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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » All in the cards » » Best of Semi-Automatic Card Tricks (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Vlad_77
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Hey Bob!

Great to hear from you!!

The SACT series is right up your alley. The list of contributors is like a who's who in card magic (and some mentalists too!)

PM me if you would like some info on this series. It is well worth the investment IMHO.

Namaste,
Vlad
Bob1Dog
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Hi Vlsd, I PMd you....thanks! Bob
What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about? Smile

My neighbor rang my doorbell at 2:30 a.m. this morning, can you believe that, 2:30 a.m.!? Lucky for him I was still up playing my drums.
Bob1Dog
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Sorry 'bout the typo Vlad!
What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about? Smile

My neighbor rang my doorbell at 2:30 a.m. this morning, can you believe that, 2:30 a.m.!? Lucky for him I was still up playing my drums.
juggernought
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I have all of books and like other people, there isn't a great deal of material that I actually use. Some of the routines based on lewis jones' pattern principle are very good. They can be found in volume 3 I think although I could be wrong.
Vlad_77
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Volume 8 is on its way to me!! It seems like Steve Beam really went bananas with this one as it exceeds 300 pages!!

Namaste,
Vlad
magicphill
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I recently bought Volume 5 but can't say I really got much from it

Have to agree with others tho the chapter on Spanish magicians and the chapter on Ramon Rioboo's magic is probably the chapters I got the most from although despite the silly name the Roly Polly controlly is a fairly good idea just perhaps hard to justify the unsualy cutting procedure.
moualb
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Vlad , I have not read any more comments from you about this vol 8. Did you like it ?
Vlad_77
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Quote:
On 2011-04-13 16:12, moualb wrote:
Vlad , I have not read any more comments from you about this vol 8. Did you like it ?


Hi Moualb,

I realize I have been only sporadically posting as other things have taken me away from the good company here. I have quite a few things I have been asked to comment on and again because of some serious issues that impacted me these past 5 months, I have yet to comment on them.

In a nutshell, volume 8 is excellent and more importantly regarding the hue and cry I have read over the apparent dearth of impromptu material in the series - which is simply not the case - volume 8 has an insane amount of no setup required material.

I am hopeful that I will have time to post a full blown review of this along with some great material from Rafael Czaja, Kyle MacNeill, Cameron Francis, and a few others - apologies guys for the long delay.

But, back to SACT 8: the Lewis Jones section alone could EASILY have been a stand alone booklet or e-book and sold for 20 USD. Lewis Jones's name should be well known among card workers and his reputation as a perfectionist who strives for clarity of effect and efficiency of method shines here in this volume. Every effect from Jones in the book requires NO setups and, they are all very strong with principles that present possibilities for other applications.

There are some truly amazing effects in this volume and time prohibits me from discussing every one of them, but imagine from a book of self-workers you can from a spectator shuffled deck: produce FOUR fours of a kind - want to do this then check out R. Paul Wilson's "Tupelo Paul." Steve Beam writes that the routine was heavily inspired by Pit Hartling's "Cincinnati Pit."

SOME other excellent effects that no not require a setup include "Deal or No Deal" by Ramon Rioboo, "Insurance Card" also by Ramon Rioboo. I should note here that Senor Rioboo (his name is spelled incorrectly by me in the post because I do not know how to put a diacritic mark over a letter - I suppose I should enable HTML for this sort of thing) has a whole section of thought provoking ideas. "The Hole Theory," while not an effect, IS an intriguing principle that I think some of you would love to play with.

"Two Card Monte" by Tom Ransom is NOT what you would think if you judge an effect by its title - and in this case that is a very VERY good thing as the effect plays well for close up and stage. Oh by the way, it uses no setups, only two non-gaffed cards. Smile

This is turning into a review and this section of the forum is not the place for such. But if there is interest, I will write up a detailed review of SACT 8 in "The Good, The Bad, and The Garbage" section of the Café.

Controversy about this series will unfortunately continue to rage but then again, that IS the idea of a forum, yes? That being said, here is a small list of well known magicians who have praised the series:

Lee Asher
Mick Ayres
John Bannon
Stephen Bargatze
Aaron Fisher
Tom Gagnon
Lewis Jones
Bill Malone
Stephen Minch
Bob Sheets
David Solomon
David Stone
Michael Weber

The list could be MUCH longer but I really do not feel like typing out the veritable who's who of card magic who are also contributors to the series. But look again at the short list I provided and ask yourself if you would have the temerity to argue the point with these authorities.

Okay, I am going to editorialize for a moment about "self-working" card magic . Those who do not care, well, that's cool and there are FAR more interesting posts to read on the Café and I am not stating this tongue in cheek.

I have stated that I believe that Annemann's maxim that EFFECT is everything should be foremost in our minds as magicians. Having said that, I am well aware that we also must choose what effects we decide to learn and perform based upon a boatload of variables that are performer dependent. So, if you are performing for the money and need effects that instantly reset and require either no setup at all or else a setup that can be achieved during the course of a previous effect, then you are not going to spend the time to learn a full deck stack effect that destroys the stack - that would be foolish. But take this into consideration: imagine that there is a client you really want to impress to get a plum gig. Remember, most clients are not magicians and furthermore, they want to see the goods which means they want to be entertained and fooled BADLY. Personally, I WILL do such an effect for said client and believe me, the effort is worth it. So there IS a place for full stack type effects even for the working pro.

But I REALLY think the heart of the matter is this strange misconception that you are not a magician unless you can perform insane knuckle-busting sleight of hand. To put it more simply, it is a machismo thing and really makes no sense at all. Your audience should NOT be able to tell the difference between methodologies whether the methodology is sleights, stacks, gaffs, or any combination thereof. Stewart James is considered to be one of THE Masters of our art. His influence on the art is simply staggering; yet James did not employ a lot of sleights in his work. Was this Master any less of a magician than Ortiz or Marlo? In fact, a great deal of the knuckle-busters ALSO do self-workers! I wonder why that might be my hearties? Yep, here comes another short list - and don't forget to buy the cannoli!

Darwin Ortiz, Harry Lorayne, R. Paul Wilson, Larry Jennings, Ken Krenzel, Allan Ackerman, Peter Duffie, Lennart Green, David Solomon, Ed Marlo, Dai Vernon ..............

That little list to me at least is analogous to the 1927 Yankees!

What is our job as magicians folks? Fundamentally and most importantly our job IMHO is to entertain and to profoundly mystify our audiences. Yes, method DOES matter, but I would argue that method must enhance effect. I LOVE sleight of hand. But I love slaying audiences with hard hitting magic even more. The people for whom I perform really do not care that I cannot do a Greek Deal or a Classic Pass or a Bottom Deal to save my life. They DO care however if they are not blown away. The SACT series offers a ton of material that when performed correctly would get you the death penalty for the amount of bodies you leave in your wake of destruction. Get off the macho thing and fry MINDS! Smile

Best,
Vlad
Mike Maturen
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Excellent post, Vlad! I have a disease in my hands called Dupytren's Contracture. It makes it very difficult for me to perform much in the way of sleight of hand...eventually it is likely to be impossible. Therefore, I rely a great deal on self-working effects, or effects that require minimal sleights such as forces (not really a sleight, I guess).

I have always felt belittled by certain magicians for my lack of sleight of hand. It is almost an elitist feeling that I get. Sort of like they would all drown if it started raining because their noses are so far in the air.

But your point is correct: What matters is, were the audience entertained? Were they mystified? Would they pay to see you again?

If the answer is "yes"...then you are better off than a sleight of hand expert who is so droll and boring that they could make a coffee'd up Red Bull addict fall asleep!

Now, before I get massively flamed, 99.9% of the sleight of hand guys/gals I know are stand up individuals who are excellent entertainers. It's the elitist .1% that drive me bonkers.

Okay...flame away!
Mike Maturen
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mikematuren@gmail.com

AUTHOR OF "A NEW DAWN--Weekly Wisdom From Everyday Life"

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moualb
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Vlad, thanks again to spend generously your time to answer/advise. What I really like in the SACT series are the ideas you can find inside those pages. Many brilliant ideas from brillant contributors ...
captainsmiffy
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Excellent post, Vlad!
Have you tried 'Up The Ante' yet?? The ultimate gambling demo....a self-working wonder! See the reviews here on the cafe.
MagicofDesperado
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What I wanna know is if the magicians who have bought these volumes and don't use or like them, want toi sell them to me? I don't have any of these and want to make up my own mind. 1,3 and 5 sound especially interesting.

Pm me if you're looking to unload and let's keep this thread rolling!

Dave
the fritz
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In response to many people stating most of the effects require elaborate setups... reading through volume IV, the entire first two chapters are almost all impromptu as well as most of the third. That's only the first three chapters from one volume. If you buy this and miss things the first time around... hang onto it because you'll reread it later only to find things you love.
MagicofDesperado
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What I don't get about people not finding this series useful, as many state in several threads concerning this series,is that it screams a lack of creativity.

A famous quote goes something like this " If you can't fix it, feature it". In fact Lennart Green states something similar about naturalness in his Green Magic videos.

So if you can't find a justifiable reason (I.e. Presentation) to include the gems from this series its simply a lack of creativity, and secondarily an alarming lack of scripting and cleverness in regard to routine construction. You make the rules.

A good example off the top of my head would be the supposed "method" behind the so-called solution to 51 faces north left behind postumously by the aforementioned Mr James for later discovery. If memory serves me, 3 phases each setting up the next. Shouldn't your whole repetoire flow similarly?

Its one thing to have some go-to, one-off tricks for the on-the-spot situation. However, if you're performing regularly and aren't at least analysing and attempting to coalesce your tricks in such a manner, I find that people often overlook gems simply because they're unwilling to put in the work to organize such masterly flow.

I know that is my ever elusive goal at least when considering how to perform.

Great posts Vlad. I always find great insight from your contributions.

Dave
MagicofDesperado
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On another note you know what I would love given this day and age. A program that could draw similarities between tricks given their starting positions, ending positions etc.

I try to do this free hand and it can really help. People certainly do this on a regular basis but something with more energetic computing power other than my brain would probably draw distinctions I often miss.

Though that is part of the journey and adventure I suppose:)
ringmaster
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Quote:
On Jun 2, 2009, Kevinr wrote:
Well... I guess a prop can keep 15 decks in his pockets and then he can do the tricks 15 times!

that's the problem with a lot of the self working idiot proof tricks.. So to speak...

Harry Morgan did a trick using a one way deck on December Bride. He carried 52 decks so he could repeat it with any card.
Less than 2% of reported UFO's turn out to be actual interplanetary vehicles.
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