RH Eicht Ball


Card tricks are a dime a dozen. At least eighty percent of the 6,854,989 card tricks extant are calculated to put an audience to sleep quicker than any other single form of entertainment. This is because so many of them are little more than complicated puzzles that merely confuse an audience. Confusion is not entertainment. Card tricks should he short, sweet, and to the point; the surprises should come thick and fast; and each surprise should out do the one before It.

Pardon the lecture, hut we wanted to accent thatlast statement. It is the whole point of the present card routine, one in which several different effects are presented in an easily grasped, logical sequence that builds up like a rolling snowball to a single final effeot on the audience. The plot, in short, is that the magician first demonstrates what he terms the common or garden variety of card trick and then, by making the test conditions more and more difficult, by putting himself further and further behind the eight ball, proceeds to fight against ever more terrible odds and achieve results each of which are more impossible than the one before. This presentation method adds suspense that card tricks often lack and gives the spectator a cumulative knockout blow instead of an unrelated series of less effective body punches. It keeps your audience awake while you knock them outt

Many routines could be built upon this principle. The present one has been designed to use a borrowed deck and an absolute minimum of preparation and sleight of hand. The first four effects in the sequenoe of five require no advance preparation at all; the last makes use of an opaque envelope slightly larger than a playing card and one thumb-tip containing a sponge ball soaked in alcohol. The only neo-essary sleight of hand Is the ability to do a decent double lift and make a crimp.

Ready? (My gawd, yes I Ed.) Let's go. Borrow the cards. Beck face down In left hand. Slide top card back toward youa quarter inch. Press on the two overlapping end corners with right thumb, crimping them slightly downward. Shuffle this Impromptu locator card to the bottom. And start talking.

EFFECT #1. "You've all seen a magician do this sort of thing." (Fan cards for a selection) "Look at it, please, remember it, and replace it in the deck." (Overhand shuffle and, when the chosen card Is replaced, slip the locator from the bottom on to it as you continue the shuffle) "Audiences are so blamed skeptical now days. Many people think that when a magician shuffles and outs the oards (out them below the locator) he only appears to be doing that and is actually engaged In getting the selected card to the top. That Is a base rumor with no foundation whatever. This top card isn't the one you chose, is it?" (Aotually it is, but double lift so he sees the second one down, and when he says "No", replace them on top) "When a magician wants to get the chosen card to the top he doesn't use any such complicated methods as that. No, he uses far simpler methods. He

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merely makes a magic pass---like this." (Make one, gracefully If possible) "Your card, sir, «as what?" (The spectator names it and you turn over the top card and show it. Immediately swing into

EFFECT #2, "That, of course, is the simplest sort of kindergarten conjuring. Nothing to It. Any magician can do It In his sleep." (Shuffle while saying this, but keep that locator on the bottom) "Suppose we do it again and make it harder --- for me." (Go to second spectator)

"You take the deck this time and select a card while It Is In your own hands. Just slide one out, place it on top, and cut. And (turning to another person) you cut too." (Sometimes the second cut hits the locator. When that happens -and a peek at the bottom card tells you - you're all set and oan make your magic pass without touching the deck agalnl If you're not always that lucky take the deck and continue as follows: "You took a card from the deck, noted it, and put it on top. Then you cut." (Suit the proper actions to these words and, when you out, hit the locator) "You held the cards all the time. And yet I simply make my magic pass and your card files promptly to the top. (Double lift and show second card, but without looking at It yourself, and when the spectator objects that he's.sorry but It is not his card, raise your eyebrows In bewildered astonishment a la Cardini) "Not your card?" (Lift off top card alone and peek at it) "But It must be. That was a magic pass. Guaranteed not to fail. What was your card?" (Speo names It and you show It« Scowl a la Wallace Beery) "I'm afraid that you don't always tell the truth, Tskt Tskl"

EFFECT #3. I'm going to try It again and this time really make it tough." (Go to a third person and fan cards) "Don't take one, Just touch one. We won't even remove It from the deck." (When he touches one spread the fan a bit on either side and tip the fan up so he can see the face of the touched card. Behind the fan your left thumb stealthily crimps the lower left corner of the card. Immediately square the fan and hand him the deok) "And now I'll really go behind the eight ball and, so as to rule out the last, faint suspicion that there Is any sle ight-of-dlrty-work-at-the-oros s roads, I'11 let you shuffle. (Let him give it a good one and egg him on by pretending to act nervous at so much shuffling. Then take the deck baok, double lift, apparently showing the top card, and replaceJ "I make my magic pass, In a reverse direction this time, and I get my magic card, the ---- of ----." (Turn It up and glimpse

It just as you name it and then show it) "This card has the peculiar property of being able to locate any other card In the deck. Nobody knows why." (Hold the card to the spectator's forehead for a moment, then, holding it face up, shove It halfway into the deck just below the crimped card) "And your card was --- ?"

(When the spectator names it, lift off all cards above inserted one and show the chosen one. You oan distinguish between the crimped chosen one and the locator card because the bend in the former will be up and in the latter, down.

EFFECT #4, (As you approach the next person give the deck an overhand shuffle, faces up, and note the card that falls on top and the one second from the bottom.) "But even that was child's play. I'm going to roll up my sleeves now and really go to town." (Take any oard from the center of the deck, show It, and lay it face up on top of the faoe down deck. Have your next victim stand facing the audience) "I want you to do what you just saw me do, insert this face up card anywhere in the deok. But I want you to do it behind your baok so that I can't kno"', so the audience can't know, so that even you yourself can't know where It goes." (Have him put his hands behind his back, reach around end give him the deck, turning it oyer as you put it in hi3 hand3. Then step backward and don't go near the deck again. Repeat your directions to him. "Take the faoe up oard (name it) from the top of the deck and push it still face up anywhere into the deck; square the deok and give It a cut. And now, if you (to another spectator) will go up there and take those cards from behind his back the hocus pocus will begin." (Note: The reason another person Is asked to take the cards from behind his baok Is so that the party of the first part doesn't get a chance to notice that he has been holding the deck wrong side up) "Hold the deok between the palms of your hands, covering it so that I can't even get a glimpse of the baok of the top card. I have been accused of finding cards by mindreading. I want to show you that such methods are quite unnecessary. (Turn to spectator who inserted card)

"Can you tell me the name of the card just above the one you placed in the deok? Or the one Just below? Would you like to make a guess? Would you put any money on that guess? I'll give you odds of fifty-two to one? No? You had a much better chance than anyone else here to see what card yours went next to. You were several feet closer when it happened. Of course, I could use my X-Ray vision, look right down through this gentleman's hands, and through the deck, and see what card is next to the faoe up ---- of —. Yes; I could, really."

(Stall for a minute. Maybe they'll coax you)

"Shall I look for the oard above or below the faoe up card? The one below? TJm. Well, that's harder. I have to look through one more oard. But I'll try." (Turn on the X-Ray vision and then name the card they ask for. The one originally on top of the deok will be below the face up oard, the one second from the bottom will be above it. You can, of course, name both if you like)

EFFECT #5. "I have Just demonstrated conclusively that neither sleight of hand nor mindreading is employed in these strange experiments. The last time I did that a hard-boiled skeptic cracked baok, 'You been In duh same room all duh time, aintcha?' And now, in order to squelch that last objection, I shall leave the rooml While I am gone I want you to spread the cards face down on the floor, select any one card at random, mark it, place It, face down still, in this envelope, seal that securely, and sign the flap. If you like you may appoint a committee of one to look at the face of the oard before it goes into the envelope, just to make doubly sure that no other card is later substituted. But do not allow anyone to look at It who could, by any stretch of of the Imagination, be a confederate of mine. If you prefer, don't let anyone see It at all. Suit yourselves. And call me when ready."

(Go into the kitchen and raid the refrigerator or open yourself another bottle of something. When they do summon you, poke your thumb on to the spongeball we mentioned awhile back so that the thumb gets a coating of alcohol. Take the sealed envelope, place thumb over corner where index will show, read index through envelope, and lay envelope out on floor or table. Borrow a second deck of oards. Run over them, throw out the Joker, and secretly find the duplicate of the card in the envelope. CrJmp one corner. Shuffle the deck, cut it into two halves, and hold each half in turn above the envelope. When the half that contains the

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