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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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Kaliix
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On Jul 27, 2022, Bob G wrote:
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?"


Thanks for the magician in trouble angle to this routine, I just sort of fell into it, as I always go through the cards twice, 1st casually and quickly in the hands, as if you just expect to find the card, then that sort of slight panic where you are spreading the cards out so you can see all of them, building the tension slowly as the magician is now thoroughly inspecting and separating each card to make sure no red card is hiding. Ending that spread at the red card just makes sense.

Also, since I noticed your reference to no one suspecting the double, I will tell you that the best application for Science Friction(SF)/Plasti-dip is on the red force card in this effect. SF makes the double in this effect FLAWLESS. There is no better feeling than casually dragging that card off the spread in a way that should never normally take two cards and yet you are smiling inwardly knowing that the SF coating makes this possible. It is doubly nice in that the timing of the double is done under scrutiny. There is no need to sweat that your double is "perfect" as the heat can be on and no one but you will be the wiser.

I am always willing to put my money where my mouth is. If you would like, PM me your address, and I will send you a SF treated card for this effect so you can see and feel the difference for yourself.
The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge.
~Daniel J. Boorstin
Bob G
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Francois, I'm deeply flattered (or mortified?) that you took the trouble to look up pyrite. Marty's jokes inspired me to invent the other two (not the seven eight nine). So, people, if you didn't like the jokes, you know who to blame. Smile
Bob G
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Kalix, Thanks for your kind offer. A year or so ago I looked up SF spray and was a bit worried about the ingredients, so I guess I'll pass, reluctantly. But you're reminding me that I was trying a thick card for a while. I found that having a TC under the double makes the turnover just as flawless as what you described. The tricky bit is to get the TC under the double. Frank Yuen, in a PM, devised a nice method; not sure why I dropped the idea. Probably because I thought, "I've put so much time into DL's that I really ought to be able to do them." But I'm getting to the point where gaffs are starting to look *really* appealing.


I'm giving some thought to what you said about the magician having to seem like he's really in trouble. I'm not much of an actor, and worry about overacting. But I think it's worth adding a bit of time to the second phase, in which I really seem to be at a loss (something that I do pretty well anyway Smile ); that, along with pirates and your ribbon spread idea, might be enough to make the climax work.

Bob
Nikodemus
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Hi Bob,

I am pretty sure I read somewhere on the Café, or another forum, that the original version of Chicago Opener / Red Hot Mama didn't have the magician-in-trouble ending. The magician just clicked his fingers (or whatever) to make the odd-backed card match the second selection. (This is the presentation used in Chicago Surprise, and Yours Truly, and other variations of CO.) The magician-in-trouble business is not an essential part of the effect - just the most popular. My concern is that this can be pretty lame if it is not done well. Just go on YouTube to see some examples. So it could be that aspect that is letting you down.
Maybe try a more direct presentation for phase 2? Something like "just like before, I will spread the deck and you will see one red card. You will turn it over, and it will be your card".

You said in a previous post that YOU turn over the card. Wouldn't it be better to let the spec do that?

I also really like Francois's idea of making the second selection disappear. This creates a natural progression to the odd-card being the selection - if you stick with the magician-in-trouble approach. Or you could change your script very slightly to say your deck contains one Chameleon Card

One other thought - Pop Haydn devised Chicago Surprise because he realised the power of the effect depends on the apparent fairness of the second selection. His selection process seems ultra-fair. My opinion is that there are much better forces than the Hindu, even if you don't feel ready to do Chicago Surprise.
Bob G
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Hi Nicko,

Yes, I remember your objection to the magician in trouble theme in this trick. Hmm... Lots of possibilities and different things to try. What forces do you recommend? As I said earlier, I've been playing with the idea of an overhand shuffle force.


To Francois and Nicko: 1. I'm missing something. I'm not clear on why it's beneficial to make the second "selection" vanish.

2. How do you make it vanish? I don't feel ready for a palm.

Thanks,

Bob
Francois Lagrange
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On Jul 28, 2022, Bob G wrote:
To Francois and Nicko: 1. I'm missing something. I'm not clear on why it's beneficial to make the second "selection" vanish.

2. How do you make it vanish? I don't feel ready for a palm.

Thanks,

Bob

It depends on the effect you want to convey. In my presentation, the very card the spectator “chose”, not only vanished from the deck but turned red and has been sitting on the table from the beginning. It’s a lot for them to process.

Contrast this with finding a duplicate card in the deck - they won't of course if you don't hand them over the deck. The effect is of course different and also leads to a possible solution: the red-backed card that was left face down after the fist phase was not in fact the fist selection but a duplicate of the 2nd selection. The handling I’ve described removes the idea of duplicates (and therefore closes the door to the correct solution.)

I don’t use the ‘performer in trouble’ ploy in this effect. I’m always in control. In the second phase I “transfer” some magical ability to the spectator. She waves her hand over the deck and then looks for her odd-backed card that she can't find. I then ask her to hand me over her card so I can clearly demonstrate how it’s done. She can’t find her selection. It turns out that her card is the one laying on the table. Too much “power” was applied, a bit like in the “The Sorcerer's Apprentice”, and therefore chaos ensued, or at least some unexpected result. It plays very well with an audience.

If you perform this effect long enough, at some point someone will ask to see the deck and they may find the duplicate of the force card. This, again I believe, would dimmish the magic.

These ideas and their implementation are not original with me, they are a good friend’s of mine on this forum.

After reading Kaliix’s post, I shall apply SF to the force card so that I can remove it cleanly from a spread. The conviction’s got to be enhanced and therefore the impact more potent.

PS: As an excellent (nearly) impromptu trick, the original CO is very hard to beat.
Protect me from my friends, I'll deal with my enemies.
martyjacobs
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Quote:
It depends on the effect you want to convey. In my presentation, the very card the spectator “chose”, not only vanished from the deck but turned red and has been sitting on the table from the beginning. It’s a lot for them to process.


That's an interesting approach, it sounds more like Brother John Hamman's Mystery Card plot.

Quote:
Contrast this with finding a duplicate card in the deck - they won't of course if you don't hand them over the deck. The effect is of course different and also leads to a possible solution: the red-backed card that was left face down after the fist phase was not in fact the fist selection but a duplicate of the 2nd selection. The handling I’ve described removes the idea of duplicates (and therefore closes the door to the correct solution.)


This is one of the reasons I developed my two-card handling. After the first phase, it enables the pack to be thoroughly inspected for duplicate cards.

Marty
Bob G
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Thanks guys. very interesting,helpful discussion.
Kaliix
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I'm sure the original Chicago Opener/Chicago Surprise didn't have the magician in trouble presentation. I learned Red Hot Mama from Easy to Master Card Miracles Volume 1, attributed to Ryan/Everhart/Leech. In that version, Ammar used the magician in trouble premise. I would also completely agree that how well you can sell the magician in trouble angle is directly related to the impact of the effect. I think I personally sell that part quite well, as I know I've convinced spectators that I've messed up. The times that I've gotten the best reaction is when I've made the spectators believe, even if just for a moment that I've screwed up. Spectators love to see the magician in trouble and want to see him fail. It makes the reveal that much better, but obviously, you've got to sell it.

I would disagree with the shade thrown at the Hindu force. Perhaps I'm fooling myself but I'm a pretty realistic person and I've never had that force questioned. Maybe I just own it and it works, maybe I'm fooling myself, maybe magicians underestimate the power of the force when done correctly, or perhaps it's some combination of the above mixed with other variables we haven't even considered. I guess I'm saying don't discount the Hindu Force as it works just dandy for me.
The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge.
~Daniel J. Boorstin
Nikodemus
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This is a great discussion! There are so many interesting ideas. But here is just one simple one, I picked up on - in an earlier thread, Bob says HE is the one who turns over the transposed card at the end of phase 2. It seems to me it will always be more powerful for the magician NOT to touch the card at that point.
In fact on YouTube, there is an "improved" version of CO which uses a DB and a Mexican Turnover at the end. This means the card is not examinable at the end. Personally I think this is the opposite of an improvement.
Nikodemus
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Https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGJrah3h1gE

I like this version. The presentation is funny, and flows along nicely. Like all good performances, it has been throughly choreographed, yet - by no accident - appears quite spontaneous.

like the fact that he uses the Hindu Shuffle consistently for both selections. I think the second selection should seem as fair or fairer than the first.
Nikodemus
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On Jul 28, 2022, Bob G wrote:
1. I'm missing something. I'm not clear on why it's beneficial to make the second "selection" vanish.
2. How do you make it vanish? I don't feel ready for a palm.

Thanks,

Bob


Francois has already given a very clear answer to why it is beneficial. I would add just one other consideration. In an amateur context, it is more likely spectators will ask to see the deck, because there is less of a social taboo against challenging the performer. In a professional context, it is much less likely. However, just because they don't ask, it does not mean they don't suspect! The best constructed tricks address and eliminate possible explanations. So the effect will be stronger if you can build in showing the card is not in the deck. (Hence I disagree with the oft-quoted adage not to run if you are not being chased.)


As to how to make it disappear - there are lots of options, depending on your skill level and/or willingness to use gaffs.
Ideally you would palm it, then hand them the deck.
Alternatively there are sleight to allow you to spread/count through the deck hiding one card.
But given that the deck is already somewhat gaffed anyway by the addition of an odd-backed card (possibly treated with SF or R&S), why not use a similar method? You don't necessarily need to let them handle the deck; you could probably just ribbon-spread it on a table.
Nikodemus
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This is Manhattan Opener by Michael Feldman. In this variation of CO, the spectator is the magician for both phases.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slyEO5fLmXU

I like the pacing of the presentation. Michael smoothly feeds in comments about maybe her aim is a bit off, without ever interrupting the flow.

Likewise, looking back at Darryl's performance, his magician-in-trouble presentation is actually smooth and confident; there is never a sense that he is genuinely in trouble; it's all just part of the fun.
Nikodemus
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Bob,
I have a couple of ideas you might like for how to hide the card using gaffs. I will PM you...
Nick
Bob G
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Thanks, Nick, I look forward to reading your ideas. And thanks, everybody for all the recent posts. I'll respond not too long from now.

Bob
Kaliix
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This effect is one that I've performed extensively and I've never had ANYONE in a personal, work (teacher), or professional setting ever ask to see the deck. I don't even think the thought of a duplicate crosses their mind. Keep in mind, I've done this effect dozens of times for middle school-aged children who have NO PROBLEM with picking apart a routine, telling you they don't believe something, asking to look at things with no thought as to whether its even appropriate, etc. This is the crowd I would think would be most likely to question this effect and they just have never asked to see the deck.

Perhaps it's the routine structure and language that matter. The first card is actually pulled out of the deck by the spectator. The fact they touch the card is what the other cards make fun of him for, you know kinda how does it feel to be touched by a girl? This particular batch of cards is kinda juvenile, sorta new you know. When I offer to do it again, the Hindu Shuffle becomes a strength, not a weakness. First, I make sure to make the joke, "look at the card, remember it! If you forget, just act surprised". This is a good line at this point for several reasons. First, it's funny. Second, the "LOOK" at the card part is emphasized here, so they ARE focusing on the card (b/c we don't want them to forget). Third, by the time they've concentrated on the card and laughed at the joke, they are in no position to question the force.

Lastly, the fact that the card is NOT touched is integral to the plot and finish. I make sure to say after the selection and joke that one card will turn red because...oh wait. Ummm... you didn't touch the card, did you? Oh, ahhh...that's okay I'm sure you looked at him long enough. If your acting chops are solid, this is a great place to laugh in that way where you are trying to project confidence but are not so secretly a little worried that the second part will work. Continue to the finish as I've described earlier and Bam! Just great reactions and serious disbelief. If I've had to stop anyone from doing anything, two people I distinctly remember almost destroyed the red card by examining it a little too aggressively.

The ability to feign actual worry along with the plot as I've described above has served me well. I've enjoyed this discussion and hope this is useful.
The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge.
~Daniel J. Boorstin
Nikodemus
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Hi Kaliix,
I continue to find this discussion useful - thanks for your contributions.
It would be great to see a demo of your version if ever you were to post one.
Likewise Bob, Martin, Francois - and no doubt others!
martyjacobs
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Quote:
Perhaps it's the routine structure and language that matter.


I think that you're spot on here. Also, if your participants have lots of fun and laugh, they're not thinking about how the trick might work. The performance shared by Nikodemus is an excellent example of this in action:



I believe this is a critical element of magic (I call it "mental misdirection") because it suppresses our innate need to understand the world around us. However, once the fun is over, this need kicks back in no matter what.

For example, I have a trick which is a hybrid of the Open Prediction and Chicago Opener. It uses a DL with an odd-backer much in the same way as Chicago Opener (the DL is much easier to perform due to the construction of the trick). I performed it years ago for a youngster with autism. The trick completely fooled him. However, I made the mistake of leaving the odd-backed card with him. A few minutes later, I noticed him placing another card in front of the odd-backed card and performing a crude DL. He did not know anything about sleight of hand.

The reality is that some people are very good at retrograde analysis either because they're good at picking up on tiny clues (a benefit of being neurodiverse) or they've been trained in problem solving. This is why engineers, scientists and mathematicians can be a nightmare!

I'm sure I've discussed this before, but I do think it is helpful to discuss the weaknesses of a trick. Doing so forces you to find ways to strengthen the effect. There are two significant weaknesses to the traditional method:

1. The DL happens at precisely the wrong time (when everyone is looking at the cards).
2. The second phase gives analytical viewers all the information they need to understand how the first phase works.

Weakness #1 can be mitigated by removing the move or changing the moment a la Max Malini (see "Manhattan Opener" above). That's why I like the pirate jokes; everyone starts laughing, reducing tension. I can then more easily perform my DL.

Weakness #2 is more complicated. You need to alter the construction of the trick, e.g., add another moment of magic, like Card to Wallet, that prevents people from lingering on the end state of the trick.

Marty
landmark
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I thought the performer above had an engaging low key personality, but I'm not a fan of the card to wallet there. Any card effect can turn into card to wallet. Trust the Chicago opener plot. In Dai's version, the plot is muddy.
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You could do Jack Carpenters Impulsive Presention. People are always surprised at that one.
I j
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