Card Stories

by Ariel Frailich

Ariel Frailich is a Canadian card man who has written a charming and useful little book which offers interesting (and sometimes off-beat) stories to use as presentational "hooks" for several standard card effects. You will not find knuckle-busting sleights here, nor will you find radical new methods. The methods have been streamlined, and should be well within the abilities of the average magician. What you will find here are some presentational approaches which will make your card magic more entertaining, and which will (hopefully) inspire you to develop presentational approaches of your own.

The effects here will be familiar to you: the Ambitious Card, the Card in the Mouth, the Collectors, Card through the Table, the Cannibals, Alex Elmsley's "Point of Departure," and others. The stories Ariel has concocted are interesting and unique: a reminiscence of a child's first experience planting seeds, a gunslinger challenge, the lives and loves of the Bloom sisters, a spy story, a presentation based on Barbara Woodhouse's "No Bad Dogs," a gang warfare story, and others. Jay Sankey offers a very strong presentational approach for the simple effect of changing one card into another. Don't pass this routine by thinking that it's old news. Sankey's presentational hook makes this a very strong piece.

Discovering the proper patter and presentational approach for a routine is very important to me. In fact, it is the one factor which has kept me from performing many of the classics of magic; I just can't think of what to say while I'm doing the trick. Far too many magicians simply fall into the habit of telling the audience what they are seeing, and this is a very ineffective use of our words. If you have a problem constructing patter, Ariel has done a lot of the hard work for you. He has created a presentational approach, and has reduced the technical work to a minimum. All you will need to do is to change the words to suit your personality. If your goal is to entertain laymen with a deck of cards, you will find much of value in Card Stories. I recommend it.

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