Tell me what you think/critique me. Please?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Robert//Livingston, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. #1 Robert//Livingston, Sep 13, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 14, 2010
    Hey guys,

    So, a friend of mine who just got into magic showed me his sandwich effect and wanted me to help him. So what I did, was take the same idea but add a way to introduce the cards for the sandwich and hopefully make it more believable than the ones most people put up.

    Here it is, it's also unlisted just incase it was horrible to you guys.

    After you watch it, please tell me things I might need to work on or that you caught.

    This is a very simple piece of magic, but the tools I implemented in it are quite hard :p

    Also, it is unedited and all raw footage from my iPhone. Please watch in 480p!

    Thanks :D
  2. I liked it!:)
    The only thing I would suggest is to not say that you have 4 aces so many times :)
    other than that it was great!! :))
  3. That false riffle shuffle had a LONG delay before you squared it up. That needs some work. I don't really like sandwich effects, but it's your call. Seemed fine to me. You use run-ons a lot in your patter, I guess that should be brushed up on too. Other then that, it was pretty great.
  4. Haha, thank you sabor. This was a 'one-take' kind of deal, so whatever happened, happened. I usually have my patter down pat, and don't say um or er too much.

    I understand about the riffle shuffle though, I just wanted to make sure I didn't miss anything I guess.

    Anything on the pass at all?

    Also, thank you deceptioproverum for the kind words.
  5. Pretty good job. You look like you are fumbling a bit with a pinky pull down to obtain a break at the beginning. Your wrist kill on the left hand gave it away as the top card sort of gets away from you. Other that, the pass actually wasn't too bad and worked fine for you.
    I enjoyed the dribbling and reach in to "snatch" the card between the others. It was fairly entertaining. Keep up the good work my man.
  6. Thank you Reverhart, still working on the pinky count haha :D
  7. Along with the other comments, the push-over to get a break below the selected card was a little obvious. That could have more to do with the glaring eye of a camera, though. You might consider blending the push-over with placing the two aces on top of the deck.

    Matt M.
  8. Yeah, I probably should have pinky counted that one too...

    Thanks for the reply :D
  9. #9 WitchDocIsIn, Sep 13, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 14, 2010
    Nevermind. Maybe tomorrow.
  10. To be honest, I don't see why you did the four ace control the way you did it. Since it is not a public video, I am going to give you some real critiques here. Try and learn an actual four ace control. You can use a push through and jog riffle shuffle to control all four aces back to the top. For example, insert four aces into deck, push through and job, square up jog cards for a standard strip cut, and voilla, strip the aces back to the top =). You can then do any standard false shuffle sequence. There is no need to get your "pinky break" in the beginning as you are legitimately putting all four aces into the middle.

    As for the flow of the trick, the spectators might be curious as to why you just simply get rid of two of the aces after you yourself bring up the fact that you can shuffle them into the deck and control them back to the top. Imagine thoughts like, "he just showed us he could control them to the top, but then he just gets rid of two of them? hmm, that's kind of boring."

    As for the sandwich part of the effect as a separate piece of magic. The idea is good, but unfortunately not original =(. John Carney uses the same principle of dribbling the deck and catching the selected card as the cards on being dribbled in his Sandwich routine titled "Seconds on Jack Sandwich," only, instead of catching the card as it drops, he throws the sandwich cards through the dribble entirely, and they land on the other side with the selection firmly sandwiched between the two Jacks (aces in your version).
  11. The trick was decent, nothing special but you knew what you were doing which is more than i can say about half the magicians on youtube. As Tokyo pointed out, getting rid of 2 aces you just found is a tad odd isnt it? and even though you introduced the sandwich cards, it still didnt improve the actual sandwich effect in terms of patter and presentation. It felt more like 2 tricks.
    As for your handling... its generally alright. Your breaks could be better, your controls could be smoother, and so can your shuffles. But it should pass with any laymen.
    Extra note, you talk about the 4 aces like 4 times in the beginning. If you are going to use that control, then I dont suggest you tell people that they are the 4 aces. What you did was show them as fair as can be, show them again, then finally count them off... which is a tad overkill innit?
  12. One or two things I don't think anyone has mentioned yet...

    a) You didn't cut the deck once. You gave it 6 cuts.

    b) Few laymen know what a "riffle shuffle" is.

    c) You don't look comfortable with cards in general. A lot of fumbling, and often in basic motions - not sleights, just basic motions, although others have given you recommendations on sleights.

    d) "Now, let me show you another little trick with the aces" - you KNOW instinctively, that you're not doing one trick, it's really two.

    e) The black aces were confusing. "I'm going to show you another little trick with the aces" you say, as you put the black cards away. I had to replay the thing, I thought I missed something, but you just need better choreography and more clarity in that sense.
  13. I personally like the Braue add-on, and feel it looks much more fair to distribute the aces and then push flush showing that there's no way I could know where they're at. I actually know a few "4 ace controls", but I like the add-on a little better since I wasn't really going for a gambling-esque effect. Also, Darwin Ortiz uses the Braue add-on, even when he CAN do the real moves.

    I knew what I was doing wasn't original, as I put in the first post of the thread I took a sandwich effect a friend was doing (quite poorly) and showed what I would do to spice up the effect. Even though I love the simplicity of a sandwich effect, I don't really do it often.

    Haha, it was overkill! This was a one and done video, I turned on the camera and whatever happened, happened. So my patter/presentation wasn't as prepared as it usually is. I'm actually quite meticulous when it comes to my patter and presentation, this was just like.. an improvisation.

    Prae - Thank you for your criticism. Could you be more specific with which points in the video I don't look comfortable with the cards? The squaring up action that I did looked a little sloppy, but I won't go into what Erdnase says about looking like you don't know anything about card handling. As for the choreography, again the video wasn't planned, edited, or fixed in anyway so I ask for a little mercy on that front.

    Thank you ALL for everything said so far.
  14. Sure Robert, no worries.

    As far as the comfort levels go...

    Ok. At 0:12, when you pick up and flip over the deck. See how your hand kinda takes about 3 good attempts at squaring the deck? That little shuffling motion doesn't feel deliberate enough. If you take your time and just slowly ran your fingers across the front edge once, that would be sufficient.

    The following sequence from 0:13 to 0:30 is similar. Picking up the aces is basically just fidgeting, and doesn't work out. Then, a few seconds later, flipping the Aces face down results in a few fumbles as well - one gets jammed, and generally the four aces lack a rhythm, which I think is important in a repeated action like this to convey elegance.

    One more example, from the time you push the "Aces" into the deck till the time you shuffle the deck, you do about 8 or 9 individual squaring motions, it just looks a little strange.

    Come to think of it, I don't know if comfort was the right word for all of those examples. Just... Slow down, be a bit more assertive and confident in your actions. Perform each action smoothly - even the actions that don't involve sleights. Take a second to steady your grip if you need to, but make your actions deliberate.
  15. Robert what Erdanse said is very true however in your context it could not be further from the truth.

    Both of your phases are suppose to display complete control over the cards and heightened dexterity. So the real question is if you are displaying the effects as skill rather than 'magic' who should you no be able to naturally handle cards. I also feel that the methods you used were too advanced for the effect.
  16. D ICE R - I totally agree with you, I should not have quoted Erdnase in this context.

    However, I will defend my choice of methods. First, it shouldn't matter the method, as it's all in what the spectator sees. Second I will post a quote that I feel is very accurate in this context.

    "We may delight ourselves in excellent ruses in our latest effects, but think nothing of over-handling in a trick we have performed for years. I would like to defend the use of boldness, blagging and bunkum in close-up magic, and suggest that it can provide more of an edge to the experience of performance." - Derren Brown "Pure Effect" on Risk and Delight.

    Now, if you're saying that the sleights I decided to use looked horrible and that I couldn't perform them correctly, then I would re-evaluate my stance.

    Also, thank you Prae for clarifying. I understand what you're saying, and I will work on that :D
  17. Robert, when I first read that quote some time ago, my interpretation of it was markedly different from yours.

    I am interested to see what you and David say, but my interpretation of this quote is that the boldness he talks about falls into the ruses category of methods. Rather, he is criticising in my opinion the tendency of magicians to over-handle our effects. Instead, he would prefer a return to the theme of bluffs and clever ruses, which provide a more exciting performance because it is more bold, and in a sense more "real" for us as well as the spectators than mere finger flinging. If I remember correctly this falls not far from a discussion of psychological forces, perhaps with his lighter, I think it may have been? I do not have the time to check now, but that was my impression.
  18. The point I was trying to make about the handling of your effect is essentially what Prae is saying. You have over handled the effect to the point where too much tension has been created. You have to control 4 Aces as a block in the first part of your effect yet you used a push through shuffle. On the other hand if you used a shuffle retaining the top stock from Erdanse you could get away with a lot more natural handling of the cards.

    The biggest thing I had with the handling was actually the Braun add on move. Basically there was so much tension on your hands and movements and all you were really doing was turning over four cards.
  19. It is near the his lighter effect, but if I backtrack a paragraph or two he says this: "There are a few effects that I have performed for years, and feel that I would be able to continue to do so effectively, even if my brain were removed by a nurse."

    He then goes on to say : "I am convinced that it is too easy to perform old tricks in the old ways without any reappraisal of their emotional impact, the meaning they convey, and what they say about you as a performer."

    What I am interpreting here is that he wants us, as magicians, to use bold techniques (such as the pass, or tenkai palm) to give rejuvenation to an effect is easy to accomplish with little or know handling. It makes it more exciting for the performer and the spectator.

    Doing one method will look one way to a spectator, and switching the method with something like a pass could make the effect look totally different to them!

    This is, of course, how I interpret the passage.
  20. Ohhhhhh, I'm sorry D ICE R. I thought you were reffering to the Sandwich effect. *face palm*

    I have thought back and realized that I did a lot of unneccasary moves in the 4 ace effect. I realized, like you said, that a top retention and a simple false cut would have looked much nicer.

    What would you recommend with the Braue add-on? More relaxed? I guess it should just be like I'm turning over four cards :p

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