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This thread represents my first attempt to apply the principles of Darwin Ortiz' Strong Magic to my presentations. Because I've only started studying magic very recently, I don't possess the practical expertise to put these effects into practice. However, I expect this will be fun for me, and hope it will be fun for others as well.

If someone likes one of these presentations well enough to devise a method for it, then please do perform it! Just post in this thread or send me a PM indicating you're using it. My ego could always use a stroke or two.

Week of 14 June

The Amazing Paul Sharke and His Fifty-ONE Assistants: an Ambitious Card Variant

Wordlessly, take the stage amidst applause with a single, stiff bow, then produce your pack of cards -- and a portable paper shredder.

Take the top card, "show" the paper shredder to its face as if to say to the card, "Take a good look at this device," and then drop the bottom card into the shredder. The more noisy its operation, the better. Force the top card to watch the bottom card's gruesome destruction.

Now address the audience. Tell them this card (whatever the top card may be) embarrassed you during your last performance, but "it's likely to behave itself this time, don't you think?"

Place the card on deck's bottom. It reappears again on top. "Now it's eager to escape the bottom of the deck!" But perhaps the card doesn't make it all the way up to the top. Perhaps it appears in the middle, or second from top. Drop the bottommost card into the shredder, make the other card watch again. The next manipulation brings it all the way to the top: "Yes, that's good. As far away from the bottom as you can get, little card."

Perform a few more "Ambitious Card" manipulations. Note the tension at work here. The audience will sympathize, if even only in a comedic and superficial way, with the personified card, upon whom you're inflicting these cruelties. Thus you render yourself a villain, but a villain for whom the audience must cheer. Remember, your victories save the card's "life."

In the last AC sequence, the card fails to rise, and appears on the very bottom instead. It looks like the card is doomed after all. However, it's a twist ending (which may be achieved using a gravity half-pass): the card's not on the bottom of the deck after all, but actually face up on top! This final twist saves the card's life and also makes the villain appear foolish. The card has "outwitted" him.

For the finale, admit your cruelties have all been merely "for show," and that the cards are in on the act. Take the shredded cards and restore them to their original state. Fan them handsomely, to demonstrate their friendly cooperativeness, with the ambitious card safely on the bottom.
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A Good Soak

Magician produces a small clear fishbowl or tank, filled with water. Spectator selects a card, and the magician takes it in hand without looking at it. He dunks it (face toward the audience) in the water, and then replaces it in the deck. With a straight face: "Now I shall attempt to find your unmarked card." Magician fans the cards in front of his face, "studying" them carefully. Don't let the gag wear thin, though. Select an indifferent card and boldly show it.

When magician receives a response from spectator & audience that it's the wrong card, he continues to display it as he (slowly) dunks it into the water. As the card submerges, its underwater portion changes, and through the glass, the audience now sees the magician holds the correct card.
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