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Stephen Long
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Quote:

On 2001-12-23 15:43, semianimus wrote:

This 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. Anything easy is going to become a crutch to anyone and Iím 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 canít even follow 52 cards around a deck if someone knows what theyíre doing). This doesnít 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 itís healthy and when it isnít.





"Cards are easy" is a statement that I found interesting in this post.

Easy to make up tricks, easy to practice...



It is easy to make up tricks.

When I was younger, for example, I believe I probably invented one of the worst card effects in existence.

I was only 7 at the time...

But the basic effect was that the deck of cards was a dragon that swallowed the chosen card up and sneezed it back out again.

This trick was very easy for me to make up. Does it make it good?

Maybe the "ambitious card" routine was an "easy" trick to make up.

In my mind that does not make it a bad or ílazyí trick.

You also imply that a deck of cards must be easy to practice with due to the simple fact that they are easily transported...?



Of course cards are a "crutch" as you say.

Most of us need them.

Take them away and we would fall down.

Is this a bad thing?

One could argue that Michael Shumaker has come to rely on his F1 car a little too much.



I can understand the argument that it would be nice to expand into different areas a little more...

But I have to disagree with the "lazy" and "easy" bit of your argument.

The invisible deck is an easy effect to perform.

Does this make it less of an effect?

In the specatatorís eyes (and THAT, I believe, is where we need to be looking at magic from) no.

Absolutely not.



And we need to recognise when itís helathy and when it isnít.

Fair enough.

But too much of a good thing is wonderful.

If you can baffle an audience just as much with a deck of cards as you can with anything else, why change?

For changeís own sake?

Thatís always a bad thing.



One last thing - an audience can relate to a deck of cards.

They know certain truths about a deck of cards:

2 colours

4 suits

13 values

It is the audienceís recognition of a deck of cards that often provides the best reactions.



Well, thatís what I think anyway.



Gonzolo

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Jeb Sherrill
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Gonzolo wrote:

This trick was very easy for me to make up. Does it make it good?

Maybe the "ambitious card" routine was an "easy" trick to make up.

In my mind that does not make it a bad or ílazyí trick.

You also imply that a deck of cards must be easy to practice with due to the simple fact that they are easily transported...?

____________________________________________



I appreciate your statements, but I think youíre misunderstanding what Iím saying. I stressed firmly that cards could be a good effect and even went so far as to stress effect over method. Iíve never been one to reason anything easy was a bad effect. In fact I tend to favour them. By the way, your dragon trick actually sounded pretty interesting.

And, no, of course cards being easy to transport doesnít mean theyíre easy to work. Transportation is simply one of the reasons that we favour them as tools and any favoured tool can become a crutch, regardless of the reasons.

_____________________________________________

Also wrote:

But I have to disagree with the "lazy" and "easy" bit of your argument. The invisible deck is an easy effect to perform.

Does this make it less of an effect?

_____________________________________________

Of course not, I use that trick myself. By lazy I referred to the statements in my second message (their ease of transportation, the material available on them etc.). Itís not lazy to do cards, itís just lazy to do too much. It would be the same if we did mostly coins or spongeballs. Those like Bobo that specialized, also made up a good deal of what they did, and did very different things from others. It was not a crutch to them, but a springboard, and many of them did more in their act than a lot of people realize.

_____________________________________________

Also:

Of course cards are a "crutch" as you say.
Most of us need them.
Take them away and we would fall down.
Is this a bad thing?
One could argue that Michael Shumaker has come to rely on his F1 car a little too much.

_____________________________________________


OK, I donít recall asking us to put them down. I only commended Rudy on being able to. Iíd be lost without my cards, Iím a card worker, Iíve said that.

_____________________________________________

Also:

But too much of a good thing is wonderful.
If you can baffle an audience just as much with a deck of cards as you can with anything else, why change?
For changeís own sake?
Thatís always a bad thing.

_____________________________________________

No, too much of a good thing is always bad. More is not more, and any good performer can tell you that. Secondly, baffling the audience is not the point. Thatís the problem. I can baffle them all day with a deck of cards, but for 99% of magicians, those people were bored after the first three tricks.

I donít think people are reading what Iím really saying here. Of course people relate to cards and that makes them good, but people relate to a great many things, so what? If people suddenly didnít relate to cards and they disappeared from the world for everyone but us magicians, do you think anyone would stop? No. Weíd keep printing our own cards and building little monuments to their memory and selling more videos than ever and complaining about how card magic is a lost art. For heavens sake, Iím NOT saying throw down your cards. Iíll be doing triple cuts to my dying day, but please expand. If you donít think people get bored with 9 out of 10 magicians who do more than two card tricks in a row (with the possible exception of combos), then youíre in denial. Just because everyone is going "how did he do that" doesnít mean youíre accomplishing your goal.

Little story:

A guy who works here (total civilian) came in one day talking about how heíd seen a young magician the night before doing signed card to wallet. He just kept doing the trick over and over and no one could catch him. They kept tipping him every time, but still couldnít catch him reaching back. "It was just amazingĒ.

Great! Who cares! I forgive the guy because he was making money with every repeat and I can understand that. If someone gave me a buck every time I vanished a scarf with my T-tip Iíd do it all night. But as far a magic is concerned, there wasnít any. It had become a little puzzle. They knew what he was doing, just not how. We can learn a lot from that sort of thing.


Sable

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Stephen Long
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Fairy nuff.

I understand everything you're trying to say now.

And everything you've said does not particularly relate to me.

You comment on the audience getting (and forgive the paraphrasing) 'bored' (so to speak) with cards.

The majority of people I perform for will have seen very little magic before.

So it doesn't matter what medium I use.

In fact, for someone who hasn't seen much magic before, I think it's preferable to use something recognisable like a deck of cards.

But I completely understand and respect your ideas on a need for expansion.



Forgive my hasty and argumentative responses earlier.

I just love cards.

When I hear a word spoken against them it's like someone just insulted my mother.



You're right - a little expansion wouldn't go amiss.

But I wouldn't feel right expanding too much until I have mastered what I know.

I would rather master one thing before moving onto another.



By the way, my dragon trick may SOUND interesting.

You should have seen it.

Half the deck ended up on the floor with an incorrect card in my hand.

I tried to crimp the card but didn't really...um, succeed.



:shrug:

Gonz
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While some performers may be able to thoroughly entertain an audience with nothing but a deck of cards, it's certainly not recommended for most!



However, as has been said, entertaining an audience, with or without a pack of cards, for all or a portion of an act, is anything BUT easy!
"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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Jeb Sherrill
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Gonzolo,

All good points. I was a little hasty myself, and certainly made a few statements which were unnecessarily strong. I'm also not sure I put myself across very well either. Thanks for understanding.





Greatscott,

Quite right. Nothing is ever easy in magic.



Sable

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Mitch
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FYI to Gonzolo and Semianimus..as an outside observer I thought both of you were quite eloquent and presented your points of view very well without being particularly harsh..both of you demonstrated strong passion and were able to see where each other was coming from but it need not end with everyone agreeing but I think that we all took a little something from both of you..I did anyhow...thanks Smile



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Jeb Sherrill
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Much appreciated Mitch. Iíve just met Gonzolo myself, but I think weíll be friends now. He certainly is elequent and presents hismself very well. I respect that, and even though I play the devilís advocate frequently, I found a lot in what he said as well. Thank you for your post.



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Stephen Long
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Respect.

:dance:



In fact, I think we were almost sickeningly civilised.

Sable, I take all previous apologies back and, hence forth, promise to be ruthless and nail you with insults as well as arguing against whatever point you put across purely for disagreement's sake.

( Smile )



Gonz
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Gonzolo,

I most wholeheartely agree. In retrosect I am still washing the sugar from my mouth. May all cards be burned!!!!! Smile



Sable,

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Stephen Long
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And may all dancing bananas be skewered on large spikes and mashed into an unrecognisable pulp.

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(unless Sable can use them to come up with a new effect. One that does not require cards)
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Jeb Sherrill
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Blast it Gonzolo, how did you know? It's the choose a banana, any banana trick, where you have someone choose a banana, then squash it up, put it in a bag and make your dog eat it. I haven't figured out how to restore it yet, but I'm working on that.



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Scott F. Guinn
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Why not just wait a few hours and let the dog restore it? That would be a trick that has a peel. But to very few (like veterinarian magicians).
"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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Steve Brooks
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I am pretty happy with how this topic turned out. A lot of good points and a variety of different approaches. Smile



I would like to end this particular topic with a few final words.



Two questions that I often find spectators asking me, once they learn I am a magician.



Can you pull a rabbit out of a hat?

I really find that question an interesting one. I actually know several methods, though I have never performed this classic, nor have I actually seen another magician do so either.



They will often hand me a deck of cards and say; Can you please show us something?

Of course I can, I reply. Though I often find myself thinking "Oh no...not Hoyle!"

:rotf:
"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
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