This is a tribute to Fred Robinson issue, which has largely been compiled by Eric Mason. We would like to thank all of those who have contributed.
Fred, in addition to being editor of Tabular' since its formation, is also widely known and respected as one of the world's leading technicians with a pack of cards. It was Dai Vernon who once said that he had spent a lifetime chasing all over the world to track down gamblers and technicians and learn their secrets. And yet he admitted that nowhere had he encountered Fred's equal when it came to false dealing.
What is it that has enabled Fred to achieve this level of perfection, apart that is, from a lifetime of study and practise? Nobody could claim to know all the answers to this one, possibly not even the man himself. There are, however, certain facets of his character that become apparent to those who know him well.
Firstly, Fred is a perfectionist. He is continually seeking improvement and is never content to leave any of his stuff alone. He is always finding a welter of minute details, many of which a lesser person would disregard or fail to see as significant.
Another of his characteristics is a readiness to believe that certain things can be accomplished, when everyone knows that they are just pipedreams. That is, until months or even years later, Fred accomplishes them. He nags away at things and never lets an idea go. He hears a story over the grapevine of a magician somewhere or other who can do some seemingly impossible move. Everybody knows that it is just a tall story — everyone that is except Fred. He believes it and tries for it, first this way then that. He gets nowhere but he does not give up. Few others try and those who do generally fall by the wayside, but Fred goes on and on.. .and on. He has a relentless tenacity which sooner or later turns the pipe dream into a solid reality.
Other characteristics that those who know Fred soon become aware of are inventiveness and an ability not to be hidebound by conventional thinking. Many of his originalities have a refreshingly unconventional approach. They are not just variations on other people's ideas. Fred builds up his material by drawing on his own resources most of the time. He is one of magic's few original thinkers. He also h?ts an understanding of the sheer mechanics of the way in which cards behave that shows a level of observation seldom seen and rarely surpassed.
Add to all of the above an almost ruthless self-criticism and an endless enthusiasm for improvement and new knowledge and you have some idea of the driving force behind the man.
Fred keeps promising or threatening to write a book. Many cardworkers are hoping that he will. Future generations need the skill and knowledge of a man who has done so much for magic.
It is with deep regret that we learned of the passing away of Lewis Ganson. Lew was, without a doubt one of the greatest magical writers of all time. Future generations will refer back to his works for many years to come. His contribution to close-up magic has been of a value that just cannot be estimated. We are all poorer for this sad loss.
END GAME PLUS Roy Walton
Fred Robinson has been a good friend of mine for many years and it is a friendship I value highly, he has gteat technical ability combined with humour and a shrewd assessment of what is good and what is bad magic. Fred does the most amazing things with cards in a quiet natural way, and is a perfectionist, quite willing to devote the considerable time required to master the sleight of hand tasks he sets himself.
Tell Fred the Pass is obsolete and he will demonstrate that you are wrong, and by that demonstration, prevent you ever making the statement again. He excells in fake deals, king of the dealers, without ever having sold a trick!
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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.