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 Post subject: Hard Hitting Cards, An article on impromptu card magic
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2005 6:00 pm 
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Penguin

Joined: 18 Sep 2004
Posts: 86
Pick a card....any card. What is it about finding one card from a deck of 52 so amazing? Any layman can do it with time through a simple matter of process and elimination; if the first card isn't theirs, try the next one. Finding a card on the first try might be kindof impressive, but all in all, the hunt itself is simply not very impressive.

On the other end of the spectrum, there is extreme complexity. Fancy cuts, cards flying in every which way, fast and furious card magic which draws a lot of attention to the magician. The problem with this high octane form of magic, while visually stunning and difficult to perform, is that it confuses the audience to a point where the magic is no longer fair. The magic looses its luster because the magician has an edge on the audience, and everyone watching is aware of it.

So, when is magic REAL magic? A great magician by the name of Tyler Erickson taught me, "Magic is about being fair. If I were a real magician, I should be able to tell a random person, 'Hey, pick up that coin.' Then I should be able to snap and the coin will vanish. I want the audience to think that I am no doing anything at all."

With this knowledge, where does one amp up his or her card magic without falling to either end of the card spectrum? Simplicity. For years, I have been doing a simple transposition routine that, for some reason, seems to get one of the biggest reactions out of all of my card magic. Using three simple sleights, I have found that the following impromptu card effect to be incredibly devastating.

EFFECT: A card is freely select. The card is placed back into the middle of the deck(Shuffling is optional at this point). The magicians points out that the card is not on the bottom, nor is it on the top. Placing the top card inbetween the spectators hands, the magician then asks that a second card be selected. After the second card is selected, the magician asks, "Would that be crazy if this was the card that was initially chosen?" He then states, "Would it be crazier if I switched it with the card between the spectator's hands?" Tapping the card to the spectators hands, the magician reveals that the card he is holding is the card that was placed into the spectators hands initially, and the spectator now holds their selected card.


This effect is one of the most devestating effects I do, and it is also, coincidentally, one of the simplest effects to do. Why is the effect so devestating? Because:

1. It happens in the spectators hands
2. Everything is completly fair to the spectator
3. The card was not only discovered, but it transposed through THEIR hands.

With no fancy cuts, no peeks or key cards, no funky looking switches or other crazy demonstrations with your hands, then sleight of hand, in the spectators mind, is out of question, leaving the simple explanation of pure magic.

Pure magic should be the goal of every magician. If someone is a true magician, than it should be very simple for them to do the impossible. They shouldn't have to do fancy cuts and flourishes to find a card. Tricks shouldn't need visible set up...decks shouldn't have to be gimicked....the best magic I have ever done is magic done with a shuffled and borrowed deck. Why? Because the spectators all know that the deck is ordinary, every motion I am doing looks fair and ordinary, but for some reason, I am able to do amazing things without actually doing anything. The only explanation left in the spectators mind is that I am a real magician, and my magic is 100% legitimate.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 9:09 am 
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Penguin

Joined: 20 Jul 2005
Posts: 134
i completly agree with everything said
and that trick is definitly a good one to use, especialy if someone juts asks you to do a trick, no setup, no gaffs (i hate gaffs btw), shufled borowed deck


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2005 8:12 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 14 Mar 2005
Posts: 2384
true ...... true.

but the problem is that a lot of laymen absolutely hate pick a card tricks. especially if you haven't established your professionalism. many times i would bring up the topic without doing magic and people would say they hated card tricks. i know this is true because i used to hate card tricks as well until i learned sleights.

however, you can always counter this with the end result.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 2:05 am 
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Penguin

Joined: 26 Nov 2005
Posts: 7
Im gonna use that idea in my next magic routine at school. Its not revieling, its just inspiring, and it gave me the perfect idea for a real shocker! Thanks for the essay, it was truly wise.

(yay first post :P)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2006 12:36 am 
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born to perform.

Joined: 28 Jan 2006
Posts: 2608
Location: My Mommy Says I Can't Tell You
I agree with you on how simple effects get the best reactions. The best magic effects can be decribed in one sentence, the card rose from the deck, or he changed the card that was in my hand, or the coin vanished, etc. But I don't agree fully about the use of fancy cuts and flourishes. Yes, if you do that stuff, the spectator may dismiss your magic to be sleight of hand. But sometimes, if your spectators do not know about you and you bring out a deck of cards, they think Uncle Charlie card tricks and they may not take you seriously. If you are a pro and you're doing a paid performance, the spectators will take you seriously, they know you're worth watching. But if you're like me a 15 year-old, or if you're performing on the streets, doing something a little fancy can establish you as worth watching and paying attention to. It really goes both ways, I usualy do a pendulam cut or a LePaul Spread here and there, but once I've established my credability, I stop, make them forget about it with some strong magic.

That's what I think, of course it's my opinion and I'm sure many of you may disagree.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 3:36 pm 
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Penguin

Joined: 20 May 2006
Posts: 8
i was doing a few tricks yesterday, and one of them was exactly the trick you described. today, i read your article and you are right, it really gets the biggest reaction.
tricks should be simple, fair AND happen in the hands of the spectator.

another trick was ashes to palm and i had a great reaction too.


Morphy


(sorry for bad english)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 4:05 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 12 Mar 2005
Posts: 2247
Location: Bath, UK
I would be sorely tempted if I heard someone say they hated card tricks to simply take out a deck and do a colour change. Instantly, you have shown them a direct, simple illusion involving cards that goes beyond any experience of 'card tricks' they have ever had.

In my experience most people love card tricks, they just don't like the dull ones. Once it's been established that you actually know your stuff people pay attention when you break out the cards, because they know that close-up magicians use cards. Most people have never seen a proper close-up magician, or if they have it was a long time ago and they loved it. It's all about dispelling any idea that you are going to do a 'trick' any 7-year-old could do.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 5:05 pm 
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Moderator

Joined: 21 Feb 2003
Posts: 14016
Location: Las Vegas, NV/Albuquerque, NM/Pensacola, FL
I agree with this whole heartedly. Mike Close has a powerpoint demo in his lectures that shows the idea of "pure magic." If I'm doing a Coins Across for real, I should just be able to open and close my hands and the coins jump. The idea from their is to make the specs think that's what they're seeing.


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