Triumph

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Guest » 06/22/06 08:07 PM

Instead of spreading the cards face down with the selection face up, why not do it the other way?

I always thought that if the spread was face up and the selection face down, it would create more suspense.

I would love to hear some thoughts on this.
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Postby Guest » 06/22/06 08:25 PM

I didn't even know there were people doing it that way. Showing the selected card face down in a face up deck just seemed obviouse.

Gord
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Postby Guest » 06/22/06 08:45 PM

I also spread the deck face-up.

For me, the decision was based upon clarity of effect. To have two effects happening at the same time - the cards have righted themselves AND the selected card is the only card facing the opposite direction - can be confusing to the spectators; it's a muddled effect.

I agree that it's better to emphasize the first effect of the cards righting themselves, and then show that the one contrarian card is indeed the selection...
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Postby Guest » 06/22/06 09:42 PM

Once A Magician, exactly!

That is exactly right.
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Postby Guest » 06/23/06 01:32 AM

It's the same as the advantage of an Invisible Deck over a Brainwave Deck - there is a moment of suspense before the card's face is revealed.

Dave
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Postby Guest » 06/23/06 04:53 AM

Originally posted by rage1:
...I always thought that if the spread was face up and the selection face down, it would create more suspense. ...
That way you can also have the deck change color. Derek Dingle was doing jut that back in 1975, see Dingle's Deceptions or Kaufman's bigger book on his magic due out again soon.

* Was the Vernon handling in The Stars of Magic set to show a face down spread of the deck? For some reason I recall it as turning over the top card from face down to face up, and then spreading the deck to show all face up... but one card.
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Postby Joe Pecore » 06/23/06 05:10 AM

* Was the Vernon handling in The Stars of Magic set to show a face down spread of the deck? For some reason I recall it as turning over the top card from face down to face up, and then spreading the deck to show all face up... but one card.
Looking at it right now. It states "Direct the spectator to ribbon-spread the pack on the table, thereby revealing that not only have all the cards righted themselves, but they are now face down with the exception of one card - the select card."
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Postby Guest » 06/23/06 05:41 AM

Taking the hidden revelation another step was a Triumph-Sandwich handling I published many years ago in a little known newsletter - the Sorcerer's Eyes. This was also inspired by Dingle's Deceptions if I recall. At the finish, the deck is spread to reveal cards are all face down except in the middle are two face up Jacks with a face down card between - revealed as the selection.
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Postby Guest » 06/23/06 06:35 AM

I ask the participant if he/she wants me to find their card face up or face down. Whichever option they choose, I spread the deck to reveal that all the cards have righted, except one. It's either face up or face down, depending on their choice. Most of the time, they say face-down, oddly enough.

John R
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Postby Guest » 06/23/06 07:06 AM

Originally posted by once a magician:
I also spread the deck face-up.

For me, the decision was based upon clarity of effect. To have two effects happening at the same time - the cards have righted themselves AND the selected card is the only card facing the opposite direction - can be confusing to the spectators; it's a muddled effect.

I agree that it's better to emphasize the first effect of the cards righting themselves, and then show that the one contrarian card is indeed the selection...
I disagree. I've seen magicians do it this way over and over again, and what happens is that upon spreading the deck face-up, all the spectators see is a confusing jumble of ink. They frequently don't even see that one card is face down until it's pointed out to them, and even then sometimes it takes the magician an instant or two to find it. THIS is a muddled effect. Also, since you're revealing the righted condition first and the selection second, you're presenting the effects backwards by showing the strongest one first and the weaker one second. By the time you turn the card over to show it's the one, it's anticlimactic.

If you spread the face-down deck to show only one is face up, and this is an immediate picture that's non-equivocal and instantly understood. Since all the backs are the same, the one face-up card is unmistakable (unlike in the other scenario). If, however, you're concerned about revealing both effects at the same time, you can set the squared deck face down on the table and cut to the one face-up card to reveal it. Then, after this has sunk in, spread the deck to show the righting of the cards. This way, the effects build instead of go down. You can even get the moment of suspense you desire by announcing ahead of time that despite the mixed condition of the deck, you KNOW that their card is not only face up, and you'll cut to it. The suspense comes in your moment of silence as you prepare to cut the deck.

So, try this: mix, mix, mix. Presentational build. Suspense. Cut to the card. Relax. Effect over. Afterthought. Spread deck for kicker. Climax!

Just a thought.
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Postby Guest » 06/23/06 07:08 AM

Originally posted by Brown Hornet:
I ask the participant if he/she wants me to find their card face up or face down. Whichever option they choose, I spread the deck to reveal that all the cards have righted, except one. It's either face up or face down, depending on their choice. Most of the time, they say face-down, oddly enough.

John R
Fechter. :)
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Postby Pete Biro » 06/23/06 09:14 AM

I am sure vernon tried all versions and when he finally settled on the best way... put THAT in print... so, I do not alter what Vernon created.
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Postby Guest » 06/23/06 09:21 AM

Originally posted by Disparity1:
I disagree. I've seen magicians do it this way over and over again, and what happens is that upon spreading the deck face-up, all the spectators see is a confusing jumble of ink.
For me, that's the point. It's the old "Out of chaos comes order" thing. The jumble of cards is the "Chaos" and the one card with the solid color is the "Order."
At least that's the way it works for me.

Gord
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Postby Guest » 06/23/06 10:18 AM

Re : Pete Biro

I once did it for Vernon with the the cards ending face up, except the selected card face down...I thought he was going to kill me. So, I've been doing it "his way" - Pete, you are correct. He tried other ways and discarded all except the way it was written in the Stars of Magic. My opinion, none of the tons of improvements measure up to Vernon's original.

Joe DeStefano
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Postby Guest » 06/23/06 10:20 AM

The cards should be spread face DOWN in my opinion. The effect is much more visual and clear that way.
Yes, you are achieving two effects - but it is not confusing if you separate them that way: After your shadow-casting or whatever start to spread the deck very slowly face down. The spectators realize the first effect after about a third of the cards is spread. Then speed up and the selection appears face up in the centre.

Displaying the Triumph effect by spreading the cards face up is a bit ugly and gives a cluttered picture.

Denis
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/23/06 10:52 AM

I've done it both ways, spread face-up with the card face down, and also spread face-down with the card face up.

Theoretically, spreading face up should create a better effect, because you are separating the magical effects into two climaxes. First, they see that all the cards have righted themselves (this, of course, is the way these mixed-up deck routines all ended prior to the introduction of a selected card to the mix). You always spread face down--it's much easier to see. Then, you get the second climax when the face-down card is turned over to reveal the selection.
But, I have to sympathize with Disparity's point of view that spreading a face-up deck with one face-down card in the center doesn't present a clear picture. It's a visual muddle.

Spreading the deck face down to reveal only one card face up is a real visual kick--much more effective in my point of view.
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Postby Guest » 06/23/06 10:57 AM

It's interesting to hear the thoughts about this.

Im definately going to spread the deck face down now.

Thanks for your thoughts on this.
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Postby Guest » 06/23/06 11:11 AM

Face up is, without question, the way to go (for me at least). Sorry Vernon.
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Postby Pete Biro » 06/23/06 11:38 AM

Vernon will be remembered far longer than those that choose to ignore his way... :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
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Postby Guest » 06/23/06 12:47 PM

Originally posted by Pete Biro:
I am sure vernon tried all versions and when he finally settled on the best way... put THAT in print... so, I do not alter what Vernon created.
Originally posted by Joe DeStefano:
I once did it for Vernon with the the cards ending face up, except the selected card face down...I thought he was going to kill me.
This begs the question: Is it really possible to improve a Vernon effect or are people just creating variations in order to attach their name to a Vernon creation? :rolleyes:
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 06/23/06 12:52 PM

Originally posted by pierredan:
Is it really possible to improve a Vernon effect...?
Anything can be improved. However, it's important to study that which you are hoping to improve in order to understand what choices were made and why. Once you understand that, then you can begin to look for ways to improve.

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Postby Guest » 06/23/06 02:02 PM

Originally posted by Gord Gardiner:
Originally posted by Disparity1:
[b] I disagree. I've seen magicians do it this way over and over again, and what happens is that upon spreading the deck face-up, all the spectators see is a confusing jumble of ink.
For me, that's the point. It's the old "Out of chaos comes order" thing. The jumble of cards is the "Chaos" and the one card with the solid color is the "Order."
At least that's the way it works for me.

Gord [/b]
That's fine. I wonder how the audience relates to such themes...order, chaos, etc. My experience has been that they just like a good clear effect.

Parallel: I borrow a penny and you mark it on the tail side. I toss it in a pile of 51 other pennies. I shake them all up and throw them on the table. It takes you about fifteen minutes, but eventually, you see that all the pennies are tails up. Oh, wait...I point out that one is actually HEADS up. Turning it over, there's your mark. Order from chaos. Impressed?
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Postby Guest » 06/23/06 02:21 PM

Originally posted by Disparity1:
...Parallel: I borrow a penny and you mark it on the tail side. I toss it in a pile of 51 other pennies. I shake them all up and throw them on the table. It takes you about fifteen minutes, but eventually, you see that all the pennies are tails up. Oh, wait...I point out that one is actually HEADS up. Turning it over, there's your mark. Order from chaos. Impressed?
wait a second. Stop! use a jar and drop the penny into the jar with the rest. let them shake the jar. you make a pass over the jar and pour out the contents. they notice somethign strange. all the coins are tails side up...

i like it.
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Postby Guest » 06/24/06 12:33 AM

Originally posted by Pete Biro:
I am sure Vernon tried all versions and when he finally settled on the best way... put THAT in print... so, I do not alter what Vernon created.
My understanding is that Vernon had several methods for the trick and that the one in Stars Of Magic wasnt one he ever used, but rather a simplified method created for the series. Johnny Thompson teaches the method Vernon actually used (with a push through shuffle, I believe) on his Classics Of Magic videos from L&L.

Personally I like Vernon's no selection method from the Vernon Chronicles.

My preference, when doing a version with a selection, is to produce the card FIRST and then step on the applause (if any ) to reveal the REAL effect.

Oh, and I always spread face down. I think its a mistake to try and create suspense in this effect. Its not about drawing out the mystery of the trick. Its about the sudden surprise and astonishment that order has been created out of chaos. Focusing on finding the card misses the whole point of the trick (in my opinion of course). If you study the Vernon script, the selected card is actually a red herring. It exists only as a way to establish the real effect, which is the Triumph over an unfriendly act by a spectator.
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Postby Guest » 06/24/06 12:43 AM

Originally posted by Disparity1:
Parallel: I borrow a penny and you mark it on the tail side. I toss it in a pile of 51 other pennies. I shake them all up and throw them on the table. It takes you about fifteen minutes, but eventually, you see that all the pennies are tails up. Oh, wait...I point out that one is actually HEADS up. Turning it over, there's your mark. Order from chaos. Impressed?
No. Because the effect isn't clear. Which is why the trick is done with CARDS. Cards are a better way to express the theme of order from chaos. Cards have a natural ORDER. Coins don't.

That's fine. I wonder how the audience relates to such themes...order, chaos, etc. My experience has been that they just like a good clear effect.
It's quite possible to have both a good clear effect AND sophisticated themes, subtext and artistry. See Tommy Wonder or Mike Close's work for examples. Just because not everyone in the audience dosn't appreciated something doesn't mean it isn't worth doing.

As my friend Payne wrote in his lecture notes: "sometimes the jokes are just for me"
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Postby Guest » 06/24/06 12:51 AM

Bill,

that is very interesting about Vernon using a different method than the one in Stars of Magic.

im gonna definately have to check out the Johnny Thompson video, sounds interesting.
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Postby Guest » 06/24/06 01:44 AM

...and what is about: at first to spread the deck face up, and then face down?
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Postby Guest » 06/24/06 06:10 AM

Originally posted by Disparity1:
Parallel: I borrow a penny and you mark it on the tail side...<snip>...Impressed?
No. Because the effect isn't clear. Which is why the trick is done with CARDS. Cards are a better way to express the theme of order from chaos. Cards have a natural ORDER. Coins don't.
Bill, that was my point. I was trying to illustrate by general principle why spreading the deck face up is less clear because the effect is visually more difficult to comprehend. Most of the time, when you have to stop and point out what happened, it's not as good an effect.

It's quite possible to have both a good clear effect AND sophisticated themes, subtext and artistry. See Tommy Wonder or Mike Close's work for examples. Just because not everyone in the audience dosn't appreciated something doesn't mean it isn't worth doing.
I'm in full agreement with you. We don't have to target everyone in the audience all the time and not everyone has to get what we do. I just hope the client who cuts our check gets what we do, or he may not cut any more. :)
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Postby Guest » 06/24/06 07:00 AM

Performer A - a polished, engaging, and entertaining performer. When he performs Triumph, he spreads the deck face up at the finish.

Performer B - an inept, boring, and irritating performer. When he performs Triumph, he spreads the deck face down at the finish.

Which is better ??
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Postby Guest » 06/25/06 05:44 AM

Agreed, John. No one factor in an effect exists in a vacuum. I still believe, though, that in the absence of all other considerations, spreading the deck face down in Triumph is inherently better than face up, because it's the difference between the effect being 1)instantly clear and perceived or 2) having to be figured out after looking at it for a beat or two.
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Postby Gary Freed » 06/25/06 10:20 AM

Having tried both many times over the last 30 years, I seriously believe that Sankey's "Back in Time" concept(and I will leave it to the research professionals to let me know if it was done before Sankey) is the stronger climax.

Even if you use a more traditional handling of triumph, if you hand the spectator an "incorrect" card, correct the deck face down (big climax one)and then have him turn his selected card over (bigger climax)the reaction has been, at least in my experience, stronger.

My inclination would have been to vote for the original Vernon climax and I stuck with that for a very long time. When I appraise the reactions objectively, the final selection turnover adds to the already strong face-down deck display.

But that's just my opinion, I could be wrong..D.Miller
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Postby Guest » 06/25/06 10:31 AM

All the views expressed are interesting to me and seem to have merit. My feeling is that the spectator always reacts strongly to the face up spread. I have never gotten any muddle there. When they notice the one face down card, the first instinct seems to be that I failed, not bad getting 51, but did not right all 52. When the selection is revealed, its definately a double wammy.
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Postby Guest » 06/25/06 11:00 AM

I saw someone at a trade show once, and he spread the deck face down, showing all the cards face down -- the face up selection was hidden by virtue of having been right-jogged before the spread.

The audience reacted, strongly.

Then he made a squared the deck and made a magic pass over it, then respread it face up, revealing that there was now a single face down card.

The audience reacted, strongly.

Then he turned the face down card face up, showing the selection.

The audience reacted, very strongly.

I wish I could remember who this was. It was extremely effective.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/25/06 11:34 AM

Pete, that's not new. The idea of sidejogging a card and spreading the deck while it's concealed is Vernon's--the entry in the Daley notebooks predates Marlo's "Miracle Spread."
That aside, it's a lousy idea in this context. :)
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Postby Michael Close » 06/25/06 01:23 PM

I have used Triumph professionally for a long time, in two different contexts.

In the first, I simply have a card named. I then shufle face-up/face-down. In this case, I spread the deck out face up. The reason for this is that I want the audience to see that the face-up deck is well shuffled. At this point someone almost always points out that there is still one card face down. I reveal this to be the named card. Since the deck has not really been shuffled, I can proceed with other memdeck tricks.

In the other application, I use the slop shuffle as the concluding phase of a trick called The Shuffles Routine (in Closely Guarded Secrets). In this case I spread the deck face down, because I want the immediate reaction of the specatators discovering the single face-up card. Since the revelation is the payoff of a much longer routine, I want punch rather than a slow reveal.

I guess my point is that how you choose to handle the revelation depends on the context of the routine.

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Postby Pete Biro » 06/25/06 02:03 PM

TRIUMPH over tooth decay. Who's slogan was that?
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Postby Guest » 06/25/06 07:42 PM

Michael,

Do the spectators appreciate the fact that the card was simply named, or is the reaction the same as if they selected a card?

Hopefully that registers well with the spectators.
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Postby CardFan » 06/25/06 08:30 PM

I love the original. The only thing I have added is to spread the cards to show that the cards are shuffled face up into face down. (I may have learned that from an Ammar tape, but I'm not sure.) The contrast between that and the final display (cards face down and the selection face up) is, I think, very powerful.
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Postby Guest » 06/25/06 11:25 PM

Originally posted by John Pezzullo:
Which is better ?? [/QB]
In example A the performer is better.
In example B the trick is better.
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Postby Guest » 06/26/06 05:04 AM

Re: Bill Duncan Post

I BELIEVE THAT THE PERFORMER IS ALWAYS THE DIFFERENCE. WHEN THE PERFORMER OS GOOD THE MAGIC IS GOOD. WHEN THE PERFORMER IS BAD..............
THAT GOES FOR TRIUMPH...CUPS AND BALLS...CUTTING A WOMAN IN HALF...ETC ETC ETC
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