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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workers » » Presenting the second phase of Chicago Opener (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Bob G
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Hi folks,


Nice that the Café is up -- thank you, Moderators!!


I've found that when I perform Chicago Opener, I get a gratifyingly surprised response in Phase I, but essentially no response in Phase II. That's opposite of what I'd expected. Any thoughts? The only thing I can think of is that maybe I'm not doing a good job of getting spectators to decide to look at the odd-backed card again.


It's quite a contrast from Daryl's performance on and L&L video (paraphrased):

Daryl: Really? You don't see a blue card on the table?

Spectator: Yes, but... No, it *can't* be!!


He turns over the card and is amazed to find it's his second selection. Daryl was in a league of his own, of course, but, but I'd like to do a *little* better than I am now...

Thanks,

Bob
landmark
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Hard to tell without seeing you do it, Bob.

Maybe you could describe step by step, what you do in Phase 2.
ScarneAce
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Give Chicago Surprise a shot instead, gets much better reactions for me than the original Chicago Opener
Bob G
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ScarneAce, thanks for the suggestion. I don't think I'm ready for CS yet, but I have Pop Haydn's materials on it, so eventually...

Hi landmark,

So, what seems not to work is: after I've ribbon-spread the deck, the I say, "Hmmm... I don't see a red card. Do you?" If the spec says (uncertainly) "Well, there's this one," and points to the supposed previously selected card, I say, "What was your card this time?" Then I turn it over. (I haven't actually tried Daryl's line about, "Really, you don't see a red card on the table?")



I had another idea that I haven't tried yet. At the beginning of Phase II, I say, "I didn't mention this before, but that wand that I gave you [a red plastic straw] spurts invisible red paint. So, when you visualized your card and flicked the wand at the deck, you painted your card red."

Then we try again. When I place the deck on the table to let them flick their wand at it again, I'm careful to place the deck near the red-backed card. And when it becomes apparent that there's no new red card, I wait a moment and then say, "You know, I think your aim may have been a bit off when you flicked the wand. I'll bet you hit the card you'd already painted red. What was your second card...?

There's a bit of a paradox here. When I'm with people I'm comfortable with, I can be pretty sparkly. Part of my problem is that I don't have much of a potential audience, so it's hard to gain performing experience. Most of my friends, with whom I *could* be sparkly, are at best marginally interested in magic, though they humor me sometimes. Smile There isn't a nearby chapter of a magic society, and I'm not all that comfortable performing for strangers.

Still, I wouldn't be surprised to find you had useful ideas.

Bob
Bob G
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P. S. Maybe it would be useful if I recorded and posted a performance for people to look at. I'd probably use the presentation I suggested, about flicking the wand. Thoughts??
Kaliix
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I believe for the second phase to work, the spectators have to believe that the magician is in trouble. For me, the story I tell is of my cards having a personality. This particular deck is young and kind of juvenile. When the first card is selected, the other cards tease the card that was, "touched by a girl". When the second card is selected via the HS, I state that a cards are making fun of the card, oh wait, did you touch the card? I know they didn't but I act like that was a mistake, but no matter, there will be one red card in the deck. As that is being said, I am running through the cards once looking for the card. Now that I can't find it, I ribbon spread the cards, carefully looking through the whole deck, trying to act like I'm worried but not TOO worried.

I ribbon spread for a reason because I always end the spread right next to the one red card that was previously found. So the motion of looking through the spread sort of naturally leads the magician right to the one red card with the line, "Hummm, well I did say one card would turn red, (picking up the card) what was your card? Boom!

I feel like I set up the ending with some good acting. The audience wants to believe that mister magician messed up the trick. When you create that expectation and then smash it with the reveal, the results should be more of what you are looking for.

IMHO, YMMV...
The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge.
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MeetMagicMike
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I can solve your problem. Just make sure your audience is made up of the L & regulars. Smile

But seriously. When you watch Daryl notice that he turns over the Jack (which is really a double) AS they are naming the card. This ensures that the thought of a switch never enters their mind.

Sometimes in my experience tricks that are new to me don't get the reaction I expect but there isn't always a specific problem. As I perform the trick and get my mind off the mechanics I can pay attention to the audience and perhaps do the trick a little more briskly and I start getting the great raction I want.
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landmark
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Quote:
On Jul 25, 2022, Bob G wrote:
P. S. Maybe it would be useful if I recorded and posted a performance for people to look at. I'd probably use the presentation I suggested, about flicking the wand. Thoughts??


Yes, sounds good. That would be the best way we have to understand what might be happening.

Without seeing it, I'd tend to think it might be one or more of the following:

1) it didn't have an impact because perhaps they didn't believe the initial show of the odd-backed double card--so they weren't surprised when it "changed."

2) Or, they may not have believed they had a free choice for each card selection.

3) Or, they didn't follow the plot of the story; something wasn't clear about what the effect was supposed to be.
Bob G
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Thanks for your thoughts. I'll post a video -- may be a while because my computer is on the way out...
Xcath1
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A lot of good points made. I think the magician in trouble is solid if you can pull it off. There is something about the diminishing expectations after you fail to find the second selection that makes the final reveal stronger. Also although I feel for your audience limitations the difference between performing for people you know and people you don’t is ENORMOUS. Too big a topic for one post and I don’t know you and your life circumstances but in terms of judging audience reactions you will eventually have to find fresh spectators somehow.
landmark
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BTW, Bob, how do you force the second selection?
DevGuy
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This does sound like a "you" problem.

Without a video of a performance, or detailed description of what you do I fear people will be unable to help.
Bob G
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Interesting, XCath1. Not sure how to increase my audience, but I'll give it some thought. Before Covid (and before I knew any tricks), I'd be hanging out at a Café or standing at intermission during a concert while playing with my cards, and strangers would sometimes ask me to show them a trick. Now that I'm going out more and know some tricks, maybe that will happen again.


Landmark, I use the discrepant form of the Hindu Force, showing the bottom card of the RH packet. But: I've also been playing around with replacing all the Hindu shuffles with overhand shuffles. I find Hindu awkward, whereas my overhand lift shuffle force is reasonably fluent.


A video is coming in a while, "as stated above." Smile
martyjacobs
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Hi Bob,

The first question to ask yourself is, "Was my execution of the trick deceptive?" If your audience suspects a DL, then you may get a muted response to the second phase. Next, I'd spend some time trying to improve your presentation for the trick. Even if you're performing in casual situations, I'd still suggest you write a script with a good line to draw attention to the odd-backed card at the end of the trick.

You could also try some alternative presentations. There are lots of things you can draw, stick or even fasten onto the back of the stranger card to personalise the trick (I've played with the idea of sewing a "magic button" to the back of the card).

Sometimes, I call it "The Pirate Trick" and draw a big, black X on the back of the card. Unsurprisingly, this approach works well with kids as it gives you an excuse to tell lots of bad pirate jokes that you can fire off quickly. Here are some of my favourites:

  • "Why are pirates called pirates? Because they Arrrrrr!"
  • "What is a pirate's favourite letter? You'd think it would be 'R', but a pirate's first love is always the 'C'!"
  • "How do you make a pirate furious? You take away the 'P'!"
  • "What did the pirate say on his 80th birthday? Aye, matey!"
  • "Why couldn't the pirates play cards? Because they were standing on the deck!"
  • "How much did the pirate pay to get his ears pierced? A buck an ear!"
  • You: "Knock knock! Them: "Who's there?" You: "Interrupting pirate." Them: "Interrup-" You:"Arrrrrr!"

Wait until they're starting to groan, then hit them with the magic! Interestingly, the phrase "Xs marks the spot" has a more gruesome origin: the British army would mark a piece of paper with a black x and position it on the heart of someone sentenced to death! That piece of trivia might work well as a way to gain the attention of your audience. But maybe stick with the pirate jokes if you're performing for children! Smile

I'm a big fan of presenting the final phase as a more direct transposition. I developed a handling years ago that uses two odd-backed cards for this purpose (I think I may have shared this with you). My favourite variation, alongside Pop Haydn's "Chicago Surprise", is "Yours Truly" by Edward Oschmann. You can find it on his Penguin Live Lecture (along with a load of commercial close-up material). Here's a performance of the trick by another magician (David Ung) that you might find helpful:



Some food for thought, at least. Good luck, matey!

Marty
MeetMagicMike
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Martyjacobs those are some great pirate jokes. Thanks.
Magic Mike

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martyjacobs
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Ha, no problem. Having three daughters these days, I feel a duty to incorporate as many dad jokes into my magic as possible! So here's another one that is both a pirate and maths joke: Did you know that 3.14% of sailors are Pi rates?!
Bob G
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Ha ha! Great jokes indeed. I have to try these out on some of the neighbor kids!


Why didn't the pirate stop to chat? -- Because he was on the rum.

Why was six scared of seven? -- Because seven eight nine.



Much though I like Pop Haydn and Ed Oschmann's versions, I'd like to see what I can do with the original. I like its simplicity. I still remember how amazed I was the first time I saw a video of someone performing it -- I hadn't known that there were such beautiful tricks in the world.


I always write detailed scripts for the tricks I'm going to perform. I don't *think* people suspected a DL; the people I've performed for don't know about them (or forces, for that matter), and seemed genuinely surprised that their card had turned red.


MagicMike, I'm inclined to think that what you suggested is my main problem: "Sometimes in my experience tricks that are new to me don't get the reaction I expect but there isn't always a specific problem. As I perform the trick and get my mind off the mechanics I can pay attention to the audience and perhaps do the trick a little more briskly and I start getting the great reaction I want." With more performance experience I'd expect to become more confident and fluid.

Oh! -- and wouldn't I love to perform for the L&L audience!! For all I know, they were a bunch of professional actors, but I always got the feeling that they truly enjoyed the magic, and each other. It probably helped that it was more or less the same people over and over.

Bob
Bob G
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Kalix, I missed your earlier message. I really like this: "I ribbon spread for a reason because I always end the spread right next to the one red card that was previously found. So the motion of looking through the spread sort of naturally leads the magician right to the one red card with the line, "Hummm, well I did say one card would turn red, (picking up the card) what was your card?"
Bob G
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Why was the pyrite unhappy? -- Because he'd buried fool's gold.
Francois Lagrange
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Did not catch that one until I looked up pyrite in thefreedictionary Smile

I think you should keep CO as simple as possible to make the effect crystal clear and not dilute the ending. In my handling I let the spectator choose their card from a face-up spread (though I can only see the backs) in the first phase.

That alone will make sure that they remember their initial choice when it changes to their second “selection” in the second phase.

Also, according to the situation, I make the force card disappear from the deck. Therefore, the hunt for their “selection” can go from backs to faces and the inevitable conclusion is that it has to be the face-down odd-back card.
Protect me from my friends, I'll deal with my enemies.
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