Tom Stone's "A La Puga!" - March 2013

Discuss the views of your favorite Genii columnists.

Postby conjuringbooks » 02/20/13 12:16 PM

I will admit that Michael Puga's "Card to Glass" trick in the DVD accompanying the February Genii was the first trick which had compelled me to actually watch a Genii DVD (is it coincidentally the first stand-up performance piece put on DVD? Not sure...). So I was even more delighted when Tom Stone took on the trick in the March issue under the title of "A La Puga!".
I have one idea, which I hope you'll tolerate.

In my view, these types of tricks with incredibly strong conditions (a single card isolated in a glass in full view) requires a serious dramatization and presentational approach. Perhaps this is just my presentational preference, but the lighthearted moment which follows bringing out the chart with diagrams in Stone's version seems out of place in the same way that the "joker represents any card" joke seems out of place to me in Puga's.

That said, Stone's use of black art in introducing the selected card fixes the other issue for me of Puga's, which is the violation of the "No-Contact Condition" (as Darwin Ortiz calls it in Strong Magic). Although one could argue Puga's version is a transformation, while Stone's is a true prediction - it seems to me Stone's version is closer to the ideal effect both are hoping to achieve.

So - how to keep the serious dramatization by modifying Stone's version? Said another way - to remove the light-hearted "beat" of introducing the extraneous chart of diagrams? I propose introducing an idea of Jonathan Pendragon's from "Feat of Magic II", published in Genii June 1993/Vol 56, #8 on page 510 ( AskAlexander Link ). In this trick Jonathan puts the necessary card index on the back of a chalk board. (Perhaps there are earlier cases where this is done, but Jonathan's is my only encounter with this idea.) In 1993 when "Feat of Magic II" was published, I found the perfect size whiteboard with a natural wood edge at Ikea that suited the bill perfectly.

So now you have a justification for bringing out a board to conceal the card index: you bring out a whiteboard and ask a member of the audience to name "red" or black", another spectator to name a number 1-13, and the third to name a suite - writing the called selections on the board "for clarity" as you go. You could toss a small object around the house to select spectators as is customary these days, if you feel so inclined ( though I feel as though that is an unnecessary distraction from the plot here).

This slowly-build-up-a-selection approach has the added benefit (in my opinion) of lessening the likelihood of a single spectator naming a commonly-called card (as occurs in Puga's performance on the published DVD). It also keeps the focus on the card selection, and on the impossibility of the card in the glass matching, without the light-hearted distractions of the prior two versions.

What do you all think?

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Postby Steve Bryant » 02/20/13 01:27 PM

I like it. Thanks!
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Postby Tom Stone » 02/20/13 05:39 PM

A statistical chart is not essentially light-hearted in its nature, so I think it is possible to play the piece in the manner that suits you. Either light-hearted, or serious and straight-faced, or a combo; light at first, then build drama as you approach the glass.

That said, I really like your suggestion. And there's some practical touches in Jonathan's piece that are valuable. Thank you for bringing it to my attention!

-Tom
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Postby Dmaldo » 03/16/13 12:39 PM

I really like this effect and both point are good. I do believe it can be performed as Tom suggested.

I am contemplating making the index with leather. My plan is to use a dab of glue which creates a small bead i can feel to aid me in finding the card quickly.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thank you Gents
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