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Playing around with the length of a trick


Elite Member
Nov 2, 2014
In the past weeks I have been performing OOTW a lot, and I have been experimenting with the length of the trick. I had already noticed that having a slower build up creates better reactions, but recently I have tried starting the trick days before the ending.
An example is one that I wrote in my newsletter. I will copy paste below a sleightly shortened version without my notes and tips to make it more readable. Here it is.

Last Sunday I met a friend of a friend, visiting from Germany. He is a quite logical guy, who likes the puzzle aspect of magic and enjoys to try to figure out the secrets of tricks.
This is how I played with time and created a more magical experience.

MONDAY - planting the seed
I went to my friend’s house for dinner and performed Sort Of Psychic, a trick where you try to figure out how to maximize the spectator’s sense of intuition with a series of experiments, until they are able to cut to their thought-of-card.

TUESDAY - watering the seed
We met up to visit a museum. After the visit I wanted to try something: I gave him a packet of 8 cards: 4 black and 4 red. I asked him to guess which were red and which were black. He got 6 out of 8 correct. I asked him what made him guess the color he chose, then commented “interesting…” and changed topic.

THURSDAY - harvesting
We decided to play some board games. Before we did I asked if he we could try a thing. I said that I had studied the way his intuition works and there was a thing I wanted to try. I let him shuffle the deck and let him deal the cards in two piles: one pile for the red cards, and the other for the black ones.
I said: “what we are hoping for is for you to get about 70% right”

We then took a look at how he did. He was 100% correct. All the red cards were separated from the black cards.

He was blown away. His mind didn’t want to accept what happened, he was trying to find any reasonable explanation: -did he switch the cards? -no, I was looking at them the whole time… -were the cards already separated? -no, I mixed them…
And could not find anything except that he actually did separate the cards perfectly and somehow we created the perfect condition for his intuition.

And I got the type of reaction I like the most, no compliments, no applause. Just a complete mind melting, stunned silence, brain-not-working moment.

Another thing I've tried is to text a friend do the whole procedure by herself at home. She is expecting something magical to happen and is disappointed by the result.
Then next time we meet I will let her do some procedure to sharpen her senses and she will be able to correctly guess the color of the cards.

I am really loving these types of changes in the trick structure, and I was wondering if you had something similar you played around with.
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