Main Page


Daub, which is an apt; name for the substance used by gamblers and card artists In shading the back of a card just enough to identify it in a spread or on a deal, lias become rather popular in the past few months and several of the dealers are stocking It. However, no one as yet has revealed a truly Inside secret of the brethren, most instructions reading that the container is to be in vest pocket or under the edge of same. The real dope is that daub is rubbed well over the lower vest button surface, and on the first sleeve button opposite the hand used to apply it on cards. (The first time those 3leeve buttons have been worth anything, too) Nothing is then to be found on the person and both spots are accessible at all times in a natural manner. I have also seen this principle of marking used by a bridge shark who used a very soft lead pencil in keeping score. He'd merely rub his right second finger over the .lead point and get enough graphite for a delicate edge shade. He told me that he had often rubbed soft pencil lead well into the outside edge of his left coat sleeve, from where he could easily get It onto the same fijiger. There are many fine effects that can be worked using daub on borrowed cards. It's worth a bit of study and practise.

We hear of stacked decks so often and read about the 8 King system of stacking, or the 8 King ditty for remembering the arrangement that it might be interesting to know that those lines should really be called a "distich." That's, the erudite name for 2 lines of verse or poetry making complete sense.

For those who have asked me and written about the bullet catching trick in Jean Hugard's Annual of Magic, it is the complete method used by Jean in-the full evening road show with which he toured Australia. While assistance is needed, it is undoubtedly one of the best possible routines for 6tage and theatre work. The method with which I have been identified for the past five years is a one man proposition with the following effect. A new box of 30-30 rifle shells is opened and dumped onto a plate. One of the three volunteer or selected committeemen picks out three bullets and stands them in a row, Hie remaining bullets are given back to the donor, presuming it to be a local affair where rifle and bullets are furnished. Another of the committee now takes the rifle. He is told to select any one of the three bullets, put it in gun, and fire at a plate resting on a backstop. He does so and shatters it. He is asked to select a second bullet. The two other committeemen Initial both the case and slug of the bullet. It is put into gun and I take my place before the backstop. On the drop of my handkerchief, the gun la fired at my mouth. I catch the Initialed slug, still hot, and bearing the rifling marks of the gun out of which it has been shot. (I have police dept. letters where slug has been checked with rifle by ballistic men) In the gun remains, of course, the fired off initialed shell. The third bullet is given to the rifleman as a souvenir, with the admonishment not to attempt the stunt without practise. I worked almost two years to iron this thing out to where I could accept a challenge on it, after getting the first serious thought on it from Orville Meyer. I even did it in a rifle range for the N.Y. Midtown Squad of Police at the 26th St. Armory, and twice I've had the pleasure (?) of standing up before details of State Troupers. Like that current song, "It's a Oood Trick If You Can Do It - And You

Can Do It If You Try." Excuse the use of space, but the stunt has alone given me a scrapbook full of clips, and I recommend highly its use as a publicity Item or large program number. It is worth the price of Jean's book alone, just to become acquainted with his perfectly practical and much used method. But I'm respectively requesting magi to please "lay off" my own form of presentation.

I wonder quite often what constitutes a "new trick, and what constitutes a "rehash." There have been magical personalities for decades who could dig out really new principles and ideas, while at the same time there have been as many (probably more) who could take an Idea and Improve, redress, and otherwise change It around Into a more practical or effective trick. Who should get the credit? The argument has so far been just a hodge podge of verbilage resulting in disgruntled friendships. I have a number of practical improvements and changes on heretofore published tricks, but I hesitate to use them. I've all ready received letters at times saying that a certain trick was just a "rehash" of something else. At such a time I wonder if the reader was using the trick as he knew it, or just remembered it, and if the so called rehash wasn't more practical for him and would go Into his program. I'd like some comment on this when you're in the mood and have time.

If you want a really funny off hand (or off head) stunt to pull at opportune moments during the summer, get a four or five inch piece of straw hat band with torn ends to carry around. Hold it in right hand and pick up someone's skimmer with your left, keeping the open side towards the left. Just make a remark about the band being worn - almost to the fraying point. With the first and second right fingernails side by side, make a sharp and quick dig down the near side of the band, followed by another fast but longer scratch. The sound is exactly as if the cloth were being ripped with abandon, and the right hand then tosses its piece of band to one side. You'll have to try it to get the reaction, and if it's as much of a one when Stuart Robson did it in front of me, it will satisfy.

A practical formula for the making of colored flashpaper is as follows: get some tissue paper of as fine as quality as possible. Steep for 10 minutes in Saturated Bromide and Rectified Spirits of Wine. Then thoroughly dry it away from fire, and keep It In a tightly closed glass jar. Flash paper is an important adjunct and dre33es up a good many tricks to good effect.

A letter on hand from Bertram Adams lends a cheerful note to the many vicissitudes encountered by magi in general. To quote: "Business is fine. I have just finished toy biggest winter and spring season, with plenty of dates to come. I raised my rock bottom minimum from $35 to $3) the first of the year and so far haven't lost a single prospect. The biggest secret that I have discovered In Magic is that the only way to get more money Is to ask for It. Every «¡25 date turned down is a big ad. It hurts to do it but it pays dividends. I've also discovered that a higher price eliminates competition because you are immediately placed in a wholly different class from your lower priced confreres." Brother Adams, you have said one big mouthful.

0 0

Post a comment