Erdnase Two Handed Transformation, Second Method

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Postby Zach Taylor » 02/04/11 03:15 AM

I've made a deal with an acquaintance, who's promised to teach me an interesting variation of this color change if I can learn the original adequately first. This sparked my interest in the sleight, and so far I've read the version in Erdnase as well as the description in New Era Card Tricks. I want to relish the challenging of breaking the sleight from the text myself, but with your indulgence I would like to offer a few observations. If you could offer your thoughts on whether I'm near the mark or not it would be very helpful.

  • The sleight is angle sensitive in about 135 degrees to either side from the rear of the deck. Primarily on the left side with the right hand passing over the deck.
  • The most angle sensitive portion of the sleight is when the majority of the pack is fully drawn back to permit the extraction of the chosen card.
  • A key to the success of the sleight is finding a way to eliminate the curling of the fingertips as they pass over the pack in order to catching the outjogged chosen card.


One question I do have though is whether it's better to keep the pack parallel with the wrist when performing the sleight, or to angle the back downwards in order to expose less of the pack on the sides of the wrist?
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Postby Ryan Matney » 02/04/11 03:43 PM

More important than the angles (which are very good on this change) is that you must minimize the outjogging of the card on the face of the deck. This is really the key to success with the change.

Your fingertips should not curl over the outjogged card to push it flush. It works better if you push the card back flush with the deck using the index finger of the hand holding the deck.
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Postby Zach Taylor » 02/04/11 04:10 PM

Ryan: I'm not sure, but I think that's a different change. I'm pretty sure what you're describing is method one. The one I'm working on is method two.
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Postby Ryan Matney » 02/04/11 05:23 PM

My mistake, you are right.
You are learning the one said to be favored by Max Malini.
I see Erdnase transformation and automatically think of the most popular one.

I don't have many tips on this one because I never cared enough for it to learn it well.

I do know that the card bends more than you probably think it does as it is stolen and the right wrist has to break a little.

Does anyone do this change well? I've seen people do it but it always looks bad to me.
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Postby Zach Taylor » 02/04/11 06:59 PM

Malini? Really? Wow.

Thank you for the two tips you were able to offer. I'll put them to use.

I've never really seen it performed at all personally. I've only read about it, which is part of what's making it challenging. I've been unable to find any visual references beyond the sketch in Erdnase and a sketch in New Era Card Tricks.

Hopefully some other members will have additional perspectives to contribute.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 02/04/11 09:39 PM

Does Earl Nelson do this on one of his old videotapes? I've certainly seen someone do it at some point.
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Postby Zach Taylor » 02/04/11 10:37 PM

Ryan's tip about Malini sent me off sniffing, and I found that The Professor had presented a few pages on the sleight in Stars of Magic in his segment on Malini. I don't think it's quite the Erdnase version, but it seems very similar from the description and pictures. As opposed to Erdnase, who suggested pulling the deck backwards towards the wrist to facilitate removal, Malini's method is recorded here as relying on the movements of the palming hand more so than the deck hand.

I think the most important distinction between these two approaches is that the Erdnase method seems to try and make the color change from the action of the sleight itself. Malini's approach seems to be more in tune with using this sleight as a means of obtaining a palmed card, and then accomplishing the actual change slightly later. The method as recorded in Stars also suggests repeating the sleight more rapidly after the first change, and orchestrating a second.

Richard: I'll check under that name and see if I find anything. My resources are rather limited to the net save for a handful of text references though. Thanks for the tip.
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Postby Justin Wheatley » 02/07/11 03:05 PM

If I am remembering this correctly, I believe Malini would palm the card under the guise of saying something to the effect of, "See, my hands don't even cover the cards completely."
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Postby Zach Taylor » 02/08/11 01:13 PM

Justin: Yes, that's what I read in Stars of Magic. Reading that same bit of information though it's difficult to see how to got away with the sleight. According to that book Dai Vernon had a high opinion of it but I can't see why, since he seemed to value naturalness and it's difficult to see a way this move might look natural. It's a tricky and interesting puzzle.
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Postby Curtis Kam » 02/08/11 11:36 PM

Zach, years ago, I asked that same question of Allen Okawa, who had spent many years studying with The Professor. He showed me how Malini executed the sleight and the change, and from that I can attest that it probably did "look natural" when Malini did it.

I can't explain the whole thing here, but remember that Malini was quite short, and executed this change with everyone looking down on the deck. Consider executing the steal as both hands drop downward into that position. There's more to it, but that might give you a bit of the feel for the move.
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Postby Thomas Van Aken » 02/09/11 11:36 AM

Dai Vernon also discuss this colour change in details on one the Revelations tapes (I think volume 6) but even after viewing it, some aspects were still confusing to me also as Vernon decribes how it looked in Malini hands but don't really explain it.

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Postby El Mystico » 02/09/11 12:12 PM

There are some people, myself included, who think Malini may not have been using the Erdnase transformation but something different, something which better accounts for the details Vernon gives in Stars of Magic and on the Revelations DVD.
From memory, you can see it on Emsley's Signature DVD.
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Postby Zach Taylor » 02/09/11 06:44 PM

Curtis: That definitely helps. I'm having just as much fun learning about Malini himself in the process of figuring out this sleight. How do you think a taller person could simulate Malini's approach to the sleight?

Thomas: Yes, that's kind of the feeling I'm getting from Stars.

Mystico: That makes sense. The only reason I latched on to the perspective of the Erdnase 2 being the one Malini used was because that account of Malini using it has been the only under-fire reference I've been able to find so far. The only described concept of how it might be executed for a live audience.
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