Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Berglas Effect...

.:The Berglas Effect...:.

EDIT: Due to a recent article by Cracked, a lot of people wishing to discover the secret to the Berglas effect have apparently ended up on this blog.

Let me preface this entry, three years after having first written this, that after all this time, I still haven't found a satisfying way to perform this effect without any of the following:

1. Gaff cards or a gaff deck.
2. Pre-show work.
3. Masterful sleight of hand.
4. A stooge or a confederate.
5. A stack or memory palace.

Having said that, expect me to write another blog entry about the Berglas effect this Monday (I write a weekly segment on my blog called "Just Another Magic Monday," after all.), to explain a theory I have, based solely on the Britland book, but not on the Marc Paul video. I believe that the Marc Paul video probably utilized a different method from what is outlined in the book, and as such, would not fall under the several methods Britland hints at in the chapter on the Berglas effect.

... proves to be a Holy Grail of sorts. For now, I think I figured out already how this is done, actually.

I'm going to have to practice it extensively, but I think it can definitely work out.

It's a genuine reputation maker, to say the least. It could very well even make you a lot of money if you can perform it flawlessly. Almost as much money as you would from HDB, but *maybe* not quite.

.:In Detail:.

I'm going to step away from the Magikel blog and instead put this on my main blog, mainly because this is one of the most amazing effects of all time. David Berglas, known as Britains "International Man of Mystery" has pulled off the seemingly impossible with the Any Card at Any Number routine, commonly known as the "Berglas Effect".

While I was going over the Britland book, "The Mind and Magic of David Berglas", it was becoming very clear to me that this wasn't exactly a tell-all book. While I felt mildly disappointed that the information I got was woefully lacking, I realized that this was a book meant for the experienced performer, and as someone who has been into magic for sixteen years, but has had only a few years of performance under his belt, I may not yet quite be ready for the stuff in the book.

Despite that, it's 500-odd pages of incredible material, mainly dealing with psychology, performance, and showmanship. Berglas may be a bit stingy on going into full detail with some of his treasured effects, but believe me when I say that despite this, the book is an engaging read. I may feel a bit shortchanged for the amount I paid for it (After all, I bought the thing PRECISELY for the Berglas Effect, and found out that he only gave five vague pieces of a 52 x 52 - piece puzzle... 52 different cards. 52 different numbers.), but I haven't even gone into half the book yet, and already, I've found performance aids that will enhance any effect I perform in the future.

The Berglas effect, in my estimate, is the pinnacle of all the mentalist's tools coming together for the ultimate mystery: showmanship, audience management, psychology, neurolinguistic programming. What makes it even more astounding to the eyes of people is that it could very well be sleight-of-hand free, as you can see in the video above.

If there are two books I would recommend to people who want to have a wider knowledge base in mentalism, I'd recommend Corinda's Thirteen Steps as your toolbox of sorts, and the blueprints would be the Berglas book.

Unfortunately, I think the Berglas book is currently out of print...


Anonymous said...

I too am interested in only the BERGLAS effect - I have been into card magic for some years now and was considering purchasing this book solely to learn this effect. But your comments have made me think twice - is there sufficient information in the book regarding the BERGLAS effect to justify purchasing it?

Marcelle said...

I will have to tell you bluntly that if you're buying the book to learn how to do the effect, you'll be sorely disappointed.

Anonymous said...

I've been lucky enough to gain access to a copy of this book recently, and wasn't disappointed with the berglas effect section. I knew in advance the similarity between the berglas effect and Dai Vernon's trick that cannot be explained, and can only say that it's a mentality thing. You either have the sort of approach to magic that can accommodate a method like this or not, and there's nothing wrong with that, you just have to decide for yourself if that approach is for you. Also relevant is Dai Vernon's comment that, the more experience and technical knowledge of magic you have, the easier this becomes to perform. In short, it's something anyone can learn, if they put in the creative effort to make it worth their while.

Anonymous said...

Well instead of guessing about how to do it. Uh, why not just buy it so you will know completely.

There ya go. It's cheap. You just pay shipping which I believe is like $11 (US).


Marcelle said...

@Anon: You sure this contains an actual method? Because I've bought a chunk of Berglas stuff already, and if I get hoodwinked yet another time, I'd be a tad annoyed. LOL.