Here’s the second video of me revising a packet trick that I got with a collection of magic that I acquired. Today’s trick is the A.C.T. (another card trick) by Bill Pryor.
Here’s a demo of the trick as written, then how I revised the trick:
The big problem with this packet trick is that the whole effect is a “kicker” without the initial ending. What I mean by that is that you start by asking someone to think of a card, but you never reveal it. You need the initial effect for a kicker to really work. I think at the end spectators will still be thinking, “what about the card I was thinking of?”
Also I don’t think the gags are strong enough to carry the trick past you never revealing the card they are thinking of.
Recently I ended up with a collection of magic tricks and in that collection there were a bunch of packet tricks. Most weren’t very good, but that got me thinking about trying to improve them. The first one that I tried was called 4 Card Monte, and there are a lot of packet tricks with this title, so don’t judge them all by this one.
Here’s the effect as written in the instructions, then the effect reworked by me:
The trick as written is pretty bad, and doesn’t make much sense with the addition of a fifth card at the end. I think my version where there’s only four cards shown the whole time makes more sense. The addition of the kicker ending really adds a punctuation to the end.
One thing I think that’s important when you get a magic trick is to not discard because you don’t like the trick as written. Play with it and see if you can make it work!
One of the most overused sleights in card magic is the double lift. It’s a great move, but soo many people do it poorly (I put myself in that group). One of the problems is that a double lift looks like a double lift. There’s virtually no one that does one that looks like all the other times they turn the cards over. Everyone says, “turn a single like a double” and they’ll all look the same. In theory that would work, but in practice, it doesn’t. There’s soo much going on with a double lift from the get ready, to however you are getting your alignment down and the force or lack of force to hold the two cards together.
There are other ways get to the end results such as a top change, second deal, or a palm and replacement. The problem with these is they are much harder to do poorly than a double lift. A double lift is easy to do bad, which is why soo many people do it. They can put in a minimum amount of time to do something and sort of do it.
There are some good double lifts, but they are much harder to do. My favorite one is the Stuart Gordon double turnover. While it still looks like something is happening to me, it’s one of the more natural ones to do. I play with it a lot, but I don’t do it, the way you move the card isn’t natural to me. It’s great and I think you should learn it, not necessarily do it, but learn it!
One of the ways to create new methods or routines for magic tricks is to take an existing trick and remove what you don’t like about it. We’ll start with a trick that I don’t like, and that’s Peter Kane’s Wild Card. There’s a lot I don’t like, it mostly is how redundant the trick is, and it lacks an ending. It goes, and the ending is all the cards have changed to the same card, but there’s not punctuation on it.
In Jon Racherbaumer‘s book, The Wild Card Kit, there are a couple of interesting premises. More importantly there are a couple of interesting moves and sequences that take the trick past it’s most basic level.
One notable exception is Eric DeCamp’s version of Wild Card called Jokers are Wild Are Wild. In this version the cards values end up being a blackjack hand and for a finish the cards turn into money. This puts a theme on the trick and a finish that punctuates the routine.
So…what am I going to bring Wild Card?
I’m not sure.
What I don’t like about wild card is:
How redundant the sequence is
How it uses a packet of all the same card
How it doesn’t have an ending
The first two things I don’t like are an easy fix, however the third one will take some work. For the first two, I’ll vary the moves a little bit and for the second I can make a packet of the gimmicks that use different cards, not all the same values. However an ending that makes sense might be harder…
There’s a classic beginner’s card trick where a card is selected and returned to the deck. You then drop the deck onto the table and their card appears on top of the deck. The working is simple, you control the card to the top of the deck, sidejog it and drop the deck onto the … Continue reading “Try Another Way”
There’s a classic beginner’s card trick where a card is selected and returned to the deck. You then drop the deck onto the table and their card appears on top of the deck. The working is simple, you control the card to the top of the deck, sidejog it and drop the deck onto the table from about a foot up. The air hitting the sidejogged card will flip it over as it falls. It’s a great trick.
My problem with the trick is that I’ve never had more than about a 50% success rate with it. I’m not sure what I’m doing right or wrong. The other day I was killing time between shows and figured out a way to get a 100% success rate with the trick.
Here’s what I came up with:
Doing the trick this way is a lot harder, but works every time. What I’m doing is a one handed top palm as the cards are dropped to the table. The palm is something I could already do, so adding it to the trick was no big deal. If I didn’t already do the palm, I probably wouldn’t learn it for this trick…however I would recommend learning that and I consider it something every magician who does card tricks should be able to do.
If you’ve got a trick that doesn’t work (technically) for you, start to explore other ways to do the trick. I’m pretty sure someone has to have come up with my solution to the flip over card trick before, however it solved a problem for me.
After starting to read the book Principia by Harapn Ong about a year ago, I finally finished it. It’s a book that I’d read a bit of it, then put it down and pick it back up a month later. It’s a great book, and there are a couple things in it that I’ve used … Continue reading “Finishing a Book…”
After starting to read the book Principia by Harapn Ong about a year ago, I finally finished it. It’s a book that I’d read a bit of it, then put it down and pick it back up a month later. It’s a great book, and there are a couple things in it that I’ve used throughout the year.
Near the end of the book there are a couple of essay’s on the Trick That Cannot Be Explained. These are fantastic! There’s some great theory in them, not just on the card trick, but on tricks using multiple outs.
Also near the end, there’s a trick where the cards get mixed face up and face down. You find their selected card, and no the cards don’t all magically fix themselves. The cards not fixing themselves is what I think makes this trick great, and something that I think is going to go into my impromptu card magic toolbox.
On social media yesterday a hoax about balancing a broom upright went around. Well the hoax was that “because planets were aligned” you could do it, besides the fact that you can do it anytime, you just need to try. If you keep your eye out for trends like this, they are a good way … Continue reading “Broom Balance…”
On social media yesterday a hoax about balancing a broom upright went around. Well the hoax was that “because planets were aligned” you could do it, besides the fact that you can do it anytime, you just need to try. If you keep your eye out for trends like this, they are a good way to pitch yourself to get on the local news or have a picture get shared a lot.
Here’s what I did:
Unfortunately, I was busy most of the day and unable to hustle this picture early in the day. I think that a video of someone doing the trick Balance or Stasis if presented properly would would go viral, or at least get someone some media attention.
Keep an eye out for things that are blowing up on social media and think about what you can do with that premise. Sure it’s probably something that you won’t be doing outside of that particular instance, but it’s a good for creativity and if something goes viral, then it’s good for you!
The other night I finished up reading After The Force by Ron Frost. I think it’s important to keep learning. There are tons of magicians I know that don’t learn magic for fun. They only learn something when they have to, which I think is the wrong approach. I think that magicians need to keep … Continue reading “After The Force…”
The other night I finished up reading After The Force by Ron Frost. I think it’s important to keep learning. There are tons of magicians I know that don’t learn magic for fun. They only learn something when they have to, which I think is the wrong approach. I think that magicians need to keep on top of techniques and tricks.
This book’s title is a bit misleading, I expected just endings to card tricks. The first part of the book teaches you how to force cards in a variety of ways. I agree with Ron’s assertion that the Classic Force is the best force. Then he teaches you a lot of tricks that uses forces, but in the context of the whole tricks. It’s the trick start to finish. Not that it’s a bad thing, I just thought it’d be something a bit different.
I’m glad I read the book, and worked through the stuff in it, however I don’t think anything from it is moving into my working set. It’s not that the stuff is bad, it’s just not for my show. There is one move in the book that will move into my “toolbox” or moves that I use when a situation calls for it. The big thing is to keep educating yourself on techniques and grow as a magician.
When doing card sleights, the exact placement of your fingers can make the difference between a good and sloppy move. I was working on a pass with a deck of cards and was having trouble with it. A friend gave me some good advice and said I should hold it more towards my finger tips. … Continue reading “Finger Placement…”
When doing card sleights, the exact placement of your fingers can make the difference between a good and sloppy move. I was working on a pass with a deck of cards and was having trouble with it. A friend gave me some good advice and said I should hold it more towards my finger tips. Guess what that worked!
Recently I was learning Aaron Fisher’s One Hand Pop Out and that’s another move where finger positions are very important. You can make it happen with your fingers in the wrong spot, but it won’t look as good or work as good.
If you’re working on something and it’s giving you trouble, try changing your finger positions, or revisiting where you learned it to make sure you are still doing it correctly!
About a month ago I wrote about getting bonus tricks out of the tricks you are already doing (you can read the post here). These are little things that frequently happen and when they do, you can take advantage of them. The example I used was having a card selected, top change it, and have … Continue reading “Another Bonus Trick…”
About a month ago I wrote about getting bonus tricks out of the tricks you are already doing (you can read the post here). These are little things that frequently happen and when they do, you can take advantage of them. The example I used was having a card selected, top change it, and have it signed. Most people don’t process that the card has changed, and they remember signing the card they picked, not that the one the one you switched it for.
Using this an idea that was inspired by a trick in the book Be More Funny by Christopher Barnes, I came up with this trick. Someone picks a card (5 of spades) and signs it. You could do a quick ambitious card sequence, then have a card selected from another deck. You say both cards will match, but they don’t, the second card is the 4 of spades. You rip out the middle spade of the 5 of spades to turn it into the 4 of spades. The audience is then amazed that the signed 5 of spades actually turns into a 4 of spades (still signed)
So how do we do this?
I have two methods. The first is simply to top change the card. The second is to use a gimmicked card, this card would be a five of spades, but the corners show the four of spades:
The gimmicked card is better if you want to do a trick with the card before you rip out the center pip and it will reinforce the idea that the card is still a 5 for a lot longer. You’ll have a hard time passing of a 4 as a 5 if they keep seeing the face.
I’m going to try to make up a few gimmicked cards this week and try them out!