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remf3
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Through a lot of my varied readings I occasionally come across the word "sucker" in conjunction with moves or vanishes. What does this mean exactly? I guess I'm curious as to why someone would refer to a move, for example, as a "sucker vanish"? There is usually a comment, in the write-up of the move, not to play up the "sucker aspect" of the move.

Is the use of the word sucker meaning it's a "I know the move and you don't" type of thing or is there some other meaning?

I'm a sucker for the meaning behind the use of some words and this one is just escaping me for some reason...
JHNelson
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I have never heard of a move referred to as a sucker move unless it has to do with a gambling move, and even then it's informally referred to as a sucker move. What books are you reading? I'd be interested in seeing for myself. Maybe it has to do with context.
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remf3
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In Roth's "Expert Coin Magic" book, he teaches something called "Skinner"s Spidergrip Vanish" (pg 13 in the book I have). In the last paragraph, he writes "Do not, under any circumstance, emphasize the sucker aspect of the vanish--it is both insulting and rude to the audience."

I believe there is also a move in Bobo's MCM referred to as a "sucker vanish" as a sidenote, not the official name, but I cannot verify this as my copy of MCM is currently MIA.

Now that you mention the gambling type moves, that puts most of these in a bit more context. I guess maybe I didn't make the connection.
spatlind
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There are numerous sucker effects in magic. They often refer to when a spec is "suckered" into believing something, often as a second phase, purporting to explain or demonstrate the previous effect/phase. They are then hit with a "sucker" punch, something they are completely not expecting. Trying to make a "sucker" of the spec is not advisable. They will plain out not like you for it. You can however entertain using this premise.
Scott
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loyaleagle
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Yeah, it's almost more of a presentation thing than anything else. Any spectator is in some way a sucker, really, but when talking about a "sucker" move or phase, it usually involves having a spec go out on a limb and try to either guess the location/identity of something (that appears to be a sure bet) or pretend to explain the method just used to perform a trick. In the former, color monte is a good example because you eliminate all but 1 card. The when they guess what the card is, they get something completely unexpected (a $14 card).

In the latter example, you can usually make up some hokey magical move that you pretend to be a logical explanation for the trick. Often this leads to a sucker "punch" like the end of color monte where the trick takes a very unexpected turn that breaks what they were expecting.

Of course doing a trick for money (and basically stealing that money) is a sucker type of scam, but most spectators enjoy a good ribbing after having been fooled into thinking they are on the same level as the magician.

For the record, I LOVE sucker effects! Lots of coin tricks have a sucker move.
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Josh the Superfluous
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Scott is correct. In kid show magic, Hippity Hop Rabbits and Sucker Die Box are the classic "sucker effects". In close-up, Black & White Surprise (Color Deception) is the same premise as HH Rabbits. In these effects the apparent workings of the trick are painfully obvious from the start. In a kids show this is used to work the audience up into a frenzy. When the final effect is revealed, the earlier beliefs of the spectators becomes the set up for a surprise ending.

What Roth was saying, in the Spidergrip, was to let them believe they know what you've done, but don't make the opening of your hand be a "got ya!" or an effect on it's own. Just let them quietly see that the coin has in fact vanished from both hands.

Sucker effects can be fun, but in general should be used sparingly. They can pit you against the spectator. And create a challenge, or make them feel dumb.
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remf3
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Thanks guys! That makes a lot more sense now.
dragee
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Sucker effect are used to mislead the audience in a certain ways so that the final ending would be surprising.
Josh the Superfluous
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Quote:
On 2008-05-12 01:56, dragee wrote:
Sucker effect are used to mislead the audience in a certain ways so that the final ending would be surprising.


And how is this definition different than 80% of non-sucker effects? I hope you are goofing. Smile
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JHNelson
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I guess the deffenition of sucker effect has to do with audience management. If the effect makes them look like a fool, it's a sucker effect.
3 card monte (and it's gaffed counterparts) can be sucker effects if you make yourself look clever at the audiences expence. Some people can get away with that (Bill Malone comes to mind, but he does it with panache and makes fun of himself as well.)
I've done 3 card monte and made people mad because they felt stupid. So I changed my routine and did it more of an expose or a story trick. I guess if they leave the show mad, you made a sucker out of them. And no one likes that.
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whitjm5
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I just got my Mark Wilson Jawdropper DVDs today and was watching them. In one of the tricks, he 'apparently' makes a fork levitate behind his left hand. THEN, he reveals to the spectators that he's actually just holding it there with his right index finger. A few seconds later, he has someone else do the same trick themselves. Then, he mimics them, but pulls all four of his fingers and thumb around his left wrist while the fork appears to levitate in SPITE of him not using his index finger to hold it there. He referred to it, as a 'sucker trick' (one where a reveal is done and THEN comes the real trick) and I thought that was a pretty clear-cut example of one, figured I'd share it. Thanks again to all who contribute - I'm really learning a lot here. Smile
clarissa35f
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Ina traditional Coin flurry, sometimes you do a french drop from right hand to left, or do a shuttle vanish from right to left... by now the audience is used to you making the coin disappear and suspect you are not really placing it in the left hand. At this point doing a spider vanish from right to left could be seen as a " sucker" vanish. The audience is so used to something they are suspecting one thing, and you then use that false expectation to surprise. I think this is how it is different.

Another awsome example. I was watching Dai Vernon doing his Cups and Balls routine on Michael Ammar's Complete Cups and Balls Vol 2. There is a Point where he does a shuttle vanish, then another shuttle vanish. At this point he fakes a shuttle vanish, and then " as an afterthought" says..' many people think I never put it in this hand..." and opens the left hand to show the ball is still there..." it's the magic of the wand." Then he does a Vernon-Mora Spin and vanish...but the audience is of the impression now, that ALL the vanishes were from the left hand...

later on, he explains a false transferr as a " sucker" gag, he explains itr incorrectly, as a set up for a completely surprising climax...

So in my opinion a sucker move, is any move where you have set your audience to expect something deliberately, whether with words or without... so that you can then deny them that expectation, or use that expectation to do something totally unexpected. If you look at it that way....the entire Cups and Balls routine is basically a sucker move to set up your Final Loads. Smile
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JHNelson
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A very good point clarissa. I admit my knowledge is mainly with gambling scams so tend to jump to that aspect of sucker. But you have a good deffinition of the word and a good example. Thanks for sharing! Smile
James
Noel M
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Sucker effects are ones in which the audience suspects (incorrectly) the mechanics of the effect. The sliding die box, hippy-hop rabbits and the Chinese sticks are examples. Usually the audience will react by asking the magician to do something, like show the other side or open the other door. The magician pretends to comply but obviously doesn't really. Finally, when the frenzy reaches its peak the magician does what the audience wants only to reveal an unanticipated result.
michaelmagicart
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I have always been amazed about how certain “sucker effects” have been classified as tricks only for children. ‘Fraidy Cat Rabbit”, “Sucker Sliding Die Box”, “Hippity Hop Rabbits”, “Run Rabbit Run”, just to name a few. Who are we kidding? Have you ever watched the adult reaction to these tricks? They are suckered easier than the kids! And I might add, entertained just as well. Think about this: to the lay public, in reality everything you do is designed to fool or “sucker” them into believing that you have just done the impossible. What is the difference between placing a card in the center of a deck, only to have it mysteriously appear elsewhere and “turning around a Hippty Hop Rabbit”? Is not the placement of the card designed to sucker the spectator into believing that it is where they saw you place it? In a sub trunk, is the spectator not suckered into believing that under absolutely impossible conditions you manage to transpose two people? Why do you think that tricks are called tricks?

The Short Definition

TRICK, RUSE, STRATAGEM, MANEUVER, ARTIFICE, WILE, FEINT mean an indirect means to gain an end. TRICK may imply deception, roguishness, illusion, and either an evil or harmless end <the tricks of the trade>.

Do these terms sound familiar in magic circles?

Just food for thought.
Brad Burt
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A 'sucker' effect can or can not make the audience look foolish. It's not so much making them 'look' or 'feel' foolish as it leads them down one path only to take them down one totally different at the end. Depending on how the performer plays this it can have a greater or lesser 'sting' to it. Generally speaking you should think of a 'sucker' effect like the kick at the end of a good joke. The best Sucker Routines will almost always provoke laughter at the end. Best,
Brad Burt
Jaxon
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Quote:
On 2008-05-11 14:42, remf3 wrote:
In Roth's "Expert Coin Magic" book, he teaches something called "Skinner"s Spidergrip Vanish" (pg 13 in the book I have). In the last paragraph, he writes "Do not, under any circumstance, emphasize the sucker aspect of the vanish--it is both insulting and rude to the audience."


I'm a huge Roth fan but I don't agree with this. It all depends on the delivery.

I just thought I'd throw this in there. On the end of this video I do a "sucker" bit. Not a very high quality video but you'll see what I mean at the end.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2M8lgS8-83I

Ron Jaxon
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After regaining my ability to hear after 20 years of deafness. I learned that there is magic all around you. The simplest sounds that amazed me you probably ignore. Look and listen around you right now. You'll find something you didn't notice before.
clarissa35f
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Not all magic are sucker effects. Here is a good one from Michael Ammar ETMCM... "That's it."

if anyone is familiar with the plot you tell the audience member assisting you, to call out " That's it" whether he sees his card or not. The plot is, he or she has to try and fool you, and you try to see if you can catch them lieing. So you start turning cards over. They say " That's it" everytime, until you reach their card.... they say that's it...and you tell them..' good try but you didn't fool me.." and keep going...

At some point you say " aha! I found your card." of course the spectator thinks you passed his card and put it on the table... you are holding a card they believe is an indifferent card, because they saw you turn it over and show an indifferent card.

This IS a sucker effect. And Ammar as he explains it, says that you should play down the " sucker" part of it, when you reveal that the card you are holding is their selected card.

The purpose of sucker effects is never to make the spectator feel bad...but to lead them down a wrong road to a wrong conclusion, they believe they know what is going on... then you show that they really had no clue.

The danger with these sucker effects is, that unless carried out with Humility,.. there is a temptation to really rub the specs face in it...which is not the point of the trick, and loses the admiration of the crowd. or even if that was not your intent it can be seen as arrogance by the crowd.

They pack a real wallop, but I too feel that " sucker" gags should never make anyone feel like a sucker.
“Amateurs practice until they get it right.
Professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong.” <Anonymous>
"There is no such thing as magic, there is no other way that could have been done" <Whit Haydn>
remf3
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Quote:
On 2008-05-17 19:48, Jaxon wrote:
Quote:
On 2008-05-11 14:42, remf3 wrote:
In Roth's "Expert Coin Magic" book, he teaches something called "Skinner"s Spidergrip Vanish" (pg 13 in the book I have). In the last paragraph, he writes "Do not, under any circumstance, emphasize the sucker aspect of the vanish--it is both insulting and rude to the audience."


I'm a huge Roth fan but I don't agree with this. It all depends on the delivery.




Jax---

What do you mean by this? Do you feel the sucker aspect should be played up? Why? I'm only curious and trying to work out a bit of consensus among opinions...
Jaxon
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I hope I'll be able to word my thoughts in this well enough to explain how I feel about it. I basically mean that "the sucker aspect" isn't mean unless it's delivered with the intent to harm. Being mean to someone is in the attitude in which it's delivered. There's a huge difference between someone being a target of a joke then someone doing something mean then sticking their tongue out at them.

I'd bet just about everyone has fallen for the "What's that on your shirt?" joke then when you look down they tap you on the chin or nose. That's the most commonly known "Sucker trick" out there. Yet how many people have gotten mad or hurt by it? I've been the target of many jokes but they'd only make my upset if they were delivered to me with the intent of hurting my feelings.

In an attempt to present some examples of how I feel about this. I searched for a couple of youtube videos that I hope will demonstrate what' I'm trying to say.

Watch this video of Slydini. If this isn't a "sucker trick" I don't know what is. Do you think the volunteer is offended in any way? I don't think he is at all and it's because of the way Slydini presented the trick and how he treats the volunteer.
http://youtube.com/watch?v=FW6oQZc_c80

Here's another one of Mike Finney performing card on forehead. Now in this one he's being a little mean but I still don't think the guys feelings are hurt. It's entertainment after all.
http://youtube.com/watch?v=SGpv7Kum2vc

I honestly think we tend to over think issues like this. Magic lacks something that most performing arts have and that's variety. Yes, we do have variety but most people don't know that. Many still think magic is for kids.

Ron Jaxon
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After regaining my ability to hear after 20 years of deafness. I learned that there is magic all around you. The simplest sounds that amazed me you probably ignore. Look and listen around you right now. You'll find something you didn't notice before.
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