Lecture Notes

I found the following descriptions of tricks in various pockets of Flash's clothing that the health department made me send out for fumigation. Flash has hinted at the existence of a script for a video he was supposed to shoot in Sacramento, and these may have been earmarked for that project. I'm not entirely sure why the video was never produced, but I have seen a picture of Mr. Mildew at the reception desk at A-1 Video with the words "call security" written across it in bold lettering.

In there present form, they could form the nucleus of a set of lecture notes. I present them here without further comment.

The Knitted Queen

Have the spectator shuffle the deck, take it back, and openly remove the Six through Ten of Spades and the Ace through Five of Diamonds. Faro the packets of Spades and Diamonds and place to one side (S-D-S-D or D-S-D-S -- either way). Fan the rest of the deck face up, and get a break under the Queen of Hearts. If the Queen is in an unfavorable location, use the King of Spades -- either way. Close the deck and retain the break.

Display a knitting needle, and "accidentally" spear (your favorite method) the spectator's foot (left or right -- either way). Take advantage of the misdirection to perform Kramien's "Two Hands and a Left Hind Foot" pass to bring the Queen to the top of the deck. Retrieve the knitting needle, wipe the excess blood from it, and hand it to the spectator*.

Flip over the Queen of Hearts from the top of the deck to "remind" the spectator of their choice via the "Wedlim Subtlety" (they never made a selection, but the pain makes them forget). Allow her (or him, either way) insert the needle anywhere into the packet of Spades and Diamonds **. Show the cards above and below the needle, and point out that neither of them is a Queen or a Heart! The miracle is complete. Sterilize the needle and move on to another table or not -- either way.

* You may wish to perform this effect wearing both steel-toed boots and a Kevlar vest, as the spectator may become "confused" by the misdirection technique and come at you with the needle.

** Keep your hands under the table for this. The spectator, who may be a tad confused or impatient by this point, might choose to attach your hand to your close-up pad with the needle. A red pad is preferable, just in case.

Ceiling Tile on Ceiling

Check out your performance venue. If it has a suitably high ceiling that happens to be covered with acoustic tiles, you're in business. Run off to the nearest 'Home Improvement Center' and buy a box of matching tiles. You will also need a big glob of magician's wax, a ten-penny nail, a Sharpie marker, and a large Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.

Invite a spectator to join you at a location with direct access to the ceiling (watch out for light fixtures, sale banners, and blue-light specials). Faro shuffle the ceiling tiles and have the spectator select and sign one on the back side. Control the signed tile to the top and palm it off. Invite the spectator to shuffle the tiles, and while she contemplates the possibility of asbestos exposure, smear the wax over the signed side of the tile behind your back. Insert the ten-penny nail through the center of the tile as well, to provide a little extra holding power (the terminally finicky may choose to paint the head of the nail to match). Finally, write some vague threat on the tile above the signature (e.g. "I'll get you for what you did to me!"). If the spectator is still shuffling the tiles, break out the Peanut Butter Cup and consume while waiting. Palm the signed tile back onto the pack, and without hesitation hurl the pack toward the ceiling with a slight twisting motion.

The signed tile will adhere to the ceiling, and blend in well enough to go unnoticed as people run for cover. On collecting up the fallen tiles, show each clearly to prove that the signed tile has disappeared.

The best part of the trick will happen some hours/days/weeks later when the tile eventually looses its grip on the ceiling and falls to the floor. Everyone will look to see where the tile fell out of the ceiling, but the ceiling is still fully tiled. If the falling tile hits someone, don't worry 'cause the evidence has a threatening message has someone else's signature on it.

I read the following advice in a write-up of a prominent magician's version of "Card to Card Case":

"...Shake the box a bit to "hear" the card in the box, and as you do so, put the deck down (you can ribbon-spread the deck if you like). Transfer the box to a left-hand dealer's grip and shake it again. The box isn't a pair of maracas, just shake it once or twice..."

I find it a pity that the magus is advised against shaking the box as much as they like. This party-killing flaw stuck in the back of my mind and led me to:

Signed Card to a Pair of Maracas

That's right. Shake it all you like; it is a pair of maracas! The method should be obvious, but I'll explain it for the amateurs out there.

Hand the maracas to an enthusiastic spectator, and obtain a demonstration of their technique. If the technique is inadequate, pass them on to another spectator. Find a somber individual at the table and have them select, sign, and return a card to the pack.

Control the card to the bottom of the pack, and perform the "Mercury Card Tear" I believe this is to be my own invention, discovered at a close-up competition when my adrenaline was running a bit high. I believe one of the Jay Sankey tapes contains info on the "Mercury Card Fold" -- just watch it on high-speed scan and try to keep up. You'll have the tear perfected in no time. Palm off the pieces, and ribbon spread the remainder of the deck just to be showy.

Gain the attention of the spectator with the maracas. This may take a moment because if you have selected your spectator well, their rhythmic playing may have spontaneously generated a conga line snaking its way around the table. Be persistent. Take one maraca back from the spectator. The maracas, naturally, have been built up around a pair of brass "Bill Tubes".

Insert one half of the torn card in through the machined tube, lock in place, and smash the head of the maraca against the table surface in one fluid motion. Repeat quickly with the second maraca. Look around to see if anyone has noticed your trick. If not, join the conga line.