OOTW: Out Of This Willpower


Following on from my recent post about using everyday conversations as hooks for tricks, here’s another:

The Inspiration

New Year’s Resolutions. It’s something that’s on many people’s minds around now. Many make them, few keep them. Which feels like a good, relatable emotional hook for a trick.

The Trick

Out Of This World is a great trick, yet as is often the case in magic, there’s lots of variety when it comes to method, but not so much when it comes to plot and presentation.

In terms of non-standard presentations, I can think of White Star, and Derren Brown’s Democrat/Republican one. If you know any more, do let me know.

Anyway, in this case, we’ll be doing it with New Year’s resolutions.

The Hook

Say that every year you write a list of New Year’s Resolutions, on double-blank playing cards naturally (you are a magician, after all). Then the following January, you look through them again to see how many you succeeded with, and how many you failed with.

The Trick

You have them deal the cards into two piles, depending on whether they have a positive or negative feeling about the cards.

At the end, you turn them over to show that one pile has ‘FAIL’ on all the backs, and the other all has ‘SUCCEED’ on. You show there’s one exception – a card saying ‘EAT LESS SWEETS’ that says ‘SUCCEED’ but is in the ‘FAIL’ pile.

You explain that there’s a reason for that – you did eat less sweets, but you ate more chocolate instead. You have them remove a photo from the card case, which shows you surrounded by empty chocolate wrappers.

The Method

Almost any standard OOTW method can be adapted. Just make the deliberate ‘FAIL’ card goes in with the ‘SUCCESS’ cards.

Final Thoughts

The nice thing about recurring topical tricks like this is that they feel specially themed, yet you can roll them out every January.

This trick is highly adaptable in terms of what resolutions you write on the cards. They can be as usual or unusual as you like. Similarly, they can fit perfectly with your performing persona, or be comically out of character.

You can also play with the way that you can fall off the ladder. It can be as endearing or extreme as you want!

As ever, if you give it a go, let me know at wideopenmagic [at] gmail [dot] com