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Bob G
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Although you've clearly watched more magicians than I have, I'm with you on loving Daryl. I have the Fooler Dooler disks and you're inspiring me to watch them (I've watched parts, but not the whole thing), both for the pleasure of watching his inimitable style and to see how he handles handing things out.


Books of Wonder, Ladayne, Ortiz -- I've heard people rave about all of these. I'll keep them in mind for the future. Right now am saving pennies.
EndersGame
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On Apr 28, 2020, peppermeat2000 wrote:
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On Apr 27, 2020, draupnir wrote:
I know John Bannon does a lot of work to try and make these kinds of tricks examinable at the end of the routine. He calls them fractal I believe and it might be worth researching that more to see if he has any work that could help you

I'm with draupnir in advising you to check out Bannon's fractal magic. "Triabolical" is a great start (co-written with Liam Montier).

This is exactly what I was going to suggest. Bannon's whole idea with what he called "fractal card magic" (his term for packet tricks) was to create something that was fully examinable.

Bannon had strict requirements for his packet trick routines, including that they had to end clean. The year 2008 saw him release three successful tricks along those lines, namely "The Royal Scam", "Duplicity", and "Spin Doctor".
● "The Royal Scam": a dizzying set of surprises that not only ends with a rainbow back finish, but an unexpected change to a Royal Flush.
● "Duplicity": a small packet thought-card transposition (think "Twisted Sisters").
● "Spin Doctor": a Twisting the Aces effect with a number of additional surprises including a rainbow back finish.

These were sold separately and are all excellent, but if you are looking for value, I would suggest instead looking at getting one of his DVDs with fractal card magic:

Fractalicious DVD (2014) - this has 7 packet tricks along these lines, and comes with five gaff cards. It came about after the publication of a pamphlet called Triabolical (2011), in which Bannon taught three packet tricks in combination with Liam Montier, all of which were included in Fractalicious: "Brainiac", "Short Attention Spin", and "Montinator 5.0". It also taught "Chop Shop", "Spin Doctor", and two bonus effects, all from his other books.

Bullet Party DVD (2011) - this comes with 13 gaff cards, and has a lot more tricks, but they aren't all packet tricks. Of the packet tricks in this collection, the two standouts are "Bullet Party" and "Mega 'Wave", but there's certainly a lot of other strong material as well, including a revised version of his older "Call of the Wild" packet trick under the new name "Fractal Re-Call".

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Bob G
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Thanks, EndersGame. I own Fractalicioius -- clearly I need to take a closer look at it. If I like it I'll consider the Bullet Party Trilogy.


By the way -- as a mathematician I have to say that Bannon's use of the term "fractal" has nothing to do with its mathematical meaning. But that's just a quibble -- his definition fits all the things I want: examinability, etc. And value is definitely what I'm looking for.


Bob
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On May 5, 2020, Bob G wrote:
By the way -- as a mathematician I have to say that Bannon's use of the term "fractal" has nothing to do with its mathematical meaning.

I was curious about this for similar reasons when I first came across his use of the term, and at the time I managed to find a place where he explained his thinking on this. I'll share it here, since it will likely be of interest to you. Here's what he said in an interview in 2008:

==========================================
Q: Where did the phrase "Fractal card magic" come from?

At the 31 Faces North convention in Toronto, I did a presentation on "packet" tricks. Every now and then, the term "packet trick” gets a negative connotation --but I have alwys liked them. When I was in DC one of my magic colleagues was the great Larry West--of Emerson And West. I have never thought it was uncool to take a packet of cards out of the little wallet, do a trick, and put the cards away. One night at the convention, we brainstormed to try and create create a new term for "packet tricks"–sometimes a new name can give you a new way of looking at something.

In mathematics, a fractal is "an object or quantity that displays self-similarity, in a somewhat technical sense, on all scales. The object need not exhibit exactly the same structure at all scales, but the same "type" of structures must appear on all scales."

In a non-mathematical sense, tricks with fewer cards than the entire deck would exhibit many of the same characteristics, but on a smaller scale. There would be self-similarity in the sense that the same "structures" (such as transpositions, color-changes, divination of selected cards) could exist without needing the entire deck.

Besides, I like how "fractal" sounds. "Fractal card magic" seems like a good trademark-able name for what we used to call packet tricks.

(text quoted from John Bannon interview)
Bob G
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Aha! Thanks, that makes sense -- and is imaginative and shows some mathematical understanding. An alternative name that would convey the same idea is "holographic," as each piece of a hologram displays the whole image (though with less resolution than the whole). Personally, I I like the traditional name, "packet trick." It has a nice, crisp sound.
ekgdoc
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On Apr 24, 2020, Bob G wrote:

I like my props to be examinable by the end of a trick... I'm looking for suggestions for short sets of packet tricks that could be routined together so that by the end of the *last* trick the cards could be examined.

Bob


In the context of how the term FRACTAL has been used by Bannon for a single packet trick, you are asking if there are fractal ROUTINES that string together a series of dirty packet tricks so as to end clean. This higher order of complexity seems itself fractal. In any case, to my knowledge no one has explored fractal routining. You can do that if you want, but I will stick with using routines that string together single tricks that are clean or fractal or can be cleaned up with a touch of SOH. Not as elegant mathematically, but a lot simpler and a lot more flexible.

David M.
Bob G
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Thanks for your thoughts, David. You summarized neatly what I hoped to do. At the time I didn't know I was asking for anything complex, but I didn't have the experience to know! I may have to bite the bullet and actually learn how to palm a card and lap it so as to end clean -- something I've been putting off for a long time while learning what I perceive to be simpler moves.

Bob
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I haven't read through all the posts, but one of the things I frequently do is to have a divider in my shirt pocket. One side has my gimmicked cards and the other side has un-gimmicked spare cards. After the trick, I put the cards away. Sometimes they will ask to see another trick, sometimes I will ask them if they want to see another trick. I then take out the regular cards (spares that I just want to get rid of anyway, and I have them pick two of the cards and I do an impromptu card warp. I have a method where I can get my card warp card ready while they fold one of the cards. This give me a good way to show the cards as un-gimmicked and to get rid of spare cards. There are also some other effects that I do in this situation, but I'm not able to reveal them right now.
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Bob G
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Thanks, 1KJ -- don't know how I missed this interesting post before.


I found my copy of Fractalicious, and have a question about Short Attention Spin. It's a great trick, full of zany surprises -- yet I can't help but think that spectators will remember the moment when one of the cards is ditched. For people who have tried it, how does it fly?


Thanks,


Bob
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In some cases, the finish of a packet trick shows an unusual card or cards (like a rainbow back). I would thnk that this type of unusual card is part of the routine so it can be examined.
Bob G
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That makes sense to me. But it reminded me of an issue that I have with the beautiful trick Capitulating Queens. At the end you show all four (?) cards and let spectators examine them. To my way of thinking that's kind of an anticlimax, because, until the end, the new backs seem to appear out of nowhere -- very mysterious. But then by showing all four at once at the end, you're kind of admitting that they were there all along, and it was just some kind of clever manipulation that allowed you to show them one at a time. I haven't thought of a solution, though, except to just end the trick after the four cards have been shown individually, and then put the cards away in an envelope.


The same thoughts apply to the trick's predecessor, Martin Gardner's All the Nonconformists (taught on one of Ammar's Easy to Master videos).


I'd be curious to hear what others think: is it a climax or an anti-climax to show all the cards at once at the end of CQ?
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If you have a trick where four cards have backs that change, what is a spectator to think?

a) They were like that all along and you used some sleight of hand to disguise it
b) You used sleight of hand to switch in different cards
c) There are extra cards that you are hiding
d) The cards are gimmicked in some way
e) It's real magic

How is handing out the cards at the end an anticlimax? All you are disproving is (c) and (d). Does that weaken the trick?
Bob G
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Good questions, Mike. Let's hope that we can rule out (e). Then *of course* the spectator knows that you're doing something sneaky (a-d). But -- if we think of magic as involving some suspension of disbelief, then my feeling is that showing the four cards at the end shatters the suspension of disbelief. FWIW...
Kaliix
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Capitulating Queens is one of my favorite effects and here is how I handle it using the "it's not a bug, it's a feature approach."

I take the 4 of a kind (Queens originally but I use 9's and lately 6's) of a small packet trick wallet. I tell people these are my special cards and show four 9's. I count the first three nines and casually just move the hand without actually grabbing the edge of the last nine. It is not exactly what I would call a high scrutiny move, but I keep right on going, showing the last singe nine for just a second, after which I put the other black nine (or queen, whatever) on top of the two as one. My story is that these are my special cards and when I ask people what card is the special card, they pick one color way more than the other. I say to a spectator, which color do you think they pick more often, black or Reeeeeeeeeddddddddd, making it really obvious that I'm giving them a hint to pick the red. Most people play along here. If they don't, I ham it up and make it even more obvious or you can just say, "Can't take a hint huh, sorry it was red. Now do you think diamonds or..." or just ask another, obviously more helpful spectator who played along to pick the amongst the diamond or heart.

Since you know the routine, the second and third change is motivated by, Now what if you picked the other red card, what if you picked the black instead, the finale being what if you'd picked the spade (or club depending on how your set is setup) I'd of had to do real magic and change all the backs, except for the one you picked so it would be special.

After that, I end by saying "look, I have to level with you, it really wouldn't have mattered what card you picked, because they are all special" said as all four cards are being displayed as different. Most people are just mind-boggled by that point, but as a middle school teacher, who performs under tough conditions, if a student does ask, usually a sorry I can't let a muggle ruin my special cards. If that doesn't work, drop the three cards on top of the double that you end with in your left hand, position for a gamblers cop while grabbing the packet trick wallet. It is a simple matter to grab the wallet with your right hand bring it over to your left and say, "well, I usually just put my cards away to protect them, but if you're careful you can look." Use the packet trick wallet as cover for copped DS card as you hand them the four. I've also just copped it out as I placed the four on the table. If I have to do that (like once honestly), I make sure to say, "Well here look at them, while moving on to another trick simultaneously ditching to get it.

Honestly though, ever since using the special card approach, no one really asks to see them. IMHO, YMMV...

Quote:
On Jul 5, 2020, Bob G wrote:
That makes sense to me. But it reminded me of an issue that I have with the beautiful trick Capitulating Queens. At the end you show all four (?) cards and let spectators examine them. To my way of thinking that's kind of an anticlimax, because, until the end, the new backs seem to appear out of nowhere -- very mysterious. But then by showing all four at once at the end, you're kind of admitting that they were there all along, and it was just some kind of clever manipulation that allowed you to show them one at a time. I haven't thought of a solution, though, except to just end the trick after the four cards have been shown individually, and then put the cards away in an envelope.


The same thoughts apply to the trick's predecessor, Martin Gardner's All the Nonconformists (taught on one of Ammar's Easy to Master videos).


I'd be curious to hear what others think: is it a climax or an anti-climax to show all the cards at once at the end of CQ?
The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge.
~Daniel J. Boorstin
Bob G
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Oh gosh, Kalix, you're a middle school teacher! Your kids are a tough audience indeed. I admire people who can teach this age group.


One thing I get from what you said is that it is *not* an anticlimax when you show all four cards -- quite the opposite, since apparently your spectators buy into "all the cards are special" and are flabbergasted.


I haven't performed the trick, but I really want to. The only thing that's stopping me is that I haven't learned to do a gambler's cop, and would need to build up my courage to do one in performance. So your description of how you handle the cop is really useful to me. The ditching is well hidden.


I had trouble following one sentence early in your description: "I count the first three nines and casually just move the hand without actually grabbing the edge of the last nine. It is not exactly what I would call a high scrutiny move, but I keep right on going, showing the last sing(l)e nine for just a second, after which I put the other black nine (or queen, whatever) on top of the two as one." Would you mind clarifying? -- by PM would be fine if it feels like too much exposure.


Thanks,

Bob
Kaliix
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The move you reference is when you have a double after showing/counting the first three cards. If you were to count four cards, you would normally just grab the last card with fingertips while holding the first three, being free and open with the last card. In this routine, the fourth card is a double, so it is really kind of carefully placed over with the first three cards, though this should look casual and easy. Magician's guilt can rear its ugly head at a "dirty" time such as this. What I've found is that it is a moment not to worry about, but one to handle almost apathetically. As in, the showing of the hearts, diamonds, clubs, and spades is sort of obvious since I've said I have four cards and they are four of a kind, so obviously these are the suits and I'm just showing you so I can get to the good part which is... (in my case, what color do you think people pick most often?) The more that move is practiced, the more casual it will seem.

It's not a moment to rush or care about. I show all four and immediately split the cards into black and red piles and go on...

Remember, you are the magician and you have the power to determine what moments matter and as importantly, which ones don't.

Quote:
On Jul 5, 2020, Bob G wrote:
Oh gosh, Kalix, you're a middle school teacher! Your kids are a tough audience indeed. I admire people who can teach this age group.


One thing I get from what you said is that it is *not* an anticlimax when you show all four cards -- quite the opposite, since apparently your spectators buy into "all the cards are special" and are flabbergasted.


I haven't performed the trick, but I really want to. The only thing that's stopping me is that I haven't learned to do a gambler's cop, and would need to build up my courage to do one in performance. So your description of how you handle the cop is really useful to me. The ditching is well hidden.


I had trouble following one sentence early in your description: "I count the first three nines and casually just move the hand without actually grabbing the edge of the last nine. It is not exactly what I would call a high scrutiny move, but I keep right on going, showing the last sing(l)e nine for just a second, after which I put the other black nine (or queen, whatever) on top of the two as one." Would you mind clarifying? -- by PM would be fine if it feels like too much exposure.


Thanks,

Bob
The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge.
~Daniel J. Boorstin
Bob G
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Thanks again, Kalix.
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