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Topic: PIck A sin
Message: Posted by: unilogo (Jan 24, 2005 09:42PM)
So I have been reading some posts on this effect and it sounds hella interesting. Problem is , Is brother shadow still around(POST LOOK OLD)? Is there another place to get it ? I could of sworn I saw it on some website.....maybe?

Finally, So I get the concept of picking a sin....but I mean...what is the point? IF they pick a sin does anything bad hapenn?Wheres the magic?

Yes I am very confused . From what I read everyone loves it and it looks very promising. SO I am asking.....

Any help is greatly appreciated.
Message: Posted by: Tony Razzano (Jan 24, 2005 09:50PM)
You can ask Brother Shadow himself. His email is:


Best regards,
Tony Razzano
Message: Posted by: rannie (Jan 24, 2005 11:13PM)
Peter Marucci has an excellent piece called The Seven Deadly Sins. I have used this in a big production and it got wonerful reactins. Very strong!


Message: Posted by: enriqueenriquez (Jan 25, 2005 11:44AM)
Pick a Sin is a wonderful routine. I had the privilege of having Brother Shadow himself performing this to me. It was really great.

The only extra ďgimmickĒ I feel you will need is to be able of laughing in a very devilish way. Not everybody can do that! ;-)
Message: Posted by: calexa (Jan 25, 2005 02:55PM)
If you want to know more about "The seven deadly sins" you can read more about the principle behind this trick in the book "Life, Death and other card tricks by Robert Neale.

Message: Posted by: bloodyjack (Jan 25, 2005 03:42PM)
I would but I am out to lunch :)
Message: Posted by: EVILDAN (Jan 28, 2005 06:37PM)
If you are finally able to purchase "Pick A Sin" from Brother Shadow and like performing it, I've created a special wallet to house all the cards. Check it out at:

IMPORTANT - this wallet DOES NOT come with the effect or any of the cards. Just the wallet only.

The left side will contain the "7 Deadly Sin" cards. In front of that is a smaller pocket for your business cards. The right side contains the "contract" cards and the window is of the proper height to store the cards and still allow the participant to sign their soul away while inside the wallet. It's really a smart looking wallet.

Ask Brother Shadow as he highly recommends it. And I quote "I love this thing." - Brother Shadow.

Live well, Die well,
Soul Proprietor of Terelmes Leather - http://www.evildan.biz/leather
Message: Posted by: StrangeMagick (Jan 29, 2005 06:10PM)

If you want quality Leather magickal products, do yourself a favor and take a look at EvilDan's products. If you want plastic, or cheaply made stuff, don't waste Dan's time and go elsewhere. Dan's wallets are some of the best (if not the best) I've seen. Again ... not cheap, or cheaply made ... but made to last!!!

Dave Birtwell
Message: Posted by: Bill Fienning (Jan 30, 2005 09:37PM)
I did Brother Shadow's Pick-a-Sin at the I.B.M. convention in Kansas City at the table-to-table session. All of the performers were writers for the Linking Ring.

At least one magician was sufficiently offended that he described it in detail in his blog, although he did not mention me by name.

I have my own version and extension of the effect. As we most bizarre effects, we try, or should always try, to extend, personalize or modify them.
Message: Posted by: Michael Peterson (Jan 31, 2005 10:48AM)
I love this effect! Always gets a great reaction, I use a D'lite in the routine for the ending.

Message: Posted by: Philemon Vanderbeck (Aug 15, 2020 03:52PM)
I love Shadow's "Pick A Sin" and it's a regular feature in my "walk-around" bizarre magic show. However, I was never enthralled by Shadow's original cards, even though they serve their purpose. So years ago, I painstakingly found the original woodcuts and added color to them so that it was clearer what was going on in each scene. Originally, I used more modern artwork for the fronts, but the trouble was the artwork wasn't public domain. Recently, I replaced the images with Pieter Bruegel's surrealistic interpretations. Finally, I was able to upgrade my cardstock (which was initially just printed on a color printer and glued back to back) into professionally printed cards. I've attached links to the images, in case you would like to see how they turned out.

Message: Posted by: CHRousseau (Aug 15, 2020 09:07PM)
Very striking; you must be very pleased with the final result.

Several years back at the last Day of Magic in Everett you were kind enough to gift me with a copy of your nine mathematical mysteries which I have effectively used to amaze and perplex my Precalc students in my classroom. I think you stated recently you missed getting the set of Goetical demon tokens when they were offered on Kickstarter and by luck I have come into possession of a second set (minus the sigil rings). I would be pleased to return your prior favor and send them to you if you PM an appropriate delivery address.

And I would also like to be at the near the front of the line should you offer your designs for wider use through an established dealer or your own merchandising. Still, I would understand if you wished to keep them as a unique property of your own--in which case I would urge you to put an immediate watermark on all the designs so your posted photos can not be used without your permission.

Best Wishes,
Lakewood WA
Message: Posted by: Philemon Vanderbeck (Aug 15, 2020 10:43PM)
I'm glad to hear that you have found NINE to be of use. I, too, use several of the routines for my Geometry/Algebra 2 students.

I appreciate the offer of the Goetic demon tokens, but I already have managed to secure a complete set (including the rings). Save them for some other soul in need. :-D

I thought about making the cards available for sale, but they would only be useful if you already knew how to perform Brother Shadow's "Pick A Sin," so I'm not certain if there's enough demand for them. I suppose I could make the cards available via Print on Demand. I'm currently investigating setting this up. In the meantime, I'll disable the link to the pictures and let everyone know when the cards are available. Thanks for the advice!
Message: Posted by: Philemon Vanderbeck (Aug 17, 2020 10:54AM)
I've made the cards available for POD through Printer's Studio at: https://www.printerstudio.com/sell/creepymagician

Please feel free to order a set for yourself. The double-backer is there in case you want to get fancy with some card sleights and show that each card has the same back before doing the final reveal where the chosen card now displays the punishment that awaits. Of course, you can dispense with the double-backer and just present it as Brother Shadow did.

If you have any questions regarding the cards, please feel free to PM me. Thanks!
Message: Posted by: Mr. Woolery (Aug 17, 2020 06:05PM)
Out of idle curiosity, what is the effect of this routine?

Message: Posted by: Philemon Vanderbeck (Aug 17, 2020 10:43PM)
A spectator picks a sin. Hilarity ensues.


Before someone reveals the answer, let's play a little game. What do you think the effect is, based on its title?
Message: Posted by: Mr. Woolery (Aug 18, 2020 12:21PM)
Thank you, Philemon, for the illuminating reply.

Message: Posted by: Philemon Vanderbeck (Aug 18, 2020 02:59PM)
Patience . . . all will be revealed in time.

According to Carl, the genesis of the routine came from him contemplating the line of "Pick a sin . . . any sin" (as opposed to the hackneyed "pick a card" used by so many magicians). From there, he created the routine that we know and love.

I was just wondering if anyone else could recreate Brother Shadow's thinking starting from the same basic premise.

In the meantime, here's another look at the cards that I've made available via PoD.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Woolery (Aug 19, 2020 08:37PM)
Those cards are gorgeous, though I confess I prefer a woodcut look that is just black and white. Or off-white. But what evocative cards those are!

Now, to play the game you propose, I have no idea what the effect actually is, but I can tell you the sort of thing I might do with that premise.

There is a term weíve all heard. Besetting sin. Thatís the thing in our life that seems impossible to stay away from. The more we try, the harder it is to escape. While there are many actions that we might call sinful, from telling a little white lie or stealing a pack of gum, all the way up to poisoning your spouse for the insurance money, the Catholic Church long ago codified the really bad sins into seven categories. Greed, Lust, Sloth, Gluttony, Envy, Wrath, and perhaps the most insidious of all: Pride. Now, Iím not a confessor. I donít really want to dredge out the deep, ugly secrets that darken your soul, so Iíd rather just play a little game with them. Each is represented on a card, here. Iíll just mix them up and let you choose one. Go ahead, pick a sin... any sin. Keep it secret. Of course. Imagine what sort of person you would be if you reveled in this chosen sin, rather than hiding it in your heart. Imagine embodying this secret sin the way Ghandi embodied peace. Yeah, feels good to be bad, doesnít it?

From there, a cold read and culminate with naming the sin. So, essentially pick a card and I tell you what it was.

Thatís what I would do, anyway. Iím just curious what the original was.

Message: Posted by: Philemon Vanderbeck (Aug 20, 2020 07:47PM)
The reason I chose to add color to the woodcuts is that because for the final reveal, I wanted my participants to be able to instantly identify the punishment in question. If I stuck with the original b&w illustrations, the participant would have to examine it carefully to see what was being depicted. With color, you clearly see the demons and the tortured souls.

As for your supposition on the routine, you're on the right track. However, the involvement of the Church also includes the issuing of indulgences. Do with that info what thou wilt. ;-)
Message: Posted by: Mr. Woolery (Aug 20, 2020 09:50PM)
Responded by pm.

Message: Posted by: SlipperySnake (Aug 21, 2020 12:20AM)
Would this effect work well with The Devil Always Knows (seven deadly sins)? I have that effect and it gets fantastic reactions. The cards are very well made. One of my favorite effects to perform.

Message: Posted by: Philemon Vanderbeck (Aug 21, 2020 12:58PM)
It would be possible to integrate "The Devil Always Knows" with the other component of "Pick A Sin." You could say that you are granting an indulgence for the sin of the participant's choice, provided that they don't choose the one that the devil has predicted they will select.
Message: Posted by: SlipperySnake (Aug 25, 2020 01:03AM)
[quote]On Aug 21, 2020, Philemon Vanderbeck wrote:
It would be possible to integrate "The Devil Always Knows" with the other component of "Pick A Sin." You could say that you are granting an indulgence for the sin of the participant's choice, provided that they don't choose the one that the devil has predicted they will select. [/quote]

Thanks for the suggestion! I think I will be looking into this. I like the idea of sticking with the whole theme.