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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » A different kind of "trick"? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

hollywoo
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Kentucky
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So, I admit I'm not great, I only know a couple fairly simple card sleights, etc., and I know that these fundamentals are essential, so I'll keep working at them.

At the same time, my favorite force involves the most blatant, obvious, sleight-free, hilariously sneaky deception imaginable. It literally involves having them cut the deck, set the top half in front of them, then putting the bottom half on it sideways, getting their attention on you (your hands in plain sight so they know you aren't up to anything with the cards), and then explaining what your goal is (to guess their card, etc.). Then you pick up the top part of the deck, and show them the bottom of it: "Their" card. I've only done this for small groups (7 or 8 people at the most) but nobody's ever caught on.

The brazenness of it appeals to me, as well as the fact that, once it's done, it's done. There is no evidence left behind after you set the top half of the deck back down flush with the other part. I'm not asking you for the how-to for any similar effects, but I'm curious about the names of other effects that emphasize the viewer's attention and do not emphasize sleights (even if some are still necessary). I don't mean self-workers, per se. Nothing with some secret mathematical system that someone could work out with a pen and paper. But instead, is there any style of magic, or are there any good effects, where the majority of the illusion/deception is in the interaction between magician and audience rather than magician and prop?* If so, what book(s) do you recommend I read?

Thank you in advance.

*To be clear, I know that in general, it is the audience who sees something impossible or at least very unlikely, and I'd imagine any decent magician keeps this in mind. Still, I think I'm making a real distinction.
Doug Trouten
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Minnesota
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FYI -- The force you are describing is the "criss-cross force,"
It's still magic even if you know how it's done.
Terry Pratchett
hollywoo
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New user
Kentucky
18 Posts

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That's the one! Thank you very much.
Harry Lorayne
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V.I.P.
New York City
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I wrote THE MAGIC BOOK just for YOU!
[email]harrylorayne@earthlink.net[/email]

http://www.harrylorayne.com
http://www.harryloraynemagic.com
Ado
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Inner circle
Pittsburgh, PA
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Dani daOrtiz does magic that looks like what you're mentioning. But I wouldn't say it's easy: you need a very good gift of gab.

P!
hollywoo
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Kentucky
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Mr. Lorayne, I'll check it out. Thank you!

Ado, I didn't mean it had to be easy. I'm not looking for an easy way out; I just really enjoy that kind of thing conceptually.
Harry Lorayne
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New York City
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Go to harryloraynemagic.com, hollywoo, all the information is there.
[email]harrylorayne@earthlink.net[/email]

http://www.harrylorayne.com
http://www.harryloraynemagic.com
Dick Oslund
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Listen to Harry! Listen to Ado!

Your "thinking" is good!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Chollet
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Don't be fooled by the fact I only have
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Sometimes these "easy" and simple approaches are wonderful. Why? Because they look natural, and since they seem so obvious, it is as if they become invisible to the average spectator. I think the fact that you aren't up to any funny business with a clumsy sleight is great misdirection.

I have seen some of the masters top-control a card by simply having it replaced and just cutting it to the top. It seems pretty open and obvious to any magician, but the spectators typically don't give it a second thought - especially if the trick doesn't appear to need the card on top.

In the end, I think we would all do well to try to see things from the perspective of a spectator and follow Occam's Razor a little more often...and go with the simple solutions.
RobertlewisIR
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Colorado
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It seems to me that you're on the right track in your thinking. Knucklebusting sleights are all well and good, but what really makes magic is misdirection. If you get good at controlling what people do and don't pay attention to, you can do anything. You wouldn't believe the "obvious" stuff we all get away with just because we know how to direct attention where we want it to be.

You might be interested to read Magic By Misdirection by Dariel Fitzkee. I don't think any methods are actually discussed in the book (I could be wrong; it's been a while since I've read it), but he talks about the kind of stuff you're interested in, I think.

To more directly answer your question: there's a ton of the kind of stuff you're looking for. Without getting into a big discussion of what is or isn't "mentalism," that might be one direction you'd like to look. Study the work of people like Derren Brown, who seem never to actually *do* anything, yet achieve remarkable results. Even if you don't care for the mentalist "flavor" of magic, some of those techniques can easily be adapted to other types of performances.

Of course Harry Lorayne's books are top notch, along with many others. You can't go wrong with the Tarbell course (the full set is a modest investment, but I've known professionals whose entire act comes out of those books). And I always heartily recommend anything by Eugene Burger.

If you tell us a bit more about the kind of magic you like, we might be able to offer some more tailored recommendations. For instance, who are some of your favorite magicians? Do you prefer comedy or serious magic? Close-up or stage? Cards, coins, or other? Or are you still at the stage where you're trying to soak up as much knowledge about everything as you possibly can (which everyone should probably do more of, anyway) before you choose a path?
~Bob



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Last night, I dreamed I ate the world's largest marshmallow. When I woke up, the pillow was gone.
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