Thoughts on products, performance, and doublethink in the magic community.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Making a Coincidence Something More...

I'm really starting to enjoy card tricks that rely on nothing more than probability and a little bit of luck. These type of things don't always work, so I only attempt one at each performance. Sometimes, I get really lucky and have a miracle. But when I fail, I can make it make funny as hell.

Some tricks that fall under this category are:

  • Having a spectator call a friend, instructing them each to name a card simultaneously, and the named cards are identical.
  • Having someone merely think of card, which you proceed to pull out of your wallet - without any 'Off By One' lunacy.
One could attempt these things with nothing more than blind luck, but there are certain subtle steps that can and should be taken to increase the possibility of sucess. Dai Vernon's 'The Trick That Cannot Be Explained' is a perfect example. (See Vernon's More Inner Secrets of Card Magic)

I recently had an absolutely fantastic experience with "The Trick That Cannot Be Explained."

In between tricks, while I was talking with people and they were ignoring my hands, I secretly turned a card over. I asked a lady to think of a card. She spread the deck and the card was face up.

Another guy then asked if I could do it to him. The odds weren't great, but I acted confident and in control because that's how you pull these things off. The guy named the 2 of clubs. I turned the deck over, and he saw the 2 of Clubs right there on the bottom of the deck.

I think it was one of the most powerful tricks I've ever performed. I've decided to make "The Trick that Cannot Be Explained" a regular in every extended performance.

(If you're interested in such effects, Derren Brown's "Pure Effect" has an entire chapter on it. The rest of the book is excellent as well.)

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