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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Finger/stage manipulation » » What cards do you use for manipulation/ how treat (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

cinemagician
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Hello. It has been a long time since I have done any manipulation with cards and I am begining to practice and put together a routine.

I'm sure this has been discussed before, but could not find adequate information/ opinions via the search function.

What cards do YOU use, how do you treat them?

Years ago, I used red Bees, bent them in several different directions and put them in a bag with some fanning powder. The cards were pretty soft this way, but tend to get a bit bent out of shape, I never tried putting them in a vise or a card clip.

Does anyone use cards of a thinner stock?

How does this affect your ability to do scaling etc.?

Anyway, I would find it fascinating to hear about of some of your different preferences.

Thanks
...The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity...

William Butler Yeats
Darkwing
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I use a variety of different cards in my act. Generally I use Bees for split fan productions. I use Norm Nielson for single card productions. The reason I use different cards is because I am pretty rough with cards on split fans and the Nielsons powder very well, are flesh-colored back, and are very thin but do not hold up with rough usage. When using Bees you must break these types of cards in. If they are off-the-shelf playing cards you must use a ruler or pencil, lay the card down on a flat surface and with the ruler or pencil on the card grab the card and pull it through both up and down, side to side, and at angles on both sides of the cards. Do this with each card. This will take some of the finish off and start to make the cards pliable. Then put the cards in a bag with some fanning powder and shake the bag to get powder on the cards. Take the cards out and riffle the cards several times to get out the excess powder (do this outside if possible). Get a card press or get two pieces of metal and put the cards in a vise for 24 - 48 hrs. The cards should ready to perform with. Be careful what kinds of cards you use. Bees, Bicycles, Steamboats, and Tally Hos work well. Aviators do not powder so well and do not hold up well. Avoid cards with white borders as they with flash big time unless you are manipulating with white gloves.

There are good selections of manipulation cards; Norm Nielson, Julianna Chen, Lance Burton, Jeff McBride, Murphy, Peter Marvey, some high-quality Japanese cards. I recommend you buy different types of cards and see what works best for you. Personally, I like the Norm Nielson, Murphy, and Julianna Chen cards. I do not like the Peter Marvey cards and have no comment on Lance Burton's or Jeff McBride cards since I don't own them. Most of these cards are very thin and some you can back palm the whole deck. Use regular cards to scale. No prep is necessary.

Have fun and hope this helps.
cinemagician
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Darkwing, thanks for the excellent reply. I have never tried the thinner manipulation cards before.

Nor have I ever placed them in a vise. I'm sure this will be of great help.

Strangely, when I did some manipulation back in my teens I used a thin layer of Ivory soap on the cards instead of fanning powder. When front and back palming a stack of cards it keeps them from "slipping out" as they sort of stick together temporarily. It's a bit of a different feel but someone may want to give it a try.

Thanks- Mark
...The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity...

William Butler Yeats
magic_man204
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I use Norm Neilson manipulation cards. They work well but put them in a vise after each use to keep them crisp. Bee's are good too.
DerekMerdinyan
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I learned with a deck of bicycle cards. Made them a little flexible, but overall they were still fairly stiff (compared to the thin stuff).

After getting the moves down, I then tried with the thinner cards and to my delight, my hard work paid off, I could now hold 2X + the cards in backpalm to produce even more fans and singles.

I made a good $2 card vice which has never failed me; cards need it after a while!

I now use a mix of the Marvey Cards (they hold powder really well) and regular cards.

Derek Merdinyan
Conus
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I've used "Bee" poker size decks, off-brand plaid backs, and odd cards I've found from time-to-time in souvenier and gift shops with flesh or tan colored backs.(Tip: when you find them, buy as many as you can grab.)

Neilson's cards and other "manipulation decks" are nice because of the double indices., but I find them to be a little too thin for me as they do not give me enough "snap" for singles. (Just personal opinion and touch.)

Any more, I use Bee "narrow size" decks. They take some breaking in but I like the feel of the stock.
cinemagician
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Thanks, guys for the responses. Basically I haven't done any card manipulation in a long time. I pretty much have gone the same route as Derek using bikes for practice. I'm hoping that the added stiffness will pay off for me as well. I'm right handed and my left hand is not as strong as my right.

Slowly my left hand seems to be getting a bit stronger even after a few days practice. Which is not a major problem, unless I do a variation on the front and back... instead of using the middle finger I quickly jam my thumb agaist the stock of cards bending them in the opposite direction and clip the upper corners of the cards between the fingers to show the back of my hand, this allows me to wiggle the fingers after the back of the hand is displayed.

I can do this pretty well with the right hand but, it's still tough with my left.

I'm not up on the DVDs that have come out since and I know I'll be starting with the McBride series. Any other recommendations?

Thanks- Mark
...The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity...

William Butler Yeats
Darkwing
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Nashville Tn
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All of McBrides DVD stuff is great and is a good place to start. You might want to look at his Manipulation Without Tears DVD. Jeff Sheridan has a good one along with Shimada, Tony Clark, and Romaine. Get as much info as you can.
Kardenni
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Orlando Florida
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The Murphys Cards work best for me!
Bill Hegbli
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The Norm Nielsen Cards are very good for card productions. As for Fanning Cards with designs, try Abbott's Deck or one from Haines House of Cards.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
Eduardo
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Norm Nielsen, the old model, are the best for me...
yanyak5
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Delaware
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I don't know if this has been said yet (too lazy to read!) but everyone uses different cards. Every magician usually has a preference on what cards he or she likes. Just try A bunch of different cards and you will eventually find the one that fits you well.


Personally I don't like the thin cards. They are too flimsy for my hands. I have found that the cards sold at the Dollar Tree company work best for me. This is a national chain store and there is probably one near you. The cards have a Bee design on them (no borders) and you get a blue and red deck in each pack for a buck. I use the blue to practice and the red for performance. If you spend 10 bucks, you can come out with 20 decks; 10 red and 10 blue. Good luck with your search.


P.S. As for treating, I do a few shuffles with them to break them in, maybe a few flourishes before performance. Everyone is different; this works for me.
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