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You are entering a card trick-free zone

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Chris Smith gives Cleverboy some pointers on Smith’s latest illusion, Twilite. It’s a tiny light bulb that lights up and floats.

Given how many thousands of hours I’ve spent practicing and performing card tricks, I probably don’t have the right to say, “I hate card tricks.”

But I do say it, and I do mean it.

So call me a masochist or call me a hypocrite…just don’t call me a “master of cards.”

My dislike of card magic is part of the reason I’m such a big fan of local illusion designer Chris “MagicSmith” Smith. The guy creates magic that uses fire, light bulbs, pencils, plastic bags, and knives.

“I go for dramatic impact,” Smith tells me. “I like the ones that hit ‘em between the eyes—visual stuff. Most people have very limited attention spans, so I go for tricks that strike at a visceral level. I like stuff that explodes, stuff that catches on fire, stuff that lights up, stuff that flies—tricks that don’t even require talking.”

Smith’s onto something here—and you know what I’m taking about if you’ve ever heard a magician say, “Next, we’re going to split the cards into three piles, and then we’re going to turn over the top cards of each pile, and then we’re going to add the totals of those three cards together. Then we’ll take the sum and subtract it number from the number you wrote on the envelope!”

Yes, I’m guilty of performing convoluted card tricks like that…but I’ve resolved to cut down on ‘em. I’ve resolved to perform shorter, more visual illusions, like those of Smith.

After all, if I really did have magical powers, I wouldn’t be messing with playing cards. Think about it: Did you ever see Harrry Potter do a card trick?

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Rick Lax

Rick wrote the books Fool Me Once: Hustlers, Hookers, Headliners, and How Not to Get Screwed in Vegas and Lawyer ...

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