Simon Lovell – Waitingfor God

Columnist:
Simon Lovell

Well Geminites, Just when you thought the world of the Gemini board was safe the Lemming returns! A new book is rapidly approaching its escape date from L&L and Mark asked if I could get you a sneak preview from its pages. So, here’s one of the sillier items that’s given me a lot of fun, hopefully it will give you a giggle or two as well. The new book Son of Simon Says has over 40 full routined items in my normal Lovellesque manner along with some more thoughts chapters to go alongside those in Simon Says. Think it’s a pretty good book but then I would! Anyways here’s the sneak preview chapter for you …

WAITING FOR GOD

HISTORY This is one of those items that started off as a, “Hmmm, that might be an amusing thing to play with,” idea. I played around with it and finally ended up with what I thought would be a neat quick joke. Actually it turned out to play really strongly indeed and is now one of my favorite off-beat items for when the time is right! It has a sort of reverse homage to all the derivations of the telephone trick that have ever existed but here, instead of you calling someone to name the card, they call you!

EFFECT No less a omnipotent being than God (or a deity of your choice) takes time off from his/her universal problems to give you a call on your cell phone to help you out of a sticky situation and save the day!

PRE WORK You’ll need a cell phone for this effect but since everybody over the age of a fetus seems to have one as we enter a new millennium that should almost be a given that you do! If you have one like mine you can program in all the numbers you use most often with the persons name. When they call the screen lights up with their name and number like a caller ID thing. This whole piece came from the fact that very few people have my cell phone number and I refer to them as ‘The Secret Seven’. Michael Chaut, for reasons best known to his demented psyche, insisted on being entered as ‘Agent 002’ and so, when he calls, his name doesn’t come up but, instead, the phone reads, ‘Agent 002’! This festered in my brain for a while and the base of the effect was born. If I could enter anything for a name then … er … I could enter anything, if you see what I mean! So get a friend who’s going to be around when you are going to do this piece and re-program their name as, ‘God’ or whatever deity you wish. If they can do a good impression of a celebrity you might want to program that in if you a very religious person and consider using an omnipotent being a bit tacky for a card trick! Tell your friend the name of a card (I nearly always use the Four of Clubs) and a position (I use between 10 and 15). That’s the pre work, now into the routine!

METHOD/ROUTINE The cards are in hand and the cell phone is off to one side. I use this in informal situations so it’s quite normal for stuff to be around a table in a coffee house for example.

“OK, Chaps,” I say, “It’s time for another miraclette with ye olde pasteboards; I could use washboards but they’re a bit clumsy … what the hell am I talking about?” I now force the four of clubs upon the spectator.

FORCETHINKS I use a Fan Force here and for a detailed description of how I do this check out my previous book Simon Says. If you aren’t keen on the Fan Force you could also use The World’s Easiest Riffle Force from the same book. It really doesn’t matter which force you use, however, so long as they end up with the Four of Clubs.

I now take back the card and shuffle it back into the deck. And I do mean, really shuffle it back into the deck! As I do this I say, “I’m going to pop your card back in amongst the others and mix them up simply to find your card again. There are those who would say that this is somewhat futile, why didn’t I just let you keep it when you took it and cut out all this hard work. Well, trust me folks, doing this stopped me having to look for a real job when I ran out of college courses!”

I now hand the deck to them and ask them to shuffle them up saying, as I do so, “Let’s see how you shuffle the cards. Ah, the hands of a God! You played a lot of Poker in your youth didn’t you?”

I take back the deck and say, “Your card is lost and alone. It’s up to me to find it before it breaks down completely and needs therapy!” I run through the cards face up and cull their card (see The Bucket Cull in this tome) to 12th (or whatever the number I’ve told my pal is) from the top.

MUCHEASIERTHINKS That is work but it makes the effect very clean. You could, of course, just control their card to the top and over hand shuffle the requisite number of cards on top of it without letting them shuffle. I much prefer, and highly recommend, using the cull after they shuffle because the effect becomes much stronger magically.

I place the deck on the table face down and say, “To find the card! Is it this one?” I show the top card and replace it when they say, “No.” I say, “Sometimes I luck out! Is it this one?” I turn over the deck to show the bottom card and replace the deck face down when I get a negative answer. “Ah, well, I’ll have to go for blind luck then!” I cut the deck (well into the middle so I don’t accidentally cut their card) and say, “Is that it?” I replace the cut and say, “Well I let you shuffle, what do you expect, miracles? God only knows where that card is now!”

As I go into that line my friend, whose been watching from a distance, dials my cell phone. The timing is so cool if my phone starts to ring just as I finish saying the last line.

I say to my spectator, “Could you check the caller ID and see who is calling?” They check and see ‘God’ on the screen. I say, “Well you’d better take it, he’s pretty important you know!” They answer the call and hear a voice saying, “This is God. Could you tell Simon that your card is the four of clubs and it’s twelve cards down in the deck!” Trust me, the look on their face is awesome when they find that card in place!

GODTHINKS Sometimes I just have my fake deity tell them how far down in the deck the card is so that the reveal of the actual card is moved to the end of the effect. Both ways play very strongly indeed. They know, I hope, that it’s not really God on the phone but it’s a real mystery. The deity phoned you. How could they, whoever it was, know which card was selected and how far down in the deck it was especially after they’d shuffled the deck themselves? The result is a very satisfying mix of sleight of hand and absolute BS to produce a very weird revelation!

I finish the whole thing by just saying, “I knew all those months as an alter boy would pay off sometime!”

AFTERTHINKS By taking a simple location and adding a body to the skeleton we create a very cool and memorable moment. Who’s not going to tell their friends about Gods phone call? I love the expression that if you know one hundred ways to find a card and one way to reveal it then, effectively, you only know one trick. If you know one way to find a card and a hundred ways to reveal it then, to the spectator, you know a hundred tricks. That’s well worth pondering if you are spending hours learning the invisible work (sleights) and very little time on the visible work (effect). The visible work is paramount and the invisible work should be a given, in my opinion, if your magic is going to elate an audience!

Son of Simon Says will be released in August 2000 by L&L Publishing. The cost will be $45.00