To an upright magician, it is black heresy to expose a trick. For such a crime the Society of American Magicians sometimes expels its members. While LIFE sympathizes with this policy, it also believes that more people will enjoy the entertaining hobby of magic if a few tricks are explained from time to time. So herewith it shows two tricks and how to do them all m the cause of good fun and bewilderment.
As demonstrator, LIFE enlists a crack magician, Keith Clark, who has performed this winter at New York's Rainbow Room. Assisting him is lovely Nadine Gae, a star dancer in Broadway's current success, Panama Haitie. As this trick involves underpants, Miss Gae seemed qualified to assist because her hobby is collecting underpants. Her collection of 127 pairs is the largest one in the world officially recorded. These pictures were shot at her New York apartment where she lives with her husband.
To all would-be magicians, LIFE passes on these well-known rules. All tricks should be rehearsed repeatedly before a mirror. A magician should never perform a trick twice before the same audience. Most important, he should never tell how a trick is done after he performs it. The secret of most tricks is so absurdly simple that the explanation not only robs the performer of his glory but robs the spectator of his enjoyment.
The rope trick shown here ne«d not necessarily be performed with an assistant likf Miss Gae. It i* less effective but equally baffling if the magician asks a spectator to remove his coat, and then proceeds to string the ropes through the sleeves in the same manner illustrated above and below. LIFE also suggests that instead of using the rubber boat shown below, it is possible to use a small band of Hum thread which breaks more easily at the right moment.
The April 7th LIPS magazine magical expose, as partly depicted at left using but one of SIXTEEN photos, shows a modern method of eye-catching by means of "cheesecake", a camera-man's slang term for pictures predominately featuring girls with legs. The technique exhibited in this still another violation of a magician's rights to some privacy is a fundamental policy of Mr. George Karger, a New York photographer, and member of the Society of American MSgicians.
After joining the Society during the past year, Mr. Karger requested co-operation in a picturization of magical revelations but was turned down quickly and emphatically. His view of the matter, before the act, was the same as has been used for an excuse sifter the act by a number of professional and amateur magi belonging to anti-expose organizations; that an expose of "simple" tricks is a help; that the revealing of "little" table effects is a boon because it interests the lay public.
A Mr. Tom Prideaux phoned us one day. Associated with LIFE he requested our presence at luncheon together with a Mr. Karger. As we understood it the editor of LIFE was interested in a display of magical "hows". Mr. K. favored illusions using girls so that the before and behind could be photographed. In other words, the reader should see the workings of a mystery from backstage as well as from the front.
After a couple of meetings I brought in Walter Gibson, and together we commandeered Bussell Swann to play the leading role provided we could work out something not detrimental to magic. It is enough to say that negotiations floundered because a definite expose of "big stuff" was desired.
Mr. Karger now has accomplished a first of his attempts to popularize magic according to personal beliefs. He took the pictures. He secured the girl model whose seemingly important claim to LIFE fame rests in her collection of 127 pairs of underpants, though how this emphasized idiosyncrasy helps magic other than cause an expose to be looked at by people who would pass it by otherwise? is beyond our ken. And, of course, Mr. Karger secured the magician to pose on the promise of national publicity. Two news photographers have told us that Mr. K. should have received not less than $150 for his efforts at taking pictures which LIFE'S editor saw fit to buy.
Below the one picture that we have seen fit to reproduce is what LIFE also saw fit to say about magic and the Society of American Magicians. They infer the magician shown is not upright, and that he is guilty of black heresy. They say that the S.A.M. "sometimes" expels its members for such a crime (this part is untrue for the S.A.M. never has excelled a member for exposing) as they then proceed to commit themselves. LIFE completes its own heresy with hypocritical remarks.
Therefore, I charge Kr. Karger as being responsible for views, hints, and tips contained in the subject matter accompanying the pictures. I charge Mr. Karger with not being entirely truthful if he uses as an excuse that he was given a job to do by his superior under pain of dismissal. I charge Mr. Karger with a neglect of duty as per his oath to the Society by not informing its Committee on Ethics (empowered to pass judgement on just such matters) of his planned venture. I charge Mr. Karger with bad faith because he might have resigned before deliberately disregarding the wishes of his Assembly. And, because blame for exposes usually falls upon the magician pictured with no thought ever given to the photographer-instigator, I charge Mr.Karger with being a perfect "fifth-columist" example in the ranks of organized magicians. VT_
THE WAITING PLACE FOR UNBORN THOUGHTS _(continued from last page)_
letters together can form a different word from these. Your system of "pumping" is always the same. The moment you get a "Yes" you know the word. On the last two the "name of a place" separates FOG and BAY. If perpetrators of this method for this effect realise that errors enhance the problem so long as the positions (first, last, middle, etc.) of the thought of letters are changed each time, plus the fact that the spectator may make three or four deals before HE can make a word, they will come to know that the stunt appears utterly a chance selection to the audience and an impossible divination on the part of the performer. So, with nothing except for one deck you have a five minute program item.
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