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The Magic Memories (27)

Hi everyone!

For the 27th time I welcome you to The Magic Memories, gone online SUN, 4th July 2021, at 0:07.

For a small part of the world, but a large part of my readership, the USA and its magic enthusiasts, it is a holiday, their Independence Day, and I send to all among you who are concerned my sincerest best wishes for a peaceful day and a successful future. I’ve been into magic for now over 48 years (wow!), and there are many amazing things I could tell, but possibly the best thing of all is that people of all nations, ages, social status, economic levels, religious, political and sexual orientation can meet and enjoy each others company and discuss and perform magic, without even mentioning their differences and simply enjoy that great passion they have in common, whether as beginners or as consummate professionals. I know, this has been said before, but it warrants being repeated time and again, because there is a big, important and far-reaching message here…

To Take Or Not To Take a Leave

As I’m writing this it is SAT, 3rd July, a few hours before this blog gets online. In Switzerland it is the first day of the summer vacation for most cantons, and they call it “Bündelidaag” in Swiss German dialect, “the day of the little bundle”, implying that today you’re supposed to pack a few things into a bundle and walk off for a well-deserved vacation. I immediately thought that I should do this, too, and take a leave from my weekly The Magic Memories post. Imagine my surprise, when this was confirmed by my horoscope (it is just opposite the crossword puzzles I like to solve in a weekly magazine I receive…), which read verbatim:

“That’s it, you’re worn out! Look at it as a welcome opportunity to slow down. Even you need a moment of relaxation from time to time.”

Now how is that? How did this astrologer know that I had spent a year writing, editing, correcting, layouting, marketing, unpacking, signing, repacking, schlepping etc. my book Sharing Secrets? Isn’t that incredible, especially because I, as a typical Taurus, do not believe in horoscopes. OK, I stole that line, sort of, as the original by Sir Arthur C. Clarke is: “I don’t believe in astrology; I’m a Sagittarius, and we’re skeptical.”

So, as I was about to write that I won’t write anything this month, I found myself in the midst of writing. I guess that makes sense, and proves that even nonsense has a meaning. If you have been into magic for such a long time as I have (see above…), and if you’ve decided to dedicate your life to the wonderfully complex  world of magic, it is not possible to think or say whatever it is, without finding a connection to magic. And this is precisely what happened here. As I was going to put you off until next week, I was reminded that astrology is, of course, a most interesting subject to use for presentations. It’s actually so easy, too easy… and experience has shown that you need to be very careful about what you say and to whom you say it. As magic proves to anyone who performs frequently, day after day, there are too many people out there who are incredibly naiv and gullible. I said it in several of my writings, and will gladly repeat it here: In my opinion magic should be used to edify and educate people, not to add to their ignorance. This means that if you use astrology with a serious presentation, several in your audience will be confirmed in their belief about it, and after the show you’ll have people come up to you and involve you in discussions you might not want. In this context I’m always reminded of Einstein’s quote: “Two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity. But I’m not so sure about the universe.”

Back to the magic: two things, at least 🙂 One, returning to Sir Clarke, as I searched on Internet for the originator of the quote and found him, I have to admit to my ignorance that I did not know him, or maybe just had forgotten about him, yes, that’s it, I forgot 🙂 I clicked on his name, and up came dozens of clever quotes you might want to explore for yourselves. This one caught my attention: “This is the first age that’s ever paid much attention to the future, which is a little ironic since we may not have one.”

Now, isn’t that a great quote to get into any type of trick involving a prediction? Of course, see “”Prologue and Epilogue”, p 88/89 in Sharing Secrets. I couldn’t help going to my note in Evernote (ahhh, take note: open a new note on any idea, and then gather material about that idea in that note each time you find something about it), titled “Different Ways to Stage a Prediction”, and then make this entry: Sir Arthur Clarke, the famous British science-fiction writer and physicist, once said, “This is the first age that’s ever paid much attention to the future, which is a little ironic since we may not have one.” However, I know for sure that this particular experiment, we’ll going to conduct now together, does have a future. And I will commit myself to it by writing it down here on this billet…” How much better this is than the hackneyed, “OK, I’ll write a prediction and set it down here… OK, I have four coins here… OK, for my next trick I’ll use the four Aces…” How boring… and what an unartistic way of getting into a piece of magic. Because you need a Prologue, yes, I’ll keep saying it: No trick without a Prologue and an Epilogue!
Two, as I was putting order to a drawer that had ideas of almost 20 (twenty!) years ago, I hit on an idea I’ve never realized, but which I might in the future… In any case, I’ll let you into it, maybe someone among you will make this up and perform it – I have no doubt that it is a very good trick, and it will be of great impact, provided it is performed with insight and talent (to paraphrase Hofzinser).
Here is the effect: place a pretty ring-sized box on the table explaining that it contains something about the spectator’s future. Have her write her birthday on a billet, which you hand to her. See the photo of the zodiac sign billet below, which comes as a note pad – this used to be a commercial item, but I have no recollection whatsoever from where this came from, so if anyone knows, I’m happy to give the correct credit in the next post. The billet is folded, torn and burned (find your own reason why…). Next a card is selected, because cards and astrology have been going together since time immemorial (really?). Recap, dramatize and then have the spectator open the little box herself: It contains a folded billet that reads:
“You have been born in the sign of Pisces, and your lucky card is the Ace of Diamonds!” Everything is correct, obviously.
As for the method I shall be brief, contrary to my other writings :-), and simply say that the billet is of course given the “Center Tear” treat, so you know her birthday and zodiac sign. The card, in our example the AD, is forced, and in this context a simple force such as the Criss-cross Force works admirably well (see my handling in Card Magic Masterclass – Disc Five, Forces). Finally, you have a billet index with 12 billets, 6 on each side (see photo), which you switch in à la Fred Kaps Folded Card to Box (see my handling in “The Joker Folds Up”, pp. 1349 in Card College Volume 5, the best of the five volumes!). The spectator may take the billet home as a souvenir, so she always remembers what her lucky card is, just in case. And as Tommy Wonder used to say, “There is a one-year warranty on the luck, after that you must come back…”
You might agree that this is a very nice effect, to say the least. As always, there are several problems to solve, and I leave this to your ingenuity, in case you want to delve into it. Remember that one of the most beautiful things is the feeling of having achieved something original, but please also remember that you first read about it here 🙂 (I do not exclude, however, that someone else has come up with a similar idea – see “The Monkey Scale”, p. 78/79 in Sharing Secrets.)

Have a great week!

Yours sincerely,

Roberto Giobbi

2 thoughts on “The Magic Memories (27)

  1. As always, this is such a fun premise…I’m going to HAVE to play with it! Thank You Roberto!

  2. “So, as I was about to write that I won’t write anything this month, I found myself in the mist of writing.”

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!

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