Friday, November 13, 2009


Hi Friends,

I'm pulling double duty, because Roland has been stricken with the H1N1 virus.

Today, we are going to talk about XCM. Why do you guys learn these moves? They are only useful for impressing other magicians. Lay people have no idea how hard it is to learn these 7 packet cuts and therefore have no interest in watching you do it. I guess the argument can be made that you learn what you want, and that you'd rather learn a fancy cut than a nice sidesteal, which I suppose is fair enough.

What I also think is fair enough is that XCM is not magic. XCM is a series of difficult moves, which suggests (only suggests!) proficiency in sleight of hand, but XCM is not magic. When a lay person sees a series of moves, the logical conclusion is that the series of moves effects the result. When a lay person sees you do nothing at all, the logical conclusion is that magic effects the result. That's the difference. This is why an ambitious card routine should never have a shuffling phase. When you shuffle, the shuffling action causes the card to rise to the top. But when you apparently do nothing, magic causes the card to rise to the top. Unless you have a weak double lift. Then that causes the card to rise to the top (oh, I feel next week's topic alread). But you get my point here.

XCM has more in common with juggling than magic. Do whatever you want to do, but be aware you're not performing magic.

eden loves you. even you.


LD said...

I agree with you. I can respect XCM in the same way I respect juggling. In fact, I would classify it as juggling just like diablo or contact juggling or many other things. But it's not magic. Personally, I think it takes away from the impact of magic when too much fancy manipulation is used. Sometimes you want to hide your skill. Other times you want to show you do have skill (say in a poker-themed demonstration). But too flashy just shows you can juggle, which is a good demonstration in and of itself, but not magical.

Stijn Hommes said...

Totally true. I've never understood XCM, but that's because I've only seen it advertised on magic sites and performed by magicians. When I watch card manipulations like McBride's I can appreciate its Juggling aspects much more. Let's reclassify and get this off magic websites..