Friday, September 07, 2018

The Fifth Coincidence

Two and a half years ago I published Engel’s QuadrupleCoincidence on this blog, an epic You Do As I Do trick that really does baffle. Earlier this year Laura London, who has been doing the trick quite a lot since we discussed it at The Session convention, suggested that there might be room in the trick for a fifth coincidence. Having performed it regularly she realised that there was an extra beat to be had, perhaps two cards could be selected and pocketed and revealed to match at the end of the trick. I suggested the following handling.

Let’s assume you are using a red deck and a blue deck. From the red deck take out one card, let’s say the Queen of Clubs, and place it in your pocket.

The Queen of Clubs in the blue deck should be marked on the back so that you can easily find it if the cards are spread face-down across the table.

You’re now ready to perform the trick, which is done at a table or bar. Begin by having both decks shuffled. You shuffle the red deck but glimpse the bottom card before placing it face-down on the table. The spectator shuffles the blue deck.

You take the blue deck and spread it face-down on the table in front of you. The spectators follow along, spreading the red deck face-down in front of him.

You move your hand along the blue deck and push out the marked Queen of Clubs towards the centre of the table. You invite the spectator to push a card from his red deck to the centre of the table until it is alongside yours.

You gather up the blue deck and place it aside. The spectator does the same with the red deck.

Now you pick up the red backed card from the centre of the table (the indifferent card) and put it in the same pocket where you have the Queen of Clubs. The spectator picks up the blue backed card, the marked Queen of Clubs, and without looking at it, places it in his pocket.

If you have to, you can say, ‘You take care of my card and I’ll take care of yours.’ But I wouldn’t. This is a You Do As I Do trick and your theme should be that the spectator follows along and does exactly what you do. You move first. He moves second. I’ve seen video of Akira Fujii doing a totally silent presentation of You Do As I Do and it is very effective. It might be worth figuring out how to do it with Engel’s Quadruple Coincidence. However, I digress.

From this point on you can segue into Engel’s Quadruple Coincidence as described in the earlier blog post. You’ll find that here. The spectator selects his card from the red deck, the bottom card of which you already know.

Four coincidences later, when you reach the end of the routine, you raise your hand, show it empty, then slowly reach into your pocket. The spectator does the same, reaching into his pocket. Together you pull the cards from your pockets. You turn the card around, so does the spectator. Both cards are the Queen of Clubs.

NOTES: The Queen of Clubs can be marked in any way that enables you to find it. Instead of a mark on the back you can use a short card or Will de Seive style embossed card (Greater Magic – Two New Locator Cards) so that you cut to it rather than push it from the spread.

Make a mental note of the card that you place in your pocket from the spectator’s red deck. This card is now effectively out of play. You might need to make an adjustment if its mate turns up in one of the key coincidence positions later on.

I'm not entirely sure who came up with the You Do As I Do plot. There is a chapter devoted to the plot in The Encyclopedia of Self Working Card Tricks. (1936) And the first item in that chapter is called A Peculiar Coincidence. There's a trick by that name in Burling Hull's 1932 Clever Card Collection. Same plot and method but a fuller description. Several other tricks from that manuscript appear in Encyclopedia of Self Working Card Tricks (later reprinted under Jean Hugard's name as Encyclopedia of Card Tricks) so I think we can be fairly sure this is where Glen Gravatt, the anonymous author at that time, got the trick from.

Johnny Thompson has now revealed his own much anticipated handling for Engel’s Quadruple Coincidence and you’ll find it in the recently published The Magic of Johnny Thompson. This is a wonderful book and it also contains Johnny’s handling of a version of the Koran Deck, The Pump Deck. Johnny performed The Pump Deck routine at this year’s The Session convention and for me it is one of the magical highlights of the year.

You can get The Magic of Johnny Thompson here.

The Session convention takes place in London on January 11th – 13th 2019 and can be booked here.

I've written previously about my fondness for The Encyclopedia of Card Tricks here