Size Doesn't Matter

Discuss your favorite platform magic and illusions.

Postby John Pezzullo » 04/21/02 02:10 PM

I enjoyed reading David Reed-Brown's "Legends of Magic", published in the March 2002 issue of "Genii".

Writing about Ormond McGill:

"Then he made the strong point that very large, magical, and entertaining effects do not require large props. Then he proceeded to prove it with only a deck of cards and a number of volunteers. We should all be so lucky to hold an audience's attention and thrill them with magic at that age"

This got me thinking about card tricks that I've seen performed over the years that support this assertion:

-Mark Kornhauser's "Card Sword"
-Mike Caveney's "William Tell Card Trick"
-John Carney's "Cards Up The Sleeve"
-David Williamson's card location using a 'flying' Rocky Raccoon
-Jeff Hobson's "Card in Mouth"

Others.......??
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Postby Stefano » 04/22/02 04:29 AM

Hello,
Lewis Ganson in his book “Magic With Faucett Ross” (Supreme 1980) write;

My theory is that a really good entertainer with cards should be able to do at least a dozen of the Great Classics but each performed with original touches.

In short, he should be able to stand up before a large group of people and entertain them for at leanest twenty minutes with a pack of cards. I am not referring to card tricks used in close-up for a small group but to a platform where many people have to see what is happening.
The following twelve tricks are in this category and are Great Classics.

Cards up the sleeve
Entertaining Card Magic part 1 page 28 More Inner Secret of Card Magic Dai Vernon page 63

Rising cards
Expert card technique Jean Hugard Great Magic John Northerm Hilliard The Art of Close Up part two

Thirty cards
The Modern Conjuror C.Lang Neil page 133

Cards across

Hugard conus four aces
More Card Manipolation, n 1 Jean Hugard page 22

Leipzing slap aces
Tribute to Nate Leipzing Dai Vernon page 42

Wrapped and stabbed deck
;) Tribute to Nate Leipzing Dai Vernon page 54

Malini card stabbing
Stars of Magic page 152

Ladies looking glass
More Card Manipolation, n 1 Jean Hugard page 19

Everybody's card
New Era Card Tricks A. Roterberg page 162

Card under foot
The Amateur Magicians Handbook Henry Hay page 66

Shower of aces
Modern Magic Professor Hoffmann

I hope you like it!!
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Postby John Pezzullo » 04/22/02 04:45 AM

Stefano,

I like it! You've certainly listed some classics of card magic that have the potential to play 'big'.

One question - I'm not familiar with "Shower of Aces". Can you describe the basic effect?

Regards,

John
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Postby Stefano » 04/22/02 01:15 PM

The deck of cards you were using during your previously routine change all in aces. The sequence is done in “crescendo” as a result at the end you produce the last cards, all aces, directly from the face of your spectator exactly as if a shower of cards flew.
For a complete description refer to Modern Magic pag. 97
Personally I'd like to add also Card in Balloon see a great version in The Complete Works of Derek Dingle pag.170
Have a good time with this wonderful classics!!!
Cheers
Stefano
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Postby Pete Biro » 04/23/02 08:02 AM

You have other magician's names preceding each effect...

How about at least one with your own name?
Stay tooned.
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Postby Curtis Kam » 04/23/02 02:49 PM

Have you ever seen Chuck Fayne's routine with the chorus line of spectators on stage? It kills.

I suppose we don't need to mention Ricky Jay's Card Scaling act, nor "52 Assistants", nor whatever's in "Off the Stem".

But do add:

Clayton Rawson's egg beater "thought transmitter"

Simon Lovell's Card in the Mouth and Cards Across

Jonny Thompson's "Fastest Card Trick in the World" plus "The Long Card"

Cliff Green's "Pheonix Aces","Flight of the Blues", "General Delivery", and "Ace of Spades as the Sorcerer's Apprentice".

Mike Finney's "Card on the Forehead"

Mike Close's "Stupid Travellers" (Okay, you do need quite a bit more than just a deck of cards for this one)

And, the Hoy "Tossed out deck" which has to be done for a large audience.
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Postby Guest » 04/23/02 03:37 PM

What about other "small" tricks that play big ?
Does this mean that performers have to hold the audience attention more by force of personality.
Any thoughts ?
Anyone ?
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Postby John Pezzullo » 04/24/02 04:08 AM

Have you ever seen Chuck Fayne's routine with the chorus line of spectators on stage? It kills.
Curtis,

I'm not familiar with this routine. Can you outline the basic premise?

Regards,

John
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Postby John Pezzullo » 04/24/02 04:11 AM

You have other magician's names preceding each effect.....How about at least one with your own name?
Pete,

Modesty forbids me from including "John Pezzullo's Five Phase Piano Card Trick" in my initial list.

:p
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Postby Guest » 04/24/02 08:18 AM

Originally posted by Martin Tordoff:
What about other "small" tricks that play big ?
Does this mean that performers have to hold the audience attention more by force of personality.
Any thoughts ?
Anyone ?
If you are holding the audiences attention strictly by the prop and not by your personality, you are not much of an entertainer are you?!?!
One of the strongest effects I do (that keeps the audiences on the edge until the end) is my predicting of several items that were all provided to me by the audience. (No it is not confabulation either) and in fact I am the only one to have done this particular effect on television. It uses a lot of "presentational skill" plus the entire audience (another good thing to use to keep them interested).

The other most powerful "packs small, plays huge" that I do is my Q & A routine. The audience could care less about figuring it out, they want to know what I am saying and who is going to be selected next because it might be them.

There, that should satisfy Biro's request too. :-)

PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat

http://www.mindguy.com
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 04/24/02 08:50 AM

Rene Lavand - "I Can't Do It Any Slower..."
Eugene Burger - "Cosmic Thread"
Peter Samelson - "Snowstorm"

And also, even though it uses an incredibly complex setup, the audience sees none of it, and the strength of it comes from pure personality -- David Copperfield's "Flying"

I think those four effects are what remind me what magic can and should be -- entertaining, astonishing, and purely magical.

-Jim
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Postby Guest » 04/24/02 10:24 AM

I've been experimenting with, and getting great reaction with, effects that use NO props. I wanted to take the 'packs small-plays big' idea to it's next logical step.
It's a very powerful feeling to perform an effect that uses no props and wow an audience! It really shows you how much of the entertainment value of your show comes from you.
Try it you'll be very pleased with the results!

Ben S
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Postby Curtis Kam » 04/24/02 12:22 PM

John,

I think Chuck's routine is on one of his videos, however the basic premise is that he has about five people come up. Each person in turn chooses a card and it's "shuffled" back into the deck. (This bit is funny for laymen due to Chick's less than sincere efforts to shuffle the deck, and to magicians because he's forcing the same card on each of the participants)

He then starts calling out cards, as he pulls them from the deck and tosses them around when no one hears his card. The idea is that when they hear their card, they can go back to their seats. Chuck goes from person to person, getting more and more frustrated. It starts to seem remarkable that he hasn't found anyone's card yet, he's trossed most of the deck on the floor.

Finally, he's down to one card, which he hopes at least belongs to someone. He names it, and they all leave the stage at once.

That's the basic premise. You need to see the bits and stuff that Chuck uses to make the piece work.

As long as we're on the subject, Mr. Fayne's whole act that I'm familiar with "packs small, plays huge". Add to the list: The Card on the Seat, The Color Changing Silks, Bill in Fruit, all as done by Chuck Fayne.

Ben:

I'm currently working the bugs out of the same thing. The keys in a "no props" act for me are: 1)Visibility, especially in the opener, 2)getting the audience to appreciate the "propless" feature as a strength, and 3)Doing something other than mentalism.

I'll tell you I had a great routine that combined "Smoking your thumb" with "Multiplying Pipes" "Cigarette vanish in Bill" and the "Bill in the Cigar" that fit this premise, but it was killed by the anti-tobacco lobby. I used to close with it, but now we're back to square one.

What do you think about music in a "propless" act?
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Postby Cugel » 04/24/02 04:01 PM

Chuck and his family emigrated to Australia a few years back, so I've seen his stage act about half a dozen times (also in the US) and it always cracks me up.

The effect with the spectators is a wonderful mystery but the focal point is always Chuck. His whole act is character driven. He's like this tetchy, slightly scary, slightly bored but resigned, curmudgeon. A man struggling to deal with five people he picked from the audience who, through a breakdown in communications, just don't seem to be helping him with his act - despite his heavy hints and insults. The act is full of hilarious sotto voce mumbling by Chuck into the microphone that the audience picks up on - stuff where he expresses his frustration with the people he's picked. But also some very funny sight gags which I won't explain in case you ever have the pleasure of seeing an act that has obviously taken decades to get to the point where it looks like it's all going wrong but in fact is very carefully choreographed.

An absolute classic.

Cheers
Andrew
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