Official I.C.O.M Past Lesson Archive
Advanced Lab 7/98-9/98
You are now in the section devoted “challenging magic”. This forum features top effects that usually require a higher degree of sleight-of-hand to accomplish their ultimate goal. It may also contain effects that are a bit more advanced as far as presentation, overall difficulty of execution, or unique props that need to be made or obtained. Overall, this is magic of the highest quality that all are welcomed to try and perfect. This is the forum that makes the master magician…
At the February 1984 meeting of SAM Assembly #168, President Ed Yankowich there presented an interesting card effect. Ed mentioned that this was not an original effect and that he did not remember the source. The effect did not have a name, so I have picked the name “Twin Influence.” At that time, I prepared a description of the effect. Now, some 14 years later I still like the effect, so here it is!
Two cards which are freely chosen by two spectators are removed from a deck of cards (may be borrowed and/or shuffled by spectators). The performer deals cards from the pack until each spectator calls stop and the chosen cards are inserted face up into the deck. When the deck is spread the two cards are seen face up (as returned to the deck). The two face-up cards are removed with the card directly above (ie, face to face cards). Those cards match the chosen cards, same value and same color!!
All that is needed is one deck of cards. The deck may be borrowed. If you wish it may be shuffled by the spectators.
After the deck is shuffled, request the first spectator to name a card. With the faces toward you, remove that card from the deck and place it face up on the table in front of you. At the same time and as part of the same process move the matching value/color card to the face of the deck. Do not show this card.
Request a second spectator to name a card. Remove that card and place it on the table next to the first chosen card. This time you move the matching value/color card to the top of the deck.
Assume that the first card was the Queen of Hearts and the second card was the Four of Clubs (both freely selected by the spectators) . Those two cards are now on the table. In your hand is the rest of the deck with the Queen of Diamonds on the bottom of the deck and the Four of Spaces on the top.
If you desire, a false shuffle could be performed here. Hold the deck face down in your left hand and begin to slowly deal off cards one-at-a-time. Ask the first spectator to tell you to stop where she/he would like the selection returned to the deck When she/he stops you, place her/his card face up in the deck and then place the rest of the top of the face-up card. Pick up the deck and repeat this process with the second chosen card. This will put the matching value/color card above that card.
Spread the deck to find the two selected cards face up. Indicate that while the two spectators believe that they both chose their cards and picked the return positions with out any outside influence, you actually did influence both spectators not only in their selections, but also in the positions at which they called stop. This is demonstrated to be the case as you show that both of the chosen cards are located in the spread adjacent to their matching value/color cards!
” TIME TRAVELER COIN “
EFFECT: A penny, held flat between the first finger and thumb of the left hand near one edge is displayed so the date upon it may be read. The coin is openly placed on the back of the right hand thumb which has been bent and pressed against the pad of the right hand first finger. The thumb is positioned to flick or spin any coin placed upon it high into the air.
The coin is placed head side down. It is then openly flicked into the air by the right thumb.Your right palm is held flat and open, thumb extend to one side, the hand waiting to catch the coin as it falls. This is done…the fingers of the hand closing over the coin. When the hand opens again, a spectator picks up the penny and examines the date. By some force of magic, the coin has been tossed into another dimension. The date of the coin is now different from what it was at the start!!
METHOD: Members of I.C.O.M may remember a means I described earlier in which a small coin placed on the palm of the hand could be vanished by simply having a bit of wax on the thumb nail of that hand…or, even rubber cement applied to both the coin and the back of the thumb.(See I.C.O.M Archives “Old Dogs, New Tricks”) This is the same idea, expanded upon, and modified to create a totally different effect.
Most all of us have a penny shell from the childhood block and coin effect. That’s where a penny, which is lying upon your table, is covered with a magical block and the coin mysteriously changes into a dime. Unless you use this on a regular basis ( and there’s no reason you shouldn’t )…take the penny shell and file off about three-quarters of its rim. This gives you a partial shell which may be placed on top of another heads up penny. The method should be becoming clear.
Both the partial coin shell and the thumb have been treated in advance with rubber cement. When the coin assembly is placed on the right thumb, it goes head side down. When you go through the flicking action, the partial shell remains, concealed behind the extended thumb…and the new coin sails up into the air.
It’s magic! No, really…this is a very strong effect IF you pay attention to angles, and don’t get
forgetful with your thumb.The shell by the way may be stolen back into the hand by turning the hand over, bending the thumb in toward the palm, and pulling the coin off with your fingers\ while they are examining the caught coin.
Home Work: Are there any other applications you can devise for this??
“A TRULY UNBELIEVABLE TRANSPOSITION”
Ronald J. Dayton
EFFECT: A playing card is displayed. A large, vinyl paper clip….let’s say its color is yellow…is clipped to the top center end of the card. The assembly is held by the end of the clip between the thumb and first finger.
In a very slow and deliberate manner, the card is turned over to show the other side of the clip, as well as the back of the card. You state that you have another clip in your pocket…and that in just a moment…you will cause it to fly to the card, and the clip which is on the card will travel invisibly to your pocket.
Believe it or not, in the blink of an eye, that is exactly what appears to happen! In less time than it takes for me to tell of it…you are holding the very same card, but it now has a black paper clip attached to it. The card and clip are again shown slowly on both sides. When you reach into your pocket…lo and behold…you remove the yellow clip.
METHOD: This remarkable effect would never have come to be if not for an almost accidental collaboration between Larry White and myself. For quite some time, Larry and I had been corresponding, and kicking ideas around. A couple of years ago, I mentioned something I was working on which was not quite falling into place.
What I had done was to take a laundry marker pen and used it to color a light colored vinyl paper clip black. Then I reposition the clip, and did the same to the new side which was showing. I could then clip the piece on the card in yet another way, and still have a yellow side showing. But I didn’t have a move. Much of the work had to be done
under cover of the fingers.
Well, to make a long story even longer…Larry had the move, and no effect to go with it. It was fate! We combined the clip and the move, and the fantastic transposition was born.
But while I’ve been rambling on…you’ve been wondering just how in the world it is accomplished. Here is the real works:
Take a jumbo vinyl paper clip ( for best spectator visibility ) and slip it on to the end of a playing card. Do not push it on all the way. Allow about one quarter of an inch of the end of the clip to extend beyond the end of the card. Now, take your marking pen and carefully blacken all of the side of the clip which is visible…get as close to the card as possible. Darken the end of the clip as well…then turn the card over and do the opposite side in the same way. Allow to dry thoroughly …then repeat several more times. The preparation of the clip is then done (see fig.#1). If you can find or suggest any clear coating material for the clip…I would like to hear about it. As it stands, after a few performances…the clip must be re-darkened.
To get the yellow surface of the clip to show without removing it from the card…we must use Larry’s move. Hold the extended end of the clip between the thumb and first finger of the right hand. Hold firmly. Then grasp the opposite end of the card with your free hand, and turn the card over. It will only go in one direction…but turn it will. And when it has turned…the yellow side of the clip will have been revealed!!
So there you have the incredible secret! So simple, yet so powerful! When you begin the routine, the yellow side is showing, and the extra matching yellow clip is in your right pants pocket. The clip is pulled away from the card that quarter of an inch we mentioned before…and the thumb and first finger of the right hand conceal the small black portion of clip that otherwise shows. You go through your build up, and then, with a simultaneous action, the left hand revolves the card and the right hand pushes the clip all the way on to the card, and then releases its grip and drops to your side. The card now, when turned slowly to show both sides, will reveal a solid black paper clip. You the smile, and glance at your right pocket. The empty right hand goes to same, and brings out the yellow clip. It looks like a miracle!!
As you can see, the re-set takes only an instant. This is great for those who do restaurant work. Drop the yellow clip in the pocket, revolve the card…pull the clip back just a hair, and you’re good to go
I’ve given many effects to the magic community…but this, this is a real gem. I sincerely hope some of you will take the time to make one of these for yourself. You won’t regret that you did.
The construction of the clips (gimmicked clips shown on one side only)
Special thanks to Jeff Brown of the great State of Alaska for this fine “Comedy Card Effect”. For the magician looking for something a little offbeat and different, you can hardly do better than this for sheer entertainment value…BJG
Hello from Alaska! Here’s the effect that I sent to Ron. Hope you like it. It was developed for my friend’s Mosquito Circus, kind of like a Flea Circus.
Ralph, The Card Finding Mosquito
EFFECT: A card is selected and signed by an audience member. A small decorative box is displayed containing Ralph. Ralph, a very rare and expensive mosquito, trained for over ten years in the art of card magic, will find the selected card. As the deck is riffled in the air, Ralph indeed locates it. However, as the deck is spread, it is discovered that Ralph has been crushed on the back of the signed card!
WORKING: Using a Sharpie marking pen and your best illustrative skills, draw a black spot with wings on the back of a card. After it dries, place it on the bottom of the deck. Hindu shuffle the cards and invite the spectator to say stop at any time. Display the card and have it signed. Just don’t let Ralph see it. Using the Kelly Bottom Placement, control the card to the bottom of the deck. Holding both the top and bottom cards, overhand shuffle the deck, leaving the signed card second from the top. Double lift to show, “This is how a normal magician would find the card, but that’s too easy for Ralph.” Cut the deck, leaving the signed card approximately in the middle.
Build up the drama and have the spectator “release” Ralph. Follow Ralph’s “flight” with the deck, and at the appropriate time, riffle down and quickly SLAP the top of the deck and smile. The smile then melts into a look of shock as you realize you’ve crushed Ralph.
Spread the deck to show the “remains” of Ralph on the back of a card. Flip it over to show that indeed Ralph has located the card!
“It’s how he would have wanted to go.”
Well, that’s it! It’s gotten a few laughs, a then when it’s really their signed card, it turns to
amazement. Thanks for checking it out!
Change the world a chuckle at a time!
Co-Directors Notes: This my friends is a hot effect. Think of the possibilities and you will realize that Ron has just handed us yet another ground-breaking concept with potential only limited by your imagination…BJG
The Force Of A Spell
Ronald J. Dayton
What would you think if I told you it is possible to FORCE a predetermined color of a silk which lies in a row upon your table with four other different color silks by simply having a free selection of one of the colors.. spelling its color out letter by letter until you come to a second random color silk, then repeating until a third random color is arrived at? Would you be impressed??
What if I were to tell you that this simple principle could be used to force names of drinks, foods, countries or gems.. would that impress you? Well, impressed or not, this is all based on a spelling force I have been experimenting with.. .and am about to share with you at this time.
As an example, here are the basics for an effect you might well call Color Choice 20th Century Silks. Five silks are lying in a row upon your table. Their order from left to right are RED, BLUE, GREEN, YELLOW and ORANGE. No matter which silk is pointed to from the performer’s side of the table.. .if you spell its name letter-by-letter beginning with the silk immediately to its left, and spell in a clock-wise direction until you come to a new color or position, then repeat the action by spelling the color of the second silk arrived at again in a clock-wise direction.. .the color you will ultimately land on is GREEN. This seemingly randomly selected silk is then picked up and vanished only to reappear tied between two previously shown Silks via the 20th Century Silks effect.
As a variation on a theme, let’s playfully call the next effect Mixed Vegetables. In this version, five packets of seeds are lying in a row on your mat. From left to right they are LETTUCE, CORN, BEETS, CELERY and PEPPERS. Using the same double spelling sequence, the force word you will land on in this instance is BEETS. Reaching into a paper grocery bag which has been on your table from the start, you remove a can of beets. The bag is then shown to be empty, proving your premonition was correct.
A third variation will be called Mixed Drinks. It has nothing to do with alcoholic beverages however. Cards with the names of several drinks are lying on a row upon your table. Again, the paper bag is visible to one side. The drinks named from left to right are; JUICES, TEA, MILK, COCOA and COFFEE. The drink which is forced via the double spelling system is COCOA. The bag contains a tin of the same.
Cards with images of flags and the names of countries may also be used to force ne particular country. As an example, the names from left to right might be; TURKEY, USA, PERU, ITALY and RUSSIA. Once again, the five letter name, or ITALY is the name which is forced upon the spectator. A replica of the nations flag may then be produced from a production tube or box.
You can also force particular gems such as those which are set into rings. Five finger rings are lying in a row upon your table. Left to right their order is DIAMOND, ONYX, PEARL, RUBIES and SAPPHIRE. The ring which is forced is the PEARL.
I have simply given a method and then followed by making several suggestions for possible presentational avenues to take. You will spell the colors or names in the prescribed manner from your side of the table while initially working with this effect. You will then have to discover for yourself the direction and procedure used if the spectator does the spelling from THEIR side of the table. It is your option to choose which side of the table the spelling is done from. I will not confuse the action further by trying to explain the differences.. .they become evident as you work with it.
As a final example, let’s take one last look at the gem stone force. You’ll recall the order of the rings was DIAMOND, ONYX, PEARL, RUBIES and SAPPHIRE. We will assume the first chosen gem was ONYX. Spelling letter-by-letter in a clock-wise direction from the performer’s side of the table. Touching the diamond you say 0, on sapphire you say N, touching rubies you spell Y, and as you touch pearl you spell X completing the word ONYX. Now the word PEARL is spelled in the same clockwise manner beginning on the word onyx.. the five letter spelling brings you right back to the word PEARL. The force word is PEARL.
These examples simply indicate the variety you can devise for yourself by finding other words and objects which may be listed and spelled to to create a force situation. The order of these cards or objects can be changed around. New positioning will often upset the system, and result in truly random names being arrived at for different spellings. This is a great way to show the spectator what you want done, and how to do it, without revealing your system. Then, when you are ready to do the force, the names or objects are put in to correct left to right order so the desired word, name or object is chosen.
A Sequence for September 1998
Well, that’s not much of a name; I can’t seem to think of anything cleverer. But, in fact, that’s what it really is; a sequence of effects. I’ve been using this for a long time with various modifications. What I’m presenting is the current version. Since a minor set-up is required, I use this as an opening effect.
On top of deck a 6 card set up: red ace face down, red ace face up, black ace face down, black ace face up, 4 of spades, 3 of spades. Flip the deck over and look for a black deuce making sure it’s the 2 of spades. To be safe, move the 2 of clubs towards the top of the deck. You want to be sure that when you look at the cards face up, the first black deuce you see is the 2 of spades. Case the deck.
Phase I: Snap Ace Production
Begin by describing to your audience that magicians love to do tricks with the 4 aces. Explain that you want to be more efficient and will use 2 deuces. After all 2 + 2 equals the same thing as 1 + 1 + 1 + 1. 2 deuces, 4 aces what’s the difference? As you describe this, you can do a false shuffle. Also you can dribble the cards from hand to hand. With minor care, the 2 face-up cards will not been seen.
Turn deck face up and remove the 2 of spades and a red deuce (either one); place then face up on the table. Turn the deck face down.
Get a break under the face-to-face red aces (easy because of the reversed card). Pick up the red deuce and place is on top of the deck so you are now holding a break below 3 cards (face up red deuce, face down red ace, face up red ace). Grab the right side of the 3 cards with your right hand–thumb above and 1st and 2nd fingers below. Press down with your thumb so the red deuce curves inwards a little. Move the left edge of the 3 cards right and left a couple of times. Then bring the left edge of the 3 cards all the way to the right; touching your left finger. Then angle the 3 cards perpendicular to the deck at the right edge of the deck, and fairly forcibly let the 2 cards on the left (the red deuce and the red ace that was face down) fall (actually pushed) onto the deck as you snap off the other red ace. You should hear a “snap.” This leaves 2 red aces showing one on top of the deck and the other in your right hand. Drop both of them onto the table. You’ve “divided” the deuce into 2 one’s.
Slip cut the red deuce to the center of the deck leaving the face-to-face black aces on the top. Explain that if you could do this with the red Aces, it’s worth a try with the black cards. Repeat the above procedure with the black deuce. You now have the 4 aces on the table! Place the deck aside.
(Take a peak at the deck; you have the 2, 4, 3 of spades on top. These will be used later in this sequence–this was a neat way of being way ahead for later.)
Phase II: 4-Ace Routines
You can do what ever you like with 4 aces during this portion of the sequence. I would, however, suggest NOT doing Vernon’s ‘Twisting the Aces’ because of the final phase of this sequence. Here’s what I do.
I begin this phase with ‘Overture’ from Phil Goldstein’s book Focus (Hermetic Press; Seattle, Washington; 1990). This is a great example of the old adage: if you want to hide something, put it in a book; and if you really want to hide it, put it as the first trick in the book. You’ll find ‘Overture’ on page 3 of Focus!
Since it is published, this is a brief description. Place the red aces face-up between the 2 face-down black aces. Explain that you have sandwiched the face-up red aces between the face-down black aces. (I think that you really have to stress this situation.)
Perform a Jordan Count to show that nothing has changed. (Not true: order now is face-down black, face-up red, face-down black, face-up red).
Explain that the real magic is about to occur as you do a Vernon Through-the-Fist Flourish. (see Goldstein’s book for details).
Now perform an Elmsley Count to display the 2 black aces face-up sandwiched between the face down red aces. Spread and display. A total transposition has occurred!
Next I proceed to something directly from I.C.O.M., with a presentation idea. Take a look at the October – December 1997 Advances Lab Archives for ‘Solid Gold Transposition.’ This reminded me of ‘The Last Trick of Dr. Jacob Daley’ (see Lewis Ganson’s ‘The Dai Vernon Book of Magic’ reprinted by L&L Publishing, 1994, page 210 – 214 for a detailed description). For the student, also look at Tarbell, Vol. 5, p 129 – 131 for a similar effect by Milbourne Christopher. And…the idea was expanded by Larry Jennings in ‘The Cardwright’ (L&L Publishing, 1988). (Who said I have too many magic books???)
At the end of Phase IIa you hold the 2 black aces face-up sandwiched between the 2 face-down red aces. Flip the red aces over so that all 4 aces are face up and move the bottom red ace between the 2 black aces to alternate colors.
While the actual suits do not matter, I¹m going to describe what follows with a particular sequence, so set your 4 aces as follows. From the face (all 4 aces face-up) diamond, club, heart, spade.
Flip the packet face down and shuffle them. What you really do is run 5 cards (one at a time) as if you were doing an overhand shuffle. The aces are now heart, club, diamond, spade (from the top to bottom). Take 2 cards in each hand and briefly display them. Reassemble the 4-card packet and get a break below the second card while doing this.
Do a double turnover displaying the Ace of Clubs. Turn the double and remove the top card placing it into the spectator¹s hand. They will believe that this is the Ace of Clubs (actually, it¹s the Ace of Hearts).
Now do the Solid Gold Transposition count. The cards are now diamond, spade, club from the top. Do a double turnover (push off or buckle) to show the Ace of Spades. Flip the double face down and remove the top card which the spectator will assume is the Ace of Spades (really the Ace of Diamonds).
Here¹s the fun part: Place the ‘Ace of Spades’ above the card in their hand (covering about 60% of their card, but do not let go) and ask them if you should place the Spade on top. Then move it below the card in their hand and ask if you should put it on the bottom. Move the card from top to bottom several times. Finally place it below the first card they hold.
At this point snap your fingers and ask if they felt anything. Ask where the Ace of Spades is-top or bottom. They will respond bottom. You say: No, it¹s here on top, as you flip over the top card in your hand. Flip over the club with the spade. And…you have the red aces! As they look at their red aces (should have been black) this is often good for a
I conclude this sequence with an effect called ‘Maxi-Twist 1-2-3-4’ by Roger Smith. I found this in a manuscript from the mid-70¹s.
Begin by placing the 4 aces in club, heart, spade, diamond order from the face (face up). Pick up the deck and get a break under the top 3 cards (the 2, 4, 3 of spade that were set earlier). Lay the face-up aces maintaining a break below 7 cards. As you lift the packet a little off the deck with the right thumb, grip the next card. You now hold a break with 8 cards; a small break between the packet of 7 and the 8th card. You now perform Marlo’s Atfus Move. Thumb the Ace of Clubs onto the deck and regrip it below the packet in your right hand. Next, thumb off the Ace of Hearts and regrip it under the break. As you square the packet against your left thumb, drop everything below the break onto the top of the deck. This is covered by the face-up (8th) card you took earlier. Now thumb off the Ace of Spades and take it below the packet. Place the deck aside being careful not to expose the 2 face-up aces. Square the packet.
As a checkpoint, the packet consists of 5 cards: Ace of Diamonds (face up), 2 of Spades (face down), 4 of Spades (face down), 3 of Spades (face down), and Ace of Spades (face up).
You now will go through a series that turns the aces face down, one by one. You need a little ‘magic’ before you perform each step. I hold the packet in a Biddle Grip and tap it on the table. You could do a twist, or you could hold them by the long edges and give them a little buckle/snap. I like the light tap!
After the first tap, do an Elmsley count to show that the first ace has turned face down.
Tap again, and hold the cards in Biddle Grip. Thumb each card into the left hand placing each on top of the previous. The last card is a double. This shows 2 face-up aces and 2 face-down cards. Close the spread. Order of cards: 4S (face down), 3S (face down), 2S (face down), AS (face up), AD (face up).
Tap again, and hold the cards in Biddle Grip. Thumb the top card into the left hand. Next, draw off the bottom card onto the card in the left hand and then thumb over the top card of the right-hand packet. This gives you a fan of 3 cards in your left hand (AD in the center between 2 face-down cards) and a double in your right hand. Place the double in-jogged on the right face-down card of the 3-card fan holding it in place with your left thumb. Regrip the right card and the in-jogged double with your right fingers and take the 2 left cards in your left fingers. Place the AD (face up) on top of the out-jogged card in your right hand, but below the double and then place the final face-down card in your left hand on top of the whole thing. Square up all the face-down cards leaving the AD out-jogged. Let a spectator push the AD into the packet. Order of cards: 4S (face down), 2S (face down), AS (face up), AD (face up), 3S (face down).
One more tap and do an Elmsley count to show all 4 aces have turned face down.
Tell your audience that very often “people want to know how you do this” and that you’ll show them. Tell them it’s done with 4 cards. Here you hold the cards in right-hand Biddle Grip and thumb them one by one into your left hand. This leaves you with a face-up Ace of Spades in your right hand (actually a double). Carefully place this on the table and then DRAMATICALLY, begin to turn over the cards in your hand as you count 1, 2, 3, 4 revealing the 2, 3, and 4 of Spades! Saying that’s 1, that’s 2, that’s 3, and that¹s 4.
Clean up by dropping all the face up cards on the pack. This gives you an excuse to ‘play’ with the deck for a bit as you turn all cards face down. Shuffle and you¹re ready for your next card effects.
Co-Directors Notes: Thanks a million Mike! That lesson obviously took a lot of time and effort to write. I’m sure all of our card-loving I.C.O.M technicians will have a great time leaning the various sequences involved. I dare say that by the time they have this routine down pat, it will be time for October’s lessons <G>…BJG