Card Tricks

The Hurrier I Go

Again this month we have a lot to talk about and not a lot of space to do it in. If you've sent in a product for review and it hasn't appeared in these pages yet, hang in there. Everything should appear eventually. We begin the column with some items which were postponed from January due to space limitations. Climbing the Ladder to Successful Close-up Magic By Phil Jay Drugs, Strangers, and Other Dangers By Ron Conley I'm grouping these three manuscripts together because they each focus on a...

He Asked if I Liked Card Tricks

Each month dozens of them appear in magazines, books, videos, and online. I'm sure that 99 of these tricks are only ever performed for an audience of one - the magician who's holding the cards. That's okay, however, because card tricks are like tinker toys, we amuse ourselves by playing with them, seeking new arrangements, varying the moves, constantly seeking the perfect trick. Part of this month's column was written on Pit Hartling's laptop computer in the very...

The Video Encyclopedia of Card Sleights Volumes 4 5 and

L& L Publishing has released the next three volumes of this monumental card project. As before, the intent is to expose the viewer to as many different card sleights as possible, grouped according to their function, and graded in difficulty. The first three volumes of the series contained most of the easier card moves. In the present videos the skill requirements (and consequently the practice requirements) increase. Volume Four begins with some advice from Daryl on how to handle a spectator...

Classic Sampler

One of my favorite jazz piano players is a fellow named Dave McKenna. I admire him for several reasons he has an extraordinary technique he has a remarkable touch on the instrument, which allows him to bring out individual lines when he plays he swings as hard as anybody on earth, but can also play ballads with great sensitivity and he has an enormous repertoire. It is the depth of repertoire that really blows me away, for these are not just tunes that McKenna knows of, these are tunes he knows...

Faded Pages

Actually, I filled up five notebooks - small, blue books with sturdy cardboard covers, originally designed as college lab notebooks. Through many hundreds of entries I kept track of the tricks I had invented mostly lousy and the tricks that had been shown to me lots of them really great . I'm not sure why, but I stopped logging items in the notebooks in 1983. I should probably start writing in them again. In the first of the notebooks is entry 97, dated August...

Signed Bill in Pen The Animated Wand

Speaking of magic conventions, nice one, oh Sultan of Segue , two of the best things I saw at the recent I.B.M. convention came from John Cornelius. Signed Bill in Pen is a beautiful chrome ballpoint pen which exactly matches the Cornelius Perfect Pen . The pen is gaffed and allows you do a routine based on John Carney's Calligraphic Cash see Carneycopia, pages 241-249 . Here's the effect A bill is borrowed. The spectator is handed a pen and is asked to sign the bill. The pen is taken apart and...

Its A Wonderful Life

In Frank Capra's classic movie, Clarence the Angel tells George Bailey, No man is poor who has friends. Well, that makes me one of the richest people in the world. To all my friends who have been such a strong support system through two very interesting in the Chinese curse sense years, my sincere thanks and appreciation. And to all of the readers of MAGIC, may you have a save and happy holiday season. And, speaking of It's a Wonderful Life, Downtown Theatre Classics will be presenting a...

Almost Famous

A twenty-year-old picture of me with three other magicians recently appeared as part of an auction on eBay. In the picture I was identified as A Little Known Piano Player. Some may wonder if this was intended as an insult, but to me the anonymity was a blessing in disguise. Back then I really looked like a geek. Lots to look at this month. Let's get right into it. By Lewis Ganson. Annotations by Slydini as dictated to Dr. Gene Matsuura. 7 x 10 hardcover with glossy dustjacket. 297 pages. 59.95...

Born Backwards

A long time ago, in a Hollywood, California which no longer exists, there was a restaurant called Sharpe's Cafeteria. Above this cafeteria was a faded plaque displaying some words from Omar Khayyam. The Worldly Hope men set their hearts upon Turns Ashes - or it prospers and anon, Like Snow upon the Desert's dusty Face Lighting a little Hour or two - is gone. For a while, Arthur Brandon and Roger Coker lived above Sharpe's Cafeteria in a two bedroom apartment whose living room was filled with...

Why Dad Thinks Im Adopted

In the May 1982 issue of Keyboard magazine, there was a 32-measure transcription of Oscar Peterson playing Fats Waller's Ain't Misbehavin'. In bar 6 on the and of beat four, there occurred a thirty-second note septuplet, and for 17 years I have never been able to figure out its relationship to the underlying chord structure. A couple of days ago I finally figured it out. Just thought you'd like to know. Once again we've got tons o' stuff to look, so the reviews will be short and sweet. 21st...

Hello I Must be Going

Mac This marks my 12th column as a co-reviewer with Mike Close. Mike and I began this endeavor as what you might call very good acquaintances. Over the course of the past year, through working on this column and hanging out at conventions, we've gotten to know each other better and better. And that's why this is my last column as a reviewer. I have discovered that I can't stand Mike Close. That's just a joke. Actually I can't stand Stan Allen. O.K., that's a joke, too. The truth is, this is my...

Rabble Rouser

By Derren Brown. 6 x 8.5 hardcover with glossy dustjacket. 163 pages. 40. From H & R Magic Books, 3839 Liles Lane, Humble, TX 77396-4088. Fax 281-540-4443. Email richard magicbookshop.com. Web site www.magicbookshop.com Derren Brown is a rabble-rouser. He wants to stir things up, to shake magicians out of their comfortable complacency. Mr. Brown is a magician mentalist hypnotist whose magical paradigm was turned upside down after encountering the magic of Eugene Burger. Mr. Brown writes, The...

The Origami Corner

I know that many magicians are also Origami enthusiasts, so I thought I would quickly mention some new books that you may not have seen. All these should be available at larger bookstores, so I'll give you the ISBN numbers. Brilliant Origami 20, ISBN 0-87040-896-8 is the first collection of the work of British folder David Brill. Mr. Brill has a unique and recognizable style. Of special interest to magicians are the action figures of chapter one. There are also interesting essays concerning the...

Magic Of Micah Lasher

Who's this kid playing fifty-two-card pick-up You're a magician, aren't you Never heard of the guy. Book looks good Probably for beginners. Aren't they all This new trade paperback is remarkable on several counts (1) It was planned, organized, and written by a fourteen-year-old (2) Its publisher approached and enjoined its writer, not the other way around (3) It is aimed at the public and sold in main-stream book stores (4) Instead of getting consensus praise from the magic community, we heard...

The Mike and Mac Show

Mike You may have heard this story before. There is a reason for retelling it. My mother says that she would sit me at the piano when I was four years old or so, and I would try to plunk out little tunes. When I was six, I received a magic trick for a birthday present, and the bug bit and held. So for 6 7 of my time on planet earth, music and magic have been an important part of my life. I started to make money from music when I was in high school. I played cocktail piano in restaurants and...

Jokes About Card Tricks

Suppose someone wrote a book that you think they have no right to write A book filled with jokes and gags, most of which the author had no hand in creating. Maybe the author even says in his introduction that he makes no claim that all of the humor in this book is my own. But perhaps he doesn't bother to list the sources of many of those jokes. He certainly doesn't have permission from all the performers whose material he's stealing. Let's get this straight this fellow...

Winter Wanderland

Mac I am currently on the World's Greatest Magicians Live tour. We are traveling to a different city every night by bus. For me to have a hotel room is a rare luxury. As you can imagine, under these conditions, it has been a hassle for Mike and I to get our column coordinated this month. Because of the nature of this tour I haven't seen some of the things he reviews and vice-versa. Therefore, only a few of these items have both of our opinions. At the moment I'm sitting in front of my hotel...

Folding Money Fooling

(This book arrived right at deadline time, but so many people have asked me about it that I thought I should include it in this month's column, even though I have only been able to go through it quickly and fold a couple of the models.) By now you should be well aware of the fact that I'm a big fan of combining origami and magic. One of the gurus of origami-magic is Robert Neale, author of Tricks of the Imagination, co-author of Magic and Meaning, and columnist for the Linking Ring. In Folding...

Time Machine

I have never been one to cart a camera with me to magic conventions. I often find myself posing with people for snapshots, but I don't take many pictures for myself. However, as I was sorting through my collection of stuff' in preparation for my move to Las Vegas, I came across some photos I took years ago at various conventions. There were pictures of Vernon, Faucett Ross, Slydini, Larry Jennings, Roger Crabtree, and other friends and acquaintances. I was surprised at how much these pictures...

Art Artifice

The inventions of the illusion designers and the manner in which their creations are presented reflect the sensibilities of the era. To truly understand the work of people such as Devant, Selbit, Morritt, and Maskelyne, their illusions must be placed in historical context. In doing so we learn what worked in the past and why it worked, and more importantly, we gain insight into what will work today. Jim Steinmeyer is a true student of magic. He is interested in...

Too Perfect Theory

One of the more perturbing aspects of the world magicians and magical hobbyists is the need for all criticism to be good criticism. No one ever wants to hear that their sleights flashed, their music was poorly edited, their patter was inane, their convention was boring, their book, prop, or video less than valuable, or their latest idea less than original. This glossing over of all negativity is especially true when it comes to biographical information. All magicians are great guys, and no one...

So Much Stuff

A few years ago I predicted that we had reach a high water mark as far as the number of products released each month was concerned. Boy was I wrong. And that's the extent of the introduction this month. Let's get on with it. By Uwe Schenk and Michael Sondermeyer. 6 x 9 hardcover. 177 pages. 35 postpaid. From I Saw That , 35 Candle Liteway, North York, Ontario, M2R 3J5 Canada. Fax 416665-7377. Web site www.isawthat.com. No doubt about it, being a children's entertainer is not an easy job. I'm...

September 2001 In the Beginning

In the beginning there was Inside Magic, a monthly newsletter published by boy-entrepreneur Stan Allen. Each issue of Inside Magic featured a short about 750 - 1000 words review column written by Michael Weber. Although the focus of the review column was books, Michael occasionally reviewed videotapes and often offered news of upcoming publications. Michael Weber's reviews began with the first issue of Inside Magic January 1985 and continued until the final issue in August of 1991. At that time...

Stocking Stuffers

Mike After talking to most of the publishers during the summer conventions, I thought there would be deluge of books and videos out in time for holiday season. But for one reason or another, many projects seemed to be delayed and will not appear until spring or summer of next year. Two major new releases, one book and one video, have appeared in time for your holiday shopping. So if you have a card guy in the family or a big fan of Paul Harris, you may find that your magical shopping needs have...

How the World Works

I'm not going to hop up on a soapbox this month we have a ton of items to talk about , but I do want to take a moment to discuss the reviewing process here at MAGIC. Lately I have read some mail suggesting that there is a conspiracy afoot in which personal friendship, proximity that is, West Coast vs. East Coast , or an advertising commitment to this magazine is required in order to have your product reviewed. The truth is far less sinister, and far more mundane. First, I don't show favoritism...

Lots O Stuff

Last month I took up time and space shouting from my soapbox. To make it up to you, here some short reviews of a whole lot of stuff. Harry Lorayne Card Videos Volumes 1-4 By Harry Lorayne Harry Lorayne should need no introduction to the readers of this magazine. In May, MAGIC added Mr. Lorayne's name to the list of 100 most influential magicians of the 20th century. Mr. Lorayne's first four books, Close-up Card Magic, Personal Secrets, My Favorite Card Tricks, and Deck-sterity should be in the...

Houdini The Career of Ehrich Weiss

By Kenneth Silverman Reviewed by David Charvet Since his death in 1926, probably more biographies have been written about Harry Houdini than any other theatrical figure of the twentieth century. From the first effort in 1928 by Harold Kellock, up to the 1994 sensationalistic attempt by Ruth Brandon, all of these writings have been tainted, to a degree, by the author's prejudices for and against the subject. Remarkably, in this latest book, Kenneth Silverman approached the man with an open mind,...

Not For Sale to Minors

Mac A few of months ago, Mike mentioned a number of new magazines that he'd received and enjoyed. I thought I'd begin this month by mentioning my favorite. Within the first year's publication of MAGIC, an advertisement appeared here with a couple of crudely drawn guys yammering at each other about a new magazine called The Crimp. The ads were different each month and all of them were hilarious. They were written and illustrated by Jerry Sadowitz, a person I knew by reputation only. Mr. Sadowitz...

The Thrill is Back

When I was a little kid my folks would take me to Stoner's Magic Shop in Fort Wayne, Indiana. An almost electric thrill ran through me when I entered the store so much stuff, so many mysteries, so little money to spend. Eventually that thrill faded, but in 1976 I time-traveled for a moment and got the same tingle when I walked into the dealers' room at my first magic convention, the IBM convention in Evansville. A few other occasions have evoked these feelings - visiting the Magic Castle and...

The Looking Glass

Edited by Kaufman, Racherbaumer, and Hobbs Issue number three of The Looking Glass has arrived, and it continues the standard of excellence set by the first two issues. There is great magic offered, including routines from Francis Carlyle (Seeing at the Fingertips), Rune Klan (a young Danish magician who contributes a remarkable multiple coin retention vanish), Paul Cummins (Four-Way Reverse Backfire, one of the highlights of his recent lecture), Alain Nu, Bob Farmer, Roy Walton, Hiro Sakai...

Re Location

The staff of Marketplace that would be me is in the process of moving. Everything is packed into boxes, including the magic library. For that reason, references are a little more vague than usual this month. If you already have my phone number, it will be unchanged. If you need to mail something to me personally, the address is 9088 W. Rochelle Ave., Las Vegas, NV 89147. If you need to email me, do so at mail michaelclose.com. With any luck, next month life will proceed normally. The Magic of...

No End in Sight

A little over a year ago, I predicted that we had reached the high water mark of magic production. The deluge of books, videos, and tricks would soon begin to recede. Boy, was I wrong. So, once again, I offer you short reviews of a whole bunch of stuff. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Magic Tricks By Tom Ogden Tom Ogden is well known as fine magician and a very funny guy. Although this book appears under the banner of The Complete Idiot's Guide series, do not be misled. Tom's book is neither...

January 2000 Did We Make It

It's rather odd, sitting here at the end of November, typing a column that will not appear until the first part of January. Was the Y2K problem as serious as everyone thought it might be Or was it smooth sailing all the way Are you sitting in front of your fireplace, reading this issue of MAGIC while sipping a cup of tea Or did the whole world go straight to hell, in which case the fact that I've just come up with the ultimate method for Stewart James' Fifty-one Faces North is not really that...

Real World Magic

The most fun I have ever had in magic probably occurred from 1972 - 1978. It was in 1972 that I discovered that there were other magicians in my area. Up till then, my study of magic had been a lonely pursuit, with very rare visits to Stoner's Magic Shop in Fort Wayne or Magic, Inc. in Chicago. But in 1972 I learned that a group of magicians met each month at Ron London's magic shop in West Lafayette, Indiana, about a 45-minute drive from my parent's house in Lebanon. (The irony here is that I...

My Friends Are Slowly Turning Into Books

Some months ago a fellow came up and spoke to me after one of my lectures. What he said surprised me. You sound just like your review column I guess I was surprised because I don't know how else I would sound it was never my goal to structure these reviews as serious, formal essays. I wanted these reviews to be conversational in tone, and if I have eventually found my writing voice I'm delighted. Those who know me personally can probably hear my voice as they read these words. If we haven't...

Youre a Green One Mr Minch

The above title means absolutely nothing, but I've always wanted to place it underneath a green-tinted photograph of the jovial CEO of Hermetic Press. Unfortunately, I'm the only one who finds the spoonerism funny, so the heck with it. However, this does offer me the perfect lead in to wish Stephen Minch and all the rest of you a happy, safe, and magical holiday season. I have a question for you. The year 2000 showed little decrease in the number of products available. The flood of magic...

January 2001 Melt Down

On Friday, November 24th my PC self-destructed. I'm still unsure what caused the problems, but the problems were major and could not be repaired. All of a sudden, I was unable to send or receive email, or to surf the Internet. The reason Outlook the Microsoft email program and Internet Explorer the Microsoft Web Browser could no longer contact my Internet provider. I had just switched to a cable modem, but everything had been working fine. I checked the status of the cable modem, and discovered...

Don Alans Big Deal

A few months ago, the magazine ads heralded the arrival of The most eagerly anticipated book of the New Millennium - a book on the magic of Don Alan. Many, myself included, thought this book would never appear. The story behind this book is as complex and contradictory as the man whose life and magic it details. It is a fascinating tale, but you're not going read it in this column. For the past two weeks I have read through piles of faxes and emails, and I have spent hours on the telephone....

May 2001 Seven Year Itch

It seemed like a good idea at the time. I don't exactly remember the circumstances that prompted Mac King and I to offer our services as product reviewers for MAGIC magazine. Our plan was to do the reviews ala Siskel and Ebert, with a lot of back and forth banter about each product. At the time I was in Indiana and Mac was in Las Vegas. This meant doing the reviews via a computer hook-up. I was still using a funky Atari computer with limited Internet accessibility, so Mac would call me, my...

The Big Bash

The MAGIC Live convention has come and gone, and for those of us who were both attendees and presenters the effects of severe sleep deprivation linger on. I am sure that you'll find complete convention coverage elsewhere in this magazine, but I'll briefly mention aspects of the convention that I found particularly special. The Attendees About 20 years ago, at one of Joe Stevens' early Desert Magic Seminars, a group of magicians were discussing a trick. I'm not sure that this trick really looks...

Three from the UK

Tall, dapper Englishman Guy Hollingworth has been roaming about the U.S. lately, attending conventions, frying people with The Reformation, and causing great moaning and gnashing of teeth among those who thought that they had some chops with a deck of cards. Guy has released a new video of his card creations called The London Collection, and the routines displayed will cause great joy and anguish among card workers everywhere. (Great joy because these are terrific routines. Great anguish...

Jennings

I called Richard Kaufman in the middle of October to arrange to get the galleys of Jennings '67. At that time Richard told me that Larry Jennings had gone into the hospital and was not doing well. Larry died a few days later, in the early morning hours of October 18. I was aware that for the past few years Larry's health had been precarious at best, but knowledge of his passing still came as a shock. For the past six years Richard Kaufman had been working with Larry, preparing a trilogy of...

November 1998 Tales From The Road

Oh I'm going to Alabama, with my laptop on my knee. A lyric from the 20th Century version of Oh, Susanna. The first part of this column was written at the dining room table of Max Howard and Diane Bray. The remainder was written as we motored down the highway heading toward Jacksonville, Florida. (The we in this case is me, my companion Lisa, and Pablo the Wonder Chihuahua.) If you look up Southern Hospitality in the dictionary, there is a picture of Max and Diane holding a rotisserie chicken,...

Shadows with Shears

Things were very different back in 1982. The boom in magic publishing and the widespread merchandising of magic secrets was still a few years away. The appearance of a large, hardcover magic book was an event. Best of Friends, Volume 1 marked the final phase of Harry Lorayne's book publishing days. He would, of course, continue publishing Apocalypse for many more years. Richard Kaufman's dynasty in collaboration with partner Alan Greenberg was just beginning, and Derek Dingle's Complete Works...

My Cup Runneth Over

Mike I bought my first synthesizer, a Yamaha DX7, way back in 1984. Three factors made it a hot machine the sounds it produced were new and totally cool the synth could store 32 sounds (patches in the lingo) in its internal memory, and a ROM cartridge held another 64 patches, giving the player instant access to 96 different sounds and it was one of the first synthesizers that could be interfaced with a personal computer. This meant that you could store patches on floppy disk and load them into...

Fried Thrice

In the introduction to the instructions of this trick Jon Racherbaumer explains that his goal was to capitalize on Max Maven's (aka Phil Goldstein) 'B Wave' by making it the climax of a three phase routine. The first two phases are by Ed Marlo. The routine goes like this The magician lays out three piles of cards. The first pile contains the four jacks, which are face up. The second pile contains the four queens, which are face down. The third pile contains the four kings, which are face up....

The Greater Artful Dodges of Eddie Fields

Once again another of the books of my youth is resurrected in a new, more beautiful form. The original Artful Dodges of Eddie Fields came out in 1968. It was a small, unbeautiful, softbound book, typeset on a portable Smith-Corona typewriter. It was Jon Racherbaumer's first book. I must have purchased it shortly after it came out, because I have copy number 8. And I learned and performed just about every trick in it. Eddie Fields was a pitchman, a carnival worker, a bar magician, a gambler, an...

Details

The Hand Dragon by Chappy Brazil. 69.95 plus 5 p& h (in US). From Chappy Brazil, 3950 Koval Lane, Suite 2011, Las Vegas, NV 89109 Inviso-Torch by Jim Pace. 40 postpaid in US. From Pace Productions, 4122 SE Roswel, Milwaukie, OR 97222 Inferno from Creative Enterprise, USA. 49.95. (Inferno plus video, 69.95. Video alone, 29.95) From Inferno (Dept. G), 4073 N. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89115 The Greater Artful Dodges of Eddie Fields by Jon Racherbaumer. 8.5x 11 hardcover with glossy...

Arcade Dreams Marlo Without Cards

By Jon Racherbaumer and Edward Marlo You probably associate the name Ed Marlo with card magic, and indeed, Ed was a prolific creator of card effects and sleights. But Ed was interested in all facets of magic, and published a large amount of non-card material. Jon Racherbaumer has assembled, rewritten, and annotated this material, and the resulting collection contains a wealth of routines for standard props that you probably already own. The amount of material is actually a bit overwhelming 67...

Magazine Department

Card enthusiasts will want to take a look at Onyx, a new magazine from Ken Simmons. The first issue (which has apparently already sold out) contains material from Ed Marlo, Eddie Clever, Jon Racherbaumer, David Neighbors, Ken Simmons, and others. The magazine appears quarterly, and with the demise of Minotaur and Apocalypse, may be just what you need to satisfy your card Jones. The complete seventh volume (September 1996 - August 1997) of The Magic Menu is available from Jim Sisti. All six...

Expose This

If the TV programming schedules are correct, we will have been hit by another round of exposure programs by the time you read this. As before, we will hear cries of anger and anguish throughout magicdom. Editor Stan offered some thoughtful comments last issue. Let me give you a few more things to think about. Do I think that there is anything we can do to stop these programs No. Our society seems to be focused on tearing down rather than building up. We are obsessed with the revealing of...

On The Road Again

I'm writing this nine days before I leave on a three month lecture tour. I'll be travelling through the Mid-west, the South, the East, and Canada. If our paths cross, please say hello and let me know how the review column can be of better service to you. I'm interested in your feedback. The Magic of Jeff McBride By Jeff McBride Jeff McBride is one of most imitated magicians in the world. His magic incorporates the many disciplines which interest him martial arts, mime, drumming, dance,...

The Quadro-chick

The Pocket Levitator by Andrew Mayne. 20 plus 2 p amp h. From Andrew Mayne, P.O. Box 682088, Orlando, FL 32868 The Pilot by Ted Harding. 79 postpaid. From The Magic Corner, 2 Thorncliffe Park Dr., 5, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4H 1H2 The Elmsley Tahoe Sessions Volumes 1-4 by Alex Elmsley. Each volume 29.95, the set of four 110. PAL is 39.95 each volume, 150 for the set of four. Free postage and handling in USA and Canada. Overseas orders add 7.50 for surface postage. From L amp L Publishing, Box...

Alien Invasion

Alien Invasion is a new small packet trick from Danny Archer. Four poker-sized cards are removed from an envelope which bears the drawing of a spaceship. The each of the cards has the picture of a little green alien on the front and the back. A card is selected (forced) from a blue-backed deck. One of the alien cards is placed aside, and the selected card is added to the other three alien cards. Immediately, all four cards are shown to be the selected card, and the backs of the cards change to...

Alien Invasion and Grandpas Deck

Alien Invasion is a new small packet trick from Danny Archer. Four poker-sized cards are removed from an envelope which bears the drawing of a spaceship. The each of the cards has the picture of a little green alien on the front and the back. A card is selected forced from a blue-backed deck. One of the alien cards is placed aside, and the selected card is added to the other three alien cards. Immediately, all four cards are shown to be the selected card, and the backs of the cards change to...

The Elmsley Tahoe Sessions

Alex Elmsley has begun to make convention appearances again, and this is a wonderful thing. His recent lecture at the Four F's convention received a long and enthusiastic standing ovation. While his enormous body of work has received wider exposure due to two excellent books by Stephen Minch, few of us have had the chance to see Mr. Elmsley perform or discuss his creations. Thanks to this new four-volume set of videos from L& L Publishing, Mr. Elmsley can visit with you in your home, and an...

Beautiful Anguish

He wants to get your brain in a vise grip and squeeze so hard the tears come. As he states in the Prologue to The Mysteries of My Life, The kind of magic I do is really not for amusement, but rather for amazement. I try to amaze the audience, really shock them, choke the audience good and hard. I strive to bring them to a point of profound anguish. That Se or Levand is able to do this single-handedly, using only a deck of playing cards, is a remarkable achievement....

December 1998 Tales from the Road II

Absolutely Magic is a small magic shop centrally located in Andrew J. Pinard's sprawling farmhouse, which is located in the heart of New Hampshire. The shop faces an old cemetery, which provided a peaceful background for the writing of this month's column. Andrew and his wife Jill were kind enough to allow the Great Traveling Lecture Tour to camp out for four days, and Lisa, Pablo, and I are grateful for their hospitality. At this point 32 lectures into the tour , not having to drive for four...

Encyclopedia of Card Sleights Volumes 7 and

L& L Publishing has also released the final two volumes in Daryl's monumental card series. The format is the same as in previous volumes of the series Daryl demonstrates and explains an enormous number of card sleights. Volume 7 contains information on False Displays, False Dealing, Color Changes, and Switches & Changes. A couple things I noted on this tape Daryl offers some excellent tips and suggestions for moves that you may think you already know. I was particularly taken by a bit of...

Three From PSP

Samuel Patrick Smith sent along three items a very instructive audio tape, a Burling Hull card trick, and a Jim Swoger item suitable for platform use. The Short Course on Kid's Shows is an 82-minute audio cassette which is based on material from Mr. Smith's books Big Laughs for Little People and Kiddie Patter and Little Feats. Side one of the cassette focuses on the general business of doing kid shows including repertoire, handling volunteers, repeat shows, dealing with problem children,...

Aces in Their Faces

If you attended the Desert Magic Seminar earlier this year, you may have seen a fellow sitting on the floor frying everyone in sight with a remarkable four ace assembly. That fellow was Bob Kohler, and Aces in Their Faces is the routine he was performing. The Kohler routine uses an interesting set of gaffed cards originally created by Burling Hull. These cards allow very clean shows of the backs and faces of the cards and make the subsequent vanishes quite astounding. Bob's cards were printed...

June 1995 Double Dealings

Mac I have always been leery of videotaped instruction as a way to learn magic tricks. In general, I don't think that it provides the ease of use or the freedom of interpretation that a text-based format does. The only area in which I think that video teaching surpasses book learnin' is in seeing a routine in action before a live audience. This might be looked at as a disadvantage as well. For people looking for a quick fix, just a trick or two to show their friends, video provides everything...

Dishonesty In Card Tricks

Greg Wilson (not that Greg Wilson, the other Greg Wilson) has released a very nice kit containing all the props necessary to do the ever-popular Small Coin Grows Bigger and Finally Changes into Jumbo Coin routine. Just recently in this column I have asked whether the world needs another routine of this type, but in this case I think Greg is offering a very worthwhile product. You get a real American penny, a half-dollar sized penny, a jumbo penny, and a small magnifying glass. The pennies all...

Tons O Stuff

This column marks the beginning of my fourth year as product reviewer here at MAGIC. My thanks to all who continue to offer words of encouragement. I couldn't do it without you. In an effort to begin the fourth year with a fairly clean slate, I'm going try to cover a whole lot of items which have been stuck in the pipeline for a while. So here we go. The Sleight Album The Magic of Aaron Fisher By Dan Harlan Aaron Fisher is one of the up-and-coming young turks of magic. He is creative, has great...

Expert Coin Magic Made Easy Volumes 9 10

These three videos continue the series started with Expert Coin Magic Volumes 1, 2, and 3. (The confusion in the numbering is that these videos are lumped under the Expert Magic Made Easy series, and volumes 4 through 8 featured magic from Daryl and Carl Cloutier.) The current videos focus on magic with gimmicked coins and coin boxes. Volume 9 discusses copper silver gaffs and shell coins. Volume 10 contains routines for folding coins and other gaffed coins (Scotch and Soda, Cigarette through...

How We Spent Our Summer Vacation By Mike and

Mike and Mac We've both been on the road a great deal during the last four weeks, and this has made it difficult for us to do our normal back-and-forth discussion of most of the reviewed items. We did, however, hit several conventions, and want to pass along to you some of the cooler things we saw. We'll return to our normal format next month. Mike This summer I attended both the World Magic Summit and the IBM Convention in Oakland. Here are some of the things I saw that are worth your...

Martin Gardner to Rubber Chickens

Mac Martin Gardner is a regular columnist in this magazine and has also been featured in a cover-story profile. A few weeks ago, there was a get-together in Atlanta called The Gathering For Gardner II honoring him. By coincidence his name has come up in connection with a couple of the things we're reviewing this month. After I did the teach-a-trick segments on The World's Greatest Magic II last Thanksgiving eve, I have been both complimented and condemned by my fellow magicians. On the other...

Pocket Power The Video

We wrap up the video portion of this month's column with Jarle Leirpoll's new companion video to his excellent book Pocket Power. Three effects are explained Toilet Paper to Egg, which puts Juan Tamariz' Double Crossing the Gaze Switch to good use Norwegian Travellers, a nice variation of the classic Vernon effect and The Almost Ultimate Newspaper Tear, which combines the Water in Newspaper effect with Gene Anderson's Torn and Restored Newspaper. Jarle's method for preparing the newspaper is...

S Juanderful

Let me start off by saying that Juan Tamariz is one of my heroes. He combines an absolutely diabolical mind with the soul of a poet and the manic performance style of someone who has just eluded the guards at the asylum. Be aware, however, that this performance style is a smoke screen Juan thinks seriously and deeply about his magic, which is why his effects appear to have no rational explanation. Juan doesn't do tricks, he does magic. A-1 MultiMedia has released three videotapes of Juan...

The Magic of Spain Ascanio

The magic world lost one of its finest thinkers when Arturo de Ascanio y Navaz died in April. His passing was even more poignant to those of us who had recently spent time with him at the Desert Magic Seminar. Very little of Ascanio's material has been made available in English, but fortunately, Stevens Magic Emporium captured on video the maestro performing and explaining three of his classic card routines. This tape could be subtitled The Masterful Handling of Double Cards, because the fluid,...

Cups and Balls Execution Theory and Practice

This three volume video set from A-1 MultiMedia showcases the magic of Rafael Benetar, a Venezuelan who now lives in Spain. Rafael is a professional magician and musician (his Baroque lute playing is featured as the segue music on the video), and he is a colleague and confidant of two of Spain's finest magicians Juan Tamariz and the late Arturo de Ascanio. Rafael's thinking is superb, and his card handling is exquisite, especially his handling of double cards. The technical material on these...

Harkey on Video

David Harkey is a well-known lecturer, performer, and creator, and is the author of Simply Harkey (1991). This is his first video, and is apparently the first of a proposed series of videos. For the most part, the material is drawn from Simply Harkey, and the emphasis is on non-card material, which is a refreshing change. Seven items are explained, three of which I think are absolutely terrific. Two of the three terrific items are routines from the book which have been reworked and improved....

Its Still Not Magic

Back in the ancient days, when the Apple lie was a powerful computer, when 128K was more memory than you would ever use, and when programmers believed that writing compact, efficient code was a thing of honor, I had a T-shirt that said, I Got the Babel Fish. What this meant was that I had solved one of the most fiendishly clever puzzles in one of the most entertaining computer games ever created Infocom's version of Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Infocom games are text games,...

David Harkey Magician

This new 21-item collection from David Harkey and Eric Anderson is a mixed bag there are some really excellent items there are some items which I would classify as stunts, rather than magic tricks and I'll explain more about this in a moment and there are some tricks which I think are not deceptive at all. Compounding the problem is the fact that with a few exceptions it is not made clear exactly which author is responsible for what, consequently, I don't know who to credit blame for the...

Short Takes

Space is tight this month, so here's just a few words about a whole bunch of items. Dingle's Deceptions The Video By Derek Dingle In the 1970's, Derek Dingle was the man. His knuckle-busting creations (which often climaxed with an unexpected left-field kicker) defined close-up magic for a generation of magicians. Derek delighted in fooling other magicians, and many of his routines were designed specifically for that purpose. By 1980, Derek had faded from the magic scene, turning his attention...

An Occult Hand

We're entering the season of ghosts, goblins, and things that go bump in the night. Normally I don't put much stock into paranormal phenomena, but a very odd thing happened as I was trying to organize material for this month's column. Because I am an enormously disorganized person, I need my everyday life to be as calm as possible when I sit down to write the reviews. My home was far from calm this month. It was as if an occult hand had reached out and touched all of the animals in my house,...

The Banquet Magicians Handbook

One the bread and butter gigs of the contemporary working magician is the afterdinner, or banquet show. Generally this involves performing for an audience of anywhere from 50 to several hundred people, in a venue usually the banquet room of a hotel which is usually less than ideal. In The Banquet Magician's Handbook, David Charvet has put together some excellent advice for anyone who wants to be successful doing this type of show. The first half of the book concerns the nuts and bolts of...

Hocus Pocus Junior

If you are a magic book collector, or if you have an interest in the history of magic, your checkbook is going to get a workout this month. All our books this month will be of particular interest to historians and collectors, and they are all terrific. Hocus Pocus Junior was published in London in 1634. It was the first fully illustrated English book devoted wholly to the explanation of the magician's craft. Much of the material in the book was drawn from Scot's Discoverie of Witchcraft and...

Commercial Carney

Speaking of John Carney (another good one, oh Prince of Blends), I should let you know that John has a new video out. It's called Commercial Carney, and its the last of the trio of videos covering the material in Carneycopia. Routines include Bullet Train, a rapid fire version of Cards up the Sleeve Oil over Troubled Waters, a clever Oil and Water routine with a full deck kicker Easy as Hell Prediction, a card trick whose name says it all Inscrutable, John's tightened up version of Derek...

Digital Effects The Magic of Joe Mogar

Steve I still take my coffee black Beam has gone quietly mad over thimbles. No, that's not quite true Steve has gone loudly mad over thimbles. He loves thimbles. He wants you love thimbles, too. And so he has written this encyclopedic book on the subject, with an emphasis on the creations of Joe Mogar. I remembered Mr. Mogar's name from a routine called Mogar's Novelty Four Thimble Routine which was published in M-U-M in 1968. Digital Effects is the first major compilation of his material. And...

They All Float Down Here

Recently, we've seen a resurgence of interest in self-levitation routines. Several ads have appeared, and an impromptu levitation was featured on a national television program. (See Jon Racherbaumer's Inside Out column in this issue.) The choices are confusing, the ads are full of hype, and in most cases the price to learn the secret is steep. So, with the uplifting words of Stephen King's Pennywise the Clown ringing in our ears, let's take a look at the current crop of tricks that get you off...

Maste Ring System

The idea of wearing a powerful magnet on your hand has been around for a while. An early example is the Kling Ring which was marketed by Emerson & West. Nicholas Night put out the Enigma Gimmick which was a piece of plastic shaped like the inside of a finger with a magnet behind it. Recently, Dan Harlan has released the Omega Ring. John Altpeter's MasteRing System is the nicest prop of this type that I have seen so far. What you get is very nice Sterling Silver ring in a signet design style....

The Card Magic of Paul Gordon

I was going to let this manuscript of card tricks fall through the cracks until I received a letter from Mr. Gordon which included what appeared to be an ad for the book. This ad contained some glowing endorsements from some well-known magicians, and, fearing that there would be some of you who would see the ad and be influenced by it, I felt that I must offer a dissenting view. This 31 page manuscript contains ten tricks which are personalizations of the standard repertoire The Danson Diary...

The Six Hour Memorized Deck

Memorized deck is a very hot subject these days. The Internet is buzzing with questions concerning which stack to use, the best method for memorization, and which books and videos contain the strongest effects. This heightened interest is due to the fact that many of the practitioners of this artifice have been more open in demonstrating to other magicians the powerful effects possible with a memorized deck. As with the current self-levitation craze, everybody wants to jump on the bandwagon....

Steel and Silver Video Series Volumes 2 and

Paul Gertner has released the second and third videos in the companion series to his best selling book Steel and Silver. Paul begins each tape by suggesting the videos be used as an adjunct to the book, and not a substitute for it, and in this I heartily concur. The videos focus on card and coin magic, and there is a fairly even split between routines which are geared toward real world performance, and those routines more suitable for fooling other magicians. Volume Two begins with a...

Miracles with Cards

I am a big fan of Jim Swain's work, and I'm not alone in my admiration many of the top professionals in the country include some of Jim's creations in their repertoires. Jim's routines are characterized by intelligence, ingenuity, and a diabolical combining of sleight-of-hand with subtleties, set-ups, or gaffs. His new book, Miracles with Cards, may contain his best work yet, and if you're a card man it should be at the top of your Christmas list. The book begins with a thoughtful essay on the...

Nothing Up My Green Sleeves

Paul Green is a busy corporate magician, and is also a regular columnist for The Magic Menu. In this 28-page set of notes, he explains seven routines from his professional repertoire. Included are One More Chance, a prediction effect with a huge, funny build-up (the only problem I see with a trick like this is if after the long, long build-up the trick should fail - but I'm sure that never happens) Above, Beside, or Below, a handling for Larry Jennings' excellent Peripatetic Coins Cutting the...

Effortless Card Magic

He seems to have the knack of creating outstanding card routines which require little or no technical ability, and which avoid the cumbersome mathematical methods which plague so many self-working card tricks. In his new book Effortless Card Magic, Peter offers us 70 routines which provide maximum impact for minimum effort. The material is divided into 14 chapters, each devoted to a particular type of effect. There are productions, coincidence effects, lie...

From the Horses Mouth Department

We're in the age of huge magic books. Every 45 days we get hit with one or two big books which contain 50 to 100 routines. How do we get through all this material Where do we start What's the really good stuff Because of the overwhelming amount of material are we missing some real gems I sympathize with you. So I thought, Why not go straight to the authors and ask them And that's what I did. I've contacted several of the authors of books recently reviewed in this column and asked them to pick...

Ken Krenzels Ingenuities

Ken Krenzel is well known as one of magic's finest technicians and a creator of ingeniously constructed sleight-of-hand routines. It has been seven years since his last book (Ken Krenzel's Close-up Impact ) was published. This new volume from Hermetic Press may surprise those of you who associate Ken only with knuckle-busting routines. There are some effects which will require considerable practice, but many of the routines replace advanced technique with the intelligent and subtle use of...

Growing in the Art of Magic The Book Thought Sender Shotglass Surprise

Eugene Burger has recently released three items of interest. Growing in the Art of Magic The Book is a transcript of an audiotape originally released in 1992. On this tape Eugene offered monologues and dialogues with Danny Orleans, Jack Gould, and Jay Inglee on various topics including the Origin and Symbolism of Magic, Seeking a Magical Vision, Managing People Close-up, and Before and After the Show. If you didn't purchase the audio tape, you will certainly want a copy of this book, and even...

Fortunetellers Book of Days

The Birthday Book effect seems to be very popular these days. Last month I reviewed Astral Diary which was based on Alex Elmsley's Fate's Datebook From L amp L Publishing comes another version by Paul Green called The Fortuneteller's Book of Days. Mr. Green's routine is also based on Fate's Datebook and Mr. Elmsley is properly credited. What is offered in this routine is both a method which requires no memorization or calculation and an interesting and nicely produced datebook. Besides having...

The Complete Dungeon

The Dungeon was a British magazine which lasted for 10 issues and ran from August 1993 to November 1995. The focus was on close-up magic, although stage and parlour magic was discussed as well. There were interviews with people like Penn and Teller, Ali Bongo, Alex Elmsley, Jay Marshall, and Channing Pollock. There was also a great deal of commentary, criticism, and critique of books, tricks, conventions, and the magic world in general. Dynamic Fx Limited is offered a limited edition of one...

Tullock The Phantom Founder of Trade Show Magic

By Eddie Tullock with Gene Urban and Kenton Knepper If you don't know who Eddie Tullock is, go back and read Paul Gertner's excellent article and interview in the October issue of MAGIC. Mr. Tullock has achieved a legendary status in magic for a couple of reasons he has for the most part avoided magicians, and consequently his routines and methods are not well known and, he pretty much single handedly started the business of trade show magic. Eddie has recently retired from the grueling trade...

The Art of Metal Bending The Perfect Net

While in Finland, I had the chance to spend some time with Guy Bavli, Israeli mentalist magician metal-bender. He is a very strong performer who gives a great deal of thought to the magic he performs. His lecture in Finland was very well received, and Guy spent a lot of time showing how to bend spoons and forks. This information is gathered in a set of notes titled, The Art of Metal Bending. The notes detail several different methods and presentations for bending, breaking, and melting spoons,...

Floats em Jetsam

The interest in self-levitations continues unabated. David Blaine's performance of this effect continues to be a hot topic on Internet discussion groups, and many magicians have contacted me to get more information on the various methods available. Two more products have recently crossed the reviewer's desk, so I thought I would take this opportunity to bring you up to date on new developments and to clarify a few points from my earlier discussion. You might want to get up to speed by rereading...

Illusion Projects Sub Trunk

You may recall that I have mentioned in this column that power tools and I will have nothing to do with one another. Piano playing is tough enough without trying to do so with less than the original God-given number of fingers. Consequently, I have never attempted to build an illusion, nor do I see myself doing so anytime in the future. However, lots of you are do-it-yourselfers, who feel comfortable handling skill saws, routers, drill presses, sanders, and other manly things. There has...

Swami Mantra

I believe that Richard Kaufman now has the distinction of publishing the most hardbound books which bear the warning Not to be Sold to Anyone Under 21 Years of Age on the cover. His reprint of Sam Dalal's magazines Swami and Mantra has this warning, and for good reason. Sam published information on how to perform many of the effects of the Hindu fakirs, and should anyone actually be dumb enough to try some of these stunts they could easily do themselves some bodily harm. Mr. Dalal began...

We Remember Lee Grabel

Lee Grabel began his touring illusion show after World War II. Mr. Grabel established himself as an astute businessman and an extremely accomplished performer, and the show toured from coast to coast with extraordinary success. In 1954, Dante chose Grabel as his successor, continuing a lineage which went back to Alexander Herrmann. Mr. Grabel retired in 1959, but briefly brought the show out of retirement in 1977. In 1995 he was awarded the Masters Fellowship by the Academy of Magical Arts and...

Miracle Material

I've never met Michael Kaminskas, but I'm afraid that his book and I got off on the wrong foot. Several times throughout the book Mr. Kaminskas refers to Erdnase as Erdinase. Now, don't get me wrong, I have made some major, bonehead spelling mistakes during my writing career, but this is like reading a book on Zen and having the author refer to the founder as Boodah - it makes you doubt the credibility of what you are reading. There are a couple of good items here and one really terrific idea,...