Presentation

As with any effect that involves extensive audience interaction, your presentation will evolve over time. The more you perform it the better it will get. You 11 find that many of your best patter lines will originate as comments from the audience. To give you an idea of what to aim for, here is my script for Liar s Poker John, Fd like you to shuffle the deck. Shuffle as much as you tuant and just put the cards doum whenever you re satisfied they re u> eil mixed. Not all the methods...

The Last Laugh

Among my favorite types of effects are those that contain a no way moment. Just before the climax, the spectators realize how the effect is going to end and begin expressing their disbelief in various vocal ways. The audience works itself into a state of excitement before you even reveal your success. The following effect contains a great no way ending. It also advances one of the key subtexts of my performances, that the entire deck is under my control at all times. It's one of my favorite...

Ultimate Fusion

Like images m our dreams, it invades the unconscious mind and touches us deeply as long as were unaware of its iiresencc. if, in a heatjy-handed way, we label images as 'symbolic their effect is destroyed Awareness of a symbol turns it into a neutral, intellectual curiosity, powerless and virtually meaningless. A while back I included this effect in a magic lecture, Rather than following the trick explanation-trick explanation format, I performed all the effects...

Credits

This effect is essentially a combination of two elements, a plot by Dai Vernon (vfirrum's Aces, Close-up Card Magic, pp.162-5) and a concept from Gene Finnell (Gene FinnelTs Free Cut Principle, published in 1967). When Harry Lorayne was collecting material for Afterthoughts (published in 1975), he saw me perform this routine and asked permission to include it. I was initially reluctant because, although I'd been doing the effect for about four years, I'd always figured it was the kind of thing...

Method and Handling

Begin with a couple of false shuffles. Turn to a spectator and explain that you're going to riffle up the outer right corner of the deck and you want him to tell you when to stop. The card he stops you at will he his selection. (This is the standard riffle peek procedure.) All you need to accomplish during this selection process is to ensure that the spectator stops you no further up in the deck than the twenty-second card. (As you'll see, the number twenty-two is pivotal in this effect). If...

Cannibal Holocaust

Missing You Thumb

We. suspend our cynicism and believe in the tale as long as find it authentic authenticity means an internally consistent world, true to itself in de th* and detail Robert McKee, Story In ONE of MY FIRST sessions WITH David Roth, when we were in our early twenties, he mentioned that one ol the things he loved to do in magic was to make an outlandish claim, then prove it. (The Portable Hole is a good example.) This is, indeed, a powerful formula. I think, however, that the more outlandish the...

Appointment in Samarra

The level of the uncanny literally, the unhnoiun affords us a rare pleasure, that of not hmnuing what to think i hat to do. One of the most notable effects in Guy Holling worth s Drawing Room Deceptions is The Cassandra Quandary. It has both an intriguing plot and an appealing presentation. At the same time, it olfers potential for numerous other presentational themes. The method is ingenious but, in my view, too angle-vulnerable, too elaborate in preparation, and too slow-paced for...

Analysis

Some will try to eliminate the need for the duplicate card. In fact, it's very easy to work out an impromptu handling of this effect. 1 don't, however, believe that such a version can ever be as strong. In order for this trick to be a miracle, the audience must deeply believe that there are two different signed cards. The only way to achieve that is to start with two different signed cards. The impact of any effect based on the magician-failure premise depends largely on whether the audience...

Setup

You will need a duplicate card that youVe previously signed on the face. I suggest using a red spot card so that the signature shows up well. Ill assume you're using a six of hearts. Start with the signed six of hearts on top of the deck and the regular six of hearts second from the top. Although not stricdy necessary, I recommend positioning a black picture card third from the cop in order to provide maximum contrast to the red spot card. (For the sake of the explanation, I'll assume this card...

No Wy

In the right context a scene consisting of a single shot in which a hand turns over a playing card could express great change. Conversely, ten minutes of action spread over a dozen sites on a battlefield may accomplish much less. There is nothing more dramatic than seeing someone snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. When it appears to be certain defeat, it's that much stronger. Creating that scenario convincingly in a magic effect is a challenge. This effect meets that challenge.

God of Gamblers

The fundamental principle of a pack of laying cards is the rule of hierarchy. in Darwin Ortiz at the Card Table i wrote that The Ultimate Card Shark was the strongest gambling routine i'd ever found. That's still true to this day. This next routine, however, is a close second. Where the former was a demonstration oi your prowess at crooked shuffling, God of Gamblers is a demonstration of your prowess at crooked dealing. Either will leave your audience convinced that your skill with cards is...

Does It Hurt the Magic

However, even if there are good (non-ego based) reasons for using skill displays, there might be even better reasons for not doing so. The most common reason offered is that, It hurts the magic. The argument goes that if you don't hide your skill, the audience will have a ready explanation for bow your miracles are achieved. It allows them to dismiss them as mere sleight of hand. It prevents them from experiencing what they're seeing as magic. I strongly believe that your primary job as a...

Performance Tips

Sft During the bridge deal phase, when dividing the deck for the two spectators to shuffle, I recommended using a faro check. II you prefer, you can instead use a key card. When you ribbonspread the deck face up, memorize the lowermost card of the spade heart half. After the Laurie Ireland shuffle, this card will be twenty-sixth from the top and will key you where to split the deck. After the two spectators each shuffle half the deck, I described the handling using a push-through shuffle. You...

Possible Abuses

Let me state this unequivocally some magicians misuse flourishes to the detriment of their magic. This no more proves that flourishes are bad than the fact that so many magicians perform lousy magic proves that magic is bad. The value of any device, technique, craft, or art must be judged by evaluating its best practitioners, not its worst. In the interest of covering this subject thoroughly, however, I'd like to touch on some of the ways Used too much or at the wrong time, flourishes can get...

The Professional

A d mmistmtimi of card sharping akoays appeals to the spectators, even more so than card conjurmg or manipulatlon. No matter how expert you are with cards, if someone steps in and does a hit of card sharping his denumstration urili steal the shorn 1 this routine builds on ideas from two Andrew Wimhurst routines to provide a dazzling impromptu display ol your ability to cheat at both poker and bridge. However, the spectators don't need any familiarity with either game to appreciate the real...

Continued

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