Face the facts? – Rubbish.

This is a classic example of confusion not being magic.

“How many face up cards?” “How many were number cards?” “How many were picture cards?” “What was the picture card?” “What colour are the cards?”….and there a face!- for a start there are way too many questions.

I like the surprise ending but think the routine is poor. If you’ve bought this try and think of a better way to use the gimmick than this. If you haven’t bought it, don’t, unless you can think of a better way to use the gimmick.

A Novel Location – Charlie Miller

I’ve recently been reading through the bound volumes of “The Paulbearers Review”, a monthly magazine published by Karl Fulves, which ran from 1965 – 1975.  Having only got to the end of volume 2 (and having already read way too many tricks using slates for my liking!) there’s some really excellent card items within the pages of this magazine. Contributions from the likes of Dai Vernon, Roy Walton, Bruce Cervon etc..

Those of you who are lucky enough to have the original issues and those of you who have the L&L reprints should look up a great trick by Charlie Miller in the September 1967 issue (page 123 in the bound volumes). Its called “A Novel Location” and is a funny backwards card trick in which the spectator selects a card face up and looks at the back instead of the face. It’s a great little comedy trick and well worth looking up.

Once again this reminds me how worthwhile and important it is to study the classic texts and magazines – not only will you find excellent material but also sound advice which will enable you to perfect your performances and find your own character. One way to become original is to use effects other people aren’t using – there’s no better place to start looking than the Paulbearers Review…

An Underused Move #2 – Visual Retention Change

Part two of this series focuses on an excellent change by Ed Marlo, which can be found in the pages of The Hierophant (page 239). The move is used to switch a card(s) on the top of the deck (or a packet)  in the action of casually tossing the card(s) onto the table. The viusal retention aspect comes from the fact that both you and the spectators get the impression of seeing the back of the same card all the time – in a similar way to a retention coin vanish, only applied to cards.

The move can also be used as a visual change of a face up card and Marlo describes some effects using the change – one I particuarly like is “A Logical Approach”. J.K. Hartman also puts the change to good use in “After Craft”,  a book which is a worthwhile investment.

Ive been thinking about the move recently and came up with this idea, which applies it to an Out of this World type effect.

To gain access to the trick section you must enter a password. The password is the title of the trick on page 130 of The Complete Walton Volume 1.

An Underused Move #1 – The Push-off Double Deal

The double deal, I think, is a highly underused move in card magic and yet has lots of potential for great effects. I first read of the idea of dealing doubles in Expert Card Technique where it is described as a double lift of the top and bottom cards. I’ve only ever seen this done invisibly by one person and that was used as a turnover double not as a deal to the table. This deal is also best suited for small packets rather than a full deck.

The double deal that I want to talk about here is a deal of the top two cards of the deck (i.e a push off double). I first read this in Jerry Sadowitz and Peter Duffie’s book “Inspirations”, in which Sadowitz includes a whole chapter on this deal and its uses. He describes many excellent effects which I’m not going to describe here as I want you to buy the book! There’s one routine in particular called “Three, four, five etc” which I would love to see someone do well.

After playing with the move for only a short time you’ll begin to see uses for it. Here’s a small trick using the move which is awful (for a start there’s too much attention on the deal) but I hope it shows you what can be done with it.

An underused move will become a regular (ish) feature – including a bad trick by me for each move! Next up will be Marlo’s “Visual Retention Change”…

To gain access to the trick section you must enter a password. The password is the title of the trick on page 130 of The Complete Walton Volume 1.

The Master at Work

It’s sad that the past masters are no longer with us but good ( for those of us who were never able to witness them) that footage survives of them performing. Here is an absolutely brilliant clip of Alex Elmsley performing “A Strange Story” from “The Collected Works of Alex Elmsley” Vol 1.

A truly brilliant story and an excellent effect. I imagine a lay audience would have loved this.