Bloom's "Intercessor"

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.
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Bloom's "Intercessor"

Postby Guest » June 3rd, 2002, 9:29 pm

I recently purchased the "Intercessor" gimmick. Some good ideas for its use are included in the instructions, but I'm curious as to how others might be using it, now that it's been out for a while. I'm particularly concerned about it being, well... "Too Perfect".

Bloom describes a routine where the torn corner (actually 3 or 4 duplicates) "keeps showing up" somewhere else after being repeatedly destroyed. I think this is a good approach as the audience is kept thinking "How did it get over there?" INSTEAD of "Is that a duplicate corner?" And it's never found THAT far away or in a location that is just TOO impossible.

Anyway, I'd be curious to hear other ideas, if anyone feels like sharing.

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Re: Bloom's "Intercessor"

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 3rd, 2002, 9:55 pm

Personally, I'd put a card in an orange. You don't have to switch the corners :)
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Re: Bloom's "Intercessor"

Postby Guest » June 3rd, 2002, 10:47 pm

I must say that Gaeton Bloom was one of my favorite performers a few years back at an A-1 Convention. One of the effects he used with his Intercessor gimmick was particularly clever. At the beginning of his close up act, he checked the legs of the table because the table was a little wobly. After fixing the situation he had a card selected and a corner ripped off and held by the spectator. Later on in the act he began to notice that the table was off balanced again. Immediatley he began to cough and out of his mouth came a black nob. The nob from the end of one of the table legs! He then moved around to the front of the table and lifted the cloth. Sure enough under one of the legs (the one with the missing nob) was the selected card! It was great.

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Re: Bloom's "Intercessor"

Postby Guest » June 4th, 2002, 4:34 am

Two thoughts on uses for the Intercessor:

If you're familiar with Mark Jenest's Chap Trick, its a great little effect. But, by using the intercessor you don't have to switch the corner and it's much cleaner. Chap Trick is on Mark's Video: "Miracles while you wait."

Here's an idea of mine. You need a card index in your coat pocket. Before each card goes in the index you use the Intercessor on it. Now, a card is freely selected, by having a spectator just name any card in the deck. The intercessor is hidden under the card box. Give them the deck to find their card and as they do you go to your pocket and get the same card from your index. You palm card out and go to inside coat pocket where you have a card to wallet waiting. You load wallet and bring it out and put it on the table. Pick up the card box and steal the intercessor. By now they have their card and you take the deck, adding the intercessor. Corner is torn and retained, and the card is burned or vanished. It's found in the wallet and the corner fits. The nice thing about this handling is that the wallet is out on the table before the corner is torn from the card.

Guest

Re: Bloom's "Intercessor"

Postby Guest » June 4th, 2002, 4:42 am

Regarding Richard's idea of using the Intercessor to put a card in an orange:

You can have three or more oranges on a plate and one is freely selected. No magician's choice needed, you have a dupe card in every orange.

My friend Tom Allen suggests: Once the card is chosen, the magician signs the card on the face. Corner is torn, and the spectator signs the corner.
Of course, you just sign your dupe in the same location before you put it in the orange.

Another thought for a not "too perfect" location. The chosen card with the missing corner ends up in your sock or shoe. You could walk around ready for this and do it whenever the situation is right.

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Re: Bloom's "Intercessor"

Postby Steve Bryant » June 4th, 2002, 6:00 am

Re the dupe card in orange, which is basically the way Rich Marotta's "Card in Orange" works (see
Gordon Bean's Locked Room column in Genii a few years ago), you don't need to use an Intercessor. Just hold 3 cards together and tear off the corners. All torn pieces will fit each other, and once the card is dripping with orange goop no spectator will question you anyway. I worried for years that this trick was "too perfect," (the cards MUST already be in the oranges, I figured) then started doing it. It literally stumps people and is a highly requested item.

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Re: Bloom's "Intercessor"

Postby Tom Stone » June 4th, 2002, 8:59 am

Originally posted by Muscarella:
I'm particularly concerned about it being, well... "Too Perfect".
A while back was an article in Genii magazine called "Too perfect - imperfect", written by some annoying swedish guy. Unfortunately, I can't find that copy now, so I'm not sure which issue it was, but I believe that it was October 2001.

Anyway, the article talks about (among other things) balance. You can very well find the card in a place that traditionally is considered "too perfect", if you just use an equally impossible disappearance of the card.
The strength of the disappearance must support the strength of the revelation. If it doesn't, you have to make the revelation less impossible.

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Re: Bloom's "Intercessor"

Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » June 4th, 2002, 9:09 am

Originally posted by Tom Stone:
... written by some annoying swedish guy.
Yeah...I hate that guy. ;)

BTW, I'd recommend checking out that article, as well as the others on the Too Perfect Theory -- there's a lot of food for thought in them.

-Jim

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Re: Bloom's "Intercessor"

Postby Guest » June 4th, 2002, 11:03 am

Thanks to all who have responded so far! Great ideas. Keep them coming!

The card to wallet idea with an index is very good! As is the use of multiple oranges, allowing the spectator a totally free choice. (It's also true -- and helpful -- that the juice makes the card all soggy. That way, any minor descrepencies between the thickness of border on the duplicate and the actual torn corner are even less detectable!)

And, by the way. Yes, I have read the original "Too Perfect" Theory and many subsequent articles, including Tommy Wonder's essay in "Books of Wonder".

On that subject and in relation to "Intercessor"
Tom Stone wrote: You can very well find the card in a place that traditionally is considered "too perfect", if you just use an equally impossible disappearance of the card. The strength of the disappearance must support the strength of the revelation. If it doesn't, you have to make the revelation less impossible.

Tom, I believe you're getting at something that Mike Close has also written about -- i.e. reducing the "sell" and/or the "proof" -- in his essay on the "Too Perfect" theory. But I'm not sure.

Tom, could you give a more specific example? For instance, assuming that there is no end to the IMPOSSIBLE locations you could discover the torn card, how does one type of disappearance (or destruction) of a card become WEAKER or STRONGER than another?

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Re: Bloom's "Intercessor"

Postby Tom Stone » June 4th, 2002, 12:55 pm

Originally posted by Muscarella:
Tom, could you give a more specific example? For instance, assuming that there is no end to the IMPOSSIBLE locations you could discover the torn card, how does one type of disappearance (or destruction) of a card become WEAKER or STRONGER than another?
A destruction is not the same as a vanish. If you burn the card in full view, then bring it out from a box that has been hanging from the ceiling, people will instantly think "duplicate", because they know that the card never disappeared - they can still see the ashes of the card on the floor.

If you put a card in a black plastic box, from which it disappears, then it will probably work if you produce it from your wallet. But for a more impossible revelation, like having a box hanging from the ceiling, then it requires a stronger vanish. For example:
Let the spectator fasten the card to a wall with a thumbtack, and ask him to keep an eye on it. A few seconds later, the card is gone - just the thumbtack is left. And you have not even been near that wall. A such vanish would support a reappearance in a box hanging from the ceiling.
A vanish that takes place in the hands of the spectator would probably also work.

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Re: Bloom's "Intercessor"

Postby Guest » June 4th, 2002, 1:05 pm

I'd like to ask the group if they can help brainstorm on different approaches to vanishing the card. I'll list a few, but I'd love to hear about any other ways to get into this that you think of.

The time honored method is to burn the card in an envelope. That's great, but in some situations fire is just not appropriate.

Kevin James uses the Double Card method which is detailed in the instructions that come with the Intercessor. I've been told that this is actually an old idea of Ed Marlo's. It works, but I'm not sure I want to depend on having a second contrasting color deck available, and it takes a while to deal all the way through the deck.

Where appropriate, another idea from the Intercessor instructions is to have a spectator tear up the card and take the pieces to the nearest restroom and flush them down a toilet. I kind of like this, although some will find it tacky.

There are numerous sleight of hand methods to vanish the card, which can be torn into pieces before the vanish. In some, a handkerchief is used as well. In others, the pieces go into a paper clip.

Finally, here's a thought of mine. It uses the nested set of folded papers called the Buddah Money Mystery. While it's a magic store item, put out by Royal Magic, it does not look like something that you got at the magic shop. It just appears that you got some papers and folded them up. There are two ways I've thought of to use this in conjunction with the Intercessor. First, the papers can just function to vanish the card. You unfold the papers, put the card into the smallest one, and refold the papers. When you reverse the process, the innermost paper is now empty. You find the card in whatever location you like.

The second use of the Budah Papers turns the trick into a very clean and extremely easy to do version of the Torn and Restored Card. You simply have the dupe card in the Budah Papers to start with. The torn pieces, minus the piece the spectator is holding, are put into the papers. They're folded into the nest, unfolded, and the card is restored. The corner fits.

Finally, one more thought on the use of the Intercessor. This may be the simplest and cleanest way to use it. Simply tape the Intercessor Gimmick onto your card box. On the side with the back of a card showing, of course. When you want to do some card magic, bring out the deck, remove the cards, and place the box on the table with the intercessor side down. When you're ready for the torn corner trick, force the appropriate card. Now pick up the box, and put the deck away. (Spectator is holding his card at this point.) Now, put the card on top of the box and do the corner tear there.

Whoops: one more suggestion: The Intercessor is made with two gimmicks. (Owners will know what I mean.) The idea is that it can be done left handed or right handed. However, since I always do it right handed, I replaced the card on the top of the gimmick with one that is only "Intercessored" in the upper right corner. Now if you tape that on the box, you have less to hide. In fact, when you have torn the corner almost completely off, you can tip the box down so that they can see the back. It appears that you're just holding the card on the box, and that you've torn one corner almost totally off. This display is extremely clean. Then, just a momentary necktie as you grab the corner and pull the card free of the box. You can table the box intercessor side down, or pocket it at this point and conclude your routine.

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Re: Bloom's "Intercessor"

Postby Tom Stone » June 4th, 2002, 1:26 pm

Originally posted by Dennis Loomis:
have a spectator tear up the card and take the pieces to the nearest restroom and flush them down a toilet.
That would probably not work, as it would be percieved as a destruction, and not as a disappearance.

The other ideas sounds good though.

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Re: Bloom's "Intercessor"

Postby Guest » June 4th, 2002, 2:17 pm

Hi Tom,

It depends on what you mean by "...would not work."

Magicians have been burning cards and money and bringing them back for a long time. I don't think that you could say that Terry Seabrooke's Routine for the Harry Stanley Burned Banknote to Wallet "doesn't work." Of course, lay people and magicians alike are probably laughing too hard to seriously consider the "Too Perfect" theory.

I make a rabbit appear several times a week for audiences of different ages. The concept that I could really materialize a living, breathing, mammal is preposterous. Does that mean the audience doesn't enjoy the trick?

Destruction and restoration is a common theme in magic, and doing it with a playing card is no more preposterous than doing it with a piece of rope. I'm sure that many spectators think that I must have somehow switched the ropes. We know differently, but so what?

No matter what magical effect you create, some spectators will have their theories of how you did it. If they have fun during your show, they'll hire you again, and consider you a good magician.

It all boils down to this: How effective is the matching of the corner in convincing the spectators that the DESTRUCTION was the illusion?

Remember Gene Anderson's patter for the Torn and Restored Newspaper? He tells you you're seeing an illusion. "The paper is not really torn." It's funny, because they are so sure the paper is really being torn. But, I've lost track of the number of people who told me after the show that "They could have sworn the paper was being torn." Afterwards, they really don't know what to think. Clearly, the too perfect theory suggests that they should be convinced that the paper at the end is a new paper. But, the effect is stong enough to make them doubt. Is the Intercessor that good? We all have our opinions on that.

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Re: Bloom's "Intercessor"

Postby Tom Stone » June 4th, 2002, 3:21 pm

Originally posted by Dennis Loomis:
It depends on what you mean by "...would not work."
Magicians have been burning cards and money and bringing them back for a long time. I don't think that you could say that Terry Seabrooke's Routine for the Harry Stanley Burned Banknote to Wallet "doesn't work."
When a bill is put in an envelope and is burnt, then it is percieved as a vanish, probably because it is too difficult to imagine that anyone would actually burn a bill.
To burn a bill in full view isn't a magic effect, because there it is too obvious that the bill is destroyed. And a destruction isn't the same as a vanish.
Destruction and restoration is a common theme in magic, and doing it with a playing card is no more preposterous than doing it with a piece of rope.
No, not at all. But that isn't what I'm refering to.
To destroy a card isn't a magic effect, and it is definitely not the same as a vanish.
To burn a bill in full view, as a vanish, is just like cutting a rope in half and claim that it is gone.
The magic happens when the destroyed item is restored. But if it is supposed to be a transposition effect, then you also need to have a vanish.

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Re: Bloom's "Intercessor"

Postby Guest » June 4th, 2002, 3:50 pm

"But if it is supposed to be a transposition effect, then you also need to have a vanish." Tom Stone

The effect of the Seabrooke-Stanley routine is both a restoration (the bill was destroyed) and a transposition. (The bill ends up in the wallet.)

The same would apply to my suggestion. The "proof" in one routine is a signature, the "proof" in the other is a matching torn corner. However, I did not say that you were supposed to burn the card out in the open. You certainly can put it into an envelope first, if you feel that is important. I don't. The signature version requires it. The Intercessor Routine does not.

And, whoever said that the Intercessor has to be used for a transpositon only? I fail to see why it cannot be used for a restoration as well. Kevin James does this, Gaeton Blooms does this, and they are very successful professional magicians.

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Re: Bloom's "Intercessor"

Postby Tom Stone » June 4th, 2002, 4:22 pm

Originally posted by Dennis Loomis:
However, I did not say that you were supposed to burn the card out in the open. You certainly can put it into an envelope first, if you feel that is important. I don't.
But then it isn't a vanish, just a destruction. Unless you make the ashes vanish also.

A destruction isn't the same as a vanish. If it was, a newspaper would disappear when it was torn in pieces.

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Re: Bloom's "Intercessor"

Postby Guest » June 4th, 2002, 6:07 pm

O.K., Tom. Technically you're correct. If I burn the card in the open and ash remains and then I reproduce the card... what is the ash supposed to be?

On another level, in an illusion show, if you cremate a girl into a skeleton, she shouldn't come skipping out for a final bow if the skeleton has not been vanished as well.

And, it's actually a little easier to burn a card in an envelope.

Still, I feel if I did this for you, you'd want to weigh the ash and see if it's only ash from the envelope that's left.

I'm just kidding, my friend. I think we agree on more than we disagree on.

I do feel, that technically Gaeton's idea of flushing the bits of card down the toilet is not a destruction. The icky reality of the effect is that the bits of card magically transport themselves to a new location, dry themselves off, and restore themself back into one piece except for the corner. There was neither a vanish nor a destruction involved. Merely a restoration/transposition following a dismemberment.

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Re: Bloom's "Intercessor"

Postby Guest » June 4th, 2002, 6:40 pm

Dennis and Tom's excellent trade-off about destruction vs disappearance gets me to thinking about how important it is to anticipate and then manipulate the audiences instinctual desire to impose real-world concepts of "cause and effect".

But how far is too far? For instance, if the card is torn to pieces and flushed down the toilet, when it re-appears should it be wet? It would certainly be funnier, but does the fact that it's wet PROVE anything?

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Re: Bloom's "Intercessor"

Postby Tom Stone » June 4th, 2002, 6:55 pm

Originally posted by Dennis Loomis:
I'm just kidding, my friend. I think we agree on more than we disagree on.
I guess so :)

I'm pushing it rather hard, because it is so easy to forget that a destruction isn't a vanish.
I once saw a a version of Bill in Lemon, where a big bill was borrowed. The bill was torn into tiny pieces and thrown on the floor (it was switched for a fake bill). Later, the lemon was opened, and everyone KNEW that it was a duplicate, because they still saw the pieces of the "original" bill on the floor.
If I remember correctly, the original bill was in fact loaded into the lemon during the act. But the spectators could not do anything else but to assume duplicates, because they actually saw two bills at the same time; the torn one on the floor, and the one from the lemon.

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Re: Bloom's "Intercessor"

Postby Guest » June 4th, 2002, 6:59 pm

Just thinking aloud here...

What if you were to burn the bill, and then vanish the ashes?!?!?!

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Re: Bloom's "Intercessor"

Postby Pete Biro » June 4th, 2002, 7:21 pm

If the spectator flushes the pieces down the WC, then the restored card should have a wet corner?
:D
Stay tooned.

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Re: Bloom's "Intercessor"

Postby Tom Stone » June 4th, 2002, 7:22 pm

Originally posted by Sean Piper:
What if you were to burn the bill, and then vanish the ashes?!?!?!
In the Genii article, I suggested a change of the effect from a transposition, to some kind of organic and symbolic restoration effect:
Borrow a bill and burn it in full view, collecting the ashes on a plate.
Bring out a lemon and let people examine it. Then take the ashes and rub it against the lemon, causing the ashes to disappear (really crushing it into dust particles) just like it get absorbed into the lemon.
Cut the lemon, and show that the bill has become restored inside it.
I'm confident that people will accept that.

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Re: Bloom's "Intercessor"

Postby Guest » June 26th, 2002, 6:54 pm

This is off the question but does anyone do the Intercessor with Bicycle cards? With the imperfections in the printing of the cards the front may match but the back probably will not. What do you do in these cases, just hand them back the corner after showing the pieces match? I think it's a great idea. Just curious.

Steve Ehlers

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Re: Bloom's "Intercessor"

Postby Guest » June 26th, 2002, 7:10 pm

Hi Steve,

How ya doing, buddy? It's been a while. We miss you in Sac.

Yeah, bikes can be pretty far off center. But, if you use a number card, the face side of the card can be shown to fit the corner at the end. Just don't turn it around and show the back. I'd still risk giving it away to the assisting spectator. Sure, he might have a clue when he gets home and really looks at the card and corner, but the majority of the audience will be clueless. (The normal state of my audiences, I fear.)

I think the rest of the audience will assume that it has to be the same card, because you wouldn't have passed it out if there were a descrepancy.

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Re: Bloom's "Intercessor"

Postby Pete Biro » June 26th, 2002, 7:27 pm

Tear the corner and give it to spec... lose card in deck (easy to re-find via corner short!) Palm it off and it vanishes from deck.

Get rid of it and forget it.

Find the card wherever you wish.

A miracle.

Too perfect? Nah... my clumsiness keeps it from being too perfect.

:eek:
Stay tooned.

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Re: Bloom's "Intercessor"

Postby Guest » June 26th, 2002, 8:05 pm

Add a card to the top of the deck which has double sticky tape in a couple spots.

Card with corner torn is placed on top and the deck is cut. (And... squeezed.)

The torn corner card is now stuck to the back of another card. Deal through the deck to show it's gone. Find it however you wish. (Blaine would find it in the bra of the very first nun that walks by in Times Square.)

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Re: Bloom's "Intercessor"

Postby Guest » September 15th, 2002, 8:09 pm

I use bike cards with mine. I just buy a one way forcing deck, that way all of the cards are a pretty fair match for printing. Then force one and find it's mate where ever. Bob

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Re: Bloom's "Intercessor"

Postby Guest » September 16th, 2002, 6:19 pm

In never bought intercessor because I saw two magicians perform it on two seperate occasions and BOTH times the spectator noticed the corner didn't quite match.

Just food for thought

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Re: Bloom's "Intercessor"

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 16th, 2002, 6:55 pm

I'm confused by that: how can the corner NOT match perfectly if the gimmick is used correctly? Isn't that the whole point of the gimmick, to give you a corner that ALWAYS matches perfectly?
Have seen the gimmick. Don't understand how the corner wouldn't match if it's torn properly.
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Re: Bloom's "Intercessor"

Postby Guest » September 16th, 2002, 8:48 pm

I don't know, having not read the instructions or even tried the trick. Perhaps the cards were not in straight or maybe they were torn in a different angle.

The specatators held up the two pieces and on both occasions I could see the pips that were torn were not in the correct place.

What can you do with intercessor that you can't do with switching corners? (serious question not a rhetorical one)

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Re: Bloom's "Intercessor"

Postby Guest » September 16th, 2002, 8:53 pm

Richard, the discrepancy occurs mainly with bicycle decks. The actual torn corners match physically, but the printing deck-to-deck is less than perfect, so the white borders may not match exactly. As I posted earlier, you can prevent this by using a one way deck. All of the cards are printed in one run and have "matching border irregularities". I hope this helps. Bob

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Re: Bloom's "Intercessor"

Postby Guest » September 16th, 2002, 8:55 pm

Richard,

If you were to take a duplicate and place it in an impossible location (minus the corner) then introduce a the other card, tear off the corner and hand it to the spectator the torn corner would now match the card in the impossible location. Unfortunately because of the imperfections in the printing of bicycle playing cards the backs probably will not match. Try it yourself--take a card from two different decks. Place them together and tear off a corner. Now switch corners. I'm pretty sure you will find the tear matches but the printing on the backs will not match. You might get away with this on the stage but probably not close-up. Hope this makes sense.

Steve

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Re: Bloom's "Intercessor"

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 16th, 2002, 9:17 pm

Ah, now all is clear.
I'd suggest using Bee backed cards!
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Re: Bloom's "Intercessor"

Postby Guest » September 17th, 2002, 5:08 am

Hey Bob,

I also found that some of the cards in the bicycle one way deck also didn't match perfectly. Where do you purchase your one way's ?

Guest

Re: Bloom's "Intercessor"

Postby Guest » September 17th, 2002, 2:36 pm

It all seems a bit too much effort for a trick that isn't that great and can be performed without a gimmick

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Re: Bloom's "Intercessor"

Postby Guest » September 21st, 2002, 9:25 am

Many magic dealers around the country buy forcing decks from Murphy's Magic Supplies. They produce their own one way force decks by buying Bicycle cards in regular packs and collating them into forcing deck. So, the cards are not always printed in the same run and the borders may not match. I suggest that you emphasize the physical match of the corner and show the face of the card only to the spectators. If you use a low spot card, the actual tear will not go through any printing, and the discrepancy will not be seen from the face.

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Re: Bloom's "Intercessor"

Postby Guest » September 23rd, 2002, 2:13 pm

I'd have to agree with Nicholas J. Johnson. By the way, Charles Jordan used a similar idea to Intercessor without the gimmick. It's written up in one of the Fulves paperbacks. In fairness, however, it's a challenge to get the tear just right.

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Re: Bloom's "Intercessor"

Postby Guest » September 25th, 2002, 4:38 pm

Just to throw out my routine with the intercessor gimmick. I perform using an entire one way deck for humor and for the ease that I don't have to keep replacing cards (my deck just gets thinner) I have the spectator select a card and look at it and replace it in the deck. I then ask if there is anyway I can know what card they chose. They say no and I spread out the duplicate cards and say want to bet? I then allow them to select one of the cards and I put my initials in the middle of the card so we can tell it from all the others. I then show that there is still no way to tell there card if the cards are fanned (since the initials are covered. I then tear the corner (using the gimmick) almost off and have them sign their initials on the piece and complete the tear. I then say that I perform the fastest torn and restored card. I tear the card into pieces, do a fake transfer and pull out a pocket watch (dumping the pieces) and tell the spectator that at any time they like they can open the watch and begin timing me. They open the watch, I show my hands empty and the card is inside the watch. The corner with their intials matches the piece missing and my initials are in the middle of the card from the watch. No questions about it being the same card and an almost instant reset for table hopping. I have the entire thing typed out including how to make the watch, just e-mail me and I'll send it to you.
Just my idea,
Cliff James

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Re: Bloom's "Intercessor"

Postby Yann SICAMOIS » September 5th, 2012, 4:45 pm

Hello,

I'm not entirely sure if there is a special thread to introduce ourselves but if there is I'm sorry I did not find it.

My name is Yann, I'm 33, I'm French and I dived into Magic in 1996 when I opened Mayette Magie Moderne's door for the first time.

That said, I'm happy to tell you that something big is in the works with Bloom's Intercessor Gimmick.

One 'collateral damage' of this project is an interactive map of intercessor owners that is building up.

You can have a look at it and/or add your elements to http://www.zeemaps.com/intercessor (temporary URL).

Please contact me via PM to get the key required to access the map.

Regards.

--
Yann
Yann SICAMOIS

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Re: Bloom's "Intercessor"

Postby mrgoat » September 5th, 2012, 5:43 pm

Wow a ten year old thread bump

That's a record, surely?


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