Trick of the month – January 2012

It’s back! Trick of the month was a feature I used to do when this blog was first started – I listed a favourite Roy Walton trick every month and gave a brief overview of the effect, why I liked it and where to find it. I’ve decided to start it again only this time it won’t just be Roy Walton tricks.

One Trap Mind – J.K Hartman

This is loosely based on Roy Walton’s “Shakedown” from Vol 1 and can be found in After Craft page 116.

Effect – a spectators selects a card which is placed face down on the table – four more cards are randomly taken by the performer and placed on top. The spectator is asked to mix their card in with the other four so no one knows where the card is. The five card packet is sandwiched between two face up jokers and the entire packet is placed cleanly in the centre of the rest of the pack. Following the customary magical gesture the pack is spread to reveal only one card between the jokers, you guessed it…the selected card.

The great thing about this trick is the complete naturalness of the handling. All moves are executed during natural actions like spreading the pack to remove cards or to demonstrate what the spectator has to do. The method is typical Hartman – all the moves flow together really well which makes it really nice to perform.

The card case

Just stumbled across a great trick from JK Hartman’s After Craft “Just In Case” is a fantastic card in case routine -the effect is that the spectators card is inserted into the centre of the pack which has been placed in the case and the case given to the spectator to hold. The magician pulls the card case away from the spectators hand and the selected card ends up face up in their hand – it has seemingly penetrated the case and also somehow turned face up!

The best feature of the trick for me is the presentational justification for bringing the pack and the case into contact – an explanation of how precise the box has been made. It really is incredibly clever and completely justifies your actions.

Speaking of card case moves there’s a great card from box idea hidden on YouTube performed by Bebel – I don’t know whose it is or if it’s his originally but its great.

Knuckle Jog – JK Hartman

Genius – never again will I use any other method of securing a break above the bottom card. Hidden in a natural action – there’s no tense first finger buckle here! Found throughout his books I believe – it’s in After Craft and in there he mentions it was published in Card Craft.

Coloratoura – JK Hartman

This trick is a version of Roy Walton’s “Instant Interchange” from Tale Twisters (also in Vol 1 of course). Hartman’s version eliminates the half pass and my pet peeve with the trick which was the back spreading which I always thought looked unnatural. The effect is that you display a small number of black spot cards and a small number of red. The black cards are given to the spectator and a red card e.g 8 of hearts is placed on top of the black cards which the spectator has. Both packets are cut and with a snap of the magicians magical fingers both packets now change places – the spectator has all the red cards and you have the blacks with the 8 of hearts in the centre – a fantastic effect.

It pains me to say but I think I may prefer this handling over Waltons original – it flows more and his Paddle Plus move is so simple yet incredibly deceptive (I love it when discrepancy or subtlety replace sleights).

Blow Away Change – JK Hartman

First published in Card Craft this change made a reappearance in After Craft which is where I read it. The effect is that a face up card on top of the pack changes when the performer raises the pack to their lips and blows on the card. In the updated description in After Craft J.K Hartman talks about how the move created some confusion as to its workability when first published – even reading the updated description I can see why. It’s one of those moves which appears bad when read but is great when you actually use it. It’s the sort of move you’d easily overlook yet if you saw someone do it you’d use it all the time. Well worth looking up.

J.K Hartman

I first got After Craft and Trickey Treats from the Sheffield Magick Lounge a few years ago. Before buying these books (I did so on the recommendation of a friend) I’d never heard of J.K Hartman before. His name is not one which I regular hear discussed amongst cardmen yet he has some superb materiel and these two books contains a wealth of information. The man himself seems something of an engima – a search online will yield no real information or photographs (there was an interview I came across once but can’t seem to find again). I’ve decided to go through After Craft and comment on any items I particularly like and will do so in a series of posts over the next few weeks. J.K’s first book “Card Craft” is long out of print and I’d love to get a copy – anyone out there sick of their copy and want to sell it?