Electro Fun Update 17 – Supplement 1


Headless Match – Sekander Alam

Here’s a cute impromptu mental quickie you can do anytime you have, or can borrow, a box of matches.Explain that you will keep a prediction of a forthcoming event inside the match box and leave the room (or turn your back) for a minute. Away from the sight of the audience, you empty out the matchbox and replace in it THREE match sticks. Two of these are normal, but break the head off the third match stick before keeping it in the box. Close the match box and turn to face the audience again.

Now ask a spectator to call out at random any number of match sticks from one to three – either ONE match stick, or TWO, or THREE.

If the spectator says “ONE match stick”, open the box and dump out the matches inside. Pick up the headless match stick and say that you KNEW that the spectator would think of ONE matchstick …. and comment that was why you kept ONE headless match inside the box.

If the spectator chooses “Two matches”, say that you KNEW that two matches would be chosen – and point to the two whole, unbroken matchsticks you kept inside the box. Similarly, if the spectator calls out “THREE matches” open the box and point to the three matchsticks inside without showing the heads! Easy!

(Ed Note : You can easily extend this to any choice of 1 to 4 matchsticks. Wedge the fourth match into the side of the tray. If 4 is selected, simply turn box over, and pull out the complete tray – 4 sticks fall out  apparently from tray! Also, instead of cutting off one head, a more convincing presentation would be to break a match then put it back together so it appears ordinary. Have spectator examine sticks (flex the ends) to find 1 broken, or 2 whole, or 3 or 4 complete sticks)

Wild Ideas – Sam Dalal

It is ever so easy to create New Magic, if you let your imagination run. There are no rules, and there is no one way of doing anything. As an illustration, let us see what we can do with Wild Cards, – an all time classic card trick. If you don’t know the basics of this, you ought to get a set, – it’s worth 100 times the money it sells for, and it is an excellent packet card trick.Though the Wild Card effect changes 8 cards to 8 others, they don’t have to be the same card. You can have 4, 6, 8 or any quantity of identical cards change to  entirely different cards.

For example, show 4 Jokers and a 10S. Perform the Wild card routine as a gambling demo, and end with a Royal Flush, (A,K,Q,J, & 10S). Routine would be same as Wild Cards, using a regular AS, QS and 10S, and double face KS & JS with Jokers on reverse. (You can make your own D/F cards by splitting and repasting). Performance is same as Wild Cards, with 2 pairs instead of 4.

Another suggestion – use pictures instead of cards, with a novelty theme. For example, the papers and magazines are full of “Slimming”  courses, that are accompanied by pictures of a fat man or lady (before), and a slimmer version (after). Make Xerox copies and paste them on some blank cards. For card backs use an ad for the product, to make it less like a card trick. You show pictures of 4, (or more) fat ladies, and one slim one, patter about the amazing effects of the special slimming treatment, and transform all the obese ladies (or gentlemen) to slim ones.

And there is no rule that says the effect has to be done with cards. How about a version that changes “IOU”s to bills or cheques ?  Or a set of 10 blank visiting cards and the “Captain’s” picture to the full Indian Cricket team ? Easy, isn’t it ?

I’ve got your Number – Magician Someeran

Performer shows five cards with different digits printed on both sides of them in Red and Blue colours. He also displays five envelopes.Spectators arrange the cards in any way they like. They place the cards inside the envelopes. The performer divines the correct total of the digits uppermost.
To prepare the trick, you need five blank cards. According to the following chart, write the digits on fronts and backs of the five cards in Red and Blue colours.

                    FRONT  –  BACK
First Card  –  10 (Red) – 60 (Blue)
Second Card –  20(Red) – 70 (Blue)
Third Card  –  30 (Red) – 80 (Blue)
Fourth Card –  40(Red) – 90 (Blue)
Fifth Card  –  50 (Red) – 100 (Blue)

Make small pencil marks on upper left hand corners of all the Red sides of the cards. The marks should be very small so that only you can find them. (See illustration). Or you could make a “nail nick” on the appropriate corner.

Size of the envelopes should be slightly smaller than the size of the cards in length. If you insert a card inside the envelope Red side uppermost, the digit is not visible but the mark is visible outside the envelope (See illustration).

During performance, tell your spectators to arrange the cards in any way they wish, and insert them inside the envelopes in the same way they arrange the cards, without showing you. After they have done it, just see how many marks are visible, that is, how many Red digits are on top. The number of the Red digits on top will supply you the information about the total.

The total depends upon an easy mathematical formula.
The formula is :
Total = 400 – (Number of Red digits x 50)

Let us suppose the spectators arrange the cards like this : 50, 30, 70, 90 and 10. Among these three digits are in Red colours (50, 30, and 10). So, you can find three marks on three cards and understand that three Red digits are uppermost. According to the formula the total of all the top numbers of five cards will be
400 – (3 x 50) = 400 – 150 = 250.

If you find the marks on all five cards are visible, (all numbers uppermost are red), the total will be :
400 – (5 x 50) = 150

And if there is no mark (all uppermost numbers are blue), the total is 400.

When you look at the marks, do it casually so that your spectators do not suspect you are searching for something.

Symbol Simon – Phil Goldstein (Max Maven)

The Effect: is quite straightforward: the mentalist displays five (or more) cards. On each has been drawn a different geometric shape. The cards are mixed, and randomly dealt out onto the table, face down. The spectator indicates a card – and his choice is genuinely free and uninfluenced.This card turns out to be, let’s say, the triangle design. This proves to be the design previously predicted in writing by the performer.

Note that there are no multiples outs involved here, so the prediction can be sealed in any kind of container, and left with a spectator in advance.

The Method: is quite simple, although it will take an evening of preparation. It’s worth the hour to make up the materials, however, for once they are prepared they can be used repeatedly without further work.

The set of cards is prepared to force the triangle, but in a very deceptive manner.
You will need several blank-faced cards, a wide tipped marking pen, scissors, and magician’s  wax.

The suggested designs are triangle, circle, square, diamond, and pentagon. The latter four designs are larger than the triangle, and in fact the triangle will fit inside of any of the other symbols. This is the key to this mystery.

Begin by taking five cards. Draw matching triangles on the face of each card. Now on some extra card stock, draw the other four designs. Carefully cut the other designs. Now take the market and run it around the edge of each of the cut-out designs. Using a small amount of wax, secure each design over a triangle.

One of the cards will simply bear the triangle; the other four cards will show different symbols. From even a few inches away, these prepared  cards will appear fair – as if the symbol had been drawn directly onto the card. One final piece of preparation: mark the back of the un-prepared triangle card, so that you will be able to locate this card later on. I use scratches made in the corner of the card with a razor blade. Prepare your prediction in any manner you choose (and once again I stress that your possibilities are limitless,so be creative…..) and you’re set to perform Symbol Simon.

Start by displaying the cards freely. Discuss the different designs. Now deal the cards out onto the table in a long row. Mix them up a bit. (A minimum of care will insure that the waxed-on bits of card will not fall off).

It is suggested that you see to it that the marked card ends up in a position second from an end of the row. This increases the odds that the spectator will indicate the un-gaffed card, and make your work simpler. At any rate, ask the spectator to point to one of the cards. If he does pick the marked card, turn it face up to show a trigangle. Then show the other cards again, remarking that he could have picked any one of them… and have the prediction shown.

Should the spectator point to another card, here’s what you do: Pick up the card and hold it face down in your left hand. Ask if the spectator would like to change his mind. If he says no, you peek at the card you’re holding. What you do is to lift up on the inner end of the card with you right thumb,  while pressing on the center of the card with your index finger. This seemingly innocent action will cause the waxed-on piece to pop off onto your left palm.

Tip the left hand towards yourself as the right hand picks up the card from the inner end and rotates it towards the spectator. When the card has been turned face up (showing a triangle), let the left hand stretch open. Tap the center of face up card, to emphasize that a triangle was chosen. This action causes the waxed piece to adhere to the back of the card. You can now place the chosen card onto the table, face up, in a most open fingered and casual manner – the gaff is out of sight.

Pick up the other cards, and casually flash the faces of all but the marked one (which bears another triangle) as you comment on the other possible choices.

Now have the prediction opened. As this happens, you can simply take all of your materials and put them away. Since all of the action has been so deliberate and fair appearing, the audience will have no interest in examining the cards. You might, however, desire to switch the gaffed cards for an ungimmicked set of the symbols, to go into some other effects of the type normally done with standard ESP cards.

(Reproduced from Mantra, April 1976)

Colour Vision ESP – E.W. Bud Morris

Effect: Two opaque plastic boxes, and two dice are exhibited. These dice may carry different numbers on their sides….as normal dice are supposed  to……or different colours, or designs.Now both you and an assisting spectator take a die and a box, and place the die in the box with a selected colour , number or design uppermost. The boxes are closed, and placed on the table.

Then you even let spectator open the boxes and verify the selected number, colour or design, uppermost on both the dice are one and the same.

Required  : Two sets of  “Colour Vision”.  These could have colours, numbers or designs on the dice.

Method: We will describe the method, presuming you are using a number die. Substitute colour or design for number if necessary.

1. Spectator places his block into the container with any number uppermost,while performer turns his back.

He hands the box with lid on top, to performer behind  his back. At this stage he has no idea of what is to follow.

2. As performer turns around, he transfers lid from top to one of the sides as in the standard “Colour Vision” Trick.

3. He brings the box before him keeping open side towards himself, and lid to the top… and lies convincingly about how “only the spectator knows what number is uppermost on the die in the box”.

He has by now learned it’s identity by a sly peak”!

4. His hand drops casually back, behind him, and the lid is replaced on top, while he asks the spectator to examine the other die and box.

As soon as the lid is back on top of the box in the correct position, the box is just as casually brought out front, and placed fairly on the table.

5. Patter, Stressing “his block is in a container”. and the “mind does strange things” and that you will “attempt” an experiment… (leaving the impressionm that it could fail).

Tell them that you too have a numbered block, and container, and that you are going to put the block in the container with a number you had already thought of uppermost!

6. Turn around, place the block in the container with the same number uppermost, as the spectator, then turn and place the closed container next to the Spectator’s.

7. Finally have the verification done… planting firmly in the spectator’s mind that he may have some E.S.P. State that you had decided on your number before the spectator did, and he read your mind by his intuitional powers. !

(Reproduced from Swami, March 1973)