Place the pack into a red-backed case. Have on hand a regular blue-backed deck, which includes the joker plus a normal trey of spades, and you are set to begin.

The patter starts, "I am always searching for new and interesting things to do with playing cards. One approach is to look at other areas of show business, to find out what is successful. The theory is that if something is commercial and popular in one area of show business, it ought to be equally commercial when applied to playing cards. For example, you've seen those performers who do impressions of celebrities. They're very popular; always working. So it occurred to me, wouldn't it be a great idea to teach playing cards how to do impressions! Which, of course, is exactly what I've done. I've brought my star pupil with me today, and I'd like to show him to you and run him through some of his best impressions."

Remove the blue deck from its case; then continue, "Now, when I show this little fellow to you, I know you're going to be disappointed— but diere's a good reason for this: he's not working just now. If you were to see a famous impressionist walking down the street, you wouldn't be too excited, either. You see, its only when the impressionist is doing his impressions that he impresses you. So when I show you that this fellow looks like every other joker you've ever seen, don't be too disappointed, because when he starts to work, boy, are you going to be impressed!"

During this, the joker is displayed and apparendy placed face-down onto die table. In fact, it is switched for the blue-backed trey of spades. I position die trey just behind die joker, and use a Downs Change for die switch; however, any secret exchange will suffice. The blue deck is returned to its case and put away.

Bring out the red deck, removing it from its case as you say, "To make things easy to follow, I will use cards from this contrasting pack. And to make things even simpler, we'll work with three cards that are easy to remember: the ace, two and three of spades."

Hold the pack face-up and spread the cards, keeping the first few bunched together to conceal the blank-facer and the extra deuce of diamonds. Openly remove the ace, deuce and trey of spades as you come to them, dealing them into a tabled pile. Put the rest of the pack aside.

The tabled blue-backed card (thought to be the joker, but in fact die trey of spades) is dropped face-down on top of the three-card pile. Pick up the four-card packet and say, "The joker goes face to face with his potential subjects. Now, it takes a few moments for him to size up the situation. We simulate this by running the cards through my fist."

Perform the standard Through-the-Fist Flourish (non-reversing). "Now die joker is ready to do his first impression."

Hold the cards in die left hand. The right hand lifts the top card, holding it in Biddle Grip. Separate the hands, displaying the trey of spades on top of the left-hand stock. Turn the right hand palm-up, displaying another trey of spades—a perfect impression. Pause to let this change register.

Return die right hand palm-down and replace diat card on top of the left-hand stock. Turn to a spectator and say, "That's die first impression. Which do you think comes next?" The spectator will almost certainly answer, the deuce. (If the ace is suggested, the spectator will immediately he corrected by the rest of the audience, usually accompanied by derisive laughter, which will be deserved.)

Execute a Variant Fist Flourish, secretly reversing the packet, as you say, "To impersonate die deuce, die joker has only to eliminate the center pip from the three...like this."

Hold the packet in the left hand. As before, the right hand lifts the top card, in Biddle Grip, but this time too cards are lifted, squared as one. A deuce of spades shows on top of the left-hand stock, and at die face of the double card in the right hand. Pause to display both deuces. Replace the right hand's double face-down on top of die left-hand stock.

"I've saved the ace for last, because it's die hardest. Do you know why? It's got so much detail—the little picture of the lady, the filigree and especially those little polka dots!" (This patter is specific to the design of a Bicycle brand ace of spades. Obviously, if you're working with another card design, the details will differ; however, most common brands do have complex designs for die ace of spades, and you can adjust your comments accordingly.)

Slowly run the cards dirough your fist again, this time in non-reversing fashion. Hold the cards in your left hand and lift die top card, as before, with the right hand from above. An ace of spades shows atop the packet Turn up the right hand to display a matching ace, as you say, "See howr intricate those polka dots are?"

Do not return die right hand's card to die top of the left-hand stock. When the applause subsides (and there should be a considerable amount at diis point), cont inue tongue-in-cheek, "Thank you, but I know you're just being kind. After all, there may be one or too of you who arc impressed by the fact that the joker has, one after another, done impressions of the ace, two and three of spades." Widi diis, place the right hand's ace onto die table, face-up, then deal the three cards in the left hand onto this tabled ace, one at a time.

This dealing should be done as almost a tossing action, to emphasize diat there are only four cards. This moment tends to bother magicians, who have been assuming exu-a cards were in play.

Pick up the four cards, square them and turn them face-down. Replace the packet on the table, with one end extending over the table edge. This permits the cards to be picked up easily. Say, "But most of you are thinking that those are the only three cards the joker knows how to do. That's not true and I'll prove it. I will let a member of this audience pick any card from the pack, and the joker will do an impression of that card." '

As this is said, pick up the rest of the pack and hold it face-down in right-hand Biddle Grip. With the right thumb, obtain a break above the bottom two cards of the deck.

Use the right hand to pick up the tabled packet beneath the pack. As soon as the packet is lifted, the left hand comes to the deck and takes all six cards below the right thumb break. A blue back shows atop the left-hand stock, and the audience will believe that the left hand is holding the four-card packet previously displayed.

The left thumb deals the top card of the packet (a blue-backed card, supposedly the joker but really the blank-facer) onto the table. A red back shows on top of the packet, as expected. Place the packet on top of the deck.

Spread the cards face-down, keeping the top few bunched together to conceal the face-up and blue-backed cards near the top. Extend the spread to a spectator and ask that person to point to any card. Remove the card indicated. (In fact, you are removing a roughed pair, squared as one.) Table die rest of the deck.

Turn the chosen card(s) face-up. Whatever it is, you must invent a reason to proclaim that it is going to be a difficult card for the joker to imitate. Because of the clustering described earlier, the spectator probably will have chosen a five through eight, the suit of which is a heart, club or diamond. These cards afford ample opportunity for such commentary. The value will be higher than a three, which means the card will have more pips to duplicate than previously. If it is a club you can point out that die mulricurved design of that pip is more complicated than the streamlined spade design. If it's a red suit, you can state that this new color renders the impression far more challenging.

In any case, say, "Even though you have chosen a very difficult card, the joker will give it a try." Flip the double card face-down and hold it in your left hand. The right hand picks up the single blue-backed card from the table and drops it face-down onto die left hand's double card. With the right hand, grasp the packet from above. The left fingers buckle the bottom card of die packet—"breaking" the cling of the roughing fluid and remove the card, flipping it face-up. The right hand now holds two cards, squared as one.

"Again we shall place the joker face to face with the subject." Drop the right hand's face-down double card onto the face-up selection. Perform the non-reversing Through-the-Fist Flourish, dien retake the packet in the left hand. The right hand removes the top two cards, squared as one, and rotates palm-up to show a duplicate face.

As the audience responds, die left hand flips its card face-down and the right hand drops its double card face-down onto the left's. The left hand squares the cards, then immediately spreads them. Due to the roughing, they will spread as two cards: a blue-backed card above a red-backed one. Deal the blue-backer to the table and replace die red-backed double card on top of the deck.

The applause having ended, say, "Please don't humor me! After all, I know that a few of you may be impressed, but I also know that most of you are thinking that I've got lots of fname the previous selection] in this deck. It's not true and to prove it, I'll have another card selected—this rime, with the pack face-up."

Take the deck and spread it face-up, keeping the stock toward the rear bunched together. Have a spectator point to a card. Remove that card (a roughed pair) from die deck and table the balance of the pack.

Whatever the selected card this time, you must invent a reason why this card will be even more difficult than the previous selection. Because of the clustering, you are likely to have a high spot card or, even better, a court card. In the latter case, you can embellish the commentary a great deal, as the design is not only complicated, but also multicolored.

"Even though you've chosen an extremely difficult card for the joker to imitate, he'll give it a try." Repeat the actions used for the previous selection, to duplicate the new card. At the conclusion of this phase, replace the roughed pair on the deck and table die blue-backed card.

"Ladies and gentlemen, the joker will do one last impression. This is the most difficult of all: the world famous imaginary impression."

Pick up die deck and extend it toward a spectator. There is no need to spread the cards. "Would you please pretend to take a card from die deck." Encourage the spectator to pantomime the action of removing a card from the deck.

Return the deck to its case, putting it away as you comment, "I hope you realize just how difficult this is going to be. The joker is going to have to do an impression of that card."

Extend your left hand and ask the spectator to lay the imaginary selection onto your palm. When the spectator moves to do this, say, "No, face-up please!" Given this coaching, the spectator will pantomime the actions of turning the card over. (Your mild scolding should be assuaged with a thank you when the spectator corrects the imaginary error.)

Pick up the blue-backed card from the table and drop it face-down onto your left hand, saying, "Again the joker is placed face to face with the selection, and the two cards are pushed through my fist." Do the non-reversing Through-the-Fist Flourish.

Even though you hold only one card, act as if there is a second card in the left hand as you mimic the previous display actions, taking the blank-faced card in the right hand and displaying its face alongside the non-existent one in the left hand. As you do this, proclaim, "The world famous imaginary impression!"

Place the blank-facer into your pocket, and present the imaginary card to the spectator as a souvenir.

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