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Spade
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Hey guys, I was wondering if you have any tips on how to smoothly show a double lift without having the bottom card slip out. I have tried different approaches but just want to know what works best for you. Thanks
Euan
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Practice and a light touch

Euan
Menetekel
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Yeah, I'll second that. Practice, practice, practice! Also, you could check out the book Close-Up Illusions by Gary Ouellet. I personally love the double lifts he teaches on that book.

Max
Anasazi
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Definitely lots of practice. It's not an easy move to do well despite how often it's used. Check out Double Take by Gregory Wilson -- there are some really good ideas on that vid.
Lonnie Dilan
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Try not lifting the card(s) off of the deck.
Just turn them over like you are turning over a page in a book. I don't think lifting the card(s) off the deck is really any more convincing than just turning the cards over. I use the strike method because once you turn the cards over you don't need to hold a break. When you are ready to turn the cards back over you just strike and turn them over and you are clean.

The only time my doubles come off the deck is when I'm doing Lee Asher's Diving Board Doubles.

If you must pick up both cards from the deck, because I know there are effects out there that require the extra handling of double or more cards, you just have to hold the card(s) the same way you would handle one card, except that you have to hide the edge of the cards so they don't see more than one. A Biddle is an okay grip. I would rather hold the card(s) from two corners diagonally across from each other...you get the picture.

Use a nice light touch, but not so light that you lose the cards. Nice even pressure, but a nice squeeze on the cards will make it so that if you drop the cards on a table (preferably padded) the cards will stick together most of the time. You will have to experiment with it until you find the knack.

Have fun and just be natural.

Nobody will pick up one card just to display it when you can just turn it over on top of the deck. No need to run when you are not being chased, right?
Alpen
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I totally agree with Lonnie, except for his last point.
John Carney uses a double lift that he came up with in a very odd, yet logical way. He stood in public, handed (I think it was ) 100 people a deck of cards and asked them to show him the top card, and almost all of them picked it up and flashed the face of it, displaying it. None of them turned the card over on top of the deck. I, too, tried this. When I would perform, I would do a trick that required the spectator to turn over the top card, and I never saw anyone turn it over on top of the deck. They all thumbed it over and picked it up off the deck.

Alpen
Spade
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Thanks for the tip, Lonnie. I'll keep at it and find something that works.
wsduncan
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Quote:
...asked them to show him the top card, and almost all of them picked it up and flashed the face of it, displaying it.

Alpen,
The logic of this fails to convince me. How you asked the question would/could skew the results. If I asked you to turn over top card so I could see its face you might get entirely different results than if I asked you to "show me the top card."

There is nothing wrong with doing a two card turnover if you handle it well. Simply find something for your hand to do so that there is even the smallest logical reason for leaving the card on the pack. Simply pulling back on your sleeve with the hand that flipped the card or making a gesture with that hand.

It is not important that we handle cards as laymen do. We're not laymen. We carry a deck of cards around with us. Of course we handle them differently. Carpenters handle hammers differently than we do...
Thoughtreader
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Just dealing the card off the top of the deck to display it is why I use Martin Nash's "Knock-out double lift" which does look as it should. While it is not an easy one to aquire, it is well worth the practice.
PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat
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Chad Sanborn
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The 'Spooky Altman Trap' is one of the best double lifts out there. It has a flowing naturalness to it.

Chad
Larry Davidson
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wsduncan, with all due respect, I find Alpen's logic persuasive and yours not persuasive to a point. Yes, the way you ask a question can skew the results, but why would you ask a person to "turn over the top card of the deck" if a person wouldn't normally turn over a card in the first place and instead would simply lift it off? It's not important that we handle cards as laymen do? I guess you don't believe in natural handling. Dai Vernon is turning over in his grave.

Carpenters do handle hammers differently than we do, but what you're missing is that they're not trying to fool anyone when they handle a hammer, and we are trying to fool laymen when performing a double lift. Don't get me wrong, I perform a double lift by turning the card over on top of the deck, and I agree that it's better if you find a motivation for doing that, but that doesn't mean it's better than simply lifting the card off of the top of the deck if that's the "normal" (layman) way to show the card. Why don't I personally just lift the card(s) off of the deck and show it? Because in my opinion that makes it even more unnatural to place it back on the deck, unless you have an incredibly strong motivation for doing that and I haven't found one in the context of the particular effects I use the move in.
Alpen
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wsduncan,

I definitely see your point, but the point that I was trying to make (or more correctly, that John Carney, a world class sleight of hand artist who is considered to be one of the most natural looking performers with respect to handling props) is that no matter how you phrase the question, no person would turn the double over square on the deck, at least not by using the side of the forefinger (strike double) or by getting a break under the top card, then turning it over. Please don't get me wrong, I use these double lifts, and the push over stud double lift that I do is by no means natural either, I was just trying to illustrate a point.

Larry D., I am in full backing with you on your points. I also believe that it does matter that we handle the cards like laymen. It goes along with the detection/suspicion, meaning that if the way in which we turn over a card, or shuffle the deck, etc... even creates an inkling of doubt in the spectator's mind (regardless if the spectator detected exactly what went on) that, in my opinion, it could be enough to lose the spectator's interest in the tricks that you are doing because all of a sudden, it is the "funny moves" that do the magic.

Alpen
Gr8neSS
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I do get the point that is trying to be made about looking as natural as possible when performing a DL. The fact remains that when we introduce ourselves as the house magician or "the great..." or "the Mystifying..." or simply start to perform a trick, it soon becomes apparent that we are magicians...and as magicians there is an expectation on the laymen’s part that we have a greater knowledge of card handling. After all, we are professional magicians (or even hobbyist)who deal with cards on a daily basis. I think sometimes too much emphasis is put on looking as if we had no knowledge on card working. IMHO it is fine if the moves are a bit flashy, smooth, or in this instance, not the way a layman would turn over a card. With the right amount of practice many DL's can appear natural for you to do them. Just because it's unusual does not mean you cannot perform it naturally and convincingly.

Just my two cents

Brandon
Jim Robinson
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Some very salient points: 1) practice 2) light touch 3) use a double turnover rather than a lift when applicable. To reiterate the importance of a light touch, remember that Vernon said to turn the card over like a feather, not a manhole cover. To that I would add that there are very many different double turnover techniques. Find one that is not overly contrived or unnatural for you. Then stick with it.
Robinson.

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.... He to who this emotion is a stranger ... is as good as dead: his eyes are closed." Albert Einstein
wsduncan
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"Dai Vernon is turning over in his grave"

Vernon used to take a card off the deck and gesture with it while he got a break under the (now) top card, then put it back on top to get ready for a double. Vernon was talking about not using grandiose gestures or contrived movements.

Please don't confuse the way laymen handle a deck of cards with the natural way.

I've seen John work a number of times... Michael Skinner too. Both were students of the professor and considered to be very natural in there movements. Nothing about the way either of them handles a deck is in any way remincent of how an average Joe handles cards. The average layman can't even DO a tabled riffle shuffle.

Getting back to the topic:
The real secret to a deceptive two card lift/turnover is to not pay attention to the action. Laymen know that they don't have to look at the cards while performing such a simple task. Isn't it the height of unnatural behavior for someone who handles cards all the time to do so?

Quote:
On 2002-12-12 22:45, Alpen wrote:
It goes along with the detection/suspicion,

Alpen,
I assume you're referring to the statement in Expert At The Card Table which says that the technique can be accomplished in such a manner that the closest observer would not suspect, let alone detect the action?

I seem to recall that this quote was in the section on cheating at the card table and not in the section on magic.

It's certainly a laudable goal to not have any actions which arouse suspicion in your act but I don't think that any well executed double lift will cause great concern...

Look at the horrible DL David Blaine does on TV (while calling attention to it, for God's sake). It's like he's thinking, "I spent hundreds of hours learning this thing... somebody's gonna watch it!"
Dorian Rhodell
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wsDuncan has a made a valid point about not paying attention to a seemingly unimportant action. However, the statement in Erdnase (although written in the section on cheating) does not limit the statement to that section alone. It has application in all forms of magic.

All the best,

Dorian Rhodell
Larry Davidson
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I agree that Vernon was talking about not making contrived movements. Contrived is defined as unnatural. So if turning a card over on a deck is not the natural way a normal person (layman) would show it, that means it's contrived. I don't know what you mean by, "Please don't confuse the way laymen handle a deck of cards with the natural way." If that's not the natural way, what is? The bottom line in my view is that the best we can do is to perform an unnatural act (turning a card over on a deck) in the most unsuspicious way possible, but that doesn't make the act itself (turning a card over on a deck) natural. Also at the bottom line, I totally agree with you that any well executed double lift will not cause great concern. I've used the move for 30 years. But in my search for perfection (which I realize can never be obtained) I wish there was a better way. By the way, did you ever see Jack Birnman perform a double lift? It was the best I've ever seen, as was much of his work. Boy I miss him.
Mark Ennis
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"By the way, did you ever see Jack Birnman perform a double lift? It was the best I've ever seen, as was much of his work. Boy I miss him."

Ditto that. I began focusing on cards after watching Jack Birnman perform when I was waiting for John Bannon to begin his lecture (back in 1991).
ME
Larry Davidson
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Mark, I heard that Jack had about 1000 pages of his "book" finished before he passed away. He was a perfectionist which is why he was working on it forever. I know the rights were purchased, and I hope it's published someday.
Mark Ennis
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I heard the same thing. I hope it does get published. He was a great guy and he had some wonderful offbeat effects.
ME
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