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.

Performing Magic for Children

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 not a children's entertainer, I've never been a children's entertainer, and I have no intention of ever being a children's entertainer, but I have a lot of respect for those who do the job well. The job requires enormous energy, patience, and enthusiasm, in addition to business acumen and excellent interpersonal skills. The job also carries with it a special responsibility, for at every children's show information is imparted to the audience. Children learn something from every experience, and they will learn something from a magic show. The question is whether the implanting of this information is intentional or unintentional. Has the magician thought about the message he's imparting?

Uwe Schenk and Michael Sondermeyer have thought about this. Both gentlemen are children's entertainers in Germany, and both are specialists in early childhood education. They have graciously shared their knowledge to the magic fraternity in a book titled Performing Magic for Children. It is a marvelous book, and one of the most thorough books on the subject that I have read.

The book begins with a discussion of the magician as pedagogue. Pedagogy is the science of education. As Schenk and Sondermeyer explain it, "Pedagogy is not simply teaching, in the traditional sense of the word. The teacher uses pedagogical methods - exercises, repetition, testing - to help the child reach a certain goal. The pedagogue, on the other hand, creates an environment that supports and guides the child's development, taking the child's individual factors into account. Whereas traditional teaching is centered on the educational goal, pedagogy is centered on the child." Does a magic performance have any inherent pedagogical value? The authors response, ".. .we quickly come to a bitter realization: the role of an adult who, because of superior knowledge, is in a dominant position vis-à-vis his audience, and exhibits this on stage as entertainment, is of dubious pedagogical value. Concepts such as honesty and dishonesty, selfishness and social competence, trust and mistrust, power and powerlessness, abuse and vanity arise. From a pedagogical point of view, magic has little to offer."

Can a magician be a role model? Possibly, although the traits of the magician (someone who knows things that others do not and who can accomplish things that others cannot) are often more attractive to adults than children. Children tend to identify with clowns. Why? Because, like a child, a clown battles the challenges of everyday life, succeeding only with effort in accomplishing things that an adult does easily. The magician is often most appealing to children when he has apparently made a mistake, or is unaware of events going on about him.

After this fascinating introductory chapter, Schenk and Sondermeyer proceed with the nuts and bolts of the book. They discuss the working environment, lighting and sound, dealing with adults in the audience, seating and visibility, the size of the audience, attention span, interruptions, and assisting spectators. Next are suggestions on how to design an act, including discussions on concept and structure, the role of the performer, and suitable effects for children.

The last half of Performing Magic for Children contains a complete description of the acts of Schenk and Sondermeyer. Schenk's act was designed for audiences of different ages; Sondermeyer's act was developed specifically for preschoolers. Each of these acts is explained in meticulous detail, with an emphasis on the message being delivered. In addition to complete patter scripts, the authors discuss the "why" as well as the "how" of each routine. While it would certainly be foolish to copy the presentations verbatim, having a complete script is a time-saver, and allows the student to easily modify the patter to fit his personality. The book concludes with a useful bibliography and a helpful index of names and keywords.

Ariel Frailich did an excellent job of translating Performing Magic for Children from German into English. His translation is very readable. The book deals with theoretical concepts, but never gets bogged down in theory. I highly recommend Performing Magic for Children to anyone interested in the field of children's entertainment. Whether you are a novice or a seasoned professional, you'll find something of interest here. I would also recommend it to those who work strictly for adults. Adults learn something during magic shows as well, and it would behoove all of us to consider what message we are sending when we perform.

My Canes and Candles

By Fantasio. 8.5 x 11 hardcover with dustjacket. 136 pages. $39.95 postpaid in US and Canada. From L&L Publishing, P.O. Box 100, Tahoma, CA 96142. Orders: 1-800-6266572. Fax: 530-525 7008. Email: [email protected]. Web site: www.allmagic.com/llpub.

The magic world would have been much different without Ricardo Roucau. Audiences around the world would have never experienced one of magic's most charming and sophisticated performers. Magic conventioneers would have never known the pleasure of the company of this humorous and gracious man. And the stage contests at magic conventions would all have been at least 30 minutes shorter.

Ricardo Roucau is better known as Fantasio, and in 1967 he discovered a laminated plastic material that could be used to make Vanishing and Appearing Candles and Canes. (Incidentally, should the subject ever come up as a question on Who Wants to be a Millionaire, this same plastic material was used to protect the feet of the Eagle Spacecraft when it landed on the moon.) Fantasio's Canes and Candles have found their way into the repertoires of many great magicians, including Lance Burton, David Copperfield, Tony Clark, Greg Frewin, Tina Lenert, and Norm Nielsen. Now Fantasio has assembled a reference book on the care and feeding of these venerable props. Titled My Canes and Candles, it is a wonderful resource for the stage magician.

The book begins with a discussion of basic care and maintenance. Included here are the do's and don'ts of cleaning the canes and candles. Fantasio also gives a method for twirling a cane. Next comes an examination of the canes, both the vanishing and appearing types. Fantasio explains the correct handlings for both these props, and then gives several different tricks with each. Included here is a method for making a dancing vanishing cane.

This same format is continued for the vanishing/appearing wand and the vanishing/appearing candle. Fantasio then offers cane and candle combinations, more effects for each of the props, and tricks that incorporate feather bouquets. The book has large, clear illustrations by Alan Wassilak, and also includes many photographs of Fantasio performing.

Books of value to the stage magician are few and far between. My Canes and Candles is a must-buy for anyone who uses (or is thinking of using) one of the Fantasio products.

Son of Simon Says

By Simon Lovell. 8.5 x 11, hardcover with dustjacket. 216 pages. $45.00 postpaid in US and Canada. From L&L Publishing, P.O. Box 100, Tahoma, CA 96142. Orders: 1-800626-6572. Fax: 530-525 7008. Email: [email protected]. Web site: www.allmagic.com/llpub.

The last time I saw Simon Lovell was in the fall of 1998 during the Never-ending Lecture tour. The most recent reports I've received tell me that he's doing better than ever and is knocking 'em dead at his appearances at Monday Night Magic. This is great news and I'm delighted to hear it. In addition to his performing commitments, Mr. Lovell has been a busy little writer. His new book, Son of Simon Says, contains more than 45 items, and is geared to the requirements of the real world close-up performer.

The book begins with Simon offering a few thoughts on the performance of magic. He discusses such topics as how many sleights do you really need to know, adapting your presentations for a variety of audiences, defining your performance character, pocket management, and advice on bar magic. Simon spends a lot of time in the trenches, and his suggestions come from real world experience.

Card magic makes up the largest portion of Son of Simon Says. Familiar plots are reworked, including sandwich effects, "Triumph," the Collectors plot, the torn and restored card (which includes a rarity - a logical reason for tearing up the card), a version of the Scarne Two Card Transposition using a glass, and Alex Elmsley's "Point of Departure." If you already perform versions of these effects it is unlikely that you will switch over to Simon's methods. However, you may find patter possibilities and bits of business that you can incorporate into your routines. Simon also discusses several sleights, including a flourishy (and difficult) one-handed card fan, one-handed multiple cut, a variation of the Kelly bottom placement, and a flourishy method for setting up Vernon's "Twisting the Aces."

The non-card material includes several bar bets and gags, a version of Rink's "Grand Guignol," a method for producing writing on a business card in a flash of flame (you'll need to be seated or behind a bar to do this one), several origami tricks (including a great Scottie Dog fold by Robert Neale), a method for folding a rose out a cocktail napkin (one of the best bar/restaurant give-aways ever), and a couple of crazy routines that no one but Simon would ever do.

If you're looking for end-of-the-world, reputation-making miracles, you'll probably want to look elsewhere. As Simon says in the introduction, the majority of the routines in Son of Simon Says are middle routines, rather than openers or closers. This is not to say, however, that they wouldn't be effective for a lay audience. Simon gives his entire patter script and he spends a lot of time explaining the "why" of each effect. I can't imagine anyone but Simon using the patter he gives (in fact, it's hard to believe that Simon gets away with it), but he has given you all the information you need to adapt each effect to your own personality.

Fans of Simon Lovell will certainly want to add Son of Simon Says to their libraries. If you're unfamiliar with Simon's work, you may want to check out Simon's first book, Simon Says, first.

The Conservation of Magic

By Leo Behnke. 6 x 9 hardcover with dustjacket, mylar jacket protector, and acid-free bookmark. 260 pages. $47.50 postpaid in US. From Book Group, P. O. Box 27716, Las Vegas, NV 89126. Phone: 702-870-0131

From the colorful world of the jazz musician, I learned of the word "Jones." A Jones is a habit, an addiction. It is used as follows, "Well, Ernie likes pot, but he doesn't have a Jones or anything." Jazz musicians who have conquered drug or alcohol addictions sometimes play a humorous version of "Have You Met Miss Jones," titled, "Do You Miss Your Jones."

Nobody in the world has a worse Jones than the collectors of magic memorabilia. As I write this column, a whole mess of collectors is descending on a town in Pennsylvania to take part in the sale of items from the Egyptian Hall Collection, recently purchased by George Daily and Mike Caveny. I hope someone captured the proceedings on videotape.

I'm not a collector. In fact, at this point in my life I'm the exact opposite of whatever a collector is. But many of you may be collectors, and whether your collection is large or small, you have to answer this question: How do I keep my stuff in good shape so when I drop dead it will look good for the next collector? To your rescue comes Leo Behnke, a man who has had a widely varied career in magic. Mr. Behnke has been a bar magician, an illusionist, a television producer, a set designer, and a stage manager. He has also been a collector and he has served as librarian for the Magic Castle and as the curator of the David Copperfield collection. Mr. Behnke has produced a marvelous book titled The Conservation of Magic in which he details many methods for keeping your collectibles in top-notch shape.

Mr. Behnke begins by discussing some general considerations. For example, how is your collection going to be stored, how much room will you need, and how much trouble are you willing to go to in order to preserve your collection? How will you protect your collection against theft? How will you protect your collection against fire (and the water damage that can result from extinguishing a fire)? Will your homeowner's insurance policy cover the collection? Failure to answer these questions could result in a collection that is lost, damaged, or destroyed completely.

Mr. Behnke then devotes more than 50 pages on how to care for books. This includes information on how to properly store books, how to make minor repairs, how to handle books properly, how to mark books for identification, the proper type of bookmark to use, and how to deal with mildew. Following the discussion of books, Mr. Behnke explains how to care for delicate ephemera, including prints, posters, periodicals, photographs, and recordings of various types. The thoroughness of this discussion is then extended on to playing cards, silks, and magic props and gimmicks.

A collection is no good if you don't know what you've got and how to find it quickly, so Mr. Behnke explains systems for cataloging your collection. The last chapter is titled The Final Decision. It begins, "There are two critical decisions to be made about your collection and the items therein. One is what to do when you run out of room for more of them, or what to do with them when you run out of enthusiasm, either overall or for some individual items. Your other decision is how your collection/library should be handled as part of your final estate." Mr. Behnke again offers practical and useful advice.

The Conservation of Magic is a wonderful book. It is filled with information, including delightful, esoteric nuggets of knowledge. If you have a collection, you must have this book. If you're thinking about collecting, you must have this book. Exactly 350 copies of this book will be available. The Conservation of Magic will be introduced on November 8, 2000 at the opening day of Yankee Gathering VIII. My guess is that demand will be sufficient to require a second printing. I hope so. The Conservation of Magic should be a standard reference text. Highest recommendation.

Greater Gospel Magic

By Duane Laflin. 8.5 x 11, hardcover with dustjacket. 319 pages. $45 plus $5 p&h. From Duane Laflin, Box 3003, 203 E. Riverside, Troy, Montana, 59935. Fax: 406-295-6076

Quality hardcover books for the Gospel magician are rare. In the Forward to Greater Gospel Magic, Duane Laflin cites only four hardbound books that have been published since 1910. Mr. Laflin is a former International President of the Fellowship of Christian Magicians, and his traveling ministry has visited almost every state in the United States and many foreign countries. He is a well-known magic dealer, and he has published booklets on Gospel magic, silk magic, children's magic, and comedy magic.

I've always felt that Gospel magic bore a relationship to trade show magic - in both cases the magic is subservient to the message. If the magic is done poorly it undermines the impact of the message. In Greater Gospel Magic, Mr. Laflin offers both practical and spiritual information in an effort to raise the level of Gospel magic performances.

The book begins with 18 essays relating to the nature and performance of Gospel magic. Next is a section with 10 fully scripted Gospel magic routines. Mr. Laflin then offers suggestions on developing a Gospel magic show. There is a very large section of Do's and Don'ts for Gospel magicians, and a final section containing more ideas for Gospel routines.

I am completely unqualified to comment on the spiritual aspect of this book, but the practical advice Mr. Laflin offers is useful and valuable. I have no doubt that Greater Gospel Magic will become a standard reference text for this type of magic. If you have an interest in Gospel magic, this book should be in your library.

Joe Karson - Beyond Zombie

By Michael E. Rose. 6 x 9 hardcover. 209 pages. $35 plus $3.20 p&h in US. From Michael Rose, P.O. Box 105, Phoenix, MD 21131. Email: [email protected]. Web site: http://members.home.net/crosewl/karson.html

Here's another man whose impact on the world of magic was immense. If Joe Karson hadn't lived, stage contests at magic conventions would be two hours shorter. Joe Karson invented the floating ball effect known as Zombie, a trick that has been raised to exquisite heights (Tommy Wonder, Neil Foster, Norm Nielsen), or butchered beyond belief (list deleted due to space restrictions). Joe Karson also created "The World's Fastest Card Trick" (a great stand-up card routine), "Voodoo" (a one-man floating handkerchief routine), and a slew of other effects.

Even though he was a remarkably creative man, younger generations of magicians (if they recognize his name at all) associate Joe Karson only with the Zombie effect. In an effort to correct this, Michael E. Rose has written a detailed but very readable biography titled Joe Karson - Beyond Zombie. The book is in two parts. The first part details Karson's life, the second part examines his creations. Two useful appendices are included. The first gives an annotated bibliography of magazine articles written by Joe

Karson. The second appendix gives a bibliography of books about the Zombie effect. A general bibliography, full notes for each chapter of the book, and a very useful index are also included.

Joe Karson - Beyond Zombie is a well-written and beautifully produced book that will be of great value to both the historian and the collector. The first edition is limited to 500 copies, so don't hesitate in picking up your copy.

Fantastic Balloons and New Balloon Sculptures

By Roberto Menafro and Paolo Michelotto. From Troll Libri, Contra Porti 25, 36100 Vincenza, Italy. Email: [email protected]

It's been a while since we've had balloon sculpture books here in Marketplace. These two new ones from Italy's Troll Libri are absolutely terrific. Fantastic Balloons (8.26 x 11.80, softcover, 48 pages, $12 plus $10 p&h) by Roberto Menafro and Paolo Michelotto contains 44 models including Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Uncle Scrooge, the Pink Panther, Popeye, and the Road Runner. The models are illustrated with 1000 full-color photos. The text is in Italian and English. New Balloon Sculptures (8.26 x 11.80, softcover, 60 pages, $12 plus $10 p&h) by Paolo Michelotto contains 67 models including Chilly Willy, Mickey Mouse, Pluto, Tweety Bird, Daffy Duck, and many others. There are 938 color photos and the text is in English, Italian, Dutch, and French. Long time readers of Marketplace know that I am not particularly a fan of balloon animals, but the sculptures in these two books are absolutely amazing. If you do balloons you need these books.

Virtual Miracles

Compiled by Peter Duffie. An electronic publication. $25. Only available online at http://www.tronic.ndo.co.uk

Scotland's Peter Duffie has jumped into the electronic age with both feet. His new book-length compilation Virtual Miracles is only available online and in an electronic format. If you visit his web site at www.tronic.ndo.co.uk and click on the spinning/flashing "New!" button, you'll be taken a page that describes Virtual Miracles and allows you to order online using a credit card. Once the order is processed you'll receive a Zip file in your email box. The file is self-extracting. After the file extracts, you click on a file named "open.htm" which immediately opens your web browser and displays the title page. From there you go to the table of contents and you can click either on the name of a contributor or the name of a trick. (I should clarify that even though you are using your web browser to traverse through the "pages" of Virtual Miracles, you do not have to be online. The web browser reads the necessary files from your hard drive.) Navigation is a breeze, and Peter also provides email addresses so you can correspond with the contributors if you wish.

The list of contributors to Virtual Miracles is a stellar one indeed: Jason Alford, Steve Beam, David Britland, Aldo Colombini, Paul Cummins, Daryl, Phil Goldstein, Pit Hartling, Gene Maze, Robert Neale, Jon Racherbaumer, Fred Robinson, Allan Slaight,

Roy Walton, Paul Wilson, Andrew Wimhurst, and many others. There is something here to suit the taste and abilities of just about every card magician. I particularly enjoyed the Neale and Robinson items.

Peter has many other items for sale, including nine of his earlier manuscripts available in an electronic format. If you're a card enthusiast you'll certainly want to check out his site, and you'll probably want to order a copy of Virtual Miracles.

Tools of the Trade

By Chuck Smith. 8.5 x 11 softcover. 71 pages. $50. From Chuck Smith, 702 N. Guadalupe Street, Carlsbad, NM 88220

My sources tell me that the legendary Chuck Smith made an appearance at the recent TAOM convention, and he had a new set of notes for sale. I have been enthusiastic about Mr. Smith's previous sets of notes, What If? and Why Not?, and I'm enthusiastic about these new notes titled Tools of the Trade. Mr. Smith begins with an essay on using visualization techniques to make practice sessions more effective. I do not recall having seen this subject discussed in a magic book, although it does tie in with techniques offered in Kenny Werner's Effortless Mastery.

Card magic is the focus of Tools of the Trade. Mr. Smith offers techniques for the Double Lift, the Fan Force, the Second Deal, and several forms of the Pass. Mr. Smith also explains a very interesting method for associating any given card with a spectator, some great scams for the game of 31, an interesting "fishing" technique in which a spectator does the fishing, a very funny "long distance" card revelation, and a diabolical trick in which the magician predicts two freely selected cards. I have never had the pleasure of meeting Chuck Smith, but I understand that these sleights and effects look marvelous in his hands. At $50, Tools of the Trade is a bit pricey, but the material is of the highest caliber. If you are serious about card magic, all of Chuck Smith's manuscripts are worth your serious consideration.

The Ken Krenzel Video Series Volumes 1-6

By Ken Krenzel. Six Volumes, each video $24.95, all six for $135. Postage free in US and Canada. From L&L Publishing, P.O. Box 100, Tahoma, CA 96142. Orders: 1-800626-6572. Fax: 530-525 7008. Email: [email protected]. Web site: www.allmagic.com/llpub.

Dr. Ken Krenzel is widely known as one of magic's finest technicians. L&L Publishing has re-released six volumes of Krenzel material from the Videonics library. Card enthusiasts will certainly want to investigate these videos.

The first three videos focus on material from The Card Classics of Ken Krenzel, a book written by Harry Lorayne. Highlights include the "Eerie Spinout," "The Ultimate Tunnel," Ken's Natural Double Lift, and the Krenzel Mechanical Reverse (a fabulous utility move). Volume Four, devoted to all forms of the Pass, may be the most useful tape of the series. Ken is a master of the Classic Pass, and he offers many valuable insights into this most difficult of sleights. Volumes Five and Six offer a variety of effects, including coin magic and an interesting Linking Ring move.

There's a ton of information on these videos. Ken is not really an entertainer, consequently the material comes across as a bit dry, and sometimes the camera is at a less than favorable angle. But for fans of Dr. Krenzel's work, this video series is a valuable resource. Because there is so much material presented, I suggest that you consult an L&L Publishing ad to see which tapes contain the effects that interest you.

Intimate Impossibilities Video Ed Marlo Confidential

From Randy Wakeman. Intimate Impossibilities: $35 plus $3.20 p&h. Ed Marlo Confidential: $30 plus $3.20 p&h. From Randy Wakeman, 12362 S. Oxford Lane, Plainfield, IL 60544. Email: [email protected]

Randy Wakeman has the dubious distinction of having the most heavily borrowed, uncredited trick of recent times: his "The Spectator Cuts To and Turns Over the Aces" has popped up all over the place (most recently in this very magazine). Mr. Wakeman has authored several books, and recently released a new version of "The Rainbow Deck" (see October's Marketplace.) His newest releases are Randy Wakemans'Intimate Impossibilities Video (featuring card magic) and Ed Marlo Confidential (featuring rare movie and video footage of the legendary Chicago card man).

Ten items are demonstrated and explained on the Intimate Impossibilities Video. For the most part these are variations of familiar plots. You'll find handlings for the Stop Trick (actually more of a prediction in Wakeman's presentation), Cards Across, Ed Marlo's "Invisible Toss," a small packet version of "Triumph," Bruce Cervon's small packet Ambitious Card effect, Larry Jenning's "Visitor" effect, and a routine using the Wakeman Rainbow Deck. Many, many versions of these effects have been published, and unfortunately, I find little in Mr. Wakeman's approaches that move these routines forward in terms of presentation, method, or effect. My main criticism is that I find these handlings to be cozy and somewhat contrived. (I have discussed the distinctions of "cozy" vs. "open" and "contrived" vs. "natural" in previous columns. If the terms mean nothing to you, this tape is too advanced for you.) Of course, the determination of "cozy" or "contrived" is completely subjective; your approach to card magic and your ideal image of what magic should look like may be completely different. However, I think that superior methods for these effects already exist.

Mr. Wakeman does present two offbeat items, both creations of Tom Gagnon. The first, "LBD Aces," uses an unorthodox method for the bottom deal. Mr. Wakeman does the move well, but I can tell you from personal viewing that in the hands of Mr. Gagnon the move is otherworldly. Advanced card magicians will want to add this move to their repertoires. The other Gagnon item is a strange method for performing the Haunted Deck effect. This can be performed with a borrowed deck, but other restrictions unfortunately limit the usefulness of this handling. However, it would be great for fooling your buddies at the next magic meeting.

Simon Lovell joins Mr. Wakeman throughout the video. Most of the time Simon is the off-screen spectator who selects cards. Sometimes Simon works little puppets that pop up here and there throughout the video. (Yes, you read that last sentence correctly.) Whether you find this funny or not depends on how much you like puppets. Simon also performs (but does not explain) "The Murder Mystery" from Son of Simon Says.

As a bonus item, Mr. Wakeman offers some previously unreleased footage of Heba Haba Al performing the Sugar Cube effect at Schulien's bar. For those who have never heard the name before, Heba Haba Al was one of the great Chicago bar magicians, and his performance of the Sugar Cube was one of the highlights of his set. Unfortunately, this video captures Al near the end of his life, and his performance is very subdued. It's great to see Al again (some of the happiest moments of my life were spent with Jay Marshall at the New York Lounge watching Al work), but I fear that a younger generation will watch this video and wonder what the fuss was all about. Believe, in his prime Heba Haba Al created a near riot with his handling of the Sugar Cube trick.

EdMarlo Confidential contains some very rare footage of the prolific and reclusive card magician. Ed demonstrates a lot of material (no explanations are given), including various false deals, the perfect faro-riffle shuffle, several card changes, four ace tricks, and a Cards to Pocket routine. The most interesting segment was shot at the Magic Castle. Ed Marlo is joined on stage by Charlie Miller and Dai Vernon. Seeing these three giants of card magic together is probably worth the price of the video. Because the footage on Ed Marlo Confidential came from a variety of sources the quality ranges from fair to atrocious. Even with this limitation, Ed Marlo Confidential will appeal to card enthusiasts and historians.

The Impossible Close-up Rising Card The Magnetized Cards

By Gary Plants. The Impossible Close-up Rising Card: $50 plus $3.20 p&h. The Magnetized Cards: $25 plus $3.20 p&h. (Texas residents add 8.25% for sales tax.) From The Card Plant, 2212 Bay Haven Way, League City, TX 77573. Phone: 281-538-4682. Email: [email protected]

About five years ago Gary Plants and I were sitting in an airport waiting for our respective planes home. Gary took out a deck of cards and nonchalantly proceeded to knock me on my rear end with an unbelievable Rising Card effect. I have lusted after this trick ever since then, and Gary is finally releasing it. This latest version is even better than what I saw at the airport. My great regret is that I have to tell all of you about it.

Here's what happens. Two spectators each select a card by dividing a pile of cards into two smaller piles and looking at the top card of each pile. (Gary offers a non-sleight-of-hand method for this card selection process, but knowledgeable card magicians will want to substitute more sophisticated methods.) Each spectator shuffles his card into the respective small packets and the two packets are assembled into one packet. (The spectators can check to make sure that neither selection is near the top or bottom of this packet.) One of the spectators places the pile of cards into the card box. The magician holds the card box and asks which spectator should go first. Whoever decides to go first, that spectator's card rises out of the card box. The spectator does not have to name his card before it rises out of the box. The first spectator removes his card (still in an upjogged condition) from the card box. The second spectator's card then rises from the box. At this point the second spectator takes all the cards from the box, and the box is handed for examination. Everything can be examined.

This is a fabulous trick on every level. You have to be a bit careful of your angles (someone standing behind you is going to be very wise), but otherwise you can do this trick anywhere. The trick is expensive to keep it exclusive and because Gary has to make everything by hand. This is not a self-working trick; you will have to practice, but the results are more than worth it. I wish I were the only one who knew about this.

Gary has also revived "The Magnetized Cards," an effect that was a favorite of Nate Leipzig. You're probably familiar with the effect. The magician forms a "rosette" of cards on the palm of his hand. The hand is turned over, the cards mysteriously cling to the palm. At the whim of a spectator the cards drop to the tabletop. Gary's method for this is ingenious and completely practical. The spectators can examine your hand before and after the magnetization. Gary's handling also gives the spectators the impression that they have examined all the cards involved. I have been using this for the past two weeks and I love it. The effect is unusual and it plays very big. Best of all, you'll be able to perform this with just a little bit of practice.

I give both of these items my highest recommendation.

(By the way, Gary is also offering some excellent daub. It's silver daub and it costs $15 plus $3.20 p&h. If you're looking for good daub, Gary's is worth your consideration.)

Dominique Duvivier - Printing

Printing - $19.95 postpaid in US, Canada, and overseas surface mail. From A-1 MagicalMedia, 3337 Sunrise Blvd., #8, Rancho Cordova, CA 95742. Orders: 800-8768437. Fax: 916-852-7785. Web site: www.a1magicalmedia.com.

Available from A-1MagicalMedia is Dominique Duvivier's "Printing." You are provided with an instructional video and all the necessary props. A packet of cards is shown. All the cards are face down. As they are counted from hand to hand one of the cards turns face up. This is continued until four cards have turned face up. They are the four Tens. The other four cards are shown to have blank faces. Suddenly the cards start acting like a Xerox machine. Faces copy, backs copy, cards are misprinted, one card takes on the color of the close-up mat, and the last card takes on the image of the card case. At the end everything can be examined.

This is a very visual routine that is not difficult to do. The only thing you need to know is that one card has a green back. Duvivier uses a green close-up mat, and the green card apparently takes on the color of the mat. If you don't use a green mat, you'll have to figure out some other green object to use. (Duvivier offers several suggestions on the videotape.) If you like packet tricks, "Printing" is one of the better ones.

It's Not Magic, But.

Not much makes me laugh these days, but one thing that can consistently make me howl out loud is the satirical newspaper The Onion. You can sometimes find a hardcopy version of The Onion at a good bookstore, but the easiest way to experience it is to visit it online at www.theonion.com. A new issue comes out each week, and there is always at least one article that cracks me up. The Onion is sometimes cruel, biting, vulgar, or tasteless, but it is always funny. Check it out on those days when you need a good laugh.

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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