Does anyone spell?

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Sean Piper » 03/12/02 05:47 AM

I've never taken much of a liking to Spelling effects. I've always felt they're a bit drawn out and lack any sense of astonishment.

I was just curious to find out, of those who perform professionally, who uses spelling effects, and which ones. I know there are literally hundreds in print, but which ones work for you?
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Postby Guest » 03/12/02 07:06 AM

Have a card selected and lost back in the deck. Ask the spectator what their card was and then spell to it. That is a very strong one to do.

The other is to have a card peeked at and the deck mixed, then to spell the participants name and the card is found there. Those are the two that I would use.

PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat
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Postby Pete Biro » 03/12/02 08:43 AM

Maybe the first card trick I ever learned was a simple spelling trick... however I quit doing it as I felt it was too slow.
Stay tooned.
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Postby Alpen » 03/12/02 08:54 AM

Sean,

Spelling effectt are often viewed as not having a strong enough build up or climax due to the dealing of the cards (which can take longer than the short term attention span of the audience and they may start to be less interested.) However, I find that Lie Detector effects are usually popular, since they are deciding how many cards are dealt, and they are more actively involved. There are many Lie Detector effects published, one of the first published in Pallbearers Review (I think) and another good version in L.I.N.T. (John Luka's book.)
Hope this helps...
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 03/12/02 09:08 AM

About two months ago, I saw Frank Brents wow an audience at the re-opening of Monday Night Magic in it's new theater with a four part spelling trick.

Eugene Burger does two great spelling tricks - one of them can be seen on his recent video set. I believe both are described in Intimate Power. The second one (not on the video) has the person spelling their name, which is a nice way to personalize the effect.

-Jim
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Postby Tom Dobrowolski » 03/12/02 09:10 AM

Eddie Fields version "Cool Spell" (I believe)in his book and videotape is great. Jim Ryan has a version in one his 4 booklet series that is also very good where the card is spelled to and appears face up.
Both were used extensively by these gentlemen professionally and are quick, direct and entertaining. I saw both of these gentlemen perform their versions for lay audiences to great response. I have also used both in performance with great success. Check them out.
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Postby James Foster » 03/12/02 10:13 AM

Over twenty years ago I learned an astonishingly simple two-part spelling trick from George Anderson's MAGIC DIGEST. I've performed this piece often throughout the years and remain surprised as to how strong it can play. Of course, your mileage may vary.
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Postby Sean Macfarlane » 03/12/02 12:32 PM

What about J.C. Wagners Super Closer?,This routine rocks. and has one spelling phase in it.
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Postby M. Sibbernsen » 03/12/02 12:49 PM

I have a very nice spelling routine in my lecture notes called "Ace Speller". I use it to great success in my close-up work. Unfortunately I have found that magicians that have the notes (and did not attend the lecture) or have seen it published elsewhere, seem to skip right over it because of its "spelling" nature.

At my lecture I usually outline the reasons why I think spelling effects, while once very popular, have fallen out of favor.

1) Spelling effects are seen as being "boring" and drawn out, and therefore the entertainment factor is diminished.

2) Spelling effects many times require a little bi-lateral thinking, i.e. counting, a little math, a sleight or two, and all while continuing with your presentation.

We all know that 2+2 is simple arithmetic while practicing, but can seem like calculus when performing for a crowd.

So I developed "Ace Speller". It requires no set up, and except for some false cuts, completely self working. Most important however, the routine is very entertaining. It incorporates visual elements, fun patter, "the magician in trouble", and a surprise ending.

It can be found in my lecture notes "Enigmas" as well as my One Man Parade in Nov. 99 issue of Linking Ring. An excellent precursor to the effect is "Flash Cut" also found in those two sources.

If you do not have access to either resource, I would be glad to email Ace Speller to anyone interested.

Best in Magic,

Michael Sibbernsen
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Postby Matthew Field » 03/12/02 01:01 PM

Originally posted by Jim Maloney:
About two months ago, I saw Frank Brents wow an audience at the re-opening of Monday Night Magic in it's new theater with a four part spelling trick.


This trick is a killer, and was recently released by the Inernational Magic Socity (IMS) on their video series. There is a
huge set-up involved.

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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 03/12/02 01:15 PM

Originally posted by Matthew Field:


This trick is a killer, and was recently released by the Inernational Magic Socity (IMS) on their video series. There is a
huge set-up involved.

Matt Field


I figured it was something like that...still, it was astounding. I was the one with the last card. For those who haven't seen it, Frank gets the whole audience involved in the last card. I showed the card to the everyone, and as Frank dealt the cards to the table, everyone was silently spelling the name of my card and, when we got to the last letter, the whole audience yelled out "STOP!" (well, except for the few who were going 'Was it that one, or the next card? I'm not sure...I think it's that one' Sigh.) Good stuff - a nice way to get the whole audience involved and to build up some suspense.

-Jim
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Postby Sean Piper » 03/12/02 04:20 PM

Thanks All!

I agree with most of you that MOST Spelling effects just seem to take too long, which is partly what steered me away from this genre of card magic.

Some interesting ideas there...

Cheers!
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Postby Matt Sedlak » 03/13/02 11:04 PM

The spelling effect that I use and is a very entertaining routine IMO is David Williamson's "He Who Smelt It, Dealt It" from Williamson's Wonders.
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Postby Jamie Badman » 03/14/02 09:13 AM

There's an effect I was shown the method for, which I scribbled down, where you spread the cards, let a spectator think of a card in the spread, then do the same with another spectator. You shuffle the pack and have the first spec name the card. More often than not, it is produced by spelling to it. This is then repeated for the second spectator. I have no idea who's effect this is originally but I would love to find out. If it strikes a chord with anyone, please tell! FYI it requires a ten-card setup and a short stacking sequence in the shuffle.

Any ideas ?!

Jamie.
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 03/14/02 09:54 AM

Jamie - That sounds somewhat familiar to me, but I can't place it at all. I'm gonna look around and see if I can find anything. I'll let you know.

-Jim
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Postby M. Sibbernsen » 03/14/02 10:10 AM

Jamie,

There are about 5 different "thought spellings" in the Encyclopedia of Card tricks, some of which are very similar to what you described. You may wish to take a look.
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Postby Craig Matsuoka » 03/14/02 01:00 PM

When it comes to evaluating the potential strength and commercial appeal of spelling tricks, I can think of no better endorsement than David Copperfield's adaptation of Steinmeyer's "Nine Card" principle for interactive use on national television. I know this was memorable enough that it kept many of my lay friends talking for weeks afterward.

When judiciously presented, spelling tricks can be quite entertaining.
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Postby Brad Jeffers » 03/14/02 03:35 PM

I also don't care much for spelling tricks in general, however I do very much like Alex Elmsley's "Collinspell". This is a handling of Stanley Collins four ace trick, wherein after you vanish the aces, the deck is given a coulple of shuffles and then each ace is spelled to, each one having magically returned to "it's proper place" in the deck. I've yet to find a better ending for this effect.
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Postby Guest » 03/17/02 08:21 PM

A very practical lie detector effect utilizing spelling is Paul Cummins' Prevarication Detection found in his From a Shuffled Deck in Use (FASDIU) notes. The spectator can lie about the name of the selection and yet the selection will revealed. He utilzes Marlo's Flash Speller from Expert Card Chicanery. Its a very quick way of calculating how many letters for a given card. BTW, the other material in FASDIU is very solid and commercial.

Best regards,
Rich Kameda
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