theory11 — Magic Tricks & the World's Finest Playing Cards
New York, New York
Los Angeles, California
Our team is composed of the best of the best minds in the magic industry - from performers to creators and consultants.
From mind-blowing illusions to the world's finest playing cards, theory11 values quality over quantity.
theory11 artists are the foremost experts in the conjuring arts - from new upcoming talent to magic's greatest historians.
We produce world-class shows and live-events. Learn more about The Magician at The NoMad and what we can do for you!
Our team has consulted on countless projects relating to magic on stage and on screen around the world.
Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Gabriel Z., Jan 12, 2020.
Okie dokie...Here it is:
May I ask what the intention of posting the video is? Are you looking for feedback? Just putting it out there?
Just putting it out there. But feedback is certainly welcome.
Overall this is a good start.
However, your top hand tenses significantly when executing the move, and the bottom hand is very ... 'sharp' with how you're moving the packet. Both of these are dead give aways.
The top hand should more or less stay completely still. The middle finger and thumb serve as a pivot point for the bottom packet but otherwise the top hand does more or less nothing. The bottom hand - Instead of thinking about snapping that packet around, think more of opening the hand to make space for the bottom packet. Slightly lift the top hand at that point and it happens like machinery. Opening the hand a bit more if you're able keeps the noise down.
The shift/pass should be executed when no one is looking. Therefore it's more important to be silent and relaxed than super fast and utterly covered.
Thanks , I'll definitely take those points into consideration.
You've got so many good tips to share on the pass, is there any place to see your pass, Christopher?
Rereading this, it sounds as if I was doubting your expertise. I'm very sorry if it came across this way! I'm merely interested in seeing (or not seeing?) good executions of this extremely difficult move.
Nope. There's not much video of my performances in general and I haven't performed card magic in a professional capacity in ... at least five or six years.
That's a shame. Though it might be a topic for a different thread, may I ask why you stopped doing (most) card magic and started doing mentalism instead?
In short - evolution of character forced a change of material.
To explain further - As I developed my persona of The Witch Doctor, and developed genuine skills of suggestion, story telling, hypnosis, body/personality reading, and so on I found that I was developing a particular style of material that cards just didn't suit. When I began producing my own solo shows, I had a strict time limit of 45 minutes in most cases. For me that's, on average, 4-6 effects. So when I write a show I list out everything I can think of that I know I can do that suits the theme as well as the length of the routine. I then cut out anything that is weak for the theme until I am within the time limit. Generally speaking, card tricks never make it past that first cut.
Everything I did without cards was stronger than anything I did with them.
As the persona develops I'm focusing more and more on genuine skills. In this context a card trick is right out the window. Though ironically I am thinking about bringing cards back for a memory demonstration, but I am not sure about it.
I was just reminded of a relevant story. James Brown (the hypnotist in England, not the singer) said in an interview he was at some convention and there were a bunch of kids showing each other their pass. He was casually watching for a moment and one of them holds a deck out towards him and says, "Hey, show us your pass!".
He takes the cards, looks at the crowd and says, "What? Here? Now? In front of all these people?"
"Ok well I've already done it."
"What! We weren't watching!"
"Yeah that's the point."
I disagree. The top hand should be uninvolved in the mechanics of the move, but it should be in motion.
First, after you cut the card to the middle, take your top hand away and let the spectators see the deck laying in your somewhat open hand.. This is an "open" move that gives the spectators the sense that you have completed returning the card to the middle of the deck and nothing else has happened (which it hasn't!). As long as you are aware of your angles, you can keep your pinkie holding what it is holding.
Then, bring the top hand back to square the deck (think running thumb and fingers along the short side of the deck). As your hand is in motion, it provides cover for the move. Of course, when you do this, your attention should be elsewhere and it should look like you are just squaring the deck out of habit. When you are done the move, keep deck in mechanics grip and move the top hand away.
The synchronization of the move with the squaring motion makes the pass more smooth because you don't have to do the move quickly because you have cover. The cover is both the hand passing over the deck by squaring it and the larger motion of bringing the hand back to the deck. Remember, the larger motion covers the smaller motion.
You can provide additional cover by directing your attention with your eyes and your body (think shifting your head and shoulders). So when you put the card in and pull your hand away, look to and talk to a person on your right. As you bring your hand back to square the deck, shift your attention to someone on your left. You to start talking as you shift your attention (and bring your hand around) and do the move mid-sentence. After the move, you can direct your attention to the middle of the audience.
So I don't use the pass to control a single card -- there are a lot better methods.
I'm sensing that I started a battle of the wizards.
Did you develop those skills as a result of practicing mentalism already, or did you start doing mentalism as a result of developing these skills?
Great story, great tips. Thank you both!
What do you prefer?
Must've slipped onto the cursive button, didn't mean this to sound so intense. (Jeez, it sounds like a CIA interrogation!)
Actually, I suspect Christopher would agree with me and that his statement meant that the upper hand didn't have to move to help with the sleight.
My post is a good example of the thinking of the "Spanish School" (Thread Here) with a focus on not just the mechanics but on the context within performance.
No, those are much worse.
Sometimes I think that emoji was made specially for you and your profile picture. Also, which methods do you prefer to control a single card?!