"anything deck" by Paul Harris

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Guest » 04/24/02 08:09 AM

After looking over this wonderful trick, which can be found in the Art Of Astonishment series Vol 3. I feel that the method described in the book can be a little obvious to the spectator. Let me explain...

When you have the faces of the cards toward the audience and the backs toward you. You then look for the letters of the special word that the spectator named. You tell the audience that your eliminating cards that the spectator didn't select. I feel that the spectator will back track after the performance of this trick and figure out that you were "looking for the letters" as you were eliminating cards. I am considering memorizing the deck so that I can look at the faces of the cards and know what letters they represent. But this is a big task. Is there anyone that knows another way to find the letters of the special word without looking at the backs of the cards?

thanks,
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 04/24/02 08:29 AM

I love the basic premise of the trick (a 100% freely chosen and meaningful word appearing on the backs of a packet of cards)-- but I'm not too thrilled with Paul's handling of it. While I think it could work as written, I don't think it's the best it could possibly be. I'm working on fixing it up to my liking, and it's kind of looking like the whole structure is changing. In fact, the only things that are still the same is the spectator selecting a card and thinking of a "personal magic word." The magic word appears on the back of the signed selection. To me, that makes more sense than having it appear on the backs of several cards that really have nothing to do with the trick. I'm hoping (I'm still working on it) that the effect is more direct and easy for an audience to follow.

-Jim
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 04/24/02 08:37 AM

I didn't really address your basic question -- is the method too transparent? I haven't tried it in front of an audience, but no, I don't think so. Remember, the audience sees the backs of the cards in the deck and they appear to be free of ny kind of writing. Also, the packet add-on is covered very nicely. I don't think there's much to worry about.

I'll admit, though, I was considering memorizing the cards as well. This shouldn't be too difficult -- I've memorized a whole deck (Tamariz Stack) before. And with this, several different cards map to the same letter, so it makes things a bit easier.

Another idea, though I don't know how practical it would be -- marking the faces of the cards. Perhaps a very light pencil mark in the index corners, or something like that? I don't know. It's just a thought.

-Jim
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Postby Robert McDaniel » 04/24/02 09:06 AM

Recently, someone on the AOA (Art of Astonishment) board on Yahoo said that Paul will be releasing a pre-printed version of this trick soon.

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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 04/24/02 09:12 AM

Yes, he also said there were going to be some revisions. He didn't say what they would be though. When he made the post about two weeks ago, he said this would be released fairly soon. Can't wait to see!

Paul also has two other effects scheduled for release, though they are going to take longer.

-Jim
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Postby Guest » 04/24/02 10:15 AM

Walkinoats,
A very good friend of mine and I worked out a method that we used when we worked for Caesars. It proved to be very useful in table-hopping and we never failed to get a really strong reaction.
Using a fine point marker we put a TINY letter inside or near the pip of the card, corresponding to the letter on the back of the card. Sometimes it was inside the number 8 or near the club, you get the idea. We only did this to ONE index corner, we felt that marking both was too much and not needed.
We didn't mark every card. We only marked the first card of each letter group. Now the cards could be spread across the table. We would always pick cards without the letter marked on them so we'd be clean at the end, just in case. The audience never sees the marks. There's already alot going on for them to focus on.
Good luck!

Ben S
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Postby Joe Pecore » 04/25/02 04:35 AM

The few times I have performed this, there has been no questions from the spectator about the backs of the cards. I also think the addon move, can be useful for other effects in general.

We had a pretty good discusion about this effect, especially how you cannot perform it exactly as written or the words will come out backwords on the Paul Harris discussion board at:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ArtOfAstonishment
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Postby Guest » 04/25/02 06:16 AM

thats a great idea Ben. Thanks !
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Postby Guest » 04/27/02 11:45 AM

For anyone interested Paul is going to release a revamped, marketed version of the Anything Deck.
He's pretty happy with the way it turned out.
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Postby Guest » 04/28/02 01:31 AM

Just wanted to post a few of my thoughts:

In my opinion the effect is brilliant! Laymen cannot backtrack because the routine is built on the unexpected-- they have no idea the "power packet" is going to have their word written on them. Perhaps the method isn't perfect, but Paul Harris devised the perfect presentation to get the job done. I'd hate for every magician to perform the effect so perhaps I shouldn't give the routine as much praise as it deserves. Try it on some laymen and see for yourself.

When I first started performing the routine I would reveal their card written first on the case, then on the bottom of my shoe (the perfect cover for the load). This is great if you're performing it for more than one person. The other problem performing it for groups is eliminating the idea in the spectators heads that the word-namer is a stooge. Any novel ideas? I'd be interested in hearing from someone else who performs it.
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Postby Guest » 04/29/02 06:09 PM

Just joined the AOA message board. Very cool! I wish I had heard about it earlier ;)
thanks~josh
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