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The Magic of Paul Rosini


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Paul Rosini By John Braun John Northern Hilliard said of him "....one of the natural magicians who play by ear, and he never makes a wrong move— a great showman." Paul Rosini WAS a great showman. He had perfected his methods of presentation to a degree that seemed unbelievable. I say his methods of presentation, for though he was an unusually skillful sleight of hand artist, it was not sleight of hand artistry that he sold to audiences. He had mastered a greater art—that of blending dexterity and psychology with a priceless ingredient that was his by birthright—PERSONALITY—and the result was always entertainment—unalloyed, unadulterated entertainment. I have seen him step into the spotlight in a noisy night club, the closing act of an excellent bill, his entire apparatus in a small velvet bag. From the moment he began his first trick, the egg bag, until he closed 35 minutes later, the audience gave him undivided attention and enjoyed assisting in the tricks. His act was filled with little laughs, surprises, changes of tempo, sly innuendos and tongue-in-cheek impudence. He himself was suave and polished, as immaculate as Adolph Menjou, and there was something of the continental about him, too, which he played up for effect. He liked people, so he performed FOR them, not AT them, and he always won them over. Shy and unassuming off stage, onstage he was an actor gifted with a rare sense of the comic. The character he played was that of a delightful mountebank—at once disreputable and elegant, waggish yet serious. All his art was utilized in building into miracles the tricks he presented. And they were all old tricks. Nothing new or complicated, just the old tricks. The egg bag, the thumb tie, the card in cigarette, the stabbing trick, the cups and balls, the vanishing birdcage, the bill in lemon, Everywhere and Nowhere, various card locations—but he could hold a noisy night club audience in suspense while he paused, looked quizzically at the pack, and slowly turned over a card! Paul talked but little of early life and family, but we have it on good authority that he was born in Trieste on September 29, 1902, (the family name was Vucci) and came to this country with his parents in 1912. Fate had marked him for magic even then. The family settled in Chicago, and one of the boy’s most thrilling discoveries there was the magic shop of A. Roterberg. By the time he was thirteen his heart was set on a career in magic, and he stuck at it until he attained his goal. In January, 1919, Theo Bamberg (OKITO) taught him the cups and balls in New York City,


and recognized then the boy’s gift for magic. It was at Bamberg’s that Paul met Julius Zanzig, with whom he subsequently became associated. Later he worked as an assistant to Grover George, and also to Carl Rosini. At one time he teamed with Martin Sunshine in an act. He first attracted individual attention when he opened in Chicago’s famous College Inn (Hotel Sherman) in the 20’s. His actual rise to prominence in the entertainment world began in Philadelphia, where he frequented the magic shop of Mike Kanter. Kanter introduced him to Jack Lynch, a leading night club operator. This introduction resulted in a booking for Rosini in the club of the Adelphia Hotel. From there he went into the best night clubs and hotels throughout the country, playing many spots magicians had never played before. The famous Empire Room of the Palmer House, Chicago, once billed him as "The World’s Greatest Magician," and he carried the title with honors, for he set a record by playing there for 28 consecutive weeks! Chicago, scene of many of his triumphs, was the city in which he died on September, 19, 1948, in his 46th year. Nothing ever went into his act that was not "right" from every angle. His sleights and secret moves were always executed at just the right moment; the little details that were meant to mislead the audience were chosen with care and subtly accentuated by word and gesture. Little mannerisms, a quizzical or reproachful look, or a pause, counted for much. Everything was planned and carefully spotted—including his recurring request for that "tiny lettle waltz, please," and that sly query, "Did you see me do something? I did something!" The tricks, always small tricks, were never complicated; as a trick unfolded, each step was clear and easy to follow, and the climax reached was always astounding. Whatever he did was always magic, beautiful to see! Paul was a true artist, always seeking perfection. His stock of table magic was as artistically presented as his stage repertoire, and he loved the magic of cards. His magical idol was Max Malini, from whose presentation he adapted several effective touches. "Every magician who has seen his act," wrote Robert Parrish in The Linking Ring, "has learned something about magical showmanship. Rosini’s act will not be duplicated, but its impact on the art of magic will continue to be felt, even where it may not be acknowledged." THE LIFE SAVER TRICK A favorite close-up trick of Rosini’s was given the following presentation. Rosini opened a fresh package of Life Savers and distributed them to the party around the table. Later a card was selected. He took a Life Saver and showed it freely. Then he inserted a swizzle stick through the hole in the piece of candy and spun the Life Saver on the stick, watching it


carefully as though for some sort of clue. For the climax, the name of the card was found to be printed on the surface of the candy. Rosini carried a stack of five cards in his pocket. The initials of the cards were printed boldly on five Life Savers. It is easy to write with a pencil on the smooth side of a white, peppermint Life Saver. The Life Savers were arranged so that he could secure whichever one he needed in the right hand. Before doing the trick, he brought out a fresh package of Life Savers, opened it, and shook the contents out onto the table, offering them to the people around the table. Then he went ahead with the magic. After the spectators had shuffled and cut the cards, he palmed the stack of five cards onto the deck. He dealt off only as many cards as there were people at the table. He asked one of the people to touch a card and look at it. He made a pretense of turning his head while this was done, but managed to glimpse which card was chosen. The moment he knew which card was to be used, he secured the appropriate Life Saver in his right fingers, gripping it with the third finger curled around the edge of the disk. He gathered up the cards and laid them on top of the deck, keeping track of the chosen one. Then he shuffled the cards, reversing the selected card and leaving it in the middle of the deck. He asked someone to give him a Life Saver and put it on the stick, which he held in his right hand. The stick had been laid down with one end protruding over the edge of the table, permitting the right hand to slip the palmed Life Saver onto the end of the stick in the act of picking up the stick. The unprepared Life Saver having been put on the stick, he gave the disk a spin with the left forefinger. Then he tipped the stick toward the left, grasped the end of the stick in the left hand, the left hand covering the unprepared Life Saver, and released the right hand, leaving the palmed Life Saver spinning on the stick. The shifting of the stick from hand to hand was very much in the manner of the classical switch of a ring on a wand. As long as the prepared Life Saver was kept spinning, the penciled printing could not be seen. Rosini asked for the name of the card and at the same time raised the stick as though to let the Life Saver slide off into his mouth. The moment the card was named, Rosini stopped this action and, registering surprise, remarked, "I came near eating it!" He let the inscribed Life Saver slide off the stick into a spectator’s hand. For a second surprise, he spread the deck face down on the table revealing the chosen card face up in the center of the deck.


WAS IT THERE? Rosini considered this one of his best card tricks. Effect: Five cards are laid face up on the table. A spectator is asked to name any card in this group. The cards are now picked up and placed face down on the left palm. The performer says, "Look!" and deals the cards face up on the table. Only four cards remain, and the missing card is the one the spectator indicated. The cards are picked up and turned face down in the palm of the performer’s left hand. The top card of the packet is turned face up on top of the packet. This card is then transferred, still face up, to the bottom of the packet. The rest of the cards are shown in the same way, resulting in a face up packet of cards in the left hand. The packet is now turned face down and the spectator asked to name his chosen card. The cards are spread face down on the table and the selected card appears face up in the center of the four face down cards. The same five cards are again laid face up on the table and the spectator allowed to indicate another card. The performer picks up the cards one at a time and places them in his left hand in a face up fan. The packet is turned face down, closed, and squared. The packet is then passed to the spectator to hold. The performer goes through the motions of taking a card from the packet and throwing it into the air. Taking the packet from the spectator, the performer deals the cards face up on the table. Again there are only four cards and the chosen card is missing. The performer then produces this card from his pocket. Method: The cards are picked up so that the chosen card is the third or middle card of the packet. The cards are turned face down and squared, then counted face up on the table in a natural, easy manner. When the performer comes to take the third card, he takes two cards as one. This is done by squeezing the bottom card with the left fingers, causing it to buckle. This allows the performer to grasp the third and fourth cards together by the index corners and turn them face up as one card upon the two tabled cards. The last card is taken from the left hand, given a snap, and placed on top of the face up packet. The packet is placed face down in the palm of the left hand. The top card is turned face up on the packet. The performer goes through the motions of squaring the packet. Then he transfers the card, still face up, to the bottom of the packet. The second card is handled in


the same way, but after it is turned face up, the card beneath it is stolen along with it by a double lift and these two cards placed as one beneath the packet. The operation may be aided by slipping the left little finger under card number three as card number two is turned up. The remaining two cards are handled in exactly the same fashion, but without any sleight. The spectator gets the impression that he has been shown four cards singly. When he names his selected card, the performer turns the packet face down and spreads it on the table, showing this card face up in the center of the packet. The cards are again turned face up and the spectator chooses one. While the spectator is making his choice, the performer allows his right hand to go to his lips, where he secures a generous bit of saliva on the tip of his middle finger. Rosini often used his cigar as an excuse for this move. The selected card is again picked up third. The first card is picked from the table with the right first finger and thumb and laid face up on the palm of the left hand. The second card is handled in the same way. The selected card is then picked up using the middle finger. This finger is allowed to rest on the center of the selected card and then drawn slowly down across the lower half of the face of the card. This distributes enough saliva on the card to cause it to adhere to the back of the card which will be placed above it. The cards are placed in the left hand in a sort of fan, the selected card protruding over the card beneath it by about half its width. As the selected card is placed on the other two cards, the left hand is slowly turned over so that the cards are face down. This prevents the spectators from catching a glint of the saliva. The last two cards are placed on the bottom of the fan in the same fashion as the first two. Turning the cards in a face up fan, the performer asks, "Is your card still there?" At the same time, he allows his right hand to drop to his side, where he wipes the saliva off his finger tip. The packet is now turned over and squared. The spectator grasps one end of the packet and the performer the other. The performer takes the end at which the card has been moistened. In the course of the business about extracting the selected card and throwing it into thin air, he applies pressure to the packet to assure the adherence of the cards. The cards are now dealt singly on the table in a careless manner. When he finishes dealing, the performer asks the name of the card. Then he says, "Oh, I have that card here in my pocket!" For this finish it is necessary to have duplicates of the five cards used distributed in different pockets. If the performer is not set to use this finish, he may simply throw the tabled cards back onto the deck and use any other means of reproducing the card, such as reversing it and bringing it to the center of the deck.


When he was prepared for the trick, Rosini used a solution of glycerin and rose water instead of saliva. He had a small sponge, moistened with the solution, attached near the bottom edge of his coat. He then had only to drop his arm and curl the second finger under the edge of the coat for a moment. SOMEWHERE IN THE DECK Rosini fooled many of the best card men with this trick. It is not difficult to do, but it must be practiced until one can perform the shuffles at a fairly rapid pace. Effect: Any nine cards are selected by the spectator from the deck and laid face up on the table. He is asked to select mentally any one of the nine cards. The cards are gathered up and placed on top of the deck, face down. The performer says, "If I should remove the card you thought of from my pocket, would that be a good trick?" The spectator usually agrees that it would be. The performer gives the cards an overhand shuffle, then says, "Your card is somewhere in this deck. Before I perform this miracle, do you want to be sure it is there?" The cards are fanned before the spectator, and if he sees his card, he tells the performer. If he doesn’t see the card the first time, he is given another chance. If he doesn’t see it this time, the performer asks him to name his card. In any case, the card is immediately produced. Method: Any nine cards are selected, but in order to make the action easy to follow, let us use KS - JH - 10S - 10D - 7S - 5H - 2H - 3S - 2C. Remember the sixth card— 5H, which will later act as a key. The nine cards are placed on top of the deck. The deck is undercut about half way down, for an overhand shuffle. As you draw off the top card of the undercut portion, injog it about an inch (this will place an injogged card one card above the King of Spades). The balance of the cards can be distributed in any way. Now when you begin a second overhand shuffle, allow


your right thumb to come underneath the deck, locate the injogged card, and remove the cards below it. You now have in your right hand about half of the deck and on top of it is your nine card stack. You run off six cards from your stack, which automatically reverses their order (leaving the Five of Hearts on top of the deck). When you come to the seventh card (Two of Hearts), injog that card about an inch and run two more cards on top of it. Throw the balance of the cards in the right hand on top of these last two cards. Now undercut to the injogged card (Two of Hearts) and run three cards off (5H, 7S, and 10D). Throw the balance of the cards on top of the Ten of Diamonds. The original nine cards are now divided into three sets of three cards each: on top of the deck, 10S - JH - KS; in the middle of the deck, 10D - 7S - 5H; and on the bottom of the deck, 2C - 3S - 2H. At this point, ask the spectator if he would like to see if his card is still in the deck. Turn the cards face up so that the spectator can get a good view of the three bottom cards— 2H -3S - 2C. Run through the balance of the deck so quickly that he can’t get a flash of any of the other cards which he may have chosen. If he did not see his card, run through the deck a second time and allow him to see the three center cards— 10D - 7S - 5H. The Five of Hearts is your index to this group. If he still does not see his card, you know that it is one of the three top cards: 10S - JH - KS. When you know which group contains the spectator’s card, note the names of these cards, cut (if necessary) to bring them to the top or bottom of the deck, and palm them off. Ask for the card to be named and reach into your pocket, bringing out the proper card and leaving the other two behind. An alternate ending is to lay one of the three cards on the table and leave the other two on the top and bottom of the deck. If the tabled card is the one selected, turn it over. If not, push it into the deck and show the top card or the bottom card as the case may be. Or use a Mexican Turnover with one of these cards to show the tabled card correct. HOLD MY WRIST (Described by Al Leech) One of Rosini’s striking coin moves involved the complete disappearance of a half dollar while a spectator held the performer’s wrist. After showing both hands empty, Rosini apparently reproduced the coin from the spectator’s shoulder.


The coin was apparently placed in the left hand but actually finger palmed in the right. Any move which accomplishes this is satisfactory as long as it is a natural one for the performer. Rosini’s usual procedure was to drop the coin from hand to hand, the hands being held only a few inches apart, and finally retain the coin in the right hand while simulating the action of dropping it into the left. The left fingers immediately closed, the fist being held with finger tips uppermost. Rosini immediately said, "Hold my wrist," and, in demonstration, gripped the wrist with the right hand, exactly as in the position for taking one’s pulse. The coin, lying on the fingers of the right hand against the back of the left wrist, was shot up the sleeve. A very easy and sure way of accomplishing the sleeving is to raise the left forearm upward at the moment of grasping the wrist, the coin being allowed to slide off the right fingers and drop straight down the sleeve along the back of the left wrist. All of this happens in an instant, and by the time the spectator can grasp the performer’s wrist, both of the magician’s hands are quite empty. After showing that the coin had vanished from the closed fist, Rosini asked the spectator if he knew where the coin had gone, holding both hands so that they could clearly be seen empty. No matter what the spectator’s reply was, Rosini pointed to the man’s left shoulder and reached up with the right hand as though to remove something from the top of the shoulder (performer and magician directly facing each other). At precisely the same moment that the right hand went to the spectator’s shoulder, the left hand was lowered just enough to allow the coin to drop from the sleeve into the fingers of the left hand, which cupped beneath the opening of the cuff. The more dramatic action of the right hand completely covered the simultaneous movement of the left. Without hesitation, Rosini’s right hand came down from the spectator’s shoulder and his left hand came up to meet with the right. As the two hands came together, Rosini said, "Here it is," and showed the coin in the open palm of the left hand. The action simulated perfectly the depositing into the left hand of something just grasped in the right. The close quarters at which the trick was performed not only made it very effective, but also made the feigning in the reproduction of the coin undetectable. A CARD IN FLIGHT


Rosini considered this an excellent mystery to present before a large audience. Effect: A spectator selects either one of two piles of ten cards and places his hand on it. From the other pile, he selects a card, looks at it, and returns it. This pile is immediately turned face up and counted. There are only nine cards in it, and the selected card is not among them. The spectator himself counts the cards under his hand. There are eleven cards. Apparently the selected card has flown over. For good measure, the performer causes the selected card to reverse itself in the packet. Method: Count off or remove in a bunch from the top of the deck twenty-one cards, but represent them as twenty. A good way to do this is to slip the left little finger under the two top cards of the deck and take these two cards as one as the first card of your count. Lay the remainder of the deck aside. Take the cards you removed and count them into two piles apparently containing ten cards each. Actually one of them is provided with eleven cards through a false count. (An alternate procedure is to deal the twenty-one cards as twenty, then state that you will divide them into two equal piles. Count off ten cards and lay them on the table. Lay the other cards, presumably ten also, face down beside them). Ask the spectator to choose either pile. If he chooses the pile containing eleven cards, ask him to place his hand on them. If he chooses the pile containing ten cards, tell him you will have him select a card from his chosen pile, but before doing so you would like him to place his hand on top of the other pile. With his free hand the spectator chooses a card from the ten pile. Ask him to place the card back in the middle of the fanned pile. As he does so, slip your left little finger above the card that is on top of the selected card. Square the cards and cut them at the place you are holding with the tip of the little finger. This brings the selected card to the position of second from the top of the pile. Turn the pile face up. Place it in the left hand. Take the face up cards one at a time with the right hand and count them face down onto the table. When you reach the eighth card, the left forefinger squeezes the bottom card a bit, causing it to buckle. This enables you to grasp the eighth and ninth cards as one, laying them face down on the cards on the table to the count of eight. Count the last card as nine, but instead of laying it down, snap it and ask the spectator if he has seen his card. Pick up the counted packet and place the ninth card on the bottom of it. The selected card is now on top of the packet. Say, "Would it surprise you if I made your card pass right through your hand and into the packet your hand is on? Well, that is just what I intend to do." Palm off the top card in your right hand and hold the balance of the cards between the first two fingers, at one end of the


packet, and the thumb, on the other end. Ask the spectator to count his cards into your left hand, face downward. He counts eleven cards. Apparently the missing card has flown over. The eleven cards now lie in your left hand. Pass the spectator the nine card packet to count himself. The position in which your right hand holds this packet makes it easy for you to place the cards in his hand while retaining the palmed card. While the spectator is counting this packet, allow your right hand to come in contact with the eleven card packet in your left hand and place the palmed card on the bottom of the packet. Cut the packet, leaving the selected card reversed in the center. Say, "Your card must have passed into the packet you had your hand on. What was your card?" Then spread your cards. Apparently you have caused this card to turn face up. Naturally there is no cause to count the cards again. It appears as though one of the eleven cards has magically reversed itself. THE CARD UNDER THE HAND In this bit of business, a selected card is revealed by means of its sudden appearance at an unexpected moment. It is a valuable addition to the rather small list of quick and unusual card discoveries. Rosini brought the selected card to the bottom of the deck. He said that he was going to cut to the selected card. While directing this remark to the spectator, he executed the Erdnase left hand bottom palm. He laid his left hand palm down upon the table, allowing the card to lie flat beneath it. The spectator was asked to place his hand directly on top of Rosini’s hand. This gave the effect of immobilizing the left hand of the performer "to prevent trickery." With his right hand, Rosini laid the deck face down upon the spectator’s engaged hand and cut off the top half of the deck, asking the spectator if the bottom card of this half was his. II wasn’t. He turned up the top card of the bottom half and asked if this was the card. Wrong again. Rosini asked the spectator to take the deck himself, requesting him to look through the cards and find his card. Rosini stepped back, taking his left hand off the table and leaving the card in full view. Suddenly, upon failing to find the card in the deck, the spectator saw his card lying face up on the table. The effectiveness of the trick lies in the fact that the card is revealed at a moment when the


spectator is unprepared for anything to happen. YOU PUT IT IN Nearly every magician who does close-up magic occasionally uses the old trick of dropping a pack of cards on the table, causing the selected card to flip face up on top of the deck. It is a card discovery which always amuses, even though a great many people know the secret— i. e., pushing the top card slightly to the side so that air pressure catches the protruding card and turns it over. Rosini used a ruse which persuaded people that the card had leaped from the center of the deck. He had a card selected and took it back face down in the right hand. "If I pushed this card back into the deck," he said, feigning to do so, "you would think I might know where it was." Under cover of this movement and the remark, he top changed the card. Then at once he handed the (changed) card to the spectator, saying, "So push it in yourself." This nervy method of getting a selected card on top of the deck before its apparent return to the pack can be applied to various other card tricks. CHANGE IN HAND Devices such as allowing a spectator to hold a card which has already been changed, under the assumption that he will not turn it over and reveal the trick, are regarded by some magicians as overly daring. A certain amount of audacity contributed to the effectiveness of Rosini’s work, but it was backed by very sound reasoning. In the ruse in which the selected card is top changed and this card handed to the spectator for insertion in the deck, it is highly unlikely that a spectator would turn the card over since he is supposed to be concealing its identity from the performer. Again, Rosini reasoned that if a card was shown not to be a selected card and if this card was then handed to a spectator simply as an instrument for another operation, there would be no inclination on the spectator’s part to look again at the card. He used this principle to produce a very striking effect.


Rosini brought a peeked-at card to the top of the deck. He did a double lift and showed that the top card was apparently not the chosen card. He turned the card ( s) face down, then took off the actual top card face down and handed it to the spectator, saying, "You find the card. Push this card into the deck where you think it might be." The psychological success of the ruse depended in part upon creating a short stall prior to handing the card to the spectator. This was done by holding the deck face down in the left hand and riffling the edge of the deck with the left thumb and saying, "Stop me at any place. Use this card as a book mark to mark the place. Whatever place you mark, that is where you card will be." The use of the face down card as a "book mark" was demonstrated several times. The casual reference to the card and the time lapse served to reduce the spectator’s interest in the card itself. Wherever the card was inserted, Rosini cut the pack and showed the face card at the cut. It was wrong. He showed the card beneath the spectator’s insertion. Also wrong. He asked what the card was. With the help of a tiny waltz the magic took place, and the spectator found himself to be holding the very card he had named. This is almost the perfect example of an elementary trick transformed into a masterful effect. THE FAIR COUNT This is an effect which Rosini demonstrated to Joe Berg, the well-known Chicago magic dealer. It is another case in which Rosini utilized the mechanical necessities of his trick to build up the effect. After a card has been selected and returned to the deck, the performer asks for a number. He counts down from the top of the deck and pushes forward the card at the requested number. At this moment, he appears to detect some skepticism about the fairness of the count. He squares the cards carefully and counts down again very deliberately. The selected card is not only there—it is face up! The trick is begun with one card secretly reversed on the bottom of the deck. The selected card is brought to the bottom of the deck, then one more card is brought reversed to the bottom. This places the selected card second from the bottom, sandwiched between two reversed cards. It is up to the individual performer to work out his personal way of bringing about this arrangement.


Now a number is asked for. The performer counts down to this number, pushing the cards from the left hand into the right without changing the order of the cards. In the course of the count, two cards are false counted. In other words, the performer counts down two less than he appears to. For the purposes of this trick, no harm is done if the spectator is left dubious about the fairness of the count. The performer pushes forward the last card of the count and says, ‘This is your card." Under cover of this action and the more or less fanned position of the counted cards held in the right hand, the left hand reverses the remainder of the deck. The fact that this action occurs at the moment when the trick appears to be completed provides the psychological misdirection for the move. Squaring the cards together with what is presumably the selected card protruding, the performer looks questioningly at the spectator and adds, "Wait, maybe you don’t think I counted fairly. What was your card? I’ll count down again, very slowly, and not only find your card, but make it turn face up!" The performer counts the cards off onto the table and, sure enough, the selected card shows up reversed at the selected number. There is good reason for counting carefully at this point, as the bottom half of the deck is now face up. As the selected card is dealt off, the left hand drops to the side. The left fingers turn over the reversed card which served to mask the other face up cards, using the trouser leg to assist the action. When the cards are brought up for the reassembly of the deck, they are all facing the same way. TWO DECKS—RED AND BLUE Because of its beauty and simplicity, Rosini regarded this as one of the best of all two-deck effects. Effect: A red-backed deck and a blue-backed deck are brought out. Taking the red deck from its case, the performer allows a free selection of a card by an assisting spectator. A second spectator selects a card from the blue deck. The performer then removes a small group of cards from the red deck and places the first spectator’s red-backed card among them. He


cuts the packet several times, then places it in the spectator’s breast pocket. He buries the other spectator’s blue-backed card among a group of cards from the blue deck and deposits them in this spectator’s breast pocket. After doing this, he says, "So that I shall be able to remember what color your cards are, I shall allow you to hold one of the cards with both hands before you, in plain sight—so I can’t get mixed up." He has each spectator hold one of his cards in front of him in this fashion. Speaking to each of the spectators in turn, he says, "If I were to remove the card you selected from your pocket and send it over there to our friend’s pocket, would that be a good trick? It would? I’ll do a better one. What I propose to do is to transpose all of the cards in your pocket, except the card you selected. And (speaking to the other spectator) I shall take all of the cards out of your pocket and place them in my friend’s pocket here— except your selected card." A number of fanciful passes are now indulged in to apparently effect the transposition of the two packets of cards. The packets are then removed from the spectators’ pockets. The man holding the red card before him is found to have a packet consisting entirely of blue-backed cards, except for one red card—his selected card. The man holding the blue card similarly has a packet of red cards with just one blue card among them—the one he selected. Method: The method is based upon a trick, which has several times appeared in print, in which a single card is apparently passed over from each of two packets. Rosini altered the handling to get an opposite effect—and incidentally, by so doing, removed the one bad move in the previous trick. About twelve cards are stolen from the blue deck and placed on the bottom of the red deck. A similar number of red cards are placed on the bottom of the blue deck. The decks are then replaced in their proper cases. The performer begins by taking out the red deck and having a card selected. When the cards are spread for the selection, the small group of blue cards is kept squared at the bottom of the deck so that the backs do not show. The same procedure is followed in having a card selected from the blue deck. The performer now takes the red deck and says, "I am going to take a few cards from this deck." He fans the cards with their faces toward the spectators and removes the bottom stack of blue cards, plus the first red-backed card from the face of the deck. The balance of the cards are put back in their case. The performer is now holding a packet of twelve blue cards with one red card on top. He turns to the assistant who has selected a red card and places that card in the center of the packet. Then he turns the packet face up and gives it


several cuts, simply drawing groups of cards out of the middle of the packet and throwing them on the face of the packet. The red card at the top of the packet remains in place. The cards are then placed in the assistant’s breast pocket. As an afterthought, the performer remarks that he had better have a sign post before each packet to prevent getting mixed up in the colors. With that he reaches in the assistant’s pocket and removes the top card—the red one. He asks the assistant to hold it in front of him, with one hand at each end of the card. An alternate procedure is to place the card under the spectator’s coat lapel or on the edge of his collar. The same actions are repeated with the blue deck, the group of twelve red cards and one blue card being removed from the face of this deck and the spectator’s blue card being inserted among them. The identical action is taken in having him hold a marker card before him, and the trick is now ready to be terminated as described. IMPOSSIBLE When working for private, informal parties, Rosini sometimes performed a card trick which appeared absolutely impossible. He asked someone to take the cards and go into an adjoining room. When the spectator was out of sight, he instructed him to cut the cards, look at the face card of the cut, riffle the two halves together, shuffle the cards any additional number of times, and bring them back. Rosini looked through the deck and laid one card face down on the table. He asked what card was looked at. When turned up, the card on the table proved to be this card. Nearly every magician is familiar with the method, but few have had the courage to employ it in such a dramatic way. Once again, however, daring is of little avail unless one discovers the little angles which help to insure success. To begin with, a belly crimp is put in the deck, the two bent halves of the deck meeting like closed parentheses: ~. The face card of the upper half is noted. Now, if the deck is casually cut by placing the thumb and fingers at the long edges of the cards to make the cut, one will normally cut at this noted card. It is, therefore, important to begin by placing the deck in the spectator’s hand in the proper way. Lay it face down in his left hand, the long edges parallel with the fingers. Have him close the tips of his fingers over the end of the deck. The position is much as though the spectator were about to palm the whole deck. It precludes likelihood of a cut from the short edges of


the pack. Tell the spectator to do nothing until you instruct him, and send him from the room. Say, "Do what I tell you to do. Give the cards one cut. Look at the card you have cut and remember it. Shuffle the two halves of the deck together. Now shuffle and cut the cards some more. Come in and bring the deck to me." Go through the cards and lay on the table the card which the spectator should have cut to. Ask the name of the card. If the spectator has cut correctly, the effect is miraculous. If not, you now know the name of the card and can finish the trick with a Mexican Turnover or any other out which you may prefer. Other rules for success are: Don’t build the trick up before you do it. Don’t tell what you are going to have done. Don’t have a magician cut the cards. This trick is designed strictly for the amazement of laymen. REFLECTION A similar miracle was performed by a more esoteric means. A spectator simply fanned a pack of cards before himself, removed any card, concentrated on it, and shuffled the card back into the deck. Rosini then found the card. Many magicians thought this feat involved some unusual handling of a one-way deck. Actually, no preparation was necessary. The use of this particular routine depended entirely upon taking advantage of a favorable circumstance when it arose. The circumstance was the presence of a spectator wearing glasses. The spectator had either to be seated where light fell over his shoulder or had to be maneuvered into such a position. Experiment will show that if such a person holds a card before his face to look at it, the card will be reflected clearly in the lenses of his spectacles. Light must fall upon the card and not directly upon the glasses. The trick is not likely to work well with bifocals. Also, there is a possibility that the spectator will not hold the card high enough to produce a reflection. However, occasional failure means nothing in a feat of


apparently psychic character and can, in fact, build up the eventual success of the test. POKER PREDICTION AND A PRINCIPLE (By Ed Mario) Paul Rosini was one of those rare magicians in whose hands a deck of cards seemed naturally to belong. His card tricks appeared much more magical than those of other performers of equal or even greater manual skill. Some card tricks look utterly impossible, if they are done well, whether the performer is a Rosini or not. I think I have such a trick here. It utilizes a principle which can be employed to create other "impossible" tricks. Effect: A spectator shuffles the deck. While he is doing this, the performer writes a prediction. The spectator cuts the cards and, after the completion of the cut, counts off 25 cards. After the count has been verified, he deals five poker hands. The prediction is then read: "You will deal five poker hands and give yourself the four aces." The spectator turns over his own hand and finds this to be the case. Method: At the beginning of the trick, the performer has the four aces in his pocket, along with a pencil. While the spectator is shuffling the deck, he takes out the pencil and writes the prediction. Then he returns the pencil to his pocket and palms the aces. He asks the spectator to cut the cards and reaches out and completes the cut, adding the aces to the top of the deck. He tells the spectator that he is going to have five poker hands dealt and asks him to deal off 25 cards, face down on the table, for this purpose. When the cards have been dealt, the performer picks them up and counts them from the left hand into the right without reversing their order, counting aloud. In so doing, he sets the four aces in position for the subsequent deal. This is done by means of a sleight which might be called "The Bottom Deal Count." It is a combination of the Erdnase bottom deal and the standard false count. In performance, the cards are held in the left hand in the usual "mechanic’s grip" and thumbed off to the right hand. The right hand moves over to the left each time to take a card and seizes it with the right second finger under the face of the card. As the right hand is withdrawn, the card is transferred to be gripped between the right forefinger and thumb. The


count is legitimate up to the count of ten. At ten, the left third finger presses downward on the bottom card of the left hand packet (an ace), causing it to buckle a little, then pushes the card off to the right, where it is seized by the right second finger—in other words, a bottom deal. However, the cards held in the right hand cover the movement of the left third finger (the weak point of the bottom deal as such) and the stealing of the card. At the same time, although no card is taken from the top of the left packet, the combination of sound and movement creates the illusion that one is taken—just as the regular false count does. As in all false counts, it is absolutely necessary to perfect the action to the point where there is no interruption in the regular rhythm of the count. "The Bottom Deal Count" is executed at 10, 15, and 20 to set the aces. After the count, the spectator is handed back the cards and told to deal five poker hands, from left to right, the last hand to be his. This hand contains one odd card and the four aces. Note by Rufus Steele: Magicians who cannot already do a bottom deal may find that an easier way to do the count is to hold the packet in the left hand with the lower right hand corner of the deck resting on the left little finger. The packet is supported on this finger, permitting the left first and second fingers to push the bottom cards over for the steals without any necessity of a buckling action. If the magician also palms out prior to the trick the 10, J, Q, K of spades, he can perform a repeat trick with the discarded half of the deck. Palm the stolen spades and add them to the top of the lower half of the deck when the spectator is turning over his hand of aces. Keep a break under the added cards. Ask for the ace of spades and say you will try something with the other half. Lay the ace on top of the packet and do a double cut, bringing the five spades to the bottom of the packet. Count the cards, stealing at 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25. Discard the cards left beyond 25 and hand the packet of 25 cards to the spectator to deal again. Say, "Turn over your hand and see if you got the ace of spades." He does, and finds a Royal Flush. THE CARD THAT WENT TO PIECES (Bill Simon) This effect, recently created by Bill Simon, has all the appearance of a miracle. It is the type of trick Paul Rosini would have liked. A card is freely selected and shown. The performer states that he wishes the card marked for identification. "To really mark the card, will you please tear off a quarter of it—one of the quarters which has the value of the card imprinted upon it?" A spectator tears off an index corner as indicated by the performer. The card is laid face down on the table. The deck is


laid face up on top of it. The performer says that the card will jump through the deck. To make it even more remarkable, however, he will give someone else a piece of identification. He picks up the deck and carefully removes the chosen card and endeavors to tear off a corner diagonally opposite the tear already made. However, he tears a bit too deep and the card practically falls into three pieces. This spoils the trick, so the performer tears up what remains of the card. Then, pulling himself together, he decides to do a trick anyhow. He rolls the pieces into a little cylinder and wraps a rubber band around them. He places the banded pieces in the left hand. They vanish, leaving nothing behind in the hand except the rubber band. He spreads the deck, and there, reversed, is the selected card—completely restored except for the corner which the spectator tore off and retained. A borrowed deck may be used. If so, it is advisable to tell the lender that sometimes you are a little hard on the cards. Prior to doing this trick, do one in which you place the cards behind your back, giving you an opportunity to tear off the top left hand quarter of the top card of the deck. Place the torn card face up on top of the deck and bring the deck out face up. Dispose of the torn quarter and conclude your previous trick. Shuffle the deck face up without disturbing the reversed and torn bottom card. Spread the cards face up for a selection. Proceed to have the card selected marked as described. Note that while the selected card is now lacking an index corner, the tear in the card lying beneath the face up deck is from a blank corner. Lay the selected card face down on the table and place the deck on top of it face up. Then decide to remove the card and take another tear out of it. Lift the deck up by its ends with the left hand and reach underneath the deck with your right fingers to the position where you know the quarter to be missing from the selected card. Draw out the card that your right fingers touch at this point, performing what might be termed an "automatic glide." The fact that the corner missing from the face down extra card is torn out at a different quarter is not apparent to the audience. The "automatic glide" can be performed very slowly and convincingly. Casually give the deck a cut and lay it aside, face up. From here on, the tabled card is handled face down for obvious reasons. After the "mistaken" tear and the complete destruction of the card, the pieces are rolled together into a small tube. With the packet held at the extreme right finger tips, your left hand goes to your left pocket in search of a rubber band. There it palms two rubber bands which have previously been twisted together into a little ball and pocketed. Transfer the rolled card to your left finger tips and bring out two loose rubber bands from the right pocket with the right hand. Bind up the pieces of card with them, still secreting the small ball of rubber bands in your left hand. Show the bound pieces in the right hand. Pretend to place them in the left, but palm them in the right. Hold the left hand as though it contained the rolled card. Bring it over the deck, tap the back of the closed left hand with the right forefinger, then spring the left hand open, allowing the rubber band ball to bound out. Immediately fan out the face up


deck revealing the reversed card in the center. It turns out to be the selected card, restored except for the identifying corner, which is shown to fit it exactly. Note by Rufus Steele: To assure similarity between the two torn corner cards used, ask the spectator to fold the card both ways before tearing out a quarter. The dummy card should have been similarly folded and opened out again. COIN AND PENCIL (Described by Theo Bamberg) Paul Rosini showed a coin and performed several moves with it. Finally he pretended to place it in the left hand, but retained it finger palmed in the right hand. He said, "I have here in my pocket a pencil," and reached for it. The pencil was in the left shirt pocket or upper vest pocket. In the act of getting the pencil, the right hand quickly dropped the coin down the left sleeve at the shoulder opening. It was absolutely necessary to make the remark about the pencil before going to the pocket—otherwise the spectators’ suspicions would be aroused. Bringing forth the pencil, he said, "By touching my fist with this pencil, the coin will disappear." The little stall at this point was also necessary to allay suspicion. He touched the left hand with the pencil, opened the hand, and showed that the coin was gone. Both hands were shown empty, the coin of course remaining in the upper arm of the left sleeve. "You don’t see the coin? Look—it is in the tip of this pencil." He raised his right hand, holding the pencil quite high, and making a slight turn to the left. At the moment when attention was focused on the tip of the upraised pencil, his left hand dropped enough to allow the coin to fall into the cupped fingers. "It will appear again—by just tapping!" He tapped the closed left hand and opened the fingers to show the coin.


CARD THROUGH HANDKERCHIEF In this quick and surprising effect, a deck containing a selected card is wrapped tightly in a handkerchief. The performer says, "Look, I shall knock your selected card right through the handkerchief." He hits the deck against his hand or against the table, then draws the selected card right out through the handkerchief, leaving the balance of the cards still within the handkerchief. The selected card is palmed in the right hand and the deck placed face down in the left hand in position for the Charlier Pass or one-handed cut. A spectator is asked to spread the handkerchief over the deck, allowing the handkerchief to drape over all sides. When the deck is covered, the left hand begins the Charlier Pass. At the half-way point in the action of the pass, the right hand reaches over to take the covered deck and deposits the palmed card on the handkerchief over the top of the deck. With the right hand still in position, the left hand immediately completes the pass. This sandwiches the card in the middle of the deck within two folds of handkerchief which form a sort of open envelope. The right hand holds the deck through the handkerchief while the left hand twists the ends of the handkerchief to tighten things up a bit. Then the left hand takes it. After the deck has been struck, the performer says, "What was the name of your card?" As the name is being given, he pulls the card out sideways through the handkerchief. DAUB Rosini had various methods of getting a bit of daub on a spectator’s thumb so that when the spectator selected a card his own thumb left a faint mark on the face of the card. Several of his devices are explained in Greater Magic. His easiest method, however, was the following. He secured a little daub on his right fingers —usually from a small box concealed under the edge of his coat. He transferred the daub to the spectator’s thumb by the simple expedient of seizing his hand to bring him up before the audience. The man took a card, leaving daub on the face of it. After the card was returned to the deck, Rosini handed the deck to the spectator for shuffling. The discovery of the card under such circumstances seemed miraculous.


COMPLETE COVER This baffling mental card feat, attributed to Dai Vernon, is a good example of the type of trick Rosini liked for intimate work. The effect seems completely impossible and the method is covered by the very procedures which build up the trick. A borrowed, shuffled deck was placed face down in the performer’s left hand, the hand being held behind the back. Obviously the performer was unaware of the position of a single card and the cards were given a cut to keep the spectator in the dark, too. To make the conditions even more stringent, a handkerchief was placed over the deck and hand. The performer asked the spectator to name any number. As soon as the number was named, the performer brought forward the deck, entirely wrapped in the handkerchief, and handed it to the spectator. The man opened the handkerchief and counted down in the deck to his chosen number. The performer was able to name the card lying at that position. Method: After the handkerchief is laid over the deck behind the magician’s back, covering the wrist and hand, the performer faces the audience. His left hand, still behind his back, turns the pack face up and thumb counts ten cards from the face of the deck. He asks for a number between 10 and 20, and thumb counts the additional cards to this number, holding a large break with the thumb. Then he brings the left hand forward and completes the wrapping of the handkerchief around the deck. In this action, he first pulls the handkerchief tight against the face of the deck so he can see the face of the bottom card through the fabric. Then he does a Charlier pass beneath the handkerchief, cutting the deck at the break, and hands the wrapped deck to the spectator. The glimpsed card is now at the selected number. The handkerchief provides complete cover for all of the action of the trick. However, there is necessarily some stalling while the magician does the required thumb counting. This is where Rosini’s carefully planned presentation was so important. He thumb counted the cards in series of three and had an appropriate remark to make between each count. Thus, the moment he faced the audience, he might say, "I should like someone to give a number." (Count three). "Not too big a number." (Count three). "A number, say, between ten and twenty." (Count four). The spectator names a number. "Did I do anything to make you take that particular number?" (Count additional required cards beyond ten). Naturally the exact remarks depend upon the individual performer, but the important thing is that they must be planned in advance. Although Rosini used a Charlier pass after glimpsing the face card through the handkerchief, some performers prefer to do a regular two-handed pass, which involves less movement of the cards. It is perfectly easy to do this through the handkerchief as the right hand aids in wrapping the cards up.


INDICATOR CARD This fine mental card trick, attributed to S. Leo Horowitz, was described in The Jinx, No. 105, the Rosini, Jarrow, Horowitz, Vernon issue of Theo. Annemann’s publication. Rosini employed it with certain minor modifications which made it more practical and effective. It was a strong favorite with him. Effect: The deck is shuffled and spread face down on the table. A spectator selects four cards from any part of the deck. These are placed face up on the table. The spectator is told to select mentally any one of the face up cards while the performer’s back is turned. The four face up cards are now turned face down and shuffled. The performer takes the four cards and places them face up on top of the pack. They are turned over altogether and inserted in four different parts of the deck. The four protruding cards are then pushed square with the pack. The performer says, "I will now place the deck behind my back and select a card." Let us say that the card he brings out is the three of spades. He says, "I shall use this card as my indicator." He spreads the deck on the table and shows all cards to be face down. Holding the three of spades face up in his right hand he says, "I am going to insert this three of spades somewhere in the deck, face up, and it should indicate the card you mentally selected." He picks up the deck with his left hand and places it behind his back for the insertion of the three of spades. Bringing the deck forward, he says, "Let’s see where I put the three of spades." Finding the reversed card in the center of the deck, he removes the cards above it and lays them aside. The spectator is now asked to name the mentally chosen card. When he does so, the "indicator card" locates the card chosen. Method: Bring the three of spades to the bottom of the deck before starting the trick. While the spectator is mentally selecting one of four cards, say, "I will turn my back to show that I am not watching your eyes." While your back is turned, secretly reverse five cards on top of the deck and place the three of spades face down on top of the five reversed cards. Hold a break under the six cards with your left little finger. When you take the four cards back from the spectator, remember them in order. Suppose they are 2H, SD, 2C, and 8C. Just remember 2 - 5 - 2 - 8, noting that the second deuce is a club. Place them face up on top of the pack. Square the cards and turn over all ten cards above the little finger. Say, "I shall place your four cards in different parts of the deck." Do so without showing their faces. Allow them to protrude for a moment so the spectator can see that they are separated in the deck. Square the deck, place it behind your back, remove the top card and bury it somewhere in the deck. The three of spades is now face up on top of the deck. Bring it forward and say, "I shall use this card as an indicator." Proceed as described. Once the deck is behind your back again, place the three of spades face up on top of the deck and give the cards a square cut. Bring the deck forward and run through to the reversed three of spades.


Lay aside the cards above it. With the remainder of the deck before you with the three of. spades face up on top, ask the spectator to name his card. If he says, "Two of hearts," you say, "Look! I placed the indicator on top of it." Should he say, "Five of diamonds," say, "Look! How many spots are on this card?" He will say, "Three," and you count down three to his card, counting the three of spades as one. If he should say, "Two of clubs," just push the three of spades aside and count two cards off, without looking at them, and turn over his two of clubs. If he says, "Eight of clubs," push aside the indicator card, count off three cards, and turn the fourth card over. A COMEDY CARD TRICK A trick which produces spontaneous gales of laughter from an audience is worth many dollars to the magical showman. This was one of Rosini’s funniest routines. It has also been used to fine advantage by Tommy Martin. A card was selected and the deck shuffled. Rosini said that the idea was for him to find the card and that he could do so in three guesses. The attempts, however, resulted in complete failure. "We have to have that card," Rosini said. "You find it." The spectator looked through the deck, but could not find the card. Rosini, standing at the man’s left, had palmed it off and in the business of handling the spectator had extended his right hand behind the man’s back and stuck the card in full view under the victim’s right coat collar just above the lapel. The amusement of spectators who caught sight of the card was interpreted by the assistant as being due to the failure of the trick. The build-up now mounted hilariously. "Look," said Rosini, we're in the middle of a trick. We can’t stop now. We’ve got to find that card. You can’t find it? Let’s pray for it." Performer and spectator then went through various gestures to entice forth the card— holding their hands clasped in supplication, placing their hands on their heads, etc.—the assistant duplicating the gestures of the performer. Rosini finally directed the man to extend both palms and strike them on his shoulders. The expression of the spectator upon sensing the presence of the card beneath his fingers provided the climax of the trick.


THE CARD THROUGH THE CASE This quick and effective trick has previously been described incorrectly in print. A card was selected by a peek and palmed by the side-steal. The deck was placed in the case and the flap of the case closed. Bicycle Cards and numerous other brands come in cases bearing the imprint of the back of the cards. When such a case was employed and the palmed card was added to the matching back of the case, both sides of the card case could be shown. The spectator was asked to extend his forefinger and grip the end of the case with the thumb above the extended finger. Now, a tiny little waltz, and Rosini struck the case a sharp downward blow which knocked the encased cards from the spectator’s hand. The selected card remained, face up, between the assistant’s thumb and finger. The card had apparently been knocked out of the deck and through the case. If the card is brought to the bottom of the deck after its selection, it is possible to perform the trick without sleight-of-hand. The thumb and fingers of the left hand, projecting from the sides of the case, can grip the bottom card as the right hand brings the face of the deck against the case prior to inserting the cards. This permits stealing the card without palming. YOUR NUMBER—YOUR CARD This effect was given to me by Paul Rosini after he had fooled a group of magicians with it up in my room. Effect: The deck is given to a spectator to shuffle. Then the spectator is instructed to divide the deck into three approximately equal piles. He is now told to select any one of the piles, look through it, mentally select one card, and then shuffle the pile so that even he does not know the location of the card. The other two piles are shuffled together and again cut into equal halves so that the performer cannot know the location of any of the cards. The selected pile is counted so that the spectator can note the location of his card in it, then this pile is buried between the other piles and the cards given several square cuts. The performer takes the deck and produces the mentally selected card in any way he sees fit.


Method: After the chosen card has been shuffled in the selected heap, the performer asks the spectator if he knows how many cards he has in his heap. Since he does not know exactly, the performer asks him to count his cards face up one at a time slowly, while the performer’s back is turned, and note just how far down in the pile his card is. The performer waits until the first card is dealt before he turns his back. As soon as he glimpses it, he walks away, remembering this key card. When the performer runs through the deck, he cuts the key to a position sixth from the bottom of the deck. This places the sixth card of the original pile on the bottom of the deck and the seventh card of the pile on top of the deck. The performer asks the spectator at what number his card appeared when his pile was counted. If the number was between one and six, the performer knows its position from the bottom of the deck. If it was more than six, he knows its position from the top of the deck. He can easily shuffle to it and palm it off, or produce it in any other manner he wishes. Whenever the selected card is the seventh card (top card of deck), a good way to reveal it is to say, "You didn’t reverse your card did you?" and drop the deck on the table, showing the selected card face up on top of the deck. Note: If the deck is divided into four piles instead of three at the beginning of the trick the likelihood of the spectator thinking of a card at a position six or seven from the top of the pile is increased. Performed in this manner, the trick concludes more often than not with the thought of card at the top or bottom of the deck. ROSINI’S FAVORITE TRICK Among his intimate card tricks, Paul Rosini rated this as his favorite. He produced a remarkable effect with it. A spectator shuffled the cards and laid them face down on the table. Assuming that the pack had red backs, Rosini said, "I have some extra cards here in my pocket. Notice that they all have blue backs. I shall remove one of these cards." He removed one card from among the blue cards and showed it. Perhaps it was the two of clubs. He placed the card in the center of the deck and spread the deck face up on the table, saying that he proposed to have the assistant touch any one of the face up cards and the card be touched would be the blue-backed card which he had just placed in the deck. "I know that you don’t believe this possible," he said, "but the proof of the pudding is in the eating. However, I could not do this trick with the two of clubs I just showed you, because my assistant is familiar with this card and would avoid touching it. Therefore I shall use another blue-backed card. I shall place this


card in the pack behind my back out of his sight." Rosini then did this. "Now I am sure that my friend here does not know the location of the blue-backed card." Rosini brought the deck forward and spread the cards face up in his hands, asking the assisting spectator to touch any card. "That is your free choice?" he asked. "Would you like to change your mind?" He removed from the deck the card which the assistant touched and set the deck aside. "What color back did the card I put in the pack have? Blue. What color cards does the pack consist of? Red." With that he turned over the tabled card and showed it to be a blue-backed card. Method: In his pocket Rosini carried several odd red- and blue-backed cards so that he was prepared to do the trick using a deck with any color of backs. Among the cards were two prepared eight-spots, one with a red back and one with a blue back. A little wax had been placed on the four outside pips and a little on one of the center pips of each of the two cards. When he was not prepared with a gimmick card, he employed any odd cards and used saliva. However, wax made for better handling. After the demonstration with one of the odd cards, Rosini said he would have to use a different card and took a prepared eight-spot. He placed it face down on top of the deck without showing it. All the audience saw was a red pack with a blue card on top of it. He placed the pack behind him or under the table. While the deck was out of sight, he arranged the gimmick card in proper position in his right hand and covered it with the deck, which he brought forward face up. The card was not palmed, but was laid diagonally across the right palm, face up. The card lay flat, with the left-hand index corner resting between joints of the first and second fingers. The right hand index corner rested at the lower base of the thumb. The card was thus gripped securely, but was not bent or actually concealed in the hand (the corners of the card without indexes projected beyond either side of the hand). The deck is then placed face up in the right hand in such a way as to cover the gimmick card. The right hand now brings the cards forward and the assistant is asked to touch any card as the cards are spread before him. The left hand grasps the deck, the thumb being placed on the face of the deck and the fingers going beneath the deck, between the deck and the gimmick card. The hands separate a few inches, the left thumb pushing the cards into the right hand from the face of the deck. Thus as the cards are spread, the top face cards of the deck remain in position in the right hand covering the gimmick card. The left thumb continues to spread the cards. When the assistant touches a card, the middle finger of the left hand slides under the gimmick card and pulls it beneath the spread over to a position under the selected card. The selected card and the cards spread above it are lifted just a bit, and this momentary pulling apart of the deck makes it possible to slip the blue-backed card


underneath the selected card. All that remains is to square the deck, adding a little pressure to the pack to cause the gimmick card to stick to the back of the card selected. When Rosini removed the selected card, he tossed it face up on the table so freely that no one would guess it to be a double card. DO A TRICK When he was asked to do a trick, Rosini frequently used this quick and startling effect. Effect: You ask for a deck of cards and, when you receive it, look through the pack to see if all the cards are there. Then you spread the cards face down on the table and ask a spectator to remove any card, remember it, and place it on top of the deck and cut the deck. Now you pick up the deck and say, "Let’s see what you’ve done: you spread the cards and then you removed a card and placed it on top of the deck. Then you gave the deck a cut like this." As you say this, you demonstrate with the actual actions. "By the way," you add, "What was the name of the your card?" Suppose the spectator says, "Queen of Clubs." You immediately spell the name of the chosen card with a card at a time from the top of the deck and with the last letter you deal face up the Queen of Clubs. Secret: When the deck is passed to you and you ask if the cards are all there, you count twelve cards at the bottom of the deck and crimp these cards at the end toward you so they will belly just a bit. This can be done by simply squeezing them with the left fingers. You spread the cards on the table, with the end of the deck at which the crimp shows facing you and not the spectators. A card is withdrawn from the spread and placed on top of the deck and the cards are given a square cut. This places your twelve crimped cards on top of the selected card. Now you repeat the same actions that were followed by the spectator, as though you were reviewing what had been done. When you come to cutting the deck, you cut it at the crimp, which places the twelve cards on top of the deck, with the chosen card just beneath them. When the spectator names his card, you know just how many letters its name contains. You can make a quick count on your fingers if necessary. Some cards have eleven letters, some twelve, and some thirteen. Should there be thirteen letters, everything is perfect. Should it


spell with twelve, just spell the card and turn over the next card. Should it spell with eleven, just shuffle off two cards before you start counting. You can use the word "of" or you can leave it out to suit your spelling. THE ONE-ARMED MAGICIAN (By Jack Chanin) I knew Paul Rosini for many, many years and we were friends enough for me to dedicate my book on the Shell Game to him. I have known many of Paul’s tricks, for I used to help him practice. I have tied his thumbs for the thumb tie hundreds of times. I also had some of the buttons on my jacket ripped off by Paul’s practicing the "tearing the button off" trick. The miracle I am describing here is one Paul showed me in 1931. He liked this trick because it gave him a chance to show how cleverly his hands were trained. The entire operation was done with one hand. Effect: After having someone look at a card, Paul immediately placed the pack behind his back. There was absolutely no chance for him to see what the selected card was. Yet he would announce the name of the card by looking into the spectator’s eyes. To add to this miracle, he would cause the selected card to turn itself over in the pack. Method: Paul used his favorite locater, the "peek." He held the pack in the left hand as shown in figure 1. He asked someone to peek at a card by opening up the pack at the side indicated by the arrow. He immediately dropped his left hand and put it behind his back. The second and third fingers of his left hand went inside the break held beneath the peeked-at card and pushed the selected card out as shown in figure 2. The card was pushed out until it stood alongside the edge of the pack as in figure 3. Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 The left thumb now pushed the top card over the selected card, as shown in figure 3. The fingers of the left hand helped to press the selected card onto the pack. The card held with the thumb now fell on the selected card. The entire operation took but a few seconds. The time would be taken up by Paul explaining to the spectator that it would be impossible to know what the card was with the deck behind his back. "If you concentrate on the card, I will look in your eyes and see an image of the card you selected. Yes, I get an image. The card is a ten of diamonds." As he said this, his left hand came out and pointed to the spectator’s


eyes. During this operation, the thumb pushed the top card towards the fingers, as shown in figure 4, providing a glimpse of the index of the selected card. Fig. 4 The pack was now cut. With the left hand, the cards were placed into the spectator’s left hand face up. Naming the card was Miracle No. 1. He would now announce that he would do something even better. "While the cards are in the spectator’s hand, I shall cause the selected card to turn itself over." And now, with a bit of his inimitable showmanship, he would ask the spectator to spread the cards from hand to hand and one card would be face down. That card was removed and it was the selected card. There was Miracle No. 2. THE COIN STAR (Described by Al Leech) In Paul Rosini’s hands, the coin star was one of the most beautiful sleight-of-hand effects conceivable. He used the sleight for the simultaneous reproduction of five coins, which he previously had vanished one at a time. Rosini would place his hands together and in a single motion produce the five coins in a sparkling display at his fingertips. Details of the sleight have seldom appeared in print, and most of the published descriptions involve the use of the finger palm, a method definitely inferior to that used by Rosini. In his method, the coins were palmed in the hollow of the hand in a position known as the oblique palm. In this grip, the stack of coins is beveled and protrudes from the palm at an angle. There is a space between the palm and the innermost coin at the edge of the coin nearest the roots of the fingers. This palm is described and illustrated on pages 251 and 252 of Magic Without Apparatus by Camille Gaultier and on pages 8 and 9 of The Modern Magic Manual by Jean Hugard. To execute the sleight, Rosini would stand with his left side toward the audience and place the fingertips of both hands together, almost as if in prayer, except that the fingers were spread more widely. The hands were held about waist high with the little fingers pointing toward the floor. The coins were concealed from the audience by the back of the left hand.


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