Dr Houstoun: On Cards
Playing cards are one of the most versatile magic props, offering unparalleled flexibility and opportunity to the thoughtful performer. In this exclusive interactive course Will Houstoun will share his thoughts on and approach to magic with cards, as well as a selection of the routines that form his performing repertoire. Pieces explained will include unpublished material and ideas, kept secret for over a decade, that he has used to win The European Championships of Close-up Magic (2006) and The Magic Circle Close-up Magician of the Year (2015).
Tricks and routines discussed in the course will include:
Minus Aces – This is perhaps the fairest way to produce four Aces from the pack. After the deck is examined and shuffled you produce the four aces quickly and efficiently… and then you give the pack away. Remember: The pack is examinable, the spectator checks the aces are in it at any point and shuffles, and you could even be blindfolded!
Order and Chaos – Will’s feature routine, in which two decks match order in a remarkable way, this is the piece he closes every show with.
The Notebook – The discovery of this handwritten manuscript, written around 1800, challenges our preconceptions of what magic was like a few centuries ago. Learn how, as well as discovering a 200 year old trick that is as good as any modern creation.
Choices – What if? This is a question that haunts all our lives, and in this trick you and your spectators can find out the answer!
Minimal Assembly – The bare bones of an ace assembly… when you take away everything but the essence of the trick this is what remains.
Hellis’s Trick – A little known impromptu card to impossible location that has remained hidden in a manuscript for 150 years.
Plus more tricks, moves and tips, as well as the card related items you tell us you want to see, via the live chat.
In addition to these feature pieces, and a wealth of other hints and tips on various moves and pieces of sleight of hand, Will will discuss his thoughts on conjuring, steered by Alakazam’s team, well as taking questions from the Academy chatroom.
“Will created one of my most used tricks and my go-to effect if someone stops me and asks to see something.” – Dynamo
“Will is a natural communicator with bags of content to match the best.” – John Archer
“An original mix of eye popping sleight of hand.” – Ernest Earick
“[Will] is a really fine magician with some serious chops.” – Genii Magazine
“Smooth as silk… I loved your three fly and all your little touches. One of the best I’ve witnessed. Your shadow coins move so effortlessly and your attention to detail is unmatched.” – Dean Dill
Will Houstoun has a PhD in the history of magical education, supervised by Dame Marina Warner, and is a winner of both The European Magic Championships and The Magic Circle Close-up Magician of the Year. He holds a Literary Fellowship with The Academy of Magical Arts in Los Angeles and a Research Fellowship with The Victoria and Albert Museum Research Institute. Consultancy credits include Martin Scorsese’s Hugo, the BBC’s Wolf Hall and The Almeida’s The Twilight Zone. Other clients include The Wellcome Trust, The RSC and The ROH