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Terrible Wizard
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I do quite a lot of SW tricks - I like easy Smile But then I'm a casual amateur.

But has anyone, especially any pro, tried to do a set (even a whole show!) of nothing but SW tricks?

Why do I ask? Well, as a thought experiment. It strikes me that there's loads of very strong, very interesting SW card tricks out there. If presentation really is the most important thing in magic, then shouldn't one be able to take these excellent SWers and mix them with a great performance to make a complete show?

Or, to ask another way, what's the point of non-self-working card magic?
0pus
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I am not sure what you mean by a "complete show." Can you elaborate?
Terrible Wizard
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Sure.

It would vary according to context, but imagine a professional performer, say Bill Malone, doing their card magic gig - could they do that 'show' with only SWers?

If they did, would it lack something compared to their more usual sleight-heavy stuff (assuming their performance was as polished and charismatic as usual)? What would it lack?
marc_carrion
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I think that's a great exercise... get some self-working, prepare or stack a deck in order to be able to perform all of them, perform and tweak, perform and tweak... I'm sure that if you have the same polished and charismatic presentation, it will not lack anything. If it lacks something it may be on the selection of the effects (only select miracles) or the presentation. Read Tamariz's the Magic Way, and Darwin Ortiz's Strong Magic and Designing Miracles.
Uli Weigel
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Terrible Wizard, spectators are not dumb. If you perform five, six or even more self-working card tricks in a row, they will see a pattern. They may not know what's going on under the surface, but they will conclude, that it's not the performer who causes the magic, but rather some hidden principles, mathematics and so forth. The best way to handle so called self-working tricks is, to be a good general and perform such tricks at a strategically favorable position in any given performance set. Hit them hard with your magical artillery first, and when they are watching you like hawks, drop your self-working hands-off bomb from above to get the most devastating result. Of course, there's much, much more to say about the issue.

By the way, most hobbyists I have seen over the years, who have claimed they only do the easy stuff, so they can "fully concentrate on the presentation", usually had no presentation at all. Or you could see them thinking while they stumbled through the procedures, which is just as bad as flashing a move. They were just lazy. I hope, you are not one of them, despite your nickname.

Also, self-working magic is just too limited in scope and variety of effects. Magic is first and foremost a craft. You want to have as many tools as possible at your disposal. Moves, principles, gimmicks, apparatus, psychology, you name it. And, believe it or not, technically competent magicians are usually also much better at getting the most out of self-working tricks. Think about it. There are no shortcuts in magic. I will never understand, why some magicians are so eager to limit themselves. What's the point of that?
marc_carrion
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Hi Uli, I disagree with the premise that self-working tricks look self-working... if you can dress them up well, self-working tricks can be miracles... and regarding the limited scope, there are lots of publications about self working tricks from predictions, coincidences, mind-reading, poker deals, spelling, out of this world, card to impossible location, sandwiches, ... remember that Terrible Wizard did not say he could not use gaffed decks, he could us a SiStebbins, packet tricks, short cards, strippers, etc... it is true that you can not do a signed card to pocket for instance, but he is not asking about including all effects possible, he is asking about constructing a show with only self working, and I think that is a good mental exercise. He can then add some false shuffles, pinky counts, cuts, and other subtleties and make it even more magical.

So, I would say go ahead, and try it... the effects selection is very important part of it

Marc
Terrible Wizard
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There are, it is true, some effects that only really seem possible with sleights - colour changes spring to mind. But is there really that much else?

And I'm not sure that there's really a great lack of variety with self-workers. I mean there's self-working triumphs; self working predictions; self working sandwhich effects; self working gambling effects, transpositions, card to wallet, spelling effects, supersense effects, coincidences, memory demonstrations, etc etc.

I wonder ...?

Part of the reason I don't do all SW tricks is that I like certain tricks that seem to require sleights, but would a lay audience know or care? Dunno. Maybe one could reverse Uli's approach and do several SWs before a sleight of hand trick. It's certainly an interesting thought experiment ...
Uli Weigel
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Try this for a thought experiment (or do it for real):

Let's suppose, you want to perform "Poker Player's Picnic" from Royal Road to Card Magic. Which handling is the strongest and most effective from a spectator's point of view?

1. Perform the trick as written without any sleight of hand.
2. Do a jog shuffle first and perform the trick as written.
3. Hand the deck to one or more spectators and ask them to thoroughly shuffle the cards. Only then you start your performance.
Terrible Wizard
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I totally agree that many tricks are much stronger with sleights - I don't happen to subscribe to the idea that performance is the be all and end all, I agree with Mac King that the tricks really, really do matter!

But, I reckon I could perform a 'no-skill' spectator finds the aces trick that involved a shuffle beforehand. I mean it is trivially easy to do Poker Player's Picnic after already doing a few tricks where the spectator shuffled the deck beforehand - and with no sleight of hand at all. Smile

In thinking about this thought experiment, I thought that if I did some 'skill-less' set I might do something like the following for a magic set and a mental magic set:

Magic:
2 non-card tricks
Further than That
Red Hot Mama
Pre-Prefiguration
The Piano Card Trick
2 non-card tricks
10 Card Poker Deal effect
Triumph effect

Possible additions or alternatives: Sandwhich effect; Devil's Bedpost; Ambitious Card(s) effect; Ace Assembly effect

Mental Magic
3 non-card tricks
Card Memory Demo
Supersense Card Demo
Lie Detector effect
Gemini Twins
Overclock
2 non-card tricks

Possible additions or alternatives: ACAAN; Transferred Thought; Two-person Mind Reading; Shuffleboard type effect

Plenty of variety and strength, I reckon Smile
Uli Weigel
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Ultimately, you have to decide what's more important to you: your own convenience or finding the most effective method for any given trick/plot. Sometimes the answer is a stacked deck, sometimes it's a gaff, sometimes a subtlety, sometimes sleight of hand, and sometimes all of that.

Please, don't take it personally, but your reasoning leads me to the assumption, that you spend a lot of time trying to find excuses to avoid practicing sleight of hand. Smile
Boomer
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<sigh> Guilty
seraph127
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Quote:
On May 11, 2017, Terrible Wizard wrote:
I do quite a lot of SW tricks - I like easy Smile But then I'm a casual amateur.

But has anyone, especially any pro, tried to do a set (even a whole show!) of nothing but SW tricks?

Why do I ask? Well, as a thought experiment. It strikes me that there's loads of very strong, very interesting SW card tricks out there. If presentation really is the most important thing in magic, then shouldn't one be able to take these excellent SWers and mix them with a great performance to make a complete show?

Or, to ask another way, what's the point of non-self-working card magic?


You might look at Roberto Giobbi's Card College Light series. Giobbi has selected some of the best self-working tricks around, and has organized them into performing sets and provides scripting.
There are many tricks, and many effects, but rarely a Grand Effect. There are many entertainers, but few real magicians. Many technicians, but few artists who use their art to explore their vision. - Derren Brown, Absolute Magic
seraph127
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Quote:
On May 11, 2017, marc_carrion wrote:
Hi Uli, I disagree with the premise that self-working tricks look self-working... if you can dress them up well, self-working tricks can be miracles... and regarding the limited scope, there are lots of publications about self working tricks from predictions, coincidences, mind-reading, poker deals, spelling, out of this world, card to impossible location, sandwiches, ... remember that Terrible Wizard did not say he could not use gaffed decks, he could us a SiStebbins, packet tricks, short cards, strippers, etc... it is true that you can not do a signed card to pocket for instance, but he is not asking about including all effects possible, he is asking about constructing a show with only self working, and I think that is a good mental exercise. He can then add some false shuffles, pinky counts, cuts, and other subtleties and make it even more magical.

So, I would say go ahead, and try it... the effects selection is very important part of it

Marc


I've read any number of descriptions of SWCTs. I usually switch off at "Have a spectator cut off a packet of cards and count the number of cards in the packet..." I agree with Uli - too many self workers are so encumbered with arbitrary and tedious process that, even if the spectator cannot explain how the process achieves the result, they are pretty clear that it IS the process that is achieving the result. Here's how Paul le Paul put it:
Quote:
A puzzle may baffle by its cleverness or its intricacy, but its solution manifestly lies within the actions that have been shown. It does not suggest the operation of something outside of normal cause and effect. Since the only pleasure of a puzzle lies in the satisfaction of solving it, its reaction is that of challenge to the intellect rather than an appeal to the imagination.


Rather than trying to salvage a wretched self-worker with some ingenious presentation (except as an exercise in scripting), I think it would be a rather more satisfactory and rewarding use of time and energy looking at some of the easier sleight-of-hand tricks. Steve Beam's Semi-Automatic Card Tricks would seem a good place to start (though I confess that I've never read any of them, more's the pity).
There are many tricks, and many effects, but rarely a Grand Effect. There are many entertainers, but few real magicians. Many technicians, but few artists who use their art to explore their vision. - Derren Brown, Absolute Magic
Terrible Wizard
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Uli: lol Smile. Sorry, you've actually read me pretty wrong - I'm a bit of a move monkey and practice card sleights a lot. Even pointless moves I have no use for, and various cardistry flourishes I never do. But hey ho Smile
Terrible Wizard
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Serpah127: I agree that many SWs can be terrible. So are many slieghts based tricks. But look at my set lists above - all of those tricks/effects named I can do SWing. Are any of those wretched in your opinion?
marc_carrion
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On May 12, 2017, Terrible Wizard wrote:
Serpah127: I agree that many SWs can be terrible. So are many slieghts based tricks. But look at my set lists above - all of those tricks/effects named I can do SWing. Are any of those wretched in your opinion?


The piano card trick... drop that one Smile I don't know why, but I did not liked it the first time I read it, and I still don't like it Smile everything else looks good.

Also, yes, SW does not mean stop practicing better ways (or more convincing ways) to accomplish the same results, but from the spectator point of view there is no self working vs. sleight of hand. Everything needs to look as YOU want it to look... if you do a poker presentation that is SW but you are trying to convince them that you are a great card shark, you want them to think there is sleight of hand... but if you are doing something that is supposed to be Magic, then you don't want them to even suspect sleight of hand (or self working procedures)... if you find a more convincing way to do a similar effect, you can present the older way until you are ready for the new onw... do your best, until you can do better

Marc
Terrible Wizard
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I hated the piano trick when I first read it too. But then a member on this board challenged me about it, and then I did it for some people - and it was great! Smile Now I love it.

Regarding wanting them to think you're great at sleights this can easily be done with a judicious mix of SWers with flourishes. The flourishes display the skill openly, but the lack of sleights make the tricks look like your skill is so great as to be truly undetectable! Smile
seraph127
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Quote:
On May 12, 2017, Terrible Wizard wrote:
Serpah127: I agree that many SWs can be terrible. So are many slieghts based tricks. But look at my set lists above - all of those tricks/effects named I can do SWing. Are any of those wretched in your opinion?


I'm not familiar with some of the items on your list. "Further Than That" is pretty nice because of its presentational "hook" - it is actually a mini-routine. I don't care for the "Piano Trick" myself because I find the effect somewhat unimpressive. "Gemini Twins" is quite nice, especially if one uses a variant such as Green's "Stolen Cards" (again, the excellent presentation contains perfect motivation for using a nonstandard deck). I'd also like to reiterate my reference to Giobbi's Card College Light series for its excellent selection of material, its fully scripted presentations, and its organization into performance sequences. One interesting item I'd throw in is "Four Cards Down" from Leo Benkhe's obscure tract Simple, Baffling Card Tricks: Stunners T...... Explain.
There are many tricks, and many effects, but rarely a Grand Effect. There are many entertainers, but few real magicians. Many technicians, but few artists who use their art to explore their vision. - Derren Brown, Absolute Magic
Terrible Wizard
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Yes, FTT is a routine all in itself - I've always loved it from the first moment I saw it. It's a real winner! Smile

I thought the piano trick was rubbish when I read it, but as I noted in a post above, when I was challenged to actually perform it it got good reactions - the effect seems pretty impressive in that a card is teleported from one location to another. That's not bad for a self worker, lol Smile

Gemini Twins is awesome! Again, I've always had a love for this effect! Smile

The others I mentioned are all quite standard fare - Chicago opener; 10 card poker deal; triumph - all varied and hard hitting IMHO.
seraph127
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Quote:
On May 12, 2017, Terrible Wizard wrote:
Yes, FTT is a routine all in itself - I've always loved it from the first moment I saw it. It's a real winner! Smile

I thought the piano trick was rubbish when I read it, but as I noted in a post above, when I was challenged to actually perform it it got good reactions - the effect seems pretty impressive in that a card is teleported from one location to another. That's not bad for a self worker, lol Smile

Gemini Twins is awesome! Again, I've always had a love for this effect! Smile

The others I mentioned are all quite standard fare - Chicago opener; 10 card poker deal; triumph - all varied and hard hitting IMHO.


Hm. Chicago Opener (Al Leech's "A Hot Card Trick No. 1") and Triumph are not self-working.
There are many tricks, and many effects, but rarely a Grand Effect. There are many entertainers, but few real magicians. Many technicians, but few artists who use their art to explore their vision. - Derren Brown, Absolute Magic
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