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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workers » » Structure of Chicago Opener (35 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Count Lustig
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Quote:
On 2009-09-01 13:09, Cain wrote:
CO is like a good Bruckheimer movie...

I resent your calling the Chicago Opener loud and stupid. (By the way, “good Bruckheimer movie” is an oxymoron.)
captainsmiffy
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Confused?! Did he say 'loud and stupid'? Am I missing something here? (Who is Bruckheimer, anyway?) Please expound.....
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Cain
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Nah, that's too dismissive. Beverly Hills Cop? The Rock? I think that's fine company.
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Ben Train
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Quote:
On 2009-09-01 14:21, captainsmiffy wrote:
Confused?! Did he say 'loud and stupid'? Am I missing something here? (Who is Bruckheimer, anyway?) Please expound.....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerry_Bruckheimer

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The Burnaby Kid
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Quote:
On 2009-09-01 08:26, MagicMarker wrote:
Well ok then, for comparison. On another thread about the best card magician in Europe Michael Vincent's name is mentioned, and I won't argue with that.

But, Michael Vincent does a version of Everywhere and Nowhere, there's a video out there somewhere, I think maybe from a magic club lecture, not sure. Now if Michael Vincent is taking the time to perform it, then it must be a good trick, right?

But I've never liked that trick at all. And the video of Michael performing it illustrates the part of the trick that I've never liked. You prop 3 cards up against glasses and have a spectator pick one, and that one then turns out to be the card chosen by an earlier spectator.

Then that effect is (in my opinion) completely ruined by showing that the other two cards were the same card. It didn't matter which card the spectator picked.

Then there's a whole by-play with all the deck changing to the spectators card, then none of the cards are the spectators card, by which time I'm bored.

I don't know, it leaves me completely cold. This isn't to criticize Mr Vincents performance of it, but I would consider Everywhere and Nowhere and much worse trick than Chicago Opener, and I can point to specific parts of Everywhere and Nowhere that lose me as a spectator. And even in the hands of very talented magicians like Michael Vincent, it's still not enough to make me like it.

-Rd


Everywhere and Nowhere is a pretty weird trick the more you study it, and I'd say extremely hard to do well.

The basic version, where three cards are each on a glass, they pick one, and it turns out to be the selected card, has an initial strong moment, but when the next cards are turned over to show they're also the selected card, then IMMEDIATELY suspicions are going to jump into the mind of the spectator -- first that the original card was forced somehow, and second, that you're using duplicates. To make matters worse, if those three cards on the glass were originally indifferent cards with duplicates switched in, then if you tried the magician-in-trouble ploy, it's also now going to betray itself as false.

However, the concept itself is potentially very magical IF done to handle all these suspicions and to make the initial failures seem plausible somehow. The problem isn't exactly with the trick itself -- the problem is that there aren't many surrounding methodological contexts that do it justice.

1. The initial card selection has to be as fair as all git out. Even then, just because of how the effect plays out, you might have to live with the spectators believing that you can force cards.

2. The concept of a magician using duplicates is a very unsatisfying one for spectators. It's essentially cheating. That's why, even though duplicates allow for strong displays of a full-deck transformation, there's a case to be made for the older versions of the effect (show the first card matches, return it to the deck, cleanly show the second card is identical, return it to the deck, and cleanly show the third card is identical) because even though it can only be explained by duplicates, there's still a tiny bit of ambiguity there because they don't see two identical cards at the exact same time (let alone an entire deck transformation), which would be the ultimate proof of the presence of duplicates.

3. The magician-in-trouble scenario (and the subsequent betrayal of the falseness of it) can be alleviated by providing an adequate alternate cause for the failure, by skipping over the failure altogether, or even by deliberately playing off the falseness of it. "Oh look, he was just pretending to fail. See, I knew he'd find it eventually. But there are two other cards there. What if she'd picked one of them? He couldn't have known... Wait, wait! I'll tell you what! I bet they're also the same card. Hey look, he's turning them over. I'm right! That means he's got duplicates! I'll bet 10 bucks if I get my hands on that deck I'll find them. Hey! He gave me the deck! Alright, I've got him now... Wait a sec, where did they go?" There are many magicians who say that a cat-and-mouse relationship between the spectator and performer is a bad and ultimately non-magical one. I'm not one of them. Depending upon how clean everything is, you can create a compelling mystery.

4. There's also a potentially new suspicion that can be brought on depending upon how you play out the trick. Usually the full-deck transformation to the selected card has lots of elements of sleight-of-hand, and it's very difficult to make sleight-of-hand NOT feel sleight-of-handy (for want of a better term). What that means is that if you decide to follow this trick up with something using cards, the onus is on the performer to go completely beyond sleight-of-hand with it, assuming that one wants things to get closer and closer to magic as the show goes along.

Apologies for the threadjack. Personally, I'm not of the opinion that one can ever overthink a trick, so long as one tests all that thinking through actual performances with the public.
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chronica
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There is not only one rule that fit everyone and that's what makes the life interesting; I find totally normal that everybody should have his own taste and I respect Mr Burger's opinion.

For example in his book 'million dollars card secrets' here's what Franck Garcia was saying about Chicago Opener :
" This is one of my favourite opener. I learned this many years ago in Chicago; it's a strong effect that always leaves the audience bewitched and bewildered. The action is fast and it will etablish you as a great card manipulator."

None of Eugene Burger or Frank Garcia is wrong, it's just a question of feeling. If you have fun with it do it , if not don't do it
( even if Slydini have said that sometimes he performed effects he didn't like very much but because the audience loved them. )

Personnally I like this effect very much ( inspired by the Garcia's variation called 'Chicago Style').

I add a subtelty : I palm the mate of the stranger card at the end so you can end clean if some naughty spectator asks to see the deck because he says that you have 2 identical cards in it.
(It happened to me with a naughty girl who screamed :'hey show me the deck you've got 2 of these cards!!...' I felt a bit confused then answered : 'ok I let you watch what you ask but after you have to let me watch what I'll ask ! ...' and all get big laugh Smile
Lawrence O
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If you analyze Al Leech's Hot Card Trick (Red Hot Mamma or Chicago Opener), you find out that Michael Vincent also used the trick's design (with great improvements) for his outstanding Brainwave My Way done with an ordinary deck.

Vincent thus taught us that this trick offers many possibility to create different effects using its principle.

Posted: Sep 1, 2009 8:11pm
Harry Lorayne has a "Two Card Trick" which can be used at the end of Chicago Opener. This makes the change visual and displaces the time between the real cause and the effect. As the spectators are checking the color change, it's an easy matter to top change the other card (I know this is not crystal clear but it will become if you learn this very simple but impressive trick which on its own is a little too short)
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Medifro
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Quote:
On 2009-09-01 10:21, Michaelvincent wrote:

For your information, I have dropped Everywhere and Nowhere from my repertoire and replaced it with my Handling for Robert Houdini's masterpiece.
Mike Vincent

If by "my handling" you mean the one you put on your recent DVDs, its EXCELLENT.

Very well managed, very direct, and while I love the plot of Everywhere and Nowhere (though certainly not as its classically done, particullarly an old Richard Kaufman version in Apocalypse ), I really loved your rendition of Houdin's work.

~ Feras
P.S. Thanks to you, I'm addicted at having my dinner while watching you executing Jenning's handling of the top change. Are you familiar by Harry Levine's handling points by any chance? ( published in Trapdoor magazine?)
magiclimber
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I perform Paul Green's Chicago Opener from "In the Trenches"

During the first reveal, I misdirect the spectators by asking them what are the odds of the selected card being the only red card.

I do agree there is quite a bit of heat on the DL, and that's were practice comes in.

Or, if your super proactive, develop a routine that solves any problems.

I have NEVER been caught during this routine. Other tricks: yes. Chicago Opener: No.

Therefore, I think the routine, although defying some construction principles, is still a wonderful piece of magic.
Eric Fry
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This is an interesting, wide-ranging thread.

On Everywhere & Nowhere, a stronger version is to try to find the spec's card and fail three times, tossing the wrong card onto the table face down.

Then you offer to redeem yourself by turning any of the three into the spec's card. You do so. Then, one by one, you show the other two cards are the spec's card. (After each is shown, it's tossed on the table face down.)

At this point, they laugh at how they were conned by triplicates. But you disprove that you're using triplicates by showing that two of three cards are once again indifferent cards. This, of course, is one of Hofzinser's versions, minus the glasses and with a slightly different presentation.

By palming out two of the three triplicates, you can spread the deck and further prove that only one card in the deck matched the spec's choice.

The trick can end there or go on to other phases with just the three cards, one being the spec's card, showing them as identical and then different, and so on. I sometimes end with the spec's card (previously signed when I move into the three-card phase) in the card box or under a glass.

It's an act all by itself. My wife, who has seen way too many card tricks, described it as the perfect trick.
TheAmbitiousCard
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I don't agree that the DL happens at the worst time.
The spectator at that time, if nothing else, just expects the card to be theirs.
Their guard is down. And even so, as whit says, if you've done it a thousand times you can easily find a way to solve the "problem". you can easily direct attention where you want it with just one of a billion funny things to say to get ready for the DL if your method requires it.

It's the second time that they would be suspicious, and by the 2nd time it's too late.

However, it's good to discuss these things because it helps you to solve problems.

If you find yourself attending the next several magic club meetings spouting off what Eugene said to your magic club meeting buddies... well, that would be your big mistake.
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Russell Davidson
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I've just discovered the Larry Jennings Chicago Opener. What a lovely little trick this is. It couldn't be simplier.

Take the time to work out a false overhand shuffle & show all the backs first. Amazing trick for laymen. Don't underestimate it or over think that DL. Unless your DL blows.
Steve Martin
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Quote:
On 2009-09-02 00:26, Frank Starsini wrote:
I don't agree that the DL happens at the worst time.
The spectator at that time, if nothing else, just expects the card to be theirs.


Interesting topic. I tend to think that it's the spectator's expectation (that the odd-backed card will be hers) that is the very thing that makes the DL happen at an awkward time - because it is by then the sole focus of attention. If it turns out to be any old card, there is no amazement. So the spectator is intensely focused on the card, with high expectations, before it is turned over.

I perform a related trick in which a card that has an odd back (not selected by a spectator) is displayed and placed aside at the start. This omits the first effect of C.O. but allows the card to be handled far more casually, and with less heat. A card is then selected which is later seen to change to match the odd-backed card (using a very natural and deceptive switch which, in context, is more suitable than a DL). The odd-backed card is then turned over and is found to have changed to match the selected card. I prefer this, because it means that a magical effect occurs (the change of the selection to match the odd-backed card) prior to the change of the odd-backed card. This puts better 'misdirection' distance between the first display of the odd-backed card and its change. By contrast, in C.O., the change of the odd-backed card is the very next piece of magic that occurs after the display of its face, and so might well lead some to conclude (at least, more readily) that its display was less than above-board.
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Engali
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There's a lot f note resting points if view on Burger's comment. I think the mistake that some are making is assuming that his comment and their experience are mutually incompatible.

It can be the case that spectators generally love and are impressed by this effect, even though the the handling has a structural weakness. Just because spectators don't outright question or comment on the methodology doesn't mean the handling is clean as it can be or that it's not worth improving upon. I've noticed the same structural weakness Burger is referring to when I was working out my own handling of a CO inspired effect.
Card Mechanic
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I LOVE Chicago Opener!

As far as the first DL happening at the worst time, if that is a problem for you, Card Magic (itself) will be a problem. You mind as well never attempt an ACR if that is the case. Moreover, you can get a break under the second (selected) Card as you gather the Cards off the table, or even in your hand for that matter.

For Walk-Around Chicago Opener is first on deck (pun intended). Other times, Chicago Opener is my second Trick. The first Trick involves half the Deck (21 Cards) and then moving onto C.O., I spread the Cards on the Table for the Selection to be taken, so by the time Cards are respread on the table, and the (Red) Card appears, people are really STUNNED! By that time, they feel as though they are very familiar with the Deck and "When Did This Red Card Show Up?"

I was taught this effect by Whit Haydn and am very grateful to him for that! Actaully, he taught me the DL, 3L, 4L and Hindu Control and made me figure out C.O. for myself, but if not for him, it would have remained a mystery!

Thanks Whit!
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In regards to the double lift happening at the wrong time (ie. when the audience are looking at the cards), how many double lifts do you ever do where the audience aren't looking at the cards? I have the greatest respect for Eugene but that statement is ridiculous and in this instance he is just plain wrong.

If you were to jettison tricks involving double lifts where the audience are looking at the cards then the ambitious card would have to be the first to go.

Porter
Card Mechanic
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Quote:
On 2012-02-22 08:56, TonyPorter wrote:
In regards to the double lift happening at the wrong time (ie. when the audience are looking at the cards), how many double lifts do you ever do where the audience aren't looking at the cards? I have the greatest respect for Eugene but that statement is ridiculous and in this instance he is just plain wrong.

If you were to jettison tricks involving double lifts where the audience are looking at the cards then the ambitious card would have to be the first to go.

Porter

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martyjacobs
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I agree with Eugene. The structure of this trick is poor because there is far too much heat on the odd backed card when you need to perform the DL (even if you do perform it flawlessly). This heat can be disapated by careful timing, but it can never be completely eliminated. The only way to do that is to hand the card out for examination after it has changed colour. I also think it is very important to prove that you're not using duplicates. I've found a solution that does both of these things (by eliminating the DL entirely and utilising a second stranger card). These changes have also made the trick much harder to reverse engineer, something that is easy to do with the original handling if you posses strong lateral thinking skills.

Another important point to bear in mind is that Eugene Burger has eliminated all DLs from his magic, as he thinks this is a poor method in general. Although this is an extreme stance, I can see the logic behind it. Most tricks are improved by eliminating this move from preceedings.

Marty

P.S. The comparision with an ACR is unhelpful. The appearance of the odd backed card generates far more heat than a well-timed DL in a logical ACR sequence. Also, you shouldn't perform too many DLs in an ACR anyway - this is bad magic. Good treatments of this plot vary the method to hide the secret.
Engali
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I think people are overlooking how the structure makes the timing on the DL unsound, no matter how solid the DL you perform is. This isn't analogous to the ACR--in fact, using the ACR as an example only proves the point here: the strength of the ACR is that you build a whole routine around canceling out the possible methods, that you are in fact using, in the minds of the spectators.

If anything, the structural weakness here is more analogous to doing an ACAAN or a stop trick where you use a TC to sw**** in the selection for the relevation. First, these constitute effects rather than full routines. Second, they aren't structured to disprove the methodology like ACR is. Finally, and probably most importantly, they telegraph what the revelation will be before it happens. Even in an ACR the revelations used ( e.g., with deck in spectator's hand, to spectator's packet, to mouth, etc,) are often used not just for variety of effect, but to take heat off of how and where the selection will be revealed at each phase. Implicitly, the understanding built is that it's uncertain *when and how* during each phase the revelation will occur. The revelation of the odd backed card telegraphs that it should be the card the spectator picked.

If we can agree that changing the the color of the back of a card is a strong effect by itself and if you honestly think the handling in the first phase of OC is good enough, then you would have to agree that doing this first phase by itself is a good way to achieve a color changing back effect. I doubt few would actually agree with this though, so one of the two aforementioned premises must be untrue.
Count Lustig
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Quote:
On 2012-02-22 09:46, martyjacobs wrote:
I agree with Eugene. The structure of this trick is poor because there is far too much heat on the odd backed card when you need to perform the DL (even if you do perform it flawlessly). This heat can be disapated by careful timing, but it can never be completely eliminated. The only way to do that is to hand the card out for examination after it has changed colour. I also think it is very important to prove that you're not using duplicates...

If you believe that Chicago Opener is flawed because the DL happens under scrutiny (heat), you must think that Vernon’s Twisting the Aces is also flawed, since the EC happens under the same kind of scrutiny (and this situation recurs again and again in the effect).

If you think that the card has to be handed out after the DL in Chicago Opener, you must think that the packet has to be spread after the EC in Twisting the Aces.

People who actually perform these two effects know better.
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