Paui Curtis

"P or a number of years I have had a veiy suc-« cessful item in my program, an effect which is one of those "in between" things which add a lot to the performance because of the careless and off-hand manner in which it is done. Most people consider it an "extra" bit put in on the spur of the moment, all of vrtiich enhances their oninion of you.

After a rope trick you can pick up a ping-pong ball and after a try or'two cause it to roll back and forth along the length of rope. There is nothing attached to the hands or the rope, and it can be done at any time during the act. It is after the Tom Seller idea, but there is no preparation of the rope nor danger of thread entanglements.

A circle of thread is placed around the neck and drawn down in b»ck to leave the loop left in front at about the first vest button. While the restored rope is being tossed back, the left thumb engages the loop and draws it but. The rope is taken in left hand between thumb and forefinger, palm open. The suspended rope is wound around the left hand so its end extends out from thumb and forefinger. The right hand now picks up the ball and places it in the little cup formed by the left thumb and forefinger. If the right thumb and forefinger now take the protruding rope's end * the right thumb going through the thread loop - and the hands separated to stretch the rope taut, the thread forma a trougji in back of the rope along which the ball can roll. From the audience it appears to be an impossible (?) balance.

I generally miss the trick once or twice a la the ancient acrobatic build-up for appreciation suod applause. Break the thread at the conclusion when the ball and rope are tossed aside. In making the loop, let the thread hang loosely for a few seconds until all twists have unwound. Wax it or use a candle on it before tying the ends together. This will prevent any possible tangling. But try it, not as a trick by itself, but strictly as an interlude. It is also very nice to have ready in case something goes wrong, or stalls, and you need a time waster.

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same as it does a Doctor, Lawyer, etc. You must be trained for emergency and learn how to handle INDIVIDUAL cases. A knowledge of human nature humor, art, philosophy, sincerety, timing, presentation, public speaking, pantomime, dramatics are just as important as the trick Itself.

As Frakson said, "Well, Doc, we have invented a new trick. Now, how are we going to SELL it to the AUDIENCE?" It takes many things to SELL a TRICK and make it MAGIC. Everybody LOVES good MAGIC. Even the critics. Ashton Stevens, dramatic critic, wrote, "I have faith in MAGICIANS." All of us should try toxfCsti^ that faith.

The Jinx cats are being fed and looked after by friends during Mr. Annemann's vacation. This week's Editrivia page has been written by Dr. Harlan Tarbell. Next week it will be Mr. William Larsen's turn to keep cobwebs from the door.

I wonder if Ted's vacation will be anything like mine. I thought I would get a good rest by going over to Waukazoo Inn at Holland. Michigan, managed by a good friend of mine. Visions of the lake and lying around. But when people found I was a MAGICIAN then the seige began to do tricks. Grownups followed me around, youngsters were on my trail. Harry Lombard was night clerk for the season and had enough magical apparatus tinder the desk to do a show. We sat up nights talking magic and working out acts. I gave two shows in the lobby and did one blindfold drive around the streets of Holland and then drove four miles to Waukazoo n. Friend of mine was with Studebaker Company. Well, anyway, I came home to recuperate.

Had an official day at the Hew York world's Fair July 11th. Fair officials said that a Rudy Vallee Day went over well so they thought a Tarbell Day would bring good results. Was going to do a blindfold drive from Times Square to the Fair but Safety Commission turned it down at last minute and I did not have time to follow through. Was met at Fair by escort committee at 1 P.M. Had lunch with Ford officials, with Press shots, shows here and there during afternoon with a half hour show at Band Stand in front of New York Building. There was a cloudburst of rain at night, but got in enough licks before hand to make the day worth while. Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy were on the grounds the same day but I did not get a chance to see them.

In getting publicity I try to do so legitimately for the good of MAGIC as a whole. I would rather have publicity on M3RIT rather Jthan to take advantage of another, expose spiritualism, or offer a few thousand dollars that I can do what someone else can. I am a firm believer in the fact that the GOOD we do ourselves is enough to put us over. The law of life is that we GET what we GIVE. If we BOOST we too are BOOSTED. If we KNOCK we too are KNOCKED. Let our LIGHT so shine that not even a bushel basket can keep it covered. The Coca Cola sign says "Relieves Fatigue" and does not say "Better Than Root Beer".

The thing that hurts MAGIC the most is the POOR "magician". Magic can become one of the most amazing and interesting forms of entertainment or it can become one or the most boresome if not properly applied. Magic is amazing, but where there is a lack of magic, where there is supposed to be magic, the show is pitiful. How many times have x heard committees say, "We had a magician and that is enough. We do not want any more." Or, "We had a magician five years ago and are still trying to live it down." The truth is, they never had a MAGICIAN - only someone who called himself a magician.

Many is the time I have been called in suddenly py committees to save the day and bring good magic to overcome the atrocities of someone who booked themselves into the wrong field and had failed to deliver. Just recently I received a phone call from a prominent entertainment chairman asking if I could substitute for a pianist who was sick and could not appear the next night. 7/hen I arrived on the scene I asked, "Why didn't you get another pianist to sub stitute?" The chairman said, "The truth about the matter is this. Cur attendance has been below par so v/e hired a so-called magician to come. He had the best houseof the season but his show was so draggy, so inappropriate, so unmag-ical that people went away disappointed. So to save MAGIC and to save ourselves we have asked you to come." Luckily I was able to get a big attendance and send the audience away satisfied.

After years on the road and listening to committees I have come to this conclusion: "THERE ARE MANY WHO DO THICKS - BUT TH3R3 ARE FEW MAGICIANS." Howard Thurston told me, "There is no profession that has the LIBERTY on the stage as the Magician. 3ecause his work is of a secret nature he is not interfered with. Other acts have to go -through definite training and being properly produced. Liberty is a great thing but LIBERTY can only exist when those who have liberty are more particular with their work than those who do not have it. The average amateur comes to see my shew and feels he can come upon my stage and do a far better show than I can. Maybe he could ONCE - but to keen it up day after day - to please all types of minds - to handle managers - to get stages to show on - to pay the bills, the salaries - to meet emergencies -is a different story. Few know what goes on behind the scenes - mothers, fathers, sons and daughters with their troubles - the need of understanding - the helping hand. After all, I am just an ACTOR playing the part of the Magician and people expect of me the powers of a REAL MAGICIAN. And yet I cannot let them down. My training under Dwight Moody, the evangelist, has been a great help to me. A Magician in front of the curtain and yet behind the curtain a Minister."

One of my great pleasures in life has been the knowing and talking in confidence with many of the world's truly great Magicians. Not only our magicians of the stage but those grand Magicians - those Magi of the Inner Brotherhoods whose knowledge of life is so far beyond the age in which we live. The word Magic at one time meant, "A true interpretation of the laws of life." I wonder how many know that it cost the Tarbell School of Magic over $3500 in real money to use the word MAGIC in its advertisements. When the Better Business Bureau investigated us we were brought up before a judge who gave as his final reoort, "The Tarbell Course is fraudulent in this way. It claims to teach MAGIC and only teaches TRICKS. Dr. Tarbell, himself, performs REAL MAGIC but does not impart that knowledge to his students." I had performed too well. The case was called to higher courts and we finally won the right to use the word MAGIC in connection with the course.

It cost the Finger Print Course, under T.G. Cooke, over $5000 to use the word Ballistics -even though the Ballistics Course was written by the head Ballistitian of the united States Marines.

Because of LIBERTY in Magic we do take too much advantage of it. A fellow buys a few tricks and right away has a card printed saying he is a Magician and feels he is entitled to go into the field of the trained Professional. It is the untrained who do the damage too many times - who do not know the requirements of a Magician. I can give a dose of medicine to my cat but it does not make me a Veterinary Physician. I can tell someone to take somebody's Cold Tablets hut that does not make me capable of treating Human ills. It takes years of diagnosis ana treatment to make a MAGICIAN just the (turn back to last page)

Dssolacion I.

Magallanes, Chile, S.A.

Esteemed sir;

I send yon two tricks from my program. Please to write them plainly that readers of Jinx can surprise the audience which 1 do ny friends. I am semi-professional with intending for large public magic performance to travel. In obligation


This is a conceit which will b« a novelty for any performer working in front of any club or group of about 60 to 160 people. The magician borrows a postage stamp from a spectator. It is seldom that from a fairly large group a postage stamp is not available, for many persons carry several in their' notebook or pocketbook. If none is on hand the performer may introduce a half sheet of them which he passes to someone.

The spectator marks one stamp on the gummed side in any manner identifiable. Spectator No. 2 is now asked to assist the performer by holding the etamp while an envelope and sheet of paper are exhibited. This person lightly (by the corner) attaches the stamp to the center of the paper, folds, and seals it inside the envelope which he holds. The performer now does another trick in his program, saying that a little time must elapse as with the sending and receiving of a letter. The envelope is then opened, the spectator assisting removes the paper, and the stamp has vanished.' The performer asks that this person himself remove his (performer's) watch from pocket or wrist, and open the back. Inside the watch is the postage stamp which is identified and returned to its owner.

While this appears to be the acme of dexterity and sleight-of-hand, it is pure nothing hut audacity with an article little used in magic. The preparation consists of two stamps, a letter envelope faked by inserting the front of another and sealing the flaps together to make a secret compartment, and two sheets of letter paper. Mark the backs of the two stamps in the same manner. You may use initials if you can possibly know beforehand whom you will use for the stamp loan. However, this is not at all necessary. Put one stamp in the back of your watch, or very difficult to get at receptacle about your body. A watch is most effective. Put the other stamp close by with gummed side up. In the secret envelope compartment put one folded empty paper. Fold and put the other piece in the envelope proper and pocket.

Borrow a stamp and have its donor mark it before you near him. During this dampen your left second finger and lightly pick up your own stamp closing fingers (except index) against palm. Approach spectator and take his stamp with the right second finger and thumb, the former also dampened. In passing back to the front pick up an assistant (a distance from the first one) and have him help you. Give him the left hand stamp after making a gesture of passing it but really closing right fingers and opening left.

Have him look at the marking (yours) and say that the stamp is ordinary and that he'd know it again almost anywhere. Your left hand brings out of inner pocket the envelope which is opened for removal of paper. The spectator unfolds it, lightly affixes the stamp, refolds, and you give him the envelope for sealing and holding.

The original spectator's stamp may now be kept in trouser pocket or on table during another effect. Take the envelope from him, tear off the end, and open it so that the secret compartment is available to his fingers. He removes the paper to find the stamp gone. You have laid the envelope on table and with dampened finger picked up the original stamp. The spectator then takes your watch and finds the stamp inside and acknowledges the mark to be the same.

Thank him, taking the stamp, and walk to the first person in audience, switching again, and say, "Thank you for the loan. I trust you won't have any difficulty when you use it on a letter." He gets his own marked stamp back and a most bold procedure results in an astonishing effect of transposition. That the two people never see each other's marks is a fact that no one ever seems to realize.

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