I’m in a text chat group with some magicians and one shared a “card split” idea. What I’m calling a card split is where you take a card and it becomes two cards…but the two cards value equals the value of the original card. For example a two would become two aces. This idea was popularized (created?) by Paul Harris’s Las Vegas Split in his book Super Magic.
Magicians really love this premise, however I think for a general audience it lack connection (in most cases). Yes, there are times when a presentation can have it make sense, like in a Sam, The Bellhop style card routine. However in the majority of cases if you took a joker and turned it into two signed cards, that would hit much harder!
That said, here’s what I came up with after seeing by buddy’s trick:
I feel like this method has to have been done before, if you’ve seen it before, let me know!
About 20 years ago I used to visit with Sid Fleishman when he visited Seattle. Sid wrote The Charlatan’s Handbook, which was a very influential book for me when I was a teenager. I learned a version of the Zarrow Shuffle and how to mark cards from the book. I also learned that he’s the creator of the Card to Fly trick where a signed card appears in the fly of your pants. Card to Fly was the big trick of my comedy club show when I was younger.
I was very lucky to get to hang out with him a few times. One time Sid had published a trick in Genii and he asked me to write a letter to the magazine saying how one of the jokes offended me. He was trying to generate some controversy over the trick. I don’t think my letter was ever published, but Sid was a cool guy.
Many years ago, I found a copy of his autobiography, The Abracadabra Kid, but never got around to reading it. I threw it in my backpack and am reading it on this trip.
I’m about 40 pages into it and really enjoying it! If you’re looking for a fun magician’s biography, so far I highly recommend this! -Louie
If you’ve read this blog, you’ll know that I’ve learned a lot about protecting the magic that I sell and that I’ve been very successful in keeping knock offs of my magic products off of sites like ebay and aliexpress.
I think this is something that all magicians should read, it not only covers the different types of intellectual property (IP), but how it applies specifically to magicians. Hopefully it will inform idiot magicians who don’t know about IP from commenting in social media groups with factually inaccurate information about IP.
My favorite is when a magician says a trick is protected as a “trade secret”. Sure it can be, but if I’m not a party to the trade secret agreement and can figure it out, I’m (legally) free to use it. Trade secrets only apply to those who have signed the agreement.
If you’re a creator, I hope if gives you a base for where to start to protect an idea for a trick and the different processes for doing it. For example, I personally don’t want to patent a trick due to time and expense. I choose to copyright the art and instructions. That allows me to remove knock offs from popular sites because they are using my text and art. Most of the people knocking off don’t want to spend the time it takes to write ad copy and create art, so it narrows down the amount of knock offs out there.
If someone uses my idea and creates their own art, text and ad copy they are legally free to do make my product. Sure, I’d rather they don’t, but I’ve accepted that’s how it is based on what I was willing to do to protect my products.
I’m always amazed at how many magicians have taken the basic step of registering the text and art of their instructions and ad copy. It’s less than $100 and easy to do online.