Chicken and Egg
By Luke Jermay - Saturday, January 16, 2021
In my experience creating good magic puts the chicken before the egg. Meaning, it's wise to start with the desired effect in mind, rather than starting with a clever method and then looking for some effect that it can accomplish. I confess there are exceptions to this rule, occasionally a method intuitively leads to an excellent application that points toward a worthwhile effect. However, most often the chicken is best placed before the egg.
In this example, the chicken is yet to hatch, making this an atypical blog post. There is no effect here. I instead will share an interesting technique, that sadly I have no interesting or worthy effect to utilise within. I hope that by sharing it, you might suggest a use in a worthy effect bringing its orphanage to an end.
This technique allows the performer to take an unprepared shuffled deck and openly remove all of one suit, which would then be used for some logical reason. Surprisingly, this action of spreading through the deck once, up jogging all of one suit and removing them, allows the performer to secretly organise all the other cards into separate suits. At the conclusion of the technique the performer has openly removed one of all suits, and secretly placed all the remaining cards into the three remaining suits.
To see what the technique looks like watch the video below, but please keep in mind that I am woefully out of practice and at this point in my work I do not handle cards as well as the majority of those reading this blog. I so rarely use cards in my professional work so am somewhat rusty with those things that are not in regular use.
To achieve this technique you will combine The Prayer Cull with an Under Spread cull. This means that you are able to cull two groups of cards, while keeping them separated. Begin with the shuffled deck ready to spread, up jog the first card of the alternative colour to the card that is one the face of the deck. Now, each time you come to a card of matching colour to this but of the opposite suit, execute a Prayer Cull sending it to the bottom of the packet that is now secretly riding beneath the spread. Each time you come to a card of matching colour but opposite suit to the face card execute an Under Spread Cull, secretly sending this card beneath the other culled packet all riding beneath the spread. This is executed as you openly up jog all of the cards in the matching suit.
If at any point you find yourself confused about which cards are to be culled using which method, thanks to the earlier organisation the answer is in front of you in your hands. Simply look at the cards that are up-jogged to remember you are culling the opposite of these using the Prayer Cull method. Simply look at the visible cards in the spread that are not up jogged to remember that you are culling those of the opposite suit using the Under Spread cull. This can be useful if you wish to stop the spread and make a comment or interact with someone, as this can throw you off and distract you. By always using this rule, you are always able to reorientate yourself if you become confused.
This means that you are secretly separating two suits beneath the spread, while openly separating two during the spread, under the open action of removing one suit. Essentially you get one of the suits for free, as when you remove the up jogged cards, what is left behind is the remaining cards to one suit, with the other two suits secretly separated thanks to the combination of culling techniques at work.
It is somewhat surprising that so much can be achieved in one spread. Now the question is, what effect might this technique unlock that is worthy of performance? The answer might, sadly be, none. In which case it becomes one more interesting technique to play with, but not use in performance. However, maybe you are the one that will bring this to life with an effect that is worth the attention of those you perform for. Please make your suggestions in the comments! I would love to see this chicken hatch!
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