The packet is further prepared by placing four dnv points of magicians wax near the four corners of the uppermost doublefaced card This wax mustnt be too tacky It should only stick to an adjacent card when squeezed firmly against it The top Jack of Diamon

You also need a small wallet with only one compartment. I made my own wallets for this trick, using leather lor the back and dear plastic for the pocket (Figure 3). The top of the pockct is about twenty percent shorter than rhe back of the wallet. This makes it very easy to insert cards without fumbling. I've also dressed the corners of the wallet with little brass corner fittings. If you don't wish to custom make such wallets, a search through a well-equipped stationers will often turn up business-catd wallets diat can be adapted to our purposes. Slip the Wrild Card packet into the compartment of the wallet, with rhe waxed cards turned against the leather side of the wallet. If you always position the packer this way, you will never forget which side is up when you bring it from the wallet during performance.

You will actually require four of these wallets, each containing a variant Wild Card set, with cards chosen to create a four-stage cycle through the cards in your force deck. Assuming that the four cards arc those named above, the second Wild Card packet would consist of Sevens of Spades and Kings of Hearts; the third of Kings of Hearts and Fours of Clubs; and the fourth packet of Fours of Clubs and Jacks of Diamonds. You only use one of these packets during a performance, but with each new group of spectators you use the next packet in succession as you move around the room. I'll discuss this in greater detail once the general handling and presentation have been explained.

The forcing deck, in its case, and the wallets ofWild Card packets are together in your right rear trousers pocket.

Four of Clubs

Force Deck

I recommend that you construct one orher item, particularly if you plan to perform this routine at parties and social functions where there is typically a lot of noise. It is a special electronic beeper that makes four loud beeps whenever you press a contact bar mounted to the front of it. These beeps sound like those made by a wrist-watch alarm, only they are much louder, so that they can be heard clearly in a noisy room. (Strangely enough, in such environments the louder beeps sound perfecdy natural.) I activate this beeper when 1 wish to start the "Tamed Card' routine. When I hear the beeps, I look at my watch and pretend the alarm is sounding to remind me that it is time to have a card selected. (This will make more sense in a moment, oncc you understand the presentational premise of the routine.) Timing my actions to coincide with the last beep, I pretend to press a button on my watch to turn off the alarm.

llie special beeper consists of a small speaker (roughly an inch in diameter) mounted to a ninc-volt battery. Wired between these is a programmable chip, which you can buy at an electronic supply house. Once the chip is properly programmed to make four beeps and the parts are correcdy wired together, I suggest that you protect them by sealing them with a permanent coat of polyester compound (which comes as two fluids that harden when mixed). Make sure thai the beeper is working perfectly before you do this, as oncc the compound has solidified, you cant repair things.

I wont mention specific components because, in the world of todays electronics, such information would likely be out ol date before this book reaches press. Nor will I give any details about programming the chip. My brother, an electronic whiz, did that for me, and such mysteries reside in his brain. However, anyone familiar with these chips will know exacdv what is needed. If this knowledge is not in your repertoire, you too probably have a relative or friend who can help you with this. Or simply ask your local electronics supplier to recommend someone who can program and assemble die parts for you.

In performance, you carry the beeper in a trousers pocket, so that you can easily press the contact bar through the cloth. This litde device isn't necessary to do my routine (in fact, many times I don't use it because my pockets are too full of other props), but I think it is a very good idea, as it gets you into the routine smootldy and believahly.

Open die routine by glancing at your wrist watch (which should be worn on your left wrist) during the lull following the preceding trick. (If you have made the beeper just mentioned, use this to motivate the action.) When you see the time, suddenly become a bit flustered. "Oh, its time! Its time for my hobby." Look around at several members of the group. "Do you mind if I do my hobby now? Is it okay?"

People arc too curious and surprised by this odd request to say no. Take the wallet from your pocket, keeping its back turned outward so that its contents can't be seen, and look around for a place to set it. Quickly seeing that there is no convenient surface, ask someone near you, "Will you hold this for a moment?' Hand the wallet, back uppermost, to this person as you reach again into your pocket and bring out the cased deck. These actions purposely keep die cards in the wallet out of the audience's sight. While it certainly doesn't ruin rhe effect if rhe cards are .seen, ir is good ro keep rhe spectators in suspense, curious about the nature of your hobby and the contents of the wallet. Until you bring out the deck, they should not even know that the trick uses cards.

Shake the deck out of the case and place the case into a side pockct of your jackct. liirning to someone else, preferably on your right, say, "I want you to touch a card when I say to. Not before and not after/' Peer at the face of your watch intently. ' Just a few more seconds. Okay—Now*"

Suddenly begin to spread the cards rapidly from left hand to right as you mm toward the spectator and hold the cards out toward him. Time this so that you are holding the second bank from the top of the deck spread between your hands as you say," Now? and thrust the spread almost into his hand. The spectator must touch one of the force cards you ve spread before him. The proffered bank of duplicates, along with your insistence that he make an unhesitating choice, ensures diat die force is surefire. There should be no resistance to this, since your attitude, while outwardly serious, has an underlying feeling of playfulness.

When he touches a card, you look at your watch again and exclaim, "Good. Exactly 011 time. Perfect!" You give him no time to change his mind. The instant his finger touches the card, you ourjog ir from rhe spread.

Why, you might ask, do you have the spectator merely touch a card, rather than remove it completely from die deck? The answer to tliis is born oi experience: Given the anxiety your instructions instill in the spectator, in his haste to take a card at the instant you command he might easily grab two or three in error. Sincc these arc duplicates, I needn't explain the disastrous results such a procedure could precipitate.

Draw the selection from the deck and hand it to the spectator, making sure rhar he understands he is to hold it face down. He now has in his hand a card that matches the four normal cards at the bottom of the Wild Card set (in our example, the Seven of Spades).

"Oh, I'd better explain what this means." As you say this, square the deck in your left hand and, using the uppermost long card as a guide, casually cut the top hank ro rhe bottom of the dcck. Then take the card ease from your jackct pockct, replace the face-down cards into it and return the pack to your right rear trousers pocket, slipping it behind the other wallets. That is, the wallets should lie between your body and the pack. In addition, the front of the case (that side with the thumb notch) should be turned toward you.

"You see, its my hobby to collect playing cards chosen cxactly at this time." Point to your watch face. ' Here, Til show you." Turn to the person holding the wallet and take it from him. "I already have quite a collection." While keeping the wallet turned leather-side up, draw the Wild Card packet from it and place the wallet in your breast pocket.

Hold the packet in left-hand dealing position, with the face-down Jack of Diamonds uppermost, and turn the Jack face up on the packet. You will probably need to separate it from die waxed surface of the double-faced card below it. Tliis is easily done by grasping it in your palm-down right hand, fingers at the ourer end, rhumb ar rhe inner, and gently easing it away. The turning of the card is done openly, as it means nothing ro rhe audience; however, you assure that no importance is placed on it by simultaneously focusing attention on ruin the effect if rhe cards are seen, ir is good ro keep the spectators in suspense, curious about the nature of your hobby and the contents of the wallet. Until you bring out the deck, they should not even know that the trick uses cards.

Shake the deck out of the case and place the case into a side pocket of your jacket, liirning to someone else, preferably on your right, say, "I want you to touch a card when I say to. Not before and not after/' Peer at the face of your watch intently. ' Just a few more seconds. Okay—Now*"

Suddenly begin to spread the cards rapidly from left hand to right as you turn toward the spectator and hold the cards out toward him. Time this so that you are holding the second bank from the top of the deck spread between your hands as you say," Now? and thrust the spread almost into his hand. The spectator must touch one of the force cards you ve spread before him. The proffered bank of duplicates, along with your insistence that he make an unhesitating choice, ensures diat the force is surefire. Tliere should be no resistance to this, since your attitude, while outwardly serious, has an underlying feeling of playfulness.

When he touches a card, you look at your watch again and exclaim, "Good. Exactly 011 time. Perfect!" You give him no time to change his mind. The instant his finger touches the card, you ourjog it from rhe spread.

Why, you might ask, do you have the spectator merely touch a card, rather than remove it completely from die deck? The answer to tliis is born of experience: Given the anxiety your instructions instill in the spectator, in his haste to take a card at the instant you command he might easily grab two or three in error. Since these arc duplicates, I needn't explain the disastrous results such a procedure could precipitate.

Draw the selection from the deck and hand it to the spectator, making sure that he understands he is to hold it face down. He now has in his hand a card that matches the four normal cards at the bottom of the Wild Card set (in our example, the Seven of Spades).

"Oh, I'd better explain what this means." As you say this, square the deck in your left hand and, using the uppermost long card as a guide, casually cut the top bank ro rhe bottom of the deck. Then take the card ease from your jackctpockct, replace the face-down cards into it and return the pack to your right rear trousers pocket, slipping it behind the other wallets. That is, the wallets should lie between your body and the pack. In addition, the front of the case (that side with the thumb notch) should be turned toward you.

"You see, its my hobby to collect playing cards chosen exactly at this time." Point to your watch face. ' Here, Til show you." Turn to the person holding the wallet and take it from him. "I already have quite a collection." While keeping the wallet turned leather-side up, draw the Wild Card packet from it and place the wallet in your breast pocket.

Hold the packet in left-hand dealing position, with the face-down Jack of Diamonds uppermost, and turn the Jack face up on the packet. You will probably need to separate it from die waxed surface of the double-faced card below it. Tliis is easily done by grasping it in your pal m-down right hand, fingers at the outer end, rhumb ar rhe inner, and gently easing it away. The turning of the card is done openly, as it means nothing ro rhe audience; however, you assure that no importance is placed on it by simultaneously focusing attention on thumb, past the left edge oFthe three Jacks lying on the left fingertips (Figure 6). The right hands entire packet is caught by the left thumb as the right second finger and rhumb shift

The left hand then moves to the left, taking the undisplayed packet while leaving the Jacks in die rig!it hand (Figure 7).

rhythm to peel off*the top card from the right hands stock. But instead of treating the next card similarly, use the tips of the left fingers to pull the lower card of the right hands pair to the left, so that it is side jogged for roughly an inch (Figure 8). You turn your eyes again to die cards as you display diem, while saying, "... everybody always chooses the Jack of Diamonds. I suppose there is some scientific reason for it.,: Then simply place die right hands two Jacks onto the facc of the left hands packet and square the cards.

At this point the top card is the waxed double-faced card. Below it is the normal Jack; then the other two double-facers followed by the four Sevens.

"Well, it s nice to have your card in die collection as well, and..With your right hand, take the chosen card from the spectator, turn it face up and look genuinely surprised when you see it is rhe Seven of Spades.

Lay the face-up Seven widely sidejogged on the packet in your left hand and spread

Let me pause here a moment to explain an important bit of psy chology. You have just made it clear to everyone that the spectacor has chosen a card diat doesn't match your collection, and you have placed all die blame 011 his shoulders: The trick has failed. This is not just a little joke. Its important! Ir prevents people from feeling sorry for you. Who feels sorry ior someone who crassly places the blame on another person? One might even get angry with such an individual! Consequently, you must deliver this line lighdy. You don't want the spectators to bccomc upset with you! Nor do you want them to feel sorry for you. You don't want them to invest emotion in you, only to find out later that it was all just a hoax. (For more on this topic, see " Failureffectsp. 70.)

As you gently chide the spectator, square rhe spread cards onto the packet and remove the Seven from the face. "The time is correct but..." Turn your left hand palm down, so that you can gesture with the right hand's Seven to the facc of your watch. In doing this, use your left thumb to reverse the packet, turning it sidewise and over. This maneuver is done openly, but is treated as incidental. Immediately turn the left hand palm up again, bringing the bade of the packet into view.

Revolve the selection face down in the right fingers and hold it beside the packer, letting the identical backs be seen. "Sure, rhe back is okay, but..." Then turn the chosen card face up again, as if you still can't believe your eyes.

Turn your left hand palm down once more and use die extended left forefinger to tap the face of die selection as you say, "You know, do you mind if 1 change ir to a Jack of Diamonds? Okay? It's better. It will fit the collection then.'

While you are talking, turn your left hand palm up and thumb over the top card of the face-down packet. Then slip the right hands face-up Seven partially beneath this card and carry both of them to the right and away from the packet.

"It's very simple. You just put a Jack on top of the Seven and it changes." Using only the right diumb and fingers, rub the two face-ro-face cards together and, as you focus all attention on this action, with yotir left thumb, flip the packer sidewise and face up again. As with the previous turnover, the maneuver is not meant to be hidden; it is simply treated as unimportant.

Spread the right hands two cards and grip the bottom one, die face-up Seven, at the tips of die left fingers (Figure 9). Glance at it, seeing that it hasn't changed as expected, and retake it under die right hand s face-down card. Raise both cards ro your lips and blow on them. Then lower the right hand, spreading the two cards, and rcgrip the face-up bottom card at the left fingertips, look genuinely puzzled at the card. "That's strange—huh/'

As you feign confusion, raise your right hand enough to let die face of its card be seen. Some spectators will nonce that it has changed into a Seven; others will be intent on your difficulty. Let the observant ones perceive the magic before you do.

"You know, normally this should.Lay the right hand's card again on the face-up Seven and rub the faces of the two cards together. Remove die top card, look at die unchanged Seven, then slowly revolve the right hand's card face up, fully exposing its face. uOh!"

Meanwhile, a Jack shows at the face of the packet. Turn both hands simultaneously palms down and up again, letting both sides of the cards be seen.

Immediately lay the light hand's face-up ]Q Seven onto the Seven held at the left fingertips and carry both away from the packet in a spread condition. Slowly turn the right hand palm down, letting the backs of the two cards be seen. Then return the hand to its previous palm-up position. This litde display sequence subdy establishes that the changed card has a normal face and back, a point you will continue to drive home without mention as the routine progresses.

"You know what? Hold out your liand." Place die right hand's two cards face up in the spectator's extended hand, release the bottom card and carry the top one away. As attention is focused 011 diis action, casually turn your left hand palm down and, with the first two fingertips, swivel the uppermost face-down card outward and away from the rest. ' 1 he left fingers aid in obscuring the fact that this card is coming from the back rather than from the facc of the packet (Figure 10, an audience view).

"I'll just change the collection. That will work out better, because after all you did choose the Seven of Spades, so we should get you Sevens of Spades."

As you say this, your hands keep working, changing two more Jacks into Sevens. Slip the right hands card face up under the separated card on the left hand's packet (Figure 11). Immediately grip both cards, face to face, at the right fingertips and revolve the right hand palm down as you turn the left hand palm up again.

i his for just a second or two, turn your right hand palm up, revealing the face of the upper card: another Seven!

Flick the two cards back and forth off each other, tacidy proving diem single; then take both cards, face up and spread, into die right hand. Turn the hand briefly palm down and up again, showing the backs and faces of the cards. Then ser the lower card of the pair face up onto the card already held by the spectator.

In doing this, use your left thumb to push rhe upper card of the packet roughly an inch to the right, and immediately afterward, with the tip of your left second finger, buclde the lowermost card of the packet and push it

to the right in a sort of bottom-dealing action. This card should come into fairly close alignment with the sidejogged upper card, but must not project past it (Figure 12).

The right hand, having just placed one of its cards into die spectator's hand, returns to die packet. Turning palm down, it then apparendy takes die sidejogged upper card beneath the face-down Seven it holds. In reality though, hidden by rhe right hands card, the left thumb retracts the facc-up Jack, drawing it square onto the face of the packet; and the right thumb pinches the projecting rear card of the packet against the face of the right hand s Seven. Then, without hesitation, the right hand draws its two cards smoothly away from the packet. The illusion of the right hand taking the face-up Jack under its face-down Seven is excellent. In effect you are executing a stud bottom deal under cover of the right hands card, making the sleight quite easy.

Turn your right hand palm up and grip rhe bottom card of its pair between the left thumb and second fingertip. Rub the right hand s face-down card briefly against the face of this card; then rotate the right hands card end over end and face up, showing that it has also changed to a Seven. This change, when done correcdy, looks even more magical than the previous two.

Once again, take the Seven from the left fingertips, clipping it under the right hands Seven. With the two cards spread, briefly nirn your right hand palm down, displaying die backs of the cards, then turn the hand palm up again and deposit the lower card of the pair onto those in the spectators hand.

At this point you are saying, . .after all, you chose a Seven of Spades, we should get you Sevens of Spades." As these words are delivered you briskly perform the fourth change:

Move your right hand and its normal Seven of Spades back to rhe packet while your left thumb pushes over the top card (the waxed double facer). The right hand slips its card under the double facer and carries it to the right of the packet while holding both cards in a spread condition.

At this moment use your left thumb to push die next card of the packet slighdy to the right, and form a left fourth-finger break under it as you draw the card square again with rhe packet.

Turn your right hand palm down and set the lower of its two cards (the double facer) onto the packet in a sidejogged position. With the right fingers, draw the upper card smoothly back, exposing the Seven-side of the double-faced card. Turn the right hand palm up, displaying the face of its card, also a Seven. The transformations are accelerating—another card has just changed!

Place the right hand's card face up onto the spectators packet and say, 'You can have a look at the cards. Theres nothing wrong with them? No chemical paints on them or layers of card?" This invitation for the spectator to examine the four cards is a very strong moment; and since all four cards are perfecdy normal, the spectator can convince himself and the rest of the audience of this fact. You dont pause long for this, though; just a few seconds as...

Your left thumb draws the sidejogged double-faced card square widi the packet and presses down on the outer left index, corner. Since the top card is the waxed double facer, this pressure adheres die top pair of cards together. Bring your right hand to the packct and perform the same service at the inner right corncrs of the cards. The break you are holding allows the right forefinger to \ \ enter without hesitation below

\ ^ tuP two caRk to squeeze

( puts you into position to carry away the wax-joined pair from the packet. (Note that in sticking these two cards together you have not only eliminated two of die Jack faces, but also have created a "norma T Seven with a back.)

With your right hand, remove the waxed pair of cards from the packet. Then, with your left thumb, push the next card of the packet (a double facer) an inch to die right. Resume your patter, saying, "No, dieres nodiing. Its just diat if you take a card and rub it like this, it changes.7

Momentarily rest the right hand s waxed pair on the sidejogged double-faced card, steadying it as your left second finger kicks the bottom card of the packet to die right, using the same simple bottom-dealing action described previously. The bottom card should be slid into rough alignment with the sidejogged double facer. You are now going to repeat the card switch used for the third change:

Having maneuvered the bottom card beneath the sidejogged double facer, you immediately move your right hand a bit to the right and turn it palm down with its card (actually the waxed pair). Then bring the right hands waxed cards over the three cards in the left liand and, with the rip of your right thumb, clip the right edge of the bottom card (the normal Seven) to the underside of the waxed cards. Move your right hand back to the right with its cards while you simultaneously use your left thumb to draw the sidejogged double facer back and square onto the left hand's second double-faced card.

Without hesitation, rotate your right hand palm up and, with the thumb and fingers, rub the faces of the double and single cards together in a magical gesture, stopping when both arc closely aligned.

Bringing these cards back near die left hand, grip their inner left corncrs between the left thumb and forefinger. Ar the same time, shift the right hands grip to the outer right corners and press with both thumbs and forefingers (Figure 14). This adheres the remaining two (non-index) corners of the wax-joined double card.

With your right hand, immediately slide the top single card forward and turn it end over end, face up. This reveals the faces of two more Sevens! Pick up the double card under the right hands normal Seven, show them backs and fronts; then drop the waxed double card onto the spectators packet.

Spread the left hands two remaining Jacks (both double facers). Then bring the right hand's remaining card (the normal Seven) back to the left hand's packet, slip it between the two Jacks and leave it there, forming a fan. As you complete diis action, rub your right diumb over the facc of the upper Jack and hold out the packet. "Now, nih wirh your finger. Rub here/' Indicate the face of Jack on your packet. "Does anything come off?"

Tliis litde exercise accomplishes two diings: It eliminates another theory that does occur to lay people; and it focuses the spectators attention on feeling the face of the Jack in your packet, rather than examining in some less desirable way his own cards. He is, after all, unknowingly holding some very damning evidence; so you direct his attention to your cards and away from his.

You perform the next change while you say, "No dust comes off. Friction doesn't alter the color of the card, it just changes." The change is rather bold in action, but given everything that has preceded, it is quite deceptive: The right fingertips, which are under your

Then, in a continuous action, the right fingertips rub the upper card in a circular fashion over the face of the card beneath, while causing the lower two cards to spread (Figure 16). Just before this two-card turnover, the spectators saw a face-up Seven between two face-up

After allowing a sccond or two for this final transformation to register, slip the right hands card under the left hand s cards and square them. You will now perform a very deceptive false display invented by Eddy Taytelbaum (a four-card version of which was published by Harry Lorayne under the title "Flustered" in Apocalypsc, Vol. 6, No. 5, May 1983, p. 778). This sequence apparendy shows all three cards, faces and backs:

Adjust the packct to fingertip pinch-grip between the hands, as if about to do a fingertip Elmsley or Jordan count. With your right thumb and fingertips, pinch off rhe uppermost card of the packet and carry it to the right (Figure 19). Smoothly placc this card onto those held by the spectator as you simultaneously turn your left hand palm down, displaying the back of its two-card packet (Figure 20). Say, "They re all..

Turn the left hand palm up again and, with your right hand, pinch olf the lower card of the pair. Carry this card to the right as you at the same time turn rhe riglu hand palm down, showing the back of the card (Figure 21). Just as you do this, lay the left hand s card face up onto the spectators packet, saying, . .Sevens..

In a smooth, flowing fashion, turn the right hand palm up again and lay its card face up onto the others in the spectators hand, saying, . .of Spades."

This sequence, taken as a whole, combines the same elements of confusion exploited by related false displays like Norm I loughtons flush traiion count and Edward Marios Olram subtlety. Done in an unhesitating, rhythmic manner, the illusion of seeing faces and backs of all three cards is totally convincing.

All that remains is to wrap up the effect, during which you make one final display of die cards, faces and backs, and in doing so reset the packet for the next performance! Reclaim the packet from the spectator. From the face down, the cards read: normal Seven, two double-faced cards (Seven-sides up), waxed double card (double facer over normal Jack) and four normal sevens.

To begin the final display, form the cards into a fan as follows: While holding the packet in your left hand, spread over the top card into the right hand. Take the next card, with its outer end visible, fanned to the left under the first card. Push over the third card and take this under the first two, outjogged for roughly half an inch, but also jogged half an inch to the right of the second card. In other words, it lies under the fan, with only its outer end exposed (Figure 22).

22 23

Push over the fourth card (the waxed double) and take it under the fan, positioned slightly farther to rhe right of the third card, and out jogged just enough to be visible (Figure 23).

Lay the right hands fan over the balance of the packet, with the fifth card positioned to the left of the second card and, with your left thumb fan the remaining four cards normally (Figure 24). The faces of eight Sevens of Spades are seen at once—a final display that dramatically brings home the impossibility of these multiple transformations. Where have all die Jacks gone?

As you swiftly and casually form this fan, you say "Yes, you know, they always choose the Seven of Spades at this time. Its very strange."

As you mention rhe rime, casually turn your right hand palm down and use your forefinger rn rap your watch face (Figure 25). The undersides of the three double-faced cards arc hidden by the configuration of the fan, and you don't pause long enough in this position to allow the number of visible backs to be counted. (This cover idea is based on one by Peter Kane, which he devised for his marketed Wild Card effect, "Gypsy Curse'.)

Return rhe right hand palm up and lay the fan onto the extended leit fingers. Bring the left thumb down on the face of the fourth Seven from the rear of the fan and separate the hands a bit, splitting the fan in two (Figure 26). Then, in a manner of casual further display, use the left thumb to draw the top card of the right hand s group onto the lefts cards (Figure 27). This unites all five normal Sevens in the left hand.

Now set the right hand s cards onto those in the left hand, and square them all together as you catch a left fourth-finger break under the right hands cards. Next, bring your right hand palm down over the packet and grasp it from above by its ends, using the right fingers ro conceal the entire front edge of the cards. The instant the right hand obscurcs the packct, dig your left fourth finger deep into the break (Figure 28). When you take this position, also tilt the front of the packet downward slighdy. You are now ready to execute Ken Krenzels mechanical reverse as you openly turn the packet face down—and secredy reverse the cards that at the moment lie above the break. The actions of the sleight are these:

Slip your left thumb under the cards and push upward, causing the packet to revolve sidewise and face down. Your left fingers cooperate in this by opening to the right, and your right hand follows along, continuing to grip the packet loosely by its ends while remaining palm down. The straightened left fourth finger still lies between the two portions of the packet (Figure 29).

Having helped to turn the packet over, your right hand now shifts the cards leftward, deep in the fork of the left thumb, returning the cards to left-hand dealing position. However, in this action, your left fingers, undercover oi die right hand and the upper cards held by it, bend inward, secredy turning the cards clipped between them over sidewise (Figure 30).The instant the left fingers have accomplished this, the)' open and take their places at the right side of the packet, while the break is released. If you keep the front edge of the packet tilted downward, as mentioned, and turn slightly to your left as you execute the reverse, to prevent anyone having a view of your hands from the extreme left side, this sleight cannot be detected.

At this point, if you were to turn the packet over once more, you would find it is arranged exacdy as it was when the routine began—with one exception: there is one more

Seven of Spades in die packet than you started with, the chosen card. However, in performance you do not turn the packct over. As it is held, the extra Seven lies on top, and the waxed double card at the bottom.

From your pocket bring out the empty wallet and slip the packet into it. I hen, as you rip rhe outer end of the wallet up, tilting the upper surface out of the audience's view, casually pull just the top card (the selection) out of the wallet and lay it square on top (Figure 31). Bccausc of the transparent compartment in die wallet, even if someone should catch a glimpse of the card outside the pocket, it is difficult to tell on which side of the plastic the card rests.

Immediately put the wallet into your pocket, slipping it between the cased dcck and the other wallets. The leather side of the wallet should lie against the deck. All this, of course, is done quickly and casually during those moments of relaxation that follow the climax of a routine.

When it comes time to perform " I "he Tamed Card" for the next group, you rcach into your pocket and remove the deck. However, you also insert your thumb between the two wallets that rest closest to the deck and contact the loose card that lies between them. Then, as you draw out the deck, slip the loose card out with it, clipping it squarely to the front of the case (dial is, the side with the thumb notch). Then, as you casually open the case and shake out rhe deck, the loose card is easily added to it, joining the duplicates on top (Figure 32). Since you are at this time asking the next spectator if he will help you with your hobby, no one will be paying attention to the deck as you add the card to it, though there is little to be seen anyway, and less to be thought if something were seen.The added card joins the force hank it originally left, and everything is ready for the next round.

Bring out the next of your wallets, which lies nearest your body. This contains the Wild Card packet that begins as Sevens of Spades and will end as Kings of Hearts. Should anyone choose to follow you around the room, he will see you start the routine with the very cards you finished with in the previous performance—and the cards continue to change, conforming with each fresh selection! Your persistent spectator would have to follow you for five sets before he would see a repetition of cards. It has not happened yet.

The tor

GET the impression at times that in magic we could use more performers with greater creativity. This increased creativity would be exercised not so much in die invention oi new tricks, but in the domain ol presentation. One area oi presentation that could definitely use greater imagination is what 1 call the "kick-off": rhe presentational opening for a trick.

Many tricks begin with a standard formula: the introduction of the plot or props to the audience. This resembles a practice employed by some playwrights, in which the situation and all the characters are presented during the first few minutes of the play. Although this is a classic approach, it is also somewhat threadbare; common to say the least, and certainly not very exciting. Many stage plays, films and books have striven to adopt methods that arc less clich^d.

One of the more exciting ways of opening a story is to throw the audience immediately into the action: "As he frantically tried to find a way out of the alley, Peter heard shouting behind him. They were already close! With the letter tightly clenched in his fist, he headed for an old rusty door that was ajar. With some force he opened it further. I Ie dodged quickly into the building and closed the door behind him. Silently he sat there in pitch black. After a few moments he heard the running steps of the sccrct policc. For a moment he thought they stopped near the door, but luckily..

You are immediately captured by the exhilarating action of die chase. You have no information about characters or circumstances; yet the story is immediately in lull swing. Although you may get certain information at this stage, it is imparted in a way peripheral to the action. Later, sometimes much later, bits and pieces are given to complete the picture.

This approach is now common in many films, stage plays and novels. It is an approach that has proven extremely successful. It captures the attention immediately and conveys at once that the story is going to be interesting. The initial interest generated can help to propel the audience through slower stages oi the story that occur later.

Now lets return to our magic effect. Introducing the players—that is, the props— immediately, and thus setting the stage slowly, is much less captivating. At rimes it generates so litde interest, the spectators mightn't have the patience to sit through the initial stages. You may lose their attention before the interesting action can take place.

Some tricks, by their very nature, require moderate time to set the stage before the actual effect can occur. In such instances a different approach could help to generate initial interest. "The Tamed Card'' shows how the plunging-right-in tactic can be used successfully. During the first minute, there is quite a bit of action, but no one knows exacdv where it will lead. The actual effect becomes apparent in a later stage, when the action is less hectic. Only then, when attention has been firmly captured, is the plot explained. The fact that the spectators don't know how to interpret the opening action arouses rheir interest and keeps them watching. They expect that evenmally your intention will become clcar to them.

By the way, this technique proves false one of our old dogmas: that the audience must always understand what is going on. A false dogma, when adhered to, only limits our possibilities. Of course they must be able tofollow zhe procedure, but diey don't need to undersUirid its purpose or object, if it carries the implication tliat later all will become clear. Assuring that the audience doesn't understand die purpose of die procedure can actually be used to generate interest! While this is now a standard technique in film and theater for gaining immediate interest, in magic it is seldom seen. Yet, it is just as beneficial in magic presentations as it is in other arts.

I certainly don't wish to suggest diat we always use diis technique. To use it in more than one effect in your show would, I think, be a poor idea. But then, I think that using the classic approach more chan once in an act is not a particularly good practice either. The best course is to vary approaches as much as possible.

Interest can also be generated by our patter or by bringing out an unusual prop. For instance, when I perform "Post-ultimate Rip-off" (p. 90), I open with the remark, "Did you ever see a card trick with less than one card?" This puzzles die spectators. They don't understand what I mean, so it generates interest. Such methods are easily applicable to magic presentations, and luckily they are used with reasonable frequency.

There are other opening strategies. Many examples can be found in films and books. Some of them may not be applicable to magic presentations, but it is well worth your examining the different methods available for introducing a trick.

Whichever strategics you choose, with every effect try to see if there are other more interesting ways than the most obvious one to introduce it. Making an unusual kickoff can be most rewarding. Indeed, it can significantly improve the entire trick. Kickoffs are too often ignored when it comes to creativity, and your inventiveness in this area can make your performances shine with relative ease. For wont it be easier and more productive to create an effective new kickoff for a trick than to invent yet anodier variation of a variation of a variation of a standard plot?

HERE arc many card forces around, and I certainly don't want to suggest that there is only one type that is best. Some card forces might seem very unnatural, and yet, for a given trick or situation, one of these might he perfect. 11 all depends. However, for general purposes I feel the most natural appearing force is one in which you spread the dcck and have a spectator remove a card.

The easiest way to achieve this goal would seem to be the use of a one-way deck: fifty-two identical cards. Placing one different card at the face of the pack is a good idea. Although this seems a satisfactory solution, diere is a problem. If* later in the effect, the spectator should start to suspect that the card might have been forced, he could easily conclude that all the cards must have been the same. Why this solution? Because this is probably a method a layperson would come up with if given the problem of how to force a card. Personally I think it is much, much better to have twenty identical CArds and thirty-two indifferent cards, an idea (give or take a few force cards) that both Al Baker and HarlanTarbell suggested years ago. With such a deck you can display the faces of the cards during the effect. This, being much subder, requires more thought by the audience to see through the deception; yet the forcing of a card is still easy and surefire.

In "TheTamed Card" routine, in which a four-way forcing deck is used, one cannot, of course, show the laces of the cards. Therefore, when you show your card collection to consist of duplicate cjirda—before the. chosen card is disclosed—people might suspect that the deck is similarly constructed with more of the same card. Here, fortunately, a suspicion of this sort doesn't matter, because it is later shown that the chosen card doesn't match the collection. On seeing this the audience abandons the idea of an all-alike dcck. Later the idea is not revived, as it is no longer important. The transformation of the cards is now perceived to be the trick, and the earlier selection of a card and the fairness of that selection cease to be an issue.

Unless you intend to do a series of card effects, using a special pack will usually be quite practical, although the performing circumstances can play a part in this decision. However, when you can use a force deck, do sec if that dcck can be a Bakcr-Tarbcll style dcck. I find that most routines can be structured to hide the twenty duplicates from view during the effect, or even during several effects. If this is not possible, try using only ten duplicates, keeping them together and hiding them. Then force from that ten-card bank. And if ten cards are too many, perhaps you can use five duplicates instead. If even that is nor possible, try having one card all the same; rhar is, use the classic force. I have personally found very few circumstances that demanded the use of a classic force. It is, obviously so much easier to force from a bank of five or more cards, hiding the duplicates during the effect.

But of course this is a matter of personal preference, tempered by how well and how surely you can execute the classic force. I prefer to eliminate the risk by using as many duplicate cards as I can. Although this idea may seem impractical to many magicians, in real-world performance how many card tricks are you going to do in one set? Most often it will be only one; and almost certainly not five or six in a row. Given this, it should be extremely easy to ring in rhar special deck.

Still, though you may not wish to do a long string of card tricks at a single table, you may desire to perform different card tricks at different tables. If this is the case, you will need a forcing deck and another deck as well. However, what if your pockets are filled with various props, and carrying an extra deck is impractical? Pocket space can be valuable! If you really don't have the space to carry a forcing deck, you have two options: Do the classic force—which artistically is probably the best choice—or use another, less risky, forcing mediod, such as the I Iofzinscr spread force.

Which forcing method you choose depends on your handling., style and circumstances, and the trick you are performing. In the end, though, my recommendation is, whenever possible, use a forcing deck.

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NE of die most important diings to have as a magician is confidence. Sometimes an inferior performer with sturdy confidence will be judged by the audience as much better than an otherwise excellent performer whose confi-

When spectators perceive a lack oi confidence in a performer, they can become nervous themselves and lose confidence in the performer. When this occurs they can no longer enjoy the performance. Such self-doubt in a performer undermines proper enjoyment of the show on both sides of the footlights.

It is imperative then that we gain confidcncc in our work. The best and probably the only way to gain this confidence is by working constantly. In the forge of frequent performance, all doubts we harbor about ourselves and our work should eventually disappear, for experience teaches us there is nothing wrong with ourselves or with our work.

Some performers gain this confidence more quickly than others. There are even those who, probably from sheer ignorance, enjoy confidence without experience. But most of us need time to acquire it.

Experience certainly helps one to gain confidence, but the process of acquiring that confidence can be accelerated. Many factors can speed the attainment of confidence. Foremost is being certain of your material. This is achieved by examining what you do and what could possibly go wrong with it. What in your work might disturb an audience? Much of this analysis can be done at home by simply thinking about your work and preparing yourself through thorough rehearsal. Practice, and you will discover what can go wrong with your material. Then take measures to prevent it from ever going wrong again. Also analyze yourself. Think about your personality and performing character. Are there things there that could disturb an audience, that could put them into an undesirable frame of mind, preventing diem from absorbing and appreciating your show in the way you wish? Ii so, take measures to change these elements.

This then is the main technique for acquiring confidence quickly: Do your homework! That in itself, though, doesn't mean that you will approach your first show with total confidence; but the seeds for that confidence will be planted, and there is fertile ground on which confidence can grow. This preparation ensures that you will need the least amount of actual experience to gain an essential confidence.

But that isn't everything. Other factors can rob you of confidence, things that differ from person to person, because they are closely related to individual character. Over the years, I've discovered several tilings that are detrimental to my confidence:

• When I have loads and gimmicks attached to my body in a way diat isn't totally comfortable, my confidence can be diminished. One solution to this would be nor to wear die loads or gimmicks; but I found that as long as 1 don't feel them, they cease to bodier me. So whenever I must carry a load, I do whatever is necessary to assure that 1 cannot feel it.This might mean moving the load, changing the holder, altering rhe way it is attached to the body, etc. This can require a lot of work and experimentation, but for me it is important. When I cant physically feel the load or gimmicks, it becomes easier for me to ignore their presence.

• Certain types of preparation will also ruin my confidence. When, just before going on stage, I must make some delicate last-minute preparations, my confidence can be destroyed. Delicate preparations don't bodier me when they are made at some reasonable time before performance, but they mustn't be jusr minutes before going on. So what can I do about this? I take steps to ensure that I don't need to make such preparations at the last moment. This could mean that I have to change the method of a trick, or that a ccrtain trick wont work for mc at all. When I know that some element requires delicate last-minute preparations I avoid it like the plague.

• Stepping in front of an audience is quite an experience. If, during the first minute I am on stage, I must do many difficult things, it can unnerve me. I need a short time to adjust to being there. I need time to see the audience and acknowledge diem. I can then gradually begin the difficult performing.Therefore, I try to avoid taxing actions during the first minute, to prevent ruining my confidence.

• Have you ever worried about whether you had everything with you when you stepped 011 stage, or as you approached the first restaurant tabic? Perhaps you've checked your props and checked them again—but is everything really there? I've often suffered this sort of doubt, and consequently I began my performances filled with anxiety. That is, until I found a simple way to know whether I had everything with me. Not only do I check all my props, but I also count them. For example, in my stage act I know I must have ten things with me; so just before I go on, I count them all. When I reach ten I know that nothing has been overlooked. Then I'm confident. This is a much more certain way than merely checking (he things you have with you. After all, you might forget to check one of rhe necessary items! This counting of props is, for me, an essential element for assuring confidcncc.

Knowing what affects your confidence is knowing how to protect it. Oncc you have gained confidence, don t allow anvdiing to attack it. Treat it like a baby, rake care of it. Bccausc, no matter what you do to protect your confidence, there will always be times when outside elements arise to undermine ir despire all your preparations, and the only thing that keeps you from being shattered is that confidence you retain after the assault. So, the more confidence you have, rhc more you will be armed for attacks against it. And, if you are an actual performer reading this, you know absolutely that your confidence will be under attack, sometimes a heavy and massive attack, many, many times.

In 'The Tamed Card", I take several precautions to protect my confidence. When using the four-way force deck, for example, each bank of cards is marked for easy recognition. I do diis so that I can know with perfect certainty that I am forcing the correct card. If those markings weren't there, it would be unlikely that I would force the wrong card, buc I would still be slighdy uncertain, and that could very well ruin my confidence, thereby making it that much harder for me and, in turn, my audience.

The fact that the routine resets itself is another important point meant to bolster my confidence. Never must 1 be uncertain that the cards are correctly arranged.

Also note that the sequence of the four packets can t be accidentally changed, even when traveling between shows. They always remain in the correct order. If, instead, I tossed each packet into my carrying case when I was done with it, they could becomc mixed—and one day they would! Putting them in sequence eliminates one more possibility for worry in my mind.

Confidence is fundamental to a good performance, but it doesn't come to most of us automatically; so we must do our best to create the optimum conditions under which confidence can flourish.

slmd mm foke odax*s life seems to move faster than ever before. In that light it seems logical that we need to work faster than was necessary a few decades ago. That may IvOyT very well be. It is widely held that, since people are used to so much informa-tion coming at them from so many sources, they are quickly bored unless you oiler a lot of variety at a fast pace. C Consider television, livery ten to twenty seconds the frame is changed. Viewers are confronted with a multitude of perspective and scene changes to hold their interest.

Although it seems logical that we need more variety at a faster pace to interest the audience, there is room for debate. Is it really necessary to change the picture so often? Or do television producers feel it necessary, to prevent people from switching stations out of boredom? I certainly don't envy the people who make television shows. Because of rhei r rerror of the remote control, they change the picture so often it becomes hard to achicvc any depth. There is no time, and in the end they have shown so much so quickly, one could say they have shown nothing but superficial images moving in interesting ways.

Ol course one might wonder if modern man wants depdr in entertainment. Perhaps we have become accustomed to a fast pace, and our minds wander quickly. Maybe; bur is it also possible that this practice is self-fulfilling? If there is no depth, is it any wonder that the mind of modern man drifts away? More important, if we remain on a superficial level, can there be any real enjoyment?

Let s take an evening to dine at a fine restaurant. We note that the food is exquisitely presented and artfully served—but when it is brought to our table, we quickly wolf it down. Huw can we fully appreciate and enjoy the quality of the dishes offered? No matter how good the food, it needs time to be appreciated. To enjoy it properly, the food should be eaten slowly with attention to its appcarancc, smell, texture, harmonious variety and taste. When gobbling food down, we hardly look at it. We merely stuff it into our mouths, chew quickly, swallow and shove in the next mouthful. The step of enjoying it is neglected. As with virtually anything, when it is done quickly there is little enjoyment.

Speed and superficiality may be necessary in some instances for television, and speed is also suitable to things thar are superficial, that have no depth. Who wants to linger over some bland dish? Its better to swallow it quickly, get it into your stomach and be done with it. However, for those things that rise above the superficial, like good food, enjoyment begins when the various details offered are enjoyed. Time is needed for the deeper enjoyment of something of quality.

I have now been doing close-up magic for almost twenty-five years and I have found that audicnces in general need far more time than I first suspected. Despite the expectations raised by our modern environments, people really aren't that fast. When performing close-up, you are in direct contact with your audience, and when information Hashes by too quickly for them to comprehend, you immediately know it. People need time to digest and appreciate wliat is offered. When you present information you should give it in small pieces, and let each piece be digested before giving another.

I'm not suggesting, of course, that your show should lag. It shouldn't he so slow that empty spots appear in die presentation. The moment rhe spectators have dealt with one piece of information, rhe next must be immediately presented to them. There should be no spots in which nothing happens. But its essential that the audience has ample time to appreciate what is offered.

Between diose rimes when information is imparted, there will he periods of relaxation. Although one could think of those relaxation intervals as empty moments, of course they aren't. They are filled with relaxation. Audiences must also be given time to relax. As soon as a proper time for relaxation has elapsed, you should immediately pick up the thread of the action again. Intervals of relaxation must be timed to end before any of the spectators— that means even one of them—have finished relaxing; lor il (he action is not resumed by you, the spectators diemselves might initiate some sort of activity, and you have lost control.

I also feel that the subject or viewpoint should not constantly change. This may be necessary in television production, where terror of the remote control reigns, but such frequent shifts will lose your audience because, for every change, your spectators need time to adjust. Again, people are not as last as one might assume.

If you dorit constandy change the viewpoint and topic, some depth is required to sustain interest. Enjoyable details are needed, and these must be presented at moderate speed. Remember, people don't enjoy things when the)- arc rushed.

For these reasons I believe that working somewhat slowly is desiiable. Work at a comfortable, leisurely pace, yet keep things moving and allow no empty spots in your presentation.

I recall, some while back, showing Ali Bongo "TheTamed Card". Later he commented on the slow pacing I used. As an example, he remarked on how much time I took af ter die wrong card was chosen before moving on to die magical effect, lb refresh your memory, here is the procedure:

When the chosen card is shown to the audience, I don't see it. 1 simply revel in having their card for my collection. The audience notices that the selection does nor match the rest of the collection. It is only when I place rhe card on top of the others that I see it is the wrong one. I immediately look at my watch to make sure the time of selection was correct; then I hold the chosen card next to the other cards and comment on how different it looks. Next I blame the spectator for having chosen the wrong card and follow this with a little joke about the back of the card being right even if the facc is not. All this occurs before I begin to do any magic.

However, all these details would happen naturally if I did discover diat the wrong card was choscn; conscquendy, all these details are in rhe presentation. Each is acted realistically, with some humor, and the audience is given time to comprehend and enjoy each derail. C )f course I could accelerate the action: "Oh, this is the wrong card. You know what; I'll just change all the others. Look, the first one is changing as I speak!" You would certainly increase the pace, producing more action in less time, but so much would be lost. The effect would be far shallower, with fewer details, and the audience would be given much less to enjoy. I he acting, rhe situation, everything must be given a chance to exist and time to be enjoyed.

There is another advantage to performing at a slower pace: It gives the audience a different appreciation of your work. Most people believe that magic is accomplished by quickness of the hand. If your work is at high speed, you confirm this belief, particularly if you lose die audience at times, which is quite likely to happen when you work quickly. There is anorher danger in this: If you work so last that the audience can't follow die action and stops trying to, you have just lost some part, if nor all, of their interest. This means that the)r will care less about the outcome, and the effectiveness of your magic drops considerably.

I Iowever, when your work is slow, chances of losing interest are minimized, because everything can be easily followed. When full comprehension of the effect is coupled with the recognition that your actions are slow and deliberate, the impossibility of your magic is enhanced in the minds of the spectators. "I could see everything, no fast hands, and yet it was a total mystery,"

Granted, some types of magic and some performance styles demand a fast pace. In acts designed for revue shows, for example, a blazing pace has value. Nevertheless, fast and flashy magic is almost inescapably superficial and seldom has any depth or meaning. It is magic without rhyme or reason, visual blah-blah. In such shows it is probably best to work fast. The magic then becomes something more akin to dance, movement with color. These qualities, however, generally don't contribute to an essential feeling of magic. The magical aspects of such presentations cannot entertain deeply, cannot touch peoples hearts in any nieaiiiiigiul way. The power ot the magic in such acts is limited and the true entertainment value is so slight, one might quite reasonably ask if the necessary work is worth the yield.

One last point before I bring this discussion to a close: When you work slowly, it follows that you will perform fewer effects in a set. This is advantageous. If, after your show, someone should ask one of your spectators what you did, you surety wouldn't want to hear, "Oh, he did.. well, all kinds of diings!" It is much better if your audiences can clearly remember the cffects you've done for them. If you show them d ovens and dozens ol tricks, its only logical that they wont remember cach of them. Instead, the cffccts melt together into a grayish fog. But if you do only two or three effects, remembering precisely what you did will be easier for the audience. So by your doing less, they will remember more, and the degree of importance awarded each of your effects will be much greater. Don't do so many effects that they smother each other. Give less and create more memories.

AVING analyzed "The Tamed Card" routine, you might believe that it contains a rather dangerous moment: that during which you hand a double card to the spectator. It would be quite easy to "improve" this situation by keeping the double card in your own hands, using it to perform the change of the last two cards. By doing this, only single cards would be given to the spectator during the routine, and the dangerous double card would be secure in your possession to the very end.

This may seem a lot safer. But lets examine the underlying psychology. What and how does the spectator feel? First, he sees you holding a bunch of cards, and one by one they change. When he receives the first few cards, he may feel that these were hidden in the packet from the start (which is essentially correct). However, based on a great deal of performing experience, I've found that spectators are not at all suspicious about the cards they are handed.

Later in the effect, events become more puzzling, since the packet you hold gets thin

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