@#X! patter

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Guest » 03/23/05 04:39 PM

For those that perform Sankey's Folderd Card in Paper Clip (@#X!), what incentive (motivation) you have for introducing a card folded in a paperclip.

What reason do you give the spectator that would satisfy them questioning why you have it in a paperclip in the first place?

Any thoughts?

Aaron
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Postby Guest » 03/23/05 05:07 PM

A paper clip 'clips' several sheets of paper together thus preventing them from coming apart. A paper clip applied to a folded card will clip the folds together thus preventing them from coming apart and allowing an untimely glimpse of the cards identification.....I guess, sorta, kinda, right?
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Postby Guest » 03/23/05 05:15 PM

Just to play devils advocate...as a spectator, wouldn't one just think...why not just put it face down on the table if the clip's only purpose was just to keep it from being seen.

I don't disagree with you, but I am brainstorming for some patter that would make the paperclip so completely logical, its use would not have people saying "great trick, but why did he use the paperclip...it wasnt really needed..."
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Postby Dan Trommater » 03/23/05 09:04 PM

I'm not entirely familiar with the routine, but perhaps one could incorporate it into a longer presentation and have the folded card be one of a number of things clipped together. There would still need to be a presentational reason for them being clipped together, but at least it's a start. As the routine progresses, the other items are removed and used, until there is only the card and then you go into the Sankey routine.

Maybe?
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Postby Bill Duncan » 03/23/05 09:36 PM

Aaron,
I hope this doesn't sound snotty but lay audiences don't really care enough about card tricks to worry about things like that.

No one (except maybe a magician) is going to sit down after that trick and wonder why you used a paperclip. It's a paperclip after all, not a black and red box with Chinese characters painted in gold on the sides.

All the presentational justification you should need is to mention (as Jay does) that it's a prediction...

Under what conditions have you had someone question the clip?
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Postby Guest » 03/23/05 11:48 PM

Dan, I really like that idea...thanks...thats the sort of stuff I am looking for. Maybe the patter would be about some things you bought that belonged to afamous magician...

Bill, I see what you are saying, but I do try and routine my magic so that people DO CARE about the tricks I perform. I have had many people show me a signed card they have carried around for years, because of a card trick. It must mean something to them if they chose to keep it.

I am just trying to routine it so that it is as effective as possible, something that people will not forget. Maybe if enough people post their wild ideas, a great routine will evolve.

Aaron
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Postby Guest » 03/24/05 01:26 AM

Aaron, I think it's commendable that you want to cover all bases and try and discover a logical motivation for doing what you're doing. But I think the point that Bill was trying to make is that ultimately some details really don't matter to a lay audience, and I agree with him in this case. I doubt anyone is going to worry about why the card was paperclipped. They're going to be too blown away by the overall effect to ponder a minor detail. Anyway, it's a great effect, and I wish you the best of luck with it.
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Postby Guest » 03/24/05 06:43 AM

How about if you slid the paperclipped card into a small manilla pay envelope with a big black question mark on the front of the envelope. Now the card HAD to be folded to fit inside. Also, you could remove the card from the envelope 'without touching it' via the paperclip. ......... even as I write this you've got ME thinking about it too. How about if the spectator picked a card from a face down spread and you folded it up in front of them claiming to not want anyone to cheat and sneak a peek thus paperclipping it for added security ........ this is actually a very good session question!
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Postby gfajuri » 03/24/05 07:48 AM

Here's a thought: Remove several folded items (several folded cards?) from your pocket, along with the clipped card. The justification for the clip then becomes the fact that you need to keep one of the folded cards separate from the others, so you can keep track of your prediction while it's in your pocket.

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Postby Bill Duncan » 03/24/05 10:07 AM

Aaron,
I'm not suggesting that an audience won't care about the effect, only that they won't care about the paperclip!

It's such an innocent little thing that if they think about it at all there is little chance it will be of concern to them.

Nobody (except other magicians) watching the Vernon cups and balls asks why the magician puts the ball into his right hand so that he can put it into his left hand so that it can vanish...

If that gets by them... and it does, I think the chance of someone being worried about the paperclip is pretty slim. I'd be more concerned about the Mercury Card Fold, which has NEVER fooled me, no matter who does it, not even when I was a newbie card trick boy.
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Postby Curtis Kam » 03/24/05 02:19 PM

I was going to simply second Bill's advice, but then the following seemed like such an amusing solution to your "problem" that it might be worth doing even if there is no problem:

Instead of producing your prediction as a single folded card, in a paperclip, consider a bunch of folded cards, all on clips, and each of those clips being the end clip in a paperclip chain. All the free ends of the chains are linked together, giving you a bunch of folded cards hanging on chains, like a bunch of bananas.

The whole slew is your prediction. When it comes time to reveal it, have one selected, or you choose one, and do the business as you apparently remove the card from the bunch. The clip that held it swings back into the bunch, and you're clean.

So now you're going to want an explanation for why you've got your predictions in a bunch?
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Postby Guest » 03/24/05 03:01 PM

I find it curious how the fact that I am trying to come up with some interesting patter for why I have a card in a paperclip is seen to be "over-kill".

Maybe I am running when not being chased, I do believe that if I can present an interesting and logical reason why the card is in the paperclip (instead of ignoring it) may enhance the effect.

Myabe have someone hold the card by the clip...so as not to touch the card...reach over and "pull it from the clip", and do a simple switch

Aaron
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Postby Jeff Eline » 03/24/05 03:46 PM

I've used a presentation along the lines of - "I've always been facinated by Houdini and escapes. But since I do card magic, this is the closest I've come to escapes. Here's a joker and a paper clip.... "

The presentation is basically 'metamorphosis' with playing cards. It's probably not orginal, but that's what I've come up with and it justifies the use of the paperclip.
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Postby Guest » 03/24/05 03:52 PM

Funny, Bill, somewhere I picked up the idea that the best false transfers went completly unoticed because some kind of motivation was provided for them? (albiet often a silent, even inferred motivation).

I have little doubt as I may without being familiar with the trick in question here that the audience will probably not made a big deal over a paper clip, (unless the performer did, a danger in this line of thought, sure), but knowing the extreme importance in magic of small details, and noting the parenthesised caution, I would hesitate to dissuade someone from attempting to find justification for every last tiny part of a performance piece. A motivation most likely created by the slightest gesture or miniscule affectation of attitude, rather than something verbal, which would seem gross and blundering for something so small.
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Postby Bill Duncan » 03/24/05 05:57 PM

Stuart,
You'll get no disagreement with me on the false transfer issue. I simply mention it because everyone has seen the routine and it is to us a glaring fault. But not to lay audiences. And if that odd behavior goes unnoticed then surely there is no need to excuse the paperclip.

Here's my reasoning, hoping again that it doesn't sound rude...

The paperclip exists as a simple mechanism to isolate what the audience is told is a prediction. The implication is that you can't do anything "tricky" with a folded card that's paper-clipped shut. It could be in an envelope, or someone could sit on it or you could tape it to the wall. From the perspective of _someone_who_doesn't_know_what_is_going_to_happen these things are the same.

You are simply trying to set one card aside as a prediction. The paperclip does the job. You didn't happen to have an envelope, you were out of tape and you thought having a lady sit on it was rude.

The thing that will kill the trick and tip the switch is worrying about why there is a paperclip. The audience doesn't know that the clip is the method and ANY attempt to explain it away will only serve to cause them to wonder why you felt it necessary to explain it.

Giving them an explanation beyond "...it's a prediction" is like saying "Here I have four completely normal coins."
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Postby Guest » 03/24/05 06:39 PM

The thing that will kill the trick and tip the switch is worrying about why there is a paperclip. The audience doesn't know that the clip is the method and ANY attempt to explain it away will only serve to cause them to wonder why you felt it necessary to explain it.

Giving them an explanation beyond "...it's a prediction" is like saying "Here I have four completely normal coins."
Exactly. Worrying why the card is in a paperclip is only going to draw attention right where you don't want it. It's paperclipped because that makes it easier to carry around in your pocket. I think that's how Sankey plays it, if I remember correctly. He certainly doesn't call undue attention to its condition which would be a mistake.
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Postby Brian Morton » 03/24/05 06:52 PM

Just chiming in here, but I've been performing this for well over a year and people just think, "Okay, it's a card folded in a paperclip." I start out by pulling it out of a pocket, holding it up, and saying: "Foreshadowing." And then I set it to the side and go into the routine I do before it.

It clearly has something to do with something coming up, but because it is folded and clipped -- implying that it is 'a prediction to be divulged later" -- it means that it is important, but not quite yet.

Really, it's just a paper clip. Give it any more significance than that, and people will start looking toward the right road. And I too, have people carry those folded-up cards from my tricks for years. ;)

brian :cool:
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Postby Guest » 03/24/05 09:43 PM

Bill;

I completely see what you are saying, and don't necessarily disagree with you, i'm just trying to explore all avenues...using your coin example, you could do coins across making no mention of the coins, or you could use patter that talks about how the coins were a gift from you grandfather (or something)...the patter could describe why you are using the coins, with an interesting story that could really pull people in. Just because you are telling the story doesn't bring undue attention to the coins. The same with the paperclip...an interesting story isnt going to put undue heat on the clip, but could provide an emotional hook to help the effect.

I should point out, I have performed it thousands of times and not once has anyone questioned the clip, just trying to brainstorm patter ideas here.

Maybe my question should have been:

What unique or interesting patter ideas have people come up with for @#X!.

Aaron
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Postby Pete McCabe » 03/24/05 10:11 PM

The best way to keep the audience from wondering why you have a card in a paper clip is to give them something else to think about.

With that in mind, there's no need to limit yourself by requiring some part of your script to address the clip.

Talk about predictions, if you like, but don't just mention them -- actually talk about them. Think of something interesting to say about the nature of chance, or ask the audience what they would do it they could see the future. It should not be hard for you to think of something much more interesting than why you have the card paper clipped.

If you want to address the props directly, you could bring the card and say "this playing card was folded, by me, on the last full moon. You can't see which card it is, and to tell you the truth, I'm not sure I remember myself." Place it down and go on. With this script the audience will know exactly why you put the paper clip on, without your having to address the subject or even mention the clip itself.
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Postby Bill Palmer » 03/24/05 10:26 PM

I saw a fellow do this routine at the Castle this weekend. He started his program by placing the folded card on the table in a very large paperclip. I don't even remember the remark he made, because he treated it as being completely without importance. Something, perhaps like, "I'm going to do something with this later."

He did several other things -- a couple of things with coins, a few card tricks, then at the end, he did the folded card in the paperclip.

AND BLEW US ALL AWAY!
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Postby Jeremy Medows » 03/25/05 08:18 AM

On my last trip to India I found this folded up card in a paperclip...
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Postby Brian Marks » 03/25/05 12:25 PM

My grandfather gave this, a card in a paperclip which he got in China. He has never opened it.
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Postby Joe M. Turner » 03/25/05 01:17 PM

I use a handling of this trick quite a lot. When I take it out of my pocket at the beginning of the routine (or set, if I know I'm going to use this as a closer), I'll look at it, maybe make eye contact with a member of the audience, and set it on the table without saying a word about it. I may look at it as the strange object that it is before looking at a spectator, then set it down and move on with the show. If I am doing a set, I may have motivated the removal of the clip from my pocket so that I could go back in and bring out coins or whatever other prop I need.

Again, I usually set it on the table with no comment or PERHAPS something like "This is for later." Then just move on.

I should note that the presentation I use explains the clip later in the routine. (Basically Carl Andrew's handling; he uses an Ortiz "Dream Card" storyline which is very suited to the routine.)

JMT
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Postby Guest » 04/07/05 02:25 AM

That's the way I do it as well. There's no logical explanation for the paperclip at the beginning of the routine, so just downplay it.
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Postby Charlie Chang » 04/07/05 02:57 AM

My handling had a card paperclipped to a letter, inside a sealed envelope. The card was not seen until the climax of the routine but the result was a signed card appearing folded up inside a sealed envelope and clipped to the letter inside.

I also have a handling where the card is stapled to the letter (and stapled closed).

I have never felt the need to explain the paperclip or the stapled condition. Some things really don't need to be laboured over.
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Postby Gary Freed » 04/07/05 06:24 AM

I also "hide" the card to begin. It is clipped inside a $20 bill. I explain this is my sterling silver money clip and have them hold the bill. Now when the I pull gently on the clip later the card is revealed.

This is the first time they see the card. To me it removes the "too Perfect" aspect of the effect. And it amazes me to this date how many react to the appearance of the card even before I open it to reveal the signed selection!
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Postby Guest » 04/07/05 07:30 AM

I have performed this trick thousands of times over the past eight years, in various forms. I have developed my own version called "The Man with the Artistic Eyes," which was published in my Australian lecture notes, Beneath Hemingway's Iceberg, and will appear on my upcoming DVD.

As far as justification for the paper clip, it is clipped for one reason: to keep the folded card from coming apart and being revealed. After all, if you fold a card and leave it on the table, it will naturally come apart slightly, perhaps revealing what is inside.

Sometimes, when performing it, I give another reason:

"I don't want you to see it right now because it might freak you out," I say. "Have you ever been freaked out? [Whatever the response, I reply] It's not a pretty sight!"

However, I second the sentiments given here that audience members don't ask why the paper clip is there. Thousands of performances, and they never ask. Thus, why run?

I've studied this trick in its various forms, and different thinkers have come up with different versions of the paper clip:

DARWIN ORTIZ, the originator of the effect, uses a loading wallet. He believes that the prediction seems much more protected from tampering inside a zippered compartment. (I disagree, on the basis that a paperclip keeps the object in everyone's sight throughout the trick.) Several other magicians use the loading wallet, including Gary Kurtz in his "Hypothetical Possibilities" (which is the first trick in a Kaufman & Co. book).

ALLEN HAYDEN uses a binder clip with a folded card attached to a rubber band that retracts into the clip (not his original idea). That way, when you seemingly detach the card, you can end clean.

CARL ANDREWS remarks to the audience that he found the paperclipped card next to his bed this morning upon waking. He doesn't know what significance it has, but he has brought it along because he thinks it might be significant. His version is called "Deja Vu."

JEFF SHERIDAN's "Dream Autograph" forgoes clips completely, and switches with a Mexican turnover and a red/blue double-backer. It is beautifully economical, and if you're looking for justification, none is required. (It's on his videotape.)

JOHN BANNON has quite a remarkable version on "Smoke and Mirrors" called, I believe, "Tattoo You." He doesn't use a clip, either, but instead, hides the original back and then executes a simple switch.

And finally, in my "Man with the Artistic Eyes," I use a small binder clip. However, I also sell a tiny plastic frame, which fits the folded card quite nicely. I searched for a couple years for a frame that would fit my requirements. I use an art theme, having the spectator draw a picture on the card instead of signing it.

This has an added advantage: I don't want people to think that I forged their signature, and some people jump to that conclusion. If I procured their signature beforehand, I could conceivably (in some people's desperate minds) have forged their signature on another card. Forging, after all, is a known phenomenon. But if they draw a picture of their own choosing on the spot, that completely eliminates that possibility. If you're paying attention to details, this is one that is worthy of your attention.

In my own lecture notes, I devote nine single-spaced pages to detailing the various iterations of this trick, analyzing each one and giving comparative advantages and disadvantages of each. This is a trick worthy of footnoting, I believe, and there has been some great work through the years on it.

However, all this talk of the clip obscures what I believe to be the most important point: If you're worrying so much about the clip, you're not thinking about other aspects of the trick that are much more important.

For example, when you pull the card off the clip, which hand moves? The hand that contains the switched-in card should be the one moving, because spectators' eyes follow movement. In addition, your eyes should be following that hand.

Most importantly, you should be casually pattering, completely without pause, during that moment. There should be no alarm or anxiety in your voice at all. This complex moment is what you should be spending your time perfecting, not worrying about a justification for the clip.

This is a great, great trick. Don't tell anyone else about it, all right?
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Postby Guest » 04/07/05 07:48 AM

Originally posted by R P Wilson:
My handling had a card paperclipped to a letter, inside a sealed envelope. ...I also have a handling where the card is stapled to the letter (and stapled closed).
Paul, where are your handlings published and what are they called? I'd like to broaden my education on this trick.
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Postby Kevin Fox » 04/07/05 08:28 AM

David. Are your notes available, If so where please Kevin Fox.
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Postby Guest » 04/07/05 10:04 AM

Gary;

I really like your idea of having it in the money...thanks, I will defenitly try that.

David;

I appreciate your insight as well, and second Kevin's comments. Where are your notes available? The "...Artistic Eyes" sounds very interesting. Thanks for your reply to this post.

Thanks,
Aaron
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Postby Guest » 04/07/05 11:15 AM

Originally posted by Kevin Fox:
David. Are your notes available, If so where please Kevin Fox.
They're available only from me for $20 + shipping.
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Postby Charlie Chang » 04/07/05 12:21 PM

My handling had a card paperclipped to a letter, inside a sealed envelope. The card was not seen until the climax of the routine but the result was a signed card appearing folded up inside a sealed envelope and clipped to the letter inside.

I also have a handling where the card is stapled to the letter (and stapled closed).

I have never felt the need to explain the paperclip or the stapled condition. Some things really don't need to be laboured over.
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Postby Kevin Fox » 04/07/05 01:53 PM

David. Tried to E:Mail you twice & it was returned
please you confirm your E Mail Addess.
Kevin Fox.
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Postby Guest » 04/08/05 12:38 AM

Originally posted by Kevin Fox:
David. Tried to E:Mail you twice & it was returned
please you confirm your E Mail Addess.
Kevin Fox.
Try won777der@cs.com.
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Postby NCMarsh » 04/08/05 08:52 PM

It should be noted that Tommy Wonder's "Elizabeth IV," as presented by Tommy, is an entirely different plot. A freely named card is shown to have been clipped to a twenty dollar bill that has been in plain sight throughout the effect. The method could be adopted to the signed card plot -- but this application, IMO, is less structurally sound.

To be clear about the distinction: Tommy's piece is a prediction effect, the Ortiz et alia versions are time-manipulation effects...similar methods, big plot differences...

best wishes,
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Postby NCMarsh » 04/09/05 12:46 PM

How broadly do you mean to define the effect when you say that it was created by Darwin Ortiz? Is Hamman's "The Signed Card" the same effect? The Hennig Card in Ring Box? Elmsley's "Between your Palms"?

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Postby NCMarsh » 04/10/05 02:05 PM

Darwin makes clear in his post that what is unique and innovative about the dream card is that it is an ambigous effect (I was wrong in my earlier post in claiming that the Dream Card was an effect of Time Manipulation)...so I guess it comes down to this -- if you are doing @#X! with an odd backed card then you are doing a variation of Darwin's effect (which I feel would be too weak and ambigous without a presentation like that of the Dream Card that makes the ambiguity make a kind of sense)...if, however, the plot you are going for is one of simple time dislocation (i.e. the card in full view has always been the participant's card) then you are performing a variation of a far older plot that has nothing to do with Darwin.

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Postby NCMarsh » 04/10/05 02:09 PM

Re: Hamman and Henig

You are familiar with the Henig card in ringbox -- it was a major feature of Fred Kaps' repertoire and was brought into the open by Scotty York...with presentations like that of Tommy Wonder it can become a time dislocation effect

Hamman's "The Signed Card" appeared in Richard's Almanac and has been extremely influential..a card that has been in full view turns out to be a card that was subsequently selected and signed by a participant.

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Postby Pete Biro » 04/10/05 02:45 PM

The classic version is on tape. Kaps doing it for Hammann... a beauty of an effect. Always was, always will be.
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Postby Guest » 04/10/05 11:05 PM

The strange thing is that the methods of all these effects are basically the same: Card to Impossible Location. However, if you add verbal spin, you can turn it into time dislocation or signature transfer or whatever variation you prefer.

However, many spectators see through your verbal spin and see it simply as Card to Impossible Location. They don't buy that you can travel back in time, or that you had a premonition in a dream, or that you can transfer a Sharpie signature to another card. The question that remains paramount in their minds is:

"How did he get my card in that location?"

As far as ambiguity, I like to keep my effects clear rather than ambiguous. Call me crazy.
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