The Card Activist (Ebook) by Peter Duffie $15.00
44 pages, 75 photographs, 1 illustration
Available at: http://www.peterduffie.com
I was tickled pink to receive the latest offering from Peter Duffie. I dug in with high hopes and overall, I was not disappointed.
Mr. Duffie writes well and does a very good job of teaching the material. He dutifully acknowledges his inspirational sources and provides appropriate attributions.
The abundant photographs are clear and very helpful.
Auto Hue: The performer removes a group of cards from a borrowed deck and hands the face-down packet to participant #1. She deals two five-card hands and freely turns the top card of either pile face-up. She drops the other pile on top of her face-up card. She drops the remaining cards in her hand onto the pile.
Participant #2 takes the pile and repeats the same procedure.
Participant #1 spreads the packet face-up on the table and discovers that the red cards are separated from the black cards.
The performer turns the face-down cards face-up, revealing the red selection among the black cards and the black selection among the red cards.
I dig effects that feature methods that allow the participants to do most of the work, while I sit back and grin like a loon.
I really like it.
Not Wrong: The performer shuffles the deck and cuts it. He cuts a small packet from the bottom of the deck and flips it face-up on top of the face-down deck, displaying the Ace of Hearts. He removes the Ace and a quarter of the deck beneath it and tables the packet face-up to his right.
He repeats this procedure twice, cutting to the Two and the Three of Hearts. He tables these packets to the left of the Ace packet.
The performer cuts the final quarter of the deck and flips it face-up, revealing the Ace of Spades. He tables the packet to the left of the Three of Hearts packet.
He flips over the Three of Hearts packet, revealing the Two of Spades. He flips over the Two of Hearts packet, revealing the Three of Spades. He flips over the Ace of Hearts packet to reveal the Four of Spades.
For some inexplicable reason, Mr. Duffies description of the effect is different than his method for performing it. A mere oversight? Hmm. Methinks not. I urge the author to re-read this effect, fix his description and then immediately schedule a neurological evaluation.
I like it.
Stretch & Catch: The performer spreads the cards with their faces toward him and transfers one card to the rear of the deck. He flips the deck face-down and turns the top card face-up onto the deck, displaying a Joker.
The performer spreads the deck and a participant freely selects a card. He inserts her card face-down in the middle of the deck, from the rear.
He states that he will use the Jokers shape-shifting ability to find her card. He removes the Joker from the deck, shows it on both sides, and replaces it face-up onto the deck.
The performer cuts half of the deck from the bottom to the top and simultaneously side-jogs the Joker for half its width. He slides the Joker forward and out-jogs it from the front end of the deck.
He pulls the Joker forward and it visibly stretches to twice its length, with half of it extending from the front of the deck and half of it protruding from the rear of the deck.
The performer states that the elongated Joker will now split itself in half and locate the selected card. He squeezes the Joker and it compresses within the squared deck.
He spreads the deck face-down and two face-up Jokers appear, with a face-down card between them. He turns the face-down card face-up, revealing the selection.
This effect feels conceptually unsound and unsatisfying. Mr. Duffie says, Finally say that the long Joker will now divide itself in two and find the selected card.
Perhaps Im being too literal, too anal, but thats not what happens. If the long Joker divided itself in two, the face of one card would bear the word Joker and the top half of a stretched Joker. The face of the other card would depict the bottom half of a stretched Joker.
Instead, we wind up with two normal Jokers. Thus, the effect is that the Joker shrinks to its normal size and then makes a replica of itself. While the Elmsley technique used to stretch the Joker is methodologically and visually cool, the authors presentation doesnt support the effect.
Sure, it would be easy enough to merely change the patter, but thats not my job. My job is to review the effect as written.
I dont like it.
Ace Cutter: The performer shuffles the deck and cuts it. He cuts off the bottom half of the deck and flips it face-up on top of the remainder of the deck. The face card is a Ten.
With his right hand, he turns over the Ten and half of the deck beneath it to reveal the Ace of Hearts.
He uses the right hand half of the deck to turn the top card of the left hand portion face-up. It is the Ace of Diamonds.
The performer waves both halves of the deck and slowly turns them over, revealing the Ace of Clubs and the Ace of Spades.
He removes the four Aces and uses them for his next effect.
If youre using a table, the author suggests using a Hofzinser Toss with both hands simultaneously to leave you holding only the four Aces. This is a horrible idea! Dont do it!
You have just shown the crowd that there is an Ace on the top and bottom of both packets. If you execute the Hofzinser Toss, you are exposing its methodology to a crowd of lay folk who should not be privy to this information!
Sweet bald-headed Buddha! That blasphemous suggestion reinforces my fear that the authors cheese is teetering precariously on the edge of his cracker!
I like it.
Flash Triumph: The performer cuts off half of the deck, turns it face-up and shuffles it into the face-down half.
To demonstrate how he wants the participant to cut the deck, he cuts off the top half and turns his hand palm-up to display backs on both sides of the packet. He turns his hand palm-down and tables the packet to the right of the bottom portion of the deck.
The performer picks up the bottom half of the deck and turns his hand palm-up to display faces on both sides of the packet. He turns his hand palm-down and places the packet on top of the face-down tabled portion.
The participant cuts off the top half of the deck and places it beside the lower portion. She picks up the top, face-down card of the lower portion of the deck, looks at it and places it face-down on top of the upper portion of the deck. She places the lower portion of the deck on top of her card to bury it.
The performer picks up the deck and shakes it, causing it to instantly turn face-up. He spreads through the face-up deck and one face-down card is seen. He turns it over to reveal the participants card.
I really like it.
Careless Whispers: A participant takes the deck, freely removes any four of a kind, say Kings, and hands them to the performer. The participant freely selects a card and holds it face-down. She tables the deck.
The performer spreads the Kings face-up and the participant slides her face-down selection into the middle of the spread. The performer closes the spread and states that the Kings will make her card invisible. He spreads the cards and only four Kings are seen.
The performer slides the invisible selection onto the table. He picks it up, looks at its face and correctly names her card.
The performer takes the black Kings in his right hand and retains the red Kings in his left hand. He turns the black Kings face-down and places them beneath the face-up red Kings.
The participant cuts the deck, placing one half in front of the performer and the other half in front of her.
The performer spreads the red Kings, turns them face-down onto the face-down black Kings, picks them up and places them on top of the participants portion of the deck.
He flips his black Kings face-up, displays them, turns them face-down and places them on top of his portion of the deck.
The performer turns the top two cards of his portion face-up and reveals the red Kings. He turns over the next two cards to reveal the black Kings. The participant turns over the top card of her portion of the deck and discovers her selected card.
I like it.
Scopic: The performer removes the Ace, Two, Three of Clubs and a Joker from the deck and tables them face-up. A participant selects a card, say the King of Spades, and puts it in her pocket.
The performer picks up the Ace, Two and Three and arranges them in numerical order with the Three at the face. He turns the packet face-down in his left hand.
He picks up the Joker and places it face-up on the bottom of the packet. He flips the top card of the packet face-up, displaying the Ace. He counts the cards, revealing that the Joker has transformed into a duplicate Ace.
He fans the packet, showing that the Joker has resumed its identity. The performer turns the Ace face-down and counts the cards, bringing the face-up Joker to the top.
He places the Joker face-up on the bottom of the packet. He flips the top card face-up, displaying the Two. He counts the cards, revealing that the Joker has transformed into a duplicate Two.
He fans the packet, showing that the Joker has resumed its identity. He turns the Two face-down and counts the cards, bringing the face-up Joker to the top.
The performer places the Joker face-up on the bottom of the packet. He flips the top card face-up, displaying the Three. He counts the cards, revealing that the Joker has transformed into a duplicate Three. He fans the packet, showing that the Joker has resumed its identity.
He turns the Three face-down, removes the top three cards and places them on top of the deck. He is left holding the face-up Joker.
The performer takes the participants card and places it face-down on top of the Joker, stating that the Joker will change into her card. He removes her card, but the Joker has not changed. He turns the Joker face-down, revealing the King of Spades written on its back.
I like it.
Task Force: As is painfully apparent, I provide obsessively detailed descriptions of the effects that I review. I strive to offer a text-based simulacrum of the effect as the crowd sees it. In describing this selection technique, I will, unfortunately, teach it to you.
If the Chief Genii or Mr. Duffie objects to the following description, I will comply with their request to edit my description and deprive you of an accurate depiction of what the crowd sees. Lets see what happens.
The performer spreads the face-down deck from his right hand to his left hand and asks a participant to say stop. He breaks the spread where indicated, taking the top portion in his left hand. He turns his left hand (and cards) palm-down, places them on top of the right hand portion, grips the entire deck and turns his left hand palm-up the display the selected card on the face.
Call me a cranky, creaky card curmudgeon if you must, but this technique is transparent. Unless you limit yourself to performing for grinning, drooling, knuckle-walking, mouth-breathers with room temperature IQs, the participant will notice that the bottom card of the deck didnt change as a result of this transpicuous technique.
Forget the neurolgical evaluation. By the powers vested in me, by me, I insist that the author drop whatever he's doing and call 911.
I dont like it.
Task Force Finders: The performer shuffles the deck and cuts it. He executes the Task Force and participant #1 selects the Two of Clubs. The performer tables it face-up.
He spreads the deck until he comes to the first face-down card, which will be the second participants card. He thumbs it onto the table next to the Two.
Dealing one card from the top of the deck for each letter, the performer spells Two in a tabled pile. He spells Of in a pile next to it, and Clubs in a third pile.
The performer turns the top card of each pile face-up and they are Jacks. Participant #2 turns over the face-down and discovers that her card is the fourth Jack.
Eeeewww! It involves the above-derided force! Run away!
I dont like it.
Auto Sandwich: The performer removes the black Jacks from the deck and tables them face-up. He holds the face-down deck in his left hand. A participant freely selects a card and signs her name across its face. She inserts it face-down between the Jacks.
The performer picks up the three-card sandwich, squares it on the deck and disposes of the deck.
He draws attention to the top black Jack. He removes the face-down selection from the bottom of the packet and places it on top. He removes the other black Jack from the bottom of the packet and places it on top. He places the sandwich on the participants palm.
The performer states that her card has vanished. The participant spreads the sandwich and turns over the face-down card. She discovers a blank face card with a message written on it. She reads aloud, My card is in your pocket. The performer removes her card from his pocket.
I like it.
Basement Jaxx: The performer spreads the deck face-up, up-jogs the four Jacks and strips them out of the deck. He flips the Jack packet face-down and places it beneath the face-up deck. He turns the deck over, bringing the face-up Jacks to the top.
The performer spreads the Jacks for display, squares them and flips them face-down onto the deck. He pushes over the top four cards and tables them in a pile. He drops the deck on top of the pile, picks it the complete deck and flashes a Jack at its face.
The performer spreads the deck face-down and three participants touch cards. He out-jogs the selections and squares the deck.
He removes the first selection, levers it face-up on top of the deck, removes it and tables it face-up. He removes the second selection, levers it face-up on top of the deck, removes it and places it on top of the tabled selection. He removes the third selection and levers it face-up on top of the deck. He lifts it off of the deck, places it on top of the tabled selections, picks them up and drops all three selections onto the deck.
The performer riffles the deck and the selections vanish from the top. He turns the deck face-up and spreads it, revealing three face-down cards interlaced between the four Jacks. He removes the seven card spread and tables it. He turns over the face-down cards, revealing the selections.
I like it.
Phantom Stab II: The performer shuffles the deck and hands it to participant #1. She removes any card, remembers it, places it face-down on top of the deck and cuts the deck.
The performer retrieves the deck, cuts it, hands it to participant #2 and then looks away.
The participant cuts a packet of cards off the top of the deck, turns it face-up and replaces it on top. She then cuts off a larger packet, turns it over replaces it. She remembers the face-up card now on top of the deck. The participant flips all of the face-up cards face-down onto the deck, burying her card.
The performer removes an invisible card from his pocket and stabs it into the deck. The participants name their selections. A participant spreads the deck face-up on the table. A face-down card is seen, with the participants selections on either side of it.
Mr. Duffies method requires a common card gaff that you must modify. It also involves the Cut Deeper technique. Ha! Dont get me started.
I dont like it.
Double Agents: The performer places two red Kings face-up in front of participant #1 and two black Kings face-up in front of participant #2. They freely select cards that are lost in the deck.
The performer places the face-up red Kings on top of the deck and turns them face-down. He spreads the top three cards to reveal the first selection face-up between the face-down Kings. He squares the deck.
The performer places the face-up black Kings on top of the deck and turns them face-down. He spreads the top three cards to the second selection face-up between the face-down Kings. He flips over the sandwich and deals the four face-up Kings onto the table.
The performer holds the face-down deck from above with his right hand, about a foot above his palm-up left hand. He drops the deck onto his palm and the first selection appears face-up on top of the deck. He removes the second selection from his pocket.
I really like it.
If the current crop of card clutter causes you considerable consternation, stop moaning, get off your acquiescent ass and take action! Gandhi was great, but passive resistance doesnt cut it anymore. Buy, absorb and become The Card Activist.