By Jim Steinmeyer

It took mf. ten seconds ro decide that I wan i ed to pi bush this book.

Of course, I try not to make many impulsive decisions, and that's why. for a full ten seconds, I read and re-read the sentence in David Britland's message, "David Berglas feels he might do a hook of his material." mulling it over carefully in my mind. I weighed all the options. I considered the principal players involved. And ten seconds later I made my decision.

1 consider this a dream project. David Britland is well known among magicians for his meticulous research and careful writing, delving into the essence and presentation of our art. Together with my wife, Frankie Glass, I first had a chance to work with David Britland when he was a researcher on the British television scries. The Secret Cabaret. If the creative David Berglas could he set on the page by the insightful David Britland, I knew that his legendary mysteries could be de-mystified and explained. For me it was a dream.

It was on the second series of The Secret Cabaret that we asked David Berglas to appear, and he discussed and debunked v arious mysteries in popular culture. Years later, David was a guest on Something Strange, a television series starring Max Maven, which was also produced by Frankie. For a number of years, I knew Orson Welles, who had told me that he was a great admirer of David's presentations. In fact, at the time of Orson's death in 1985, he had been planning to appear as a guest star on David's own television series. I came to know David and his wife Ruth, during his tenure as President of the Magic Circle—and quickly appreciated their gracious friendship.

Still. David Berglas was a legend to me. I'd only seen a few tantalizing performances by David: his floating table, pulse routine and ESPacology. I felt that such routines barely qualified as conjuring. They were nothing short of phenomena—riveting, memorable, astonishing demonstrations of that "grey area" between the real and the psychic. ESPacology, which I saw presented as a lecture for a group of magicians at FISM, was also an amazing lesson in presentation and misdirection. It proved that David's canny showmanship had been carefully directed at creating and managing surprises. He has a supernatural ability (he ma\ indulge in deception, but here the word absolutely applies) to sense an audience, establishing a rhythm and tone to the performance, and subtly steer his way through the perceptions and misperceptions. It is as if the sailor takes a mighty puff, puts the winds in motion, then deftly skips and slides between the waves.

It's showmanship, pure and simple. But David has his own techniques for even the standard elements of the art. That's why, in an early conversation on this book, when David Berglas suggested the title, The Mind and Magic.I suspected that this would be far more than a book of pet secrets. Through David Britland's careful recounting of routines and presentations. I think this is a rare opportunity to understand the creativity of one of magic's great, original thinkers. And if, within the pages of this book, David's naturally kept a few secrets to himself (the mechanical details behind some effects), I dare say that a reader who has taken the time to understand "the mind" will have genuine insights into these marvels.

Best of all, I believe that the volume in your hands represents not only inspirations and goals, but real, practical material which has made the reputation of a master, and could readily make a career for the reader. Despite the trends and fashions of magic which come and go— fast, silent acts, flashy, high-tech illusions, dove routines, manipulation, comedy acts—there's always been a market for the mystery man who appeals to the intellect of his audience. There's always a fascination for those elemental miracles which seem barely believable, the promise of real magic mixed with mysterious human achievement. For centuries, these wonders have attracted audiences. For over fifty years, these approaches have served David Berglas.

Modern magicians might never have dreamed that such a book—the legendary routines turned into careful accounts—could be possible. Thanks to David Berglas and David Britland, I'm delighted that you're holding the book in your hands, a dream project which has become a dream come true.

Quit Smoking For Good

Quit Smoking For Good

Quit smoking for good! Stop your bad habits for good, learn to cope with the addiction of cigarettes and how to curb cravings and begin a new life. You will never again have to leave a meeting and find a place outside to smoke, losing valuable time. This is the key to your freedom from addiction, take the first step!

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment