Sleight of Hand/Impromptu > Gimmicks?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by UnorthodoX, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. A thought just came into my mind today and I just wanted to know what you guys thought about this. So here it is:
    Does sleight of hand beat out gimmicks everytime? Now here me out and just think about this. Generally, tricks performed with gimmicks usually allow for a more miraculous effect, such as Distortion, the former Panic and tricks done with gaffed cards. Now I'm pretty sure I speak for most people when I say that we normally go around town with a Distortion gimmick in our pockets. So during cases that we don't have any gimmicks on us and someone wants to see a trick, wouldn't we want to be prepared with something impromptu or involving only sleight of hand that is just as equally mind-blowing to laymen? Doesn't it seem, and this is just my opinion, that a great magician can do a trick with just about anything at any given notice? It seems like laymen seem to respond greater to performers who can make something out of nothing. Not only that, but I'm sure that we've all ran into audience members that want to inspect everything first, haven't we all? With purely sleight of hand at your disposal, you can easily just hand out everything prior to the trick and after the miracle has occured. In that way we start clean, end clean, and give the impression that we really can make the impossible happen. However, on the same coin, think of the effects that are out there that are impromptu in comparison to those with gimmicks. Let's take two of Wayne Houchin's effects: Sinful and Distortion. Both are great, but in my opinion, Distortion blows Sinful out of the water with how visual it is and the fact that you are seeing a card change before your very eyes. But the downside is carrying a gimmick around all the time-which isn't exactly a bad thing but still...- and losing the ability to hand everything out in the beginning and the end. Just imagine getting caught with a gimmick... ouch. But this is all just my opinion. I'm not going to completely remove gimmicks from my repertoire, but it's becoming somewhat appealing when I think about it. What do you guys think?
  2. What if you're a magician that doesn't perform at the whims of other people?

    What if you only perform when you want to perform, and hence would prepare for the situation appropriately?
  3. It has always been my belief that you need just as much knowledge of sleight of hand for using gimmicks and gaffs. Using your Distortion example, say you have the gimmick in your pocket a good strategy would be to hand the deck to your spectator while you palm the gimmick and after they're sure it's legit you can set up.

    Or do that.
  4. this is the part I do not agree...why is everything has to do with cards?..

    anyway Sinful completely destroys distortion...if you use the point you are saying, doing something on the actually see a signed coin going inside a sealed can...can you really compare that to a color change? you can´t, also the deck is yours, and sinful nothing is yours, the can neither the because you are looking at it with magician eyes...sinful has got me gigs and in distortion you can equally achieve the same effect using a color change...
  5. Well of course. We're not trick monkeys after all. Sorry if I made it sound that way, that wasn't the direction I was going with this at all. I'm just talking about having the subtlety of allowing spectators to examine everything before and after the effect. Maybe I'm just paranoid, but the fear of an audience member demanding to see things before and after an effect with the gimmick still active is kind of a downer isn't it?
  6. No.

    Do wrenches beat out hammers every time? Depends if you have a nail or a bolt. So nothing wins every time.

    I do mainly coin work, and ringing a gaff in and out isn't much trouble. You can start clean and end clean with gaffs and a decent routine. You can hand things out for inspection before and after with a good routine. I'd imagine that the same is true for cards, although I'm far from an authority.

    I think that you should use the strongest methods available to you, to do the strongest magic you can. And you should be selective about when you perform.

    It's never a bad idea to have stuff in your repertoire that's impromptu, but to eliminate everything that isn't seems excessive.
  7. It's all about what you get them to believe. There are ways to make them believe that everything has been fairly examined.
  8. I would like to add my thoughts into this thread.

    1. gimmick do not beat sleight of hand; in fact, gimmick needs sleight of hand to function properly. So, if people think that gimmicks are stupid and useless, then that particular person need to go out more and have a fresh look in magic.

    2. Gimmick do not overcome sleight of hand, and sleight of hand will never over come gimmick. Everything has its pros and cons. As a working professional or a clever performer, he or she will know how to deal with everything situation weather he or she has the gimmick on or not. The spectator is not in charge of you; instead, you are the one. It is comes down to showmanship and how experienced is the performer.

    3. Magic is limitless; magic is lawless. Do not isolate yourself, instead, expand your horizon and you will find that it only helps.
  9. Well it certainly isn't an original plot, but it sure is a fun one to talk about. At least in my opinion.

    I'd love to, but you have to speak into the microphone. Just walk to that inconspicuous fake plant located in the corner of your room, lean over and start talking.

    I am going to assume that you mean, most people don't walk around with Distortion on them all the time right? I agree with that statement in that case. But to answer the question, yeah you should, hell I'd applaud you if you could do magic with something other then your cards, coins and winkies you wankers. :p

    Move over ace, you'd better share that opinion!

    First and foremost laymen's responses do not hinge on whether or not a performer is using a gimmick or sleight of hand. I have had audience member who want to inspect everything first, the way I get around it? I don't perform on demand, I don't use suspicious objects (gimicked or otherwise), I introduce, handle and act as if the thing that is gimmicked is "Normal".

    Since when did your spectators become the controller of the situation? Why would you need to hand out your props to prove what they just saw was real, I mean unless you are a shoddy performer or a tricky devil?

    [quot]In that way we start clean, end clean, and give the impression that we really can make the impossible happen.[/quote]

    Billy Mays here with Oxyclean....

    I understand what you are saying and give a nod to using a great performer as a reference. The thing about these two tricks is that they both are impossible to a spectator. Sure Distortion needs a gimmicked card to be carried, but Sinful also needs a soda can. If I were to choose between the two, I'd choose Distortion because the gimmick is much easier and readily available to me. Everything I need is within an arm length. That doesn't mean Sinful can't be performed if the opportunity arises.

    If you take what I said above, my thoughts are basically summed up in a short statement, use both.
    I am starting to use more gimmicks/utilities then just pure sleight of hand, mostly because I want to continue what I was pursuing before the David Blaine craze, I don't mean that in a bad way by any means. I wanted to be a parlor/stand up/ stage magician and in all of those situations gimmicks are sooooooooooooo much better then sleight of hand. Especially if said gimmick makes the effect self working. Why? Well it gives the performer to actually perform instead of stare at his hands with his tongue sticking out as he does a quadruple somersault tom collins pass. Hmm that rolls off the tongue rather well. *Writes that title down for an effect or segment name* Another reason why I'd favor gimmicks in this situation more then Sleight of Hand is because many gimmicks don't use "hands". I go off the philosophy of, the less you touch the more impossible it seems. Anyway that is my thoughts...
  10. Can you please explain this sentence a bit more please? I'm kinda comfused at the Tricky Devil part.
  11. Do not compare the two. Its what brings about the best effect. Concerning your self with which is better is the wrong way to look at things. The spectator sees neither the gaff or the slieght. They see the magic. Concern yourself with that.
  12. With audience management, being left dirty with gimmicks should not be an issue. Some gimmicks, I will admit, that I would NEVER be caught dead with - for instance the raven. I hate that thing with a passion. However a toppit, which can accomplish nearly the same thing as the raven, I would love to have. Then again, nothing feels better than to be able to astonish someone with a retention vanish and a good handwashing sequence.

    Obviously, like said above, they do not see the sleight OR the gimmick. This, in a sense, leaves it up to you to decide the method that you want to use to accomplish the effect you want to achieve. I do believe though that a good combonation of gimmicks AND sleight of hand can be extremely mind blowing. An example would be having a card selected and then lost and proceed to (with sleight of hand) change another card to their card. Then, the card is lost again and as a kicker (and to justify to their eyes what they really just saw) you could do distortion.
  13. Spectator sees neither the gaff or the slieght. They see the magic. Concern yourself with that.
  14. Firstly Sinful is a far and away a stronger effect than Distortion. The spectator has a real semi impossible object that they can keep.

    In answer to your statement I believe that you should always have sleight of hand method that can achieve the same effect as a gimmick. For example look at Annemann's 'My Own Swami Test' it does not use a Swami in the sense of a nail writer or boon etc.

    In terms of gimmicks though I have conflicting views I openly believe that you should only use a gimmick to achieve things that sleight of hand cannot. On the other hand I believe that we should give the audience the the strongest effect possible. If using gimmicks achieve that then so be it, however there does need to be a limit. If you are planning to do more than one effect you will obviously need to gauge what is the most effective method in relation to the other effects you are going to perform. I have seen magicians do palour shows with four decks of cards on the table each of these decks were gimmicked in some way and obviously to the audience as a whole that each effect needed a specific deck.

    It has often been said that the little things make the magic and I cannot agree more and gimmicks help with this whether it is an extra coin in a coins across or a shell to 'eliminate' that extra coin. Gimmicks help there is no question about that but in terms of practicality sleight of hand is far superior. The real secret is finding the happy medium in the real world.
  15. Rubberband magic, please? Have 6 routines :D
  16. Clap claps for Saborfang.

    What I meant by Tricky devil are the guys who are the life of the party...or at least think they are.
  17. I'd like to address a few concerns amongst those of you who responded to this thread:
    I myself am a fan of Sinful more than Distortion. I just used the two as an example because they were by the same magician. I really did not want to have to compare two different magicians. To Luis Vega, I'm not biased towards cards or anything. Again I just wanted to use two effects by the same performer. I could've said eXile or Digital Dissolve, but regardless all your arguments make sense. And to KeoSilver, I apologize for making myself sound like an attention whore; no I do not perform at people's whims. And due to my limited knowledge, I couldn't use an example of a non-coin/card trick that required a gimmick. And finally, to saborfang17, I suppose you've just destroyed my thread with that statement hahaha.
    I suppose I made a fool out of myself for even starting this thread, but I thank you all a ton for replying to this.
  18. You don't have to apologize for stating your opinion man. I just wasn't clear as to what you meant.
  19. If this is what you are seeking then I would suggest diving into the world of coin magic. Coins are everyday things, nobody suspects them, and you can do amazing effects with them. It always amazes me when I see a coin effect done, it looks like true magic to me. I'm not saying cards or other things are bad. Coins are on the spot you can carry them or borrow some. Instant magic to perform. I just started coin magic. It takes a lot of work, but the results are worth it.

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