lotion

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby walkinoats » 12/06/01 09:11 AM

Does anyone use Frank Gracia's lotion or any other type of lotion while peforming?
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Postby David Acer » 12/06/01 01:50 PM

You know, my experience with hand lotions is that they really should be applied every night at bedtime, not immediately prior to a show. Having dry hands myself, I have experimented with a few different mixtures, including Frank Garcias popular lotion, and Gary Ouellets less-known creme (from Close-Up Illusions), but, despite claims to the contrary, I find they all make ones hands unnaturally tacky (which in fact was my stripper name).
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Postby Dave Shepherd » 12/06/01 02:01 PM

For the past couple years, I've kept a bottle of Chamberlain's Golden Touch Lotion in both my kid's show case and in my close-up case. I find I never use it.

I second what David A. says: the best thing to do is to keep your hands moist in a general way (i.e., by moisturizing at night) rather than right before a show. The few times I've tried to add the tackiness to my hands right before performance, I have found that it makes them TOO tacky. As soon as I get charged up to perform, I begin to sweat a tiny little bit, and the lotion makes it impossible to get rid of a palmed card or to drop a palmed coin where it needs to go.

If I were doing a stage manip. act with billiard balls or something it might be different, but for close-up it's too much.
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Postby Terry » 12/06/01 02:20 PM

There is a product out, sold at most WalMarts, that is called "Udder Butter" lotion. Farmers use it to keep a cows udder from drying out and cracking. It is safe for humans, drys completely and isn't too tacky.

The lotion is in bottles and a tube. Both are white with black markings similar to the gateway computer box.
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Postby Jim Morton » 12/06/01 03:13 PM

A lot depends on your hands. I am cursed with extremely dry hands. Here's what I have found:

First, a good moisturizing lotion applied at night and after you shower does help. The best thing I have found for keeping my moist is something called NaPCA. You can buy this at health food stores. This works really well, but I've been told that it does not work well in very dry climates--like Tucson, Arizona--since it works by drawing moisture from the air.

Before a show, I usually put something on my hands. Chamberlain's Golden Touch works well, but I add some Aloe Vera gel to it to thicken it slightly. Pretty much anything with glycerin, water, and Aloe Vera gel works well. The secret ingredient in Golden Touch is Sorbitol. Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol and is used as a cheap alternative to glycerin. It is sold in a liquid form as a laxative, and is also used in sugar-free gums.

More often, I simply apply a little Sort-Kwik or Tacky Finger to my fingertips before I perform, and that usually does the trick.

Whew! Sorry about the length. I hope that helps.
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Postby Terry » 12/07/01 06:31 AM

"More often, I simply apply a little Sort-Kwik or Tacky Finger to my fingertips before I perform, and that usually does the trick."

Thanks for reminding me of that Jim. Martin Nash used sort kwik on A1 video #4 or 5 for dealing seconds, bottoms & centers.
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Postby Geno Munari » 12/07/01 08:15 AM

Cornhuskers lotion is one of my favorites for any card handling as is Chamberlines.
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Postby Pete McCabe » 12/07/01 04:56 PM

I too experimented with Sortkwik and found it very helpful for card magic. But I also found that it made many coin moves -- particularly the palm-to-palm change -- very much more difficult.

The solution I use most of all is to have a glass of ice water on the table next to me when I perform. When I need a little extra moisture, I just take a drink and pick up some moisture condensed on the outside of the glass. I know at least one supremely talented sleight-of-hand artist who does this.

I don't know if this is practical for everyone but it has the advantage of wearing off reasonably quickly so as not to interfere with other moves for which excessive tackiness is a detriment.

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Postby Terry » 12/08/01 07:14 AM

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Pete McCabe:
[QB]I too experimented with Sortkwik and found it very helpful for card magic. But I also found that it made many coin moves -- particularly the palm-to-palm change -- very much more difficult.

Pete, the reference to Mr. Nash was in that he only applied the Sort Kwik to the finger tips/edge and not the whole hand. You may try it that way and see if it helps with cards and doesn't get in the way of your coin work.
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Postby Keith Raygor » 12/09/01 09:38 PM

I have tried all of the above solutions, and have been less than satisfied.

May I reccommend a product sold at Walgreens, called "Glycerin and Rose Water". About $2 a bottle, a bottle will last more than a year if you use it every night. It is THE BEST stuff I've ever used and have used it nightly for 3 years. It's a clear liquid, no oily mess. Will give you that 'sure' feeling with cards. Try it, you'll love it!
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Postby Guest » 12/10/01 01:59 PM

The only small problem with the glycerin rose water is that it has a strong odor.

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Postby Jim Morton » 12/10/01 03:06 PM

The secret ingredient in Glycerin and Rose Water, Sort-Kwik, Tacky Finger, Vagesil, or whatever else you decide to use, is simply glycerin. The rose water merely acts to dilute the glycerin, which, by itself, is too strong. You can acheive the same result--without smelling like your mother's flower bed--by diluting glycerin with water (preferably distilled). Start with a fifty-fifty mixture and adjust it from there. I personally prefer to add a little aloe vera gel to this because it gives you a nice tack without gunking up the cards (unlike Chamberlain's Golden Touch). You can also add a little alcohol, which will keep things fungus free.

I've never had a problem with Sort-Kwik affecting my classic palm, but I only put it on my fingertips.
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Postby Pete Biro » 12/10/01 05:21 PM

I see Geno Munari suggests Corn Huskers.
So do I.
Why?
Larry Jenning suggested it to me.
Larry, being a plumber, by trade, had a lot of wear and tear on his mitts... and he said the best he had found was Corn Huskes.
Good enuf for Larry Jennings... good enuf for me.
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Postby ADG » 12/10/01 08:37 PM

Being a pharmacist, the lotion I always recommend is Cornhuskers Lotion. I can't remember if I mentioned this to Larry when I visited the Castle in '78. Most of Ma Bell's telephone lineman and utility workers use Cornhuskers. It is excellent stuff!
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/10/01 09:32 PM

I spent a lot of time with Jennings and don't think he used Corn Huskers lotion. He kept his "stash" in a small cylindrical bottle. It was a yellow liquid and had a very distinct aroma. I think it was the "Golden Touch" or "Golden Tears" or whatever Marlo also used (there is a golden tear shown on the cover of the book "Marlo Without Tears" and this is an inside joke about the hand lotion he used).
Gene Maze always used rose water and glycerin--and he did some damn fine bottom, second, and center dealing.
What both of those men have in common is that they worked with their hands all day, and had to really scrub them to get them clean at the end of the day. That left their skin very dry. Putting lotion on just before bedtime was not going to do the trick.
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Postby Pete Biro » 12/10/01 10:31 PM

I find that offering to "do the dishes" makes:

A: My wife happy
B: Keeps my hands softer and cleaner

B: is my real reason, but don't tell Linda!
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Postby Jeff Haas » 12/11/01 01:38 AM

Pete, great idea, but that won't work for me.

I've got a dishwasher.
:p
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Postby Keith Raygor » 12/11/01 07:39 AM

I have a full bottle of Corn Huskers that I've tried several times. It's OK, but still that 'gunky'feeling on the fingertips.

The odor of Glycerin and Rose Water is significant out of the bottle, but once it's on the hands, after a couple minutes, it's unnoticeable. I've never had anyone comment that they could smell it, and if they could, it is not altogether an unpleasant odor.

I will try the suggestion of mixing water with glycerin. Thanks for the tip!
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Postby Geno Munari » 12/11/01 08:13 AM

Keith:
I always wash my hands with soap and water and then apply just a drop of Cornhuskers. You are right, too much will make your hands feel gunky. I have even applied a little Chamberlines (sic) on after, especially for dealing seconds, or for a demo, or for magic.
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Postby Guest » 12/11/01 04:55 PM

I use Sparco Fingertip Moistener (sold at Mailboxes Plus), which seems to last me a trick or two longer than SortKwik, although it's basically the same glycerin material.

Question 1: I saw a reference in a magic catalog once to "gambler's tack." Are these products the same stuff?

Question 2: For me, an interval of noncard magic (e.g., coins and rope) wears off most of the fingertip glycerin. Do other card workers who use SortKwik or the like "re-tack" their fingers via some subterfuge during a performance? (I perform in shirtsleeves, so pocket space is at a premium.) Perhaps smearing a dab on the outside of the card case before the show?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/11/01 08:48 PM

The person who deals with this most efficiently is Harry Lorayne, who is constantly licking his fingers while he works.
...
What? You don't want to slobber over your fingers?
Hmmmmmm.
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Postby Guest » 12/11/01 09:37 PM

I used to be a licker; spectators would simultaneously challenge and chastise me for it. Nice to know my disgusting habit had such distinguished company.
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Postby Bill Mullins » 12/12/01 10:06 AM

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
The person who deals with this most efficiently is Harry Lorayne, who is constantly licking his fingers while he works.



I asked him, but he won't lick my fingers for me.

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Postby Guest » 12/12/01 10:18 AM

I prefer Chamberlain's for my bone-dry mitts on a day-to-day practice schedule.

If I'm going out for a while to session or entertain and can't be bothered to haul out a pouncy bottle of lotion, I use a tip Martin Nash shared with me: smear a big hunk of Sort Quik behind your ear and simply tug periodically on your ear when you need to re-tack.

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Postby Pete McCabe » 12/13/01 12:14 AM

Ralph Bonheim, the classic solution is to put some Sortkwik (or whatever) on your earlobe. A tug at your ear will not provoke disgust in your spectators (if it does, something is wrong.)
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Postby Bill Mullins » 12/14/01 12:42 PM

Originally posted by Pete McCabe:
Ralph Bonheim, the classic solution is to put some Sortkwik (or whatever) on your earlobe. A tug at your ear will not provoke disgust in your spectators (if it does, something is wrong.)


Of course, they will think you are Carol
Burnett.

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Postby Guest » 12/14/01 01:05 PM

Thanks, dudes. I will forthwith add earlobe-tugging to my existing (extensive) repertoire of tics and fidgets.
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Postby Pete Biro » 12/14/01 05:02 PM

When you get older the problem will go away as you will find DROOL works great.
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Postby Guest » 12/14/01 10:15 PM

A quick fake cough, a turn of the head, and I can stick my finger inside my ear. Just sticky enough. (Though the cards won't come off my fingers easily, I do find that they won't slide out accidently either).
Rick
ps, Seriously, I've used Chamberlains, and also the Vagisil, or as we call it, Secret Magic Stuff. Both work equally well (though my wife doesn't laugh when I put the Golden Touch lotion on my hand).

:p
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Postby Guest » 12/15/01 06:04 AM

One of my favorite childhood books was "Secrets of Magic" by Walter Gibson, which explained stage levitations, Buried Alive, the Vanishing Elephant, and other closely guarded mysteries.

The book's omission of Vagisil, Ear Wax, and Drool must have just been some clumsy oversight.

ciao
r
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Postby Terry » 12/15/01 06:55 AM

The book's omission of Vagisil, Ear Wax, and Drool must have just been some clumsy oversight.


These "secrets" were probably passed among the "inner circle" of magic. :D
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Postby Jamy Ian Swiss » 12/17/01 12:57 AM

Here are my latest moisturizer discoveries (and I am always on the lookout in this area).

THEREASEAL is available in major drugstores. It's a super hand cream that is not greasy, not scented, and absorbs quickly. The key ingredient is silicone. It's a little expensive but well worth it, currently my favorite product.

For just getting some quick fingertip tackiness, try WORKING HANDS CREME. Do a search and you can order it right off the web site. The main ingredient is glycerin, which has always been a preference of mine (until I tried the silicone stuff). If you buy the 2 oz. container they send you two little pocket containers. I always carry one, great for a quick swipe before those strike seconds.
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Postby Jamy Ian Swiss » 12/17/01 12:59 AM

Sorry, typo ... it's THERASEAL.
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Postby Dave Shepherd » 12/20/01 04:06 PM

Originally posted by Ezra Tawil:
My 2 cents: the best I've found it "Kiss My Face," which has no oils, no scent, and has alpha-hydroxy-whatchamacallits and aloe (the bottle says alpha + aloe). The only problem I've had is that it gets absorbed so well that it loses its effectiveness. So I've used the "sweaty water glass" trick to re-activate it.


My current favorite is the Kiss My Face honey-calendula mixture. It does have a scent (of honey), but it's not as overpowering as the scent of some other lotions I've used. It imparts a bit more stickiness than other lotions I've tried (including the KMF olive oil, the other variety of Kiss My Face with which I have experience).

The stickiness of this lotion, however, is very slight, unlike Chamberlain's Golden Touch. As Ezra points out about the other strain of KMF lotion, it absorbs rather quickly and is easily "reactivated" by a tiny bit of moisture.
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Postby Harvey Rosenthal » 12/24/01 03:57 PM

Now that Frank Garcia is no longer with us, I can tell you that the lotion he marketed under his name was Chamberlain's Golden Touch Lotion. He added some food coloring which visually disguised the fact that it was Golden Touch Lotion. However, anyone who uses Golden Touch Lotion would easily recognize it by its distinctive aroma.

As I got older, my hands became dryer and dryer. Early on when I performed at a table, I always had a glass of coke with ice next to me. The moisture on the glass made my hand(s) tacky enough for the few moments that it was needed.

I tried Corn Huskers Lotion and found that the tackiness lasted a very short time, unlike with Golden Touch Lotion which lasted until I washed my hands. The key to using Golden Touch Lotion successfully is to apply a small amount. If you put too much on you hands, it can interfere with performing certain sleights. :cool:
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Postby Steve Hook » 12/24/01 04:41 PM

I've got the "getting older and the skin's drying out" problem, too. Big problem: palming coins. Most of the solutions posted have mentioned cards. Just wondering if any of these products were better for Classic Palming? Thanks.

Steve H
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Postby Harvey Rosenthal » 12/24/01 06:18 PM

Steve:

I have been known to do a coin trick or two and have found that Golden Touch Lotion is ideal for aiding one to securing classic palm coins. Give the product a try. I am sure you will be very pleased with the result. :cool:
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Postby Charlie Chang » 12/25/01 02:13 AM

I too am a fan of Golden Touch and the glass of ice water.

A few years back Earl Nelson introduced me to his favourite product - which was contained in a small white box. Earl told me that when he first lectured at the Castle he began by applying this substance before performing. It lasted very well and he performed for two hours.

At the end of an expose of first class sleight of hand, he invited questions from the audience. Several hands shot up. Picking an eager young man in the front row, he was asked "what's that stuff you put on your hands?"

And all the other hands went down....

Incidentally, Roger Curzon, the excellent Yorkshire card man, recommends taking cod liver oil - this apparently worked well for him. As well as having well lubricated palms, he also has bright eyes and a shiney coat...

I can also vouch for Jamy's lotion, it worked very well for me.
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Postby David Penn » 12/25/01 06:18 AM

Paul:
Please don't leave us in the dark any longer! Afterall, it is Christmas. What was it that Earl Nelson used??
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