The Thriller of Magic’s Best Card Trick

2021-05-23 12:30:07

Forty. Forty-one. Forty-two. I turned over the forty third card.

It was the seven of diamonds. I stared at it, each gobsmacked and baffled. Gobsmacked as a result of it appeared wildly inconceivable that he’d come so shut. Baffled as a result of it wasn’t spot on.

“One off,” Mr. Berglas stated, evenly.

He didn’t attempt to promote 43 as a triumph. Quite the opposite, he stated that in lectures to magicians he has at all times advised his viewers that one off isn’t shut sufficient.

I left his home in a muddle, and I’ve returned to that muddle each time I consider this efficiency. Off by one appears, on some stage, extra perplexing than nailing it. Off by one implies that there’s nothing automated about this ACAAN, that it isn’t a contraption that merely works when deployed. It’s extra like archery, which requires follow and focus and may finish with one thing apart from a bull’s-eye.

I ran these concepts by Aaron Fisher, a extremely regarded American magician who did a commentary in July on his YouTube channel of an previous dwell present by Mr. Berglas. Mr. Fisher stated he didn’t know what to make of 43 both. However he famous that Mr. Berglas just isn’t famend for dazzling sleight of hand.

“He messes with minds,” Mr. Fisher stated, “not decks.”

None of this resolved the stooge query. Mr. Berglas could have various totally different strategies, relying on the circumstances. “He by no means is aware of what he’s going to do earlier than he does it,” Richard Kaufman writes in “The Berglas Results” — notice the plural — a prolonged ebook for magicians that explains each card trick within the Berglas canon, with one very notable exception.

The ebook means that Mr. Berglas is nothing if not a masterful improviser and a born gambler. What looks as if a cohesive efficiency is definitely a high-wire show of spontaneity with a heavy overlay of psychological manipulation. In hindsight, it appears possible that his anger was a part of the present, a framing machine. “I don’t have to show myself” is only a totally different, extra contentious model of “You’ll always remember what will occur subsequent.”

When you’ve been advised {that a} demonstration is “out of the query,” you’re prepared to depart empty-handed. In comparison with nothing, off by one isn’t simply thrillingly shut. It’s wonderful.

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