The Too Perfect Theory

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Tom Stone
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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby Tom Stone » January 1st, 2020, 1:41 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:
Tom Stone wrote:That is an example of the performer being blind to the effect that actually is performed, while believing they perform what the effect description claim.


The effect that is actually performed is going to require a method that does not leave a trail to the obvious solution.

The effect that is actually performed is going to require an effect that does not leave a trail to the obvious solution. The work is the work.
Why didn't Tommy Wonder have the audience hold the ring box before revealing the signed folded card inside?

Why would he? What would be the point? Why didn't he put his cups into the spectator's bank safe before doing the cups and balls? Why didn't Jonathan Pendragon send the subtrunk to the moon before doing the transposition?
Tom Stone wrote:That hypothesis doesn't seem to agree with reality, as anyone who've performed DeCova's Flash Restoration, or David Williamson's Torn and Restored Transposition, can attest.

If the cards are not signed by the spectators, the audience is clapping to be polite upon the restoration.

If that is the reaction you get from DeCova's Flash Restoration, or David Williamson's Torn and Restored Transposition, the problem isn't that something is too perfect.
This is also moving the goalposts. There were no mentioning about signatures in your claim that restaurations without creases wouldn't be effective.

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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 1st, 2020, 4:55 pm

Tom, I'm curious what your opinion is regarding having cards signed. It is necessary? Unnecessary? Does it really not add a lot of meaning or an extra layer of certainty in the mind of the spectator?
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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby performer » January 1st, 2020, 5:02 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:Tom, I'm curious what your opinion is regarding having cards signed. It is necessary? Unnecessary? Does it really not add a lot of meaning or an extra layer of certainty in the mind of the spectator?


I think a lot would depend on the individual effect. One size does not fit all. Signatures can waste a lot of time and drag things out if you are not careful and especially if you are not a showman. There would have to be a very good reason for doing it. Sometimes there is and sometimes there isn't. It depends on the circumstances.

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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby Leonard Hevia » January 1st, 2020, 5:45 pm

Tom Stone wrote:The effect that is actually performed is going to require an effect that does not leave a trail to the obvious solution. The work is the work.


Exactly. The Too Perfect Theory cautions us that the method has to be commensurate with the level of the effect. Otherwise the trail will become obvious.


Tom Stone wrote:Why didn't Tommy Wonder have the audience hold the ring box before revealing the signed folded card inside? Why would he? What would be the point? Why didn't he put his cups into the spectator's bank safe before doing the cups and balls? Why didn't Jonathan Pendragon send the subtrunk to the moon before doing the transposition?


Having the spectator hold the ring box during his Ambitious Card routine would raise the level of impossibility on the reveal of the folded, signed, card inside. Furthermore, having the spectator open the box and pull out her signed card would be even more amazing. His method could not pass muster under those conditions.


Tom Stone wrote:There were no mentioning about signatures in your claim that restaurations without creases wouldn't be effective.


An accidental omission. The restored, creased card with the missing corner should be the actual signed selection.

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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby Tom Stone » January 1st, 2020, 8:42 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:Tom, I'm curious what your opinion is regarding having cards signed. It is necessary? Unnecessary? Does it really not add a lot of meaning or an extra layer of certainty in the mind of the spectator?

It depend on the piece. To sign or not should be an aesthetic presentational choice.

If you think about it, it is very seldom you need to have the balls signed in a cups and balls routine, in order for the audience to be convinced that the balls vanishing in the hands really are the same ones that are revealed under the cups.
I would say that if the audience require the balls to be signed before being being convinced, the routine is flawed. Changing the balls to cards, my opinion remain mostly the same.

One of the flaws is that people are in general not as good with cards as we'd want. When revealing a 3 of Clubs, there's usually a tiny delay "Did I pick 3 of Clubs? Or was it 3 of Spades? No, he wouldn't stand there all proud if it was the wrong card, yes, it was the 3 of Clubs. I think. Yay!" A signed card, or a torn corner, can remove those doubts. But it's not the only way. For example, you can have them remove a 4 of a kind. They keep three and return one. It vanishes and is brought out of an impossible location - and the three cards in his hand now acts as an identification of the revealed card.

Also, when it is cards to unexpected locations, the vanish of the card is usually a bit crap. If people assume the card is still hidden in the deck, and you bring it out from an envelope in your wallet, the only possible conclusion is duplicates. A signed card can solve that, but so can a less diffuse vanish.

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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby Tom Stone » January 1st, 2020, 9:04 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:Exactly. The Too Perfect Theory cautions us that the method has to be commensurate with the level of the effect. Otherwise the trail will become obvious.


That does not correspond with any known reality.

Tom Stone wrote:Why didn't Tommy Wonder have the audience hold the ring box before revealing the signed folded card inside? Why would he? What would be the point? Why didn't he put his cups into the spectator's bank safe before doing the cups and balls? Why didn't Jonathan Pendragon send the subtrunk to the moon before doing the transposition?


Having the spectator hold the ring box during his Ambitious Card routine would raise the level of impossibility on the reveal of the folded, signed, card inside. Furthermore, having the spectator open the box and pull out her signed card would be even more amazing. His method could not pass muster under those conditions.

I'm not sure what you mean with "raise the level of impossibility".
A lay person can't be expected to know the dramatics of a reveal. Nor how to hold something in a clean display.
What you suggest would likely lower the "level of impossibility", as the box would be out of view for the main part of the audience, opening up for suspicions of stooges or other secret manipulations while the box was out of view. And it is likely the reveal would be lost.

There exists ways to do what you suggest. None of them get the outcome you claim.
If you need to prove anything at the point of the reveal, your piece is badly structured.

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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby Bill Duncan » January 1st, 2020, 9:39 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:The effect that is actually performed is going to require a method that does not leave a trail to the obvious solution. Why didn't Tommy Wonder have the audience hold the ring box before revealing the signed folded card inside? His method would not have held up.

That's clearly incorrect.

Mike Close does exactly that in his routine "The Big Surprise" which is another version the Hennig (Fred Kaps) card in box. Those who fail to understand the Too Perfect Theory would to well to study Mike's routine.

The Too Perfect Theory applies most directly to "one method" effects. The more mis-assumptions an spectator makes the less chance they will be able to de or re-construct a method.

Study also Eric Jones routine with the shell and flipper which won him his Fool Us trophy.

See also, Daryl's theory of Cancelling.

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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby Leonard Hevia » January 1st, 2020, 10:00 pm

I understand the Too Perfect Theory, Bill. And so did Tommy Wonder. If the spectator held the ring box at the beginning of the effect and handed it back to Tommy at the end, she would recognize the impossibility of her signed appearing inside from the deck. The only solution for her to follow would be a switch, and she would be correct. He understood and articulated this.

With the box left on the table, the spectator is more likely to to make the mis-assumption that Wonder somehow, someway, snuck her signed card into the box. Your remedial suggestions on the TPT are unnecessary.

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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby Tom Stone » January 1st, 2020, 11:21 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:If the spectator held the ring box at the beginning of the effect and handed it back to Tommy at the end, she would recognize the impossibility of her signed appearing inside from the deck. The only solution for her to follow would be a switch, and she would be correct.

That is not what any member of Homo Sapiens would think at that point. If your arguments require that humans don't behave like humans...

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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby Tom Stone » January 1st, 2020, 11:53 pm

Bill Duncan wrote:Mike Close does exactly that in his routine "The Big Surprise" which is another version the Hennig (Fred Kaps) card in box. Those who fail to understand the Too Perfect Theory would to well to study Mike's routine.

While Mike's routine is great, it have problems that makes it play less than its potential.

The main problem is that the whereabouts of the "contract" is fuzzy and diffuse.
It is neither vanished nor distinctly ousted from the story, which makes the surprise appearance in the box less clear.

Comparing with the story that inspired the piece, the old man in Matheson's "The Big Surprise" is clearly left behind when the boys go to dig up the big box in the field. Had they not shown the boys leaving the old man behind, the end would have been less effective.

Putting the "contract" in an envelope and having someone run away to post it would be one way. Switching it for flashpaper and letting it go away in a flash would be another.

The second problem is that the "contract" isn't immediately recognized when displayed in the can, so you lose the part where the spectators run ahead of the story to fill in the blanks, so there is still heat on the switch. Maybe that can be solved by having a differently colored paper stock for the "contract", bright pink or something.

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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby Leonard Hevia » January 2nd, 2020, 12:49 am

Tom Stone wrote:I'm not sure what you mean with "raise the level of impossibility".
A lay person can't be expected to know the dramatics of a reveal. Nor how to hold something in a clean display.
What you suggest would likely lower the "level of impossibility", as the box would be out of view for the main part of the audience, opening up for suspicions of stooges or other secret manipulations while the box was out of view. And it is likely the reveal would be lost.


Raising the level of impossibility is the "sell"--the way in which we emphasize a routine' s impossible conditions, as Mike Close has pointed out. The ring box would be held in the spectator's hand--and acknowledged by the rest of the audience. The Kaps method employed by Wonder is not strong enough for those conditions.

As for the thought of stooges, that's par for the course whenever volunteers from the audience are required. Canceling the suspicion of stooges certainly is an aspect of the effect a magician has to contend with, and it begins to bring in the Too Perfect Theory. Tom--even though you're in denial, or pretend to be, there are aspects of the Too Perfect Theory you carefully tread.

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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby Tom Stone » January 2nd, 2020, 2:05 am

Leonard Hevia wrote:Raising the level of impossibility is the "sell"--the way in which we emphasize a routine' s impossible conditions, as Mike Close has pointed out. The ring box would be held in the spectator's hand--and acknowledged by the rest of the audience. The Kaps method employed by Wonder is not strong enough for those conditions.

You keep saying that, but it doesn't correspond with any known reality. Of course it would work to let a spectator hold the box - why wouldn't it? As Bill Duncan pointed out, that is exactly what is done in Mike Close's "The big surprise" without any switch being suspected - something that, according to you and this wrongly labeled "theory", is impossible.
As for the thought of stooges, that's par for the course whenever volunteers from the audience are required. Canceling the suspicion of stooges certainly is an aspect of the effect a magician has to contend with, and it begins to bring in the Too Perfect Theory. Tom--even though you're in denial, or pretend to be, there are aspects of the Too Perfect Theory you carefully tread.

So, to you, badly structured tricks are considered "perfect", and well structured tricks are undesireable?
I really don't see the point of bringing the box out of view from the audience, when it could have been in full view of everyone.

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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby performer » January 2nd, 2020, 3:02 am

I have utterly no idea what anyone is talking about. I consider that situation not too perfect. I am therefore about to watch a video of Tommy Wonder doing this particular trick that you are all chattering about. Alas it is a L and L audience who give magicians standing ovations for sneezing and that situation is not too perfect either. However, at least it will give me an idea what the effect is. Something to do with the ambitious card and a ring in a box which sounds on the face of it to be a horrendous combination but I shall reserve judgement on the matter until I see it. After that I can assure you all that my opinion on the matter will be absolutely perfect as of course it always is.

I suppose I should post the video for everyone else to see and make a judgement on it. I have just watched the first few seconds and have seen the audience clapping and cheering like mad although he hasn't even done anything yet and that has made me cringe already. Still I won't hold it against the poor chap although it has already tended to bias me against him already.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlIHWawwOcU

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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby performer » January 2nd, 2020, 3:23 am

I have now watched it. I don't know how it was done and I don't care how it was done. The over the top fake reactions from the audience
were too dreadfully American for me. I would like to see him do that trick in Northern England. And I really must be psychic when I mentioned the standing ovation for sneezing because although he didn't sneeze they gave him a standing ovation anyway.

Still, at least I have seen the trick in question and can decide on who is right and who is wrong in this discussion. I shall go over the posts above and form my judgement in the matter. I can see how an audience would be fooled by this. I don't know the secret myself. I could watch it again to try and find out but I am not sure I could bear all that yelling and screaming by a most eccentric audience that bear no attention to real life situations.

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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby performer » January 2nd, 2020, 3:39 am

Leonard Hevia wrote:I understand the Too Perfect Theory, Bill. And so did Tommy Wonder. If the spectator held the ring box at the beginning of the effect and handed it back to Tommy at the end, she would recognize the impossibility of her signed appearing inside from the deck. The only solution for her to follow would be a switch, and she would be correct. He understood and articulated this.

With the box left on the table, the spectator is more likely to to make the mis-assumption that Wonder somehow, someway, snuck her signed card into the box. Your remedial suggestions on the TPT are unnecessary.


Oh, so THAT is how it is done! At least now that I know I can go back over the video and make a judgement on the matter. Alas that means that I will have to suffer that demented audience and not be able to concentrate on the performer. I swear Tommy Wonder hired that audience for misdirection purposes. I bet if they hadn't been laughing and clapping like demented lunatics I would have figured out the secret already. Tom Stone referenced a substitution trunk being sent to the moon. I would far rather this audience went there instead.

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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby performer » January 2nd, 2020, 3:47 am

I notice he didn't have this chap in the audience. That would not have been a too perfect situation either. Especially the bit at 5.15.
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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby PavelTheGreat » January 2nd, 2020, 10:43 am

I personally do not like tricks that are clearly impossible. I have reaction of either, is obvious how he did it (how else?), or maybe he did it in some simple way that I could not see. I am not impressed.

I like better tricks that make me wonder, make me think it could be some brilliant method that I do not know.

That is why I make routines that give audience an answer that is marvelous rather than a question that is annoying. Is another form of Misdirection. Let people think they understand how is done, but in impressive way.

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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby Bob Farmer » January 2nd, 2020, 1:06 pm

If it's not impossible, it's not magic, just a puzzle. I prefer impossible.

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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby performer » January 2nd, 2020, 2:03 pm

The trouble is that if it is too impossible it isn't possible any more. That is because the secret becomes possible and that really is an impossible situation. Mind you, I concede that it does stop them looking it up on you tube and that does save a bit of time I suppose.

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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby MagicbyAlfred » January 2nd, 2020, 2:37 pm

Lay audiences constantly surprise me in the way they think and react. As many of the members here are aware, kids often have a way of cutting immediately to the chase as to the method. When I started doing one of my pet tricks for kids, "Card to Freezer" (unsigned), I discovered something fascinating. Now, if ever there was a trick that would fall within the Too Perfect theory, at least as I understand (or misunderstand) said theory, it would be that trick. Before the revelation, the deck which has been placed back in the case (without of course, the selection) is thrown flush against the freezer. I immediately ask them to please check the cards inside the box, and then upon finding the selection to have "vanished," to look in the freezer. When the freezer door is opened (by them - I'm standing well away) and the card is found inside, there are invariably loud exclamations ("Oh my God!" "What!" "No way!"). Has a single kid ever accused me of using a duplicate? Nope. More often than not, a kid will put the card back in the deck, cards back in the box and toss it at the freezer, then they look to see if it "worked." Go figure. I have, at times, done this for a mixed kids/adult audience, but if the adults are thinking dupe (cuz how the heck else could it be done?) they do not say anything...

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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby Dave Le Fevre » January 2nd, 2020, 4:12 pm

MagicbyAlfred wrote:More often than not, a kid will put the card back in the deck, cards back in the box and toss it at the freezer, then they look to see if it "worked." Go figure.
I often experienced that with sponge balls. One kid would take one ball, the other kid would take the other ball, then they'd open their fists to see whether one had travelled.

I stopped letting them play with them after one incident where they tore one ball apart to look for the secret pocket inside.

Mark you, I also found that some adults were convinced that there was a pocket.

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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby Jonathan Townsend » January 2nd, 2020, 8:38 pm

Dave Le Fevre wrote:... some adults were convinced that there was a pocket.
The item where a sponge ball changes into a cube?

Imperfecting is a joke about catering to method. Recall the joke about a man leaving a tailor with a new poorly fitting suit with punchline "perfect fit". :D
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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby PavelTheGreat » January 2nd, 2020, 10:19 pm

Bob Farmer wrote:If it's not impossible, it's not magic, just a puzzle. I prefer impossible.


I humbly disagree. I think best magic is the kind that inspires audience to believe there is a way to make it happen. I don't like mumbo jumbo and silly spells, but at least they are suggestion of cause and effect.

There is nothing more amazing than the solution to a mystery or the discovery of something new in Nature. What magician could compete with the scientist who will explain Dark Matter?

The supernatural is just the natural before it is verified. Magic should either be the use of a power that is apparently real but not fully understood by performer (like rain dance), or the clever use of secret knowledge. To suggest that you just snap your fingers (like anybody else) and something disappear is unsatisfying and unconvincing to me.

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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby Dave Le Fevre » January 3rd, 2020, 4:36 am

Jonathan Townsend wrote:
Dave Le Fevre wrote:... some adults were convinced that there was a pocket.
The item where a sponge ball changes into a cube?
No, it was simply two large-ish sponge balls

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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby chetday » January 3rd, 2020, 1:02 pm

I almost always have a forced card with a lot of white space signed in a specific manner in a specific place when I'm doing a bit of magic for family or friends. I'll do a trick that's totally unmemorable with that signed card and then quickly move on to something more interesting.

Now for the devious part...

I keep these signed cards at home for months (sometimes years).

Then, when I know I'm going to be asked to do a trick or two, I'll dig out one of his/her previously signed cards and then secretly put it in a freezer, stick it to an outside window, attach it to a dog's collar, place it under the Thanksgiving pie, and so on. Then it's a simple matter to force an unsigned but same card, have it signed again in the same manner as done months or years before, disappear it from the deck, and then, kaboom, casually suggest the signer open the freezer, check out the living room window, see what's on the dog's collar, etc. To date I've never had anything but a wholly satisfying "Wow" reaction to this little bit of magic, even though several of the reveals have flown in the face of the too perfect theory. I think part of the success of doing this lies with the fact that the person who signed the card is the one who retrieves it. I pretty much stay back and out of the way, letting them do the real magic when they find their signed card.

I have more fun doing this than I did the night Raquel Welch asked me out for a date right after she starred in "One Million Years B.C." back in 1966.

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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby performer » January 3rd, 2020, 1:32 pm

That sounds a great idea!

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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby Bill Mullins » January 3rd, 2020, 2:31 pm

chetday wrote: I have more fun doing this than I did the night Raquel Welch asked me out for a date right after she starred in "One Million Years B.C." back in 1966.

Talk about burying the lede . . . .

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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby Paco Nagata » January 3rd, 2020, 3:14 pm

performer wrote:Perhaps it should be called the "Too Impossible" theory rather than the "Too Perfect" theory.

I totally agree with that. What is more, I believe that Rick Johnsson actually wanted to say "impossible" by mean of "perfect." So, certainly, I reckon that "too impossible" fits much better the concept that Rick wanted to expound.
performer wrote: In fact I think that defines it better. A trick can be so impossible that there is only one way it could be done. Not that it matters anyway

You say that! That's the "too perfect (impossible) theory" in a nutshell.
The biggest problem of the magicians is that magic does not exist. So, there must always be a way, and when that way is too obvious, the magic effect loses its power because spectators don't even need to think about it; they will not think in any other way but the too obvious one. However, if you get a trick with more than one possible solutions that not look so obvious, it will make spectators keep attention to the show. So that, if the magician void those solutions step by step, spectators could see the effect as real magic.
In short: It would be about to avoid a too impossible trick, but, of course it would depend as well on the "rigorousness or pernickety level" of the spectator in question.
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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby MagicbyAlfred » January 3rd, 2020, 3:47 pm

Well said, Paco. I think that of all the "too"(s) mentioned in the above post, "too obvious" may be the most appropriate description of all. I would add, however, that the best trick of all is when the spectator exclaims, "I have NO IDEA how you did that!"

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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby performer » January 3rd, 2020, 5:47 pm

Alfred is exhibiting psychic ability. I was about to post that perhaps the best expression would be the "too obvious" theory but just now I see that Alfred has beaten me to it. I think this is all Monk Watson's fault. I think he was the first one to use the phrase "too perfect". He didn't make a "theory" out of it. He just made a passing remark in about four lines and look what he started!

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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby Jackpot » January 3rd, 2020, 8:45 pm

chetday wrote:.... I keep these signed cards at home for months (sometimes years)....


Chet, thank you for sharing. This is awesome. It reminds me of a Brad Burt card to wallet or card to impossible location I read somewhere. I hope none of your family or friends loose the magic by stumbling upon this post.
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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby Paco Nagata » January 4th, 2020, 5:43 pm

chetday wrote:I almost always have a forced card with a lot of white space signed in a specific manner in a specific place when I'm doing a bit of magic for family or friends. I'll do a trick that's totally unmemorable with that signed card and then quickly move on to something more interesting.

Now for the devious part...

I keep these signed cards at home for months (sometimes years).

Then, when I know I'm going to be asked to do a trick or two, I'll dig out one of his/her previously signed cards and then secretly put it in a freezer, stick it to an outside window, attach it to a dog's collar, place it under the Thanksgiving pie, and so on. Then it's a simple matter to force an unsigned but same card, have it signed again in the same manner as done months or years before, disappear it from the deck, and then, kaboom, casually suggest the signer open the freezer, check out the living room window, see what's on the dog's collar, etc. To date I've never had anything but a wholly satisfying "Wow" reaction to this little bit of magic, even though several of the reveals have flown in the face of the too perfect theory. I think part of the success of doing this lies with the fact that the person who signed the card is the one who retrieves it. I pretty much stay back and out of the way, letting them do the real magic when they find their signed card.

I have more fun doing this than I did the night Raquel Welch asked me out for a date right after she starred in "One Million Years B.C." back in 1966.

I wanted to dicuss this great idea when I read your post, Chetday, but the thing is that I had a trauma regarding it, so at first I didn't want to comment anything, however, on second thought, we are here to talk about our experiences in magic, so what the hell...
I did it, but the result wasn't as I expected:
At Christmas party of 2001 I did a signed card trick and kept the signed card. It was the signature of a cousin of mine.  The next year, at Christmas party of 2002, I thought about to do the best card trick in my life... you know. I had a good presentation ready. However, when I forced the card that was going to be signed by the same person, he said something that spoiled everything:
"Hey! wasn't a 3 of Spades the same card I signed last year?"
So, my world was crashing down on me.
So then, I had another card signed and improvised something...
Obviously it was too early; so, to make the idea worked I had to let some years go by, not only one, so I committed the mistake of not having enough patience.
I didn't tried that idea again, but I didn't give up regarding other ways to get a signed card IN ADVANCE. I thought about falsifying a signature. It would be about getting the signature of some relative in some piece of paper, and keeping it secretly. So then, we could practise and practice it until getting our version looks like the original one. The next step would be to "false-sign" any card of the deck...
I did that once and I got a great effect, but that is another story...
Regarding the "Too Perfect Theory" with this wonderful idea, I would say that even in this case the solution is not definitive; spectators can think about a stooge or collaborator that signed the card, but also about a falsified signature, or maybe real magic! The thing is that this trick is an example of perfection since its effect is really killing and it is not totally effected by the Too Perfect Theory.
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PavelTheGreat

Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby PavelTheGreat » January 4th, 2020, 6:10 pm

Paco Nagata: I would not take the risk of volunteer suspect fake card. The idea is to convince that is real card. You are asking for scrutiny, therefore is important to withstand this. To do this trick, you must not emphasise that is same (signed) card, just let audience assume.

Joe Mckay
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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby Joe Mckay » January 4th, 2020, 6:52 pm

Chet? Please share the Raquel Welch story. We are all dying to hear it!

As for the subject of storing signed cards for a year or more. I have thought a lot about this as well. It is one of those areas you think about when you swallow The Jerx pill.

Here is how I have used this powerful idea in a way that doesn't breach the Too Perfect Theory. There is no such thing as the Too Perfect Thoery. Instead it is one of those concepts intrepeted differently by different magicians. The interpretation I have used is one prmoted by Ascanio. Or it may have been Tom Stone.

I remember Ascanio saying that if you allow a free selection of a card you should also allow the card to be returned freely as well. Since any imbalance will highlight the moment where the "move" happens. That idea of Ascanio's always stuck with me. And it doesn't seem to have much to do with the Too Perfect theory. So by process of elimination - I must be running with Tom Stone's interpretation.

Tom Stone (or perhaps it was Ascanio???) argued that the evidence for a miracle should be as strong as the miracle itself. So if Ihave you choose a card, sign it and then destroy it - and then make it reappear in a baked pie - there is only one miracle to analyze here.

How did my signed card (that was destroyed) end up in a baked pie? Well - I remember last xmas - this same guy did a cool trick for me that involved signing a card. Hang on - perhaps that was the same signed card?

So how do we derail this chain of thoughts?

Well - add an extra miracle. Here is how I do it.

Rather than have the signed card reappear somewhere impossible. I have use the WOW gimmick to make an indifferent card change to the card that was signed and destroyed.

The visual kick to the head of the card magically changing from one card to another - overloads the logical part of the brain. It can barely make sense of that. And so doesn't even bother trying to analyze how you could have made the signed card reappear in a restored state.

This goes back to the idea of balance that Ascanio was promoting. If you are going to make something reappear in an impossible manner - then perhaps you should be able to make it disappear in an impossible manner as well? This is something the spectator subconciously feels.

I don't know any cool ways to make something disappear in an impossible manner. But I do know a cool way to make something reappear in an impossible manner. Thanks to Masuda's brilliant WOW gimmick. So let's take advantage of that so that the fact that it is a signed card that reappears becomes the additional kicker to the miracle. Rather than have the reappearance of the signed card be something that stands all alone waiting to be pulled apart by the logical part of the spectator's brain.

Anyway - forget all that.

Come on Chet - let's hear the Raquel Welch story!

Paco Nagata
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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby Paco Nagata » January 4th, 2020, 7:22 pm

Ascanio used to said as well that magical theory concepts could have different ways of interpretation. So that his way was just his way. You can have your own interpretation of a magical theory concept and make it works and I can have mine and make it works as well.
The Too Perfect Theory is a way of thinking; you can have your own way of thinking to interpretate the magic theoretical concepts as long as you get it works as magic.
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Latest erratum corrections and improvements update, 6/12/2019.

Paco Nagata
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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby Paco Nagata » January 4th, 2020, 7:25 pm

PavelTheGreat wrote:Paco Nagata: I would not take the risk of volunteer suspect fake card. The idea is to convince that is real card. You are asking for scrutiny, therefore is important to withstand this. To do this trick, you must not emphasise that is same (signed) card, just let audience assume.

I don't quite understand your comment.
I didn't take any risk. I just had another card selected simply because the spectator asked me for it, so I had to improvised something. If I had continued with the trick and the signed card would have apeared in an impossible place, everybody would have suspect that the card were the last year one because of the comment of my cousin at the beginning, so I let change the selected card preciselly to avoid any risk improvising something.
"The Passion of an Amateur Card Magician"
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"La pasion de un cartómago aficionado"
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Latest erratum corrections and improvements update, 6/12/2019.

PavelTheGreat

Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby PavelTheGreat » January 4th, 2020, 7:52 pm

Paco Nagata wrote:
PavelTheGreat wrote:Paco Nagata: I would not take the risk of volunteer suspect fake card. The idea is to convince that is real card. You are asking for scrutiny, therefore is important to withstand this. To do this trick, you must not emphasise that is same (signed) card, just let audience assume.

I don't quite understand your comment.
I didn't take any risk. I just had another card selected simply because the spectator asked me for it, so I had to improvised something.



Risk is not only that volunteer recognise same number and suit of card, but different signature. Might be at top, or bottom. Or slip of hand might make signature different. Is too much worry for me that sharp customer might realise is not the same. You can't force volunteer to write the same way he did one year before. And is very difficult to know that signature is different. If you don't realise this, but he does, he will embarrass you. Is too late to change trick after signed card is found in freezer. If he knows is not same card, he will not be impressed, nor anybody else.

Paco Nagata
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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby Paco Nagata » January 4th, 2020, 8:50 pm

PavelTheGreat wrote:Risk is not only that volunteer recognise same number and suit of card, but different signature. Might be at top, or bottom. Or slip of hand might make signature different. Is too much worry for me that sharp customer might realise is not the same. You can't force volunteer to write the same way he did one year before. And is very difficult to know that signature is different. If you don't realise this, but he does, he will embarrass you. Is too late to change trick after signed card is found in freezer. If he knows is not same card, he will not be impressed, nor anybody else.

Oh! I'm sorry! I misunderstood you.
Yes, you are totally right at that point.
The "falsified signature" is a quite risky procedure.
Anyway, if you can get it practically identical it would be fine. In my only personal case there is an important thing I didn't mention:
the signature I imitated wasn't difficult. Actually I decided to carry it out precissely because I noticed that I could imitate it very well.
Were I lucky with the result of the trick? Yes.
Was a risky thing? Yes.
Would I dare to do it again? I don't think so.
My apologise for having misunderstand you, and thanks for your remark.
"The Passion of an Amateur Card Magician"
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"La pasion de un cartómago aficionado"
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Latest erratum corrections and improvements update, 6/12/2019.

PavelTheGreat

Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby PavelTheGreat » January 4th, 2020, 9:10 pm

Paco Nagata wrote:
PavelTheGreat wrote:Risk is not only that volunteer recognise same number and suit of card, but different signature. Might be at top, or bottom. Or slip of hand might make signature different. Is too much worry for me that sharp customer might realise is not the same. You can't force volunteer to write the same way he did one year before. And is very difficult to know that signature is different. If you don't realise this, but he does, he will embarrass you. Is too late to change trick after signed card is found in freezer. If he knows is not same card, he will not be impressed, nor anybody else.

Oh! I'm sorry! I misunderstood you.
Yes, you are totally right at that point.
The "falsified signature" is a quite risky procedure.
Anyway, if you can get it practically identical it would be fine. In my only personal case there is an important thing I didn't mention:
the signature I imitated wasn't difficult. Actually I decided to carry it out precissely because I noticed that I could imitate it very well.
Were I lucky with the result of the trick? Yes.
Was a risky thing? Yes.
Would I dare to do it again? I don't think so.
My apologise for having misunderstand you, and thanks for your remark.


If I would do this trick (with fake signature), I would write it in every way (up, down, large, small, etc.) and put each in different place. Use signature that more closely resembles real one. However I don't think I would perform this. Too much trouble for uncertain result.

Paco Nagata
Posts: 198
Joined: July 3rd, 2019, 6:47 am
Favorite Magician: Juan Tamariz

Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby Paco Nagata » January 4th, 2020, 9:45 pm

PavelTheGreat wrote:If I would do this trick (with fake signature), I would write it in every way (up, down, large, small, etc.) and put each in different place. Use signature that more closely resembles real one. However I don't think I would perform this. Too much trouble for uncertain result.

Do you mean the exact place where the signature is going to be written? Of course I took it into account; I signed a 2 of Clubs right in the middle. When I force the other 2 of Clubs I told my cousin to sign it right in the middle so that we can see it well. The signature looked SO SIMILAR to the one I did that I decided to carry on with the trick...
"The Passion of an Amateur Card Magician"
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"La pasion de un cartómago aficionado"
https://bit.ly/2kkjpjn
Latest erratum corrections and improvements update, 6/12/2019.


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