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Topic: Gimmicks
Message: Posted by: magicman03 (Nov 12, 2004 09:29PM)
When I first started to do card magic, I seemingly fell in love with gimmicks and gimmicked cards. Later on I became turned off by these and became a "purist". However now I seem to be experimenting with the idea of gimmicks once again. Whatre everyones thoughts about gimmicks?
Message: Posted by: andre combrinck (Nov 12, 2004 10:26PM)
To me,it's all about the effect.If I have to use a gimmick-I do.But I do feel on the other hand,if I can duplicate the effect with a non-gimmicked way and the effect DOESN'T change,I use that method.I don't think you should look down on gimmicks.Even Paul Harris sometimes relies on this.
Message: Posted by: Jaz (Nov 13, 2004 09:45AM)
I have no problem with using gimmicks as long as they're used sparingly. They can make your magic easier to perform and enhance some effects. Some really strong effects depend on gimmicks.

Just don't become dependent on gimmicks! As you may know, there are tons of excellent "purist" card tricks that can be done using sleights and I suggest that you continue to focus on those.
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Nov 13, 2004 10:39AM)
I agree. Like already mentioned above, if the effect can be accomplished without gimmicks then that's the way to go. However, some effects just can't be done without gimmicks. Other times a gimmick makes a trick more visual.

I always say this about IT work but it means just as much for other kinds of magic. The sleights and gimmicks aren't known to your spectators. The effect is all that they know about. They might suspect, wonder or search for the method but that's all they ever be able to do.

How does it look? what responce does it bring and what's the best method to reach the desired effect. The best method is the way to go.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: metwin1 (Nov 13, 2004 10:50AM)
The problem with gimmicks is that my friends always want to examine the props. I know the advice is to leave gimmicks to the last, and establish your credibility first as a magician before going into gimmicks. But for a beginner, I don't know many tricks.

And I don't even want to get into the fumbling and hand- shaking when I'm performing for my friends. Even if I know the trick inside out, I hesitate whenever I have to do a covert move.
Message: Posted by: Jaz (Nov 13, 2004 05:52PM)

I've often had the examination problem with friends and relatives. Just don't let them examine anything! Quickly put them away. As time goes by you will figure out methods of 'ditching' the gimmicks.

Shake and fumble? I did and still get nervous with newer tricks. The ones I do for people more often are easier. Don't be afraid to fail. It happens. Just take a deep breath, take your time and do as you do when practicing.

Magic takes a lot of work, practice and performing before all is OK.

Do to the nature of my job and time constraints I really don't have the opportunity to perform as much as I'd like to. I do however continue to practice and take notes a little each day.
Message: Posted by: TheHelpingHand (Nov 13, 2004 09:12PM)
The Ends Justify The Means.

I apply this principle to magic at all times, rephrasing it to "The Effects Justify The Methods."
Message: Posted by: Felix Cardician (Nov 14, 2004 10:40AM)
Gimmicks can be a good thing. I absolutely love clever and practical gimmicks, those that make something look impossible. There are many great gimmicked tricks out there.
Message: Posted by: blindbo (Nov 14, 2004 04:32PM)
Some magic can only be performed with a gimmick. Purists make a choice to leave these out of their repertoire.
I look at it differently. If it is an effect I enjoy and others enjoy seeing it, then whatever the method I accept it.

Some gimmicks are great substitutes for pure methods that aren't mastered. For many magicians (myself included) this is a wonderful thing!

Then there are gimmicks made for gimmick's sake and there are poorly made gimmicks. Its always wise to question the method and quality before making purchases.
Message: Posted by: Reis O'Brien (Nov 15, 2004 04:22PM)
The "purist" attitude really gets on my nerves. At least when fellow magicians get snotty about it. I figure, if it gets the job done then more power to ya.

True, there's a lot of garbage out there as far as gimmicks go. But here and there, you'll find some incredibly deadly gems. I would hate to close my mind off to those possibilities.

And then there's the fact that gimmicks are a major part of magic's history. So are these purists denying some of the great work that has come before us? How audacious.

I would hate to be a magician who totally relies on gimmicks, but I would also hate to pigeon-hole myself just so I can hautily call myself a "purist".
Message: Posted by: edh (Nov 15, 2004 06:11PM)
Reis, I don't think that "purists" are trying to be snotty or any such thing. I think that by not using gimmicks card tricks(at least in my case) can be examined and proven to be just a regular set of cards. While I do agree with you that there are some great card effects out there that use gimmicks I tend to stay away from them, at least for now.

Havin said the above I am considering using some gimmicks.

my dos centavos. :)

Message: Posted by: Reis O'Brien (Nov 17, 2004 08:35AM)
Ok... I seemed a little harsh in my earlier post. No, I don't think all purists are being snotty. But I have seen more than my fair share. When I see people like that, it really puts things into a stark contrast.

I'm a bit of a gimmick junkie. I'll buy an effect just because the card gaff is clever. I may never even perform the trick! I just love the cleverness of some of these little effects.

So perhaps I set myself up a little for some razzing from the purists.

If you're a purist because you appreciate the discapline that it requires, then great! But if you're a purist so you can come off like The Proffessor at the next magic meeting, then back away from me slowly!

Anyway, hope I didn't come off as if I were specifically name-calling anyone here.
Message: Posted by: Jaz (Nov 25, 2004 08:45AM)
Being a Purist is a good thing...for a while.
It prepares you for those truly impromptu moments.

I'm about 75% Purist, 20% Gimmick and 5% Confused.
Message: Posted by: JSBLOOM (Nov 27, 2004 02:14PM)
Many tricks require you to use them.
If you do, think of ways to cleverly ditch them before your next effect.
One method I have seen is to say you need to remove the jokers.
Simply remove the gaffed cards.
On the other hand, Dan Harlan does an entire stand up act with cards without hiding the fact he is using different decks.
If I can do the trick with a normal deck, I would not use gaffs

Message: Posted by: Whitewolfny (Nov 28, 2004 03:17PM)
I think it's important to be able to have a few card tricks without gimmicks under your belt. You never know when someone may hand you a deck and say "Hey, do a card trick!" But if your are expecting to do some tricks and can sneak in a gimmick effect along with the "pureist" slight of hand stuff, what does it hurt?
Message: Posted by: Edmund_Fitzgerald (Nov 28, 2004 06:43PM)
I have ditched my gimmicks for periods of time, say a few months, in order to concentrate on building other skills and reading books. This has a few advantages:

1. I improve my skills with sleights
2. I save money
3. I avoid buyers remorse (less frequent a problem with books)
4. I read more
5. I practice more
6. I am less inclined to hop from one half-practiced trick to the next, sticking with each one until it is mastered.

and the strange benefit:

7. I come to appreciate (some of) the gimmicks that I own more.
Message: Posted by: Katmando (Nov 29, 2004 01:39PM)
As others have said gimmick have there place and time. I like the gimmicks that can be examend or switched with the best.

Later <><
Message: Posted by: edh (Nov 29, 2004 09:59PM)
As I become more comfortable w/my handling of the specs. and misdirection I think I would consider more gimmicked effects. I really would like to be able to load and ditch the gimmicks w/o much trouble, although being in a wheelchair makes it kind of difficult to load or ditch the gimmicks.
Message: Posted by: JediMindTrick (Dec 7, 2004 06:04PM)
I love both, and I alternate between gimmicked props and legitmate objects in between my routines. I only care about the effect.
Message: Posted by: BerkleyJL (Dec 7, 2004 08:54PM)
Effect is king!

Proper routining will eliminate all the arguments against using gimmicks and gimmicked cards. I almost always avert the attention away from the props before completing an effect. It helps to prevent the "Let me see that!" syndrome.

Another thing I do is make sure I finish a set with a trick that ends completely clean. That way the props that are out when I wind down ARE examinable.
Message: Posted by: sugam (Dec 7, 2004 11:40PM)
I think it's good to be able to do impromptu magic, of course.

I haven't really used gimmicks much. Although MacDonald's Aces can look very nice with certain gaffed cards. But only for a routine I suppose... not walking around... you can always do a sleight-of-hand version. I guess what I'm saying is that for a performance (none under my belt), gimmicks/gaffs can make it look very smooth.