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Maigret

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Reply with quote  #1 

May I introduce you to the dumbest and craziest thing ever created:

 The stack watch

 Advert:

https://www.ellusionist.com/stack-watch-by-pete-turner.html

 Recorded live stream:

 And yet customers will be found for it. All a real memorized deck worker can do by looking at this absurdity is to shake his head pityingly.


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Dave Campbell

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Reply with quote  #2 
lol... I was writing my message while you were posting yours!!!

Absolutely the dumbest way to spend $75 ever!


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larrylime

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Reply with quote  #3 
Wow, thats hilarious. Selling people a tool they dont need.

Great way to take advantage of laziness I guess.
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Maigret

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Reply with quote  #4 
Denis Behr thinks that the date on the watch is set to April 1st [smile]
Read also the other comenst on his post on  Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/p/B_S537dn51Z/?igshid=164lnyqzq922l


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Wayne T

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Reply with quote  #5 
I just ask Siri. [smile]
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #6 
This was from an email I just received from Ellusionist.
-------------------------------------------------------------

Ellusionist made a promise that if we sold over half of our watches on pre-order, they'd ship them EARLIER than expected. I'm chuffed to say that thanks to your support, that IS happening. 

If you were one of the hundreds of pre-orders, we'll email you as soon as your watch has shipped. 

However, this release hasn't been without its controversy and I wanted to address that here. 

Question: "Why bother buying this watch, when you can just put the time into learning a stack?"

Answer: Choreography in performance is an art form in itself. The outward appearance of the performance is the thing that the audience enjoy. They do not care what the method is as they never see it - and neither do I.

Good performance and good performers are few and far between. Five seconds in a performance can make the difference between a spectator remembering you for the rest of your life or them forgetting you in an instant.

I’m in the business of helping people get the most out of their own performances - for the audience’s benefit.

If that means that someone doesn’t have to calculate at a crucial moment in the routine or accidentally ruining the revelation because of an unexpected moment that occurs during the performance - like a miscalculation or a spectator asking (after you’ve already done the maths) “can I cut them again?” (which we’ve all had happen) and then having to either wrestle with the spectator to keep the deck unsoiled or re-do the math (which is lose/ lose) in that scenario, I’d take this any day.

this is not laziness, it is encouragement. It’s a tool to inspire people to dip their toes into a world they don’t know anything about and feel secure knowing they have a back-up, or learning aid incase they’re scared of getting the math wrong.

To some it will be the definitive solution, the be all and end all, to some it won't - and that is ok as well.

I know a great number of performers who stopped attempting to want to look at stacks entirely because they feel the pay off is too small to warrant the time it takes... or might not be very good with numbers/mathematics and the embarrassment of that keeps them from opening their mind up to another lifetime of effects and material.

There’s a very apt quote

“Everybody is a genius... But if you judge a Fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid”.

Some of my friends cannot read aptly, but are incredible performers and the things they can do with a deck of cards stun me to silence.

One response I saw to our Live Stream was that the magician had autism and despite as much effort as he could give, could not get Mnemonica to stick. Think about that. This product has opened a door for someone who thinks differently and that's a beautiful thing. 

Another gentleman I was consulting for cried his eyes out at my dining room table because he couldn’t remember the scripts for an effect or retain them - he’s a great performer and entertainer but has had to learn to work in the moment. He was so embarrassed by admitting that to me that I had to remind him it’s ok.

We all have strengths and weaknesses - I’m here to teach people how to play to their strengths and use their weaknesses to their advantage or paint them red so they’re no longer weaknesses.

If the concept they use the watch for, is entertaining, out of the box and engaging - then that’s ok. They made up for not learning a stack in a different way.

Look at the ‘shuffle subtlety’ I created to let a spectator “shuffle” the deck of cards (when has that been a possibility with a stack?) - it wouldn’t have been a thing if I hadn’t created this watch.

It inspired me to think of ideas that worked around the stack and help present it in interesting ways.

When you use the watch long enough you will start to learn the stack anyway - like foreign students being advised to watch English television shows so that they can learn the use of the words they’re learning in a casual and comfy context - with no consequence.

This is not ‘takeaway’ magic or Mentalism but a utility that allows you to be the best ‘you’ in performance.

So those that say I have no respect are wrong, I have more respect for this community and art-form than anyone else I know. I live and breathe it all day, every day. 

Just remember the only person that cares about method are the magicians and mentalists.
Don't just listen to my thoughts, this is what Lloyd Barnes had to say...
[44942f14-703f-4a79-a30a-a7b83f90dfaa]
 
HOW IT WORKS - EASY, NO MEMORY ACAAN

Twist & track every card in every position of the deck. If the spectator names position 16 and the 5 of clubs, you just twist the dial to that position.

Now it shows that you need to cut the 8 of hearts to the face of the deck to ensure the ACAAN is bang on.  
[7e045983-e67c-4d32-a7e6-f7ab572c0932]
WATCH THE TRAILER HERE
 
 
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Dave Campbell

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Reply with quote  #7 
so the spectator names a card and number...

You then change the 'chronograph' on your watch for no reason -- and squint at the value that comes up
Then you take the deck and spread through it to find the 8H to cut to the face

Doesn't look suspicious at all to me 😉

Can't believe that would even fly in the Junior High lunchroom


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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #8 
It will be interesting to see the reviews from "typical" magicians as they begin pouring in.  There are modifications that could be made to the watch bezel that would eliminate the obviousness of it.  Perhaps that will be a future evolution.  It could "fairly easily" be modded to enable you to only see one "row" of characters at a time.  That would reduce the chance of getting busted at least a bit.  I would suggest to anyone buying the watch to try and wear it so that the clasp is on the back of your wrist.  That will shield the watch from view much better.  It also would allow you to take a peek a little more surreptitiously.  The typical "I'm looking at my watch" movement is hard to disguise.
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John Cowne

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Reply with quote  #9 
I watched the advert, and tried to make sense of the fairly wide spectrum of opinions on the stack watch. At present I am trying to learn ACAAN one of the usual ways. I'm probably not going to get the watch for a number of reasons - but not because I am not 'lazy'. I don't think I am lazy, but that's not the point.I would have thought that any magician who has put a lot of effort into thinking through alternative ways to doing a 'classic' trick has contributed to the overall advance of magic. One alternative idea begets another. I thought the video was pretty slow starting, but by the middle of the presentation, I discovered there were strategies for where this trick could help the newbie get started and as an 'out' for when a mind lets you down; I'm presuming no-one has been exempt from that ... or for someone 'reclaiming' time in a place where pulling out cards may not be appropriate.This is one of those issues I found Roger van Oech's "A Whack On the Side of the Head" has a wonderful application for: never throw an idea out before you consider how you MIGHT use or modify it to make something better. As I said, I probably will never get the watch, but there's some positives there worth exploring.
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Chi Han

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Reply with quote  #10 
I'm actually a huge fan of Peter Turner's stuff.  I think he does some of the best mentalism out there, and he seems like a really cool guy with really interesting methods and approaches to presentation.  I have no doubt HE could make this  work without it looking suspicious.

That said, I have the feeling that this is going to lead to a wave of really terrible performances by magicians who got suckered into buying this.  It's not even the tool so much as, if you're the kind of person who can't be bothered learning a stack, you probably can't be bothered putting my effort into your presentation or research of tricks.  I have this feeling we're going to see a lot of terrible ACAAN's and pick a card find a card tricks that would have been better accomplished with a marked deck.

I even like the design of the watch.  If it had been a higher quality and cost watch marketed as a fashion piece I would have thought it was pretty cool.  The fact they're marketing it as a mentalism tool just hurts me.  For the same price you could buy Mnemonica.

In fairness I've seen them justifying that it allows you to quickly re calculate a stack that's been cut, and I'm going to try not to judge anyone who buys one, but this really is not a product I'm a fan of.  Next E are going to print stack sunglasses and shoes.  Why not just print the whole stack on the back of the card?

Then again somebody said they sold out, so what do I know?  It's like that whole better than Erdnase thing that Madison did.  It obviously caters to a certain specific market, so good luck to those people.
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #11 
Like anything new there will always be people that buy it based upon impulse.  Some will buy it because they want to do certain effects and this watch will enable them to do so without a lot of effort.  The main thing it has going for it is that so far it is the only watch with a stack on it.  That is until the rip-off artists figure out it is selling.  Then you'll be able to get it for less than half the retail.

I'm sure there will be plenty of these sitting in drawers, along with other gimmicks and gaffs that folks just had to have.

Some will buy it and after some time, will begin to memorize the stack despite themselves and go on to learning to truly memorize the sequence.  So consider it a gateway drug.

Like I said, it will be interesting to see what comes of it when people (typical magicians)  get the watch in hand and begin to work out presentations.  
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Mbreggar

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Reply with quote  #12 
... and conceptually, the concept of the working of this watch was ripped-off from a brilliant idea Stephan Tucker sold years back. He had an ACAAN version that used the Bret Harding stack. A super easy to construct dial apparatus-y type thing is attached to the back of a big marking pad used in the presentation. It is a brilliant idea to make the math of the effect go away ... the Harding stack is an easy to remember stack like Stebbins. 

In the end, pick a stack and memorize it via Harry's toolkit. Only leverage gadgets like this to help with the math if you insist on performing an ACAAN-effect!
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Wayne T

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mbreggar
... and conceptually, the concept of the working of this watch was ripped-off from a brilliant idea Stephan Tucker sold years back. He had an ACAAN version that used the Bret Harding stack. A super easy to construct dial apparatus-y type thing is attached to the back of a big marking pad used in the presentation. It is a brilliant idea to make the math of the effect go away ... the Harding stack is an easy to remember stack like Stebbins. 

In the end, pick a stack and memorize it via Harry's toolkit. Only leverage gadgets like this to help with the math if you insist on performing an ACAAN-effect!


I agree with Mike it's a gadget. Magicians are like golfers and fishermen and many of them will buy anything if they think it will improve their game.

I not really into mem decks (lazy or stupid, you make the choice) but the stuff that be done with them is amazing. I don't claim to understand the full functionality of the Mnemonica stack but ACAAN is just one of several amazing tricks it makes possible. If all this watch does is assist with the ACAAN trick it seems like total overkill for one trick and under utilization of the stack. 

There are lots of good "pseudo" ACAAN tricks some of which Mike has published.

If someone insists on using the stack for just for an ACAAN I think Chi Han mentioned you can get a playing card with the stack printed on it. I remember seeing a similar idea where you can print the stack and attach it to the back of the card box. Glance the box when moving it and viola...

Dumbest ever, perhaps harsh, most of us have drawers full of dumb stuff, but it does seem to be a solution to a non problem. 



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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mbreggar
... and conceptually, the concept of the working of this watch was ripped-off from a brilliant idea Stephan Tucker sold years back. He had an ACAAN version that used the Bret Harding stack. A super easy to construct dial apparatus-y type thing is attached to the back of a big marking pad used in the presentation. It is a brilliant idea to make the math of the effect go away ... the Harding stack is an easy to remember stack like Stebbins. 

In the end, pick a stack and memorize it via Harry's toolkit. Only leverage gadgets like this to help with the math if you insist on performing an ACAAN-effect!


At a minimum the inspiration for the idea should be made known.  If the concept is essentially the same, I would argue that they probably should have reached out to Stephen Tucker for his blessings.  If this was truly an independent creation then the right thing to do is make mention of the Tucker effect in subsequent advertising, giving credit for the concept that was later developed by Peter Turner.
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Medifro

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Reply with quote  #15 
Gents,

There are worse things in the world right now than this watch.

I’m a mem deck worker, I don’t need it, but it’s a method. I don’t hate methods, methods don’t care about me. Everything has it use. Someone may use this on stage as a back up crib. Maybe it’s a fellow mem deck worker who’s age affecting his memory? What if someone suffers a learning disability with math and wants to perform the stack? Maybe even it’s a back up plan for those who want to learn the stack?

A good magician will automatically realize the watch is a stepping stone, particularly when so many good gimmicked watches exist that you can use instead of a watch that could be replaced with your mind.


Here’s the thing: It sold out by Pre-Orders only. They made the money. It was a smart business decision, in a time magic shops and magicians are having tough finances.


As for Stephen Tucker’s Bert Harding stack: would be nice if he gets credit however at that conceptual level lots of other creations should have had better crediting and didn’t. His stack is also deeply buried in this day and age, as his stack isn’t even known to many stack workers I know, let alone the the use of a dial. I doubt they knew about the stack. In addition, why the anger towards the watch but not the dial? On the other hand, conceptually in a different direction, the closest thing that comes to this is the Karma stack which uses the watch as a mnemonic, but that wasn’t credited either, and that’s fine because it’s different.

I don’t think it’s stupid. It’s just a tool. It will help those who intend to be good stack workers as they will automatically will drop it when they realize they can’t depend on it to get the full potential of stack work. Those who depend on it and stop, they weren’t going to be good stack workers to begin with. If they buy it only for the ACAAN, they will feel bad about their money if I perform a version with the Turner watch, which has zillion other uses.

Spending 80$ in this watch when it’s not needed, THAT would be a stupid decision.



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Buffalo McKinley

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Reply with quote  #16 
I respectfully disagree with the naysayers who are likely MUCH more experienced than me.

I understand the dismay with magicians who want to buy an easy solution instead of doing the work, particularly if you're someone who has invested many years sacrificing and learning.

However, I think encouraging ingenuity is a good thing.  The creators of the watch saw a challenge for memorizing a deck and invented a clever solution.

That's a good thing, even though the watch may not be for you, and as I think Ray pointed out, the watch will probably wind up in the drawer of someone who doesn't want to do the work.

I'm thinking the watch could be a good solution for transitioning to performing with a memorized deck.  It's intimidating to keep all that information in your mind when you start performing with a memorized deck.  (That's where I'm at now.)  This discussion reminds me of when I used to do stand-up.   Some comedians expressed horror that any comedian would bring a set list (a list of the order of the jokes you plan to perform) on stage, but you have a lot to remember while interacting with the audience, particularly when performing new material, and I found just having my set list in my pocket took the pressure off me so I could just focus on my set.  I knew I could refer to the list if I blanked out, and almost always I got through my set without ever pulling the list out of my pocket.  I bet many magicians will do the same with this watch.  It's a backup in case they blank out.  They can just refer to the watch and deliver on the magic the audience came to see.

-Buffalo
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Rudy Tinoco

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Reply with quote  #17 
That’s a thought provoking perspective, Buffalo. I suppose we all look for shortcuts sometimes.

Kinda like when I tried and failed miserably at learning to solve the Rubik’s Cube (Cube3 by Brundage). I know that with the proper time and dedication, I could master it and do some incredible magic. Unfortunately, I gave up and opted for a more easy approach...Venom Cube.

I should admit that if this watch was able to help me perform the math necessary for Asi’s ACAAN, is add it to my cart straight away :)

Rudy


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Medifro

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Reply with quote  #18 
Rudy, it would.

Agree with you both.
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Rudy Tinoco

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Reply with quote  #19 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Medifro
Rudy, it would.

Agree with you both.


Thanks Medifro. I must have missed something. I thought that it simply gave you the card and it's numerical position in the stack. I'll have to go back and re-read the promotional material.

Rudy

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Buffalo McKinley

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Reply with quote  #20 
One other thing to consider when making comments like, "May I introduce you to the dumbest and craziest thing ever created".

Whoever created the watch probably doesn't share your opinion, and I'm guessing they have hopes and dreams like the rest of us for a better life, and maybe they've had the hope as they went through the long and expensive development process, resolved many inevitable missteps and obstacles, maybe borrowed money from family and friends, that maybe they could make a few bucks and have a little security that goes with the financial success of a new product, all so someone could reduce their efforts to 
"May I introduce you to the dumbest and craziest thing ever created".

I'm not being superior....many years ago I engaged in this behavior, too, and I regret it.

While many people rush to post their criticisms of products, movies, books, YouTube videos, etc., now I don't waste a minute of my life on that stuff.  Time is running out for all of us, and I'm busy working on my dreams, instead of pointing out how the strong man stumbles.


“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

-Theodore Roosevelt

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

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Maigret

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Reply with quote  #21 

I wish everyone the fulfillment of their “hopes and dreams” as you describe the motives of the sellers of this product.

 But also the BUYERS of a product have “hopes and dreams”.

The buyers in this case are often novice magicians who think that with this product they can become an experienced memorized deck worker or even approach an Asi Wind or Vincent Hedan.

And the "hopes and dreams" of novice magicians (as you describe yourself in one of your posts on this forum) are sometimes (and more and more recently) abused in the magical world.

 Forums like this are there to point people to this.

I have no objection to “shortcuts” at all. On the contrary. Why make something difficult when it can also be done easy. However, this product does not meet that (in my opinion) at all. I will not go into more detail about the reasons why.

 Fortunately, I am in good company with my opinion. Denis Behr and others thought it was an April joke. But hey, what do Denis Behr and I know about a memorized deck?

 I did not write my initial post to attack the creators and sellers of this product.

I wrote this to warn inexperienced magicians in this specific domain.
And it goes without saying that not everyone has to agree with me.

I rest my case and do not want to communicate about this further.
There is none so deaf as those who will not hear...


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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #22 
I feel it is appropriate to attach a review by MagicOrthodoxy.  The review dropped today, I think.  David reports that he had to shut down the comments as things unfortunately got out of hand.  The review is well balanced with pros, cons and a full explanation of what the watch is intended to be and what it is not.  One thing to note is that it is pointed out that Tamariz himself promotes the idea of having a backup.  In Tamariz' case it is the idea of having a Joker with the Mnemonica written out on the back.  This watch is certainly a substitute for that.

While I'd never purchase it, I wouldn't blame anyone who did if they feel it would help them.  To each his/her own.  

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Buffalo McKinley

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Reply with quote  #23 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maigret

I wish everyone the fulfillment of their “hopes and dreams” as you describe the motives of the sellers of this product.

 But also the BUYERS of a product have “hopes and dreams”.

The buyers in this case are often novice magicians who think that with this product they can become an experienced memorized deck worker or even approach an Asi Wind or Vincent Hedan.

And the "hopes and dreams" of novice magicians (as you describe yourself in one of your posts on this forum) are sometimes (and more and more recently) abused in the magical world.

 Forums like this are there to point people to this.

I have no objection to “shortcuts” at all. On the contrary. Why make something difficult when it can also be done easy. However, this product does not meet that (in my opinion) at all. I will not go into more detail about the reasons why.

 Fortunately, I am in good company with my opinion. Denis Behr and others thought it was an April joke. But hey, what do Denis Behr and I know about a memorized deck?

 I did not write my initial post to attack the creators and sellers of this product.

I wrote this to warn inexperienced magicians in this specific domain.
And it goes without saying that not everyone has to agree with me.

I rest my case and do not want to communicate about this further.
There is none so deaf as those who will not hear...




If someone was to say that your opinion, Maigret, was the dumbest and craziest opinion they've ever seen expressed (FYI, this is just hyperbole), you would likely take issue with it.

You know I was suggesting you choose your words with a little sensitivity, but if you think you did, please direct us to something you've created that we can review online and share our opinions.  Where can we find something?

Thanks,

Buffalo
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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #24 
Points taken, gents. Back to corners, eh? 

Thanks,

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