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superdayv

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I've been learning the Top Palm I from RRTCM and would love some feedback on it. I know that my left thumb does a pretty sudden movement which is probably eye catching. Any advice on that? Any other advice?

Thanks so much!

 

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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #2 
You tense up when your RH palms the card. Try to relax. Practice it very slowly to get the feel first. The left thumb shouldn't have to move that fast or as "jerky".

I'd say you are doing very well, now refine it.

Edit: your 2nd attempt seemed to be the best. Be careful when practicing a sleight repeatedly. Always "reset", breathe and then try again. If you do things continuously, that's where sloppiness creeps in and bad habits are formed. Once learned, habits, good or bad are hard to break.
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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #3 
You seem to have already palmed the card when your right hand returns to the deck for a squaring action. If you have the card palmed, the question is what are you going to do with it? If you're going to pull it from your pocket, I'd recommend forgetting the squaring action. Just go to the pocket. To me the squaring action looks bogus. The audience may easily think "he must be doing something there." If you're not "doing something" just get on with things. You can hold the deck in the right hand with the card palmed and use the left hand for something else. You can table the deck and come away with the card in right palm etc.

A guilty feeling on your part will be transmitted to the spectators. You have to be confident in your palming technique and not give off "guilty vibes."

Holding out can be scary. You'll worry that you'll hear "hey what's that in your palm?" I think Gracie M recommends never holding out. I don't totally agree. Holding out aces while the deck is shuffled can make the subsequent finding of the aces much stronger. I've seen John Carney do this. 

Once someone asked to shuffle the deck during my Ambitious Card routine. I palmed the selection and handed him the deck. I had never done this before. It worked! Full disclosure requires me to tell you that I was a little worried about getting busted.

You definitely have to make sure your body language isn't giving off vibes of guilt. If you believe, they'll believe (for the most part...).

BTW most applications of palming don't involve holding out for any length of time. You'll grow to love palming. You can do some very magical things with good palming technique.

Now get a good bottom palm..

Mike


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Rick Franceschini

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Reply with quote  #4 
Superdayv:
As you performed it, with opportune timing and misdirection, it will pass.  A few points... The text tells us to start the palm with the left thumb across the pack and to end the palming process with the thumb across the deck.  This aspect of the move makes it seem unlikely that you could have palmed a card with the thumb laying across the deck.  As you noted, in your execution of the move, you pop that thumb up and then settle it alongside of the deck.  A spectator staring at your hands will see that thumb pop and know you did something.  I imagine that you are eager to get that thumb out of the way to palm the card.  Experiment with allowing the card to touch that thumb and to move up and around the card and settle across the deck.  No need to rush things as you are learning, speed will come with practice.  Hugard explains that once the card is palmed, the right hand takes the deck and moves away with it.  This supplies a motive for bringing the hands together and makes the move more deceptive.  Lastly, the right hand must remain as still as possible.  As described in the text, it is a good top palm, but there are more finessed methods.  Dai Vernon's and Joe Berg's are, in my opinion, superior.  It looks to me like you are well on your way.  I would love to see a follow up video of your progress.

RayJ's advice about resting beats as you practice is great advice.
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superdayv

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Reply with quote  #5 
Thank you all so much! I've been so happy with how helpful and friendly this forum is. It isn't all that common online!
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by superdayv
Thank you all so much! I've been so happy with how helpful and friendly this forum is. It isn't all that common online!


This forum is "somewhat" self-policed.  We all know what the rules and expectations are.  Rudy has set forth principles to remember and they are followed.  When the rare instance arises where a post has to be removed, the poster is contacted and it is explained to them why the post violated the policies.  You won't find that sort of care elsewhere.

Getting back to the palm.  I watched it again just now and want to share a couple of thoughts.  First, I agree with what Mike Powers said about the squaring action.  Using the squaring action as a cover is frequently overdone.  Take pains to avoid it when you can.

That is why I said that it is important to know what action is coming next.  That will inform the way you do the palm.  It might affect the angle at which you do the palm.  Perhaps you will want to be angled to the left, for example.

The issue of holding out, also mentioned by Mike and myself, is important too.  Knowing what you do after the card is in the palm is crucial to working out the rest of the trick, the choreography, so-to-speak.

I mentioned reaching over and grasping your arm as a cover when holding out.  Or if you are wearing a jacket, you could reach over and grasp the edge of your coat, where it buttons.  The idea is to make it seem natural, just a place to temporarily rest you arm.  Some people put their hands in their pockets, but that might arouse suspicion, so maybe not the best approach in this instance.

The other thing I'd say is to avoid a grasping movement with the right hand.  Look at your video again and see if you can pick up on what I'm saying.  When the card is levered into the palm it only takes a minimum of contraction of the right hand to secure the card.

Also, take it slowly.  Slow and smooth beats a furtive action every time.  

Keep at it!  Very soon, everything will "click" and you will surprise even yourself.
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superdayv

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Reply with quote  #7 
Thank you all so much again for the advice! I've been working on it, let me know what you think!
In terms of knowing what to do with the card after palming it...I haven't learned any tricks with it yet so I've just been practicing the palm in isolation, that's why I just kind of end the move after palming.

Think I'm ready to move on to palming multiple cards?

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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #8 
The palming technique looks good. But I'm detecting a "guilty" vibe afterword. Something in your body language is telegraphing "I just did something." Try doing the palm in the context of a card to pocket. It might be instructive to have a card selected, secretly bring it to the top, palm it and then "find it" in your pocket. Do it for real with a real person. This will allow you to experience what it feels like to palm the card and be faced with the timing issues. It also allows you to use the interaction with a real person to get misdirection. Don't look at the deck when you palm the card. Do it on an off beat. Then, don't rush to your pocket due to a guilty feeling. 

Palming has a place in a routine used with a real person. It took me a long time to overcome my "palmaphobia." But once I really believed that I wasn't going to get caught, I found myself using palming a lot. That guilty feeling can really be picked up by the specs.

Mike
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #9 
Mike makes some great points. I'm wondering why you're taking the deck into your right hand. Is it because you need to transfer the cards to free up your left for some purpose? Is it to set the deck down to your right or hand them to a spectator on your right. That's why I previously said what you do afterwards is as important as the palm itself.

So do it in context, even if said context is imagined.

As far as the mechanics I'd say they are much improved. To do multiple cards is a different palm usually. You will need to be holding a break and then lever a packet upwards into the RH Palm. Different mechanics.

When I need to Palm say the 4 aces, I always use a Bottom Palm or a Gambler's Cop. I find removing them from the bottom easier.
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Rick Franceschini

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Reply with quote  #10 
Superdayv, you are making progress!  

In the immediate...

Once that card has begun to nestle into the palm and the left thumb is coming out, have that thumb make a direct journey the center left side of the deck for a light squaring of the side.  The popping thumb "telegraphs" the move.  It signals to your audience that you just did something.  Try moving that thumb out of the thumb hole and right onto the deck.  Give it a job, a meaningful task.

For the future (here are some bits I wish I knew when i started)...

There are four parts to a two-handed palm. 1 - Bringing the hands together to initiate the palm.  Must be motivated and relaxed.  2 - Palming the card.  Must be quick and tolerant of scrutiny.  3 - Holding out the card.  The hardest part for most students.  Much is written about what to do with those hands.  4 - Cooling off, un-palming the card.  This is an area that needs every bit as much attention as the palming part.  HERE is the really depressing part about the above frame work, fail to meet any one of those four parts and you will be caught.  The worst is number four.  Imagine smoothly bringing the hands together, palming the card so that ole man Vernon himself couldn't see, holding out like a hustler in a game with gangsters only to be caught adding the card onto a tabled packet.  Ughhh

Another consideration, is the difference between assimilation and mastery.  Assimilation involves toiling with the move until you have found a happy medium between doing what the book / video tells you to do and what your hands are actually capable of.  If you get to the point where you can do the move consistently and it tends to look pretty good, then you have achieved assimilation.   MASTERY.... that's a whole different story.  Mastery means that you are not only able to do the move well, but that it fits into the rhythm and flow of your body language.  The great Jacob Daley expressed it as a "voluntary action behaving like an involuntary action," meaning that you don't even need to think about it, the card just about leaps into the palm for you.  How long does mastery take to achieve?  Some studies suggest 10,000 hours.  10,000 hours of real time practice, not mirror practice.  THE REALLY good news is that this is a truly beautiful experience.  It's a ride, an adventure.  So, as Mike Powers and RayJ have already suggested (when you get that popping thumb under control) put that palm to work.  The only way towards mastery is to use the darn thing.  I can offer you at least one trick that will help you get started.  Find (or look at) Close - Up Card Magic by Harry Lorayne (1960.)  The item is called "Sensitive Touch," and the author built in an anvil's worth of misdirection, making the palm a breeze to get over.  That piece will help you understand what palming is all about and put you on the road to mastery.
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superdayv

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Reply with quote  #11 

Thank you all so much for the feedback! I am again so pleased with how helpful this forum is!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Powers
But I'm detecting a "guilty" vibe afterword. Something in your body language is telegraphing "I just did something."


Haha I definitely feel guilty! I will work on it a bit more and then try doing it in front of some real people!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RayJ
I'm wondering why you're taking the deck into your right hand. Is it because you need to transfer the cards to free up your left for some purpose? Is it to set the deck down to your right or hand them to a spectator on your right. That's why I previously said what you do afterwards is as important as the palm itself.

So do it in context, even if said context is imagined.


This was just because it's what is recommended in RRTCM. I take your point that it would be good to practice it in the context of a real trick. I will start doing that!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Franceschini
Once that card has begun to nestle into the palm and the left thumb is coming out, have that thumb make a direct journey the center left side of the deck for a light squaring of the side.  The popping thumb "telegraphs" the move.  It signals to your audience that you just did something.  Try moving that thumb out of the thumb hole and right onto the deck.  Give it a job, a meaningful task.


I will try this, thank you! And thank you for the other information. I will look up the trick and practice the palm in that context!

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