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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Deckless! » » Elmsley Count -- trouble making cards visible to spectators when seated (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Bob G
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Hi People,


When I sit across the table from a spectator and perform the EC, I find that it's hard for him/her to see the backs or faces of the cards. They see the cards nearly edge-on. Does anyone have suggestions about how to fix this? One is to perform standing, of course, but I don't want to do that: I perform for one or two people, usually, and I like the friendly informality of sitting with them. Alex Elmsley suggested (and not just in the context of his count) that the magician put some cushions on her chair to raise her level. I find the cushions uncomfortable. And then, of course, there's a "vertical" version of the EC -- I forget what it's called -- in which you hold the cards up so that the spectators are looking right at their faces or backs. I may end up doing that, but it took me many months to learn the dealer's/pinch grip version, and I'm impatient to put what I know into practice. One trick I want to learn is a version of Faulty Followers, and I suspect it would be demanding too much to ask spectators to count cards from hand to hand in a vertical position. (But I guess I could work vertically while they work horizontally.)


As things stand, the best I can do is to bend my wrists back, which is uncomfortable, impedes my abiity to do the sleight, and still doesn't give a great view of the cards. People must run into this problem all the time; any ideas?


Thanks for your help!


Regards,


Bob
Frank Yuen
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Just turn to the side, your hands would be at three or nine o'clock.
Bob G
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Thanks, Frank. I must be missing something: why would turning make the cards easier for specs to see?
stevie c
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It's a great question Bob. To be honest I've always found it to be not too much of a disadvantage if the specs see the cards slightly edge on. Allowing them to see the backs of the cards (I assume that's what you require) is achieved by a bit of flexion in the wrists? And presenting the cards slightly (but not fully) edge on, makes it far less likely that anyone will notice a discrepancy if you don't quite manage to square the received card perfectly.
Frank Yuen
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Sorry, I assumed it was self explanatory. You angle your hands as well. For instance if you count the cards from left hand to right you can turn to the left with your hands at the spectator's 3 o'clock view. Angle your hands a bit so your right hand is pulling off cards in a downward path. In miming the actions right now I actually tilt my body a little at the waist and draw the cards off with the right hand at about a 45 degree angle.

It's just easier to angle your hands so they can see the backs this way than in front of your body when you're sitting. Nothing else really changes. Much easier than bending your wrists at an uncomfortable angle.
Bob G
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Thanks so much, Stevie and Frank.

Frank, I just tried something inspired what you described (though not the same), and it worked really well. I didn't turn my body; and since I draw off cards from right to left, after each "take" I moved my LH to the left while turning my wrist so that the card was vertical and facing my computer (my audience Smile ) The nice thing was that I could hold the cards flat in my RH, thus obscuring any discrepancies that occurred during the take (as Steve suggested). So I got to have my cake and eat it too.


Steve, I guess it depends on the trick. In Dr. Daley's last trick I use the EC to mix the cards, as suggested by a friend on the Café; in that situation I'm not displaying the cards so I think it makes sense to let the spectators see the cards more or less edge-on the whole time. In other tricks the whole point is for the spectator to believe that, say, all the cards are blue. There I'd want to do something like what I described so audience could see the backs clearly.


Anyway, through some kind of alchemy between the 3 of us, I think we've got a solution that works for me!
stevie c
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Hey Bob. Glad you found something that works for you Smile

BW

Steve
Francois Lagrange
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Quote:
On Apr 10, 2020, Bob G wrote:
Thanks so much, Stevie and Frank.

Frank, I just tried something inspired what you described (though not the same), and it worked really well. I didn't turn my body; and since I draw off cards from right to left, after each "take" I moved my LH to the left while turning my wrist so that the card was vertical and facing my computer (my audience Smile ) The nice thing was that I could hold the cards flat in my RH, thus obscuring any discrepancies that occurred during the take (as Steve suggested). So I got to have my cake and eat it too.


Anyway, through some kind of alchemy between the 3 of us, I think we've got a solution that works for me!


I did a quick search on this forum, and I reckon you have reinvented the handling described in the second post of this thread: https://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/view......657845#1

If you can, stand up as it is the best option, or adapt the Spirit(u) count as suggested by Jonathan Townsend for a good alternative.
Protect me from my friends, I'll take care of my enemies.
Bob G
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You're absolutely right, Francois, about the second post. The post's author, Claudio, is brilliant. I remember reading this thread a year or so ago when I was first learning the EC. I don't think I was ready to understand the advice then, but perhaps I got the idea because of my reading.


I found the conversation about the spirit or (spiritu?) count confusing. Are you familiar with the count that Jon mentions? I have Counthesaurus, but this "spiritu" count seems to be something different by Bob Farmer.


Thanks for searching.


Bob
Bob Farmer
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The Spiritu Count can be found in my manuscript, Bammo 666 on Lybrary.com.

You can do all the counts (Elmsley, Jordan, Hamman) from a Biddle grip which allows for more visibility when seated.

Elmsley: Hold the packet face down in left hand. Left little finger pulls down the bottom card. Right hand comes over and takes the packet in a Biddle grip, the right thumb taking the break. Pull off the first card into the left hand. Secretly add it under cards in right hand as left thumb reaches over and takes all the cards above the break, then count 3 and 4.
Bob G
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Ah, thanks so much, Bob!


Does Bammo 666 include the handlings from Biddle grip for other counts besides the Elmsley? If not, have you published them elsewhere?


Bob
Bob Farmer
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I will explain them here. For a Jordan, hold the cards in a right hand Biddle Grip. No breaks. Take the first card. Take the second card onto the first but hold a break under it. Left thumb reaches over and takes the two cards in the right hand as one onto the cards in the left hand (count 3) as the broken card is stolen beneath and counted as 4.

The key move in both of these counts is the left thumb reaching over and hooking itself on the right side of the cards to take those cards.

For the Hamman Count, which is a five count: Start with a right hand Biddle Grip.Count 1 and 2 but on 3, the left thumb reaches over and takes all the cards from the right hand as the right thumb and fingers grab all the cards in the left hand, then count those as 4 and 5.
Bob G
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Kind of you to take the time. Thank you, Bob. I'll have fun working on these alternative handlings.
Francois Lagrange
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Lawrence O, who unfortunately does not visit these shores anymore, described in minute details the Biddle grip handling in this post: Elmsley count with Biddle Grip. Lawrence uses his "Lawrence O's break", but you can forget about it and use a thumb break instead.

Personally, I dislike counts with a Biddle grip as they look too cosy and not as natural, but Lawrence has a different opinion and loves them. Many others do too.

Remember that often you can substitute a different count for an Elmsley.
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Bob Farmer
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There is a way to make any count using a Biddle Grip much more deceptive and much more visible.

Assuming you are holding the face-down packet in a right-hand Biddle Grip, the normal procedure is to keep the hands close together, side by side as the cards are counted.

Don't do that.

Have your palm-up left hand forward of your right hand (your right hand about even with the left wrist and pulled in). In what follows, the left hand never moves.

The right hand moves up to the left hand and the left thumb pulls off a card as the right hand retreats inward then back for the next card to be taken.

The right hand shuttles back and forth, over to and away from the left hand.

This procedure puts all the attention on the left hand and makes it easier for the audience to see the cards.
Bob G
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I just tried this procedure, with just an honest transfer of four cards in RH biddle grip to deep LH dealer's grip -- no Elmsley count, etc. I'm not clear on why this makes the cards easier for the audience to see.
Bob Farmer
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It's because your right hand isn't in the way. In the normal procedure, your right hand is blocking some of the cards from people on your right side. The key point: it is the cards in your left hand that they should be focusing on, the cards that are taken. In the normal procedure, it is the cards in the right hand that are the focus and that's all wrong.
Bob G
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Ah, okay. I was thinking about spectator in front not on the sides. Now I understand.
Russ182
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I am sure Guy Hollingworth discussed this and does a vertical count at chest height
Bob G
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Thanks, Russ. I have Liam Montier's Elmsley Count Project, and I'm pretty sure he talks about the handling your describe. Eventually I may go that route, but it took me long enough to learn the "horizontal" handling that I want to do as much as I can to make that feasible before I learn what is essentially a whole new sleight.


Welcome to the Café!


Bob
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