Opinions on combining two effects into one

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Daniel T
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Opinions on combining two effects into one

Postby Daniel T » August 16th, 2013, 7:38 pm

I have thought a great deal aboutthis subject lately.

It’s about combining two effects into one. Like ring on stick ending with ring flight or Ambitious card ending with card to wallet/sealed envelupe. You get the idea.

In the above cases, I feel like the ring on stick and ambitious card effects is weaken, becase they are followed (in my opinion) by stronger effects. So I feel like people will walk away mostly remembering ring flight and card to wallet/sealed envelupe and not the first effect very much.

I think the first effects would stand stronger on their own if they were performed as individually effects. And their climax is within it’s own effect if you understand....

What is your opinion on this?

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Daniel

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Opinions on combining two effects into one

Postby Richard Kaufman » August 17th, 2013, 12:46 am

You will find people on both sides of the discussion.

But, no, Ambitious Card is not weaker if you do Card to Wallet at the end: it's called a dramatic arc. Building to a climax.
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Re: Opinions on combining two effects into one

Postby Jonathan Townsend » August 17th, 2013, 12:55 am

Each magical effect is its own.
Routine construction can include repetition, callback and direct building of a challenge.
Combining "the card on top" with "the card in the wallet" would have your wallet appearing on top of the pack and the card being found inside - which IMHO, could easily be confusing and cluttered as far as the magical effect goes. The idea of doing the Don England Diminishing/Growing card turnover to make the wallet appear might be fun - good luck.
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Matthew Field
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Re: Opinions on combining two effects into one

Postby Matthew Field » August 17th, 2013, 3:49 am

Patrick Page had a very strong opinion about this. He said one should NEVER combine two effects because you diminish both. Richard's example of Ambitious Card and Card to Wallet is a good example. What will spectators remember? Probably the Card to Wallet, diminishing the impact of Ambitious, were it to stand on its own. (Although Ambitious does need a good ending.)

Anyway, that's what he thought.

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Q. Kumber
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Re: Opinions on combining two effects into one

Postby Q. Kumber » August 17th, 2013, 4:00 am

Billy McComb wrote about this in his book 25 Years Wiser.

Certain tricks combined can have a surprisingly powerful effect. But you have to pick the right effects.

Nick Lewin took Billy's idea and has written about it in his weekly column on Magic NewZealand, the weekly free ezine from Alan Watson.

When you ask a spectator to give you a number between five and ten and they say 'three', you realise the importance of Pat Page's advice.

Having said all that, the best advice is to try the two tricks separately and then combined and let your audiences' reactions be your judge.

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Re: Opinions on combining two effects into one

Postby Ian Kendall » August 17th, 2013, 4:02 am

Given the current example, I would suggest that for the majority of card to wallet (or any impossible location) routines, there is a required preamble which would often include something along the lines of an ACR. I think you would be doing a disservice if you simply had a card selected and then immediately removed it from your wallet...

Mike Close talks about this in Closely Guarded Secrets (I think). Combining routines, not card to wallet.

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Re: Opinions on combining two effects into one

Postby Rick Franceschin » December 7th, 2013, 9:49 pm

Sometimes. In some cases the combination is strong because the two pieces work well off of each other. In other cases, the artist is simply seeking a way to build climactic impact because they can't make the first piece stand well on its own. As in the Ambitious Card example that was sited, I've seen where the rises are repetitious and rushed to the wallet climax. Other artist build impact throughout the piece and the wallet aspect blows them away at the end. I think that a good sensibility here is to regard combining two effects into one as "routining." Sam Horowitz (Mohamed Bey) did some fine work in this area. See his folios in Pallbearer's Review (Fulves) for two really fine examples. They are titled "Master Routines;" while he combines more than two effects, the gist of what you are alluding to might be there.

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Re: Opinions on combining two effects into one

Postby gmagic » December 25th, 2013, 7:18 pm

I think that you have to be very carefull when you combine two differnets effects in one routine. Because it can be very confused, and confusion isn´t magic. Moreover sometimes the effects have no conection. For example a sandwich routine where later the cards transform into a poker and the chosen one is in your pocket, maybe the effects are surprising but there is no conection and is not clear the general efect.

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Re: Opinions on combining two effects into one

Postby mystre71 » February 2nd, 2014, 10:56 pm

This is an interesting topic. I tried to start a similar one in the coin section on the cafe, but got no where.

Would it be better to try and find a stronger ending for an ACR, one that doesn't abandon the basic effect ? I know Daryl, Sankey and Sanders all have explored other ending.

How about the "Everywhere, Nowhere" plot with card to wallet ? The card is turning up everywhere, on the top of the deck, the bottom, under the card case in my pocket, now its gone, not in the case or the pocket, maybe the wallet? something along those lines.

On the cafe I post about Tom Mullica's coin routine "One-O-One" In this routine Tom combines a number of well know plots to form one mini act. It starts with a transposition of a penny and a silver dollar in the spectator's hands,the penny becomes a dollar sized coin. You then pick up the dollar, where it penetrates your hand, then your finger penetrates the coin (Karate Coin), upon removing you finger the coin is restored, the penny is picked up and it becomes a jumbo six inch coin. Has anyone ever seen him perform this one ?

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Opinions on combining two effects into one

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 3rd, 2014, 12:14 am

I published an Everywhere and Nowhere where the card is reproduced from your pocket or wallet (and which required three Passes!) in some book in the early 1980s. No one liked it.
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Q. Kumber
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Re: Opinions on combining two effects into one

Postby Q. Kumber » February 3rd, 2014, 3:36 am

How many effects are involved in Slydini's Coins Thru the Table?

How many effects are involved in Silver/Copper exchanges, extractions etc.

Many effects but the plot is the same. A good rule of thumb is, "Can the plot be clearly described by the spectator in one sentence."

We magicians tend to use the word 'effect' when we really mean 'plot'.

Coins pass through the table.
Silver and Copper coins change places.

Everywhere and Nowhere. That is the plot.

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erdnasephile
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Re: Opinions on combining two effects into one

Postby erdnasephile » February 3rd, 2014, 6:27 am

I think magic is like cooking in this respect. Some combinations work (peanut butter and chocolate), some don't (anchovies and jello).

For example: Vernon's Cups and Balls routine encompasses a wide range of effects and is a masterpiece. Making a card come to the top of the deck 30 times, then producing an 8 ball from the deck while doing a GHP to change the deck from blue to red might be an abomination.

There just needs to be an internally consistent logic, IMHO. Does the combination further the plot, or does it make you go, huh? (in a bad way).

The M. Close combination I think Ian is referring to is a different example--not only is it a combination of two routines, but it goes one step further, where the presentation AND method of the last routine substantially improves the conviction of the first routine. See: Closely Guarded Secrets, page 152 and following.
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Re: Opinions on combining two effects into one

Postby Jonathan Townsend » February 3rd, 2014, 10:40 am

What specifically is in the Michael Close item that merits consideration as regards combining effects?

I'm beginning to get tired and annoyed with folks citing references without data. Maybe that works in PM or direct Socratic method - not sure it makes us look better than 'coy' on a public forum.
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Re: Opinions on combining two effects into one

Postby Jonathan Townsend » February 3rd, 2014, 10:49 am

Daniel T wrote:....

It’s about combining two effects into one. Like ring on stick ending with ring flight or Ambitious card ending with card to wallet/sealed envelupe. You get the idea.

In the above cases, I feel like the ring on stick and ambitious card effects is weaken, becase they are followed (in my opinion) by stronger effects. So I feel like people will walk away mostly remembering ring flight and card to wallet/sealed envelupe and not the first effect very much.

I think the first effects would stand stronger on their own if they were performed as individually effects. And their climax is within it’s own effect if you understand....


You might enjoy looking through the Cramer book(s) on Karl Germain's Magic. There is much to be said about building up one magical effect at a time and keeping the items distinct. In this case - have a look at his ring penetration - done with a volunteer. Another item is his lock trick where the shadows of the lock and key touch and the lock opens. :)
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Re: Opinions on combining two effects into one

Postby Pete McCabe » February 3rd, 2014, 11:45 am

There are two (at least) different, useful ways to think of this.

First is, what is the magical power being displayed? If the different magical events are consistent with a single magical power, they can go well together. Many performances of the Ambitious Card do not communicate a single magical power, which results in them being perceived as demonstrations of sleight-of-hand. Which is not bad, but which may not be what you want to communicate in that trick or in your act as a whole.

The second is, what is the story being told? Not necessarily the Jacks are the detectives kind of story, just what is the story the spectators are hearing. Vernon's Triumph routine tells a story of a day in the life of a magician. Martin Nash's act told a story—the story of a man who could cheat at cards. As long as the story works the routine will work. "The world is made of stories, not atoms."—Albert Einstein.

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Re: Opinions on combining two effects into one

Postby Michael Close » February 3rd, 2014, 1:08 pm

Jonathan: Here's some data. The two tricks referred to appear on pages 151-159 in Closely Guarded Secrets, an ebook that is available on my website.

Although they were mentioned in this discussion, the two tricks are not of "jamming two tricks together" type as are being discussed here. They are distinct effects. However, by routining them one after the other, certain desirable goals are achieved. A secret maneuver required the by the second trick is set up by the first trick. Also, the climax of the first trick strengthens the method of the second.

Concerning the topic under discussion, I have found that I prefer routines that encompass single effects, rather than kicker after kicker after kicker (which I liked very much when I was in my twenties).

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Re: Opinions on combining two effects into one

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 3rd, 2014, 1:34 pm

There are quite a number of magicians who think the Cups and Balls confuses laymen, and I have to agree. I find most Cup and Ball routines terribly confusing. Even Vernon's.

The big exceptions are routines with only two cups: Tommy Wonder, David Williamson, and John Ramsay.

All of this aside, I was extremely impressed with Kent Gunn's incredibly original Cup and Ball routine I saw in Ohio last week. Each of the balls is a different color, and it made things much clearer to me (effect wise, not method wise).
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Re: Opinions on combining two effects into one

Postby Chris Aguilar » February 3rd, 2014, 2:54 pm

I much prefer (as a spectator) the simplicity/clarity of just about any good chop cup routine (a la Jennings, Swain, etc.) over even the very best three cup routines.

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Re: Opinions on combining two effects into one

Postby Ian Kendall » February 3rd, 2014, 3:56 pm

There are pros and cons to both the chop cup and more traditional three cup routines, as there are pros and cons to card to pocket and Travelers. They each have their place, and places where they are more suited than the others.

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Brad Jeffers
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Re: Opinions on combining two effects into one

Postby Brad Jeffers » February 3rd, 2014, 3:57 pm

Daniel T wrote: It’s about combining two effects into one. Like ring on stick ending with ring flight or Ambitious card ending with card to wallet/sealed envelupe. You get the idea.


What you are talking about, is not combining two effects into one (which I don't believe is even possible), but performing a second effect utilizing some or all of the props from the preceding effect. There is nothing wrong with this. In fact, it is often a good thing, providing a smooth transition from one effect to the next. Like THIS.

In the above cases, I feel like the ring on stick and ambitious card effects is weaken, becase they are followed (in my opinion) by stronger effects.


You are supposed to follow weaker effects with stronger ones. If that is your concern, why not eliminate the "weaker" effects entirely and just perform ring flight followed by card to wallet?

The problem with this (besides the fact that ring on stick is a stronger effect than ring flight), is that ring flight and card to wallet are the same effect. And if you think about it, ring on stick and ambitious card are also the same effect (penetration of solid through solid). While utilizing the same props to present different effects is not bad, utilizing different props to perform the same effect is to be avoided ... but you already know that.

I feel like people will walk away mostly remembering ring flight and card to wallet/sealed envelope and not the first effect very much


As long as you have kept their interest, entertained them, and left them with something (even one thing) they will remember, then you've done well.

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Re: Opinions on combining two effects into one

Postby Brad Henderson » February 3rd, 2014, 4:39 pm

I think it is less relevant what props we repeat, or even the effects. What matters is the variety and orchestration of the emotional responses people have to the pieces presented.

What does it matter if a card trick follows a coin trick, or a vanish follows a penetration if the net feeling the audience walks away from with each trick is surprise?

Surprise is great - don't get me wrong - but a single emotional response. Fullfilment, wonder, amusement, comfort, puzzlement, astonishment, closure - all have a place in art and in magic.

When you consider your performances from point of view of the audience's feelingful journey, all participants can share a meaningful experience.


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