Sign up Latest Topics Chat
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment  
emjay

Member
Registered:
Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #1 


Hello All,

Can anyone recommend their favorite resource or guide for building routines?  Particularly close-up card magic.  Perhaps there is a general strategy so back to back effects flow together more elegantly.  Thanks in advance.

Best,
emjay
0
Robin Dawes

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,335
Reply with quote  #2 
Great question!!!!

Steve Beam's Semi-Automatic Card Trick books each end with a spreadsheet he calls a "Routine Builder" which groups all the effects in the book according to category ("gambling", "assembly", "prediction" etc) and indicates whether the effect requires a set-up, any special cards, etc.   This can be useful for deciding which effects can work together in terms of technical requirements.

But I think perhaps you are asking about sequencing effects in a set for best impact on the audience.  This is a topic on which I hope the professional members of the Forum will share their experience, since I think it will be of immense benefit to those (like me) who are hobbyists.

With the caveat that I am an amateur, here is the structure I have used for structuring a short set of card tricks for an audience that doesn't know me.  This is based on various bits of advice from dozens of authors in dozens of books.  It works well for me but I look forward to reading any feedback or alternative suggestions.

For a 4-effect set:
1.  Visual, quick, impressive, not a "Pick a card and I'll find it" trick
2.  Longer, audience participation
3.  Change of pace, something a bit different
4.  Impressive closer


Here are a couple of sets I have built on this model

1.  Card Warp             
2.  Fraternal Bonds   - Ryan Schlutz    (magician predicts three selected cards)
3.  Colour Monte
4.  Ambitious Card

1.  Opening Stab      - Steve Beam     (volunteer places "prediction" envelope in the perfect spot in a face-down deck)
2.  Mirror                - Allan Kronzek  (do-as-I-do routine)
3.  4 Ace Assembly  
4.  Multiple Selection  - Colombini's Fireworks, for example

Obviously if you are working around a theme (gambling, mental powers, occult, etc.) this will guide your choices.

0
Anthony Vinson

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member - Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 2,365
Reply with quote  #3 
I agree that this is a great question, and Robin provided a great answer. Like Robin, I am an amateur, and as such I claim no expertise. That said, here are my .02.

As simple as it sounds I simply seek out tricks that work together, either thematically or as natural extensions of one another. As example, I combine Harry Lorayne's One-eyed Jack Sandwich and John Bannon's Fat City Revisited into a routine. Why? Because Harry's excellent trick introduces the concept of the "sandwich", which in turn allows me to perform Fat City without further explanation. (Obviously Fat City is a sandwich effect, but one with a twist.)

Another example: I combine John Bannon's (Seeing a theme here?) Discrepancy City Prediction with Max Maven's B'Wave. Both involve the mental selection of one of four-of-a-kind; the first uses sleight of hand, the second sleight of mind. Sometimes, but only sometimes, I will follow with Bob Farmer's Alice's Revenge, which is the only trick I know that can follow B'Wave.

I think the more you study card magic, the more effects you become aware of, and the more methods. This knowledge helps to connect tricks into routines.

In Card College Light and Card College Lighter, Roberto Giobbi provides tricks that he has already combined into routines. He also spends some time explaining why he selected the tricks in each routine. Good resource, I think.

Av
0
Mike Powers

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,835
Reply with quote  #4 
Great guides for building routines include Darwin Ortiz's "Strong Magic" and "Designing Miracles." Also check Eugene Burger's work in this regard e.g. "The Performance of Close-Up Magic." 

Before you can have a routine, you have to have a number of solid tricks with solid presentations. Then you can think of combining them into sets. Your presentations may change as you get ideas on how to combine some items in your repertoire. You'll think of items that you know of but don't perform regularly that will suddenly become important because they fit into a routine that's in development. 

Look for ways to make liabilities into assets. For example, maybe one trick ends with a reversed card that needs to be fixed. Think of a routine that needs a reversed card at the outset. Now you don't need to fix the reversed card and you don't need to reverse a card for the second trick. Two problems solved by good routining. 

A good routine will have the feel of one, long magical experience that's uninterrupted with "for my next trick." Maybe half way through you can shift gears with a "for my next trick." But that phrase should be rare.

Mike
0
chris w

Avatar / Picture

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 210
Reply with quote  #5 
I agree with Mr. Powers' advice, but one caveat to this...

Quote:
Look for ways to make liabilities into assets. For example, maybe one trick ends with a reversed card that needs to be fixed. Think of a routine that needs a reversed card at the outset.


... is that the tricks also have to make sense together presentationally, from the spectator's perspective. Please do not base what goes with what purely on methodological convenience.

Good advice and resources dispensed thus far.

My suggestion is to watch good performers doing whole sets to refine your sense of flow and how everything can work together to create a meaningful whole. You can cultivate a helpful intuition just by exposing yourself to enough really good performances.

In this regard, one of my favorite resources - and one not mentioned much these days - is the set of six Martin Nash instructional VHS tapes originally put out by Videonics and since rereleased on three DVDs. Nash had a masterful grasp of character and routining. The videos/DVDs have him performing and explaining six full sets, all with just cards, including how you get from one thing into the next without ever uttering the words "for my next trick." (shudder)

Beyond that, you can also learn a lot just by watching even non-instructional videos of people like Pop Haydn, Chris Hannibal, Michael Vincent, Rob Zabrecky, etc., which are not hard to find on YouTube.
0
StevePR104

Avatar / Picture

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 268
Reply with quote  #6 
Oooooh, you just reminded me to add "for my next trick" to my List of Phrases No Magician Should Ever Say.

Along with, "Pick a card, any card," and "Now I know what you're thinking..."
0
Mike Powers

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,835
Reply with quote  #7 
I agree with Chris that making a liability into an asset doesn't trump good routining. It's tempting but not always the best routining. But if I saw the opportunity to make a liability into an asset, I'd try to fit it into the routine if I could do it without compromising too much.

M
0
Bmat

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 325
Reply with quote  #8 
I attended a Jeff McBride lecture, and something he said about building a routine really struck home for me.  Think about telling your story, it will make you unique and make it difficult for others to copy. 

1. Make a list of all the effects you have. 
2. Make a list of all the effects you are ready to perform. 
3. Make a list of all the effects you would like to perform (doesn't matter if you have them or not)
4. Make a list of all the ups, downs and significant moments in your life. 

If any of the first three lists are longer than the fourth, then you  need to get out there and live a little.  Get some experiences, go big or go home. 

Now look at all the effects in your lists and match them to the fourth.  if you can already do them great.  If you have them and cannot do them, work on them. If you don't own it but it will fit in your fourth list, then get it. 

Use the magic to tell your story.

You will find it is not easy.  It shouldn't be.  

__________________
bmat10@wordpress.com
0
Mike Powers

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,835
Reply with quote  #9 
McBride's methodology re: routining is excellent. I have seen him lecture on this topic a few times. 

Mike
0
ianmcrawford

Avatar / Picture

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 164
Reply with quote  #10 
I just spent a wonderful evening with a few magic buddies watching the latest Dani DaOrtiz Penguin Lecture.  This is not a lecture in the tradition sense, but rather a course in practical routining.  In casual conversation he covered character, blocking, movement, scripting, audience management and some very clever moves.  There was so much valuable information.

Watching it with a few knowledgable magicians made it even better.  We'd pause the lecture and have further discussion.

Now were planning a regular scripting group (using the scripting templets out of Scripting Magic 2)


0
Gerald Deutsch

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 314
Reply with quote  #11 
I posted a few times before:

The Importance of Routining

 

For an extended period of magic (as opposed to just doing a quick simple effect),  I believe routining is very important and what effects follow each other must be carefully considered. Even for card tricks. Especially for card tricks.

 

Most magicians don’t realize that it’s a tough task for spectators to have to remember a selected card. If they don’t they may feel (i) they will look foolish and (ii) they will ruin the trick and (iii) the magician will be mad at them and (iv) everyone will hate them. What pressure!

 

That’s why the Ambitious Card is such a good effect – or series of effects with only one card that has to be remembered.

 

When I do walk around and I do a series of card tricks (not more than 4 and they’re quick) I usually use the same selected card.

 

Sometimes the situation calls for something quick and unexpected and a single effect is usually best for this.

 

I do much of my magic at dinner – with friends or a client  - or whomever and only if it’s appropriate would I do magic and in such a case it is usually one effect.

 

I’m not being paid to do magic  I can do – or not do magic but if I do I want the spectators to remember what I did. Usually one good effect will be appropriate – and at the appropriate time.

 

 Those magicians that are being paid and must perform more than one effect must routine those effects so that one will logically follow another and, most important, the audience will remember and not be confused with what was done.

 

For example, when I do “walk around magic” for a charitable event I have a series of card routines and one such routine consists of two effects – using the same card as follows (and I do this as Perverse Magic):

 

1          A card is selected and shuffled back into the deck and a different card is given to the spectator to stab into the deck next to the selected card. She does this but the card she is holding does not find the selected card but it turns out that the card she is holding is the selected card. I seem confused.

 

2          The deck is given to a spectator to shuffle. I take back the deck and say that I will make the card that was selected before go into my pocket. It does.

 

I say I will do it again. And I do.

 

I say I will try it a third time. I have a spectator reach into my pocket. The spectator does but comes out with an indifferent card. I am confused.

 

I reach into my pocket with my right hand and come out with another card. This too isn’t the selected card. I keep pulling cards out of my pocket until – the entire deck is there – except – except the chosen card which is alone in my left hand. Now I’m really confused and the routine is over.

 

The audience (i) isn’t bored, (ii) is entertained and (iii) will remember what was

 done.

 
0
Mbreggar

Avatar / Picture

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 420
Reply with quote  #12 
Agree with Mike P’s post. Ortiz reading is important. I would strongly point you to the “theory” section of Giobbi’s Card College 2.
0
Mike Powers

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,835
Reply with quote  #13 
Burger suggests creating several routines consisting of three tricks that take, perhaps, 10 minutes total to perform. If you're asked to do something, you go to one of your prepared sets of three items. Creating these sets of three involves seriously thinking of how they fit together into a coherent whole i.e. routining.

A formal thirty minute set is similar except it involves many more tricks. 

Mike
0
Intensely Magic

Avatar / Picture

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 464
Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Powers
Burger suggests creating several routines consisting of three tricks that take, perhaps, 10 minutes total to perform. If you're asked to do something, you go to one of your prepared sets of three items. Creating these sets of three involves seriously thinking of how they fit together into a coherent whole i.e. routining......

Mike


I'm not, generally, a huge Giobbi fan, but his recent series of tricks from Vernon, Elmsley and Garcia aren't a bad starting place for structuring a 3 trick routine. I particularly liked the Vernon set of Emotional Reaction, Four Of A Kind and Slow Motion Aces.

__________________
There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact. Arthur Conan Doyle

0
MagickDon

Avatar / Picture

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 93
Reply with quote  #15 
You may also want to consider books like "Transformations, Creating Magic Out of Tricks" by Lawrence Hass, "Beyond Deception" by Tobias Beckwith, "Magic and Meaning" by Eugene Burger and Bob Neale. Also, many of the Eugene Burger books have insights into performance creation. They are all connected to the McBride school of magic.
__________________
Don

"Astonishment is our natural state of mind" (Paul Harris)
 
0
Mike Powers

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,835
Reply with quote  #16 
Good calls all around ChefDon. Those books are all in my library. They're also books I've read! There are too many on the shelves that haven't been opened yet...

Mike
0
X

Avatar / Picture

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 182
Reply with quote  #17 
when it comes down to it, you have to do what works for you, maybe cliche advice but at its base it is solid. 
__________________
Professional: PK-Mentalist/Magician/Geek/Shock Entertainer

Member/Performer: Magic Castle

Creator, Consultant, Lecturer, Imagineer



0
Robin Dawes

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,335
Reply with quote  #18 
True.  But when a person is just starting out, the alternatives can be overwhelming.  If you put together a set or show and it doesn't get the reaction you hope for, there are 10 million ways to change it.  It makes sense to seek concrete guidance on how to work towards finding what works for you.
0
emjay

Member
Registered:
Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #19 


This has been very helpful with excellent references.  Exactly what I was looking for.  I was thinking maybe someone had insight as to how to string different types of tricks together as many of you did.  Some magicians are inclined to bust out all the stunners back to back, sometimes leaving the audience behind still stuck on the previous effect, when doing a more subtle or comical effect following may give them chance to recoup before they walloped again. Sort of like the cadence in storytelling comedy. Cheers to you All!  
0
X

Avatar / Picture

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 182
Reply with quote  #20 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Dawes
True.  But when a person is just starting out, the alternatives can be overwhelming.  If you put together a set or show and it doesn't get the reaction you hope for, there are 10 million ways to change it.  It makes sense to seek concrete guidance on how to work towards finding what works for you.


sure, seeking inspiration, as long as you retain and formulate your individualism. there are also other factors that come into play, it is not only creating the "flow" and "rhythm" but it depends on atmosphere, locations, audience etc 

being able to read an audience and adapt, change, and routine out of pocket etc

so just because one magician routines a certain way, and that is their advice doesn't mean it will work, and that is a thing about "theory" it is formulated based on the individual and their work

there are no "rules" that one has to abide by 

__________________
Professional: PK-Mentalist/Magician/Geek/Shock Entertainer

Member/Performer: Magic Castle

Creator, Consultant, Lecturer, Imagineer



0
Barry Allen

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 91
Reply with quote  #21 
Whilst I keep loads of post-it notes, torn playing cards, etc. in my books as cross-reference reminders, I've never personally 'routined' card tricks for performance.

The reason I guess, is that it would just look too sterile - I think I'd come across as an automaton, rather than an entertainer.

I'm not saying for one moment that I can remember every card effect that I've ever read (thank heaven - many haven't been worth remembering!). There's no magical formula - not for me anyway. The only advice I can give for remembering a lot of material is 'you just keep doing it' - sometimes referring back to your notes and bookmarks, if necessary. You just keep performing your favourite effects; giving yourself sufficient QUALITY practice time - with no distractions. This should enable you to quite easily fly through many, many effects RELEVANT to the type of audience that you are working for. For example, working at a formal dinner event, is somewhat different to entertaining people a little tipsy at a wedding or birthday party.

To this end, I'd personally advise you to be careful if you are thinking of routining. For example, if you routine for table work, you're going to find yourself in trouble if you arrive at an event and you are expected to perform standing; whilst mixing and mingling. This is certainly the case in the UK whereby even when working at tables, space is extremely limited.


Just my tuppence worth guys. I've always preferred to work 'on the hoof' - it's just always suited my own personality and keeps my adrenaline/energy flowing.
0
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.