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SamtheNotasBadasIWas

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I have been working on the Herman Pass for seven or eight months now. I can do it smoothly, but I cannot do it quickly. My spread pass is pretty good, my classic pass is decent as is my covered classic pass. I've seen improvement in all of them but the Herman Pass remains awkwardly slow and requires a LOT of misdirection to pull it off. 

I learned it so I could do a trick I saw online that I liked and I didn't know enough to question what was being done. I now realize I can do the same job with a classic pass easier and quicker.

I am thinking about abandoning the Herman Pass and spend my time on something else, but I am loath to just abandon something I have worked hard on for many months. 

So, I am soliciting advice or a recounting of your experience with the Herman Pass. Is it agGo, or should I give it a pass? (sorry, couldn't help myself)

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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #2 
Ever hear of the sunk cost fallacy?

If you're going to use it, then continue to practice it, but commit to keeping it sharp and useable else it'll quickly slip away. If the goal is to control cards, there are lots of ways to skin that cat. Generally speaking, sleights for sleights sake are wastes of time. The fact that you are questioning the sleight speaks volumes, don't you think?

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Dave Campbell

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Reply with quote  #3 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony Vinson
Ever hear of the sunk cost fallacy?

If you're going to use it, then continue to practice it, but commit to keeping it sharp and useable else it'll quickly slip away. If the goal is to control cards, there are lots of ways to skin that cat. Generally speaking, sleights for sleights sake are wastes of time. The fact that you are questioning the sleight speaks volumes, don't you think?

Av  


Boy, Av ...

I need to print that up and stick it on my freakin' practice table -- how much stuff do I get involved in that is a one-trick pony thing... something used in one place or that looks cool but other ways around it...

Great comment, thanks!

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Reply with quote  #4 
AV's point is well taken.  Being able to do a sleight invisibly in front of your practice mirror is a whole lot different when you're under fire and have people around you.  Even some pros, who have been practicing for years, have a pass that isn't invisible.  If you tense during the get ready or have hand motion, you're busted.  Time might be better spent learning some convincing, casual controls. 
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SamtheNotasBadasIWas

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony Vinson
Ever hear of the sunk cost fallacy?

If you're going to use it, then continue to practice it, but commit to keeping it sharp and useable else it'll quickly slip away. If the goal is to control cards, there are lots of ways to skin that cat. Generally speaking, sleights for sleights sake are wastes of time. The fact that you are questioning the sleight speaks volumes, don't you think?

Av  

I am unable to do a time cost/benefit analysis because I don't know what other tricks need or at least benefit from the Herman pass. I was hoping to get an idea from more experienced card guys about how prevalent the use of the pass is with card tricks.

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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SamtheNotsoMagnificent

I am unable to do a time cost/benefit analysis because I don't know what other tricks need or at least benefit from the Herman pass. I was hoping to get an idea from more experienced card guys about how prevalent the use of the pass is with card tricks.


Well! Sorry I'm not of the caliber you were seeking advice from. [wink]

Sam, while you may not appreciate it, my advice is sound. The sunk cost fallacy requires no CBA, only consideration of personal goals, motives, and intentions. Folks including Harry Lorayne, John Bannon, John Carey, Cameron Francis, Liam Montier, and Michael Breggar - how're those for experienced card guys? - have dedicated their time to streamlining classic plots and effects by eliminating difficult sleights and replacing them with less-difficult sleights or subtleties. The purpose of the Herman Pass, and indeed any other pass, is to control a card or cards. That's it. That's all. How many other methods accomplish the same thing with less heat? Let me count the ways.

At any rate, I wish you best of luck with your quest, and trust that it will lead you on exciting adventures.

Av

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SamtheNotasBadasIWas

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony Vinson


Well! Sorry I'm not of the caliber you were seeking advice from. [wink]

Sam, while you may not appreciate it, my advice is sound. The sunk cost fallacy requires no CBA, only consideration of personal goals, motives, and intentions. Folks including Harry Lorayne, John Bannon, John Carey, Cameron Francis, Liam Montier, and Michael Breggar - how're those for experienced card guys? - have dedicated their time to streamlining classic plots and effects by eliminating difficult sleights and replacing them with less-difficult sleights or subtleties. The purpose of the Herman Pass, and indeed any other pass, is to control a card or cards. That's it. That's all. How many other methods accomplish the same thing with less heat? Let me count the ways.

At any rate, I wish you best of luck with your quest, and trust that it will lead you on exciting adventures.

Av



Wut??? I was merely clarifying what I stated earlier. I appreciate all advice that is given to me here. However, sometimes I do not express my self as plainly as I would like, and I try to clarify what it is that I am trying to say. Your advice is sound, very sound, but I was hoping to get some feedback on the utility of the sleight, meaning how prevalent its use is, that is all. If its a seldom used or promoted sleight, then I can drop it without fear I am leaving something useful behind. I don't know why you took that personally.

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JWSM

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Reply with quote  #8 
My teacher uses a pass. I use one. 

No offense to the names listed, but compare subtle effects and math tricks to the work of:

Dai Vernon
Ed Marlo
John Carney
David Ben
ROSS BERTRAM
Richard Turner
Larry Jennings
Bill Malone
Derek Dingle
Michael Vincent
Jason England

In short, don't be scared to practice sleight of hand, SamtheNotsoMagnificent, it will make the EFFECT clearer.. instead of always counting piles..

I urge you to study the work of the men mentioned above, Sam... There are other names i could list, but i'm keeping them to myself... You have to break away from the "herd"

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Harry Lorayne

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Reply with quote  #9 

   On the other hand, in, the Foreword of my book, THE MAGIC BOOK, I talk about saving you the forty years I wasted learning/practicing sleights I NEVER USED.  I haven't used a pass in decades and have fooled/entertained/made jaws drop all over the world during those decades.
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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SamtheNotsoMagnificent


Wut??? I was merely clarifying what I stated earlier. I appreciate all advice that is given to me here. However, sometimes I do not express my self as plainly as I would like, and I try to clarify what it is that I am trying to say. Your advice is sound, very sound, but I was hoping to get some feedback on the utility of the sleight, meaning how prevalent its use is, that is all. If its a seldom used or promoted sleight, then I can drop it without fear I am leaving something useful behind. I don't know why you took that personally.


Sam,

Communicating via message boards can sometimes be difficult. Hell, it's often difficult, especially between those who don't know one another beyond the virtual world. I wasn't in the least offended, I assure you, although I do appreciate your concern. I used the Winkey emoji to indicate that my statement was meant in good humor. Perhaps, as an "old dude", I selected the wrong emoji? It's possible. I truly wish you good luck on your magic journey, and was signing off only because I felt I had nothing else to add, that's all!

Av 
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SamtheNotasBadasIWas

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Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Lorayne

   On the other hand, in, the Foreword of my book, THE MAGIC BOOK, I talk about saving you the forty years I wasted learning/practicing sleights I NEVER USED.  I haven't used a pass in decades and have fooled/entertained/made jaws drop all over the world during those decades.


It's under the tree as we speak! I may have peeked.

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JWSM

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Reply with quote  #12 
Harry,

Not saying it can't be done, but we can't just dismiss sleight of hand, both can and do work together... That's all that is meant... 
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Harry Lorayne

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Reply with quote  #13 
     And I don't count piles, JWSM. Such silliness!
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JWSM

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Reply with quote  #14 
LOL... just being a wise guy... but there are tricks where the dealing procedures could be cut down by adding a move or 2.. Not talking about your tricks nescessarily.. 
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SamtheNotasBadasIWas

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Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony Vinson


Sam,

Communicating via message boards can sometimes be difficult. Hell, it's often difficult, especially between those who don't know one another beyond the virtual world. I wasn't in the least offended, I assure you, although I do appreciate your concern. I used the Winkey emoji to indicate that my statement was meant in good humor. Perhaps, as an "old dude", I selected the wrong emoji? It's possible. I truly wish you good luck on your magic journey, and was signing off only because I felt I had nothing else to add, that's all!

Av 


It is indeed difficult. A tone of voice can change the context of what is being said and though we hear our voice in our own heads, the person doesn't hear it and has to provide their own context. I hoped I had not given offense, as such was not my intention. 

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Harry Lorayne

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Reply with quote  #16 
     Of course I use sleight of hand, JWSM - just not the pass - don't need it - there are much better SLEIGHT OF HAND controls.  You mention Michael Vincent in your "list" - well, one of his testimonials (about me - that I was his mentor, and so on) is - "There's only one - and that's Harry Lorayne!"

     And in a short preface of my book, CLOSE-UP CARD MAGIC, Dai Vernon says, in part: "Harry Lorayne is one of the best...he never fails to completely mystify his audiences, but more important, he entertains and pleases them."

     I can quote some of the others you list, but really not necessary. But they all know that I don't use the pass. Sure; I've taught the Top-Card Cover Pass in one of my books - If I'm going to do a pass that'd be it - perfect cover. I have the feeling you don't know it.

     You really do have to start reading the good stuff, buddy - and learn to make jaws drop without using the pass or other unnecessary sleights (like the Diagonal Palm Shift).
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JWSM

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Reply with quote  #17 
I have close up card magic and the magic book, harry. sleights  have a place and so do subtleties.. whatever feels right for the person is what matters, so i would never discourage someone for using sleights if they wanted to..



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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #18 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SamtheNotsoMagnificent
I have been working on the Herman Pass for seven or eight months now. I can do it smoothly, but I cannot do it quickly. My spread pass is pretty good, my classic pass is decent as is my covered classic pass. I've seen improvement in all of them but the Herman Pass remains awkwardly slow and requires a LOT of misdirection to pull it off. 

I learned it so I could do a trick I saw online that I liked and I didn't know enough to question what was being done. I now realize I can do the same job with a classic pass easier and quicker.

I am thinking about abandoning the Herman Pass and spend my time on something else, but I am loath to just abandon something I have worked hard on for many months. 

So, I am soliciting advice or a recounting of your experience with the Herman Pass. Is it agGo, or should I give it a pass? (sorry, couldn't help myself)


Sam, this conversation has gone a number of directions but I will address one point of your post and that is speed.  A Herrmann Pass doesn't have to be done quickly but it has to be done smoothly.  So if yours is smooth, just work on doing it at the appropriate time, with some misdirection and take advantage of a good angle if you can.

A pass is surely never necessary, but some like to use it because they can.  There is a certain satisfaction in it.  There are also some tricks that are designed around the pass.  To do them with other sleights, double undercuts and such would be wrong.  I'm talking about tricks like Jim Swain's Passing Along the Vanishing Aces, or Dr. Jacob Daley's Cavorting Aces.

You don't have to like those tricks or even learn them, but to do them correctly the whole point is to be able to made things happen without appearing to have done anything.  So for that purpose, The Pass is the way to go.

That's just me passing judgement.
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Alan Smithee

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Reply with quote  #19 

Don’t entirely agree with Anthony’s post––-Now there’s a surprise.

I start and end with Fun.
If you’re having fun, keep bashing away at it and enjoy the bashing. But if all it’s doing is bringing frustration, seriously consider ditching it.

I fully agree with Anthony when he says:

“The fact that you are questioning the sleight speaks volumes, don't you think?”

To say that I’ve never seen anyone do the Herman Pass, or indeed any Pass, is of course, comical. I have no idea whether the Herman has been used in the many, many, many card tricks I’ve seen performed/demonstrated/executed.

But I have seen attempts made by many, the reason being they weren’t particularly nifty attempts. Or I was at just the right/wrong/bad angle. I saw Derek Dingle’s riffle pass. It’s supposed to be indetectable and likely was for some. But I knew what it look liked and was half-ready.

Technically it was superfine, but it confirmed what I already knew: that no matter how good the technique, if there’s an iffy angle, it’s there to be seen. It’s possible that others saw what I saw and didn’t recognise it.

I knew Fred Robinson and his Riffle Pass is the best I’ve ever seen. Again, the right/wrong angle allowed me to see the work. Brilliantly done, but there it was.

The Invisible Turnover Pass is another. Turning over the cards provides cover, but most of the time I’ve seen it there was no reason for the turnover. Other than to make the move.

Roy Walton’s “Trigger,” for all it has/had some major league endorsers, suffers from the same ailment.

I can do the Classic Pass, but even with my own high-skill ability only do so when people aren’t looking. Otherwise, they see it.

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Waterman

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Reply with quote  #20 
The only pass I'm really good at is the one that involves gas...not always silent, but it gets the reactions I'm looking for.
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Tom G

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Reply with quote  #21 
I've seen many invisible passes.  The only ones fooled by it was the performer.....   I've noodled with the pass for years, but would never perform it.  Look up some of the work on the pass by Ian Kendall.
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #22 
The thread has now pretty much become "Is there really an invisible pass"?  Any move, I mean any move, benefits from timing and misdirection, period.  That applies to the pass, double lifts, even false counts.  Yes, you expect people to count along with you when doing an Elmsley, but your timing is important and a casual manner are crucial to eliminating having it look like a move.  You still want to avoid a challenging attitude, like "catch me if you can".

There are some in magic that believe the pass is a right of passage and if you cannot do a 100% burnable pass you haven't "arrived".  I disagree, totally.  However, the pass is a good sleight and as I pointed out previously is critical to certain routines.  Can you choose to avoid those routines?  Certainly.  Can they be achieved with other moves?  Maybe, but they will suffer.  The whole point of Cavorting Aces is the impossibility of it since there is no movement of the cards that is discernable.  Any cutting of the pack surely ruins the whole deal.  But like I said, you don't have to do the trick.

So pass or don't pass.  But please don't pass judgment just because it isn't invisible.  I've seen a lot of top card men and seen a lot of side steals, top palms, etc.  But that didn't stop them.
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Waterman

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Reply with quote  #23 
Ironically, the majority of laymen will never see the end results that hours and hours of practice bring to the card magician who puts in the work. However, should this be a concern?

Sometimes I feel that the majority of sleight of hand experts aren't really honing their skills for regular folks, but more for those who can truly appreciate what they are seeing...their fellow magicians. Magicians KNOW what is happening yet are unable to "catch" their  well practiced peers when demonstrating their moves...often just for the sake of doing the moves and not  in the context of an effect. It's also safer to perform knuckle-busting sleights for other magi due to their willingness to let a slip-up go by and allow for the move monkey to do it again.

Please don't misconstrue my thoughts as being the rule. We all know that there are some very skilled card magicians who can do just about any dang move ever devised with a deck of cards...and they are making a living performing these skills for the public.
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Paco Nagata

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Reply with quote  #24 
SamtheNotsoMagnificent,
On one hand I think that the only advise one could give you to do it faster is just to keep practicing it.
On the other hand, you said that your Herrmann Pass requires a LOT of misdirection. Well then, apply a lot of misdirection if you really need to use it while you keep practicing it to get it faster.
As Anthony Vinson said, if your purpose if to control cards there are many other  alternatives. Actually it is a good thing to use different ways to control cards even when you master the Pass. Why? Because they are less risky. There will be moments in which you feel a bit dizzy and don't want to risk using technique you can fail. Any movement can look natural providing that you use it usually.
A Tip I have used all my life as an amateur card magician is not to use the Pass with unknown people. So to speak, I only (but not always) use the Pass with people that know me very well, like best friends, close relatives... just because they are used to considering that I just lose the card.
However, I seldom use the Pass with people that don't know me well as a magician. My idea was letting them suspect about my way of getting back the selected card, at the begining of making myself known as a magician. Later, I could use the Pass to confuse them, in the sense that sometimes it looks that I do "something" and other times it looks that I don't do anything. Finally, when I notice that my habitual spectators consider me as real magician, I use more the Pass, but not always.
In short: my purpose is to confuse regarding any method I use.

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SamtheNotasBadasIWas

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Reply with quote  #25 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paco Nagata
SamtheNotsoMagnificent,
On one hand I think that the only advise one could give you to do it faster is just to keep practicing it.
On the other hand, you said that your Herrmann Pass requires a LOT of misdirection. Well then, apply a lot of misdirection if you really need to use it while you keep practicing it to get it faster.
As Anthony Vinson said, if your purpose if to control cards there are many other  alternatives. Actually it is a good thing to use different ways to control cards even when you master the Pass. Why? Because they are less risky. There will be moments in which you feel a bit dizzy and don't want to risk using technique you can fail. Any movement can look natural providing that you use it usually.
A Tip I have used all my life as an amateur card magician is not to use the Pass with unknown people. So to speak, I only (but not always) use the Pass with people that know me very well, like best friends, close relatives... just because they are used to considering that I just lose the card.
However, I seldom use the Pass with people that don't know me well as a magician. My idea was letting them suspect about my way of getting back the selected card, at the begining of making myself known as a magician. Later, I could use the Pass to confuse them, in the sense that sometimes it looks that I do "something" and other times it looks that I don't do anything. Finally, when I notice that my habitual spectators consider me as real magician, I use more the Pass, but not always.
In short: my purpose is to confuse regarding any method I use.
Thanks for the encouragement!


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jim ferguson

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Reply with quote  #26 
The following is part of a post I wrote some time ago on another forum when discussing the Pass. I thought it may be of interest here.



Up until the early 1900s the pass was the main card sleight used by magicians. It was used for everything. It was deemed so important because AT THAT TIME it was the best and sometimes only method for much of the card work being performed - hence its importance. If we look at the first three effects in the magic section at the back of erdnase we will see that the pass is used in all of them. It is immedietly obvious, with advancements in the craft since then (1902) that there are far better methods for achieving these effects.

However, its seeming importance and pride of place in the magic texts seems to change during the early part of the 1900s - and this coincides with the introduction of a proper close-up double lift, which also coincides with a change in how magic was performed.

Let me explain - the early (original) double lift technique was to thumb the necessary and "pick" them up, display the card face to the audience and replace (I'm trying not to give too much away here but assume you all know what I mean). As far as I'm aware the first description was in "New White Magic Revealed" (1853). For parlour type performances this worked well.

But times were changing, and the popularity of the parlour performances began to wane - close-up was becoming the popular style. This change can be seen in the magic literature as the published effects seem to start focusing more on intimate magic, than parlour or stage type pieces.

In these close-up enviroments the double lift technique as typically used was clumsy, impracticle and open to detection. So new techniques were devised so it could be done, undetected under the very noses of the spectators.
The first proper description of a usable, practical double lift technique that I'm aware of was in "Card Manipulatons no 2" (1934).

This publication seems to be a landmark in the history of the double lift and the story of the pass. Its no coincidence that soon after this publication there was a change in not only the pass' position in the magic books, but also the double lifts. No longer was the pass the first sleight taught - and in most instances the new double lifting techniques took pride of place. With the new techniques the real value of the double lift was realised - and it became apparent that this sleight, when properly done, could not only replace the pass in many of the classic effects, but in many instances was actually the superior option.

This doesn't mean I don't think its a good sleight or not worth learning and there are definetely certain effects in which the pass remains the best method (Cavorting Aces comes to mind).

The pass is like any other sleight - if you have a specific use for it, or intend to perform an effect in which it is the best method, then you must learn it. In this case it will be well worth the time spent learning it. What I wouldn't do is learn something just because others are doing it, then wonder what to do with it.


Jim


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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #27 
Jim,

That's fascinating. Do you have sources you can share, or is the research original? Please note that it's not that I doubt you, but rather that I would like to know more.

Thanks!

Av
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jim ferguson

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Reply with quote  #28 
Thanks Anthony.

The research was done by me, using my personal library. I have some notes somewhere I can try to fish out.

Obviously I don't have every book out there, but the above conclusions were arrived at from my observations of the written texts, and my research several years ago into the history of the double lift.

I've always had a fascination for the history of the craft, and the majority of my library is pretty old - most of my inspiration comes from the old tomes.



Jim

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Paul Hallas

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Reply with quote  #29 
Give it a pass. How many passes does one need? (almost none, actually). You already do a few, you don't need another.

The pass (as a control) is obsolete . Of course one can find some good routines where a Pass is used but not as a card control. Must be over ten years since I used one in such a way,  A Roy Walton routine described by Paul Wilson. 

The sleight toolbox really doesn't need to be that large.
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Paco Nagata

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Reply with quote  #30 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Hallas
The sleight toolbox really doesn't need to be that large.

Wise sentence! I back it up.
Of course, the more resource the better, but it does not imply to be better magician because of that.

Jim, I've enjoyed your interesting post too. Well done.
Certainly the Pass has been very exploited since Hofzinser already made from it a good deal.

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Alan Smithee

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Reply with quote  #31 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Waterman
Ironically, the majority of laymen will never see the end results that hours and hours of practice bring to the card magician who puts in the work. However, should this be a concern?

Sometimes I feel that the majority of sleight of hand experts aren't really honing their skills for regular folks, but more for those who can truly appreciate what they are seeing...their fellow magicians. Magicians KNOW what is happening yet are unable to "catch" their  well practiced peers when demonstrating their moves...often just for the sake of doing the moves and not  in the context of an effect. It's also safer to perform knuckle-busting sleights for other magi due to their willingness to let a slip-up go by and allow for the move monkey to do it again.

Please don't misconstrue my thoughts as being the rule. We all know that there are some very skilled card magicians who can do just about any dang move ever devised with a deck of cards...and they are making a living performing these skills for the public.


Generally agree, Waterman, though reading your post reminded me of Lennart Green. He was disqualified (or simply didn't win) from some close-up competition (FISM, maybe) for using tricks cards, rather than sleight of hand. 

He wasn't using tricks cards.
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Alan Smithee

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Reply with quote  #32 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Hallas
Give it a pass. How many passes does one need? (almost none, actually). You already do a few, you don't need another.

The pass (as a control) is obsolete . Of course one can find some good routines where a Pass is used but not as a card control. Must be over ten years since I used one in such a way,  A Roy Walton routine described by Paul Wilson. 

The sleight toolbox really doesn't need to be that large.


It's just as well. If my sleight toolbox was even sleightly spacious everything would rattle around. In fact my moves are kept in a small pouch.
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #33 
Found this on the web so it must be true.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_lift
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jim ferguson

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Reply with quote  #34 
Thank Ray, the link is very interesting.

The Merry Companion (1776), predates the reference I found in New White Magic Revealed (1853). I don't have The Merry Companion, but I shall look into it and try and get a copy.
Quite often references are given for sleights or tricks, which are not really the same, but a "relative". However from the short description it sounds accurate that it was indeed a double lift that was used.

The reference to Greater Magic (1938) being the first published description of the double lift in the 20th century is wrong. Card Manipulations predates this by four years, and was the first time a double lift with turnover was published.

As for the turnover being Vernons idea, no-one can say for sure. However, considering later revelations concerning Expert Card Technique, it is entirely possible that Hugard got the turnover from Vernon. While the actual technique in Card Manipulations differs from Vernons techniques, it may simply be a simplified handling of his idea. All speculation of course.


Jim

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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #35 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jim ferguson
Thank Ray, the link is very interesting.

The Merry Companion (1776), predates the reference I found in New White Magic Revealed (1853). I don't have The Merry Companion, but I shall look into it and try and get a copy.
Quite often references are given for sleights or tricks, which are not really the same, but a "relative". However from the short description it sounds accurate that it was indeed a double lift that was used.

The reference to Greater Magic (1938) being the first published description of the double lift in the 20th century is wrong. Card Manipulations predates this by four years, and was the first time a double lift with turnover was published.

As for the turnover being Vernons idea, no-one can say for sure. However, considering later revelations concerning Expert Card Technique, it is entirely possible that Hugard got the turnover from Vernon. While the actual technique in Card Manipulations differs from Vernons techniques, it may simply be a simplified handling of his idea. All speculation of course.


Jim



Obviously someone had to be first.  I find it hard to believe that it wasn't until Vernon that someone turned the double over onto the pack, but without documentation, who knows?  Apparently Vernon was unsure.  If he had seen it before or been taught it I'm sure he would have remembered.  

Regarding ECT, the original did contain a bunch of Vernon's originations without permission.  Charlie Miller was apparently to blame.  Attributions were made in the update.

It is not uncommon for sleights to be written up "wrong" or somehow modified from the original.  
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Alan Smithee

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Reply with quote  #36 
To sort of second Anthony's comment, very interesting posts, Jim. And well done on the research.
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