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Alyx

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Reply with quote  #1 

I'm wanting to use a card to impossible location type effect as the finale to my ambitious card routine. Years ago I built a ring box using Tommy Wonder's specifications, so this is an option. Alternatively, I'm considering card-to-wallet using a slim Mullica Wallet. So which effect, to a layperson, do you feel hits harder?

I'd try both and find out for myself, but there's a big (for me) investment in both. For the TW ringbox, I'd need to buy another 50 decks to brush up on my TW style card fold, and on the other hand, a slim Mullica runs about $70. So... I've been mulling this over for a month now and would love some perspectives other than my own. What do you think?

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Alyx

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Reply with quote  #2 
One more thing, I'm also contemplating Mint Box by Daniel Garcia as a smaller packing version of Tommy Wonder's ring box. I've never seen it in person, and I don't know precisely how the gimmick works. If you've got one, I'd love to hear your opinions.
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chris w

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Reply with quote  #3 
My experience is that they play fairly similarly "in the moment" but the ring box style ending is more confounding in retrospect because the card ended up in something that was in sight the whole time rather than inside of an extraneous item no one knew you had, and thus no one knew to be watching, until the end. Also, don't underestimate the disruptive value of the card ending up folded inside of something smaller than itself.

To me, there are more layers of deception to the Hennig/Kaps/Wonder style ending.
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Alyx

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Reply with quote  #4 

Chris, I really appreciate these insights. One of my goals is to include one effect in each of my three close-up sets that provides the audience with a story to tell later (for marketing purposes). Your "more confounding in retrospect" point plays right into this goal.

When you said "Hennig," did you mean Doug Henning? I didn't realize he had a routine like this. Is it for ACR? Thank you again for these strong insights.

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chris w

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Reply with quote  #5 
Well, glad to be of any help. It's an interesting question and I'm still interested in hearing what others think.

Hennig is the German magician Bruno Hennig who, along with Fred Kaps, has much to do with the Wonder version. A little background from Conjuring Credits, if you'd like: http://www.conjuringcredits.com/doku.php?id=cards:card_in_box&s[]=kaps
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Waterman

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Reply with quote  #6 
I've seen magicians perform both revelations. Some fall flat...others amaze! Regardless of where the card ends up...inside a box, a wallet, a shoe, or a piece of fruit, it's the presentation which I feel creates the moment of astonishment. Where the card eventually resides at tricks end is irrelevant as long as the performer does his/her job as a performer.




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Leo Kim

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Reply with quote  #7 
If you decide to go the wallet route, I would recommend getting a wallet that allows the card to end up in a sealed anvelope that the spectator may open himself.

If you don,t want to splash out the $$$ for a magic wallet you could try to track down the original Le Paul version that used a stack of envelopes in your pocket, in one of them the card was sealed at the end.

Mikael Johansson
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Paul Hallas

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Reply with quote  #8 
None hits harder than the other. It's just a card to impossible location. If the spectator is amazed/surprised he cannot be more amazed/surprised. At least that's my thought.

Card to wallet
card to card case
card to envelope
card to purse
card under glass?
card to orange

Maybe some locations may end up more memorable and thus more talked about:

card in block of ice
card in fly (memorable and talked about for the wrong reasons?).
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Alyx

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Reply with quote  #9 

These are some excellent thoughts. I guess my question is deeper than I realized, and I greatly appreciate you all helping me to clarify, in my own mind, what I'm after. 

Astonishment is obiously a goal in my material -- all of these options can be astonishing. After astonishment, I want the material to be memorable with a clear story for the audience to take with them (marketing and satisfies my ego that they'll remember me, hah). But I guess what I hadn't consciously considered is that I'm also striving to make the spectator give up their hunt for the solution -- which, hopefully, preserves the memorability, if the effect was truly astonishing and worth remembering in the first place.

I often struggle to think like a layperson (something I believe is critical), but in my skewed "psuedo-layperson" mind, I feel like the ring box presents fewer (or no) solutions opposed to the wallet. I.e. with the wallet, I wonder if the layperson could simply go to the solution... Hmmm. The sealed envelope bury's the mischeif, but given my character and costuming, a bulky wallet capable of handling an envelope may not be easily in reach. Anyway, I'm rambling.

Thank you all so much for getting my wheels turning, and should the conversation roll forward, I'll enjoy gleaning wisdom from your discussions! 

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Alyx

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Reply with quote  #10 

I completely agree that presentation is key. But after this truth is accepted and committed to, don't you have to go beyond presentation to selecting the effects that allow you to fully express yourself and provide maximum entertainment (thank you Ken Weber for the phraseology).

I think there's a difference between making a performance memorable (remembering how you made them feel) and remembering a moment in an effect (giving them the memory of a story they can tell). In the latter, I do believe effect choice plays a role. For years I did a Vernon-esque cups and balls on the street. Several times, people have come up to me several years after first seeing me perform. They say something like, "those little red balls were neat, but I just never got over the fruit." The point is, the "little red balls" can be astonishing, but the story they offer is less "tellable" and therefore less memorable than that available from "the fruit." Various tricks or phases of tricks offer different "medium" for memory. Don't they? If it were solely about presentation, why produce apples/oranges/etc. Why not just end with three balls returning to one cup? It goes beyond presentation to content. Right?

I hear a lot of magicians say that the goal is "not to make them remember what you did, but make them remember how you made them feel." That's not my goal. I think the story spectators take with them travels a lot farther if you provide them with a memory beyond how you made them feel. 

So, maybe these musings are nieve, especially considering I am not a full-time working pro and it's been a long time since I supported myself solely from magic (and that was on the street with occasional festival bookings) so I haven't proven myself as a marketable, successful magician. But I do think effect choice plays a big part in giving the audience a memory that carries a "tellable" story. 

But to wrap up these musings and return to one of your thoughts, Bmat, I am turned off by having to carry a ring box. So is it worth it...

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Paul Hallas

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Reply with quote  #11 
RE: " I.e. with the wallet, I wonder if the layperson could simply go to the solution... Hmmm"

???  Is this assuming the layperson has knowledge of magicians methods and tools? I would think some card to wallet routines even fool magicians if they are not familiar with specific wallets.
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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #12 
"Which finale hits harder?"  I'm taking this to be a question about level of impossibility, rather than entertainment value.

For me, when a card goes to "impossible location," it should be signed. Otherwise "duplicate" can easily come to mind. The goal is impossibility.

As mentioned, if you're going with a wallet, a sealed envelope increases the level of impossibility IMO. I'd go with signed card seemingly left in view as you palm the card and pull out the now loaded wallet. Now, you can do a variety of things to make the selection vanish. The wallet being in full view, away from the magician adds another layer of impossibility.

As Aronson said, "There is a world of difference between a spectator's not knowing how something's done versus his knowing that it can't be done."

Ortiz - "Magic is not simply about deceiving. It's about creating an illusion, the illusion of impossibility."

Ortiz - "This is what people should feel when they watch magic: not that they're not smart enough, but that even someone ten times as smart would have no better chance of explaining it, because there is no explanation."

Ideally we want our audience to not care about an explanation. But it's human nature when we see something impossible, to try to make sense of it.

Just some thoughts.

Mike
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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #13 
Some thoughts in the form of a koan of sorts.

Bob Sheets used to perform Heba Haba Al's sugar cube trick. A spectator, always a female in Sheets' case, would initial or uniquely mark a sugar cube (remember those) and return it to Sheets. Over the course of the next several minutes the spectator's initials or mark would begin to appear in increasingly impossible places on different spectators. The backs of hands, the palms of hands, the sides of necks... Each reveal was more daring and hilarious than the last, primarily due to Sheet's antics and audience management skills. Sheets concluded the routine by telling the initial spectator in a sincere voice, "You're not going to believe this, but if you go to the bathroom right now and lower your pants, you will find your initials on your cheek. No, really." With that revelation he rushed them to go check. On at least two occasions I witnessed spectators return to swear that he was correct, and that they had found the "final load" right where Bob said it would be. (Once I saw him send three women to the bathroom to check!)

Naturally the spectators who avowed the existence of the cheek marks were playing along. Still, knowing something about how the human mind works, I wonder how many of those spectators eventually convinced themselves that the marks were really there? And how many still share the story as if it happened just that way? And how many observers later swore that the magician had made initials appear on the naked butt cheeks of a fully clothed spectator?

All that to ask, which matters more, what happens in the moment, or what happens in the memory.

When you can snatch the sugar cube from my hand, it will be time for you to go.

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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #14 
Heba Haba Al used to do the "initials onto thigh" trick at the New York lounge in Chicago. It was a block north of Magic Inc on Lincoln. After the initials appeared in a few different places, he'd say, "You're not going to believe this, but the initial has appeared on your thigh! Really! Go in the rest room and check it." The woman would go to the restroom as Heba Haba pulled a microphone from under the bar so everyone could see what he was doing. The mic went to a speaker in the rest room. So, after the door shut, he'd count to five and then speak into the mic, "Well, is it there?" You'd hear a scream from the restroom. 

Mike
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Intensely Magic

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Reply with quote  #15 
The time is quickly approaching when a wallet and envelope will be looked on with suspicion. Kind of like a glass Coke bottle, a matchbook or a half dollar.

I think the ring box will have a longer life. ANyway, the Mercury fold is a great skill to have. I like the apparatus that scores the card, but I may be alone.

i/m

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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #16 
A simple way out with a folded card is Sankey's Paperclipped. Excellent and low tech.

M
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Gareth

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Reply with quote  #17 
Matthew Wright's RSVP box might be worth your time and research. The routines you get  on the down-load with purchasing the box are wonderful. 
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Paul Hallas

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Reply with quote  #18 
Perhaps "The Mystery Card" plot should be considered too, as a card end up in an impossible location without any 'extra' props right in front of their eyes.

Mike said "For me, when a card goes to "impossible location," it should be signed. Otherwise "duplicate" can easily come to mind. The goal is impossibility."

I used to think that too but my viewpoint mellowed, for instance if the duplicate they expect to find in the deck isn't, case closed! 😉 Only the other night I was doing my Buddah's Card to Wallet in the restaurant to a rather vocal spectator who after a pause at the conclusion reached for the deck to check through it much to the amusement of the other people at the table, some swearing, then the announcement it was absolutely amazing.😉 Lots of laughter.
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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #19 
Hi Paul,

I just can't shake the feeling that the card should be signed for maximum impact.

There's no need to look in the deck if the card is signed. The thought of a duplicate can't arise.

Signing does slow the routine a bit by requiring that extra step. But it also creates interest. "Do you really want me to write on this card?? Why am I doing this..."

Once I had my brother-in-law stooge for me. I had him remove the tobacco from a cigarette. I then had my aunt sign a card which I used in an Ambitious sequence. I copped the card and gave it to my brother-in-law who rolled it up and put it into the cig with some tobacco in front. Meanwhile the card seemed to be on the table. He lit up. I reached out and removed the cigarette from his mouth and put it out. The paper was then peeled back a little so you could see the card. I handed the cig to my aunt....

We went on later with another stooge for card to remote location that's named by my sister (stooge). My poor aunt started to believe I had special power. 

Mike


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StevePR104

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Reply with quote  #20 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Hallas
None hits harder than the other. It's just a card to impossible location. If the spectator is amazed/surprised he cannot be more amazed/surprised. At least that's my thought.

card in fly (memorable and talked about for the wrong reasons?).


FWIW, one of the funniest card-to-fly routines you'll ever see...and fully appropriate...is Steve Martin's turn as The Great Flydini on the Tonight Show.

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Blathermist

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Reply with quote  #21 

I agree with both points: Mike and Paul.

To use one of Steven Youell’s favourite words, it depends on context. Or as I prefer, because I’m common, circumstances and/or conditions. All magic is conditional, after all.

Back in the Very Long Ago I used a Bendix Bombshell Wallet. A card was selected, signed, returned and apparently (of course) lost. Then a joker was removed from the pack and placed into the wallet, except it wasn’t the joker; it was the selection. A duplicate joker was already stashed in the wallet.

Following a bit this and that, the joker jumped back into the pack and the signed card was in the zippered compartment of the wallet.

Unsurprisingly, there’s a bit more to it than that, but the precise details are adrift somewhere in the back of my mind. I have the details in one of my notebooks, but sadly that’s tucked away in the box that cannot be found.

Never any problems. The card was signed as required by the appropriate authorities. The pack was often checked , but never the wallet.

Just lucky I suppose.

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Alyx

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Reply with quote  #22 

Hey, I just wanted to check back in. I've been quietly following the discussions and there is so much amazing food for thought here. I'm still exploring all possibilities. I started to investigate mint box ideas including Daniel Garcia's and Jamey Ian Swiss's.

Gareth, your RSVP box suggestion prompted a search into all things Matthew Wright and found that he also has work on the card to impossible location via a mint box. Looking forward to checking that out. 

Leaning towards using my TW ring box, but still hate the idea of how much pocket space it takes up. We'll see. I look forward to continuing to follow the conversation should it progress, and thank you again, everyone, for your great insights, shared experience, and tips!

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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #23 
Blathermist - I think you're referring to John Mendoza's Bendix Bombshell routine. I think it's in Book of John I. Solid routine!

Mike
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Tom G

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Reply with quote  #24 
There was also a release called Toibox (?), uses an ungimmicked mint box. 
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Alyx

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Reply with quote  #25 

Tom G, thank you for tipping me off on Toibox! Problem solved. I'm adding it to my ACR and have been using his collected sleights to build another entire close-up set themed around it. Love this! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
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Blathermist

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Reply with quote  #26 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Powers
Blathermist - I think you're referring to John Mendoza's Bendix Bombshell routine. I think it's in Book of John I. Solid routine!
Mike

No. This is my own routine. Still haven’t found my notes of it yet.

I did have "The Book Of John" years ago and now you mention it I also thought his Bendix routine was included in there. But I’ve just re-read a review of the book by Bob Long in a 1979 issue of his "Sorcerers Eyes" magazine and he doesn’t mention it. Perhaps it was "John Verse II". Another book I no longer have.

My routine came about as a result of seeing Peter Kane perform then explain his own "Kabbala Aces," although it didn’t have that name at the time. This uses a palm and a "Kaps" wallet; but the extra subtlety allows an empty hand to remove the wallet from the pocket. The card is loaded on the offbeat as part of a transposition routine.

It’s in "Kane" and the first issue of "Richard’s Almanac"

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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #27 
Thanks for the clarification Blathermist. Sounds like a cool routine!

Mike
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Robin Dawes

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Reply with quote  #28 
John Luka has a no-palm CTW routine that sounds similar - the wallet is on the table the whole time.  It's used for a transposition effect, and then a previously selected card is found in the wallet.  He uses a basic Z-fold wallet.  It's in his book "Uncovered".
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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #29 
The Luka routine is the Mendoza Routine with some patter designed to make it more clear which card is in which position. He uses the red color of the card box and the black color of the wallet to remind the spec that the black card is in the black object and the red object is in the red object.

Mike
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Robin Dawes

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Reply with quote  #30 
That's good to know - thanks Mike!
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Frank Zak

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Reply with quote  #31 
When I was working behind the bar, I did both. The card in box was the finish to a multiple card under box routine. Card to wallet was used when I had time to do just one effect.
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Eddie H.

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Reply with quote  #32 
Hey Frank. So good to see you on the Forum. Look forward to your perspective and insights as always.

-eh
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Frank Zak

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Reply with quote  #33 
Eddie, I am glad to be back. If you have questions for my insight you have but too ask.
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Bill Guinee

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Reply with quote  #34 
They are both great effects, but for the layperson, I believe that the ring box is stronger. With the wallet effect, even though the spectator didn't see you do it, the only possible solution is a palm (which is, of course, the actual solution). On the other hand, the ring box has two things going for it that make the palm an impossibility for the layperson: 1) it was right there all the time, and 2) the card was folded up. Now we know that those features don't remove the possibility of a palm, but I have never heard a layperson advance the palm theory on a well-done ring box trick. The wallet can be improved if it is put on the table while the audience believes that the card is still in the deck. There are motivations for doing this, such as the bet that Ledanye makes with his spectator.  So, I think the ring box is usually the stronger trick. However, when well done, the wallet is such a strong trick that you may not want to go take the time to master Wonder's folding technique for the difference.
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