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Mind Phantom

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Reply with quote  #1 
I do a couple of flourishes at the start of my Gambling Show, it's the second thing I do after Gambler vs Magician. After that effect I do a "  pseudo " shuffletracking demo with the four aces called Ace Sequencing, that's related to shuffletracking, because it involves attempting to determine when an ace is about to be dealt. If a player knows that he will be dealt an ace as his first card, he gains a 50% advantage at the blackjack table.

I run up the four aces to the top of deck, then do Jack Carpenter's J.C Pop-out..and do his Four at Once with one shuffle. Very fancy stuff ! Then I do standard things that you would see in a gambling demo.

Popping those Aces from the middle of the deck ( there really on top of the deck )  , it becomes a skill display.

So my question to you is how many flourishes do you do doing your performance ? A lot or just a few ? Do flourishes take away from the magic or mystery that your trying to accomplish ? Do you do flourishes to get the attention of the group your performing too?

What kind of flourishes do you do ?

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Ronnie

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Reply with quote  #2 

I think you have it about right for a  gambling demo. Or I should say a pseudo gambling demo as a real gambler would not want you to know he had any skill and would never do even a single flourish. But  you are doing this for entertainment so I don't see a problem with it. 

However for normal magic demonstrations you have to be very careful indeed that you don't overdo it. Flourishes can be a very good thing but you can also have too much of a good thing. They should be done sparingly and intelligently. By intelligently I mean at the right time and the right place. Too much of this kind of thing can dilute the effect of the magic. The audience just  shrug and say in their minds, "oh, he's very clever but it is all sleight of hand". That is not the impression you want to give. I subscribe to the school of thought that art should hide art. Within reason of course.

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Chi Han

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Reply with quote  #3 
I love to flourish. My attitude is, I've spent so many hour working on this, EVERYONE IS GOING TO SEE IT!

Thats actually one of my patter lines.

That said I've almost completely cut down on flourishes. I don't think they're that good to get attention with, not that they won't get it, but they feel a lot like showing off. If I want to seem competant with a deck of cards, handling them well, gripping them properly and riffle shuffling fluidly are sufficient for me. I actually just do what I normally do when I open a deck for the first time, ribbon spreads, cuts and shuffles.

Some times I will throw in flourishes if I feel the timing is right, like if it's a cool moment to talk about how I'm just going to do a 'simple' shuffle, or I need a revelation that I want to do for a quick pick a card trick.

Most of the time though, I throw flourishes in because I enjoy it. It can detract a bit, and make the effect unclear. If I find that it does that, I make a mental note not to do a flourish then and move on. If I can get away with it, usually it'll work it's way in. It can be nice to watch a flourish for an audience.

There are also times where the flourish is the effect, like my use of the pheonix aces or the boomerang card, so they'll obviously go in then.
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Ronnie

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Reply with quote  #4 

Most flourishes should be separate events. I would be wary of doing them during an actual trick except in rare cases where the trick requires the flourish. And even then it should be done sparingly.

I find the best way to do flourishes is to do a whole slew of them one after the other in a routined sequence. They should be really spectacular flourishes such as the Giant Fan, springing the cards, shuffling with one hand or a routine of one hand cuts. That kind of thing. But after doing this sequence which can last up to two minutes I think all flourishing should stop. Get it out of your system. I think the best place to do this is when you open your performance as it will gain attention. The disadvantage is that it will put people on their guard to watch out for sleight of hand so it might be good psychology to do technically easy or even self working tricks right after the flourishes. And avoid any flourishes altogether after you have done your sequence of them. And the more tricks that happen in the spectator's hands the better. After doing the fancy stuff you need to downplay sleight of hand as much as possible. You can still do it but it should be hidden. And go for tricks that baffle the mind rather than the eye.

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Paul Gordon

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Reply with quote  #5 
Imho, flourishes are very clever but are not magic. Magic is a hidden skill whereas flourishes are an open display of skill akin juggling. I think simple Charlier cuts and ribbon spreads are fine, but cardistry IS a different art form. As I said...imho. Paul Gordon
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Mind Phantom

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Reply with quote  #6 
Blathermist,

I didn't see the thread on flourishes lol, it was late when I posted that..thanks for telling me that.

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Tom G

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Reply with quote  #7 
My line of thinking about flourishes agree with Paul's above post.  While they show skill and practice, they aren't magic.
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Magic-Aly

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Reply with quote  #8 
It is of course true, that flourishes are not magic.  However, their use and to what extent depends on the performing approach of each individual performer.  I mean, truthfully, when we do a baffling card or coin trick, or whatever, do the spectators really believe it was accomplished by "magic"? They know it is manipulative skill, and their comments are not along the lines of: "Wow, you have amazing magical powers!" The reactions run more along the lines of (hopefully), "You are really good, you are great, you're amazing," etc.

Therefore, I don't think that flourishes really diminish the impact of the "magic" as one school of thought seems to believe.  When done well, and not gratuitously overdone, they only heighten the spectator's enjoyment, appreciation, and opinion of the performer.  IMHO, it is part of the artistry of what is a multi-faceted art, contributing to what I believe is the raison d'ĂȘtre of the magician: TO ENTERTAIN.

Again, this is only my personal philosophy of performing, but I like to incorporate as many art forms as I can into my performances.  I use comedy, singing, origami, sight gags, impressions of celebrities, sometimes even a dance step or two, and yes, flourishes. None of those is "magic," but they can enhance the performance of magic and the entertainment experience, just as spices (which are not themselves "food") can spice up a meal.  

This is one of the things I love most about magic as an art; it is a blank canvas and one can paint on it in so many different ways.  I guess I consider myself an entertainer who uses magic among other artistic elements in order to entertain.  That is why my business card does not say, "Magician," but rather "Magical Entertainer."
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Cardshark Quixote

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Reply with quote  #9 
I throw in a few flourishes here & there. But I do the old stuff. I'm old school.
They do catch people's attention. But I mostly do them for fun when i'm alone or sessioning. Not really too much if i'm performing for a lay audience. I don't want to appear "too skilled." It might take away from the "magic."
I haven't learned any of the new cardistry ones. They look nice, but right now i'm focusing on sleights & effects mostly.



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