There's always been one little card routine for the stage that I've loved since I was a child, and one day I hope to include my take on it in The Suitcase of Wonders. Known as the Diminishing Cards, briefly, it involves the repeated display of a fan of cards as they grow smaller and smaller until a fan barely visible to the eye vanishes.
The Diminishing Cards dates back to the master magician, Robert-Houdin in 1868, but the routines I've seen performed are using a version eventually credited to 1930's magician, Al Baker. Two current-day magicians who have performed stunning versions of this trick are Jeff Sheridan and Rob Zabrecky.
Considering the nature of my show (and my physical stature), the Diminishing Cards seems to, as a magician friend of mine put it, "have Smallini written all over it." Indeed, my very presence answers the perhaps unasked question of, "Why do the cards need to get small?" A good place to start as I begin to work out my version of this classic trick.
As usual, I must use the physical limitations of Mr. Widdle's miniature theater to the best of my advantage. The execution of the trick under these conditions makes it more akin to close-up than stage magic (the reverse I hope is true from the audience's point of view). Also, the Diminishing Cards happens to be one of those illusions where it is almost perfect in it's routining. So I have a fine line to walk between making the trick my own (a must), and keeping the integrity of the original routine. This is a challenge I look forward to as I believe the Diminishing Cards has the potential to find a welcome place in Smallini's stage repertoire.