Is there only ONE method to perform the Macdonald's Aces?

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.
AERo
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Is there only ONE method to perform the Macdonald's Aces?

Postby AERo » September 13th, 2009, 11:27 pm

As the title says.

When I say "method", I mean "how the aces move to one pile".

I've had some touchy people who would ask to take a look at
my deck after I've finished performing the Macdonald's Aces :grin:

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Re: Is there only ONE method to perform the Macdonald's Aces?

Postby Edward » September 13th, 2009, 11:41 pm

Slo-motion Aces uses the same plot as completly "touchy people" proof. ;)

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Re: Is there only ONE method to perform the Macdonald's Aces?

Postby Michael Close » September 14th, 2009, 1:19 am

Anytime you use gaffed objects in a close-up situation you must answers the questions "How do I get in?" and "How do I get out?"

Allan Ackerman has an excellent DVD (the name of which I can't remember) in which he designs routines that use gaffed cards in such a way that you are clean at the end. (I think one of the routines is an Ace assembly.) Buying this DVD would be an excellent investment for you.

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Re: Is there only ONE method to perform the Macdonald's Aces?

Postby NCMarsh » September 14th, 2009, 2:56 am

I'd add that Mr. Close's own work contains several good examples of dealing with this issue.

I think that constructing the trick so you are clean is a much better approach than moving to a sleight-of-hand method ala "Slow-Motion Aces." SMA is a fine for technical study, sharing with other enthusiasts, etc. but it is a weaker effect than the gaffed version.

I'm sure there are more, but a few basic tactics for dealing with gaffed objects:

Out of Sight, Out of Mind:

Getting the gaffed object out of view and shifting focus to something else, before the spectators decide they want to look at it, is a practical and deceptive approach for many routines. There is a discussion of this in David Ben's "Extension of Credit" (Tricks, p.16, bottom). To see this in action, watch Bill Malone's performance of the Nudist deck on his first DVD set. He keeps talking until the deck is out of sight, then he goes immediately into the next piece. They are hooked into the next thing before it occurs to them to ask.

If its still out, and they care about it, when it occurs to them to ask -- you're too late and there is no out. You have to win the battle before they know it has started.

Generally speaking, I think this approach is best suited to effects where the object is in your hands at the close.

Shift the Focus:

Find a way to make them care more about something they can examine. An example of this is Michael Close's "The Pothole Trick" (Workers 1) Another solid one is Darwin Ortiz'"Do As I Did" (Darwin Ortiz At The Card Table)

This seems like a good beginning for Mc's Aces -- because there is a natural focus on the leader packet before the Aces are revealed there.

An approach (and I don't do the Aces, so this is an on-the-spot rough draft) might be to leave the deck tabled to your left, off to the side and out of frame. As the Aces vanish, the packets are casually dropped on the deck -- it's natural, you're clearing the clutter before moving to the next packet. After the final Ace vanishes you pick up the deck and spread it face up to emphasize that the Aces are gone (this spread is done to A. sell the vanish/further build tension and B. motivate picking the deck up) direct the spectator to turn over the leader packet, you step back, and as they turn the packet over and react your hands casually dip into your pockets...your left hand leaves its deck in the left pocket while your right hand removes a different deck from its pocket

This is a cruder version of Tommy Wonder's deck switch, and it is deceptive.

Don't fall into the temptation of suggesting they examine the cards, just leave them out on the table while you go into the next thing. It only means anything, in this case, if they think its their idea to look at the deck.

Best of luck!

N.

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Re: Is there only ONE method to perform the Macdonald's Aces?

Postby JimW » September 14th, 2009, 3:11 am

Michael Close wrote:Allan Ackerman has an excellent DVD (the name of which I can't remember) in which he designs routines that use gaffed cards in such a way that you are clean at the end. (I think one of the routines is an Ace assembly.) Buying this DVD would be an excellent investment for you.


The DVD is "Prequel/Sequel". Allan performed the routine during a recent lecture at the Magic Castle and it really fooled me. He borrowed a deck of cards and did a series of tricks. During the course of the routine he was able to get the necessary cards into play, and then back out of sight before returning the deck to its owner. Very powerful!

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Re: Is there only ONE method to perform the Macdonald's Aces?

Postby El Mystico » September 14th, 2009, 3:41 am

In further inner Secrets, in the final para on the Blue Backed Aces, Vernon offers a suberb idea, often overlooked, applicable to McDonald's aces, which greatly facilitates getting rid of the gaffed cards at the end.

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Re: Is there only ONE method to perform the Macdonald's Aces?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » September 14th, 2009, 8:32 am

AERo wrote:As the title says.

When I say "method", I mean "how the aces move to one pile".

I've had some touchy people who would ask to take a look at
my deck after I've finished performing the Macdonald's Aces :grin:


Have you had a chance to listen to the audience members who want to see the deck after? Any idea what they are looking for? It's workable to cop three cards as you case the deck - but they may be looking for extra aces, cards stuck together or something else which is worth exploring.

There is an aspect of the trick as most folks first learn it via the Frank Garcia manuscript where it's pretty clear a tyro has gotten way too much magic with way too little effort and so there's nothing left but to ponder the innocence of the cards.

So while you're getting ready for your next performance - have a look at our older books including T. Nelson Downs' The Art of Magic and look at some options for that trick. :) BTW there are many versions of the Hofzinser (Ace) Assembly Card trick in print and most don't use the original Hofzinser method of double faced cards.

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Re: Is there only ONE method to perform the Macdonald's Aces?

Postby digit_al » September 20th, 2009, 11:58 am

I used to do the MacDonald Aces a lot. Then a friend showed me "The Stanley Collens" aces, which is very similar, uses no gaffs, can be performed with a borrowed deck and is dazzling. I've fallen in love with this effect. You can watch Martin Lewis perform it here:

http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl= ... =N&tab=wv#

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Re: Is there only ONE method to perform the Macdonald's Aces?

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 20th, 2009, 12:52 pm

The Collins Aces doesn't have much to do with the so-called "McDonald's Aces." It doesn't use double-faced cards, the Aces vanish from the packets but do not reappear in the leader packet, and have to be found using something like a poker deal.

The Collins Aces is a great, classic handling, however it's not McDonald's Aces.
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Re: Is there only ONE method to perform the Macdonald's Aces?

Postby Kent Gunn » September 20th, 2009, 11:23 pm

I've worked up and used Frank Garcia's handling for years. I think it's in Super Subtle, if not it's in Million Dollar Secrets. I abandoned that handling for Bob Kohler's variation using a slightly different gaff.

Aces in Their Faces from www.bobkohlermagic.com is, for me, the best version. I don't use the handling as Bob teaches it in the DVD or booklet. I probably should though. It is snappy! I'll bet a nickel your nearest magic shop has a set, just waiting for you.

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Re: Is there only ONE method to perform the Macdonald's Aces?

Postby Pete Biro » September 24th, 2009, 2:46 am

The book I'm writing on the late Emile Clifton will have his version, which to me is my favorite. There was another published in Genii a few years ago I liked starting with a slop shuffle.
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Re: Is there only ONE method to perform the Macdonald's Aces?

Postby Ricky Difeo » September 24th, 2009, 12:29 pm

Hi!

In the Aces High (Daley - Horowitz)you can find one multiphase (4 phases) aces effects where you can end clean.
The double faces cards end in your pockets and the deck clean.-


Ricardo Difeo

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Re: Is there only ONE method to perform the Macdonald's Aces?

Postby John M. Dale » September 24th, 2009, 9:38 pm

Is there a significant difference between the New Stars of Magic version of MacDonald's Aces and the version in More Inner Secrets of Card Magic?

On a separate, but related question, I've seen some mentions of the New Stars of Magic version (1972) being the first release (Magicpedia, The Complete Works of Derek Dingle) but More Inner Secrets of Card Magic was published in 1960. Was More Inner Secrets of Card Magic underground before the L&L reprint?

JMD

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Re: Is there only ONE method to perform the Macdonald's Aces?

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 24th, 2009, 9:52 pm

Yes, an enormous difference. The Vernon handling (of Hofzinser's original trick) uses three identical vanishes. Garcia's handling uses three different vanishes (a Ken Krenzel idea published in MUM years earlier).

L&L merely reprinted Vernon books originally published by Harry Stanley beginning in the late 1950s.
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Re: Is there only ONE method to perform the Macdonald's Aces?

Postby John M. Dale » September 24th, 2009, 10:38 pm

Thanx, Richard.

Does anyone have a lead for me to find a copy of the New Stars of Magic MacDonald's Aces issue?

Post or PM me.

Thanx,
JMD

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Re: Is there only ONE method to perform the Macdonald's Aces?

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 24th, 2009, 11:01 pm

Garcia's handling printed there has been surpassed by the dozens and dozens of handlings which improve upon it. These are scattered throughout the literature.
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Re: Is there only ONE method to perform the Macdonald's Aces?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » September 24th, 2009, 11:32 pm

The Garcia handling is a pretty good start. IMHO asking folks to do a Stuart Gordon turnover followed by a KM type steal can wait they are comfortable with the basic routine and can explore such things as they learn the advanced sleights and strategies.
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Re: Is there only ONE method to perform the Macdonald's Aces?

Postby John M. Dale » September 24th, 2009, 11:53 pm

Thanx for the input, Richard. I don't doubt what you're saying. I have several of the versions listed at MagicPedia in hand, but I like to research as many methods as I can as I build effects to my own version.

Jonathan, (please don't take offense at this comment as none is intended)
This observation of yours is one of the clearest, most on point comments I've seen you make.

Thanx to both of you for the input.

JMD
(Still interested in obtaining a copy of the Garcia NSOM MacDonald's Aces issue)

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Re: Is there only ONE method to perform the Macdonald's Aces?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » September 25th, 2009, 8:38 am

John M. Dale wrote:...(Still interested in obtaining a copy of the Garcia NSOM MacDonald's Aces issue)


http://www.tannens.com/shop/cart.php?m= ... ail&p=3556

from the publisher?
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Re: Is there only ONE method to perform the Macdonald's Aces?

Postby Joe Mckay » September 25th, 2009, 9:48 am

I have being studying card magic for 15 years but have mainly concentrated on tricks with ungimmicked cards. So - apologies for asking a pretty basic question here. Is the trick 'Aces In Their Faces' considered a superior trick to the 'MacDonald's Aces' effect? I am thinking of adding a gimmicked ace effect to my repertoire and am wondering if one trick is better than another? It seemed when 'Aces In Their Faces' (by Bob Kohler) came out, it was lauded as an improvement on 'The MacDonald's Aces'. Would anyone agree with this? If I decide to use 'The MacDonald's Aces' I will probably use the handling by Derek Dingle which was published in GENII 2/3 years ago. Apparently it is one of the very best handlings to see print. In fact - I am thinking also of combining that handling with the John Lenahan idea of ringing in the gaffs (using a slop shuffle 'Tirumph' effect) which was published about 6/7 years ago in GENII (Alan Greenberg had a similar idea which was published in the same issue). Also - for anyone interested in a treasure hunt - I remember Peter Biro briefly describing the Emile Clifton method for doing the switch out for the start of 'MacDonald's Aces' on this very forum a few years back. Very clever it is to... Am going to check out the Allan Ackerman DVD to see what ideas he has for switching out gaffs at the end of a routine. Should be fun...

Joe

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Re: Is there only ONE method to perform the Macdonald's Aces?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » September 25th, 2009, 10:08 am

There's a bunch of questions there.

What the Hofzinser ( ->Macdonald->Vernon->Garcia ) method permits is an open deal down of the face up aces, then three cards on each and similar display later.

The alternative gaff permits more convincing displays of the cards in action both spreading the pack to start and of the cards in the hands after the ace vanishes which should throw off those who might know about the original gaffs.

The Kohler routine has its own strengths outside the ace assembly effect in terms of introduction and setup.

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Re: Is there only ONE method to perform the Macdonald's Aces?

Postby John M. Dale » September 25th, 2009, 10:58 am

Jonathan Townsend wrote:
John M. Dale wrote:...(Still interested in obtaining a copy of the Garcia NSOM MacDonald's Aces issue)


http://www.tannens.com/shop/cart.php?m= ... ail&p=3556

from the publisher?


Jonathan,

Thanx for the pointer. I'd looked at Tannen's for the New Stars manuscript but didn't think to search for the trick under its own name. However, I'm still interested in finding the mauscript alone, if someone wants to part it. I have 2 sets of the gaffs.

JMD

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Re: Is there only ONE method to perform the Macdonald's Aces?

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 25th, 2009, 12:16 pm

Aces in their Faces uses split-face/back cards applied to the McDonald style Ace routine, something Ed Marlo did many years earlier. It is really only of value when performing for other magicians as laymen do not doubt that the cards have backs to begin with.
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Re: Is there only ONE method to perform the Macdonald's Aces?

Postby El Mystico » September 25th, 2009, 3:15 pm

I'm keen to know what Richard thinks are some of the better handlings than Garcia's... its not a trick question - i love the effect, and have my own handling - just wondering if I'm missing something.

thanks

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Re: Is there only ONE method to perform the Macdonald's Aces?

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 25th, 2009, 4:50 pm

You can start with the handling in Derek Dingle's book.
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Re: Is there only ONE method to perform the Macdonald's Aces?

Postby Joe Mckay » September 28th, 2009, 6:29 pm

You should check out 'The Three Stooges' by Jack Parker. It is a clever effect which puts the magic in the spectator's hands. Brilliant 'hands-off' magic... It has seen print in a number of places including GENII magazine, a few years ago...

Joe

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Re: Is there only ONE method to perform the Macdonald's Aces?

Postby CardMaker » September 29th, 2009, 11:42 am

Here is another nice one ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrSCH2uDhfI

And yes, this one is heavily gaffed ;-)

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Re: Is there only ONE method to perform the Macdonald's Aces?

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 29th, 2009, 11:53 am

We should get some terms straight here.

The basic trick is Hofzinser's.

Many versions were published before Garcia's, including a zillion copies by Theodore DeLand which appeared in dozens of magic sets for about 50 years.

Horowitz and Daley also had a version called Aces High (I think) in the 1930s.

Every one of these versions uses double-faced cards. It is not a so-called "McDonald's Aces" routine if it doesn't use double-faced cards.

Double-ended cards are an entirely different approach to the problem, and were first suggested by Walter Gibson in The Sphinx in the 1920s (I think).

The most prominent version of an Ace Assembly using double-ended cards is Brother Hamman's Final Ace routine.

The handling by Marlo with the split-backs is a hybrid of these two routines.
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Re: Is there only ONE method to perform the Macdonald's Aces?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » September 29th, 2009, 12:23 pm

Do the Vernon or Garcia routines play up the "one armed" aspect of the inventor? IMHO that's likely the key to what distinguishes a "McDonald" routine from others. (no cracks about Burger King or Wendy's Aces okay ;) )
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Re: Is there only ONE method to perform the Macdonald's Aces?

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 29th, 2009, 1:31 pm

Jonathan, all of Hofzinser's vanishes for the Aces use only one hand.
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