Thursday Night Roundtable - The Top Change

Nov 29, 2008
240
0
The move, the myth, the legend, the top change is one of the building blocks of card magic. At the surface it seems to be such a simple move, which it is, in method. But doing the move openly would be disastrous. So it has come with many takes on misdirection, subtleties, and variations to improve the practicality of the move. It is much harder to attain an invisible, silent top change that a beginner would think reading it in Royal Road to Card Magic.

We all know the classic turning misdirection, but I think there is much more to be said. I want you guys to start out first, and i will surely chime in along the way.

With that said, let's begin our discussion of the all important Top Change.
 
Oct 29, 2009
971
0
Just around
Ahhh, such an awesome move when pulled off well. I think the biggest problem with the move (and I know many others suffer from this problem too) is the noise. Anybody have any takes on this?
 
Nov 29, 2008
240
0
The noise does seem to have become a problem for many. I think the simple fix is the same one for most other sleights: a light touch. People handling the cards to heavy causes them to "talk" during the transition and create the clicking and the extra noise. I think too many ppl are trying to pull the original card instead of trying to square it, or as many teachings show it, just hold the card. I think you know what i mean by hold it. unless you're cover for the change is the stroking of the card (which is definitely a viable option) i think the noise of the move is an important issue. Also, another important point is to make sure that the cards being changed and the deck are all in the same plane. If they are not, the cards may have to bend a bit to move with your hand movements, which decreases the smoothness of the change and also causes the cards to talk.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Jul 1, 2009
648
1
27
Austin,TX
Some people grip the card between their middle and thumb, while so grip it with their index and thumb. Which one is the best grip?
 
Nov 29, 2008
240
0
I was hoping this would come up because i know it is a bit of controversy with the move. I personally use all three fingers for the move, but it is usually a matter of preference. I feel like the index and thumb is more natural but i think its a miniscule difference to hold it with the middle, whatever feels natural for you.

I think it is also a very important point that, no matter how you do the move, that your finger position is the same on the card both before and after. I can't stress this enough. I know ellusionist teaches the move where this is not so, but shame on them. I know some assert that the spectators will not notice. But some spectators these days burn your hands with admiarable devotion, and they will notice. Plus, why not spend a little bit more time and learn the move correctly and remove this fallacy?

Thanks Ian for posting, and i know we are not the only two with opinions on this move, and at the same time its not a question answer per se. I think everyone with some experience with the move should post the moves, even if is strays from where the conversation is currently going
 
Jul 1, 2009
648
1
27
Austin,TX
I was praticing the top change and noticed if my grip change to middle finger to index it will look weird to the speactors.
 
Sep 1, 2007
319
2
USA
Expert at the Card table has a teaching of this move...

I still don't do it... I'm too afraid to get caught
 
Nov 29, 2008
240
0
Nino,

Grip with all three, then when you come away make sure you just have all three fingers in line again and nothing will have changed.

Zeanator,

You need confidence my humble friend! Thats why we are here, so you can find a suitable cover and misdirection for this much needed move.
 
Nov 12, 2008
98
0
I personally like the David Williamson technique which is taught in his book Williamson's Wonders or On Demand on dan and daves website. Also, I use Jay Sankey's technique with tilting the deck at eye level with the spectators eyes which will make the move as invisible as it can be.
 
Nov 29, 2008
240
0
I personally like the David Williamson technique which is taught in his book Williamson's Wonders or On Demand on dan and daves website. Also, I use Jay Sankey's technique with tilting the deck at eye level with the spectators eyes which will make the move as invisible as it can be.

I honestly had never tried this i had never heard of Sankey's work on it. But i just tried it in the mirror and it looks great!
 
Nov 29, 2008
240
0
Another of the many subtleties to the top change is the use of the deck hand for pointing. I have heard of some who would point to a spectator with their palm up right hand mid-change to distract from the move. I think this could be a valuable cover to the others already mentioned.
 
Oct 29, 2009
971
0
Just around
Another of the many subtleties to the top change is the use of the deck hand for pointing. I have heard of some who would point to a spectator with their palm up right hand mid-change to distract from the move. I think this could be a valuable cover to the others already mentioned.

Yes, I've seen this too. Very subtle. wZEnigma, that's a great idea, pushing up your sleeve!
 
Nov 20, 2007
4,410
6
Sydney, Australia
On noise: Light grip!

On grip: I personally use thumb and first finger for both cards. Whatever makes you comfortable, really.

On cover: Tilting the deck 45 degrees inwards covers the move nicely for me. Accompany it with a gentle rocking motion of the hands, and then immediately spread them apart again (as in a smaller version of the "what?" shrug), and then point with the right hand, new card in hand. I find this easier to judge than tilting the deck upwards. The most important thing is rhythm. Don't pay any attention to your hands. Keep their head at eye level so that they don't look down (i.e. speak to them directly, and use their name).
 
Oct 29, 2009
971
0
Just around
Don't pay any attention to your hands. Keep their head at eye level so that they don't look down (i.e. speak to them directly, and use their name).

True that. It's extremely important to not look at your hands when doing the move. Besides, to the audience, nothing went on in that moment, so don't even think about it. Don't worry, as long as you've practice the move, you'll be fine.
 

Mike.Hankins

creator / <a href="http://www.theory11.com/tricks/
Nov 21, 2009
435
0
Sacramento, Cali
Hey guys, so I just typed a whole buncha mess about the Top Change and then accidently went back a page...losing it all...soooooo heere it goes again...

So I use the top change 10+ times during my shows. I use it for several different effects including card under glass, an ACR, 2 card monte and a host of others. I will say this: If you know how to manage your audience, then you can execute a Top Change with no problem. Remember, you want to execute the move in the off-beat; when the spectator is not looking at your hands. Just like executing a pass. With good audience management, you can execute any move right under their noses. Trust me.

In his FANTASTIC book which I HIGHLY suggest you guys get if you already do NOT have: Eugene Burger's Mastering the Art of Magic has a GREAT lesson on the Top Change. I will quote just a few sentences from his lesson:
"What makes it all [Top Change] deceptive, is not primarily what your hands and fingers are doing, but the situation you are creating through your words, your eyes, your gestures, and your intereactions with your audience. Once this is realized, the Top Change rather does itself--and you just help it along."

Take note that the Top Change is not just done with the hands, but with your whole body. by gesturing with your hands, and turning to gesture with your body as well as your eyes, you can give yourself a reason for the hands to come together, and it is at this moment when the Top Change can be executed.

Again from Eugene's book: Mastering the Art of Magic he states, "People simply will not see the exchange of cards IF their attention is on the spectators who are in the spotlight. Yet the exchange is done boldy--right under their noses."

Think about the Top Change as you would the Pass. We don't want to have Jeffrey Bimzowablle looking at our hands as we execute the move, right? Well, unless we are using the Pass as a visual color change. But in most cases, we execute the pass when we have the audiences attention elsewhere other than our hands.

As for noise? Well, say your favorite one liner to create a bit of a laugh, and voila! The sound of the Top Change will never be heard!

I hope this helps out guys and gals... :)

Mike
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Nov 29, 2008
240
0
Thanks Mike I have learned a lot from my own discussion and i know many of us will be thinking about the top change for the next few days. Unfortunately i have to go to bed now, but that does not mean the discussion will not stop! Discuss to your hearts content, or maybe until it is friday lol. I hope to see at least another page of awesome comments on the Top change when i wake up tomorrow.

Goodnight to all and to all a good night,
Colin
 
Jun 1, 2009
1,066
6
I personally like the David Williamson technique which is taught in his book Williamson's Wonders or On Demand on dan and daves website. Also, I use Jay Sankey's technique with tilting the deck at eye level with the spectators eyes which will make the move as invisible as it can be.
I dont quite understand this method, you hold the deck up higher? :confused:

Hey guys, so I just typed a whole buncha mess about the Top Change and then accidently went back a page...losing it all...soooooo heere it goes again...

So I use the top change 10+ times during my shows. I use it for several different effects including card under glass, an ACR, 2 card monte and a host of others. I will say this: If you know how to manage your audience, then you can execute a Top Change with no problem. Remember, you want to execute the move in the off-beat; when the spectator is not looking at your hands. Just like executing a pass. With good audience management, you can execute any move right under their noses. Trust me.

In his FANTASTIC book which I HIGHLY suggest you guys get if you already do NOT have: Eugene Burger's Mastering the Art of Magic has a GREAT lesson on the Top Change. I will quote just a few sentences from his lesson:
"What makes it all [Top Change] deceptive, is not primarily what your hands and fingers are doing, but the situation you are creating through your words, your eyes, your gestures, and your intereactions with your audience. Once this is realized, the Top Change rather does itself--and you just help it along."

Take note that the Top Change is not just done with the hands, but with your whole body. by gesturing with your hands, and turning to gesture with your body as well as your eyes, you can give yourself a reason for the hands to come together, and it is at this moment when the Top Change can be executed.

Again from Eugene's book: Mastering the Art of Magic he states, "People simply will not see the exchange of cards IF their attention is on the spectators who are in the spotlight. Yet the exchange is done boldy--right under their noses."

Think about the Top Change as you would the Pass. We don't want to have Jeffrey Bimzowablle looking at our hands as we execute the move, right? Well, unless we are using the Pass as a visual color change. But in most cases, we execute the pass when we have the audiences attention elsewhere other than our hands.

As for noise? Well, say your favorite one liner to create a bit of a laugh, and voila! The sound of the Top Change will never be heard!

I hope this helps out guys and gals... :)

Mike

Awesome advice Mike, thanks. This will go into consideration. I need to get mine a bit smoother and this looks like it will help.

Personally, I use the one taught in "Marlo Without Tears" where you pull out the switching card in a rubbing action, its pretty awesome, especially when you use the patter "by rubbing the card it changes." Although it creates noise, you can take Mike's advice and use a one-liner for some laughter.

Your boy,
Fez

Personally
 
Nov 29, 2008
240
0
Fezzik, for the Sankey technique, he meant tilt the front of the deck so the spectator would be looking right over the top of it, like the front edge is all he can really see.
 
Searching...
{[{ searchResultsCount }]} Results