Northern California - United States
Posted: Sep 4, 2007 2:01am
CATACLYSM by Brian Caswell
Ad Description: You bring out a red-backed pack of bicycle cards. You explain that the deck has been numbered on the backs of the cards with all the numbers from one to fifty-two. You go through the deck showing the numbers. You claim to have all the numbers memorized. To test you, a spectator is asked to name any card. You remove it from the deck and drop it face up on the table. You ask for another, remove it from the deck and drop that down likewise. You call for a third card to be named and remove that also.
At this point things take a disturbing turn. You have noticed a pattern. You slide the three chosen cards a little further apart. Now they form a neat triangle. You explain that, just for laughs, you had a tarot reading a couple of months ago. A photograph was taken at the reading. You have carried it around ever since. You remove it from your pocket and lay it face down on the table. You start to talk about the details in the photograph, the many rows of curious cards set out on a large table. During the reading you showed the tarot reader your own cards, and she spoke of three numbers that were to play some special role in your life. Scarcely believing what you're looking at, you slowly turn the three cards face down.
You show them the photograph. There, in the midst of all the colourful exotic cards, is clearly seen a neat triangle of red bicycle cards, with different numbers written on the backs. The three numbers are the same as, and in exactly the same locations as the numbers on the cards which are now sitting on the table. You await the cataclysm.
If you are interested in doing this type of effect, it is not possible to be any more simple, direct, and stunning than this. You show a deck of cards. You ask for three cards to be named. You take them out the deck. There's nothing more to it than that.
There is no rough and smooth. There are no sticky cards. There are are no fake or unusual cards of any type. There is nothing to conceal. There is no funny business. It's a regular bicycle deck. It's permanently on view. There is no sleight of hand. There is no reset. There is nothing to do except frighten people out of their wits."
While I've never been into mentalism per se, I do like to perform mental type effects from time to time provided they fit a certain criteria. Meaning, the effect must be very strong, visual and not take six months of memorization to accomplish. The latter is an important factor. It's not that I am not willing to work at mastering a trick. In fact, I'll practice extra hard to learn a new sleight if it allows me to accomplish something that I feel will be a major addition to my performance. However, often with mentalism type effects one has to spend an enormous amount of time and preparation to accomplish but a small miracle. If mentalism was my thing, I would no doubt go along with the program as it were. But, for the most part I feel my time is better spent on presentation so I can do my job better, you know - entertain my audience.
All that said, I am happy to report that CATACLYSM not only meets my criteria for adding a mentalism type effect to my current repertoire, it does so seemingly by design it would seem. I feel like its creator Brian Caswell and I think along similar lines. The effect is very direct, extremely strong and the mechanics can be mastered in a matter of minutes. Because of the low learning curve, you'll be able to spend your valuable time working on the presentation of the trick, instead of wondering if you'll ever be able to preform it successfully or not.
While the trick is very simple to learn, Mr. Caswell and the good folks at Unearthly Magic have made the learning process even easier. You receive a six page instruction booklet which explains the effect in such a way that even a total neophyte will understand. In addition they have included five additional pages of bonus ideas which will surely give you even more food for thought. Finally, you receive a red backed deck of Rider Back Bicycle cards and a set of nice photographs which complete the package.
Once I had read the instruction booklet and understood the ideas and concept behind this, I was able to have everything ready to perform within just a few minutes - it is that easy. Now, while you cannot hand the deck out for examination, I personally do not see this as a problem. Your spectators are going to be so caught up in the events that just happened that the deck is not going to be an issue. Remember too that they'll be spending their moments looking over that eerie photograph which gives you plenty of time to pocket the deck and move onto something else.
If you do close-up magic you'll really want to consider adding CATACLYSM to your bag of miracles. It's so strong that I'm using this as my current closer. Recommended.
Suggested retail is £25.00
Available from Unearthly Magic
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52 Blunham Road
Phone (UK): 1767 - 640612
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