(This is my first real essay HERE, so please, any comments/criticism are appreciated!)
Lately, I've seen a lot of people around here (mainly newer magicians) going 'I need new tricks. I'm wicked good with cards, 2, and im advanced!' Let's examine this....If you're 'advanced' and 'wicked good with cards', can't you just use your enormous library of sleights and invent some tricks on the spot? Most card magicians have a large knowledge of sleights, making it easy to amaze people on the spot with an original trick made up right then and there.
This leads me to the main point of my essay: Adding that needed flare. It annoys me that people dismiss Mark Wilson's Complete Course In Magic
or Card College Volume 1
as beginners material. They say 'Oh, I already know all my sleights' or 'I'm not a beginner.' Well, as many of you know, you can learn a lot from teaching something you know to someone, and that's exactly what I did.
One of my closest and dearest friends wanted to get into magic after I showed him a couple effects. Now, he's a lifeguard that works 10 hours a day, 3 days a week at a retirement home. He has about 7 of those hours to himself. So he decided to take up the art of Card Conjuring. He decided to log onto a 'Free Tricks!' website and learn from it. Now, for learning it off a lame site like that, he did pretty darn well. But I told him right then and there that he couldn't use that website EVER.
I then taught him basic sleights, looked through Mark Wilson's book with him, watched Born To Perform with him, and am going through Card Course Volume 1 with him currently. After looking through all of this 'beginner' material, I have noticed how many gems you can find.
Take Mark Wilson's book. He teaches a great version of the color changing aces where a spectators card is placed between the black aces, vanishes, and reappears between the red aces reversed in the deck. This is probably my favorite book, and after looking through it a few times, I've found that this can be turned into a routine that you can perform at a paid performance.
I've added some more advanced sleights to the effect to make the handling smoother and more believable. Instead of cutting the deck after the card vanishes, I pick up the deck and immediatly show the card sandwiched. Also, when showing the card to have vanished, I've made a pretty visual way of making it 'disappear'.
Now, when my friend performed this, I was impressed. He performed it fairly well, but his handling (not his fault) was so obvious. I mean, cutting the deck after it vanishes? Why do you need to do that? He also noticed this, and we sat down and started putting our minds together. We were then able to come up with some different and original sleights to use to make the effect killer!
What about Oil and Water? I’ve heard many people call this effect a ‘well known beginner trick’. Well, after watching my friend perform it, he asked why the changing and moving of the card has to be so slow. We then, once again, sat and though of a way to make it faster. Not only did we do that, but I showed him an easy way to show all 6 cards to be black, and then all 6 to be red.
He just received his copy of Card College 1, so I drove over and we had a ‘jam session’ today. He showed me what he learned from Mark Wilson and then I showed him the essentials. The point Is this: there is NO such thing as beginner tricks and material!
I remember reading somewhere that Eugene Berger (correct me if I’m wrong) has an entire show of JUST self working card tricks. A beginner card trick, or any trick for that matter, in the hands of a ‘professional’ or ‘an advanced magician’ should look like a miracle.
We all know the tricks Mac King teaches on the Worlds Greatest Magic? I use those all the time. I also use my Tel-E-Vision a lot too. With the right presentation, these effects will seem mind blowing. One time I goofed up on a DL kept going, and someone said ‘I know you were holding two cards, but how did it jump to the top?’
This essay has one main point: pick up your beginner material and a notebook! I now have an entire notebook from JUST today, and I only used 2 books and some easy tricks from Mac King. Imagine what a months work will look like! Start thinking of ways to add that extra flare to a trick, if you’re all as advanced as you say you are, you should have no problem.