THE BEST EXECUTER OF THE TWO HANDED SHIFT

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby flynn » 09/05/08 04:16 PM

Whos the best at the Classic Pass that you seen in person or on video? One of the best I've seen have only been on videos and they were Larry Jennings and Joshua Jay. They look almost invisible when I watch them do the pass.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 09/05/08 04:26 PM

Geoff Latta did an excellent Pass. Currently, Bill Kalush does one of the best. Mine isn't bad if I hit it, but I don't practice enough. (People who've bought my video On the Pass tell me they've learned from it.)

Jennings' Pass was very good if he was up on it. Best I've ever seen was Derek Dingle. However, like Jennings, Dingle was doing Passes that were designed to be looked down on by people standing close to you. Video, or lecture situations, don't capture what they looked like.

Steve Forte does a number of astonishing shifts. And Howie Schwarzman does an amazing shift--a very light touch and he has tiny hands.

The funny thing is, there are many many people now who can do one form or another of the Shift very well and invisibly. That wasn't the case 30 or 40 years ago. Then there were only a few. Dingle inspired many of us, and we hopefully inspired others.
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Postby flynn » 09/05/08 05:25 PM

I've been wanting to get that video for awhile now but I will soon though. Mr. Kaufman who's all on that video? I tilt the deck around too much when i do it. And thanks for posting Richard. I'm gonna look into Bill Kalush to see if he's got any material out there.
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Postby Larry Horowitz » 09/05/08 06:34 PM

Richard is modest. Although he may not practice any more. On his Teaching video his pass is Great! The video is a excellent teacher.

I would also highly recommend Aaron Fisher. His Top Cover Pass is IMPOSSIBLE to detect.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 09/05/08 06:48 PM

All Cover Passes should be impossible to detect! That's kidstuff. :)

Bill Kalush doesn't publish anymore, and has not published anything on the Pass.

On my video it's just me: big closeups of the hands. It's okay to tilt the deck when you do it. You have to do something when you perform a Pass (riffle, tilt the deck, sneeze, etc.)
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Postby David Thomas » 09/05/08 06:51 PM

I watched your demo of your video your pass is totally invisible there!

Has anyone ever heard of the cockroach pass? :D
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 09/05/08 07:03 PM

We've all heard of the cockroach pass. It's a bad joke that still gets a small chuckle at the local club when I've done lectures in the past. Since everyone knew Dingle was going to do a Pass, he would purposefully do the cockroach pass and get a big laugh.
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Postby castawaydave » 09/05/08 08:00 PM

Once upon a time, Michael Weber was standing 3-4 feet away, casually holding a face-up deck of cards in his hands.

Without seemingly "doing anything", bing-bing-bing: the card at the face kept visibly changing in a blink.
--The "picture" would just "click" and suddenly, instantly be different... like watching someone channel surf on a little tv screen they're holding: 10H-AC-6D-9S: pow-pow-pow. It was so cool.

He said (more or less), "Huh? Oh, just practicing my classic pass..."
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 09/05/08 09:45 PM

Yeah, that's easy to say, but that's not what Weber does REALLY well ... which involves the deck being face down, and a card sticking out of the middle.
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Postby David Thomas » 09/05/08 10:31 PM

I was wondering if it was widely known or just my friend's bad joke.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 09/05/08 11:45 PM

Widely known.
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Postby Harvey Rosenthal » 09/05/08 11:53 PM

The best two handed shifts (classic and riffle passes) done today that I have seen are performed by Ken Krenzel, Howie Schwarzman, Steve Draun and Peter Duffie. As an aside, Ken taught the classic and riffle pass to Derek Dingle.

I was a very close friend of Larry Jennings and discussed the classic pass with him at length over the years.While he was a superb cardman, I didn't consider his classic pass was in the expert class. Larry used to sneak into it and did it as he was squaring up the deck. While he certainly got away with it working for laymen, I know a number of expert cardmen who were highly critical of his technique and told him so.

If I may be immodest for the moment, the most invisible two handed pass that has absolutely no TELLS is my Square-Up Pass that will be taught in my forthcoming card book that I am currently working on full time. Two people do it flawlessly: Steve Draun and me. The Square-Up Pass can be done standing or seated at a table with your hands resting on the table top.
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Postby David Thomas » 09/06/08 01:05 AM

Does anyone do Bruce Cervon's free turn pass?
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Postby Terry » 09/06/08 08:17 AM

Jim Swain did some incredible pass work at one of the Florida State Conventions in Orlando (1990's). He may tip it on the new DVD's from L&L?
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Postby Doc Dixon » 09/06/08 10:51 AM

Richard Kaufman wrote:Yeah, that's easy to say, but that's not what Weber does REALLY well ... which involves the deck being face down, and a card sticking out of the middle.


I remember hearing that doing a pass with a selection sticking out (similar in effect to Ray Kosby's Raise Rise) was a Geoffrey Latta origination. Is that correct?

DD
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Postby erdnasephile » 09/06/08 11:08 AM

Are there any currently published classic pass techniques that will not flash in settings where the spectators are not looking down at your hands (i.e. in standup, walk around, or banquet settings)?
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Postby Joe M. Turner » 09/06/08 11:13 AM

Just wanted to mention -- "Half a Jiggle" is a great, versatile pass for regular everyday work. Thanks, RK!
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Postby Philippe Billot » 09/06/08 11:14 AM

In France, Bbel (who is a street magician) makes a very good two hands pass.
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Postby erdnasephile » 09/06/08 11:20 AM

Doc Dixon wrote:
Richard Kaufman wrote:Yeah, that's easy to say, but that's not what Weber does REALLY well ... which involves the deck being face down, and a card sticking out of the middle.


I remember hearing that doing a pass with a selection sticking out (similar in effect to Ray Kosby's Raise Rise) was a Geoffrey Latta origination. Is that correct?

DD


Geoff Latta himself weighed in on this issue here: http://www.geniimagazine.com/forums/ubb ... 55&fpart=2
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 09/06/08 11:51 AM

Here are Geoff Latta's thoughts from the other thread, all collected in one long ramble, but it's best to read the entire thread to see their context.

Original thread is here:
http://www.geniimagazine.com/forums/ubb ... 55&fpart=1

This begins with Geoff discussing Ray Kosby's Raise Rise.

_____________________________________________________________

I don't know the method (although I have a pretty good guess), but I'd bet that you can't do raise rise with a face up card unless you have dupes. Signed card? Forget it. And without a signed card, I wouldn't bother doing an ambitious routine.

Shifty et al, are solutions that are exactly what the spectator thinks you might be doing (i.e., yanking it out and shoving it back in higher up). It may look good from the right angle, but even if they can't see it happening, they'll think they know what you're doing, and worse, they'll be right. No one can think that with the original method. It's simply not possible, and easy to make sure they know that.

Finally, Fisher's method is different from the original only in technical minutiae until the end (this cover pass vs that cover pass; the same thing is essentially happening) but he loses the the strongest part of the trick, the finale. The last rise happens with the card pushed in square with the deck, and he has to do a double to show it on top. How is this different from a thousand other ambitious card sequences?

In the original version, the spectator holds the signed, face-up card as it visibly melts up through the pack to the top. You pause a beat, lower the deck away from the card, and they are left holding their face-up card, signature staring them in the face. You can't do that with any of these methods.

Pardon the proud poppa, but I still think the original is the best. So far, anyway.

End rant.

Best,

Geoff



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Ok Richard, I'll try ranting again. (I must be out of practice.)

You don't think that the ability to do the effect with a signed, face-up card is better than with an unknown, face-down card? I mean, if you could do either with the same amount of effort, which would you choose?

And what about the rest of my points, particularly about the spectator's perception of the method, as well as the ending?

I think these methods, while they may be ingenious, fix what isn't broke. And from what I hear, raise rise is harder than doing a pass with a card sticking out of the deck.

The point is, my original method (for, dare I say it, my original effect) has advantages that none of the later methods has, and has none of their disadvantages. so far, I haven't seen or heard anything that would dissuade me from that point of view.

If only you could see me stamping my feet as steam spewed out of my ears as I wrote that.

Oh well.

Best,

Geoff

As I pointed out earlier, it is not only possible, but easy to prove to the audience that you are not removing and reinserting the card. They can, for instance, stare directly at the left side of the deck, right at the juncture of the card and the deck while the card rises and see that it is not removed and reinserted. I haven't seen Shifty, but I cannot imagine that this is the case with it, i.e., that that method can be disproven and eliminated from the spectator's mind.

Best,

Geoff

A variety of reasons. One, the first (cover pass) rise can be done well ahead of the apparent rise effect, giving plenty of time to set the stage for the first bit of magic. Two, the second rise (wrist turn) happens on the offbeat, while you are apparently still in display mode and just before they think you are ready to do anything. It also helps the first rise by showing how far from the bottom the card has moved. Three, the last one (fast pass) only has to move a few cards, making a fast pass very easy to do.

These things make it less daunting for those whose pass technique isn't dead solid perfect.

I also published it that way to establish to establish in print the different ways to handle it, so I wouldn't have to read "Fred Mertz has discovered you can do this with a cover pass! Hooray!" the next day.

Personally, I vary the passes I use for the effect to suit the performing conditions.

Best,

Geoff


Frankly, I don't know if it matters. The audience has likely never seen the effect before. They're not going to go "why did he use two hands instead of one", or whatever. They aren't aware of conditions in the same way we are.

That doesn't mean conditions don't affect them. But we need to make choices regarding which conditions are important and which are either not important, or are less important.

It is possible to use a one handed pass for the effect, but the shade required would probably cancel the benefits.

For most of the effect, the deck is held in one hand. That they come together now and then may or may not have any meaning for the spectators. Unless, of course, you give it meaning. Say, with a riffle. But then laymen are as likely to ascribe the rise to the riffle as they are to having your hands together.

But there are some things that definite do affect their perception of the effect. One of those things is that they are dead sure, all the way through, that that rising card is singular, unique. That the face up card (identity proof 1) with their highly visible, unique signature plastered all over it (identity proof 2) never leaves their sight for even an instant. That's what proves it's rising. To have the card rise face down is essentially using duplicates, without the strength of actually using duplicates (i.e., identity proof).

Another thing that has a definite effect, that in fact I think is absolutely crucial, is that you cancel out the most obvious method they will come up with, i.e., "somehow, he's yankin' it out and stickin' it in up higher." And trust me, that is what they'll think if you don't cancel it out.

Finally, the meat of the trick, the first couple of rises, (is that a word? No.) seems to me to promise the spectator, psychologically, that the final effect will be completed in as magical-looking a way as the ones that led up to it as well as being a logical continuation of it. So, to have the card visibly rise up the side of the deck, almost to the top, then have it pushed flush and secretly and not visibly go the rest of the way, seems like a cheat. It feels wrong. And it should. You're following a stronger effect with a weaker one, as well as one that is not artistically copacetic with the previous effect.

I wouldn't give up those three things if the result was that I could do the trick with the deck on the table while I was ten feet away, let alone without the right hand.

Ok, it's late, I'm rambling, but I hope I've made some kind of point.

If not, well, tomorrow is another day.

Best,

Geoff

P.S. There are things I like about the Fisher handling, and I have now seen Mr. Kosby do raise rise on web video and it looks good. But the card needs to be differentiated from the pack somehow. An odd-backed card, do it with a face-up deck and a face-down card, something. Ok, I think I've beaten this dead horse enough.


I don't know the method (although I have a pretty good guess), but I'd bet that you can't do raise rise with a face up card unless you have dupes. Signed card? Forget it. And without a signed card, I wouldn't bother doing an ambitious routine.

An ambitious card routine without a signed card is certainly undesirable. But the failure to use a face up card really isn't necessarily. This is a classic case of magicians going for something that laymen don't really care about. It's like the inability in most triumph handlings to ribbon spread the deck. While it's nice, particularly for magicians who are familiar with the technique, it doesn't actually improve the effect for laymen because they are convinced in the original that the cards are well mixed. It's the same thing here, so long as they believe the jogged card is in fact their card it doesn't matter whether it's face up or face down.

Heck, I've done ambitious card routines many times using simple moves and had people swear they saw something that quite frankly never occurred. For example, with the Braue pop-up move (which I personally think is stronger for less effort than Raise rise and many similar effects), I have people swear to me that they saw the crimped card riffle up through the other cards. In fact, I once explained it to a beginner magician and he was left asking me how I made it look like the card passed through the other cards. Other times I don't even need to do that, I can use a double lift, place the deck on the table, square the indifferent card into the center and make a motion of my hand and have the spectator swear they saw something. Does it matter that they didn't? Not at all, the effect occurs in their mind and we need to remember that.

In the original version, the spectator holds the signed, face-up card as it visibly melts up through the pack to the top. You pause a beat, lower the deck away from the card, and they are left holding their face-up card, signature staring them in the face. You can't do that with any of these methods.

That certainly sounds superior to the majority of methods. I personally think the original Raise Rise looks good. As Paul Wilson mentioned, it really doesn't come across as strong as some effects and possibly has other applications. I'd be concerned about handling and clarity for your method, particularly the last rise, the subtlety of having them hold the card is fantastic though.

You don't think that the ability to do the effect with a signed, face-up card is better than with an unknown, face-down card? I mean, if you could do either with the same amount of effort, which would you choose?

I'll answer that question like this. I don't think you'll get a stronger reaction from it...unless they aren't convinced with the original.

The point is, my original method (for, dare I say it, my original effect) has advantages that none of the later methods has, and has none of their disadvantages. so far, I haven't seen or heard anything that would dissuade me from that point of view.

It certainly sounds good, I'd be interested in seeing it performed in practice. I think personally, I'd employ some kind of subtlety that makes it seem quite visual, for example I'd probably riffle the cards (not sure if you do this). The one concern I'd have is the lack of the one-handed action. Also, how does it fit with the remainder of the ambitious card handling? Personally I use a particular handling in terms of the presentation around which I build all the sleights I use and I'd want to use a similar action.

There is a lot of talk these days about magic as an art and one must remember that a great deal of the art in magic lies in artistic presentation. You can perform a color change, but you can also make a color change visually beautiful, exact same mechanics, but different artistic action. I remember people praising Cardini in this regard on a few occassions, taking a simple vanish that others might do and making it look like magic.

In maner regards the same goes for what I was discussing above regarding spectator perception, teh perception comes largely not from the effect or handling, but the way you present the handling. For example, in the case of what you're talking about, how it melts through the cards is going to create a large impact on how the audience reacts and it will seem more magical if you present it so it's clear, fluid and apparently really melts as opposed to having a block missing above the card. I'm sure you understand what I'm saying.

Either way, thanks for the insights, your method sounds interesting.

Geoff
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 09/06/08 12:19 PM

Bruce Cervon's Free-Turn "Pass" is actually as Side Steal, not a Pass. It can be done invisibly and look very good.

Harvey: while Ken Krenzel was one of the people from whom Dingle learned the Pass (Howie Schwarzman being an equally important influence), Derek exceeded Ken's ability to do the Pass--without any question.

As for your remarks about Jennings' Pass--you should know better. While Larry would sometimes make a joke about his Pass looking better when he was in "Castle light" (that is, the dim light of the main bar at The Magic Castle), I saw him do a perfectly invisible Pass in many different situations. Perhaps, when you knew Jennings well in the late 1960s, his Pass didn't look great, but by the early 1980s, he did it wonderfully.

But nobody's Pass has ever been as invisible as Dingle's--I must've spent 100 hours watching him do the Pass over the years and it was an awe inspiring thing. Other people do great Passes, but often these are not "Classic Pass" based actions where the top half has to be pulled away quickly. Latta's Pass was great, Kalush's Pass is great, but none are the equal of Dingle's.
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Postby El Mystico » 09/06/08 12:34 PM

Richard, I think you are misremembering - it was Patton's Free Turn side steal which led to Cervon developing his Free Turn Pass.

Fred Robinson was the king of the passes over here. Duffie's book on Robinson contains all the details, and hopefully should be out soon. After a twenty year wait!
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 09/06/08 01:40 PM

I'm not misremembering: To me, when you cop half the deck in your hand and place it on top of the other half, that is a Side Steal.

Not a Pass.

You can call it whatever you want.

Doing a move like that invisibly, or any sort of Herrmann or Elliott Shift, have nothing to do with the art of concealing the sudden sideways movement of the upper half of the deck as it moves out of the audience's view in plain sight. This is the mystique of the Pass: rendering that which is plainly visible invisible. That's what intrigues the [censored] out of magicians (myself among them). Frankly, you don't need to be able to do that when working for laymen. But it's what other magicians like to see. :)
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Postby El Mystico » 09/06/08 02:06 PM

Oh, OK - you are using a different terminology than i am used to.
So, for you, a pass is only a pass if the top half is moved to the bottom? So the Hermann Shift is not a pass? So, for example, the Hugard and Braue "Invisible Pass" book is misnamed?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 09/06/08 02:12 PM

The Herrmann Shift is a Pass. So is the Elliott Shift.

To me, however (and you should know that this opinion is not universally held by any means), if you are literally grabbing the lower half of the deck with one hand and secretly placing it on top, you are essentially doing a Side Steal.
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Postby El Mystico » 09/06/08 02:22 PM

thanks for clarifying!
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Postby rkosby » 09/06/08 02:55 PM

The best passes I've seen live were performed by Richard, and Bill Kalush. The best one I've seen on video was by Akira Fuji on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GusduqfKcs8.

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Postby Joe Pecore » 09/06/08 03:23 PM

Share your knowledge on the MagicPedia wiki.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 09/06/08 04:19 PM

Ray, thanks for that link to Akira's Pass. You'll notice that at the moment the top half shifts over, he's obscured it by shifting the position of his hands slightly. Latta also did this, if I'm not mistaken.
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Postby Philippe Billot » 09/06/08 04:39 PM

Hi Richard,

Is the Lepaul Pass a Pass ?
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Postby Doc Dixon » 09/06/08 05:02 PM

Richard Kaufman wrote:Ray, thanks for that link to Akira's Pass. You'll notice that at the moment the top half shifts over, he's obscured it by shifting the position of his hands slightly. Latta also did this, if I'm not mistaken.


Are you referring to the idea (Krenzel's, I believe) of using the left thumb to cover the inner left corner?
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Postby Darryl Harris » 09/06/08 05:44 PM

Richard...
I don't know if you recall this, but I remember back to one of the NY Symposiums where Geoff had demonstrated his favorite shift, with the little rocking movement, to Howie Schwartzmen(sp) and Charlie Miller. Howie said it was terrible. Charlie said it was one of the best he had ever seen. Soft and silent. Geoff went away very happy, and quite satisfied.
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Postby Bill Duncan » 09/06/08 05:47 PM

Richard Kaufman wrote:To me, however (and you should know that this opinion is not universally held by any means), if you are literally grabbing the lower half of the deck with one hand and secretly placing it on top, you are essentially doing a Side Steal.


That would make the GM Shift a side steal then? I always considered that "pass" was a generic term for a "move" just as the false transfer of a coin is often called a "pass," in the older books, and that the descriptive term "shift" referenced the transposition of the halves of the pack as they were shifted about, irrespective of the method of the shifting them.

Doesn't Leipzig's "pass" from the Vernon tribute book use the same "side slip" dynamic?

Of course this logic falls down when you consider the diagonal palm shift, but in my way of thinking that's just further proof that Erdnase was indeed a gambler, and not a magician. A magician would have gotten the terminology right.


:)
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 09/06/08 06:18 PM

Bill: Yes, both the Gene Maze Shift and the item I published from Russell Barnhart in CardMagic (which is an amazing handling that has been utterly ignored) would be considered as Side Steals. Obviously my opinion has changed since I published them decades ago! The Leipzig move is neither a Pass nor Side Steal.

Darryl: I don't remember that regarding Latta, but I would respect both Charlie and Howie's opinions. I never saw Charlie Miller do a conventional Pass, but considering everything else I did seem him do, he probably did it damn well. We know Schwarzman does it well. What else is there to say? Howie's Pass (when he's not faking it and doing a Double Lift--which he does from time to time) is designed to look like absolutely nothing happens. Geoff's hands were moving when he did his Pass, so I'm not surprised if Howie didn't like it.

Doc: The idea of using the left thumb to cover the inner left corner is Ross Bertram's, I believe, but that's not what I'm referring to. You'll notice that when Akira does the shift, at the exact moment the top half shifts to the right, the top of the deck goes completely out of view under the right hand just for an instant.
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Postby Ryan Matney » 09/07/08 01:55 AM

Richard,

I have a question about Jenning's pass. I've only seen him on his videos he mad elater in life and he seemed to do a slow (or gentle) pass with a tilt and his large hands providing cover. Did he ever do the kind of pass Dingle did? Fast and snappy?

Also does anyone know what Vernon actually did when he did a shift in his younger days? Did he favor one type? Was it extremely fast and snappy like Dingle's or was it slow with heavy cover? He jokes about a lot of them on revelations but I don't recall him actually favoring one or any style of execution.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 09/07/08 10:40 AM

Ryan, to answer your questions in order:

Jennings did use a "dipping" cover for the Pass--this was first published in Farelli's Card Magic in the early 1930s. Now, depending upon how "up" he was on the move (and where the people were sitting), either he would do a large dip, or the tiniest little dip. If you're standing in a large room and the audience is sitting, well you either have to do a very deep dip or a wide body turn so you don't flash. If you're standing and people are standing close to you, a very tiny dip works. I saw, many times, Jennings do just barely move his hands and the Shift was invisible. But, when lecturing or when he want to be dead certain not to flash, he would do a deep dip.

It also depended upon whether he was sitting or standing. For most of his mature life as a performer he was always standing. Easier to do the Pass in that situation. Later, he was in a wheelchair and couldn't stand, so he performed while sitting. It's a lot more difficult, as a magician, to do a Classic style Pass invisibly while sitting because the dipping of the left fingers is hard to hide. Some folks move their hands inward of the table edge for this purpose.
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Postby SpringBizkit » 10/02/08 05:19 AM

so i'm just wondering as i read through this thread, but whats this cockroach pass i heard? sounds interesting, even tho it was a little gag.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 10/02/08 08:34 AM

SpringBizkit wrote:so i'm just wondering as i read through this thread, but whats this cockroach pass i heard? sounds interesting, even tho it was a little gag.


more reading - the search function can help

it was... just something he did.

keyword - Dingle
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Postby Lance Pierce » 10/02/08 10:31 AM

Richard Kaufman wrote:To me, however (and you should know that this opinion is not universally held by any means), if you are literally grabbing the lower half of the deck with one hand and secretly placing it on top, you are essentially doing a Side Steal.


As a small point, in the Free Turn Pass, the lower half isn't secretly placed on top of the other. Instead, the right hand takes control of the lower half of the deck and it stays perfectly stationary in space while the top half of the deck rotates around it and rejoins it from underneath.

With all due respect, including this move in the family of side steals confuses me. Classically, the term "shift" or "pass" refers to any secret cutting of the deck, which is what happens in the Free Turn and all the other techniques under discussion. On the other hand, looking at Side Steals in general, we see they have one thing in common: a card (or cards) is secretly stolen out the side of the deck. Not all side steals secretly place the card on top, and not all side steals work off the same mechanics, but they all steal out the side of the deck (or even out the side from the bottom of the deck). By these common terms, not only does the Free Turn Pass qualify as a pass, it fails to qualify as a Side Steal.

Cheers,



Lance
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Postby SpringBizkit » 10/02/08 11:09 AM

Well i searched dingle, about the cockroach pass, but umm. i don't really want to learn it, but can you describe it as a laymen watching? so that way i don't know the mechanics of it? i wish i could see all this stuff live or atleast on a video clip. But i guess i'll keep looking. thanks for the help.
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