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 computer would answer, and we'd try to communicate through this crude text link-up. The two-man idea was never really as successful as we'd hoped it would be, and after 12 months Mac decided to bow out. Curiously, I eventually ended up in Las Vegas, which meant that Mac and I could actually do the type of review column we had envisioned, but Mac is adamant about not returning to the reviewing arena. (The reviewing job must have traumatized him, because to this day he won't even comment on things like the weather, or how his food tastes.)

I forged on, and 72 columns and 400,000 words later, I'm beginning my 7th year as product reviewer. Whew. From the beginning my goal was to produce a column that would a) help magicians make intelligent purchasing decisions, and b) be entertaining to read. I think I've succeeded more with the first goal than the second, although every now and then I write something that makes me smile. (And there is a whole bunch of hilarious stuff that for one reason or another never made it into print. Some day, way down the road, I'll write a book.)

I continue to receive encouraging words from readers who find the column to be useful. My thanks to all those who offer moral support. My main fear is overstaying my welcome. For now I'll continue on. There are lots of products to look at and friends that I haven't yet alienated. Welcome to Year Seven.

Secret Seminars of Magic Volumes 1-11

By Patrick Page. Each video $19.95. Three for $55. All 11 for $199. Free postage in US and Canada. From L&L Publishing, P.O. Box 100, Tahoma, CA 96142. Orders: 800-6265. Fax: 530-525-7008. Email: [email protected]. Web site: www.llpub.com.

Watching videos takes up a substantial part of the time that goes into producing a Marketplace column. The thought of sitting through 11 videos from one performer would normally fill me with dread. However, this time the performer is Patrick Page, one of magic's living treasures. Mr. Page is not only a terrific performer he is also a member of a small group of magicians (including Billy McComb, Jay Marshall, Johnny Thompson, and Ali Bongo) who provide us with a connection to the magic of the past. Mr. Page has been a magic demonstrator/dealer, a close-up magician, a stand-up performer, a children's entertainer, and a consultant on all things magical. Some years ago I had the opportunity to spend a week with Pat while shooting a television show in Sweden. The experience was delightful, memorable, and educational; it remains one of my fondest magical memories.

The 11 videos released by L&L Publishing as the Secret Seminars of Magic series were originally produced and released by Vic Pinto's Trik-a-Tape Company. Some of the routines were included as part of a video magazine series. The videos can be divided into three categories: prop specific, routine specific, and miscellaneous. In the prop specific category are videotapes covering Sponge Balls, Topit Techniques, Rope Magic, Thumb Tips, and Magic with Paper. Routine specific videos include Reveal-a-CardDiscoveries, The Three Shell Game, and Card in Wallet. Videos that cover miscellaneous magic include the London Stage Lecture, Funny Business for Kids' Shows, and 25 Super Tricks.

Before I go into a bit of detail about each tape I should mention that the material on these tapes is geared toward the magician who works for real people. There are no convoluted routines or flashy sleights that will intrigue your buddies at the magic club. The effects, moves, and bits of business that Pat Page offers are simple, direct, and practical, and as such, will be very useful to the magician of average ability. Even though I am very well read on the subjects covered on these videos, as I watched them I found myself smiling and thinking, "Now there's a good idea." In fact, there was at least one item on each tape that has been added to my list of tricks to learn. Now let's take a brief look at each tape.

If you only wanted to purchase one tape to get a feel for Pat Page's style, I would suggest the 25 Super Tricks video. The tape leads off with a wonderful utility item, The Auto Force Deck. If you are performing a routine that demands a sure-fire, completely convincing force, this one fits the bill. In addition to card tricks, this video features magic with coins, handkerchiefs, thimbles, and ropes. Be sure to check out The Everlasting Cut & Restored Rope Trick. It is a serious fooler. The London Stage Lecture video covers magic with billiard balls, thimbles, coins, and the Topit. The opening trick is the barehanded production of feather flowers. To be honest, I don't think that I would ever be in a situation where I'd want to produce a feather bouquet, but if for some reason (like losing a bet) I had to do this, I'd use Pat's method. It takes what is normally a lame trick and makes it very magical. Another highlight of this tape is Pat's Miser's Dream routine. (I should mention that the production qualities of The London Lecture tape are fairly low. It was shot live at one of Pat's lectures, consequently the lighting and camera angle is not the greatest. But you will be able to understand everything, and additional material was shot in a studio setting.) Finally, if you do kid shows, Funny Business for Kids' Shows is a worthwhile investment. To me, the opening bit with a bag and a rabbit puppet is worth the price of the tape.

For someone just getting started in magic, the five prop specific videos would be a smart investment. (And as I mentioned above, even knowledgeable magicians will learn a thing or two.) Sponge Balls have long been a favorite prop of the close-up worker, and on Pat's Sponge Balls video you'll learn practical sleights and some fine routines (including The Patrick Page Professional Sponge Ball Routine and the Benson Bowl routine). A

highlight of the Thumb Tips video is the Diminishing Handkerchief Routine, a great bit for the kid show performer. Magic with Paper features several excellent routines, including Patrick Page's Easy Money (a favorite of Fred Kaps), a fine handling of the Torn and Restored Cigarette Paper, Clippo, and Trouble-Wit. The Rope Magic video is a mini-encyclopedia of methods and routines, but my favorite is the Everlasting Cut & Restored Rope, which is performed but not explained. Finally, Topit Techniques provides information from the man who first popularized the Topit. Although I personally find little use for this device, I think that Pat's approach to using the Topit is deceptive, and more importantly, utilizes the Topit as a secret device.

The final three videos of the series focus on specific routines. Reveal-a-Card Discoveries gives you two dozen methods for producing a selected card. Highlights include Pat's method for the Card Under the Drink and a sure-fire method for the Drop Turnover revelation. In addition to the revelations, Pat discusses some methods for controlling selected cards. The Card in Wallet video covers one of the classic effects of card magic. A bonus of this video is that Pat's method does not require that you purchase an expensive "magic prop" wallet. In addition to various methods for performing this routine, Pat provides information on palming, and some "real work" hints and tips. The Three Shell Game video suffers slightly in comparison to recent videos by Phil Cass and Bob Kohler, but as a primer for anyone looking for basic information about this classic gambling routine, Pat's tape can't be beat. Pat offers a strong, commercial routine and lots of additional moves and bits of business.

I recently spoke to an experienced trade show magician about these 11 videotapes. He was amazed at the wealth of material contained within, and I concur with his assessment. They are all excellent. If you can't afford the whole set, I suggest you find a tape that deals with a subject you are interested in. I'm sure you won't be disappointed. Recommended.

George Johnstone Talks

By George Johnstone. $18.50 plus $4.50 p&h. From The Idea Machine, Inc., 26137 S. Ridgeland Ave., Monee, IL 60449. Phone: 708-534-2331.

George Johnstone is another of magic's living treasures. He began his career by performing in amateur shows and then became an assistant with the Blackstone show. With the decline of vaudeville, George formed an act with his wife Betty, who had also been a member of the Blackstone troupe. The act focused on comedy magic, and George and Betty had a very successful career in nightclubs, trade shows, and conventions. They performed at The Palace, on The Ed Sullivan Show, and they opened for Elvis Presley.

George Johnstone Talks gives us a chance to visit with this charming and fascinating man. Mr. Johnstone talks about his early amateur show experiences (including faking a limp in order to win audience sympathy), his days with the Blackstone show, and his encounters with the various and sundry characters that inhabit the world of show business. No tricks are explained, but this videotape is not about tricks, it's about a life spent as a variety artist. It is a videotape about loyalty, dedication, and perseverance. It is a videotape about love of the craft and respect for the people who devote their lives to it. I found one anecdote to be particularly telling. Mr. Johnstone relates a story about an illusion in the Blackstone show in which a woman vanished from within a horizontal stack of truck tires. The illusion must have been a good one, for it fooled Jay Marshall over and over. (And the persistent Mr. Marshall had sat in various parts of the theater trying to decipher the workings of the illusion.) As Mr. Johnstone tells the story he starts to discuss the method of the illusion, then stops, and chooses not to reveal the method. How's that for loyalty and respect?

The name of the videotape is George Johnstone Talks. I listened, and I had a very fine time. I think you will, too.

Ron Bauer's Private Studies Series

By Ron Bauer. Each booket $10. Available from E-Gads, P.O. Box 80906, Rochester, MI 48308-0906. Phone: 248-723-0160. Email: [email protected]. Web site: www.thinklikeaconjuror.ocm

A few years ago I reviewed Ron Bauer's Private Studies Series. The series consisted of a number of booklets, each one devoted to a single trick. The Private Studies Series has been re-released by E-Gads, and each booklet has been substantially revised. The most obvious improvement is that the production values have been upgraded considerably. The covers have been printed on glossy stock and feature full-color pictures. For many of the booklets the illustrations have been redrawn and all the illustrations have been placed within the body of the text (rather than on a separate sheet at the end of the booklet). Not having to flip to the back of the booklet to check an illustration makes the learning process much easier. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the text has been revised with additional information from Ron Bauer. In some cases this added information nearly doubles the number of pages in the booklet.

E-Gad sent along seven of these revised booklets: Gadabout Coins Revisited (a "two in the hand, one in the pocket" coin routine), Sudden Death Gypsy Curse, Horn-swoggled Again (a handling of the classic short-change routine), Owed to Poker Dan (a small packet All Backs routine with a surprise kicker), The Cursed Ring (a handling of Ring on the Wand), Paul Chosse's Bar Bill Stunt (a handling of the $100 Bill Switch/Mismade Dollar Bill), and Xerox Money (a handling of the famous Polaroid Money trick). Each of the routines is described in complete detail, including patter, subtext, management techniques, hints, and tips. These are fully worked-out, top-notch routines. In many cases the necessary props are included with the booklets.

I was very impressed with this series when I first reviewed it, and I'm even more enthusiastic now that the production values have been improved. Ron Bauer thinks deeply about his magic, and this thoughtfulness is apparent in every routine. $10 per routine is a reasonable (actually cheap) price for professional caliber material. Because they are offered as individual pamphlets, you can invest only in the routines that appeal to you. At the time of this writing the web site listed above was still under construction. I

suggest you contact E-gad for a full listing of the routines in the series. They are all worth your serious consideration.

Dreams, Schemes, Nightmares, and Illusions

By Card Mondor. CD-ROM Hybrid format (useable on both PCs and Macs.) $63.95 (Australian dollars) plus $10 airmail postage. From Aladdin's Magic Shop, GPO Box 471, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. Fax: 61 (0)3 62343884. Email: [email protected]. Web site: www.aladdin.com.au.

Card Mondor's life encompassed all facets of show business. Born in Seattle, Washington on October 1, 1922, he saw the Blackstone show when he was twelve and he was hooked. While in grade school, he and a friend terrorized a school assembly program with an all too real seeming version of "The Knife in the Head Magic Skit," a routine learned from a 50-cent booklet. In 1941 Mr. Mondor became an assistant with The Great Virgil's full-evening show, leaving in 1942 to do USO shows during World War II. At the end of the war Mr. Mondor created a cabaret act that played top nightclubs and supper clubs in the United States and South America.

In the late 1940's, Card Mondor was hired by advertising genius Edward "Kroger" Babb to take out the first unit of a midnight spook show titled Dr. Ogre Banshee's Chasm of Spasms. This led to a tour of Mondor's own spook show, Dr. Dracula'sLiving Nightmares. Taking a break from the spook show tour, Mondor was asked to be the advance man for Virgil & Julie's first world tour. This brought Card Mondor to Australia. In Australia, Mondor promoted exploitation films for Kroger Babb, produced a national Bozo the Clown television series, and eventually became the owner of the Aladdin Magic Shop. Card Mondor died January 8, 2001 in Tasmania, Australia.

Dreams, Schemes, Nightmares, and Illusions is Card Mondor's recounting of his fascinating life in show business. The book is in Adobe Acrobat format, and the CD-ROM is a hybrid that can be used on either a PC or a Mac. When the disc is inserted in the CD-ROM drive the program autoplays, bringing up a menu offering several options. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat installed, you can do so from this menu. Clicking on the "Read the Book" option brings up the Adobe Acrobat Reader. On the left side of the screen are the chapters of the book, on the right side of the screen are the pages. There are several viewing options, including Fit in Window, Actual Size, Fit Width, and Fit Visible. If you use the Fit in Window option you will not need to scroll down to read the text; an entire page of text is displayed in the right hand window. This makes the text smaller, but I had no problem reading it (using my reading glasses). Arrows allow you to go from page to page. You can simply read the book from front to back using this method. You can also navigate to any chapter by clicking on the appropriate chapter in the left-hand window. (Acrobat Reader also has a Find function, so you can search the entire book for any text you may be looking for.)

In addition to the autobiographical information, there are also several magic routines explained including The Hip Hypnotism Routine (a pseudo hypnotism routine using spectators that are stooged on stage), The Do It Yourself Spook Show, Sawing a Rabbit in Half, The Man Who Walks Away from His Shadow, Sticky Stuff (magic using rubber cement), and The Golem Illusion.

The layout of the book is serviceable, but not particularly beautiful. There are thumbnail photographs included in the body of the text, and clicking on these thumbnails brings up a full-size picture. (Note: If you want to get back to the text after you have viewed a full-size picture you need to click on the "Go to Previous View Arrow," and not the "Previous Page" arrow.) The text of Dreams, Schemes, Nightmares, and Illusions is 267 pages long. Following the text are several pages containing the full-sized photos.

The CD-ROM also contains Card Mondor's first book, Orgy of Evil, an analysis of a spook show presented by Mel Welles and Richard Lewellen. It is also possible (through options on the autoplay menu) to preview the pictures that appear in the Dreams book, explore the CD-ROM, read the Read Me file, or go to the Aladdin Magic Shop web site (in order to do this you must be connected to the web).

I enjoyed Dreams, Schemes, Nightmares, and Illusions, which is remarkable in its detail. Card Mondor was a connection to a time in show business the likes of which we will never see again. At the time of this writing the price of $64 Australian translates into about $32 US, which is very reasonable. The only problem I see is that most of us don't have our computer rooms set up for comfortable reading. It is a bit tiring to read large amounts of text on the computer screen. However, you can print out pages from Adobe Acrobat, so you can relax in a comfortable chair while you read about the life of an amazing showman.

The Illusion Show Business

By Stan Kramien. 8.5 x 11, spiral bound. 148 pages. $100 postpaid. From Stan Kramien, 4525 SW 99th Avenue, Suite 102, Beaverton, OR 97005. Phone: 503-277-2478. Email: [email protected]. Web site: www.geocities.com/stankramien.

Curiously, it was also the Blackstone show that instilled in a nine-year old Stan Kramien the desire to be a professional magician. Stan has had an amazing career, in and out of show business. He created and toured with four different illusion shows: Magicapades, Magicazam, The Mad World of Magic, and Shazam. He did club dates, trade shows, and fairs. He worked on a touring girlie show, a five-in-one, and a spook show. He toured with his own circus. In addition to performing, he had success as a radio personality, a booker/promoter, and as a supplier of exotic pets. Last year Stan was in a devastating car accident, but happily he is on the mend.

In The Illusion Show Business Stan Kramien discusses some of the things you need to know if you want to tour with your own illusion show. The book is in two parts. The first part is autobiographical in nature. Stan recounts his life in show business and details the myriad ways he has made a living. The second part of the book, subtitled "The Nitty Gritty," gets into the meat of the subject. Stan begins with a discussion of backdrops and frames and then offers information on lighting, sound, the length of the show, and the choosing of a name for the show. Following this is a long examination of illusions that can be incorporated in a show, including The Doll House, The Canvas Covered Box, various levitations, the Super-X Suspension, The Guillotine, Zig Zag, various sawing effects, and many more.

Concluding this section of the book is information on crates, assistants, costumes, transportation, advertising, concessions, and animals. The book concludes with a list of illusion builders. Scattered throughout the book are many photographs, promotional pieces, advertisements, and posters that chronicle the many different shows Stan Kramien has produced over the years.

While I have no doubt that the information Mr. Kramien gives in this book will be valuable to someone considering mounting their own illusion show, I have some reservations about the price of the book. Of the 148 pages in The Illusion Show Business, 66 are taken up with photographs or pictures of memorabilia. This leaves 35 pages of text in Part One and 33 pages of text in Part Two. (The remaining 14 pages include the Foreword, and some full page illustrations, blank pages, title pages, and full page ads at the back of the book.) I'm sure that the budding illusionist will find Mr. Kramien's biography to be inspiring and enlightening, but I fear that purchasers who discover that they have paid $100 for only 33 pages of nuts-and-bolts information will be disappointed. Most importantly, one vital aspect of the business of doing an illusion show has been omitted from this book: how the hell do you sell the show?

The answer to this question is available in another book from Mr. Kramien: Professional Secrets of Kramien: A Complete Course in the Fine Art of Booking and Promoting a Show. This 99+ page book sells for $150 and in it you will learn the telephone promotion system of selling tickets. Mr. Kramien spells out this system in great detail, providing forms, telephone scripts, office guidelines, and other important information that would certainly enable someone with drive, dedication, and desire to successfully sell and promote a show in this manner. The book you receive is not as massive as it appears, however, since the pages are single-sided. (In other words, it looks like you've received a 300-page book.) Still, $150 may well be a fair price for information that Mr. Kramien had to learn the hard way through years of experience.

(For those who are deeply into the idea of selling a show by telephone solicitation, Mr. Kramien offers a third book titled Show Me the Money: The Real Secrets of the Fundraising and Promotion Business. It sells for $200.)

What's the bottom line? I believe that Mr. Kramien has valuable information to offer, but I fear that purchasers may be upset when they see what they've received for their money. I see two solutions. One would be for Mr. Kramien to offer a money-back guarantee if the purchasers are not completely delighted with the books. The other solution would be to combine The Illusion Show Business and The Professional Secrets of Kramien into one book. This book could sell for $150 and would certainly be worth the price. For more information about any of these books contact Mr. Kramien.

How to Become Your Area's Top Children's Entertainer!

By Eric Paul. 200 page manual in three-ring binder, plus floppy disc. $99.00. From Eric Paul, 42 Manavon Street, Phoenixville, PA 19460. Fax: 610-917-9351. Email: [email protected]. Web site: www.epmagic.com.

Here is another course on the business side of professional entertainment. In this case, Eric Paul offers information on how to promote and sell your services as a children's entertainer. This is a very complete package of information, including discussions on advertising, booking the show, preparing for the show, stage, sound, and set-up information, personalizing the show, post-show information, and information on taxes and insurance. Mr. Paul provides numerous examples of promotional materials, give-aways, forms, phone scripts, and much more.

Mr. Paul is obviously a student of the Dave Dee school, as many of the ideas that are found here can also be found in the course Dave Dee sells. There's nothing wrong with this, as much of Dave Dee's approach can be found in the works of other marketing gurus. Mr. Paul has adapted this information to meet the specific needs of the children's entertainer, and I have no doubt that if someone was diligent about following the advice the result would be an increase in the amount of shows they do. Best of all, Mr. Paul offers a 90-day money back guarantee. If you're not happy, send everything back and Mr. Paul will refund your money. I don't see how you can go wrong. If you are a children's entertainer who is looking to increase your business How to Become Your Area's Top Children's Entertainer is worth your serious consideration.

The Book of Haunted Magick

By Rick Maue. 8.5 x 11, softcover, plastic comb bound. 181 pages. $35 plus $4.00 p&h in US. From Deceptions Unlimited, 549 Lucia Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15221-3965. Phone: 412-823-4323. Web site: www.deceptionsunlimited.com

Those with an interest in Bizarre Magick will certainly want to take a look at The Book of Haunted Magick by Rick Maue. Mr. Maue offers 50 items, each accompanied with an intriguing patter plot. Happily, the methods that accomplish these effects are more sophisticated than the average Bizarre Magick fare. A wide variety of props are utilized, although Tarot cards are featured in several effects. (My guess is that Mr. Maue comes to the Bizarre field from a sleight-of-hand background. I don't believe that I've previously encountered a Bizarre Magick book that offers a handling of the Classic Pass False Cut.)

If you have ever wanted to incorporate Bizarre Magick into a haunted house scenario, be sure to take a look at the section of the book titled The Haunted Chamber. This is a complete series of routines designed to be performed in a haunted house. Mr. Maue writes, "The 'magic' that occurs in the The Chamber is not designed to 'fool' the patrons, but instead to enhance the overall atmosphere. But if done properly, the routines are absolutely baffling, partially because the atmosphere acts as the most powerful misdirection that I have ever witnessed. The word most often used by the patrons to describe the effects is 'intense.'"

One refreshing aspect of this book is that magicians other than Bizarre Magic practitioners can perform several of the effects. For example, take a look at Terasabos, a routine in which the magician finds an object hidden under one of five heavy, opaque goblets. The method is not for the faint of heart, but performed with confidence, this routine would be a stunner.

The Book of Haunted Magick is reasonably priced and has enough variety to appeal to a wide audience. If you enjoy reading about Bizarre Magick this book is worth your serious consideration.

Games You Can't Lose

By Harry Anderson and Turk Pipkin. 5.5 x 8, softcover. 160 pages. $12.95. From Burford Books, Inc. ISBN 1-58080-086-6. Available from most bookstores.

First published in 1989, this "Guide for Suckers" is back in print. Easy to read and full of simple stunts, Games You Can't Lose is the perfect book for someone looking for a few scams to pull on their friends and relatives. The book is divided into two sections: Games You Can't Lose, and Games You Can't Win. In the first section are simple bar bets, sneaky trivia questions, and games such as Nim. The second section offers basic advice for casino gambling, track betting, carnival games, and street hustles.

There's nothing in this book that will threaten any magician's livelihood, and if you have no experience with these types of games you may actually learn something. As a gift for a laymen friend who has an interest in cons and scams, Games You Can't Lose would be a good choice.

Crayon Magic

By Jeff Brown. 5.5 x 8.5, softcover, stapled. 60 pages. $10 plus $3.50 p&h. From Jeff Brown, 135 W. Second Street, Juneau, AK 99801. Phone: 907-586-1670. Email: [email protected]

For an audience of children, crayons are a natural prop. Jeff Brown has assembled a mini-encyclopedia of crayon magic. There is a variety of magic offered here, although many of these routines are simply tricks that would normally be performed with cigarettes or pencils. Included are ideas from Ron Dayton, Martin Gardner, James Swoger, and Billy McComb. Crayon Magic is a worthwhile collection, especially for the kids' show performer.

The Yankee Magic Collector #9

Edited by Ed Hill and Bob Schoof. 5.5 x 8.5, softcover. 144 pages. $40 postpaid in US. (Orders outside of North America add $5.) From NEMCA, c/o Alan Wassilak, 137 Spring Street, Watertown, MA 02472

Historians and collectors will want to pick up a copy of The Yankee Magic Collector #9. Included in this collection are articles about Cesareo Pelaez, Valentine Vox, the first three magic books published in Australia, Professor Thomas Kenney, ALGI, the

Congenial Robot, and much more. The Yankee Magic Collector #9 is a signed, numbered edition limited to 175 copies, so if you are interested be sure to get your copy right away.

MentCode

By Lee Woodside. $59.95 plus $3.50 p&h. From Lee Woodside, 4513 Northwest 29th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73127. Phone: 405-946-1436. Email: [email protected].

One need only watch the performances of Simon and Ginny Aronson, Danny and Jan Orleans, or the Levasons to realize how entertaining and baffling a two-person mental act can be. A daunting aspect of learning such an act is practicing the coding of information. Lee Woodside provides a complete learning package with his product MentCode: Develop Your Own Two-Person Mental Act. Mr. Woodside provides a 30 page, plastic comb bound manuscript and a CD-ROM. The first step in the learning process is to learn the words used to code numbers. Following this Mr. Woodside explains how to code colors, money, personal objects, etc. There is also information on pre-show work and performing in the real world. The nice aspect of the system Mr. Woodside presents is that it is completely customizable; you can use his code, or you can develop code words that more closely match your manner of speech.

The CD-ROM that is included contains a Windows program. (This means that MentCode is only useful for PC users.) The main function of the program is to allow you to practice the code. You can practice the basic code (those words that cue the numbers 1-100), or you can practice the coding/receiving of actual objects. You can practice as the sender or the receiver. The program is completely customizable, so if you change code words or their associated objects you can simply enter that data into the program. The program was simple to install and easy to understand. (And for those of you entering the world of memorized deck, I see no reason why you couldn't use this program to speed up the process of learning a stack.)

MentCode is a useful product. It is not cheap, but the market is small, and Mr. Woodside has obviously invested some time in developing the program. I would hope that if this product were successful Mr. Woodside would add a few enhancements, such as the ability to practice coding specific items. If a two-person mental act is in your future, MentCode is worth your serious consideration. (As with any product released in an electronic medium I would ask that you respect the creator and not make illegal copies for your friends.)

Pull-eez

By Barry Price. $20. From Barry Price, 5339 Ben Avenue, Suite 3, Valley Village, CA 91607. Email: [email protected]

Barry Price has come up with a nifty gimmick to vanish a coin or any small, flat object (playing card, currency, credit card). The gimmick is a variation on our old friend the elastic pull, but the clip that actually holds the object is unusual and provides a very firm grip. It takes only a second to change the object in the clip, so the Pull-eez could be used for a variety of routines. The object to be vanished is held in the sleeve, and it is a simple matter to drop the arm, obtain the clip (with the object attached) and then vanish it.

The Pull-eez gimmick is not really designed to allow you to secretly hook up an object in front of your audience. However, I can think of a few ways that you could get hooked up without attracting a lot of suspicion.

Pull-eez is a nifty gimmick that the imaginative close-up worker could put to use in many ways.

Oops Department

In my review of Concertos for Pasteboard I managed to consistently misspell the name of the book's editor Oliver Erens. Dr. Erens has been a driving force in bringing English language books to German speaking magicians. Most recently he translated Joshua Jay's Magic Atlas into German.

Fundamentals of Magick

Fundamentals of Magick

Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.

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Responses

  • juhana
    How to become your area's top children's entertainer eric paul?
    5 years ago

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