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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » How do you rescue a failed card trick? (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Alex1
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My nephew is learning card magic and doing a pretty good job, though every now and then his trick goes awry (or should I say his effect goes awry?). When I did simple mentalism years ago, I was taught that you could sometimes save face by prefacing your effect with "Let's try a little experiment..." If something did go wrong, you could just say "That was an interesting result...now let's try _______." If the follow-up effect went well, no one would remember the first one that just failed.

What is the card magician's get-out-of-jail card? What can my nephew do when an effect goes off the rails?
jimhlou
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Just say ... "but that would have been a great trick, wouldn't it" and then move on to the next one

Jim
professorwhut
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Some magi's keep an Invisible Deck on hand for occasions such as this.
After much soul searching about a signature, I decided not to have one.

TG Pop [aka ProfessorWhut]
george1953
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Yep, the invisible deck has rescued many over the years.
By failing to prepare, we are preparing to fail.
whiteoakcanyon
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I also agree the Invisible Deck is a very strong way to shift the outcome of a trick gone wrong.
Andy Young
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I always try to force a card. I don't need to, but it gives me an out.
silvercup
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Foot speed
Alex1
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Quote:
On Jul 19, 2014, Andy Young wrote:
I always try to force a card. I don't need to, but it gives me an out.


I know in general what forcing a card means, but could you elaborate a little?
Sanderr
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Well if you force a card on the spectator, at least you know what card he selected so you can use that knowledge if all else fails to reveal the card in a different manner.

Forcing a card doesn't have to be hard, there are many techniques ranging from almost self-working to one that requires a good timing to not fail. I recommend you look in the Royal Road to Card Magic for some forces, or Card College if you/your nephew owns that. If you and your nephew don't own The Royal Road to Card Magic, I recommend picking that up to get a solid foundation in sleights and some effects as well.
Ray Bertrand
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I'll sometimes say; "I just washed my hands this morning and I can't seem to do a thing with them; lets try another experiment">

Ray
EnterTRAINment at its best. Keeping the Magic Alive in Northern BC
Ray Bertrand
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I'll sometimes say; "I just washed my hands this morning and I can't seem to do a thing with them; lets try another experiment">

Ray
EnterTRAINment at its best. Keeping the Magic Alive in Northern BC
Mr. Woolery
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Practice recoveries. If a force fails, have the spec hold that card and force another. Meaning you get a second chance to force the target. Now he has two and simple magician's choice can be used to make it look even more fair. "You have selected two cards and nobody knows what they are. I cannot be any more fair than this. Place one card on the table." Now, if it is the force target on the table "and put the other back in the deck anywhere. We will use the one you just chose."

If the failure in the trick is totally non-recoverable, just say "I messed that one up. I can either do a totally different trick for you or we can start over on this one and pretend the last two minutes never happened."

Patrick
TysonUnruh
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That's why its always nice to have an invisible deck... I think so anyhow
djurmann
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Mind you an invisible deck takes considerable practice Smile.

Personally I like Jim Hlou's suggestion
djurmann
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OK fundamentally do the spectators know the ending? For example. I do a classic force and it fails. I proceed with a different trick.

If your nephewsays "I will find your card....is it the X" .....and they go nope (and he is sure they are not screwing with him" then he could take the card he said and switch it with the actual one, eg, using a Mexican turnover or a twirl change or he could palm it and say oh that's the one in my pocket/under the glass).....but otherwise Jim's answer is a really good one.
Andy Young
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I want to say that I don't do many effects that you have to force a card (make them pick a certain card). I just do it for fun and it is an out in case my control of the deck isn't that great, but I haven't had a mishap in quite awhile during a performance.
Alex1
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Thank you all. I thought Jim Hlou's answer was in jest, but I see a couple seconding it. I will give my nephew the other suggestions as well. Currently he is using Joshua Jay's books on card magic.
magic_man_jim
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I have been doing magic for a long time( over 25 years) and I personally feel that saying something like "OH that would have been good" unless it is already structured in a trick for a comdey element is not a good thing. There are plenty our outs that can be achieved instead of using a line like that. I believe magic is not just doing tricks for someone though, I hold a firm believe that its a whole presentation, an art form. These days a lot of magicians just perform tricks instead of showing the audience an magic experience.

Obviously when you are just beginning in magic you want to run out and show the new tricks you have learned..i understand this. With that said one should also understand that there are a lot of things that could go wrong when just running out and performing a new trick. Just to share my personal "rules" for performing:

I will take my time and learn the effect inside and out.
I will then find a way to make it something of my own. (change the patter, changes moves to fit into another effect, ect)
I do magic in a routine so if I want a new trickt to make it into my routine I work out the ways to make it fit into my overall "dream" of the routine.
after all that is said and done, I then look at it from ever angle and discover its faults (angles, audience control, "bad moves", ect), included in this step is finding multiple outs for if something goes horribly wrong.

As I have said I have learned and performed magic for many of years so I have plenty of other tricks up my sleeve to cover these outs. Some of my favorite outs for card magic is:
having and envolope in my wallet at all times--If I miss a card or the spectator doesn't go for a particular force I am trying to do. I move on like nothing has happend and end up having the spectators "incorrectly" selected card folded and in the evelope in my wallet.
I also use a mem deck that has multiple multiple outs for something that goes wrong with cards.

The invisible deck that has been mentioned already in this thread would be another valuable out if the presentation is right for reaching for a different deck of cards. If I were going to use the invisible deck principle I would adjust the deck so that it is a different color that the deck I was using in the other routings and have the card appear in a differnt color deck.

Just my 2 cents folks, hope it helps
Magic is not to fool...but allows you to believe!

Jim Boothe
www.jimboothemagic.com
jim@jimboothemagic.com
davidpaul$
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Great post magic-man-jim....
Just to add...learn some card sleights like the cull, classic pass and or single/double undercuts, shapeshifter, palming, wave change , side-steal etc.

If you loose the spectator's card you can casually say "Are you sure it's in the deck?" Then spread through the deck, towards youself, spot the card, cull it or use a sleight mentioned above, and produce it from an impossible location.

The more knowledge and ability you have in your arsenal the less worried you are about messing up. This of course comes with experience as well as messing up. You just have to have the desire and passion to learn as well as evaluating, as magic_man_jim
has noted, to know the material inside and out. There are no short cuts. To be GOOD takes work as well as a drive to get there.

Enjoy the journey..that's important.
If you can't help worrying, remember worrying can't help you!
myrealsphinx
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Great ideia davidpaul$ ... sleights and flourishes should walk hand by hand...
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