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Topic: small hands
Message: Posted by: pwagorn (Jul 30, 2002 05:33PM)
Hi - i've got tiny hand, JUST big enough to do a classic palm....

just wondering if anyone could give me some advice on sleights that i'll actually be able to perform... ie since most sleights seem to take hours to learn, i don't really want to frustrate myself with stuff i'll never be able to do because of the size of my hands...

any suggestions on stuff to try/NOT to try?


Message: Posted by: Chris A. (Jul 30, 2002 06:15PM)
Just use a smaller coin. Quarters instead of half dollars perhaps. That and perhaps you need to build up the muscles in your hand a bit.
Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Jul 30, 2002 06:50PM)
I believe that it is a waste of time to learn any slight for the sake of learning a slight. What is the use of knowing ten methods of controlling a card to the top of a deck if you don’t know a card trick?

More to the point of your question, I am an undertall person with small hands. I have found that I mastered the slights that I needed in order to execute my routines, with no more work than someone else with larger hands. Sometimes I have to I have to watch my angles just a little more.

In coin work I use American Silver Dollars, American Half Dollars, and old English Pennies with little problem. I also use the odd jumbo coin and it usually requires some form of palm to get into play.

Now it is true that I cannot palm and individually drop as many coins as can Jim Pace or Reed McClintock. However, I can palm 5 Silver Dollars and control their drop with little problem. At one time I used to do a standard coin roll down with silver dollars. Frankly, I can competently do the slights necessary for the effects I perform. I haven’t mastered everything on Dr. Rubinstein’s “Encyclopedia of Coin Magic” DVD’s, but then there is no need to, as I only tend to learn the slights needed for a given effect.

With cards, I perform with almost any deck off the shelf, poker of bridge size. I can palm a poker size card for card to wallet easily. My Mercury fold is good, my double lift is good. I can perform a couple of different passes with both poker and bridge size cards competently. I can perform most of the standard counts with no problem. Hand size doesn’t matter there.

I have not tried to backpalm a card or talon of cards in years (over ten), buy in my heyday I could do so with ease. My pinky and thumb counts suck! My Tenkai palm in poker size cards leaves a lot to be desired but I don’t work on it because I don’t use it for anything!

In thimbles, the Fakini “Ultra Thimble” is too long to have four stacked across my palm (a move I use in one routine) so I use different thimbles (Berlands from the 60’s). Most other palms and moves can be accomplished with my size of hand.

In multiplying balls I use the Fakini golf ball and the Fakini 2 inch ball. Both are easy to handle. In fact I could use a larger diameter ball, but don’t like the look (proportions with my small hand). I once performed with a set that I had made from real billiard (snooker) balls! They were heavy and hard to use but even with my small hands I could pull it off. It took a lot of practice!

My multiplying candles are custom made 1 inch by 6 inches (much longer than normally seen) and I have a set of multiplying cigarette lighters (same workings as the candles) that are 1 inch wide.
I could go on and on but you get the idea.

If you have a routine that requires a slight I think that you will be able to learn it, in spite of your hand size.

Remember that Max Malini was known for his close-up slight of hand. He was a very small man with very small almost delicate hands. Houdini was also a small man with hands in proportion to his size (small) and once did a King of Cards manipulation act!

So is it worth doing? That is entirely up to you and the act that you want to perform.

So as Austin Powers old dad is fond of saying “…ain’t the size that counts it how you use it!”
Message: Posted by: GothicBen (Jul 31, 2002 03:23AM)
Wise words, mumblepeas!!

I've always tried to learn to palm the biggest coins I could, because, with my small hands, it looks more incredible. I have a mate who has huge hands, and he has often complained that folk just figured he hid the things in his outsized mitts.

When I produe my jumbo coin it gets applause, and occasionally I've heard them say "He's hid it in his hand!", only to be followed by "No way! His hands are far to small to hid such a big coin!"

Ah! Wonderful.

Yeah, only learn the sleights you need for the tricks you want to do. Didn't Harry Lorayne say that if you knew a good card control, a palm and a double lift, then there's a whole world of good tricks available to you?
Message: Posted by: pwagorn (Aug 2, 2002 11:00PM)
quite honestly, sleights fascinate me (magic & tricks do too!) as a skill on their own. nothing I like better than to *know* what someone is doing, but still not be able to do it!

I really have a hard time with poke-sized cards, almost can't even palm it.... I guess I'll just stick with the double lifts!
Message: Posted by: magicalan (Aug 10, 2002 04:45PM)
pwagorn, I have the same problem you have. I am 13 with hands of a seven year old! :) I use quarters instead of halfs, plus everybody has quarters so i can always borrow one! As for cards, I don't do them, MY HANDS ARE TOO SMALL!!!!!!!!1
Message: Posted by: harp (Aug 12, 2002 10:04PM)

I do not have really small hands, but the classic palm was difficult to learn with halves, quarters work very well and gives me a more natural appearance.

A few years ago after a Paul Harris lecture, I had the honor of having lunch with him as well as some of the other club members. I asked this very question to Paul, he held up his hand and low and behold our hands were within a fraction of an inch in size. This really created a confidence for me in the fact that I can watch him for hours and not see a flash of any kind. Practice, Practice, Practice was his advice. Master a few utility moves and your well on your way. Do not get overwhelmed if it does not happen in a few days. Good Luck.