Rehab by Cameron Francis

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Tom Frame
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Rehab by Cameron Francis

Postby Tom Frame » October 23rd, 2013, 8:41 am

Rehab (Download) by Cameron Francis £14.99 / $23.89
Running time: 25 minutes
Available at: http://www.bigblindmedia.com


In 1858, G.W. Septimus Piesse taught “The Torn Card Restored” in Chymical, Natural and Physical Magic. An impressive cast of card conjurors have been rending and mending innocent pasteboards ever since. Cameron Francis joins the round-up of rippers and reformers with Rehab.

The production values of this home-made video are meager, but they don’t hinder the viewer’s ability to learn the material

Mr. Francis does a good job of teaching his method. He states that his handling was inspired by Daniel Garcia’s lovely “Torn.” Mr. Francis’s handling is relatively easy to execute and it poses fewer angle restrictions than Mr. Garcia’s method.

Click on the link below to watch a performance video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C915CXkdzrM

The following obsessively detailed description includes elements that may not be readily apparent in that video.


A participant selects a card. The performer folds it into quarters and unfolds it. He signs the back of the card. He hands the card and a pen to the participant and she signs its face. While she is signing it, the performer relaxes and places his hands in his pockets. The performer removes his hands from his pockets, retrieves the card and displays its signed back and face.

The performer folds the card in half and tears it in half. He places the pieces together and tears them into quarters. He counts four separate pieces. His left hand takes two of the pieces and places them in his pocket.

With the backs of the pieces toward the crowd, the performer aligns two of the torn edges and holds the pieces in his right hand. His left hand, with fingers pressed together, covers the pieces as he raises them to his mouth and blows on them. He lowers the pieces and flexes them between his hands, revealing that the pieces are joined.

The performer transfers the half card to his right hand. He places his left hand into his pocket. He removes his left hand, with fingers pressed together. He claims to be holding the third piece, though it is never displayed. He covers the half card with his left hand and attaches the third piece. He lowers his hand and displays the face and back of the ¾ card.

The performer places his left hand in his pocket. He removes the fourth piece, places it behind the card and pushes it up until its corner is visible in the vacant quadrant. From the rear, he uses both thumbs to push the piece into place. He moves the fingers of both hands to the edges of the card to display the restoration. He flexes the card.

The performer folds the card in half horizontally. His left hand, with fingers pressed together, covers the card and then moves away. His right hand, with open fingers, and his left hand, with his second, third and pinky fingers curled together, unfold the card to display its full face.

His left hand relinquishes its grip on the card, retrieves his pen and puts it in his pocket. His left hand returns to the card and assists his right hand in rotating it to display its full back. He gives the card to his participant.

Mr. Francis offers an alternative version of the restoration of the fourth piece. The performer places his left hand in his pocket. He removes the fourth piece, places it behind the ¾ card and pushes it up until its corner is visible in the vacant quadrant. He folds the pieces in half and then into quarters. He hands the pieces to his participant and she grips them in her fist. She opens her hand, unfolds the card and discovers that it is restored.

I prefer this version.


When I first watched Mr. Francis’s performance, I was disappointed. His handling is cozy and fidgety. I was preparing to not recommend this product.

But when I watched the instructional portion of the video, I changed my mind. I discovered that Mr. Francis’s technique is sound and his actions are pretty well motivated. A technically competent performer will be able to execute Mr. Francis’s method without delivering a cozy or suspicious performance.

Perhaps Mr. Francis felt anxious during the recording of the performance segment. Maybe he was having a bad day, or his performance was just “off.” The bottom line is, do as he says, don’t do as he does.


If you’re using a version of the torn and restored card that is causing you distress and making your life unmanageable, the first step toward recovery is admitting that you have a problem. The next step is getting Rehab.


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mrgoat
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Re: Rehab by Cameron Francis

Postby mrgoat » October 23rd, 2013, 10:06 am

I've never really 'got' torn and restored anything. P&T's newspaper tear at least motivates the initial tearing.

But why on earth would anyone tear up a card, in order to restore it?

Never found any motivation beyond "because you can".

That aside, great detailed review Mr Frame.

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Re: Rehab by Cameron Francis

Postby Richard Kaufman » October 23rd, 2013, 11:08 am

I think enough people have been tearing and restoring playing cards for a sufficient amount of time that we can consider it "settled law." It's a good trick: magicians like to do it; laymen like to watch it.
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Re: Rehab by Cameron Francis

Postby Tom Frame » October 23rd, 2013, 11:50 am

Thanks Damian!
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Re: Rehab by Cameron Francis

Postby Brad Henderson » October 23rd, 2013, 11:52 am

I would wager dollars to donuts that more magicians have watched and bought more versions of the torn and restore card than laymen have seen it. (tv performances excluded).

just because something 'gets by' doesn't mean it's 'good'. I agree with Goat, a motivated piece of magic will always be stronger than an unmotivated one.

Most magicians seem to care only that their method fools them. (ever notice the number of tricks sold that are only deceptive or interesting if you happen to know how the trick is normally done?)

bill woodfield published an interesting idea in magiciana years ago - the tear was motivated and the restoration direct.

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Re: Rehab by Cameron Francis

Postby Ian Kendall » October 23rd, 2013, 1:35 pm

There are several presentations and approaches published that have addressed this niggle, not least of which Guy's line. Interested parties should start with Bill Duncan's Tubthumping, Mike Close's Torn, Hiro Sakai's version in Japan Ingenious and Marc DeSouza's Contract.

For starters...

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Re: Rehab by Cameron Francis

Postby Chris Aguilar » October 23rd, 2013, 2:55 pm

It's decent, but there are few things about it that I dislike.

The bluff restoration (where the actual second piece isn't seen until it's "restored") and the necessity to re-fold (in a rather unmotivated fashion) the whole kit and kaboodle after the final restoration to facilitate the switch-out.

Also, I think it's stronger to see the spectators signature on the visibly restoring card (a la Hollingworth) rather than that of the magician. Stronger conviction that it's actually their card being restored.

The first and last piece restorations do look quite nice though.

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Re: Rehab by Cameron Francis

Postby Brad Henderson » October 23rd, 2013, 3:02 pm

lets explore the signature idea:

isn't it significant only to someone who is looking for a method - and a specific one at that? Should lay people care that it's the same card, or rather that a torn object was magically restored?

I saw Allen okawa tear and restore a cigarette paper inches from my nose, and it looked like real magic. no signatures. I didn't pick or even examine the paper

Perhaps these things like signatures serve only to reinforce that what we are doing are clever tricks.

Would a real magician worry about such things, or would they commit to the drama of the phenomena.

Just ideas iVe been pondering.

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Re: Rehab by Cameron Francis

Postby Richard Kaufman » October 23rd, 2013, 3:41 pm

The natural idea, when a laymen seens you destroy something and then restore it, is that you must have two of the same item. That's the logical explanation.

Magic must defeat logic, of course.

The idea of signing a card for these types of things is, I think, relatively new. People used to, and still use, a torn corner for the same purpose and that seems to convince most laymen. The torn corner eliminates the quasi-convincing idea that the magician's signature is unique. Because that's what makes anything using a layman's signature convincing is that because you have just met this person, the signature on the item MUST be unique. The magician's signature is not unique, thus far less convincing (though not entirely unconvincing).
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Re: Rehab by Cameron Francis

Postby Brad Henderson » October 23rd, 2013, 4:02 pm

I can't help but feel that the signature points more to method than magic. If I have two pieces of something, and you see me fuse them together - if the fusing is convincing, then doesn't the signature only point away from the magical moment, and to a method?

I realize that magic must defeat logic.

What I am suggesting is that often we end up feeding the spectator's logic with our protestations, diluting the actual magic that is on display.

Now, if one were to restore the card by placing it into a card box - yes, the signature may be the one thing that lends any deception to the trick. But it is only deceptive because I, as an audience member, am focusing on methods. Can this ever then become more than a puzzle?

I agree that we must eliminate methods from a spectators mind, but that this elimination must occur naturally. A mind reader who has a blindfold examined is essentially placing the audience into a mind set of trickery. A mind reader who asks a member of the audience to don the blindfold to experience how the darkness seems to send a person into a different mental plane . . . .

I fear that in the t and r, the signature may misdirect from the magic of restoration. In other effects, perhaps it can be an asset.

Possible solution - have audience members sign cards so they don't have to remember them. Then, off handedly, do trick with one of those cards. The signature is there for those who are going to focus on methods and puzzles, but not thrown into the faces of those who are capable of experiencing magic.

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Re: Rehab by Cameron Francis

Postby Doomo » October 23rd, 2013, 4:11 pm

Brad... Cant we just think of the children. Please.
RFA Productions yeah... It is cool stuff.

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Re: Rehab by Cameron Francis

Postby Bill Mullins » October 23rd, 2013, 4:16 pm

Brad Henderson wrote: I agree that we must eliminate methods from a spectators mind . .

eliminate duplicate cards with:
- signature (make card unique)
- torn corner (make card unique)
- superior handling, sleights, presentation, so that the experience of the spectator is true magic, into which consideration of method never enters

Okay, let's go back to signed cards.

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Re: Rehab by Cameron Francis

Postby Brad Henderson » October 23rd, 2013, 4:23 pm

does the use of a signature eliminate the idea of duplicate cards, or suggest them?

perhaps it's in how it is employed.

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Re: Rehab by Cameron Francis

Postby Richard Kaufman » October 23rd, 2013, 5:18 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:does the use of a signature eliminate the idea of duplicate cards, or suggest them?


Okay, now I know you're just pulling my teat. A spectator's signature suggests the idea of duplicate cards? Baloney.
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Re: Rehab by Cameron Francis

Postby Brad Henderson » October 23rd, 2013, 5:30 pm

why else would you have them sign it? if not to prevent the possibility of the duplicate? (in fact, how often have we heard, "please sign this so you know this is the only one like this in the world?" We are telling them that we could do this with a duplicate. They don't know where the trick is headed - but before it even starts we have them thinking about the possibility that duplicate cards could be used to do this. We are making it about methods.)

I began exploring this line of thinking when it came to mind reading. The modern mind reader is a trickster pretending to play the role of a mind reader. When we have objects examined, we are essentially telling our audiences to be on the look out for tricks. Rather than suggesting that what we are doing is real, perhaps it just suggests that our tricks are more clever than they would have imagined. Regardless, their mind is now operating in an analytical mode - as opposed to an immersive, participatory mode.

think of the most successful mind readers in history. Did they go about disproving trickery - or did they just do what they do? I don't recall John Edwards putting on an examined blindfold and he has been more successful, more convincing, more real to more people than any of our clan who have attempted to simulate psychic powers.

Again I mention Okawa - would his torn and restored cigarette paper be improved by having it signed?

I don't think so.

Because now I am focused on the signature and not the effect - which is restoration. I'm thinking, "how did he switch it when i signed it" as opposed to "how did it go back together"?

We need to run when we are being chased. But sometimes I think it is the magician who goads the audience into racing - which makes sense since so much of what is sold to us is considered valuable because "it doesn't work the way YOU the magician thinks it should work." So, we design our tricks to put the spotlight on the method and not the magic.

Perhaps it's the difference between doing magic for magicians, and performing for real people.

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Re: Rehab by Cameron Francis

Postby Bill Mullins » October 23rd, 2013, 5:45 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:does the use of a signature eliminate the idea of duplicate cards, or suggest them?

perhaps it's in how it is employed.


Could go either way, depending on the performer/performance.

My post was an attempt to suggest that the best way, whatever it might be, is hard; at least, compared to adopting a method that uses a spectator-signed card.

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Re: Rehab by Cameron Francis

Postby Brad Henderson » October 23rd, 2013, 5:49 pm

I got it. Wished for a like button as it was very funny.

but it did get me thinking about ways to solve the concern (which some may feel is not a concern at all, and that's ok).

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Re: Rehab by Cameron Francis

Postby Dustin Stinett » October 24th, 2013, 2:48 pm

For what it’s worth since I am not a “professional” magician:

I have done many tricks for many "real" people over the years. A couple of those tricks are the T&R Card and the Ambitious Card.

Usually, but not always, the T&R card is done after the Ambitious sequence, depending on circumstances and how I end it.

Regardless of how I end the Ambitious Card, I always give the signed card to the spectator to keep. After the T&R Card I always give the restored card to the spectator.

Over the years I have had several people tell me that they still have their souvenir card (one woman kept hers pinned to her cubicle wall where she works—I know because I’ve seen it)—but these are always and only the souvenir card from the Torn & Restored that was kept: Never once has anyone said the same to me about the souvenir Ambitious Card.

So which one has more “meaning” to them and why?

I’m curious: What is the “motivation” for reading someone’s mind—or doing any form of magic—other than to prove that “you can”?

I’m all for finding presentational motivation whenever I can, but I don’t think it’s a deal-breaking requirement for choosing an effect. Personally, I think our biggest challenge is not necessarily to find “motivation” for doing an effect, but making someone care about the fact that we are doing it in the first place. While it might help toward that end, just because something is “motivated” doesn’t guarantee that outcome.

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Re: Rehab by Cameron Francis

Postby Jeremy Greystoke » October 24th, 2013, 2:58 pm

Dustin Stinett wrote:—but these are always and only the souvenir card from the Torn & Restored that was kept: Never once has anyone said the same to me about the souvenir Ambitious Card.

So which one has more “meaning” to them and why?



My thought is that the signed Ambitious Card is merely an "object used in a trick", whereas the signed T & R Card is now an "Impossible Object". Their thought process might be along the lines of "I signed the card...it got torn up and then somehow he put it back together...he couldn't have switched it since I signed the card...how could he have done it? Must be magic?"

The Ambitious Card is simply a memento...the T & R Card has a greater shade of meaning due to it undergoing a visual transformation...from pieces to whole. It's a sort of simplistic interpretation, admittedly, but I do think the "torn and restored" part elevates the object from memento status to something more.

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Re: Rehab by Cameron Francis

Postby Brad Henderson » October 24th, 2013, 3:32 pm

Dustin - motivation is often the vehicle for generating the audiences interest and possibly generating a feelingful response.

While 'look at what I can do' is a motivation, and one used by many magicians for many years (we can argue if that has endeared is to our audiences or not), if that is all we offer then I am insure if we are creating a satisfactory artistic experience.

At some level a playwrite or singer is engaged in 'look at what I can do', I mean, how often has life conspired to force us to sing? But somehow, the impactful one's manage to appeal to more than just showing off. (Some of course just provide catchy tunes, well marketed, but that's a different issue.)

When working for smart people, I think it helps not to make choices which do not lead then to ask distracting questions. For some reason the Big Bang episode where Amy points out that Indiana jones was completely irrelevant to the outcome of the story comes to mind.

in this case, the viewer does not realize this as the story is structured so one doesn't see the big picture - but when a magician says I will tear up this card and put it back together - I think it reasonable for someone to observe the futility of the first act.

That is - if all we are offering is the demonstration of something i can do but you can't.

Now, don't get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with 'trivial magic' - magic that exists solely for it's own sake. in fact, celebrating something for what it is is often a smart way to approach a presentation.

But with all of the effort and passion for this one effect, I find it curious that it seldom transcends the puzzle paradigm

I think this is because magicians like most versions of this effect because of the cleverness of method which allows one to perform it in a manner that is not the manner magicians know.

while one could actually use that as a viable presentation, I think for most lay people, these Method focused values only distract from the magic.

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Re: Rehab by Cameron Francis

Postby Brad Henderson » October 24th, 2013, 3:38 pm

re: suggesting duplicate cards

Vernon genius: when performing copper silver transposition in spec's hand, Vernkn realized the value in NOT introducing the copper coin until after the switch had occurred.

Not only does this help the effect remain clear, one can see how suggesting that a second coin might be used in the trick predisposes the spectator to look for switching - which they would have no reason to do if only one coin were in play.

I am working on okowa's shells currently. What I have learned is that people will not suspect any sort of switch if they are unaware of what is about to happen, or the eventual addition of a 2nd shell.

they will , if pressed, assume a switch must have been made For the SECOND PHASE - but even when pressed will not suspect sleight of hand for the first, instead assuming the shell must be heat sensitive.

again, these are ideas I am exploring. I am sure the correct answe will involve some sort of balance. I am trying to learn just how far we can take that

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Re: Rehab by Cameron Francis

Postby mrgoat » October 25th, 2013, 5:05 am

Richard Kaufman wrote:I think enough people have been tearing and restoring playing cards for a sufficient amount of time that we can consider it "settled law." It's a good trick: magicians like to do it; laymen like to watch it.


I'm not sure popularity ever, ever denotes the inherent 'goodness' of something. Examples: McDonalds, X Factor, reality TV shows, 1Direction, etc etc.

And yes, lots of magi perform it, but I'm not convinced layman 'like' to watch it.

Without motivation, what is it other than "hey, I am cool, look what I can do"?

(Great discussion btw).

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Re: Rehab by Cameron Francis

Postby Richard Kaufman » October 25th, 2013, 11:14 am

Uh ... I like McDonald's.
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Re: Rehab by Cameron Francis

Postby mrgoat » October 25th, 2013, 11:31 am

Richard Kaufman wrote:Uh ... I like McDonald's.


Lots of people do. Does that make it 'good'?

I don't think popularity is a measure of quality.

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Re: Rehab by Cameron Francis

Postby Jonathan Townsend » October 25th, 2013, 12:17 pm

mrgoat wrote:
Richard Kaufman wrote:Uh ... I like McDonald's.


Lots of people do. Does that make it 'good'?

I don't think popularity is a measure of quality.


Good - who whom and when (or where?) matter of taste?
IIRC Quality is whatever the customer says it is.
For McDonald's it's about consistency of the brand food/environment across market locations.
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Re: Rehab by Cameron Francis

Postby Ian Kendall » October 25th, 2013, 12:40 pm

Does that mean there is going to be some consistency in magic?

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Re: Rehab by Cameron Francis

Postby Dustin Stinett » October 25th, 2013, 12:45 pm

Ricky Jay's entire career has been devoted to performing only for "real" people and never magicians (if possible--he cannot prevent them from being in his audience, but I'd wager that he would if he could).

Ricky Jay regularly performs McDonald's Aces. That he uses Queens is immaterial. I suspect he knows a thing or two about what his audiences enjoy seeing. I could be wrong, but my instincts say otherwise.

His "motivation" is to show his audience the various way magicians through time have "played the classics" and this way was how it was done a very long time ago (with an assist from Erdnase).

Of course, is that "motivation" or "rationalization"? (Or are those two things close enough to being the same?)

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Re: Rehab by Cameron Francis

Postby Dustin Stinett » October 25th, 2013, 12:48 pm

And I just realized you are talking about the friggin', nasty-a$$ fast food dump.

YUK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Re: Rehab by Cameron Francis

Postby Bill Mullins » October 25th, 2013, 1:42 pm

mrgoat wrote:Lots of people [like McDonalds]. Does that make it 'good'?

I don't think popularity is a measure of quality.


It may not mean that it's good, but it means that it's desirable to a lot of people. And as someone once said, "Quantity has a quality all its own."

If a lot of people like a trick at least a little, it must have some merit. That's not to say that it wouldn't be better to do tricks that a few people like a lot, especially if you are performing for those few people.

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Re: Rehab by Cameron Francis

Postby Jonathan Townsend » October 25th, 2013, 3:50 pm

? I believe motivation is inferred from behavior while rationalization (even in Psychology language) is about expressing something you believe others would find acceptable to account for observed behavior.

I like that folks are exploring methods for the card reassembly effect. I'm tempted to try the trick.

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Re: Rehab by Cameron Francis

Postby Tom Frame » October 26th, 2013, 3:07 pm

Here’s a motivational idea. A participant selects a card and holds it. You attempt to divine its identity, but you fail. You become enraged, dejected, embarrassed, or whatever. You snatch the card away from your participant and aggressively tear it into quarters. You slam the pieces onto the table, off to the side, partially concealed behind the card case.

You compose yourself and continue on with another effect or two. You’re about to end your performance when you realize that your deck is short one card. This awareness creates plausible motivation for restoring the card.

“Oh damn, I can’t begin my next gig being, literally, a card short of a full deck. I have to fix this problem.”

So you retrieve the pieces, cleanly restore the card, pop it back it your deck and take your leave.

Methodologically, you could execute some portion of your preferred method while you’re ripping up the card.

Or, while you’re performing the other effects, and maybe going into your pockets, you could secretly retrieve a portion of a card that might come in handy for the restoration.

Or you could have loaded a portion of a card under the case at the beginning. In revisiting and revealing the torn pieces that were behind the box, you switch them.

As long as the restoration looks terrific, how you restore the card is less important than why you restore it.

The notion of creating motivation by presentationally and temporally separating the tearing segment from the restoration segment could bear promising fruit.
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Re: Rehab by Cameron Francis

Postby Jonathan Townsend » October 26th, 2013, 5:10 pm

Not so sure getting irate and using a card restoration as a finale, especially before that exit you suggested, is an optimal approach for the general hobbyist here. Maybe some comics could workshop that approach or a director could use that as an exercise.
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Re: Rehab by Cameron Francis

Postby Travis » October 30th, 2013, 7:13 pm

Tom, that motivation is exactly the kind necessary to take the Torn and Restored Card to a higher level, and it's exactly the one employed by David Williamson in his 'Torn and Restored Transposition'. If you've never done this effect, or seen David perform it, it absolutely kills.

I've been doing Guy Hollingworth's 'The Reformation' (which is not nearly so difficult as people like to pretend) since his very first release on videotape back in the early 90s (I bought one of the 50 copies he made available). It's still the best of the piece-by-piece restorations, but can you guess which I do more often in the real world? Yep, David's. People respond WAY more to David's effect precisely because of the motivation. I'll add that it needs to be believable motivation, not the contrived, phony magician-in-trouble sort.

You can find David Williamson's effect in his book 'Williamson's Wonders', published by none other than Richard Kaufman. I'm certain it will also be featured on his upcoming DVD set from Luis De Matos' EMC.
Last edited by Travis on October 31st, 2013, 12:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Rehab by Cameron Francis

Postby Richard Kaufman » October 30th, 2013, 7:30 pm

Gee, Travis, I couldn't do "Reformation," and at that time could do some pretty difficult stuff!
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Re: Rehab by Cameron Francis

Postby Travis » October 31st, 2013, 12:13 am

You needn't worry, Richard. Your technical skills with a pack of cards far exceeds my own, without question.


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