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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Why just card magic? (17 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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HeronsHorse
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Maybe I'm a bit boring or the exception but I just really loved card tricks whenever I saw any and so I couldn't wait to learn some and hopefully give others that same reward.
Yes, I could go into how accessible cards are, how tactile and creative they can be, the history behind them that makes them oh so attractive but, whilst I have an investment in each of those statements I would be more honest to simply state how much card tricks always amazed and bewildered me. When I decided to dip my toe in to magic it was a pack of card that I bought. I didn't think outside of cards at first. (Yes I know, that really is verging on blasphemy!)
I now realise the error of my ways and with the help of Dick Oslund and some old books I have a love for silks, rope and balls...sponge and the cupped variety! Oh and marbles...not many people do marble magic hmmm?
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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
Bob G
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I'm with you Heron'sHorse. Cards are just cool! I've never heard of magic with marbles, though I don't see why one couldn't do magic with them. Can put put me onto some marble magic?



As I think further about it, two of my favorite things in life and mystery and color -- and magic, including card magic, has plenty of both.


Bob
Bob G
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P. S. Ian Kendall, in his wonderful book Basic Training, introduces his first chapter on coin magic by saying something like, If you're interested in doing magic with less than 52 props...


I think that's part of what's so tantalizing about cards: *fifty-two props*! And they all fit neatly in a pocket.
HeronsHorse
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Quote:
On Aug 7, 2019, Bob G wrote:
I've never heard of magic with marbles, though I don't see why one couldn't do magic with them. Can you put me onto some marble magic?

Bob


I did have a certain marble magic trick in mind when I wrote that actually! I've even bought sone lovely -plastic unfortunately but they will be well used at least!- coloured marbles especially for this book I got by Lewis Ganson. A Magician Explains! A small booklet, didn't cost much, was among the very first things I ever bought for magic and didn't have much to spend at all. It has this fine marble trick, see:

This is what it says about it, the words that sold it to me when I read the back cover!...
"CHARLES HarrisON. Member of the Inner Magic Circle, London. A fine performer who is a master at devising magic dependent upon subtle ideas and misdirection. His "Marvellous Marbles" is one of the finest close-up routines it has been Lewis Ganson's privilege to witness."

You can buy the digital book at lybrary ( https://www.lybrary.com/a-magician-explains-p-384187.html ) and it is also around if you want the booklet but its around thirty dollars. I got mine for a fiver from Taurus magic! The ebook will do.
Great marbles are these: Quercetti 2530 box of 100 Colored Marbles (thats a perfect size)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00TWFXCEA or replace the .com for .co.uk if in uk.!

Go do some marble magic Bob!
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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
funsway
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Quote:
On Jul 29, 2019, Bob G wrote:

I think card tricks *can* be magical. Sometimes when I watch videos of really good performers I'm absolutely floored; it really does feel magical to me.


I agree that it is possible to perform an effect with cards that will leave the impression, "must be magic?" Most don't or even come close.

Just me and a distinction that I feel important. Being thought "magical" is not the same as a final conclusion of "must be magic."
Many things in life are magical such as the ones you have shared, but you did not conclude that "magic" was the only possible causality --
you do know the causality, so, despite your emotional reaction, the events are not magic.

It may be enough today for a performer to garnish a reaction of "magical." I suggest that more is possible - "a finer magic!"
In attempting that I would never use playing cards. The moment the observer thinks "trick" the possibility is dead.

Yes, please study and master some tricks using cards and even master some skills useable with other platen props.
In a classroom they may be valuable BECAUSE everyone knows they are tricks.
You might discover that live performance is different than watching videos too.

but, also be open to "above and beyond." Marbles can work better than cards ever will.

Just opinions, of course. My life experiences are different from most magicians.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

eBooks at https://www.lybrary.com/ken-muller-m-579928.html questions at ken@eversway.com
Bob G
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Thanks for all the info, Heron's Horse. A question for you: what makes marbles special, different from other balls, in magic?



Ken, I'm beginning to think that the word "magical" is overused and is too fuzzy to be meaningful. Any sane person *knows* that what a magician does is "just tricks," regardless of the props. Yet somehow a good performer is able to give us a sense of wonder, to move us, even though we know that what we're seeing is illusory.


I vividly remember seeing Blackstone, Jr. perform when I was in my twenties. The trick that has stayed with me was the floating lightbulb. The theater went dark, and he walked out into the aisle. All we could see was a floating lightbulb and Blackstone's face and dark clothing. He ran a ring around the bulb in so many orientations that it seemed impossible that any thread or other object was holding the bulb in place. My senses told me that the bulb was truly floating. My mind told me that of course that was impossible, but I didn't care. Looking back, I think the trick liberated me, for a few minutes, from the laws of physics (among them Newton's Fourth Law of Motion: if you lose your footing, you'll fall -- *downward* Smile -- and skin your knee). The darkness was probably part of the method -- but it was also atmospheric. Paradoxically, perhaps, the trick wouldn't have been nearly as good if the lights had been on.


I imagine it's impossible to define "magic" as done by magicians, but let's try this: magic is the act of *seeming* to violate physical law. Of course, it's always possible that someday our understanding of physics will take yet another step forward in some way that truly allows us to make things float without any means of support, not even a spout of upward-rushing air. But that won't be magic, it will be physics and engineering. And yet -- for those who are alive when the breakthrough takes place -- it will be transcendent and wondrous.


Bob
bluejay17!
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It's a cycle. Someone shows someone a card trick, they learn card tricks, they show someone a card trick. Paradox much?
Laughing
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I can only speak from my perspective. I started learning magic about 2 and a half years ago. Possibly because of the accessibility of cards I started with card magic. I love coin routines and I can do some basic sleights, however, the amount of time I spend trying to perfect the basic card sleights, DL, DU, DPS etc I just don't have time to do the work to perform even half decent coin stuff.

To be clear I don't buy tricks (I do have level 1) but I invest in books mostly. For me it is just I want to get a decent mastery of cards before moving on to coins.

I have on the odd occasions made a pool ball disappear, or a credit card and I love making a straw or stirrer vanish, however these are all pretty basic sleights.
Bambulko
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Most points have been made already. Cards are everywhere, so anyone can start doing card tricks. But one huge advantage of card tricks are the endless possibilities. You can show a different card trick to your friends every week for years, because there are so many different ones. And all you need is a single deck of cards. Yes, at sine point stuff will repeat itself. But you still have many more options compared to any other method. Also there are very easy tricks that leaves the audience speechless.
vincentmusician
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I actually do not like Card Magic, unless it is very good. It has taken me years to find card magic that I like. The presentation or routine has to be Entertaining and Strong and Fun to perform and Watch. Cards are very good for Walk Around or Strolling Situations because you can do many routines with them. I also have a few I do in Shows too. However, I feel it is important not to just do cards but have a variety of different types of Magic and use different props in your shows.
Bob G
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To Funsway: you and I contributed to this thread a while ago, but I wonder if you can suggest some video performances that you feel are magical, as opposed to just leading to the conclusion, "It must have been magic." I understand the distinction you're making, but I'm at a loss as to how one creates that emotional sense of wonder -- in magic, at least. In music, literature, walks in the woods, yes... Part of the problem, for me, at least, is that I know enough about methods that I seldom have no idea how a trick could have been accomplished. So it's hard for me to put myself in a spectator's place.


Bob
Bob G
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And to Heron's Horse: I haven't been able to find the marbles you mentioned -- maybe they've gone out of production in the time since you posted. If you have a chance sometime, could you let me know their diameter, please?


Thanks,

Bob
funsway
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Quote:
On Apr 11, 2021, Bob G wrote:
To Funsway: you and I contributed to this thread a while ago, but I wonder if you can suggest some video performances that you feel are magical, as opposed to just leading to the conclusion, "It must have been magic." I understand the distinction you're making, but I'm at a loss as to how one creates that emotional sense of wonder -- in magic, at least. In music, literature, walks in the woods, yes... Part of the problem, for me, at least, is that I know enough about methods that I seldom have no idea how a trick could have been accomplished. So it's hard for me to put myself in a spectator's place.

Bob


Iwill look for examples, but your terminology here has me a bit confused. "Magical" is "sorta like magic" as a watered down effect where the method is obvious or shown - or a skill demonstration. The key si "inexplicable." I am not putting down magical effects in general as many are more entertaining than the more intense effects. Some performance not actually in the magic realm can be magical as well such as sand painting, mime or quick-change artistry. Very subjective. A lot of the difference comes from framing and presentation - and being live. For me, most effects shown on video are only magical where they might achieve "must be magic" if seen live. This is why I refer to "awe&wonder" as a single term. It takes both in a confabulated mental state.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

eBooks at https://www.lybrary.com/ken-muller-m-579928.html questions at ken@eversway.com
Wizuriel
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Personally started with sponge balls. Personally making them appear in a spectators hand I find really fun and magical.
Though it seems half the books I look at are like 60% card magic, 35% coin and rest other stuff. I can see why cards are so popular because they are so popular.
gaddy
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Besides coins, I can't think of a more universal object that is used for magic.
*due to The Magic Cafe's editorial policies, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
Bob G
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Thanks, Funsway. I guess I didn't understand your terminology, and still don't. Might be good topic for a private conversation.

Bob
mightytimbo
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I think one of the big reasons is that many new magicians are trying to go it alone. I just started taking my magic really seriously over the last year. This of course meant that I have been very limited in my ability to build connections with other magicians. (I am eternally grateful for this community in that regard). But I am working to get connected to the local IBM, etc... There are many skills I wont ever be able to attain without the mentoring of others and the personal connection with the community.

But I don't think many young magicians understand the great importance of learning from a mentor. I'm not sure that many of them understand that's how this skill really must be passed down.

One of the reasons that card magic is so popular is because sleight of hand is something that has to be mentored & coached to master it. No matter what is written or recorded on the subject it's not easily simply learned on your own.

But many aspects of card magic, including knuckle-busting sleights can often be learned on your own or with minimal instruction. The truly great masters of course got there because of their mentors, but those stepping into the game see an easy gateway. One that isn't necessarily there for some of the other disciplines.

For me it's different. As some have said, I've just always had a fascination with cards. I love that there are so many things that you can do and how natural they are.

Great insight though! I hadn't particularly noticed this trend.

I wonder what you think we might be able to do to get new magicians more connected with mentors and organizations like the IBM
EndersGame
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Almost everyone has a deck of cards already, so playing cards are a great entry point to magic.

They are familiar, and also have multiple uses, especially as a tool for playing card games.

Plus you can do so many different kinds of tricks with them. So a deck of cards is by no means a one-trick pony, but the sky is the limit with what you can do.

And then there's the appeal of playing cards themselves. I love collecting and using different custom decks, and because playing cards really interest me, I have written many articles about them.
Bob G
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Good points, mightytimbo and EndersGame. Regarding your first point, EndersGame, we could make an even stronger case that everyone has coins already. I, personally, though, find coins much more intimidating than cards. In cards, palming could be considered an advanced sleight, and many of us experience the fear that we'll surely be caught out -- but there are so many tricks that don't require palming.


In coins, you have to palm and do false transfers right from the beginning. Although I don't have a lot of experience with coins, I have a feeing that to make a convincing false transfer is a huge project in itself.


My 2 cents...

Bob
Bob G
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P. S. EndersGame, I just took a quick look at your list of articles. Lots of interesting titles! I have a long-standing love affair with jokers, and would be interested to see an article about them. The jokers that I've seen in modern decks haven't impressed me, but I love the old-fashioned ones of jesters. Often the jesters carry sticks at the end of which are -- heads of jesters!
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