Gaetan Bloom's Intercessor

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Postby Marcus » 05/04/02 07:03 PM

Can anybody say anything good or bad about the Intercessor? I have read the description on several web sites and it sounds like it could be worked into my routine without much trouble.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 05/04/02 08:24 PM

Marcus,
I asked Kevin James to demonstrate Bloom's gimmick for me in Las Vegas at the MAGIC Live! convention. It is well made and clever. Do you understand exactly what it is? It allows you to tear a corner off any card that will EXACTLY match the hole in another card from which the corner has been torn off using the same gimmick. Very nice, as is all of Gaeton Bloom's material. (His version of the Slydini "Linking Pins" is diabolical!)
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Postby Guest » 06/03/02 07:08 PM

I would like to play the devil's advocate and say that this trick bites the big one.

a) I saw a peer perform it and the spectator picked up the duplicate and the corner and noticed the pieces didn't match exactly (they never will match under close examination)

b) instead of switching the very small corner at the beginning of trick, you have to use the chunky gimmick.

c) It is very expensive.

d) You can perform all of the effects intercessor does with an oridinary deck of cards.

e) You can't tear off the corner cleanly infront of the audience. It needs a lot of neck tieing and misdirection to hide the gimmick.

f) There is no good reason to create two identical tears in two identical cards that can't be done another way.

In all, this is one of those effects created to sell to collectors of expensive magic and people looking of the next new thing
Sorry Mr Bloom.
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Postby Joe M. Turner » 06/03/02 09:55 PM

I was afraid I was the only one who didn't like it.

Maybe that's too strong. I think the idea is very good and that a subtle use of such a tool might be very powerful.

However, I have watched Dan Garrett's new routine which is based on the use of that gimmick -- it's one of the "highlight" of his new lecture -- and I'm just not impressed. I like Dan a lot and he has been so supportive of me... but I think the routine just tries to go so far and is a good example of really being "too perfect." In the routine, he ends up destroying the corner, reproducing it, destroying it again, and eventually it ends up being reproduced *laminated*. I just think the routine blatantly tips the method... gee, he must have some way to make a lot of corners that look the same.

Laminated?

Maybe I'd be more excited about the Intercessor if I had never seen this routine that just cries out that he is manufacturing duplicate corners.
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Postby Guest » 06/03/02 10:29 PM

The best part of this gimmick is that the spectator can finish tearing the corner off. Other than that, yeah, you could just do the time honored corner switch.
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Postby Guest » 06/04/02 05:08 AM

I'm afraid that I have to disagree with Joe and Nicholas.

I have an intercessor, and the match of duplicate corners is exact. Fibre for fibre is what I say when I do it, and I've NEVER had a lay person look at it and suggest that it doesn't fit.

I agree that you may want to avoid the "too perfect" or "too preposterous" locations. I like having the card in my sock. Or, doing Mark Jenest's Chap Trick and having the card come out of the Chap Stick Tube.

Yes, there is some thickness to the gimmick, and you have to practice the handling. So what? Most good tricks require some practice. I've seen Kevin James and Gaeton Bloom do the thing and they do it well! Doesn't look fishy in their hands at all.
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Postby Guest » 06/04/02 12:50 PM

I don't get this dislike of the too perfect theory, especially when someone is playing to small groups where they know each other and know for a fact that there are no plants or helpers within their group. Just what does it mean to be too perfect? That there is no possible logical solution? Gee, as magicians are you not supposed to produce miracles that are IMPOSSIBLE?!?!?!?

I for one want my audiences to walk away completely dunbfounded not having any possible explaination for what I have done. I want magicians to walk away wondering what possible method I was using because there was no possible way for me to do what I did. For lay people I want them to walk away assuming that it must have been "magic" because there was no possible human explaination but magic for what I did.

Gaeton Bloom is one very clever thinker who comes up with some absolutely impossible ideas. I have used my share of his early material and it is far from being too perfect, it's just right. It leaves my audiences with no possible explaination for what happened.

Too perfect? Not for this puppy.

PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat

http://www.mindguy.com
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Postby Tom Stone » 06/04/02 01:04 PM

Originally posted by Joe M. Turner:
but I think the routine just tries to go so far and is a good example of really being "too perfect." In the routine, he ends up destroying the corner, reproducing it, destroying it again, and eventually it ends up being reproduced *laminated*. I just think the routine blatantly tips the method.
No, as you describe it, I don't think that it is an example of being "too perfect". It sounds more like an example of forgetting that a destruction isn't the same as a magical disapperance.
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Postby Tom Stone » 06/04/02 01:20 PM

Originally posted by Paul Alberstat:
Just what does it mean to be too perfect? That there is no possible logical solution? Gee, as magicians are you not supposed to produce miracles that are IMPOSSIBLE?!?!?!?
No, the "too perfect" phrase is refering to a specific situation.
Let's say that you have an effect that get a good response. So you want to improve the effect, because you desire a great reaction instead of a merely good response.
So you put down a lot of work, and the effect is finally improved. But to your surprise, it just dies in performance, and you can't understand why.

For a very long time, the only thing that seemed to explain that phenomen was Rick Johnson's "Too Perfect Theory". And that is what the "too perfect" phrase is refering to.

However, that theory is not valid, as was shown in the article "Too perfect - imperfect" in Genii magazine, october 2001.
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Postby Guest » 06/04/02 04:41 PM

I think the theory is correct but the solution is flawed.

The theory states that a trick that overproves it wasn't done in certain ways may tip the audience how it was done. E.g. if you vanish a coin naked from your right hand, it was be in your left hand.

Its like looking for a needle in a haystack when all of the hay has been removed.

The solution that we should make our tricks less perfect to confuse our audiences is what is flawed. We want to amaze them, not confuse them.

See more in my posting on the Too Perfect Method.

Intercessor still sucks. It is an expensive round about way to do a simple trick that can and has fail.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/04/02 05:21 PM

Very strong opinions, Mr. Johnson, and seconded by our own Mr. Turner, no less. I think that "Intercessor" will be of interest (as are many marketed gimmicks) to people who either don't want to practice a good corner switch, or just don't have the ability. "Intercessor" is designed to serve that audience! It is irrelevant to anyone who can switch two corners. If you can switch the corners, then I'm not the least bit surprised you don't like it. It's not made for you! It's like offering a wheelchair to someone who can walk--you just see no need for it.
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Postby Guest » 06/04/02 05:36 PM

The Intercessor does not "suck". It is merely Unnecessary. There are other ways to get the corner to match. As for the "too perfect theory", I think that a trick that is TOO good is a bad thing. The reason is because if a trick is so impossible that there is NO OTHER WAY to do it other than with a stooge or a duplicate, most spectators will assume that is the answer, corrrect or incorrect. When people are fooled, any explaination, no matter how outrageous, MUST be the correct solution. A good example of this happened the other day in the shop. A couple was telling us how their 7 year old niece "figures out EVERY magic trick that she sees on TV." This is a SEVEN YEAR OLD KID!!! The solutions were totally SILLY (they gave us some of her "solutions"), but they believed that the kid was correct. Therefore, I state again, if a trick is too impossible ANY solution becomes, in the mind of the spectator, the correct one, in which case they believe that they are no longer fooled.
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Postby Tom Stone » 06/04/02 07:05 PM

Originally posted by Nicholas J. Johnson:
I think the theory is correct but the solution is flawed.
It is the other way around. The analysis part of the theory is flawed and incomplete. That is why the solutions sometimes is useful, and sometimes not.

I've had some long discussions with Tommy Wonder about this, when we discussed his Watch in Nest of Boxes. I wouldn't be surprised if a fourth method for his effect turns up soon.
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Postby Tom Stone » 06/04/02 07:10 PM

Originally posted by David Eldridge:
I think that a trick that is TOO good is a bad thing. The reason is because if a trick is so impossible that there is NO OTHER WAY to do it other than with a stooge or a duplicate, most spectators will assume that is the answer, corrrect or incorrect.
But that can be overcome by applying Juan Tamariz' Theory of False Solutions (from his book The Magic Way).
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Postby Guest » 06/05/02 05:21 AM

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
I think that "Intercessor" will be of interest (as are many marketed gimmicks) to people who either don't want to practice a good corner switch, or just don't have the ability. "Intercessor" is designed to serve that audience! It is irrelevant to anyone who can switch two corners. If you can switch the corners, then I'm not the least bit surprised you don't like it. It's not made for you! It's like offering a wheelchair to someone who can walk--you just see no need for it.
I have a sneaking suspicion that both Juan Tamariz (who I believe contributed the "spectator pulls of corner" touch) and Daryl (who said that it opens vast new avenues for exploration) can do an adequate corner switch, so maybe there's more to it than that.

;)
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/05/02 05:57 PM

Just because a famous magician gives an endorsement to a trick, or contributes an idea to the instructions, certainly doesn't mean that he or she actually uses the item. Of course both men are capable of doing a corner switch. I also assume they're friends of Kevin James and/or Gaeton Bloom, and thought the idea of the gimmick was clever.
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Postby Eric Rose » 06/05/02 08:37 PM

I have to say that I like the Intercessor, and have never had a problem with it violating too-perfect theory or mismatching corners. My only reservation is that I had to stop carrying it in my briefcase. It caused my bags to be searched at every airport. Way too hard to explain to a security guard - "Well, you see, there's this French guy...."
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Postby Robert McDaniel » 06/06/02 12:22 PM

It seems to me that just about anybody can palm an extra corner of a card; tear up a duplicate, place the torn pieces onto the right hand on top of the extra piece, and then turn all the pieces over and hand the top piece to the spectator. If you can do that, then I agree - you don't need the Intercessor. But, I also agree that the Tamirez touch where the spectator makes the last little tear is brilliant.

Referring back to the last post, I'm just wondering what's going to happen when I go to the airport on July 4th and they make me open up my close-up case, which contains a seance hand, two thumb tips, and a fake rubber tongue.

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Postby Joe M. Turner » 06/06/02 01:04 PM

Ship items ahead to your hotel. :)
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Postby Brian Morton » 06/06/02 03:31 PM

I can do a torn corner switch, but I love the idea of the Intercessor gimmick because of the opportunities it opens up for some out-of-this-world locations.

For instance, I work in a lounge which has a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf loaded with old German encyclopedias, hardback novels and various other tomes (the idea is to give the place "ambiance" -- it's called "The Explorer's Lounge" and has a Livingston-and-Stanley feel to it ). I've often thought of gaffing the wall of books, and my friend Chris Ivanovich came up with an idea where various books all across the wall would be loaded with cards gaffed by the Intercessor. Then, using a combination of equivoque and free spectator choice, the spectator could choose a book and find within it the card that matches the corner.

I've also thought of using it to create some magic at the renaissance faire where I work by using a variant on the trick Robert-Houdin did for King Louis Phillippe at St. Cloud in 1846, where the choices for the king were two absurd locations and a relatively easy-to-access one. Except in this instance, all the places, no matter how absurd ("Under the fifth bench in the third row from the Royal Box," "Buried sixteen paces from the gate in the middle of the joust field") could be used to locate the card.

In ways such as this, impossible card locations as ludicrous as those done by David Blaine can be done without the crutch of stooges, edits, restriction-of-vision and other television chicanery.

And I agree with Tom Stone on the difference between 'destruction' and 'disappearance' and prefer to put the card in an envelope before it is burned, thereby giving the spectator a chance to think somehow the card might have been stolen out ... which makes the final impossible and improbable location that much more stunning.

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Postby Tom Stone » 06/06/02 03:59 PM

Originally posted by Brian Wendell Morton:
prefer to put the card in an envelope before it is burned, thereby giving the spectator a chance to think somehow the card might have been stolen out ... which makes the final impossible and improbable location that much more stunning.
It depends on what the effect is. If the effect is "My sleight of hand skills are incredible", then it would be a good idea if the audience believes that you've stolen the card out of the envelope - though, then it would be a good idea to also design the revelation to strengthen that idea.

Another idea for the effect is "I can control energy and matter": Line up a bunch of magnifying glasses. At one end of the line is a box, and at the other, you're burning the card that is inside the envelope.
The subtext can be that the heat from the burning envelope causes the card inside it to change state ( like ice into water, or water into steam), and that the energy of the card is focused towards the box.. etc.
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Postby Dale Shrimpton » 06/12/02 04:42 AM

i bought mine after hearing it being used by Paul Zennon , on a british radio show.
i was shocked at the powerfull a reaction it could get, particualy when you use the tamariz subtlety, and have them tear the corner off.
and i agree whole heartedly about Gatens pins.
i lost the " thingy" a while back,fortunatly, i found it,and have since come up with one or two ideas using just one of the pins, and a borrowed finger ring.
it makes for an interesting vanish, when after they have threaded the ring on the pin, they hold it by the clasp, yet the ring still goes.
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Postby Bill Goldman » 06/19/02 08:38 AM

I have used the gimmick in a walk around situation where there were signed cards all over the ceiling-- it was in a magic bar. I came up with a reason to tear the card carefully and tipped away from the spectator.
I ask someone to name a state in the US they have never visited. Let's say Iowa. I take their chosen (forced) card, set it onto/into the gimmick on the deck and tip it up to carefully tear the corner which I place on the table and proudly say "IOWA." This works great in the US where we don't know much about geography (refer to song).
I put a big dot on the piece and say that is Des Moines- the capital. There's more byplay, but you get the idea. I tear the tiniest piece off the card- that's rhode island. Big piece- texas.
They hold Iowa- the big potato state- I hold the rest of the country. All is restored except their piece.
I take out an expandible pointer that I attached a pin to and wave it around a bit and slowly point up at the ceiling where their card is stuck. I jab the pin into it and remove it and let them remove it from the pointer.
I don't work there anymore, but the gimmick has it's uses. As to too perfect theory, I'd like to contribute the following: bla bla bla bla.
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Postby Matthew Field » 06/19/02 09:27 AM

Originally posted by Bill Goldman:
bla bla bla bla.
YThis is a fantastic routine, Bill, and many thanks for sharing it. Looking forward to the next issue of the Bar & Grill, whenever you get around to publishing it.

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Postby Bill Goldman » 06/19/02 09:35 AM

Thanks. Bar & Grill #8 is so close to being done I can taste it. The problem I have now is too much material for one issue. Also, the paper is in storage and hard to get to.
Email me and I'll tell you about my newest..."little bunny's card trick" It's finally done and ready to ship (only took 3 years!)
I'm sorry if this is inappropriate information for this forum... I'm new here.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/19/02 08:53 PM

Bill,
We generally allow everyone except Chris Wasshuber to flog his or her wares here. Chris is still welcome, but he flogged his wares once to many times. YOU have a long way to go ... .
I think it's great if someone wants to come on the Genii Forum and alert people to a new product if they do it only once or twice for THAT product. Then, when you have another product, you're welcome to mention it again a few times. So, if Chris puts out a new e-book, then he is welcome to post a notice here so interested parties are alerted and can purchase it. If you put out issue 8 of whatever your thingy is called, then you're welcome to alert the readers of the Forum so they can send you MONEY.
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