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Steve Brooks
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Over the years, I have dabbled in just about every area of magic. And though I perform a variety of effects in my shows, it’s always a pack of cards that seem’s to comfort me the most. Smile



They are like a familiar friend, always there, never changing, yet always they inspire to be greater than they are. Smile



Of all the props we as magicians use to entertain our audiences, I firmly believe the pasteboards offer us the greatest variety of possibilities.



Indeed, fifty two objects that seem to be limitless in their uses.



Time and again, I will often hear magicians complain that there are far too many card tricks. I always answer; "Why do you think that is?" The question seems to imply the answer; "People like them".

Yes it’s true, when performed poorly, or too often, many folks "could" become bored.

But I think that can be applied to most any effect in magic.



As a topic starter, how do you feel about effects using cards? Smile



_________________

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but a mystery to be lived.
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John Zander
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I love cards Steve, but I do not do many card effects professionally. I no longer work a restaurant gig and do almost all stand up work. I do still use cards, but not much.



I play a lot at home with cards, mostly practicing moves (just learned some beauties from Earl Nelson!) and coming up with effects.



There is a whole other world out there beyond the cards and coins. I love cards and coins, but there are lots of other "props" that are just as natural.



I find it a challenge to come up with good magical routines that do not use cards.



No misunderstandings now... I love cards. Smile
Thank you,



John Zander







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The Award Winning

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John Zander

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http://www.AllMagic.net
Scott F. Guinn
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"Great Scott!" aka "Palms of Putty" & "Poof Daddy G"
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I have an article called "The Filthy Lie" (which WAS on the Visions site) from my book, "Great Scott! It’s card Magic!" I used to have the link for it here, but since it’s been taken down, I’ll just paste it here now so future readers will know what I and those who responded to this post were talking about:



The Filthy Lie



There is a filthy lie circulating throughout magicdom. I used to believe it myself.



“Most people hate card tricks!”



Then one day, I saw a good Card Trick performed by an accomplished and entertaining magician. It was one of the most magical things I’d ever seen (a version of Curry’s “Out of this World”)! I decided I wanted to perform that sort of magic. I began sifting through the vast literature of card magic, learning principles, finding gems and making them my own. I discovered that there are a lot of bad card tricks out there, and quite a few people had been forced to sit and watch them. I came to a conclusion.



“Most people hate BAD card tricks!”



I thought that was the answer. Just weed out the bad tricks and you’re fine. Then one day I witnessed a young man with incredible skill perform some mind-boggling card effects beautifully. It was one of the worst things I’d ever seen. He was such a jerk! He was a braggart and a show-off, and seemed to get a thrill out of making his audience feel stupid and inferior. I heard one lady say as she walked off, “I hope I never see another magician again!” Oh, my poor, sweet, wonderful magic! What a beating you took that day! I came to another conclusion.



“Most people hate GOOD card tricks performed by a jerk or a hack!”



So I decided that this must never happen to me. I wanted people who saw me perform to walk away saying, “That was great! You just can’t see enough good magic! That’s the most fun I’ve had in a long time!” I worked long and hard on my technique, and equally long and hard on routining, patter, misdirection and presentation. When I’m performing in one of my restaurants and I pull out a deck of cards, invariably someone will say something like, “You thought that other stuff was good, wait until you see what this guy does with a deck of cards! This stuff is great!” And I have come to another conclusion.



“Most people LOVE good card tricks performed by someone who cares about magic as an art and his audience as people!”



This is, in my opinion, the ultimate truth in card magic; the “anti-lie,” to coin a term. If you aren’t willing to work as hard on your presentation and people skills as you are on your technique, or if you have a wonderful persona but hate to practice and you show people tricks you really haven’t learned properly, please return this book to me for a full refund. Because this material deserves better. I deserve better. Your audiences deserve better. And MAGIC deserves better!
"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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Tom Cutts
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Great shot Great Scott.

Hit 'em right between the eyes!



I would only add in answer to Steve's post.



Most beginners learn card tricks and do them badly.



Most bad magicians do mostly card tricks.



Bad card magic is the easiest bad magic to get in front of people.



Disclaimer: All my opinions.



Tom Cutts
Steve Brooks
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Very good points of observation gentlemen.

Smile
"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
Dorian Rhodell
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I would just like to add that if presented properly, there are no bad card tricks. Or any tricks for that matter. Presentation X 3.



Thanks,



Dorian Rhodell
Burt Yaroch
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I’m all walk-around so cards comprise about 80% of my magic, which is great for me because that’s why I fell in love with magic.
Yakworld.
RVD
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I think card effects are great, comprising almost all of my repotoire. The thing is that before I show a card effect, I like to establish to the spectator that they will actually see magic happen. I like for them to realize that I am more than just somebody’s crazy uncle who has a deck of cards and a business card with a rabbit on it. There are a number of ways to do this. As you talk you can throw in a couple of flourishes, or open with a really strong effect that doesn’t require the spectator to pick a card. Just my thoughts.

RVD
Tom Cutts
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RVD,



How do you handle the contradiction when you tell them magic will happen, then you display flourishy sleight of hand to them?
Burt Yaroch
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I think the flourish was just to establish that you're not Uncle Jed. Although ol' Jed _is_ a millionaire and they're kinda flourishy.



I'm with you on this one RVD. Flourishes rock! Smile
Yakworld.
Marlo1
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I have been performing magic for over 30 years ... and I have always loved card magic. Just think, with a single, unprepared deck of cards, one can entertain, mystify,and peform art in front of anyone! Card magic is highly entertaining if performed correctly. It is truly an art ... and the possibilities are endless!
Tom Cutts
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Think what coin magic can accomplish with their poket full of coins...just to explore the other side of the... Smile



No argument a deck of cards is a rich tapestry. Too bad so many treat it as avocado green shag carpet.



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martinkaplan
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I certainly agree that their are other magic roads that one can go down, however there is a heck of a lot of magic that can be done with a deck of cards that costs less than two dollars.
Stephen Long
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I would like to meet the man who came up with the concept of the deck of cards and shake him heartily by the hand.

Genius, isn't it?

Two colours.

Four Suits.

Thirteen values.



I love playing cards...

I drool just thinking about them now.

Mmmmm....
Hello.
Paul
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I'm rather like Steve when it comes to cards and my close up work. Coins are just not as visible, in some lighting you cannot tell copper from silver etc.



Nice to see Scott's article which echoes my own thoughts. Harris had a line about it in the front of one of his books.



The strange thing is, many of those who say people hate card tricks still insist in including one in their acts. If they really believe what they say why use cards at all??



Dorian used that oft quoted line about there being no bad card tricks. I disagree. Presentation can salvage a lot and make most things entertaining. But just like there are bad entertainers, there are bad creators who put things in print and on the market which are really not that well thought through. We are in an age where people think up things just to sell to magicians rather than share routines that have been audience tested for years.



I am not going to name any names or trawl for examples, but a friend in Spain once mentioned his club had a vote and one "known"creative individual topped the list as the worst magician due to the number of really crap ideas he had had marketed through a big magic company.



There are a lot of card tricks in print that are there to serve no other purpose than keep someone happy with cards for a while, that are not too original or not too strong. Just things for hobbyists to play around with.When you read a new card book, how many tricks do you really get out of it?



If no new books on magic were ever published again it would probably be a good thing. And definitely no more videos, enough already, we are now getting the same stuff just recycled by different presenters!
Jeb Sherrill
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Hmmm. All interesting points, but I think I have a thing or two to add. I also love the old pasteboards. In fact I’ve got so many decks around the house I could probably start selling one-ways and make a fortune. I rifle them. I fan them. I throw them into walls. I sleep with them under my pillow and tuck them in each night. You could say they’ve become the very symbol of magic for me and many others. I love them because you can walk around with a deck in your pocket and do fifty tricks with one prop. You can devote half your life to cards alone.

Here lays the danger. Cards have become a crutch to us. The worst crutch ever. You can lose a person easier with a deck of cards than you can with any other prop and we’ve come to mistake losing someone with entertaining them. It’s understandable because cards are one of the few things that can still lose us as magicians, so we concentrate on them too much. I hate to say this as I am one of the guiltiest, but cards are often for lazy magicians. It will always be easier to pull out a deck of cards and do ten tricks than to learn how to use other things. We forget that once we’ve proven we can find someone’s card, they assume we can do anything with a deck. We become skilled jugglers. Only a magician will ever appreciate that you just did a triple false cut with a Bradley turnover and if your audience “did” see it enough to appreciate it, then you just screwed up. If I’m table hopping, it’s doubtful that I’d want to do more than one spongeball trick, or coin trick or scarf trick; so why in heaven’s name would I want to do more than one card trick. Ricky Jay gets away with it, but he goes to great lengths to do so, varying his repertoire greatly he uses many different effects (not many different methods). People don’t care about method and they shouldn’t.

Cards are great and a card trick done well can be one of the best and most entertaining effects in magic, but don’t rely on them too much. They’ll always be a special friend, but let me tell you, if it’s your only or even most exclusive friend, you need to get more friends. I challenge anyone who does a lot of cards to get through one show, or one night of table-hopping, or one party without pulling out the old-faithful deck even once. It’s good for you, trust me.

I’ve got to go now. I, the eternal hypocrite, am trying to perfect a vertical version of the one handed pass so I can do it behind my other hand without any movement.


Wish me luck,

Sable Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile
I don't believe in reincarnation, but I may have in another life.
Tom Cutts
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Psst Smile ..."Martin Nash".



It is possible to spellbind an audience with just cards. It is possible to spellbind an audience with just a piano. The shortcoming is not the medium but rather the performer.



It is common to jump from prop to prop using that as your texture. It speaks little of who the performer really is. It is infinately more spectacular to reveal yourself in all your depths using just one medium; be it cards, coins, or balloon doggies. It is also infinately more difficult, yet infinately more rewarding.



Once such depth of meaning is discovered, diversity of props can be added without fear of crutching upon it.



To change from cards to coins just because on is losing their audience only proves the lightness of the performance. The remedy is not in another prop.
Stephen Long
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Quote:

On 2001-12-23 03:34, semianimus wrote:

If I'm table hopping, it's doubtful that I'd want to do more than one spongeball trick, or coin trick or scarf trick; so why in heaven's name would I want to do more than one card trick? <font size=-1>[ This




I'm going to have to have a minor disagreement here.

I do not see cards as being for lazy magicians; it is true cards are an easy prop to fall back on, but they are also the best.

There is only so much one can do with a set of sponge balls.

Coins, although more versatile than sponge balls are still relatively limited in comparison to cards.

Cards are fantastic because they offer SO MANY possibilities.

With a set of sponge balls you are capable of making them fly from one hand to another and even making them impossibly multiply.

The question is not what CAN I do with a deck of cards, but what can I NOT do with a deck of cards?

The possibilities for tricks and effects with a set of 52 pieces of cardboard are nigh on limitless.

This is what makes a deck of cards so wonderful, and this is why it IS ok to do more than one card trick.



(NB: the above is an opinion and should be taken as nothing but)



Gonz
Hello.
cardguy
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I will also have to disagree that cards are for lazy magicians. Are you saying Marlo was a lazy magician? Wow, now thats bold!

Cards pulled me into magic and have never let go.



I used to consider myself a ’cardician’, because I didn’t use any other prop. Now that I have expanded my repertoire to include many other items, I still go back to the pasteboards to master a more challenging effect.



Cards are limitless in use, and that’s the beauty of them. I always include at least one card trick in each of my sets. Why should I deprive myself and my audience of a very magical card effect?



Just a little story: I met Bill Malone at my very first gig about two months ago. I was entertaining the kids and he was strolling for the adults. Funny thing is, the only prop he had on him was a deck of cards. But, no matter where he was in the room, there was a crowd of people around him watching in awe as he did UNIMAGINABLE things with those cards.



It was after that night that I realized a deck of cards is a magician’s secret weapon. Combine Bill Malone’s personality and skill with a deck of cards, and you’ve got hours of crazy entertainment. It is now my goal to get to that level. And I will devote countless years to get to that level.



So, my point is this: If you are an artist with a deck of cards or even just a few cards, you can keep your audience captivated and wanting more.



I personally like it when people tell their friends "Hey you’ve got see what this guy can do with a deck of cards." Smile
Frank G. a.k.a. Cardguy
Jeb Sherrill
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The is not a statement that all magicians that use cards are lazy, or even that they are not an effective effect, or even that I have anything against cards in general.

The point is that we have come to rely on them far too much. This can be said of a great many things in several different areas of magic, but they are a sure sign of us losing touch with "real magic".

We are becoming jugglers (finger flingers). There are some magicians that cards simply seem to be their forte’. But we all try to make it our forte’ and often they aren’t.

If we all decided one day that we would look at spongeballs the way we look at cards then we probably would come out with hundreds of uses. True, there won’t ever be as many, but that isn’t what makes a trick good anyway.

Anything easy is going to become a crutch to anyone and I’m afraid that, in this sense, cards are easy. Easy to make up a new trick (some good, some bad). Easy to practice (I can carry cards anywhere). Easy to lose anyone (I can’t even follow 52 cards around a deck if someone knows what they’re doing).

This doesn’t all mean you have to go the Rudy Colby route (though I do respect him for it) and throw away your pasteboards. It just means we need to recognize it as the crutch it is and learn to recognize when it’s healthy and when it isn’t.

I can’t imagine ever not picking up a deck again, or not working on my passes or double lifts or turnovers etc., but anytime we do anything too much (just look at the books, the videos, the trick sections of magic magazines), we begin to loose how magic really works.

We begin to concentrate on the trick instead of the effect and this will just naturally happen, I do it myself. We can’t just be blowing them away, we must be showing them magic.


Sable

Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile
I don't believe in reincarnation, but I may have in another life.
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