The Three Keys To Becoming A Great Magician

The training below vanishes in...

This week, we gave you exclusive access to a bunch of our most premium magic content!

As our biggest gift yet, below you’ll find our ‘3 keys’ to becoming a truly great magician.

The first key is all about innovation—how to create and approach magic in ways that ZERO other magicians are doing right now. 

The second key is all about explanation—the mastery of craft. To help demonstrate the power of explanation, we gave you a full tutorial on one of the most powerful effects you could ever perform. 

The third key? Well, that’s the most important one of them all. At the link below, you’ll be able to listen to a complete ‘exclusive’ interview with Andi Gladwin that reveals this secret—along with our analysis of why what he said was so important to understand.  

You can access all the training—available for the next 24 hours—below…

Key #1: Innovation:

 

(if you’re on mobile, give the file 5-10 seconds to load. 🙂 )

Key #2: Explanation:

 

In this training, we want to show you the second key—explanation.

By ‘explanation’, we’re talking about sheer craft.

Skill. Technique. Knowledge. Your library of magic books.

In essence, the ‘stuff’ you need to have a firm foundation before breaking any rules. After all, you can only think differently…

…if you know how to think in the first place! 

The best magicians are the ones that are always learning, studying and absorbing new ideas and ways of doing things.

With that in mind, let’s return to the promise of this training—one of the most powerful effects you can show someone.

We’re offering you this as an object lesson in the power of ‘explanation’.

Think about it.

Just by reading a few words on a page, you’re about to discover an effect so powerful, you might end up performing it EVERY week for the REST of your life.

Once you do, you’re going to be able to innovate and come up with your OWN methods and variations on it.

And all this starts with a little explanation. 

First, the description. Here’s what the effect looks like:

You invite a married couple up from the audience. You ask one of them to think of a color, and the other to think of a suit. Then, together, they decide on a value. Together, they’ve selected a card—and the entire choice has been utterly and completely free!

You then point out a deck of cards that has been in full view the entire time. 

Using the identity of the couple, you turn over one card for each letter—and, of course, you arrive on one card…

THEIR freely named card. 

Then, the explanation…

You can read the full method for this effect at the link below:

Here’s what it looks like:

You invite a married couple up from the audience. You ask one of them to think of a color, and the other to think of a suit. Then, together, they decide on a value. Together, they’ve selected a card—and the entire choice has been utterly and completely free!

You then point out a deck of cards that has been in full view the entire time. 

Using the identity of the couple, you turn over one card for each letter—and, of course, you arrive on one card…

THEIR freely named card.

This is one of the most powerful concepts we can utilize in card magic—using the spectator’s NAME as the ‘driving engine’ of the effect.

It’s an idea that I briefly explored in Module 5 of the Skyscraper Method, but I wanted to return to it here—since it’s just so much fun to do.  

I think you’ll laugh when you see how simple—but devious—this stuff is…

Let’s start with the basics:

We’re going to be using a memorized deck to accomplish this effect. We start out in our memorized order. Let’s suppose we’re using Tamariz.

For any card they name, we know the ‘number’ of that card (4C is #1, 9H is #17, and so on.)

We basically need an ‘out’ for any number from 1-26.

My hypothesis is this:

For practically ANY married couple we might meet, we can use a combination of their names to reach ANY number from 1-26. Once we have that, we can reach any card in the deck.

Sounds bold, right?

Well, let’s try…

To simulate meeting a random couple, I’ll use a ‘random name generator’ to get the name of this couple, and together we’ll see how it turns out.

Here are the results…

Name #1: Neve Monica Kavanagh (aka Neve M Kavanagh)

Name #2: Bernard Steven Kavanagh (aka Bernard S Kavanagh)

I’m now going to use combinations of these names to reach any card from 1 to 26.

Now, I’m dealing with some random names. The names you’re dealing with will be different. But the STRUCTURE and PROCESS will be much the same.

That said, here’s the basic formula I follow:

  1. For the first 1-5 cards, you’re pretty much covered—top card, double lift, triple lift, force a small number, etc. Or if one of the first names is small, you can work that in here.
  2. For the position 6-10 cards, you can often get there using one of the first names.
  3. For the position 11-15 cards, combining the first names can get you to some of them, or by using one full name.
  4. For the position 16-20 cards, using full names or a combination of both first names (including middle initials) and the last name once can get you there.
  5. For the position 21-26 cards, using both full names (including full middle names) can get you most of the way.

Let’s go through the list:

  • 1st card

Get them both to place their hands on the deck—one hand underneath, one hand above. Then have them remove their hands. Show that the top card has transformed into their named card.

  • 2nd card

Same build up as previous, except this time we’re going to be the ones to reveal the card—via a double lift.

  • 3rd card 

Same as above, but this time either a triple lift.

Alternatively, ask them to name a number between 1 and 5 and there’s a good chance they’ll say 3 (or 2, which we can deal and then show the next card.) If not, that’s easily overcome by shifting one or two cards from top to bottom/bottom to top. 

  • 4th card

Here’s where the names start becoming useful.

I can spell ‘NEVE’ and show the 4th card as the last letter. 

  • 5th card

Spell ‘NEVE’ to deal four cards. Since we’ve dealt four, the card on the top of the deck is the named card (Card 5) so we can play it like that’s the card we arrived at—the other cards are the ‘discard’ cards. So in this case we can spell ‘NEVE’ and then show that the card on the deck is the named card. 

  • 6th card 

Spell ‘NEVE’ and do a double lift.

  • 7th card 

Spell ‘BERNARD’ and the last card dealt is the named card. 

  • 8th card

Spell ‘BERNARD’ and show the next card is the named card. 

  • 9th card

Spell ‘BERNARD’ and double lift.

  • 10th card.

Spell ‘NEVE’ and then ‘BERNARD’, dealing each card into a second pile. At the end of this, the named card will be the second card down in the new pile. Double lift to show it. 

  • 11th card 

Spell ‘NEVE’ and then ‘BERNARD’ to deal 11 cards—the last card of the deal being the named card.  

  • 12th card 

Same as above, but double lift.

OR: Spell ‘NEVE KAVANAGH’ and show the last card dealt is the named card. 

  • 13th card

Spell ‘NEVE KAVANAGH’ and show that the next card on the deck is the named card.

OR: Spell ‘NEVE M KAVANAGH’ and show that the last card dealt is the named card. 

  • 14th card 

Same as above, but double lift.

OR: Spell ‘NEVE M KAVANAGH’ and show that the next card on the deck is the named card.

  • 15th card

Spell ‘BERNARD KAVANAGH’ and show that the last card dealt is the named card. 

  • 16th card 

Spell ‘BERNARD KAVANAGH’ and show that the next card on the deck is the named card.

OR: Spell ‘BERNARD S KAVANAGH’ and show that the last card dealt is the named card. 

  • 17th card 

Spell ‘BERNARD KAVANAGH’ and double lift.

OR: Spell ‘BERNARD S KAVANAGH’ to and show the next card on the deck is the named card. 

  • 18th card

Spell ‘BERNARD S KAVANAGH’ and double lift.

OR: Spell ‘NEVE MONICA KAVANAGH’ and show the last card dealt as the named card. 

  • 19th card 

Spell ‘NEVE MONICA KAVANAGH’ and show the next card on deck is the named card. 

  • 20th card 

Spell ‘NEVE MONICA KAVANAGH’ and double lift.

  • 21st card 

Spell ‘BERNARD STEVEN KAVANAGH’ and the last card dealt is 21st card. 

  • 22nd card 

Same as above, but show that the next card on deck is the named card.

OR: Spell ‘NEVE AND BERNARD KAVANAGH’ and show the 22nd card is the named card.

  • 23rd card

Same as above, but double lift/glide.

OR: Spell ‘NEVE AND BERNARD KAVANAGH’ and show the next card on deck is the named card.

  • 24th card

Spell ‘NEVE AND BERNARD KAVANAGH’ and double lift.

OR: Spell ‘NEVE M AND BERNARD S KAVANAGH’ and show the last card dealt is the named card.

  • 25th card 

Spell ‘NEVE M AND BERNARD S KAVANAGH’ and the next card on deck is the named card.

  • 26th card 

Same as above, but double lift for the reveal.

Now, isn’t that something?

This, obviously, doesn’t cover everything you need to perform this effect.

That’s because this will differ based on WHO you perform for.

However, what it DOES show you is the process we use to create this list—and just how many cards we can reach using the same names in different ways.

The rest, dear reader, is up to you.

For reference, here’s the basic formula I followed for the above again:

  1. For the first 1-5 cards, you’re pretty much covered—top card, double lift, triple lift, force a small number, etc.
  2. For the 6-10 cards, you can often get there using one of the first names.
  3. For the 11-15 cards, combining the first names can get you to some of them, or by using one full name.
  4. For the 16-20 cards, using full names or a combination of both first names (including middle initials) and the last name once can get you there.
  5. For the 21-26 cards, using both full names (including full middle names) can get you most of the way.

Of course, I would highly recommend just sitting down the day before you know you’ll be performing and doing your ‘homework’, creating these lists.

(I say a ‘day’, but I’ve created lists like this on much shorter notice. Just figured I’d act all responsible.)

What if you’re performing ‘impromptu?’

Don’t worry. Answers for that are forthcoming—stay tuned 🙂

BUT, all of that aside, I know what you’re thinking…

“26/52 is good…but can we do better?”

I’m pleased to say…

YES.

I’ll show you how in just a moment.

Before I do, let me suggest how you would force them to pick a card in the first 26 if you were determined to only use those cards…

Take a second deck and stack the first half of your stack. Then take that half of the stack and shuffle it up, but keep it separate from the other half. The end result of all this is that you’ll have a deck where the top half ONLY includes cards from your stack.

I would now cut that half so it’s on the bottom, then spread the deck on the table—ensuring that the cards in view are ONLY from that half. Then ask them to ‘look at a card.’ This way, they’ll be effectively forced to pick a card within the first 26 of your stack, but they won’t see the order of the stack.

Alternatively, you could hold the cards in your hand and spread them one by one, telling them to ‘look at one.’ Unless they’re purposefully trying to mess with you, they’ll have picked their card within the first 26.

Alright.

There’s how that works.

Now I’ll show you how to perform this effect with ANY named card, without doing any more work. That’s right—even if it’s not in the first 26, you’ll be able to perform this very effect with no additional effort.

How?

Are we just going to hope they don’t pick a card from 27-52?

Nope.

We’re going to do something that is both very simple and incredibly useful.

See, we already have ‘outs’ for any card in positions 1-26.

And actually, in putting together that list, we already did all the hard work.

We won’t need to do anything extra.

Why?

Well, any of the cards from 27-52 can actually be reached by turning the deck face up and counting INTO the deck—which means 1-26 will cover us for both possibilities.

When you turn the deck over, the bottom card becomes card #1. The card second from bottom becomes card #2. The card 5th from bottom becomes card #5.

So, we only need 26 possibilities—we can either count from 1-26 from the TOP down, or 52-27 by counting from the BOTTOM down.

You’ll see that, when I show you the list for these cards, we do almost exactly the same thing as we did for 1-26, just flipped.

We’ll replace the double lift with the ‘glide’ move.

Let’s go through the list again, but this time—flipped:

  • 52nd card

Get them both to place their hands on the deck—one hand underneath, one hand above. Then have them remove their hands. Turn over the deck and show their card on the face of the deck.

  • 51st card

Same build up as previous, except this time we’re going to be the ones to reveal the card—via a glide. 

  • 50th card

Same as above, but this time a double glide.

Alternatively, ask them to name a number between 1 and 5 and there’s a good chance they’ll say 3 (or 2, which we can deal and then show the next card.) If not, that’s easily overcome by shifting one or two cards from top to bottom/bottom to top. 

  • 49th card

Here’s where the names start becoming useful.

I can spell ‘NEVE’ and show the 4th card as the last letter. 

  • 48th card

Spell ‘NEVE’ and then show that the card on the face of the deck is the named card. 

  • 47th card

Spell ‘NEVE’ and do a glide to reveal the named card.

  • 46th card

Spell ‘BERNARD’ and the last card dealt is the named card. 

  • 45th card

Spell ‘BERNARD’ and show the card on the face of the deck is the named card. 

  • 44th card

Spell ‘BERNARD’ and glide.

  • 43rd card

Spell ‘NEVE’ and then ‘BERNARD’, dealing each card into a second pile. At the end of this, the named card will be the second card down in the new pile. Hold the deck face down as you deal and slide each card out from the bottom and into the new pile. This will do the same thing—place the 10th card second from the top of the new pile.

Or you could do this, a method I suggest in Module 5 of Skyscraper:

“Spell from the face up, but as we near the final card, we turn the deck face down. Then we do the glide move, but rather than using it to reach the next card, we do it once the bottom card IS the named card. So in this case, as we spell ‘l’ we do the glide move and deal the card ABOVE the named card. Then we cleanly take the bottom card for ‘s.’

The reason? 

We could definitely play this as an effort on our part to create tension and suspense before revealing the card. You’ll have to figure out what works for you though. 

Alternatively, you could do the whole thing counting from the face up, but with the deck face down. So each time you deal a card looks the same as when you glide it—disguising the move.” 

  • 42nd card

Spell ‘NEVE’ and then ‘BERNARD’ to deal 11 cards—the last card of the deal being the named card.  

  • 41st card

Same as above, but glide.

OR: Spell ‘NEVE KAVANAGH’ and show the last card dealt is the named card. 

  • 40th card

Spell ‘NEVE KAVANAGH’ and show that the card on the face of the deck is the named card.

OR: Spell ‘NEVE M KAVANAGH’ and show that the last card dealt is the named card. 

  • 39th card

Same as above, but glide.

OR: Spell ‘NEVE M KAVANAGH’ and show that the card on the face of the deck is the named card.

  • 38th card

Spell ‘BERNARD KAVANAGH’ and show that the last card dealt is the named card. 

  • 37th card

Spell ‘BERNARD KAVANAGH’ and show that the card on the face of the deck is the named card.

OR: Spell ‘BERNARD S KAVANAGH’ and show that the last card dealt is the named card. 

  • 36th card

Spell ‘BERNARD KAVANAGH’ and double lift/glide.

OR: Spell ‘BERNARD S KAVANAGH’ to and show the next card on the deck/the face of the deck is the named card. 

  • 35th card

Spell ‘BERNARD S KAVANAGH’ and glide.

OR: Spell ‘NEVE MONICA KAVANAGH’ and show the last card dealt as the named card. 

  • 34th card

Spell ‘NEVE MONICA KAVANAGH’ and show the card on the face of the deck is named card. 

  • 33rd card

Spell ‘NEVE MONICA KAVANAGH’ and glide. 

  • 32nd card

Spell ‘BERNARD STEVEN KAVANAGH’ and the last card dealt is 21st card. 

  • 31st card

Same as above, but show that the card on the face of the deck is named card.

OR: Spell ‘NEVE AND BERNARD KAVANAGH’ and show the 22nd card 

  • 30th card

Same as above, but glide.

OR: Spell ‘NEVE AND BERNARD KAVANAGH’ and show the card on the face of the deck is the named card.

  • 29th card

Spell ‘NEVE AND BERNARD KAVANAGH’ and glide.

OR: Spell ‘NEVE M AND BERNARD S KAVANAGH’ and show the last card dealt is the named card.

  • 28th card

Spell ‘NEVE M AND BERNARD S KAVANAGH’ and the card on the face of the deck is the named card.

  • 27th card

Same as above, but glide for the reveal.

See how simple that is?

In ONE action (turning the deck face up) we double the reach of this effect—meaning that our spectator really can name ANY card, and this will work.

How to justify turning the deck face up?

I would start with the cards in the case. That way, you haven’t ‘locked in’ which side is facing where. Rather, you can have them name the card, and THEN remove the deck from the case, laying it on the table either face up or face down depending on what the situation requires.

Notice too that all of the various name combinations are exactly the same?

We don’t need to invent anything ‘extra’ for these—we just turn them on their head!

Key #3? Find out below…

 

(if you’re on mobile, give the file 5-10 seconds to load. 🙂 )

error: Content is protected