Rising Card

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Guest » 09/22/01 08:57 PM

For me,the most powerful magical effect I have ever seen is Jeff McBride's "Kundalini Rising". It happens in the spectator's hands and is given an interesting and rational reason for the effect in terms of Hindu mysticism. I have used the trick with great success but would like to hear from others who have.However, I have had instances where I have had difficult to get the spectator to properly control the speed of the rising? Any thoughts?
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Postby Jeff Haas » 09/23/01 02:09 AM

Unfortunately, with McBride's method, you have no guarantee that the card will rise at a specific speed. I've seen McBride perform this, and the spectator's card popped up like a slice of toast, instead of slowly rising.

One thing I've learned from doing closeup magic is that the average person doesn't have very good fine motor control; sometimes people have trouble picking up a playing card from a table without bending it a lot. I think it's because almost nothing in regular life requires the kind of fine motor control that we have developed. All our years of fiddling with cards and coins, no doubt.

So a method which depends on the spectator gradually releasing his or her grip to just a certain specific point is, to me, somewhat unreliable. Unless you substitute a different method, so that when the spectator relaxes enough, you get the card to rise regardless of the exact pressure applied (i.e., Devano).

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Postby Guest » 09/23/01 11:20 AM

I'm a new member, and what a wonderful thing that Genii has done in giving us a way of sharing ideas on subtle points of technique with others who have had experience with the same effect.
I completely agree with Jeff Haas's statement that "a method which depends on the spectator gradually releasing his or her grip to just a certain specific point is,to me, somewhat unreliable". The question than is just how, through our instruction to the participant, can we provide the kind of instruction that will improve his or her motor control. The best result that I've had seems to be: 1)When I first place the box into the hand, firmly press the fingers on the box, saying, "please hold the box just like this". 2)Do the first serpent rising instruction without any mention of relaxation (at this point there should be no movement of the card).3)Upon the second round of patter at the "breathe out" point instruct the participant to relax.4)At the third round of patter, instruct the participant to relax his entire body.In other words, our instructions to relax become gradually more intense.
Your comment about another method (i.e.Devano)is interesting but would destroy
the opportunity to use a perfectly ungaffed deck, which is one of the very strong features of the trick.
It's interesting you mention Jeff McBride's performance with the card coming up "like a slice of toast". When I saw him do it,the card rose slowly and beautifully.So even the most consumate professionals have their problems. I wonder how McBride handled this with his patter as it popped up?
I also wonder whether a participant is sitting or standing would make any difference one way or another.
When the effect works well, it is spectacular! All the more reason to find ways of maximizing a "perfect rise".
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 09/23/01 12:45 PM

The trick Jeff McBride marketed was previously invented and sold in England by David Britland as "Angel Card Rise," if memory serves me correctly!
There are too many variables involved in these sorts of things, including the amount of humidity in the air at the moment you perform it, for there to be any real consistent control.
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Postby Steve Bryant » 09/23/01 07:16 PM

Although elastic comes into play, the Angel Card Rise is closer in method to the Elmsley card rise than to McBride's, which uses loops. But as to the original question, I can't think of any of my friends who would be fooled by the Kundalini card rise as McBride performs it or recommends (where the spectator holds the deck). On the other hand, I have fooled them badly with the same method but with me holding the deck. With the specator holding the deck though ... I think the magicians are fooling themselves.
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Postby Guest » 09/23/01 08:19 PM

Steve Bryant says,"I can't think of any of my friends who would be fooled by the Kundalini Card Rise as Jeff McBride performs it.Perhaps all of your friends are magicians who are familiar with elastic loops. But it seems to me that the layperson seeing a card rise from the deck in the hands of a spectator would be badly fooled. This at least has been my experience, and I can't imagine Jeff McBride performing the trick if it didn't fool his audience.
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Postby Steve Bryant » 09/23/01 09:07 PM

I didn't mean that they would be aware that the modus operandi was an elastic loop -- only that a card was set to pop up when they relaxed their grip. It just isn't magic.
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Postby Jeff Haas » 09/23/01 09:35 PM

Steve, that's an interesting point. I think the advantage of the McBride approach is that the deck is handled freely, perhaps even used for other effects, and then given to a spectator to hold...and a card rises while it's in their hand. I've seen it done, and even when the card popped up instead of rising slowly, the spectator is surprised and impressed.

Perhaps it's like when you do anything in their hands...they instinctively feel that if they're holding it, you can't somehow control what happens, and when something does happen, it's stronger to them. Sponge balls, copper/silver routines, Fechter's "Be Honest, What Is It?" etc. are examples.

It's also possible that your logic could be applied to any routine where the spectator holds something. So you need to present pretty strong proof, even implicitly, that what you gave them was "normal" and not "set-up."

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Postby Guest » 09/23/01 09:54 PM

Jeff, Richard and Steve,

This has been an interesting discussion. Thanks for your contributions. I can't imagine that there aren't others on the forum that have done Kundalini and I wish they might respond. Or do you suppose that there aren't because too few magicians today want to go to the trouble of using the kind of patter that McBride suggests. I agree with his view that this effect should not be presented as just "a trick".
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Postby Jeff Haas » 09/23/01 11:32 PM

Comus, I know other people perform Kundalini, because when it first came out it generated a lot of discussion. However, it is a somewhat demanding trick, so it's possible that not a lot of people stuck with it...getting the gimmick in place undetected, managing the spectator, and possibly writing a different presentation are all more work than a lot of other tricks.

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Postby Guest » 09/24/01 09:43 AM

Jeff, you are absolutely right. Too many magicians today are not willing to invest the time and effort in bringing about some really wonderful results. Getting the gimmick into place is no problem........managing the spectator is the real challenge.
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Postby Guest » 09/24/01 10:39 PM

Steve, I am sorry, but I do not agree that it is obvious that relaxing the grip is what causes the card to rise. While my presentation has some significant differences from McBride, the spectators should not be able to make the connection suggested by Steve when the effect is enriched with the proper presentation as developed by McBride. I have repeatedly received extraordinary responses to this effect. I think it is a killer. In response to the initial question, I do not try to control the speed of the rise. There are just too many variables. I just go with the flow.
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Postby Guest » 09/25/01 09:32 AM

Carl,

Thanks for your comments on Kundalini. Although I use Jeff's presentational approach in a slightly abbreviated version, I would be interested in the kind of patter that you use. Also, when you say that you do not try to control the speed of the card rise, I'm curious to know how you rationalize the situation when the card jumps out like a slice of toast as Jeff Haas mentioned.I do believe that, although it may be difficult to control the speed, a gradual rise that is coordinated with the verbal instructions concerning the Kundalini serpent makes the effect much more powerful. After all, with the McBride patter, the serpent doesn't just precipitously jump to the crown chakra.

My comment here may suggest another whole thread for discussion: the calculated coordination of magic moves within the context of a story line. I believe that this is what creates magic that is much more meaningful........at least for many people. Obviously, you aren't going to talk about Hindu mysticism to people in the sports bar. But when I performed this for people who were members of an historical society, they went bananas.
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Postby Guest » 09/25/01 11:30 AM

I bought it when it first came out and I have seen Jeff perform it. It is a wonderful version of the rising card. The fact that you can borrow a deck and do it makes it even better.

I haven't really played with it in a while but I am glad you reminded me of it !!
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Postby Guest » 09/25/01 12:50 PM

Comus, it is interesting that you mentioned that Hindu mysticism would not work in a sports bar. That reminded me that Doc Eason discussed a method for for having the spectator merely name any card, which then using the Elmsley/Britland/McBride method has the spectator hold the cards for the card rise. See the Magic of Cox Dixon (1999 I.B.M. Convention Lecture notes of Doc Eason).

As for my patter and approach, I use the card rise in two acts. One I call "Visit with an Alien" and the other I call "My time with Dr. Guion - Lessons in Forbidden Secrets." In both of these acts I purport to present demonstrations of powers that all human possess, but either are not aware or do not know how to use. Thus, you can see the card rise in a spectators hands falls easily within the overall theme of the act. The manner in which my patter is presented it doesn't really make a difference whether the rise is fast or slow. For those out there who might question this card rise, let me just say that I have had people jump out of their chairs and scream from this.

When I perform the Card Rise, I actually do hypnotise (mild) the spectator. I have performed the rise a few hundred times and only once did the card literally jump out of the deck. I tests my loop several times before the performance to determine how thick the pack should be so there will not be too much tension.

A few other notes. I always have an extra loop on my wrist in case the loop breaks. After the rise, I always have the spectator remove the card. Lastly, when the packet is removed from the deck, I do not remove the loop, I casually do a one hand fan of the packet to show there is nothing there (sometimes that breaks the loop - but loops are cheap and easy to make).
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Postby Guest » 09/25/01 02:16 PM

I am sorry but the lecture notes I referred to were Doc Dixon not Doc Eason.
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Postby Guest » 10/15/01 04:54 PM

I have performed Kundalini for several years, including 2 years table hopping for Caesars and I've never had a problem with the card jumping out of the deck.
I tell my audience that they must try to 'visualize' the card buried within the deck. If the card leaps out instead of rising I attribute it how clearly the spectator was able to visualize the card (I never mention that it will rise).
To Richard: When I first bought the trick it was called "Jerry Somerdin's Incredible Card Rise".

Ben S
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