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Robert Parris

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Reply with quote  #1 
Recently James Sievert mentioned something in the Harry Lorayne section of the forum that made me think. I talked about suddenly getting addicted to Harry's Apocalypse series because of all the great magic it contains and he said if you're not careful you may end up with a stack of Harry's books next you wondering what do learn next. That made me think a bit because his comment is something I struggle with daily when looking for tricks to learn. I'm sure a lot of magicians have this same conundrum.
  I'm a bit of a glutton when it comes to magic books. If I see a good book that contains at least one great trick I'll buy the book, begin to sift through it then become immediately overwhelmed. I'm the same way with DVD's. I have a very hard time nailing down the one or two effects that I think would perform the best because usually these books and DVD's contain A LOT of great tricks!
    So how do you choose? When you're looking for new material to learn, how do you sift through the myriad of great tricks to find  the one you think you'd like to learn? I'm curious to hear how many others 'suffer' from this issue.
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Harry Lorayne

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Reply with quote  #2 
      Don't know what others will tell/advise you, but - if you don't already have JAW DROPPERS!, I'll tell you that if you're into card magic at all, you will LOVE that book.
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Gus

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Reply with quote  #3 

Answering your question would require a book in itself.  It’s a matter of your personal style; and, not knowing anything about you, it’s a tremendously difficult question.  But you should probably decide on a performance style before choosing material.  In choosing material, here are a few simple suggestions that only scratch the surface:

At first you should stick with performing effects that are not too technically demanding and don’t require a lot of mental calculation.  That way you can concentrate on your performance, which, in my opinion, is often much more important than the material itself.  As you gain experience, you can work in more demanding material.

Choose effects that are simple and direct.  It’s probably best to stick with the classics at first.  They are called classics for a reason.

Also, remember that spectators tend to respond very well to magic that happens in their own hands.  One great, simple, direct card effect that comes to mind here (and one which should not be underestimated) is Do As I Do (Royal Road to Card Magic). You may be pleasantly surprised at the lay person's reaction. It’s all in the presentation.

Whatever material you choose, keep it lighthearted and fun.  Be a gentleman.  Be Natural.  

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Harry Lorayne

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Reply with quote  #4 
  Thanks, Gus, but Robert, listen carefully - You will LOVE JAW DROPPERS!  I don't need to know your "personal style." As I've written numerous times, you learn my effects/routines and then mold them to YOUR style, adding your three P's - you patter, personality, presentation. If you want to tread back to Royal Road to Card Magic, that's fine, and thanks for the suggestion, Gus. But certainly, that isn't something I would recommend.

So, let me stress again, you will love JAW Droppers! If you don't, I hereby give you permission to say how much you hated it here on this forum. I've been doing this for about seven decades - I think, I hope, I believe, that I know whereof I speak.  Robert, order your copy of JAW DROPPERS! before they're all gone. And, Gus, I thank you and Robert, for your suggestions. Best - HL.
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Robert Parris

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Reply with quote  #5 
Thanks for the suggestion Harry! Although I am mainly a 'coin man' I still am always on the lookout for great, high impact card effects that I might be able to add in, and if it's material coming from you then I know it will be great! I'll give Jaw Droppers a look.

Gus, my question was more directed at everyone than just me. I was curious to see how others may solve the issue of what effects to add to their repertoire. I will admit though, for card effects Royal Road had the same impact with me as Bobo's did for coins. I just found myself more drawn to coins in the end. I agree with you on keeping the effects simpler for stand up/ walk around stuff. You're right in that the reaction with a simple trick against a difficult one are exactly the same if you have the right presentation. I think saving the tough ones for a formal sit down situation might be better.

  A lot of it comes down to trial and error. If it gets a strong reaction, then it's a keeper!

  
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EVILDAN

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Reply with quote  #6 
For me, I have to like the effect first. I really like visual effects that look like magic and have an easy to follow plot. 
There's also the issue of prop management. If you like to do a number of effects but one requires a double backer and another requires a short card, and another requires etc., you have to decide how many gaffs you are going to carry around or how many different decks, or whatever props are involved. 
If the props are a pain to carry, is it worth the extra effort? 
Do I need a table? Can I do this standing up or does it require me to sit. 
So all factors get taken into consideration.

Some effects make it into my working set. 
Others are just learned because I like the effect and want to be able to perform it should the opportunity present itself. 
Others get passed by because it contains a sleight I can't do or haven't learned yet, or I just don't like the effect. 

Not every trick is a gem. But there's also not one trick that's a gem for everyone. 
It has to fit. 
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Gus

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Reply with quote  #7 
Thanks, Robert. it was tough to gauge your question and I wasn't sure of your level of experience. Also, I wasn't necessarily trying to steer you to the Royal Road, I just wanted to cite the source for the effect I mentioned. It was the effect that started me in magic at age 9. Anyway, I have the same problem with gluttony in magic books. (And, I do love Jaw Droppers, Harry. In fact, my wife bought it from you to give me for Christmas!) You are not alone with your addiction, Robert!
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Rudy Tinoco

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Lorayne
  Thanks, Gus, but Robert, listen carefully - You will LOVE JAW DROPPERS!  I don't need to know your "personal style." As I've written numerous times, you learn my effects/routines and then mold them to YOUR style, adding your three P's - you patter, personality, presentation. If you want to tread back to Royal Road to Card Magic, that's fine, and thanks for the suggestion, Gus. But certainly, that isn't something I would recommend.

So, let me stress again, you will love JAW Droppers! If you don't, I hereby give you permission to say how much you hated it here on this forum. I've been doing this for about seven decades - I think, I hope, I believe, that I know whereof I speak.  Robert, order your copy of JAW DROPPERS! before they're all gone. And, Gus, I thank you and Robert, for your suggestions. Best - HL.


I talk about Harry enough that my friends (non-magicians) new that Jaw Droppers was on my wish list. I've been ridiculously busy, but have had the time to learn "Powerful Powers", "Color Gathering Plus" and "(B)Estimation Aces" and each one one those are simply fantastic. 

I need to manage my time better and create space to read the rest of the book.

Rudy



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MatthewOlsen

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Reply with quote  #9 
I usually read a magic book cover to cover carefully and try and decide what tricks I would like to learn.  If there's multiple versions that produce essentially the same effect I evaluate whether there's and advantage to learning more than one or just settle on one.  I'm big on doing different effects in card magic.  I don't need to do out of this world 20 different ways.  I know 2 and one with a similar effect with fewer cards and that's enough for me.  I don't need to know a dozen different matrix tricks.  Just several that can be grouped into an entertaining routine.  Once I settle on a routine I usually stick with it and make improvements as needed.  If something else comes along that is significantly better in presentation and method I might consider it.  

I usually gravitate toward little to no preparation with normal cards and as bulletproof angles as possible.  If I do a trick that requires preparation I like to learn an impromptu version that's similar so if someone asks me to perform a particular trick I can perform the impromptu version, and when I'm performing in a more formal setting that justifies the extra work I'll do the prepared version.  An example from one of my own routines is my routining of Sexten Beme's one card link.  It's a fantastic trick but is heavy on preparation.  I am more than willing to do the work because I have yet to find a version of the trick that I feel is stronger.  But since I can't just pick up some cards and go I use Harry Lorayne's Impromptu linking cards when I need to do a linking card effect.  

While in my younger years I learned nearly every trick that caught my fancy, now I look at what is a good trick to perform for an audience and what type of scenarios it can be performed in matching that up with what I feel makes a good routine or good logical progression in an already established act.  
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amazingdave

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Reply with quote  #10 
Just to add on to what Gus @ Evildan offered as an answer once you pick out an effect you like,work very hard to make your own presentation. As an example I really liked Darryl's Whole Card Effect but when I tried using his presentation and it fell flat and looked terrible. I almost put it back on the shelf. But I kept working on the presentation asking myself "how can I make this fit me?' I thought about my own interests and came up with a gambling themed story and it went over pretty good. I have a link on YouTube if you'd like to see what I did.


Hope this helps more.
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EVILDAN

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Reply with quote  #11 
When you make something your own it becomes easier to sell. 
It's also easier to perform and remember the script because you wrote it. You know where it came from. 

My wife and I perform as Psychic Sideshow. Our show is like a stroll down the carnival midway. 
If we like something, we'll see if we can rework it so it fits into the theme of the show. 
Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

But I also feel having restrictions as to how to rework material makes you more creative. 

For example, I went to college for fine arts. When they gave an open art project I found that the hardest thing to do because what to you do when you can do anything? 
But, give yourself a restriction...a problem sotospeak...like; create a 3 dimensional object that evokes the emotion of anger. Then your mind is able to focus on a goal and work towards that goal until the desired goal is achieved. 

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Robert Parris

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Reply with quote  #12 
Sorry, Evildan this might be a bit off topic, but you mentioned you went to school for fine arts. iIs your career in the arts? I went to college for animation and now I'm a design supervisor for animated shows. Been doing it for almost 20 years now. Cartoons and magic, nope...still haven't grown up [smile]
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EVILDAN

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Reply with quote  #13 
I wish. I went for photography.
I worked for a photographer during school. High end weddings and bar/bat mitzvahs.
I found out people with money are ridiculous in demands and expectations.
So I never pursued the wedding end of it.
My eyes were also a little off focus. Everything I shot was a little soft focus.
We did a test using one camera and switching cameras and mine were still soft.
So, that kind of sealed the deal. Nowadays everything is autofocus. I might get back into it.
My mother-in-law shoots weddings. She just asked if I wanted to help her out.

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joef

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Reply with quote  #14 
Good for you Robert! doing the things you love, you'll never work a day in your life.
Wishing you all the best...looks like you've got a good start.

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Huw Evans

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Reply with quote  #15 
For me it depends what slot I'm expecting to put the effect in. Is it a quick opener, a longer middle piece or a grand finale. Then, it'll also depend what is around that effect. Looking for contrast from one effect to another. I tend to read books all the way through, and then lock away the effects, then when I'm looking to fit something in, I can go back to that book and research from there.
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Michaelblue

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Reply with quote  #16 
When i buy a new book i usually go to the types of effects i like first,   like ace assemblies. But I find it's fun to start from the beginning, too. My feeling is there's plenty of time to read through them, cards or coins in hands. Whether i go on to actually use the effect, that happens later.
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