Sam the Bellhop for kids?

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.
tdk408
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Sam the Bellhop for kids?

Postby tdk408 » August 16th, 2017, 9:56 pm

I've always enjoyed Bill Malone's Sam the Bellhop. Fun routine.

But in a restaurant, there are lots of kids. There isn't much for kids in Sam the Bellhop.

Can anyone recommend a story deck that is more kid friendly?

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luigimar
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Re: Sam the Bellhop for kids?

Postby luigimar » August 16th, 2017, 10:14 pm

Unfortunately it may be out of stock but Once Upon a Time by Guy Hollingworth could be what you are looking for.

https://www.vanishingincmagic.com/magic/beginners-magic/Once-Upon-A-Time/
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luigimar
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Re: Sam the Bellhop for kids?

Postby luigimar » August 16th, 2017, 10:43 pm

Just checked and he seems to have it available on his website...

http://www.guy-hollingworth.com/
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tdk408
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Re: Sam the Bellhop for kids?

Postby tdk408 » August 17th, 2017, 6:31 am

luigimar wrote:Once Upon a Time by Guy Hollingworth could be what you are looking for


Thank you, that's nice.

Does anyone know other story decks with an ordinary deck, similar to Sam the Bellhop?

Also, if you perform Sam the Bellhop, how do you cover an occasional goof, like one card in the wrong place?

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Joe Pecore
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Re: Sam the Bellhop for kids?

Postby Joe Pecore » August 17th, 2017, 7:32 am

tdk408 wrote:
luigimar wrote:Once Upon a Time by Guy Hollingworth could be what you are looking for


...

Does anyone know other story decks with an ordinary deck, similar to Sam the Bellhop?
...



Checkout variations here http://geniimagazine.com/wiki/index.php ... rayer_Book
Share your knowledge on the MagicPedia wiki.

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Re: Sam the Bellhop for kids?

Postby MagicbyAlfred » August 17th, 2017, 10:30 am

@tdk408: "Also, if you perform Sam the Bellhop, how do you cover an occasional goof, like one card in the wrong place?"

You don't. If you have a card in the wrong place, depending on where it is, it could have repercussions beyond just one mistake and mess you up beyond recovery. Since the entire deck needs to be set up ahead of time, just double and triple check the order before presenting the routine. There is no reason for having a card(s) in the wrong place. This is truly a case of an ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure. If you are doing false shuffles and/or cuts in the routine, they have to be perfect; otherwise, you would be better off doing it without. Very few people on the planet (if any) are going to be able to do it like Bill does. But it can still be an entertaining piece with some safe but convincing false cuts that are within your technical ability (e.g. Jay Ose's Cut, Card College, Vol. 1, p. 60) and that you are certain you can pull off here and there during the routine.

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Re: Sam the Bellhop for kids?

Postby tdk408 » August 18th, 2017, 12:24 am

MagicbyAlfred wrote:@tdk408: "how do you cover an occasional goof, like one card in the wrong place?"

You don't.


There is no way to avoid all mistakes. I occasionally goof a move I have done thousands of times.

So when a wrong card comes up you just day Oops and move to another trick,? What'do you do?

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Re: Sam the Bellhop for kids?

Postby Brad Henderson » August 18th, 2017, 1:03 am

first you have to decide what the effect is and how you are allegedly accomplishing it. then you can answer the question you have posed. but not before

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Re: Sam the Bellhop for kids?

Postby performer » August 18th, 2017, 7:06 am

That is an awkward one isn't it? I get all sorts of tricks wrong probably about 30% of the time and always have. So it isn't just age. Merely incompetence. However, in 90% of cases it doesn't make the blindest bit of difference. In fact it is often an asset because it lowers the natural resentment of people when they watch magicians. And it helps with sucker tricks since they have seen you screw up in the past and as a result are more likely to believe you have merely believe you have screwed up again. Besides most of the time nobody knows you have screwed up anyway. There are so many ways of getting out of trouble particularly with cards. Part of my secret has always been a marvellous little book called "Outs, Precautions and Challenges" by Charles Hopkins. This gives you an out for just about every situation. Except Sam the Bellhop of course!

Alan Alan once said to me, "You are looking for the outs before the trick has even gone wrong!" Some magicians try to be too perfect and I have always regarded that as a mistake in itself. People like you to be human -not perfect.

However, I started this post by musing that this particular trick is an awkward one. I have never done Sam the Bellhop and probably never will as I work impromptu and can't be bothered setting up full decks although I am not against it either. I just can't be bothered with the inconvenience that's all. But how would you get out of trouble if you screw it up as I would be very likely to do? There is nothing in the Hopkins book to help you as far as I am aware. Alfred probably has the best solution in that you make sure you don't screw it up in the first place.

I think I know what I would do though if I were doing this trick on a regular basis and needed to protect myself from my own inevitable incompetence. I would have handy an extra deck all set up in case of emergency. I would mumble some excuse, probably saying "We all make mistakes. My mother made one" and start the trick again either straight away or perhaps a little later.

I can just see myself saying, "Oh, forget this, I have forgotten how to do it. My memory will come back later!" and trying it again some tricks later. Audiences love to see magicians messing things up and admitting it. They like the guy far better than some hot shot getting everything right all the time. The only people that tut-tut about this are daft magicians who think you have to be perfect. You don't. You really don't. And in fact you shouldn't!

I believe in the Too Perfect theory too but not the one you normally chatter about.

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Re: Sam the Bellhop for kids?

Postby Jack Shalom » August 18th, 2017, 8:32 pm

You can do what Simon Lovell used to do--do the whole shuffled deck story impromptu for real. I saw him do it twice in a row.

By the way didn't he also have a story deck for children--Who Killed Lilly Longlegs or something like that?

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Re: Sam the Bellhop for kids?

Postby Brad Jeffers » August 18th, 2017, 8:39 pm


MagicbyAlfred
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Re: Sam the Bellhop for kids?

Postby MagicbyAlfred » August 18th, 2017, 8:55 pm

tdk408 wrote:
MagicbyAlfred wrote:@tdk408: "how do you cover an occasional goof, like one card in the wrong place?"

You don't.


There is no way to avoid all mistakes. I occasionally goof a move I have done thousands of times.

So when a wrong card comes up you just day Oops and move to another trick,? What'do you do?


You seem to have broadened your question well beyond the original context, which was how do you cover up the specific mistake of getting a card in the wrong place doing Sam the Bellhop? Yes, of course, any magician can and will make a mistake - I am living proof of that. I think Performer makes an excellent point that they are going to like you better for being imperfect - that is, if you are, in fact, likable and not coming across as what Performer aptly described as the "hot shot." It is human psychology for people to relate to and empathize with the vulnerability and imperfections of others - even professional entertainers - as long as they are not flubbing up left and right, and most importantly, understand presentation and how to entertain.

All of this said, I have two outs that I have used successfully over the years. First, I always have my ID in my back pocket (and that doesn't stand for "Identification Card"). I would obviously prefer to do it as a stand-alone routine, but it is a built-in, ready-to-go out. (After asking what their card actually was, I say, "Wow, that's amazing because before I came here today, I had a premonition that I was going to meet you, and I had the strongest impression of a certain card, and placed that card upside down in this deck here...etc"). Second, I act surprised that it is the wrong card, and start looking through the deck and say something like, "Hmmm, this isn't going to look good on my resume," or perhaps, "Well, any magician can get the right card, but that would be boring and predictable, wouldn't it?" I then ask, "Well, just out of curiosity, what was your card?" When they name it, I cut it to the top, palm it off, and hand them the deck asking them, "Would you mind holding these for a moment?" [and, reaching into my pocket] "because I always keep one card in my pocket..." This flies by every time, and when the card is produced the laughs and reactions are often better than they are when the trick succeeds in the first instance.

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Brad Jeffers
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Re: Sam the Bellhop for kids?

Postby Brad Jeffers » August 19th, 2017, 2:23 pm

luigimar wrote: If you perform Sam the Bellhop, how do you cover an occasional goof, like one card in the wrong place?

It is not possible to have just one card in the wrong place.

The smallest number of misplaced cards you can have is two.

The most likely scenario is that if you turn up one wrong card, there will be many errors to follow.

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Re: Sam the Bellhop for kids?

Postby MagicbyAlfred » August 19th, 2017, 5:16 pm

Brad, I believe that you meant tdk408, as opposed to Luigimar. tdk408's question regarding what to do if you get a card in the wrong place, appears to be in response to Luigimar's recommendation of the Guy Hollingsworth routine as a "Sam the Bellhop" for children. In any event, I definitely agree with your comment.

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Re: Sam the Bellhop for kids?

Postby luigimar » August 21st, 2017, 1:07 am

True, I never said that...

And yes, I also agree with the comment...
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Re: Sam the Bellhop for kids?

Postby tdk408 » August 22nd, 2017, 8:57 pm

MagicbyAlfred wrote:You seem to have broadened your question well beyond the original context, which was how do you cover up the specific mistake of getting a card in the wrong place doing Sam the Bellhop?


No, my question did not change. I guess I am not making myself clear.

If you are performing Sam the Bellhop, and you botch a false shuffle even slightly, obviously you are hosed. If you say two dollar tip and it's a six, for example. What do you do? What do you say? None of the answers so far have addressed this.

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Re: Sam the Bellhop for kids?

Postby performer » August 22nd, 2017, 10:34 pm

I thought I answered this. Have an extra deck all set up, make some excuse and then start again with the fresh deck and try not to screw it up this time.
What excuse you may say? Dunno. I shall leave that up to you. Any bloody thing. As I am typing I am thinking of something now. Just say "ouch! I just got an electric shock from this deck! Let me try again with another deck" Yes, they will think you a bit odd but so what? You need a dash of what Murray the escapologist called "audacity and bluff"

Or sprinkle the deck with woofle dust before you start. They will either think you are a showman or you are eccentric. It doesn't matter either way. Then if it goes wrong just say, "Oh, I put too much woofle dust on the cards. Let me try another deck"

You need brazen nonsense along these lines. Here is something else at the top of my head. When you can see it is about to go wrong merely say

"What day is this? Wednesday. Oh sorry. I cannot use this deck on a Wednesday. Today is Thursday. Let me use my Thursday deck"

I just thought of all the above in the last few minutes as I was typing. I must say you are very privileged to have me here.

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Re: Sam the Bellhop for kids?

Postby tdk408 » August 22nd, 2017, 11:48 pm

performer wrote:Or sprinkle the deck with woofle dust before you start. They will either think you are a showman or you are eccentric. It doesn't matter either way. Then if it goes wrong just say, "Oh, I put too much woofle dust on the cards. Let me try another deck"

Blame the woofle dust! :) :) :) I do usually make something up on the fly, like "I hate that trick, and it apparently hates me, too" is one I made up the other night. I threw the deck away in disgust, and the table thought it was intentional. If I were always that clever, I wouldn't have a problem.
performer wrote:[A mistake] is often an asset because it lowers the natural resentment of people when they watch magicians. And it helps with sucker tricks since they have seen you screw up in the past and as a result are more likely to believe you have merely believe you have screwed up again. Besides most of the time nobody knows you have screwed up anyway.

That is a very astute observation, Performer. I discovered that one of my tricks always works better if I goof the first time. Now I always "goof" first and nobody ever gives me a hard time. And then the ending is way more powerful than if I got it right the first time.

Still, I can usually make up an alternate ending for a regular card trick gone bad, but Sam the Bellhop isn't that kind of trick.
performer wrote:I just thought of all the above in the last few minutes as I was typing. I must say you are very privileged to have me here.

Yes, I certainly agree. :)

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Re: Sam the Bellhop for kids?

Postby performer » August 23rd, 2017, 12:29 am

The main thing is to have the second deck handy. Oddly enough for psychological reasons this makes it more unlikely you will fail the first time since you will have more confidence since you know that you have a back up if all else fails.

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Re: Sam the Bellhop for kids?

Postby Q. Kumber » August 23rd, 2017, 7:06 am

It is unlikely that many cards would be out of order, most likely a small bunch together, so look through the cards and rearrange. Tamariz has a section on this in Mnemonica.

If badly messed up, just fan the faces towards you and pull out the necessary cards as you need them.

The story will carry you.

Failing all, have the deck shuffled, tell them you have a better story and do the Four Burglars.

For reference, the effect is credited to Frank Everhart, not Bill Malone, even though it is one of Bill's signature tricks.

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Re: Sam the Bellhop for kids?

Postby Bill Malone » August 23rd, 2017, 10:12 am

The effect is in the book, The Final word on cards, by Rufus Steele. Check it out. The name is of the trick is Sam and Moe. Frank Everheart popularized it. I added shuffles, flourishes and in between bits to the story.
Bill

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Re: Sam the Bellhop for kids?

Postby performer » August 23rd, 2017, 12:08 pm

I swear I read it or something similar in Scarne on Card Tricks but I may be imagining it. I will have to check.

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Re: Sam the Bellhop for kids?

Postby Q. Kumber » August 23rd, 2017, 12:11 pm

Bill Malone wrote:The effect is in the book, The Final word on cards, by Rufus Steele. Check it out. The name is of the trick is Sam and Moe. Frank Everheart popularized it. I added shuffles, flourishes and in between bits to the story.
Bill


Bill, thank you for the reference. I always thought it was Frank Everhart's.

Coincidentally I was watching your Penguin lecture yesterday, and absolutely love your High Card Poker Cutting. A superb presentation.

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Re: Sam the Bellhop for kids?

Postby lybrary » August 23rd, 2017, 1:26 pm

Bill Malone wrote:The effect is in the book, The Final word on cards, by Rufus Steele. Check it out. The name is of the trick is Sam and Moe. Frank Everheart popularized it. I added shuffles, flourishes and in between bits to the story.
Bill

That is not quite correct. The book is called "The Last Word on Cards" and the effect title is "Moe and Sam". PDF version can be obtained here https://www.lybrary.com/the-last-word-o ... p-620.html
Lybrary.com https://www.lybrary.com/s-w-erdnase-m-11.html
preserving magic one book at a time

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Re: Sam the Bellhop for kids?

Postby performer » August 23rd, 2017, 3:26 pm

I once read somewhere that Robert Parrish wrote at least some of the Rufus Steele books. I have no idea if this is true or not.

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Re: Sam the Bellhop for kids?

Postby Q. Kumber » August 23rd, 2017, 3:37 pm

The title page of Last Word on Cards states the book was compiled by Rufus Steele and edited by Robert Parrish.
No credit is given for the Moe and Sam routine, so it may will be a Rufus plot.

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Re: Sam the Bellhop for kids?

Postby performer » August 23rd, 2017, 5:21 pm

I suspect it was compiled by Rufus Steele and WRITTEN by Robert Parrish.

This blurb about another book where Steele and Parrish were involved seems to confirm this. Here is the relevant paragraph:

"The prolific author of conjuring Robert Parrish is credited with only editing the book, but it was actually Parrish who wrote the volume. Parrish related in his 1994 book Words About Wizards that Steele was "incapable of writing a grammatical sentence." For this reason, Steele had Parrish write Paul Rosini's Magical Gems."

Here is the complete link to the blurb:
http://dennymagic.com/store/paul-rosini ... -used.html

I am somewhat horrified that this great book is online for free for anyone to read. A site called "Magic Wiki" or something.

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Re: Sam the Bellhop for kids?

Postby MagicbyAlfred » August 23rd, 2017, 6:00 pm

@tdk408: "...I guess I am not making myself clear. If you are performing Sam the Bellhop, and you botch a false shuffle even slightly, obviously you are hosed. If you say two dollar tip and it's a six, for example. What do you do? What do you say? None of the answers so far have addressed this."

Then I'll give it a try. How about smiling and saying: "But as it turns out, the King was feeling generous that day, and he threw in another 4 bucks," or, "Clearly math was not the King's forte."

But neither I, nor anyone else, is going to be there to improvise for you. We need to be able to be able to think quick and cleverly on our feet when engaging with spectators. If you are getting yourself into a fix by making mistakes in a routine that is exceptionally unforgiving, and where one mistake equals multiple mistakes, or even blows the whole routine, you either need to be practicing a lot more, or just doing some other trick.

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Re: Sam the Bellhop for kids?

Postby Kent Gunn » August 23rd, 2017, 9:07 pm

TDK,

I made up my own story. With some minor tweaking it could be your story.

Some points on story tricks no one else here has pointed out.

1. If you use large index cards, or the parlor sized ones, by Phoenix, I'm using in the video it makes the effect easier to follow and works for a large audience. (I got this idea from Curtis Kam who does his story trick with Jumbo cards.

2. If you're not Bill Malone, I'd ditch Sam entirely. Your average 14-year-old doesn't know what a bellhop is and has certainly never seen one. Heck, I'm sixty and I've never seen a bellhop.

3. It's not that hard to take a vignette from your OWN LIFE and make a story trick. Here's a simple outline.

4. If you've lived in a well-known big city, like Chicago, New York City, New Orleans or . . . San Francisco: that city has built in stories hiding everywhere, find that story.

5. The hours of the day can take up some number as can years or city addresses.

Describe a series of events where you travel to a place, and then return.
Put a trick within the trick to use up a bunch of number cards and put some variety into the overall story.
Jacks are men, Kings too and the Queens are the women you run into.

Here's what one amateur's routine looks like.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLCQAyPDhvM

It gets a greater reaction than anything else I've ever done in magic, from laymen. (that could be a negative reflection on my other material, but I digress)

Alfred, I've found the two sleights I use in the routine, DelGaudio's truffle shuffle and Frank Thompson's cut, from Super Subtle are foolproof. Practice, goddamnit and the mistake rate goes way, way down. If you:

Come up with your own story, you can't forget it.
Run through the story in your mind, sorting the cards into your story order. Then you'll know they're set up right.
Rehearse more than you ever practiced.
Tape your rehearsals. Review them. It will make your delivery of the story better.

I swear my Truffle Shuffle looks better these days. I'd just learned it when I shot this. Thanks to Ricky Smith for a tip on the shuffle and to Theron Schaub for showing me his version. (Directions in Genii for Mr. Delgaudio's shuffle are right on this site!!!!)

KG

tdk408
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Re: Sam the Bellhop for kids?

Postby tdk408 » August 23rd, 2017, 10:53 pm

Kent Gunn wrote: Some points on story tricks no one else here has pointed out.

Many, many useful ideas in your long, thoughtful message, Kent. Thanks for writing it!

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Re: Sam the Bellhop for kids?

Postby MagicbyAlfred » August 24th, 2017, 1:49 am

Kent,

Thanks for that informative post and your creative routine. I am intrigued with what you said about it getting the best reaction from laymen, but somehow I am not surprised. Everything Bill does gets a fantastic reaction, and deservedly so, but I would venture to say that Sam the Bellhop could be his biggest crowd pleaser. With routines like this people can sit back and relax - no cards to remember, no challenge, or matching of wits. I have given quite a bit of thought to what it is about movies, TV shows and books that draw people in, keeping their interest and engaging their emotions, and how to apply it to my magic. The bottom line is that people love stories - good ones that are well-told, anyway - and have since time immemorial, as evidenced by the long tradition of stories told around the campfire, or when eating, and especially drinking. I have noticed that the card routines people ask me to repeat most often for their friends (in addition to signed card on ceiling), are story routines, such as Magician Versus Gambler, The Story of the Twins (married to twins), and my own little creation, The Night I Beat the House in Vegas. The "regulars" in the establishments where I perform even remember them, and ask for them by name, and never seem to tire of them....

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Re: Sam the Bellhop for kids?

Postby tdk408 » August 24th, 2017, 2:19 am

Q. Kumber wrote:If badly messed up, just fan the faces towards you and pull out the necessary cards as you need them. The story will carry you.

Failing all, have the deck shuffled, tell them you have a better story and do the Four Burglars.


Two excellent ideas! Just what I was looking for!

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Re: Sam the Bellhop for kids?

Postby tdk408 » August 24th, 2017, 2:28 am

Bill Malone wrote: I added shuffles, flourishes and in between bits to the story.


I enjoyed learning your false shuffles and flourishes, Bill. Nice to learn it from another lefty

Tom


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