The New "Holy Grail"

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Jon Allen » 01/24/03 06:03 PM

I was at a brainstorming session with some friends of mine today. We wer discussing some new ideas and I got to thinking. What's the next "Holy Grail" that magicians are looking to solve. Example: I think the last one to be solved was the torn & totally restored card by Guy Hollingworth. Before that..... I'm not sure.

The one put forward was the any card at any number done perfectly. I was told a wonderful story of a mentalist who borrowed a deck of cards from a couple of very well-known magicians. In front of a large group, he asked one to name a number; one to name a card. He then counted down to the number only to find the wrong card. To paraphrase, he said, "That's how clean I need it to look!" Then he walked off.

I know there are many versions of the trick, but is there an ultra-clean, no nonsense, no-outs, no pre-show version that is considered *the* definitive version?
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Postby Guest » 01/24/03 06:51 PM

I have heard that steve cohen of New Yorkdoesone that is exactly that, though I don't know how reliable the source is.
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Postby Guest » 01/24/03 06:56 PM

Jon:

I was at the Castle a while back with Paul Wilson, David Regal, and Larry Wilmore (Creator of The Bernie Mac show and an excellent card handler). We were discussing the Card at any Number plot (note: not any card) for which I had recently worked out a very clean method. We progressed to Any card at any number, which is, statistically exactly the same as selected card at any number, but which seems to lay audiences to be much more impressive.

Paul asked me to name any card, and any number. Four of Hearts and seventeen, I said.

He picked up his deck and dealt to the 17th card. It was the four of hearts.

It was entirely as clean as you could possibly want. There was no action whatsoever beyond what I have described. He picked up the deck and dealt to the 17th card, which was the four of hearts.

I have a pretty good idea how it was done, and if I'm right there are no outs or pre-show work. The bad news is you have to be as good as Paul Wilson is. I won't tip the method here in case I am right, but perhaps if you contact Paul directly he'll share with you. Despite being a Scotsman he is remarkably generous. :-)

One of the "holy grails" I've been chasing is having a spectator sign something which then transforms but keeps their signature. A bit back I came up with a way to show a dollar bill, which is initialed by the spectator. This then changes into a five, with the initials intact.

This may appear in John Lovick's upcoming book on the bill switch. But if you're interested email me and I'll send it to you.

Pete
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Postby Joe Gallant » 01/24/03 09:30 PM

An interesting twist on "any card at any number" is "Twice as Hard" from the "UnDo Influence" section of Simon Aronson's book Try the Impossible. Two spectators each choose a number and a card. Then each spectator's card is revealed at the number he selected. It is not an easy effect, but it's also not as hard as it first seems when you read the explanation.
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Postby Pete Biro » 01/25/03 12:03 AM

We had the great pleasure of seeing Paul Wilson at the Castle lunchtime show today.

Fooled the wheeeee outta meeeee (and the rest).

His card work is great for sure, but his "soft" coin handling is even better. :genii:
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Postby Pete Biro » 01/25/03 12:06 AM

My favorite IMPOSSIBLE trick (that I do is):

Borrowed deck. Let spectator shuffle. Ask spectator to lift off any number of cards and replace and square remembering the card at the cut.

I then take the top card, turn it face up and lay it on the table partly over the edge.

The deck is about 10-inches away.

I flick the card so it goes into the deck and it is next to the selected card.

This is pure luck, but I can't tell you how many times I have hit.

At Kramien's Konvention, in Portland, last year ask George Olson... I hit two times in a row! :D
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Postby Leonard Hevia » 01/26/03 09:48 PM

That's nice Pete. Don't you miss? I prefer to do Mike Skinner's version that utilizes Marlo's one-handed bottom deal. It isn't very difficult and is quite deceptive.

I love the "Card at any Number." Over the years I've collected methods for this effect...stacked deck, gimmicked card box...all require preparation. The impromptu method still eludes me. I'm confident Simon Arronson will eventually find the solution. :)
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Postby Guest » 01/26/03 10:16 PM

Originally posted by Jon Allen:
..."Holy Grail" ...the any card at any number done perfectly.
Regarding quests for methods...
what will you have when you have this? and what will it do for you?

Surely we recall the story of the grail and what its possesion offers, and what drinking from it offers. What would being able to get a named card to a named position do for you?

Or more importantly what will the locating and positioning methods do for other card effects?

Like in the third Indiana Jones movie, choosing to drink from the wrong chalice may have unfortunate side effects. Here's to better card magic. :)

Jonathan
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Postby Guest » 01/28/03 05:32 AM

Hi Jon, a big hello from Australia we should have exchanged email details the last time you were out here and we could have kept in touch, I'm the guy who used to live in London then moved out here remember. I think about the old Card at any position thing alot, tough one isn't it? I bet my last dollar it's something subtle and probably not that easy to do either. I had a silly idea sometime ago;

1 adeck in memorised stack
2 Ask speccy to name a number
3 say you have had some numbers going round in your head all day and name the numerical values of the cards that correspond to the cards in your stack that fall at the named position, the one before it and the one after it.
4 Ask him to name any number
5 then use forcing to get the card of that value in the stack.
6 if you count through you can arrive at this card. If your lucky you can deal openly and the card is at the exact position, failing that it;s the one before or after.

Look it;s not at all what you asked for but I really just wanted to say hi and keep in touch.
By the way you don't happen to have Marc Spelman's email do you.

Yours Deano.

datkin@iprimus.com.au
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Postby Guest » 01/28/03 08:17 AM

Pete,
Stphen Minch used to do a medeival archer themed card trick where, with a one handed cut he shot a card into the deck to discover the spekees card. It really impresses the audience when you hit it.
PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat
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Suppliers of unique Mentalism world-wide
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Postby Pete Biro » 01/28/03 11:08 AM

I forget who I first saw do a one hand boomerang (card flies off deck) and card flies back and is caught in the deck next to selection.

Card was on bottom, one handed cut to catch card.

Lesser skilled can use two hands.

What I did was the deck was standing free, away from anything and card shot into deck.

TOTALLY ESTIMATION.

I don't hit that often, but when I do I sell the wheee out of it... :D
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Postby Matthew Field » 01/28/03 02:13 PM

Originally posted by Pete Biro:
I forget who I first saw do a one hand boomerang (card flies off deck) and card flies back and is caught in the deck next to selection.
Daryl. And Harry Lorayne is noted for his version of tossing a card into the deck so it lands next to a selection.

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Postby Guest » 01/28/03 03:27 PM

Indeed; Harry's method, which could easily be used to make Pete Biro's trick work every time, was written up in The Best of Benzais (along with John Benzais' original estimation method, which is virtually the same as Pete Biro's) in "Stabbed in the Pack".
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Postby Brian Marks » 01/28/03 03:34 PM

David Wiliamson has a version in Wiliamson's Wonders
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Postby Guest » 01/28/03 08:14 PM

Pete,
Another very impressive version is bye Greg Wilson,(you know which one.) The Boomerang card of death, is featured on his tape, "Cardstunts". 2 cards selected....shuffled....one card shot into the air....boomerangs...and lands in the deck...between 2 selected cards. All with just one hand. This impressed me and it is hard as hell. I'm not familiar with Lorayne's approach, where is it? And Daryl's uses a charlier cut to shandwich the card between the selections....this does not.
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Postby Pete Biro » 01/28/03 10:55 PM

I believe Lorayne's is as follows (I have used it a lot)... Selected card controlled to bottom of deck.

Spectator slips a Joker (any card) into deck anywhere from long side.

Deck held in left hand outstretched. Thumb over top of cards grabs all cards above jogged card, and in tossing motion all cards below jogged card, AND jogged card tossed to table.. however fingertips keep bottom card with the top group, and you turn over all in hand to show selected card.

Benzais idea was like what I do, but I got my idea from Persi D.
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Postby Jon Allen » 01/29/03 08:49 AM

Hi Dean,

I do rememebr you although Australis was a few years back!

In your description you ask someone to name a number, then after you name the cards, they name any number again? Not sure what you mean.

Btw, I don't have an email for Marc Spelman.

With the amount of people scaling cards into the deck, I assume that particular 'Holy Grail' has been found?

I put forward Card at Any Number but I am sure there are others.
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Postby Pete Biro » 01/29/03 11:11 AM

Pretty hard to beat Pat Pages version.

He asks someone to name a card.

He says something like, "It is 25th from the top." He shakes the deck and says, "It is now 12th from the top." Shakes again, "It is now on top." He picks off the top card and shows it. It is the wrong card. He says, "Not only did it move from 25th to the top, but it CHANGED TO THE (name card in hand)."

On the laugh, he does a top change to the named card.

"And now it has changed back." He shows the named card.

You figure the method, but, don't do it... IT IS HIS PRESENTATION!!! :p :p
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Postby Guest » 01/29/03 10:45 PM

Originally posted by Jon Allen:
I know there are many versions of the trick, but is there an ultra-clean, no nonsense, no-outs, no pre-show version that is considered *the* definitive version?
Krenzel's version (in the book Minch wrote) allows the audience to choose the card and position if memory serves me correctly.

It uses a stacked deck and a gaffed card case that allows you to secretly cut the card to postion as you remove it from the case.
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Postby Guest » 01/29/03 11:36 PM

Originally posted by Bill Duncan:
Originally posted by Jon Allen:
I know there are many versions of the trick, but is there an ultra-clean, no nonsense, no-outs, no pre-show version that is considered *the* definitive version?
Krenzel's version (in the book Minch wrote) allows the audience to choose the card and position if memory serves me correctly.

It uses a stacked deck and a gaffed card case that allows you to secretly cut the card to postion as you remove it from the case.
If you're talking about the effect in Krenzels "Ingenuities", you have some of the details wrong. While a gaffed box is used in some effects, it is not used for the particular effect I believe you're referring to. (Simulacrum Mirabundum)

It uses two completely normal *and differently colored* decks. There is a stack involved, but there is absolutely no memory work and the card cases are ungaffed. The only prep work is the stacking of the two decks. Very nice version of this effect and it's nearly self working to boot...
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Postby Guest » 01/30/03 03:54 PM

Maybee this is a pipe dream, and it would certainly seem to be less than a hundred percent, but it might be possible to do a psychological any card at any number using some of Derren brown's ideas:
e.g. : Use the old psychological # 37 force for one spectator and one of Mr. Brown's card forces for the other. This combined with an out for the times it doesn't work might make for a really clean any card at any number in which the spectator could hang on to the cards and even do the dealing.
Alternatively it occurs to me that the card alone could be forced and then bottom dealt at the correct #

As for Mr Brown's psychological card forces, it would certainly seem that he is chasing a grail of his own that could make for some really interesting magic. Has anyone out there incorporated his ideas into their repetoire.
Any tips?
Sincerely Jer.
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Postby Leonard Hevia » 01/30/03 08:29 PM

Hi Wert-Bill Duncan is referring to the Krenzel effect from Krenzel's Close-Up Impact. As far as I know, the gaffed card case/stack method is not in Ingenuities. However, you have me interested in that two deck effect from the latter text, and I will look it up it this evening. :)
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Postby Guest » 01/30/03 09:01 PM

Originally posted by Leonard Hevia:
Hi Wert-Bill Duncan is referring to the Krenzel effect from Krenzel's Close-Up Impact. As far as I know, the gaffed card case/stack method is not in Ingenuities. However, you have me interested in that two deck effect from the latter text, and I will look it up it this evening. :)
I see. Didn't know he also covered the plot in a previous book.

I don't know that particular version, but the one in ingenuities is really clean. A vast majority of the action seems to happen in the spectators hands....
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Postby Dave Egleston » 01/30/03 11:24 PM

I've read this whole thread to date - The only thing I'm confused about: A torn and restored trick was the last "Holy Grail"? (There is no slicker trick than the T&R by Mr Hollingworth) - I was under the impression Stewart James' "51 Faces North" held a "holier" place than the T&R effect

But, I agree, any card at any number could be the next "Pie in the Sky"

Dave
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Postby Jon Allen » 01/31/03 04:00 AM

"Wouldn't it be great if you could tear a signed card into quarters and restore it visibly piece by piece so the *whole* card was restored?"

This quest was answered by Reformation - hence, in my view, this was the last 'pie in the sky' to be acheived.

It seems that the Any Card at Any Number is the next one: Have someone shuffle the deck (lets make it easy!)then someone names any card and some names any number. The named card is at the position of the named number."
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Postby Pete Biro » 01/31/03 11:00 AM

Learn to use a card index.

Let someone shuffle the deck and name a card and a number.

Palm the card to the bottom of the deck (the one named and you got from your index).

Deal cards and when you get to the number deal it off the bottom.

Or use seconds if you loaded the card to the top.

Pretty simple and no memory or stack required. :p
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Postby Guest » 01/31/03 06:08 PM

Originally posted by Pete Biro:
Learn to use a card index.

Pretty simple and no memory or stack required. :p
Not bad, but much more impressive if the spectator does the dealing IMHO...
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Postby Guest » 01/31/03 10:47 PM

In 1949 I was with Dr Jaks and Calvin Thompson watching the French magician, Charlie Cartes at the Blue Angel. One of his effects which he repeated again and again was to ask a spectator to name a card. He then showed that that was the top card of the deck. Again and again.

After his last show he joined us at our table and borrowed Calvin's deck and did the same effect with that. Then he leaned over and whispered to Calvin that he, too, used that identical stack. His whole effect was predicated on a stacked deck an extremely rapid and invisible thumb count and pass.

It occurs to me that that technique could be employed for placing the card at any number called.
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Postby Pete Biro » 01/31/03 11:33 PM

OK, you want the specledtater to deal... fine.

Now all you have to do is a bit of hand mucking.
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Postby Pete Biro » 01/31/03 11:40 PM

You could use a Juice Deck and if the sucker dealt to the actual card, you would have a miracle.

Reminds me of a similar thing that happened to me.

A gal we socialized with had just gotten engaged and was showing off her ring.

When I looked at it I loaded her fingertips with daub.

Awhile later, while doing some card tricks I asked her to touch any card in the spread I laid out on the table. Told her to look at it and replace it.

I then asked someone else to shuffle the cards, then another person and another and another... when they had decided the cards had been shuffled ENOUGH... and the deck was placed down in front of me...

You guessed it... The "daubed card" was on top!

I picked up the deck, top palmed the card and shoved to for "two more shuffles please."

"I have NOT TOUCHED THE DECK, RIGHT?" They agreed... and the rest is history.

Actually I now forget how I finished the trick, but I do know I just produced the card and walked out and left. They talked about that trick for years.

Another time, working for a client in Indianapolis, we were going to dinner, but waiting for the BOSS... we were in a hotel room and I had done a few card tricks to kill time. I finished and was toying with the deck and just for myself, practicing, I palmed the four aces and was just sitting on the edge of the bed.

Just then the BOSS walked in, saw the deck and grabbed it, shuffled them a few times, tossed the deck down and said, "OK Biro... I have you now... FIND THE ACES."

:D :genii: :D
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Postby Guest » 02/24/03 07:08 AM

Hello Jon allen,

Long time no see.. Hope all is well.
I think you have actually hit on somethng with the card at any number as being the next thing to conquer. The dealer vogue seems to be money tranformations . I have noticed a number of versions for tis effect lately.

The card at any number is a great effect and one that seems so shrowded in mystery.

So many books have 'versions' but alas all seem to fail in the direct no nonsense approach that you mention.. I know there is a version in Bill Tarrs book
'Now u c it now u dont.' but if memory serves me well it is not as clean as one might hope.

All the best Jon

Marc Spelmann
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Postby Guest » 02/24/03 01:14 PM

Gentlemen, I must be off to study anthropology with a class full of children. It is an interesting exercise in before/after, but not nearly so entertaining as this thread has been. It is at moments like this that I am so proud to be among friends of like mind. Thank you for your wealth of knowledge, and your creativity. Sorry to interrupt the flow, get back to chatting. You heard me, go be creative, I expect more ideas when I return from class!
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Postby Guest » 02/24/03 05:22 PM

On my one and only visit to the Magic Circle on a Monday night. I had the pleasure of sitting at a table with Ricky Jay who did the boomerang card.
He also did a cute thing with a halfcard jack of clubs... I'm sure you know the thing ..take a card replaced in deck...shuffled and the spectator will cut to her card ... and as the kicker the other half card was found in the spectators pocket.
Probably 1975 ish ? :confused:
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Postby Guest » 02/24/03 05:27 PM

My solution to any card at any number is to cull the card to bottom of deck and bottom deal out at the selected number.
:rolleyes:
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Postby Guest » 02/24/03 05:30 PM

Sorry Pete
Have just read your prior post DUH :o
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Postby George Olson » 02/25/03 11:07 AM

Well, I finally read this string. Although I'm a peace loving Hawk, I must admit I wanted to thrash the "devil" out of Master Peter! The blase "nice use of the move" was my internal reaction; but I hated him at that momment! You can't do that to a little old fat man from Chicago, then -- he repeated it.

I was putty in his hands for the remainder of the Jamboree!

I never asked how he did it -- bad protocal -- but I've silently suffered for almost a year.

I'll get him this year.

GO
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Postby Steve Bryant » 02/27/03 05:07 PM

Jon,

Getting back to your original question, my absolute favorite is J.K. Hartman's "Patent Portent" which appeared in the December 1999 issue of Genii. Completely impromptu and virtually self-working. It's the perfect item to do when someone says, "What if I just name a card?"
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Postby Steve Cohen » 03/05/03 02:09 PM

Originally posted by Stohan:
I have heard that steve cohen of New York doesone that is exactly that, though I don't know how reliable the source is.
Yes, I perform "Any Card at Any Number" frequently when performing for intimate groups. I use 3 or 4 different methods, some using two decks (ala Al Baker), others using only one deck. I prefer the clarity of one deck. From time to time, I have included the one-deck version in my Chamber Magic show at the Waldorf, and it knocks people off their seats. The (uncased) deck sits in full view inside of a goblet. One person names a card, and another person names a number. I remove the deck from the goblet, and hand it to a spectator to count. I feel that this trick is even more amazing the the Invisible Deck when presented properly.

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Postby Guest » 03/05/03 02:52 PM

One of my killer versions of Any Card at Any Number goes like this:

Have the deck in memorized stack order.

Let them name any card and any number.
Just do some easy math calc. and pinky count correct numbers of cards and do a pass "invisible". You should now have correct amont of cards on the choisen one to get into "position"
Hand them the deck and let them deal the cards out! Check their faces when the card shows up at the correct position :) I love this...

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Postby Guest » 03/24/03 06:25 PM

How about:

Force. Deck switch. One way force deck?

Don't mean to be too pithy here, but it would still work great, as an effect to "get into" from another.

Ron
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