Page 1 of 1

The Crossroads Deck by Ben Harris

Posted: September 10th, 2009, 2:55 pm
by Tom Frame
The Crossroads Deck (Book) by Ben Harris $35.00
Softbound, 36 pages, 2 photos, 1 illustration
Available at: http://www.wowbound.com
Dealers purchase from Murphys Magic Supplies, Inc.
916) 853-9292 http://www.murphysmagicsupplies.com


Crossroads: A participant is given a cased deck to guard. The performer tables his wallet, stating, This is my money trick. Participant #1 is asked to name a number between 1 and 10. This is a free choice. Lets say she chooses 7. Participant #2 selects a color, then a suit. Say she chooses Hearts. The two choices are combined to arrive at the 7 of Hearts.

The participant holding the deck removes the cards from the case and counts them aloud. She discovers that there are only 51 cards. She turns the cards face-up and searches for the 7 of Hearts, only to discover that it has vanished from the deck. The performer invites a participant to open his wallet and explore its contents. Inside she finds one card, and it is the 7 of Hearts.

Only one deck is used and the performer never touches the cards. The effect is instantly repeatable and the selected card can be produced from a variety of places.

The design and production values of the book are first-rate, as weve come to expect from Mr. Harris. He writes well and does a very good job of teaching the material.

Purchasers of the book receive a free 4 page PDF of Jamie Grants Basic E for Crossroads. This is a useful tutorial on one of the techniques used in Crossroads. I applaud Mr. Grants generosity.

If you are looking for new methods, youve bought the wrong book. The techniques employed are quite old and very well known. I could describe the complete methodology in three words.

What sets this effect apart from its predecessors is the clever manner in which Mr. Harris tweaks and combines these methods and employs sneaky psychological strategies. I really like his thinking.

Mr. Harris discusses the history of the development of the Crossroads deck, and provides crediting to the individuals responsible for the various elements that comprise the methodology.

You will need to build the Crossroads deck. Once built, it is always ready to go. This is not a one-trick deck. It can be used to perform other effects before or after performing Crossroads.

You need to make other preparations that will ensure that the effect is always successful. These preparations also allow you to instantly repeat the effect with a different card.

The key to this effects success is the patter and presentation. Mr. Harris provides a script that exemplifies the requisite structure and details that make the effect possible. The subtle, nearly subliminal nature of the patter made me grin like a loony. Obviously, youll want to modify the script to be congruent with your own tastes and performing persona.

A well developed script will not only convince the crowd that a freely chosen card vanished from the deck, but that the performer alluded to the cards final destination before the card was selected.

In the Appendix, Mr. Harris discusses variations of the Crossroads deck and suggests other ways to implement the Crossroads principle. This is rich food for thought and should stimulate your creative juices. I like it.


CRACAAN Crossroads Any Card At Any Number (Steve Shufton & Ben Harris):

Mr. Shufton and Mr. Harris throw their top hats into the ring in the seemingly relentless quest for the Holy Grail of ACAAN.

The performer tables a cased deck. A participant freely names a number between 1 and 10. She chooses a color, then a suit. These elements are combined to form a card, say the 8 of Spades. The participant freely names a number from a large range of numbers suggested by the performer. Say she names 22.

The participant removes the cards from the case and counts them face-down into a pile. She sets the 22nd card off to the side. The performer turns the 21st and 23rd cards face-up, displaying indifferent cards. The participant turns over the 22nd card, revealing the 8 of Spades.

You will have to build the special CRACAAN deck, which cannot be examined. This type of deck is nothing new. However, the gentlemen have tweaked the construction of the deck and crafted a display sequence that will assure the crowd that the deck is normal.

Unless you have a Loraynesque memory, Mr. Harris suggests that you also create a tiny, unobtrusive visual aid. The crowd will never be aware of the existence of this aid.

The sneaky patter creates a guileless psychological environment in which the crowd will not perceive any limitations to the selection process. They will remember, and recount to their friends, that the card and number were freely chosen.

Mr. Harris discusses the potentially problematic scenarios that may arise, and offers strategies for ensuring a successful outcome.

The author teaches a two deck version of the effect that dramatically increases the perception of a free choice of the number. The handling does not involve a deck switch and the crowd is not even aware of the existence of the second deck. This is a very clever approach.

My only complaint about this product is the price. For $35.00, you could purchase a hardbound book containing dozens of effects. I believe that an asking price of $25.00 would have been a bit easier for potential purchasers to swallow. But, things could be worse. He could have released this product as a dreaded DVD.

I liked The Crossroads Deck and I think you will too.


Recommended

Re: The Crossroads Deck by Ben Harris

Posted: September 10th, 2009, 8:01 pm
by Ben Harris
Hi Tom,

Thank you for your considered thoughts re Crossroads.

Just to clarify the price point. We decided to price it high deliberately in order to keep it out of the hands of the zip-lock baggie set. The price point is designed to demand respect. It may not do so, but that is/was the intent. I think ANY purchaser who puts it to use, will find it a bargain! By the way, it WAS ORIGINALLY suggested we release it as a $10 DVD.

Cheers

Ben

Re: The Crossroads Deck by Ben Harris

Posted: September 10th, 2009, 8:09 pm
by Seuss
$10 dvds are a blight

Thanks for all your great contributions Ben.

Re: The Crossroads Deck by Ben Harris

Posted: September 10th, 2009, 8:53 pm
by Tom Frame
Ben Harris wrote:By the way, it WAS ORIGINALLY suggested we release it as a $10 DVD.


The horror.....the horror.

Re: The Crossroads Deck by Ben Harris

Posted: September 11th, 2009, 12:51 am
by Richard Kaufman
Any of you looking for a great card trick to blow people away, Crossroads is it. I recommend it highly.

Re: The Crossroads Deck by Ben Harris

Posted: September 11th, 2009, 5:20 am
by Ben Harris
Hey Tom,

I've just noticed you've given me a little too much credit in the CRACAAN section of your review. Steve Shufton deserves a real big thank-you for sorting this Bonus effect. The idea of applying CrossRoads to the ACAAN plot was joint and obvious to both of us, but Steve picked it up, ran with it, and sorted it.

Thanks Steve!

Ben

Re: The Crossroads Deck by Ben Harris

Posted: September 15th, 2009, 11:13 am
by Jamie D. Grant
Tom Frame wrote:
Purchasers of the book receive a free 4 page PDF of Jamie Grants Basic E for Crossroads. This is a useful tutorial on one of the techniques used in Crossroads. I applaud Mr. Grants generosity.




Thanks! Eric Evans once told me, "We're all in this together." I really took that to heart.

~jamie

Re: The Crossroads Deck by Ben Harris

Posted: September 20th, 2009, 2:39 am
by Mats Kjellstrom

Re: The Crossroads Deck by Ben Harris

Posted: September 20th, 2009, 5:47 pm
by Ben Harris
Mats,

Thanks for putting up that link.

The iphone app is out now. (plus 2 others!)

It is cool to use both the iphone version and THEN then cased deck version, one after the other. You have two strong effects, yet just ONE selected card.

Place the iphone and cased deck on the table.

Offer to demonstrate a "virtual miracle" (thus validating the use of an the electronic medium) and perform Crossroads for Iphone. (The single on screen card flips over on the spectator's touch to reveal a MATCH with "any named card").

Once they get over the shock of this IMMEDIATE revelation, you comment,

"of course, if such a thing were even remotely possible in the REAL WORLD it would look like this..."

Now, perform Crossroads (with the CASED DECK that's been on the table the entire time)--using the ALREADY SELECTED CARD! You have nothing to do, it's ALREADY GONE!

Be sure they count the cards one-at-a-time, FACE DOWN to arrive at 51, and thus IMPLYING the hit. This builds suspense. Don't skip this bit.

So much fun.

Check out all the iphone apps at

www.wowbound.com

or
www.premierappshop.com


Cheers...

Ben

Re: The Crossroads Deck by Ben Harris

Posted: September 21st, 2009, 6:39 pm
by Icaus
For some reason, I did not get the 4 page PDF of Jamie Grants Basic E for Crossroads. How can I get it?

Re: The Crossroads Deck by Ben Harris

Posted: September 21st, 2009, 7:16 pm
by Tom Frame
Contact Ben. He will promptly send you a copy.

Re: The Crossroads Deck by Ben Harris

Posted: September 21st, 2009, 7:34 pm
by Icarus
Thank you Tom.

Re: The Crossroads Deck by Ben Harris

Posted: November 20th, 2009, 7:09 am
by Bob Farmer
Historians should check "The Body Index" in Corinda's 13 Steps To Mentalism (p. 95).

Re: The Crossroads Deck by Ben Harris

Posted: November 20th, 2009, 9:01 am
by Tom Frame
Keep your eyes peeled for my review of Ben's Crossroads Revelations .

Re: The Crossroads Deck by Ben Harris

Posted: January 16th, 2010, 8:05 pm
by Jamie D. Grant
If anyone's interested, I've got a video review up here:

http://magicfriday.blogspot.com/2009/08 ... arris.html

Thanks for watching!

jamie