The Jerx - For Hire

This post marks the end of Season One of the Jerx. If there is an interest in doing a season two, I'm down for it, in fact I have much of the effects, ideas, and concepts for it sketched out already. The Jerx Season Two: Young Reckless Hearts consists of 5 posts a week, 48 weeks out of the year, for a total of 240 new posts. 

"Sounds good, Andy! Get to work!"

I'm happy to, but first, to paraphrase a line from Van Helsing in Dracula:

"We must pass through bitter waters before we reach the sweet."

To do this site as I like to do it takes a considerable amount of time. I don't think any of you expect me to work 20-30 hours or more per week on this just for the hell of it. So here is what I'm proposing for season two. If you want another year, and if you're willing to donate $10/month to see it happen, then sign up for the Season Two Investor email list below. I'm not asking anyone to pay anything at this time, this is just to see if there are enough people with an interest to fund another year. 

Hell yeah. I'm on board for another year of The Jerx at $10/month

* indicates required

One of three things will happen:

1. Enough people will sign up that we can restart season two after a week's break.
2. Not enough people will sign up, but this post will remain and perhaps at some point in the future enough people will have signed up. In which case I'll pick the site back up at that point (if I'm in a position to).
3. Not enough people ever sign up, in which case this site is done. 

All of these are happy outcomes for me. I'm excited about doing another year of this site. And if it doesn't happen I'm excited about having so much more time back in my week. 

"So what type of bonuses are we talking about this year? Another book? A Jerx brand magic kit?"

No bonuses. This site is the bonus. I want to be able to take the time I can devote to writing about magic and spend it all on this site. Not writing books or newsletters. Yes, I know this is going to further confuse the people who couldn't wrap their head around the price of the book and were like, "Why is this so expensive?" As if the price was to cover the raw materials of making a book. 

"Wait, wait, wait. So I donate $10 a month and I get nothing more than the person who doesn't give anything?

Technically, yes, I suppose. The thing you get that the person who's just along for the ride doesn't is the knowledge that you're a part of this. 

I was talking to a guy the other day who was bemoaning his life as a 40-year-old. He missed all the fun he had in his teens and early 20s: the parties, the concerts, taking the boat out on the lake, hanging with friends, etc. etc. "My whole life had a good-time vibe," he said. I asked him if he still follows new music, has he been to any concerts lately? No, he hasn't. Does he go to the lake? No, not anymore. Does he make time to see his friends, does he throw parties? No. He's just not motivated to do that type of stuff. The siren song of Netflix and the internet are too much to resist at the end of the day. Why am I bringing this up? The fun he once had didn't magically appear. It happened because he worked for it. There is no "good-time vibe" unless we create it. I'll put in the work, but it's up to you to provide me the time to do that work. This site doesn't happen without you. 

"Andy, I have a much better idea."

No, you don't. I promise. I've considered every other option. You don't need to email me with these suggestions:

"You don't need to do five posts a week. Just write a couple times a month. That way you're not spending so much time on the site." - That doesn't interest me. To me the site is fun when it's a living/evolving thing, not when it has posts hanging out at the top for weeks at a time. 

"You should do a private site. People would be more inclined to pay for that." - This is definitely something I've considered. Something where the theory and commentary posts are public but the tricks are behind a paywall. My issue is I don't want people to pay for exclusivity that I can't guarantee them. It's something I still may consider if I can think of a way to do it.

"You should ask for more than $10/month. I give $20/month to my favorite podcast. People on their Patreon page are giving $100/month." - I don't want to do more than $10/month.

"You should do less than $10/month I can get Genii for like 5 bucks and that's a physical product." - Yes, and you can get a gallon of water from your faucet for 8 cents. Or you can go to the store and get one for $1.50. Or you can hire someone to go to the river and gather you a gallon for $50. If you want Genii, then order Genii. It's a steal. If you want this site you're hiring someone to go the river. I don't have angel investors, advertisers, or the readership of Genii. My appeal is much narrower. 

"You should have advertising. Or have a company sponsor the site." - What people like about this site is that they don't know what it will be from day to day. But that is not what an advertiser or sponsor likes. My readership is much greater than iTricks, and what I write isn't immediately deleted like a Magic Cafe PM box ad, but people are less inclined to advertise on this site because they don't know what they'll be getting. That makes sense.

"You don't get it, man! It's the new economy! You write this site FOR FREE, and then people hire you to work on their stuff based on what you give away for." - Yes, I get that idea. I've experienced that in other aspects of my work-life. But this site is just too niche for that. In the 18 months I've worked on the site, it has directly led to one outside gig.

(If you're interested, I came up with the concept and wrote the copy for the branding of friend-of-the-site, Rob Dobson's digital agency, Northern Comfort. That concept being that he runs the world's oldest digital and social media agency, established in 1848 by his great-great-great-great-grandfather. Here's the history I wrote for the company.)

And you're misunderstanding the issue. I'm not concerned about finding work opportunities. I'm just lacking the time to do both.

"You should write the site for free because you love magic!" Now, see, I don't know who told you that, but I don't. Oh, I like performing it and thinking about it, but I don't like the act of composing those thoughts into posts (the time consuming part). And that's a good thing because the stuff people like about this site is the stuff that comes from being out and performing for real people in regular environments. 

There you have it. If you're down to support another year of The Jerx, sign up at the form above.

Loose Ends

(In case I'm not back anytime soon)

The Jerx, Volume One: There are a handful of copies left that aren't reserved for someone. I don't think there's any rush to get one though. I think most people who are interested have already picked one up. You can get one at the link above and I will still include The Amateur at the Kitchen Table and the Jerx App.

The App: Is awesome. I'm amazed I came up with something so practical and useful. It's expensive, but that's because it wasn't intended as something to be sold separately. 

The GLOMM: Will continue. Membership kits will be available for the foreseeable future. Although I only have a couple of the red shirts for each size in the super, hyper-platinum membership, or whatever I called it.

X-Communication: There is one more issue left coming at the end of October. 

Other E-books:

  • The 10% Peek - Will be sent to all GLOMM Elites in mid-November.
  • 20 for 20 - Will be sent to those with over 100 Jerx Points in early 2017. When you think you've reached that point total, you let me know. I'm not keeping track of these imaginary points for everyone.
  • Pixilated/Pixelated - At one point this was being considered for an upcoming TV special. I'm not sure what the status is with that, but either way this will be going out to all GLOMM Elites in the next few months.
  • The Decision Artist - I once said I had a routine that was more powerful than roofies when it comes to getting in someone's pants. This is that routine. It's all written up and I may release it soon, but if I do it will probably be super-expensive, and only one copy will be made available per 100 mile radius, and you'll probably have to prove to me you're not a total creep somehow. We'll see about this one.

Future Projects: This blog started 10 years after my old one stopped. If we don't do another year of the The Jerx then I'll start another blog 20 years from now. Other than that, I'm not sure what the future plans are as far as magic is concerned.

As I said, if there isn't enthusiasm to do another year on the part of the people reading this, that's completely fine. This site is something I'm very happy with as it stands now. If the funding is there to keep it going, I'll see you soon. If not, enjoy the 400 or so posts (and be glad I didn't delete them all overnight like I did with the old site).


This is a variation on Larry Becker's Sneak Thief routine which I was introduced to via Andy Nyman's Magician's Graphology effect. 

I'm going to dance around some of the details of the method, but that's because I don't see this site as a place for beginners to learn methods. I'm writing for magicians with a pretty healthy understanding of magic techniques and what I write below will either be clear to you, or it will set you off in the right direction to track down further work on it. 

The Sneak Thief effect is this: You hand out four business cards (in this handling) and ask four people to draw something on a card while your back is turned. The cards are mixed up face-down. You take them back and turn them over one-by-one and you're able to identify who drew each picture. With the last picture (since it's obvious who drew it) you instead reproduce that picture without ever having looked at it (apparently).

The peek in Sneak Thief is one of my favorites. It's bold but you'll never get caught doing it.

However, I've found there to be a fairly significant issue with the Sneak Thief routine. While you won't get caught during the moment you peek the final drawing, there is nothing to add to the spectator's conviction that you didn't just peek the drawing at some other point while you were handling the cards. Magicians and mentalists get caught up in the success of the peek. "They didn't call me out on looking at the drawing when I was doing it right in front of them!" But just because people don't catch you doing the peek in the moment, that doesn't mean they don't assume that's how you did it.

Peruggia is the Sneak Thief routine perfected for close-up. The conviction level that you never saw the final drawing at any point is incredibly high because that drawing never leaves the spectator's hands.

Here's the method. You hand out four business cards that are marked in some way, nail-nicks, pencil-dots, whatever. You just need to know whose is whose when they're returned to you. 

You turn away or leave the room and ask everyone to draw a simple picture on the back of their cards. You then ask one person to gather up all the pictures and mix them drawing side down so no one knows which is which.

You turn around or return to the table and tell the spectator to give the cards one last mix and deal three of them into your palm up right hand (or whatever your dominant hand is). Ask them to place the last card on their right hand (you demonstrate with your cards that they should place it the long way, along the palm). You want to be opposite of the person who ends up holding onto the last card.

You now turn over the top card of your stack and you display the drawing to everyone to look at. During this time you will get your peek of the bottom drawing, as per the original Sneak Thief routine. Because of the markings you will know who this first drawing belongs to. Do your psychic reading of the person who drew it, or get your psychological impression or whatever the case may be. Then finish by identifying the person who drew it. 

At some point during this process you need to move the bottom card to the center of the pack. This is not a secret sleight, just something that happens as you're holding the cards. Don't even look or pay attention to it. If someone notices it, you're just absent-mindedly mixing the cards.

You now hold the stack of drawings at your right fingertips. The first drawing you looked at is facing up, the other two are face down beneath it. You are now going to do a variation on John Bannon's Assisted Switch with the card the spectator still holds. This is a more advanced version, but you're free to do it as Bannon describes it in Smoke and Mirrors if you're more comfortable that way. (You just have to justify how they hold the cards in that one.)

Essentially what you're going to do is the second step of an Elmsley count, but into their hand.

Here it is broken down step by step.

1. You bring both your hands towards the spectator.

2. You say, "I'm going to have you take this card too."

3. Your left hand takes her right hand and pulls it gently and slightly towards you. Your fingers are below her hand and your thumb is on top, pressing down on the left side of the face-down business card and raising the right side a little bit.

4. You apparently thumb off the picture you just looked at into her hand, but actually you execute the Assisted Switch. Your left thumb levers up the right side of the card which will give you the maneuverability you need.

Here's what that all looks like. (I'm demonstrating with playing cards for clarity, but it's actually easier with business cards, as long as your business cards will slide against each other.)

Believe it or not, it's not that much more difficult to do this switch than it is to do the beginning of an Elmsley count without the spectator's hand under the card.

At this point you may or may not want to ask the spectator to sandwich the cards between her hand, "so no one can get to them." Or whatever. 

So you've switched in a drawing that they don't even know you've seen yet, for one that was in their hand from the start, without it ever seemingly having left their hand. You are incredibly far ahead. In fact, you're done, method-wise.

Reveal who drew the other two drawings. And after you do each one, place it cleanly between the spectator's hands with the other cards.

Now you can reveal the last person's drawing directly, but that's not how I do it. I want to both exceed their expectations and justify why I gave back all the drawings to the one person, so here's what I do.

I say, "Obviously, that last drawing between her hands is yours [indicating whoever drew it]. So let's try something a little different." I turn away and ask them to turn all the drawings face down and mix them all up and place them in a row on the table. 

I turn back, take the hand of the person who did the last drawing and move it back and forth along the row of business cards. I know which one is hers because of the markings and after a few moments I lower her hand flat onto one drawing and place my hand on top of hers so she can't lift it. Then I quickly turn over the other three drawings showing that I was able to locate hers. This no-stakes Russian Roulette actually gets a decent reaction and seems like the end of the trick. 

I say to her, "You're the only one who knows what's on the other side of this card beneath our hands, correct?" I look to the other participants to get their agreement. Then I look to the person who held the cards during the first section of the effect. "You don't even know what's on the other side, and you had it between your hands the whole time." (This assumes the person whose drawing it is isn't the person who was holding the cards earlier.)

Then I just finish by describing the drawing in a manner that's in keeping with whatever presentation I was using earlier in the effect. 

[UPDATE: You know, I thought there'd be a decent chance someone had a similar idea to this before, but when I researched the Assisted Switch, I didn't find any reference to using it in this type of effect (or even using it for anything other than playing cards, which surprised me). But, I've been informed Joshua Quinn mentioned the idea of using it with billets a few years ago on Mystery Performers, which is one of those fancy magic message boards that vets you before you join, so I'd probably never qualify for membership. After Joshua's post, Mike Ince suggests perhaps using it for a Sneak Thief type routine. While the idea is only mentioned in passing, I'm sure if either of them had fleshed it out they would have ended up with something quite similar to what I wrote up above. So credit to Joshua and Mike, along with Larry Becker, Andy Nyman, and John Bannon for this. And thanks to Jack Shalom for informing me of this credit.]


Here are some updates to a couple favorite effects from earlier this year. 

In Search of Lost Time

ISOLT is a handling for the Invisible Deck that is less about the effect of the ID, and more about using it as evidence for a lost period of time while your spectator is, apparently, "hypnotized."

That original post has three versions of the effect. This is a variation of Version Two: In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower.

Here's how it works. You need an Invisible Deck. You're talking with your friend about one of the weirdest methods you've ever heard for a magic trick. "The interesting thing is there really is no method. It's based on these tests they were doing at Stanford University."

You then show them the video at this link (which is also embedded below). 

The video shows a woman undergoing a hypnotic induction. You don't need to watch the whole thing straight through. You can jump ahead, but just make sure the spectator understands what's going on.

Watch the beginning of the video, up until the woman starts the mental journey down the staircase. 

Jump forward to about 1:30. The experimenter is telling her a card to think of. A card she should name if ever asked for a "random" card. You say, "See, look what he's doing here. He's telling her what card to name in the future."

The experimenter tells her she will forget these instructions on a conscious level. Then he "wakes" her, asks her to name a "random" card and shows her that card has been reversed in the deck before they started. You narrate along with what's happening so it's clear to your spectator. 

"So he's just told her what card to name, but she doesn't remember any of this. So this is the first time she's hearing about a card as far as she knows. Now she's seeing this as some kind of card trick, but really she's just naming the card he told her to name."

"It's one of the strangest methods I've ever heard of. It doesn't use sleight-of-hand or psychology to predict what she'll name. You just tell them what to say and then make them forget you told them. Voila! Can I try it with you? Not with the four of hearts, but some other card."

Once they agree, have them lower their hand and close their eyes, like in the video.

"In a moment I'm going to relax you more completely."

[Pause 5 seconds.]

"You are fully awake. Open your eyes."

I find it helps to place your hand on their shoulder or something to make it clear it's "over" because, from their perspective (i.e., reality) you haven't started yet.

"Do you remember?" you ask with a smile. "No? Okay, okay. Let's try it out. Go ahead. Name a random playing card."

They won't believe you at first, of course. They'll think you're just fucking around. It's when you show them the card they freely named is the one that is reversed in the deck that they really begin to question what the hell really happened. 

Bookmark the video URL on your phone and you have a really strange 8 minute experience for someone whenever you have your invisible deck.

In, A Big Concept and a Little Idea, the "Little Idea" was a universal meta-presentation for Tenyo tricks. This idea has developed a bit of a following and I hear from a lot of people who have been using it or something similar. I understand why it's (relatively) popular. It leverages the "weakness" of the toy-ish-ness of Tenyo effects into a strength, but it does so in a much more interesting way then just saying it was the first trick you ever got, or something like that. (I find people want to be fooled by the first magic trick you got as much as they want to be stumped by the first math problem you ever attempted. Which is to say, not at all.)

Working through the trick with the spectator, and being fooled with the spectator is a particularly enjoyable magical experience for everyone involved, I've found.

In this file you will find a pdf to print off instruction cards for the trick Crystal Cleaver. Print them on the Avery business card sheets, front and back. These sheets are made so you can pop the cards out when you're done printing. It's fun. Pop pop pop.

Screen Shot 2016-10-24 at 6.39.28 PM.png

Some things to remember:

1. This is supposed to be your first time seeing this stuff, so act like it. Don't be too familiar with it.

2. The instructions are intentionally not overly-clear. Look to your spectator to help you figure things out. "Crystal box?" you say. "I guess they mean this one, right? That would make this one the 'mystery box.' I guess."

3. If you want to use the spectator's ring, just don't include the other ring in with your package. The imperfect English of the instructions allow for the idea that you're supposed to use either a borrowed ring or the ring that's included with the effect.

4. If you really want to play up the weird backstory, when you're done with trick say, "We have to go take this and throw it off a bridge or I won't get next year's package."

I's Gots Talent

If anyone is going on America's Got Talent next year, here's a routine for you to use on your first appearance.

Your introductory video plays. You're overweight, your hair is a mess, you have thick glasses. A blotted cranberry sauce stain runs across your shirt. 

"My parents always said I'm a dreamer," you say in voice-over. "I know I'm not a hollywood pretty-boy fancy-guy. But don't judge a book by its cover." Your words are slurred. Not like a drunk, but like someone who was kicked in the head by a donkey.

We see a clip of you stumbling down the sidewalk, waving to an elderly woman on her porch. "Hi, Miss Lucy!" Under your left arm is a picture of a dog, and in your left hand is a small urn. 

Again in voice-over: "I carry my dog Roscoe everywhere I go. If you look up 'friend' in the dictionary, you'll find old Roscoe. He died in 2012 and I'm still putting the pieces back together. And I think part of that journey means finally following my dream."

You step out on stage. You exchange some uncomfortable small-talk with Simon. Your shirt has a couple more stains on it. You set the urn and the picture of Roscoe on the floor. "So what is this dream you want to follow?" Simon asks.

"I want to sing opera," you say.

The crowd titters. Simon gives a look to the other judges. There's a close-up of a girl in the crowd covering her laughter and pointing at you. Inspirational orchestra music swells in the background. "Yeah, I get it," you say. "I know I may not look the part. Maybe you think I'm a dreamer, like my parents do. But the one thing you have to remember is this..."

The orchestral soundtrack hits a crescendo, then falls away to silence.

"In the end... dreams come true," you say. Some in the audience applaud. Howie and Simon glance at each other as if to say, "Let's see what the kid's got."

The entire theater falls silent as you step up to the mic and begin to sing. It comes out like this:

In quick succession, three of the judges give you the red X. The last holdout, Heidi Klum, gives you the X once it's clear you've changed the words to the second verse to suggest that you were masturbating in the tub.

Nick Cannon joins you on stage. "Is that good or bad?" you ask. "Did I win. I won?" you scream, your eyes getting big.

"No, no," Nick says. "You've been eliminated."

"Eliminated through to the next round?"

"What? No." Nick says. "Your journey is over."

"Oh... I see. I see. Simon, can I ask you a question? And don't pull any punches. How would you describe my performance in one word."

"In one word?" Simon asks. "Ghastly."

"Fair enough. Fair enough. I get it. I'm not Mr. Handsome. I'm not some... Carson Daly or something so I'm not good enough for the show. This is so predictable. Who X'd me first? Who did it? Who was so threatened by me?"

"I did," Simon says.

"Right, you couldn't handle it. Mr. Big Shot is afraid of my star power. And then you were next, right, Mel B? Because you just follow what Simon does. Then Howie. And then, last of all, Heidi. Ok. Cool. Cool cool cool. So predictable," you say in disgust.

"So predictable."

"In fact," your slurring stops and your voice transforms to adopt a refined British accent, "I predicted it all earlier today."

You unzip your fat suit and step out of it wearing tuxedo pants and a dress shirt. Nick Cannon hands you your jacket. You remove your glasses and pull off your grungy wig to reveal a slicked back head of hair. And then you peel off your fake bushy mustache, uncovering a tight well-groomed mustache underneath. You straighten your ascot. The audience is flipping their shit.

You're the picture of sophistication. You look like the guy from the cover of the John Booth book, "Extending Magic Beyond Credibility."

Nick puts his hand on yours before you can light your cigarette. "We can't smoke here?" you ask, incredulously.

"As I was saying, so predictable. First Simon, then Mel, then Howie, then Heidi. Please, lift your Dunkin' Donuts cups and show the cameras what's underneath."

Under each cup is a number 1-4, with each person holding the number of the position in which they eliminated you.

The audience applauds this unexpected effect. 

"Not only that," you say, unbuttoning your right cuff and rolling up your sleeve. "Simon, you could have described my performance in any one of a thousand different ways, but you chose one word in particular." You pick up the dog's urn from the ground, dump some ashes into your left hand, then smear them along your right forearm. A word appears in ash:


The audience roars. Simon turns to Mel B and mouths a big, "Wow!"

Nick Cannon quiets the crowd. "Okay judges. Now that you've seen the complete act, have you changed your mind about sending him through to the next round?" The judges convene and you are sent through unanimously.

The crowd cheers. Nick asks you if you have anything left to say.

"Not really," you say. "I already said it earlier. In the end, dreams come true."

The place goes wild for your hacky platitude. Music swells. 

Invest In Your Happiness

[Weekends are for non-magic posts.]

This is a subject I've written about before, but it's going to take on a new importance in regards to this site very soon. (Foreshadowing!)

Here is what I wrote about it a year ago.

I will tell you what I do. I put an item in my budget (I don't really have a budget, I just do this mentally) for $30 a month. Then I decide what my 3 favorite sites/performers/podcasts are and donate $10 a month to them. Of course, I support other content providers as well by buying the things they release or whatever, but this is what I do for the three entities that provide me the most joy on a regular basis. I don't just do it for them, I do it for my own peace of mind. Peace of mind in the sense that if the site I'm supporting does eventually shut down, I don't have to wonder if my contribution could have made a difference. (And when we're talking about very small enterprises (not something like NPR), a few donations a month one way or the other could very well be the deciding factor.)

That "line in my budget" is now $50. And as i said, it's not just about supporting those projects. I do it for my benefit. This is the way I think about it. "These things make me happy. The fact that they're free is great. But if I'm not supporting the things that make me happy, what the hell am I doing? Why am I hoping to just skate by and hoping these things stick around?"  I watched too many blogs, podcasts, youtube channels, and things like that fall off the face of the earth because people weren't backing them. Now at least I can say I've done my part.

You may think I'm setting you up with this post, and I am, in a sense, because Season 2 of the Jerx will happen only if people are on board to support it. But that's not my point in writing it. I'm completely content either way regardless of what happens with this site. I'm writing this because I think it's a genuine tip that has made my life better.

You get more enjoyment out of the things you like when you support them. It makes you feel more enmeshed in the good things in your life.

I've come to realize that not supporting these things is the ultimate form of low-self esteem. There's something that gives me a couple hours of pleasure a month and I'm going to mull over the idea of giving them a few dollars a month? Fuck that noise. I value my happiness too much to be cheap about it. So should you.

Gardyloo #16

Hey app owners. Version 1.3 should be in the app store now or will be shortly. It adds a pretty sweet new feature to the app that I think you're going to like called "Light Lunch." Check the instructions for the details.

JL writes in to suggest this mask for those of you want to go as a homeless Kenton Knepper for Halloween. (Or regular Kenton Knepper. What's the difference.) 

Professor Andster writes in to suggest combining the recent Drone Strike trick with Bazillion Dollar Bill Mystery and having the second half of the bill appear attached to the drone. It's a good idea. The nice thing about BDBM is you can literally cause that bill to appear anywhere. A floating island in the sky is a good place. 

Friends of the Jerx: Andy Martin Wants You to Listen to Derek and Clive

["Friends of The Jerx" is where I highlight people who have contributed to this site, the projects they're involved in, or the subjects they're interested in.]

Andy Martin has many products and services he could ask me to shill if he wanted to, but he doesn't. Instead he just wants me to spread the word about British comedy duo Derek and Clive.

Derek and Clive are characters created by Peter Cook and Dudley Moore. Well "characters" might be too much of a stretch. The audio recordings they made aren't exactly big character studies. In fact they remind me of the audio tapes I used to make with friends when I was a kid. Just two people sitting around trying to make each other laugh. But Derek and Clive are much, much filthier than I ever was or have been, and much darker too. Apparently Moore and Cook's relationship was falling apart and you can hear it in these recordings. I don't know about that because I knew nothing about Moore and Cook's partnership. 

There's not really much to say about the albums they put out. They defy any critical analysis really. I wish I had discovered these recordings when I was a 13-year-old British boy in the late 70s. I have a feeling I would have found them to be the funniest thing ever back then. These days the language, while hyper crude, isn't so shocking. So something like a horse race where the horses are named dirty words doesn't really reverberate that much with me. Although watching how much Dudley Moore gets a kick out of it during the recording does make me enjoy it.

So do Andy Martin a favor and check out some Derek and Clive. If you're a genuine sick fuck weirdo you'll probably really be taken with it right away. I've been listening to it on and off for a year now. I particularly enjoy the improvisational style and the dynamic between the two performers. At the very least you'll start talking about everything giving you "the horn" which is something I picked up and enjoy saying about pretty much anything. (Because pretty much anything does give me the horn.)

Here's the album Andy recommended to me:

Drone Strike: Public Record

Last week an ebook was sent out to a couple of GLOMM members called Drone Strike: Classified. It requires the use of a quadcopter. Ideally you want one with a camera and FPV (first person view, meaning you can see what the camera sees via a live feed) but it's not mandatory. The tricks below are described as if it has a camera. 

Yes this is a somewhat significant expense (depending on which model you buy), but this is also a pretty major league effect. And the quadcopter is fun to own regardless of doing tricks with it.

Here is the effect.

You stand out in an open field with your spectator. About 20 feet behind you the quadcopter rests on the ground. You tell your spectator you wanted to do this trick out away from everyone where you couldn't have any assistance from a secret helper. "In addition, I'm going to have the drone film us from above so you have a full 360 degree view of everything and you can be certain that no one else is involved. There's no one behind you, no one at all around. Okay?" 

You launch the quadcopter and both wave at the camera. it hovers about 20 feet over head as you have a card selected and signed by the spectator. The card is returned and they are given the deck to shuffle as the quadcopter continues to raise in the air to the point where you spectator can see on the video that it is just the two of you alone in a field with no one around in any direction. You take the deck back, squeeze it between your hands then offer it to the spectator to look through and find their card. It's not there. At this point you could strip naked and have every orifice searched. The card is truly gone. The drone hovers hundreds of feet in the air capturing everything. 

You slowly lower it towards the ground and the spectator can see it on the video feed making its way towards you. When it gets closer you tell your spectator to look up. They do so and they begin to make out the details of the quadcopter. As it gets closer and closer they see that attached to the quadcopter is their signed selection.

  • No switches. The card they sign while the drone is already in the air is the one that appears attached to the drone later on.
  • No assistants are used. Just you and the spectator.
  • The video from the drone can be watched and it tells the same story as the spectator experienced. It raises in the air and hovers well overhead while the spectator selects and signs a card. It continues to rise hundreds of feet into the air as the spectator shuffles the card back in the deck. It then lowers back down above you two and you see the spectator's face as they realize their card is attached to the drone.

Drone Strike: Classified is the work of GLOMM Elite Member #16. It was presented to me to gift to two random GLOMM members.

I don't mention it here just to tease you, I'm mentioning it because I've thought up a variation on the effect that I want to present to you.

Drone Strike: Public Record

I haven't performed this myself (it takes a while to become good with one of these quadcopters) and I'm sure there are some kinks to be worked out, but I think the heart of the method is definitely workable. It's a similar but not identical effect to the Classified version. 

It starts off the same. You launch the drone and your spectator looks at the video feed and can see it filming the both of you as you stand out in a field. They notice nothing unusual about the video they see. The drone stays in the air and rises above you two as a card is selected and signed. You have your spectator look at the video feed again and they notice that something is now dangling from below the quadcopter. As it's lowered towards you to it becomes clear that an envelope is now hanging from a string from the bottom of the drone. You pluck the envelope off, open it up, and reveal the spectator's signed card inside.

Okay, let's work backwards. The first question is how to get the card in the envelope. The answer is, you don't. You are going to use any of the commercially available card to envelope methods where the card is loaded into the envelope after the fact. 

Now the fun part, how do we get the envelope to appear? 

We're continuing to work backwards, so let's start with the final image of the envelope dangling down from the bottom of the quadcopter. Attach one end of a 12 inch string or ribbon to the envelope and attach the other end to the bottom of the drone. Now, that's the final position, but we want to keep it out of the way at the beginning. For this we need three things. Two magnets and 40 feet of fishing line. Yes, yes, I know. This all seems like a lot of work. It is. But it's also a really amazing effect. The idea of suspending something—like a prediction chest, for example—makes it seemingly impossible that it could be manipulated in some way. And in this case the item isn't just "suspended," it's floating in mid-air, untouched by anything.

So you have your drone, envelope dangling. Let's start with the two magnets, they should be relatively small and not overly powerful, and one should have a hole in it. Glue one magnet (the non-hole one) to the side or bottom of the drone. Where exactly you glue it will depend on which model you're using. You want to position it so when the envelope is held to the magnet it is not in view of the camera. That's all that matters. Take your fishing line and tie one end to the magnet with a hole in it. You will tie the other end to some object in your performing space, around a tree or a swing-set or something. Set the drone up so the envelope is pinched between the two magnets.

You see what happens, yes?

Your spectator does not examine the drone beforehand. You can gesture to it on the lawn, but you should be a ways away from it so they can't make out the envelope connected to it. When you raise the drone you have 40 feet where it will provide a clear shot from the camera. At this point you can have the spectator look at the drone as it flies, they shouldn't notice anything unusual. 

At some point you will raise the drone higher in the air. The outer magnet will get pulled off and the envelope will fall into position. Your friend will see something on the video feed and in real life that was not on the drone a moment before. 

You lower the drone, remove the envelope and remove their signed card. 

(You don't have to use a drone with a camera. In that case the audience will just see it flying overhead, they'll select a card and sign it, and when they look up again the drone now has something dangling from beneath it.)