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Bob G
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Hi folks,



My wife tells me that when I perform for her she sees the front of the deck and has trouble seeing the backs and faces. We're sitting opposite each other at a table, which is a few inches higher than a card table. If I'm holding the cards in dealer's grip, I can't make the topmost card easier for her to see without bending my wrist back in an uncomfortable way. Does anyone have suggestions about how to make the cards easier to see for spectators in this kind of situation? I imagine the problem would evaporate if we worked at a lower table, and I've had good luck holding the cards in my hands while we sit on the couch facing each other. But, looking ahead to performing for my varied audiences, I doubt I'll always be able to control table heights, etc.



Thanks for any help you can offer.



Bob
Mike Powers
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I try to always work standing. That eliminates the problem entirely.

Mike
Bob G
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Thanks, Mike. I'd prefer to work sitting -- seems less formal and scary. Smile But still, I'm intrigued. If magician is standing and spectators are sitting, I'd think that would make the problem worse, wouldn't it? I guess I need to watch some videos of people performing standing with this in mind, and see how and where they're holding their hands.


Bob
Mr Pink
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Alex Elmsley in his collected works volume one says 'by sitting you tend to be less visible'...'I try to compensate for this loss a bit by giving myself a little extra height when I sit. I use a firm cushion about 8 inches thick. This allows me to show the cards to the audience more easily without straining my wrists and looking awkward.'

I've tried this and it helps. Give it a go and see if it helps you.

All the best.
Bob G
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Ah, interesting! Thanks, Mr Pink. I'll give that a try.



I'm having the same trouble visualizing the situation you describe that I had with Mike Power's reply. By standing or by increasing one's height with a cushion, wouldn't the situation be worse? Obviously I'm missing something. The way I'm seeing this, I need to be *lower*, not higher, so that the spectator can be looking *down* at the top of the cards. Any thoughts?



Thanks again, Mr P.



Bob
Mr Pink
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I suppose there's only one way to find out. : ) Experiment and see what works for you. Try sitting higher and lower and you'll soon find your sweet spot.
Mr Pink
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It may seem counter-intuitive but raising yourself means less wrist action when tilting the deck so it can be seen.
Bob G
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Okay, I'll give this a try! Smile
IncantoMagic
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You could work on some chest height magic. Waving the aces, TnR. I know none of this is in the purview of a full deck


In terms of full deck, you can do effects that don't require the top of the deck to be seen, and finish in a spread out display on the table, like OOTW or Triumph. Dani DaOrtiz has some nice stuff to say about this and some effects in his murphys ATT lectures. He basically says, always end with a picture on the table that makes the effect clear.
Mike Powers
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When you're standing or sitting higher via a cushion, you can lower the front of the deck, bringing the backs into spec's view. FU you'd get a clear shot of the faces. FD you'd raise the front edge to show faces. Standing or sitting with extra elevation makes this possible.

Mike
Bob G
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Thanks, Mike and Incanto.


Mike, I think I understand now. By raising your position you make it possible for your whole arm to lower your hand closer to the table rather than just working with your wrist. Is that the idea?



Incanto, interesting ideas. I'll look into the DaOrtiz lectures. I like packet tricks, by the way, and am making good progress on learning the EC -- my first false count! I haven't heard of TnR or Waving the aces.



Bob
Bob G
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Incanto,


I've been able to locate three ATT lectures by DaOrtiz. Do you happen to remember which of the three gave the most advice (or most useful) about "showing a picture"?
IncantoMagic
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Waving the aces is a visual take on twisting the aces. Its in Drawing Room Deceptions by Guy Hollingsworth. Word of warning, its a bit knacky. TnR is just shorthand for Torn and Restored, There are a number of torn and restored effect, but many of them occur at chest hight.

Iv seen two of his at the table lectures, (I thought that's all he had) and he reiterates many of the same points about theory in both of them. I think the stuff about the picture on the table is in #2, unfortunately, because gregory wilson, as a host, really interjects far too much, and its quite distracting, but I'm not positive.
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Going back to the original question, the problem arises normally because the performer, who is used to watching what they're doing while practicing, is holding the cards in a way where THEY can easily see what's going on, but someone seated across from them cannot. Or, if they can, it's at a sharp angle and will have some difficulty following along.

The solution is to get out of your head that YOU need to see well, and hold the cards in a way where THEY can see well. Normally, this means pitching your hands forward so the cards are more perpendicular to your spectator. You'll know it's right if it starts looking odd to you.

Two thoughts. While it can be hard to get into the habit of this, one shouldn't over-exaggerate the angle, because your wrists and arms will be moved into a progressively awkward position. Second, high tables, like in a booth at a restaurant, can be very difficult to achieve the desired angle, so in those cases the best answer may be to move your hands and the cards across the table toward the spectator so they have the chance to see what's going on.
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Bob G
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Hi guys!


Incanto, fortunately #1 and #2 are inexpensive, so I'll start with #2. Several reviewers on Penguin have commented on Wilson in #2 -- too bad, because I find him very personable in the videos I've seen of him.



Thanks also for the descriptions of the two effects you suggested.



Steve, I like the idea of moving hands and cards across closer to the spectator. There's so much to think about in this magic stuff! (In case you hadn't noticed.) I have to be careful about bending my wrists back because of old injuries. Hopefully by combining people's ideas I can find something that works for me.



By the way, I keep forgetting to say: I like your Mark Twain quote.



Bob
Steven Keyl
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Another tip for practice is to set a mirror half-way between yourself and where your spectator would be seated. By looking in the mirror you will get a good approximation of what the spec would see when they were looking at your hands. It might be helpful as a reminder to keep the cards where they can be easily seen.
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"If you ever find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause, and reflect." --Mark Twain
Tim Cavendish
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Quote:
On Feb 17, 2019, Bob G wrote:
Incanto, fortunately #1 and #2 are inexpensive, so I'll start with #2. Several reviewers on Penguin have commented on Wilson in #2 -- too bad, because I find him very personable in the videos I've seen of him.

I believe Dani DaOrtiz talks most about Gabi Pareras' notion of making a picture in his 3rd Penguin lecture. He also touches on it at the end of ATT#2, quickly illustrating it with various 4 ace productions.

ATT#2 is cheap and has lots of excellent material. After Dani fools him badly, Greg Wilson settles down and lets Dani drive. Overall, this is a fine Dani video and a total bargain.

ATT#1 is nearly unwatchable due to host Chris Oberle, who has absolutely nothing useful to say but nevertheless won't shut up. Only highly devoted Dani students should bother with this one, mostly for his "working at home" theory discussion, which is not otherwise available in english.

Currently Dani has done only two At The Table lectures.


As for your display angle problems... where are your elbows? The wider apart your elbows are, the more freedom your wrist will have to turn and display the top of the deck.
Bob G
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Thanks to you both, Steve and Tim.



Steve, I'm going to try the mirror idea -- that's a great idea.



Tim, The plot thickens. So from what you're saying the *third* (and most expensive) lecture does the most with "making a picture." (But it isn't At The Table, I guess.) Nice to have a source for the idea (Gabi Parera). I'll look up Parera, but can you suggest a source in which he (?) discusses his ideas in detail?


As I write, I'm playing around with the spread of my elbows. Here's what I found; is this what you meant? Imagine that I'm holding the deck in LH dealing position. If I rotate my left forearm, with left elbow as pivot, so that my forearm points straight to the left, then I'm able to rotate my wrist around the axis formed by my forearm -- much easier than holding my forearm pointing out toward the audience, which then requires me to bend my wrist back, as if I were double-jointed, to display the deck. I can imagine that in certain situations, that would make the display much easier. Great tip. (Of course, that wouldn't work with, say, an Elmsley Count. At least I don't think so.) Hope all that made sense!



Lots of great suggestions here!



Bob
Mike Powers
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Jack Diamond sells a mirror set up that has all sorts of angle adjustments. He provides info on how to adjust so you'll see what people at various watching positions will see. I'm not sure how to find this item, though. Jack is a friend of Wesley James. I didn't find anything about him with a Google search. You might contact Wes if you're interested in the mirror.

Mike
arthur stead
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I love my 3-way angled mirror for practicing! Got mine many years ago, and don't remember where I bought it. But I found this on the web:

http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/9563
Arthur Stead
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