How NOT to do the Classic Pass #2: Don’t flash your break.


2 02 - don't flash the break


When Vernon said the shift must be accomplished at the very moment your hands come together at the pack, he meant it.

Many shift workers spend countless hours working on a pass which might be called invisible, and next to no time working on ways to ensure the success of their labor in actual performance.

Check out the photos – if your set out for the pass looks this way, you don’t stand a chance. The moment the audience can see a line or a break, if they even know there are two packets in play, you’ve lost all hope of making the shift without suspicion.

2 03 - don't flash the break

Does your pass make use of an ultra clean break? Let me know. We’d all love to know your thoughts, so tell us!



5 Responses to “How NOT to do the Classic Pass #2: Don’t flash your break.”

  1. 1 matan rosenberg November 7, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    Hi Aaron
    I met you last year in ISRAEL in a cafe’in TEL AVIV after the MARS convention. when you did “the pass” i found it hard to beleive! actually i said ” i don’t belevie you , do that again!”
    first thing i did is buy “THE PAPER ENGINE” from you which was a great resource for me to learn and think about the cover pass.

    Now about the classic pass , the tip no 2 that you posted just now, you actually told me in person that night a yaer ago, since then i have never flashed my break.
    my tip for the classic pass is doing the pass not using exacty half of the pack to be tranpozed and actually using considrebly less cards from the top.
    my grip of my riffle pass is a pretty firm grip in which my fingers are really in the break which creats ofcoures a huge break, but at the same time , pressing down with my left third and secound fingers to cover the break, i then move my left thumb near the ineer left coner of the deck , i do a gentle rock and riffle extremly fast and there is no flash , in order to show you what i mean my pass is a combination between james swain’s pass and jay sankey’s.

    the extremly fast action of my pass is not becuase of the actual speed of the shift it’s becuase of the pressure the left secound and third fingers are providing ,it acts like a bed spring , a sudden relaxation of tension in the deck. like i said when i do it , it’s best apllications are in moving less then half the cards from the top to the bootom ( classic style).

    just my two shekels ( Israel’s currency).

  2. 2 R Jaegers November 7, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    Great points. When I began working on the pass many years ago, my wife said, “why is your thumb stuck in the deck.” Well it wasn’t, it was my pinkie, but it sure looked like it from the front.

    Vernon’s comment reminds me of advice given by several pro’s. Don’t hold the deck with two hands for very long or the audience will suspect that you are doing “something”. They may not know what that “something” is, but they know you did something. The other gem is the phrase you use above, “making the shift without suspicion.”

    That phrase is the penultimate commentary on the pass and in fact, all sleights. If you truly want your performance to appear magical and effortless, then everything must be above suspicion. Otherwise, you are juggling, showing off, getting away with it. They know you did it, they just didn’t “see” it.

    Personally, and it is not my intent to offend anyone, I’m tired of youtube videos of passes that are staged at just the right angle and probably the best clip selected out of dozens taped. That is not real world. Sorry for being so long. Great stuff Mr. Fisher!

  3. 3 matan rosenberg November 7, 2008 at 5:10 pm

    Hi Aaron
    I met you last year in a cafe’ in Tel Aviv after your return from the MARS convention, I asked you to show me your pass, and you did. And then I said,” come on show me”, and you “said I already have”, you knocked my socks off, I couldn’t believe that a pass could look that good, first thing I did was buy” THE PAPER ENGINE “ from you, that extremely improved my thinking on the cover pass.

    Now on the pass, first tip you told me is the one you just posted “ don’t flash your break” it’s been a year now and I have been practicing hard, I don’t flash my break and I do that because of my particular grip on the cards, I grip the cars so my pinky is really in the break up until the second knuckle of my pinky, that of course creates a huge break in the cards but at the same time my second and third fingers are pressing firmly on the cards, thus the break is only seen from the right side, at the same time my lest thumb goes to the inner left corner of the deck and covers the corner up until the first knuckle of the left thumb , I add a soft riffle in the front of the deck and gentle rock when the pass is done ( lighting speed ) I also add a riffle at the back.
    My pass is very fast but it does not flash because of the riffle and gentle rock.
    But my pass is fast not because the action is extremely fast its because of the pressure of my left fingers on the upper packet, and it goes down (classic style) like a bed spring, its a springy action because there is a sudden release of tension in the deck.
    So in a nut shell my tip is reposition the left thumb to cover the inner left corner of the deck and to press down with the third and second fingers, and in a release of tension do the riffle pass with a gentle rock of the hands.
    To get an image of what it looks like it’s a combination of James swain’s pass and jay sankey’s pass.

  4. 4 aaronfishermagic November 7, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    These are great comments – I agree with you Geoff. We all miss Roger. He was one of the boys before you and I were born!


  5. 5 david November 10, 2008 at 11:05 am

    Great couple posts Aaron, especially the first regarding left finger movement which I am guilty off and didn’t even know !! shouldn’t be too hard to revise technique.

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