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Dynamike
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I noticed some magicians pitching the Svengali Deck. They tell the secrets after showing the effect. Most people walk away not buying the deck, but knowing the secret. Isn't that the wrong way to go? I rather wait until it is bought.
DonDriver
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You should know what you're talking about before you post.Good Svengali pitchman NEVER tell the real secret of the Svengali deck.We just lie about that in the pitch.A good pitchman is a good liar,among other things.

Don
Dynamike
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Are you lying? I got your DVD.
sethb
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Dynamike, I don't agree. I have done the Svengali Pitch for several years now, basically using Don's pitch. For the kicker, I show that all the cards are now the same as the "chosen" card, and it is part of the trick, not exposure. It always gets a great reaction and helps to sell the deck.

Last weekend I had a cop next to my joint, providing security for the street festival I was working. He said he watched my pitch all day and still couldn't figure out how the darn deck worked.

There are a number of secrets to handling a Svengali Deck. A good pitch keeps those secrets safe, while providing a bunch of bogus "explanations" (magnetic finish, etc.) to throw the specs off the track. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
Dynamike
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Yea, I do see him mentioning a lie about the magnetic finish as he tells everyone to come closer. But isn't explaining how they are cut exposure?
sethb
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In my opinion, no, not if you only show one cut card. That still doesn't explain how the entire deck turns into the same card, or how you can always "find" the "chosen" card, or how an indifferent card can instantly turn into the chosen card.

I will say that I do not do the "short card" portion of the pitch, but that's only because I usually already have people all around me. There's no need to ask them to come closer, which is the main reason for the short card bit.

If the Svengali Pitch really gave away the secret, a fair number of people wouldn't buy the deck. So aside from magical ethics (which I support and agree with), in my view it's also bad business to tip the method. In my experience, some people buy the deck just to find out how it works (sound familiar, magic catalog readers?) I'm not criticizing, just pointing out a true fact. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
Bill Thompson
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"He Who Shall Not Be Named" once said that the Sven doesn't belong to magicians, it belongs to pitchmen.
"To let understanding stop at what cannot be understood is a high attainment.
Those who cannot do it will be destroyed on the lathe of heaven." - Chuang Tse
DonDriver
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Quote:
On 2008-10-22 10:19, misterbill wrote:
"He Who Shall Not Be Named" once said that the Sven doesn't belong to magicians, it belongs to pitchmen.

I'll name him,Mark Lewis.Mark and I have been bumbing heads but I do agree with him on that statement.

Don
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I would say the Svengali Deck is a darn good magic trick/utility item (forcing deck), and is also an excellent pitch item. I understand the deck was invented by Burling Hull in the early 1900's, and was first pitched in the 1930's or so by Mickey O'Malley and others.

Either as a magic trick or a pitch item, I believe that exposing the deck is not a good idea, for the reasons I already noted above. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
DonDriver
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Close Seth,but no cigar.It was Mickey Mcdougal.

Don
Cholly, by golly!
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Hurling Bull claimed a lot of things.

The actual short card concept is an old gambler device.

--------------------------------------

As far as exposure is concerned...

Pitchmen have been openly selling Svengalis to laymen for at least 70 years.

Magicians still use the deck and it still kills.

What does that say about "exposure-phobia" in general?

.
Dynamike
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Quote:
On 2008-10-22 10:15, sethb wrote:
If the Svengali Pitch really gave away the secret, a fair number of people wouldn't buy the deck. So aside from magical ethics (which I support and agree with), in my view it's also bad business to tip the method. In my experience, some people buy the deck just to find out how it works (sound familiar, magic catalog readers?) I'm not criticizing, just pointing out a true fact. SETH

I agree with you 100%. To be honest, that is what got me interested in magic. I think the pitchmen should not give off any tips on exposure, and only pitch how easy it is to perform.
Quote:
On 2008-10-22 10:28, DonDriver wrote:
Quote:
On 2008-10-22 10:19, misterbill wrote:
"He Who Shall Not Be Named" once said that the Sven doesn't belong to magicians, it belongs to pitchmen.

I'll name him,Mark Lewis.Mark and I have been bumbing heads but I do agree with him on that statement.

Don

That guy will say any ridiculous comment to be on the high horse. That is why he is not with us now.

To me the Svengali deck belongs to anyone as long as there is no exposure unless the deck is bought or if the person wants to learn magic. Marshal Brodien did a great job at selling the decks without any tips on exposure.
sethb
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Quote:
On 2008-10-22 11:27, DonDriver wrote: Close Seth, but no cigar.It was Mickey Mcdougal. Don

Thanks, Don, for the correction, you are right. I don't know what I was thinking, but it wasn't right!

BTW, the Stripper Deck is also a great utility item, but a terrible pitch item. So just being a great trick isn't enough.

And while it's true that the short card has been around forever, it has usually been used as a single key card (card locator). The Svengali Deck uses it in an entirely different way for an entirely different effect (forcing deck). SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
mota
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If you listen closely you will see the McDougal/Walker/Driver pitch does not expose the secret. You only think it does as you know how it works. They hear something different.

"If you look close you will see the trick card, the nine of hearts, is 1/32 of an inch shorter than every other card in the deck".

Think about what they see and how they would interpret that. They still would have no idea how that makes the deck work.
JoeJoe
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Don't you just hate it when they take a perfectly good magic trick and turn it into a child's plaything worthy of the toy store?

Somewhere amongst the videos I filmed at Barefoot Landing last summer is a particular clip that one day when I have the time I shall dig up. A couple of guys were waiting on their wife and wanted to see a magic trick, so I break out my Stripper deck and do my Unshuffled routine for them. Then it happens ... its not the first the it has ever happened, but its the first time it ever happened while the camera was rolling and I do hope it was in frame and caught the audio. If memory serves me correctly, I did consider the footage "usable" at the time.

After examining the deck and unable to figure out how I did it, the guy proceeded to tell me about a deck he had ... the stripper deck! Now just dip me in **** and roll me in feathers please.

The moral of the story: if all you have going for you is the secrets to a handful of tricks then you will not make it in this business over the long haul. In other words, if you are depending on the Svengali deck to be entertaining then just save yourself a lot of trouble and get a real job now.

Then of course there is the OTHER moral to the story: if you are capable of fooling someone that knows the secret to your trick, then you have something going on for yourself.

-JoeJoe
Amazing JoeJoe on YouTube[url=https://www.youtube.com/user/AmazingJoeJoe]
sethb
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Now I feel better! I have also had several people tell me that they had a Svengali Deck, but that it could not do the same neat tricks as the Svengali Deck that I was pitching. Maybe I should have told them that this was the DELUXE deck(!), but instead I just said it was a good quality deck (which it is) and that it came with really good instructions for several neat tricks (which it does).

But the real answer is that there are multiple secrets to a good handling of the Svengali Deck. If you "mix-and-match" them well, you can still fool the pants off of someone who is supposedly in the know -- and there aren't too many other $10 magic tricks in that category!

Anyone who studies Don Driver's "Svengali Pitch" DVD carefully and learns how to execute one or two basic card sleights well can really make a deck of Svengali Cards "do a tap dance on the table," as Don says. And anyone who is really interested in improving their handling of the deck should also take a look at Mark Lewis' Svengali booklet, "The Long & Short of It," click HERE to view, and Gregory Wilson's "Double Take" DVD, click HERE for more info. Both of these items are good supplements to Don's DVD and have good sleights, tips, techniques and ideas that are very useful for a Svengali Deck. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
JoeJoe
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Seth: that's when you upsell them the "101 Tricks with the Svengali Deck" book. Smile



I think what Mike doesn't understand (and a lot of other magicians for that matter) is that a pitchman does not reveal the secret to the trick in order to sell the trick. In fact, if you point blank reveal the secret then the punters are convinced they know how it works and walk off without buying.

What the pitchman does is reveal just enough of the secret so that the punter realizes that *IF* they had a deck of the cards, they could go home and figure out how they work. That is a fine line to walk ... if you really watch Don's pitch, you see that he leaves more questions in people's minds than he gives answers to.

There is simply no comparison to Don Driver's pitch and the masked magician.

-JoeJoe
Amazing JoeJoe on YouTube[url=https://www.youtube.com/user/AmazingJoeJoe]
DonDriver
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JoeJoe,

I gave up years ago trying to explan that the Svengali pitch doesn't tell the secret to the deck.

I also gave up trying to explan if you want to be a pitchman keep it simple and DON'T open a magic shop and think you're a pitchman.

That old saying is so true here "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink"

They are going to believe what they want and do what they want.The fact that I made a good living at it for over 30 years doesn't mean a thing to them.They have been at it a week and already know better.Go figure...

Later,Don
Jon-O the Great
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If you use Don's DVD you DO NOT give away the secret of the trick. PERIOD!

Almost all “magic” is MIS-direction. And that is what Don's DVD tells you to do. While I use Don's method, I don't use his lines, word for word. For example, I don't say the cards have a magnetic finish. I DO mention static electricity and state that it SOMETIMES make things stick together.

And when I “explain” the long/short, I can positively tell you that virtually NO ONE understands ANYTHING that could POSSIBLY be classified as giving away the secret.

I have scanned the instruction sheet, putting both sides on one side of a page. I put this page into a plastic sheet protector (buyer's kept taking the LOOSE instruction sheets) and I have emphasized the 1st paragraph in yellow with red outline. I'm sure Don would disagree on this but I make EVERY ONE read that paragraph before they leave. “Don't shuffle or....”

This past weekend, did a small fair. Was next to the Boy Scouts. ALL 4 of the guys working the booth bought a deck. But without exception and in spite of having read that paragraph, ALL of them took the cards out of the box, got them out of order and asked me how they worked. They had NO idea. Of course, I use Don's “$5 for cards, $10 for instructions.” And just tell 'em to read the instruction sheet again.

The girl who worked with me brought her 14 year-old who also bought a deck. I DID show him the DL. He tried but just could not get it and got the cards out of order. (Sounds like ME when I started!)

So I have to say, if the people who BUY them don't know the secret, I'm POSITIVE the non-buyers haven't a clue.

Jon
DonDriver
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"Don would disagree on this but I make EVERY ONE read that paragraph before they leave. “Don't shuffle or....”

I can understand that you new guys want to be nice and make sure they(the marks)understand everything.

Wait till you deal with them( the marks) for 30 years.You tend to give up and all you care about is getting their(the marks) money.Trust me on this one.

Don
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