time common sense will tell you the proper order. But if • audience-test the effect until you're dear on what Plays 8tro what plays weakest. Then, check to see if those magical ¿X*** revealed to the audience in sequence from weakest to stron Qre not. find a way to rearrange them. In magic, as in any narratf*1 If form, it's not just what you do that matters, it's also what owfe do it in. 6i y°u
In discussing surprise we dealt with effects that have seqUentl climaxes. A different situation is posed by effects containing what call (with apologies to the writers of sex manuals) simultaneous climaxes. These are tricks where two separate effects occur at once a classic example is the "Torn Card in Orange." After a selected cardig torn up and the pieces vanished, the restored card is found inside an orange. The appearance of the card in the orange and the fact that it has been restored are both revealed at the same time. Another example is Vernon's "Triumph." After a selected card is lost in the deck, the cards are shuffled face up and face down. When the deck is spread, all the cards are now face down except for the selected card. The righting of the deck and the location of the selection are revealed to the audience simultaneously. An analogous situation is found in Color Changing Deck effects where the back of every card changes except for one card which proves to be the selection. You found the selection and you changed the color of the deck; both effects occur at once.
Such effects may prove confusing to an audience; then again they may not. This is something that must be judged on an individual basis, evaluating the audience's reaction in each case. However, as a guideline I suggest that two factors determine whether simultaneous climaxes will work in a trick: (1) Whether or not the two climaxes are conceptually related; tricks where two essentially unrelated climaxes occur at once seldom work. (2) How demanding it is for the audience to absorb the information in each climax. If a trick with simultaneous climaxes has a problem in either of these two areas it's usually wiser to either make the climaxes sequential rather than simultaneous or to simply do the effect as two separate tricks.
The problem of unrelated simultaneous climaxcs occurs in the "Torn Card in Orange." The restoration of the card and its appearance inside the orange have nothing to do with each other. Therefore, it's disorienting for an audience to be hit with both at once. Like a person sitting in front of two TV sets, each tuned to a different program, the watching two different tricks being performed at the spectator* w same um • ^ better to perform them as different tricks—do a It "ould, ¡Ljtored Card followed by the "Card in Orange" or vicc Torn and reason magicians do both as one effect is that both versa- Theit°ching a torn corner, so they figure they may as well get involve ice from one corner switch. This is the attitude I've double s^vbefore: making things easy for the performer rather than condcinnea for the audience.
rast, let's consider another example of an effect that combines By ^location and restoration in one climax. The magician performs trans oc ^^ four broken pieces of a cigarette. As the pieces travel to corner of the table they also restore until, at the end, the °n!f °mer has one whole cigarette. This trick is also sometimes Performed with the four quarters of a torn playing card. Unlike the devious example, this effect can be presented without confusing the audience. I think this is partly because breaking the translo-cation/restoration process into three phases makes the information easier for the audience to absorb.
More importantly, this step-by-step approach allows the audience to perceive the vanishing of each piece from its corner as simply the means you choose to employ in making the cigarette whole again. This nexus between the two magical effects can even be underscored in your patter: "Would you be amazed if I could put this cigarette back together? Well, I'll do it the hard way—long distance. Watch!" (This is a good example of conceptualizing the effect for your audience through your patter.) Of course, you could break this into two different tricks, first making the pieces gather together, then restoring them into a whole cigarette. But in this case I don't feel it's necessary.
The second factor that must be considered in simultaneous climax effects is how difficult it is for the audience to grasp the information in each climax. Let's again contrast two examples that are similar but different: "Triumph" vs. the "Color-Changing Deck." In "Triumph," you have two climaxes that any audience can easily absorb at the same time. Noting that the cards are now all face down and that the only exception is the selected card is hardly likely to overload the mental powers of anyone of average intelligence. Furthermore, the jo climaxes are conceptually intertwined. Your goal in "Triumph" is nna the selected card. You mix face-up cards with face-down cards selected ^ ^ m°re difCcult to do so- The wa>' y°u then find the Straight ^ iS by makin& 811 the other cards turn face down" election Dg tHe de°k is the means you emPloy t0 locate the
Was this article helpful?