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ALEXANDRE
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PostSubject: Playing Cards   Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:39 am

I've read a few people here say they are not card workers. Considering the popularity of cards, why not?

I understand if this is personal taste, some people simply don't like cards, like I don't like linking rings, but otherwise, I believe cards are fantastic for use in magic, bizarre magic, and mentalism.

Kreskin uses cards very effectively in his work and has done so for many decades (video below). Bob Cassidy, Richard Osterlind, Max Maven, Chan Canasta, Derren Brown, and Paul Vigil who says magicians and mentalists who choose not to use cards, do so because they are lazy. Neutral

As far as the general public, I don't think they care at all, they want to be entertained, mystified, they could care less what props we use, but rather how we use them. After many performances, I don't believe the use of playing cards diminishes impact whatsoever.

Mick Ayres wrote: "If a mentalist doesn't want to use a prop as common as a deck of cards in his show--then he certainly shouldn't. But if a 'Fear of Comparison' issue is the motivation, then he might consider dropping those slate boards so no one thinks he is just a ancient school teacher with nothing else to do--or get rid of the clipboards, post-it notes and pencils so no one compares him to a moonlighting accountant. My decision to use playing cards is based on hard-earned knowledge and experience...not a well-intentioned, but mis-guided concern."


So what do you think about the use of playing cards in mentalism, bizarre magic, or as a mystery performer?




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Graham Yates
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PostSubject: Re: Playing Cards   Tue Feb 09, 2010 10:45 am

I only know and do the Odd card trick so dont consider myself a card worker.

The ones i use tend not to have sleight of hand involved, which is my main reason for not using cards as i only have small hands and was never able to master palming etc

Chris' new XXXXX cards has re piqued my interest as to what we can do with these, in relation to card effects.


Now having said that I have just bought a set of old Lexicon cards, they are in great condition but a bit "Sticky" does anyone know how i can unsticky them?
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The Curator
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PostSubject: Re: Playing Cards   Tue Feb 09, 2010 11:10 am

Don't abuse but use them.
Don't make the routines look like stupid card tricks, that's all. You can even mix gambling effects and mentalism in a very effective way. Or Gambling and Bizarre.
If you did read "Paradise Lost", you should understand what I mean.
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Christopher J Gould
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PostSubject: Re: Playing Cards   Tue Feb 09, 2010 12:49 pm

There are arguments for and against.
I had heard Derren Brown say that, reluctantly, he would NEVER, use cards as it 'blew his cover' - then almost the next day, I saw him performing with cards on TV.

The against case is well rehearsed and has a lot of truth to it. The association - both conscious and unconscious is of someone (normally a tedious relative at Christmas) performing a trick. You are then thrust into the world of 'how did you do that? Ohw, you are clever! (actually you are smarmy bastard and I am irritated by your stupid little puzzle)'.
It is difficult to get away from this association. Cards are used by poker players and magicians.
Why would a reader of minds get out a pack of cards anyhow?

On the other hand - they are so very seductive. They have a long history. The fact that they are so common makes them more powerful. In a small box you have a flexible kit for testing a range of psychological, metaphysical and reality bending effects. For the size, there is nothing as flexible and powerful in magic (think about it).

Alex has shown me some very interesting concepts with cards recently - and i have been demonstrating them somewhat obsessively, refining the ideas to suit my own premise. some of these things can be very powerful. Only today, I performed three 'card tricks' and brought tears to the eyes of one person (really, this happened! - and they were not tears from yawning, just in case you were thinking!) -Alex and I have been bantering about some interesting ideas to say the least.

I have obsessed for many years on an alternative to a set of cards - many, many experiments have yielded many, many degrees of failure. Two alternatives, I have posted on the developers forum here. One of these may, just may be a working alternative!

So, I am on the fence (my favorite place) regarding this tricky subject.

My conclusion? If cards work for you and fit into the reality you have created - use them.
If cards do not fit in with your premise, don't use them. - But don't be snobbish either (not that anyone here would be!)!
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The Curator
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PostSubject: Re: Playing Cards   Tue Feb 09, 2010 1:39 pm

Christopher J Gould wrote:


My conclusion? If cards work for you and fit into the reality you have created - use them.
If cards do not fit in with your premise, don't use them. - But don't be snobbish either (not that anyone here would be!)!

Yep, that's it.
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ALEXANDRE
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PostSubject: Re: Playing Cards   Tue Feb 09, 2010 3:43 pm

Christopher J Gould wrote:

Why would a reader of minds get out a pack of cards anyhow?


To demonstrate their abilities with an everyday object ... like my niece Sophie from Vienna has done here to my astonishment. I have no idea how she can do these things. alien


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Dr Jae
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PostSubject: Re: Playing Cards   Tue Feb 09, 2010 6:47 pm

That's my level with cards. I lack any dexterity and as much as I would like to do fantastic things with them I obviously have too many other things I want or need to do first as I've never sat down to teach myself anything other than the most basic.

In our line fancy flourishes are rarely required but I see no reason at all why cards should not be used. People are not always as stupid as we would like. They know we are there to entertain them. It's just that however you do it and whatever you use it must be done well.
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Andy Stephenson
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PostSubject: Re: Playing Cards   Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:02 pm

To me anything can be used so long as it is used in a natural way.
A while ago somebody said that cards are associated with trickery and mind readers should stay away from them for that reason; which is ok, but this gentle ellitism then starts to put limits on not only how you achieve your desired outcome, but also a validation for the reasoning behind the effect.

I use cards in a couple of ways;

firstly as an impression device: In one of my effects a small bit of magic slate is hidden inside the box. The box is handed to 1 spectator to write a date on the post it note attached to the front, he then takes it of and keeps it secret in his pocket.
I then use a second spectator to take out 2 random cards from the deck (freely) and place them face down in front of them.
(By passing the cards out of the box to the second spectator I now know the first persons number, usually a four digit year.)
I keep the number in my mind while I do a analysis or character read on the second spectator as a warm up to getting the first spectators year. ) I slightly misscall the first card and hit the second. The four digit number I currently reveal via a Doc Hilford\Berglas method by getting the two spectators to call out random digits and when totaled the equal the number on the first spectators post it.



secondly I use them in an effect published in the nail writer anthology called "Franks lucky Number" whereas the cards represent lottery numbers that are part of the story. (Pack of cards given to the spectator and sealed envelope placed on the table with what the performer has percieved to be the spectators lucky number to be. The spectators thinks of any random card to represent a lottery number.. say the six of hearts. They can then open the envelope to reveal a card that says " Your lucky number is 22".. when they take out the cards from their pocket they count down to the 22 card and it is the six of hearts. All the other cards can be seen to be different.

In the first instance i'm using cards to cover an information grab and peek, and justifing them being there as a way to mentaly warm up. A demonstration on how I learned to do what I do if you like.

In the second instance they are being used for the purpose of representing lotto number (although, as I use in the patter, there are more cards than lotto numbers so it makes it more difficult.)
So even though the cards are always held by the spectator and never by the performer they are a vital part of the body of the effect.

What I guess i'm saying is don't rule something out because of all the drama around it, if you are clever enough, people won't even have those thoughts about why the cards are there, they will be to busy picking their jaw up off the floor.

I will try and find the original word document for the Franks Lucky Number effect and post it here if anyone is intrested and havn't already seen it.

_________________
The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words.

Philip K Dick
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ALEXANDRE
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PostSubject: Re: Playing Cards   Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:37 pm

Good stuff, Andy. And good to see you posting here! Hope to meet up in Derby soon.





Here is something I shot for Ellusionist.com for their "Black Ghost Deck". It's a little soft piece of bizarre magic. Simple and direct, but effective, especially live where I perform this with more story, more detail, and therefore (usually) more impact.




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Aaron Enyeart
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PostSubject: Re: Playing Cards   Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:09 pm

Nice effect Alex!

I use cards in 90% of my performances. Usually, all the work is done prior to me bringing the cards out. For me, it's not about the cards, it's the connection between people. The cards are just a tool for that connection.

I like other mentalism effects that don't use cards too. I am just a fan of cards. So much that can be done with such a small prop.
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Thibau
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PostSubject: Re: Playing Cards   Fri May 14, 2010 1:56 pm

Sorry I'm one month late..!

Good to read what you have to say.

I love cards but think that most audiences tend to connect them with magic 'tricks'. The answer could be communicating the reasons why should people not expect tricks (without saying that the deck is not gimmicked). The calendar facts are a strong point, I know some good magicians (Rene Lavand for example) put some work on developing the right setting so people experience the real impact of their card magic, what might connect with universal experiences (like gambling or gazing the future). Hofsinzer one said cards were 'the poetry of magic' and that statement alone can set the mood for audiences of card magic, but not for what I want to do (should I just call it mentalism...?).

There are some CLEVER and BEAUTIFULL effects with cards, I can myself do some good stuff with cards, from the mechanical way (like a gambling demo) to more hands off and ingenuous (with memorized stack for example) and almost every time I use cards I show respect/the meaning for those 52 pieces of paper. ....BUT.... I'm progressively stop using playing cards, as the social representacion of a deck may confuse the experience I want to offer.

I also stoped mentioning the number of decks in my colletcion as deep inhaling (with closed eyes) a puff of fanning powder produced by a neat dribble of the cards.
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The Curator
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PostSubject: Re: Playing Cards   Sat May 15, 2010 12:02 am

Nowadays, they connect cards with Poker (and Poker with Hold'em).
According to the kind of cards you use, they can connect them with readings too.
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Freddie Valentine
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PostSubject: Re: Playing Cards   Mon May 17, 2010 9:39 am

I have some aged cards which I use for a Black Hart effect called The Devil In Mind.
It works well as an occult themed piece and can be sold as something that's not a 'trick'.

Everything happens in the specs hands which add to the effect entirely...
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Marcus Nogueira
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PostSubject: Re: Playing Cards   Wed Jun 16, 2010 11:57 am

I'm a great fan of cards, either used in the traditional magical sense or otherwise, primarily because what is inherently learned through the (in my case, attempted) mastery of the involved techniques. That being said, a simple prediction/force with a single card at the beginning of a routine is simple, to the point, and can really pique people's interest.

Regardless, as with anything, it is the context and how the performer presents his tools that determine whether or not they are successful.
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dean
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PostSubject: Re: Playing Cards   Wed Jun 23, 2010 4:08 am

I use cards in my performance but I am not 100% happy with them and will maybe cross over to Tarot cards one day.

The context I use them in is pure and I don't touch the cards but still there is a part of me which would like an alternative.

Thats just my personal feelings but the audiance likes them.

Dean
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Wishmaster
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PostSubject: Re: Playing Cards   Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:41 pm

On soapbox:

I don't care that some in the community have this set in stone rule about not mixing cards, sponge balls, mentalism, bizarre etc. Why on earth not??

If people are entertained, whether it's because you scared them sh**less with a OuiJa board or astounded them with some playing cards, who cares. If they enjoyed it, that's the whole point isn't it? I'm not saying do ACAAN on a seance evening, but keeping it in sync with the theme allows the performer to do what the hell they like.

When I first got into magic, I listened to these people and took notice of their wisdom and years of experience. Rubbish! If it works for them to keep playing cards and Tarot seperate, great. I think you can create magic with any tool, but all these physical things are still just tools and props to feed the most important thing of all: imagination. Get people's imagination working and the job is done.

Off soapbox:

I'm an amateur and make no claim for being accurate or correct here. This is just a small part of my current map of reality Very Happy
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Christopher J Gould
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PostSubject: Re: Playing Cards   Mon Jul 05, 2010 2:11 pm

I agree totally!
Who made them Pope, huh?

(ps, just let you into Freddie's back door! Let me know if there are any problems seeing the portal! (I am sure Freddie will appreciate the Larry Grayson innuendo in this)).
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Christopher J Gould
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PostSubject: Re: Playing Cards   Mon Jul 05, 2010 2:22 pm

As always mind bogglingly beautiful pieces from the curators museum!
"le Grand Etteila" how wonderful to own this!
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