Secret Agenda – March 10 – A Humorous Out

Secret Agenda – March 10 – A Humorous Out

I wish that opportunities to use ideas like this one occurred with more frequency.

Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately, due to strong audience management), it’s rare that a spectator challenges me to find a thought of card.

Nevertheless, I wish audience members would step up and “bring it on” more often.

Secret Agenda – March 9 – Push-In

Secret Agenda – March 9 – Push-In

The big lesson here isn’t a new and natural way to insert a card into the deck (although I like it), but rather, the way that Roberto developed this.

He made himself aware of how he naturally does things, so that when the opportunity presented itself for a new idea, he was paying attention.  He gathered further data (in the form of questioning other magicians), modified his learned behavior, and created a new habit that was rooted in believable, natural actions.

Opportunities like this surround us every day.  Simple, mundane acts such as removing cards from the case, turning over a tabled card, dealing and searching for cards, etc., while extensively explored by great minds before us, are still ripe with possibility.

This, more than anything, is what I choose to take from this illuminating entry.

Secret Agenda – March 8 – Top (Non)Sense Quotes

Secret Agenda – March 8 – Top (Non)Sense Quotes

3 favorites – Marx, Wittgenstein, and Lavand.

Secret Agenda – March 6 & 7 – Remember, You Shuffled I & II

Secret Agenda – March 6 & 7 – Remember, You Shuffled I & II

Both of these entries (and their applications) allow for an effective and powerful mental reconstruction of fairness and impossibility while furthering audience interaction and revelations of personality.

(That sentence flowed very quickly and effortlessly.  I’m impressed with myself.)

Secret Agenda – March 5 – Prop or Instrument

Secret Agenda – March 5 – Prop or Instrument

One of my favorite entries of the book thus far.  Beautiful concept.  Actually viscerally exciting to me.

However, I feel a distinction needs to be made between this approach as applied to magic and as applied to mentalism (And only because I have a deep passion for mentalism. In no way has Roberto neglected this subject. He’s just devoted this book to card magic.)

In mentalism, the opposite approach must be taken.  To treat your props as instruments in mentalism would completely arouse a suspicion of trickery.

In mentalism, props are props (or tools), and nothing more.

I wish more mentalists realized this.

Secret Agenda – March 4 – Top Dozen Einstein Quotes

Secret Agenda – March 4 – Top Dozen Einstein Quotes

A few of these are very well known (#s 2, 3, 12)

But the fifth and sixth quotes are my favorite.

Secret Agenda – March 3 – The Amazing Coincidence

Secret Agenda – March 3 – The Amazing Coincidence

This is a very effective trick (I know from experience) that will benefit even further from an engaging, provocative presentation.  It would be easy to rely on the procedure alone to achieve the sensation of magic.  But a great hook can make this effect truly memorable.  This will be the challenge for many performers.  Hopefully, a welcome one.

Secret Agenda – March 2 – The Sliding Double

Secret Agenda – March 2 – The Sliding Double

Funny thing happened to me when I began playing with this.  When I initially pushed the top card forward, I couldn’t for the life of me get more than just the one card to move.  Very frustrating.  Then I realized I was playing with a Bicycle Prestige Deck (plastic cards), which made it next to impossible to do.  With a regular deck, however, all was fine.

I especially like the Cliff Green idea for the replacement. (I was previously aware of this, and it works perfectly here.)

I like this double much more than the January 13 entry  (A Delicate Double Lift), but I must say in defense of that entry that I’ve been playing with it, and while I still wouldn’t structure an entire Ambitious Card routine around it, it’s growing on me as a double lift for a single turnover.

See?  I’m evolving.

Secret Agenda – March 1 – Teschner’s Selection Control

Secret Agenda – March 1 – Teschner’s Selection Control

I agree with Roberto.  This is an excellent card control.  (I’d like to see more of this Teschner fellow!) In addition to being subtle, it is, perhaps more importantly, interactive – a quality sadly missing from many (most?) methodological necessities.

Try it.

Secret Agenda – February 29 – Multiple Peek Control

Secret Agenda – February 29 – Multiple Peek Control

I really wanted to like this (I always welcome new multiple peek controls) but I found it to be too procedural.  It takes too long between selections for my taste.  Somebody else, who works at a pace that is more relaxed, can certainly get away with this.

Also, I find this impractical for more than two or three selections because you have to run-off each selection in the middle of the shuffles.  Thus, if you want ten people to peek a card, you have to eventually run-off ten cards during the shuffle (and increase your count with each new peek).

Sadly, it’s a bit too unwieldy for me.

And yet, as I’ve remarked before, somebody will perform this and it’ll fly right past me – I’ll marvel at how natural the control was and I’ll be amazed when I learn it was from February 29.

And then I’ll start doing it.