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Topic: What's the point?
Message: Posted by: jonesc2ii (Jul 5, 2003 12:50PM)
Maybe it's just because I'm depressed, but what's the point of learning to do a decent double lift when I can go out and buy (if I had the money!) a much more impressive straight from the box effect?
Message: Posted by: MagicDiva (Jul 5, 2003 01:33PM)
Since you're depressed you may need a lift, why not make it a double? Like you said "if you had the money you would go out and buy a much more impressive straight from the box effect." Since you don't have the money why not spend a few bucks on a deck and learn impressive effects using a simple double lift. I use DL's all the time and suprisingly I have received better reactions from an effect using a simple DL as opposed to a straight from the box effect. Buying just one effect is, just that one effect. If you learn how to do a double lift than you can expand your repertoire and perform many effects. If you really need motivation to learn a double lift I would suggest buying "Double Take" by Gregory Wilson. That video was reason enough for me to learn Double Lifts. Plus Double lifts are great to learn because what would you do if someone just handed you a deck and said do something?
Message: Posted by: Chris Berry (Jul 5, 2003 01:38PM)
MagicDiva makes some good points.
Learning sleights does take a lot of practice, but once you master them you grow in skill.

Going out and just buying effects doesn't give you any skill, and it makes you a store bought magician. Audiences will know that.

If you want to succeed in magic (which I hope you do) then spend the time to practice and refine each sleight. Otherwise this may not be the best hobby for you. Different strokes for different folks....(makes me sound old :) )


Chris
Message: Posted by: jonesc2ii (Jul 5, 2003 02:07PM)
Hmm, as usual I probably phrased the question badly.

I meant in more generic terms, (since I can already do a pretty good double lift! ;) ), is it worth learning to perform with a standard deck when you might 'blow the audience away' with a deck full of gaffs?

Case in point, if David Blaine really has spent years practicing, I would have thought that he ought to be considerably more profficient than he appears! To be fair I have seen a number of 'pros' whose presentation was even less impressive.

Again, I'm probably not making myself clear. What I mean is, if you take the coin bite that Blaine performed on 'Street magic'. It's a straight from the box effect, takes minutes to learn, as opposed to years. But, I have seen other 'pros' perform the same coin bite like it was something they've never even held before!

Hmm. I guess what I'm asking is why one would bother learning how to perform a couple of moves with a standard deck (let's say a double lift and a hindu shuffle) when your audience is likely to be much more impressed by a card through window and any number of Stripper Deck routines!?!?

Isn't magic just an extension of Capitalism at its worst?! The more you can afford the more you can impress?!?!?
Message: Posted by: Frank Tougas (Jul 5, 2003 03:13PM)
"What is the point?" is a question you have to answer for yourself.

I would suggest it is your next step on your path in magic. When you find your answer you will know what to do, asking others simply shifts that responsibility to those of us who have already answered that question.

As for the reference to capitalism (very inappropriate for this forum) I would say asking others to do the work for you is more like socialism - don't you think?
Message: Posted by: marko (Jul 5, 2003 03:44PM)
[quote]
I meant in more generic terms, (since I can already do a pretty good double lift! ;) ), is it worth learning to perform with a standard deck when you might 'blow the audience away' with a deck full of gaffs?
[/quote]

Because you'll only 'blow the audience away' until they ask to see the cards.

[quote]
Case in point, if David Blaine really has spent years practicing, I would have thought that he ought to be considerably more profficient than he appears! To be fair I have seen a number of 'pros' whose presentation was even less impressive.
[/quote]

David Blaine does use sleight-of-hand (and double-lifts) to accomplish many of the effects he does.

[quote]
Again, I'm probably not making myself clear. What I mean is, if you take the coin bite that Blaine performed on 'Street magic'. It's a straight from the box effect, takes minutes to learn, as opposed to years. But, I have seen other 'pros' perform the same coin bite like it was something they've never even held before!
[/quote]

The coin bite in only impressive as a quick gag. Then everyone draws their own conclusions about the method. A good magician would learn or create a strong coin-in-bottle effect that utilizes the gimmick in conjunction with sleight-of-hand. Now that would be an impressive routine. But you have to learn some sleight-of-hand to do it.

[quote]
Hmm. I guess what I'm asking is why one would bother learning how to perform a couple of moves with a standard deck (let's say a double lift and a hindu shuffle) when your audience is likely to be much more impressed by a card thru window and any number of Stripper Deck routines!?!?
[/quote]

Fine, but what if someone hands you a deck and tells you to do something? How do you have a card selected from that stripper deck if you can't even fan or spread the cards (after all, you can't do a hindu shuffle which is all that's required for a hindu shuffle force anyway)? What gimmick could replace a double-lift? And who has the money to buy all of those gaffs? Most are not even nearly as impressive as the effects you can do with sleight-of-hand.

[quote]
Isn't magic just an extension of Capitalism at its worst?! The more you can afford the more you can impress?!?!?
[/quote]

See supra.
Message: Posted by: cmwalden (Jul 5, 2003 05:02PM)
For me it is an issue of self-reliance. Many lay people believe that they could do the magic too, if they could only lay their hands on the special props. (Think Mickey and the Sorcerer's Apprentice.) If I am a slave to my props in order to perform, then without them I am nothing. If I have effects I can perform by pure skill, then the magic comes from me, not my special props.
Also, many purchased effects are one-trick wonders. To prepare for an evening of close-up magic you'd have to pack like Rambo. If something goes wrong, you may not have the same freedom for recovery as you would with a skill-based effect. (Saying that, the Invisible Deck is one of the greatest sure-fire outs, and it's a purchased one-trick-wonder.)
All sleights robs you of some good magic. All mechanical effects also rob you of good magic. Do both, and do each for the right reason. But bear in mind that anyone can go out and buy the same thing you did. Not everyone has the guts or determination to learn the skills required for the other stuff.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Jul 5, 2003 07:12PM)
The point?

Part of being a magician is having the ability to set 'the point' or seem to alter reality to 'make a point'.

What point would you like to make?

How would you like to make that point?

The mechanics used behind the scenes of audience perception are NOT THE POINT OR EVEN PART of the audience experience.

Are you wondering if magic exists?

Are you striving to bring the experience of magic to others?

The double lift may serve you well when you borrow a deck and use that in a performance.

The props you can buy in the store reqire much additional work to set the scene to ensure the audience gets to admire the magic and not just the clever props.

You may have noticed that many magicians seem to use this craft to try to prove to themselves that magic exists. They usually tip their lack of faith by expressing the effect of their work on an audience in terms of assault and abuse. My favorite was and still is the advice of a world famous performer who stated his goal as:

"Hit them in the head,
tie them in a knot
and get off"

Which reads rather like a great premise for a story about a serial killer.

So, again... you're learning magic... what do you want to make happen?

Best to you,

Jonathan Townsend
Message: Posted by: Jim Snack (Jul 5, 2003 08:43PM)
You wrote: "The more you can afford the more you can impress.."

I beg to differ. I've seen many mangician in my lifetime and the most impressive to me (and to most laymen I've discussed this with) are the pure sleight of hand artists.

I suspect by your post, you never saw Tony Slydini perform. Slydini could do more impressive magic with a cigarette or four paper napkins and a small cardboard box than anyone who ever bought a trick. How about Rene Lavand? I could list many.

You just can't buy the experience of magic, you have to earn it. Even a store bought gimmicked deck takes years of practice to refine to the level where an audience experiences the wonder of magic.

You just can't buy that.
Message: Posted by: rgranville (Jul 5, 2003 09:05PM)
All the responses seem to be paraphrasing each other, but isn't [b]that[/b] the point? :goof:

Effects aren't impressive - [i]presentations[/i] are. It doesn't matter if the effect was bought or requires finger busting skill. Docc Hilford has recently published killer effects using some of the simplest (and cheapest!) tricks you can buy. Jeff McBride has described sleights for sleights sake as "magical malpractice". Realize that the only way to favorably impress an audience is to entertain them. Then if you truly believe you can be more entertaining with "straight from the box effects," then that's what you should do.
:pepper:
Message: Posted by: BroDavid (Jul 5, 2003 09:05PM)
Learn a few good sleights and a couple of moves and a few techniques (in other words read the Royal Road to Card magic and practice a bit) and you can do magic anytime, anywhere, with anydeck.

That is the point.

But if you want to walk around with pockets full of gimmicks, and don't really want to do it without the gimmicks, then there is no point. just live with the gimmicks.

BroDavid
Message: Posted by: jonesc2ii (Jul 6, 2003 06:27AM)
So, are you all (with one or two exceptions) saying you don't use gaffs and you wouldn't buy an expensive effect if you could?

Again, I'll apologise in advance if my tone sounds agressive or inappropriate, I am autistic and it is easy for me to get these things wrong. :(

But, there seems to be some sort of inverse snobbery in magic that says you need to be able to manipulate a cheap deck of cards or you can't call yourself a magician. As I say, I CAN do a reasonable Hindu force and a double lift and a couple of other standards, but that doesn't entitle me to call myself a magician does it?

EDIT: It has also been pointed out in another thread (possibly on another forum) that a deck of cards is no longer really a standard possession in your average household. So, you can't perform 'anywhere, anytime' unless you know in advance that there will be a deck to hand. The only way to know this is to have a deck in your pocket. And if you're going to carry a deck anyway why not include a cig-thru card in the deck, for example?
Message: Posted by: Steven Leung (Jul 6, 2003 08:44AM)
Every serious performance art has its own learning path/curve, and magic is no different. Reading the replies from other senior memebers that replied to you give me the fact that they are a group of people that really want to help you to improve.

I will not spend to much time in explaining that because English is not my native language.

Yes, you may use cigarette through card as an example to deny the importance of sleight of hand. However, a true magician will try to improve any areas where he still have rooms to improve. Combination of sleight of hand and packet effects will gain you a reputation. I believe my statement will be supported by any Café member who follow my post.

For your information, I do take a pack of Bicycle cards, without gimmick with me where ever I go. This is because every time after my performance spectators will grab my deck and try to find out what gimmick I have inside the deck. I watch their astonishment when they find nothing.

Do not give up, the Café creates the world's best environment for beginners to ask as much as they can, and believe me, even the Ring of my city won't bother to help me at this time.

I truly wish you to find your path in magic and wish you well.
Message: Posted by: rgranville (Jul 6, 2003 09:47AM)
The bottom line is, you should be doing magic because it's fun. And you have to decide for yourself what's fun. Some people enjoy practicing sleights until their fingers bleed. More power to them. Some people enjoy more immediate results obtained from "straight from the box" effects. More power to them. Figure out what [i]you[/i] enjoy, and then do it.

I don't think snobbery has been in evidence in other posts, just a financial practicality. You asked (essentially), "Why learn sleights when I can buy effects that are just as impressive?" These people are turning the question around and saying, "Why buy expensive effects when I can learn sleights that are just as impressive?" Neither view is wrong - nor right. However you do it, magic is going to be an investment of money [i]and[/i] time. Since most of us don't have infinite quantities of either, each of us has to decide how to balance these demands to get the most enjoyment we can out of life.
:carrot:
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Jul 6, 2003 01:22PM)
Jones,
I have seen guys do far, far more with ungimmicked stuff -- cards, coins, etc. -- than I ever have with gimmicked stuff.

So that part of the argument -- the capitalist side -- is shot down.

But the most important point, to my mind, is that -- if you are going to be able to work your wonders at a moment's notice -- you would have to lug around pockets full of gaffs, rather than just relying on your brain!

Either that or, if someone says "show us some magic", you have to beg off because you don't have anything with you.

And that's pretty lame; after all, if you were a REAL magician, would you have to have something with you? Shouldn't you just be able to perform magic with nothing?

You can practice sleights or you can give them a pass and concentrate on psychological subtleties; in neither case do you have to spend a cent, if you have a library card and/or access to the Internet.

But in any case, it should be fun!

Sure, someone else can go out and buy a ton of stuff for a small fortune. But that person isn't necessarily a magician. That person would best be described as a collector of tricks.

Remember, a REAL magician doesn't need a bunch of gaffed stuff to work his wonders!
Message: Posted by: jonesc2ii (Jul 6, 2003 01:59PM)
OK, I agree to some extent. But surely a REAL magician wouldn't use a deck of cards at all! ;)
Message: Posted by: wulfiesmith (Jul 6, 2003 03:14PM)
WHAT ... no cards at all?
Oh dear ...
Ok ... to quote you in this forum...

"As I say, I CAN do a reasonable Hindu force and a double lift and a couple of other standards, but that doesn't entitle me to call myself a magician does it?"

Well in my opinion...yes IT DOES!
If you have only ONE sleight under your belt, then you CAN bewilder the most skeptic in the building...for the past 30 years, I have been only using approx 5 sleights...and made a handsome profit.

Magic is an ART...magicians are PERFORMERS...whether it be a set-up of some kind...or just using a "monkey-see-monkey-do" prop...
You read the script or method and "perform"...

"Like taking candy from a baby"

Bring your problems to me!
Your pal Wulfie!
Message: Posted by: MagicDiva (Jul 6, 2003 03:48PM)
A real magician is one who performs the art of magic. Just as there are different types of actors ( theater, movie, improv, etc.) there are different types of magicians. Whether you perform using knuckle buster sleights, gimmicks or whatever else you do.

I am not sure if this proves true for everyone but, my goal, my whole reason for practicing and performing magic is to entertain people. Everytime I get frustrated because its taking me longer to perfect a sleight I keep in mind how I am going to feel when I perform the effect and truly astonish someone. To me there is no greater feeling than watching the smoke coming out of someones ears while they try to figure out what I just did. For me I get that feeling when I do sleight of hand others may get if from getting away with using a gaff. Whatever it is you do should make you happy and accomplish your goals. :jump:
Message: Posted by: JesseMagic (Jul 6, 2003 06:10PM)
Once you learn sleights and your ability as a magician grows, you can perform effects that beginning magicians use gimmicks to accomplish...that's the point :bikes:
Message: Posted by: Michaels (Jul 8, 2003 12:35AM)
Is the magician interested in doing tricks or performing the art of magic?
As a close up magician my audiences are not capable of determining whether it's a gaffed trick or whether it's sleight of hand. As far as they're concerned it all looks like sleight of hand if it's performed well. The performance of an effect is what's important. The ultimate question is, Was the audience entertained?

Sleight of hand is truly a foundation to learning "The Art of Magic". It's also an added benefit to be able to do an hour of impromptu magic when certain sleights are under your belt.
Message: Posted by: blindbo (Jul 8, 2003 01:25PM)
[b]<<<<<<Begin point>>>>>>[/b]
Reactions from the same person:

Card through Window ($$$)- [i]WOW! C'mon, how did...OK, I don't know, but its obvious you somehow had it out there before...[/i]

Wink Change ($0)- [i] Holy ****! That's unreal! Man, you gotta do that again![/i]

Sleights....priceless.
[b]<<<<<<End of point>>>>>>[/b]
Message: Posted by: jonesc2ii (Jul 8, 2003 01:37PM)
blindbo, that's true. But I wouldn't feel comfortable using a thumb tip any more because so many 'lay people' know about it. The same is starting to be true of the double lift. Since David Blaine and the Internet (blame whoever you like! ;) ) everybody can do a double lift.

The same person you describe in your post might just as easily assume that you were using a gaffed deck. The fact that YOU, THE PERFORMER know whether the deck is gaffed or not should make no difference, surely?

OR do we always hand out a deck for inspection if it isn't gaffed? If that was true then the audience would ALWAYS assume a gaff unless proved otherwise.
Message: Posted by: blindbo (Jul 8, 2003 02:02PM)
Jonesc2ii,

Although I would agree that there are more people who [i]know[/i] about TT, DL, etc., I wouldn't agree that there are so, so many that know of them.
Of those who do, a minute percentage will remember when they play into a particular effect (and, in my opinion, it would have to be the SAME effect they were introduced to).

I really don't think that these people have the slightest clue of when a sleight is used, nor do they know of the many effects that can be achieved from them. Shoot, I know of so many things, but I'll be darned if I can tell when a journeyman uses them!

Btw, ever since I started taking control of my presentations, I have never had a person ask to see my cards...I might offer them, though.
Message: Posted by: jonesc2ii (Jul 8, 2003 02:19PM)
LOL - nice post!

I don't have a great deal of experience but I guess you might get away with disappearing a cigarette in a TT if your audience had only ever seen a silk vanish!

Seriously though, I'm sure you can use the same move to create a dozen different effects and surely THAT is the point I was looking for?

Offering a deck up for inspection is an interesting point too. Do you ever offer up a gaffed deck? I guess if you had the blahoobies you could bluff an audience into NOT checking a gaffed deck?
Message: Posted by: Sean (Jul 8, 2003 03:36PM)
I'm late to this party, but...

Many people have made great arguments for learning and mastering sleights, even a few, to amaze spectators with an ordinary deck of cards.

Looking inward, I know I get greater satisfaction from my magic when I've amazed and entertained someone with an ordinary deck. A solipsistic view? Yup. But I think a valid one.
Message: Posted by: Michaels (Jul 9, 2003 02:09PM)
I'm going to start a firestorm here but I can't refrain from responding to continuous posts that misdirect newcomers to the art of magic. Sleights and flourishes do not and I repeat DO NOT amaze audiences. They are amazed and entertained by well presented routines. It's no different than two comedians telling the same joke and getting different responses from an audience. One's funny, the other is not!

One of my two strongest walk around routines involves 4 sleights; the other involves no sleights. So what? Who cares? The audience doesn't as long as they were entertained.

The point is this- Proficient sleights don't make someone a good magician. To be a well rounded magician one must learn all aspects of the art. Everything from sleight of hand to gaff knowledge to audience control and effect presentation. Magicians who learn sleights to amaze audiences rather than learning them as one of the foudation tools of the art would be better off performing in front of a mirror. There's where they might find their most impressed and amazed audience.

I direct this post to only those to whom it applies. It is written soley with the intention of making some of us reevaluate our needs to "amaze, impress or fool" our audiences rather than entertain them.
Thanks for the ear!
Top of the day,
Michaels
Message: Posted by: jonesc2ii (Jul 9, 2003 02:48PM)
[quote]
On 2003-07-05 21:43, Jim Snack wrote:
You wrote: "The more you can afford the more you can impress.."

I beg to differ. I've seen many mangician in my lifetime and the most impressive to me (and to most laymen I've discussed this with) are the pure sleight of hand artists....
[/quote]

Case in point, this week's honoured guest; take a look at what Peter calls 'affordable'. These gadgets are literally THOUSANDS of dollars. And very impressive they are too!

I may be wrong but as a recent convert from layism, I believe that your average lay person is going to be more impressed by the $1000 fractured arm than just about ANYTHING you can do with a deck of cards.
Message: Posted by: Michaels (Jul 12, 2003 10:29PM)
Copperfield once said "people are often more amazed when I make one rubberband pass through another than when I make a jet vanish".
Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (Jul 12, 2003 11:19PM)
I agree 100% with Michaels.

Sleights and gimmicks are nothing more than means to an end, not ends in themselves.

Anyone who asks "sleights or gimmicks?" is misguided in my opinion. Use anything and everything available to create the best effect, which in some cases will be pure sleight of hand, in other cases will be gimmicks, and still in other cases will be both. Method is important only to the extent that it impacts effect.

Oh, and without an entertaining presentation, you'll bore your audience regardless of the means you use. I've seen audiences lulled into a coma by both sleight of hand experts and magicians who couldn't deals seconds if they were holding only two cards. I've also seen audiences whipped into a frenzy by both types of magicians.

Larry D.
Message: Posted by: dgiancaspro (Jul 13, 2003 08:59AM)
[quote]
On 2003-07-09 15:09, Michaels wrote:
Sleights and flourishes do not and I repeat DO NOT amaze audiences. They are amazed and entertained by well presented routines.
[/quote]
I would definitely agree here. The audience does not care how hard you worked for the effect if they are not entertained. Bill Malone uses a combination of gaffs and skill to entertain. His audience enjoys Skinners Three Card Monte with zero sleights and the he hits the with Sam the Bellhop with lots of sleights.
I prefer close up so my only reservation with store bought tricks is from this quote ( I forget the author )

"Pull a rabbit out of a red laquer box with gold chinese letters and people will say 'great box'. Pull a rabbit out of a paper bag they'll say 'great magician'"

Dave
Message: Posted by: cougar261084 (Jul 14, 2003 03:27PM)
If you don't want to learn and practice and only use gimmicks which require no practice, you have no right whatsoever to call yourself a magician. Come on, man, even David Blaine uses double lifts.
Message: Posted by: Magique Hands (Jul 14, 2003 04:10PM)
I always begin my card magic by emphasising that I use a regular pack of playing cards, purchased from the drugstore (whether my statement to them is true or not... is NOT the point).

Incorporating real sleights and gimmicks is not wrong: Think Entertainment Value. My Billiard Ball routine is part real sleight of hand, and part use of certain gimmicks combined to create a wondrous experience for the audience members (my ultimate goal with any routine or effect I perform).

It pretty much all begins with learning the real sleight of hand, which then opens up a whole new world of what magic, and the performance of such is all about. Just about everything in magic builds from the fundamentals of sleight of hand. I believe that being a magician is a journey, and not something that happens by purchasing one trick. Being a magician is a mind-set. Knowing one gimmicked trick does not necessarily make you a magician... but it may start you on the road to becoming one.

Your sleights (as basic as they me be at this point) will be something you will always have with you, wherever you go. They will always be a part of you.

- - Troy
Message: Posted by: cougar261084 (Jul 15, 2003 12:47PM)
Man, that was beautiful. :bawl: :bawl:
and so very true and this is just me -- maybe I'm crazy -- but knowing sleights and being able to do them well gives a great sense of self-satisfaction. For example, I was never happier when I knew my pass was finally invisible.
Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (Jul 15, 2003 05:29PM)
[quote]
On 2003-07-14 16:27, cougar261084 wrote:
If you don't want to learn and practice and only use gimmicks which require no practice, you have no right whatsoever to call yourself a magician.
[/quote]

There's no such thing as a gimmick which requires no practice. Regardless of what type of magic you perform, presentation requires practice.

Sleight of hand is a means to an end, not an end unto itself, at least for me. I know magicians who have incredible chops but who couldn't entertain laymen if their lives depended on it. I also know magicians who are incredibly entertaining but not that skilled at sleight of hand. I'd rather watch the second type of magician, as would most audiences. Magic is supposed to be a form of entertainment, and a magician who can't engage an audience is performing for himself.

Am I against sleight of hand? No. In fact I use it extensively in my professional work (in addition to gimmicks, psychology, humor, etc.), but if I couldn't entertain, who would care?

Regards, Larry D.

P.S. - cougar, no offense intended, but here's your signature line which tells me that we approach magic very differently --"...did you just do that to fool me, or to make a fool out of me? Both!..."
Message: Posted by: Jim Snack (Jul 16, 2003 11:45AM)
Just because "everybody does a double lift," don't assume that everybody does it perfectly. And unless it's perfect, you cannot create the experience of magic. If your audience suspects anything, you destroy the illusion and become a juggler.

Much of the enjoyment that comes from performing sleight of hand happens when you have mastered a technique and you have the confidence to use it when necessary.

Combine skill with a pleasing personality and entertaining routining and you are guaranteed success with audiences.
Message: Posted by: jonesc2ii (Jul 19, 2003 04:27PM)
Well, thanks to all of you who have replied, it's interesting stuff.

What I find particularly interesting is that some users assume that I was simply asking a question, others read it differently.

For future reference, because I am autistic I very rarely say something or ask something pointedly, I just don't know how to do that!

So, it was a genuine question, why do we bother? And there are some genuine answers here, thanks.

[quote]
On 2003-07-06 14:22, Peter Marucci wrote:
Jones,
I have seen guys do far, far more with ungimmicked stuff -- cards, coins, etc. -- than I ever have with gimmicked stuff.

So that part of the argument -- the capitalist side -- is shot down.[/quote]

How so, Peter?

We keep our secrets from those who can't afford to buy them, but we reveal to anyone who has the means to pay. It's not just the gaffs that cost, it's the books, the videos, the secrets and we guard them with wealth so, I say, the capitalist argument is far from shot down.

Surely it would make more sense to have some sort of regulator who certificates when you are ready to move to the next level? :fruity:
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jul 24, 2003 04:36AM)
There are some good points here, but one thing I have to say is this.

If you think that David Blaine's practice should make him appear to be more proficient at sleight of hand, then you don't really understand sleight of hand. The whole point of practicing sleight of hand is that, done correctly, it appears that the magician hasn't done anything unusual at all.

If you think that the internet has made the TT and the double lift useless, then you really need to practice more and learn how to use what you have.

Any of these things, when done well, will still fool the audience, sometimes even those people who own the very gimmicks of which you speak and perform the very sleight with which you are concerned.

Sure, you can buy lots of gaffs that will do some of the work for you, but it sure feels good not to need them.

When I go to work a close-up event, I work out of my pockets. I may or may not carry an invisible deck. The only other gaffed deck I carry is Solid Deception. The rest of my card work is with normal cards. And it is high impact work. I carry a few coins and, yes, a TT.

But it took me a long time to get to the point that I could work that way.