Genii Session: Mirror of the Mind

Discuss the tricks and sleights which appear in Genii.

Postby Pete McCabe » 08/25/02 03:41 PM

I wasn't sure if the word "Session" in the title of Roberto Giobbi's excellent column indicates that its contents are meant for discussion, dissection, etc. more so than the rest of the tricks in Genii, but in any event that's what the forum is for, isn't it?

The thing that stops me about Mirror of the Mind is the choreography. First you remove the wallet with the card and the holder with the mirror and show them. Then you put them back in your pocket. Then a card is chosen. Then you remove the wallet/card and holder/mirror from your pockets again. Why did you put them away?

Mr. Giobbi addresses this point: "Although placing the mirror back into your pocket is not absolutely necessary, it jusitifes the fact that you replace the wallet in the pocket." The mirror justifies the wallet, okay, maybe. But what justifies the mirror? Putting away both items only to retrieve them moments later is not, I believe, worthy of Mr. Giobbi's usual high level of craft.

The problem seems to me to be the type of wallet. I'm sure Roberto is right whan he says the Ed Balducci wallet is the most versatile type of wallet for the "Card to Wallet" and the best for table hopping.

But not for this trick. For this trick the Mullica wallet, which can be left on the table and loaded out in the open, would seem clearly superior.

However I wonder if it would be even better if you keep the blank card in the same holder as the mirror, and don't put it back after you show its reflection is blank.

What if you show the blank card in the mirror and put both down to your right. Have a card selected, control it to the bottom, and steal it in gamblers cop. Now pick up the blank card in the right hand and put it in the left hand, so the right can pick up the mirror into place, adding the copped card underneath it.

After the audience sees the selection in the mirror, cop away the selection and toss the blank card to the side. As a bonus, if the audience dives for the blank card, it is clean.

With this method you can change the presentation slightly; show the blank card freely before and after, it only looks like the selection when it's viewed in the mirror.

Or how about this; let a spectator freely cut a face up (stacked) deck and remove and hide their selection. You learn the selection's identity by seeing the top card of the face up deck so that while you are removing the mirror and blank card from your pocket you also pull a duplicate from a card index. Now the spectator freely selects a card which you never touch and which they never relinquish the trick still works.

Think about the effect, as Richard Kaufman once wrote; it might just be worth the work.

Finally let me just say that I hope this is not taken as a criticism of Mr. Giobbi's work. It's still his basic effect which provides the bulk of the mystery and entertainment in this trick. My suggestions are only made to streamline and dramatize Roberto's excellent foundation.
Pete McCabe
 
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Postby Dave Shepherd » 08/26/02 12:23 PM

Pete, I am very glad you've taken the time to think about this routine. I scoured the mall three days ago until I could find a suitable pocket mirror and a suitable (nice) leather holder for it. I was (and remain) absolutely possessed by the effect as described by Roberto. (I do think it's important to use the mirror to reveal all the faces of the cards. Betcha what they reach for is the mirror, not the cards.)

But I also was about to get to the point of discovering the choreographic discrepancy to which Pete refers.

I like both your suggestions to improve the trick, and I think your notion of copping the selection might be the most efficient of all. It makes sense to me to have the mirror of the mind and the blank card that is reflected in the mirror in the same container. (And as it happens, what I found in the Leather Store was a passport wallet with two transparent compartments--one for the mirror and now, one for the card).

Incidentally, using Pete's gambler's cop method leaves you in position to employ Roberto's cleanup. After the reveal, you leave the selection in LH cop (without having to steal it out of the wallet). Then pick up the face-down deck, set the deck on top of the copped selection, and do a turnover pass to reveal the selection in the middle of the face-up deck.

When I described the original effect to my wife, she was most impressed when I told her that at the end you reveal the random selection back in the middle of the deck. She had analyzed through a control and switch of some kind up to the point of the reveal in the mirror, but when she heard that the reflected card ended up back in the middle of the deck, her eyebrows went up and she said "oooh, cool."

Pete, I'm still working on the back-and-forth of hands in the moment of adding the blank to the selection, reaching for the mirror, and then revealing. I feel like I have to unroll my left hand out of the way so the audience can see the mirror. I'll keep working on it.

Thanks, both to Roberto for the basic effect and to Pete for thinking through the problem!
Dave Shepherd
 
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Postby tboehnlein » 08/28/02 09:39 AM

I too enjoy the premise of ths effect & like peter my first inclination was to use a mullica & then I considered using a himber with a mullica load process. However after reading the two previous post I went a bit further & eliminated the wallet. My thought is two initially introduce the blank & mirror & set them to the right, have a card selected & controlled to the top, remind the audiance of the blank face card by placint face up on the deck, replace the mirror to the center of the table turn the blank face down then deal a second, do the discovery, return the card face down to the top of the deck, advise some may question the legitamacy of the mirror & push it forward for examination then deal a second again returning the card face down to the table & perform a turnover apss to ensure the card is somewhere in the middle of the deck. I use seconds vs. cops due to my own comfort level & concerns with angles.
tboehnlein
 
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