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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The Feminine Mystique » » Small hands and the charlier cut (6 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

MagicSarah
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Kent, United Kingdom
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Hello ladies,

My journey into the wonderful world of card magic has been going really well. However I'm struggling with the charlier cut.

My hands aren't tiny, but they're definitely not big. Has anyone got any tips? (in addition to lots of practice of course!)

Thanks!
Low Key
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Have you tried bridge sized cards?

I do have tiny hands, and stubby fingers. I started with bridge sized cards and can now do a clumsy Charlier with poker size cards.
MagicSarah
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Kent, United Kingdom
192 Posts

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Thank you lowkey. Yes, I have ordered a pack of bridge sized to try but they haven't arrived yet.

I am getting there, but it is an 'informal' charlier to say the *very* least.

I feel punkie counts might be a similar story as my pinkie doesn't reach the corner at the moment. Will have to start stretching it! Smile
Mary Mowder
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Sacramento / Elk Grove, CA
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Don't spend time with bridge cards. They just don't come off as pro. among the other Magicians.

Struggle with poker size and your hands will get better at handling poker sized cards.

I do a fair # of flourishes (including the Charlier) and I've picked up more than a few cards up off the floor. It will come with time.

Get used to feeling like the clumsiest person on the planet every time you start something new but also know that in a very short time you will be better at what ever it is than most of the people in most Magic Clubs.

Practice several short goes a day and stop if you have any carpal tunnel type problems. Pushing too hard in one session can put you out of the game for days.

Leave the cards by your easy chair (if Young people watch TV anymore) and use them every commercial break.

No kidding, I used to be known in my family for being clumsy with my hands but not anymore. It will come with time.

-Mary Mowder
Mike Gilbert
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Kamuela, Hawaii (Big Island)
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Some may disagree with this idea, but you might try gluing your cards together in two packets so you can at least practice the movement (with the bigger cards), and progress onto a regular deck to improve coordination and grip strength over time. Couldn't hurt! Smile
-Mike Gilbert Smile

"Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance."- Steven Pressfield
MagicSarah
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Kent, United Kingdom
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Thanks Mary – I suspected as much that smaller cards might be seen as cheating (ironic!). I think they might help me to get the feel of it though – but I have only ordered one deck.
MagicSarah
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Kent, United Kingdom
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Hi Mike – hmmmm, gluing sounds interesting (although not for the pinkie count! Smile ) – I might just give that a go.

Anyone tried it before?
Mary Mowder
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Good suggestion Mike.

Yes, I've tried rubber bands (they don't work because they keep the packets from sliding) and taping the packets together and it can work well if you tape the packets in a place that you don't need to touch much for the specific move. That is to say avoid taping the center of the packet if you would catch a break there or slide a packet across the tape.

It WILL help to get the pattern of movement right but it will not satisfy you for long. Which is just as well because you will have to re-learn to handle the sliding packets once you take off the tape.

Learn to enjoy picking up cards LOL.

-Mary Mowder
danaruns
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The City of Angels
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I don't use smaller decks or "cheat" anything in any way. I'd rather struggle and get it right, so that I can do anything, any time, with any deck. Although, I will do things to help me get the feel. Like, rather than gluing clumps of cards together, I started out by practicing just with two cards. Once I got the feel down, I started adding cards until I was doing it with a full deck.

Also, I don't know if this helps, but one thing that worked for me (your mileage may vary) was to tilt my hand down toward the fingers just the tiniest bit, so that gravity let the cards rest against my pinky and ring finger, which allowed me to stretch with my palm and thumb, and get my first finger under the cards enough to push them over the top. (Jeez, does that even make sense? I can't tell. I know what I have in mind; not sure I'm communicating it.) Letting go with the thumb was what gave the cards their opportunity to misbehave, so this fix worked for me. But I have long "piano fingers" anyway, so this might not be helpful to someone with different hands. What the hell do I know? Smile

--Dana
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
Soumyajit
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Under Your Bed
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While this is an old thread, just wanted to share some relevant info. I am a new conjurer myself and I have read in a number of books that charlier cut is one of those techniques that should look sloppy. In fact the sloppier the better. We just have to ensure we are not dropping cards and keeping them in the correct order. But it is ok even if it creates a big mess. In fact that adds to the fact that your card is totally lost or the order of the cards is totally messed up. Much like the Oops! cut.

And I am not ashamed to admit that my hands are smaller than the average men's hands Smile Practice can handle everything Smile

Soumyajit
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Orlan
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Puerto Rico
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Quote:
On Aug 16, 2016, Soumyajit wrote:
[...] I have read in a number of books that charlier cut is one of those techniques that should look sloppy. [...]
Soumyajit


Looks like you're mixing up the Charlier Shuffle (which should look like a sloppy mixing of the cards) with the Charlier cut (a one handed cut). Similar names, but different procedures.

I don't think there's any shame in using bridge cards, but if you can pick it up with poker sized cards with a bit of practice- go for it!

Check out Lee Asher's hand size: http://www.leeasher.com/lee_asher_hand.html
He was doing knuckle busting moves, before cardistry was a thing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6ITWyw8YQs
Soumyajit
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Yes, the Charlier Shuffle I meant, but actually it ends up being a cut Smile
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Julie
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I agree that there is nothing wrong with using bridge size cards. In real world circumstances a deck of cards is just a deck of cards.

Julie
MazingMandy
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Quote:
On Jan 17, 2016, Mary Mowder wrote:
Don't spend time with bridge cards. They just don't come off as pro. among the other Magicians.

-Mary Mowder


Who cares what other magicians think? The real reason not to use bridge cards is that you will struggle to find card gaffs that match the deck you are using so will be limiting yourself.

Keep going, your hands will stretch. I never used to be able to open my hands wide enough to do the hot shot cut, but now its easy.
Mary Mowder
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Magicians share and interact based on what they think of your skills and ability to share back. I socialize with Magicians as well. While it is not THE most important thing, I do care what other Magicians think and I think Women Magicians (all Magicians really) should care too. I learn and share a lot with other Magicians that I respect. It is as valuable as Books, DVDs, Downloads or lectures (and in some areas, more so).

-Mary Mowder
MazingMandy
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Fair enough, but I disagree, If someone looks down on me just because of the type of cards I use then I don't want to associate with that person.
Mary Mowder
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Please don't think Card enthusiasts are petty just because of my inability to convey the issue.

Nobody judges you entirely on your choice of cards.

I'm trying to help because I know many Women (and a lot of Men too) feel shut out of sessioning. I've been a part of many such sessions and I know there are small things that can make you more successful. Getting "in" can really help you to progress. Like any group dynamic, it is complicated.

-Mary Mowder
Bill Hegbli
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All magic decks in the 1960's to well into the 1980's were bridge size cards.

Never read anything so ridicules, using bridges size cards is not professional, and is cheating.

It is better to use what you can handle with confidence and present well, then worrying about what other people and magicians think.

Years ago during the bridge size era, I switched to poker size bicycle cards just to be different, not because of what other thought. I spent big money on having gaffs made out of poker size.

Now I have switch back to bridge size, just so I am not like everyone else.

If you are so worried, when in New York, you then need to use only bicycle Fan and TAlly-Ho back cards. When in L.A. you can only use No. 9. When in the Midwest bulldogs and standard bicycles.

Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile
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"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
Rocky
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Jerry Andrus only used bridge sized cards...
Mary Mowder
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Well, I guess the last two posts have to convince me that I'm wrong about this.

Use what you want.

-Mary Mowder
ed rhodes
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Quote:
On Oct 11, 2016, MazingMandy wrote:
Quote:
On Jan 17, 2016, Mary Mowder wrote:
Don't spend time with bridge cards. They just don't come off as pro. among the other Magicians.

-Mary Mowder


Who cares what other magicians think? The real reason not to use bridge cards is that you will struggle to find card gaffs that match the deck you are using so will be limiting yourself.

Keep going, your hands will stretch. I never used to be able to open my hands wide enough to do the hot shot cut, but now its easy.


Anybody here from England can correct me if I'm wrong but don't they generally use bridge cards in England? I mean in magic.
"He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad." - Rafael Sabatini, Scaramouche
Bill Hegbli
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No in England they use Waddington which is a poker size, and Piatnik.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Mary, no you are not wrong, just your reasoning is not for everyone.

I see that like you put a child on an adult bike, because that is the grown up thing to do. That 3 wheeler is not the grown up thing to do.
Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
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