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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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martyjacobs
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Quote:
Any card effect can turn into the card to wallet. Trust the Chicago opener plot. In Dai's version, the plot is muddy.


I agree that if clarity of effect is most important to you, then adding on a Card to Wallet ending might not be a good idea. However, I think this muddy approach is acceptable if the performance is more about you than the tricks. It depends on what you're ultimately trying to achieve with your magic.

The original handling of Chicago Opener is elegant. As someone who loves methods, it is very appealing to me. However, this directness of the method is a double-edged sword and does lead some onlookers to the modus operandi of the trick.

Marty
Nikodemus
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On Jul 31, 2022, landmark wrote:
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.


I agree. But there are a lot of things I do like in his performance -

He is very engaging.
He keeps everything moving along nicely.
The humour of the "marked cards". (Similar to Pop Haydn's "trained eye" gag).
The use of the prediction gag to set up the CTW (given the caveat about whether to add CTW anyway).

Also, it is a good example of not using the magician-in-trouble presentation. He explicitly changes the marked card to match the selection in his hand. (This is the same as Chicago Surprise, and as mentioned above, possibly the original effect of Chicago Opener?)
martyjacobs
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Interestingly, Al Leech's original presentation did not include the magician-in-trouble element. He blew on the pack to affect the first change and said, "The air I blew is so hot I turned one card red." Then the pack was placed to one side and the red-backed card was blown on for a second time, as he said, "The second time I blow, the face of the card changes."

There are some interesting thoughts on the trick in this thread over at the Genii Forum.

Marty

P.S. The original method also encouraged the use of "something extra" to make the central sleight easier.
Bob G
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Hi folks,

1. I enjoyed the thread on the Genii Forum that Marty shared. I found the following particularly interesting; it was a response to a worry by some people that the effect is flawed because spec will *know* that you are using duplicate cards (which they surely will):

"You can do this at any time during your set if you do the following. Assuming you work with a blue-backed deck, have a supply of red backed cards on you-- again assuming you're doing a walk around gig and will repeat it many times. When you're ready, openly introduce the red card and have the audience member sign the back, without ever showing the face of the card. I would make a point of this -- that you know what it is, but the spekkie does not.

"Cut it into the deck, actually placing the signed stranger and its duplicate for your favorite RH Mama routine. For this, I think I would use Gary Kurtz's mental approach from his handling of RH Mama. [Not familiar with this -- BG.]

"So now, after the double transformation, you can leave the card with them, with their signature, and move on. [The contributor hadn't tried his/her idea. -- BG]"


2. Another thing that struck me was the variety of opinions about how effective the trick was. Some people had performed it many times and gotten great reactions. Others had found that, no matter what they did, the trick drooped rather than flying.

3. Between the thread on Genii and the present thread, we have several places to look for Leech's version. Here's another: The Complete Al Leech, with an intro by Roberto Giobbi.

Bob
Bob G
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P. S. People interested in a history of different handlings of CO might enjoy Racherbaumer's book, 17 Red-Hot Mamas: Ways and Means. As usual with Racherbaumer, you get both the history and descriptions of how to perform the different variations.
Bob G
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P. P. S. Forgot to say, Lybrary has R.'s book.
Francois Lagrange
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I have probably performed CO thousands of times (in the late 70’s and most of the 80’s I worked restaurants) using the handling described in the Frank Garcia’s book as the magic had to be quick and tablespace was inexistent. Though uncommon, people did ask to ‘see the deck’, and I would turn them down politely with a humorous quip and start a new trick.

Also, contrary to some handling I see on YouTube nowadays, in the first phase, I never palmed off the selection to remove it from a pocket. It strikes me as very confusing plot wise, plus you risk planting the idea of duplicates in the audience’s mind – and it might even diminish the conviction of what the face-down red-backed card is supposed to be. Performers who do this will obviously disagree with me.

After a while I turned the forced card (not the odd-backed card) into a short card. It allows for the spectator to shuffle the deck and for an easy and convincing Riffle Force. Nobody (as far as I remember) ever asked to see the deck after this addition and a short card is a fabulous tool to have in one’s deck.

I’ve kept the short card (with a different force) in my current version that I use since I’ve retired and perform seated.
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Bob G
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Hi Francois,

Would you be willing to share with me the method by which you force the short card? -- perhaps in a PM to avoid exposure?


Thanks,

Bob

P. S. to all: Somewhere I saw a way to avoid the cut prior to the RSF, or, more precisely, to replace it with some shuffling. Unfortunately, I don't remember what it was or where I saw it. I have yet to try in public any of the forces that use the cut (classic, touch, riffle), but I always thought it would look suspicious.
Kaliix
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The card you want to force goes above the short card. Riffle the faces towards the spectator and tell them to say stop. The cards will automatically kind of stop on the force card after the short card drops. This is a timing thing but is honestly not hard once you actually put a short card in and do it a few times. There is such a short window of time to call stop if you riffle at the proper speed, it's practically automatic. Just as with a correctly orientated crimp card, if the spectator is asked to cut the deck while grabbing the short sides, they will almost always cut to the short card. I'm just not worried about exposure when a youtube search would get you this information in spades with video tutorials and all. Plus this is all very basic card magic info.

Quote:
On Aug 1, 2022, Bob G wrote:
Hi Francois,

Would you be willing to share with me the method by which you force the short card? -- perhaps in a PM to avoid exposure?


Thanks,

Bob

P. S. to all: Somewhere I saw a way to avoid the cut prior to the RSF, or, more precisely, to replace it with some shuffling. Unfortunately, I don't remember what it was or where I saw it. I have yet to try in public any of the forces that use the cut (classic, touch, riffle), but I always thought it would look suspicious.
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Francois Lagrange
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The force card (the duplicate) is actually the one which has been cornered short, so riffling the pack face down with left thumb will leave it at the bottom of the top half ready to be shown to the spec.

But, you don't have to Riffle Force the card. You can easily locate it after a shuffle, cut the deck and go into a Hindu Shuffle or bring it on top and overhand shuffle force as you seem to like this force. Practically any force will do. The point is that the deck gets shuffled by the spectator and therefore their suspicion seems to dissipate - in my experience.

The force I'm using now is not mine but original with a friend on the Café; it's not intrinsically better only marginally more convincing.
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Francois Lagrange
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Talking about the effect with my friend, he suggested the use of the ‘Credit Card Force’ (or variations of it) which makes the use of a duplicate card unnecessary.

Basically, during the second phase, you ask the spectator to partially introduce a joker anywhere in a fanned deck. The card next to it is remembered.

The joker is put away. The odd-backed card is the selection.

No duplicate, no sleight of hand, a very convincing force. A real fooler it seems to me (as you can spread the deck face down and face up straight away) - but you have to script the use of the joker (or credit card etc.) so that it makes sense.

The beauty of CO is that it lends itself to endless variations that suit your style and skill set. I'll keep using my current handling, but the one just described has merit.
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Bob G
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Thanks, guys -- very helpful. Francois, I'm not following your latest post. I can look up the credit card force -- have seen it somewhere -- but I don't understand why a duplicate is unnecessary. Also -- in the traditional plot, the odd-backed card is removed from the top of the deck and placed aside. So there must be some difference in the handling, here, if the force-card is the odd-backed one. Finally, given that the odd-backed card is the "selection" in Phase II, wouldn't it be obvious that the card had been forced?

Bob
Francois Lagrange
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Bob, I'm confused about what you're actually asking. The force card is not the odd-backed one, it's the duplicate which is (corner) short. Same handling as in the original, only the force is different.

The credit card force can be found in card college, for example.
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Bob G
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I'll look up the force in CC and get back to you if I'm still confused, Francois.

Thanks,

Bob
Bob G
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Marty wrote: "Interestingly, Al Leech's original presentation did not include the magician-in-trouble element. He blew on the pack to affect the first change and said, "The air I blew is so hot I turned one card red." Then the pack was placed to one side and the red-backed card was blown on for a second time, as he said, 'The second time I blow, the face of the card changes.' "


I like this. I'm going to try it out and see what kind of reaction I get. I have no idea what to expect. Leech's approach gives up the element of surprise, but not the mystery. Sometimes surprises make things less clear. And sometimes *knowing* what's going to happen increases the sense of anticipation, and the satisfaction when the expectation is fulfilled.


As a recently retired math prof, I can imagine saying something like, "I used to be a professor. Even though I'm retired, I still have a large fund of hot air." And then go into the business of blowing on the card.


I think I mentioned that Frank Yuen on the Café explained to me how to use a thick card in this effect. I just tried it again, and it made the DL dead easy. Yahoo!
martyjacobs
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If you're going for mystery, then I think you should show that one card is red-backed before you force the first selection. This gives the trick more of a mentalism feel. Personally, I think this effect is all about surprising transformations; that's its real strength.

Marty
Bob G
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So would you say that Leech's presentation wasn't about surprises, Marty?

Bob
Nikodemus
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There are some really interesting points being made in this thread!

I was a bit confused by the references above to "duplicates". I think I understand now...
Earlier in the thread, Francois referred to the problem of spectators sometimes asking to see the deck after phase 2. The problem is that in the common (Magician-In-Trouble) style of presentations, the selection has supposedly transformed into the odd-backed card already on the table from phase 1. I.e it is NOT supposed to still be in the deck. This is when he initially referred to the problem of "duplicates", and said that the effect is more convincing if the card can be shown to have disappeared from the deck.

I assume that his own method for this is to palm the card.

I don't want to expose too much detail, but I believe the Joker/Credit Card force was invented by someone called FIEDLER.
After you remove the Joker/Credit Card from the deck the forced card will automatically disappear. Hence there is no "duplicate" [of the stranger card] left in the deck. So the "duplicate" in this sense refers to the force card itself. This is a great suggestion, because it kills two birds with one stone.

I hope I have understood this correctly. Apologies if not.



I also like Francois's idea to use a locatable force card, and allow the spectator to shuffle before phase 2. Basically anything that makes the effect seem fairer adds to its impossibility.

Another obvious ingredient of what makes CO stronger or weaker, is the force. This is why Pop Haydn developed Chicago Surprise. He said the effect rests on the spectator refuting any possibility of a force.
Bob mentioned in an earlier post that he uses the Hindu Force for CO, but finds the Overhand Shuffle Force easier. My advice would be to switch to the OHSF. They are basically the same anyway, so do the one you are more comfortable with. And it's more culturally normal in the USA to OH shuffle rather than Hindu Shuffle.

But I would also be looking for the most convincing force within my skill-level. The Joker Force might fit the bill for this, because it seems impossible to cheat. Especially if you could use a Joker to do the selection (legitimately) in phase 1.

Another option is the Gary Ouellette Touch Force. This would work well with the idea of a locatable force card. John Bannon describes such a use in Misremembering Jack in Mentalissimo.
Nikodemus
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I was also confused by the idea of openly introducing a stranger card, and getting the back signed. This seemed to fly in the face of the CO premise that the back of a selected card magically changes colour. On reading the discussion on the Genie forum I see it is the same person who says he likes Gary Kurtz's approach. I am familiar with this, and this makes sense now...

The first phase of GK's handling is that the deck is shown face UP. The spectator is invited to name any card they want to. This card is then shown to be the only red-backed card (with a big X too) in the blue-backed deck. So this is more of a "mental" phase - the implication is that the card was already red, and somehow the spectator was influenced to choose that card. (So basically Brainwave). This is a very different effect from a card magically transforming (although obviously the method is the same).

In this case the suggestion to openly introduce a red-backed (& signed) card makes some sense. Personally I don't think it would really add any value, and in fact undermines the impact of phase 1 because there is no surprise. It's also worth noting that the author had just come up with the idea; he hadn't road-tested it.
But anyway, at least that puts it in context.

On the other hand, I DO like Kurtz's approach. It has a degree of plausibility, that maybe would make spectators less likely to suspect the method? (Whereas everyone knows that cards can't actually change colour as per most versions of CO)
Nikodemus
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Here is Forced Thought by Gary Kurtz -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOnEOlEWLow
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