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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workers » » Daryl's six packet triumph display, is it not as good as it seems? (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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1tepa1
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I am sure most of you are familiar with this display, where after you shuffle the cards face up and face down, you cut the deck into six packets and face up and face down cards are seen alternating on top of each packet. I always liked this display and thought it was a good convincer, but after doing some research after one spectator made a comment about it, I am thinking it might not actually be a good thing to do. So I performed triumph for one person, did the triumph display, and afterwards the person told me that when I cut the packets, he felt like I was doing something, ordering the cards. He specifically pointed out that display as the thing that was bad about the trick, not the shuffle prior to it, not the reversal of half the packet. So I asked him, if I did the trick exactly the same but eliminated that cutting sequence, would it be better? And he said yes, because that moment was the one moment where he felt I was doing something sneaky.

So after this incident I started to gather more information from people. I performed the triumph with the display to people and asked their comments afterwards. I specifically asked what they thought about the shuffle, and what they thought about the six packet cutting sequence afterwards. Not a single person said anything about the shuffle, but many people said the cutting sequence felt odd and suspicious to them. So just to make sure it was not a fault of my own handling, I sent videos to a few laypeople of other people performing the six packet display during a triumph effect, one example was a performance of triumph by Michael Vincent. I got back the same replies, that the six packet cutting sequence felt suspicious.

So, what are your thoughts on this? Have any of you asked or had spectators make comments about this sequence? Have any of you disliked it and chosen not to use it or used it and reverted back to a version that does not use it?
Mike Powers
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It might be good to dig deeper and find out what they mean by "felt suspicious." Did they believe that somehow that sequence was tied to an explanation of how the trick worked? Did they mean that seeing the six packets made them feel that, perhaps, the cards were not really mixed FU/FD? Or did it just seem "odd."

M
Ray J
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All I can say is don't let a few spectator's opinions cause you to lose confidence in that display or anything else for that matter. Been doing it for 40 years at least and never had anything but success with it.

If you don't want to use it, there's no law saying you have to and there are options that involve 4 packets, etc. Conjuringarchive.com is a good source, just search for "Triumph Displays". Harry Lorayne came up with a couple.

Remember that in addition to the moves there is the patter which goes along with it. Make sure that the two work together.
It's never crowded on the extra mile....
NicholasD25
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I have also used this for many years. I’ve altered the packet layout and pick up sequence a little in order to make it seem a little more hap hazard. And , I agree that the patter going along with it is important..
1tepa1
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Quote:
On Mar 18, 2023, Ray J wrote:
All I can say is don't let a few spectator's opinions cause you to lose confidence in that display or anything else for that matter. Been doing it for 40 years at least and never had anything but success with it.

If you don't want to use it, there's no law saying you have to and there are options that involve 4 packets, etc. Conjuringarchive.com is a good source, just search for "Triumph Displays". Harry Lorayne came up with a couple.

Remember that in addition to the moves there is the patter which goes along with it. Make sure that the two work together.


I did lose confidence in using the display. I have always used it, but often times spectators don't really say what they think, but sometimes you get a spectator that actually does tell you. So when this one spectator said so I thought it is just one incident. But after I showed it to other people and asked, there are too many that pointed out that display as something that felt suspicious to them. Some did not elaborate why it felt suspicious, but other spectators did and what they said is that the cutting sequence felt the opposite of what I as a magician had thought its purpose is, to prove that the deck is chaotically mixed up and down. What they perceived the cutting sequence as was that the magician was sorting out the cards. One spectator said that the cutting sequence looks too orchestrated, too planned out, so it just feels like it has something to do with the method and in some way it is used to manipulate the cards.
Frank Yuen
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Many magicians do Triumph displays too casually. They cut the deck and name face down or face up without actually appearing to look at the cards. It's like they know what the card will be because of course they do. I've always tried to do Triumph displays a little hesitatingly, tilting my head a little and actually trying to make it look like I'm looking for a face down or face up card when calling it.
Ray J
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Another lesser use of the display is in a full deck Oil & Water routine to apparently show the cards quite mixed red & black.

I use it in John Mendoza's "A little gambler's move called the Squeeze".
It's never crowded on the extra mile....
landmark
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What has to be taken into account is this: the more handling of the cards you do before the reveal, the more the spec suspects you might be doing something to the cards.It may well be that in this case less is more.
Nikodemus
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Personally I think you should listen to feedback from spectators. How else are you to ascertain what is or is not working?
The only caveat I would add, is that we need to be careful how we pose the question, in order to ensure that the question itself does not influence their answer. This is a familiar problem in constructing questionnaires (which I have some experience of). But it sounds like you did ask them in an open-ended way, so the answers are probably reliable.

I saw someone (Jon Armstrong??) do a Triumph where he appeared to shuffle the cards FU/FD without noticing; so it was presented as a mistake by him (rather than the usual plot of the difficult spectator doing it deliberately). Then he did the Daryl thing, acting very confused and embarrassed, like he was still trying to figure out what went wrong. This was both amusing, and very convincing. In that context the Daryl moves seemed spontaneous and motivated.

However, I think the Daryl display (with its usual patter) looks rather contrived. As your spectators felt.
A line you often hear is, what would it look like if it was real magic? If cards were genuinely mixed FU & FD I don't think anyone would show that using the Daryl display; they would just spread the deck. That is what Kostya Kimlet did in his incredible Triumph on Penn and Teller Fool Us. And that is what blew their minds - precisely because you can't do that in most Triumphs.

Michael O'Brien has a version of Triumph where he only spreads a few cards in the middle of the deck, which is very convincing (given that it only needs to conform what the audience should already believe anyway.
1tepa1
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Yes, I think that the spectators think something like this after the trick: The cards were shuffled face up and face down (this is if they believe this first part), so how did the cards become all the same way. Well, somehow the magician had to do something in between the moment the cards were shuffled and the moment they were spread on the table, so what did the magician do? Well, I remember the magician cutting multiple packets on the table and then rearranging them back together, so that is the moment the magician must have ordered the cards back all face down.

Like Nikodemus says, this display is unusual, it looks strange. It is something that the spectators also remember you doing. And maybe that is not a good thing. Because any manipulation of the cards, changing their positions, after the moment where you shuffled them face up and face down, is now a potential possibility that the spectators can think you did the dirty work. Its one thing to just cut the deck once vs cutting the deck into multiple piles and then gathering those piles back together. And also yeah if you really wanted to show the cards were mixed, you would spread them instead of cut six packets.
NicholasD25
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IMO, there’s a little too much over-thinking going on. I doubt very much that the average spectator is picking apart the effect, unless it’s performed poorly. Magicians might, but that’s what we do. When we do the ambitious card , if the spectator thinks the card is back on top because we never placed it in the deck in the first place, would you never do ambitious card again? I’ve been performing Triumph with a Daryl type display for almost 45 years now and have never had the feeling that a spectator was suspicious. So, as for me , I’ll never stop doing it.
1tepa1
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Yes I don't mean that most spectators will think like that. I mean that if the spectator is such that they do think about the effect, then they might think that is the case.
Nikodemus
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The average spectators may not dissect every detail of an effect, but most people have a gut feeling when something is not quite right.
I read (in a Darwin Ortiz book I think) that a magician considers him/herself fooled if there is just one aspect of an effect they cannot figure out; whereas a layperson feels they have NOT been fooled if there is just one moment where they feel they spotted "something".

I don't think Daryl's display should be summarily cast aside. There are probably ways to make it more convincing (and I have suggested one).

A chain is as strong as its weakest link. If I had a version of Ambitious Card, and was getting consistent spectator feedback that there was one phase that seemed fishy, I would want to fix or eliminate that weakness. I wouldn't stop doing AC altogether though. As far as I am aware the OP is not planning to stop performing Triumph; he is just concerned about one detail.
1tepa1
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Yes I am not stopping triumph. I was just forced to reconsider how I thought about the trick, and then try to view it differently and try to understand how an audience member (or some of them) might view the trick as. To me the six packet display was a convincer, it shows cards face up and face down. But also because I know what it does, it was a blind spot for me. I know it does not reorganize the cards so they are all the same way. It does nothing, it returns the cards to the same position they were before the cut, at least in terms of the face up/face down condition. But a spectator does not know that. If the six packet display was actually used to sort out cards, turn face up cards face down and so on, maybe I as a magician would have had magicians guilt about using it, knowing it is a part of the method, and considered that the spectator might also think I am doing something, because I really am. But because I know I am not doing anything during the display, not sorting and ordering the face up and face down cards, I instinctively never considered that a spectator might feel like I am in fact manipulating the cards. But after I stopped, thought about it and got some feedback, I understand perfectly why a spectator would find that sequence potentially suspicious. Because if they believe the first shuffle is real, meaning the cards are actually shuffled face up and face down, then the only moment where it makes any sense to think I could have manipulated the deck back facing all the same way is during the one moment where I am visually changing the order of the cards, and that is during the cutting sequence.

With the ambitious card example, if the spectator believes the card goes into the middle, but then I do some sequence of handling the cards after that, then they will think that during that sequence the card was brought to the to the top. As an example, if I put the card to the middle, then I cut the top portion to the table and shuffle the bottom portion, then put the top portion back on top and show the card back on top, this sequence of manipulation of the cards will be suspicious to a spectator, I think. Even though we as magicians know it has nothing to do with the method since the card is already on top the moment it is "put into the middle". We also know there is no way that shuffling the bottom part could bring it to the top since the top part was only cut to the table and no cards were altered in that top part. But when a layperson looks back after the card is brought to the top, they remember that there was some handling, shuffling of the cards in between the moment the card was put to the middle, so to a layperson (again, this is just what I think) it would be the only moment where they feel like something could have been done to bring the card to the top.
ThomasJ
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Quote:
On Mar 20, 2023, landmark wrote:
What has to be taken into account is this: the more handling of the cards you do before the reveal, the more the spec suspects you might be doing something to the cards.It may well be that in this case less is more.


Agreed.

Also, there is a lot that must be taken into account when evaluating the validity of feedback like this. One that Nick touched on is how the question was presented when specifically asking for feedback about the shuffle and cutting sequence. If someone thinks that he/she should question the cutting sequence, might he say it felt suspicious when asked about it, even if it raised no suspicion during performance?
Another thing to consider is the fact that the cutting sequence is not something a typical layperson does, but shuffling is. Could we assume that any sequence that is unfamiliar to a layperson might result in being suspicious when the layperson is asked for feedback about it?

TJ
NicholasD25
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Asking someone if a sequence looks suspicious creates suspicion that may not have been there at all. I still think there’s too much overthinking going on.
1tepa1
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If you read what Tommy Wonder has written, there is a lot of thinking and theory in his books. Some would say it is overthinking, but to me it is a good thing when a magician thinks more than necessary about how the spectators might experience the trick. Dani Daortiz has this concept of knowing what the spectators think and closing the doors, eliminating the possible explanations the spectators could have, before they have them. I don't think it is unreasonable at all for a spectator to think you did something to make the cards all the same way, and that they would think the cutting sequence is the part where it happens.

In the books of Wonder, Tommy wonder mentions a few times phrases that he has heard magicians say that he disagrees with. Common phrases that are still used. Things like if your spectators try to figure out your trick, you performed the trick in the wrong way. He has constructed many of his routines with the aim of eliminating the common ideas that a spectator might have for how a trick is done.
AaronShields
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For a long time I was against the cutting sequence. Mar reasoning was that it it can suggest to the spectator that you're rearranging the deck.

Over time, however, I've changed my mind.

I realized that the main goal of the display isn't to display a cutting sequence, but instead to show the image of alternating cards which is achieved by the image of the six packets on the table. Everything else is irrelevant. Therefore, everything else should be made irrelevant.

Attention should only be drawn to that moment of the display and then only quickly. Everything else should occur outside the attention of the spectator. This is similar to some of tamari's thinking on the double turnover where the turnover itself should be done without the spectators looking at the cards.

Few magicians do it this way from what I've seen.

I've done a lot of marketing research professionally, so I also have a couple thoughts on your spectator surveys:
1. Video is a bad way for someone to judge something like this because everything happens in the viewing frame. So, sending along a video for evaluation won't equate to the same evaluation of a real-world performance.

2. Asking spectators to focus on specific parts of a trick is a bit leading. In other words, it may cause them to take a critical eye to a situation that they wouldn't take a critical eye to in the absence of evaluation.
Ed Oschmann
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People will have a different experience when viewing the six packet display. Some are will see it as a convincer that the cards are truly mixed, while others will see it as the method for righting the cards (or at the very least "doing some thing"). Try this as an experiment: do try am using a cheek to cheek deck where no manipulation is done and check the responses. I think you will find that they are appreciatively better. I think Roberto Giobbi has the correct approach in card college using a minimal convincer before the finale. At least, when using a regular deck.
Nikodemus
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I found the "accidental" Triumph I mentioned above. It is Jonathan Levitt (not John Armstrong).
The Triumph effect starts at 21.30 -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZrmVBphrPA

I think it's a great presentation. The Daryl sequence doesn't look like a deliberate display at all. The "motivation" or "internal dialogue" is What the hell did I do??? Look what a mess I made of everything!
To me this makes it very believable.



Also here is Michael O'Brien doing Tour De Force -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9t5HIrp2U0
The convincer I mentioned is at 1.07
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