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Topic: Any tips for a handicapped amateur?
Message: Posted by: airship (Apr 7, 2006 02:47PM)
I have been interested in magic since I was eight years old, and have always had a trick or two 'up my sleeve'. Fifteen years ago, I started getting a little more serious, practicing palms, clips, and shuffles. Unfortunately, about the same time my hands began suffering serious nerve damage from diabetes. I found I could no longer perform many of the standard moves, and was in fact lucky if I didn't drop the items I was trying to manipulate!
I still have a keen interest in magic, and have come to appreciate tricks of the 'self-working' variety, especially those that involve the spectator doing much of the work himself.
Do you have any advice for a handicapped magician? What tricks do you think would work best for someone with limited manual dexterity?
Message: Posted by: Josh the Superfluous (Apr 7, 2006 03:02PM)
object animations, if you could figure a way to load one of Yigal's loops on your hand.
some Tenyo effects
gaffed jumbo cards
Message: Posted by: tbaer (Apr 7, 2006 07:43PM)
I am not sure how much use of your hands you actually have, there are some self working coin tricks like scotch and soda, dime and penny, 21 cent trick, 1.85, nickels to dimes, dime out, and coin unique to name some, that don't require much hand techniques.
Message: Posted by: tbaer (Apr 7, 2006 08:24PM)
I meant to say 1.35, not 1.85, not sure if there is a 1.85
Message: Posted by: Maro Anglero (Apr 7, 2006 08:44PM)
Hi Airship,

I have a friend that has a handicap that when he try to do cards or coins he would drop the cards or coins. I helped him with ropes, he is now great with ropes and he is a big fan of Tabary a rope master and he also got into mentlism, he found many books on mentlism, So my friend found his area on working with magic. I also know of a few great Magicians that has a handicap and they didnít let the handicap get in the way of performing magic. I wish you all the best Airship.


Message: Posted by: Josh the Superfluous (Apr 8, 2006 10:35AM)
Has the nerve damage stablized?
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Apr 8, 2006 01:42PM)
I can relate in some ways. I've been hard of hearing all my life but about 15 years ago I became deaf. I was already profoundly hard of hearing but going from that to almost total deafness within a couple of years was hard to deal with at times.

From what you said in your post I think you have what it will take to overcome your situation. It's the same thing that allowed me to get through it. What I'm talking about is the desire to keep doing it.

I know that seems to simple and I'll tell you right now that it wasn't simple for me. I became frustrated with a lot of things. It was pretty emotional to me when I got to the point where I couldn't even hear my spectators laugh or applaud. Some sleight of hand moves where very hard to master because some methods can make sounds that give the method away. For example I found out my one handed top palm was making a tapping noise.

But eventually I found ways to work around these issues. I can't hear laughter but I learned to watch for it. I can't hear if my sleights are making sounds they shouldn't but I can feel and ask others if it does. I can't hear music but I've found ways to time myself to the music.

I know for a fact that if I wasn't deaf my performing style would be very different then it is today. So my advice would be to try things out and find what works for you. Things will evolve and who knows. The ways you find to work things out might make you a very unique performer.

Keep it fun and try not to get to discouraged. I'm sure things will come around.

All the best.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: Father Photius (Apr 8, 2006 02:09PM)
So called box magic, self working tricks, etc. as well as the suggestions above. You don't have to be a "manipulator" to be a good magician. Magic is in the presentation, not the effect. Every magician can learn only so much magic, why we tend to specialize. Most of us have less than a dozen effects that we do for any shows we do, the rest we do for our own entertainment. Be the best in the world at what you do, and it doesn't matter if it is self working, box magic, mentalism, or difficult sleights.
Message: Posted by: Brad Burt (Apr 8, 2006 11:48PM)
Quite a while ago now, Mike Maxwell of A-1 Multimedia made a video of self-working card magic. It is GREAT. There is a second volume that's ok, but not nearly as strong as the first. Most if not all the routines are good enough for any pro act. It is still available and sells for about $15.00 instead of the original $40-50! You may want to look into it.

You may also want to do more Mentalism as many of the routines will not take much in the way of manipulation to perform as well as anyone else. Your handicap could also be a blessing in this wise: You can use it to move you towards a great emphasis upon the presentation, etc. It can be like losing your sight and having your hearing get better. You may not be able to do a range of things that demand something from your hands that you can no longer give, but you may turn out to be one of the more outstanding presentational artist, etc. Take some acting classes at the local Junior College if that is possible. Voice lessons, etc. Anything that will increase your range as a performer.

There are incredible books and videos avaialable now on mentalism.

All the very best,
Message: Posted by: ssucahyo (Apr 9, 2006 06:33AM)
Airship, I am proud wih your will. Do not quite doing magic. Never stop. There is a lot of tricks you still can do. Mentalisme is the best one for you.
Message: Posted by: airship (Apr 11, 2006 11:18AM)
Thanks for all your responses.
The nerve damage gets a little worse each year, though I haven't experienced a repeat of the dramatic loss I had in the first year it hit me. I'm going to focus on tricks that I know I will be able to do in the future, even if the damage gets much worse.
Fortunately, I'm a big fan of mentalism tricks, and am currently re-reading through my old copy of Anneman's mentalism book, trying to find tricks that will work well for me.
I also dusted off my Fulves 'Self-Working' books for some card tricks.
Fortunately, I'm a good 'BS' artist and ad-libber, so presentation isn't much of a problem for me. And I can usually get a pretty good laugh out of a flubbed trick, if necessary.
I got frustrated and quit because I was just getting to the point where I was moving beyond the beginner self-working type tricks and getting comfortable with a few nice coin and card manipulations when I started getting clumsy. I still remember the look of amazement on my mom's face when I made a card appear in my hand (from a 'clipped' position). And it was so much fun to see a coin FINALLY walking nicely back and forth along my knuckles! *sigh* :)
But I really enjoy magic, and am determined to get back into it. I try to remember that EVERYONE has limitations on what they can and cannot do.
Thanks for your tips and encouragement.
Message: Posted by: Carrie Sue (Apr 12, 2006 08:41PM)
Have you thought of looking into tricks with a stacked deck? Many things can be done without much manipulation skill using this artifice. Many mentalist effects can be accomplished with a memorized stack such as Aronson.