Thursday, July 14, 2005

Simple Design Duplication

So, here is a very simple design duplication effect that I have been using lately. I am sure it is in print somewhere because it is one of those things that is so simple someone else must have thought of it. That being said, this is something I came up with independantly so I apologize for not citing a proper source.

What you will need:
  • Index cards - about 15-20
  • One regular envelope
  • two notebooks or sheets of paper to draw on
  • two pens

Here is the very simple set-up: Take the index cards and write down simple objects (e.g. bicycle, house, car, etc...) or you can do what I do and use the ODDS cards sold by Richard Osterlind from his design duplication effect.

Now pick one of the cardsthat you want to force on the spectator and keep that card away from the rest of them.

Have the stack of cards in one pocket and the envelope with the force card underneath it in another pocket. Pull out the stack of cards and show them to the spectator. Hand them to the spectator and have them shuffle the cards up. As they are shuffling, take out the envelope and place it on the table with the force card underneath it - so that the spectators do not see the card.

Now have the spectator table the cards and start dealing the cards into a second pile. Tell them to stop whenever they would like. When they stop ask them to check the time on their watch. As they are disctracted by looking at their watch place the envelope and card on top of the cards the spectator just dealt. When they are done looking at the watch, tell them to take the envelope and write the date and time on that envelope and then have them sign the envelope.

Now have them take the last card they dealt in the second pile (which is really the force card you just placed onto the pile with the envelope unbeknownst to the specator.). Tell them to remember whatever is written on that card and to seal it in the envelope. Then have them give the envelope to someone else to hold. Remember - so far, you have not touched anything except to give the envelope to the specator. This seems incredibly fair.

Now give a notebook and pen to the specator and take one for yourself. Tell him that on the count of three you will both begin to draw a picture. Tell the specator he is to draw whatever it was that he sealed in the envelope and you will draw whatever comes to your mind. Count to three and start drawing. Compare drawings to see that they are the same thing!

Well, that is just a little something I've been working on. It is still a bit rough but so far it is working well. If you try this, let me know how it works for you!


Anonymous Ray Valenzuela said...

I googled "Design Duplication" and your blog was the first search result. Your idea is so ingeniously simple,, it is bound to fly by the keenest of observers. Of course, this all depends on a very natural presentation.

Thanks for this gem!

6:33 PM  
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