Review: The Count by Alex Pandrea

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_custom_heading text=”Reviewer: Enrico Varella”][vc_column_text]The low-down: ACAAN done in spectator’s hand. It works, as it is almost self-working.

As Alex Pandrea states, this is the Stop Trick, simplified with a well-known card principle/gimmick. I was familiar with this hands-off approach after studying the Infinity Principle by the late-Martin Nash (a.k.a. ‘The Charming Cheat’), an excellent card worker. Johnny Thompson demonstrated this principle in a private session with Nique Tan and I.

This is a simplified approach to the popular plot of Any Card At Any Number. A spectator deals cards onto the table, stops at any random card, remembers it, and buries it in the deck. The spectator cuts the deck, and you then announce the position of the card in the deck. With each performance, you can ‘place’ the card at any number. The ‘pre-work’ is easy. You can count on it!

Caveat: On occasions,  ‘Count’ may not always be under the complete control of the spectator. There are situations when/where you either influence the range of numbers, or do minor adjustments. However, you need not be skillful with cards to do that (and it is taught). You can perform this effect in a minute, and once you have prepared the gimmick, it will last for as long as it in the deck.

If you are already using a Mem-Deck, then this method is redundant. Asi Wind’s version of ACAAN is, probably, one of the best available that meets the purity of the original plot. If you are new to the ACAAN plot, then ‘Count’ may be your go-to, impromptu, version that you can rely on.

The low-point: Magicians may be disappointed with the simplicity of method, and expect more from the skillful Pandrea. Having said that, it is, after all, the Stop Trick. I would use ‘Count’ if I have a shuffled, borrowed, deck.

Please support intellectual property. Only buy original. Available from all reputable Murphy’s Magic dealers.


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Ning Cai is a Singapore Literature Prize nominated author, who was also long listed for the Epigram Books Fiction Prize in 2016. A bestselling writer, she is also recognised for her illusionist/ escapologist stage character Magic Babe Ning, and recognised by Channel News Asia as South East Asia's first professional female magician.

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