Performance Tips

The cards you'll be using all have asymmetrical laces. It's important aesthetically to have them all oriented the some way. It's particularly important that the Devil cards always be displayed right side up from the audience's perspective. With practice, you'll soon see how the cards have to be stored in the envelope and how they should be turned over to ensure this. When inserting the Devil card into the face-up packet, you can use the orientation of the ace on the face of the packet as a...

Method and Handling

Take out the envelope and remove the cards. However, leave the top card oi the packet behind. It doesn't matter if the audience sees that a card remains in the envelope, but don't call any attention to it. Place the envelope on the table, flap side down and with the flap on the right side. You're now apparently going to give the cards an overhand shuffle. Actually, you execute Fred Kaps' overhand shuifle variant of the Hamman count. Hold the packet as for an overhand shuffle, but with the faces...

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...

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...

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...

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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