Christmas Edition, 2019

Hello Friends..

Welcome to our fourth special… since publishing our 200th issue. What’s the purpose in all this..? Who the heck knows.. I published 200 issues of the Magic Roadshow.. I basically retired, but kept a text file of interesting sites and articles, and a few months later decided to publish a ‘special’. Well.. I have published three other specials too – that’s four in the past year – and I realized I still want to publish the Roadshow, but not on a strick timetable. As new articles arrive and new reviews and effects are written, I’ll continue to publish as long as my fingers will allow. So there….

The Holidays are upon us people. Christmas is here and the New Year is around the corner. I wish a Very Merry Christmas to all of you who celebrate the birth of Christ. I want to wish all my Jewish friends a blessed Hanukkah.. and my other friends a wonderful Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, Las Posadas, Diwali, Chinese New Year… or whatever blessed holiday you observe.

I want to thank Scott Robinson and all the guys at Sleight Club in Charlotte NC for the great TRICS convention the first full weekend in November. It was quite a treat.. all the performers and lectures were spot on.. and the camaraderie was a pure pleasure. Can’t wait for the 2020 convention..

Started to compose a paragraph or two about the state of politics.. but I’m not. Such a waste of time. You know things are bad when The Young and The Restless is pre-empted for ‘momentous congressional hearings’… and you would much rather watch The Young and The Restless…

On December 15th our friend, James ‘Radio’ Kennedy, passed away. He was an inspiration to everyone in our little corner of South Carolina. Always present at select football games, Radio became a media celebrity around the world with the release of the movie.. RADIO, several years ago. He was a simple man who made the most of what he possessed.. thanks to the help of a teacher who took him under his wings and loved him like a child. Rest In Peace Radio…

What do you get if you cross a cow with an octopus? You get your funding pulled and a serious review by the ethics committee…

Comments and Questions? Email me at: Rick@MagicRoadshow.com

** Read or Print this Issue as a PDF…. 67 pages and 20,000 words..


– Dover Books On Magic – Article – Christopher M. Reynolds
– One Cup and Balls – Effect – Paul A. Lelekis
– Bill Simons 64 Principle – Effect
– The Manual of Mathematical Magic – Free PDF
– The Ten Travellers – A Rabbit Hole
– Pocket Voodoo – Liam Montier – A Review
– Conveying and Using Personality – Article – Kyle Peron
– Chicago Opener/Red Hot Mama – Variation by Christopher Weber
– A Trick by Any Other Name – Effect – Paul Hallas
– What Does Don’s Used Magic and H&R Magic Books Have in Common? – Resource
– A Helpful Hand – An Effect – Christopher Weber
– To Your Credit – Free Ebook – Harapan Ong
– The 3 Travelers – Effect and Tutorial Video
– Another Not-A-Knot Trick – Silk Magic Tutorial
– Zen Magic – A Review – Rick Carruth
– Ultimate Self Working Card Tricks: Cameron Francis Edition -Review- Rick Carruth
– Magica V – Larry Barnowsky – A Review – Rick Carruth
– Vanish Magic Magazine – December 2019 – Free Download
– Special Quotes for Roadshow Readers – Robert Schuller
– Recent POST in the Roadshow – Articles
– Other Important Stuff..


“People are not fooled by what they see, they’re fooled by what they think they see.” Harry Lorayne

“There’s nothing wrong with new performers emulating others.. but your eventual success will be determined by how many performers want to emulate you..”
Rick Carruth


Dover Books On Magic – Article
By Christopher M. Reynolds

When Reginald Scott’s, “The Discovery Of Witchcraft,” was first published in 1584, it was a landmark in the history of magic and illusion. Scott’s book was one of the first studies of sleight-of-hand conjuring ever published, with detailed explanations of effects still performed today. In 1972, Dover books, one of the least publicized book publishers in the country, brought this seminal work back to life.

They also republished a handful of obscure, long forgotten, and out of print books on card tricks, sleight of hand, mentalism, and Victorian stage illusions. Thanks to the efforts of one man, magicians around the world were able to purchase magic secrets from a bygone era that were on the verge of going extinct.

Hayword Cirker, founder of Dover publications inc., couldn’t execute a double-handed pass, perform a French Drop, or palm a card. Nor did he know how to saw a woman in half or pull a rabbit from a hat. He wasn’t a magician, an illusion creator, magic writer, magic historian, a member of the Magic Castle, the International Brotherhood Of Magicians, or the Society Of American Magicians.

Despite this, Hayward Cirker did more for the art of magic in the 1970s than Doug Henning and Harry Blackstone Jr., did that whole decade.

On first appearances, Cirker was a quiet, humble bookworm. Behind this calm exterior, existed a man with a voracious appetite for knowledge and a shrewd instinct for making a buck. Cirker never considered himself a literary renaissance man. He only thought of himself as a consummate book lover with an inexhaustible curiosity. It’s a modest self-appraisal coming from somebody many consider a pioneer in the history of paperback book publishing.

He made his fortune by cashing in on books that had fallen between the cracks and whose copyrights had expired, elapsing into the public domain. While other companies dealt with the financial and editorial headaches of dealing with living writers, this rare and forgotten route had an added advantage: long-dead authors. For Cirker, this meant paying no royalties, and editorial costs were virtually nonexistent.

Dover books stood practically unrivaled in its adherence to publish these titles and give a second life to these deceased authors’ works. The company also stood out from the mass market paperback crowd by specializing in trade paperbacks. These are any paperback book that is similar in size and quality to a hardbound edition.

Up until the advent of the 1950s paperback book explosion, publishers would send out trade paperback editions to book critics as an advance reading copy of their latest hardback offering. Cirker was virtually alone in seeing the profit potential by releasing these costly promotional editions directly to the consumer.

His inquiring mind and business acumen took a company started for $200 in his Queens, New York, apartment and built it into a phenomenal international success. In 1992 the company was reporting profits upwards of 25 million dollars per year. At the time of Cirker’s death in 2000 the company and it’s stock holdings sold for a whopping 37 million dollars cash.

During the 1950s, a softcover book revolution was sweeping the United States. The public was on a feeding frenzy for cheap paperback titles, and fly-by-night publishers helped feed their ravenous appetite. Quantity over quality was the business model most companies followed. As long as a book had a hysterically lurid title and shocking cover art to match, it was practically guaranteed a profit. The masses happily devoured, at a frantic pace, such books as, “Stag Party Girl”; “Lady, Don’t Die On My Doorstep”; and, “A Night For Screaming.”

Dover Publications proliferated during this time. Hayward Cirker, instead of fobbing off sub-par pulp fiction, took the high road instead. He continued to publish quirky literary classics like, “Confessions Of An English Opium Eater” by Thomas Dequincy; The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen” by Rudolph Erich Rasppe; and “The Devils Dictionary,” by Ambrose Bierce.

The odd mix of titles that his public domain reprint house published was a reflection of the man behind the scenes and his equally inquisitive employees. The company kept a small pool of intellectually minded editors on staff. This motley crew of dyed-in-the-wool bookworms spent their days searching for new public domain books to add to the companies collection of over 2,000 titles.

Any topic you could think of, from the ordinary to the obscure, was represented in Dover’s catalog: dollhouses, military history, classical music, poetry, fairy tales, mathematics, antiques, architecture, art instruction, chess, folklore, cookery, nature, and, most importantly, magic.

In 1954 the company issued, “Houdini On Magic.” Eighteen years later, they released a handful of magic & illusion titles that are still considered indispensable and essential reading in the field. Thanks to the company’s efforts, the shelves of bookstores and public libraries were able to offer some of the most exciting titles in magic. Many of these books were only available to purchase, for exorbitant amounts of money, through antiquarian book dealers.

Just like a necromancer, Hayward Cirker helped bring back to life the names of little-known magic legends: Jean Hugard, E.W. Erdanase, Arthur Buckley, Stanley Collins, Ted Anneman, Professor Hoffman, Edwin Sachs, and the writings of Harry Houdini.

For decades these texts that had been gathering dust on the bookshelves of magic historians. Now, they were available, at affordable prices, to millions of budding magicians. No longer would these classics go unread and forgotten. These critical writings were now available to anyone with a few dollars and a burning desire to learn the craft.

While most books on conjuring explain a lot of easy magic tricks, few provided a foundation in the fundamentals of magic for the serious student. These volumes, released by Dover, provided an advanced education, a virtual P.H.D. in the art and history of magic. The books are brimming with the coveted secrets of methods and techniques behind many magic tricks; from the smallest coin effect to the grandest stage illusion. The best value in magic is hidden in plain sight between the covers of these books.

One of the many interesting non-magic books that Dover published was a religious text titled, “The Wisdom Of The Buddha.” Found amongst the many pearls of insight in this edition is one that all practicing Buddhists are familiar with: All good things must come to an end. Dover Publications’ remarkable series of classic magic and illusion books are no exception to this rule of life.

While the company is still in business after the death of founder Hayward Cirker in 2000, they struggle to stay competitive in an expanding e-book market. The public domain niche that the company had carved out for itself is now a wide-open field. Websites like Project Gutenberg and the Internet Archive have taken the lead in offering free e-book editions of the classic fare that was once Dover’s bread and butter.

The company lingers on, like William Holden and his band of outlaws in the classic western, “The Wild Bunch.” They’re an unchanged book publisher in a changing land; out of step, out of place, and desperately out of time.

Their latest additions on magic tricks aren’t helping their cause to stay relevant to the newer generation of conjuring enthusiasts. “New Era Card Tricks,” by August Rotenberg was recently published in 2017. It’s a classic work from 1897 and a fantastic addition to the companies conjuring series. Sadly, it’s only one of a small handful of classic conjuring titles to be published in the last 25 years. Dover has moved direction in favor of titles geared towards children and weekend hobbyists.

The publishing industry is a competitive racket, and Dover Publications is in business to make money. Furthering the art of conjuring isn’t their sole reason for existing. Books like E.W. Erdanse’s, “The Expert At The Card Table,” appeals only to a small clique of fanatic magicians. Not everyone has an interest in the art’s fascinating history or in learning more technically complex presentations. They have limited appeal to mass-market audiences that only want to take up magic as an engaging leisure activity.

The company has made some attempts at publishing material by current authors, but, “Close Up Magic Secrets,” written by the magician, Diamond Jim Tyler, is the only significant title to be released. With a proper editor devoted to magic and the allied arts, Dover could have been a real leader in the publishing of magic texts, but the whole genre seemed to be an afterthought. Now it’s too little, too late as the sun starts to go down on a company that’s close to reaching 100 years in age.

Lybrary.com has picked up the slack where Dover left off, specializing in the publishing of obscure and antique e-books on magic and illusion. The company, founded by Chris Wasshuber in 2000, was established to make magic books that were difficult to find available in electronic form. They do this not in search of huge profits, but to preserve this arcane knowledge for future generations to come. Like Dover books, they’ve expanded their subject matter into chess, gambling, games, and the allied arts.

Collecting old books on magic & illusion is now easier than ever. Many are readily available in inexpensive e-book formats. Soon, the paperback titles published by Dover Books will be on the shelves of rare book dealers, fetching whopping prices. An online search shows some of their out of print titles, like, “Hofzinsers Card Conjuring,” already selling in the $100 price range. These prices are sure to rise as the supply of these books begin to dwindle.

In 2011 the online mega-retailer, Amazon, announced that their e-book sales had overtaken their sales of paperbacks and hardcover books combined. The e-book revolution has permanently supplanted the paperback book publishing market and that, like hardcover titles, will soon go the way of the 8-track tape. They’ll become obsolete curiosities only coveted by historians and collectors.

It will only be a matter of time before books are a thing of the past in the world of illusion. For the modern student of magic, DVDs, or YouTube videos, have surpassed the written word as the chief instructor. They allow the student to mimic the teacher, being able to follow along more closely. As the magician performs these ancient sleights, they’re able to give insight and explanations into performance and presentation. It seems like the written word on magic tricks is in danger of vanishing into thin air, with no guarantee of returning.

Dover books have performed a valuable service to magicians. It allowed performers and collectors to own conjuring classics that they may have never had the opportunity to do before. So, until the day comes that magic books disappear, buy yourself some copies of the titles Dover has to offer. It will be the best money you ever spent.


Paul A. Lelekis

EFFECT: A snappy cup and balls routine that I modeled after Senator Clark Crandall’s trick. The three balls jump around then there is an appearance of two large load balls.

SET UP: I keep a 2” or 3” red sponge ball, (whichever fits comfortably under the cup) in my left pants pocket, a real baseball either in my right jacket pocket if I’m table-hopping, or in my stand where I can quickly access it. The baseball should be TOO big to fit into the cup! I use one cup from a cups and balls set, 4 – ¾” green, crocheted cork balls and a wand. Begin with one of the green (or blue) balls, classic palmed in your right hand.

METHOD: I’ve broken this routine into six easy to perform steps, below.

STEP #1 – Hold wand in right hand, which is classic palming the fourth ball. Hold the cup with the three balls in the left hand and then dump them onto the table.
During the last sentence of the patter below, transfer the cup to the right hand
with the palm over the cup! The ball is then released, from classic palm, into the cup.

The following is my patter for the introduction – Step #1.
Remember to hold the wand EACH time you have a ball palmed!

“The cups and balls have been a staple of magician’s for thousands of years. There is a depiction of this trick found on the walls of the great pyramids of Egypt over 4,400 years ago! It has remained a favorite through the years – even up to today! Houdini once said that you couldn’t call yourself a magician unless you perform the cups and balls!”

“Normally the cups & balls use three balls and three cups. I’m using three balls but only one cup! I figured it would be easier if I used just one, but then I realized that I had nowhere to hide the balls! Besides that, this is a defective cup! You see the top has been sealed over and the bottom is wide open – so the top is now the bottom and the bottom is now the top! Even if the top was open, and it’s not, if I poured anything into the cup it would fall out the bottom, because the bottom is open and the top is sealed!” (During the last sentence, perform the fake-out, wand through the bottom of the cup.)

“On the table I have three green balls (or blue). You may have asked yourself, ‘why are they green’? Well, if you had three you’d be green too – right sir?”

The above patter should be completed by the time you’ve finished Step #1.

STEP #2 – The cup is transferred back to the left hand. Next, pick up two of the balls and drop them into the cup, one at a time. Pretend to place the third ball into your right pants pocket, however it is, again, classic palmed back out. Turn the cup, mouth down, onto the table. Inertia will hold all three balls within the cup as it is turned over. Wave the wand with your right hand and lift the cup to show all three balls have returned!

The accompanying patter is used as you perform Step #2 above:

“These three balls have names which have been adopted from the ancient
Sumerian, so don’t feel bad if you have trouble remembering them! They’re
called ball #1, ball #2, and…ball #3 goes into my pocket. I just wave the magic
wand and all three balls are back under the cup! Sir, you seem a little confused!
I’ll repeat this just for you!”

STEP #3 – Ask the spectator to hold out his hands as you place the three balls, in a
row, onto them. Again, name each one as above. Transfer the cup to the right hand, again, with your palm over the mouth of the cup and drop the palmed ball, silently, into it. After the ball has fallen in, transfer the cup into your left hand.
Pick up the spectator’s first choice (as in the patter below) from his hand, and
place it into the upright cup. Pick up the second chosen ball and place it into the cup.

Place the cup (with 3 balls!), mouth down onto the table.

Finally pick up the third ball into your right hand. False transfer it into your left
hand. Actually the right thumb holds the ball back as it is seemingly tossed into the left hand. Readjust the ball into RH finger palm.

The left hand then pretends to place the ball into your left trouser pocket. Take
the wand with your right hand from under your left arm (where it goes each time), wave it and lift the cup to show all three balls there again!

Transfer the cup to your right hand (still finger palming the 4 th ball) and then set
the cup, mouth down, onto the table, secreting the palmed ball beneath it.

“In fact, this time sir, would you hold your hand out – worry side up? That’s the wrinkled side, sir – oh, I see, you’re worried on both sides! I’ll place the three balls onto your palm, #1, #2 and #3. Now please remember which is which! Which do you want me to put in the cup first, #2? O.K.! Next? 3? Ooh – are you sure?! Excellent! You’re very shrewd sir!”

I’ll place #1 in my pocket and with a wave of the wand, all three balls, again,
jump under the cup!

STEP #4 – At this point the cup lies on the table with the 4 th ball hidden beneath it and the three visible balls lie next to it. The wand goes back under your left armpit. The next sequence should appear absent-minded and you appear ignorant of what happens!

Pick one of the three balls up with your RH and, again, false transfer it into the
left hand but secure it in right hand little finger-palm. Pretend to put the ball into your left trouser pocket.

Reach over with your LH and pick up one of the two remaining balls and place it
in the spectator’s hand. Grasp the last ball and put it next to the other ball in his hand. Suddenly, act as though you can’t figure out where the third ball is.

Look at your right arm and then act as if you’ve been enlightened as you shake
your sleeve to apparently dislodge a ball stuck up there! Then calmly show the ball in your right hand and lay it next to the other two balls. This is very funny and magical! Match this with the patter below.

Pick up one of the balls and “scoop” it under the cup. This mimics a very
popular sequence in cups & balls.

Pick up a second ball from his hand and scoop it under the cup. (There are now
three balls under the cup though the spectators are aware of only two.)

Pick up the third ball and false transfer it into the left hand (again like a shuttle
pass) and pretend to place it into your left pants pocket. Wave the wand and lift the cup to show three balls!

As you place the cup down, load the finger-palmed ball under the cup again.

“Maybe I’m moving too fast! I will place one of the balls into my left pants pocket. Please hold out your hand again sir as I place ball #1 and ball #2 into your hand and now ball #…? Oh, wait! It must have gotten caught up my sleeve – ah yes; there it is…ball #3!”

“I’ll place #1 under the cup and #2 under the cup and #3 goes into my left
pants pocket. I wave my wand and they’re back under the cup again! I told you
that this cup is defective!”

STEP #5 – There are now three balls on the table and the cup is hiding the fourth ball again. You now claim that you will do it in a different way. Scoop one ball under the cup. There are now two under the cup, though the spectators think there to be only one. Your right hand now picks up both of the remaining balls and here, you perform a different type of shuttle pass.

Hold both balls on the open right hand and then dump your hand over as you
apparently toss both balls into the left hand. Actually your right thumb holds back one of the balls and a fleeting glimpse of one of the balls are seen to go into the LH, which quickly closes and goes to your left pants pocket.

As your left hand goes into your pants pocket, release the palmed ball and
remove the big sponge ball in your cupped palm.

Snap your right fingers (with hidden ball) and then your right hand comes down
and lifts the tabled cup, now showing three balls! The finger-palmed ball is released just as the cup is lifted!

The movement of the right hand is slightly to the left as it raises the cup, and
momentum will take the ball under the cup! This looks terrific! Your RH brings the cup to your LH and the sponge ball is inserted into the cup as it is placed, mouth down, onto the table. No one will notice this load! The surprising appearance of the three balls under the cup will misdirect from the load!

“I can see by the look in your eyes that you doubt my ability – or lack of it! In either case I will do this one more time but in a different manner! This time I’ll place only one ball under the cup and two balls in my pocket! I snap my fingers and all three balls are, again, under the cup!”

Remember that your left hand is placing the two balls (actually one ball!) into
your left pants pocket as the above sequence ensues. But what you are doing is
dropping off the one green ball into your left pants pocket and palming off the large sponge ball.

As you lift the cup with your RH to show the three balls under it, transfer the cup
onto your left hand and load the sponge ball. Casually place the cup and the load onto the table. This is far easier to do than a beginner might think!

STEP #6 – The finale!

As you give the spiel about having more than three balls, lift the cup to show a
large red sponge ball and everyone will react significantly! As you lift the cup, go to your right jacket pocket (or shelf or servante of your stand) and retrieve the baseball.

NOTE: You can perform this seated…if you do, keep the final load ball in your lap.
The LH brings the cup over to cover the ball as you hold them high over your
working surface and suddenly let the baseball drop with a loud THUD! Place the
baseball onto the mouth of the cup to show that it doesn’t fit! Now you’ve got
their attention!

“Now I know what you’re thinking!” (Look over a look intently at a woman present as you say…) “Well I may not know what you’re thinking, but generally people say, ‘You’re using a fourth ball!’ And to that I say, yes and no! Yes there
is a fourth ball…”

(Lift the cup to show the sponge ball as you load the baseball) “…and No
because I’m actually using a fifth ball! Only this ball is too big for the cup!
See what I mean? I told you it was a defective cup!”

This routine should be performed at a fairly quick pace with the impression that
you are a little absent-minded! This routine is a lot of fun to perform and makes the
spectators laugh!

Paul’s magic has been featured in many periodicals and magic newsletters around the world. Paul has been honored with seven One-Man Parades in the Linking Ring magazine, 3 Mini-Parades, and he wrote and conducted a Ring Parade for ring 42 in Clearwater…and at the time, ring 42 was the third largest ring in the world with often 200 members in attendance. View all 50+ ebooks at:



Bill Simons 64 Principle – Effects

Of all the many mathematical situations I’ve encountered, Bill Simon’s 64 Principle is one of the most perplexing. The math is amazing… and well worth your time, even if you aren’t in to mathematics. Some things just work.. and you don’t have to understand why to appreciate it..

“Bill Simon’s 1964 book Mathematical Magic (Dover) contains a wonderful trick called ‘The Four Queens’, based on a clever principle the author devised. It uses just 8 cards, and works for packets of size any power of 2. Simon’s ’64 principle was the basis for a nice 12 card Karl Fu’lves effect called “Even Money Proposition” in the April 1969 Pallbearers Review. More recently, it has been taken to brilliant heights in Dave Solomon & John Bannon’s stunning trick, ‘The Power of Poker,’ using 10 cards.”

“We stick with 8 card incarnations here, starting with a slight twist (modulo a gender change) on the original, before discussing some other variations. In each effect, audience members are offered six completely free choices. You imply–though it isn’t true!–that these choices are independent, binary ones, so that any of 2 to the 6th power = 64 different things could happen. Yet, without fail, a very predictable separation occurs every time.”

This is a very confounding demonstration and you’ll learn three different effects using the same principle.. from the Mathematical Assoc. of America…
-Six Degrees of Freedom Separation
-Upstairs Downstairs
-Six Degrees of Separation Freedom



The Manual of Mathematical Magic – Free PDF
Peter McOwan with Matt Parker

I first published a link to this ebook in a Roadshow long, long ago. It is one of the true go-to ebooks in my collection of literally thousands of ebooks. I am sharing it again for those of you who are new to the Roadshow.. or who missed it, or lost it, the first time. Although this ebook is copyrighted, I obtained the link via their own site. They have evidently made a decision to make the download link available for free. Take advantage of it….

“Mathematics and magic may seem a strange combination, but many of the most powerful magical effects performed today have a mathematical basis. Famous magicians such as Derren Brown and David Blaine use mathematics-based tricks in their shows, but mathematics is also the secret behind the technologies we use, the
products we buy and the jobs we will have. Mathematics is the language we use to describe the world around us – it’s the basis of all the sciences.”

“All the tricks in this book are self-working, which means you don’t need to know any clever sleight of hand, like dealing cards from the bottom of a deck. But be warned: knowing the mathematical secret isn’t the same as being able to perform the tricks well. To do that, you need to use your performance skills to create a sense of wonder.”



The Ten Travelers – A Rabbit Hole

Ten tired men walk into a hotel. Each man wants his own room.. but the host tells the men he only has nine rooms, each with a single bed, and two men must share one single room with one single bed. There is an immediate uproar, as no two men are willing to share the same bed. After a round of heated discussions, the host says he thinks he can make it work…

He walks the first and second men to room A-1 and asked that they remain there for a short while. He takes the third man to room B-2. He walks the fourth to room C-3, then takes the fifth to room D-4. The sixth man is escorted to room E-5 and the seventh to F-6. Now, the eighth goes to G-7 and the ninth to H-8.. The host hustles to room A-1 and proudly walks the last man to room I-9. To his satisfaction, he has placed ten men in nine rooms. How ??

This puzzle, in its original prose, was published in the Cortland Democrat, May 3, 1889.


Pocket Voodoo – Liam Montier – A Review
Gimmicks and Online Instructions
Rick Carruth

One of my favorite creators has re-released a new, expanded version of Pocket Voodoo. This is the Ad Copy:

Fourteen custom printed Voodoo cards – Special hidden features make performing magic and mentalism EASY! – Kit comes in protective carry case

Liam Montier’s ‘Pocket Voodoo’ is a perfect piece of pocket sized mind-meltory! 14 custom printed Voodoo cards with special hidden features that make magic and mentalism EASY!

Liam’s favorite routine:

You draw a stick man onto a business card to represent a victim, which is left in the hands of a spectator. An innocent passer by is shown a collection of voodoo cards, with voodoo dolls that have pins in various places. The stack of cards is placed aside.

The innocent party is now asked to name someone they wish to direct some ‘bad mojo’ towards. Let’s say they go with ‘Gordon’. They write the name on a piece of paper, and then select one of the cards at random. The ritual is now complete, and the chosen card is turned over – it shows (for example) a voodoo doll with a pin in the chest.

The paper is touched to a flame to complete the ritual, and the name vanishes in a brilliant flash of fire! You gingerly turn over the ‘victim’ – the business card placed aside at the beginning, and show that the stick man now has a serious burn, right in the centre of his chest!

And this is just ONE routine with the Voodoo cards… Liam teaches alternative handlings, a multiple prediction trick and even discusses further ideas for incorporating these beautiful props into other routines and tricks.

My Thoughts:

Pocket Voodoo is one of many smart productions by Liam Montier. It seems every month another effect or DVD arrives from Liam and/or Big Blind Media. Fortunately, it’s not overkill.. it’s magicians full of both ideas and understanding of and for other magicians.

Before you jump to conclusions and say.. “…Hey, didn’t they release Pocket Voodoo once before?” Yes.. they did. But as Liam explains, “Pictures are smaller, but sharper, and the nail art is larger. ( The originals were Polaroid size, and these are playing card size.) Plus, new features included on the cards enable a new routine and a triple prediction. The new feature also permits many new tricks.. The original version was a total sell out, and, rather than simply reprint the original, I decided to add in the cool new features..”

I must admit fairly I did not have the first version, so my thoughts are based solely on the new version.

The cards are complete with online video instructions, roughly 38 minutes, and I recommend taking the cards out of the heavy-duty plastic carrying case they come in, sitting yourself in front of your screen, and simply following along as Liam teaches. Simple enough.

I like the cards, as they are playing card size and easily manipulated. They are, to me, slightly heavier than traditional cards and made to last through many performances. The artwork is well-suited for the theme and I have no complaints with either the quality or design.

The effect is created to invoke a spooky feel, thus the name, and fits nicely with Halloween or similar celebrations. It’s mentalism.. not magic, so don’t think you’re going to perform this to its potential during a sidewalk presentation. This is best suited for a close, intimate performance, where your tone, mannerism and inflections all add to the
feel of Pocket Voodoo. Be an Entertainer… (See a video at the below link..)

Pocket Voodoo is rated at a beginner skill level. I agree. Although not super-simple, it’s definitely easy enough for beginners to master with a little practice. It’s one of those effects that excels in the hands of beginners and experts. Beginners appreciate the ease, and experts appreciate the potential.

I’m going to step outside my box and disclose the new design includes markings that make the performance easier for all. They are not at all obvious, and would not expose anything to anyone, including other performers, who are not privy to the instructions. Again, I can’t compare these to the originals.. but I’m sure those of you who own the originals will immediately see the advantages and new possibilities.

If you favor mentalism, magick, or simply something different from your conventional magic, Pocket Voodoo is a very affordable effect, from some very creative minds, that allows you to create a feel and a story.. and maybe touch a few raw nerves in the process.

I recommend it to my friends and readers…

$25.00 From Murphy’s Magic and their select Associates..



Conveying and Using Personality – Article
Kyle Peron

I posted recently on Facebook asking a simple question. What is one of the best qualities or traits you feel makes for a good magician and why? It was an interesting discussion that brought about a lot of great answers and opinions. However, one item kept coming up by many people. It is a single word called “personality”. It was so great seeing so many folks give value to personality over other things.

I really think personality is so underrated in magic today. People just simply forget the power it has in everything we do. A trick is just a trick. The people want to like you. If you take the same trick and place it in the hands of someone who has and conveys personality and then someone who does not, it looks like a totally different effect to a lay audience. It really is that stunning to see happen.

Tricks alone do not really mean anything by themselves. A trick will not happen or work without the magician. Place a deck of cards on a table and they are not going to start doing an ACR routine by themselves. If they do, then start to run real quick. It is YOU that makes the difference and it is YOU that makes the magic happen. If this is the case, then focus should be on you and not the prop or trick you are presenting.

But what is it about you? It is your personality that really makes the audience enjoy the experience and enjoy you in the process.

I honestly feel that people want to be entertained way more than they want to be fooled. People want to walk away having had fun with the experience of what they just saw happen. Take some of the best acts out there today. Take a look at the ones that you really love to watch perform. It is safe to say that you enjoy them because 95% of their act is not solely based on the magic alone. There is more to what they provide isn’t there? The good entertainers are that way because a majority of their act is interacting with the audience in a comical entertaining way, engaging, dialogue, connecting, talking. etc. It is the essence of their personality that makes you enjoy what they do.

It is interaction and expressing personality. It is taking the audience on a journey and getting them laughing and having fun instead of just seeking the WOW only.

I think that is key. If you could take away the trick in any performance, and safely say the routine is still entertaining, then I think you have something. Take away the props and the trick and then look at what that performer does. I can safely say the entertainers that “get it” are the ones who without any of these props, can still entertain and audience and have them enjoying every minute of it. This is the essence and importance of personality in magic.

There is a quote that was shared to be by my good friend Dan Birch. Dan said the quote goes like this. “If they walk away saying remember the trick that the magician did, then I have failed. But if they say remember the magician who did that trick, then I have succeeded.” I was so glad Dan shared this with me because it got me thinking that it is your personality that makes them remember you.

I think that is a key to developing a likeable character. Some magicians try to focus so much on the trick only that they are void of any personality at all. I want the audience remembering me not my deck of cards.

No one is saying not to have the tricks. What we are saying is that the focus of any performance should not be on the trick itself. The trick is just a prop. The focus should be on personality and using that personality to truly take the effect to an entertaining level. It is giving the audience more to enjoy. You add personality into what you do and I guarantee your audiences will thank you for it.

As always, I encourage you the readers to let me know your thoughts. So if you have any thoughts on my articles or suggestions or comments, please feel free to e-mail me directly at magic4u02@aol.com. I would love to hear from you.

As always, I encourage you the readers to let me know your thoughts. So if you have any thoughts on my articles or suggestions or comments, please feel free to e-mail me directly at: KyleKellyMagic@gmail.com. I would love to hear from you…!
Kyle Peron – Magician and Illusionist
(First published in http://www.magicnewzealand.com/ .. Republished with the authors permission..)


Chicago Opener/Red Hot Mama
Variation by Christopher Weber

Set up on Bottom of Blue-Backed Bicycle Deck, Bottom 3 cards: Six of Spades (6S), Queen of Spades (QS), A Red Backed Bicycle Queen of Spades (RQS) (Bottom Card)

Step 1. False Shuffle and False Cut keeping bottom three cards in place.

Step 2. Spread the cards and have a card selected (no force) from the spread deck. Spectator notes the card and can show it around. Square the deck and hold the deck in Right Hand Biddle Grip. Swing cut about half the cards (Top Portion) into the Left Hand. Have the selected card replaced onto top portion (cut section) and place the right-hand cards onto the selected card thus completing the cut and burying the selected card into the middle of the deck. The Red Backed Queen is now directly on top of the selection.

Step 3. Spread through the face-down deck showing that one card in the center of the deck has turned Red! Place all the cards above the Red card face down onto the table. The bottom two cards of the tabled face-down packet should be the 6S and the Regular QS. The remainder of the deck with the Red (QS) on top is squared into the Left Hand Dealing Position and placed on top of the tabled packet. Pick up the deck and place in Left Hand dealing position.

Step 4. Do a Double Turnover with the cards in the left hand showing that the Red Card appears to be the Selected Card. Double Turnover again placing the double face down onto the left hand packet and deal the top (Red) card onto the table.

Step 5. Hold the deck in Right Hand Biddle Grip and Bevel the cards to the Right preparing for a Bevel Force of the Bottom Card (QS). To force the bottom card, push the bottom card to the right with your left fingers aligning the card with the top card leaving the beveled cards exposed on the left-hand side of the deck. Riffle your left thumb down the left-hand side of the deck until the spectator says stop. At that point pull all the cards below the break formed by the left thumb to the left keeping the bottom (Force QS) card in line with the right-hand cards. The QS will slip right to the bottom of the right-hand packet.

Raise up your right hand showing the QS on the bottom, the spectator will believe this is the card they stopped you at when riffling down the side of the deck. Lower your right hand and with the aid of your left fingers slide the bottom card (QS) face down onto the table. Reassemble the deck by dropping the right-hand packet on top of the cards in your left hand.

Take the deck back into right hand Biddle Grip and Swing Cut half the cards into the Left hand. Have the tabled card picked up and shown around again and placed on the left-hand packet. Place the right-hand packet onto the left-hand packet keeping a break between packets and perform a Double Undercut bringing the QS to the top of the deck and the 6S remains on the bottom. Now show that the Face Down Red Backed Card that has been on the table has once again become the selected card!

Step 6. Turn the Red Backed Card face down once again. Have spectator hang onto or keep an eye on the red-backed card as you explain that you will do it one more time! This time Force the bottom card (6S) with a clever riffle force. Holding the deck in the Left Hand, Riffle down the left-hand side with your left thumb. When spectator says stop Swing Cut Top (Riffled) portion to the left and into the left hand. At the same time take the bottom portion into the right hand with aid from the right-hand 2nd 3rd and 4th fingers. Pivot the right-hand portion towards yourself with the back of the cards facing out and the face more towards you. Tap the left-hand side of the cards in the right hand against the bottom short end of the cards in the left hand. Then, quickly raise up the right-hand packet showing bottom card (6S) to spectators. Done very casually, this force of the bottom card works great! Now, replace right-hand portion on the left-hand portion once again keeping a break and performing another Double Undercut. The 6S will again be on the bottom and the QS remains on top.

Step 7. Ask Spectator to name their card. They will, of course, say the Six of Spades. Say, OK, now show everyone the Red Backed Card. They do and it is of course still the Queen of Spades. You say, yes, but look at the Queens Hand! Low and behold, the Queen has the card the 6S in her hand! A great kicker ending!

Reset. Slip the top card (QS) to the bottom of the deck and place the whole deck down onto the Red Backed QS. You are now reset! Enjoy!!

Christopher Weber – Magician, walking stick maker, retired music teacher and active musician (trumpet, didgeridoo, harmonica, handpan player) living with my wife Martha and my little dog Eddie in Owego, New York. Email: cweber54@gmail.com


A Trick by Any Other Name – Effect
Paul Hallas

A principle much used and shared amongst magicians in the eighties was Howard Adams’s “Ramasee Principle” which was popularized by Larry Becker when his presentation “Will the Cards Match” appeared in Harry Lorayne’s “Apocalypse” magazine. Larry had added a meaningful phrase to a ten card matching effect which involved spelling. That description may not sound exciting, but believe me, because of its self- working nature and spectator participation the trick travelled around the world almost as fast as Jim Steinmyer’s “Nine Card Problem”. Probably half the people doing it had no idea where it originated. .

A few people had some twists and tweaks but pretty much everyone did it as Larry described (though he later had several other presentations). There have been some marketed variants and some explored using more or less cards in the packet. I’ve even seen two different versions with ESP cards. Obviously I’ve used Larry’s first routine but also had some personalized versions. One idea was to use colorful matching currency notes from foreign countries. These were in envelopes. The envelopes were apparently mixed (a Charlier Shuffle) separated into two piles then pairs eliminated as the Phrase “Will the money match” was used. Rather than pairs of notes one could have cards with countries written on in one set of envelopes and end up matching the country to the currency, but I think matching the paper money is more instantly recognizable as a match.

Perhaps my most used version was to match up business cards. I had two sets of business cards (not authentic) of famous people from the past. My introductory line was that at one time I started collecting business cards of famous people from the past and I had some to show. I thumbed over the first four reading them out but didn’t show I had five duplicates at that point. I simply closed the packet and said it would be interesting to use these for an experiment. My set of cards were Albert Einstein, Howard Hughes, John D. Rockefeller, The Wright Bros and Henry Ford. All the cards were laminated so they would last longer. The phrase spelled at the right time was “Will the names match”.

An interesting presentational point, I always gave the impression each pair was being eliminated after each word is spelled. At the conclusion when I’m down to the final pair I try and make it seem that after all the possible switching that this last pair matching IS the effect. After a pause I then show the rest of the pairs matching as a second climax! I think many people rush to show that all the pairs match but the pause and acceptance of the remaining two matching before moving on strengthens the effect considerably.

Very recently I thought it might be amusing to do the routine with comical business cards. I’d already created some fun business cards for another effect of mine, “The Psychic Agent” which originally appeared in a now unobtainable e-book of the same name but was later included in my book “OOPS Magic and Mentalism” (2018). Everyone’s sense of humor is different and if you like this idea you could always create your own cards, but here are some of mine (from “The Psychic Agent”) to save you time. Pick the five you think are the funniest and make two sets and laminate them. I don’t think I need to go into the methodology, if you don’t know it, ask someone at your magic club about “Will the Cards Match”.

Paul Hallas was born in Huddersfield, England in 1956. He is a performer, creator and writer with over 17 books on magic and mentalism produced since 1979. He has released a number of packet effects, perhaps the most well known being “ESPecially Wild” and “Hare Raising Hats” along with several instructional DVD’s.
website: http://www.paulhallas.com
Paul’s latest book, Card Tricks for the Enthusiast, is now available at: Don’s Used Magic, and other sites… https://usedmagic.myshopify.com/


What Does Don’s Used Magic and H&R Magic Books Have in Common? – Resource

H&R Magic Books was founded by Richard Hatch and Charlie Randall in 1991. They were one of the first magic sites that aimed at helping magicians of all skill levels develop a working library for their enjoyment, reference, and enhancement of their magical skills.
In 2010, they sold the business to their former office manager, Marshall Petersen in Beaumont, Texas.

Now, nine years later, H&R has sold the remainder of their stock to Don Bursell… and Don IS “Don’s Used Magic”

He is a full-time variety performer, having worked with Ringling Brothers Circus, Disneyland, and performed a boat-load of gigs during the last 40 years.. Now, Don is the owner of one of the largest collections of used magic and magic books in the country.

Don is also my friend…

We just spent three days in Charlotte NC at the TRICS convention. Don and my Asheville NC buddy Greg Phillips were there as both attendees and a dealer.. and I was there to irritate the attendees as best I could. That said, I had the pleasure of sorting through hundreds and hundreds of old, new, and sometimes rare magic books from magicians of all level.

Don, just this past summer, bought ALL remaining stock from H&R Magic Books. So, you don’t need great insight to figure that gives Don instant credibility among those of us who love the written word. I still enjoy a good DVD.. but there’s nothing like having a good book beside the recliner when you get the urge to learn a new effect.

Don best describes his interest in magic and retail as:

“12 years ago I helped a retiring magician liquidate his illusion show, sending props all around the world to new owners. 9 years ago I helped a family of a deceased missionary-magician sell off his collection. It gave me great satisfaction knowing his props and books would continue being used throughout the world. Since beginning this endeavor, I have now helped many families distribute their magic collections upon their retirement or death.”

“This summer (2019) I purchased all remaining stock of the wonderful magic book “heaven” that was H&R Books, out of Texas (I once sat in the bookstore for over 6 hours, chatting with Richard Hatch, reading everything I could). I have just begun listing those books and DVDs on my website.”

So… If you’re a magic junkie like Don and me.. visit Don’s Used Magic and be prepared to spend a couple of hours preparing your ‘want list’… I Did…


Don Bursell / Cambridge, MN
donbursell (at) gmail (dot) com


A Helpful Hand – An Effect
Christopher Weber

This is a cute little card effect that’s sure to get a laugh or two. A selected card is revealed with the help of a little rubber hand.

First get an item called “Finger Hands” that are easy to find on line or in toy or novelty shops. They are a little rubber hand that’s a little more than 2.5 inches long with an opening at the wrist so you can put it on your finger. Online, they are usually sold as a set of five, but you only need one of them for this effect. They are very inexpensive, a set of five is usually under five dollars and if you can find them in a store sold individually they are usually about a dollar or less.

I usually introduce the little hand by making some comment about “my little assistant”. I have the Finger Hand on the ring finger of my left hand hidden for sight. I cup my hands together with my right hand on top of my left hand and then by curling in the left ring finger with the Finger Hand on it the little hand will appear out the opening of you cupped hands. It’s very easy to figure out and it’s very funny looking and perfect for some great laughs and patter.

Once the little hand is introduced and some jokes are made, you can remove the little hand and show it around. Comment that the little hand really is your assistant and can help you with a cool card trick!

Put the hand down for the moment and take out a deck of cards. Shuffle the cards and spread the face down deck for a card to be selected. Control the card to the top of the face down deck by any means you like. I generally just use a double undercut or sometimes use the Dan Fleshman “Turnaround Swivel Pass”. A great explanation of the “Turnaround Swivel Pass” can be found online at Reel Magic Magazine (must be a member) in Issue 44. In any case, bring the selection to the top of the face down deck.

Turn the deck face down and you will now apparently pull four random cards out of the deck. I use the John Bannon “Bullet Catcher Swing Cut” to accomplish this. Basically, with the deck face up in a right hand Biddle Grip, swing cut a little less than half the deck into your palm up left hand.

Turn your right hand palm up which turns the portion of the deck in your right hand face down and with your left thumb, peel the top card (the selection) of the face down portion onto the face up portion in your left hand extending the card forward about half its length.

Turn your right hand palm down again and again swing cut, this time a small packet of cards onto the left hand as you once again turn the right hand palm up and peel another face down card forward onto the packet in your left hand. Do this two more times and place the remaining cards face up onto the cards in your left hand. You should end up with a face up deck in your left hand with four face down cards extending out the front of the deck.

It sounds a little complicated but it’s really very easy to do. Now, strip out the four face down cards into your right hand keeping them face down and put the rest of the deck aside and place the four cards from your right hand into your left hand dealing position. The selected card is the bottom card of this four card packet.

Take the top two cards into your right hand so you have two cards in each hand and wiggle the two cards in each hand between your thumbs and fingers to show only four face down cards, two in each hand. Place the two cards that are in your right hand UNDER the two cards in your left hand and place the packet back into dealing position in your left hand. This places the selection second from the top of the face down four card packet.

You will now perform the “Olran Subtley” to apparently show all four cards are indifferent. Methods for the Olram Subtley can be found in many books and I’m sure online as well. Basically, with your right thumb, you will peel the top card of the packet into your right hand and rotate both hands inward, palm down showing the face of a card in each hand. Here what you are really doing is showing the face of the card you just peeled onto the right hand and showing the bottom card of the three cards that remain in the left hand. Rotate both hands back outwards turning them face down. With the left thumb push the top card (the selection) of the three card packet in the left hand down onto the table, and place the face down card from the right hand on top of it. You now have two cards in your left hand so once again with your right thumb peel the top card into your right hand and again rotate both hands inward and palm down to show the faces of both cards.

Quickly, turn them both face down again and place them on top of the two face down cards that are on the table. The reason you do this quickly is because of the fact that you are actually showing one of the cards twice! This discrepancy will go un-noticed if done quickly, casually, and smoothly. You now end up with the four card packet on the table with the selection as the bottom card.

Now the Little Hand comes back into play. You can patter about how your little assistant will now help you find the selected card. Take a moment and spread the deck that you put aside earlier face down on the table. Pick up the little hand and you will now place the four face down cards (the packet) gripped between the fingers of the little hand. Hold the little hand with its palm up, in your left hand. Pick up the four card packet in your right hand keeping them face down. Use the front edge of the four card packet to push down a little bit on the tip of the middle finger of the little hand. This is easy since the middle finger is extended just a little bit like with most hands!

Now push the cards forward wedging them between the index and ring finger of the little hand with the middle finger underneath. You shouldn’t have to push too hard, the cards should slide in easily but push hard enough to make then secure in there. Place the little hand that’s holding the cards onto YOUR index finger of either hand. I use my right hand since I’m right handed! So, you now have the little hand which is palm up holding the four face down cards stuck on YOUR index finger of either palm down hand. You now hold the little hand over the spread out deck and start jiggling it up and down very lightly. Due to the Miracle of Science, the top three cards of the face down packet will slide right out of the little hand and spill onto the spread out deck joining the other cards. You will be left with one card and one card only face down and held securely in the little hand! This is the selected card!

You can reveal the card by simply turning your right hand over of I like to raise my hand up revealing the card for all to see. There is a little extra humor in the reveal thanks to the strategic placement of the middle finger of the little hand when it’s either turned or raised face up. You’ll see what I mean and again, it’s good for a few jokes for sure!

I hope you like this little trick. I realize it’s a long explanation for a quick little trick but I have found that it’s fun and easy to do and has lots of patter and humor possibilities. Nothing really new or revolutionary here but I hope you try it and have some fun with it!


To Your Credit – Free Ebook
Harapan Ong

Harapan Ong is passionate about crediting. So passionate that he’s written a book about it. So passionate he’s decided to give it away free. Remember, you can’t credit too much.. but you can definitely credit too little.

In this 82-page ebook from Vanishing Inc., Harapan explains the rules for crediting. The why’s and wherefores and very practical methods to make sure you credit accurately when you publish.

He covers the problems with crediting, when and why one should credit, how to credit, crediting for moves, methods and effects, for presentation and context and more. No crediting stone is left unturned.

He explains how to research the history of something, how to ask for help and how to develop good habits.

If you’re at all interested in magic – and you probably are because you’re here – this is a must read.



The 3 Travelers – Effect and Tutorial

Tom Matriq teaches a fairly easy to do card trick based on an effect called ‘Penetration’ by Ed Marlo. Published in the 1940s, this update uses the Elevator motif and only requires one basic move.



Another Not-A-Knot Trick – Silk Magic Tutorial

Something a little unusual for the Roadshow. I don’t feature a lot of silk magic tutorials.. but I know a number of you guys do use silks in your performances. This tutorial by Tom Matriq features three easy to learn false knots you can do with any silk or bandana. In-depth and close-up video…



ZEN MAGIC – A Review
Zen Magic with Iain Moran – Magic With Cards and Coins..
Rick Carruth

Iain Moran’s ZEN MAGIC is a collection of absolute barns storming close-up effects – 10 routines (eight card tricks and two of Iain’s signature coin routines) – and each is a SOLID GOLD winner. Indeed, each one could have been a best-selling single trick release. Iain has truly honed and perfected each one into a tour-de-force of magical jujitsu.

Perfectly constructed for maximum impact and pure magical content, Iain also prioritizes a ‘belt & braces’ approach to handling. With the practiced hand of a man who performs professionally day in, day out, these tricks are built to WORK.

Counting on Them: Imagine performing a trick that fools everyone, and then explaining how to do it…and then leaving them even more fooled than before!

Magician’s Nephew: You and your spectator both choose cards, and lose them back in the deck, and then, astonishingly, find each other’s cards!

Thanks to Lance, John and Dave: A signed card vanishes and appears back in your pocket, time and time again, before the kicker that they never see coming!

Quantum Sandwich 2.0: A baffling double sandwich routine, with a signed card, then finishes with a visual and shocking kickback! Brains will fizz!

TUC3: Fast and furious is the vibe for this unrelenting coin routine, with productions, transpositions and vanishes that will leave them reeling!

Easy To Find: A super-clean sandwich style effect with a dash of mentalism to finish them off!

Fifty Some: A double whammy that you can build into any card box! First a chosen card appears inside, and then a prediction impossibly appears on the case – and it’s examinable!

Prime Importance: A visual shocker where a blank card visibly prints into a selection, first the back design, and then the face, and then finally the signature!! This is a keeper!

Silver Sequence: Another coin routine that will leave you spectators picking their jaws from the floor!

Picking Pockets: Easily the most astonishing version of the ‘Interchange’ plot ever conceived. Four jacks, isolated in four different pockets, slowly and cleanly change places with four signed aces, which are then removed from the pockets the jacks had been in! KILLER!

And, you’ll also learn these utterly indispensable sleights:

Convincing Control
Ackerman Varies Kelly
JK Hartman RS Bluff Control
Underspread Force
Gary Kurtz Slip-Cut Force

My Thoughts..

There are average videos teaching card and coin magic.. and there are very good videos teaching card and coin magic. Zen Magic is one of the best I’ve reviewed in 2019. I’ve reviewed so many videos full of self working card tricks it was quite a pleasure to watch something more challenging.

Iain is a very good teacher and thinker, and offers up a nice cross section of effects and sleights. Some will be more challenging than others, naturally, but there are NO complicated sleights. He uses a variety of picking, kicking, culling, top controls, bottom controls, double undercuts, spread forces.. and a fair amount of pocket work and post-predictions to keep the effects both enticing and within range of what I would call advanced beginners to intermediates. There are a few sleights that are specific to a certain effect.. but Iain includes a section at the end of the video to teach these specific moves. Again, nothing is outside the range I mentioned.

I wish I could say..” Oh, you’ll use this and you’ll use that..”, but I can’t. We are all different and have our own likes and dislikes. I catch myself reviewing videos and saying.. ” You’ll love this effect”, or “This one wasn’t my favorite..”.. and when I read reviews of the same videos by others.. they make me realize our vast differences. ( One thing I NEVER do is read a review of an item I’m reviewing before I write my review..)

I think the one thing we can all agree on is whether the video is full of strong, usable material.. and Zen Magic IS full of strong material. I couldn’t find a single ‘filler’ in the bunch. Sometimes I want to.. it gives me a chance to draw distinctions.. but not in this one.

I do know anyone with a serious interest in card magic will find effects that’ll go in their repertoire. Which ones.. I don’t know. I have my favorites.. for sure, but I would encourage you to buy Zen Magic and watch every minute of it and see what fits you..

In fair disclosure.. there are several effects that use either a stack of some sort, or gaffed cards. Not all effects, but enough I should bring it to your attention. This goes back to what I meant when I said we all have differing preferences. Some folks don’t like stacks. Others appreciate the advantage a stack offers. Same with gaffs. So, I’m just making you aware of something that’s NOT a problem for me.. and something that doesn’t taint my review.

Iain and BigBlindMedia has done a good job with their descriptions, and I can’t add much to many of the effects.. but.. I will try to be a little more specific as to sleights and gaffs.. without giving anything away..

Counting On Them.. Paul Cummings, John Carey and Karl Hein..
Basically, the spec selects a card and picks a number. After a lite bit of handling, a packet of cards matching the picked number is dropped from the center of the deck.. and the selected card is found at the picked number. A little complex but worth the effort. Oh, did I mention a Joker with the spectator’s number and selected card is tossed from the performers pocket to end the effect?

Magician’s Nephew.. Darwin Ortiz, Al Koran, and Sean Carpenter. Uses a memorized deck. The magician picks a card.. then the spec picks a card. The deck is cut. The magician takes the top card and places it in his pocket. The spec cuts the deck and places the top card in their pocket. After a little patter the magician’s pocketed card is revealed to be the specs and the specs card is revealed to be the magicians.

Thanks to Lance, John, and Dave.. Francis Carlyle, Lance Pierce, John Carey and David Williamson. A spec selects and signs a number card. The card is placed in a packet of four Kings. After a little byplay, the card is shown to have vanished from the packet.. and traveled to the magicians pocket. Now, a series of misadventures occurs as the signed card appears, vanishes again, is found by the spectator, supposedly, and finally the finale reveals the entire deck, except for on card.. has travelled to the magicians pocked.

Quantum Sandwich 2.0.. Karl Hein, Eric Anderson and Mike Gallo. A slightly complex sandwich effect with a couple of Kings and a chosen card. This will take a little practice, or should… I suspect you will either love this effect.. or avoid it. It’s good, it’s strong, and it’s a great effect for sandwich lovers…

TUC 3 .. Marcelo Insula, Troy Hooser, Gary Jones and Reed McClintock.
Coin production and vanish with Tango Ultimate Coins in Eisenhower dollar size. One of the ungaffed coins is gaffed (?) with a small magnet by Iain. Although not overly complicated.. it’s a confounding effect for a lay audience. I know all about the argument over gaffs/no gaffs, but I do like these Tango Coins.

Easy To Find.. Uses two Jokers. They catch a selected card in the middle of the deck, very fairly. One of several effects that uses a end-of-trick prediction to show you knew in advance the identity of the chosen card.

Fifty Some.. Jason Dean, JK Hartman.. Basically, a card to card box.. but very tricky. Uses a homemade gaff card but not necessary to perform the trick. One of my favorites. Could be commercial.

Prime Importance.. Aldo Colombini, Roy Walton.. A printing press type effect with seemingly blank cards turning into a chosen card. Needs a couple of blank cards and one blank backed card. Short and sweet. Ideal for walk around as its very visual and happens mostly in the hand.

Silver Sequence.. Homer Liwag, Gary Jones, R Paul Wilson, Gary Kurtz, Jonathan Townsend and Chris Kenner. Nice coin effect with American Silver dollars. Lots of flights and vanishes. Three regular coins and a shell are used.

Picking Pockets.. David Solomon, Jerry Sadowitz, Gary Kurtz and Ed Marlo… Eight card packet trick, using twelve cards, with a couple of gaffed cards you can create yourself.. (roughing fluid) and a double facer. Very confounding trick for those who love to look like a real shark. Your audience has no choice but to assume you are a true master of the pasteboards. Probably the most complicated of all the effects, but a guaranteed magician fooler.

Picking Pockets – No Gaffs. Similar to above except gaff-less. Elmsley Count and a Buckle Count or two eliminate the gaffs.

These sleights are taught in detail and add considerable value to the video.. me thinks.

– Marlo’s Convincing Control.. Ideal method of apparently placing a card in the middle of the deck, but secretly bringing it to the bottom. From there, take it wherever you want..

– Ackerman Varies Kelly.. Dribble the cards, allowing the spec to say ‘stop’. Show the card. Perform the equivalent of a second deal.. except from the middle of the deck.. carrying the viewed card to the bottom and visibly leaving the second card protruding from the middle.. to be slowly pushed into the middle… representing the selection.

– JK Hartman Bluff Control.. Another convincing method of substituting a selection with a second card. One of my personal favorites.

– Underspread Force.. Secretly take any card touched by the spectator to the bottom of the deck.. to be controlled to wherever you need it.

– Gary Kurtz Slip Cut Force.. The slip cut can be a very sloppy way of getting a card from point A to point B.. unless you know and use the proper handling. Gary Kurtz handling is the real thing and provides proper cover for the selected card.. and NO snap..

Zen Magic is produced by BigBlindMedia and fits nicely among all their work as far as quality and sound. I appreciate that I always know what I’m getting with their productions. Not sure about the time of the DVD. I couldn’t find the time listed anywhere and the DVD itself is divided into individual segments. It’s at least as long as typical DVDs of this type. I do feel the total time should be printed somewhere. I do know some of the dealers offer Zen Magic as either a DVD -or- a download. It’s the same price either way.. so pick your poison.

Zen Magic is a considerable collection of card tricks, with a couple of coin effects to pace the action. These are NOT self-working effects, and are created for magicians who enjoy fooling an audience -and- entertaining a table of magicians. Closing kickers on a number of effects add a level of sophistication magicians welcome.

$25.00.. From Murphy’s Magic and dealers who carry their line of products..

Review by Rick Carruth for the Magic Roadshow.


Ultimate Self Working Card Tricks: Cameron Francis Edition
Video Download – Bigblindmedia
Rick Carruth

I try to keep up with all the offerings from BBM, and this is the latest.. well, maybe not THE latest.. but my latest. I have a special place for self working effects, so I really looked forward to reviewing Cameron’s DVD.. Here’s the Ad Copy:

The bestselling Ultimate Self Working Card Trick series is the gold standard for sleight-free card tricks… magic that slays audiences and yet requires NO moves to accomplish. The emphasis here is on providing you with KILLER tricks that you just need to concentrate on presenting!

And in this latest installment of the smash hit series renowned pasteboard practitioner Cameron Francis is unleashing his own all-time top 10 (except there is 11!) self-working card tricks. These stellar routines are plucked from Cameron’s own extensive repertoire and are pure, unadulterated awesome. Every one of the eleven routines are a beautifully constructed slab of cleverness where Cameron has substituted difficult sleight of hand with ingenious (and sneaky) methods. You’ll even fool magicians with lots of this stuff!

Ultimate Self Working Card Tricks: Cameron Francis Edition. Literally NO sleight of hand needed. Get ready to rock!!

Seven of Hearts Trick – A supremely fooling “magician in trouble” effect!

Automatic Poker Triumph – A quirky poker demonstration that’ll knock your spectator’s brains out of their noggins!

Three Impossible Things – Mind reading, clairvoyance and a prediction all packed into one sizzling hot card effect.

Divided – A completely impromptu, impossibly fair revelation of two selections and a full deck color separation that will leave them gasping for air.

Blackjack Buffet – Poker Player’s Picnic from “Royal Road” on steroids!

Counter Intuitive – A magician fooler of an effect where the spectator finds their own card under the most impossible of conditions.

Exhausted – The Tantalizer retooled and re-engineered for maximum efficiency and impact.

Exhausted Aces – Another “Tantalizer” effect with a, (you guessed it), four Ace ending.

Exhausted Mates – More “Tantalizing” madness, this one twisted into an amazing coincidence effect with a killer kicker ending.

Fired Up Triumph – A Triumph effect that looks ridiculously fair… and is also ridiculously easy to do.

Keep, Hide, and Giveaway – A knockout triple prediction card effect based on a fantastic Jay Sankey plot.

My Thoughts:

First.. I’m going to do something I’ve never done in a past review.. I’m going to directly reference Murphy’s Magic. This is how it works: There is a very small group of reviewers, of which I’m proud to be a member, who review effects and DVD’s for Murphy’s. We are sent a list of new effects monthly, and we pick what we would like to review. Now, for you conspiracy theorists out there, a couple of us frequently compare notes beforehand to make sure we aren’t all requesting the same items. We don’t want to flood the magic universe with comparable reviews. Despite our due diligence, you’ll frequently still see a review of the same item by different reviewers over a period of time. This is actually a good thing. I really don’t care what the other reviewers have to say about a product, as THIS is my opinion, and mine alone. Would you rather buy an effect with reviews all over the place, or an effect with everyone agreeing it’s a winner?

Fortunately for you.. we all agree this one’s a winner. When you can get all of us to agree on something, it’s usually something exceptional.

My introduction to card magic was ‘Scarne on Card Tricks’. He took standard effects and simplified them so the average magician could perform them without a lifetime of practice. That style has a place in my repertoire because I am a lifelong fan of the KISS principle in marketing.. and life in general. ‘Keep It Simple, Stupid…’ may sound a tad harsh, but it’s true… Don’t make something that’s inherently simple so difficult or complicated the average guy loses interest after endless practice.. and failures.

The ad copy is both truthful.. and a good description of the effects. I really can’t add much to what you’ve read in previous reviews and I wouldn’t consider taking anything away.

Cameron Francis’ ‘Ultimate Self Working Card Tricks’ is a download for magicians. This is not intended for non-magicians who have no knowledge of card magic or for kids. This is for magicians who want to display a level of skill without years of practice. A number of effects are based on classic card tricks that have been modified to make them easy to perform.. Automatic Poker Triumph and Fired Up Triumph are two good examples. Also the Seven Of Hearts Trick, which is a variation of a Paul Gordon trick, Eight Of Diamonds. (published with Paul’s blessing)

Some of the effects are straight up any deck effects… and others require a setup of some sort. Three Impossible Things requires a more complex setup, but that’s the exception. None of the effects require sleights. Go back and read that again… Actually, some of the sleight do require a false shuffle, (taught), and/or maintaining the top stock if there is a setup involved. I feel like I’m repeating myself, but nothing beyond simple skills are required.. I promise.

Personally, I’ll take at least four effects from this download with me, which at my age and with my mind power, is quite the feat. I’m a fan of Royal Road to Card Magic, and I was glad to see homage paid to one of my favorite effects.. Tantalizer. Cameron included Exhausted, Exhausted Aces, and Exhausted Mates, all a simplified version of Tantalizer and something you’ll want to make a part of your repertoire. I personally prefer Exhausted Aces, which has a nice kicker-of-an-ending, and Exhausted Mates, which I’d definitely use with a block of blank cards to add a little something something. Also, since I don’t have a strong Triumph, (aside from one with a complicated setup) I’ll keep Fired Up Triumph close.

Speaking of Triumphs.. Automatic Poker Triumph is another keeper, as it’s a mathematical effect based loosely on a Persi Diaconis effect, and if you know Persi.. you know it has to be good. This one will fool magicians.. and it only uses a packet of ten cards. Yes, five cards are pre-set.. but so what.. Buttercup…!

Divided is a truly impromptu effect, but I thought it was going to be a spelling effect and I am not the foremost fan of spelling effects. Don’t ask me why… ( ..Truth be known, I did a spelling effect for my magic buddies one night and they made fun of me.. and I developed a complex. Actually, I like Divided a lot.. but don’t tell my buddies.) If you like a spelling effect that morphs into a Triumph they never saw coming, this is a great effect for your show and an equally inspiring way to entertain two spectators. Not only that, but the Triumph is set up DURING the trick. thus the impromptu tag.

Blackjack Buffet is not necessarily a magician fooler, but it’ll definitely fool the dickens out of a lay audience. This little ditty will make a neophyte believe you’re a real card shark.. PS.. a well known online site says: “Card sharp is preferred in British English, while card shark is more common in American, Canadian, and Australian English.” Take your pick…

Counter Intuitive, based on a Paul Cumming’s effect, features a double prediction, of sorts, that is a true self working effect that doesn’t work how you would, as a magician, think it works. This one may well fool the smartest magician in the bunch and will definitely fool your audience.

Fired Up is based on a Simon Black effect and a couple of other effects that preceded Simon’s. This is also a Triumph, and is a real visual fooler because it looks like something it isn’t. If you practice this a little and learn the moves and how to perform the moves in a steady, rhythmic way.. you’ll have something you’ll perform regularly, particularly for other magicians. This is good stuff…

The last effect on the DVD is Keep, Hide, Giveaway, which is based on Jay Sankey’s Hide, Keep, and Giveaway. This effect is the only effect on the DVD that requires a minor ‘sleight’, of sorts. Again, nothing complicated.. but a little something is required to make everything work out at the end. This is a prediction effect and requires a minor setup and a pre-written prediction.

The download is filmed in the BigBlindMedia ‘studio’ and features the usual suspects.. two other well known magicians and a bevy of innocent, likable folks who appeared to wander in off the streets. Sound and video quality are always a pleasant aspect of any BBM production, and run time is almost one hour and forty minutes.

There are a number of self working DVD’s out there of late, and it’s difficult to produce one that stands out from the rest. I honestly feel Cameron’s effort is one of the very best… certainly one of my favorites, and I suspect would be one of your favorites. I am going to definitely recommend Ultimate Self Working Card Tricks to my friends and readers.

$25.00 From dealers who carry the Murphy’s Magic line of products..


MAGICA V – Larry Barnowsky – A Review
by Rick Carruth

Larry Barnowsky, author of Magica V, has also published Kingdom of the Red, The Book of Destiny, Counting On Deception, Magica Analytica I and II, and Magica III and IV. He leads into Magica V with the following:

“Magica V is my ninth book on magic and the fifth in the Magica series. It explains a variety of magic effects that can be performed using small objects that you can hold or conceal in your hand. There are magical effects with crochet balls, sponge balls, crystal balls, checkers, dice, cards, coins, matches, and original as well as classic apparatus.

Many of the effects require little skill, and some are based on obscure mathematical principles such as Proizvolov’s Identity and the Chinese Remainder Theorem, and more familiar ones to magicians such as the Gilbreath Principle, Hummer’s CATO Principle, Faro Shuffle, and Finnell’s Free Cut Principle.

Twelve of the thirty effects are easy to do and marked by a single diamond.. Only three of the effects in this book have three diamonds and considered challenging.

You will astound your audiences with any of the effects taught in this book. Of course I have my favorites. Those include Deuces Wild, Kingston Gang, Out of Place, Angry Birds of a Feather, Suitable Deal, Quantum Computing Deck, Three Coin Recital, Match or Mismatch, Sherlock’s Paradox, Jack and the Magic Seeds, and Overwhelming Force.”

My Thoughts:

What you read from Larry’s intro cannot be considered ad copy, as is usually the case with my reviews. I then go on to agree or disagree with their description. I cannot disagree with Larry, except in one round-about way.. but more on that in a couple of minutes.

Magica V is quite a work. It totals about 150 pages in its bound state, and represents years of work and thought at a high level. Magica V is not for beginners. Neither it is limited to advanced magicians. It IS for intermediate guys who are looking to add some challenging effects to their routines. Larry has rated each effect with one, two, or three diamonds to reflect their difficulty level. Most are correct. Actually, ALL are correct by Larry’s standard.. but a couple I found a little harder to do than Larry.. which is obviously more a reflection on me.

If you aren’t familiar with Larry.. he is both a Doctor -and- a legit mathematician, with a Master’s degree in Mathematics. Like my hero, Martin Gardner, he has a knack for explaining a mathematical effect in a way we can all understand. In the intro he refers to a number of effects having a basis in math, but this is not stressed in the teaching. In almost every effect, the handling is more important than the math. The math enables the effect to eventually work, but is not an essential part of the performance. So.. you will NOT be left counting fingers during your performance. Don’t get hung up with the thought you’re buying a book full of math effects. It’s not. This is book full of effects for magicians who take their art seriously.

I can also tell Larry is an extremely thorough guy. He goes to great length to explain his writing and how his thought process works.. and what you need to know to make understanding his work quite palpable. He leaves nothing to chance.. which I found a blessing. Clarity is vital in the written word, but he has included so many photo’s that if there is something I didn’t grasp at first, I learned while viewing the images. I’ve mentioned before I’m a very visual guy.. so this was very important to me. Larry has included much patter throughout the book to demonstrate how he presents his well-crafted effects.

I have copied Magica V’s basic description of each effect, all of which I found to be extremely accurate, and then added a couple of my thoughts to give someone not actually holding the book in-hand a little idea of what to expect. I think this will give you a deep understanding of what to expect -when- you purchase Magica V.
(Your only regret will be if you don’t purchase it..)

1. Deuces Wild – From a shuffled deck, the spectator is asked to name any four of a kind. The magician then names the deuces as his favorite. The four deuces are removed from the deck and four piles are dealt to the table. The spectator places the deuces in each of the piles, they are thoroughly cut and shuffled, and a four-hand poker game is dealt with the spectator’s chosen four of a kind going to the spectator, and with the magician receiving the four deuces. One of my personal favorites. 22 color photos included to help you along..

2. Three Coin Recital – Three coins appear from invisible hooks. Then all three coins disappear. One by one they reappear, disappear, and finally reappear. Since I’m not a very skilled coin guy, I’ll have to practice this one. I do know that those of you who enjoy coin work will definitely appreciate both the effect and the routine. 17 more color pictures detail the handling.

3. Stunner – The deck is shuffled by the magician, the spectator names any card in the deck. The deck is cut into 4 piles. Each pile is displayed faceup and shown to not contain the spectator’s card. The deck is reassembled. The spectator’s card is pulled out of the magician’s pocket. The deck is spread, and the three matching mates are found to be faceup in the face-down deck. Uses a stacked deck, your stack or Larry’s. This is a real fooler, and will play well for both a lay audience and fellow magicians. You are also taught how to perform Stunner with a deck in new deck order. Another nice selection of color photos too.

4. The Kingston Gang – Four kings and the Ace of Hearts are displayed and counted in front of the spectator. These five cards are dropped into a hat or card case. The Ace of Hearts is removed from the hat or card case and placed in the pocket. Four face-down cards are taken from the deck. Each time they are counted, a king appears faceup until all four kings have appeared. The
spectator reaches into the hat and finds the kings are gone, and in their place the
4 aces including the AH. You will need four gaffed cards, but Larry shows you how to easily create the gaffs yourself. Intelligent step by step instructions and photos make this another of my favorites.

5. Baffling Prediction – A prediction card having a different colored back is placed on the table under the spectator’s hand. The spectator can freely choose any card in the deck except the magician’s favorite card (which will be revealed later). The magician places his favorite card face down on the top of the face-up deck. He turns the deck facedown, and has a card freely selected and returned. The favorite card is revealed to be the AH. The card under the spectator’s hand is found to match the selected card. Can you perform a Kelly Bottom Replacement? You can after Larry teaches and demonstrates this extremely useful move. All you need is a duplicate card from another deck and you’re good to go.

6. Sedona Aces – The four aces are lost in the deck which is shuffled. The deck is tabled, but one by one the aces appear within the bare hands in a most startling manner. This is one of the more challenging effects.. but I know some of you love a challenge. Based on the Phoenix Aces plot, Larry includes 27 photos to guide you to fruition. Learn Ken Brooks Single Card Production and Fulve’s Multiple Shift.. and if you already know them.. you’re once again good to go, in the best sense.

7. Out of Place – The magician openly removes half the cards from a shuffled deck, making face-down piles according to the spectator’s choices. These piles are thoroughly mixed. The half-deck is thoroughly mixed using several different types of shuffles. Two cards are selected freely and returned to the deck. Next, small packets of cards are repeatedly turned over faceup or facedown according to the spectator’s directions with the spectator cutting the cards anytime. The cards are dealt into four equal piles, and each pile is folded over the next. When the cards are spread, all the face-up cards are red except for the chosen black card. When the spread is flipped over, all the face-up cards are black except for one selected red card. This is a very rewarding effect that doesn’t require complex sleights. There is a 26 card Faro Shuffle, but Larry offers you a good alternative if you aren’t comfortable with Faros. Remember the handling and you’ll be performing this in short order. More good pics to guide you.

8. Suitable Deal – From a shuffled deck, the magician removes about two dozen cards one at a time making a large packet. That packet is given a true riffle shuffle by the spectator. The remaining cards are shuffled by the magician. The spectator’s shuffled packet is added on top of the magician’s. A total of seven packets of four cards each are dealt from the top of the deck by either the spectator or the magician. When the packets are turned over, each of the six packets contains exactly one of each suit. When the magician’s packet is turned over, he has one of each suit, but they are the four aces. One of the easier effects,
but confounding all the same. Believe it or not.. All you need is a false shuffle.

9. Match or Mismatch – A deck is shuffled by the magician followed by a fair Riffle Shuffle by the spectator. Pairs of cards with one faceup and one facedown are presented to the spectator to sort using his intuition. This is done for the entire deck with the spectator making 26 free choices. The face-down cards nearest the spectator are turned over and found to be 100% mismatched. The cards nearest the magician are cut and shuffled together one more time. These are spread, and all the face-up cards on one side are red, and all the face-up cards on the other side are black. Out of This World concept, except with a distinct twist. The spectator never see’s the ending coming.. until it’s too late. Another of my personal favorites.. and lots of pics for those of us who are visual.

10. No Faro Aces – The four aces are removed from the deck. The deck is cut into four piles and the spectator inserts an ace into each packet. The piles are reassembled and the deck Riffle Shuffled. The magician locates the aces producing them one at a time in a novel manner. Very nice card sharp demonstration for those of us who are fans of the Four Ace production.. like I am. I promise you this one WILL fool magicians.. and a lay audience doesn’t stand a chance. It’s a little more complicated than some of the other effects, but well worth your effort.

11. Peripatetic Kings – The King of Clubs is randomly inserted faceup into the face-up deck and the card next to it becomes the spectator’s chosen card. When the deck is turned over, the king is faceup in the face-down deck. The face-up king is removed and is inserted outjogged near the top of the face-down deck. The deck is covered for a second, and the face-up king is still outjogged, but now located near the bottom of the deck. This is repeated again. The face-up king is pushed flush into the face-down deck. The deck is covered, and the king is now
the bottom card of the deck. It’s covered again and now faceup on top. The deck
is cut with the face-up king on top, and then spread facedown. Next to the faceup
king is a single face-up card, which turns out to be the original chosen card. Yes, this uses a single gaffed card, but it is well worth it. I am one of the first to admit gaffed cards offer a range of flexibility not achievable for most of us without the gaff. The King moving up and down through the deck is a startling illusion. Larry teaches a very handy Single Card Bottom Pass, which can be used in other applications for the real cardists among you.

12. Angry Birds of a Feather – From a shuffled deck, cards are removed seemingly randomly making two piles of about a dozen cards each. The packets are shown faceup to be well mixed. The spectator Riffle Shuffles the packets together. Pairs of cards are dealt with one faceup and one facedown. These pairs are grouped into a pile that has red cards faceup and a second pile that has black cards faceup. The piles are Riffle Shuffled together with face-up red cards mixing with face-up black cards. When the cards are spread, all the face-up cards on one side are red, and all the face-up cards on the other side are black. Another Out Of This World concept.. except, in my opinion, slightly easier than Match or Mismatch. All you really need to learn, if you don’t already, is a Half Pass.. which is optional. Again, one of my favorite of all the card effects.

13. Jack and the Magic Seeds – A bottle and glass switch places under two tubes. Multiple sponges magically appear in the glasses. The sponges are placed into a can and transform into a colorful bouquet of a dozen flowers.
Enticing effect with a Passe-Passe Bottle, a Botaniette, and sponge balls. If you don’t have the props, Larry offers alternatives. This is classic magic with a script of a young boy named Jack and multiple loads.. It’s not complicated, but looks that way to the audience..

14. Tell Me What to Do – A deck is shuffled and two cards are selected. Packets are shuffled, and groups of cards turned faceup and facedown per spectator’s choice. After all that mixing, all face-up cards are found to be made up of only two suits except for the two selected cards. This is a very nice effect utilizing Hummer’s CATO principle. It’s mathematical, and explained very well in the effect. If you can perform a Hindu Shuffle and a Faro Shuffle, or the alternative handling, you can perform this slick effect.

15. As Easy as Ace Two Three – The AC, 2C, and 3C are removed from the deck. The AC is lost in the deck. The 2C visibly changes to the AC. Then the 3C visibly changes to the 2C. The deck is spread showing all cards facedown. It is re-spread, and now the 3C appears and has turned faceup. This is perhaps the most ‘sleight intensive’ of all the effects.. but definitely one of the more impressive. Personally, I’m still working on it.. and I’m not quitting until I master it. Again, as with all the effects.. there are plenty of photos to guide you along.

16. Frame of the Future – Uses a Penetration Frame and a pencil and a memorized deck of cards to achieve a seemingly impossible switch and penetration. You only need a double turnover and a Hindu Shuffle to complete this effect. This is great for those of us who perform walk around.

17. Overwhelming Force – Multiple cards are selected. The magician reveals the identity of each chosen card in a unique and startling way. This is your chance to be truly creative. A number of possible reveals are suggested and you are limited only by your imagination. Technically, nothing more than a five card Riffle Force is needed. One of my personal favorites…

18. The Telekinetic Gazing Crystal – This is a multiple phase vanish/puzzle coin effect that uses several different coins and small acrylic balls to keep the audience amazed. You’re going to stretch your performing skills to keep up with all the rapid fire vanishes and appearances. Perfect for those of you with a rapid performance style.

19. Pseudo Middle Deal Demo – The magician places four aces in the center of the deck, and then deals 5 poker hands claiming he can deal from the middle of the deck. After the cards are turned over he has all four aces. This is NOT self-working! Larry considers this the most challenging effect in Magica V.. according to his difficulty guide. It plays like it reads, and will give those of you who love a challenge a chance to learn something that will impress even the most crusty amongst us..

20. Sherlock’s Paradox – A wooden and brass rectangular tube is shown to be empty. Two large dice and a red or gold ball are displayed, and may be examined. Each die is dropped into the top of the tube followed lastly by the ball. When the tube is lifted, the ball is seen to be under the two dice. This is repeated with the same result. A third time the ball is found to lie between the two dice. A fourth time the ball is placed under the dice, the tube is inverted yet the ball remains at the bottom. Two dice are placed in the tube and the red ball is placed in the pocket. The tube is lifted and again the red ball is between the two dice. From the empty tube a 48-inch long silk streamer is produced. I like the way this reads, despite not having everything I needed to try it out. Larry provides a list of everything you need and excellent instructions to accomplish this fooler. I look forward to Christmas.. as Santa ‘might’ bring me the tube I need. I saw Paul Gertner perform something similar on FOOL US, and was quite impressed.

21. Flashy Aces – The four aces are placed in different parts of the deck facedown. The deck is turned around and the aces magically come to the top. This is repeated with the aces faceup. This time they all appear faceup on the top in a flash. Another Four Ace production type effect that requires a degree of skill, but a little less than Pseudo Middle Deal. You’ll like the way this routines out, and will quickly show it to friends and magicians alike. In fact, magicians might appreciate it more so than a lay audience because they understand the skill involved.

22. Diematchtrick – A 1-inch die and a small open-ended box are displayed and examined. The die is placed in it, and a wooden match is inserted through pre-existing holes in the box thus penetrating the die. The match is lit and quickly withdrawn. When the die is removed, it is found to be intact with no hole. Another effect that looks and reads quite well. As earlier, I didn’t have all the props to perform it myself.. and didn’t want to delay this review until I could get what I needed. I will definitely perform this.. as again, I think it would make a great little effect for walk around.

23. Mental Pickpocketing – With his back turned, the magician is able to surmise how many random coins were placed in the spectator’s pocket, and how many dollar bills in his shirt pocket. This effect is slightly more complicated than it reads. The details you can tell the spectators are more concise and I honestly don’t think it’s quite simple enough to be rated as a beginner type effect. Remember, Larry holds a Master’s degree in mathematics.. and it shows. That said, the work involved is in direct correlation to the confoundment you’ll inflict on your audience. I’ll be using this…

24. Differential Persuasion – Spectator chooses one of 10 cards from ace through ten. The ten cards are shuffled, and by summing differences in value between adjacent ones, cards are dealt off the deck. This is repeated with 8 cards and then 6 cards. The cards that correspond to the numbers turn out to be the 3 mates of the chosen card. I immediately recognized the mathematics behind this effect as Proizvolov’s Identity by the wildly popular Vyacheslav Proizvolov.. OK.. maybe I didn’t.. but I DID enjoy the mathematics, whether I completely understood it or not. That’s the great thing about mathematically working effects… you don’t have to understand it to appreciate it.

25. Pocket Rearrange -A pile of pennies or identical coins is placed in the spectator’s pocket. He then randomly arranges tiles numbered 1-8 in two rows, and then based on differences in adjacent rows removes pennies from his pocket. A purse is opened which contains the correct prediction of the number of pennies left in his pocket. Actually, this effect uses the same principle used in the previous effect, but, in my opinion, in a manner I better understand. I’m sorry if I’m a little slow, but I know what I like.! No skill is required, as this is entirely performed by the spectator.. and no complex math either, so your spectator is not intimidated.

26. Checkers and Balances – A cylinder is placed on the table along with 21 stackable checkers or poker chips. The magician makes stacks of checkers so the smallest has one and the largest six. These are arranged into two rows randomly by the spectator. The spectator than removes all checkers that are higher than the neighboring stack in the opposite row until all neighboring stacks are the same height. He then makes a new stack out of the removed ones. The cylinder is lifted revealing an identical stack, and the checkers or chips in each stack match in height and number. This is yet another effect based on Proizvolov’s Identity. I told you he was a popular guy.. Again, the spectator performs much of the handling, so there is little for the performer to do.. aside from taking all the credit for a minor mathematical miracle. All three of the previous effects would make a good routine if you wanted to impress someone with your mental prowess..

27. Blindfolded Card Location – After the magician puts on a blindfold, he has the spectator freely pick a card with no forcing. The card is placed back into the deck which is squared. The magician turns his back and asks the spectator to shuffle the cards, and then hand them back to him. The magician then successfully reveals the chosen card. This may be the simplest effect Magica V.. at least to me. I am a big fan of the material needed to make this effect work, and I always have some on-hand.. so I suspect many of you will too. Can’t reveal it.. as it’s too critical to the working.. and it might make someone actually skip this effect, which would be a big no-no.

28. The Trick Deck – The magician displays a secret trick deck where all the cards are the Five of Spades. He takes five of these cards and begins to explain a trick. However, one of the fives turns into the Joker. He discards the Joker leaving four cards. When he counts them again another joker appears. This is repeated until all
five cards turn into jokers. This effect uses a number of gaffed cards and several more advanced sleights.. but not to extremes. Think about it.. if you can perform an effect just as this one is written, it would, or should, be worth a little extra effort. Larry also explains how this effect can be performed as a packet effect, which actually suits someone without nimble fingers (like me) better…

29. The Parlor Dice Routine – A 3-inch black die is displayed and dropped onto a tray where it instantly and visibly changes to four 1-inch white dice and a single blue die. The dice are laid out on the table in a row with the blue die on one end. As the hands sweep over the dice, the blue die migrates from one end to the other, moving one position at a time. Then it migrates back to where it came from in a similar fashion. Then the blue die vanishes changing into a white die. The five white dice are dropped into a small cabinet. When the cabinet is opened, the white dice have disappeared and have been replaced by five blue dice. This effect plays just as it’s written. Larry doesn’t represent effects to be something they aren’t. I know this sounds far-fetched, but it’s all achieved with classic palms and The Owen/Thayer One-Hand Production Cabinet. Yes, I’m giving away the secret, but not the handling, which is key to the effect. This is my favorite of all the non-card effects.

30. The Quantum Computing Deck – The spectator names any suit such as clubs. A card is selected but not looked at, and placed face down on the table. The deck is riffle shuffled several times. The deck is then riffled at its edge and the spectator freely calls stop anytime. A pair of cards is removed from the center, and one placed faceup and one facedown like a blackjack pair. This is repeated four more times creating a total of five pairs. The face-down cards are turned over and each pair is opposite in color, and opposite with respect to odd or evenness. The total of each pair’s numerical values is 13. 13 indicates a king. The chosen card is turned over and found to be the King of Clubs matching the number and the chosen suit.
This demonstration effect uses a special deck.. but not one you’ll need to buy, to make the magic happen. Aside from a couple of familiar sleights, your deck enables you to do most of the work single-handed, and employing the spectator makes the entire effect seem very improbable. If your spectator is familiar with quantum entanglement and the quantum mechanics spin value that governs particles.. they might see right through this effect.. But otherwise… No Worries!

Larry Barnowsky, still a spry young guy in his 60’s, has been doing magic since age 11 when he discovered his grandfather’s old trunk filled with escape apparatus hidden in the attic. That led to an involvement in all facets of magic.. from developing and performing sleight of hand routines to designing and constructing magic effects and illusions.

He is the author of 21st Century Coin Mechanics, Kingdom of the Red, The Book of Destiny, Counting On Deception, Magica Analytica I and II, and Magica III and IV. In addition, he collects vintage magic apparatus.

He currently spends his work day as a physician specializing in MRI and interventional radiology. In addition to his MD, he holds a Master of Science in mathematics. His other interests include travel, history, photography, woodworking, and composing music for the piano.

Larry divides his time between his homes in Cooperstown, NY and New York City with his wife Esther and Bichon Frise Keppie.

Magica V is published on 80 weight gloss enamel paper, contains 148 pages, and
30 chapters with 340 color photos… Price… $35.00



Vanish Magic Magazine – December 2019

From Paul Romhany.. (the editor of our favorite FREE magic magazine in the world.. If you are interested in magic, there is NO excuse for not receiving this wonderful publication several times a year. Be sure to sign up to receive their notification of publication.)

Our featured artist is Amberlynn. You may have seen her on America’s Got Talent and other TV shows. We get the exclusive inside story on Amberlynn and find out her many other talents such as photography and design.
Learn some great magic tricks from close-up to standup. Contributions from professionals around the world.

Nick Lewin gets an exclusive look inside Marvyn’s Magic Theatre, a new theatre hosted by Jeff Hobson.

Stories on the Road by Trade-Show magician Harrison Carroll.

Hal Meyers checks out a new book by Sara J Crasson that every magician will want to read about intellectual property in magic.

Felicity Fields touches on a subject that is rarely discussed in magic – Touching.

The latest reviews of magic tricks, books and DVDS.

Product Highlights – we feature routines that offer something special and you might not see in regular magic magazines or online reviews.



Special Quotes for Roadshow Readers – Robert Schuller

In his five decades of television, Dr Robert Schuller was principally known for the weekly Hour of Power television program, which he began hosting in 1970 until his retirement in 2010. He was also the founder of the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California, where the Hour of Power program was later broadcast. Robert Schuller was the author of many books and never tried to go over the heads of his readers. He kept everything simple and to-the-point… He penned just my kind of quotes, and was just my kind of pastor and motivational speaker..

“The most effective speech is not a sermon – but a witness.” Robert Schuller

This is one of the most important quotes I’ve had the pleasure of publishing. People love to hear a story… a good story. This can apply to magicians as well as any other occupation. Tell the audience a story.. a true story.. about yourself.. and they will listen. Readers Digest is the most popular magazine in the country because readers want to find out about real people and their real experiences. They want to relate to you.. even if you ARE a magic man.

Don’t be afraid to tell them about your trials, (but NOT your jury trial), and how your three year old hid your vital prop, spilled juice on your jacket, or hid in your back seat for two miles. How your wife threatened to divorce you if you performed at the Elk Lodge instead of taking her out on her birthday.. or how you worked two jobs to pay your way through college.. so you could become a mentalist. Life isn’t all about Magic, so don’t think you have to make every performance or every minute all about Magic.. Relate to the audience, and let the audience relate to you.

“What would you attempt to do if you knew you would not fail?” Robert Schuller

Would you become an illusionists? A speaker? A politician or a preacher? ( Now there’s two polar opposites..) I’m going to guess very few of us would be exactly what we are now.

You never suffer from a money problem, you always suffer from an idea problem.”
Robert Schuller

Amen! I have little patience with folks who eternally complain about money problems. Yes, we ALL hit rough spots. It’s to be expected.. But when you’re really suffering from a money problem, it’s time to get your mind in gear, buy a Dave Ramsey audio, get your nose out of the classified job ads, and use your head for something other than a hat rack.. Just saying.

“Some people are at the top of the ladder, some are in the middle, still more are at the bottom, and a whole lot more don’t even know there is a ladder.” Robert Schuller

Reminds me of one of my two favorite sayings: ” There are three types of people in the world.. Those who make things happen.. Those who watch things happen.. And those who wonder what happened.”

“The hardest struggle of all is to be something different from the average man.”
Robert Schuller

Applies to all of us. Particularly applies to magicians and performers in general. We tend to base our performances on the sucessful techniques of others. That’s a good way to get started.. but sooner or later you need to become your own man, develop your own routines and patter, as well as your own character. Don’t be an average performer. Yes, it’s hard.. but the reward is worth it. Baby steps.. baby steps.


Recent POST in the Roadshow – Articles

What do the following articles have in common? All were published in the POST section of The Magic Roadshow since our last special issue.. This is good reading folks, and I’d hate for you guys and ladies to miss out on it..!!











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That does it for this issue. I hope you found something to help your magic along. Remember, if you have something you would like to see published on the Magic Roadshow site.. send it to: TheMagicRoadshow@gmail.com

Be Blessed!
Rick Carruth / Editor

Professor – Camelard College of Conjuring of Chemmis, Egypt

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science.”
Albert Einstein

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