The Legends weren't flawless...

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El Harvey Oswald
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Re: The Legends weren't flawless...

Postby El Harvey Oswald » January 16th, 2012, 11:55 pm

dancing cane: utter, unadulterated crap. even in the hands of peter pit or david copperfield or anyone, it's an anachronistic object obviously attached to a string. the necessary hand movements are replicated in no other life endeavor. and the only hope for this preposterously revered effect is essentially never attempted: a two-second performance of it, like the disciplined presentation of smaller floating objects (perhaps because embarrassment is more immediate at the close-up table) by those combatting the strong too-perfect whiff of things floating. instead, we get the obligatory three minutes of cane thing equidistant from hands moving in unison like an inept conductor, with the "hard" around-the-head move thrown in and the occasional luminous gloves or strobe-light coda. does any other performance art have so squalid a staple, and with so many relatively well-spoken defenders? it's almost as horrendous as card warp.

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Re: The Legends weren't flawless...

Postby Ian Kendall » January 17th, 2012, 2:55 am

" it's almost as horrendous as card warp."

I was with you right up to this point...

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Matthew Field
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Re: The Legends weren't flawless...

Postby Matthew Field » January 17th, 2012, 5:21 am

Simon Drake performs it as the climax to his act at The House of Magic in London and it is superb.

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Re: The Legends weren't flawless...

Postby Brad Henderson » January 17th, 2012, 11:29 am

Ray Anderson at esthers follies features it in every show. Layman rave about it; not only because it is a beautiful performance piece, but also because it genuinely fools them.

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Re: The Legends weren't flawless...

Postby El Mystico » January 17th, 2012, 12:39 pm

Pete criticised All Backs; interestingly, I recently devised an All Backs routine (nothing special - combination of Vernon and Jennings); tried it on a layman, who thought it was the best trick they'd seen! Absolutely convinced I must have switched packs, then fried when I righted it.
Now; I'm still working on this, so had no great patter story - it was just the effect that worked for him.

I'm absolutely convinced about the importance of performer/presentation/effect in that order; so this surprised me a bit!

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Re: The Legends weren't flawless...

Postby Jonathan Townsend » January 17th, 2012, 1:00 pm

El Mystico wrote:Pete criticised All Backs; ...I'm absolutely convinced about the importance of performer/presentation/effect in that order; so this surprised me a bit!


Probably depends on your market and audience.

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Re: The Legends weren't flawless...

Postby El Mystico » January 17th, 2012, 1:19 pm

Interesting...

I suspect effect will be most important for an audience of magicians.

And all three will depend on the type of audience...some more subtle effects will go down great for an intelligent dinner party audience; but I'd use a different repertoire for the drunks at The Talbot Inn:

but I'd love you to elaborate on your thoughts!

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Re: The Legends weren't flawless...

Postby El Harvey Oswald » January 17th, 2012, 1:25 pm

" it's almost as horrendous as card warp."

I was with you right up to this point...


That was deliberately incongruous, because I am curious why I so unreservedly hate an effect - Card Warp - that has a near- consensus behind it. I like most things that most people like, or at least understand why they like them. With Card Warp, though, the intense dislike is matched by the complete incomprehension as to why anyone wouldn't share my intense boredom, almost angry frustration, on seeing it performed. Though it feels like a permanent disposition, few things are more satisfying than being persuaded away from a view that you had presumed immutable. So I solicit descriptions from those who like Card Warp in the hope that one might connect. Liking and disliking things is mostly visceral, and obviously subjective. But it's not unchangeable. And all else equal, I'd prefer to like more things and dislike fewer. That said, I loathe Card Warp, slightly more than even the dancing cane.

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Re: The Legends weren't flawless...

Postby El Mystico » January 17th, 2012, 1:36 pm

I don't do Card Warp.

But - this is an effect that has been sold for years. I suspect that if the effect was crap, it would have died, along with 99% of other effects.
I do enjoy looking through old magic magazines and reading the ads, and seeing which effects have stood the test of time. Card Warp is one.

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Re: The Legends weren't flawless...

Postby Ian Kendall » January 17th, 2012, 1:40 pm

As you say, it's all subjective; I hate sponge balls but I know many people who swear by them.

Card Warp was the second manuscript I bought from Davenport's in 86 (the first was Rainbow Cascade). The packet trick lasted a few years, but I've used Card Warp consistently ever since. I've tried the various bank note variations, but I always go back to the standard routine with two unprepared cards (incidentally, not many people know that Roy's original handling used unprepared cards as well; the work was put in to make things easier for people less comfortable with sleight of hand).

Over the years I've seen thousands of reactions to the effect, and I can count on my fingers the 'meh' responses. Twice, someone has hazarded a guess that was close to the method, but they were many years ago. So, I suppose that after twenty five years of using something and getting extremely positive results, that's enough for me to enjoy the routine. (The fact that I enjoy performing it helps, as well...)

Perhaps the hatred of the routine stems more from the presentations you have seen, rather than the trick itself? Have you ever learned the routine (or, put another way, do you know the method?)
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Re: The Legends weren't flawless...

Postby erdnasephile » January 17th, 2012, 2:14 pm

I would agree with El Mystico in one respect: the vast majority of Card Warp presentations I have personally witnessed have been lousy.

However, Eugene Burger, Bill Goodwin, and Bruce Cervon's excellent presentations cured me of Card Warp hate.

My nomination for a fundamentally flawed effect is the published handling of "The Web". Not only does it use repeated flushtration counts in the worst way possible, but it plays to the "Ha, Ha--I made you scream (idiot)" school of thought.

Yes, Yes, I'm sure that people get screams with this (as youtube apparently demonstrates), but does the original handling really fool anyone? (I suppose one could argue once the spider appears, it really doesn't matter).

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Re: The Legends weren't flawless...

Postby mrgoat » January 17th, 2012, 5:49 pm

Ian, sponge balls are really good. I was the same as you, I hated them. Thought is was in the realm of cheesy playing card wearing magi etc

But honest to god, it plays so well.

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Re: The Legends weren't flawless...

Postby Ian Kendall » January 17th, 2012, 6:31 pm

I know they do, but not for me. I even used to have a set, and learned a routine, but I could never get past the 'small sponge ball' thing.

Repertoire is such a subjective thing I doubt any group will agree on everything...

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Re: The Legends weren't flawless...

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 17th, 2012, 7:45 pm

I never worried that that sponge balls were these weird round things that no one on earth has ever seen. I just did the trick. It always killed.

But sponge bunnies make for a better presentation and thus a better trick. I think there's a video on YouTube of Tamariz doing the sponge rabbits--that's good enough for me.
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erdnasephile
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Re: The Legends weren't flawless...

Postby erdnasephile » January 17th, 2012, 9:12 pm

1+ Bunnies are so much more logical and funny when you consider the climax of the trick. Besides, an Eddie Ace bunny will beat a sponge ball anytime! :)

The other thing that's always bugged me personally is when magicians refer to the sponge balls as "sponge balls" during their patter, as if that is such a common term to laymen. (Sort of like referring to "silks"). YMMV, of course.

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Re: The Legends weren't flawless...

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 17th, 2012, 9:48 pm

I have seen some magicians handle sponge balls in such a way as to never reveal the fact that they compress so easily.
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Andrew Pinard
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Re: The Legends weren't flawless...

Postby Andrew Pinard » January 18th, 2012, 12:08 am

Mine are clown noses... Literally.

"Have you ever seen the nose trick? (Audience shake their heads.) That's what I mean, the "nos" trick. We're going to play a little game, it's called pick the no... nevermind. Have you played this game before?"

And so it begins.

BTW: You can do thimble magic with clown noses...

I'm sure I can't be the first to do sponge ball magic with noses, but I haven't run across them in print or anywhere else...
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Re: The Legends weren't flawless...

Postby mrgoat » January 18th, 2012, 8:20 am

Yes, bunnies are better. But sponges are still good.

Ian next time you're down, I'll do it on some laypeople as you watch and see the reaction.

Of course, all magic is subjective, but I really used to think like you until I tried it and had a blues brothers-esque epiphany moment!

:)

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Re: The Legends weren't flawless...

Postby Ian Kendall » January 18th, 2012, 8:45 am

I've seen it many times. I've even done it for people (many, many years ago). I've seen the incredible reactions. It's just not me.

Having said that, I'll certainly come down to check on your "I'm 5'11" claim... :D

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Re: The Legends weren't flawless...

Postby Jonathan Townsend » January 18th, 2012, 9:08 am

Back in college days I showed around a routine playing up the similarity in color/texture of the closup pad and the sponge balls. IE the balls were extracted from the mat, travelled inside the mat and were put back into the mat at the end.

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Re: The Legends weren't flawless...

Postby Anthony Vinson » January 18th, 2012, 9:52 am

Richard Kaufman wrote:I have seen some magicians handle sponge balls in such a way as to never reveal the fact that they compress so easily.


Last week I participated in a performer's showcase for the metro Atlanta public library system. Several magicians participated, one of them being David Ginn. He closed with a sponge ball manipulation routine using HUGE balls (snicker, snicker)colored to appear as peaches. His handling belied the spongy nature of the props and the audience response was wonderful.

Jonathon, very cool idea! I believe that I've seen something similar in the past and remember being impressed.

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Chas Nigh
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Re: The Legends weren't flawless...

Postby Chas Nigh » January 18th, 2012, 3:07 pm

Michael Skinner All Backs. Great illusion and ends at the right moment. No drag.

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Re: The Legends weren't flawless...

Postby Tom Gilbert » January 18th, 2012, 3:36 pm

That would make for a really interesting routine Jonathan.

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Re: The Legends weren't flawless...

Postby El Harvey Oswald » January 18th, 2012, 4:12 pm

"I suspect that if the effect was crap, it would have died, along with 99% of other effects. "

Much as bad TV shows, music, and other products inevitably fail? I certainly agree that Card Warp's popularity is a strong piece of evidence. However, it's not infallible, and unlike other performance arts, magic has never developed much of a critical base that's largely indifferent to audience response, and instead bases its evaluation on other measures, with the objective of identifying high art, not highly profitable art. Indeed, even some of the best contemporary magic thinkers locate the final verdict on any trick in lay audience response. Movies are the most obvious comparison, as there is relatively little intersection (but hardly none) between movies that are well regarded critically and those that achieve a mass audience.

In any event, I'm puzzled by Card Warp on both grounds: mystified that a mass, or any, audience would like it and not at all inclined to recognize it as an important contribution. And as to those asking if I know the method, my only response is: How could I not? Perhaps that's the essence of my dissatisfaction, as from the outset it has always struck me as not just a mere puzzle, but a failed puzzle. I have seen performances of it far more competent than mine, and what I see in response is a lot of spectators polite but underwhelmed -- all the more when the performer hands them the card all twisted in then center, nothing close to the half-and-half card it might have seemed to be while concealed behind the other one. By contrast, a few nights ago, I saw a deeply satisfied audience of magicians and non-magicians, and in that there was nothing that resembled the generally tepid response to Card Warp.

Thanks for the provocative an cordial responses and suggestions. As noted earlier, I'd be delighted to move something from the "dislike" to the "like" column, but I'm not there yet.

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Re: The Legends weren't flawless...

Postby El Harvey Oswald » January 18th, 2012, 4:16 pm

This is a really beautiful and fascinating idea: "I have seen some magicians handle sponge balls in such a way as to never reveal the fact that they compress so easily." In particular, it causes me to consider with immense admiration the work that would go into realizing that objective.

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Re: The Legends weren't flawless...

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 18th, 2012, 4:30 pm

I'm sure that like everything else, it's possible that "Card Warp" is not everyone's cup of tea. I did it for an engineer once and it was immediately apparent to him how the card was folded in order to achieve the effect. A very clear thinker. But that only happened once and it's been decades since I've performed it.

Ricky Jay used to do it quite a bit, Derek Dingle too, and they both have/had pretty good taste.

El Harvey: have you seen Jason Latimer's cup and ball routine? Those are sponge balls.
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Re: The Legends weren't flawless...

Postby mrgoat » January 18th, 2012, 5:03 pm

I like Mike Close's card warp with the $2 bill. Some clever bits in that.

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Re: The Legends weren't flawless...

Postby Asser Andersen » January 18th, 2012, 5:09 pm

I bought Roy Waltons Card Ward from Davenport in London many years ago and never really got around to use it.

Then I got hold on Workers #1 from Michael Close and adapted his version of the trick where the card turns over within a dollar bill (a Bob McCallister idea). I have been performing this trick for more than 10 years now, and it is one of my favorites for walk-around/table hopping. It never fails to draw applause....

I don't do the 2 dollar bit though
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Re: The Legends weren't flawless...

Postby Ian Kendall » January 18th, 2012, 5:51 pm

I did GreenWarp for a year or so. I never tried Star Warp and Mike's version never really did it for me either. I always went back to the source.

Other approaches that have been interesting include Wes James' version that ends with a hypercard, and something Bill Goodwin showed me in the Castle last year (not his Siamese Twins version, another one) which has a zig-zag aspect to it.

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Re: The Legends weren't flawless...

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 18th, 2012, 6:07 pm

Has anyone ever tried Jay Sankey's one-card version from 100% Sankey? It's pretty clever (a rubber band wrapped around the center hides the tear and fold and paddle moves do the rest).
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Re: The Legends weren't flawless...

Postby Brad Henderson » January 18th, 2012, 6:13 pm

On occasion I perform Andrew gerards handling from the Paul Harris DVDs. I've received some very strong responses to it. (the psycho babble about the audience misremembering the final warp is bs - but the trick itself is solid).

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Re: The Legends weren't flawless...

Postby Pete McCabe » January 18th, 2012, 6:14 pm

I believe that in Roger Klause's "Ball in Spectator's Sleeve" (this is probably not the correct name) he stresses the desirability of keeping the spectators from realizing that the ball is made of sponge.

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Re: The Legends weren't flawless...

Postby Ian Kendall » January 18th, 2012, 6:37 pm

I played with Jay's handling. It never felt comfortable; the need to really wrap the band to mask the work didn't gel.

Of the one card versions, Bill's Siamese Twins and Alan's Siglium Diaboli seem the nicest (to me, anyway).

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Re: The Legends weren't flawless...

Postby Doc Dixon » January 18th, 2012, 7:49 pm

Re: Card Warp, does anyone do Bob Torkova's twisting move? It's a small, but very nice touch. I can't remember the exact name of it, but I've done it since I saw it in (I think) Tannen's Magic Manuscript over twenty years ago.

I just wonder because the few times I've showed it to magicians no one has ever heard of it.

DD

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Re: The Legends weren't flawless...

Postby Jonathan Townsend » January 18th, 2012, 7:59 pm

from here: link
Tannens Magic Manuscript
Volume 8 Issue 1
July/August 1986
Card Warp Move by Torkova - a convincer for card warp
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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Re: The Legends weren't flawless...

Postby El Harvey Oswald » January 18th, 2012, 8:17 pm

"Ricky Jay used to do it quite a bit, Derek Dingle too, and they both have/had pretty good taste."

All the more reason I'd like to have my mind changed on this one. The evidence is pretty overwhelming that I'm missing something.


"Have you seen Jason Latimer's cup and ball routine? Those are sponge balls."

i've not, but I will seek it out. thanks very much

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Re: The Legends weren't flawless...

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 18th, 2012, 8:29 pm

If we were to view "Card Warp" as though it is problematic, what then are the problems?

Is the idea that half the card can be reversed unconvincing?

Does the handling fail in some way?

Does the ending fail in some way?

Let's take it apart!

I'll start by saying that bringing out two cards in isolation didn't seem right to me, and Gene Maze's solution of having the two cards chosen from the deck was a great one. Half the deck is pre-torn, so a card is selected from each half. (This idea was published by someone else.) So, that solves what I felt was a problem about how to get into the trick. I never saw a version where the rip was made during the performance that satisfied me.

Who goes next?
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Re: The Legends weren't flawless...

Postby Jonathan Townsend » January 18th, 2012, 8:45 pm

IMHO it's exactly the idea that "half the card can be reversed" that we need to watch out for in CardWarp.
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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Re: The Legends weren't flawless...

Postby El Harvey Oswald » January 18th, 2012, 8:55 pm

" I never saw a version where the rip was made during the performance that satisfied me."

Absolutely -- and I see a lot of that. Particularly in concert with giving away a card at the end that just doesn't match what is suggested when it is obscured by the other one, that would seem to be a fixable weakness.

The selection Richard describes sounds like a potentially significant improvement, as well; it's so the wrong trick for the cards to be presented in isolation. (Is this the, or an, objective of the "Card Warp Deck" that Darwin Ortiz describes in At the Card Table? I've never bothered to read it, but I've seen it a great deal when going back to figure out how I could possibly have screwed up the Si Stebbins from new deck order procedure.)

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Re: The Legends weren't flawless...

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 18th, 2012, 9:00 pm

Gene Maze came up with the idea for having half the cards in the deck pre-torn.
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