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Topic: Lack of sleights
Message: Posted by: Jordan Piper (May 13, 2003 03:38PM)
How good of a close up/ street magician do you think one can become without knowing many sleights. I ask because I have small hands and find sleights, especially with cards, difficult. I know I can only become as good as I want to be but am often discouraged.
Message: Posted by: blindbo (May 13, 2003 08:10PM)
If you are having difficulty with sleights, 'especially with cards', I would suggest you try coins, sponges, balloons, juggling, tt, etc, etc., etc.

My point is there is so much magic and entertaining out there to learn, that you could never pull out a card and be a 'good close up/street magician'.

Of course, and you said it first, it's all up to you. Well, it does help if you are the only entertainer on the street....
Message: Posted by: Daniel Faith (May 14, 2003 11:25AM)
Nothing says you have to use the same deck that most other magicians use. Have you tried using a bridge size deck instead of a poker deck?

As far as coins go... Just use coins that are suited to your size of hands. There is no reason why coins should be a problem if you practice. Try a quarter.

Use the 1 or 1.5 inch sponge balls instead of the 2".
Message: Posted by: Michaels (May 14, 2003 12:07PM)
Card College states, use cards that you feel comfortable with. It also states that once you get used to one size it's hard to switch. I couldn't agree more.

I have small hands and have no trouble with poker size cards. I do not feel comfortable with bridge size. As Blindbo stated in his post, card magic does not make you a street magician.

It is your personality and style that make you a street performer.
Message: Posted by: Mago Mai (May 15, 2003 01:00PM)
There are so many good effects where you don't need complicated sleights.

Get one of those introductory lessons by Daryl or Ammar or just any good professional magician. Stay away from advance stuff for awhile.

Mago Mai
Message: Posted by: Andrew E. Miller (May 16, 2003 12:45AM)
It takes time to get used to. A lot of people think that if they have small hands they cannot do cards well and cannot palm or such. That is wrong though. You can!!! Even if your hands are small. I think that a street magician can be incredible or infinately good using zero sleights. It is all presentation, audience participation, and the material you choose. I have done a close-up show once using no sleights at all.

Andrew :bg:
Message: Posted by: ebyrne (May 23, 2003 12:08PM)
I agree with Andrew in that anyone can learn almost any card sleight. I have had dozens of people claim that they cannot do a one hand top palm simply because their hands are not big enough. (One person also claimed he couldn't do a perfect faro because of his hand size.) (??)

The fact is that you can, with practice, master any sleight. However, if you don't feel comfortable with sleights, realize that almost all of magic depends on the performance. There are more self-working card tricks alone out there then you could ever read about.

To build up some confidence, try performing some of these. With a convincing performance, you can truly work miracles in a spectator's eyes. Miracles do not require sleights! :bg:

Message: Posted by: djvirtualreality (May 23, 2003 12:35PM)
To me, coins are harder for some reason. I use to have difficulty with some sleights, but after a few hours of practice a week, I got them down. The hardest one for me is still a double lift :rolleyes: lol. I'm working on classic passing now, but can't get it even close to look invisible. Can anyone help me on this?
Message: Posted by: redstreak (May 23, 2003 09:21PM)
I have very small hands, I used to think that I would never be able to do many sleights, but now I can do everything with a poker deck. It just takes practice.
Message: Posted by: wassabi_87 (May 23, 2003 11:46PM)
I have largish hands, but whenever I try out a new sleight or trick, I feel uncomfortable, just do it over and over again, it has been said that the hands will remember somthing after one thousand repetitions, I think that is true, although somewhat exagerated.
Message: Posted by: magicsoup (May 24, 2003 09:26PM)
I have small hands and for years have used bridge sized cards. Recently I switched to poker size and I'm going to stick with them! Just practice. Also there are many tricks you can do that don't require sleights. I once did out of this world and the guy I did it for was convinced I was doing all sorts of complicated sleights that I don't even know how to do. Research and find the material that fits you.
Message: Posted by: dgiancaspro (May 24, 2003 10:12PM)
One thing I found out recently learning the Hot Shot cut is that it's OK to make adjustments to the handling of a sleight or flurish to complete it properly. I was not able to perform the Hot Shot cut the same way Daryl does, by rotating the deck between his forefinger and middle finger. So I use my third finger to do it. So consider learning some basic sleights with cards and modify the advanced ones to suit your needs. This way when someone breaks out a deck and asks for something, you'll be ready.

Good Luck!
"Mommy I want to be magician when I grow up!"
"You can't do both sweetie"
Message: Posted by: Dragona (May 25, 2003 12:07AM)
I found that I have hands that are a little big. Poker size cards slip out easily and I have to redirect my fingers to get them to hold on properly. I have learned how to overcome my overly large hands and I bet that with practice, your small hand's will not be a big problem.
Message: Posted by: dmk_kirkland (May 26, 2003 09:49PM)
Basically you'll have to find a way to perform the sleights for your own hands. Everyone is a little different. I was just reading in another forum where Geoff Latta had problems with finger palm because of the windows in his fingers.

Nothing feels better than finally getting that sleight to work. Just keep at it.
Message: Posted by: WVMAGIC (May 26, 2003 11:42PM)
Just keep practicing. I agree that big hands don't make sleights easier in the beginning to learn. As a musician and magician, I cannot emphasize enough the value of regular practice or rehearsal. Things have a way of working out.
Message: Posted by: Scott Xavier (May 27, 2003 01:03AM)
Message: Posted by: magicsoup (May 30, 2003 06:16PM)
There are a couple of books called semi automatic card tricks vol. 1 and 2. I've never read them but they have had good reviews. They are advertised as using very little sleight of hand. Scarne omn Cards is all self working. I believe L&L has a video on self working card tricks and Harry Loraine's Close Up Card Magic has some self working tricks. You might be surprised how well some self working card tricks play.
Message: Posted by: Payne (May 30, 2003 06:49PM)
I've been doing magic as a part time pro for over twenty years and do very little sleights. I only regularly perform one or two card tricks (neither which requires a single sleight) and a couple of coin tricks that require more direction of attention than sleight of hand. I recognized early that knuckle busting sleights were not my forte and concentrated instead on presentation.
Message: Posted by: magic fett (May 31, 2003 04:50PM)
The only good sleight is one that enhances the effect. If you are doing sleights to be doing sleights you are wasting your time.
Message: Posted by: irossall (Jun 12, 2003 06:56AM)
Do yourself a favor and read EVERYTHING that Master Payne has to say. I have had the pleasure to watch Master Payne perform his Magic and I can surely tell you, it is ALL about presentation (read that, SHOWMANSHIP). I Love to watch an excellent Magical performance and I do appreciate a good Sleight of Hand artist, but what I enjoy the most is a good and entertaining show. It is not how you do it, it is how you show it. Master Payne is as close to a role model as I have ever had. Watch, Listen and Learn from the true entertainers out there performing their craft.
-Iven :patty:
Message: Posted by: Jesse Dains (Jun 16, 2003 08:24AM)
Just in case you missed Ivan's point. It is worth repeating.
"it is ALL about presentation, it is ALL about presentation"
Taking an acting class it is far more important than the number of sleights you can perform.
Message: Posted by: VampOfVegas (Jun 16, 2003 08:40AM)
If you want to talk about small hands.. let's talk about Max Malini. He has some really small hands. When he palmed a card it was as if he was holding the cards a long way in his hand. But he still accomplished it due to great misdirection. So use misdirection to your advantage and try it out on your friends to see what works and what doesn't.
Message: Posted by: David Diaz (Jun 30, 2003 08:51PM)
I have small hands too, and in the beginning II also thought that I couldnīt make some sleight (i.e. one-hand palming). But face your fears and practice a lot, you will master almost any technique if you want to, meanwhile MISDIRECTION.
Donīt feel bad if someone make a sleight in a few minutes and you canīt. it's not your hands. It is your mind and maybe in a few hours (months or even years) you will be able to do it too.
Message: Posted by: JesseMagic (Jul 1, 2003 01:56AM)
Build your skill level by learning easy sleights, after your confortable and confident with your ability move on to something else...and learn sleight that your going to use in a real setting or what ever the case is...hope I helped
Best wishes...

Jess :nod:
Message: Posted by: daminfell (Jul 12, 2003 12:24AM)
I think using a lot of gaffs can get some good reactions but, to me, there is something different about performing effects that are clean and require some sleights, regardless of the difficulty. I like the feeling of knowing I worked for something and that not anyone can just pick it up and perform it...that it takes more practice than the average person is willing to put in.
Message: Posted by: Frank Tougas (Jul 12, 2003 02:50PM)
I think too many up and coming magicians forget that magic was performed on the street long before the David Blaine Specials. He did a lot of great card tricks. Some of them involved tough sleights while others did not.

Don't believe that unless you do some fancy finger flinging you can't be a credible performer. That is just distorted thinking.

If you like sleight-of-hand with cards, keep working at it. Small hands or not you will discover things you can do that will be rewarding to learn and astounding to see.

Meanwhile, do the best magic you can do. Getting a crowd is only half the job. Keeping them is the other and that is done through a solid and entertaining performance.

In the end, the crowd won't care if your like the street magic they saw on T.V. - most of them won't have seen it anyway. They will be interested in a great performance.

May the tips come heavy.
Message: Posted by: mesmer (Jul 16, 2003 08:13PM)
But you know what? mostly when you screwed a trick, one of your only outs usually is basic sleight-of-hand, ex: you had a screwy spectator who insisted on shuffling the deck,(hey you can palm off the chosen card)or many things!

You can improvise more if you know a wide arsenal of sleight-of-hand! So if you are not willing to put your time and comfort into practicing and rehearsing your material, maybe you should try stamp collecting!

Place your magic above comfort and rewards!
Message: Posted by: keven (Jul 17, 2003 10:33PM)
I would have to go with using self-working card tricks .

Try holding a deck in your hand every time you have your hands empty , and you have time to do it .

Im a barber and there are days were we sit all day long. I just bust out the cards and
mess with them in my down time :bikes: :bluebikes:
Message: Posted by: crazyhands (Aug 20, 2003 09:45PM)
Ammar stated in one of his books, I believe The magic of Michael Ammar, "...a couple of controls, a good top and bottom palm, a sure fire double lift." Not exactly quoted but after I read that I started concentrating on my most powerful sleights with cards. And stopped trying to learn every single sleight out there. Just my .02 cents.
Message: Posted by: twistedace (Aug 21, 2003 12:11PM)
I agree, the only thing you need to know is a good dl, and only one dl that you do well, a top palm, at least 3 ways to contol a card to the top, just in case of suspicion, and I'd throw in a top change too. I think with these simple sleights you can do miracles.
Message: Posted by: MagicMaker (Aug 23, 2003 08:32PM)
My problem lately is a problem with nervousness. I don't perform professionally neither do I consider myself a well rounded magician. But I do have a lot of knowledge.

I find tricks that require some semi difficult sleights are hard to pull off especially when you become shaky or nervous.

How do I break this fear of performing for a group of people? It has always been a problem for me.
Message: Posted by: sebastian (Aug 23, 2003 11:16PM)
My hands are small and for the longest time I avoided cards.I would even tell people that I didn't do card tricks because my hands were too small.

I learned rope and coin sleight-of-hand. One day I decided to conquer my fear of card sleight-of-hand and I bought The Royal Road to Card Magic. I practiced daily and didn't worry about even showing card tricks to anybody for the longest time.

It took several months but by sticking with it I learned how to easily force a card several ways. I can also do a one-handed cut which I never thought I would be able to do. Palming too even though I have to watch the angles since a corner tends to poke out. :pirate:
Message: Posted by: Jordan Piper (Aug 23, 2003 11:33PM)
First of all thanks to all the people that posted, your advice was greatly appreciated.

To MagicMaker, I suggest that after you have practiced your effects in private, until you have them perfected, you show them to family and friends. I find that the better I am at something the less nervous I get about doing it and I feel more relaxed performing for family and friends as they are not too harsh in their criticisms.
Message: Posted by: Scott Xavier (Aug 24, 2003 02:55AM)
I am a professional. I get scared! Here's what I do.

Find those people that you feel comfortable with and work for them. I find young ladies, and I impress them. Why? I am a young guy who, well, likes to show off.

But this isn't fool proof. I get really nervous still, often shake. I just calm down look the spectator in the face, and run away (JUST KIDDING), take a deep breath, and remember I am in control. I am the performer, the professional, and I am in charge.

Then I try to interact with the audience, this elevates them to guests and friends, not just audience members.
Message: Posted by: Leon of PrimRose (Aug 25, 2003 12:21PM)
It doesn't matter if you cant do too many sleights.
Try mentalism or certain street magic or mathematical close-up.
Whatever you do as long as you do it well it will get a good reaction. Trust me, I'm into just about every type of magic. Just be sure to get the tricks down good. :wavey: And you should also try a bridge deck if your hands are small. :bikes: