July 3rd, 2012 6:37pm
|It's hard being the self-proclaimed "expert" at something. In my case, it means I get to (read have to) review everything that comes in relating to the ACAAN plot. To be honest, I'm ready to give up my title. There are just too many versions...
Luckily Boris Wild's ACAAB is one of the better versions. First, I find some personal joy in the fact that it was released as a book. You really don't need video to learn the routine and, I would argue, some of the moves are going to turn out best if you're forced to use your imagination a bit rather that just mimicking the person on the screen.
The Birthday angle is clever. Yes, it limits the numbers to 31 choices, but it's so much more personal. If you want the full 52 choices, the method is basically the same and is taught as the "Absolute ACAAN."
Unlike most ACAAN routines, ACAAB was created to be a stand-up piece, though it can certainly be done close-up. You involve three random people from the audience. Larger audiences = larger paychecks.
This method certainly satisfies Boris's six criteria for a good ACCAN routine:
- No stooges
- The prediction deck is shown before any choices are made and remains out of play until the end
- The selection of the number is completely free
- The selection of the card is also completely free
- The dealing is performed by someone from the audience; the magician does not touch the deck
- The card is in the exact position named
I do have one, minor problem with the method. Keep in mind that I haven't spent months performing this, so I could be over-thinking the issue. Two decks are involved. One is shown early-on as the "prediction" deck (the case is marked as such). It stays "safe" inside one of your outside jacket pockets (yes, you do need to wear a jacket for this routine). Once the card is named, another deck comes out and the named card removed, with the deck going back into your inner jacket pocket.
I feel that the introduction of a second deck, solely for the purpose of pulling out the named card, isn't exactly logical. Why do we need to see the card after it's been named and noted on a business card? Shouldn't that be enough.
Clearly, the same thought has crossed Boris's mind. He has several tips for making the introduction of the second deck make sense. For one, you could simply perform another card effect or two prior to ACAAB and use the deck that's already in play. I think that's the option I would choose.
Overall, this is a really nice version of the ACAAN plot. Everything is well thought-out. While the method does require quite a few props, and a jacket, I think it's well worth the effort.
Product info for Any Card At Any Birthday (ACAAB)
Author: Wild, BorisPublisher: C.C. Editions - Frantz RejasseAverage Rating: (1)Retail Price: $29.00
The most exciting version of Any Card At Any Number from the ingenious mind of a FISM Award Winner!
A prediction deck is introduced before the effect starts and remains in the card case until the end. A first spectator freely names any number, whether it is his birthday or a number from 1 to 52. He can say any number. No restrictions. No force or equivoque. Totally free choice. A second spectator freely names any playing card from a deck of fifty-two. No restrictions. No force or equivoque. Totally free choice. A third spectator counts down to the named number by turning the cards face up. The card revealed in the position of the number freely named by the first spectator matches the card freely named by the second spectator. The performer does not touch the cards. He does not even open the card case. The spectator does everything. The card is always revealed at the exact named number.
- No stooges or even "instant stooges". No pre-show. No assistant required.
- No table needed. Can be performed anywhere: stage, stand up, close up and even walk around.
- No sleights. No memorized deck or mnemonic work. No formulas or sequences to remember. No mental calculations to learn. Can be performed by anybody.
- No rough and smooth. No sticky cards. No short cards. The cards can be freely handled by the spectator. They are normal as you use your own cards.
- Can be repeated as many times as you want with a different number and a different card each time. Resets in a few seconds.
: 52 - 8.5" x 6" - Hardcover - 47 photos