The Alex Elmsley "Datebook" plot has always been intriguing to me. There have been many excellent solutions to acheiving the effect, such as Bob Cassidy's "Chronologue", or Paul Gordon's "The Gordon Diary" (sold elsewhere on TMGS). This solution from Val LeVal (and nicely produced by JB Magic) is perhaps the easiest one I have come across that still retains a high level of effectiveness.
The effect: a pocket calendar (or diary) is put on the table, and a deck of cards is also set on the table. After both of these are out and in view, the spectator names any date that is important to her. (Or any date that is unimportant to her -- no force, she can choose any day of the year!). In a very logical manner, the month and date are used to determine a freely selected card from the deck -- the spectator deals one card for each letter of the month, and one card for each number of the date, which leads to a random card. Let's say it is the 5 of hearts, determined by April 19th. Now the spectator picks up the diary and turns to the page that has April 19, and guess what card is written on that date. yes, you guessed it -- the 5 of hearts.
Note: no forces, and no rearranging of the cards after the date is named. Magi does not have to touch the deck or diary for the entire effect. The deck is ungimmicked and the cards are dealt face up to make clear that they are all different and in a mixed order. Lastly, the diary can be examined as well, (though if someone was given enough time to look at it, like 10-15 minutes, they might figure out PART of the method.)
Every Calendar effect solution has it's pluses and minuses, and ValiDate is no exception. It is not impromptu, and although the counting down to the selected card is very logical and unsuspicious, it is not as direct as having someone simply name a card. But there is no memory work, and no finger work, and...well, actually, there's no work at all. You can sit back and enjoy the magic and your audience's reaction to it.
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