Whitestar By Jim Critchlow and The Merchant of Magic
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A Perfect Separation of the Living from the Dead
The performer is seated at a table opposite two volunteers. The performer places a small article in front of each person, such as an old coin and an old fountain pen (these are to act as 'markers').
The performer now takes out from his wallet, a small packet of old photographs which he quickly thumbs through as he mentions to the volunteers that they may recognize some of these as they have appeared in books or programs about the Titanic as they were all passengers on that ill fated liner. The packet is squared and turning to the first volunteer, the performer says that he is going to show him/her the photographs one at a time and if they feel somehow drawn to some, they should tell him and they will be placed in front of them and their 'marker'.
The performer shows the photographs, one by one to the volunteers, who either decides to take one and place it on the pile forming in front of them or reject it. The rejected photographs forming a discard pile in the center of the table.
'Look at this young lady please, what emotions do you think she is feeling.....'
When all the photographs have been chosen to be kept or rejected, the performer brings attention to the discard pile. Thumbing through the photographs the performer starts talking about specific photos (the person's name etc) stressing how absolutely any of the photos could have been retained by the volunteers.
The performer explains that what they have both just done was part of an experiment. He also explains that he has found that the best results only occur when nothing is explained beforehand and that the results are always different (quite true to a point).
The performer then states that the old coin was taken from one of the bodies found in the wreckage of the Titanic and the fountain pen was used by a clerk to write out the list of all the survivors. The person with the coin is asked to turn their photographs over and in doing so they see each photograph has printed on its back, the name of the person, a few details about them and that they DIED! The spectator holding the fountain pen turns their photographs over and sees the similar details but all their photographs have SURVIVED printed on them! The discarded pile is turned over and shown that there is a complete mix, in no sequence of both the DIED and SURVIVED photographs!
After the initial amazement, the spectators may ask how this was possible to which the performer replies, "As I said, it was an experiment. The fact is I can't explain it! It seems to be just another mystery surrounding the Titanic".
At this point, the performer can sit back and relax as the volunteers spend the next half hour or so looking at all the photographs and reading the details on the backs. Onlookers too will want to read the backs and quite often a chat session about the Titanic takes place.
If you only want to perform one effect in an evening, this is it. If you want to finish an evening on a high note, this is it.
Comes complete with 28 high quality professionally produced cards and a detailed, photo illustrated 21 page book teaching you the full routine, presentation and tips and techniques to make this effect a reputation maker.
No Sleight of Hand Required!
The cards are completely ungimmicked, and fully examinable!
Instantly resets to perform again!
The cards REALLY are completely mixed up and shuffled by the spectators. The performer does not change the order of the cards AT ALL once the spectator has mixed them, or after the spectators have chosen the cards they want to keep!
No switched or swapped cards or packets. The spectators decide if they want to keep the cards or discard them and that's FINAL. The performer does not need to do any sneaky switches or adjustments to the cards the spectators have chosen!
Jim Critchlow goes into great detail about the creation of White Star, the history and origins of the methods used and the psychology that can be applied to the effect to not only surprise and amaze the spectators, but to leave a lasting psychological impression on them long after the performance.
Additional Routines Included:
White Star Revisited - An alternative handling for the effect created with the help of Karl Bartoni
Beyond White Star - A version of White Star using a regular deck of genuinely shuffled playing cards with additional endings from Karl Bartoni and with a borrowed shuffled deck!
Beyond White Star (second version) - Perform White Star with a borrowed shuffled deck!
'They groaned, they stirred, they all uprose, Nor spake, nor moved their eyes; It had been strange, even in a dream, To have seen those dead men rise.'- Coleridge, 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner'
'I like this a lot. A very good approach. The presentation and photos make for a compelling effect. - Peter Duffie
'Perfect rational, perfect atmosphere, perfect results... Bravo Mr Critchlow' - Michael Stanton
'Ohh... this is spooky! I'm lovin it! - James Kenner
"The blurb is 100% accurate.
Beautifully produced pictures with full biographical details on the back.
Great and all-improved method
Everything is completely examinable
You get 28 cards and 21-page booklet with the original routine and 4 additional routines.
Jim has pondered and cogitated for many years and come up with a wonderfully ingenious method for this effect. But beyond the method (which is both straightforward and devious), you get a great set of collector-style photos and a true story in which to couch your effect.
I could see this is a classic example of a Chelman-esque 'Hauntique' with associated props one would have found on the Titanic.
I had a private event on Tuesday night with some after dinner entertainment and I used White Star as my closer. I did about 25 minutes of material that gradually got more implausible and then performed White Star.
I used an English penny from 1899 and a gold and ruby ring from 1910 as 'markers' for my participants, I used a couple that had been going out for over a year and made a lot of that fact to explain that this particular demonstration would be most successful with a couple.
I chose the man for the 'died' and the woman for the 'survived'. The beauty of this routine is that for most of it they have no real idea what is going on and are intrigued with the props and the premise. The guests were fascinated with the pictures and at times chipped in facts and details about the Titanic, so it really did become a group effort. The final sets of revelations can be done in a really nice slow fashion as you show each photograph and how they have been amazingly separated. You can finish by picking up the pace a bit to increase the sense of impossibility of the feat.
You then are left with a table full of totally examinable props. Lovely!
Superb product and well worth the expenditure." - Dr Todd Landman
'I wanted to mention this effect, as I had a little gig very recently and performed this for the first time to a real life human being.
Now, I don't do walk around/strolling/stage work, I just do close-up, and I usually appear when people have cracked open the wine after a meal...so...
I used this - and adding my own touch, I lit two candles and had the main lights switched off. I had 8 people around me, we discussed how we have all just felt something about strangers, just by the look of their faces we sometimes make massive assumptions about that person - whether we like or dislike them..that kind of thing.
We can sometimes pick up on things, just by looking at people.
Now, the guy who hired me was an ex-navy guy and I used him for the effect, I just told him to look at each photo, and any of those faces gave him some kind of thought or sensation..then he was to separate them from the rest...
Anyway, those candles..they were scented...(sea breeze)...
When he'd finished I then mentioned that he'd been handling photos of people who had been on the Titanic...and ran through a couple from the discarded pile.
It was at that point, those candles kicked in a little, and he was looking at me strangely and saying "I really have no idea how, but I can really smell the sea now you've started to talk about all this..."
Everyone started to agree...
Then when I revealed (I feel revealing the dead group first is best to end on a positive) the dead everything went silent...and just by sheer luck one of the candles fizzled...which brought a couple of expletives out and nervous laughter...
and then the ones who survived...the guy laughed and smiled, and he said "that's so strange...it's brought a tear to my eye if I'm honest..." and he had a couple of dewy eyes when I looked...
I left it all there for 10 minutes and let everyone have a drink - I did in fact finish on a fun piece of psychometry to leave on a fun note and it was getting late...but as I was leaving the guy told me that he's usually quite a stiff upper lipped sort, and wouldn't of dared shed a tear normally, but he said he was glad he did, and it just brought back fond memories of all his old navy friends - they all meet up every 3 months for drinks and a chat...he said he can't wait to tell them about what we did.
Anyway, thought I'd share something I found a little touching, and also to say that I think White Star is a great bit of business...very clean, good quality photos and the best bit for me is that it's all very hands off for you performing it.
You do, in fact, get a few other handlings with this, some for playing cards, and no doubt you can easily adapt this, for a multitude of other dressings.
I was also very pleased that the sea breeze candles worked out too.
As it doesn't use Mr. Curry's method, there's a lot to be said for it...no replacements, and it credits/influences/cites Derren Brown and Paul Curry regardless.
Strong effect, historically wrapped, good quality props... - Abraxus REVIEW (The Magic Cafe)
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1 of 1 magicians found the following review helpful:
Great trick but the routine has to be personalised to stop it being ghoulish or depressing. It took
some work to ensure people don't take the 'died' pile as some kind of spooky suggestion their days
are numbered but now I have it so it is spine chilling and interesting. Definitely a great idea and
I love performing it.
1 of 1 magicians found the following review helpful:
This is genuinely one of the best mentalism effects I have used. People will get tied into this. The
pictures are amazing quality, along with the detailed information written on the back of them. Very
mysterious and eye-opening for any spectator.
Done right, White Star is a fantastic routine. It draws people in and keeps them talking even after
you're done. It's mysterious and contemplative and spiritual. But the trick isn't much of a trick in
itself; everything depends on the performance you bring to it. It is very heavy on theater and
There is no real "magic" to White Star. It's all about theater. If you're a
storytelling magician who likes to surround your routines with heavy narrative and theatrical
elements, you will love this one. And I love it. But it's because I go out of my way to make it
theatrical. I bring in props from the early 1900s. I put it all in an old wooden box, and take out
one prop at a time and work at making the audience wonder what is coming. I produce the "trick" tied
in a black silk ribbon and invite them to wonder about the photos. And the whole time I'm drawing
the audience's attention to a time long past, and teasing them with statements like, "There is a
story to this object, which we won't talk about just yet," and "These people all have something in
common, which I will reveal in a few moments," and patter like that. The trick requires such
efforts. Without them, it is very two dimensional.
If you just do the "trick" itself, it
usually falls pretty flat. But if you surround it with ceremony and theater and story, then it
absolutely kills. It gives people chills. Your audience will talk about it for an hour after the
trick is over. It's great for close-up work, and it's killer social magic for when you are out at
dinner with friends.
But again, one warning: the "trick"itself is not very magical, and
requires you to bring a tremendous amount of theater and story to it for it to have a good effect on
your audience. And if you're not that kind of magician, this may not be for you. But if you are that
kind of magician, this can be a good closer for you. it's that effective.
If you are a
storyteller, this is a great vehicle that leaves your audience spellbound long after you're done.
Well made very nice photos if you are in to the Titanic
this is a nice set of cards and the
booklet has a lot of food for thought.
I am extremely happy with this. The photos are beautifully rendered, and they are printed on very
nice quality stock. With care, these will last a very long time (admittedly, a box to hold them all
in safely (a la The Fallen) may had been nice, Mr. Critchlow).
Bear in mind, if you want
this effect to soar, you will have to invest in your props, so there's additional money in this
aside from the purchase price above. In the end, the investment in those props is extremely worth
it. I've had great success with this piece, and my first booking since getting back into performing
came as a direct result of this trick.
Is it pricey? Perhaps...but it just took care of
paying for itself, so I'm not worried.
yes i loved this effect. i had to come up with my own method for 'mixing' the cards but i really
really liked this effect. for what you get like most magic, is extremely overpriced but the quality
of the photos are great. i have performed this about 20 times now and you start clean and end clean.
it gets stunned reactions and as a bonus you get in my opinion one of the strongest free choice
coincidences w two people you could ever achieve with a bonus trick called out of this world.
shuffled by spec deck, and they make every dicision w no sleight of hand for a baffling end result.
1 of 3 magicians found the following review helpful:
This item is way overpriced for what you get..28 cards that appear to be taken near a fun house
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