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jonesc2ii
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Oxford, England
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Maybe it's just because I'm depressed, but what's the point of learning to do a decent double lift when I can go out and buy (if I had the money!) a much more impressive straight from the box effect?
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MagicDiva
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Philadelphia
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Since you're depressed you may need a lift, why not make it a double? Like you said "if you had the money you would go out and buy a much more impressive straight from the box effect." Since you don't have the money why not spend a few bucks on a deck and learn impressive effects using a simple double lift. I use DL's all the time and suprisingly I have received better reactions from an effect using a simple DL as opposed to a straight from the box effect. Buying just one effect is, just that one effect. If you learn how to do a double lift than you can expand your repertoire and perform many effects. If you really need motivation to learn a double lift I would suggest buying "Double Take" by Gregory Wilson. That video was reason enough for me to learn Double Lifts. Plus Double lifts are great to learn because what would you do if someone just handed you a deck and said do something?
Chris Berry
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MagicDiva makes some good points.
Learning sleights does take a lot of practice, but once you master them you grow in skill.

Going out and just buying effects doesn't give you any skill, and it makes you a store bought magician. Audiences will know that.

If you want to succeed in magic (which I hope you do) then spend the time to practice and refine each sleight. Otherwise this may not be the best hobby for you. Different strokes for different folks....(makes me sound old Smile )


Chris
jonesc2ii
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Oxford, England
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Hmm, as usual I probably phrased the question badly.

I meant in more generic terms, (since I can already do a pretty good double lift! Smile ), is it worth learning to perform with a standard deck when you might 'blow the audience away' with a deck full of gaffs?

Case in point, if David Blaine really has spent years practicing, I would have thought that he ought to be considerably more profficient than he appears! To be fair I have seen a number of 'pros' whose presentation was even less impressive.

Again, I'm probably not making myself clear. What I mean is, if you take the coin bite that Blaine performed on 'Street magic'. It's a straight from the box effect, takes minutes to learn, as opposed to years. But, I have seen other 'pros' perform the same coin bite like it was something they've never even held before!

Hmm. I guess what I'm asking is why one would bother learning how to perform a couple of moves with a standard deck (let's say a double lift and a hindu shuffle) when your audience is likely to be much more impressed by a card through window and any number of Stripper Deck routines!?!?

Isn't magic just an extension of Capitalism at its worst?! The more you can afford the more you can impress?!?!?
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Frank Tougas
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"What is the point?" is a question you have to answer for yourself.

I would suggest it is your next step on your path in magic. When you find your answer you will know what to do, asking others simply shifts that responsibility to those of us who have already answered that question.

As for the reference to capitalism (very inappropriate for this forum) I would say asking others to do the work for you is more like socialism - don't you think?
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
marko
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Quote:
I meant in more generic terms, (since I can already do a pretty good double lift! Smile ), is it worth learning to perform with a standard deck when you might 'blow the audience away' with a deck full of gaffs?


Because you'll only 'blow the audience away' until they ask to see the cards.

Quote:
Case in point, if David Blaine really has spent years practicing, I would have thought that he ought to be considerably more profficient than he appears! To be fair I have seen a number of 'pros' whose presentation was even less impressive.


David Blaine does use sleight-of-hand (and double-lifts) to accomplish many of the effects he does.

Quote:
Again, I'm probably not making myself clear. What I mean is, if you take the coin bite that Blaine performed on 'Street magic'. It's a straight from the box effect, takes minutes to learn, as opposed to years. But, I have seen other 'pros' perform the same coin bite like it was something they've never even held before!


The coin bite in only impressive as a quick gag. Then everyone draws their own conclusions about the method. A good magician would learn or create a strong coin-in-bottle effect that utilizes the gimmick in conjunction with sleight-of-hand. Now that would be an impressive routine. But you have to learn some sleight-of-hand to do it.

Quote:
Hmm. I guess what I'm asking is why one would bother learning how to perform a couple of moves with a standard deck (let's say a double lift and a hindu shuffle) when your audience is likely to be much more impressed by a card thru window and any number of Stripper Deck routines!?!?


Fine, but what if someone hands you a deck and tells you to do something? How do you have a card selected from that stripper deck if you can't even fan or spread the cards (after all, you can't do a hindu shuffle which is all that's required for a hindu shuffle force anyway)? What gimmick could replace a double-lift? And who has the money to buy all of those gaffs? Most are not even nearly as impressive as the effects you can do with sleight-of-hand.

Quote:
Isn't magic just an extension of Capitalism at its worst?! The more you can afford the more you can impress?!?!?


See supra.
Thought: Why does man kill? He kills for food. And not only food: frequently there must be a beverage.
cmwalden
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For me it is an issue of self-reliance. Many lay people believe that they could do the magic too, if they could only lay their hands on the special props. (Think Mickey and the Sorcerer's Apprentice.) If I am a slave to my props in order to perform, then without them I am nothing. If I have effects I can perform by pure skill, then the magic comes from me, not my special props.
Also, many purchased effects are one-trick wonders. To prepare for an evening of close-up magic you'd have to pack like Rambo. If something goes wrong, you may not have the same freedom for recovery as you would with a skill-based effect. (Saying that, the Invisible Deck is one of the greatest sure-fire outs, and it's a purchased one-trick-wonder.)
All sleights robs you of some good magic. All mechanical effects also rob you of good magic. Do both, and do each for the right reason. But bear in mind that anyone can go out and buy the same thing you did. Not everyone has the guts or determination to learn the skills required for the other stuff.
"There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our reality."

- William Shakespeare
Jonathan Townsend
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The point?

Part of being a magician is having the ability to set 'the point' or seem to alter reality to 'make a point'.

What point would you like to make?

How would you like to make that point?

The mechanics used behind the scenes of audience perception are NOT THE POINT OR EVEN PART of the audience experience.

Are you wondering if magic exists?

Are you striving to bring the experience of magic to others?

The double lift may serve you well when you borrow a deck and use that in a performance.

The props you can buy in the store reqire much additional work to set the scene to ensure the audience gets to admire the magic and not just the clever props.

You may have noticed that many magicians seem to use this craft to try to prove to themselves that magic exists. They usually tip their lack of faith by expressing the effect of their work on an audience in terms of assault and abuse. My favorite was and still is the advice of a world famous performer who stated his goal as:

"Hit them in the head,
tie them in a knot
and get off"

Which reads rather like a great premise for a story about a serial killer.

So, again... you're learning magic... what do you want to make happen?

Best to you,

Jonathan Townsend
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Jim Snack
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You wrote: "The more you can afford the more you can impress.."

I beg to differ. I've seen many mangician in my lifetime and the most impressive to me (and to most laymen I've discussed this with) are the pure sleight of hand artists.

I suspect by your post, you never saw Tony Slydini perform. Slydini could do more impressive magic with a cigarette or four paper napkins and a small cardboard box than anyone who ever bought a trick. How about Rene Lavand? I could list many.

You just can't buy the experience of magic, you have to earn it. Even a store bought gimmicked deck takes years of practice to refine to the level where an audience experiences the wonder of magic.

You just can't buy that.
Jim Snack

"Helping Magicians Succeed with Downloadable Resources"
www.success-in-magic.com
rgranville
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All the responses seem to be paraphrasing each other, but isn't that the point? Smile

Effects aren't impressive - presentations are. It doesn't matter if the effect was bought or requires finger busting skill. Docc Hilford has recently published killer effects using some of the simplest (and cheapest!) tricks you can buy. Jeff McBride has described sleights for sleights sake as "magical malpractice". Realize that the only way to favorably impress an audience is to entertain them. Then if you truly believe you can be more entertaining with "straight from the box effects," then that's what you should do.
Smile
BroDavid
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Learn a few good sleights and a couple of moves and a few techniques (in other words read the Royal Road to Card magic and practice a bit) and you can do magic anytime, anywhere, with anydeck.

That is the point.

But if you want to walk around with pockets full of gimmicks, and don't really want to do it without the gimmicks, then there is no point. just live with the gimmicks.

BroDavid
If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
jonesc2ii
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So, are you all (with one or two exceptions) saying you don't use gaffs and you wouldn't buy an expensive effect if you could?

Again, I'll apologise in advance if my tone sounds agressive or inappropriate, I am autistic and it is easy for me to get these things wrong. Smile

But, there seems to be some sort of inverse snobbery in magic that says you need to be able to manipulate a cheap deck of cards or you can't call yourself a magician. As I say, I CAN do a reasonable Hindu force and a double lift and a couple of other standards, but that doesn't entitle me to call myself a magician does it?

EDIT: It has also been pointed out in another thread (possibly on another forum) that a deck of cards is no longer really a standard possession in your average household. So, you can't perform 'anywhere, anytime' unless you know in advance that there will be a deck to hand. The only way to know this is to have a deck in your pocket. And if you're going to carry a deck anyway why not include a cig-thru card in the deck, for example?
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Steven Leung
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Every serious performance art has its own learning path/curve, and magic is no different. Reading the replies from other senior memebers that replied to you give me the fact that they are a group of people that really want to help you to improve.

I will not spend to much time in explaining that because English is not my native language.

Yes, you may use cigarette through card as an example to deny the importance of sleight of hand. However, a true magician will try to improve any areas where he still have rooms to improve. Combination of sleight of hand and packet effects will gain you a reputation. I believe my statement will be supported by any Café member who follow my post.

For your information, I do take a pack of Bicycle cards, without gimmick with me where ever I go. This is because every time after my performance spectators will grab my deck and try to find out what gimmick I have inside the deck. I watch their astonishment when they find nothing.

Do not give up, the Café creates the world's best environment for beginners to ask as much as they can, and believe me, even the Ring of my city won't bother to help me at this time.

I truly wish you to find your path in magic and wish you well.
Most memorable moment - with Maestro Juan Tamariz & Consuelo Lorgia in FISM Busan 2018.

"Being fooled by a trick doesn't always mean they are having a good time" - Homer Liwag

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rgranville
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The bottom line is, you should be doing magic because it's fun. And you have to decide for yourself what's fun. Some people enjoy practicing sleights until their fingers bleed. More power to them. Some people enjoy more immediate results obtained from "straight from the box" effects. More power to them. Figure out what you enjoy, and then do it.

I don't think snobbery has been in evidence in other posts, just a financial practicality. You asked (essentially), "Why learn sleights when I can buy effects that are just as impressive?" These people are turning the question around and saying, "Why buy expensive effects when I can learn sleights that are just as impressive?" Neither view is wrong - nor right. However you do it, magic is going to be an investment of money and time. Since most of us don't have infinite quantities of either, each of us has to decide how to balance these demands to get the most enjoyment we can out of life.
Smile
Peter Marucci
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Jones,
I have seen guys do far, far more with ungimmicked stuff -- cards, coins, etc. -- than I ever have with gimmicked stuff.

So that part of the argument -- the capitalist side -- is shot down.

But the most important point, to my mind, is that -- if you are going to be able to work your wonders at a moment's notice -- you would have to lug around pockets full of gaffs, rather than just relying on your brain!

Either that or, if someone says "show us some magic", you have to beg off because you don't have anything with you.

And that's pretty lame; after all, if you were a REAL magician, would you have to have something with you? Shouldn't you just be able to perform magic with nothing?

You can practice sleights or you can give them a pass and concentrate on psychological subtleties; in neither case do you have to spend a cent, if you have a library card and/or access to the Internet.

But in any case, it should be fun!

Sure, someone else can go out and buy a ton of stuff for a small fortune. But that person isn't necessarily a magician. That person would best be described as a collector of tricks.

Remember, a REAL magician doesn't need a bunch of gaffed stuff to work his wonders!
jonesc2ii
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OK, I agree to some extent. But surely a REAL magician wouldn't use a deck of cards at all! Smile
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wulfiesmith
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Beverley, UK
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WHAT ... no cards at all?
Oh dear ...
Ok ... to quote you in this forum...

"As I say, I CAN do a reasonable Hindu force and a double lift and a couple of other standards, but that doesn't entitle me to call myself a magician does it?"

Well in my opinion...yes IT DOES!
If you have only ONE sleight under your belt, then you CAN bewilder the most skeptic in the building...for the past 30 years, I have been only using approx 5 sleights...and made a handsome profit.

Magic is an ART...magicians are PERFORMERS...whether it be a set-up of some kind...or just using a "monkey-see-monkey-do" prop...
You read the script or method and "perform"...

"Like taking candy from a baby"

Bring your problems to me!
Your pal Wulfie!
MagicDiva
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Philadelphia
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A real magician is one who performs the art of magic. Just as there are different types of actors ( theater, movie, improv, etc.) there are different types of magicians. Whether you perform using knuckle buster sleights, gimmicks or whatever else you do.

I am not sure if this proves true for everyone but, my goal, my whole reason for practicing and performing magic is to entertain people. Everytime I get frustrated because its taking me longer to perfect a sleight I keep in mind how I am going to feel when I perform the effect and truly astonish someone. To me there is no greater feeling than watching the smoke coming out of someones ears while they try to figure out what I just did. For me I get that feeling when I do sleight of hand others may get if from getting away with using a gaff. Whatever it is you do should make you happy and accomplish your goals. Smile
JesseMagic
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Once you learn sleights and your ability as a magician grows, you can perform effects that beginning magicians use gimmicks to accomplish...that's the point Smile
Michaels
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Is the magician interested in doing tricks or performing the art of magic?
As a close up magician my audiences are not capable of determining whether it's a gaffed trick or whether it's sleight of hand. As far as they're concerned it all looks like sleight of hand if it's performed well. The performance of an effect is what's important. The ultimate question is, Was the audience entertained?

Sleight of hand is truly a foundation to learning "The Art of Magic". It's also an added benefit to be able to do an hour of impromptu magic when certain sleights are under your belt.
"Our technology is ahead of our humanity"
Albert Einstein
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