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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Do 'specialist' magicians do card tricks...? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Huw Collingbourne
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...or coin tricks? or rope tricks? or...

What I'm really asking is this:

While some magicians do a bit of everything (cards, coins, escapes etc.), many others have a clear speciality such as mentalism or illusions. I assume that most specialists started out as generalists.

However, once you decide which field interests you most, how much effort should you put into keeping your skills in other areas of magic up to scratch?

As a learner, I find that most magic books cover cards and coins in greater depth than most other forms of magic.

I have to say, though, that I am not especially interested in developing a high level of skill in cards or coins (while I love seeing expert manipulators handle them, I know that I am not sufficiently enthused to put in the work needed to develop such refined skills myself).

All the same I presume that the skills I acquire with cards and coins will lay a firm foundation for other things later on. A bit brain surgeons. They have to study the rest of the body before they get loose on their chosen bit of the anatomy!

Am I right to assume this? Do the illusionists and mentalists among you, for example, still practise card tricks? Are card and coin skills really the best foundation for other types of magic? Or do magic books simply emphasise these because cards and coins happen to be small, cheap and easily obtainable...?

As always, I eagerly await your valued opinions.

best wishes all,
Huw
Ryan
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Calgary
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Although I am not an expert at this question, I can try to take a guess at some things..

Illusionists pay big bucks for their stage props, to stop their big act for some card tricks may make them feel they are devauling their performance. Likewise, a Mentalist probably wants to inforce that his powers are of the mind, this illusion would be broken when he pulls out a deck of cards and does some tricks.

I also guess that many people will answer with 'What every you enjoy learning the most, go with it.'

I've heard many times that we should learn and specilize in a few great tricks, and practice them regualary, instead of trying to learn every trick in the book. This could mean that many specilized magicians are just too busy perfecting their performances to be bothered picking up a new area.
Dan Farmer
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I think most magicians can do a little of everything, simply because if I am a mentalist (which I'm not, actually I don't know any mentalism effects) and someone says "Wow that's cool. My smelly grandpa used to pull coins out of my ears, can you do that even though you don't smell?"

You either have to act like coin tricks are beneath you or be able to do a little coin work, etc. It's nice to be multi-talented.

Jeff McBride is my favorite magician and it's amazing to me to see that despite being an incredibly talented manipulator he does some interesting close-up magic. In addition he created the Kundalini Rising gimmick that I believe David Blaine used on his first special, he has created some stage props (Floating candle or something?), and although I don't know if he created it or not Dan Harlan teaches a rubber band effect called the McBride Starweaver. So even though it would be easy to think that he is just a card manipulator he actually is pretty well rounded.

Incidently I said I don't do mentalism but when people ask me about mind reading here's what I do (Actually it's most of my friends favorite trick) I just classic force a card on them and then "divine" the card while they are still holding it. No trick shuffling or peeking, kind of stupid but they love it.

-Dan
Huw Collingbourne
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Perhaps I can expand on my original question as I'm trying to get an idea of the relative merits of being an all-rounder v. a specialist.

I'll work on the assumption that just about all skilled magicians have at least some experience with cards and coins. But, among those of you who peform specialist acts such as mentalism or big illusions, how many of you keep up your card and coin practice to a level which would, if you so wished, permit you to perform a card or coin act?

best wishes
Huw
Garrett Nelson
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That is a good assumption. I would venture to say that nearly all big time magicians can do at least a FEW card/coin tricks.

These days many people start off with cards and coins rather than general magic. And some never branch out.

But a well rounded magi is never a bad thing to be Smile Smile Smile
Paul
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For a hobbyist it doesn't matter.
For a professional it pays to be more versatile as it gives you more opportunities to put food on the table.

There are more books on cards because the people that buy most are hobbyists. And because of the lack of need for "extra props" with cards it seems a logical area to concentrate on.

I think you will find there are few professionals who do not have more than one arrow to their bow.

Paul.
magiciandude
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Well I like your theory and it is quite precise. Mentalists like Max Maven you dont see do card coin rope tricks ect. but on the other hand there are famous generalists like Houdini who used to generalized until he began to study escapes. But im sure people stop Max on the street and ask him to do a trick. And maybe the man can do some card and coin tricks.

Hope my words were of help!
Lance R. Wilson
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Magic is the psychology of the audience.
-Lance Wilson
tglund
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Broomfield, CO, USA
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Quote:
On 2002-07-07 13:43, Paul wrote:
For a hobbyist it doesn't matter.
For a professional it pays to be more versatile as it gives you more opportunities to put food on the table.


I believe Paul has hit it on the head. By knowing some effects in several brances of magic, cards, coins, rope, silk, etc.. You have not limited yourself as to the type of bookings you may get. A mentalist may or may not be exactly what someone is looking for to entertain at a corporate function. By having varied expertice you may still be able to land the job. If you are only a mentalist and they are looking for something else then your out of luck and out of a paying job.

Now I am only a hobbiest so I am not talking from a professional perspective, so you can decide for yourself the value of my thoughts.

Hopefully they have provided something useful. Smile
p.b.jones
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Mentalists like Max Maven you dont see do card coin rope tricks ect

Actually Max does do card tricks look at his book "Focus"
Phillip
Michael J. Douglas
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I think you should try a bit of everything. Then, you can decide on what fits you and your performing style and situations.
Michael J.
�Believe then, if you please, that I can do strange things.� --from Shakespeare�s �As You Like It�
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