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cap casino
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Here are some thoughts on the issue of 'the time delay'. I use a flourish as an example yet the topic is relevant to all card magicians whether you do flourishes or not.

Even if you were to disregard the many other points as to the value of flourishes, the practical method wise points such as being part of the artifice, defining the magic moment, serving as misdirection, creating helpful time delays, etc. etc...

I would say that in many laymen's minds flourishes are the whole magic period! Think of a card transformation effect. Let's take the example of doing a double lift and then immediately showing the card vs. doing a double lift and spinning the card you’ve convinced them is the ace of hearts on your middle finger. This is the pirouette flourish move. Once the card has ended it's flourish you dramatically reveal the change. Try this on a few people now. Post which version plays stronger.

My view is that the second is virtually always stronger. To laymen when the card spun, was when the magic occurred. That's what makes it so baffling, since no deception occurred then. We've deliciously redefined the realities of the moments. To the spectator his time code is like this:
"nothing occurred, nothing occurred, nothing occurred, flourish occurred, nothing occurred and nothing occurred."

When then trying to think about how the magic could have happened (and this analysis phase ALWAYS happens, btw, if only during a micro second of time), the spectator will only backtrack and analyze the time frame of the spin and only have his 'when did he do something?!' moment in regards to the spin.

Since absolutely no artifice occurred during the spin, the spectator is forced ‘across the rainbow' as Tamariz might say. This only gets better with time, since memory is such an imperfect thing, and the flourish compared to the turning over of a card is much more memorable. Therefore, as time goes on the turning of the card-the double lift or the deception fades further under the
'consciousness radar.'

When I mentioned this on the Genii forum, some pointed out the bit of business where you put a card in a vending machine's slot and wait for it to come out, then reveal the change. This can be effective if you've done a convincing enough switch or are for a gullible enough spectator. No doubt. Still I must wonder the obvious question of 'what if you don't have a vending machine handy?!'

There are few other strategies that can be done while in a car or on the metro or anytime anywhere that are as handy as the inborn skill to do a flourish. An effective alternate to a flourish would be to rub the switched in card against the spectator's sleeve with the patter line of "you may think the magic occurs due to my sleeves, actually it's due to YOUR sleeve" do the rub on their sleeve then reveal the change. This is a rather amusing notion and will also create the time delay well.

I feel strongly about the value in analyzing this topic since I think it’s the reason for a lot of the pathetic magic out there. The magic with no suave, no style, no cool factor, no elegance, no skill and therefore the reason for why many laymen have such a horrendously negative notion of what someone coming up to them with a pack of cards in hand will be like.

" Hands of invisible spirits touch the strings
Of that mysterious instrument, the soul,
And play the prelude of our fate."
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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There are two important things to realize, and the reason that your example will be more effective:

1. Separating the magic from the trick
2. Defining the magic moment

Let's start with the first one - separating the magic from the trick. You may be thinking, what does that mean? I thought the magic was the trick? Not really. In one sense, yes, the trick (sleight, gimmick, whatever) is what allows the magic to happen -- but as many people have pointed out before, the magic is really in the minds of the spectator. Therefore, if you can separate the moment the "magic" happens from the moment of the "trick," then it will be much harder for them to backtrack and put two and two together.

In your example, if you do a double lift to show one card, then turn it over again, and then immediately reveal it, 99% of the people will say "Oh, you probably just turned over two cards." Instead, with your example, you do the little spinny move in between the DL and the revelation of the change. This leads them to think that the magic happened when the card was spun around... not when you turned it face-down onto the deck. This brings me to my second point.

Defining the magic moment. In my mind, there should always be a definite moment when the magic happens. If you are doing magic, then there must be something you do to cause the magic to happen. In Cap's case, it's the spinning of the cards. It could just as easily be a snap of the fingers, or a wave of the hand, or even a whistle. It doesn't matter much, as long as it tells the audience "This is when the magic is happening!"

Defining the moment the magic happens does a lot to increase the impact of the magic because it separates the trick from the magic, as I mentioned above, but it also gives the audience something to hold onto... something that let's them say "That's when it happened!"

So think about it... when does the magic happen?

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Alan Munro
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The time delay can telegraph when an effect will occur within a routine. Thus they anticipate the effect and appreciate it more, as a result. Contrary to popular belief, people don't like a sudden surprise. They like to know when a surprise is coming. A pause can be as effective for an effect as a set-up is to a punchline.

When a time delay is used as misdirection, people would expect the magician to do something sneaky right away. They don't believe that a magician can wait for more than a few seconds, for a lull in the spectators' attention.
Ron Giesecke
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. . .on that vending machine idea. . .

The way I execute this one is at the end of an ambitious routine, where the last attempt at topping the card apparrently fails. I insert the card, and watch it do its thing curiously. I then look at the spectators, shrug my shoulders, and start walking off. The inevitable happens, and there they are screaming in the college hallway.

That's delay, and it's beautiful.
gregg webb
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I agree with Cap Casino as long as it is a flourish you can do without flubbing. You could also pause, and then give the card a gentle shake, look at it in a necktied way then smile as if it just now changed then show the card, rather than risk dropping the card during the spin on the fingertip. I see a lot of guys in magic shops doing things that are beyond them and having to say "oops" a lot. Blaine's Top Shot comes to mind. Also, I'm not a fan of the Sybil Cuts.
On the other hand there are guys who won't do flourishes because they feel it gives away that they "have skill". I disagree with that amount of purity because it only invites people to think it's a set-up or a trick deck from the magic shop.
A good use of flourishes is fine. Don't over-do. Regards, Gregg
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