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Scott Cram
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We've all heard of the "too perfect" theory, but what I'm asking for here is those "exactly perfect" stories - those moments when the stars, the attitude of the spectators, and the trick you were doing all come together in that ever-so-rare perfect alignment, at which time the trick became something larger than either you or the spectator ever expected!

One friend of mine refers to these as, "Back on the day that I was a god..." stories.

I'd like to hear these stories!!! I know we all have them!

Here's one of mine to start (actually, I have a couple of good ones for this thread, now that I think about it):

Back when I worked at Target, I had extremely long hair (down past my shoulder blades). As a result, much of what I carried was stuff to keep my hair in line (combs, bobby pins, etc.). One day, while in the break room, it was just me and a female co-worker. She was trying to fix her hair, and I offered the comb in my pocket, which I hadn't used yet (it was brand new). She thanked me and proceeded to comb her hair.

When she was finished, she said she wished she had a bobby pin. I simply went back into the same pocket, and pulled out a bobby pin for her. At this point, she got a funny look on her face, and began to wonder how it was that I just happened to have everything she asked for in that one pocket. She joked, "What else do you have in there, a Swiss Army knife?" The only other thing in my pocket did indeed happen to be a Swiss Army knife! I knew this moment was too good to waste, so I reached in my pocket, and then pulled the hand out empty (as if I was joking), and said, "You would've really freaked out if I'd have brought out a Swiss Army knife, wouldn't you?"

She said she would, and relaxed, as she figured I was just joking at that point. I then pulled out the Swiss Army knife out of that same pocket, set it in her hands, punched back in from my break, and simply left the room while she still had a stunned look on her face!
christopher carter
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I was doing an interview for the Chicago Sun Times when the reporter pulled out an envelope and said, "I have a drawing in here. Duplicate it." Apparently she had made it the day before and brought it along as, in her mind, the ultimate test of my abilities. I was a little nervous because this was going to be a whole page in the Sunday edition, but I thought, "no risk, no reward." I told her to draw the picture in her mind, then I took out a notebook and drew what I thought it might be. Bingo! I got it right.

--Christopher Carter
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My perfect magic story might be one I've already shared here, but, I'll go ahead and share it again. I was doing a show at a cancer survivor's picnic. I was doing the closing number which happened to be the linking paperclips. Yes, I was closing the show with the linking paperclips. I was speaking of the magic that is inside every one of us, and it is this magic that helps us reach our goals....and everyone at the picnic has that magic!! At the end of the routine, I gave the paperclips, linked, to one of the children in the front row. I wasn't doing anything out of the ordinary...just the typical "motivational" message I occasionally use with the linking paperclips.

While I was packing up, the mother of the child who received the linked paperclips came up to me and said that her child had just completed some rather rough treatments, but he was going to take the paperclips to the doctor the next time he went and was going to tell the doctor that he was going to beat the cancer that had invaded his little body! Well, needless to say, it was a good thing I was packing up and the show was over because I had started to cry, and my mascara was running, giving me the "racoon eyes". Well, it was worth it!!

You just never know how what you do will impact!!
The only stupid question is the one not asked.
Scott Cram
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Great stories, Margarette and Chris! Stories like this are my favorite moment in magic.

Here's another of my "perfect magic" stories.

I was working in a magic shop when a customer, whom we'll call Bob, came in and asked to see some good, simple tricks.

Among the tricks I showed him was the old
"Insurance Policy" trick, using the routine from Michael Ammar's ETMCM series. For those who haven't seen it, Ammar has the chosen card returned to the deck, and has the spectator shuffle it. The spectator is then asked if that is the selected card. When they say "no," you ask them to count down the number suggested by that card, and then ask if THAT'S their card. They say no again, and you admit it's all gone wrong, and you finish up with the insurance policy.

Well, when I performed this for Bob, the top card happened to be an 8. That wasn't it, so we counted down 8, and I had him turn the card up - it happened to be the King of Hearts - the card he selected (heh heh) and the one in the Insurance Policy, of course! I still finish up showing how "safe" I was by using the insurance policy. I love the ever-so-rare times that things like this happen in the routine.

Needless to say, he liked that trick, but wanted to see if he could figure out how I
"placed the 8 and the King just right" so that the trick would work.

While Bob was thinking, I was helping other customers, and showed someone else (who hadn't seen the first performance) the routine. I also figured this would let Bob see what happened in the trick the majority of the time. When this guy shuffled, he turned up a 5 on top. We counted down 5 cards and, you guessed it, the 5th card was the King of Hearts - the policy card!

Bob was even more confused now - he never saw me touch the deck for any controls, and I didn't even use an 8 like the first time!

The second guy bought the trick, and left. Bob was still bug-eyed.

Yet again, I showed the insurance policy trick to yet another person, and Bob was burning me intensely this time. He understood about the repeated selection of the King of Hearts, but the control of it was driving him crazy!

After this third spectator shuffled, I asked him to turn up the top card - it WAS the King of Hearts! At this point, both Bob and this third guy both bought the trick.

First, I explained the initial procedures, and then, the part they were waiting for - how the King was "controlled" each time. When I told them (especially Bob) that it was pure, unadulterated luck each time the King appeared at or near the top of the deck, you should have heard the volume on Bob's voice!

"You mean it was DUMB LUCK?!? That can't be true - it happened EVERY TIME!!!"

My only reply is that I was having a run of EXTREMELY dumb luck. When he calmed down, I was able to make him see the great value of the trick even when it goes "wrong". As far as I know, he enjoys it to this day - he's even experienced the lucky occasions when the spectator turns up the policy card, and has e-mailed me about the reactions he recieves. As far as I know, though, he hasn't broken my record of having it happen 3 times in a row.
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Tonight, I was having dinner at my mother-in-law's house,with 6 of us at the table, and she has a cool little desktop toy, kind of an oil-dripping meditation thing in the shape of a soda can. I was playing with it during dessert time, and I jokingly put a paper napkin on top of it and slid it 'fake-covertly' to the end of the table (kind of like a stage-whisper, you know?). I had just done the salt-shaker/coin secret move with it, when my sister-in-law said "What, are you trying to steal that from us?" I SLAMMED the empty napkin flat and said "I already did!" They all proceeded to do their best 'deer caught in the headlights' impression, and the pure 15 second silence was music to my ears. I love days like this.

Jay Smile
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I was flirting with a couple of very pretty women who said "If you're a mindreader, then what colour knickers are we wearing?". I struck my best David Blaine pose, and said "Blue....and pink", as I pointed to each in turn.

I was right, but as this is a family site, I'll keep the rest of the night's details to myself!
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I had finished a holiday show, when a lady came up and gave me a hug. She said with tears that this was the first time she had allowed herself to laugh in a long time.

It seemed her husband was terminally ill with cancer. We both smiled, cried and shared for a few more minutes.

Another time was when my neice was in the final stages of bone cancer.

Along with magic I do a lot of Nearly Normal Puppet and Vent work. I had brought one of my smaller hand puppets with me. She said:

Make the puppet sing,
Make the puppet dance,
Then she threw me,

Make the puppet die!

Wow I have not had a moment like that before or since.

She did go on to "another address" soon after my visit.

The night before she died she woke up and said, "mom, hurry the white car is here for me." No one in the family owned such a car.

The hearse that came for her was, yep


Chills still go down my neck when I think of it.

The magic is in friends and family.

I always try to remember, and pass on to younger magicians (in the obsessive stage)
"You can not hug a deck of cards."

Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
music, magic and marvelous toys
Harry Murphy
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A little over a decade ago for some strange reason I decided to learn to weld. I decided on a real cool project. Heavy-duty steel
“Princess Flying Carpet” gimmick. I wanted something I could take a large man volunteer from the audience and suspend. I thought it would be very cool!

So I built one! No, it did not bolt into a little wooden platform. The platform was steel with locking casters on it and the gimmick was welded directly to the platform. The “carpet” bit was steel too! The whole thing weighed almost as much as I did! It was a beauty of industrial strength!

Now the beast sat quietly in my basement for about 4 years minding it’s own business and not bothering anyone. Then one day I read in the local paper that there is going to be a
“Clown Convention” in the nearby city (Baltimore). It was going to feature magic, juggling, and clowning. Wow! So I decide to go and check it out.

WOW! Serious funsters! The first day I noticed that the magician side of the convention is pretty much focused on kid performers and box type parlor magicians. I also noted that there was going to be three contests, juggling, magic and clowning. I enter the magic contest. I figure that I will win hands down!

This convention was like many that I had attended. Some people were “big” names and hung together, some people came every year and hung tighter, and a few people, like me, were just wandering around trying to make some sort of human contact.

While standing in line to eat lunch I struck up a conservation with a couple standing in front of me. We decided to share a table. Lucky me, I had just met a really nice couple.

They were serious kid show performers and even more serious into clowning clowns! Neither was/is petite (both were in excess of 300 pounds!). So we were having lunch and he was telling me of how he had tried to do a Zig-Zag using his wife. They both laughed themselves to tears and turned red at the memory and were very descriptive about how parts of the sweet dear sort of stuck out here and there! She asked me if I had ever noticed that “BIG” folk are made sport of and illusions are not made to handle them.

Well! A light flashed on and I spent the rest of the day getting home and getting my super “X”, super-duper Princes Flying carpet out of the basement, into my truck and back to the convention.

OK, OK, I’m getting there, you already know what’s going to happen, you just have to enjoy the anticipation and stay with me.

Picture this; I used the cheesy props (swords, screen crummy carpet scraps that sit on the base, etc.) from my real-life Princess illusion. So when I rolled it on stage it looked like the very familiar mass-produced, mini-illusion.

I asked for an audience volunteer and up
"pops" the Mrs. (as planned). I pretended to try to put her off with a rope trick; her husband (on cue) started a ruckus in the audience. So I reluctantly say that I will attempt to float this “beautiful, young princess” …BUT that I cannot be responsible for anything that might happen.

I pull out a low stool and sit it on the platform, I pull out a milk crate and help her step up and sit on a stool.

You could have heard a pin drop. I don’t think anyone in the audience was breathing.

One of the swords fell away! As she was sitting down, I pick it up and it is bent in a “U” shape (Ok, I pushed it away from it’s holder and bent it as I picked it up! So what!). The other sword flies across the stage (yep I tossed it), and with a great show, I pull the screen back and SHE WAS SUSPENDED sitting on a stool!!! Gosh, it looked great! There were audible gasps from the audience and some spontaneous applause began.

I had a large hoop made out of two 8 foot lengths of PVC pipe painted day-glow orange which had been laying on the floor throughout the performance. I picked it up and did a quick spin around her (the hoop was big enough to do a goose-neck move without a real goose-neck); I dropped the hoop, pulled the screen back into place, and helped her down, to a standing ovation!

She was great! I stood back and she took all the bows! She actually began to tear up!

I wish I could say that we won the competition. But we didn’t. We went well over in the allotted time. Honestly burning the time was the only way to pull it off and sell the trick.

The effect the audience response had on her was more than worth any paper prize we could have won. For a brief minute, this very large (and very, very beautiful) woman got to feel like a true “box-jumper”. And I won two friends for life!

The best part was that I didn’t have to take that monster contraption back home after the convention. I gave it to my new friends in hopes they would use it. They have never performed it since. It sits in their living room as a side table and it has a nicely framed photo of her one performance
“floating” sitting right there on it.

What I did not know until years later was that she was totally terrified getting up on that thing and sitting there. She believed that it would surely give away under her weight and that I would be embarrassed because she would have ruined the trick. That “I would be embarrassed”! Go figure!

You have to love that kind of person. I know I do!
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Thomas Wayne
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Okay, I've told this story before, but Paul Green just reminded me of it in an email, so I think I'll indulge in a "senior moment", and drag it out one more time. Besides, it's one of my favorite memories from the Castle...

A number of years ago, my wife and I were in Los Angeles on business. It was late afternoon, and we were fighting rush hour traffic to get to the Magic Castle. For those of you who have never been to the Castle I should mention that there are two tables downstairs that are available for impromptu performances. I’ve been there well over a hundred times, and I’ve discovered that if I sit at one of those tables and play with some coins or a deck of cards, it won’t be long before I have an audience. On this occasion, we were stuck with surface streets, and I realized I didn’t have ANYTHING to work with. It was a residential neighborhood and we stopped at the only place we could find, which was a gas station/convenience store. The only cards they had in poker size were Maverick brand, which are really garbage. I bought the pack anyway, and we scurried on our way.

Later in the evening, at the Castle, I was doing a short bit downstairs, and my wife left to get a drink at the main bar. A few minutes later I caught up to her just as some guy at the bar was finishing up a very amateurish rendition of the “Insurance Policy”. My wife – who can be quite fetching – was not impressed; when the guy opened up the policy to reveal her “chosen card”, she said: “Oh, those are just trick cards!” She then grabbed my arm, pulled me over and said: “Show these guys something.”

It was a real easy situation to size up. I noticed, as he put his "policy" back into the original plastic bag (complete with the Hollywood Magic price sticker), that he was using a Svengali deck. It seemed clear that this guy and his buddy had just stopped at the magic store and were now hoping to pick up a chick or two with a self-working miracle. So I said: “Okay, I’ll use my cards so I don’t ruin your brand new deck”, and I took out my Mavericks. I performed Roy Walton’s “Card Warp” at an extra slow and studied pace, and the entire crowd at the bar gathered around to watch [I surmised that perhaps these two guys had already irritated THEM a bit]. When I finished with each guy holding half of the torn card with his mouth hanging open and the rest of the bar erupting into a big round of applause! No kidding, that was an Olympic moment for me!

By now, my wife had her arm in mine, and I turned to walk back down the hall to line up for the Close-Up Gallery. I felt her tug me back as she leaned into these two guys and said (loudly): “He bought HIS cards at a gas station!"

Thomas Wayne
MOST magicians: "Here's a quarter, it's gone, you're an idiot, it's back, you're a jerk, show's over." Jerry Seinfeld
Harry Murphy
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Now that’s a woman! You got to love her!
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
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That is an excellent story, Tom. Are there any more like her at home? Smile
Matt Graves
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When I got to do a show at school, one of the tricks I did was pulling a handkerchief through a girl's arm. I got one of her friends to hold her hand to make sure it couldn't come off. The first time, everybody was just flabbergasted at it. Then Mrs. Earnest, my teacher, came over and told me to do it again because she hadn't seen it. I was afraid everybody would see through it since it was the exact same trick twice. But some how fortune smiled on me.

The first time I pulled on the handkerchief, I pulled really hard but for some reason the handkerchief caught and wouldn't come through. Then everybody started to murmur - I heard one girl go "Uh - oh..." and then I tugged on it again and it came through, and I _really_ got a big round of applause for that one! To make it even better, some guy had a digital camera and taped the whole thing. I can only dream of how many of his friends may have seen it by now... that was about as close to perfect as it gets for me.
Jeff Dial
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Not my story, but a good friend's.

I was helping him with his mentalism act. The second set was a blindfold act. He would have the spectator bring something up and hold it between his palms that were facing each other about 6 inches apart. After several correct identifications a guy came up out of the audience with an obvious chip on his shoulder.

This guy was short, wiry, and looked like he could hold his own in a bar fight. He came up and got right in my friend's face and offered the challenge (and it was a challenge) "You tell me what's on the back side of that! And don't you touch it or move it!" He had a leather key chain fob that was face down on his outstretched hand.

This was an impossible situation to get the proper reading. My buddy started the stalling and the concentrating to buy some time. The spectator was having none of it and was getting more and more animated as his verbal challenges got louder and louder. My friend in an attempt to get the guy to hold the object between his outstretched palms also reached out and adjusted the key fob as well. The spectator was so wrapped up in his challenge that he missed it.

My friend started to get a vision at that point (the fob had a British Union Jack on it) of lines crossing.

The spectator stopped the show "That's it!! You don't need to say anymore! This guy is the real thing!" He would hardly let my friend finish the reading.

Afterwards the spectator bought drinks and regaled us with stories of his grandmother in the old country that had the "second sight".

It was a great moment we still talk about. The spectator had him cold and he walked away a god.
"Think our brains must be too highly trained, Majikthise" HHGG
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The majority of my work is in the Gospel Magic field. While doing a "Trinity Ropes" piece (3 different colored ropes are tied together then the knots are removed to reveal one solid rope) I held the rope out, preparing to join the ends.... One God, no beginning nor end.... when one end came out of my hand, swung down and up and linked to the other end. It happened so quickly I was stunned for a few seconds. My wife happened to be in the audience and later asked me how I was able to do it. She also said that I had a genuine look of astonishment on my face when the ends joined by themselves. I wasn't acting.
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men [and women] to do nothing."
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Back in High School I was sitting in my Drama class fiddling with a length of rope as the teacher was talking. I started tying the ol' shoelace bow and causing the resulting not to vanish. I sat there doing it over and over again. Tie a bow, feed the ends through the loops, pull the ends till the knot vanishes. Finally the teacher, a frustrated magician himself can't take it anymore and grabs the rope out of my hand just as I am about to pull the knot out of it. Miraclously though that time I had tied the knot incorrectly so when he tried to make it vanish like I had been doing it wouldn't. He glared at me, turned red and stormed off.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
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I was doing a bit of table hopping today for a local restaurant and one of the customers brought up DB. He asked if I could do anything as astonishing as "naming a thought of number".

I said "Sure, think of an odd number between 15 and 50." (I was intending to let it go and go on with my routine thinking he would forget about it.) I picked up my cards (ready to do OOTW) and asked him if he thought the top card was black or red.

He got it right and I put the 3C on the table and I placed the next red card beside it. It was the 7D at which he stood up amazed and called the surrounding tables over.

The number he was thinking of was 37 (of course). Not only did I get credit for an effect I wasn't even doing, I had a nice group audience for OOTW, TestaCroce and as luck would have it, this table is the one I had selected for the finale of my T&R to Impossible location.

When he found the envelope containing his card (to which he was holding the corner to) taped to the bottom of his table the look on his face was priceless. I thought he was going to pass out.

O' what I would have given for a camera crew today. Smile
Rob "Riff, the Magical Clown" Eubank aka RiffClown
<BR>Magic is not the method, but the presentation.
J R Thomas
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I think I have already told this somewhere else here in the Café but I think it bears repeating.

One evening I did the Anniversary Waltz for a couple. Woman picks a card and signs it. Man picks a card and signs it. Both are visibly put into different parts of the deck. Woman holds deck, man's card turns face up. Man holds deck, woman's card turns face up and is shown to be right next to man's card. Both cards are put between wife's palms and fuse into one double sided card.

At the end of the effect the man asks "Does it always happen this way? My wife picked the 6 of clubs and I picked the 3 of diamonds and we were married on June 3".

I, of course, said it did.

Coincedences are great.

Here's another one.

I used to always be leary of the classic force.

One night I was working behind the bar when a group came in from a wedding reception in another room. I offer a card to one of the guys. He was a little drunk, I offered to change it if he didn't like it. He said he didn't like it. It was the jack of clubs. We put it back into the deck and I let him pick another card. Free Choice.

It was the jack of clubs. Coincidence.
I decided to try and classic force him.
I forced him 5 more times.

Each time the crowd applauded louder.

Needless to say I use the classic force all the time now.
Those who hear not the music

Think the dancers mad
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I'm a Joker first, and magician second.

At a private party I had set up my card behind a picture frame and some other pieces.

Doing some run of the mill magic, I'm asked if I can do that thing Blaine does with the window, so looking improptu it worked very well.

By this point, I really have everyone on my side.

People are dancing on the dance floor and I notice that one girl has taken off her shoes and is dancing in front of them. I (being a joker) bent down and picked them up without her seeing.

Now there are about 10 of us dancing in a circle and I am facing the person with no shoes. Her shoes are behind my back in one hand and I'm looking over her shoulders for somewhere to hide them as a joke (top of a bandit machine etc)

By this point no one apart from me knows I've got her shoes, but more importantly no one has seen that she hasn't got any shoes on or that she had taken them off.

The following chain of events happend.

1) she looks down to check that her shoes are still behind her feet.

2) everyone hears her screem (yes she was a little drunk) "Where's my shoes"?

3) I pull said shoes from behind my back with a big "ta daaa"

4) for the rest of the night, people are asking me how you can steal someone's shoes without them realising.

The girl who owned the shoes, wasn't aware why everyone was so gob smaked, but she never said anything,

People to this day ask me to repeat it, but I guess I never will Smile

My seccond great fluke, was a classic pub trick I like to do.

I take one of those credit cards that when you throw them in the air, change to a playing card.

I normally force the card from the deck. Give the chap the deck, ask him to put his card in.

I then ask him to go through the deck and make sure there is only one of his card.

I ask him to shuffle them, and when he has finished to place them in his pocket.

I then challenge him, and say, "if you put your hand in your pocket and pull out one card, and its your card you buy me a drink."

I follow this with "however if the card is not yours, I'll place my credit card behind the bar for free beers all night on me"

Now normally they pull a card out, it's not it, and then I throw the credit card in the air and it turns into their card.

But this time, Yup you guessed it, he pulled out the very same card I had forced on him.

That was the best tasting beer I've ever had Smile

Just as a follow up,

When I was learning how to use a NW I wasnt very good, but was still trying to produce miracles.

One performance of mine was to draw somthing on a peice of paper. I would then ask the subject to draw somthing. Hopefully they would pick up my vibes and draw the same.

My wife would signal me what had been drawn, or if the picture was really out of the ordinary she would signal me that it wasn't within our list of signals.

When this happens, I fall back on the trusty Banacheks universal symbol. (this has a very high degree of accuracy)

Well I try to draw the symbol without anyone seeing, but I mess up real bad. What it ends up looking like is a clock set at 3 oclock.

So thinking this is going to be a real bad trick I take my prediction over to the drawer, and low and behold, she had drawn a clock set at 3pm.

She still talks about it today,

Class Smile

Always thinking..........?
Darren Kidby
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I have just walked in from a gig, I was booked for 3 hours close up, Thinking this was going to be a long night I arrived to find only 2 tables of 15 people, I thought as I sat down at the first, well 2 hours later I was thinking I haven't got enough time to do the 2nd table, needless to say,
I ran over time...

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I was performing 'Do as I do' to two teenage girls at a street fair. When we went to look for each others cards within the decks she couldn't find her card within the deck that I gave her and was convinced that I'd made it disappear. Amazingly she'd managed to pick a card that was actually missing from the deck.
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