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I love this trick. Without a doubt, the work-to-response ratio is dramatically out of proportion. That is to say, so little effort is required for so much impact. However, I'm sure I'm not telling you anything you don't know already. Having performed both versions demonstrated on the DVD, I can honestly say that the one incorporating Ed Marlo's effect, the name of which escapes me at the moment but has come to be known as the Biddle trick among the younger set (rather a pragmatic and far less picturesque title than Marlo's), is the one to which I'm partial.

Let me throw out some of my initial musings on Lit:

While a snappy color change is surprising, a slower one is more appropriate to the curling and billowing nature of smoke, in my opinion. I find that Jerry Andrus' "Startling Color Change" is ideal here. It is slow and deliberate and beautiful.

For a sleight-free, nearly hands-off approach, a cross-cut force coupled with a spot of wax, double-stick tape, or roughing fluid makes for a very clean selection, replacement, and disappearance of the selected card. For higher visual impact the card can be returned face-up to the face-down deck. When the deck is spread face-down, the selection has vanished (secreted behind it's sticky brother, of course). The pack can then be handed to the spectator to spread through casually to satisfy themselves it truly is gone. If the card is vanished in the manner just described, this casual inspection would need to be done with the deck face-down, for obvious reasons. However, if the card is placed into the deck oriented the same as the others, then you are free to allow them to spread face-up or face-down without fear of exposure.

Another very magical way to approach this is to destroy the card, instead of simply causing it to vanish. We are, after all, dealing with fire here. Why not burn the card and have it reappear as the matchbook, complete with scorch marks (previously applied with a lighter flame)?

Lit is also suited to the dinner table. Many restaurants (though fewer and fewer in my home state) will have a book of matches on the table. It's a simple matter to either switch your matchbook in early on in the game or add it to the table. Either way, none will be the wiser. A simple card force (I prefer either a cross-cut or even James Swain's excellent Dummy Force in his book '21st Century Card Magic'). As for switching in the gimmicked matchbook, it couldn't be easier. Begin with the card/matchbook in your lap and perform any effect , bet or demonstration with the real matchbook. At the finish of said effect, drop the real matchbook to tabletop, not too far from the edge of the table nearest you, while grasping the card/matchbook in fingerpalm with your free hand. Reach forward with the hand that conceals the gimmick as if to pick up the real matchbook and slide it to the table edge, letting it fall to your lap as you bring your hand up, pushing the card/matchbook into view (a standard lapping procedure). Proceed from there with the card effect.

Lit also works in a formal close-up show scenario. Again, the real matchbook can be used in any previous routine (preferably several times throughout the course of the show, cementing it's authenticity in the minds of the audience). It's a simple matter to switch in the gimmicked matchbook at any given moment of natural misdirection in the show. Or, should you choose to do it right under their unsuspecting laypeep noses, a perfect psychologically invisible method is Juan Tamariz's "crossing the gaze" technique (The Five Points in Magic). Once the work is done, simply toss the card/matchbook to someone in the audience, asking them to clasp it between their hands. Proceed as usual. Tommy Wonder's brilliant deck switch technique would also work beautifully here, substituting matchbooks for cards, of course.

While hardly necessary, Paul Harris' gypsy-style switch can also work for ringing in the gimmick.

I'm sure I'll come up with many other ideas, however I do believe that this should be kept as simple, clear, and direct as possible.

And for those of you with a real penchant for matchbook/card effects, have a look at "Under Fire' in David Harkey's 'Simply Harkey'. It's a buried treasure and a killer effect.
It's all in the reflexes.
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