Another way to invent tricks is to modify existing tricks. Who says that "Cards Up The Sleeve" must be performed with cards? Who says the cards have to go up the sleeve? Why don't they go down the sleeve or penetrate through the sleeve proper? Where is it written that you have to use a sleeve? What other objects suggest themselves which might also offer presentational ideas? These are all ways to change existing tricks.
Probably the most common way to alter a trick is to do it backwards.A good example of this is the "Reverse Matrix." After the coins travel to one corner of the mat, they immediately return to the four corners from whence they came. All you are doing is performing the same effect backwards and doing it all at once rather than one coin at a time.
Another example of a backwards classic is Allan Ackerman's "Reassembled Finale" in Close-up Fantasies - Book II.
This is the standard four ace assembly which has been putting audiences to sleep for years. However, at the conclusion, each ace returns instantly to its respective packet.
I get a lot of use out of Karrell Fox's "Plural Card Thru Hank" from Another Book. First you perform the classic effect v/here a chosen card penetrates a handkerchief. You offer to repeat. When you shake the handkerchief the second time around, all the cards drop to the floor. All, that is, except the chosen card which is still inside the hank.
There are unlimited ways you can change existing tricks. Try changing the props, the sequence of events, or the method. Can you add something to it which would add something to it? Can you take something away from it without taking something away from it? Try and look at the same trick in ways which nobody else would think about. Work to improve each effect.
However, you must also know when to stop. If it's not broken, don't fix it. If the deck is really shuffled, there's no need to cut it. In other words, don't change something just for the sake of change. Remember A1 Baker's cutting observation: "Many a trick has died of improvement."
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