The Road to Recovery #3

Have you ever had a spectator select a card, lose it in the deck, and realize that you lost it too? There are outs available for that situation, but they only work if you know about them... and, what if they don't work? Yeah, this was one of those situations.

The Trick

The intended effect of this trick was that the spectator and I both took half of the deck and shuffled our respective halves. Then, we swapped halves and shuffled our new ones. After shuffling, the spectator removed a single card from their half and put the remainder of cards onto my half. Then, I dribbled the entire deck from hand to hand and while the cards were dropping, the spectator shoved their card into the mess. All cards were squared up and handed back to the spectator for another shuffle. Even under these conditions, I was able to locate their selection!

The Reality

Spoiler alert: the trick makes use of the one-way back principle. Except, with the deck's faces. Did you know that with a standard deck of cards (USPCC, EPCC, LPCC, etc.), roughly half of the deck can be used with the one-way concept? For example, the Ace of Spades has a definitive "top" and "bottom". The Three of Clubs, two of the middle pips are oriented one direction and the other middle pip is the opposite. Etc. These can be used together to utilize the one-way principle, but with the faces. The "trick" is to have all of them oriented the same way and when the spectator is returning their card, make sure they are inserting it in the opposite way. Then, when you scan through the faces you just find the one that's facing the wrong way =]

Two friends were hanging out at my house and we were in-between games of pool when they saw a deck of cards and asked to see a trick. "Awesome!" is what I thought.

The problem is, when I performed this trick -- maybe my fifth time ever performing it -- the card was inserted the wrong way. Rather, it was inserted in the original direction... the same direction as all of the other cards. And I didn't notice. In fact, I thought everything was moving forward right-as-rain.

When I went to do the reveal, I scanned through the cards quickly and didn't see any reversed card. So I feigned difficulty, assuming I just went to fast and missed the card but wanted to try to make it look a little more mysterious and hard. The second time through though, nothing. Crap... the card is legitimately lost in the deck.

The Out

I didn't have a planned out for this routine because I didn't think I'd need one, it's fairly straightforward. However, I needed one =P

On my toes, I extended the "I'm having trouble finding your card" idea and figured I would just cull, palm, and produce from a pocket. I asked my friend what his card was.

He refused to tell me. Straight up said "no." Really?!

I laughed and said "Ah, you forgot the card! It's all good, it happens to the best of us. Mind if we try a different trick then?" and almost before I even finished speaking he jumped in to say "Oh I didn't forget it, but you're the magician. You should be able to find it no matter what!"

Ugh. He's the one that asked me to show him a trick and then turned all heckler on me. I ended it with "Sorry, part of the act was asking you for your card to help build up suspense" -- all the while I top-palmed a card and 'pulled' it from my back pocket, never revealing the face, and inserted it into the middle of the deck -- "it kind of loses the big element of surprise when you don't participate too" and put the deck back in the case and we continued on with the next game of pool.

In Hindsight

In hindsight, I should have had better control over the card and not have lost it. That's a no-brainer. However, the fact is that I did. So, what about the out?

I still think that I had a good idea for the out, and though unfortunate I think I ended things smoothly overall. Ideally, I would have really produced his card but I think I still left a little bit of mystery by "pulling a card out of my pocket" -- was it really his card? He'll never know!

I've been racking my brain over alternative outs, or ways I could've fished for his card, but it was likely a lost cause in this specific case.

What would you have done?

Do you have any fun, scary, or just plain sad experiences with tricks going sideways? How did you get out of it? Or, how did you end it abruptly?

I'd love to know, and hey, maybe I can help share it here too! Let me know <3

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