Starting near the spool (about two yards from the end of the thread) wind about one yard around and in between the left index and second fingers forming it into a figure eight which when removed from the fingers will appear as in (5). Fold it in half where thread crosses making a circle (6). Pull this circle into a straight line and pleat it into an 'S' shape (7) and squeeze flat. Wind thread around this bundle four or five times to keep it intact.
Pull off a further yard of thread and make a similar bundle which when completed should be a little less than an inch from the first one.
Rewind the thread around the spool trapping the two bundles against the spool with the last few turns.
So prepared the spool is placed into the pocket or on the table. Every care should be taken in the preparation to ensure that the bundles unwind freely when showing the restoration.
This month's coyer design first appeared as a cartoon in the Oxford Mail and is reproduced by kind permission of its Editor.
It complemented a report of the activities of a couple of close-up magicians Johnny Johnston and Mick Moran who have been performing at Sweeny Todd's Pizza Restaurant with success for some time now. Dave Curtis is also working for the same firm in Oxford who require a magician for their restaurant in Bath. It is obvious that no-one will make a fortune from this kind of work, but is fine to gain experience in performing for the lay public and find out that just what is required to be successful in this field by practical experience.
Simon Lovell now almost recovered after being severely burned when escaping from a box around which a bonfire had been built — a sudden gust of wind blew the flames in his direction after he had made his escape. This happened towards the end of his summer
holiday camp engagement in which he also does close-up magic. He has been rebooked for next year with a contract to include more close-up magic. He makes the point in his letter that magic means nothing without an entertaining presentation. Without such a presentation magic becomes just a puzzle to an audience — something to be solved. It is essential that the whole audience be entertained — not just the few who enjoy solving problems. Once in company with his agent Simon suggested that he (the agent) should write an article for Pabular re magicians. His reply was short and to the point. "Do you really need a one-word article?"
It was obvious from his expression that the article would not only be short, but also extremely uncomplimentary, and one likely to be shared by other agents and potential bookers seeking entertainers, when they see magicians performing in their own habitat for their fellow hobbyists.
Maybe many who read this column will claim that they perform only for other magicians. Many who have confined their activities to this type of magic have gained a reputation of being top flight magicians within the fraternity.
Regardless of the degree of success obtained in these endeavours there will be a considerable diminution of approval from lay audiences witnessing such performances. The reason for this is simple. Magicians are entertained by expert technique, novel and ingenious methods etc, which lay audiences are, or should be ignorant.
These magicians whose skill and inventiveness has won the acclaim of their colleagues and rely solely on these attributes without any effort being made to provide an entertaining presentation to accompany their effects will find their performances less acceptable to lay audiences.
Undoubtedly many magicians have no intention or desire to perform for non-magicians and will only do so under pressure from someone who is aware that they do tricks. On occasion they will be persuaded to show tricks to friends of a fellow magician, who admire their expertise purely from the magician's point of view, which brings me to the point I wish to make.
Performing tricks to lay people without a presentation devised to entertain them, the magician deprives himself of one of his greatest assets: the opportunities an entertaining presentation provides to employ misdirection.
A spectator having nothing to occupy his mind other than trying to spot 'how it was done' will treat the trick as a puzzle. It has been observed 'that a trick without patter is a mere curiosity' (there are exceptions). I would go a step further and say 'A trick without proper presentation can be a disaster!'
Disaster may seem too strong a word, but it has been my experience (and others) to be told by non-magicians that when watching magicians the fraternity has come to regard as top class, they saw certain actions which enabled them to conclude how the trick was accomplished.
When magic for magicians has reached the stage when it ceases to wholly deceive the non-magician, it may be time to take a fresh look at ourselves.
One who has for many years been advising, advocating, begging, preaching and pleading with magicians in general to change their attitude towards magic is Ken Brooke. The Magic Place having now closed Ken is writing a book and maybe will find room for a chapter on the difference between the approach to magic by the average magician and that of a performer. No one is better qualified to provide the necessary enlightenment for those desirous of improving the magic they perform for people,
Next month will bring this column up to date regarding past events. It will take a little longer to do the same with the magazine which has been failing to meet deadlines. Must do better — at least we are trying.
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