Tractor by Madison Hagler

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Tom Frame
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Tractor by Madison Hagler

Postby Tom Frame » July 28th, 2013, 2:29 pm

Tractor (PDF) by Madison Hagler $12.00
27 pages, 12 photographs
Available at: madison.hagler@yahoo.com


Rob Bromley & Peter Nardi market a product called “The Extractor.” That $80.00 device allows you to perform the following effect, as well as others.


A participant freely selects a card and signs it. The performer inserts the deck into the card case, leaving the flap open. The participant inserts her card flush into the deck. The performer closes the flap and places the case in his pocket.

Despite being buried in the deck and secured by the card case, the performer is able to secretly extract her card and, with an empty hand, produce it from a different pocket.


Madison Hagler embarked upon a mission to approximate that effect using a regular deck of cards. This PDF is the result of his creative efforts.

I suspect that Mr. Hagler is in his late teens or early twenties. His writing is adequate and he does a good job of teaching the material. The text contains a number of typographical errors, but they are merely annoying and don’t compromise the instruction.

The author writes in an ornery, playful manner that I enjoy. He includes his whimsical patter.

His remark about interacting with participants is worthy of note. The quip is intriguing in its impenetrability.

“I never want to laugh WITH my volunteer. Never at her.”

That can’t be a typo! I know that there is a profound, life-altering lesson secretly embedded in those words! I will devote the rest of my life to finding it and sharing it with the world!

The photographs are clear and helpful.

Mr. Hagler includes links to a demonstration video and an instructional segment. The videos complement the text.


Proof: Phase 1: A participant takes the deck and freely selects and signs a card. The performer places the face-down deck into the card case. The participant inserts her face-down card into the deck and pushes it flush. The performer closes the card case.

The performer pretends to remove her card from the cased deck and reinsert it face-up. He removes the deck from the case and spreads it, revealing her face-up selection among the face-down deck. He removes her card and hands it to the participant.

Phase 2: The performer places the face-down deck into the card case. The participant inserts her card into the deck, leaving it out-jogged. He flashes the face of her card one last time before pushing it flush. He closes the flap and holds the card case in his left hand.

The performer places his right hand into his pants pocket and removes a rubber band. He encircles the card case with the rubber band and places the card case on the participant’s palm. She covers it with her other hand.

The performer places his empty right hand into the same pants pocket and removes her signed card. He retrieves the card case from the participant, removes the deck and hands it to her. He instructs her to look through the cards to ensure that there isn’t a signed duplicate among them.


Phase 1 is a well known effect, produced by a well known method. Mr. Hagler offers nothing new. I imagine that he included this phase to prime the participant for the second phase.

Phase 2 is the primary effect and Tractor’s raison d’etre. I like it, but I would end the effect by producing the selection from my pocket. I can’t fathom why Mr. Hagler follows the revelation by asking the participant to look through the deck to ensure that it doesn’t contain a signed duplicate.

Leaping lunacy! How the hell could the deck contain a signed duplicate? The participant only signed one card! This poorly conceived segment is anticlimactic and could cause the participant to think about methodological matters of which she should not be aware.

The effect is achieved with a modified card case. Mr. Hagler’s design of the card case is simple, yet clever. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. I searched my library and couldn’t find a similar method. I asked a number of well informed card men and they stated that they were not familiar with it. It appears that Mr. Hagler’s method may be unique.

The preparation is easy and takes about 30 seconds. The modified card case cannot be examined.

The card case is essentially a delivery system. It allows you to surreptitiously palm the card and subsequently produce it from your pocket or a 200 pound Tuna or a steaming dung heap.

I applaud Mr. Hagler’s creativity and I like his method on an intellectual level. But I believe the effect is “Too Perfect.” You see, it’s all about the heat. So let’s put the props in a line-up, channel Clara Peller and loudly demand, “Where’s the heat?”

The participant handles the cards, so there is no heat on them.

The participant handles the pen, so there is no heat on it.

The participant can handle the rubber band, so there is no heat on it.

The participant can stick her hand in the performer’s pocket at the start of the effect to satisfy herself that it is empty. She can remove her card from his pocket at the end. There is no heat on it.

Well, uh, that leaves the card case. It is the only heat magnet and it’s smmmoking! It cannot be examined. And no, clasping the rubber-banded case between one’s palms does not constitute an examination.

If the participant sincerely wants to believe that the effect is accomplished by pure sleight of hand, she may want to examine the case to confirm her belief in the performer’s stunning skill. But alas, she can’t.

Thus, a sentient participant must correctly conclude that the card case is rigged. It doesn’t matter if she can’t envision the precise manner in which the case is gimmicked. Her mere belief that it is gimmicked, and her inability to disconfirm that belief by examining the case, torpedo the magic and reduce the effect to a puzzle of questionable entertainment value.


Not Recommended
"There is more to consciousness than meets the mind's eye." - Frame

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mrgoat
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Re: Tractor by Madison Hagler

Postby mrgoat » July 28th, 2013, 2:46 pm

Just thought I'd say, great review. Really well written and informative. I, like I am sure many others, always enjoy your reviews but I think we probably don't tell you how much we appreciate your stuff.

I like it.

Recommended.

MagicMaddy
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Re: Tractor by Madison Hagler

Postby MagicMaddy » July 28th, 2013, 3:34 pm

Thanks so much for the review, Mr. Frame! I really appreciate it!

I must say, if the only bad quality you can find is that the box can't be examined, then I thrilled!

There are so many fantastic effects where the box cant be examined (Including the $80 Extractor) The fact that this is really the only negative thing you point out has me extremely happy :D

Thanks again,
Madison

Tom Frame
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Re: Tractor by Madison Hagler

Postby Tom Frame » July 28th, 2013, 5:59 pm

Damian,

Thanks for your kind words. You made my day.


Madison,

I’m glad that you’re able to take something positive from my review. I really like the way you think and I look forward to your future offerings.


In the early 80’s Tony Miller developed a technique that I dubbed MUCCUS. The acrimonious acronym stood for Miller’s Ultimate Card Control Utility System. That moniker stuck for a while until someone wiped it off.

The technique, known as “Miller’s Variable Placement” first appeared in print in Lee Synder’s Pleasing Deceptions and Subtle Fictions in 1993. At some point, it also appeared in Apocalypse and Harry called it “Insert-Out.”

I mention Tony’s technique because it allows you to perform “Proof” with a borrowed deck and card case.
"There is more to consciousness than meets the mind's eye." - Frame

MagicMaddy
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Joined: July 28th, 2013, 3:31 pm
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Re: Tractor by Madison Hagler

Postby MagicMaddy » July 28th, 2013, 7:47 pm

I'll have to look into that! I use this for many things, and so far, no one has wanted to examine the box. Something about the box being rubber banded and in their hands really sales the idea that the box is normal to a layperson, so it's not something I'm really worried about for now :)

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lybrary
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Re: Tractor by Madison Hagler

Postby lybrary » July 28th, 2013, 10:39 pm

While I think Tom's reviews are often on the money, with Tractor he misses the boat completely. I read Madison's ebook and I think it is a really clever, novel, practical and totally magical idea. If you do a sidesteal then this will give you a way to further camouflage your sidesteal and make your routine that much more impossible and magical.

Highly Recommended!
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MagicMaddy
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Re: Tractor by Madison Hagler

Postby MagicMaddy » July 28th, 2013, 10:41 pm

lybrary wrote:While I think Tom's reviews are often on the money, with Tractor he misses the boat completely. I read Madison's ebook and I think it is a really clever, novel, practical and totally magical idea. If you do a sidesteal then this will give you a way to further camouflage your sidesteal and make your routine that much more impossible and magical.

Highly Recommended!


Thank you very much!!

Doomo
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Re: Tractor by Madison Hagler

Postby Doomo » July 29th, 2013, 10:39 am

Howdy from Ohio Tom. Here is a demo of MUCCUS using the card case (ungaffed).

http://youtu.be/IlL8001K8YQ

Hope to see you at Magic Live.

Rosie says Hi!

Tony
RFA Productions yeah... It is cool stuff.

www.rfaproductions.com


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