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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » All in the cards » » Why do so many beginners pick procedural tricks? (5 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

cbmar
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Seems like everyone knows at least one card trick. And 9 times out of 10, that random guy in your office, or sister's best friend, will show you a procedural trick requiring you to deal the cards into four piles, stack everything in a certain order, re-deal the cards into three piles, etc.

Why do you think that style of card trick is so attractive to non-magicians? It's not that these tricks are particularly easy. I mean, with all those steps to remember, a simple crisscross force would be a far less complicated way to go.

I have a few theories...

1)If you are explaining what to do, you don't have to fill the silence with actual patter.
2)These tricks are like a puzzle, where sometimes the magician himself doesn't know how it works.

What do you think?
ejohn
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Some other non-magician showed it to them, and it is the only trick they know.
JBSmith1978
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It's usually the same few tricks Poker Players Picnic, Four Robbers, Card divination by flipping the top card over behind the back to Glimpse, Four Robbers, 21 Card Trick,
Simple Key Card, Using the glide, smacking the hand revelation, shifting a four pile packet while blowing to create a transposition, Out of this world, Mutus Nomen Dedit Cocis, oh and the one where you make piles containing a seed card and dealt cards to create a number usually 13, Simple and usually botched version of the Biddle Trick.

For each of these the person can execute it horribly and get amazing reactions and positive reinforcement from friends. It's not that I hate, I just simmer.

Forget the names of many of them, but Im sure you recognize them. Any others in card magic besides a double lift that I'm missing?

Edit: Oh yeah, one ahead matching.
Ben Blau
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I've been doing card magic for about 40 years. I still prefer subtlety over brute force. I'm well above average when it comes to sleight of hand, but almost never choose to use it if it can be replaced by an automatic or semi-automatic principle. There is an art to making procedure seem like congruent process. It requires thought, a strong personality, and acting skills.
marc_carrion
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Quote:
On Sep 1, 2017, Ben Blau wrote:
I've been doing card magic for about 40 years. I still prefer subtlety over brute force. I'm well above average when it comes to sleight of hand, but almost never choose to use it if it can be replaced by an automatic or semi-automatic principle. There is an art to making procedure seem like congruent process. It requires thought, a strong personality, and acting skills.


Like HOTOAC, what a great effect, what a simple method, what a great construction!! This to me is an effect that must be studied by anyone wanting to learn about construction through subtleties instead of hard sleights.
Ben Blau
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Quote:
On Sep 9, 2017, marc_carrion wrote:
Quote:
On Sep 1, 2017, Ben Blau wrote:
I've been doing card magic for about 40 years. I still prefer subtlety over brute force. I'm well above average when it comes to sleight of hand, but almost never choose to use it if it can be replaced by an automatic or semi-automatic principle. There is an art to making procedure seem like congruent process. It requires thought, a strong personality, and acting skills.


Like HOTOAC, what a great effect, what a simple method, what a great construction!! This to me is an effect that must be studied by anyone wanting to learn about construction through subtleties instead of hard sleights.


Thank you, Marc! So much effective magic can be done without sleights. If a magic effect looks like sleight of hand, it may be entertaining and fun, but will be appreciated on those merits. Some performers are fine with that. E.g., "Boy, he really has good hands!"

I don't want my material to ever look like sleight of hand. I want my magic to look as close to what the premise claims to be happening as possible. So for me, structure, subtlety, psychology and semi-automatic principles are where I like to live.

Having said that, I do occasionally use sleights, but very economically. And the ones that I do use, I make every effort to have them absolutely mastered so that sleight of hand never even enters the consciousness of the audience (ideally).

But again, 99% of my active repertoire is sleight-free.
cbmar
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I feel like we've gotten off topic here. Most of the tricks that people are referencing are NOT actually procedural.
A procedural trick would be of the variety where the magician makes various piles of cards, gathers up the piles, then makes MORE piles of cards, and then after 3 or 4 more steps, finally reveals the selected card. Beginners don't create patter or a reason for all of these piles. Instead, they run through the list of necessary steps like a recipe read aloud.

So, WHY do you think that style of card trick is so attractive to non-magicians?
donny
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"procedure tricks" require "broad/crude" movements, whereas "non-procedure tricks" require more sophistication or more psychology or more presentation or more reputation. Am I clear? It's "more".

Now that you know the answer (I suspect you did in the first place), what will you do with the knowledge?
It's not their senses that mislead, it's their assumptions.
cbmar
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On Sep 18, 2017, donny wrote:
"procedure tricks" require "broad/crude" movements, whereas "non-procedure tricks" require more sophistication or more psychology or more presentation or more reputation. Am I clear? It's "more".

Now that you know the answer (I suspect you did in the first place), what will you do with the knowledge?


A criss-cross force is well within the ability of every beginner, and actually fools audiences, yet beginners often opt for multiple pile, multi step tricks instead. Why not go for the criss-cross force than a convoluted 8 step puzzle?
donny
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Cbmar,
Are you making a point here? Are you looking to show how foolish the magic beginner is? Are you looking to show how simple the magic spectator is? I'll need more clarification to participate in your conversation. Otherwise we dither in opinion and perspective, and where does that get us without a clear and worthy topic?
It's not their senses that mislead, it's their assumptions.
cbmar
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On Sep 19, 2017, donny wrote:
Cbmar,
Are you making a point here? Are you looking to show how foolish the magic beginner is? Are you looking to show how simple the magic spectator is? I'll need more clarification to participate in your conversation. Otherwise we dither in opinion and perspective, and where does that get us without a clear and worthy topic?


Obviously this sort of complicated procedure trick is more popular with laymen/beginners than other types of simple tricks (like a cross-cross force), so my question is WHY?
cbmar
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On Sep 19, 2017, donny wrote:
Cbmar,
Are you making a point here? Are you looking to show how foolish the magic beginner is? Are you looking to show how simple the magic spectator is? I'll need more clarification to participate in your conversation. Otherwise we dither in opinion and perspective, and where does that get us without a clear and worthy topic?


To make it more clear for you, I go back to my initial question from this thread... "Why do you think that style of card trick is so attractive to non-magicians?"
One Inch Man
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Quote:
On Sep 19, 2017, cbmar wrote:
Quote:
On Sep 19, 2017, donny wrote:
Cbmar,
Are you making a point here? Are you looking to show how foolish the magic beginner is? Are you looking to show how simple the magic spectator is? I'll need more clarification to participate in your conversation. Otherwise we dither in opinion and perspective, and where does that get us without a clear and worthy topic?


To make it more clear for you, I go back to my initial question from this thread... "Why do you think that style of card trick is so attractive to non-magicians?"


That question was answered by ejohn in the very first reply.
Non-magicians do those kind of tricks because they are literally the only tricks they know how to do.. because they are not magicians.

You seem to be subtly shifting the goal posts in some of your posts though, by asking the same question about beginners, which I think may be confusing the issue.

Beginners are not non-magicians.

For what it's worth, in my opinion beginners are not attracted to that kind of procedural trick.
cbmar
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Interesting. Now we're back on track. Let's stick with the less confusing "non-magicians" rather than "beginners".
So WHY is that the only kind of trick they know?
Because that's what's taught on the YouTube channels they're learning from? That's what's in the many "non-magician" books on the market that they're reading?
Or is it just because "that's the way that it is?"
Poof-Daddy
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For my younger self who did a few procedural tricks long before becoming a "magician" or studying magic in general. The "Procedures" were just easy to remember. I saw it as a blueprint with a story attached. I didn't need to be "fast or sneaky" I just needed to remember how to lay the cards out at what point in the story. It is kind of funny that I refuse to do those same effects today. Just something inside that won't let me. It doesn't mean they are not effective Trick.
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RSchlutz
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My theory is it doesn’t require presentation and audience Control. Something like a Criss cross force is pretty hard to accomplish for a laymen. I have try to teach it before to laymen getting into magic and it very difficult for them to grasp because the secret is straight forward and relies on them and not some math principle. I think 21 card trick is so popular is because it just works. You do the steps and you find the card. No acting... no misdirection.

Ryan
RogerTheShrubber
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Quote:
On Aug 31, 2017, cbmar wrote:
Seems like everyone knows at least one card trick. And 9 times out of 10, that random guy in your office, or sister's best friend, will show you a procedural trick requiring you to deal the cards into four piles, stack everything in a certain order, re-deal the cards into three piles, etc.

Why do you think that style of card trick is so attractive to non-magicians? It's not that these tricks are particularly easy...



I would argue that they are. 21 and Picnic are procedural and involve a set series of instructions, true, but I think that they're pretty easy to remember. And if you can effectively remember the procedure, tricks like that are fairly difficult to screw up, a big selling point to someone who wants to know a trick or two but not much else.

But they're also the first tricks a lot of people see, which adds to their popularity. If I were to list the first five tricks I ever saw, both would be on the list and both are a lot easier to handle for the pure amateur than every other one on the list, even though each one of the five can be found in either Royal Road or Scarne and nobody here would consider any of them difficult. I'm guessing that just about everyone in the Café can remember the first trick he or she saw, and in my case I still do the first one I saw just out of sentiment even though it's not anywhere close to the better tricks in my repertoire. You know how it is: you miss your grandfather, but you can still entertain someone with something he taught you.

I'm guessing that the root of this goes a long, long way back. If, back in the day, Untouched or Gemini Twins were the first tricks shown to kids by their parents or scoutmasters, those would be the ones we'd be talking about in this thread, they're clearly better tricks than 21 or Picnic (in my opinion, anyway), but nobody was doing them when my grandfather's grandfather was trotting out his first trick. As for 21 and Picnic, Adam probably showed them to Eve.
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