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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » All in the cards » » Ratio of self-workers to workers (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Terrible Wizard
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Hi Folks,

just a question for the sake of general discussion and interest:

Aprox, what are people's ratios of self-workers to non-self-workers in their card work/sets?

Say, for example, you were going to perform ten card of your favourite go-to effects. How many of those ten would be self-workers (not counting f**se shuffles)?

For myself, I reckon about five, maybe six, would be pretty much self-working.
Atom3339
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TW, Starting out, a majority of my effects were self workers. After getting better with SOH, the ratio changed; probably around 25% are self workers now. Of course it depends on the sets I want to perform. And the cards, especially if borrowed from a Spectator. Condition of cards determines my choices quite a bit.
TH

Occupy Your Dream
alicauchy
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I agree with Atom3339.

As time goes by, I tend to indulge with SOH effects (note that I do not perform professionally). Anyway, there are lots of killing self-workers out there to be used now and then. 33% is ok for me.
So much to do, so little time . . .
JBSmith1978
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100%SOH:0%SW

Cutting The Aces/Spectator(s) Cut The Aces Hybrid
Out Of This World variation
No Question Out Of Sight Out Of Mind
Universal Card
Spell It Out variation
Jazzed Homing Card
Stop Trick
Matching The Cards
Repeat Isolated Sandwich
Matching The Cards/The Sympathetic Numbers Hybrid
Mnemonicosis
Four Burglars
Ambigram Unshuffled

Best,
Jed
Terrible Wizard
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Do you do only SOH tricks for personal satisfaction, or because you find that they net you stronger reactions, JB?
JBSmith1978
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Quote:
On Oct 17, 2014, Terrible Wizard wrote:
Do you do only SOH tricks for personal satisfaction, or because you find that they net you stronger reactions, JB?


Honestly I don't see it as SOH vs. SW.

There are absolutely fantastic self workers out there.

Let me add that if I only used borrowed and/or unkempt
cards, my repertoire would absolutely change.
zoescout
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Personally, I like both. I would say I am close to 50/50. I think it provides balance to my card routines and I enjoy doing both.
lcwright1964
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Where do you draw the line between your categories? There are plenty of self-workers that can be made better by, and often require, at least some minor manipulation. For example, I consider any stack trick (partial of full) as needing at least some false shuffling and cutting. I consider that SOH. Simon Aronson's books are full of such effects, and there isn't a single trick in Scarne on Card Tricks and the Fulves books that can't be made even better by some very basic covert manipulation.
Thorn
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I would perform about 2-3 self working tricks out of 10 for my card set which would include some sort of stack deck. As lcswright1964 mentioned previous all self workers can be made way better with some SOH. I perform non-self workers to allow me to pratice SOH and misdirection. On the other hand, self-working allows me the opportunity to work on my patter, audience management, and audience interaction.
Terrible Wizard
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I agree that the line is very blurry between SOH, semi-automatic and self-working. As per the OP, though, I don't include shuffles as part of the effect per se, more of a preamble or convincer to the effect itself. Thus when I talk of self-workers, I'm thinking in terms of those effects where the effect itself is achieved without SOH (or with a minimal amount of very easy manipulation).

So, OOTW - even with the wonderful addition of shuffles - is a self-worker, as is FTT or Overkill.
But Triumph, Twisting the Aces, and even a simple card revelation that involves a manipulation control are not.

There are, of course, still blurry lines here.
JoeHohman
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Hey, TW -- not to rain on your original post, but if I am going to be performing ten effects (and being primarily a walk-around kind of guy, my limit is usually four to five)then maybe four would be cards -- I think most audiences would be bored out of their minds (and I am the most charming, engaging guy I know) if I did ten card tricks in a row.

Always leave people wanting more. I know the Michael Ammar and Bill Malone videos make it look like a world where an audience is happy to be there to see ten different card tricks in a row -- but that's the L&L world, not the real world.

But to answer your question, probably two to three would be sleight of hand, and one or two would be self-working. And as you already pointed out, I would probably indulge in a little convincing false shuffle or cut in the self-worker as well.
Terrible Wizard
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No worries Jo, the ten tricks was just to make percentages easy, not because I think almost people will do ten card tricks in a row Smile
FatherWilliam57
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I have a fairly even split between self-working and g****d. Then again, I am rather new at this, SOH is not one of my current talents.
The Rev. William B. Henry, Jr.
"If this be magic, let it be an art..." - Leontes
(Winter's Tale, Act 5, Scene 3)
JoeHohman
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Hey, Father William, if you are new to card magic and are still building up your sleights, I heartily encourage you to read the book by John Scarne mentioned in the next topic or two. That book will have a number of tricks that, if well-presented, will make people THINK you have mad sleight of hand skills. Or that you've made a serious deal with the, well, with the man upstairs, in your case...

Seriously, though, there is a trick by Francis Carlyle near the front of the book that I still do to this day; can be done with a borrowed deck, though you will need to perform a quick underhanded set-up while people are distracted; requires good acting but no sleight of hand.

There is also a four ace trick in there (near the front again -- not sure who originated -- everyone should have at least one four ace trick in their arsenal, it kind of goes with the territory) that I also still do.
FatherWilliam57
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Thanks for the heads up, Joe. Immediately went to Flea Bay and got one (hardback) for less than $4.00. Can't wait to dig into it...
The Rev. William B. Henry, Jr.
"If this be magic, let it be an art..." - Leontes
(Winter's Tale, Act 5, Scene 3)
Vlad_77
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It's good to read that more people are waking up to the fact that sleight of hand is not the be all and end all to card magic. Effect is what is important and the method that maximizes the impact of effect is the only consideration that is important to me. The audience should not be able to discern method. If it can, I need to get out of the magic biz. That said, I don't worry about ratios. I perform magic that requires significant sleight of hand and magic that requires none. There is no privileging of method except when speaking of maximizing effect. This was Theo. Anneman's mantra and it's worked for me so I won't argue with this master.

Bro. John Hamman, S.M. had some very interesting things to say about sleight of hand - what he called finger flinging. He stated that magicians tend to forget that magic happens in the minds of our spectators. Bro. John was no slouch when it cam to sleight of hand yet he understood that sleights are not the magic, the effect is. Name virtually any hardcore cardician and I'll wager that I can cite a semi-automatic trick that she/he created. Some that immediately come to mind are Impossible by Larry Jennings, The Moving Pencil by Harry Lorayne, Zen Master by Darwin Ortiz, Prior Commitment by Simon Aronson, and many more. Even the recently departed Ernest Earick included a semi-automatic trick in his extremely difficult book titled By Forces Unseen.

Vernon's Emotional Reaction can shatter audiences and Marlo published some semi-automatic beauties.

Father William, you will have great fun with the Scarne book and anything Joe Hohman recommends is pure gold. If I may suggest a few more resources Father, I would urge you to look into works by Aldo Colombini, Nick Trost, Steve Beam, and Stewart James. Of these I would like to focus on Stewart James as I feel this master receives too little "love" in magic. James did do sleight of hand contrary to popular belief but, he stated that he found many sleights quite useless. He stated in a letter to UK magician Francis Haxton that he would employ more sleight of hand if he found more sleights that were useful. Stewart James created some of the most profoundly powerful magic ever unleashed on the art and his name deserves to mentioned in the same breath as Vernon and Marlo. Many of James' effects are classics and have graced the repertoires of many great magicians. That said, many younger newcomers to the art have little to know knowledge of James beyond Miraskil. That is a pity as so much of Stewart James' magic is important and holds up to virtually anything published today. Superb magicians like Max Maven, Rick Johnsson, Ed Marlo, Steve Beam, Ken Weber, Harry Lorayne, Bob Farmer, and MANY more have touted the sheer excellence and even transcendence of James' methodologies.

Best,
Vlad

PS: Welcome to The Café Father! Sometimes it gets a bit insane but it's worth it. There are a LOT of great folks on here and I for one hope to see more posts from you and that you will stay with us a long time!
Terrible Wizard
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Another great post, vlad Smile
RogerTheShrubber
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Quote:
On Nov 5, 2014, FatherWilliam57 wrote:
Thanks for the heads up, Joe. Immediately went to Flea Bay and got one (hardback) for less than $4.00. Can't wait to dig into it...


Father William, if you're willing to put a good amount of practice into it, "Hands Off Miracle" will give you amazing results. It takes a lot of practice to figure out how much of what you need (you'll see what I mean) works best and then to consistently make it happen, but once you have this one down you'll just love the trick. Bear in mind that it really pays to practice it even when you're not performing it.

Also, I've had the best reactions from kids (out of any trick I've ever done in front of them) from "Automatic Pencil Writing," but I use a different method to arrive at a card than the one in the book, which I believe involves excessive dealing.

Should you ever find yourself performing in front of people who have had a few too many drinks, use "Love Birds" on them. I know this advice sounds condescending to the intoxicated, and I truly don't mean to sound this way, it's just that I've used this trick on such spectators for years and it never ceases to amaze me how well it works on them.

Lastly, the Carlyle trick recommended eariler in this thread by Joe Hohman is called "The Upside Down Deck." I believe it's the third or fourth trick in the book. I believe the four ace trick he mentions is the one right after Carlyle's trick, it's a four-ace trick favored by Charles Nagle.

Good luck.
Pepsi Twist
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I've spent 4 years just practicing card sleights, but now every card trick I do is self working! Regardless of methods or skill, I find hands-off stuff to be a lot more conducive to how I want my magic to come across.
Theodore Lawton
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To the OP- great question. Not counting false shuffles?

I recently did a card magic set at a house party that featured about 18 cards tricks interspersed with other close up magic effects. About 1/2 the evening was a close up set with various props and then the second half was a card set.

Here's all the card magic I did that night:

Color Monte
Virginia City Shuffle
Contact Colors by Aldo Colombini
Jumbo Coincidence by Aldo Colombini
Hat Trick from CC vol 1
Gambler's Luck By Harry Lorayne- this and Hat Trick done together formed the intro to the "card set" portion of the evening as a demo of "skill."
Twisting the Aces
Dr Daley's Last Trick
Really! By Harry Lorayne
Name Any Card! - the gag where if you hit it you're awesome and if you miss it's funny
The Piano Trick from RRTCM
I Should Have Done It Myself as performed by Bill Malone
Rise and Swap from CC vol 1? I think?
Gemini Twins
3 Card Prediction- I don't know the name of this but I follow Gemini Twins with spectators choose 3 and I choose 3 predictions and they all match.
The intro trick Aaron Fisher does for Search and Destroy with 2 jokers "finding" the card which in my notes I call Jokers Find. Smile
Search and Destroy by Aaron fisher
ACR to Wallet.

So let's see... I'll break it into 2 groups and I'll consider cutting a form of a false shuffle.

Tricks with sleights no matter how minimal:
Color Monte
Twisting the Aces
Dr Daley's Last Trick
Rise and Swap
ACR to Wallet

So that's 5

Wow, this is an interesting thread. I didn't realize how "sleight free" my set was.

Tricks that rely on false shuffles/cuts or are self working:
Virginia City Shuffle- I consider the move a type of f.s.
Contact Colors
Jumbo Coincidence
Hat Trick
Gambler's Luck
Really!
Name any Card!
The Piano Trick
I Should Have Done It Myself
Gemini Twins
3 Card Prediction
Joker's Find
Search and Destroy

And that's 13

So out of 18 card effects that evening, 27% required some kind of actual sleight while 72% did not- weird math. Let's call it 70/30.

This was a close up show at a birthday party in a family dining room. 14 of these tricks were performed in a row. The first 4 on the list were interspersed into the beginning part of the show with other props. I don't understand it when people say you shouldn't do too many card tricks in a row. I mean, I do understand it, but it can be done in the proper setting. I informed my audience of how the show would be broken down from the beginning so they could know what to expect. That way, with a card portion following the first half I figured if people got sick of the card tricks I could cut it short or they could politely excuse themselves for a drink or something. They ate it up. They loved it- the whole show. I did 90 minutes for these people and no one even got up to use the restroom or get a drink. They were actually bummed when it ended. Thank God for such a wonderful night! They were so blessed and the man whose birthday it was was actually an amateur magician. He loved it!

So thanks for starting this thread T.W.- it's been a cool learning experience for me!


Smile
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