July 1935

Ihad a compliment the other day. In part, it read, "and your own pet secrets are an amazing lot of magical ideas and principles that are simply knockouts. In addition, you seem to have the knack of securing original and unusual stuff from your contributors - this being due to careful selection of material on your part, I am sure. You just don't accept any old thing because somebody else thinks it good." I liked that. One needs a pepper-upper occasionally and it can't be said that I don't try to make the sheet worth a quarter. This issue completes the second subscription period with thanks to many. I could use more magical effects however. My profession is more or less one of a thought-reader. My hobby is card tricks. Such effects may predominate because of my leaning. It will be made worthwhile to anyone sending me varied material however, as I want to please everyone even though I am aware of the fact that such a thing Is iim-iossible.

Mistakes insist upon creeping in and the Summer Extra contained a regrettable one. On page 45 appeared 'A Principle In Disguise' by Harry Vosburgh of Sayre, Pennsylvania. This ought to have been Jack Vosburgh instead and all the more so because Jack is the originator of some awfully cute and clever moves and ideas. More will be heard of him and after talking him into letting me use one of his subtle ideas I had to mess up the works in a moment of thoughtlessness. There is nothing more important than having one's name right when it begins to mean something.

Arthur Pelsman rang my telephone bell while he and Mrs. Felsman stopped to lunch In the metropolis of Waverly. Arthur has the only traveling magic shop in existence and can contact localities where a store of magic is only heard about. I understood him to say they were at Charley's Kitchen and lost a lot of time before I found them at Sally's Pantryl I wasn't peeved because I fell, but because I was afraid I might miss him.

Why more performers haven't a snappy little routine of tricks for publicity and impromptu purposes is beyond me. It is hard to believe but many of the best professionals can do nothing impromptu and are lost when asked to 'do something.' I think I hnve remarked before that Harry Black-

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miDnUK, THE MYSTIC says, "The quickest way to rid yourself of a typical correspondence school magi is to suggest in an offhand manner that he must have lost some of his mail."

stone garners 90$ of his publicity through being able, at any time, to stand up and entertain for hours (no exaggeration) v/ith simple effects that take on brilliance because of the grandiloquent presentation and proximity of his audience. John Mulholland will admit (he could, at any rate) that the greater amount of his publicity is based upon personal contacts and the ability to deceive astute reporters and interviewers at close quarters on demand. There is little excuse for this lack of showmanship (it's exactly that) for there are any number of possible routines based on a single principle which can be learned with little effort. I must say here that I fully realise the attitude of more than one professional. When the art of magic changes from a hobby to a profession It pails a great deal in the interest of the conjuror. After a set routine has been laboriously figured and tested out for stage use, the performer rests and waits acclaim. Such acclaim comes only through the publicity channels of the theatre and is stereotyped as such. The special stories, human interest stories and column squibs are built from contacts. If a reporter meets a magician, he invariably says, 'Do something.' If the magi does not break down he is either labeled a 'trap-door trickster' or an 'unsociable cuss' and one way or the other the performer is the loser, both in a friend and publicity. Learn a routine of five or six tricks. Learn two or three routines if possible (it Is). At the moment I can think of Hugh Johnston's Modern Card Miracles - a complete dissertation on a stacked deck; Burling Hulls Electra routine; George Newmann's manuscript on stripper deck effects; Louis Nikola's system of mnemonics; and last, but far from least, Adrian Smith's It's In The Bag brochure, a routine of card effects with a paper sack over your head. Your time won't be wasted by any means.

Using a magical table worker or legerdemaniac as part of the floor show is still considered good business by night spot managers. Dave Allison has been for over ten weeks at the Lexington Hotel in New York and Silver Grill vs. Tap Room patrons is now a continuous affair. The controversy, of course, rages about whether or not the hand is really quicker than the eye. To date the only accepted winner is Dave Allison himself.

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