Sunday, January 26, 2014
If you have seen the video you know that I think that "RED" is an okay-trick. Not the best thing, nor the worst. So I got "RED" last week. And I have been trying to give it a fair review by actually performing it. Here is how it went:
My core group (friends) have seen me do better. Their reaction was pretty average. Yes they had no idea how it was done, yet they felt there was some awkward moment in the procedure. One actually pointed it out verbally "Why did I have to put cards in the box?" My answer "So you would not forget your card" was a rather weak response. This issue is never addressed on the DVD.
Then I tried it with the stranger group. All see me doing magic for the first time. The reactions were much better. I actually had two groups to try this on. The first one saw me doing "RED" and only "RED" and the second one saw me do some preliminary card tricks and then "RED". The difference could not have been more clear. And just as I expected. Doing just "RED" people told me, that the deck is probably gimmicked. I was not going to argue with them. The second group had handled the cards before "RED". At least that is what they thought, as they have not been aware of the deck switch. So they were much more amazed at the fact that the red card in the deck was the selection. It actually was the talk of the night.
And the third group was done in my theater. And I realized that this is a good transitional piece to get from magic to mentalism. Did it play well? Not really! It is a rather weak transition. I have a similar effect (ungimmicked) in my show at that very moment. And I will give you that trick so you can compare: A red folded card is on the table in a cloth peg. From a blue backed deck the spectator touches any face up card. After the spectator had many chances of changing his mind he finally commits to a card. The spread is closed and attention is directed towards the folded card in the cloth peg. The cards is pulled off the peg, unfolded and it is the freely selected card.
All you need is a red backed deck a blue backed cover card and a folded dummy in the peg. The rest is simple stuff... a cull, a mercury card fold and Alexander de Cova's cloth peg switch, that he teaches on third volume of his "Treasures" series. (later published as "Paperclipped" by Jay Sankey) I do not let them sign the card... as I don't want yet another magic trick, but a simple transitional piece to get to the mentalism.
In the video I promised to give you yet another version to accomplish the trick. This is it: "The Omega Deck" by Jens O. Jahn. Basically it is like the "Invisible Deck", but both side of the deck can be shown. Backs are seen. And the freely named card has a different colored back. But due to the structure the effect looks as follows. A card is named. The deck is introduced. The deck is spread, one card is face down, red backed. Then the deck is turned over, blue backs are seen. the red backed card is turned over and it really is the named selection. So from a dramatic point of view you get three effects leading to the climax. First: that a card is face down. Second: that the other cards have a different back. Third: that the odd card is in fact the freely named selection. So this combines elements of the "Invisible Deck" and the "Brainwave Deck".
I talked about the misleading trailer for "RED". Here it is in full glory:
Even More Review
"RED" is the sort of trick that sticks out like a sore thumb. You have to handle the cards very delicately. Personally I'm very sloppy with my cards. So handling them in the required delicate manner is something that would tip off my audience. If you do treat your cards nicely, I would say go for it. But there are many reasons not to do the trick. Moral integrity shouldn't be the first one, but should be among the first few reasons.
Btw: A good face up classic force could be hyped up to deliver about the same reaction. Just saying!