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flea
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There's a certain thought that I've always had, that I don't share often, but I'd like to get some feedback on what some of you think.


I've always thought that if you're going to perform an ambitious card routine, that it should be the last thing you do. Not because it's a showstopper(which it can be) but because you lose a little bit of your Credibility. What I mean is, as a magician, you often tell your audience to select a card, and then place it in the deck, and then lose it. The audience is usually convinced that when a magician says a card is lost in the deck, that it is lost. But if they've already seen you perform the ambitious card routine, then they know that somehow(using a method they cannot detect) you are going to control(not that they know this word either!) that card back to the top. Do you think this in anyway hampers other effects that you do?

Honestly, I think that this line of thinking is crazy too, but every so often it creeps back up in the back of my mind, so I thought this time I'd share it.

Have any of you ever considered this?

Whether you have or not, what is your Opinion?


Thanks

Curtis

PS
I like the ambitious card, so please don't take this post as being critical of it.

Thanks again

Curtis
david_a_whitehead
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Excellent point. Whenever I do an ambitious card routine, I always do it as a standalone trick, or as a closer.
wsduncan
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I have always considered that showing the audience OVER AND OVER AGAIN that you can control the location of a selected card is a bad idea. But then, I think I have a higher opinion of my audiences' intelligence than most magicians.

And I seldom control a selected card to the top of the deck either... To many laymen know about that "step".
Mark Ennis
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Hi Curtis,

I think AC is a great closing effect just because of its strength but there are a variety of other effects you could perform after AC that are not "pick a card" effects. (ie - McDonald's Aces).

Also, the purpose of Ambitious Card isn't that you are controlling the card to the top (unless you are presenting it that way), but that it magically jumps to the top. The audience should be convinced that the card is really elsewhere and that you did nothing yet the card is now back on top.

Your line of thinking isn't way off base or crazy because I agree that you do not want to perform another effect that may be similar to AC either before or after. (I would not perform Jumping Geminii and Ambitious Card in the same set of effects since they are similarly themed).

I think it is great that you are putting thought into which effects you are performing and trying to reason out why or why not you should perform certain effects. There are many people that don't think about it (and it shows !!).
ME
Peo Olsson
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If performing the ambitious card, I ALWAYS keep it as a final piece. In my opinion, nothing, but nothing can beat it as a closer.
I try to start my session with something that involves the audience, like the sponge balls... and try to make each effect after that to be better and better.
And as a closer, end with the ambitious card.
I usally perform it as Daryl does, with less cards as the routine goes along... it finaly ends up in a wallet.
Pictured to the left my hero and me during FISM 2006 in Stockholm.
Steven Leung
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Hi Curtis,

I believe that many experienced magicians will have the same opinion as you. I am one of them. The Ambitious Card really blew me away when I watched it the very first time in a magic shop... now I like to watch the reactions from spectators.

I keep it as a closer or stand alone trick, so to speak. Hope this helps.
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Euan
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Peo.. I can't help but notice you're holding a small plastic duck, is there some significance to this?

Euan
Maestro
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I think it also depends on the "wow factor" of the particular amitious card routine you are doing. If it is just doing ten dl's in a row, the audience would be more likely to think along those lines than if it is a routine that builds to a magical climax. For example, I'm learning David Regal's finish to the ambitious card where you show the top ten or so cards to be indifferent, then tie a rope around the deck, and then finally show that the card has 'impossibly' come to the top one final time.
Roland Henning
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The only way for laymen to control the selected card is to know the identity of the card in the first place. So if you are doing an AC routine the selection is known, therefore controlable (from an laymens point of view)

In other routines you do not know the identity of the selection, so you cannot find it. Okay you can still find it, control it, and palm it off the deck. Or whatever.

But this is the reason why the AC is not disturbing any other routines.

mmG Roland
Peo Olsson
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Quote:
On 2003-11-09 18:49, Euan wrote:
Peo.. I can't help but notice you're holding a small plastic duck, is there some significance to this?

Euan


No
Pictured to the left my hero and me during FISM 2006 in Stockholm.
flea
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Some absolutely great responses, as I expected. I really want to thank everyone for their in depth and candid replies. Very helpful indeed, not only to me, but hopeful to others as well.


Curtis
Smile
Elwood
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The Ambitious Card.

The Ambitious Card has long been a staple effect in many close-up Magician’s repertoires. It is simple to follow, relatively easy to perform and requires no gaffed decks or other set-ups. The effect is modular, allowing you to make your routine as long or as short as you like. But best of all, the effect can be performed with a card signed by a spectator. To many lay-people, if a card or coin is signed or uniquely marked by them, then there can be no explanation of how it gets from one place to another, other than Magic.

In most Ambitious Card routines the card is selected and signed right at the very beginning. To me, this doesn’t allow the effect to fully develop from being clever sleight of hand to being real Magic. I like to take the Tamariz route of leading them down the garden path, then turning the hose on them!

I begin my routine by having the card selected, but not signed. After two phases of the card returning to the top of the deck, I “reveal” to the audience that I have been using duplicate cards. In fact, there are four identical cards on the top of the deck, which would allow me to apparently make the card rise to the top four times, without any sleight of hand. However, I explain, after the fourth card goes into the deck (face-up, in fact) I now have to resort to Magic to complete the routine. The card will rise to second from the top. I turn over the card. It’s not the Ambitious Card. I rub the top card on it, and it visibly changes to the right card. I now have the card signed, and place it into the centre of the deck, and, lo and behold, it rises to the top. It even manages to go right through the top card, which I show before and after the rise, and then it travels from the very bottom of the deck to the top.

Finally, I explain to the audience that I have been lying, there were no duplicate cards in the deck, and the whole thing was an illusion, even the signed card! I hand the deck to a spectator to check, and then reveal the signed card was never in the deck, it was in my wallet all the time!

Sleights

If you know a basic Ambitious Card routine already, you’ll have no problem. You’ll find all the sleights used in this routine on Daryl’s “Ambitious Card Video”, and I believe most of them are in the Royal Road, Card College or Expert Card Technique.

The sleights I use are:

A Centre Triple Lift (Jack Avis)
Standard Double and Triple Lift
The Tilt (Ed Marlo)
Paintbrush Change (Stanley Collins and Dai Vernon)
Mexican Turnover
Flushtration Count (Brother John Hamman)
The One-hand Top Palm

You’ll also need a card to wallet. I use a hip wallet type.

The Routine.

Begin by having a spectator call stop as you riffle through the deck with your thumb. As they call stop, you place your thumb into the gap. As your thumb goes in secretly let two more card riffle up, and remove all three as one. You are now ready to perform two phases before you need to “re-set.”

Place all three cards face up on the top of the deck. Perform a triple turnover, and place the top card into the deck from the front. Double turnover and show the ambitious card back on top. Turn these cards back face down, place the top indifferent card into the deck from the back (quick hint: use the card to push a few cards forward from the middle of the deck as it goes in. This will make the Tilt more convincing when you get to it). Have the spectator turn over the top card to reveal it has risen to the top again.

Now you will perform the “false-explanation” phase. Perform the Mexican turnover, dropping an indifferent card to the table three times. Using the ambitious card, scoop up the three indifferent cards and perform a flushtration count, showing all four cards to be the same. This should be a casual move, not an explanation. The Flushtration Count was only ever intended to be a subtlety, not a sleight. Place the four cards back on top of the deck, with the ambitious card at the bottom of the packet, and place the three indifferent cards into the deck at various places, explaining as you do that by having four cards the same, you can make them rise to the top three times, without having to resort to Magic. However, when it comes to the last card, unless you really can perform Magic, you will be caught out.

Perform the Tilt, placing the ambitious card face up into the deck (really second position). Explain that you will bring the card not to the top, but second from top. Lift off (but don’t turn over) the top two card (one indifferent, face down, and the ambitious card, face up, the reason you can’t turn the cards over). Flip the second card over, revealing the wrong card. You will now perform the Paintbrush Change. Holding the double in your right hand, brush it against the face up “wrong” card a couple of times. On the third pass, drop the face up ambitious card on top of the face up indifferent card. Place the single card in your right hand at the bottom of the deck. You now have a two face up cards on the top of the deck, making you one step ahead for the signed card phase.

Offer the deck towards the spectator, and have them sign the card. Flip the double over, and push the indifferent card into the deck. If you now double lift and turnover the top card(s), you can show an indifferent card on top of the deck. Show the bottom card too, as this will help set up the next phase. Turn the cards back over, but keep a pinkie break under the top card. Rapidly drop the hand holding the deck six inches or so, and the top card will automatically turn face up, revealing itself to be the signed card. Remove it, and then turn the second card over, showing it to be the same one as it was a second before, thereby “proving” that the signed card did indeed travel from the centre and penetrate right through the top card. (This sequence is Jack Avis’ “Nothing Changes”). This set’s you up to show the illusion of only one card moving through the entire deck, via an add-on move (I believe this is a Marlo idea). Grab a thumb break above the bottom card. With the ambitious card still face up on top of the deck, swing cut the top half into the left hand. As you flip the ambitious card over with the right hand packet, you drop the card below the thumb break on top. Now thumb off the top card of the left hand packet onto the table, and drop the right hand packet on top of it. Dribble the left hands cards onto the tabled packet. You can now show the ambitious card on top, and the bottom and top (second?) cards are still exactly the same as they were, proving that the card does indeed penetrate the deck! Now, while this might seem repetitive to you, and you might feel that it is easily seen through, believe me, this sequence is a real baffler. You already have one hand on the hose!!!

Now, it’s time to turn the water on. Explain that since only one card was signed, the duplicate explanation is redundant, so it must really be Magic. As you talk, perform a one hand top palm, removing the signed card. Pass the deck to the spectator, as you explain to them that it was all an illusion, and there are no duplicate cards in the deck. In fact, the signed card isn’t even in the deck. As the spectator looks through the cards, load the card in the wallet. Now you can reveal the card in the impossible location, and the “duplicate” cards have now all vanished from the deck!


Further notes:

Before I show the signed card in my wallet, I reveal to the spectator that I have had a card with their name on in my wallet the whole time. I open the wallet and remove a card which has “Your Name” written on it. This takes the edge off the moment, and I drop the wallet on the table as they look at the card, and (hopefully) laugh at the gag. I then say the card really has been in the wallet all the time, and I pick up the wallet, open it and have them remove it. The “all the time” remark coupled with the fact that I’ve already told them it is an illusion, and the card never was in the deck helps remove the memory from their mind that I removed the wallet from my pocket before they went through the deck. Dropping the wallet on to the table puts physical space between it and me, and makes it difficult for the spectators to accurately break the routine apart, and find an explanation. Michael Ammar’s essay on the Cups and Balls in his book “The Magic of Michael Ammar” gives some further insights into this time and space misdirection, as a way of covering the final loads for the cups.

Copyright © 2003 Elliot Watson. All rights reserved. http://www.elwoodmagic.co.uk
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DamienKeen
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Nice routine you got there Elwood Smile

As clearly shown above, I think it is all in the way you present the trick. If you were to have a card selected then replaced, shuffle the deck, and the card comes back to the top then you will affect other tricks that you perform for the same people. The ambitious card should be presented differently. In a way that presses beyond just controlling a card.

I don't think at all that it has to be used as a closer, however, it definitely can be Smile

Damien.
Rickbc
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This is all real cool stuff. I have a great routine, however,I really don't have a patter. Can any ony share what theirs is? Pls don't tell me to look into someone's book of tape. I don't have many. I just asking someone to halp me with a patter line. Like maybe someone uses the Twlight Zone, or Houdini...Thx Rick
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blackmagic3
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As for the A.C I love it sometimes performeing I act like a laymen and be like ok you already saw the card jump to the top but watch as I take the card and put it into my pocket and I snap and it jumps to the top of the deck and as the reaction is going I say did I tell you what happens to the deck NOW(like criss angle yells)the deck turn into a plastic block flawless finish love the omini deck highly recommended.
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JRediens
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Thinking about my own ACR, my presentation is that I need that someone takes two cards in order to do some kind of trick.
First it takes one and sign it after try to take a second but it is always the signed card.
Filling with several gags, like "Told you to just look at this one not ti sign it, or how many did you signed?. Quickly I tought about using once some kind of force move, to force the ambitous card.
Do you think it exposes too much that I'm able to force a card. And in case, better use a weaker forcig method, like cross forcing to save doubt about more sophisticated forcing like classic or the spread forcing. or use seconds to make a bigger impact?
Should I do it at the beginning of the routine to make it look like more casual or at the end to make it stronger?
huruey
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I like Roland's point about the card being known making a difference. I believe there are also many other ways in which you can separate any perceived methods to the ACR from other routines in the eyes of the audience.

Something which a lot of magicians don't do, and it kind of bugs me a little, is that the magical gesture should remain consistent throughout the entire routine. Often you see magicians snapping their fingers for the first two phases, then they do an Erdnase change to do it face up, then they shake the deck and it slowly rises etc.. The problem with doing this is it separates the cause and effect. If the cause, such as snapping the fingers and jerking the deck, remains consistent throughout, then the audience are far more likely to associate this with the control, rather than automatically working out that the moves you are making mean nothing. Also, making out that it requires concentration and effort every time can also help. Because of this consistency, in later card routines when you clearly do not make these gestures, and do not have this concentration that was required to make the card rise to the top, I do not believe the audience will suspect you are using the same technique to control the card. This is entirely dependant on the effective structuring of these later routines, of course.

Joe
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alibaba
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I've been experimenting with a change to the opening of my AC routine. I announce that I'm going to do a minor miracle, spread the cards but Instead of the spec selecting one, I ask him to just touch any card. From here I do Jay Sankey's Touch Force, which looks totally fair. Before turning the card over I say something about how I hope they didn't choose the (forced card) because it's so ambitious and pushy it can ruin the whole thing. I then turn over the card and sure enough it's the card I named (forced). Then I demonstrate how persistently it comes to the top, etc. I only do 4-5 cycles, though. Less is more.
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MickeyPainless
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Quote:
On 2011-02-12 23:46, alibaba wrote:
Before turning the card over I say something about how I hope they didn't choose the (forced card) because it's so ambitious and pushy it can ruin the whole thing.


I kinda like that, it gives me some ideas to play with that may help segue to other effects as well!

Nice thinking,

MMc
Dr. Magic
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Quote:
On 2011-02-12 23:46, alibaba wrote:
I've been experimenting with a change to the opening of my AC routine. I announce that I'm going to do a minor miracle, spread the cards but Instead of the spec selecting one, I ask him to just touch any card. From here I do Jay Sankey's Touch Force, which looks totally fair. Before turning the card over I say something about how I hope they didn't choose the (forced card) because it's so ambitious and pushy it can ruin the whole thing. I then turn over the card and sure enough it's the card I named (forced). Then I demonstrate how persistently it comes to the top, etc. I only do 4-5 cycles, though. Less is more.


Harry Lorayne tells them not to pick a certain card and then...does a classic force..BEHIND HIS BACK.
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