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  1. #1
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    Hello magic, old friend--two questions

    Hello Ladies and Gentlemen!

    When I was a young boy of 17 or so, I watched the movie The Prestige and began a journey into magic. I was pretty taken with it for a year or two, but eventually got busy with other things and kind of left it behind. I would still perform the occasional trick, but I never returned to it with any discipline.

    Fatefully, I watched the Prestige again the other day with some good friends, and beforehand I decided to pull out some of the old tricks. Surprisingly, it was the best "performance" I ever gave. I made a signed coin vanish from someone's hand and appear in their glass of milk, swapped signed cards with a lady while they were clenched in our teeth (thanks, Wayne Houchin), and I finished by making them call two different friends that I don't know, and had their combined suit and number turn upside-down in the untouched deck. They were blown away. And I remembered why I love magic, and decided to do a little more with it.

    So here are a couple things I thought I would ask the community, since I don't know who else to go to.

    1. I watched David Blaine's most recent special last week, and of course he does the card-in-fruit trick--and oldie but a goodie--and I realize that I should probably learn how to do that one. Unfortunately, I don't know where to start, since it's such an old trick; not to mention he uses a mental force--something I would be really interested in getting into. Anyways, I was wondering if any of you had any good books that I could look into for the card-in-fruit method, and also mental forces. I used to own 13 Steps to Mentalism, but I wasn't prepared for it, and a lot of it was meant for stage performances, which I will basically never do. I don't know if mental forces were in there, but even if they are, is there a more beginner-friendly source?

    2. I'm planning to do a super short routine at a Halloween party in a couple weeks, and I'm considering including Stigmata by Wayne Houchin. However, I'm not interested in doing anything with cards for this routine, so I would have to do the version with the paper and the person's name. I tried that once or twice back in the day, but I always had a couple difficulties: how do you "learn" the name without it being totally obvious what you're doing? (misdirection is really tough here because you're the center of attention at that point in the performance) And what do you do about poor penmanship? (really got boned once because of this)
    I know it's not kosher to discuss in public, but I would love to PM someone about their experience. Quick note, though: I no longer have the DVD, so testing that I paid for it by asking for the third word in chapter two or something won't work. I only remember general things about the DVD. Maybe you'll have another suggestion for authentication?

    I guess there is a third thing: there used to be a trick on Ellusionist where the magician would sign the back of a card, and a volunteer would sign the front, and eventually they would merge together so one signature was on the back, and the other was on the front of the same card. I want to say it's by Justin Miller? Anyways, is it being sold anywhere right now? I was fond of the trick but never got around to buying it; now I can't find it.

    Thanks for reading my long post. I really appreciate your time and help.

    Kenneth

  2. #2
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    Hi there :) Everyone here is a Magician of some sort, but I seem to be the resident Wizard at this time. Welcome to the forum.

    To your first question, the effect you're looking for is called "Bill to Lemon," and the method is found in various basic magic sources. The first that jumps to my mind is Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic. You'll hear about 5 different people on this forum (maybe on this thread) telling you to buy that book, and with good reason. It's pretty inclusive. Blaine does that trick with a card and an orange instead of a bill and a lemon, but it's the same principle, and it involves citrus fruit usually.

    To the second question, it sounds like you're talking about a Center Tear or something like it, and the one I use is called "Think Pink" by Ran Pink. People do tend to have their eyes right on you for that part, but if you're pattering and presenting properly it will stick in people's memories as being very fair. I usually patter about listening to the story inside the paper as I rip it and hold it to my ear, away from my eyes. This is a subtle way of giving the spectator the idea that the paper was never within my field of vision without calling direct attention to the fact that I'm "not looking" at the paper. To justify glancing at the hands, I usually act like the pieces are getting hard to tear and move my hands away from my head in an apparent effort to get a better grip. I don't think I can go into too much more detail on this one without risking some exposure, but you're free to PM me if you'd like more info.

    Finally, I kind of remember the card trick you're talking about, and I'm pretty sure there's something similar to it in Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic. I don't remember what the Ellusionist version was called, though.
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  3. #3
    ChristopherThisse's Avatar :: Moderator
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    For Stigmata Wayne actually teaches a certain peek method which I can't talk about here as that would be exposure. However, his preferred peek isn't the only way to do it. One could use a center tear, as Redbeard mentioned, or an impression pad, or a billet switch, or even Contact Mind Reading if you wanted to do a longer presentation.

    There's a huge amount of ways to get this kind of information.

    Now, with the peek that Wayne teaches handwriting can be an issue. I've run into that before. You just do the best you can and possibly try to get multiple peeks if you can. Luke Jermay has a bit in one of his recent-er releases (From the Notebooks, I think) where he shows how to structure a routine so you can get several peeks if necessary. It's geared towards sit-down readings, but could be reworked to work for stand up situations as well.

    We just released the Informant Wallet which I think is one of the better impression devices out there. Used in a walk around situation it's natural and organic and the information is clear as day if you follow Bobby's advice.

    The important part is to make the props invisible. By that I mean handle them in such a way that it seems like they are non-essential. This is not as easy as it seems for some people - as it requires that you construct your routines in such a way that there's no reason to question why you're using slips of paper, or whatever. Peter Turner has some great thoughts about this in various sources. I think he just did a Q&A session for Believe in Magic Place on Facebook which addressed this.

    As for your other points - The Card-In-Orange is indeed exactly where Redbeard referenced it. It's also in Tarbell and a few other sources.

    The trick you're asking about is Anniversary Waltz. There's been a few versions of it. We used to sell Justin Miller's version but have since discontinued it.
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  4. #4
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    Well, most folks around here will tell you that I'm the resident encyclopedia . . .

    Bill or Card into Fruit can be done a number of ways but the simplest is to use a Thumb Tip; I'd suggest you look into the Darwin Encyclopedia of Thumb Tips. . . sounds like it will be very beneficial to you.

    When it comes to Stigmata I'd recommend that you look into an Impression System if you're nervous working with tears and peeks; something akin to John Rigg's Butterfly note pad. Alternative, you may find that the Acidus Novus Peek can serve you even better (and before certain people chime in on the price; this is the first complete reveal of AN and how potent a tool it can be. Far more versatile than most realize).

    You may also want to look at the idea of doing what's known as Pre-Show so that you can pre-set your stigmata reveal (or better yet, use an Ashes type routine)
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  5. #5
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    There is an L&L Bill in Lemon DVD that has several good routines on it.
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  6. #6
    Shawn Mullins's Avatar :: Team Ellusionist
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    This is far cheaper and is an encyclopedia on switches and includes a couple center tears. When I was performing mentalism, this was a go-to for billet work.

    -------

    Card in fruit is an OLD and amazing trick. Thought of card to fruit, I'm sure there is something you didn't see on the special to make it THAT clean looking.

    The method I immediately think of is, bill to fruit or card, Mark Wilson has a method for in his awesome book. Basically, a corner is torn and given to the spectator, the item vanishes and is found in a fruit across the room (untouched). They (or you) cut open the fruit and their item is inside and matches the torn corner.

    It's REALLY powerful and one hell of a trick. Most people will say "it needs to be signed" but they are thinking like a magician. However, if you want the bill signed, I cannot recommend Chris Randall's method more. It's really genius and he teaches a nice rope routine as well.

    With said you also mentioned mental forces. Keep in mind there are things that LOOK like mental forces but really aren't. In fact, they are 100% sure-fire. I'm sure Blaine was using one of these methods.
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  7. #7
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    Rich Ferguson has a thing out called Serial Biller that allows you to do things to a bill and keep tracking the serial number to make sure it's the same one. He has a "Bill to Lemon" in there that utilizes this principle and makes the whole thing seem utterly impossible. This might be a nice alternative for the "thought-of card" thing in terms of impact.
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  8. #8
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    Thank you so much to everyone who responded! You've given me a lot to research into! It's good to be back with such a cool community.

    Shawn, I'm really interested in some sources that might have some of the techniques you're referring to: forces the LOOK like mental forces but may not be. Are we talking simple magician's force type stuff?

    The trouble is that, though I may want to include some mental magic in my arsenal, I know I'm nowhere near ready to jump into true mentalism, and I'm not even sure I want to do so. So, it's difficult finding the techniques I need without wading through books-worth of material I'm not fitted for or interested in yet...

    I guess there never is an easy way.

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