Close-up Illusion by Larry Jennings
Just thinking about this effect brings back the most wonderful memory for me, because I got to see Larry Jennings himself cause those cards to melt through each other. What an incredible privilege that was, for a young magician from West Virginia, to spend time with some of the true legendary men in magic. I apologize for digressing, but my mind has anchored all of these classic effects to the legendary magicians I learned them from.
Anyway, getting back to the effect… Using only 3 cards and no funny moves at all, you can create the living experience of watching trick photography close up. Larry would feature this as his testament to the challenge of producing a truly marvelous effect while using the most simple props and procedures.
Play it Straight Triumph by John Bannon
John Bannon should have his bust in the Card Magic Hall of Fame, just for creating Play it Straight Triumph. He’s created many, many other effects, from many genres of magic, but this is a personal favorite because there is such an elegant beauty to everything about it.
For example, the ‘magician in trouble’ is one of our most compelling presentational hooks, and the best versions of this are those where you seem to dig yourself deeper and deeper into a hole without knowing it. Also, the longer the audience knows you are screwed before YOU know you are screwed, the more they love it.
In Play it Straight Triumph, the audience realizes right away you’ve forgotten to return their selection to the deck, even as you go into a complex face-up/face-down shuffling of the deck, over and over again. Finally, after committing every card in the deck to this very involved, very unconventional shuffling process, you realize you’ve forgotten to do the very first, most important thing, which was that the selection itself was supposed to be lost in that process!
Not only do you somehow redeem yourself, but you do so in the most amazing, surprising process you can imagine!
Originally from "Easy to Master Card Miracles Vol. 6" DVD.