If you ever get one of those times when you just don’t feel into cards – read Marlo. “Estimations” has brought me back from a brief period of zero card magic. I remember magicians I’ve met in the past saying that there were times when they felt they needed a break from magic – at the time I never thought I’d feel that way but recently I’ve had one of those breaks. Well the break is over and Estimations has inspired me again. There really is some awesome material in those pages and I find it exciting working with something that has an element of risk. Marlo rules.

"Traveling Card" – Ed Marlo

Was recently flicking through The Cardician and stumbled upon a brilliant Marlo trick called “Traveling Card”. For those of you that do Marlos method for the 21 card trick (made once again popular by Bill Malone’s Marlo DVD set) this would make a perfect closing effect. The magician shuffles a packet of 21 cards and asks the spectator to select on which is returned and the packet given another mix. The 21 card packet is counted faceup into three packets of seven cards and the speccy is asked to remember which of the three piles their card is in – the pile on the far left. This packet is counted to show seven cards and waved mysteriously over the centre packet. When counted again it is seen to contain only 6 cards – the centre pile is counted and now has eight! Once again the packet is waved over the pile on the far right and when counted again now only has 7 cards. The last packet is now counted to show eight cards. The spectator names their card and this is show on top of the last pile – the card has travelled across one packet at a time.

Brilliant effect, simple and direct method – the best part is Marlo’s false count which is incredibly deceptive – look it up. The Cardician page 93.

Control Fake-Outs – Ed Marlo

While I was away I really enjoyed reading Joe’s contributions to this blog. Looking through the archives has made me think about Magician Foolers – see here and here. It reminded me of  a very clever jog shuffle control fake-out from The Hierophant which I’ve been using for quite a while now. Whenever you perform for a fellow magician they can usually follow the control your using and if you really want to fool them you have to do something which they’ve never seen before. The beauty of this Marlo control is that it fools magicians with very basic moves which they have seen before – the secret it that you let them think they are following the moves but really you are doing something completely different.

For example you have a card peeked and controlled to the top then the pack is jog shuffled – the magician watching sees the card cut to the bottom, run to the top and then a jog shuffle begins, however the exageratted injog which marks the supposed location of the card is not cut or shuffled to- instead the cards are squared. The magician watching thought he was following the location of the card and is totally lost when the cards are squared.

For those of you with the digital version it’s on page 30. I tried looking through the hardcopies to find a reference but couldn’t find it – it’s there somewhere.

The Cincinnati Force – Ed Marlo

This Marlo force can be found in Racherbaumer’s “Card Finesse” and was allegedly developed after Marlo saw a flourish from the movie “The Cincinnati Kid”. The move is used to force a face down card in a table spread.

Basically the cards are spread face down on the table and the spectator selects anyone – this is the forced card. It’s based on the theory that the spectator will choose the path of least resistance i.e the card in the spread which has slightly more back showing than the rest. I’m not going to describe the technique to achieve this but the move sets this scenario up. If the spectator choses another card then you can simply do a different trick. It’s great because it’s so casual and any suspicion of trickery is eliminated. This is actually very beneficial as it increases the likelihood they will choose the easiest card. If they’re totally convinced it’s a fair selection they won’t mind where they take it from.

If you do the move face up then the chances are that the spectator will think of the most visible card and you can then find a card they are simply thinking of! This is obviously risky as if they don’t think of the force card you’ll have to do some real mind reading! Still, it does work a lot of the time, especially if you make them look at one fairly quickly and have the right attitude.

Great move, well worth looking up.

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.