Hello Everyone…

Christmas is upon us! Without a doubt, I favorite time of the year. I wish there were a way to bottle the spirit and cheer and open it at a random time of the year.

We had a rather large snow storm about a week and a half ago, very unusual considering it’s still Fall. We usually don’t get snow until after the New Year, so it was a Christmas surprise. We had from several inches to over a foot in various locations in Spartanburg County. Nice!!

Swami see’s three more issues of the Magic Roadshow.. two after this one.. before I retire it in its current format. Although there will not be a #201, I suspect there will be a special issue from time to time, hopefully much improved from our current style. There are only so many hours in the day, my friends.

I spent parts of Thanksgiving week in the hospital getting myself a pacemaker/defibrillator, which was NOT my choice of ways to spend the holiday. I’m typing this with one hand as the other is wrapped and in a sling. I’m glad it’s Fall/Thanksgiving/Christmas or I’d be more than irritated. I’m sending special Christmas Wishes to my friend, Fran Ferry, who is recovering from open heart surgery, our son, Buddy Owens, who is recovering from a myocardial infarction, and my North Carolina buddy, Chuck Owens, who is recovering from life altering surgery. You guys are in my prayers…

I did get to spend the first part of November with my friends at the TRICS convention in Charlotte NC. It was a blast and the kinship was outstanding. Dani DaOrtiz and Ben Earl were two of the many stars present. I could list an impressive number of folks.. but let’s just say if you missed it… you missed it. (What resplendent words..) Next year, like this year, will sell out in the summer, so I would encourage you to book early… seriously. Not only it is inexpensive, compared to other conventions, but it is truly a ‘close up’ experience. All the performers are available all weekend to socialize.. and jam… with, not to mention the total attendees are limited so everyone can get good seats.

Comments and Questions: Email me at:

This issue is 35 pages and 10,021 words.. ( 78 pages if you include our EFFECTS PDF… )

This issue as a PDF..


– Another Point of Departure – Effect – Alex Elmsley and Paul Lelekis
– A Ghost in the Light – Effect – By Al Albers
– Baby Shuffle – A Video
– Mathematical Magic Show – Martin Gardner – Free PDF
– 3 of Magic’s Biggest Card Tricks Revealed – Video Tutorial
– A Brief History of The French Drop – Article – Christopher M. Reynolds
– Four X Four – A Review – Rick Carruth
– Paint It Blank – John Bannon – A Review – Rick Carruth
– The Secret Tools Magicians Use To Fool You – Article – Laura Mallonee
– RAPP by Steven Delaere – A Review – Rick Carruth
– King and Legacy: Gold Edition Marked Playing Cards – A Review – Rick Carruth
– Memento Mori NXS Playing Cards – A Review – Rick Carruth
– Inspyring Coin by Unknown Mentalist – A Review – Rick Carruth
– Another FREE PDF from the Magic Roadshow – PDF Tutorials w/ 15 More Effects
– Meir Yedid and Doc on James Galea’s Television Special – Video
– I Don’t Care – Dani DaOrtiz – Performance Video
– The World’s Highest-Paid Magicians Of 2018 – Forbes Magazine Article
– Eric Thompson, Magic, Comedy, and Eradicating Hate, Hunger and Poverty – Video
– The Magic Portal – My ‘Secret’ Source – Free Newsletter
– The Evolution of Juggling With Jay Gilligan – TEDxHelsinki – Video
– American Masters: Ricky Jay – Deceptive Practice – Video Biography
– Hustlers, Hoaxsters, Pranksters, Jokesters and Ricky Jay – Video Documentary
– Ricky Jay’s Late Night TV Performances Through The Years – Video
– Ricky Jay and his 52 Assistants – The Complete Show – Video
– Buster Keaton – The Art of the Gag – Video Tutorial
– Harvard Scientists Suggest ‘Oumuamua Is An Alien Device – Article
– Animusic and Blue Balls – Videos
– Other Important Stuff….

“Always remember that there are only two kinds of people in this world—the realists and the dreamers. The realists know where they’re going. The dreamers have already been there.” Robert Orben

“God gave you the gift of memory to replay the past, and the gift of imagination to pre-play the future.”


Alex Elmsley/Paul A. Lelekis

This is my rendition of Alex Elmsley’s, Point of Departure, from the book, Come A Little Closer, which features six top magicians.

My rendition utilizes some moves/sleights that I believe to be very direct and quite effective…and it’s all impromptu!

EFFECT: The four Jacks are removed from the deck and then a selection is made. The selection is placed among the four Jacks and suddenly, the selection disappears from the packet and is found, face-up in the deck.

METHOD: Begin by removing the four Jacks, laying them face-up on top of the face-down deck.

Arrange the four Jacks, from the face, Jack of Hearts, Jack of Diamonds then the two black Jacks on the bottom of the face-up packet.

Turn the four Jacks face down and spread the top four cards as you pretend to take all four Jacks from the top of the deck. Actually you leave the Jack of Hearts on top of the deck, taking only the three upper Jacks.

Casually turn the three Jacks face up and perform a quick 3 as 4 Count, which essentially, is an Elmsley Count with just three cards. It will appear as if all four Jacks are present.

Lay the three Jacks (supposedly four), face down on the table and then take the deck and undercut about ½ of the deck. Overhand shuffle, in-jogging the first card, and then obtain a left pinkie break above the JH.

Perform a Riffle Force to the break and then lay the top half of the deck onto the table. Remember…the Jack of Hearts is now, secretly, on top!

Next get a break under the top two cards (the JH and the indifferent card beneath), and turn the double face-up. The indifferent card will show, so let’s say for this explanation that the selection is 5 of Clubs.

NOTE: The above paragraph begins with “Next get a break under the top two cards…” Sounds simple enough, but this is the point where many magicians gain a substantial amount of anxiety…getting a break under the top two cards without looking like you are doing something “fishy” and while the spectators are ‘burning’ your hands!

In my e-book OSMOSIS (the first of three), I go into depth about professional misdirection. It is more than worth obtaining this e-book.
I provide examples of misdirection so subtle (and powerful!), that even seasoned Pros won’t see them!
I will provide you with one of these very beautiful techniques by the late, great Michael Skinner, that I LOVE to employ. See below.

A Technique for turning up a double while being “burned”!

What I am showing you here is a very effective technique for obtaining a double break beneath two cards when your hands are being “burned”.

Some may say, “Oh I just use a Hit Double lift…” which is cool, but it too, looks suspicious…and sometimes doesn’t work well.

In the example above, you want to secretly force the Jack of Hearts – but you need to turnover a double first, to apparently show the 5 of Clubs, or whatever card happens to be there. Everyone is watching your hands very closely…OH NO! RUN!!!

Better yet, you confidently pick up the top face-down card only, (the JH) and reach to lay it on the table, secretly getting a left pinkie break under the indifferent card on top of the deck! NO ONE will see this!

However, just as your hand (with the JH), reaches the table, you apparently “see a piece of lint” or whatever that is “bothering you” on the table, so you place the card back on top of the deck in your left hand, giving you an automatic double lift!

Your right hand then reaches to pick up the ‘imaginary piece of lint’ to remove it from the working surface.

THEN your right hand returns to the deck and turns the double, face up, to display the indifferent card, the 5C in this example.

This technique is an excellent method for an invisible double lift. If it’s good enough for Michael Skinner…it’s good enough for you!

Side-jog the face-up double, to your right, and hold it in place with your left thumb. As you turn your left hand, with the packet, palm down, your left thumb draws the 5 of Clubs back onto the deck as your left middle finger pushes off the face-down Jack of Hearts onto the table…the card has been beautifully switched! (See video of Push-off Switch and Recovery)

You now have the Jack of Hearts, face-down on the table and the indifferent card (thought to be on the table), is now secretly, face-up on top of the face-down deck, hidden from view.

You need to keep the packet turned downward so that no one sees this card. What I do, next, is to bring my palm-down left hand (with packet), over the other face-down packet on the table.

Your left middle finger casually flips the tabled packet, face up, as you add the face-up packet, combining the two and then casually lay the face-down deck to the side. (See Push-off Switch – the Recovery, at end)

The indifferent card (the selection in this trick) is now reversed in the middle of the deck – and the JH is on the table! You are in a very good place right now!

Pick up the supposed four Jacks from the table (only three!) and insert the tabled face-down Jack of Hearts, (the supposed 5 of Clubs!) into the middle of the four (actually three) Jacks – kind of like performing TILT.

Situation Check: The deck sits on the table to your left, with the reversed selection (5C) in the middle. The tabled packet supposedly contains five cards – the four Jacks and the selection, the 5 of Clubs. Actually the tabled packet, NOW, only has the four Jacks!

Now you will pick up the Jack packet and give it a 4 as 5 Count. This count ostensibly “shows” that the packet has “5” cards.
(See video of 4 As 5 Count)

The 4 as 5 Count is a very convincing count. You have apparently counted 5 cards in the packet, though there’s only 4 cards (as it should be).

Place the supposed 5 card packet, face up, on top of the face-down deck and have a spectator place her finger or her hand onto the face-up Jack that is showing.

Have her “will” the selection to sink into the deck. Have fun with her at this point! It all seems ridiculous, but have fun with it!

Now spread the four Jacks to show that the selection, the 5 of Clubs, has vanished! Spread he deck to show that the selection is face-up in the middle of the deck, to conclude. This is a really cool trick!

Paul Lelekis has a ton of great effects and ebooks for sale at . He now has 53 individual ebooks, featuring a large variety of topics, primarily within card magic. Join the mailing list and receive one email a week featuring additions to their library. Go directly to Paul’s main page at:


A Ghost in the Light – A reboot of Jay Sankey’s “Stop Me Here” routine – Effect
By Al Albers

Jay’s use of half-sized index cards and a “turnover force” makes his “Stop Me Here” routine an ideal trick for office, walk-around, or impromptu performances. I substituted a deck of double-blank cards for the 30 or so index cards Jay uses. In doing so, I fashioned the routine as a Halloween-themed effect. That said, by changing one card and modifying my patter, you could make this a Christmas-themed effect. Give this reboot a try. Thank you, Jay Sankey, for the inspiration.

A deck of cards is shown to be blank on both sides. A spectator is asked what his favorite card is, and a card is selected. When the spectator turns his card face-up, he’s surprised to learn that instead of his favorite card, he chose the deck’s “sole inhabitant.”

What You Need.
(1) A double-blank deck of cards.
(2) A picture of a ghost with the word BOO!”
(3) Glue.
(4) A pair of 3-D eye glasses, or any outlandish pair that’ll garner a chuckle from the audience.

Trim the ghost photo (mine covers 90-percent of the card), then center and glue it to a double-blank card.

Place the ghost card face-down on top of the deck; then, place the deck back inside its case.

To Perform.
Withdraw the deck and place the case aside. As you slowly spread the cards from hand-to-hand, say, “Someone wasn’t watching the printing machine.”

Turn the deck over and spread the cards again, being careful not to show the bottom-most (ghost) card. Say, “One can only wonder how many misprinted decks were made.” Pause a moment and then say, “But, what if these misprinted cards are secretly marked and a special pair of glasses is needed to read the markings?”

Reach into your pocket, remove the eye glasses, and ask a spectator to don them.

When he does, say, “You look great!” Pause a moment. Slowly peel off the top card, turn it over and drop it onto the table. Repeat this action another four or five times and then stop.

Ask, “Did you see any markings?”

When the spectator says, “No,” say, “Me neither.”

Have the spectator remove the glasses. Place them back in your pocket or off to the side of the table.

Ask, “Name your favorite card.” (We’ll assume he says the Four of Clubs.)

In a slow and easy manner, resume peeling off the cards, turning each one over as you drop it on the table forming a pile. After dealing 7-8 more cards, pause and say, “I want you to stop me when you believe the next card is the Four of Clubs.” Resume peeling off the cards, placing them onto the tabled pile, until you’re stopped.

When he says stop, look him in the eyes and as you say, “Okay,” simultaneously turn your palm facedown and place the deck onto the table. Don’t make a big deal of this turnover move.

Point to the top-most card on the deck, look at the spectator and say, “You must have felt something to stop me here.” Slowly peel off the top card—don’t flash its bottom—and place it onto the table in front of the spectator.

Say, “Before you turn it over, let me remind you that you could have chosen one less card—point to the top card on the (tabled) pile—or any of these—point to the remainder of the deck—but you didn’t. You chose the card that’s in front of you.”

Pick up the tabled pile and place it onto the deck.

Say, “I’ll let you do the honor; turn over your selected card.”

Wait for his reaction and then say, “That’s definitely not the Four of Clubs. It appears that you woke up the deck’s sole inhabitant.” With a straight face, say, “Don’t worry, though; as long as you bring him his favorite dessert—I SCREAM—you’ll have a friend for life.”

Final Thoughts.
(1) You can personalize the ghost card by endorsing it to the spectator to keep as a souvenir; or,
(2) Affix a preprinted, self-stick label with your information on the obverse side of the card.


Baby Shuffle – A Video

I don’t want to hear any more whining and crying about your hands being ‘too small’ to perform an air shuffle… Jeez !


Mathematical Magic Show – Free PDF
Martin Gardner

“MANY READERS may not know the many dimensions of Martin Gardner’s magic. To begin with, he is a superb sleight-of-hand artist and the inventor of hundreds of magic tricks. His earliest published pieces, written when he was in high school, were contributions to The Sphinx, an American magic periodical. Martin enjoys performing close-up magic for those fortunate enough to know him. He likes to bounce a dinner roll on the floor (it bounces back up like a rubber ball), to swallow a table knife, or to link a borrowed finger ring onto a rubber band. He has a special fondness for tricks that seem to violate topological laws.

A completely different kind of magic is Martin’s ability to explain significant mathematical ideas to laymen, always in a way that leaves them eager for more. Unlike many other popularizers
of mathematics, professionals enjoy his writing as much as amateurs. When asked how he manages this, he insists that the secret is precisely his lack of advanced knowledge.

In college he took not a single matllematics course. It was not until 1989 that he finally
coauthored his first formal paper that reported new discoveries. Although self-taught in mathematics, Martin has influenced the lives of manyprofessionals, including both of us. In one case he converted a runaway teen-age magcian into a budding mathematician by publishing some of his mathematical magic ideas, and by later helping that same youth find his way into graduate work. In the other case, many fertile research problems have sprung from Martin’s efforts to understand certain puzzles in order to create new ones.

Martin’s success did not come easily. After graduating from the University of Chicago in 1936 with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, he began his writing career as a newspaper reporter in Tulsa, and later as a writer in the University of Chicago’s press relations office. After four years in the Navy during World War 11, he began selling fiction to Esquire, moved to Manhattan, and became one of the editors of Humpty Dumpty Magazine. After eight years of inventing bizarre activity features and writing stories and poems for five-to-eight-year old readers, he began his celebrated column in SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN. Before then, our informants tell us, he lived for years in small, dingy sleeping rooms, wearing frayed collars and pants with holes, often limiting his lunch to coffee and a piece of Danish. ”

RONALD L. GRAHAM – AT&T Bell Laboratories and Rutgers University
PERSI DIACONIS – Harvard University
Fall 1989

To quote Mr. Gardner….

“THIS IS the eighth collection of my Mathematical Games columns that have been appearing monthly in Scientific American since December 1956. As in previous volumes, the columns have
been corrected, updated, and enlarged to include bibliographies and valuable new material provided by loyal readers.”


3 of Magic’s Biggest Card Tricks Revealed – Video Tutorial

Vinny “The Godfather of Magic” reveals the secrets to his handling of three of magic’s favorite tricks. Total length about 15 minutes. Good stuff..


A Brief History of The French Drop – Article
Christopher M. Reynolds

The French Drop: aka The French Vanish, aka Le Tourniquet. This sleight of hand maneuver, no matter what alias it’s assuming, is at least as ancient as the mysterious subterranean paintings inside Lascaux cave in France, which some archaeologists estimate to be over 17,000 years old.

Fast forward to modern times. On February 22, 2009, at the 81st annual Academy Awards, the non-fiction film Man On A Wire won the Oscar for best documentary. The movie was about magician and tight rope walker Philippe Petit’s high-wire walk between New York City’s World Trade Center Twin Towers in 1974.

As Petit accepted the Oscar, in front of a estimated TV viewing audience of more than 50 million people, he performed the French Drop and made a coin disappear. In front of an audience of millions Philippe Petit performed an effect older than cinema and one of the first ever special effects known to mankind. Petit showed himself to be a link in a chain that is as old as time, and used a sleight that’s been used for centuries by ancient shamans, medicine men, witch doctors, cup and ball performers, coin manipulators, dice cheats, and other sundry rogues around the globe,

Making a coin disappear is just one of the many uses of the French Drop. It’s a veritable Swiss army knife of pure sleight of hand moves: copper pennies can be transformed into silver quarters, borrowed coins exchanged for a gimmicked one; like the old switcheroo with a borrowed quarter, replacing it with a palmed double sided coin. A slick fingered backgammon hustler could utilize the French Drop in the same way; exchanging above the board dice for a loaded set. The possibilities that an ingenious magician or gambler can come up with are numerous.

The term The French Drop is now 143 years old and was first put into print in 1876 in an often written about yet rarely read classic of English Victorian conjuring literature: Professor Hoffman’s Modern Magic. Before the invention of the written word, The French Drop was handed down generation to generation; from teacher to pupil. Learned by trial and error; by hook or by crook.

If you wanted to learn conjuring but couldn’t read or understand French, then you were merde (shit) out of luck. The popular textbook for serious aspiring conjurers pre-1876 and pre-Modern Magic was Les Secrets De La Precipitation Et De La Magie, written by the father of modern magic, Jean- Robert Houdin. In the section on coin sleights, the move was simply referred to by its original French name Le Tourniquet, an aptly used wording to describe the simple twisting motion of the sleight.

Spoken languages leave practically no evidence of their history or origins. Through evolutionary linguistics they slowly adapt. Over time the common term Le Tourniquet in French slowly morphed into its English adaptation we now know as The French Drop. And, unlike the coin that Philippe Petit vanished on television, The French Drop shows no signs of disappearing from the literature of magic and illusion.
Christopher M. Reynolds


Four X Four – A Review
Rick Carruth

This effect, which is a single product download from Murphy’s Magic, reads as follows:

The ultimate mind reading lie detector or poker tell demonstration! Read the minds of four spectators instantly!

This is an incredible routine from Harry Lorayne’s book, REPUTATION MAKERS.

Effect: Even though four spectators merely THINK of a card in their own pile of cards, AND they shuffle those cards, the magician is able to name all four thought-of cards!

Self-working. Use a borrowed, shuffled deck. Easy to do. Ingenious principle.

My Take:

My Take:

Rudy Tinoco, founder of The Magician’s Forum, created The Halo Project, which is basically a well-deserved salute to Harry Lorayne. Rudy and his readers selected what they consider to be Harry’s best card tricks and recorded the effects for the Halo Project.

This release, from Murphy’s Magic, isolated one of the very best effects, Four X Four, and released it as a single effect. Rudy performs the effect for the video.

Watching the performance video at Murphy’s will give you a good idea of the effect, but not the method. To get the method you’ll need to purchase the video from one of the dealers who handle Murphy’s Magic products, or, in this case, directly from Murphy’s as an instant download. Since the download is a solid 19 minutes, the cost is a modest $10.00.

I will tell you this.. although it appears to be a complex effect, it’s basically mathematical. Folks don’t think so, and you’re credited with a sophisticated gambling display or feat of memory.. depending on how you play it.

I agree with the ad copy. Yes, this is a single effect… but you’ll get several minutes of entertainment value from Four X Four. It’s also self working, so you can concentrate fully on your performance. If you enjoy the poker/memory demonstration type effects, I recommend Four X Four.

Available from Murphy’s Magic. Watch the video performance and purchase the download at:


Paint It Blank – John Bannon – A Review
Rick Carruth

Here is the ad copy for John Bannon’s latest commercial effect. PAINT IT BLANK..

Bigblindmedia presents
John Bannon’s Paint It Blank (BBM187) – A self-working THINK of ANY card trick

Comes with special Bicycle Gaff Card.

Like an Invisible Deck – but with just ONE SPECIAL GAFF that works with any regular, shuffled Bicycle Deck!

John Bannon’s PAINT IT BLANK is one of the most powerful (and EASY) tricks you could imagine. You tell your spectator to clear their mind; to make it a blank. They then THINK of ANY card. No forces, restrictions, equivoque, preshow or genuine mindreading required – they literally just think of a card.

You tell your plucky volunteer that the card they merely thought of is now invisible. Despite their (perhaps well placed) skepticism you confidently remove their ‘invisible card’ from the deck and slide it between two face up jokers. In a flash a REAL blank card appears in between the jokers. (It’s like their ‘blank’ mind a few moments ago)!

Then, while in the SPECTATORS HANDS, the blank card PRINTS itself, and is now the card they just THOUGHT OF! AND IT’S EXAMINABLE! (Oh, and you are reset, and left with a regular deck!)

Super easy to do – requires no sleight of hand! Uses a regular, shuffled Bicycle deck and just one special (provided) gaff card. Perfect for performers – no reset and no table required

No stacks
No forces
No sleights
No gaff deck
No equivoque
No ‘off by one’

My Thoughts…

OK.. I knew before I received Paint It Blank that it was a ‘special’ effect. I read all the reviews on all the review sites, most of which came out about the same time my review would post if I had quickly written my review. I decided to torture myself a little and let the initial dust fly before opening my copy. Then, I decided to play with it a few days and avoid writing about my initial reaction. Honestly, I wish I could say I -always- reviewed this way, but it’s difficult. When review copies are sent out, only a handful of folks receive one.. but they ALL receive one within a day or two of one another. Wanting to be the first to publish a review, we sometimes write about our initial thoughts, which, in all fairness, can change after a few days.

What’s the purpose in my ramblings? Well… I’m trying to make a point, and my point is; I really appreciated the simplicity and thought behind PAINT IT BLANK.. and nothing has changed one iota since I opened it.

The ad copy is fully correct. It uses a regular deck, it’s easy, requires no sleight of hand.. although it does require a ‘move’ of sorts.. but only something you’ll need to practice for a few minutes to get your timing down.

You ask a spectator to think of any card. It’s a free choice. You also bring to attention two face up Jokers laying on the table. The spectator reveals their thought-of card to the performer.. as he/she glances through the deck. This is the only point not mentioned in the ad copy. The performer now pretends to take the thought-of card, which is now invisible, out of the deck and places it on the table. In a moment the performer will place the thought-of card between the Jokers, and will pick up the packet and drop it face down on top of the deck.

After a bit of conversation, the performer will remove the top three cards, fan them to reveal two face down cards with a blank card between the two. The two face down cards are reversed to show they’re the two Jokers.. and the blank card magically changes to the thought-of card.

There are certain subtle suggestions wrote into the script that make this effect special. Up front.. it may not fool everyone. That’s my only negative. But it WILL fool so many.. so bad.. that it’s well worth the price.

I frequently perform a false cut familiar to many of you. Holding the deck in one hand, I remove the bottom half… PAUSE and make a quick comment.. then bring the bottom half over the top of the deck, taking it to the table. Then, casually drop the real top half on top of the bottom half already on the table. You guys are familiar with this false cut; it’s taught in books for beginners. -But- I am so confident in this cut and the way I perform it, I do not hesitate to use it in crunch time. PAINT IT BLANK reminds me so much of this move. Done with confidence.. you’ll fool almost everyone. Honestly..

As with most BigBlindMedia products, the production levels are very good. Video, lighting and sound are professional… and the instructions are easy on the mind. The effect includes both a DVD and the gaff card needed to carry out the dirty work. Everything you need will arrive in the mail, and you’ll be performing this effect in less than a hour.. including video time.

I do recommend PAINT IT BLANK to my readers and friends. None of you guys will be threatening me or my family after your purchase, and some of you will actually send a brief email to thank me… Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!

$20.00 … From Dealers who carry the Murphy’s Magic line of products.


Laura Mallonee for WIRED magazine

Nice follow-up article in response to a new book by Louis De Belle called DISAPPEARING OBJECTS that (sort of) pulls back the curtain on magicians, and the props they use, to pull off their feats of magic…

“YOU’VE PROBABLY SEEN magicians pull playing cards from thin air, make silk handkerchiefs change colors, or cause cigarettes to vanish. What you likely didn’t notice—assuming the trick was successful—were the secret gadgets and modified props, called “gimmicks,” used to fool your eyes. From fake thumbs to silicone eggs, they only work by evading detection.

Louis De Belle exposes them in his new book Disappearing Objects. Many of the 32 gimmicks he spotlights belong to magicians in Italy who let him photograph them under the strict condition he not actually give away their tricks. “I made a vow not to break the number one rule of magic,” De Belle says, “though it’s not hard to google how a thumb tip works.”

Magic tricks, like the famous cups-and-balls routine, can be performed by simple sleight of hand, but magicians have also relied on gimmicks for centuries.”



RAPP by Steven Delaere – A Review
Rick Carruth

This is the ad copy for Steven Delaere’s RAPP, available from Murphy’s Magic…

“If you are bored doing the crazy man’s handcuffs, looking for something different, this is it! Rapp brings your rubber band magic to the next level. Taking a truly broken rubber band, you visually RESTORE it on THEIR phone. After the restoration, you then SWAP the rubber band to your phone in a split second.”

“Rapp is ultra visual, fast and it resets instantly! Modern magic using nothing more than a rubber band and a spectator’s phone, creating a high impact in a very short time.”
– Fun and practical effect to perform
– Original rubber band magic
– Any phone is possible
– Easy set-up
– Instant reset
– Perfect for walk-around
– Ultra visual, looks like a camera trick
– Detailed instructions, shot in HD
– Including BONUS effect, using your own business cards!

Download the video and begin learning this great effect.

My Take…

First.. I’m going to eliminate any mystery and say simply.. I like RAPP. I use RAPP. I began using RAPP about five minutes after I watched the video. It’s that simple…

I agree with all the statements in the ad copy. There isn’t a claim NOT true. It’s original, easy to do and easy to set up, instant (almost) reset, extremely visual and very strong for walk-around.

Steven includes a well done 35 minute video, filmed in HD, that explains all the details in.. well… detail. As with most rubber band effects, there’s a little more involved than simply putting a rubber band around your wrist. But, there isn’t a LOT more involved. With a few minutes practice, you can go from a normal state to full battle mode in about three or four seconds. Steven does it in less than a second.. but he’s well practiced.

Now, to the fine print… There is some prep involved. I debated whether to go in to detail, in fairness to the creator, and decided to elaborate a little about the vanish. If you watch the video at Murphy’s site, you’ll see the performer holding a broken rubber band above a cellphone held in the other hand. With a toss, the band is ‘thrown’ toward the phone. The phone suddenly has an intact band surrounding it.. and the broken band is gone. (Watch the video). This happens so quickly it does appear to be some sort of camera trick.. but of course.. it’s not.

I think most of us know that to vanish a small object, some sort of device is necessary.. and that’s the case here too. Fortunately, most of us have one of those devices in a cigar box.. back in the bedroom .. collecting dust. They are only a couple of dollars if you don’t happen to have one. In fact, I used to use a small, round piece of elastic from my mother’s sewing box when I was young. I tied it to a safety pin, attached it to the inside of my sleeve about elbow high, and attached the other end to a paper clip. I could vanish a paper clip as good as any fourteen year old.

I hope you get the point of my story. Ideally, having one of these small devices simplifies RAPP, but it isn’t totally necessary. If a fourteen year old can figure a work-around.. you can figure a work-around…

Of course, having the right size rubber band makes RAPP so much easier. You’ll figure this out. It has to go from point A to point B to point C.. and any band that’ll do this with the right amount of tension will work. Personally, I buy Joe Rindfleisch’s Rainbow Rubber Bands from Joe.. or from Amazon.. and they are perfect. (I’m 99% sure Steven uses Joe’s bands in the video.)

There are a couple of other effects taught as well. One has the rubber band jumping from one cell phone to another.. and a third effect has bands jumping from a cell phone to a stack of business cards.. which then makes it easy to hand out a card to your spectator.
Again, both effects are very easy to perform, using basically the same setup, and offer you a trio of effects on one video.

Overall, some may think fifteen dollars is a lot for a rubber band ‘trick’.. but it’s not, -if- you use it. I use it, and I am definitely recommending RAPP to my friends and readers.

$14.95 from The Vault at Murphy’s Magic. This is an instant download.


King and Legacy: Gold Edition Marked Playing Cards – A Review
Rick Carruth

Ad Copy Description:

“Many years ago, it was said that when kings died, they didn’t abandon their villages, their walls or their empires. There was something left in them that continued to fight for their people. In this way, their people could continue living in harmony, peace and equality.

King and Legacy: Gold Edition Playing Cards, printed by US Playing Cards, has 52 inhabitants of the city of dreams, of ambitions and future promises.

Nowadays, everything we do leaves a footprint in the world.
And the only thing that stays in our memory is what we do with our heart. Sometimes the moments that DON’T happen are the most important.

Life is a collection of nonexistent memories waiting to be created.

It is for that reason that I do not want you to feel my presence – instead, I want you to feel my absence when I am no longer here. Remember the gold metallic ink on the tuck and cards as they flicker in the sun. Embrace the sensual feel of the embossed tuck.

And hopefully every time you open the doors of this box and rediscover what is inside, you’ll forget your problems and transport yourself to your best thoughts and highest highs.
And that you remember me. And you feel me close to you.”

That is my dream.
The legacy of a King. My legacy.
King and Legacy: Gold Edition Playing Cards – the cards are marked to give you unlimited possibilities
COMPLETELY customized (pips, court cards… the ENTIRE deck)
Printed by The US Playing Card Company
Designed by Destino
Presented by Julio Montoro

My Take:

As I mentioned in a recent review of another deck… reviewing a deck isn’t easy. I can tell you what I like, or dislike, about it, but ultimately it’s a matter of personal preference. It’s like my Hawaiian shirt… I love it.. and my wife hates it.. although we generally share the same general taste.

Kings live.. and Kings die. When they pass, they leave a Legacy. Hopefully, they will leave a good legacy, one to be remembered fondly. Designed by Destino (Destino Magico) and presented by Julio Montoro, (Sketch, Rejoined, and Pocket.. in partnership with Joao Miranda), King and Legacy strives to present the user with a gracious deck of well-designed cards, totally original cards, with the bonus of being a marked deck, capable of a wide variety of effects not attainable by a normal deck.

There is a very minimalistic design to King and Legacy, highlighted by gold accents and intricately designed Aces. I think the point is quality over quantity. The case is embossed as well.. adding a great feel to the deck, yet the backgrounds are matte white to not distract from the gold trim. The cards themselves are sharply cut from thin USPCC stock, making handling and faros very easy. (See side note)

I REALLY regret saying this.. but the deck, as attractive as it is, has one weakness; the markings. I don’t have young eyesight, but I do wear glasses. Regardless.. I cannot read the markings unless I’m in very bright light… and the card is held about a foot away. To say the marks are small (to me) is slightly an understatement. They are clearly marked and not ‘coded’ to reveal the identity, yet, you do need decent vision to read them. After being unable to read the markings in normal room lighting, I took the deck to a meeting with seven other magicians. In a well-lit restaurant, five of the seven could not read the markings with the card laying on the table in from of them. I really dislike saying anything negative about a deck designed as appealing as King and Legacy, but I do have an obligation to say this.. up front.

Buy KING & LEGACY because of their handling and their unique appearance. They are very affordable, and you may find everything works exactly as the creator’s intended. I’ve included a link to a 30 second video to give you a true view of the deck and their original face and numerical design.

$13.95 .. From dealers who carry the Murphy’s Magic line of products..


Memento Mori NXS Playing Cards – A Review
Rick Carruth

Time reveals all. Thoughts become action. Clumsiness turns to precision. Failures lead to knowledge. Frustration gives way to breakthroughs. Struggle turns to resilience. Boundaries give way to creativity. What you live for becomes what you die for. Your life becomes your legacy.”

Memento Mori NXS (Nexus) represents the convergence of life, art, and triumph. It exists as a reminder to seize every precious moment that we are gifted, to live every breath to its fullest, and to leave a lasting legacy to endure the ages.

Memento Mori NXS brings back acclaimed artist Adrian Valenzuela, art designer behind the original Memento Mori. With Memento Mori NXS, he takes low-poly designs to a whole new level by infusing abstract shapes with realism of light and shadow. The result is a beautifully modern design reminiscent of classical impressionism, yet grounded with purpose and inspiration.

Memento Mori – “Remember your mortality”

My Take…

Memento Mori NXS has been carefully and thoughtfully designed by Adrian Valenzuela, and created by cardist extraordinaire Chris Ramsay. The third release in a series, and somewhat different from the first two, (Memento Mori Original and Blue), Memento Mori is truly an ‘intelligent’ deck of cards for someone looking for cards measured beyond their handling ability. They handle just fine.. as they should, but as you can tell by the ad copy, they are also designed for the cerebral amongst us.

Now, I don’t consider myself ‘cerebral’ by a long shot, but I do get the art, the symbolism, and the idea. Each card is imprinted with two skulls on the back.. not in a macabre way, but as symbolism of the ‘precious moment we are gifted’. The card colors are pastel blue, pink and green on a white background, in contrast to the skull embossed on the box on a matte black background. I would really appreciate a deck printed with the dark background on the cards themselves. It makes the colors pop… Enough about colors. They work.

It’s obvious the cards are designed to be handled. Flourishes, cascades and fancy cuts explode with the NXS deck. In the right hands, they will definitely appeal to the artist silently hiding in all of us. You don’t have to understand abstract shapes to appreciate the art. You don’t have to be Chris Ramsay to handle NXS with aplomb. And you don’t have to understand the complexities of the brilliant post-impressionist, Paul Cezanne, to appreciate the style. Just enjoy it.

Reviewing a deck isn’t easy. There’s only so much you can say. The design will pull you in and appeal to you.. or it won’t. The design is the money. Aside from being printed by the USPCC on fairly thin stock, (great for faro’s), with smooth cut edges, (unlike regular Bicycles), Memento Mori decks are, in my humble opinion, worth the $11.95 price.

If you can find a deck that appeals to your inner self.. and handles like you would expect a high end deck to handle, buy it. Buy a couple or three.. as they WILL be in limited supply. I’ve paid almost twice the price for decks I would gladly return for a refund if I could. This isn’t one of them… This one’s a true keeper.

Available at dealers who handle the Murphy’s Magic line of products..


Inspyring Coin by Unknown Mentalist – A Review
Rick Carruth

Inspyring Coin, available from dealers who carry the Murphy’s Magic line of products, is actually two custom coins, identical in their strike, but with different finishes, that provide a handy tool for performing a large number of prediction and mental magic effects. Here’s the ad copy….

“Inspyring Coin is specially created for the purpose of performing coin mentalism routines — zero sleights involved! Most of the routines are self-working. Yet the routines are easy to learn and perform so that you can focus fully on your presentation.

Just pop your Inspyring Coin into your wallet or pocket, learn the routines, and you are always ready to perform some amazing miracles. The size of the coins is a handy 30mm (1.25 inches) in diameter.

What you get: A pair of copper coins which look like ancient Roman coins. One with a glossy finish and another with an antique finish. And an ‘authentication’ card. Also included is a massive 90-plus page PDF containing 18 amazing coin mentalism routines.

Apart from the included routines, there are other possible routines which can be done using some of the elements built into the coin. This coin is not magnetic so it neither attracts metals nor gets attracted to magnets. As a result, it can be freely handled by both the performer and participants. Inspyring Coin, then, is an ungimmicked and multipurpose coin.

The Inspyring Coin is so nice to hold and look at that even without any of the included routines, it can simply be a great conversation starter and can lead to any other routines you may want to perform, depending on your style of presentation.”

What the experts have said about some of the routines.

“You are an excellent thinker and quite prolific. It maintains your standards of excellence!”
– Marc Salem

“The Unknown Mentalist has done it again! He has a real talent for taking fascinating math principles and creating real-world presentational hooks that your audiences will find engaging and thought provoking.”
– Marc Paul

“This is the demonstration on how it is possible to give new life to old principles, creating well orchestrated routines! Bravo my friend!”
– Luca Volpe

Simple, easy-to-do and self-working routines, but with incredible impact on your audience. Zero sleights. No pre show, no stooges, no instant stooges, no dual reality, no magnets, no threads. The coins can be freely handled before, during and after the routines by both the performer and the participants.

The massive number of routines include many types, such as predictions, divinations, coincidences, mind reading etc. A few sample effects are as follows.

1. CENTURY OF COINCIDENCE – (Part of Script) – “Have you heard of the Century of Coincidence? No? Well, this is something totally missed by historians but luckily discovered by magicians and mentalists. The 100 year war between the English and the French is actually a Century of Coincidence. And, weirdly, this gets proved every time we do a demonstration.” The routine climaxes with some impossible revelations.

2. ATTITUDE WITH LATITUDE – (Part of Script) – “Geographically speaking, any point on Earth can be defined by a unique combination of latitude and longitude. Similarly, every thought that arises in the human mind can be defined by a unique combination of dreams and memories. Let’s do a demonstration based on the latitude and longitude of human thoughts.” The routine then uses some international telephone codes for an unbelievable climax.

3. ALPHA CONSPIRACY – What you do in this routine is no less than a conspiracy using the alphabet and a book (this is NOT a spelling routine). Hence the name Alpha Conspiracy and it has a double climax. This is a Book Test that can be done using any ungimmicked book. (Part of Script) – “According to linguistic research statistics, these 2 dozen words have been proven to have high impact on the human subconscious mind.” And the routine ends with a thundering double climax.

These are just a few of the 18 routines included, along with several bonus ideas.

My Thoughts…

Are you familiar with the 1089 force? You probably are.. but this is not it. This IS a mathematical-based effect similar to the 1089 Force, but way more versatile and far less obvious. The mathematics employed in the Inspyring Coin can be played to give you a number of outcomes, and allows you to use the coin of your choice to reveal your prediction or read the spectator’s mind.

I mentioned earlier that you actually get two coins… one with an ancient finish, and one with a brighter finish. Both coins are similar otherwise. There are numbers encircling the outer side of one of the two sides that are used to make a prediction, or reveal an answer. There are also basic geometric shapes on one side that serves as a reveal. I don’t want to get into the appearance too much, as clicking the link below will get you several good images of the coins and give you a much better idea of their appearance than I can.

I appreciate the ad copy for Inspyring, as it gives you a good idea of several effects that are taught in the 90 page PDF included with the coins. Don’t let that figure scare you off, as the majority of pages are one of the eighteen effects taught by the Unknown Mentalist. Actually, the PDF is a combination of three of his/her previous PDFs.. InspyRing, ConspyRing, and 1089; Refreshed and Reloaded. I know, there’s that 1089 reference again.. but it is only a small portion of effects taught, and it’s a 1089 on steroids.

Inspyring existed in another form previously, as a ring instead of a coin. Also, you needed to get something engraved on the ring to make it complete. Forget that… Everything you need to carry out effects like those described above are included. There’s even a prop or two to add authenticity to your back stories.

As for the ad copy.. I can’t say anything negative about InspyRing. Everything is on the up and up. The Unknown Mentalist has carefully and meticulously constructed a prop capable of being carried in your pocket, and capable of supporting a complete 15-20 minute routine. Although you could go far beyond that 20 minutes.. no need to take advantage of a good thing.

It’s worth reading this statement again.. “Simple, easy-to-do and self-working routines, but with incredible impact on your audience. Zero sleights. No pre show, no stooges, no instant stooges, no dual reality, no magnets, no threads. The coins can be freely handled before, during and after the routines by both the performer and the participants.”

I couldn’t, and didn’t, say it better…. but I totally agree.

This is a first class effect, worth far more than the $30.00 price tag. Please don’t let the mathematics scare you off. There are so many possibilities. Knowing and learning the basics will inspire you to create effects of your own. I’ve noticed readers on the Cafe sharing how they intend to create effects that fit their particular style of magic.. be it bizarre, mentalism, or traditional magic.

$30.00.. from dealers who carry the Murphy’s Magic line of products.


Another FREE PDF from the Magic Roadshow – PDF Tutorials
15 More Complete Effects from Past Issues

43 pages of effects from past issues of the Magic Roadshow. Thanks again to Werner Miller for compiling all the effects.


Werner’s site on Many great mathemagical effects!


Meir Yedid and Doc on James Galea’s Television Special – Video

Interesting video from Meir Yedid, consisting of a couple of segments from an Australian magic show featuring James Galea. This is gambling related, featuring several devices from Meir’s collection.


I Don’t Care – Dani DaOrtiz – Performance Video

What can you say about the entertaining style of Dani DaOrtiz? This is a wonderful video of a card master in action.


The World’s Highest-Paid Magicians Of 2018 – Forbes Magazine Article

For David Copperfield, it was love at first sight. When he was 10 years old, his mother took him to Macy’s in Herald Square. The store’s resident magician made a coin disappear and reappear on a small wooden board. One simple trick was enough to convince Copperfield to buy that board and, more importantly, pursue magic.

Five decades later, Copperfield is the richest magician in the world with an estimated net worth of $875 million, which includes 11 private islands in the Bahamas as well as a vast collection of magic artifacts. (That wooden board from his childhood and even the Macy’s counter he bought it from are featured in Copperfield’s magic museum.)

This year the living legend added to his fortune by earning $61 million in 12 months, making Copperfield the world’s highest-paid magician once again. He made the most of his millions by performing an astounding 670 shows at the MGM Grand during our scoring period, which is June 1, 2017, to June 1, 2018.
“It’s not just tricks,” Copperfield told Forbes in 2013. “Secrets and lots of hard work go into this.”…..  READ MORE


Eric Thompson, Magic, Comedy, and Eradicating Hate, Hunger and Poverty – Video

We recently featured Eric in the Roadshow, highlighting his trips to foreign countries and the sharing of magic with those far less fortunate.. Here is his recent TEDx talk about magic and miracles… so appropriate during the Holiday Season.

“Eric Thompson shows how to use magic, comedy, and love to help heal the world. Eric Thompson is a husband, father and grandfather. He owns Satolli Carpet & Floor Covering and The Warren Comedy Club. Eric has served on many boards in philanthropic, business and professional organizations. He served as a firefighter/EMT and was twice elected city councilman.

For nearly four decades Eric has entertained as a stand up comedian and award winning magician, for thousands of people in comedy clubs, theaters and colleges. He often shares the stage with comedy legends and as the opening act for many well known musical artists.

His has performed in more than two dozen countries around the world. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.”


The Magic Portal – My ‘Secret’ Source – Free Newsletter

Well, now that the Roadshow is winding down as a monthly publication, it’s only fair that I reveal the source of some of my favorite links. The Magic Portal, Jim Canaday’s excellent periodical, should not be a stranger to regular Roadshow readers. I’ve mentioned my friend Jim many times through the years… but it’s been quite some time since I’ve encouraged readers to sign up for The Magic Portal.

To get on Jim’s list, you’ll need to send an email to (capital’s not needed) and ask to have your email included. Then, Jim will send you an email every few weeks full of great magic related links, reviews, and sometimes an effect to keep your hands busy.

The Magic Portal isn’t as long as the Roadshow.. but Jim doesn’t bloviate on an on like your’s truly. He’s more direct.. and the links are just as quality.. often moreso.

So, join the underground list shared by some of the top names in magic. Tell Jim I said ‘Hi’..


The Evolution of Juggling With Jay Gilligan – TEDxHelsinki – Video

Great TED talk and visuals from Jay Gilligan, master juggler and speaker. Almost 30 minutes long, and well worth the time, it’s safe to say over two and half million folks can’t be wrong…

“Jay Gilligan is a professional juggler and performer from Arcadia, Ohio currently performing and living in Europe. Jay is the main teacher of juggling and creator of the juggling program at the University of Dance and Circus in Stockholm, Sweden.”


American Masters: Ricky Jay – Deceptive Practice – Video Biography

American Masters featured a biography on the wonderful Ricky Jay a couple years ago. Here’s the full show, which serves as a very good tribute upon the passing of Mr. Jay.


Hustlers, Hoaxsters, Pranksters, Jokesters and Ricky Jay – Video Documentary

A documentary about the life and work of sleight-of-hand artist Ricky Jay, with appearances by Ricky Jay, David Mamet and Steve Martin. 50 minutes.


Ricky Jay’s Late Night TV Performances Through The Years – Video

Here’s a nice video of Ricky Jay on Late Night TV through the years. All performances were on David Letterman, who was a big fan of Ricky. The magic world will surely miss Mr. Jay, with his passing in late November. He was an extraordinary talent.


Ricky Jay and his 52 Assistants – The Complete Show – Video

Great way to remember Ricky Jay. He was at his absolute best performing his legendary magic show. Approximately one hour long. (Now, one hour later, I’m posting the url. I’ve watched this performance a number of times, but I couldn’t resist watching it once more… )


Buster Keaton – The Art of the Gag – Video Tutorial

There is SO MUCH to be learned from the genius of Buster “Never fake a gag” Keaton…

“Before Edgar Wright and Wes Anderson, before Chuck Jones and Jackie Chan, there was Buster Keaton, one of the founding fathers of visual comedy. And nearly 100 years after he first appeared onscreen, we’re still learning from him. Today, I’d like to talk about the artistry (and the thinking) behind his gags.”


Harvard Scientists Suggest ‘Oumuamua Is An Alien Device – Article

I love the absurd. I also love the improbable.. but remotely possible. Articles like this stir the imagination, or at least.. my imagination. ( ‘Someone’ I know very well has a certificate in Astrobiology from the University of Edinburgh…)
Not magical? If this turns out to be an alien vessel, I can see how that could be magical… or not. Depends on whether they have a death ray onboard.

“That odd-shaped visitor from beyond our solar system, ‘Oumuamua (Hawaiian for “scout”), has been fascinating from the moment it arrived: It’s a spaceship, it’s a rock, it’s a comet, it’s not a comet. But is it a spaceship? That’s where its behavior has some scientists at Harvard leaning; they suggest it may be a device of some kind powered by a lightsail, or a piece of one.”

What’s got experts so puzzled about ‘Oumuamua is, as an about-to-be-published paper says: “‘Oumuamua showed deviations from a Keplerian orbit at a high statistical significance.”


Animusic and Blue Balls – Videos

I can’t let the Roadshow end without revisiting Animusic and Blue Balls. They have been two of my favorite sites on the web. Animusic doesn’t just employ graphics.. every movement is the right movement to create the sound.. assuming we were actually in that animated world. Blue Ball follows the life of a blue ball in the blue ball factory. Again, each ball is not simply a random ball… each ball proceeds orderly throughout the screen. Follow one with your vision.

Starship Groove

Resonant Chamber

Pipe Dream

“Follow each individual blue ball as it’s poked, prodded, exploded, teleported, bonked, grown, disintegrated, collated, stamped, pressed, rolled and tipped about this insane blue ball factory. Created by the goons of ”

Download as a screensaver



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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:

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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