Request for advice on manipulations learning material

All beginners in magic should address their questions here.

Postby odomenech » 12/30/05 06:28 AM

My latest fascination is manipulations, with a special emphasis on card manipulation (though billiard manipulation looks wonderful as well). So far, the only material I have that deals with manipulations is contained in Dai Vernon's Inner Card trilogy which contains a method for producing cards from interlocked fingers, two card productions (Allen Shaw's and Cardini's), and one routine (though I find that the routine is not adequately explained due to assuming the reader has knowledge I do not yet have). I do also have Bobo's coin magic book, but am not currently interested in coin manipulations.

I am looking for good learning material. So far, I have considered purchasing the following:

1. Routined Manipulations by Lewis Ganson
2. The Art of Card Manipulation (3 dvd set) by Jeff McBride
3. Romaine: The Monarch of Manipulators Expert Manipulation DVD

I usually preffer books. This time, however, I am leaning towards going the dvd route. My experience trying to practice manipulations from a book have shown me that I would benefit greatly from actually watching someone do it properly.

If you have any opinion on the material Ive mentioned, please share it. If you have any recommendations for material that is superior to what I have mentioned, please share that also.

Finally, on a slightly different topic: sponge balls! Im practicing the routines from Mark Wilson's but am wondering if there are books with more in-depth sponge ball manipulation techniques or routines, or even books dedicated to the topic (or DVDs for that matter).
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Postby Richard Hatch » 12/30/05 07:19 AM

The McBride series is outstanding and widely available. Another Ganson book to consider is his EXPERT MANIPULATION OF PLAYING CARDS, recently re-issued in hardback with new photos. Harder to find than the DVDs, but very good on back palms, split fans, and card fanning. On the latter, booklets by Goodlette Dodson and Edward Love are worthwhile.

The are many sponge ball resources. Alas, Garcia's out of print ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SPONGE BALL MAGIC sells for outrageous prices on eBay (which is why we sell copies there when we have them!). Jon Jensen has written two worthwhile books on the subject. There are also worthwhile and inexpensive older introductions by Frances Marshall and Audley Walsh. You might turn these up and others by using the search engine on our site www.magicbookshop.com on the keyword "sponge".
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Postby Guest » 01/06/06 04:21 AM

Hi Omar,

Routined Manipulations is a very good set of books. Definitely worth it. So if you are still in two minds about it, just go ahead.

Nakul
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Postby Guest » 01/06/06 10:47 AM

There are three volumes of Rountined Manipulations. Sometimes volumes one and two can be found bound as one book. The third book is Routined Manipulations Finale.

There is so much in these books that you will be studying them for years. The best thing to do is read and pick out a routine that you like, and focus on it. You never learn anything completely unless you focus on it intently, so don't tackle a bunch of routines at once.

After you learn a few sleights as needed (not at random) for a routine, start on the routine. When you get fatigued, take a short break and come back. Sometimes, just taking a break and coming back to the routine you were practicing makes it "fall in", and you wonder why it was such a problem earlier.

Finally, educational theory has shown that practicing at the same time every day assists in muscle memory retention, so you might try that as well. I know it helped me when I was a collegiate musician.

Jon
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Postby odomenech » 01/10/06 08:47 PM

Thank you all for the great advice. I bought myself all three volumes of "Routined Manipulation" as well as "Expert Manipulation of Playing Cards", "The Art of Card Manipulation" DVDs, the two Jensen books on sponge balls, and the Romaine dvd (which was an impulse buy).

Sorry that I didnt buy them from your shop, Mr. Hatch, but I went on vacation to Florida and found all these items at "Daytona Magic" and couldnt miss the opportunity to buy them on the spot. But I did bookmark your site and may be ordering things in the future.

Probably the only question now is "with all this new stuff I have......where do I begin?!".

Another minor question is, how much should I practice? I am considering beginning a daily routine of 3 hours of practice broken down as follows:

One hour of general card magic practice (I still havent completed the Royal Road).

One hour of card manipulation practice.

One hour of sponge ball manipulation practice.

Does this sound adequate?
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