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Duke

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Reply with quote  #1 
My card-handling skills are low and slowly developing.

How about if the magician purposely handles cards awkwardly to disarm the spectator's skepticism?

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Chi Han

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Reply with quote  #2 
I think for most people it comes across as unskilled.

You only get one chance at a first impression, and unless you can really pull things off theatrically, you might turn people off your performance right then and there.

If you're not good with cards I wouldn't bother trying to purposely handle the cards poorly, I'd highlight it.

"Now you think magicians must be great at cards, I'll tell you now I can't shuffle a deck to save my life. I can't do any of that fancy sleight of hand, but what I cam do is real magic. Can you please just think of a card."

Etc. You also don't have to have great skills to be able to be comfortable with your routine. You don't need to be doing every flourish under the sun. If you do almost any card trick with good patter, with no hesitating or umming and ahhing, with no flat silent moments (unless intentional), you will produce a great routine. You are probably also a better card handler than 99% of people out there, and if you just don't drop the cards or fumble with them, they will honestly think you're the best cardperson in the world.
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Duke

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Reply with quote  #3 
Hello Chi Han,

Thanks for everything you suggested.

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EVILDAN

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Reply with quote  #4 
Duke, that is a valid approach. But you have to decide how far you want to carry that.

A lot of mentalists won’t put cards into their act because they’re afraid their audience will automatically think “card trick,” so instead of an in the hands riffle shuffle, they’ll use an overhand shuffle having to readjust a time or two so they don’t look like they’re a magician about to do a card trick - i.e.: adding a fancy cut or shuffle.

Look at Harry Lorayne. To me, he doesn’t look like a card mechanic, he looks like a guy that haphazardly shuffls cards around, mixes them up a few different ways and then miracles happen.

Jason Ladanye on the other hand looks like a skilled surgeon with the deck being his patient, and not only is he doing plastic surgery on the deck rearranging body parts, he’s rebuilding recombinant DNA and pushing the deck to new limits.

Both paths are valid- so are all the gray areas in between. They only paths that are invalid are the ones you think are, and were taught are - until someone comes along and proves you wrong.
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duke
My card-handling skills are low and slowly developing.

How about if the magician purposely handles cards awkwardly to disarm the spectator's skepticism?



I'd say it was somewhat situational.  And then I would also argue that the degree to which you take it matters.

For example, I've mentioned this before in a few threads but to watch Simon Lovell perform to laypeople is a revelation.  He tends to handle the cards very casually and does his best to not show any inordinate amount of skill.  The best term would be sloppy.  He would frequently drop a card when overhand shuffling, maybe "accidentally" reverse one and have to go back and fix it, etc.  The situational aspect is that if he did then when performing to magicians, then it obviously wouldn't have the same impact.  We know he has skills and has written books that include difficult sleights, so it wouldn't fly with us.  But to the average layperson, he comes off as no better than them at handling cards.

Then there is the degree.  If you are a paid performer and you can't seem to hold a deck of cards and shuffle properly, I think it would strain credulity.  So the degree you arrive at is to be efficient with the cards, not especially neat or fancy, but competent.  You do nothing to invite suspicion that you have anything other than ordinary skills.  Perhaps you do still drop a card at times, a lot of folks do.  But you don't overplay it.

Watch Lennart Green.  He has a slightly unkempt appearance and he handles cards in the same way for the most part.  You get the sense there's no way he could be in control.
I do think he breaks the spell a bit when he does Top Shot and his Laser Deal, but for the most part he stays in a sort of character.


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Mind Phantom

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayJ


Watch Lennart Green.  




STUDY Lennart Green if you are going to go with the sloppy handling route.

MP-

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Duke

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Reply with quote  #7 
Thank you so much evil Dan and Ray,
You each have given me a lot of ideas to think about before deciding to take the casual style. Thanks again.

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Daniel Young

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Reply with quote  #8 
The thing with people like Lennart Green, you can watch it and not feel uncomfortable in his presence. On some level you know he's in control. Whereas genuine sloppiness and bad card handling can make an onlooker a bit uncomfortable. So I think you have to be "good" to be "bad" (=sloppy). So I don't think it should be a deliberate choice at this stage. Instead it's better to do things you feel safe with. There's plenty of material out there that's easy to do. Perform those things whilst building up your skills.

And also know none of us start out great, and that's ok. The main thing is to enjoy it! Fall in love with practising things, that's part of the fun!
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Duke

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Reply with quote  #9 
that's really good advice, Daniel.
Thanks!

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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Young
The thing with people like Lennart Green, you can watch it and not feel uncomfortable in his presence. On some level you know he's in control. Whereas genuine sloppiness and bad card handling can make an onlooker a bit uncomfortable. So I think you have to be "good" to be "bad" (=sloppy). So I don't think it should be a deliberate choice at this stage. Instead it's better to do things you feel safe with. There's plenty of material out there that's easy to do. Perform those things whilst building up your skills.

And also know none of us start out great, and that's ok. The main thing is to enjoy it! Fall in love with practising things, that's part of the fun!


I've known many magicians who favored practice over performing.  Different strokes for different folks.  There's also the magic "fans", who are active in the community but rarely even do any magic.  They just like being "in the fold".  I knew a guy who attended all of the local IBM meetings and took copious notes.  Never say anything in his hands but a pen and paper.  
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Young
The thing with people like Lennart Green, you can watch it and not feel uncomfortable in his presence. On some level you know he's in control. Whereas genuine sloppiness and bad card handling can make an onlooker a bit uncomfortable. So I think you have to be "good" to be "bad" (=sloppy). So I don't think it should be a deliberate choice at this stage. Instead it's better to do things you feel safe with. There's plenty of material out there that's easy to do. Perform those things whilst building up your skills.

And also know none of us start out great, and that's ok. The main thing is to enjoy it! Fall in love with practising things, that's part of the fun!


Good points Daniel.  It has to be believable or the whole benefit is lost.
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