I am going to be off-the-grid for most of this week. I have a couple shorter posts that will pop up later this week, including the first in a new series called 450 Minutes. I may be a little slower responding to emails as well. But still please send me any gossip from Magic Live.
On Friday I will be posting the Jerx Invisible Deck routine. This is brand new and has already undergone three big evolutionary stages just in the past few days. I want to perform it in its current state a few more times before I write it up, but I think those of you who enjoy my routines will really like it. It's not just a different presentation really, it puts the effect in a very different context and makes it a very unreal experience for the spectator.
You'll see on Friday.
Some of my favorite variations on the Invisible Deck are:
The X Deck by Jay Sankey - A simple little addition to the ID which negates the idea of sleight of hand.
The Inevitable by Mark Elsdon - A nice way to extend the trick and make the "moment" in the ID seemingly grander. (Even though it's ultimately the same trick, it seems much more amazing.)
Shake, Shuffle and Twist by Steve Bedwell - I was much younger when I first saw this and wasn't really cognizant of the idea of using an Invisible Deck in a way other than the standard way, so I was fooled by it. Sadly, I don't know where this is available anymore.
I was looking up the Invisible Deck on wikipedia and it says,
"Joe Berg created the Invisible Deck in the 1930s, originally calling it the Ultra Mental Deck. It was Eddie Fields who came up with the invisible presentation after watching a patient in a psychiatric unit of a hospital shuffling an imaginary deck of cards."
That seems too good to be true. And, as I mentioned to someone recently, miming an overhand shuffle looks identical to miming cupping the balls and stroking a huge shaft, so maybe that's what the guy in the psychiatric unit was doing.
I do think it's a pretty interesting and slightly creepy idea. It might make a good halloween presentation. I'm a fan of those types of things.
You could tell the story of Eddie Fields and how he was in a psychiatric unit and saw a guy shuffling an invisible deck of cards. Then you have the spectator play the part of the crazy person and you play Eddie Fields. "And Eddie wanted to engage the patient so he asked him what card was now on top of the deck and the patient said...." Here you wait for your spectator to name one. "And Eddie said, 'Oh, the seven clubs, is that so?' And he mimed taking the card and looking at it. He was just playing along and said, 'Yup, that's the seven clubs, you're right.' And he put the card back in the 'deck' but the patient started flipping out and cursing him out. He said Eddie was 'ruining the deck' because he put the card in upside down and he better fix it. Eddie went to take the non-existent deck back to 'fix' it and the patient was like, 'What are you doing? Are you out of your fucking mind? There's no deck there. The deck is over there.' And he pointed to a table across the room where there was a deck of cards on the table." Matching your actions to the story you're telling, you point across the room to a deck of cards on the table in real life. You walk over to deck, uncase it, and continue your story. "As he spread through the deck he found one card turned the other way. The seven of clubs. Just like that crazy fucking lunatic [here you point to your spectator] had said."