"Impossible Three" by Joshua Jay

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"Impossible Three" by Joshua Jay

Postby pnerd » Sat Jul 25, 2015 9:18 am



Does anyone have "Impossible Three" by Joshua Jay? Is it worth it? A review would be welcome. Thanks.

Here's a link to a performance: http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/1673
.

pnerd
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Re: "Impossible Three" by Joshua Jay

Postby EndersGame » Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:56 pm

murshid_islam wrote:Does anyone have "Impossible Three" by Joshua Jay? Is it worth it? A review would be welcome. Thanks.

Here's a link to a performance: http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/1673


I'm a bit late to the party, but I've spent some time with this trick, so in the event it is helpful to others, here's some of my reflections.

BACKGROUND

Impossible Three is a powerful and simple impromptu card trick that was released as part of a package of six effects by Joshua Jay for Penguin Magic under the title "A Different Side of Me". The six effects are: Cornered, Elevation, Big Deal, Credit Cash, Impossible Three, and Royal Assembly. But they're also available for purchase separately; I've not worked with the others from the package, only Impossible Three.

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EFFECT

The official ad copy for Impossible Three describes it like this: "A spectator cuts a borrowed, shuffled deck into three piles. She looks at the face card of one pile. Your back is turned throughout the process. In merely assembling the deck, you'’ll ascertain the identity of the chosen card. This impossible card trick will fool even the most knowledgeable magicians." That's pretty accurate - you use a borrowed shuffled deck, cut by the spectator into three piles. They memorize one of the cards they cut to, and you reassemble the deck and reveal which is their card. It's best performed as a demonstration of mentalism, although other presentations are also possible.

See Joshua Jay perform the effect in a short two minute demo here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uc25VQPT4LM

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VIDEO

I got the tutorial video from Vanishing Magic (a site that Joshua Jay runs together with UK magician Andi Gladwin), where it is available here:

https://www.vanishingincmagic.com/magic ... ible-three

For $10, you get an instant download, which demonstrates and teaches the routine, with Joshua Jay himself providing the explanation. The site works smoothly - once purchased, the video is added to your online account under your list of digital downloads. From there, 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 just over 12 minutes long, of which the first two minutes have a performance, and the remaining 10 minutes are the explanation. The downloaded file is only about 30MB in total size, and the entire process of getting the file and watching it proved hassle-free for me.

The video recording features Josh sitting on a couch and running through the effect, so it's an intimate style close-up magic setting, and there are a few close-ups of the cards here and there. Even though it's not a high res video, it's all clear and straight forward.

ORIGIN

In the explanation, Joshua credits Bob Hummer's "Mathematical Monte", which was originally published in Hummer's booklet Mathematical Three-Card Monte (1951), as the background for this trick. An explanation of Hummer's effect can also be found in Martin Gardner's Mathematics Magic And Mystery, and there's also a chapter on it in Joseph K. Schmidt's book Bob Hummer's Collected Secrets (1980).

The original effect from Hummer is already quite strong and has been known to baffle magicians. But Joshua's version takes the original premise and brings it to a deck of 52 shuffled cards, making the overall impact much stronger still. So he's applied some creative thinking to a proven concept, and developed it into a routine that makes it even more baffling. Some magicians consider Joshua Jay's version of Hummer's effect to be one of the best applications of the principle, and I have to agree.

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TEACHING

Joshua Jay is a good teacher, and in the 10 minutes of teaching he does a good job of explaining everything you need to know in order to learn and perform this effect. He explains the method and handling carefully and completely, and his instructions are easy to follow. He also gives some ideas for patter. He wraps things up towards the end by going through the explanation again. Finally, he closes with some comments about the psychology, with some ideas to increase your odds so that you can pull this off in an even more miraculous and impossible manner without some of the "work" needed to divine the selected card.

DIFFICULTY

This is not a difficult trick to perform, and is well within the ability of intermediate magicians - and even relative beginners if you're willing to put in some time to practice the basic move required. There's only minimal sleight of hand required, and Joshua Jay also goes through the moves needed for a subtle glimpse that is required at one point. He also teaches some good subtleties that strengthen the overall effect. This is definitely a trick that you can learn and be ready to perform in 15 minutes or so, although you will want to master one particular move (which is quite easy) so that you can do it smoothly and unnoticed. On a difficulty scale, Impossible Three would have to be considered as relatively "Easy".

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IMPRESSIONS

Is this trick really as good as it looks in the demonstration video? Absolutely. There are no hidden moves or edits, and what you see in the video is genuinely how the trick works; no workings are left out of the demo performance. Impossible Three is something you can perform completely impromptu, with a borrowed deck that is completely and thoroughly shuffled by your spectator. So what you see is what you get - and it's really quite straight forward to learn.

I would have liked to have seen a more polished revelation in the end, but most magicians will have their own methods for presenting the final part of the routine. The real value here of course is the method that allows you to divine the selected card in the first place. But if you do play up the mentalist aspect at the end, you can make this trick have even more impact.

The Vanishing Magic page for this effect states: "A well-known magician has been knocking people over with Joshua Jay's Impossible Three, a miracle that can be performed with a borrowed, shuffled deck, and no sleight-of-hand. The trick is creating a lot of buzz, so it felt like a great time to release this trick to Vanishing Inc members. In fact, the performer barely touches the cards yet he divines a card a spectator cuts to." I'm not sure who this "well-known magician" is, and would love to hear more about this and who it is - but I'm not surprised to hear that there are pro magicians who are having good success with this effect!

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RECOMMENDATION

Magicians are always on the lookout for an effect that looks impossible to do, and yet has a method that is quite simple, and this trick fits those criteria nicely. If you like the look of the performance video, I can recommend Impossible Three as a great impromptu trick that is easy to learn and can be very powerful.

Where to get it: https://www.vanishingincmagic.com/magic ... ible-three

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Re: "Impossible Three" by Joshua Jay

Postby pnerd » Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:55 am

Thanks for the review, EndersGame. Already bought it and can't recommend it highly enough.

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Re: "Impossible Three" by Joshua Jay

Postby EndersGame » Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:00 am

pnerd wrote:Thanks for the review, EndersGame. Already bought it and can't recommend it highly enough.

Great to hear, it's a wonderful routine!

What kind of responses do you typically get to it?

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Re: "Impossible Three" by Joshua Jay

Postby pnerd » Thu Apr 26, 2018 5:29 am

EndersGame wrote:
pnerd wrote:Thanks for the review, EndersGame. Already bought it and can't recommend it highly enough.

Great to hear, it's a wonderful routine!

What kind of responses do you typically get to it?

I usually get very favourable reactions to it.
.

pnerd
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Posts: 34
Joined: Sun Oct 02, 2005 10:34 am


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