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Getting Your Audience to Remember You
What an audience remembers about my performance, is more important than what they thought about it. A couple of nights ago, I performed intimate magic for 250 people at a banquet. Working with me was two other magi. One of those was a very talented young man. Near the end of the evening, I had the privilege to watch him work for a few minutes. He did things with a deck of cards I would have never dreamed possible. During one effect, a card was selected and returned to the deck. The cards were shuffled, not only in dovetail fashion, but by splitting the deck in half and doing one-handed shuffles with both hands simultaneously. He commented to the audience that it was the result of ten years without a date! I laughed, perhaps a bit too loudly, and he added that I laughed because I knew he wasn't joking.
When he turned half the deck face-up and shuffled the cards together - dovetail without a table - I knew where he was going. Obviously, it was a Triumph effect. But, the young performer never strip-cut the cards. He simply showed a few cards face-up and a few face-down, never reorienting the cards. Instantly, they were all face-down again, save the selected card. It was very impressive. When he turned the ribbon spread cards face-up, they were all in order king through ace. All the cuts and shuffles had been false ones!
After the gig, we three had a bite to eat at a local diner and talked. The talented finger flinger told me a bit of his magical philosophy. He was interested in adopting the position of a young friend of his, that of being a specialist. The friend decided to work with only a deck of cards, nothing more. The philosophy was to be seen as a "master" of one thing rather than very good at many. The card wizard wanted my thoughts on this stance.
I explained that what I witnessed was, indeed, terrific sleight of hand. The audience loved all the tricks - at the time. My concern was with how much they remembered the next day. I have witnessed unbelievable card tricks before, and even though I was trying to mentally take notes to the wonderful effects performed, hours later I couldn't recall most of them. If a trained observer can't remember the effects, how can one expect a lay audience to do so?
Memory and realtime perception often work in opposition to each other. Let's examine what is known as the Artist / Model concept. Imagine an artist has hired a model to do a sitting for him for five hours. During this period, the model sits on a stool without moving. For her, time moves extremely slowly. Each second drags by because there is little to no change in her personal stimuli. For the artist, however, time speeds by. He is sketching vigorously with new ideas stimulating his mind every moment. After the five hour session, he wants to pay her for a couple more hours to complete new sketches. She, of course, refuses as she is close to death by boredom.
So we see how the perception of time differs greatly for each participant. The truly interesting thing happens when they return to their homes and recall the afternoon. The model is asked by her roommate about the session. She replies with a simple answer, "nothing much happened." For her, this is quite true. The five hours were mentally compressed in her memory as a single event, because there were no variations to mark the passing of time. When the artist's wife asks him about the afternoon, he may well need six hours to explain everything that happened for him. His memory is marked by hundreds of variances. His mind cannot compress the event because it is highlighted with spikes of interest.
When an audience witnesses a series of closely related events, their memory compresses them into a single package for storage. This takes place because the audience has no real point of reference, other than "card tricks", and there are no spikes of distinction. I remembered much more than the audience because my mind marked certain tricks with something special, i.e., duel one-handed false shuffles.
Although the simple tricks I performed that night could not compare to his more complicated deceptions in technical skill required, I believe my unforgettable character of Dr. Cocktail is still clearly in the minds of the audience. They didn't know that my tricks were technically easier, nor did they care. As the third magician pointed out during the conversation, an educated audience is the young man's best audience. Someone who knows the basics of card work will appreciate the dexterity required much more than someone who has no reference point.
The Artist / Model concept applies easily to the audience and performers of that night. For the performers, the evening went by slowly. We repeated the same tricks for hundreds of people. The following night, I could recall on a few of the audience members and a couple distinct events. The audience had the artist's viewpoint. The evening went by quickly. The spikes of interest were the separate events that took place for them. They, most likely, remember doing a funny dance bit with the DJ, having their characature drawn, and seeing tricks by three different magicians. They may be able to recall something distinctive about each of the magicians, but they won't remember much about the tricks themselves. The memories of Dr. Cocktail opposed to the memories of the young card worker differ inasmuch as they probably recall a guy named Dr. Cocktail who was very cool and a nice young man who did wonderful card tricks.
This is not to say I did a better job at entertaining the guests. But I did do a better job at being remembered for my character and not my tricks. It all comes down to goals. I had two separate goals that evening. The first was to entertain the guests at the time I was paid to be there. This is often the only goal performers have for their shows. My second goal was to be remembered as someone with which they enjoyed partying. All three of us achieved the first goal. The audience, the booker and performers were all pleased. But, the second goal was successfully reached by me, somewhat by the young man, and perhaps very slightly by the third worker. Not because of technical skill, but because of a clearly defined goal.
I wanted to be remembered as a cool cat and a swingin' sophisticate. My character is Dean Martin meets the Beat Generation. Dr. Cocktail is a walking cocktail party in a penthouse. I provide the audience with planned spikes of interest so when my seven minute visit is mentally compressed, they recall the character. He wears a retro style tuxedo. He speaks with beatnik jargon. He tells a few bar jokes. And he does a few cool tricks. He is not a magician.
I don't know what goal the young performer had. If he wanted to be remembered as a "master' of sleight of hand, I believe he failed. Because, even if the audience remembers they witnessed masterful manipulation, they probably don't remember him as THE master. There have been specialists who are still remembered as THE masters in their field. They used perfectly placed patter about how they fooled Einstein or performed for the Price of Whales. They brought their character into the performances. Audiences recall how they were entertained by "the best" and not "a really talented guy".
You may wished to be remembered as a real wizard, a mindreader, or a master juggler. To understand your own goal as to the memories of your audience requires you to understand your character. You must know the difference between your character and your persona. You must know how you will be perceived. You must understand your audiences.
All of these points and many more are covered in detail in The Secrets to Perfect Paid Performances. For a FREE report on how to energize your performance, send $5.00 U.S. funds for shipping and handling in the U.S. to:
Docc Hilford - 10275 Collins Avenue - Suite 824 - Bal Harbour, FL - 33154 (Overseas please send $10.00 to cover the cost of Air Mail.)
There is no obligation to buy the complete course, and I'm certain the report will change the way you approach your next performance.
DOUG HENNING'S VERSION OF KENTON'S "KOLOSSAL KILLER "
A month or two before legendary magician Doug Henning passed away, he was secretly working on his own stand-up/stage version of "Killer". Doug was very excited about "Killer", but as usual Doug wanted to add his own secret touches.
Ultimately Doug wished to hand the wallet to the spectator, and have the spectator remove the card from the wallet. The spectator was able to take the correct card out of the wallet, as there really was only one card in the entire wallet! Ah, but how?
Here is Doug Henning's solution. We are grateful to be able to pass it along, as only Kenton and one other magician we know of was aware of Doug's secret workings. It seemed a shame to let this method remain hidden from all other magicians. So in a final tribute from Kenton to Doug Henning's brilliance, here is Mr. Henning's work on "Kolossal Killer".
You will need the usual 16 cards, but without the "prediction" written on the back. Instead write the message on a "Post-It" note - one of those self-stick notes - and place this on the back of each card. You will then have essentially the same set-up with the cards, but the writing is now removable. Several people have written us about this idea before Doug created this option for his own work. The problem however is that the cards become quite "thick" to be put into a wallet this way. In Doug's version, this issue is solved.
The next step in the Henning set-up is a small 16 card index that hangs inside your inner jacket pocket. This makes for a very simple index as it only needs to hold 16 cards! Two rows of eight cards or four rows of four cards is all there is to it.
The third adjustment in the Henning version is either a "Card To Wallet" wallet or a regular wallet that can be otherwise easily loaded. This can be in your inner jacket pocket, right above the secret 16 card index. By now, you will probably understand the Henning workings:
Once the card is named, you reach into your jacket as you mention the wallet. As you reach in, you secretly pull the correct card from the index, load it into the wallet, and then bring the wallet into view. If the written message isn't needed, you simply let your fingers pull the note free either as you take the card from the index, or as you load the card into the wallet. The note then stays either in your inner jacket pocket or in the index itself.
Now the wallet is handed to the spectator. She can only remove one card, as only one card is in the wallet. If the written part is needed then she will be removing a card with a note attached to it's back - a change in the prediction made apparently at the "last moment" before going on stage. Notice how innocent and sensible this writing now becomes! It is a wonderful psychological ploy that can easily be placed into the routine using Henning's situation. No doubt you will also see the value of having the spectator on occasion remove the correct card from the wallet and be able to take this home as a souvenir...
While it does take a bit more set-up and practice to do Henning's version, it has some clear advantages. While this version may not be for everyone, it will surely work for a great many. Kenton mentions that a performer may wish to make only one note, and stick it somewhere else inside the jacket - either a bit above the index or even perhaps on the outside of the wallet. This way you will have less bulk in your index. You may also find it easier to "pick-up" the note when needed, rather than trying to "pull it off". Kenton suggests you play with the placement of a single note, and arrange things to make your movements even smoother. Kenton also toyed with another single note concept as follows:
On one side of the note make the usual written adjustment. On the other side write a few items down such as grocery items, a "reminder" to call someone, phone numbers, etc. Place this single note into your wallet. Now you no longer need to worry about adding or taking off the note at all. Once you load the card, the wallet contains both the note and the card. The spectator opens the wallet and sees a playing card and a note. Ask the spectator to say out loud what they see in the wallet they are holding.
If the note is not needed, frown when the spectator mentions the note. "Take that out first - let me see that!" you say to the spectator. "Oh sorry... As you can see it is my grocery list (what have you)..." CASUALLY flash this towards the spectator as you say "It is MINE, not yours - it isn't is it"? This will often get a laugh, especially if you point out you didn't mean to be predicting THAT. (Students of "Wonder Words" will note than this can be said to SUGGEST that perhaps you DID predict the spectator's list. Stop and think about it. The phrase "It IS isn't it?" is a key phrase, and the spectator may well answer "Yes" to which your response "I didn't mean to be predicting THAT" takes on another meaning... We'll say no more about THIS aspect. We've hinted too much as it is!)
Now have the spectator name their chosen card again. Ask the spectator if there is anything else in the wallet besides a playing card. Point out there is nothing in the wallet but a playing card, and that there is only one of those... Then have the spectator remove the card and finish as usual.
Of course if the writing is needed, it will have stuck onto the back of the card when the card was loaded into the wallet. If the spectator ever looks at the back of the note, it just makes the handwritten prediction that much more convincing - you apparently really did just spontaneously scribble something down on a note you had nearby at the very last minute!
Kenton was never able to mention these twists to Mr. Henning as he passed quickly after Mr. Henning talked about his own handling. We suggest that you play with Doug's original twists first, and then see if Kenton's further adaptations work for you. Perhaps Doug will inspire you to further adjustments of your OWN. We're sure he would have loved such a thing...
Kenton wishes to thank Doug Henning for creating this wonderful version of "Killer" and also Chris Smith who first called Kenton about Doug's excitement over Kenton's original routine. If it were not for Chris Smith and his confidence, this version of Henning's may never have seen the light of day. To both we are deeply thankful.
©Kenton Knepper 2000
KENTON'S "KILLER" READINGS
It may seem odd at first that "Killer" has made its way into the area of impromptu "readings". But psychologically this makes perfectly decent sense. Playing cards are symbols after all, and as such these symbols may tell us much about a person. I mentioned this in the Wonder Words Series and used the line "Playing cards that people pick tell us a lot about their personality". The "readings" version of Killer takes advantage of this same language and thought, and carries it to a powerful extreme.
For those who think playing cards ought never have anything to do with "readings" then skip this idea. Many of us would be most grateful if you did. For those with more willing minds, and for those magicians who desire to add a touch of readings (or who are constantly asked if they CAN) in their close-up - this is for YOU.
Mention to the spectator that playing cards are intensely symbolic and have their roots in attributes that are lodged within the deepest levels of the subconscious mind (or something like that)! Then say "When people are asked to merely THINK of a playing card, they generally go through two stages. The first stage is to choose an ACE - based upon social reasoning and influence. But the SECOND stage is the important one. For this is when the person chooses to think of a card that is personal to THEM. It is THIS
card that is thought about that can tell us a great deal about that person's personality... Shall we see if this is true? Just think of a card then - a personal one".
Now comes the "reading" part. If you already do some sort of readings this will be obvious, but if you are new to this, don't let that throw you. It's easy to tell is someone is either outgoing or quiet, an "extrovert" or an "introvert" as some would say. Base your first bit of reading simply on this, remembering always to be complimentary and to not put down your spectator.
There are many other words that mean "outgoing" or "quiet". A person may be "thoughtful" or "active", "reserved" or "adventuresome", "playful" or "self-examined", "ambitious" or "into more subtle areas of life". Essentially you can say the same thing over and over using different words and you will appear to be very accurate and knowledgeable. Practice with a thesaurus and you'll get the idea of this really quickly.
Just begin speaking in GENERAL ways based on these two basic types. Look at the spectator and decide which one type they are likely to be, and then begin by saying "For instance in your case - you're the kind of person that ..." and add in your various words for this basic type.
Now comes your "out" as well as what will later become a "convincer" to your readings.
"Of course I could be wrong. Of which color of card - red or black - are you thinking"? you say as if to verify your reading so far. When the spectator tells you the color of their thought about card, remark "So far, so good". This sounds like you already know something about the spectator and their card, but in fact all you know is what they themselves have just told you!
Now ask the spectator to "concentrate" their mind on the suit of their playing card. The spectator should only THINK about this, and not say anything out loud yet. At this point you already know that the card will be one of two suits. You can think of the RED cards as being more "FEELING" or "FRIENDLY" cards, and the BLACK cards as being more "PRACTICAL" or "BOTTOM LINE" cards. You can also generally tell if a spectator appears to be more of a "friendly" or more "intellectual/bottom line" type of person. If you cannot tell, just use the colors as your guide to likely personality traits. We all tend to have a bit of each of these in our personalities anyway, so you cannot completely fail. Besides, you WILL be correct in the end. Always keep that in mind. Hey, that's what "Killer" is all about after all!
Begin speaking in a manner such as "Ah This suit has to do with getting the job done and seeing through the garbage to get to the bottom line - the POINT. I promise I'll get even more to the point in just a moment. So you may be the type of person that gets frustrated by others when they beat around the bush, and might want to CLUB the bush to see what's really in there. Such types can be bothered by people who they feel get overly emotional. They may say they can see the importance of being rational in most situations". That'll do for black cards and "bottom line" folks. You should get the basic idea, it's all that you need.
If they have thought of a red card or appear to be friendly and more emotional you could say "This suit has to do with being friendly and relating to others - some would say even socially oriented. Culture and art may matter to them, but they might be a DIAMOND still being ever more highly polished. Thinking matters to this type of person, but feelings sometimes override mere rational thought. Such people may even be sensitive and aware of criticism more than others, but they have the best intentions at HEART".
Now you follow this up with our little "out": "Of course I could be wrong, but what suit DID you think about"? Once they answer, restate the part of your reading that seemed to mention this very suit. For instance for a person thinking of a Spade you might say "Yes, that's why I knew it mattered to you to get to the POINT, and to DIG for the facts... just like most SPADE types"! Since you have mentioned either suit or an obvious attribute of that suit, reemphasizing your remarks appears as if you have told THEM ahead of time what their suit was... when once again they have simply told you. At this point, spectators are likely to be getting either a tad nervous or enthralled.
"Now think of the NUMBER on your card... See that NUMBER... Focus in on that DIGIT" you say and pause for a moment. Look at the spectator and frown. "Okay, if it's a COURT CARD think of THAT"! If a spectator is thinking of a Jack, Queen or King, your pausing after telling them to think of their NUMBER will often cause the spectator to feel inclined to ask you what they should do if theirs isn't a number. At the very least they generally get a very odd expression on their face. When you frown and look at them some more, if they are thinking of a court card and haven't said anything, this is when they are probably going to spill the beans. After this second pause, if they still have not said anything and are "holding out" on you, your direct instruction about court cards is likely to get them laughing wildly.
If they don't react at all, then they are probably thinking of a number. Don't worry if you happen to be wrong though. In the end you KNOW you will prove to be right! Once they are thinking of the number remark "Hmmm... Let's focus in more. Think of whether your card is ODD or EVEN". This is also a last ditch ploy for those thinking of a court card to tell you this is what they have in mind. If at any point you KNOW for a FACT that it is a court card the spectator is thinking about, you can go right to the closing "kill". We'll assume however in this case they are still thinking of a number.
Continue speaking "Well, that's ODD..." and then pause. At this point the spectator may scream or laugh or in some other way TELL you that you are right. They may also CORRECT you. If they say "No, it's EVEN" respond with "Please! That's what I MEAN. Let me finish. I'm afraid I confused you! What I was saying was that people who think of EVEN numbered cards tend to be rather shy and do not speak up for themselves, and that just didn't strike me as YOU. I guess you have proved my point"! This gets a laugh generally - just be cautious not to be overly harsh with these comments. Even taken as a joke, it still SEEMS as if you had some sort of clue about their number.
If the spectator does NOT confirm their odd/even status either way, just continue doing your "reading" as follows: "People who choose odd cards tend to be unusual, have unique perspectives and such. Even number people tend to be happy and successful in their own way. You seem to be an odd numbered person as you have that special quality of mystery and secrecy about you, but of course I could be wrong - is your number odd or even"?
If they say "EVEN! Got you that time" you may remark "Yes that's why with your secrecy and mystery about your number I thought... well, I finally missed ONE. It happens on rare occasions. Shall we try one last time"? Notice though that you STILL seem to be CORRECT about the spectator's personality! And that's the WORST case. You have apparently only "missed" ONCE on the card itself.
At this point you know for a FACT what suit the spectator's card is, whether it is a court or number card, and if it's a number - whether it is an odd or even numbered card. Another very subtle thing has just occurred. You have shifted from not guessing out loud what their card is at all, to blatantly stating what you think it might be. This subtle shift tends to cause the spectators to recall that you have been guessing out loud all of the previous times. In truth, you have never risked a thing up until this point. But the spectators BELIEVE that you have done this over and over again. Words such as "I missed ONE" tends to secretly reinforce this notion.
With such a powerful and covert set-up you can go in for the "kill". State flat out "So far I've been doing rather well I think. But there is something more I should tell you. I placed a playing card in my wallet tonight. I just had the feeling that SOMEONE was going to ask me to read them later this evening. When you asked me, I knew that this card was meant for YOU. Having chosen this card myself, you see I already had a fairly good idea about what type of person I was going to meet. The symbols of the playing card revealed a great deal ahead of time. What I was not so certain about was the exact number of the card. I felt I was very close, but moments before we met, I had second thoughts. I still feel after meeting you I am incredibly close. Of course I might be wrong... "
Now for the big secret. Look deep into the spectator's eyes, and GUESS. That's right -take a stab at it. What happens if you are really far off? When the spectator says "No" remark simply "Thank Goodness! You had me rather frightened for a second". If you hit and you can show the card as a direct hit, do so and go home. If not, keep reading.
"I don't read people for a living. You can tell, because there's not much in here (as you pick up the wallet per original instructions)... But I DID have a feeling about YOU. For the first time ever, will you please tell everyone the EXACT number only YOU were thinking about"!
Once the spectator lets everyone in on their number, shake your head and smile. "I was SO close... So VERY close..." you say as you begin to remove the correct card from the wallet. "You were not merely thinking of just a number, but rather an ENTIRE CARD. I have told you what I have thought, and now I will SHOW you..." Either show the written portion or not as needed and finish by saying "Is THAT close enough for you ?!!! I had a feeling... "
This can never read as powerfully as it is in real-life performance. The entire routine happens very quickly and the impact is often well beyond words. I will leave it to you to discover the gold here - or not.
I am well aware that one could scramble this whole thing up a bit, and add in a high/low card portion, leaving the transition "guess" until that point. You could do a whole LOT of things with this. I know that, and I hope that you do. This is simply what I am doing right now. It may not be for those readers who are "purists", but I know many will pack quite a memorable punch with this routine. At the very least I hope I have inspired some of you to consider approaching "Killer" from a readings point of view, as well as magic and mentalism.
The set-up is the same as in my original or you may use another variation if you choose. The easiest version of this is to merely use "Truly Invisible" from the original manuscript or as read in the Wonder Words Series. Ask the spectator to toss one of the invisible halves of the deck away. Once they do, and you have a notion if it is red or black invisible cards they have kept, you can continue with the routine. In this case, you would give a brief reading and then remark "But I could be wrong... Did you think of tossing away the RED cards?" and continue as outlined above.
I would suggest you look up playing card readings in Wonder Readings if you can find it, and also you may want to consult Wonder Words about the phrasing used in this routine. There are a great deal of language deceptions going on in here that I cannot dare spend the time or space pointing out in detail. Students of Wonder Words though should probably be laughing their heads off by now...
Subj: No Subject
Date: 00-06-19 20:14:35 EDT
From: [email protected]
Its been months since I ordered your video, and I am embarrassed to say that I have only finally been able to find the time to see it. Well, your comments on the tape's production quality were certainly not verbal deceptions. I have to say, though, I loved the effects, and after a few moments, the production qualities fell to the backround, and your routines assumed their proper location... the center stage.
My son, Eric, now 12, is doing the torn and restored card routines. I loved the balloon thing, and even I, the person who claims not to know a single card trick , was even spotted working on your color changing deck routine last weekend.
Four weeks ago I was JFK Airport in New York on business. I had time to kill, so I visited a store, where the employee was so bored, he was playing solitaire. I purchased a model plane for my son Eric, and the employee saw my Magic Castle Membership card. He said in the most beautiful Indian accent "Are you really a magician? Please do a trick for me" (notice the double bind he used on me?) and handed me his cards. I really don't do card tricks! But I had a box of cards in my hands, and had to do something (can't we EVER just say NO?)
Thanks to you I had Kolossal Killer in my wallet (my four card version). I
opened his box of cards, and "accidentally" dropped all the cards from the box onto the floor. The people in the store freaked at first they laughed, then they were embarrassed for me, and then didn't know what to think when I told them I didn't need the cards (or "I just need the box" - Ed.), and dropped the cards on purpose. I noticed that about 5 more people had entered the store then, and were watching me. I threw him the box, told him to take out the imaginary deck, and the rest you know better than I.
By the revelation, there were at least ten people in the store to see it, and I was not allowed to leave until after I did a version of "For one to end, one must first begin" on the back of a business card, and present a business card to all in attendance. I told them that if they thought that was magic, they should see what kind of magic I can do with their investments... I got a client if you can believe that!
OK, the real reasons for this letter. I am performing a routine at the Magic Castle early next month, and I am considering doing an eight card version of Kolossal Killer as an opener. There will be some magicians in the audience, but mostly lay people. I would never do KK if you had any objection to me doing it at this venue. To my knowledge it has NEVER been performed at the Magic Castle. Of course, I still have to think up a way to use the fallen cards, otherwise at the end, I am going to be stuck playing 52 card pick up, and I hate tricks that leave cards all over the room.
Please let me know if you wish me to deleate KK, because if so, I'll open with Bob Cassidy's "Chronologue" which is good, but not as fun as yours. I
usually save "Chronologue" for people who have seen KK, it has a similar out, but with an entirely different method.
In any event, keep up all of the good work, I'm still waiting for Wonder Words IV... while I do very few of the actual routines that I have learned from you (with the exception of those listed above, and "Southwest") you, more than anyone, has shaped my need for every routine that I do have meaning, and I thank you for that.
Subj: Thank you for a Killer Koncept!
Date: 00-05-27 18:04:02 EDT
From: [email protected] (Rob)
Just wanted to drop you a note to say THANK YOU for the Kolossal Killer concept! The idea sprouted many new premises in my head on how to make the effect even better.
One that I have figured out is to have a person think of a card (I like the presentation where you have people think of a color red or black, the the suit, etc...; bypasses the "why do you want to know the name of the card?" question). Then be sure he wants the card and not some other. Then, instead of using a wallet I use my pocket. Why pocket? You don't usually suspect a pocket like you do a wallet. Wallets are so suspect of being gaffed, even to non-magicians, I wouldn't use one. There is too big a chance someone is going to look at it closer. Same for the pocket you say? Not really, plus, my idea has me take their guess card out of my pocket (this includes aces and joker!) and the ability to take the pocket that I had pulled the card out of and turn it inside out to show there are no other cards(!) Besides, who is going to inspect a pocket you are wearing? Not too many - and if you do and they are of the opposite sex, you can always quip... sure you can check out my pants pocket privately after the show if you'd like. :) There is a bit more of a setup than the wallet version -- but I feel it is worth it. Anyway, I would never had been able to figure it out without your original concept. Thank You!
Rob Milliken [email protected]
Subj: Re: Question
Date: 00-06-08 09:50:30 EDT
From: [email protected] (it's a zingg thing!)
Reply-to: [email protected]
Thanks. It came through just fine. I really like the post-it idea, and think that the Henning approach sure has some merits. I may or may not try it, however, depending on whether or not I want to go to the trouble of indexing. Loading a wallet is not a problem for me. I just like the idea of a complete "set-up" ready to go when you pop your wallet in your pocket. However, I will give this variation some thought(s)...
Here's a couple for starters. If you keep your trousers and coat pockets clear of other items, you could break the index up with four cards in each pocket. Reds on the right side of the body and blacks on the left, 3's and 6's in your trousers and 9's and Q's in your coat pockets. As you go through the elimination, your mental focus similarly goes to the correct pocket, and if you use my variation of giving them a final chance to change to ANY card, just be prepared to change. There's lots going on and the focus is on the audience, not you, in any case.
I would probably opt for either having a post-it on every card so there is no fumbling. Or, you could put only one post-it in your wallet and depending on whether you had a direct hit or were "off by one" can load the card to either the side that will have it stick to the back of the card, or not stick and be on the front of the card disguised as a grocery list.
You might also consider a Mullica or Himber wallet that you can have a spectator hold from the beginning and do an almost "no-palm" load. I say almost no palm because you will need to cop and hold the card to put it under the wallet, or rather to lay the wallet on top of it.
Frankly, I think you get almost the same effect as having them remove the card in the original if you have them hold the wallet from the beginning of the effect which I have always done since I got the routine.
Back to the variation. There is a wallet that I have only had described to me by Ton Osaka which is a combination Himber and loading wallet. The card loads into a glassine partition like an id window. I'r really love this wallet if I could get it as you can load it and take it out and use the Himber principle to show the id pocket empty, have the spec hold it and then after the magic open to the other side and the card has appeared in the window. Anyhow, that is not necessary for this routine as I believe that there may be on the market just a regular loading wallet where the card ends up in the id window. If I am correct in this assumption, then you have a note with only the off by one message written in the wallet and load the card face out on top of this note. If it is a direct hit, then just have them open the wallet and the card is staring them in the face and you are done. If you are "off by one", then go through the language about knowing that you would be off and have them remove the card to see the proof of the note below.
Anyhow, thanks for sharing Henning's variation with me, and feel free to include this email or edited portions of it with the variation if you so choose.
Best Regards, Allen
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