Make You Talked About

To fulfil the promise I made in the January issue, here are details of some of the very simple effects which have earned me write-ups in the Press without any attempt on my part to get interviews. They stood for themselves. Some were announced beforehand by organisers and thus made the newspapers interested; others were seized upon by reporters who saw them and went back to their offices with a "feature" or, at least, a good gossip paragraph.

Incidentally, I have always found it most unwise to barge into newspaper offices asking for publicity. That's the wrong way round. Do things that will make the Press come to YOU.

Some time ago the B.B.C. ran a genuine telepathy test in which listeners were invited to send post-cards giving a sequence of cards bearing either a rose or a skull. These cards were held before the microphone, but of course could not be seen by the listeners. There were ten of them. Over 20,000 listeners gave the WRONG order!

Now, that lent itself to a first-class platform demonstration. I had 20 cards prepared. Ten of them were of roses and ten were of skulls. I invited any person present to come up and, whilst I was out of the hall, to display to the audience any ten of the cards in any order. Three volunteers from the audience took me out and vouched for my having had no communication from the hall. Upon return, I immediately gave the correct sequence.

That, I suggest, was an almost perfect example of linking up with a national event, plus the fact that it had visual interest—and achievement as opposed to previous failure.

Most attempts at prediction lose favour because they are done with playing-cards or books in which the audience has no specific interest. I have found it far better to predict (by registered letter sent a week beforehand) what dresses several ladies will be wearing at the dinner or party. If, however, you prefer to use a newspaper, let it be a local one so that you can forecast something about somebody whom your audience knows well.

As soon as the QUIZ game came into favour on the radio and in magazines, I set about doing some new version and hit upon the idea of Answering Questions BEFORE They are Asked. This can be achieved by the use of the Musico box or any method in which you plant your own questions after an independent assistant has read out, say 20 or 30 questions typed on cards.

The trick called "The Audience Does It" which was contributed by Mysterro to the MAGIC MAGAZINE (August, 1952), is a publicity-getter since it seemingly permits the audience to work it—something quite different from the usual procedure. Well done, the Press will lap it up and tell how you (the performer) just did as you were told, with miraculous results! "Mystic 13" is another one because it is so out-of-the-ordinary.

I have found that the Press in recent years is very suspicious of "thought reading" as between the performer and his assistant. Hence their surprise when my daughter, Betty, was not only blindfolded, but had her ears stuffed with cotton wool, her hands tied and a large spoon placed lengthways in her mouth. She could not see, hear, speak or manipulate any telegraphic gadget. She was led from the hall by an independent com-(Continued on Page 285).

These pictures unavoidably held over from previous issue.

VAMPIRE CLUB CABARET at the Meeting held in November, 1952.

Top Left : Lenz demonstrating Latest Vampire Exclusives. Top Right : Frank Curley. Bottom Left : Dennis Patten. Bottom Second : The Dubarry's. Third : Norman Harvey. Bottom Right : Mystico.

JOHN BOURNE — Continued from Page 284.

mittee and did not return until I had been to!d things—colours, names of cards, objects words, etc—after which I was similarly trussed up and led by another committee outside in a different direction. We never met. Yet Betty, still blindfolded, ears stopped up and spoon in mouth was able to write on the blackboard, after her hands had been released and she had been led there, details of all that had happened in her absence.

You see the point of tha+, of course? -—the elimination of all the usual possibilities of coding.

Any test set locally has exceptional drawing powers; but I nearly met my Waterloo with one of them. I had given a talk on magic at a Rotary Club in which I ended with a very foolish statement. I said "Nothing is impossible to the magician and I challenge you to test me when I come again." And they did! They wrote saying that two of their officials would, at the meeting, make a collection in an opaque bag for any charity I liked to nominate. The collection would be counted immediately after it had been made and I was to state the total amount collected and the denomination of the coins, i.e. how many pennies, sixpences and so on.

This, of course, was impossible; but I got over it by a rather subtle substitution in which my own collection of coins was counted. The Press came out with a big story headed "He Has More Than Normal Powers". There was a beautiful sequence. When safety home I counted THEIR collection (having left my own with the Club to give to Charity) to see how near I'd got to it. They'd been a bit mean and I was 18/9 short!

Never mind, the charity benefitted as I hope you will when I begin, in the next issue, a short series of articles on TWO SIDES TO EVERY MAGICAL QUESTION.

"ttlmost in Confidence"


(Using Elastic Bands)


On page 29 in his book, "My Magic Life," David Devant remarked: "Buatier de Kolta once impressed upon me that a trick was no use without a surprise." The truth of that statement is now generally recognized by all authorities on magic, and having used my own version of the Ropes and Rings from about 1934 until my retirement from the stage (in 1939), I can assure the reader that the sudden release of the boy in the chair comes as a real surprise, not only to persons unacquainted with the standard version of the trick, but also to any conjurors who may happen to be among the audience.

Enneagram Essentials

Enneagram Essentials

Tap into your inner power today. Discover The Untold Secrets Used By Experts To Tap Into The Power Of Your Inner Personality Help You Unleash Your Full Potential. Finally You Can Fully Equip Yourself With These “Must Have” Personality Finding Tools For Creating Your Ideal Lifestyle.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment