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Cameron Francis
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The Ace of Spades activates the magic.
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Knobz1
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Well, I decided to have my gf watch the video of the effect being demonstrated. I told her I wanted her to watch a magic trick and at the end I wanted to know what her thoughts were. If she liked it and why or if she didn't like it and why not. She watched the effect once and only once. I then asked her what she thought. Her exact words were: "I don't know. I thought it was confusing. There was too much going on and I can't remember if he showed all the cards in the beginning. I remember seeing an ace of spades and some jokers but it looked like he had more cards that he didn't show. I don't know. It just looked weird."

Those were her exact words. My gf prefers to be left in the dark when it comes to my magic because she loves when I blow her mind and amaze her. She knows nothing about magic.

I just wanted an honest opinion from a layperson such as my gf and I wanted to make sure I wasn't overlooking anything myself because I too thought this effect was confusing. For what its worth I mean no disrespect to John Bannon. I love his work. Just didn't care for this effect. Hope this helps some of you.
Count Lustig
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Quote:
On Nov 22, 2014, Cameron Francis wrote:
I have to admit, I am shocked at some of the reactions to this. Dazzle is a classic plot and I have seen many versions of it. As I stated before, this one is similar to the Walton/Colombini version which was my favorite. However, the problem that John solved was the ditching problem: In the Walton/Colombini version, you had to ditch each card after it was removed from the packet. It's not that I need to have all of the cards examined, but it's sooo nice to be able to remove the card from the packet and just toss it aside as opposed to put it in your pocket because you have to (those who know the Walton/Colombini version will know what I mean).

I'm just surprised that some of you aren't seeing what an elegant solution this is to the plot. It solves having to have extra cards and gaffs so well. Those of us who have played with a lot of packet tricks know that coming up with a clean version of Dazzle is a tough nut to crack. But I think John did a fantastic job of doing just that. I was so excited when I first saw this.

I think the above provides a clue as to why you're so "shocked at some of the reactions to this."

Lay people don't know that "Dazzle is a classic plot" and they haven't "seen many versions of it." When they watch this trick, they won't know that it's "similar to the Walton/Colombini version." They couldn't care less about solving "the ditching problem." And they don't perceive effects in terms of "elegant solutions" or "tough nuts to crack."

In other words, lay people don't bring to an effect all the baggage that you're carrying around in your head. They simply watch an effect without preconceptions and they either get it or they don't. They can either follow it easily or they can't. It either strikes them as impossible or it doesn't.

If you can ever ditch the magician-speak and, more importantly, the magician-think, you may be able to see this and other effects without the distorting lens of your preconceptions--in other words, a little bit more like the way laymen see magic.
tomsk192
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In any case, if it is indeed an 'elegant solution', although to me it is anything but that, I would love to know what the problem was in the first place.

Watch Alex Elmsley do his trick, script and all. That is entertainment; what I watched in this demo was fairly appalling in terms of presentation, let alone handling. That delivery would fail to entertain a convention of geography teachers. And it is utterly confusing. Why a bloody royal flush? What on earth does that add in terms of value? And the counts are awful; they make no sense whatsoever.

F-
Cameron Francis
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Quote:
On Nov 24, 2014, Count Lustig wrote:
Quote:
On Nov 22, 2014, Cameron Francis wrote:
I have to admit, I am shocked at some of the reactions to this. Dazzle is a classic plot and I have seen many versions of it. As I stated before, this one is similar to the Walton/Colombini version which was my favorite. However, the problem that John solved was the ditching problem: In the Walton/Colombini version, you had to ditch each card after it was removed from the packet. It's not that I need to have all of the cards examined, but it's sooo nice to be able to remove the card from the packet and just toss it aside as opposed to put it in your pocket because you have to (those who know the Walton/Colombini version will know what I mean).

I'm just surprised that some of you aren't seeing what an elegant solution this is to the plot. It solves having to have extra cards and gaffs so well. Those of us who have played with a lot of packet tricks know that coming up with a clean version of Dazzle is a tough nut to crack. But I think John did a fantastic job of doing just that. I was so excited when I first saw this.

I think the above provides a clue as to why you're so "shocked at some of the reactions to this."

Lay people don't know that "Dazzle is a classic plot" and they haven't "seen many versions of it." When they watch this trick, they won't know that it's "similar to the Walton/Colombini version." They couldn't care less about solving "the ditching problem." And they don't perceive effects in terms of "elegant solutions" or "tough nuts to crack."

In other words, lay people don't bring to an effect all the baggage that you're carrying around in your head. They simply watch an effect without preconceptions and they either get it or they don't. They can either follow it easily or they can't. It either strikes them as impossible or it doesn't.

If you can ever ditch the magician-speak and, more importantly, the magician-think, you may be able to see this and other effects without the distorting lens of your preconceptions--in other words, a little bit more like the way laymen see magic.



I can indeed see this from a lay person point of view. I am speaking to magicians, here, hence the "magician speak". I was simply pointing out what, in my mind, was nice about this version from the performer's point of view. Advantages from our perspective. To me, the EFFECT is the same as most other versions of the plot. Effect is what matters at the end of the day. But if we can feel more comfortable performing one version of an effect over the another, without losing impact, then we should, right? That was really my point.

But that's all I'll say about it. Obviously it suits some and doesn't suit others.
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Calvin826
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Quote:
On Nov 23, 2014, Knobz1 wrote:
Well, I decided to have my gf watch the video of the effect being demonstrated. I told her I wanted her to watch a magic trick and at the end I wanted to know what her thoughts were. If she liked it and why or if she didn't like it and why not. She watched the effect once and only once. I then asked her what she thought. Her exact words were: "I don't know. I thought it was confusing. There was too much going on and I can't remember if he showed all the cards in the beginning. I remember seeing an ace of spades and some jokers but it looked like he had more cards that he didn't show. I don't know. It just looked weird."

Those were her exact words. My gf prefers to be left in the dark when it comes to my magic because she loves when I blow her mind and amaze her. She knows nothing about magic.

I just wanted an honest opinion from a layperson such as my gf and I wanted to make sure I wasn't overlooking anything myself because I too thought this effect was confusing. For what its worth I mean no disrespect to John Bannon. I love his work. Just didn't care for this effect. Hope this helps some of you.



This is the most telling comment of the whole thread. I totally understand the need for a marketing push so retailers can remain profitable. But frankly, it disappoints me greatly to see top notch talent, whom I really admire, try to BS past the obvious truth as disclosed by Knobz1's little experiment.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but at some point it's like we are being told that 4+1=6, and it becomes insulting.
tomsk192
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Try watching this:



and then this:



Now, please tell me how the first one is in any way, shape or form a better piece of magic than the second. The cards can be examined? Ah, yes, that surely is a worthwhile reason to utterly ruin what was once a superb trick.

Let's think about each one as a piece of entertainment. The first not only seems to lack any kind of script, but we are even told that a joker will be "swapped out", which is a term I have only ever heard used by magicians. We are merely given a running commentary as to what is meant to be happening. Whereas Alex Elmsley charms his way through his original routine; the script is witty, it underscores what is happening visually, whilst gradually gathering a cumulative momentum ending with an impossible event. There are also natural cues embedded in Elmsley's script, something which is entirely lacking in 'Sizzle'.

Cameron states, "Effect is what matters at the end of the day." Is it? I don't agree. Indeed, just imagine somebody performing 'Sucker Silk to Egg' with the sort of monotonous running commentary which we are treated to in 'Sizzle'. Now go and watch Pop Haydn do it, and tell me again that "effect is what matters at the end of the day". Even if effect was the only thing that mattered, which it isn't, then again, just compare the two videos above. Elmsley gives us a very clear plot and a very clear handling, with a surprising ending which is still relevant to what has gone before; Bannon's is just a horrible mess both of handling and procedure.

And so, to sum up: the only, single, pale advantage of 'Sizzle', is that the cards can be examined. Well, 'durr', of course they can; that's what the ridiculous over-proving has been all about, the awkward and illogical handling all leads us to that point.

"Here!" says the triumphant magician, "You can look at the cards, they are all normal!"

Except everybody will have wandered off by then, and if anybody actually did stay and watch, they probably won't care anyway. Unless you are at a magic convention, in which case the so-called elegant solutions will be hummed and hawed over, ad nauseam.
charlie_d
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Thanks for posting that direct comparison, Tomsk.

I love BBM, the self working, impromptu, elmsley count, double lift and false shuffle DVDs are all absolutely excellent - I’d go as far as saying the best in the industry. And Bannon is a god. BUT… this is a significant step backwards from “Dazzle”.

Holding multiple cards as one when it’s not necessary is confusing. It leads to the obvious conclusion that we’re not seeing all the cards and - worse - endangers subsequent tricks involving doubles. The displays do not look fair. The performer is saying that something has happened, but not demonstrating that it has, which is going to be frustrating for the audience.

In the original, Elmsley casually and fairly (!) shows all of the cards on both sides. The patter is entertaining. The repetition is humorous. The finale is spectacular.

It just doesn’t need improving.
Chamberlain
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I'll preface this by saying that John Bannon has released some killer material, and I regularly perform his Spin Doctor at paid gigs (now that's a trick that gets great reactions)

Here's what I don't like about the effect:

The jokers should be black and white, the extra colours on the jokers are distracting. (minor point)

The initial display of the face down jokers has a discrepancy of the ace being sandwiched between all face down cards (0.50 in the video)

When showing the jokers changed colours, the over proving of showing each joker slows down the effect and distracts from the impact of the colour change (1.12 in the video)

Showing all the rainbow back colours with the ace isn't as strong as you've already shown the different colours and the audience are used to them (2.00 in the video)

The royal flush? would have been better as all ace of spades (2.15)

I was also thinking at the end that he'd turn over the leftover jokers to show they were all blank

End of the day it's not a bad trick, but if I'm performing for someone I'd rather use that 2 minutes and show something stronger
rmorrell
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Quote:
On Nov 24, 2014, tomsk192 wrote:
Let's think about each one as a piece of entertainment. The first not only seems to lack any kind of script, but we are even told that a joker will be "swapped out", which is a term I have only ever heard used by magicians. We are merely given a running commentary as to what is meant to be happening. Whereas Alex Elmsley charms his way through his original routine; the script is witty, it underscores what is happening visually, whilst gradually gathering a cumulative momentum ending with an impossible event. There are also natural cues embedded in Elmsley's script, something which is entirely lacking in 'Sizzle'.


The point with any magic that you do is that you come up with your own script/reason/presentation don't expect to be constantly given a pre-prepared script or reason for doing the trick, 'youtube' magicians are so used to watching a DVD and copying the performers presentation that when they don't get a pre-prepared script along with the trick they complain! This was just a video demo, not a set in stone way of doing the trick, no one is saying you have to do the trick exactly as Liam or John does?!

I have pre-ordered as I love Bannon but I also appreciate the Elmsley routine, but the fact I don't have to do the hard count and sleights required in the Elmsley routine and I am not left dirty is a huge, huge plus.

As to script/presentation just off the top of my head I can already think of ways I can present this. For example I love Bannon's idea of showing people 'behind the curtain' so I can use this as a deck switch, I put my regular deck away talk about the current craze of these different decks that are being printed, and people that collect different back designs, and all the weird backs that are coming out, and that you have a sample of them here, just the Jokers, and then do the trick, and then even better it gives you a great excuse to use an idea from Roberto Giobbi's deck switch book to use the 'different deck' deck switch to ring in a cooler, as you bring out one of these fancy new designed decks, all setup in your favourite stack... not earth shattering I agree but took me a few seconds of thought.
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inigmntoya
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Quote:
On Nov 24, 2014, tomsk192 wrote:
Try watching this:


They hardly seem like the same trick. Quite a few more color changes in the Elmsley version. The spread of _eight_ face down cards all different really drives the point home.
The only thing that seemed odd/out of place there was at the end when he says "even the faces change", which makes no sense because the faces were always jokers?
tomsk192
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The point with any magic that you do is that you come up with your own script/reason/presentation don't expect to be constantly given a pre-prepared script or reason for doing the trick, 'youtube' magicians are so used to watching a DVD and copying the performers presentation that when they don't get a pre-prepared script along with the trick they complain! This was just a video demo, not a set in stone way of doing the trick, no one is saying you have to do the trick exactly as Liam or John does?!

I have pre-ordered as I love Bannon but I also appreciate the Elmsley routine, but the fact I don't have to do the hard count and sleights required in the Elmsley routine and I am not left dirty is a huge, huge plus.

As to script/presentation just off the top of my head I can already think of ways I can present this. For example I love Bannon's idea of showing people 'behind the curtain' so I can use this as a deck switch, I put my regular deck away talk about the current craze of these different decks that are being printed, and people that collect different back designs, and all the weird backs that are coming out, and that you have a sample of them here, just the Jokers, and then do the trick, and then even better it gives you a great excuse to use an idea from Roberto Giobbi's deck switch book to use the 'different deck' deck switch to ring in a cooler, as you bring out one of these fancy new designed decks, all setup in your favourite stack... not earth shattering I agree but took me a few seconds of thought.


Why on earth provide a demo at all, then, if the idea is for everyone to make up their own presentation? And thus, if you do provide a demo, as is the case here, why do such a poor presentation? Would you put your name to such a boring, unentertaining piece?

Perhaps you failed to understand what I was driving at? By showing these two films together, you not only see the benefit of a decent, coherent script, but also a much better handling. And if the only way you can do this is by bottling out of the required sleights in favour of this inferior piece of tat, then it might be better not to bother with it at all...

It's rather patronising to assume that people want to be spoon-fed a script. But any decent routine, barring silent ones, will be scripted to begin with. The script is extremely important, although most of us will adapt a routine for ourselves; many of us come up with our own original routines, in fact. But as Whit Haydn would point out, it is worthwhile learning the routine as written, before deciding to rewrite it.
tomsk192
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Quote:
On Nov 25, 2014, inigmntoya wrote:
Quote:
On Nov 24, 2014, tomsk192 wrote:
Try watching this:


They hardly seem like the same trick. Quite a few more color changes in the Elmsley version. The spread of _eight_ face down cards all different really drives the point home.
The only thing that seemed odd/out of place there was at the end when he says "even the faces change", which makes no sense because the faces were always jokers?


You're right, it doesn't make sense! Perhaps one could say, "And now, not only do the backs change but they change from backs to faces."
rmorrell
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On Nov 25, 2014, tomsk192 wrote:
Why on earth provide a demo at all, then, if the idea is for everyone to make up their own presentation? And thus, if you do provide a demo, as is the case here, why do such a poor presentation? Would you put your name to such a boring, unentertaining piece?


Hmm maybe to show you what the trick looks like?! Kind of like reading a magic catalogue but more digital... of course the idea is that you take the trick and come up with your own presentation?!? how ever did we manage for hundreds of years with short method descriptions in books, where as a young magician you read the secret then had to spend time and effort and a little imagination to present it for yourself... ah I long for those days!

Of course it is nice to read a performers script and presentation or see someone present something on DVD but that is part of this huge problem where we have magicians that do an act that looks like a mixture of Michael Ammar, Daryl and Jay Sankey, because no body thinks about creating a presentation or script for a trick that fits their character and way of performing!

Quote:
Perhaps you failed to understand what I was driving at? By showing these two films together, you not only see the benefit of a decent, coherent script, but also a much better handling. And if the only way you can do this is by bottling out of the required sleights in favour of this inferior piece of tat, then it might be better not to bother with it at all...


No I don't think I did fail, so you are saying that I can only do Dazzle if I do the Elmsley patter? The decent coherent script could apply to the Bannon trick, the script and presentation are completely separate to the method and mechanics of the trick, just because you are buying Bannon's method and mechanics, it doesn't mean you should or are entitled to get his or anyone's script or patter, or that you can't take the Elmsley script or come up with your own!

Quote:
It's rather patronising to assume that people want to be spoon-fed a script. But any decent routine, barring silent ones, will be scripted to begin with. The script is extremely important, although most of us will adapt a routine for ourselves; many of us come up with our own original routines, in fact. But as Whit Haydn would point out, it is worthwhile learning the routine as written, before deciding to rewrite it.


Yes a decent routine, if you are buying a ready-made performance piece that heavily relies on a script, yes scripting is important but that is something you have to do for yourself, I can't be Whit Haydn, any more than you can, and yes maybe do the routine as written, but then please re-write it, this is the bit that most people never get round to doing, hence the clones... you seem to be contradicting yourself, you are complaining that the demo video doesn't give you a pre-made presentation that you can copy, but then you say you would adapt and re-write it anyway, so why not just come up with a way to present it for yourself if you like the trick.

If you can't think of a way that you can use the trick in your act that suits your character, then maybe the trick isn't for you, but don't make some sweeping statement that it is a bad trick or bad handling, just because it lacks a script or presentation that you can instantly clone.
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tomsk192
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It is a bad trick with bad handling, in my opinion. I could think up any number of ways to present it, but that would be equivalent to polishing a turd.

If you can't see why it is poor, as shown in the trailer, then I really can't help you, and we should just agree to differ.

John Bannon has produced excellent material in the past; Smoke and Mirrors and Impossibilia are both great books, which should grace any magician's shelves. This, however, is rubbish.
Liam Montier
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Hi all,

Some of the elements that people don't like from the demo were my call - I'll see if I can get another demo shot for you guys, something with a bit more presentation, and faster moving. I concentrated on showing the bare-bones of the trick, and maybe I should have given it a bit more 'BOOF'. Smile

Think I'll have to agree to disagree with you on the handling Tomsk192. Sizzle removes a dozen gaff cards, 8 half-passes (?!) and substitutes the difficult 'Everchange' count for the much simpler Ghost / Elmsley Count. Plus it leaves all the cards examinable. Rather than debate it, and bore all the readers of the thread, we'll agree to disagree Smile

Watch this space for a new demo when I get chance.

Peace Smile

Liam.
thehawk
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The demo itself is hard to follow and confusing and that is why a lot of people do not like it as a packet trick. If you want to bore somebody for a few minutes then this is the trick for you. There a lot better packet tricks out there. His Twisted Sisters was great but this one isn't.
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videoman
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When it comes to packet tricks my preference is to use 4 cards. Just makes sense to me why you would use 4, possibly 5.
When you get to 6 or 8 or more, things begin to get muddled IMO, but I don't expect everyone to agree with that.
Plus, counts start to look odd to me, why wouldn't you just spread them all out which would be what you would do if you could.

There are more than enough great ones using just 4 so I don't feel any need to go beyond that but that is not to say that I wouldn't make an exception if one came along that really knocked me over.

But again, just my own rather strange opinion about it, and I freely admit that Elmsley's is a doozy but just not for me.
rmorrell
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On Nov 25, 2014, tomsk192 wrote:
It is a bad trick with bad handling, in my opinion. I could think up any number of ways to present it, but that would be equivalent to polishing a turd.

If you can't see why it is poor, as shown in the trailer, then I really can't help you, and we should just agree to differ.

John Bannon has produced excellent material in the past; Smoke and Mirrors and Impossibilia are both great books, which should grace any magician's shelves. This, however, is rubbish.


Now who is being patronising, it is poor in your opinion, that's fine, we will just agree to differ, a sweeping this is rubbish when you haven't even got the product or tested it for real live people with your own presentation says a lot.

As to it being confusing, I think I must be watching a different trick, you show some Red Backed Jokers and an Ace and after touching a different coloured back card to the Ace the other backs change to match, you end with all the different colours, and change the faces to a Royal Flush, how hard is that to follow?!
Rich Morrell
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