It always amazes me when I do a simple trick, that requires absolutely no sleight of hand, what a vast amount of other things go into it, to make it entertaining. The late great Eugene Burger was a master of this.
When we do a trick often enough it becomes a part of us without even thinking about it, but once in a while something happens that shows me its so much more than doing a trick.
This came to light the other day when a kid came in to buy a Svengali Deck. Well, he didn’t actually come in to buy that deck, he came in because his cousin worked in an office down the hall and he passed the shop and wanted to know what it was all about, so I showed him the Svengali Deck, which of course blew him away. He was twelve. He had to have that deck. He never did magic before so after he bought it I explained it to him and he said he understood. He also bought the trick with 3 ropes, you know, small, medium and large. He came back the next day and asked for help with the ropes. So we went over it. I then asked him how he was doing with his Svengali Deck. “Oh, I have that one down great.” I said “Show me.” I nearly fainted when he took the cards out of his pocket, not even protected by a box.
“Where’s the box?”
“Oh, I don’t need a box.”
“Of course you do. Those cards will be spoiled in no time, bent corners, torn, and all messed up. Anyhow show me the trick.”
“It’s simple!” he says.
He puts his fist around the cards, covering most of the backs, just the edges, tops and bottoms visible, and with the other hand he flips the cards, doesn’t even ask me to take one, and he flips through them showing me the tops (as his fist is covering most of the deck) and says “See they’re all different.” And then he shows me that they’re all the same.
I said, ” After you get your box, this is what you do.” And I gave his a 15 minute lesson on the Svengali Deck with all the whys and wherefors. He listened attentively and seemed to understand. He thanked me. I told him to practice.
I’ll see how he does next time he comes around, if I didn’t scare him away forever!