One of the items that was cut from JACK was the “Magnetized Cards”, an effect where magician lays a bunch of cards on his hand, turns the hand over, and the cards stay suspended there. It was a very tough decision to exclude it, but there were artwork and space issues, and I think that if I ever get around to writing a sequel, there’d be a chapter of offbeat effects that this one would be better suited for.
Before continuing, if you need to see the trick in action, here’s Jeff McBride doing a version of it in an ad for his Magic On The Edge DVD.
Now, this presentation feels like something the Burning Man crowd would love, and I’m definitely not in that demographic. After I first saw it, I could lie and say I spent hours trying to come up with an alternate approach, but to be honest I didn’t bother, I think because I could see how a gimmick could be brought in to make the effect possible. To his credit, Jeff’s got a bit at the beginning when he asks for the cards and his hands to be examined, but I think it needed a bit more in the way of overt proofs in order to be truly mysterious. (Eugene Burger saying “I got you some” at the beginning probably didn’t help)
So, yeah, watched and then quickly forgotten, and it would have stayed that way if it weren’t for the research I did with JACK. It turns out that this was a trick that a lot of guys were doing back in the day, and there were various methods to making it work. I can only guess, but I think that if regular people were shown this trick, the heat would mostly be on visible items, which would mean either a ring on that hand, or else the cards themselves. Unsurprisingly, there’s a method involving both of those. Now, there’s a different method that involves neither, which I think is very interesting, and I’ll leave that for you to hunt down if this sort of thing appeals to you.
The one that almost got included in JACK, though, was this version from Edward Victor from More Magic Of The Hands, which you can actually read here in archive.org thanks to its status in the public domain. Click clickety.
It’s an ungimmicked version that uses “sleight of hand” (for lack of a better term to describe the method, you’ll see what I mean if you read it). The fact that it can be done with a borrowed deck was what made me really want to put it in JACK in the first place, and while the method’s images will no doubt read dry and potentially obvious, that photo above shows the effect in action, and to be honest, I personally think it looks pretty good. Ultimately, it got cut, but since it was in the public domain anyway I figured it’d be alright to point to it from here. If you’re worried about the blatant and malicious exposure of secrets, relax, you couldn’t field a hockey team with the Nu Blogge’s current readership.
I think that it’s a non-trivial concern to make sure that it doesn’t look like you’re just holding the cards up somehow, which is why I think it’s important to get an image similar to what’s in the picture, where cards on the outside of the “flower” don’t look like they’re tucked behind something solid. It would probably be best to avoid using court cards in general so that you get a nice bleed of white into white.
So, that’s it. I’m going to try to include a few more things from the books in archive.org this month.