curious customer

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Guest » 10/19/01 01:26 PM

I was performing MacDonald's Aces for a friend. I've only recently started using it outside of my own practice space. I am very comortable with my handling, and the reaction is always great. This particular friend asked if he could see the cards, when I finished. I of course said no, and quickly moved onto Twisting the Aces(Vernon). Needless to say, a very unimpressive transition. How do some of you handle curious specs, like my friend?
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Postby Guest » 10/19/01 03:26 PM

Anticipating your audiences reaction might help a bit. Have something prepared as a follow up, taking their minds off the first miracle. When you false transfer a coin from one hand to another, you don't show the empty hand and say "goodnight". You need to follow up. Same with routines as a whole. Also, your handling may be telling something. Try using extra convincers on those double facers, Marlo's Olram sublety works nice to show all backs, for example. This is a very magical effect, and people's reasoning will be in high gear here, but if your handling is fair and open, they'll attribute the magic to some expert sleight of hand (not the greatest solution, but it will at least keep them from asking dangerous questions). Gary Kurtz performs an exceptionally fair ace assembly, showing all backs on all cards before and after the aces dissapear. It's worth checking out. Good luck.
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Postby Jeff Haas » 10/19/01 05:37 PM

You might want to do something first with the regular cards, let the specatator handle them, shuffle them, etc. and then ring in the gaffs.

If they're convinced the cards are normal, when you add a few gimmicks, you feel soooo good inside!
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Postby Guest » 10/20/01 05:46 AM

Thanks to both of you. Hey Jeff, how would you add the gaffed cards. Would you have them palmed, for example. Some detail would be helpful to me, if that's OK.
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Postby Guest » 10/20/01 06:57 AM

Jeff is right. McDonalds Aces (in my opinion) is too strong to open with. A layperson will probably suspect trick cards.

If you are wearing a jacket you can have the McDonalds Aces in your left coat pocket and your deck of cards in your right. Take the deck out of your right pocket, perform a couple of effects, etc. and then put the cards in your left pocket secretly adding the McDonalds Aces to the deck while reaching in your right pocket for the case. You can begin to put the cards away and then pause to see if your audience would like to see one more.

Also, you could have the McDonald Aces in the card case (at the face) and remove everything but these cards when you take out the deck. Do a couple of effects and put the cards back in the case (secretly adding the McDonalds Aces to the face). You can pull the deck out again for one more effect and take everything out.
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Postby Jeff Haas » 10/20/01 11:00 AM

You can either add just the gaffs you need to the deck, like Mark describes above, or you can switch the deck for a duplicate with duplicates in it.

David Regal has several deck switches on his recent videos, since he does so much with gaffed decks. This is a good place to look for examples of how to swap things in and out.

The key is to create a complete routine, with the addition of gaffs choreographed as part of it.
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Postby Guest » 10/20/01 12:31 PM

Thanks, very much, everyone. These are all great suggestions.
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Postby Curtis Kam » 10/20/01 04:02 PM

I just wanted to mention, check out Gary Kurtz's routine from his notes "Meeting at the Summit". He ends clean. Palming out the gaffs and even putting them in your pocket is completely scripted into the routine, and it occurs well before the climax.

Also, you might like to try Derek Dingle's "Slow Motion MacDonald's Aces" which only uses two gaffs, so there's less to find. If anyone asks, just hand him the clean packet, and go south with the goods while he's looking at those.
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Postby Jeff Haas » 10/20/01 05:18 PM

Curtis, I'd forgotten about the Dingle routine. Good suggestion!

For anyone else reading this, Dingle's routine is on page 94 of "The Complete Works of Derek Dingle," published by some guy named Kaufman.
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Postby steve » 10/20/01 05:29 PM

I know I'm new to magic, but from what I have learned (I think) so far, is that if someone is asking to see the cards, then you didn't convince them early on in the trick. Shouldn't all doubt be removed, so there is no explanation, because they KNOW they have seen normal cards?

If, at the end of a coin routine, someone says "Open your hand" and you can't, you didn't convince them your hands were empty.

Am I on the right track, or am I off base?
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Postby Jeff Haas » 10/20/01 06:12 PM

It depends on the context.

In a card routine, like we've been discussing, it's advantageous to let the audience see that the deck is normal. Then you should be able to several tricks with it, including letting the specatators handle the deck at some point. What happens is a cumulative effect, especially with people who've never seen you work before. As you do more and different card effects, it begins to dawn on them that you are responsible for what's happening, not some "trick deck." This is true no matter where you do magic, or under what circumstances. People think that almost everything a magician does is via gimmicked props, since stage illusions work that way and we've all seen cheap plastic tricks. It's a constant challenge you deal with professionally, because most people have never seen sleight-of-hand magic live at all.

Once they're convinced you're using normal cards, you then have to learn to perform sleights so they're undetected as part of the trick. That takes years, but is very very gratifying.

When you can combine sleights with an occasional gaff, you take the audience unaware. That's a lot of fun, although you can only share that level of it with your fellow magicians.

With your question on coin magic, the psychology is a bit different...when you make something disappear, there's an emotional "need" to see it come back. It's like playing an unresolved chord on the piano; it sets up a tension that we somehow want to see resolved. It's also like seeing the first 3/4 of a good movie and not getting to see the end of the story. So, if you make a coin disappear and don't bring it back, you set up a similar tension, and people look at you to try to figure out where it went...thus the, "Let's see your other hand" response.

When you're starting out, try to pick routines where the coin disappears and then reappears in another place. This resolves the tension for the audience, and you won't be challenged on that point. (They may challenge you on other points, but that's a different discussion.)

Jeff
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