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Topic: Steals, loads and misdirection
Message: Posted by: RJH (Jun 30, 2013 02:31PM)
Hello. I have been doing manipulation for 2 years and in every manipulation act almost all of my steals are like: I put my righthand to my side, I turn my left side to the spectators, I produce something with my lefthand and steal with my right. I have started to get little bored about that method, and I have started learning steals from my front. At this moment I only use elastic belt with cards and balls.

So my questions are: 1.What kind of other holders do you use? 2.Where do you put them? 3.What kind of cover do you use?

I'm not asking for methods, I'm asking for inspiration.

Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jun 30, 2013 04:36PM)
I have mentioned this book several times, it comes with a drawing of the placement of all his load positions. I suggest you purchase "Tony Marks Aristocrat of Deception. It is the only book that I know of that actually give suggestions never before seen for the placement of loads and steals.


Lewis Ganson's "Expert Manipulation of Playing Cards" will give you some ideas on how to routine you material.


Geoffrey Buckingham books "It's Easier then you think" tell how he set up his material.



Geoffrey Buckingham manipulation DVD shows the placement of all his props, and then what it looked like to produce them.


There actually no published reference material. I can only think of one other booklet that had a routine that showed where the cards were place on a table to commence his card routine. A small booklet that is no longer published.

Arthur Buckley "Principles and Deceptions" is another good book on steals and placement of them, his work is very hard as well. His other book "Card Control" as some good material to learn. These books are out of print - even the reprints are out of print. I do believe Card Control is back in print by a publishing company that prints old books in paperback.

If you are going to not use any tables or a box table, then the only choice left is the body and therefore it is limited to your reach.

Actually, it is good you are becoming "bored" as this means you are not at the point of becoming proficient at your methods. The next step is to make them become invisible to everyone. With increased speed and misdirection, and acting like this is the 1st time you have performed these miracles.

Have you considered that famous magicians like Channing Pollack and Cardini did the same act with the same cloths, props, movements, expressions, etc. for over 10 years every time they performed their acts. Nothing changed! More recently Lance Burton did his manipulation routines for 20 years every night 2 to 3 times a night, never changing a thing.

That is why the were experts and were so good.

So you have gotten to the 1st step in your development of manipulation magic.

Now is the time to create your clothing, and style you would like your character to look like on stage. How to the character would move and gesture on stage.

Also to develop a routine, is it interesting, does have the power to hold an audience spellbound, of does your character hold the audience spellbound as Lance Burton did in his performance.

Now is time to ask yourself if all you want is moves or do you want to become an artist.

Now is time for you to become creative and work new ideas that will be all yours, because if you ever give a magic lecture, they want only new material you have created yourself.
Message: Posted by: jay leslie (Jul 1, 2013 11:10PM)
I once saw Geoffrey Buckingham do his lecture, I was 15.

Just mind blowing... watching the techniques and methods he employed. He stated he had 72 loads and to see if we could catch each productions.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jul 2, 2013 01:11AM)
Jay, that same challenge is made on his video performance. I can tell you I did not see but one that was obvious at the front. His load bags are the best in my opinion.
Message: Posted by: RJH (Jul 2, 2013 02:59AM)
Thank you Bill. I have Lewis Ganson's ''Expert manipulation of playing cards'' and ''Buckley's Card Control''. I have also seen Buckingham's DVD. I'm planning of getting Buckingham's ''It's easier than you think''. I would love to get Buckley's ''Principles and deceptions'', but if it's out of print then I can't do nothing about it. I have not heard of Tony Mark's ''Aristocrat of Deception'', but I'm interested about it.

Thank you very much Bill, you have been a big help.

Message: Posted by: Intrepid (Jul 2, 2013 06:39AM)
RJH, a PDF copy of Buckley's "Principles and Deceptions" is available for $7 at Lybrary.com

Bill, thanks for the Aristocrat tip. I've placed my order.

Message: Posted by: RJH (Jul 2, 2013 07:00AM)
Wow, thanks Bob. I might get it now.

Message: Posted by: Anatole (Jul 2, 2013 10:39AM)
Although the Arthur Buckley books are out of print, they are apparently still available as pdf books ar:

I checked on alibris.com and there are copies available there but at fairly expensive prices.

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
Message: Posted by: RJH (Jul 2, 2013 10:41AM)
Thank you, Amado. I might get the PDF some day soon.

Message: Posted by: gchen99 (Jul 13, 2013 03:57AM)
I have the same problem too.
Thank you guys.
Message: Posted by: elliottmagic (Jul 30, 2013 09:57PM)
If you are doing tht many loads, consider reducing the number of loads.
It makes the act more practical.
Message: Posted by: RJH (Jul 31, 2013 02:24AM)
Elliot, what are you talking about?

Message: Posted by: elliottmagic (Aug 1, 2013 10:15PM)
I think you should reduce your number of body loads. Re work your routine so that you have less.
In your mind. What is the benefit of body loads?
Message: Posted by: RJH (Aug 2, 2013 02:04AM)
Who are you talking to? Nobody has there is no video in this thread. Nobody has told how many load they use. RJH
Message: Posted by: elliottmagic (Aug 5, 2013 03:22PM)
I'm talking to you, RJH.
A few months ago you posted a video of your card act. You titled the thread "comments on my card manipulation" or something similar.
I am a professional, and I have consulted with many other pros, less body loads is more practical and better for you at this point in your career.
Message: Posted by: RJH (Aug 6, 2013 04:27AM)
Okay, sorry Elliot. I like body loads. I might take them off, maybe not.

Message: Posted by: Anatole (Aug 14, 2013 04:35PM)
There have been many attempts to eliminate body loads/steals from all kinds of card and ball manipulation routines. In general, I think those attempts have tended to weaken an act.

Those magicians whom most of us have considered exemplars of manipulation--Cardini, Channing Pollock, Johnny Hart, Geoffrey Buckingham, etc--have all used body steals. In the chapter "Card Magic by Manipulation" from _Routined Manipulation Finale_, Lewis Ganson came up with some great alternatives for avoiding steals from the coat, but they required steals from formal gloves, which does not fit today's milieu.

Personally, I see nothing at all wrong with body steals. Done well, I think they make the act more mystifying. That said, of the "modern" performers, I think Jeff McBride does a great job avoiding body steals in his card act.

Anverdi had some nice ideas for steals of balls from places like the breast pocket of a suit or sports coat. You might be able to find some of his books at used book sites/magic shops. There is one copy of Anverdi's lecture notes currently listed at alibris.com

Bob McAllister had a very clever, totally deceptive way to steal a ball from his pants pocket while wearing a sports coat. I used Bob's method when demonstrating the multiplying billiard balls when I worked in Earl Edwards's Magic Shop. I'm not sure if it was original with him or not. He used it for the ball production in his "Watch the Spot" trick.

Reducing the number of card fans and singles will in itself streamline a card manipulation act enough to eliminate or at least reduce the need for steals.

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
Message: Posted by: elliottmagic (Aug 14, 2013 08:22PM)
There is a difference between body loads an body loads done well
Message: Posted by: RJH (Aug 14, 2013 11:18PM)
Amado, thanks. At this moment I'm paractising steals without a jacket and waistcoat, only shirt. It's a shame that gloves aren't used these days, and if are, somebody from the audience will every time say: '' Gay! ''. I would like to know more about Anverdis techniques, they sound interesting.

Message: Posted by: Anatole (Aug 15, 2013 07:36AM)
At one time I used an ice bucket with a lid, like this one:
to toss cards into as they were produced. I attached a clip holding a stock of cards to the lid, which was then placed on top of the bucket. As I entered the stage, I produced a fan of cards. Then lifted the lid of the bucket with the left hand so I could toss a couple of split fans and singles into the bucket proper, taking care of course to not expose the secret stock. Then as I placed the lid under the bucket (to act like a sort of pedestal), I would secretly st**l the next stock of cards.

In his booklet _Card Fan Productions_ Marlo writes about using the silk band around a fedora to hold a stock of cards.

You could also, of course, just start with the cards in a card case. Take the cards out and do some thumb fan flourishes and at the end of the flourishes apparently toss the cards into the hat or bucket. You can add a touch of magic to using the card case by using Lou Tannen's "Pack Full of Pep" from the Tarbell Course, Volume 2. The cards rise magically from the card case. No threads, can be done in any lighting situation, and adds a very magical extra touch at the beginning of the routine!

I used to use a serpent silk effect as misdirection for secretly acquiring cards from my coat. The animation of the silk untying itself is very strong misdirection. You could probably blatantly pick up the stock from your table while the audience's eyes are transfixed by the silk untying itself.

And IIRC, Jeff McBride talks about steals and loads in his DVD set "The Art of Card Manipulation."

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
Message: Posted by: RJH (Aug 15, 2013 11:13PM)
Amado,, I like the idea with the bucket. I'll get some serpent silks and start experiementing! I don't have Art of Card manipulation and honestly I'm not going to get it, I have so many card manipulation DVDs and all the material that is covered in art of card manipulation is somewhere in those DVDs.

Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Aug 16, 2013 08:05AM)
I never understood why the magicians in the Europe use a metal bucket for their cards and a hat for their coins. Very opposite from what the books suggests, except of course T. Nelson Downs who use a hat for his coins.

The immediate thought that comes to my mind is that the metal pail will damage the corners of the cards as they hit the bottom and sides of the pail. It does seem illogical to use a container that does not meet the needs of the items/props being used. Mainly, coins thrown into a pail make the noise necessary to "prove" they are real metal coins.

The old descriptions tell of the performer placing a metal plate in a hat so the coins can be "heard" as they hit the bottom of the hat and plate.

As for cards, in my opinion it makes for sense to place them in a hat or net as Norm Nielsen does or did in his famous act. With cards visual is used to see the cards as they begin to overflow from the hat. No sound is necessary, so why use a metal pail? The softness of the hat material is easier on the corners of the cards, thus making them reusable for future shows, and months of use.

In Lewis Ganson's descriptions of his routines he used a hat for coins and pail for cards. I which he was around to tell us his thinking behind his decision to do so.

The German magician and mentalist Ted Lesley uses a bucket in his act to store a deck of cards, a glass, and piece of rope. I found that puzzling as well.
Message: Posted by: elliottmagic (Aug 18, 2013 01:28AM)
As for clips, for my bb act I use a loading belt. I just got some artificial flowers, duct tape and a cheap leather belt. What I did was cut off the flower and all the leafs so I have just a stem, then I sanded off all of the fake thorns, then I bent two of them in a U and then brought the two ends together, I did the same to another flower, and taped them together at the long part of the loop. Then I taped this to the belt,
This was inspired by the bb clips from fabric manipulation. I also have some of those clips, kinda pricy though.
Message: Posted by: Anatole (Aug 21, 2013 02:30PM)
Bill, you wrote "I never understood why the magicians in the Europe use a metal bucket for their cards and a hat for their coins. Very opposite from what the books suggests, except of course T. Nelson Downs who use a hat for his coins... The immediate thought that comes to my mind is that the metal pail will damage the corners of the cards as they hit the bottom and sides of the pail."

I'm away from home now so can't check my library, but I could have sworn that a champagne bucket is what Lewis Ganson suggests in _Card Magic by Manipulation," and Ganson literally wrote the book on that type of act. But then, Ganson was European, although separated a little from the continent. (Can someone check either _Card Magic by Manipulation_ or the chapter by that name in _Routined Manipulation Finale_ to see what Ganson recommended?) If, as you say, Europeans seem to prefer a bucket, it would be slightly provincial of those of us in America to suggest that their preference is questionable.

If the cards are prepared per Ganson's instructions, there will be a slight bow in the cards anyway, so the odds of the corners hitting the bucket would be slim. I do, however, put a handkerchief into the bucket to slightly soften the bucket bottom. But I did that more to protect the edges of my fanning deck than to protect the cards from the productions. Also, I use a large plastic flower pot instead of a metal bucket, so the noise is muted somewhat.

Top hats are a little (dare I say) archaic, and unless you're dressed in tails or a tux, look s little out of place. Having said that, I do think Charlie Frye's card act at
looks fine with a top hat even though he isn't dressed formally. But Frye's act is a little off-the-wall anyway, so the top hat juxtaposed with casual attire doesn't jar the mind.

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
Message: Posted by: Anatole (Aug 21, 2013 05:25PM)
An interesting source for info on stealing is Gen Grant's lecture notes _How to Make a Living by Stealing... Doves, Of Course!_
Although it's about dove steals, some of the ideas might be applicable or adaptable to other items.

In addition to Grant's lecture notes there is a video set:

Another good resource on dove steals is Greg Frewin's Complete Course in Dove Magic

And then there's James Dimmare's "The Dove Whisperer":
As the description of the Dimmare video ssys, you will learn Channing Pollock's First Bird Production and "Channing Pollock's Third Bird Production: Channing's famous production. Everyone used to wonder where the third dove in his act came from...now you'll know!"

Another good resource would be the Shimada Greater Magic videos produced by Stevens Magic:

We are very fortunate that people like Grant, Frewin, Dimmare and Shimada have offered to share what in past centuries would have been closely--and jealously--guarded secrets of the magician's art and craft.

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
Message: Posted by: Anatole (Aug 21, 2013 07:40PM)
RJH, can you share with us some of the card manipulation titles that you have? If there's any in your list that I don't have, I'd like to do a search for them to see if I can find them.

One of the best card manipulation videos I have is the one by Lou Lancaster. I have it on VHS and wish it were transferred to DVD complete with menus. The IMS has a DVD by Lou, but I don't think it has as much material on it as his other videos had.

Jeff McBride spoke at Lou Lancaster's Broken Wand ceremony and said, "Much of my professional repertoire I learned from Lou. My card fans, my silent linking ring routine, my zombie, my Chinese fan work--I still perform these routines every night and pass these techniques on to my students so the spirit of Lou Lancaster lives on."

Quite a tribute!

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
Message: Posted by: RJH (Aug 21, 2013 11:10PM)
Anatole, it would be a pleasure. There is a nice little routine with steals in The Evolution of card manipulation. Another great recourse would be Lewis Gansons Expert Manipulation of playing cards, but the steals are from gloves. If you want a recourse for billiard ball steals, I would say that Principles and deceptions by Buckley is great. He explains a 8 ball production routine without the gimmick. Those are the best titles I have for card steals. If you want a full list of titles where somekind of stealing is teached, just say it. :)

Message: Posted by: genemccarthy (May 4, 2014 03:44PM)
This is an extremely well read group of performers.

I have had Shamada, Dimmare and others including Jason Byrne on tours throughout Australiasia sand all are exquisite. I have stood backstage and been fooled by all of them. Having once performing a bird act I was always deceived by Jason Byrne's closer of producing a duck. He is one of ne of the most underrated bird acts there is. And a true gentleman, as they all are. Take a chance and look at it. Even though I know it well and am aware of 'how' the steal is done-it fools me every time!

Now that's misdirection.