The close-up trick I hate most:

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Steve Hook » 12/19/02 08:22 PM

"Color Monte"

And please don't tell me about different handlings or cards.

If it has diamonds and/or is a "3-Way" trick, I'm running in the opposite direction as fast as my loafers will take me. Don't try to save me...I'm on permanent "3-Way" burnout.

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Postby Guest » 12/19/02 08:32 PM

I don't like color monte either. I always cringe when I see a thread on other magic boards titled "What is the Best Monte" and someone chimes in with Color Monte.

I am also not a big fan of Hot Rod.

"Pick a number between 1 and 6"

"3"

OK, "3 is spelled T-H-R-E-E" ...

huh???
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Postby Bill Duncan » 12/19/02 10:05 PM

While there's certainly a corner of Hell waiting for me where no one performs anything but Color Monte it's not a bad trick for actual human audiences.

For me it's a toss up between The Ambitious Card and Scotch and Soda.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/19/02 10:16 PM

"Color Monte" was actually taken from Bill Elliott's trick (what the heck is the name? ... perhaps "Three-Way Monkey Business)in Ibidem--it is virtually identical, with no credit to the guy who originated it.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 12/19/02 10:32 PM

Originally posted by Steve Hook:
"Color Monte" ...And please don't tell me about different handlings or cards.
I seem to recall these cards having aviator backs. -> Just wondering how folks would react to taking the cards from a deck as 'free selections' and discovering their faces to be 'unusual'.

Presented as something with three selected cards this might be amusing.

Anyone using a watchwinder?
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Postby Brian Morton » 12/19/02 10:47 PM

"I seem to recall these cards having aviator backs."

Not just Aviators -- Hoyle's...

Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuggggggghhhhhh.

Man, do I hate that trick.

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Postby Pete Biro » 12/19/02 11:23 PM

Worst Close-up trick, for me? :confused:

Hot Rods... ughhhhhhhhh :eek:

Oil and Water... worst card trick premise ever invented! :rolleyes:
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Postby Jon Racherbaumer » 12/19/02 11:51 PM

Are these over exposed tricks a case of "familiarity breeds..."?

All of us have seen these tricks gazillions of times. Or, if we really want to head for the hills when we see somebody doing Color Monte, Wild Card, Scotch and Soda, Hot Rod, etc., since these tricks were and are huge sellers, what does this say about the over-populated societies of magicians who buy these tricks and continually foist them on the public?

Mister Pete: Oil & Water...bad? Don't tell that to Rene Levand.

Granting that the plot is dubious and wretched, why are there so many methods? Why do cardmen continue to create new versions?

I once entertained the daft notion of compiling all of the versions of Oil and Wa-Wa into a giant volume. I have over 400 methods in my files.

This lasted about 15 seconds.

Yet...

Onward...
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Postby Jeff Haas » 12/20/02 12:51 AM

Jonathan,

I never had a watch winder...until I saw "Five Minutes with a Pocket Handkerchief." Quentin Reynolds showed me why you'd want one.

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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 12/20/02 01:18 AM

Originally posted by Jeff Haas:
... watch winder...until I ...why you'd want one.
Thanks. Not familiar with the material by name, just the idea. It's never the "effect" it's the presentation or context that determines the value of the material.

The snap-back made my no-good list until Curtis Kam showed me a rendition that brought me around.

Maybe we could go with a "context makes the difference" list of tricks saved by insight?
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Postby Mike Powers » 12/20/02 06:41 AM

I'm with you Pete. On a scale of 1 to 10, I give Oil and Water a 5. Why do a 5 when there are so many 9's and 10's. I'm sure it entertains an audience and it is magic. It just seems weak to me compared to so many hot ones. (I can feel the heat of the incoming flames already.)

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Postby Guest » 12/20/02 07:01 AM

I never liked Oil and Water until I worked out a handling based on a routine I saw someone else perform.

Even as a layperson, I thought the hot rod and color monte effects were real snoozers. Al Cohen made the hot rod watchable for me but I never cared for the effects.

I do like Scotch and Soda. I don't use it but I think coin tricks are cool to watch (if done well).
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Postby Randy DiMarco » 12/20/02 07:41 AM

I have always loved Color Monte but that may be because it was the first "Sleight of Hand" card trick I was able to do for actual people.
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Postby Guest » 12/20/02 07:49 AM

"All Backs" routines make me flee. Even when done by the masters.

Harley
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Postby Randy DiMarco » 12/20/02 07:54 AM

I don't like "Follow the Leader" type card effects.
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Postby Matthew Field » 12/20/02 09:25 AM

Re: Color Monte -- I do it, I don't like it, audiences like it.

I use Bicycle backed cards, a regular AS and QH with the $14 card. I used to use the foil-embossed diamond cards. Did the trick at a party, everyone loved it, the spectator I was using confessed afterward that he was color blind and both cards looked identical to him!

Close-up tricks I don't like -- any "sucker" effect.

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Postby Guest » 12/20/02 10:05 AM

Originally posted by Jon Racherbaumer:
...Granting that the plot is dubious and wretched, why are there so many methods? Why do cardmen continue to create new versions?...[/QB]
Perhaps it is due to the fact that many magicians are more focused on method than the presentation for laypeople. Not that there is anything wring with that BUT many just do not seem to realize that many of those tricks either look the same to lay people OR are just plain boring to them. There are many effects out there that magicians love and yet they fall flat on lay audiences.

Anyway, as you would say...onward....
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Postby David Alexander » 12/20/02 11:44 AM

Rene's presentation of Oil & Water is successful because the effect is direct and easily understood by the spectators.

Far too many amateurs launch into "variations" which only confuse and muddle the effect.

And, then of course, it's Rene doing it which is probably 90% of the reason for its success.
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Postby Guest » 12/20/02 11:50 AM

A lot of you guys seem to hate Oil and Water, yet a few of you mentioned that the audience loves it.

So let me ask you a question, who are you doing magic for, the audience or yourself?

chris
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Postby Guest » 12/20/02 11:57 AM

I do magic for both the audience and for me. I perform tricks that play very well for audiences but I also have to like them. I am in it to have fun and to enjoy the craft.
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Postby Bill Duncan » 12/20/02 12:09 PM

Thanks for the catch Richard.

According to Daryl's Full Monte video the Bill Elliot trick is called "Three Card Monkey Business". I skipped over that part of the DVD in favor of "real" monte stuff...
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Postby Bill Duncan » 12/20/02 12:13 PM

Oil and Water is a great trick but it's a lousy presentational idea.

Dingle, who is brilliant, made it about salad dressing...Oil and Vinegar. A mini commercial for Wession Oil.

:D
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Postby Guest » 12/20/02 12:20 PM

Speaking of Oil and Water, Michael Vincent uses the presentational idea from Tamariz's "The Magic Way" by showing the audience an actual vial of oil and water and as he performs the phase, he shakes up the oil and water so the audience gets a picture of oil and water separating in real life and then he spreads the cards to show that it happens in magic as well.

Needless to say Michael's presentation is beautiful and I am certain his audiences agree.
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Postby Gary Freed » 12/20/02 12:41 PM

If there is a worse moment in close-up magic than when the magician says during Hot rod "six, okay s....i...x" I would love to hear it(then again, maybe I don't want to hear it!)
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Postby Curtis Kam » 12/20/02 02:17 PM

Gary, how's about:

"Hey, hey you....wanna see something?...Something cool, you'll like this.....see this quarter...watch, I'm going to bite this quarter..."
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Postby Guest » 12/20/02 03:56 PM

I have noted the Mark Ennis point about the fact that he has to enjoy the trick.
It is indeed true that the tricks that go over well with an audience tend to be the ones that you like yourself. This is because your enthusiasm comes across.
However, it is not necessarily always so. I shall quote from "Expert Card Technique"
"it is all too easy to be influenced by one's prejudices in favour of a trick. A conjurer may have a magnificent -to - him method of locating and discovering a card of which he is exceedingly fond, but which induces only boredom in his audience. If he is not sensitive to audience reaction, the trick may stay in his programme when it should be discarded.

On the other hand feats which the magician holds in low esteem will often be receieved by an audience with gratifying enthusiasm; every card conjurer has had the experience of receiving high praise for a feat of which he expected little"

My own philosophy is one of complete and utter ruthlessness. My own opinion of a trick is of no consequence. I might enjoy a trick but if I do not get any reaction with it, out the door it goes.

I am only concerned with audience reaction. NOTHING ELSE. It is the bottom line for me. My enjoyment of a trick is irrelevant. It may work very well for someone else but if it doesnt work for me I will discard it. You must do what the audience wants. If I don't like a trick but the audience does I will do it because my first responsibility is to that audience not to myself.

I have always hated the svengali deck with a passion. I have been known to shudder when I even see one. This is because I have done the damn thing all my life as a pitchman. I always thought it would be a wonderful thing to do trade show magic because I could then abandon the damn trick.

However when I first started to do trade shows about 7 months ago I was mortified to find that this trick is the one that went over best. The body language of the crowd changed before my very eyes. It was almost as if they were transfixed.
I was quite upset by this at the time. I realised that I would never escape the damned thing.

It is my duty to do what goes over the best no matter what I like or don't like.

No. Sadly the opinion of the magician is of no importance whatever. Only the audience reaction is important. The spectator is king.
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Postby Craig Matsuoka » 12/20/02 04:06 PM

"Dudes! Check it out. I've some colored poker chips here and...

Hey, get back here! Where you guys goin?"
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Postby Jon Allen » 12/20/02 07:38 PM

Oh My! I feel like I've stepped into a minefield!

I agree about Hot Rod. Cute but not for laymen should it be done.

As I soak myself in lighter fluid, I'd like to put forward 4 ace routines with counts and shifts and counts and moves and counts again, all to show that one card has vanished and appeared somewhere else. Do laymen really enjoy watching this. Do they really think, "Yep, that all looks so natural."

I was once shown a 3 card Monte trick that had so many flase counts and displays I got bored after the 3rd or 4th display of the card sbeing all alike. Unfortuantely I was cornered and for what seemed like a week, I was shown this damn trick.

Do yuo spell 4 as 'for' or 'four'?
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Postby Guest » 12/20/02 08:36 PM

Richard:

I always wondered why Bill Elliot never seems to get credit for Three Card Monkey Business. In fact, I think the trick is much better with 'normal' cards, rather than specially prepared cards (as in Color Monte).

I learned about it in Leo Behnke's book "Find The Ace" (1983 by Magic City).

-David L.
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Postby Andrew Martin Portala » 12/20/02 09:08 PM

Color changing knifes.
Did anyone lose a black knife? :mad:
and
dirty sponge balls.
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Postby Guest » 12/20/02 09:33 PM

To jump into the thread concerning magician enjoyment vs. audience enjoyment...having only done magic for a couple of months I have learned that tricks I don't feel will be very entertaining have gotten great reactions. I'm trying a wide variety of things to find what I like, and the audience sometimes truly enjoys things that I didn't feel were strong effects. I've learned not to judge a "trick" by its cover until I've tried it out on an actual audience.
:)
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Postby Dave Egleston » 12/21/02 02:22 AM

CARDTOON or any variaion thereof

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Postby reed mcclintock » 12/21/02 03:52 AM

presentation, timing, ability to capture the imagination with entertainment. I feel bad for the artists that have read why you HATE their tricks. :( Or the jokes on the side of the poor opening lines. It only seems fair that if you HATE a trick why think about it. Why waste your time telling everyone about it. Be really cool and come up with a presentation for the weakest trick and blow people out of the water with it. Show everyone how clever you really are by creating something better. Cheers

Boy I sound like a very overly sensitive woman, I dont care. To HATE something a human being creates artistically is foul in my opinion.
It is nice to see however you have no worries about how the creators feel. The funny part is that everyone of us owns these tricks. The even more funny part is we baught them because they fooled us. if they didnt fool us we thaught to our selves hey oooh I can fool someone with that trick, or the ultimate reason to find out how that darn thing worked :) .
So stop with the I have grown out of that trick and know far cooler stuff now attitude and just dont do the tricks you HATE, and dont belittle the creators. :mad:

Hot rod is a wonderfully fun piece of magic with the right presentation. :D
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Postby Guest » 12/21/02 06:16 AM

Gary Freed writes: "If there is a worse moment in close-up magic than when the magician says during Hot rod "six, okay s....i...x" I would love to hear it."

I don't know if it's a worse moment but:
"One, okay o...n...e"

The trouble with Hot Rod is that there is so little thought given to the presentation; almost everyone does the same thing.

I do a routine in which the spectator gets a free choice, the count is legitimate (one is 1) and -- extremely important -- the routine is such that the spectator is given the hot rod afterwards (to examine if she wishes but the routine ends with it in her hands. And, no, the rod is not gimmicked in any way.)
cheers,
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Postby Guest » 12/21/02 08:00 AM

"To HATE something a human being creates artistically is foul in my opinion.
It is nice to see however you have no worries about how the creators feel."

Very interesting point, however I do not agree with you. there are plenty of songs and movies I really don't care for, even by artists that are amongst my favorites. I don't hate the various creations but I certainly am not going to like everything ever created. However my hat goes off to those that put in whatever effort (great or small) into their craft.

Also, I think certain magic effects will play much stronger than other magic effects regardless of how well your presentation is. Personally I would rather focus my creativity presenting a powerful piece of magic than I would focusing on a weaker effect.

Personally I think there are better magical effects than Color Monte and Hot Rod. If others want to perform them, that's great.
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Postby Dave Egleston » 12/21/02 08:36 AM

This is the kind of hate I call "Sports Hate" Example: anyone that can read and has a job -"Hates" the Raiders (maybe a bad example) or more apprpriately: Most serious baseball fans "hate" the Dodgers (that's better).
In the case of these tricks, I believe we mean hate about the same way and probably, to a lesser extent than sports fans - Someone pulls out Hotrod - and the magicians in the room, roll their eyes. I agree with the premise of the reasons for disliking a trick - But as Mr McClintock said - Most of it is in presentation - But I'm not smart enough to deviate from the written instructions - so I put the trick in a drawer and build up a "hatred" for it

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Postby reed mcclintock » 12/21/02 08:47 AM

That was precisely my point. To hate is very strong. It also takes alot of work to do. I was not implying that all tricks are great. All pieces of magic should be avoided if you do not have presentation for it.
I certianly would not expect an eight year old kid to have a solid and theatrically sound presentation for hot rod or any of the others mentioned, but he should be able to get a trick that teaches him the basics Realy this conversation is like adults talking poorly about Barney the purple Dinosour all these adults can not stand Barney, but yet they watch him. As a parent I do not watch it, but since my son enjoys Barney I let him. I will practice a coin trick for a half hour. Personally I like Barney for that. lol
I agree emphatically that there are pieces of art and styles of art that I do not care for, and some I feel are garbage, and some that even offend. To say I hate it would be crazy, and would need to take a closer look at myself. I do enjoy that the thing I dont care for gives me a feeling, and that is what art does and should do :) .
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Postby Pete Biro » 12/21/02 09:25 AM

Having been born and raised in Oakland, anyone that "Hates" the RAIDERS... is... uh, unfortunate, in that they should love the greatest sports franchise in U.S. history. :p
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Postby Dave Egleston » 12/21/02 09:46 AM

So Mr. Biro:
You went from Oakland to LA? aren't you due to come back. The Raiders have a PSL waiting for you "Just pay, baby"

A point I hadn't thought about was the "beginner" - Of course I'll watch and help anyone who is just starting and of course - I'll always encourage the young or new performer - act like it's the first time I ever saw it and congratulate him on doing a good job. Then suggest a couple of other packaged tricks for him or her to step up to. These are, for the most part, the first tricks we all start out with.

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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 12/21/02 09:48 AM

Originally posted by Reed McClintock:
...To say I hate it would be crazy, and would need to take a closer look at myself. I do enjoy that the thing I dont care for gives me a feeling, and that is what art does and should do :) .
I agree the word 'hate' may be misused here. Just to add my two cents, I'll suggest the 'Stockholm Card Trick' effect where a selected card becomes a 'proxy hostage ' and the audience is made to suffer torture and abuse until they provide a sufficient favorable response that the magician stops and sometimes even gives the selected hostage to the audience as a reminder. There are so many variations I have seen performed. So I'm going to call all such 'pick a card' abuse by one name and decry the performance of such routines.
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