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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workers » » Design for Laughter - Discussion on Plot, Script, and Handling (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Richard Schneider
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Hello

I really like the effect of Design for Laughter. It works with my performance personality well, and typically gets a great reaction.

However, I don't perform it that much, the reason being that, to me, the plot of it seems very convoluted and bulky. I learned it out of the Royal Road, and plot goes from having the spectator cut with "complete confidence" to his card (applying an obscure "psychological principle"), and then the magician telling the spectator not to tell him what his card is, as the magician magically knows that all three cards are not the spectator's card. The card is then found through an obscure, name-a-random-number method.

All this just feels bulky to me, and very contrived to fit the handling. Each of the three phases seems to have nothing to do with one another.

Does anyone have improvements on the plot of Design for Laughter? What rational do you use for them cutting the cards? For looking at each card cut to and declaring that it's not their card? For mysteriously finding the card again?

Also, does anyone do something different for the final phase besides pulling cards out from the bottom? I've thought about controlling their card to the top and doing something with that, and I'm curious on what others do.

As a side note, isn't it fun when you botch this trick? I think I've done it once... but luckily, the spectators were so confused by the plot they didn't quite understand what went on anyway, and I bailed myself out with Kolossal Killer. Anyone else mess it up? More often, I find the spectators gets confused about their cards, as I mess up and they wonder if they forgot their card. How should one handle this situation?

-Richard
BMF
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Generally, I would say "more rehearsal."

However, since you've described it as convoluted, bulky, obscure, contrived, needs something different, and confusing - I'd suggest that you just drop it all together.
Richard Schneider
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More rehearsal would help smooth out the presentation, yes. I haven't mastered the trick yet, and my experiences with it have been in front of my guinea pig audiences (close friends and family).

I described the script, not the trick as convoluted, which is the point of this post. I'm looking to see what other people use for the script. I doubt everyone uses the stock patter in the book.

Overall, until I find a better script for it, I have dropped it. I started this thread in hopes to be able to revive the trick.
The Burnaby Kid
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I think you'll find that Design For Laughter fits into a broader category of card plot which includes the likes of That's It and Dunbury Delusion, both of which are a bit more direct and are less reliant upon a sleight that, in my opinion, is generally clunky and difficult to motivate. Arguably, the construction of DFL is the way it is in order to condition them to that sleight, which is not always the best strategy.

If the key to its appeal is that the card appears somewhere totally random, whereas the spectator thinks they've had their eye on it the entire time (along with the fun that comes out of that revelation), then you might want to look into the other two.
JACK, the Jolly Almanac of Card Knavery, a free card magic resource for beginners.
Richard Schneider
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While researching my question via search, I came across references to the Dunbury Delusion several times, and always filed them away in my mind, but never really researched it. When you recommended it, I looked around for it, and realized it was in Expert Card Technique, which I already own. I looked it up and really like it... I'll definitely start practicing it, perhaps to fill the place of DFL.

Where can I find That's It?
The Burnaby Kid
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That's It! is a trick from Eddie Fechter. It's in "The Magic of Eddie Fechter" and it's also taught on Easy to Master Card Miracles volume somethingorother.
JACK, the Jolly Almanac of Card Knavery, a free card magic resource for beginners.
Richard Schneider
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Thanks for the information.

While on the subject, does the move used after the first card is shown have a name? I've seen it used in several places now, and I'm curious what it's called. Did Charles Miller invent it?
BMF
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Quote:
On 2009-06-17 12:03, richardjs wrote:
I described the script, not the trick as convoluted, which is the point of this post. I'm looking to see what other people use for the script. I doubt everyone uses the stock patter in the book.


Ahh, my apologies, then. I clearly misunderstood. When I read "plot" in card magic, I don't think of the script, I think of the actions.

I'm glad you could find useful advice elsewhere in the thread.
Richard Schneider
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No problem. I've only been in magic a little less than a year, and I've very new to actually talking to other magicians about it, so the terms I use may be confusing. I think of "plot" as kind of the effect and script and actions rolled together. I don't even know what I mean.
natswift
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Actually I still do this trick from time to time; it's definitely one of my personal favorites. I started doing it probably 10-15 years ago using the script as written in Royal Road, over the years it has evolved although the same premise remains in tact. The timing and the presentation is excellent and builds well through the trick.

Keep practicing and keep performing, the trick and "plot" will evolve as you find what fits with your stage persona.

I still love the line "you can do this, you will do this, I am doing this, and gosh darnit people like me!!"

Yes I am cheesy, just ask my family who can't stand the one liners I've picked up along the way. On the other hand sold properly this can be a lot of fun for you and the audience.
Never forget to dream!

Nathan Smith
nateswift2010@gmail.com
Shawn74
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I use DFL quite often. My presentation is that of "I'm still working on this, but let's see what happens". I ask if they've seen the movie Maverick, where Mel Gibson is in his hotel room and tries to cut to an ace. Either way I explain that I'm going to have them try this, but because this is still a new trick, they get 3 cuts so I get 3 tries to discern their card. Once I fail to find the card, I tell them that obviously cutting to the card isn't going to work, so new trick. Then I have them name the number and finish the effect.

Probably makes me look incredibly inept, but I've always had a great reaction to the effect. I even had one guy want to actually bet with me on the second phase when I apparently failed the first phase.

Hope this helps on the topic of the original question

Shawn
Hold your breath...make a wish...count to 3... and you'll be in a world of pure imagination
Willy Wonka
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