Sachs and Sack's

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.
David Moore
Posts: 57
Joined: January 24th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: New Jersey

Re: Sachs and Sack's

Postby David Moore » October 20th, 2016, 12:07 am

NicholasD wrote:
David Moore wrote:
NicholasD wrote:
His VHS video that was available around twenty years ago.


It's not on "Million Dollar Mysteries", the only video I'm aware of.


He produced a separate VHS tape on just the Sack dice routine.


Google just told me Penguin was selling it. Thanks.

NicholasD
Posts: 16
Joined: September 4th, 2008, 9:27 pm

Re: Sachs and Sack's

Postby NicholasD » October 20th, 2016, 12:16 am

performer wrote:
NicholasD wrote:
performer wrote:Ok. My main problem with the way this fine trick is usually done is that the magician talks too much. This is a common fault particularly with American magicians who mistakenly equate excessive blabbing with showmanship when it is anything but.

In the dice trick this is fatal. Chattering should only be going on if something is happening otherwise the bang, bang, bang timing goes to pot and the effect is diluted by the unnecessary chatter.
This is a trick that should not have too many long pauses after each magic moment. It should be one gasp after another
within seconds of each other. The excessive talk ruins this.

Think of a window. A good window does not draw attention to itself. It merely lets the light in.


Respectfully, I absolutely disagree. For quite a while I performed the James Lewis version ( only on VHS and no longer available, as previously mentioned ) as he taught it. The patter was perfect, so I used it word for word. The routine consists of three phases. In recent years ( thanks to a suggestion from Ray Kosby ), I eliminated the middle phase. It is now one of my "go to" effects and I'm constantly amazed at the reactions I get with just two dice. But, getting back to talking, IMO, the routine would be just a bunch of meaningless changes without patter related to each change. Having said that, you might think that the patter would slow the trick down, but after many performances, I've learned that doing the routine at a fast pace with the patter and the moves matching up is the way to go.

On a final note, for me, 3/4" dice are best for visibility close up.


Equally respectfullly I don't give a stuff whether you disagree or not. I can assure you that I am the expert in these matters. I haven't seen the James Lewis version but I suspect the only good part of it is the gentleman's surname. Still, I will reserve judgement on the matter until I see it with my own eyes. So far I haven't seen a single good version yet. I am somewhat horrified that you used the patter word for word. That never works and is an extremely daft thing to do. You should NEVER use someone else's patter! NEVER! It may be wonderful if he does it but bloody awful if YOU do it. He ain't you and you ain't him. I learned that when I was in my baby carriage.


While I agree that it's usually not a good idea to lift someone's patter word for word, in this case the patter is basically explanatory or blow by blow, so I saw no advantage in altering it very much.

You haven't seen the James Lewis version, but you suspect that it's not very good. So, the expert can be wrong.

You haven't yet seen a good version. Does that include the one in the mirror? The one I see in the mirror is the best I've ever seen. But what do I know? You're the expert.

performer
Posts: 3078
Joined: August 7th, 2015, 10:35 pm

Re: Sachs and Sack's

Postby performer » October 20th, 2016, 12:34 am

Which mirror are you referring to, old chap?

As for the James Lewis version I have already agreed that I will have to reserve my judgement until I actually see it. However, I happen to be psychic and know these things. One gets a vibe you know.

How long is his routine? That might give me a clue.

User avatar
Brad Jeffers
Posts: 964
Joined: April 11th, 2008, 5:52 pm
Location: Savannah, GA

Re: Sachs and Sack's

Postby Brad Jeffers » October 20th, 2016, 12:52 am


performer
Posts: 3078
Joined: August 7th, 2015, 10:35 pm

Re: Sachs and Sack's

Postby performer » October 20th, 2016, 7:27 am

Brad Jeffers wrote:Mark Lewis Dice Trick


Yes. I rather like that version.

I normally work it a little slower with small pauses to let the laymen react. Unfortunately there were no laymen there or in fact any normal human beings there at all so there was no point bothering with the pauses. Just the lady reluctantly recording the thing and she hates the dice trick no matter who is doing it. You can tell by the lack of enthusiasm in her voice. Silly woman.

I learned the power of this trick decades ago when performing it for a group of salesmen who made a living annoying people by phoning them up and trying to sell them carbon paper of all things. The reaction and gasps every few seconds were incredible and I realised I had a winner. I have done it ever since. I have carried two small dice with me every day of my life. I never do the trick professionally-only impromptu so I have no real need for the big dice.

User avatar
erdnasephile
Posts: 4162
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm

Re: Sachs and Sack's

Postby erdnasephile » October 20th, 2016, 8:44 am

IMHO, what makes the Bob Sheets routine worth watching is Bob Sheets (of course), and the ending, which is unique. (Unfortunately, the youtube clip of his routine in this thread pales in comparison to the real deal).

One flaw in many of the performances I've seen is how some magicians obviously change their grip when the dice spots change. (It's the same error seen with some performances of the monte "hype".) When that happens I think it just kills the effect.

The other related routine I really like is Sol Stone's.

NicholasD
Posts: 16
Joined: September 4th, 2008, 9:27 pm

Re: Sachs and Sack's

Postby NicholasD » October 20th, 2016, 9:52 am

David Moore wrote:
NicholasD wrote:
David Moore wrote:
It's not on "Million Dollar Mysteries", the only video I'm aware of.


He produced a separate VHS tape on just the Sack dice routine.


Google just told me Penguin was selling it. Thanks.


It's been out of stock at Penguin for quite a while.

NicholasD
Posts: 16
Joined: September 4th, 2008, 9:27 pm

Re: Sachs and Sack's

Postby NicholasD » October 20th, 2016, 10:09 am

performer wrote:
Brad Jeffers wrote:Mark Lewis Dice Trick


Yes. I rather like that version.

I normally work it a little slower with small pauses to let the laymen react. Unfortunately there were no laymen there or in fact any normal human beings there at all so there was no point bothering with the pauses. Just the lady reluctantly recording the thing and she hates the dice trick no matter who is doing it. You can tell by the lack of enthusiasm in her voice. Silly woman.

I learned the power of this trick decades ago when performing it for a group of salesmen who made a living annoying people by phoning them up and trying to sell them carbon paper of all things. The reaction and gasps every few seconds were incredible and I realised I had a winner. I have done it ever since. I have carried two small dice with me every day of my life. I never do the trick professionally-only impromptu so I have no real need for the big dice.


You complained earlier about magicians using too much patter during this routine, and you chattered your head off. Heck, I don't talk as much as you do in my routine.

You should try to track down the James Lewis routine. It's superior in so many ways. It solves the problem of the awkward hand positions during the turn and the fumbling during the position changes between phases. It's also done with the dice at chest level, facing the audience, giving them a full frontal view of the performer and the dice.

I timed my two phase routine and with opening patter to set up the trick it runs about a minute and fifteen seconds. Adding back the middle phase ( which I think slows down the trick ) makes it a little less than two minutes.

performer
Posts: 3078
Joined: August 7th, 2015, 10:35 pm

Re: Sachs and Sack's

Postby performer » October 20th, 2016, 11:42 am

Dearie me! Poor Nicholas has missed my point about patter it seems. Of course I chatter a lot but only when I am doing something. My objection concerns patter when nothing is happening. I see this all the time and it doubles the length of the trick. People do the first phase, then nothing happens and they chatter and chatter and chatter then they go on to the next phase. Or they slow down the action by talking too much during the procedure and modifying the action to match the slowness of the speech. It might take 30 seconds to even a minute between magic moments (if we have to use that awful phrase). I want a bang, bang,bang effect every few seconds with pauses for the effect to sink in.Like a fighter getting someone on the ropes. I did not do that in the video because there was nobody there to care if the effect sank in or not. I want gasp and laughs every few seconds not have to wait for 30 seconds because of all the yapping slowing things down.

The other matters you are discussing are mere technical points and I am not convinced of their superiority. On evaluating the matter I don't want the dice in front of me. Chest level is unnatural for a start. And I want the attention to be focused on the dice rather than me. The trick can be hard enough for laymen to follow as it is without the distraction of the performers face, chest and clothing. I want no backdrop of any kind. And there is a psychological factor at work here too. People don't react as much when your face is right in front of them. That is why I often avoid eye contact at the climax of a trick. Al Schneider mentioned this point too somewhere. Now if there is going to be gasps and laughter every few seconds then to get that reaction you don't want the onlooker to subconciously feel that you are looking at them. By adopting the more usual position you don't get this. And oddly enough I believe the usual position makes it easier for the people to see what is happening.

I LIKE the fumbling between phases. I work at a fast pace and the fumbling gives the audience a chance to catch their breath. And talking about catching your breath I really need to see a video of YOUR routine. If you are completing the first and last phase of the trick in just over a minute you must be talking a million miles a minute. I have a suspicion you are going to the other extreme. That of doing it too fast rather than too slow like everyone else. Still, I will have to be fair and reserve my judgement until I see this incredible pace at work.

I will have to check my own video again to see if there any "awkward hand positions" but I don't give a stuff if there are. Nobody has commented on them in 55 years so since I expect to be dead soon I am hardly going to bother about it now. Besides all the videos I have seen on You Tube including (and indeed especially) the ones with the big dice have awkward hand positions and REALLY bad ones at that.

Again I can only reserve my judgement about the James Lewis routine but my psychic vibe is getting stronger by the minute. Perhaps once I see it the vibe will get weaker but alas I have become very cynical when I hear about so called "improvements" that turn out not to be improvements in the first place. As Al Baker once said, "Many a good trick has been killed by improvement". Still, one must be fair so again I will reserve judgement and try not to listen to my spirit guide concerning the matter.

Brad Henderson
Posts: 4078
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: austin, tx

Re: Sachs and Sack's

Postby Brad Henderson » October 20th, 2016, 11:49 am

FWIW James Lewis is a smart guy. He has a good eye and I've always known him to see things clearly. I don't know his dice routine but would be willing to bet there is something to it well worth considering.

performer
Posts: 3078
Joined: August 7th, 2015, 10:35 pm

Re: Sachs and Sack's

Postby performer » October 20th, 2016, 12:35 pm

Well for all I know he may be a distant relative of mine and of course genius runs in the family so you may well be correct.

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 25074
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: Sachs and Sack's

Postby Richard Kaufman » October 20th, 2016, 12:39 pm

Mike Skinner always did the routine with large dice and held them directly in front of him at chest level. The larger movement of his hand helped to thoroughly conceal the turnovers.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

performer
Posts: 3078
Joined: August 7th, 2015, 10:35 pm

Re: Sachs and Sack's

Postby performer » October 20th, 2016, 1:06 pm

Yes, but he had no choice with big dice, did he? And I always find those aerial swings to be quite unnatural. Still, he was performing the trick professionally. I never do.

Leonard Hevia
Posts: 1883
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Dai Vernon, Frank Garcia, Slydini, Houdini,
Location: Gaithersburg, Md.

Re: Sachs and Sack's

Postby Leonard Hevia » October 20th, 2016, 9:30 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:FWIW James Lewis is a smart guy. He has a good eye and I've always known him to see things clearly. I don't know his dice routine but would be willing to bet there is something to it well worth considering.


Brad--if you were to watch Lewis's video of the Sachs Dice Routine, you'd want grab a set of dice and learn it.

NicholasD
Posts: 16
Joined: September 4th, 2008, 9:27 pm

Re: Sachs and Sack's

Postby NicholasD » October 20th, 2016, 9:57 pm

performer wrote:Yes, but he had no choice with big dice, did he? And I always find those aerial swings to be quite unnatural. Still, he was performing the trick professionally. I never do.


Richard didn't say anything about large aerial swings. Regardless of the size of the dice, it's not necessary or advisable to move the arm at all, except at the wrist, in order to do the required turnover. When this effect is performed, the dice remain in the same plane and the hand rotates at the wrist around the dice which don't move up, down, backward or forward. Sadly, I never met Michael Skinner, but I suspect that with his attention to detail he probably knew what to do in this regard.

It's certainly possible that he used jumbo dice for this effect, but the only description of Michael Skinner performing this effect that I've come across indicates that he used casino dice which are 3/4".

performer
Posts: 3078
Joined: August 7th, 2015, 10:35 pm

Re: Sachs and Sack's

Postby performer » October 20th, 2016, 10:14 pm

Sorry, Nicholas old chap. I am correct as of course I always am. Richard gave the game away already in a previous post which you must have missed. We were talking about Skinner and I objected to the move with big dice and Richard said there was a trade off. Either I had to put up with the unnatural move or use smaller dice. Which makes me wonder about something. If Skinner was using this special move with big dice all those years ago that might mean that there is nothing original in either the Bob Sheets move or the James Lewis move. Not that I particularly care one way or the other. I know perfectly well that MY way is the best way, after all.

Oh, and I don't believe it is possible to keep the dice in the same plane if they are big dice. And casino dice are big dice. Convince me I am wrong by showing me a video of this mythical possibility. Every video I have seen on you tube with big dice has awkward and unnatural twists, turns and unnatural aerial swings.

And most sinful of all lousy presentations.

Leonard Hevia
Posts: 1883
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Dai Vernon, Frank Garcia, Slydini, Houdini,
Location: Gaithersburg, Md.

Re: Sachs and Sack's

Postby Leonard Hevia » October 20th, 2016, 10:22 pm

You can watch Skinner perform and I believe teach the Sach's routine in volume 3 of the Legendary Repertoire of Michael Skinner DVD from Geno Munari's Houdini shop. This two DVD set includes a Las Vegas lecture presented by Skinner, which is where he performs this effect. The first two DVDs are also available and no Skinner fan should be without them:

http://www.houdini.com/en/dvd-s/486-mic ... d-set.html

NicholasD
Posts: 16
Joined: September 4th, 2008, 9:27 pm

Re: Sachs and Sack's

Postby NicholasD » October 21st, 2016, 2:03 am

performer wrote:Sorry, Nicholas old chap. I am correct as of course I always am. Richard gave the game away already in a previous post which you must have missed. We were talking about Skinner and I objected to the move with big dice and Richard said there was a trade off. Either I had to put up with the unnatural move or use smaller dice. Which makes me wonder about something. If Skinner was using this special move with big dice all those years ago that might mean that there is nothing original in either the Bob Sheets move or the James Lewis move. Not that I particularly care one way or the other. I know perfectly well that MY way is the best way, after all.

Oh, and I don't believe it is possible to keep the dice in the same plane if they are big dice. And casino dice are big dice. Convince me I am wrong by showing me a video of this mythical possibility. Every video I have seen on you tube with big dice has awkward and unnatural twists, turns and unnatural aerial swings.

And most sinful of all lousy presentations.


For someone who's always right, you should know better than to rely on some thirteen year old on Youtube to provide a video of the correct way to perform this routine. I can assure you that doing the turnover with 3/4" dice and keeping them in the same plane is entirely possible.
As simple as this type of routine might seem to many magicians, learning to keep the dice in the same spot while doing the moves takes practice. Using 3/4" dice requires a slight adjustment in finger position, but the effort is well worth it. The larger dice are much more visible and therefore the changes are more startling.

By the way, there are a few awkward and unnatural twists and turns in your video. Just sayin'.

performer
Posts: 3078
Joined: August 7th, 2015, 10:35 pm

Re: Sachs and Sack's

Postby performer » October 21st, 2016, 5:51 am

Nicholas my boy. There is a difference between my unnatural turns and the unnatural turns of everyone else. My showmanship is so enthralling that nobody takes any notice of them. Besides, my unnatural turns are not that unnatural anyway and you are letting your bias show.

I have not been looking at 13 year olds doing the trick. What a horrifiying thought! I have never approved of 13 year old magicians even though I was one myself. I think they should be out shoplifting and breaking windows like other perfectly sensible 13 year olds are doing instead of inflicting torture on innocent people with their awful card tricks. I blame those dreadful magic camps which are hot beds of exposure.

I showed one video here of someone doing the trick. He did not appear to be 13 years old. In fact I have seen quite a few people do it and they did not seem to be 13 years old either.

And here is a noted performer doing the trick and I have seen his presentation highly praised. However, he has the same problem of the aerial swing. In case you have no idea what I mean by an aerial swing this is a perfect example of it. I expect this is what Michael Skinner was doing too.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMA4p9NMqpA

Now that I have educated you on these matters you will be relieved that I will not be able to respond to you for a few days. I am a psychic reverend and have to go out of town to collect donations from my congregation. No doubt I will be able to continue to assist you to improve once I return. I do hope you are suitably grateful.

NicholasD
Posts: 16
Joined: September 4th, 2008, 9:27 pm

Re: Sachs and Sack's

Postby NicholasD » October 21st, 2016, 9:08 am

performer wrote:Nicholas my boy. There is a difference between my unnatural turns and the unnatural turns of everyone else. My showmanship is so enthralling that nobody takes any notice of them. Besides, my unnatural turns are not that unnatural anyway and you are letting your bias show.

I have not been looking at 13 year olds doing the trick. What a horrifiying thought! I have never approved of 13 year old magicians even though I was one myself. I think they should be out shoplifting and breaking windows like other perfectly sensible 13 year olds are doing instead of inflicting torture on innocent people with their awful card tricks. I blame those dreadful magic camps which are hot beds of exposure.

I showed one video here of someone doing the trick. He did not appear to be 13 years old. In fact I have seen quite a few people do it and they did not seem to be 13 years old either.

And here is a noted performer doing the trick and I have seen his presentation highly praised. However, he has the same problem of the aerial swing. In case you have no idea what I mean by an aerial swing this is a perfect example of it. I expect this is what Michael Skinner was doing too.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMA4p9NMqpA

Now that I have educated you on these matters you will be relieved that I will not be able to respond to you for a few days. I am a psychic reverend and have to go out of town to collect donations from my congregation. No doubt I will be able to continue to assist you to improve once I return. I do hope you are suitably grateful.


I didn't even watch the whole clip. IMO, that was a good example of how NOT to do the turn. The dice ( and hand ) moved up and down sort of like watching a vertical tennis match. And, the turn was too slow, you could see the extra turn. As much as I'm fighting it, I might have to do a video clip. But, I think I'll keep you in suspense a little longer. The debate is too much fun.

User avatar
Q. Kumber
Posts: 1648
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Manchester, England

Re: Sachs and Sack's

Postby Q. Kumber » October 21st, 2016, 9:32 am

On the Vernon DVD that came with the Genii convention Goody Bag, Vernon recommends using smaller dice and holding the hand in front of the body.

performer
Posts: 3078
Joined: August 7th, 2015, 10:35 pm

Re: Sachs and Sack's

Postby performer » October 23rd, 2016, 10:37 pm

In that case I am delighted to see that Vernon got it half right anyway.

performer
Posts: 3078
Joined: August 7th, 2015, 10:35 pm

Re: Sachs and Sack's

Postby performer » October 24th, 2016, 1:22 pm

Of course I am far more qualified than Vernon to talk about the dice trick since I have far more experience with it than he ever had. Now young Nicholas has made the extraordinary claim that it is possible to do the move with big dice without aerial swings and unnatural movements. Now extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence so I do encourage him to post a video of his work. After all even if he can prove it is possible to do the move with big dice on the same plane I am sure I can find something else to be rude about in his video.

performer
Posts: 3078
Joined: August 7th, 2015, 10:35 pm

Re: Sachs and Sack's

Postby performer » October 25th, 2016, 4:15 pm

I have been trying to investigate this new fangled idea of using big dice. It seems to be an old fangled idea disguised as a new one anyway. I haven't seen anything yet to convince me it is a sensible option so naturally of course I went to a place where all the experts reside to see what they had to say concerning the matter. That place of course is known as "The Magic Cafe" where all the high powered intellects of magic are to be found.

I am afraid this thread was not very motivational in persuading me to use big dice. All this talk that everybody knows you are manipulating them but it doesn't really matter is not terribly convincing I am afraid. Never even once in 55 years of doing the trick has the issue come up. Not one tiny, measly comment from a single layman that I have been manipulating the dice. They have been far too busy laughing and gasping over the trick to mention it, I suppose. I fear that might change if I went on to big dice and used the mysterious move which enables you do this. I keep getting a psychic vibe of a layman thinking, "I didn't see what he did but I know he did something"

Anyway, here is the thread in question:
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/view ... 15&start=0

performer
Posts: 3078
Joined: August 7th, 2015, 10:35 pm

Re: Sachs and Sack's

Postby performer » October 27th, 2016, 11:51 am

Hmm.............

I have only just noticed the last post on that magic cafe thread is by a certain Nicholas D who confesses that the move is more difficult with larger dice. I wonder.......................................


Return to “Close-Up Magic”