Although I have enjoyed reading the articulate back-and-forth comments regarding Twists and Turns, including points and counter-points about various modalities and their provenance. However, scant attention has been paid to the effect ITSELF, particularly as it may or may not MEANINGFULLY relate to lay people.
Although advocates will strenuously argue that Twisting effects, particularly Lee Asher's suddenly-flashy version (which wowed the faithful at FFFF), "fry" lay people, I wonder how it comparatively stacks up against truly theatrical effects. Is it more "dazzle" than "razzle"? Is it just cute-and-catchy "eye candy" for half-passes to pass on?
Like everyone else, I started collecting Twisting effects in the 70s. Back then my friend, Robert Walker, wrote an immense treatise on what he called THE CRUX EFFECT. (Bob is out of magic and is now a practicing physician-teacher.) His treatise, thankfully, was never published. As it stands, I have squirreled away over 200 methods in my files. I also contributed a forgettable treatise titled GOOD TURNS that Lloyd Jones published. (P.S. The version Pete Biro asked about was published in THE ASCANIO SPREAD, along with others. Pete was one of the guys who transported the Ascanio Spread to these shores. The Twist versions based on a Ralph Gironda (Fulves pseudonym) trick in Pallbearers generated dozens of versions, including one that Fred Kaps liked to do.)
RELATIVELY SPEAKING, I think that ANY Twisting effect does not warrant being included in the non-existent Hall of Fame for Great Card Effects. Because most cardmen have been fascinated with the approach and all its variations for 30 years, it ranks high as being on the Hit Parade for Obsessives.
I have yet to see anyone perform a version of Twisting in their One-Man Show, whether it be Ricky Jay, Steve Cohen, or Paul Gertner. I haven't seen anyone perform it at a Trade Show recently. I didn't see Blaine perform it on any of his Street-Magic Specials.
However, I did see it last week at our local Magic Round Table and I still see it at magic gatherings. In fact, I may perform some variations tonight?
If this "thread" doesn't quickly unravel in the next week or so, interested parties may want to check out my Website (http://www.JonRacherbaumer.com
), which will reprint a down-loadable version of GOOD TURNS, other slightly "twisted" Twisting Tricks, and the original ASCANIO SPREAD mss.
Otherwise, keep the dialogue rolling and roiling...