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j.morl
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Hi All,
I am looking for some simple self working tricks.
I have one which is Tenyo’s Crystal Cleaver and am looking for other options that are as simple to do. What would be your top 5???
Signet
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Nickles to dimes is a great one. It can be combined with dynamic coins for a great routine. These are pretty much self working. If you're interested in cards, John Bannon's "Move Zero." Series.
Wizard of Oz
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Hi j.morl!

Can you give us more background regarding your reason for this question and what your ultimate goal is? Also, what kind of magic you are interested in?

I ask because this is a very broad question, as there are so-called "self-working tricks" in many areas of magic. And a lot of members here may be hesitant to list them because even though they may be easier to present than a routine requiring weeks and months of sleight of hand mastery, they may be just as powerful. Due to the simplicity of their method however, they are more often than not, performed poorly.

In the right performer's hands, with the right set up and presentation, even a self-worker like Tenyo's Crystal Cleaver (my favorite Tenyo prop by a long shot) can be seen as a miracle verses a simple puzzle, or trick. I hope I'm not sounding preachy or patronizing, I would just like more background regarding the nature of the question.
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
j.morl
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Hi Wizard if Oz, thank you for taking time to reply.
I have been interested in Magic for many years and from time to time have bought tricks I have seen preformed online or in Magic shops without realising the skill needed to preform them. Ultimately this has led to them ending up in a draw and never being seen again.
My daughter is now at an age where she loves to see Magic and will ask me to do something for her or indeed teach her a trick. This had led to a renewed interest for me and I have decided to begin with I would look for “self working effects” that allow me to concentrate on the “performance” which in turn I hope will improve both my confidence and how the trick looks to my daughter and other friends. I have purchased Dynamic Coins on Signets advice and am currently practicing that in secret getting it ready to show my daughter!
Dick Oslund
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Hello "j"! We meet again! Pay close attention to what Wizard said! There's a lot of wisdom in those three paragraphs!

Here are a few more "thoughts", that, if you listen, will help you to understand a bit more about "magic", not just "tricks":

"Those who think that magic consists of doing tricks, are strangers to magic. Tricks are only the crude residue from which the lifeblood of magic has been drained." (--S. H. Sharpe) Mr. Sharpe was not the world's greatest PERformer of magic! --BUT, he certainly understood magic.

Let's define a few terms! "MAGIC" only "happens" in the MIND(S) of the spectator(s).

You mention "...have bought TRICKS..." You cannot BUY a TRICK! (TRICKS only exist while they are being PERformed!) You can buy a PROP, or a SECRET, which can be used to PERform a TRICK! If you PERform the TRICK well, with a pleasing PRESENTATION, you will probably ENTERTAIN someone. --and, THAT is what a magician should DO! (Otherwise, as Sharpe says, he is just "doing TRICKS"!!! (Trained dogs do TRICKS!)

Here is the "thing"::: MAGIC IS NOT INHERENTLY ENTERTAINING!!!!! The PERFORMER'S "TASK", IS TO MAKE THE PERFORMANCE OF THE TRICK, E N T E R T A I N I N G!!!

My dear friend, the late Jay Marshall, and I, were discussing "how to add a new trick to one's PERformance." Jay, whose wisdom, I greatly respect, said "it" this way:

"There are three things necessary!

1. Learn how the trick is DONE.

2. Learn how to DO it.

3. Learn how to DO it, so that it ENTERTAINS people!!!

That is "enough" for one day. Here's a "final" thought:l No one can TEACH you anything. We can only HELP YOU LEARN! (Learning is an active process! Sophocles said "it", a few millenia ago: "One learns by DOING THE THING!"
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
carlyle
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A T**** T** comes to mind, if you don't already use one. Obviously not exactly "self-working, but a vanish or production would be easy enough to practice and work out.

Not having much experience with self-working gimmicks, I'll echo the idea of learning some effective card tricks that aren't too hard to perform well, if you'd like to do some card tricks, too. Big Blind Media has a few dvd's with some nice self-working/easy tricks. One of my favorite books is "The Card Magic of Nick Trost" - a number of the tricks are quite striking and fairly easy to do. Some will take a little practice (like doing an E***** C****), but nothing too demanding. Might not be exactly what you're looking for, but there's lots of good card magic that's not too hard.

That said, I do like "The Incredible Shrinking Deck" from Magic Makers. I suppose it's not exactly self-working either, but a few hours practice spread over a week or two and it seems like a mini-illusion right in front of you. There is a self-working version using the deck, I think, but the routine given is great fun.
j.morl
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Hi Carlyle, thank you for your response.
I have learned a couple of card tricks that I find easy to do and although simple have a great response from my daughter and her friends. I have an excellent rising card by Rob Bromley and a simple stripper deck. I will look into the incredible shrinking deck you mention.
Thanks again
James
Wizard of Oz
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J.morl,
Thank you for the details. I adore that you are teaching your daughter magic. I bet she will always remember learning magic from her dad!

There are some wonderful inexpensive books by Karl Fulves that are chock full of easy, practically self-working magic http://www.penguinmagic.com/s/self+working - one of my favorite all time card effects is in his card book.

I used to show my son some of the easy-to-learn props like a ball vase, magic coloring book, cups and balls (basic penetration routine that comes with the plastic set), drawer box, and Svengali deck...then taught him how to perform them. But if he didn't practice first...with patter and presentation...he wouldn't be aloud to perform them for anyone. And he never did perform them as he wasn't willing to put in the work, but he never broke the code by telling his friends the secrets (at least so he said), and he enjoyed fooling himself.

But again I stress, all of the props I mentioned have been used by professionals who have amazed their audiences because they transformed an ordinary prop into extraordinary magic. Here's Bill Malone slaying his spectators with a set of cheap cups and balls. Enjoy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0wAfdddMGw
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
j.morl
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Hi Wizard of Oz, I will definitely check out the books you mention.
Please know that I am in complete agreement with you, that is the reason why I asked the initial question as my take on it is if to begin with I can just concentrate on performance and let the gimmick do the hard work that many of you spend lifetimes mastering then that has to be a good place to start. Don’t get me wrong as my “showmanship” improves I hope to also improve my handling ability and learn the craft to the best of my ability.
Thank you again for your input
Regards
James
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I'm not really sure what you mean by a 'self working' effect. However, my top five (not in any particular order) simple to perform effects with no sleight of hand more complex than a double lift are as follows:

Sign of Satan
Death's Cold Kiss
Name in the Flame
Devil in Mind
Pendulum Plus

All are technically simple to perform so that you can concentrate on the MOST important part of any 'trick' - the presentation. Remember that the method (including sleight of hand) is totally irrelevant to the audience that you are entertaining. The method is mostly only of interest to other magicians.

I performed my Black Magic Theatre Show at The Magic Circle in London, it went down very well indeed and also 'fooled' (most of) them. This was because the presentations absorbed their attention, as a good presentation is the best misdirection there is.

Keith Hart
Black Artefacts, manufacturer and dealer of weird, bizarre and psychic magic: www.blackhart.co.uk
Terrible Wizard
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Non-cards (self working, or at least pretty easy):
Crazy compass
Spot paddles

Cards:
B'wave
Gemini Twins
Pre-Prefiguration
JenesComedyMagic
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Bogbadger
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Marty Martini's rising card deck is both self working and a complete jaw dropper when well presented. And it's ridiculously still priced at $25 dollars. I have two and still giggle out loud when I practice with them. And they're guaranteed for life.
The average man is not hard to mystify. - Howard Thurston
Bogbadger
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And Black Harts effects are an absolute must if bizarre is your favoured path. I'm just about to purchase another one.
The average man is not hard to mystify. - Howard Thurston
Bogbadger
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And I just did! Death's Cold Kiss is on the way!
The average man is not hard to mystify. - Howard Thurston
Bogbadger
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Unfortunately the over zealous swear bots won’t let me tell you the name of my current favourite self working Tarot trick by Black Hart because it’s called ***ation (see they did it again) which is dam + nation put together, it’s a great effect with a brilliant story and a kicker ending, and like all Black Hart’s effects it’s ridiculously cheap.
The average man is not hard to mystify. - Howard Thurston
Black Hart
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"...and like all Black Hart's effects, it's ridiculously cheap!."

I prefer to call it good value! Smile

Keith Hart
Black Artefacts, manufacturer and dealer of weird, bizarre and psychic magic: www.blackhart.co.uk
Bogbadger
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Sorry Keith! I'll go for extremely good value instead Smile
The average man is not hard to mystify. - Howard Thurston
Dick Oslund
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Quote:
On Mar 14, 2018, Dick Oslund wrote:
Hello "j"! We meet again! Pay close attention to what Wizard said! There's a lot of wisdom in those three paragraphs!

Here are a few more "thoughts", that, if you listen, will help you to understand a bit more about "magic", not just "tricks":

"Those who think that magic consists of doing tricks, are strangers to magic. Tricks are only the crude residue from which the lifeblood of magic has been drained." (--S. H. Sharpe) Mr. Sharpe was not the world's greatest PERformer of magic! --BUT, he certainly understood magic.

Let's define a few terms! "MAGIC" only "happens" in the MIND(S) of the spectator(s).

You mention "...have bought TRICKS..." You cannot BUY a TRICK! (TRICKS only exist while they are being PERformed!) You can buy a PROP, or a SECRET, which can be used to PERform a TRICK! If you PERform the TRICK well, with a pleasing PRESENTATION, you will probably ENTERTAIN someone. --and, THAT is what a magician should DO! (Otherwise, as Sharpe says, he is just "doing TRICKS"!!! (Trained dogs do TRICKS!)

Here is the "thing"::: MAGIC IS NOT INHERENTLY ENTERTAINING!!!!! The PERFORMER'S "TASK", IS TO MAKE THE PERFORMANCE OF THE TRICK, E N T E R T A I N I N G!!!

My dear friend, the late Jay Marshall, and I, were discussing "how to add a new trick to one's PERformance." Jay, whose wisdom, I greatly respect, said "it" this way:

"There are three things necessary!

1. Learn how the trick is DONE.

2. Learn how to DO it.

3. Learn how to DO it, so that it ENTERTAINS people!!!

That is "enough" for one day. Here's a "final" thought:l No one can TEACH you anything. We can only HELP YOU LEARN! (Learning is an active process! Sophocles said "it", a few millenia ago: "One learns by DOING THE THING!"


Well Jmori, it's rather apparent that you are only interested in TRICKS. You didn't have the courtesy to even acknowledge my post! I shall make a mental note to never respond to any question of yours.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
LarryD
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J.mori, If you have an interest in "self-working" card effects, you should investigate any of John Bannon's DVDs. Mr. Bannon is an excellent teacher, and he explains a variety of ways to achieve an objective with the emphasis on the entertainment aspects of the effect. He is also scrupulous in crediting others who have influenced his handlings even if their contributions are only tangential to the effect. Although the effects he describes in DVD's (usually available by download too) such as Destination 0 and Move 0 (volumes 1-4) require no sleight of hand skills, this does NOT mean that they don't require practice! Personally, I'm not an accomplished magician, and I have sometimes let my enthusiasm for one of his effects prompt me to present them (fortunately only to my wife and daughter) too soon. Even with "self-working" tricks you need to be sure to pay attention to getting the "sequences" down pat before presentation.
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