Question about Card in Wallet routine in The Book of John

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Question about Card in Wallet routine in The Book of John

Postby erdnasephile » May 27th, 2019, 11:00 am

I came across the Card in Wallet routine in The Book of John by John Mendoza.

I had a specific question about this routine, but there is really no way to ask it in a public forum without unfairly tipping the routine.

Therefore, if you use (or have used) this routine and would be willing to answer a quick question, would you kindly please PM me?

Many thanks!

PS: This is his routine for the LePaul/Jennings wallet, not his Bendix Bombshell routine

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Re: Question about Card in Wallet routine in The Book of John

Postby Richard Kaufman » May 27th, 2019, 12:10 pm

Tip the routine and ask your question.
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Re: Question about Card in Wallet routine in The Book of John

Postby erdnasephile » May 27th, 2019, 12:34 pm

Copy that.

The dodge of loading the wallet by pretending to slip the selected card into the left breast pocket just seems very transparent, even with Mendoza's subtlety of removing the three wrong cards from the breast pocket later (I don't have access to the original LaFollette routine, so I'm not sure how much of the routine in The Book of John is Mendoza's and how much is LaFollette's). I would think you'd have to add some time misdirection to make this more deceptive because audiences aren't dumb, and fishing around in the vicinity of the wallet earlier in the routine would seem to be a dead giveaway.

My question: has anyone used this for real people and have you found it to be deceptive?

PS: In all the times I've done Card to Wallet, I typically just palm the card and load it in the same motion as removing the wallet. (although I haven't got the gumption yet to try the Dingle repeat loading). I've never tried these no-palm methods, but I have been researching them of late for fun and maybe to try.

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Re: Question about Card in Wallet routine in The Book of John

Postby Q. Kumber » May 27th, 2019, 2:39 pm

The Book of John is probably something I would never have bought had it not been for the excellent review given by Goodliffe in Abra.
John once did an evening (around 1980) for the magicians in Dublin. The late Ted Oldham came down from Belfast, which surprised me as he had no real interest in close-up magic. Afterwards he told me it was the best lecture he'd ever seen.

Sorry I can't help with the wallet question.

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Re: Question about Card in Wallet routine in The Book of John

Postby Bob Farmer » May 27th, 2019, 6:15 pm

Try this: first, don't use the usual line of card-in-wallet wallets use a Himber Wallet.

The Himber is in your left inside jacket pocket along with a Sharpie.

When removing the Sharpie, shift the Himber wallet under your left arm so it is positioned horizontally, with the two openings pointing up and down.

You'll find you can maintain it in that position easily as the deck is handled.

Palm out the card and go for the wallet--you'll find that you easily slip the card into the bottom opening.

Remove the wallet and place it on the table. Now, as part of your patter, open the wallet to the empty side and point to the money you're going bet that you can locate the card.

Etc.

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Re: Question about Card in Wallet routine in The Book of John

Postby Q. Kumber » May 28th, 2019, 12:28 am

I'm on the road so haven't a chance to check, but I'm pretty sure the Card To Wallet that Mendoza says he would use to clinch a gig uses a Bendix Wallet.

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Re: Question about Card in Wallet routine in The Book of John

Postby erdnasephile » May 28th, 2019, 1:55 am

Hi, Q:

Mr. Mendoza wrote: "I have always emphatically said that if I could only (sic) one card trick for a group of four or less people, to land a job, I would do the routine you are about to read (The [LePaul] Card in The Wallet). For a group of five or more, I would do 'Poker Mental'..."

He went on: "...if you want a wallet for repeat performances as in table-to-table work where you just cannot re-set, I highly recommend the Bendix Bombshell as the best such wallet, bar none!...Get Lee Noble's LePaul for those special shows and the Bendix for table-to-table work."
(The Book of John, pg 101-102)

FWIW, Mr. Mendoza is one who believes the envelope is the most important part and says that "they have always asked if they could keep the envelope." (emphasis as per the original)

Bob:

That's a very clever handling. I may have to try that.

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Re: Question about Card in Wallet routine in The Book of John

Postby Philippe Noël » May 28th, 2019, 6:14 am

Hi Erdnasephile,
John Mendoza's method looks good to me even if I have never tried it in front of real people.
This method makes me think of Paul Gordon's method described in Quidnunc under the title Worker Supreme.
Take care,

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Re: Question about Card in Wallet routine in The Book of John

Postby Philippe Noël » May 28th, 2019, 6:31 am

By the way, you can find LaFollette's method described page 90 of the book Card to Wallet by Jerry Mentzer.
He does not retrieve the "three" cards put in the inner jacket pocket before showing the card in the enveloppe.

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Re: Question about Card in Wallet routine in The Book of John

Postby Richard Kaufman » May 28th, 2019, 11:13 am

Philippe, about what year would LaFollette have performed his routine?
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Re: Question about Card in Wallet routine in The Book of John

Postby Philippe Noël » May 28th, 2019, 12:20 pm

I have no idea.

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Re: Question about Card in Wallet routine in The Book of John

Postby erdnasephile » May 28th, 2019, 5:12 pm

Philippe Noël wrote:By the way, you can find LaFollette's method described page 90 of the book Card to Wallet by Jerry Mentzer.
He does not retrieve the "three" cards put in the inner jacket pocket before showing the card in the enveloppe.


Thanks Mr. Noel---that makes clear what Mr. Mendoza added. (I don't have the Card in Wallet book--is it worthwhile?)

I think the routine has 3 major weaknesses:
1. Having cards in the proximity of the wallet prior to the climax of the routine
2. Having to take the 3rd miss back to the shirt pocket to allegedly get the other "two" misses
3. Having to go back to the top of the deck to reveal the three misses at the end of the routine

To address number one: maybe the jacket could be held a little more open so the audience can see the first miss heading directly for the shirt pocket. As the jacket closes, the card gets loaded into the wallet? It would have to be a partial load probably.

To address #2 and #3, how about starting with a duplicate of the first miss in the shirt pocket. Show the first miss on the deck, switch for the signed card. Take the signed card and load into the wallet under the pretext of putting it into the shirt pocket. The second miss can be put cleanly into the shirt pocket. The third miss could be put face up on the table. Then the two previous misses can be taken out of the shirt pocket cleanly one at a time and just placed on the table. This would be more convincing, but the price is the duplicate.

Since we're spitballing: what if we used the breast pocket of the jacket instead? We could cut a slit in the back wall of that pocket. Maybe that would allow insertion of the switched signed card through that pocket into (or near) the wallet? This could be combined with the idea of the duplicate of the first miss, and this would separate the location of eliminating misses from where you will eventually reach in to get the wallet.

Ugh. This routine may be too much trouble---just palm the card! (It is fun to think about though)

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Re: Question about Card in Wallet routine in The Book of John

Postby Richard Kaufman » May 28th, 2019, 6:32 pm

Yes, just palm the card.
Or use a Mullica Wallet.
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Re: Question about Card in Wallet routine in The Book of John

Postby Curtis Kam » May 28th, 2019, 9:17 pm

Or use Michael Skinner’s strategy: palm the card, but only for a couple of seconds, and not while there’s heat on you.


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Re: Question about Card in Wallet routine in The Book of John

Postby Pete McCabe » May 29th, 2019, 11:19 am

Or you can use a gambler's cop and the Mullica wallet.

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Re: Question about Card in Wallet routine in The Book of John

Postby Richard Kaufman » May 29th, 2019, 12:40 pm

The whole point of the Mullica Wallet is to avoid palming.
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Re: Question about Card in Wallet routine in The Book of John

Postby Pete McCabe » May 29th, 2019, 1:48 pm

The whole point of magic is to produce the best effect. If a Mullica wallet is enhanced by palming, which I believe it is, who cares what the original point of the prop was?

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Re: Question about Card in Wallet routine in The Book of John

Postby Jonathan Townsend » May 29th, 2019, 3:38 pm

Agreed about effect in magic. And getting the deck out of your hands before the work with a "no-palm" wallet.

I'd ask JM directly about his routine. Also keep in mind how the rest of the routine is set up to play for audiences.

At the time that book came out there was not much mention of an effective subtly of moving the card behind the jacket. Vernon, discusses it in one book. Dingle used it. The Gary Kurtz book and video explains the item in detail. Mentioning it here as sometimes routines ordinarily performed using unpublished material are published with work-around procedures to avoid exposing specific items. ;)
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Re: Question about Card in Wallet routine in The Book of John

Postby erdnasephile » May 29th, 2019, 11:11 pm

Pete McCabe wrote:The whole point of magic is to produce the best effect. If a Mullica wallet is enhanced by palming, which I believe it is, who cares what the original point of the prop was?


Hi, Pete: I would like to please respectfully inquire why the Mullica wallet is enhanced by palming?

I get that having the deck never touch the wallet is obstensively more deceptive; however, the Mullica handling is so naturally motivated (especially if you take Tom's tip and not be too near a table when you do the load), that psychologically, the proximity of the deck and wallet would seem near invisible to the audience.

In addition, while I would concur that effect is king, I do think there is something to the notion that when a method is comfortable and safe for the magician, it can help them relax, which I think can translate into a better performance. (Credit to David Parr for putting that idea into my head).

That's why although I'm comfortable palming in performance, there is something just really appealing about these no-palm routines.

PS: JT---thanks for that---I think I grok what you are saying. Going to go look up the Dingle and Kurtz references.

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Re: Question about Card in Wallet routine in The Book of John

Postby Pete McCabe » May 30th, 2019, 1:46 pm

Of course, you can do a great routine with a Mullica wallet, where the audience will not notice the wallet coming to the deck. But you can also do a great routine with a double-back card in your wallet or anything, remove it to the deck, and double-turnover to show it’s the signed selection. To me that’s not as good, but other magicians who are professionals (I am not) use it and it works. 



Mostly I think there is a limit to how much you can dramatize the conditions that make the effect impossible, if you are not using palming and the Mullica to cancel each other. Here’s one example:
Take out your wallet and put it on the table.
Card is signed, returned, and copped.
Deck is put on the table.
Something happens to dramatize the magic. One example: you hold your hand over the deck and smoke comes out from under your hand. You waft some of the smoke over towards the wallet, casually showing your hand empty.
Pick up the wallet and remove the signed card.

Just for the record, I am not saying that cleanliness of effect is the only criteria. But the above handling is very clean, and I don't think you could do it with a no-palm Mullica.

Yes, the performer’s comfort is important. This is one of the most important parts of the overall effect of every trick. Somebody—I wish I could remember who—wrote that experts are masters of the techniques they use, not because they are masters of all techniques, but because they only use techniques they have mastered. I know I give a better show when I am comfortable and confident in my methods.

BTW, to me the best feature of the Mullica style wallet is the ability to have it out on the table before the card is selected. I don’t hear other magicians talk about this too much, but if your signed card is in the deck I’m holding, and then the card travels somewhere on my person, that’s not nearly as impossible as if the card travels to something that’s been in plain view.

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Re: Question about Card in Wallet routine in The Book of John

Postby Richard Kaufman » May 30th, 2019, 2:14 pm

I actually think it's better to have the wallet in your pocket rather in view on the table.
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Re: Question about Card in Wallet routine in The Book of John

Postby Jeff Haas » June 1st, 2019, 3:24 am

I agree with Richard...the surprise is more important than the “cleanliness” of the routine, especially because having the wallet visible kind of tips the punchline.

Speaking of structuring for surprise, John Bannon has a really good card to wallet routine in one of his early hardbacks.

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Re: Question about Card in Wallet routine in The Book of John

Postby Jeffrey Cowan » June 3rd, 2019, 1:30 am

It really depends on the routine. Jeff Haas: you foreshadow my comment. I regularly performed for laymen the routine of which I believe you're thinking -- John Bannon's Oz Deposit -- for 15+ years (until I became a dad and stopped having time for part-time pro stuff). No one ever surmised that the card would end up in the wallet that goes on the table (loaded) long before the magic moment. In fact, no one ever challenged me (during performance or afterwards) when I use a "Tamariz miscalll" and referred to the wallet having been "on the table the entire time" and "which I have not touched."
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Re: Question about Card in Wallet routine in The Book of John

Postby Jonathan Townsend » June 3rd, 2019, 10:22 pm

Bob Farmer wrote:...Remove the wallet and place it on the table. Now, as part of your patter, open the wallet to the empty side and point to the money you're going bet that you can locate the card. Etc.
Thinking about a routine/premise for that. Kind of a magician's swear jar. Tell them that when practicing each time you miss the "cut to the chosen card" you take a dollar you were going to use to buy a new trick and put that into the wallet. Now it's not usually a thing we tell people but when performing it only seems fair to give that money to the volunteer who had to watch you mess up. Maybe write "thanks for playing along :) on a note " under where the card sets so you are giving them something. Just a thought.
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Re: Question about Card in Wallet routine in The Book of John

Postby MagicbyAlfred » June 4th, 2019, 8:51 am

This has morphed into a nice discussion about aspects of Card to Wallet in general.

My two cents, for what it's worth (and I pray it's more than two cents!):

1. If any ruse is to be employed in the palming method, I recommend having a card already inside the inside breast pocket. After the selection is palmed (and it must be a signed selection), go to the pocket under the pretext that the selection has miraculously jumped into the pocket. If you can't get the palmed card into the wallet smoothly and quickly (which, let's face it, does sometimes happen), it's OK, as you can act like you are building the drama while your hand is in the pocket doing the dirty work. Deposit the selection into the wallet and come out with the previously planted card. You've apparently failed and can make a joke about how this won't look good on your resume or how their card magically changed into the ____ of ____. This also adds a bit of entertainment and valuable time misdirection. Then, for the triumphant revelation, you can slowly go to the pocket with an obviously empty hand to retrieve the wallet.

2. Regarding the Mullica wallet, I will say that, while no palming is required, and although a wallet within a wallet has its strengths, it will never be as strong as a card inside the zippered compartment of one wallet. For years I had laymen recount to me with wonder and bafflement about the time this magician "got my signed card into the zippered compartment of his wallet," or words to that effect. Eventually, I went to my local shoemaker and had him install a zipper on the inside wallet of my Mullica rig. The reactions at least doubled after that.

3. Nothing beats the card in the sealed envelope in the wallet. But my personal favorite card in wallet I've ever seen was by the very clever Dan Fleshman. He was one of the magicians teaching/performing on a video on restaurant magic, published by Stevens Magic Emporium (which also featured Bill Malone, Mike Close and Jim Sisti - what an awesome quartet!) He used it as a climax to his Chicago Opener/Red Hot Mama routine. He had the first selection signed. After the second selection (via Hindu Shuffle F _ _ c _) and the revelation, he produced the first (signed) selection from the zippered compartment of his wallet, It exponentiated the power and impact of the routine, brought the routine full circle, and provided a neat resolution to (at least the implicit) question of what happened to the first (signed) selection?

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Re: Question about Card in Wallet routine in The Book of John

Postby erdnasephile » June 5th, 2019, 8:18 pm

MagicbyAlfred wrote:2. Regarding the Mullica wallet, I will say that, while no palming is required, and although a wallet within a wallet has its strengths, it will never be as strong as a card inside the zippered compartment of one wallet. For years I had laymen recount to me with wonder and bafflement about the time this magician "got my signed card into the zippered compartment of his wallet," or words to that effect. Eventually, I went to my local shoemaker and had him install a zipper on the inside wallet of my Mullica rig. The reactions at least doubled after that.


Tony Miller apparently agrees with you. Behold, the Badger http://www.rfaproductions.com/products/badger.html I really like this wallet: it has a zippered compartment in the Mullica inner wallet. The finish of the leather is really useful, but I found it also made the inner wallet a little bit harder to get out until I got everything broken in. Works like a dream. Great product! (as are all of Tony's wallets)

MagicbyAlfred wrote:3. Nothing beats the card in the sealed envelope in the wallet.


After asking around while back, I ordered some Bonsalopes---they really do live up to their billing (and that's all I'm going to say about that)

(FWIW, I came into possession of a Heinz Minten produced Mullica. It was really, really tight as shipped and mine was not usable out of the box, I had to spend a couple of days really stretching out the pocket to make it functional. Also, the lining of the wallet feels inexpensive and is not slippery, which also contributes to the functional issues. The inner wallet also has a flap for where a checkbook/notepad would slide in, which is weird to see on what I think is a bespoke wallet. On the plus side, the outside of the wallet looks very nice and the dimensions are very good. I greatly favor the Badger over the Minten)

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Re: Question about Card in Wallet routine in The Book of John

Postby Doomo » July 4th, 2019, 7:34 pm

I know a small bit about a few areas of magic... Wallets and indexes in particular. But in my opinion there has been precious little work done on wallets in the last 4 decades. The Mullica dates back to the 1960's as does pretty much everything in the Mentzer book. I like to think I have made some advances in this are. but most of them seem to scare magicians. Oddly enough even John Mendoza admitted that I had made a far better wallet than the bendix to do his routine with... The other problem with things like the Mullica is that they come in contact with the wallet. As to envelopes some prefer them Some don't. My ideal is STARTING with the wallet sitting on a spectators palm. card selected or named. And then the card is found in the wallet and removed by said spectator... Just my thoughts...
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Re: Question about Card in Wallet routine in The Book of John

Postby Bob Farmer » July 5th, 2019, 7:29 am

Tony makes the best wallets.

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Re: Question about Card in Wallet routine in The Book of John

Postby erdnasephile » July 5th, 2019, 8:33 am

Bob Farmer wrote:Tony makes the best wallets.


Absolutely---plus, Rosie and his customer service is second to none.

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Re: Question about Card in Wallet routine in The Book of John

Postby Leonard Hevia » July 7th, 2019, 11:47 am

Doomo wrote:But in my opinion there has been precious little work done on wallets in the last 4 decades.


Probably because the design and function of the Balducci, Le Paul, and Mullica wallets were just fine when they were introduced to the market. No need to improve what was perfect right out of the gate. Leo Fender designed and built the Fender Telecaster electric guitar in 1950, and the Stratocaster a few years later. Subsequently, electric guitar manufacturers and designers have tried to improve on Fender's original creations without success. Guitar players worldwide still consider these two creations, along with the Gibson Les Paul, pretty much perfect designs that are also aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

Improve the design of magic wallets? What for?

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Re: Question about Card in Wallet routine in The Book of John

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 7th, 2019, 12:02 pm

Leo, Tony has developed wallets that many will find superior to the originals.
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