When I was younger I used to dice stack and was pretty good at it…but that was 20 years ago. I’ve played with it off and on over the last few decades, but never really worked too hard at in. I’m trying to keep up the skill, and not sure what I want to do with it, but I’d like to get past a bit of the basic skill I’ve retained.
This week at the AirBnB, I put my dice and cup in the kitchen and whenever I walk by it I have to practice!
I have a little three phase routine that I have to do. It’s four dice one at a time, then two pairs of two and finally all four dice at once. If I fail on any of the stacks I need to start over. This should help me get my skills back a little bit. Once I get those stacks consistent, I’m going to start working on some more exotic stacks.
I’m trying to decide if I’ve become an old curmudgeon, or if some other people are simply idiots and the internet is highlighting this. Recently in a facebook group someone was asking for a good way to vanish or produce a die. Anyone with basic knowledge of sleight of hand knows how to do this. I’m going to assume the original poster asked in case there was something strange that they had not thought of.
Then they get this response and you can see my response below it:
Am I being an old a$$shole…or does this the person who responded have no idea what they are talking about?
as far as I know a shuttle pass pretends to move a coin or coins from hand to hand. It is neither a production or a vanish. It may set you up for the production of vanish, but it’s neither of those*.
Why would you suggest a shuttle pass?
My only guess is you don’t know what you’re doing. This is why crowd sourcing your knowledge instead of going out and getting a working knowledge of sleight of hand hurts you. It feels like a short cut until you realize you’ve driving around the same block four times.
My advice is to go out and learn the basics and try to figure it out on your own, that way you won’t be chasing leads that have zero merit.
*Yes, I do understand that from a technical standpoint it’s both a production and a vanish to create the illusion of passing an object hand to hand, however to the audience it’s neither of those.
With the conversion to virtual shows, I’ve been tweaking routines that I already do to make them stronger in a streaming show. I recently wrote about how I’ve switched the loads of my Cee-Lo dice trick from using my pockets, to not going to the pocket at all.
One thing that I noticed was that depending on the angle, my dice cup which was black would sometimes disappear on the black table top. This isn’t desirable, so this morning I recovered it in natural tan leather. This makes the cup more visible and the whole routine easier to watch. An unexpected bonus to this is that the large dice actually appear a smidge bigger next to the tan dice up than the black dice up.
If you’re starting to do some virtual shows, look at your props and see what disappears to the background, then take steps to make it more visible. Changing the color of the outside of a cup was something really simple and took less than 5 minutes to do.
One of my favorite routines is my Cee-Lo cup and dice routine. When I sat down to put the routine together, I really thought out what I wanted it to be. I didn’t take someone else’s existing routine and alter it, I built the routine from the ground up…and am still adapting it.
It’s nice when other people recognize that you’ve got a good routine. Cee-Lo was just reviewed in Vanish Magazine. I love how Nick mentions that the routine doesn’t feel like there is padding before the two jumbo dice loads.
Honestly, I wish I could bang out creating routines like this. One of the nice things about when I was putting this together is that I was performing on the “fair circuit” and doing 3 shows a day, plus I could do it before the show, after the show, or pretty much anytime I wanted. Having all those opportunities to test out different sequences in a very short amount of time really helped tighten up fast!
One of the things I’ve never really explored much was using a gimmicked table. The main reason is that it doesn’t really work in the venues that I perform in. I rarely have an audience that’s just in front of me, so the stuff hanging off the back of my table would be visible.
Yesterday I 3d printed a dice holder and it worked great. This was to avoid loading from my pocket. Then it got me thinking that I should remove the “two in the hand, one in the pocket” sequence from the routine so that I don’t got to the pocket at all. That would make the routine more deceptive, so I made a servante to ditch the dice into:
I was playing with a new routine and I’m liking it. I’ve come up with an interesting ditch of the one of the dice, that’s built upon something that I saw Tom Stone do at a lecture. It’s a way to get rid of one of the dice without having to put my hand on the table’s edge. It was part of his talk on “crossing the gaze” and something that’s stuck with me for years.
The new routine is starting to figure itself out, but it’ll be a bit before the sequence starts to get finalized. I’m happy I finally built this.