Gimmick or No Gimmick?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by byu, Jul 7, 2009.

  1. Regarding tricks (mainly cards) with gimmicks, I ask a simple question: why? Doesn't it defeat the purpose of sleight of hand? If gimmicks were in every trick, there would be no challenge. A trick would not require sleight of hand. Magic should not require these gimmicks. If someone hands you a deck, you aren't going to be able to do it right without the gimmicked deck.

    Tricks with gimmicks can be done fine without. I challenge myself now, name a card trick with a required gimmick, give me a link to the performance, and I'll try to work out a non gimmicked version. I personally think it's possible. Why gimmicks when you can use sleight of hand.

    Yeah, gimmicks make it easier.
    Or you could just use sleight of hand. Same effect, but impromptu.
  2. Do Distortion without a gimmick. Exactly, magicians should be balanced between gimmicks and sleight of hand. Although sleight of hand is great, there's nothing wrong with using a gimmick to achieve a highly visual effect.
  3. I dont do card magic to show people how clever I am with sleight of hand.They dont care.

    Its not about me,its about them.I use whatever it takes to achieve my desired effect.With or without gimmicks.
    To your first question,Since when has magic been purely about sleight of hand?
  4. Overall if using sleight of hand or using a gimmick, the spectator will still be experiencing the same effect.

    But I do agree, there's nothing wrong with using gimmicks or sleight of hand.

  5. Well some tricks with gimmicks DO require some basic knowledge of sleight of hand. If you want to be able to end cleanly and say hand out the deck for inspection you might want to palm the gaff and ditch.

    It does not matter to a spectator because a trick is a trick no matter how it is accomplished.
  6. Gimmick/No Gimmick

    Everyone who has posted about the real experience of magic you perform for your spectators, is exactly that, for the spectators. Since you're "in" on the secret, it can be either boring, too easy, or just not what the magician thinks the spectators want to see, or even if they seem to know if you're using a gimmick or sleight of hand.

    There so many effects that require some form of a gimmick, and I don't mean to be rude, but I really don't think if anyone sent you any effect requiring a gimmick can be done with sleight of hand. Because as the inventors of that trick, I'm sure that was one of the first things they considered when creating an effect.

    With my performances, I make sure to split up between sleight of hand effects and then others with gimmicks. I've noticed with grabby people who always try to take the item out of your hand to inspect themselves. So I will mix up the routine and I've noticed the more insane effects I perform I try to use an effect with a gimmick, but not always. But when they see something similar, or almost has the same high, fevered point of astonishment, I let them grab the cards since there's nothing to hide. It's a bit of a psychological thing, and works for me about 90% of the time.

    Also, one last thing... I've read somewhere that a magician performed a card effect for Harry Houdini, and it was the first time he was ever stumped on how to do the effect. I can't think of the name of the effect or even what the routine was, and I hope this isn't exposure, if it is, please delete this right away.
    Anyway, the one card effect that tricked Harry Houdini was used with a double backed card.

    So in closing, I applaud to all the magicians who only want to do card effects with sleight of hand and not a gimmick, but from a spectators point of view, they don't know and frankly don't care if it was sleight of hand or a gimmick, the magic already happened for them in the mind and heart. Which is where all the good magic effects are kept after a spectator sees something that cannot be explained or even the beginning of comprehension.

    And as to the distorion answer, if looking at distortion as the effect of pips being moved, Shoot Ogawa has something that accomplishes this.

    It was the tilt using a DB. But that said, it tricked Harry because he didnt do cards.

    As far as the sleight of hand vs gimmick argument, I think it's a trade off. Sure gimmicks can help you be cleaner and be more visual, but theres the trade-off of ringing them in and carrying them around. I think that as performers, we have to cater to both ourselves and the audience. I know that I gnerally dont use gimmicks simply because I dont want to carry them around and what not. I'm not a clown; i dont dress up before i perform.

    Just a few little thoughts.

  8. You know, I really think that it's a moot point. What really matters is that your effects, style, and show speak to the audience. you convey your message clearly, and leave them with an exciting memory of a good time well spent. Be that done with gaffs or slights, at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is that it is done. Don't over think this, don't over analyze this. There is no need for elitism in showbiz. It's all about the experience.
  9. There are allot of effects that cant be done without gimmicks.

    If magic is going to be moving forward we really have to stop to think like this, we should focus on what actually is the strongest and greatest effect from your audience´s point of view and not how its done. If a effect can look better with a gimmick, why not use it?

    In threads like this i always see allot of people saying "Oh its not real magic if you use gimmicks, its not skill its just the gimmick that gets the reaction" Who cares?

    Its like saying that a guitarist like The Edge from U2 is a bad guitarist because he uses allot of effects on his guitar, without them it would sond like nothing but with them to the audience it sounds mind blowing.
  10. 'The Trick That Fooled Houdini' as stated used a double backed card ie a gaff card. And that is a type of gimmick. An effect that uses gimmicks and sleight of hand can really destroy an audience's idea.
  11. There was no tilt. Just putting the top card to the second position. What do you mean by "Houdini didn't do cards"? He was the "King of Cards" and said that nobody could fool him with a trick three times in a row. The reason why Houdini got fooled (seven times) was simply because Dai Vernon was a lot better magician than Houdini ever was.

    The "that doesn't matter" attitude rarely leads to any good magic. The secret and how well it is concealed are very important parts of any routine.

    Please people, always remember that laypeople aren't stupid. They can figure things out with pure logic.
  12. It's too early in the morning for me to track down the videos, but have it your way.

    Rising Card
    Anything with a thumb tip

    This sleight of hand narcissism is, always has been, and always will be bull****. So gimmicks are easier, huh? Aside from the fact that's a lie, so what? Sometimes the simplest solution is the most elegant. And this obsession with everything being impromptu is just more mental masturbation.
  13. I have nothing against gimmicks, but what really matters the most is your performance style and the sleigh of hand as well.
  14. Gaft Cards

    To me Sleight Of Hand is a unseen Tool as are most gaft cards a unseen Tool, without some gaft cards some effects would not be possible. I've got an effect for you David Forrest's Jackass.
  15. Personally, I think it depends on the gaff.

    Something like Twilight Angels - neat effect, and actually requires some skilled handling. Overall the gaff is a believable one.

    There's a few others too. The set of 4Spades in the e gaff deck with moving pips is fun too. Again, not overly "gimmicky" and somewhat believable. Also, it too involves sleights to pull off.

    Someone else mentioned Distortion/Moving pips. Fun, believable, requires some sleights and well practiced handling.

    But when you start getting things like zippers, weird jokers, demons with cards in their mouth or other ridiculous stuff in there, I think it gets beyond my personal style/taste.

    I think the real issue isn't that gaffs require no sleight of hand - because in reality, many do - but instead whether they cheapen magic by doing things that make it obvious that the card is gaffed.
  16. Ok, I challenge you.

    Try doing:

    WOW (Masuda)

    WITHOUT a gimmick.

    I look forward to the video,

  17. no one really cares at all if you can do stuff without gimmicks. magicians don't care, lay people don't care. we don't care if you think your special, just don't try and make youself look cool by publicizing it.

    but anyway, do any of these without gimmicks, and i will be impressed:
    -any type of IT levitation (hummingbird card)

    -haunted pack

    -thumbtip stuff

    -uncovered beer bottle vanish (gecko)
    ^^ 0:15 on this video

    -invisible deck

    to name a few.

    by the way, how long have you been doing magic?
  18. I prefer gimmicks as long as they are examinable.
  19. So you would pass up a thumb tip because you can't let people just grope your hands?
  20. Gimmicks are great. They allow for the truly impossible to take place. Same with stooges (just living gimmicks really). The reason I prefer non gimmick effects is because I love to be able to perform just the same without being crippled by a lack of props.


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