Dr Sacks Dice Routine

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Mark.Lewis » 01/23/10 08:51 PM

I am starting this thread to try and cure the aversion that James Munton has to this trick. Munton must have been traumatised as a child by seeing someone do this trick on a television programme. Probably me on Crackerjack.

I think it is a wonderful trick which I have been doing for decades. It has to be done at the right time and to reasonably intelligent people who can follow the effect as it can be confusing to certain people.

It can be shortened according to the performer's judgement of the spectator's attention span and there are indeed shorter alternative routines around. I prefer the original version which is described in Classic Secrets of Magic by Bruce Elliot and by George Anderson in Magic Digest. I believe Bob Sheets has a DVD of it too with a new move which can make the trick work with bigger dice to make it more visually effective.

James really must get over this silliness in regard to this trick. I have carried a pair of dice every day for 45 years or so just so I can do this one trick.

Perhaps we can get some opinions from people who know and who have performed this item. It truly is a great trick and James should try and conquer his aversion to it. At any rate it is far better than that dreadful bra trick he does at kiddies parties. I really don't think the bra trick is a suitable item for his magic classes.
Mark.Lewis
 
Posts: 853
Joined: 09/12/09 07:18 AM

Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/23/10 09:01 PM

You're a bunch of illiterate baboons. The inventor of the trick is Dr. Sack--NOT "Sacks" with an s. So it's "Sack's Dice Routine."
And, yes, I also learned it from Bruce Elliott's Classic Secrets of Magic (illustrated by Jaks--not "Jacks" or "Sacks") and it served me well for many years.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 21221
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Mark.Lewis » 01/23/10 09:06 PM

Richard is very rude. I think we should start a thread discussing whether he should be banned from the Genii Forum.

Oddly enough she who cannot be named hates the dice trick too. But then she has the attention span of a demented flea.
Mark.Lewis
 
Posts: 853
Joined: 09/12/09 07:18 AM

Postby James Munton » 01/23/10 09:12 PM

Richard,

I did not once call it the Dr Sacks trick, someone edited it to make it appear that way. So the editor of my post is the baboon, not I.

Anyway, did you come up with a fun ending for the trick, or does it just fizzle out like the routine in the book?

The knife trick that appears in the same chapter in the Elliott book is a far superior trick, in my opinion.

Best,
James
--
James Munton
www.jamesmunton.com
James Munton
 
Posts: 133
Joined: 05/30/08 10:27 AM
Location: Dallas, TX

Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/23/10 09:22 PM

I edited it, you baboon, because I thought it was a typo. I couldn't believe that you would resort to such juvenile and unfunny a pun.

The trick doesn't fizzle out: you end with the spots visibly changing places on the two dice, something that has not happened before.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 21221
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Mark.Lewis » 01/23/10 09:29 PM

I see that Richard and James are getting along swimmingly. No doubt there will soon be a thread asking if James should be banned.

The spots visibly changing is the strongest part of the routine. It actually produces gasps. As for the knife trick I used to do it myself and it is indeed good but it got to be a bloody nuisance sticking bits of paper to the knife. It took nearly as long to do as the bloody trick itself.

I swear by the Max Andrews Dotty Spots trick although the Edward Victor bat trick sounds quite wonderful. I am surprised it hasn't been marketed. Unless it has of course.
Mark.Lewis
 
Posts: 853
Joined: 09/12/09 07:18 AM

Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/23/10 09:37 PM

You'll both end up banned and you can then go kiss on the buskers forum.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 21221
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Mark.Lewis » 01/23/10 09:59 PM

The thought of kissing Munton fills me with horror.

As for the busker's forum there is ten times as much fighting that goes on there than does here.

As for the dice trick I don't think I have seen anyone do it except myself. Richard tells me he does it and there are a tiny few others. I wonder why it is done so rarely. It really is a great trick even though it might not seem so on the face of it.
Mark.Lewis
 
Posts: 853
Joined: 09/12/09 07:18 AM

Postby James Munton » 01/23/10 10:05 PM

I wonder why it is done so rarely.

Because it is crap.

Mark, you have changed your tune. You have agreed with me on many previous occasions that it has a weak ending. That is why you added the die-from-nose. Don't make me go copy-and-pasting on you.

James
--
James Munton
www.jamesmunton.com
James Munton
 
Posts: 133
Joined: 05/30/08 10:27 AM
Location: Dallas, TX

Postby Jeff Haas » 01/23/10 10:05 PM

I remember that Mike Skinner used to do it at the Golden Nugget.
Jeff Haas
 
Posts: 923
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: San Mateo, CA

Postby James Munton » 01/23/10 10:06 PM

I'd kiss Mark for a lifetime subscription to Genii. No tongues.
--
James Munton
www.jamesmunton.com
James Munton
 
Posts: 133
Joined: 05/30/08 10:27 AM
Location: Dallas, TX

Postby opie » 01/23/10 10:41 PM

hahahaha.....Sack, Sacks.....And now, everybody check out "Changing Dice" on page 81 of Sachs SLEIGHT OF HAND....

tsk tsk....opie
opie
 
Posts: 502
Joined: 03/14/08 10:43 AM
Location: austin tx

Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/23/10 11:03 PM

Opie, the routine in Sachs Sleight of Hand is not the same as the Dr. Sack routine in Bruce Elliott's Classic Secrets of Magic.

Mike Skinner did do the routine, and he used jumbo big-ass dice. I personally don't think the turnover move was as convincing with such big dice (obviously the dice were held differently). If you want a classic close-up routine with two ordinary dice that you can just pick up and do anytime, you can't beat it.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 21221
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Kent Gunn » 01/23/10 11:10 PM

Now I know some of you folks may not care. But on another magic board, not too long ago, the whole Sack/Sachs thing came up. Reading this thread was like deja vu all over again.

It turns out there's an even earlier mention of a paddle-move based dice routine, in English than "Sleight of Hand".

It shows up in Cremer's "The Secret Out". Turns out Cremer stole the book from the French Blismon-Richard-Delion sources.

That information was found on Todd Karr's site. For those with a penchant for research, here's a link.
http://www.miraclefactory.net/mpt/view. ... e=articles

So, who's going to make the obvious Creme-Sack joke?

All that aside. The Magic Bakery published a DVD of McClintock and Dobson's take on the trick called."The Ivory Connection".

It has a solid ending. I got to see Dobson do the routine at the GGG last year. It's a great handling. For you DVD'ers with some Sach, I'd get the DVD.
Kent Gunn
 
Posts: 579
Joined: 05/15/08 02:05 PM
Location: Florida

Postby Mark.Lewis » 01/23/10 11:51 PM

I wonder if the move that Skinner did with big dice is the same one that Bob Sheets uses? I heard he has a move with the big dice. If it is deceptive that makes the trick viable for paid gigs. Without it I don't think the trick is suitable to be used professionally for money. The dice are just too small and the routine a tad too long although it can certainly be shortened.

For impromptu use though it cannot be beaten. I well remember going into a game store with Paul Pacific and freaking out the staff with their own dice.

And it is a great trick to show to the salesmen at trade shows. Not the public but the salesmen between formal shows. You need to keep them happy since they can either be your worst enemy or your best friend. Keeping them happy with impromptu tricks that you can stun them with is a very good way to do it.

As for the ending, the dice visibly changing is good enough. I do the dice from nose as a personal thing as I don't think the routine has a great punch finish. Mind you producing dice from my nose is not such a big deal either and I don't do it all the time. But then this is an impromptu trick. If I were doing it for money I think I would indeed either make the ending stronger or use the two dice for something else. But the only time I ever did it professionally was on one occasion on television and there it worked well.
Mark.Lewis
 
Posts: 853
Joined: 09/12/09 07:18 AM

Postby opie » 01/23/10 11:59 PM

Richard....never said it was the same routine, but it obviously was an earlier bit with the dice.....Just playing with the names...opie
opie
 
Posts: 502
Joined: 03/14/08 10:43 AM
Location: austin tx

Postby mrgoat » 01/24/10 06:51 AM

One day a couple of years ago at the Castle Jim Lewis showed me this. I gasped. It looked like real magic. Was entertaining, fooling and wonderful.
User avatar
mrgoat
 
Posts: 4219
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Brighton, UK

Postby Mark.Lewis » 01/24/10 10:52 AM

The goat was fooled by the paddle move? Bright lad.
Mark.Lewis
 
Posts: 853
Joined: 09/12/09 07:18 AM

Postby Jim Maloney » 01/24/10 11:04 AM

Kent Gunn wrote:It turns out there's an even earlier mention of a paddle-move based dice routine, in English than "Sleight of Hand".

It shows up in Cremer's "The Secret Out". Turns out Cremer stole the book from the French Blismon-Richard-Delion sources.


Yeah, I've posted that info in a few places. "The Secret Out" was first published in 1859, way before either Sack or Sachs. Unforunately, I don't speak French nor have I seen the Richard/Delion of Blismon books (I think they're available at the Conjuring Arts Research Center, though), so I haven't been able to confirm any of that info.

The best routine I've seen in this genre is Sol Stone's "Radical Dice".

-Jim
Books and Magazines for sale -- more than 200 items (Last updated January 10th, 2014. Link goes to public Google Doc.)
Jim Maloney
 
Posts: 708
Joined: 07/23/01 12:00 PM
Location: Central New Jersey

Postby mrgoat » 01/24/10 11:06 AM

Mark.Lewis wrote:The goat was fooled by the paddle move? Bright lad.


I was. I think it is Jim's brilliant presentation. I was really thinking about what the numbers should be on the other side.

It's wonderful to be fooled.
User avatar
mrgoat
 
Posts: 4219
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Brighton, UK

Postby James Munton » 01/24/10 11:12 AM

Damian was fooled precisely because he is a magician and was thinking like one. Most magicians drop the trick soon after learning it because it fails the girlfriend/wife test.
--
James Munton
www.jamesmunton.com
James Munton
 
Posts: 133
Joined: 05/30/08 10:27 AM
Location: Dallas, TX

Postby Mark.Lewis » 01/24/10 11:26 AM

James. Have you ever actually tried it? It fools laymen very badly. You have to do it at the right time and the right place but the effect is strong.

As for showing it to magicians I don't think I ever have. This is because most magicians will know the trick and I find there is no point.

Probably 95% of my time I perform before laymen. I haven't the slightest intention of working to magicians and I never have. I must have performed the dice trick hundreds of times in the last 45 years or so. And it has always been for laymen. The reaction is laughter and the finish with the dice visibly changing produces gasps.

It is not a trick for you, I suppose. You only want tricks that can earn you money. This one won't but it is a damn good trick to do simply for fun.

The effect is strong. Do you honestly think I would do the trick for 45 years if it weren't?
Mark.Lewis
 
Posts: 853
Joined: 09/12/09 07:18 AM

Postby James Munton » 01/24/10 08:47 PM

In all seriousness, it really is difficult to say a trick is either good or bad. It is a personal thing. And some performers can take a piece of coal and create a diamond.

But there are some routines that seem to consistently find their way into performers' repertoires. Card-to-wallet, coins across, chop cup.

I don't understand what you mean by this:

It is not a trick for you, I suppose. You only want tricks that can earn you money. This one won't but it is a damn good trick to do simply for fun.


The tricks I choose to create routines around are ones that hopefully entertain and mystify. It doesn't matter who is watching. Some routines lend themselves to certain audiences, but I don't think whether someone is paying you to perform makes such a difference.

Personally I think a good trick is one that can be retold to someone who didn't see the performance in just a few words and still sound magical. Of course there will be exceptions, but most of the stronger routines pass this test.

For example,

"my signed card magically appeared in his wallet!"
"the coin disappeared from his hand and ended up in mine!"
"he lifted the cup and there was a real lemon under it!"
"I chose any word on the page and he knew what I was thinking!"
"he pulled the scarfs out and my bra was tied to the middle!"

There is a definite lack of wow in the re-telling of Sack's Dice Routine. It just doesn't sound impressive.

And I have seen several magicians perform it and not been impressed by any of them. Including Sheets, who I admire greatly as a performer. I haven't seen you perform it, but you are the sort of person people like to watch no matter what you are performing. That doesn't mean the trick is any good!

I have played with the trick myself, but I honestly can't remember if I tried it for real people. I went through thousands of routines when I worked restaurants, so I am sure I did.

James
--
James Munton
www.jamesmunton.com
James Munton
 
Posts: 133
Joined: 05/30/08 10:27 AM
Location: Dallas, TX

Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/24/10 08:54 PM

Many people have been using the Sack dice routine for decades. It's a staple.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 21221
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Mark.Lewis » 01/24/10 08:58 PM

I had better explain what I mean about the money thing. It really isn't a trick to perform in a restaurant and that is why you din't continue with it. It is not a trick that anyone should do professionally except on television in my view. The props are just too small. It is a trick you do for two or three people at a time and it doesn't play well for larger groups. When you work for money this is not the norm although I suppose it might work well in a cocktail party walk around atmosphere. You can't do it for people who have had a little too much to drink because they won't follow the effect properly. And you can't do it for people with a low attention span. When performing professionally you have to work at a snappier pace and the dice trick doesn't work well for that. If you go too fast people won't follow the effect.

It really is a trick you do privately although it can help cement your reputation.

And I've got news for you. No trick is worth a damn if the performer isn't. But then I think you know that.
Mark.Lewis
 
Posts: 853
Joined: 09/12/09 07:18 AM

Postby James Munton » 01/24/10 09:07 PM

Sounds like there are a lot of people you can't do it for! Perhaps it would be helpful if you could provide a photo of the type of person I CAN perform it for so I'll know when I see them.
--
James Munton
www.jamesmunton.com
James Munton
 
Posts: 133
Joined: 05/30/08 10:27 AM
Location: Dallas, TX

Postby opie » 01/24/10 11:17 PM

"There is a definite lack of wow in the re-telling of Sack's Dice Routine. It just doesn't sound impressive."


James....try a "finale" of DICE TO LARGE DIE, COLOR-CHANGING DICE, or DICE TO EYEBALL (with the line, "You gotta keep an eye on them.")

Hope that helps.....opie
opie
 
Posts: 502
Joined: 03/14/08 10:43 AM
Location: austin tx

Postby Mark.Lewis » 01/24/10 11:30 PM

James. You can show the trick to virtually anyone. I just don't think it is a trick for professional use, that's all. If you think the trick too long then you can use either the Dr Geimer or Harold Beaumont routine in the Ganson Routined Manipulation series.

And you judge the right time and right place to do it. You won't need me to tell you that and you won't need me to tell you who to show it to.

For the last 45 years or so I have carried a set of two dice with me. I don't remember a single day in those 45 years that I haven't had them with me. I am sure I must have found someone to show the damn trick to in all that time.
Mark.Lewis
 
Posts: 853
Joined: 09/12/09 07:18 AM

Postby Glenn Bishop » 01/24/10 11:41 PM

As I remember Buddy Farnan used to do a routine with the paddle move and two dice. Then he did a three dice move that was sort of a paddle move. I have seen him do it at tables when performing in a restaurant situation. I have used a shortened routine that I learned from the Magic Digest - with the three dice move Buddy showed me years ago. I use it off and on in restaurants and do it in what I would call my B act when I add stuff so I have a few new tricks - for the repeat customers.

As a restaurant trick at small tables the dice trick goes over great. I have used it for many years.

Just my opinion.
Glenn Bishop
 
Posts: 648
Joined: 03/14/08 10:52 AM

Postby Mark.Lewis » 01/24/10 11:53 PM

In that case I will take Glenn's word for it. I can see the trick working at a small table where there are only three or four people at the most. And of course one advantage of the trick is that it doesn't actually require a table.
Mark.Lewis
 
Posts: 853
Joined: 09/12/09 07:18 AM

Postby James Munton » 01/25/10 12:14 AM

I have just had a brilliant idea. I'll be in DC next week. Richard can come and meet me after my final Spy Museum show. There are lots of bars and restaurants near the museum.

We'll go on a pub crawl. He can perform his dice routine for regular people and I will observe the reaction. If it gets a good reaction, I buy a round. If it gets a poor reaction, he buys the round. The game continues until Richard is too drunk to do the trick any more.
--
James Munton
www.jamesmunton.com
James Munton
 
Posts: 133
Joined: 05/30/08 10:27 AM
Location: Dallas, TX

Postby Mark.Lewis » 01/25/10 12:19 AM

I have seen Richard somewhat tipsy and it is not a pretty sight. Mind you someone told me he doesn't normally drink. I am sure he will deny my story but I have a very good memory.
Mark.Lewis
 
Posts: 853
Joined: 09/12/09 07:18 AM

Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/25/10 12:43 AM

I can count the number of alcoholic beverages that I've had in the past 30 years on my fingers and toes. The only place you might have seen me tipsy is after a beer or two at NYCAN about 11 years ago--I believe that is the only time I might have met you other than seeing you on the other side of the room at a lecture in Toronto a few years ago.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 21221
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/25/10 12:44 AM

Oh, and as far as doing a pub crawl with Munton--I'm middle-aged, married, and stopped doing pub crawls 30 years ago. Now I work.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 21221
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Mark.Lewis » 01/25/10 01:29 AM

I did see you indulging too much in the devil's buttermilk at NYCAN about 11 years ago. First time I met you. I didn't know who you were and thought you were just some loud mouthed drunk. I remember every word of the conversation and it was very funny. It had to do with who invented the colour change and the Power of Faith. I also showed you my svengali routine but you were too full of drink to take it in. You probably thought I was doing the Dr Sack trick.

I have a fearsome memory for events that happened a long time ago. For some reason I remember every detail. Mind you I can't remember what I was doing three minutes ago.

Your memory ain't too good either. Far from seeing me at a Toronto lecture "a few years ago" I can pinpoint the time more accurately. It was last year.

I was asleep during the lecture and somebody or other woke me up to make me shake hands with you. I had no idea who I was shaking hands with. After I realised who it was I went immediately to the washroom to wash my hands. I remember Jamy Ian Swiss was there telling me I was doing some card trick all wrong when he had been screwing up the same trick repeatedly in his mini lecture.

I informed him that I was [censored] and I never do anything wrong whereupon he took fright and scurried away. Pity. I wanted to tell him he wore too much makeup on television. I heard he insisted on doing it himself instead of leaving it to the experts. Another one who has no television experience.

Anyway, I don't blame you for not going on a pub crawl with Munton. He is a ghastly influence on people and I do not approve of dens of inebriation.

I am a man of the cloth after all.
Mark.Lewis
 
Posts: 853
Joined: 09/12/09 07:18 AM

Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/25/10 02:09 AM

It's highly unlikely I would have had enough to drink to be classified as a "loud mouth drunk." I might have been loud, and I might even have been rude to you, but it wasn't because I was drunk.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 21221
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Pete McCabe » 01/25/10 02:27 AM

Time to autoblog this thread.
Pete McCabe
 
Posts: 2089
Joined: 01/18/08 01:00 PM
Location: Simi Valley, CA

Postby James Munton » 01/25/10 02:53 AM

What does that mean?
--
James Munton
www.jamesmunton.com
James Munton
 
Posts: 133
Joined: 05/30/08 10:27 AM
Location: Dallas, TX

Postby mrgoat » 01/25/10 07:44 AM

Pete McCabe wrote:Time to autoblog this thread.


:)
User avatar
mrgoat
 
Posts: 4219
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Brighton, UK

Postby Mark.Lewis » 01/25/10 10:44 AM

Richard Kaufman wrote:It's highly unlikely I would have had enough to drink to be classified as a "loud mouth drunk." I might have been loud, and I might even have been rude to you, but it wasn't because I was drunk.


Yes indeed. It did occur to me afterwards that was your normal demeanor. You were, however, certainly swaying when you stood up. I was afraid you were going to keel over on top of me.

Mind you, someone you met later away from the convention (I cannot remember who it was) told me that you were very sweet and nice once you got away from the magicians.

I also met you in a Toronto street last year when I was coming the other way and you made the sign of the cross at me and yelled "SATAN!"

Very odd, I thought at the time. And I think you were sober too.
Mark.Lewis
 
Posts: 853
Joined: 09/12/09 07:18 AM

Next

Return to Close-Up Magic