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Justin Hepton
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Hello to you all once again!!

My incredible journey in magic is going really well now and I'm learning so much thanks to some new friends at my local society of magicians, some great advice here and also some really inspiring lectures recently! (I have Jay Scott Berry to thank for inspiring me in an lecture recently!)

I thought I'd take a moment to list the vast majority of effects I currently perform and see if anyone here might have some thoughts as to how they play out to lay audiences and magicians alike, as Im hoping to eventually turn pro when the time is right and if there are any effects anyone feels I just "have" to include, feel free to let me know! Although, I feel the trick depends on the performer, as one magician may suit doing a particular type of trick, but another may not! One more thing before the list...If any of the tricks I list you feel have a superior version or method than the one I am using, feel free to say! Your thoughts and opinions are, as always, very much appreciated! Ok...

Ambitious card
Twisting the aces
Paul Curry's OOTW - (I have heard "Galaxy" by paul Harris could be worth looking at in place of this?)
Play It Straight Triumph - By john Bannon, god I love this trick!
Twisted Sisters
"Impossible" by Larry jennings
a colour changing deck routine - depends on the situation, which one I do, I have tried Sam Websters "Nemesis" and "Revolver" from Penguin (Oh, that's a dirty word!) but maybe another trick might be better as "Nemesis" always arouses suspicion I find, as the deck at the end looks a bit small, know what I mean?
Blizzard (Dean Dill)
John Kennedys "Mystery Box" or Sankeys "Paperclipped", depending on what I have at the time!
I.D. - Sankey
Leaving Home - Sankey
In a flash - Sankey
Practice Pack - Sankey
A sponge rabbits routine (Daryls routine, I believe called "Peter rabbit hits the big time" is excellent!
"Do as I do" (penguin), oops! there it is again! but it is a very simple yet powerful effect!
"Card On Ceiling" - Ammar (A Classic!)
"Symphony Of The Ring On Ribbon" - Jay Scott Berry
"How to lose friends and win money" - a great "bank night" trick!
"Invisible deck" - a must, in my opinion!
"Club Sandwich"
"Pyro Perception" - nice because its different!
"Special Delivery" By David Regal or maybe a signed card to my "Kaps fire wallet" - but that's getting a little reluctant to light up these days...must replace it!
and "D-lite" or "finger fazers" (another Jay scott berry trick). Yes, I have read the posts on the various positives and negatives about those two but for me, the Finger Fazers seem to be a much more "pretty" and magical effect, and with a good downs palm and a few other sleights, I think this could overtake my Dlites! But I haven't spent a lot of time with the finger fazers yet, so I'll reserve my judgement til I am more proficient with them!

Pheww...! If you're still reading this, thanks for taking the time to read it and any opinions you may have, fire away!

Justin
"After the game is over, the king and the pawn go into the same box"



- Italian proverb
Pekka
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Remember the difference between professional and amateur magician. Amateur presents different tricks to the same people. Professional presents the same tricks to different people.

You do not need all of that. You need a couple that are great, that you can do blindfolded and are so "in you" that another magician would not even recognise the trick.

That list is very impressive and very good for doing off beat perfoirmances to friends etc. Now you need to find and create a show with just a couple of routines that will last about 10 minutes. That quest, can take a lifetime.
DavidKenney
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Let me affirm what Pekka said...less is more. I'd rather see sponge balls in the hands of a master, then a hundred "street magic specials" from a amateur.
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Suave Dan
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I've seen an excellent 5 minute long Sponge Ball/Cups & Ball (w/ appearing playing cards) routine that amazed me. The magician said it took him 7 years to perfect it.

Getting a professional act down can be a hard thing to do. http://magic.about.com used to have some good tutorials on doing this. Not sure they still exist
James Watkins
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Think about this... The great Derek Dingle only performed 8 tricks I believe. Break down everything.. Use only the best of your best. You have got a bunch of good material, but you may have too much. Think about practicing all of that in an afternoon! Whew... also, I am glad to see someone else sees potential in Club Sandwich besides me.. I perform it all the time as well. Smile Hopefully my little post was a little help.

Later,
James
calexa
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I just want to add that I see a lot of gimmicked effects. So you always have to carry special props. Why don't you try to learn magic with a simple deck of cards? You can an ACR, so you should ba able to learn more....

Magixx
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Corey Harris
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You should deffinatly narrow this down a lot. Like every one has said, You just need a few great effects that you can do flawlessly. Try not to use so many gimmicks. Your pants will get very heavy with all that stuff in them.
Paul
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"Derek Dingle only used eight effects?"

Surely if that was true "The Complete Works of Derek Dingle" would be a much smaller book?

"You just need a few great effects that you can do flawlessly."

Hmmm. If you have a close up residency in a bar or restaurant with regulars you'll be out of material in a few weeks then? You can be a professional and entertaining the same people too.

You seem to have plenty to play around with and truly learn/perfect, Strider.

There was a complete thread on Club Sandwich at one time, including some different presentation ideas from myself. In the archives somewhere.

As Calexa said, a knowledge of more good straight deck effects might prove useful to your magical armoury.

Paul.
James Watkins
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Paul, surely if you read my post you will see I said "I believe." Someone else may have popped into my mind.. But it is no secret that some pros use a limited number od tricks in their act.. But, something similar to what you said, if you live in a small town, you will need more. I personally live in a huge city, so it is no problem getting different spectators.

Later,
James
C Christian
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You have a great list there....
Keep learning more effects when you go pro you will hopefully by then have learned who you are and how you want to be percieved by your audience and that will help you to determin what "tricks" to stick with. Good example I learned to do McDonalds Aces 12 years ago (Great mind blower effect) But I do not do it at all any more it just doesn't fit me...Still a great effect but when placed in my act it doesn't help my stage persona. It turns me into a Card-man, and well, if you ever see me on stage you will see that my persona on stage is not a card-man at all.
As long as you don't go broke keep buying all that you want and learn from them!!!
Cheers, Chris
Scott F. Guinn
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Quote:
On 2005-05-26 03:46, Pekka wrote:
That list is very impressive and very good for doing off beat perfoirmances to friends etc. Now you need to find and create a show with just a couple of routines that will last about 10 minutes. That quest, can take a lifetime.


Not if you want to perform for all or pat of your living. Not a big market for a 10-minute act out there, unless you perform in a touring variety show. In the days of Vaudeville, that was good advice, but now, you need 30-60 minutes of material, not 10. If you're doing strolling magic in a resort type of place with virtually no repeat business you can get away with 10 or 15 minutes, but if you're in a typical town where you will be building a following, again, you'll need a lot more than one 10-minute set.

The list you have there is good, although I'd recommend you cut it in half and replace that half with non-card effects. You'd then have a very versatile repertoire.

I understand that the "10-minutes" advice is well-intentioned, I just think it is out of date. Mike Skinner knew and used hundreds of tricks. So did Dingle. I revolve tricks in and out of my repertoire, but at any given time, I can (and have) done several hours without repeating an effect.

My advice: Put together a 30-minute show. then put together another one. Then you'll have enough material to do a 30, 45 or 60 minute act, or have a number of strolling sets. You can then perform repeat bookings with confidence, either just for fun, as a profitable sideline or for a living.
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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Pekka
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Paul,

You, perhaps, missed the point we made earlier. How to improve? Build an act. Tune it, work it, invent something new to it. After that, learn something fun etc.

Derek Dingle did, in fact, had a very limited number of effects in his act. 8 could be right, I cannot remember at the moment. It has nothing to do with published work, that was for fun the act was for work.

Any proper card man can do several tricks outside their act and many can even improvise. There is no problem with that but to be a pro you need to have an act. Maybe two or three or four. But one at the time. What some here seems to suggest is that keep learning new ones. Show them everything. And we all know that is not right, one has a limited amount of memory capacity to do everything perfectly, one also has an audience to consider and they do not want three hours of random tricks! They rather want 10 minutes of solid entertainment.

And as a final note, Derek Dingle couldn't remember some of his own tricks from his books. I think that tells you something. There is just a certain amount of effects one can carry around. Read and test every single trick in the world if you wish, but do not try to practise and perform them all, there just simply isn't enough time.
Doctor Whoston
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Actually, I'm intrigued as to what sort of a persona you are using. Obviously if you are dressing as a clown or in a sharp-looking suit it will make a big difference as to whether this is a good choice of material. As people have said, you need to do what is good for you. Which "you" are you using?
Justin Hepton
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Thank you, thank you, thank you everyone! Really great advice!

What I think I didn't really stress clearly enough though, is that all the tricks ive listed, are some of what I consider to be the best I currently own. I don't take all of those with me to a show, but I guess, what I was asking, in a roundabout kind of way, is which of those tricks do you feel would work well together, which do you think have better versions (hence the question about OOTW), and which tricks, of those I haven't mentioned, you feel I just HAVE to have! (that of course, is very much a personal preference, but id still be interested to hear your opinions!)
Thanks James! I love Club Sandwich too, a much more powerful effect than some people give it credit for!
Also, I appreciate all the advice you have all given me! keep it coming regarding the above too!
Justin
"After the game is over, the king and the pawn go into the same box"



- Italian proverb
Paul
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Pekka, no, I didn't miss the point. It should be a "given" that if you are going to perform you need an act.

Did anyone in the thread to date suggest he should learn more and more tricks?
I don't think so. Neither did I assume the tricks lister were Striders complete act, I simply suggested he had plenty to work from (e.g. to build several routines).

As this is in the card section one assumes the intention is to perform close up magic. So advice to learn just eight tricks well, (or if we go back even further and quote Devant "six tricks" which was a quote made to make a point) might be more suitable for someone doing a short variety spot of yesteryear. Most getting into close up professionally break into restaurant work. You do get the same people coming back to see you unless you are working in a resort area.

As can be seen, Scott, another professional close upper here more or less agreed with me. He simply offered more clarification Smile

As for Dingle not remembering some of the tricks from his books, I can quite imagine that was the case 20 years or so after they were published. If you were in a session with Dingle in the eighties I think you would find he could do a lot of it perfectly. I can't remember some of the routines in my own books, which again span decades.

Strider, good luck with getting it all together. OOTW is perhaps a bit slow these days for pro. work but still good for showing to friends. My favourite version is Paul Curry's own update on the routine which appeared in "Special Effects" and also "Worlds Beyond".
Pekka
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Now, if I may, to clarify some points I have made. I never intented to say that Paul doesn't know what he is saying, I merely said he might not be understanding what I am saying. Nig difference.

My initial purpose was to tell Strider how he could take his magic to more professional level. And I think I am correct when I said, build an act. For me, 10 minutes would be fine. Strolling in a restaurant, two 5 minutes segments that can be played individually if needed. Something along those lines. I have never thought about doing a longer act since I have no aspirations what so ever to become a full time pro. In fact, I do not even want to be a pro, just be as good as one. For ten minutes.

And there is nothing wrong in learning several acts, and longer acts. Building and tuning. But how often have we seen people in this forum asking what trick they should buy next, they can do over 500 effects. We all know what that means, he probably cannot do any of them well. That was the pitfall I was trying to point out. Nothing else.

I have never tried to contradict Paul, just explaining my views and my posts are not intented to tell more experienced magicians how things are meant to be done. I do not do that. But I still think fine tuning a ten minute act together is a correct way to start, to construct it well and adjust as needed. That is what I am doing at the moment. I could not even think about doing a 30 minute act. I am not ready yet. Do I only show that? No, I have bunch of tricks I can do but they are just tricks. Not real magic. They may go wrong, the angles may be bad, I may forget the pattern etc. It is great for entertainment but not for work.

But anyway, anyone keen to become a professional entertainer in magic listen to Scott and Paul, they do know what they are talking about. I am just pondering here, from a serious amateur point of view.
JSBLOOM
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Seems like you have a great foundation to build upon.
My specialty is card magic and I am a huge Sankey fan.
Listen to Scott and work on a good flow using some non card effects.
One of my favorite DVD's to watch is Finney.
He does 6 good tricks and the way one flows into another is great.
His act covers mentalism, sponge, cards, illusions, and watch steal.
Focus on quality not quantity.
I know this is hard because there is so much great stuff out there.
For example, we keep on looking for the best OOTW effect though the outcome is the same. Remember tricks with good patter like Jay's parallel worlds and back in time are fun to watch and entertaining as well.
Justin Hepton
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Pekka, Paul, and everyone who has contributed to this post, thank you very much, I take on board the fact that I really ought to be fine tuning my work into a proper routine, be it 10, 30, 60 minutes whatever. I would also appreciate any advice on routining, and which of the effects ive listed would work well together, or in the same settings etc.
I really do appreciate all your advice.
A special thank you to Scott F Guinn as well!
"After the game is over, the king and the pawn go into the same box"



- Italian proverb
Paul
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Pepka, no ill will here.
Re your comment:
"But I still think fine tuning a ten minute act together is a correct way to start, to construct it well and adjust as needed. That is what I am doing at the moment. I could not even think about doing a 30 minute act."

Depending on what your performing intentions are, that IS excellent advice.
I actually started performing many years ago by putting a 40 minute children show together and doing parties. Then later a similar timed show for adults. Of course doing a 40 minute spot doesn't mean you have to do 4 times as many tricks as in a ten minute close up spot.

I certainly think putting a stand up act together actually HELPS in later doing close up stuff, routining etc. it may not be necessary but it is simply what I feel. Books like Ortiz's "Strong Magic" may also be useful to Strider or Mendoza's "Close Up Presentation" (though finding a copy of the latter would be extremely difficult these days). Another may be Burger's "Performance of Close Up Magic".

re:
"But how often have we seen people in this forum asking what trick they should buy next, they can do over 500 effects. We all know what that means, he probably cannot do any of them well. That was the pitfall I was trying to point out. Nothing else."

Far too often, and lets not forget recommending books and tricks they neither own nor have read simply because the advert looked cool. I agree and appreciate what you were trying to do.

Strider, looking at your list it might be quicker to initially decide what you cannot at first sight routine together.Several gaffed/set deck effects for instance, though you might routine them into different sets. Split your list into three. Also consider which of the tricks might play for big or small audiences. If some effects can do double duty for close up or cabaret that's a big plus isn't it?

Good luck with it (and also to Pekka with his routining.) It is obvious you both take your magic very seriously.

Paul.
superdave101
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In my opinion, it's very good to do card tricks that not involve gimmicks, so you can perform anywhere, however I don't have a problem including a few effects that require gimmick cards. (MacDonald's Aces, Red Hot Mama, Color Changing Deck, etc.) Eason, Ammar, Regal, Daryl use gimmicks.I think the idea is to entertain the audience, and if thoses effects are going to put money in my pocket, I'll keep including them in my shows.

Dave
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