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P R E C U R S O R
This is PRECURSOR LXI and is published in November 1997. PRECURSOR is edited by William P. Miesel and is published by unikorn magik. The editorial offices are at 2215 Myrtle Street, Erie, Pennsylvania, 16502-2643. PRECURSOR will be published more than three times a year, and it will be sold for $18.00 (U.S.) for three issues. Outside the United States, Canada, and Mexico, three issues are sent Air Mail for $20.00 (U.S.). "Mac - Moe - Mem" by Gary Plants is an intriguing one-handed card discovery with a pseudo-memory plot based loosely on the work of the legendary "Mac" and "Moe." "Scoop-Up Changes" by Dan Block is a quick series of changes of four cards that should be done at a rather speedy pace with very little talk. It is very easy and is based on Ed Mario's "Scoop-Up Addition." Just remember the key to this effect is to go through the changes at a steady pace with no pause - one change right after another. There is one real inconsistency, namely, at one point the four Aces are shown twice with no change, but both Dan and I have been unable to eliminate one of the displays. Any ideas anyone? "Double Simplex Lie Speller" by Marty Kane is another of Marty's excursions down the path of spelling with or without lies. I hope you get a couple of chuckles out of this. I did. Harry Franke contributes a very commercial routine using two close-up props that are very popular right now. If you don't have these props, you may want to get them after reading "Be Safe - Test Your Money." Al Thatcher gives us "Calendar Cards" which is an interesting form of the "Perpetual Calendar." Besides presenting it as a trick. I find it very useful in researching dates especially while working on my biography of Harry Kellar when I want to know what day of the week some special event took place. "Bets" is another quickie from Ken McCreedy that makes use of a "Color Change" that he learned a number of years ago from Walter Cummings. See his "Doll Face" in PRECURSOR LI. "Jack Be Quick" by Michael DeMarco is a convincing coincidence effect, with a kicker, that has some interesting discrepancies that if missed, makes reconstruction virtually impossible. It's time for another great trick out of the past and this one is from Neal Elias. It was a year and a half ago the Neal gave me his old notes and letters. One of Neal's tricks from May 1957 was his version of Ed Mario's "Trick Deck" from THE CARDICIAN. "Trick Cards" is an impromptu method of performing Ralph W. Hull's trick deck, "The N.R.A. Deck." Since that time there have been hundreds of "All Back" routines but "Trick Cards" retains the All Backs - All Faces" feature.
Tom Hubbard gives us another handling of the "Twisting The Aces" that is verysimple, starts clean, and ends clean, but its major attraction is its versatility to fit into other routines that use just the four Aces. William P. Miesel September 2, 1997 When I received Tom Hubbard's "Twisting The Aces," it came with this excerpt from his letter: Five Star Coincidence Been having a wonderful time with your "Five Star Coincidence" in PRECURSOR LIX. Here are a couple of suggestions: I don't feel it works well with ESP symbols. The outcome is too extreme. I prefer ESP to be the improbable, not the impossible. Therefore, I have stationed a Royal Flush on top of my cards. Someone hands me the top half of the deck and I go into your stacking procedure. More times than not, when the dice have a duplicate it is not necessary to ask that one be adjusted. All you are looking for is a two die total of "seven." It may be right there. My main suggestion has to do with the shuffle after the third pile. It seems to me it just doesn't fit and it isn't necessary. I use a bottom deal on the fourth pile. With that few cards, with the pause moving from one counting to another, there could not be an easier deal. Tom Hubbard
This is issue number 61 of PRECURSOR, and that means it's time for another of our indexes which appear after every score of issues. And, again, Ron Zollweg tackled the job, producing INDEX PRECURSORIUM III. As in previous indexes, the tricks are categorized by type and by contributor, so searching should be relatively easy. Compiling such an index is not a task to be taken lightly, and I assume it requires a modest amount of ethyl alcohol to be consumed in various concoctions. Ron has done another fine job for PRECURSOR, and the editor and the publisher extend their sincerest thanks.
"TALMA: A kind of cape or cloak popular in the 19th century." ... I thought I had come up with something rather interesting in this definition, but then I realized it didn't refer to Talma of Le Roy, Talma and Bosco, although Talma (Mercedes) was a noted magician with her own act. The Talma cape was a reference to a costume worn by Francois Joseph Talma, a French tragedian (1763-1826).
MAC - MOE - MEM This is a psuedo memory trick and is performed in the style of Mac McDonald or Rene Lavand; i.e., it is performed one-handed. The deck has a breather-crimped card that will cut to the face of the deck. As an introduction to the trick, tell the spectators a little bit about Mac McDonald and Rene Lavand who are one-armed card magicians and about the difficulties of memorizing the order of a deck of playing cards. 1. Hand the deck to the spectator who shuffles it thoroughly. Take back the deck and cut it several times to locate the breather which should then be cut to the face. Give the deck one more cut to centralize the breather-crimped card. It does not have to be at the exact center; in fact, it should be from three to a half-dozen cards on either side of the center. 2. Ribbon spread the cards across the table face up. Even out the spread so that every individual card is visible. Explain, "I am going to memorize the order of each and every card in the spread." 3. Start at the face of the spread and count, to yourself, the cards to the center of the deck and then stop the count on the breather-crimped card and remember this number. Let's say the breather-crimped card is the twenty-third card from the face of the deck. Continue studying the cards right to the back of the spread but keep repeating the number, "twenty-three." Note: This count is very easy - don't rush - remember, you are supposedly memorizing the order of all of the cards in the deck. You can even use your fingers supposedly to make sure you don't miss any cards. 4. Scoop up the spread of cards from the table being careful not to disarrange their order. Square up the cards and hold the deck face down in the left hand in dealing position. 5. Raise the left hand and tilt it back so that the face of the deck is towards the spectator in readiness to have a card noted using the "Spectator Peek." 6. The right fingers come over the top of the deck and start riffling the right upper corner apparently from the face to the back. Actually, only the cards from the center to the back of the deck are riffled. The spectator calls. "Stop," and the riffle is stopped for him to peek at that card. In this way, the peeked card will be somewhere above the breather-crimped card. 7. Look away as the spectator is getting a peek at his card, and the left little finger catches the usual break under the peeked card. When the spectator has indicated that he has noted the peeked card, riffle off the rest of the cards. 8. Lower the left hand with the deck and go behind your back with it. forward again and say, "I don't want to even see the cards."