There are so many “tricks” that have been relegated to the junk drawer because they lack a sensible routine. I am always intrigued when a performer takes an old standby which is almost never shown and does a routine with it.
At the most recent A.C.E. meeting member Drew Cardella performed What’s Next by Tenyo Magic. What’s Next should be familiar to those who have been involved in magic for a while. Basically, it is a card that is shown to have one spot on one side and four spots on the other. As time progresses the number of spots change on both sides until the climax, which is more spots than anyone can expect.
This trick has been a staple of magicians decades back and somehow fell out of favor. I wonder why since the trick itself is a clever one. I suspect that somewhere along the way, the script sounded out of date and tired. Like many older tricks like the Troublewit (look it up if you are not familiar with it) no one took the time to revitalize the scripting. There was an attempt by Bill Abbott to bring it back to life with his release of Spots by magician Michael Ross but I do not think it hit the mark. Michael Ross uses the Nielsen Dynamo Spot Card which happens to be an extremely well made and deceptive version of the trick.
Another attempt to update its look and bring to it a childlike appeal was a chocolate chip cookie version called Mrs. Brown’s Magic Cookie by Todd Brown but sadly like What’s Next it is no longer available. I regret not buying this one because the storyline made sense for kids and the prop looked like it was well made. Confusing Die by John Fabjance is still around but it is much smaller in size. Its premise is an eye exam. I am sure many magicians have one or another version of this routine and it may be a nice exercise in creativity to take it out and flesh out a routine for it.
I have to say, that Drew inspired me to revisit my approach to the Spot Card concept and review and rewrite the script I made for it. The A.C.E., Association of Children’s Entertainers meets monthly at the same place that SAM Assembly 181 meets. The A.C.E. meetings take place the fourth Thursday of every month except for July and August which no meetings take place. Doors open a 7 PM and there is always a theme. We encourage anyone who is interested in family entertainment to give the group a try.