Tep Four A Connecting Line Of Thought

This is the hard part. I'm sorry that I started this thing. I'm staring at the ceiling thinking unkind things about magic columns, creative close-up, stretching card tricks and Adam Fleischer. I have the strong feeling that I'll never have a decent "connecting line of thought" ever again. I also missed my dinner. Missing my dinner makes me think of sandwiches. Sandwiches make me think of sandwich card effects. If I sandwich the card to be stretched between two other cards, ala The "Bizarre Twist," force a wrong conclusion from the audience, and then follow up with a cheap-shot discrepancy move, I could be well on the way to a Creative Close-Up Biggie! Any questions?

E-FFE-CT - The "Bizarre Twist" principle is made even more bizarre when it's called upon to cause a playing card to visibly stretch!

Three unprepared cards are removed from a deck. Nothing is added or taken away - just the three single cards are used. One of these cards is sandwiched crosswise between the other two. This trapped card then visibly extends itself, stretching out to almost twice its original length. The stretched card is then squeezed down to its normal size and removed from between the other two cards. All three cards are then immediately handed out for examination.

PLR.fOR.MAMCL -

5TE.P ONlE. - Remove two red Jacks and the Ace of Spades from the deck.

Place the two face-up Jacks together and hold them by their ends from below, between your left thumb and fingers (FIG. 1).

against the back of the two Jacks.

Hold the face-up Ace at one end, between your right fingers. Pretend to insert the upper right corner of the Ace in between the two Jacks. Actually insert the Ace below the two Jacks and above your curled left forefinger

Hold the face-up Ace at one end, between your right fingers. Pretend to insert the upper right corner of the Ace in between the two Jacks. Actually insert the Ace below the two Jacks and above your curled left forefinger

against the back of the Jacks. Gently tap the inner end of the Ace forward with your right forefinger to center the crossed Ace "between" the two Jacks.

While "threading" the Ace a little acting doesn't hurt, but resist the temptation to cock your head to one side while sticking out your tongue.

6TE.P T\\lO - Turn your left hand palm down and grasp the lower right side of the three-card unit between your right thumb on top and your first and second fingers below

Release your left-hand grip, revolving your left hand palm up. Then re-grip by grasping the ends of the top card from below, between your left thumb, first and second fingers (FIG. 4).

of the double card. Note that the center flat area of the curled left forefinger is pressed against the cards as opposed to just the fingertip. This positioning is important in order to support the three-card unit. Release your right hand grip.

At this point the handling (and your patter) should have convinced your audience that the two cards beneath the top single card is a single Ace sandwiched between two Jacks.

5TE-P TJ-II2.E-EL - Re-grasp the inner end of the "sandwiched card" (actually two Jacks) by its sides between your right thumb and second finger. Your forefinger rests on top. Slide the double as a single card back and forth a few times (your curled left forefinger keeping the double pressed flat against the top card). As the double is pulled toward yourself, allow the top card to conceal its outer end.

In a continuing action, quickly slide your curled left forefinger away from you - against the face card of the double, causing the face

The effect should be a "flash stretch" of the center card. Pause for just a moment to allow the stretch to register.

iTE-P FOUR. - The following actions will shrink the stretched card down to its normal size while removing it out from "between" the two Jacks. The removal, although boldly discrepant, is a clean deceptive bluff. Grasp the stretched card from above by its ends between

releases its grip on the cards, leaving the three card unit clipped between your left first and second fingers.
In a continuing action, straighten out your left fingers, turning the three cards face up. Continue by sliding the single Ace to the left away from the right-hand Jack-sandwich (FIG.

description, the instant stretch of the Ace should be like a magical hiccup - very sudden and very short. By the time the stretch has registered in the mind's of your audience, the Ace should already have been squeezed down to size and removed from the sandwich.

Getting back to creative close-up, I really can't tell you the specifics about discovering connecting lines of thought to pull your magical ideas together. It's largely a matter of experience, knowledge, persistence and luck. If you're stuck on a certain problem with an effect, don't give up! Fill your mind with all available information on the problem; think about it until you're ready to go nuts; and then go to bed. Those rumors are true. Your mind will actually work on the problem while you're sleeping. When you wake up, there's a good chance you'll be struck with a sudden inspiration - a connecting line of thought that puts all the pieces together.

Then again, you may wake up with nothing more than morning breath and the strong conviction that your problem is unsolvable. Simply go back to bed, wake up again, and repeat the process until you figure it out. If you're still stuck then either delete the part about going to bed or the waking-up thing.

pjJootNotl - The Creative Process and the Art of Being Stupid.

When looking for creative solutions I usually go through everything I already know first. By definition there's nothing new in what I already know. I can rearrange my mental furniture all day long but I'll still end up with the same furniture. So I throw it all out or turn it into a video. It's a house-cleaning process that prepares me for the next step...which is confronting the stupid wall. That lonely-yet-exciting place where I have no idea what to do. A place where there's no familiar furniture. The sacred stupid wall is a place of no past and no future and no memories and no ideas. It's a place to just sit and be quiet and be stupid. It is not a good place to pick up women.

Still at the wall. This is the critical phase. You can give up and walk away because you don't like feeling stupid. Or you can stay with it., become friends with your creative ignorance and let yourself get even more stupid by going to the center of the center of your not-know-ing. This is the same clear space where astonishment lives. The creative process is the process of self-astonishment.

You've systematically dismantled your existing world-view (which consisted of someone else's used furniture) in order to create room for something new to enter. This empty/full astonishment space is a place of pure creative potential, birthplace of radically new ideas and connecting lines of thought. It's where this book came from (It's also where the idea of a close-up mat with my face on it came from. It helps to be selective).

So now what. So now some of the stupidest ideas will start to form. High stupidness that you must honor with your full attention. But when you start playing with your stupid new friends you begin to notice that some of them aren't as stupid as they look.

Paul Harris The Something about their structure or color or shape or sound or how they reflect off each other will direct the fingers of your mind to start massaging the raw clumps of inspiration into a higher order of beauty. And then your dismantled knowledge system will automatically spring up to provide all the tools you need of Astonishment to continue to create...until you hit another "impossible" problem and realize that you need another radically new idea. Then it's time for another housecleaning. Time to break down another wall. Time to get stupid.

LffLCT - Your body quivers with a premonition. You deperately need some paper to write your thoughts down. There's no paper in the the immediate vicinity so you improvise by tearing off the card-box flap. You write your secret premonition on the torn flap then hand it to a spectator, who stabs it into the center of the innocent deck. The writing on the flap is read. It turns out to be the names of the two cards that are next to it. A satisfying mental experience has been had by all. Then, as an afterthought, you casually restore the torn flap back onto the card case. The spectator examines the case. You examine your afterthoughts. The two of you look at each other and say "why?" The deck knows but doesn't want to talk about it.

YOR.LJ\SOUqi\T - You'll need the large flap off a card box which matches the box you'll be using. Tear off the flap where it hinges onto the box (FIG. 1).

Write the name of any two cards onto this torn flap. Then duplicate this writing on the flap of the untorn box so it matches.

Put a crease near the end of both flaps (FIG. 2). This crease makes it easy to pull the flap from inside the case (you'll thank me when we get there). Now fold the untorn attached flap down inside the box and stuff the loose flap inside with it (FIG. 3). Notice that the case is half-moon side down, and the loose flap is writing-side down. Table the case off to the left so the flap points to your right. Get the prediction cards to the top and bottom of the deck, have the pen handy, then hang around until a seeker of astonishment stops by.

5TE.P ONE. - Announce that it's time for the "magic cardboard prediction." Look around and notice that you forgot your magic cardboard. No problem - you improvise by tearing off the case flap! Your left fingers pick up the case from above by its sides as your right fingers slide into the box and pull the loose flap so it is partly out of the box in "normal-flap" position. Your left fingers then squeeze the mouth of the case shut so it pinches the torn edge of the loose flap tightly inside (FIG. 4). Your right fingers now pretend to slowly rip off the loose flap so it stays writing-side down. If you take your time with the tear it should look exactly like the real thing. (Don't make a display of this. You're not doing a torn and restored flap effect. You're just scrounging up a piece of paper.) Table the case (with tucked-in flap towards yourself) so the half-moon cutout goes down.

6TE.P TW/O - Take the pen and pretend to write a prediction on the torn-off flap. Since it's already written on the flap just fake it. Table the flap with the writing-side down and put the cap on the pen. The pen goes off to your right.

6TE.P TJ-IRE.E. - Shuffle the deck so the top and bottom cards that match the prediction stay in place.

5TE-P FOUR. - Hand the flap to your seeker so the writing side stays down and have her poke it into the middle of the pack. Make sure the flap stays sticking out of the front of the deck (FIG. 5).

6TE.P FIVE. - Spread the face-down deck between your hands and break the spread at the spot where the flap is stuck. Take all the cards above the flap with your right fingers. Turn your right hand palm down towards yourself and pinch the flap against the underside of these cards with your right thumb (FIG. 6).

6TE.P 5IX - Turn your right hand palm up, away from you, carrying the flap with it. The writing will come into view as the flap is turned over. Without pausing, place the left hand cards on top of the flap and thw right hand cards (FIG. 7). This again pins the flap (writing-side up) between the halves, secretly putting the prediction cards directly on either side of the flap. (This classic move was invent-

5TE-P 6LVC.N - Table the deck and spread it out a little as you announce the names of the prediction cards that are now visibly written on the flap. Carefully remove the cards on either side of the flap as you focus the premise, "You could have stuck this flap anywhere at all in the pack, but you instinctively stuck it right here between these two cards. Why is that?"

6TE.P E.I£j"J-lT - Slowly reveal the two cards and the fact that they match the written flap prediction. That's it. Your astonishee should believes the moment is over.

6TE.P NINE. - Your left fingers grasp the case from above by it's sides then turns palm up (FIG. 8). The case should be held so the opening points toward you and extends just a bit past the inner side of your hand. The attached flap is still concealed deep inside.

with your right fingers so the writing is up and the torn edge is to the left as in FIG. 9. Notice that your right thumb is on top of the flap and your fingers are underneath.

5TE.P ELLEVE-IsI - Carry the loose flap over to the left and stick it directly UNDER the case into your curled left fingers (apparently into the case). As the flap goes under the box, your right thumb slides into the case (FIG. 10). Without a pause, your right thumb snaps the tucked-in flap out of the box and into view (FIG. 11). (Easy because of the pre-creased flap end. Okay. Now you can thank me.) This is a video-quality special-effects flash restoration. Play with the timing until the illusion is perfect. Tug on the restored flap a few times with your right thumb and fingers.

the case by its restored flap allow your left hand to turn down naturally, taking the concealed loose flap with it. Continue to show the box front and back with your right hand to pull focus, then hand the box to your buddy, freeing your right hand to pick up the tabled pen. Put the pen into your left hand while keeping the loose flap hidden. Pocket the pen along with the hidden flap. Find something interesting to examine.

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