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Topic: Best of Semi-Automatic Card Tricks
Message: Posted by: redeagle (Apr 25, 2009 03:02PM)
The Steve Beam series looks to be well recommended. I have a few questions for those that are familiar with them.

What are your favorite tricks from SACT v1-7?

Which of the volumes includes effects using a Si Stebbins stack?

Which is your favorite volume?
Message: Posted by: Rennie (Apr 25, 2009 06:24PM)
Save yourself the hassle and get The Card Magic of Nick Trost.
Rennie
Message: Posted by: redeagle (Apr 25, 2009 07:07PM)
I have it. Trost is awesome.

Why "hassle"?
Message: Posted by: R.S. (Apr 25, 2009 08:28PM)
I have 3 of the SACT books (vols. 2, 3, 4), and frankly, there's not much material that I use from them. The majority of the tricks start out with something along the lines of "arrange the deck so that the top 13 cards are the A-K of Hearts in order", or "place 4 Tens on top of the deck followed by 4 black cards followed by 4 Jacks", or "arrange the entire deck in red/black alternating color." Now, I realize that there are some clever routines in SACT, and there is a place for those types of tricks. In fact, some may love these type of effects. But I personally found the pre-work required for most of the tricks to be a drawback. Your mileage may vary.

And to answer your questions, you can probably find tricks utilizing Si Stebbins in any of the volumes (I'm pretty sure there's some in all of mine). And to me, Vol. 4 was better than 2 and 3.

Of course, as I am not qualified to judge the other volumes, I'll leave it for others to offer their opinions.

Best wishes,
Ron
Message: Posted by: Rennie (Apr 25, 2009 09:50PM)
[quote]
On 2009-04-25 20:07, redeagle wrote:
I have it. Trost is awesome.

Why "hassle"?
[/quote]
I meant, I would not try to find something in the SACT books if you got the Trost book.
Message: Posted by: loyaleagle (Apr 26, 2009 12:13PM)
While I like a lot of the ideas in the books, there is an enormous amount of "chaff." Now I'm sure somebody out there uses each trick in the book, but the amount of pre-work makes it challenging to use many of them. Si Stebbins is ubiquitous in all the books I have so far (1 and 3).

That being said, Beam pulls from a lot of interesting minds and you'll get a lot of nifty ideas if you read through everything.
Message: Posted by: Hideo Kato (Apr 26, 2009 06:42PM)
[quote]On 2009-04-25 19:24, Rennie wrote:
get The Card Magic of Nick Trost.[/quote]
Rufus Steele's books can be recommended in that regard.
Of course, Karl Fulves, Bob Longe will satisfy you.

Hideo Kato
Message: Posted by: Mick Ayres (May 22, 2009 10:36AM)
Enjoy your assumptions, guys. I can't wait to bump into some of you and twist your mind around with the stellar, innovative, humorous routines found in each volume of the SACT series.

Whatever you do, PLEASE don't look at Lewis Jones' material nor the contributions from the conjurors of Spain found in the latter two volumes. There's nothing to see there. Just keep movin' by, folks.

Mick Ayres
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (May 27, 2009 06:18PM)
Also stay away from Mick Ayres's stuff. I mean, REALLY, who would want to learn some jugular ripping stuff from a WORKING pro?

;)

Vlad
Message: Posted by: redeagle (May 30, 2009 11:33AM)
[quote]
On 2009-05-22 11:36, Mick Ayres wrote:
Enjoy your assumptions, guys. I can't wait to bump into some of you and twist your mind around with the stellar, innovative, humorous routines found in each volume of the SACT series.
[/quote]

Mick,
I'm the OP. From several posts I see you are a big fan of Steve's work. I have read a lot of positive comments in general about his SACT books, thus my original question. I plan to acquire 1 or more. Since 7 volumes is a bit expensive, my original post was too see if there were any favorites. I also work several effects based on the SS stack and heard some of the SACT books had material of this sort. Any recommendations for me based on this?

Hideo, Thanks. I have one of the Fulves books and do like his write-up and selection of tricks.
Message: Posted by: Sixten (May 30, 2009 12:01PM)
[quote]
On 2009-05-27 19:18, Vlad_77 wrote:
Also stay away from Mick Ayres's stuff. I mean, REALLY, who would want to learn some jugular ripping stuff from a WORKING pro?

;)

Vlad
[/quote]

Agree!, Vlad:D)
Also included: Mr. Ayres' "Out on a Limb"/Just keep on going, folks!
(It's only Mr. Ayers trying to retrieve his "kitty cat"/LOL-(only kidding:) )

Warmest regards,

Sixten
Message: Posted by: Kevinr (Jun 2, 2009 01:03PM)
Well... I guess a prop can keep 15 decks in his pockets and then he can do the tricks 15 times!

that's the problem with a lot of the self working idiot proof tricks.. So to speak...
Message: Posted by: moualb (Jun 6, 2009 09:36PM)
Hi redeagle,

I supposed that you searched for information on SACT volumes and you found VERY contrasting opinions in the forum.
I bought 4 volumes (3,4,6,7) and I found all of those different opinions to be correct : a lot of the tricks need setup so I will certainly not use them, BUT many brilliant ideas, and here and there a few tricks that I use regularly.

Mick Ayres talks about the nice contributions from Lewis Jones (in different volumes) and from spanish magicians (in volumes 6,7) among other brilliant contributors and I feel the same after reading those volumes (and Mick himself has contributed nice effects to the volumes).

So even if there is no easy answer to your question please note :
- I really enjoyed reading those volumes and will certainly buy other volumes because Steve Beam writes in a very humourous way (I do not necessary rate a magic book by the number of tricks I keep but consider the pleasure of reading and the number of interesting ideas/principles I could play with as important) and some pages are absolutely hilarious
- there are SS stack routines among different volumes but there are many many other fascinating principles used in those volumes (Hummer, gilbraith etc...)
- the few routines I use from those volumes have plots/methodologies I would not have found in a sleight of hand magic book (for instance the pattern principle from Lewis Jones in volume 3 allows to perform some memory tricks that can be very impressive)
- you will even find some interesting moves described (for instance the nice underhand false shuffle from Steve Beam in volume 3)
Message: Posted by: TBeamanJr (Aug 4, 2009 01:58AM)
While I only dabble in card effects occasionally, I would recommend SACT Volume 3, which has several nice Stebbins effects. One in particular to look for is Allan Sleight and Beam's "Stebbin Out," an absolutely killer matching effect which can automatically reset your stack after scattering it into four piles.

Even after a number of years since Volume 3 was published, Steve still does this effect occassionally upon request. I believe he's on a lecture tour right now, but if you can catch him, he's incredibly approachable, even for a pasteboard neophyte such as me. I'm sure he would be happy to answer this question and sell you any (or all) of the 7 volumes!
Message: Posted by: Mick Ayres (Aug 6, 2009 09:06AM)
Redeagle,

To answer your question about favorite volumes is difficult, because there is great material for the thinking-performer in each one. Specifically, I am a fan of Steve's work with 'contingency' routines...effects where the methodology changes during performance depending upon the guest's reactions or decisions. I like effects that challenge me to keep on my toes on stage. Never a dull moment that way.

That being said, consider Volume 1. The effects "World's Greatest Magician", "Lucky 13" and "Quadruple Prediction". The first is pure self-working entertainment, the second requires a quick, easy set-up but is worth it, the third is one of those contingency-effects I mentioned. All are killer.

Hope this helps.

Best,
Mick
Message: Posted by: cristo (Aug 8, 2009 09:43PM)
I was underwhelemed by vol 1, being full of stebbins, gilbreath, and other full deck type stacks. This just made it of little use to me, not necessarily to others. I'm not saying they aren't good effects - I don't know since I can't use them.
Message: Posted by: redeagle (Aug 17, 2009 11:01AM)
Mick,
Thanks for your feedback. I have no issues with setups or even full deck stacks. I can always reference Harry Lorayne's books (among others) for loads of great impromptu stuff. Every methodology provides insight and learning. I guess the common thread in the responses to my question are that the SACT books are well-written, fun to read and all have several worthwhile effects.

I will be in Savannah in the fall and hopefully can come see your act.

Best Regards.
Message: Posted by: gilbreath76 (Aug 18, 2009 07:23AM)
The funny thing is you would think that the title of these books would appeal to the not so advance cardicians. It was only many years later when I became more schooled, especially in false shuffling, that I finally appreciated guys like Steve Beam and Simon Aronson. I was never confident with a stack, especially around intelligent college buddies. I knew that they would not be impress if they couldn't shuffle it, or at least if I couldn't convince them with my own shuffles. Learn how to false shuffle and a whole new realm of magic is opened up. It's great pulling out a pack and casually converse with people while doing the Heinstein shuffle, maintain your stack and proceed to blow them away.
Message: Posted by: captainsmiffy (Aug 18, 2009 02:39PM)
...or better still, let THEM shuffle and proceed to blow them away - check out 'Up The Ante' because you can do it exactly like that with this effect!
Message: Posted by: magicdano (Feb 25, 2010 01:31AM)
There is so much thought in these books. Check out his discussion of the Matsuyama Principle.
Also, Sigh Stebbins is clever and can be a crow pleaser.
Message: Posted by: John Pilotzi (Feb 25, 2010 08:52AM)
I don't rate the SACT series because far too many tricks have very big set-ups. So, they may be "automatic", but they sure ain't impromptu and/or practical. JP
Message: Posted by: ryesteve (Feb 25, 2010 09:36AM)
Are there really that many impromptu self-working card effects that require no setups? When I hear "self-working", I automatically assume a setup is required, so I'm not sure why this should be a criticism.
Message: Posted by: tltq (Feb 25, 2010 09:58AM)
[quote]
On 2010-02-25 10:36, ryesteve wrote:
Are there really that many impromptu self-working card effects that require no setups? When I hear "self-working", I automatically assume a setup is required, so I'm not sure why this should be a criticism.
[/quote]

Yes

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=209549&forum=206&46
Message: Posted by: ryesteve (Feb 25, 2010 12:09PM)
Yes, I looked at that thread... about half of the first page of messages are about OOTW, which is generally thought of as requiring a setup. Another of these supposedly self-working effect contains instructions such as, "The selected card is maneuvered so that it is fifth from the top. Then a group of cards is half passed to the bottom, and the bottom group is brought into play for the final count."
This is "self-working"? If so, I think we need to clarify what we mean by this.

Anyway, I never said there was no such thing as a self-working trick that required no set up... I just wondered aloud if there were so many of them that the requirement of a set up should be a criticism; and the thread you pointed to doesn't provide a whole lot of examples to the contrary.
Message: Posted by: tltq (Feb 25, 2010 06:47PM)
Looking back at thread the I posted, I see some people got off topic. Based on the sleights mentioned by the original poster later in the thread, I think it probably would have been better if the original poster had started another thread dealing with fundamental sleights in the Workers section and let the thread in the All in the Cards section deal with self-workers

These are either self-working or sleightless

No Clue Discovery
A Sporting Proposition
The Lazy Magician
Whispering Joker
Any Deck, Any Time
Mental Mates
Deuces Wild
The Magic 13
Double Disclosure
Ultra Coincidence
Duplex Mind
Blind Dice 1
Blind Dice 2
Hocus-Pocus
A Card and a Number
The Geiger Counter Card Trick
Opposites Attract
Follow the Leader
Mental Miracle
O. Henry Card Trick
Message: Posted by: magicdano (Feb 27, 2010 01:26PM)
I found all of Steve's books full of humor and clever material. Not only does he give you tricks, you can find info about a variety of topics. For example, he discussed the Matsuyama Principle in one or more of his volumes.I understand he is working on a Vol. VIII.
Message: Posted by: Richard.J.E (Mar 2, 2010 02:32PM)
I own 1 - 5 and I do belive some require such heavy specific stacks that they are for certain situations only.
Message: Posted by: Zap (Mar 12, 2010 07:11PM)
I can't believe the misinformation on this thread! It's obvious the posters haven't really worked through the books. There are many tricks in all the books that are either impromptu or require an easy set-up, which you can do in front of the spectators. It's simply not true that these tricks require hugely elaborate set-ups! Yes, some do, but the results are usually worth the set-up. Steve Beam's books need to be read with cards in hand. Also, although the tricks may be relatively sleight-free, many are not easy to do, as they require mental agility. And, like all worthwhile effects, they will require practice.
I think if someone performed many of these effects for you you would have a much higher opinion of them. There are many hidden gems.
I have all seven books. It's difficult to pick a favorite, but I'll go with volume 3, which has a great monte routine (impromptu, multi-phase, visual, easy), and a great triumph routine (impromptu, visual, easy),to name a few of its treasures.
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Mar 24, 2010 01:30AM)
This is simply a great series of books. Yes, some of the effects DO require a setup - and some quite extensive. But, these same effects pack a strong punch. Obviously if the stack is destroyed beyond hope then one wouldn't use these effects in walkaround situations. But, for formal sets, or for that special table, DS and slay them!

Annemann was RIGHT: EFFECT is everything!

If Steve IS doing a volume 8, I will definitely add it. Besides the excellent card magic, the revenues might convince him to do a Trapdoor compilation!!

Ahimsa,
Vlad
Message: Posted by: scottsheltonmagic (Apr 17, 2010 09:43AM)
I highly recommend the Killer Count in SACT Vol. 5. It allows you to do such illusions as:
- Instantly cut to the exact number of cards called for...
- And tell them what card is at that position in a borrowed, shuffled deck (no stack).

Also, I've heard a rumor that Steve might be doing a Trapdoor compilation but I don't know that for sure.

Scott Shelton
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Apr 17, 2010 12:06PM)
[quote]
On 2010-04-17 10:43, scottsheltonmagic wrote:
I highly recommend the Killer Count in SACT Vol. 5. It allows you to do such illusions as:
- Instantly cut to the exact number of cards called for...
- And tell them what card is at that position in a borrowed, shuffled deck (no stack).

Also, I've heard a rumor that Steve might be doing a Trapdoor compilation but I don't know that for sure.

Scott Shelton
[/quote]

Scott,

The Killer Count is a thing of BEAUTY! ;) I posit those of us who have taken the time to read this series have found many such beauties.

As to Trapdoor, I hear those rumours casting about every once in a while. I have faith that one day these rumours will in fact be no l;onger rumours but anm all dancing all singing Trapdoor compilation!

Ahimsa,
Vlad
Message: Posted by: scottsheltonmagic (Apr 17, 2010 09:44PM)
Beam is in my local I.B.M. Ring 199 in Raleigh. I know he's working on volume 8. I'm not so certain about the Trapdoor compilation. Steve keeps his cards close to his chest. :)
Message: Posted by: Zap (Apr 18, 2010 10:22AM)
Good call. I love Eye Contact, in this chapter. Totally impromptu, quick and straight forward. I especially love the patter lines, which are hilarious and really add to the entertainment value of an effect which is very strong magically already.

[quote]
On 2010-04-17 10:43, scottsheltonmagic wrote:
I highly recommend the Killer Count in SACT Vol. 5. It allows you to do such illusions as:
- Instantly cut to the exact number of cards called for...
- And tell them what card is at that position in a borrowed, shuffled deck (no stack).

Also, I've heard a rumor that Steve might be doing a Trapdoor compilation but I don't know that for sure.

Scott Shelton
[/quote]
Message: Posted by: giobbi1 (Apr 22, 2010 12:18PM)
[quote]
On 2010-03-12 20:11, Zap wrote:
I can't believe the misinformation on this thread! It's obvious the posters haven't really worked through the books. There are many tricks in all the books that are either impromptu or require an easy set-up, which you can do in front of the spectators. It's simply not true that these tricks require hugely elaborate set-ups! Yes, some do, but the results are usually worth the set-up. Steve Beam's books need to be read with cards in hand. Also, although the tricks may be relatively sleight-free, many are not easy to do, as they require mental agility. And, like all worthwhile effects, they will require practice.
I think if someone performed many of these effects for you you would have a much higher opinion of them. There are many hidden gems.
I have all seven books. It's difficult to pick a favorite, but I'll go with volume 3, which has a great monte routine (impromptu, multi-phase, visual, easy), and a great triumph routine (impromptu, visual, easy),to name a few of its treasures.
[/quote]

Zap, you are exactly right. I got someone upset in another thread because I disagreed with their assesment of these books. Multiple Impact which is a seperate booklet is exactly that type of trick. You need to be able to think on your feet. Not for a specific magician? Perhaps, but that doesn't mean they aren't good.
Message: Posted by: fridoliina89 (Apr 29, 2010 06:12AM)
Is there any of the books that has "less" stacked decks etc than others? I saw a quick review of the books on Joshua jays site vanishinginc and he said as the series goes the later volumes there is more material that uses a few moves and stuff then the first books.
Message: Posted by: webstercolby (May 9, 2010 04:09PM)
[quote]
On 2010-04-17 10:43, scottsheltonmagic wrote:
I highly recommend the Killer Count in SACT Vol. 5. It allows you to do such illusions as:
- Instantly cut to the exact number of cards called for...
- And tell them what card is at that position in a borrowed, shuffled deck (no stack).

Also, I've heard a rumor that Steve might be doing a Trapdoor compilation but I don't know that for sure.

Scott Shelton
[/quote]

Agree.
Message: Posted by: Great Domino (May 18, 2010 05:53PM)
I enjoyed Vol 3 more than the others. I liked the cards of Color section the most. I have all his books and would recommend that you maybe buy his lecture notes called "Hand Picked Card Tricks" to get a feel for what the SCT books are all about. I LOVE these books and these notes have ALOT to offer. "Party Time, Card Compression and Sly Stebbins" come to mind in the notes.

Good luck!
Message: Posted by: magicmann (Aug 17, 2010 02:43PM)
Just to let you know Volume 8 is now reality and on Steves website.

Paul
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Aug 18, 2010 01:52AM)
Cant wait to order volume 8!!

Scott and I had referred to the Killer Kount earlier in this thread. This is a wonderful move. Aldo Colombini wrote an e-book on it called Killer Koncepts. It is loaded with very cool applications of Steve Beam's excellent bit of devilry.

Namaste,
Vlad

PS: SACT 8 is reportedly over 300 pages in length and as usual the list of contributors is impressive.
Message: Posted by: Bob1Dog (Aug 18, 2010 11:00AM)
Since the title of this post is "the best of semi automatic card tricks" I'm going to chime in. I'm not a card guy, but I like to have a few ready if needed. captainsmiffy here in the Café developed a wonderful effect with Si Stebbins called Up The Ante. I love it. It does require a five or ten minute setup, but I keep about six decks ready to go with it. The magic is in letting the spectator shuffle the cards in a riffle shuffle, after making several cuts. He also precedes UTA with another stack that leads you right into the UTA setup. Just my two cents. Best, Bob
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Aug 18, 2010 11:11AM)
Hey Bob!

Great to hear from you!!

The SACT series is right up your alley. The list of contributors is like a who's who in card magic (and some mentalists too!)

PM me if you would like some info on this series. It is well worth the investment IMHO.

Namaste,
Vlad
Message: Posted by: Bob1Dog (Aug 18, 2010 07:12PM)
Hi Vlsd, I PMd you....thanks! Bob
Message: Posted by: Bob1Dog (Aug 18, 2010 07:23PM)
Sorry 'bout the typo Vlad!
Message: Posted by: juggernought (Aug 18, 2010 09:38PM)
I have all of books and like other people, there isn't a great deal of material that I actually use. Some of the routines based on lewis jones' pattern principle are very good. They can be found in volume 3 I think although I could be wrong.
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Aug 28, 2010 02:34AM)
Volume 8 is on its way to me!! It seems like Steve Beam really went bananas with this one as it exceeds 300 pages!!

Namaste,
Vlad
Message: Posted by: magicphill (Mar 26, 2011 09:17AM)
I recently bought Volume 5 but can't say I really got much from it

Have to agree with others tho the chapter on Spanish magicians and the chapter on Ramon Rioboo's magic is probably the chapters I got the most from although despite the silly name the Roly Polly controlly is a fairly good idea just perhaps hard to justify the unsualy cutting procedure.
Message: Posted by: moualb (Apr 13, 2011 03:12PM)
Vlad , I have not read any more comments from you about this vol 8. Did you like it ?
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Apr 18, 2011 09:43AM)
[quote]
On 2011-04-13 16:12, moualb wrote:
Vlad , I have not read any more comments from you about this vol 8. Did you like it ?
[/quote]

Hi Moualb,

I realize I have been only sporadically posting as other things have taken me away from the good company here. I have quite a few things I have been asked to comment on and again because of some serious issues that impacted me these past 5 months, I have yet to comment on them.

In a nutshell, volume 8 is excellent and more importantly regarding the hue and cry I have read over the apparent dearth of impromptu material in the series - which is simply not the case - volume 8 has an insane amount of no setup required material.

I am hopeful that I will have time to post a full blown review of this along with some great material from Rafael Czaja, Kyle MacNeill, Cameron Francis, and a few others - apologies guys for the long delay.

But, back to SACT 8: the Lewis Jones section alone could EASILY have been a stand alone booklet or e-book and sold for 20 USD. Lewis Jones's name should be well known among card workers and his reputation as a perfectionist who strives for clarity of effect and efficiency of method shines here in this volume. Every effect from Jones in the book requires NO setups and, they are all very strong with principles that present possibilities for other applications.

There are some truly amazing effects in this volume and time prohibits me from discussing every one of them, but imagine from a book of self-workers you can from a spectator shuffled deck: produce FOUR fours of a kind - want to do this then check out R. Paul Wilson's "Tupelo Paul." Steve Beam writes that the routine was heavily inspired by Pit Hartling's "Cincinnati Pit."

SOME other excellent effects that no not require a setup include "Deal or No Deal" by Ramon Rioboo, "Insurance Card" also by Ramon Rioboo. I should note here that Senor Rioboo (his name is spelled incorrectly by me in the post because I do not know how to put a diacritic mark over a letter - I suppose I should enable HTML for this sort of thing) has a whole section of thought provoking ideas. "The Hole Theory," while not an effect, IS an intriguing principle that I think some of you would love to play with.

"Two Card Monte" by Tom Ransom is NOT what you would think if you judge an effect by its title - and in this case that is a very VERY good thing as the effect plays well for close up and stage. Oh by the way, it uses no setups, only two non-gaffed cards. :)

This is turning into a review and this section of the forum is not the place for such. But if there is interest, I will write up a detailed review of SACT 8 in "The Good, The Bad, and The Garbage" section of the Café.

Controversy about this series will unfortunately continue to rage but then again, that IS the idea of a forum, yes? That being said, here is a small list of well known magicians who have praised the series:

Lee Asher
Mick Ayres
John Bannon
Stephen Bargatze
Aaron Fisher
Tom Gagnon
Lewis Jones
Bill Malone
Stephen Minch
Bob Sheets
David Solomon
David Stone
Michael Weber

The list could be MUCH longer but I really do not feel like typing out the veritable who's who of card magic who are also contributors to the series. But look again at the short list I provided and ask yourself if you would have the temerity to argue the point with these authorities.

Okay, I am going to editorialize for a moment about "self-working" card magic . Those who do not care, well, that's cool and there are FAR more interesting posts to read on the Café and I am not stating this tongue in cheek.

I have stated that I believe that Annemann's maxim that EFFECT is everything should be foremost in our minds as magicians. Having said that, I am well aware that we also must choose what effects we decide to learn and perform based upon a boatload of variables that are performer dependent. So, if you are performing for the money and need effects that instantly reset and require either no setup at all or else a setup that can be achieved during the course of a previous effect, then you are not going to spend the time to learn a full deck stack effect that destroys the stack - that would be foolish. But take this into consideration: imagine that there is a client you really want to impress to get a plum gig. Remember, most clients are not magicians and furthermore, they want to see the goods which means they want to be entertained and fooled BADLY. Personally, I WILL do such an effect for said client and believe me, the effort is worth it. So there IS a place for full stack type effects even for the working pro.

But I REALLY think the heart of the matter is this strange misconception that you are not a magician unless you can perform insane knuckle-busting sleight of hand. To put it more simply, it is a machismo thing and really makes no sense at all. Your audience should NOT be able to tell the difference between methodologies whether the methodology is sleights, stacks, gaffs, or any combination thereof. Stewart James is considered to be one of THE Masters of our art. His influence on the art is simply staggering; yet James did not employ a lot of sleights in his work. Was this Master any less of a magician than Ortiz or Marlo? In fact, a great deal of the knuckle-busters ALSO do self-workers! I wonder why that might be my hearties? Yep, here comes another short list - and don't forget to buy the cannoli!

Darwin Ortiz, Harry Lorayne, R. Paul Wilson, Larry Jennings, Ken Krenzel, Allan Ackerman, Peter Duffie, Lennart Green, David Solomon, Ed Marlo, Dai Vernon ..............

That little list to me at least is analogous to the 1927 Yankees!

What is our job as magicians folks? Fundamentally and most importantly our job IMHO is to entertain and to profoundly mystify our audiences. Yes, method DOES matter, but I would argue that method must enhance effect. I LOVE sleight of hand. But I love slaying audiences with hard hitting magic even more. The people for whom I perform really do not care that I cannot do a Greek Deal or a Classic Pass or a Bottom Deal to save my life. They DO care however if they are not blown away. The SACT series offers a ton of material that when performed correctly would get you the death penalty for the amount of bodies you leave in your wake of destruction. Get off the macho thing and fry MINDS! ;)

Best,
Vlad
Message: Posted by: Mike Maturen (Apr 18, 2011 10:04AM)
Excellent post, Vlad! I have a disease in my hands called Dupytren's Contracture. It makes it very difficult for me to perform much in the way of sleight of hand...eventually it is likely to be impossible. Therefore, I rely a great deal on self-working effects, or effects that require minimal sleights such as forces (not really a sleight, I guess).

I have always felt belittled by certain magicians for my lack of sleight of hand. It is almost an elitist feeling that I get. Sort of like they would all drown if it started raining because their noses are so far in the air.

But your point is correct: What matters is, were the audience entertained? Were they mystified? Would they pay to see you again?

If the answer is "yes"...then you are better off than a sleight of hand expert who is so droll and boring that they could make a coffee'd up Red Bull addict fall asleep!

Now, before I get massively flamed, 99.9% of the sleight of hand guys/gals I know are stand up individuals who are excellent entertainers. It's the elitist .1% that drive me bonkers.

Okay...flame away!
Message: Posted by: moualb (Apr 19, 2011 06:21AM)
Vlad, thanks again to spend generously your time to answer/advise. What I really like in the SACT series are the ideas you can find inside those pages. Many brilliant ideas from brillant contributors ...
Message: Posted by: captainsmiffy (Apr 20, 2011 01:09AM)
Excellent post, Vlad!
Message: Posted by: MagicofDesperado (Jan 18, 2012 02:44PM)
What I wanna know is if the magicians who have bought these volumes and don't use or like them, want toi sell them to me? I don't have any of these and want to make up my own mind. 1,3 and 5 sound especially interesting.

Pm me if you're looking to unload and let's keep this thread rolling!

Dave
Message: Posted by: the fritz (Jan 28, 2012 07:47AM)
In response to many people stating most of the effects require elaborate setups... reading through volume IV, the entire first two chapters are almost all impromptu as well as most of the third. That's only the first three chapters from one volume. If you buy this and miss things the first time around... hang onto it because you'll reread it later only to find things you love.
Message: Posted by: MagicofDesperado (Jan 28, 2012 04:53PM)
What I don't get about people not finding this series useful, as many state in several threads concerning this series,is that it screams a lack of creativity.

A famous quote goes something like this " If you can't fix it, feature it". In fact Lennart Green states something similar about naturalness in his Green Magic videos.

So if you can't find a justifiable reason (I.e. Presentation) to include the gems from this series its simply a lack of creativity, and secondarily an alarming lack of scripting and cleverness in regard to routine construction. You make the rules.

A good example off the top of my head would be the supposed "method" behind the so-called solution to 51 faces north left behind postumously by the aforementioned Mr James for later discovery. If memory serves me, 3 phases each setting up the next. Shouldn't your whole repetoire flow similarly?

Its one thing to have some go-to, one-off tricks for the on-the-spot situation. However, if you're performing regularly and aren't at least analysing and attempting to coalesce your tricks in such a manner, I find that people often overlook gems simply because they're unwilling to put in the work to organize such masterly flow.

I know that is my ever elusive goal at least when considering how to perform.

Great posts Vlad. I always find great insight from your contributions.

Dave
Message: Posted by: MagicofDesperado (Jan 28, 2012 04:58PM)
On another note you know what I would love given this day and age. A program that could draw similarities between tricks given their starting positions, ending positions etc.

I try to do this free hand and it can really help. People certainly do this on a regular basis but something with more energetic computing power other than my brain would probably draw distinctions I often miss.

Though that is part of the journey and adventure I suppose:)
Message: Posted by: ringmaster (Jul 28, 2019 01:15PM)
[quote]On Jun 2, 2009, Kevinr wrote:
Well... I guess a prop can keep 15 decks in his pockets and then he can do the tricks 15 times!

that's the problem with a lot of the self working idiot proof tricks.. So to speak... [/quote]
Harry Morgan did a trick using a one way deck on December Bride. He carried 52 decks so he could repeat it with any card.