Blackout by Michael Paul

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

Blackout by Michael Paul

Postby Tom Frame » November 15th, 2011, 11:00 am

Blackout (ebook) by Michael Paul $15.00
18 pages, 4 photographs
Available at:

In his latest ebook Blackout, Michael Paul describes how to create the following magical mystery.

The performer invites two participants to join him on stage. Participant #1 stands stage right and participant #2 is seated stage left. The performer spreads a deck of cards face up to participant #1, who freely taps a card. The performer places the card face down onto the participants hand.

The performer approaches participant #2. He asks her to close her eyes and imagine an old, faded deck of cards. He fans the deck near her face and asks her to open her eyes. The participant affirms that the cards are faded, except for one card that catches her eye. She remembers that card.

The performer asks her to close her eyes again and concentrate on her card. He spreads the faces of the cards toward her and asks her to open her eyes. She states that the cards now look normal, but her card is missing. She announces that her card is the Ten of Clubs. Participant #1 displays his card to the crowd. It is the Ten of Clubs.

At the risk of sounding like Im channeling a dealer, these conditions bear mentioning. Only one deck is used and it never leaves the crowds sight. There are no forces. The method doesnt involve pre-show work, instant stooging or dual reality.

Mr. Paul writes well and does a good job of teaching the effect. He includes an effective performance script.

The photographs are clear and helpful.

This effect involves the use of a specially constructed deck. The easy, one-time preparation of the deck will take about an hour. Mr. Pauls clever method involves the application of several well known principles. I like the authors thinking.

Part of the preparation involves the use of a common magical item. If you dont already possess the item, youll have to buy it for about five dollars. That potentially raises the price of performing this effect to twenty dollars.

This is a one-trick deck. I cant imagine how it could be safely used for another effect. That is a limiting factor.

You can freely spread the deck face up and face down and it will appear to be normal, but it cannot be examined.

While Mr. Paul teaches the handling in the context of a stage performance, the effect is also suitable for a stand-up or close-up performance.

Mr. Paul offers several presentational ideas that can be applied to the performance. The effect can be presented as magic, hypnosis, telepathy, or as a demonstration of the participant assuming the role of a mentalist.

My one gripe about this product is its price. Yes, I know that Im willfully denying the economic reality of todays magic marketplace, but paying fifteen (or possibly twenty) bucks for an ebook that teaches you how to make a one-trick deck seems a bit high. I think ten bucks is a more reasonable asking price.

Apart from that concern, I like Blackout and I think you'll dig it too.

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

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Gary Kosnitzky
Posts: 254
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Vazhakunnam Neelakanthan Namboothiri

Re: Blackout by Michael Paul

Postby Gary Kosnitzky » November 16th, 2011, 5:33 pm

There has been a trick named 'Blackout' by Brian Platt on the market now for a few years.
It is a completely different trick. ... -9739.html

A 2 second google search would have shown that the name 'Blackout' was already taken?

Bob Plaut
Posts: 249
Joined: February 22nd, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: CT

Re: Blackout by Michael Paul

Postby Bob Plaut » November 16th, 2011, 7:51 pm

Interesting...I recently stumbled upon a deck of cards in my collection that I prepared a while ago to resemble what I think this deck's method is. Can't remember where I read about the deck's construction. Does anyone know if this "faded deck" principle has seen print elsewhere?

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