Elmsley count with mechanics grip

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Postby swamy » 05/05/08 05:35 AM

It was John Fedko who first did the Elmsley count with mechanics grip and it was known as "One handed EC" by Vernon. Fedko even sold this move named as "Fedko Finasse". It is mentioned in his catalogue.

I request the members to put your views / elaborate on this.

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 05/05/08 11:29 AM

Sorry, but doing the Elmsley Count from dealing grip was something Alex himself was doing for years. The odd way of holding the packet was an invention of Vernon's designed solely to be used in Twisting the Aces.
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Postby Jim Maloney » 05/05/08 11:32 AM

Richard,
My understanding was that the fingertip grip was not Vernon's idea, but rather the way he originally learned the E.C. from Jack Avis, who was doing it with jumbo cards, therefore needing to do it at the fingertips. This info is available, among other places, at MagicPedia.

You are, of course, correct that Elmsley's original way of doing the count was from dealing grip.

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Postby NCMarsh » 05/05/08 12:17 PM

Typically, when this gets discussed, it's taken as gospel by many that the mechanic's grip version is more natural -- and therefore -- more deceptive. Piet Forton makes the point in his lecture that the "fingertips" handling feels fairer -- like you're being open and showing there is no possibility for doing anything "funny"...

I don't think it's the right choice for every context, if you're actually using the move to count cards ("four card reiteration"), then I think that not changing grips and doing it out of the mechanic's grip the cards are already in is the fairest choice. But, if you're simply displaying in a clear and fair way the condition of the cards -- say in "Twisting the Aces" or "MacDonald's Aces" -- I think that handling the cards at the tips of the fingers makes every thing feel very fair and above-board and makes it feel like nothing secret could be happening

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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 05/05/08 12:31 PM

If you're going for "natural" you'd probably also want to consider working from the Biddle or Veeser type grip, ie holding the packet from above and by the fingertips and pulling the cards off the top of that packet into the other hand. Just a small injogg of that bottom card made in the process of taking that first card off the top helps greatly there. ;)


Still no idea what a "one handed EC" is or who Fedko is as pertains to inventing this stuff but perhaps he's putting out videos and teaching other folks work?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 05/05/08 04:12 PM

The term "Mechanics Grip" should be avoided here. It refers to a specific grip used for false dealing.

We are discussing doing the count from what I call "dealing position"--a simple term.

I disagree with Piet--the business about doing the count at the fingertips doesn't look fair, or natural, it looks odd. The ONLY reason Vernon used that grip is for the twisting movement which precedes each count in Twisting the Aces.
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Postby Ian Kendall » 05/05/08 04:21 PM

In my copy of the 4 Card Trick booklet the Ghost count is described into a dealing grip (I think since called a 'deep' grip), but into the right hand. After about fifteen years of doing the count into the right hand I switched to holding the packet in the left hand.

I consider this method more 'natural' (if one can call counting four cards instead of spreading them as 'natural') because of the ease in getting into the action; the packet is held in the left hand in the dealing grip, much as you would hold any packet of cards. The right hand takes hold of the bottom right corner and you go straight into the display. There is no changing of finger position required if you were to count into the right hand, or at the fingertips.

However, I would suggest learning the count both ways. If you can do a fingertip count as well as the grip count you will be able to work with jumbo cards, and I have a version which is done at chest height facing outwards which uses similar movements.

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Postby Pete McCabe » 05/05/08 06:03 PM

If you want your Elmsley count to be accepted without suspicion, you might want to check if you are starting with the cards in the left hand and then counting them back into the left hand. Hard to make this seem natural.
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Postby Ian Kendall » 05/05/08 06:12 PM

Pete makes a good point, I think I was not clear. To start the count you need to be holding a corner (or edge) of the cards at fingertips, and then pull the cards into the other hand. If you hold the cards in the left hand dealing grip and then grasp the bottom right corner with your right hand, you can then draw off the top card of the packet with the left thumb in the same action. In effect you have 'changed grip' into the right fingertips, but in a natural action.

If you hold the packet in your left hand, then move them to left fingertips and count them into the right hand I can't see how all that extra movement will make something look more natural that the first method.

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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 05/05/08 06:28 PM

Actually Pete, Ian, folks - that's kind of why I suggested the Biddle grip approach. This way you can pick up the packet from above with your right hand and then count them into your left as you talk. :)
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Postby Pete McCabe » 05/05/08 06:34 PM

There's a chapter in Scripting Magic (by yours truly) called "Scripting Counts," which addresses the issue of making an Elmsley count (and a traditional biddle steal sequence) look natural.
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Postby Ian Kendall » 05/05/08 06:39 PM

Pete - I've not got to that chapter yet, but I'll look it up.

Jon - We have the same approach - you take the cards in Biddle grip, I take them in right hand fingertip. We both take the cards from the left hand, and I get to make the first action of the count at the same time.

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 05/05/08 09:37 PM

If the packet begins in left-hand dealing position, all you have to do is take it with the right hand, thumb above and fingertips beneath (either at the inner right corner or at the center of the right long side). Gesture with the packet for a second or two as you speak, and then begin peeling the cards into your left hand. That makes it perfectly clear.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 05/05/08 10:16 PM

Who was it that used to do the count from dealer's grip in one hand to dealer's grip in the other? I recall seeing Bob Elliot show me this in Tannen's long ago (about 1978) and he mentioned Derek Dingle but I don't recall this hitting print at that time.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 05/05/08 10:25 PM

Dingle did--it's in one of his Innovations pamphlets.
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Postby Randy Sager » 05/05/08 11:13 PM

I agree that with what some have said that the Elmsley count from pinch grip just doesn't look right. Mike Skinner did the Vernon Twisting the aces routine but he didn't use the finger grip as Vernon did. He used as Richard calls it Dealing grip. I switched to this 11 years ago and it just feels and looks much better they holding the cards as Vernon did. I do the Elmsley count this way no matter what the effect is. I will never go back to the pinch grip of both hands for any reason.

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Postby swamy » 05/06/08 12:14 AM

1. John Fedko resume is posted on this address http://www.ring313.org/JohnFedko/Fedko_Magic.htm

2. "Fedko's Finesse" was his product and mentioned in his magic catalogue. Also the same was performed in his teaching video. I even sent an email to John and confirmed it that Elmsley count with dealers Grip was his creation in the year 1972. He even mentioned that Linking ring had an advertisemt on this.
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Postby swamy » 05/06/08 12:24 AM

Sorry for mentioning "Mechanics grip" instead of Dealers Grip.
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Postby Randy Sager » 05/06/08 03:40 PM

Swamy as Richard said Elmsley was the first to do his count from dealers grip. That is well doucumented in the book The Collected Works Of Alex Elmsley vol#1 Written by Stephen Minch. Alex was doing it this way way before 1972. Fedko was not the one that came up with the idea of doing the count in this way.
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Postby Pete Biro » 05/10/08 02:00 PM

Persi Diaconis fooled the crap out of me with the Veeser concept after doing the E.C. from a dealing grip.
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Postby Glenn Godsey » 05/10/08 09:45 PM

Richard Kaufman wrote:Dingle did--it's in one of his Innovations pamphlets.


Dingle was the first I saw do it. Unfortunately, I have a poor memory for dates...but it seems to me like the early 70's.

I have done it this way ever since, and it is probably my most practiced card move. Now it is as natural as breathing. If you can do the Ghost count convincingly, you have a large repertoire of card magic at hand.

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Postby Joe Mckay » 05/11/08 10:13 AM

Important tip. When doing the Elmsley count it looks better if you display the cards in one hand then count into the other. For instance, I hold the cards in my left hand and after the Elmsley count the cards are in my right hand. If you hold the cards in one hand and then count them back into the same hand it dosen't look as good. This is a simple point that I came across on the Magic Circle Jerk blog. Man, that was a great site...

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Postby flynn » 05/11/08 12:06 PM

I didnt know people did the elmsey counting the cars back into the same hand.
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Postby Dave V » 05/11/08 03:23 PM

That's the basic "look" of most mechanic's grip versions which is why I don't like it. The packet starts in the left, the packet is taken into the right so they can be peeled off one at a time back into the left. Too unnatural for me. If you're going to count the cards, count them!. Fiddling around with them just raises suspicion that you're doing something fishy (which you are!)
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Postby flynn » 05/11/08 07:38 PM

I see what your taking about I just saw people on MVD start with the packet from the left and leaving the first card behind on the first count then countinuing with the count. I learned the count from Daryl (not in person lol) starting everything on one side and counting.
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Postby Pete Biro » 05/11/08 09:08 PM

Many moons ago, when Elmsley was here in the colonies, I learned his handling direct from him.

Hold the cards in left hand in dealing position. Left thumb peels top card over to left as right hand fingertips grip the 3 cards at the right edge, half way down the cards and the left hand moves left carrying away the top card. As that card is moving the right thumb pushes off the top 2 cards of the 3. (THE RIGHT HAND NEVER MOVES, the left keep TAKING AWAY CARDS and replacing them UNDER the right hand cards).
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Postby Ian Kendall » 05/12/08 03:20 AM

Pete - that's what I said but noone listened :)

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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 05/12/08 09:57 AM

Ian - there are two (or more) reasons to do the "count". To show how many cards there are in the packet and to display the cards in the packet.

As you pointed out - many here don't listen but then again ...
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Postby flynn » 05/12/08 12:25 PM

Ok Mr. Biros descritption sounds about right. I just watched my "Thoughts on Cards" videos and watched Jennings twist the aces. He starts from the left. It looks like he's transfering the pack to the right to count them into his left but in the act leaves a card behind. It looks totaly natural like hes putting the packet into his right and counting them in to his left. The key I think is you keep both hands close together at the start and keeping them somewhat close togther. That was the effect I watched most on the video when I first got it. Never really paid attention to his elmsely though but more on all his other counts, twist's and passses he does for that effect. Jennings was awesome.
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Postby Glenn Godsey » 05/12/08 10:30 PM

I hold the packet in the left hand, thumb above and two fingertips below...and peel the cards into the right hand...1, 2, 3, 4...ending with an empty left hand. The left hand doesn't move as the right hand does the moving... peeling the cards off into the right hand.

I have done it this way for decades. It seems completely natural and creates a perfect illusion. I have always ignored instructions to do otherwise because this works so well for me.

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Postby Pete Biro » 05/13/08 11:43 PM

Sound like you are left handed?
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Postby Dave V » 05/14/08 12:24 AM

I'm with Glenn on this one. It's not necessarily a "Mechanic's Grip" but I don't think it needs to be depending on context within the routine. I learned from the Vernon book so the fingertip (or similar modifications) just looks better, at least in this context.

Sorry Pete, but if that's Mr. Elmsley's original handling I just don't like it. Packet in left hand, counting into left hand still feels... unnatural. If they were in my left hand, why wouldn't I count them into my right hand? Why all the futzing around with left-right-left stuff?
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Postby swamy » 05/14/08 02:49 AM

Is there a general name to the Elmlsey count where second card from top is hidden? In this method the setup is reverse of the normal Elmsley count.
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Postby DomC » 05/14/08 06:29 AM

OPEC: "Out of Position Elmsley Count".
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Postby DomC » 05/14/08 06:35 AM

Dave V wrote:I'm with Glenn on this one. It's not necessarily a "Mechanic's Grip" but I don't think it needs to be depending on context within the routine. I learned from the Vernon book so the fingertip (or similar modifications) just looks better, at least in this context.

Sorry Pete, but if that's Mr. Elmsley's original handling I just don't like it. Packet in left hand, counting into left hand still feels... unnatural. If they were in my left hand, why wouldn't I count them into my right hand? Why all the futzing around with left-right-left stuff?
FYI,
that description doesn't coincide with description that is in Steve Minch's book (Collected Works of Alex Elmsley Vol.I). In the chapter "Spirited Counts" Elmsley is described counting from the left hand into the right.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 05/14/08 07:33 AM

Folks - Elmsley had a four card trick where it made sense to do the work on the count of "two". He was kind enough to remember what he was working from and the inventor of the procedure and even the name of the trick he got that procedure from and passesd that along to us.

We can denote the count of packet as an even number where you hide a block at the next to last position of that packet an "Elmsley" and get on with life - without stopping to fuss over the grip on the cards and whether they are held face up or face out or gripped from above or the side or at the fingertips etc. Why do folks expect to get any "credit" for naming each grain of sand on the beach?

[sarcasm] Yes the count procedure works with the latest cutsie magician kewl-looking cards too and we will probably have a DVD on counts with the XtremeCounts deck real soon to teach the newbies.[/sarcasm]
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 05/14/08 07:39 AM

... the normal Elmsley count.


This is the sort of language which gets us in tangles in conjuring. The normal count is whatever process you (or your character) would use to count a small packet of cards from hand to hand. The sleights are supposed to hide under your mundane procedures as part of the mechanics of your routine - all invisible to the flow of action as far as your audience is concerned.
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Postby Pete McCabe » 05/14/08 09:56 AM

I only know of two tricks in which an Elmsley Count is being used to "count a small packet of cards from hand to hand." So I'm not sure we can use that as the "normal" process.

The goal of the other 9,998 Elmsley-Count tricks is to display the four cards, one at a time. This should be the goal of your handling, not to mimic the natural process of counting.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 05/14/08 11:36 AM

Yes, Elmsley counted from left hand to right. It seems left-handed.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 05/14/08 11:39 AM

Pete McCabe wrote:I only know of two tricks in which an Elmsley Count is being used to "count a small packet of cards from hand to hand." So I'm not sure we can use that as the "normal" process.

The goal of the other 9,998 Elmsley-Count tricks is to display the four cards, one at a time. This should be the goal of your handling, not to mimic the natural process of counting.


Wow. Pete, folks, and with all possible respect - Kindly look at the post quoted above and consider the baggage of presuppositions it brings to the this discussion. Since when does a focus on magician's habits and our cluttered literature of "clever" have anything to do with normal?

I choose to believe that most of those 9,998 routines would work properly if an emphasis was placed on the number of cards in-hand during the counting process as in the six card repeat trick. ex in the Twisting the aces trick it's a nice way to show then you don't really have eight cards and it's all happening with just the four cards - without saying such in words.
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