Having a gig where I’m doing 66 shows at all month is a great opportunity to work on new material. I’m still working on my idea for the Invisible Deck. It’s coming along. I’m now using Phoenix Large Index Cards. The bigger index makes it play a row or two further back.
One thing I’m realizing is that this trick is going to be limited to the size of room it can play. I’m going to need to figure out a way to scale the trick back up to either a Phoenix Parlour sized deck or a jumbo deck. It’s interesting how the process works, I had to shrink the trick to figure out why I need to enlarge it!
So why not just go back to using the Vernet 52 B’Wave?
The main reason is the routine I was doing required 3 jumbo decks and didn’t really have a routine for it. By changing the method, I ended up finding a presentational hook for the trick, which ultimately helps the routine. Yes, I could do my routine with the 52 B’Wave, but now that’d bump it up to travelling with four jumbo decks, and that’s a lot of weight in case for a card trick!
I think the method may end up being some sort of hybrid method, where the reveal deck is similar to the 52 B’Wave deck, but with different reveal cards, and reveal cards that aren’t gimmicked, so they can be shown more freely.
Another reason I’m playing with a different method is that there’s a sense of pride I have when I perform with original methods.
As I still keep working on my version of the Invisible Deck, I think I have the technical end worked out. The biggest challenge is the elimination process. I needed to figure out how to remove any confusion as to what side people are selecting. What I have settled on is having people point to a side of the room. If they point to my hands, I can’t tell which side they are pointing at. So having them point at the left or right wall clears that up.
Next up is figuring out the presentation. As I’ve been doing it, as the elimination process happens I’ve organically been saying, “that’s what I would have done”. I’m kinda using that as the base for the routine. Here’s what I wrote last night: “Whenever I leave the house, my wife tells me to make good choices. I’m gonna tell you, I only make the best choices! Like the time I made my own penicillin from sour cream…or when I knitted my own seatbelt…or the time I went to Wyoming.”
It’s a starting point. Maybe I could say say their “choices are better than the time I…” and then say something funny. I think I’m not at a point where I just need to write and try out the jokes.
A couple days ago I wrote about an idea I had for a method for the invisible deck, but had a kicker where the card had a different colored back and then the rest of the cards were blank. This was inspired by Vernet Magic’s 52 B’Wave card trick.
I’ve been doing it at the fair I’m performing at, and I took a quick video of the first time I did it:
There’s a couple things I need to work on. The load to the deck in my pocket is very clunky. Right now I’m trying to square up the card with the back of the deck. I don’t think I need to do that. I think I just need to get it fairly close the the deck, and then can align it as I’m pulling it from the pocket.
People seem to react to the three beats of the trick. I wish I could come up with a one deck way to do it with jumbo cards. As it is right now, if I was doing it in a big room, I’d need video projection for it to play big.
In the past I’ve played with using an invisible deck in my show. The issue I have with it, is that it’s a pretty standard trick. I want to layer it with having something more than just an upside down card. In the past I’ve come up with a method where you can have more than one card picked (no force) and they are all upside down. In my show right now I’m using a variation on Vernet Magic’s 52 B’wave.
The 52 B’wave effect is the named card is upside down, has a different colored back and all of the other cards are blank. I really like this effect, and I think a booker that has seen the invisible deck will be able to tell the difference. What I don’t like about it is that there is a force of the color of the card.
I was kicking around ideas for it, and I think I have come up with a method that I like better than Vernet’s 52 B’wave. Here’s how the effect will play, you show a deck of cards and hold half in each hand. The audience chooses a half to eliminate (no forces are used in this) and you put them on the table. You then split the remaining cards in and half chosen to eliminate and repeat this till you have one card. The elimination process happens with the faces of the cards to the audience. You then reach into your pocket and remove a deck of cards. Inside that deck is one face up card, it matches the one selected by the audience. The card is not only the only card face up, but it has a different colored back, and the rest of the deck is blank! Not that I would do this, but at the end of the trick, the deck is ungimmicked and could be examined.
OK, for method it’s a combination of a gimmick, and sleight of hand. I haven’t tried this yet, but I’ll going to give it a go during my preshow at the fair tomorrow!
Here’s another one of my videos where I try to improve packet tricks that I’ve come across. This one is called It’s a Joke-r by Bill Pryor. Here’s the video of it done with the original instructions and then a revised version for a real audience:
The trick is sort of a Princess Card Trick with a kicker, but it’s poorly executed. The whole part of putting a card in your pocket, just to pull it out I don’t like. I also don’t like waiting for the audience to want to turn over the cards on the table for the kicker to happen. If they do turn them over, it’s great, but if they don’t, the trick is just OK.
The changes I made of have a card thought of by me and the person from the audience gives the trick a little more depth. Then never putting a card in my pocket, but keeping it in my hand adds a lot to the trick. Finally having a reason for them to turn over the cards to discover the jokers guarantees they get revealed.
This is a trick that takes up way too much pocket space for how good the trick is. I don’t think the original or my revised version justifies the use of space.
Last week I did a blog post about a torn card trick (read it here) and I had a chance to do some work on it and try to improve it. I eliminated the use of the Intersessor gimmick, as it made the trick more complex because I had to ditch it, and it’s not easy to palm.
Here’s the second version:
I think this is a better way to do it, and it got a good reaction.
I’ve been working on my technique for making the card jump out and it’s getting better. I’m consistently getting bigger jumps of the card from the deck. What’s missing is the effect. Right not it’s now clear what’s going on. I also need to figure out a better way to vanish the torn pieces.
This is a packet trick revision of a trick called Ghost Cards. The following video has me do the trick as written in the instructions, followed by me trying to improve it.
The main problem with the trick as written is that there’s a lot of props and procedure to make one side of one card appear. In my revised version you can make four faces appear, which makes much more sense than just one. While not in the video, you can reverse the procedure to make the cards disappear at the end.
This is a trick that snuck into my close up set at the fair I recorded the video at. I forgot to take it out of my pocket the first day, and it lived there all week and I did it all week. It was fun, and I did it for people who had seen me multiple times as something different for them, but it’s not making it into the regular set.
Personally I dislike using a torn corner to identify a card or bill. It’s very clunky compared to having is signed and you lose the punch of the item reappearing and having it immediately identifiable.
Ok, that’s out of the way, now I’m doing to explain why I’m playing with a trick with a torn corner.
A long time ago when Gaeton Bloom’s Intersessor trick came out, I thought it would lend itself to a trick in Tarbell where a card jumps out of the deck when the end is riffled. I never did it because $50 to play with an idea that I would probably never use was a bit steep. Recently I found a super deal on a used Intersessor gimmick and bought it.
Here’s me trying out the idea before my show and my comments on it:
I think I’m going to switch it up and use a corner switch or a scored duplicate card instead of the Intersessor gimmick. That will solve having to ditch the gimmick. With scored card or corner switch, it will allow me to use a bigger tear which will let me do a bigger tear and get a bigger jump of the card.
It’s an interesting idea, it’s basically a book that’s just one trick, with a lot of methods for it. It sounds like it’s a bit of a journey through how the trick was created. I haven’t really had a chance to dig into it yet, but I’m excited to read it!
The other day my buddy Matt Disero posted on his Facebook about a Stewart James trick that he thought was overlooked by magicians. I’m a huge Stewart James fan, and dug out the book and read the trick. It’s on page 120 of Stewart James In Print: The First Fifty Years
In the introduction to the trick it says that it’s not a good trick for non-magicians, but a fooler for magicians. I think whoever wrote that intro was correct, well for how the trick was written up. It’s a very interesting principle, here’s the effect:
Someone picks a card and puts it face up on top of the deck. The cards are cut to bury the card. You then take the cards behind your back tell them the card above the face up card.
It’s very clever, and I think it has a use in a longer routine. As a stand alone, I’m not sure how I feel about it…