MAGIC OF MICHAEL SKINNER – Paul Lelekis
‘Magic of Michael Skinner’ MAY be my favorite of all the many ebooks by Paul Lelekis. I’m not ready to make the final call.. yet… but I’m certainly leaning that way. Why? Because I have a profound respect for the magic of Michael Skinner, and an equally profound respect for the writing of Paul Lelekis. If you have a love of card magic, you’re familiar with Mr. Skinner and his unique style and presentation. He was a magician’s magician. Like Dai Vernon, someone who other magicians both respected and admired. I think a small portion of the magic communities respect stemmed from the fact Michael was forever fighting inner conflict.. and yet still managed to perform at the highest level. The fact Michael was a very unique individual probably contributed to his thinking processes, and resulted in his constantly looking at both magic and the world through different glasses. Paul did a very good job of leading into the effects with an extensive treatise on Michael’s life. If you purchase this ebook, please take time to read it. It’s both informative and real. John Carney, a long time friend of Michael’s, contributed the very fitting foreword..
There are nine effects.. and each is very different in method and culmination.
‘Business Card Prediction’, ‘Thought Projection Pack’, and ‘James’s Miracle’ are all distinctly mental magic with cards. ‘Business Card Prediction’ is not only a great way to give out your card, but it allows you to perform a seemingly impossible bit of mental magic. ‘Thought Projection Pack’ was Michael’s way of reading the mind of TWO spectators.. Although this effect is probably the most simple of all the effects, I think it might be my second personal favorite, right behind ‘James’s Miracle’. This is based on a mathematical principle first published by Stewart James, but it doesn’t seem to be mathematical.. it seems to be pure ESP. There’s nothing to ‘figure’.. just perform it and amaze your spectators.
‘Altman’s ‘7’ Location’, ‘Mona Lisa Card Trick’, and ‘Invasion of The Body Snatchers’ are all Skinner’s handling of card effects that are both original and clever.. in a Michael Skinner way.
‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’ is a sort of tour de force with an impossible conclusion. If there is one effect that stands out as both original and genius.. this is it. It’s NOT a knuckle buster, thank goodness, and Paul provides two videos to guide you. Both ‘Mona Lisa Card Trick’ and Altman’s ‘7’ Location’ were two of Mr. Skinner’s personal favorites. They have a degree of sophistication you’d expect from Michael, but explained in an easy-to-grasp manner by Paul.
In addition, ‘Torn & Restored Paper’, ‘Giant Coin Production’, and ‘Fechter’s Hanky Force’ are all very interesting effects and a force in and of themselves. Each uses props you have on-hand. Each can also be performed in a brief performance and are ideal for walk around or table hopping. I particularly liked the ‘Giant Coin Production’, since I’m always searching for a coin effect I can actually perform. I’m not Bobo.. more like Booboo.. and I appreciate an effect I can DO.. ‘Torn & Restored Paper’ is another very performable effect that’s performed in the hand. Like the coin production, it too is a real fooler.
The ONLY thing keeping me from officially declaring this my favorite of Paul’s ebooks is that I don’t want my enthusiasm to taint my judgement. Right now, I’m going to let THE MAGIC OF MICHAEL SKINNER rest right there at the top while I try to master all the sleights and effects, and then in a month or so I’ll show these effects to an audience.. and to fellow magicians.. and I’ll know for sure. That said, I can read an effect and KNOW INSTANTLY whether it will work for me.. and ALL these effects work. Rightly so. Nothing is utterly simple.. aside from the force, and nothing is overly complicated. Just wonderful magic theater from someone considered highly unique and gifted. 34 pages and still $10.00
Review by Rick Carruth