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Topic: Leipzig Skinner Surprise
Message: Posted by: Uli Weigel (May 14, 2006 09:50AM)
Hello Mr. Carney,
first of all, thanks for Carneycopia and The Book of Secrets, which are among my favorite magic books. One of my favorite tricks from the latter is the Leipzig Skinner Surprise. I have learned it initially to practice side steals and the DPS, but after some months I started performing it. It's a really great trick and a wonderful opener.
There's one thing, I always wanted to ask you: the exact reasoning behind the double lifts. They would make perfect sense with a shuffle control, because the selection could be anywhere in the deck. But since the control is a side steal, there should be no real reason to prove that the card is not on top. Another reason that comes to mind would be to cancel out the use of duplicates. Well, then I thought to myself, this is John Carneys handling, and I'm pretty sure he wouldn't do a move for no good reason. So, my question is: do you feel the double lifts are essential to the success of the trick and why? What do I overlook?
Thanks for your time.
Message: Posted by: John Carney (May 14, 2006 11:05AM)
Its a wonderful trick and I use it all the time. The basic routine is Leipzig's, the finish is Mike Skinner's, and I have added touches, mostly to the technique.

As to the double lifts, I guess I had not given it much thought.....perhaps I should. Definitely not "essential", but also not superfluous. I guess when the cards appear, someone's first guess would be that it came from the top or bottom. Wish I could ask Leipzig.

What I have been meaning to address is the side steal to the top. Perhaps it is a wasted step to bring it to the top, then palm it in the next step. Maybe it should be stolen directly from the center. The only problem is turning the deck face up and showing the top and bottom card, maintaining that break and keeping it from being seen.

For now, I'm focused on other stuff, but may come back to this.

best of luck,
Message: Posted by: Uli Weigel (May 14, 2006 12:25PM)
On 2006-05-14 12:05, John Carney wrote:
Definitely not "essential", but also not superfluous.[/quote]

Yeah, this is more or less how I feel about it. With the DL it feels a bit like running when nobody's chasing you, but without the DL, strange to say, there seems to be something missing. So far, my solution to this problem is to show the cards to be all different (to cancel out duplicates) at the beginning. Then I pull out two prominent cards like the black aces or the jokers and put one on top and one on the bottom. The script then goes like "You see, I don't do anything with the deck. Your card is somewhere in the middle between the Ace of Spades on the top and the Ace of Clubs on the bottom. I even put the deck in your own hands" etc. This also cancels out the possibility of a pass (for the wise guys). After the first effect, the selection goes back into the deck, so the aces are on top and bottom again. This way, the cards on top and bottom are not shown to prove something but to provide the spectator a clear picture.
Maybe the best solution is to just do it and forget about all that reasoning...just a joke.
Message: Posted by: John Carney (May 14, 2006 05:36PM)
the problem here is that you make the ace of spades and clubs important, then nothing happens with them.

Perhaps the double lift simply eliminates one possibility and gives the trick the proper "beats". It is not unreasonable for someone to think it might be on top. It is not only possible, it is a fact.

Perhaps if you saw how I throw away the double lift, you might realize how little emphasis is place on this moment.......I do it very matter of fact....it is shown and replaced in one second......no flipping it over on top of the deck or any gymnastic twisting kind of double lift.........

best of luck,
Message: Posted by: JimMaloney (May 14, 2006 07:33PM)
Leipzig's Opener is an effect that I've put a lot of thought into. Partially because I'm working on a book about Leipzig and partially because the effect just intrigues me.

When Leipzig did it, after the card was selected, he would use a shuffle to control it to the top. This set up the necessary doubt as to the location of the card. This gave a logical reason to show the top and bottom cards (i.e., to allay the spectators' spoken or unspoken suspicions). It also cancelled out the idea that the card was in an easily accessible location, which is important for the surprise appearance of the card a few moments later. I believe that the purpose of the whole sequence is to 1. raise suspicions, then 2. show those suspicions to be incorrect while at the same time, 3. removing one avenue of explanation. This helped to keep the audience engaged and on their toes during the "exposition" portion of the effect.