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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » "Can I see your deck, please?" (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Profile of svebee
I searched around this forum a little bit, but I couldn't find topic with this question. If there is one, please Reply with link.

Back on topic, if I end with some gaffed deck/extra ("weird") cards randomly mixed in the deck/svengali deck/... and spectator asks for deck examination, what should I do?

Of course I would try not to get into situation like that with some false shufles, false "cuts" (like in Colossal Blizzard by Oz Pearlman) and so on, but what if spectator insist on examination?

Thank you.
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Regular user
119 Posts

Profile of Bean
This was a pretty good thread dealing with people wanting to inspect your props -

Hope it helps!
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Central Japan
498 Posts

Profile of Billgussen
First, the long-term solution is to figure out what it is about your performance style that makes the spectators think that it's okay to demand your props. I'd get a friend to video my performance, and try to pin down that aspect and correct it. Generally it has to do with the magician consciously or unconsciously challenging the spectators to figure out the trick.

In the shorter term, there are a few solutions. One method is to prove that it's a normal deck somewhere during the performance (You Do as I Do from the Encyclopedia of Card Tricks works well for this) then ring in (deck switch in) the gaffed deck or secretly insert the gaffed cards. Second method is to deck-switch out the gaffed cards and end on something you can do with a normal deck. Third, put away the cards altogether and end on a non-card effect. If somebody asks to see the cards after that, you can always take out a normal deck and hand it to them.

Hope that helps,
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175 Posts

Profile of coolini
The spectator should be convinced that your performing something that you ve done a million time before you show him the effect... in that case, why would he ask you to see the deck, he is interested in you and not the deck, the deck isn't important, you and your presentation r important... don't take this as a way to show off, what I mean is use your character and showmanship instead of focusing on the deck...
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2050 Posts

Profile of BrianMillerMagic
If a spectator has the slightest doubt that something you're using is fake in some way, then you need to fix your performance in order to remove this doubt.

First, there are times when an audience member will be so astounded that they will exclaim, "Let me see that! Is that a real deck?" out of sheer amazement. This kind of request is merely an exclamation and can be laughed off or dealt with quite easily.

Second, and more importantly, it's more than simply "acting natural." The whole concept of 'natural' does not, to me, have any place in these kinds of discussions. As magicians we are doing things that require us to move in ways, even non-secret ways, that are completely 'unnatural' to an ordinary person, even with ordinary objects. It is up to you to define what is natural in the context of your performance. How do you stand? How to you talk? In what ways do your hands move? The first 30-60 seconds of your performance can establish all of these things so that the way you perform is natural to the audience, even if it is not something anybody would 'naturally' do.

What you need to be worried about is if you have audiences who genuinely don't trust something you've done or a prop you've used and wish to examine it. If this is happening to you on a regular basis then you need to work hard on your performance so that you remove this kind of doubt.

I know this isn't exactly the response you're looking for. If you want to see a demonstration of someone who acts/moves in ways that are completely unnatural and yet the audience accepts as perfectly natural in the context of the performance, check out either Tommy Wonder or Garrett Thomas.
Bill Thompson
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422 Posts

Profile of Bill Thompson
Don Alan's advice seems best... "Ring the gaff deck in after it has been established you are using straight cards."

When done using the gaff deck put it away. If they want to see the deck after the show toss them your straight deck, if you wish.

BTW: I am a hobbyist, I don't do shows and stuff (yet, I got an invite to perform at a party with some friends soon) I perform for friends and family which is what I assume most beginners do... Your family and your friends have a much more intimate relationship with you than strangers or even acquaintances... They don't have any problem asking to see, hold, touch (break) your props, no matter how well you did, no matter how much you have tried to "fix" your routine so they wouldn't think you are using something fishy. If you always deny them they will automatically assume you are hiding something from them (ah-ha just as I thought, its a trick deck). It is a burden we have that the pros don't.

I think some of the pros here have forgotten that when dealing with close friends and family, sometimes you have to let them get their hands on your deck or inspect your cups. Sometimes I try to do some tricks where the inspection is part of the trick. It helps.

"lemme see those cards!" "why bother, you just inspected the deck and it was fine then."
"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
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