Review: Euphoria by Adrian Guerra and Vernet

Euphoria is an application of Mnemonica, the memorised deck system created by Juan Tamariz.  It not only gives you various effects using Mnemonica, it is actually 2 complete acts of card magic: one for close-up and one for stand-up performances.

The creator and performer is Adrian Guerra, an ardent student of Juan Tamariz.  Adrian Guerra won the first prize in Card Magic at FISM in Yokohama, Japan, in 1994.

His stand-up card magic act is suitable for an audience of 20 to 200 people.  It is what magic should be if a performer were really able to control a deck of playing cards.  It comprises 6 phases, each one seemingly stronger than the previous, and cumulating to a standing ovation ending:

  • Instant Catch – a spectator names any of the 52 cards and that particular card shoots out from a deck of cards.
  • Named Card From Pocket – the entire deck is now placed in the performer’s pocket.  Another spectator names any other card.  By sense of touch alone, the performer is able to bring that particular card out from his pocket.
  • Stop Trick In The Pocket – still with the deck in his pocket, another spectator names a different card.  The performer takes out cards, one at a time, from his pocket.  Someone calls “stop!” and the card in his hand at that point is truly the selected card.
  • 2 Cards From Pockets – the deck is taken out of his pocket and 2 spectators select a card each.  The deck is divided into 2 halves, and each spectator shuffles their chosen card into each half-deck.  The 2 halves are placed into separate pockets of the performer.  In an instant, he is able to bring out both chosen cards from each pocket.
  • Impossible ACAAN – the 2 halves are reassembled to form a complete deck.  Someone names a card, and another person names a number between 1 and 52.  Without further touching the deck, a spectator takes the deck, counts down to the number, and finds the named card there.
  • Miracle In The Air – the deck is now thoroughly shuffled.  The performer throws the deck into the air, reaches into the cascading cards and catches 6 cards – not any 6 cards, but the very 6 cards that were randomly chosen by the various spectators throughout the act!

Adrian’s close-up card act is equally awesome.  His objective is to use an ordinary deck of cards (even a borrowed deck), and to secretly set it to the Mnemonica system by the time he finishes his third effect with the deck.  And thereafter to perform tricks that make use of the special properties of the Mnemonica system.  This comprises 7 phases and builds to a climatic ending:

  • Triumph – although it is the usual card effect where the entire deck is shuffled with some cards face up and some cards face down, it actually divides the deck into the 2 halves of the Mnemonica system.
  • Thermomagic – another triumph-type magic where a card is selected from the face up cards and lost into the face down cards, yet the performer is able to find it.
  • Obedient Cards – this is a memory-type effect where the performer is able to recall all the cards from a bunch of random cards given to one spectator and also from another bunch given to another spectator.  At the end of this phase, the entire deck is set in the Mnemonica system.
  • The Mirage – any card called for is produced from the deck in the performer’s pocket.  Here you get to learn an important impromptu pocket card index.
  • Total Coincidence – the deck is dealt into 2 piles to show how difficult it is to obtain mating cards.  Suddenly a pair of black aces appear.  From then onwards, the entire deck is magically sorted out into 26 pairs of matching cards!
  • Four Of A Kind – a card is selected and the deck is divided into 4 piles.  Each pile is able to capture the other cards that make up the 4 of a kind.
  • Everything In Order – any of the 4 suits is called out, and the performer is able to deal to all the cards in this suit, and in order.  As a finale, the entire deck is turned over to reveal that it is also sorted into the other 3 suits as well, in order!

You receive a DVD which contains live performances of Adrian Guerra.  It also contains an interview with Adrian where he discusses the use of humour in magic, among other topics.  He mentions his impromptu pocket card index which also enables you to perform the invisible deck effect without using the gimmicked deck.

Learning the Mnemonica is not easy, but viewing this DVD certainly inspires anyone to master Mnemonica.

Magic is our passion but we are not a magic shop ? You can purchase this here!

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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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