Thursday, January 3, 2013

Episode 1 "Ritual"

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I asked myself a few question while playing around with the cords and the beads. One of the more prominent questions that came up was: How is this better than a ring and string routine? A usual ring and string routine has more than one phase, each penetration of the string becoming more and more impossible. It is so much more than just three beads melting off a cord. The simple answer is "No, this isn't better than a ring and string routine". So can you do at least a "bead and cord" routine with this? Actually no. In fact the little hooks at the end of the cords make it impossible to truly thread the beads onto the cord.

Is it the fact that three beads come of the cords at the same time? Does that make the routine any better by widening the scope compared to ring and string routines? Again no. Yes, you widen the scope, but you take away the purity of just a single object melting off the cords. That however can be adjusted. You can do the routine with just a single bead.

I actually went out an performed this. I used three settings: The first one is my usual core group of non magicians I go to. They have seen me doing magic many times. So what was there reaction on it? Well I got the "cute" looks, which was expected considering that they have seen much, much stronger material in the past.

The second groups I did that trick for was a groups of people that have never seen me doing any magic. In fact I met those people the first time. So in a quite moment I told them, that I can do one thing that is really cool. Then I did Ritual. The reaction was much, much better. To an unprepared layman this is a strong trick. After this I couldn't resist and did a card trick (Card to forehead) which made them forget the beads and cords trick.

And the third group was a formal booking. It was walk around magic and I could only do that trick once. The reaction was as expected. People were puzzled. They didn't know how I did that, yet they were convinced that there had to be a way. One of the guys actually approached me later that evening and told me that he believes that the beads were never really on the cord to begin with. Seems like the Too Perfect Theory was at work here.

I was wondering why I didn't get the same reaction like Dan does in the video. I believe the lady on the street is genuine. Watch the trailer:

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And then I remembered.... Americans. Germans are very difficult to get them to emote actual surprise and happiness. Seems to be a European thing, that gets worse the more you go North. Americans don't seem to have that problem. They are more likely to go "No way", "Awesome" and all of that. Maybe even to point of deceiving the creator of the magic trick.

I believe I know what happened. Dan Harlan was playing around with the Grandmother's necklace idea and figured out a way not to do the knot bit. He liked it so much to not see that the knot was actually another layer of deception. He may even saw the illogical part of the knot disappearing as proof that the knot is actually a crutch in that trick. So getting rid of it seemed like an improvement. I think not.

So is this a good trick? In terms of deception: YEAH Sort of! Otherwise: No!

But if you wear necklaces this might be a thing to wear. You have one more trick and it doesn't fill up your pockets. But typing that, immediately the Charming Chinese Challenge comes to mind. Looks cool as a necklace and you have a routine with more than one phase/effect.


  1. Good job Roland
    Very thorough review that is presented in such a way that allows the viewer to get a good understanding of the effect. I look forward to the next one.

  2. nice review
    those are angles, not angels! :P

  3. oh, the link to your weekly magic blog is missing the ':'.

  4. Damn so many mistakes.... I'll fix them next round.