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Volurne One: Tbe ldea Gard.eru




Gaetan Bhom
Volume One

Copyrigbt @2013 Gaetan Bloom and KeuinJames

All cornmercial and manafacturing ri.gbts reseraed

Design copyrigbt @ 2013 Tbe Miraclc Factory

Tbe Miracle Factory


ta ut u. Mi.rac lz Fa ct o ry. n e t

Photo credi.ts
Arto Airaksinen: pp. 210,273,285,340-1, 393, 400
Jenny Alexander: pp. 281,297,301,305,309,313, 317,320, 322, 368
Z*"ry Belamy: pp. 324, 335
Pierre Delavie: Back cover, pp. 2,217
Thanla also to Michel Fontaine, Zoulct Galli Galli,
Claudia Mendoza, and Mickaelkl

Ori gina I p ub lic ati o n cre di*

Paul Stone: Gaetan Bloorn Series No. t and No. 2, and The New Orleans Lecture
Georges Proust's Acaddmie de Magie: Tlte Paris Lecture
All other lecture notes privately published by Gaetan Bloom


Publishert Note Todd l{arr 11
Introduction Gaetan Bloom 13
Preface Keuin Jarnes 15
Acknowledgments 16

CONVERSAT I ONS GaetanBhomandTbddKarr 19

CREAT M T Y GaetanBloom 6l


1. Plexiglas i la Carte 67
2.HaveYou Had An Oeuf 71
3. The Ultimate Flying Ring 75
4. The Hen 81


1. All Strung Out 87
2. News Headlines 93


1. The Bandage 99
2. The Bell 103
3. Lapping for the Standing Performer 107
4.The Pull and the Rubber Bands ll3
5. The Alarm Clock ll7

6. Smokey 121
7.Two Sponge Balls 125
8. The Cards and Bottle 129
9. Silk to Egg Exposed 133
10. Button Button I37
11. \7hat? No \7all? l4l


Connection 147
1. Padlock
2.The\WatchTiick l5l
3. The Card on the Human \7all 157
4.-Ihe Standing Card 159
5. Prestidigitational Prediction 163
6. The Yoyo King 167
7. Bloomentalism 169
8. S.T.O.\r.R.C.T. (Signed, Torn, Oil and \rater Restored Card Tiick) 173
9. The CrazyBicycle PumPs 179

5. SIGNED, GAETAN (1990)

r.July 14 189
2.Force 2, Power 4 1'91
3. Remarkable 195
4.'Ihe\Wishing Box 197
5. ClearlyClever 201
6. Silksack 203
T.LoveMe Tbndeur 205
8. The Lasso Card 207


1.Top Chrono 215
2.Fiflq,-Fifty 219
3. The Maxfia 223
4. Fakir Royale 227
5. Bonux 231
6. Springdicdon 235
7. Kit-KIop 237
8. The Red Circle 241
9. The Ball Thap 245

7. r999 NOTES (1999)

1. Blind Complicity 249
2.Easy Ramo Samee 253
3. TiansparentMemory 259
4.Mac Fast Bloom 263

5. Filature 267
6. Quart6 271


1. The Silk in the Ball 277
2.'Ihe \Torldt Longest Tirbe 279
3. The Knot Machine 283
4.MyEye 287
5. \7ink 291
6.ATwistedTrick 295
7.-IheLottery 299
8. The Ring and Card 303
9. The Devilt Hand 307
10. Pinned 311
11. The Luclry Charm Box 315
12.-Ihe Demonic Cigarette 319
13. The Confetti Bags 321


1. The Effect and the Plot 325
2.-Ihe Card and the Box 327
3. Fragile 333
Circle 337
4. Literary
5. My Egg Bag 343
6. Cigar lWatch 347
7.'IheGrater 349
B. The Egg and Bulb 353
9. Vegas Cups 355
10. Back in Vegas 357
11. Papat Theatre 359
12. SumTotal 363

10. FISM 2006

1. A Pure Racket 371
2. Cards in the Bag 373
3. Padapple 377
4. Crush Pack 381
5. Astral Flash 383
6. On the Rocks 387
7.'Ihe King of Manipulation 391
8. Standing Ovation 395
9. A Fishy Game 399


1. BLOOMERTES (1999)
1. Jojo the Fish 41 1

2. At the Bar 413

3. The Balloon House 417
4. Tlte Snry of O(eaf) 421
5. Son ofSefala\ia 427
6. Annemann Forever 433
7.1he Shame Deck 439
B. The Enchanted Ribbon 443
9. The Melting Coin
10. Himber Ring and Company 453
11. Hanging by a1\read 455
12. Knock and Roll Prediction 463
13. Straw, Coke, and Glass 467
74. MyTriangle from Bermude 477
15. Espresso Prediction 477
16. The Futurospace 483
lT.Phoenix 489
18. Vacation Homework 493
19. Quintessences 497
2}.BabyBoom 503
21. Broken\fands 507
22.-Ihe Blind Psychic 513
23. SpringVanish 521
24. Blendo-Vision 523
25. The Fold 529
26. Attamove 531
27. Spirit Initials 533

1. The All-Purpose Tirbe 537
2.The Bill in Carrot 541
3. The Bloom Phantom Tirbe 545
4.'Ihe BookTest Cart 549
5. Bottle It! 553
6. Costume Conversion 557
7.'Ihe Eggs, Cards, and Glasses 561
8. Gaetant Card in'Wallet 567
9. The Gift Box 573
10. The Grocery Cart 577
11. Houdinit Shirt 579

72.-Ihe Invisibility Box 583

13. The Levitation Machine 589
14. Mobile Mental 591
15. The Pirate 595
16. The Rotating Box 599
17. Salami Slice 603
18. SilkThrough Ears 605
19. Silver Bend 608
20. Technicolor Needle Swallowing 609
21. Topsy-Tirrvy Light Bulb 613
22. TheTiansforming Chair 617
23. Thansparent Chinese Sticks 621

Intermission: Cooking Class with Chef Gaetan 623

3. BLOOMS FOR SALE MarhetedEffec*

1. The Intercessor 629
2.The Escorial Monte 643
3. The Escalator 653
4. Mission Impossible 657

4. BLOOM IN PRINT PublisbedEffec*

1. Balls in Motion 663
2. Close-Up Encounters of the Third Kind 665
3. Escorial Cubio 669
4. Falling 673
5. Fan-Card 675
6. Fiat Lrl;l. 677
7. Knife Through Arm 681
8. Pen Gag 684
9. Point ofaTack 685
10. See-Through Divination 689
11. The Sh-h-h-op Cup 693
12. Smoke 697


1. The Genius of'lTinston Freer Gaetan. Bloom 709
2. \Tinston Freer and his Original Mystery Clinic Tbdd Karr 7I7


ru .i
^, a-
Todd Karr

nnreN Bloom creates magic with such original, clever methods that when you
finally discover how the effect works, the secret is almost always as amazing as the
routine itself.
Gaetant not only one of the greatest inventors in the history of magic, het also one of the
artt most dynamic, wide-ranging performers, a master of comedy, close-up, cabaret, stage, and
even large illusions, as you'll see. And after knowing him for most of my life, I'll add that het
also one of the most good-hearted, generous, unpretentious people you might ever encounter.
During the eight years I lived in Paris, I shared many moments with Gaetan as friends,
performers, fellow parents, and bons uiuants. It's my serious pleasure, then, to be able to help
bring this collection of his incredible magic to you.
A small note: In France, his name is properly spelled with an umlaut, as in "Gadtan," but
we've opted for the career-long U.S. tradition of using a plain e.

Kevin James, whom I ve known since we were teenagers in Michigan, coordinated this
epic project, which is filled with his affection for both Gaetan and his work. All three of us are
indebted to the incomparable James Hodges for his hundreds of superb drawings, which have
turned this set into a gallery of his beautiful, unique artwork.
I'm even more in awe of my friend Gaetan now after translating his French texts, studying
his effects, assembling his years of photos, and editing his whimsical writings.
As a magician and as a person, Gaetan is truly a rare gem.
These books are filled with the sublime artistry of a man whose heart is full of love.
Merci, mon ami!
Et mainteruarut, on czmmence le spectacle!
Mesdames et messieurs... Gaetan Bloom!
I dedi.cate tbb boob to myfamily.

My paren*,Georges andtcanni.ne,
and my sister, Syluie

Stepbanie Vaudagne and ruy uife Corinne Bluru,

the wonderfulmotbers ofrny cbildrm

And of course to rr! turo boys, Julien and Bapt*te,

phr my granddaughter, Romy.
Tbqr are tn! roots and my future..,and tbqr are magic!

With Eecial tboughx to:

tarues Hodges
He is lihe ruy otherfathel.


Christian Fechner
He was afriend and a. tnEntor, and I rniss him eaery day.

- Gaetan Bloom
Gaetan Bloorn

ELLo, my friends!

\Wow! I never thought this beautiful book would be finished. I can say
beautiful, because Todd Karr, Kevin James, and James Hodges are the real fathers of the whole
thing. They did so much.
You see, I rea)ize that I ve dedicated this book to my family, but my other real family, you
are going to meet through these pages, and all these people were or are part of me forever...and
deeply inside I thank them all for whatever we have shared together.
I can start with my first core family: Dominique \Webb, Jean Merlin, James Hodges,
Georges Proust, Guy Lore, Jean-Claude and Carla Hasl6, Gdrard Majax, and G6rard Kunian,
and then Juan Thmariz, Finn Jon, Max Maven, Ken Brooke, Dai Vernon, Albert Goshman,
Channing Pollock, Philippe Fialho, Freddy Fah, Jean Ludow, Dominique Duvivier, Mago
Anton, Stefan Leyshon, Luis de Matos, and JeffMcBride. Really, all of them have given me so
Christian Fechner was definitely the most incredible man I've ever known. I think Robert-
Houdin would have been proud of him and bafled by his creations and thinking.
Juan Thmariz is like a slightly older brother, and the most joyous magician in the world,
every day completely and richly living the best magic possible. His books are incredible, and
his devotion to the art as well.
I have a special hero: \flinston Freer, nearly unknown, but a great source of inspiration to
me. And another one, Al Baker, and of course Malini...and Robert-Houdin.
Through these pages, you will see my big family...and some really wonderful women, who
have always been a real source of love and inspiration...and this is also real magicl
I realize I havent mentioned my tricks, my little world of wonders, but of course they're
like my babies! Theyve made my life so happy.

It will take some time to meet my whole family, but I hope you will enjoy the trip.
Even today, as I grow older, I am surrounded by people I love: my big brothers Dominique
Duvivier and Juan Tamariz, my younger brother Kevin James, my daddies James Hodges and
Dominique \X/ebb, and I have my two uncles, Georges Proust and Jean Merlin. Grandma
Yvette is gone, along with Freddy Fah, but they are here with Christian Fechnet in my heart.
Stefan Leyshon is like a spiritual son, Sylvie Ia Fde is like a sistet and I love my Portuguese
branch of the family, with Luis de Matos, Vanessa, and the gang.
I really enjoy this feeling.
Your friends are your chosen family. This is so true!
Thanks again to my brother Kevin....
and to Todd...
and to you.
Please...join us. Have a drink with us...and cheers!

P.S.: Todd wanted to do the "Full Bloom"...but I am still alive, and thatt a problem! So...
wait and see!

Gaeran and
Kevin James
Keain James

can remember the very moment that this book was conceived. I was sitting around
Gaetan Bloom's kitchen table one night. This was in St.-Ouen, France, so it was quite
a while ago. I was still working at the Crazy Horse and it was after work one night.
Gaetan was telling me abour some of his latest inventions. There was nothing special about
that, really. He was always telling me about some cool new effect he was working on.
I suggested that we work on a book of just his ideas, for historyt sake. I was always so
impressed with the sheer amount of qualiry material he has come up with. In his simple,
nonchalant way, Gaetan agreed.
Ten years later, I was back in Paris, and I brought up the book again. decided it was
time to get serious, so we began to write down all the effects that he could remember creating.
Just offthe top of his head, we had filled more than rwenry pages on a legal pad in a heartbeat.
Now it was time to bring in someone to help organize it and make it real. Enter Todd
Karr. I ve always been impressed with Toddt Miracle Factory books and knew he was the right
choice. Living in Paris for many years, Todd was very familiar with Gaetant work, and we were
all longtime friends.
\7e started by collecting everything from Gaetans brain that had ever been released. This
included many lecture notes, magazine submissions, and effects from videotapes. then
added many amazingeffects that Gaetan had never published.
Todd and I spent the next period recording interviews, listening to stories, scanning tons
ofpersonal photos, and asking lots ofquestions.
Next, we contacted the amazing artist James Hodges to redo some illustrations and fill in
the gaps with dozens of new ones. This was no small job.
Todd then wenr ro work translating, organizing, and laying it out, then requesting more
revisions and additions. Years passed, as they do when everyone is busy.

About ago, we all decided that we were so close, it was finally time to finish it up.
Hopefully, a few months from now, I'll be reading this essay in the beautiful hardbound
book set Full Bloorn.
It feels like itt been a fifteen-year pregnancy and now we're ready to deliver the baby.
In a sense, we are. These thoughts and notions are all Gaetant children, born from his
mind. Every effect, technique, presentation, and nuance holds a little of his DNA, his genius.
This is a treasure trove of great ideas and inspiration, and I know it will be a major resource
for any performer looking for something fresh to add to his show.
Itt also a historical record of an amazing man, his inspirations, and his career...so far. I feel
that Gaetant best is yet to come, and that he's just getting warmed up.
I'm so proud of publishing this book and of the team that put it together. I learned so
much about my friend Gaetan while working on this epic project. Now you will, too.
As a friend, itt been a joy to climb into the amazing brain of Gaetan Bloom to create
Full Bloom. As a performer, I'm seriously grateful that het decided to share all of this with the
magicians of the world.

- Keuin James


Keuin James tbanks: Gaetan Bloom for being a creative genius, a great friend, and the
brother I never had. Todd Karr for being my book publishing guru and walking me through
the whole process. James Hodges for sharing his talent and beautiful art. My wife Claudia for
being the love of my life and constant inspiration. Finally, to our three boys Bruno, Jarrett, and
Daniel...you all make me very proud.

Todd Karr is grateful ra.'Ron Aldrich, Thierry Collet, Megan Flowers, Christian Gambin,
Jaq Greenspon, Joan and Ernest Karr, Jovann Karr, Schuyler Karr, Sierra Karr, Max Maven,
Shawn McMaster, Fabienne Mulliez, Frangois Normag, Hugues Protat, and'SToody Pittman.

Gaetan Bloom would like to also thank:

Eugene Burger, Lance Burron, John Carney, Mike Caveney, Paul Daniels, Bill Kalush, Mac King, Paul Srone, Eric Aatoine,
Paul Mz, G6rard Souchet, Gdrard Bakner, Alpha, Christophe Henriet, Frddiric Brown, Frid6rique Dard, Michel Laclos, Frangois
Veirtemet Michel Jonasz, Didier Kaminka, Yves Carlevaris, Juan Arton, Shimada, Jacques Delord, Claude Ho-Hang, Sylvie la

Fde, Georges and Sylvie Colomb, Durary Jacques Laurenr. \lichel Harre, Srewart James, Jos Houben, Zouki Gali Gali, Francis
Thbary Frantz Rejasse, David Ethan, Zakary, Mickaelk. Ilichel Polnareff, Pierre Switon, Moru, Pierre Mayer, Bernard Bilis,
Charlie Frye and Sherry, Johnny and Pam Thompson, Doddy \\'hvhon, Marcalbert, Marc Arroine, Caroline Mas, Ilva Scali,
Hugues Protar, Frangois Normag, Mike Chao, Miredieu, Franqois trlarrinez, Mathieu Bich, Norbert Ferrd, RaFael, Rafael Navarro,
Patia Bourgeois, Sophie Consrantinidis, Ophie Levraur, Sophie Evans, Suzanne, Michael Weber, Nesror Hato, Marcus Zink,
David Ben, Jorge Blass, David Copperfield, Chris Kenner, Etienne Lorenceau, David Berglas, Gene Marsuura, Josd Varga,
Josd Garcimore, Kassagi, Jean Ducatillon, Jean-Jacques Sanverr, Pau[ De Rhuis, Philippe Socrate, Mu Tassel, Jean-Yves Prosr,
Boris Wild, Damien Vappereau, Jean Garance, Pierrick Tenrhorey, Jean Garin, Nirag, Alexandra Duvivier, Quoc Tien Tran,
Ardrd Mayetre, Guy Lammerryn, Mystag, Jean-MarieTavignot, Guy Sanz, Claude Klingsor, Joe Waldys, Xavier Morris, Oona
Hodges, Marga Nicolau, Cathy Diamond, Ton Onosaka, Consuelo Lorgia, Vikror Vincent, Vincent Delourmel, Silvan, Vanni
Bossi, Alberto Sitta, Patrik Droude, Topaz, Jonarhan Pendragon, Pete Biro, Vito Lupo, Hylarouf, Xavier Hodges, Pau[ Gormand,
Julien Danie[, Harold Voyt, Dany Da Orriz, Juan Luis Rubiales, Stdphane Gali, Anroinerte Marteret, Eruan, Dani Lari, Gilles
Arthur, Pierre Jacot, Patrick Hourdequin, Bernard Lion, Annick Viet, Lou Morin, Anabel Garcia Jurado, St6phanie Leboulanger,
Murielle Emme, Raoul Cremona, Tony Binarelli, Alexander De Cova, Tommy Wonder, FIip, Fred Kaps, Lisa Menna, Sylvester
rhe Jester, Chris Broughton, Earl Chaney, Joe Pon, Denny and Lee, Joe Stevens, Vadini, Eric Przybysz, Scotry York, David Roth,
Rocco Silano, Juan Mayoral, John Gaughan, Perer Din, Maurice Pierre, Mac Ronay, Salvano, Edernac, Tom Mullica, Elan, Arne.
Eizenberg, Bertran Lotth, Jean-Pierre Blanchard, Monique Nakachian, Patrick Sibastien, Sophie Pascal and Didier Bernardin,
Jean Lecat, V6ronique Labenne, Adrienne Larue, H6ldne de Valombreuse, Claude Zidi, Gemma Navarro, Claude Geraldy, Patricia
Devallieres, Georges Talmon, Rend Laquie r, Olivier Taquin, Alana Moelhmann, A]ain Noel, Alain Demoyencourr, Jos6 Angel
Suarez, Gusravo Lorgia, Raley, Pdp6 Carroll, Ren6lys, Gilles and VaJdrie Mageux, Jean Regil, Llorens, fuchard Ross and Vdronique,
Pavel, Jean Garance, Claude Kingsor, Claude fux, Bob Kohler, tpper Marryn, Ali Bongo, Patrick Page, Vic and Fabrini, The
Blackwits, Alain Bernardin, Paul Harris, Michael Ammar, TimTiono, Bruno Copin, Siegfried and Roy, Penn andTeller, Lennert
Green, Paul Kozak, \Wayne Dobson, JeffHobson, Keverne Mapp, Katell Sevestre, The Flying Debons, Arturo Bracherti, Mago
Sales, Pierre Eraix, Alain SIim, Fanch Guillemin, Didier Puech, Darell, Jean-Louis Dupuis Dauby, Fernand Coucke, David Srone,
Michel Martial, Patrick Hourdequin, J6r6me Sauloup, Tom Stone, Ali Nouira, Juliana Chen, Sebastian Nicolas, Bruno Kupfer,
Fafa, Romain Lalire, Rend Frangois Lemaire, Jo Maldera, Alfredo Marchese, Michel Marrial, Marie-Hdline Remacle, Bob Alan,
Bob Sheets, Nick Lewin, Vitaly and Elena Gorbatchebsky, Vanessa Viana, Michael Finney, Michael Close , Ramon Mayrata, Shoot
Ogawa, Mickael Stutzingeq Orlane Vermo, So Hope, Yann Sicamois, Angelo Carbone, Chrisrian Gabriel, Alicia Tamariz, Ara
Tamariz, Jason Baney, Thierry Schanen, Rafael Benatar, Eric Mead, Jack Barlett, Adam Fleischer, Bernard Darber, John Calvert,
Tom Noddy, Greg Wilson, Norm Nielsen, Markku Purho, Cirs, Armando Lucero, Gary Daruin, Julie Eng, Christian Chelman,
Dean Dill, Isadora Le Chapelain, Tina Lenerr, Ron \(ilson, Bill Larsen, Irene Larsen, Jamy Ian Swiss, Martin Nash, George Carl,
Rudy Coby, Bev Bergeron, Marvin Roy, Fantasio, Doc Hilford, Paulino Gil, Ignaki Zabaleta, Ren6 Lavand, Francis Menotti,
Bill Goldman, 'Wickman Braco, Scom Alexander, Jenny AJexander, Michael Chaut, Jim Steinmeyer, Ricky Jay, Daniel Cros, Yves
Carbonnier, Xavier Mortimer, Sylvie Coulon, David Sousa, David Williamson, Carm6[o, Michel Dejeneffe, Bertran Crimet,
Bebel, Dick Koornwinder, Ed Alonzo, Henry Evans, Lecusay Martin, Rdmy Demanres, Omar Pasha, Marc Setteducati, Barry
fuchardson, Ian Rowland, fuchard Sarmiento, Yann Frisch, Meir Yedid, Keith Clark, Robert Clifton, Philippe De Perthuis, Ed
Marlo, Jay Marshall, Malin Nilsson, Jerry Lewis, Sammy Davis Jr., Lupe Nielsen, Karrell Fox, Richard Kaufman, Cyril tkayama,
Debbie McGee, Guy Hollingworrh, Luis Pedrahita, Marco Tempest, Michel Clavello, Richard STiseman, Jerry Andrus, Stan
Allen, Bill Malone, Akira Fujii, Apollo Robbins, Ava Do, Chris Power, Chrisrian Engblom, Dan and Dave Buck, J.J., Jordan
Gomez, Barry and Stuart, Carlos Vaquera, Devo, Dan Sperry, Timo Marc, Yamina Bulteau, Henry Mayol, Eric Eswin, Gazzo,
fuchard McDougall, Michelle Ulrich, Frank Garcia, Sonny Fonrana, Adrian Soler, Albeno Giorgi, Dion Van fujt, Johnny Paul,
Merer Becker, Nefesch, StewartJames, JeffBusby, Michel Hortet, Quoique Marduk, Marrin Pacheco, Fabiensoudiere, Diamond
Diaz, TimothyTiusr, Solange Fechner, Marie-Christine Duvivier, Joseph Gabriel, Katalin Czekman, Serjo, Elone Attlan, Aaron
Crow, Raymond Crowe, Ariel Frailich, Mireldo, Vivianne Mireldo, Marc Mdtral, Erika Larsen, Mih Larsen, Doug Henning,
Vicroria and Sos Petrossian, Tigran and Sos Junior, Jewel Good, Chad Long, Gwen Aduh, Abdul Alafrez, Arturo de Ascanio,
Jandro, Inds Molina, Yunke, Roger KJause, Barbie McNaughton, Marc de Souza, Jack Birnam, Vincino, David Jarre, Pierre
Jacques, Robe rt Tarze, Max Ie fuoche, Herbay Montana, Sylvain Solustri, Jo Patrick, fucky Igolen, Marcel Curier, Charles Barbier,
Yves de Sr. Lary, Michel Seldow, Fernand Odin, Yogano, Damao Oshan et Naga, Harry Excelsior, Maurice Gauthron, Benoit
Rosemont, Vanessa Paradis, LarryJennings, Mag Lari, Ratcekou, Sacha Messiez, Ted Lesley, Marhias Raugh, John Fealey, Hervi
Duca, Carthamus, Patry Bad, Jean-Pierre Vallarino, Ton Onosaka, Mama San, Makka Tendo, Otto and Chrisra \Wessely, Amazing
Johnathan, Carthamus, Party Bad, Gay Blackstone, Harry Blacksrone, Jr.

I'm sure I have omitted many people I ve known who have given me happiness, friendship,
sometimes love, and always a sense of wonder and magic. To all of them, thank you. You've
made my life rich and beautiful. - Gaetan
Gaetan Bloorn
and Todd Karr

What is yourfull name?

My full name is Jean-Louis Gaetan Georges Henri Blum.

Where were you born?

Paris, 24 October, 1953.

What's your motheri name?

Jeannine Vingon.

Arud your father?


I have one sister, Sylvie.

How did you end up calling yourself "Gaetan Bloom"?

Gadtan is part of my real name, but my uncle was named Gaetan. He didn't like the name
Gaetan at all, so all his life everybody called him Jean, which was his middle name.
\When I was eighteen years old, a friend of mine said, "You have the name Gaetan, too."
I said, "Yeah, and I love that name. AIso, I love my Uncle. Maybe the name Gaetan is not for
I with "Mister Blum," but I had problems with the name "Blum" because it was
not international. It was not pronounced the same way in every country. I realized that if the
name was spelled with a double 4 it was more visually fun, so my name became Gaetan Bloom,
and thatt it!

Gaetan as a baby at
the Parc Montsouris in
Paris with his parenrs
rod grendmorher (top
lO; Gaettis parents
(right); Gaeten wtrh
PireNoEl (belou)

What did yourfather and mother do?

They were not in show business at all.
They worked for the city government. I
never knew my grandfather, but he was an
astronomer by profession.

An astronomer?
Astronomer, yeah. I know he loved
magic, because he had one or rwo very small
books about magic. I still have them today.
He was an inventor, too. He was an
inventor of things related to his work. In
a museum in Paris, the Mus6e des Arts et
M6tiers, there is a big exhibition called
Foucault's Pendulum. It is in a huge room
and explains why the earth is revolving. I was
very impressed by my grandfather because he
did the very same thing on a smaller scale,
and he received an award for that.
Besides the magic books, the only
memento I had from him was a Mysterious
Pocket'Watch. \fhen I was ten, my mother
said, "That was your grandfather's." It was
a transparent watch. In fact, it was like a
miniature Robert-Houdin clock.
For F.I.S.M. , in 1973,I loaned my watch for an exposition they had. The works were not
I had this beautiful watch in my house and about two years ago, it went missing. So I dont
know in whose hands itt in now. I would love to know.

Who was tbe frst magician you saw?

I grew up in Paris. The first magician I saw is dead now. His name was Georges Thlmon. He
was a very old man, working the hotels. You know, in France at that time you had magicians

Georges Talmon
performs the Needle
Swallowing (top) ; poses
with his dog (below
lO; atd, presents an
outdoor suspension
at a resort in the Alps
(below right).

working hotels during the holidays. I think

a little bit like Malini was doing...not for
millionaires, though. I was on vacation
seaside, and there was Professor Thlmon.
It's very funny, because my first memory of
magic is linked with the smell of fish soup,
because it was just after dinner.
This guy was pretty old by that time,
with a big beard like Karl Marx a little bit.
He did some impressive tricks for me, like
the glass penetration with the needle and
things like that. He played his music with a
record and a record player.
In the second part of the show, he was
supposed to be a fakir. He turned the record over, took offhis tux jacket, put on something
vaguely Indian with a turban, and now he did the show as a funny fakir character. It was really
funny. He did the needle swallowing, a little fire eating, and a little mentalism.
It was a lot of fun. Also, he had games, these kind of games where you have to say something
very difficult, like a tongue rwister. I loved that, and the winner received a trick deck or a little
magic trick, a very small prize.

He was performing in a small town where there were four major hotels. He did all of them,
so the next day, I went to the next hotel where his show was. I had all day long to rehearse the
rongue twister, so the next day, as soon as he started asking, "Can you repeat after me..." I said,
"Yes, I can!" Boom! Okay!
So I won; I think it was a Svengali Deck. Oh, I was so hrppy with that. And the third day,
he was just looking around, and after nobody said, "Yes, I can," he said, "\7ell, you can do it,"
and pointed ro me. Okay! I did the tongue rwister perfectly again and he reluctantly gave me
the prize again, and that's how I started to be hooked. That's what I wanted to do. The last trick
of the show was the chair suspension with his beautiful daughter.
Some years ago he died, and his wife and his daughter auctioned his apparatus at an
A.F.A.P. convention. Everything was there. He had some nice props, but nothing really out of
the ordinary. I told myself that I wanted something from this guy, who was really magical for
me. The collectors were buying the pieces up at a pretty high price, which was discouraging for
me. At one point, the auctioneer said, "And now we have this," and I remember he was holding
the glass and a thin needle, making the same noise as Thlmon during his needle swallowing
routine, and it was like really going back in time instantly! I remembered that moment so
vividly. And that sound: "Ding, ding, ding."
I actually said out loud, "I want this one!" and I got it. The other bidders knew it was
special for me, and they didnt compete with me for it.

How old were lou when you saw bim?

I was ten, something like that.

When did you start Performing magic?

In fact, I think I started at school.
I was already interested in it a little bit.
I was not so graceful. I ve always been big, and then not so big, and then bigger, and then
not so bigger, like a yoyo. \[hen I was young, I was pretry big. I was a bit of a target to be
picked on.
Outside the school was a roy shop, selling toys and jokes. Before doing magic tricks, my
interest was jokes, like hand buzzers and all those kinds of surprises...anything with a surprise,
because I was a clown. I became the "funny guy." I think many magicians are shy a little bit,
and I was very shy. It was a way to escape from being the fat guy to being the guy who made
everyone laugh.
I had a small booklet of magic which was a reprint of a very old book, and I read it. Oh,
oh, I loved it. I remember one of the tricks was how to cut the neck off of a goose, a live one,
and resrore it. it was difficult for me to find a live goose in Paris, and I was seven. In fact,
I needed to find rwo geese for this trick. I remember that I started to try. I needed to make a
hole in the center of the table. I didn't have any geese, but I remember my mother stopping
me when I tried ro cur a hole in her table, and that really was the end of it. She thought I was
crazy, and it was almost the end of my career.

Tell me about tbe frst trick you inuented.

Oh, it was shortly after seeing Georges Talmon. Bretagne is pretty Catholic, and most
people there go to church. But they're really afraid the devil is alive, you know?

Gaetan at school

I had seen a picture of a guy purting a needle through his arm, and I wanted to do that.
In Bretagne, they eat a lot of pork, and the way they do pork there, you can peel the external
fesh pretty easily, so you have a kind of big ribbon made of fesh, and it looks more or less like
human skin.
So I just put this thing on top of my arm, and I put a bandage on each side, and then I
said, "Oh, Mama, look!"
I poked a needle in the skin and back out, and Mom almost fainted. 'We were renting
a house from an old lady at this time for the vacation, and the landlady ran out the door
screaming, because she was sure she'd seen the devil. That was my first trick.

You learned some trichs fiom the book, and then...?

I was looking for more magic books, but in normal libraries, you had nothing at the dme.
Then not much happened for the next couple of years. I found one or two small books, but
nothing important. It wasnt easy back then.
I was about ten. I wanted to learn more. My mother found an address for a magic shop.
\7hen we got there, it was a laundry business. I was so disappointed. The girl said that several
others had asked her the same question about the magic shop. She said, "I know a place that
sells tricks and jokes not so far from here." She pointed out the way.
The first time I saw the Mayette magic shop, it was like Harry Potter when he enters
the wall. You know, it was the same kind of Wow! The shop was loaded with magic tables,

Gaetan, Fafa, and

Dominique Vebb
(lef) mdPxisian
magic shop owner
Andr|.Mayette (right)

maBic cubes, magic rings. I had no idea you

could find a shop selling that. That was the
beginning of everything, the real beginning.
The first person I saw was old Mr.
Mayette. He was a pretty austere character.
My mom was able to break through his
tough veneer. Later, I saw him nearly kick
people out of the store if he didn't want to
sell to you.

Did you buy anythirug?

The first thing we bought was a catalog. Everything was so expensive. I was a prefty lazy
student. So magic became rhe "carrot" to be a better student. You get the idea. Eventually,
I bought everyrhing in there over the years. I now know that his two best customers were
Dominique Duvivier and me. I did not know Dominique at the time. Funnily enough,
Dominique owns Mayette today.

What happened next?

tWell, I was watching TV and this magician-hypnotist Dominique'Webb was on. He was
doing mostly hypnosis and big illusions, very similar to Reveen. At the end of this show, he
mentioned that next week, he will be opening a magic shop and school in Paris! I said to myself
that I have to Bo ro see this guy, it will be really fantastic. So I go. It was like a 45-minute train
to the complete opposite, north, in Paris.
It was anorher magic shop, much more modern. Dominique \Webb was there and my
mother asked, "Do you give lessons?"
He said, "Yes, every Thursday," because that was a day off from school. She said that she
was interested in her boy taking lessons.
Now, I don'r remember how much it was. tVhen he said the price, I asked, "Is that for the
year?" He said that no, that was for the month. I gulped and told him wed just forget it.
But my mother said, "No, no. I'[ pay for three months in advance." My mother always
helped me a lot in doing my thing. My father was interested, but not always. My mother really
encouraged me.

Gaetan in 1966 (top);

an early comedy act

So you studied with him?

I took lessons with Dominique W'ebb,
but the thing is, Dominique is not really a
technician, but he is a very, very good, strong
showman, and he taught me how to go for
it. He had this energy, which he still has
today. Het also a dreamer. I mean, he bought
casdes in France, and made them kind of like
mini Magic Castles, but at the time many
magicians did not like him because he was a
hypnotist; it was a little bit on the edge.
Other teachers I had at \Webbt school
were Georges Proust and Jean Merlin. I
Iearned all the classics from them, including
billiard balls and Linking Rings. They were
my real foundation. I met a lot of other
magicians there and began to learn about
other clubs and shows. I started to network.

How long did you study with Jean Merlin?

lVith Jean, I studied at least three years
at \7ebbt school at the magic shop, and then later I took private lessons from him.

When did you start doing shows?

I think I was thirteen or fourteen. My first real paid job was not very well paid. Dominique
was putting out magic sets for the lay audience, and he was selling them in a big store in
Paris, so for my first real gig, he said, "\(/hy dont you do the demo, because you are so young?"
That was a very strong point, because when people in the stores saw a guy thirteen years old

doing everything, they thoughr it must be easy to do. I was too young to technically receive
money, so he paid me in books. I was so happy. It was a wonderful way to have an audience. I
know I sold a lot of products for him because I was so young. Parents thought, "If this kid can
do it, so can mine."

Wbat did you perform in your frst real sbow?

I was doing the Chinese Sticks, that's for sure. I think itt the first trick where really I was
thrilled by the method more than by the trick. Sometimes you are a little bit disappointed
because a trick is not up to your expectations. It takes a long time to realize that sometimes a
very simple thing can be able to fool. But the Chinese Sticks...wow, the principle was cleve!
and I ve always remembered that.
I was doing the rings and all the classics. I was doing doves, not in my jacket, but things
Iike the Dove in Balloon and appearing canes. Some of my friends from the magic class and
I combined our shows to make one big show. Sometimes they asked me to keep it to twenty
minures, but most of the time I went 45. It was because I wanted to do everything I knew.

Were you doing arytthing origirtal at that time?

I was fourteen or fifteen now. I was doing classic tricks, but I found original presentations
and ways to link the tricks. I remember I built myself a big travel case, which became a table
ifI put it vertical.
I was doing the Sticks at rhe time. There was this game with two plastic balls and two
strings, and you had to make noise with them by bouncing them together. My first idea with
the Chinese Sticks was to use balls like that instead of tassels, so I was presenting it as a Chinese
version of the game. The idea was that in China, they dont like noise, so there is one with one
ball down and one ball up, and if the children pull on this one, the other goes up, and I dont
know why it works, but it works.
Before I did the Sticks, I pulled a stiff wire out of the table and I hung a paper Chinese
lantern on it. I did the Chinese Sticks with the balls, and at the end, I put one stick away.
I said, "Okay, let's leave China." I put the remaining stick in the hole in the tabletoP, so it
would stay verrical. I took the Chinese lantern and just pushed it on top of the stick, and now
it resembled a \Testern lamp and lampshade.
Now I just pulled on rhe string and the ball and nothing lit up. I said that I forgot the
bulb. I pulled out a light bulb and held it in my other hand. Now when I pulled the ball on
the Chinese Stick, the light bulb would light up. So the tricks were what we know but I would
add some twists.

Where were 1ou performirug your shows?

Oh, you know, I started to do Christmas shows. Dominique \7ebb had a lot of what you
would call corporate shows now. I was one of his best pupils at his school, so he asked me to
do some gigs and Christmas shows.
My parents were very cool, really, and didnt ever say, "You have to go to work and then
you can do your magic." I was still living with them at the time. I started to get money a little
bit. I could really concentrate on my magic.

Gaetant early Chinese

act, designed with
JtmesHodges (ight)

When did you ttart creating original material?

I really started to develop my own material when I knew Ken Brooke. But in between
I met James Hodges, and I fell in love with one of his daughters. She and I had a fou-year
relationship. I was nineteen, and she was seventeen when we started.
I knew James because rhere was a club, the French Ring, which was from the I.B.M. He
gave his free time for these people when they were meeting, and every ye r he put a show
rogerher with the members, and it was a wonderful experience. He was the artistic director of
the club. 'When I was fifteen, I started to be part of this thing, and with James it is so easy to
develop material because he is always ready for anything, so I had this big, big chance to be
part ofthat.
And really I had a wonderful time with Oona, his daughter. tMhen we broke up, I loved
the girl, but my main concern was to Iose James' friendship. The first thing he told me was
"Your Iife is your life, but you will always be like a son to me." Lucky me. he already had
six children, so one more...

James Hodges helped yu ueate )/lur Chinese tbeme act around tbis time.
\7ell, the act was designed by me and James as my first "international" act or supposed to
be, the goal being to travel with it for international conventions. In it, I was talking all along
but in a kind of Germano-Chino gibberish, with real Chinese exotic music as a background.

It was a ten-minute act, with a lot of visual comedy. The first time I saw Ali Bongo, I was so
impressed that I wanted to do something along this line. Instead of a funny "shreek," James
and I opted for a funny Chinese character, and the tricks were completely different.
James first designed the costume. It was like a robe, with a large flexible ring in the bottom,
a little bit like some Russian dancers, so you

Caeran in his Chinese

never see the feet, and it looks like you glide
atr assisred br across the foor.
Quoc Tien Tran AIso, there was a cartoonish dragon
face on the costume with both the eyes and
mouth animated. By pulling a thread on the
side of the robe, I could open the mouth and
make it smile.
The eyes were simply rwo ping-pong
balls painted black and linked together via
a long cord hanging inside the costume. A
weight from an old set of Chinese Sticks
was hooked on the cord. The cord always
had a slight tension, but my natural body
movements made the eyes move slightly all
the time.
This adjustmenr was also used as a finale for the Chinese Sticks. For the last step, the sticks
were supposedly broken, with the two long strings down. I had to just pull on both eyes and
the tassels of the sticks would fly r'rp. Then, just by releasing the eyes, they went back in place
on the costume. This was a very funny visual ending.
There was also a gong. It was a kind of running gag during the whole act. For every effect,
I was hitting the gong, most of the time with a different faked or funny stick. I adapted many
"comedy wands" already on the market, like the breakaway wand, etc.
At one point, the ball just few into the wings but reappeared on the stick, as in the
Marconick cane. All this added rhythm and comedy.
The Chinese Sticks were visible from the beginning, as if they were decorations for the
main prop. There was a preffy big feather tassel hanging from each stick.
The Sticks routine began as a supposed accident. After hitting the gong, the audience saw
one tassel was hanging down. I had just secretly pulled on it as I turned my body toward the
Then I realized what the audience saw and pulled on the short tassel, and it became long.
The sticks were acring like a see-saw. So I dismantled the thing and ended with the sticks in my
hands, and from then proceeded to the routine.
I had another touch on thar. As I pulled on the big feather tassel, it stayed in my hand,
as ifdetached from the cord, and in its place, a big black feather spider appeared at the end of
the cord.
It became sticks with spiders hanging from their threads, which was quite funny. \With
the character pretty disgusted by the thing, near the end, I removed an insect spray to kill the
spiders, but a bigger spider appeared from the spray can. It was an empty spray can with no

The spider was made from a feather boa and pipe cleaners, and it was pretty healy, thanks
to weight inside. It was attached to a cord, and the other end was attached to the spray
button. The spider stayed in the tube of the spray can, but with a gentle shake, it fell and
appeared hanging under the spray can. I yelled and only had to hold the button and let the
body of the spray can drop, to make the spider vanish back into the tube.
And the big finish was, as I told you earlier, pulling the dragon's eyes. So it was a pretty
crazy routine, with a lot of surprises and action.
I remember other effects, too. I had a red Chinese Drawer Box. I showed it empty with
the classic move, closed it, and after hitting the gong, I started to produce from it many small
white silks. Then, one more hit, and I produced a full-size Kleenex box from the Drawer Box.
Then, more hits of the gong and each time another Kleenex box, ending with a huge pile
of them. It was a funny routine, of course. Everything was in the large Drawer Box, and I had
made fake Kleenex boxes like folding appearing dice.
I had also a routine with a comedy Change Bag covered with a tiger-print material. The tail
was hanging and the bottom had a zipper. The move was funny; I put my hand inside, went
through, and pulled the tail ro turn over the bag. It was a funny visual. I also had a weight at
the end of the tail, and I could hit the gong just by swinging the bag toward it.
The routine was to blow up a balloon and put it on top of the Ion my table, benveen two
wires (2 laaBaJloon to Dove production). Then the balloon popped by itself (just a needle
stuck to a thumb tip). I pretended to blow up an imaginary balloon with a kind of pumping
action. Then I removed from my robe a fully infated balloon. This was easy as the robe was so
wide; the infated balloon was there since the srart, just clipped inside the robe via a clothespin.
Then I did the Change Bag, with the funny tiger touches, and produced a real dove. The
dove was put in a velcro bag and became a shower of dny feathers. At the same time, my eyes
followed an invisible path through the air to the balloon, and then the balloon exploded. A
funnyJooking destroyed dove appeared inside.
The last effect was this: I presented a tiny dragon puppet and placed it in the main box. I
removed the gong and put it away. Then I covered for one second the small dragon with a red
cloth and instantly, the whole box became a huge funny-looking dragon.
The head and top of the dragon were attached to a kind of scissors extension system. I just
had to pull on the head, which had folding ears, and the whole thing came up. The four panels
of the box popped open automatically and red fabric covered the whole thing. So many nice

Ken Broohe was a big influence 0n ))our magic. How dld you meet him?
James had a huge library and I spent hours and hours going through these wonderful
books. I found some copies of Abracadabra, and in this magazine I found the wonderful ads
from Ken Brooke, full page.
That was also when I started to learn English, because I wanted to read magic books,
and most of the magic books were in English. One day I took my pen and wrote, "Mr. Ken
Brooke, I know you are very busy, but I put some money in this envelope, if you could send
me a catalog, etc."
Ten days later, I received his beautiful catalog. Everything in there was professional level. I
started to buy things and correspond with Ken.

Gaetan wirh
Ken Brooke

I went for the first time to London for a few days. The funny part is that I could speak
"magic" with a magician, since I'd learned my English from magic books, but I couldnt read
a newsPaPer.
Ken Brooket Magic Place was a bit hidden. It was on the second foor of an inconspicuous
building ar 145 'Wardour Street. Inside, you had a studio with a kind of counter for demos and
several sofas, and then you had the office behind. He was a partner with a man named Frank
Farrow who was much older. Frank was the one who put up the money for him to be able to
open the studio.
The first time really, I didnt see Ken. I just remember seeing packages fying from the office
to the sofa, all day long. I was not speaking very good English, but I had the catalog, and I
bought a few things, and it was marvelous. The next day, I came back and it was the beginning
of a great friendship.
One of the things that Ibought was a Haunted Deck-type effect by Finn Jon called
Esoteric. You had three cards chosen and put back in the pack. Then you Put the pack on the
foor and made a circle with everybody and they watched as the deck started to cut itself and
go back; one card was there, then the second card, and so on in three steps like that.
That was the first time I learned about thread magic. The most interesting thing for me,
firstly, was that the thread was very thin and was so strong. It felt as if I was to really pull on

Lef: Ken Brooke at

his shop; Right: Finn
Jon (far right) floating
a bill with Carla and
Jean-Claude Hasld,
Pablo Domenech, Juan
Trmartz, and Gaetan
(fion lefi)

that, it would break, and no! And the second

thing was that you just put a fishing weight
on the end, so you had complete control,
and when you pulled on the thread, the
weight automatically fell in his hand; it was
genius. And that was the first thing to start
me thinking about thread.
Two weeks later, I came back. Now I was
saving money to make the trip, just to go and
spend a weekend there. It was always the same. I took the very cheap ferry boat at night at
four o'clock in the morning. I would spend two days with Ken, then come back with the more
expensive train, because I wanted to sleep and relax.
I did this for rwo or rhree years. It really ended when Ken died.
After a few meetings, Ken told me that there is really someone that you need to meet in
Paris: Finn Jon. He was working at the Crazy Horse. "I would love to," I said. Ken said to go
to the Crazy Horse, wait for him, give him this note, and tell him you come from me. That
was the way I met Finn.
I will remember always the first meeting with Finn. I was outside the Crazy waiting, and
then came a guy. I saw his tall silhouette. I introduced myself. "Finn Jon?" "Yes?" "Hello, I am
Gaetan Bloom," and I gave him the note from Ken. He had a big smile and said, "Let's have
a drink."
It was two in the morning. \7e went to the Champs-Elys6es and he started to do the
foating bill, Iong before I knew other versions
But it was two in the morning, he was not expecting me, so he was ready, all the time! He
did two hours of flying things all over the place.
Every time Finn was in Paris, every week we had a meeting for five hours. Thatt where
really I started to find my first thread tricks. One night I fooled him with my Standing Card,
and I was so happy. I was fooling the master himself. It was really indirecdy inspired by his
Esoteric effect.

Back to Ken Brooke. Every visit was not only a pure joy, but also the nicest way to meet
the top people in the business. They were all visiting the place, and he was friends with the best.
Some of the people I got to know through Ken were Dai Vernon, Fred Kaps, Paul Daniels, Paul
Stone, Johnny Paul, Johnny Thompson, and Tommy Cooper.

Gaetan in the
Wheru did llu start performirug in the
television series cabarets?
Le: Galapiats Actually, I never did a lot of cabarets,
because I
never wanted to. You know, in
Paris, you have not so many choices. You
have the Crazy Horse, the Moulin Rouge,
the Lido. The three big spots. Besides this,
you have a lot of smaller clubs, but you really
make no big money. It means you need to
do three or four cabarets a night to make a
living, and I always thought, "I don't wanr to
do that." I'm too lazy.
Before I knew Finn, I was a spectator at
the Crazy Horse. I had the pleasure of seeing
George Carl, Milo and Roger, Se6or \7ences,
and Mac Ronay. Mac Ronay was a very good
comedy magician. From then on, I knew it
was my dream to be on that stage someday.

So you were doing just priuate shows?

I was doing a lot of close-up, and then
after,I did private shows. I did some movies.
I started to do some TV with Majax. Back
then, there was a thing called cafe-thd,itre.
I did some acting, and often I was doing
special effects. For three years or so, I did
some cruise ships.

Tell us about your W and mouie worh.

The first project I did was a TV with eight episodes. I was fourteen or fifteen. It was
called Les Galapiats, which translates to "The Little Rascals." It was a treasure-hunting story.
I got the job because the director went on a major TV program and said he was casting this
project. He had an arrisr sketching what this character should look like. I saw the drawing and
was sure ir was me. So I did the audition and the director asked, "\7hat do you do?" I showed
him some magic. He said, "You're not right for that part, but I have another part that will be
perfect for you." The lesson is to go for it; you never knowl
It was filmed in Belgium and showed lots of great landscapes. It became a kind of cult
series in Belgium. Check the Internet if you want to know more about it. A few years ago,
Belgian TV issued it as a DVD, and I was watching it with my youngest son. I didnt tell him

Gaetan with Slydini

and Christim Fechner

that I was in it. After rwo episodes, he said to me, "Itt funny, but the big, stupid kid looks a
little bit like you."
In 1970,I met the famous director Louis Malle. I was cast in his movie Le Soffie au Coeur,
which means "The Heart Murmur." I was cast as an extra, and you barely see me in the movie.
Offthe set behveen shooting, I was doing some close-up for some of the other actors, and the
director saw that and it stuck with him.
Nearly two years later, I just happened to run into him on the Champs-Elysdes. He
remembered me and was very nice. He said that he was making another movie and had a part
for me if I wanted. It was a small but important part. The film was called Lacombe Lucien. It
was a beautiful movie and a huge success. It was released in 1974.
Four years later, I met Christian Fechner at a Spanish magic convention. At that time, he
was already a major movie producer and a big fan of magic.'W'e became instant friends.
One day, he asked me to do some special effects for a movie called Bite Mais Disciplirud that
he was producing. It translates to "Stupid but Disciplined." The director, Claude Zidi, asked
me to do some special magic effects for the end of the movie.
The scene was a funny tennis match. He wanted a tennis ball to land on top of the net,
roll from side to side, and finally when one player blew toward the ball, it would fall to the
other side.
I also had to create some trick tennis rackets. One of the rackets extended when a player
couldnt reach the ball. Another was for a player to serve the ball very hard and blast a hole

Gaetanir, Les Sous-

Douis wirhDaniel
Arteujl (top), and
having fun on set
with actor Dominique
Hrlin (below)

through the other playert racket. My solution

was to make the strings out of uncooked hard
spaghetti. There were parts held in with glue,
so when the ball hit, it made a nice hole. I
had to make fifteen of these rackets, so for
a while, I was really despising spaghefti.
The director was very h"ppy with the final
solutions and realized that this kid is good at
solving special-effect problems.
During this period, I started to do more
special magic effects for theatre. One of the
more memorable jobs was a play where there
was a girl in a clinic waiting for an abortion.
She has number l27B and they called
number 3. So as she was sitting there, I had
to make her grow to the size of nine months
pregnant in full view, but very slowly during
the whole one-hour play.
In the same theatre, I met Didier
Kaminka, a very funny author. I created a
lot of magic contraptions for him and we
became friends.

He was the favorite dialogue writer for Claude Zidi. They began working on another
movie called Les Sous-Dour's, which translates to "7/le Underachieuers. "It was about some smart
kids who had some grear ways to cheat on tests in school. I was asked to create funny and clever
ways for these students to cheat.
Didier was writing the script, he wrore a character named Gaetan, without thinking
that I would do the parr. I was too old. As they were casting, the director couldnt find an actor
who was eighteen for the lead part. He ended up choosing an actor who was 28. Now they
realized that the guy will stick out from all the younger actors. So they raised the age to make
him look a little more normal. I was suddenly pretry close to the right age. So I auditioned, and
they cast me for the part of Gaetan.
I was around 28 at the time. I created a lot of crazy gadgets for the film. It was a huge
success. In fact, the year it came out, the movie was only second at the box office to Kramer us.
Kramer. It is a cult film in France now, and it's on TV pretry often.
During this period, I was also performing at the Paradis Latin. It was a nightclub created in
1803. Then it was rebuilt in 1887 by Gustave Eiffel of Eiffel Tower fame. In 1930, it closed and
was forgotten. Then, in 1973, the building
was rediscovered by real estate developer Jean Gaetan in his
Kriegel by accident. It has a wonderful and hunchback act at the
ParadisLarin (top)
interesting history. and backstage with
Arturo Brachetti was part of the show Christian Gambin
and had to leave. My good friend Gdrard
Majax knew the artistic director, the famous
Jean-Marie Rividre, and got me the job.
For a few months, I did my comedy
Chinese act. But for the new revue, the new
director asked me to create a hunchback
character. He was to do some magical effects
in a scene. I devised the effects and played the
character for a yeag and it was the only time
I did something non-comical.
The Hunchback act began with a
pro;ectlon onstage of a very dark, old-
looking carousel. Instead of horses, they were
monsters with some strange dancers riding
them. They used this projection to set up the
real carousel behind the screen. It took a little
time because it acually folded up, as there
was not much space backstage. Then when
the screen few, you saw the real carousel. It
was a very dreamlike transltlon.
A classic ballerina danced downstage.
She wanted to exit this nightmare, so she ran
to one side of the stage, but a tall, cloaked
figure blocked her. She tried to escape by

More moments from

Gaetan's Hunchback
act at the Paradis Latin

the other side, but another figure was in her

way. They looked like they were from the
Klu Klux Klan, only in bright red costumes.
One was holding a tray with a candle, and
his costume had a fake arm so I could do the
arm through body. The other guy in red was
holding a big, lit candle that had lycopodium
powder ready to fare up.
I entered as the Hunchback from the
audience with a lit torch, trapping the
ballerina. I want to calm her and seduce her,
but in a nice way. She was dancing with a
ribbon and she dropped it out offear.
My torch became a cane.'W'ith the cane, I picked up her ribbon from the foor and tried
to give it back to her. She didnt want it. I blew on it, and it became a white fower, just the top
of the flower without a stem. I threw it toward her and it appeared on her costume.
She was surprised. She took it off and threw it on the ground. I picked it up and went
ro the guy with the big candle. I gestured at his candle and the fame fared up. I burned the
bloom and it changed to a necklace. I offered it to her. She hesitated but again didnt want it.
In despair, I dropped to my knee. I took a white fower from my cloak and gave it to her. I
begged her to take it and she just looked at it with disdain. The flower slowly became red, and
eventually it began to drip blood on my hand.
I noticed the blood on my fist. This was when the audience first realized that it was blood.
I became furious. I went behind the tall hooded red guy who was holding the tray and candle.
It looked like I shoved my hand and the bloody fower through his body!
I lit the bloom on fire. It flashed and vanished. I dropped the stem and removed my hand
from his midsection. In my fury, I knocked the head offthis guy, and a big burning fame came
out ofhis neck!
I went to the other cloaked figure and knocked his head off, too. Again, fire came shooting
out of his neck! It made a very nice display, bookended by these two big human torches. Then
they put some fire effect lighting on the carousel as if everything in the nightmare was burning
to the ground.

Gtettnin Catrd
Magique with
James Hodges md
G6rard Maju

As you can see, the act was short, with

Iots of gimmicks and preparation. Most of
the things were fash paper.
V/hen I entered, I had a catgut loop on
a piece of elastic on my left thumb. This was
to vanish the ribbon. On my right thumb,
I had a special gimmicked thumb tip with
two terminals. This was connected with an
electrical wire going to a fairly large battery on
my back. (This was before lithium batteries.)
There was also a pull attached to the thumb
tip to get it out of the way when I was done
with it. Of course, I had the Torch to Cane in my right hand.
I will always remember the dress rehearsal. I had just received the Torch to Cane and no
time to really rehearse it. Just to be sure to have a good fame, I put a lot of lighter fuid on
it. I entered with this big faming torch. Then, at one point, I held it vertically to do the cane
Big mistake! The excess lit fuid began to drip down to my hand, plus the metal was getting
really hot. I just remember throwing the thing in the air and screaming.
Then I gathered my senses. I realized that I had lost both pulls and I was really burned!
That didn't happen again.

One of my favorite effects was the color-changing rose. It was really nice and dramatic. It
was also very low-tech.
I tried many differenr things, but the best was just a modified squirting fower bulb and
tube. Instead of the fower itself, I had a transparent plastic disc covered with little pieces of
white toilet paper. I used double-stick tape
Gaeran in his
to attach the paper. The tube came through
Las Vegas debut the center of the disc, and the bulb was filled
with stage blood.
The bulb was attached to the stem behind
some leaves. Just by pressing the bulb a little
bit, it began to slowly soak into the paper.
'When the paper was saturated, it began
to bleed on my hand. It was simple and

You worked on a stage production called

Carrl Magique in 1982.
Yes, it was a combination of magic,
music, and theater featuring Grard Majax.
James Hodges and I were the consultants.

When did yu start worhing internationally?

\7ell, that was when I was just beginning to develop the microphone act. I had gotten
booked for a big convention in Las Vegas. It was the first Las Vegas Magic Seminar in the early
1 980s. It w as through a collaboration of Ken Brooke, Paul Stone, and Joe Stevens.

I didnt wanr ro do the Chinese Act, as it wasn't really for magicians. The hunchback act
was impossible to do. But I had lots of ideas. I had talked with Ken about some ideas for the
microphone act.
I only had six monrhs to get it together, which is really not a lot of time. Ken was really
starting to be very ill around this time.
There was quite a lot of pressure there. Dai Vernon and Slydini were in the front row, just
to name a few. It was packed with magic celebrities. It was a hit, and I got a standing ovationl

What bappened afier the Wgas conuentioru?

'Well, -When I came back, I was a Iittle French
not so much. It opened my eyes a bit. guy
who had a big hit in Vegas, and that was just great! At this time, going to Vegas was really
something. It was a big deal. But I didnt care so much about Vegas at the time, but I did finally
get to go to Disneyland and the Magic Castle. It was like living the dream.

Comedy turned out to be your dooruay to greater success. You euentually worked at the Cra4t
Horse Saloon in Paris for years.
I love to laugh, and I love to make people laugh. I think, in fact, I could have been a
clown. Maybe I would have been h"ppy like that. George Carl was really amazing at comedy.
There are nor many magicians I'd want to see more than Id want to see George Carl. But he

was also a magician. In fact, he did one trick with a harmonica. One moment, he is playing
the harmonica in the mike. Then he moves the mike forward, and all of a sudden his arms are
linked on the mike stand. Then he had some crazy rwisring move that got him unlinked. It was
a great piece of choreography, like an optical illusion. Oh, yeah, that was fabulous. This guy
was so funny, so funny. I would love to be a
clown person, as funny as he was, for sure. Onstage at the
Crazy Horse Saloon

When yu started working at the Crazy

Horse in Las Wgas, was it easy to connect witb
the s?ectatort?
It took me a good month to feel
confident with this audience. It took me
a while to correct some words, or some
things which were really funny in Europe.
Everybody laughed, but the funny thing is
that even in Paris, at the Crazy Horse, it's not
so many French people coming; it is really an
international audience.

So how did you make them kugh and

ca?ture their axention?
I wanted them to have a good time. That
is always the same.
Thking the car there and spending the
half-hour before to prepare, this is boring to
death. Then you have this ten minutes before
your show; itt your thing and aII the energy
just comes, just like that.
The more I did it, the more I wanted to
put myself in a good frame of mind. If I had somebody important in the audience and I
wanted to be good, then it was too much pressure. I tried not to think about them. I ignored
that situation. M"yb. because I am too emotional, so I had more pressure.
You know, after fifteen years at the Crazy,I knew this act by heart, even if I was changing
something. Before I did the Crazy Horse, I was doing gigs and things, but not on a twice a
night, every day basis. I discovered this, really at the Crazy Horse.
I never wanted to do all the small cabarets where you are p rid nothing, and you have to do
your ten minutes there, take your bicycle or whatever, and jump to the next cabaret. I didnt
want to this part of the magic business, no. So I escaped that by doing conventions, close-up,
and galas.
Many years before, I d had this idea that I wanted to perform at the Crazy Horse one day.
It was like dream. And I did it, thanks to Kevin James again. It became a realiry. Also, it was
my thought that this is the real magic, because I always wanted to do the Crazy Horse, and
eventually, it was Kevin, an American guy doing the Crazy Horse, that allowed me to do the
Crazy Horse.

Keuin helped lou get booked?

Kind of. Monique Nakachian was the talent agent for the Crazy. She wouldn't book me.
She told me the boss, Alain Bernardin, would never hire a French guy, because he wanted
international acts, and I said that's bullshit, you know?
I was back from working with Tamariz in
Gaeran rvirh the Crazy
Spain. I did26 episodes with him on his TV
Horse dancers show. Kevin and I selected footage for a new
promo video. I gave the stuff to Dominique
Duvivier to edit. Kevin took the tape with
him to work, watching the boss every day to
see if he was in a good mood or a bad mood.
One day, the boss was having a good
time with several other people in the office,
and Kevin gave him the tape and he watched
it right away with the other people. They
all laughed and had a gteat time. Bernardin
asked Kevin, "\(/here does this great act live?"
Kevin said, 'About ten miles from here."
The next day I got a call. "Can we meet?" That was the start.
\7hen we met for the first time, he said, 'Oh, I want this funny thing with the sticks and
tassels. I've never seen this, itt very funny. Yes, yes. Okay, I want that, okay, and the thing with
the mike and the shoe is pretty good."
I said, "Yes, and the boxing glove."
He said, "No, this is too long. It will be too long for us."
I told him, "The only problem I have is that normally I talk, and there I know you dont
want people to speak French. I can do it in English, but I need some time to prepare."
He says "No, no, but it's okay in Spanish. It's funny, itt different, exotic. Can you do it in
I said, "Yes, okay." That was it. I did my act in Spanish at the Crazy Horse for fifteen years.
And even now, itt really difficult for me to do it in French!

And in English?
And in English, it took me a while to learn! Because the words iust came out in Spanish;
you know, automatic pilot.

you must haue performed thousands of shows there. Tbat was a major boohing.
Iru ffieen years,
The funny thing is that I had done an audition ten years before, before I knew Monique.
I was just back from the convention in Vegas in 1981, and I had this new act with the glove
and the microphone and all that, and I thought, "Oh, now I am ready," so I called and I did
the audition. It was during the afternoon, and there was nobody in the room, only him and
his wife.
After, the boss came back and he gave me some advice: "You have some good ideas. It
needs to cook. There is something there, and I think you have to go to Italy or Germany to
work, and then you ll come back and maybe have something."

Gaetan on the
"Thtayet Show'
in Belgium

"Okay, thank you very much," I said. Bye! That was the end of it. I had no desire to go on
this trip to Italy, or whatever, so I decided to forget the Crazy Horse.
\(hen I met him again, he never mentioned it, or he did not remember. At one moment,
he said, "It's funny. Have we ever met before?" I told him we'd met ten years before.
During a run-through with the boss on the day of my first show there, he said, "It's not a
rehearsal. Itt just for the light," but it was a rehearsal.
I had no background music, nothing. I was just talking all through, and he stopped me
and said, "Itt okay, but give me a minute," and he came backstage. He had this pretry old
recording, blowing dust off it, and he gave this to the sound guy, saying, "Can you take just
thirty seconds from that and make ten minutes out of it?"
Of course, the problem was rhat it was kind of Chinese music, because he had asked me
to do the Chinese Sticks. He said, "You know, I dont want any silence, but I don't want to
hear the music. Itt just to break this kind of silence. It's kind of background. If it's too loud,
itt bad." Thatt a good point for talking acts. Sometimes they think they don't need any music,
but itt always good to have some kind of background.

Do you tend to do that wben you dre nzt workirug at the Crazy Horse?
Oh, yeah, especially if I do a small set, when I did a one-hour thing. You can't have
like thirry seconds of music all along, but it is good to have an ambience, some sounds or

Where was yur one-hour show?

In a very small caf6-th6itre in Paris called Le Plato, very small. For this, I had live music

and it was marvelous.

What was the name of tbe show?

No name, it was just "Gaetan Bloom."
But that reminds me of something else.
At the Crazy Horse, I saw George Carl
many times there when I was a teenager.
They had a three-piece orchestra with a
drummer, piano, and guitar, but George was
using the drummer like nobody else. I mean,
the drummer was really following him bit by
bit, with every move. Crack! Bangl (Drumroll
tffhen I started rhe Crazy, that's the first
thing I told him. And I said "I'm so happy
because this will be the first time I will have
a real orchestra".
He said, "Forget it! I'm firing them next
week." Gulp!
I loved George Carl, but I saw him on
some occasions on TV with just music, and
it's not the best he could be.
If you can have a real drummer or
pianist, there is no comparison to any
recorded music. AbsolutelY.
I think that kind of investment is
magic show' You
something to really consider if you do a magic show, especially a one-hour
can have IU ,t. new high-tech music you like, but if you have a real pianist,
I mean, you can
play with the guy, too. You are not by yourself anymore'
This o.r.-ho,r. show I did, I had one girl playing the cello, and another one
on the harp
theatre. It turned out to be
and piano. I had to work with them, because they were Part of the
one of the most wonderful things.
It was especially great b..r,rr. the girl with the cello was not stiff; she was following

you know? on some tricks, like the Hindu Thread, it was really wonderful.

Tell me about your first night at the Crazy Horse'

V/hen I started ar the Ciazy, on the when the boss found this music, he said,
'Okay, can you do it for two months?"
I said, "Great!" and I did.
I'll always remember the first night, because the Crazy Horse is really a show where they
You have to be
dont wait for you. The show go., o.rl They don't check if you are there or not.
there. I mean, that's it.

The first time you do that, youre about to take the subway, you're on the stairs, and you
hear the train coming, and you dont know if itt on the right side or not, but you rush because
you dont want to miss this one. My first time at the Crazy was like that.
You can't go in the wings, because the artists are not supposed to mix with the dancers.
You have thirty seconds to set everything,
then - pssst - the curtains open and you do Gaetan magically
your thing. skewers his tongue.

Afterward, I came back to the room

upstairs, thinking, "Shit! How was it?" My
mind was really worried. I d waited ten
years now, so it really affected me. I came
downstairs and asked the boss: "So...?"
And you know, the owner was not the
guy who would pat you on the back, and he
also didnt have a lot of time to give you; it
was like three seconds. He said, "Normally it
doesnt work that well the first time. I don't
understand why it worked so well. Can you
do it again?" And I was, like, jumping inside!
After, my concern was that I had to do
this show twice a night. I d never done that.
After ten years, we finally started to have a
day off, but at that time, there was no day
ofi so when you did three months, it meant
you did three months with no day off Six
months was really six months. It was tough.
I know some people wouldnt do the Crazy
Horse because there was no day off; they
couldnt handle that.
I thought, "I do the same act, ten minutes. In one month, I will be bored to death doing
that." If you do a half-hour show, you can inject a three-minute trick, no problem. Itt so easy,
you put in a new trick, you work on a new piece. You cant do that if you have ten minutes.
But the more you do it, the more you find many touches, many details. So you start to
work on seconds instead of minutes, and you still find things.
Thatt why some people say, "Oh, this professional, how can they do that? He's been doing
this act for twenry years." But the realiry is that it takes ten years of doing it two times a night
to reach this point where it's kind of really tight.

Do you watch uideos ofyourself

Oh, I dont like to watch me, but yeah, sometimes.

Do yu take notes afier a show?

Yes, I try ro take notes after. I ve also used an idea I read in Lou Dermant lecture notes
years ago. He said to take a recorder when you go onstage, turn it on, and after listen to it.

Gaetan in Chinese
garb a cast member
and consultant for
Girard Maju's TV
series "La Caverne

Sometimes you have an audience reaction you never had before and you dont know it, and
then you reac ro the reaction and you find a new line or bit. But when you come offstage, you
say, "Damn! \[hat did I just do? I don't remember!" because it was just spur-of-the-moment.
If you dont work a lot, I think recording is very, very good.

during ffieen lears of doing your act at the Crazy Horse, how did you keep it fruh?
Hal Itt a big problem! Sometimes it's difficult, especially if you arent feeling well, if you
have a bad cold or something.

Your mind can be on auromaric pilot, you know, although this is something you can only
do ifyou really know your act by heart. It's not the best, and I try to avoid that.
One technique ro ger back in the moment is to think "This one is for Kevin, because he
has his new show tonight," or "This one is for Roy." The idea is to find somebody I like and
say, "\7ell, this one is for you, guy.
\Wow!" And be hrppy, and that's it, but just at the very last
moment before I go on. If I think about that fifteen minutes before, then we are back to this
whole thought of "Oh, nol I have people in the room, and I want to be good!" and that is a
is a kind of magic to get back into the moment. Especially at the Crazy, you have
absolutely no eye conract. Here, in America, a little bit more, because in the front row you can
see rheir faces. In Paris, you see just a huge, black blob. They are seated really low and you have
this bright spot in your eyes. You don't see anything. You dont even know where they are, and
that's not a good thing.

You know they're there.

Yeah, you know they are there, but
sometimes, if it's not crowded, you dont really Gaetan wirh Maju
know. Sometimes I talk to them. One time, and Michelle Ulrich

I realized that I was talking to empry seats. I

didnt realize it at first, but later people told
me there was nobody there! So every night, I
would take a look before, so I wouldnt look
stupid. It's a good concept.

You had a set period of time to work, but

did you euer improuise a little bit?
At the Crazy? yes and no. If i
changed anything, I had to tell them before.
The problem was, they didn't know anything
about magic. But generally, when I was
onstage, I did whatever I liked.

How many fficts did you do in the act?

Not many. In fact, I basically did three
tricks, but there were a lot of small details.

Yoube deuised fficts consuhantfor man)) teleuision shows.

as a
I ve done a lot of work with G6rard Majax, like his TV shows "La Caverne d'Abracadabra'
and "Magic-Hall." The first one was a weekly show, aimed at children. I was playing a Chinese
character. This show ran for several years.
The other one, "Magic-Hall," was a shorter program, but more for adults. In this one, I
was a kind of a mad scientist, every week inventing a crazy machine able to do anything: a
machine to have good holidays, a machine to stop smoking, a machine to meet a sweetie, a
machine to clean babies, etc.

Gaetan with
Juan Tamariz on
(top) andwith
NcI<y Jey (belou)

In Spain, I've worked with a number

of different shows, most of the time with
Juan Thmariz. the most important job was
a series of 26 shows called "Chantatachan."
filmed the whole thing in two months.
It was a magic convention every day. All the
magic stars participated, including Ricky
Jay, Blackstone, and a lot of others. Juan was
doing a lot of magic in this show, and he
asked me to be the other regular performer.
I did a trick in every show. 'What a pleasure!

Let's talk about creating magic for films

andWa bit.
Robert-Houdin said, 'A magician is an
actor playing the part of a magician." This
phrase has been around, we all know it. But
just because you are a good actor or comedian does not mean that you can be a great magician,
Fechner pointed out to me that the original French text was, 'A magician is an actor
playing the part of awizard." Now, that is very different. I don't think Robert-Houdin wanted
us to all be like Uri Geller, but I believe he thought it was important to have some inner power.
For me, a great example of this was Orson \Telles when he was performing magic.
One time, I was devising the special effects for a play. One of the effects I created was for a
lady who was a really important actress-comedian. She was supposed to hold a fower and very
slowly the petals began to drop off the stem.
She was terrified of the effect. It never looked good. She would freeze up when it came
time to move the wire. She couldnt talk whenever she was operating the wire.

I imagine tbat uthen youhe designing fficx for ruon-magicians t0 Perform, !0u try to heep it
Oh, yes, of course, unless some people really want to go for it. I had a guy, he had to do
card manipulation and he really wanted to learn a few tricks, just because he didnt want to be

Gaetan performs
for Vanessa Paradis
while filming [/z
Amour de Sorciire
(top); Gxtanwirh
David Copperfield
and Christian Fechner

the fool with the rick box or whatever. He

said, "No, no, I would like to know how to
do it!"
It's great when they want to make the
effort. I say, "Okay, wonderful!" Some guys
also have a great sense of timing, and they
can sell anything.

Wberu directors haue come to youfor fficts,

haue tbere been any concepts tbat were especially
One of the last movies I did involving a
Iot of magic effects was by Christian Fechner.
Christian was a master of magic. He wanted
to have the magic thrill in this movie. He could have faked everything, because of course now,
with all the tricky things you can do in editing, you can do nearly anything, but it costs a lot.
Somerimes, if a director comes to you, het just hoping it will cost less, which is actually often
the case.
Christian wanted to have the magic real. He wanted to have the actors to have emotions
and real reacrions. I have heard, and I'm sure it's true, that the actors performing in Star Wars
were very alone. I mean, they're playing all these wonderful parts with monsters and things, in
front of nothingl Theywere in front of green screens. It's pretty tough. You have to be avery,
very good acror to imagine all that. So it's much more fun if you can really react to something
thatt actually happening.
In this Fechner movie, the principle actress was Vanessa Paradis. She was playing a witch,
a young, very nice witch.
Because she was playing a witch, we hired somebody, not a real witch, but somebody really
involved in spiritual things. She would teach her, not magician moves, but like ritual moves.
She was very good at that and had a natural talent for it.
I devised some self-working effects for her. For instance, one character was in Venice, and
she was having dinner with her boyfriend, and she couldn't tell him she was a witch. She was
in love and she wanted him to understand who she really was. She was doing a few tricks, but
every time, the boyfriend would brush it offwith some excuse for the phenomenon.

For instance, at one point, she just concentrates by doing this small gesture with rwo
fingers, and the guys glass ofwine starts to shake and then shatters! And the guy just says, "Oh,
itt windy here!" He is kind of in denial that it is real magic. Another one was their spaghetti.
The witch just did the same thing, and the spaghetti became like little Indian ropes, doing a
funny dance! The guy just says, "Oh, too much of this wine."
You could see from the beginning of the scene that at the other table was another customer
who was drinking, and he saw everything, and at the end, he decides, "I think I'll stop drinking
now." It was very funny. But of course it was a lot of fun for Vanessa, because the effects were
actually happening.

What was the mouie's title?

UnAmour de Sorcilre, which translates rc'AWitch\ Loue."Yanessa Paradis was the lead,
with ]ean Reno. She was young and pretry sexy. It was the story of a modern witch who has
real powers.
\7e did an awful iot of effects. Fechner created a special effects team consisting of George
Proust, Alpha, and myself and a very young Stefan Leyshon was my assistant.
Theret one very funny part where she meets her boyfriend and they are supposed to make
love in the forest. There are just trees and things. They make love, and it is very soft. There was
a rainbow; this was a post-production efFect, but then you also have flowers growing out of the
ground. These were silk flowers in tubes under this huge forest set.
\7e had four or five thousand fowers, and you know the problem. \(hen you devise a trick
for a movie, it's completely different than for theater or magic. In a movie, you might have to
do thirry takes in a row. Time is money in the movie business. So you have to have enough
materials ready. Everything has to be able to reset in a matter of seconds. If not, woo! It costs
too much.
So we had a big grill under the set. All the fowers were in tubes. They were all different
heights, so they appeared at different times. The whole thing was motor-driven and could be
reset in like five seconds. It was quite a thing to see.

Now you can do it digitally.

Oh, we could have done it that way. I think in fact, they did add a few things by computer
after, but nearly everything was done physically.

Much better,
Fechner was a producer; he was not the writer. The writer had some magical ideas, which
were actually very funny and new effects. This girl had a baby, and the baby had powers. The
baby was a.wizard. So whatever he touched became pink, because he loved the color pink. So
at one point, he's at the airport in the arms of the mommy, crying. Theret a guy getting on the
plane wearing a scarf and the baby just touches it, and it becomes pinkl There were a lot of
things like that. Very funny ideas and plots.
Another plot was very funny. It was like a picnic scene. Vanessa has a guy lie on a blanket.
She is actually preparing a kind of white or black magic ceremony, just to put a spell on the
guy. He doesnt understand, so he's just lying on his back, and het just had some picnic food,
and he says, "til4at are you doing?"

Gaetan wirh
Pierre Eraix and
St6phanie Vaudagne
during the filming
of Henry and June

She says, "Oh, don't worry." She moves around him and just like that, his shoes are...pow!
First you see the laces untying themselves, and then - pow! - the shoes are just flying offhis
feet! Then you have the same thing happen with the belt. The belt undoes itself, and then -
swisb!- the zipper just opens by itself and the guy is just, "Oh, my god!\7hat is happening to
me?" And we did all that with threads and things. It was very funny.

Sometimes it can be frustrating.
For instance, there was a very big scene where the witch and her mother are in a very
big library. The mother is a masrer witch. They are talking, and the idea was that she is going
through books, but of course, the way a witch would do it. So she just looks at one book, and
- shoom! - the book foats out by itself nvists in the air, and opens itself, and she is just putting
her finger on her tongue and fipping the pages invisibly through the air. The pages are going
swish, swish swish and then, "Oh, no, it's not in this one," and then you have five different
books foating. At the end, you had ten different books floating in the room.
tWe devised this with Alpha and Stefan Leyshon. 'We spent a month on this scene. 'We
didn't want it to have only one method for that. had very light books, huge books, not
even foam, lighter than foam, but wonderfully made, light as a feather. lVe had a pile of those
and we were mixing systems for levitation and suspensions. Some were foated from the back,

because with a movie you can play with camera angles, of course, and some with threads. \7e
had all these different systems working together.
\7e rehearsed it, we were ready, and then, I don't know why, but this scene got cut. The
director said, "No, no, no, I just want her to take a book and go through it, and find what
she's looking for." So we worked for one month for nothing, and it never made it to the screen.
I've srarted a little bit now to work more with people doing post-production digital effects.
Some tricks look much better with digital effects, and some look better live. If you mix some
of the principles of our magic with digital effects, half and half, then you sometimes arrive at
a really superb method.

Sucb as?
Heret a very simple example. If you want to show your hand empry for instance, to
produce something like a ball. You drop the ball and it crashes on the table, and you produce
another one - boom!- and another one.
If you do it by magic, you have to palm it and you are not really clean. If you do it by post-
digital process, you invent everything.
Gaeran rvirh
You need a blue screen, and you have
n,.rr. 9,r11 /r rglrr.). only the arm showing and then the backdrop
-\nnie Frrrellini. and
is added after. Then, when you open your
Geerrn-s son Tulien
hand, theyd need to create a false 3-D egg
by computer, and then when they drop the
egg, the false egg has to crash on the table,
and itt all digital things. But you can sense
that it's digital.
Now let's mix the organic and digital
systems. \X/e'll go back to the blue backdrop.
Imagine you have just a blue tube right there,
Ioaded with real eggsl Now they have to just
erase the blue tube and add the real backdrop.
You can produce real eggs that will drop and
crash, it costs nothing, just an egg, and you
can do it ten times. It feels really organic. The
digital guys don't know anything about this
kind of black art adaptation, but we know, so
we can take advantage ofthat.

Didyou worh a lot with Christian Fechner?

Yeah, I worked with him for this movie
and other movies. I knew Christian for so
many years, but I didn't work that much with him, in fact.
Another director I worked was Philip Kaufman, in a movie called Henry andJune, but this
was just as a characrer. It was just to have some weird guy there in his movie; itt a very small
part, but he liked it.

How did Philtp Kaufman fnd you?

I did this thanks to Pierre Etaix. Pierre called me and said, "Oh, there is something
for you there."

Haue yoa gotten in touch with any of the bigger directors, libe Spielberg?
No, no, never. I think, they dont need me, really, they have their own kind of magic, but
it's pretty interesting reading about these guys. This guy who did Star Wars, George Lucas, is a
big fan of M6lids. He really knows his work. One question I sometime ask myself is if M6lids
was here today, what would he have done? I dont know. Lucas was the first to say that all he
did was to adapt M6lies' principles to this new technology, nothing more.

What do you thinh of Mdli?i worb?

I think it was so ahead of his time, and I think he was as good of a magician and
a creator as he was bad at selling himself. That was his biggest problem. I never met him, of
course, but apparently he was also a very nice man and a family man. He invented the movie as
a distraction. He was really the first to invent
movie magic tricks. Itt funny to see. You Gaeran performs
have some movies where, in fact, he is just his Lasso Card.

doing magic, but tricks for the camera. It was

the beginning.

Do you euer meate an original method just

because people migbt be familiar with the old
On some occasions, yes, and it's a way to
add a little touch. Some people may think,
"Itt no big deal. There's nothing new there
because the effect was already there." But
maybe because the methodt different, it
allows you more freedom. Like when I do
the Lasso Card rope trick, the effect is exactly
the same as with the magnet. I don't think itt
better than with the magnet, but itt bemer
for me because it's more fun to do, in the 6rst
place, and second, the card can be signed.
You dont need any duplicates. You can also
hand out the rope at the end.
Same with the Hindu Thread. The way I
do it, you are clean before and after. I think
it is better.

Do you sometimes fnd a cool method and wonder bow you can ap?b it?
Oh, yeah, sometimes you find the method before you find the effect. New technologies
always have new possibilities. You think there must be a magical application to that, so you

progress in reverse. It happens very often that way. Also, the more I read old books and see
what they did before, I say, "Oh, okay, there is a rhythm behind it."

Do you go out and look for ideas?

The first step for me is to be curious
Gaecan presenrs
about things, and not only magical things,
a bill penerrarion. but everything. I remember when I was very
young, I nearly died from that curiosity. I
didn't understand why you had a button in
the wall and it turned the light on or off.
I wanted to unscrew the thing, just to see
what was inside. I can give you a thousand
examples of this.
Finn Jon did the same before me, I am
sure there was no invisible thread, at first,
and then one guy took a stocking and found
that oh, a stocking is made of very thinner
thread than you can find in fishing shops,
and it started like that.

Are there certain stores !0u go to for ideas?

All the stores, but especially fishing
equipment stores, hardware stores, toy stores,
and craft stores. The first time I discovered
a magic shop, I was, like, petrified, saylng,
"Oh! It exists!"
I have a friend who makes stained glass,
where you cut pieces of glass and arrange
them, Iike the windows in a church. She has a shop where she teaches how to make that,
with lead and things. She has a drawing, and it is made of little tiny bits and pieces. First it is
cardboard, before you put in the glass. Then she has scissors, and she cuts through the glass.
But it's a scissors with three blades!
Only this profession has scissors with three blades. Three blades, because you have two
blades on one side and one blade in the middle, so when you cut through, it gives you the
exact dimension of what will be the lead. You can go to any other store and you would never
find these scissors.
Of course, you know that fish shops now have these reels, much better than some of the
magic reels we use.
In Japan, they have a wonderful store called T"Iry" Hands. It's like this kind of shop with
six f oors, and you have any kind of paper, any kind of plastic. It is the best magic store in the
world for me. I spent two weeks in Osakat T"lry" Hands. I saw materials in there I didnt even
know existed. There is no place like that in the world. Because really, itt like a toy shop, itt like
a craft shop, but it goes so many directions.

In his original
Vanishing Birdcage
routine, Gaetan makes
the springJoaded
folding stool jump
into the air as the
birdcage vanishes.

Half the battle sometima is fruding the materials.

Yes, and itt just so inspiring when you see new materials. I had that feeling when I first
discovered mylar.

Any other materiak that yoube discouered tbat let lou create in new ways?
Oh, I dont know maybe the sponge for my inexhaustible sponge effect. This sponge
struck my fancy one day. I saw it and thought, "\7ow, you just put it in water, and it just soaks
the water by itself." It was magical, and I thought there must be something to do there. I ve just
scratched the surface with that, because there is much more to do with this sponge.

Do you also go to high-end gadget stores libe Brookstone or Sharper Image?

Oh, yes. They come out with the newest gadgets, and their catalog is so full of great new

When you're performing are !0u nying to entertain the audience, fool them, botb?
Every'thing. That is one of my problems. Now that I am getting older, there are so many
things I would love to do.
I am a great fan of Orson \[elles, a really big fan. I saw this movie on French TV, "Orson
\Welles' Magic Show." I think he did it just before he died. Itt wonderful. He's performing the
Spiker illusion, which is a pretty bulky prop, and the Crystal Casket. He was Pretty huge, not
moving too much. But there is so much magic in the way he presents it. I am sure he was like
the old masrers. I never saw Dante or Blackstone, but I'm sure Orson'Welles could have been
one of those just like that.

Gaetan with
Mu Maven and
Eugene Burger

W'elles had this wonderful way to talk

about a prop with a wink in his eye. I've seen
the Crystal Casket done many times. The
guy jumps onstage, and you have an assistant
on each side, you cover the thing, and - bang!
- two girls come out of the box, then you
push the box off and onto next thing, right?
have all seen this.
Orson just came onstage with this big
prop with some nice, interesting light from
the side. He had this big cigar and this sort of believe-it-or-not presentation: "This crystal
casket belonged to King Menopotamus V" I think this is wonderful, because he is telling
you, this is just a prop, but itt not, because it belonged to Tirtenkhamen, if you believe what
magicians say. Itt like a double meaning, double language. Then he just covered it. He didnt
have two guys cover this thing with a scarf; just him. \7ow. Then he slowly pulled the cloth up,
as if it were a coffin, and then slowly, you saw the girl. "She is 700 years old now, and for a few
moments, we'll just make her alive again," he said, and itt a completely different meaning. He
was not serious for a second, but he was Orson \7elles, and it was so magical.
I think Doug Henning had something like that in some of his show Now there's a plot.
How do you deliver an interesting plot? It is something most of the magicians just forgeu they
just do the trick.
Kevin James and the snow is a perfect example. Sure, the trick is beautiful, it is emotional,
whatevet but the story is even more important in a way. I think Robert-Houdin was the same
when he was talking about his suspension. The great magicians have given a lot of attention
to the plot.
The point of all this is that I never really did much dramatic material, but now I am getting
older. Kevin did an interview with me for Magic magazine, and there is this blue picture on the
cover. Many people said, "Oh, that is not you, you are not that dark." I said, "Yeah, but I love
that, too." I think there is no confict, in fact.
A while ago, I started to do a kind of one-hour show in which I was still doing some very
primitive bits and ar some moment, I was just doing something much more emotional, it was
the same approach as Orson. I was playing, and at the same time people were a little bit on
edge. I love that, and I think theret no conflict.

It's like A-[ Koran when he was doing magic and mentalism. Magicians said, "No, you cant
mix that." I say, "Yes, why not?"

Eugene Burger says you cAn haue many textures during a show.
Sure, go back to Tamariz. He can do the stupid trick of the Diminishing Glove, and then
you see Juan do the multiple revelation, the Spirit Slates, and people are not laughing at all.
Because when he wanrs, he can just grab the emotion there and maintain that. It's superb.
In my case, with maturiry or getting older. I don't know, but there are things you
it goes
can do when you are rwenry, being the rah! rahl crazy gvy. \7ell, I see that time passes by. I
mean, I hate it sometimes. I still want to be that guy, too.

Haue you euer inuented a new ffict and found out later tbat it had been created by someone
Sure. happened where the scissors get tangled in the cable. I
In the microphone act, it
wanted to make a kind of opening key, something very elaborate, but just by playing with the
scissors, I found a much simpler way. Okay, and I did it and it worked, and it's my invention.
One day, Patrick Page said, "I love that trick. Have you seen this?" He gave me a magazine
from Holland from the 1940s or 50s, and it had the same method, not used in the same way,
but the trick was there. I still think itk my trick, but obviously the guy came up with this
Then there is my Standing Card trick. Much later after I did it, I found a catalog where a
guy did the same thing with a rope. The effect he had was that he took a rope and put the roPe
in his mouth, then took a card and balanced it on the rope.
I don't know the method, but I'm pretry sure it was the same. It was there, but I had never
seen it before. It happens.

Gaetan with Josd

Carroll (lef), J:uan
Tamariz (right),
and their families

Wbo are some 0f )iour fauorite magicians fom the past?

Robert-Houdin is one of my favorites. I'm sure he was not eccentric at all, but very
interesting. I think he was pretry rigid, a pretry conventional French high-sociery man. But
what a man, whar a crearor. So definitely Robert-Houdin. I mean, I wish I could have seen him
building his things and creating!
Malini, I would have loved ro meet him, just because I have no idea really of his timing,
you know? I met Slydini in books before meeting him in real life. It was so different. Before
really seeing Slydini, I had no idea of the timing he had. The only ideas I had were completely
Itt the same with A,lbert Goshman. If you read the book about him - which is a good
book - but you never saw Albert, you can't have any idea of the rhythm and the soul of the
guy behind it.
'When I saw Slydini, I discovered that all these moves came from Sicily; they come from
Italy. I mean, rhe guywas Italian. If you hadn't seen him, you wouldn't get that. And for that
reason, I would have loved to meet Malini. There are so many of them.

Who are tbe magicians you're closest to?

I love Kevin James. He is like a brother, more and more. I love his thinking, and I think he
has put our some of the most mind-blowing tricks: the trick with the rose, so many things. For
the same reasons, Tamariz is another brother. They're really family, you know. I am godfather
to one ofTamarizt daughters.
Kevin was my best man when I married. Just one week before, I called him and said, "I'm
getting married next week. I don't know if you can, I don't even want to ask you, but if by any
chance you could come, I would be so happy."

Gaetan with
Mu Maven and
JetrMcBrid,e (lefi),
and with Mu at the
Cirgre d'Hiver (right)

He said, "No problem, I'll be there," and

he came with jet lag and all that. He flew
back the next day, because he had to work.
Thatt the other side of magic, but itt a true thing.
Then there are some people whom I really love, and what we have shared. Max Maven is
like Uncle Max. \X/hen he wants to help you, he can be so deep and forceful. That's wonderful.
Now, in France, Dominique \X/ebb. He was my first teacher, the one who gave me the guts
to do things. He is the kind of man you can never put in a bad position during a show; he will
always overcome anything. He'll never say, "I'm sorry, I goofed." He is a kind of master of that.

Who are some otber creatiue magicians whom you admire?

One of my favorites is Al Baker, rhat's for sure. I think Al Baker devised so many good
Finn Jon was the first master of invisible thread, and he devised this elastic thread and all
that, but much more besides thread. I mean, Finn is acrazy genius.
I must say that in these last years, you have more and more new geniuses coming up with
wonderful ideas. Maybe it is because they have access so to so much information, so they can
develop ideas more easily. Even in the manipulative side of things - which I am not great at
- the past few years I have really seen unbelievable progress. Ifi/hich is a good surprise, because
when I started, it was really slow. I mean, we were still only working on Vernon and things. It
was wonderful stuff, but it was not such an evident progression. Lately, guys like Shoot Ogawa
are doing great things, and Apollo Robbins, and so many new card guys. Itt wonderful. I am
really amazed. I also love Alana Moehlmann, whot a very talented and innovative artist.
And creativiry well, I love Jim Steinmeyer's work, too. Another giant from the past is
Jarrett. Sometimes I think that I ve succeeded in putting myself in Freer's mind,
which can be dangerous. I think Steinmeyer did exactly the same with Jarrett, completely, but
with wonderFul success.

For instance, I think Steinmeyer is kind of master of designing illusions down to the
millimeter, but to such an exrent that they become miracles. It makes the difference between a
good trick and a miracle! Thatt why all these copies you see by guys who have not understood
the first word of what was behind the trick, they goofed, they missed, and it's miserable, and
it becomes just okay. But when you do the stufflike he wants it to be done, I mean with five
millimeters here and two millimeters there, then you come to a complete miracle. And he is a
master of that.
Lubor Fiedler is another of the crazy scientists in some ways. He has wonderful systems
and methods.
I spend some rime also with Mark Setteducati. a clevet nice man, and crazy, too.
You know, I really always wanted to write a book on creativity, a book to help everybody
be creative. However the more I think about that, the more I feel it is not the truth.
I dont want ro say that we are gifted, because I dont like that word. A while ago, we did a
panel at a magic convention with Kevin, Don'$?'ayne, Andre Kole, and myself. The moderator
was Mike Caveney, and he fielded a question from the audience: "How do you guys come up
with all these ideas?"
Kevin said something like, "You know, we think all day long, and itt not a big deal. Maybe
we can try this or that, then we srart to do this, and it doesn't work, and then put it on the side,
and work on somerhing else, and one or another - boom! - this one, maybe we can finish it and
shoom!Youjust put in a lot of work."
Caveney asked me, and itt a little bit the same. Except itt not just that we work on that,
there is something in us and we want to work on something when we have an idea. cant
stop thinking about it, because we love it. You have to try a lot of things, but if it doesnt work,
maybe someday it will work with just a little twist we missed at the moment.
Don \Vayne was the same: Itt elbow grease.
Then he came ro Andre, who said, "I just think itt a gift from God. I dont know it just
comes to me." \7e all looked at Andre and said, "Lucky! Good for you."
Caveney summed it up by basically saying, "\7e have three guys who are working all day
long, and the other one has a gift from God."
I think whatever book I d do on creativiry, I'm sure it could help. In the next section, you'll
find an essay I wrore on creativitF with some ideas for stimulating original magic inventions.
But these conceprs won't create creators, really, and thatt something to be honest about.
I discovered this recently because I love comedy. I always wanted to write jokes. I bought
an awful lot of books on how to write jokes, and every book says, "Everybody can write jokes."
They give you step-by-step what you need to write jokes.
I follow every step, and each time, when I have to write the punch line, I can't. I dont feel
stupid, I just cant. I assume that they can. The recipe is there. I tried everything, and it doesnt
work for me.
I just cant say that anybody can create magic. I have to say I think it's not a hundred-
percent sure thing. If I dont say this, I will be a Iiar and I don t want that.
I think that I can write down how I create an effect, many different ways, but I am not
sure if you don t have this tiny, I dont know what, that kind of maybe being a little bit crazy.
Maybe it wont work for you. The more I create, the more I am sure that not anybody can find
an effect just Iike that. However, you should try to do it and take the risk.

Also, I think, if you are already a magician, you are already this rype of crazy Person,
because even to be a magician with no inventiveness, you do magic.

Do your ideas take uarying times to create?

Sometimes you find the trick in two seconds, sometimes in ten years. You can have an idea
of somerhing but not have the solution. It stays somewhere in there, and sometimes you go
to sleep, and - pop! Or ten years later, you find the answer. Maybe a new scientific thing just
came out, then it takes two seconds to 6nd.
Often, when you have found the effect in two seconds, it is just because ten years before,
you already had all the information, but you didn't know how to link them, then boom! So, in
fact, it is never really rwo seconds; it's just that these tlvo seconds are a result of what you have
put back in your bag and what you pull out at the right moment.
For years, I was writing all my ideas on paper. You put them in the drawer. You start a new
idea, and you don't know when you are going to go back to the first one in the drawer. Over
the years, you might end up having fifry of those ideas, or a hundred, or a few hundred.
But your mind cannot always think of all the ideas youve written down. So now I write
them down on paper and put them in the computer. It makes it easier to scan what you have
created years ago. I haven't gone through my notebooks for so long. I have stacks of them.
Alan \Wakeling talked about the concept of the elegant solution. It's that moment where
you find the method that meets all the requirements you could want: it's simple, it's practical,
it's angle-proof, light-proof, cheap, easily replaceable, portable, everything. It's where you say,
"Ah, this is it."

Gaetan with Crazy

Horse dancers in
Brazil (top), and on the
cover of Reuue de la
Prestidigitation in 19 8 1


Back to the Lasso Card trick. My first

idea came about because somebody told me
about seeing a version ofit.
He didnt tell me the method, and I just
sraft thinking, he must have found a way
to do it with a normal rope. I never even
thought about using a magnet. I thought the
magician had just found a new way to do it,
but later, I found out the guy used a magnet,
and he put some tape around it so you didn't
see the junction.
lMhat I go for is that it has to be practical,
has to be clever, and has to be as simple as
This works for any trick. You just go
back to what Dai Vernon was saying: If you
can do a trick with three moves, it's good. If 342 .",gg: ,!r ! ^ .:r !,j.,r .,! 2Or
you can get rid of two of those moves, itt
even better, and ifyou can get rid ofthe last
one, then you have a miracle.
Of course, the easiest, simplest, cleverest
method is the best...and very often more fun to do!
Gaetan Bloorn

wrote this essay a while back. Please also take a look at my comments on originality in
the preceding interview.
I recently realized that it might be helpful for me to offer you some hints on how
I create original effects, so you might apply this to your own magic.
Now, please don't expect huge revelations. These are just some simple thoughts you may
find useful.
For many years, magicians have asked me, "How do you invent your tricks?" The first time
this happened, my simple answer was "\7ell, I don't really know."
first, if you really wanr ro invent new tricks, the most important thing, for me, is to
be curious. Curious about everything, not just magic. Have yoir ever opened up an electrical
switch to see how it works? If so, you're on the right track!
Many everyday objects have ingenious treasures built into them, from lipstick to mint
boxes. In some of these simple mint containers, you just have to press the sides to make the lid
pop up. Beautiful! It's almost a magic device in itself,
There are many differenr ways to find new effects. 'We can start from an object, or from a
method, or from a plot.
Lett start with an object. It can be anything, but of course certain ones naturally have
more appeal than others, and itt really a matter of personal taste.
As a matrer of fact, my favorite magic shops are actually places like Brookstone, Sharper
Image, Skymall, and even Toys R Us and Home Depot.
You'll also find that certain objects are passive, and others more active. Apiece of candy,
for example, is rather appealing because it can symbolize happiness, reward, sweetness, and
childhood memories. Itt basically a passive object, just waiting to melt in a happy mouth,
unless itt pepper-favored trick candy.

A bell, padlock, and mobile phone are examples of active objects, loaded with their own
innate powers enabling them to perform certain specific actions.
til/hat about a coin: active or passive? At first glance, it seems passive, but a coin inserted
into a slot machine can quickly become very active indeed.
That's one of the keys: Never take anything for granted. Always look for the obvious, and
then the hidden or unstated.
Thatt also one of the keys to Surrealism, an art form that is often more magical than most
of our average arsenal of tricks. Check out Rend Magritte and his famous "This is Not a Pipe"
painting. Much to learn there!
I think that active irems are obviously easier to deal with first. Many knowledgeable authors
have already analyzed the range of various effects possible in magic, including Arthur Buckley
and S. H. Sharpe. My own favorite is'lV.inston Freer, a still somewhat unknown genius.
The effects possible in magic are yery limited: appearance, vanish, transformation,
transposition, mental effects, levitation, penetration, and not too many more.
Freer's list is especially interesting because under "transformation," he gives more specific
variants, such as transformation in color, shape, and size, which are fairly obvious ones, but
also less common ones like transformation of weight and temperature, and ones involving
other senses like sound and smell.
Now, ifyou take any object and try to apply it to the list of effects, you ll probably find many
potential new ideas. This is the origin of the many theme acts where a specific object becomes
the point of interest, and all the routines feature that object. It changes color, multiplies, foats,
and enlarges (usually at the end of the act). This approach does workwith many items, like
credit cards, records, candles, DVDs, cellphones, and endless others.
The problem I see here is that very often, it helps create new and visual effects, but ones
with no meaning. There's no teason behind what you're doing. \,X/hy and for what?
Of course, the rule here is that there is no rule. There are exceptions to every rule.
Otto \Tessely and his cane act is one of those exceptions. A forest of canes, changing into
whatever you can think of. That's the plot. Twenry times, nearly the same effect, for no reason,
but a huge sense of timing. It's the ultimate proof that's it's not what you do, but how you do
it. But that's Otto. He's one of a kind, period!
But I've found another point of departure which I apply rather surgically to any object,
and really, it changes a lot of things.
Here we go.
Consider the object you wanr to use, and ask yourself the following questions: \What is its
normal use? Under what circumstances do you normally use it? \Vhat is its opposite use, or for
what purpose do you not need it? lVhat can be its inverse meaning or use?
For instance, let's choose an eraser.
rVhat do you normally use it for? You erase something written.
\(hen do you use it? \(hen you've made a mistake, or when you want to correct something.
tVhat would be its opposite use? You could rub the eraser on a white paper, and it makes
writing appear. You might expand on this. You make a drawing of an eraser. \X/hich is more
powerful, the drawing or the real eraser? Then you could take a real eraser, and erase the
drawing, but then the audience sees that the real eraser has vanished by being erased by the

A good plot could be a magical eraser that vou use to correct errors in a text. Of course,
you can also erase at a distance, without ever touching the actual thing that gets erased.
As you see, in a matter of moments, just by jotting down ideas on paper, we already have
a few different possibilities, and each with its own meaning.
Another tactic: Tiy to find other things
which an object resembles. A common white Cover of Gae tant
eraser looks to me a bit like a little white ldzas, a 2002 collection
of previously published
brick, or a piece of sugar. Here we go...draw
Bloom effects
a cup of coffee with a sugar cube in it. I'll
magically dissolve the sugar. Watch! I take
the erase! erase the sugar, and then the eraser
become the piece of sugar! It would just
involve a simple switch.
And you could then produce the cup
of coffee from the crumpled paper for a
surprising finish, then drop the sugar in it.
As you see, of course, it all boils down
to brainstorming, except itt more organized.
For techniques on brainstorming, I urge
you to find a book called Instant Geruius. It's
loaded with good information.
One of the simplest ideas in the book is
to buy a stopwatch or timer, and set it for ten
Now take a notepad, and during these
ten minutes, force yourself to write about
your chosen object. \7rite any thought about
it, or a chain of thoughts. Again, lett use an eraser for our example. \7e erase with it; we use it
with a pencil. It can be different colors. You can rub your hand with it, etc.
The key is to neuer stop writing during the allotted time. Keep writing, and if nothing
comes to mind, write "I cant think of anything to write," and then continue. In fact, your
mind will soon get bored and jump to a new thought. Simple as it sounds, it works!
To help this system work, you can have some extra boosters. For this, you'll need some
index cards, and a few card files to keep them in. You can also find binders with pockets in
which you can insert these index cards.
Each one will become a file, and each item or idea will have its own page. You can have
one file of all the objects you find inspiring, and another where you list all the classics of magic,
Iike Linking Rings, Chinese Sticks, Die Box, etc.
Another very important file will have "secret magic gimmicks and techniques," including
invisible thread, thumb tips, magnets, nail writers, the Zombie principle, roughing fuid, etc.
The good thing is that your file will expand with your knowledge, and the more you know
about magic, the more items you'll add.
On a more subtle level, you can also have a separate file of "genius principles." Some
tricks have highly clever techniques. For example, in Ring Flight, as devised by Al Koran, the

invisible gimmick is a reel, but the touch of genius is the use of the clasp. First, it helps you to
get rid of the ring, and at the end of the trick, it also becomes the detail that puts the trick in
the miracle class by showing the ring on the clasp. So the "fung Flight subtlety' can be jotted
down on one of your index cards so you can see if you can apply the concept to something else.
The plot of an effect is also a point of departure. Go through your favorite magazines and
newspapers and read the headlines. Another wonderful source of plots is the fupley's Believe
It or Not series.
If you read the magnificent works of fucky Jay, you'll be inspired an arrey of incredible,
unique acts with startlingly appealing catch phrases like 'Arthur Lloyd, the Human Card
Index," or "Van Hoven, the Man who Made Ice Famous."
Gossip-filled tabloid magazines and the Internet today are loaded with all sorts of eye-
catching phrases. Go through them and pick your favorite ones: "The man who eats everything,"
or "The man who lost fifty pounds in ten minutes," etc. All these topics can become good
starting points for new magic plots.
Now, to try out the system, choose any object, and have your various idea files handy.
During the next ten minutes, write down any idea that emerges from the meeting of your
object and your different index cards.
Back to our first example, the eraser. You can start associating it with the use of a reel,
magnet, etc. Dont try to be logical. Just let your mind go wild, and at some point, you may
hear a tiny inner voice, Iike an inner alarm clock, telling you that you've hit on something. Itt
a bit like the ending of the television shows featuring the detective Columbo, that split-second
when all the pieces of the puzzle find their full meaning. It's the same feeling at the conclusion
of the film Tlte Uual Suspects when all the elements are there and suddenly make sense.
\Mhat I told you about the various card files is true, but of course the more you use this
method, the more it becomes second nature, and your mind, with no external help, may begin
to quite spontaneously lead you to that "Eurekal" feeling.
Now itt your turn. Just give it a try!

A card is selected, memorized, and returned to the pack. The performer displays a
A small basket filled with pieces of different pl"yrrg cards that have been cut into
I \,.r".t.., and thoroughly mixed.
The performer now shows a rransparent piece of plexiglas (which can be examined) and
chooses four different quarters at random from the box, dips each one into a glass ofwater,
and sticks them onto the sheet of plexiglas, boldly predicting that the four pieces will match
the chosen card.
lJnfortunately, the spectator confirms that only one corner matches the card. So the
performer "guesses" correctly which three corners are wrong, and discards them, but he is not
finished yet.
After reminding the audience that he promised to find the whole card, he tells the spectator
to watch the plexiglas carefully. At the count of three, the corner visibly transforms into the
whole card, a complete duplicate of the chosen card.

A deck ofcards
Contact cement (such as model airplane glue)
A sheet of thin plexiglas (fig. 1)
A box or container about the size of a small wastepaper basket (frg. 2)
A few dozen pieces ofvarious cards cut into quarters. The greater the variety offaces and
back designs, the better!
A glass of water
A length of fairly strong invisible thread
A piece of double-sided scotch tape

Figs. l-10



A piece ofdental dam about the size ofa playing card

A small box or container about the size of a playing card box but with all the flaps cut
away (fig. 3).

You'll need to make a special card which can fold into quarters, then spring open again
into a full card. Heret how: Take any playing card and cut it into quarters (frg. q.Cut a piece
of dental dam to a size slightly smaller than the card (69. 5).
Hold the rubber sheet in place as you glue each quarter to it, one quarter at a time (this
is important). After completing the gluing of the force card onto the rubber sheet, you must
turn rhe whole thing over and follow the same procedure with any other card, also in quarters.

Important: Before you glue the second card onto the reverse side of the rubber, take a look
at figure 6. Apiece ofthread protrudes from the top left corner ofthe card. This thread is about
two or three inches long and is knotted a few times on one end to make it easier to handle, since
you'll be controlling the thread with one thumb (fig. 9).
The end which protrudes from the corner of the card must be glued between the front and
back cards and be securely attached. A good idea is to first tape the end of the thread to a small
piece of card so it cannot slip off.
Place the small container inside the wastepaper basket at the front near the bottom (fig. 2).
Position a small piece of double-sided tape on the bottom left corner of the completed special
card, as shown by the arrow in figure 6.
There is a correct way to fold the special card. See figures 7 and8. First you must fold it
lengthwise and then top to bottom. Check the diagrams to ensure you have the right fold. Place
the special card into its little container within the wastepaper basket exactly in the position
shown in figure 3.

Force a card, have it returned, and put away the deck. Pick up the sheet of plexiglas in one
hand. Your other hand returns to the basket and picks out any quarter piece ofcard.
Keeping the back of the card to the audience to conceal the face, dip the piece into the glass
of water, and stick it onto the plexiglas. Repeat this twice more.
As you remove the pieces of card from the basket, you must tell the audience something
like how you are getting an impression of the card, and that it is coming through to you very
strongly or weakly, depending on your sryle. Certainly there is a lot of scope here for comedy
if played right.
Figure 9 shows how the corners are arranged. Th.y are stuck onto the performer's side of
the plexiglas . Important: The bottom right corner (performer's view) must be left empty for you
to place the gimmicked card.
Thke out the folded gimmicked card and pretend to also dip it into the water...but dont
actually do it!
Press the folded gimmick onto the remaining space on the sheet of plexiglas. Press hard
so the double-sided tape adheres secureiy. Make sure you prevent the card from unfolding by
keeping the end of the thread taut and pressing it onto the bottom right corner of the sheet as
in figure 9.
The rest is acting. \7hen the spectator points out your errot remove the three random
pieces, leaving only the correct corner, your gimmick. The volunteer confirms the card. You
then release the thread so the card fully unfolds with its face against the plexiglas.
The only other point to remember is to clearly display the plexiglas sheet so the climax of
the fully restored card is distinctly seen. Figure 10 shows what the audience sees after you have
released the thread.
An alternative climax is to remove several pieces with one hand and throw them up into
the air, at rhe same time thrusting the plexiglas sheet toward the pieces - h la Card Sword - and
then revealing the full card on the plexiglas. The choice is yours!



UN o E u F (E N O U G H)?

lTlru performer lights a gas burner used for ty frying
I 0"". He then mimes cracking an egg on t ittle salt,
L pepper, and butter. He stirs the whole invi n spoon,
and then, to everyonet surprise, tips out a beautiful, freshly cooked omelette onto a plate and
gives it to a spectator to sample himselfl

A gas burner or similar portable cooking device
A frying pan
An empty box of eggs
A plate
A special wooden spoon (see below for details)
An aluminum tube
A small cork to plug the tube
A piece of butter
A funnel

The Spoon
The handle of the special wooden spoon is in fact an aluminum tube, the same size and
shape as a regular wooden spoon used for cooking. It must be hollow. Cover it with a realistic-
looking wood grain Contac paper. The lower part of the spoon is made of two pieces of carved
wood glued onto the bottom of the aluminum handle. The illustration gives an idea of the shape
of the spoon. Carefully use your whittling skills here.

Gaetan and a magical

omelette on Juan
Tamariz's TV show

PIug the top end of the handle with the
cork. It must be a tight fit.
Break the egg into a bowl and whisk it up.
Using the funnel, pour it into the top
(spoon end) of the tube and down into the
handle. (Now you see why the cork must fit
Seal the hole at the spoon end with a piece
of butter, trapping the whisked egg inside the

Light your portable burner. The pan must be very hot. Mime adding the ingredients, and
as you pretend to stir the whole concoction with your special spoon, the butter will melt and
allow the egg mixture to flow into the pan.
As soon as rhe butrer melts and the egg is visible to you, keep the spoon moving to prevent
the egg from cooking inside rhe spoon, which might block the tube and prevent the rest of the
egg f uid from fowing out properly.
One final point: Obviously, you must perform this trick above the eye level of the spectators
or the surprise is lost! The illustration explains how it should look to the spectators.

<. l+,



A kev case is handed to a spectator to hold and examine if he wishes. Apart from the
A uru"t three key chains, the case is completely empry.
I \ The performer borrows a finger ring and vanishes it. The ring is instantly found
hanging from one ofthe chains inside the key case that the spectator has been holding.

A key case. Figure 1 shows the rype required; its mouth opens when you squeeze the sides.
This sryle of key case has three chains inside, one on either side and a slightly shorter chain in
the center. Each chain has a clip on the end.
A thumb tip
An extra piece of chain matching the ones in the key case

If needed, remove enough links from the center chain to make it slighdy shorter than the
other two. The center chain should dangle about an inch or an inch and a half from the mouth
of the key case (fig. 1 ; the other chains have been omitted for clarity).
Fasten a key to each ofthe two outer chains.
Glue the extra piece of chain into the thumb tip by rying a knot in one end of the chain,
then applying epoxy to the knot. Fill the bottom of the thumb tip with epoxy, then insert the
knot into the tip.
\(hen the glue has set, it should look like
frgure 2. The length of the chain is determined
by pushing the thumb tip into the key case so that when the chain hangs down, it is about the
same length as the attached chain in the center of the key case.

Figs. 1-8


The set-up as the effect begins is shown in figure 3, with the chains inside the case (only the
cenrer chain is shown). As noted, there is a key on each outer clip, which enhances the effect
considerably at the climax.

Begin with the thumb tip (with the chain inside) on your left thumb. Show the key case
and place it on the table or hand it to a spectator. Borrow a small ladies' ring (the ring is small,
nor rhe lady!). Announce thar you are going to vanish the ring. Place your hands behind your
back. However, you say, if you vanish rhe ring out of sight behind your back, you are fairly sure
no one will be very impressed. So you bring the ring back into view again.
All the above patter provides cover for you to do a little preparation, because when you place
your hands behind your back (frg.a), your left hand eases the thumb tip into your closed left
til/hen your
fist and releases the chain so rhar your right hand can hook the ring onto the clip.
left hand comes back into view, the ring is seen protruding from the top of your closed left fist.
Figure 5 illustrates rhe position; the ring is now fastened onto the clip, but the clip is not visible.
Your right fingers now push the ring into your closed fist (but actually into the thumb tip).
It is important rhat it is pushed far down into the thumb tip, and if you are working close up,
speak or make some noise to cover any telltale sounds as the ring rubs against the chain inside
the thumb tip. Finally, insert your right thumb and steal the thumb tip. The ring has vanished.
Your left hand takes the key case mouth upward, left thumb on one side and fingers on
the other. Shake the key case so it rattles and ask the spectator ifhe can hear the keys inside.
Still holding the key case in the same position in your left hand, turn the mouth of the key
case ro the right to meet your right hand in front of your body as in figure 6. Note how your
right thumb goes straight into the key case.
It is important to insert your right thumb as far down into the key case as possible, trapping
the middle chain of the key case inside between the tip of the thumb tip and the top edge of
the key case. Obviously, your left hand must also press the sides of the key case to open it to
enable your right hand to insert the thumb tip.
Now your right hand takes the key case (with the thumb tip on your right thumb and the
chain and ring inside) and shakes the key case to your right. Your thumb is inside the tip in the
case and your fingers are on the front ofthe case, facing the spectators.
AII the above actions look like you are merely shaking the case to your left and then to your
right to hear the keys rattling inside. There should be no hesitation as you transfer the key case
from one hand to another.
After shaking the key case with your right hand, pass it back into your left hand, which grips
it as in figure 7, with the opening to the right, the left thumb at the side nearest the performer,
and the four fingers on the front side facing the audience.
You must exerr pressure berween your thumb and fingers through the key case onto the
thumb tip to enable you ro remove your right thumb. Maintain that pressure, even when your
right thumb is no longer inside the thumb tip and key case.
Tirrn your wrist so the mouth of the key case faces the foor (fig. 8). The rwo keys and ring
will tumble into viewl The chains will just drop right out, since the width of the thumb tip
inside the key case forces the mouth open.

Confirm that the ring is the borrowed one, remove it from its chain, and return it to the
Ifyou are performing this in a cabaret or onstage, conclude the trick at this point. In a stage
situarion, theret no need for the extra middle chain, which allows you to pass the case out for
examination. However, if you are working close-up, you can tip the chain back into the thumb
tip inside the key case and push it in with the right thumb, then steal the thumb tip. Now you
can hand the case to the spectator, who can examine it to his heart's content.



T J enn's a novel ce participation. The performer asks for the
H name of any ts a hen, but the performer forces them to
I lchoose it "s t
The performer now displays a square wooden board and a piece of paper cut to the same size.
He lays (l) the paper on the board. He makes a clucking noise like a hen, but nothing happens,
so he requests the vocal support of the audience, who all cluck away merrily.
As this fun proceeds, the paper srarts to move and slowly forms itself into the shape of a hen.
The performer now strokes the paper hen and she proceeds to lay an egg, which the performer
breaks into a bowl to prove it's real!

Two sheets of strong brown paper
Strong nylon thread
Paper glue
Thin cardboard
\Tooden board with a small space carved out
A rubber or latex production egg
A bowl
A small hook
Two straight pins
A real egg

Figs. l-5

Cut the brown paper into two sheets about ten inches square. Fold one of the sheets as in
figure 1.
The dotted lines indicate folding a valley fold, and the small dots indicate folding a mountain
fold. (In origami terminology, a valley fold indicates folding the paper so the crease descends
underneath; a mountain fold leaves a crease that protrudes upward.)
After folding the sheet of brown paper, you ll notice several triangular and rectangular shapes
on the folded paper. You must cut all these shapes out of the thin cardboard and then glue them
onto the brown paper. Make the sizes of the cardboard shapes just a tiny bit smaller than the
shapes on the brown paper so that when they are glued on, you will still be able to see the folds.
Now glue the second, unfolded piece of brown paper on top of the cardboard, making a
sandwich of the cardboard. \7hen the glue is dry, fold the assemblage into the same shape as
Keep this gimmick folded inside a book or somewhere similar for 24 hours to enable the
paper to adapt to the shape ofthe cardboard and folds.
The wooden board has a little sliding door on the underside which covers a small carved-out
space large enough to hold a rubber egg. This door keeps the egg in the hollow space until you
want to release it. You'll have to use your craftsman skills to construct this.
Drill a hole in the center of the board. Thread the hook onto a piece of thread, then fold
the thread back on itself to make a double strand. Insert the ends through the hole in the board
(frg. 2) . Ti-rrn over the board and tie a straight pin onto each end of the thread (69. 3). Push the
straight pins C and D into the corners A and B of the gimmicked piece of paper.

Hold the board in one hand. Your other hand holds the paper above the board. The thread
is through the center hole. Set the paper onto the board, but dont worry about pressing it down
flat. Discreetly hook the middle of the thread to your trousers, above the zipper.
Now you simply have to move the board slowly away from you, and as the thread becomes
taut, the paper will gradually form its hen shape. Once the hen is fully formed, stroke it, then
release the rubber egg onto the table (frg.4).
As you talk about the hent productiviry pick up the rubber egg and place it into the
bowl. Reach into the bowl, grasp the rubber egg, and pick up the real egg with the rubber egg
concealed (or squashed) above it (fig. 5). Break the real egg into the bowl, then ditch the rubber
egg by dropping it into the bowl along with the broken shell.



\ 7ra, thoroughly shuffie a pack of cards, then have a spectator choose one. Now you
I place a single card onto the table and ask the volunteer to name his card. On the
I oth.r side of the card is his, along with 51 miniature versions of the rest of the deck...
the standard 52-cardgag. But now, to further impress the audience, the chosen card is instantly
found reversed in the deck. Not a bad trick, but the spectators are even more amazed when you
show them that the entire pack - all52 cards - are completely joined together in one long strip!

An Electric Deck
Three extra cards whose backs match the Electric Deck. One of these cards must be a
duplicate of the card at the right-hand end of the face-up spread (as seen when the Electric
Deck is spread face-up from left to right).
A gag card with 52 miniature playing cards printed on its face
Double-sided scotch tape, ordinary scotch tape, and a glue stick

Spread out the Electric Deck. There are usually 26 face-up cards visible.
Between the thirteenth and fourteenth face-up cards, carefully cut the two strings (top
and bottom), Ieaving you with two smaller blocks of thirteen cards. \7e'll call the left block,4
and the right block,B.
Using the glue stick, attach one of the two ordinary single cards face-up onto the face of
the last face-up card of block A. Careftily align these two cards and press them together firmly.
This preparation conceals the loose ends of the strings and prevents them from being pulled
through the other cards.

Figs. 1-7



Place two or three strips of normal scotch tape onto the face card of block,4. Later in the
routine, these strips will provide a smooth surface where you can attach the other half of the
deck, and also easily detach it when resetting the effect.
Now turn block ,4 face downward, still spread out. Fasten a small strip of double-sided
tape onto the center ofthe back ofthe card at the end ofthe spread.
Next, you'll prepare the duplicate single card (mine is the Queen of Hearts) that matches
the face-up card at the end of block B (that is, when it's spread face-up from left to right).
a pair of scissors, cut two slits in the card as in figure 1. The positions of the slits are important,
since they must be aligned with the two strings running through the block of cards.
\X/ith block,4 still face-down, slide the face-up
Queen of Hearts (or whatever your duplicate
is) onto the back of the sixth face-down card of the spread of block e (frg. 2). Thanks to the
two slits, it should be simple to align the two cards.
Fasten a small strip of the double-sided tape between the backs of these cards. Position
the double-sided tape as close to the protruding long edge as possible. Figure 3 shows the
completed block,4.
All that remains is to take block ^B and carefully glue the remaining single playing card
face-down over the two loose string ends and onto the face-down card at the end of the spread.

From the top dorunward: The gag card is face-down on rop of block,4, which is face-down.
Make sure the block is positioned so it can be easily spread from left to right. If you hold an
Electric Deck in your hands, you will understand this more clearly; because of its construction,
the cards only spread freely in one direction.
Block B is face-down beneath block,,4, positioned so both blocks will spread in the same

Hold the set-up pack face-down in your left hand in normal dealing position. \7ith your
right hand, cut off block A - with the gag card on top of it - and set it on the right side of the
table. This maneuver is not difficult; because the two sections are blocks, theywill easily separate.
Remember, this action isn'r a move, so don't make it look like one. Just set the top half
(blockr4) on the table. To get the right rhythm, try it first with a normal pack of cards, cutting
off half the cards and setting them on the table. Handle the set-up pack as naturally as you
would a real one; no one knows they are joined together and they will not suspect anything
if you just relax.
Now set block B about six inches to the left of block,4 (fig.q. Pivot both blocks outward
a quarter turn so the long sides face you. It is important that both blocks A and B are turned
so the two corners marked by the asterisk in figure 4 are the ones you riffie together. In other
words, the top short edge of block,4 is given a quarter turn to the left, and the bottom short
edge ofblock B is given a quarter turn to the right.
You now apparently rifle shuffie the two halves together. In fact, you use aZarrotv shuffie.
Don't panic; it's not difficult! Normally, theZarrow shufle requires a certain amount of finger-
finging, but due to the nature of blocks Aand B, the sleight is greatly simplified. Try it for
yourself and you'll see what I mean.

As shown in fig. 5, the cards are legitimately riffie shuffied at the corners marked with an
asterisk. Just make sure that the gag card (on top of the right blockl) is the final card to fall
and therefore ends up on top ofall the others.
As you now appear to square up the cards, the following happens. Your right index finger
pushes the face-down gag card from block,4 across onto the outer end of block B (fig. 6).
Using the gag card as cover, your left and right thumbs unweave the inner corners of the
pack. Immediately push the two blocks together so block B slides under the gag card but above
block 14. Square up the cards. To provide additional cover, cup your hands around the pack
as you square the cards.
The resulting arrangement is that the gag card is on top, followed by block B, and finally
Pick up the pack in your left hand and shift it into dealing position, face downward, making
sure to position the cards so you can easily spread them from left to right.
Obtain a left little finger break between the two blocks. You do so by placing your right
thumb onto the nearest short side of the pack and your right fingers over the farthest short end.
Your right thumb lifts the inner end of the pack about halfway down. The blocks will easily
separate, and your left little finger slips between them and retains a break.
Slowly run your left thumb down the outer left corner of the pack as shown in figure 7
and ask the spectator to say, "Stop."
the volunteer calls out "Stop," your right hand comes over the pack and cuts at
the break. Obviously, try to time this so the word "Stop" appears to coincide with the moment
you riffie to the break.
Lift the upper part of the deck and show the face card of block ,B to the spectator. At the
same time, your left hand should tilt block 14 away from the audience, preventing them from
glimpsing the tape on its face card, although it is very unlikely that it will be seen.
Replace block .B on top of block,4, squeezing them together with your left thumb and
fingers as you riffie the rear of the pack. (The squeezing ensures that the double-sided scotch
tape does its job.)
Check to make sure the pack will still easily spread from left to right, as you are approaching
the climax and you do not want to slow it down.
Now openly place the top card, the gag card, face-down onto the table. Ask another spectator
to name the card that he thinks is on the other side of the face-down card. \Wait for his answer,
rhen turn over the gag card to show that you have predicted his selection (see script below).
Spread the rest of the deck from left to right face-down. Move them slowly to make sure
the face card of block B has adhered to the top face-down card of block,4. A very important
point: To ensure that the double-sided tape remains sticky, replace it frequently.
One card, a duplicate of the spectator's card, will be face-up in the spread. Now grasp the
card at the left end with your left fingers underneath and thumb on top. Pick up the whole
spread by this end, Ietting the rest of the deck dangle down, showing that the cards are all
joined together.
After this surprise effect has registered on the audience, allow the string of cards to cascade
into one hand, then replace the cards back into their case.

Presentation Script
I'm going to show you a very unusual card trick using a thoroughly shuffied pack of cards.
Sir, as I riffie my thumb down the edge of the cards, will you please call out "Stop" at any
time you like? (Force the card.) Fine. Please remember that card.
(Turn to another spectator.) i will place one card on the table. I won't touch it again. Sir,
what card do you think is on the other side of this card?
Sir, if I told you that the very card you named was on the other side of that card, would
that be a good trick? It would. 'Well, I'm even going to give you a chance to change your mind.
(Wait until he bas settled on one card.) The card
you chose was the (name of card) and there it
is on the other side! (Turn gag card face-up.)
(Now turn to thefrst spectator.) Sir, please
name your card. It may surprise you to know
that it is now the only card face-up in the
face-down packt (Spread tbe deck.)
Do you want to know how itt done? \7ell,
first you must join a magic Club, then join a
magic Heart, then join a magic Diamond, and
finally join a magic Spade. And when youve
joined them all (Lift the spread), you'll know
how the trick is donel


A spectator shuffies a pack of cards. One half is cut off and discarded. The rest are
A gi't en to the performeq who scatters them face-down across a newspaper.
I \ The performer explains that he will shake up the cards in the newspaper by
holding one side in each hand like a bag; every time he opens the newspaper, any cards which
are face-up will be discarded.
After a few shakes, a single card remains face-down on the newspaper and is shown. The
front page of the newspaper is immediately displayed. The printed headline reveals the name
ofthe card.

A newspaper; the smaller tabloid size is best, but any will do.
A pack of regular playing cards
A shirt length of invisible thread
A few strips ofordinary scotch tape
A pair ofscissors
A needle

During your actual performance, you will need only two double sheets of the newspaper.
The rest can be discarded, except for one piece. From this extra page, cut a circle ofnewspaper
about Four inches in diameter.
Take a piece of invisible thread (if you can find it!) about twelve inches long and attach
one end to the face-up center of the King of Diamonds with a small strip of tape; the smaller
the strip, the better (fig. 1).

Fig . 1-4

I __ r ,

Important: Make sure you do not attach the thread to the card using only the very end of
the thread. Tape about an inch or so from the end to ensure that the thread will not slip out
from under the tape.
You do nor have ro use rhe King of Diamonds, but make sure you employ a court card,
since the mixed colors make the tape far less visible.
For clarity, I will refer to rhe two double sheets by individual page numbers, I to 8, with 1
being the front page. To begin, open the two double sheets together so you are looking at pages
4 and5. Thread rhe free end of the invisible thread through the needle and down through page
4, near the center, about three inches above the fold.

Now grasp the end of the thread protruding through page 3 and attach it to the center
of the paper circle you cur our. For best results, the length of the invisible thread between the
paper circle and the playing card should only be about four inches long. Once again, make sure
the end of the thread is well-secured and cannot slip out from under the tape (fig.2).
As you have probably realized, the circle of newspaper acts as a counterweight to the playing
card and will help keep it face-down during the shaking process (fig. 3).

To create the customized newspaper story, you might be lucky enough to find one of the
few remaining novelty shops that print personalized news headlines. These letterpress-printed
papers are much less common in this age of digital printing, so you may have to laser-print
your own headline on your compurer and glue it to the newspaper. You'll probably have to
print the words on separate pages, then cut and paste them in place with a glue stick. Look for
an oflwhite paper that matches your newspaper as closely as possible.
The wording is of course up to you. In one of Gaetan's versions, he has a prediction in a
sealed envelope, and when the final card is turned over, the prediction is incorrect. He apologizes,
then pretends to accidentally display the headline of the newspaper as he tidies up. It reads:
Fold the newspaper into quarters with the card hidden inside the fold (fig. 4), being careful
nor ro crease rhe card or the paper disk. Bend back the newspaper's bottom right corner to
make it easy to open the pages.
Note: If youjust want to perform this effect as a straight prediction without the headline
revelation, hand out the sealed prediction envelope before you begin the effect.

Have a specrator shuffie the pack, cut off about half, and hand you the rest of the cards.
Hold the folded newspaper in your left hand and the deck in your right hand in dealing
Open up the newspaper one fold with just your left hand so the paper's only half-folded. If
you need to, you can use the tips of your right thumb and fingers to help. Slip your right hand
into the opening between the layers of paper and drop a few cards inside by pushing them off
the top of the deck with your thumb.
As soon as you've inserted the first few cards, your left hand opens the paper fully so it is
lying open in your left hand. This is not a move, but obviously you cannot unfold the newspaper
before you toss in some of the cards, otherwise the threaded card would be visible. Again, it
may be tricky to open the paper with one hand, so use your right hand if necessary.
Explain that you're going to mix the cards and eliminate the face-up ones. Hold the
newspaper by the sides, then just bring your hands together and then apart a bit. This is a
knack which is hard to explain in words, but you will soon get the hang of it. Repeat this a few
times. Open the paper and discard the face-up cards by reaching in with your right hand and
removing them. By the way, be careful when removing any cards that end up beneath the thread.
Some cards may fall out of the paper, which is fine. After five or six shakes, there will be
only one card left face-down, and assuming you have constructed your gimmicked newspaper
correctly, it will be the correct card!

Due to rhe length of the invisible thread, you can pick up the card, snap it with your finger,
and toss it face-up onro rhe newspaper. This looks very convincing. If you have plenty of time
on your hands, you can even break the thread and show the card freely!
The rest is all acting and the way you sell the effect.
It has taken a lot of space to describe this routine, but it only takes a few minutes to make up.
The impact is strong, particularly if you go to the trouble of having a custom headline printed.





card is selected from a pack. The spectator is asked to fasten the deck to a board with a
hammer and nails. The magician tries to help him, but the spectator accidentally hits
he performer with the hammer. The magician bandages his thumb. The card is
found missing, and it is discovered inside the bandage.

You'll require a pack of cards; a duplicate of your force card; a board; two nails; a hammer;
and a bandage.
Let's say the Four of Diamonds is the duplicate. Cut this card short about 1/16-inch. Glue
it to the back of any ordinary card, using a single line of adhesive about one inch from the
bottom. Pierce a hole through both thicknesses of this double card about a half-inch from either
end (fig. 2). Now drill matching holes through the rest of the deck (fig. 1).
Roll up the duplicate so it fits over your right thumb.
Tie the card onto the bandage about a foot from the end. Leave that foot of cloth loose,
then wind the rest of the bandage around the card so no portion of the card is exposed. Make
sure one end is open so you can slip your thumb inside (fig. 4). Slide this end onto your thumb,
then accordion-pleat the rest of the bandage at the front. \7rap an elastic band around this
bundle to hold it in place (fig. 5), then place it in your right pocket until your show. Have the
hammer and nails handy, along with the board.

Have a card selected by holding the pack face-up and having the spectator say "Stop" at
any time as you rifle through the deck. \Therever you're stopped, open the deck to expose the
glued duplicate. In other words, you force the Four of Diamonds.

Figs. 1-6

Have the spectator memorize it. lVhen you close the deck, the Four will be hidden behind
the ordinary card itt attached to.
Display the board, nails, and hammer. Ask the spectator to nail the cards to the board (fig.
3). T.f to help with the hammering, and as you do, pretend that the hammer has hit your thumb.
Remove the bandage from your right pocket. As you do, slip your right thumb into the
bandage, using your fingers to hold it steady. Your left hand removes the rubber band. As soon
as you do, allow all the accordion pleats to unfold. Display the bandage, then pleat it again in
front of your thumb.

By this time, the specraror has nailed the pack to the board. Tell him to count to three.
On the count of three, your right index and middle fingers grasp the front of the bandage and
throw it downward. Your thumb moves aside and the bandage drops away to reveal the card
(fig. 6), which of course proves to be the selected one.




4' \:/ V


opening effect that will let you surprise your audience right at the beginning
HIS is an
of your show. Youll need rwo people to help you. Have them sit beside you, one
on your left, one on your right.
A small bell is on your left. You pick up the bell and shake it. Like all bells, it makes a
tinkling sound.
Ring the bell in front of each of the spectators. you hand them the bell, however, no
sound comes out of it, and it can be freely examined.

A special pull is responsible for the effect, as seen in the illustration. To construct it, you'll
need a nail about two or three inches long, depending on the size of your hand. About a third
of the length down from the point, bend the nail45 degrees (fig. 1).
You ll also need a safety pin, a length of round elastic, and a short length of electrical tape.
Using a file, blunt the point of the nail, then fasten the head end to the elastic with the tape.
Attach the pin inside your jacket sleeve under your left arm (fig.2). Make sure the pin pierces
both the lining and the cloth of the jacket so the sleeve will not move when the pull is stretched.
Thread the end of the elastic through the hole in the safery pin and adjust the length so the
nail hangs about five inches above your left cuff. Securely tie the elastic to the pin.

Itt pull and grip the nail berween your middle and ring fingers
easy. Secretly stretch the
with the elastic running beneath your hand (fig. 3).
Position the bell on top. Your left palm acts as a table for the bell.
Have the two spectators seated on either side ofyou. Tirrn to the one on your right and say,
"There are t\,vo kinds of illusions. One you can see, the other you can hear."

Figs. 1-3


,t.--- a


Say to the audience, "Two kinds: One you can see." Grasp the bell, lift it slightly, and strike
its interior against the nail. Tinkle, tinhle! "The other you can hear."
Next, rurn to the spectator on your left and repeat the words and actions exacdy as you
just did for the volunteer on your right. As you say, "The other you can hear" for the last time,
pull and allow the nail to shoot up your left sleeve.
release the
Now hand the bell out, saying, "I bet you cant ring the bell!"
Imp o rtant additio nal p o ints :
The release of the nail must be done quickly.
Do not lift the bell too high offyour hand.
Do not wear a metal finger ring, since it might interfere with the pull.



bu rr need a coin purse; a tiny fishing weight; a slightly larger fishing weight; a length
of invisible thread; double-stick scotch tape; four buttons.
Tie the small weight to the end of the thread. Using a needle, pass the end of the
thread through the bottom of the purse. Place the larger weight inside the purse; this is simply
to prevent the purse from falling off the table during your performance.
About ten inches below the purse, fasten the free end of the thread to one of the buttons.
Attach a small piece of double-stick rape onto one side of this button, then place all the buttons
into the purse.

Pick up rhe purse wirh your right hand. Move the purse below the edge of the table and pour
out rhe buttons onto your Ieft palm; this position prevents the spectators from seeingyour set-up.
Place rhe purse on the right of the tabletop. Note which button is tied to the thread.
Set the buttons on rhe table in a row so the threaded button with the tape underneath is
third from your left at position C as shown in the illustration. You now have four buttons on
the table, and your hands are otherwise empty.
Pick up button,4 with your right hand by pinching the button between your thumb and
index finger; always pick up the buttons this way. Place the button on your left palm, counting
Pick up button .B with your right hand. Place it on your left fingers and count "Two."
Your right hand begins to pick up button C but as you do so, your fingers fick it back
over rhe edge of the table. Your right hand immediately moves to the left and appears to drop
its button into your left hand as you counr "Three." In realiry, your left hand closes and A and
B clink together as your left hand closes around them.

Figs. 1-4


Your right hand then picks up D andplaces it in your left hand as you count "Four." Openly
show your right hand empty.
Here is your position now. Three buttons are in your partially closed hand. One button is
hanging from the thread behind the table. The purse is to your right. Your right hand is empry.
Your left hand rests on the table.
Show your right hand emprF, then move it beneath the table and grasp the threaded button.
Pretend to magically pass one of the left handt buttons through the table. Open your left hand
and show the three buttons. Your right hand returns and places its button on the right side of
the table with the taped thread beneath.
Your Ieft hand picks up the three ungimmicked buttons and places them in your right hand.
Display the three buttons. As you replace them in your Ieft hand, your right hand thumb-palms
one (figs. I and2). As your left hand moves away, you say, "Three buttons."
Your right hand reaches for the fourth butron, which is still on the table, and your fingers
fick it over the back edge of the table (fig. 3).Your right hand immediately raises and displays
the other button that was stolen from your left hand (fig. 4). "One button," you say.
Place your right hand beneath the table and grasp the dangling button along with the button
you just displayed. Your left hand pretends to make one button pass through the table. Open
your left hand as you say, "Two buttons."
Bring out your right hand and display its rwo buttons. Your right hand sets its buttons on
the table, with the gimmicked button to the far right.
Your position now: On the table are the two buttons just dropped by your Ieft hand. Closer
to you are the two buttons from your right hand, with the gimmicked button to the right with
the thread underneath.
You now alter the positions of the buttons to form a square. Move the rwo buttons from
your left hand to the front and the two buttons from your right hand to the rear. The gimmicked
button is to your right. Make sure you have the posltron correct.
Pick up the buttons as follows:
Your left hand picks up one of the front buttons.
Your right hand picks up the free button at the left rear edge of the table.
Your left hand pretends to pick up rhe gimmicked button and ficks it over the back edge
of the table.
Your right hand then picks up the only remaining button. You now shake the buttons in
each hand.
Open your right hand and show the two buttons as you say, "Only two." Close your hand
and slowly move it underneath the table. Place your left hand on the table and make a rubbing
motion, then show that it holds only a single button, which you place on the table.
By rhis time, you have grasped the gimmicked button in your right hand and have brought
your hand out with the three buttons. Casually drop them on the table.
Your position now: Three buttons dropped by your right hand are on the table, along with
one button placed there by your left hand.
Pick up the three buttons with your right hand. The gimmicked button is on the table.
Cover it with your right hand, and as you do so, your left index finger points at the gimmicked
button and pushes it forward as far as possible.

As soon you feel any resistance, stop and move it back a bit to prevent the button from
traveling backward by itself!
Your right hand picks up the remaining three buttons one at a time with your index finger
and thumb and places them onto your left palm.
Your right index and middle fingers rub
the gimmicked button.'With each rub, move
s'irh Sh'dini the button closer and closer to the edge ofthe
table before finally pushing it over the edge.
Important: At this point, do not stop
rubbing. Move your right fingers toward
your left hand, still rubbing, and concentrate.
Your empty right fingers are still on the table.
Your left hand, pdm up, is six inches above
the table.
Slowly move your left hand, still palm up,
under the table, where it grasps the hanging
It's important not to hold your right
hand too close to the edge of the table. Bang
your right hand against the table, then show
lt emPry.
Your left hand now emerges and pours all its buttons onto the table.
You can now place all four buttons back into the purse. Do not pick up the purse first,
but always begin by picking up the buttons, since the thread could cause the attached button
to move around.

Gaetan performs
close-up magic at the
Paradis Latin in Paris.




Tbe Pull

F1--.lnrs pull can be used for many effects. It is inexpensive to construct and very
I efficient. You will need two safety pins and one piece of round elastic. The
J- Iength is dependent on your body.
Tie one end of the elastic to the loop of the safery pin. Make sure it is tight; the best way
to be sure is to wrap some electrical tape around the knot. Pin the safery pin over your right
rear trouser pocket.
Attach another safery pin over your right front trouser pocket. Pass the end of the elastic
through the loop of the pin, and tie a knot so it won't retract through again.
Now you can attach an object to the end of the elastic. 'When it's vanished, it will be pulled
up to the front pin but not dangle down.
If you are going to fasten a cigarette vanisher or a similar gimmick, you should leave a little
extra elastic after you have threaded it through the front pins loop.
In the following effect, we'll perform a routine with rubber bands in which we will attach
a rubber band to the pull. Do this without rying the elastic to the rubber band too tightly,
otherwise it might cut through the band.

Tbe Rubber Bands

You have two rubber bands, one in each hand.
You touch them together and suddenly they are linked. (Roy Baker originally thought of
this clever plot.)
You should already know the secret: the pull just explained.

Figs. 1-4

You will need rhree rubber bands about three inches in diameter. Fasten one to the pull.
Cut through one band and thread another band onto it. You must now repair the broken
one, and the best way is to use super glue, but be careful. Just use one drop on one side of the
band; press the pieces together for a few seconds and they will be attached (fig. 1).
Have several of these double sets ready and carry them in your outside jacket or trouser
The working is simple. Attach a single rubber band, A, to the pull.
Display this attached band in your left hand, concealing the pull from view of course.
Reach into your pocket with your right hand and remove one of the attached pairs, BC.

Show them as a single band, displaying the ordinary band of the joined pair as you hide
rhe connected second band in your right hand as in figure 2.
Hook the exposed band .B of the double set BC over your left index finger and thumb,
keeping the linked band inside your right hand (fig. 3). Now pull a few times on this band. Do
not pull on the hidden glued band inside your right hand, as it might break.
Bring your hands together. Release your grip on the band A attached to the pull, allow the
pull to retract, and display the two linked bands BC (fig.q.
Note: Use small rubber bands, which are easier to conceal in your hand.

Gaetan with a wax

Salvador Dali at the
Musie Grevin in Paris



HE performer deals the cards as directed by two spectators. Suddenly, an alarm

clock rings, and amazingly, the clock is found to have started ringing exactly at
the moment when the performer has dealt the selected card.

First, you must buy an alarm clock that is suitable for the routine. You want an inexpensive
clock that has two bells and a hammer on the outside of the clock. The drawing will give you
an idea of the style required.
Now look at figure I in the illustration. The clip is made from a safery pin. The tiny ring
in the center is the loop at the bend of the pin. About a quarter inch from the loop on each
side, bend the pin at a right angle. Snip offthe remaining lengths of the pin. This clip forms a
lock for the alarm.
You will also need about a yard of invisible thread, which you tie to the clip. Attach the
other end to a card with scotch tape, then glue another card on top, making a double card.
\7ind up the clock. Put the clip on the hammer and lock it around the bell on one side
Put the double card with the thread attached on the bottom of the pack.
Important Nofrs; I mentioned one yard as the length of invisible thread. You may need more
or less thread. Much depends on your performance conditions. Please keep this in mind when
you try out this routine!
AIso, note that you can easily color the clip black by tinting it with a black waterproof pen.
V/hen presenting the trick, the clock should be well away from the cards. Look at the
drawings again, and remember that it is important to pay attention to every move in the
following description of the routine.

Figs. )-4

)) N

You will need two people to help you, one on your right, one on your left. You call the one
on your right "Mr. Go!" and the one on your left "Mr. Stop!" But first, have a card selected from
the deck. Pick up the pack and shuffie it, keeping the double card on the bottom.
The person at the right is now offered a free selection of any card. Make sure he avoids
taking the bottom card, of course. Have him show the card to the other spectators.
Have a card freely selected. Ask the spectator to display the card to the audience in case
your volunteer forgets itl
Your right hand holds the deck in your right hand. Your left hand cuts offhalf of the cards.
Push a few cards from your right hand onto those in your left hand. Repeat this several times
and request the volunteer to set his card onto those in your left hand at any point he wants.
After he's replaced his card, drop the remaining cards from your right hand on top. The threaded
card is now directly above the selection.
Make sure the card is fairly close to the middle of the deck. You can easily see if it is too far
down in the pack. If it is, cut the deck so the card ends up at about the center of the pack. This
is important! If it is too far down in the deck, the routine will not proceed properly.
Hold the deck face-down in your left hand. Ask the person on your right to say "Go!" at
any time. Tell the volunteer on your left that he should say "Stop" at any time. In this way, no
one will know where the selected card is.

Two sketches of
Gaetan sleeping
by Parisial artist Pouhi

You may have to show them what to do,

saylng "Go!" and then dealing from the top
of the pack (fig. 3). Continue dealing until
the spectator on your left shouts "Stop!" No
matter what you are doing, as soon as he says
"Stop!", remain completely still, even if you
have not placed a card on the table. Stay still
until the other fellow shouts "Go!", then deal
some more cards face-up onto the table.
Allow this to proceed two or three times,
then say you will give them an action replay of the trick. Tell them that as soon as the first
spectator shouts "Go!", you will deal the cards face-up as before, but now the other volunteer
is to shout "Slow down!" \7hen he does, keep dealing, but slow down the motion of the cards
and your actions and words. Proceed at normal speed as soon as he shouts "Go!"
By this time, you will be near the selected card at the center of the deck. As soon as you
deal this card (the thick one with the thread attached), it will automatically pull the clip offthe
bell (fig. 4)). Place the double card with the others on the table so the thread runs alongside
the deck. However, do not align this double card with the other cards but set it down at an
angle to the deck.
The alarm has rung. Ask what the selected card was. Tirrn over the next card. It's the selection!

The cards must be dealt haphazardly onto the table.
DeaI the threaded card onto the table sideways so it can cleanly pull off the clip.


card is freely selected and returned to the pack. The performer blows a smoke
ring at the pack, then runs through the cards and finds a solid smoke ring on one of
hem. He turns over the card, and it is the selection.
The magician now asks the spectator to blow on the card. The smoke ring disappears and
the pack is intact again.

Glue two cards face to face to construct a double-backed card matching the deck you are
using. Use thick, strong glue so you can easily locate it in the deck.
Next, youll glue a fake smoke ring onto one side of this card. The best way to do so is to
make a circle of rubber cement on one side of the double-backer, oflcenter, slightly to one side
of the card. From a piece of cotton wool or cotton balls, cut out a circle the same size as the
rubber-cemented portion of the card. Press the cotton firmly onto the card. Place this double-
backer face-down at the bottom ofthe deck.
Have a cigar or pack of cigarettes handy.

Have a card freely selected. Ask the spectaror to display the card to the audience in case
your volunteer forgets itl
Hold the deck in your right hand. Your left hand takes the top half of the deck. Begin
pushing cards from your right hand onto those in your left hand. Ask the spectator to place his
card onto those in your left hand whenever he wishes.

V/hen he has done so, drop the rest of your right hand's cards on top. This puts the smoke-
ringed double-backer on top of the selection.
Set the pack on the table. Now reach for your cigar or cigarettes. Here you can increase the
fun by doing a few quick gags wirh the matches or cigarettes. Eventually, you light the cigar or
cigarette and have more fun trying to blow a smoke ring. Dont worry if you dont know how.
Pick up the pack and hold it in your left hand. Tiy to blow a smoke ring toward the pack,
which you're holding in your Ieft hand. Again, you can have a lot of fun here. Tell them you
dont smoke and that the trick is almost killing you.
Set the cigarette in an ashtray and begin to spread the cards. \7hen you come to the smoke-
ringed card, cut it and all the cards below it to the top ofthe pack.
You now remove the smoke-ringed card and hold it in front of the person who selected the
card withour turning it over. Tell him you have managed to make a smoke ring, but now you
need to know the name of his card.
As you say this, slip your little finger below the top card of the pack (the selection), then
place the smoke-ringed card on rop of it. Square the cards. 'When the spectator announces the
name of his card, turn over the top two cards as one, revealing the chosen card.
After showing that your smoke ring has found the spectator's card, remove the face-up
card, Ieaving the smoke ring hidden beneath the double-backer. Ask the spectator to blow on
his card. Tirrn it over, show that the smoke ring has vanished, and return the card to the deck.


T \Ur/ O

bu will of course need rwo sponge balls, as the title suggests. Mine are a little over
one inch in diameter.
Cut a small wedge-shaped piece out of each one as shown in figure 1. Tie a
small fishing weight to one end of a piece of invisible thread about eighteen inches long.
a needle, push the thread through the sponge ball so the weight will be pulled into the wedge-
shaped opening. Now push the needle through the other sponge ball until it comes out at the
opening, then remove the needle from the thread.
Leave about eight inches of thread between the balls, then tie anotherweight to the free end
of the thread. Tirck both weights into the openings in the sponge balls. Replace the wedges and
glue them in place. You now have nvo sponge balls with a length of invisible thread running
between them (fig. l).
John Northern Hilliard's book Greater Magic includes an effect with two cigarette pieces
that has become popular with sponge balls. You can do the trick with this set and then repeat
it visibly. Heret how:
1. Set the sponge balls on the table about seven inches apart.
2.Placeyour palm-up left hand on rop of the sponge ball on your left. Your palm-up right
hand goes on top ofthe right sponge ball.
3.Lftyour left hand to show the sponge ball on the table, then replace your hand on the
sponge ball with your palm still up.
4. Lift your right hand to show its sponge ball. Your right hand takes its sponge ball and
appears to place it in your left hand but in fact steals it back out. Immediately after you have
stolen the sponge ball, raise your left hand again and grasp its sponge ball with your right hand.
Your right hand then moves to your right with both balls inside.
5. Place both hands on the table palm-down.

Gaetan visits A]bert

Goshman and his
sponge-ball factory.

Figs. l-2


6. Lift your left hand to show the sponge ball is gone. Lift your right hand to show that
both sponge balls are there.

Now you can get the same visible effect using the connected set of sponge balls.
1. Set the sponge balls on the table about seven inches apart.
2.Placeyour palm-up Ieft hand on rop of the sponge ball on your left. Your palm-up right
hand goes on top of the right sponge ball.
3. Raise your left hand, turn ir palm down, and cover the sponge ball on your left. Lift
your right hand, turn it palm down, and as you cover the sponge ball to your right, clip it in
thumb-palm position.
4. \Tithout lifting your hands from the table, turn your hands palm upward. Your left hand
releases the sponge ball, Ieaving it on the table, as your right hand retains its grip on the ball in
a right thumb palm. As you rurn both hands palm up onto the table, your right hand moves
further right, pulling the left-hand ball into your right hand (frg.2). The left-hand ball looks
as if it's rolling by itself into your right hand!

(t ,,1


[q T


once saw a theatre full of people go crazy after one performance of this trick. To a
professional magician, it may be worth the price of this book!
You ll need some playing cards, a pencil, a bottle, and a small length of invisible
thread. First, let's discuss how to make the apparatus.
one of the cards around the pencil. Remove the pencil, turn the card over, and re-
wrap the card; this allows you to roll up the card more tighdy. You will see what I mean if you
take a look at the illustration.
\7ith the card tightly wound, slip a rubber band around it and drop it in the bottle. Do
this with about twenty cards.
Now you are going ro prepare the force card. it around the pencil once more. Remove
the pencil and re-wrap it with the card facing the other way. Tie a rubber band onto the end of
the invisible thread. Do not tie it too tighdy or you might break the band or thread.
Now wrap the rubber band around the force card in a criss-cross pattern down the length
of the rolled card as in figure 2.
Drop the force card and thread into the bottle so itt amidst the others. In figure 2, the card
is on its way in; it has not yet come to rest alongside the others.
\7hen the card is safely within the bottle, let the thread hang out of the neck of the bottle,
down about an inch pasr the label. You musr now either anchor the thread behind the label or
secure it in place with some scotch tape.
The bottle is now complete. I carry my prepared bottle in a sock, which opens the routine
with a laugh, but actually prevents the bottle from getting broken.
Remember, the bottle musr be round, as shown in the illustration. A square bottle will not
work for this trick.
This method of forcing can be used for items other than playing cards, such as various types
of rolled paper objects like messages, bills, etc.

Figs. 1-4


Have someone call out a number. I use an invisible die and have someone throw it and call
out rhe number on top. You now take the bottle and hold it as in figure 4. Shake it and out
pops a card. Hand it to a spectator, who then calls out the name of the card.
Now continue removing cards, counting each one until you reach the chosen number.
\Mhen you take our rhe final rolled card, make the same movements, but this time slide your
fingers under the thread. As you do so, watch for the force card to emerge from the others. You
can distinguish it by the rubber bands. Keep shaking the botde, keeping your fingers under the
thread, and you will soon have the force card in your left hand.
Remove the rubber band. As you have someone check the card, slide the rubber band
around the neck of the bottle , ready for your next performance (fig. 1) .
\7hen you want the force card to come out of the bottle, one of the other rolled cards might
slide down the neck first. If this happens, shake the bottle so all the cards go to the bottom,
then proceed as explained.
Note: Hold the bottle by the neck when you hand it to the spectator. This obliges him to
grasp the body of the bottle, where he can't interfere with the thread.


lflHrs method of performing an old classic eliminares rhe need for the usual fake
! hollow egg, although during the supposed explanation to the audience, the
J- performer claims to be using one of these gimmicks.
You ll need alarge thumb tip and a silk handkerchief that can fit inside the tip when itt on
your thumb. The finer the texture of the silk, the larger the silk you can use. Place these props
separately into your right coat pocket. Arrange them so you can easily and quickly push your
thumb into the tip when your right hand enters the pocket and removes the silk.
You Il also need a real egg. Attach a small piece of silk using scotch tape or glue, making
it look like the usual hollow egg with a corner of the silk showing through the hole in the side
(fig. 1).This piece should of course match the full silk.
Place this prepared egg in your left outer coat pocket. Have a drinking glass on your table
and you are ready to perform.
To begin, place your hands into your coat pockets as you tell the audience that for your
next trick, you will need a handkerchief. Push your right thumb into the tip and grasp a corner
of the silk. Remove the silk from your pocket and display it.
As your right hand brings the silk into view, your left hand comes out with the egg
concealed in your curled 6ngers. It should appear to the audience that you are unsure which
pocket contains the silk. If your right hand emerges from its pocket before your left hand, the
spectators' attention will focus on the silk, and they'll ignore your Ieft hand.
Now raise your left hand to chest level, closing it into a loose fist. Insert the corner of the
silk and the thumb tip into the opening at the top of your fist. Leave both items there as in
figure 2. Gradually push the remainder of the silk directly into the thumb tip using your right
index finger.
\7hen the entire silk is inside the tip, close your right fingers around your left fist, bring
both hands up to your mouth, and blow on them. During this action, maneuver the tip onto

Figs. l-3

your right thumb and transfer the egg into your right hand. Now separate both hands and move
them away from your mouth. Next, openly display the egg to the audience, keeping the piece
of silk at the back of the egg out of their sight.
You now explain that it is not a real egg, just an artificial plastic one. Bang it sharply on
the rim of the glass with a force that would break the shell of a normal egg. Actually, it is the
sound of the thumb tip that the audience hears hitting the glassl
You further convince them that the egg is not the real thing by saying that you vanished the
silk by merely pushing it through a hole in the side of the egg. Tirrn the egg to show a corner of
the silk protruding from the hole, though of course it is really just the piece attached to the side.
You now offer to teach the specrarors the trick in detail. Tiansfer the egg to your left hand
and apparently pull the silk out of the egg. In realiry you insert your right thumb into the top
ofyour Ieft fist, which is partially closed, and pull the silk out of the thumb tip through the top
of your left fist, Ieaving the tip at the side of the egg (fig.2).
Explain that you conceal the hollow artificial egg in your left hand when you begin the trick,
and to change the silk into an egg, you simply push the silk into the hole. Demonstrate this by
precisely repeating your previous actions, pushing the silk into the thumb tip and getting the
loaded thumb tip onto your right thumb as you blow on your hands.
Reveal the egg and caution the spectators that they must take care not to expose the hole
in the side of the egg.
Conclude by saying that if you were a real magician, you would be able to change the silk
into a real egg. Pick up the tumbler and say, "If I hit a real egg on the rim of the glass, it would
break." Suit the action to your words and register disbelief as the egg breaks (fig. 3).
Replace the glass on the table and empry the contents of the egg into it. \With a puzzled
expression, look at the empry shell, one half in each hand, before dropping them into the glass.
Dispose of the loaded thumb tip as you accept your applause.


bu'rr need four handkerchiefs, preferably with a checkered design; eight

buttons (two of each color or shape); a spool of thread; a thumb tip; and a coin
Sew a button ro the center of each handkerchief. Place the remaining four buttons (one of
each color) and the thumb tip into the coin purse (fig. 2).
Place the handkerchiefs into four different pockets (fig. 1). You must remember the color
ofthe fastened button in each pocket.
Fold the handkerchiefs so the attached button is on the inside. That way, when you remove
the handkerchief to display it, you can open it out and display the side without the button.

Bring out the coin purse, open it, and remove the four buttons. Give a spectator a free choice
of any button. As he chooses one, slip your thumb into the purse and slide it into the thumb tip.
Reach into one of your pockets and remove the correct handkerchief with the button
matching the chosen color. Unfold the handkerchief and display it with the side with the button
facing you (fig.q.
After you have shown the handkerchief, drape it over your left fist and make a well in it
with your right thumb, leaving the thumb tip behind inside.
Now pick up the spectatort chosen button and place it in the centre of the handkerchief,
actually inserting into the thumb tip (fig. 5).
Have the spectator unwind and break off a length of thread, bundle it up, and place it in
the center of the handkerchiel though it actually also goes inside the thumb tip.
Insert your thumb into the center of the handkerchief into the tip. Push the centre of the
handkerchief up toward the spectator and ask him if he can feel the button. He will of course
be feeling the sewn button (fig. 3).

Figs. l-5

lWithdraw your thumb, immediately shake out the handkerchief, and the audience will see
that the button is sewn to the handkerchief with the thread. Hand out the handkerchief for
Pick up the three unused buttons and the spool, then drop them back into the coin purse,
getting rid of the thumb tip at the same time.

\[hen you drape the handkerchiefover your right hand, your hand must be palm up. The
corner covers your thumb, and the button underneath is adjacent to the middle fingertip, as
shown in the illustrations.

\T H A T?

new presentation for the Card on the Ceiling for situations where theret no ceiling,
with an accent on comedy.

A card is selected and a thumb tack is inserted in the deck. Not finding a proper wall where
he can throw the deck, the magician uses his own forehead as a wall. The chosen card is seen
attached to his forehead with the tack. Everything is handed out for examination and the tack
proves to be a real one.

An ordinary deck ofcards
Three duplicare cards, say, the Four of Diamonds
A double-backed card
A box of thumb tacks

Snip off the point of the tack and glue the center of the remaining tack head to the center
of the face of one of the Four of Diamonds. It will look like the tack is piercing the card.
Now poke a normal thumb tack through the second Four of Diamonds. Use a dab of glue
to make sure the tack stays in place.
Thke half the deck and cut a small hole in the center of several cards. A hole punch works
well. lVhen the cards are stacked, the hole should be deep enough so when the tacked card is
set on the hole, the point of the tack will slip inside easily.

Next, make a short card by trimming about an eighth-inch offone of the short ends of the
remaining Four of Diamonds.

Arranging the Dech

As the illustration shows, at the bottom of the deck is packet r4, the unprepared cards. On
top of these is the face-down card B which is the short card.
On these cards is the stack of face-down hole cards C. Place the face-up tacked card D on
top with the point inserted in the hole.
On top of the tacked card, place the double-backed card E, and finally the face-down card
with the tack head ,E

Hold the deck in your Ieft hand with the faces toward the audience. Force the short card
asyou riffie through the deck.
Show the short Four of Diamonds to the audience and insert it back into its place in the
deck, just below the hole cards.
Display the box of tacks, open it, and pretend to take one of the tacks and place it in your

Explain that you are going to spit the tack into the middle of the deck. Speak semi-intelligibly
as if you have gum in your mouth. Lift up some of the cards slightly and pretend to spit the
tack into the deck.
You next announce, "Now I will need a proper wall." Look around and pretend you cant
find the kind of wall you're searching for.
As you're looking around, moisren your right fingertips with a bit of saliva, and as you turn,
place a little saliva on your forehead.
Say to the specrator who chose the card, "Now watch closely as the card you have in your
mind passes into mine!"
Hold a break under the top card of the deck, count to three, and slap the deck sharply
against your forehead.
The chosen card appears to be tacked onto your forehead.
Pretend to be a bit dazed and ask the spectator if the card is his selection. As you do, hold
a break under the top rwo cards.
Pretend to pry the card offyour forehead, then set it face-up on top of the deck. Immediately
turn over the top three cards as one (the card with the tack head, plus the two held by the break).
The point of the tack is now visible. You can hand out this card for examination, Ieaving Nextpage:
the double-backed card on top of the deck.


o me, this is an ideal magic effect: simple, fast, visual, and weird, and all the
props are examinable at the conclusion.
You show a piece ofrope, throw the center ofthe rope behind your back, and
tie the two ends in front of your chest. Facing the audience, you remove a small padlock from
your breast pocket and display it, then throw it over your left shoulder. The audience clearly
sees it go behind you, but instead of falling to the floor, the padlock seems to have vanished.
You pause and smile, then slowly turn your back to the audience, who realize that the
padlock is now safely locked onro rhe rope. You lift the rope from your shoulders and hand out
the rope and padlock for examination!

A piece of rope (about three feet long), two identical small padlocla, and a strong locking reel

Tie the end of the reelt thread onto the hasp of one of the padlocks. Pin the reel inside
your jacket near the bottom ofthe back, as shown in figure 3. You can also attach it to the rear
ofyour pants at belt level.
Extend the thread and lock the reel. Bring out the padlock from under the back ofyour
jacket, guide it over your left shoulder, and place it in your front pocket (figs. 3 and 4). It is
of course preferable if the thread from the reel matches the color of your suit. Now thread the
other lock onto the rope and youre ready!

Pick up the rope as shown in figure 1, with the padlock hidden in your right hand. Throw
the center ofthe rope over your head so irs center hangs behind your back.



Now turn around to your right and show your back to the audience. Your hands remain
on your shoulders.
Now turn to face the audience again. But as you finish turning, you secretly drop the
padlock down the rope so it stops in the center behind your back (fig. z).This must be done
in a continuous, smooth action.
You next tie the rope in front of your body by knotting the ends. Openly take the other
padlock out ofyour pocket and show it to the audience (fig. 5). Pull on the thread to unlock
the reel.
Now, still facing the audience, close your legs together. Throw the padlock over your shoulder
(fig. 6). The padlock will go behind your back, hit the back part of your legs (which is why you
have to close them), and fly back under your jacket.
Smile and pause. Tirrn your back to the audience and let the effect register. Tirrn again to
face the audience and end as shown in 6gure 7, handing out everything, plus the key to open
the padlock.
Note: It is best to use a rather weak reel for this effect so the throwing move of the padlock
will look less mechanical and more elegant.



You need a cheap watch found in gift
shops, such as a necklace watch or pencil
This watch is hidden inside the bottom of
either a pack ofcigarettes or a pack ofcards.
Cut a little window in the pack, so you can see
the time with just a quick glance at the box.

The easiest way to use the gimmick is to
simply set the pack on the table and look at
it when necessary.
I have various ways of presenting the
1. On my left wrist, I draw a watch. For
some performances, I've worn a piece ofwood

on a strap like a watch. I've also stuck a piece of clear Contac paper on my wrist or worn a
sticker with a watch drawn on it.
2. I place the gimmicked pack into my shirt pocket, and when I want to announce the
time, I pretend to look at my left wrist, but in fact I look inside my pocket. The move is very
natural, but it is important to look only at the gimmicked pack in your pocket and never at
your left wrist, because the audience will notice the movement of your eyes from the pocket to
your wrist or from your wrist to the pocket.
Nora Naturally, the more you repeat the effect, the higher the impact. For instance, you
can perform it after your first trick, saying, "I'm not sure if I have time to show you another
trick, becaus e (Glance at time) it's already 1 1:04 p.m., isnt it, sir?" And you can do it at any time
during your act. It's a funny and a mysterious running gag.Have a good time with it!

A card stab, Card

Sword, and rehearsals
wirh G6rard Maju
for the Carrl Magique
stage producrion
in 1982 (center lefi
and beloru hfi)


HIS is the classic Card on the'Wall, but in this presentation, you ask a spectator
to help you, and he becomes a human wall. To prevent the cards from falling all
over, you place a fish net between the spectatort legs as shown in figures 5 and 6.
A card is chosen by a spectator and replaced in the pack, which is poker-size. You announce
that youll find the card by throwing the entire deck against the "wall." The chosen card indeed
ends up stuck on the wall (fig. 5).
Now you offer to repeat the effect. This time, a card is chosen by a spectator from a bridge-size
pack and replaced. For a startling climax, you spring the cards against the wall. The second chosen
card remain stuck to the wall, but the first card has disappeared. Everything can be examined.

The wa-[ is actually a piece of styrofoam (6g. t) with lines drawn on it with a marker to
simulate bricks. Drill a diagonal hole through the top two corners, slide in the ends of a piece
of rope, and tie a knot in each end. You ll need a fish net with a handle, too.
You'll also need to construct a faked card that resembles a pocket, as shown in 6gure 2.Take
two poker-size cards. On the back of one, attach double-stick tape to three edges. Next, make
a slot halfway down the length of the other card and press its face against the tape on the first
card. Now remove the point from a thumb tack, apply glue inside the tack's head, and press it
to the face of this double card. Finally, pierce a small hole near the bottom of the double card
and tie the end ofa black thread there.
Now from a bridge-size pack, find a card as contrasting as possible from the face card of
the pocket card. Pierce a thumb tack through the face of the card so its point emerges out the
back (fig. 3). Insert this card into the pocket card with the point running through the slot
(fr1.a). Slightly bend the pocket card, as shown in 6gure 4, to prevent the inner card from
prematurely sliding out.

Figs. 1-6

Of course, you musr force duplicates of these cards, so you will need two decla whose designs
and sizes match the prepared cards. In the bridge-size deck, position the duplicate in position
for your favorite force. In the poker-size pack, find the duplicate ofthe face card ofthe pocket
card, trim one end to make a short card, and insert it in the center of the deck. Finally, place
the pocket card face-down on the top of the poker-size pack.

Hang the false wall on rhe specraror's back and have him hold the fish net in position.'W.ith
the poker-size deck, rifle force the short card and have it replaced.
Hold the pack face-down in your hand and throw it so the pocket card hits flat against the
wall. The point of thumb tackwill pierce the styrofoam and hold the pocket card onto the wall,
thus revealing the first card (fig. 5).
Note the thread hanging from the pocket card in figure 5. Thke the bridge-size pack and
force the duplicate ofthe second card on another spectator.
Before springing the cards toward the wall, casually grasp the end of the thread. As you
stand close to the wall to spring the deck, pull down on the thread. The pocket card will fall
into the net with the other cards, thus revealing the second card in a visual way. Both the wall
and the card can now be examined.
Obviously, tremendous comedy results from your interaction with the spectator, who is
covered with all these props and standing in a comical position onstage.


card is ser on the table balanced on its edge and stays in this weird position with no
apparent support. A spectator is challenged to duplicate the effect but fails to do
o. The more you repeat the effect, the more its impact increases.

To perform this effect, you'll need an eighteen-inch piece of invisible thread as used for
close-up levitations. Knead one end of the thread into a bead of magiciant wax, which you
then press onto rhe bottom corner of the card case. Carefully tie the other end to a tiny fishing
weight (fiS. l). To set up the trick, wrap the thread around the card case as shown in figure I .
The routine is best performed on a close-up mat or tablecloth, since the surface of a normal
table may be too slippery.
To perform the effect, hold the pack vertically and drop the weight onto your lap, allowing
the thread to unwind. Place the case on the table, remove any two cards from the deck, set them
in front of you (frg.2), and you're ready. Note that throughout the routine, the weight hangs
freely between your knees. From this point on, the handling is extremely simple.
Pick up the right card with your right hand and use it like a shovel, sliding it under the
left card to fip it over (figs. 3 and 4). This action automatically positions the first card under
the thread. Now stand the two cards vertically in a Zformation, as shown by the dotted lines
in figure 5.
Pause, then dramatically tip over the left card onto the table. The other card will remain
standing up, thanks to the weighted thread (fig. 5). Let the effect register on the audience.
Now, with your right hand, grasp the card at its upper left corner (indicated by the black
dot in figure 5). Pivot the card so its edge is parallel to the thread, which is now free again and
falls onto the table. You can now hand out the cards for examination and you're ready to repeat
the effect over and over.

Figs. l-7

As a variation, you can balance the card standing on its short edge, but be careful; this
position increases the danger that light will reveal the thread.
\7hen the card is in its standing position, you can also rotate it with your fingers, first
making it stand with its face to the audience, then with its back to the spectators, thus showing
there is nothing hidden behind the card. Finally, you can end the effect by tearing the card in
half and standing it up as in figure 6. The effect is especially startling if you make a rough tear
so you can see under the card (fig. 6).
If you work in a bar, you can also attach the thread under your glass (fig. l). Do not use a
cold glass, as the wax will not stick. A good set-up is to have the glass in your hand, then hold
the card on the table in a standing position. Now you simply have to set your glass on the table
beyond the card, thus correctly positioning the thread over the ca:d (fig. 7).
I really love this trick. It is ideal after dinner. Have fun with itl

Gaetan with French

singer Michel Polnareff
and his plane


HE performer writes a prediction while a spectator shufles a pack of cards. The

spectator freely selects a \Tithout looking at the face of the card, the performer
throws it into a book as he rifles the pages. The spectator lools in the book and
concentrates on the first few words of the page where the card is found.
The performer succeeds in divining the words, which he reveals in his most dramatic manner.
The written prediction is then read, disclosing the name of the chosen card.

For this effect, you Il require a paperback book with about 300 pages, an ordinary pack of
cards, and a pen and paper.
The only prepararion required is to place a card - say, the Ten of Spades - into the book
about a third of the way from the beginning, near the side of the page (fig. I ). You must also note
the number of the page at which it is inserted, then memorize the first few words on that page.

Have the book on your table. Hand the deck to a spectator and ask him to shuffie it. As he
it up and set it in someplace
does so, write the name of the card on a piece of paper, then fold
where it will remain visible, or give it to someone to hold.
Have the specraror place the deck on the table and ask him to cut offabout ten cards. Thke
the cards and deal them on the table haphazardly, but with the sides toward you (fig. 2).
Ask the specraror to select one of the cards by touching it with his finger. Pick up the chosen
card with your right hand. Place rhe book on the dealt cards with the side of the pages facing
you. Bend the edges of the pages slightly upward in readiness for the rifling action (fig. 3).
You are now ready to create the appearance of throwing the chosen card into the book
at a random position as the left thumb riffies the pages. At the conclusion of this action, the

Tbp: Figs. 1-2

Center: Figs. 3-4
Below: Fig. 5

audience sees rhe card trapped half-protruding

from the book.
That's the illusion; the reality is that you
throw the card under the book (fig.4),where it
blends in with the cards on the table. The card
sticking out of the book - which the audience
believes to be the one thrown - is actually the
Ten of Spades, which automatically shoots out
of the book as the pages are riffied (fig. 5).
This is the only move in the trick and
take less than a second to perform. Its success
depends entirely on correct timing, which I'll
attemPt to explain.
A split-second after you throw the card,
begin to riffie the pages. If you start riffiing
too soon, the card will hit the book, and if

you begin roo lare, there will be a time lag benveen the throwing action and the appearance of
the card.
Immediately afrer the right hand throws the card, place your middle finger on the table to
prevent the Ten of Spades from jumping out completely (fig. 5). Th. card stops about halfivay
out of the book. Some practrce rs necessary,
but once you learn to properly time the move,
the illusion is perfect.
Returning to the presentation of the
effect, hand the spectator the book with the
card protruding and ask him to note the page
where the card landed and to concentrate on
the first line. Dramatically reveal the first few
words - which you have memorized - and
then ask spectator to open the paper to show
that you have correctly predicted the name of
the chosen card.
A variation of this presentation is to
eliminate the written prediction and instead
divine the name of the card by "reading" its
back. You also pretend to read the first line of
the page where the card has randomly landed, proving that you have x-ray eyes.
Another approach is to write, say, the Ten of Spades across page 123 with a red marker and
wrap the book in a parcel. Insert the Ten ofspades at page 123 in another book and perform
the effect with the basic presentation up ro the point at which you throw the selected card into
the book.
Invite a spectator ro open the parcel and open the book inside at the same page where the
chosen card landed in the other book; there he will see your written prediction.
Finally, a few precautions: Always make sure the spectator sees the page number before
the thrown card is removed, and always be certain the card loaded in the book is face-down.
= lJrfl



Hrs is more of a gag than a trick. Figs. )-2

Aren't you tired of seeing all

those kids playing so skillfully
with this dumb toy? Then follow my advice
and become the Yoyo King in just one minute,
without any boring practice!

Take any reel (the device sold in novelty
shops as a key reel works great) and glue onto
each of its sides the fat face of half of a real
yoyo (figs. I and2).

Place the loop on your right index finger and throw the yoyo with a sharp downward toss.
\(hen the cord is fully unwound, nvirl the yoyo in various directions. The weight of the yoyo
and the power of gravity will keep it at the end of the line.
However, whenever you slow down your movements, the yoyo will automatically jump
back into your hand!
If you play with this prop, you will find many funny variations such as upside-down yoyo
moves, slow-motion yoyo, etc.


was always very impressed by the books released by T. A. I never knew him
personally, but my good friend Max Maven always told me superlative things about him.
In \Taters' excellent book New Thoughts for Old is an effect that inspired the following
trick, which I dedicate to the late T. A. \Taters with deep respect for his work.

The basic effect is dead simple. You hand a prediction to a spectator, then place five objects
on the table and cover them with a scarf.
You turn your back to the audience and ask a spectator to grasp one ofthe objects under
the scarf. He is to merely hold it hidden in his fist and say, "I have one."
You then instruct him, "Put it in your right side pocket," and the spectator does so. You
repeat the same action with the other objects.
At one point, you say, "Put this object in your left side pocket." Of course, all this is done
with your back turned, so you have no idea which object the spectator is holding. In fact, you
can do the entire effect blindfolded.
At the conclusion, the spectator has four objects in his right pocket and only one in his
left pocket.
Ask the specraror ro open the prediction and he reads: 'At the end of this experiment, only
the ring will be in your left pocket." The prediction is of course one-hundred percent correct
and everything can be handed out for examination.
As they say in the ads, 'A one-man effect: no stooges, no electronics, no fake objects, no
nail writer, no switches"; in short, almost nothrng.

and.fgl l-3

il;' .-'--"''
i:i "----:


The effect is rather similar to the.Waters trick, but the method is different.
In fact, all you need to do the trick is...a piece of thread! The thread used is the very thin
thread normally used to perform close-up levitattons.
Among the five (or more) objects used in the routine, you must have one onto which you can
hook the thread. It can be a key (fig. A), a big ring (fig. B), a penknif. (fig. C), a closed padlock
(fig. D), a small pair of scissors (fig. E), etc. The four other objects can be just any handy item.
Loop the thread around the prediction object as shown in the illustrations. Knot the ends
or join them with a piece of wax. Have any kind of scarf handy.

Place the five objects on the table, the loop ofthread hanging over the edgeofthe table in
front of you. Nexr, write the prediction as described earlier, noting the name of the threaded
object as the one that will remain in the spectator's Ieft pocket.
Cover the objects with the scarf grasp the end of the thread in your hand, and turn your
back to the audience (fig. 1).
You are about to go magic fishing! Ask the spectator to take one of the objects and tell you
when he has one in his hands. Ifthe spectator says, "I have one" andyou have not felt anything,
it is not the predicted object, so tell him, "Put it in your right pocket."
\7hen the spectator does take the predicted object, you will feel the thin thread break and
you will thus immediately know it is in his hand (fig. 2)l Tell him to place the object into his left
pocket, then let the thread drop on the foor and conclude the effect, with no clue remaining.
This is why a loop of thread is required. A single thread stuck to an object with wax or glue
will break, but you do not know at what point. If a piece of thread is left hanging from the
object, it may become a concern if the spectator closely examines the objects.
The attached object must also be fairly heavy, which is why I use a large ring for the
prediction. If the object is too light, the spectator may feel resistance when the thread breaks.
You must also be sure to instruct the spectator: "Quickly reach under the scarf, take an
object, and say, 'I have one."' If you do not specify this procedure, the spectator may hesitate,
reach under the scarf take the threaded object, breaking the thread, then replace it and take
another object, thus ruining the trick.
The best situation, of course, occurs when the spectator takes the prediction object first.
\Vhen this happens, tell him, "Okayl Thatt your choice. Put that object in your left pocket and
all the other ones in your right pocket." The end of the presentation is the same, since youve
respected the exact wording of the prediction.
Of course, itt easy to have two or more prepared objects and repeat the trick, adding two
or three different objects each time. Depending on your presentation, you can also tie a new
thread onto any of the objects on the table while conversing with the sPectator.
For me, this is more than a trick. It is a new, simple remote-control system with many
possible variations. For instance, a voodoo-style stage presentation is very easy to imagine (fig. 3).

Voodoo Presentation
Draw the bold outline of a body on a piece of paper and attach it to a piece of sryrofoam
using four thumb tacks. Slip a loop of thread between the paper and sryrofoam. Stick a dart

into the sryrofoam through the paper and loop, so the thread runs around the shaft of the dart.
The other three darts are stuck near the threaded dart. All four darts have different colors.
To perform this version, talk about voodoo and display the picture. Point to the looped
dart (which we will say is red) and tell the spectatoS "The red dart is poisonous and the other
ones are harmless. Hold the board behind your back' (fig. 3).
Grasp the loop slightly taut. Ask the spectator to pull out any dart.
Ask another spectator to choose which part of the body you should stick the dart into.
'When you feel the thread break when the prepared dart is removed, note the body part named.
At the end of the effect, you can thus reveal the location of the poisonous dart in the most
dramatic way possible.
An alternative method is to present the effect as a prediction, writing on a piece of paper that
the poisonous dart will be inserted into a certain part of the body. Each time the first spectator
removes a darr, tell him in which body part he should insert it. tVhen you feel the loop is freed,
instruct him to stick the dart into the predicted location. At the conclusion of the routine, the
poison dart is thus seen in exactly the spot you have predicted!
Because the thread is not even broken in this method, you can use a stronger thread when
presenting this routine onstage.
s. T o.'w'. R. c. T
(Signed, Torn Oil-and-Water Restored Card Trich)

l-T'lHrs effecr was first inspired by

I td.nrr-Viracle, sold by O*.n
I Magic Supreme. ln my version,
however, there is no gaff to dispose of during
the routine and no palming of any kind. In the
original version, you needed to hold two cards
as one, which presented potential problems
with angles and hiding the thickness of the
cards when working close-up. My routine
also enables you to clearly show separate
pieces of the signed cards before showing the
completely restored signed card designated
by the spectator.
As you can tell, I am rather proud of this
trick. I initially intended to sell this effect as
a separate item. But now you have it. Practice
it, and I am sure you will be delighted with
the results.

Two cards (one red, one black) are both
signed by you and a spectator. One of the
cards is chosen and is designated "the magic
card." The cards are then openly torn into
several pieces.

Figs. 1-6

You randomly pick up a few pieces with

each hand, then open your right hand and
show that you are holding separate pieces of
both the red and black cards.
Without any suspicious moves, you close
both hands and make a magical gesture. Again,
you open your right hand and show that it
now holds only pieces of the "non-magic
card." (This is the Oil and \7ater part of the trick.) You then open your left hand, blow on the
pieces there, and slowly open the signed "magic card," fully restored. You can give this card to
the spectator as a souvenir.

You will need three cards to perform this trick. \7e'll say these cards are two Three of
Diamonds and one Four of Spades.
Neatly tear one Three of Diamonds in half and glue one of the halves onto the back of the
Four of Spades, as shown in the mirror view in figure 1.
Important: You must use rubber cement, coating both surfaces and allowing them to dry
before pressing the half onto the card. Do not use normal glue, which could detach during the
routine. You may also wish to sandpaper the surfaces before gluing them together, since the
varnish ofthe cards can prevent proper adhesion.
Next, sign the half Three of Diamonds with a black marker, let it dry, and you are ready
to perform.

Tell your audience that you are going to perform "the world's greatest two-card trick."
A good way ro display the cards is to have the face-up Four of Spades on top of the face-
up Three of Diamonds held in the right hand. Show the face of the Four of Spades, then turn
your hand so the audience can see rhe back of the regular Three of Diamonds; then return to
the original position and deal the Three of Diamonds on top of the Four of Spades. In doing
so, you have apparently shown both sides of the two cards.
You now sign the Four of Spades and the Three of Diamonds, then ask the spectator to do
the same (see figure 1). The position of each signature ts lmPortant.
Also, when the spectator signs the Four of Spades, slide the card toward him on the table,
keeping one finger on the card as if to help him steady it, but actually preventing him from
turning over the gimmicked card.
Now you'll designate the magic card and the non-magic card. Use equiuoquc so the magic
card ends up being the unprepared Three of Diamonds. The simplest way to force this card is
to ask the spectator, "'SThich card do you prefer? The Three or the Four?"
Ifthe spectator says, "The Three," you
answe! "Good, that will be our magic card!" Figs. 7-8

If the spectator says, "The Four," you

answer, "Good, that will be your card. I'll
keep the Three of Diamonds for me as my
magic cardl"
Now, with the cards on the table in the
position shown in figure 1, set the Four of
Spades on top ofthe Three of Diamonds, then
turn over the Three of Diamonds under the
Four of Spades as if you are toying with them.
Unjog the Three of Diamonds (fig. 2),
thus showing the signed Four of Spades and
part of the back of the Threeof Diamonds.
Turn over the rwo cards, keeping this position to show the signed Three of Diamonds,
and part ofthe back ofthe Four ofspades. Then return to the position in figure 2 and square
the cards, then turn over the Three of Diamonds once more under the Four of Spades so both
cards are now face-up. (Do not make a move of this. You're simply playing with the cards. This
acrion also gives the spectator a glimpse of the two back-to-back cards, which will confuse the
actual position of the cards later in the routine.)
Now hold the two cards as in figure 3. Note the position of the index finger.
You next carefully fold the two cards in half (fig. 4).-Iheglued Three of Diamonds half will
help you ro neatly fold the rwo cards. Press down the crease, then open the outside card only.
From your view, you'll see the cards as in figure 5.Tear the cards as in figure 6. You are now in
the position seen in figtre 7 .
You can now alternarely turn your hands over as in figure 8 to clearly show four signed
pieces of cards. Of course, your right hand is holding only one piece of the double-face card,
but everything looks fair.

Figs. 9-19


Return to the position shown in figure 7

and place the right handt piece on top ofthe
ones in the left hand (figure 9). You now have
all the pieces in your left hand as in figure 10.
Turn the packet sideways in the position
shown in figure 11.
Fold the stack in half as shown in figure
Press down the crease and open the pieces
again so you are now in the position shown
in figure 13. Tear down the center (fig.Lq.
At this point, you can show everything on
both sides as before (figs.7 and 8), saying, "As
you can see, there are some pieces face-up,and
some face-down."
As you say this, perform the action shown
in figure 15. Tirrn your left hand palm-down
and transfer the top piece from your right
hand into your left hand.
Next, rotate your left hand palm-up again,
as shown in figure 16.
Now add your right hand's final piece (itt
double-face) onto the front of the bunch of t9
pieces held in your left hand.
Repeat all the actions from figure 10 to
figure 12.
Before the final tear, you'll be in the
position shown in figure 17.
Tear the packet in the center and, as
before, place your right hand's pieces in front
of the ones held in your left hand. At this

point, the folded Three of Diamonds is on your side, and all the torn pieces are in front of it.
You can slightly spread this stack.
Now pretend to take half of the pieces in each hand. In fact, follow figure 18, transferring
only the folded Three of Diamonds into your left hand and keeping all the torn pieces at the
fingertips ofyour right hand.
Tell the audience, "Can you guess how many pieces I have in each hand?" \Without waiting
for an answer, spread all the pieces in your right hand. The audience will see some red card
pieces, some black card pieces, and two pieces showing the back design. "As you see," you say,
"there are some black, some red...all mixed upl"
Now gather all the pieces in the palm of your hand, close your fingers on top and turn
both fists palm down.
Ask, "\[hat was the magic card? The Three of Diamonds...fine!"
Hold your left fist out. Your right fist rotates around your left fist. Slap your right hand flat
onto the table. Pause, then slowly raise it and spread the pieces as in figure 18. Tell the audience,
"Now all we have here are the pieces from the black card."
At this point, you have rwo pieces face-down. Tirrn them ove! and the audience will see the
eight pieces of the black card face-up. This is one of the strong points of the routine. Throughout
the effect, the audience sees pieces with the back showing, almost by accident, destroying the
idea that you're using double-face cards.
You add, "And in my left hand, I now have all the pieces of the red magic card...but not
only that, because it is a magic card, it is now completely...restored!"
Match your actions to the words and drop the Three of Diamonds in the center of the torn
pieces, as in figure 19.

Final Notes
Most of the time, I spread a handkerchief on the table before performing the routine, so at
the end ofthe effect, I gather the corners like a bag so I can clean up the torn pieces all at once.
It is the safest way to clear the table without any possibiliry of fashing the double-face pieces.
I have also performed this effect in cabarets with giants cards. It works superbly!


Two bicycle pumps
A length of thin but strong nylon thread
Two safety pins, with their heads cut off (fig. 2D)

Please look carefully at figures 1 to 3.
lJnscrew the barrel from the inner rod of the pump.
You are left with what looks like figure 1.
At the bottom end of the rod is a plastic pointed tip that acts as a brake (fig. 1A). Tie the
thread around this plastic tip with a double knot.
At the point marked B in figure I is a round plastic washer that helps screw the top of the
barrel to the rod (when the barrel is on). Make a tiny hole through one side of this washer from
top to bottom. It is best to use a pin ro make this hole, since it only needs to be large enough
for you to feed the thread through (fiS. l).
After you have cut off the head of the safery pins, bend the other end at a ninety-degree
angle (fig. 2D). Thpe the safery pin onto one side of the outside of the barrel.
Now screw the two parts together, putting the rod back into the barrel. The thread will
come out of the top of the washer, which you screw to tighten.
The end of the thread is then fed down through the bent end of the safery pin (fig. 2C).
Continue to feed the thread into the other pump. The set-up is the same, but in reverse. Feed
the thread up through the other safety pin (frg.2R), down through the other washer, and anchor
the thread on the tip of the rod. The holes in both washers must end up directly above the sides
with the safery pin to allow the thread to run freely through and not get caught.

Fig. 1-6

The only point left to note is what length to make the thread between the pumps. The length
of the thread is determined by holding the pumps in front of you, one in each hand, with the
thread passing behind your back (fig. 6). The thread should be long enough to allow you to
hold the pumps side by side, directly in front of your body and about six inches away from you.
The actual length of the thread will of course vary depending on each persont size. To test
for the correct length, hold the pumps as in figure 19, with the thread going around your back,
then move your right arm away from your body. The tops of both pumps should rise up as far
as they can go. \flhen you bring your arm back toward your body, the tops should return down
to their starting position.

If you use this as an emcee rourine, you can obviously come onstage already set up, but
we'll assume youre using the Crazy Bicycle Pumps in the middle of your act.
The pumps should be set up side by side on your table with the thread hanging over the edge.
Pick up the pumps, place them behind your back, and as you walk forward to the microphone
or downstage, you'll perform the following actions (frgs. 4-6, which for clariry show you the
moves from both the front and the back).
"I d like to show you a trick with a bicycle pump," you say. Raise your Ieft hand in a forward
and upward direction, which lifts the thread above your warst.
"And a second bicycle pump," you continue, displaying the other pump. It's important to
bring out the pumps one at a time.
Bring the rwo pumps together, holding them in your right hand with your thumb behind
the safety pins, so the thread runs along your right arm, then around the left side of your body.
Your left hand pumps the left bicycle pump up and down a few times.
Now push the left pump down. As you do so, move your right arm forward. The right
pump rises. You hold this position for a moment and look at the audience.
Your right hand moves back to your body, and the right pump drops again. Do a double-
take expression.
Repeat this sequence, bringing the left pump up, then down, and making the right pump rise.
Now hold your right arm extended, which maintains the right pump in the raised position.
Be careful not to extend your right hand too far, or the left pump will also go up, and you dont
want that to happen just yet.
Hold the pumps together side by side in your right hand, keeping the same tension on
the thread.
Push down on the top of the right pump with your left hand. The left pump goes up. This
move can be repeated a few times (figs. 7-9).
Stop when the left pump is up, and the right pump is down. Say, "Perhaps you think theret
something connecting the pumps in the middle. I'll prove to you that this is not so."
To illustrate your point, hold both pumps in your left hand at the top of the barrel. Your
right hand grips the bottom of both pumps with the backs ofyour fingers toward the audience,
then spreads the pumps into a Z-shape (fig. 10).
Because the angles are slightly awkward, you must not overplay the next move. As before,
push down on the Ieft pump and the right pump will go up, and vice versa. Just do this once
on each side.

Figs 7-13

\ I ,?
E. \\

\With one pump in each hand, move the left pump to the left, and the right pump a little
to the right. To check that you have the correct grip on each pump, the thread should run over
each of your thumbs. Your arms are extended as in figure 1 1.
The next move is similar to the Chinese Sticks. You must keep the left pump vertical but
not extended, and turn the right pump horizontal, with the top turned in toward the left pump
at right angles to it. As you push the top of the right pump in, the left pump goes up (fig. 13).
Now do exactly the same move the other way around. The right pump is now vertical, and
you turn the left pump horizontal and push it in against the right pump, and the right pump
goes up (fig. l2). There arent any angle problems in this position, since the thread is always
running along your arms.
The next move is a bit more tricky. The right pump, with the top up, is held in the normal
vertical position, and your left hand grips the pump at the tip of the barrel between your thumb
and fingers.
As you turn slightly to the left (so the audience sees you almost sideways), place the left
pump between your legs and grip it as in figure 14.-Ihe pump must be pointing in an upward
direction and not be parallel to the foor.
The position of the thread is important. It comes out of the middle of the left pump, down
the barrel, up by the left trouser pocket to your waist, around behind your back. and along your
right arm to the middle of the right pump.
You can act a little here. After all, it's a very funny situationl
Your left palm pushes down on the top of the right pump, and the left pump shoots out.
Your left hand then pushes on the top of the pump between your legs, and the right pump
shoots out (fig. 15).
Repeat this a couple of times. Stop with the top of the right pump out, and the top of the
Ieft pump in.
This time, as you push down on the top of the right pump with your left hand, bring
your right arm back to your body, releasing the tension. The result is that the top of the pump
between your legs does not shoot out this time. Look surprised.
Keeping your right hand in the same position, your left hand takes the left pump from
between the legs and moves back to the starting position, with the pumps about a foot apart
with both tops down.
Act as though you dont know what to do next, then appear to suddenly get an idea. Lift
the top of the right pump to your mouth and blow into it (figs. 16-17). \fhen you blow, itt a
natural action to draw in your breath and bend forward, which you do.
As you arch your body, your left hand moves forward, making the top of the left pump
shoot up.
Your left hand does not in fact have to move very far forward, since arching your body
forward actually moves your back in the opposite direction, taking up slack in the thread.
To recap, at this point the left pump is up and the right pump is down. You now once
again put the right pump to your mouth (frg.17), but this time you suck, not blowlThe left
pump goes down.
By now, you'll probably realize that all you need to do to achieve this result is to bring your
left hand back toward your body, which slackens off the tension on the thread and makes the
top come down.


Now hold the pumps in front of your body (fig. 18). This next move is a bit different. Itt
a reverse move, because up to this point you have always pushed down on one pump and the
other has gone up, but this time you pdl up on one pump and the other goes downl
Your left hand holds the pumps side by side with your hand gripping the pumps near the
middle of the barrels, with the backs ofyour fingers facing the audience. Your right hand pushes
down on the top of the right pump and the left pump shoots up.
Your right hand now pul/s up the top of the right pump, and at tbe same time moves the left
hand back toward your body. The top of the left pump goes down, due to the released tension
on the thread. If you now let go of the top of the right pump, it too will go down, leaving you
in the position shown in figure 19.
Keep the pumps in the same position, close to your body, both still held by your left hand
in the same grip.'With your right hand, first lift up the top of the right pump a couple of inches
and let it fall, and then do the same (again using your right hand) to the top of the left pump.
Casually change hands so that both pumps now move into your right hand, using exactly
the same grip your left hand previously, and allow your left hand to lift up and drop the tops
of the two pumps in exactly the same way as your right hand did a few moments before. The
position is now that both pumps are in your right hand, close to your body, with both tops down.
Raise your left index and middle fingers to your mouth. Blow hard onto your fingers,
making your cheeks fill up, as if you are blowing up a balloon, and at the same time bend
forward, causing both pumps to shoot out (fig. 20). Your right arm is extended and the thread
runs behind your arm, so your angles are well covered.
Your left hand takes hold of the left pump, your right hand still retains the hold on the
right pump, and with the tension still on the thread, and both pumps up, your hands move
apart in a perfect applause cue (fig. 21)l
Thke your bow, and as you bow, bring the rwo pumps together behind your back, with the
tops of the pumps pointing to the foor (frg.22).
Once the pumps are behind your back, place them into your right hand, which then brings
them back into view (frg.23). Your left hand can make any final gesture as your right hand drops
the pumps into your box or table so you can continue with your next miracle.


Effect Facing page:

Fig. 1-6
fl x numbered envelopes are placed
\ o" srx cnarrs.
\.-r, Five spectators volunteer.
All six sides of a die are shown, then
placed in a box (fig. t).
Each spectator shakes the box (fig.2),
looks at the number on the die (fig. 3),
then sits on the chair corresponding to that
At the conclusion, one chair is left for
the magician.
The envelopes are opened. In the
magiciant envelope - the only one not
chosen - is a big stack of mon ey (fig. 4) .

The die is fastened to a black thread,
which is attached to the side of the box with
scotch tape (fig. 5). Determine the length of
the thread so the number 3 will not be able to lie fat on the bottom of the box (fig. 6). lhis
will prevent the number 4 (which is on the opposite side of the die) from ending up as the top
number. The cash, of course, is in envelope number 4.
Note:You can actually perform this routine with a transparent box! Also, always attach a
second thread to the die in case the first one breaks.


F O R C E 2,

superb device for forcing four numbers in the order required.

A cardboard box
A styrofoam die
A length of very thin piano wire with one end looped and bent down (fig. 3). The other
end is bent down at an angle. Insert the wire through a hole in the side of the box with the
looped end outside (fig. 1). Impale the die on the angled end of the wire (fig. 2).

Ifyou shake the box, the die can roll onto four ofthe sides, but not the attached face or
its opposite one.
At the beginning of the routine, press on the wire with your thumb, allowing you to shake
the box. The audience will hear the die moving around inside the box, but the die will not
To force one of the four numbers, rotate the end of the wire to one of the four positions:
up, down, left, or right, depending on which side you want facing up.
In this manner, you can force three or four numbers for a book test, a sum added on a
slate, etc,

Figs. l-5

To perform, display the die by tilting the box's opening toward the audience (fig. 4). The
wire will be hidden by your hand as shown.
You can apply the same idea to a can of ground coffee with a wide hole cut in its lid (fig.
5). You can actually let a spectator grasp the can and shake it, with the wire side facing you.
Now you can simply look at the position of the wire, and you'll know which number is facing
up, before the spectator himself looks inside to see it.

Gaetan and Corinne

on their wedding day
(top), and a fun pose
withJtlien (below)


T 7ou write rhe numbers I to l0 on
V rlargepad.
I A spectator thinks of the
name of a ciry het never visited, then writes
it on the pad beside any number he wishes,
keeping the pad hidden from your view.
Next, after the other nine numbers, he writes
down cities he's actually visited.
Now you tell him that you'll read his list aloud. Instruct him to say "Yes" every time you
ask him if het been to each ciry: "You've visited Naples? London?" and so on. He says "Yes"
each time. \[hen you're done reading the list, you tell him that he's a big liar and that het never
been to, say, Paris. And you're correct!

You ll need rwo thick markers with round tips, one blue and one black. There's normally a
label on the cap that shows the color of the ink. Using the black marker, color the label on the
cap of rhe blue marker so itt completely black, then let it dry. You'll use only the blue marker
for the routine.
\With the pad in your left hand, along with the cap, write the numbers with the blue
marker. you're done, rub the tip of the marker on the blackened strip on the cap. This
acrion is hidden by the pad. As a resuh, rhe first letter of the first city will be blue with traces
of black. It'll be invisible to the audience, but obvious to you!
Note:You only need to get a very small amount of black ink on the tip. Another idea:
Instead of cities, you can use types of food, first names, movie titles, etc.



bu show the spectators a "wishing box." In with

a plastic bag are blue slips of paper
the names of various objects, white slips with the names of different kinds of fruit,
and red slips with the names of playing cards. The audience verifies that all the slips
have different words.
Have someone choose one slip of each of the three colors.
The blue slip says, "Can of corn." You drop the slip into the slot on top of the wishing box.
You press a few buttons on the front ofthe box to program it, you say, and when you open the
box, a can ofcorn has appeared inside.
The white slip says "Lemon" and the red slip says "Eight of Diamonds." You insert the
white slip, but nothing happens.
You try the red one, bur no card appears. Instead, a can opener has materialized. You open
the can of corn, and inside you find a lemon. you slice open the lemon, the Eight of
Diamonds is found inside. Six minutes of joy!

The three slips are forced with a transparent change bag (fiS. 1). in one of the compartments
are blue, white, and red slips which only have the force words: "can of corn," "lemon," and
"Eight of Diamonds."
The box is made from a plastic dishwashing detergent container, as shown in the illustrations
Attach a cheap calculator to the side of the box (fig. 3).
The can sits on a small shelf attached to the rear panel (fig.a) and on a block inside the box
(fig. 5). Itt held in place by a removable pin Cthat passes through a hole in the back of the box
into a hole youve drilled in the back of the can at the proper height (fig. 6).

Figs. 1-10

Open the top of the can with a can opener, but only cut it open three-quarters of the way
around so it remains attached, allowing you to open it and later close it up again (fig. 7).
Use a knife to make a slit in the side of the lemon, then slip a folded Eight of Diamonds
inside (fig. 8). Drop rhis into the can and press down the lid into place. Position the can on the
box's back panel, insert the pin, and close the panel.
Using magiciant wax, fasten a can opener,4 to the top of the box's interior (fig. 9), then
close the front panel.
Have a knife handy to cut open the lemon at the end of the routine.

Show several of the random slips inside the first compartment of the transparent change
bag, then force the prediction slips in the other compartment by allowing a spectator to choose
one ofeach color.
Similar to a dove production box, open the backpanel ,4'first, then the front panel .B'to
show the box empry (fig. 10). Close the front panel again, then the back panel. Remove the
pin and set it on your table behind the box.
Drop in the blue "Can of Corn" slip. Comically pretend to "program" the box using the
calculator. Make this process as silly as possible.
Open the front panel and show that the can has appeared. Remove the can and close the
front panel.
Drop in the white slip, then open rhe front panel and show that nothing has happened.
Insert the red slip, and again nothing has happened. Now pretend to notice the can opener
inside. Reach up into the top of the box and remove the can oPener.
Pretend ro use the opener to cut open the lid. Remove the lemon, then cut it open.
Remove the card, unfold it, and show them that it is indeed the Eight of Diamonds!


ERE's how to force a name Facing page:

Fig. 1-4
using a transparent double-
compartment change brg...
starting with the bag empty!

Insert the force slips inside a magazine.
They should be on a page near the end ofthe
magazine (fig. 1).
To construct a transparent change bag,
cut a panel from a Zip-Loc bag and insert
it into another bag. You can either glue the
panel in place with super glue along the
borders or else use a heat-sealer to secure the
three closed sides.

Hold the magazine like a tray. The
spectators write the names of several celebrities on slips of paper, then place them on the cover
Switch hands so your orher hand holds the magazine. Your free hand now picks up the
change bag, separating the compartments with your fingers (fig. 3).
Insert the corners of the magazine into the bag so the center divider slides into the middle
pages (fig. 4).By tilting the magazine upward, the spectator's slips will slide into the top
comparrment, and the force slips will glide into the lower compartment. So cleverl


Facing page:
Effect Figs. l-6
T T^, a spectator a clear bag

Ir], iiJTl'il1',r1',TJi.'ri
back (or under the table if youre performing
close-up). The volunteer pulls the silk out of
the bag and hands it to you.'!7'ith the bag
still behind his back, he rolls it up (this step
is optional). Next, you vanish the silk. The
spectator brings out the bag again. The silk
has reappeared!

Method and Preserutation

This routine again uses our friend the
transparent change bag (fig. 1). You'll need
two identical silks. Place a silk in each
compartment of the change bag (fig. 2).To
the audience, it looks like theret only one
silk inside (fig. 3).
the bag is behind the spectatort
back, he can safelyopen it and remove one of the silks (fig.4). \Thichever side he opens, he
will only feel one silk and one compartment!
'Whether or not he rolls up the bag (fig. 5), it'll be impossible for him to detect the presence
of the other silk. Vanish the silk with a thumb tip, let the spectator display the second silk in
the bag (fig. 6), and the rest is just showmanshipl



\ 2"" talk about the magiciant for exercising
yo,rt little finger, a white bu h, it's called a
l- tendeur). As you move your
Now you swallow some vitamins, or spinach, and you stretch out the cord more than a
Finally, you hand out the cord for examination. Itt just a normal rope...itt not even made
of elastic!

A whire nylon rope about three to rwelve feet long, depending on the length of your arms
Two hooks for bungee cords
A plastic container
A length of piano wire
A key ring
A safery pin

Attach one of the hooks to one end of the rope. Thread the other hook onto the rope so it
can slide along the length of the rope (fig. t).
Fasten the key ring through the eye of the safery pin, then slip the ring onto the rope (fig.
2). Melt the free end of the rope with a fame to solidi$' the strands and form a small lump that
cannot slip through the eye of the hook (fig. 3).
Insert the piano wire through a hole in the side of the plastic container, then bend it down
and pierce it through the melted end of the rope.

Figs. 1-1 )
S I G N E D, GAETAN )o'7

Place the plastic container in your pocket. Attach the safery pin to the back of your pants
(fig.a). The rope is now immobile.
Hold the free end in your left hand and put on your jacket, thus threading the rope
through your sleeve (fig. 5).

\flith the sliding hook visible through your fingers, display what appears to be a short
length of bungee cord (fig. 6). \X/hen you hold it in front of you with both hands, it should
Iook like you have a cord about six inches long (fig. 7).
By moving your hands apart, leaning forward, and bringing your hands closer to your
body, the rope appears to lengthen and stretch (fig. 8).
By bringing your hands back together, Ieaning back, and moving your hands away from
your body, the rope seems to shrink back to its short length again'
In this way, you can create the illusion of elasticity as you apparently stretch the cord a
few times.
Next, release your right hand and remove the container from your back pocket (6g. 9).
Pretend to hungrily pour rhe contents of the container into your mouth, but elegantly,
then toss away the container, like Popeye (fig. 10).
Now you simply have to grasp the end again and spread your arms (fig. 11). The entire
length of rope will be pulled out from your sleeve until the end reaches your hand.
By pulling firmly, the melted end will lodge in the opening of the hook. You can now hand
out the rope for examination.
One additional idea is to explain that the illusion results from three bungee cords of
different lengths - one shorr, one medium, one long - and that you invisibly switch one for the
other. Now you bring out three normal bungee cords and perform the Professort Nightmare...
with bungee cords.


ed, and the cards are placed in a hat. Now you
u raise it, the end is tied around a card...the

A normal length of rope, or a thin tie
A deck ofcards
A hat made of soft felt with a slit in rhe crown about three inches long

Have a card selected and returned, then shufle the deck as you control the card to the top.
Hold the hat in your left hand. SIip your index finger and middle finger through the slit.
The audience believes you're simply holding the hat normally.
Insert the deck vertically into the rear ofyour hat, transferring the top card to your fingers
inside. Set the rest of the deck down inside the hat.
Grip the selected card between your fingers and your thumb, which is on the outside of
the hat (fig. t).
Dip the rope into the hat as shown, looping it around your fingers (fi1.2).
Continue to hold the card with your index finger and thumb, but release your middle
finger and press it against the rope (69. 3).
Steady the brim with your right hand and shake the hat (fig.q. Your right fingers press the
side of the hat inward, pushing the end onto your middle finger (fig. 5).
Your middle finger now curls to grip the rope against the card (fig. 6).

Figs. 1-6

All you have to do now is slowly pull the

rope out ofthe hat.
The loop will close around the card.
tiThen it's tight enough, release your grip
with your left hand.
Your right hand displays the knotted
rope with the card's back facing the audience.
Set the hat on the table. Reveal the card,
then hand the rope and card to the audience.
Note:You can perform this effect with a
borrowed necktiel

HE fastest knot in the world... Figs. l-3

and you prove itl
Holding your watch in your
left hand, you keep track of the time and
count. ..1...2...3.
In less than a second, the knot is tied,
the watch is gone...and you find it secured
inside the knot!

Two identical watches, as in the picture.
The first one is anchored to a reel (fig. 1),
which is fastened inside your sleeve.
You can wear the watch on your wrist,
the thread running along the side of your
Thread the second watch onto the rope.

Remove the gimmicked watch with both
hands, then hold it at the end of your left
If you hold your arm straight down to
your side and let go of the watch, it will instantly fy up your sleeve.

The other watch has been on the rope since the beginning, the watch band being kept
folded by your third finger as in figure 2.
Hold the rope as shown in figure 3.
Now, ro make the knot, bring your hand down quickly, then catch point Xberween your
first two fingers as in figure 3. Release the rest of the rope. The knot is automatically tied with
the watch inside.
I just love this effect!

Gaeran and his son

Jdien (|efi, right.
and facing page)


test in three parts, based on a principle by Lubor Fiedler.

You begin by offering the spectator a free choice of two coin purses (fig.2),
one with a short plastic key (fig. l) attached by a ribbon, the other with a long key (fig. 1) on
a ribbon. \(hen you open the purses, one has nothing inside and one has a piece of candy.
\Thichever one the volunteer chooses, you comment on the psychological implications of his
Next, the spectator selects one of two small gift boxes (fig. 3); one has a short key, one has
a long key.
'When they're opened, one is empry and one has a small prize of some kind. Again, you
comment on the symbolism of his choice.
Finally, you display a large shopping bag sealed with scotch tape (fig. 4).
\Tithout telling him whatt inside the bag, you ask him to choose whether he wants the
one with the long key or the one with the short key.
Using scissors, you cut through the tape to unseal the bag. Inside are two small briefcases,
each with a key attached to the handle with a ribbon.
You first open the briefcase with the spectator's choice of key and show the audience that it
contains...an autographed photo of you! \)(hen you open the second case, which the volunteer
didnt choose, you show that it contains stacks of moneyl

The first two phases are genuine, but they build up the tension for the final section.
These initial sequences also get the spectator used to seeing the keys, their appearance, and
how you use them.

Figs 1-6


The spectators may or may not win. It doesn't matter, but it gives you a reason to talk
about the psychology of the decisions they made for the purse and the box.
Itt up to you to interpret the results as you like. This can be a very funny part of the trick,
depending on your sense of humor.
The third test is the tricky one.
The two cases are inside a large paper bag. The first one e (fi1. 5) is full of bills of any
The second case B (fig. 5) is empty except for your business card or an autographed photo
The double-ended key (fig. 6) is made of thin plastic or cardboard. It slides into two slots
made in the bag (fre.4)
Attach the ribbons through the briefcase handles and keys as shown in figure 5.
Seal the shopping bag with a lot of adhesive tape, all around (fig.q.
If the spectator chooses to keep the case with the short key, cut the "key'' at Z (frg. 6) so
the empty case ends up having the small one.
If he wants the case with the large key, cut the double key atZ' (fig. 6) so the empty case
has a longer key attached.
Next, continue destroying nearly entirely the bag with the scissors, before you hand him
the cases.
He'll win your photo...and you ll keep your money!


HIS is an adaptation of a wonderful trick by -y dear friend Max Maven. By all

means, seek out his books and videosl
The presentation and plot are identical to Maxt original routine, excePt that
you never touch anything.
You display a cardboard box with five crumpled pieces of thin tissue wrapping paper
One of the papers has a drawing of a big black ball. The other papers are blank.
You explain ro the audience that mobsters choose murder assignments by distributing
crumpled papers like these. \Thoever gets the black ball is the one chosen to perform the grim
One by one, five spectators reach into the box and each removes a paper ball. You correctly
guess who gets the black ball.

The paper with the black ball is hidden under the natural fap of the box.
This paper ball is held in position by a thin piece of thread as shown in the illustrations.
\fith a sharp needle, pass the thread first through the box, then through the paper ball, and
finally through the fap of the box.
The other end of the thread is firmly attached with scotch tape to the chair where you've
placed the box. The chair sits in a corner ofthe stage throughout the routine.
you begin the effect, the blank papers are in the bottom of the box, and the black
one is hidden from view, out of reach under the flap.
The first three spectators walk over to the box and remove a paper ball. Everything looks


Gaeran (lower right)

with Mu Maven
and Eugene Burger
inTokyo. Bonappitit!

Position the final Nvo spectarors in the center ofthe stage, then ask an "innocent bystander"
to bring over the box.
This person unknowingly acts as a sort of remote control. By moving the box center stage,
the paper ball with the black ball on it is released and falls into the box. For added safery, ask
the volunteer to thoroughly mix the last rwo paper balls.
The paper with the black ball on it can only belong to the fourth or fifth spectator. You
don't know yet know who has it.
Tell the five volunteers, "I will get rid of four of you...very quickly."
Concentrate, then suddenly point to spectator number 4 and say, "Open your paper."
If he has the paper with the black circle...bingo!
If he has a blank paper, say, "You're the first to be out of the game!" Rapidly eliminate the
spectators 1,2, and 3, then name spectator 5 as the "murderer."


ur out the front of a plastic Figs. 1-3

briefcase, and replace it with a

transparent plexiglas pane (fig.
Cut out the bottom of the case so the
prizes can fall through.
Drill nine holes through the case and
the transparent cover. Slip a nail through the
back into each hole.
On each nail, hang a small shoelace loop
with a iny prize attached.
The wallet is actually pretty elaborately
gimmicked. A reel is concealed inside (see
figs. 2 and 3).
At the end of the reel, attach a length
of shoelace about the size used for the other
loops. Run the line around the outside of the
wallet, then tie the free end to the inside of
the wallet. (There may be a convenient spot
inside to do so; if not, pierce a hole through
one of the inner pockets.)
Fill the wallet with bills.
Now hang the wallet's line on a nail in the bottom left corner.
Next, extend the reelt line and loop it around the other outer nails (fig.q.


Close the plastic front and turn around the case so the prizes are hidden from view
Demonstrate how the game works by removing the center nail. The prize drops out the
bottom (fig. 5).
The spectators now have a complete free choice of the nails they want. Remove them one
by one. Each time, the volunteer wins one of the small prizes.
As each nail is removed, the reel retracts the line more and more. \7hen the second-to-last
nail is taken, the wallet is pulled over to the final nail, where it hangs from the shoelace loop
(fig. 6).

Gaeran wirh Channine

Pollock (top and belon,
right); afounrain ar
Channing's house
(certter lefi); and
Channing wirh
Gaetans son Julien
(below lefi)
; o'i" o


A specraror freely chooses a card, then signs it. You drop the deck into a box oflaundry

A d.t..genr. The volunteer himself drops his card inside. A number is selected, and
I \h. rp.ctaror shakes the box to thoroughly shufle the cards.
The outer cover of the box is detachable, and when itt removed, the audience can see the
cards inside. The cards are removed one by one, and the spectatort card appears at the chosen
Finally, to show the detergent's effectiveness, the rest of the cards are shown...they all now
have blank faces!

The number is forced. Use any method, such as a transparent change bag with papers all
marked with the same number in one compartment, and various random number slips in the
other. Lett say you use the number 16.
The detergent box is thoroughly gimmicked. To begin, cut offthe bottom. This bottomless
sleeve (fig. 1) slides over the inner box, which is made from plexiglas attached to a base slightly
wider than the outer sleeve (fig. 5).
Inside the top of the outer sleeve, attach four lengths of elastic, which the audience will
not see (fig.1).
Now you'll construcr two inner partitions, B and C. B is a V-shaped pocket with folded
ends to hang over the first rwo elastic cords (fig. 2). C is an inverted- [./-shaped partition thatt
folded at right angles, with a slot cut into the top (fig. 3).
Slip the outer sleeve onto the plexiglas inner box.
Hang C over rhe rwo front elastic supports (fig. 4), then tape a plastic strip near the
bottom of each side to maintain its square shape (fig. 3).

Figs. 1-5

You'll now need a blank-face deck ofcards

Place fifteen cards inside in front of the partition C and the rest of the deck to the rear
Finally, hang the Z-shaped pocket B on the rwo rear elastics (fig. q.
You'll also need a regular deck whose back matches the blank-face cards'

Have the specraror choose any card from the deck. As the spectator signs his card, open the
lid of the outer sleeve and drop the rest of the pack into partition B. This keeps them isolated
and held in place for the rest of the routine.
Next, drop the signed card into slot C (frg.q.
Close the faps of the ourer sleeve. Have the spectator hold the box, one hand on top, the
other hand holding the base of the inner box. The spectator shakes the box to shuffie the cards.
Now you force your number, in this case 16. As mentioned earlier, a transparent change
bag works well.
Take the box from the spectator and set it on your table. Remove the outer sleeve and
display the seemingly shuffied cards inside the transparent holder. Sliding the cover off has
automatically stacked the deck so the selection is fifteenth from the top!
Remove the cards without changing their apparent shuffied condition. You can use huge
tweezers for added comedy or drama.
Carefully count fifteen cards. Tirrn over the sixteenth one...itt the selection!
Now show how powerful the detergent is. All the other cards have been cleaned so well
that they're now blank!
__- -^_----\





bu place a large envelope in full

view of the audience, then spread
sheets of newspaper around the
As you walk among the pages, a spectator
tells you to stop at one ofthe sheets.
You dangle a long spring over the paper,
move it around, and stop whenever the
spectator chooses. He reads the words on the
page encircled by the spring.
\7hen your predicition is opened, it
matches the words he's read aloud.

Cut a small headline from your favorite
newspaper and glue it to the bottom of the
spring as in the illustration.
This headline will be your prediction, or
use a phrase that basically conveys the same
ideas. \7rite it on a sizable piece of white
Fold the paper and slip it into a large envelope. As you begin your routine, have this
envelope onstage where the audience can clearly see it.
You Il also need a long Slinky-rype spring. For best results, the diameter of the spring
should be about three inches wide.

Finally, you'll require a newspaper with several sheets. Itt better to use a newspaper with
plenry of text and a minimum of drawings.
Shuffie the pages and scatter them around the stage. Separate them on the foor so you can
easily walk from one page to another.
Now begin walking on the pages. Ask the spectator to shout "Stopl" at any time he wishes.
!(hen he does, thatt the page you will use. He can keep all the other newspaper sheets, or you
can throw them to the audience for examination, if you wish.
Now stand next to the chosen page and drop the bottom of the spring onto it.
Move the spring all over the page, like a sort of vertical snake.
Ask another spectator to say "Stop," and when he does, stop moving the spring on the
Bend down on your knees slowly, then gently compress and close the spring onto the piece
of newspaper.
The spring is now a small cylinder. If needed, you can easily rotate it slighdy at the last
moment so the text showing through the tube is perfectly aligned with the rest of the text on
the newspaper.
Ask the spectator to read aloud what he sees through the spring at the precise spot where
he stopped you. \(hen he has, get rid ofthe spectator, get rid ofthe spring and the rest ofthe
newspaper, and open the prediction in the envelope that's been in full view throughout the
routine. Naturally, it matches the words the spectator has seen inside the spring.


bu swallow some cigarette paper and some tobacco, then start chewing.
Next, you drink a glass of water...and suddenly a cigarette appears at your lips.
You light instantly itl

The cigarette is actually a piece of thick white electrical heat-shrink tubing. tVhen this rype
of tube is heated with a flame, the material contracts and tightens.
You'll also need a small piece of aluminum tubing, about a half-inch long and about the
width of a cigarette.
Cut a short piece, about the same length, from a real cigarette. If you are not a smoker, you
can use one of the many herbal non-tobacco cigarettes available at smokers' shops.
Insert the cigarette piece into the small aluminum tube. Slide this into the end of the heat-
shrink tubing
Now roll up this fake cigarette and secure it with a tiny rubber band.
Instead of a rubber band, you can also cut a piece of a white twisting balloon and make a

tiny sleeve to fit over the rolled gimmick.

The tobacco in the routine is actually brown paper finely cut into tiny pieces. Fill an empry
tobacco pouch with them.
You can have your gimmick in your pocket or case, alongside the tobacco pouch and a
piece of cigarette paper.
Grasp the gimmick when you pick up the cigarette paper. Insert the gimmick into your
mouth as you put the paper in.
Tianfer the rolled gimmick to the bottom of your mouth at either side.

After you've had a drink of water, remove the rubber band or balloon sleeve with your
teeth. This is actually easier than it sounds! Let the gimmick unfold in your mouth, then push
it out with your tongue, cigarette end first. Pause a moment, then light the cigarette with your
lighter and take a few puffs.

Gaetan wirh Fafa and

their dog Sherlock (rap
/ry'),'Corinne Blum
(top right); and
a photo ofFafa
6y Gaetan (belou)

Gaetan u'irh
LiseMenna (top and
center right);
Stdphanie Vaudagne
(belou lefi and
belou right)
L-- --



he audience sees a shopping bag with a ribbon threaded through holes in each side.
You tell the spectators that the bag contains a prediction about a vicious murder
that is about to take place.
From the bag, you remove several books, a number ofweapons, and a deck of cards, as well
as a plastic bag with various colored slips of paper inside.
The audience chooses slips to select a book, a weapon, a card, and a number. Comically,
the selected weapon is a vegetable peeler. You now replace all the items in the bag.
Two spectators hold the ends of the ribbons.
You tear open the bag,
Threaded on the ribbon is the vegetable peeler, which is stabbed into the chosen book,
piercing the selected card...at the designated page number!

Everything is forced using a transparent change bag with various colors of paper slips for
each item. For example, white for the book, red for the weapon, blue for the number, and
yellow for the playing card.
One compartment has all the force items, the other has the various other choices on the
The forced book, card, and weapon (the peeler) are threaded on the ribbon and arranged
as in figure 2, with the ends of the ribbon protruding from slits in the sides of the bag (fig. 3).
A duplicate book and peeler are inside the bag, along with a number of other books, a few
artificial weapons, and a deck of cards.
You ll need to hollow out a book thatt larger than the force book. Just slice out the centers
of all the pages. You'll use this hollow book to smuggle out the duplicate force book and peeler.

Figs. 1-3

Begin with all the props in the bag, then remove all the props, leaving the ribbon-threaded
book in place. Show a few of the various random slips in the first compartment of the change
First force the book by allowing a spectator to choose one of the white slips from the
second compartment of the change bag. Keep the chosen book and replace the others in the
bag. Make sure the hollow book ends up on top of the others for easy access.
Now have other specrarors choose slips for the other selections: the weapon, card, and page
number where everything will end up. Replace the remaining weaPons in the bag.
Now place the peeler and chosen book into the bag, but stash them inside the hollow book
(fig. 3) and close the cover. Finally, toss the deck of cards into the bag.

Restate what you've done, then bring out the unchosen books, supposedly to protect them
from being damaged by the dangerous peeler. Shake the bag.
Have rwo spectarors hold the ends of the ribbon. Tear the bag, then display the predictions
one by one.

Gaetan wirh European

colleagues: Jean-
Jacques Sanvert,
Dominique Duvivier,
and Georges Proust
(top); and Dominique
fusbourg, Gdrard
Majx, Bertran Lotrh,
Edernac, Xevi, and
Silvan (belou,)
6 lt ,


A spectator chooses and signs a card, then returns it to the deck.

the specrarors a stack of paper plates, each marked with various

A random number is chosen.

The person with that number stands up and tries to catch the deck on the plate as you
throw the cards to him.
He fails, but when you peel apaft rhe layers of his plate, the signed card is found embedded

\7ith a marker, write various numbers on a stack of paper plates.
Thke another blank plate and apply rubber cement all around the outer edge (fig. 2) of its
top side (the side you'd normally place food upon). Place this plate aside in a large cardboard
box (fig. 3).
The back of the last plate in the stack is also treated with rubber cement (fig. 1). Mark this
plate with the number you'll force, such as 34.
Now set the stack of paper plates (with the force plate on the bottom) to the right of the
other plate, inside the cardboard box (fig. 2).
Remove the deck from its case.
Set the case on the stack ofplates inside the box.
Shuffie the cards.
Have one chosen, signed, and returned to the deck, then control it to the top (such as by
holding a break, then cutting the card to the top).
Approach the box with the deck in your left hand, the chosen card on top.

Figs. l-3

rr \rli
?r r.-i-"\-r

' .\.,/

Insert both hands into the box momentarily.

Your left hand pushes the top card offonto the single plate (fig. 3). Your right hand grasps
the stack ofplates and sets it on the extra plate.
The card is automatically sandwiched between them and sealed inside the glued plates!
Throw all the plates into the audience.
Force the number - in this case, 34 - by your favorite method, such as a transparent
change bag.
Have the spectator with number 34 stand up.
Ask him to catch the chosen card with his plate as you throw the deck toward him. He
misses, of course!
Thke his paper plate from him and tear its layers apart.
The signed chosen card is inside!
1999 NOTES

r^ | ^" ,

N ideal trick to do with a couple of volunteers, with a surprise for both spectators
at the conclusion!
Have a male spectator think of any card in the deck...no force. You then write
a secret prediction on a small Post-It note.
Next, ask a female volunteer to intuitively touch her finger to the back of any card...again,
no force. You fasten the Post-It to the back of this card, then cut the deck several times.
Now, as you run through the face-up deck, the male volunteer touches his finger to the
face of the card he thought of. This card proves to be the same one chosen by the woman, with
the Post-It on it!
To conclude, you remove the note and show that at the beginning of the effect, you did in
fact write the name of the correct card on the note.
Strong points: no forced card; the selections ere very clean; all movements are natural; and
the trick can be immediately repeated with a different card.

A pack of 52 cards plus a Joker; a pad of miniature Post-It notes; roughing spray; spray-on
Post-It adhesive or double-stick tape.

Remove the Joker and coat its face with Post-It spray glue, or else place a piece of double-
stick tape on its face.
Now thoroughly mix the remainder of the deck and make two packs of 26 cards each.
Coat the backs cards of one half, A, with roughing spray.
Now treat the faces of the other half, B.

Figs. l-2
t999 NOTES 251

Note that only the cards from half A are the potential selections, so make sure your favorite
cards are in this packet.
Assemble 26 pairs now in the following way. Fasten a Post-It note to the back of one card
fromA, such as the Ten of Diamonds, and write on its adhesive-side back "Ten of Diamonds."
Leave the front side blank. On top of thisl card, place any card from half .B face-down (fig. l).
Prepare the remaining pairs of cards in this manner (fig.2), writing the name of the r4 card
behind a Post-It, and placing any B card on top.
Finally, place the Joker at the bottom of the deck.

The deck can now be fanned to freely show their faces and backs.
As you spread through the cards, the pairs will cling together. The male spectator thinks of
one of the visible cards. Tell him, 'Avoid rheJoker, which is not a real card, but think of any
other." Close the fan.
Now remove a Post-It note from the pad and write on its adhesiue side the name of any
card, without showing it to anybody. Temporarily attach this note to the back of the hand of
a female spectator.
Fan the pack face-down in front ofher and ask her to place her index 6nger on the back of
any card. Separate the pack at this place and set the top halfon the table. Take the note from
her hand and attach it to the back ofthe top card.
Then, ro lose the card, cur the pack, which automatically transfers the Joker onto the
selected card. Now replace the other half on top to complete the deck. The decoy Post-It note
is now sealed berween the Joker and the spectator's card, whose identiry actually makes no
Spread the deck face-up. The first specrator places his finger on his mentally selected card.
Tell him that if he wishes, he can still change his mind. Cut the deck at the card he has
touched. Place this card face-up on the table. (Itt better to hold this card by its ends so you
will be sure to remove only a single card.)
Square up the deck and restate what has happened up until now. Spread the deck face-
down. The audience will see that none of the cards have Post-It notes on them. Tirrn over the
card the spectator touched. On its back is a Post-It note.
Pause, slowly detach the note, and reveal your prediction.


A ffick
very old an Ramo Samee. Following
A the publicatio ns have appeared, one ofthe
I \-o.t recent b m Steimeyer. His method is
superb, though it uses a specially designed pack. I have adapted the basic Ramo Samee method
to a deck that looks normal.

A spectator thinks ofany one ofthe 52 cards, except the Joker.
Now you thoroughly mix a deck. You tell the audience that the cards will help you find the
thought-of card, just by asking a few simple questions.
You take a small bunch of cards, without looking at their faces, and ask the spectator if he
sees a card in this group of the same value as his chosen card. If the answer is yes, you place this
bunch of cards in front of him; otherwise, the cards are placed in front of you.
Now you repeat this procedure several times with other groups of cards, constantly mixing
the deck as you do.
Next, you proceed with a few other groups of cards, asking him if he sees one or more cards
of the same suit as his card: Spade, Heart, Club, or Diamond.
You end up wirh rwo piles of cards in front of you, one with positive answers, the other
with negative responses.
You say, "To succeed in life, itt necessary to know how to balance the positive and the
negative sides," and you mix the rwo packets one final time.
Llntil now, you haven't seen the face of any card. You announce that you are going to take
a mental photo of the spectatort card. You remove a card halfivay from the pack as if you had
a psychic fash about it.

Figs. )-4
1999 NOTES 255

The spectator names his card. You turn over the deck. The card protruding halfivay out is
his card!

The deck consists of six distinct marked packets.
The various marks provide you with the necessary information to calculate the identiry of
the chosen card.
The first four packets code the values of 1 to l 3. The Jack is l l , the Queen is 12, and the
King is 13.
The first packet contains a Tivo, a Four, a Six, an Eight, a Ten, and a Queen in any order;
for example, Four, Two, Queen, Ten, Six, Eight. The suits are unimportant, but try to vary
them as much as possible.
The cards of this packet are connecred by a strong thread, which passes through all the
cards except the first and the last (fig. 1). This thread is attached to the top and bottom cards
by a piece ofadhesive tape.
Note: The illustration shows you how the thread is attached, but the perspective shows
the length larger than necessary. There is actually no more than a miniscule length of thread
between the first and the last card, with just enough slack to easily fan each packet.
Once each packet is squared, it becomes a small block and can be mixed with the others,
using a gende overhand shuffie.
The back of the top card of this first packet is marked with the numeral | (fig.2). You can
make this mark cleanly with rub-on lettering (a Ted Lesley idea) or even with just the tip of a
box cutter.
Finally, the top card of this packet is a short card. Just trim offa small strip of one end (fig.
3). This trim allows you to easily cut it to the top of the deck.
Construct the rest of the packets in the same way. Here's a list of the cards in each packet.
They're each arranged in an order I've chosen to better camoufage the method.

Second packet: Ace, Four, Five, Eight, Nine, Queen, Kirg. The top card is marked with a
numeral 2.The order is: Ace, Eight, Queen, Four, King, Nine, Five.

Third packet: Ace, Tlwo, Three, Eight, Nine, Ten, Jack. The top card is marked with a
numeral 4.The order is: Ten, Eight, Nine, Two, Ace, Jack, Three.

Fourth packet: Ace, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven. The top card is marked with a

numeral 8. The order is: Seven, Tko, Four, Six, Three, Ace, Five.

These first four packets let you determine the value of the chosen card. Here's how. Thke
any packet, fan it widely so the indexes are all clearly visible, and ask, "Do you see a card here
with the same value as your card?"
If he answers yes, place the packet in front of him.
If he answers no, place the packet in front of you and note the coded number on the top
of the packet (for example,4).
Repeat this same procedure with the other packets in an1' order.

Indian magician
Ramo Samee in two
nineteenth century
prints (top) and an
1849 playbtll (below)

Suppose that you end up with three

packets with the numbers 4, l, and 2. Add
these three numbers to get the value of the
card. In our example, it's a Seven. This works
for all the values! Epll-o,p ! Eook Eere !
You also need to construct two more
packets to determine the suits in the same
way. l

The first packet contains Spades and

Diamonds of any value. The back of the top
card of this packet is marked with a numeral Ncxt'l'lrursda.v,
li'cll. I7. __

-}ilu in tlr llihl !
The second packet has Hearts and
Diamonds. The back of the top card of this Soldier's Daughter
packet marked with a numeral 2.
These suit packets have only five cards
RAlto'l'fu (h'iginul
h,.liut ,Iulglt.
each. To help distinguish them at a glance Nerv l,'arctlr
from the value packets, make a small scratch WrtttenDy E. E. R,
Yl Y!
lghvSiould'Bt wc Go?
in the left corners of each top card using a comc oril-f,Emgll for SAKER !
LUID. lt,,xcr,' li, ( Inn,'n slr(.,, lin)
box cutter (fig.4).
The order ofthe suit code is 1: Spades;2:
Hearts; 3: Clubs; and nothing for Diamonds.
To find the suit, show the spectator the
6rst packet and ask if he sees a card with the same suit as his.
If he says yes, place the packet in front of hrm.
Ifhe says no, set the packet in front ofyou.
If he said yes to only the first packet, which has the numeral 1, he chose a Spade.
If he said yes to only the second packet, which has the numeral 2, he chose a Heart.
If he said yes to both packets, he chose a Diamond.
If he said no to both packets, he chose a Club.

It took a long time toexplain all these details, but that's it. You now have four vaiue
packets, two suit packets, and about fifteen random cards.
1999 NOTES 257

Put the two suit packets at the bottom of the deck, followed by the random cards, and
finally the four value packets on top.

Have the specrator think of any card except the Joker. Fan the cards, then cut the deck
somewhere in the random cards section.
Shuffie the single cards with a gentle overhand shuffie, then cut the value packets to the
top. You can now shuffie the four value packets if you wish, returning them to the top in any
order when you are done.
I present the routine as a test: "I'll try to decipher your different intonations as you say
yes or no, and try to find your card. Of course, I'll need you to concentrate intensely. If you
lie, we wont succeed, but I trust you, and I feel you have strong inner power." This statement
doesnt mean anything, but it makes the spectator feel like het playing an important role. It
also implies that if you dont find the correct card, it's his fault, not yours!


his is a terrific memory effect,

for those performers who dont
have a good memory!
Basically, a deck is thoroughly shufled
inside a large transparent box.
You hand some of the mixed cards to a
spectator, and the rest of the deck to someone
else. They shufle the cards more.
One card is freely chosen from one
persont cards, and inserted into the other
volunteert cards. You dont touch anything
during this process.
To find the card, theret only one
possibiliry. You ll
have to memorize the pile
containing the selection. You do so rapidly.
The spectator names his chosen card,
and you immediately announce its position
in the packet. The spectator checks and
verifies that youre correct!
You then announce that having
memorized the cards in this stack, itt an easy matter to determine which cards are in the other
The cards from this Iast pile are divided by suits amongst four spectators, and you
immediately name all the cards that the spectators are holding.

Figs. l-3
1999 NOTES 261

A clear plastic box with a transparent fap. The fap is just large enough to fit loosely inside
the box; a deck of cards; and a black permanent marker

Give the deck a good shuffie, then separate it into two piles, A and B.
,4 should be about a third ofthe deck. These cards are left unprepared.
Now take the cards from the ,B pile and scratch the small index in each corner using a box
cutter, similar to the Nine of Hearts shown in figure 1.
Next, use marker ro write rhe names of all the cards in pile ,4 on the transparent edge of
the box (fig. 3). Here, we're using an example ofr4 consisting of the Ace, Four, Five, and Eight
of Spades; the Four, Seven, Five, and Eight of Hearts; the Six, Queen, and Three of Clubs; and
the King, Five, Seven, and Nine of Diamonds.
Place packet .B at the bottom of the box, then the transparent fap on top, and packet A
on top ofthe fap (fre.2).

Shake the box and show the mixed cards. Open the box with A on top and hand some of
those to a first spectator. Scoop out the rest ofthe14 cards and hand them to a second spectator.
Close the box, turn it over, and again shake it to shuffie the remaining cards.
Remove these cards from the box and divide them among two other spectators.
Now close the empry box, turn it over, and set it in front of you with the secret writings
facing you.
The four spectators now mix their own packets. Ask the first and second spectators to work
togerher by combining their packets, and then have the third and fourth spectators do the
same. This reconstructs your two initial packs A and B.
Have one of the spectarors choose any card from the A pile, then replace it in the B pile.
To find the chosen card, you say, the only solution is to memorize the -B pile.
In realiry what you do is silently count the cards one by one. you come to the only
unmarked card in the pack, remember the number of its position.
Dramatically ask the name of the card, then announce, for example, "The Eight of Spades...
must be twelfth from the top. Please check and see if I'm correct!"
Now conclude by having the four spectators divide the ,B pile into suits. As you glance at
the cue list on the box, pretend to concentrate. All you have to do is name all the cards that
arent listed there, suit by suit!


n effect about futuristic fast food. You explain to the audience that at the franchises
of tomorrow, you buy an empty bag for ten dollars. Next, you choose your meal
iom among several cards; the prices are indicated on each card.
'When you add up the total, the correct change for your ten dollars is magically delivered
to you.
Even better, the meal you ordered instantaneously materializes inside the bag, served on
Thatt how we serve you...at Mac Fast Bloom!

The menu consists of ten cards with drawings of various items and drinks. You force
the selections by your favorite method. I use a multiple force shown to me years ago by Jean
Lubow, which I'll now explain.
As you see in figure 1, every card has a food item or drink, each with different prices.
For our example, lett force the group,4, which includes a MacMarlo Burger, a Diet Coke, a
light beer, and ketchup, adding up to $9. The meal is not very nutritional, but itt deliberately
imbalanced to add comedy.
Arrange the two groups of cards into two stacks, AandB as shown in figure 1. Position
the two packets face-down.
Have one or several cards chosen from A and turn them face-up onto B.
Shufle 4 then take a small packet from the top of the stack.
Turn over these cards and place them on top of A.
Now shuffie packetA.
After every shufle, be careful not to il:;in over the pack when replacing it on the table. You
can repeat this procedure ad nduseum.

Figs. l-3
r999 NOTES 265

\7hen you're done mixing in this mannet pick up the entire z4 packet and turn it over as a
block onto B. Spread out all the cards. Only the cards originally in A will be face-up.
Now lett Iook at the bag. I use a sort of small paper shopping bag with cord handles.
A purse is attached inside the top of the bag (fig.a).Itt a coin purse with a cord and ring
attached, and I fasten the ring ro one of the handles so the purse can hang inside the bag.
Inside the purse is a thumb tip and rwo half dollars, which is the exact change you Il need
for the $9 total.
Begin by borrowing a ten-dollar bill . Fold it so it will fit easily into the thumb tip. \Vhen
you've folded the note, reach into the bag and open the purse. Insert the note directly into the
thumb tip and immediately steal it our on your thumb, then close the purse. The dirty work
is done.
The bag itself is constructed like a simple mirror box. You can use a real mirror or a plastic
one. Cover one side with wood-grain adhesive Contac paper. This camoufage allows you to
openly remove the mirror at the end disguised as a wooden tray.
On the wood-camoufaged side are the various force items, which you've purchased at your
local fast-food eatery.
To maintain the mirror in proper position, pinch its edge at the point Xthrough the bag.
Tilt the bag horizontally with the opening toward the audience (frg.2).
Heret a nice touch: I never actually say that the bag is empty. I just show the audience that
the purse is hanging inside (fig. 3).
As added proof I illuminate the bottom of the bag with a fashlight (frg. q.Keep the
fashlight moving, but when it's behind the bag, make sure the beam of light hits the bottom
at point Y (fig. 3). Thanks to the mirror, it looks to the audience as though they're seeing
completely through the entire bottom.
VoililYou have all the pieces of the puzzlel Bon appitit!
- 1
fs a


A prediction in an envelope is given to a spectator.
A Five empty whiskey glasses are lined up on the table'
I \ A pack of cards is set face-down on the center glass.
To avoid any suspicion of marked cards, a cardboard box - with no top or bottom - is set
on top the glasses (fig. 1).
From this point on, only the spectator who assists you can see the face-down cards.
In any way he wishes, he cuts small groups of cards from the top of the deck, then places
them on top of the two empty glasses.
Now you turn to him, wave your hand over the box, and ask him if for example, he wants
to remove the cards on rop of the first glass. (For easy reference, they can be numbered, if you
The spectator then takes a few cards from the remaining piles, to create a new pack on the
empty glass.
This process of elimination is repeated, until only one card remains on one glass.
The spectator removes the cardboard cover.
The remaining card is inserted in the glass so everybody can see it'
The card matches your prediction!

This trick is really one of my favorites. Itt a sort of an extension of my earlier trick
Bloomentalism, explained elsewhere in this book.
The principle is dead simple, but it took me ages to find all the little touches to make the
trick practical.

Figs. l-3
t999 NOTES 269

The card is forced, and then you follow its position, step by step, up until the final moment.
You do so thanks to a short length of invisible thread, anchored to the card with a piece of
invisible scotch tape attached to one end of the face of the card. lJse a court card for better
At the other end of the thread, you fasten a tiny knot, as shown in figure 2. AB is the
invisible thread. CD is a piece of strong black cotton thread, knotted over AB (fig. 3). Tighten
the knot, then apply a drop of super glue to secure it. Tiim the ends ACD as close as possible
to the knot. The knot helps prevent the thread from slipping out from under the scotch tape.
The knot will only be visible if you really look for it. At first, I tried using a small fishing
weight, but it tended to cling to the side of the glass.
Use large, flat-bottomed whiskey glasses, with contoured sides.

Begin with the force card in the bottom rhird of the deck, with the knot resting in your
Set the pack on the middle glass with the knot nearest to you. It will remain invisible to
the spectators thanlcs to the countours in the the glass.
Position the cardboard cover on the glasses. The cover is supposedly used to conceal the
various movements of the cards, but it's actually a complete diversion. The spectator can only
grasp rhe cards by their short ends, and the cover prevents any possible glimpse of the thread.
All you have to do now is follow the knot. -When the spectator has cut offthe first packet,
eliminate one of them by instructing him to cut some of its cards onto the empty glass.
Glance at the glasses ro note the position of the knot. Continue to give instructions to
eliminate more packets until the spectator tells you that only one card remains on one glass.
Ask him to remove the cover. Gently pick up the card and insert it in the glass, facing the
audience. Make sure the thread and knot are at the bottom. They're now safely concealed from
view in the bottom of the glass.
Open your prediction. It matches, of course!

You can use the same principle for a kind of Open Prediction effect.
The threaded card (without the glasses and cover) can be applied to create a unique version
of the Ten Card Poker Deal. Of course, the Jonah card is your threaded card, and you always
can guess the location of the winning hand.
=..: --: =-..---


jumbo slate sits on a small easel. The front of the slate is partially covered by a piece
Nine cards, from Ace to Nine, are given to nine spectators' You have the
volunteers stand in a circle.
The pack is shuffled, then the spectators exchange their cards any way they wish. At this
point, you have no idea of the position of any card.
You explain rhat you are going to conduct a sort of race. A tenth volunteer chooses one
of the nine spectators to be "the finish line." This tenth spectator also gives the signal to start
the race.
The race begins. Each of the nine "drivers" rapidlypasses his card to the next person in a
\(henever he wants, the tenth specrator shouts "Stopl" Everyone stops. The first stage of
this unique race is over. The winning card is the one held by the person whot been designated
as the finish line. His card is openly clipped to the top of the slate with a wooden clothespin.
The race is repeated in the same way to determinate three other winners. There can
obviously be no possible force.
Once the four winning cards are selected, without any false move at any time, you tear
off the paper covering the front of the slate and reveal your prediction. \Tritten on the slate in
chalk are the four numbers, in the proper order!

The slate is elaborately faked. It will take you a few hours to build it, but you'll love the

Figs. l-5

.t /
1999 NOTES :)

The front of the slate is made of transparent plexiglas, with matte finish (fig. 2).
Figure 1 shows the back of the slate. The panel -B is made of cardboard covered with black
adhesive velvet and attached behind the transparent front. Note that there's a large rectangular
window cut in this panel.
The fap C is also cardboard covered with black adhesive velvet. Itt hinged at the bottom
behind the transparent front panel so you can open and close it.
Take a look at the easel in figure 2.The grooved bar acts as a stop for flap C stopping it
from falling completely open behind the slate.
The sides of the easel hold the slate in position but also protect your angles.
Now, time for the big secret. Itt all in the clothespins.
Each clothespin is attached to a piece of thin thread, whose other end is connected to a
piece of black velvet. A number is painted with white acrylic paint on both sides of the velvet
piece. Figure 5 shows you one of the completed clothespins with the numeral B.
Prepare nine of these clothespins, one for each number 1 through 9.
Arrange the clothespins in numerical order inside a shallow box with nine compartments
(fig.a).In each section, position the velvet piece first, then the clothespin on top. \With this
arrangement, the thread will be safe from tangles or snagging. This box has a lid, although it's
not shown in our drawings. Place the box behind the easel before you start the routine.
Finally, lighdy tape a piece of newspaper over the bottom half of the front of the slate, as
in figure 2.

The slate is on its easel. The fap C is in its opened position, but the audience cant see this,
thanks to the piece of newspaper.
Once the spectators have firn passing their cards around, the winner is determined. Thke
his card and stand behind the slate. Pick up the clothespin with his number attached and use it
to clip the spectatort number to the top of the slate. This automatically positions the duplicate
number in the proper position behind the clear front (fig. 3).
Repeat rhe same procedure for the other numbers. Close the lid of the compartmented
box, and close back fap C as you remove the slate from the easel. This presses the numbers
against the front.
Tear offthe piece of newspaper...and enjoy the resultsl

Gaeran with
Penn and Teller

bu display a small Hoberman sphere, a curious plastic mesh ball that expands or
shrinks in a magicalJooking manner. You open the ball to its expanded position
and insert the silk, then close the ball around it. 'When you expand the ball again,
the silk has vanished from inside the tightly closed sphere.

This effect is simply a new presentation for the vanish of a silk from a container.
One corner of the silk is attached to a pull (Robert-Houdin-sryle or elastic) and leads up
your sleeve.
The amazing Hoberman sphere, made of interlaced pivots, adds a new twist. It's available
in many roy srores and scientific gift shops. The use of this unique object also allows you to
delay when the audience sees that the silk has vanished.

\Mith the ball in expanded position, insert the silk into the top of the ball, grasping the
corner attached to the pull. Gradually shrink the ball. The silk will be almost completely
hidden by the crosspieces of the ball. Note: I use a red silk to match the red interior of the ball
I use.
Nowt your perfect chance to release the pull to vanish the silk. \[alk toward the spectators
and display the ball, then slowly expand it. The silk seems to vanish right before their eyes.
Nothing to add excepr that you should try this effect, if only because of the fun you'll have
visiting your local science shop!

T H E \T O R L D'S

A gag effect, perfect for emcees.
A You display a rube, calling it e worldt longest tube," even though its size is
I lobuio.rsly nothing out of the ordi ry.
"It is so long," you claim, "that if I drop anything inside, it will take at least twenty seconds
for it to come out the other end."
Now you prove your statement by pouring some rice into the tube. You wait, counting
aloud the passing seconds.
After fifteen seconds, you turn your wrist to look at your watch. Your movement turns the
tube upside-down...but nothing falls out!
Slowly counr down the final five seconds, then again hold the tube upright. The stream of
rice pours out of the tube into a bowl you hold beneath the opening.

As shown in the illustrarions, the tube is made from plastic water bottles, such as family-
sized soda bottles.
From one bottle, cut offthe top and keep the body A.
Next, slice offthe necks of two other bottles (B and B) and forcibly insert them into the
tube A, noting the position of the necks as sho n.
C and C'are ping-pong balls joined by a length of elastic D. 'Ihe elastic should be only
slightly taut.
E is a small length of braided fishing line attached to each ball and running around the
exterior ofthe tube. A steel curtain ring, E is attached to this cord.

\- -'-

As you grasp the tube, slip your left thumb into the ring.
By pulling downward on the ring, the poured rice fows directly between the two necks.
By releasing pressure on the ring, you can freely turn over the tube.
From this position, you can again pull on the ring to free the other ball. Now, by revolving
your hand, the rice will fow out.
Note: I read about a similar effect decades ago in Karl Fulves' Pallbearers Reuiew magazine;
the method was totally different and offered less complete control.


\ F" tell the audience that you've invented an amazing, indispensable machine: the
Y famous knot-rying machine!
I Now you display a tube equipped with a crank and a long rope. You lower the
rope into the tube, rurn the crank, and aoili! - when you gently lift the rope out of the tube,
a knot is now tied in it. Hallelujah!
Honoring the spectators' enthusiasm, you repeat the process. Another turn of the crank
and uoila! - another knot in the rope.
You turn to one of the spectators. "\7ould you like to try?" you ask. "Go aheadl"
The volunteer starts turning the crank, but he turns it about a dozen times!
You glare at him, slightly shocked.
"Thatt not love, that's anger!" you tell him.
Cautiously, you pull the rope out of the tube.
An enormous knot is now tied in itl

On the rope are two fake knots that can freely slide back and forth (A and A). Before you
begin, you'll gather them at one end ofthe rope, concealed by your right hand.
The plastic tube is made of PVC plumbing tube.
A second, smaller tube B is attached to the interior of the outer tube with a small piece of
The outer tube has a hole large enough for you to insert your thumb to control the
appearance of the first two knots.
A childrent noisemaker with a crank is fastened to the outside of the outer tube.
The giant knot E is made by tying several knots on a rope about six feet long.

A- A'

Make the knots fairly loose; one good way is to tie them around tube B before tying them
to one another.
Attach a piece of strong nylon thread .F to the large knot. On the end of this thread, tie a
bead or small fishing weight G and slide it into a slot in the end of the outer tube. Use a small
length of a broom handle Ilto help guide the knot onto the inner tube.

Hold the tube vertically with the bead G at the top. Lower the rope into the outer tube
and through tube,B.
Next, release into the tube the false knots A and A', which until now have been hidden in
your hand. The knots slide down the rope and stop at the end of the inner tube.
Tirrn the crank, then hold the tube horizontally.
Insert your thumb into the hole in the outer tube and press on the knot to the left. \7ith
the tube still horizontal, your right hand pulls out the rope to the right.
The free knot will exit the tube, riding on the rope. The other knot you're pressing on
remains inside the tube as the rope passes through it. Dont pull the rope out entirely or you'll
dislodge the knots.
Tirrn the tube vertical and simultaneously lower the rope into the tube again. The knot will
slide down the rope into the tube until it meets the other knot.

Once again, hold the tube vertically and give the crank another turn. Hold the tube
horizontally and grasp the right end with your right hand.
Insert your left thumb through the hole and grip both knots. As you begin to pull out
the rope, wait until about a third of the rope has passed through the knots, then release your
thumb's grip on the knot to the right.
Continue pulling out the rope, releasing
your grip on the second knot at about the
two-thirds point. The rope will emerge with
the two knots distributed along its length.
Next, turn the tube vertical as you lower
the rope into it. Now offer to let one of the
spectators give the machine a try. Rotate the
tube to a horizontal position.
\[hen the spectator begins to turn the
crank, whisper to him, "TURN IT A LOTI"
Say this sentence quickly, clearly, and firmly,
adding a big smile and a surreptitious wink.
The spectator never fails to play along and
usually has a lot of fun helping you.
To make the giant knot appear, simply
grasp the rope and the bead G turn the tube
vertical, and gently lift out the rope and knot
together. The smaller false knots will blend in with the giant knot.
Note:T.his is one of my old classics. Itt not a huge mystery, but a nice moment of fun is
guaranteed. The basic idea comes from "The Yellow Rope," an effect by Pavel in his 1969 book
The Magic of Pauel. In Pavel's rourine, the knots appear on a rope inside a transparent tube . I
added the crank, giant knot, and presentation to make a brief comedy routine.
..\ --. l)
.__ .:Nr.k

zr' K'2\

ru '/


paddle routine using fish instead of the usual paddles!

Visit your favorite fishing store and buy two lures. The Vitala brand is my favorite:
imitation rubber fish with moving eyes. Some come equipped with hooks; if so, remove them
with wire cutters.
Each eye consisrs of a tiny clear plastic bubble with a little bead inside. To prepare the
effect, remove one of the eyes from one of the lures, take out its bead, and glue it back in place.
Next, open one of the eyes of the other fish, add the loose bead from the first fish, and glue the
eye into position again.
You now have fish r4 with an empty eye on one side and a normal eye on the other, and fish
B with a normal eye on one side and an eye with two pupils on the other.
To make the spine of each fish rigid, slide a piece of a wooden skewer into the fish along
the center bone.

Hold fish B in your left hand with the normal eye side up, with your thumb covering the
Be careful not to call any amenrion ro this fish at the beginning of the routine.
Hold fish,{ in your right hand with the blank eye facing up..
Tell your audience that in some myths, when the world was created, the fish were blind.
"There was a place for the eyes, but nothing inside," you say.

Perform the standard paddle move with your right hand, rotating the fish with your thumb
as you turn it over to show both sides. The audience apparendy sees a fish with two blank eyes.
"Then God, in his infinite benevolence, gave the fish one eye." Tirrn the fish over again,
this time without performing the paddle move, and legitimately show that the fish has an eye
on one side and no eye on the other.
"For centuries," you explain, "fish had only one eye, which is how they developed the idiotic
habit of swimming in circles in their fishbowls. Then God, still in his infinite benevolence, gave
some of the fish a second eye."
Perform the paddle move to show - uoilh! - one eye on each side.
"!(/hen that happened, a man fish fell in love with a blind lady fish and gave her one of
his eyes," you say. Simply place the fish in your right hand onto your left hand's fish, removing
your thumb to reveal the eye there.
Now hold one fish in each hand and use the paddle move to transport the eye back and
forth in any way you wish. Conclude with two normal fish displayed, then pause for a moment.
"The problem today," you explain, "is that genetic science manipulates life any way it
wants, and one day, if someone makes a mistake, this is what will happen."
As you say rhis, perform the paddle move with both fish, without turning over your hands.
The right hand's fish will now have no pupil and the left hand's fish will have nvo pupils in the
same eye.
"You'll have 6sh with one eye on one side, two on the other, and others will be half-blind,"
you say. "In other words, a total mess!"
Note: 'Ihis entire routine is nothing especially new, just another paddle routine, but the
props are identifiable objects and the story is interesting, and the fact that the eyes magically
transpose makes the effect fun and mysterious.

Caetan s ith Slmnrr

Davis Jr ar rhe \lonre
Carlo Sporring Club

HIs is a small apparatus effect. You can give it a different look depending on your
personality. For me, I like the hypnotic eye as in the illustration.

You display a paddle with a hypnotic eye painted on it. The paddle has elastic bands to
hold two packets of cards. You now move the cards one at a time from one side of the paddle
to the other until the specrator says "Stop." You place the selected card on the table.
Now you repeat the procedure to choose a second card.
the two cards on the table are turned over, they are found to be the black Aces...and
the other cards left in the paddle are all red cards!

Take the 26 red cards from a normal pack and add the two black Aces to the bottom of
the stack. You can shufle these cards if you like, keeping the two black Aces at the bottom.
You'll notice black elastic cords on the paddle. Cut a stack from the top of pack, A, and
place it under the cords, facing you. The rest of the deck, B is positioned as in the drawing.
One of the black Aces is facing you in the B stack.
Ask the spectaror ro concenrrare on rhe big eye on the paddle and to close one of his own
eyes. Tell him you want him to srop you on any card as you move them one at a time from A
to ,8.
In fact, your left thumb stays in contact with the corner of the .B packet and your right
thumb extracts the first black Ace from B. To the audience, it looks like you take a card from
A and place it on top of -8.
Keep doing this until he says "Stop." \7hen he does, set the card face-down on the table.

Repeat this process with the second black Ace while he closes his other eye. both
black Aces on the table, remove all the other cards.
Show that he amazingly stopped you on the two black Aces, then display all the other
cards as red!
This is a very useful system; you can also use it to force a card, or two cards. Inspiration for
the effect came from the Jack Hughes effect Attaboy.
See also my move called Attacard in the Bloomeries section in the next volume.


r I -lHF_

a quarter, as well as two emPry plastic

I "nd
I bot who then chooses one of the coins to use
in the effect. The volunteer also chooses either the head side or the tails side.
The chosen side is marked with a large Xusing a Sharpie marker. You take the other coin.
You and the spectator drop the coins into your bottles...nothing extraordinary, since the
coins are smaller than the mouth of the bottle.
But the big surprise is when you hand your botde to the spectator. The marked coin is
indeed in the bottom of the bottle, but it cannot be removed since the center of the bottle is
tightly twisted, and impossible to straighten!

First, the bottles. I use two plasric Evian springwater bottles, one 50 centiliters (about 16
ounces), the other 33 centiliters (about 12 ounces).
twisted, the larger bottle will end up being the same height as the smaller one.
Mark a cross on the face of a quarter with a Sharpie and drop it into the base of the large
Next, heat the center of the bottle with a hot-air gun, normally used for removing paint.
Use the lowest setting and finest stream (fig. t). tVhen the plastic shrivels and becomes soft,
quickly twist the bottle, rolling it on a tabletop so it remains straight as you twist it. Theret a

slight knack to this.

French coins, you can use a small magnet to keep the coin in place, as shown in
figure 2. In the U.S. and other countries, you can buy a steel-core quarter from a magic dealer.

Figs. )-3

,r(4kH\ bt\ \\\<
Attach a piece of double-face scotch tape to the magnet, allowing it to remain in place
undl you steal it at the end of the effect.
During the routine, hold the rwisted bottle as in figure 3, concealing its actual shape from
the audience.

The routine is exactly as described earlier, but you're of course swindling the audience
throughout the effect.
The spectator chooses one of the coins "to use for the trick."
If he takes the penny, leaving you with the quarter, you're fine.
If he takes the quarter, you say, "Okay, I'll do the trick with this one. Now pick up the
penny, please."
Next, ask him which side he prefers, heads or tails.
If he chooses heads, say, "Okay, we'll make a bigXon the heads side."

If he chooses tails, you say, "Okay, we'll use tails. Since we're not using the heads side, we'll
cross it out with abigX."
And that's the whole method. Ir seems simplistic, but everything is totally logical if you use
the right words at the right time.

I love the wordplay with the -{ a symbol that can logically give the impression of either
choosing something or eliminating it.
Another idea recently occurred to me. The coin that appears in your bottle can itself be
twisted. This would be the initial effect, before showing that the bottle is even more rwisted
up. Of course, this emphasizes the idea that you have switched coins, so it's up to you whether
this is an improvement or notl


is tied to a ribbon attached to a box. You show five or six different

that have the word "LOSE" written on them, and one that says

Several spectators remove

slips from the box.
The final slip remaining is handed to you. Naturally, you're the winner of the game and
have the only slip marked "\trIN"!

The secret is an inner box with a hinged lid (fig. 3, which shows the inner box in the
process of being installed into the outer box).
This lid can be in rwo positions: either closed fat or open along the side of the box (fig. 4).
The ribbon is attached to the lid, then runs beneath a small slot under the inner box (fig.
5), then through a slot in the bottom of the outer box (fig. 2)
By pulling on the ribbon or letting the weight pull the ribbon, the lid will open and pivot
against the side of the box (fig.4), allowing access to the inner box's contents.
Itt important for the frame at the edge of the box to overlap the interior of the box about
a quarter-inch, so when the inner boxs lid is raised, the audience wont see it from the top.
The weights tied at the end of the ribbon have to be heavy enough to raise the fap by
themselves. The weight can be a large bell (fig. 1), a few padlocks, or anything of substantial
At the very end of the ribbon is a large phony diamond ring.

Figs. 1-5

To begin, you have a "LOSE" paper in the bottom of the box with the lid down. Then put
all the papers and weights in the box and you are ready to go.
The box is on the table. Set the weights on the table.
Show the "'WIN" paper, fold it, and drop it in the box.
Pick up the box so the weight pulls down on the ribbon and raises the lid, isolating the
"WTN" paper.
Hand various spectators the "LOSE" papers. Ask them to fold the slips, then drop them
into the box one at a time.
Let one of the spectators reach in and mix the papers.
Ask each spectator to rub the diamond ring, envision that het lucky, and remove any slip.
Tell the volunteers not to open the papers yet.
\7hen itt your turn, grasp the ribbon and lift it to rub the ring, which lets the lid fall,
freeing rhe ".SVIN" slip. Ask one of the spectators to remove the final remaining slip and hand
it to you.
Everyone opens their slips. You win, of coursel



u the tip of your index finger, you show the audience a ring belonging to your
^1ft grandfather, a magician who taught you everything and who sold you the ring
t I
\-/ on his deathbed.
You cover the ring with one of your grandfather's napkins, which he sold to you for a
decent price. A specrator grasps rhe ring through the napkin and holds everything in the air.
Now you have a card selected, rerurned, and lost in the deck. You drop the deck into a
salad bowl and mix the cards with salad utensils.
The napkin is held over the salad bowl and the ring is released. You continue tossing the
contents of the salad bowl.
\7hen the napkin is removed, the chosen card is found rolled up inside the ring! Thanks,

You force the card by your favorite method (rifle force, pocket card, double-face card,
palming, etc.).
You ll need two duplicate finger rings. Roll up a duplicate of the force card and slide it into
one of the rings.
Use basting thread (an easily breakable thread that seems to be easier to 6nd in France than
in the U.S.!) to make a loop connecting the rings.
To distinguish the empry ring, loop the thread around it twice and tie it as in point,4 in
figwe 2. Be sure ro wrap the thread twice around the empry ring and make a knot as shown in
A in fi,gue 2 so when you break the thread later it will remain attached to this ring.
The napkin is gimmicked with a secret pocket. To help conceal this compartment, use
checkered fabric.

Figs. 1-4


From a duplicate napkin, cut a pocket about the length ofyour index finger and sew three
sides of it to the center of the uncut napkin as shown in figure 1.
Note the initial position shown in figure 3. The ring is on the tip of your finger; the length
of the thread and card are positioned so they are naturally hidden by your closed hand.

Display the ring on your fingertip. Your other hand shakes out the napkin with the pocket
facing you, its opening at the top.
Insert your index finger directly into the pocket, then point it upward. The spectator
grasps the ring through the fabric and removes it from your finger.
The spectator is gripping the empty ring, still in its pocket, but he has no idea that the card
ring is dangling from the attached thread.
After the card is selected and lost, place the deck in the salad bowl and mix the cards with
the utensils as if you were tossing a salad. Ask the spectator to hold the napkin over the salad
bowl (fig. 4). With your hands clearly shown empry, spread the corners to help cover the borvl.
The spectator releases his grip on the ring and leaves the napkin spread on the bowl.
Show your hands empty. Steady the napkin with one hand as your other reaches beneath.
Under the napkin, grasp the dangling ring and card, then break the thread. Bring out the
ring and display it, have the card removed, and ask the spectator who selected the card to unroll
it and confirm its identiry.

A small mark on the napkin will help you keep track of the location of the secret pocket.
I first thought of this method as a solution for one of the problems proposed at the end of
Hofzinser's Card Magic, a book you should make sure to read.



'rrcno bands tightly secure your hand to a polystyrene board, as in figure 4. Your
hand and the board are now covered with a cardboard box with no lid or bottom;
its top is covered with newspaper (fig. 3).
Now you forcefully throw a dozen darts into the box. The darts pierce the paper and
remain stuck inside the box.
\(hen you rear off the paper and remove the box, the audience sees that your hand is
inract, still held by the velcro, surrounded by darts protruding from the cardboard. 'What

The secret is simply a sort of metal guard that protects your hand. Itt basically a hinged
roof made of thin aluminum (fig. t) that folds up against one side of the box. The gimmick is
covered in newspaper (fig.2).
Note the strip of cloth tape ar the top of the roof in figure 2, which prevents the gimmick
from opening more than necessary. The tape also helps make it easy for your hand to open the
sides of the gimmick.
A simple taut thread (fig. 1) keeps the gimmick in place at the beginning of the effect.
The newspaper covering the box is held by either rubber bands or scotch tape, whichever
you prefer. Note that the center fold of the newspaper is positioned over the center of the box
(fig. 3).

The routine unfolds as described.
After throwing the darts, your right hand pushes down and stuffs the paper inside the box
to detach it.

Figs. l-7

The newspaper conceals the gimmick, which you then lift slighdy and refold against the
inside of the box as you grasp the box's long right side. You can even briefy display the empry
interior of the box before tossing it aside.

I love this effect, which has an element of danger along with lots of comedy potential.
A litde touch: Instead of a taut thread to hold the gimmick in place, you can use thin piano
wire attached to the top of the folding roof at pointXin figure 5. The end of the wire can be
bent and inserted into the layers of one side of the cardboard box (fig. 6).
One last idea: If you use rhin thread to attach a dart to the gimmick (fig. 5), you can grasp
it between your third and fourth fingers as you place your hand in the box, making it look as
though you came dramatically close to piercing your hand (fig. 7).


upside down in the deck. You display an empty
;,'f ;:,i:1 :'i.]il:l
O )',.;'0, pin with several torn corners of playing cards

Now you hold the empty pin against the card-filled pin, make your mystical gestures, and
one card corner penetrates onto the blank pin.
It matches the chosen card.
Spreading the pack, the spectator finds the chosen card reversed in the deck. Its corner is
missing and it matches the corner that's impaled on the pin!

The card is forced and the corner is already on the ".-pay" pin from the beginning. Th.
rorn card is on top facing down. Riffie force the card, showing the selection to the spectator
as in figure 1.
Hold the top half of the pack in your right hand and fan the cards with the faces toward
Insert the chosen card into the top half of the pack (fig. 2). This gets the card into position
without exposing the missing corner.
Reverse the cards in your left hand so they're facing you, and add them behind the rest of
the cards in your right hand, then set the deck on the table.
Display the pin with the corners as in figure 3, with the head of the pin in your fingers.
Then show the other pin with your right hand with the corner hidden. Make sure that the
heads of the pins are as in figure 3.

Figs. 1-5

Insert,4 into pin B (fig. 4). Lower the pins.

Switch your grip on the pins and wiggle them a bit.
Show the audience that one corner (fig. 5) has jumped onto the empty pinl
fubbon spread the cards to reveal the reversed selected card. Show that itt missing a corner
and let them compare it to the one on the pinl
-j. r.tor? d+ s


\ 2"" show the audience a strange Hanging from the top
I are
ate a dozen or so beads that ps below.
I The clips each hold a sma has a hundred-dollar
bill attached. Each spectator bets a dollar to play, but every one of them wins one of the low-
denomination coins. \7hen you let one of the spectators choose one for you, however, you win
the big money!

The box does all the work for you. Itt constructed from two square pieces, A and C, made
of plywood 12 mm. thick. Piece,4 is drilled with nine holes, and a U-bolt G is attached to the
inside top. Piece C is drilled with ten holes.
The sides D are attached to the two pieces A and C. These sides are made of very thin
plywood, aluminum, or fexible material. The thinness is so you can squeeze the box with one
The key to the trick is slide ,8. Itt like a little frame made from plywood 12 mm. thick.
Attached to the frame is a rod that should be solidly fastened so it doesnt rotate. It can be made
out of wood, plastic, or aluminum.
Slide B needs to have three short sides that can be made out of the same material as the
walls of the box.
There are two small wooden shims I and i'that keep the slide from moving all the way to
the bottom.
The slide musr move freely up and down unless you squeeze the box to keep the slide at
the bottom.

lt t

In the main drawing, James Hodges has drawn only one string to clarify the process. All
the other strings are set up the same way.
Each string runs from the top of the box/around the rod in the slide 4 up through the
U-bolt, and down through the bottom of the box to the clip below.
The only string thatt different is the string and the clip with the hundred-dollar bill. This
string is attached the the bottom of slide B.
All the other strings must be attached with elastic at point F1. This will help the working
ofthe effect.
Begin with the slide at the bottom. fu you squeeze the sides to keep the slide in place,
allow a spectator to pull on any bead. The attached prize rises; they will always raise one of the
But by releasing pressure on the slide, the slide rises when any bead is pulled, lifting up
the hundred-dollar bill!
To reset the box, you must pull the string back down each time to remove any slack.


NE night, you tell the audience, you had a strange dream: You sold your hand to
the devil.
You slip a devil puppet onto your hand. The devil begins playing with the
specrarors, trying to scare rhem, even though it isnt the least bit frightening.
The devil finally decides to do something really devilish. He takes your cigarette and sticks
it into the closed fist of your free hand.
In pain, you open your hand. The cigarette has vanished. It must have just been a nightmarel

This is a new disguise for vanishing a cigarette with a thumb tip.
I experimented with various fake hands for the arms of the puppet, but they all made the
sleights difficult. The simplest solution was to actually remove the puppett hands, replacing
them with the tips of my thumb and middle finger.
The gimmick is a basic thumb tip, partially covered with a strip of cloth made from the
same fabric as the puppett robe (see the illustration).
From here, the moves are exacrly as in the standard thumb-tip cigarette vanish. You can
also use the puppet to plunge the cigareme into the spectator's jacket and have it disappear.

The devil pupper adds an interesting element to the routine and opens up a whole world
of fun with the spectators.
\7hat works for me is to eventually get to a point where the puppet finally does something
slighdy frightening: burning you with your cigarette.
You can also use the devil puppet for other effects.

In one show, I used the devil to make the name of the selected card appear on my arm by
having him rub ashes on my skin. I forced the card by having the puppet perform the Hindu
Shuffie, which was simple to do since my thumb and middle finger were exposed and could
easily grip the cards.


\ F" display three bags of confetti of various colors and set them on the table. Next,
Y you rurn your back, or you can be blindfolded.
I ' A ,p..,rro. rakes one ofthe bags, shakes it up, and removes one piece ofconfetti
from the bag. He then selects any other bag, shakes it, and takes out two pieces of confetti.
Finally, he mixes the final bag and removes three pieces.
You now pretend to judge the weight of each bag or use a calculator to apparently
determine the weight of the confetti. Finally, you tell the spectator how many pieces of each
color of confetti he's holding.

Exp lanation and Presentation

You have threeZip-Loc bags, each with a different color of confetti inside. Thread a length
of invisible thread through a needle, pierce the bottom of any two bags, and tie the thread into
a loop.
By holding this loop, you can feel which bag is taken first, second, and third.
Ifyou feel nothing when he takes the first bag, then you know he selected bag 1. Ifyou feel
the thread at the left side of your hand break, you know he's taken bag 2. If the thread breaks
on the right side of your hand, itt bag 3.
Itt important that you tell the spectator to take any bag and shake it to mix the confetti,
then to take out one piece and hide it in his hand. Have him repeat this procedure each time
to be certain the thread will be broken.
Also, make sure thar the spectator keeps the confetti in his hand. If he places the pieces
into his pocket, it will be impossibly awkward to find the tiny pieces later in the routine.

oN'r confuse one with the other. 'Ihe ffict is what happens during the trick.
plot is the pretext or premise. It's why you're doing the trick.
A century ago, it was called the storyline. Today, it's something we hardly

The first person to point out this concept to me was none other than Christian Fechner.
Thank you, Christian, for this grain of wisdom and everything you did for the art of magic.
W-hen David Copperfield performed his Flying effect, he explained that mankindt oldest
dream has always been being able to fy like birds do. That was the plot'
Copperfield then showed a film depicting early failed attempts at fight before he finally
levitated and flew onstage. That was the effect.
The best effect is always supported by a good plot, because then the effect becomes justified.
On this subject, I recommend the writings of Stefan Leyshon in his various lecture notes
and articles in the magic magazine Magicus. They're full of common-sense thinking.
American magician Ron Bauer has published several booklets containing a single routine
in which the plot is always strongly emphasized. These booklets may be pricey but are full of
important teachings, and I highly recommend them!
Your magic will only improve by thinking more about your effects and plots.

Things to think about:

1. How could you take a magic technique, then explain it, then continue to use it?
2. Afact:The majoriry of spectators want to know "how itt done." But they're disappointed
when they learn the secret.
3. The plot: How did you first encounter magic in your life?



HIs presentation nicely illustrates my points about effect and plot. Also, the double-
bottomed Card Case used in this routine was one of the props in the first magic set
I owned...and it was the only object in the set that was actually gimmicked!
The joy and disappointment of a seven-year-old! As I began reading the instructions, I
was sure that the little black box - made of cardboard - made the card appear through some
Machiavellian process.
How let down I felt when I discovered that the effect was accomplished with a simple
black cardboard flap!
That was that. Magic was that easy.
Obviously, my Card Case at that time was truly a basic model. The fap was not even
magnetic as in the versions one sees today. Nonetheless, I've always kept my box as a memento.
It was my first true gimmicked effect, my first actual magic prop, and it inspired the following

Effect and Presentation

You talk about your first magic effect, how your old upstairs neighbor, an amateur
magician, gave you your first Iesson in magic. (You can also substitute the neighbor with your
favorite grandfather. The grandfather ploy never fails.)
Here is the story you tell your audience: "On that day, the magician gave me a little black
box, which he said possessed magical powers!
"The box contained a small white silk handkerchief, which he placed aside." You do so.
"He closed the empry box and ser ir to his left. Next, he had me take a card and lose it in the
deck, rhen he set down the cards to his right. He shook the scarf over the deck with an evil

Figs. 1-4



"'Look!' he exclaimed. 'The little handkerchief is like a ghost. It will absorb the spirit of the
card and make it invisibly travel into the box!'
"He held the silk over the box, still gently shaking the fabric, then suddenly stopped
moving it.
"'There,' he said. 'It's happened. See for yourself.'
"He slowly opened the box, and my card was inside...incrediblel Pleased with his feat, he
went in his kitchen and poured himself a drink. (,4s I recall, my neighbor was somewhat of an
"\[hen he came out again, I was still numb with surprise and I removed my card. 'How
could you do such a miracle?' I asked him.
"Then everything crumbled. \7hen I turned over the card, I saw that its back was black.
Yes, painted black.
"Suddenly, everything made sense...or almost!
"I was pretty uncomfortable when I realized I hadnt heard him come back in. There he
was in front of me with a strange, slightly sad smile foating on his face.
"'So what did you expect, little one?' he asked me.
"I exploded. 'Thatt what the magic is? Theret no wayl It's just a little card painted black, so
ofcourse you dont see it at the beginning, but when you turn over the box, the card appears.
No, itt just a trick, thatt all; itt not magic. If that's all there is to it, here's what I'm going to
do to your card.'
"And I was so mad, I tore up the card into little pieces and stuck them in my pocket.
"'Dont get upset,' said my old neighbor. 'I understand why you're upset, but yes, thatt
what magic is. Just simple tricks. Of course, it might also be a lot more, but that requires time,
and it means believing much more strongly. So maybe one day, you ll find real magic, and on
'S7'atch. -What
that day, you ll no longer need to use any tricks. was your card again?'
"'The Four of Hearts,' I said.
"Then, after closing the empty box, he started shaking the handkerchief again, this time
also waving it over my pocket. He handed me the deck.
"'Go ahead, try to find it,' he said. My Four had truly vanished from the pack.
"He slowly opened the box. Inside was my Four of Hearts, my real Four of Hearts, with
a regular back.
"My magician looked at me with a big smile. After a long silence, he said, 'Hand me those
little pieces.'
"I stuck my hand in my pocket, but I could not find the pieces of the card I'd torn up.
The only thing my fingers found was this little magic wand. I think that was the day I truly
discovered real magic."

A Card Case with a magnetic fap, such as the Tenyo model
A deck ofcards
Two duplicate cards matching one of the cards in the deck. Spray paint the back of one of
the cards black, or cover it with black Contac paper.
A small white silk
A miniature magic wand

The cardforcer lJse any method you enjoy.
The uanish of the chosen card: The most effective technique is to simply palm it. Otherwise,
a double-index card can be used as a force card, or you could employ one of the many rypes of
pocket cards to vanish the selected card.
Tlte disappearance of the pieces: This sequence is actually optional. You can completely
omit it from the routine and the effect will seem the same. Otherwise, a thumb tip previously
stashed in your right pocket will work nicely. Simply hold the pieces at your right fingertips,
place your hand in your pocket, and directly insert the pieces into the tip.
Tiansformation of the pieces in to wand: Ar the end of the routine, when you place your
hand in your pocket, steal the thumb tip and grasp the small magic wand. Turn your empty
pocket inside-out, then display the wand.

Begin with the unprepared duplicate under the Card Case's magnetic fap (fig. l). In the
opposite lid, place the black-backed playing card with the face hidden (fig. Z). Finally, insert
the silk between the two black gimmicks (fig. 3) and close the case (fig. 4).
Follow the effect as derailed in the story. Display the closed case, hold it vertically on the
table, pivot it open, and remove the silk. Have a card selected, memorized, and returned to
the deck.
Close the case, secretly turning it over, wave the silk, open the case, and remove the black-
backed card, displaying only its face. Shut the case. Show the black back, tear up the card, and
place the pieces in your pocket.
'Wave the silk again and open the case, releasing the flap to reveal the unprepared duplicate.
Display the card.
Pull your pocket inside-out, then open your hand to show the transformation of the pieces
into the magic wand. The case may be safely examined thanks to the tightly locking magnetic

Here, the story is emphasized more than the effect, and it's the perfect chance to use
your acring skills. You tell the tale of how you discovered real magic, and you switch between
playing rwo characters. The audience volunteer is also in the act, playing the role of you as a
young magician as he chooses the card, discovers his selection has vanished, and the rest of the
In fact, no one has been fooled, and everyone ends up happy.
The spectators get to enjoy learning the secret, being disappointed, and eventually being
fooled by magic. \7hat more could you ask?


HOUGHTS: Figs. l-2

1. Penetrating a mirror or
window is a magical, almost
mythical effect (see Cocteaut film Beauty and
the Beast).
2. Tiansparenry: Many effects can be
improved by playing the transparency card.
Like politics, everything appears more
honest, but sometimes thatt only to fool you
even more, dear children!

This is just an original version of the

classic effect, given new life. The basic idea
is to take advantage ofthe transparent nature
of the materials. Here, instead of covering
the mirror with a newspaper, you'll use a
sheet of bubble wrap.
The traditional method is that the glass
of the mirror secretly slides to one side,
allowing you to bend the frame, which is
subtly hinged in r'*,o (fig. 1). The difficulry is
hiding the frame.
In your presenrarion, you emphasize that the mirror is fragile, so the use of the protective
bubble wrap is completely justified. The fragiliry also gives you a reason to mark "FRAGILE"
on the bubble wrap in large, thick letters using a black marker (frg.2).

Using a wide black Sharpie-type marker, underline the word 'FRAGILE" with a thick
stripe, aligning it with the lower edge of the mirror when it has slid down.
One last important point: Make sure ro avoid backlighting during the effect so the audience
won't see a silhouette of the shifted mirror through the bubble wrap. Front lighting is safest.
Finally, for added safery you may prefer to use a plastic mirror.



HoucHT: \Thenever a gimmicked object is used in an effect, search for alternate

methods that will allow you to feature the same item, but one that's examinable at
the conclusion of the routine.

Several years ago, I purchased a Ben Harris effect that allowed you to force a page by
having a card inserted into a book. The force was very clever but required the use of a heavily
gimmicked book that could not be examined.
In the following effect, the audience sees the same procedure, but everything is examinable
at the end of the routine. (Thanks to Ben Harris for his inspirationl)

A spectator inserts a card into a book. You pivot the card so another spectator can grasp it
and note the page number where the card has ended up. You may safely leave the book with
the spectator.
The rest is up to you.
The page number is forced, so you can divine the number, the first words on the page
(which you've memorized), and many more possibilities.

A simple loop of fairly strong nylon thread is the key to the effect.
You'll also need a novel-size paperback book about 250 pages long.

Loop the thread around page 220 and over the lower corners ofthe pages, then close the
book and rest the remainder of the loop on the front cover (fig. 1).

Fig. l-4

Basic Moae
Grasp the book with your lefr hand. Your thumb presses on the loop and drags it to the
left, slightly opening the bottom of the book (fig.2).
Display the book to the specrator with the spine facing him (fig. 3). Your right hand
immediately begins to riffie the top corners of the pages.
Move the book closer to the spectator as soon as you have riffied the first twenry pages or
so. The card will usually end up being inserted near the center of the book.
Now your right fingers slide the card along the outer length of the book.
the card conracts the thread, this is the crucial moment. The card pivots around
the thread into the corner of the book and glides back into the book in the natural opening at
page 220 provided by the thread loop. Figure 4 shows the card at various stages of its journey
around the book.
Your right hand grasps the lower corner of the book as your Ieft hand releases the thread
loop. The thread ends up looped around your right thumb.
You can now hand the book to the spectator, retaining the thread loop. The book is clean.
Have the spectator look at the page where the card has ended up.

Tuto-Bo o b Presentation
You'll need two books. Rip page 220 out of one of them, tearing as closely as possible to
the spine, leaving a torn edge inside the book only about a quarter-inch wide. Memorize the
first line, fold up the page, and place it into your right pocket.
In the other book, turn to page 220 and memorize the first line or rwo, or the basic idea
ofthe first paragraph.
Loop a circle of thread around the book arpage220.
Display the books. Ask a spectator, "'W'hich of these two do you prefer?"
If he indicates the book with the missing page, say, "Perfect. Hold it between your hands.
I'll return to you in a momenr." Thke the remaining book, which has the thread loop, and turn
to another sPectator.
If he chooses the book with the loop, hand the torn-page book to another spectator and
say you'll return to him shortly.
To continue: Turn to whichever spectator has the threadJoop book. Perform the basic
move described above to force page220. Have the spectator open the book to the page with
the card. Mentally divine the first few line of the page, then conclude by naming the correct
page number:220.
Now turn to the second spectator, who has the torn-page book. "\X/ith you, I'll do
something even more amazing," you say. "I'll try to divine the word on Page 220 in your book,
but to make it even more impossible for me, I'm going to stand back to back against you."
Stand with your back against the spectatort, both of you in profile to the audience. As
you position yourself, palm the folded page in your pocket, then hold your hands together in
prayer position, as ifto help you concentrate.
Think for a moment, then recite page 220's first line, which you memorized before the
Ask the spectator to veri$, it. He opens his book, looks through, and tells you that he
cannot findpage220.

Slowly open your hands and show the missing page, which has been magically transported
into your hands. Unfold the page and hand it to the spectator. Have him confirm that it's page
220, then ask him ro read the first line, confirming that your divination was correct.
Ifyou sell it, applause is guaranteedl

Abernate Ending
Another ending, another choice.
After the divination with the card, palm the folded page in your right hand as you grasp
the second book with your left hand.
"'We'll use page 220 again," you tell the spectator. "Now watch."
Your left hand rapidly rifles the pages. Hold your right hand alongside the riffiing pages,
pretend to snatch something out of the middle of the book, and quickly close your hand into
a fist.
Hand the book to the spectator and ask him to turn to the chosen page. He wont be able
to locate it. Now you simply have to slowly open your hand and unfold the selected page.


've always loved the Egg Bag efFect, especially the Malini Egg Bag routine sold by
Ken Brooke years ago. AII the masters have loved this version, from Charlie Miller to
Johnny Thompson, not to mention Jeff Hobsont fantastic routine, a high-point of
On the other hand, there's something about the effect's logic that has always bothered me.
You put an egg into a bag and - poof - it vanishes, and then you turn the bag inside-out and
back again. It certainly couldnt be in the bag. But after turning the bag inside-out a few times
more - poof - the egg has reappeared.
tVhatever moves you perform, the premise remains the same. You put the egg in the bag
and it disappearsl This is what's always bothered me.
The truth is that it took me a long time to pinpoint the problem, but I finally figured it
In every Egg Bag routine, the real star is in fact the bag. You put something in the bag, and
the bag makes its contents vanish and reappear at will.
a perfect way to call attention to the fact that the bag is gimmicked, however
The true star should be the egg. The egg should have the power.

Thoughts:1. The egg is in itself a magical object and carries its own mystique.2. \X4rich
came first, the chicken or the egg? 3. \We incubate an egg to magically make it hatch.

My EgBag
My concept is that the bag does not vanish the egg, but that an egg, under certain
conditions, can become invisible. It's still there, but invisible.

Figs. 1-4


But how does it become invisible? tWhen the egg is very fresh, you explain, if you plunge
it into total darkness for a few moments, it becomes invisible.
In this way, rhe bag becomes merely a prop, perfect for shielding the egg from the light.
Another idea: sound. It's nonexistent in almost every routine. One day, I thought of placing
the egg inro a sremmed wine glass to protect it. An egg in a glass in itself looks magical...try itl
Of course, for better sound, dont use a plastic egg but instead an empry egg whose contents
have been blown our. The sound will resonate more...and you can cook what you removedl

Zbe Routine
Begin with the egg in the glass (fig. 1). Talk about the mysterious qualities of eggs, as
described earlier. Rotate the glass as you speak.
Now pour the egg from the glass into the bag (fig.2). Wait a few seconds, then pretend to
pour an invisible egg back into the glass.
Next, show that the bag is empty, as in a traditional Egg Bag routine.
"No, no," you say. "The egg's really in the glass. \fatch. I'll pour it back into the bag."
Now you can reproduce it from the bag, then continue with similar moves and effects
featuring the invisibility premrse.
At the conclusion, when everyone's convinced that the bag is empty, pick up the glass and
plunge into the bag with the mouth facing down (fig. 3). In reality, you're placing the opening
of the glass directly on top of the egg inside the bag.
Tirrn the glass and bag upside-down, With a dramatic flourish, remove the bag.
Display the egg in the glass (fig.a). You can gently sway the glass to make the egg clink
against the sides, making a 6nal magical sound.
This routine really makes me happy Tiy it!

Gaerer irnd
Luis de Maros


Fating pnge:
nnn's a beautiful effect.
Figs 1-2
Facts: The main theme: You must stop smoking. Smoking kills, as more and
more people know. And time is money.
Pht:It's the world's fastest trick. You're going to stop smoking in less than three seconds

You display a large lit cigar, then roll up your sleeves and announce that you're going to
demonstrate how to stop smoking almost instantly.
"I'll place the cigar in my fist and disintegrate it in less than three seconds," you say. "Too
bad I dont have a watch. I had to sell it to pay for the cigar. If you have a watch, please time
Right before their eyes, the cigar vanishes.
You pause for a moment, then say, "That didnt even take three seconds! Look!" Your right
index finger points to your left wrist, where your watch has magically appeared.

A special rype of thin, springy metal is the key, similar to the material used in tape measures.
It's used for "snap bracelets" and other novelties. Straightened out, it stays rigid, but when
slapped against your wrist, it will instantly roll itself up like a snake.

If necessary, trim the length of the bracelet so that when itt
snapped around your wrist,
the ends barely touch. Straighten the band and disguise its curved face to resemble a cigar by
gluing on brown crepe paper, ashes, and an actual cigar band (fig. 1).

On the back side, design a watch band using strips of silver cardboard (fig 2). Make a
watch face with white paper, draw the hands, and cover it with a thin circle of clear lamination
plastic to simulate a crystal.
Impzrtant: \7hen constructing the gimmick, use a fexible rype of adhesive. Spray glue is
ideal, but double-stick scotch tape also works well.

Follow the effect asdescribed above. To begin, your right hand holds the cigar horizontally.
Close your left hand in a fist and insert the cigar. The position is important. The cigar
protrudes from each side, and your left hand is automatically in the correct position to continue.
Your right hand takes the cigar. Your left hand lowers slightly. Now, in one conrinuous
movement, your right hand drops and your left hand rises. As your hands move, strike the back
of the cigar against the back of your closed left fist, and the band will curl around it.
Now rub your empry hands against each other two or three times before gradually opening
to show that the cigar has disappeared.
Finally, point your right index finger at the watch to call attention to its magical appearance .
A true pleasure to perform!

In Las Vegas, I ve enjoyed many wonderful moments with Charlie Frye. You absolutely
must buy his comedy magic videol In it, you'll find an effect with a nail file that visibly vanishes.
Another friend of mine, magic dealer and former Barnum clown Earl Chaney, thought of the
idea while watching Charlie's wife Sherry file her nails. This effect inspired my Cigar lWatch.
Thank you to all three of them!


Lor: Youve recendy purchased

the worldt finest kitchen grater
after seeing it on a television

-- \@\l \ I
You display your latest acquisition, the
Grate-o-matic, and show how it works.
You quickly grate a carrot. Thrilled with
the results, you demonstrate again, this time
with your fingers, which the device quickly
Lifting up the grater, you show your
hand. It looks as if your fingers have been
amputated. On the table, the audience
sees a little mound of carrots and some
unidentifiable pieces.
You now gather up all the pieces and
drop them into the top ofthe grater.
tVhen you remove your hand, itt
magically restored.
This is a funny, shocking gag, en ideal trick for someone like the Amazing Johnathan, to
whom I dedicate this routine with true friendship.

Figs. 1-2


1., , rr
a o I r I re


Our good friend the mirror is the method responsible for the illusion. I use a plastic mirror.
Even shiny silver cardboard will work, however. The grater can be found at any kitchen-supply
Using metal clippers or a grinder, cut out an opening for your hand near the top of one of
the sides (fig. 1). Caution! Cutting the grater can be hazardous because the metal is thin and
sharp! 'Wear gloves when gimmick your grater. And make sure to cover the edges of the hole
with gray duct tape to prevent injury during your performance!
Now slide the mirror into the grater at an angle (frg. 2) where it remains wedged in place.

The mirror illusion works, but the refected image isnt totally aligned. You'll therefore have
to keep your hand in motion when you display the interior of the grater. The effect is more of
a gag than a miracle, but with the right timing, it will fool your audiencel
You should first grate the carrot without lifting the grater off the table, then pretend to
grate your fingers. \Vait a moment, look at your hand inside the grater, then lift the grater and
gaze at the pile of grated carrot on the table, as you shout, "My fingers!" At the same time, lift
your hand and the grater together and give the audience a quick glimpse of the gratert interior,
moving your hand first up and down, then from left to right.
Set the grater on the table, scoop up the carrot pieces, and drop them into the top ofthe
grater. \7ave your magic wand with your free hand, then remove your other hand from the
grater and wiggle your fingers, shouting that a miracle has happened. Your nightmare is over!


HoucHT: One object can conceal

I love transformation effects
and optical illusions. Look at the objects
around you, and see what they remind you
The great magician Sawa has an effect
with a white napkin which he folds up and
twists until it gradually turns into a white
conch shell. The effect is superb and the
final exchange is easy since the shell closely
resembles a twisted paper napkin. Too cool!

Hold an egg in your left hand and a
small, round light bulb in your right hand.
You gently shake your hands. tVhen you
stop moving them, the objects have instantly
changed places!

The illustrations explain everything.
Simply glue the base of a small, round light
bulb onto the side of a plastic egg. Make two identical gimmicks this way.

Now look at the illustrations and note the positions of the hands and how the objects are
held. If you display the round side of the egg-bulb, it looks like a light bulb.
By simply pivoting the base toward the fork of your thumb, the audience sees the oval-
shaped side and everyone believes it's an egg.
I have not yet done so, but because the egg is made of plastic, it wouldn't be difficult to put
an actual tiny light bulb inside, wired to a small battery so the bulb could magically light up.


lflHoucHr: Look at the objecrs

I ,ro.'rnd you, wherever you are.
Play with them, observe rhem,
destroy them, get to know them, try them
out. They'll undoubtedly inspire many ideas
for you.
In Las Vegas and other casino towns ((
around the world, you'll sometimes still
find large plastic buckets with the logo of
the casino. They're used for holding coins or
tokens, although many casinos have switched
to using redeemable paper slips.
I began collecting these containers years
ago, just for fun. One day, while playing
around with them like a child, I thought up
a number of concepts. In this effect and the
next one, Back in Vegas, I'll explain rwo of
my ideas.

First: a dynamic finale for a Miser's

Dream routine.
You show a stack ofplastic buckets from various casinos. You talk about your trip to Vegas
and the fun you had gambling, then perform your favorite Misert Dream with one of the
buckets. At the conclusion, you pour the coins into the top bucket, then pick up the whole

Lefi: Figs. 1-3

Right: Detail of the
release pin

You add one final coin, pretend to pull down the lever of an invisible slot machine, and
- bingo! - the stack of buckets rises up as if the containers were filling up with coins. You tilt
the stack and pour out a stream of coins from the buckets, as well as a waterfall of dollar bills.

Construct a stack of coin buckets without bomoms, except the top and bottom containers.
An appearing cane acts as a spring to create the expansion ofthe stack. Its top end slips into a
small tube glued beneath the base of the top bucket (fig. 1).
The bottomless buckets are connected to one another with loops of thread (frg.2).
Fill the emprF space in the botttom bucket with coins (fig. t).
Next, fill the space beneath the rim of each pail with spring bills (fig. 2). This will accentuate
the final image of a mountain of coins and bills. By tilting the stack, you'll make the coins in
the bottom bucket pour out over the rims of all the pails.
As shown on the left side of figure 1, behind the buckets is a length of shoelace. Make a
hole in the top bucket. One end of the shoelace, then pass it through the hole until the knot
reaches the hole. Pass the other end of the shoelace through a small hole behind the second-to-
Iast bucket, then through a hole in the bottom of the last bucket. Knot the end inside the last
bucket so it cant pass out ofthe hole again.
Make a release pin by cutting offthe head of a safery pin. Keep the pointed end and loop.
Tie a short cord to this pin and tie the other end to another hole in the bucket. Collapse the
cane and buckets. Pull the excess shoelace out the back ofthe bucket. Pierce the pin through
the shoelace close to the hole in the second-to-last bucket, securing the buckets in their closed
'When you're ready, pull the cord attached to the pin. The cane expands and the buckets
spread apart. The cord prevents the cane from opening too far and helps the stack remain
A million dollar idea!


HIS time, I'll give you a tool, Figs. 1-4

and like all tools, it has multiple

applications. It's up to you to
discover them.

You ll need two identical cups or buckets.
In this explanation, we'll use cups. The first
remains ungimmicked...always a plus!
Cut out the bottom of the other one,
then cut off about a quarter-inch from the
top of the cup (fig. 1)
In many cases, the printed design will
act as a guide to help you make your cut as
straight as possible.
Cut this topless and bottomless cup
down its entire length (fig.2).
Next, you'll fasten a strip of double-face
tape on the exterior of one of the vertical
sides of this section.
Attach the container to the interior of the ungimmicked one (fig. 3). Itwill expand and
naturally blend in invisibly against the inner wall (fig. 4).
Note:The gimmickt free end should curl up and rest on top of the taped end. It must not
be tucked beneath the attached side.

Now take a look at the illustrations. \W{hen you grasp the cup from above, your fingers slip
inside it. lWith one simple movement, your fingers can press on the inner gimmick and slide
it sideways.
This movement makes the gimmick slightly roll up into itself, creating a space between
the gimmick and the outer cup. By relaxing your grip, the natural spring of the plastic makes
it snap back into place against the wall of the cup.

You have just created a cup that will exchange objects or vanish them, somewhat like a
Change Bag.
Show the cup empty with your fingers inside, then turn it to a vertical position and slide
the gimmick sideways.
Display a small silk and insert it inside the tube between the two layers. Relax your grip,
then slide the gimmick in the opposite direction to help press it firmly against the outer cup.
Now display the interior. The silk has vanishedl
You can also switch one object for another, such as a billet. Using the same open-and-close
movemenr, you can perform a variety of exchanges, whether you have a visible object in your
hand, or openly drop an item into the cup for safekeeping, or have a prop secredy palmed.
To return to the Miser's Dream as in the Vegas Cups effect, you can use a gimmicked cup
instead of a bucket. Insert a load of thin coins between the walls beforehand so you can make
rhe coins suddenly multiply. Show the cup empty or simply turn it upside-down, making sure
to apply pressure to the inner gimmick to prevent the coins from falling out.
Tirrn the cup right-side up again and begin to produce coins from the air. Drop each coin
into the cup. At any rime during your routine, you can slide open the gimmick, turn over the
cup, and dump out the produced coins, along with the large load of coins from the gimmick.

I discovered by accident.
Here's one final unique effect, which
I was practicing sliding the gimmick, I suddenly thought I saw a small cup inside
the large one!Tly it. Figure 4 shows what this odd illusion looks like.
For this effect, you'll apparently display two cups, one large, one small, one inside the
other. Have a small silk handy, and have a duplicate silk in your pants pocket. Finally, in one
of your inner coat pockets, have a small cup resembling the illusionary inner cup.
If you can't find a convincing small cup in a store, use your ingenuiry to construct a
duplicate, perhaps using another large cup that you cut to srze.
Display a small silk and drop it into the apparently nested cups. Ask the audience, "\7here
is the silk handkerchieP Inside the large cup, or inside the small cup?"
After listening to the spectators' answers, you say, 'Actually, it's just an illusion. The little
scarf is in my pocket." Pull the silk out of your pocket.
Briefy pause a moment, then continue: "The best part is that the Iittle cup is in my other
pocket." Reach into your inside coat pocket and remove the small cup. If your cup can safely
hold liquid, you can even propose a toast.
As you produce the small cup, show the inside of the tube empry, with no silk or small
cup. tVhen you released the gimmick, of course, both the expanded wall and silk disappeared
from view.


1. People love to discover
the little tricks ofthe trade used
in various professions, whatever the field.
2. People dont like to be tricked.

You tell the audience that your father
was in show business.
He wanted to be sure how many tickets
had been sold at the box office, and he didnt
trust his producer.
Thanks to his excellentvisual memory, he
developed a system for instantly estimating
how many spectators were in the audience.

Explaining how your fathert system
worked, you display six white cardboard
panels, each depicting a row of seats with a
number of spectators.
Each picture has a loop ofrope attached.
Six spectators are invited onstage, and you give each one a picture to hang around his neck.
You show the audience that each picture has spectators drawn on each side, and that each
one depicts a different number of people.

You line up the volunteers with their backs to the audience, then have them turn the
pictures to whichever side they wish. lVhen they're ready, at your signal, they turn around.
You look at the picrures intensely for just a second or two, then turn to the audience and
shout, "Stop! That reminds me of the Secret Compartment Nightclub in Paris in September
1992.-Iherewere exactly 44 spectarors in the audience that night!"
Immediately, you carefully count how many people are shown in the visible pictures. The
total is exectly 44.
You repeat your demonstration once or twice, each time with different totals, but you're
always accurate.
For the finale, you artempt a slighdy different experiment. As before, you ask the spectators
to turn their pictures to either side, but this time you have them line up single-fiIe, one person
behind the other. This way, when you turn toward them, you can see only the picture held by
the person in front.
Two seconds later, you announcez "Ncazar Music Hall, Redon, 1988. There were 69
people in the audience."
The spectators line up side by side and you veri$, the total. Bingo! You're correct again.

This routine is based on a Tenyo effect in which the magician swiftly counts the number of
birds perched in trees. A cleverly gimmicked box allows you to divine the final total, apparently

without seeing any of the cards. I altered the story then found a method for the final effect that
didn't require a box. In the process, the close-up effect became a stage routine.
In my version, I use six large pieces of cardboard with a rope attached to the top of each so
they can be hung from the spectators' necks. Each board depicts a specific number of spectators
in their seats. In the illustration, you Il see two rows of six boards, numbered one to six.
The top row shows one side of the cardboard. The lower row has the opposite side of each
board directly below its front side. Here are the cards (see the illustration on the facing page):

i. One spectator on one side, six on the other

2. Three spectators, eight spectators
3. Seven spectators, twelve spectators
4. Nine spectators, fourteen spectators
5. Thirteen spectators, eighteen spectators
6. Eleven spectators, sixteen spectators

One part of the secret is that there are always five more spectators on the back than on the
Next, we to instantly know which direction each picture is facing. The solution to this
came to me very quickly. The way each rope is attached indicates which side the board faces.
Pierce two holes at the top of each board, one on the left and one on the right. Thread
nylon braided rope through each hole, then tie a double knot on the other side to keep the
ends from slipping out. This creares your visual clue. The knots always lie on the side with the
five additional spectators.

To begin, arrange the pictures with the knots in back, as in the top row
If you add up the drawn specrarors with all six front sides facing forward, the total is 44.
If any of the pictures is turned over (thus placing the knots on the other side), the total will
be increased by 5. For example, one reversed picture adds 5, and 44 + 5 = 49.
Simple and brilliant.
To clariS,, if all the cards were turned to the knotted side, youd begin with44, and then
add six times five, for a total of 74 spectators.
If you live in fear of mental calculations, or worry about losing track during a performance,
wrire a little cue list for yourself at the top of the notepad on which you ll write your lightning
calculations. Your list should be written in light letters so it'll go unnoticed, and you can always
cover the writing with your hand if needed.

No knotted sides: 44
Three: 59
Four: 64
Slx: ,/4

Everything should be clear now. As you briefy turn to glance at the spectators, point your
index finger at the volunteers and rapidly sweep your hand from left to right as you look at the
pictures from a distance. In realiry you're just noting how many knotted sides you see!
Now immediately turn around and begin announcing the total along with your memoly
of a certain show: "Yes, itwas in 1998, in Limoges," etc. As you speak, you can consultyour
cue list if needed as you jot down a few calculations on the notepad.

Note: To veriS, your total, don't add up the numbers picture by picture, but instead by each
row of seats. It's more visual, as well as more misleading.
At the conclusion, when the spectators are lined up single-fiIe, I recommend asking the
specraror in front to use his hands to cover the picture as much as possible. Youll still be able
ro see the top corners ofthe board, and the knots once again act as your visual clue.

Gaetan and
Dominique Duvivier
celebrate the 25th
anniversary of the
Double Fond magic
nightclub in Paris
(and over forry years
of friendship).

HouGHT: Some mathematical

principles can be powerfully
applied to magic but at the same
time arent effective for all audiences. Beware
of boring your spectators!

Youre friends with Einstein's grandson.
In the items he inherited, he found an old
slate on which Grandpa had written a
formula. The grandson told you that Einstein
believed this formula would solve any math
problem. Now you only have to prove that
everything in fact is not relative! 4
Sum Total is based on a Larry Becker
effect. A version of his method also appears in
one of Richard Osterlindt videos. I liked the
effect but didnt really care for the method.
I decided to keep the method and apply the
technique I used in my Quartd effect, with
some minor changes. Sum Total is the result.

You show a slate whose front is covered with a sheet of newspaper. Your prediction is
wrirten on the other side. To prove what youre saying, you fip over the slate from top to

Figs. 1-7

--{l,lrL- Uqcl/r*
__ !v



bottom, causing the newspaper to drop down, revealing a series of numbers arranged in a five-
by-6ve square. The numbers are visible but upside-down.
You turn the slate right-side-up again and set it on a small stand.
Next, you attach a strip of black cardboard to the top of the slate.
You display nine cards, each marked with a number 1 through 9. a bulldog clip, you
attach the card with the number 1 to the far left side of the black strip.
Nowyou announce that you'll create a random number out ofthe thousands ofpossibilities.
You hand the remaining eight cards to a spectator, who chooses his favorite, which you clamp
onto the strip.
The number doesnt have to be placed immediately to the right of the first number, but
instead can be in any position the spectator chooses.
You repeat this process with other spectators until a six-digit number has been randomly
Now you remove the black strip with the numbers clipped on, and hand it to a spectator.
You tear offthe newspaper sheet and display it right-side-up.
\7hen you add up the numbers in the square, column by column, you gradually end up
with the number formed by the spectators!

The effect is based on a very interesting mathematical principle (thank you,Larry Becker).
Thke a look at the table in figure 1.
Note that each column has a blank space (each has a 4 in figure 1).'We'll fill these in later.
For now, we're going to add up all the numbers in the following manner.
Begin with column E Add the numbers in this vertical column, skipping the blank spaces:
\7rite down the 1 and carry the 10 to the next column. In column D, add the numbers 1
+ 2 + 4 + 3, plus the 1 carried from column E, making a totalof 11.
Again jotdownthe l andcarrythe l0.Addthenumbersof column C8 + 1 +7 +4,plus
the carried 1, equals 21.
Jot down that 1 and carry the 2. Addthe numbers ofcolumn B: 5 + 7 + 2 + 5, plus the
carried 2, equals 21.
\7rite down the 1 and carry the 2. Addthe numbers ofcolumn A: 3 + 2 + | + 3 plus the
carried 2, and the result is 11.
Your total result is 1 1 11 1.
Now we'll pick a random six-digit number, such as 154763.
lVe only have to make some minor adjustments for the grid to add up to our chosen
In fact, all we have to do is fill in the blank spaces of each column, beginning with column
E and working our way left. Each number we fill in will be one less than one of the numbers
in our random number, again beginning on the right.
Begin with column E. Thke the last 6gure of our chosen number: 3. One less than 3 is 2.
Fill in the blank space in column E with 2.
Continue with column D. -Ihe next number from the right in our random number is 6.
Subtract 1 to get 5. Now mark 5 in the blank space in column D.

Proceed with each column in this manner with the next three numbers. The 1 will remain
unused. Thke a look at the completed table shown here.
Veri$' the total.
Itt indeed 1547631
Richard Osterlind's version, designed for close-up conditions, uses small slips of paper and
involves a switch at the end. Nonetheless, it's very deceptive.
To create a stage version, I decided to employ the method used in my Quartd routine, as
I mentioned earlier.
Figure 2 shows the props, which include a slate and a stand. The front is transparent. Rub
it lightly with sandpaper to make the surface look more natural and improve the final display.
Now look at figure 2. This is the primary slate.
Itt made of a sheet of magnetic material, the kind used for advertising signs that cling to
car doors. You can usually find them at a good hardware supply store. You can also use a childt
magnetic slate.
Cover the slate with black satin-finish Contac paper. Paint the numbers and grid with
white acrylic paint.
I wanted to be able to display the square at the beginning of the routine, but the blank
spaces of course prevented that. Therefore, I filled each blank space with an arbitrary number,
4, as you can see in figure 2.
Also note that the bottom two rows are correctly filled in and will not need to be altered.
The adjustments are only in the top three rows.
You ll now cut your magnetic slate into two pieces, just below the top three rows. Attach a
strip of cloth tape behind the pieces to act as a hinge.
You'll need a frame slightly larger than the magnetic slate. Behind this frame, fasten a flat,
pivoting hook to the center of the top to prevent the top of the slate from folding bachward.
Attach a sheet of newspaper to the front of the frame, fastening only the top of the paper
(fig. 3).
This set-up offers a nice advantage. At the beginning, you display the slate covered with the
newspaper, but when you turn the slate upside-down, the paper falls down (frg.q and you can
safely show that the grid is legitimately filled with numbers. Even further, the inverted position
makes it impossible for the audience to memorize the numbersl
Tirrn the slate right-side-up again. The paper falls back into position. Return the slate to
its stand.
Consrruct your stand from plywood or foam-core board. The stand can be made so you
can fold it fat for packing by attaching the four pieces,4, B, C, and D with strips of cloth tape.
C and D form the back. D can lean back against a thick elastic cord I'strung betweenr4
and B. This elastic cord also helps reinforce the stand. D also conceals the rear of the slate and
stand from the audiencet view.
In figure 2,yo.:'llsee a row of cards behind the support, arranged in reverse order. Construct
these cards from pieces of very thin metal strips or razor-thin metallic paper. Cover the cards
with the same black satin-finish Contac paper used on the slate (fig. 5). You'll need only the
numerals 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, B, and 9.
The cards adhere to a magneric strip attached to the rear of the base C to keep them in

\7hen you place the slate on its stand, swivel up the fat hook. The angle of the stand
causes the top of the slate, containing the first three rows, to fall backward toward you (fig. 2).
The audience will not see anything during your performance, since the slate is covered by the
newspaper fap.
Next, cut a piece of foam core to the width of the frame (fig. 6).
Pierce a hole near each corner, then thread a piece ofelastic cord through the top holes and
knot the ends. At the bottom, thread and knot another cord. These elastic cords will let you
easily slip this strip onto the top of the frame, where the elastic will hold it securely in place.
You'll need six bulldog clips. You can either attach these before the effect begins or else clip
them on one by one as the routine proceeds (frg. 7). It's up to you!
Mark six blank playing cards with the numbers 1 through 9, using a thick marker.
Finally, cut a piece of white cardboard to the same size as the strip holding the clipped

Hand the cards to a spectator to examine. "'S7'e're going to form a huge number," you
announce. "I have a strong feeling the final total will begin with a 1. Hand me the card marked
with a 1, please." Thke the card with the numeral 1 and attach it with the first clip to the far
left of the strip at the top of the slate.
Next, the spectator chooses any number he likes and hands you the card.
To add to the randomness of the number, tell the spectator that he can direct you to clip
his number at any position he wishes. \7hen youve attached his numbet ask the spectator
to hand the remaining cards to another spectator, who then chooses another number and
The selection process gives you rime to do the dirry work. If the first spectator chose
number 6 and column C all you have to do is take card 5 and place it on the blank space in
column C. The magnetic slate will make it cling in place like magic.
If a spectator chooses number 5,youdont have to do anything, since every 4 is already in
Repeat this procedure for each spectator.
Note: lf you wish, you can lift the paper every now and then to briefy display the bottom
two rows of the slate.
To conclude, once the six numbers are in place, detach the strip, display it briefy, and ask
a sPectaror to set it on his lap.
Return to the slate. If you havent aheady positioned the magnetic number for the last
spectatort choice, you can do so now.
\Vhen you're ready, fip the folded top of the slate back into position, pivot the hook down,
and remove the slate from the stand.
lVith your free hand, pick up the piece ofwhite cardboard and hand it to a spectator, along
with a thick, black marker.
Tear offthe paper covering the slate to display the square.
Ask a spectator to add the columns one by one and write the total on the cardboard. Make
sure other spectators verif, the total is correct!
Now something both bizarre and amusing will happen.

One by one, rhose spectarors with a good memory will gradually realize that, bit by bit, the
total is matching the random number at the top of the slate.
The other spectators will not be sure, but the first spectators will excitedly murmur to
them that youve succeeded. AII this creates mounting tension as they realize the impossibiliry
ofyour feat.
your left hand, take the cardboard from the spectator who has been totalling the
numbers. Face the audience and loudly announce the total het written there: 1,53763.
Now, hold out your right hand and have the other spectator give you the strip het kept
on his lap with the clipped numbers. Display it to the audience so they can see both the white
cardboard and the clipped strip of numbers, then confidently read the matching number from
the strip: 153763.
This final pose, with your arms extended, is a clear cue...for your well-deserved applause!



\, i --/
;(. B
Frsir 2006

urs is a strange, visual, nearly surrealistic effect. I like that!

A card is freely chosen and returned to the deck, which you then shufle. You
set the deck on a tennis racket. By merely shaking the racket slighdy, the cards seem to melt
through the strings. All the cards go through except one, which turns out to be the selection.

A tennis racket
Some very strong nylon thread
A pack ofcards

The racket is responsible for the trick, and it's pretty tricky indeed.
First, remove all the original strings. Next, rethread the racket as shown in illustration,4,
beginning with all the horizontal strings. Finish with the vertical strings, interlocking them
with the horizontal ones.
As you see, the left-hand section is genuinely laced, and on the right, there are only horizontal
strings. Incidentally, only one long string is used to do this entire threading. Take a look at the
close-up drawing at D.
The next step is shown in the illustration B. You'll now thread the missingvertical lines
to complete the racket. These cords enter the original holes in the frame but then all go above
the frame.
Look closely at drawing Q where you'll see that the vertical strings on the right B are almost
a half-inch above the rest of the strings r4.

If you hold the racket facing the audience, even at close range, no one will see anything
suspicious. You can bounce a large sponge ball on top of it, then hit the ball into the audience
to choose a spectator.
The deck is normal, but I use only rwo-thirds of the deck.

Figs A-D
Once the card is freely selected, control
it to the top of the deck.
Now bend the whole deck slightly
downward, except for the top card, as in the
illustration. This move takes only a split-
Place the pack on the left side of the
racket strings, as seen in,4, then spread the
cards a bit.
Slide the top card slightly to the right
and insert it among the upper vertical strings.
Shake the racket gently, beginning with a
side move to the right. All the cards will slide
under the raised vertical strings.
Begin to move the racket up and down.
The cards will begin to penetrate through the
raised strings, falling through the racket like
leaves in autumn.
You ll have to pracrice a little bit, but it
works, and the slower, the bener!


A terrific routine by the master

ft;:.,1;11 H,;?.1:::' I :,::

rwo top hats, or a top hat and a plate. See
"Cocktail Cards" in Vernont Inner Secrets of
Card Magic.Itt all there.
My own presentation uses a velvet bag,
which is much easier to handle and safer.
Thank you, Professor!

A spectator shuffies a deck and cuts it
into three piles.
Each pile is shuffied again, and one card
is freely selected from each pile.
You display an empry and examinable
velvet bag, which you've used to hold the
rest ofyour props.
Next, you place the three packets into
the bag one by one. The spectators then drop in their chosen cards. The volunteers pass the bag
around so everyone can shake it to mix the cards.
You now take the bag and remove the cards, sometimes in batches, sometimes singly. As
you take them out, you put aside three cards.
You ask for the names of the three freely selected cards. You turn over the ones youVe put
aside. They're the chosen cards. The cards and bag can now be examined again.

Gaeran with James

Randi and Dai Vernon

The bag is a simple drawstring sack. The deck is normal.
Have a spectator shuffie the cards, then cut the pack into three piles.
Each spectator chooses a card from one pile, remembers it, and puts it in his pocket.
Now you take the piles one by one and drop them into the bag. This is where you do the
dirry work. As you place the cards in the bag, you secretly make a strong bend in each packet
of cards.
The volunteers now add their chosen cards and shake the bag as much as they like. \7hen
you take the bag, simply open it and you will easily spot the three straight, unbent cards.
Now just remove the other cards in bunches or one by one, straightening them as you do.
The beaury is that the chosen cards are the ones you never touch!
Thatt the genius of the Professor!
F.I. S. M. NOTES 375

Gaeran in scenes from

rhe French cult film
Les Sou-Douls, and
wirh irs screenwrirer
Didier Kaminka
(below ight)


verF simple and logical approach for a still very good old principle, with many
different presentations possible.

You remove an apple from a paper bag, irapale it on a knife, and display it to the audience,
then take a bite.
You spit the piece toward the apple, which is visibly restored.
Next you repeat the stunt in various ways like putting the apple behind your head, miming
that you're eating a bite, then showing the audience that a piece of the apple is actually gone.
At the end, you eat almost the entire apple, then drop the core into the paper bag. You
infate the bag and pop it, then remove the apple, fully restored.

This effect is just a highly simple and natural version of the paddle move.
lJse an apple whose skin is a uniform color. For maximum contrast to highlight the missing
piece, use a green or red apple rather than a yellow one.
You Il also need a kitchen knife with a fairly short blade. I use an oyster knife with a wide,
short blade.
To perform the complete routine, you ll also require two paper bags, a small one and a
larger one.
Glue the small bag inside the top of the large bag.
Inside the large bag are two identical apples whose stems you have removed. One has the
knife impaled into the bottom, opposite where the stem was.
F.I. S. M NOTES 379

Display the bag as you say, "Inside the bag, my favourite fruit." Remove the impaled apple.
At this point, the routine is up to you.
Take a bite from the apple, but don't
swallow the piece, retaining it in your mouth.
Show that the apple's missing a piece. As you
pretend to spit the bite back onto the apple,
cover the apple momentarily with your left
'1 ,,
hand and do the paddle move, secredy twisting
the knife so the intact side of the apple comes t)
into view.The apple seems restored. )\-j
Now you can use the paddle move to )
perform a variety of effects. You can hold -5
the apple behind your head and make a bite
appear as described earlier, simply by rotating
the knife to the bitten side when you display
it again.
Another feat is to show the whole apple,
hold it behind your back, spit into your hand
the real pieces you had in your mouth from
the first step (I know, disgusting), and show
that the apple is missing a bite again.
two apples, the missing piece can
jump from one apple to another, among other
To conclude the routine, eat most of the apple, Ieaving just the core. Drop the core into the
bag, but actually insert it in the small inner bag. Infate the large bag and hold the top tightly
so the air cant escape. Pop the bag by hitting the bottom.
Retrieve the second complete apple from the broken bag. Crumple the rest of the bag. The
core remains hidden inside the smaller bag. Toss aside the crumpled bag.

\With mo apples, the missing piece can jump from one apple to another, among other
variations. If you work for children, begin your routine with a young spectator onstage and a
bitten apple on a knife in the bag. Ask his name, and whatever he answers, say, 'Adam! Excellentl
I have a trick for you!"
Now remove the apple on rhe knife from the bag. Display both sides of the fruit, then direct
the boy to the Ieft side of the stage, keeping the apple in front of his face.
Move the apple to the right. The audience sees the missing part of the apple, as if the boy
had eaten a piece.
"Oh, Adam, what have you done?" you ask him.
From that point on, ir's up to you. There's a lot of potential fun with both your assistant
and the rest oFthe audience.

ApoJlo Varietd posrer

lteaturing Caeran


(bir r
5 Jahre)
50 7o Rabatt

Vom 9. Mai bis 22. Juli. Karten: O2ll/BZB 90 90 . vwt/w.apollo-variete.com



,TfnO one's a bar stunt. You remove Illustration by Keverne

Mapp from Gaetan's
I yo,rr last cigarette from your +l&l[alcL.
I pack. Bet one or more friends that (-r) lecture notes

with one hand, you can crush your cigarette

package smaller than they can. You tell them
that you're a pupil of the famous performer
"Cesar," the world champion of crushing
things. AII your friends take a pack and crush
it, but you always win, even if they are ten
times stronger than you are.

Very easy, with minimal preparation.
Look at the drawing. Your pack is actually a
hybrid. The main body B is made of a soft pack, and the top r4 is made from a rigid cigarette
Attach the hard top to the soft bodywith a piece of invisible scotch tape. (In an impromptu
situation, you may in fact actually be able to get away with not taping the lid on but simply by
holding it in position.)
Itt very easy, but it works!
Just be sure to crease the corners of the soft pack to resemble a hard pack. It will add a touch
of detail that will make the effect look even more convincing.

Gaetan in Gdrard
Maju's TV show



A spectator places a deck behind his back.
A He chooses a card, folds it into quarters, and holds it tightly in his fist.
I L Your ask the volunteer to hold out his fist in front of you and cover it with his
other hand.
You display a roll of packing tape and wrap tape around his fist.
Now you cover the spectatort fist with a translucent silk, such as a juggling scarf.
Showing your hands empry, you stand in front of the spectator and hold his wrist. Your
body acts as a screen so the spectator can't see what you're doing.
You squeeze the spectator's wrist as you ask him if he feels anything strange. Finally, your
right hand emerges from under the silk, holding a folded cardl
Your right hand deftly unfolds the card and shows it to the crowd. You wink at the audience
to signal to them that they should remain silent.
Your right hand then refolds the card and returns beneath the scarf.
After a few seconds, your hands emerge empty from under the silk, which you then remove
from the spectator's hands.
Have the volunteer ask the audience, "lVhatt the name of my card?" The entire audience
shouts out the name of his selection.
You unwrap the spectatort wrists.
Inside, the folded card is still there. The spectator opens the card and finally sees the card
that the audience has just named in unisonl
The funny part is that everybody is amazed, but for different reasons. Your assistantt
astonished because the audience has guessed the right card, and the rest of the audience is amazed
because the card has made sort of an astral journey out of his taped hand, then back again.

A forcing deck, or you can use your favourite force, as long as it's really a clean one. I like
using an Oscar-sryle deck, which has 26 force cards for the spectator to choose from, and 26
random cards that can be displayed to the audience.
A extraJarge thumb tip, which is loaded with a duplicate of the forced card, folded into
quarters. Crease it in both directions to make the one-handed unfolding easier.
A large roll ofpacking tape; you can also use ribbon or ga ze.

Follow the effect as described. Force the card and put aside the rest of the deck (you can
switch it later for a normal one if you wish).
Tape the spectator's wrists.
Slip the thumb tip onto your right thumb. Cover the spectators' wrists with the silk.
Now comes the only move in the whole routine. Grasp the left side of the spectatort wrist
with your left hand, and reach under the silk with your right hand. Slip the thumb tip offyour
thumb and grip it with your left fingertips.
Now just extract the folded card from the thumb tip, open it, show it around, then refold
it, replace it in the tip, and slip it onto your thumb again. The rest is just presentation.

Gaetan and
Alana Moehlmann
F. I. S. M. NOTES 38i

A skerch of Gaeran
by Pierre Lrai: /rop
lef); Caecao on rhe
ser ofZn Sous-Dord:
(rop right); wirh
Mu Maven and Jeff
McBride (below brt);
and with Lisa Menna
and Tom Mullica
(below right)
.,.o I



f |ou show wo clear plastic cups. The first one is full of ice cubes, the second one is
I f"ff of scorch. You io.r, the scotch onto the ice cubes, then pour the contents back
I and forth a few times, clearly showing both cups full of the mixture.
Finally, you pour everything into one cup, leaving the other one emptF.Your hands approach
each other, then immediately separate.
Once again, one cup is full of scotch, and the other has aII the ice cubes.

Three clear plastic cups
Some real ice cubes
Real scotch or ice tea

Using a box cutter, cut a square hole in the bottom of the first cup, A. The hole must be
large enough to let the liquid fow through freely, but small enough to retain the ice cubes.
Now cut the brim from cup B. Cup Cis normal. Figure 1 shows all three cups.
To set up the trick, simply drop cup A into cup B.

Fill cups ABwith ice cubes, and cup Cwith liquid.
Pour the liquid into cups AB.
Pour the ice and liquid from one cup to another a few times (figs. 2-3). Briefy pause once
or twice to display each cup with the combined ice cubes and liquid clearly visible. \Without
saying so, you're emphasizing that the cups are normal.


iY.. x.i
. . i:r';
F. I. S. M. NOTES 389

Figs. l-4


Finally, pour the contents of cup C into ctps AB.

Hold cups,4,B in your left hand near the brim and elevate them slightly above cup Q almost
as ifyou are proposing a toast.
In one move, stack the cups together, drop cup -B into cup C, and separate your hands. Your
left hand has the cups BC and your right hand has only cup A (frg. l).
The move almost looks as ifyou're moving the cups horizontally. During the move, your left
thumb and forefinger assist in dropping cup.B into cup C. The whole sequence takes one second.
Now show the audience that cup ,4 contains only the ice cubes and that cups BC have all
the liquid.


N my mind, this was a comedy effect, and still is, but I found it also had a certain
charm. You produce dozens of playing cards at your fingertips and throw them in a hat.

A top hat
A piece ofcardboard to create a partition in the hat
Two playing cards (for better visibiliry you can use blank cards)
Fifteen-inch length (more or less) of thin nylon thread
A small piece of black elastic
A safery pin

The thread is attached to the double card, as shown in the drawing (fig. 2). Notice that
the anchor point is slighdy oFcenter. The tape holding the thread remains hidden between
the two cards.
At the other end, attach the elastic to the thread, and tie the elastic to the safety pin. \7ith
this arrangement, the thread will have move more efficiently.
Attach the safery pin to the side of the hat.
The length of the thread depends on the size of your hand and arm. Tiial and error will
find the best position for you.
The cardboard partition keeps the card tilted at the correct angle for the production, and
also maintains the thread in the proper location for beginning the move (fig. 1). Otherwise,
it would be much more difficult for you to locate the thread and position it in your fingers.


F.I. S. M. NOTES 393

Zhe Moae
It's a very simple one, but not what you'd expect. Hold the hat as shown in figure l.
The thread runs from the side of the hat, through your index and middle fingers, and back
to the card, which is inside the hat.
To produce the card, keep your hand steady and simply tilt the hat by rotating it to bring
the bottom of the hat toward the audience. This movement will literally pop the card into your
hand, creating a striking and instantaneous materialization (fig. 3).
Your right hand drops the card back into the hat. You can now repeat these moves as many
times as you wish.
You can vary the move, facing in various directions during the production as you move and
grab cards from many different points.
At the conclusion of your routine, you can also do a sort of slow-motion production. Itt
almost a giveaway, but itt very visual and funny.
Of course, you can begin with some cards already in the hat and produce them at the end
of your sequence simply by tilting the hat and pouring them out.


eret a firnny, strange principle that will create an automatic standing ovation if
performed correctly. 'What more could you ask for? The odd part is that at the
conclusion, everybody is wondering why everyone else is standing up!

You show a large sketchpad and set it on an easel.
"I will now divide the room into three sections," you say. "First, the front section, from
you, sir, to you, ma'am." You show the area by gesturing with your hands.
"Then the Ieft side, from here to here," you continue, "and the right side, from here to there."
These instructions separate the audience into three distinct areas.
"Nowwatch,'you say. "I'm going to conduct a test to see which section is the best audience.
Theret always one. I have here a few drawings of the same person. These portraits look in different
directions, either to the center, to the left, or to the right. I'll show them to you now. If the
portrait looks in your direction, I d like you to please stand up and cheer. Ready? Here we go."
You show the first portrait, and the people on your left side stand up. You show the second
one, and the people in the middle reacr, and the last portrait makes all the people on the right
side stand up.
You play this little game a few times, jumping more and more rapidly from one drawing
to another.
"Okay, that was good," you say. "And now I want to show you my final drawing. This one
looks in the direction of the part of the audience I like the most. Thatt the group who, in my
opinion, applauded the most. If you're in the other two groups, dont feel bad. You were great,
too, but my prize tonight goes to the group indicated by this final drawing. So if the face looks
in your direction, please stand up right now and cheer!"
F. I. S. M. NOTES 397

You show the last portrait. The entire audience suddenly stands up, giving you a standing

This routine is just a rather unique use of
a very old and curious optical illusion which Gaetan with
I call the concave mask. You can find many JeffMcBride
versions of it in novelty shops, with portraits
ranging fromJesus to famous pharaohs. Ifyou
go to Disneyland, you'll see some of them in
the Haunted Mansion.
These concave inverted portraits seem to
follow you, always looking in your direction,
wherever you are standing.
The rest is simple. Find one of these
portraits, and draw three similar faces on three
different sheets, one looking to the right, one
facing front, and one looking to the left. You
can have an artist friend help you ifneeded.
If you're skilled with Photoshop, you can also
take three photos of the mask and edit them
into three different versions.
The back ofthe sketchpad has a hole cut
out so you can insert the concave portrait into
the last page, which is cut to accomodate the
shape ofthis inverted face.
In front of it are your three regular
drawings, either drawn onto the page or taped or glued on. You can attach small tabs to help
you open them more quickly. Follow the presentation described earlier, and when you display
the concave portrait, everybody will stand upl


l-T-trus routine features a game you play with two volunteers. Ask two spectators to
I Yor, ,., on the table a sort of rotating turntable. On the platform are six
transparent boxes, each with a tiny prize inside wrapped in silver aluminum foil. Each box is
sealed with two rubber bands and has a metal hook attached to the lid.
You hand each of the spectators a childrent toy fishing rod, with a simple string loop at
the end.
Now you switch on the turntable.
As the prizes rotate, the spectators attempt to catch as many as possible, but you will get
to keep the last one left.
You stop them when one box remains. The results are always different. Sometimes one
volunteer catches more prizes, sometimes itt a tie.
At the end, the spectators open the boxes and remove the prizes. All the boxes contain
pieces of candy. Now you open the remaining box, which is yours. kt full of cashl Luclcy you!

I really love this one for its sheer simpliciry.
Youll need six clear lucite boxes about the size ofa cigarette pack. You can adapt the trick
for larger stages with much larger boxes if you wish.
The hooks are made from heavy electric wire, or even wire from coat hangers. Their shape
is very important. Thke a look at figure 1; the end of each hook is actually pointed like a Z
Finally, epory a hook onto each lid.
The beaury of the method is that even if the specrarors are highly skillful, they'll never be
able to catch the box with the money, because itt impossible.

Zgfi Gaetan with one

ofthe gift boxes
Right: Figs. 1-2

In figure 2,you'Ilsee two rubber bands encircling the box. These bands are the whole secret.
Between them, you artach a short length of invisible thread, which runs over the rounded point
of the hook.
By slightly wisring one of the rubber bands, you can tighten the thread as much as necessary.
'With the thread in position, the lasso has no chance of entering the hook! The string will
just slide ro one side or the other. Of course, you put the money into this specially prepared box.
The aluminium foil wrapped around each prize acts as a complex background to make the
invisible thread even more invisible.
The other boxes are ungimmicked.
The rotating turntable can be anything that turns slowly, from an old record player to a
jeweler's motorized display. I use one adapted from a childrens toy. By the way, for carnival
authenticiry you can also use a tray filled with water, but it's messier.
Stop the spectators when theyve caught all the boxes but one. It will of course be the
gimmicked one with the cash inside.
Be sure to have the spectators open all their prizes before you even touch the last one. Then
very cleanly and openly pick up the box, remove the 6rst rubber band, lift it over the hook, and
remove the other band. Casually put the rubber bands into your pocket. (You can have a set of
normal duplicates there, if you want to leave them out for examination afterward.)
Hand the box to one of the spectators. Inside, he'll find the money. Thke it from him and
show it to the audience. Everything is examinable.
Note: Ar first, I tried to use a plastic ring at the end of the fishing line instead of a string
loop. This turned out to be too risky. If a spectator hit the hook too hard, the ring would
break the thread. Also, with a plastic ring, the audience might think there was a magnet inside
repelling the hook. So as always, the simpler, the better, and the string loop turned out to be
the best solution.

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