is covered at center of handkerchief. Now, with thumb and forefinger of right hand (finger on top) grasp the Inner end of the card through the hank close to where it Is being held by left fingers. Left fingers let go but Immediately regrasp the card but this time through the hank. (The thumb at this point should have two thicknesses of hank betweai It and top of card. The right hand now goes forward and picks up the front hanging corner of hank. It is brought directly back with corner along am to show the card Is still there with writing side down. '.','lth Just a glimpse of card the corner is thrown back over it but BOTH corners on arm are thrown together and they now hang down with the card apparently held in center of hank.

Right thumb and forefinger (finger on top) now grasp inner end of card and hold the bundle vertically in front of eyes while left hand twists the hanging ends a little. At this time, the card will be on the back of the folded hank and the message or writing looking at youi This bundle is then placed in the breast pocket with the corners of hank sticking out. Take hold of £he writer's hand and answer the question any way you see fit or reveal the contents of the card. At the finish, reach up with the right hand, grasp a corner of the handkerchief and pull it quickly fron pocket when the card will dron to the floor. I have found this a ^erfsct press stunt and it can be done with a drawing or sketch which you reproduce, rein? lnpronptu and using an old time coin move, you have quite an effect which also can be done with your business cards and left with each spectator.

-7ke Puzzling Spelter

Bobby Hummer

A neat version of the think of a card spelling principle is to be had in this effect, and It also brings out a nice mixing Idea of which I wasn't aware. I'll describe the working as I go along.

Have six extra cards to match your deck and they are such that they can be arranged to spell out with 10-11-12-13-14-15 letters. I've been using the AC-6H-JS-8H-9D-QD. Take these same cards from the pack proper and arrange them as above from back to face. Put them on deck with nine cards above. On top of all put the six duplicates regardless of order.

deck with three cards (any three from deck) above. On top of all put the six duplicates regardless Of order. Start by usln-r about half of the pack, but without calling attention to It you take the top 27 cards. Run off a few cards (the top six) and hand them to a spectator with the request that he look them over, think of Just one, and then shuffle then so that not even he himself knows where his card Is. Taking the Packet back drop them onto the top of the cards in hand and proceed to deal then singly into a row of three face down plies from left to right. Pick up the piles from left to right, the first going on the second and the combined two on the third. Repeat the dealinr twice making three deals. Then hand the cards to the spectator who deals them face down, cpells his card letter by letter with each car-' dealt, and on the last letter he turns it up and finds his card!

You can readily see that at the start, the six cards put back on top plus the three cards above the second set of six make Just enough to autonatically spell out those cards no .natter which Is thought of. The three deals described brings the 27 cards back to that sane position!

Tell ther. that the dealing is of a strange nature which brinsfl the thought of card into an odd position. I've presented it simply as a sort of puzzle, and I have seen raa~iclans who knew the automatic spelling principle study and worry over the shufflinr of the six and the deal. For those who don't war.t the extra cards for the mixing feature, Just hand the six cards from off the top but have them In order. Then, while spectator is thinking of one, run nine cards off and have the bunch of nix replaced at this point. Now make the three deals and' finish. However, you can fool the wise fellow who knows cards by using the first version above.

Page 83

-Jke. Undercover Hii/steri/


During the summer I met a bartender who told me about a trick he had seen years ago and done by some transient bum who had been In his place. As he related it to me, the fellow had taken the house deck and asked for a tray. A card was selected, replaced and shuffled. The tray was placed on the floor bottom side up, the deck dropped upon it from a standing position, and upon turlng the tray over the card was found beneath.

I realized that the working could be very simple but the bare bones of the effect Itself rather Intrigued me as it had the elements of effect which stand out In an onlooker's mind. I played around with it a little and since then have used it quite a number of times, especially when someone has taken ne to such a place.

First have two cards chosen and returned to the deck. It is necessary to have one on top and one on bottom after this and I know that as usual, each will have his own pet way. For those who use a pass, have them returned together and split them. But remember which is which. Hold the deck In le<Tt hand by the side with the thumb at face of deck and fingers across top. Have deck well Into thumb and first finger crotch. Ask for the tray and take it with the right hand, fingers underneath on \he upper side of tray and thumb on upper side which Is the bottom. Step back a little as If looking for a good spot on the floor and the tray covere the left hand which turns deck face up and thumb slides the face card off under fingers on the underside of tray.

Finding an apparently good spot drop the tray flat down fro:n a standing position letting the card go with It. If you just let it go you have nothing to worry about. And it Is a very disarming bit of business. Explain at this point that you use a metal tray because it will work only on metal and not on a wooden floor or surface. Ask the person whose card is still on top of deck to name it. Drop the deck onto the tray and the named card flips face up. This is merely the a?e old trick of sliding the top card sidewlse about half an inch to flip it over in the drop. Many know it but it is a build up to the finish. Pick up the cards and ask the name of the second card. Drop them again but this time nothing happens. Try the second time and then hand deck to spectator and ask him to take out his card. He can't find It and as a climax you have him lift up the tray and hlB card is looking right at him.

By this time no one even remembers you put the tray down and I've had them swear they put it down themselves. Ana the wise ones who know the air current flip over are given something to worry about when the finish comes.

Johacco WcufLC ¿Cu-Brewt

Close up performers will be delighted with this number, and it can be shown before quite a goodly sized audience too. In effect the performer shows both hands empty and the left formed into a fist. Prom a bag of popular tobacco a quantity Is poured into the fist and when the hand is opened the tobacco has vanished. Reaching into space with his right hand, the performer makes a catching motion and proceeds to pour tobacco from it into the left hand from where it may be returned to the bag and all examined if thought necessary.

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