I have invented tricks from listening to a layman's distorted description of what the first or last magician he saw performed. These are obviously tricks that had a strong enough effect to be (partially) recalled later by a non-magician. They have the

added advantage of having been enhanced by the unsuspecting layman. This makes the effect even stronger (and in sane cases, impossible).

Listening to laymen might also alert you to tricks which you thought were real foolers which aren't (unless members of the audience are 'real fools'). Many times magicians can't see the deck for the cards. A second opinion is almost always of some use even if only to blackmail your brother magician.

I invented my One-hand Faro Shuffle ( They Dcn't Make Trapdoors Like They Used To, Or You Too Can Walk On Water. 1977) after Jim Culver described the regular one hand shuffle (from Vernon's card book) to me over the phone. We were just kids starting in magic when he moved to Indianapolis. I had read about the one hand shuffle but had never seen a description in print. He saw someone do it at a ring meeting and learned how to do it himself. Then he called me to enlighten me. For two years I thought I had followed his instructions to the letter. I later found out that I started with the deck held ty the short ends while you were supposed to start with the deck held by the long ends. I still use my accidental discovery and I like it better than the original. Remember, Columbus thought he had found a new way to the Far East when he discovered America. Take the advice of my lawyer make the most of your accidents.

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