The fl hue

N the two volumes of this work, at various times I will talk about the mind movie. This is a very important tool for me, and I consider it an essential guide to quality performance. Whenever I wish to create a new effect, it starts of course with an idea that occurs to me. I then begin to consider die idea., pondering it and looking at the effect from every angle 1 can imagine. 1 try to discover as much as I possibly can about it. Even if the cffcct is totally original and unlike anything that has come before, there are still many details to be ferreted out. Then eventually, slowly perhaps, yet surely, an ideal version of the effect begins to take shape in my mind.

So far I'm not in the least concerned about modus operandi. Instead, I think of the effect as if anything is possible. My imagination is without limits. I'm unfettered by such realistic thoughts as "Yeah, but how can I do this?" By constantly rethinking the effect, imagining myself doing it again and again, my misty idea grows into something crystal clear. After a time I will know every movement, every word, every gesture. I will know exactly how the effect will be.

To aid myself in this process of applied imagination, I will frequently run through the effect physically. Often I gather the necessary props and use them during these fantasy rehearsals. One valuable thing that comes from this practice is that I quickly discover any awkward spots. A handling sequence may consume more rime than I imagi ned; or I might find that some procedure must be changed due to the props. Yet, even now I don't care about methods. Anything is possible!

For several years I have been the happy possessor of a video camera. I've found it a good idea to tape my fantasy rehearsals several times on video. With a tape of my dream, it is easier to envision it and to detect any rough spots.

Of course I can't really do the cffcct, bccause I don't yet know how it will be accomplished; but that doesn't bother me. Suppose that during the effect something must vanish from my hand. In my fantasy practices I just drop the prop on the floor while pantomiming its vanish, and continue as if the disappearance has happened by truly magical means. I'm still not uying to work out the secret mediod diat will eventually accomplish the effect. I hat process comes much, much later. All I want now is to make my drram as concrete as possible. My thoughts must become totally clear. The clearer the desired effect is in my mind, the easier it will be to achicve later.

After doing these exercises for a time, the effect becomes like a movie for me, very solid and clear in my thoughts. I know exacdy what the ideal version of the effect looks like. All I need to do now is push it from the womb of my imagination into reality. However, now I know exactly—with no compromise to little things like methodological concerns—what I want to achieve. I have a beautifully defined goal.

Not thinking about certain practical matters at this stage is essential. Dont consider, for instance, whether the effect is possible. That would only limit your freedom of imagination and creativity. If at this point you take into account certain practical matters linked to possible methods, you will no longer be able to strive for an ideal trick Your mind movie would be flawed by concessions. The mind movie must grow within an unbound imagination. It is governed only by your taste, by what you like, by what you see as the most splendid goals of magic. This is the truly creative stage.

I use the mind movie as a tool in almost every phase of the development of an effect. The movie tells me what direction to take. It even tells me when I'm going wrong, or if the adjustments I make are too broad. It is my measure for almost everything concerning the effect. The mind movie tells me what to strive for.

I cannot stress too much the importance of such mind movies. These movies free your imagination and allow you to approach your maximum potential for beauty in your magic. A further benefit of such movies is that you are free in them ro he yourself This is essential, your self-portrayal in your mind movies should be a faithful representation of your personality and your means of sharing your imagination with an audience. Your audiences will be able to experience your imagination and you. They will not experience a pale recreation of someone elses imagination, or a hobbled version of your imagination. It will be a sincere, honest sharing of your dreams with the audience. You cannot share more. That is the ultimate!

^HBPy HE Card Through Handkerchief is an effect that has been popular with audi-mvmxA etlces since its invention in the 1890s (though, sadly, the identity of its inventor ^ftSw ^ ')een °bscured by time and several conflicting claims between writers in the United States and Germany). In the mid-1970s I came up widi this method of preparing for the penetration of a selected card through a handkerchief. It has much to recommend it in economy of action, for die chosen card is stolen from the deck and positioned for the penetration in a quick and natural manner that defies detection. The steal is related to one created by Alex Elmslcy for the same effect.' I he larrer has recently been published in die second volume of his CallectedWorks (1994; see "Shakedown", p. 197). However, I didn't know of Mr. Elmsleys work when I published my handling in 1977—and it probably wouldn't have stopped mc if I had, since the handling I devised allows the chosen card to be stolen dirccdy from the center of the pack with no need for shuffling, cutting or passes (half or full). This added clement of directness is a quality I think worth considering.

Have a card chosen and noted. Take the selection, holding it face down in your right hand, and display it to the rest of the group. Next, insert the card inco the face-down deck and leave it outjogged for roughly half an inch. Then, move your right hand palm down over the pack and apparendy push the card flush. However, instead you secredv angle jog the card and maneuver it smoothly into an in jogged position. Such maneuvers are reasonably standard in card magic, so a brief description should suffice:

As your right fingers push the card inward, apply more pressure with the forefinger, so that the card moves into the pack canted to the left. The angle of the card should be such that the outer left: corner protrudes only slightly from the left side of the pack (Figure 1). With your left thumb, immediately contact this protruding corner and pull it back about three-quarters of an inch (Figure 2). Then, with your left fourdi finger, catch die inner right edge of the card and push leftward, swiveling the card into an injogged position (Figure 3). The card should now project approximately hall an inch from the rear of the pack.

As you seem to finish squaring the deck, use your right hand to turn the cards over sidcwisc and face up in your left hand. The right hand, as it is naturally positioned, aids in concealing the injogged card while this adjustment is made. As you casually turn over the deck, move ir a hit forward of normal dealing grip, so that the front end projects past the left forefinger, and the tip of the left fourth finger comes naturally into contact with the inner right corner of the injogged selection. In this position the fourth finger and die heel of the thumb can securely grip the inner corners ol the protruding card (Figure 4).

You are now prepared to steal the card from the deck and load it under the handkerchief. These two tasks are accomplished in one smooth and logical motion. Widi your right hand, pull the handkerchief from your pocket and snap it open. ( larch a corncr of the handkerchief between your left rhumb and forefinger (or between your first and second fingers, if your thumb and forefinger aren't long enough to make the grip). Then .slide your right hand to the opposite corncr and pinch that corncr between the first two fingers. You can now hold the handkerchief fully open between the hands. As you do this, si retch your right diird and fourth fingers downward and catch part of the right-hand side of the handkerchief against your right palm (Figure 5). Release the left hands corner and adjust die right fingers to assure diat they hold the hand-kerchief open as far as passible.

Bring die hands together, until the palm-down right hand can grasp the front end of the pack. Deftiy grip it at the tips of the fingers, right thumb on the outer left corncr, forefinger on the outer right (ligure 6). Wiith-oui hesitation, move the right hand upward a few inches, then back toward your left elbow. At the same time, with a graceful twist of the wrist, turn the hand palm up with die deck. As the right hand makes this movement, keep the left hand completely still, and continue to grip the injogged card. This results in the card being stripped neady and quietly from the deck.. It is vital here that the left hand remain absolutely stationary. The slightest motion of this hand will dramatically decrease the decep-tiveness of the steal. To aid in keeping the left-hand still, brace your left elbow against your waist while the steal is made.

As you move your righr hand inward the handkerchief is drawn over the left hand, giving no one a chance—even in surrounded circumstanccs—to see the stolen card (Figure 7). Do keep the handkerchief suspended on the left fingertips, slightly above the card, so that its face doesn't accidentally show through the fabric.

Move the right hand back until the approximate center of the handkerchief lies over the left hand. At that point release the handkerchief from the right fingers and move the right hand forward again to deposit the deck face up on the covered left palm. This is done squarely over the stolen card.

You are now in position, without the least hesitation or stalling, to wrap the dcck in the handkerchief, using the classic trick fold explained in so many basic texts (e.g., Erdnasc's The Expert at the Card Table, p. 198; Tarbed Course in Magic, Vol 3, p. 242). I presume that my readers will be familiar with this old standard, or will have access to its description. Con-sequendy, I'll simply say that the deck is folded in the handkerchief, after which you proceed to make the chosen card penetrate through the cloth in your most mysterious manner.


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