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Magic & Science

Perceptual engineering and the beguiling finesses within compositions of legerdemain.



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“Armando Lucero, in addition to personally being my favorite magician, is beyond question the foremost sleight of hand performer and magical thinker in our profession. In 80 years, he is the only magician I have ever seen whose effects look like real magic.” — Johnny Thompson

If I had spent 2 days with Picasso in "Paintbrush Devices" or Monet in "Monet Menageries", I would be getting close to the experience of Armando's lecture and workshop. — Richard Jones : Read Full Review

Improving awareness through perceptual engineering


I do magic and teach others how to do magic. As a performance artist I have had the opportunity to travel the world and appear in various shows: The Illusionists 1903 show, IMAGINE; a Las Vegas show by Dick Foster productions, Cruise Ships, Le Plus Grand Cabaret Du Monde TV show in France, TV shows in Japan and China, several Universities, various theaters and much more. Every performance was essentially an opportunity to experiment so after much education, and proof of concepts, I began teaching and soon noticed that beyond entertainment these tools were valuable for improving self-awareness.

For the past sixteen years, I have had the priviledge and honor of sharing what I learned about the mind with people from all walks of life. Magicians of course, but also physicists, artists, doctors, mechanical engineers, psychologists, neuroscientists, teachers, bankers, and businessmen. We discuss theory and composition regarding perceptual engineering as it applies not only to magic, but all facets of life. The concepts can seem esoteric but magic offers a way to immediately experience them. Then you know.

However, rather than continue with this customary but awkward self-adulation for your continued generous attention, allow me to demonstrate. Here below is an example of my work; entitled Wisp. It represents one of many possibilities that can be accomplished using the ideas in these workshops. As you watch, bear in mind that only four cards and four coins are used. The composition serves as validation for the psychological concepts applied, which can be used to increase awareness and improve communication. Welcome to the world of perceptual engineering.


John Dee


In my search for truth by means of intuition and reason, I developed a box of metaphorical tools from which I use to compose. These ideas both inspire and guide me to push forward, not only to discover but create. These tools were earned through the midst of experimentations, experience, and a large database of choices. Like music, I have the freedom to go one way or another but once I choose a path there is a definite sense of scientific reason to make it the best journey.

I was six when my older brother introduced me to magic. He vanished a marble from one hand which then reappeared in his other hand. I was astonished and hungry to learn. More than the sleight of hand it was the sleight of mind which intrigued me the most. The concepts of magic can be shown in politics, advertising, public speaking, war, law, and various tactical designs, from architecture to the influential strategies of social media. In fact, social media is now using experts known as attention engineers; who have more in common with a magician than most people would suspect. They even use the same terms. Except with a magician, you know it's a trick; how ironic.

Magic, by way of perceptual engineering, is a great tool for doing live interactive experiments that can reveal much about us. Ponder this; there are Generals who have won battles with less depth of deception than a magician at a birthday party. Many discoveries about the human mind were known, published, and used by magicians long before scientist put labels on them; Change-Blindness, Information Interference, The Paradox of Choice, Heuristics, Primacy-Recency, Proactive and Retroactive Conditioning, etc. etc. Magic is a way of a exploring that elusive conundrum of a black box we call the mind by eliciting triggers that yield predictable responses.

Sincerely, Armando Lucero



I recommend the following book: Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. One of the best magic books written though not intentionally. For his work, he was awarded the 2002 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (shared with Vernon L. Smith).

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Workshops

  1. Metal Quirks
  2. Pasteboard Devices
  3. Coin Menagerie
  4. PD & CM
  5. Paper Cuts
  6. The Annex

In Las Vegas or
by internet.

Go to Las Vegas for a group workshop when one becomes available, or take a one2one iWorkshop by internet now. Each has different advantages. Though nothing can replace experiencing it in person, one2one iWorkshops by internet offer tailored scheduling with time in between to absorb the information, the convenience of home, and the personal guidance given by Armando; so just you and him.




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What People Say



It really does not take much for people to back-engineer an effect on YouTube. It might as well be a set of instructions. Never do a trick twice & video

Metal Quirks

Metal Quirks
$500

Metal Quirks is a study of perceptual engineering using just three coins; two silver dollars and one odd coin. This is Armando's original variation of the classic coins across routine. Open by vanishing a coin from spectators hand, then perform phase one with three iterations. Interlude with a coin appearing in a viewers hand, then perform phase two with three iterations. Finally, perform a one into a two coin transposition between your hand and the spectator's hand.

Metal Quirks was specifically designed as an accessible introduction into theory and composition. It may also serve as an excellent primer to prepare for Coin Menagerie. Pre-requisites: none, no prior workshop required.

Las Vegas workshops for Metal Quirks will soon be scheduled. Please check back later. Or reserve a one2one iWorkshop now.

iWorkshop for Metal Quirks is 5 separate Internet sessions of 60 minutes each delivered in intervals of two days per week until completion. Scheduling of dates, time, and connection-test, are arranged and confirmed after deposit. Hours to choose from are between 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM, Las Vegas time.


Blue Queen

Pasteboard Devices
$1400 : reserve with 25%

Pasteboard Devices reveals special sleights along with some tangentially related artifices. Participants have the opportunity to witness Armando demonstrating them within original compositions of legerdemain; Divination Gone, Betwixt Me, Inscrutable Pocket, Empanada, and others. These routines can then be performed as a show or individually. At least three years experience in the use of advance card sleights is recommended.

Las Vegas workshops for Pasteboard Device span two days, from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM each day with a lunch break in between. The workshop is held at http://www.evovegas.com/. Reserve early for cheaper flights and hotels. If you stay at the New Orleans hotel in Las Vegas, then a ride to the workshop will be provided.


iWorkshop for Pasteboard Devices is 6 separate Internet sessions of 60 minutes each delivered in intervals of two days per week until completion. Scheduling of dates, time, and connection-test, are arranged and confirmed after deposit. Hours to choose from are between 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM, Las Vegas time.


king of hearts

Coin Menagerie
$3500 : reserve with 25%

Coin Menagerie is a comprehensive study of perceptual engineering with four coins and four cards. Coin Menagerie is considered to be Armando’s quintessential work in magic. While skill is certainly important, the main focus is on theory, composition, and the underlying philosophy. This piece may serve as a template to anchor all important concepts so that long after the workshop is over one can reflect upon them later. Prerequisite: basic knowledge in sleight of hand and more than three years of experience is recommended.

Las Vegas workshops for Coin Menagerie span five days, from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM each day with a lunch break in between. The workshop is held at http://www.evovegas.com/. Reserve early for cheaper flights and hotels. If you stay at the New Orleans hotel in Las Vegas, then a ride to the workshop will be provided. Price is $3500 : reserve now with 25%.


iWorkshop for Coin Menagerie is 16 separate Internet sessions of 60 minutes each delivered in intervals of two days per week until completion. Scheduling of dates, time, and connection-test, are arranged and confirmed after deposit. Hours to choose from are between 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM, Las Vegas time.


Blue Queenking of hearts

Both
$4800 : reserve with 25%

Pasteboard Devices reveals special sleights along with some tangentially related artifices. Participants have the opportunity to witness Armando demonstrating them within original compositions of legerdemain; Divination Gone, Betwixt Me, Inscrutable Pocket, Empanada, and others. These routines can then be performed as a show or individually.

Coin Menagerie is a comprehensive study of perceptual engineering with four coins and four cards. Coin Menagerie is considered to be Armando’s quintessential work in magic. While skill is certainly important, the main focus is on theory, composition, and the underlying philosophy. This piece may serve as a template to anchor all important concepts so that long after the workshop is over one can reflect upon them later.

Prerequisite: basic knowledge in sleight of hand and more than three years of experience is recommended.

Las Vegas workshops for PD & CM span seven days, from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM each day with a lunch break in between. Two days for PD and five days for CM. The workshop is held at http://www.evovegas.com/. Reserve early for cheaper flights and hotels. If you stay at the New Orleans hotel in Las Vegas, then a ride to the workshop will be provided.


iWorkshop for PD & CM is 22 separate Internet sessions of 60 minutes each delivered in intervals of two days per week until completion. Scheduling of dates, time, and connection-test, are arranged and confirmed after deposit. Hours to choose from are between 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM, Las Vegas time.


eye of spades

Paper Cuts
$1400 : reserve with 25%

Paper Cuts is a personalized study of essential card sleights such as double-lifts, false shuffles, shifts, steals, visual changes, switches, palming, etcetera. Begin with basics and progress to the more challenging sleights like double-deals, bottom deals, table-hop pass, or the one handed swivel-change. For the novice and the professional interested in basic to advance card sleights.

Paper Cuts Primer is a bonus gift available immediately after registration.

Letter To Students answers some questions.

Las Vegas workshops for Paper Cuts will soon be scheduled. Please check back later. Or reserve a one2one iWorkshop now.

iWorkshop for Paper Cuts is 6 separate Internet sessions of 60 minutes each delivered in intervals of two days per week until completion. Scheduling of dates, time, and connection-test, are arranged and confirmed after deposit. Hours to choose from are between 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM, Las Vegas time.


eye of spades

The Annex
$255/session : six for $1400

The Annex is provided to all alumni as an extension course to refine and enhance previous studies. A continued exploration of theory & composition regarding perceptual engineering and the beguiling finesses within compositions of legerdemain. Use it to advance your knowledge and skill, or to simply refresh it. Consider it as the graduate studies program of this humble university, but minus the bureaucratic paper chase.

Las Vegas workshops for The Annex will soon be scheduled. Please check back later. Or reserve a one2one iWorkshop now.

iWorkshop for The Annex is $255/session or get six for $1400. Take one, two, or more sessions and up to six separate Internet sessions of 60 minutes each delivered in intervals of two days per week until completion. Scheduling of dates, time, and connection-test, are arranged and confirmed after deposit. Hours to choose from are between 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM, Las Vegas time.

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Personal Guidance

What is often missing in the sharing process is a rite of passage; a continuity of strong impacting experiences that gives us our foundation of who we are. These emotionally charged life-changing transitions are affirmations that solidify our humanity, our core.

When we acquire knowledge and wisdom the change may be significant. There is a sense of dignity that comes to us when we put forth great effort to earn something. Anyone who has suffered to reach something extraordinary knows this. Learning can be profound. Personal guidance may help make the difference, hence the workshops. ♠

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Paper Cuts Primer

What is it?

The Paper Cuts Primer video series is not the Workshop, which is a comprehensive study of magic & science beyond the scope of this exordium. However, it is a peek at Armando's way of composing to serve as a primer before the Workshop; like a glance through a window into a cabin of a large ship upon the ocean. But a notable glance nonetheless.

It is an exhibition of ubiquitous classical material purposely tailored for a modern discerning audience. Being accessible as historical published works this is, therefore, an opportunity to learn within the safety of what is familiar. Register early for the workshop and get the primer with time to prepare beforehand. The primer is different material than the workshop but definitely helpful. See Trailer

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Never do a trick twice & Video

Video offers rewind and infinite viewing which can often destroy any false-memories, forced perspectives, psychological ploys, misdirection, change blindness, intersecting moments, and many other hidden subterfuges we as composers of legerdemain work so hard to protect. Video also does not filter the way our minds do so it does not represent what we experience live. Not to mention how often people pause and rewind before getting to the end, which defeats the entire purpose and potential. So instead of astonishment, we get hindsight bias.

It really does not take much for people to back-engineer an effect on YouTube. It might as well be a set of instructions. If a viewer only has one idea of possibility then all it would take to confirm their suspicions is to rewind and observe, after that the remaining secrets just fall apart as easily as a broken string of pearls. Search any trick on YouTube and read the comments below. The more popular it is then the more people will examine and put forth the effort to unravel the mystery. All secrets are vunerable but even more so when sense-making tools are used.

— Sincerely, Armando

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Metal Quirks Review

I have been a fan of Armando Lucero's magic since I saw him performing at FISM in 2003. Since then I have taken his card workshop and the Coin Menagerie workshop, as well as several refresher workshops. Just recently I took his Metal Quirks workshop and I would like to write a few words about it. In Metal Quirks, Armando has done for Coins Across what his Coin Menagerie has done for Matrix, elevated it from a good trick, into a beautiful and stunning piece of magic.

The routine is no longer just three coins travelling from one place to another, one by one. Metal Quirks has an opening that sets the scene, then a first phase consisting of three iterations, followed by a second phase with a further three iterations, followed by a stunning finale where a two for one transposition between an odd coin and two regular coins takes place in the spectator's hand. Apart from being a powerful routine which takes Coins Across into entirely new directions, Metal Quirks provides a wonderful introduction to the thinking and techniques which make Armando's magic so stunning and deceptive.

The routine is far more accessible to the student than Coin Menagerie, it contains fewer difficult techniques, with most of the sleights being fairly standard moves. In some places the magic is created purely by very clever choreography. Metal Quirks is both an incredibly strong routine, and the perfect introduction to Armando's techniques for the serious student. I recommend it unreservedly to anyone interested in taking their magic to a higher level.

— David Jones

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REVIEW

Here are my thoughts after completing the workshop:

Art that truly transports people is a gift. For me, it happens most often in music, poetry and occasionally film. Rarely do I feel transported in watching "magic" - entertained, yes; puzzled as to a new technique, yes; appreciative of a person's hard work, yes. Absolutely. But not transported. Armando's magic is the exception. It is truly art, and, simply, is an experience that I will never forget. If I had spent 2 days with Picasso in "Paintbrush Devices" or Monet in "Monet Menageries", I would be getting close to the experience of Armando's lecture and workshop. Even when the paintbrush types are explained, the brushstrokes and techniques detailed and repeated, in slow motion from all angles, it still remains a mystery and inspiration as to how the beautiful rendition was achieved. Even when it is explained we are left with the sensation of the closest thing to magic we are ever likely to experience. It was and is perfect

Thank you for all your support in making Armando's visit possible.

— Richard Jones

All I can say is, if Armando ever heads your way, "Don't walk, Run."



Read the original article at Magic Unlimited