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

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James Munton
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Mark,

I have never seen anyone perform this trick in an entertaining manner. Why do you think this is?

James
*Mark Lewis*
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***! I wish I had done the Dice Trick on my series of You Tube interview excerpts! I can assure James that it is a sterling trick if presented properly. However, I shall take his word for it that he has never seen it done in an entertaining manner. The question I do have to ask now is who has he seen do it?
And what are his specific objections to that particular person's performance?

I remember doing that very same trick on BBC's Crackerjack programme when Michael Aspel was the host. It went over well. It really is a great trick. Iwouldn't have done it nigh on 50 years if it wasn't effective.
James Munton
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Oh, I've seen loads of them. I think Bob Sheets is one of the most entertaining performers on the planet, but even his version left me cold.

There are two fundamental weaknesses to the trick:

1. It requires your audience to do math.
2. It has no finish.

I know you are going to say that you make a giant die appear from your nose, but that is actually a totally different trick. It doesn't make the bit before any less boring.
*Mark Lewis*
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Actually I only make the two small dice appear from my nose and I don't even do it every time. There actually is an inbuilt finish where you DON'T turn your hand over and a one VISIBLY changes places with a four. A gentle shake and it happens. Gasps ensue from the audience. I don't know if Bob Sheets does this but it is indeed a climax.

With regard to your other objection I am sure this problem arises because you are attempting to perform it in the United States of America which as you know does not have our superior British educational system. I was told by a teacher that Americans are one year behind the Canadian educational system and three years behind the British system. Therefore Americans cannot count and naturally that affects the effectiveness of the trick. I bet that if you try and do the six card repeat down there it would not go over well either for this very reason.

Actually my solution to this problem is constantly asking the spectator questions throughout the routine. This is a good thing for two reasons. One is that it involves the spectator and this always makes any trick more effective and two, you are constantly checking that the spectator is following the effect and is not getting confused. I ask them a question about the spots and will not continue until they give me the correct answer.

It is a wonderful trick if you do it in the correct way at the correct time. Some people without my wonderful sense of showmanship may find the routine a trifle long. If that is the case there is no law saying that you cannot shorten the routine. In fact I do believe there are a couple of shorter routines (not the Dr Sack routine) also using the twisting move, in Ganson's Routined Manipulation series which are very excellent books anyway.

Paul Pacific will attest to the sensation I caused when we both walked into a games shop in Toronto and I showed the trick to a couple of sales clerks who thought they were seeing things. I used the shop's own dice which made it seem quite miraculous.
James Munton
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Yes, but it doesn't count if you are doing it for geeks in a games shop. You are using something that is quite holy to them. Try doing it at the average restaurant gig. And if you even attempted such an awful routine at a corporate strolling gig, you would never work again. No sane person cares how many spots there are on a die nor what the two sides add up to.

Asking people questions throughout the routine is just annoying and when you said the following, you are basically conceding that I am correct:

Quote:
you are constantly checking that the spectator is following the effect and is not getting confused. I ask them a question about the spots and will not continue until they give me the correct answer.


You sound like an awful mathematics teacher. What's next - calculus?

No, I think you made the right decision doing the dotty paddle trick on your video. If Mr. Brooks had seen you doing the Sucks Die Trick you would never have become the Guest of Honor.
PaulPacific
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Quote:
On 2011-06-02 21:59, James Munton wrote:
Yes, but it doesn't count if you are doing it for geeks in a games shop. You are using something that is quite holy to them. Try doing it at the average restaurant gig. And if you even attempted such an awful routine at a corporate strolling gig, you would never work again. No sane person cares how many spots there are on a die nor what the two sides add up to.



James, you are in good company. SHCBN ALSO hates the die trick!!
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Outward sunshine; inward joy,
Blessings on thee, barefoot boy! :-D
*Mark Lewis*
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Yes. Well I can't stand her too. She hasn't spoken to me for months because of Munton's big mouth. She refused to come to my book launch because of it and I am very upset over it. The trouble is that some people get very snobby when they associate with the supposed elite of magic even if most of them haven't got two pennies to rub together. Still, I am one of the elite myself now and I can see that Munton is madly jealous about it.

But back to the dice trick. I personally wouldn't use it at a corporate gig or at a restaurant. Or really at any professional show except television where it goes over very well. I don't particularly like close up magic gigs anyway. I learned close up magic for a different purpose and I have a different attitude towards it than simply doing it at paid gigs.

Mind you although I think it too slow for a professional gig I have a vague memory of Harry Lorayne saying he did it in restaurants when he performed in them years ago. I may be wrong here but I think I saw him saying this on the Genii forum. If I have it wrong then I will have to study his memory books more thoroughly.

Part of being a good performer is to know when to perform a trick. The right time makes all the difference. I can assure James that when I perform this for LAYMEN (I have never been a performer for magicians) the effect is all that can be desired.

However, nobody is forcing James to do this trick anyway. There are some great tricks around that people aren't just suited to or attracted to. Potassy, for example, tried to do the thumb tie but decided that it wasn't for him.

The key thing is to find tricks that you ARE suited for and do them to the best of your ability. Except the Hot Book and that bloody awful Bra trick that Munton does, of course.

Anyway I think I shall have to go and search out You Tube clips of people doing the dice trick. To be honest I have never actually seen anyone do it apart from myself.
TheAmbitiousCard
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I'm not that fond of the trick either. A move or two is nice to know if you want to do a bit or 2 during a dice stacking routine, but
the trick on its own is a little dull. And small.
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James Munton
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Quote:
Part of being a good performer is to know when to perform a trick.


Quite right. In this case, never.
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In that case let me ask you a question. If the trick is so terrible why the hell have I been doing it for 50 years? Don't you think I know what I am doing by now? Don't you think I would have found out if it was no good by now?
James Munton
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In all seriousness, I have no idea. But the fact that you concede there are many situations that you would not perform the trick suggests you don't have as much confidence in it as your other tricks.
*Mark Lewis*
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I have great confidence in it. In fact it is one of my greatest tricks. I have carried two small dice with me every day of my life for the last 50 years. I just know there is a right time and a wrong time to do it, that's all.

For example everyone concedes (or at least I hope so-if they don't I will give up) that Out of This World is a fantastic trick. Possibly the greatest card trick of all time. Yet there are plenty of times and places it just shouldn't be done. It makes a lousy opening trick for example.

Hopefully someone who also does the Dr Sack dice trick and likes it may chime in. The only argument I find against it is the fact that Richard Kaufman likes it.
Magnus Eisengrim
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I'm with you Mark. I carry two dice for Dr. Sack's trick all the time. I have so much fun, that it's infectious.

But your comment about "right time and wrong time" is spot on. It's probably the hardest thing I've had to learn in magic (and I still get it wrong more often than I should).

John

PS I've NEVER laughed at the Café so much as I have this week. Thanks for the fun.
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
James Munton
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Quote:
On 2011-06-03 11:32, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
I'm with you Mark. I carry two dice for Dr. Sack's trick all the time. I have so much fun, that it's infectious.


Yes, but it is far more important that the audience is having fun, which I seriously doubt. My experience is that many magicians have an inability to distinguish between genuine laughter and nervous "please stop doing that" laughter.
I must confess I disagree with the whole 24-7 magician thing. There is nothing worse than inflicting magic on some poor waitress and it should be a criminal offense to force her to stand there and watch the dice trick. I cringe when I am out with another magician and he starts doing impromptu magic for people. The magician doesn't notice the strained interest and feigned laughter. He can't see it, but everyone else at the table can.

By the way, I have noticed something fascinating. Both Magnus and Mark Lewis look very similar. I wonder if that has something to do with it...
Potty the Pirate
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Mark is quite right about "a wrong time and a right time", but equally Munton has his finger on the button when he says: "There is nothing worse than inflicting magic on some poor waitress and it should be a criminal offense to force her to stand there and watch the dice trick. I cringe when I am out with another magician and he starts doing impromptu magic for people. The magician doesn't notice the strained interest and feigned laughter. He can't see it, but everyone else at the table can."
Excellent comment, James!
I know someone who goes out and makes balloon models in people's faces.....and follows it up by handing out business cards. It's a total embarrasment. We should never "force" magic or entertainment on folks. If you let slip that you're an entertainer, wait until folks BEG you to show them something before you even consider getting out the cards, dice, or balloons. Even then, it often seems that a performer is way too keen to show off his skills, instead of handing out a card and telling the interested party to "check out the videos on my website."
It's only when laymen have had a few beers, have kids with them, or are clearly desperate to see me work, that I will actually deign to offer up some of my magic. (By the way, check out the definition of "deign".....it's rather fabulous.)
As for making waiters or waitresses interrupt their hectic workload to watch some load of magical balderdash - well, it's inconscient.
Potty Smile
PaulPacific
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Potty, you are correct! Vernon was another believer in this type of thinking. He said, "Singers don't suddenly burst into song!" Magicians should only perform when asked, and even then, perform sparingly.

Another thing that should be mentioned is to only do one trick -MAYBE two- but one is just fine. Leave them craving more. I think with some magicians who love performing, it's difficult for them to stop at just 1 or 2 effects but I feel it does make for a longer-lasting impression on the viewers.
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Blessings on thee, barefoot boy! :-D
*Mark Lewis*
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I don't agree with any of this tommyrot about not performing everywhere and anywhere. What the hell did you take up magic in the first place for? Anyone who doesn't perform impromptu magic is usually no good at it or is just a money grabbing professional like Munton. I feel it is my DUTY to perform anywhere and everywhere. That is how I got so good in the first place.

Potty does have it right though about not approaching people to do it. The trick is that they have to approach you and they will once the word gets around how good you are. As for Vernon he didn't know what the hell he waa talking about regarding this. He, after all, was no MARK LEWIS.
Chessmann
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Quote:
On 2011-06-03 15:03, PaulPacific wrote:
Vernon was another believer in this type of thinking. He said, "Singers don't suddenly burst into song!" Magicians should only perform when asked, and even then, perform sparingly.


Vernon was wrong. Well, partly (and yes, I am sure Vernon was making a casual illustration). I'm a singer and a magician. I can tell you that there are times, perfect times, when a singer will burst into song. Seen it happen on a number of occasions in public. Smiles all around. Yes, the setting has to be right, etc... But done right, people will LOVE it. It can be the same with magic. Just has to be the right thing at the right time. Usually, it is not something you set up - you see that the moment is right, and do it (and hope you have judged the situation correctly!).
My ex-cat was named "Muffin". "Vomit" would be a better name for her. AKA "The Evil Ball of Fur".
Magnus Eisengrim
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Quote:
On 2011-06-03 12:34, James Munton wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-06-03 11:32, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
I'm with you Mark. I carry two dice for Dr. Sack's trick all the time. I have so much fun, that it's infectious.


Yes, but it is far more important that the audience is having fun, which I seriously doubt.


I recommend looking up the word "infectious".

Of course, I could be miserable and hope that my talent alone brings delight to my audience...
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
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Magnus. Ignore Munton. His idea of a good trick is that hideous bra trick and that bloody thing where you set the kids on fire with some daft book or other.

I am really going to have to find some way of putting my dice routine on You Tube to shut him up. As a matter of fact I am going see if anyone else has put the trick on there and I shall do it right now.
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