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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » T-Jay here again...and possibly opening yet another can of worms... (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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tjaymagic
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Hi again,

I have been looking around the internet, and looking around this Café, and now completly confused over the gaff/technique sides of magic, and now don't know whether gaff=amatuer, sleight=pro. As it looks like, to me anyhow, that judging from what I am seeing on the 'net, I fall somewhere in between!

I have recently bought a raven, TT, 3 packs of gimmicked cards, plus 'standard' stuff like cups 'n' balls (combo and rope, oh not forgetting my ultimate coin.

I can do rope/coin/ball sleights, but cannot for the life of me get to grips with card sleights, I tried when I was younger on no less than three occasions...all lasting a couple of months and ended up doing the 52 card pick-up, not good, so card sleights aren't for me!

Ok, here is the nut shell. I at some point want to go pro, with certain gaffed decks, and with certain gimmicks, can I perform with 'what I have got'. I have tried test audiences al;ready with some effects, family, friends, and of course that lovely type, the university student (I am an undergrad myself). So far, I have achieved the same responses (WOW...How'd you do that...)so I know I can engange with an audience. If I were to go public with the same gimmiack/gaff TT and cards, as well as rope/ball/coin sleights, would I be 'found out' or not....

Also I have learnt some effects from DVD's and books, and in some cases taken a bit from here and there to produce my own effects, now as I have learnt these from DVD's does this mean that they are over exposed, and I may be found out, or am I Ok?

I am confused and lost!

I do realise that this may be a repeat post, but at this moment I seem to be a little confused in this, and I also realsie I may/not get a straight answer!!!
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JamesTong
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If you take a look at most of the performances of those pros out there you would notice that they use a mix of both ... sleights and gimmicks.

The key is the 'magic' and 'entertainment' you are offering to the audience. Those sleights and gimmicks are only a means to an end. Focus on the effect you want the audience to see and not the gimmicks or techniques that the audiences know nothing about.
tjaymagic
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So gaffed decks that are bought from dealers (geffed decks such as Svengali/mirage/stripper) are OK if used correctly are fine in a pro show? This is the point I got confused in all of the postings around the 'net etc.
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The Futurist
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Hi Tjaymagic. Personally, I'd say the "end" is all-important, and the "means" is peripheral. The "means" might include sleight or gaff, depending on how much you feel you can get away with, but the "end" effect is all.

I mean, obviously we discuss clever "means" on this forum cos that's what we're all about here, both amateur and pro, and we might marvel in the beauty of a gaff or move - here we have like-minded folks to discuss it with, whereas we can't tip off the people around us to such means, as it will ruin the magic. I guess a good "vocabulary" of sleights and a working knowledge of gaffs will both contribute to coming up with original effects, but methods are for magicians, and should be invisible, inaudible, intangible and, er, not scented or flavoured, to the public.

My take on it would be: if you can engage an audience and consistently get amazed, awestruck reactions, you're doing it like a pro, regardless of whether you are making money off it or not. And in such a case, you might want to consider taking it to the next level, with the caveats about doing your homework as to the business side of things first.

I'd also guess that most of us on the forum own at least one TT as well!
tjaymagic
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Well, that was what prompted me to post, because I just bought my TT, and have just got used to using it, and then read on another forum that only amatuers use it. OK, it didn't cost a lot, but when I was able to vanish a silk with it, imagine my dismay when I read it, as I wanted to take this particular effect further!!
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The Futurist
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Note the demographics of magicians IRL and throughout the net, too. We are overwhelmingly male, albeit there are great female magicians, some of who contribute to this very forum, and women who perform and invent fantastic effects. With this very male constituency, you're sometimes going to come across macho attitudes such as "real men don't use a gaffed deck" or some such thing. But this is simply - how can I put this - a tournament of urination between magicians; it has no bearing on the real magic that happens in the mind of a spectator.

Whooever said only amateurs use a TT - well I don't know where to begin with that bizarre statement! check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DaFAfvdyWiQ
JamesTong
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Quote:
On 2009-11-21 23:45, tjaymagic wrote:
Well, that was what prompted me to post, because I just bought my TT, and have just got used to using it, and then read on another forum that only amatuers use it. OK, it didn't cost a lot, but when I was able to vanish a silk with it, imagine my dismay when I read it, as I wanted to take this particular effect further!!


The TT is the most amazing thing ever invented for magicians. And the pros use them to create great miracles that amateurs know nothing about.
JamesTong
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Quote:
On 2009-11-21 23:31, tjaymagic wrote:
So gaffed decks that are bought from dealers (geffed decks such as Svengali/mirage/stripper) are OK if used correctly are fine in a pro show? This is the point I got confused in all of the postings around the 'net etc.


You will never realise a pro is using these decks when they are using these decks with totally different routines.
tjaymagic
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OK, apart from spitting coffee all over the keyboard from laughter, that has made me feel a lot better.

I do hasten to add though, that when I do buy an effect from a magic shop/internet dealer, I do pratice it before it even gets an audience, as I firmly believe that an effect (gaffed or sleight) deserves the patience and dedication to get it right, as I realise some-one else has put a lot of hard work into the effect. I also firmly belive that magic as an art form, if done correctly is both elegant, entertaining, and breathtaking.

What I am propbably trying to say here is that even with a 'self working' effect, to make it look perfect requires the same dedication, and I think what happened was that all that hard work seemed to be undermined as I felt some-one 'urinated' in my TT!
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The Futurist
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Sounds like you're doing it right, dude! You can make any effect "your own" be it a simple self-worker or a complicated sequence of moves.
JamesTong
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You can use those things you have bought but create a totally new way of presenting the effect. Innovation is the key.

There are two keys here. One is the effect you are performing and the other is you are selling YOU in the performance. It is YOU that make the magic happens.
tjaymagic
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Is this the reason why my Svengali routine always gets the same reaction then?

I basically took three different 'tricks' and produced a routine with it.

First I mind read the chosen card, then get the audience member to pick a number bwtween 1-10, then make it jump to the top of the deck, then end it the usual way.

So, my first reaction is the mind-reading, 2nd reaction, is making it jump around, and the third and fourth just blows them away.

Also, am I getting it right that when I do perform this, it is after a previous card trick, and there is always another effect between them....
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The Futurist
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Yeah, I find it a good idea to switch gaffed decks by pocketing the deck and doing an intermediary non-card trick, if that's what you're meaning. So I do something with a Svengali deck, then something else like a TT vanish of some little object or other, then pull "the same deck" out (except it ain't; it's a stripper deck or something). Obviously I don't say "the same deck" - I let them make that inference for themselves.

It sounds like you're being creative with the Svengali deck, and getting good reactions. So, by definition, you're getting it right.
JamesTong
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I agree too. As you develop more ideas and test them out you will be happy with your results.
tjaymagic
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Yes, that is what I'm meaning Futurist,

I didn't think I could get away with a switch, (without drwaing attention obviously!) but with my university friends I found that I could, so, you can see how and why I was earlier both disheartened and confused as I have already got good reactions from what I have worked on. Again, thank you both for taking the time to post, it has now made me wonder what else I can do with my chop cup/TT/raven and other bits that I have got....
hey... Smile Smile Smile ... what is this signature saying about me?!
JamesTong
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Chop cup, TT, Raven, a deck of cards, a few sponge balls, a few silks and a bucket with about 10 - 15 half dollars = an amazing magic show.

Keep exploring, tjaymagic.
HerbLarry
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Hi tjay,

Your question has been answered very well. I'd like to add for all newbies that whenever seeking knowledge of any kind consider the source. Whomever lead you to believe that a TT for example would not be used by a "pro" I'd immediately put in the, "I'm gonna have to think a bit on what you said column.", as you did.
The big lesson here is the difference between what you do and how you do it. People see what you do, we conceal how we do it. So no matter if it's demonic possession, knuckle busting sleights, or a stacked deck if it works for you and no one is the wiser well that's a big WIN!
You know why don't act naive.
The Futurist
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Wise words, HerbLarry.

Tjay, stick around! All my magic-googling roads led to this particular Rome, time and time again. So I registered. This forum is great, as are several others on the Net.

There is a good community here, which is self-correcting in a way. By which I mean, it's not an exact science with "peer review" hashing out the "true answer" to a question, but the civility and helpful nature of the experienced magicians here help in exploring all sides of an issue. For example: an outlandish idea mooted by a newbie may be helpfully filtered through the real-world experience of the professionals, but I haven't so far come across any dogmatic, dismissive attitudes. Although I imagine that anyone posting "TTs are for amateurs" would be quickly disabused of that notion, that is when folk had stopped rolling around on the floor, caught their breath, and reattached their posteriors Smile

Well, there's my unsolicited testimonial for my Café experience so far! And there are all these many intriguing specialist forums I haven't even got round to checking out yet. "Discussions on the art of doing coin magic with one hand tied behind your back, while balancing a grapefruit on your nose." - that sort of thing Smile

In my googling adventures, some other forums I chanced across... they had the kind of level of discourse one might typically find in YouTube comments.

Don't worry, Tjay. It just sounds like you got caught up in one of those latter forums with their culture of e-posturing. I imagine the "TTs are for amateurs" guy was probably a "keyboard magician", hoping that one day he'll muster up the courage to approach his high-school crush and say, a la Blaine, "Wanna see something kinda cool...?" Meanwhile, you're actually out there in the real world, entertaining people, getting a reputation, which is fantastic!
tjaymagic
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I think what way this could be summed is that learning magic is a solo effort, and while the 'net is good for some things with magic, there are bad things about it.

What has been a great turning point in the last 24 hours is that this forum here it makes the rehersal, exploration of ideas less of a solo effort, and there are amatuers and pros alike who are willing to help out those when various people like myself get lead up the wrong garden path!

Again, thank you guys!
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HerbLarry
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Hi tjay,

Learning magic need not be a solo effort. Seek out other magicians in your area via a club of one sort or another. Your desire to learn should easily be seen and I'm willing to bet someone would step forward and guide you, perhaps for a fee or other compensation, say an appreciative thank you.
You know why don't act naive.
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