The Jerx on Natural Double Lifts

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.
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Q. Kumber
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The Jerx on Natural Double Lifts

Postby Q. Kumber » July 30th, 2018, 12:43 pm

Gordon Astley put me on to this post by The Jerx blog, dated July 30th 2018, about what is a natural double lift.

The most interesting thing about card handling I've seen in ages.

http://www.thejerx.com

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Re: The Jerx on Natural Double Lifts

Postby Joe Mckay » July 30th, 2018, 2:08 pm

Andy had a useful post once on improving Elmsley counts as well:

http://www.thejerx.com/blog/2015/7/15/practical-magic-week-part-4-fixing-your-elmsley-count

Another useful tip I saw Bill Goodwin give once (in The Penumbra magazine) can be used from time to time as well (depending on the purpose of the move).

The idea is that as the second card (actually a double card) arrives in your hand - you spread it to show 2 cards. And as the final 2 cards arrive on top - you leave them spread so that the cards are left as a 4-card display.

This looks much better than a traditional Elmsley count. But not all tricks using this move allow for this display.

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Re: The Jerx on Natural Double Lifts

Postby Jack Shalom » July 30th, 2018, 2:20 pm

The thing that immediately struck me about Andy's non-cardhandler sample was that almost no one used the left thumb at all. In fact in the majority of clips the left thumb was resting quietly on the left hand side of the deck.

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Re: The Jerx on Natural Double Lifts

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 30th, 2018, 3:07 pm

It's nonsense. We are not laymen, nor are we pretending to be. Sometimes not understanding what Vernon meant by "be natural" leads to essays like that.

No, some laymen don't use their left thumb. We are not laymen. At a bare minimum, we are expert card handlers. So, like a professional dealer, we might push the card off the deck with our left thumb. Or, there are plenty of other double lifts if you don't want to push off with the left thumb. Daley's Strike Double. The Stuart Gordon Lift. Neither of those requires a getready, either.

Laymen (unless they play cards a lot) handle a deck with no grace, like a monkey.

We are not monkeys.
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Re: The Jerx on Natural Double Lifts

Postby performer » July 30th, 2018, 3:11 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:We are not monkeys.


I wouldn't go quite so far as to say that...................

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Re: The Jerx on Natural Double Lifts

Postby PapaG » July 30th, 2018, 3:44 pm

Didn't Charlie Miller come to exactly the same conclusion after observing laypeople turning over the top card?

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Re: The Jerx on Natural Double Lifts

Postby Brad Jeffers » July 30th, 2018, 4:06 pm

Joe Mckay wrote:Another useful tip I saw Bill Goodwin give once (in The Penumbra magazine) can be used from time to time as well (depending on the purpose of the move).
The idea is that as the second card (actually a double card) arrives in your hand - you spread it to show 2 cards. And as the final 2 cards arrive on top - you leave them spread so that the cards are left as a 4-card display.
This looks much better than a traditional Elmsley count. But not all tricks using this move allow for this display.

I can't see how this could possibly work!?
Could you give me just one example of a trick that uses an Elmsley count where this variation could be substituted without complete disaster ensuing.

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Re: The Jerx on Natural Double Lifts

Postby Joe Mckay » July 30th, 2018, 4:33 pm

It can be used when an Elmsley count is used to displace 4 face-down cards. In order to rearrange them in the order they need to be for the next stage of the trick.

I don't have many other examples off the top of my head since I am not really a card guy anymore.

Anyway - I have just looked up Bill Goodwin's use for the idea. You can see it in the clip below.

Check out the Elmsley display at the 32 secs mark:

https://www.artofmagic.com/products/king-brand

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Re: The Jerx on Natural Double Lifts

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 30th, 2018, 4:44 pm

Joe, there are few instances where you can do that kind of separation during most uses of the Elmsley Count.
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Re: The Jerx on Natural Double Lifts

Postby Jonathan Townsend » July 30th, 2018, 9:07 pm

Joe Mckay wrote:... arrives in your hand - you spread it to show 2 cards. And as the final 2 cards arrive on top - you leave them spread so that the cards are left as a 4-card display....

Let's call the hands "from" and "to".
X, ???, X, X
Just after the count of 2, you can spread the cards "from"
... but "to" is not usually what you'd like them to believe at that moment.
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Re: The Jerx on Natural Double Lifts

Postby Edward Pungot » July 30th, 2018, 9:45 pm

We should take advantage of our opposable thumbs. We are after all magicians.

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Re: The Jerx on Natural Double Lifts

Postby Jackpot » July 31st, 2018, 12:14 am

Richard Kaufman wrote:It's nonsense. We are not laymen, nor are we pretending to be. Sometimes not understanding what Vernon meant by "be natural" leads to essays like that.

We are not monkeys.


While I think we should consider the "Natural Double Lifts" information in The Jerx, we should keep somethings in mind. The demographic he surveyed is extremely limited. Much of the card handling is awkward at best. As a magician, even when doing a self working card trick, you should handle the cards more skillfully than the young ladies in the video. No one who takes magic seriously should model his or her card handling to copy what's seen in the video.

Vernon also said, "Use your head"; Al Baker warned against running when you're not being chased; and many people have said "Monkey see, monkey do."

While I appreciate the discussion I won't be changing the natural double lift I'm currently using.
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Re: The Jerx on Natural Double Lifts

Postby Bill Duncan » July 31st, 2018, 12:51 am

This is well trodden ground; Paul Curry and Ken Krenzel sre two names that come to mind. The first method HL teaches in The Magic Book is similar, though the pack is held at the finger tips instead of in dealing grip.

I kind of wish we'd stop talking about the mechanics of the double lift so obsessively, and pay more attention the management of the moment. The best description of which, I think, is in Diverting Card Magic by Andrew Galloway. If memory serves me correctly, this is the double lift he suggests, as well.

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Re: The Jerx on Natural Double Lifts

Postby performer » July 31st, 2018, 5:46 am

It took me years to learn to do the double lift deceptively but I learned the pass in ten minutes! I have never quite figured out how that happened!

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Re: The Jerx on Natural Double Lifts

Postby Q. Kumber » July 31st, 2018, 5:54 am

Bill Duncan wrote:I kind of wish we'd stop talking about the mechanics of the double lift so obsessively, and pay more attention the management of the moment. The best description of which, I think, is in Diverting Card Magic by Andrew Galloway. If memory serves me correctly, this is the double lift he suggests, as well.


The late Brian Glover, who I got to know well after I moved to Manchester had an encyclopaedic knowledge of card magic. Most of the magic books he bought, he would pass on or sell after reading them. In spite of this, one book he kept and re-read every six months was Diverting Card Magic. Each time, he told me, he learnt something new.

The book has recently been republished by International Magic https://www.internationalmagic.com/product-diverting-card-magic---book-by-andrew-galloway.html

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Re: The Jerx on Natural Double Lifts

Postby Joe Mckay » July 31st, 2018, 8:36 am

John Carney also believes that misdirection (attention control?) should be built into every sleight.

No matter how well you do a move it will be much more deceptive if the spectator is not focusing on your hands.

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Re: The Jerx on Natural Double Lifts

Postby performer » July 31st, 2018, 9:51 am

Joe Mckay wrote:John Carney also believes that misdirection (attention control?) should be built into every sleight.

No matter how well you do a move it will be much more deceptive if the spectator is not focusing on your hands.


Oddly enough Paul Le Paul believed the exact opposite. He believed the

"misdirection should be incorporated into the action of the sleight itself so that the movement employed appears to be a normal action and passes unnoticed or unseen. A sleight executed in this manner becomes an optical illusion and requires no more misdirection than is inherent in its own action. This method of misdirection is much more subtle than trying to distract attention from the hands."

This goes back to my point about being very careful about all the theory you read no matter how notable the theorist. Their theory might fit them but not fit you. For example I personally found a lot of theory expoused by Eugene Burger to be a bunch of tosh although people swear by it probably because it sounded so wise and he had a beard. I understand David Roth once said, "The trouble with theory is that it is just theory" and I think he had a point.

I take the middle position with this. Some sleights require misdirection and some don't. The pass does and the double lift doesn't except perhaps for the get ready if you use one. The glide requires no misdirection and neither does the classic force but the top change does. And of course as Hugard once pointed out there is mental misdirection as well as physical misdirection. Magician focus on the latter but hardly mention the former.

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Re: The Jerx on Natural Double Lifts

Postby PapaG » July 31st, 2018, 10:23 am

PapaG wrote:Didn't Charlie Miller come to exactly the same conclusion after observing laypeople turning over the top card?



Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

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Re: The Jerx on Natural Double Lifts

Postby Al Schneider » July 31st, 2018, 12:06 pm

My two cents.

Long ago I decided a double lift cannot be done naturally.
The Jerx material is misleading.
I do not think a layman would ever put a card back on the deck face up.
So, in my opinion, the test was set up to be misleading.

On the other hand, the magician can make the double lift look natural in his/her hands.
This is the task of the magician.
Also, as a skilled performer, a magician would be expected to display his props in a sophisticated manner.
All of this is a matter of effective communication be it voice or body language.

Here is some stuff on DL I put on my website. I hope you enjoy.

http://www.worldmagiccenter.com/MAGIC2/ ... w/aaad.htm


And Q. Kumber, thanks for sharing all of this.

Al
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Re: The Jerx on Natural Double Lifts

Postby Al Schneider » July 31st, 2018, 12:18 pm

Oops
I just noticed that my html is a bit in error.
Sorry about that.
Don't know when I can get to it to fix it.
I think the web host modified it for me.
I dunno.
Al
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Re: The Jerx on Natural Double Lifts

Postby PapaG » July 31st, 2018, 2:13 pm


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Re: The Jerx on Natural Double Lifts

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 31st, 2018, 3:39 pm

I think Charlie did many Double Lifts. The one he used in life may well not be the one he did on that film.
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Re: The Jerx on Natural Double Lifts

Postby PapaG » July 31st, 2018, 4:06 pm

I remember reading somewhere that, as I said earlier, he'd come to the same conclusion about what constitutes a 'natural' double lift. Can't remember where though.

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Re: The Jerx on Natural Double Lifts

Postby performer » July 31st, 2018, 5:04 pm

I also use many double lifts. In fact too many for my own good. They all resulted as a struggle learning the damn thing. I haven't the slightest idea if they are natural or not but they have all worked very well indeed.

As for the Jerk ruminations on the subject, although I tend to be biased against them, no doubt caused by the profanity and impracticality of the various ideas, in this particular double lift case I think he puts up a good argument and may well have a point.

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Re: The Jerx on Natural Double Lifts

Postby Jackpot » July 31st, 2018, 5:25 pm

PapaG wrote:I remember reading somewhere that, as I said earlier, he'd come to the same conclusion about what constitutes a 'natural' double lift. Can't remember where though.


PapaG -- You are correct (or our memories are equally faulty). I also recall an anecdote about a magician or group of magicians going out in front of a magic shop to ask members of the public to turn over the top card and put it on the top of a pack. I believe the shop was in New York. I don't recall if Charlie Miller was a participant or not.

I don't recall where I read it or heard it. It could have been from a book, magazine, podcast or youtube video. If I come across the source of the anecdote I will let you know.

Take care,
Jackpot
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Re: The Jerx on Natural Double Lifts

Postby PapaG » July 31st, 2018, 5:44 pm

Thanks Jackpot. It's always nice to have one's sanity reaffirmed.

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Re: The Jerx on Natural Double Lifts

Postby Tom Gilbert » July 31st, 2018, 9:39 pm

I remember something about that story of Vernon and Miller. Wouldn't timeframe have something to do with it? IE, if cards are a popular pastime or not? Wouldn't that alter the results?

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Re: The Jerx on Natural Double Lifts

Postby Jonathan Townsend » August 1st, 2018, 9:59 am

There are some basic questions about motivating displays and counts.
To do what? For who? So they can see what? And then what?

If a routine narrative goes something like "and then you count the cards" - it's for the performer so enjoy the moves and don't worry about an audience.
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Re: The Jerx on Natural Double Lifts

Postby Jack Shalom » August 1st, 2018, 11:34 am

That makes sense for counts and double lifts. Thanks, Jon.

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Re: The Jerx on Natural Double Lifts

Postby performer » August 1st, 2018, 2:35 pm

This thread reminds me of something which Harry Lorayne wrote a long time ago to the effect that magicians worry too much about things laymen don't give a darn about. Oddiy enough I think he wrote in connection with a double lift description!

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Re: The Jerx on Natural Double Lifts

Postby Jackpot » August 1st, 2018, 8:40 pm

I do agree with performer that Andy "may well have a point", and the Harry Lorayne observation "that magicians worry too much about things laymen don't give a darn about". In my opinion the Lorayne statement is closer to the truth.

The handling of the double lift proposed by Andy is fine, but I find unnecessary. The method is based on the handling of people who don't play or handle cards. How much scrutiny will people who don't play or hand cards place on how a magician does a double lift? I doubt they are suspicious and thinking, "Hey, wait a minute. Is he doing something that I've never cared about or paid attention to in a manner that I might not do if I ever did it?"

We have been told the people in the video who have some experience playing cards made the turn over in a manner similar to the standard double lift. If we are going to worry about how lay people handle cards it makes more sense to consider the way lay people who actually play cards turn the top card over and set it on the deck rather than focusing on people who don't have an interest in cards.

For me the true value in this post (and "Double Date") is getting me to think about how I perform and think about ways I might improve my performances. Thank you for the post Q. Kumber.
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Re: The Jerx on Natural Double Lifts

Postby erdnasephile » August 1st, 2018, 10:02 pm

Jackpot wrote:
PapaG wrote:I remember reading somewhere that, as I said earlier, he'd come to the same conclusion about what constitutes a 'natural' double lift. Can't remember where though.


PapaG -- You are correct (or our memories are equally faulty). I also recall an anecdote about a magician or group of magicians going out in front of a magic shop to ask members of the public to turn over the top card and put it on the top of a pack. I believe the shop was in New York. I don't recall if Charlie Miller was a participant or not.

I don't recall where I read it or heard it. It could have been from a book, magazine, podcast or youtube video. If I come across the source of the anecdote I will let you know.

Take care,
Jackpot


It's in JIS' chapter: "A Dissertation on the Double Lift" in "Devious Standards" (It's also in Antinomy)

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Re: The Jerx on Natural Double Lifts

Postby Ryan Matney » August 1st, 2018, 11:31 pm

I agree with Al Schneider. Some great comments, Al. Being extremely "natural" when doing a DL is not only unnecessary, it can actually make it look worse and less deceptive.

Further, I think we would all do well to avoid the DL as much as possible. I rarely use it. I think there is only two examples out of 50 tricks in Spoiler Alert.
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Re: The Jerx on Natural Double Lifts

Postby Al Schneider » August 2nd, 2018, 12:35 am

More 2 cents and a bit more.

About magic moves incl DL. In my little mind I see the goal in magic moves is to make sure the audience does not see the move but see the result of the move. As with the case of false transfers, do you want them to say, "Boy it looks like he put the coin into his hand," or do you want them to say, "Boy, he had a coin in his hand and when he opened it, the coin was gone." The trick is to get them to see the move with an understanding of what it did but not any skill that took to do it. In teaching many people magic, I have found a flaw in my teaching. I have not represented the idea of letting go. I do a pushoff of the double then a bookturn to turn the card face up on the deck. My students of the past do the move very well, but something is missing. After years I have realized the importance of letting go. It is somewhat like throwing a ball. A ball is held in the hand before being thrown. The hand moves quickly through the air and in a moment the ball is released to fly away. The ball finds its own way to the target. The hand does not guide it all the way through space. I see the double lift the same way. The card is pushed off. Then the card is flipped face up. At this point, I let go. The card moves under its own inertia. Eventually it lands face up on the deck. During this flight, the DL will separate. The thumb is positioned so it immediately touches the cards squaring them upon landing. The point is this: hopefully the audience does not attach importance to the move as it appears very uncontrolled and natural. The card was flipped face up so the audience could see it. And, the magish is not looking at the move when executed.

I hope this not common knowledge with all as I do not consider myself a card guy. But, it is fun to babble.

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Re: The Jerx on Natural Double Lifts

Postby performer » August 2nd, 2018, 6:14 am

I use the Vernon double lift a lot. Here I agree with Al that you let gravity do the job for you. Mind you, I don't find they separate at all. After all they don't have far to fall and that is probably what the slight bend is for. Mind you, I once heard a magician criticise the slight bend on the grounds that it was "unnatural". Naturally I ignored him on the obvious grounds that I know everything and he didn't.

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Re: The Jerx on Natural Double Lifts

Postby performer » August 2nd, 2018, 6:23 am

Ryan Matney wrote:
Further, I think we would all do well to avoid the DL as much as possible. I rarely use it. I think there is only two examples out of 50 tricks in Spoiler Alert.


I do agree that you can over use the double lift and in fact there is a disease known as "double lift indigestion" particularly in ambitious card routines. However, it is a very powerful sleight and I probably tend to overuse it myself so it is a good thing that I have several versions. However, I don't think I have ever been caught with it despite doing it thousands upon thousands of times. That is because I can do the move very well.

I find that the magicians who avoid the move are the ones who don't do it properly. Eugene Burger always abhorred the move and advised against it. It was then that I realised he had no idea what he was talking about half the time. It was obvious to me the reason he avoided such a powerful move was simply that he couldn't do it properly. It is not an easy move to do deceptively but I think is almost a requirement in card magic because it opens up such an impressive and powerful repertoire for your availability.

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Re: The Jerx on Natural Double Lifts

Postby Al Schneider » August 2nd, 2018, 11:10 am

I do the Vernon lift. Got it from a Vernon book. One day long ago at a magic convention far, far away, I was talking to a fellow magish. He said he did the Vernon lift and got it from the same book I did. We did the same double different. Interesting! I open my close up act with Ambitious Card. My opening line is, "This is a trick deck." Then I show them why it is and the audience realizes it is not. I am terribly corny. About Eugene Burger. I know he is a powerful entertainer when he said, "I can get fifteen minutes out of a finger chopper."
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Re: The Jerx on Natural Double Lifts

Postby performer » August 2nd, 2018, 11:09 pm

Oddly enough I use the same line "This is a trick deck that I purchased from a magic shop" for two particular tricks. One is the All Backs routine and the other is the svengali deck. I use this line with the svengali deck since it saves me a lot of trouble switching the bloody things. And it doesn't make the blindest bit of difference to the reaction.

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Re: The Jerx on Natural Double Lifts

Postby Jonathan Townsend » August 3rd, 2018, 10:19 pm

I read this somewhere...
It requires the philosophy of the stoic to possess any great superiority and refrain from boasting to friend or foe. He must be content to rank with the common herd. In short, the professional player must never slop over. One single display of dexterity and his usefulness is past in that particular company, and the reputation is liable to precede him in many another.
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Re: The Jerx on Natural Double Lifts

Postby performer » August 3rd, 2018, 10:48 pm

Jonathan Townsend wrote:I read this somewhere...
It requires the philosophy of the stoic to possess any great superiority and refrain from boasting to friend or foe. He must be content to rank with the common herd. In short, the professional player must never slop over. One single display of dexterity and his usefulness is past in that particular company, and the reputation is liable to precede him in many another.


That would certainly be appropriate for a crooked gambler. Whether it is the same for magicians is a debate that has been going on forever.


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