Tricks (or presentations) that are "charming"

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Guest » 11/28/04 11:39 PM

My wife uses a word, only occasionally, to describe magic that she likes, as opposed to magic that she thinks is good but about which she could care less... That word is "charming".

For example:
Doug Conn's "Scramble" (from Tricks Of My Trade) which uses Scrabble tiles to do an assembly. In the second phase the tiles spell words as they assemble.

Curtis Kam's "The Twenty One Cent Murder Mystery" (from his book Deceptions In Paradice and his new lecture notes) in which the 21 cent trick is performed with a pun-filled script about a locked room mystery.

I'd like it if more of my own stuff could be described with that word. Thats something Im working on. I would love to hear what you do when you want your magic to "charm" someone.
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Postby cataquet » 11/29/04 05:26 AM

Bill, the one trick that immediately comes to mind is "Kate & Edith".
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Postby Gary Freed » 11/29/04 07:43 AM

"Twins"-brother John Hamman
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Postby Guest » 11/29/04 10:27 AM

"Bear Hands", by Geoff Williams

(It's a "nice" version of "The Web")

Dave
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Postby Guest » 11/29/04 10:51 AM

I've never seen "Kate and Edith" but as it comes up often in the context of story tricks I have some idea what it's like.

I assume it's genesis is the old joke that became a country western novelty song:
"You can't have your Kate and Edith too." ?

Twins is another good example.
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Postby Guest » 11/29/04 01:13 PM

Jennings' "In the palm of Your Hand" was the first thing to come to mind.

Frank Yuen
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Postby Guest » 11/29/04 11:17 PM

Nice Frank. Didn't Jennings also have something called "Make Me Small" in Richard's Almanac?

I'll have to look that one up...
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Postby Brian Marks » 11/29/04 11:23 PM

Originally posted by Bill Duncan:
I've never seen "Kate and Edith" but as it comes up often in the context of story tricks I have some idea what it's like.

I assume it's genesis is the old joke that became a country western novelty song:
"You can't have your Kate and Edith too." ?

Twins is another good example.
There both puns of you cant have your cake and eat it too
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Postby Guest » 11/29/04 11:23 PM

Originally posted by Bill Duncan:
Nice Frank. Didn't Jennings also have something called "Make Me Small" in Richard's Almanac?

I'll have to look that one up...
Yes, and I think it's another variation of Daryl's fine "Diamond Bar". (Also in the Almanac) I can't say I care much for Jennings version of the "rising crime display". Doesn't seem as sure to me as the normal version even though it does look good when I get it to work properly.
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Postby David Acer » 01/01/05 03:27 PM

Tony Binarelli's "Lips" can be quite charming in the right hands. And of course, the "Severed and Restored Chicken Head."
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Postby Guest » 01/02/05 01:34 PM

David,
Thanks, but I'd rather not put my hands in anyone's mouth no matter how charming he is...
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Postby Guest » 01/03/05 12:24 AM

Charming-Sawa's "Cry Baby" always gets that reaction. It's off the wall but at the right moment it is "charming"
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Postby Guest » 01/05/05 10:01 AM

Some suggestions based upon some effects that I do that I would say are charming are as follows:

1) Tony Binarelli -"Lips"

2) Scotty York - The Rose Tricks & Scottys Kiss Trick

3) Gary Kurtz - Attraction

4) Genii Magazine January 2000- (Volume 63,#1) Magicana Section- Engagement Alchemy created and described by Jeff Hass

5)Hopping Half Routine


When I do Lips, Ive added a couple of my own touches, for one the chosen card is signed and two, a corner is torn off and held in the ladies hand. At the reveal the Lips card bears the signature, and the piece held in the hand fits and matches the Lips card perfectly!
The lady keeps the torn Lipscard as a keepsake.

As for the effects by Scotty York, well with all due respect to Mr. York,CHANGE THE PATTER. These effects are indeed very charming and go very well with the ladies, but I use completely different patter and story line. Also, I dont know if you can find the needed props anymore.

Attraction is very charming, find the right couple and youve got them hooked!

The effect in Genii is likewise very, very nice.

Hopping Half Ive changed the patter from the original (which in my opinion makes the spectator appear stupid because they cant seem to get which coin is where or right) to two inseparable lovers that will always be together.

Hope this helps
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Postby Guest » 01/05/05 02:00 PM

Bill, you can try "The Frog Prince" by Michael Close. You can find it on both video & notes.
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Postby Guest » 01/05/05 11:57 PM

Mike and Ira,
Thanks for the suggestions. Good stuff.

Randy,
Shhhh. Too many people know about that one already.

;)
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Postby pduffie » 01/06/05 02:46 AM

There are some perfomers who could never be charming....
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Postby Guest » 01/06/05 11:46 AM

True. But conversely, there are some performers one wouldn't expect to be charming, yet they are (Al Goshman comes immediately to mind).
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Postby Jeff Haas » 01/06/05 12:05 PM

Ira,

You actually do that trick? Glad to hear it. How often do you do it?

Jeff
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Postby Guest » 01/06/05 02:48 PM

Charming? My compliments to your lovely wife, although she no doubt finds you charming, as well, so I take the compliment in context. :)

Has she ever seen Allen Okawa's "Wishing Shells"?

And what's the name of Gary Kurtz's "fusion" effect? Emotional Bonding? That's got charm up the yin-yang.

Darwin Ortiz's "Dream Card", of course.

And can anyone confirm or deny T.A. Waters' precautionary tale about "Twilight Angels"? (As I recall, he was told by a woman after seeing it--"don't ever perform that effect for a woman unless you mean to sleep with her.") Okay, I think I'm getting away from your definition of "charming".

The Tamariz presentation of the Koornwinder Kar is charming, in a crazed and manic sort of way.

Christian Chelman has some presentations that are charming, in the same way that Hopkins' Hannibal Lechter was charming....

And somewhere, I read a presentation of "Squash", or the old "vanishing coin in glass of water", (is there a name for this effect?) or both together, as a quaint "wishing well" ceremony. You know, the subject makes a wish, then drops the coin in the water, its vanishment is taken as a sign....
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Postby Guest » 01/06/05 03:30 PM

Originally posted by Curtis Kam:
And can anyone confirm or deny T.A. Waters' precautionary tale about "Twilight Angels"? (As I recall, he was told by a woman after seeing it--"don't ever perform that effect for a woman unless you mean to sleep with her.")
I could have sworn that I'd read that quote, but by Paul Harris. Just dug out my Twilight Angels instructions, and it's not quoted in there.

Ah yes, found it. It's in AoA Volume 2, under Twilight, commenting on Twilight Angels - Tom Waters did this for a woman at a trade show who later came back and warned him, "Never do that angel thing for any woman that you don't want to sleep with."

Hope my wife doesn't read this.

Dave
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Postby Guest » 01/06/05 06:47 PM

Originally posted by Jeff Haas:
Ira,

You actually do that trick? Glad to hear it. How often do you do it?

Jeff
Jeff

Yes I do, why are you so surprised ?

It is a very nice effect, and the handling is also very natural. If you are familiar with one of the effects I mentioned in my post(Scotty York's Kiss Trick") many of the needed props are similar, and in rare cases where I don't have the main needed prop for the Kiss trick with me, I realized after reading your effect,I could use your "main prop" as a substitute.Of course I have to reduce the number of "kisses".

Since I first saw your effect in Genii, back in January 2000, I guess I've performed it about 12-15 times. I don't do it as a "proposal" as your original patter suggested.I use a story/patter line that involves "two young lovers, so poor that they couldn't afford a ring. They meet up with a "old magician", who in turn for their kindness creates the ring. I use a "fake" diamond ring.Much like many of the other effects,depending upon the couple, most if not all are hooked!

Well anyway, yes I do the effect. I think it is great !

(now if you only had this idea about 25 years ago, I could have used it when I proposed to my wife, then maybe she would enjoy magic more... she claims to hate magic more than she hates mimes, yet when she sees a new effect that I do, she is always amazed and wants to know how its done, go figure!)
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Postby Guest » 01/06/05 08:12 PM

Bill;

I told you about "Tales of the Unexpected", right? That's one I do that fits the category.

This is also how I perform "I've Got a Surprise For You" -it's all in the line reading.

My girlfriend seems to like anything with a good story to it. Not in the "Once upon a time there lived a three of clubs..." way, but things like "Triumph" and my presentation of "Jumping Gemini", which is about trying to impress my mother with my first card trick.

My housemate still begs for "Sam the Bellhop", which I don't do anymore because A) I'm not Bill Malone and B) it's a pain to set up.

This what we're talking about?

-Tony
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Postby Guest » 01/06/05 10:57 PM

You couldn't find a trick any more charming than Richard Pinner's Kids Kards
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Postby Guest » 01/06/05 11:41 PM

Originally posted by Curtis Kam:
Has she ever seen Allen Okawa's "Wishing Shells"?
Only when I do it.

The Tamariz presentation of the Koornwinder Kar is charming, in a crazed and manic sort of way.
Won't be going there... When she first saw JT on the magic special doing the Kar she got up and left the room she found him so annoying.

Christian Chelman has some presentations that are charming, in the same way that Hopkins' Hannibal Lechter was charming....
Now THAT'S interesting.
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Postby Guest » 01/06/05 11:44 PM

Tony,
Talk about "Tales of the Unexpected". I don't recall that.

Brad,
I'm not familier with "Kids Kards". Is that the one with supposedly handmade cards? What's the effect?
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Postby Guest » 01/07/05 07:47 AM

Originally posted by Bill Duncan:
Tony,
Talk about "Tales of the Unexpected". I don't recall that.
Could've sworn I PM'd you about that at The Favorite Stamping Ground (tm).

The trick is David Britland's reworking of Hamman's "Triple Cross" (I think is the name). He published it on Martin Breese's website, but it's not there anymore. It's basically a two-card sandwich transposition with a twist. I know I'm not saying a hell of a lot, but it's a good trick and, apparently, no one else knows it (except David Britland). My personal handling is different from David's.

I say it's "charming" because that's how I (try to) present it. It's my opener just for women; I do it because it's "one of the prettiest things I know".

I'll see if I can find it for you...

-Tony
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Postby Guest » 01/07/05 07:52 AM

The Chelman/Lecter anology reminds me of Eugene doing Bob Neale's Last Dream.
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Postby Guest » 01/07/05 01:32 PM

...and I don't suppose I need to mention Michael Skinner's "Mona Lisa" card trick, so I won't, nor will I bother anyone with Skinner's "Rub-a-Dub-Dub" cups and balls presentation, as charming as it might be for family audiences.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/07/05 02:32 PM

There are no tricks that are inherently charming. Certain tricks may lend themselves to charming presentations more than others, but the great majority of tricks will only be charming when done by a performer who can project such an ineffable quality. And, of course, charming to one spectator is treacle to another.
It is easy to overgeneralize in this area. No performer is always charming. Some performers are charming most of the time.
Learning to be charming is one of the most difficult accomplishments of any person, whether he or she is a performer or not.
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Postby Pete Biro » 01/07/05 04:21 PM

I think if someone said something I did was "charming" i'd quit. :p
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Postby Guest » 01/07/05 07:30 PM

Originally posted by Pete Biro:
I think if someone said something I did was "charming" i'd quit. :p
You mean you'd "just do it and quit", as opposed to "talk to her again"?

I think all we're talking about is presentation. My story for "Triumph" is the same one everybody else uses. The fact that people remember it as "charming" is more about my theater training than anything inherent in the trick or script.

I'm surprised no one brought up the LePaul/Hamman story about when Mrs. LePaul first saw "The Twins". Basically, anytime your wife asks, "Why can't you do card tricks like that?", she's indicating someone who's a better performer than you are, period.

-Tony
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Postby Guest » 01/07/05 11:15 PM

Bill, Pinner's Kids Kards is a rendition of the Mental Photography deck using cards that look like THIS

While for the most part I agree with Richard, I will have to say that this particular trick is inherently charming. Just the cards alone are charming, whether you did a trick with them or not.
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Postby Guest » 01/07/05 11:30 PM

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
There are no tricks that are inherently charming.
Sorry boss, but just as some tricks are inherently magical and thus "need little presentation" some tricks are, if competently performed , charming.

Im assuming a base-line ability to NOT alienate or annoy the audience.

Curtis examples do tend to support your contention however. I sure as hell couldnt get away with the Rub-A-Dub patter for the plastic cups and balls. Nor could 100% of the other magicians Ive seen try. Skinner could, because HE was charming.

I can be have oodles of charm* when I want to. But its not my defining characteristic.


* Curtis or Tony, bonus points if you can cite the literary reference.
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Postby Guest » 01/07/05 11:48 PM

Originally posted by Bill Duncan:


I can be have oodles of charm* when I want to. But its not my defining characteristic.


* Curtis or Tony, bonus points if you can cite the literary reference.
I'm going to have to go with Kurt Vonnegut's Breakfast of Champions.

Either that or Jerry Sadowitz.

-Tony
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Postby Guest » 01/08/05 01:47 AM

Charming,entertaining,nice,enjoyable,cool,neat,really liked that. What the heck. Isn't "charming" nothing more than a warm positive response? Get real. Most tricks in magic are charming, let's not debate over a word.
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Postby Guest » 01/08/05 01:49 AM

....by the way Pete...I've seen you work...damn "CHARMING" I must say.
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Postby David Acer » 01/08/05 10:07 AM

Originally posted by Bill Duncan:
I can be have oodles of charm when I want to. But its not my defining characteristic... bonus points if you can cite the literary reference.
Mein Kampf?
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Postby cataquet » 01/08/05 12:48 PM

Richard Pinner just thought of "Kids Kards" as a very charming presentation for Mental Photography. However, his made up story for the effect actually happened to me! Because of that emotional attachement, this is the only "charming" effect that I do.

As for the quote, Groucho Marx?
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Postby Guest » 01/08/05 01:13 PM

Harold,
Nope. Tony nailed it.

Vonnegut not Sadowitz.
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Postby Guest » 01/27/05 09:01 AM

A couple more "Charming presentations"-
Curtis Kams - Load Cup (name of trick might be wrong... I'm at work)
Darwin Ortiz - Night in samaria, & Dream Card
(Or anything that, that Mike Goeller does...)
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