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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The May 2011 entrée: Mark Lewis » » Impromptu Card Magic » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

MagicMason
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Hi Mark... I am responding to your invitation to ask you about card magic. I am not a working professional so when I do magic I usually have no table, no close up pad, people all around and a deck of cards without gaffs. What are your favourite impromptu close up card tricks (three to five) that you either really like to do or recommend?

Could you do the same for coins (while you are on a roll)?

I love your sense of humour and style. You Brits are almost as funny as our Canadian friends.

Tom Mason
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Tom. I live in Canada. I find nothing funny about the natives whatsoever. Except some of the local magicians. Of course there is funny ha-ha and funny peculiar. I shall let you decide which one I mean.

With regard to your question regrettably I have to shortly rush out to do a show for people even older than me at a senior's residence so I will probably answer your question later since you are making me think and I can't be bothered right now. Besides a Canadian already asked me the same question but his timing was awful because I was in a bad mood when he asked it. I would say the same thing to you as I said to him. However since I have already said it I shall let the great mentalist Joseph Dunninger tell you instead. He said, "That trick is of no consequence. It is what you do with it that is important. Anything will do. Even nail through finger will suffice if you can find some way of magnetising and hypnotising that audience"

Therefore Tom I would suggest you get to work on Nail Through Finger immediately. And while you do that I shall get ready for my show. When I return, if I live through it, I shall comment further if I am in a good mood, which by then I am sure I won't be.

In the meantime I would suggest there is no better source of good impromptu card tricks than the books of my fellow mild mannered VIP Harry Lorayne. I have always like his very first book on card tricks the best despite some idiotic review I once read of it somewhere. People of a younger generation will not realise the sensation Close up Card Magic caused when it first came out. I bloody do. It was the sensation of the Magic World. I was 18 years old at the time and devoured the contents.

Some of the rather daft 18 year olds here should stop watching all those awful DVDs that are available nowadays and do likewise. With regard to all the plethora of books and DVDs that are coming out nowadays something Simon Lovell once said about them appealed to me very much. He said, "Even foetuses are producing material nowadays"

I never read books written after 1954 except those of Harry Lorayne. It would probably do the art of magic a world of good if other people followed my example. Besides all these new books are old stuff rehashed anyway.

Anyway I shall deal with your question later. That should give you time to go down to your local joke shop and purchase Nail Through Finger.
MagicMason
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Sorry I was being a bit cheeky about the Canadians. Of course we all know the British have the corner on the market on humour. Next in line most likely be the ... the Latvians.

I like your emphasis on character and on presentation. I keep hearing and seeing this a lot actually on the Café here. Many people here subscribe to what you are saying. Some are nearly as old as you.

Thanks again... and don't drop YOUR details... or your thumb tip for that matter.

Tom
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Tom. I have been dropping details for years. I make mistakes at every show. I just replace the missing details with new details.

And yes. They do talk about character and presentation on the magic Café. As all bad magicians do all over the world. They talk about it and feel very pleased with themselves that they talked about it and then they continue being as awful as they have always been. The problem is that everyone pays lip service to the concept but nobody actually does anything about it. That is because it is not as fascinating as learning the latest move or trick. There is no fun in devising patter (I refuse to use that pretentious word "script) rehearsing presentation and planning how you are going to present your character and manipulate your audiences. It is far more fun to pontificate about it than actually do anything about it.

Whether Munton likes it or not I am going to repeat myself because often repetition is the best way to get information to sink in. Any fool can manipulate the props. A good magician manipulates the people.

A much harder and more tedious thing to do than learning the latest trick but a far more valuable skill.
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OK. Here are some of the card tricks I like to do. For some of them I use a table and for some of them I don't.
Card under foot
Rosini card trick
Out of my Control
Card to Forehead. (I use a different presentation than the one that everyone else does)
Tipsy Trick
Now You See It
Design for Laughter
Out of this World
MacDonalds ACes
3 cards Across
Matching the Cards
Poker Players Picnic

But there are many, many, more. I know only 3 t 5 were asked for but I gave you more than you asked for since I am in a generous mood. You may notice that I use a lot of Royal Road to Card Tricks material. I would say that 50% of my working material with regards to card tricks comes from this one book. Incidentally the card trick I hate to do more than any other is the *** Svengali deck for obvious reasons.

Coin tricks?

I have various methods and variations of coins through table. Incidentally here is a tip. If you want to double the reaction with this trick don't just push them through the table in the usual way. Instead get a spectator to press on the back of your hand as you do it. When the coins penetrate you say, "You pressed too hard!" The reaction increases to a marked extent when you do this. In fact always bring the spectator into it as much as you can. Never perform AT the people. Perform TO or WITH them. Very important if you wish to be as good as MARK LEWIS.

I do the pulse trick a fair bit. It is described in Bobo's Modern Coin Magic.
Coin through hand I do as a quickie sometimes.
Sympathetic Coins I do a fair bit
My favourite coin trick (and it requires no table) is expansion of texture. The effect is a knockout with laymen.

I also have a coin flourish routine which I will share with you. It takes a tremendous amount of practice which may be a discouragement for some of you. You start with 4 fairly large coins. Do the regular coin roll with just the one coin. I usually say, "Have you ever seen money walk before, we'll give it a bit of exercise" Do it the usual way for a while then vary it by making it go backwards instead. Then make it go under the hand and roll it with the palm upwards. This is described in the Nate Leipzig book by Vernon and Ganson. Now do the thumb roll also described in the Leipzig book. Here is my patter for the preceding procedure.

"This is how I keep money in circulation (this line is from Nate Leipzig). It'll either go forward or it will go backward. If you ask it nicely it will even go under the hand. This is known as the thumb roll, mainly because it rolls over the thumb" Incidentally, with regard to the thumb roll I believe it is badly described in the Ganson book which is a shame because normally Ganson described things very well. I am quite happy with this though since it means that I am the only one doing the thumb roll. I have never, ever seen another magician do it. Curiously enough Ganson said that Vernon claimed that the only people he ever saw do it was Silent Mora and Leipzig himselft. I presume but don't know for certain that Vernon did it too.

I then pick up another coin and make it roll on my left hand. Now I have two coins rolling simultaneously, one on each hand. Now I roll two on ONE hand. Then Two on EACH hand. Now you know why I said this routine will take tremendous practice.

For the grand finale I do the well know roll down of four coins described in Bobo and other place. I finish by saying" I know all this looks difficult but it is easier than it looks. Try it for yourself" Then I pretend to give the coins to a spectator but they have all vanished. That is because I use a vanish in the Bobo book which is a multiple coin vanish. I also use this when I am giving change when selling Svengali decks.
RiffRaff
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Reverend, could you elaborate on the Card Under Foot (Where is it published)?
Also, would you discuss your parlour card act...
and INCIDENTALLY don't you have some knowledge of the Nap Hand?
Thank you.
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The card under foot is described in various places including the Amateur Magician's Handbook by Henry Hay. The version I use is actually in the Royal Road to Card Magic as many of my tricks are. It is called Top Change byplay in that book. I can't remember if the description says you should drop the card on the floor or not but that is the way I do it. I learned how to drop a card on the floor neatly from the Leipzig book.

In a parlour situation I use a lot of card tricks. Again from the Royal Road to Card Magic. Such things as the Pulse Trick, Tipsy Trick, Design for Laughter, Now You See it, Three Cards Across, CArd to Forehead, Long Card and others. They can all be seen clearly in a parlour situation with a limited amount of people in the audience.

If the audience is bigger I would do such things as 6 Card Repeat, Three Cards Across (I have two versions) and the Nap Hand. This is a little known card trick which is not described in print to a great extent. The best description is probably in a book by Billy McComb and publised by Martin Breese.

I still remember doing a show somewhere and Billy McComb was on the same bill. At the time I wasn't doing the Nap Hand. A magician in the audience came up to both of us after the show and suggested to me that I do the Nap Hand since I did so many card tricks on stage. I knew the trick but wondered if it was too convoluted. Billy McComb immediately chimed in saying, "Oh no, that is not a trick for the likes of us professionals. It is far too complicated and boring. We need things to be fast moving" I then eliminated the trick from my thoughts for many years because of what Biily said. I had no idea that at the time the scoundrel used it as part of his repertoire every night and was just saying that to discourage me from competing against him with it. Billy was quite territorial about his repertoire I remember.
RiffRaff
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Thank you for the references.
What do you think of Expert Card Technique (with the exception of the chapter on performing which you have already mentioned)?
What about Scarne on Cards?
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Yes. I like both books. I find it interesting that you are going from one extreme to the other with those two books. One is full of easy but effective tricks. The other is full of difficult but effective tricks. Or at least I think they are effective. I don't do much from either book but I like them all the same. There are only so many card tricks that one human being can do. Except for one chap I know in Toronto who can do 8 hours of card tricks non stop and often does. He has sent many an audience member into a coma as a result of it. Fortunately we have good medical care in Toronto. Alas I am sure there is an equivalent of him in every major city of the world.

I do tricks from The Royal Road to Card Magic (which is my main source) Vernon and Harry Lorayne. Their really isn't much room for much else.
MagicMason
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Mark.. thank you for this. All just excellent! Lots of great ideas and advice. thanks!

Tom
PaulPacific
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You forgot one, Mark. You often do Gray's Master Speller as well.
Blessings on thee, little man,
barefoot boy with cheeks of tan...
Outward sunshine; inward joy,
Blessings on thee, barefoot boy! :-D
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Yes I do. And I have a wonderful follow up to it which is even more effective than the original trick. I do the trick as normal and then get the spectator to do the trick on me. It works perfectly and he is even more astonished than he was the first time. I read this in Bruce Elliot's 100 New Tricks.
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Look at what I just found! You can actually seeing me do a card trick at 1.58 into the clip.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Why4ATfcNNA
RiffRaff
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There are a couple of notable Royal Road tricks that you have not mentioned.
Have you ever performed "The Circus Card Trick" and "A Meeting of the Minds"?
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I found the meeting of the minds a bit slow and it doesn't suit my style. I used to do the Circus Card Trick all the time at school and scam all the kids out of their money. I became quite unpopular and got into many fights over it. I look on it now as training for my future career.
PaulPacific
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Years ago I saw you perform a trick. You do not do it very often but I always found it got quite a good reaction when the conditions are right. I believe it was called Card on the Seat and it is also from Royal Road.

Is there any reason why you do not do this trick more often?
Blessings on thee, little man,
barefoot boy with cheeks of tan...
Outward sunshine; inward joy,
Blessings on thee, barefoot boy! :-D
*Mark Lewis*
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Paul. I do it all the time. You just haven't been there. It is called Good Luck Card. And yes. The reaction is terrific. I remember nearly 50 years ago I showed it to Michael Vine's brother, (Michael is Derren Brown's manager) and he almost screamed and darted out of his seat yelling "phenomenal!"

I was good in those days before I became old and decrepit.....................
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