If you’re anything like me then you have cupboards full of magic stuff that you don’t regularly use. I think it was David Devant who, when asked how many tricks he knew, said about 6 [you can all comment and tell me who actually said it and what they actually said later – I can’t be bothered to look it up at the moment!]. And there’s a lot in that. In terms of actual, working repertoire – effects I perform regularly (and professionally) there are probably only half a dozen or so. But I have bucketloads of stuff that I might just come back to one day.
And that’s what this occasional series is about. Re-visiting some of those things you had completely forgotten about – and hoping to unearth some gems.
So I’ll kick it off with an almost literal blast. Last week I needed to perform something out of my ordinary set and whilst rumaging around I re-discovered the Smiling Assassin – an effect put out by Meir Yedid years ago and now available on Bicycle cards (still with the smiling back design – but now on nice air cushion Bicycle stock).
The effect is simple – a card is selected from the deck of a bright yellow deck of cards with a smiley face back design. The spectator then fires a toy gun at the deck and the chosen card is found to no longer be smiling and to have a gun-shot whole in it! Simple and direct.
To take you on an even older blast from the past – one of my first ‘pro’ card tricks – given to me by an older magician when I was still a boy – was called (if I recall correctly) Sharpshooter – and had the same effect – thought without the smiling back design – and using a different method. The Smiling Assassin is in some ways cleaner and the back design certainly makes for a pleasing visual – and gives scope for a variety of presentation options.
It is very easy to do, and with a little bit of effort put into presenting it, seems to go down very well with a lay audience. It comes with four different ‘victim’ cards allowing you to have different selection if you used it in a walkaround setting (with only minor reset). In fact I almost performed a variation on the basic effect with two spectators and selections and assassinations – which should be an obvious variation if you think about it. And if you really can’t work it out, buy the Forces Project (you can read our review here) to learn how – and lots of other useful things!
Which is quite a rambling way of saying I was quite pleased to re-discover this. Easy to do and an entertaining little effect. If you haven’t already got it you might like to consider it. £20.50 at the time of writing at MagicShop.co.uk.
Let us know if you have any blasts from the past you’d like to remind us about!