Gardyloo #17

Thanks to everyone who submitted suggestion for the JAMM model's group name. Most of the suggestions were terrible, but some were pretty good. There were too many for me to write back individually so consider this a group thanks. 

I did end up choosing someone's idea and I'll reveal it tomorrow in Thursday's mini-post. Mainly I just wanted to choose something that made sense and was pleasant. I'm friends with many of these women, or they're friends of other people who help out with the site. I don't want it to be like, "Hey, look, you're the JAMM Cum Dumpster for March!"

Yo. Why didn't anyone tell me about this movie? It's like everything I enjoy all rolled up into one thing: magic, genre movies, the backing of the WWE, black people. If you don't think I'll be seeing this opening weekend, you don't know me very well.

Imagine you walked out to your driveway and there were two new cars there. 

"I want you to picture one of those cars begins to float in the air," I tell you. "Which one is it?"

"The blue one," you say.

"Okay, that's the car you get to keep."

You would never think, "I chose to keep the blue car." You wouldn't actually know what to make of the whole "picture a floating car" thing. But, hey, free car, what the hell, you're not going to complain.

This is bad equivoque. And it's especially transparent when you're implying the spectator is making free choices that have some meaning

For equivoque to feel convincing, they have to feel like they know the outcome of their action before they make a choice. I've written more about this on this site and demonstrate it with a couple effects in JV1 in the Third Wave Equivoque section. But that was over a year ago and I want you to keep it in mind if you do any effects of this type. 

As a reminder, I've created this public service announcement. (Apologies to Chris Ramsay who does a lot of things well, but this technique isn't one of them. Think of it this way: If at the end of the selection procedure the spectator is holding one card, there is another "floating in the air," and then it turns out the "selection" is the one the magician is left with... that ain't good equivoque, baby-boo.)

A week or so ago I posted about the concept of pouring water on dry-erase marker to make what you've drawn release from the surface. As per this gif that was circulating...

While in an email conversation with James David I came up with an idea that might push you further towards a magical effect. Or at least something a little more layered than, "This is what happens when you pour water on dry-erase marker."

Let's say you're with your friend. You have a plastic folder or a small mirror or something else you can draw on in front of you. "Tell me if you know who this is," you say. And you draw a stick-man on the surface of the item you have with you. 

"Okay. Any idea?" you ask.

They stare at you blankly.

"Really? Uhmm... uh...." You kind of shake your head and stare at your drawing as if to say, How do I make this any more clear?

Struck with inspiration you pull the marker back out and draw a rectangle around the stick-man. 

"So...." you say, expectantly.

"What is... I don't know what you're want me to tell you who the stick-man is? I don't...," they blabber.

"You seriously don't know? The context clues aren't helping?" you ask, pointing to the box. "Wait... I know," you say, and you flip the drawing upside-down.

They shrug. 

"It's Houdini, you jackass! Oh my god. You're losing it," you say. "It's Houdini in his water torture cell." 

You hold up the marker. "This is Houdini's Sharpie," you say. "I bought it from a collector. He wanted 500 bucks for it, but I talked him down to $450. That sucker." You lovingly admire your obviously brand new Sharpie for a moment.

"I think it still has some of that old Houdini magic in it. The water torture cell was like a phone booth filled with water that Houdini would be placed in upside-down, and then he had to escape."

You take a little bit of water and pour it over what you drew. The stickman floats off the surface and you blow him out of the box or tip the surface so he slides out.

The method is, of course, that you draw the stick man with a dry-erase marker that looks similar to a Sharpie. You put the marker away as if you're done.  Then when you decide to draw the box you remove the Sharpie as if it was the same marker. And that's what you leave in play until the end

I haven't performed this for anyone other than myself. I realize it's not the most mystifying thing in the world and played straight it would be a little corny. But with the right attitude I think it would be a fun and charming little visual moment. The marker switch is motivated and shouldn't be an issue, it happens before the trick starts. Pouring on the water makes sense to the story. And you get to preen like a smug idiot when you talk about how you bought Houdini's Sharpie.