Specialty Chinese Magic

One of the best informed men on Oriental Magic in the world today is Percy Abbott, the eminent magician. Mr. Abbott has lived among the Oriental mystifiers and has in that way gained a great deal of secret, inside information on their magic. I feel indebted to Mr. Abbott for the help he has given me in presenting the correct methods of working certain oriental effects and in simplifying other problems in this field of magic.

This lesson is of tremendous significance in its presentation of unique Chinese Magic. Its value can only be measured in the success it brings the performer who aspires to do Chinese effects.

Some of these effects were feature numbers with the great Ching Ling Foo, who was one of the most famous of Chinese magicians. His marvelous production of large bowls of water out in the center of the stage and his production of a large bowl of water while turning a somersault are unforgettable. Foo had a keen sense of showmanship -- of misdirection -- and of speeding up an effect at the psychological moment. He used all the art of the stage, injecting all the graceful and dramatic elements that made him a master. A simple trick in his hands would hold an audience spellbound.

One of the reasons for the success of his effects, too, is that he guarded his secrets almost as he would his life. He knew that he must keep his methods of working wholly to himself. Of course, you can readily understand why Foo had this attitude toward his effects. He spent a great deal of money and long hours and worked very hard to get his magical knowledge and to perfect himself in his profession. Is it any wonder then that he appreciated it deeply and put such high value on it that he guarded it as a treasure?

The fear has sometimes entered my mind that because you are having all this great magical knowledge handed to you "on a silver platter," as it were, you will not fully realize its rich value and appreciate it for its worth. Don't, I beg of you, treat your Magic lightly. Guard your knowledge and effects as profound secrets that you are especially privileged to have. And if you ever doubt the value of the simplest trick, just stop to realize what Magic has meant to the world since time immemorial and what it means to you today commercially.

Ching Ling Foo and other great magicians kept their secrets sacred and now that you are privileged to have these very secrets, guard them as you would priceless gems and use them in a masterly way.

Most Chinese Magic is performed in pantomime (without patter), except for occasional ejaculations. I shall leave it to your judgment to use expressions which sound Chinese when you think it will help the action.

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