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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Svengali 'total' revelation - never? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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erik
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I posted this here, rather than in the card forum, because it is so basic:

Do you think it might be acceptable to do the "total revelation" with Svengali for younger audiences? Particularly for those you are trying to wow into magic Smile

:bikes: Smile Smile Smile

TIA,

-erik
DavidKenney
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I know we have already had this thread in the Café, perhaps one of the mods can find it. Personally - I don't think it matters on the age of the spectator.

I think the "wow" is lost once they see all the cards the same.

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Peter Marucci
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David's right; the minute you show that the cards are all the same -- or even that there is more than one chosen card in the deck -- the "magic" of the moment is lost.
It then becomes "just a trick", no matter what the age.
Smile
MOTO42
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Is this the one where the mark picks a card (the 3H for example) out of the deck, places it back into the pack, you find it then reveal that the cards are all the same, (they're all 8C's)?

I thought it kicked personally.
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erik
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Thanks for your responses.

I had searched the archives for opinions on this, and saw that in general it is frowned upon, but hadn't seen any references to younger audiences. It seemed to me that very young children might see the total revelation as magic as well, but with little experience, I couldn't defend this claim.

thanks again. I will keep my Svengali to myself... Smile
rvigon
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I would never show all the cards, but, in theory, if it was possible do it time after time, with different cards, it would be great. So maybe with a younger, not so observent audience, you could have, say, 2 different, even decks. And if repeatedly asked to do it again, although breaking the magicians code, you could do it again and really baffle the children but as for adults, as soon as all cards are the same, they know it's a gaffed deck, so don't go there.
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Skinny Man
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Smile So I must be in a minority, I've found that doing any effect with a Svengali, and after (let's say) repeatedly cutting to their chosen card, showing all the deck to be the same, and then seconds later not the same at all, has always recieved a great reaction.

No loss of 'wow' at all, in fact, even more of a wow, as they can't believe their eyes.
Perhaps my friends/colleagues/audiences are less sophisticated than everyone else is, but none of them have ever said, "Oh well, that's a trick deck so I'm not impressed."
I have to admit, it can be tricky to switch the deck quickly but as ever, practice makes perfect.

I guess my advice to Eric, is to try it out for yourself and gauge the reactions that you get.
After all, once upon a time everyone said the world was flat and you'd be crazy to think anything else. Smile
tropicalpenguin
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There are some pretty decent Svengali tricks out there. There was one recently posted on online-visions.com that works. It's a basic "stabbing the deck trick".
-The penguin has spoken Smile

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ArchMiro
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When it comes to Svengali decks, my opinion is divided. However, I'd like to think that wowing the kids and revealing the trick would and could be two totally different things.
So to come down on one side of the coin over the other, I'd say don't reveal it. If they want to learn, they'll bug their parents or they will most certainly bug you.

Smile
Paul
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To be honest in threads elsewhere I have ALWAYS said it is best not to show all the cards the same.

However, for very young children who may be seeing magic for the first time I see no problem in doing just that! But I suggest you have a nice story to dress the effect with. After all, there are better tricks to show kids than card tricks Smile

Paul.
Jeb Sherrill
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I have always been of the mindset that showing all the cards as the same, was a very bad idea. But, I've also had all kinds of people tell me about, this magician so and so, who did this trick where he showed all the cards as different and then thumped the pack (or something else) and they all turned to the same card. And these were adults.

I suppose that if any card trick is amazing enough, people will always say "it's a trick deck", so perhaps it's a moot point. Perhaps it's just one of those many things where, since as a magician, the "all card revalation" is such an obvious sign of a trick deck, we've forgotten how it might look to others. I can't honestly say one way or the other, because I've never wanted to try. I will say this though: if you do, I would suggest a mirage deck, so that you could at least fan the cards. Also, put a good presentation to it. That makes all the difference in the world. Give some silly reason for why the cards all change to the same card. People remember those crazy little things, and it does through them off.

Shoot, do it for adults. Tell me how they react. I'm genuinly curious.

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mip
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Most of the time when I do a card trick, no one ever asks to see the deck. A couple of times I have done a trick with a Svengali deck where I (ehem..) show all the same and people always ask to see the deck so I have stopped showing all the same and people don't ask anymore...
Paul
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Archmiro, nobody talked about exposing the effect, I guess you misread the thread completely!

Jeb said:
I will say this though: if you do, I would suggest a mirage deck, so that you could at least fan the cards.

Since when handled well, the Svengali can be overhand shuffled, riffle shuffled and table spread (Phil Goldstein's "Sveep" move)I don't think the Mirage deck version would make much difference to the end, though it was considered an improvement to the Svengali deck.

Skinny Man wrote;
I have to admit it can be tricky to switch the deck quickly, but as ever practice makes perfect.

I would think switching the deck AFTER showing the deck has changed would be psychologically the wrong moment because if people are going to ask to see the deck that is exactly the moment they will be "burning" your hands.

Also it was said;
"I guess my advice to Eric is to try it out for yourself and gauge the reactions that you get."

Well, plenty of magicians have already had the experience of people asking to see or grabbing the deck. In commenting on this, they are trying to save you from it, but if people want to learn the hard way...Smile

There is nothing wrong whatsoever in the effect of causing all the cards to change, it is a great effect. The problem is that this trick deck is SO WELL KNOWN. Since 1908 there have probably been billions of this deck sold (it refers to many millions being sold and how well known it is in Greater Magic). Cheap versions are available in most toy shops and most that have flirted with magic at some time have owned one. In any large group you perform for there will be someone who has an uncle, brother or son that has one and performed it badly! It is the top sellling trick deck of all time.

Experienced performer and life long Svengali deck demonstrator Mark Lewis (who wrote a book on the deck, The Long and The Short Of It)argues the deck should be shown all the same after a routine as that IS the major effect with the deck. He has done a lengthy routine with the deck first of course, the beginner usually shows the deck all different then immediately all the same.

For many, the Svengali deck remains a valuable utility tool, probably the most versatile force deck around.

If you do the change for adults and have never been "called" then I say to you it is simply a matter of time. Proceed with caution and consider what your reaction will be when it happens, as it surely will.
Paul.
Geoff Weber
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You could do a coin into bottle trick and then follow that up with a demonstration of your ability to bend the metal with your bare hands... but the latter kinda tips the former don't you think? I think the same is true with a Svengali deck.
Paul
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Actually, a good presentation for a mentalist for the coin in bottle effect once appeared in Magick magazine... but I digress.
Jeb Sherrill
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While I do basically agree with you Paul, if you do ANY trick with a deck of cards and never get asked to see the deck, it's only a matter of time. Smile

Sable
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Paul
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Touche! lol. That's very true Jeb, but no problem at all with a straight deck. The real problem of the Svengali is that it is too well known (the full deck change), in fact they may not neccessarily ask to examine but just tell their friends loudly exactly what it is! Smile

Paul.
Peter Marucci
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Tropical Penguin refers to a card stab on the e-zine Visions, http://www.online-visions.com
see Peter Marucci's Bizarre Bazaar).

That would be my "The Mists of Avalon", based on Arthurian legend and using a Svengali deck.

The whole point of the routine and handling is to use a Svengali in such a different way that even those who are familiar with it will not send their thinking down that particular path.

It's much like a performer's shuffling a one-way deck. Why bother, thinks the audience, if all the cards are the same; and, since he shuffled the deck, the cards must be different.

It's the little things that make the difference! Smile
Harry Murphy
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I have pitched the Svengali deck off an on for years (not quite like McDonalds with billions and billions sold, but I have managed to pitch about 1000 gross over the past 20 years). I don’t know Mr. Lewis’ routine but like it I do change the deck to all the same card at the end. I had a regular spot on the Oklahoma state fair midway for years (way back in the early 70’s). Pitching the “Magic Mouse” and the Svengali deck sure helped me get my doctoral degree (OU-76)!

All that said, much like Peter, when using the deck (actually I use the “Mirage” version or Camirand Academy’s “Symbiotic” version) in actual performance (rather than a straight pitch), I try to disguise the fact I am using a trick deck including using a deck switch to leave it laying about for the idly curious.

I was performing a house party this past summer and two of the owner’s kids were “into magic” and had cheap versions of the Svengali deck. They were showing it off (and exposing it) to many of the party attendees. I showed these same people three tricks (over the course of the party) using the deck (saying, “Now you’ve seen what can be done by a trick deck, I’ll show you what pure skill can do!”). No one even thought that I would be using a trick deck. They assumed that a “professional magician” would not stoop to use trick decks but would use pure slight of hand.

I believe that this is a underrated prop, especially in it’s Mirage or Symbiotic forms.
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Paul
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re;
I was performing a house party this past summer and two of the owner’s kids were “into magic” and had cheap versions of the Svengali deck. They were showing it off (and exposing it) to many of the party attendees. I showed these same people three tricks (over the course of the party) using the deck (saying, “Now you’ve seen what can be done by a trick deck, I’ll show you what pure skill can do!”). No one even thought that I would be using a trick deck. They assumed that a “professional magician” would not stoop to use trick decks but would use pure slight of hand."

Of course had they been doing that BEFORE you got there, and you done the full deck change in your spot...

I agree it is a great prop, I've fooled many magicians with one over the years.

Showing the deck change in a Svengali Pitch is way different to doing it in a show.

Or should I be saying. "Ahhh, so you're the one to blame!" lol.

Paul.
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