Roundabout

with ALAN KENNAUCH

Organising a press conference is something I mentioned briefly in my last column and here is the promised enlargement.

You are, I imagine, seeking to hit the headlines, and have already found favour with an introductory story or your personality is such, or material strong enough, to warrant calling a press conference. This is important since the press will only respond to worthwhile facts. They may be bamboozled by some powerful blurb, but only once, and you are the one to lose in the long run.

Let's face it then. You have a good story. Write to the editors of all your local papers, and direct your information to the head offices of the Nationals. The text of your letter should state precisely, but briefly, what you have to offer, and rhen the invitation to the conference.

Here it is pointed out that almost all National papers have representatives who also serve the local papers and work on a lineage principal. So do not be alarmed if only a small number of reporters present, themselves at your conference. Ofren three people may represent, among them, some twenty papers including trade magazines. Your story will be given treatment in style as required by individual papers or magazines.

Do not forget the photographic angles. Mention ir in your letter of invitation. The line should run—"your photographer may find interest in my material, and I cordially invite your photographer who will be made most welcome, and given the fullest opportunity to collect photographs".

Now get right down to preparing your hand-outs. These, I think, are important for any conference, but not of course essential, depending on what type of material you have to offer.

Some spectacular outdoor feat will require little comment in a hand-out, on the other hand, a mental publicity item indoors may require enlarged explanation.

In any case your hand-out should contain the essential information of your career, back

ground, and correct terms of what you are to present. This prevents confusion to the layman, and makes for accuracy in your write-up. How many times have we seen mis-spelt names and really silly interpretations of popular magical effects?

Then too, a good background, quickfy read, prompts reporters to ask questions which may otherwise have been missed.

Explain to reporters at the outset exactly what you will attempt to do, then go straight into your feat without any waste of time, inviting questions at the end. Above all, never be long winded, and boring. The reporters are there to sift out the material, and my experience is that they like to follow leads through questions.

The question of refreshments is up to you. They are not, as some people imagine, essential, and if provided are best included after your exhibition.

Now it is up to you. Co home with your ideas with confidence. Perhaps your initial efforts may bring a valuable contact with a journalist and agency man. These contacts are worth establishing. Talk to him occasionally with your ideas, personally, or over the phone, and however small they may seem, believe me, he will be glad to hear about them. From little acorns, mighty oaks do grow. Good luck always.

Again—The Smoking Clay Pipes by ROY BAKER

Here is an item designed especially for readers of "The Magic Magazine". Although it requires a little special, apparatus, it should not prove too hard a job for anyone. The idea is built about the Smoking Clay Pipes Trick, which is indeed used as part of the routine.

The patter story is about an old man and his pipe, or rarher his two pipes, for, you see, he had many. Most of them lay unused upon his pipe rack. Conspicuous in one space was a rather grubby looking dirty old clay pipe, well smoked and obviously well enjoyed.

In his pocket was its twin. These pipes he had had for many years and they had almost become his whole life. His limbs were not so strong as they used to be and his eyes had begun to fail him. His span of life was nearly done.

The patrer then goes on to explain how, one by one, the pipes were broken, how he used them to the last little pieces. The pipe trick is here performed with the one pipe taken from the rack and the one from the pocket.

Show how, when the pipes were no longer any use, his life was at an end (gradually bring in the pink and blue lighting) and cover the pipe rack with a little black curtain which is simply hooked on by two small rings and two neat protruding panel pins.

The secret is simple. A shell is made from papier mache in its simplest form, and painted to look like the other briar pipes used in the effect. This shell firs over a duplicate clay already in the rack.

"I his covers the ordinary briar pipes in the rack and rhe empty space that held the "clay".

Now you continue "As the old man lay sleeping in the last sleep of all, he probably dreamt of those happy days with his friends The Two Old Clay Pipes" . At this point the hand removes from the pocket one of the restored clays and upon removing the cloth its twin clay is seen back again in its space in the rack. (Lights full, whites and colours).

When placing the cover over the rack, and in apparently adjusting same, one hand removes the shell and places it in the empty space. The change of position is not noticed.

An idea of the shell can be obtained from the sketch. DON'T try to vanish the broken pipes, as this is not necessary. This is not a broken-and-restored effect or yet ? tranposition. It is just a little human story and any complications might mar the whole effect.

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