magical press and not by the number of times their names appear in print accompanied by undeserved superlatives.
One name which appears from time to time in this column is that of Bob Read. See U.S. Happenings — this issue.
HAPPENINGS By O'Bie O'Brien
Hello again from Brussels — I know by the time you read this F.I.S.M. will be well over — however, here is the promised report of the close-up contests.
Twenty-seven scheduled to perform and the quality ranged from pretty awful to the really brilliant. I guess I am spoiled because of my F.F.F.F. convention which is the last weekend in April for any of you good close-up men reading this column.
The big winner was John Cornelius from the U.S. John has been to the last two F.F.F.F. and I had the pleasure of previously seeing his superb magic. He opened with 3 balls being removed from a box — set the box aside — vanished the balls one at a time — opened the box to find them back inside — strong part was he stood up to open the box showing he didn't lap them. He did his laser light in glass — he uses a flashlight to show light — then captures it and makes it appear under a transparent glass — two or three different ways. He now makes a 50c piece laying motionless on his left hand leap a foot or more to his waiting right hand above (is this guy normal?). He does a three-way effect and gets a great round of applause.
Only three in the afternoon session were entertaining along with good magic — J.J. Sanvert (France) did cards and won the trophy for card magic. Magic Christian won for micro invention by putting a four linked chain — piece by piece through the table with the chain beting examined at the beginning, middle and end — nicely done.
Tommy Wonder (Jos Bema) did his beautiful two cups and balls routine and his other close-up effects which we have seen during the last three years and I thought that either he or Cornelius would be the big winner — I like it and it's entertaining, that's what counts. Tommy came second and was really disappointed that he didn't win — he told me later that he will work harder the next time for 1982 in Lucerne.
Here we are finally back in the U.S.A. at the national S.A.M.S. convention in Hartford, Connecticut, but too late to catch the Thursday afternoon sessions. However, I find that one sees more good close-up magic when four or five people gather together on the spur of the moment and swap ideas — show pet moves etc
One of these times Bill Wells and I are talking and we see Dan Tsukalas with a couple of people around him — for those who don't know who he is, Dan retired last year from being the longest pitch man at one place in the U.S.A. He was at Macy's Department Store for years — pitching svengali, paddles and this crazy wooden board called "Xylo Board". He puts a quarter on it, covers it with his hand, it's gone
— returns — disappears — borrows a bill — lets you cover it — gone again — recovers, it's back — best pitchman I've ever seen — in fact Bill Wells hired him on the spot for next year's I.B.M. convention just to stand around in the lobby doing it anytime he feels like. Bill tells me he is going to have three people doing this type of magic — the mouse — 3 card Monte, and Dan — should be interesting in Evansville next year — great idea.
Another session — Bob Elliott did a copper and silver routine — which I'm practising my regulation two hundred times before I show it to the*lay public. This rule I made for myself about 15 years ago and that way I know exactly what can go wrong and when. Have you a similar rule? If so — I'd like to hear from you. Later Bob was going around ripping the spoon from its handle — fooling everyone — then showing how he did it — that's the kind of guy he is. For those who don't know him he is from the N. Y. area and every Saturday morning for years he met every Saturday morning with Dingle, Roth, Ortiz and Paul Curry to swap ideas and routines. This t^lls you Bob can do his stuff.
Watch for the name David Walker a young black kid from the Chicago area. He did an ace assembly with four red backed aces and twelve blue backed cards. One by one the red backs go from pile to pile until all four are in the last pile — it was the talk of the convention.
Mike Ammar — winner of the competition — impressed all with the magic he does — from coins to cards, to you name it. He does a four card assembly so fast when you are thinking he is going to do a coin assembly and it's over. This I think won him the contest.
The best close-up was Saturday night at 11.30pm with five good workers — four of them did about five minutes each and the 150 people who jammed the bleachers gave Bob Read a super standing ovation when he finished his 40-minute act. I've probably seen more close-up acts than most of you reading this and to me, Bob Read's performance that night was the highlight of my magic career. I don't think there are enough adjectives in the dictionary to describe what I saw — it was fantastic — comedy — entertainment — sight gags — all these mixed with good magic. Bob's unique brand of humour, his timing, all show his professionalism is at the highest level. Don't miss him if he comes near your area or if he is hired to work a convention that you might attend.
What did he do? Bob walks in with his bag of goodies and bowler hat, sits down at the table to do coins through the table. He tries to put the first coin through and up he comes with a handful of slime. Yes, that's what it was — he bought it at the joke shop in the afternoon for a gag — he got about six different laughs with it and the only sad part about it was that this stuff ruins your pants if you get some on them — which Bob did by accident, ruining a twenty dollar pair of pants.
He now decides to do a card trick — somebody selected a card — he walked away — looked at the table and said, "Let's get rid of the slime and I'll try again for coins through the table." This time he brought up a hunk of wood that held the table together, more laughs, he tried again — stating, "Something very strange going to happen this time, I know it." Up comes a big furry gorilla hand, more laughs and bits of business.
He gave up the coins through the table and went back to the card trick. What happened on his trying to tell or show the name of the selected card brought many, many laughs; he even did a partial strip to his undershirt with the name of the card printed on it. It was wrong and another laugh from what was printed on the back. The funniest part of the whole sequence was when he played the Hunch Back of Notre Dame. This zanyness went on and on to find a select card — some by magic, most with sight gags and finally he finds the card in a wallet — not only one card but three duplicates of it.
If I were to describe everything he did, it would fill two issues. I hope some of what you read will tell you that he entertains and that's the name of the game, because he got at least a five-minute standing ovation, which was well deserved.
Others on the close-up that I saw were Hirata (from Japan) with: washer-ribbon, matrix, a cute pool cue ball effect in which the balls were on paper and put into an envelope — spectator cuts on lines around ball, cutting out a ball he doesn't know. Hirata vanishes cue ball in handkerchief and when spectator opens envelope, he cut out the 14 ball — cue ball vanished from the handkerchief and in its place was the 14 ball.
Hank Moorehouse doing beggar coins, sidewalk shuffle, haremail and glorpy with his cute ending of a sponge little man.
Larry West with cascade — to his name — an story trick to $18 with Elmsley's — what else!! Stretching the lady with 2 black sixes and red queen — said it has to be done with four cards — your right — he now shows fourth card with his name on it.
A1 Schneider — rope with knots — cut and restored — universal card for 3 selected cards — coins across — 1 copper, 3 silver — ring off pencil — okito box — his matrix and cups and balls and lastly close-up zombie.
Next month from Abbotts, the magic capital of the world.
A GESTALT REVELATION Barrie Richardson
Request the help of two persons and hand them each about twenty cards from a shuffled pack. Retain the rest.
"Now do as I do — shuffle your cards like this, (overhand shuffle) and then turn them faces towards you, like this" (demonstrate by turning your own packet and spreading them out faces towards you). Continue by saying "If I asked you both to look at the cards and remember just one you might become confused because of all the other distractions and have difficulty in concentrating on one particular card."
"Allow me to show you how to focus your perception and deepen an image. Turn your cards face downwards and reach into the end of the pack nearest you and pull out any card about two inches — like so — you have both done this. Good! You cannot know the name of the card you have randomly selected."
"Now do this not yet watch me carefully. I pull out the card and place it face up onto the pack. Please do the same without letting me see the face. Now you can get a clear, uncluttered mental picture of a single card. This is what psychologists call a gestalt."
When they assure you that they have a definite mental picture of their cards ask that they turn their cards face down as if closing a book, again demonstrating what is required. As they comply turn away saying, "Please do not let me see their faces."
"Good — cut your cards like this — and shuffle like this (overhand). Here — you shuffle mine (exchange packets with person on the right putting the packet he gives you on the table near him).
Turn to person on the left and take his cards as you ask him to raise both hands in the air. Put his cards onto the table in front of him. Request person on your right to do likewise taking the cards he holds (your original packet) placing them onto the table.
You now begin the build-up. Ask them both to put their hands over on top of their respective packets and to visualise a mental picture of their cards — which only they can possibly know.
Now put a hand on top of each person's hands and gaze intently into the eyes of each in turn as you say, "Your card is red — yours is red also." Pause a moment. "Yours is a diamond — and yours a heart — right!" Another pause. "Yours is a number card — and yours a picture card — right — your gestalt is the Jack of Diamonds, and I believe yours is the two of hearts."
The pack is a stripper. Just follow the instructions and general patter lines and the participants will reverse their own selections as they follow your example — pulling the card out from the inner end of the pack with the right thumb and fingers as the pack is held in the dealing position in the left hand (Fig.l).
During the routine both spectators packets come into your possession for a few seconds after they have made their choice and it is then when you peek their cards. When taking the cards hold them face up in the left hand in the normal dealing position and strip out the reversed selection just far enough to glimpse the index (Fig.2). Push it back flush into the packet with the right thumb as the cards are placed onto the table with the right hand.
Please don't reveal the cards by merely naming them at once. THE REVELATION IS THE WHOLE TRICK, so ham it up for all you're worth. Try to get their hearts pumping, or at least a perplexed look on their faces. Imagine how you would feel if someone asked you to think of a card and told you its name without disturbing the pack. Good luck.
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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.