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At The Table Live Lecture – Darwin Ortiz

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Darwin Ortiz
Available from your favourite Murphy’s Magic supplier, dealers contact www.murphysmagic.com/atthetable
Price: $24.99

Some of my most prized possessions in magic are my collection of Darwin Ortiz books. In them is some of the finest card magic you can possibly learn, and I have only just scratched the surface of them. On the 3rd September 2014, running at 3 hours and 3 minutes, Murphy’s At The Table Live Lecture featured Darwin Ortiz showing a selection of card effects from his back catalogue of books.

The lecture started with two spectators being invited to join Darwin at the table where he then went on to perform 6 excellent card effects.

Here’s a run down of the effects performed:

Fast Company: This is Darwin’s 2 phase Triumph routine which ends with his interpretation of John Bannon’s Play it Straight. What’s particularly nice about this routine if that it plays as two separate effects but the first phase automatically sets you up for the second phase so there is no way the spectators can backtrack to try and figure it out. It’s not the easiest of tricks to learn as there is a lot to remember (in the shuffling sequences), but it’s worth the time and effort.

Jacks or Better: This starts off as a basic dealing demonstration showing how to deal, seconds, thirds, fourths and even fifths. Next Darwin shows how this could be useful in a card game. Placing the four Jacks on top of the deck, he says that in order to deal all four Jacks to himself in a 2 handed game of Poker he would need to deal first deal a 5th, then a 4th…and so on. He deals for cards alternatively only to find that his opponent has the four Jacks…..when he turns his four cards over he has the four Aces. Providing you had do a decent second deal then this is a fairly easy trick to so. The kicker is a nice touch at the end.

Hard Target: Unfortunately, during the live performance, this trick went completely wrong. It was a good example though that even the greats can mess up a trick. Two selected cards were lost and found trapped between the two red Jacks in two different ways. before then explanation, Darwin peformed the effect again, this time it worked perfectly. Again not the easiest of tricks to do. You will need to be able to split the deck exactly in the centre and perform a perfect Faro Shuffle in order to perform this. The trick utilises a Simon Aronson principle to great effect.

New Back Off: This was Darwin’s version of the classic All Backs effect. Using only 5 cards, they are shown to be misprinted with a back design on both sides. One by one they turn into the four Threes. What I like about this version is that you end clean, and in fact Darwin gives away the four cards at the end of the routine. Only basic sleights are needed so this should be achievable to most with basic card knowledge.

Card Sense: Utilising his memorised deck system, Darwin demonstrates how he can simply sense what each card cut to is just by passing his hand over it. This is a brilliant use of a memorised deck. If you do know a memorised stack then this is definitely worth checking out.

Appointment With Samarra: Based upon Guy Hollingworth’s Cassandra trick this story based effect ends with the Ace of Spades being chosen by a spectator even though it was placed into a sealed and signed envelope at the start of the routine. There is to some great thinking in this routine and it’s not that hard to do either. Again, as with most of Darwin’s effects you end clean with a regular deck of cards.

As with all of the At The Table lectures, questions were thrown at Darwin throughout the course of the 3 hours. It is clear to see that he really does love the theory of magic and offered some excellent advice not only for card magic but performing in general. These small touches really do make all the different between a good and a bad performer. He also touched on how to practise properly and how to get the most out of it.

Also shown were Darwin’s handling of the Strip Out shuffle and the Block Transfer. Solid advice for anyone wanting to learn this false shuffle.

To finish the lecture he performed a trick from his latest book ‘Lessons in Card Mastery’ called Doppelganger. This is a Cards to Pocket effect where you race against a spectator (host Mike Hankin in this instance) to place the four Aces in four different pockets. Naturally the magician wins! Unfortunately due to time restrictions there was no explanation for this but it’s one I’ll be checking out in the book soon, for sure.

Whether you want to learn some amazing card effects, or just like to watch a master card magician at work then I recommend checking out this lecture. It is worth the asking price for the theory discussed alone!