Bruce Bernstein: Over the years I have worked on and developed many versions of the classic effect, OUT OF THIS WORLD. In fact, the first effect I ever released was called "Couples" — a version of OOTW that, at the time, Paul Curry stated was the best variation of his original that he had seen, and offered to market it for me! It was a most encouraging start to what has become a most interesting field of endeavor.
Now, these many years later, I’ve finally developed an extremely straightforward, hands-off, two-phase routine that utilizes deeply layered methods, befitting this classic effect of mentalism. Watching the impact it has on both laymen and magicians/mentalists alike has convinced me it’s one of the most powerfully direct and clean presentations available.
What follows is the exact description of the routine. It is not a cleaned up, edited, version of what actually happens. This is not just one out of several ways of presenting the effect. There are no multiple outs or double realities. This is exactly what happens!
PHASE 1: You propose an experiment in which your ability to affect an audience member’s choices will be put to the test. She is handed a small pack of playing cards and asked to deal them into two fairly equal piles. But not just at random — she is to follow her intuition as she does so, and deal cards to either pile as her feelings dictate.
After the cards are dealt, you state that you handed her exactly twenty cards — ten red and ten black. You pick up one of the piles and count out loud the number of cards in it, one at a time, as you deal them onto the table. There are precisely ten cards!
Then you simultaneously turn over the top card of each pile, showing that there was a red card on top of one pile and a black card on top of the other pile. This is repeated a few more times, and again it is seen that one of the piles contains only red cards, and the other only black cards.
Commenting that, “I think you see where this is going,” you “cut to the chase” by picking up the remaining cards and turning them over en masse, showing that all of the cards were sorted correctly by the spectator!
(It’s truly that clean and direct. If you wish, you can literally perform this in under a minute and its impact is beyond belief. Also, consider that at no time do you touch the cards during the spectator’s sorting process or give any instructions as she deals the cards. I sincerely feel this is as direct and clean as OOTW can be. But wait—there’s more.)
PHASE 2: You remove another playing card from your pocket, and it is seen to be an Ace of Spades. “What color is this card?” Of course, the spectator says, “Black.” You continue, “Well, I’m going to try and influence you to think it’s a red card.”
You insert the Ace of Spades into the group of cards and shuffle them. You square up the cards, turn them face down, and hand them to your assistant. She is then to deal the cards into two fairly equal piles, as the first time. (by the way, if you’re “thinking method” as you read the effect, consider that you could actually turn your back as she deals the cards!)
After she is done dealing the cards, you ask her, “Which pile do you think you dealt the black cards into?” You pick up the pile she indicated, and smile in a way that indicates she is correct. As you mention that you attempted to influence her to deal just black cards to this pile, like last time, you turn over one card, then another, then another, etc., from the top of that pile and they are all seen to indeed be black cards.
You then pick up the pile on the table and place it with the remaining cards still in your hand. Continuing the same motion, you turn the combined packet face up and place it on the black cards you already dealt. You continue, “But, as you’ll see, it’s the red cards that are now the most interesting,” as you then ribbon spread all of the cards to show a solid bank of nine black cards and the Ace of Spades residing in the middle of the group of all red cards! “You see — you must have thought the Ace of Spades was indeed a red card!”
“Elegant. The trick of the year.” Barrie Richardson
"This is about as clean and fast an "Out of this World" effect as you can get. It's 16 pages of unmitigated sneakiness and I highly recommend it to one and all." Bob Farmer
"In Bernstein's "Separation Anxiety," you will find about the cleanest answer to Paul Curry's "Out of This World" to date." Alain Nu