next trick. Undoubtedly, he won't be easily dissuaH , make for a very humorous Situation for the rest of th. Thi» si it for all it'9 worth. Finally, take the dollar biU ifU<VjS spectator and change it to a twenty by means of the "h ^"f1 BUI Switch." (You already had your thumbtip loader! °drei1 inli twenty.) Offer to trade the twenty for the spect ° *">> aa0> dollars. Naturally, he will accept the offer and thereby b 2
lull circle. 016 »Set
The trick wilt be even stronger if you can borrow a dollar bill from a spectator, but you won't alw, /s be abl<"1'i~'lui"lrid you want to try for the hundred, have two thumbtips load** 1° il If a hundred and one with a twenty. If you can't get someone t ^ ""H a hundred dollar bill, settle for a twenty. Just don't thumbtips confused. get you,
Keep ill miild that inosl magic with substantive meaning is wishr-fulfillment magic. People wish to make money disappear. This is why Himber's "Polaroid Money" trick or ^ in which the performer appears to be able to print money is ^ One of the most effective of all close-up tricks with m 0tura^ Page's effect in which blank pieces of paper change into dollar hV" once saw a magician perform this effect in reverse He started dollar bills and changed them to blank paper. Although his ntt made this approach logical it could never be as emotionally now»*! as the original approach. The ability to change ordinary paper^I money ,s a very desirable talent; the ability to change mol worthless paper isn t a highly marketable skill.
S ^ ai0Ut .T>ney magic ha™g meaning I'm speal™
stnctly of tacks with paper currency, not com effects. The appeaH
SEK*" ■ ^ me °f the of coin magic but think this is misguided. The problem is inflation. Coins toda^ «pi tUyme P0Wei *" C01n tricks "> tha kbrf"
cTntemptuou, ^^ ^ &,B ^ »iU ]°°k at contemptuously if you only offer them a couple of quarters or a half-
Qream" but the Hr c ' was reallz'"S not °nly "The Miser's coins out of the th™ PerS°n hia audience- T°dW
Ume. Any skilled of " ™st_e,ricient way of spending your p'ying his trade tkanh'"If' ^ 631,1 mt>re 0n 311 hour1'' basis by combing the aerial n y..Wa™e around with a pail in one hand whüe Stage manipulate ti the °th«- However, there are a couple who have kept up with the times by employing
Lne of '» I0CIln,,t0 au«8f1 .that c<™ i» .M «„.hi. „[
very strong. 1 only want to stress that,( a coin trick „ to have be meaning it's going to have to come from something other than aS ttoffl®"fact that OTinB a'° U8ed'
Sex the other two items on Bob Nelson's list of universal Health and sex. I don't think that health has much "tential a theme for maSical presentations (although some P° atdve performer may prove me wrong). However, «ox does have ^uch potential if carefully approached.
in magical presentations (and in most other contexts) is like atomic energy- It has great potential for good, but if you're not careful t]l blow' up in your face. Utilizing the tremendous appeal and amng of sex a presentation without offending or alienating "IK' takes a great deal of judgment and cleverneeB. but it can be
The dangers to avoid in using sex in a presentation are ony hint of vulgarity, overfamiliarity with the audience, sexism, and placing people in' embarrassing situations. Such presentations also virtually demand the use of humor to defuse the explosive potential of the subject It's also a good rule generally to use even the most innocuous sexual presentations only with audiences in your own general age „oup If the audience is much younger, they're more likely to be embarrassed; if they're much alder, you may appear disrespectful. Knowing your audience is also critical. Bob Sheets has proven in countless performances that the much reviled "Bra Trick can be a killer for a singles bar crowd. In Dob's presentation, he drops any pretense about silks traveling from place to place. Instead, he presents the effect as a test of how "hot" the female subject In ither words, he makes the trick explicitly about sex. For a group of people who already have sex on their minds anyway, its very effective.
Part of the key to Bob's success with this trick iB that he h»s-lm sure he'll forgive me for saying thia-a totally sexuaUy non threatening persona as a performer. In the hands of someone else, could be every bit as offensive as the "Bra Trick1 usually «. _ Exploiting sex in magical presentations most Jf™te'y,JB 0^have everyone. And it most definitely is not and any doubts in your mind, forget I ever brought the matter up concentrate on the many other strong sources of sub in this section. sta ntive
Do you know what all people consider to be the single most and interesting subject m the wor d? Themselves. If. the o£i>t no one ever tires of. Why not make your magic more fascinJ?1^ tying it in with the spectators own fascination with himself» rl^ are a great many ways to do this. Here are some of the most effect and adaptable. lVe
Readings: The power "psychic" or psychological readings have 0vo people's imaginations was forcefully brought home to me for the g time by an experience I had in college. At the time I was worSf part-time in the New York Public Library. 1 was interested in gett^ to know better a certain attractive co-worker. One day while we wer! talking, I spotted on her desk a note she'd written. To impress her I picked it up and proceeded to analyze her handwriting. I simply made the whole thing up as I went along. Fortunately, I had once read a book on graphology; this gave me enough background information to make everything sound plausible.
I never did get a date with the girl. She was so impressed by the character reading, however, that she mentioned it to all the other employees. During the next week, every single person who worked in that library came up to me and asked me to analyze their handwriting. Each of them left deeply impressed by the result. Here's the amazing thing. These were people with whom I'd been working for months. Under the guise of interpreting their handwriting, I simply described their characters as I had come to know them through our association. Yet, if I had simply said, "After observing you for months, I would say you're the kind of person who, ..." no one would have cared about my opinion. But, because my observations were supposedly based on abstruse deductions from their handwriting, they hung on every word. Each observation took on a special significance. So captivated were they by the notion that their handwriting was providing a key to their souls that they completely overlooked the obvious fact that I was just describing people whom I knew as I knew them to be.
Because there are so many different props used by psychics and students of the occult to pick up people's "vibrations" or foretell the future, the opportunities for incorporating readings into magic effects are extensive. Playing cards are a natural for any such presentations since cards are associated with fortune telling in most people's minds. 110
S»ron. Mogic r nsidcr this presentation I've used with success for an "Ultra-Mental Deck" prediction. You hand a deck of card« to a young lady. Se she is holding it you ask her to name any card that comes into mind. She names, for example, the two of hearts.
Explaining that in fortune telling each playing card has „ special meaning, you discuss the kind of person who would be drawn to the tw0 of hearts. Based on the symbolism of that card, you provide the young My with a brief character reading, and conclude with a prediction of an event she can expect in the near future. Finally, you explain that when you arose this morning you had a strong impression that you would meet just such a person today To prove your claim, you retrieve the deck of cards she's been holding remove it from the box, and spread the cards between your hands'. There is one card reversed in the deck. It proves to be the two of hearts.
Notice how this presentation expands the meaning of the effect. The trick is no longer about cards; it's about the spectator. The only importance of the cards is that they serve to reveal insights about the spectator, and also to confirm your visionary powers in foreseeing that you would meet such a person. The two phenomena strengthen each other. The accuracy of the reading seems to prove that the card prediction was more than just a trick; the success of the card prediction seems to prove that the reading was more than just smooth-sounding baloney. (I wish I'd worked this presentation out while I was still working at the library; I might not have struck out with that girl.)
Another popular form of character reading is numerology. Certainly there are many close-up effects that involve numbers. To provide just one example, let's take another card effect, Larry Jennings' "Stabbed Coincidence" or Allan Ackerman's "Quick Coincidence." With my presentation, it would appear this way.
You spread through the deck looking for a card you feel would properly symbolize the spectator based on the vibrations you're receiving from her. You place this card aside without showing it. The spectator then selects a card and inserts it face down in the middle of the deck so it's protruding about half-way. You turn this card face up so all can see that it is, for example, a six.
You suggest that it's important that the spectator was attracted to a six. You then proceed to give the spectator a brief reading based on the numerological significance of the number six. Next, you turn over the card you had set aside earlier to symbolize the spectator, and it proves to be another six. Lest the spectator think that her choice of
one person, you can allow the reading to run loneer long as you can see that the person is interested ,n he«* **
re of cold reading has grown tremendous *
you should have no trouble finding e»__y in ^e h..
'g strong which to compose brief readings. Two particularly'^f^naT^ «■—| »"¡^—^»i — — - good sou..Ni readings that are short but powerful are Tarot Tel
Lecture for Annemann's Pseudo Psychometry." ¿¿th'&f^ Mntol Mysteries and Other Writings of William IV. Urse^fr 'n K Yam« and Signatures: There .3 nothing so sweet to our e3rs „ own names. Conjuring with a person s name always adds an effect There are many tricks where the performer l0cI?St,Cl «elected card bv spelling to it. Some shrewd performers instead ]'' a selected card by spelling the name of the person who chose the 5 A fine example of using a persons name to add meaning to an eft' Ed Mario's trick "Female." A deck of cards is spread face Up an? woman is asked to name any card. The one she designates i8 pu J aside face up. The deck is then turned face down to show that each card has a different first name written on the back: Joe, Bill, Steve etc.
The performer points out that each of these is a man's name. "Since one particular card was designated by the spectator, a woman, wouldn't it be amazing if that one card bore a woman's name on it?" the performer asks. When the card is turned face down, not only does it have a woman's name written on it, it has the spectator's name written on it.
If conjuring with a person's name is potent, even more potent is conjuring with the most personal embodiment of that name, his signature. Consider the significance of one's signature in our culture. Signatures are the way business people approve decisions. It's the way we authorize transfers of personal funds, the way we grant others the legal power to act in our behalf, the way we attest to the truth of written statements, the way we pledge our commitment to legal contracts, the way we validate wills, the way we authenticate documents, the way we close correspondence, and one of the ways in which we prove our identity to others. A signature has almost sacred implications. If you want to sell your soul to the devil, what do you have to do? Sign on the dotted line! And once you've signed there is no turning back.
Graphologists will also tell you that our signatures represent abstract self-portraits. Nothing could be more symbolic of our individual identities; nothing could be more unique to ourselves. Two different P«^emay have the same name, but they won't have the same
To show someone that you can conjure with hi» aiKnnluri. , it.ve. if- « little unset,I,ng. I, bring, to ¿ u " n°l "nl> fear of hnvmg his soul stolen in a mirror or photograph Pnm,t,v*" |Cfirst came to appreciate the power of conjunn« with . .
¡¡«nature when I began performing The Dream Card " an eft^T"* gU Ortiz of Car« Table. 1 n it. I begin by , had the previous night in which the spectator (whom, I've nolT" , before) figured. I mention that a playing card PUyed an ,m role m the dream. Th.s led me to remove that part.culr cart f^! old deck and place it in my wallet. As 1 speak. I «how the ca d " £ red-backed, but do no reveal its face. The dream card is repUcTd m the wallet and the waUet replaced in my pocket. The spectator then selects a card from a blue deck and signs it on th face. Let's assume it's the four of hearts. After this card is returned u, the deck, I again remove the red-backed dream card from my wallet Not only does it prove to be the four of hearts, it bears the spectators signature on its face.
This trick has an uncanny effect on an audience, one unlike any other IVe ever performed. The important point to note for our purposes is how the spectator becomes not only an assistant in the effect, but the very subject of the effect. This fact is underscored at the very outset when I explain that the reason I chose her to help me is that I recognized her from my dream.
Remember, people are more interested in people than in anything else; this guarantees that they will pay close attention to this effect. The spectator is more interested in herself than in anything else; this guarantees that she will pay rapt attention to this effect. People place special significance in signatures; this guarantees they won't soon forget the climax of this effect.
The potential for powerful magic in the realm of signatures is still underexplored. Another strong effect of this kind will appear in my book Cardshark under the title "Signature Effect" in which a spectator's signature is transferred from one card to another. As a final illustration of the possibilities, I'll briefly desenbe another signature transfer effect I've devised, an unpublished effect which is based on a great idea from the David Williamson book, Williamson's Wonders.
I begin by removing the joker from the deck and placing it in my pocket. The spectator then selects a card and signs it on the back. 1 now visibly peel the spectator's signature off the card, the ink coming off in a ribbon. I knead this ribbon into a small ball and drop it in my pocket, the one that contains the joker. After patting my pocket a
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