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Chris M

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Reply with quote  #1 
What fashion of card handling do you aim for?  Whose card handling style do you admire?

Do you prefer a sloppy, chaotic Lennart Green manner; or an elegant, classic Michael Vincent; or the Riverboat gambler a la Richard Turner; or the flashy cardistry of Dan and Dave?  Are you more enamoured of Dani da Ortiz or Darwin Ortiz?  Firm, light, quick, slow, smooth, rough ...?

Please post performances that capture your favoured tone of card handling, if you want [smile]

Also, what are the grips, shuffles, cuts, deals and flourishes that form the spine of that preferred manner? 

Are you an in-the-hands Hindu shuffle and Le Paul spread kind of guy; or more of a tabled riffle shuffle and strip cuts cardist?  Swing cuts or Sybils; Charlier or Anaconda; pinky deals or just grab-and-drop?


Aside from curiosity and a desire to chat magic, I was inspired to think about my own card handling style from this short Michael Vincent youtube:



I haven't really come up with an answer - I haven't settled on anything, and I think that's hurt my performances (amateur though they are) - too varied and under-planned.  I'm keen to explore and discuss this topic. 

What makes a particular way of managing the pasteboards more aesthetically pleasing and satisfying than another?
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Chi Han

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Reply with quote  #2 
I remember reading (or did he tell me this) something Roberto Giobbi wrote that he learnt from Dai Vernon.  Handle the cards like someone who knows what they're doing, but no more than that.  He was trying to get at, audiences expect a higher degree of proficiency with cards from magicians, and that should be met.  But going overboard with random displays of skill ruins the effect of the magic.  I feel it's a very Erdnase thing to say, Erdnase cautions several times about showing above average proficiency with card handling, at the same time encouraging precision and comfort with basic movements.

It's something that has stuck with me.  I find that I get a lot more mileage when people think that my trick is going to fail, or that the cards are outside of my control. 

If you see me handling cards because I'm waiting in line, or watching a movie, it's likely to be very Dan and Dave Buck like.  I'm probably doing a flourish, or endlessly turning over Ron Bauer TTT doubles.  But when it comes to my performance, I try not to handle the deck at all.  I like to make it very incidental.  I treat the cards with a lot of respect, I don't throw them around.  It also doesn't work for my character or venues to be dropping the cards like Lennart Greene, my audiences typically turn off. 

I make it so that whenever I touch the cards I can make them jump, I can make them arrange themselves, I can shuffle fast while talking, and I can sometimes impress even myself when the cards do something magical to my astonishment!  As a result I have the audience shuffle a lot, I have them count, I have them tell me what they want to happen, and I try to touch the cards only to 'help' them (I'm obviously doing more than that, but that's the impression I want to create). 

I've started to get more mileage out of adapting tricks in this way, which is something that I've really started to take away from all the money and time I've spent studying Dani DaOrtiz.  I obviously want to keep learning and keep practicing the advanced card handling, but in my performances, when the cards are in my hand I'm a juggler and a card sharp.  When the cards are in my spectators hands, that's when the magic happens.
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Chris M

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Reply with quote  #3 
Have been inspired enough to spend some serious time and focus on adjusting my style of basic card handling, toning up sloppy and bad habits.  And not only is this so-far proving painfully illuminating, it's also quite fun too [smile]
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MorrisCH

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Reply with quote  #4 


Nothing much to say about this, but this is the style I always aiming for, a true legend of Spain
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Chris M

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Reply with quote  #5 
Is that because you find such an approach aesthetically pleasing, Blathermist?  Do you find other styles less pleasant to view, or do they simply not fit your personality?

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Paul Hallas

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Reply with quote  #6 
I just try not to drop them and do the tricks right.

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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #7 
I think Blathermist and Paul are correct. Strive for craftsmanship rather than "flashmanship" and concentrate on being an entertaining performer. Emulation is fine early on, but developing one's own unique style eventually becomes preferable. That said, I admire many styles of card handling, but only when they fit the performer's personality.  
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zarrow52

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Reply with quote  #8 
Whenever this topic comes up, I always defer to the pertinent passages in Royal Road:

from p. xvii of the Preface:

"Complete naturalness of action, speech and manner is the essence of the art. There is a school of card conjuring in which the artist, by the mere rapidity of his actions, attempts to impress his audience with the great skill he possesses. We urge you to eschew this type of card work and instead strive at all times for a natural, relaxed, graceful handling of the cards."

from p . 37 (III: Flourishes):

"Used in moderation [flourishes] are a decided asset to the card conjuror, but when carried to extreme lengths they defeat the very object that the magician should always have in mind, namely, that the effects he produces are done by magic and not by skill. A series of brilliant flourishes leaves only the impression of juggling skill on the minds of the onlookers, and the performer's feats are dismissed by them with the remark, 'He's clever with his hands'."


Sean
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Chris M

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Reply with quote  #9 
Cool beans [smile]

I'm in the process of analysing myself - and what I see is need for work on basic handling, I've grown sloppy [smile]
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