Wildcard... plot published precedence

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Jonathan Townsend
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Wildcard... plot published precedence

Postby Jonathan Townsend » March 10th, 2017, 7:17 pm

Hi Folks,
I'm stumbling through Bob Farmer's take on the classic "they all become" card trick and while posting on another thread another question came to mind.

Wildcard presented as impossibly clean card switches

I recall someone doing a four card transposition (maybe a routine for Paul Harris's Reset) with four cards placed away in the pockets and the other four changing ... and it occurred that such might be a funny way to present the "wildcard" effect. A wallet with some cards is shown to have two packets of duplicate cards. One packet is placed in a pocket and then the performer shows off a collection of card switches we all wish could we could do at a card table. Wishful thinking moments from games of blackjack and poker where one or more cards are exchanged - impossible skill demonstrated. :) After all that switching -the cards are placed back in the wallet and the "other" packet removed from the pocket or wherever the cards as supposedly gone after the switches and all put away.

What do you think? And since so many folks have done work on this trick - Precedence in our literature?
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Wildcard... plot published precedence

Postby Richard Kaufman » March 10th, 2017, 8:51 pm

Isn't that Sadowitz's "Student Exchange"? I think that's the title.
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Re: Wildcard... plot published precedence

Postby Jonathan Townsend » March 10th, 2017, 10:17 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:Isn't that Sadowitz's "Student Exchange"? I think that's the title.

Looks like "The More Things Change" predates "Reset" which then got Gary Kurtz and Dave Solomon on the pocket interchange plot from a pack of cards.

Any precedents on presenting "wildcard" as claims of openly switching the cards in context?
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

Philippe Billot
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Re: Wildcard... plot published precedence

Postby Philippe Billot » March 11th, 2017, 3:49 am

The More Things Change (1982) was by Sadowitz and Student's Exchange was by Marlo (1984)


See Genii, November 1997, page 67, Pink-Oh! by Ned Rutledge (first described in Card Party (1965). I think it's a version with exchange.

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Re: Wildcard... plot published precedence

Postby Bob Farmer » March 11th, 2017, 9:24 am

Jon is referring to my routine, "Headhunter," which others have described as follows:

James Patton "... (Bruce Cervon) ... had never seen Bob's classic wild card routine ... Headhunter ... It's great! ... if someone with Cervon's savvy about what's commercial ... tells you it's great, it is."

Jon Racherbaumer "... beautifully done, rich in texture and technical detail ... Your presentation and handling takes the blowoff of Wild-Card and puts it into the Monte Game. Whatta way to go! ... Bravo!"

Basically what I did was to deconstruct every Wild Card routine I could find and extract the best and most eye-popping transformations. Then I took only the best ones and put them into this routine. However, initially the effect is not that one card is turning into a duplicate, it's that one card is changing places with another. The routine runs like this:

7 blank-face cards and a Joker are divided into two piles. The Joker vanishes from one pile and appears face up in the other.

The Joker visibly vanishes from the hands and appears back on the table, face up–twice!

Suddenly, all of the blank cards visibly transform themselves into Jokers.

It's only at the end that there is a mass transformation--which is very shocking because up to that point the audience has seen many, many blank-faced cards. Jon's question, like my effect, is about changing the context so it's less a Wild Card than some other effect.

Here's the ad I used at the time:

BOB FARMER'S HEADHUNTER
They were going to cut my throat. I could see it in their eyes. Savage eyes. A thousand years of primordial violence was on fire in their skulls and the primitive phosphorescence shone out from those eyes and danced the dance of death down here on the jungle floor. Down here in the lush dangerous geography of central Borneo in the year of our Lord, 1937.

Headhunters. The sunlight, filtering green as it drifted down through the layers of tropical vegetation, touched the piles of bleached and shrunken heads, recoiled, then sent fingers of light to probe every lethal dimension of the thin, razor-sharp, bamboo knife that pressed against the flesh at the base of my throat.

They were going to cut that throat.

"You savvy card magic?" I said in the tribal patois I'd picked up in three months of trying to track down the legendary City of Gold.

The blade began to slice into my skin. A thousandth of an inch separated me from infinity. Calculating skin thickness and blood flow, the mathematics of mortality told me my time here on this earth was about to end.

Unless--

Yes, I'd made a mistake. Used the wrong idiom. They thought I'd said "gospel magic" and it had angered them to a blood lust only death could satisfy.

"No! No! Card magic! Do you savvy card magic!?" I screamed.

Well, you know the rest of the story. How they crowned me King, led me to the City of Gold and under my direction recanted their primitive ways, put down their spears, stopped worshiping the boiled thigh of a common chicken and became chartered accountants.

They did savvy card magic.

I knew I had them when that first card vanished from my hands and appeared on the ground. And then it happened again. And again. No matter how closely they watched, it happened. They dropped their knives. And when the mind-shattering climax came--a devastating transformation of cards into other cards--they fell to their knees and began to chant "Bwana god, Bwana god," over and over, until I felt the way Alexander the Great must have felt when the known universe lay at his feet.

Now you can feel that way too. Better than that. You can subvert primitive peoples ignorant of our modern ways, become a King and have the known universe grovelling at your feet.

All you need is HEADHUNTER. It comes with everything you'll need: the cards, the secrets, some tribal patois and even a fabulous presentation for use in more modern societies where the natives need a taste of evil power before they crown you King.

HEADHUNTER. Only 8 cards used. Nothing added or taken away. No extra cards. No rough and smooth. Just fabulous visual magic from start to finish.

HEADHUNTER. Here's your chance to rule the world. Don't let somebody else beat you to it.


I have redone the cards so now they feature a very evil-looking Joker, but I've never gotten around to actually putting it back on the market. I should do a video, but I'm hopeless with video production.

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Re: Wildcard... plot published precedence

Postby Richard Kaufman » March 11th, 2017, 11:11 am




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Re: Wildcard... plot published precedence

Postby Jonathan Townsend » March 11th, 2017, 2:33 pm

Thanks Bob, I didn't want to tip anything about your novel approach to the trick or it's presentation framing or plot setup.

Any thoughts on a gaffed card switching demonstration? We've seen lots of dealing and shuffling but this would be a straight faced collection of lies about skills/mechanics/history of cheating at cards. Keplinge'rs new and improved holdout with the shoe trigger and all that. Works even in hoodies.

Dumb question - if wearing a jacket and some folks think you are using your sleeves anyway - would it be safe to have some rubber bands fall out of your sleeve every now and then followed by a pretend adjustment to something in that side of your jacket? On the routine side it's a kicker load/production and on the method side it permits an oops/with time to fuss-reset during the laugh.
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Brad Jeffers
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Re: Wildcard... plot published precedence

Postby Brad Jeffers » March 11th, 2017, 4:00 pm

Bob Farmer wrote: I should do a video, but I'm hopeless with video production.

Someone was nice enough to do it for you.
However ...
After reading your add copy, I must say, this is a case of the book being better than the movie ;)



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Re: Wildcard... plot published precedence

Postby Bob Farmer » March 11th, 2017, 6:26 pm

This is so awful I couldn't watch it all the way through.

That's so depressing. I spend a lot of time perfecting an effect and method and then to see it absolutely ruined makes me ill.

It's like listening to Lawrence Welk playing Jimi Hendrix.

Perhaps I'll shoot a video and send it to Richard and he can post it with proper editing, etc.

I need a stiff drink!

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Re: Wildcard... plot published precedence

Postby Tom Gilbert » March 11th, 2017, 8:59 pm

Hey Bob that's not fair, he put at least a half hour of practice into it.

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Re: Wildcard... plot published precedence

Postby Jonathan Townsend » March 12th, 2017, 1:09 am

As you can see from the basic plot (don't mind the handling as shown) it's not your run-of-the-mill wildcard. If you caught the opening effects you might have liked that the odd card in the packet is used for a few tricks before the big change. And the theme ... Peter Samuelson's take on classic sci-fi was 1950s - Bob's is ... more contemporary.

I'm wondering if it's sensible to show them a packet of cards that you seem to put up your sleeve or in your pocket so the changes in the trick are plausibly switches rather than direct affronts to ones beliefs about cards. no they are not printed in e-ink and the mat has a battery underneath .... :)

And now for some Hendrix
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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Re: Wildcard... plot published precedence

Postby Bob Farmer » March 12th, 2017, 10:28 am

The Hendrix was great--

What really annoyed me about that video was the use of the Hamman count (or should I say, the attempted use of the Hamman Count). I specifically designed the trick so it would not be used--as a matter of fact, I invented the routine while trying to work out a Gypsy Curse method that didn't use the Hamman Count.

Here's the patter I use.

"I'll bet that if you took one of these cards, you wouldn't be able to tell me what card you took. Not because I may have hypnotized you and made your free will mine to toy with as I please, but because right now, these cards, except for that Joker are blank.

"You see these are not cards used for mere bourgeois diversion nor peasant amusement. No: rather, these cards are used by police psychologists and lie detection experts to test whether or not a person is dishonest.

"Now, I'd like to test you for dishonesty, but I want you to realize something: If you pass the test it means you are a deceitful, larcenous, dishonest, underhanded, black-hearted, villainous, bottom-feeding, criminal scum.

"But if you flunk the test, it means you are scrupulously honest and trustworthy.

"Now there's a psychological reason for having just the one Joker. The test consists of a series of questions about just that Joker and having just one, allows the test subject -- that's you -- to focus on it, without having your mind wander.

"For example, with two piles of cards, if I ask you whether the Joker is in my hands or on the table what would an honest man's say?”

(The spectator says it's in the hands.)

"That's what an honest man would say--but an honest man would be wrong.

"It's on the table.

"Look so far, you're failing the test. You're obviously an honest man. Let's try it again, but we'll use just two cards.

"Now if I turn the Joker face-down, would an honest man say the Joker is face-up or face-down?"
(The spectator says it's face-down.)

"But an honest man would be wrong--the Joker is face-up.

(Show the Joker face-up on the table.)

"Look, so far you’re one of the most honest people I've ever encountered. But somewhere in your soul there must be some spot of larceny, some need to cheat on your income taxes. Reach for that place.

"I'll take the Joker, turn it over and place in the middle of these two cards. Now where would an honest man say the Joker is: top, middle or bottom?"

(The spectator says it's in the middle.)

"But an honest man would be wrong--it's on the bottom."

(Show the Joker face-up on the table.)

"I don't think you've got much of a future as a criminal. You're just too damn honest, but I'm going to give you one last chance to pass this test. I'm going to let you in on a secret. It is possible to pass this test if you cheat.

"How do you cheat? Easy. Look if I turn the Joker over and ask you where would an honest man say the Joker is, you might get the answer wrong because it could be down there on the table or here in my hands.

"But there's one way to guarantee you'll never be wrong. Because if you cheat and make this card and this card and this card and all these cards over here all Jokers you've got to be right every time.

"I'm sorry you didn't pass the test, but you're just too honest. Maybe some of that will rub off on me someday--but somehow I doubt it."


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