Self-Workers—A Lesson in Presentation + Psychology

September 21, 2011 § Leave a comment

A lot of magicians give self-working effects, or semi-automatic effects a bad rap. I disagree. Recently, I have been integrating more self-workers into my repertoire for mainly two key reasons. One, to take the focus off of my ‘skill’ with cards and focus on the magic; and two, to really allow myself as a performer to craft my presentation and patter.

Right now I’m going through Harry Lorayne’s Close-up Card Magic, which contains a lot of great semi-automatic effects including the ‘Lazy Man’s Card Trick.’ I’m all for using sleights that make effects look the best, but at some point we need to think about the psychology of using a self-worker. If I’m doing things all in my hands with crazy visually things and then I downshift to something where I don’t touch the deck—damn, that can be powerful. Because now, when I pick up the deck again I have far less heat than I would otherwise.

Even effects like ‘Miraskill’ from Encyclopedia of Card Magic by Jean Hugard can hit really hard. They’re simple, but you as the performer appear to do absolutely nothing. And, despite how much I love sleights of all kinds, having some solid self-workers in your toolbox is a must. This also works well if you’re a) drinking or b) very, very tired and can’t make your palms and passes look quite as good 😉

-A.

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