Beginner’s Study 7/98-9/98

Official I.C.O.M Past Lesson Archive

Welcome to the Beginner’s Study! Here you will find high-quality material that is within the technical ability of virtually all magician’s. It is important to note that while this place is specifically designed for the magical novice in mind, we strive to include material that is strong enough for even the seasoned professional.

July 1998


As Explained By Her Father

The two ultimate loves of my life, my wife Susan,and my daughter, do not share the same enthusiasm for magic that I do. They have, nevertheless, developed some impressive effects of their own from time to time. The beautiful impromptu levitation I am about to describe was created by my daughter Jennifer. At the time, she was just ‘goofing around’ when she first pulled the stunt on me. I immediately saw the strength of what she had discovered.

This effect is the levitation of a twenty ounce bottle of Coca-Cola.. complete with liquid and all! No gimmicks of any kind are used, and it may be done anywhere, at any time.

The illustration shows the newest 20 ounce bottle of Coke. It is the style with the easy grip shape. You will find that the label, which is approximately two inches wide, is recessed just off center of the length of the bottle. This label is made of extremely strong, thin plastic material.

To perform the impromptu levitation you will need to first remove the cap from the bottle, and consume just a bit of the contents. This should lower the liquid level about an inch and a half. Now, with the bottle held as shown in the right or left hand, the thumb presses inward on the plastic just below the bottom edge of the label, causing the plastic to indent. This in turn creates a small gap at the bottom of the label under which the thumb is worked. A slight side to side will allow you to gradually slip the thumb about three quarters of an inch under the plastic band. (see fig.#1)

With your thumb inserted under the band, you may release your grip on the bottle, spreading thumb and fingers wide. Your free hand, which is near to the bottle, mirrors the actions of the controlling hand. The hands move forward and upward, as if trying to capture the floating bottle.

By carefully watching your angles to those watching what is going on, the bottle actually seems to be drifting off in mid-air.

You may capture and re-release the bottle several times, but do not over play this. It is best too, if you secretly transfer the bottle from hand to hand, switching off on which thumbs are under the label at any given time. Alternating in this way throws off any suspicions the spectators may have had.

The dark color of the beverage conceals the true condition of the thumb and label…and the fact that it is a borrowed bottle which is very nearly full of liquid eliminates any thoughts of a hole or opening of some sort near the back is being employed.

Just think of the innocence of this effect. Think of the impact it has. Although the basic idea is not new, this method truly is! You have only to try it out for yourself to see how well it plays. I first offered it to the members of the S.A.M. via the pages of MUM magazine in September of 1995. I am proud to now share it with the members of I.C.O.M on behalf of my daughter Jenny.


August 1998

Old Dogs, New Tricks
Part #3

AutoMatic Two-To-One Ropes
Bobby J. Gallo

This is part three in an ongoing effort to re-vitalize magic of the past. Parts one & two can be found in their entirety in the I.C.O.M Archives. They are definitely worth checking out.

The modus operandi of this effect dates back at least one hundred years. It has been used by countless children and even a few amateur/professionals throughout the years. As a matter of fact, it can be found in literally hundreds of beginners books on magic. So why is it here if it can be found so many other places? Simple…We are updating this classic effect using different materials. This makes it an effect suited to beginners, but effective enough for professional performances, and as an added bonus, suitable for stage performance as well.

The effect is VERY straight forward. Two ‘one foot’ pieces of rope are seen held by the finger-tips. The performer proves this by pointing out that there is indeed four ends. Two of the ends are placed in a spectators hand. They are then asked to close their hand loosely around the ropes and turn their hand over. The magician then takes the remaining two ends that are “dangling” from the spectators hand and with a few magical incantations, asks the person to slowly open their hand. the ropes are seen to have magically joined themselves into one long two foot piece!

In the classic version of this effect, string (of the “twine” type) is used. In our version, we are going to use a material never before incorporated into this effect. Namely, a seamstress material called “CABLE CORD”. This can be purchased by the yard in most craft or material stores for about sixty cents (US) a yard. It is mainly used for making pillows, curtains, draperies, comforters, upholstered furnishings, etc. I bought 10 Yards of it for around $5.99. Size ‘200 works best for visibility purposes and enables the effect to go from the string trick class to the rope trick class.

You will need one two foot piece (see fig.#1). Do yourself a favor and tape the ends with the invisible “Scotch type” tape to keep the ends from unravelling. Cable cord seems to do this a lot!

What makes this type of cord suitable for this effect is the fact that it can be separated in the middle with the fingers (see fig.#2).

Figs.#1 & #2

After this is done. Take each side of the loop you have formed and twist them up into what appears to be just two innocent ends of rope. A joint will be formed right where the two rope ends meet the main body of the rope. A close-up view of the joint can be seen (see fig #4).

After this is done, hold the rope at the joint so the thumb covers the joint and makes it appear that you are holding two genuinely cut pieces of rope (see fig. #5).

Figs. #3 & 4#

Now you are ready to perform this mini-miracle. Proceed as stated in the above description. Do not make a big deal out of the fact that you are holding two pieces of rope. Let the visual evidence speak for itself. When placing the joint in the spectators hand, be sure to keep a finger over the joint until the spectator closes their hand. This is to ensure that they will not see the secret. Then, as they turn their hand over you grasp each end of the rope that is in view and give it a gentle tug. This causes the joint to dissolve in the persons hand and return to its natural state. Some will actually say that they FELT the rope join together, and in a way..THEY HAVE!

After the restoration, immediately, twirl and tug of the rope. This will appear to the audience that you are merely proving that the joined rope is solid. But is also serves the purpose of re-twisting the segments of the rope so that they appear un-bothered. If you do not do this, the center of the rope may look a bit uneven after the joining and will arouse suspicion.

So that’s it! Try it, you will be amazed at how effective it is. I use it in roving, trade show, and kid show situations professionally and it has proven to be a very clean and dependable effect.

September 1998

The Perfect Card Trick !?
Bobby J. Gallo

I know, I know, the title seems to be a bit of a stretch. The last time I gave a routine a grandiose title such as this was on Ultimate Magic Rap Vol. #1 when I entitled a card trick, “Magician’s Masterpiece”! Is this in the same league as that gem? Maybe, maybe not. You will have to decide. However, it will be curious to see by the end of this lesson, whether or not you may be wondering if this title may indeed be true. And if it is…..This piece of chicanery is PRICELESS.

What makes this really great is the fact that ANYONE, even the beginner who shuns card tricks can perform this feat! And it really is a FEAT. How can this be you ask? Well, before I go into the explanation, let me tell you how this came about.

I was sitting at a long table with my students when I asked them, if there were a PERFECT card trick. I mean a REALLY perfect card trick. What would it be? The following was the general answer that was given to me by most present (I’m not counting the one who stated that an entire pack of cards flying around the room through the air singly would be the perfect trick….kids….sheesh). Here, according to my students is a brief outline of the perfect card trick. Let’s see if you agree.

  • No gimmicked decks such as a Svengali or Stripper deck. The deck must be fully examinable.
  • The card must be FREELY selected, no forcing of ANY kind.
  • It must be returned to the deck without ANY kind of controls. Once it is in the deck, the cards must be fairly squared up. No BREAKS.
  • The cards must be shuffled and cut. Then cut again, and again, and again.
  • The magician then must be able to locate the card….WITHOUT EVER LOOKING AT THE FACES.
  • Throw in a BLINDFOLD and you will have yourself the PERFECT CARD TRICK!

WOW! Now that is what I call a laundry list of impossible circumstances! But is it? The answer will not only surprise you, it will knock you out with its simplicity & sheer audacity. Ready? here we go.

Effect: The magician states that he will perform the world’s most perfect card trick. A deck of cards is introduced, shuffled by an audience member who also takes out any card they choose. The magician takes back the deck and has the card returned to the center of same. The cards are now fairly squared and shuffled. Then legitimately cut many times. The card is really, really lost.

A blind fold is then introduced and the magician puts it on. He is then handed the deck which he continues to cut while blindfolded!

The blindfolded magician then takes the deck and ribbon spreads the cards face down onto the table.

The magi then holds his hands above the cards as if trying to get strange vibrations. He then starts to eliminate sections of the ribbon spread until only two cards remain. After much concentration he lifts one card up and turns it over dramatically. IT IS THE SELECTED CARD. Smelling salts are passed around for those who have fainted.

Working: I always tell my students that there is one price you must pay in order to be a magician. That is the sad fact that once the secret is learned, you will never be fooled by that trick again. Unless of course you have a memory lapse. But that being a very unlikely scenario, I would ask that you now please re-read the effect before I tell you the clever secret to this trick. Because once you learn it, you will probably say, you’ve got to be kidding! that is all there is to it? It’s too easy! It will never work! So please, humor me and re-read the Effect now…Click here.

Did you do it??? No? Ok, I’ll wait…

Did it? Great! Now on to the method.

Method: When the description of the effect stated that this trick used a completely un-gimmicked deck, that is true…almost. At least, not in the caliber of a Svengali or Electric Deck. The gaff is the same one that is used for “Magician’s Masterpiece” On Ultimate Magic Rap Vol.#1.* It is the Corner Short.

To make this card, you will need to take a joker and trim a little of the card stock off of two diagonal corners of the card. “Just slightly enough so that the corners are just a bit more rounded than the other two. Properly done, the audience can handle the deck with complete freedom and they will never be able to detect its presents. I have even laid out two cards in front of my students on a table ASKING them to tell me the difference between the two. It took them TEN MINUTES to spot the shaved corners. But to the trained eye, it is obvious.

The card prepared this way can be used for virtually hundred of effects but has classically been used for controlling one or more cards. For our purposes, we are going to use it in a way seldom, if ever before incorporated. And that is as a “Reverse Key Card”.

For those just starting in magic, a key card is a card that is placed just above the selected card. The cards then may be cut an infinite number of times without disturbing the order. Then when the performer runs through the deck. He knows that the card following the key card is the selection.

In most routines, the magician has to run through the deck looking at the faces to located the key card. Alternately, the Corner Short card is used to locate the card by riffling the cards with the thumb. When the cards stop with a ‘snap’ the magician knows that the selection is the next card.

In this method we are going to do neither. We are going to use the Corner Short as a “Visual” locater card. In this regard the trick is innovative.

  • Now, start with the Short Card on the bottom of the deck and proceed to have the card selected stressing the FREE CHOICE that the audience member has.
  • After the cards is noted by the audience, have it returned to the top of the deck and undercut the bottom half of the deck bringing the Corner Short card to a position above the selected card. If the cards have been shuffled by an audience member prior to the trick, riffle the cards and give them a final cut bringing the short card to the bottom of the deck.
  • Openly and carefully square the cards up. This gives the audience the impression that you are in no way controlling the card via sleight-of-hand.
  • Execute a false-shuffle if you wish. Or you can do what Ted Anneman, a famous mentalist used to do. Have the spectator give the cards a couple of ‘genuine’ overhand shuffles! Ted stated that there was an 8 out of 10 chance that the key card ‘would not’ be separated from the rest of the cards. Yes….it’s risky.
  • Have the cards legitimately cut many times by the audience. The more the better.
  • Have your self blindfolded. The method for this can be found in the I.C.O.M Archives entitled X-Ray Vision round two! Although, the blindfold is not at all necessary for the success of this feat.
  • The rest is just pure showmanship. Once the cards are ribbon spread, look for the corner short (the next card is the selection). The section of the ribbon spread cards containing this Corner Short should be eliminated early on so that you are REALLY clean. Since you know that the next card following the Corner Short is the selection, take your time building up to the climax to get the maximum effect. And also let me reiterate from past lessons. Always distance the time between the method and the climax. This way the audience is less likely to re-construct possible methods in their minds.

That’s it! The Perfect Card Trick !?….You decide.

* This tricks makes an excellent follow-up to Magician’s Masterpiece the do to the fact that they use the exact same gimmick and have sightly different effects.


Notice: This material “IS NOT PUBLIC DOMAIN” and is intended for the personal and performance use of International Conservatory Of Magic members only.

This entire page is under copyright 1997,1998 by the International Conservatory of Magic and its respective contributors. No part of this page or its contents may be re-produced without the expressed written permission of I.C.O.M. All marketing, manufacturing, & publication rights are reserved. Violation of this is considered intellectual property and information theft and carries penalties under federal law.

I.C.O.M Hot News Pages 7/97-6/98


This page is devoted to late-breaking news concerningI.C.O.M Online, it’s staff, students and the world of magic in general. Check with us regularly, we usually have news and information you will not find anywhere else!

May 1998

Coming to The International Conservatory Of Magic June 1998

Introducing “Shadows” a new I.C.O.M forum devoted to weird and bizarre magic. Features artwork by Ron dayton as well as monthly routines, poems, and spooky insights.

Are you ready ???

Mid-April 1998

A Brand New I.C.O.M Feature!

(or “out with the old and in with the new!”)

We are discontinuing our offer of the Free Amateur Magicians Handbook to new members, but are excited and proud to announce a new and better deal!

Details to follow

April 1998

Read This “Only” If You Love Your Magical Heritage!

“Pushing The Envelope”
Ronald J. Dayton

My dear I.C.O.M members, the thoughts I am about to share with you have been under consideration for a long, long time. I hope you will not feel I am abusing my position on the I.C.O.M staff to use these pages as a platform to plead my case. And, when all is said and done, perhaps I will have peaked your interest enough to encourage you to become a part of the movement.

Perhaps ten years ago or longer, a friend of mine with whom I was corresponding, Dale Bradfor Hearn, sent me several postage stamps from France. The stamps were all identical…each depicting a solitary figure. It was a likeness of Robert Houdin, the father of modern magic.

I was so inspired by the fact that a country thought enough of a historically important figure in magic such as Robert Houdin that they honored his memory and contributions and achievements in the form of a stamp that I immediately penned a letter to the Post Master General of the United States. I suggested that a series of stamps honoring past masters of magic in the United States would be well received as well. It will come as no surprise to you to learn that my letter had the impact of a lone cry for help in the wilderness. It went un-noticed, and unanswered.

Now, however, we have the power of the Internet. It would be possible to band together in one voice to make the same request. A voice consisting of so many voices, it can no longer go unheeded.

The staff of I.C.O.M is interested in hearing your take on this. Names or initials and state locations could be used just as if we were gathering signatures on a petition. if the list were massive enough, the Post Master General could not ignore the request. Various political representatives such as your Governor could be assaulted with requests in the same way. Perhaps even a well placed request, mentioning the suggestion made to the Post Master General, could be made directly to the White House as well. Why be shy when it is something this important to our magic history.

We have stamps of every type of animal, dinosaurs, flowers, cartoon characters, movie stars and movie monsters, famous inventors etc. Isn’t it time to include performers who began in tent shows, carnivals, vaudeville and were a part of Americana for well over one hundred years?!

I.C.O.M members could contribute suggestions for names which might be included for consideration…then we could formulate a master list, and post it for agreement. Names such as Willard the Wizard, Houdini, Thurston, Kellar, Herrmann etc. right up to more contemporary greats such asVernon and Slydini.

I can think of only one American magician who has been honored with a stamp, and that is David Copperfield. Sadly, it was not the United States Government that had this insight. He is honored by another country.

With proper planning, the movement I am proposing could actually hit its mark. It would be an important boon to magicians, collectors, and enthusiasts here in the U.S., and the world over. It will take time, to be sure…but the rewards would be so enormous. Please give this matter careful consideration, then contact I.C.O.M with your thoughts. Together, I am certain we can make a difference.

April 1998

The Introduction Of A Dynamic New “International” I.C.O.M Contributor!



The Campaign Against Magic Exposure Rages On!

Reader Response
Mid-March 1998

Who Are Really Concerned?

This was e-mailed to us in response to a posting on the BBS concerning a magician who thinks it is “OK” to ignore the exposures fearing more publicity will benefit the major network involved. He also expressed the views of a few that we should develop “new magic” as a means to make-up for the lost illusions that have been destroyed due to the exposure. This is an opposing point of view.

As far as giving this show further publicity.  I don’t completely agree that “all” publicity is “good” publicity.  If we expose the producers for what they are, and what they are doing, mainly taking food out of peoples mouths, you can bet that they will lose advertisers.

As far as new magic is concerned.  I really think that magicians would rather not be slaves to the actions of a few.  Meaning, what are we to do, develop new magic everytime there is an exposure?  The classics are just fine and always have been.  If new magicians would like to develop cutting edge material, fine… but leave the classics alone and secret.  Besides, the principles behind them are priceless as well as timeless, not the trick.

This whole situation has also opened my eyes to some very interesting insights concerning all magicians.  Except in a few cases, it seems that the non-professionals typically, are not to concerned with activism of any kind concerning these exposures. While the pro’s who depend upon these illusions to make a living and CANNOT AFFORD THE TIME OR EXPENSE to develop new material are the ones shaken.

Just my observations.

Opinion not necessarily that of I.C.O.M

March 1998


Ronald J. Dayton

The founding fathers of I.C.O.M…Bobby J. Gallo and Bill Wisch asked recently if I had a position/ thoughts re: exposure in magic. They asked if I would be willing to make these opinions part of public record. I reflected on the matter, and in time, discovered that I had some very definite opinions. These were noted, and sent to I.C.O.M.

Now, weeks later, I find that I am still thinking about the topic…and coming to new conclusions. You may or may not agree with me, but I now feel that we often foster and contribute to exposure ourselves.

How can this be?! This fellow Dayton must be a few cards shy of a full deck to think I would ever encourage exposure in magic!

Relax a little. I didn’t make that statement to intentionally upset you…but maybe it’s a good thing that it did. Maybe the defensive posture and anger has opened your eyes. Now, I hope you will continue reading with an open mind as well.

Over the decades, various companies have used the exposure of magic as part of certain promotional campaigns. To site some early examples…Camel cigarettes printed a beautiful small premium or ‘give-away’ booklet in full color which was literally loaded with ‘current’ effects and methods of the day. The Plymouth Cordage Co. enlisted the talents ot no less a super-star of magic than Jarrow himself to explain various pieces of rope magic in a larger gloss print booklet they produced. In more recent times, certain cereal companies have exposed magic such as the visible color painting effect while stage versions were still being sold by magic dealers.

When we purchase these products or send away for their free premium items, we are all indirectly fostering exposure because the companies can only exaluate the numbers, to determine if the campaign is effective or not. They do not know when the material is being sought by the general public, or by a true magic enthusiast. This is not saying they should be excused for their actions. In many instances, they are revealing material which is NOT in public domain, and which directly hurts the magic community. The very least we should do would be to write or contact the CEO’s of these companies and voice our dissatisfaction.

Material being offered to the general public in the form of premiums/ promotions is very difficult to defend against. But there is yet another form of exposure which hurts us even more, and IS within our power to eliminate…the pirated effect.

We have all seen ads for the latest new creation which is soon followed by ads from other sources, offering ‘the same’ effect or version there-of, for less money. These secondary offerings are many times, pirated or stolen rip-off versions of the original. In most cases. they are not as well made and seldom routined in the same careful manner. What you get for your money is a cheap imitation. But what you also get, sad to say, is a stolen explanation of the method some other truly creative person thought of. That’s right, the thief is EXPOSING the secret of the originator. It doesn’t matter that you paid for it. You’re receiving stolen goods!

So, you’ve saved a couple of bucks. The savings came to you at the expense of the originator of the effect. Every sale the pirate got is one less taken in by the person most deserving of it, In time, the creative people lose heart, and stop making their material available to the magic community at large. We all end up losing because of the greed and lack of integrity of a few. In the long run, we’ve gained nothing by being supportive of the thief.

I would imagine we have all, unwittingly fallen into this trap. It’s difficult, if not impossible to always know which is the newest effect and who it’s originator was…but catalogs, magazines and reviewers can help to sort things out. We must simply try harder to remain more current. But those who knowingly buy pirated effects are nothing less than accessories-after-the-fact.

We are as guilty as the pirate. themselves when it comes to doing harm to the craft we profess to love.

February 1998

The following article by a respected magic columnist is the latest installment to our reader responses concerning recent nation-wide magic exposure.


Ronald J. Dayton

People have been exposing magic for decades. It is done for a number of reasons.. some good, and some not. An example of an honorable reason might be if a method is being divulged to unmask a charlatan who is misrepresenting magic to bilk money or goods from truly innocent people. On the other side of the coin, it is sometimes done to discredit another performer to make themselves look good. Exposure is often done out of ignorance and arrogance… but most often, it is done out of greed. This certainly seems true of blatant exposures of recent times.

The television special shown earlier in 1997 on the FOX network was a total sham. It was stated that the goal of the special was for the betterment of magic as a whole.. a means by which magician’s would be forced to develop newer and more deceptive effects and methods. What absolute RUBBISH to even suggest such a thing. Magic HAS NEVER needed exposure to stimulate change, growth or improvement.

The only goal, as I see it, that the special achieved was to line the pockets of certain parties directly involved. To boost sagging ratings, and to disillusion the non magic oriented individuals who were watching.

Several of the ‘tricks’ which were exposed were absolute treasures to magic. They were not things which can be improved upon. They were pure gems exactly as they were.. and to reveal the methods behind then was nothing short of criminal.

It took Robert Harbin three years to perfect the Zig Zag. The various cabinets and prototypes are explained in his book ” Harbincadabra.” It was insulting enough to this creative genius that hand measurements of his masterful illusion were taken without his knowledge by an American and brought back to the U.S. what final insult, after his death, to have the exact method revealed to a random nation wide television audience of lay people.

To reduce the linking rings to one or two basic moves simply to reveal the way it works is shameful. Just think of the artistry Jack Miller, Dai Vernon, Luna Shemada. Jonathan Neil Brown and Jeff McBride to name only a few have given to this classic. Every subtlety and nuance… every psychological ploy and clever bit of misdirection has become a victim to the unthinking actions of a few.

Some will say…” Don’t worry yourself. There has always been exposure, and we always get through it!” This may be true…but, at what cost? At whose expense? Where does the selfishness end, and a sense of integrity begin!?

January 1998

National TV Exposure…Who’s Fault?
(Reader Responses)

This is a reply sent to us addressed to a brother magi who communicated that he thought the recent lawsuit action taken by certain magicians against the major TV Network in question is a mistake.

Dear Brother Magi,

I have never seen a subject worth debating that did not have valid points on both sides.  This one included.  Though I agree that a law suit “will” promote the special, I also see the logic in it.  By that, I am not stating that a lawsuit is the answer to this problem.  Let’s face it…it is a truly double edged sword.  For not only will a lawsuit serve to promote these shows, but the magicians filing it will never have a prayer of being featured on anything magic related on that network in the future.

But that being said….., what is the answer?  This world doesn’t know any other course of action that does not involve the courts in some way or another.  I wish that were not the case, but it is.

So what should we do?  Ignore it?  And the next special, and the next, ignore those too?  Until America is full of trick conscious lay people that ALL have a working knowledge of magic?

Maybe we can then have an SAM or IBM membership drive for every household in America so everyone from now on can only appreciate the artistry of magic and throw all the wonder aspects out of the window!  Because for literally dozens of my audience members over the past few weeks, that has already happened because of ONE SPECIAL!  THE WONDER IS GONE for them, and they are only the ones that I am aware of because they have continually approached me before during and after my gigs. So much so, that I have come to the realization that this IS having a negative impact on us and our art whether one would like to admit it or not.

Magicians(?) can preach to me all they want about how people will now appreciate magic in different ways such as the artistry and presentation and it will not change a thing.  Why?…because that is nonsense, plain and simple.  The cornerstone of magic has ALWAYS BEEN MYSTERY ……PERIOD!  Not dance, not originality, not an expertly executed pass, not a carefully crafted comedic line, not the newest invisible thread dispenser………IT IS MYSTERY….and without it there is no magic.

Harry Houdini, Thurston,  Kellar, Slydini, Vernon, all the greats, would be rolling over in their collective graves about this (come to think of it they probably are!).

Magic is continually being degraded because of things like this and we do nothing about it.  WE are the problem, not television networks, because WE continually allow it to happen.  But it has to stop somewhere.  And where Are all the big guns in magic?  They had better speak up as well or on the next special, the single basic principle behind 90% of their illusions may well be exposed. So Jim, magicians on the other side of the isle may have valid points, but I am still waiting to hear what the correct course of action IS?

A Concerned Professional Magician…

Opinion not necessarily that of I.C.O.M

December 1998

National TV Exposure…Who’s Fault?


The magic world has been turned on its collective ears recently with a television special devoted to the exposure of our beloved magical art. While it is indeed true that much of the blame rests with the people who created this fiasco, responsibility must also be claimed by the magic community itself.

If one examines many fraternal organizations that exist, such as the Masonic Lodges, Knights of Columbus, etc. A stunning realization takes root. These organizations have existed for several centuries and yet, members do a better job of keeping fraternal secrets from the public than magicians do with magic! One may argue that most magicians do their best in keeping their tricks of the trade under wraps, but it has to be admitted that magic tricks and books are far too available to the general public for magics own good. That is not to say that there is not a proper stable of magic that is suitable for the public, for indeed, so-called “cereal box” magic is fine for whetting the appetites of would be professionals and serious hobbyists. But when just about anyone with enough money is able to purchase just about any illusion built. Then episodes like the one seen on national television were just waiting to happen.

Is it possible to keep the secrets of magic in closed fraternities similar to the way the ones noted above do with their knowledge? Of course it is! We just have to step back, look at the big picture, and understand what magic is all about.


November 1997

Now Playing In Our “Members Only” Area!

The I.C.O.M Live Cyber-Radio Lecture!

We here at I.C.O.M are on the brink of completing the most innovative concept the world of magic has ever seen. By the end of November, members and non-members alike will be treated to a magical experience without peer. The I.C.O.M Live Cyber-Radio Lecture! Once a month to start, dates to be announced. The I.C.O.M Instructors will be providing a “Live” audio feed directly from our own I.C.O.M studios here in the great state of New Jersey. This feed will be available around the globe and will feature magic lectures “Live” in our members only area, students will have the opportunity to learn through this fantastic new medium. Stay tuned to this News Page for further details on how “YOU” can attend.

This month: Rare studio footage of never before heard portions of the original Ultimate Magic Rap Recording session! Topics include the use of “Simplicity” in magic and “One of the four most difficult aspects of being a magician” and how to overcome it!

October 1997



During the last week of October through the first week of November, our password protection went down temporarily due to the change from to the all new location,

And by the looks of our hit counter, word spread fast and many visited the Inner Sanctum and previewed all the great features I.C.O.M has to offer. We fully expect any who ventured in to sign up and become full fledged I.C.O.Mer’s!

However, our accidental visitors do not enjoy the real benefits of I.C.O.M. Only our official I.C.O.M members get virtual lessons as well as other benefits reserved for those who sign up. So please, anyone who inadvertently entered I.C.O.M, don’t try to e-mail us with questions on any material you may have seen. We know who you are!!!!!!!

August 1997

Famous Bookstore to Announce the Formation of The International Conservatory of Magic!

Barnes and Noble of Ledgewood New Jersey will host Bobby J. Gallo and Bill Wisch on Saturday, July 26, 1997, to officially and formally announce the opening of I.C.O.M and I.C.O.M Online. Everyone is invited. There will be performances of magic for the whole family as well as other great surprises… all designed to kick off the first and foremost world-wide magic school of its kind, The International Conservatory of Magic.


I.C.O.M Online Co-Director Bobby J. Gallo and the World’s Greatest Mind Reader “Kevin Wisch” Showing the audience how it’s done at the Barnes & Noble of Ledgewood New Jersey where the Grand Opening of I.C.O.M Online was announced!


  • 1. Wanted: Dai Vernon’s Tribute to Nate Leipzeig. (book) E-mail:
  • 2. Wanted: Any magic manuscripts for booklets from an old magic catalog company called House of a Thousand Mysteries. Most material authored by a magician named Vic Lawson. E-mail:
  • 3. Wanted: Rice Silks. E-mail:
  • 4. Computer Games For Sale: $7.00 ea. All are like new, cd-rom, value $30.00 to $60.00 ea! E-mail for complete list:
The “Back Page” Classifieds are provided Free to I.C.O.M Online members. Classifieds may be placed by non-members at the rate of $10.00 per 3 months for each classified ad of 60 words or less. All ads include free E-mail link. (members be sure to include your I.C.O.M Online membership # when placing classifieds for discount)
I.C.O.M Online reserves the right to limit and/or restrict any and all contents of classifieds. Dealers may not advertise in “The Backpage” but may inquire about advertising banners available all throughout the I.C.O.M Online Web-site.


The Secret Passageway 7/97-6/98


In the dark recesses of the “International Conservatory of Magic”, a brave member has just entered…

Ooooooooh, you’ve found the spookiest place in I.C.O.M! What magic related web-site would be complete without a forum dedicated to the weird and bizarre? On this page will be a running compendium of puzzles, tricks, stories and just about anything imaginable and “unimaginable” relating to the kind of magic that goes “bump in the night!” Such is the mysterious nature of I.C.O.M!

July 1997

An I.C.O.M Cryptogram
Ron Dayton

In the word search shown are concealed the names of nine famous magicians. Can you find and circle them? (you may want to print this out first, after all, who wants to draw on their monitor!?) Using the first letter of each name…what word will it spell that means magic?

Answers: Next Month!

July 1997

Magical Trivia

He was the brother of the most famous escape artist who ever lived. After his brother’s untimely death, he toured as a famous magician himself. Who was he?
(Complete name required)

August 1997

The Haunted House

My Favorite Poem
Recited by
Bobby J. Gallo

This is the poem I used to open my “seance” shows with. It never fails to instill chills in my audience. I learned it as a small child and it still brings shivers everytime I recite it. I hope you enjoy it <G>……………..

Not a window was broken, and the paint wasn’t peeling.
Not a porch step sagged, yet there was a feeling.
That beyond the door, and into the hall.
This was the house, of no one at all.

No one who slept, or laughed, or ate, or said I love, or said, I hate.

Yet something walked, along the stairs, something that was, and wasn’t there.

That is why weeds, on the walkway grow high.
And even the moon, races fearfully by.

For something walks, along the stairs, something that “is” and isn’t there.

I claim no originality for the above poem. If anyone knows who wrote it, please attach it to this thread. They deserve full credit for such a masterpiece. As I said, I learned it as a child from a book I think I read in fourth or fifth grade and have remembered ever since. Or has it remembered me??????????????

September 1997

A True Story

Strange Vibrations
Bobby J. Gallo

Many of you may know that I just got back from a tour up and down the east coast. It was a great string of events with an interesting experience that happened to me at one particular college date.

The school where I performed my full evening show was situated in upper New England. It was a rural school with great students. Before the show I was given a key to my sleeping accommodations. It was the oldest building on campus. Over 180 years old (and smelled like it!). It was originally the main school building many, many years ago, but now served as a campus guest house and in that capacity, only used on certain occasions. Such as visiting performers and faculty. (lucky me!?)

When I first arrived, I noticed that in the “Great Room” of the old mansion, there were old paintings of various people from all eras of American history. These people had something to do with the school in one way or another during their lives. Now all were long gone and their images were enshrined in this ancient parlor.

When I entered the house, the strangest feeling came over me. The hair was standing up on the back of my neck and I really couldn’t say why? I joked to myself about this place being haunted because of the age of the building coupled with he fact that the room with the portraits downstairs looked like something out of the haunted houses in certain very popular theme parks. Also, the fact that I was the only one staying in this old mansion fueled the humorous notion.

Before the show, I was talking to my contact at the school. I joked with her about the house and the fact that it look like to could be haunted. She replied, “You mean you heard about that place?” What? I said!

It so happens that dozens of people have experienced supernatural happenings in that old mansion. Everyone from campus security guards to faculty have reported the ghost of a woman. My contact told me not to worry because she was supposedly a “friendly spirit!” However, one student told me to be afraid, be very afraid. Was I? Suffice to say that after the performance, I quietly went back into the old mansion, up to my room, packed my things and drove all night back home to New Jersey. It was the last gig on my tour and the drive was about 6 1/2 hours. I know I could have went to a hotel, but at that point it was difficult to sleep!

October 1997

“The Web”

An original effect in the realm of the bizarre
Bobby J. Gallo

Effect In Story Form, Script In Italics:

The apprehensive participants enter the room, where a dark, vampiric looking medium stares at them with an unnerving icy glare. “Welcome” he bids, as the layman gather around a large oak table ready for what could possibly be a most memorable glance into realms unseen to the living. The medium begins as the overhead chandelier with what looks like a decade of cobwebs, flickers on the verge of plunging the entire room into eerie darkness.

You are all here to have me beckon spirits and entities from the other side this evening. (A low rumble of thunder in the far distance)

This request I shall accommodate! says the medium in a rather authoritative way. But first we must decide who it is we shall communicate with. Or should I say what?! You see, not all earthbound spirits are those of former humans. Some traditions hold that all creatures, even trees have an almost conscious force that permeates their entire being and then leaves upon death. Look above you! The audience does this as the medium describes what they see. Cobwebs! Made by natures most perfect and most ruthless predator, “The Spider”! At this moment, the lights are extinguished.

Everyone Join hands, and concentrate.

Imagine, if you will, just for a moment. You are a common housefly. flying carefree through vast open spaces that seem to have no end. Only the space is dark, is it night? Or is just a small enclosed space deep within a cellar that seems universal compared to your small almost insignificant form.
You are flying, flying, flying…………………………

All of a sudden, you stop. You seem to be caught in something!
(the mediums voice all of a sudden seems to take on a tone of urgency!) It seems sticky, tangled, yet made of the finest silk. Then terror rushes through your entire tiny being as you realize where you are. You are caught, and even as you contemplate your situation you realize that you are being stalked, closer, and closer it comes. All of a sudden you hear a hisssssss and it strikes! (at this moment the audience does indeed hear a hiss and a scream!)

Pandemonium breaks loose in the room, the circle is broken as one the sitters rushes for the lights only to find out when the darkness is lifted, that all of the participants are present, except one!

There, where one the audience members sat is an empty chair with a skull covered in ethereal spiders webs! No trace of the spider is to be found. Water is thrown on those who have fainted.

Secret Formula:

The three essential ingredients for this horrifying effect are as follows. First is the classic “mediums grip” that is used to convince the audience that your hands are held once the lights are out.

The second is the novelty item sold in party stores known as party string. It comes in a can and can be carried secretly on the mediums person until ready. The string is available in many colors but I recommend black. (Bright yellow or orange string can hardly pass for a spiders web!) I have yet to see white string, and black just seems to add a weird feeling to it.

Third is an imitation rubber skull also found in party stores around Halloween time.

When the lights go out, The performer uses the mediums grip to free his/her right hand. At the same time, a confederate (stooge) leaves their chair and replaces him/herself with the rubber skull they have been carrying secretly before the routine began. The performer during the blackout merely sprays the skull with the string. The spraying process sounds like a hissing noise and actually adds to the effect! Be sure not to accidentally spray the spectators, it is a good idea to have the confederate’s seat positioned well away from everyone else so that in the dark you know where to spray the string. Not to mention the fact that your secret helper will have a better chance of sneaking out un-noticed!

And remember, I have used this stunt many times and it “Will” make people scream and freak out! so be prepared for a lot of commotion!

Creators Thoughts:

A different version effect (actually the original version) first appeared in an altered form in “The New Invocation” No# 78 a publication devoted to weird and bizarre magic. The routine was re-written by the editor of that magazine with my permission. It appears here in the ICOM Secret Passageway in an updated form.

The routine the way it originally appeared had aspects that actually made the effect a little “too frightening”, so I felt it wise to tone the presentation down a bit.

One last thought. The title of this routine was created before the release of a popular marketed close-up item with the same name.

November 1997

Pseudo Spirit Trick

You can produce strange noises answering questions while seated at a table. One tap for yes, two taps for no. All done with both hands in view the entire time.

Method: A stick is placed in an empty cigar tube and affixed in some manner to the leg. A thread runs from the bottom of the stick to the other leg. By merely spreading the knees, the stick rises and falls thus creating “tap like sounds” under the table.

January 1998

Don’t Read This!

Unless you would like the answers to the cryptogram at the top of page.

Answers: Carter, Okito, Neff, Jarrett, U.F. Grant, Richardi, Ireland, Nelson, Goldin = Conjuring…

April 1998


Author Unknown
Adapted By Ronald J. Dayton
From Text In 1964 Hades Gram Magi-zette

The typographical error is illusive and quite sly.

You can search till you go crazy but it somehow slips right by.

It crouches in dark corners and never moves or peeps

Till the print is off the presses, then boldly, out it creeps.

This typographical error was unseen by human eyes

Till the copy’s on the paper and the ink all fully dries.

Yes, the rest of that whole issue is as clean as it can be.

Still that typographical error is the only thing you’ll see.

In his book, ” The Magic of 1937 “

Author, inventor and performer, Eric C. Lewis suggests;


June 1998

The student may wonder why the dates on the following works are nearly six years old. The reason is one that is indicative of many pieces of material found all throughout I.C.O.M. It is “buried treasure” finally seeing the light of day (or should we say “dark of night”). This is a series of previously un-released periodicals devoted to bizarre and psychic magic. In publishing these “masterpieces”, we will try to maintain the integrity of the original manuscripts by making as few changes as possible to the text and format. When the originals are exhausted, new ones will be released as they are presently in the process of being created right at this moment!…So with all of this in mind…Turn out the lights, lock the doors, and enjoy the first installment of “Shadows….

The International Conservatory Of Magic Proudly Presents

artwork copywrite 1998 Ronald J. Dayton

“Shadows” is a publication which will appear, as shadows often do, at different times, and in varying lengths and form. As always, the image cast is dependent upon the amount of light being shed, and its direction. Much like our magic itself, shadows change with movement, Without movement, there is no change.. without light, there is no shadow.

Who knows what mysteries lurk in the shadows!? Darkness surrounds us before our first breath, and after our last. It is the time between, we hope to illuminate.

Shadows, like thoughts, are intangible, ghostly reflections. YOU are the source which gives it substance. We control the shadows of our lives, by moving forward and seeking light as opposed to standing idle, unable to see the darkness we’ve come to accept.

Ronald J. Dayton 12-15-92

“Man prefers to believe what he prefers to be true.”
Francis Bacon

Page Two

Co-Directors Note: The effect that originallly appeared in the first issue of “Shadows” was called “Psy-Clip Powers”. However, due to the fact that this fine effect recently appeared in M.U.M Magazine, we are holding off on the publication and instead, giving everyone an exclusive piece created just for us!…Thanks Ron.


Ronald J. Dayton

As the title for this effect indicates, it has been named, tongue-in-cheek, specifically for use on the world’s first INTERNET School of Magic. It is a divination type effect or second sight thich involves several toy novelty spiders suspended from a mono-filament string.

Each spider has a fifteen inch length of mono-filament or clear fishing line threaded through its center so the line will not pull out. At the opposite end of the length you have tied a one inch diameter plastic curtain ring. In addition, each spider has had a different color geometrical shape painted on its upper abdomen. The colors and shapes are: A yellow circle, a green square, a blue rectangle and a red triangle.

Your assistant displays each spider dangling by its ring from the fingers of the hand. while you are securely blindfolded, one member of the audience freely chooses one of the spiders and hands it to you behind your back. After a moments thought, you are able to reveal the shape and color painted on the spider’s back.

The secret to this effect lies in a subtle code supplied by the lengths of fishing line from which each spider is suspended. The line for the red triangle is ungimicked. The blue rectangle has a single overhand knot tightly tied in the line about two inches from the curtain ring. The green square has a single knot tied mid-length in the line, and the yellow circle has a knot tied about two inches above the spider.

when the spiders are placed in your hand, the other hand gets hold of the fishing line Just above the spider and the line is pulled through that hand until the ring is pulled in to it. The spider is then allowed to hang freely as you hold the line by its ring. This simple action of pulling the line through your first finger and thumb while seemingly Just getting control of the ring allows you to ‘feel’ the tiny knot ( or lack there of ) tied in the fine fishing line. when you know where the knot is, you then know the color and shape which you have committed to memory.

Years ago. performers had success by presenting some of their effects with a clever rhyming patter. A similar rhyming verse has been developed to reveal each of the colors and shapes. You of course have the option to use this style presentation or not, as you see fit.

You might choose to build your story around the popular recent movie, ARACHANAPHOBIA. A terrifying movie for most…even more so for people with a genuine fear of spiders.

This effect is based on a color divination effect I created several years ago called Orna-mental in which Christmas ornaments were suspended from lines and hanging hooks. I have added the geometric shapes to give the spider •ffect more depth. I have also modified the knot code which identifies the colors and shapes..

The rhymes used in the revelation for each spider are as follow:

This friendly guy is harmless and mellow. His shape is a circle, his color is yellow.

This spider won’t hurt you. He’s meek, and quite fair. The color is green…the shape is a square.

This arachnid is common, found both near and far. The color is blue, a rectantular bar.

This spider is deadly, a Black Widow here dangles. Their color blood red, their shapes are triangles.


It will take a little work to memorize the colors and shapes, but it certainly isn’t beyond your capabilities. It’s good to work for an effect rather than have it come too easy. It gives you a real sense of accomplishment when you eventually succeed.

Give some thought to other objects which could logically be suspended from a length of line. We’ve already mentioned ornaments. How about fish, kites, toy airplanes etc.!? You could easily take this knot code principle and expand upon it to create new and exciting effects and variations of your own.


Notice: This material “IS NOT PUBLIC DOMAIN” and is intended for the personal and performance use of International Conservatory Of Magic members only.

This entire page is under copywrite 1998 by the International Conservatory of Magic and its respective contributors. No part of this page or its contents may be re-produced without the expressed written permission of I.C.O.M. All marketing, manufacturing, & publication rights are reserved. Violation of this is considered intellectual property and information theft and carries penalties under federal law.

Kid Show Konservatory 4/98-6/98


Dedicated to the fine art of entertaining children with magic!


Without doubt, despite what many magicians may tell you, the largest market for magic, far and away, is the birthday party circuit. Hence the need for this forum. In I.C.O.M, students will learn many fine points of presentation and aspects of magic. However, some of these theories go right out the window when it comes to entertaining children. Truly, this genre’ is in a class unto itself. It has its own demands as well as its own rewards. It is one of the only classes of magic that needs a forum all to itself.

Over the course of time, routines will be included here from the repertories of working professionals. Also will be the ins and outs of working kid shows, how to prepare for them, booking them, performing them, etc. etc. etc.

April 1998

To be completely honest with all of I.C.O.M I was planning to start my series on Crayon effects this month. But alas, I find myself going on yet another performance tour tomorrow. I was prepared to spend the entire night photographing the digital images that were planned on being here, And I would have done that since there is nothing more important to my magical existence than our I.C.O.M membership. But then I was given a request by one of our new members overseas to supply a routine for the classic egg bag. After reading Ron Dayton’s excellent treatise on the bag (found in our very own archives), they were intrigued enough to ask if I had any ideas for a complete routine. Boy do I…! I typed out a “virtual lesson” to our esteemed member and was very pleased to say the least. The following is my complete professional routine that use at every show! In retrospect, I could not offer anything better in this forum than what you are about to read.

Commando Egg Bag
“A Professional Routine”
Bobby J. Gallo

I call this the Commando Egg Bag for the very reasons set forth in our Cyber-Magic Text Book (tm) entitled Commando Magic ™. It is streamlined commercial magic with a simple premise and maximum impact. I have done this on television as well as literally thousands of “live” performances. If you compare this to earlier published versions of classic egg bag routines, you will notice that I do not introduce extra props into the bag as a climax or use the “under the arm gag” that everyone and their brother uses. Not to say that prop climaxes are bad. It is just that this routine was designed for a specific purpose. And that is to be practical to the working pro. But there is no reason it will not work for the serious amateur as well.

The following is an exact transcription of The Virtual Lesson.

I am going to give you “MY” original egg bag routine that I use over here in the USA.  I do it at EVERY show and it never fails to get a fantastic response.

It is based on an idea from Ken Brook that shows that an egg bag routine does not have to be very complicated to work well.  All that is required is an egg and the bag. (I use a wooden egg)

Start by having the egg already inside the pocket and the bag turned inside out before the start of the routine.  Take the bag placing one hand inside the bag and slapping the bag with the other hand to prove it is empty.  Ask the audience, “what is on the outside of the bag?”  They will answer, “nothing”  Now, turn the bag inside out again, (actually, you are now turning the bag, right side in but the audience does not know this)  Slap the bag again asking the same question and they will give you the same response, “nothing”.

Now hold the egg in the upper corner of the secret pocket in the palm of your hand as you allow a spectator to feel inside the bag.  Ask them if there is anything in there.  They will say again,”nothing”

Remember, at this point, do not tell them what you are about to do.  Let the appearance of the egg be a surprise and it will get a great response.

After the spectator removes their hand, have the whole audience raise their hands and say a magic word.  Ask them to wave their hands towards the bag. at this moment drop the egg down into the bag, reach in and act as though you do not know what it is, take the egg out and look very surprised. (this always gets a laugh because an egg is a naturally funny object to look at, so take advantage of this fact!)

Now I Challenge the audience to see if they can catch me make the egg vanish.  This gets them very interested and makes them watch the routine very closely.  Challenging the audience is an old Slydini ploy.

Take the egg and slowly place it into the bag.  As you do this, place it inside the pocket and now allow the spectator to feel the egg through the bag.  Ask them if it is there.  They will say “YES”.  Then ask them to hold out their hand.  And in one smooth motion, take the hand out of the bag as though it were holding the egg. (actually, the egg is now in the bag inside of the secret pocket) and place the imaginary egg in the spectators hand acting as though you are really doing it.  Look away as you are doing this and pretend not to notice that there is no egg in the spectators hand. One of two things may happen at this point.

A) The spectator thinks that you are letting them in on some inside magic secret and will actually pretend to hold the egg.  In which case you can do a real miracle by waiving your hands and asking the spectator to open their hand up revealing that the egg has vanished.

B) They will look shocked to see that the egg has vanished and will stare at their hand in astonishment.  Some will actually say that they saw the egg vanish in their hand….It’s true!

Either way, you will get some applause at this point.  Now you are set to go through the first set of moves to prove that the egg is NOT in the bag. (Inside out, spectator feels inside the bag, etc…) After this is done. I have two comedy endings that I use.

1) If someone is wearing a hat in the audience, I tell them that the egg in under it.  When they lift their hat I say “wouldn’t that be amazing!” This gets a big laugh…

2) After the spectator feels inside the bag to show that it is empty, drop the egg in the bag through the pocket and ask them to feel inside again. They always take the egg out.  Do not look while they are doing this and pretend that they did not take out anything.  This gives you the opportunity for a lot of comedy.  If you are working for kids they will scream like crazy trying to tell you that the spectator has the egg.

Finally look at the spectator, notice that they have the egg and act very surprised.  Motion for the audience to give the spectator applause, get your egg back! and bow.

The one aspect of the egg bag I have found needs the most rehearsal is getting the egg in and out of the pocket smoothly.  That is why I developed the ploy of placing the egg in the pocket while the spectator is feeling the egg through the bag.  This works very well.

This routine first appeared as a “Virtual Lesson” to an I.C.O.M. member. One more reason everyone should take advantage of them……
To those wishing to do this routine and do not own an egg bag, there is a quality felt bag available through the I.C.O.M Online Catalog called the E-Z Egg Bag.

May 1998

Co-Directors Note: What can be more familiar to a child than a drinking straw? The following routine is well worth your study as it can be a worthwhile addition to any performance for children. It also constitutes the first in our series of magic that can be done with crayons. This is my kind of magic. Simple in premise, and dynamite in effect. Hopefully it will be a favorite of yours too…BJG

“Surprising Straw Variation”
Ronald J. Dayton

On page 148 of Henry Gordon’s book, ” Henry Gordon’s World Of Magic,” you will find an effect called A Surprising Straw. His effect is novel and has a nice surprise ending to it. My version creates the identical effect. Only the handling has been modified a bit, allowing you to use objects longer than a soda-straw which has been cut in half. If you wish, you may also eliminate the comedy ending, and do a straight vanish and reproduction of the object.

You may use a full length soda-straw if you would like, or a crayon, or any other wand-like object of appropriate length. The handling I am giving uses a standard *2 pencil which has been cut down in length one and one half inches with a coping saw.

Begin with the pencil held at the eraser end as shown in Fig. 1. The other hand holds an opaque handkerchief at one corner. The hanky is draped over the pencil as in Fig. 2. For a brief moment, the end of the pencil is grasped by the left hand at X through the material of the handkerchief as the right hand turns palm down. The right hand is in a very relaxed fist, and the eraser end is inserted deep into the fork of the right hand first and second fingers. The left hand releases its hold and lowers momentarily to your side. The covered pencil is displayed.

The left hand now grasps the hanky at point Z in Fig. 2 and begins to pull it back off the right hand. In a simultaneous move, the right hand swings upward and fingers extend. The two movements should be timed so the empty palm of the right hand is facing the audience as the removal of the hanky by the left hand is completed. The pencil will be concealed at the back of the right hand, Fig. 3. Angles are important. Shorter objects are not as critical.

Now your options may be applied. For the comedy reveal…the left hand immediately tosses the empty hanky into the air and allows it to fall to your table or floor. With palm facing the audience, the left hand criss-crosses in front of the left. The hands move back toward your mouth, where the unsharpened end of the pencil is taken between your teeth. Then, after a moment, the hands lower to reveal the missing pencil held in your mouth. This will kill a bit of the magic…but it will bring you a nice laugh. Perhaps as a lead-in to some serious sleight of hand, this would be very nice indeed.

If on the other hand you would like to keep it purely magic… this is how you might choose to proceed. The hank is retained in the left hand after the initial vanish, and the pencil is concealed at the back of the right hand. With the right palm still toward the audience, the left begins to cover the right once again with the handkerchief. ( Shake the hanky well before hand so they know it is empty…or toss and catch it prior to the covering.) Once the right hand is almost half way under the hank, it lowers and turns palm up. In other words, the covered right hand now rests flat and palm up under the hank. The pencil is suspended beneath it and concealed by the draping of the handkerchief. The left hand now pats against the palm of the covered right hand to show in this way that the right hand is empty. The first finger and thumb of the left hand now reach in and grasp the center of the hanky at the right hand palm and begin to slowly lift it up. As it does, you turn your right hand over so it assumes the position shown in Fig. 2. The left hand releases its grip once the pencil is fully upright, and allows it to be shown as in Fig. 2. You again take hold of end X for just a moment as the right hand repositions itself, taking hold of the eraser end of the pencil as in Fig. 1. The handkerchief is now lifted away for the reveal of the reappearance of the pencil at the right hand fingertips.

Any object which may be clipped between the first and second fingers…or an object, the end of which can be gimmicked so it may be clipped between the fingers will work for this effect. Wands, candles, bread-sticks etc. Crayons, ladies curlers for their hair, if its of the correct general shape and length, you just may be able to use it. Best of luck in your search…

Variation for adult performances only!

Naturally, for those of you who still smoke…cigarettes and cigars may also be used (of course this is not appropriate for childrens shows, but may be effective for adult cabaret performances). Even a pipe which is not too heavy might work well. Bowl end must point in the right direction to be deceptive.

June 1998

Co-Directors Note: OK,…I admit it! I perform over 400 shows a year and YES,…I use a rubber chicken!!! Why you ask? Because it’s funny!…Period. That being the case, I was extremely delighted when Ron showed this manuscript to me containing the following material. I can praise it no higher than to say that as of this moment, I am actually using more than a few of the following lines. If the Kid show entertainer is looking for pure entertainment, in my estimation, one of the best investments he/she will ever make is in purchasing a rubber chicken. (I can’t believe I just said that, but its true) ….BJG

“You Say It…I’m Too Chicken”
Ronald J. Dayton

My friend, Jim Klein, editor and publisher of ” The Magician’s Home Companion “ has once again consented to my using material from that three volume hardbound set. This time it happens to be lines and ideas for the classic.. Rubber Chicken. Thank you Jim!

Alright then. You’ve just pulled your chicken from a square-circle, or from under your jacket.. now what? It may be true that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, but it’s not entertainment. You’ve got to say something son! Here are eight ideas which will will either make you a hit.. or get you hung. Are you feeling lucky?

1) This punch line isn’t mine. All I’ve done is to dress up the presentation a little. Take your chicken and tie a two foot length of one inch wide red ribbon to each leg. Now sling the chicken over your back, bringing the ribbon over each shoulder and tying it at the front of your neck in a bow. When you enter, make sure the audience sees the chicken hanging down your back. Turn to face them, undo the ribbons and hold the chicken out in full view at your side. Say, ” What’s the matter? Haven’t you ever seen a magician with his cape on?” ( Capon )

2) Hold the chicken by the legs in one hand and hit it with a small plastic baseball bat held in the other hand. Look at the audience and say, ” Battered Chicken!” Smack the bird so it flies out of your hand. Now tell the, ” Oh, oh.. fowl ball.” Be sure to emphasize the word FOWL.

3) Make a slit in the lower end of your bird and insert a small squeeze-bulb bicycle horn. Display the Rubber Chicken and secretly honk the horn. Look at the audience and tell them it’s a “Leg horn Chicken.”

4) This is for those of you who own U.F. Grant’s Comedy Climax Egg Bag. Dissect the legs, wing sections, and head from a Rubber Chicken and use them to replace the cloth chicken parts found in the Grant bag. In this way, the “chicken” you transform the bag into at the end of the routine will look 100 times better than the original.

5) This use for the Rubber Chicken may be regional, depending upon which products are available in your supermarkets, and how well they are known to the audience. Here in Wisconsin, it works well. Take some foam rubber and some red felt material.

Make a small set of boxing gloves and form them so they may be placed on the feet of the Rubber Chicken. When you bring the chicken into view, look at the gloves and say, ” You’ll never guess what I got at the supermarket today.. .Tyson Chickens.” ( If your audience doesn’t know who Mike Tyson is.. find another town to work.)

6) Novelty shops now have small Rubber Chickens on key chains available. They look just like the normal sized chickens, and they offer a lot of potential for magic. You could have shrinking
or growing chickens. How about a ” chick (chip) off the old block?” The small chicken could be produced from within a plastic egg which appeared in your egg bag. This could be a tie-in to the Grant Egg Bag mentioned earlier.

7) Cut a slit in a Rubber Chicken and insert either a real or an artificial orange. During the show, display the chicken and have it ‘lay’ the orange. Say, “I’ve heard of orange duck before but this is but this is ridiculous.” Produce a small plastic bowling ball and tell the audience its for the ” Pin Feathers!”

8) Two ideas which involve a Rubber Chicken and a play-on-words are as follow: Pin a large name tag on the front of your chicken. The name printed boldly on the tag is TUCK. Look at the Rubber Chicken and then at the name tag. Tell the audience, ” Must be a fryer.” ( Friar ) For the second suggestion, tie a thin blue curtain sash cord around the chicken’s nick. Your comment to the audience? ” Chicken Cord-On-Blue!” ( Cordon Bleu )

All of this may never answer the question Jim Klein asked, “Which came first, the Rubber Chicken or the Weller Egg?” But it may offer some ideas to those inclined to flaunt the latex bird. Not something everyone might wish to embrace, to be sure. But at the right time…in the right hands…it can be pure magic.


Notice: This material “IS NOT PUBLIC DOMAIN” and is intended for the personal and performance use of International Conservatory Of Magic members only.

This entire page is under copywrite 1998 by the International Conservatory of Magic and its respective contributors. No part of this page or its contents may be re-produced without the expressed written permission of I.C.O.M. All marketing and publication rights are reserved. Violation of this is considered intellectual property and information theft and carries penalties under federal law.

I.C.O.M Online Spotlight 4/98-6/98


I.C.O.M Online Spotlight 4/98-6/98

This page is devoted to general studies and information that may not fit neatly into other study areas or is knowledge fit for both beginner and advanced students. It also acts as the I.C.O.M main theory page. Theory is where the true magic lies, study it well. It is the inner workings of the magical art far beyond the secrets of any tricks, effects or routines.

April 1998

I.C.O.M Online is proud to introduce the following new series of articles by Ron Dayton. The following installment is worth your undivided attention. It is a true lesson in magic.

Ronald J. Dayton
Several suggested roads of travel toward an elusive goal.



I have mentioned several sources for creative inspiration. One of my favorites is the magic catalog. If you can get your hands on older catalogs as well as more current ones, you may be able to discover not only useful information, but trends and cycles as well. It seems that effects in magic go in stages. One year, ring and lace effects may be all the rage, the next, diminishing card cases and the following year, movable holes are the latest thing. You see the same thing happen in the motion picture industry. They go from sci-fi to war films, to comedy to prison flicks. The movie goers tire of certain movies and demand something new. It’s the same in magic. So, the catalogs may well not only point you toward a new effect, they may well indicate which type of effect will be coming into vogue.

When paging through your magic catalog, allow your mind to roam. Go from close-up to stage effects, silks to coins, paper to rope. An unrestricted mind will soon begin to form mental links. random unions will be made. An overlapping of thoughts will help you to break away from more stringent lines of thinking. This will work in a similar way to the lists suggested earlier. It will assist your mind in rejecting certain patterns of thought. Seemingly unrelated effects will suddenly begin to merge. It’s a useful method to exercise your mind.


Another nifty way to think in an inventive manner is not to think about it at all! That’s right. Walk away from it for a while. When you are relaxed, and not under the direct pressure of ‘having’ to invent something, ideas seem to pop up at the most unexpected times. I should be embarrassed to say this, but I’m not really, that many of my best ideas have come to me while I was at my place of employment. Here again, when ever an idea came to me, it was quickly jotted down. Too many good ideas have been lost simply because they were not acted upon promptly.

You may also choose to stimulate your thinking by thinking in a new location, or change of atmosphere. Like a creative writer, you may need to get away from the norm. Select new surroundings in which to work and concentrate. Music may be used to set the mood as well as lighting. Make the experience as pleasant and comfortable as possible.


Experience has proven time and time again that ideas are exactly that, just IDEAS. All the brainstorming in the world will not prove conclusively that something WILL work. Many things look great on paper but won’t get off the ground in the real world. When the time comes, in many instances, you will need a proto-type.

A number of years ago I developed an idea for a new version of cigarette through half dollar. I contacted a manufacturer of magic coins, and after some study, it was determined that the project would be far too costly. Special compound dies would be required, special tooling. The costs were too high to justify the variation. Three years later, an alternate design became evident to me. But once again, no ‘proof’ of its credibility was available. The design was much easier and cost effective to produce. To make a long story short, The Dayton Ultimate Cigarette Thru Half was eventually born. It is the only mechanical coin ever made which could be shown both sides, before, DURING and after the penetration. An idea, with perserverance, went from the mind, to paper to reality.

When you stick with a project, and it comes to fruition, there is no better feeling of satisfaction. The feeling is awesome.


There is one last phase I would like to touch on in regards to your own personal preparation for creativity, and that is the subject of reading material. I suggest the following:

The Tarbell Course in Magic, Vol. 1-7……………………………………… Tannens

The Phoenix & New Phoenix………………………………………………….. Tannens

Thayer Quality Magic; Vol. 1-4…………………………………………………Magic Limited

The Jinx.. ………………………………………………………………………………Tannens

Harbincadabra………………………………………………………………………. Goodliffe

Rices Encyclopedia of Silk Magic, Vol 1-3…………………………………. Rice

The Encyclopedia of Rope Tricks1 Vol 1-3………………………………… Abbotts

JackHughesWorld of MagicVol. 1………………………………………………Hughes

Encyclopedia of Dove Magic, Vol 1-4…………………………………………Supreme

The Lewis Trilogy
A Choice of Miracles
A Continuation of Miracles……………………………………………………Magical Publications
The Crowning Miracles

The New Modern Coin Magic…………………………………………………..Magic Inc.


The Magic of Pavel………………………………………………………………….Supreme

Darwin’s Thumb Tip Miracles…………………………………………………… Rare Publishing

The Illustrated History of Magic………………………………………………….Crowell

Suspensions and Levitations……………………………………………………… Hades

The Fitzkee Trilogy
Showmanship For Magicians………………………………………………… Magic Limited
The Trick Brain
Magic By Misdirection

All publications by Karl Fulves……………………………………………………Karl Fulves/Dover Press

Success and Magic…………………………………………………………………..Secret Service/Michael Ammar


It is important to make ourselves as aware as possible to new advances in technology, science and electronics, as well as new product releases. Reading publications such as Popular Science and Popular Mechanics may serve you well. Look at items carefully while browsing through your local variety store. Toy stores are also fabulous places to wander. Keep your eyes peeled when those catalogs come in the mail from such places as Spencers Gifts or the Electronic Goldmine. They often contain novel items which the wide awake magician can put to use. Look beyond the original use and try to visualize another form and function. It will often be worth your while if you do.

In the concluding words to one of my books I said: ” Think of an effect my friend. It CAN be done!” Well, needless to say, that raised more than a few eyebrows. Some reviewers felt it was far too broad a statement to make. But think about it. Go back to the concept that THE IMPOSSIBLE IS THAT WHICH IS YET UNTRIED. If you defeat yourself before you begin, naturally you will fail. Make a dedicated attempt at creativity. If the first attempt dosen’t work out, try again! Hang on to all your notes concerning ideas and methods. Perhaps in a year, or five.. .or more, the correct solution will come to light. Above all, maintain your dreams. They too may become reality.

Even the person who is NOT directly involved in the performance or production of magic can assist in its growth and well being. If you choose only to be a magic enthusiast, or a collector, you will be doing your part. You act as a catalyst. Your support and zeal motivate others. Like any part of the whole, your importance is immeasurable.

” Think of an effect my friend. It CAN be done!”

Co-Directors Note: The International Conservatory Of Magic is grateful to Ronald J. Dayton for this fantastic work that has run since the beginning of our Internet endeavor. For those wishing to read “Creativity” in its entirety, it will be enshrined in the ICOM Online Library as a Cyber-Textbook ™ It should be read, re-read, and read again. This IS magical education at its best, and that is why we are all here…….

I.C.O.M Online is extremely proud to present a world exclusive!

Dr. OM’s Treatise on Showmanship and Stagecraft for the Performing Magician Part VII April 1998


Not only is “SEEING IS BELIEVING” so, but, so too, is BELIEVING IS BELIEVEMENT. If the magician believes that magic is actually happening before his own eyes, so too, will the audience experience belief.

FLASHBACK AND FORESHADOW inform the audience about that which has already happened and that which is yet to come, in a drama. STYLE is the outcome of skills acquired through study and imitation, but personalized through the originality of the performer. STYLE is the personal stamp of the artist. The distinctive style of Louis Armstrong’s trumpet sets him apart from all other trumpet players. His style would be recognized in a crowd.

TONE is a function of psychological distance between the performer and the audience. The closer to the audience, the more casual; the more distant from the audience, the more formal will the performer appear.. Distance is not a reference to feet or yards, but might better be explained, as exemplified by comparing the casual tone achieved by Carl Ballentine, the comedic magician, and Joseph Dunninger, the dignified and aloof mentalist. A seated speech delivery, placing the speaker on the same level with the audience, tends to seem casual; a standing speech delivery which places the speaker on a level above the audience, tends to seem formal.

MOOD is the psychological ambiance of a performance, and is both intellectually and emotionally underpinned. A performance may be serious or frivilous in mood; or light hearted or melancholic in mood: the ALLEGRO or PENSEROSO of the stage, if you will. BUILDS: The peaks and valleys of art require both CRESCENDO and DECRESCENDO. A work of art cannot be sustained at a constant climactic pitch. Stillness is as important as motion; silence as important as sound; deccelleration as important as accelleration; and PIANO as important as FORTE. Art is the consequence of nuance not noise; subtlety not grossness. Decrescendo makes crescendo possible



For television appearances in the nonformal performance mode (Guest Shots), magicians should wear a light blue broadcloth shirt which does not reflect light up into the face as severely as does a white shirt. The best color choice in a tie is red which draws the audience attention, casts a soft blush on the face, and provides a color point of reference for the lighting technician. A dark suit should be worn, as flattering to the physique. Black absorbs light, making the body appear slimmer; white reflects light, making the body appear larger and heavier. The television camera is said to add about fifteen pounds to the physique. Of course, an overly thin performer might want to reverse the color formula, in order to add pounds. Dr. OM does not have this problem. Straight pancake makeup in a tone matching the natural skin tone of the performer, or a more deireable tone (e.g: tan, if the performer is excessively pale), should be applied, in order to avoid the Nixon-Kennedy syndrome.

For formal televised performance, the same principles apply and care should be taken with choice of costume components and application of pancake make-up, rouge, lip rouge, eye shadow, and eye liner. When applying make-up, the whole face, neck, and ears should be made up, in order to avoid the masklike look of a tan face and white throat and ears. Costume choices are personal to the PERSONA, as has been previously discussed, but should consider the affects of lighting.


After viewing the President’s State of the Union address on television, Dr. OM remained tuned in to witness the Republican response by Senator Trent Lot. Surfing from channel to channel, among those covering the response, Dr. OM noticed that, on channel 02 Senator Lot’s face bore a yellowish tint; on 04, a flesh pink tint; on 05 a violet tint; on 08 a yellowish tint; on 12, a violet- white tint; and on 24, a blueish- white tint: same subject; different lighting. A performer cannot overestimate the importance of lighting. Senator Lot looked best on channel 04, under flesh pink lighting which lent him a healthy and robust appearance.

THE PRINCIPLE PURPOSE OF LIGHTING is to make persons and objects visible on stage, however each directional throw produces adverse affects of washing out the facial features or casting undesireable shadows when used exclusively. Proper balance of multidirectional lighting eliminates adverse affects, provides visibility, and enhances mood. Lighting is of five kinds, dependent upon location: 1) FRONT LIGHTING; 2) BACK LIGHTING; 3) OVERHEAD LIGHTING; 4) SIDE LIGHTING; and 5) BOTTOM LIGHTING upward cast from footlights.

FRONT LIGHTING washes out the facial features, if employed unilaterally, and, always, even when employed in conjunction with other directional lighting, requires the use of stage make-up.

FRONT LIGHTING is horizontally rigged on pipes attached to the ceiling of the HOUSE (audience seating space) over the heads of the audience and beyond the APRON (front edge) of the stage. FRONT-SIDE LIGHTING is vertically rigged on pipes anchored to the walls at both sides of the stage apron.

FOOTLIGHTS: Dr. OM regrets that modern stages have tended to eliminate footlights which cast an upward and frontal illumination on the performer and provide a rather story book framing of the apron.

BACK LIGHTING is used to illuminate or decorate the back wall and upstage areas, or to light a SCRIM cloth (cheese-cloth-like white backdrop), or CYCLORAMA (bedsheet-like backdrop) from behind to enhance the setting with the special effect of a background of blue sky or other color impression. In the old days of stage and vauldville scenically painted backdrops provided background and were illuminated by front and side lighting. There are still appropriate uses for the backdrop of old.

SIDE LIGHTING illuminates the right and left sides of three dimensional objects and actors on stage, making their three dimensionality apparent to the audience. Side lighting is usually rigged vertically on pipe poles weighted to the floor on cast iron bases or on heavy dollys.

OVERHEAD LIGHTING is horizontally rigged to pipes hung in the FLYS over the stage proper, and are aimed downward at varying light balancing angles to produce a diffused light through which the actors walk. Because the light comes from above, shadows are cast downward by the facial brow and nose. OVERHEAD and FRONT lighting should be balanced such that neither does the front lighting wash out the facial features, nor does the overhead lighting cast too much shadow on the face. The setting of lights is indeed an art in itself, even for the sole objective of providing visibility, without the aesthetic purposes of providing mood or special effects. Balancing the lights may be thought of as analogous to painting in oil or water colors.

THE FOLLOW SPOT focuses attention upon the performer by providing an intimate isolation. When no other theatrical lighting is available, a follow spot is invaluable.When even a follow spot, which rotates on an axis upward and downward and to right and left allowing the illumination to follow the movement of the actor, is not available, a stationary spotlight or baby spot, set at the proper distance from the performer, may somewhat serve the purpose, if properly intensified and dimmed by means of a rheostat.

DIMMING CONTROL BOARDS OR CONSOLES in varying degrees of sophistication and complexity are provided with rheostats which allow the intensifying or dimming of individual lamps, as well as all of the lamps or batteries of lamps at the same time and to bring up and down the house lights and the stage lights.

RIGGINGS vary in sophistication from theatrical site to theatrical site. In some venues, riggings can be lowered for LANTERN (LAMP) mounting. Usually, the lanterns are set, under the direction of the theatrical and/or art director, by the lighting technician or a stage hand atop a platform at the top of a ladder on a dolly which is termed a CHERRYPICKER, in order to fine tune the lantern angle settings and fine positions on the pipe riggings. In unsophisticated theatrical sites a cherrypicker is used to mount lamps on stationary overhead pipes, and free standing vertical pipes on heavy bases are used for front and side lighting. In the most sophisticated venues everything is electronically automated and computerised. Expect anything from OUR GANG to SPIELBERG and you will be somewhat prepared. In non-theatrical venues, only found natural or artificial house lighting exists, unless you carry along your own equipment and curtains. Lighting has the potential to establish mood, therefore, illumination facillitates the audiences ability to FEEL as well as SEE. As with all other components of theatre, lighting is inextricably, by presence or absence, a part of setting, characterization, action, and plot.

FLOOD LIGHTS are used for general diffuse lighting. Care must be taken that flood lights do not SPILL (spread) to areas where no lighting is wanted.

SPOT LIGHTS throw a concentrated almost hard edged beam of light upon a desired objective.

COLORED GELS contained in GEL FRAMES are slipped into slots on lamp fronts to tint and mix the colors of the light. The most usual colors are: red, yellow, blue, green, purple, violet, and flesh pink.


Corson, Richard. STAGE MAKEUP. Appleton-Century, Crofts. New York, 1967.

Parker, W. Oren and Harvey K. Smith. SCENE DESIGN AND STAGE LIGHTING. Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, Inc. New York, 1968.

May 1998

Dr. OM’s Treatise on Showmanship and Stagecraft for the Performing Magician Part VIII

ELLIPSOIDAL (LEKOLITE): A four shuttered reflector spotlight for hard edged rectangular or oblique beam shaping

FRESNEL (THE FRESNELITE): A fifteen degree spot focus and forty-five degree flood focus, dual purpose lamp; used primarily as a spotlight in conjunction with the KLIEG floodlight

KLIEG (KLIEGLITE): A general purpose flood light casting a soft edged diffuse spread of light

LINNEBACH PROJECTOR: Used to back project upon an entire blank backdrop, thereby providing scenic pictures in light, in a kind of magic lantern manner.

RULE OF THUMB: The least degree of general floodlight settings allowing the audience to see the action on the stage is best. Spolight mood establishment is enhanced when not too much general lighting is employed and the audience is not disturbed by excessive glare reflected by actors and objects on stage.

“At the end of every illusion is reality.” (“Eternally Yours,” Starring David Niven)

Directors Bill Wisch and Bobby J. Gallo have graciosly asked Dr. Om to write an article answering the question: “Why I love Magic.” Their question opens a floodgate that could wash up an endless series of articles, because any honest answer must deal with matters so psychologically complex that no brief response can adequately serve the purpose.

DR. OM LOVES MAGIC BECAUSE he cannot stand the real world, at least, not exclusively; not without the relief of beloved illusions, alternatives to reality, provided by art. Rather than addressing the question in terms of the magical arts alone, Art in general, yet, especially the magical arts, will serve as the source of Dr. OM’s response. where helpful, extrapolations will be made from the other arts to the art of magic.


Life without a dream would be quite grim; evidence: the daily news of all too real happenings in the all too real world. Life without a dream would be quite humdrum; evidence: the leaden-eyed drudgery most workers experience in earning their daily bread. Truly, only work experienced as play is worth doing. Think of the way work was experienced by great contributors such as Michaelangelo, Einstein, and Mozart, to mention a significant few. To them, their work and play were synonymous.

Henry David Thoreau wrote: “Most men live out their lives in a quiet desperation.” The same quiet desperation provided the drive which sent Sir Galahad and Don quixote on their quests. The former, in search of The Holy Grail, the latter in search of his imaginedly beautiful Dulcinea (she unfortuneately proved to be anything but beautiful when he found her in reality, except in his own eyes, alone).

Dante combined the two great quests: the quest after God (his Holy Grall) and the quest after an idealized woman (his Dulcinea). Beatrice is, of course, Dante’s muse, who tells him: “You may write poetry, only through loving me; and you may love me, only through writing poetry. Every artist is so driven by his muse.

Robert Graves, the great mythologist and poet, claimed that the muse, whom he called the White Goddess, appears somewhere in every poem. Perhaps so. Samuel Taylor Coleridge had her appear in the following lines from his poem: “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner:”

Her lips were red, her looks were free,
Her locks were yellow as gold:
Her skin was as white as leprosy,
The Night-Mare LIFE-IN-DEATH was she,
Who thicks man’s blood with cold.

She is the muse of two faces, however, as the poet Oscar Williams describes her in his poem:


This is what we really want Who drink the kingdom of the heart

She is flowering in a doorway
Eyes cheeks haze of hair
Stepping out of time into here

This is what we really have who see the one we adore becoming
The two that she is in the light

Ah God bounces all the waters
From hand to jubilant hand
He cannot contain Himself

But comes over into being
With benediction of painted cloud
The being to look at is to become

By fiat of adoration do we reach
The very muscle of miracle
The ease with which beauty is beauty

Sheer poetry; sheer magic; and as mystical as The Egyptian Book of the Dead or The Book of Job, is this great poem written by Dr. OM’s vanished dear friend and mentor, Oscar Williams.

Dr. Om has his muse appear in two distinctiy antithetical forms:
the double sided coin of womanhood; picking up, perhaps, where Homer left off with the witch, Circe, and the lovely young girl, Odysseus had to leave behind, Calypso.


Circe’s smile surrounds me, dimensional with spangles, tantalizing as cymbols.

Kissing Circe’s white throat; into sun world’s of flashes, light from blonde lashes,

into halls of glasses, each one reflecting Circe1s face;

is falling out of dream, screalning, hands out, from above, into cold,. rushing waters of no love.


Yes, Penelope is waiting and there are still adventures enough in store:
profits and losses in emotions; and a son still lying in the ploughshares path.

Once again, no doubt, a Cyclops or two will rear his ugly head
over fading palisades and Circe will turn us all into swine again.

Tomorrow morning Rosy may finger the Dawn or Phoebus forget to rise, altogether.

There are battles, too, the ringing swords and shields of distant wars
and black coughs of death

A king must follow his kingdom his honor
his duty and yet

Should you call to me from the shoreline Calypso, lovely girl could I leave you on your island could I leave you there alone?

Thus, the muse drives the artist. To be in love with illusion, is to be in love with our kind of magic, whereby we are transported to another realm where everything is true and beautiful and good, and everything is possible. Besides, old magician’s never die, they just disappear.

Getting back to the matter of Thoureau’s “quiet despration,” all humans feel that eternal discontent, that yearning in the breast. In youth, we feel that the yearning can be satisfied by romance, only to discover a bit sadly that it is not so. In middle life, the quest to satisfy the ache seeks after power; to be able to say: I have (so many) working under me. As age advances, the false security of money is sought after, to quell that unidentifiable desire. Money, too, proves not to be the answer. We have known these truths since time immemorial: Tantalus, Midas, Hamlet, and Macbeth.

The mystic tells us that the yearning is that of the spirit imprisoned in the body wanting to be free to return to the world soul; to become one with God. So say, too, the Bible, The Eqyptian Book of the Dead, The Bhagavadgita, The Koran, and all the great benevolent religious works. As William Butler Yeats put it in this excerpt from his poem “Sailing to Byzantium:”

Consume my heart away; sick with desire
And fastened to a dying animal
It knows not what it is; and gather me
Into the artifice of eternity.

or as the Persian poet, Omar Khayyam, more wishfully expressed in his poem “The Rubaiyat’:

Ah, Beloved, but could you and I with God conspire
to take the plan of things entire to shatter it to bits
and then remould it closer to the heart’s desire.

Does not Omar express that which every magician desires and attempts to do?

Omar was court poet, astronomer, astrologer, mathematician, and magician. By this time, the reader realizes that poets are magicians, as are all artists. Art is illusion. The magician is an artist.

It is no accident that all the great religious works are expressed in poetry and magic. Only art, especially the magical arts, and all the arts are magical, can provide us with relief from the driving yearning of the heart. Art enables us to exist at the highest pitch of being in love, which both elates and tranquilizes our physical existences; elevating us, momentarily, at least, out of existence into a state of BEING, a mystic Nirvana, if you will.

To become immersed in a musical composition, to enter into a painting, to embrace a sculpture with the eyes, to be enmeshed in the plot of a play, to experience the whirling, akin to flying, of dance, and certainly to witness a miracle of illusion, is to transcend for a moment, the unpleasant and the ordinary; to replace ugliness with beauty; to displace the pedestrian with the sublime.

The three great themes of all the other arts, the art of magic, and religion, each imply an antithetical (opposite) wish, as did Omar. The first great theme is: THE INEVITABILITY OF DEATH; its antithesis is:

THE HOPE FOR IMMORTALITY. The second great theme is: THE INEVITABILITY OF CHANGE; its antitheses are: THE WISH FOR IMMUTABILITY (unchangingness) and THE WISH FOR DESIRABLE CHANGE. As Wallace Stevens asserted, in his poem, THE MAN WITH THE BLUE GUITAR: “Things as they are, Are changed upon the blue guitar.” The third great theme is: THE INEVITABILITY OF LONELINESS; its antithisis is: THE HOPE FOR LOVE. When you can find the time, take pen and paper in hand and jot down all of the great magical illusions you know of, those, especially, which have made history, and observe that they each address at least one of the great themes of art.

The performing arts are temporal, they exist only in time, and once a performance is over, even if recorded, by whatever means, it is gone forever. Perhaps, the greatest love is the love of the performing artist who sends his art up in a puff of smoke, as did Rodolfo, in Puccini’s opera LA BOEME; Rodolfo, who burned his poems one by one, to keep his friends warm in their cold artist’s garret. No recording can replicate the art of a live performance and its interaction with an audience.

In the magical art, per se, to observe that inventive genius should be passionately devoted solely to produce a mysteriously entertaining illusion, is fascinating, in and of itself; however the illusion is accomplished, whether by manipulative skill, gaff, or gimmick.

The poetry of the art of magic is the illusion provided for the audience, not the technique whereby it is achieved. The same passion and devotion as is infused in a poem, a musical composition, or the visual pleasures of dance are essential to producing a work of true magical art. The great innovative dancer and choreographer, Martha Graham once said: “GREAT DANCERS ARE NOT GREAT BECAUSE OF THEIR TECHNIQUE; THEY ARE GREAT BECAUSE OF THEIR PASSION.” Of course, the freedom of passion presumes technique, but technique, alone, is not enough; is not art.

Artists of all sorts are driven by a compulsion to compose that which will please the senses and the sensibillties; their own and their audiences’. They do so in worshipful imltation of the Creator, the Artist of the Cosmos. The art experience and the mystical experience are one and the same. What is more, the mystical is manifestly expressible only through art. The magician is the artist of theatrical illusion; his work of art IS illusion.

All art, and no less the art of magic, provides a temporary respite, relief, rest from pressing reality. The romance of Nature is not Nature. Nature, including man and the acts of man, is quite ferocious. Ferocity is illusionistically removed from the lovely Romantic landscape painting, but in Nature, no matter how beautiful the real landscape may be, if the viewer looks closely enough, predatory ferocity is present.

Art, and especially the illusions of magic, elevates us, changes that which each of us knows to be all too real, and enables us the better to come to terms with the real, because we have, for a time, no matter how briefly, transcended the real world; we have for a moment flown with the angels; we have experienced a glimpse of the spirit of man. Dr. Om is honored and humbled to be your fellow magician.

“Poetry is the art of subtantiating shadows” (Edmund Burke)


CON PASSIONE (Italian musical term) With passion. Remember the old directorial plea: “Once more, with feeling.”

Ronald J. Dayton

One of my best friends in all the world of magic, and for that matter, all the world ( Bill Wisch ), asked if I would consider doing a piece on ‘ Why I Love Magic The Way I Do.’ According to Bill, he feels I express the most joy over being involved with magic as any other person he has ever met. This is flattering, although, possibly a jaded take on the way he perceives my involvement.

From a very early age, I was attracted to the mystery of magic. The unknown/unexplained is a strong, initial catalyst. The printed word and marvelous illustrations of an era now past were like visual magnets, drawing a youngster toward this strange Mecca.

In 1954, I was nine years old. This was the Christmas which brought my very first, and only, Mysto Magic Set. What a treasure. I wish I still had it today. The coins and shells.. the tubes, rings and cards FELT magical in my hands. It was an empowering gift for a boy of nine. One which ( in his mind ), gave access to mysteries only he could master.. .knowledge only he could fully comprehend.

Of course, as time passed.. .both I and my magic grew and matured. My understanding of magic and the real value it held came to light. I found it was something which could shared. It was a multi faceted art which embraced a myriad of concepts and skills. It was a common ground enjoyed by many, which could forge new paths, and create lasting friendships where none had been before. I think this is the aspect of magic which is most important to me…and the one from which I most directly derive pleasure. It makes me feel complete to be part of something so old… so eternally young, and so lasting.

It isn’t the artists or performances which bring me the deepest joy. They are a valued keepsake in my memory, to be sure…but memories tend to fade. It can’t be the effects or methods, although I do get enormous satisfaction in creating them.. .and watching the genius of others. But ‘tricks’ are fickle things, and magicians are like impatient nomads, ready to move on at a moments notice.

Friendships are the most magical and enjoyable thing to me. They make being a part of this world of magic, worth while. They are the foundation for much of my knowledge, the inspiration to strive to be creative, and the fountain-head from which all of the other benefits of magic spring.

This is not the easiest venue in which to find true friends. But…name a venue which is. If you can count the number of genuine friendships you garner in a lifetime on the fingers of your hands, you have done very, very well. Genuine friendships truly are magical and mysterious.. .not casual in the least. They are the singular thing I value most in magic and in life. They are the reason I find joy in what I do.

Doing magic for the sake of magic can be a thankless task. Magic for the sake of friendship on the other hand, elevates the art to a higher level. The rewards may not be monetary, but they are precious beyond measure. The glow of joy it brings pales gold by comparison, riches not all are fortunate enough to find.

June 1998

I must say that after I wrote this, I truly felt a revealing sensation. It is though for the first time I am really letting people get a glimpse into my inner most thoughts concerning magic. Not even writing “Commando Magic” gave the same sense of “butterflies in the stomach” that this short piece gives me……BJG

“A World Without Hero’s”
Bobby J. Gallo

Well ladies and gents, its my turn. After some prodding by other I.C.O.M staff members, “you know who you are!” I have been asked why I love magic….. If you have not yet read Ron Dayton’s “Magic for the Sake of Magic” or Dr. Om’s reasons in his series “Stagecraft for the Performing Magician” Please do so before reading the following.

My reasons are a bit different than both Ron’s and Oscar’s. Not better,…..different. The reasons why I love magic are very esoteric. Allow me to say right off the bat that I am a natural ham. If I were not a magician, I would be performing in some other capacity. But I can confidently say that nothing else would be like magic. Magic embodies qualities that I could not find in either music or acting. What can these be, you ask? Allow me to answer this with an observation.

In my view, the world today with the exception of a few is virtually devoid of heros in classical sense. The select few exceptions I can site in my mind besides Biblical heroes of the past would be people like Mother Theresa, Jonas Salk, and America’s first Astronauts. Heros for completely different reasons to be sure, but heros nonetheless.

I do not consider sports figures heros any more than I consider a movie or television star a hero. In most cases, both are extremely talented, but no, not heroes.

There is also a whole different dimension of heroes. One that exists only in the realm of fantasy. I am talking of course about the fantastic “superheros” and fantasy characters of legend. Now, before you go and say that I have flipped my lid in thinking about these works of fiction, let me say that I know I am not alone. There are more adults reading comic books now than in any other point of history from the golden age of comics to the present, gritty, cutting-edge comics of today. Movies containing these now classic characters are some of the highest grossing and anticipated movies in Hollywood. Top stars play these characters and everyone from every walk of life go to see them. So why do I make these points in an article devoted to magic? OK, I’ll tell you, but allow me “one more” release of my inner workings…

I have always wondered what the world would be like if these “superheros” really existed. How would people react to them? How many people really fantasize about how much better the world would be if there really were a Superman or “MANDRAKE THE MAGICIAN”. Well then, why stop there? What would it feel like to ACTUALLY BE A MANDRAKE? Want to find out??? It’s possible…

Become a Magician.
Not a trickster, but a real magician. And by that I am talking not about the person who knows a zillion tricks, but a person who has the MENTALITY of a magician. By doing this, and only in the art of magic do I feel this is possible in the performing arts, can we so closely bring a mythic figure to life.

I have always thought that deep down all magicians really want to be MERLIN. I think that deep down all of us would love to REALLY be able to perform magic….Real magic. You may disagree, but nonetheless I think I am correct in my assumptions. Well, unless people in certain “Wiccan” religions are able to perform real “MAGICK” (no, that is not spelled wrong) to my knowledge, it cannot be done. There is only “ONE” who can do the impossible. And as an old magician saying goes, “I do tricks…HE does miracles”. But we CAN do the next best thing. We can bring fantasy to life. We CAN create magic, if only in the minds of men.

If you heard my rantings in the best selling audio tape “Ultimate Magic Rap Vol.#1”, you would have heard my comments that I think there is nothing more wonderful than having the “Image” of being a magician. When we do what we do correctly, we take on a larger than life persona. Yes, we become that superhero of legend. I feel the reason for this is because “we” are not the only ones that secretly fantasize about being empowered with mystical knowledge, but also the general public. They WANT and in some cases, NEED to believe in us as the purveyors of wonder we are.

This is what makes recent exposures of magic on national television so devastating to the art and to the psyche of the lay public. These networks are literally ruining “both” our images, and the fantasy of those who wish to believe, even if they know that the belief is only fantasy.

So why do I love magic? It is a chance to fufill dreams and maybe, just maybe, make the world a better place by reaching beyond the limitations we have as human beings. Tapping into whatever we can access of our immortal spirit.

Bobby J. Gallo


Notice: This material “IS NOT PUBLIC DOMAIN” and is intended for the personal and performance use of International Conservatory Of Magic members only.

This entire page is under copywrite 1998 by the International Conservatory of Magic and its respective contributors. No part of this page or its contents may be re-produced without the expressed written permission of I.C.O.M. All marketing, manufacturing, & publication rights are reserved. Violation of this is considered intellectual property and information theft and carries penalties under federal law.

Advanced Lab 4/98-6/98


Advanced Lab 4/98-6/98

April 1998

I.C.O.M Is thrilled to present a NEW principle in card magic. This is a reputation maker for any who wish to develop it. The real wonder of this trick in not just in the title, but in the fact that in all the years of magical history, no one has ever thought of this before. Mega Kudos’s to Ron for providing this first-class educational effect exclusively to I.C.O.M members. Just goes to show you the brilliant mental workings of the man we call Ron. We are all lucky and grateful to have him on our team….BJG

(The Card Trick With a Twist…Half Twist That Is!)
Ronald J. Dayton

One of the first self-working card tricks I can remember learning involved a row of several face up cards on a table. While your back was turned, someone was to turn one of the cards around, end-for-end. When you again faced them, you were able to name the card they turned.

The method was very, very simple. Certain cards within the deck are one-way cards. That is, the way in which they are printed will have the majority of pips at one end of the card, or pointing in one direction. Take a five of clubs for example. Three of the clubs on the card are pointing toward one end, two toward the other. If you were to have say, seven one way cards lying in a row upon your table, and someone secretly turned one of them a half turn end for end, you would be able to tell at a glance which card had been moved.

Years later, I now found myself wondering if this principle might not be done with a full deck. Don’t ask me why. It’s just one of those questions I find myself asking myself!

The first thing I had to do was to take a careful look and see how many cards in a deck were actually one way cards. I was surprised to find that if I included the jokers, there were twenty-four cards. But how does a person go about interspersing the cards in a deck of fifty-four cards (jokers included remember) when one portion consists of twenty-four cards and the remainder equals thirty? This was a problem which turned my initial question into a real challenge.

First of all, let’s take a look at the one-way cards in a deck. They are: AH, AS, AC, 3H, 35, 3C, 5H, 55, SC, 6H, 6S, 6C, 7H, 7s, 7C, 7D, 8H, 8S, 8C, 9H, 9s, 9C, joker, joker.

Study these cards and become very familiar with what makes them a one way card, and in which direction they must all face so they will all read as one way cards at a glance, and any reversal of any card can be instantly detected. Then, with all the one way cards stacked in a packet, all facing in the proper direction, you may begin assembling your deck.

I will put the one way cards you will be reading in ( ) in the lay out chart I am about to offer. An explanation of WHY only certain ones are being used will follow later. The order is as follows:

(AH), 2C, 6H, (6C), 3H, 4C, (AS), 5D, QC, (7S), lOD, 4D, (5C), 2S, KD, (6S), 3D, 4S, (7D), 9D, QD, (7C), JS, JH, (8C), QH, 1OH, (3C), KS, 2H, (3S), KC, KH, (9S), 6D, AD, (AC), lOS, 4H, ( joker ), 2D, JC, (5S) 8D, 10C, (8S), QS, JD, (9C), 5H, 7H, ( joker ), 8H, 9H

As you can see, in order to make the alternating order of the deck follow the sequence of one way card followed by two ordinary cards, I chose to eliminate all hearts EXCEPT the AH, as a one way card. You must train yourself to look at all of the hearts except the AH, and see them as an ordinary card, and not a one way!!

The title, The One Way Wonder Deck, is of course said in a tongue-in-cheek manner. Today, just as in decades past, many effects were built up for better sales by using grandiose titles. Naturally, you would want to purchase the secret to a miracle rather than an everyday, run-of-the-mill effect. But even though the set-up for this particular deck may not be a wonder*…it IS an effective exercise in learning how to think your way through the creation of an effect.

We have taken an older principle and tried to expand upon it. We’ve looked at the variables, and the things which needed to be modified to make it work. Now we will look at what the actual handling will be.

With the deck set-up in the order given in the previous chart, AH being the top card of the deck, the 9H at the front of the deck… you are ready to put the deck through its paces.

Since the deck runs in an endless chain, you may feel free to cut and complete the cut as often as you like. It will not disturb the order of the cards.

Cut the deck several times, completing the cut each time. Explain to the spectator that while you turn your back, he is to cut the deck at any point he chooses, then look at the card on the front of the packet he lifts away. He is then to turn the packet he holds clock-wise, a half turn end-for end, then replace it on top of the lower half. The full deck is squared up so no clue is given to where his chosen card is.**

Now, when you turn again to face the audience, you are able to pick up the deck, run through it from hand-to-hand, and eventually, name their chosen card.

You already know the answer. As you are looking through the cards, you are looking for the first one way card in reverse order (facing the wrong way) within the deck. When you come to it, you know one of three things. IT may be the cut to card the spectator glimpsed, or one of the two cards immediately before it. In other words, you have three cards to consider…only one of which is the chosen card. Play the revelation of the card in a humorous manner. Pull one of the three from the deck, and ask if it is there card. If they say no…slip it back into the pack at a different point in mock disgust. Do it again with a second choice. If you fail, it will only get funnier to your audience. Eventually, you will be down to one and only one card of the three. You will succeed…and they will applaud your determination.

With the proper handling, this can be turned into a funny and commercial effect. But the real thrust of my offering this to you was to emphasize the thought process involved in attempting to devise a new effect. Take a look at it for yourself. Perhaps there is something more which I may have missed. Explore the possibilities and see what it will do.

* I beg to differ. This can be a killer principle in the right hands….Ron may a bit too modest here! BJG

**An alternate handling would be for the magician to have the deck in his possession the entire time. When the card is selected, the magician secretly reverses the deck and then has the card returned. This is similar to the handling of a card when selected from, and returned to a stripper deck. BJG

May 1998

We are very pleased to introduce an advanced handling of Ron’s deck that was graciously contributed by Paul Hallas. An I.C.O.M member from the United Kingdom. This is worth serious study.

Thoughts On The “One Way Wonder Deck”
Paul Hallas

Looked at Ron’s One Way Deck idea. Here’s an idea for that. Cut the middle card of the three possibilities to the bottom of the deck. Show it as their card, if they say “No” feign surprise, “No, what card did you look at?” Turn the deck down, if the card they name is the one below the card shown, do a glide and apparently remove it to the table commenting “One down only 51 to go!” Dribble the cards from hand to hand, ask the name of the card again then click your fingers over the tabled card and have them turn it over.

If the card they name is now the top card of the deck, say, “Not only have I found your card I’ve magically changed it to the (name the bottom card just shown). Do a color change to “change” it back and prove you weren’t kidding. Or take the bottom card and drop it face up on top and do Al Smith’s P.C. Change.

Another idea for a selection procedure, with the deck tabled, have the spectator cut the deck and complete the cut. Pick up the deck and hold it in dealing position, instruct the spectator, “This time I want you to cut off a portion of cards and remember the face card like this” cut some cards and look at the face card yourself for a few seconds to illustrate then replace them. As the spectator cuts off some cards you table those in your hand in the following manner; the thumb goes underneath the left edge of the remaining cards and starts to lever them upwards, the fingertips grip them against the thumbtip and the hand revolves palm down placing the cards on the table. This is like the Carslyle paddle move usually done with business cards to show both sides the same but here you’re not drawing attention to that just tabling the cards. Don’t even look at your hand as you do it, just ask the spectator if he has his card in mind. This simple movement, over in a second has reversed the orientation of these cards.

Instruct the spectator to replace his cards and straighten up the deck. Have him give the deck another straight cut and complete it for good measure. The cards start and finish on the table, your handling of them seems unimportant, seemingly just to demonstrate what they were to do so is
easily forgettable.

Pass these thoughts onto your members if you wish or bin them*, whatever. Hope you had a good Easter,
Best wishes,

*Many thanks Paul! By the way…we could never “bin” brilliant ideas like yours!…BJG

I.C.O.M is pleased to introduce a series of excellent moves by Remon van Scheijen of Holland. Remon produced all of the following photos himself. This took a lot of work and we would like to extend our congratulations on such a wonderful job!!!…BJG

The Swing Cut To Bottom Palm
Remon van Scheijen.

This is my second contribution to card magic on the Internet. Unlike my first contribution (a triple false cut). This one comes with a trick. This Cut to palm is designed for one special trick I’ve put in my repertoire. Because I’m a lousy side stealer, I was looking for a easy palm. While I have no difficulty performing it, to write the explanation was a hard task, but read on. If you have any questions on this trick or palm, just e-mail me with your question(s). I hope to answer satisfactory. The making of the pictures was the hardest task because everything goes in one smooth move. Well Let’s go on to the explanation.

Goal: While pattering chit-chat you perform a simple swing-cut. In the act of cutting the deck you palm the bottom card into the right hand and establish a left pinky break to keep the top card under control.


If you look at picture 1 through 4 you’ll see some stages in which a swing cut is made.

Picture 1: The deck is cut in half with the index finger of the right hand and swiveled to the left (a standard swing cut).

Picture 2: The bottom half of the deck goes on top of the left hand packet.

Picture 3: The cut is completed and the deck is squared.

Picture 4: Conclusion: The deck is back in the right hand in Biddle position and a card is palmed in the same hand. And you’ve established a thumb break at the position of the top card.

Now see how it looks at the underside. In picture 5 you see the beginning of the swing cut it self. The right hand swivels the top half to the left. The left hand is not in the picture for clarification purposes. The right hand receives the packet as in picture 1.

In picture 6 the left hand receives the right hand bottom packet. This is the moment that you almost palm the entire card. The middle finger of the left hand pushes the bottom card back to the right hand. The pinky of the right hand is used as a pivot point. This is to control the card automatically to the standard palm position. At the same moment the left hand pinky enters between the two packets to prepare for a coming pinky break. This is the hardest part of the trick so practice, practice, practice, and when you’ve got the feeling just practice one more time. Remember the bottom card should be sliding in position. It’s not the force that you use but the smoothness that does the trick.

Now in picture 7 you can see why I prefer this palm above a side steal. in the side steal I do 1 in 10 times there is a click when the card comes loose from the center. If you know Daryll’s video tape of the side steal he explains that sometimes you can hear the magician side stealing across the room. Well this move prevents me for clicking it because when the right hand packet enters the left hand the two packets are still separated, this way the card slides more easily to the right hand palm position. It’s very difficult to explain for me because I’m dutch, and don’t know the right words to choose here. Anyway, most important is that the card is palmed just a moment AFTER you finish the cut so before placing the packets together. The thumb of the left hand and the index finger of the right hand holds the top packet (formally the bottom packet) steady. This way you prevent the cards from shattering through the room. The thumb of the right hand is also holding the the top packet.

Now finish the cut by squaring the packets together. The pinky break to control the top card is established easily because the pinky was already where it should be. Because the right thumb was holding the the top packet only you can transfer the pinky break directly to a thumb break. Cool ah. This leaves the left hand free. And the finish should like figure 8. My patter through this sequence is :” What would you like to see? you’re card fly through the air invisible or would you like to see it fly visible”. Well anyway the trick and explanation are coming up so the sentence will make sense in a moment.

Figure 9 The recap. Look at the freeze action. 1. Right pinky is used as pivot point 2. Left pinky enters between the packet before they are closed. 3. Left middle finger is sliding the bottom card. In the Picture, I hold the deck at an angle. Something you must NOT, I repeat, NOT do. But it’s a nice try. Hope you can follow the explanation. “If not then don’t do the trick”.

2Card flight.
Remon van Scheijen

Two cards are selected by two spectators. When the crowd is asked if they would like to see a card fly visible or invisible the magicians compromises and shows both ways. First invisible and finally visible. Both ways are very impressive and if you do it with the right attitude they’ll be talking about you for a long time. I’m interested in a English patter line so make one up and email me. Well bla bla bla here is the explanation.

How to:

First let two spectators pick two cards and let them sign if you want with a magic marker. Control both cards to the bottom of the deck in you’re favorite way. I use the overhand shuffle (I.C.O.M Sleight-Of-Hand Gallery) Fig.#24 or Hindu shuffle control Fig. #53. I like to control cards as simple as possible. So don’t use fancy stuff because that will be coming up next.

When the cards are on the bottom of the deck you ask the crowd if they’ll like to see a card fly visible through the air or invisible. At the same time you perform the Swing cut to palm. The patter line is the misdirection. So you control while spectator 2 is still signing his card. Take the magic marker back. Control the second card to the bottom in a easy quick way. For the second control I use a tilt to bottom but I don’t put it on the bottom but let it slip above the first selection, an easy task if you now tilt to bottom. Ask them, involve them, look at them and wait for response. If you do it right there will be too much misdirection which will be pleasant. You should notice that if you need the misdirection for this sleight you should not perform the trick but practice till you can read the newspaper, and perform the cut palm smooth at the same time.

No matter what the spectator’s response you say ” OK OK I’ll compromise” (sometimes this is funny because everybody for example said they wanted it to see a visible flight). Continue “I’ll show you both. First Invisible then visible”.

You’ve got the packet in the left hand with a pinky break above the top card. And the first selection palmed in right hand.

Now here is the use for the pinky break. You’re going to perform a stretch cut which is going to put the selected card that is not palmed in you’re hand back to the bottom. As soon as you perform the stretch cut the palmed card is bend away from the palm just as in the invisible color change. The right hand index finger snaps the card in to view while the left hand is completing the stretch cut. The back of the selection will show if done proper. Ask the spectator to tell the card he or she choose and show you found it.

The second selection is back again on the bottom of the deck. To let it fly visible I use the HOT-SHOT Cut from Daryll’s Encyclopedia of card magic video series. I’m not going to make the effort to explain it because I think you should make the effort to buy the tape (Look for the HOT-SHOT Cut). It’s one of the best investments in magic I’ve made so far. Daryll does a very good explanation of this sleight. At the end of the page you can see a freeze action of this sleight. It looks like the card comes from the middle of the deck and it fly’s through the air. The right hand catches the card. WOW!. Don’t think it’s hard to do. Once you’ve got the feeling it’s easy. Well enough praising the lord. When you perform it well the spectators will gasp for 30 minutes and they’ll think you take of like Copperfield. Hope you enjoy the trick.

Stretch cut from pinky break.

The stretch cut from a pinky break is not difficult at all if you can perform the stretch cut. The only difference is that you cant use you’re pinky and thumb at the same time. Picture 1 shows the first part, the left hand holds the deck with a pinky break between the selection and the top card. The right hand has the first selection palmed.

In reality the right hand hangs loose along you’re side. In picture 1 you see both hands close together for explanation purpose only. The stretch cut you’re about to make is the misdirection for the card palmed in the right hand.

Picture 2 shows that first the left thumb is going to begin the stretch cut. The break established by the pinky is been taken over by the thumb. Only short after this you can leave the pinky to begin the stretch cut as in picture 2.

Fig 3,4 and 5 shows the performance of the stretch cut. After this give the left hand a throwing action with a shake. At the same time the right hand reaches in the air where the card should be if it really flew through the air and produce the card as told before. Everything goes in a quick action. It’s like you’re picking a card from thin air.

Anyway this little change on the stretch cut will be quickly learned if you can already perform the needed cut. If you concentrate on producing the selection and you don’t have to worry about the stretch cut then it looks really cool. Please if you got suggestions or a way to perform anything at all in a more simple way I would like to receive you’re comment. Hope to read something from you in my email.*

*You may reach Remon by using the Virtual Lesson Link below or through the VM link page on the Inner Sanctum Main Page. Also, look for more of Remon in the June edition of the I.C.O.M Advanced Lab!

June 1998

Those lucky enough to be I.C.O.M members at this time will be thrilled with the following effect. Rarely does a strong trick like this come out when the subject matter is so hot in the public eye. We thank Ron Dayton for sharing this fine performance piece with us. Due to the popularity of the movie, this effect may be the feature of your close-up show! Make the most of it!….BJG

“The Unsinkable Card Trick”
Ronald J. Dayton

People seem to enjoy magic with a look, feel, or theme they can relate to.  Many times, you may draw upon popular stories or events of the time  to inspire just such an effect.  Recently, the movie, Titanic has been one of the largest grossing movies of all time.  It’s difficult to find a person who hasn’t seen it…and since it is in the minds and on the lips of so many, I felt it might be a good premise for an effect.

As you no doubt already know, there is a strong  romantic theme built into the movie, designed to act as a sub-plot, and means to endear the viewer to the main characters.  It is an important element in the card effect I am about to offer as well.

EFFECT:  a  deck of cards is lying face down upon your close-up mat.  A single card, the Queen of Hearts  is propped  face up, at an angle,  against the end of the pack nearest the audience.  The card is picked up and turned over, revealing a brilliant blue, heart shaped gem stone affixed to the center back of the card.

After pattering for a while about the lovely lady adorned by the icy -blue jewel, the card is placed face down on the deck.  A lady from the audience is asked to assist by pressing down upon the jeweled heart with her finger.  In that instant, the magic happens!

When the card is removed from the deck and turned over, it is seen to be an entirely different card.  The Queen has obviously been lost when the ship went down.

Picking the deck up, it is held face down at one end between the thumb and fingers of the left hand.  The left thumb is on top, fingers below.  Using the right hand thumb, the free end of the deck is given a quick riffle.  Mysteriously, a card partially emerges from the deck. without removing or revealing it, the deck is turned end for end, and the opposite end is riffled in the same manner.  Yet another card emerges.

Not one to be perplexed, you explain that it is known the mighty ship went down in Two pieces…and were found in different areas of the ocean floor.  So it is with the missing card.  One by one, the card s?  are removed, and revealed to be torn portions of a single card.  These pieces are placed face down upon your mat.  When the matching pieces are turned over, they are found to be the vanished  lady.

METHOD:  The top card of the deck has a bit of magician’s wax or post-a-note glue on its back.  A duplicate queen has been torn in half earlier and placed face down  at opposite ends within the deck.

The vanish of the queen is automatic once it is placed on top of the adhesive top card. When you riffle the end of the deck…the half section will also automatically try to shoot from within it.  In essence,  other than for the romantic patter line you must devise for this, you have a highly visual, self-working effect.  This gives you freedom to concentrate on presentation.

The gem-like heart shaped plastic stones are available at any large craft store.  Simply use a bit of  glue to mount it to the back of the Q-H.  Enjoy!

Other thoughts and variations,

As a variation on the manner in which the queen of hearts is vanished, you might want to consider this.  The propped up queen is actually two cards displayed as one.  The queen is directly in front of the gem stone indifferent card.  The card on the top of the deck is still prepared as in the original version.

The difference in this instance is, after you place the doubles on top of the deck, and the lady from the audience presses down upon the jewel…she may then remove the top card herself  to make the discovery that the lady is gone!!   Much better, wouldn’t you agree.!?

The queen and the third card are now the attached doubles. With the female assistant holding the ungimmicked single , indifferent gem card….you are free to casually lift and reveal a few extra random cards from the top of the deck.  This is a convincing show that indeed, the queen has vanished.

I must say that I REALLY like this routine. Even though it will take a small amount of preparation, I can see this being a real reputation maker. So without further adieu, I.C.O.M is proud to present…Remon….Round Two!…..BJG

Remon van Scheijen

Effect: The magician is at a party and a birthday man/woman is asked to participate in a trick the magician made especially for him/her.

He takes out a deck of cards. 7 envelopes which are sealed with each a telephone number inside. A matchbox which contains some matches.

He asks the spectator to take a random card from the deck and put it in his right back pocket without looking at it. The magician proceeds asking the spectator to take a random number of matches from the box. The number of matches choose is used to count to the envelope of his/her choice. The magician asks him to keep the envelope and proceeds by showing what is in the envelopes he didn’t choose. When the spectator opens his envelope it shows a telephone number which he should dial. On the other side a answering machine is telling that he has the king of clubs in his pocket. When the spectator is looking in his pocket it shows to be the right card.

– A deck of 52 Different cards (normal deck)
– 7 Envelopes or folded papers which bears the following messages:

#1: Every telephone number. (In Holland 06-8008 is a telephone number you can dial to get information about somebody’s telephone number you are searching, this is why I wrote 06-8008 on the card. You should fill in the number of you’re local information number).

#2: Disturbed number. On the paper are all kind of numbers criss-crossed written over the paper.

#3: #900 number. Write a 1-900-Astrology or (???) number on the page.

#4: Time. Write the telephone number on the paper that will say the time when you dial it. In Holland it is 06-8002.

#5: Alarm. write 911. in Holland it is 112.

#6: Secret number. Do not write a number in this case only write down the text. This will be a good gag in you’re patter line.

#7: ?(question mark). Here you write down you’re own home number.

It’s obvious that the spectator will end up with card number 7. This is the force envelope

An answering machine connected on you’re own telephone number which contains a message to the man/woman. Something like :”Hello Michael and for the card in you’re right back pocket it is the King of Clubs just like you are”. If it is a girl you could say something with a Queen of hearts. In any case you should make you’re own message. Poems, Songs etc etc everything can be on the message.

The Matchbox which should contain exactly 11 matches.


This is a trick I made up for an adult birthday party of a good friend of mine. When I performed the trick everybody went nuts and talked about it for hours. The biggest surprise for me was to hear everybody saw the trick like a mental one something I had not foretold myself. In any case I have performed the trick several times now and due to its simplicity it has a great impact on the audience.


Take out the deck of cards, matchbox, and the envelopes. Tell the spectator that you will perform a trick you invented especially for him. Ask the rest of the audience to create a circle around the spectator and listen carefully (try to be emotional so everybody will be quit and all can appreciate the effect most).

You must have your force card on top of the deck (King of clubs). Force the king of clubs to the spectator in you’re favorite way. But don’t use a quick force like the riffle force or something alike. I like to use the Cut-Deeper force for this particular trick. Tell him not to look at the card but put it in his back pocket immediately.

Now the matches are used to determine a number. To force the number card I used a trick from the book Scarne on Card tricks. The trick is called It’s a Natural. Place the envelopes as a group on the table the envelope which contains your phone number should be lying third from the top. After the spectator removed a number of matches you count them to yourself. That’s all there is to it. the rest of the trick is worked by using either the number remaining in the box or the number that the spectator took out the box, and by counting the envelopes face up or face down.

Counting the envelopes will always be done by putting a counted card to the bottom of the heap again. Here are examples which are covering the force.

A) If the spectator removes 0 Matches then use the matches in the box 11 will be the key number. Count the envelopes (force envelope third from top) and take the card after the counted 11 cards this will be the telephone card.

B)If the spectator takes all matches out say ok we use that number which will be 11 to determine the envelope. Do the same thing as in example A.

C) 1 match is taken out the box. Use the remaining 10 matches turn over the envelope heap and count down to the tenth card which will be the force envelope.

D) 10 matches are removed. Use the removed matches and proceed as in example C.

E) Nine or two matches. Count down two envelopes and take the third.

F) eight or three matches. Count down to the third card take the third.

G) Seven or four matches. Use the number four. Turn over the envelopes and count to four and take the fifth card.

H) Six or five. Use the number five. Turn over the envelopes and count to the fifth cards.

In any case the spectator winds up with the force envelope. Now open the envelopes he didn’t choose and show what he missed and make a gag about all the telephone numbers that you should dial if you had chosen that envelope. Than let him open his envelope and say the question mark means that you should dial the number to find out what it means.

There is no noise and everybody will be concentrating and straining there ears to hear what there is on the other side of the phone. Perform the trick to see what kind of reaction you will get.

Easy Mentalism.

If you have any comment or suggestions to this trick email me.

Remon van Scheijen.

The Daily Hot Shot.


Notice: This material “IS NOT PUBLIC DOMAIN” and is intended for the personal and performance use of International Conservatory Of Magic Members Only.

This entire page is under copywrite 1998 by the International Conservatory of Magic and its respective contributors. No part of this page or its contents may be re-produced without the expressed written permission of I.C.O.M. All marketing, manufacturing, & publication rights are reserved. Violation of this is considered intellectual property and information theft and carries penalties under federal law.

Beginner’s Study 4/98-6/98


Beginner’s Study 4/98-6/98

April 1998

Multiplying Bills Perfected
Bobby J. Gallo

If this effect looks vaguely familiar, it is because a very sparse version of it currently appears in the I.C.O.M Cyber-Magic Textbook(tm) I.C.O.M Magic for beginners. So why am I making it the subject of an actual I.C.O.M lesson? Well, let me tell you a very short story….

Every so often Bill Wisch and myself meet at a small coffee shop to discuss all things I.C.O.M. Many of you already know this since I have said it before. Well, recently, We were discussing tricks with dollar bills since that is soon to be a subject of a video tape we at I.C.O.M are producing in the not to distant future. During our conversation I asked Bill if he ever saw the dollar trick that I developed to teach my magic class students. Bill said no…..So I proceeded to take a dollar bill from my wallet, crumble it up into a small ball, and rip the ball in half. Bill looked at me like I was crazy. He’s right, I am, but that’s another story…….I then took each half of the ripped dollar and rubbed them on my forearms while chanting and ancient tibetan mantra. Now the whole place was looking at me like I’m nuts…But that’s okay, I’m used to it. After all of my academy award winning acting was through, I proceeded to un-ravel the two halves of the dollar I previously ripped apart and to Bill’s amazement (and believe me, to amaze Bill is a reward all in itself) the two pieces were now two complete, whole dollar bills, wrinkled, yes, but none the worse for wear.

It was Bill’s enthusiasm for this effect that inspired me to give it further thought. Sure, It has always amazed my students before I taught it to them, but for some reason, I never thought it was strong enough for adults. I was wrong! To further prove this point, I recently introduced the effect at a trade show where it was knocking people out! All from a trick that is within reach of “any” beginner.

It even proved stronger than effects that require more advanced sleight-of-hand. Perhaps it is because of the simplicity of the premise or the straight forward workings I am about to explain. Whatever the reason, try this and it will become one of your favorite impromptu effects. And all it uses are two ordinary dollar bills and a lot of nerve. Go figure…………

As stated above, this uses two ordinary dollar bills. One is crumbled into a ball in your pocket, and another is placed into your pocket un-crumbled along side. An alternate way to do it would be to have the crumbled ball finger-palmed and then ask for the loan of a dollar. Either way is fine. If you are using the first method. Go to the pocket and finger-palm the crumbled dollar as you remove the ordinary one. Display the dollar bill remarking that it is similar to any a person may have.

Note at this point that the when holding the bill, your thumb and fore-finger are holding the bill while the other three fingers are curled in concealing the crumbled bill. Notice now that if you were normally holding a dollar at your fingertips “without” a duplicate finger-palmed, your hand would look the exact same way! Think about it, this is what “sells” the effect. From the audiences point of view, everything looks normal and above board. The natural in-curling of the three fingers now gives you an excellent opportunity to finger-palm an object un-noticed and un-suspected. For in all truth, they still do not know what you are about to do. Keep it that way, DO NOT TELL THEM THAT YOU INTEND TO RIP THE DOLLAR IN HALF AND MULTIPLY IT! Surprise is everything in this effect.

Now there is another subtlety that is mega important in the next step. Without the left hand coming anywhere near the right hand that is displaying the dollar at the finger-tips with the duplicate finger-palmed, do a one-handed crumble.(a sleight pertinent only to this trick) Meaning, crumble the dollar up so that is ends up right next to the dollar that is now in finger-palm. You will now notice something remarkable. If you take the two dollars out of your hand and hold them together between the thumb and fore-finger, they look just like a single crumbled dollar. THIS IS A VERY CONVINCING STRONG POINT OF THE EFFECT! An illusion in the truest sense of the word. The hands can now be shown otherwise empty, Another strong point!

Now that everyone thinks that you have merely taken a dollar, crumbled it up and are now just holding it at your finger-tips you proceed to do something that will make most people cringe. Hold each end of the ball. In reality, you are holding one dollar in one hand, and another dollar in another hand, keeping both bills together so it appears as if you are merely holding a single dollar with both hands.

Now you are going to make it appear that you are ripping a single dollar in half. To do this, instead of merely separating the dollars apart, (that would not be very convincing due to the fact that there is no noise) You separate the bills at the same time rubbing them against each other. In other words, the right hand holding one dollar is moved forward, while the left hand holding the other dollar is moved backwards. The friction of the two dollars rubbing against each other creates a ripping sound. It must appear as if you are actually ripping the dollar in two. With this ripping sound, it is an effective illusion.

After the groans of what it appears you have just done, you want to let a small amount of time lapse before the restoration. “Always distance the climax from the sleight” So make the most of it and do a little acting. I myself take each piece, rub them on my forearms, chant, etc. (And you thought I was just saying that in the story to be funny…I was serious?!) After you are done. SLOWLY unravel each dollar and look for the stunned expressions on the spectators faces.

Wow, this is so good, I am having second thoughts about teaching it to my students….<G>

May 1998

Note: This material is not only recommended to beginners, but highly valuable to advanced magicians as well…BJG

Ronald J. Dayton

On page 239 of ” The Amateur Magician’s Handbook ” Mr. Hay begins a brief discussion on silks, and on page 241 touches on the washing and care of same. Very few details are given. There are specifics which should be followed, and these may be found in detail in Vol. 1 of Harold R. Rice’sEncyclopedia Of Silk Magic.” Mr. Rice was an expert in the field…and the best advice in my estimation ever given on the care of silks is in this text.

Mr. Hay mentions on page 242 that magician John Mulholland folded and ironed his white silks like ordinary linen handkerchiefs, and removed them from his breast pocket in that condition. Well and good during performances perhaps, although I am doubtful it is ever good to fold and iron any silk. It is definitely not recommended to fold and store any silk for a period of time. The fold or crease made in the silk will weaken and break after a while. That is, in a good quality silk. It is best to know the blend of fibers your ‘silk’ is comprised of… different weight or momme silks are best for certain effects.

For my own silks I have used a variation of an idea offered in the Rice text. The washed and ironed silks are laid flat, then rolled on to a cardboard tube such as taken from an empty wax paper roll. This keeps the silks nice and smooth without creating any folds or creases. The rolled silks are then slipped in to a mailing tube, and the end closed with the tube cap. Everything is kept safe and secure until needed. Mark the outside of the tube to indicate special silks. Card silks, blendo, rainbow etc.

The three volume set of the ” Encyclopedia Of Silk Magic “ is an absolute MUST purchase for any student of magic who is serious about the pursuit of excellence, and a strong knowledge and background in silk magic. It is, quite literally, an art form all its own in the world of magic.

Henry Hay also talks about a device called a Thumb Tip on page 258 in the section Small Gimmicks and Fakes.

The distinction between a gimmick and a fake ( or, feke in earlier old English text ) is important. I think he did a good job of explaining it…and find it interesting that both the thumb tip and the mirror glass should be hard to classify.

Thumb tips are possibly the most universal device, and one of the most powerful pieces of equipment at the modern magician’s disposal. This little something, which is both seen and unseen at various stages of a given routine, is indispensable to the beginning novice magician, and the well seasoned professional as well. The only possible difference I can see between the two is the degree of understanding in regard to the full potential of the thumb tip.

This is not a toy, nor is it a throw-away novelty you show around to prove how ‘clever’ you are. It is a secret device, simplistic though it may be, which will enable you to create veritable miracles right before the very eyes of your audience.

The Thumb Tip is exactly what it claims to be. It is a false section made to resemble a human thumb, and is worn like a cap on the end of the performer’s thumb. The one described by Mr. Hay was an early style, being made from aluminum and painted a light tannish brown on the outside. Most tips are made for caucasian skin matches. People of color must strive to modify their own for a better concealment. Some lady performers have even glued false fingernails on theirs ( small size tips ) to give it a more natural appearance.

You may now purchase tips still made in the original way of aluminum, or ones of rubber, and still others of very high grade semi flexible plastic. These are known as Vernet Tips, and are the best presently available. Thumb tips can also be purchased in a variety of sizes. This is important for the fit given each performer. It is also important when considering the size or amount of the object or substance to be put in to the tip.

Thumb tips were popular in their metal form for the vanish of a lit cigarette years ago. This could also be done with the rubber or plastic tips by placing a small piece of wet sponge in the end of the tip.

Holes can be made in the plastic tips for various ribbon or string effects. Magnets can be glued into the tip for still other possibilities. Tips can be modified to become nail-writers for special mental effects. Thumb tips can be used in conjunction with various rattle-bar style effects, or in salt vanishes / long salt pour routines.

Gary Darwin has written an incredible book called ” Darwin’s Thumb Tip Miracles ” I believe, and Melbourne Christopher developed many fine routines in his book ” Thumb Tip Magic.” Inquire about these authors with your favorite magic dealer to expand your use and knowledge of the thumb tip. It’s an investment you will never regret.

Once you begin to understand the applications thumb tips have, new worlds of creativity will open themselves to you. You will see them as means to vanishes, productions, restorations, color changes, transformations, transpositions, mentalism, livestock, levitations and suspensions etc. You may even begin to visualize the possibility of things not actually being thumb tips, but which can be used as one. Thimbles, film cartridges, caps from large felt tip marking pens, rubber office supply tips for sorting papers, lip stick cases caps etc. You do not, of course, show these in their entirety as for the final full front display with a thumb tip…but when concealed, for all intent and purposes, you might as well be using a tip. They can be equally effective. And best of all, they may be readily available to you as an impromptu gimmick if you are on your toes and recognize them for what they can become. Some clever performers in the past have even modified the object they intend to vanish, into a makeshift thumb tip. In otherwords, the object was self vanishing, stolen away on the end of your thumb. Clever beyond belief.

Finger tips and sixth fingers are in another class of magic. The Rice’s ” Encyclopedia Of Silk Magic “ discuss uses for these at some length, but for the most part, they are relegated to magic

history. The nice thing about history is, it seems to repeat itself! Modern performers should take it upon themselves to learn about the methods and effects of the past…then up date these basic ideas so they may become the unexpected miracles of today!

I should mention too yet another book on thumb tips, and that was written fairly recently by the creative genius, Steve Dusheck. He has many new and wonderful approaches to the thumb tip. It is available from your favorite dealer, or via. Jim Klein at the American Magic Company.

The very best video I have ever seen concerning the thumb tip was produced by L & L Publishing. Clever and skillful manipulations are explained by their creator, Bernard Bilis. We’re talking state of the art handlings! Extremely innovative. Exceptionally deceptive!

Comedy Thumb-Tip Routine Idea!

Here is one last thing I would like to have you consider in this Odds ‘n Ends dialogue. On page 243 of ” The Amateur Magician’s Handbook “, the piece of apparatus, the Drumhead Tube is discussed. But lets forget the drumhead paper cap and rings, and the torpedo load gimmick as well. What if you have just a simple tube, large enough to reach down into, and you want to do a comedy production??

One idea I had, and which may have already been mentioned briefly in previous text, was to be wearing a large ( obviously large ) gauze bandage wrap around one thumb or finger. Showing the tube empty by peering at the audience through it, you proceed to reach down into it and begin immediately producing yards and yards of cloth streamer. Quickly, the audience will realize that you are actually pulling the bandage from the hand that holds the lower end of the tube.

Another possible idea would be to reach in to the tube, and pull out a large, colorful tie. Again, it registers with the audience that you have actually pulled your own clip-on tie off and up through the tube.

As a concluding production to this outlandish routine, the final item is a pair of suspenders. These have not actually been worn by you at the time, but rather, are up the sleeve of the arm holding the tube. As a kicker, it is unexpected, and should get a good laugh.

The best performers are serious about their magic, but you do not necessarily have to present it in a serious vein.

June 1998

Torn Corner Techniques
“Or the card to wallet for those who don’t like to sweat”
Bobby J. Gallo

Many top professionals consider the “signed card to wallet” to be one of the strongest possible effects in magic. Indeed, it is strong. There are however, certain drawbacks in developing a solid method of getting the signed selection into the wallet under all circumstances. To do this effect, one must master the technique of palming a card, then time the insertion of same into a wallet without fumbling. Couple that with the fact that the effect has extremely bad angle problems, and you end up with a routine that is dynamite in effect but is not 100% reliable.

Upon playing with the idea, I have found that in the minds of the spectator, there is a concept that proves every bit as strong, and has the added feature of being very practical. Yes…I’m talking about the Torn Corner Concept.

The basic premise goes something like this. The magician has a card freely selected, then torn to pieces by the spectator. These pieces are then vanished leaving only one piece behind. (an alternate scenario has the spectator taking one piece of the card prior to the vanishment) The card is then found fully restored in some sort of container except for the fact that a corner is missing. The grand climax comes when the corner held by the spectator fits exactly.

One may say that this method even has an advantage over signed card routines due to the fact that there is an additional magic effect at play here. That being a restoration in addition to the transposition.

There are many ways to accomplish this effect. This lesson is to stimulate your thinking so that you may develop a way of performing this bewildering effect using anycombination of methods I am going to share with you.

Step: 1
Pick a card…Any card !

Since this method of discovery involves the destruction and restoration of the chosen card. Two duplicate cards to match the selection are needed. One card for selection, the second card for discovery, and the third to maintain a 52 card deck so the performer may use the deck for subsequent routines (especially valuable in trade show and roving work).

The veteran magician will have already guessed that the chosen card must be “forced”. That is to say that the magician has controlled one the of the duplicates so that the spectator has no choice but to take it rather than an indifferent card.

There are a number of ways to do this. The easiest and in many cases the safest way is with a mechanical “Force” deck. Many force decks exist, but the most popular among prop-oriented magicians are the “one-way” deck, in which 50% of the deck consist of the same card. Another is the famed “Svengali” deck, or long and short deck. In this case, every other card is a duplicate which may be forced via a very clever principle involved. Both decks are available through the I.C.O.M Online catalog.

There are a number of ideal ways to force a card via sleight-of-hand. This is the way I do it and feel that I myself become a bit more confident knowing that if a rude audience members decided to grab the deck out of my hands,(which they sometimes do) they will find nothing but an ordinary deck of playing cards. To find some excellent sleight-of-hand methods of forcing a card, please consult the Amateur Magicians Handbook as well as the I.C.O.M Sleight of hand gallery.

Step #2
Tell it where to go !

Next you must find a suitable receptacle for the insertion of the torn corner card. The variations of this are truly limited only by your imagination. Two items past magicians have used are oranges and lemons. This is done by burrowing a tube-like hole in one end, then folding the card tightly and inserting it into the fruit. By holding the set-up citrus with the hole side facing your palm it appears to be ordinary.

One can also use the magicians force “equivoque” to force the set-up fruit from among a basket full of un-gimmicked ones.

This choice is quite messy not to mention a big hassle due to the fact that the set-up has to be done close to show-time or either the fruit will rot or the card will become so soggy, that the effect will ultimately suffer. On the flip side, it is arguably the most effective presentation for the torn corner since it is theoretically impossible for a card to have grown inside a fruit. At least, that is what the spectator thinks. And this type of effect has made the reputation of more than one top pro so it is a proven premise.

Other containers are possible. Sealed cans have been, and are being marketed with the duplicate already sealed inside. This is an expensive but effective way to go. However, maybe not effective as the “produce” methods.

A very practical and classy method would be to have the card appear inside a sealed zippered wallet. Since the card is inside from the start. You can relax and forget about the risky palming of the card as in the signed card routines and concentrate on your presentation. This is also the best way to go for trade shows and other venues where you need to re-set your show quickly and load another card. I have used this method myself during corporate work where I loaded and set-up the routine about twenty times during the course of the day with subsequent performances. It works like a charm. It is also important to note that I also included a sealed envelope inside the wallet. Again, because I did not have to load the card in DURING the routine, no rubber cement seals werenecessary as in the signed versions of the card to wallet.

Step #4
They were there a minute ago?

After you have chosen a “force” method as well as a destination for the restored chosen card, you must now decide on the most important aspect of all. How to magically dispose of the torn pieces? Now, remember, a single torn piece has to be left over to prove to the audience that the restored card is also the original that was selected. That all important corner piece can be obtained in one of two ways. The performer has to decide which.

1) The corner can either be palmed or introduced secretly into the duplicate pieces and merely plucked out by the performer and given to the spectator.

2) A riskier version would be to secretly introduce the torn corner on top of the pieces that the performer is holding and then tell the spectator to take a piece and “hope” that they take the top piece without giving you a hard time.

3) Have the corner piece “left over” after all the other pieces have vanished. (this is the method I use)

Now that you have decided upon a method wherein the corner piece is left over, you now must find a way to vanish all the other pieces. This can be accomplished in any one of a hundred ways. I will outline a few of the more popular, practical, and classic ways.

1.The hanky ploy: This is where all the pieces are placed in a well made in a handkerchief with the fingers. A rubber band is snapped around the well. (unknown to the audience) The hank is whisked away and the pieces have vanished. (only method #1 or #2 for obtaining the corner can be used with this method)

2.The use of a thumb-tip with or without a hanky. Here is an idea that I have played with but never actually put into practice. It is called the “Thumb-Tip Switching Device” (for lack of a better name) What you do is insert a piece of stiff material into the thumb-tip so that is runs right down the center. It must be attached to the inner walls of the tip and must stick out of the tip end about a “quarter inch” or so. (metric equivalent?) Now, the torn piece that matches the restored card in already in “one side” of the tip. The torn pieces go into the other side. The tip being in your closed fist at the time. The “wall” is shifted from one side of the tip to the other much like the switching envelope mentioned later in this lesson. As an afterthought as described above, take a piece out of the tip. (actually the one there from the start) and had it to the spectator. Vanish the rest of the pieces using standard thumb-tip moves.

3.The use of a “flap-type” card Box (All methods for obtaining the corner may be used)

4.The use of a Himber wallet or other switching device.

5.A double walled switching envelope made by inserting a makeshift wall into a small manila pay envelope, using a cut piece from an additional envelope. The prepared envelope can now either be shown empty after switching the wall from one side of the envelope to another. Squeezing the sides keeps the envelope sides taught and the pieces trapped inside. Or the envelope may be burned which completely destroys the envelope and evidence.. (adult magicians “only” to use this second method)

Now you are all set to actually perform this amazing effect. Here is a step by step synopsis of a routine using the technique.

  • Magician sets up routine by tearing the corner of a card and placing the larger portion into a lemon.
  • He then takes the small torn corner and places it into one side of a standard card box.
  • He walks out onstage (I know this was not necessary to say but I like dramatics)
  • Card is selected (forced)
  • Card is torn into pieces.
  • Card pieces are placed into card box.
  • Magician says an incantation, waves hands, dancers come out and distract the audience, for what reason…..I don’t know!
  • Card box is opened and all the pieces are seen to have vanished save for “one”(Hee…Heee)
  • Lemon is introduced as a prize for spectator. Magician cuts lemon open and finds a card. Magician points out that it is selected card, completely restored except for the fact that a corner is missing.
  • Magician show that the corner left over from the vanished pieces matches exactly. Magician bows to thunderous applause. Agents storm the dressing room looking to book magician on several late night talk shows.

I hope you enjoy your new found fame.


Notice: This material “IS NOT PUBLIC DOMAIN” and is intended for the personal and performance use of International Conservatory Of Magic members only.

This entire page is under copywrite 1998 by the International Conservatory of Magic and its respective contributors. No part of this page or its contents may be re-produced without the expressed written permission of I.C.O.M. All marketing, manufacturing, & publication rights are reserved. Violation of this is considered intellectual property and information theft and carries penalties under federal law.

Kid Show Konservatory 1/98-3/98


Kid Show Konservatory 1/98-3/98

January 1998

Old Dogs….New Tricks

Up front I must begin by saying that I truly had trouble deciding where to place the following material. In truth, it is not only appropriate for children’s entertainment, but virtually “ANY” magical venue! What you will find will at first seem a bit simplistic due to where you have likely seen the rudimentary forms of the following tricks before, but do not be misled by that fact, they are solid gold.

The title and theme,…Old Dog….New Trick, are a Ron Dayton Creation. I added the plural aspimagine in this rendition (Old Dogs…New Tricks). After receiving his manuscript in the mail, reading and admiring the material, I realized that I myself had a routine that fit perfectly into the framework of what Ron is talking about utilizing the particular classics he describes.

That being the case, I am adding “MY” Old Dog as an addendum to his routines which appears this month in the Beginner’s Study.. I feel that if you try “ALL” yourself, you have several new routines that will become standards in your own programs.

Old Dog…New Trick
Ronald J. Dayton

When I was very young, one of the very first coin tricks I learned from a book was to vanish a penny from the palm of my hand. The trick depended upon a dab of soft bar soap applied to the nail of your middle finger. When the hand closed into a tight fist around the penny, the fingers bent so the prepared nail came into contact with the penny. When you opened your hand quickly, palm up, with fingers outstretched…the coin seemed to vanish into thin air. I had a lot of fun with that trick. I used everything from chewing gum to pinches of soft tar when pressed for the proper material. What ever it took to make it work. Sometimes, things got a little messy!

I was just a young pup back then, but now I am what you might consider to be an old dog…and they say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But I would like to offer an exception to that rule by explaining a different way to achieve a similar effect to the one mentioned above.

Today, a young conjuror need not depend upon out moded things such as soft bar soap to perform his miracles. These days there are a whole host of poster puttys and adhesives which will literally do the trick.

One of the most difficult aspects of the nail vanish of a small coin such as I explained was the recovery of the coin. It had to be manipulated so it could be ‘peeled’ off from the finger by the thumb of the hand, and drawn back into the fist.

what I am proposing is that you apply some rubber cement to the nail of your right hand thumb. Apply a coat of same to the dime or penny you wish to use for the effect. Coat both sides of the coin and allow to dry.

With the coin placed onto the palm of the right hand, display it, then move it onto the surface of the second and third fingers, near the first bend. As the hand begins to close, the tips of the fingers pivot so they are basically facing toward your body. The right thumb enters just as the formation of the fist is being completed. The nail of the thumb has come into contact with the prepared surface of the coin. As the hand lifts and the fist moves palm side toward your audience, the hand opens out fully with finger and thumb spread wide. The coin seems to have vanished completely.

To cause the coin to reappear, simply lower the hand parallel to the floor….closing it into a loose fist and allowing the thumb to enter same before it has closed all the way. Pull the coin from the thumb with the fingers, retaining it in the fist as the thumb withdraws from same. Turn hand over and open to reveal the return of the vanished coin.

The thumb, being a larger digit, offers more concealment than an individual finger. work with these moves and see what they will do for you. Try other adhesives if you wish to find which is best.
An Additional Thought or two on rubber cement and coins:

With a coat of rubber cement applied to each side of a small coin, you are set to experiment with a variety of magical possibilities.

Consider if you will, having an area of rubber cement applied to the shell of an un-cooked egg. The egg could be casually examined. The coin is then vanished by the sleight of your choice. The coin is secretly retained in one hand or later retrieved after having been lapped. The egg is then placed into the hand on top of the coin. The egg may be transferred freely from hand to than at fingertips, the coin being attached to same. When the egg is then broken into a goblet…the vanished coin will seem to somehow have reappeared inside the egg.

Another old production of a coin was to break open a baked roll. In the original method, the coin was simply held under the roll. The roll was then torn open first from the bottom between both hands. The coin was secretly pushed up into the roll, then the roll was bent or broken from the top…splitting it open and revealing the coin. If the bottom of the dinner roll had a coat of rubber cement, it would hold the coin and still be able to be handled freely. The final reveal of the coin supposedly inside the roll would be done just as in the original method.*

A prepared coin could also be vanished via this method by using a coated card in a matrix routine. Give it some additional thought. I’m sure you will discover methods of your very own.

*Be sure no one eats the roll afterwards!…BJG

Ronald J. Dayton

One of the most fun things a magician can do is to perform an effect for other magicians…one they know the method for, and then turn the tables on them by ending with a complete surprise. This is that sort of an effect.

Almost every beginner is familiar with the old impromptu illusion of appearing to pull your thumb in half and then restoring it. Even though it’s simplistic, it really is effective when shown to someone for the very first time. Basically, the illusion is created as shown in figures 1 through 3. In one smooth move, as the hands are brought together, palm to palm as in Fig. 3, the P.R. thumb bends inward, Fig. 1, and the left thumb bends as in Fig. 2 with the index finger covering the bend at the front. When the left hand is drawn or slid toward the right band fingertips, it appears as if the right thumb has been pulled in half.

To modify the handling into something which will catch even seasoned performers off guard, you will need three things. You will need a good grade thumb tip such as a Vernet Tip available from your local magic dealer…a scissors and a tiny rubber band such as used to add tension to the bows of eye glasses. These are available from magic dealers ( for use with folding coins ) or from optical stores.

First of all, take the thumb tip and cut it down in size so when it is worn, it fits to just below the first bend or joint of the thumb. Make sure the color is a good match for your skin. If not, you may have to purchase some flesh color paints from a craft or hobby store to create a good match.

Just prior to your performance, slip the tiny rubber band on to the thumb to the first bend joint. The tension of the band will cut off the circulation just a bit, and dis-color the end of the thumb slightly. At a glance, it appears as if you are wearing a thumb tip. That’s just what you want.

Put the modified thumb tip on the right thumb along with the band, and you are all set.

Be casual with both hands. Handle the tip just as in the instructions so as not to flash its presence prematurely. Now execute the original version of pulling off the thumb, figures 1 – 3. When the left hand has moved to the fingertips of the right, reveal the workings by showing the bend of the left hand thumb. Remember, this is shown only to other magicians and not to lay people.*

Now, as the left hand returns to the right, the right thumb straightens out flat along the N.H. first finger. The left hand now grips the right thumb, but between the left thumb and first finger. In other words, the left thumb is at the front knuckle if the right band thumb, replacing where the left index finger had originally covered in the first handling.

I will attempt to show this set up in Figure 4.

In essence, the left thumb and first finger are now holding on to the thumb tip. when the left hand moves or slides toward the right hand fingertips, the right thumb pulls free of the tip and bends inward on the right palm just as in the original handling. The illusion created is much like the first, only this time, it is the tip that appears to be the genuine end of the right thumb.

Since you are using your left thumb to hold the other digit, those watching are aware that you are not doing the effect as you did at first. They are momentarily confused.

Allow the effect to register, then slide the thumb tip back to the right thumb which straightens as it approaches to allow it to be slipped back on.

You now lower your hands and take a bow. During this time, you secretly pull the thumb tip off the right thumb with your R.H. fingers. Using the left hand to point toward the right, when the hands come together, the tip is stolen away by the left hand thumb. Video tapes by Bernard Bills will demonstrate excellent methods for doing this. Your dealer, or I.C.O.M instructors can also offer suggestions.**

This now leaves the right hand basically clean with the exception of the tiny rubber band still worn on the thumb. As the right hand is shown, the left ditches the thumb tip. Lap it, or simply casually put it in your pocket.

All attention is now on the right hand. It appears as if a thumb tip can still be seen worn on the right thumb. This is where you really catch them good. Very slowly and deliberately, you pull the tiny band off the right thumb.

From beginning to end, those watching think they have your number. As a finale…you are left clean, and they are left bewildered.

* When performing for children and the general public, omit the rubber band & thumb -tip ploy and merely perform the trick the way Ron originally describes it in the first two paragraphs. It is a really effective stunt for kids…..BJG

**Use your virtual lessons!….BJG

February 1998

The Birth Of Something New & End Of Something Old
(The New Art Of Crayon Manipulation)
Bobby J. Gallo

Since the inception of I.C.O.M we have been striving to be unique in the world of magic. To those who have been with us since its inception we hope that you have found many inspirational thoughts, tricks and routines throughout the many I.C.O.M forums. I also hope that “The Kid Show Konservatory” has been no exception. Looking back on its short history, I have given what I have felt to be the most important knowledge I know in an order that would be beneficial to our members.

That being said, I am extremely excited to bring you this months forum. This may be the best installment yet for those who are actively seeking a career in the kid show market. What I am about to share with you will open up a HUGE new vista for ANYONE performing for a family style audience. But before I delve into the concept itself. allow me to give you a little background on WHY this is so important.

Around the turn of the century, it is important to note what the primary materials were that the traveling magician used. Granted, there were the occasional mammoth stage shows with all the accompanied boxes and such. However, most magicians were performing what was known then as “parlor magic”. This consisted mainly of, cards, coins, balls and thimbles. The question of whether or not I can back-up this claim is made manifest if one reads one of the all time classics tomes on magic entitled, “Magic Without Apparatus” By Camille Gaultier. This 500 page giant was considered, and still should be, the definitive source on sleight-of-hand. And what did a book of this size and scope cover? Exactly, just what I mentioned above, cards, coins, balls, and thimbles. Because back then, that was all a magician needed. However, when time went on, two more objects became standard to take their place among the magicians most valued props of choice. Silks and CIGARETTES!

Cigarettes? You means those nasty little things that everyone in the country says are among the most ruthless things ever invented? Yep, as a matter of fact, some of the most famous magicians of all time performed cigarette acts as their feature routines. People like Frakson, Keith Clark, and Cardini himself! Keith Clark in particular actually wrote a huge 300 page encyclopedic work called quite appropriately, ” The Encyclopedia of Cigarette Tricks” By Keith Clark.

Am I advocating the resurgence of cigarette tricks? No, quite the contrary, you will get hung out to dry if you ever even attempt to show a cigarette trick in public these days, ESPECIALLY IN FRONT OF KIDS! Case and point, without mentioning names, I was working the sound board for a popular illusion couple (you would recognize their particular names) nearly two years ago. The show was for area kids (around 300) and was held in a vast gymnasium. During their act, there was fire, the sword basket, (where the assistant was apparently stuck with swords) and other danger tricks. However, during the opening sequence to music the magician lit up a cigarette as part of the routine. The town mayor who was at the show FLIPPED OUT! The show was stopped and an announcement made to the kids that the cigarette was only “make-believe” etc. etc. Can you imagine that! Suffice to say that during the next show, the magician was required to remove the cigarette portion from his act. This will give you and indication of what the current public mentality is concerning cigarettes. People do not like them. Couple that with the fact that in most public places that you will be performing, it is “against the law” to lite one up anyway! The general rule is, don’t do them…..period.

Once again let’s reiterate


So why am I relating all of this to the reader? Simple, I want the student first to realize that there is a literal “mountain” of material at this point just floating about in the magic world pertaining to cigarettes that can not be used because of the subject matter inherent. There are so many tricks, routines, gimmicks, books, methods, and knowledge pertaining to the “so-called cancer sticks” that if there were only something to take their place, the innovative magician would have TONS and TONS of new material at his or her finger tips. Well, that being the case, let’s think. What object is:

  • About the same size and width as a cigarette? (no, candy cigarettes is a wrong answer!)
  • Is instantly recognizable and universally accepted by even the smallest audience members.
  • Has been around as long as anyone reading this can remember?
  • Can be the basis for endless routines?

The answer is…….CRAYONS! That’s right! The little wax sticks that children grow up coloring things with. The lowly crayon can be used to replace the cigarette move for move in virtually every routine that was ever conceived using the now publicly ostracized tobacco filled tubes. Can you see the possibilities?

Why we are so excited about this new concept

We at I.C.O.M are about to embark on an enormous project over time. We are going to adapt all existing sleight-of-hand with cigarettes to sleight-of-hand with crayons! This will be an I.C.O.M exclusive and will provide the student with the basis for literally hundreds of trick and routines. Both stage and close-up (Did he say stage?….yep, that’s what I said!) This is material you will use, and that will make your reputation. It is time to take the thousands of cigarette methods out of obscurity and revamp them for the modern day. The fact that the object is a crayon is why this concept appears here in the Kid Show Konservatory. So starting next month, the various classic cigarette sleights done with crayons will begin to appear in the I.C.O.M Sleight-Of-Hand Gallery bit by bit over time. We will also be including routines here in this forum as the need arises.

If you are a beginner, this is for you!, If you are a pro, this is definitely for you! If you work for kids, this is a must! if you are into sleight-of-hand, this will be a dream come true. All with an object that your audience will LOVE seeing you perform with! The crayon will have instant acceptance, not even a billiard ball can claim that! Think about it, crayons are even more recognizable to children than playing cards! That puts things into perspective.

So what are we waiting for? Lets learn dynamite kid show magic using ordinary everyday ciga….er….crayons!

It all starts in the near future!

March 1998

How Complicated?
Bobby J, Gallo

Those who know my work, know that I am a big proponent of simplicity in magic. I have never subscribed to the notion that magicians need to be “traveling magic shops” in order to entertain children. If the show sits in one place and does not have to be transported, that is another case. But overall for the travelling birthday party magician, “Less Is More”. That has not been the first time I have said that and I suspect that is future lessons, it will not have been the last. So why do I bring it up now? To illustrate that the next effect we will learn, though simple, has fantastic entertainment value.

I have seen tons of props that make even small objects vanish. Some very mechanical that in no way could ever be examined by the audience. I offer in this lesson a way to vanish small objects using completely ungimmicked everyday objects. After all, that is what looks like magic right? When we can take articles that are easily recognizable and in some cases even borrowed, and create magic.

There are not a lot of props to what I am about to describe, and the effect is but a simple vanish of a coin. But it can be worked into another routine where you need to accomplish this or you may build a sweet little routine out of the basic effect itself.

The magician places a coin in the center of a hank or bandanna that is spread out on a table. He then takes a small glass in his left hand and, picking up the coin and the hank, places the coin over the glass, with the folds of the hank hanging down and concealing it from the view of the audience. He drops the coin into the glass and the entire audience hears it strike the bottom of the glass as it does so. When the hank is removed from the glass however, the coin seems to have vanished.

Actually, the coin is NEVER dropped into the glass at all. The glass under the hank is tilted slightly to the side and the coin is dropped AGAINST THE SIDE of the glass. The sound this makes is exactly the same as if the coin were actually dropped into the glass proper. After striking the side of the glass, the coin drops down into the left hand, and is then palmed. The attention of the audience is diverted from the left hand by lifting the covered glass with your right hand and putting it on your table, until you are ready for the final revelation that the coin has vanished. In the meantime, you may go to your pocket to obtain your magic wand and dispose of the coin at the same time.

This is a mixture of sleight-of-hand, misdirection, and subtlety. It take a little practice to get the knack of catching the coin after it has been dropped. You may drop it on the floor a few times during rehearsal but it will become second nature in no time and you will have a vanish that has a list of fine features.

  • Ordinary props
  • No set-up
  • You are clean at the end
  • Can be adapted to other small objects.

So how complicated do things have to be? As you can see…….Not very!


Notice: This material “IS NOT PUBLIC DOMAIN” and is intended for the personal and performance use of International Conservatory Of Magic members only.

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