My Favorite Card Tricks: Brad Henderson
By Alex Robertson - Thursday, March 5, 2020
We asked some of magic's greatest minds to share with us their favorite card tricks. This week is the turn of Brad Henderson. You may know him from his best selling book, The Dance. Over to Brad:
What three card tricks do I perform the most?
Well, part of that depends on the circumstance. In formal performance settings, my most often performed effects are Play It Straight Triumph, The Birthday Diary , and a standup routine I created called Hoyesque. Play It Straight is an amazing trick which establishes credibility as a sleight of hand expert while allowing one the freedom and confidence to be completely focused on the audience and conditions of performance. It’s a perfect opener for my goals. I use a variation on the Eric Mason Diary. The routine benefits from focus so I prefer to present it in formal as opposed to strolling settings. Hoyesque is a multiphase routine that serves as my opener to my mind reading show and adds a great bit of variety to a magic performance as well.
In casual and strolling settings I have different “go to” card tricks. The trick I almost always use if someone asks to see one is a super clean, in their hands, card change based on ideas from Tamariz and Expert Card Technique. My goal was to create a perfect opener that the toughest of audience members could scrutinize and burn. I’ve recently added a fun kicker to it that may end up being the MOST performed card thing I do. It doesn’t have a name. I should give it one.
Recently, I started rethinking the Red Hot Momma/Chicago Opener plot and for the past 6 months or so it has become my most often performed piece. I never liked the pseudo-failure moment of the trick and set out to solve that and several other little problems I had with the standard handlings. I love my new koan-like opening line/premise and the fact it can be performed with and without a table. I call it “The Magic Surprise.”
Now, like most magicians, I find myself often performing classics such as Triumph and the Ambitious Card; though if the vibe is right, I have a piece called “HypnoBox” that I like to do. It’s a pseudo-hypnosis stunt with undertones of Derren Brownesque false methodologies.
Now, if you ask me what my three FAVORITE card tricks to perform . . . . but we can save that for another time.
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