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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workers » » Eugene Burger's opinion of Chicago Opener? (20 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Pop Haydn
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Here is another performance of the second ending:

danaruns
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The first routine I ever performed for Eugene Burger was Pop's Chicago Surprise (poorly, and using the 2nd ending because I wasn't very good at hitting the "classic"). And I must say, Eugene didn't like that version either, specifically because of the DL. He gave me a lecture about how he thought it was just a bad move overall, and should never be used in anything. He told me he doesn't ("didn't" -- still hard to get the past tense on him) ever do a DL, it's simply removed from his repertoire. And he gave me alternatives.

Eugene was right about the DL, but it's still the card sleight I use most often because it's just so darn useful and is the best method for the Chicago Opener/Surprise. But I've switched to using the same DL Pop uses in the videos (which Pop taught me) most of the time, because I think it's a better DL than the alternatives, taking into account Eugene's objections. But Eugene didn't like that one, either. Lol!
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
danaruns
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Quote:
On Jul 23, 2018, Feral Chorus wrote:
Burger discussed his issues with Chicago Opener in his Reel Magic interview with Andrew Pinard (Issue 12). His problem with the trick was that in the 1st phase the DL happens at the worst possible moment. It happens at the time when everyone is staring at the card.


He told me he just thought the DL was a bad move, period. And any decent DL is invisible even when the audience is burning your hands. But in the Chicago Surprise, on the theory that a big move covers a small move, I do the DL while turning to my left and raising the deck to display the "chosen" card, so even if they are burning me it happens when my arms are in motion. Pop does the same thing, kinda, in the video above, but my move is bigger and timed specifically to the DL, cuz I'm not specifically a card magician and need all the help I can get.
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
warren
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Quote:
On Jul 26, 2018, Pop Haydn wrote:
Generally, I prefer the first one. It is more magical and amazing. The second ending where the person doesn't take the force card creates a stronger impact and gets a more lively response. But, I have to say that I love it when they pick the force card and then change their minds and pick another card--it seems the performer has total control.


Thanks for the reply much appreciated Smile
Merc Man
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How is the DL a bad move?

Is Eugene Burger saying that simply flipping over the top card is a bad move - because, in essence, that's all it should look like you are doing?

Moreover, if he disliked the DL because many magicians did it badly then WOW - you could say the same about nearly every card sleight ever invented.

Despite peoples' reputation within this field, don't you think that sometimes they could be completely wrong? It's their opinion - but it doesn't mean that they are always correct. I certainly wouldn't beat myself up over the comments of one person. Work harder to perfect something maybe?
Barry Allen

"The Rules of the Sleight-of-Hand Artist, are three and all others are vain; the first and second are 'practice', and the third one is 'practice again'.

Edward Victor 1936
AaronSterling
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On Aug 2, 2018, Merc Man wrote:
How is the DL a bad move?

Well, you said DL and described DT, which is a different set of mechanics, and harder. So Burger might have a point that most magicians don't understand the move. An example of a good DT is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSHW6gZQD6U
Merc Man
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On Aug 2, 2018, AaronSterling wrote:
Quote:
On Aug 2, 2018, Merc Man wrote:
How is the DL a bad move?

Well, you said DL and described DT, which is a different set of mechanics, and harder. So Burger might have a point that most magicians don't understand the move. An example of a good DT is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSHW6gZQD6U

Call it whatever term you want - I've always known turning over two cards as one as a double lift. What is more important - the correct name.......or the convincing execution of the sleight in order to fool spectators? I spent considerable time learning the technique as explained with Dai Vernon's Book of Magic. It looks the most natural way I've seen.

And as I've been doing something right for years and entertaining people with it (and not getting caught), I'll stick with it if that's OK with you - rather than listening to advice given by 'a name' that, if I'm brutally honest, demonstrated the type of charisma that would send a glass eye to sleep. Smile
Barry Allen

"The Rules of the Sleight-of-Hand Artist, are three and all others are vain; the first and second are 'practice', and the third one is 'practice again'.

Edward Victor 1936
danaruns
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What Eugene explained to me had nothing to do with people doing the DL poorly, it was the move itself he didn't like. He said it doesn't look like a natural way people turn a single card over, and anyone who knows what a DL is can spot it no matter how well it is done. No one who is not a magician turns cards over in that way. It "looks like a move." It looks odd to lay spectators, and looks like handling (at best) or a sleight (worse) when they see it. Eugene's approach was that all card handling should look casual and natural, like you're doing nothing at all and are handling the deck in the same way a spectator would. He wasn't a big fan of fancy moves during card tricks. He thought it was more magical if magical things happened without anything that looked like the employment of special skill.

I agree with him that anyone who knows a DL can spot it whenever it happens (unless the magician also alters all other card turnovers to match his/her DL). But I don't concern myself with that because most lay people don't know what it is, and it's possible to render it unnoticeable in context. I also agree that it looks like a move. So I've changed mine and now use the most natural looking one I know about (which still doesn't look terribly natural), which is the one Pop Haydn uses in the videos posted earlier in this thread. I've had several magicians tell me they don't like that one, but I do. To each their own.

Anyone denigrating Eugene Burger loses credibility in my eyes. He was a master, and was very influential to magic in the 20th century. You might disagree with his approach, but to insult him is lunacy. There are lots of hack magicians out there who may be performing for 40 years but still have more ego than intellect. Lots of working magicians still swimming in the shallow end of the pool. Those folks might not be able to appreciate what Eugene brought to the magic table. And that's fine, but such comments demeaning Eugene Burger say more about that poster than they do Eugene.

Smile
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
Merc Man
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Did Eugene Burger ever do a show this side of the pond; at half ten at night after England had been knocked out of The World Cup?

I only remember seeing him do one trick on UK TV - it was the cigarette through playing card. Come to think of it, as it uses a gaffed card, he must have used a Double Lift! Smile
Barry Allen

"The Rules of the Sleight-of-Hand Artist, are three and all others are vain; the first and second are 'practice', and the third one is 'practice again'.

Edward Victor 1936
magicfish
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Eugene simply chose not to use the technique in his work. Some don't use a pass. Others won't use a side steal. It's no big deal.
The DL/DT while simple, is an advanced sleight and many beginners expose the move by not giving it the practice it deserves and therefore lack the level of expertise required to do it convincingly.
This public bumbling can and does negatively affect other magicians.
Check out Mike Close's wonderful essay called a the Life of the Party in his Workers series for more on this.
pepka
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I haven't had Chicago Opener in my #1 set for a LONG time, but when I have done it, it always kills. There is a version that uses a very unique handling by Andi Gladwin that I'm very fond of. I guess I work it up and try it next show.
lynnef
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Relatedly, Darwin Ortiz said on a tape he didn't like the flushtration count, even though he found in necessary for Jumpin Gemini! Some of our most important sleights just come with difficulties and problems. Agree with magicfish that the DL/DT is in fact an advanced sleight. I use it a lot, but find that I really have to pay attention to misdirection. Much repect to Eugene Burger, who directly or indirectly (myself via VHS) got many of us going in magic. Lynn
Merc Man
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If I'm brutally honest, whilst getting interested in magic at the age of 12 (42 years ago), a performance by Eugene Burger would have probably put me OFF magic.....for life!

Fred Kaps on the other hand! Smile
Barry Allen

"The Rules of the Sleight-of-Hand Artist, are three and all others are vain; the first and second are 'practice', and the third one is 'practice again'.

Edward Victor 1936
magicfish
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Quote:
On Aug 17, 2018, Merc Man wrote:
If I'm brutally honest, whilst getting interested in magic at the age of 12 (42 years ago), a performance by Eugene Burger would have probably put me OFF magic.....for life!

Fred Kaps on the other hand! Smile

Don't be so sure Merc. I spent time with him and he repeatedly annihilated me with nothing but a deck of cards. When Burger does a trick for You, it is Magic.
AaronSterling
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On Aug 10, 2018, lynnef wrote:
Relatedly, Darwin Ortiz said on a tape he didn't like the flushtration count,

You may know that Tommy Wonder's handling of it was to pause and create misdirection when it was time to do the big move. The count starts at about 1:20 here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvURE6ueeEk

Though the best in your face count I've seen is by Vallarino, for example at the beginning of this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BjK_n7UHwE
AaronSterling
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On Aug 17, 2018, Merc Man wrote:
If I'm brutally honest, whilst getting interested in magic at the age of 12 (42 years ago), a performance by Eugene Burger would have probably put me OFF magic.....for life!

I doubt that's true, but perhaps not for the reason you expect. There's a pre-2000 Burger and a post-2000 Burger. Maybe even pre- and post-1995. In his prime, he was profoundly influential. But as American magic collapsed, Burger reinvented himself as the Deepak Chopra of prestidigitation, and peddled woo to men in midlife crisis, instead of performing for general audiences. Maybe he needed to eat, maybe he wanted to preserve a level of attention. But I imagine your view of him comes from video slices of his later life, instead of seeing him when he was at his best.
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