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The Magic Cafe Forum Index Ľ Ľ Gaffed & Funky Ľ Ľ Aces Assembly Questions (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

magicwiia
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We all know there are a myriad of different takes on MacDonald's Aces and an Ace assembly. A few conceptual questions regarding these:

1) In the classic MacDonald's Aces, do you think the trick is ruined for a spectator(s) after the Ace in the first pile disappears? Do they now know that all the Aces will end up in the final pile and ruin all the work in between? Is it like knowing the ending of a movie and having to wait until the conclusion to confirm your suspicion OR is the effect of each Ace disappearance strong enough to enjoy the process for them?

2) Is there another version where the Aces do NOT end up in the Ace of Spades pile as expected but in the deck originally set aside, another location, or some other surprise ending?
Jonathan Townsend
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They are supposed to pick a pile after you've shown the cards and made the packets.

Depending on how well you get along with your audience you could occasionally offer to let them change their choice.

Let's move this discussion down a couple of topics Smile
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The Burnaby Kid
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For your first question, my instinct is that even if they get ahead of you on the climax of the trick, so long as that packet is completely out of the magician's control, you're ok. Great trick.

For your second question, we'd need to ask somebody who has nothing better to do with his life than collect that sort of trivial minutiae. Somebody get Rupert Pupkin in here.
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Jonathan Townsend
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How is making three aces vanish and then revealing the chosen packet has four kings supposed to work for average audiences? The aces assembling into the chosen packet is a sensible effect. Teaching an audience to expect plot twists ... why?
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MeetMagicMike
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It's not a bad idea to make each phase seem harder than the previous. For instance, first ace travels when you tap the one packet on the leader packet, second phase happens when the packets are far a part, third phase happens with the spectator's hand covering the leader packet.

Honestly, I don't do that and the spectators seem genuinely amazed at the end. I use Harry Lorayn's Fantastic Aces.
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magicwiia
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Quote:
On May 27, 2019, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
How is making three aces vanish and then revealing the chosen packet has four kings supposed to work for average audiences? The aces assembling into the chosen packet is a sensible effect. Teaching an audience to expect plot twists ... why?


I'm new to magic so I cannot speak from any experience of how an audience behaves or reacts. I'm speculating that after the first vanish, or second one at the latest, the audience will now be expecting the Aces to re-appear in the leader pack. If so, wouldn't the finale be somewhat anti-climatic because it's what they expected?

Granted, they'd have no idea how they got there, which is miraculous to them to begin with, but the Aces reappearing in a completely different location would be the last thing they'd expect.

Please don't get me wrong. If straight forward works best, I'm all for it.
ejohn
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Straight forward works just fine for stars like David Copperfield and the late Ricky Jay, among others. There are some Ace Assemblies with surprise endings. Refer to https://www.conjuringarchive.com/list/category/1471
Tortuga
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The backfire assembly is a nice twist. Lots of versions in the record.
MeetMagicMike
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I find that children usually think they figured out your trick if they can guess what is next So even when you tell them you're going to make four coins jump from hand to hand as you are about to make the third coin go the kid will say "and now it's in that hand" triumphantly. So what you are worried about is an issue, However, I haven't found that adults think that way.
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magicwiia
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On May 27, 2019, ejohn wrote:
Straight forward works just fine for stars like David Copperfield and the late Ricky Jay, among others. There are some Ace Assemblies with surprise endings. Refer to https://www.conjuringarchive.com/list/category/1471


This is exactly what I was thinking of. Thank you.

Comparable to Jazz Aces vs. Jazz Aces with an O'Henry kicker. No right or wrong here. I'm just exploring other Ace Assemblies with one final twist.
magicwiia
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Here is an excellent example of an Ace Assembly with a "kicker" or surprise ending. I didn't see it coming.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVyQG-7rS5Y
magicwiia
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This follow-up question is completely different from my original question. In an Aces Assembly, there will be Aces transported or otherwise made to disappear. There are many methods used to make that happen.

What do you think are the strongest one or two methods to utilize for the Ace vanish from a viewer's perspective that really floors them?
MagicianInTrouble
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Quote:
I'm new to magic so I cannot speak from any experience of how an audience behaves or reacts. I'm speculating that after the first vanish, or second one at the latest, the audience will now be expecting the Aces to re-appear in the leader pack. If so, wouldn't the finale be somewhat anti-climatic because it's what they expected?


If this is a concern for you, you don't have to have a leader packet. Magicians didn't generally use a leader packet in ace assemblies until Vernon came along, and that was for Slow Motion Aces -- they appeared there as they vanished from the other piles (rather than holding the reveal until the end), so the leader packet made sense in that context. Before then, the packets were just in a row. With this approach, it's harder to anticipate that the aces will all appear in the fourth packet, since there's nothing special about it, other than that it's the last one.

Quote:
On May 28, 2019, magicwiia wrote: What do you think are the strongest one or two methods to utilize for the Ace vanish from a viewer's perspective that really floors them?



That's highly dependent on context.

Quote:
On May 28, 2019, MeetMagicMike wrote:
I find that children usually think they figured out your trick if they can guess what is next So even when you tell them you're going to make four coins jump from hand to hand as you are about to make the third coin go the kid will say "and now it's in that hand" triumphantly. So what you are worried about is an issue, However, I haven't found that adults think that way.



Both children and adults are remarkably adept at following narratives and predicting what happens next, but they handle it in different ways. Children will impulsively act just as you describe; adults often wait to see if things bear out their observation. It's nice to be able to anticipate when they're anticipating something in particular and prepare something unexpected for them instead.
magicwiia
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On May 29, 2019, MagicianInTrouble wrote:
Quote:
On May 28, 2019, magicwiia wrote: What do you think are the strongest one or two methods to utilize for the Ace vanish from a viewer's perspective that really floors them?


That's highly dependent on context.


You bet it is. I'm most interested in what all of you have found over the years that evokes the strongest reaction.

I'm a total newbie and looking to shape what I do based on the learning experience of those here who are profoundly talented and experienced. It would, and has been, a pleasure learning from you.
MagicianInTrouble
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Then I suppose your answer is tied to the level of conviction the audience has that the ace is where you say it is before it goes. The highest level you can get to is if they absolutely see it in the packet, which means you're going to either go Mac McDonald on them to really make it go or have a firmly convincing way to make it seem like it's no longer there. If neither of those approaches, the next level down is to have an absolutely convincing laydown sequence so the audience doesn't question if there's an ace there or not before it goes. Most ace assemblies that don't travel one of these paths tend to fall short overall.
Tortuga
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Quote:
On May 28, 2019, MeetMagicMike wrote:
I find that children usually think they figured out your trick if they can guess what is next So even when you tell them you're going to make four coins jump from hand to hand as you are about to make the third coin go the kid will say "and now it's in that hand" triumphantly. So what you are worried about is an issue, However, I haven't found that adults think that way.


Your point is well taken regarding kids. For that reason, ace assemblies are probably not going to be the best effect for children. There also is a school of thought that coins across should be limited to three coins only so that there is only minor repetition. Not saying I agree, but I certainly would change things up if for no reason than avoiding monotony.
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On May 29, 2019, magicwiia wrote:
...
I'm most interested in what all of you have found over the years that evokes the strongest reaction.
In general, handling the props in a way that does not distract from what is supposed to be happening. How the magician works the magic, whether by a snap of the fingers or some other procedure, is a matter of style. You put things in place. Then do the magic. Smile
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davidn
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Iíve been doing MacDonaldís Aces for over 70 years. Iím an amateur so that probably translates to about 500 times. I usually use Bicycle Jumbo cards. Sometimes I use those big giant cards. The bigger the better especially for kids.
I always bring four people up front and give each one a packet to hold. I have to get pretty specific about how they each have to hold their packets (donít want anybody to accidentally peak). I tell one to hold it over his head tightly with two hands; another behind their back; sometimes I bring up a fifth person so two can hold on to a single packet. Get creative on ways to hold the packets. Iíve put the packets between the pages of a book, wrapped them in a silk, use whateverís around as long as the spectator can hold it tight with the fingers of both hands (and not turn the packet over from the way I hand it to them).
I want to get the spectators really involved. Itís the old adage of letting the magic happen in the spectatorís hands. When that last spectator opens his packet himself and all four aces are there nobodyís thinking about anything else other than the magic that just happened without me having touched anything (except the three previous packets {but most have forgotten that}). As you open each packet you repeat again and again that theyíve never let the cards out of their tight grip.
As far as everyone anticipating the ending... you better believe it. I build it up slowly, hesitating at several key moments with each packet I open. Then the final crescendo and I havenít been anywhere near that packet of four Aces.
It has never failed me and itís always the one they remember.
BTW nowhere is it written that the final packet has to be the Ace of Spades. I change it up every once in a while but Iím really the only one that knows it. At times Iíve thought ending on the Spade Ace was kinda trite but Iím sure I was overthinking it. Recently Iíve been ending on the Diamond Ace but while I write this Iím thinking to go back to the old original way. Itís kinda nostalgic you know, LOL.
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The Magic Cafe Forum Index Ľ Ľ Gaffed & Funky Ľ Ľ Aces Assembly Questions (2 Likes)
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