In February of 1986, David Ben and I sponsored a lecture by Gaetan
in Toronto. It turned out to be a fabulous evening of magic. Towards the end, Gaetan demonstrated a monte routine which used what he claimed was a new kind of trick card. There were about 150 people in the audience and as I was standing at the back of the hall I couldn't really see what was going on. I didn't pay attention.
When the Wright Brothers first took their new machine into the air, there was probably some guy tying his shoes who missed the whole thing. That would have been me. Luckily I got a second chance. Unlike the Wright Brothers' plane, Gaetan's got grounded by fog. He spent some days at my home and during that time he showed me the monte routine, "Escorial 3 Cards Monte."
I was fooled completely.
Gaetan demonstrated the method. It was dazzling and the magic was so visible. Gaetan describes the genesis of the method in the Escorial 3 Cards Monte manuscript: "I remembered an old effect of Charles T. Jordan using a fake card in which the gaff was made with cigarette paper ... I made my first Escorial card using the same principle but using the thin plastic mirror instead of the cigarette paper.”
The Jordan effect, "The 1923 Card And Handkerchief Trick" can be found at page 187, in The Collected Works Of Charles Jordan by Karl Fulves. The four queens, placed to the four corners of a handkerchief, travel one by one through the handkerchief and assemble.
The method involves a number of gaffed cards. Each gaff is made up of two cards which are hinged together with a cigarette paper. In theory, this double card looks like a single card. By pushing the top card sideways, the second card of the pair is exposed. In practice the gaff is difficult to handle since the two cards do not remain flat and square together.
Over sixty years later, Gaetan substituted Mylar for the cigarette paper and in doing so unleashed the vast potential of the gaff. His routine, "Escorial 3 Cards Monte" easily eclipses its pedestrian competitors.
My initial enthusiasm for the gaff grew and by the end of March, 1986, most of the ideas in this manuscript had been formed. Field testing confirmed the impact of the material. I've tried to include vanishes, transpositions, transformations and direct mental effects: in other words, the kind of visual material audiences can understand easily and react to immediately.
I don't know what Gaetan will come with next, but I will definitely not be tying my shoes when he demonstrates whatever it is.
1st edition 1986, PDF 30 pages.word count: 5782 which is equivalent to 23 standard pages of text