If you ever wanted to learn Tommy Wonder’s Tamed Card

For me The Tamed Card is one of the best creations of Tommy Wonder. It’s a real master piece of close up magic. For all the Youngsters that do only now the underground magic stuff of Theory 11 and YouTube take a close look. This is a lesson in theatrical construction of a really great magic routine.

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If you try to learn this from his wonderful DVDs you will find that there is a a lot of necessary information left out in the explanation that you need to master this complex routine. (If this was done intentionally, I don’t know)

If you try to learn this routine from Tommy’s great Books of Wonder you will soon find out that it’s pretty difficult and that there are indeed some mistakes in the description that doesn’t make it easier.

The DVDs where shot almost 10 years after Tommy wrote his books and he made a lot of improvement and changes to the tricks in the meantime, so even if you own the books and not yet the DVDs, I really can recommend them. If you love Tommy Wonder as I do, they are a must have.

As I wanted to learn this routine I started to distill the needed information from both sources, books and DVD and write a document that would make it easier for me to practise this routine.

If you too want to learn Tommy Wonder’s Tamed Card feel free to use it  (Published with kind permission from the Tommy Wonder Estate):

TamedCard-Description

Warning: If you don’t own the books or the DVD you are not entitled to perform this trick, and to be honest  you will for sure not be able to learn it only from my text.

If you don’t have the Books of Wonder yet, you can and should buy them as soon as possible from Hermetic Press if you want to get a better magician.

I also can highly recommend to buy the DVDs from L&L as there you can watch a master magician perform and listen to his explanation and discussions with Max Maven.

Tommy’s presentation is highly tailored for his character and anybody wanting to perform it, is highly recommended not to use his presentation to the word but to develop their own.

If you like this article, a small donnation is always welcome and keeps me motivated :-)


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16 comments to If you ever wanted to learn Tommy Wonder’s Tamed Card

  • Christian Card-Shark Schenk

    Hi Tom,

    I would like to ask you to remove immediately this PDF file as I got the copyrights to publish the Tamed Card effect from Tommy Wonder´s Estate. Also Hermetic Press has agreed to allow me to publish the excerpt from Tommy´s book (and I have to pay for that) and also L&L publishing will allow me to use the video file (yes, also I have to pay for that).

    The effect will be published by the beginning of 2010 together with the complete set of cards and gaffs.

    So even if you streamlined his routine or made it better you still are referring to his routine. So please may I kindly ask to remove the PDF file immediately?

    Thank you.
    Christian Schenk

    • escamoteur

      Hi Christian,

      no I won’t remove this post due to the following reasons:

      1. As I already stressed, it will be really hard for anybody to learn the trick just from my description. Btw. I didn’t make it better, I just distilled the best from the Book and DVD. Feel free to use it with your upcomming set as long as you reference me.

      2. The video clip is already on YouTube and L&L has not protested yet, I only put it here in a better quality. Also I only put the performance piece on with heavy recomondations to buy the DVDs from L&L so L&L will rather benefit from it.

      3. The same is true for Hermetic press, as the Books of Wonder get more attention to the younger generation. If Stephen Minch objects to this view I will reconsider taking it down.

      4. Most important: My blog is completely non commercial.

      5. Also as I did not copy any part of the book directly I’m not sure where the copyright of the trick itself really lies, but I don’t want to go into this further.

      6. To make the needed card set on your own is pretty much work and expensive, so I’m sire everyone who reads this post and wants to perform this master piece will happyly wait till your set is ready and buy it from you. I you send me one, I will post about it as soon as they are available, so also you have a benefit from this post.

      Best Tom

  • Mats Kjellstrom

    I use double scotch tape. Wax is messy…

    • André

      Hello Mats
      I tryed to use non permanent glue. It works perfectly to hold the cards together. But either way, wax, scotch tape or gluestick : I cant do the Hamman count smoothly anymore because the cards dont glide over the sticky part. I am the only one with that problem?

      • escamoteur

        Hello André,

        but when you do the Hamman count the two cards with wax are still stuck together, why do you geht problems wirh them?
        I didn’t have any problems like that with magicians wax so far.
        Best
        Tom

  • escamoteur

    @Mats Isn’t the tape more visible?

    I was already thinking of trying 3M PostIt Spray glue.

    Thanks for this tipp

  • I add only a #7 and a #8 to Tom’s list.

    7. Educational purposes are in most locales fully allowed as long as not rendering the original work obsolete. (which as Tom made sure to not do this should be no issue)

    8. Isn’t suppressing minor helpful informational additions to past work only going to also suppress the art we seek to build.

    Tom is obviously a working professional adding to the art and not at all seeking to diminish it.

    I applaud the additional info and will be printing it to tip into my Books of Wonder.

    Thanks Tom

  • After reading the PDF file and talking to Tom I can say that this PDF file is a good add-on to Tommy´s genious routine. As soon as I find the time to get all pieces together I will see how to integrate the remarks of Tom.

    About the effect itself: The Tamed Card effect shows the genious and the thinking of Tommy Wonder in a very impressive way. Only reading the book or only watching the DVD would be OK but I want to get both together, that is why I talked to Hermetic Press and L&L. So far it is also important to merge both pieces of work together so that the final product will be as good as possible. The extra remarks of Tom could be the necessary glue to solve this task.

    The effect will be released using my new Phoenix Deck that will be the upcoming successor of the Bicycle brand (hopefully). You can read all about it on my website.

    Best wishes
    Christian

  • Nice work Tom! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the tamed cards. Every effort to improve things is benificial to everyone.

    Cheers, Frank
    Tommy Wonder Estate

  • I’m happy to see that this worked out in the best possible way. You did right in contacting the estate, Tom (even though it was a bit late).

    There were a few misunderstandings in the earlier comments, and it might be good to clarify some of it, just to be complete.
    5. Also as I did not copy any part of the book directly I’m not sure where the copyright of the trick itself really lies,

    According to the Berne Convention, the copyright to the trick itself always belongs to the creator, and can not be transfered, sold or given away. After the passing of the creator, the rights falls to the estate of the creator, and is protected for 70 years. Dutch copyright law see no difference between commercial and non-commercial copyright transgressions.

    7. Educational purposes are in most locales fully allowed as long as not rendering the original work obsolete.
    This refers to the Fair Use doctrin. But that only allows for smaller quotes, just enough to be able to discuss the artistic merits of the piece in question (like in a review, or a historical comparison). This is far beyond what is allowed by Fair Use.

    Which doesn’t matter now, as Tom has recieved permission from the estate. It only took one email for him to get it.

    Tom, to avoid future misunderstandings, would you kindly add “(Published with permission from the Tommy Wonder Estate)” next to the PDF link, or preferably inside the PDF?

  • escamoteur

    @Tom Just added the comments you suggested!

  • André

    Hello Tom
    Thank you for the answer! On the Tommy Wonder DVD he counts 3 Original Cards first, bevor pointing to the watch. So if you dont split the waxed double, the first tamed card will appear on the pile in the right hand. Because you have from top only 3 cards when the first ist glued to the second: O O/T O/T O/T T T T T. That means I do something wrong?
    Best
    André

    • escamoteur

      Oh sorry, my misstake. You are completely right. Perhaps you are using too much wax or press to hard while doing the Hamman count. I never had this problem.
      I use the quite hard Michael Ammar Magicians Wax.
      Hope this helps
      Tom

  • pierre emmanuel

    I really wonder why Tommy (no joke here) used this gimmick : if you remove one double face card, and one regular card (so 6 cards instead of 8) you get the full effect. Ok, you are missing one transformation, but the setup and reset is far more easier..

    any idea ?

    • escamoteur

      Hi Pierre,
      I think his reason was on the one side the additional change, but also that he is able to pass out one of the doubles as a normal card. Tommy didn’t do anything without a good reason. He was a perfectionist. But if ou are happy with your solution, fine.
      Best
      Tom

  • btalbot

    I have been working with magic a long time–I dont know about the copy right stuff-sounds like someone else wants to cash in a swipe the stuff himself—but anyone who studies this trick will need some serious effort and it will expand their minds about magic in general to study the work of this master. Is performing someone elses routine “stealing”? Or just swiping the effect and repackaging it for themselves (i.e. $$$$$s) I prefer to think of myself as a traditionalist keeping something beautiful alive; and work hard to do Tommy’s masterpiece some justice when I perform it by performing it well. Thanks for publishing this and keepung it up—although some would rather OWN it themselves. No one could own the thought processes of an artist like Tommmy.

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