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Chris Cheong
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I have purchase & read many resources out there regarding ACAAN effect and non satisfied me. Anyone found any great one that they really like yet?
Regards,
Chris
Garrette
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Not exactly ACAAN but very similar, you might try the Open Prediction. If you can get hold of Thomas Baxter's "The Open Prediction Project" I'm fairly certain you can find something that works for you.
James Braund
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My advice would be don't bother looking.

Seriously - the effect itself is most impressive for magicians. If you demonstrate any sort of control over cards at any point before or after an ACAAN then the effect is diminished because they KNOW you can control cards so however clean they suspect that the card was controlled to that position. If the deck is untouched from the start then the suspicion is st****s or f****s. Even if everything is super clean and you cover every possible explanation the core effect is just a named card is at a named number. You could just f***e the card and get any number named and using a sv*****i deck you could get the spec to deal down that number and the card would be named. They don't even need to be shor****d cards, just indifferent/f****e/indifferent/f****e in a st**k would work. The deck can be untouched the entire time and hands off. Its the same effect - if your f***e is good then it should appear a free choice therefore the effect is exactly the same - freely chosen card is at a freely chosen number in a deck.

The reason I said don't bother looking is that there are stronger (IMHO) effects that make better use of the time needed for acaan,plus the strongest versions usually use a degree or tinkering with the deck at some point. Berglas made it a legend because HE performed it - it wasn't the effect it was his performance that made it legendary, unless you are Berglas then you will never be satisfied with the methods available because at the end of the day the effect IS impossible in its purest form. Without manipulation of the cards its a 1in52 long shot of a hit. You can manipulate the deck etc to reduce those odds or make it guaranteed but really, why bother? The same effect can be achieved as I said above, or you could f****e the number and have a regular st*****d deck, but only magicians truly appreciate the impossibility of the pure acaan - which is why its the grail. A perfect handling will never be found because it cannot be done, in its purest form you have no control over any of the variables which means its either a longshot miracle hit or a dud.

If you want the pure miracle hit then at the start of every set get the specs to shuffle, name number and card and deal to that number. If they hit its a miracle, if its a miss then dismiss it - design it so it is supposed to miss and follow with something stronger in the same vein or even an ambi card with the miss card. There are millions of possibilties - but take a chance.

Either that or read Berglas' book, realise that you need a comprehensive range of controls and sleights to 'wing it' and get practicing the jazz style delivery.

Pure ACAAN is impossible as the conditions make it impossible - you control none of the variables, but the spectators do NOT appreciate the lack of controls etc. They don't understand how impossible it is - and the same effect can be duplicated with the method I described above which is simple and hands off - there are others but I care so little about this effect that that's the version I use if I ever feel like it, but to be honest there are so many more amazing effects than ACAAN that I rarely feel the urge to want to perform this.

It's a trick for magicians, there are stronger things to show an audience. If you want to fool magi then keep on searching - but you will never be satisfied because in its purest form it cannot be done reliably. Been there, done it, bought the tee shirt and realised the effect itself is not worth it.

A few performers can make it into a miracle, but they are in the minority - ACAAN imho is dependant on the performer not the method. I am not a strong enough performer but if you are then best of luck to you finding something you can groove with Smile

S&F

James
Atlas
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Chris,

I'd be interested in knowing what specifically has disappointed you? The method? The audience reaction? The plot in general?

To answer your question, I have found one that I like - and I know why I like it, as the plot is unique and it presents as an excellent piece of double mind reading. Rather than a verbally called out card and number, it is a thought of card at a thought of number using a deck that is borrowed and freely shuffled.

But before I could recommend anything to you, it would be important to know why you have been disappointed in the past, as it will show what you are really looking for.

Best,

Atlas
James Braund
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Quote:
On 2013-05-30 10:39, MagicAtlas wrote:
Chris,

I'd be interested in knowing what specifically has disappointed you? The method? The audience reaction? The plot in general?

To answer your question, I have found one that I like - and I know why I like it, as the plot is unique and it presents as an excellent piece of double mind reading. Rather than a verbally called out card and number, it is a thought of card at a thought of number using a deck that is borrowed and freely shuffled.

But before I could recommend anything to you, it would be important to know why you have been disappointed in the past, as it will show what you are really looking for.

Best,

Atlas


Atlas would you mind pming me the name of effect (or posting it here if allowed) it sounds like a nice variation.

I'm reckoning the reason he's disappointed is the same as all magi are disappointed - we all WANT the grail version where is super clean and totally hands off. It can't be done so we will forever be disappointed.

S&F
James
PhilDean
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Pete Turner does an astounding ACAAN in his Penguin lecture. It's easily downloadable from their site.
Chris Cheong
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Hey mate,

The reasons of my disappointment is:

1) Most these authors out there who wrote these books are mostly ''over promised". Their descriptions are usually the other side of their content.

2) I'm looking for a version that allows me a lot of space to include my "style" of mentalism performances. At the same time, I'm also looking for a good version that I can use on stage with jumbo cards.

Again, I'm not looking for a grail version. I'm all out to surge for knowledge and see which suits me most.
Regards,
Chris
Atlas
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James,

I am happy to share the title and some more information, and from your post, it sounds as though we come from a similar background and perspective regarding ACAAN effects. And Chris, this can be easily performed with jumbo cards.

The effect is called "The Crusade: A Mind Reader's ACAAN" by Andrew Brown and Atlas Brookings (this is not yet released). To give some background on the effect, I've included the first few pages of the book below.

Best,

Atlas

Imagine it:

The cards rest on the table in front of your first participant, who gingerly takes them up and begins to count down to his secret number - a number that has never been written down, verbalized, or communicated to any other person.

He counts down slowly, card after card, and then, abruptly, stops. He pauses and sets this last card aside. He has never said a word about his number. There is no way that you could have known what it was. He is confident of that.

He slides the card across to the young lady next to him. Her thoughts have been focused on an image - a suit and a value. Again, her choice of card has never been shared. It has never been withdrawn from the pack, never touched and certainly not forced.

She could have been thinking of any card in this deck.

Her hand drifts toward the card on the table. The one separated just now by her boyfriend from the rest of the pack. The one resting at the number that her lover was merely thinking of.

She hesitates.

The deck is their own, they shuffled it before you ever touched it. They called all the shots every step of the way.

Neither participant has ever given any indication what it was that they were thinking of, and neither believes in the ability to read minds... and yet...if the card she was merely thinking of is here, at the number that he was merely thinking of...

As though she is reaching out to touch her own delicate skepticism, her fingers flit tentatively across the card on the table - her card.

And as she reveals its face, she gasps - it is the Queen of Clubs - but it is more than that. It is belief, radiant and beautiful and glorious, a moment of dawning acceptance that will be remembered because it defied all her reason and filled her ideology with doubt.

It is a moment of pure enchantment.

And you made it happen with a borrowed deck of cards that they shuffled before you ever started.
__________________________________________________________________________

Before we look at anything even remotely to do with methodology, let's first take a moment to examine the origins of this title. This exercise is undertaken in the hope that you will find beauty in its layered complexity and reassure yourself that the same sort of attention to detail and search for perfection in arriving at a title for this book is the standard offered by these authors throughout this document.

Why is this called 'The Crusade: A Mind Reader's ACAAN'?

To many in the magic industry and to card magic enthusiasts especially, the 'Any Card At Any Number' plot is a cherished and well-loved miracle. It's perfect execution is so highly prized and sought after that it has popularly referred to among card enthusiasts as the 'Holy Grail'.

That begs the question - was this title merely a clever play on words? It is true that the Crusades and The Holy Grail are linked in popular lore. But while the association is appealing, there is more at work here than just opportunistic wordplay.

You see, the Holy Grail was the destination, the final prize at the end of these beloved stories of noble knights and daunting expeditions, whether they have their basis in fact or fiction. It bears emphasizing once more – the Grail was the destination.

The merits of the ACAAN effect have been argued back and forth for many years in the magic community.

For some, their appreciation for the effect is akin to that of a fine wine and their devotion to it never wavers.

Others, however, despise the plot and note sourly that the reaction from the audience is frequently less than enthusiastic. One person names a card and the other names a number and lo and behold – they match! It is over so quickly that it often plays as a puzzle rather than as an amazing feat that fills a person with wonder.

The argument rages back and forth, and fruitful and enlightening perspectives have emerged. Some claim that the weaknesses lie in a lack of performance ability. Others argue that the plot is fundamentally unappealing to any demographic but magicians.

The most experienced among us have consistently demonstrated that an individual will fail to recall the workings of a puzzle, but when they are escorted into an experience that fills them with wonder - when you take them on a journey that creates that wonder - they will never forget their sense of amazement or the guide lit their path.

So, in the title 'The Crusade', you have a reminder that what you are presenting is about the journey and not the mythical Holy Grail that is at the end of it. Crusade is a colloquial term for a period of endeavor and the path to virtue – NOT the destination – which, in many ACAAN plots is arrived at too quickly to have any impact.

One other important point about the title of this book. The root of the word 'Crusade' is the Latin word cruc or crux – meaning cross.

And, of course, a cross is formed at two points of intersection. And what is an intersection but the place where the roads taken by two different travelers on two unique journeys meet?

This is what this effect allows you to create, when the card that one person only thought of intersects at the number another person only thought of – the journey that you created for each of them becomes the destination, and an experience is formed that will create a sense of amazement whose memory will never fade.

To a performer, that is The Holy Grail.

And the path to the Grail is through The Crusade.
James Braund
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To be honest number (1) applies to quite a few magic releases these days! Smile You are not alone in this - wait to read reviews and what others who have the effect think about it. This place is awesome for getting other peoples opinions and have saved me a lot of money and time in avoiding purchases that wouldn't fit me or were overhyped. Conversely it's led me TOO a lot of excellent resources and effects that I never would have discovered or thought about if I hadn't been reading here. Do your research to avoid disappointment.

Regards to number (2), given that you want the flexibility to 'perform' I would suggest that you need something self working/hands off to allow you to focus on presenting and incorporating any mentalism techniques that you want. I don't know what your style is so I assume you just want to inject your own personality on the effect - well that's difficult to do with the cleaner more complicated methods.

There is a trade off between dirtyness and cleanliness - you can be super clean but have to think on your feet ALOT more and possibly execute some pretty tough moves under heat or have a dirty setup and put the effort into APPEARING cleaner.

If you're on stage then r***h/sm***h applied to a st**k of f***e/indifferent cards would allow a fair spread through display to the audience, an equivoque mental f***e of the card, any number and count down to reveal. You can be SUPER dirty with the deck because you're on stage - nobody will be handling the cards much. If you want to hand a spec a jumbo deck to deal from I can't help - I wouldn't do that as they seem to struggle with small cards let alone a huge pack.

Maybe you could outline YOUR criteria for an ACAAN and we can try and find something that fits? For example my criteria is a)self working b)hands off c)apparent free choice of card and number(I don't like mental equivoque as it seems like too much of a process so prefer to just f***e the card) You probably have different criteria, if you could describe what you want the effect to look like and what criteria you have for the method we can narrow down the many many different methods to something suitable?

S&F
James
James Braund
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Atlas - your post was brilliant!

Summarised the arguments about ACAAN succinctly and elegantly - I laughed at how I fit into the anti acaan camp you describe, which is why the remarks on the journey struck me so strongly; your version appears to elevate the effect somewhat. It sounds exciting, although I note you touch the deck after they shuffle - so I assume some degree of jiggery pokery necessary in order to facilitate achieving the final outcome but given that the effect seems to have been shifted onto the spectators rather than the performer I think it would mitigate some tinkering.

Any schedule for the release of this as it's piqued my interest, seems like something a bit more involved than the standard affair at any rate?

S&F
James
Mike Ince
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In the past I've wanted criteria so stringent it would require real magic to meet them. It's enough that the participants remember that the effect was hands-off. It's enough that they believe there were no forces; it's enough that they believe the procedure was fair.

Imagine: as the performer turns away a participant cuts the cards anywhere and looks at the face of the packet he holds. He replaces the cards, then cuts and shuffles the deck once or twice. A second participant thinks of a number and deals down to that number. Though the performer hasn't touched the deck, the card at that number is the chosen "thought of" card. The remaining cards on the table are left to be handled or examined.

I performed a variation of the above several years ago to fool magicians at a magic club meeting. It involves compromises like any effect does, and it does so in moments when the heat is off. Read between the lines and you can figure out the method. If not... it's in my $15 ebook.

"But Mike, that's not good enough. The first guy had to physically look at the thought-of card first." Okay then, use a reliable psychological card force.

Those looking for real magic will almost always be disappointed. Those looking to simulate real magic are in luck.
The secret of deception is in making the truth seem ridiculous.
jaybest
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There's a couple of acaan's I have depending on whether performing close-up, infront of a crowd, or just to just have fun with other performers.

The one for other performers is not practical for working conditions and was really just something I never even meant to really fool anyone with, was just seeing what I could get away with.
It would look like this: I'm sat across from the participant with a boxed deck sat infront of me... The participant names a card and a number, I spin deck so opening facing them, undo flap and they remover the cards, count down and the card they named is at the number.
I then played around a bit so the card would also have a message written upon it etc.

The one that requires an audience is something I've only come up with very recently and have only used it a few times thus far, it makes use of something I learnt in Colin Mcleods penguin lecture.
Don't want to say openly what it would look like as if you have seen the lecture and I described it you would get a good idea of how I accomplish it, but it is incredibly easy and no one is IN on anything.

The one for close up uses something else other than the deck and is more about the participant getting a sign that they will get something they want than about the impossibility of a card being at a number.
It's pretty much self-working but uses something else.
It would like like this: The participant looks at a little card and chooses a playing card and number, they then deal down and find that the card they choose is at the number... The amazement though comes from what this signifies, and the card and number have meaning to the participant.
Could be done without the little card but this just complicates and muddles things.
I said amazement, but it's not really amazement this effect brings but happiness.

They are the only ones I've ever actually used.
Mike Ince
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Jaybest, I like how you think.


On a different note, what about presentation?

"Let's say you ran into a friend today. You tell them, 'This is amazing. I was just thinking about you this morning.' Only when you stop to think, you remember you thought of lots of other friends in the past 24 hours but haven't run into any of them. You're tempted to chalk up the event to 'coincidence'.

Now... let's say you woke up this morning and said to yourself, 'Today I'm going to Starbucks and wouldn't it be amazing if, of all my friends, Mike showed up?' And let's say you went there and I showed up. Whoa! You'd call the papers. You'd tell that story for the rest of your life anytime people brought up the topic of 'coincidence'.

Think what's about to happen. We have 52 friends here, each with a different name. And there are 52 places each of them can be. You named a friend and a specific place. The chance you named the right friend and the right place is 1 in 52 times 52, which if you're good at general math... that's right, a big number. 2,704. Let's go to that place and see who we bump into. Look..."
The secret of deception is in making the truth seem ridiculous.
landmark
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"Untouched," Barrie Richardson, from Act Two, should suit you fine.
jaybest
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Now THAT's a nice presentation Mike Smile
Atlas
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James,

Thanks for your feedback - as I said, it sounds as though we had a similar perspective on the ACAAN plot. I wanted something where the audience remembered that I was a mind reader and where what was performed was in harmony with that assertion. And, to address your other point, nearly all the performance can take place with the cards in the participant's hands. When it does very briefly go back to the performer, it seems very natural from the audience's perspective to do so and at that point there is still no way that the performer could know the thought of card and thought of number. I'm very happy with it.

Chris,

Mike and Jay both are offering great takes on the plot. What you have to decide (and I think this is part of why ACAANs are often spoken about with such vehemence) is what you really want from the plot. Do you want to tell a story with it? Are you looking for it to get you a lot of laughs or to be simply baffling? Does it need to be hands off? Is this supposed to be quick and punchy, or involved and dramatic? What you are looking for will depend very much on what you are trying to convey as a performer and will even depend on the situation surrounding its performance.

Best,

Atlas
Atlas
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James,

My apologies, I forgot to address your other question - we expect to release it in the next month or two.

Best,

Atlas
James Braund
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"In Harmony" - great way of putting it, nice approach to the acaan plot - I'll be keeping an eye out for your release Atlas!

S&F
James
brehaut
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James--check out my Devil's ACAAN. There is a rather large thread about it under Latest and Greatest that gives you all the details. Performer doesn't touch the deck after the card is selected, no forces, one deck, spectator counts the cards with an ungimmicked deck. Good luck


Greg
Martin Pulman
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I think people have forgotten how the legend of Berglas' version of ACAAN grew. It wasn't from his stage performances of it but from his, seemingly impromptu, one on one performances for friends. With that in mind I think most of the compromises in published effects are, ahem, misdirected.

I'd probably agree that ACAAN on stage is less than thrilling. But in an intimate setting it is extraordinary. I performed a thought of card at thought of number (TCATN?!?) for a friend four weeks ago. She mentions it every time we meet. It clearly continues to resonate for her. Very few effects with cards play as strongly.
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