Fr Cyprian - 'All Backs' Routine

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Joe Mckay
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Fr Cyprian - 'All Backs' Routine

Postby Joe Mckay » October 16th, 2016, 1:18 am

I don't give a stuff about most card tricks these days...

But - in this case - there is an exception.

Recently - I bought a copy of the 'All Backs' routine by Fr. Cyprian on Ebay.

I didn't buy the trick for me. Instead - I bought it for a friend who was unable to bid on the item.

Anyway - I won the item and forwarded the trick on to my buddy. And when it arrived - he told me that the instructions were for the Jeff Busby version of the 'All Backs' effect. And not the Fr. Cyprian version.

So - in an effort to help my buddy - I am wondering if anyone here can send me a copy of the Fr. Cyprian 'All Backs' effect that I can then forward on to my buddy? The Fr. Cyprian version is called 'Back To Back'.

I don't mind if it is via email. Or if it is via letter (I am happy to pay for the postage and a bit extra for the effort involved).

I am happy to pay a fee for this service. I really want to help out my buddy (he has a weird genetic disease that makes him obsessed with the 'All Backs' effect). Or equally - I am happy to help you out in any area of magic you may be interested in.

I am one of those sad loser guys (who has never had a girlfriend) who has devoted his life to magic over the past 20 or so years. As such - there is a good chance I can repay the favour if anyone here can help me out.

If you are in a position to help out - please PM me or email me at joe_mckay@hotmail.com

I promise to pay you for your services. Or - if you prefer - go out of my way to help you track down whatever it is you are interested in tracking down.

I have been posting on this forum for 15 or so years now. And this is the first time I have asked for a favour.

And it is not even for me.

Instead it is for a friend who I know will appreciate it more than I ever could.

Thanks!

Joe Mckay

Joe Mckay
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Re: Fr Cyprian - 'All Backs' Routine

Postby Joe Mckay » October 16th, 2016, 5:55 am

haha - my friend found the instructions folded up in the enveloped I sent him.

God I need some smarter friends. :-)

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Re: Fr Cyprian - 'All Backs' Routine

Postby performer » October 16th, 2016, 6:09 am

Now that your problem has been sorted out I have tried out the Vernon All Backs routine in Expert Card Technique a few times. I don't know anything about any of the other versions. It has a remarkably good effect on laymen and I was quite surprised by it. I start by telling the people that it is a trick deck I purchased from a magic shop and go from there. The reaction is very strong. It takes a fair bit of practice but I find it definitely worth it.

Oddly enough I read somewhere that Vernon didn't like his own trick! He didn't want people to know about double backed cards or something!

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Re: Fr Cyprian - 'All Backs' Routine

Postby Joe Mckay » October 16th, 2016, 7:33 am

Isn't that one of the tricks that only appears in the 3rd edition of the book?

I am sure GENII republished the trick about 15 years ago.

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Re: Fr Cyprian - 'All Backs' Routine

Postby Q. Kumber » October 16th, 2016, 8:38 am

Yes, the third edition.

To me the most important detail of Vernon's routine is about the psychology of the trick.

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Re: Fr Cyprian - 'All Backs' Routine

Postby Philippe Billot » October 16th, 2016, 11:21 am

[quote="Q. Kumber"]Yes, the third edition./quote]

Yes, in 1950.

For Joe Mckay

"I am sure GENII republished the trick about 15 years ago."

Yes, in no 2, February 1999 but it was Hugard's version.

The Vernon's version was in Hugard's Magic Monthly, Vol. 7, no 1, June 1949

There is a quick version in 1948 by Brian MacCarthy in his book Sleights Supreme.

I can't find a date for Fr. Cyprian's version. Who knows ?

Thank in advance

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Re: Fr Cyprian - 'All Backs' Routine

Postby Richard Kaufman » October 16th, 2016, 12:27 pm

To the best of my knowledge (and ancient recollection) Father Cyp's handling of All Backs is done with a packet, not a deck. This was the inspiration for the Darwin Ortiz routine "Back Off" and the Jennings routine which I published somewhere, at some point, which eliminated the double-backed card in the Ortiz routine. I believe Jennings was preceded by Jack Carpenter, whose trick might be published in Labyrinth.

I published the Jean Hugard handling in Genii many years ago because I don't believe it had been published before, and it was created about the same time as Vernon's and approached it in a different and interesting way.

The other major influential routine, aside from Vernon's, is Alex Elmsley's, which also formed the basis for Derek Dingle's "Technicolor All Backs," which is an absolutely astonishing routine that no one performs (perhaps because of its difficulty).
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Re: Fr Cyprian - 'All Backs' Routine

Postby Leonard Hevia » October 16th, 2016, 2:43 pm

Philippe Billot wrote:I can't find a date for Fr. Cyprian's version. Who knows ?


Fr. Cyprian's version goes back to 1977. That is the date on the illustrated envelope it came in. BTW--I did away with the Flushtration Count at the beginning of this routine and substituted a better way to initially display four cards with all backs: You're peeling off cards in Biddle Grip from your right hand each time it alternates palm up and down. Something I learned from watching a Skinner home video.

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Re: Fr Cyprian - 'All Backs' Routine

Postby Philippe Billot » October 16th, 2016, 4:11 pm

Thank you Leonard.


I find in The Chronicles no 10, October 1978, an all backs version with a small packet by Fr. Cyprian titled Flash Backs
and a second method, also titled Flash Backs, in No 11, November 1978.

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Re: Fr Cyprian - 'All Backs' Routine

Postby Leonard Hevia » October 16th, 2016, 4:56 pm

Thank you Philippe! I was not aware that Fr. Cyprian had more versions of the packet All Backs effect out in print.

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Re: Fr Cyprian - 'All Backs' Routine

Postby performer » October 16th, 2016, 7:42 pm

After reading all this I strongly suspect the Vernon one is the best for all practical purposes.

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Re: Fr Cyprian - 'All Backs' Routine

Postby Richard Kaufman » October 16th, 2016, 7:47 pm

I think the Elmsley routine is better: it has a purpose (cutting to the Aces) and the bulit-in humorous presentation that each card you cut to as an Ace has a back on both sides just before you put it on the table. Also, the second climax helps.
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Re: Fr Cyprian - 'All Backs' Routine

Postby performer » October 16th, 2016, 7:57 pm

I have read the Elmsley routine I think in one of the Ganson Routined Manipulation books. I vaguely remember an actual double backed card although I may be wrong. I distinctly remember thinking that I preferred the Vernon Routine. If there was a double backed card used I personally would not find that practical as I prefer to work impromptu without preparation. There is a tiny bit of preparation in the Vernon routine but it is pretty minimal and can be done in a matter of seconds.

Still, I will have another look at the Elmsley routine to refresh my memory.

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Re: Fr Cyprian - 'All Backs' Routine

Postby Jack Shalom » October 16th, 2016, 10:28 pm

I've got to admit--All Backs is a plot that does little for me. The effect and method seem identical. I can't see the appeal. Thoughts?

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Re: Fr Cyprian - 'All Backs' Routine

Postby Leonard Hevia » October 16th, 2016, 11:19 pm

Bruce Cervon had a nice All Backs routine with an ace cutting theme in Ultra Cervon that utilized a thick card double backer. The appeal is that the faces disappear and are replaced by the back designs. That's magic. Overproving can be a detriment to this effect.

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Re: Fr Cyprian - 'All Backs' Routine

Postby performer » October 17th, 2016, 4:20 am

Jack Shalom wrote:I've got to admit--All Backs is a plot that does little for me. The effect and method seem identical. I can't see the appeal. Thoughts?


It didn't do much for me either until I tried it. The effect on laymen is remarkable. Of course you have to present it properly but that goes for any trick. Oh, and it has to SUIT you. That is a point that is often overlooked. What may be a great trick in someone else's hands may be a dud in yours and vice versa.

Of course this often happens. You see a trick and you don't expect much from it but when you actually try it out you get a big surprise and a positive reaction. Conversely you might read something and think "this is fantastic" but when you try it out it falls completely flat. I have often read classic tricks and somehow they have never appealed to me and I just haven't tried them because of that. I probably should.

Here are three examples of classic tricks and I do all of them. However, I am astonished at the number of magicians who tell me that they just can't stand them and refuse to do them.
1. Ambitious Card
2. Oil and Water
3. The Egg Bag

With regard to the last one I am astonished at how many experienced performers detest the egg bag. I have no idea why. Even Harry Stanley the famed magic dealer advised me never to do it. He hated it. I am glad I ignored him and I get great reaction from it. I use the well known (at least by me anyway) Roy Benson climax and I have always been quite surprised that hardly anybody bothers with this finish even though it has been been in print for years. It works great.

But back to the All Backs. Expert Card Technique stated that the effect on people was great and that was the only reason I gave it a go. I was taken aback by the reaction. I was expecting a tepid lukewarm response particularly as I wasn't even doing it properly as it was a new trick. However, the gasps made it clear I was on the right track. Sometimes a little word or a phrase in a presentation can alter the entire reaction.

Another trick that I didn't expect much reaction from was the Stabbed in the Deck (or whatever it is called) in Harry Lorayne's Decksterity book. However, when I performed it for the first time I was astonished at the incredible reaction it got. One guy said it was the best trick I had ever shown him which shook me on my heels since I had never done the damn trick before and my standard repertoire is very strong.

The moral of the tale is that you just can't tell how well a trick goes over until you actually try it. All Backs takes a bit of practice but I am glad I put the effort in.

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Re: Fr Cyprian - 'All Backs' Routine

Postby performer » October 17th, 2016, 4:38 am

Here is Derek Dingle doing the trick. I was a bit underwhelmed by it to be honest. And I didn't see the audience getting over excited either. It is more or less the Vernon routine. However, I think he dilutes the effect by the complication of a selected card. I think that silliness should be left out.
And other thing he does wrong is SUDDENLY spread the cards out in one long line to show them with faces. You need to be a bit more gradual about it to build up the suspense and milk the reaction.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Weh4_x0F6-c

I have to say (and I don't give a damn what anyone else thinks) that a lot of the so called legends in magic are highly over rated. I have never figured out why I am supposed to get so excited over them. Many of them are average at best. Magicians love them but the opinion of magicians are of no consequence whatsoever as they always appreciate the wrong things.

There are exceptions of course. Goshman and Roth as mentioned on another thread I have always appreciated as great magicians. However, the vast majority of the so called "legends" especially in the field of close up magic underwhelm me and always have. They either have the personality of dial tones or they have too much personality and I wish they wouldn't blabber so much. Over presenting is as bad as under presenting although the latter is more prevalent than the former.

One thing is for sure. If I say I like a performer they must be DAMN good as they are as rare as hen's teeth. I really don't enjoy watching magic.

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Re: Fr Cyprian - 'All Backs' Routine

Postby Richard Kaufman » October 17th, 2016, 12:13 pm

Mark, I must disagree. There is much in the handling of Dingle's version that is not in Vernon's (though the essential structure is the same), and the presentation (which is based on having a card selected) is amusing and the illusion utterly convincing. I like it so much that I may go back to doing it! :)
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Re: Fr Cyprian - 'All Backs' Routine

Postby performer » October 17th, 2016, 12:51 pm

Then we will have to agree to disagree. I just can't get excited about it although I will concede the chosen card concept is amusing. I just like to go from A to B and the less complication in an effect the better. And a chosen card adds to that complication. They have to figure out two effects at once. But note the reaction of those audience members when he suddenly laid the cards out all face upwards. And the patter did not prepare them for it. Too quick. Too sudden. And that is why the reaction was not as strong as it could have been.

Perhaps I needed to see him do the thing on more than one occasion to see if there was strong reaction in subsequent performances. I just detest complication in effect. That is why I hate all those awful rope tricks that go on for ever and ever and long winded mentalism where each trick takes so long that by the time the end of the trick come around you have forgotten what the beginning was thus making you lose the track of the whole thing so you end up not knowing what was supposed to be happening.

Still, I will concede the chosen card scenario and presentation adds some entertainment value. I just think it kills the mystery. I would have to see a layman react properly with gasps and laughter before I can judge the matter in a more positive light.

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Re: Fr Cyprian - 'All Backs' Routine

Postby El Mystico » October 17th, 2016, 2:38 pm

I think it is a great effect!
But, as has already been commented, the psychological presentational angle is key; you are as bemused by this weird pack of cards as they are. You need to be able to ACT to sell it.
Performed right (and without over-proving) it is a strong, unique effect.

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Re: Fr Cyprian - 'All Backs' Routine

Postby performer » October 17th, 2016, 5:42 pm

I tried the bemused business. It didn't work for me. I simply tell everyone that it is a trick deck that I purchased from a magic shop. I go through all the moves saying the cards aren't much use since you can't do much with them. You can shuffle them, you can cut them, you can spread them from hand to hand, you can turn them over, if you really want you can turn the whole pack over but that is just about all you can do with them. Unless you use magic. Then of course you do the magic and then of course they bow at your feet if you are any good. I get gasps of astonishment not uncertain lukewarm reactions like Derek Dingle with it. But then of course I am a remarkably unique human being blessed by the Gods.

I have been thinking about Dingle's lukewarm reaction. I have a suspicion they didn't know what was supposed to be happening. That they assumed from the beginning it was not a double backed deck. It is almost as if Dingle had done some card tricks already with the deck so they just assumed that there was nothing wrong with them but Dingle just made the cards look like they had two sides and simply put it down to his manipulative skills so they did not register any particular surprise when he showed them to be normal. That is because they took it for granted from the very beginning that they were normal anyway. Sure magicians get all excited by the presentation because they know the trick and as soon as they see something something different they get all excited forgetting the Al Baker maxim, "many a good trick has been killed by improvement".

I would love to know if Dingle had done some card tricks with that deck before he did the double back routine. Or even if he had done card tricks with ANY deck already. If so that is a pretty dumb thing to do. The very first card trick you do should be the all backs routine.

I know these things of course. But then I suppose some of us are born to lead and some of us are born to follow.

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Re: Fr Cyprian - 'All Backs' Routine

Postby performer » October 18th, 2016, 4:41 am

That Dingle routine has been bugging me. I know there is something wrong with it but I can't figure out what. Or possibly...................

You know what I think it is? The lack of logic. He must have already been using that deck in other tricks. Then he starts by having a card selected which obviously means that the cards have faces and are just regular cards. Then he shows several other cards with faces thus confirming they are regular cards. Then he starts to fiddle about making them all double backed but it is too late to be convincing since he has already shown them to be normal. It is the wrong way round. He should show them all to be double backed FIRST before turning them into regular cards. You can't start by showing them normal, then turning them into double backers and then turning them normal again. It kills the surprise element. You have to convince people FROM THE VERY BEGINNING that they are double backed which means you have to open with the trick.

If you don't do this they won't be convinced that the cards are double backed and they will just think that you are terribly clever at making an illusion of double backs which of course you are. So they know how the trick is done already before it is even finished. So when you show all faces it is no surprise.

A good magician has to know how a layman's mind works. There. I just told you.

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Re: Fr Cyprian - 'All Backs' Routine

Postby Mark Tams » October 18th, 2016, 5:49 am

As Richard noted in the So Sato thread . . . So Sato's handling of All Backs is both different and beautiful!

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Re: Fr Cyprian - 'All Backs' Routine

Postby Smurf » October 18th, 2016, 10:43 am

Here is an idea that might be useful for this routine when using a full deck.

Use the box for Bicycle Seconds and then patter about the quality issue.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Bicycle-Seconds ... SwAKxWV-ec

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Re: Fr Cyprian - 'All Backs' Routine

Postby performer » October 18th, 2016, 11:29 am

Yes. That would probably work. You say they came from the factory like that and if you are a good actor they might believe it. Again, you are showing from the START that they are oddly printed cards. However, as soon as you give the game away at the beginning by showing regular cards you lose the impact.


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