IT'S COMPLICATED - ISSUE 24
Simple Effects - Tricky Methods
Welcome to issue 24 of the Cardopolis Newsletter. First a little housekeeping. When you subscribe, do ensure that Google, or any other email filter, is delivering your newsletters to your main email folder. I realise this message might be redundant if all your newsletters, including this one, are languishing in the spam folder.
All back issues are still online at the Cardopolis Substack site and you can access them here. If you want to support the site, you can do so via the Buy Me A Coffee platform. Supporters get access to further material but mainly they get my thanks.
This issue takes a look at some methods that aren’t necessarily difficult but might be thought as an unnecessary complication. After all, it’s the effect that counts, not the method. On the other hand, this newsletter is about methods, problem solving, and the history of card magic, and I am fascinated by the many different ways any trick can be accomplished.
TOUCH & GO
I read this Joe Berg idea in Here’s Magic (1930) but it wasn’t until Mago Migue put out his Perfect World effect that I got to try it. This because the cards that come with Mago Migue’s trick also work for the Joe Berg effect. I’ve added a couple of tweaks but mostly it is here to remind us all that there’s a great principle out there waiting to be explored. You may find alternative cards on the market that are useful for the routine, in which case do please let me know.
Mago Migue’s Perfect World is still on the market at the time of writing, and it was Luis de Matos who kindly sent me a set to experiment with. If you do a search, you’ll find the trick at Vanishing Inc and other dealers. The link will take you to the trick on the Vanishing Inc site. It is an absolutely superb effect, a great solution to anyone wanting to do Out of this World with a spectator-shuffled deck.
THE JOKER NEVER FAILS
The writings of Karl Fulves endeared me to the so called Hofzinser plot in which one of four aces changes into the selected card. Back in the 1980s I came up with a finesse to the usual Add On Move that you might find useful for this trick or any other in which one card of several is to be switched out for the selection.
WINNER’S GUIDE TO LOSING
Anyone around in the 1970s will remember the success of Jim Temple’s Color Monte. Art Emerson, of Emerson and West, could be found at every convention demming it. And what a great dem that was. Color Monte was heavily based on Bill Elliott’s 3 Card Monkey Business (Ibidem 16, March 1959) and at the heart of the trick was Ed Marlo’s Quick 3-Way move.
In the 1980s, I read some of Rink’s work with stripper cards and tried out his version of the Quick 3-Way procedure. It works incredibly well, but seems little known and is worth remembering. The idea is easily applied to 3 Card Monkey Business, Color Monte, and many other packet tricks with regular or jumbo cards.
Douglas Hood’s Jumping Jack was an earlier three-card monte that used the stripper card principle. A different type of handling to Rink’s, but stripped cards were used to make perfect double lifts. As with Bill Elliott’s 3 Card Monkey Business, the display of the cards was a sequence repeated several times during the routine. This was in 1950.
That same year, Amac, of Find the Lady illusion fame, saw Hood’s trick and marketed his own version as The Third Man Walks Out. Presumably inspired by the Orson Welles movie that came out the previous year, 1949.
Like the illusion that made him famous, Amac’s The Third Man Walks Out was a three-card trick of sorts, a packet trick certainly, in which a spy appeared and disappeared as three picture cards were shown. Chris Woodward kindly sent along a copy of the Third Man instructions, the front page of which is reproduced below.
A note on crediting. When I give a credit, it’s often for the principle or idea. My handling probably differs from the original. Handling will change over time as techniques, props, trends, and other circumstances change, but the original idea still stands and for that credit is given to the originator.
Since starting the newsletter, I’ve been going through some old tricks. This one, Lunch Box, was published in Equinox (1984). Great trick if you have the opportunity to shoot the card box into the waiting hands of a spectator at a long table. It should be easy to work out the handling from the overhead shot below, but if you have any doubts, drop me a line and I’ll provide further explanation.
If you enjoy Cardopolis, do share it with your friends. I look forward to seeing you in the next issue.
Hello Mr. David,
The Bicycle Rider Back deck with "Ivory Finish" are produced by Conjuring Arts:
As you know, an old substitute would be to use the punch... Thank you and congratulations for your interesting, intelligent and rigorous job in the issues of the Cardopolis Newsletter!
Greetings from Spain,