Cheating

As I look through the cards during effects, I don't just passively look for lucky situations. I cull cards whenever I can, to produce a later effect. This is not strictly jazz, as I am planning and setting up, rather than just utilizing what comes by chance. Purists of "The Trick That Cannot Be Explained" would argue that no sleight-of-hand should ever be used in conjunction with equivoque. They say it's "cheating." They are wrong. The only guiding aesthetic for me is to present the most impossible and amazing magic I can by any means necessary.

Combining equivoque with sleight-of-hand will usually produce stronger magic than relying on equivocal skill alone. The idea is to use everything you know, every skill you have, to make impossible things happen. Perhaps I'll cull the three remaining Kings (during the procedure to Stabbed in the Pack), so that, at the conclusion of this first effect, I will secretly have four Kings on top of the red deck, and knowledge of conditions present in the blue one. I show their named card (the King), and then cut to the remaining three Kings. I (apparently) shuffle them into the pack. They then fly out when the deck is shaken. I'm certain at some point to remind them that they themselves called for the Kings. (Not precisely true.) You see how I am mixing standard sleight-of-hand effects in with the equivocal magic? By using two decks, and by switching back and forth from equivoque to more traditional methods, we keep the audience off balance and give ourselves more opportunity to prepare, to analyze, and to notice.

When employing equivoque with cards, you must remember to pay attention to everything. As the cards are shuffled, counted, dealt, and cut, you must be ready to take advantage of anything that comes along. Remember, equivoque is not "a method"; it s a state of mind and a way of seeing.

It is a great discipline to learn to work several effects ahead of yourself. Take opportunities during the presentation of an effect to covertly prepare for future effects. If I know the Ace of Spades is three from the bottom of the blue deck, at the end of some sequence I'll casually shuffle it three from the bottom of the other deck and set it down. I can now present a coincidence effect at a later time. These kinds of preparations, when concealed inside another effect, can make for stunning magic.

Tangled Web

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