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  • Writer's pictureMadison Hagler

The Trojan Deck - Joshua Jay

This is a brand new release from Joshua Jay and Vanishing Inc to round out their wonderful Black Friday event in 2021.

What is it?

The Trojan Deck is Joshua Jay’s closing effect. His standing ovation-getter. His pride and joy. His best creation ever. For the first time in over a decade, Josh is finally releasing the effect to the public. At its core, the Trojan Deck is a deck matching routine; the performer shuffles a deck, and the spectator shuffles a deck. They each select and pocket a card without looking at it. Despite the totally random and genuinely free and fair shuffles, the cards in both decks are shown to match all the way through. Somehow the two decks have been shuffled in the exact same order. As an extra kicker, the selected cards are removed, and they match as well. This entire trick is wrapped in a beautiful and true story about how Josh’s parents met. And all this is done without any deck switches—really.

There is no doubt about it, the presentation is beautiful, but you would be doing a disservice if you just performed this routine exactly as Josh does because this is HIS story to tell. The reason the story is so beautiful when told by Josh is because it comes from the heart. Making the script impactful for your own performances is going to take some thinking to find what story YOU want to tell.

The good news is, the trick is strong enough to withstand virtually any presentation you put on it; it is very clear and direct. You could even perform it silently to music, and the effect would still hold up. So often the presentation is critical to the effect because the method hides in the presentation. You must explain why you are doing certain moves or why you are doing certain procedures. This isn’t the case here; you can really present it however you want because there is nothing that you must explain away. The presentation is truly something that is purely additive which is rare to find in magic.

What do you receive?

You receive a gimmick and three decks of cards. These items will be used to create the entire Trojan routine. The decks are gimmicked in three different ways which all work together in their deceptiveness. If you’re thinking, “Three decks!? I thought there weren’t any deck switches!” Don’t worry, only certain cards from the three decks are combined to create two decks that will be used in performance.

Without exposing anything, the main Trojan gimmick that is provided is genius. It is totally hidden, and it provides some great opportunities for miracles beyond the matching routine. To be honest, even though I knew the gist of what was happening in the routine from the performance, this gimmick completely fooled me and flew right under my radar. I’m certain this gimmick will inspire many other uses, in fact, Joshua shares a brief idea for a multiple selection routine which would have absolutely fooled me if I had seen it performed. It’s the cleanest multiple selection routine I’ve come across with THE SPECTATOR gathering the selections and shuffling them into the deck before handing it to the performer.

The Tutorial:

It is shot beautifully with Josh causally discussing the trick at a couch. It is virtually a single camera shot throughout only cutting to a closeup when absolutely necessary. Josh goes over everything about how to perform the trick in extensive detail. He teaches all of the subtleties he has learned from performing this routine over one thousand times! It is uncommon for a magic routine to be released that has been performed and refined as much as this routine has; it is a real treat, and all of the subtleties should be heeded if you want to make this as powerful as possible.

My one complaint with the tutorial is it can be a bit hard to follow the set up because Joshua is using a certain order, but the order will be different for everyone. As such, it will take some time watching through that section slowly to make sure you get everything in the right order for your own order you decide on. Other than that one section, the rest is crystal clear and easy to follow.

Who is this for?

Technically, almost anyone can perform this routine. It is so easy, it’s almost self working. There’s no sleight of hand, and there’s no mental gymnastics; it really couldn’t be simpler to execute. The hardest part of the routine will be giving the effect meaning in your own unique way.

While the routine actually resets very quickly, I wouldn’t say this is for walk around performers unless you have enough table space to spread through two decks. Likewise, it’s not great for a cocktail situation where you’ll be standing without a table. You really must have a surface to spread two decks on in order to perform this routine. As long as you have that, you are set. As it is, it’s not great for stage since it’s all about the small indices of the cards, but if you can project the image of the tabletop onto a screen, then this would be incredible for stage, and it would generate a standing ovation every time. Ultimately, it’s best suited for casual or professional performances with a group in front of or gathered around a table to see some magic.

After seeing all the thought that has gone into this, I can see why Joshua Jay believes it is the best routine he has ever created. This is an incredible piece of magic which I will be using in my closeup shows, and I can’t wait to blow my audiences away with it.

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