Remember the plate/knife grinder? — attributed to Nate Leipzig and described in Phonex and Gen and sundry mags. I'ts a great gag.
If you can't get a plate with a plain surface turn a patterned one round and use the back.
Anyhow next time Ken Brooke's has stock of those finger rings that squirt fire and brimstone cop a couple (one for me - they're as scarce as hens teeth) and as the knife touches the plate let out with the pyrotechnics - looks great.
Use the line "Used to be a knife sharpener but couldn't stand the grind."
OK, What do we talk about this time? Last time they didn't give me much space because the two-faced character on the front of the magazine took up all there was. Who have I seen since then? Yes, I remember -Mark Wilson. Who is he?
Mark Wilson is the man responsible for, well,
yes, 'The Magic Land of Alakazan'. And for the benefit of British readers that was a long-running American T.V. Magic Series and Mark was the man at the helm. Since then he has learnt another two tricks and these plus the ones he knew before seem now to keep him shooting back and forth across the Atlantic as often as I go to lunch.
Last time I was in the U.S. I had the pleasure of catching Mark in one of his long T.V. Spectaculars (one hour long, I believe) in a circus setting in which he performed quite a number of spectacular illusions plus one or two smaller effects and the overall result was almost excellence. Actually Mark was in town recently to organise a magic act that has been touring Europe for the last several weeks. By the time you read this the tour will probably be over and those concerned will have flown back across the Atlantic with their saddle-bags full of gold.
The act mentioned was headed by one Greg Smith, tall, dark, young and handsome, another guy called Chuck, and a beautiful blond whose name I have forgotten and she will hate me forever. The show was headlined by the British Pop Star 'Cat' Stevens. The tour took in Basle, Munich, Frankfurt, Gothenberg, Paris, London and Southampton, etc. Although it was a pop show, Greg + Co did a magic act of around 15 minutes.
Let me put on record my thanks to several people, namely Brian Miller, Alex McKeown and one El Don Diego. When Mark hit London he needed a habit of 8 doves and there was a problem. And there was a problem. You probably haven't thought about it, but in England doves only breed in the summer, whilst in California they breed all the year round. The problem, therefore, is buying doves in England, especially when you want eight. One or two, OK. But eight, in December? The three named above managed to scrape together the necessary amount of birds. Come to think of it I wish he had wanted another type of bird — I could have managed some of them. I can only guess at the success of the tour but I know that the London shows at the Albert Hall and the gigantic Odeon Cinema Hammersmith were complete sell-outs. Come back again Greg, and do tell me the blond's name.
So let's sneak another name in. Brian Buzzing. Do you know him? I'll bet the answer is no. I have known him for quite a few years. Brian is one of the few English performers who
do close-up magic for money and currently he is appearing in a restaurant in Tunbridge Wells, about 35 miles outside London. (For the last two weeks I have been studying Harry Lorayne's book on memory development and I can't remember the restaurant's name.) However, for the last few months Brian has been appearing there every Friday evening and the result has been that the place is packed. If you want to sneak in and see him working you will have to book ahead. Talking to Brian recently he now says that the management want him to come on Tuesdays as well. The conclusion is obvious -Brian Buzzing is a draw — or if you like, close-up magic is a draw in a restaurant. Brian does the whole gamut of close-up — you name it, he does it. Restaurant patrons come back again and again with friends to see him and the result is that though it may be wrong to say his repertoire is second to none, he certainly has a lot of tricks.
Let's talk about me, and in case you wonder why I think I'm more interesting than anyone else I've mentioned so far, apart from the blond that is, just recently I had the pleasure of appearing at the Show Boat Restaurant, right bang in the heart of town. Apparently a singer who was to come from Israel to appear there was held over for a couple of weeks and fortunately for me, I was asked to fill in until he arrived. Luckily for me he still didn't arrive after the two weeks and I was asked to continue, which I did and enjoyed it immensely. The result was a show consisting of 3 comedy acts and a line of girls which, according to The Stage created some kind of a first in London night-life. Unfortunately for me, however, the powers that be eventually decided that they did need a vocal act and after the fourth week they found a very beautiful young girl singer who is being very successful in the show. Apparently, however, I was a success because the management asked me to continue,
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