This column last month was wholly devoted to the Blackpool Magical Society's Annual one day convention and in part dealt with the close-up entertainment provided and some suggestions were made as to how this part of the function could be made less arduous both for the spectators and performers, but no solution which fully copes with the problem was suggested. The reason for this omission is simple — there is none. The problem can be alleviated but not completely cured — maybe the organisers (I am not knocking them, as has been suggested) could provide a cabaret style entertainment in its place and bow down to the inevitable fact that there is just no way to present close-up magic satisfactorily to such a large crowd.
Close-up magic by its very nature is an intimate affair and demands for its success that the audience be small. The Eddie Fechter yearly event restricts the registrants to ninety — and the Madrid Magic Circle regards about twenty-five as the limit — and when fifty attended last year it was considered to be too many. Their formula is a simple one — they book a small room at a high class hotel for the weekend and the programme consists of films, three lectures on a specific trick, and after each lecture it is a free for all with everyone wishing demonstrating their own handling of the subject in question, and lastly a 'workshop' deeding with such aspects as presentation, timing, misdirection etc.
This seems to be an idea that could well be adopted in Britain with hotels offering bargain rates for weekend accommodation out of season.
Plenty of magic on TV recently — BOB READ with a couple of his published items, Cups and Balls and Bottle production. DOUG ALKER with an All Backs variation which appeared to be an extension of his 'Useless Pack' which appeared in this magazine. (Doug has been booked to appear at the Dutch convention — also on the same bill MAURICE FOGEL.) IAN SIMPSON with Chop Cup and Nudist Pack — a young man who should do well once he develops his own style. PAUL DANIELS 531
with a couple from the KEN BROOKE stable -the Locked Prediction and the Four Card trick with Three Cards. HARRY LORAYNE with Solo Aces — Black and Red Ace transposition, Four Coin Assembly using two cards and a couple of others — viewers were told the secrets of all shown could be found in his book which was on sale to the general public. As the sleights used in the tricks shown included the classic force, double lift, glide, palm and false counting there will be protests against this exposure of secrets.
BOB READ recently lectured as far away as Paisley and we think it was 'great'. He will be lecturing to members of the British magical Society in June. Yours truly also lectured for the latter society and learned quite a lot.
PHIL GOLDSTEIN prolific magical author and frequent contributor to this magazine recently did a two and a half weeks lecture tour in the Chicago area followed by engagements in Philadelphia and then to California where he taped an appearance for one of the major TV variety shows and has been nominated by the Magic Castle as 'Lecturer of the Year'.
Recently heard a sampler tape put out by 'Sounds of Magic'. Snippets on this cassette can be heard the voices of such magical notabilities as DAI VERNON, KEN BROOKE, AL GOSHMAN, FOGEL, JOHN BOOTH, DAVID ROTH and many others. The cost of this 15 minutes is £1 or two dollars which is refundable when ordering one of the complete cassettes, or if it is returned within 30 days.
SIMON LOVELL performs escapes when not doing close-up magic at the tables and early in May will be making an attempt to escape from a straightjacket dangling from a helicopter some two thousand feet up. Keep your thumb-tips crossed for him.
KEVIN DAVIE'S 'Red-Black Surprise' -the fourth line down from the top of the left hand side of page 450 Vol.3 No. 12 should read 'has changed them all from black to red\ No doubt you all realised that.
Magicians watching the BBC TV programme 'Tomorrow's World' on April 11th (this is not a prediction, we are still a couple of months behind) will have seen a new British invention an electronic device of a revolutionary nature with considerable potential in many areas.
Few will have realised its possibilities as a transmitter for use in two person mental acts and even less will be aware that its inventor was Cy Endfield, a name not unfamiliar to magicians on account of his reputation as a card] man with considerable skill and creative ability whose three volume literary effort 'Entertainin Card Magic' edited by Lewis Ganson has not lost its value over the years. He also designed ingenious 'pack away' chess set and board use to commemorate the memorable battle betwe Spassky and Fischer for the world championship chess title. In his spare time he directs films — the best known of these being perhaps 'Zulu'.
What follows was written and prepared for publication towards the end of 1976 but had to be held over until the idea was fully protected by law.
Not too long ago, Derek Dingle, travelling on his way back from South Africa to New Jersey where he now lives looked in to see old friends in London where his extraordinary skill first flourished. He was accompanied by an American associate — Ricky Jay — and to those who know, recognise that these two comprise as high power team of manipulative talents you are likely to find in any of the ten thousand miles between from where they were coming to and -where they were going.
Birds of a feather tend to have card sessions together, and that's how I found myself at Cy Endfield's South Kensington abode watching the cards pass from the hands of Ricky to Derek and to Cy and then to Alex Elmsley who just happened to be there, with me ending up feeling that I should communicate some of these happenings to Pabular readers (one idea, a location by Cy, appeared Vol.3 No.5) others may appear, if, and when permission is given.
One non-magical effect we saw was an electronic keyboard invented by Cy, where, with just five keys, he was able to cause a lighted display to exhibit at typewriter speeds all twenty-six letters of the alphabet, also all the numbers, dollar signs, pound signs, colons, full stops and dashes one needs to make complete writing sense. The entire gadget fitted under the palm of one hand, which only required that one
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