The Secret History of Magic – Book Review

The Secret History of Magic – Book Review

..A Book Review By Jamy Ian Swiss

By Peter Lamont and Jim Steinmeyer

Jim Steinmeyer will require little, if any, introduction to this critic’s readers, considering his renown in the magic world as one of the premiere illusion designers for magicians, theater, and theme parks, and also as the author of invaluable books about magic theory, history, tricks and illusions, for both magicians and the public. Peter Lamont, who is somewhat less widely known but no doubt familiar to many of my readers, is a Research Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, and has written extensively about magic’s history, psychology, and theory. These two accomplished authors have now collaborated for the first time, on a book for the public, entitled The Secret History of Magic.

I am a long-time fan of both writers, having reviewed a number of their books over the years for Genii. I’m particularly fond of Steinmeyer’s essay collections with Art and Artifice being a favorite, I still delight in rereading The Complete JarrettI frequently recommend the charming and very readable Hiding the Elephant to non-magicians who are curious to learn more about magic history and theory. From Lamont’s work, The Rise of the Indian Rope Trick is a top personal pick.

Steinmeyer’s work has been published beyond the magic world, including more obscure titles that one would not, at first blush, expect to be so widely circulated. As bystanders, we have little idea about the commercial success of such books, but it’s fair to say that Hiding the Elephant has been both reviewed and read far beyond the borders of the magic community. Kudos to anyone who contributes to raising magic’s worthy profile in the world, as art and history, in a thoughtful and substantive manner.   Read More..

RAPP by Steven Delaere – A Review

RAPP by Steven Delaere – A Review

RAPP by Steven Delaere – A Review
Review by R. Carruth

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

“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.

Four X Four… from The Halo Project

Four X Four… from The Halo Project

Four X Four… from The Halo Project

A review by 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:

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:

The World’s Highest-Paid Magicians Of 2018

The World’s Highest-Paid Magicians Of 2018

( From Forbes..) 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