Five Things to Know About Machinations

By Ben Harris - Wednesday, November 20, 2019


I'm blown away with the team at Vanishing Inc. They've produced my new book with class, AND agreed to include a full set of custom printed and die-cut performance cards with the package. Thanks guys.

Here are five things I'd like to tell you about my new book, Machinations.

1. COMPLETELY NEW METHODS AND STRATEGIES
The most exciting aspect of Machinations is that it offers new takes with Robert E. Neale's famous Trapdoor Card (1983). You may already know the original, or one of the variations: Stargate (Terri Rogers, 1985), Parallax (David Britland, 1986), and the popular dollar bill version called Wonderland Dollar (Nick Brown, 2002).

The material in Machinations is radically different from the "classic" renditions above, all which feature the front and back transposing through the hole in the card. With Machinations we move into fresh territory. This begins with the discovery that the card can be inverted 180 degrees while firmly restrained by the spectator. By adding graphics (and further subtleties), a whole new range of effects become possible.

Furthermore, this is the first body of work to explore (and provide complete handlings for) routines using multiple Trapdoor cards, and also, single Trapdoor cards with multiple doors!

2. SOLID, REAL-WORLD PERFORMANCE MATERIAL
Variety is abundant. From merely puzzling transpositions of the hole at the side of the door, all the way through to mind-breakers where time, space and logic are challenged. Your audience participants will feel astonishment as Houdini escapes from chains while being held by them, and marvel as they are transported ten light-years in ten seconds as a two-dimensional plane is warped in spacetime. They will enter safes and retrieve the money, discover pirate treasure and make off with the gold, and so very much more!

3. EASY TO PERFORM
None of the effects in Machinations require any skill beyond that of presentation. The Trapdoor card architecture — combined with the new approaches and clever graphics — make a whole range of fresh effects possible. Be prepared to entertain with little more than a slip of paper in your pocket and deliver strong magic with no sleight-of-hand or tricky moves — magic that will baffle and be talked about long after you are off to your next gig.

4. PERFORMANCE CARDS
The performance cards (each 180mm X 100mm) are printed in full colour on the perfect card stock. They are factory die-cut and scored, ready for immediate performance. The cards handle with the greatest of ease, almost performing by themselves.

In addition to the beautifully produced hard cover book, you receive practice cards and the following printed cards:

  • Unhinged
  • Relativity
  • UpSide
  • Treasure Trove
  • Safe Cracker
  • SpaceTime
  • Slice Of Time
  • Red & Yellow Hoops
  • Houdini's Escape (Portrait)
  • Houdini's Escape (Chains)
  • UpStream
  • Wishing Paper

5. BONUS: ROBERT E. NEALE MATERIAL
It was gratifying to receive Robert's blessing and excited response to the new material in Machinations. Robert has written a lovely Foreword (with some great ideas included) and contributed a a Bonus effect!


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