This is a collection of solutions to the famous 'open prediction' problem posed by Paul Curry.
Ever since Paul Curry first posed his now famous card problem magicians have sweated over the idea of creating the perfect Open Prediction. It seems that the first published solution appeared in Phoenix magazine (December 1949) in a letter from Gerald Kosky to Bruce Elliott. Since then the list of people who have offered ideas and solutions is huge and includes the likes of Marlo, Dai Vernon, Bill Simon, Martin Gardner, Peter Warlock, Francis Haxton, to name but a few, and of course Stewart James and his infamous 51 Faces North.
So why is it that after 60 years this effect is still capturing the imagination of performers?
Well, I personally think it has something to do with intrinsic impossibility. When we hear about or witness first hand an effect in which the conditions are so defined that even with our own inside knowledge the effect is still clearly impossible something snaps inside of us. We go just a little bit
crazy and for some of us that’s it, we have to find the PERFECT solution. We have to solve the puzzle. What we forget is that what we are trying to solve is not perfect…it’s a trick. In order for the trick to work there MUST be compromise. After all we are not real magicians! So hundreds of
solutions are created some are better then others some adhere to the conditions better than others but they ALL have compromise. It bugs us we want to eliminate the compromise so more solutions are created etc.etc.
I know exactly how this feels I’ve been there, and this is what I have learnt. Sometimes it’s about the journey and not the destination. The Open Prediction and Any Card at Any Number are THE two effects that provide an initiation into a new realm of magical thinking. By working on these card problems we stretch ourselves and learn about who we really are as performers and magical thinkers. We learn about covering up compromise and creating impossible conditions in the minds of our spectators. This is what great performers have always known, but sometimes we just don't listen and we have to find our own path. Forgive me if this sounds a bit mystical but in a way it is. It is not about seeking THE perfect solution it is about finding a solution that is perfect for YOU.
Which brings me to what you are now reading, a collection of Open Prediction effects from David Gemmell. This is a monograph of David’s personal journey and he takes a very interesting path. He concentrates on methods that are largely hands off which means that it becomes easier to re-write history in the minds of the spectators. The methods have a lot of merit and it is obvious that David has a passion to find his own perfect method. BUT you never know in these pages you may well find a solution that is perfect for YOU. If not then let David's ideas inspire you to start your own journey.
So now sit back, relax and let David lead you into his world of Open