When I was a teenager I saw a magic lecture (Michael Close?) where they did a trick that left the audience with a little prop. I think it was an origami bunny from a dollar bill. The lecturer said that clients could see that the magician was actually working by how many people had the origami bunny.
The idea of having something visual that people walked around with after you performed for them has stuck with me. I’ve had versions of things over the years. Currently the end of my ambitious card has the face of the card peeled off and stuck to the person who drew on the card’s shirt.
Recently I was performing at a large event and afterwards the booker commented on how many people had my cards on their shirts. Having visual reminders for bookers that you’re there and working is smart! While not 100% necessary, it is helpful at large events where the booker may never see you.
Earlier this week I was at a tradeshow and one of the tricks that I was doing in the tradeshow booth was my ending to ambitious card where I peel off the face of the card that they’ve marked and stick to to the person. I call this Full Face Peel.
The nice thing about this trick is that it’s a very different moment from most card tricks, but then the people walk around all day wearing my cards and people ask them about the cards and it brings traffic to the booth I’m at!
Magic Giveaways Should Tell a Story
Little visual things like this that people walk around with or things that they can keep and show people are things I love doing. Before you think that handing someone a card that’s simply signed, it’s not something they can show someone that tells an interesting story. With just a signed card they’d say, “I wrote my name on the card and he did a card trick with it“, which is OK, but with peeling off the face and sticking to them, it allows the to keep one of the magic moments. Or when I do mismade bill, I leave them with the bill and they can show people that (this gets me a ton of work!).
The trick I’m currently working on is more of a gag. It’s for the end of my ambitious card routine. After the trick is done, I peel off the signed face of the card, leaving a blank card.
Here’s a video of one of the trials of it:
I quickly realized I need to do it backwards, giving them the sticker and leaving me with the blank card!
The full face sticker plays as fun, not strange. Almost like it’s something that you could do with any playing card, but never knew you could. The other version of the trick that I’m doing that leaves the pips behind plays more like a strange thing.
I think either version would be elevated from a bit or gag to an pretty good trick if you did it with a borrowed deck or a deck at the bar. If you added in the sticker card and stole out the duplicate, you’ve got a very memorable moment!
After doing the peeling off the face of the face card, leaving only the index on the cards many, many times at the fair, I wondered how it would play with an index card. In Alan Wong’s Card Sticker pack, most of the cards are index cards, so I figured I should try to use them. I stuck one onto a blank face card
It took a few tries to get them lined up correctly, however the nice thing is the Card Sticker’s adhesive is very forgiving! The plan is to simply force this card and at the end, peel off the face.
I don’t think this is really a “trick”, just a fun after moment. I’ll give it a try today at the fair and see how it goes! -Louie
I got to try out the trick I wrote about yesterday that used Index Only playing cards and Card Stickers where I peel off a piece of the card and give it away. It’s not really a trick, but I think it’s more like what Paul Harris calls a piece of strange. It really wouldn’t fly as a stand alone trick and honestly it is what it is, a sticker on a card. However it has more going for it in a situational context, like none of the other cards peel off, which is what every group I tried it on did…try to peel off another card.
Here’s a video of the first couple of times I tried it:
The thing that I would change is that I should be giving away the sticker and keeping the card. The card is the harder part to replace.
I’m happy with the reactions it’s getting and a great, fun, strange ending to the Ambitious Card!
Last month when I was at FISM I picked up the trick Sticker Kicker from Nick Locapo at the Penguin Magic booth, and it sparked an idea. The idea was to do a signed card routine and then at the end, peel off the signed face of the card to for me to keep for my collection, leaving them with a blank face card.
I had a pack of Alan Wong’s Card Stickers, but something was missing.
Then recently I saw that Will Roya put out a deck of cards that are index only cards and that was the next piece to the puzzle for the solution to the trick that I wanted to do.
I realized I could make a card by cutting out the image of the face card of a Card Sticker and put it on the Index Only cards and that gave me what looked like a normal card!
Now if someone marks the card on the image of a face card, I can peel it off and give them their “art” or signature as a souvenir! I’ll try it out today a the fair!
I now have the three phases worked out and cleaned up the handling a bit. It’s a much tighter routine than before. Here’s the version I’m currently doing:
One of the things I’ve recently added was anticipating that in the second phase that the spectator would almost immediately point to the top card. Being able to foresee that and being able to show that card as not being their card is a great moment.
I’m really enjoying performing this version of the Ambitious Card, and like it much more than doing it entirely in my hands.
A few weeks ago I posted about how I’ve started doing the ambitious card effect with the cards spread across the table (read it here). I’ve added a third phase:
The ending with it in the card box is a great third phase.
I have changed the second phase a little bit since I made the video above. I’m putting the selected card second from the top of the deck. What I noticed was happening most of the time was at the second phase, people would very quickly point to the top card. When they do that, I show it’s not there and remove that card. Then I proceed as in the video and it’s getting a great reaction. If the don’t immediately point to the top card, I do the reveal with a double lift and that sets me up for the third phase.
I’ve also made a change to the third phase. I’m setting the card on the table (after the switch) and having them put it into the deck.
A long time ago I was chatting with Nick Lewin and we were talking about the Ambitious Card. He said it was the “greatest card trick ever” and I agree with him! With the base effect, you put a card in the middle and it’s instantly on top. Very easy to follow. I do think that most modern versions are really multiple revelations of a selected card, as it’s more than the card simply jumping to the top.
A couple of weeks ago I started doing the ambitious card from a spread. Here’s what it looks like:
When I do it there are two phases, the first I push the card in and in the second they do. That gives it a sense of build. I like getting to play a little bit with having them move their finger along the spread of cards.
I’m liking doing it this way when I have a table. It doesn’t play the same with the cards spread in my hand. I think it’s because with the cards in my hand, it feels less impossible.