El Mystico wrote:Seriously? performer plays all coy as if he has a big secret, and then comes out with something that is in the original Stars of Magic release...its a good point that deserves to be emphasized; but it is like an old tart holding out for a sloppy fanny.
Let me go back to this idiotic observation. By the "original" Stars of Magic I am presuming that El Mystico is referring to the one that first came out with sections from Scarne, Vernon, Slydini, Allerton etc; There is no mention of MacDonalds Routine and neither is there mention of hands going on Ace packets. There are a couple of ace assembly things from Vernon with regular cards but no mention of hands on the ace pile.
But even if there were I STILL say it is an important thing to mention. There is no doubt in my mind that the effect increases TREMENDOUSLY if the spectator guards it with his hand. This is the thinking process that goes through the mind of the audience. The anticipation of the climax HELPS the astonishment rather than detracts from it as previously referred to. What happens is that they see the aces vanishing, anticipate that they are going to appear under the hand, but just can't figure out how the hell it is going to happen since they SEE the aces in front of them and then disappear! The effect is sensational but you do have to know what you are doing and understand the psychology of magic. They often say to me and each other in exasperation, "But I had my hand on them!"
The thought of duplicates might occur to them but they still can't figure out how they could disappear and come under their hand so it is NOT too impossible as inexperienced performers might think and the "too perfect" theory (which I agree with) does not apply. And they can't find any duplicate card anyway. Besides I use a Vernon move that seems to give the illusion that indifferent cards are placed under the hand anyway.
Oddly enough there is no mention of the hands being on the leader packet in the Ganson book where the trick was first described as MacDonald's Aces. I am tempted to say the idea was mine and that I was doing it before Frank Garcia was but alas I have a faint vibe that this hand thing was first described by Hofzinser in the book by Ottokar Fischer. I have the book somewhere but can't find it at the moment. I have a vague memory of Hofzinser telling them to put their hand on the card but am not one hundred percent sure. I must check it out.
Incidentally I was very impressed and surprised by Hofzinser's patter when doing the trick. He was very concise for the time and not as long winded as the fashion was in those days. His presentation had no wasted words and seemed to be very fast paced for the 19th century.