CAnothe Peea

Let us turn to another aspect of magic that could be improved — reporting.

You must excuse me if I make no distinction between this fine magazine, and the others, but I'm sure that the editor'sblue pencil is not so sensitive as to eradicate criticism.

For magicians such as I, too poor for the Ramsay 'do', and too tied down by family and job to attend the various conventions, the information about these affairs is an important part of any magazine. How disappointing it is, therefore, to read a report and pick up merely a list of names who "performed in their usual immaculate manner" or "kept us in fits" and have no idea not only what they did, but how well or badly.

Recently I read in Genii a three-page report of an American convention — that was so bland it was useless. No lists of effects, no critical comment on style or quality of performance — pathetic. It's not just the American mags that are prone to platitudes. Pick up half a dozen magazines from Pabular to the Magic Circular and analyse them for objective reporting. You'll be surprised how little is said.

So what can be done to improve this?

First of all, look at the brave souls that have been frank about the quality of the offering — be it performance, trick or publication.

Jeff Busby in one of his lists says about a certain book — "most effects are ripped off and can be tracked down to various originators . . . very poorly described . . . poorly produced .. . purchase at your own risk". Pretty critical reviewing considering he's stocking and selling the book.

Again look at Genii May 77, report by Bob

Baker of a SAM show. He defines his terms and credentials in the first three paragraphs. This allows the reader to adjust for bias and the rest of the report is a critical and interesting review, not overloaded with compliments but neither cruel to the acts or unnecessarily harsh. ---.-^


What about Albright's Conjurors' Magazine. It started off being perhaps too controversial, settled down and became a little more complacent but a good try.

And remember the old reviews in the Magic Circular by Dr. Euston (the use of the nom de plume is deplorable). They were witty, honest and constructive as well as being interesting to read and highly entertaining.

The point I make is that reviews can be more pungent without becoming objectionable.

As a guide may I suggest the following:

Please get the name right and give the reader an inclination of what the act is trying to achieve. The performance could be aiming for comedy, impromptu, mentalism, drama etc. Then let's hear how he measured up to these objectives and if the reviewer felt that they were right ones. Please give us a list of effects, it's important to the reader to understand trends — is everyone doing the dancing cane or coins through table? Was the act over long? What conditions prevailed? How did the audience react? It is important to the reader to have some point of reference, was the act below or above the norm?

The same sort of approach should be used for the show as a whole, the overall presentation and conditions could be outlined and finally the ambience of the audience after the show.

Of course, the limitations of space will not permit a detailed description of all the acts but surely it's not impossible to describe the best act (in the reviewers opinion) in more detail than the rest. Whatever the approach, anything, or to be more precise — nothing would be preferable to the banal reports to which we are so often subjected.


This effect is based on Bro Hamman's "FaceUp Face-Down Surprise" described in "The Card Magic of Bro. John Hamman", and while the handling has been modified considerably in order to make the trick easier to perform, the effect is similar to the original. A card is freely chosen by a spectator, noted, and returned to the pack. The performer now tries to find it, and to make his task easier he separates the cards, reds into one pile and the blacks into another. Assuming that a red card was chosen the performer announces that he thinks the chosen card was a black one. After the spectator has shuffled both the red and black cards separately, the performer looks through the black cards and places one of them face up onto the table. The spectator denies that it is the chosen card. The performer asks for another chance and putting the red cards aside, divides the black cards into two halves, and turning one half face up riffle shuffles the two halves into each other. They are now spread showing all cards to be face down excepting for two which are face up with a single face down card between them.

The performer now lifts these three cards out of the spread and requests the name of the chosen card and expresses surprise when he learns that it was a red one, saying that he had arranged for a black one to be between the two face up cards. He continues by remarking that he will have to use his magical powers to change it into the chosen card, and making a gesture over the three cards, turns them over to reveal the chosen card. Remarking that people do not f

Seven of Clubs

Face up

24 black cards

Face up

Seven of Spades

Face up

Some red cards

Face down

Jack of Hearts

Face up

Remaining red cards

Face up

always realise the extent of his magical powers the performer puts the three cards aside, makes another gesture, and turns the spread face up to show he has changed them all from red to black.

Although there are a few 'moves' Bro. Hamman so routined the working that they well covered by in-built misdirection.

The first requirement is to find out which card was selected. Personally I use the key card location explained in Vernon's 'Ultimate Card Secrets' (p. 159), and give the cajrds a false shuffle which keeps the chosen card and the key together. The pack is then turned face up and the reds and blacks separated into two piles at the same time taking the opportunity to note the selected card.

Assuming that it is the Jack of Hearts, give the red cards, which naturally contain the selection, to the spectator for shuffling. You look through the black cards announcing that you think the chosen card was a black one. Reclaim the red cards from the spectator and give him the black portion to shuffle. While he is so occupied spread out the red packet, and cut it bringing the Jack of Hearts to the middle of the spread, and turn all the cards above it face down. This takes only an instant and the impression should be that you have merely turned the packet face down. Cover for the move in the form of misdirection is provided by addressing some relevant remark to the person shuffling the black cards.

Keeping the red portion squared up in the left hand, take the black portion back from the spectator and spread it face up above the squared red cards so that the faces are visible to the spectators and yourself, and act as though you are seeking the chosen card. Actually you are noting the bottom black card of the face up spread, the one immediately above the squared portion. Assuming this card is the Seven of Spades bring its sister card, the Seven of Clubs to the face of the black portion. This is all done openly as though you are considering the various possibilities. You now angle the cards preventing the spectators from seeing the faces and remove either the Six or Eight of Spades and place it face downwards onto the table. Square up the spread taking a break with the left little .finger agove the Seven of Spades. The pack is now in the following condition:--y

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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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