Elmsley Count

A place where beginners can participate, ask questions, and post their views. However, beginners typically ask a lot of questions about sources, tricks, books, and so on. In fact, all magicians are interested (or should be) in the provenance of tricks, ideas, and related matters. This department will service these needs.

Postby Guest » 01/06/04 03:48 PM

HI

Can anybody tell me if sleight of hand tricks are better than gimmicked tricks. When I do gimmicked tricks I always feel as if I am cheating but then I suppose Magic is just deception by any means anyway isn't it.

Yours in Magic, Barry
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Postby Adrian Kuiper » 01/06/04 05:31 PM

Hi Barry...
Now you're getting into the centuries(?) old area of purist vs non-purist. I know of one well-known magician who will never destroy a playing card. Just won't do it. He is a purist and an extremely good one.

Phil Goldstein lectured for our magic club many years ago. The name of the lecture was "Card tricks for people who don't like card tricks." (At least I think that was the title. Anyhow, it was the lecture note set that contained the Las Vegas Poker Club. But....I digress (or ramble, as the case may be.)

Anyhow, I recall him saying that night that it doesn't matter what gets the applause...as long as its done, lets say, beautifully. So, whether you use a gimmick or not, its the performance that counts and if a gimmick will make life easier for you....Go for it.

(And if it wasn't Mr. Goldstein who said it, then my apologies to him.)

No one should feel they've shortchanged an audience if they've done the absolute best they can do.

Just my $.02 worth.
Adrian

BTW: I think those Lecture Notes contain the best material I've seen in years.
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Postby Randy » 01/06/04 05:31 PM

Hi Barry,

Me again. Why not concentrate on your presentation instead of wondering "what type of trick is better". If you have a solid and entertaining presentation, a lay person could not care less how much "hidden skill" was involved. They just want to have a good time and should not even suspect that you are using pure sleight of hand, self-working tricks (whatever they are), etc. It's the magician that makes the magic, not the trick.
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Postby Guest » 01/13/04 07:14 AM

I agree. Whether it's sleight or gaff, as long as you amaze without tipping the spectator the method, you have achieved your goal. "Twisted Sisters" is an amazing trick that uses a gaff. But, it appears as a sleight to the spectator because THEIR card somehow turned over. They never know, but they're still amazed.

By the way, what does all this have to do with the Elmsley Count? ;)
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Postby Pete McCabe » 01/13/04 11:48 AM

Unless you do real magic, the only thing that matters is the experience you create in the mind of your audience. Gaffs, moves, subtleties, assistants, preparation, mathematical principles, misdirection, they're usable.

However, when you're considering method only, I generally find that the most effective tricks use two methods which cancel each other out. Frequently this means taking a gaff and combining it with sleight-of-hand.
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Postby Rennie » 01/15/04 07:31 AM

Adrian,
I have the lecture notes also and as I recall they are titled " Card Tricks for People who Don't do card tricks and some for People who Do"I could check when I go home this evening. I personally feel that Max Maven's / Phil Goldstein's best stuff was in his color series of mentalism. As for the statement I believe it was Ted Annemann who said " The effect is the important thing, how you achieve it is not "No truer words were ever spoken.
Rennie
The effect is the important thing, how you achieve is not !!
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Postby Rennie » 01/15/04 07:33 AM

Barry,
I was just curious, why is this topic called "Elmsley Count" ?Nothing mentioned about it .
Rennie
The effect is the important thing, how you achieve is not !!
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Postby Guest » 03/16/04 12:37 AM

Some magicians will say sleight of hand is better, some will say gaffs are better. There are good arguments all ways. Just don't forget that ALL magic is theater, and theater is entertainment. Concentrate on effect, not method. When you find an effect you want to perform, learn it regardless of its method. And learn how to work with both sleights and gaffs. Don't listen to what the 'purists' say. Do what is right for you.
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Postby Guest » 04/08/04 11:49 AM

I'm with you, Rennie. Isn't there a question/discussion about the Elmsley Count in here? Maybe I'll start one...

What's the max number of cards one can successfully Elmsley Count? Discuss.
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Postby Bill Duncan » 04/08/04 12:24 PM

Originally posted by Johnnymysto:
What's the max number of cards one can successfully Elmsley Count? Discuss.
Well, that would have to be three now wouldn't it? Even if the number of cards hidden under the second is five you're still only going to show three backs (or faces).

I suppose you could make the argument that the number is four but that's the false part of the count... so I'm going to stick with three.

Final Answer.
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Postby Dale Shrimpton » 04/09/04 06:11 AM

the answer to your question is...
" good magic beats bad magic hands down".
what does it matter how its done, as long as it's done well?
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Postby Andy Hurst » 04/25/04 08:51 AM

Originally posted by Johnnymysto:
I'm with you, Rennie. Isn't there a question/discussion about the Elmsley Count in here? Maybe I'll start one...

What's the max number of cards one can successfully Elmsley Count? Discuss.
all of them.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 04/25/04 11:28 AM

Originally posted by Johnnymysto:
What's the max number of cards one can successfully Elmsley Count? Discuss.
The key seems to be the block that moves on the count of two. Even with good misdirection there are some basic limits on concealing thickness.

If you do the thing from a side or Biddle like grip, a full deck count might be possible. The transfer of the thick packet into a suitable deep grip in the receiving hand is a challenge. Any takers?
Mundus vult decipi
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