Lefthanded

Discuss the historical aspects of magic, including memories, or favorite stories.
000
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Lefthanded

Postby 000 » November 23rd, 2008, 12:00 am

The lefties amongst us will vouch for the fact that a fair bit of extra work is required when learning sleights and routines from Dvdees and books. EVERYTHING must be turned around as it were.
One effect that works in favour of the lefties is the swami writer.....the notepad is held in the left hand (along with the swami), the right hand (pretends) to write down the prediction, the left hand firmly finishes the job. Looks natural.

Would be interested in hearing from other lefties.

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David Thomas
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Re: Lefthanded

Postby David Thomas » November 23rd, 2008, 12:56 am

I am right handed, but when I started card magic in March, I was not sure how things worked. I assumed that if you are right handed, you hold a deck of cards with your right hand. I had no idea about this until later and now it's just too late to turn things around. I believe john Carney had a similar story (?).

Carlo Morpurgo
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Re: Lefthanded

Postby Carlo Morpurgo » November 23rd, 2008, 1:25 am

000 wrote:The lefties amongst us will vouch for the fact that a fair bit of extra work is required when learning sleights and routines from Dvdees and books. EVERYTHING must be turned around as it were.
One effect that works in favour of the lefties is the swami writer.....the notepad is held in the left hand (along with the swami), the right hand (pretends) to write down the prediction, the left hand firmly finishes the job. Looks natural.

Would be interested in hearing from other lefties.

Here's a lefty, but I don't think it's that much more work.
After all, we ended up writing naturally with the left hand despite "outside pressure"...was that extra work? I did not feel it. I think what matter are the ideas, not the actual instructions.

carlo

Dick Christian
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Re: Lefthanded

Postby Dick Christian » November 23rd, 2008, 10:25 am

As another "southpaw" I've found the following 2 things to be true in most cases. First, it is often easier to learn a sleight or move from a right-handed magicican than from a book because it is easier for my left hand to mimic what his right hand is doing than to try to transpose the written word (i.e., read left when the text says right and vice versa). Second, I can sometimes fool a right-handed magician with a sleight or effect he is familiar with because he tends to be watching the wrong hand.

While neither of these is ALWAYS true, they are often enough to be significant.
Last edited by Dick Christian on November 23rd, 2008, 10:27 am, edited 0 times in total.
Reason: correct typo
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Darryl Harris
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Re: Lefthanded

Postby Darryl Harris » November 23rd, 2008, 12:28 pm

I, too, am a right-brained performer, however, I perform card magic in as a right-handed person would. Since my left hand is dominant, and most sleights are initiated with the left hand, my theory was why retrain my right hand? I figured the learning curve would be shorter. I don't know if it's true or not, but I've done it that way for so long, I don't even think about it anymore.

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George Olson
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Re: Lefthanded

Postby George Olson » November 23rd, 2008, 5:08 pm

Years ago I got a copy of this:

If you want to have some fun and gather an appreciation of the "difficulties" lefties face in our literature, try to find:


Creations of a Magical Madman, (A Theater of the Absurd For the Close-up Performer)

Related in a Left-Handed Manner by Stephen Minch

Micky Hades 1977

A 97 page booklet with a left handed foreward and in the "Acts" including:

The anthropophagic Jacks and Other Cardisian Absurdities

An aggregation of flies-by-night.

and

An odd triplet.

If you can find a copy it is worth it.

GO

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luigimar
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Re: Lefthanded

Postby luigimar » December 3rd, 2008, 1:14 pm

I am also left handed but 'trained' or 'forced' to be right handed by my father. Sometimes I learn a sleight using my left hand and later on, whenever I want to do the same sleight with my right hand, I've noticed that it takes less time for the right hand to learn it. It is as if the right hand learned as the other hand was practicing. It took me about 3 months to do the one-handed top palm with the left hand and I only took about 2 weeks to do a decent right handed version of the same sleight. Of course I don't use it often so I have to practice the sleight again with the right hand in order to do it without problems.

Whenever I do magic, and depending on the trick, I hold the deck in my left or right hand, depending on the way I'll use my hands throughout the trick. Sometimes I deal the cards from my left hand and sometimes from my right hand, so I guess I use either hand depending on the effect.

I find this easy but most of my magician friends are right handed so the hold their cards with only one hand, but I have never paid attention so I don't know which one they use. So I ask you: if you are right-handed, what hand do you use to hold a deck and what hand do you use if you are left-handed?

luigimar
luigimar

Darryl Harris
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Re: Lefthanded

Postby Darryl Harris » December 3rd, 2008, 1:38 pm

In most cases the dominant hand does the dealing, so a right handed magician holds the deck in his left hand.
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DrDanny
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Re: Lefthanded

Postby DrDanny » December 3rd, 2008, 3:10 pm

I never gave this much thought myself until I recently read Carney's comments about it in _Secrets_. I'm amazed, actually, that lefties can force themselves to work "untranslated". When I try to swap hands, even for something ridiculously simple like an elmsly count or even just dealing a round of poker, I might just as well be using my feet.

I also have played guitar for the past 40 years or so, and often wondered why it is that the intricate work of fingering is handled by my non-dominant hand and feels impossibly weird if I try to play opposite.

There's a PhD thesis in there somewhere, I'm sure......

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Dustin Stinett
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Re: Lefthanded

Postby Dustin Stinett » December 3rd, 2008, 4:58 pm

If I could change to the left side I would. I am trying to spread the cards more from the right hand to left (just as I easily do in a tabled spread)--so the cards appear correct side-up to the spectator--but even that simple act is very difficult for me. My Mom first put a deck of cards in my hands when I was five, so there is 44+ years of habit ingrained in my hands.

David, don't switch!

Dustin
Last edited by Dustin Stinett on December 3rd, 2008, 8:28 pm, edited 0 times in total.
Reason: meant to say right to left

raj k
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Re: Lefthanded

Postby raj k » December 3rd, 2008, 6:23 pm

David Thomas wrote:I am right handed, but when I started card magic in March, I was not sure how things worked. I assumed that if you are right handed, you hold a deck of cards with your right hand. I had no idea about this until later and now it's just too late to turn things around. I believe john Carney had a similar story (?).


Your circumstance is identical to mine.....even after 10+ years of practicing with cards I still do everything left handed, though I'm right handed. It does pose its own problems, however only magicians take notice. Some authors have been mindful of this, such as Tyler Wilson's book Dominatricks and its companion CD-R. The CD has the e-book version all written/illustrated for lefties.

I'm considering commissioning a 'left handed deck' through USPC Company with the indexes in the opposite corners.

Anyone else interested to make this venture cost effective?

-RK

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Re: Lefthanded

Postby David Alexander » December 3rd, 2008, 7:53 pm


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Dustin Stinett
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Re: Lefthanded

Postby Dustin Stinett » December 3rd, 2008, 8:41 pm

Raj,

I envy your problem! I wish I could handle a deck left-handed (that is, hold a deck in my right, spread to the left, hold breaks, pass, side-steel, palm, etc. etc.). I can't even overhand shuffle a deck from my left hand!

That being said, I can do one-handed cuts, the Hot-Shot Cut, and other things with the left hand. It's odd, but that's the way it is.

But spreading cards from the right hand to the left is better for our spectators when the cards are face up. It makes things like Braue Additions, etc. appear more natural. After all, if you are ostensibly showing the cards (in order to secretly gain a break), shouldnt the onlooker see them better than the handler? I hate the fact that the cards are upside down to them.

As for left handed cards, the problem there is that even left handed folks spread cards from left to right when looking at a hand. So that would cause problems.

Some European cards have indices in all four corners and most decks used in casinos these days have that too, but Im not crazy about these cards.

Simply put, I would rather adapt to the cards, not the other way around. Im just too old a dog to learn new tricksalmost literally! Im just saying that if I had it to do all over again, or I was much younger, Id switch.

Dustin

Darryl Harris
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Re: Lefthanded

Postby Darryl Harris » December 3rd, 2008, 9:39 pm

These Bicycle Pro Poker Peek Red or Blue Cards may not be the answer, but they might be worth considering. Indices (Indexes?) on all four corners.

http://www.gamblingincorporated.com/pro ... ctid=16234
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Adam Brooks
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Re: Lefthanded

Postby Adam Brooks » December 3rd, 2008, 10:34 pm

I'm a leftie, but when I started in magic, I learned all the card handlings as they were written, so I perform card magic right handed. But when it comes to coin magic, while I try to learn slights in both hands, my technique is generally much better with my left hand, so there are times when I have to turn things around for coin routines.

Also, this issue of "asymmetric" routines is bigger than just indices on cards. My friend Simon has a wonderful handling for a Visi-Bill type bill change, but because of the way the bill is constructed, and the way he folds the bill, a leftie can't perform it with the potency as the right-handed version.

raj k
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Re: Lefthanded

Postby raj k » December 4th, 2008, 3:27 pm

Dustin Stinett wrote:Raj,

I envy your problem! I wish I could handle a deck left-handed (that is, hold a deck in my right, spread to the left, hold breaks, pass, side-steel, palm, etc. etc.). I can't even overhand shuffle a deck from my left hand!.....
Dustin


Thanks for the references to the 'leftie' cards but I'm very picky with the decks I use. Teddy Bear cards, and non 'air cushion finish' wont cut it for me. I'm not crazy for the 4 corner indices either.

Not having any magic books when I started using cards, I created my own path for my technique. I now realize that my handling is alternative for magicians. For instance, my dealers grip is in my right hand. However, for overhand shuffle I hold the deck in my left hand to drop the cards into my right. Spreading cards on the table, I use my left hand, and spread from my right to left. Spreading cards in my hands, I spread from right to left. For the spectators, thats great. For myself, not so good. Single hand top palm is done with my left hand. I can hear castawaydave laughing now.

Re-learning culling technique is aggravating me these days.

Using Skinners Ultimate 3 Card Monte posed some minor issues with the original handling for me. Ive since modified and retooled it entirely so its done entirely in my hands and with wide audience visibility and overcomes issues inherent with the gaffs.

Honestly, I cant tell you what proper technique is. When friends ask for advice, I always need to qualify my explanations with that caveat. I just do what works for me, which you may label as FUBAR.

As Adam mentions above, the issue of asymmetry is indeed greater than the index issue but that is most pronounced for my situation.

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Re: Lefthanded

Postby Kent Blackmore » December 4th, 2008, 4:49 pm

During coffee at the Magic Castle a well-known German mentalist, since deceased, handed me a deck of cards and asked me to spread them between my hands. I did, from right to left, exposing a number of faked index cards. End of effect.

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Lefthanded

Postby Richard Kaufman » December 4th, 2008, 5:20 pm

Let's see ... a well-known German mentalist (deceased). Ted Lesley.
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