History

As I stated in the explanation section of the DVD, I first saw Ronnie Gann do this in his stage show. For those of you who don't know who Ronnie was, outside of seeing his picture in Corinda's 13 Steps (and perhaps own his only book, The Wizard of Odds), let me tell you from first-hand knowledge that he was a magnificent entertainer! Ronnie was the epitome of a real worker and spent many years doing his act on the Playboy Club circuit. This resulted in a show that was totally polished and perfected. It is a real testament to the classics of magic to know that nothing in Ronnie's show could be considered ground-breaking or trendsetting, but it was all solid material that will never be old. His opening was simply a monologue that any stand-up comedian would have been proud to call theirs. It lasted about five minutes and was the perfect opener for Ronnie. By the time he was finished with it, the audience was laughing and loving him!

I hope this reinforces my thoughts in the first guide book about the importance of other things in a magic or mentalism act besides the secrets!

After the monologue, the first effect Ronnie performed was Card Callingwith jumbo cards. Ronnie is long gone and I have no idea if he first learned this effect from Chan Canasta, but whatever the truth is, Ronnie certainly made this effect his own. I can truthfully say I don't know how much of the way I perform it now was copied from Ronnie as it was a long time ago that I saw him do it, but he certainly showed me how effective this single effect is. It instantly made him a mindreader in the eyes of the audience.

Ronnie used the Si Stebbins stack when he performed the routine. I have to admit, as I sat there in the audience, I was tempted to say the name of the next card aloud to the person I

was with! I didn't, of course, but just the thought of someone being able to do that scared me a bit. When I decided, years later, to add the routine to my own show, I wanted to have a system where that couldn't happen. That was where the search for a new stack all began.

I realize that the same could be done to me today if someone knew the BCS, but I would like to believe that anyone who is that advanced in magic would have enough morals not to do so! If that day ever does happen, I guess I will just have to invent a new stack and keep it to myself!

I would like to say a word about the Card Calling effect itself. It is certainly the right of every magician to decide what effects he feels are the strongest, but there seems to be an almost universal conviction these days that the Any Card at Any Number effect is the greatest card demonstration. That might be true from a magician's point of view, but I firmly believe it is not from a lay person's. In my books, The Principles of Magic and my trilogy (Making Magic Real, Making Real Magic, and Essays), I discuss time and time again the importance of doing magic that has meaning to real people. What power do you suppose the average Joe would rather possess, the ability to know where a freely-named card was situated in a deck or the ability to know all the cards in an opponent's hand? The first is clever; the second means making big money in card games!

Card Calling is, in my humble opinion, the single greatest mindreading card effect you can do. That is why I think so highly of it, always include it in my show, and why I spent so much time devising the perfect stack to make it happen!

Friendly Persuasion

Friendly Persuasion

To do this successfully you need to build a clear path of action by using tools if necessary. These tools would be facts, evidence and stories which you know they can relate to. Plus you always want to have their best interests at heart, in other words, you know what is good for them

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