This may seem out of place in a Wizard Magic
Demonstration, but Madame Zelda fits two Wizard categories...
Animation AND Astrology. She also fits this month's theme of
Beach & Boardwalk Magic.
Madame Zelda is modeled after typical carnival
and boardwalk attractions of the early 1900's. You put in a coin,
her crystal ball flashes, she makes some mechanical sounds, and a
fortune card comes out the slot. Well, that's how these machines
are supposed to work. Our Madame Zelda is capable of far more
Typical routine (but open
to infinite variations):The Wizard rolls out the machine
and dusts it off since it was (he explains) just discovered in
the attic of a supposedly haunted house. "Let's try it out,
shall we?" he says, producing a shiny coin. He drops the
coin in the machine and it sputters to life.
"Plug me in, you idiot!" says Madame
Zelda. The Wizard finds an old fashioned electric cord dangling
from the back of the machine and plugs it into an extension cord.
ZAP! Sparks fly, Madame Zelda lights up brightly, and she laughs
hysterically at the Wizard, who may now have a little soot in his
electrically frizzled hair or beard.
"What do you want to know?" asks
Madame Zelda in her tinny (but well amplified) voice.
The Wizard points to someone in the audience.
"What is this lady's astrological sign?" he asks.
"That's easy! She's in the house of Aries
(for example), her birthday is March 25th, and she tells everyone
she is 24 years old and sometimes they even believe her!"
"Do you read Tarot cards?" asks the
"Of course I do, but your time is up!
Deposit another quarter, you cheap-skate!"
The Wizard puts in another coin.
"OK, big spender! Give me the Tarot
"Don't you have your own cards?"
"It will cost you two bucks if I use my
"Never mind. I have my deck right
here." The Wizard produces a Tarot deck. "Where do I
"Have someone select a card first. Where
did you get your Wizard's degree, Willy Wonka's Wizard
"OK, she took a Tarot Card. What now?"
"Have her show it to everybody. Do I need
to be out there doing this act?"
"Wait a minute, you can see her card."
"I'll cover my eyes." Here is some
audience by-play as the gypsy mechanical figure apparently
shields her eyes with her mechanical arms, but she keeps peeking
and the kids in the audience shout out to the Wizard that she is
"You're cheating!" the Wizard accuses
"Your time is up! Deposit another
"If you don't be fair I'll pull your plug
and lock you back in the attic for another hundred years!"
the Wizard threatens.
"Oh, don't be such a cry-baby! I was just
teasing. Have her select another card and don't let me see it, if
you're going to be such a spoiled brat!"
The Wizard has a woman from the audience select
another card and this time they shield it with their bodies so it
can't be seen by the gypsy.
"Drop the cards in the slot,"
instructs the Gypsy.
"I think I'll just mix them up first,"
says the Wizard.
"Don't you trust me?" asks the Gypsy.
"Not in the least!" says the Wizard,
mixing the cards up and dropping them in the slot.
There is a noisy sound of gears working and then
the Tarot cards rise up to the Gypsy's "work area." She
begins moving them around with her mechanical arms. "The
card she selected is not here," announces the Gypsy.
"Of course it's there," says the
Wizard. "I shuffled it in with the other cards. Everyone saw
me do it. Look again."
"I don't have to look again. I see all and
know all, just like the sign says, Buster. Her card is not
"You're just trying to get out of telling
her fortune," says the Wizard.
"Am not!" says the Gypsy. "Her
sign is Leo, she was born on July 30th, she will soon meet a nice
looking young Aries man, she will soon come into some money, and
her card is not here!"
"What card did she look at?" asks the
"The three of swords (for example)"
says the Gypsy, "but I'm telling you she pulled a fast one.
The three of Swords is not in this deck. Make her stand up."
"You heard me, Mr. Wiz Man. Make the lady
stand up and look under her chair. See? She was sitting on it all