The Elmsley Tahoe Sessions

by Alex Elmsley

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 erudite and charming houseguest he is indeed.

I can't imagine that there is anyone in magic who has not heard of Mr. Elmsley, since his famous four-as-four count seems to be one of the most frequently used moves in card magic. He is the creator of such terrific card routines as "Point of Departure," "Between Your Palms," "1002nd Aces," and "Diamond Cut Diamond." His seminal work on the faro shuffle gave us the terms "In" and "Out." And even today one of his tricks, "Fate's

Datebook," is the basis for most of the Birthday Book routines which have flooded the marketplace. All of these routines and much, much more are presented on these tapes. If you are familiar with Mr. Elmsley's material you will be delighted as you watch him perform and explain his various creations; if you are unfamiliar with the material, then you're in for a revelation.

All four tapes are shot in an informal setting: a dapper Mr. Elmsley seated at a small table in front of a wall of books. The audience consists of a small group of (very well known) magicians. Each performance is followed by a clear and concise explanation; excellent camera work and editing makes everything clear. In addition to the routines, each tape contains a number of short "reminiscence" segments in which Mr. Elmsley discusses subjects such as the Ghost Count, and the Faro, and offers thoughts on Creativity, Presentation, and other aspects of the performance of magic. These casual segments are just great (in fact, I would have loved to have a tape of nothing but reminiscences).

You can check out the ads to get a complete rundown on all the routines explained on the four videos. I'll just touch on a few of the highlights. Volume 1 begins with the "Four Card Trick," the routine which introduced the Ghost Count. (This is the name Mr. Elmsley gave to the count; everybody else in the world calls it the Elmsley Count.) You'll learn several routines which use count (and it's offshoot: the Everchange Count). A new version of "Point of Departure" is performed, and the tape ends with a mind-boggling routine called "Dazzled," in which the backs of five playing cards change repeatedly.

Volume 2 features the "1002nd Aces," "The Elmsley Rising Card," and "The Floating Ladies." In my youth, these were seriously "underground" routines, and if you are unfamiliar with them you are going to get fooled. Volume 3 contains the famous "Fan Prediction" and "Multiplying Aces," which is a knuckle-busting stage manipulation. Mr. Elmsley performs this effortlessly. Another highlight on this tape is "A Strange Story," a routine which begins with an opening line which got an enormous laugh from me and from the audience on the tape.

The first three volumes focus on card magic. Volume 4 features some of Mr. Elmsley's non-card items. Highlights here are the "Torn and Restored Newspaper" and the "Elmsley Cup and Balls" routine. I had never seen this version of the newspaper tear performed, and it looks fabulous. The restoration is done in slow motion, and you see torn edges right up until the very end. I think that this is going to become a very popular version. The cups and balls routine has a truly remarkable ending, and if you don't know what's coming you are going to get fried.

What else can I say? I love these tapes. I grew up studying this material, and watching the tapes makes me feel like I'm spending time with an old friend. Mr. Elmsley has charming presentations for his routines, and even if you never perform any of them you will learn a great deal by simply listening carefully to the thinking behind each effect. Thank you L&L for your fine job of capturing one magic's greatest creators. And thank you, Mr. Elmsley, for your creations and the pleasure of your company. Very highly recommended.

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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