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Topic: Climax for Ultimate Faulty Follower / Vernon's Variant / U don't do as I do?
Message: Posted by: Bob G (Apr 3, 2019 05:12PM)
Hi People,

A friend on the Café showed me a trick in which the magician and spectator each have four cards, and each ostensibly performs the same moves with the cards, and yet the spectator always ends up with one card face-up, whereas the magician's cards are all face-down. In a PM another friend kindly told me the moves. Everyone I've talked to has attributed the trick to different person, so I don't know the trick's provenance. But for clarity, let's stick to Ken de Courcey's (?) Ultimate Faulty Followers. For those interested, a description of the trick and a video tutorial of it are both available at lybrary.

Here's my question. I find this trick whimsical and charming, but it doesn't have much of a climax. In effect, you do the same thing three times, with the same card showing up face-up each time. The friend who originally showed me the trick varies the third round by having the magi and spectator exchange packets -- and this time the *magician's* card is found to be face-up. His idea is that there's something special about the card that makes it do that. I like his idea, and it led me to the thought that I could use a joker as the mischievous card that always turns face up. After all, who would expect the joker to behave itself?

But -- I still think the trick would be better if something dramatically different happened on the third round. One idea I had was to exchange packets for the third round and do the moves, but this time the joker is found to have disappeared from the magician's packet.

So.... Does anyone have suggestions about how to do that? I think with a bit of research I can find a false count that makes the card *seem* to have disappeared. (I more or less know the EC now, which is used in the trick in any case; maybe that would be all I'd need.) But I'd prefer the cards to be examinable at the end, so that the magi could spread the cards and the joker would clearly be just gone. I'd also prefer to avoid palming and lapping, because that would mean not performing the trick for quite a while in order to learn and get comfortable with those techniques. Maybe alter the plot somehow to make it natural to bring in the full deck, and biddle the joker into it??

I'm open to other conclusions to the trick if anyone has ideas.

Thanks for whatever help people can offer.


Message: Posted by: stickmondoo (Apr 4, 2019 07:35AM)
Hi Bob. Hope all is well with you. I think it’s in David Williamson’s Chicago lecture on Vimeo that he has a kind of ending for this trick. I have also seen on the reel magic site a routine by Mike Powers called Varying Varients Varient (which should probably read Varying Vernon Varient?) which has a really weird and definitely dramatically different ending. They are both worth checking out.

I have just had a thought, and will go experiment with the cards. If it works out I will post again later.
Message: Posted by: stickmondoo (Apr 4, 2019 07:46AM)
Yes it works. I was thinking of Mike Powers routine and wondering if it would work with an odd backed card. It does. So if you perform the routine with a couple of minor adjustments like turning the cards face up first before spreading them out you can do it with three blue backed cards and 1 red backed card with an X on the back and the red backed card is never seen. So at the end after showing four blue backed cards all face down you. Can tell them how you do the trick. You use a marked card and then spread the packet to reveal the odd backer. Thank you Mike Powers. By the way I have never seen Ken de Courceys trick so if it is very different to Vernons and I have been talking nonsense, I apologise ü
Message: Posted by: Bob G (Apr 4, 2019 07:47AM)
Nice to hear from you, stickmondoo. I'll check out the sources you listed, and I'm curious to hear your thought if it works out!

In the meantime, I rediscovered a trick on Daryl's Encyclopedia 6 that shows how to make a card vanish from a packet. I'll bet was thinking of that unwittingly when I suggested the alternative ending in my original post. I think I can splice together faulty followers and the trick Daryl shows to make a pretty nice routine. In the third round the joker would disappear from the packet, only to be found -- face up! -- in the face-down deck.

Message: Posted by: Bob G (Apr 4, 2019 07:51AM)
Our posts must have crossed. You've definitely got me curious about Mike Powers' trick.
Message: Posted by: stickmondoo (Apr 4, 2019 07:58AM)
Hi Bob. Your idea sounds great. If you do Vernon addition move from your small packet to the deck as you move the deck out of the way you could then show four cards have the joker disappear and then reverse the joker as you turn the deck face up with a braue or something similar. Using the Vernon addition move would mean you never went near the deck with your packet so still nice and clean. I just had a look and it seems Mike Powers routine is on his penguin lecture too.
Message: Posted by: stickmondoo (Apr 4, 2019 08:01AM)
The great thing about the Mike Powers routine which makes it better than using an odd backed card as the kicker is the fact that you can still spread the four card packet face down.
Message: Posted by: stickmondoo (Apr 4, 2019 08:10AM)
Hi Bob. I got the name of the Vernon Move wrong. It’s calle the Transfer Move not the addition and its on page 526 of Card College 3
Message: Posted by: Bob G (Apr 4, 2019 08:49AM)
Thanks for all this stickmondoo. I found the penguin lecture and decided to spring for it -- it looks great. And thanks also for your ideas about refining my "vanish the joker" ending. I'll look into the Transfer Move in CC. The disadvantage of adding the vanishing at the end is that the trick becomes rather sleight-heavy. But it's also a great motivator to learn a few more sleights!

See you,

Message: Posted by: mlippo (Apr 6, 2019 01:45AM)
After the three phases by Johnny Thompson (which anyway show a progression in the routine), I simply have each spectator tear their four cards in half and then I guide them through Woddy Aragon's Other Half trick (A Book in English).

Message: Posted by: Bob G (Apr 6, 2019 10:55AM)
Thanks, Mark. I'll look this up. I need to look at Johnny Thompson's version again; I don't remember seeing a progression, but maybe I missed it.

Message: Posted by: Bob G (Apr 6, 2019 11:12AM)
To Mark: Ha! Now I see what I did wrong -- I didn't watch the presentation all the way to the end! Thompson actually has a vanish finish. I don't think I'm ready for the sleight at the end, though.

To Stickmondoo: The transfer move looks incredibly bold to me; not sure I have the guts to pull it off at this point in my magical development. I've been thinking about whether there's a way to accomplish something similar using the biddle steal... But to do that I need an excuse to bring in half the deck.

I'm still open to ideas -- or maybe I'll just wait till I'm at a level where I feel comfortable learning to transfer or p**m.

Message: Posted by: stickmondoo (Apr 6, 2019 01:55PM)
Mlippo, that is a brilliant idea to combine those two tricks. The first is fun and the second one mind blowing. Very cool idea.
Message: Posted by: mlippo (Apr 6, 2019 02:16PM)
[quote]On Apr 6, 2019, stickmondoo wrote:
Mlippo, that is a brilliant idea to combine those two tricks. The first is fun and the second one mind blowing. Very cool idea. [/quote]

Besides, that's a very good use for the tons of old cards I accumulate when retiring packs of cards …

Message: Posted by: mlippo (Apr 6, 2019 02:26PM)
[quote]On Apr 6, 2019, Bob G wrote:
To Mark: Ha! Now I see what I did wrong -- I didn't watch the presentation all the way to the end! Thompson actually has a vanish finish. I don't think I'm ready for the sleight at the end, though.

Bob [/quote]

Bob, you had me watch the video again, because I'd completely forgotten about the fourth phase!

I think I discarded it because it didn't appeal very much to me and, having decided to add Aragon's trick, I thought I'd found a better follow up to the first three phases.

The progression I was referring to is actually what Darwin Ortiz defined "Artificial Progression Through Conservation" (see Strong Magic - page 181).
You basically repeat the same thing, artificially making it seem more difficult. In this case, at the beginning of the second phase, Thompson (R.I.P. by the way) makes a big deal to make sure the card is single and not two stuck together (which wasn't true during the first phase). The third phase then, is actually performed by the woman on his left, making it more impossible since this assures that the magician cannot do anything "tricky".

Sorry to have mislead you a bit with my previous post.

Message: Posted by: Bob G (Apr 6, 2019 06:14PM)
Hi Mark,

Not a problem -- I'm just glad that you're interested enough to be helping me! It's funny that you brought up Ortiz's "Artifical Progression..." idea, because I was just watching a video today of a trick that used the same idea -- though I didn't know the idea had a name. It's on of the tricks on Liam Montier's Elmsley Count Project, Disk 2. -----Just looked it up; it's Peter Kane's famous trick, Jazz Aces. Magi goes through a succession of three transpositions, apparently more openly each time, so that, although all the transpositions are basically the same, each one looks more amaing than the last.

For me the Thompson presentation of Vernon's Variant wasn't as successful in that respect, though one can always learn from him! I absolutely love his presentation of the Biddle Trick, though it wouldn't fit my personality to perform it the way he does. (R. I. P. indeed.)

To all Interested Parties: I think I have a presentation of this trick that would make for a nice climax, though I'll have to try it to see how effective it is in practice:

1. Mention that jokers are often mischievous, and ask if spectator can help me do an experiment to see whether a new joker that I have will behave itself well enough to do tricks with it. Have spectator deal seven cards from the deck, three for spectator and four for magician. Pull out the "new joker" and add it to the spectator's packet in the appropriate position.

2. Do the first two phases in the usual way. The magician's cards end all face-down both times, whereas the joker ends face-up in spectator's packet.

3. Switch packets with the spectator, and go through the third phase. This time the joker ends face-up in the *magician's* hands. (I got this idea from Steve Keyl on the Café.)

4. Magician sighs, says it looks like the joker is too mischievous, so he's going to get rid of the card, as follows. Magician puts joker on top of deck, turns it over, and asks spectator to touch the face of the deck with a magic wand. Magician then shows, using a display that Daryl displays in his Encyclopedia, Disk 6, that the joker is no longer in the deck. (This looks pretty easy with some practice, though I haven't tried it yet. I think it's a well-known sequence.)

5. Magician sighs with relief, thanks the spectator for helping him discover the joker's unfortunate properties, and as a kind of sign of "Whew, that's over!", relaxes and spreads deck face-down on the table. Among the face-down cards, near the middle is the joker, face-up as ever! (This is simply a consequence of the sleight mentioned in #4; the sleight works in such a way that the card automatically gets reversed into the center.)

I'd have liked it even better if I could have made the joker end up in the deck without my placing it there first, but I don't see a way to do that that uses sleights that are simple enough for me at this point. Someday, I hope... In the meantime I have a good feeling about what I just described. Naturally I'd welcome people's opinions.

Message: Posted by: Bob G (Apr 6, 2019 06:19PM)
P. S. to Stickmondoo: still haven't found Mike Power's trick on the Penguin lecture. Usually videos like this they have names of tricks at the beginning of each trick, but not so in this case. So when I have time I'll watch the whole lecture to find the one you mentioned. That will be a pleasure -- I've watched enough of the download to see that it's both instructive and enjoyable.
Message: Posted by: Bob G (Apr 6, 2019 08:18PM)
Stickmondoo and Mark, or whoever wants to reply,

Aragon's trick is available, along with some other stuff, on a $10 download from Penguin. Not much of a risk, but I'm still curious: how difficult is this trick to perform? I think I've given you a sense in this thread of what I find too hard, so maybe that would inform your answer. Or you could PM me if you want to be more specific?

I could certainly use a trick that uses some of my old decks!


Message: Posted by: mlippo (Apr 7, 2019 12:16AM)
[quote]On Apr 6, 2019, Bob G wrote:

Aragon's trick is available, [...]: how difficult is this trick to perform? […] Or you could PM me

Bob [/quote]

I PMed you

Message: Posted by: Bob G (Apr 7, 2019 12:48AM)
Got it; thanks, Mark.

Message: Posted by: stickmondoo (Apr 7, 2019 02:29AM)
Hi Bob,

I just sent you a Pm.

I’m really sorry but the Mike Powers routine is not the one I was thinking of. The names confused me. I have sent you a pm.

The Vernon routine is on reel magic somewhere but is not coming up on the search so I suppose it must be uncredited.
Message: Posted by: Bob G (Apr 7, 2019 10:47AM)
Don't worry about it, stickmondoo. It's clear that I'm going to learn a lot from the Penguin lecture regardless.
Message: Posted by: stickmondoo (Apr 7, 2019 12:00PM)
I managed to find the trick I was thinking of in the end. It’s in reelmagic magazine issue 32 Boris Wild and it is by someone called Marien Hopman. The tricks name is “I use Trapdoors”
Message: Posted by: Claudio (Apr 8, 2019 02:23PM)
Some of the ideas presented above are similar to Herb Zarrow’s version [i]Herb’s Variant[/i] published in Jon Racherbaumer’s [i]The Legendary Kabbala (1971-1981)[/i].

In the Zarrow effect the card finally disappears from the performer's packet and reappears face up in the deck.

Bob, as you’re using jokers, you could have a duplicate joker face up at the bottom of the deck and later on centered with a cut. You could lap your own joker before the last phase. It would be easy enough to glide the packet towards you to the edge of the table and lap the card under the cover of both hands squaring the packet.

Just a thought.
Message: Posted by: Bob G (Apr 8, 2019 04:03PM)
Many thanks, Claudio. I know how busy you are, and I appreciate your taking the time to suggest these ideas. Stickmondoo and I have been discussing similar ideas privately, but not exactly this one. I'm happy to have more grist for my mill!

I like Racherbaumer, but I'm going to have to pass on his legendary Kabbala book -- too expensive. But between your ideas and Stickmondo's, I should be able to come up with something good.
Message: Posted by: Bob G (May 2, 2019 10:20PM)
I just had another thought about the ending -- though I think Claudio and Stickmondoo's ideas are just fine. But I wonder what people think about the following: At the end I say, "This joker is too mischievous; I don't think I can use it, so I'm going to make it disappear." I put it face-up on the top of the face-down pack, and do an erdnase change so that now a face-down card is on the top. The joker seems be be gone. Then, as I say, "Thank goodness *that's* over, I quickly cut the deck and ribbon spread the cards face-down. One card - the joker - is seen to be face-up. (Or alternatively, I could spread the deck face-up, and one card is face-down. Once the spectator notices it, I invite them to turn it over, and it's the joker.)

Perhaps the handling I just described is too obvious? I have no feeling for how easily a layperson could put two and two together and figure out that I'd simply exchanged the joker with a face-down card somehow (i. e., done the Erdnase change) and then cut the joker to the middle of the deck.