Sorry, more "newbie" questions

All beginners in magic should address their questions here.

Postby Guest » 11/14/02 08:07 AM

Sorry to bother you guys again. I have a question about executing the basic or the classic pass that I'm slowly practicing. When I switch the bottom half to the top I keep making the cards make noise by the two decks sliding on each other. I'm pretty sure I'm not supposed to make any sounds, right? (may be a dumb question)
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Postby Matthew Field » 11/14/02 08:23 AM

No noise is what you're aiming for, Philip. As Richard Kaufman would say, make sure you don't have a "death grip" on the cards. I've also found that adjusting the position of the deck in your left hand (backward or forward) can make a great difference.

Don't apologize for asking questions -- especially if, like yours, they are intelligent.

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Postby Guest » 11/14/02 08:31 AM

Thanks for the reply, Matt. I have another question that I need some help on. At what angle should I have my hands facing the audience? I take a look at my reflection in the mirror and I can't figure out at what angle I should show my hands so that the pass would be undetected. My pass is exposed like a sore thumb.

Oh, BTW, what is a "death grip"?

P.S. This forum is by far the friendliest and the most helpful magic forum I have joined. Thank you all.
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 11/14/02 09:01 AM

You're right -- the classic pass is practically impossible to conceal from ANY angle. So, the solution is to not let the audience look at your hands. Direct their attention to something else at the moment you do the pass. Ask them a question and look directly at them...when their eyes look into yours, do the pass. Check out Card College, Vol. 2 -- Roberto Giobbi gives a bunch of great covers for the pass.

A death grip refers to holding the cards as tightly as you can.

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Postby Matthew Field » 11/14/02 09:32 AM

And to answer the unasked question prompted by Jim Maloney's advice about waiting until audience attention is not on your hands -- how long to wait? As Malini advised, if necessary "Wait a week!"

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 11/14/02 10:00 AM

Matt, he really said, "Vait a veek." :)
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Postby Guest » 11/14/02 11:32 AM

Philip:

It's worth noting that a mirror can sometimes give misleading angles.

For example I'm 5'11". My eyes are about 5'7" above the ground. My hands, at my waist, are at about the 3' mark.

If I'm standing in front of a vertical mirror, the image in the mirror shows me the perspective of someone whose head is halfway between my eyes and my hands, or about 4'3.5" or so.

If I'm standing and performing for people sitting down, this is just about right. But if I'm standing and performing for average-height adults who are also standing, this will give me false feedback on my angles. The only way to simulate a person of my same height is to mount a mirror at head height and tilt it downward fat enough to show my hands.

Just another thing for you to worry about. :-)

By the way I recall from another thread that you are more or less just starting out in Card Magic. If so then I'm going to risk the wrath of many magicians who I respect by saying that I do not think it's a good idea to start with the Pass. The reward-to-work ratio is frighteningly low for a beginner. When you've been in magic for a while and are confident this is a lifetime addiction, that's the time to start working on your pass if you still want to.
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Postby Guest » 11/14/02 01:22 PM

Pete,

I think your physics is wrong. I think the angle of view in the mirror is exactly what you would see if you were the spectator and standing twice as far away as the mirror is from you. This assumes that the mirror is plumb (90 degrees with respect to the floor).

0pus
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Postby Guest » 11/14/02 02:26 PM

Opus,

We are both saying the same thing. A spectator whose eyes are 3 feet above your hands and who is standing 10 feet away from you sees the same thing as a spectator whose eyes are 1.5 feet above your hands standing 5 feet away.
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Postby Guest » 11/14/02 03:19 PM

Do you have a video camera in the house? VHS or 8mm or Digital? How about a tripod?
Sure the bathroom mirror is a good place to start. You could also set up the camera and watch on your PC. Or save the work and review it and take notes.
As mentioned above, adjusting the camera to the height of a standing person, or a seated person is a really good idea, so you know what they might be looking at.
-guess what I want for Christmas :)
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Postby Guest » 11/14/02 07:25 PM

Here's another vote for the PC "WebCam" artificial spectator.

The video capture quality of these devices is poor but fine for checking angles and gaps between the fingers and the cost can't be beat. Most have a "monitor" that shows you what the camera sees without recording or broadcasting.

Watch the weekend flyers for computer and office supply stores (like Staples) and you'll often find them on sale with rebates that cover most (or sometimes all) of the cost.

Last year one of the local stores was selling one for $29.95 with a coupon for a mail in rebate of $30.00.
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Postby Matthew Field » 11/15/02 01:20 PM

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
Matt, he really said, "Vait a veek." :)
Malini said, "Wait a week." He pronounced it, "Vait a veek."

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Postby Lance Pierce » 11/15/02 01:25 PM

You guys have the story all wrong. Someone asked Malini about the secret of magic. He said, "Vait." The idiot actually had the temerity to ask how long he should wait. Malini looked him for a long moment, then turned to his friend and said, "Vot a geek."
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Postby Larry Horowitz » 11/15/02 04:59 PM

I'll say this for the use of a video camera, I tried it for the first time only a couple of months ago. I was able to improve the handling on a coin routine which I thought was done years ago.

I also found that a card move I had no faith in, looked just fine on the camera.

Definitly, a valuable tool.

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Postby Guest » 11/15/02 05:02 PM

This was actually a classic vaudeville routine, by the legendary team of Malini and Costello.

Lou: Max, what do I do when I need to do the pass but the audience is watching my hands?

Max: Wait.

Lou: How long?

Max: Wait a week.

Lou: And then you'll tell me?

Max: And then I'll tell you what?

Lou: And then you'll tell me what to do?

Max: I just told you!

Lou: I'm sorry, I must not have heard you.

Max: That's okay.

Lou: So what do I do?

Max: Wait.

Lou: Okay.

(Pause)

Lou: Now?

Max: Now what?

Lou: Now can you tell me what to do?

Max: I already told you!

Lou: When did you tell me?

Max: Just now.

etc.
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Postby Larry Horowitz » 11/15/02 05:17 PM

Classic !!!
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Postby Lance Pierce » 11/15/02 05:43 PM

Man, I wish I'd thought of that first!

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Postby Guest » 11/15/02 07:03 PM

Lance:

I was inspired by you.
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Postby Lance Pierce » 11/15/02 07:53 PM

Originally posted by Pete McCabe:
Lance:

I was inspired by you.
You poor, sick S.O.B.

;)

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Postby Guest » 11/17/02 12:07 AM

I'm not poor.
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Postby Matthew Field » 11/17/02 09:59 AM

Originally posted by Pete McCabe:
I'm not poor.
You're also looking better.

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 11/17/02 09:11 PM

A Side Steal from an un-squared deck is much easier to learn than a Pass ... think about it.
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Postby Guest » 11/19/02 12:05 PM

I would sugest that you get the On the Pass video by Richard Kaufman.

It's basicaly explain how to do various pass and some variation to cover them.

For the death grip problem I would suggest classical or any relaxing music when you practice it will help you to relax and give a tempo to you performance.

And most important don't go for speed at the beggining you will only get card to fall on the floor (trust me)
Try to aim for smothness in your movement.(again the classical music will help)

Finaly for your angle stuff get a video camera It's a indispensable tool for any serious magician.

Get out f the casual

Pete
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Postby Guest » 11/20/02 08:09 AM

Big move covers little move.
Turn from left to right as you execute it. Yes, your whole body.

Then send tranquilizers to the bunch of nut cases above. BTW, I only accept cash in lieu of drugs.
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Postby Guest » 11/20/02 10:49 AM

There is some great advice here however I found that at first, using a death grip on the cards was the best way to learn how to flip the lower packet over with it barely clearing the other cards. Combining that with a slight up and down movement of the wrists at the time of the pass occuring helped to learn the right timing. Then once that was mastered and speed began to increase, I began to relax the grip and it just got easier and easier as the speed increased, the grip lessened and the movement became less, eventually resulting in an invisible pass.

PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat
http://www.stores.ebay.ca/ABstagecraft
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Postby Guest » 11/28/02 11:18 AM

Quote:
"...invisible pass."

I believe that in "The Royal Road To Card Magic" they write about the pass and in that, they said something along the lines of ... the magician would have the volunteer return the card to the deck and as the magician walks back to his table he would do the pass.

Meaning that, they would do the pass while there hands and the deck would be out of sight from everyone excepts the magicians.

That is the original way that the pass was done. Because there is no way to hide the pass. and if you try to hide it you (The Magician)
would look like you are doing something funny, which would lead your volunteer to figure out how you did your trick.
So what is magical about, your audience knowing how you do your tricks?

But if you are a sleight of hand person and you exhibit your skill, it is OK for your audience to know how you do the tricks. In this way people are impress with skill.

But I prefer of (acting) playing the part of a magician.
for a great example of playing the part of a magician study Harry Potter movies, and watch what the older wizards do.
that is the illusion of what the (kids) see magicians as. so if that is how they see us as, why not play it that way?
with magic school, dragons, flying on a broomstick, spells, and secret doors to some chamber of a secret???

What would you do if your really had the power to make a card come to the top?

Well, you would will it to the top. (Use a spell ... or perhaps you would wave your hand)?

Chuck
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Postby Guest » 11/28/02 02:01 PM

A few more suggestions to help make the pass doable:
In learning how to do the move, wrap each half of the pack with a rabber band. it will allow you to learn the mechanics without worry.

I noticed you said:
When I switch the bottom half to the top
This sounds like a herman pass. In a Classic Pass, the top part goes down.

Another suggestion I got on the Classic Pass from Jennings was to devide the action in two:
1. move the top half to its hiding place under the right palm.
2. complete the action.
put some time in between. This helped me perform the pass sooner.

I think that in the classic pass, because the normal cover is that of squaring the cards, there should be a reason for the cards to be unsquared(?). Learn your natural squaring actions. I think you will find that the right hand hardly moves and the left hand does most of the action. Same in the Classic Pass.

One last advice...
Dont confuse the classic pass with the riffle pass, they are entirely different actions.
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Postby Guest » 11/28/02 02:23 PM

Originally posted by Philip Kim:
...I'm pretty sure I'm not supposed to make any sounds, right? (may be a dumb question)
There are few occasions where simply cutting the deck will not suffice. Likewise there are some variations of the classic pass that tend to be more useful in context of routines. These include the reverse pass and a WONDERFUL move that looks as if you give the deck a casual all around square.

If your goal is to move a single card, then you might want to consider some methods better suited to this. Heck, that's what got me to do the one-hand-top-palm from the two card packet you may have read about. In any case, try to figure out what serves the needs of your routine and then find the technique that will best accomplish the mechanics. Misdirection is also a part of the mechanics we have to apply to problems. Good misdirection is probably more effective than almost perfect technique. If you have folks 'burning' your hands, you may as well seek assistance in routining instead of looking for better technique.

Have a good Thanksgiving
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Postby Guest » 11/28/02 02:35 PM

BTW
Chuck,

That is the original way that the pass was done
Not So!
RRTCM, although a basic and valuable text, does not teach "the original way" to do the pass.
The Ladies Looking Glass, a trick described almost a century earlier by robert-houdin uses the pass to produce a very magical effect in plain view (and heavy misdirection).

The pass is a great and very magical tool when performed correctly.
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Postby Guest » 11/28/02 02:40 PM

Originally posted by Ori:
...uses the pass to produce a very magical effect in plain view (and heavy misdirection).

The pass is a great and very magical tool when performed correctly.
And there you have it from the source! Heavy misdirection helps big time. It's not the move, it's the application. :D
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Postby Guest » 11/28/02 02:56 PM

In most cases, technique IS an essential part of the misdirection.
I don't think you could direct attention away from a lousy shift...
BTW "heavy misdirection" was my addition. The way he describes it is to have the break ready and to do it on the off-beat. (Show the top and bottom cards, and do the pass when the top card is replaced.)
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Postby Guest » 11/28/02 03:28 PM

Originally posted by Ori:
I don't think you could direct attention away from a lousy shift...
Actually Ori, I have seen exactly this done. With a simple disengenous "look", and the work was done.

It is a strain to discuss mechanics in this art with those who have yet to recognize or study basic showmanship.

It is ONLY before an audience of magicians that a flawless classic pass will be appreciated. And even then it will not serve its purpose. Hence the appreciation magicians show to jugglers. Please don't confound the issues. Thanks.
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Postby Guest » 11/28/02 04:12 PM

I don't know if I understand what you said correctly, but if what you said had the meaning of "showmanship and misdirection is more important than technique" then:

The fact that, "you get away with it" is no justification to perform poor sleights.
I don't understand why some "artists" have a deep need to defend their lesser technique.
In music, if you cant play a tune right, you cant be in the band. No showmanship will cover for that!
Art is in the details just as much as it is in the Bigger Picture.
If we were talking about double lift or french drop would you still say it can be less than perfect?
You are wrong in assuming lay audience not appreciating a perfect pass. When people put a card in the center of the deck and they find it on top a second later, with no visible means, they show their appreciation of the pass by relaxing their strain, by experiencing wonder, by expressing excitement.
Having a good technique, does not need to come in place of showmanship. They complement each other.
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Postby Guest » 11/28/02 05:07 PM

Originally posted by Ori:
I don't know if I understand what you said correctly...
Poor presentation could leave the audience looking at the deck at the moment of the sleight. That is the first problem to be addressed. I have seem the simplest "look" type of misdirection work very well.

Well engineered and properly learned sleights allow the performer to focus on performing. It is very important for a performer to be sure of where all the props are in performance.

If you would like to direct some invective in this community, please seek those whose habits and willful ignorance diminsh us all. Better still, try to take that energy and offer them help to move their work ahead.

Peace
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Postby Guest » 11/29/02 09:54 PM

Ori
Thanks for your comments.
I do not have The Ladies Looking Glass.
Is it out of print? Where would I find it?
so did you happen to see what the pass looks like that was in the Ladies looking Glass?

Every pass that I have seen, looks funny.

My point of what I was saying, lets look at a movie.
For a good movie you need a good director to direct a good actor. The actor would need a good story. to have a good story you would need a good writer. And so on...
To have a successful performance you need many things.
Not just one.

With us being magicians we have many chances to practicing acting for many different type of audiences.

So why is it some of us don't have successful performances?

Chuck

P.S. A key card is much easier to learn than a Pass ... think about it. :p
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Postby Guest » 11/29/02 10:24 PM

Originally posted by Chuck Stroud:
So why is it some of us don't have successful performances?...
Hi Chuck, Ori et al. I have tried to take this question of direction in performance out to the top level threads. Let's see how it develops. -Jon
http://geniimagazine.com/forum/cgi-bin/ ... 1;t=000765
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Postby Dave Egleston » 11/30/02 12:31 AM

Actually I see a description of the one hand and two hand pass in THE SECRET OUT on pages 19 & 22.
It is the first sleight described in the book, this book was published in 1859 - rather predates ROYAL ROAD TO CARD MAGIC. Since this is the oldest book I have,(DISCOVERIE reprint excepted) I can't find a reference earlier than this - But I'm sure Hofsinzer also had something earlier.

Mr. Kaufman (if you know who he is) stated in his video -"IT WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN FRANCE IN 1799"
but didn't give the original source - I believe it is pretty much understood in the magic community - Mr Kaufman is one of the foremost authorities "on the pass" - You can verify that with Ronnie B.

And finally,to Mr Kim: As stated earlier - if you're rather new to magic - maybe a simpler card control would serve your purpose while you get a few more sleights under your belt. After you practice the pass about a bazillion times - you're a little less than halfway there - You need to practice it closer to a gazillion times - but from what I've seen, it's worth it

Dave
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Postby Guest » 11/30/02 09:43 AM

Chuck,
The ladies looking glass is a trick from the book Conjuring and Magic by Robert-Houdin published in 1868.
He said the trick was so named by Comte but knows not why. Is it possible that the name comes from poetry or literature of the time?
Maybe this one.
I have seen Larry Jennings perform this trick to end his show at the magic castle. I have performed it many times too. It is a beauty.
The description of the pass in the book is very basic. Notice the author's introduction to the pass: "...without the pass, card-conjuring is simply impossible."
Every pass that I have seen, looks funny.
Things look funny when they are out of place.
It happened to me many times that I wanted to do a trick that used moves I did well, but failed in performance because I did'nt learn to do the move in the context of the new routine.
The real trick in acting and in magic is to make the technique become invisible. Remember the old BE NATURAL?
This is something you have to learn to do and then you must practice and rehearse.

On having a director:
Producing a show requires so many hats that if you tried to wear them all you would get confused and have no time to get out of the confusion.
Looking at most(if not all) of the professional acts out there, you will find a director on the bill.
All shows need directors. With today's video technology, you can probably learn to direct it yourself, eventualy. But the question is: can you afford to wear another hat on top of your already crowded head?
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