OPINION: The Glide

OPINION: The Glide
I used to avoid the Glide, in fact I’d get positively annoyed with any trick using it. Nothing was more annoying than reading a description of a card routine, thinking that sounds amazing only to discover it involved the Glide. I’d then spend an age reconstructing the method to dispense with it.
I don’t believe I’m alone, I struggle to think of a recently published trick that requires the bloody thing and yet if you read books up to the late 1900s it is very common. One of my favourite magician’s Ken DeCourcy used it prolifically, which obviously irritated me a lot.

Why didn’t I like it?
I thought it was obvious what was going on, and the handling is just odd; turning the wrist down and peeling off the bottom etc. It just feels like a sleight which belongs in the Edwardian drawing room but that the modern-day audience are wise too.

I was wrong. I delved through an old book over Christmas and low and behold it was riddled with the Glide, beyond all hope, in days gone by I would have thrown it on the fire to put it out of its misery. It was however the only book I had so I persevered and somehow I got converted.

The Glide 100% has its place, there are times when it is the most direct and economical method, and best of all - it really does fly.

The mechanics are very easy however the move as a whole does deserve attention. That was where I was going wrong, fooled by its simplicity, I gave how to perform it very little thought. The best resource I have found on how to do the Glide properly is by Andrew Galloway in Diverting Card Magic. Andrew provides subtleties and touches of misdirection which reduce the awkward handling aspect and make it very deceptive.

The Glide needs motivation to display the bottom card but also your head movement and where the attention is focused is important as of course is a naturalness to everything.

The last week has simply taught me not to judge a sleight by first impressions or its mechanics, but to learn how to perform the move correctly and well. Then it becomes a valuable tool, no matter how simple it is. I now have a wealth of old tricks to try!
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