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blindbo
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Bucks County, PA
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<<<<<<Begin point>>>>>>
Reactions from the same person:

Card through Window ($$$)- WOW! C'mon, how did...OK, I don't know, but its obvious you somehow had it out there before...

Wink Change ($0)- Holy ****! That's unreal! Man, you gotta do that again!

Sleights....priceless.
<<<<<<End of point>>>>>>
jonesc2ii
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blindbo, that's true. But I wouldn't feel comfortable using a thumb tip any more because so many 'lay people' know about it. The same is starting to be true of the double lift. Since David Blaine and the Internet (blame whoever you like! Smile ) everybody can do a double lift.

The same person you describe in your post might just as easily assume that you were using a gaffed deck. The fact that YOU, THE PERFORMER know whether the deck is gaffed or not should make no difference, surely?

OR do we always hand out a deck for inspection if it isn't gaffed? If that was true then the audience would ALWAYS assume a gaff unless proved otherwise.
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blindbo
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Jonesc2ii,

Although I would agree that there are more people who know about TT, DL, etc., I wouldn't agree that there are so, so many that know of them.
Of those who do, a minute percentage will remember when they play into a particular effect (and, in my opinion, it would have to be the SAME effect they were introduced to).

I really don't think that these people have the slightest clue of when a sleight is used, nor do they know of the many effects that can be achieved from them. Shoot, I know of so many things, but I'll be darned if I can tell when a journeyman uses them!

Btw, ever since I started taking control of my presentations, I have never had a person ask to see my cards...I might offer them, though.
jonesc2ii
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LOL - nice post!

I don't have a great deal of experience but I guess you might get away with disappearing a cigarette in a TT if your audience had only ever seen a silk vanish!

Seriously though, I'm sure you can use the same move to create a dozen different effects and surely THAT is the point I was looking for?

Offering a deck up for inspection is an interesting point too. Do you ever offer up a gaffed deck? I guess if you had the blahoobies you could bluff an audience into NOT checking a gaffed deck?
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Sean
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I'm late to this party, but...

Many people have made great arguments for learning and mastering sleights, even a few, to amaze spectators with an ordinary deck of cards.

Looking inward, I know I get greater satisfaction from my magic when I've amazed and entertained someone with an ordinary deck. A solipsistic view? Yup. But I think a valid one.
Michaels
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I'm going to start a firestorm here but I can't refrain from responding to continuous posts that misdirect newcomers to the art of magic. Sleights and flourishes do not and I repeat DO NOT amaze audiences. They are amazed and entertained by well presented routines. It's no different than two comedians telling the same joke and getting different responses from an audience. One's funny, the other is not!

One of my two strongest walk around routines involves 4 sleights; the other involves no sleights. So what? Who cares? The audience doesn't as long as they were entertained.

The point is this- Proficient sleights don't make someone a good magician. To be a well rounded magician one must learn all aspects of the art. Everything from sleight of hand to gaff knowledge to audience control and effect presentation. Magicians who learn sleights to amaze audiences rather than learning them as one of the foudation tools of the art would be better off performing in front of a mirror. There's where they might find their most impressed and amazed audience.

I direct this post to only those to whom it applies. It is written soley with the intention of making some of us reevaluate our needs to "amaze, impress or fool" our audiences rather than entertain them.
Thanks for the ear!
Top of the day,
Michaels
"Our technology is ahead of our humanity"
Albert Einstein
jonesc2ii
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Quote:
On 2003-07-05 21:43, Jim Snack wrote:
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....


Case in point, this week's honoured guest; take a look at what Peter calls 'affordable'. These gadgets are literally THOUSANDS of dollars. And very impressive they are too!

I may be wrong but as a recent convert from layism, I believe that your average lay person is going to be more impressed by the $1000 fractured arm than just about ANYTHING you can do with a deck of cards.
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Michaels
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Copperfield once said "people are often more amazed when I make one rubberband pass through another than when I make a jet vanish".
"Our technology is ahead of our humanity"
Albert Einstein
Larry Davidson
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I agree 100% with Michaels.

Sleights and gimmicks are nothing more than means to an end, not ends in themselves.

Anyone who asks "sleights or gimmicks?" is misguided in my opinion. Use anything and everything available to create the best effect, which in some cases will be pure sleight of hand, in other cases will be gimmicks, and still in other cases will be both. Method is important only to the extent that it impacts effect.

Oh, and without an entertaining presentation, you'll bore your audience regardless of the means you use. I've seen audiences lulled into a coma by both sleight of hand experts and magicians who couldn't deals seconds if they were holding only two cards. I've also seen audiences whipped into a frenzy by both types of magicians.

Larry D.
dgiancaspro
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Quote:
On 2003-07-09 15:09, Michaels wrote:
Sleights and flourishes do not and I repeat DO NOT amaze audiences. They are amazed and entertained by well presented routines.

I would definitely agree here. The audience does not care how hard you worked for the effect if they are not entertained. Bill Malone uses a combination of gaffs and skill to entertain. His audience enjoys Skinners Three Card Monte with zero sleights and the he hits the with Sam the Bellhop with lots of sleights.
I prefer close up so my only reservation with store bought tricks is from this quote ( I forget the author )

"Pull a rabbit out of a red laquer box with gold chinese letters and people will say 'great box'. Pull a rabbit out of a paper bag they'll say 'great magician'"

Dave
"Mommy when I grow up I want to be a magician"
"Oh sweety you can't do both."
cougar261084
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If you don't want to learn and practice and only use gimmicks which require no practice, you have no right whatsoever to call yourself a magician. Come on, man, even David Blaine uses double lifts.
Magique Hands
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I always begin my card magic by emphasising that I use a regular pack of playing cards, purchased from the drugstore (whether my statement to them is true or not... is NOT the point).

Incorporating real sleights and gimmicks is not wrong: Think Entertainment Value. My Billiard Ball routine is part real sleight of hand, and part use of certain gimmicks combined to create a wondrous experience for the audience members (my ultimate goal with any routine or effect I perform).

It pretty much all begins with learning the real sleight of hand, which then opens up a whole new world of what magic, and the performance of such is all about. Just about everything in magic builds from the fundamentals of sleight of hand. I believe that being a magician is a journey, and not something that happens by purchasing one trick. Being a magician is a mind-set. Knowing one gimmicked trick does not necessarily make you a magician... but it may start you on the road to becoming one.

Your sleights (as basic as they me be at this point) will be something you will always have with you, wherever you go. They will always be a part of you.

- - Troy
"If you go around sprinkling Woofle Dust on everything... people will think 'My... What an odd character." www.magicmafia.com
cougar261084
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Man, that was beautiful. Smile Smile
and so very true and this is just me -- maybe I'm crazy -- but knowing sleights and being able to do them well gives a great sense of self-satisfaction. For example, I was never happier when I knew my pass was finally invisible.
Larry Davidson
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Quote:
On 2003-07-14 16:27, cougar261084 wrote:
If you don't want to learn and practice and only use gimmicks which require no practice, you have no right whatsoever to call yourself a magician.


There's no such thing as a gimmick which requires no practice. Regardless of what type of magic you perform, presentation requires practice.

Sleight of hand is a means to an end, not an end unto itself, at least for me. I know magicians who have incredible chops but who couldn't entertain laymen if their lives depended on it. I also know magicians who are incredibly entertaining but not that skilled at sleight of hand. I'd rather watch the second type of magician, as would most audiences. Magic is supposed to be a form of entertainment, and a magician who can't engage an audience is performing for himself.

Am I against sleight of hand? No. In fact I use it extensively in my professional work (in addition to gimmicks, psychology, humor, etc.), but if I couldn't entertain, who would care?

Regards, Larry D.

P.S. - cougar, no offense intended, but here's your signature line which tells me that we approach magic very differently --"...did you just do that to fool me, or to make a fool out of me? Both!..."
Jim Snack
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Just because "everybody does a double lift," don't assume that everybody does it perfectly. And unless it's perfect, you cannot create the experience of magic. If your audience suspects anything, you destroy the illusion and become a juggler.

Much of the enjoyment that comes from performing sleight of hand happens when you have mastered a technique and you have the confidence to use it when necessary.

Combine skill with a pleasing personality and entertaining routining and you are guaranteed success with audiences.
Jim Snack

"Helping Magicians Succeed with Downloadable Resources"
www.success-in-magic.com
jonesc2ii
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Well, thanks to all of you who have replied, it's interesting stuff.

What I find particularly interesting is that some users assume that I was simply asking a question, others read it differently.

For future reference, because I am autistic I very rarely say something or ask something pointedly, I just don't know how to do that!

So, it was a genuine question, why do we bother? And there are some genuine answers here, thanks.

Quote:
On 2003-07-06 14:22, Peter Marucci wrote:
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.


How so, Peter?

We keep our secrets from those who can't afford to buy them, but we reveal to anyone who has the means to pay. It's not just the gaffs that cost, it's the books, the videos, the secrets and we guard them with wealth so, I say, the capitalist argument is far from shot down.

Surely it would make more sense to have some sort of regulator who certificates when you are ready to move to the next level? Smile
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Bill Palmer
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There are some good points here, but one thing I have to say is this.

If you think that David Blaine's practice should make him appear to be more proficient at sleight of hand, then you don't really understand sleight of hand. The whole point of practicing sleight of hand is that, done correctly, it appears that the magician hasn't done anything unusual at all.

If you think that the internet has made the TT and the double lift useless, then you really need to practice more and learn how to use what you have.

Any of these things, when done well, will still fool the audience, sometimes even those people who own the very gimmicks of which you speak and perform the very sleight with which you are concerned.

Sure, you can buy lots of gaffs that will do some of the work for you, but it sure feels good not to need them.

When I go to work a close-up event, I work out of my pockets. I may or may not carry an invisible deck. The only other gaffed deck I carry is Solid Deception. The rest of my card work is with normal cards. And it is high impact work. I carry a few coins and, yes, a TT.

But it took me a long time to get to the point that I could work that way.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
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