SINGAPORE RING 115 - Sep 2021 Magic Meeting Report

Written by John Teo

Entitled “Miracles Takes A Little Longer”, this was the virtual lecture given to us by Mark Elsdon through the Zoom platform on the evening of 15th September 2021. The attendance was 35 participants, excluding the lecturer Mark Elsdon.

Mark’s first effect was called “On The Mark”. A spectator named any card in a deck of playing cards, and this very card was found inside an envelope inside the performer’s wallet which was placed on the table right at the beginning of the performance. In this effect, we got to learn Mark’s way of performing the equivogue, which he called the straight line equivogue.

“21st Century Canasta” was Mark’s second effect. A spectator shuffled a deck of cards and then cut the deck. The card cut to was exactly the card found in Mark’s message to his friend in his mobile phone. In this trick, Mark taught us the technique and the proper use of the breather crimped card.

Mark placed a prediction card face down on the table. A spectator chose a card in a deck of cards, and then lost it in the deck. Mark stripped out every alternate cards and eliminated them. He continued doing this until one card is left. This card matched the prediction card exactly. This was Mark’s clever handling of the “Tantalizer” card trick. Mark explained further use of the breather card as a force.

“Tequila Hustler” was the next effect. A spectator hid his finger ring in either hand and assumed the role of a truth teller or a liar. Mark asked only 2 questions and he could tell which hand the ring was held in. Mark explained the clever and simple principle involved. By using a coin, the date of the coin could be revealed by the performer as an added climax.

At this point we all went for a short break.

After the break, Mark continued with another interesting version of the left hand/right hand plot.

Mark told an interesting story about his love for David Shrigley’s contemporary art and his meeting with the artist. Using a deck of cards depicting Shrigley’s art pieces, a spectator freely shuffled the cards and cut and found the 4 similar art pieces. This coincided with Mark’s tweet of a specific Shrigley’s art piece before the performance. This was merely a version of cutting to the 4 Aces dressed up with a very nice story-line. It showed the power of story-telling in magic.

We all know Mark as a creative inventor of magic. From his ideas notebook came this effect using a principle of creative thinking called “reversal”. A deck of cards had different numbers printed on its backs. A spectator freely chose a card depicting a number and then another card indicating his selected card. A prediction photograph of a spread deck of cards showed that the chosen card was the only face up card in the spread, and was at the same number of cards

from the top of the deck as his chosen number. A “reversed” svengali deck was used to accomplish this “reverse” ACAAN effect which he named “Uncaany”.

Mark final effect was his performance of “Out Of The World” involving the entire audience. It was a version of Paul Harris’ “Galaxy” in which members of the audience were able to separate a deck of cards exactly into “red” and “black” cards.

Due to the lack of time, Mark did not perform his go-to effect called “Limelight”. He described the effect to us and gave us a link to watch his video performance. It involved making a spectator the magician, much to the delight of the entire audience.

Mark offered several specially priced bundles of his effects which was valid only for this lecture.

In most lectures, we look forward to clever effects. In this lecture, in addition to good tricks, we got to learn important techniques and principles of performing effective magic and mentalism from the very experienced and creative Mark Elsdon.