Secret Agenda by Roberto Giobbi – January 1

Wow.  I didn’t think I’d be struck to blog so soon (and on the first entry!), but it’s not all rainbows and roses.

The entry, “To Separate a Deck at a Specific Point, is actually a great way to jump into the new year – a relatively simple subtlety that allows you to do just what the title promises (with two versions – an impromptu, simple method and an “expert handling) and in a way that is thoughtful, natural, and deceptive.

But here’s my thought.

Doing the (preferred) expert handling requires, by my count, eight(!) separate actions.  Yes, the actions are all justified, and they’re minor, to be sure, but there are eight of them! (And that’s only the actions performed before a spectator – not the setup.)

By comparison, the age-old method of simply spreading the cards over until you see your pencil mark and then separating at that point is only two actions.

This is not to say that the pencil mark method is better.  Only that it is clearly more efficient, and unless you plan to do this to impress magicians, is it really necessary to add six more actions, albeit casual, before the perceived effect has even begun?  It’s an increase of over three hundred percent!

A magician would need to carefully structure his presentation to justify this procedure.  A timely run-through of all eight actions took me thirty seconds.  What are you going to say during this time?

Then again, maybe that’s the point.  What are you going to say?

Giobbi has given us the lead, and we are to run with it.

Isn’t that the purpose of the book?

I’ll know this much.  I wouldn’t have come up with all this had I just read it and kept on going.  This was the result of thinking about it yesterday.  The result of almost a day of reflection.  And don’t get me wrong.  I’m all for using it.  Just not blindly.

And who says you have to agree with him?  Maybe he’d be delighted for you to disagree on this entry.  At the very least it demands thought.  Perhaps this was his intention.

Well done, Roberto.