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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workers » » What is the holy grail in card magic (41 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Chuck Finley
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I have a question for the card folks out there: what to you think is the holy grail of card magic. This is meant to be totally opinion based. Is it the perfect bottom deal, center deal, maybe its as simple color monte, or anything really. Why do you think its the holy grail.
Gerald Deutsch
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To entertain the audience!!!!
lynnef
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Gerald is correct, of course, even more so while busking. Entertain... and I'd add "astonish". But "holy grail" implies something almost unachievable, doesn't it? The purely "thought of card" revealed in a near impossible place in a near impossible way, with a borrowed deck (of course!)...that would do it for me. There are many Acaan effects out there that are "achievable" (my favorite is a simple one by Jay Sankey); but I'm always astonished by something new in this general category. As far as sleights go, there are too many for me to pick a 'holy grail', but for me it all boils down to being able to control the cards at all times, period... something I'm always working on. Lynn
vinsmagic
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THIS IS A OLD EFFECT OF MINE OI CALL THE UN HOLY GRAIL it is ACAAN from a borrowed shuffled deck, I.m sorry about the poor quality of video ,
https://youtu.be/4NYXuqLxhY0
Come check out my magic.

http://www.vinnymarini.com
sirbrad
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I think the "holy grail" is to have a solid fountain in all or most card sleights and moves, and sometimes only mastering a few moves is enough. But that is all personal preference and style. You don't really need to know them all, or even most to be successful. But the more knowledge and experience that you have the better and more prepared you will be. I personally wanted to learn "everything" and all the hard stuff then decide later on what I would use the most. So in that regard I think as far as "products" go book wise "Card College" would be the holy grail as far learning card sleights and card magic, and is a Dan Harlan says "a scholarly pursuit" into the art.

But even I did not have that almost 40 years ago when I started, so for me the holy grail back then was "The Amateur Magician's Handbook, Mark Wilson's Complete Course, Scarne on Card Tricks, The Encyclopedia of Card Tricks, RRTCM, Expert at the Card Table, Expert Card Technique, etc. As far as DVDS and videos are concerned "Daryl's Encyclopedia of Card Sleights" is the holy grail as far as card sleights and moves, but there are many other great ones out there to like RRTCM both versions, ETMCM, Ultimate Card Sessions etc. Today there is so much more available. Even Tarbell and Greater Magic have a lot of card work in them. So really it depends on what you want to do, and how much you want to learn. You can't go wrong with any of those though.

There are tons of books out there and now DVDS on the subject. But I would definitely say Daryl's DVD set and Card College would be as holy grail as you can get as far as having both forms of media. Overall "The Tarbell Course in Magic" is the holy grail of all magic as a whole. But I like to collect as much as possible and have access to as much material as possible, and then decide later on what I want to use and it is always fun to know that new material is always waiting for you. There is so much great stuff out there today though it is hard to just narrow it down to one or two things. But if you are talking overall sleights and card magic it doesn't get much better than those when it comes to building your foundation.

But I did so back in the day without those, and The Amateur Magician's Handbook was even enough, followed by Mark Wilson's Complete Course, Scarne on Card Tricks, RRTCM, Bobo's Modern Coin Magic, Learn Magic, EOCT, and The Magic Book gave me enough material to perform for many years alone.

So when Daryl's set and others came out in the 80's and 90's it was a godsend to be able to see all those moves on a video, to better understand the timing and misdirection of a sleight, and see sample patter and presentations from other magicians. But once you have those you just keep wanting more, and eventually you have a room that is now a massive library of magic at your disposal, and after almost 40 years of collecting.

Sometimes it is also fun to do what I call "gem mining" and just open on book up to any page and work on whatever you find. Or just read one book through at a time, or random books and DVDS. There are way too many tricks and sleights out there though to narrow it down to just one, especially after being exposed to so many over the years. So it all comes down to personal preference and style mostly, there is no universal "holy grail" or one-size-fits-all trick or sleight. So you just do what you like and what your audience likes, and what works for you and your audience— and most importantly, what is fun for you and your audience.
The great trouble with magicians is the fact that they believe when they have bought a certain trick or piece of apparatus, and know the method or procedure, that they are full-fledged mystifiers. -- Harry Houdini
magicwiia
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Well, I am young pup in the magic world and just started card handling. My holy grail is something that is probably in the rear-view mirror of most professionals. A smooth-as-glass, no-hesitation, and no-break double lift.

In the hiking world, it might be a false peak, with my more to come, but for now it is my mountain top -- my Holy Grail.
mentalista78
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Do you know Xacaan?

Xacaan(experiment a.c.a.a.n.)
my dear conjurers no there is preshow..impromptu miracle!
real shuffled deck! any card at any number!
reviews:
Ben Blau:Looks very direct! Nice job! I hope the method is just as deep as the mystery!🎇
Vinny Marini:Beautiful!The Best Acaan ever seen!

live english performance:
https://www.facebook.com/VocedelNord/vid......1453350/

live italian performance:
https://www.facebook.com/VocedelNord/vid......3558129/
https://www.facebook.com/VocedelNord/vid......3134806/
https://www.facebook.com/VocedelNord/vid......7772345/
https://www.facebook.com/VocedelNord/vid......8326094/
danaruns
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The holy grail would be to have a spectator think of a card without suggestion, and then be able to produce it from the deck.
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
otzdog
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I think of the holy grail as something "unattainable" but always striven for. Moves are just tools. Some of the best tricks I've ever seen are self working.

All that being said, my holy grail is to return a borrowed shuffled deck into new deck order under the guise of repeated shuffles WITHOUT switching decks.
countrymaven
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Danaruns. I do that. I tell them what it is. I am off by one then say no I was wrong then tell them. then let them check the deck and see it was never in the deck . just their fantasy.

I think it is worth thinking of the holy grail in terms of what spectators think. 98% of card magic is centered and begun with what magicians think is significant. in the spectator's mind, according to many accounts I have heard, the HG is attainable. It often has to do with an unbelievably clean force. Where the spectator can truly choose which card they want. Then it is produced or shown to be in an "impossible location." So IMHO from what spectators have told me, not my own philosophizing, a production from an impossible location and an incredibly clean force are one way. Or achieving what Danaruns mentioned, in the spectators mind. But I am sure there are many more. But it is important to mention that the holy grail can be appropriately described in terms of what spectators consider it to be. Not magicians.
landmark
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Single card face down on the table. Spec names a card. Turn over the card and there it is. Repeat two more times.
Tortuga
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Interesting to see the different thoughts on this. I don't really have a holy grail in card magic. I suppose if I focus mainly on gambling stuff the center deal might be it. Or being able to do 8 perfect tabled faros without the audience falling asleep.

If I focused on mentalism, then perhaps ACAAN might be a good candidate. However there are now umpteen hundred methods out there so I'm not sure it qualifies anymore.

Some look upon certain sleights as "grail" moves and some have chosen to go the direction of effects. Interesting.
Josepher
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I first thought of ACAAN, but after some thought I think it would be the standard Invisible Deck Routine, done with a borrowed examinable deck.
Rupert Pupkin
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This question always manages to highlight just how unimaginative most card magicians are.

"OK, you can do anything in the world with a deck of cards. What do you do?"
"Um... Make a card appear at a number...?"
landmark
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Hmmm...I don't think that's unimaginative; it's what a gambler might wish in the real world to be able to do. To control the identity of a card at any point in the deck. Seems reasonable to me.

My proposal was to use the cards as tokens in as pure a test of esp as possible.

I suppose you could wish to have the cards turn into a million dollars or a dancing chorus line or solve world hunger, all of which would be imaginative I guess, but why use cards specifically, then?

A holy grail isn't only about imagination, it's about wish fulfillment.
sirbrad
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As far as effects go I personally prefer card in impossible location. Card in orange, card outside a window, card in box, card in wallet, card in sealed Slim Fast can, card in bottle, card in Pop-tart, etc. Although I never do the last one as it is too messy. But sleights/gimmicks are the tools that make that happen. As I said it is all a matter of style and preference as some card magicians like to rely solely on ungimmicked decks and sleight of hand, some just use gimmicked/gaffed decks, some like me use both and mix the two.

But I like a wide variety of card effects not just those. The more you know and learn over a long period of time though the harder it is to pick just one holy grail. And usually for beginners who do so, and do not know all that is out there yet; change their holy grail often.
The great trouble with magicians is the fact that they believe when they have bought a certain trick or piece of apparatus, and know the method or procedure, that they are full-fledged mystifiers. -- Harry Houdini
Rachmaninov
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In term of effect, I second Landmark. One single card on the table, face down. Spectator names any card, turn the table card face up, here it is. Put the card again face down. Repeat the effect two times. I’ve thought a lot on this, but no satisfying results were obtained, even with altering the conditions, especially the fact that you never touch anything. I have an idea to achieve that but the result is so uncertain compared to the efforts that I gave up…

I don’t see anything more powerful than that.
sirbrad
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That is the problem with that effect, it would be very hard to accomplish one time let alone multiple times. Also you would have to do it again because they would attribute the first time to "luck" and then be watching even more closely the second time. "The invisible deck" is just as powerful and a lot easier to accomplish, or "thought of card in balloon" etc which I also use a lot. The other way is only more impressive to the magician himself. But when I speak of HG tricks I am speaking of what is actually possible and out there already, not "theories" that would be HG IF you could do them.

But nonetheless there are many ways to make the spectator think that you actually did this anyway, and having a thought of card reverse itself is just one of the ways. The trick is usually a lot bigger in the spectator's memory than it actually really is, and with great misdirection and presentation it is even bigger. A lot of times magicians try to impress themselves first, then hope that the audience is also impressed. Sometimes they are, but sometimes their lack of knowledge and having no other comparison prevents them from fully understanding just how impressive something really was.

So sometimes it is the magician is who is impressed mostly, we call that "running without being chased". You also have to be careful about the "too perfect theory" as sometimes if something seems to be too perfect it usually is, and the only possible explanation that there is will also usually be the one that the audience will think of as well.
The great trouble with magicians is the fact that they believe when they have bought a certain trick or piece of apparatus, and know the method or procedure, that they are full-fledged mystifiers. -- Harry Houdini
Tortuga
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Quote:
On Jul 20, 2019, Chuck Finley wrote:
I have a question for the card folks out there: what to you think is the holy grail of card magic. This is meant to be totally opinion based. Is it the perfect bottom deal, center deal, maybe its as simple color monte, or anything really. Why do you think its the holy grail.


Seems to me this discussion has gotten off track. The way I understood it, Chuck was looking for EXISTING effects or sleights that are considered by you to be the holy grail.

Some have begun to conjure up fantasy effects. I don't think that is what was intended.
Josepher
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Sorry about that. My suggestion was a fantasy effect. I think there is no existing Holy Grail.
If there was it would be overdone, and eventually exposed.

Give me a Mem Deck, some perfected false shuffles and cuts, and a lay audience. That's my Grail.
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