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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workers » » Reinvigorating Ambitious (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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prospero
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Well, folks, this had to come sooner or later.

Ambitious Card has lost it's charm, and to many of us, it never had charm: "Oh, look, it's on the top... AGAIN!" It is seen as boring by many, and repetitive by others (which it is).

Isn't it time to revitalize Ambitious Card with a new presentation and maybe even several kickers to make it a better effect?
Jonathan Townsend
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Well...

To start with... what do you mean by ambitious? ie what behavior do you associate with that word?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Samuel
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Go for it Smile

I think the Ambitious is good - it has great impact on specs (evidently), and is quite fun to do Smile

But good luck anyway..
Samuel

Magic is everywhere
chrisrkline
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Are we bored because we have seen it a thousand times or because our spectators have seen it a thousand times? I am not a huge fan of the Ambitious routine, but it does get nice reactions.

Even more than Cups and Balls, the ACR is perfect for individual modifications. That is the path to go.
Chris
prospero
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The routine is good, but it's become so well known to magicians that they perform it as if they were reading lines from a play.
Jonathan Townsend
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Still stuck on the word, and what motivates the routine. These are where you can start to find a new direction for the presentation of the trick. Till you know WHY the card is on top of the deck... you are stuck.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
prospero
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This is what I'm talking about revitalizing. A new presentation, not just "See? It jumps to the top because it likes to be on top, it's ambitious, power of the ace or the queen, etc..." Make it INTERESTING!
Sk8rDave
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Any routine can lose its freshness after several hundred performances. It's up to the performer to make every performence feel spontaneous and original. This is true of stage magicians and close up magicians and performers in the theatre. Sometimes after I've done a full week of grad nights with little sleep and lots of repetition the moves and the script becomes robotic but I try to avoid it as best I can.

As for the ambitious card, once again it comes down to the performer. If we take the original routine from stars of magic with no changes and we take the original patter line "ambitious card" and we take a little advice from Henning Nelms we can see what makes it interesting or boring.

First, why it's interesting to us. It's a card trick, it's clever, it bears repetition, it's clean. WE LOVE IT!

Now, according to Nelms, some people are not always as enthusiastic about tricks as we magicians are. But they will be interested in themselves first, other people second and other stuff third. If the card they selected is anthropomorphized and given a personality it becomes more interesting. You end up with a card that is so ambitious that it can't be kept down and always rises to the top. The point of this is that the actual effect, rising to the top, is a by product of the underlying theme and this is almost always the case with good magic. The ambitious routine that I do most is Gary Kurtz's Hypothetical Possiblitities and the magical effects are merely side effects of what is supposedly happening, going back in time.

I'm not saying that you shouldn't try to reinvigorate what, for you, has become trite. It's good for us to work on our old material or replace it with new material every so often. It keeps us from getting burnt out. At the same time, I think you should think about the best way to revitalize it, whether it's changing the presentation to make it more personally meaningful to you or your audience or trying to change the effect.

I believe that the least effective way to "reinvigorate" it is to change the moves or rearrange the sequence or add a different kicker. The key, in my opinion, to any good trick is making the audience interested before they see the effect. Towards that end I try to make it personally meaningful to myself so that I can make it personally meaningful to them.

I've witnessed too many performances where the magician hurried through the routine so that he could get to the kicker ending before he lost his audience's interest.

Good luck with this and I'd be curious to see what you choose to do with the ambitious card to bring back its charm.

Dave
sgrossberg
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I have always used this trick as a follow-up to the cutting the aces routine. Rather than a "magic trick" it can be presented as part of a gambling routine with great audience reactions.

On occasion, I have also used this, in modified fashion, as part of my Three Card Monte routine.
Jonathan Townsend
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Scott, how do you use the AC in gambling context?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
sgrossberg
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I use AC routining under the guise of card control - essentially "hiding in plain sight" by calling it what it is (card control) but lying about the actual method. After cutting the four aces, I demonstrate how a card cheat is able to control one card. (I even let the spectator pick the Ace of their choice - or I first start with a spectator choosing their favorite four of a kind). It's ultimately just an AC routine, with some fake pass explanations, false shuffles, etc. thrown in. For 3 Card Monte, it becomes even easier since you're only using three cards (e.g., the spectator thinks you're placing the Queen of Spades in the center and it turns up at the far right of the spread).
Ron Giesecke
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Quote:
On 2004-06-12 16:45, prospero wrote:
Ambitious Card has lost it's charm, and to many of us, it never had charm: "Oh, look, it's on the top... AGAIN!" It is seen as boring by many, and repetitive by others (which it is).


No offence, but perhaps the lack of charm is not a deficit of the effect. This is the first time I've ever heard a referendum on a classic.
Jonathan Townsend
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It's okay Ron, the AC is LONG OVERDUE for a review and some sort of presentation beyond 'catch me manipulate the card' or 'invisible pass' constructed.

The first step, realizing that a trick needs a presentation is always the toughest.

We may get to 'twisting the aces' sometime soon as well.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
vinsmagic
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AHHH but I have a routine called Ambitious Aces. Every time the ambitious card rises to the top of the pack it changes Ace.. then in a flash, all four Aces at once turn back to the original card..

I will be putting this out to the Café members

vinny
Come check out my magic.

http://www.vinnymarini.com
rannie
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Can't wait for that Vinny!

I Think its not the effect but the presentation that makes it feel worn out. The lay audience, given a new motivation for the rise, will take it as a new miracle even if they have seen it a couple of times before.

Rannie
"If you can't teach an old dog new tricks, trick the old dog to learn."

-Rannie Raymundo-
aka The Boss
aka The Manila Enforcer

www.rannieraymundo.com
www.tapm.proboards80.net
Cameron Roat
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Paul Chosse has mentioned this problem several times on this board. Study his posts and read between the lines; you will find clues and hints.

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/searc......=3670090
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/searc......t=340691
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/searc......t=245277
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/searc......st=95489
Jonathan Townsend
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Paul and I have discussed the basic problem, and some ideas of getting around it. Paul has not tipped his presentation... yet. I mentioned my presentation idea to a café member... and am not ready to tip mine yet.

The trick is to find YOUR OWN premise and develop the presentation to support it.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Cameron Roat
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I have put a lot of thought into it, and have read all of Paul's posts on the subject several times. I have come up with a few small things, but nothing revolutionary.
chrisrkline
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I agree with the basic problem in the ACR. I do get decent enough reactions from it but when I started to get some six year old on the side in an audience yelling out "its going to be on top," I knew something was wrong. So I will think about this problem, although I certainly don't know what I can conrtibute to a solution.
Chris
Ron Giesecke
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I understand the innate issues with stagnancy, but we tend to forget that a layman has likely never in their life seen anything like what we are showing them--thus it is all new to them. What may pass for stagnancy and boredom on our part should actually be an indicator that we know our routine as thoroughly as we should.

It is at this point--that we should make little, claibrating tweaks in the structure, or presentation, to see what happens. If the change makes a visible improvement, fine. If it doesn't--or even weakens the effect--the change was small enough to make a structural retreat virtually painless.

Steven Youell, in his lecture notes titled Weapons of Mass Destruction, has a presentational take on a very simple card change, titled "The Image fades." Strip away the presentational framework of his effect, and I venture many in here would claim it to be a patently base, boring, and feckless attempt at original card magic--and if you tried to perform it with the same pallid, narcolepsy-inducing patters I frequently see stapled to perfectly decent Ambitious Card routines, you would be right. Yet, many are thanking him for breathing new life into an old set of nostrils--as opposed to performing an unnecessary rhinoplasty.

I am one of them.
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