come together for an instant, as if by accident; but this fleeting contact goes unnoticed, obscured by the flow of the larger motions.

The folded selection now hangs caught between die partially closed lid and the base of the box (Figure 10). This is the crucial job that the box has been constructed to perform. The little knob and the tapered shape of the lid arc carefully designed to assure that the card is caught and held. (A flat-topped lid cannot be depended on to trap the card.)

As you hold the box roughly six inches above your open right hand, give it a litde shake, causing the folded selection to fall out (Figure 11). The illusion created is absolutely convincing. First the spectators clearly see a folded card inside the box; then they see it fall deanly our of the box and into your open hand. Everything is so direct and natural in appearance, there can be no suspicion of loading the box or of switching cards.

Just as die card falls from the box, the lid swings completely shut, so that no glimpse of the dummy card inside can be had. This is another liede improvement over the original method, which used a box with a lift-off lid. After you had apparendy tipped the card out of the box you had to replace the lid somehow without exposing the dummy card inside in box, and to make this maneuver look natural was a bit of a challenge. With the box design used in my method, the problem is eliminated.

All that remains is the concluding revelation of the card and the clean up. The folded sdecdon lies in your right hand. The closed box is in your left. Smoothly maneuver the box behind your cupped left fingers and hold it there as you open the card and display it. In essence, you are finger palming the box, but with no intention of secrecy (Figure 12, an audience view). The operative idea here is "out of sight, out of mind' You direct everyone's attention to the card as you unfold it, back outward, then dramatically turn it to exhibit the signed face. The box, at this point, is no longer in the limelight. It is behind the concealing curtain of your fingers, a piece of incidental history.

Your motive for turning all attention to the card and away from the box is simple: If the box remains in sight, after the initial surprise of the effect, people may think to examine it, which is of course undesirable. So the box is obscured behind your left fingers as you unfold the card and display it.Then your right hand sails the face-up card out onto the table as your left hand quiedy retreats to your jacket pocket to put the box safely away. Doing diese two actions simultaneously aids in obscuring the disposal of the box.

If someone asks to see the box, I shrug off the request in a pleasant manner. In the many times I've performed this trick, only three or four instances have arisen in which the person became too insistent to ignore. I n those cases, 1 put my hand in my pockct, opened the box and, with my fingers, pried the felt pad and dummy card out of the base. I then brought out the empty box and let it be examined. There was, of course, no longer anything damaging to be found. Although I do everything I can to avoid such situations, if they occur they can be dealt with in this fashion.

One final observation: This trick may seem a. simple one, with moves that are quickly mastered. Nevertheless, if the illusion is to be totally convincing, the handling must be carefully practiced. The simpler a trick is to do, the more difficult it usually is to do well. So please, practice it until you can do it pcrfcctlyi meze

HIS effect is designed to serve as the other bookend in a card routine that opens with the Shrinking Card-case (p. 119). Having completed a series of card tricks the performer brings out the card case to put the deck away, but then realizes he has a problem: The case was earlier shrunk and is now hall the size of the deck.

Instead of magically enlarging the case, he decides on another course. He squeezes the deck into the case, first the bottom half (Figure 1), then the entire deck.


The effect is simultaneously funny and astonishing, because the illusion of the full-sized deck being forced to fit the litde case is perfect. It and "Falling Pips" provide proof that comedic magic can also be strong magic. Many comedy magicians don't seem to care if the material they perform is strong in magical content. The same can be said for quite a few magicians who do childrens magic. I believe that your magic should always be strong, and drere is no acceptable reason why it shouldn't be.

To squeeze the deck into the litde case, you must use a specially constructed miniature case and a gimmicked deck. The deck is switched for your normal one and I know that deck switches make many magicians' stomachs clench; but please continue. After explaining the make-up of the case and gimmicked deck, I'll teach a stand-up deck switch that is very easy and very deceptive.

First, let's examine the miniature card case you will need. Regrettably, you cannot tise the factory-made cases that come with miniature packs. ITie proportions aren't right. You will have to take one of these cases and reconstruct it, or make the case from scratch. When I made my case years ago, I cannibalized a normal-sized case, cutting bits and pieces of it to approximate the look of a miniaturized version. Today, with the wide-spread availability of color photocopying and laser printing, perfect reduced images can be cheaply made and glued to the outside of the box.

The proportions of the ease and the squeezed deck are critical to the effectiveness of the illusion. I have

experimented a great deal to discover proportions diat give die optimal effect of die pack being squeezed i nto the case (Figure 1 again). Other 2 proportions simply don't look as funny or as impossible.

The height of the case is a quarter of an inch less than the width of a normal-sized deck. (With poker-widdi cards, the case would be approximately two-and-three-eighths inches tall.) This means that when the gimmicked deck is slipped completely into the case, it will prorrude a quarter of an inch from the top. Therefore, the top flap of the case is crcascd to fold neatly over the projecting cards and tuck into the case (Figure 2).

The width of the case should be proportioned to its height in the same height-to-width rario found in a normal case: two-and-a-half inches by one-and-three-quarters (again these measurements presume the use of poker-width cards). The height used here is that of the closed case, not that of the front panel.

The gimmicked deck is made in the wedge-shape shown in Figure 3, full width at the top, with a tapered waisr ar the bottom measuring onc-and-nine-sixteenth inches. It is just tall enough to fit the inside width of the case closely but without binding (one-and-nine-sixteenths inches). To make this gimmick, sew a pack of cards together, down near the area that will form the waist end of the gimmick—or more accurately, sew $ cards togedier until you have a solid block as thick as a normal deck. This sewing is accomplished by drilling two small holes through the cards, then tying a loop of strong thread through these holes to keep the cards together. Sewing is superior to gluing, since the cards can shift and bevel slightly, making them look more like a loose deck.

Next glue a blank-faced card onto the face of the sewn pack, covering the loop of thread.

Now, using a jigsaw, carefully cut the cards into the necessary wedge-shape. You must next decorate the blank face of the gimmick with the face of a partially comprcsscd court card (Figure 4, actual size in poker width. If you wish to use a bridge-width deck, you will have to adjust

the proportions accordingly.) Do use a court card, as it looks funnier than a spot card. The easiest way to create a compressed card image is to split a court card, carefully trim one end to fit the shape of the gimmick, glue this piece in place, then carefully draw a compressed frame around rhe image. If you have some artistic ability, or can call on someone who does, a more realistically compressed court-card can be drawn, using only the index, head and shoulders of a split card and filling in the squeezed lower portion by hand.

Now turn the gimmick face down. Vbu are going to build a pivoting panel on its back. This panel is made from another piece of playing card, one-and three sixteenths inches long and cut to the shape of the wide portion of the gimmick. A partial crescent is cut in the bottom edge of the piece, just to the left of center. You will next staple this panel to another piccc of card, this one cut to match the shape of the gimmick. The staple is positioned near the left edge of the crescent, with the upper arm piercing through bodi pieces, and the lower arm just missing the upper piece (Figure 5). The upper arm of the staple forms the pivot post on which the top piece swings down (Figure 6). The partial crescent in this piece is shaped to pass around the lower arm of the staple, (This brilliant method of making a pivot hinge—much simpler and better than my original construction—is the idea of Ton Onosaka, who devised it when designing the marketed form of this trick for his company-Magic Land in Tokyo.) After installing the staple in these two pieces, make sure it is completely flattened, then glue the larger piece to the back of the gimmick.


The finishing touch to rhe gimmick is the attachment of one full-sized card to its back (the swiveling panel). Since this card must be replaced with each performance, the attachment is made using a thin strip of double-sided tape. The card is also slightly prepared. Using an X-acto blade and straightedge, you score the card twice across its width, dividing it into three equal sections. The first scone line is done on the face of the card, the second on the back, each time slicing only half way through the thickness of the card. Figure 7 shows how this prepared card is attached face down to die gimmick. The line scored oil die face of the card is positioned nearest the gimmick.

To prepare for performance, you place the miniature case in your right-side jacket pocket and the gimmick in the left-side jacket pocket, narrow-end outward and full card turned nearest your body.

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