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  1. #1
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    [Video] How should we force cards? How do you force cards? How do I force cards?

    Hi guys, I wanted to post a video that I made concerning card forces.

    https://youtu.be/W5CiZKAexuM

    I put card forces into 4 different categories, and I discuss them in the video.

    I'd like to hear your thoughts on card forcing so we can have a good conversation on card forcing.
    (Or at least hope my suggestions help you see a different perspective)

    I have a lot of other videos including routining, dealing with hecklers, and stuff, and all my videos are exposure-free. Feel free to wander-click around. They are just about discussing magic. I'm not even adding YT ads to the videos. Just want to discuss things and put up videos that I think helps move along the other (what I think are the more) important aspects of magic. Namely, presentation, and not just "secrets." Secrets are not the spine of magic, presentation is.

    Take care guys.
    PK

    PS. I'll stick around to reply to ideas and thoughts that contribute to the thread. :)
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  2. #2
    ChristopherThisse's Avatar :: Moderator
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    First thing in my head is this: Who are you and why should the viewer listen to anything you have to say? What experience do you have? Where do you normally perform?

    You say your videos are exposure-free but you expose several things in this video. First, talking about the concept of being able to force a card is exposure in itself. Second, you show several forces during the video, exposing how they work due to, quite frankly, sloppy handling. I bounced around your site as well, and see that you teach a lot of stuff that I'm guessing you did not come up with (Since it's been in books and videos for decades).

    A lot of what this video is, is opinion expressed as fact. The forces you are dismissing are still used by top workers daily - and they have been for decades, because they work. What makes something logical or illogical is the context within the performance. For instance, if the performer wanted to force multiple cards to multiple audience members, then classic forcing each could really drag on the performance, whereas a dribble force or riffle force will be quick and efficient.

    I suspect that you rarely perform in a formal stage/parlor situation. You mention busking in the video. I have no problem with the idea of someone doing only busking, in fact you can make really good money that way and you're getting magic out to a lot of people. But the context of your normal performance venue is important when expressing opinions such as what the best moves are. Everything you're saying is through the lens of someone who performs in a very specific scenario, and furthermore it's a scenario that trains you to do certain things. There's a lot that I do on a regular basis, being more of a parlor performer, that you would probably never want to do. Neither is more valid, it's just a matter of context.
    http://www.ellusionist.com/boffo-pdf-by-christopher-thisse.html

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChristopherThisse View Post
    First thing in my head is this: Who are you and why should the viewer listen to anything you have to say? What experience do you have? Where do you normally perform?

    You say your videos are exposure-free but you expose several things in this video. First, talking about the concept of being able to force a card is exposure in itself. Second, you show several forces during the video, exposing how they work due to, quite frankly, sloppy handling. I bounced around your site as well, and see that you teach a lot of stuff that I'm guessing you did not come up with (Since it's been in books and videos for decades).

    A lot of what this video is, is opinion expressed as fact. The forces you are dismissing are still used by top workers daily - and they have been for decades, because they work. What makes something logical or illogical is the context within the performance. For instance, if the performer wanted to force multiple cards to multiple audience members, then classic forcing each could really drag on the performance, whereas a dribble force or riffle force will be quick and efficient.

    I suspect that you rarely perform in a formal stage/parlor situation. You mention busking in the video. I have no problem with the idea of someone doing only busking, in fact you can make really good money that way and you're getting magic out to a lot of people. But the context of your normal performance venue is important when expressing opinions such as what the best moves are. Everything you're saying is through the lens of someone who performs in a very specific scenario, and furthermore it's a scenario that trains you to do certain things. There's a lot that I do on a regular basis, being more of a parlor performer, that you would probably never want to do. Neither is more valid, it's just a matter of context.
    Hey, hi, and woah. What's with all this negativity?


    1. Who am I? Just because you don't know my name doesn't mean you can just discredit me off the bat. Not only do I have lectures offered through Murphy's, I have also sold DVDs in the past, and I've been doing magic for 29 years (since 1987). I don't know you, nor do I know a lot of people on magic forums, but I don't automatically discredit their thoughts.


    2. Anything I have to say? Maybe because I have some useful ideas that comes out of my mouth? I can see that you have a lot of things to say with your 5k+ post count, but check out my 1k+ post history as well, I'm not too shabby, and I maintain a level of integrity.


    3. What experience? I've performed in places from clubs, streets, corporate events, and schools. ranging from 10- 800 people.


    4. Where do I normally perform? Nowadays, I either busk, or perform at restaurants or bars. Is that good enough? or do I have to be wearing a tiara and fooling Penn & Teller on a daily basis? (Do you fool them every other day? If you do, good for you, and sad that it doesn't make it on the show.)


    5. Sloppy handling? Well, if it looked "sloppy" to you, I apologize. I don't know how "clean" you are when you go through the moves as a demonstration, but if being "sloppy" is one of the reasons you attack and discredit me so readily, then I guess it's my fault?


    6. Bounced around my site? That's great. I don't have any ads (which I hate) so I like it when people look around, but... "things I did not come up with?" Woah. That's some cute assertion you have there dude. If you haven't noticed (you probably haven't since you didn't even check out any of the free lectures), I teach in a way that has my spin/handling on the moves, plus I teach things that are pretty much taken for granted (because it's been around for so long).


    I don't offer everything for free (some, but not all), because I don't like how the YouTube "magicians" just expose everything, so I didn't want to go that route. Magic is too important for me to just teach everything on YouTube. (which is also the reason why I started my channel, to talk magic without exposing)


    I know crediting is important, which I try very hard to do, but just waltzing in and spewing negative comments on someone who has spent weeks and months making something is rude, disrespectful, and uninformed.


    Lastly, if I can't teach the moves on my website (none of which, have been created recently and/or is currently sold elsewhere by the original creator, which is much more than most YouTubers can say for themselves) because I didn't create all of them, then who can teach them? Most of the things I offer on my website have been created centuries ago, and the creator can't teach them any more. I'm sure you didn't learn all your moves from the original creator.


    7. Opinion as fact. So.... I guess it's hard to understand.. "I think" or "I suggest" or "I propose" as opinion, and anybody saying anything seems like fact to you. It's fine. I wanted to give my opinion on a part of card magic, and you think I'm stating fact. Sounds legit. If you're upset that I'm stating facts, then I can't help you there.


    8. The forces that I am dismissing... for starters I do mention and concede that some forces have their place because of their unique handling. (Like a hindu or riffle if you need to hide that back, for instance) I guess... I'm sorry for dismissing your favorite slip-cut force? (or is it wrong to assume that... wait, isn't that just what you did? How nice.) I can talk and discuss forces with you, but you instantly made it into a personal attack. I'm pretty sure that I don't have any obligation to be nice to you after your reply, but I'm trying to.


    As I mentioned in the video, I think weak forces are just that, weak forces. I don't think the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" attitude that we take with many sleights is always good.


    9. "context" makes sense. See point 8. Yes, some forces don't look too out of place for some tricks. However, there's always room for improvement.


    10. If there are multiple spectators picking multiple cards, then I am sure the classic force will be handy. However, if they are out of arms reach, then do something else, by all means. I mention this in the video.


    11. You "suspect" that I have "rarely done parlor?" .. I need a moment to breathe. Although your groundless condescension makes it hard to take you seriously, I'll take the high ground. See points 1 and 3. Why would you think I'm just some punk kid off the streets making uninformed assertions?


    What is wrong with you? Are you like this to everyone who has an opinion on magic that's different from you? Are you the guy who made the slip-cut force, and are you angry because I don't like the slip cut force? Check these out and tell me they aren't cringe-worthy. http://youtu.be/on9Ydho9yrM?t=13m22s http://youtu.be/i0trO5hHwQo?t=42s


    I'm pretty sure my video wasn't too shabby in discussing the "forcing" side of card magic, and I can't believe anonymous Redditers are nicer than a mod on a magic dedicated forum. Wow.


    Your magic trick is blowing my mind, and you did it well.
    Last edited by pkson79; 08-26-2016 at 02:17 AM.
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  4. #4
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    It's easy to take a harsh tone from text, even when a harsh tone is not intended. Reading back through my post I see where you are getting the negative impression, and for that I apologize. I will hold my hands up and admit the last paragraph of my post was out of line. I will say, though, that I still disagree on your comment that the video is free of exposure. By definition, things are being exposed here.

    When I say, "Why should I listen to you?" that's a genuine question. What is backing your words? Who are you? What have you done? I don't recognize your user name, and I think it's fair to say that I am probably one of the 2-5 most active members of this forum at this time. A little bit about yourself lends a lot of credence to what you are saying. Beginners can have amazing insight (particularly because they don't know what supposedly can't by done yet), yes. However, when someone is making statements about the validity of various techniques, it helps to know they actually have some experience with those techniques.

    When I say opinions were presented as facts, that's due to the tone of your voice and the words you used. You may have said, "I think" but then you follow it with definite statements basically saying anything that's not a classic force is stupid and you can't understand why anyone would use it. This is a divisive comment. It implies that you are correct and anyone who disagrees is obviously wrong. There are plenty of reasons to use things other than the classic force, and again, it all comes down to context. You deride the slip cut force (Which, no, I don't use - because I don't do really card tricks any more) but amusingly, a very minor change actually makes the slip cut force rather effective, particularly in the correct context. What are you dismissing in a blanket statement as weak forces, are not weak in and of themselves. They are weak if they are done poorly. They are weak if they are done in the wrong context. But so is the classic force. I cannot tell you how many horribly obvious attempts at the classic force I have seen.

    Watching the videos you posted -

    First one. First thing I notice, this is a TV Special. And there's more episodes. That's not nothing. Now, he does a fairly obvious technique there, to the magicians watching. I can't say I'm fond of his presentation, either, but then again, I rarely see magic I really enjoy watching. Most people just dictate what they are doing and then do it, like this guy did. But you know who's opinions don't matter? Mine. Yours. Any other magician. Know who's opinion does matter? The lady he did that trick for, and she really liked it.

    I think that could be one of the hardest things to learn in magic - that our physical skills should be purely esoteric. Only other magicians should really understand the level of skill we possess. I just listened to an interview recently, and I apologize but I cannot remember who or where it was, but a fairly well known magician was talking about seeing another performer do this thing on the streets. The street magician did a blatantly obvious double undercut, followed by a blatantly obvious double turnover (blatant to the magician in the interview), showed the wrong card, another blatant turnover, and did something or other to show the card had changed. The audience was blown away. This may have been Brian Brushwood, I'm really not sure.

    And that's all that matters. Entertaining the audience. Any method that does that, is a good method. A high level of skill in the physical sleights is maybe, in my personal opinion, 10% of magic. The real performance comes from the ability of the performer to draw the audience into their version of reality for a little while. Personally, I advocate using the most simple and direct method possible to achieve this. If that's a cross-cut force, then so be it. I don't worry about fooling magicians, because magicians don't pay my bills. My first self-produced show had 1 sleight in a 45 minute show, in a festival where I was one of three magicians, the other two being established performers when I was a new name. I sold out, they broke even.

    Penn & Teller's video - Now, I have to ask which performance are you labeling as cringe-worthy in this one? The ones by two of the most successful and respected magicians in the business who entertain thousands of people every year, or the one by the actor who isn't a magician at all? Jessie Eisenberg got a lot of crap following Now You See Me (and probably more with the sequel) because he was plopped onto the promotional circuit and tons of people wanted him to do magic. He's not a magician, of course he wasn't great. He's an actor. This is probably one of the best things I've seen him do and I have a lot of respect for P&T treating him so well when so many others just made life hard for him.

    I'm drifting away from the original topic.

    The force chosen depends entirely on the context of the routine and that will determine the effectiveness of the routine. Dismissing anything out of hand is a sure fire way to restrict your creative thinking.
    http://www.ellusionist.com/boffo-pdf-by-christopher-thisse.html

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  5. #5
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    OK, well since you took the time to type a long response, I'll have to reciprocate with another long response. Time and effort deserves time and effort.


    Your apology, thank you for saying that, and I accept.


    However, your genuine question about who I am, I don't know if you're still defending yourself, but I just explained that in my response. I'm sorry you haven't seen my username in a while. I haven't frequented E in a while, true, but as I've said before, that shouldn't automatically rule me out of being able to say anything substantial. It really shouldn't matter whether you can recognize my username or not. That was rude and disrespectful. Excuses are still excuses. You typing out 5K+ comments does not make you an expert on everyone's usernames and the backgrounds they have. I don't recognize your username, either, and that's probably because most of my forum activity have been between 2006-2008, of which you weren't around. I used to know a lot of people here but it's been 10 years now, so I guess not anymore.


    As I've said before, I'm not a beginner, and I'm not a punk kid asserting himself thinking he's the bee's knees either.


    Following up an "I think" with whatever assertion is still an opinion. It's just vocalizing an opinion strongly. ("I think that's the best way to do it" is I think followed by an assertion. Opinion or fact?) I'm sorry you can't tell the difference, but your post seemed just like a knee-jerk reaction without any respect.


    In common colloquial, I can easily answer "who you?" with a "who YOU?" I understand that you felt irked by my "assertions," but I agree and understand context, and how some forces could look natural. I also stated as such in my video.


    Oh and on the slip-cut force, it's one of the few forces that laymen (or the very light hobbyist) can easily do and there are no advantages of the slip-cut force over a riffle force, and if you still think the slip-cut force is still a viable force, then I guess that's where people have to agree to disagree. (Even with all the subtleties added, you can call it a pet peeve, but I still think it's pretty bad. a. how it's become generally known, and b. how it's so obvious with a vast majority of magicians)


    My blanket statement of weak forces are still my opinion, and I think (notice the "think" there?) those forces are weak because they can be reverse engineered easily. (Which I also stated in the video) Forces are, by nature, vying for dissection. Some tricks can only be "figured out" by understanding the concept of the force. (Of which, many laymen will just simply think "all the cards are the same" which is a. actually not a bad idea, and b. the easiest way for them to work it out.) Once the idea of a force enters people's minds, the trick is essentially ruined.


    Talking about the force is not necessarily "exposure" because not only do laymen come up with surprising ideas of how a card is forced on their own, but the channel and the video itself is also tagged only to magic, and not to any exposure, or explanations. I don't "teach" any moves on YT. (You should invite 52cards (kards?) over and attack him. I'd actually be on your side if you do.)


    About the videos.


    The Cosentino video. If you watch the trick all the way to the revelation, the fact that the spectator had to sign two cards is apparent. So can a regular spectator enjoy it? Or is it easier to get the stooge to sign another card (albeit slightly differently) and feint amazement? With such lack of integrity on a TV show, that is not the model close-up performer. (Mostly because he doesn't come from a close-up background)


    Double undercuts... are not made or used to be invisible. I hope you and the magician you heard saying whatever contrary to that understand it.


    Double lifts (or multiple turnovers) done badly are bad. Yes, but they have a very different purpose and persona than a double undercut.


    "Entertaining the audience is all that matters." was a mantra of mine for a decade. I've since changed it slightly to "Live performances, which are most important, should still be clean enough on video to prevent reverse engineering. (to an extent)"


    People might not be able to discern a regular ACR from an Jenning's Ambitious Classic, nor a Lee Asher Twist from Vernon's Twisting the Aces. They probably won't. However, many people can tell if something is fishy or not. Plus, pretty much everyone has the means to get the performance on camera. So nipping the bud is important.

    Good on you for using just one sleight to sell out a show. I'm not undermining the ingenuity of using just one sleight, but thinking that the other magicians just broke even and you sold out because of just your "methods" is, slightly, parochial. I'm sure you're proud of that, and I give you kudos for that, I don't want to take anything away, but it seems disrespectful to credit your "lack of sleights, but method or presentation" approach beating "sleight-of-hand established" magicians. Unless they really sucked, then woohoo for you.


    I also advocate the simplest method, which I think most magicians would agree with us both. However, it seems like you think what magicians would call "difficult" sleights to be inferior just because they seem convoluted to you. What "easy" sleight can accomplish what the Elmsley count can? Or what easy sleight can achieve the same result as the Cardini Change? Some sleights might seem superfluous, but there are a lot of good sleights that accomplish a lot that would require much more handiwork than the "simpler" sleights.
    I'm all for streamlining, but saying the "simplest methods" always trumps the more "difficult" sleights is undermining the centuries of sleights that we can choose from. What works for you, works for you, what doesn't, does not. But you can't just get all huffy just because there's someone who disagrees with your point of view.


    Now, P&T. Just assuming that being successful and respected (to which I totally agree, which is why I cry every time Penn does the slip-cut force) means that they always come up with the best sleight in everything they do is slightly demeaning to the other great close-up magicians (of which P&T are not), who have dedicated their lives in their respective fields studying and pondering their respective categories.


    Also Jesse has nothing to do with the slip-cut force. He used a one-way forcing deck, and that is pretty irrelevant, and I guess you realize that.


    Thanks for taking the time to reply with a thoughtful comment. I agree that context is important (which was also mentioned in the video) in forcing a card, but I also think the classic force is still the best force to practice everyday and work to get down.


    Because I think Shawn Farquhar is the gold standard in forcing (classic forcing), and I think we can all learn from how awesomely he uses it. Unless there's an ulterior motive, I still think the classic force is pretty much the pinnacle of forcing cards.

    Edit: some sentences
    Last edited by pkson79; 08-27-2016 at 06:50 PM.
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  6. #6
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    Figured out that replying to a long quote will drastically bring down my character count.

    So edited.
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  7. #7
    ChristopherThisse's Avatar :: Moderator
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    If the concern is a worry about reverse engineering then it could be said the classic force could be just as weak as a slip-cut. I have seen laymen throw out, "He probably forced her to take that card" for a fair selection out of a spread before.

    What really makes a force strong, as well as most any method, is the presentation built up around it which leads the audience down the garden path then subtly disproves the method that previously seemed like the only logical way. This leaves them with nothing but amazement. An engaging presentation will trump sleight of hand in almost any case, in my opinion.

    Having a trick not be able to be broken down in a video is largely a matter of making sure the cameraman is just as hooked into the performance as the audience is. It's being aware of angles and such, and also being aware of people seeing something multiple times. That applies both to seeing your live show more than once, and also seeing a video more than once. This is why I don't use "fake mistakes" in my methods - If I'm busking a ren fair and have 3 shows, and someone shows up to all 3, they're going to notice if I always get one thing wrong at the same point in the show and that tips part of the method. However, a well executed move in the correct context will be just as invisible if they see it again whether live or in person.

    You may get the folks who slow it down frame by frame to really pick the performance apart but there's probably nothing you can do about those people. They don't care about magic, they just have to know the method. In my experience, that's usually magicians anyway.

    From my point of view, though, if anyone in the audience is focused on figuring out how I did the trick, rather than just enjoying the performance, I have already failed and it doesn't matter if they get a method or not. I am OK with hearing, "How did you do that!" but I really don't want to hear, "How did you do that?"

    Regarding my show vs. the other two. They are both skilled classic magicians who had been performing in the area for ten or more years. My point about using only one real sleight was not that using less automatically makes it better - it's that my show focused on an engaging theme and style that was largely unheard of in the area, and their shows were, well, classic magic. I'm not trying to say they were bad and I am good, I am saying they offered what's already been around, and as well executed as it was, it's just not as interesting to see someone do some tricks at you as it is to be engaged and brought into someone else's reality long enough to question things you assumed to be true.

    When I say that I think it's best to use the most simple method possible, that doesn't preclude difficult sleights. Sometimes the best sleight isn't super simple, as in your Elmsley Count example. I will also say that more skill you develop, the more the bar for "Simple" raises. When someone starts out, executing a good double lift or turnover is a challenge. When one has practiced for several years, it becomes second nature and thus, "simple". My point is to focus on presentation and using the methods that allow for that focus. This usually means using simple sleights. My classic force is pretty solid, but why bother with that if it adds nothing to the narrative and another force, which is sure fire, will fill that need just as well?

    The classic force, when practiced and polished, is a great technique. It is not the only technique, though, and there are a lot of reasons not to use it. Something like the cross-cut force, for example, gives you a very easy way to arrange it so what the audience remembers is, "He never touched the cards." Which is a lot harder to reverse engineer than, "He let her take a card and it ended up being his prediction" or whatever. Weaving a good story around the reveal and the process makes techniques invisible, because the audience cares more about the story and the performer than the method.

    The videos -

    Consentino - Having a stooge feint amazement isn't that easy unless they got an actual actor. Most people are really bad at giving anything similar to a genuine reaction when it's not a genuine reaction. She may have signed two cards, or he could be using another technique which is a fairly classic way of doing that trick. I have no idea if this guy uses stooges or actors, I've never heard of him before now and have no idea what his reputation is. Personally I think the audience for TV Shows tends to be the ones on the couch, not the ones on the screen. I know this causes issues, but that's another discussion for another time.

    P&T using a slip-cut doesn't bother me at all. Penn up there with his catcher's mitts he calls hands hides the technique just fine and I am guessing that no one in that audience that isn't a magician caught it. This goes back to the thing where the people who are really breaking down a video are usually magicians. Not always, but often. Particularly if they actually get it decently correct. And once again, I don't really care if I fool magicians. In my mind, my job when performing is to tell a story and engage the audience enough that they are inside the story. Magicians, frequently and purposely, do no engage in magic shows. They seem to prefer to be above it all. It's a mentality I do not personally understand as I actively search for shows that give me the opportunity to engage them.

    I have met Shawn. He's a great guy and a great performer. I was the volunteer for one of his tricks during a lecture and he fooled me thoroughly (It was his Signed, Sealed, and Delivered which fooled P&T so I guess I'm in good company there). But if you want to see someone who is amazingly good at the classic force, try to catch a Shoot Ogawa lecture and watch him classic force with the deck in someone else's hands.
    http://www.ellusionist.com/boffo-pdf-by-christopher-thisse.html

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  8. #8
    RealityOne's Avatar :: Moderator
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    I think Christopher is being very nice and respectful. I also think watching your video ranks up there as one of the worst uses of 10 minutes of my life.

    Essentially, the theory of your video is to always use the classic force (which you can only get to work only 80% of the time and which you apparently haven't figured out how to do without a get ready). You begin by dismissing the cross cut force. Really? It might not work on video, but it works for real audiences. I love Bannon's Crist Cut Force in Six.Impossible.Things. There is a really cool dealing (is it Dunn's Deal?) force on Art of Astonishment that deals with the same principle. I also love the flip over force (taught to me by Rachel Wild Colombini and attributed to Blackstone with a nod to Darryl).

    Oh, yeah. The advantage to using a slip cut force is that it doesn't require a get ready. It also can be done a lot more deceptively than you do it by having a larger body motion cover the smaller hand motion and by using time misdirection by pausing with the cards split into packets before removing the top packet. Also, I can perform an under the spread cull force that would be indistinguishable from a classic force to a layman.

    The key is that the force used is congruent with the rest of the effect. The methods must be dictated by the designs. For example, you can't use a classic force in a card trick where the card ends up having a different color back (absent using a duplicate). You can use a Hindu force but i'd prefer a riffle force using a double backer or you can use a spread selection with the card pulled out and a Wichita Slip. The force is determined by the requiements of the effect, not by a personal preference.

    Also, much of you theory is from a magician's perspective. I've actually fooled magicians using a cross cut force. Why? Because they don't expect an experienced magician to use such a basic force. Also, because I didn't use the "typical" presentation.

    Without knowing who you are as a result of you not being active on the forums for the last 7 or so years, all we have to go on is what you say in your video. Based on that, I think your theory is flawed, most likely because you are trying to justify a force you like to do without really thinking about the circumstances in which the other forces would be justified. If your theory is correct, then why do the greats use a variety of different forces in their effects?

    I agree with Christopher that Shoot's work on the classic force is amazing. I learned a lot from working with him. I also learned a loton forcing from Dani DaOrtiz - not necessary on technique but on attitude (I'm sure singing to yourself when you shuffle does help).
    ~ David
    Perception of reality is a selection of reality which results in a distortion of reality.

  9. #9
    ChristopherThisse's Avatar :: Moderator
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    Dani's force is just pure personality and confidence. I love watching him perform because he just seems so excited and happy when he does it.
    http://www.ellusionist.com/boffo-pdf-by-christopher-thisse.html

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WELCOME TO MAGIC. PERFORM LIKE NEVER BEFORE.

At Ellusionist, we have one goal: to give you the power to perform magic beyond belief. We want to make you the life of any party. We want to make you into a performer. Composed of 12 individuals, we barely sleep, and we will do anything necessary to bring you the best magic, the best talent, the best training and playing cards possible.


We manufacture many of our own magic supplies, tricks, effects, and custom playing cards. We strive to create the very best magical products the world has ever seen. We work with the United States Playing Card co and have produced 14 lines of playing card decks that are repeatedly acclaimed by top industry pros and magic enthusiasts all over the world.


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