Jonathan Townsend wrote:So that's a vote for letting them handle the pack and give you the cards. Makes sense.
Sometimes things that make sense in print don't make sense in practice. I am on the fence over this matter with regard to platform or cabaret work although I tend to think it is not necessary. For impromptu close up work I certainly wouldn't bother since it is highly doubtful that people you meet casually or know already think you are walking around with secret pockets in your trousers.
With regard to platform work I have gone back and forth with this in my mind and have more or less come to the conclusion that the disappearance of cards in your left hand combined with the act of showing your pocket empty several times in the routine should be enough. In performance I seem to have gotten decent results without the fiddling about getting cards selected at random. Slow presentations tend to put me to sleep.
Most written explanations in print never mention this preliminary and indeed even the Vernon routine does without it. Of course it has to for technical reasons. Somewhere on You Tube there is a video of Vernon doing the trick. I will check it out when I get the chance but I don't remember him getting people to select cards for the trick. In the Stars of Magic for the Dr Daley method using a numerical stack naturally no cards are selected and since he is doing it to his shoulder rather than to his pocket so of course there is no way he can show his shoulder empty the way you can with your pocket.
I don't think the Patrick Page version has cards selected. Come to think of it I vaguely remember that he DOES have secret pockets in his version although I may be wrong. I will have to check his description in Routined Manipulation to verify one way or the other. I have checked other descriptions from Ross Bertram to John Booth and I see no mention of these preliminaries.
I doubt very much if laymen think you have duplicate cards in secret pockets but even if they do you can disprove it and in any event it gives them a false path to follow which is always a good thing.
No. On balance from a showmanship point of view I will stick to the philosophy of not boring people to death by getting someone to pick out cards. I detest unnecessary actions and even worse unnecessary patter when performing. Economy of actions and words are always a good thing. Still I would be interested in hearing other views on this subject. The Royal Road seems to be the only source which raises this point.