at Stone Creek Lodge
Stone Creek Lodge at 2865 S State Road 47, Crawfordsville, IN 47933 is the perfect place to have a magical evening, but even better were the people inside I had the pleasure of meeting. Since the Animal Welfare League of Montgomery County put on this event--Valentine's Day "Party for Paws"--I got to meet the members. From the first person I met to the last, they were all wonderful.
I love animals, I love people who love animals, and of course I love magic. So I was delighted when they invited me to join them. I couldn't have asked for a better way to spend four hours.
Last night, I realized something so simple and so useful that you might find it useful too, even if you aren't a magician. If you've got a speech coming up this will be worth remembering.
It hit me during this performance Saturday...
I had the pleasure entertaining Doug, Lindsay, Tom, Tina, and Raina.
As Tina was just commenting, "We're all going to be talking about this over lunch tomorrow," Connie came up to the table and sat beside me, demanding to see some magic (that's a funny way to put it).
The cards spread before her in a ribbon and she picked one.
She drew a picture on it to make it unique.
Connie had been preparing for this moment her entire life (or so it seemed).
She picked the Jack of Diamonds and she drew an elephant.
She put her Jack back in the pack and mixed up the cards.
Here's where it gets interesting...
I told Connie to say any magic words she wished using only hand gestures, and despite having no prior training she did so.
As she held the cards, I informed her that her card is no longer in the deck. I ask her to guess where it is. She guesses that it's in my pocket. "No, not on me." I said, looking down at the mug filled with coffee in front of her.
She followed my gaze, and there under the saucer beneath her cup of coffee, staring Connie in the face like a ghost, there was her Jack of Diamonds.
Now jumping ahead..
After that card under coffee bit, Connie witnessed more antics with her Jack. Around ten more antics in rapid succession as the entire table watched.
Here’s the kicker..
After appearing under the coffee mug, her artistically-altered Jack of Diamonds did a dozen impossible things--jumped to the top of the deck from the middle where she had put it, jumped to the bottom, jumped out from the deck high in the air and returned to my other hand, jumped to my mouth, changed into a Jack of Spades and then back to the Diamonds, and so on.
But here’s the interesting thing..
After all this, she mentioned the coffee, "I'm still thinking about how it appeared under my coffee."
What does this mean?
It means that people tend to remember a card trick
when there is another object involved to anchor it.
If I change a diamonds into a spade in your own hand, that's amazing--but you'll have trouble recalling what exactly happened even a week later.
Even worse if I were to do that in my own hands. Then it's merely a spectacle and you are a spectator rather than a participant in the magic. It's much better to experience magic than to simply watch magic.
If I let you rip your signed cards into pieces, then magically restore it, to be sure, that's amazing.
But if I involve an item--such as your cup of coffee--now you can easily recall the plot, weeks or even years later.
To make a card trick memorable, involve another object.
If you've got a speech, you want your audience to remember it.
Use a prop.
The cool thing is if you're using this for a speech, you can keep your notes on the back of your props as a crib and refer to your notes as you gesture with your props (it'll be your secret...only you will know).
Now just because an act is memorable does not necessarily mean it was enjoyable. But if you already have an enjoyable act or speech, you can make it memorable by involving a prop that makes it easy for your audience remember. Your audience will anchor your message to the prop and remember your speech.
Jon Finch is a professional magician who performs at social and corporate events. As one of the most popular magicians in Indianapolis, he travels the country sharing his special brand of magic, mentalism, and comedy with important people like you.