Fifth Row Center Aisle

\WThat magic needs more than a good five cent gimmick is a stiff dose of healthy criticism. The undersigned has never been able to digest. let al<jne swallow, the indiscriminating, unfailingly, laudatory write-ups of magical performances which break out in a rash each month like some incurable disease in our esteemed contemporaries. Good wood pulp shouldn't be wasted that way.

You know what we mean. The Great Sappo comes out and murders a couple of good tricks --- or, more often, a couple of lousy ones. He is, in short, a complete bust. And then, the publicity agents who write the reviews can never seem to think of anything more drastic to say than; '"I5ie Great Sappo presented Clippo with inimitable dexterity. Nice work, Sappy old boyj"

We don't think that is honest. It isn't fair to the customers, or the performer, or the magical societies. The readers are being misinformed. The performer, who usually has no idea that he was a frost, goes merrily ahead wearing his rose-colored blinders and, at the next show, dishes out another big helping of the same. And, if it is a public show, the laymen in the audience sniff and begin to suspect that the Society of What-ever-it-rnay-be is composed of kids who have never outgrown their inferiority com-

?lexes. That is embarassing to the members who nvited. them. Besides, it's supposed to be a deep, dark secret. Incompetant performers who blow the gaff should be told off.

He we

If magical reviewers did not show so much misplaced kindness, perhaps The Great Sappo might shake off his opium dream and wise up. might even make some effort to iron out his faults and improve his presentation. Anyway, are going to stick out* neck out---and find out. It is high time the method was given a whirl.

A considered, reasoned criticism is something that should be sought after --- not avoided like The Black Plague. Laudatory reviews that are not deserved are opiates. Honest, informed, criticism, sharp as a surgeon's scalpel, can be a healthy agent. It may hurt at the time, but the way to success is through adversity". (We swiped that one) The clean bit of the axe is more salutary than the mess an undeserved boquet of orchids makes when it lands with a squashy plop.

We have heard a lot of criticism of magic and magicians by both laymen and magicians. But none of it ever does the slightest good because it is always whispered behind the' performer's back. The slogan seems to be: "Don't, for goodness sake, hurt the poor fellow's feelings.'" Are magicians men or mice that they can't take it?

How are we going to judge the shows we see? Well, here are a few of the ways. First, we're going to ask ourselves if the performer is trying to give out entertainment first and puzzles second. We are going to watch like a hawk to see if he has the technique we've a right to expect considering the amount of his experience. We are going to listen and find out if he speaks recognizable English. If he's a "dese, dem, and dose" guy, we'll mention it out loud and recommend a good textbook.

We are going to insist that he give his audience credit for having the intelligence of at least a six year old. And of knowing when a joke has whiskers. If he follows a torn-and-restored paper trick with a cut-and-restored (continued on page 740)

pay pay jack vosbur&h

'his is a mental coin effect based on a mathematical system. On the table are three small coin envelopes labeled respectively: Office Boy, Janitor, President. Also there are five different coins: a penny, nickel, dime, quarter, and half dollar.

Three spectators are asked to participate and each is given a small typewritten sheet or card called a "Salary Schedule". While the performer's back is turned, one of the three men picks up the three employee envelopes, mixes them well, selects any one for himself, and passes the other two on to a second man. This person mixes the two remaining envelopes, selects either one, and hands the third envelope to the third spectator.

Each man reads the label on his envelope and sees what employee he is to be. Then he reads his salary schedule and sees which coin that employee is to receive. Each of the three men puts into his envelope the coin designated in the schedule. The envelopes are pocketed or held out of sight; and the performer is summoned.

He takes from his pocket a fourth envelope labeled "Income Tax," and into it he puts the two remaining coins. Pocketing this envelope he looks at each of the three men and tells what job he holds and how much money is in his pay envelope.

That's the effect. I have said that the method is mathematical. The three salary schedules are all different, as can be noted from the table here:

President—100 President—250 President—500 Office Boy-10^ Office Boy- 50 Office Boy- 50 Janitor----l<f Janitor-— 10 Janitor—- 10

These are passed out writing sides down, so no man knows what the cards of his neighbors say. The performer must remember to which man each of the schedules goes. Because of the system involved, the two coins left on the table, after the three coins have been put into the envelopes, tell the story.

And the rest of the trick is a table written upon the back of the "Income Tax" envelope. This table is secretly referred to while placing the two remaining coins into the tax envelope. Here is the table:

100 250

100 50

0 0

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