Si Stebbins Unplugged
A TrickShop.com Publication
50+ 8½" x 11" comb bound pages
Over 50 photographs
Reviewed by MagicWeek
From the books introduction: "In 1896, Si Stebbins, an American vaudeville and circus performer, popularized the system in a book he published under the pseudonym of William Vino, entitled, 'WM Vino's Card Tricks.' Five year's later (1901), Howard Thurston, the leading American stage illusionist of the period, published the system as his own origination in 'Howard Thurston's Card Tricks.' In the years that have followed, Si Stebbins has emerged as the most popular card magic system in the world. The references to it throughout the vast body of magical literature of the last century are too numerous to mention."
Indeed most magicians have touched on the system but few have mastered its many possibilities, and that's really where Unplugged comes in, clearly setting out the system, and then revealing its many uses.
Anyone who has seen Pat Page work will have literally marveled at the speed in which he locates any named card, and the impact that it has on the audience. That's just one of the items that can be mastered - and it looks like real magic. Here's a look at the contents:
Page 5. An Introduction to the Si Stebbins System:
• How it works
• What you can do with it
• Setting up the deck
• Understanding the relationships between cards
Page 11. Aids and Preparation:
• Short and indicator cards
• Roughing your deck
• Assembling an invisible deck
• Window card box
Page 15. Deck Handling basics:
• Showing the cards
• Destroying the arrangement
• Switching the deck
• Overhand cut shuffle
• Single cuts
• False multiple cut
• Group count/deal
• The Glimpse
• No Glimpse return
• The Glide
• Ways to have a card Selected
Page 32 - 50. Tricks using the Si Stebbins System:
• Naming a Chosen Card - a selected card is revealed by you in a masterful
• Easy Speller - a spectator finds his own card by spelling its name.
• Card on Mind - a selected card is suddenly seen stuck to your forehead.
• Reversed Selection - a selected card reverses itself in the deck.
• Force of Will - one spectator finds the card selected by another.
• That's the Rub! - an indifferent card changes into the selected card by rubbing it on the table.
• Trio - you reveal cards selected by three different spectators.
• By Thought and Deed revisited - three cards are selected and sealed into envelopes. You use your own powers of clairvoyance to reveal the cards selected by two spectators, while a third spectator uses his own powers to reveal yours.
• Sensitive Fingertips - you are able to reveal the top card of three different piles by mere touch alone.
• Do as I do - you and a spectator select the same card from different packs.
• Dream Poker deal - you deal a number of "pat" pokers hands - giving yourself a royal flush.
• Encore Card Stab - an amazing card stab you can perform under virtually any performance conditions.
• Premonition Outdone - a card merely thought of by a spectator vanishes from the deck one moment - only to reappear reversed the next.
• Brainwave - a thought of card is shown to be the only one in the deck with a different back color.
• The Memorized Deck - you prove your ability to memorize an entire deck in an instant by naming cards throughout the deck at random.
• Between the Lines Book Test - you name the exact word a spectator is looking at in a large book or novel.
Si Stebbins Unplugged like all TrickShop publications is very readable, it's also very well researched and full of excellent tips, methods and routines. This will become the book on the system in no time at all I'm sure - it truly lives up to its unplugged title. Top stuff.
© Duncan Trillo, April 2003
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