Out of Sight Discernment by Wesley James

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Tom Frame
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Out of Sight Discernment by Wesley James

Postby Tom Frame » June 24th, 2010, 9:44 pm

Out of Sight Discernment (PDF) by Wesley James $25.00
12 pages, 1 illustration
Available by Paypal at: wjames@pipeline.com


Does the name John Cauteres ring a bell? Probably not. Well, he may have been the first person to publish a method for locating a card that had been merely thought of by a participant. His work on what has come to be known as the Think-A-Card plot first appeared in Reginald Scots Discoverie of Witchcraft in 1584.

So now you know.

Since those quaint, witch-burning times, magics finest thinkers have published many versions of this plot. Wesley James now offers his method for performing this venerable effect. The effect looks something like this:

Using a borrowed, shuffled deck, the performer displays small groups of cards to the participant and asks her to mentally select one. He assembles the deck and shuffles it. He demonstrates how to cut the deck and mark the location of the cut. The performer instructs the participant to freely cut the deck and mark the location of the cut. The participant names her card. The performer lifts the upper portion of the deck and reveals that her card is the top card of the lower portion. The participant has freely cut to her mentally selected card.

Mr. James writes very well and does a fine job of teaching the methodology. He dutifully credits his inspirational sources and he provides an interesting and informative summary of the historical development of the Think-A-Card plot. He also includes a hefty bibliography of published versions of the effect. I commend the authors research and I greatly appreciate this information.

The PDF is laid out well and is protected by both password and by watermarking.

Mr. James handling was directly inspired by Randy Wakemans effect, No Questions Asked. While Im not familiar with the details of Mr. Wakemans methodology, his performance closely resembles the performance described by Mr. James. For comparative purposes, lets take a look at Mr. Wakemans performance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnC2p0OazqE

Mr. Wakemans selection process appears to be identical to the procedure described by Mr. James.

They use different procedures for losing the selection pool of cards in the deck.

The procedure used by Mr. Wakeman to demonstrate how to cut the deck and mark the cut is the same procedure used by Mr. James. This method was developed by Ed Marlo.

Both performers handlings require the participant to name her selection before the performer removes the upper portion of the deck.

In that video, Mr. Wakeman got lucky and had to do nothing but lift off the top portion of the deck and allow his participant to remove her card. I dont know how often this fortuitous outcome occurs with Mr. Wakemans method.

With Mr. James handling, that happy event will occur only 25% of the time. The majority of the time, the performer must lift off the top portion of the deck and use that occupied hand to execute some dirty work before turning over the top card of the tabled packet.

Wesley is an acquaintance of mine, so I take no pleasure in what Im about to report.

I dont like this method for two reasons. First, no mentally healthy person with two functional hands would use the hand that is holding part of the deck to turn over the top card of the tabled portion of the deck.

I tried an experiment eight times with eight different people. I placed the top half of the deck askew atop the bottom half. I asked each person to Lift off the top portion and turn the top card of the bottom portion face-up.

They either used two hands, or they removed the upper portion with one hand, set that portion aside and used the same hand to turn the card face-up.

I reset the deck and asked, How does this look? I executed Mr. James handling without doing the dirty work. Every single person said that it looked like I was doing something sneaky, weird, unnatural, needlessly cumbersome, etc.

Second, this unnatural handling will cause the participant to burn the performers hand at the precise moment when he must execute the dirty work! This is a significant design flaw. Mr. James assures us that this unnatural, dirty moment will be of no concern to the participant. Id have to see him perform this effect and elicit private feedback from his participant before I believe his claim.


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Joe Pecore
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Re: Out of Sight Discernment by Wesley James

Postby Joe Pecore » June 25th, 2010, 8:23 am

Tom Frame wrote: Does the name John Cauteres ring a bell?


Great review (as always). But, is it Cauteres or Cautares
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Tom Frame
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Re: Out of Sight Discernment by Wesley James

Postby Tom Frame » June 25th, 2010, 9:02 am

Thanks for your positive feedback, Joe. I appreciate it.

Yes, you are correct. It is Cautares.
"There is more to consciousness than meets the mind's eye." - Frame

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Joe Pecore
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Re: Out of Sight Discernment by Wesley James

Postby Joe Pecore » June 25th, 2010, 10:14 am

I've seen the spelling both ways, so was not sure which was correct. Searching through AskAlexander, it does appears that "Cautares" is used the most.


Another question, is the title of this effect a nod to "Out of Sight, Out of Mind" by Dai Vernon or something else?
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Tom Frame
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Re: Out of Sight Discernment by Wesley James

Postby Tom Frame » June 25th, 2010, 11:39 am

Though Wesley doesn't explain the title, I suspect that it represents his merger of Vernon's "Out of Sight, Out of Mind" and Hull's "Mental Discernment".
"There is more to consciousness than meets the mind's eye." - Frame

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Re: Out of Sight Discernment by Wesley James

Postby Jonathan Townsend » June 25th, 2010, 11:42 am

Spelling was not so well settled back when Scot was writing Discoverie. Have a look at the spellings of Shakespeare for an inkling of how things were before Daniel Webster and modern l33t.
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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James In Toronto
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Re: Out of Sight Discernment by Wesley James

Postby James In Toronto » June 25th, 2010, 5:38 pm

Jonathan Townsend wrote:Have a look at the spellings of Shakespeare for an inkling of how things were before Daniel Webster and modern l33t.


For example, one variant spelling of "Daniel Webster" is "Noah Webster."

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Re: Out of Sight Discernment by Wesley James

Postby Jonathan Townsend » June 25th, 2010, 7:34 pm

Thanks, I don't often get to laugh at my mistakes. :)
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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Re: Out of Sight Discernment by Wesley James

Postby Chris Aguilar » June 25th, 2010, 10:49 pm


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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Out of Sight Discernment by Wesley James

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 25th, 2010, 10:56 pm

Lightweights don't weigh in very heavily.
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erlandish
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Re: Out of Sight Discernment by Wesley James

Postby erlandish » June 26th, 2010, 12:41 am

Oh snap.

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Re: Out of Sight Discernment by Wesley James

Postby Edward » June 27th, 2010, 11:06 pm

Ouch!


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