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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Shuffled not Stirred » » To destroy, or not destroy...That is the question (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

churken
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California
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I was just wondering everyone's thoughts on destroying the stack as opposed to retaining stack order.

I personally choose to retain the stack or at least only have a couple of cards out of position that I can easily cull into their proper spot. I understand that there are some devastating effects out there if you are willing to destroy your set up. I even will use two of them on occasion. But as a walk around magician, I am un-willing to do a memdeck routine early in the evening that messes up the stack. I don't have time to go in the back and re-set, and I am not going to bring in a dozen pre-stacked decks. I will sometimes do one of my two effects that destroys the stack for the very last group I work for in an evening, but that is it.

Just wanted to get your thoughts.
serge storms
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Here's my 2 cents; as a strolling close-up bar/restaurant performer, as well as stolling for corporate events etc I always bring and have in my case; stashed out of the way somewhere; extra stacked decks ready to rock. They are also resealed with the plastic wrap complete with the advertising cards and jokers intact just like from the store. Its too powerful of a tool for me to not want to take the time to have them ready to go.
Some nights during a 3-4 hour restaurant stretch I'd make it most of the night with just the one deck without any problems. Other nights I end up going through 5-6 stacked decks by the end of the night. I just restack them when I get home. The resealing is really the only problem for me. I usually just carefully open and reseal the plastic as it comes from the store (I don't have or use special reseal plastic which is or was commercialy available).
So after they've been opened and resealed once, the second time around I usually reseal with the stamp/seal but no plastic. (the stamp/seal things are sold commercialy at various magic shops or online).
You don't have to and I'm sure not everyone does go to the extreme of having it resealed etc; however for just the right table or group, at just the right time, it is well worth it and is the extra little added convincer that just makes it that much stronger.
I love my stack, and combined with a couple of other extras I do to the deck along with the stack, it allows me to do 4-6 hard hitting killer effects back to back before I do the final closer using the stack that; at the conclusing of this particular closer, does indeed kill the stack.
Then I just toss it in my bag, grab another one and I'm locked and loaded again to melt their friggin brains.
Just my thoughts and habits-
"Overkill is Under-rated"
Rocco Silvertone
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Tampa Bay Florida
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Yes it depends if its worth it to you. Sounds like a lot of work - but if you're a working pro like it sounds - this is just tools of the trade to take care of. And worth the effort.
nboisen
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Here is a compromise solution you might consider: a partial or half stack. It would permit you to use half the deck for ransdom effects (and to be legitimately shuffled by the spectator) and keep the other half stacked and ready for memdeck effects.

You could do old standards like "Test Conditions" with a partial stack with only a miinor change in handling. Andrew Mayne's Zero Memorized Deck uses a half stack (20 cards actually). And Mneumonica has two whole chapters devoted to half stack routines.
Dennis Loomis
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1943 - 2013
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There are ways to reconstitute a stack during a performance. The best known is probably "A Subtle Game" which is in Hugard's Encyclopedia of Card Tricks. (The last thing in the book.) If you can get your stack back, then you won't be so concerned about destroying it. I have an article on this topic on my website.


To address the original issue: First, there's always that last show of the night. Sometimes it's for the people that hired you. This is a great place to do one of the killer effects which destroy the stack.

I also take a case of spares when I'm working walk-around close up. Sometimes, the group is small and before my time is up, I've done what I have in my pockets for most everyone. I just take a quick break and go to my case and put away some things and get something out. I can also switch decks for fresh stacked ones if necessary. I always carry two straight decks on my person when doing strolling. At the beginning of the event, both will be stacked. If someone (even me) should drop the cards, or shuffle unexpectedly, I switch gears into a trick which doesn't require a stack. Then I put the deck away and do a rope trick or coin trick, etc. When I get the deck back out, I can use either the shuffled one or the stacked one.

Dennis Loomis
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JanForster
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Please see my suggestions under http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......2&18
Dennis, you are right. Jan
Jan Forster
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Cohiba
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Serge -
Good ideas. I am curious though about why the resealing of the deck? If the audience thinks the deck is sealed, then they expect it to be in new deck order, which is a stack to them. This means that you would have to do several false shuffles just to convince them that the deck is thoroughly mixed.
On the other hand, if you opened a previously opened deck, most people assume it's already mixed. With a MD, you can spread it face-up and it looks mixed, and then throw in a casual false shuffle or two and you're good to go. This seems as convincing as the other option.
Am I missing a sublety? I guess it seems like you're going through a lot of work for a reason I am missing.
cardfreakhk
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Quote:
if you opened a previously opened deck, most people assume it's already mixed. With a MD, you can spread it face-up and it looks mixed, and then throw in a casual false shuffle or two and you're good to go.


Totally agree. I think he does a lot of works but not worth...
The one of the powerful things of MD is, you can show them all the face and they can't see any order.
Don't just dream, stay awake and action!
serge storms
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The sealed deck speaks volumes (without saying a word)as they're being opened I comment on how many decks I go through and buying them at costco saves me a lot of money; all the while the new deck has been opened and some false shuffles and cuts have been made.
Don't get me wrong; I'm not saying I open a new deck for each group or table. I open the new deck after I've destroyed the stack (which is what the original question was).
I'm also not resealing them there, this is something that gets done once back home.

If I'm questioned on why a new deck is being opened or someone comments on it; I simply explain that we've ruined (torn, signed whatever) x-amount of cards out of the other deck and I like to "play with a full deck" which of course gets its chuckles.
Having several stacked, sealed decks ready to go is a valuable tool to me doing this for a living; and as with any trade; having the tools you need makes all the difference.
I compare my having several stacked/sealed decks ready to the old George Washington saying: "If I were given 7 hours to chop down a tree I'd spend 6 of them sharpening my axe".
"Overkill is Under-rated"
kerpa
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Michael Miller
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Eric Mead writes very cogently about this very topic in Tangled Web.
Michael Miller
(Michael Merlin: original family --and stage-- name)
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As my routine in progress is slowly coming together I find that I have to leave the stack quite early in order to do other effects. But I feel that it's a shame to ruin it without making use of the fact that it's no longer needed to do a really great stack killing number. Can't think of a single one though.

And after all it's the flow of the show which is most important. The spectators obviously don't know if the deck is stacked or not so from their point of view it makes no difference how advanced the mechanics hidden behind it are. But to me it feels neccessary to almost ritually sacrifice the order with something spectacular before I can move on. Just shuffling it apart seems wrong somehow. A bit odd that.

I constantly have to try and remember what I found most impressive when I knew nothing (not long ago) in order not to drift into doing effects that mostly fascinate magicians and not neccessarily laymen.

BTW... For those who need to reset, I don't think having a stack of prestacked decks sound overly complicated to set up.
"Talk about melodrama... and being born in the wrong part of the world." (Raf Robert)
"You, my friend, have a lot to learn." (S. Youell)
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Faulkner
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New Orleans
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Why not use a new deck and shuffle it to Si Stebbins (or if your good enought...to any order)? THe shuffles are real that way. I prefer Aronson but just as happy to use any other set-up that I know.
I know it is just a personal thing and nothing is "right or wrong" but I would rather spend the time practicing and not re-sealing. I am that lazy. If I had 7 hours to chop down a tree I would get a chain saw.
I do think a sealed deck at the right table is a good idea and what you are comfortable with is what works best.

Just my two pennies

Mark
Dennis Loomis
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There are many wonderful effects which don't require a stack. And, there are many ways to switch decks. So, if you really like the idea of unsealing a deck in front of your audience, why not unseal a normal deck, use it in a routine or two which does not require a stack, and then switch in a stacked deck to "kill."

Dennis Loomis

To Serge: this post was not meant as a criticism of your procedure of sealing stacked decks. I have no problem with that. I'm simply providing an alternative for those that may not want to spend the time sealing up decks. If you have a good switch, you'll get about the same impact.
Itinerant Montebank
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BobMillerMAGIC!
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I'm doing strolling magic all the time. I always carry at least two decks on me: One stacked, and one regular.
I just create my routines so that the stacked deck tricks are separated from the regular deck tricks by
a non-card trick.
PreDate: The NoMem Calendar Trick
http://www.BobMillerMagic.biz
Andy the cardician
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I rarely destroy a stack, as I need it for the next act. Two decks is way to go . . .
Cards never lie
Morphy
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I always destroy it after a few memo-deck tricks. After a few normal card tricks, I could switch the deck again, but usually I don't.
ferryascanio
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It is better if we bring more (2 or 3) stack decks, and if the spectator is in the good situation, we switch the deck to the stack one and do the mem-deck routine as a strong finishing. if the situation aren't good just do the strong routine that aren't use mem-deck.usually if we often do strolling magic, we now how is the situation. after we destroyed the stacked, we can re-set it again during our rest time or during the way going home.
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