Something for Nothing by Michael Murray

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Tom Frame
Posts: 1057
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Del Ray
Location: San Francisco

Something for Nothing by Michael Murray

Postby Tom Frame » March 16th, 2011, 12:40 pm

Something for Nothing (Trick) by Michael Murray 14.99 / $24.00
Specially printed Bicycle deck, gimmick, rubber band, 2 doubled-side pages of instructions and 8 photos.
Available at: ... urray.html

In 1563, Giovan Battista della Porta penned a manuscript entitled De Furtivis Literarum Notis. He described writing secret information on the edges of a stacked deck of cards. Shuffling the deck destroyed the stack and rendered the message illegible to anyone not familiar with the stack.

Unfortunately, at the time of its publication, I wasnt old enough to read.

In November 1972, Earl Keyser's "Mirage Deck" was published in Epilogue #16. That effect combined Faro shuffles with writing on the edge of the deck.

A Name Revelation with Faro Shuffles by Michael S. Ewer was published in the November 1973 issue of Genii.

Sadly, I wasnt into magic yet. I was 13. My sole focus in life was the unsuccessful pursuit of girls.

But Paul Gertner certainly noticed Dr. Ewers effect.

By the late 70s Id been obsessed with magic for several years and I attended a convention in Ohio. I witnessed a young and dashing Paul Gertner perform Unshuffled. I filled my diaper and joyfully sobbed.

In 1994, this marvelous effect was described in Steel and Silver, written by the Chief Genii.

But the effect requires several perfect Faro shuffles. That factor has kept the effect out of the hands of those who love the effect, but are unwilling or unable to master a Faro.

Well, those long suffering souls are in luck. In Something for Nothing, Michael Murray has replaced the Faro shuffles with Charlier shuffles and a gimmick. Now they too can perform a close approximation of Unshuffled.

The performer displays a banded deck of cards with the word Nothing written on its long edge. He removes the rubber band from the deck and allows a participant to feel the edge of the deck. The performer shows that the word Something is written on the opposite long edge of the deck. He also shows that the deck is mixed.

The participant selects a card, say the Two of Hearts, which is lost in the deck. The performer cuts the deck in half and displays tiny versions of Something written on the edges of each half. He reassembles the deck and spreads it face-up, revealing that the cards are now in new deck order.

The performer turns the unsquared deck around and reminds the participant that Nothing was written on that side. He squares the deck and the Two of Hearts appears written on its edge.

Click on the link above to watch Mr. Murray perform the effect.

Then, for enjoyment and comparative purposes, click on this link to watch Paul Gertner perform Unshuffled.

Mr. Murray writes well and does a good job of teaching the method. He dutifully cites Dr. Ewer and Paul Gertner, as well as Robert Wicks, Doc Dixon and Paul Harris.

The photos are clear and helpful.

The printing on the deck looks very good and gimmick is well made and durable.

I like Mr. Murrays clever, effective method. I like his Something for Nothing presentation. Hell, I even like his asking price.

But, Im torn. Truly torn.

Part of me wants to say, Aw, stop your whining, you wimp! Do you want to use training-wheels for the rest of your pathetic life?! Get off your ass, man up, put in the work and master the damn Faro! Then take your crayon, scribble CAT on the edge of your grubby deck and figure out the handling!

A more sedate part of me wants to suggest sending $40.00 to Paul Gertner to purchase his Unshuffling the Faro Shuffle DVD/Deck combo. Youll receive very good instruction on learning the Faro shuffle and you get Pauls hand-made Unshuffled deck.

Still another part of multifaceted me wants to say, Well, different strokes. Some people simply arent interested in mastering the Faro. And they count too. They love this effect and they want to perform it. The product is well made, the method is clever and the instruction is good. So, whats not to recommend?

This is a really close call.

My primary recommendation to anyone getting into card magic is to learn and master the fundamental techniques of our art first. There will be time for the flashy, juggley stuff later.

Along with the Pass, Top Change and a few others, I consider the Faro shuffle to be a fundamental technique. It has many amazing applications and is an important tool to have in ones toolbox.

But, those without a Faro shuffle in their toolbox who want to perform this terrific effect will be happy if they get Something for Nothing.

"There is more to consciousness than meets the mind's eye." - Frame

Jonathan Townsend
Posts: 8144
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Westchester, NY

Re: Something for Nothing by Michael Murray

Postby Jonathan Townsend » March 16th, 2011, 2:23 pm

So now, if you have ink or ketchup on your fingers - it magically vanishes as the text changes? Or better yet, a smudge reforms (enfolds-evolves) into the name of the selected card?

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