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Jupiter47
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This is my first thread on the Café, so I hope it goes well

Well, I've been doing a version of a mystery card routine for quite a while and I have a burning question to ask, and was wanting to get Café members opinion on it.

Basically what happens is a "mystery card" is selected and put aside. A person selects a card and it gets lost in the deck. 4 random cards are taken from the top of the shuffled deck and used to determine their card. What happens is their card they selected appears all four times via a diminishing lift and then disappears and in it's place are the four aces. The mystery card is then taken and shown to be their card all along.

The question is this;
Would having the card they selected signed increase or lessen the impact of this trick?

This is how I see it.

Without the signed card the diminishing lift sequence plays better, as it leads them down the garden path to think I am using 4 of their card. Perfect, then when I show the aces, it's pure shock. However, without the card being signed, when the mystery card is revealed to be theirs, people may assume that a duplicate was used, as it's a very logical explanation to the paradox.

With the card signed I find that the ending is much more impossible as the signature leaves them no explanation, however, the diminishing lift sequence is lessened as I would think they assume "oh he is somehow showing me my card 4 times in a row instead of, he has 4 different duplicates of my card."

What are your thoughts? Is the signed climax worth the lessened impact during the diminishing lift, or is it better to have the card not signed, and leave the potential duplicate question out in the air.

I'd love to hear peoples thoughts on this

Scott
Count Lustig
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Quote:
On 2009-02-05 21:35, Jupiter47 wrote:
What are your thoughts?

My thoughts are drop the whole diminishing-lift-sequence. It belongs in a different trick.
Ed Oschmann
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You're not going to like this...
First I agree that having a signed card as the mystery card sells this impossible location.
Second, and this is the part you may not like, is that you need to lose the diminishing lift sequence all together.
It's presence, as your routine stands right now, dilutes the surprise of the mystery card. Ideally, once the card is signed and presumably lost in the deck, a series of actions occurs which hopefully gets the spectator to momentarily forget about their signed card. You're diminishing lift sequence, is not that tool. Keep in mind I've never seen your trick, so take this with a grain of salt.
What else could you do which would momentarily distract your specs befor the denouement? I personally like the structure of Jack Carpenter's trick 'Mysterious'.
You may look to routines like Carpenter's/Hamman's/Elmsley's et al. to see how they handled the plot.
Good luck!
Ed
Open Traveller
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My thought is that the impossibility of having a previously set-aside card turning out to be a selection is pretty strong. So strong, in fact, that going through the business of discovering their card four times and then having them change to aces doesn't help it, but actually ends up trivializing the climax.

My further thought is that you would do well to set this routine aside for a while and try Bro. John Hamman's "The Signed Card," just to see how it plays for you. I suspect at the very least, Hamman's routine would be more clearly understood by your audiences.


Posted: Feb 5, 2009 10:19pm
------------------------------
Hey! Ed got in right in front of me and said nearly the same thing.

I was usurped!


Posted: Feb 5, 2009 10:19pm
------------------------------
Hey! The Count did, too!
Ed Oschmann
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Sorry man, it'll never happen again.
Open Traveller
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Eh. No worries. I can't be the sole dispenser of brilliance and wit.


Or, as someone might have said were he still in office, "dispensator."
Count Lustig
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You’ve got to be fast around here sometimes. Five seconds after I posted, I tried to edit my post. (I had meant to write, “Drop the whole diminishing-lift-sequence phase.”) The program wouldn’t let me do it because some guy named Ed Oschmann had already posted after me.
Jonathan Townsend
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Imagine the fun for your audience if you had a few of them around and every now and then looked at one or another without showing it as if deciding which one was the right one for this show.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Open Traveller
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I'm sorry Jon...wha?
Jonathan Townsend
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Rather than have one card paperclipped to a bag (per Sankey) consider having a few stuck, pinned - some folded others just clipped etc., in places, and the performer is not sure which one is the right card for this moment. Curtis Kam suggested something along that line using envelopes in his wallet. Only after the card is selected and signed does the performer appear to realize which "mystery card" is the one for this show... Smile
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Open Traveller
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That's supposed to clarify the effect, is it?
Ed Oschmann
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Quote:
On 2009-02-05 22:34, Count Lustig wrote:
You’ve got to be fast around here sometimes. Five seconds after I posted, I tried to edit my post. (I had meant to write, “Drop the whole diminishing-lift-sequence phase.”) The program wouldn’t let me do it because some guy named Ed Oschmann had already posted after me.

Sorry man, it'll never happen again. again.
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2009-02-05 22:43, Open Traveller wrote:
That's supposed to clarify the effect, is it?

Yup - and also reveal some things about the performer's character.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Cain
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Quote:
On 2009-02-05 22:17, Ed Oschmann wrote:
What else could you do which would momentarily distract your specs befor the denouement? I personally like the structure of Jack Carpenter's trick 'Mysterious'.
You may look to routines like Carpenter's/Hamman's/Elmsley's et al. to see how they handled the plot.


Is that the one with the "Quantum" card?
Ellusionst discussing the Arcane Playing cards: "Michaelangelo took four years to create the Sistine Chapel masterpiece... these took five."

Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes: "You know Einstein got bad grades as a kid? Well, mine are even worse!"
Ed Oschmann
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Maybe, I'm not sure. In the book it was called 'Mysterious'. I think it was called something like that on his video tapes from long ago.
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