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Topic: Fishing for ideas to make this a smoother routine
Message: Posted by: Ed_Millis (Sep 29, 2006 09:59AM)
I could use some help with a story line for a trick I put together myself. The basic prop is a wheel with cards around the edges: the backs are towards the audience, with half the card over the edge of the wheel, and they can pivot over the edge to reveal half the card.

The story Ive been using goes like this: The child is the new sheriff. Hes a bit shy of the height requirement, so I make him stand on a piece of newspaper. I show the bad guy surrounded by his deputies - the 5 of clubs in the middle of the four Jacks. Theyre going to transport him to jail - I close the cards, walk around the table, and hes gone!

I use the wheel as a Ferris wheel at a carnival where the bad guy is hiding. Which card? I flip it up - its him! But when I turn the wheel around so we can grab him - its NOT him! Repeat once or twice more. Finally I see him trying to sneak off and hide - in the newspaper the kid has been standing on! Sure enough, the paper is ripped open and there he is.

As it comes off, it plays well. Ive gotten good reactions from it. Im just not comfortable - it seems like mixing the sheriff idea with the carnival Ferris wheel is a real stretch. Ive got the wheel and the newspaper, and the sheriff bit was to wrap a story around why were trying to find this card. It just seems a bit disjointed, like it could flow better.

Anyone with ideas on how to make this a smoother routine?

Message: Posted by: Spellbinder (Sep 29, 2006 10:37AM)
The story line seems fine to me. The only question I would have is why use five regular playing cards? What do cards have to do with the story? But if you make up some picture cards with deputies on them and one bad guy card with a mask over his face...

Instead of a wheel, the five cards could be attached to the five points of a sheriff's star. It might even be something the kid could wear.

The bad guy with the mask over his face- you might have a good sucker effect where the bad guy looks just like one of the four deputies, only with a mask over his face so the kids think you are just moving the mask around on five deputy cards. When the mask is finally removed, it is seen that the bad guy really looks different, with a big mustache or something.

Eleazar wants to add an X-treme idea for you if you are up to it. He says that the bad guy card should actually be a photo of the kid who is acting as your sheriff, covered by a mask until at the end where he is revealed as the bad guy ("Something mighty familiar about that face! I've seen it on a wanted poster somewhere!") then in the newspaper, you find the missing card AND the wanted poster is printed in the paper with the kids face on it. Makes a great souvineer.
Message: Posted by: ROBERT BLAKE (Sep 29, 2006 11:28AM)
Wheel of fortune was common in saloons those days.
Message: Posted by: Ed_Millis (Sep 29, 2006 12:52PM)
On 2006-09-29 11:37, Spellbinder wrote:
The story line seems fine to me. The only question I would have is why use five regular playing cards? What do cards have to do with the story?

I wish I had a photo of this to show you. It's about 2 foot across. I should probably put one on my web page.

The cards are used just because they were available and common objects when I made this up. I could use other types of cards, and that's not a bad idea - the cards and story connection hasn't bugged me too much, because kids are used to "pretend this is a person".

The cards around the wheel are all half-and-half - one end of each card is different, and the other end looks like the "bad guy" card. When the kid points to a card on the wheel, I flip it up and it's him. Then when I turn the wheel around so "we can grab him", it's not him.

I wanted to add to the routine using a huge foam cowboy hat and a sheriff's badge for the kid, and add sound effects whenever we mention either the bad guy or the sheriff.

Just this - where does that wheel fit into all of this?

Message: Posted by: Ed_Millis (Oct 24, 2006 10:24AM)
Thought I'd bring this back up with some different thoughts. The basic plot of this routine is that the card gets lost, we think we find it twice, then it's found in the newspaper the child has been standing on the whole time.

I think this might only play well up to about 7-8 years old. With that age group, I wonder if it could just be a game of Hide-and-Seek? So far, I've been using the 5 of clubs as the "game" card. Maybe it might also be better if I use a face card and everything else a pip card, to make it more like a pretend person to the child, and it would stand out among the pip cards better?

Any thoughts?

Message: Posted by: Bridgewater (Oct 24, 2006 03:31PM)
A very creative story idea, and the effect itself sounds like a strong one. But as someone who was an ADD kid, I've got to tell you that those kinds of story tricks lose me in the first five seconds. I know it's a fairly common practice among kids magicians: "Pretend the Queen of Clubs is the teacher and the four Jacks are the students...etc." That's about the point where my eyes cloud over. By the end of the trick I can never remember which card was supposed to be what, it's too much work. What I'm saying is that I think this would play even better if you played it as a straight card trick.
Message: Posted by: Ed_Millis (Oct 25, 2006 09:28AM)
On 2006-10-24 16:31, Bridgewater wrote:
What I'm saying is that I think this would play even better if you played it as a straight card trick.

Well, one of the reasons I did it this way instead of the straight card trick that was in the book is that I _thought_ I understood that card tricks don't go over well for children in general. This routine has played exceptionally well with most kids about 6 or 7. I've done a simple Do As I Do trick with kids as old as 10, as they almost never remember what card they chose. They'll get the color right and the number close, but almost never exactly right.

So I thought if I used only one face card and everything else was pips, it might be easier to retain that we're looking for one "person", rather than having to personalize a pip card.

I'd like to bring this back as it was a good routine, but without the problems that I had before. Any help you would like to offer is greatly appreciated.

Message: Posted by: Ed_Millis (May 13, 2009 01:25PM)
Wow! It's been three years since I thought about this! Guess I've been out of action longer than I thought. I'd like to bring it back, but I'm still out of thoughts.

The actions play fine - the vanish of the "bad guy" card, turning the wheel around and it isn't him, and finding the card in the paper under his feet.

The "sheriff" story line, though, still doesn't seem to fit well as an explanation of why we are following a lost card around trying to catch it. I'm just looking for a different story.

Maybe remake the cards into dogs and cats? His dog ran off with some other pooches at the park and he's trying to find it? Would that be too potentially traumatic for a kid who really did loose his puppy?

Message: Posted by: Ed_Millis (May 13, 2009 02:47PM)
Okay - this might be a bit too weird, but that might be good!

Remake all the cards to look like people.

The elusive card is a magician friend of mine. He's a very good magician, but a bit absent-minded - that's why he travels with his four friends. You can always tell it's him by his large moustache.

Bring out the card and do a simple trick or two to show how great a magician he is. Then he's got to go, so he and his four friends get ready to leave - only the magician leaves before they're ready and his moustache gets left behind! You show the magician card is gone, but one of those fake bushy moustaches is there. We've got to find him and give him back his moustache, but he really could have wound up anywhere.

Now we go to the wheel - we think we've found him, but when we flip the card it's a lady and she does NOT want a moustache! Finally we find him in the newspaper, give him the moustache back, and now they ALL disappear.

It adds a great deal more complexity to the routine as far as handling, but it seems like it would be more fun. Now - if I could just figure out what that wheel is doing there . . .