Before I headed out on the road, I was cleaning up and noticed a book that been kicking around my office forever. I’m not sure how I ended up with the book, but I’ve never read it, so I threw it in my car. The book is Class Act: The Magic of Tony Binarelli.
When I was a teenager I think I had seen Tony Binarelli lecture at the Desert Magic Seminar in Las Vegas. At that time he was lecturing on mentalism from his book My Way to Mentalism. Honestly, I don’t remember much of lecture, but I picked up a set of the lecture notes for a friend of mine.
Ok, back to the Class Act book. There’s a lot of hype in the introduction of the book about innovative moves. The first two card sleights are a top palm and second deal, both of which I think predate Tony. However it’s also entirely possible that they are his.
The top palm is a two handed top palm and it’s not very good as written. It’s something that I was doing as a teenager because I couldn’t quite do the one handed top palm. Essentially, it’s a two handed, one handed top palm. In my version I slightly slid the top card forward with the deck held in mechanics grip. Then my other hand pressed down on the outjogged part and the card pops into your palm. In Tony’s version, he slides a lot of the cards forward, it looks strange. The one advantage to Tony’s that they don’t really mention, but kinda hint at is that it makes it easier to palm off multiple cards. You pinkie count them with your ring finger as you push down and they pop up.
The second deal is a turn over deal, you can’t deal face down from a face down pack. I was just chatting with Chris Beason about this second deal technique a few weeks ago. It looks good, but not a natural looking deal.
So far, I’m glad I’m reading the book instead of getting rid of it without reading it.