The Tamariz Turnover

Tamariz says, «1 developed this move in 1968 and used it in various tricks and routines. It featured in my lectures many times. In 1976,1 showed it to a well known American cardician. Two years later, an incorrect explanation appeared in a leading American magazine, described as an anonymous move. So to set the record straight, here is the correct explanation and for an added bonus a subtle addition by that great magician Asca-nio.»

First the basic technique. It is necessary to start in the correct position. Fig 1 shows the starting position, the little Finger is holding a break beneath the two top cards.

The three points to note in Fig 1 are:

1) The pack is dead horizontal to the ground, not tilted in any direction.

2) The dotted line shown in the figure points directly to the right ear of the spectator on your extreme left. The pack must be held so that this line always points that way, throughout the move. This is most important, otherwise he may get a flash of what follows.

3) The left forefinger is curled against the outer short end of the pack.

In all double lifts it is advisable to cause the spectators to look away from the pack at the exact moment that the two cards are turned over as one. Tamariz accomplishes this by a very simple but effective expedient. He explains that he is going to show the spectators the card on top of the pack. As he tells them this he glances down at the card and taps the back of it with the right forefinger, as though to emphasise which card he means. The forefinger is then raised about eighteen inches, with his eyes following it. This movement should not be exaggerated or affected but at the same time it should be done with sufficient force so that the eyes of the spectators also follow it. It is natural for the eye to follow a moving object. Tamariz has utilised this principle to draw the eyes of the audience upward and away from the-pack.

The finger stops in front of the performer's face, so that the spectators' eyes are now in line with the performer's and he has eye to eye contact. When this happens he holds their attention with some conversational

remark or question about the trick that he is going to perform. Whilst the attention of the audience is thus held, the hand drops casually back to the pack and turns over the two top cards as one. The actual mechanics of this part of the move are not important. Tamariz has numerous different ways that he uses, what matters is the misdirection to cover the move.

Now study Fig 2. This shows the position of the two cards as one on

completion of the Double Turnover. Here again there are several important points to notice:

1) The cards extend about one inch beyond the outer short end of the pack. This is the opposite way round to most double lifts, where the cards usually project at the inner end.

2) The fingers of the hand have opened out, so that the pack is just resting on the palm of the hand and not gripped at any part. This takes some confidence to do as there is a natural tendency on the performer's part to worry about the double card splitting. However, if the pack is held dead horizontal and the hand is steady this will not happen.

3) It is only when this position has been arrived at that the performer looks down at the card for the first time. The audience should have missed the actual turnover and positioning of the card, so this is the first time that they will see it. The open position of the hand gives an impression of fairness and casual handling that the printed word cannot convey. When Juan Tamariz does this move, nobody suspects anything.

Now comes the method of turning the card face down again. This is the real convincer. Remember, though, to keep the dotted line shown in Fig 1 pointing towards the left hand spectator's right ear.

The fingers are allowed to curl around the pack once more, the left forefinger returning to the outer short edge as in Fig 1. The right hand takes the double card(s) about 1/2" from the right outer corner. The thumb

is on the face of the card(s) and the first three fingers are underneath. The two cards as one are now brought to the position shown in Fig 3. It is important that the double card lies at the extreme right hand edge of the pack and that the short edges of the double card are in line with the short edges of the pack.

Begin to turn the card over «bookwise» to the Fig 4 position. You now apparently release the card so that it just falls onto the pack. That is what you apparently do. In reality a very pretty piece of deception takes place.

A fraction of a second before the card is released, the right fingers move forward about an inch, taking the top card of the pair with them. The right thumb does not move and holds back the face card of the pair. The short ends of this card are still in line with the short ends of the pack. Thus, when the two cards finally land on top of the pack, the upper one will be outjogged about an inch, while the lower one will be flush on top of the pack.

Release the cards as soon as the fingers have moved the top card forward, so that the finger movement and the releasing of the card blend into one single action. It is important that the cards be released and allowed to fall. Under no circumstances must the right hand place them on top of the pack. The whole sequence is designed to give a casual, almost negligent appearance. This would be utterly destroyed were the performer to carefully place the cards down.

Before going any further, there are one or two details that must be got right:

1) The separation of the cards prior to their release is the key to the whole thing. Obviously the movement of the top card must be forward only. There must be no sideways movement. A trial will show that the top of the pack can itself form a guide to slide the card on. In other words, if the bottom long edge of the double card is kept gently resting against the top card of the pack throughout, the separation will be a forward movement only.

2) The exact moment to release the card(s) is very important. Release it(them) too soon and the audience will see everything. On the other hand a belated release will destroy the illusion of nonchalance. A good guide is to close the pair «bookwise» onto the pack, until an angle of ninety degrees is reached (i.e. they are vertical to the pack) then just take them a fraction of an inch further before letting go.

3) Finally there is the follow through with the right hand. As soon as the cards have been released, the performer apparently dismisses them from his mind and gestures with the right hand, away from the pack as the card(s) fall(s).

This gesturing with the right hand is not a big or exaggerated movement.

It is simply a movement of the hand upwards and away from the pack, while you address some remark to the audience relevant either to the card or the trick in general.

By now the two cards will have landed on top of the pack. The face card of the pair, the one the audience was shown, will be flush on top of the pack (see post script at the end of this article). The top card of the pair, the one that the audience did not see, will be lying face down on the pack but outjogged about an inch as in Fig 5. Notice how the left fingers have opened out as soon as the card(s) have landed, again giving the impression of openness and fairness.

Return your attention to the cards, then with the right hand lift off the top card. The card should not be slid off or dealt off the pack and of course it should not be pushed flush with the pack. Hold the card by the extreme outer right corner and lift it vertically off the pack, allowing everybody to see that there is only one card.

Post Script

Let us return to the point where the two cards have been released from the right hand and are allowed to fall bookwise on top of the pack. Ideally when they land, the face card of the pair will land flush on top of the pack. This is what should be aimed for. Sometimes, however, the card may land as in Fig 6.

The performer should strive to avoid this as it is an obvious giveaway. One way of guarding against its happening is to kick the face card of the pair backwards very slightly as the cards are released from the right hand. The right thumb does the kicking. When you do this the card will either end up flush on the pack, or more frequently stepped backwards very slightly at the rear (i.e. injogged). Although this is not ideal it is permissible as it cannot be seen by the audience. See Fig 7. When this happens, use the left forefinger to push the pack backwards (towards yourself) until it lines up with the card. This is done before the top card is lifted off by the right hand.

This then is the Tamariz technique for the double lift and a more artistic handling would be hard to find. In 1975 Juan showed the move to Mr Ascanio, who developed:

The Ascanio Addition to the Tamariz Turnover

This will require a lot of practice to perfect but Tamariz demonstrated it so we know it can be done!

Follow the above instructions until the position shown in Fig 2 is reached. It is here that the essential difference occurs. This difference is shown in Fig 8. The double card, instead of lying on top of the pack as in the standard method is balancing on the forefinger of the left hand. The inner short end of the card rests on the pack. The tip of the forefinger is in the centre of the projecting card and about 3/4" from the outer end. With the card(s) so balanced the forefinger is moved forward (away from the performer) about 1/2". This will cause the double card to move forward without separating, greatly adding to the illusion that it is just a single card. Do not attempt to move the finger back again as this will merely cause the cards to separate.

Continue with the basic move until the position shown in Fig 4 is reached. At this point lift the projecting card with the forefinger as in Fig 8 and move the finger back and forth a little thereby emphasising that the card is just a single one, before lifting it off the pack and proceeding with the trick you are doing.

Editorial Note

Study this one closely, folks! It is in an object lesson in how a sleight should be tackled.

* Note by Tamariz: I first thought of this back in 1968. Aaron Dutton, Bernard Bilis and Ascanio were instantly enthusiastic about it. I have described it, since then, in lectures and private films. This carefully detailed explanation by Walt Lees was published in Pabular in 1982. Some American magician seems to have come up with a similar idea. What's important is that it's a very subtle and deceptive sleight, more so with the handling introduced by Ascanio, as usual, which is described at the end.

2 CAf

Study this one closely, folks! It is in an object lesson in how a sleight should be tackled.

2 CAf

* Note by Tamariz: I first thought of this back in 1968. Aaron Dutton, Bernard Bilis and Ascanio were instantly enthusiastic about it. I have described it, since then, in lectures and private films. This carefully detailed explanation by Walt Lees was published in Pabular in 1982. Some American magician seems to have come up with a similar idea. What's important is that it's a very subtle and deceptive sleight, more so with the handling introduced by Ascanio, as usual, which is described at the end.

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