Gimmicks or Sleights?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by drew.dickelman, May 16, 2011.

  1. What do you prefer to use? Do you prefer using gimmicks or pure sleight of hand? Or a combination of both? And why do you prefer one over the other if you do?
  2. In normal everyday life, definitely sleights. But for certain tricks, gimmicks make it look more fair, so half and half.
  3. Although gimmicks can be more fun at times sleights are equally important. I mean lets say you learn a trick that's method relies on a gimmick. Now lets say that you are put on the spot to perform this effect but don't have the gimmick on you. You sir would be caught with your pants down. And would have to find some way to perform another effect or talk your way out of that situation. Thats why I love tricks that have a gimmicked version and a sleight of hand version. Granted gimmicks when used properly can make you appear to be a God but sleight of hand is good to learn for those on the fly moments. Although I do carry a packet of gimmicked cards with me along with my deck. Only because I love performing those specific effects so much.
  4. I like the fact that someone can hand me a deck of cards and I can perform for an hour. I also like how much easier the gimmicked tricks that I use are compared to my sleight of hand tricks. For example, I like to do something like an ACR which takes some practice, but my audience gets a bigger reaction from something like Coin Bite.
  5. It's not an either-or situation.

    It's like asking "what's better - a hammer or a wrench?" It depends if you're dealing with a nail or a bolt.

    Use the best tool for the job. I know about a dozen coins across routines, but the best one uses a shell. Why wouldn't I perform the best trick I can? A combination of the two is the best.

    As for being "put on the spot", I'm not a trained monkey. I decide when, where and what I perform.
  6. ------------------------------Sleights------------------------------
  7. My recent "rebirth" in magic has seen me limiting myself to just one thing: playing card magic. When I originally got into magic over 20 years ago, I had everything under the sun and enjoyed the variety as much as my audiences. And I agree with JButterfield about not being a trained monkey and deciding when and where I perform.

    But that one day that I left home without a certain something in my pocket and found myself in front of some of my dad's rather imposing friends is what I recalled when I came to my rebirth decision: one of the group had seen me do cigarette thru quarter several weeks before and told the rest of them about it. The whole "not today" or "I'll do it where and when I please" thing wasn't cutting it ... after all, they had a cigarette and a quarter right there so why wouldn't I do it for them? It was then they made the leap to "or are saying that you CAN'T do it right now? - with a wink that implied I needed something else or at least some "get ready time." I saved my (magical) life at the time ultimately by AGREEING with them ... after quickly scanning the poker table. I told them that "Yeah, I can't do it right now ... I need a cigarette with a filter!" Fortunately, since none of them smoked a brand with a filter, I escaped with my story of how I can't start the hole with a "loose tobacco" end and that I needed something a little firmer (but not hard like a pencil) to get it going.

    So it's all cards now. If somebody hands me a deck and asks to see something, I can do anything I want - including refusing to perform for any reason. If I do decide to show them something, it's hard for them to request something specific (and I can always claim I didn't quite understand what they meant if I absolutely have to.) But whether I perform or not is still in my control - and even if I don't perform, no one leaves with the impression that I CAN'T perform.
  8. I agree completely with this but personally I don't own a single gimmick and my coins across is pretty good, I'm not saying it's better I'm just saying that I prefer it that's all.
  9. The answer is Mighty Putty, all day, erryday.

    Gimmicks VS Sleights always depends on the situation and the tricks. Sometimes sleights just don't cut it for certain situations, or gimmicks work better for a specific situations. Gimmicks tend to be frowned upon, but whenever I use gimmicks, it's always used in tandem with sleights in some way shape or form. As far as me personally, I usually only carry a deck of cards on me. Wallet, iPhone, cards. I'm always fiddling with cards/playing Words with Friends, so the majority of my repertoire consists of impromptu sleight oriented tricks. Just my too sense.

  10. I have only one input in this thread. Ask yourself this, "Why would I want to limit myself?"
  11. I agree with Tricky Devil here, don't limit yourself. In the end for me it is about what is more powerful. I use a few gimmicks in my close-up show and I can see the difference. Don't be influenced by anyone else saying certain things are better or frowned upon. It is all about what you are performing not what someone else is performing. It is your choice. My choice is do whatever makes the experience more powerful and everlasting.
  12. It really depends on the situation and what you want to achieve. For the most part performing for laymen a few duplicate cards extra coins or shells will do the job maybe some loops for good measure. On the other hand some gimmicks are just too good not to have. WOW for the card guy a swami for the mentalist. And for the most part these effects can be kind of replicated with sleight of hand nothing comes close when compared to the effect these gimmicks help you achieve.
  13. Performance.

    Really, I need some sort of boot camp for the performing end. It's a tremendous weakness of mine. I've also found that it's more crucial than our egos. Also, I rarely even touch cards. Everything I do enjoy performing is about half and half sleights and gimmicks.
  14. In what sense? Do you feel using gimmicks limits yourself or just using sleights limits yourself? For me personally, gimmicks in my card magic limit myself, but I imagine it differs for everyone.
  15. I could be wrong but I took this as why limit yourself to just one or the other. Just like others have said, do whatever makes the ecperience more powerful/magical. I think its good to have a balance of both. Gimmicks are good for those strong "that's impossible" type tricks like using IT to make something levitate or changing from one shirt to another in a second. On the other hand, its good to have at least a few sleights locked down for those on the spot moments. I personally wouldn't choose one over the other, there is no need to.
  16. I feel using only gimmick or only sleight is a limitation of yourself. You need to find a balance. For example, U can't make a coin stands perpendicular to the ground in the spectator's hand using sleight of hand. As far as I know in my magic library there's no such a technique for that effect yet. In this case, the M5 comes in to do the job that sleight can't be done. My point is that sleights and gimmicks are ESSENTIAL, but if you asking me to choose one over the other I would say that you are limiting yourself.
  17. I could be wrong, but I believe that this is what Zach is talking about. By assigning a different status to all tricks with gimmicks, you are not allowing yourself room to fully explore the possibilities of sleight of hand, and instead using gimmicks as a crutch. (Though there ARE, admittedly, some tricks that are literally impossible without a gimmick, as pointed out above)
  18. Why wouldn't you do the strongest magic you can, regardless of method?
  19. Well, I wouldn't be using gimmicks as a crutch because I don't depend/perform only gimmick tricks. Comparing the two, you can perform a nice ACR both with a gimmicked deck and with some good sleight of hand but Ill always go for sleight of hand. My point is that there is no need to choose one over the other and personally I feel its good to have a balance of both. Also when you think about it, who cares what method you are using just go out and like others have said perform the strongest magic you can. A spectator won't know (and probably won't care) if you are using a gimmick to perform coin bit or if you are using sleight of hand to perform match bite, they only see the magic not the method.

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