I’d like to share sometime interesting that happened last month that I’m sure will never happen again. It gave me a unique opportunity to experience the impact of my own material. Against all odds, I saw an incredible card trick I hadn’t even invented yet.
First, some insights on creativity. Part of what I’m trying to bring to the magic community is new effects and new presentations. (We don’t need more versions of Oil and Water and Reset or more color changes and ways to control a selection to the top.) So, as an exercise, I’ll often pretend to do a card trick that I have no method for. If you only look through the lens of possible methods while creating an effect, you are limiting yourself. So, with no method in mind, I now have a sense of openness to allow the presentation and the handling of the cards to go anywhere. The downside is that the trick won’t work because there’s no method. Every now and then though, I may create a method and solve the effect. (This happens maybe once or twice a year.) But much more often, I’ll create something new and interesting, but it’ll be impossible to solve. Either way, it gets my brain thinking outside the box.
A few weeks ago, I was working on a “mock effect” where the deck was shuffled by the spectator and then they deal through the entire deck face down one card at a time. During this dealing process they set aside four random cards onto the table. My conditions were that they shuffled. They dealt, and then they reveal the cards at the end. These cards would be the Aces. So, it would be like Open Prediction on steroids. As I’m doing the effect, I’m creating the patter on the spot and acting out the spectator’s actions. Again, I knew it wouldn’t work, I just wanted to see what the ultimate version of what the effect should feel like.
After the dealing through the deck and removing four random face down cards from different places in the deck, I confidently delivered the closing patter. “If you really could rely on luck, then these cards should be the four Aces.” I turned the four cards face up on the close-up mat and they actually were the four Aces!
What a shock! First off, I did a double take. My brain and body froze completely and I felt a nervousness and tingling sensation in the pit of my stomach. (Simply put, it felt surreal.) The second thing I did was to look for a method. I looked at all the other cards in the deck to see if I had grabbed some deck that had more Aces in it by accident. Nope…just 48 cards. After a good 15-20 seconds, reality started to sink in. I had to accept I beat the odds. (4,164 to 1.)
Then I realized that something truly awesome just happened. I got to experience exactly what my spectators experience when they see me do an effect. I went through all the phases: shock, disbelief, reasoning, shock again, and then acceptance. (It can’t be a trick. I really did it!) How often as a magician do you get to experience and be fooled by one of your own creations?!
After the effect, I took a photo so I’d have something to help tell the story. (See photo below.) The exercise paid off because I did end up creating a version of this effect that I’m currently performing. Now I know what it’s doing to people!
Actually I’m not a magician, just a normal student that loves magic and sleight of hand. I just wanted to say that I’ve seen all your videos on YT and IG etc.. and I want to thank you because you are such a great inspiration even if for me card magic is just an hobby. I hope to win that Skype session just to learn some secrets or tips that can help me to improve my sleights from you. not just because you’re one of the greatest but because you’re technique is so clean and classy that always leaves me speechless.
I’m Italian so forgive me if you find some mistakes in this message.
Thanks for saying all that Marco. I love knowing that I inspired someone!
This is one of the best blog post I have ever read. You have just described what Tommy Wonder encouraged us to do – The Mind Movie.
How would it look if we had the power.As I read this I experienced the effect Jason. The suspense, the build up, the anticipation and the now way moment.
I have just worked out a possible method. That doesn’t matter right now, what does matter is the simple fact that you have given us a new way to approach and think about creating STRONG MAGIC.
Dude! That’s a 1 in 270,725 shot!!! The odds of calling the name of a card and then pulling that card from the deck three times in row is half that much at 140,608. Did you go out any buy a few lotto tickets?? Lucky, lucky day indeed.
I certainly thought about it! But then again, I only gamble when it’s a sure thing:)
There is an effect I practice where I spell to a previously selected card. I know the exact thing you are talking about because it has happened to me more than once with the same fake selected card many times over and it’s kind of incredible.
I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve faked asked, “So what was your card?” “Oh, the eight of clubs” and then by chance spelled directly to that card while practicing and not even trying. It’s when you truly get to amaze yourself.
But 4 aces.. go play the lotto.
I loved this blog post-Jason! You just reminded me that I used to do this exercise when I was younger. Before I could do any sleight of hand I used to sit by myself and pretend I could. And sometimes by luck, I made aces and kings appear. I will make sure I continue to do this. Also, Thank You, Mike, for reminding us about Tommy Wonders Mind Movie. I will re-read his books soon. But first back to Strong Magic.
That’s AMAZING! I can’t imagine what that felt like to see 4 ACES!