This is going to be an interesting conversation.
You may have noticed so far that all of my entries in this series have been rooted in my personal experience.
This post is no different.
Picture the scene in your mind.
I am with Alan Alan at The Tannens Jubilee in upstate New York. 18 years old and overwhelmed at meeting Slydini, Harry Lorayne, Paul Harris, Ken Krenzel and so many other great magicians.
During our time there, a young New York Card Man, who was profoundly friendly, funny and just great fun to be around sessioned with me and Alan.
This young card man showed me the most prettiest thing I had ever seen with cards up-to that point in time.
The routine he showed me was Nate Leipzig’s Slapping The Aces. That young New York Card Man was Genii Editor Richard Kaufman. His execution was perfection – it looked and felt like real magic. I asked him if he would teach it to me, he refused. He did something even better than teach it to me. He took me to the dealers hall, we headed over the a stand selling old books and suggested I purchase Dai Vernon’s tribute to Nate Leipzig. Read this he said, the routine Slapping The Aces is in this book, good luck.
That was Richard Kaufman’s very kind gesture to me as a young magician. I am still grateful to this day. I took his advice and studied this routine with full on enthusiasm.
To this day, I kid you not, this is my routine, my trade mark effect, my masterpiece.
This is the routine I have invested more time in than any other.
This is the routine I chose to perform on Penn & Tellers FOOL US.
Let’s take a moment to enjoy this video presentation.
P&T Fool Us
This complete routine has become a hybrid of wonderful effects.
Slapping the Aces
One Shuffle Finale’
When I was selected to appear on Fool Us, I went back into my history and chose this combination of effects. This is high calibre visually powerful card magic – perfect for television.
I first learnt Sleeve Aces from Earl Nielson’s book Variations.
I learnt Cavorting the Aces from Stars of Magic. This routine by Dr Daley is wonderful. Magic just happens as the Aces galavant throughout the Deck.
The idea of combining this routine with Leipzig’s masterpiece belongs to Larry Jennings. This combination is a perfect synergy of effects and methodology.
The One Shuffle Finale is the creative idea of Ed Marlo.
This routine is now a complete set in my repertoire.
It is an example of finding the right sequence of effects that add and support each other.
The original Cavorting Aces by Dr Daley is marvellous but a little too long. By eliminating a few phases, it blends well with Slapping The Aces without losing any moments from the latter routine.
The opening and closing effects were my efforts to start strong and build momentum. Marlo’s final routine is the jewel in the crown. It communicates everything I set out to achieve – inspire my audience with the beauty of magic.
So, today’s blog post is about the construction and design of an act. These routines have been in my life for a very long time. I did not have to learn anything new for Penn & Teller. I went in with my heart and soul.
There is a lot of hidden messages in this post. I will leave it to you to uncover the hidden elements for yourself – it will be different for each of you.