need big hands?

All beginners in magic should address their questions here.

Postby Guest » 05/23/06 06:16 AM

i would like to get started in card magic. my hands are a bit smaller than the agerage person and i'm wondering if you need larger hands to perform certain sleight of hand moves, like palming a card. is it neccessary or can you still perform great card magic with smaller hands?
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Postby Mark Collier » 05/23/06 07:29 AM

Big hands are not necessary but having liverlips can be very useful for misdirection. :)
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Postby Guest » 05/23/06 07:56 AM

Originally posted by liverlips:
i would like to get started in card magic. my hands are a bit smaller than the agerage person and i'm wondering if you need larger hands to perform certain sleight of hand moves, like palming a card. is it neccessary or can you still perform great card magic with smaller hands?
Good news, no.

Fun news... read up on Max Malini and John Ramsay and find out just how well folks have done with smaller than average hands.

And if you get a chance, meet Howie Schwartzman.

:)
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Postby Pete Biro » 05/23/06 09:33 AM

One of the greats to study would be Jerry Andrus who uses BRIDGE size cards.
Stay tooned.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 05/23/06 09:44 AM

Vernon had small hands--about the same size as mine (we held them up palm to palm many years ago to compare).
One of the best cardmen is Howie Schwarzman, and he has damn small hands. This has not inhibited his work with palming or passes using poker size cards.
So, the real answer is, that there will be some versions of sleights you won't be able to do, but you will certainly be able to do most things. You just need to watch your angles on occasion.
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Postby Guest » 05/23/06 11:09 PM

Darwin Ortiz wrote somewhere that when he had sleight of hand students, they would all complain about the size of their hands, either too large or too small.

There are a number of techniques for palming that work even if you have small hands, including the Tenkai Palm.

Now that I think of it, it seems likely that Ishida Tenkai, who invented the technique, had small hands, since he was born in Japan in 1889.
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Postby Guest » 05/24/06 12:48 AM

Michael Close is a small-handed palming master.

I notice a lot of people say the same thing about learning to play the guitar: "Oh, my hands are too small."

Hogwash, I say!
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Postby Guest » 05/24/06 09:34 AM

great advice, everybody. thanks, now i feel i won't be wasting my time trying to learn palming and some sleights that seem like you would need bigger hands then i have.

thanks again,
liverlips in toronto
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Postby Guest » 05/24/06 04:19 PM

One does need large hands when washing a hog.
Steve V
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Postby Guest » 05/25/06 12:30 AM

You don't need big hands to do anything.
You need big balls.
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Postby Guest » 05/25/06 04:10 AM

You know what they say about guys with small hands...

...they have small windows.
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Postby Guest » 06/01/06 09:24 AM

Steve Freeman is another exemple of an expert cardman who has very small hands.

Regards

Thomas
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Postby Guest » 06/01/06 11:28 PM

Max Malini wore a size 5 glove. It is reported that when he palmed a card, part of it stuck out from his hand. By knowing his sight angles he was able to overcome this problem. You learn to work with what you've got and adapt.
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Postby Guest » 06/29/06 03:47 AM

Just my 2 cents worth. A fellow card worker of mine had small hands. Instead of doing a pass, he did Hindu shuffles and etc. His work was superb.

I guess I was blessed with hands that can do
an 11 note spread on a piano keyboard. Helpful for sleights, and the occasional nose pick.

:p
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Postby Guest » 06/29/06 05:31 AM

My good frien Richard Sanders has smaller hands then my watch and man he is so talented...his hands actually remind me of Howie's
I think people complain about small hands because they need a reason for saying they have so-so technique
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Postby Guest » 06/29/06 06:03 PM

Esteemed Mr. Liverlips,

Your hands are perfect.
Even if you have to use 1/4" x 1/2" cards, SO WHAT?

If you are just starting, it can ALL seem daunting--and it IS daunting: there is a LOT to learn from a LOT of EXTREMELY clever people, and it has been accumulating for a long time.
But you're a rookie--a tyro: you are neither supposed-to, nor expected-to know it all and (or) be able to do it all YET! So chill out and play with your cards.

You need to handle decks of cards a LOT. For YEARS. Of course you will be able to do zillions of great tricks much sooner than that; but I am reminded of a quote by legendary golfer Lee Trevino, "Touch is not something you're born with, touch is something you acquire after hitting millions of golf balls".

Jamy Ian Swiss has written about the sensuous and sensual qualities of a deck of cards in one's hands. A deck of cards is truly one of mankind's most infinitely ingenious creations. You'll be learning about the cards for the rest of your life, pal.

No musician say, is "THAT GOOD" the first instant they're introduced to an instrument (except Mozart and Gershwin but I digress). Eventually after having worked with your tools for hours and weeks...things that seemed impossible will suddenly flow. You learn things, you become more efficient. Pretty much everybody goes through it. I look back fondly on the year it took me, and the literal blisters (small, but they stung) I endured trying to stretch my fingers doing Daryl's Hot Shot Cut from "For Your Entertainment Pleasure" about a million times. But now I can do it 'till the cows come home! HA!

Everybody, except the elite super-freaks we all love so much, needs to put in the time.

I encourage people of all ages to do everything creative they can think of, because I believe "that" is frequently squelched when we're kids. SO, somebody says your hands are "too small", you say, "too small for WHAT?!" & smack 'em in the chops.

P.S. Just curious, but is your nickname in any way connected to the Damon Runyon character "Old Liverlips"?
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Postby Guest » 06/30/06 12:11 AM

I saw Jerry Andrus perform tonight, he uses bridge size cards.

Those things were tiny!

It had no negative impact on the magic though, it was great!
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Postby Guest » 06/30/06 07:11 AM

It [small cards with big hands] had no negative impact on the magic though, it was great!
I don't know about that...I think there a visual clarity and directness that's lost when the hands get too big relative to the cards. It's somewhat like doing coins across with dimes instead of half dollars (to exaggerate a bit).
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Postby Guest » 06/30/06 07:39 AM

Bob,

that might be true, but not in this case.

have you seen him perform?

I was problably the only one in the audience who recoginized they were bridge size cards.

the magic was not affected.
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Postby Guest » 06/30/06 08:34 AM

yeah, i've seen him perform a few times in the closeup room at the Magic Castle and very much enjoyed his shows. However, my general impression was that his hands were large relative to the cards and there was too much covering of the cards (and suspicious stuff going on while the cards were covered). A more open feeling is more convincing/effective in my opinion.
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Postby Guest » 06/30/06 09:55 AM

We'll agree to disagree ;)
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Postby Guest » 06/30/06 10:08 AM

Vernon explained once in his Vernon's Touch column that bridge sized cards more closely conformed to the Golden Ratio and thus should be more pleasing to the eye.

I say use a deck with puppies on it for all I care, just make sure the magic is good.
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Postby Steve Bryant » 06/30/06 12:54 PM

I believe it was the opposite, that he felt poker-sized cards more pleasing to the eye. The new book will tell.
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 06/30/06 01:17 PM

Charlie Miller mentioned it in "Magicana", but I can't find a reference to Vernon discussing it in "The Vernon Touch". Miller does mention that Vernon would appreciate his discussion.

And it is bridge-sized cards that more closely approximate the Golden Ratio.

-Jim
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Postby Guest » 06/30/06 01:57 PM

Jim, Could you quote what Miller wrote? Perhaps that is what I'm recalling though I'm pretty sure I remember it appearing in Vernon's column. All of my old Genii mags are unavailable to me presently.
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 06/30/06 03:01 PM

"One of the things that amazes me is how all of the magicians have to use a certain brand card. Personally, if I could give any advice I would tell every newcomer in magic who wants to do card tricks to use a bridge-size pack.

I know, of course, that most professionals say that the quarter inch increase in width helps the card to be seen further. This is true. But who cares?

How many know that the design of the bridge-size card approaches the Golden Ration more closely than does the poker-size card? Perhaps in the near future Jerry Andrus and I will write up a
little article on the Golden Ration and how it applies to magic.

If anybody wants to know just what the Golden Ratio is I'll give you an idea that is more or less, accurate. I might even say that it is a pleasing shape of a rectangle. There is a mathematical formula for it which I cannot find
right at the moment. Anyway, a rectangle that conforms to the Golden Ration is pleasing to the
eye.
"
-Charlie Miller, Genii, July, 1975, "Intermission"

-Jim
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Postby Steve Bryant » 06/30/06 08:37 PM

The Vernon comment I mentioned is not from The Vernon Touch but, rather, from Volume 4 of the Vernon Chronicles. It reads:

I always use the wide poker size cards. One reason is that the narrow bridge cards annoy me; annoy my artistic eye. If I have one talent it's an artistic tendency, and the narrow card isn't artistic, it's out of proportion. It's what they call the "artist's mean," such as a commercial 8 by 10 photograph. Things always conform to that proportion, whether it's enlarged or reduced. Things that don't conform to that proportion are not pleasing to the eye.
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Postby Guest » 06/30/06 09:08 PM

Thanks Jim, What I recall reading definitely wasn't that long. I guess I'll have to wait till The Vernon Touch comes out or run over to my mom's house and dig through some boxes to find it. Let me note that what I remember was just an observation made by Vernon and not him saying that he thought one should use bridge sized cards or vice versa.
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Postby Guest » 07/01/06 12:57 AM

You know what they say about a guy with big hands?
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Postby Guest » 07/01/06 06:30 AM

Originally posted by rage1:
You know what they say about a guy with big hands?
Big deck?
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Postby Guest » 07/01/06 11:42 AM

Originally posted by Jim Maloney:
There is a mathematical formula for it which I cannot find right at the moment.
http://geniimagazine.com/forum/cgi-bin/ ... 446#000007

Dave
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Postby Guest » 07/10/06 06:18 PM

Robin Williams: "You know what they say about guys with big feet and big hands?--Big shoes, big gloves."
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