Prior Commitment as part of a routine

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timbrown
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Prior Commitment as part of a routine

Postby timbrown » November 21st, 2016, 3:32 pm

An effect that I really like is PRIOR COMMITMENT (PC hereafter) from Simon Aronson’s book “Try the Impossible”. In this book Simon points out that after performing PC you will end up with exactly nine cards. These are the original nine cards from the top of the deck at the beginning. If you perform PC You might as well use these nine cards to create a routine. A lot can be done with nine cards if you give it some thought. Here is one routine that I use if I have four spectators. This can be done with less people but the final phase is more fun with four different people. You will need to have the books TRY THE IMPOSSIBLE (Simon Aronson), THE SECRETS OF BROTHER JOHN HAMMAN (Richard Kaufmann) and “Tom and His Merry Men (A Lecture by Tom Dobrowolski)” for all of this to make sense. Books are your absolute best source for the great material and these titles can be obtained easily. You might have to search a little for the Dobrowolski notes.

PRIOR SET-UP (from the top):
4 Aces, any 3, QH-KH-KS-QS, Face-up Joker (#18 written on the back), 18 indifferent cards, Face-up Joker (#43 written on the back), the remainder of the deck
You will notice that this is the set-up that is used for Prior Commitment with the nine top cards arranged for Brother John Hammon’s “TWINS” and Ed Oschmann/Tom Dobrowolski’s “The Contest: Poker Player’s Picnic REDUX”

MY ROUTINE:
Phase #1 Perform “PRIOR COMMITMENT”
When you turn over the two Jokers at the end of PC you will have plenty of distraction/misdirection to cut the top 5 cards to the bottom of the deck. Set the deck aside. Then, after the spectator’s reaction to PC has settled down, pick up the deck, pick up the two cards that were selected during PC and put them into the middle of the deck. Leave the two jokers on the table or put them into the card box.
Perform a false shuffle and false cut (I use the OSE cut) and reassemble the deck.
Phase #2 – HAMMON’s TWINS (from “The Secrets of Brother John Hammon” by Richard Kaufmann)
Count off the top four cards (reversing their order). These are used for your performance of “TWINS”
Afterwards, gather up the four cards and place them into the center of the deck and put the deck face down in the center of your performing area.
Phase #3 – Perform “The Contest: Poker Player’s Picnic REDUX” from Tom and His Merry Men (A Lecture by Tom Dobrowolski). This simple effect always causes astonishment from my spectators.
At the end of all of this you will have the four Aces, ready for your favorite effect that uses them. I usually don’t use them but if I do I perform “Four Sided Gemini” from John Bannon’s book “Destination Zero”. Another great effect.

So what do you think of this routine? If you had a nine-card stack what effects would you perform?

Joe Mckay
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Re: Prior Commitment as part of a routine

Postby Joe Mckay » November 22nd, 2016, 3:19 am

That is a nice routine. Well done. It is always interesting to try and routine effects to take advantage of the leftover situation from a previous effect. It reminds me of something Max Maven calls Ecological Magic (e.g. instead of cleaning up a reversed card from a previous effect - make use of it in a follow-up effect). I really like Max Maven's notion of ecological magic wherein the "waste" product of one trick sets up the next.

Personally - I would want to make use of some kind of stack for those 9 cards. Rather than simply have the correct cards in that pile for a follow-up effect which could just as easily be found by running through the deck and throwing out the cards needed.

As such - I would be inclined to make use of a Progressive Speller stack. usually these stacks are about 5 cards long (I forget the exact number). But there are some variations that extend the concept to a packet of 9 cards.

I am not much of a card guy these days. But I just wanted to chip in with something since your interesting post is worthy of further discussion.

Cheers!

Joe Mckay
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Re: Prior Commitment as part of a routine

Postby Joe Mckay » November 22nd, 2016, 3:49 am

Stewart James in the On To Toronto chapter of The James File is an interesting lengthy routine that sets up one effect after another - from a borrowed shuffled deck. Along similar lines - Allan Slaight has some excellent lengthy routines where about 15 effects are all found in the same stack. This work can be found in IBIDEM (and his book Spins and Needles).

My favourite example of this is The Robot Deck by Stewart James. You can read about it here:

http://stewartjames.magicana.com/P_stac ... stack.html

Also - if you ever have a trick that has a bunch of reversed cards in it at the end - and you want a simple way to straighten out the deck before going into other tricks - then the following Johnny Thompson idea is a very useful one:

Turn half the deck face up and shuffle it into the face down half. You then ask a spectator to run through the deck and straighten out all the face up cards.

You then explain to her that it took her about 40 seconds to do it. And how it is quite a cumbersome procedure.

You then then (with the deck - which has cards all facing the same way) go into your favourite Triumph routine and show her how quickly you can bring order from chaos with the use of magic.

This strategy can be used to clean up most other tricks as well. It is a useful tip to remember.


Okay - thinking about this some more - how about you make use of a Straight Shuffle by Roy Walton? That trick requires a 5 card stack at the bottom of the deck and a 5 card stack at the top of the deck. I know you asked for tricks making use of a 9 card stack - but we will just run with this for now...

Anyway - at the end of this effect - you are left with a deck of face up and face down cards that are shuffled together. You could then make use of the idea above to go into a Triumph effect to finish off.

I am not sure how important any of this is though. A deck switch is very easy to do in magic - so that is generally the approach that allows for stronger magic. My favourite is a Bill Goldman idea. You force a card on the spectator - turn around as she shows it around (so you cannot get a peak at it) - and with your back turned - you switch the deck inside your inner jacket pocket for a deck of 51 cards which has the card you forced missing from the deck.

Anyway - this sort of thinking is great fun. But from discussions I have had in the past - the consensus seems to be that it is best to just focus on the strongest magic possible. Rather that working out what extra effects you can squeeze out from a deck already in use.

Another simple deck switch is to do some effects - pocket the deck and pull out some coins (or whatever) for a follow up trick and then pull out the deck from your pocket (this is a different deck - that is stacked) and false shuffle the deck and continue with some more tricks.

timbrown
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Re: Prior Commitment as part of a routine

Postby timbrown » November 22nd, 2016, 6:53 am

Thanks for your comments Joe! I will give some of your ideas a try. This may require the purchase of the Stewart James books (...I hope that my wife gets the hint .... Christmas is coming soon!)

Lately I have been "stacking" the top 9 cards with the set-up for John Bannon's "Matchismo" from his book "Destination Zero". This effect (another great one from Bannon and one that requires exactly 9 cards) is also available from the "Move Zero Volume 2" videos and John's performance can be found on his website or on YouTube.

I start with "PRIOR COMMITMENT" and follow this with "MATCHISMO"
These are two really powerful effects that when done from the same deck that has been "shuffled and cut" by the spectator between the effects makes the proceedings completely astonishing. I get a great response from this small routine. The set-up is really simple for both.

MY APOLOGY: In my original post I mentioned the effect TWINS by Brother John Hamman. I then proceeded to misspell his name several times. I did get it right one though! Brother Hamman was an exceptional creator of very good card magic and I respect him and his body of work immensely. My wife and I were fortunate to have been seated between Brother John and Al Goshman at a lunch table during a convention in St. Louis. They both performed amazing magic, John with a deck of cards and Al with just about everything on the table (forks, saucers, salt shakers, etc.). It was an experience that I will never forget!

timbrown
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Re: Prior Commitment as part of a routine

Postby timbrown » November 27th, 2016, 8:54 pm

What great card tricks can be done with exactly nine cards? Any ideas?


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erdnasephile
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Re: Prior Commitment as part of a routine

Postby erdnasephile » November 27th, 2016, 11:05 pm

Jim Steinmeyer's Nine Card Problem. (although the speciific identities of the cards are not important in this trick).

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Steve Bryant
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Re: Prior Commitment as part of a routine

Postby Steve Bryant » November 27th, 2016, 11:07 pm

Q: What great card tricks can be done with exactly nine cards? Any ideas?

A: David Regal's Journey to Love (A, 2, 3, ..., 8, 9). See Constant Fooling, volume 2. You can also find a version in the new Handsome Jack book.

timbrown
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Joined: March 26th, 2008, 10:24 am
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Prior Commitment as part of a routine

Postby timbrown » November 28th, 2016, 7:43 am

erdnasephile wrote:Jim Steinmeyer's Nine Card Problem. (although the speciific identities of the cards are not important in this trick).

I love the Nine Card Problem from Steinmeyer! Thanks for your input!


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timbrown
Posts: 125
Joined: March 26th, 2008, 10:24 am
Favorite Magician: Frank Garcia
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: Prior Commitment as part of a routine

Postby timbrown » November 28th, 2016, 7:46 am

Steve Bryant wrote:Q: What great card tricks can be done with exactly nine cards? Any ideas?

A: David Regal's Journey to Love (A, 2, 3, ..., 8, 9). See Constant Fooling, volume 2. You can also find a version in the new Handsome Jack book.

I'll check this out tonight! David's stuff is amazing and he is one of my favorite magicians. I hope to see him "live and in person" someday.


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