Review: FIFTY 50 (Andrew Gerard)

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Review: FIFTY 50 (Andrew Gerard)

Postby EndersGame » Aug 2nd, '18, 02:18



The Vault - FIFTY 50 (Andrew Gerard)

With $100 on the line, you correctly predict which hand your spectator will grab it with

Overview

I like this guy's thinking already. Andrew Gerard plops a $100 bill on the table, and tells his spectator that the money is the spectator's to keep, if if Andrew can't correctly predict which hand the spectator is going to pick it up with. Left hand or right hand - it's that simple. Seriously? So you're going to risk a genuine hundred bucks on a fifty-fifty bet? Yes, exactly! Talk about getting immediate interest and attention!

That's the beauty of this impromptu effect from Andrew Gerard, which can be performed almost anywhere in any situation. It was originally part of a larger release, Conscious Magic Episode 2 by Ran Pin & Andrew Gerard, which has four effects. Don't have the full episode? Not to worry, Bro Gilbert comes to our rescue, and with his series "The Vault", Murphy's Magic has been releasing some of his favourite individual effects for digital download. And so that means now we can pick up The Vault - FIFTY 50 for $10 as a separate purchase.

Here's the official trailer for the effect, with some introductory remarks from The Vault with Bro Gilbert, followed by a fully performance of FIFTY 50 by Andrew Gerard:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0IW34DMMEM" target="_blank

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Effect

Here's how the ad copy describes the routine:

"50/50 effects (where the odds are 50/50 that the mentalist will predict correctly) only matter when something of value is put on the line. In FIFTY 50, Andrew puts $100 on the line and wagers whether the spectator will pick up the bill with their left or right hand. He always gets it right! This is an anytime, anywhere routine. Grab some paper, pencil, and something to wager, and you're ready to go."

As you can see from the performance in the video trailer above, that's pretty much accurate. It seems almost impossible, but yet what Andrew Gerard offers is a fool-proof method to pull this off, without ever losing any money.

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Video

What you get for around $10 is an instant digital download of the video, which demonstrates and teaches the routine. You can play the video via streaming, or download it in *.mp4 format to view on your computer with any video program. The entire video is around 12 minutes long, and the downloaded file is about 122MB in total size.

The video consists of the following:
3 minutes: performance
9 minutes: explanation

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Teaching

The teaching section of the video features Andrew Gerard talking to Ran Pink, just running through the routine, and explaining the nuances of everything. It's really not a difficult trick to perform, but there are small details that are important, and their discussion gives good attention to the things that matter in order to do this effectively. I wasn't left with any questions by the time I was done watching, and was ready to go out into the world and give it a spin, with immediate results.

When I first saw the performance video, I was initially very impressed, but then after some more thought I figured I might know the method. If you have a good amount of experience in magic or mentalism, it is possible that you will watch the performance and have a good idea about how this is done. But even if you do have an idea about the method, that doesn't mean you should skip picking up this video. If you like the premise, Andrew Gerard provides a whole lot of very useful tips about small nuances that help make it more convincing, and I found these very helpful and even essential. How you present this effect in terms of your timing, your patter, and everything else, is key to whether or not it will be a real fooler, and in the explanation part of the video Andrew Gerard's conversation with Ran Pink covers all those details.

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Difficulty

One nice thing about this effect is how easy it is to learn and perform. It's very impromptu, and in most cases all you need to perform it are a couple of business cards or two pieces of paper. In a restaurant setting, even a couple of napkins will do the job fine, if you can write on them. So there's virtually no preparation or set-up required, which means it is a very practical piece that works well in impromptu settings and in the real world.

Obviously I can't say too much about how this is done, because I don't want to tip the method. But I can say that there's no sleight of hand here, and that there are no funny moves or hidden aspects that aren't shown on the performance video. What you see there is really what happens, and nothing has been edited out. This is more of a trick about sleight of mouth than it is about sleight of hand, and if you enjoy John Bannon's approach to the psychology of magic, then you are almost certain to enjoy this. And the risk of losing your money? Don't worry - it's perfectly safe!

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Impressions

We're probably all familiar with the bar bets used to hoodwink people, and while these usually are done to get a free drink, they typically leave the spectator feeling a little conned by something obvious that they didn't think about. FIFTY 50 is not like that at all. It feels like a genuine fifty-fifty bet, and your spectator will genuinely believe that you correctly predicted the outcome, influenced their choice, or got lucky, and that they were "this close" to winning a free $100 bill! With bar bets, the `victims' are usually in on the secret after it's been done, whereas with FIFTY 50 there's no way your spectator will be able to replicate this himself, and will be somewhat amazed at your mentalist abilities.

Now, there are some caveats. You can't repeat this, certainly not with the same spectator, or with the same group. But that's true of a lot of magic, so it's not an inherent weakness as such, it's just something to be aware of. This is also not a magician fooler, but your average person will be completely baffled, and that makes it a perfect impromptu trick. Andrew Gerard says he came up with this more than 20 years ago, and has been performing it across that time. So this isn't some novelty effect that doesn't work in the real world - it's clearly had the benefit of being tried and tested.

The fact that you're placing real money on the table, and genuinely giving your spectator a chance to win it, makes this immediately intriguing and interesting to your spectator, and that's one of the beautiful things of this routine that makes it so appealing, and fun to perform.

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Endorsements

To give an idea of some of the positive responses this effect has generated, here is some of the praise others have given to FIFTY Fifty - these are mostly quotes I found from scattered places online:

"Another gem by my friend Andrew Gerard that I perform all the time." - Bro Gilbert
"Trust me, this will get any spectator’s attention. When I saw the explanation, I laughed. I really like this very simple effect." - Straight Talk
"I like, collect, and use a lot of these "which hand" or 50/50 routines. What I especially liked about Andrew's method is that it has some wonderful subtleties, making it difficult for a spectator to reverse engineer the method. Extremely clever and it will fool laypeople." - Penguin
"A trick plot that has been very popular lately has been to name which hand something is in. Most of these solutions are based on the work of Lewis Carroll and depend on your volunteer being able to follow directions without get confused. The boys here use a totally different method that is easy and foolproof. This is one you can do "right out of the box". - Jim Canaday
"It will play well with this casual simplistic approach." - Rizzo

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Recommendation

As the ad copy says "50/50 effects only matter when something of value is put on the line". This is a very clever effect that takes that concept on a road trip, and helps bring it to the real world, where you can perform it easily (and safely!) in many impromptu settings. Putting a hundred bucks on the table and making a fifty-fifty proposition gets immediate attention and interest, and that's exactly what this effect does. Even though the method is quite straight forward, there are small details that are important and can make all the difference in pulling off this effect well, and the teaching section of the video gives you everything you need to accomplish that.

FIFTY 50 is a very fun effect that almost anyone in an interest in magic will want to consider, due to how versatile it is, and how much fun you can have with it. Check out the trailer, and if you like what you see, consider picking this up!

Want to learn more? Andrew Gerard's Fifty 50 is available as a digital download from your favorite Murphy's Magic retailer:
The Vault - FIFTY 50 ($10)
Conscious Magic Episode 2($35)

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