History of the "pocket dump" strategy?

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Joe Mckay
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History of the "pocket dump" strategy?

Postby Joe Mckay » May 1st, 2015, 6:25 am

I remember in JC Wagner's T&R card (published in the 80's) being impressed with his strategy of reaching into his pocket to dump an extra piece of card whilst bringing out a lighter to "restore" the card.

It is a simple idea but really misdirects the spectator since it is such a natural action.

This is an idea that Jay Sankey uses a lot in his work as well. But I am just curious if this idea has a history? Does anyone know if anyone is credited with this sort of thinking (particularly the use of the lighter?). Or if the idea belongs to JC Wagner?

It is not a sleight. But I feel this idea is powerful enough to deserve a name. And an appropriate credit to whoever came up with it.

JHostler
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Re: History of the "pocket dump" strategy?

Postby JHostler » May 1st, 2015, 6:38 am

Joe Mckay wrote:It is not a sleight. But I feel this idea is powerful enough to deserve a name. And an appropriate credit to whoever came up with it.


You may need to consult a cave drawing for that credit!
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Re: History of the "pocket dump" strategy?

Postby Leo Garet » May 1st, 2015, 6:49 am

JHostler wrote:
Joe Mckay wrote:It is not a sleight. But I feel this idea is powerful enough to deserve a name. And an appropriate credit to whoever came up with it.


You may need to consult a cave drawing for that credit!

Indeed, but make sure the cave-dwellers are at least wearing something resembling clothes with pockets, or similar accoutrements and accessories.

M.Lee
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Re: History of the "pocket dump" strategy?

Postby M.Lee » May 1st, 2015, 9:04 am

Funny , I was Thinking of a caveman as well LOL !
But a More Reaalistic , observation , would be to Credit this ploy to the street workers of a by gone era.
This "Move " is really not unlike putting a ball all away during a C&B routine only to cop a larger load.


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Brad Henderson
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Re: History of the "pocket dump" strategy?

Postby Brad Henderson » May 1st, 2015, 12:52 pm

Woofle dust.

reaching for a wand on the table and ditching in a well or on a servante

both are clearly progenitors

think of the sucker torn and restored paper when one ditches the ball when going to the pocket for a magic object

mccomb's management of the dye tube when reaching for the finger nail clipper

grabbing a second sponge ball when performing ball through pocket.

I think the idea is foundational - using a visible action to conceal a secret one.

Tom Gilbert
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Re: History of the "pocket dump" strategy?

Postby Tom Gilbert » May 1st, 2015, 1:17 pm

Daryl, in his earlier lectures would go to the pocket for the "magic fire."

Jonathan Townsend
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Re: History of the "pocket dump" strategy?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » May 1st, 2015, 1:36 pm

Take a look at Eddie Joseph's Shattering Coins. Or the classic two in the hand one in the pocket routines...
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Re: History of the "pocket dump" strategy?

Postby Curtis Kam » May 1st, 2015, 3:52 pm

I, too, seriously doubt that there's any chance of, or much point to, identifying the first person to make use of this strategy. I suppose there is something to be gained from being precise in the description--we're talking about using the overt act of removing something from one's pocket to hide the covert ditching of a concealed item into that pocket. Closely related would be using the overt act of looking for something in the pocket, and perhaps less closely related would be placing something into the pocket and ditching something else.

Stealing something under the cover of putting something away is the opposite proposition entirely.

I'm mostly joking about that, but there is an important difference. Slydini used to stress that if you're going for the wand, lighter, whatever, as an excuse for the ditch, the audience has to understand that that's what you're doing, before you do it. A wonderful lesson in not being chased. That's not a consideration when you're putting away a visible object.


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erdnasephile
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Re: History of the "pocket dump" strategy?

Postby erdnasephile » May 1st, 2015, 7:33 pm

With respect to all, I am in the definite minority here.

Even as a young child, I always thought the woofle dust, magic salt shaker, etc., were rather transparent ways to get rid of stuff.

Even today, I find routines that require squirreling in and out of pockets for non-essential items non-fooling in general.

It is quite possible I have watched the wrong people using the gambit ineffectively, which spoiled this for me. OTOH, John Carney does one of the most effective natural pocket ditches I've ever not seen. I also have adopted Michael Close's unbelievably useful comedy prop so I tend to favor that stratagem as well.

Horses for courses, of course.

Edit: proper terminology used: thanks to RK and MM.
Last edited by erdnasephile on May 2nd, 2015, 4:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Brad Henderson
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Re: History of the "pocket dump" strategy?

Postby Brad Henderson » May 1st, 2015, 8:03 pm

I don't know that any of us has issued an endorsement to the concept.

the principle of using a justified action to conceal a secret one is clearly a successful and valuable one. HOW that is applied makes a huge difference.

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: History of the "pocket dump" strategy?

Postby Richard Kaufman » May 1st, 2015, 8:21 pm

I find the use of the phrase "Pocket Dump" to be unpleasant. Even "Pocket Ditch" is better.
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Max Maven
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Re: History of the "pocket dump" strategy?

Postby Max Maven » May 2nd, 2015, 1:14 am

Agreed, the established term "ditch" is much nicer.

While the term is not much more than a hundred years old, the concept is clearly older, and surely predates the existence of pockets. The pocket, as an item built into a garment, seems to have come along in the late 17th century, but of course external pockets -- such as the magicians' gibecière were in use by the early 16th century, and makeshift versions were in use far before that.

My assumption is that the ditch (into a pocket or elsewhere) was invented the day after the false transfer.

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Matthew Field
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Re: History of the "pocket dump" strategy?

Postby Matthew Field » May 2nd, 2015, 4:42 am

I believe it was a Thursday.

I also believe the move is a precursor to what is perhaps my least favorite move in magic, namely Gregory Wilson's thingy wherein he takes something, say a coin, and says he's not going to drop it in his pocket. He illustrates by putting the coin in his pocket, dropping it, and coming out miming that he still has the coin, a la Slydini. You can see where this goes.

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Re: History of the "pocket dump" strategy?

Postby Philippe Billot » May 2nd, 2015, 6:04 am

Excerpt from Conjuring Credits :

Gypsy or Hindu Thread Trick

This very old trick, for which written explanations have been traced back to at least 1520 by William Kalush (his research as yet unpublished), can be found in both J. Prévost's La premiere partie des subtiles et plaisantes inventions 1584, p. 75 of the King translation, as “To Cut a Thread into Many Pieces, Then Seem to Have Rejoined Them All Together”, and Reginald Scot's Discoverie of Witchcraft, p. 341, as “To burne a thred, and to make it whole againe with the ashes thereof”, both published in 1584.

About this trick, Jean Prévost Writes (in French) :

Et en disant qu’il vous faut, pour rejoindre ces pièces, un peu de poudre d’oribus et de corne de lièvre (car ce sont les mots dont usent ces habladours) vous mettrez cette main dans votre poche, faisant semblant de prendre ces poudres mirifiques, et vous laisserez tomber dedans les pièces du fil coupé, et faisant comme si vous jetiez de vos poudres authentiquement mirifiques sur le pouce et l’index de la main gauche (où est caché le fil entier, et où on pensera que sont les pièces).

That means (grosso modo):

Under the pretext of taking a magic powder in your pocket, you get rid of pieces of thread.

It's perhaps a bad idea but it's a very old idea.

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Re: History of the "pocket dump" strategy?

Postby jason156 » May 2nd, 2015, 12:42 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:I find the use of the phrase "Pocket Dump" to be unpleasant. Even "Pocket Ditch" is better.



Is the phrase "going south" similar, or does that more imply lapping?

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: History of the "pocket dump" strategy?

Postby Richard Kaufman » May 2nd, 2015, 1:03 pm

To "go south" with something denotes, I believe, any method of getting rid of something.
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