What Seems to Happen
The magician asks two spectators to join him (call them ONE and TWO). He brings out a deck of cards, and shows that they are all different (they are). He hands the deck to TWO, asking him to check thorougly to ensure that the cards are not marked in any way. If performing before magicians, he can also ask TWO to ascertain the deck has no crimps, short, thick or long cards,or any other irregularities. He asks TWO to shuffle the deck to his heart's content.
The cards are spread out. The magician now turns around so that he can see none of the action. He then asks ONE to pick out one card and one card only, remember it, and return it anywhere he wishes to the deck which TWO is holding. Again, TWO is asked to shuffle the cards as much as he wants.
Only now does the magician turn around and ask for the deck. He spreads through it, removes one card and hands it face down to ONE. For the first time, ONE is asked to name it. ONE is then asked to hold up the card the magician gave him: it is the selection.
The spectators are not confederates in any way. The effect is exactly as described: truly an impossible location.
The effect uses no sleight of hand. Use your own deck.
Truly impossible locations of selected cards, under test challenge conditions, are the stuff of legends. They are the trick you perform once at a magic club meeting, and then let the boys stew for a few years.
Unlike spectators drawn from the laity, the magicians remember the important details. In this effect the important details are:
The deck was not marked.
There were no crimps, short cards, long cards, thick cards, slick cards, edge-nicked or otherwise marked cards, daub, or other key cards.
Magicians will have noted that the deck did not have a one-way back.
The spectator shuffled the cards before and after the selection.
The magician's back was turned (and truly the magician did not see a thing) during the critical moments, namely the selection of the card, and its return to the deck.
The magicians will have suspected a confederate but eventually will have come to believe the truth: the assisting spectators were just as badly fooled and there were no confederates, instant or otherwise.
The truth is: there is no key card, the cards are not marked, do not use a one-way back method, are shuffled before and after, there are no confederates, and the magician got no peeks or glimpses or hints in any way when his back was turned.
I performed this effect once for a magic club meeting. As far as I know, until any of those present read this manuscript, they have no clue as to the method used to fool them.
I really hate to part with this. So far, only one person was ever told the secret: Chris Kenner, because Chris had a better method for one portion of the trick.
Challenge to the Reader
If this were an Ellery Queen novel, the "challenge to the reader" would appear right about now.
Re-read the effect. Can you figure it out?
Imagine you are at a party. You are introduced to X who, coincidentally, is also a magician. You perform some tricks, and ask X, whom you have never seen perform, to do a trick or two.
He performs this impossible location.
Do you sleep that night?
Location Impossible is $25.00 for instructional manuscript and performing rights.