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Need advice please

WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
5,806
2,906
I agree that stating you have a deck of cards (weather normal or not) is bad patter. obviously they can see what you're holding. But i think having a spectator shuffle the cards before you even begin removes all question of trick deck or any sort of stack.

to me it seems why not be as fair as possible? no one is going to say "hmm he let me look at the deck too much"
However, someone might say "he didn't let me look at the deck in the beginning"

Who are you performing for that will, completely out of the blue, think the deck may be stacked and that you have memorized that stack?

Also - I know at least one guy that lets his spectators shuffle both one-way forcing decks and also Svengali decks.

I think magicians assume people care about magic and actually research it on their own. Most spectators don't care about magic. They like being entertained, but unless you challenge them to find your method, they're not going to put any effort into it.
 
Jul 13, 2014
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I'd say your average layperson is familiar with the existance of trick decks, one way forcing decks, Svengali, marked, and stripper decks, sleeping, and to a lesser extent card palming. That being said it's fairly easy to fool them with all of those, but it should probably be addressed. I don't think it's odd at all to tell them your not using a trick deck, even if you are.
 
Feb 18, 2014
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I did not say gaffs are more convenient for me. Actually, I love sleight of hand! Im a move monkey and like to use sleight of hand over gaffs when possible if it accomplishes the same reaction with the same effect. I just like using gaffs that make you look great, leave spectators with impossible souvenirs, and eliminate sleight of hand. A great example of this is a gaff deck like the madison gamblers.
 
Jul 13, 2014
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There are some things that sleight of hand cannot do. Envylope morph for example. I really want to get that. Or a tarantula. You can do things with it that leaves other devices and hookups in the dust. But an invisible deck, acaan, sandwich. Those can be done with sleight of hand and it's better to use sleight of hand whenever possible. And on a different note. As I've said previously having the audience do everything isn't always the best. Daryl's ambitions card gets better reactions than fax.
 
Feb 18, 2014
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There are some things that sleight of hand cannot do. Envylope morph for example. I really want to get that. Or a tarantula. You can do things with it that leaves other devices and hookups in the dust. But an invisible deck, acaan, sandwich. Those can be done with sleight of hand and it's better to use sleight of hand whenever possible. And on a different note. As I've said previously having the audience do everything isn't always the best. Daryl's ambitions card gets better reactions than fax.

Dont say it as a fact, as it is not true. This is opinion based so there is no right answer really. But for me, the Invisible deck gimmicked cant be beat. I understand where you are coming from, I use to be like that too. It depends on your situation. If you are in the street then sure, go ahead do impromptu invisible deck acaan or whatever. But if someone is paying me $500 for a gig, you best believe im bringing out the invisible deck as well as all the other weapons I have. I prefer audience and I agree, but Daryl has been doing it forever, and to be honest, I find his ACR boring...
 
Jul 13, 2014
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You do, but do lay audiences? That's what you need to keep asking yourself. Anyway the gig doesn't matter as I've said before if you can do it well enough it's better because they remember it the same but it's far more versatile and lees recognizable. Also what I said is not opinion based it's experience based. So yes, facts.
 
Jul 13, 2014
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Additionally there are some gaffed handling that go a step farther. Mark elsdons invisible deck handling is by far the best I've ever seen and that one it doesn't really matter. Gaffed is easier so I'd go with that.but it's all situational and can all be adapted. Sleight of hand is merely superior due to it's versatility.
 
Feb 18, 2014
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Additionally there are some gaffed handling that go a step farther. Mark elsdons invisible deck handling is by far the best I've ever seen and that one it doesn't really matter. Gaffed is easier so I'd go with that.but it's all situational and can all be adapted. Sleight of hand is merely superior due to it's versatility.

Sleight of hand is versatile, but, you simply can not go as far to say that is is more versatile than gimmicks. Have you seen octopalm? thats a simple example that sleight of hand can not accomplish. Sleights are not superior at all. Audiences do not remember the same thing in a different trick, the better you make it, the more they like you, which increases your chance of getting booked with them. When they book you, they expect the best and you should give them better than your best. Lastly, experience is not facts at all my friend. The majority is always wrong....
 

Mike.Hankins

creator / <a href="http://www.theory11.com/tricks/
Nov 21, 2009
435
0
Sacramento, Cali
Sleight of hand is versatile, but, you simply can not go as far to say that is is more versatile than gimmicks. Have you seen octopalm? thats a simple example that sleight of hand can not accomplish. Sleights are not superior at all. Audiences do not remember the same thing in a different trick, the better you make it, the more they like you, which increases your chance of getting booked with them. When they book you, they expect the best and you should give them better than your best. Lastly, experience is not facts at all my friend. The majority is always wrong....

Would you kindly share your experience with booking gigs? Just curious to know. Because maybe it's all in the Invisible Deck, and I have been doing it allll wrong for 20 years. :(

I want to stress that I am not trying to be rude at all. I am trying to understand your logic and where you are basing this all from.
 
Jul 13, 2014
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Sleight of hand is versatile, but, you simply can not go as far to say that is is more versatile than gimmicks. Have you seen octopalm? thats a simple example that sleight of hand can not accomplish. Sleights are not superior at all. Audiences do not remember the same thing in a different trick, the better you make it, the more they like you, which increases your chance of getting booked with them. When they book you, they expect the best and you should give them better than your best. Lastly, experience is not facts at all my friend. The majority is always wrong....
What are facts other than experience? My experience says sleight of hand is better when used with the proper psychology. Yours says gimmicks are better and seemingly ignores psychology. And yes some gimmicks can do things slleight of hand just can't. I believe I mentioned envylope. Octopalm, the tarantula, a marked deck are incredibly versatile. But in almost any field of magic such as cards, coins, manipulation. Even mentalism; pure slieght of hand can do more than everything else combined. For a visual change such as envelops: yes you need to use the gimmick. For something that has no visual defining moment such as invisible deck or acaan, sleight of hand is superior. As I've said previously simply using a stacked deck and fiddling with the cards can be even better than the normal invisible deck. All you have to do is some kind of cull to get the cards to where you can estimate the position of their selection. Then cut, glimpse, thumb/pinky count while talking to them. Once you have the card under control, disrupt your separation and reverse it then draw their attention back to the trck. With the use of the boring/interesting and mental picture memory techniques they'll remember it the same as the normal version. Possibly even better since you can have them find the reversed card in the deck. Now I admit I wouldn't go to so much trouble if I had the gaff on me but I'm simply trying to point out that slight of hand can do a lot of stuff equally well if not better than gaffs as long as it is used with the right presentation and psychology.
 
Jul 13, 2014
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I disagree. I can say applications of a certain theory work for me, therefore they do "work" or rather are workable. But yeah, it has been going in circles lately.
 
Feb 18, 2014
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This thread is way to long. BUT, YOU CAN NOT SAY sleight of hand is more versatile than gimmicks nor can I declare that gimmicks are more versatile. I love both. And Mike, im not at all saying you have been performing "wrong." From experience I get booked alot and I strongly believe it is because of the way I present myself and my magic as whole.
If im getting paid $500 to do party, then I am most definitely not going to do a tiny little three card monte routine with sleights ( just an example) I prefer something like stand up monte.

In all, im saying this, I am a major advocate for sleights, I am, BUT, in the correct situation only! Sleight of hand versions of tricks like invisible deck, caan, etc are great for street performances, family gatherings, etc. But, when im getting paid or have an important audience I really want to impress, Im bringing out what I believe to be the best.

If im in a talent show competing with 200 people, I would much rather do a hands off ACAAN never ever coming close to the deck and never touching it, rather than a sleight version with some switch or me dealing the cards. The better I make it, the better impression I leave..
 
Jul 13, 2014
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I'm just saying that I can raise a slight based routine above the same one done with gaffs. Although maybe I could raise the gaff to an even better level. Who knows. I'm just taking issue with your advocating gaffs so strongly. Pure slights will work in those situations as well as gaffs, but it's largely due to the performer. You clearly work better with gaffs. Others don't. I'm just also saying sleight of hand is better because of it's versatility. It's far more versatile than one gaff or even a shelf full of them. And I say this because there are massive amounts of effects you can do without gaffs. But many gaffs will only do a few things, if not just one. I could do an entire show impromptu with only a few borrowed objects. There are very few gaffs that could do that. While they are different environments either will work depending on how you do it. There's no better(from an effect standpoint) or worse each has flaws that need to be minimized and strengths that should be capitalized. It largely depends on what you want your performance yo look like. I prefer sleight of hand, you prefer gaffs. Ignoring versatility, ease, and setup, there's rarely any better or worse. Just different. And I think we can end it on that.
 

Mike.Hankins

creator / <a href="http://www.theory11.com/tricks/
Nov 21, 2009
435
0
Sacramento, Cali
This thread is way to long. BUT, YOU CAN NOT SAY sleight of hand is more versatile than gimmicks nor can I declare that gimmicks are more versatile. I love both. And Mike, im not at all saying you have been performing "wrong." From experience I get booked alot and I strongly believe it is because of the way I present myself and my magic as whole.
If im getting paid $500 to do party, then I am most definitely not going to do a tiny little three card monte routine with sleights ( just an example) I prefer something like stand up monte.

In all, im saying this, I am a major advocate for sleights, I am, BUT, in the correct situation only! Sleight of hand versions of tricks like invisible deck, caan, etc are great for street performances, family gatherings, etc. But, when im getting paid or have an important audience I really want to impress, Im bringing out what I believe to be the best.

If im in a talent show competing with 200 people, I would much rather do a hands off ACAAN never ever coming close to the deck and never touching it, rather than a sleight version with some switch or me dealing the cards. The better I make it, the better impression I leave..

It is ALL about the way you present yourself. (If you are doing a face to face interview). That is why it is important to look outside magic books and look into books on selling yourself to others.

I have been booking gigs for almost 20 years and I can say that PERSONALLY, the gigs I have booked being face to face ALWAYS comes down to personality. If they like ME, they will book ME. I will have them all laughing/cracking up the entire time and I MIGHT perform one effect. Early on, it was the opposite. I was worried about performing a set for whomever I was looking to book with. As time went on, and I got smarter and more experienced, I realized that less is truly better. OBVIOUSLY, if you are trying to book a magic gig, then yes...bring something to perform. lol...

If you are sending a demo reel, then less is not better. You want to highlight/showcase your A material.

The formula I have used in the past works for ME as I had a career in improv and sketch comedy for years, and I know I can entertain an audience with more than just a deck of cards. But again, that works for me.

"Tiny little three card monte" vs "Stand up monte" - Well, I think that depends on the type of gig you are hired for. If I am getting paid to do walk-around, I am most certainly not going to be carrying around jumbo cards with me. In this case, a deck of cards, some coins, a sharpie, my cellphone and my wallet are all I need to entertain a crowd for a 2 hour walk-around gig. If I am hired to do a parlor act, then obviously the props/effects will change, etc etc...

ACAAN - Funny you mention this. I was talking with Darwin Ortiz about WHY magicians get sooooo hung up thinking that ACAAN is THE best possible card effect you could perform for someone. His answer (Not exactly word for word): "Magicians know and appreciate the impossibility with such an effect, but a layman does not. If you have been performing magic all night, dazzling them with sleight of hand, then it would only be EXPECTED that you could do almost ANYTHING with a deck of cards." I agree with this to an extent, though PERSONALLY I don't care for ACAAN plots. But I have seen some pretty amazing versions of this effect too...

In the end, there is GREAT magic, GOOD magic and BAD magic. Be it using gaffs or not, as long as the magic you do falls into the GREAT or GOOD category, then keep on keeping on...
 
Jul 13, 2014
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That's a very good point. I recall hearing somone saying the reason Matt Franco winning agt as opposed to some of the better and more talented magicians was simply because people liked him. Also the funny thing about acaan is it's not all that great. It's just 1/52 which I don't find particularly impressive. Still, it's a neat effect but like you said it's not all that great for lay audiences. One of the biggest problems in magic is someone getting fooled by an effect and deciding it's completely awesome when it really isn't. I'm not trying to say anyone here's doing that but I feel it's worth pointing out.
 
Feb 18, 2014
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You clearly work better with gaffs. Others don't. I'm just also saying sleight of hand is better because of it's versatility.

Actually, haha Im much better with sleights than gaffs, and I actually prefer sleights. BUT, all I was simply saying Is I prefer using gaffs in the proper context, situation, and environment. Mike, I do not carry around jumbo props at all, ever. I was using ACAAN as an example thats all, im not at all obsessed with the plot. And I see it works for you and you shared your thoughts. Im simply sharing mine, Im not at all declaring anything as a fact.
 
Jul 13, 2014
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Gaffs are never absolutely nessacarry if it can be done with slieght of hand. That's mainly what I'm trying to say.
 
Feb 18, 2014
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Gaffs are never absolutely nessacarry if it can be done with slieght of hand. That's mainly what I'm trying to say.

I don't claim that they are, but I prefer them in the right situation as I do not believe sleights can accomplish everything gaffs can..
 
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