Ben Harris - The Crossroads Deck

Discussion in 'Product Questions and Reviews' started by Wonder, Sep 1, 2009.

  1. The Crossroads Deck is a 36 page fully Illustrated PDF Download Only, at the moment it's priced at $27.50/£17.00. But soon will be going up to the Regular price of $34.95/£22.00, there are very mixed reviews of The Crossroads Deck.

    Do any of you own this effect, & if so what do you think of it. For anyone who has not got a clue what The Crossroads Deck is, it follows various different principles in magic which have been combined to create the end result. Which is A spectator is handed a cased deck with the promise that the performer will not touch it! The performer also places his wallet on the table, "This is my money trick..." he explains*. Two spectators are asked to assist. Together, they decide upon what appears to be a "freely chosen card." In this instance, we'll assume they decide upon the "Seven of Hearts." The performer now invokes his magic, and the selected card is brought under his spell—from a distance—by these magical passes and incantations.

    Reminding the audience that he has not once touched the cards, the spectator holding the cased deck is instructed to remove the cards from the case and to count them "OUT LOUD, one at a time, FACE DOWN." He does so and counts only 51 cards to the table! In other words, one card is missing! You can hear a penny drop—"my goodness, could it be...?" Before that thought—and the resulting implications are allowed to fully form—the spectator is asked to turn the cards FACE UP. He is now instructed to specifically locate and remove the SELECTED card. Even with those standing nearby assisting him, he cannot locate the card—it has COMPLETELY VANISHED from the deck!

    This amazing disappearance is accomplished remotely—and automatically—without you having to touch the cards. Only ONE DECK is used and it is given to the spectator BEFORE the card is selected. Again, reminding the audience that he'd previously declared this his "money trick" the performer gestures towards—but does not actually touch—his wallet. It's been on the table since before the card was selected. A spectator is invited to rummage around within. Inside she finds ONE SINGLE CARD. This is the SELECTED CARD!

    Note: The performer is free to re-produce the selected (and just vanished) card from a variety of amazing places: inside his wallet, inside his shoe, under his hat, or even a spectator's own pocket! It's really up to you. Again, it's FULLY AUTOMATIC. Can immediately be REPEATED with ANOTHER named card and without any re-set!

    SOME THINGS TO CONSIDER
    Completely SELF-WORKING (both the vanish and the re-appearance)
    You never touch the cards - EVER
    Only the one deck used (no more multiple-deck outs)
    Spectator can remove card from its final destination
    Immediately repeatable (ideal for walk-around, or the streets)
    Chosen card can appear in your wallet, shoe, pocket, or anywhere - you decide*
    No switches of any kind. No stooges of any kind.
    BONUS EFFECT INCLUDED: CRACAAN

    Steve Shufton has cunningly applied the "Crossroads" concept to the "Any Card At Any Number" plot and come up with one of the most perfect handlings ever. A card is named, a number is named. The chosen card appears at the nominated number and the performer NEVER ONCE TOUCHES THE DECK. Only the one eck used, and it's out on the table BEFORE you start.
     
  2. it's not PDF only. it's in book form at most places ;) also, I oredered the book and it should be here soon-ish.
     
  3. It was a PDF only & some place are still selling it as a PDF only, unless you go to Ben Harris website where from only yesterday Sept 1 the printed version is now available.
     
  4. #4 CaseyC, Sep 1, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 8, 2009
    I pre-ordered this from Ben and received it yesterday in my inbox. If you were one of the people that was following the thread on the Cafe (like me), there was constant hype surrounding this effect. I think this is one of the reasons why some people were disappointed. People built it up to be as amazing as 'magic' itself, if not more amazing. As for myself, I will use this.

    I personally felt I got much more than what I thought I would. It's clearly evident how much time and thought has been spent on this effect. There is also an incredible amount of information in the PDF, covering a plethora of things that would most likely be left out in a standard 1 trick DVD. The core concept itself is something that is very useful to me. The sheer amount of effects you can improve or change with this concept is amazing. I have already modified the Crossroads idea for a card to pocket. A boxed deck is handed to a spectator, card is verbally 'created', cards counted revealing 51 with their selection missing, spectators card is removed from pocket. It really is as straight forward as it sounds. It's perfect for walk around magic and can be done at a moments notice once you have it set up.

    The main thing I enjoyed about Crossroads is that it's not a singular, packaged, one trick pony. There's a ton of room for little changes, modifications, or personal, custom add ons. Also, the fact that the effect is accomplished remotely completely floors people. Judging from the response from the few people I have performed this to, the thing people were amazed about the most was the fact that I didn't touch or "manipulate" the deck at all throughout the effect. And, because the effect is completely hands off, the presentation becomes extremely important. This is perfect for people just starting out wanting to improve their presentation and performance. Of course, if you've had more experience, this will be much easier for you. However, don't assume this requires absolutely no effort on your part. This will take a tiny bit more work then you would imagine but it's definitely not out of reach with a little practice.

    "CRACAAN", an effect by Steve Shufton, was added as a bonus to the manuscript. I read this hopeful I'd find some I would use. The method itself is incredibly genius and I can tell how much effort went into this, but I can personally not see myself using it. Fortunately, because many alternate handling's and ideas were included, it got me thinking about ways to accomplish other effects. I won't use the effect as is, but I definitely benefited from reading the ideas and understanding Steve's way of looking at the problem.

    This is one of those purchases that will keep you thinking for a long time. I have read through the PDF multiple times and keep stumbling upon different ways to modify the concept each time.

    NOTE: Depending on your literary knowledge, you may or may not find as much of the information new or as useful as I did. Crossroads does use older concepts that have been blended together to create the basic effect. If anything else, I would still imagine you'd gain at least something from purchasing this. I know I did.

    I respect that this is not for everyone but I am very happy I bought Crossroads. It's something I will use and work with. From my personal perspective, I recommend this.
     
  5. I also have it, and I probably won't use it, although it has a lot of nice thinking towards the effect.

    Firstly, the original effect. If I were to use CRACAAN or this, I would use this. The Crossroads Deck principle itself is fantastic. However I dislike the method behind the reveal. Without exposing, it would be annoying at the very least to have to slip into a different room to perform the setup, or to have the effect set up for the entire day. The only time I wouldn't mind is if it was for a paid performance where I knew exactly when and where I was performing - but then there are other issues that come into play regarding reset. Also, I wouldn't want to use the Crossroads Deck for other effects, though you could get by certainly; and furthermore it wouldn't fit into any routine of mine either. So eh. The principle is great; I just don't see a lot of long term potential for me other than a single standalone trick, which isn't what I'm looking for.

    As far as CRACAAN goes, it is a good adaptation of the effect to fit the Crossroads Deck. It's as clean as the ad copy states, but I won't use it; I definitely think there are better methods out there. There are a certain number of sacrifices you make (of course, as with any ACAAN), but the ones that CRACAAN make, in my opinion, are too great. If one has never performed any ACAAN, then you might find this interesting at first glance.
     
  6. i have now had an opportunity to perform the crossroads deck 6 or 7 times. It is very powerful. After my perfomance, the spectator just looks absolutely puzzled how a freely selected card is the only card missing from the deck and is now in my wallet, pocket or wherever I want it to be. It is a huge plus that you never touch the cards during the performance. It is direct, powerful and easy. 10 out of 10.
     
  7. Out of curiosity, where have you performed this?

    And two questions: Do you work with the set up ready all day? And secondly, do you perform other effects within the same routine?

    I quite enjoyed the thinking but doubt I'd use it simply because I find too many small practicality issues - if we are talking about impromptu and/or paid performances - i.e. anything other than, "Right, I want to perform, let's go find someone on the street".
     
  8. I am an attorney so I do not do paid performances. I have performed this at work and on the street. I have done it as a single trick and not in conjunction with anything else. I have thought about how to utilize it with other tricks but have not firmed anything up yet. It may not be the best trick to do if you are performing multiple tricks---but if you are only performing one---you can not go wrong. I can't emphasize enough the importance to the spectator that you never touch the cards.
     
  9. Just thought I'd chime in quickly, Ben sent me the CR beta PDF a few weeks before release and I love the effect, I can appreciate Praetoritevong's point regarding the reveal.

    The great thing about CR is that you don't have to follow Ben's exact reveal process - I simply hold a card in my hand from the start and combine with ANATE - If it doesn't hit, I can go into CR.

    For detailed method on my handling, drop me an email or message on here with proof of CR purchase and I'll detail.

    Best,

    D.
     
  10. Hi Im interestet in knowing how this effect would play on a single spectator rather than two.

    Thanks
     
  11. The effect works just the same. No problems doing it for one person but it does play very nice for a small group.
     
  12. A small group is preferable, but it will work perfectly with one person.
     
  13. i love this effect, period.

    i have always been fascinated with the idea of card to anywhere(window, wallet, shoe, coke bottle, well, anywhere) effects, and ever since i started perfoming crossroads, i always get awesome reactions, people are just completely blown away at the fact that i never touch the deck at all.

    i smacked myself silly for not thinking about the method, but from the book one can definetly see that ben harris has put alot of effort in ironing out the kinks in of this effect, and made it as what u see on the demo video.

    not really a big fan of the accan though, by love the idea that it uses the crossroads principle, ..might give a shot someday.

    i carry the crossroads deck with me and i do other effects with it as well.

    in my opinion, 10/10
     

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