Saturday Night Contest - Roundtable with Jason England

Dec 18, 2009
399
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Not to sound rude or greedy JB but isn't spade's post just a different form of phrasing a question I asked before him? I think that's what Jason referred to in the podcast. Congrats anyways though, I guess....:rolleyes:
 
Jul 13, 2009
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0
31
Not to sound rude or greedy JB but isn't spade's post just a different form of phrasing a question I asked before him? I think that's what Jason referred to in the podcast. Congrats anyways though, I guess....:rolleyes:

Well that did come out as a little rude whether you intended it or not. If Spades question was similar to yours and then that question got answered you got your question answered as well, Count your blessings.
 
Dec 12, 2009
273
0
London Uk
Listen to the podcast, AMAZING. A nice quote in there that I will remember ab out reading books.
I Agree with Jason England about the old magic shops like Jason said "The old guy behind the counter". Also, agree about posting magic performances online and magic product filtering.

Listen to the podcast, its filled with amazing stuff.
 
Oct 31, 2007
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Connecticut
I have to agree with Sidekick. It was a great podcast and I got a lot form it. I enjoyed when he talked about Steve Forte, but my favorite part was when he discussed when to either use the Strike Second Deal vs. the Push-off Second Deal. I thought that was very helpful as I am working on both.
 
Nov 18, 2008
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CA
Love these podcasts. There's a lot of great advice in there. I appreciate him taking the time to answer our questions. Very helpful stuff.
 

JasonEngland

theory11 artist / card mechanic
Nov 7, 2008
158
23
Las Vegas, NV
How many books do you own on the subject of gambling/magic/general card skills?

When you were a beginner, did you have a mentor to help you along?

Have you ever used your skills to cheat at a legitimate card game? Go Fish and Slapjack DEFINITELY count.

I think this was answered in the interview. Depending on what you consider the categories to be, it's somewhere in the neighborhood of 1500 - 2000.

Yes, I had a mentor - several actually. Jim Surprise and Richard Oakley of Memphis, Tennessee and John Riggs of Knoxville, Tennessee were all very kind to me. By means of video, Richard Turner and Steve Forte were huge influences, though I wouldn't meet either man until many years later.

Third question: yes, but don't get your hopes up. It was for short money and wasn't terribly interesting, at least to me.

Jason
 

JasonEngland

theory11 artist / card mechanic
Nov 7, 2008
158
23
Las Vegas, NV
1) on average how much to do time do you spend on a sleight before doing it in front of people?

It depends on the relative difficulty of the move, but it's usually months before anyone sees it, unless it's similar enough to something I already do that I can make faster progress.

Jason
 

JasonEngland

theory11 artist / card mechanic
Nov 7, 2008
158
23
Las Vegas, NV
Nobody is just magically born a card sharp. How did you gain your interest?

Gambling demonstrations are not your everyday entertainment. How did you get your start in performing gambling demonstrations?

How would you recommend that an aspiring card sharp get their start in the "big leagues?"

I'm not entirely sure where my interest comes from, but I know that seeing Gary Plants at a very young (magic) age was important to me. He told me to track down Steve Forte's videos which I did. I was blown away. Richard Turner's videos followed soon after and again I was blown away.

I began mixing magic performances and gambling demos slowly at first. It was usually in a ratio of 6 or 7 magic effects to one gambling demo. Usually the gambling demo was just a card trick in disguise, with a gambling-related presentation to make it different. From there, as my interest and skills grew the ratio began to be more balanced. Now I can do several house of magic or gambling demonstrations by themselves, or I can mix the two. The mix is often a powerful combination when done correctly.

My recommendation to anyone wanting to follow this path would be simple: read Ortiz, Martin Nash, Steve Forte, Jack Carpenter, Jim Swain and related books. Read Scarne and others to learn about real gambling (at least from a historical view), and watch DVDs and video by all the names above. Mix this around in your head for 10 or 12 years and you'll be on your way.

Jason
 
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JasonEngland

theory11 artist / card mechanic
Nov 7, 2008
158
23
Las Vegas, NV
What books would you recommend to a beginner in gambling techniques?
Any crazy stories on getting caught cheating?
What is the most difficult move for you?

The Expert at the Card Table by Erdnase
Gambling Scams by Darwin Ortiz
Casino Game Protection and Poker Protection by Steve Forte.
The Cheat DVD by Richard Turner
Gambling Protection Series DVDs by Steve Forte

Understand, not all of the sources listed above are books, nor are they all for beginners necessarily, but they're some of the best sources out there if you're willing to put in the time to absorb what they have to offer.

No crazy stories, just some funny ones. Another time....

The tabled faro, without question. With the right deck of cards, it can be almost easy, but with any deck handed to me it's frequently impossible. It's a very touchy move.

Jason
 

JasonEngland

theory11 artist / card mechanic
Nov 7, 2008
158
23
Las Vegas, NV
Jason, how do you feel about branching out in magic? It seems from what we have seen, cards are where you stand and what you do specifically. Do you do any money magic or manipulation, maybe rubber bands?

I fool around with various other types of close-up magic. I run through a cups and balls routine nearly every day to stay sharp, as well as practice the 3-shell game and Fast and Loose patterns. I enjoy rubber band magic very much and would probably surprise you with them if given the chance, but I don't really have any "work" on any particular routine.

Nothing with coins, with one exception. I do the greatest coin trick in the world. Andrei has seen it at my house, but the rest of you will have to remain in the dark for now. I'm not tipping.

Jason

PS: The coin trick isn't mine, btw. It's actually a marketed item.
 

JasonEngland

theory11 artist / card mechanic
Nov 7, 2008
158
23
Las Vegas, NV
1) Why do you think it is that you were more attracted to gambling sleights than other types of magic and/or sleights?

2) Which sleight or move is your favorite?

3) For a person that would really want to dedicate a lot of time to your kind of moves and sleights, what would be the books on your recommendation list for that person?

Don't have a favorite move, but I love all the false deals and false shuffles as a group. I practice them probably more often than any other thing.

See previous answers for books and DVDs. Look for authors, rather than titles, as most of the guys I mention have more than one item.

Jason
 

JasonEngland

theory11 artist / card mechanic
Nov 7, 2008
158
23
Las Vegas, NV
What a coincidence, I just bought the 2 most recent 1 on 1s from him! For the record, the instruction on the double lift and the push off second deal is phenomenal, I've already gained a lot of knowledge and have gotten way better on both of them.

Here are my questions:

1. Even though you have so many books, which I envy you for ;), what are some great books that you haven't read yet that you REALLY want to get your hands on?

2. What are some books that are foundational for every magician or card conjurer alike to have?

3. Throughout your personal experiences, who have you worked with and who were you taught by to have such ninja hands?! I REALLY want to know!

Thanks for answering at least one of these questions, I truly admire what you've done for the community; I admire you in general even more. You have done and accomplished great things, can't wait to see more from you. :)

Cheers,

Casey Rudd

I think the foundational texts in magic (with cards) are:

The Expert at the Card Table
Expert Card Technique
Greater Magic
Royal Road
Card Control
The Card Magic of Paul LePaul
Encyclopedia of Card Tricks
Scarne on Card Tricks
The Complete Walton Vol. 1 and 2
Inner Secrets Trilogy
Ultimate Card Secrets
Revolutionary Card Technique

For beginners, I'd add the Card College series to the list, but if you've read everything else above, you probably don't need to read that series, excellent though it is.

Jason
 

JasonEngland

theory11 artist / card mechanic
Nov 7, 2008
158
23
Las Vegas, NV
Jason,

I've always felt the easiest (and most logical) way to present card magic is by using gambling cheat/sleight of hand hooks and stories. I've found it always engages the audience and gives them a feeling of peeking behind the curtain even though you're leading them down the garden path and not exposing anything.
As a student of sleight of hand with cards and especially gambling moves do you always present card "magic" (as opposed to standard poker deal demos) in this way or do you mix it with a Paul Harris-esque treating the cards almost as if they were living things, or with a comedy twist like Bill Malone or Jay Sankey?
I sometimes feel like no matter how flawless the sleight of hand and how amazing the effect the spectator will always place it in the "I don't know how he did it but I know it was sleight of hand" box. Which somewhat limits the strength of the magic you can do with a pack of cards.
Would love to hear your thoughts on this....

Phil

Phil,

I don't care what the spectator thinks of my magic in an intellectual way. I'm after emotional impact, not logical or intellectual conviction. Darwin Ortiz disucsses this at length in his Strong Magic.

Just like Steven Spielberg isn't trying to convince you that dinosaurs are real or that aliens have landed, I'm not trying to convince anyone that what they're seeing is real magic.

Of course, by "convince" I'm referring to intellectual conviction. I definitely want emotional conviction, i.e. that moment of astonishment or wonder. Similarly, Spielberg wants terror, or drama, or humor, or awe, or whatever. I occasionally want these things too, which is why I (and other performers) inject humor or dramatic tension, etc, into our routines.

If you think these things aren't separate, you're crazy. Ever been scared in a movie? Why? Your intellect "knew" the situation wasn't real, but your emotions reacted as if it were. Likewise with humor, dramatic tension, sadness, etc. Our immediate emotional responses to a theatrical input are separate from our intellectual reactions and analysis abilities. The intellect will catch up in a bit, but the emotions typically react first to a theatrical stimulus.

Consequently, I "shoot to kill" in the moment when I'm performing, and I hope I get them right where it counts, in the emotions. The primary emotion I'm gunning for (and most magicians are gunning for) is wonder or astonishment. Later, during the drive home, I don't really care if they figure it out or not, anymore than Spielberg cares if they begin discussing the acting, the special effects, etc.

I already had 'em when (and where) it counted the most.

I hate it when amateur magicians prattle on about "real magic" and how being a sleight-of-hand expert "lowers the impact" when they perform. Every time I hear that I just smile and shake my head, knowing that they have no idea what they're talking about. Incidentally, they are almost invariably NOT sleight-of-hand experts themselves, and I often suspect they justify not being so with this line of ridiculous reasoning. Just my experience.

Don't be that guy.

Jason
 

JasonEngland

theory11 artist / card mechanic
Nov 7, 2008
158
23
Las Vegas, NV
I'm fairly new to magic, but I have purchased several of your videos and attempted to learn the sleights, but I'm still having a lot of trouble. What progression in learning the techniques would you recommend in terms of difficulty and building of mechanical movements? Or, in slightly less confusing terms, which three of the sleights you've taught in video would you recommend a beginner attempt first? :)

Learn the things with the most overall utility. In other words, the things that will repay your practice time the best.

The double-lift, palming, push-through and Zarrow shuffles and probably the second and bottom deals are the best in this regard, although the second and bottom deals are very advanced moves and not for beginners.

Jason

PS: Having said that, there's no time like the present to start trying the tough stuff!
 
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