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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workers » » Again with the pass, my pass? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

anathema
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Hi all, I've spent about 3-4 days now trying to learn the classic pass. Ive gotten it down okay, but now I'm at the stage where I need tips to improve my technique.

I've just posted this video in another forum but no one is gonna comment on it there. Please, I need your help, give me all the tips you can!

Here is the video, excuse the bad quality of this terrible Logitech Quickcam Express. (new webcam soon I hope.)
Just click the link on that html page thing I made (Angelfire doesn't allow you to link non-html files from non-angelfire pages)

http://www.angelfire.com/film/cardmagic/classicpass.html

If anyone cares, I've also recorded a riffle pass, but there is definate flashing. Maybe some tips there? (besides just go faster:))

http://www.angelfire.com/film/cardmagic/rifflepassbad.html
PRmagic
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Just downloaded both videos and i cant see them on my computer. Thats strange because my connection here at work is T-1 and i watch videos and movie clips all the time and have no problem but when Quicktime opens your video...it plays a blank screen for about 10 sec. Can someone else download it and see if it works so you can help anathema improve his pass. Im sure he'll apreciate it.
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Lance Pierce
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Anathema,

As far as passes go, yours are about as good as any I've ever seen.

As far as passes go, they also suffer from the same inherent weaknesses that all passes do. This isn't your fault; it's just how passes are. There is a fraction of a moment that I call "the get ready," when the performer frames up and gets everything set. There is another fraction of a moment when the person doing the pass mentally says, "Okay...go!" And then there's the fraction of a moment when the fingers, hands, and arms all tense up and then relax.

I know, I know...it's just me. I've yet to see a pass that doesn't look like a move, that doesn't look like something that clearly says, "Hey, the hand is quicker than the eye."

I think this is where a lot of people who vehemently defend the pass don't see eye to eye with me. They're looking at the moment when the pass happens and seeing that it appears okay to them, but they don't look at the moment just before and the moment just after and ask, "What does this entire picture look like?" If you can solve those problems, you'll have a miracle move on your hands.

Best,



TCR
brownitus
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TCR,

http://www.seemagic.co.uk/zkok/tchpasse.rm

What do you think of that? Just would like your opinion.

peace.
"Everything that can be invented has been invented." - Charles H. Duell, US Commissioner of Patents, 1899
TheAmbitiousCard
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I think if you're going to do the pass, you should make sure you study not just the move
but what it is you look likewhen you do it, just like TenCardRow says.

Ask yourself this: When you do the pass, are you hunched over your deck trying to hide the move and tense, our are you just at the right time, relaxing your shoulders, dropping your hands out of frame, exhaling, and looking up at your audience with a slight smile?

I'd study Slydini for tips on this. His version of Crazymans' Handcuffs, "Rubberband Miracle" or whatever it's called has some great notes in there about when to do a move, where your hands should be, where to look, what your posture should be and it also says quite firmly that the only reason anything seems magical is because of proper use of misdirection.

So if they didn't see the move but suspect you did something because your eyes blinked, you twitched, or whatever...YOU LOSE! Regardless of how invisible your slight is.
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Lance Pierce
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Quote:
On 2002-08-09 15:27, brownitus wrote:
TCR,

http://www.seemagic.co.uk/zkok/tchpasse.rm

What do you think of that? Just would like your opinion.

peace.


Hi, there,

People send me clips all the time, and it's hard to tell sometimes in the video medium exactly what's really being done. Passes usually look better on video because the frames (whether digital or analog) don't catch every moment of an action, and the brain fills in the gaps.

It looks like you're doing a pass to bring the card to second from the top followed by a one-handed top palm, a replacement, then another pass to return the card to the center. It's a pretty good pass.

If you watch the video and focus on the near corner of the deck (the corner closest to the left forefinger), there's a fairly good retention of the top of the pack (I'd be interested to see if you can get the same retention in person). If you watch the back corner, though, the corner nearest the left wrist, you can see it fly up and around -- at least, that's what the video tells me.

However, a moment's misdirection will take care of that. What I'm concerned with here is that same old build of tension and sudden release we often see in passes. Your hands are good -- very good, actually -- and there's not much excessive movement to speak of, but there's something furtive about it that's over quickly. Part of it can be seen in the wrists, and the left index finger comes out for just an instant. In addition, the right hand tenses up as it provides shade for the exchange of packets.

And then there's the framing up of the deck in that iron grip that's only used to do the pass (not that the casual layperson would ever notice).

Let's say you have a card selected. This is a pretty casual action, and you're completely relaxed as you hold the cards so the spectator can take one out. Every muscle in your hands, wrists, and arms are relatively loose (not so loose that you'd drop the cards, but you know what I mean). If you can maintain that same level of relaxation without spiking up the tension level as you square the deck, get your break, execute the pass, and then riffle, dribble, or whatever your preferred cover is, then you'll REALLY have something! Smile

Ever had the fortune of watching Steve Freeman or Steve Forte work? Ever notice the pace of their movements? How casual and unassuming? Not flashy, not fidgety, not fast and furious? I know this style isn't for everyone, but many times the effect is stronger when things move at a relaxed pace, when the spectator believes he or she can really see everything that's going on. Vernon was always telling everybody to slow down, slow down. This can make the magic so much more amazing because you've removed one of the possible explanations that a spectator might come up with -- that you were too fast for them. In a stressful world, it's very interesting to watch someone perform who's completely relaxed...

Cheers!


TCR

Smile
brownitus
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TCR,

I thank you for your intelligent comments!

I would like to make it clear that the person performing in my above linked video is Zenneth Kok, and not myself. I apologize for failing to have made this clear. It is not me, it's Zenneth.

TCR, you are correct about the pass with one card break, one-handed top palm and pass again.

You make many valid points. The iron grip for the pass is definitely nothing fishy to any spectators I've performed for, as you only need to do it for a second or so and then relax. I like to always keep the deck in motion, hands moving, etc. to maintain the outlook that nothing could possibly be happening.

Though I do genuinely agree with you about the pass, when performing for laymen, a properly worked-on pass that one has dedicated enough time and effort to coupled with the one second (if even that) of misdirection required makes it completely invisible to the spectator(s). I have performed the pass as a card control for about a 10-person crowd at my office and I used proper misdirection to get 3 chosen cards to the top. The thing was, I know all of the people I performed for as close friends more than just colleagues, and I know when they would give the expression that they "saw something but don't know what," and no one had a clue.

The tension is definitely something I try to work on. It's difficult to be relaxed and do a quick and smooth pass for me, but I'm working very hard at it.

And yes, I actually regard Steve Forte as my #1 card worker. He is my favourite, hands down and I own pretty much everything he's put out. His Gambler's Protection Series tapes are like horror films-- it is quite scary when I must remember he is human! Smile

peace.
"Everything that can be invented has been invented." - Charles H. Duell, US Commissioner of Patents, 1899
Lance Pierce
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Quote:
On 2002-08-09 19:56, brownitus wrote:
The iron grip for the pass is definitely nothing fishy to any spectators I've performed for, as you only need to do it for a second or so and then relax.


Oh, I'm not going to disagree with you here. What I'm looking at is what we're striving toward. I mean, as artists. Let's say we visualize in our mind what a perfectly magical card trick might look like, just as clean and as impossible as we can make it. Now, we know we might not ever be able to achieve this ideal, but it's something to strive for, right? Because the closer we can get to it, the closer we can get to being really magical, right?

Now, in this perfect, ideal handling in your mind, is there any point where the deck is framed up, the left fingers gripping the ends from above, the right thumb stretching across the deck? I'm NOT saying that moment won't fly in real performance...but in our dream trick, could it ever be there?

If we go through all the steps in our visualized ideal and look at them carefully, which handling comes closer to achieving that look and feel? An unseen pass? Or an unseen cut? Given that each might be equally invisible (with proper context), which one comes closest to our perfect trick?

Michael Skinner often pointed out that we should arrange our magic so that if it was filmed and every frame of the film was examined one at a time, no single frame would hold a picture that wasn't aesthetically pleasing; each and every frame would show a picture that's balanced, graceful, and artistic.

If you break a pass down into each individual moment and examine it, how many frames actually meet this expectation?

It's just something to think about...



TCR
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