White Star by Jim Critchlow
A Perfect Separation of the Living from the Dead, perfect for Halloween!
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