I’ve never been really into fooling magicians – it actually amazes me that there is a whole sub-genre of card guys that concentrate on fooling each other, and that it’s a thing. But it’s a thing.
When I fool a magician, it’s usually by accident. One time, when I first started my secondary school, one of the teachers overheard me talking about magic to a friend, and declared that he was a magician too, and that I should do something!
I borrowed a coin from him, and did a rather splendid French Drop (I think it was the one from Close Up Illusions by Gary Oulette – a kind of ‘sideways’ version where the hand holding the coin moves, and the hand taking the coin doesn’t. Sounds counter-intuitive, looks like eye-sex. What can you do?)
As my right hand dropped, with the coin secretly in it, so did the coin… it slipped from my fingers. As I braced myself for the resounding ‘clang’ and the mocking sure to follow, something truly wonderful happened… the coin hit my trouser leg, slid down it, and straight into my shoe.
I’ve always been bold enough to take accidents like this and be a prick about it, so I slowly revealed the vanish, and showed both hands. My teacher was genuinely astonished… and when I said ‘I’ll make it re-appear inside my shoe’ and slowly kicked it off, without even using my hands, the man was floored, and completely speechless.
I found out later he was a pretty decent magician. HA!
Nowadays though, I often catch magicians with little bits of cunning, and this is one of my favourites – repurposing an old move, and using it for a different purpose for which it was intended. For example, the Jay Ose False Cut is one I use all the time – yes, it’s a full deck stack, and nearly every magician now recognises it as that. But, imagine you have a whole bunch of reversed cards at the bottom of the deck that you wish to remain hidden, perhaps for a triumph. Use the false cut, making sure you don’t cut into the reversed stock, and suddenly, every magician is thinking ‘stack’. Not ‘reversed cards that I didn’t see’.
Here’s another example of my cunning that you can appropriate… recently at filming with Big Blind Media, I fooled all the magicians watching with a specific trick. The trick was very, very simple, and relied on the 8 Kings set up, and in the context of the trick, the spectator chooses three cards and I end up revealing them. So, I chose the girl to watch the trick – one of the models with very long fingernails. I said ‘I want you to shuffle the cards, are you good at shuffling?’ She predictably replied ‘No, sorry, not at all’ so I helpfully said it was no problem, and that she could just give the cards a few cuts, as it didn’t matter too much. She was relieved, all the magicians watching were fooled into thinking that the deck could have been properly shuffled, and I was entertained. BOSH!