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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Magic style that does not need many sleights? (9 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Alfred Borden
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Hello,

quick question: a friend of mine would like to take up magic, but he suffered a hand injury a few years ago that limits his mobility. This means that he can't really do many sleights and basically no knuckle-busting moves.

He has now asked me if he can still start doing magic and if there is a type of magic where you don't have to do a lot of sleights. (He also explicitly stated that he is not interested in self-working magic.)

I immediately thought of mentalism, but since I'm a complete beginner, I thought I'd ask here in the forum before answering him, because I may be mistaken.

What do you think?

Thanks.
will lane
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Hi there. I think your friend may have a slight misunderstanding of what self-working magic is. I'd define self-working as pretty much anything that doesn't involve sleight of hand. The performer may still have to do something or set something up, but no sleight of hand. I wonder if your friend thinks of self working as just those complex, boring, mathematical card tricks all over Youtube.

So taking a basic mentalism premise for example, if the performer writes a prediction on a fold of paper, and has the spectator select a number from a notepad, then proves his prediction correct by unfolding the paper, that premise could be accomplished in a self working (or sleight-free) way. Self working in the sense of no knuckle-busting, but it's not based on complex mathematical principles or a complex setup.

Mismag on Youtube teaches a lot of easy, self working card tricks. Some of them involve the boring, complex math tricks, but others are very clever and easy, requiring little to no sleight of hand. This is one of my favorites, and the principle can be used in other places (like Con Cam Coincidencia, another pretty much self working trick).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M70hhflpCbI
Fedora
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Magic that relies on props often doesn't require much hand dexterity,
For example many stage illusions. if he still has one good hand
And some mobility with the other most things with rope or handkerchiefs
might be doable as well.
NWJay
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Another source for “non-boring” self-working Card Magic is Roberto Giobbi Card College Light. Three books of sleightless card magic that is of professional quality used by many pro’s. Definitely worth a look for him.
funsway
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old things in new ways - new things in old ways
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The concept of "sleight" should not be confused with "dexterity." Because of increasing hand disabilities I can no longer do 80% of what I usedta could -
so, I have developed new sleights and modified old ones - no knuckle busters but many more profound for the subtleties.

So, please till your friend not to afraid of "sleights' - just to find ones that he can do and build effects around them.
Psychological ploys can often substitute for "secret moves" too. When one does something sneaky can be as important as the how of it.
No need for expensive gaffs/gimmicks either.

have him write me is he wishes ken@eversway.com
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

eBooks at https://www.lybrary.com/ken-muller-m-579928.html questions at ken@eversway.com
Mr. Woolery
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There are absolutely areas of magic with minimal sleights. I would suggest learning a good rope routine. Professor’s Nightmare is a classic for a reason. There are moves, but they don’t demand the same level of dexterity as most card work does.

That said, can your friend do basic shuffling? If so, he will have the dexterity to do a whole lot of good card tricks. A gimmicked version of 6 Card Repeat would be well within his capabilities if he can just count cards from one hand to the other.

Rick Maue suffered an accident that made certain kinds of magic impossible for him. If you want to invest in a dvd set, he has such on the market. He refers to his work as VDM magic, meaning the Venus De Milo could do it.

There is much mentalism that requires a lot of dexterity and skill, but there’s plenty with little more than good performance skills and knowing the secret.

I personally suggest Mark Wilson’s Complete Course in Magic. Terrific book. Has a lot of different kinds of magic represented, so he will find it a valuable resource in general. If I were sitting down with him to work out some material, that’s the book I’d open first.

Patrick
Mr. Woolery
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Want some real inspiration? Look for Mahdi Gilbert. A skillful magician. With no hands. I have no idea how, but if your friend really wants to, he can.

Patrick
Nikodemus
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A lot of powerful magic effects can be created by using secret information, rather than sleights.

For example -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ati5Tvt5ToI&t=222s
EndersGame
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Look into card magic by John Bannon and by Nick Trost.

Both rely on clever psychological subtleties rather than difficult sleight of hand.
dkelten
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It is remarkable to me how many "simple" sleight of hand techniques are able to provide impressively strong magic. I wish I could recall where, but I remember reading a study a psychologist did about the cross-cut force, and how many people it could completely fool even under the most obvious of presentations. For most "good" magic, it is more about the what the trick is, not how it is achieved.

But I am a huge fan of mentalism-style magic as well, so definitely a path worth going down.
EndersGame
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Quote:
On Nov 30, 2021, dkelten wrote:
I wish I could recall where, but I remember reading a study a psychologist did about the cross-cut force, and how many people it could completely fool even under the most obvious of presentations.

Was it perhaps this one, from the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology?

The article is entitled "The apparent action causation: Using a magician forcing technique to investigate our illusory sense of agency over the outcome of our choices":

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10......20932916

There were also a couple of great articles about this over on The Jerx, reporting on tests with different forces. While not a scientific study, the results were somewhat surprising in that the force which spectators considered the most "fair" was the Cross Cut Force:

Previous article: https://www.thejerx.com/blog/2017/10/8/the-force-awakens
Main article: https://www.thejerx.com/blog/2017/10/8/the-force-unleashed
Rebis
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There's a bounce of reference for sleightless, but gaffless (card)magic.

I'm mainly thinking about mem-decks, stacks, and "illogical" moves.

Fulves (although he doesn't like self-working tricks it's worth a read), Scarne, and quite a few routines from Harry Lorayne rely heavily on presentation and on "jedi mind tricks".
DelMagic
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I would recommend Jim Steinmeyer's Impuzzibilities books. There are about ten of them though some may be out of print.
BCS
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Alfred…

I don’t know how bad your friend’s are, I suffer from nerve damage and sometimes lose control of my right had. Though I can’t move as I once did… I still can manage some card moves and the Cups and Balls. I just need to keep practicing to keep my hands nimble.

I wish your friend the best of luck.
Blaine G
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While a bit "old school," Tommy Wonder's thoughts are relevant as your friend will need to develop a good handle on misdirection:
1. Drop The ‘Mis’!
2. Positive Attention Always Beats Negative Attention
3. Create Your Routine With Misdirection In Mind
4. The Audience Follows YOU, Not The Other Way Around
5. Forget About It!
thegreatscungilli
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As mentioned, there are a lot of card illusions that actually don't require any slights. Think of using r***h-sm****h, an ind*****r card, a pu****d card, a st**k or ma****s, a st***y card, the Viking version of Casino Royal or check out Pop Haydns 6 Card Repeat routine.

A coin illusion that you can consider would be the Midas Cup routine from Viking or take a look at using a ra***e box.

Daryls' videos on card reveals and his encyclopedia on card magic have quite a few illusions that use these principles also Annemanns' "202 Methods of Forcing" has a number of methods that don't require sleights or only require some easily done moves like shuffles and cuts etc.

There is also a wealth of books etc. on self-working card illusions, some are better than others but there are a lot that can be used.

As BCS mentioned, sometimes you can do more than you think you can. The little finger on my left hand got injured some years ago and it doesn't move at all but with some practice I can mostly adapt to using the other hand or other fingers to do sleights. There are obviously some that I can't do so I just adapt to another method or an illusion that doesn't require them.
Bill Hegbli
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Get your friend the book at any bookstore, called, Scarne on Card Magic. If he can read and remember, he will have a wealth of real magic card effects, to baffle everyone including, Magicians. The book is only a pocket book and only around $4.00. IT might be a little more these days, but not by much.

I gave the book to a little girl, who wanted something for "Show and Tell" at school. She went to your room and came down 30 minutes later. Showed me a trick from the book, and blew me away. I ask her what page it was on, and she smiled, and refused to tell me the page or name of the effect.

Scarne has another, book as well, so buy both, you will be glad you did.

Just let your friend enjoy fooling you. Tell him he did a great job. Take him to lunch, and get him to show others dinning another effect. Help him Build his confidence.
Julie
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I agree with Bill's post. It would be worthwhile to check on the Big Auction and even conventional used book dealers for a hard bound book titled Scarne's Tricks. This is both Scarne's Card Tricks & Magic tricks combined into one well-produced volume at a very reasonable price.

Julie
EndersGame
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Quote:
On Sep 23, 2021, Alfred Borden wrote:
He has now asked me if he can still start doing magic and if there is a type of magic where you don't have to do a lot of sleights. (He also explicitly stated that he is not interested in self-working magic.)


Quote:
On Sep 23, 2021, will lane wrote:
Hi there. I think your friend may have a slight misunderstanding of what self-working magic is.


I agree that the friend has got this wrong. Many of the best magic teachers encourage people to start with self-working magic, so that they can focus on the presentation. This article may help convince him that self-working card magic isn't quite what he thinks:

Why You Should Try Self-Working Card Tricks

Some of the best card tricks in the world are self-working, but when well presented are completely amazing. Look up "Out of This World" by Paul Curry as a superb example. Here are videos that show performances of 10 of the top self-working card tricks you'll find. Show some of these videos to your friend, and he might just change his mind about the value of self-working card tricks.

10 of the Best Self-Working Card Tricks in the World

I suspect he's just seen bad self-working tricks, done badly. These, on the other hand, are outstanding self-working tricks, performed well.
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