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Tailing off of Ollie Mealing’s brilliant post about the next level after being a move-monkey, we were curious about what moves caused obsessive practice and pursuit among magicians, So we turned to our Facebook page, one of the largest magic-related groups on the social networking site, and asked them the following:
What move, sleight or effect has consumed more of your attention and practice, or driven you to attempt mastery?
We were expecting a lot of difficult, knuckle-buster type of moves to be listed. Greek Deal, Praxis Change, Perfect Riffle Shuffle, that kind of thing. That’s what we see on other modern magic forums and pages, after all — a bunch of people bragging about what they say they can do. But out of more than 120 comments, our Facebook fans picked out fairly basic, utility, not-flashy-at-all sleights. Even better were some of the justifications for picking those sleights. The comments they left behind pointed out four clear things to us:
The sleight that got mentioned the most was the pass — the very definition of an invisible sleight. One of the most functional sleights for magicians ever created, the pass used to be the primary move taught to aspiring card workers. Erdnase later corrected that notion in “Expert at the Card Table,” but the main reason that people learn the pass is for what it offers: A fast way to control a card. Because the pass is the sleight that got the most attention, that tells us you’re thinking not about the move itself, but what you can do with it. This comment best described that attitude:
Isaac Jason Petrie Simple the double lift. It is the one I have to use the most.
The pass and double lift came in at No. 1 and 2, respectively. No. 3 was the bottom deal. And those three moves were the only ones to get double-digit mentions (27, 18 and 11 mentions). And think of the versatility of all three of those moves. The pass and double lift open up an entire world of card magic, and the bottom deal is the one move Erdnase called the most valuable for the table. That tells us you that the things you want to master are the things you need, not the things you want. You’re thinking of function. The attitude is best described here:
Robbie Yeadon French Drop – not the move, but things to do with it!
APPRECIATE THE CHALLENGE
Those top three aren’t exactly easy moves. The basics can be picked up, but mastering the subtleties and intricacies takes time and practice. But the mastery of those moves reveals its value. And because each of those moves are more utilities instead of displays, That tells us you’re thinking about impressing your spectators, not mastering a flashy move that looks good only on YouTube. That tells us you agree with Ollie and are putting that philosophy into practice.
Dylan Dunnington Gamblers Cop for sure. It’s such a versatile move and creates amazing effects used properly.
GREAT COMMUNITY MEMBERS
Out of more than 120 comments, there was no spam, vulgarity, flame wars, trolls or other typical immaturity that we see on other Facebook pages. There were even a couple of good snarky comments that made us laugh. We’ll let you find those on your own.
FOUR POINTS is a regular feature that celebrates magicians’ favorite number by highlighting four critical bits of importance, awesomeness or otherwise. Send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.