15th April - Greg Wilson Lecture
This time it’s over to club member Chris Poole for a review of Greg’s lecture – thanks Chris!
‘This was a lecture that I had been looking forward to and was well received by all who attended, although I was somewhat disappointed because it was not actually a lecture, it was a dealer dem. The items demonstrated and for sale were “Chip on Shoulder” an appearing poker chip that appeared on several occasions on the helper’s shoulder, as did a coin purse. “Pointless” was a ball point pen where the writing end of the pen jumped from one end of the pen to another. “Exact Change” was an effect where a spectator is asked for a number between 1 and 100 and when the answer is given the change in the performer’s pocket added up exactly to that amount. “Band Width” was an effect where a spectator’s finger ring was stretched and then returned to normal size. “Foreign Affair” was a misprinted bank note that changed from one currency to another, finally ending up with an examinable UK note. “Split Focus” was an appearing and multiplying American Dollar effect and to close the first half, Greg showed “Revolution”, a gimmick to spin a card or the full deck on a single finger.
For the second half of the lecture, Greg gave an effect for free called “Code Breaker”. This involved a spectator using their own IPhone and putting in two sets of six digits and the method allowed the performer to know the code to unlock the spectator’s phone. As this is not an item he was selling, I will detail now how this worked. This effect only works with an IPhone. The spectator is asked to bring up the calculator on the IPhone and hold the phone so that the performer cannot see the screen. The spectator is then asked to put in 6 random numbers and hit the plus button.
He is then asked to put in the 6 digits used to unlock the phone and press equal. The phone is then taken by the performer without looking at the screen and just as he has taken this away he says to the spectator, “oh, I should ask you to press the clear button so I cannot see what numbers you have put in”. Once clear, he turns the phone round and explains that he has just asked him to put in 6 random numbers etc and then turns the phone off, which locks the phone. The performer then proceeds to put in the relevant digits to unlock the phone.
The secret of this is that, with an IPhone, once the two numbers have been added together, (and providing the clear button is only pressed once), pressing the ‘equals’ button again will bring up the last 6 numbers that have been input into the phone. But in normal circumstances, if someone is asked to clear the screen it is commonplace for them to push the ‘clear’ button twice (which will clear everything). Therefore after the spectator has entered the second 6 digits (the Pin Number to his phone), the performer holds it in front of the spectator and asks them to push the clear button. This ensures that the button will only be pressed once. Once the screen has been cleared, the performer looks at it and pushes the ‘equals’ button so it will display the phone’s Pin. All that has to be done is to remember the Pin code in order to unlock the phone.
As a follow on to this, Greg gave the phone back to the spectator and asked him to secretly put in 4 digits, which he revealed without looking further at the phone. There was a lot of by play in this, but finally the four numbers chosen were the last 4 digits of the spectator’s phone number. Greg was able to know this by secretly looking in the contacts section of the phone (before he gave the phone back to the spectator). The phone number on top of the first entry in the contacts list is the spectator’s own name and phone number. To get to it as a shortcut, when looking at contacts, if you press the time at the top of the contacts list, this will automatically display the top of the contacts list and will therefore display the spectator’s phone number immediately.
Greg then followed this with some card magic, went on to explain some card sleights and then demonstrated “Cold Case”, a deck switch utility prop. “Peak Pack” was Greg’s version of the tossed out deck and was a much cleaner and more convincing (particularly for magicians) version of the original. The final effect was a very effective “Rubik’s cube” routine where both the performer and the spectator mixed up individual Rubik’s cubes, and after all of the mixing the two cubes appeared to have exactly the same pattern.
This was a very entertaining evening and sales appeared to be quite good, although they may have gone much better if the items were more sensibly priced. (£35 for a Poker Chip and some Blu Tac? – come on!).’