Bill Given

The Romance of India


By now most of you will be thinking that the Oriental is of a cruel nature. He is not really so, but his type of performance certainly seems to set one thinking. Actually Magicians of the Western World could learn many lessons from the oriental. He really studies his audience, and obviously gives them the type of magic they expect to see.

These few words say a lot to any magician who wants to give his act a real pruning. Now, don't get me wrong, I am not advising you to start being cruel, far from it. But give the audience something dramatic, something that makes their flesh creep, and they will talk about it the rest of their lives!

I say this, as I'm speaking from experience. When I advertise my Fire-Walk, I always state that I shall endeavour to walk the fire. This draws the crowd, as they come probably hoping I shall not get burnt, but wondering if I will! Human nature is peculiar. They are morbid and sensual inherently, but not willingly. Read what I have said already and you can learn a lesson that will help you to give your audience much food for thought.

Talking to the Great Masoni, who has recently visited India, I asked if he had seen much Indian Magic. He certainly seem unimpressed by the little he had seen, although it was sufficient to give him something to remember. The average occidental visiting the orient does not know his way about town, and thus he only sees the usual cups and balls, and smaller items. I then asked Masoni if he had seen anything similar to what I shall fell you about. "Oh, No," he remarked. It is not possible judging by the standard of street magicians I met." I assured him, and I assure you, that it is a mistake to underate the oriental, he has many things up his sleeve that will completely baffle the average visitor, whether he be magician or otherwise!

This is not fiction but fact, as most of the Fakirs are well versed in the reactions of Human Beings.

Recently there has been much written about Indian Magicians in the Magical Press. My friend Prof. Sorcar has also come in for some good publicity with a certain feat he performs, namely "The Tongue Cutting" Trick. Yes, yet another of the gruesome effects done in the orient! My many Indian friends and I have often witnessed this crude experiment.

The Fakir asks for a volunteer, and removing a big knife from his bag of tricks, he proves that it is really sharp. He then asks his volunteer to show his tongue, and whilst talking to him he suddenly seizes the end of it with a crude contraption similar to a pair of forceps. His assistant cannot protest for the simple reason that his only vehicle of protest is now held motionless! The Fakir then proceeds to cut a good two inches of the tongue right through, severs the end from the rest of the tongue and quite blandly exhibits it to all and sundry. Yes, if you so desire you can even touch it, as it is quite real.

The volunteer stands dumbfounded and speechless just staring into space! The Fakir never touches the tongue at all but keeps it held by the crude forceps. Naturally, as in all such performances, the Fakir then proceeds with incantations and spells etc., and moves nearer to the volunteer. He then commences to put the cut end into the volunteer's mouth or between his teeth and leaves go with the forceps. After some more incantations, the volunteer slowly pulls his tongue into his mouth, and supposedly comes out of his stupor. The Fakir then asks him if all is well and he answers him as if no apparent harm has come to him. This is quite a common feat in the orient and has an explanation, The secret which has been closely guarded for years, I'll tell you later.


News from and about Magicians

We hear that the Scottish Convention organised by S.A.M.S. was a nice homely affair, and although not so well attended as had been hoped, those who were there had a really delightful time. These things always grow of course, so maybe next time will see it organised on a bigger scale.

JACK LEDAIR, famous Music Hall artist has passed away. He had been in indifferent health for some time, but stiH was full of energy when we saw him in Birmingham two months ago. His passing will be a great loss to the profession, for he was a real old time trouper with the poise and skill that comes with so many years presentation of his immaculate magic.

KEN BROOKE writes:—"I returned here Tuesday to find John Calvert's manager waiting for me with the news that John had been taken ill and wanted to see me at once. I went up to the caravan and found him very ill, dashed around for various dopes and a doctor and at John's request joined the show first house Tuesday so that he could cut out his main patter effects. My act was so successful that he kept me in for the remainder of the week and I was really sorry when Saturday second house came.

You will be very interested to know that I used two of your items: SPOT THE SPOTS and HELLO TWINS, both went over grand.

"FOO MING" with his Chinese Temple Garden Act has been currently playing the Regal, Southend, the Camberwell Palace and Collins, Islington He has a long string of dates in his book and this enterprising Illusion^4" seems determined to make a name for himself.

ERIC "Mad Magician" WILLIAMS is currently at the Windmill Theatre, Piccadilly,

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