Here are The Magic Memories #47, gone online SUN, 21st November, at 0:07h.
As this post goes online I’m on my way back from Torino to Muttenz, my home base in Switzerland. This is a trip of about 450 km (almost 300 miles) that takes at least five hours, but will take me eight because I’ll make a small detour to visit the natal city of my parents, Tortona, were my father was born, and the village of Viguzzolo, where my mother originated from. My parents immigrated from Italy to Switzerland in the 1950s, and I was then born in 1959, May 1st, in Basel, Switzerland. But that’s the beginning of another story I might relate on another occasion. However, now you know when to send your birthday greetings and gifts 🙂
In the last The Magic Memories (46) I titled:
Ideas for presentations are EVERYWHERE? Yes, here are a few recent examples.
Someone complained saying there was only one example. Correct. So, here are three more, which in the statistical average makes two each.
The Internet is full of “presentational ideas”, and Wikipedia alone would keep anyone busy until the end of the days. A while ago I was mulling over the old “Soldier’s Praying Book” plot – most know this from a much more recent version named “Sam the Bellhop” attributed to Bill Malone, who got it from Frank Everhart, but the story and theme is MUCH older, going back to the 18th century (at least!).
Here is a simple way of starting a routine with that story. Briefly (!) tell the story of Richard Middleton, then ask a spectator to shuffle and cut the cards as you hand a file card to another spectator. On the file card you’ve printed Middleton’s text. Simply google “Richard Middleton Prayer Book” and you’ll find what you need.
Spread the shuffled deck face up on table, and as you ask the spectator with the file card to read out the meaning of the cards you’ve written down. As he names the cards from Ace to King, take out one card after the other, resulting in A-K; the suit doesn’t matter, but let’s assume they are all Hearts. Anyway, if done with a good pacing and an occasional comment, the process should prove quite intriguing.
Once you’ve got the thirteen cards of a suit out and in order, perform any good trick using this. I recommend you do Paul Curry’s «A Swindle of Sorts». The original description is in Paul Curry Presents (1974), but of course I recommend you follow the routine I describe in Card College Lightest (p. 77).
Once that’s done, and as the audience reacts, nonchalantly put the set on top of the deck, still in order and with the Ace on top, false Overhand Shuffle, and then give the deck two Faros, which will bring the thirteen cards to every fourth position, and in numerical order.
Now go into «Moe’s Move-a-Card», or variation thereof. Briefly: Spread the deck face up, pretend to memorize the order of the deck, which was just shuffled in a very obvious way (when doing the Faros make sure to let the cards waterfall visibly and make a lot of noise…), and then ask a spectator to move any card from one position to another, announcing that you can guess which one it is due to having memorized the order. Of course, you have to look away as this is done. When she’s done, turn back and pretend to scrutinize the cards. All you do is look for the Hearts. If you are lucky, she moved one of them, so you can immediately tell her which card was moved. If she took another card you’ll see that there are only two instead of three cards between two Hearts, so you can then say that a card was moved from here to… Find where there are now four instead of three cards between two Hearts and finish by fishing. Either way, this is a feat in the “improbable” category, as opposed to the “impossible” category, so hesitation is acceptable.
Again, as the audience reacts, use the natural break (pause, I mean…) to make any readjustments, if necessary, to bring the Heart sequence in order (separated by three cards), and then cut the Ace to third from the top. You are now set for a strong finish, namely the «History of the Playing Cards» from Card College 5, a beautiful effect, and one of the few original creations of mine. I bet you’ve read over that trick, so go back and reread it. Now, that you have a sequence to do it from a shuffled deck you might give it a try.
Presentational idea #2
As I mentioned before, you only need to look around to find ideas. The other day I received the card deck pouch by TCC, my publisher in China, they call it “ACCORDION-STYLE MULTIFUNCTION BAG“, but you can use any similar device that holds flat objects the size of a playing/credit card, you find these in the wallet section of any general store. The first thought that occurred to me was to put a deck into it, and in the back section with the 12 compartments all types of trick cards that go with that particular deck. This is certainly very practical, and I bought half a dozen for various decks. A little later I was working on another idea I call “The Wishbook”, where the spectators can wish for any trick. Almost automatically, by simply looking at the pouch, I “saw” that every compartment could contain “props/instruments” with which at least one trick could be performed, on its own, or in conjunction with the deck. So, I started to place rubber bands, stamps, business cards… oops… I realize I’m taking the pleasure from you to make this up yourself 🙂 I think it’s a great idea… (oh, and you could even put one of those small Japanese purses with a few coins into it).
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