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Jordan Piper
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British Columbia, Canada
309 Posts

Profile of Jordan Piper
How good of a close up/ street magician do you think one can become without knowing many sleights. I ask because I have small hands and find sleights, especially with cards, difficult. I know I can only become as good as I want to be but am often discouraged.
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Bucks County, PA
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Profile of blindbo
If you are having difficulty with sleights, 'especially with cards', I would suggest you try coins, sponges, balloons, juggling, tt, etc, etc., etc.

My point is there is so much magic and entertaining out there to learn, that you could never pull out a card and be a 'good close up/street magician'.

Of course, and you said it first, it's all up to you. Well, it does help if you are the only entertainer on the street....
Daniel Faith
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Neenah, Wisconsin
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Profile of Daniel Faith
Nothing says you have to use the same deck that most other magicians use. Have you tried using a bridge size deck instead of a poker deck?

As far as coins go... Just use coins that are suited to your size of hands. There is no reason why coins should be a problem if you practice. Try a quarter.

Use the 1 or 1.5 inch sponge balls instead of the 2".
Daniel Faith
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Profile of Michaels
Card College states, use cards that you feel comfortable with. It also states that once you get used to one size it's hard to switch. I couldn't agree more.

I have small hands and have no trouble with poker size cards. I do not feel comfortable with bridge size. As Blindbo stated in his post, card magic does not make you a street magician.

It is your personality and style that make you a street performer.
"Our technology is ahead of our humanity"
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Mago Mai
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Profile of Mago Mai
There are so many good effects where you don't need complicated sleights.

Get one of those introductory lessons by Daryl or Ammar or just any good professional magician. Stay away from advance stuff for awhile.

Mago Mai
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Andrew E. Miller
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Southern California
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It takes time to get used to. A lot of people think that if they have small hands they cannot do cards well and cannot palm or such. That is wrong though. You can!!! Even if your hands are small. I think that a street magician can be incredible or infinately good using zero sleights. It is all presentation, audience participation, and the material you choose. I have done a close-up show once using no sleights at all.

Andrew Smile
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Profile of ebyrne
I agree with Andrew in that anyone can learn almost any card sleight. I have had dozens of people claim that they cannot do a one hand top palm simply because their hands are not big enough. (One person also claimed he couldn't do a perfect faro because of his hand size.) (??)

The fact is that you can, with practice, master any sleight. However, if you don't feel comfortable with sleights, realize that almost all of magic depends on the performance. There are more self-working card tricks alone out there then you could ever read about.

To build up some confidence, try performing some of these. With a convincing performance, you can truly work miracles in a spectator's eyes. Miracles do not require sleights! Smile

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MayfieldNew York
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Profile of djvirtualreality
To me, coins are harder for some reason. I use to have difficulty with some sleights, but after a few hours of practice a week, I got them down. The hardest one for me is still a double lift Smile lol. I'm working on classic passing now, but can't get it even close to look invisible. Can anyone help me on this?
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A.K.A David Kong
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Profile of redstreak
I have very small hands, I used to think that I would never be able to do many sleights, but now I can do everything with a poker deck. It just takes practice.
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moscow, idaho
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Profile of wassabi_87
I have largish hands, but whenever I try out a new sleight or trick, I feel uncomfortable, just do it over and over again, it has been said that the hands will remember somthing after one thousand repetitions, I think that is true, although somewhat exagerated.
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Profile of magicsoup
I have small hands and for years have used bridge sized cards. Recently I switched to poker size and I'm going to stick with them! Just practice. Also there are many tricks you can do that don't require sleights. I once did out of this world and the guy I did it for was convinced I was doing all sorts of complicated sleights that I don't even know how to do. Research and find the material that fits you.
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New York City
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Profile of dgiancaspro
One thing I found out recently learning the Hot Shot cut is that it's OK to make adjustments to the handling of a sleight or flurish to complete it properly. I was not able to perform the Hot Shot cut the same way Daryl does, by rotating the deck between his forefinger and middle finger. So I use my third finger to do it. So consider learning some basic sleights with cards and modify the advanced ones to suit your needs. This way when someone breaks out a deck and asks for something, you'll be ready.

Good Luck!
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Profile of Dragona
I found that I have hands that are a little big. Poker size cards slip out easily and I have to redirect my fingers to get them to hold on properly. I have learned how to overcome my overly large hands and I bet that with practice, your small hand's will not be a big problem.
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Profile of dmk_kirkland
Basically you'll have to find a way to perform the sleights for your own hands. Everyone is a little different. I was just reading in another forum where Geoff Latta had problems with finger palm because of the windows in his fingers.

Nothing feels better than finally getting that sleight to work. Just keep at it.
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Profile of WVMAGIC
Just keep practicing. I agree that big hands don't make sleights easier in the beginning to learn. As a musician and magician, I cannot emphasize enough the value of regular practice or rehearsal. Things have a way of working out.
Scott Xavier
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There are a couple of books called semi automatic card tricks vol. 1 and 2. I've never read them but they have had good reviews. They are advertised as using very little sleight of hand. Scarne omn Cards is all self working. I believe L&L has a video on self working card tricks and Harry Loraine's Close Up Card Magic has some self working tricks. You might be surprised how well some self working card tricks play.
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Profile of Payne
I've been doing magic as a part time pro for over twenty years and do very little sleights. I only regularly perform one or two card tricks (neither which requires a single sleight) and a couple of coin tricks that require more direction of attention than sleight of hand. I recognized early that knuckle busting sleights were not my forte and concentrated instead on presentation.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
magic fett
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Profile of magic fett
The only good sleight is one that enhances the effect. If you are doing sleights to be doing sleights you are wasting your time.
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Snohomish, Washington
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Profile of irossall
Do yourself a favor and read EVERYTHING that Master Payne has to say. I have had the pleasure to watch Master Payne perform his Magic and I can surely tell you, it is ALL about presentation (read that, SHOWMANSHIP). I Love to watch an excellent Magical performance and I do appreciate a good Sleight of Hand artist, but what I enjoy the most is a good and entertaining show. It is not how you do it, it is how you show it. Master Payne is as close to a role model as I have ever had. Watch, Listen and Learn from the true entertainers out there performing their craft.
-Iven Smile
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