Rposite Perfect Method

method: forcing the Jonah card on the spectator But eo a famous stage illusionist had a TV special. On it he per cent way each tune. The result is that the spectator^ ^".Station unequaled before or since. The camera showed the

'°rm woman from every possible angle. There could be no means of pore It was just magic.

Those with inside information knew that thc magician had taped three different levitations using three different methods but all with the same woman These were then edited together to combine thc best features of each Magicians, who tape these shows and study them with the dedication of a Tnlmudic scholar, noticed that the audience members in the first row kept changing from shot to shot. Most other viewers never suspected that they were watching a composite. They just thought it was a miracle.

Before you start envying the advantages available to those TV magic guys, consider this. Suppose you decide that you want to put together an Ambitious Card routine. Would you like to be able to have a card freely selected and signed on the face? Would you like to really insert it in the middle, and let the audience see the face of the card as you push it in? Then, without any kind of manipulation, cleanly show that the signed card has arrived on top? It would be the perfect method, wouldn't it?

The good news is that you can achieve all those elements in yout Ambitious Card routine. The bad news is that you can't achieve them all in the same phase. The really good news is that it doesn't matter. If you structure the effect properly, you can achieve the different conditions I described in different phases. And, if you present it properly, you won't need a TV editing booth. The spectators will edit the different phases together in their own minds.

Ihis approach exploits the audience's tendency to seek one explanation all demonstrations of the same phenomenon. As Tamariz writes in The ag'c Way: "Remember that psychologically, we tend to think that, 'The ^causes produce the same effects.'"

count, another time the Olram subtlety, another time multiple lifts y

Mexican Poker from rhe same book also illustrates routining that the same method bur varies the technique. Since Mexican Poker ij" US<S sion of the Ten-Card Poker Deal, each of the five phases relies on the3 method: forcing the Jonah card on the spectator. But I force the carl a different way each time. The result is that thc spectator has freedom of choice at different points and in different ways in the different phases 1he composite result is a feeling of total freedom and control on thc spectator's part. (For yet another case study of this approach from the same book, see Darwin's Wild Card)

Complete Time Displacement

In some multi-phase routines, all thc work is done before the first phase begins. A good example would be Daryl's Psychological Assembly. One at a time, three aces vanish from their packets. They are then shown to have joined thc fourth ace in the leader packet. The reality is that all the aces were switched out of the follower packets and into the leader packet before the first phase.

Such tricks arc really mock multi-phase effects. You achieve all the magic at the outset but reveal it piecemeal to create the illusion of several different phases. Nonetheless, such effects can achieve some of thc magical power of true multi-phase routines if there are sufficient convincers to disguise the truth.

Combining Different Methods

Now we come to the real powerhouse approach to multi-phase routines and the reason why repeat ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

who wants to create a true magical experience.

hav, A mY'anS k"OW Chat' for alm°" any effect in existence, magicians If you oef 2 V3riety °f ^ °fachieving Lay people don't suspect this, even onr w T, ^^ effcct' k's difficult for the audience to imagine many way! 8 ^ har% '¡kely to think that there may be

I explain thar, when I riffle the deck, the card will right pants pocket. I riffle the cards dramatically With^' "^Xto hand I reach into my pocket and partially pu|| out cheet^^C enng the index with my thumb, I bend the card outwa d bs C£ can see the face as I look at the card. 1 then push the c ?Jhcaudi^ pocker as I say, "Did you select the seven of clubs?" Ihc audi k itUo the a seven pip but assumes that I must have. Otherwise h« ,cncc neverSecs what the selected card was? W w°ul<l 1 know

As they react to the miracle, 1 palm the top card. "But do • u initials on it?" I say as I produce the palmed card from my" Norman Houghton's pocker load). "Yes, it does," I say as I hand ki^"8 to a spectator. Thanks to Carlyles genius, the method (palmine) h u* pened after the critical interval. 8 35 haP-

Now comes the new second phase. I have the spectator return the to the deck and I apparently leave it jutting out of the center. In fa"*1 perform a variant of the convincing control in which 1 bottom palnuhe selection in my left hand while appearing to leave it outjogged

I explain that I will again make the card travel to my pocket. As I» this, I gesture to my right pocket with my empty right hand. My right hand squares the outjogged card and riffles the deck. Immediately mv left hand travels to my left pants pocket and produces the selection by means of the Houghton pocket load. This time, the method (palming) has happened during the critical interval but is covered by the surprise of going ra a different pocket with a different hand.

"That wasn't fair," I say, "Because you were expecting it to travel to this pocket, weren't you?" As I say this, 1 transfer the deck to my left hand and the selection to my right hand. In illustrating my comment I slip the selection into my right pocket for an instant and pull it out. In fact, I perform the pocket switch that is the key to the last phase of the Carlyle effect.

I insert the "selection" into the deck, leaving it outjogged as I explain that I'll do it one last time, this time once again to the right pocket. I casually flash the face of the "selection," covering the pip, as I comment that the card is clearly buried at least halfway down in the deck. The eight is, ot course, taken for the seven of clubs. (Hie audience assumes that the initials must be on the portion of the card hidden by the deck.)

All that remains is to square the card, riffle the deck, and Produce^ selection from my pocket with an obviously empty hand. Ihis tunc, aga thanks to Carlyle's brilliance, the method (a switch) has happened oep the critical interval.

before, one during, one after the critical interval. One pha5C liaPtbe method happens after they expect it. In the third ,he fi1*1 Pl,aSe'j happens before they expect it. In between there is a ihe ®ieth° ■' happens when they expect but not in the man-r n which the me

{foe Rulf ^ r gncgt peop[e wiU call it an accident. If you do it twice, 'Ifyou do 5°metWhence. But do it a third time and you've just proven a lhey oill * a comc natural I*"'

Gracc Murray Hopper, mathematician and computer science pioneer

This is a good time to discuss the so-called "rule of three." Magicians often cite it. But understanding it is another matter. As always in magic (and just about anything else) understanding is better than mindless parroting. So its worth exploring why and how the rule of three works.

You'll recall from high school geometry that it takes two points to define a line. Similarly, it takes two instances to establish a trend. In a narrative, the first two instances create the expectation. The third instance works by either confirming or subverting that expectation.

Consider fairy tales. In The Three Little Pigs, two houses are enough to establish the pattern: the wolf blows down pig houses. The third house provides the payoff. That's why The Boy Who Cried Wolf only gets to do so three times. Also, the genie grants you exactly three wishes. When you squander the first two, the audience detects the pattern and waits to see if you learn from experience or fritter away the third one also.

Jokes provide another example. Spend some time watching Comedy Central, keeping the rule of three in mind, and you'll be struck by how many jokes consist of the comic offering a list of items, the last of which doesn't fit (at least in the expected way). Almost always, the list consists of three items. Hie first two establish the pattern. The third breaks it. In sitcoms, often one character will make a comment. A second character will °ftcr a suitable follow-up. Then a third character will add a wildly inappropriate comment. This comedy formula is sometimes known as setup, setup, Payoff As Jon Vorhaus observes in The Comic Toolbox, "If you have three ^ups, it's just redundant."

Similarly, a person can't rhink about two tilings at the same time y it's impossible to make someone not think about something. We ( make him think about something. In thematic misdirection, we giVe th' audience something to think about so that they can't think about wh don't want them to notice. Just as, in physical misdirection, you direct the audience's eyes away from one thing by directing them tomrd_soraet\i]^ else, in thematic misdirection you direct the audience's minds away froi^ one idea by directing them toward, another idea.

In this case, we want to sell the strength of each phase and gloss over the weakness. There's nothing difficult about it. In each phase, talk about the unique, stringent condition that particular merhod allows. Keep the spectator's mind focused on that and he'll have no chance to think about its weakness. Thus, as you move from phase to phase, you go from strength to strength. Afterward, the audience will assume that the strength of each phase was present in all the phases—which means there are no weaknesses to provide a clue to any possible method.

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