Motivation for Triumph

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Guest » 10/15/03 10:29 AM

I'm sure that this has probably been discussed elsewhere, but I wondered what motivation you guys had come up with for mixing cards face up and face down - only to straighten them up again.

Who originated the idea that a drunken guy mixed the cards when you looked away?

Any other good motivations for doing this? Played as a straight card trick - where the patter focuses just on the cards, it's okay to say 'Now I'm going to mix the cards face up and face down' - but *WHY* am I doing it?

thanks in advance
D
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Postby Brian Rasmussen » 10/15/03 10:48 AM

I really like John Bannon's Play it Straight Triumph. On the Ammar video he pretends to forget about having the selected card replaced as he goes through this FU/FD shuffle procedure. However, in the end the magician still prevails. That is only one type of triumph effect however. I guess for me, if I could really do magic, being able to straighten out a mixed up deck of cards would be a handy skill. Maybe you could just think of something along those lines that you could develop into a presentation. Every layman probably knows the frustration it takes to right all the cards after a game of 52 pickup.
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Postby Guest » 10/15/03 10:50 AM

Jay Sankey's 'Back in Time' is an outstanding presentation for 'Triumph.'

Briefly: "If we could go back in time... before the deck was mixed up and down..." (you get the idea eh?)

If you're not familiar with Sankey's trick, you'll find it on a couple of his vids/dvds. I use it ALL the time.

Others have fiddled and fixed the time travel theme (Marlo, Walton, Jennings, Cummins, Etc.) but (IMO) Sankey hit the nail on the head. I've tried dozens of triumphs and (according to my audience') Sankey's is the way to go.

To answer your other question, I believe Vernon introduced the 'obnoxious spectator' presentation (in the original "Stars of Magic - Triumph" manuscript.)

2 cents,
Doug Conn
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Postby Guest » 10/15/03 11:01 AM

Hi again

Thanks for that Doug. However, I wonder whether it answers my question completely. Ironically, I saw someone doing the *end* of Sankey's presentation the other night and I liked the idea of 'going back in time'. However, what reason does he give to mix the cards face up and face down to begin with?

It seems entirely logical to 'right' the cards once they are mixed face up and face down - but why get them that way in the first place?

thanks in advance

D
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Postby Adrian Kuiper » 10/15/03 11:31 AM

Not to be a curmudgeon or anything, but what is wrong with Vernons original presentation in Stars of Magic? The spectator asked to shuffle the cards and before the Magi could stop him, he shuffled them face up and face down.

Sometimes, when something just "says it all" its better left alone. Applies not only to magic, but to all venues. In music, for instance, why would anyone record "New York, New York", or "Summer Wind" when Sinatras versions are out there.

I dunno.....maybe it's just me!!

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Postby Philippe Noël » 10/15/03 11:36 AM

Dai Vernon in 1946 published the trick named Triumph in Stars of Magic Series N2.
Vernon's patter suggestion is:" Magicians often have to overcome a difficult situation. The other day I asked a man to select a card and return it to the pack. As I was shuffling the deck, he interrupted:"How about letting ME shuffle the deck?"
"And so he deliberately turned half of the pack face up and before I had a chance to stop him he actually riffle-shuffled it into the other half which was face down."
Here you have the best motivation you can find.
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Postby Guest » 10/15/03 11:37 AM

I use Sankey's preface as well.
Here's (my version of) his script:

after the selection is replaced, I do a double undercut bringing it to the top while remarking:

let me move a few cards around; in position for the little known and underused 'upside down all around poker shuffle'

then as I do the slop shuffle I say:

"are you familiar with this concept?"

due to the haphazzard appearance of the mix, they usually chuckle and say "no"

"I made it up last tuesday"

more chuckles...

and then onto the finish of Sankey's trick

that should be enough to get you going (eh?)
If you need to know more, do yourself (and Jay) a favor and buy his vid(s)!

Good luck on your quest,
Doug Conn
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Postby Guest » 10/15/03 12:45 PM

I regularly use Sankey's version of Triumph, and also find that it kills.

Other advantages of it:

*Requires no table.
*It's not just a triumph, but a transpo, so there are two bangs at the end.
*No Zarrow required.

When I perform it, I provide no motivation for mixing the cards up. Spectators have never asked why I mix the cards up in the first place. Some moves require motivation, to be sure, but why this one?
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Postby Guest » 10/15/03 01:25 PM

I agree that Vernon's story is the only one mentioned so far that fully explains the "why" of this strange shuffle.

But I also agree with Doug and others that it may not be necessary to explain it, or to worry about it so much, especially if you treat it as light-heartedly as Doug does. The spectator knows the first reason is: because this magician is fun and wants me to have fun with him, and somehow this crazy shuffle will help! In Sankey's "Back in Time" presentation, the real explanation for why you mess the cards up that way comes at the end, when the spectator realizes that the messed-up condition represents one moment in time, and you've defeated time by going to an earlier moment before they were shuffled this way. (Plus there's the brilliant kicker with the selection, which people who know the routine will recognize.) I suppose you could just tell them this, that you're messing up the deck to mark a moment in time, and then demonstrate the principle of time travel. Don't forget, you've also already asked them to take a mental snapshot of an earlier moment in time. Anyway, Sankey's handling is brilliant--not just the presentation idea, but the way he creates visual markers for the moments in time.

For those who want a more "logical" reason for the topsy-turvy shuffle, Steve Beam has come up with an amazing one. I believe it's in SEMI-AUTOMATIC CARD TRICKS Volume 2 (note sure about the volume), and it's call "Simply Shuffled." Here, too, a humorous situation provides the motivation, but in a brilliant way: he has a card selected from a face-up deck, clearly seen by the performer, and then has the selection put back face-down in the still face-up deck, "so I can't see what it is." This ridiculous situation is then rectified by the magician deliberately shuffling half the deck FU and half FD, so the selection no longer stands out. Then he magically rights them, etc. Beam's handling is also great, described in detail, and very similar to John Bannon's in-the-hands handling which he calls "Last Man Standing." I think I currently favor both of these faro-based ones over the slop shuffle because of the purity of the displays immediately preceding the revelation of the righted deck. But I use both frequently in different contexts.

Finally, if you wanted to generate more ideas, just think logically: who would mix the cards in this way? "A drunk person" works for me. How about a young child? A rival magician who once tried to foil your trick? And so on.

--Ezra.
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Postby Adrian Kuiper » 10/15/03 01:56 PM

Referencing your last paragraph, then you're right back to the Vernon approach. Doesn't matter WHO mixed them up, just that someone else did and, using your magical powers, you'll ultimately make it all better.

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Postby Bill Duncan » 10/15/03 03:58 PM

Originally posted by Philippe Nol:
Here you have the best motivation you can find.
Perhaps. But "best" is a subjective term... There are lots of other equally valid things to express with Truimph besides "I got the best of some @$$h0!& in my last audience."

Vernon's presentation suited a true gentleman who could sell the idea that an upstart kid tried to get the best of him and failed and he could do it without coming off as a bragart. However, if you use this presentation, what are you really SAYING to the audience?

Perhaps you are also saying that at least one audience member in the past had the nerve to challenge your claims of power and you shot him down. It wasn't enough that you found his card under such extreme circumstances but you also had to make him look foolish by righting all the cards! Not only that, but you also have such a weak ego that you now feel the need to go around bragging to people about your triumph.

Magicians stop thinking too soon. Just because the script was right for Vernon doesn't mean it's right for you, or for me or most magicians.

Sankey's script is better for a lot of people because there's no element of challenge raised. He's simply REALLY mixing the cards to lose the selection. Then an indifferent card is shown and placed on the table... time is rewound and the indifferent card on the table, where the selection WAS, is now the selection. To prove that time has really rewound, the cards are once again face down as they were before.
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Postby Guest » 10/15/03 04:33 PM

Vernon's presentation in Stars of Magic was the story of a challenge by a spectator to the genteel magician. In the hands of a comedy or bar magician, the mythical spectator might have been inebriated and grabbing the cards from the magician's hands, or the magician himself might have been "smashed" and mis-shuffled the cards.

A card-sharp-style magician might not even have a chosen card, instead finding the four aces face up in the righted deck after the catastrophic shuffle.

A mentalist might use the power of his mind to right the deck, or the collective power of the spectators' minds to do so; then he could make only the chosen card turn back face up, giving two climaxes instead of one.

Instead of using the Vernon strip-out shuffle, the performer might use the slop-shuffle version to enhance the "inebriated" version suggested above.

Altering the method, one could streamline the effect by controlling the chosen card to the bottom and then using a reversal for the bottom card. Then, turning both halves of the deck face up in opposite directions during the cut, one would riffle together the halves by the inside corners and cut once to place the chosen card in the middle; this would dispense with the "proving" cuts of the original effect (and especially those of the slop shuffle version) to make the effect almost instantaneous in the eyes of the spectators.

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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 10/15/03 05:04 PM

Originally posted by Bill Duncan:
...without coming off as a bragart. However, if you use this presentation, what are you really SAYING to the audience?
Agreed. I recall a suggestion about 'not looking' when shuffling... and in performance this got quite a reaction.

I can recall the wide eyes and 'oooooh' sound from some in the audience as they watched the cards get shuffled. It was and still is a challenge NOT to communicate any smuggness while completing the shuffle... AND THEN NOTICING THE MISTAKE. ie did the shuffle face up/face down unintentionally. Nice acting challenge if you are up for it.

For those who prefer less of a challenge.. go ahead and 'frame' the shuffle in a story.
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time
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Postby Guest » 10/16/03 05:20 AM

Wow what a great thread...well for me anyway. I've just learnt a version of Triumph for the first time and am being supplied all these ideas by you guys! Cheers!

But my thoiughts; well Vernon's approach definitely supplied motivation for the "upside down shuffle", and indeed is a very direct and simple aproach. Some people have said that this would make you into a smart a*** but that is only if you aproach it in that way. As long as you stear away from the fact that you made this heckler look stupid.
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Postby Pete Biro » 10/16/03 09:29 AM

The MOTIVATION for any trick/effect, whatever, should be just to entertain and amaze your audience.

Vernon's approach, IMHO, is the best... it works for me. :genii:
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Postby Reinhard Mueller » 10/16/03 02:17 PM

I do agree with that what Pete Biro, and others also wrote, Vernon's approach is a maximum solution to the motivation problem, though you have always to take notice of that situation in which you perform, Pete prudently conveys with: ... it works for me.

After Whaley (2000) Sid Lorraines "The S.L. Reversed Card" in Judah & Braun's Subtle Problems You Will Do (1937) was the first Triumph effect.

I there anyone who owns that book of 1937 and can tell us about Sid Lorraines motivation?

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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 10/16/03 03:12 PM

Originally posted by Pete Biro:
The MOTIVATION for any trick/effect...
it's the procedure that requires motivation.

Vernon 'framed' the shuffle within a story about a wise acre who tried to make a mess of the deck.

another more difficult motivation can come from accidently shuffling the deck onself

and also the option of using the mistaken shuffle within the 'frame' of a story.

So far we have three motivations

1) inside a story a wise acre..
2) inside a story the performer...
3) in real time the performer....

Here is another that is cute if you have a friend in the audience...

4) you set up a situation where they appear to be following instructions and when it comes time to shuffle the deck... after trying to let you know about the situation and you ignore ... they shuffle it (as you directed) face up into face down.

* comedy is quite difficult to perform.

Okay, anyone else have a presentation that motivates the face up / face down shuffle?
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time
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Postby Pete Biro » 10/16/03 03:52 PM

"Ooops, I have had too much Guiness?"
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Postby DChung » 10/16/03 04:37 PM

Originally posted by Pete Biro:
"Ooops, I have had too much Guiness?"
But you can never have too much Guinness.

Johnathan,
If you have a magician friend in the audience, you can have him do all the shuffling, and have him deliberately do the face-up, face-down shuffle, and play the part of the wiseguy.

Cheers,
Derrick
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 10/16/03 06:12 PM

Originally posted by Jonathan Townsend:

another more difficult motivation can come from accidently shuffling the deck onself
I have in my notes somewhere bits and pieces of a presentation for Triumph based on this idea. It seems, to me, the best way to present it. It makes the difficulty of the resulting chaos all the more real. After all, if you're telling the story, where's the element of danger? Don't they know that the hero always wins? The question in the audience's mind then becomes "I wonder how he's going to get out of it" instead of "Oh, no! He can't get out of that! He'll have to start all over!" The great thing here is that you don't really have to do much to convince them of the fu-fd shuffle -- they'll convince themselves (assuming, of course, your acting is good -- that's a big IF for many magicians, it seems). When they see you react to the chaotic order of the deck, they'll KNOW it was an accident. It's a very strong position to be in.

The other acting challenge of the routine is in the ending. You CAN'T have a smile on your face that says "Yeah, I was just messing with you." It ruins everything you've setup before. Your reaction, at least in my opinion, should be one of relief. After all, you've just gotten yourself out of a really sticky mess. And you've found the spectator's card, to boot!

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Postby Bill Duncan » 10/16/03 10:10 PM

Originally posted by Jonathan Townsend:
I recall a suggestion about 'not looking' when shuffling... and in performance this got quite a reaction.
I just re-read much of that thread, it had a bunch of good stuff in it.
The old thread
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Postby Guest » 10/17/03 03:49 AM

.... I'm not sure exactly where this comes from, but I tell a "story" about having a card picked by an inebriated person, who then does a slop shuffle to really "mess" up the cards.... the audience "understands" the position I'm in.....I get the card to the bottom with a Kelly Bottom Placement, and the last move of the Slop Shuffle brings the select to the top of the face-up portion, in a face down position.... a very wide open Half Pass reverses the card in the now normal deck........... let me tell you, it blows people away.... the "sympathy" created by "having to work with a drunk" actually enhances the revelation...... I wish I could remember where it came from........... Thanks:)
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Postby Edwin Corrie » 10/17/03 08:39 AM

The idea of a drunken spectator is used in "A Tipsy Trick" in Royal Road, though I don't know if that was the first time is appeared.
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Postby Pete Biro » 10/17/03 08:56 AM

A thought.... what about saying you are so good you can do your magic BLINDFOLDED. Put on a blindfold and seemingly accidentally, turning half the cards face up and shuffling them together....???? :genii:
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Postby Guest » 10/17/03 08:57 AM

Nice thought

Unfortunately, Paul Wilson had it first!
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Postby John Bodine » 10/17/03 04:57 PM

After the selected card is returned I will often ask if they have ever rented a cabin (perform pass or control card to top as I ask the question) and if they've found a deck of cards which was in a mixed up state (as I turn half face up and shuffle). Most often they respond in the affirmative.

I can then ask how long they think it would take me to straigthen the deck let alone find their selected card.

It's not perfect, but people can relate to finding a deck of cards in a mixed up state when posed in this way.

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Postby Charlie Chang » 10/18/03 01:10 AM

DKJones is correct when he says I use the blindfold idea to "accidentally" shuffle the deck face up/face down though I have no idea if this idea started with me. I can tell you that the audience simply gasps as you shuffle those cards. This is also a very good use of Daryl's cutting sequence (I disapprove of such things normally but if the audience believes you just made an error it is very useful).

The interesting thing is that I use the blindfold as the motivation to reverse one packet. I also use the truly excellent "Human Blindfold" from Ortiz' Cardshark. I perform Triumph, then go into Bannon's Play It Straight Triumph (incidentally, a REALLY great tip is to use the Andrus Slop Shuffle to apparently "fix" the deck before the final revelation). finally I perform The Ortiz routine itself with a few minor changes.

The benefits of this are that the blindfold is very entertaining and allows for a lot of byplay. Anyone who has tried Darwin's Human Blindfold should appreciate the benefits of extending any routine that uses it.

P.
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Postby Matthew Field » 10/18/03 08:51 AM

Originally posted by Jonathan Townsend:
it's the procedure that requires motivation.
The infamous edit of a Vernon remark in the L&L viodeotape resissue of ""Revelations," which was restored as "Bonus Material" in the DVD reissue, concerned Vernon's dressing down of Michael Ammar for performing "Triumph" without adequate patter.

It was Vernon being unfair, since Ammar was obviously just trying to do a quick demo so the effect could be discussed, but Vernon's point was that the "wise-guy spectator" was necessary to the trick, to explain the procedure.

The "drunken" spectator is just a minot variant. Sankey's approach is, I think, more original. Bannon's is also original, since he presents it as a challenge, "Do you think I could find your card if I mixed the deck face-up and face-down," when the punch line, at least the first one, is that the card hasn't even been replaced.

It's wonderful that a trick published in 1946 is still generating this kind of discussion.

Space permitting, I should have a review of the DVD reissue of "Revelations" in the January Genii.

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Postby Bob Farmer » 10/18/03 04:33 PM

I'm not familiar with Sankey's presentation, but I've been using a time travel presentation for years. It's basically this --

I ask the spectator if there was one day he would like to go back in time and relive. He doesn't have to tell me what the day is -- just agree that the idea would be intriguing.

I then tell him that in some small way it is possible to go back in time.

As I say this I start dribbbling cards from one hand to the other and I say that I want him to imagine that the deck is an hour glass and these are the sands of time, the days of his life.

I ask him to stop me at any "time" and take a day (card).

He does that and I tell him to rememeber it, it will be his special day(card).

The card is returned and lost (apparently) in the deck and I place the deck on the table.

I say that the deck looks the same NOW as it did a few seconds ago -- there is nothing to distinguish the deck here in the present from the deck there in the past.

To remedy that I shuffle the deck face up and face down. Now, here in the present it is a mess, but there i the past it wasn't.

Now I say I will do the impossible -- I will send the entire deck back in time to the point where it was all face down -- except his chosen day (card) will remain here in the present, still face up.

I spread the deck to end.

For method I control the card to the top as I cut the deck to the table in three cuts. I use a Zarrow under the top card to set the deck. I then use a modified Puerto Rican Gambler display and clean up with "Triumph Handling" from Richard Kaufman's CARDMAGIC. Actually, I independently invented the same move in the sixties (which is when I came up with this presentation). I think I showed it to Frank Garcia in the seventies. It's posible Jay Sankey added flashpaper to it in the nineties.
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Postby Matthew Field » 10/18/03 06:01 PM

Originally posted by Bob Farmer:
It's posible Jay Sankey added flashpaper to it in the nineties.
Funny, Bob.

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Postby Guest » 10/21/03 05:19 AM

After working with Triumph more and more, I have accepted that the drunk guy patter can produce a very strong effect. However, that's avopiding being seen as a smart a***!

I prefer the approach of recalling a time when a proffessor of magic was appraoched by a drunk guy. That way, the old legend won, and the drunk lost. The presentation was shown and picked down, point by point to me by a good friend. He made clear I knew why this parrticualr presentation can have an emotional and amazed reaction.

Damien.
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Postby Alain Roy » 10/21/03 07:32 AM

I'm joining this thread a bit late, but I found some of the earlier posts a bit interesting. Paraphrasing: why should we do something other than Vernon's perfection? (Or one of the small number of other plots.)

I like the idea of brainstorming for other ideas, to deeply explore the possibilities. There must be more possibilities than the drunken spectator, the mistake, and the time travel. Are they better possibilities? I don't know, but brainstorming begins with coming up with a list of as many possibilities as you can, and then filtering out the lousy ones.

In the spirit of brainstorming, here are some ideas off the top of my head. They may be lousy, but maybe they will stimulate ideas.

1) I used to do a slop-shuffle triumph type effect, and I talked about how I was new to magic and I enjoyed learning different ways of shuffling cards. I quickly demonstrated a few, and finished with the slop shuffle. At the time, I made references to the way I saw a drunk guy shuffle at a party, but I could have talked about how I shuffled cards when I was four years old, just a mere tot learning the basics of magic.

2) It could be a seance effect. We shuffle the cards upside down, in order to challenge the spirit of Houdini (or favorite dead magician) to unmix the cards and find the selected card. This may be hard to pull off, but could be beautiful in the right hands.

Going further, maybe it's not a deck of playing cards, but cards with messages. The spectator doesn't select one, but asks a question. The cards are thoroughly shuffled (face-up/face-down) and the spirit straightens the mess and selects a card to respond to the question.

3) Maybe shuffling is an analogy. If you like to tell stories during card tricks, maybe you talk about how messy your room was growing up (mix face-up and face-down) and when you learned magic, you were able to clean up your room very quickly.

4) Describe how there is a silly poker variant played in nickel and dime games. Instead of having a set number of cards dealt face up and face down, it's random whether they are dealt face up or face down. Ummm... I'm not sure how this fits into the plot, maybe it doesn't work.

OK, maybe my ideas aren't great. But I think there is a challenge here: do we really have the best stories available to us already for a Triumph-type effect? How can we know without exploring other ideas?

What are some other ideas?

-alain
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Postby Pete Biro » 10/21/03 09:29 AM

Alain... good stuff... Premise/talk.... i THINK presentational brainstorming is the best thing anyone can do....

However, I think changing the handling may not be always successful as the original Triumph (and slop shuffle) EFFECTS were honed to perfection before being put in print.
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Postby Ryan Matney » 10/21/03 09:58 AM

Posted by Alain Roy:
It could be a seance effect. We shuffle the cards upside down, in order to challenge the spirit of Houdini (or favorite dead magician) to unmix the cards and find the selected card. This may be hard to pull off, but could be beautiful in the right hands.
Just add glorpy and flash paper and you have the newest release by Eugene Burger. Next.

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Postby Guest » 10/21/03 10:56 AM

hello,

about the ending of triumph,

one day i did that:

after "mixing" the deck i put it
in the card case and i give it to the spectator.
i ask him to shake it and to stop suddenly at the same time he name his card.

then get the deck out the card case and show what happen.

a my surprise, it considerably enhance the impact
, in the mind of the spectator, something has happens in the card case.
i think it's a strong image : a deck reassemble
in a narrow box...

now i do that ending always,
it's magic, no manipulative...

jacques
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Postby Guest » 10/21/03 12:40 PM

Ron Bauer's "Fair and Sloppy" is simply the best.
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Postby Bill Duncan » 10/21/03 12:56 PM

Originally posted by Jacques:
after "mixing" the deck i put it
in the card case and i give it to the spectator.
i ask him to shake it and to stop suddenly at the same time he name his card.
Hello Jacques,
Welcome to Genii.

Votre concept pour le Triomphe est potique. Merci de le partager.

bill (who doesn't speak French but knows how to Google)
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Postby Guest » 10/21/03 01:43 PM

After card is selected and returned,
"Have you ever seen little kids "play" cards? They mix them up every which way!" (I do the Vernon handling, noting that some kids are more advanced than others).

"Kinda makes it tough on a poor, hardworking magician when you have cards front to back, back to front and even back to back!" do display.

"Frankly, I could use some help. Mary," indicate a lady at the table, "would you take your right hand and make a mystic pass over the deck? But please! Use ALL of the fingers of that hand, not just the one you drive with, okay?" smile and wink to make it a joke for sure.

When she does, compliment her on her work. "Would you like a job? Because you did a beautiful bit of work on this trick! You only missed ONE card!"

Spread the deck and watch everyone go ga-ga.

It plays VERY well, makes Mary feel good, as well as amazed, and doesn't make the magician look like he's playing "see what I can do that YOU can't? Neener neener neener!" games.

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Postby Guest » 10/22/03 08:14 AM

Vernon didn't invent this trick or the presentation.

It's Sid Lorainne's from "Subtle Card Problems You Will Do" by Stewart Judah.(1937)

The best narrative and no "tell" handling I've found is "Fair and Sloppy" from the Ron Bauer Private Studies Series.

I've taken in well posted magicians and lots of people in the public with the techniques taught in that version of Sid Lorainne's trick.

Tom
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Postby Ray Banks » 10/22/03 10:58 AM

I guess since we seem to be brainstorming how about this?

The magician continues to talk (and talk and talk) during the shuffle "accidentally" turing over half the cards before the mix. Oops. Well I guess we will have to resort to magic to find the card.

I stil prefer the Vernon version, however but I might try another one just for fun.

I kind of like the 'magician in trouble' idea for some effects (I can do it perfectly every time---the in trouble part) ;)
Pick a card....Any card....NO not THAT card..THIS one!

Ray Banks
Ray Banks
 
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