Dan Sperry - Card Manipulation 101 v1

Dan Sperry
Card Manipulation 101 v1

So when this 1on1 was released I was quite excited. Not only did I recently see Dan's act live (and have become a fan of his work) but I have wanted to get into card manipulation for quite sometime. For the past year I have thought of getting McBride's DVD's on the subject but just could not afford to put that much money into something when I had to buy other props and pieces that I currently use.

Enter this new 1on1 series.

I don't think I even need to touch on production quality as I think we all fully know the kind of videos T11 produces.

In this 1on1 you learn:
Back Palm
Back Palm Production
Roy Benson's Strictly Underhanded Production
Thumb Fan
Diminishing Fan
One Handed Fan
Continuous Fan Production
Packet Vanish

There is also a large section on the cards and items you will need for manipulation as well as some hand exercises.

Dan is a very good teacher and explains everything as if he was just sitting there with you saying "Dude, this is a back palm.". If you have never seen Dan's work before he has been described as "infamously mercurial" and that shines through this 1on1 in many hilarious ways.

All in all I knew most of the material covered in this 1on1 (mostly self-taught) but wanted to see the ins and outs of these moves as well as Dan's thoughts on them. I was most certainly not disappointed.

In addition to the moves and techniques Dan also talks a bit about framing and how and where to perform card manipulation.

If you want to get into card manipulation I really think that this is a great and inexpensive way to start. If nothing else it can definitely spark your interest and perhaps give you the nudge to purchase more expensive resources. I know I will be following this 1on1 series and look forward to the ones to come.

P.S. Yes, I know I said I was waiting a while to get this 1on1 but I couldn't resist... Dan... magical brother... you are straining my wallet this month... haha

Deleted member 2755

Great to know. The 1 on 1's have only been getting better once the 2nd run started. I have no complaints of the 1 on 1's coming out over the past several weeks. Looks like Sperry did a great job on this. I'll get it someday.

Jun 20, 2008
theory 11 or D&D

I've been interested in manipulations for a while. but i was wondering if i should get the 1 on 1 from theory 11 or get the one from dan and dave's website with farrell dillon. here's the link in case some ppl dont know about it.

Jun 20, 2008

I actually really learnt a lot from the D&D video,

Might have to get this and compare it!

Have to agree with Sinful aswell, though im disapointed in Propaganda, the 1-on-1s have been much much better! The array of artists is definately impressive

Alright, if you get the one here tell me what you think. btw, did you get D&D's vol 1 and 2?

Thanks again!
Sep 20, 2008
nice to know, im oogling over sperry's tatoo's on his arm. damn. that mustve hurt. and it looks fresh, he mustve retouched that quite a lot.

anyways, i loved the packet vanish, and i think its gonna be a good purchase. quite affordable as well. cheers for the review!

(loved the last production btw)


theory11 moderator
Looks cool :) As far as the 1on1's in comparison to the OnDemands - I much, much prefer to feel like I actually own what I paid for rather than pay for access to a streaming video.

Then again, you can understand why they did it that way to prevent sharing and whatnot...

Looks cool :) As far as the 1on1's in comparison to the OnDemands - I much, much prefer to feel like I actually own what I paid for rather than pay for access to a streaming video.

Then again, you can understand why they did it that way to prevent sharing and whatnot...


I really like the way Sankey and Lybrary do it. You have access to an infinite amount of downloads. Best of both worlds to me.

I've been interested in manipulations for a while. but i was wondering if i should get the 1 on 1 from theory 11 or get the one from dan and dave's website with farrell dillon. here's the link in case some ppl dont know about it.


I own Backpalming Vol. 1 from D&D and I also have Dan's 1 on 1. I most definitely recommend the 1 on 1. The ins and outs in Backpalming Vol. 1 weren't really explained well by Farrell. I found myself sitting there confused because I wasn't sure of the exact position my hand and fingers should be. Although Backpalming Vol. 1 teaches some things that Dan's 1 0n 1 does not, I would wait for the next 1 on 1 to see if he goes into things such as showing both sides of your hand empty and producing multiple cards.

Dan explains everything in great detail and not once did I have to stop and think about what he was doing. So I highly recommend Dan's 1 on 1 over Farrell's stuff. Dan just teaches better in my opinion.

(Oh, and no offense to Farrell Dillon, but I actually knew who Dan was before I made the purchase. So going into Dan's video I knew it was definitely going to be good.)
Dec 18, 2008
United States
hey guys glad you're liking the video!!!

...the next 1 on 1 for manipulation will go more into back palming, loading cards, perfect production, hand turn over garbage, yada yada...then in volume 3 i strip...

enjooooooyyyyy haha

Oh lord! I loved volume 1, and the second volume sounds great, but I don't think I can handle the third! Lol! Great work Dan. These videos got me completely re-energized about learning card manipulation.

Apr 3, 2009
Thanks for the great review. I have been wanting to start card manipulation for a long time, but also didn't want to spend so much money on Jeff Mcbride's videos. You have convinced me to buy this and start learning some manipulation. Thanks.
Jul 2, 2009
An alternative review.

I'm Ylliaster and this is my first post with Theory 11 forums.
Having been an enthusiast and student of the magical arts for nearly a quarter of a century, I felt compelled to comment on the review of "Dan Sperry's Card Manipulation 1 on 1" by Cliff Bumgardner.
I found this review to be a bit problematic for me, as I'm sure it will be for others who have viewed Mr Sperry's material.
Whilst there is no denighing Sperry's rare talent as a performer, this DVD prompted me to ask several questions. Most pertenent was the following:

Does this material contribute to our art?

Sperry's 35 minute tutorial does not live up to the impressive list of "effects" it promises in the blurb - infact, the 9 "effects" really only amount three limited sequences:

1) "Back Palm" and "Back Palm Production" are, in effect, the same move in forward and reverse - there is limited point learning one without the other
Benson's "Strictly Underhanded Production" is a decidedly cumbersome varient of a backpalm production, and rarely used by serious manipulators.

2) "Thumb Fan", "Diminishing Fan", "One Handed Fan" are more accurately described as utilities than effects and, with the inclusion of the "packet vanish" comprise of a fairly derivative diminishing card sequence.

3) The "Continuous Fan Production" is well presented, but Sperry's explanation lacks finesse and its application is out of place in a beginner-level tutorial.

Further more, two thirds of the DVD presentation is dominated by Sperry waxing lyrical than providing concise clear instruction... he really takes his time getting to the point which can at times border on the irritating.

While I admire Mr Sperry's initutive for getting his stuff "out there", it does nothing to add or provide any innovation on this subject... anyone truly interested and dedicated to the discipline of card manipulation should invest in classics such as Lewis Ganson's "Expert Card Manipulation" (a must for any serious card-worker).
McBride's DVDs, whilst far from being a "definitive collection" are well produced, paced and mercifully free of McBride's personal anecdotes - he keeps to the point packs a LOT of useful magic and advice into each presentation, making for a logical and strong foundation - and not really that expensive when you consider how many volumes of Sperry you'll need to purchase at a rate of 3 effects per disc.

I am frankly surprised at Bumgardner's dismissal of the McBride set, as the notion being " (just not able to) afford to put that much money into something when I had to buy other props and pieces that I currently use " smacks of the things going wrong in the world of contemporary magic.

In effect, this statement says "why bother spending precious money and time on a solid grounding when you can cut corners and get lots of other cool stuff"

Card manipulation takes SERIOUS TIME to master - if you're going to devote your time to learning, do you really want to settle for second best?
Money is tight for us all, but I'd sooner spend my hard earned cash on a substantial, acclaimed source than a glossy quick fix of limited application

Having read both reviews, I encourage readers to do their homework and make their own minds up on this one.

Kind regards,


First let me address my dismissal of McBride's DVD's. I am not a card manipulator and have never wanted to be. I am a close-up and parlor performer with no interest in ever performing a card manipulation routine. I never purchased Jeff's DVD's because I simply could not afford to invest $30+ into something I will not use. When these 1on1's came along it was a perfect chance for me to study the basics of card manipulation without the monetary investment in a set like McBride's.I am young and, at that time, I did not have the money to put forth towards Manipulation which was a skill set that, again, I never intended to use. My interest in studying such moves was simply out of a love for the art and learning more about techniques used within it.

I also did make the statement that these 1on1's could be a great way to "get wet" and see if you are interested in card manipulation and, if so, you can continue your studies elsewhere. After learning these basic moves I actually looked into McBride's set but, again, did not purchase it as it is simply not something I will use.

Yet again I return you to my review(s) of the Card Manipulation 1on1 series where I stated that if I had purchased a larger set of DVD's on these techniques it would have been too much. These 1on1's provide a good pace at which to learn without learning too much and feeling overwhelmed. That alone is why I recommended these videos to people just beginning manipulation.

As for your opinions on Dan's "lyrical waxing", this is just personal preference. You are fully entitled to your opinion that it was too much but I also believe that others, like myself, will find what he has to say to be entertaining and certainly informative at times.

Is this 1on1 (and the series that followed it) a comprehensive guide to learning card manipulation? No, but it was never intended to do so. It was intended to bring a kind of structured routining and a different style of magic to the generation of magicians that this site reaches. I think it most certainly did that and offers a good introduction into the vast world of card manipulation.

Jul 2, 2009
Dear Mr Bumgardner,
It relieves me to hear that you're not considering taking up card manipulation as a feature of your performance... your comments on "the love of the art", while I'm sure were well-intentioned aren't exactly the truth, are they?
Let's be honest with ourselves for the moment... you just wanted to know how it was done, right? There's no shame... we all started out like this, I guess.
But as for "love of the art"... well, someone with a true, deep abiding love would avoid this type of material as it cheapens and commercializes what we do... which is why I have my nephew's copy of Mr Sperry's DVD and he has my copies of Ganson's "Routined Manipulation vol 1-3.".
Mr Bumgardner, there are some things in this world that should be free, readily available or (at least) inexpensively priced, and some things that should be earned, less they become commonplace, abused, mishandled and ultimately diminished.
Card manipulation is one of these treasures.

Perhaps some insight into my own experience would help you understand.

As a boy, I was fascinated with magic, particularly the classics, such as the cups and balls, Chinese linking rings and of course our topic effect. I grew up watching Doug Henning, Harry Blackstone Jr, Shimada and was even fortunate enough to see one of the last live performances of the late, great Dai Vernon.

I lived in a fairly backwater area of suburbia, and would happily spend my $2 pocket money to travel every Saturday into the city to spend time in the reference section of the municiple library. They had the usual gamut of children's magic books, but also a shiny new copy of Mark Wilsons Complete Course, Hugard and Brau, Bobo and a thumbed, dog eared copy of Ganson's "Inner Secrets of Card Magic" - everything a boy could dream of.

I spent 3 hours each saturday in a vinyl chair at the back, backpalming cards, dropping coins, and figuring ways how not to let my clinking mini-rings aggrivate the librarian.

Afterward, I would go to a thing called a "magic store" and spend two hours dusting the shelves, mopping the floor and rearranging the window and counter displays. My payment: a new deck of cards or a small bottle of fanning powder... or an hours personal tuition with the proprieter Mr Stanley and his son Jim.

Over the next 7 years, I learned... really learned the meaning of the "love of the art".

I still keep in touch with Jim Stanley, and was a pall-bearer at his father's funeral last year. The store is long gone, having fallen prey to (among other things) the online magic trade.

Mr Sperry's video offering takes a substantial chunk of the 7 years of experiences I had with card manipulation and rolls the lot into a slick, glossy and (above all) cheap 40-odd minute pack that any schmo with a credit card can grab, watch, practice for an hour or so an then discard when the next new shiny thing comes along - as is apparent with your case, Mr Bumgardner.

McBride's not off the hook either... but at least he is thorough, innovative, thoughtfully sequenced and insightful. You pay extra, but what you're getting is fairly comprehensive and priced to avoid simply anyone from snagging it.

Sperry, whether paraphrasing McBride (the "big bowl of playing cards with TV" anecdote) or making allegedly "hilarious" comments about amputees and "salad fingers" has produced this offering for something other than "the love of the art"... it's the love of pieces of green paper.

My fear is that when card manipulation has gone down the same path of relentless exposure as the thumbtip and the linking rings, what will we look to to exploit and cheapen next?


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