Need Advice and Ideas for THE RISING CARD effect for stage

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Postby Nicholas Carifo » 09/18/04 08:24 PM

Hi All,

I think the Rising Card is about the most visual card efffect you can do. There are so many versions and I am looking to add a version to my stand-up/stage show.

Can anyone help with some recommendations on versions in books, in history, or even currently marketed.

I am looking for effects that highlight -- very visually -- the rising of the card or cards.

I currently perform Kundalini Rising by Jeff McBride, and love the effect, it is very impromptu and clean at the end to perform strolling, but not as visual and smooth of a rise on stage as say the classic versions of the effect. Also would like the ability to perform with a jumbo card, but still slok clean, sleek, and amazing. Sometimes we magi fool ourselves into thinking some bulkly card holding apparatus with a moto r in it is fooling the public. The public usually knows better:)

My favorite was the version performed by Doug Henning many years ago on one of his earliest tv specials with thread hookups. The final card rising completely out of the deck thru the air into his hand. Obviously a stage effect, and beautifully done. Another favorite of mine was Del Rays performance, which without question, is beyone my comprehension both in method AND in presentation. Only Del can do Del.

Any good Rising Card advice out there?
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 09/18/04 08:59 PM

Ken Brooke used to sell something called the Nemo Card Rise.

It's a winner and is designed for audience view.
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Postby Pete Biro » 09/18/04 09:56 PM

Nemo is a great method... but it is light-hearted and filled with gags... it is not a "classy" classic, but is great for the talking performer. You need someone on stage to help as they hold the houlette for the last card, which is in an envelope, the envelope rises on spectator's command, then opens and card comes up out on command.

There is one on EBAY right now.

Frakson, Flosso and other classic guys used a Martin mechinical wind up deck, with delays built in.

Most require cards selected from small deck, "We'll use this big deck so you can all see." rather than do a switch, altho you can have jumbo deck selections and do a switch as you get the houlette.

If you want the last card ala Henning you need a wrist reel or a thread setup.

You can make a nice setup with a clock work in a table and add the threaded packet to the deck.
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Postby Pete Biro » 09/18/04 09:57 PM

You could also have custom made jumbo devano.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 09/18/04 10:15 PM

Originally posted by Pete Biro:
Nemo is a great method... but it is light-hearted and filled with gags... it is not a "classy" classic...
As Pete describes, the routine offered in the instructions for the Nemo Card Rise is comical, using props and engaging the volunteer in the fun.

However, neither these props nor the the comedy are required by the mechanics of the trick. You are free to present the thing as a dry, somber or even bizarre peice of magic. Beyond asking the volunteer to hold the ungaffed clear plexiglass houlette you are free to present the trick as you see fit. It is not necessary for a volunteer to hold the houlette. It just works out better for an audience to see someone so close to the action being amazed as this trick happens.

For presentational affect, you can invoke dark spirits, make the freely chosen cards 'light in the loafers', suggest that the chosen cards are somehow redeemed of sin and free to rise on their own... anything you can imagine. The card in the envelope that rises, then opens the envelope and rises out of the envolope can be framed as anything from a clue in a murder mystery to the guilty consience in a tell-tale heart presentation.

You are free to frame the trick as you see fit. And this is true for any trick you find. I just happen to like this version of the trick.
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Postby Jacky Kahan » 09/19/04 05:38 AM

The best version I ever saw was Bob Kohler's !

There was a discussion on the History of Rising cards HERE on the forum....

If i Recall correctly Klingsor (Belgian Magician) made an extensive work in French on this issue. Don't know if it was translated in English.

You can always check out

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Postby Carl Mercurio » 09/19/04 07:58 AM

There are just so many great versions. The key, I think, is to sell the rise so it doesn't look like you just pushed a button or pulled a string. Selling it has as much to do with your style as it does with the method you choose, and in fact the two are closely tied. Anyway, I close my stage act with rising card.

1. The Nemo is best because both the deck and houlette aren't gimmicked. You can use jumbo cards, and the rising card from the envelope kills. Unfortunately, I needed a hands-free version (and I don't have an assistant) so I've been using the El Duco Nemo with the Anglo deck (not quite a jumbo deck, but oversized for visibility). It's among the best mechanical rising cards I've seen ($375, plus shipping). The houlette is gimmicked but the deck can be handed out. Btw, you can easily build your own Nemo from the directions in the Ken Brooke Magic Place book.

2. Greater Magic has numerous versions. If I'm not mistaken, the great Scotty York version (see his bar magic video) with the glass dome originates in Greater Magic.

3. Carney Book of Secrets has a nice platform version with a regular deck. But you have to gimmick a chair.

4. Be sure to check out the Rising Card in Expert at the Card Table. It's an overlooked gem. Best used for close-up.

5. Nothing wrong with a Devano deck. The fact that you can spread the deck and have cards selected really sells that it is a normal deck.

6. The problem with the music box versions mounted in a wooden box painted to look like a deck of cards is that they really look as fake as they are. Mikami overcame this problem by mounting a tiny music box inside a cut-out in an actual oversized deck ($199). So you can spread off cards, have them selected, control the selections to the front of the rubber wheel and turn it on. It's a nice idea. But the switch is a pain to turn on and off, there's no delay, and the cards don't rise consistently because they're of cheap rough paper quality. (The cards used are actually the same as a deck my wife bought me years ago on a visit to Japan at the five-and-dime store near her parents house in Tokyo). It's sitting on a shelf in my garage if you want to buy it off me. Only used a few times.

Good luck. It's a great effect. Treat it with respect.

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Postby Pete Biro » 09/19/04 01:37 PM

OK OK, maybe I need to run another batch. I had built two decks, one was used by Fred Kaps, the other myself, but I took mine apart to use the innards for something else.

It is an electric (not electronic) deck with a built in delay. Jumbo deck all built in with no fiddling... you put the deck into a large goblet or houlette and after some seconds the card rises.

Take the card out replace deck delay card rises, and one more.

Townsend is correct, you CAN do NEMO in a serious way, but you do need a speckie to hold the deck for the last card for the greatest impact.

I can still remember the reaction I got with that envelope/card rise many many years ago when I did this at a party for Roger Penske... jaws dropped... these are sophisticated people, yet this put them away.
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