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Larry Davidson
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Inner circle
Potomac, MD
5266 Posts

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Jon, I agree with everything you said except "whether a trick is good or not has nothing to do with the magician." In my opinion, it does have something to do with the magician, as well as with the particular audience and even the particular trick.

P.S. - Will you be at the World Magic Seminar in Vegas in a couple of weeks? I'd love to see your Destination Box.
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Astoria, NY
192 Posts

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I would say that a trick has everything to do with the magician who is doing it. I've seen great tricks in medicore hands get only a polite to moderate response. And I've seen simple tricks which come across as miracles in a master's hands. Granted, almost any half way decent trick can be made into a miracle in the right hands. The secret is to select very powerful material by listening to which tricks get the biggest reaction. Then concentrate on these to build up your showmanship to make them into a miracle.
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Profile of Alpen
Whoa... Torkova... now there's a guy everyone on this forum could learn from
Jon Allen
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I thought my post might catch people's eye.

What I meant was that a trick is only as good as the audience reaction. We are doing it for their benefit and not ours. It's the old 'sandwich from pocket for the tramp' scenario.

While Cups & Balls is considered a classic of magic, doing it for a group of drunk 18 year olds may not elicit the desired response. Do a mediocre double lift to change a card and you'll be the best magician they've ever seen.

Dan Harlan has a wonderful quote in 'A Cure for the Common Conjuror'. In it is the quote:

"It's been said that the method is not important, but that the effect is everything. Actually the effect isn't really that important either. The 'effect' is not everything. The 'experience' is everything."

This has stuck with me for a long time and it is very true. To our audience, whether they enjoy themselves is the most important thing.

This is not to say that we don't have to do as good a job as we can on the effect.

Torkova is right in saying about the selection of tricks. Pick the routines that you want to perform. Ask yourself why someone would want to watch you do it, then think how to make it as enjoyable and magical for them as possible.

P.S. - Will you be at the World Magic Seminar in Vegas in a couple of weeks? I'd love to see your Destination Box.

Larry, I won't be in Vegas. We can get that sort of weather over her in London Smile

I will be at FISM so if you are there, I will be more than happy to show it to you. I might be in the USA before then but I am not sure right now.

In answer to the original question on this thread, The Destination Box is the best close-up trick I do by a loooooong way but I've said that before!
Paragon 3D - the most incredible Card to Clear Box you will ever own. Be fooled here:
The Silent Treatment - Digital Edition: this iconic routine just got upgraded! Watch -
Order the bar-raising DVD set 'Connection' at
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210 Posts

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Ring flite by polaris.
James Malone-Lee
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What routine with a Jardine-Ellis Ring can make a spectator scream? Where is this published or sold?

I am after a good ring on string effect can anyone point me in the right direction?
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St Louis
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The best reaction I have gotten is, it was one of those occasions where someone said "do some magic for us!" How could I refuse. I got a quarter and found a pencil and performed that trick where you tell them that you are going to vanish the coin and then vanish the pencil then vanish the coin. Then make it all reappear! It was on the spot magic and it was off the top of my head. I will never forget the reaction of my friends!! True magic!
Life of Magic!
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Profile of biff_g
I think that the "best" close up trick is one that can be done withouth worrying about angles, can be done over and over with relatively little chance of discovery, and last but not least, completely boggles the mind.

Now if only I could find one of

That being said, if you have a very good muscle pass, I really like the effect where a coin falls upwards, but it requires an exceptional muscle pass to really make it mind boggling.
DJ Trix
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Perrier with a twist; why say more?

I will sound like an amateur here, but it is like BOOM! They're speechless.
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Profile of lhughes
Ring flight or sponge ball routine.
Sleightly yours,
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Honolulu, Hawaii
6 Posts

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I'd have to say my favorite is the Anywhere Card. It plays big and sticks with people for years. Aside from smoking a Zippo lighter, that is.
Alex Ng
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Hong Kong
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My favorite is Coin Across routine with 3 Chinese Coins, and ended with a Jumbo Chinese Coin hitting on the table.
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Lynn MA
55 Posts

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Anything in the spectator's hands like the sponge balls/rabbits or a coins across into the spectators hands like that of Roger Klause (In Concert) or Paul Green (In the Trenches) or Jon Allen (Spectators Don't Exist).

What can be better than screams and curses at the finish if you have set them for the perception of a magical occurrence right under their control?
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New York, NY
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Profile of nycmagic
Dr. Sacks' Dice Trick (Spotted Sorcery).
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879 Posts

Profile of Eirik
My vote goes out to slow-motion TT work, so versatile and so powerful.
...As long as i`m not a world-champion at anything, the great reactions of doin` magic will do just fine.....
Jonathan Rice
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Hmmm, hard question. Lately I have been getting really good reactions from Jay Sankey's Three Ring Circus and a bonus effect on that DVD called Economic Risks.
Christopher Williams
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Portsmouth, UK
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Ring Flite or Chinese Bit

Copies of the limited edition 'MindPlay' still available
Jonathan Townsend
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Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
27112 Posts

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Chuds, do you use the patter for the Chinese Bit? all the coins I've dropped here
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Eternal Order
Look mom! I've got
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Profile of daffydoug
On 2002-12-30 02:34, Curtis Kam wrote:
The "Best" close up trick? Ask a general question, get a general answer...

Upon much reflection and years of trying just about everything, I'd say the best close up effect is Animation.

Really. It beats appearance, disappearance, transformation, and penetration soundly. Levitations are generally self-defeating, and are at their best when they approximate animations.

Good mind reading comes close, but when the votes are cast (and the mistakes from Florida thrown out) you can't beat bringing something inanimate to life.

Problem is, these effects are generally a pain. But they're worth it. The haunted pack, the original dancing cork, Glorpy-based illusions, and....the animated matchbox.

You choose wisely, grasshopper.

I as curious about what you meant about levitations being self-defeating. Could you elaborate on that?

The best effect? It has to be Dean Dill's Blizzard!
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
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Please ignore my
17099 Posts

Profile of joseph
NFW always gets a good reaction for me. Acrobatic Matchbox also gets good responses. Smile
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." (Einstein)...
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