When I first saw David Blaine do that crazy transposition, with the “Shapeshifter change” on his first TV special I said, “What! … There’s no way.” I admit that I was fooled. Shortly thereafter I was enjoying frying spectators with that great change. By the time Blaine’s third special appeared I was stumped a second time, not by technique but intrigued by possibilities found in transposition effects. I was now aware of more methodology and had developed some of my own. A few months later Dave and I came up with the following applications. Until recently, the thought of using dupes in a deck made me queasy. But more real world performing experience has shown me how gaffs can deliver maximum impact on the foolery. As a dedicated practitioner of the art, I still enjoy devising methods with an unfortified, 52-card deck. I offer you my “very clean looking” method for the transposition with NO duplicates.
Have a card freely chosen. As Marry Jane (spectator) looks at the card get a break under the top two cards. Execute a Bluff Pass bringing MJ’s card (4
) third from top. If you don’t know a Bluff Pass here is a brief description.
The simplest method for the Bluff Pass is to riffle down the left edge of the deck with your left thumb asking Marry Jane to call out “Stop” for her selection. Pretending to take the upper packet, remove only top two cards in a deep right hand Biddle grip, tipping the packet slightly forward and down to hide the true thickness of the two cards. Have MJ place her card in the center. Gently slap the two cards down as if it were a packet. Timing and confidence is the key. Execute a triple lift to show Marry Jane her card has jumped to the top. A small twitch of the hand before the triple works well as sort of a magical gesture. Return the triple face down, thumb off and place the top card, out-jogged and angled to the left, in the center of the deck. Marry Jane now thinks her card is protruding from the deck. Turn the top card over (2
in our example) and execute Ben Harris’s “Super flip change” [originally published in
(1985), later in
Off the Wall
(1988) and recently in
Mr. Gadfly 1
(2001)]. A brief explanation of the ‘Super Flip Change’ is as follows:
Turn the top card face up and hold the cards in an “off centered” Biddle Grip, that is, your middle finger and thumb must be to the right of the middle of the cards. Apply a small amount of pressure to the cards by pushing down with your index finger (curled on top) and up with your thumb and second finger, thus bowing the cards in a convex position. Dribble the cards into your other hand but retain the last two cards. On holding-back these two cards apply a firmer downward pressure with your index finger and release the grip with your thumb and second finger. The