How many books/DVDs do you own

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.
User avatar
erdnasephile
Posts: 4173
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm

Re: How many books/DVDs do you own

Postby erdnasephile » November 21st, 2010, 9:21 pm

Bill Mullins wrote: "Honestly, if you want to do very good card tricks, take some you already do well, and make them better"

This is a very insightful comment--most of what I am interested these days is adding finesses, subtleties, and presentational hooks to make what I do stronger. It thrills me to find the small things to improve the tricks I've done for years (couldn't stop grinning recently when I came across a JK Hartman glimpse that just fit perfectly in one such routine).

But I think this advice serves me better now much more so than when I was in the just starting stage (as it seems the original poster is).

Respectfully, to the original poster: you have received a lot of excellent advice from Bill, Terry and the others--now, it's time for action. Asking questions is wise, but sometimes we can experience the dreaded "paralysis by analysis" if that is all we do. What seems to be holding you back is that you seem focused so much on having what you perceive to be superior methods. While there is nothing to stop you from performing with knuckle busting sleights, the big boys know that while method affects effect, method is not the ultimate arbiter of whether a trick is strong in your hands.

Go out and perform as much and as often as you can. Get those flight hours Bill Malone talks about. Read the books that have been recommended to you (Hopefully, you've already acquired them and are currently studying them). Work on maturing your own personality away from magic--you'll be a lot more interesting and effective performer if you do.

Don't wait for the perfect answer or secret to getting better because there is no magic solution that fits all.

My final respectful suggestion: I believe you are sincere in your desire to get better. However, please consider actually going out and applying all of the advice you have already received for three months before posting again. That way, you can actually give several detailed reports about performances of your routines (which will help others advise you better), and you'll demonstrate that you are actually serious about getting better (as opposed to just talking about it). I for one, would look forward to hearing about your progress at that time.

Bottom line: Just go do it!

De'Mon
Posts: 1
Joined: November 21st, 2010, 9:51 pm
Location: Greece
Contact:

Re: How many books/DVDs do you own

Postby De'Mon » November 21st, 2010, 11:06 pm

As Michael Close once said..."if you're a jack-ass and study magic you're still going to be a jack-ass just doing magic tricks"...if you want to expand as a magic performer...expand your personality first...Educate...study other arts too...don't close yourself in a room doing center deals and stuff...expand your self and you will expand your art...(God I sound like some kind of Joda)
That's my advice to you...Cheers!
The things that are most real to me are the illusions which I create.Everything else is quicksand.

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 25119
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: How many books/DVDs do you own

Postby Richard Kaufman » November 22nd, 2010, 3:14 pm

EVERYONE: You all need to buy MORE books RIGHT NOW.

MORE BOOKS RIGHT NOW ...

MORE BOOKS RIGHT NOW ...

MORE BOOKS RIGHT NOW ...
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

asdf
Posts: 50
Joined: June 29th, 2010, 3:43 am

Re: How many books/DVDs do you own

Postby asdf » November 22nd, 2010, 5:49 pm

I was writing for like 10 minutes, but then it all got erased :(. Let me see if I can summarize:

Thank you everyone, I really appreciate it. As much as your answers have helped me a lot, and I have received amazing advice, my main question has not yet been answered.
Let's say I asked you what is better:
1. Triumph
2. Pick a card. Look through the deck.. "Found it, is this it?" "Yes." (hopefully, LOL)
Triumph is obviously naturally better, but a bad presentation in triumph could make the other trick better, that is true, but I am looking for tricks that are naturally better than the ones I listed above, what books/DVDs do you recommend?

Thank you!
RZ.

Bill Mullins
Posts: 5206
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: How many books/DVDs do you own

Postby Bill Mullins » November 22nd, 2010, 6:30 pm

No one is recommending you buy any more books or DVDs. A lack of books and DVDs is not why you don't have amazing tricks. Erdnasephile's advice is good. Don't buy new books and DVDs, but instead go and perform magic for a while. Figure out what works for you. Make your existing tricks better (and they _will_ get better if you go and perform them).

Pete McCabe
Posts: 2328
Joined: January 18th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Simi Valley, CA

Re: How many books/DVDs do you own

Postby Pete McCabe » November 22nd, 2010, 6:48 pm

No one is going to recommend a trick that's better than Triumph.

I suggest that you spend your time developing, practicing, rehearsing, and then performing a presentation for Triumph. Figure out who you will be performing for under what circumstances. Plan exactly how to get into it and get out of it. Choreograph every move of the routinenot just magical moves, every physical action you do during the routine. Write, edit, and polish everything you say.

It should express who you are and what you think is worthwhile in life.

That, I think, is the most direct path to making you a better magician. It will certainly get you there faster and better than asking people who don't know you to pick your tricks for you. How can I tell what tricks will allow you to express who you are and what you think is worthwhile in life?

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 25119
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: How many books/DVDs do you own

Postby Richard Kaufman » November 22nd, 2010, 7:24 pm

I'll take up your challenge, Pete: Dingle's "Rollover Aces" is better than a simple "Triumph." Try it and you'll see. I used to do both tricks for laymen all the time and "Rollover Aces" killed--a much stronger reaction. Of course it is a multiple Triumph effect, but the whole package is just amazing.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

Pete McCabe
Posts: 2328
Joined: January 18th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Simi Valley, CA

Re: How many books/DVDs do you own

Postby Pete McCabe » November 22nd, 2010, 8:03 pm

Thanks for having my back, Richard.

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 25119
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: How many books/DVDs do you own

Postby Richard Kaufman » November 22nd, 2010, 8:20 pm

Playing Devil's Advocate is my nature. }:-)
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

Bill Mullins
Posts: 5206
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: How many books/DVDs do you own

Postby Bill Mullins » November 22nd, 2010, 9:07 pm

Rollover Aces. Hmmm. If only there were a book that asdf could buy that had that trick in it.

Richard, do you know anyone who sells one? <ducks>

asdf
Posts: 50
Joined: June 29th, 2010, 3:43 am

Re: How many books/DVDs do you own

Postby asdf » November 22nd, 2010, 9:37 pm

@Bill & Pete: I do perform everyday, and I have been performing some of these for years. Try to understand my side, I have been doing the same tricks for years and the problem is not that I don't think that they are good, it's just that now I want to go a step further, and do better ones. Also, I know a lot more than just what I perform, and this is the question that is throwing me off: What is the point of learning them? All of the best ones in the world know it, so it must be important. But WHY?
Btw I never wrote out everything that I was going to say, I am gonna take your advice. Should I say it word by word? And any tips on doing that?

@Richard: Thank you, but I can't get your tone through the computer, so I don't get if you're telling me a trick that you think is better than triumph, or idk, but I searched that trick on YouTube, and I thought it was good, but can you tell a book with good tricks.
The type of thing that I am talking is something like Larry Jenning's Open Travellers, which is one of the best things that you can do with cards, plus it uses some skill (even though skill is not what I am looking for, I would think that very good tricks use a more skill, but I am apparently wrong).

Thank you!
RZ.

Gordolini
Posts: 111
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Louisville, KY

Re: How many books/DVDs do you own

Postby Gordolini » November 23rd, 2010, 5:28 am

"...can you tell a book with good tricks..."

Hilarious! RZ, you win!

asdf
Posts: 50
Joined: June 29th, 2010, 3:43 am

Re: How many books/DVDs do you own

Postby asdf » November 23rd, 2010, 8:29 am

"Hilarious! RZ, you win!" Sorry, I realized that the last part was stupid and wasn't getting anywhere. I don't know why, but I can't edit the post now, so just ignore the last part. Everyone is telling me "I can't give you good tricks", but nobody told me why. Is it because tricks that are good for you might not be good for me? Also, nobody answered me why it is important to learn new sleights. These two questions in a way are the same. I am not looking just for the best trick. I am looking for a reason for learning the sleights. Just like I said before, my best tricks barely use any sleights. So why learn them? It is mainly this one question that has been bugging me for the whole time.
Thank you,
RZ.

Gordolini
Posts: 111
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Louisville, KY

Re: How many books/DVDs do you own

Postby Gordolini » November 23rd, 2010, 9:23 am

RZ, at the risk of entertaining a troll, your questions have been answered several times in this thread.

Why do you perform card tricks?

User avatar
CraigOusterling
Posts: 97
Joined: November 10th, 2009, 5:11 pm
Favorite Magician: David Williamson
Location: San Jose, CA

Re: How many books/DVDs do you own

Postby CraigOusterling » November 23rd, 2010, 11:24 am

"I can't give you good tricks" from a book and here's why:

My interpretation of a written effect is going to be different than your interpretation. That is the bottom line.

Books with explanations written along the lines of "then control the card to the top via your favorite method" are going to be GREAT for some magicians and TERRIBLE for others. No one but YOU can determine if its good for YOU or not. (and that's just ONE example of hundreds if not thousands) That line inherently makes the trick different in performance for me than it does for you. Your favorite control is NOT my favorite control.

"....I have been doing the same tricks for years and the problem is not that I don't think that they are good, it's just that now I want to go a step further, and do better ones."

Makes me wonder what you are doing now.

Anyway, hope I helped you in some way.

~Craig

asdf
Posts: 50
Joined: June 29th, 2010, 3:43 am

Re: How many books/DVDs do you own

Postby asdf » November 23rd, 2010, 12:30 pm

@Gordolini A troll? And yes, most of the questions have been answered, but not the questions in my last post. CraigOusterling explained me why you shouldn't tell me what tricks are good. Now I just don't know why to learn sleights. For example, when do I use bottom dealing or riffle stacking? For me, the tricks that I know with these two are no better than the ones listed above (or below now), and do you know how much time I spent on just these two sleights? If could go back in time, I would still practice as much or more, but that is because I like it, but I don't see any uses.
"Why do you perform card tricks?" To entertain, and because I love it.

@CraigOusterling: Thank you. Yes, you did help. Now I only have one question :)

"Makes me wonder what you are doing now."
What tricks?
The Biddle Trick
Triumph
Card to Mouth
2 Card Monte
Ambitious Card Routine
The Stop Trick (Card College Volume 4, page 910)
Design for laughter (From the RRTCM)
Search and Destroy by Aaron Fisher
The trick from Erdnase that you are blind folded, and stab the chosen card
And a trick from Darwin Ortiz, I forget what the name is.

This is a list of tricks that I wrote above that these are some of the tricks that I most use, and barely and of them use anything that I learned. I don't know if that is what you meant.

Thank you!
RZ.

Gordolini
Posts: 111
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Louisville, KY

Re: How many books/DVDs do you own

Postby Gordolini » November 23rd, 2010, 2:25 pm

RZ - I believe Richard suggested earlier in this thread that the more sleights you know, the more tools you have in your toolbox.

For example, look at your ambitious card routine. Some magicians have a set routine, and others will introduce different techniques by improvising. Your routine may be exactly as the one you read, or it may be a combination of ideas you found from many sources. You could use double or triple lifts, tilt, various passes, culling, side steal, undercover switch, clip shift, and so on to eventually bring the card to the top and repeat. Some methods may be better or more appropriate than others depending on when they are used during the routine (the timing and misdirection for the move), and you certainly don't use all of them during the same routine. A "visible" appearance of the card face up is possible - perhaps using a spread pass or the more difficult clip shift.

An obvious solution for a simple Stop trick is to control the card to the bottom of the deck and execute a bottom deal at the number you are told to stop. A better solution may be to control the card to the top of the deck, have the spectator count the cards in your left hand and then execute an easy bottom deal after they stop; and you then spread the packet of cards that were dealt in you hand face up on the table and then turn over the selected card in your right hand.

Richard also mentioned that you may need to read 200 books to find 20 killer tricks. The tricks you like and work on will be different than the next guy. As you read more books you will find interesting tricks that use sleights that you know or will inspire you to learn.

And yes, I do a few tricks because I enjoy entertaining, but I also enjoy learning and practicing. Best wishes.

User avatar
erdnasephile
Posts: 4173
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm

Re: How many books/DVDs do you own

Postby erdnasephile » November 23rd, 2010, 4:48 pm

Asdf:
I have reread this thread and I still fail to fully grasp what your problem is.

Perhaps you are asking the wrong question: ("Why learn sleights?")

Why not ask: "What effects do I want to do?" Then simply learn the sleights necessary to accomplish those effects. (John Carney once said to me: "Don't just learn sleights just to learn sleights--learn them for a purpose.")

Yet, if you insist on going the "sleight first" route, there is more great magic in print than ever before in our history, and you still can't find material? It is frankly, quite easy to find good effects with almost every common sleight out there (even the bottom deal)--you just have to put the work into it to find them.

If that seems too difficult, I will make it as simple as possible: Get a copy of Darwin Ortiz At the Card Table. Then, learn to perform everything in the book. If that doesn't put you straight, I don't know what will.

User avatar
CraigOusterling
Posts: 97
Joined: November 10th, 2009, 5:11 pm
Favorite Magician: David Williamson
Location: San Jose, CA

Re: How many books/DVDs do you own

Postby CraigOusterling » November 23rd, 2010, 4:49 pm

"why to learn sleights." or - if all you have is a hammer, you'll see every trick as a nail.

Let's take a look at triumph.

If you only know how to Zarrow shuffle, then Triumph can look like a table riffle shuffle card trick. If you added to your slights a slop shuffle, then it can look like a table riffle (zarrow) OR an in the hands face up face down shuffle (slop shuffle) and on and on and on....

Add another slight = add another 'solution' or version or look and feel to the trick being performed.

Sometimes the sleight used for a trick can be so different from the original it makes the trick looks like an entirely different trick. [that's usually when dealers make money off the same trick AGAIN ;)]

So by learning new sleights, you can do your same trick list in a different way that makes the 'old' trick a new and 'better' trick. (or made worse depending on the 'improvement' made by the sleight used) Once you have an arsenal of sleights under your belt, you can see tricks as ideas instead of something to 'copy'.

Don't pigeon hole sleights. You can't think of it as I only know this one sleight where you make the 2nd from top card look like the top card. If THAT'S all it did then you could only do one trick with it.

Speaking of riffle stacking, check out Ed Marlo or Jack Carpenter for some work on that topic. They have great books out. There is a truckload of information on every sleight you can imagine used in the magic community... you just have to find them.

again, hope I helped you in some way. (especially if you're now interested in learning from books)

~Craig

Kent Gunn
Posts: 664
Joined: May 15th, 2008, 2:05 pm
Location: Florida
Contact:

Re: How many books/DVDs do you own

Postby Kent Gunn » November 23rd, 2010, 5:50 pm

Erdnasephile wrote: [color:#33CC00]If that seems too difficult, I will make it as simple as possible: Get a copy of Darwin Ortiz At the Card Table. Then, learn to perform everything in the book. If that doesn't put you straight, I don't know what will. [/color]

Took that book to sea with me over a period of 12 years. Learned every trick in there. That book along with, Close-up Card Magic and Stars of Magic were the three card books I always took on patrol.

I'm not a great magician. I know some really good tricks out of those three books though.

Learn tricks. Rehearse them. Perform them. Repeat.

It doesn't matter what other magicians think are good books. Recommendations will keep you running in circles. You'll always be looking for that next great book that will have the tricks that will make you a star.

Fuggedda 'bout it.

Get a copy of Darwin Ortiz' book "At the Card Table". Then, learn to perform everything in the book.
Last edited by Kent Gunn on November 23rd, 2010, 5:51 pm, edited 0 times in total.
Reason: Apostrophe

Gordolini
Posts: 111
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Louisville, KY

Re: How many books/DVDs do you own

Postby Gordolini » November 23rd, 2010, 6:47 pm

RZ - Let me also explain that I had to laugh earlier when you asked Richard to tell you about a book with good tricks. Since Richard writes and publishes numerous great books on card magic, I thought you were playing a game with everybody, especially when you mentioned Larry Jennings Open Travelers in your next sentence. In case you did not know, Richard wrote an excellent book titled Jennings'67 which includes a large section on the "Evolution of a Classic Routine: Invisible Palm Aces" with six versions of the trick, and reasoning about how the trick evolved, using 4 or 5 cards, and the changes in the sleights and added touches to make the trick more magical - or in your words "stronger". I think this book will answer your question about why learn more sleights!

asdf
Posts: 50
Joined: June 29th, 2010, 3:43 am

Re: How many books/DVDs do you own

Postby asdf » November 23rd, 2010, 9:11 pm

Thank you everyone, that was very helpful!

@Gordolini: Ohh, I didn't mean that, and I didn't know about Jennings'67. Rereading my post, I see why you thought that. Now that you mentioned that book, it looks good, and I'll add it to my 'list'.

I guess, just like erdnasephile said, I should actually experience this, and put this into practice. So I will stop posting soon, and since it's been 3 months that guys have been helping me, I guess it will be nice if I come back in a few months and tell tell you my progress, and etc, but before I do, Pete McCabe mentioned about writing out what to say for a trick. Should I write everything, and when performing say it word by word? And how would I go about writing it? Btw, I bought Strong Magic, and it's great, but does Darwin go into this (writing)? If so, Where?

And yes, I am now interested in learning from books :).

Thank you!
RZ.

User avatar
erdnasephile
Posts: 4173
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm

Re: How many books/DVDs do you own

Postby erdnasephile » November 23rd, 2010, 9:28 pm

I suspect Mr. McCabe may have a lot of worthwhile things to say about [color:#CC0000]scripting magic[/color] ;)

You might give him a holler--I'm sure he'll point you in the right direction.

Good luck to you!

asdf
Posts: 50
Joined: June 29th, 2010, 3:43 am

Re: How many books/DVDs do you own

Postby asdf » November 23rd, 2010, 9:37 pm

Lol, I'm learning. I didn't know. Question answered :).
I guess I'll stop posting now, and come back in a few months.

Thank you so much everyone!
RZ.

Michael Close
Posts: 469
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: The Great White North
Contact:

Re: How many books/DVDs do you own

Postby Michael Close » November 24th, 2010, 12:24 pm

RZ:

You should archive this entire thread and reread it ten or fifteen years from now (assuming that you continue your interest in magic).

The level, quality, or technical difficulty of a trick (whatever that means) does not make a person a great magician any more than the level, quality, or technical difficulty of a piece of music make a person a great musician. Here is a case in point:

Horowitz playing in Moscow in 1986. As an encore he plays Robert Schumann's Traumerei, a piece that most low-intermediate piano students have to learn. When he plays it, he infuses it with so much emotion that people in the audience weep openly.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qq7ncjhSqtk

Does the piece make the musician? Does the trick make the magician?

Nope.

M. Close

User avatar
Dustin Stinett
Posts: 6887
Joined: July 22nd, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Sometimes
Location: Southern California
Contact:

Re: How many books/DVDs do you own

Postby Dustin Stinett » November 24th, 2010, 1:44 pm

What a remarkable thread this has become. RZ: Follow Mr. Closes advice.

For me, the hardest thing I ever had to learn in magic is me; and at 50, Im still working on it. It took a very long time for me to understand that me was the most important part of doing magic. Once I got a better understanding of that, the rest has become easier.

I wish I was paying attention when I was 14. I envy you and the journey you have started.

Dustin


Return to “Close-Up Magic”