The Wizards' Journal #17

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Click on the pictures or the INFO buttons for a brief description of the effect from the article.
These are ALL e-Books with instructions and plans. No props are included.
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Visit to the Boneyard
By Professor Spellbinder

The curtain opens on a graveyard. The backdrop shows black silhouettes of trees rising up to a midnight blue sky twinkling with stars and a full October moon with a few whispy clouds trying to hide it. The lighting is blue, occasionally broken by a white spotlight as needed… after all, this IS a show.

A few feet from the background is a picket style fence made of skeleton bones rather than of wood.

On the downstage side of the fence are a few tombstones, most of them leaning or fallen.

From behind one of the tombstones, a coffin rises, standing erect. The coffin lid opens towards the audience, and the magician, dressed in white, is seen inside. He opens his eyes and steps out. “Good evening. Welcome to the Boneyard.”



Talking Greeting Cards
By Professor Spellbinder

You open an envelope and remove a greeting card. It has some kind of face on it, like a smilie face, or a clown, etc. Suddenly, the eyes on the face begin to move. The mouth opens and it begins to talk! You open the card, there's nothing inside. You show it on all sides... there's nothing to account for why the face can move its eyes, open and close its mouth, wave its hand, make words appear on the face... it must be magic! Plus a little ventriloquism on the side!

The idea is based on Steve Axtell's Magic Drawing Board, but this does not require you to do any drawing, and it works completely differently, so we have Steve's permission to share it with you. It really fits inside an envelope which fits inside your pocket, and if you wish, at the end of the effect you can give the card (which you print yourself on your computer printer) to the birthday child and he won't have a clue how to make it work, but will cherish it always.



Spellbinder's Dye-Version Version
By Professor Spellbinder

Duke Stern (1913 -1973) invented his Dye-Version in the mid-sixties. This is a variation on it.

A blank white paper tube is shown empty on both sides, a wand appears, then one by one, four white silks and a black silk are blown from the tube. The paper tube is again opened and shown empty, then rolled up again. The four white silks are pushed into it and four colored silks are blown out of the other end. The black silk is blown through the tube, but "refuses" to change colors.

Two helpers are given the four color silks to hold, one in each hand, and the black silk is once again wrapped around the outside of the tube. The helpers decide the order of the color silks going into the tube and the audience is asked to help them remember the order, because there will be a test! A new helper from the audience is asked to stand and take the color order test. No matter what happens, at this point a long multi-colored streamer is revealed, first at one end of the tube, then at the other, and then it is stretched across the stage.

The paper tube is unrolled and the inside of the paper contains the words “THE END” printed in large colorful letters. The black silk finally changes to be covered with multi-colored stars, or transforms into a second multi-color streamer as you wave it in the air.



Double Dutch Loopers
by Professor Spellbinder

It is known by many names; Dutch Looper, Kitson’s Miracle, The Three Card Trick and perhaps others. Unlike the Three Card Monte, which uses three different and genuine (ungimmicked) playing cards and is accomplished by skill and sleight of hand, the Dutch Looper (can we settle on that name?) is a trick with a gimmick, played with two identical spot cards and a face card (usually king or queen). The trick usually ends with the performer showing three identical spot cards, front and back. My version eliminates some of the difficult moves of earlier versions, and some of the quirky "obvious" moves as well.



Baubles, Bangles, Rings and Beads
By Professor Spellbinder

From time to time Jim Gerrish or the Wiz Kids bring me interesting challenges gathered from Dollar Stores, Craft Stores or flea markets. From the Craft Store (Michaels in our area) Wiz Kid Qua-Fiki brought me some bangle bracelets that he wanted me to use to make him a miniature linking rings. What I ended up with requires NO key ring, and every single bangle ring can be examined. You can also link on borrowed finger rings and beads, necklaces (baubles) and just about anything with a hole through the middle, like a key chain, etc. You're thinking the "M" word? The items linked can be made of anything, metal or non-metal, plastic, glass, etc.



Four Card Monte Revisited
by Professor Spellbinder and Wiz Kid Rider

I have not been able to figure out where this venerable old trick came from or who invented it. I have found catalog advertisements for it dating back to the 1940's, but no inventor's name has ever been mentioned.

The original Four Card Monte effect still plays very well and fools audiences today, so I’ll show you an old version that I was using back in the 1960’s with Rabbits and Top Hats. I will also provide you with other options so you can make your own versions of this trick in either Jumbo Size for stage presentations, or regular playing card size for close-up. Just print out the cards from the templates I provide in the e-Book, or make up your own.



Jumbo Ultimate Monte and Stand
By Professor Spellbinder

Known as Michael Skinner’s Ultimate 3 Card Monte, written up by Mike Maxwell (1990), this effect in regular sized gaffed playing cards was based on an Eddie Taytelbaum routine called “Find the Ace” found in Dai Vernon’s Ultimate Secrets of Card Magic, compiled by Lewis Ganson (1967). Michael Skinner worked out cleaner handling and created a masterpiece of mystery and simplicity. In 1995, I converted the cards to Ultra Jumbo Sizes (7” x 10”) and discovered that the routine could be used on stage with the addition of a stand to hold the cards upright, instead of laying them on a table as one does for close-up. While I was at it, I created a deceptive clear Plexiglas stand that allowed me to display the cards on both sides before and after the effect, showing each card separately and apparently un-gaffed. This e-Book describes both the stand and the routine I devised for using the stage sized cards, plus gives you templates for making the Ultra Jumbo Cards on your computer printer.



Jumbo Stage Dutch Looper
By Professor Spellbinder

Double Dutch Loopers (above) covers only the close-up playing card sized versions. In this e-Book, I’m going to show you how easy it is to perform on stage or platform using my ultra jumbo (7” by 10”) playing cards. If you had to use the Patrick Page or the Bob Sheets moves, you would run into trouble working with such large cards. However, my “Spellbinder Moves” were developed for use with the jumbo cards and I discovered they worked equally well with the small playing cards, so that’s what went into that earlier article. I will also reveal my ending where I turn all three cards into Queens (or whatever royal playing card you wish to use). I call it the "Royal Finale."



By Professor Spellbinder

The effect of this is similar to Zodiac Test by Astor of Hungary. The methods, however, are quite different, and Astor has graciously consented to my mentioning his effect in my e-Book for comparison. You will note that his version is designed for close-up, while mine is definitely designed for platform or stage presentations.
A Zodiac Chart is displayed and the Seer and Sooth-sayer (that’s you!) makes several predictions on it using a variety of colored felt tip markers and setting the chart on a stand or easel so the audience cannot see the prediction just yet. Several spectators are invited to locate their Zodiac signs on jumbo cards. The colored felt-tip markers are passed to the spectators who are holding cards and they each freely choose one.
The Zodiac chart is now shown and around each Zodiac symbol are colored circles. The performer shows that the Zodiac symbols on the chart had been predicted by the performer by being circled with the same color as the marking pen chosen by that spectator long before the cards and pens were distributed..



The Twelve Days of Christmas
by Professor Spellbinder

If you know the song, you can imagine the effect! Twelve cards are shown on both sides. They have a regular card back on one side and are blank on the face side. As the song plays out, black and white drawings of the gifts suddenly begin to appear on the faces of the cards, one by one. The song leader (that's you!) runs back and forth between the blank cards and the appearing gift cards. The gift cards are displayed on a long stand that can hold all 12 cards in a row. At the very end of the song, all the cards change at once into beautifully colored pictures of the 12 gifts of Christmas as drawn by John Green and used by permission for this effect.



Vampire Levitation
by Professor Spellbinder

This is based on TWO levitations invented by U.F. Grant circa 1965, but the old master wouldn't recognize either of them in my Vampire Levitation variation.

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