Cryptical Envelopment by John Hostler

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Postby Tom Frame » 06/25/12 11:22 AM

Cryptical Envelopment (PDF) by John Hostler $10.00
50 pages, 13 photographs, 5 illustrations
Available at: http://www.vanishingincmagic.com


John Hostler is the gifted perpetrator of The Rauschenberg Effect, which I favorably reviewed on this forum on 1/21/09. So, I got all excited with anticipatory squirminess when I received his latest ebook, Cryptical Envelopment.

I love the authors choice of a title. Sweet bald-headed Buddha, those words evoke feelings of a secret, sublime, stimulating, sustaining sanctuary! Yum.

The first person to post a citation for that ethereal phrase wins a magic mushroom. You will not receive the mushroom. The mushroom will receive you.

Mr. Hostler is a very good writer. His prose reflects his intelligence and pleasing wit. He gives good word.

He does a fine job of teaching the material and he includes his engaging, entertaining presentational scripts.

The author has done his homework and provides excellent crediting.

The photographs and illustrations are clear and helpful.


New Speedway Boogie: The performer borrows a deck of cards, removes the four Queens and tables them face-up in the venerable T formation. He removes 12 red spot cards from the deck. He turns the tabled Queens face-down and places three face-down spot cards atop each of them.

The Queen vanishes from packet #1 and appears in the leader packet. The Queen vanishes from packet #2 and appears in the leader packet. The Queen vanishes from packet #3. The performer displays the leader packet and it contains only one Queen. The participant turns over the other three packets and discovers that the Queens have returned to their starting positions.

This is a very good, lean handling of the backfire effect. It avoids repetitive counting and puts you in the delightful position of being two ahead. I really like it.


Bertha: The performer shuffles the deck, spreads it face-up and asks his participant to merely think of a card. He shuffles the deck again.

The performer asks the participant to form a mental image of her card and to silently transmit its name to him. He affirms reception of her transmission and announces that the name of her card is Bertha.

After groaning, the participant announces that her card was the Queen of Diamonds. The performer spreads the deck face-up, removes the Queen of Diamonds and reasserts that its name is Bertha.

He inserts the face-up Queen of Diamonds, outjogged, into the face-up deck and spreads it, commenting on the pseudonyms of the other cards that she could have selected.

The performer breaks the spread, holding the Queen of Diamonds in the face-up right hand portion and the squared remainder of the face-up deck in his left hand.

He states that he previously made a prediction and sealed it in an envelope. His left hand (and cards) reaches into his left jacket pocket and removes an envelope.

He hands the envelope to his participant, reassembles the deck and tables it face-up, with the Queen of Diamonds still outjogged.

The participant opens the envelope and reads his prediction aloud. I believe you will think of Bertha.

The performer removes the Queen from the deck and tosses it face-up onto the table. He flips the deck face-down and spreads it, revealing that the back of every card has a different name written on it.

The participant turns the Queen face-down and discovers Bertha written on its back. The deck can be examined.

This is the authors handling the popular Fred Trick. He states, Executed properly, an audience will swear on a stack of Bibles the deck never left its sight.

Despite Mr. Hostlers assurance, I would never perform this or any effect that required me to remove something from my pocket with a fistful of pasteboards. Thats an unnatural, suspicious behavior, especially when youre already using a table.

In real life, no rational or properly medicated person does that. They put the cards on the table to free up their hand and then they remove the object. Period.

I dont like it.


Alligator: The performer tables a sealed envelope containing a prediction. He removes 20 spot cards from the deck, displays them, squares them and shuffles the packet. He hands the packet to a participant for shuffling.

The participant peeks at the pair of cards atop the packet. If the pair consists of same color cards, she deals it face-up. If the pair consists of one red card and one black card, she deals it face-down. She deals two rows of five pairs.

The participant sees that she dealt three red pairs and three black pairs. The performer removes his prediction from the envelope and the participant reads it aloud. She discovers that he correctly predicted that she would deal an equal number of red and black face-up pairs.

The participant peeks at any face-down pair, adds the cards values together and mentally sends the number to the performer. He announces, say, 11. The participant turns the pair face-up, revealing that the cards values total 11.

The performer correctly divines the value of each remaining face-down pair.

The participant reads the other side of the prediction and discovers that the performer correctly predicted even more details about how the cards would fall.

Mr. Hostlers interesting mathematical method combines principles from Stewart James and Karl Fulves. To pull it off seamlessly, you need to think on your feet. I like it.


Estimated Prophet: The performer borrows a deck of cards, gives it a riffle shuffle and spreads it face-up on the table to displays its random order. He squares the deck, turns it face-down and hands it to participant #1, who gives it a riffle shuffle.

The performer retrieves the deck and spreads it face-up, again displaying its disordered state. He squares the deck, turns it face-down, hands half of it to participant #1 and the other half to participant two.

The participants give their packets a riffle shuffle followed by an overhand shuffle. They both remove a random clump of cards from their packets, turn them face-up and exchange them. They riffle shuffle these face-up cards into their face-down cards.

Participant #1 turns her packet over and riffle shuffles it into participant #2s packet.

The performer announces that there are 24 face-up cards in the deck and 11 of them are red. Participant #2 picks up the deck and counts the face-up cards. There are 24 of them. Participant #1 picks up the face-up pile and counts the red cards. There are 11 of them.

This is Mr. Hostlers impressive, impromptu handling of Simon Aronsons wonderful Shuffle-Bored. I really like it.


Cryptical Envelopment: The performer spreads the deck face-up and the participant mentally selects any card that she sees. The performer shuffles the deck and tables it face-up.

The performer guides the participant through the process of telepathically sending her cards identity to him. He correctly divines her mentally selected card, say the Ten of Hearts.

The performer tables an envelope off to one side of the table. He spreads the deck face-up on the table and he and the participant search through it, but they cant find the Ten of Hearts. The participant opens the envelope and removes the Ten of Hearts.

You will need to construct Mr. Hostlers clever Slipknot Deck. You will also need to be adept at executing a well known mentalism technique.

Mr. Hostlers terrific presentation causes the participant to believe that you snuck into her head and created a false memory. I like it.


Cryptical Envelopment features strong, well crafted card magic swathed in entertaining presentations. Become enveloped!


Highly Recommended
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Postby Matthew Field » 06/26/12 05:00 AM

Grateful Dead.

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Postby Tom Frame » 06/26/12 09:01 AM

We have a winner! Bravo, Matt.
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Postby JHostler » 06/26/12 10:09 AM

Thanks for the nice review, Tom.

The original plan was to print on hemp, but market considerations ruled the day.

Poor Bertha... Though Tom and I agree to disagree, her ditch *is* fairly well motivated from a handling and scripting standpoint - but that's all she wrote from the exposure dep't. [I've never been caught, and consider this one of the stronger "laymen" numbers in C.E.]

It's interesting (or maybe not)... opinions/feedback regarding the five effects have varied about as much as those for an eighties-era Dead show. "One man gathers what another man spills."
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Postby Chas Nigh » 06/26/12 02:45 PM

Re the dump, I see no problem with that as long as both hands go to the pockets. Great idea for Fred.
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Postby Tom Frame » 06/26/12 03:32 PM

In "Bertha", both hands do not go to the pockets.
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Postby pabloin us » 06/26/12 04:17 PM

Tom, How difficult are the sleights? DL=easy, Pass=difficult
Thanks ... Pablo
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Postby Matthew Field » 06/27/12 04:34 AM

Hands going to pockets, cards going back to the top of the deck, and other poor solutions to problems of how to ditch a coin or card assume the spectators are blind and unobservant. Gregory Wilson has a coin effect where he does this to ditch a coin and, honestly, I think it stinks. I agree with Tommy Wonder that spectators are far wiser than many magicians give them credit for.

But, hey, that's just me.

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Postby JHostler » 06/27/12 07:30 AM

[b]
Matthew Field wrote:Hands going to pockets, cards going back to the top of the deck, and other poor solutions to problems of how to ditch a coin or card assume the spectators are blind and unobservant. Gregory Wilson has a coin effect where he does this to ditch a coin and, honestly, I think it stinks. I agree with Tommy Wonder that spectators are far wiser than many magicians give them credit for.

But, hey, that's just me.

Matt Field


It all depends on the context. In the routine under discussion, 1) the bulk of the deck remains "in play", 2) hand actions are choreographed to justify splitting the pack, and 3) the packet that hits the pocket does so at a point when the audience has absolutely no reason to care.

While I agree 100% regarding suspicious and/or unnatural actions (odd configurations of cases sitting on decks* etc.), this doesn't exactly fall into that category. A guy (or gal) with cards in both hands needs to retrive something from his/her pocket. He/she does it, straight off and with no hesitation. In context, taking time to reassemble and table the deck first could be construed as less "natural."

Larger point: It's not a matter of underestimating the audience's intelligence, but of empathizing with their focus and point of view at a particular moment in time. Many of us are, quite frankly, terrible when it comes to this sort of thing. We run when we're not being chased.

* Sat through a gem the other day. Just terrible.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 06/27/12 07:41 AM

How does it work for you when you use this strategy in performance?
Mundus vult decipi
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Postby JHostler » 06/27/12 07:45 AM

Jonathan Townsend wrote:How does it work for you when you use this strategy in performance?


Wonderfully - I wouldn't have published it otherwise. (On second thought, I probably shouldn't have.)
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Postby Tom Frame » 06/27/12 08:41 AM

pabloin us wrote:Tom, How difficult are the sleights? DL=easy, Pass=difficult
Thanks ... Pablo


Pablo,

The sleights are in the easy to intermediate range.
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Postby JHostler » 07/22/12 04:23 PM

Greetings, and thanks to all who have been cryptically enveloped!

As a small token of appreciation, Ive prepared a one-sheet addendum describing a simple yet powerful enhancement to Alligator. Just email the third word of Alligators Hype section to john [AT] johnhostler.com, and the PDF is yours.

Cheers,

John
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Postby JHostler » 09/02/12 11:10 AM

Now channeling Cal Worthington: For those more into paper than pixels, both Cryptical Envelopment and The Rauschenberg Effect have been successfully Lulu'd. You can find them here: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/hostlermagic . End of commercial message.
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