In The Stanley Collins Aces, the performer places three cards on cach
There is nD doubt that there really is an ace on the bottom of each pile. He'thcn changes each ace into an indifferent card. He returns the sixteen ards to the dcck. He now deals out poker hands, one of which contains ^he aces Or he spells to the aces or otherwise produces them from the
'a ^iese endlngs all have dramatic problems. The ace productions are long and procedure-heavy at just the point when you need a quick, snappy revelation to punctuate the effect. My concern here, however, is not with the dramatic flaw but with the design flaw. Before producing the aces from the deck, the magician must return thc sixteen cards to the deck. This might lead a perceptive spectator to wonder whether the aces were hidden among those sixteen cards all along. (They were.) In fact, producing an objtct from the same place from which it vanished is always problematic. It suggests hiding and revealing rather than vanishing and producing.
The best ending I ever saw for the Collins trick was Jimmy Glippos. After vanishing thc aces, he simply pulled them out of his pocket and tossed them on the table. It was short, dramatic, and amazing. What made it amazing is that he had never gone near his pocket throughout the effect. As you may have guessed (especially if you knew Grippo), the method was four duplicate aces.
This is a good time to discuss the most deceptive way to Use d I've written elsewhere that duplicate cards is one of the three ex most likely to spring to a laypersons mind when watching a cPa?"ions (The other two are a marked deck and cards in the magician's sic ^ card travels from one place to another, the first thing people will ^ 'f) that it's not the same card. And why shouldn't they? Its the comn^6 explanation. In feet, we magicians know that this really is thc casfe***
to achieve this type of effect. '
That's why card-to-impossible-location effects aren't worth perform-unless you can conclusively eliminate rhe duplicate-card hypothesis'^ the audiences mind. If you're not using a duplicate card, the easiest ^ to do this is to have a spectator sign the card. If you are using a duplicaj however, that's not an option. So how can you use a duplicate deceptively: I have found that you can dispense with having the card signed as l0n? as the effect you're performing incorporates any two of the following three conditions:
1) The card in question is indisputably a free selection. (You couldn't have planted a duplicate of the chosen card in advance because you didn't know what card the person would choose.)
2) The card is shown to have vanished from its original location prior to showing rhat it's arrived at its new location. (Showing that che card has vanished creates the presumption that it must be somewhere dse. When you then show that it is somewhere else, the audience is mote inclined to believe that it's the same card.)
3) The location that the card eventually travels to is shown empty at the outset. (You couldn't have placed a duplicate card there ahead of time because there wasn't any card there.)
Suppose you have someone select a card from the deck in standard fashion. Let's assume that it's the three of clubs. You have the card returned to the deck. You now instruct the spectator to pick up the card case, which has been lying on the table. He looks inside and finds the three of clubs. No intelligent person will believe that it's the same three of clubs.
Suppose, instead, that you do it this way. Have a spectator pick up the card case and examine it to satisfy himself that its empty. Turn thc deck face up and spread through it slowly as you ask thc spectator to touch the face of any card he wishes. When he does, give him the opportunity to ind Once he has settled on a card—we'll assume it's the three
£hi»ech'S "liirc upthe dcck and turn ,C facc doWn- Pcrform a magic ges-¿ards. Then hand the dcck to the spectator, instructing him lUrr ovcr * card from the pack. He finds that thc card is missing. With
(Ofe*0* . oU pick up the card case that thc spectator had previously h3n d pul| out the three of clubs.
e$aitt'n win doubt that it's thc same three of clubs. I don't have a meth-
N° ¡^version. But I'm sure that, if I came up with one, no one would od Tor jupiicate despite the fact that thc card is unsigned.
^ example incorporates all three of the conditions I listed. I)
11,15 ator has an indisputably free choice of a card. 2) The card case is lhS Thcd to be empty at the beginning of the trick. 3) The card is shown
'S vanished from the deck before it's found in the card case.
10 T "don't have to go rhat far, however. I once saw a sign in a printing
0U read, "Speed, Quality, Low Price. Pick any two." The same can
* * ' " ~ ' 1 -I-.'»'/» E»npriinre Kac cViovun rkir if shop that/f3 > conditions 1 listed above. Experience has shown that if besaidof the w----------f on „ff„rr i ra n opt awav wirb
"firsTis usuTlly'the toughest one to achieve. There are, of course, j tj... mirw fnrrpc ctre- sn rnnvincinc rhar
° norate any two of them into an effect you can get away with vou can incorp ____j you can in«« r—- - • using duplicate cards unsuspected.
usually the toughe manv ways to force a card. But not many forces are so convincing that afterward the audience will be positive it was a free choice even in the face of strong evidence to the contrary. (And that's just what producing an unsigned card from an impossible location is). Generally, the only selection procedures that can carry that weight are having a spectator think of a card. name a card, or pick one from a face-up deck (complete with thc option of changing his mind). If you've salted away a duplicate in an impossible location, you probably won't be able to use any of those procedures. (However, Simon Aronson's Red See Passover proves that sometimes you can.)
It's the second and third conditions that offer the most possibilities. Establishing the vanish before producing the duplicate is based on the premise that it's easier to avoid arousing suspicion than to quell it after it's been aroused. It's also based on the fact that the sequence in which a person receives information helps determine how he'll evaluate it. Compare the following two scenarios.
(ieckT"'0 °ne: Y°U ^^ sPectaror return his three of clubs to the • You then have him look in the card case where he finds the three of
your w'ththc aces.)
Travelers by reversing the plot. The deck travels to the pJ^Hv^ las, ace behind in the performers hand. This is done throy u methods. The performer palms the deck and pretends to rc °nc «* \ pocket or he dumps the deck into a pocket under misdircj^ h fr% openly removes it. In his Travelers Under Pressure, Steve Ehlc^V^ ^ producing a distant duplicate can enhance this approach. Af bo> the first three aces from different pockets, he squashes the dccU Nlini his hands, leaving only the fourth ace. He then shows thai thc returned to the card case that has been lying untouched on the^kL ^ real deck ends up in his pocket. The one he produces has been in since the beginning.
If you wanted to stick to the theme of pulling the cards from pockets, you could still use the distant duplicate concept. Start Wj, cold deck in one pocket. (This deck would, of course, be minus the The important thing is to choose a pocket that you won't be going anv where near during the effect. In the last phase, you can either dump tf,c deck, except for the last ace, into a side pocket under misdirection or you can palm it. In the latter case, you reach into a pocket searching for theacc Leave the deck there and come out empty handed. Continuing to search for the ace, you reach into the pocket holding the duplicate deck and pull it out. Finally, reveal that your other hand is holding the ace.
The distant-duplicate approach offers a couple of advantages here. One is that it allows you to introduce a stacked deck in a subtle manner. More relevant to our discussion, however, it injects distance between method and effect. You ditch the deck one place; you produce it from another. Producing the deck from a location that you haven't gone anywhere near throughout the trick can only make the effect more miraculous.
Nor are these ideas limited to playing cards. In the three-shell game, the usual approach is to palm the pea out of one shell and load it under another. This violates the no-contact condition since, before the pea can travel from point A to point B, the hand has to touch point A and then point B. However skillfully thc sleights are performed, the direct path is there to be seen. That's why the operator typically throws in various feints and acquitments to make the path a little less direct. This is good enough to get the money on the streets and to entertain a close-up audience. But it's not enough to create a miracle.
Lets apply the principles we've been discussing by adding a duplicate pea (an idea long used by street hustlers). The pea you've been using isin I Chapter 5: Spatial Distance
. . three shells have been shown empty. Load a duplicate pea - |l vie* -x ' 'bcr one. Then isolate this shell by placing it under a glass or V*» "Unbv having a spectator place his finger on it. Place the visible ></nUmber two. Steal it out as you move shells number two a u»Jcr Ditch thc pea. To reveal the climax, first turn over shell
^ th'* ar0l'nd dien shell number three. Finally, have the spectator turn "un,bCr,lumber onc to reveal the pea.
,,vsrn.jencc would have expected thc pea to be under shell number •H* Saw you place it. They would have accepted its appearance ,tt°WhCr|l number three since you also came in contact with it. But there under she n fro[n shell number two to shell number one that could
** -ears ago. Arthur Emerson marketed a marvelous effect called Nli/";>; Glass. The performer shows an empty drinking glass. He spreads ^'handkerchief arid places the glass in the center. Gathering the ends of ""'h ndkerchief to form a bag, he gives it to a spectator to hold. Another rator peeks at a card in thc deck. The magician makes a magic gesture. Sen'he now deals through the deck face up, the spectator finds that his ^ isgone. It is found jammed inside thc drinking glass.
The selected card is forced, and later vanished, by means of Annemann's double-card gaff. A duplicate is hidden in a secret pocket in the handkerchief. In the process of wrapping the glass, the card is loaded into it.
This effect neatly illustrates the advantages of producing a distant duplicate. First, you defeat the law of antecedence by loading the card in the class before it vanishes from the deck. Second, you isolate the site of the final climax by allowing a spectator to hold the wrapped glass suspended from his fist. Third, you eliminate any causal path for even the shrewdest spectator to uncover leading from thc deck to the glass. Finally, by showing the glass empty at the outset and establishing the vanish before revealing the reappearance, you eliminate suspicions of a duplicate.
One of the underlying premises of this book is that, if the spectator doesnt realize when the method happened, he'll never figure out how it happened. There are two sides to achieving this. The first is to prevent him rom realizing that it happens when it does. The second is to make him feel ^ai.it happens when it doesn't. Interestingly, distance plays a role in both. rcate tlle '"us'0n of distance when the method actually happens. Create
- A false proximity in this case would just make the effect less
¡tina*ing" bcr these are all techniques for solving problems. If you fed RCItlCffocc you're doing is fine as it is, you may not want to change any-lharanif vou're not getting the reaction you want, you may be able to use moment can possibly explain the result. Both the Ring on WanT * th" tWn8' imity r0 lure thc audience in the wron6 dircction- Use distance to and the Collectors example offer the choice of presenting the J*^ &'5e P?*hen the method really happens. Use proximity to falsely position
____:_____m„cl™-3rinn. Which is herrer? Whirl,» ct as a co"cta „f r|ie effect in the audience's mind.
[hc moment ottn coins at that moment would be impossible. And, of course, tha • we want them ro feel—that they're seei ng the impossible. ' *S In rhe Collectors example, if che selections are already Secr, laced between thc aces, dropping them on top of the deck and im^t spreading the cards would work well because nothing that happ'^'H moment can possibly explain rhe result. Both the Ring on * 31 lh,t penetration or a translocation. Which is better? Whichever is furthestf the real method. r°m
Consider on final example. Earlier I described John Carney's Se on the Jack Sandwich, which uses a dummy card for time displacement^ performer places rhe red jacks on the table. He then has a card selected and lost in the deck. With no further handling he spreads the jacks to show a facedown card crapped between diem. The audiencc assumes that this must be the selected card. Only then does the magician palm the selected card and load it between the jacks. The lack of contact makes this an amazing card-to-impossible-location effect.
By contrast, I have an unpublished sandwich trick called Hard Target In one phase, I square the two red jacks on the deck, stealing the selection under them. In displaying the jacks, I secretly load the card between them and place them on the table. (The situation is the same as in Carney's effect except for one key point. I don't isolate the jacks until after the card has been selected and returned to the deck.) I now hand the deck out for shuffling. After the spectator's shuffle, I dribble the deck on the table and toss the jacks into it. I then show the selection trapped between them.
Hie implication is that the jacks "caught" the selection as they landed in the shuffled deck, a true impossibility. Tossing the jacks into the deck provides the false proximity that makes people believe that the selection was trapped ar that moment rather than when it really happened.
Would it be stronger if I ended my trick as Carney does, just spreading the tabled jacks? No because, without the false proximity, the audience would search for the one moment when the jacks and the deck came together. Some might remember when I squared the jacks on the deck and suspect chat this was when I loaded thc selection between them. Hard Target would make a weak card-co-impossible-location effect. But the false proximity makes it a strong demonstration of impossible skill. Would it be stronger for Carney co end his trick as I do mine, by tossing the jacks into the deck? No because bringing che jacks in contact with the deck after the selection is buried in rhe deck would only provide the audience with an
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Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.