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Lance Pierce
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Wow, I just printed up and read this entire thread -- all 21 pages of it. Very interesting.

To Matt and Steven Youell, who discuss Vernon's advice to "Be Natural" and what it might mean:

There's really little need to debate what Vernon meant when he said this, because he clearly explained what he meant through Lewis Ganson in THE DAI VERNON BOOK OF MAGIC. Chapter Two is called "The Vernon Touch," and therein Vernon discusses his core philosophy and approach to magic, including a fairly lengthy passage on "Be Natural" and just what that entails. As it happens, Matt pretty much nailed it. To anyone else who might be interested, this chapter may be one of the most important essays on magic written either before or since.

Addressing the thread in general, it seems that almost all the comments here work from a fairly common assumption that has so far gone pretty much unspoken: What we do tells the audience things.

To flourish or not to flourish? To do your doubles one- or two-handed? To do fancy cuts and fans or not? Here's the real question at its base level: What do we want to tell our audience by what we do? When we know what message we want to convey, then all those other questions are immediately answered (and asking what message we want to convey runs close and parallel to the approach suggested by Steven Youell when he proposed letting our character determine the sleights we use).

However…one must also keep in mind that deciding on the message you want to give is only part of the equation. To be ultimately successful in performance, it needs to also be a message that the audience enjoys receiving -- and this is where the rubber meets that long and gravelly road.

From what I've been able to garner, audiences generally receive performances imbued with flourishes as novelty, whereas other performances with a more palatable mix of flourishes and non-overt actions (or even no flourishes at all) tend to leave a much deeper and longer-lasting impression. In a world of people who paradoxically crave novelty, novelty is always fleeting in its effect. Much rarer and more significant are entertainments that linger.

As we uncovered in another thread here, a flourish is an ornamentation, designed to accent or embellish (that's pretty much the standard dictionary definition). In any performance art, then, a flourish may have a place. When such actions (even one-handed turnovers of cards) begin to be predominant, however, what you have is ornamentation taking precedence over substance…and that's generally not the best situation.

There's obviously never going to be a clear line between how much is enough and how much is too much. Instead, we just have fuzzy zones…which leaves us where we started, with everyone having to define his or her own path.

Cheers,



Lance
Steven Youell
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Quote:
On 2003-07-09 16:09, Lance Pierce wrote:
To Matt and Steven Youell, who discuss Vernon's advice to "Be Natural" and what it might mean:


Hello Lance!

For the record, I've never (on this board)
stated what I though Vernon meant when he
used that phrase. I just disagreed with
Matt.

Steven Youell
Lance Pierce
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Hi, back, Steven!

You're correct, of course. Sorry for fostering any misimpression...

Cheers!


Lance
ASW
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Quote:
On 2003-07-09 10:06, syouell wrote:
Quote:
On 2003-07-09 04:19, George Devol wrote:
Is it? I disagree (see above).


Andrew,

I don't think we disagree on much. But it is
possible that I did not make myself clear.

When I said "Yes! That's it EXACTLY!" I did
not mean to imply that what I was referring
to was an absolute-- an absolute with no exceptions.

Certainly there will be performers and
situation in which a one handed DL would
be considered natural.

However the vast majority of the time I
see such things performed, it draws
unnecessary attention to an action that
should have no focus whatsoever.

Furthermore, the vast majority of times
I've seen and spoken with people who use
such things, their motivation was NOT to
be natural it was to "look cool".

Finally, I believe that we might have this
backwards. Too many performers and letting
the sleights they love determine their character
rather than letting their
character determine which sleights they'll use.

Steven Youell


Hi Steven,

Thanks for the clarification. I'm also opposed to the absolutist trend amongst magicians (usually accompanied by rampant sycophancy!) which is why I posted my long message above.

Lance - let me clarify: I don't use the one-handed double lift as a flourish. If I did I would learn one of those Xtreme lifts published by one of the angry young men of magic - like tossing it over my shoulder and catching it. The lift I use looks exactly the way it would look if you knew your way around a pack of cards and needed to flip a card over one handed. (You should know this - I learned it from your book...)

Having said that, I have nothing against flourishes if they suit your character.

Cheers
Andrew

Quote:
On 2003-07-09 08:12, 10cardsdown wrote:
EVERYONE seems to have missed my quote from Roger Klause and no one has commented on it.

FOOL THEIR MIND, NOT THEIR EYE. I'll say it once again. FOOL THEIR MIND, NOT THEIR EYE.

If you use this thought as a springboard to the construction and performance of an effect, I think you will automatically know where you stand on using flourishes or flourishy sleights.

But remember . . . FOOL THEIR MIND, NOT THEIR EYE! Smile


The one handed double lift I use belongs to Roger Klause. How ironic!

Smile
Whenever I find myself gripping anything too tightly I just ask myself "How would Guy Hollingworth hold this?"

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"I would respect VIPs if they respect history."

Hideo Kato
Steven Youell
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Quote:
On 2003-07-09 18:16, George Devol wrote:
The one handed double lift I use belongs to Roger Klause. How ironic!


Ironic...? How?

Steven Youell
John Fitzgerald
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syouell,

"Fool the mind, not the eye." - Roger Klause.

That's why.

However, I'm not entirely sure, I'm just going on what I've heard (which probably isn't a good thing).

Take care,

John.
Lance Pierce
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Quote:
(You should know this - I learned it from your book...)


Hi, Andrew,

You don't think I've actually read the thing, do you?!

Smile


L-
mack10
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My goodness gracious. I'm happy we all don't believe the same things, or I wouldn't get any work. Smile
10cardsdown
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George Devol,

Roger's double is NOT a one handed double lift. It is only a one handed start to get the double in position for the "turnover". The debate is the "turnover" itself. One handed or two handed?

So in answer to your reply, there is no irony because it is a two handed turnover. The irony in all of this is that several have seemed to miss this.

There are two parts to the double turnover. First, is the get ready or "work" to get the double or two cards. Second, is the turnover itself. I thought this thread focused on the "turning over" of the two cards and how it would be done naturally. Smile
jacksorbetter
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who says you have to turn over a card to show the face?
Glenn Godsey
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Quote:
On 2003-07-10 01:40, 10cardsdown wrote:

Roger's double is NOT a one handed double lift. It is only a one handed start to get the double in position for the "turnover". The debate is the "turnover" itself. One handed or two handed?


Hi Mark! I recall a couple of decades ago that I showed Roger a one-handed double turnover that I think came from an early Marlo booklet. Roger then showed me a one-handed turnover version of his "soft double". So, at least at that time, he was doing the entire thing with one hand.
ASW
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Steven - it's ironic because the inference was that if you follow Roger's advice you will know when not to use "flourishy" sleights like, for example, the one-handed double lift. The irony being that Roger Klause has published a beautiful (natural!) handling for the one-handed double. (Do I have to say again that I don't agree that Roger's sleight is flourishy in the right context?)

10 Cards Down: Unless I'm losing my mind, I recall that the sleight was described both as a get ready for a two-handed turnover and for a one-handed turnover. I don't have a copy of the book here, but I can get it out of storage to confirm - or Lance can comment. When I showed this move to Roger at the A1 convention with the comment, "This is the one hand double lift from your book, am I doing it correctly?", he didn't correct me regarding the book reference.

Besides, I thought the debate regarded whether it was okay to use one hand to accomplish both the break and the turnover. (Thanks for explaining the several phases of doing a double lift!)

Best
Andrew
Whenever I find myself gripping anything too tightly I just ask myself "How would Guy Hollingworth hold this?"

A magician on the Genii Forum

"I would respect VIPs if they respect history."

Hideo Kato
Paul Sherman
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Quote:
On 2003-07-10 04:08, George Devol wrote:
10 Cards Down: Unless I'm losing my mind, I recall that the sleight was described both as a get ready for a two-handed turnover and for a one-handed turnover. I don't have a copy of the book here, but I can get it out of storage to confirm - or Lance can comment.


On page 111 of "In Concert":

"Needless to say, once the double is pushed off the side of the deck, the turnover can be performed one-handed"..."Regardless of whether you perform this one or two-handed, it is a graceful and elegant lift, yet looks innocent and above suspicion."

So no, Andrew, you're not losing your mind...yet. Smile

Paul
"The finished card expert considers nothing too trivial that in any way contributes to his success..." Erdnase



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ASW
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Phew, thanks for that.
Whenever I find myself gripping anything too tightly I just ask myself "How would Guy Hollingworth hold this?"

A magician on the Genii Forum

"I would respect VIPs if they respect history."

Hideo Kato
bumbleface
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One-handed or two-handed?

As long as it looks like a single card, does it really make a difference. But remember, if you deal one-handed doubles you must deal one-handed singles. That's my shtick! Smile
Lance Pierce
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Quote:
On 2003-07-10 05:26, psherman wrote:

On page 111 of "In Concert":

"Needless to say, once the double is pushed off the side of the deck, the turnover can be performed one-handed"..."Regardless of whether you perform this one or two-handed, it is a graceful and elegant lift, yet looks innocent and above suspicion."

So no, Andrew, you're not losing your mind...yet. Smile

Paul


Thanks for taking the trouble to do that, Paul.

Beside the quotes that Paul offered, there's a written description of the one-handed technique as well.

It may be interesting to note, though, that while Roger has the technique for the one-handed Soft Double, I'm not aware of any time he uses it in performance. In fact, now that I think back, I can't recall a time when I've ever seen him use -- in performance -- anything the least bit flashy or indicative of great skill (which in this context is not to be confused with great expertise, a quality he exhibits in abundance). His skill, which is not in the least bit inconsiderable, seems always hidden, and I think this is part of the reason he fools magicians as well as laypeople as frequently as he does -- even when he's performing what appear to be the simplest of effects.

Cheers,


Lance
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On 2003-07-08 08:48, BryanDreyfus wrote:
I've said it before..i'll say it again....

Fancy handling of the deck is entertainment...in the same way a juggler entertains but it isn't magic.

The reason for this is that the fancy handling of the cards gives the spectator a possible solution, ie: "I don't know what he did but with the way he handles those cards he did something". The end result is attributable to the skill of the performer, like juggling.

Magic has to be unfathomable....you have to leave no idea as to how it could have happend. We do this by stopping any reverse engineering by doing things unseen and unsuspected....so when the spectatoor tries to go back and figure it out all thought lines end at "No he didn't do that". The end result will be that it must be magic because he does everything just like everyone else.

Cards are turned all the time in the real world...find out how by watching. A push off may be the most often used..but then the way it is turned is important...lay people don't do it with one hand or make it do a full gainer with a half twist..they just show it with no fanfare.

If one wants to reduce his "magical" performance to a juggling act I have no problem with it...it's a personal choice but don't be deluded into thinking it will perceived as magic.

Maybe nothng we do will be considered "Magic" but we can leave em with a mystery without any clues, workin on the night moves....oops this is not lyricks r us....lol

well that's my 26 1/2 cents worth,

Bryan


I agree.

BTW I have a routine where a one handed DL would be good. I have a put an indifferent card in my wallet whilst leaving the REAL card on the top of the deck. However, the nature of the wallet means I can not put it down on the table. So I only have hand.
wsduncan
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Quote:
On 2003-07-09 08:12, 10cardsdown wrote:
FOOL THEIR MIND, NOT THEIR EYE. I'll say it once again. FOOL THEIR MIND, NOT THEIR EYE.
But remember . . . FOOL THEIR MIND, NOT THEIR EYE!


Well since you're YELLING about it I will respond. I don't agree and I think you may be giving the statement more power than Mr. Klause intended.

You use their eyes to fool their minds. If you don't you're doing mentalism.

I have video of Mr. Klause explaining in great detail how he uses their eyes to decieve their minds in a VERY in depth explaination of his $100 bill change. The nuances of grip and finger position are entirely about fooling the mind by creating a perfect visual simulation. If he were just fooling the mind he'd simply misdirect attention at the moment of the switch making psychologically invisible.

While all deception occurs in the mind, the mind collects information from the eyes and ears. If you can fool either of those sense organs you'll have more going for you than if you work on their analytical processes alone.

my 2 cents...
bill
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Quote:
On 2003-07-12 02:24, wsduncan wrote:
Quote:
On 2003-07-09 08:12, 10cardsdown wrote:
FOOL THEIR MIND, NOT THEIR EYE. I'll say it once again. FOOL THEIR MIND, NOT THEIR EYE.
But remember . . . FOOL THEIR MIND, NOT THEIR EYE!


Well since you're YELLING about it I will respond. I don't agree and I think you may be giving the statement more power than Mr. Klause intended.

You use their eyes to fool their minds....

bill


Contemporary science (and ancient Buddhism) has proven that perception is an entirely cognitive, mental process. So, there is no difference between fooling the eye or fooling the mind. Likewise, there is no difference between fooling the ear, the nose, the touch, etc. and fooling the mind.

Best regards,
Glenn Godsey
wsduncan
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Quote:
On 2003-07-12 14:36, Glenn Godsey wrote:
Contemporary science (and ancient Buddhism) has proven that perception is an entirely cognitive, mental process.

So, there is no difference between fooling the eye or fooling the mind.

Assuming your first point is true I’m not sure that your second point can be based on it. While it may be true that there is no difference between being fooled by your eyes or by your mind's assessment of what it sees there is a dramatic and provable difference in how it comes about and our discussion is of what spectators see. Blind men are not deceived by retention vanishes after all…

Coin magic provides a great example:
A retention vanish fools the eye while a Spider vanish fools the mind. In one the deception is based on what is seen (the coin actually appears to be where it is not) while in the other the audience consciously chooses to disbelieve what it sees and is thus deceived by their mind and not by their eyes.

Now consider the family dog. If you “put” a biscuit in your hand with retention vanish you’d fool him. But if you used a Spider vanish you wouldn’t because he’s just not wired to use his mind in that way.

So it follows that the methods (notice I didn’t say techniques) we use to fool them do make a difference to how their perceptions are created. What works for one audience, or in one trick, isn’t necessarily the “right answer” for all audiences or tricks.

Cheers
Bill
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