Here are The Magic Memories #46, gone online SUN, 14th November, at 0:07h.
As you are reading this I’m on a small tour through the northern part of Italy: Varese – Castellamonte – Cherasco – Torino, and back to Switzerland. After my lengthy car ride through France, to Spain’s Magialdia convention I reported on in The Magic Memories #41 of OCT 10th, this is my second “travel” during this “Pandemic Biennial”. I plan to give you a report of the “adventures” during that trip on my return in The Magic Memories (48), as this one and the next are pre-written, both about a subject that is close to my heart, and about which I have written in the past from different angles. Actually, it is a topic with an infinite amount of angles, and an important one it is…
More Thoughts on How to Find a Presentation
The most important thing to find presentations is a small portable notebook, or a note-taking app on your smartphone, because ideas for presentations are EVERYWHERE and they come up AT ALL TIMES, therefore the only thing you need is to be ready to record them, so you don’t forget them, and so you can elaborate on them later, since in most instances you won’t have the time to do the detailed work necessary at the moment the presentational idea hits you.
As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, as a paper notebook I use the smallest size of the Moleskin Notebooks, or similar product, ca. the size of a playing card, that fits even in a shirt pocket. I take a quick note, and then try to transfer the note to a larger notebook or to a note app (Evernote, OneNote etc.) as soon as possible, and as explicitly as possible. If you don’t do this soon and explicitly, you will not be able to make heads or tails out of the note when you later read it. And that’s of course the point: To be able to come back to the note later, sometimes years later, and use it to solve a problem you’re working on. Below you can see an example of such a small notebook, and the items stricken through as soon as they’ve been transferred to the larger notebook or app.
When I go for a walk or when I simply cannot write, I use “4Memo” on my Smartphone (search Google for info), an app that records voice messages and lets them send you to one of four predetermined addresses, e.g., directly to Evernote or similar. The advantage of this app over others is that it has a HUGE button in the center, so you can hit that even in a dark room or in a car.
Ideas for presentations are EVERYWHERE? Yes, here are a few recent examples.
I have a mechanical watch that needs to be winded up every day. Yesterday I forgot to do so, and the watch stood still. Winding it up reminded me of the saying that even a watch that stands still shows the correct time twice a day, which again I linked to the concept of serendipity (quick definition: an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident).
Serendipity has great fascination, as it is surprising and mystifying at times, similar to magic, but happening in everyday life. Thinking about an examples to explain serendipity, I thought of how the other day I had found a booklet I displaced a year ago while I was looking for something completely different. Immediately it occurred to me that this is what we do in most card tricks: find something, specifically a selected card that is seemingly completely lost.
The next step was a natural: how about looking for something else, and through serendipity find the selection? The next thought was a specific trick I had done hundreds of times as a youngster, but without every giving it a presentational meaning. Of course it still worked, because every good trick has an intrinsic meaning. but if you can give it a fitting extrinsic meaning through a presentational plot, it will be, well, more artistic. However, excessive presentation can kill a trick, so much common sense and experience is required, as always and in everything.
The trick I’m talking about is “Peekaboo Revelation” from Frank Garcia’s Million Dollar Card Secrets, p. 71, and based on an idea by Bill Simon (Simon and Garcia are two names to reckon with, and I recommend to study anything that carries their name). The effect is that a selected card gets caught between the four Aces, which turn face up in the face-down deck. The serendipity presentation fits nicely. Here is a preliminary version of how to use this: “Has it ever happened to you that you were looking for your car keys, but instead found something you had misplaced long before? That’s called serendipity, similar to Columbus, who when looking for a shorter sea route from Europe to India discovered the Americas. The other day I wanted to look up the definition of serendipity on the Internet, and I ended up ordering a book on vegan cooking from Amazon. Anyway, this happens all the time in magic, let me demonstrate.” Something like that… Now you go into “Peekaboo Revelation” (see short description below). After the card has been selected and secretly placed between the face–up Aces, put the deck on the table and announce that you will cause their card to turn face up without even touching the deck. Do some hocus pocus, then ribbon spread the deck on the table to reveal four Aces face up in the deck. Oops, you were looking for the selection, but out come the Aces, and with a mistake at that: A card is between them. Fortunately, this turns out to be their selection. So, two mistakes that lead to the correct result, talk about serendipity…
Short description of “Peekaboo Revelation” (Simon/Garcia)
Set-up: The four Aces are reversed below the top card. Have a card peeked at, retaining a break above it. The right thumb obtains a second break somewhere among the face-up Aces and holds it, as the left hand undercuts all the cards below the lower break to the top. Immediately follow with a second cut, which is a Slip Cut, to wit: The left thumb is lightly pressed on the top card and keeps it in place as the right hand cuts all the cards above the break to the right and drops it back on top. The slipped card being the selection is thus maneuvered to between the face-up Aces. Care must be taken not to flash any of the reversed cards. The rest is presentation (see above).
Wish you all a successful week!