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MikeLarkin
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On Jun 23, 2021, Rupert Pupkin wrote:
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On Jun 23, 2021, MikeLarkin wrote:
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On Jun 23, 2021, Rupert Pupkin wrote:
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On Jun 23, 2021, MikeLarkin wrote:
The layers of procedure actually make it seem more impossible. All the shuffling, the phonecall, having another spectator effectively finding the card.


You could easily graft those elements onto many standard ACAAN routines.


Yeah, but that gets away from the "perfect" Berglas-esque idea of an untouched deck in a glass case, the card and number are selected and then it turns out the card is at the number. Ideally here you would also have a spectator open the deck and do the counting.

Done in such a way, it is a real blockbuster effect, but the more compromises you put in (magician handling the deck especially) weakens the effect).


I guess I don't see how Juan's Mnemonicosis trappings compromise the ideal ACAAN routine. If anything, the hands-off theater of calling a spectator and having them name a card or a number would heighten the drama and seeming impossibility.

No one says you have to perform the untouched, glass-case platonic ideal of an ACAAN. In fact, that sounds somewhat leaden — especially if you're looking to "amuse" or "stun".

The trick doesn't belong to David Berglas. It belongs to you. Make it what you want.

It isn't really an ACAAN, it just has a some of the same flavoring.
cfirwin3
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On Jun 23, 2021, MikeLarkin wrote:

It isn't really an ACAAN, it just has a some of the same flavoring.


I have a phase in ACR where I substitute the spectator's card with a similar one in same suit. I cut off the top half with the actual spectator's card on top and set it aside (for the reveal later) as I slip the stand-in card into the center of the bottom half. I cover the index as I slide it in with only the top pips showing and I say "This is easier to see with fewer cards... you can see it go in the middle". Then I push the card in and spread them quickly face up and say "see, it is still where we left it in the center".

Now, their card was never there to begin with, but I'm telling you, about 30% of the time, the spectator will say out loud "there it is!" or "I see it." About an additional 40% will nod in comprehension. The rest of the time, the spectator just accepts the premise even though they don't convince themselves that they caught a glimpse (or should have caught a glimpse) of the card in the spread.

This is how ACAAN can work. It is not about the conditions. It is about what the spectator is lead to believe about the situation. If they believe that all choices were completely free, and if they believe that the deck could not have been manipulated... then it is 100% Berglas Effect caliber ACAAN even if none of those conditions were actually satisfied.

I'll say it with my dying breath, what spectators are lead to believe is what is important. The truth is not only unimportant, it's irrelevant.
The Burnaby Kid
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On Jun 23, 2021, cfirwin3 wrote:
This is how ACAAN can work. It is not about the conditions. It is about what the spectator is lead to believe about the situation. If they believe that all choices were completely free, and if they believe that the deck could not have been manipulated... then it is 100% Berglas Effect caliber ACAAN even if none of those conditions were actually satisfied.


I'm not sure I agree entirely with this. Many ACAAN presentations involve test conditions, which essentially invites the audience to deliberately focus on the state of affairs in a way that an implicit convincer may not fly as easily.

Obviously there's still some chicanery going on, but in a situation where the heat is on, arguably the only way to ensure that a choice is perceived to be completely free is to actually have that choice BE completely free.
JACK, the Jolly Almanac of Card Knavery, a free card magic resource for beginners.
Nikodemus
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On Jun 22, 2021, Jon Allen wrote:
If you find this card trick boring it’s not because of the card trick but rather the fault of the person doing it.


I agree with this. ACAAN is not inherently boring, as its detractors allege. Counting and dealing through cards CAN be entertaining - IF you have created a situation where everyone is desperate to see the outcome. And this comes from the impossibility of the magic. Which suggests that a good ACAAN must be simple and direct.
Likewise Open Prediction - there is drama is in the dealing.

BUT obviously too many similar effects would quickly get tedious.

(And it's perhaps worth pointing out that the counting/dealing in these effects is completely different from "procedural" effects like 21 Card Trick.)
cfirwin3
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On Jun 24, 2021, The Burnaby Kid wrote:
Quote:
On Jun 23, 2021, cfirwin3 wrote:
This is how ACAAN can work. It is not about the conditions. It is about what the spectator is lead to believe about the situation. If they believe that all choices were completely free, and if they believe that the deck could not have been manipulated... then it is 100% Berglas Effect caliber ACAAN even if none of those conditions were actually satisfied.


I'm not sure I agree entirely with this. Many ACAAN presentations involve test conditions, which essentially invites the audience to deliberately focus on the state of affairs in a way that an implicit convincer may not fly as easily.

Obviously there's still some chicanery going on, but in a situation where the heat is on, arguably the only way to ensure that a choice is perceived to be completely free is to actually have that choice BE completely free.


I understand that sentiment and approach. It is true that there are other layers of the effect that can be falsified outside of the choices. But...

It is a fact that eyewitness testimony is among the least reliable forms of evidence in a court of law. The power of recap is strong... very strong. This is especially true with smaller groups of people and it's a nearly certain tactic when working with only one spectator. Their intelligence and awareness is not a factor.

Since when is magic built on truth of perception? Why should a method be bound by conditions that can be falsified and still accepted as true? Whatever a magician is trying to convey with 'proof', it is almost guaranteed to be false.
-there is nothing in this box
-I can't know your card
-I am wearing a blindfold
-this camera won't cut away
-the deck is shuffled
-your selection was fair and free
-I never touched the deck
And on and on...

This is all fair game for nuanced interpretation and targeted comprehension.

The worst thing a magician can do when developing a method is to assert (to themselves) that the conditions that are being proven, beyond a shadow of a doubt, must actually be true, and the solution must conform.
The magician should always be looking for ways to "prove", beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the conditions are (or were) understood as true when in fact they were false.

The question is not how to do ACAAN with free selections... the question is how to make forced selections verifiably free.
The question is not how to do ACAAN with all 52 options available, both times... the question is how to make 1,2,10,20,etc. options look and feel like 52.
The question is not, what makes an ACAAN not a CAAN... the question is what makes "A Card" "Any Card" in the minds of spectators. This is as true when fooling magicians as it is when deal with typical spectators.

I think ACAAN is one of the most needlessly hamstrung plots that magicians discuss.

I blame the presence of cameras in everyday life. There's no need to have camera proof solutions when working with people in real time.
The Burnaby Kid
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On Jun 26, 2021, cfirwin3 wrote:
Since when is magic built on truth of perception? Why should a method be bound by conditions that can be falsified and still accepted as true? Whatever a magician is trying to convey with 'proof', it is almost guaranteed to be false.
-there is nothing in this box
-I can't know your card
-I am wearing a blindfold
-this camera won't cut away
-the deck is shuffled
-your selection was fair and free
-I never touched the deck
And on and on...


Obviously we have to cheat at some point. Lance Pierce expressed an important idea, though, when he described magic as a game where the audience tries to catch the magician, and is disappointed when they win. The degree to which we acknowledge the existence of that game on a surface level varies according to the magician's style, but as a subtext it's almost always there in some form.
JACK, the Jolly Almanac of Card Knavery, a free card magic resource for beginners.
countrymaven
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Do the best sleights you can with a regular deck ACAAN. Switch the deck out to a one way deck, w a great switch during a high point. Do some impossible amazing things.
Then switch the regular deck back in. You could meet an awful lot of conditions and free choices with that right?
Ray Chelt
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Interesting discussion.

I think that ACAAN is a decent enough trick. As a hobbyist though it’s not the first trick I’d pick to entertain someone. The basic theme is simple and over-complicating (or dragging things out) is not something I like. So it’s a quick hitter for me simply because that’s how it feels it should be.

I do think that Berglas, in fooling so many magicians, has set us down a route of fixating on this effect. Too much. Wish more thought could be put to new inventions.

On a tangential note can I recommend John Bannons “Dead Reckoning”. Basic theme is that spectator gets to cut to a card after shuffling the cards and then loses it in the pack with numerous cuts and shenanigans. The absolute fairness of it being lost and the minimal contact with the pack by you, really sells this. You don’t know the card (no, really, you don’t).


And then, after all this , you begin to deal cards out onto the table whilst asking them to spell the card in their mind. The look on the specs face as they begin to guess what’s going to happen but can’t quite believe it, knocks any ACAAN sidewise. This young woman’s reaction is what I get every time.

https://youtu.be/UVkXMdN-GPg
martyjacobs
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I've seen The Berglas Effect in person, and it doesn't always live up to the strict conditions that modern magicians attach to the more general ACAAN plot. David's trick, however, is much better than most of the ACAAN routines published in recent years (Asi Wind's method is a notable exception).

The most practical version or, more accurately, simulation of The Berglas Effect is "The Bogus Effect" by David Britland, first published on his blog in 2007. He recently revised it in his excellent Cardopolis Newsletter. This is the most straightforward approach to the plot if you don't want to do what David does.

Marty
Mb217
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On Jul 26, 2022, martyjacobs wrote:
I've seen The Berglas Effect in person, and it doesn't always live up to the strict conditions that modern magicians attach to the more general ACAAN plot. David's trick, however, is much better than most of the ACAAN routines published in recent years (Asi Wind's method is a notable exception).

The most practical version or, more accurately, simulation of The Berglas Effect is "The Bogus Effect" by David Britland, first published on his blog in 2007. He recently revised it in his excellent Cardopolis Newsletter. This is the most straightforward approach to the plot if you don't want to do what David does.

Marty


Quite interesting, Marty…and quite clever. To the spec it pretty much works the same ways. ACAAN is a wonderful effect with many developed ways to get it done, but to date I would agree that Asi Win’s take is about the cleanest looking one I’ve seen. Also saw one by Juan Tamariz that appears about the way it goes for specs. Both are cleverly done. I wonder has someone figured out Berglas’ technique and we just went by it?
*Check out my latest: Gifts From The Old Country: A Mini-Magic Book, MBs Mini-Lecture on Coin Magic, The MB Tanspo PLUS, MB's Morgan, Copper Silver INC, Double Trouble, FlySki, Crimp Change - REDUX!, and other fine magic at gumroad.com/mb217magic Smile


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JG
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I know many ACAAN but use “The Crusade” as it meets my criteria. Any deck, any condition, with the spectators doing the counting and the thought of card not named until the reveal. With the presentation being a connection between 2 people.

It may not meet a magicians definition of a perfect ACAAN but it gives wonderful results.
"PANTHERA - Improve and Develop Your Mentalism" by Jack Goldstein - a large hard backed limited edition book of mentalism, over 30 top contributors, with professional effects and essays.

Buy it now through Michael Murray at MindFX: https://www.mindfx.co.uk/
landmark
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If you like ACAAN, Shawn Farquar's "H.G Effect" is pretty good. Need to be nimble for it, though.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TBmHUD45zw&t=79s
ApprenticeWizard
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The ACAAN effect is usually presented as nothing more than an interesting coincidence or “lucky guess” effect, which is okay, but not extraordinary. I use a presentation that has a much stronger impact on the audience. I won’t give all the details here, but the gist of it is, I have a spectator close her eyes and “catch a vision of the future” – a vision in which she clearly sees an image of a playing card. She tells everyone which card she “sees”. I have a second spectator think of any number from 1 to 52 and secretly write it on a post-it note for later use. The deck is then shuffled by several participants, and immediately given to the first spectator. The secret number is announced and the first spectator counts down to the card at that number to reveal that her vision of the future was 100% correct! The impact on the audience is much stronger this way because giving someone the power to "catch a glimpse of the future" has much greater implications than the magician making a lucky guess. Crafting a presentation that has a much stronger subtext is one of the points made by Darwin Ortiz in his terrific book Strong Magic. What most versions of the ACAAN effect lack is an imaginative, strong theatrical presentation. (Of course, the method must also be clean and convincing.)
Magically yours,
Tom Olshefski
martyjacobs
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Both are cleverly done. I wonder has someone figured out Berglas’ technique and we just went by it?


It has been published, in The Mind & Magic of David Berglas, which was co-authored by David Britland. Many magicians simply didn't believe that the method published in the book was how it was actually accomplished.

Marty
Mb217
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Yeah, I guess people just wanted to believe that it was something much more devious. Sometimes it’s the simplest things that get by you and fool you bad. Smile

Oh well, in the meantime there have been many amazing ways to do the trick, that mostly play the same way to the spec, Britland’s Bogus take is an excellent example. But for purists, the super slick & extremely clever is what rings their bell as to brilliant method. Not that whatever Berglas did was not brilliant, as it certainly was enough to send people out for decades in pursuit of a holy grail. That’s quite brilliant in itself.

Thanks for the response, marty. Smile
*Check out my latest: Gifts From The Old Country: A Mini-Magic Book, MBs Mini-Lecture on Coin Magic, The MB Tanspo PLUS, MB's Morgan, Copper Silver INC, Double Trouble, FlySki, Crimp Change - REDUX!, and other fine magic at gumroad.com/mb217magic Smile


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Nikodemus
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As I understand it, the method described in Berglas's book is based on a certain amount of jazzing.
But there are several stories by magicians - who we would expect to remember accurately - of David doing an ACAAN that was much more direct. I think one was in a car, and the deck was in the glove compartment? I struggle to reconcile those accounts with the jazzing explanation.
cfirwin3
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On Aug 8, 2022, Nikodemus wrote:
As I understand it, the method described in Berglas's book is based on a certain amount of jazzing.
But there are several stories by magicians - who we would expect to remember accurately - of David doing an ACAAN that was much more direct. I think one was in a car, and the deck was in the glove compartment? I struggle to reconcile those accounts with the jazzing explanation.


I think that the material published in the books is more comprehensive than folks give credit. Berglas, himself, seems to have an active interest in maintaining the mystique of his methods by suggesting that he has revealed "almost" everything. These stories of very perfect outcomes are very much likely exactly what they seem to be... very perfect outcomes, with all the techniques that many of us use regularly working under the hood, as and when needed.

For the longest time, I considered Marc Paul's Parkinson Show ACAAN to be the best image of what the Berglas Effect should look like. I maintained that Paul was merely choosing to go to a place that many magicians refuse to go in order to get that moment on live TV. According to Marc himself on a recent Vanishing Inc interview and masterclass, my assumptions about that moment have been dead wrong all this time. The truth is that many of the Berglas Effect stories aren't that perfect. A card box chosen, after an initial selection, from a vase on a mantel, a glove box, a brief case, a pocket of a jacket laying across the back seat, etc. These are not THAT clean. Whereas Paul's purely open presentation was not all THAT prepared. The trick is in the gray area that we choose to ignore or often choose to dismiss (in error).

I believe that we essentially have ALL of the answers that we need to do this effect, just like Berglas.
vinsmagic
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MANY YEARS AGO I BOUGHT I ACCAN I PD 50 BUCKS . IM SORRY ICANT EMEMBER THE NAME OF THE MAGICIAN OR THE NAME OF THE EFFECT.
I CAME ON THIS SITE AND SAID IT WAS THE WORT TRICK I EVER BOUGHT......
THEN I PERFORMED IT AT THE MAGIC Castle for BUNCH OF MAGICIANS THERE WAS NO RESPONSE BUT, DURING THE EVENING MAGICANS CAME TO ME AND BEGGED ME TO SHOW THEM THE HANDLING.I AID F,,,,, U
THIS EFFECT IS BETTER THANTHE BERGLAS OR ANYOTHER EFFECT ON THE MARKET

IT GOES LIKE THIS PACK I SHUFFELED BY ANY MAGICIANS . THE CARDS AND CARD BOCX IS PLACED IN TO THE MAGICIANS POCKET
, THIS ONE PERSON THINKS ODF ANY CARD, NOTHER PERSON THINKS OF AN NUMBER
THE BOX IS TAKEOUT OF THE POCKET BY ANY SPECTATORAND THECARD REMOVED FROM THE CARD BOX.
SAY THE CARD WAS THE 2 OF DIAMONDS AND THE NUMBER Was 16

... the card s are counted one at a time and the 16th caRD IS THE TWO OF DIamonds. TILL THIS DAY IM ASKED O PERFOR THIS EFFECT I don't
Come check out my magic.

http://www.vinnymarini.com
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