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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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Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On May 3, 2020, Russ182 wrote:
I am sure Guy Hollingworth discussed this and does a vertical count at chest height
Where do you recall Guy discussing the how-to of vertical false counts? He discusses how to spread the cards for his alignment procedure and the sleight which happens during the "wave" yet I'm missing where he discusses the basic block transfer needed to do Elmsley (even) and Hamman (odd) counts.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
bobmag56
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This is probably not the answere your are looking for, but it works for me. If I am sitting, I simply extend my hands so they are closer to the viewers. Naturally, I must keep keep the hands fairly close to table top so they can be seen. However, the easiest for me is to stand in a crouch position.
Bob G
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Thanks, bobmag56. Crouch position wouldn't work for me due to back problems, but I'm glad it works for you! I think I have a pretty good solution, though, which is just to turn my wrist and forearm a bit after each take, so that the taking hand is horizontal with its palm facing spectators.
emanuele
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There are two solutions to the problem:
-Hollingworth's vertical counts. However you can work yourself a vertical handling of an Elmsley count.
-Tamariz's solution. Just sit higher. He generally uses pillows or a higher chair to make sure he's sitting higher than what's "normal". This way, his wrists are naturally in almost a 'praying' position, making the hands lay forward with palms more towards the audience (rather than towards the ceiling), which makes the cards very visible and nobody's looking at the edges.
martyjacobs
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Bob, Alex Elmsley himself had a very simple solution to this problem: sit on a cushion (as already mentioned by Emanuele). The use of a cushion is discussed in the Stephen Minch books on Mr Elmsley's wonderful magic. Doing this raises both of your arms up from the table and allows you to display the backs of the cards while performing the Ghost Count in a more relaxed position.

Something I've used in the past in informal situations is a leather or canvas satchel/messenger bag balanced on my lap. I keep a sturdy magic book in the body of the bag (you cannot have anything in there that will make the surface of the bag lumpy). The backside of the bag doesn't have a clasp or buckle, so works well as an impromptu close-up pad. Using a flat bag as your performing surface has five major advantages;

1. You do not need a table to perform, only a chair.
2. Your hands naturally fall in a good, relaxed position to perform counts.
3. The bag hides your crotch from your audience!
4. You can store props in a box in the bag.
5. You can use the bag to secretly retrieve or ditch items, similar to a servante.

I'm currently designing a custom satchel/messenger bag with an integrated close-up pad and multiple servants. I'm planning to make it myself because I'd like to learn leatherworking.
Bob G
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Thanks, emanuele and Marty! I remember trying the cushion idea when someone first suggested it on this thread. For some reason I decided it didn't work -- maybe I just found it uncomfortable. I think I found it hard to arrange enough pillows to sit significantly higher. Worth another try, though; maybe find a cushion that's nice and thick to begin with.

Marty, the idea of a flat bag on your lap is really interesting. I'm envisioning a small group of people sitting in chairs in a circle, with no chair between them; is that what you have in mind? I guess you can't lap things, right? I've heard of servantes; I suppose they serve the same purpose?


Bob
martyjacobs
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Yes, everyone is sitting in chairs, without anything between the chairs (or a low coffee table, if any). This is a popular setup for professional storytellers.

The bag I'm designing will have the close-up pad on the reverse of the flap. To use the bag, you will open it and attach the flap, so it doesn't move. This will cause the inside of the bag to be accessible, in a very similar configuration to a servante. So, the plan is the bag will allow you to lap, ditch and retrieve things from the bag secretly. I'm also designing the bag so that it can be used on the edge of a table (with the performer standing). In this case, the servante will hang from the inside of the bag behind the table.
Bob G
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Very imaginative. Have fun with the leather-working! You've got me thinking about whether I could make such a thing, though I'm not handy...
Bob G
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Marty,


You inspired me! My close-up pad was delivered between two sheets of stiff material, which I kept to protect it when I'm not using it. So I tried putting the mat on one of the sheets, and the sheet on my lap. It worked really well when I sat on my rolling chair. When I sat on the couch, the cards slipped away toward me because my hips below above my knees, but I think I can just put a bar of foam under the near side of the pad to correct that.


Not elegant the way your invention is going to be, but simple!


Bob
Bob G
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On a related topic: some people have suggested that I stand up while performing (with the spectators seated at the table). I'm beginning to warm up to the idea; certainly it makes the cards easy to see. There's just one thing standing in my way: I have back problems that are exacerbated if I have to lean over to do something on the table -- a ribbon spread, for instance. I wonder if anyone has ideas about how to deal with this.


Years ago my physical therapist suggested that in such situations (cutting vegetables at a lower counter, etc.), I stand with my legs apart to lower my arms. That works pretty well, but might feel awkward while performing. I might also have to bend my knees, which, at my age, can hurt a bit.


Thanks for any thoughts,


Bob
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