How can I make out of I am still a beginner at card magic?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Akshay_The_Alva, May 1, 2019.

  1. I feel that I am an intermediate in card magic.
    But I am not sure.
    Are there are any sleights that can be performed only by intermediates or is there any other way to find out?

  2. Always assume you're a beginner.
    Metermind, Lord_Magic, Clee26 and 6 others like this.
  3. I mean that's fairly subjective. There isn't really a defined criteria for what makes you an "intermediate" magician.
  4. Unless you have mastered(and I mean mastered) every move/trick in The Expert at the Card Table you'll always be a beginner (Not to say that card mastery begins and ends with that book but it certainly give you a good blueprint )...... After 5 years with cards I still consider myself a beginner. I'll let you guys know when I have progressed beyond that stage.
  5. There are plenty of professionals that aren't that great with cards. MANY of them have very little skill at all. A good friend of mine calls himself a card guy and can't fan a deck, he also makes much more money performing magic than I do, so there's that.

    I completely understand why the other esteemed magicians on this forum have been slow to define beginner or intermediate sleights. The biggest reason is that there really isn't just one standard. Someone like Shin Lim could be incredibly proficient at just a few moves and be considered the best out there, even when he might struggle with a pass or a bottom deal.

    There's also the idea that however difficult the moves you use are, it doesn't really affect how magical the effect is. The impact is usually disconnected from the difficulty of the move.

    Also, Christopher is 100% correct. Never assume that you are a master. The more I learn about magic the more I am blown away with the amount of stuff that I don't know. Just today, I learned 2 new versions of the magic square and yesterday I learned an amazing version using a birthdate. This is after studying the magic square for over 10 years and using 4 or 5 different versions in my act over the years. I got to the point where I kinda felt I knew every approach and this week I have been blown away! You always know less than you think you know.

    That said, I will gladly put my reputation on the line and look like an idiot classifying sleigh of hand magic with cards.

    I'll split up the move difficulty or the deception like this (all of this assumes some sort of proficiency with a deck of cards):
    Self Working - The audience could do this, you just have to remember what to do.
    Beginner - The magician has to be holding the cards and it can be passable in performance with a day or twos's worth of practice.
    Intermediate - A sleight that's passable in performance with a week or up to a couple of month's worth of practice.
    Advanced - Passable in a year or two.
    Expert - A very specialized move that may take a few years to get down.
    Master - Only able to be accomplished by a few people on the planet if anyone with any kind of consistency.

    So, a self-working piece of deception (it's hard to call it a sleight) would be the Jay Ose false cut, the cross cut force, the cut deeper force or the Christ Force, and Flap Jacks by Paul Harris.

    Beginner level stuff would include an overhand shuffle control, a one-handed fan, a card spring, a dribble, a shuffle with a bridge, a ribbon spread, possibly the glide, that move where you drop the deck and a card turns over, the through the fist move, the twirl change, and I think the slop shuffle would fit in here.

    Intermediete magic moves would be the Elmsley count, the double turn over (depending on what version you do this might be higher), second deal, the Bertram pass, the turnover pass, the side steal, the slip cut, the riffle force, Houdini/Erdnase color change, shape shifter color change,

    Advanced, the classic pass, classic force, bottom deal, the mercury card fold, a perfect faro, one handed shuffle with a bridge, diagonal palm shift.

    Expert, the center deal, Ray's Rise, D'Amico's Second Deal, One handed Bottom deals, one-handed shuffle with a strip out, Erdnase Shift,

    Master, anti faro, tabled riffle shuffle, memorizing a shuffled deck and using it in performance.

    There's a ton of debate to be had over which moves should be where and then there's discussion about psychological principles like equivoque, and the trick that cannot be explained and how difficult some of these techniques are. The interesting thing here is that I think it's fairly easy to classify moves, despite the debate, it is much more difficult to classify the magician. I dabble in the advanced and expert category a lot but my Erdnase color change is pretty terrible. I haven't even mastered all the self-working stuff out there, how could I master the master stuff too? And, I have no idea what that makes me or how that classifies my level of skill.
  6. #6 RickEverhart, May 6, 2019
    Last edited: May 6, 2019
    Just to reiterate what Josh stated...I am by no means an advanced card handler yet, I am book EVERY weekend so far in May, June, July and starting December bookings as well. How well you handle cards does not have any indication as to how successful you'll be as a magician. Should you know some basics? Sure. It's all about engaging your audience and "entertaining" them. After all, that is what we are...entertainers. Do not get hung up on the fact that you may be a beginner/average card handler.
    JoshL8 and Antonio Diavolo like this.
  7. I donot agree on the expert and master areas. I consider myself intermediate but use the classic pass all the time and I think I'm pretty good too. I think that true experts and masters are not those who can do a perfect anti faro but rather those with an affinity to set up themselves in any situations and the level of consistency of their performances. Take Slydini, for example. He makes a simple lapping of a coin look like a miracle.
    That being said, yes, its possible to make out how advanced someone is through their level of skill. If youre a beginner, and someone asks you to do a center deal, you wont be able to. In my book, youre only as advanced as you think you are. I learnt the pass before the Elmsley count just because I was able to pick up the move.
    Finally I think you can call yourself past the beginner stage when youre done with Royal Road, or maybe the first volume of Card College and can perform any of the moves without the slightest hesitation.
  8. Just want to clarify something: The categorization isn't of magicians (meaning "if you can do this, then you're intermediate/advanced/etc."), but of the sleights themselves, categorizing them on the difficulty of the sleights themselves.
    At least that's the way I understood it and the way I would second it.
    Don't think that because you can do a move which was here put into the "Expert"-section you're automatically an expert. For example, I can do the one-handed shuffle with strip out fairly well with hardly any difficulty, not because I'm so good at this stuff but because I thought it was a cool move and put in the practice.* Even though I can do some of the moves marked "Advanced" or "Expert" (mind you, I haven't mastered them by a long shot, but I can do them fairly well) I would never classify myself as anything but a beginner at this stage.

    I hope I didn't put any words in your mouth, Josh, this was the way I understood it. Just thought I'd clarify it, in case somebody understands it differently.

    *For the record, I wouldn't put the one-handed shuffle with strip out in the "Expert"-category. For me it took a few days to get down the one-handed shuffle and the strip-out was another few days. The most difficult thing for me was getting my hands flexible enough.
    Antonio Diavolo likes this.
  9. Yeah, I don't think that anyone can ever classify themselves as a and beginner, intermediate, or expert magician, there really is no way to define your magic abillaty.
  10. I'm still a beginner. The more you learn, the less you realize you know.
  11. Yeah, I agree with all of this. It's a classification of the sleights not the magicians. And, all of it is subject to debate for sure. Many beginners learn the pass early on. Lots of experts don't do it all all.

    Seeing guys like Dan Harlan, or Dani Daortiz do the pass is eye opening. They just do it. It doesn't look good, but it does the job they need, and when they do it at the right time it's never suspected.

    There are very few masters out there, or even experts.
  12. I don't really agree with this. TEATCT is an incredible book, and invaluable resource, but not every move or trick in it will be to a performer's style or taste. Should a beginner feel obligated to spend days, weeks, or months working on a move that they will never use, when that time could be better spent mastering a different method they will consistently use.

    And say a person spent year exclusively learning different colour changes, and becoming one of the world's best - could they still only count themselves as a beginner, because they didn't learn to second deal? (aside from the obvious application of the second deal to a colour change- but this is only hypothetical.)
  13. That's why I said "Not to say that card mastery begins and ends with that book but it certainly give you a good blueprint" There are a whole lot of other books that will yield quicker results(Especially at the beginner stages) Royal Road to Card Magic being one of them. There is a reason why the best swear by and reference The Expert at the Card Table. I'm not saying that because you can't second deal you can't move beyond beginner stages in card magic, that is absurd.......However, I wholeheartedly agree with the top dogs that The Expert at the Card Table is the most carefully studied book in the field of sleight of hand with cards and that The Expert at the Card Table will be your guide when you are ready to move beyond the ranks of average card men.
    Antonio Diavolo likes this.

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