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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » What are gaffs? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

clui
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66 Posts

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I have been reading about them around here, but I have absolutely no idea what they are. Would you guys mind telling me and if you do not want to reveal any secrets just PM me.
secondbaseman
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Amsterdam
225 Posts

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gaffs are gimmicked cards, coins, etc, etc...

Niels
clui
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66 Posts

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Oic. so gaffs are just a general term to say gimmicks. Thanks for the tip. Smile
Donnay
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N. Ireland
49 Posts

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i am here to offer my humble apologies for my last post here it read as rude and i did not mean for it to come across that way. But i think you should perhaps get a few more books, this will help you no matter how inexperienced or experienced you are. so again i am sorry.
John Clarkson
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Santa Barbara, CA
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Some people distinguish between a gaff and a gimmick, but most, I think use the terms interchangeably. And, as I write this, I realize, I've forgotten the subtle distinction! I think it goes like this:

A gaff is an object that has been modified or rigged to help in your deception. It is usually visible. A gimmick, on the other hand, is a gizmo or bit of business that helps the deception but remains unseen.

I believe that's the distinction some people make. I've read a lot of books and have been around a long time, but the niceties of the distinction have long faded from my memory. So, yes, you are safe to assume that most people mean the same thing when they use either word.

Smile
John D. Clarkson, S.O.B. (Sacred Omphaloskeptic Brotherhood)
Cozener

"There is nothing more important to a magician than keeping secrets. Probably because so many of them are Gay."
—Peggy, from King of the Hill (Sleight of Hank)
Lord Anacho
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Kessel-Lo, Belgium
146 Posts

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As I understood it a gaff is a more generic term.

A thingie that can be seen and is innocent is a prop.
A thingie that can be seen, but is not innocent is a fake.
A thingie that can not be seen, is a gimmick

That's how I learned it long ago

Ciao for now

Erik
"The secret impresses no one. The trick you use it for is everything" (Alfred Borden in The Prestige)
Bob Sanders
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Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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From a half century of show biz, my schooling on this taught me that a "gaff" by definition has a handle, hook, loop, etc. that allows holding, reaching, moving (repositioning), etc. something. Originally it required the efforts of another who may not be seen as part of the act like a sound or lighting "gaffer". Common use changes things.

A gimmick, need not have an identified "handle". Example: Diamond cut silks are gimmicks. Square silks are props. However, a Dancing Hank could be "gaffed".

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz

AmazedWiz@Yahoo.com http://www.magicbysander.com/
Stanyon
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Inner circle
Landrum, S.C. by way of Chicago
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However if your gimmick is gaffed better to not make a gaffe or you will have goofed!

FWIW

Cheers! Smile
Stanyon

aka Steve Taylor

"Every move a move!"

"If you've enjoyed my performance half as much as I've enjoyed performing for you, then you've enjoyed it twice as much as me!"
fxdude
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Hollywood
241 Posts

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I always wondered why they called them gaffs or gaffed. If you look it up in the dictionary it doesn't say anything about how magicians use the term.
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