Feel free to share this issue with anyone in the magic community. Hey.. it’s yours…
In This Issue:
New Copper/Silver/Brass – An Effect – Paul Lelekis’ rendition
Card Sharks.. ‘Memorize’ 10 Decks of Cards” – Harvey Raft
Tour De Forces: “The Fish Turnover Force” – Michael Breggar
A Free Teaching Course for Hospital Performers – A Wonderful Resource
A Free Video for Hospital Performers from SAM
Kosky’s Automatic Placement – Great Self-Working Tool
Wild Things: Siegfried & Roy – 8 part Podcast
Spidey Card Change – Tutorial
Determining Someone’s DAY of Birth (On The Fly) – Tutorial
Impossible No Set Up Card Trick – Tutorial
The Best Card Switches On Youtube – TOP CHANGE – Two Tutorials
Max Mavens Mind Games 1984 – Full Video
Derren Brown – Infamous – Full Episode
Derren Brown – Svengali – Full Episode
MAGIC – Harvey Raft – A Review
Princess Card Trick by DARYL – The Legacy Line – A Review
Cherry Casino (Black Hawk) Playing Cards – A Review
Oyster (Marked) Playing Cards by Think – A Review
Untouched by Ryuhei Nakamura – A Review
The Story of Henry ‘Box’ Brown.. Former Slave & Magician..
R. Paul Wilson On: The Benefits Of Magical Thinking
This.. from My Long-Time Friends at Insanity Factor
Penn & Teller’s Fool Us and Master’s of Illusion both Renewed
Sign Up For The Roadshow
Our Facebook Pages and Video Blogs
I hope this issue of the Roadshow finds you well and safe. That’s asking a lot – considering everything we’ve been through, and some are still going through.. particularly my friends in India. I truly pray we are on the downside.
Virtual magic shows. That seems to be the genre many are flocking to.. It definitely has advantages and disadvantages.. but seems to be something that will continue to be with us for a long time to come. I’ve made an effort to highlight a couple of features that deal specifically with virtual magic, including a video of a full show, to give those of you who are reluctant to give way to the virtual world a reason to dip your toesies in the water.
My personal club has survived all these months by meeting online (Zoom) every couple of weeks to share our latest and sometimes just talk theory – or rumor… Surprisingly, when my young bride, Carolyn, talked to Santa this past year.. she made sure he brought me everything needed to make me look pretty during our meetings. What a gal !! (.. and THANKS to my friend, Michael Lyth, for the pic of Penn and me..)
I’ve also made a extra effort to highlight some of my favorite quotes. I know everyone doesn’t have an interest in quotes.. but I also know everyone doesn’t have an interest in magic. So there… Quotes are a super-quick method of conveying a thought.. without the interplay of heavy prose. They are the KISS principle personified….
Be sure to read the playing card quotes by my Australian buddy.. EndersGame.. who I consider one of the most informative guys on the planet when it comes to playing cards. He regularly writes reviews for PlayingCardDecks.com, and they are a super resource related to anything cards. Their archive of articles is awesome…
I’ve included a three-part feature with one of my personal favorites.. Vinh Giang. There’s some seriously good advice for those of you willing to take a few minutes to listen to his talks.
My Florida friend.. Paul Lelekis, is back with an unusual effect with numbers.. and I have included a number of reviews I wrote for Murphy’s Magic -plus- a bunch of videos I found while searching the internet for any possible relationship between me and Bill Gates… or Jeff Bezos, or Elon Musk, or……
There is a definite lean toward math magic in this issue.. which is one of my favorite styles. Don’t let this bother you.. as everything is extremely simple to perform and will make you look like a whiz. Seriously.. pre-conceived notions are NOT allowed.!
I’ve reviewed two very important books for this issue: MAGIC INSIDE OUT by Robert E. Neale & Lawrence Hass.. and THE BOY WHO CRIED MAGIC by Andi Gladwin. Both books are very different.. but quite important to the magic community. My recent cataract surgery enabled me to actually read a WHOLE book once again. I’m so glad.
I’m slowly learning the secret to this publishing thing is knowing when to shut up….
This issue, as a PDF, contains 57 pages and approx. 13117 words. DOWNLOAD
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Genius Addition – Tutorial – Paul A. Lelekis
A Companion Mystery – Effect – Rick Carruth
Happy Birthday – A Special Magic Square – Effect
Quotes and One-Liners About Playing Cards – EndersGame
Johnny Wu Complete Virtual Magic Show – Video
Marvin Berglas The Founder Of Marvin’s Magic | Talk Magic #38
The Insider -Teller – Video Interview
The Mystery of Magic’s Greatest Card Trick – Article – David Segal
Las Vegas Weekly Says “Magic Is Back..!” – Article & Resource
Personalized Playing Cards – Create Your Own
Super Easy Trick with Any Glue Stick -Video – Jay Sankey
The Perfect Mentalism Trick Tutorial – Video Tutorial
Who has the Top Ten magic blogs on the internet?
Magic Trick Tutorial School – One Hundred Plus Video Tutorials
Crazy Visual Double Color Change – Card Trick Tutorial Video
Super Simple Card Trick // The Lie Detector – Video
Presentation and Showmanship Advice – Vinh Giang Ted Talk
Vinh Giang | Perspective – Video
Instantly Know the Identity of a Chosen Card – Video Tutorial
Summit – by Abstract Effects – A Review – R.Carruth
The Boy Who Cried Magic by Andi Gladwin – Review – R.Carruth
Gleam -by William Alexis Houcke – Review
Social Print by Juan Alvarez and Twister Magic – A Review
Colorfool by Victor Zatko – A Review
The Vault – Box Clever – by James Brown – A Review
Transit (Red) by Ron Salamangkero – A Review
Magic Inside Out by Robert E. Neale & Lawrence Hass – Review
Parting Shots from Darynda Jones… Quotes
Walking Blues – Featuring Keb Mo – Video
SIGN UP FOR THE MAGIC ROADSHOW…. And Other Stuff….
“Discussion is an exchange of knowledge.. Argument is an exchange of ignorance.” – Unknown.
“It’s not what you do that counts. It’s what they think you do.” – David Lusti
“Each manne liketh the smelle of his owne farte” Old English proverb
“America is not great because it is more enlightened than any other nation, but rather because it has always been able to repair its faults.” Alexis de Tocqueville (1835)
“My worst trait: lack of scripting. My best trait: lack of scripting.” Justin Willman
Genius Addition – Tutorial
Paul A. Lelekis
Anyone can be a lightning-fast calculator if one knows the secret of this addition trick. What makes this “trick” so cool is how EASY it is to perform.
1) Ask someone to write any five-figure number on a piece of paper.
2) You then write a five-figure number beneath it (as you would do, if you were adding the numbers up), apparently at random. It is NOT at random…actually you choose your digits so that each one, when added to the digit above it, will total NINE.
For example…let’s say that the spectator’s number is…
Her number: 73851
Your number below: 26148 – Look at each digit of the spectator’s number and the corresponding digit right below it…they always add up to NINE!
3) Next have the spectator write another five-figure number (her second number), beneath your number.
4) You then write a fourth number, below her number, using the same “equals-nine principle” as you did above.
5) Finally have her write a fifth number below the other four numbers above. You then draw a line under all five numbers…and without a moment’s hesitation, you write the correct total!
The Secret: Just subtract 2 from the fifth number and then put a “2” in front of what is left! That’s it!
For example: If the fifth number (the third number written by the spectator) is 48765…then the total will be 248763!
Have the spectator add everything up and they will be amazed! And NO…the total is not the same every time – it’s always different. This one is a real puzzler!
NOTE: If the fifth number ends in, let’s say, a “0” or a “1” (for example, the 5th number as above is written 48761, then subtract “2” from “61” and your final number will 248759.)
If the 5th number is 48760…then subtract 2 from “60” to arrive at 48758 and your final number will be 248758! This is an extremely baffling effect!
Paul Lelekis – You can view ALL of Paul’s ebooks, at Lybrary.com
They are, undoubtedly, one of the best values in all of magic.. Many are now considered underground classics and are available for IMMEDIATE download… http://lybrary.com/paul-a-lelekis-m-163788.html
A Companion Mystery – Effect
Here’s a really good ‘companion’ to Paul’s effect. If you are in the mood to WOW someone with your fascinating math skills, or prediction skills.. this is as good as any two effects.. considering the effort of the performer. You can learn both of these effects in a matter of minutes. Both effects use the same principle.. but are performed in a different manner.
Note: This is NOT my effect. I can’t credit it to any performer in particular, as it has been in print for some time.. certainly long enough to be in the public domain.. I have added a little twist to make it slightly more ‘mental’.
Ask a spectator to write down a five digit number. Tell the spectator you are also going to write down a number on a separate sheet.. but you are going to wait until the end to reveal your selection. In many cases, the spectator may be writing his number on a pedestal board for the audience to see.
Watch carefully as the spectator writes their number.. but not so carefully as to seem to be carefully watching !! Within a couple of seconds of the spectator completing their number, you should also finish and fold your paper.. placing it on a table or giving it to another spectator to safely hold. Make your writing of a number seem like an entirely separate act from that of the spectator.
If the spectator should write down something like -52694-, you will quickly write -252692-. This is a prediction. This is also nothing more than a 2 added to the front of the spectator’s number.. and a 2 subtracted from the last digit of the spectator’s number. Simple right?
Tell the spectator the two of you are going to create 5 five-digit numbers total.. and you would like for him to write a second five digit number under his first.
Now, you get to write a number on the sheet/board. Your number will be such that every digit you write, added to the digits of his second number (ignore the first 5-digit number) total 9. So.. if his second number is 65280… then YOUR number will be 34719..
Try to write your number as quickly as possible.. not so quick that you make an error.. but quick enough that the audience doesn’t suspect you are performing any sort of addition or subtraction. Make it quick AND casual…
Ask the spectator to write a 4th 5-digit number.. and you write a 5th five digit number using the same method as with numbers 2 and 3… writing a last number with all digits totaling nine when added to his 4th number.
Ask the spectator to add the 5 five-digit numbers. Don’t embarrass them. Make sure they have a calculator (must phones have one) to assist them with their addition.
Remind the audience that you made a prediction as the very first number was being written.. and that you had no way of knowing the other numbers that would be selected.
Have your prediction revealed.. and enjoy the reaction when your prediction and the sum of the five numbers match perfectly. With the proper storyline.. this is a very convincing bit of mathematical magic.
Happy Birthday – A Special Magic Square – Effect
Rick Carruth & John Scarne & ???
( This effect has been temporarly removed. More next issue… )
Great Quotes and One-Liners About Playing Cards –
by BoardGameGeek reviewer EndersGame
A deck of cards isn’t just a box filled with 52 pieces of cardboard. These playing cards can become your friends in a card game, your accomplices in a magic trick, and your companions in a deck collection. They can even represent something much bigger than the contents of a small box.
To some, a deck of cards can represent a prayer book and a Bible. There’s an old story – sometimes circulated by email – where a soldier explains how his playing cards help him talk to God. When hauled before a superior to explain why he uses the devil’s picture book in church, he starts going through his entire well-worn deck, explaining as follows: “Your Honor, to me this deck of cards is my prayer book and Bible. When I look into these cards and see an Ace, it reminds me that there is only one God. When I see the Deuce, it reminds me that the Bible is divided into two parts, the Old and the New Testaments. When I see the Trey, it represents the three persons of the Blessed Trinity – the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.” He also explains how it represents the 52 weeks of a year, four seasons, and more. You can find many versions of this great story online – read one here.
But playing cards can also be a source of wisdom. These 52 paste-boards have inspired witty thinkers, philosophers, and comedians alike, to come up with clever one-liners and sayings about playing cards. The fact that playing cards have served as chosen symbols and metaphors to impart wisdom says something about how popular and influential playing cards have been in our culture. I’ve scoured far and wide, and what you see here represents the best quotes and one-liners about playing cards that I could find. I haven’t been able to verify each and every source, although I’ve done the best I can to attribute these correctly. But in the end, the most important thing is the genius of the quotes themselves. So enjoy these pithy sayings, and put them to work for you!
Life is like a game of cards
“Life is like a game of cards. The hand you are dealt is determinism; the way you play it is free will.” – Jawaharlal Nehru
“We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the game.” – Randy Pausch
“Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but sometimes, playing a poor hand well.” – Jack London
“Just because Fate doesn’t deal you the right cards, it doesn’t mean you should give up. It just means you have to play the cards you get to their maximum potential.” – Les Brown
“Has fortune dealt you some bad cards? Then let wisdom make you a good gamester.” – Francis Quarles
“Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her; but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game.” – Voltaire
“Destiny plays its cards in a way that no one can comprehend.” – Anurag Shourie
“Just when you think you’re playing your cards right, God shuffles the deck.” – Mark Sheppard
“One should always play fairly when one has the winning cards.” – Oscar Wilde
“In order to win you must be prepared to lose sometime. And leave one or two cards showing.” – Van Morrison
“A good lawyer, just like a good poker player, must always keep his cards close to his chest.” – Mallika Nawal
“The cards always look different when it’s your turn to play them; loaded with subtly different possibilities.” – Alastair Reynolds
“If you are going to build something in the air it is always better to build castles than houses of cards.” – Georg C. Lichtenberg
“No one knows what is on the other side of a playing card.” – Jose Hernandez
“Everyone should be able to do one card trick, tell two jokes, and recite three poems, in case they are ever trapped in an elevator.” – Daniel Handler
“A pack of cards is a pile of 52 pieces of cardboard that can be bent, stacked, and stuck together in a seemingly endless array of variations.” – Jay Sankey
“When I look at playing cards, I see limitless potential. When these simple symbols are shuffled, fortunes are won, the future is foretold, or magic is unleashed.” – Joshua Jay
“Playing cards have the ability to cloud men’s minds, or to dominate them.” – Ricky Jay
“Cards are power; learn to harness that power, and you will be forever rewarded.” – James Swain
“Cards are like living, breathing beings and should be treated as such.” – Dai Vernon
“Cards are one means of bridging differences in age and habits, drawing children and parents, old and new friends together in fair and friendly competition.” – Florence Osborn
“Rummy is deservedly popular because it is easy to learn, fast to play, suitable for all ages, playable by any number, and as suitable for gamblers as for missionaries – though perhaps not both at once.” – David Parlett
“Cards are war, in disguise of a sport.” – Charles Lamb
“There are no friends at cards or world politics.” – Finley Peter Dunne
“Trust everybody, but always cut the cards.” – Finley Peter Dunne
“Playing cards is addictive. So are the playing cards themselves. My habit has me up to two packs a day.” – Joshua Jay
“For a professional magician, a stack of playing cards is as good as a stack of money.” – Amit Kalantri
“A magician may step out without a purse, but he should never step out without a pack of playing cards.” – Amit Kalantri
“All the magicians have 52 mutual friends.” – Amit Kalantri
“I stayed up one night playing poker with tarot cards. I got a full house and four people died.” – Steven Wright
“Those bellhops in Miami are tip-happy. I ordered a deck of playing cards and the bellboy made fifty-two trips to my room.” – Henny Youngman
“Men are like a deck of cards. You’ll find the occasional king, but most are jacks.” – Laura Swenson
“Love is like a card trick. After you know how it works, it’s no fun any more.” – Fanny Brice
“Marriage is a lot like playing cards. In the beginning, all you need is two hearts and a diamond. By the end, you’ll wish you had a club and a spade.” – Unknown
So next time someone challenges you that playing cards are just for kids, speaks condescendingly about your deck collection, or frowns at your love for playing card games or performing card magic, whip out some of these verbal gems, and silence their criticism with some philosophy, wit, or humor!
Johnny Wu is a professional magician/performer who is specializing in virtual magic shows, but not entirely… The times have dictated his direction. Here is a 47 minute show from Johnny that gives you a good idea of how one magician is changing to meet the times…
“In the current age, staying connected has become an essential part of many people, regardless of their geographical location. This has made many people shift their attention to online video conferencing as the most convenient means of reacquainting with their loved ones, workmates, and colleagues.
Also, many meetings and formal events are held online, such as hybrid events, which can be spiced up by hosting online magic shows. These shows have proved to be the perfect way through which people reconnect and get entertained at the same time. People love virtual magicians because they can literarily turn online meetings and typical Zoom parties into breath-taking, exhilarating and extraordinary experiences.
For this reason, many people are readily willing to attend your hybrid event if they learn that a virtual magician has been booked, allowing them to reconnect with other people and participate in the fun and entertaining antics to be pulled by the professional magician.” -Johnny Wu-
Marvin Berglas- Founder Of Marvin’s Magic- Talk Magic #38
( From Craig Petty’s Magic TV )
“I am absolutely honoured that Marvin Berglas from Marvin’s Magic agreed to appear on Magic TV. I have a lot of respect for Marvin. He is a true entrepreneur whilst still holding onto his passion for magic. He hasbuilt a global empire which continues to be just as successful today.
In this interview Marvin doesn’t hold back. He talks about growing up the son of one of the most famous magicians of all time. He talks about how he started Marvin’s Magic and how he grew it from very humble beginnings to a global company.
Along the way he gives solid practical advice for magicians. How to create a brand, how to market yourself, how to stand out and how to deal and cope with adversity.
This is one of the most inspirational and motivational interviews I’ve uploaded yet and it should be required viewing for every magician.
Here’s the link. Let me know what you think in the comments.”
The Insider, available on most podcast platforms, recently featured Teller on an almost one hour podcast. The podcast was videoed and posted to Youtube for your pleasure. Yes.. Teller CAN speak.. and does so very well on this interview, published by Vanishing Inc, and featuring a different magician every week.
All you need to watch/listen to their podcasts is a computer.. although they are also available via Apple and Google podcast, Spotify, Breaker, Castbox and others.
The Mystery of Magic’s Greatest Card Trick – Article
By David Segal – May 23, 2021
At 94, the magician David Berglas says his renowned effect can’t be taught. Is he telling the truth?
LONDON — In the late 1940s, the British magician David Berglas started refining a trick that came to be known as “the holy grail of card magic.” To this day, nobody is certain how he did it.
Decades into his retirement, he has revealed just about every secret in his long and storied career. This includes the time, in 1954, that he made a grand piano vanish in a London hotel banquet room filled with guests. (Distracted, the audience turned their focus in time to see a pianist, who seemed to be playing the instrument a moment earlier, fall facedown to the floor). But even now, when the subject of Mr. Berglas’s famous effect is raised, he remains as cryptic as ever.
“It’s not a secret I can give to anyone because it’s not a secret as such,” said Mr. Berglas, a formal and intense 94-year-old, at his home in North London. “It’s like asking a musician who can improvise to teach you his improvisation, which of course he can’t.”
The trick is a version of a classic plot of magic, called Any Card at Any Number. These tricks are called ACAAN in the business.
ACAAN has been around since the 1700s, and every iteration unfolds in roughly the same way: A spectator is asked to name any card in a deck — let’s say the nine of clubs. Another is asked to name any number between one and 52 — let’s say 31.
The cards are dealt face up, one by one. The 31st card revealed is, of course, the nine of clubs. Cue the gasps.
There are hundreds of ACAAN variations, and you’d be hard pressed to find a professional card magician without at least one in his or her repertoire. (A Buddha-like maestro in Spain, Dani DaOrtiz, knows about 60.) There are ACAANs in which the card-choosing spectator writes down the named card in secrecy; ACAANs in which the spectator shuffles the deck; ACAANs in which every other card turns out to be blank.
For all their differences, every ACAAN has one feature in common: At some point, the magician touches the cards. The touch might be imperceptible, it might appear entirely innocent. But the cards are always touched.
With one exception: David Berglas’s ACAAN. He would place the cards on a table and he didn’t handle them again until after the revelation and during the applause. There was no sleight of hand, no hint of shenanigans. It was both effortless and boggling.
Las Vegas Weekly Says “Magic Is Back..!” – Article & Free Resource
On of my favorite resources is the LAS VEGAS WEEKLY magazine. It’s full of color, full of information, and FREE. When you visit the link below, look for the ‘Subscribe’ link in the navigation bar and sign up. It’s honestly a good resource to have, available as a flip book, and full of articles about not only Vegas life.. but articles like “How to outsmart your Smartphone”, and many other general topic items.
Personalized Playing Cards – Create Your Own For As Little As $8.00 per Deck! (Ad)
This is where I get my personalized cards. The seller I buy from uses Bicycle brand cards and my custom cost is around $15.00 per deck. You can get customized cards for as low as $8.00 per deck.. and this is the single deck charge, not the bulk price. My decks look GOOD on Zoom!! The faces are tinted a light grey, cutting the glare considerably.
Zazzle is FULL of custom made items to make your magic look Great. Use the search box and enter ‘playing cards’, ‘magic wands’, ‘dice’, ‘crystal balls’, or anything you can imagine. I frequently go to Zazzle.. and get lost for an hour or two, trying to narrow down what I need from what I want…
Do Super Easy Beginner Magic Trick with Any Glue Stick! – Jay Sankey
An empty glue stick tube can be a strong source of magic. Don’t believe me? Jay Sankey will tell you why I’m right… and you’re wrong!
“Do an amazing magic trick with any glue stick. Uhu, Pritt, any brand! This is so easy to do, it’s the perfect beginner magic trick to learn. Master magic teacher Jay Sankey makes it easy to learn card tricks, coin tricks and more!”
The Perfect Mentalism Trick Tutorial – Video Tutorial
This is a technique, not an effect… although if you perform the technique, an effect will be super easy. I like this better than the traditional center tear.. but that’s just me.
“You will always be able to read anyone’s mind with this simple but very deceptive technique! This drawing duplication mentalism secret never fails to amaze! Learn how to guess names, numbers drawings and cards with this mentalist secret.”
Who has the Top Ten Magic Blogs on the internet?
(Yours truly has one of them) Check them out here..!
A two card color change inspired by CardMagic by Richard Kaufman.. performed by 52Kards. Good stuff..!
Super Simple Card Trick // The Lie Detector – Video
This is what pure showmanship can do for a card trick..
“In this video, Vinh Giang performs an incredible routine known as “The Lie Detector”. The great thing about this trick is that it requires absolutely no technical skill at all. It’s pure showmanship and presentation, and when performed well it’s extremely powerful. It’s an excellent way to use a deck of cards to explore human psychology and personal connection.”
Some of you will recognize this for what it is… probably the most informative video in this newsletter.
Presentation and Showmanship Advice – Vinh Giang Ted Talk
This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. With magic as his metaphor Vinh Giang will share with you an extremely powerful way to improve your presentation ability dramatically. A technique used by many magicians all over the world, it’s deceivingly simple yet very effective.
Vinh Giang | Perspective
Keynote Speaker Vinh Giang outlines his main topic, The Psychology of Illusion. Vinh is a top thought leader on topics like Leadership, Technology, Sales and Marketing, Business Growth, Engagement, Culture, Performance, Collaboration and Communication.
Instantly Know the Identity of a Chosen Card – Video Tutorial
Allow someone to select any card in the deck, turn the deck face up and spread, and instantly know the identity of the chosen card. The spectator can look at the face up deck and will not have a clue how you did it…
Summit – by Abstract Effects – A Review
(Gimmicks and Online Instructions)
This is the Ad Copy:
From the minds of Patrick Kun, The Other Brothers & Abstract Effects –comes a thought of card to Sharpie unlike anything you have EVER seen!
Even includes a routine and method for ONLINE performances.
At last, a thought of card to Sharpie that has NO card switches, NO sharpie switches, and a PRACTICAL yet mind-blowing method.
Your spectator THINKS of a card. You hand them a sharpie to write down what they are thinking of…but to their surprise, the sharpie doesn’t actually work.
You take the sharpie from the spectator, and WITHOUT ANY MOVES, and while keeping the Sharpie IN VIEW THE ENTIRE TIME…you open it up to REVEAL a card rolled up inside.
The spectator still HAS NOT SAID, OR EVEN written down their card.
Then the spectator is asked to name their card. With NO switches or moves of ANY kind, the card is turned over and is the EXACT card the spectator named – EVERY TIME!
NO card switches or sharpie switches!
The gimmick is designed for easy use with a super practical method and ability to keep the gimmick on you wherever you go so you’re ready to blow some minds at a moment’s notice.
Summit comes with everything you need to perform right out of the box, and can be reset easily so you’re always ready to perform! Great for beginners to workers & pros!
Don’t you love it when you get a REAL effect in your hands! There are so many downloads and videos it feels really good to get your hands on something tangible. In this case, something that is truly magical and unique, something that enables you to do a bit of magic unlike anything you’ve probably performed before.
I don’t want to get all mushy on you.. but I DO want to express my pleasure with SUMMIT and The Other Brothers.
I’m not going into detail about The Other Brothers and Patrick Kun.. if you are reading this review, you should be familiar with all three of these very talented magicians and some of the many effects they’ve created the past several years. Also, I don’t know who did what or who came up with this or that. I only know all three are credited and the Other Brothers present the video tutorial for Summit.. which runs almost fifty minutes.
The premise is explained very well in the ad copy.. and everything in the ad copy is correct. I have a tiny issue with one phrase and I’ll talk about it in a moment.
A spectator is asked to merely think of a card. There is a bit of directing on your part, but if done as taught the spectator will never realize they didn’t have a complete choice. When the magician and the spectator have narrowed the selection down to less than a dozen cards, the ‘magic’ happens..
The spectator, without naming their final selection, is given the Sharpie to write down their answer. Unfortunately, the Sharpie doesn’t work. The magician tells the spectator the Sharpie sometimes gets clogged.. and proceeds to take it apart, VERY openly, and reveals a card rolled up insiide the barrel of the pen. The spectator is THEN asked to name their selection.. and the rolled up card is revealed to be a match. The ad copy says “..with NO moves of any kind.” There is a slight move, but it is not visible to the spectator. It’s not a point of contention.. but I didn’t want you to think the card ‘magically’ transports to the Sharpie, or is in the Sharpie beforehand.
HOW it gets in the Sharpie is the masterful aspect of SUMMIT. Tools are used. But.. they are minimal and unobtrusive. I think THAT is what makes this a unique effect. The ‘tools’ themselves are also unique. I am not aware of anything similar.
Up front.. this is the perfect effect for a Virtual Performance. It is somewhat easier virtually than in person.. and the overall effect is just as strong.
A couple of other side notes… The gimmick is made with a real sharpie. Should your gimmick ever go south.. you can create another gimmick on your own.
The video is typical Murphy’s Magic quality. This is not a highly stylized video.. but it doesn’t need to be. It will convey everything to you a good tutorial should.
This is rated as an Intermediate level effect. It uses a few basic moves to keep the audience focused in the right direction. Although I’m confident an advanced beginner can perform Summit successfully.. you will not perform this straight out the box.
You need to run through the handling and patter a few times to avoid hiccups. There are also a couple of minor moves you need to perfect behind the scenes to make everything copacetic. Would you try to perform a mercury fold for the public with no practice? No. But.. once practiced.. it’s not difficult. Same here…..
Is it worth $55.00 bucks? If you use it.. it certainly is. This is something that will become a staple in the routines of a number of performers. It’s easy to set up.. and only requires you to slip a little something in your pocket beforehand. If you visit the link below and watch the demo.. you’ll get a very good idea of exactly what YOUR audience will see.
I am recommending all my friends and readers buy this. If I get one email condemming me for recommending this product.. it’s OK.. because I’ll get ten more thanking me for recommending it. So there….!
Richard Garriott, a British/American astronaut and video game developer, accomplished a feat no other magician will ever be able to duplicate.. He performed the world’s first full magic show in space while aboard the International Space Station in 2008.
The Boy Who Cried Magic by Andi Gladwin – A Review
This is the Ad Copy:
After spending a decade producing more than 100 magic books for some of the biggest magicians in the industry, Andi Gladwin is finally releasing his own book. And it is quite possibly the most highly-anticipated book of the year!
While Andi has released numerous effects and many popular lectures, this is the first time he has ever compiled his very best card magic routines into one comprehensive magic book. Each of the 16 full routines and 15 sleights featured in this book have been carefully crafted over a lifetime of performing for every type of audience in every type of venue.
There is something for every card magician in this incredible book from Andi’s amazing rapid-fire multiple selection routine known as “Fireworks” to his powerful thought-of cards across, super commercial “Whack your Phone Effect” and even a practical Triumph routine where the audience helps you mix the cards.
There’s also, of course, plenty of material for the most dedicated sleight of hand card magicians, including 15 techniques such as his full work on the Master Pushoff, new moves such as the UnDo Cut and UnDo Shuffle, and a unique take on the Braue Popup that you’re going to want to add directly into your Ambitious Card routine.
Beyond its remarkable contents, The Boy Who Cried Magic is quite possibly the most beautiful book Vanishing Inc. has ever produced. This breathtaking hardback book features 250 pages and 240 full color photos, all printed on premium glossy paper. The addition of a gorgeous slipcase will make this book stand out on your shelf.
“The Boy Who Cried Magic is a perfect magic book, written by the best writer in magic. The tricks are world-class performance pieces, and the book itself is stunning. Every magician should own it!”
“The Boy Who Cried Magic is one of the most beautifully-designed magic books in recent memory. It looks and feels like something you’d find in an art bookstore. As for the magic, Andi Gladwin’s Undo Cut is a highly deceptive false cut that is going straight into my act.”
– Steve Cohen
The Boy Who Cried Magic is Andi Gladwin’s first book of magic. It must be quite a challenge to be in Andi’s shoes and know your first publication sets a bar at such an impossible height. I don’t know if he is considering a second book, but personally, I’d have to set a spell and soak in all the wonderful reviews of my first one.
This was a much-anticipated publication by a highly respected performer.. and it met all the expectations. Everything from the effects, to the cover, binding, pages, super sharp photos and slip cover coalesced to create a masterful product.
The book features 16 complete effects/routines and 15 sleights in a total of 250 glossy pages. ( I constantly felt as if I were turning two pages..) The 240 color pictures by James Went and George Luck jump off the pages.. creating a complete visual to match Andi’s narrative. I could go on and on about the book.. but I think you get the point.. There are absolutely no cut corners and no expenses spared publishing Andi’s first book. As the publisher of over one hundred books and ebooks for other magicians, Andi knew exactly what he wanted.. and how to achieve it.
The first chapter of TBWCM is a treatise titled Making Magic Bulletproof. It is an essay of thoughts and tips from the author.. detailing Be Clear, Remove Abruptness, Be Authentic, Be Adaptable, Create Conversation and Adapt To It, Overlap Methods and, lastly.. Study. These are strong thoughts from a full-time professional.
The effects are Andi’s. These are effects he uses throughout his performances and are corralled through hundreds of performances over twenty plus years. These are not add-ons or submissions from other performers. These are all directly from his repertoire. To quote: “My repertoire didn’t appear overnight. It’s impossible to see when you look at the finished product, but every effect in this book has gone through dozens of late-night sessions and incremental improvements. I lost hair over these tricks.”
Andi’s book is all about card tricks, moves, and effects. No close-up, no coins, no thump tips.. and one cell phone. These effects are not beginner effects, and anyone purchasing this book who doesn’t possess at least a good, basic knowledge of cardmanship will probably be lost after the first effect. Everything is not super-complicated.. but it’s not beginner magic either. Andi takes a great deal of time to explain several of the sleights he uses, giving everyone ample opportunity to follow.. exactly as Andi would have it. He never tries to get ahead of readers.
Undo Cut, Undo Shuffle and Cull Shuffle Control are all good examples of some of the sleights taught. Cut, Stop, Shuffle, Red/Black To The Future, and Castle Jacks are all some of the ‘At the Card Table’ effects. Whack Your Phone, Monte Python, and Pocket Mule are three of my favorite ‘Close-Up’ card effects. And Silent Movie, Supersonic, and Aura are three of the five ‘Stand-Up’ card effects taught.
Each effect is detailed. The performance and handling are highlighted, along with any and all credits. Much work was put into describing the history of each effect, its first cousins, and Andi’s contribution to its advancement.
I could get into describing the various effects individually.. but I don’t think it’s going to matter. These are first-class routines, made available to anyone willing to part with fifty bucks. The cost is totally justified in all aspects. One of the effects alone is probably worth the cost of the book. Thought Experiment.. based on Edward G. Brown’s ‘ Twelve Card Thought Transposition’, can’t be described as an ‘effect’, but more appropriately a ‘study’ of what Andi considers to be the ‘best structured card trick of all time..’. “One sleight makes a genuinely thought-of card appear to travel across the room and you don’t need to know the name of that card.”
.. And this is only one of the 16 effects.
If you truly desire to immerse yourself in a tangent and intimate world of card magic, THE BOY WHO CRIED MAGIC is your elixir.
$50.00 .. Available at Murphy’s Magic and their Associates..
Review by Rick Carruth for Murphy’s Magic & The Magic Roadshow..
Gleam -by William Alexis Houcke – A Review
This is the Ad Copy:
Predict ANY CARD with Gleam!
You have one blank card, nothing more. Ask the spectator to turn on the flashlight of his smartphone and to name any card.
Then, put the blank card above the flashlight… you can see the value of the card he named!
Easy to do
Free choice, no force at all!
You only have one blank card, no switch!
Gimmick made using Bicycle cards + Online instructions in English and in French.
I like unique gimmicks. They are rare, and crank up my thought process. This is a unique gimmick that utilizes the light on your phone to create magic. Not sure how William came up with this.. but it’s definitely not your typical ho-hum magic.
Gleam is a utility device/prop created from a Bicycle card that, when held up to a light source, shows nothing. After a spectator selects a card, physically or mentally, you can now show the back of the card, again back-lit with a light source, and the identity of the chosen card will be revealed. (No, this is NOT a mental effect. You must know the identity of the card for it to appear.)
This is not a sleight of hand effect as much as it is a “..how did that card do that.” type effect. The focus is on the card.. as a source of amazement more so than on the magician.
The gimmick card is a well-designed and well crafted prop. It’s obvious much time went into creating each and every card. The care and detail is reflected in the price, as it IS a tad expensive.. but well worth the cost if you carry it. This is something magicians will carry to show others at a moment’s notice. It’s ideal for generating interest in you and your magic.
The instructional video is just over 8 minutes long. It does not go into detail outlining specific effects.. but giving you a tool to use to highlight your own routines. There are many different ways GLEAM can be used, and you should be prepared to work out your own handling.
All the ad copy is correct. Although it IS easy to do, you will need to practice the handling to make everything work as smoothly as possible. For those of you who love to implement your new phone into your act.. this is the perfect way to do it. Of course, you do not have to use a phone to perform GLEAM.. you can use any source of light, including small flashlights and lamps.
I would encourage you to visit the link below and watch the video. It will give you a precise idea of what GLEAM looks like to the spectator.
Social Print by Juan Alvarez and Twister Magic – A Review
This is the Ad Copy:
Twister Magic and George Iglesias are proud to present the new Social Print routine by Juan Alvarez designed for virtual and live shows!
It’s more than a trick. This is a full routine created for the amateur or professional magician. During the past 10 years, Juan Alvarez from Colombia, has been presenting Social Print with great success in-person, on television and recently through Zoom virtual shows. This routine easily adapts to any situation and is themed around social media. Packed with entertaining moments, it’s a proven worker that’s very easy to do.
Inspired by the trick “Silk,” by Lewis Davenport, Juan has reshaped everything, created a full script and audience tested the routine hundreds of times. You will receive everything you need to perform: A card box, 26 specially printed cards, two custom-printed silks, a Facebook hand accessory, and even Juan’s script. Of course, you are more than welcome to create your own routines, gags and lines!
1 special card box printed with FaceBook logos
1 special printed handkerchief – White and Blue (Made from heavy silk, great printing definition, high durability and also washable)
1 special printed handkerchief – Leonardo Di Caprio or Angeline Jolie (depending on the trick you purchase) (made from heavy silk, great printing definition, high durability and also washable)
1 Facebook hand (made of thick cardboard and plastified for high durability)
1 instructional online video card
1 Link to download: sound effects and a PDF with a written routine.
1 special set of 26 printed jumbo cards:
– 10 different cards: Jennifer Aniston, Will Smith, Lady Gaga, George Clooney, Whoopie Goldberg, Sofia Vergara, Angelina Jolie, Elon Musk, Kim Kardashian, Donald Trump.
– 1 blank card (To add your own picture or any other picture you wish)
– 15 repeated cards to force: Leonardo Di Caprio or Angelina Jolie (Depending on the trick you purchase)
SOCIAL PRINT is released by Twister Magic and George Iglesias. I reviewed two effects by George in late 2020, Airplane Mode and A Letter To Santa, and both were two of my favorite reviews/effects of the year. So.. I had high expectations for Social Print.. knowing my prior experience with Twister Magic was a good one.
Juan Alvarez’s effect, just like my two other reviews, are all very heavy on the performance aspect. The first thing you notice when you take the products out the packages are their extremely durable manufacturing. It’s like they go overboard to make sure the props are useable for years and years. No exaggeration.
The other thing is the nature of the effect. SOCIAL PRINT is NOT a flash-in-the-pan type effect. You don’t wow your audience with gun powder and take a bow. This is a detailed and lengthy effect that builds to a climax. It’s not a complicated effect… Everything can be easily memorized by the performer as the effect tends to flow along from step to step and provides the magi with ample opportunity to talk and interact with his spectators.
The premise is this.. A heavy handkerchief is handed out for examination. It’s white, with a border, and blank.. The cloth is folded with the help of the spectator, and a rubber band is placed around it. A stack of large cards are introduced, each card with a picture of a famous celebrity. (Some listed in the ad copy). After several are shown and named, a spectator picks one of the cards and the rest are put aside. The handkerchief, after reasonable by-play, is unraveled.. to show it is now printed with a large picture of the selected celebrity. The name, Social Print, comes from the magi referring to the celebs as his FB friends, the use of sound effects created to resemble online sounds, and the use of a large FB Thumbs-Up as a prop during the effect.
Physically.. a beginner can perform this effect. The sleights are very simple, really, but with all the spectator interaction, I would recommend this effect for someone who has some degree of experience.
Actually, if you go to the Murphy’s link below.. there is a video demo AND a script of the bulk of the conversation between the magi and the spectators. This will give you a good idea of how the effect plays out.
The instructions are via Vimeo. The instructions are available in both English and Spanish.. but NO subtitles (Thank You Juan!) The English tutorial is one hour and 17 minutes, and teaches everything you would want to know. There is, aside from the instructions, a full, live performance in English. The first couple of minutes of the video are a live performance in Spanish. It scared me at first.. but not to worry.
Juan actually spends extra time showing how to perform Social Print on virtual performances and ZOOM meetings. This method is super easy and much appreciated by this reviewer.
The video sound and quality are very good, and you shouldn’t have any problems learning Social Print. Juan is from Columbia, South America.. but his English is quite good. He has trouble pronouncing Whoopie Goldberg.. but all is OK..!
There is also a link to a PDF.. if you prefer to learn the routine that way. There is also a sound file available that lets you reproduce the social media sounds.
There are two different versions of Social Print. One reveal is Leonardo Di Caprio and the second is Angeline Jolie. They are separate versions and you can order your choice of celebrity..
SOCIAL PRINT is intended for performers. If you enjoy engrossing your audience in your performance.. this will be a very good purchase for you. Fifty bucks is probably more than you pay for a typical effect.. but once you handle the props and watch the instructions, you’ll agree you made a smart choice. You’ll get LOTS of miles out of Social Print.
“Very visual, very sharp, a gimmick that fits a lot of routines, adapt it according to your imagination.”
– Bernard Bilis
“Colorfool is very smart, clean and more importantly VISUAL. Don’t hesitate, this is very good.”
– Mickael Chatelain
“Wow only 3 letters to describe it WTF”
– Etienne Pradier
COLORFOOL is a precision hand-crafted gimmick for insanely visual magic. With this method you will be able to make a card change, appear, disappear, as many times as you want without any kind of reset. The gimmick has been designed to be used in real close up conditions but also works perfectly for social medias.
In a nutshell:
Ready to go out of the box
Full routine taught
Get ready to be COLORFOOLED.
This is an intelligent little gimmick. I like the basic idea, as it offers the performer the opportunity to perform any one of a number of different effects.
The basic handling is this… You remove the top card of the deck, turn it sideways and place it back on the deck, and wave it like a paintbrush.. which changes the card underneath from a blue back card to a red back card. This is how the gimmick is designed to work. Naturally, like any good color change, you should add a routine to the handling to create the magic.
I don’t think Victor Zatko, the creator, would object to me telling you the magic is achieved with magnets. It’s much more than a couple of magnets placed to pick up the second card. Actually.. you can see the top half of the second card is still blue as the bottom half begins to change to red. You are furnished with four Bicycle cards; three gaffed blue backers and one regular red back card. The additional cards allow the performer to ‘control’ the magnetism. The proprietary feature with COLORFOOL is the precise placements and the handling.
The gaffs are all quality made and will last as long as a Bicycle card normally last. If one of the gaffs should wear out.. the magnets, which are precisely placed, could be removed and attached to another card. I will say that one card contains an internal magnet that would be difficult to replace, but it is also a card not likely to be abused and is only subject to normal wear and tear.
The instructions, approx.17 minutes, are available in either English or French.. and also includes an interesting effect in which a card is chosen and put back in the deck.. and after the deck is ‘painted’ the deck is spread to show every card has changed to red backers -except- the selected card, which still has a blue back. Victor also teaches several tips to help you create your own handling.
The video and audio are quite adequate. This isn’t a slick production, but it doesn’t need to be. COLORFOOL is recommended for any skill level. It was my belief those who will benefit most are those with at least a basic understanding of card magic, particularly considering these custom gimmicks are designed for the performer to add to his current routines and/or create unique content.
The basic handling is a bit ‘nichey’.. until you get the feel for the color change. It shouldn’t be a problem for the vast majority of you guys. Victor suggest that each COLORFOOL is handcrafted, and as such, is unique. Some handlers need to add an additional ungimmicked card between the gaffs to minimize the ‘pull’. Just practice the move a bit.. and you’ll quickly determine what you need to do to make your gimmick most efficient.
Additional notes: In addition to walk-around situations, this is a very good effect for social media. Although I haven’t done so, I think the visuals would be very impressive on camera. Although not totally a head-on effect, you would want to utilize deck management during your performance, primarily by keeping the deck about waist level. When brushing the blue card over the deck immediately before the color change, you can hold the card approx. an inch off the top of the deck, giving the impression the top card is not touching the second card of the deck.
I suggest going to Murphy’s site and watching the demo video to get a true idea of what COLORFOOL looks like in performance. If you decide this is for you.. I honestly think you’ll have a tool in your toolkit unlike anything else you own.
The Vault – BOX CLEVER – by James Brown – A Review
This is the Ad Copy:
The best card under box routine you have ever seen!
A freely chosen card, which can be signed, vanishes from the deck multiple times, appearing under the card case, inside the card case and finally the entire deck jumps into the case! ALL DONE WHILST THE SPECTATOR IS HOLDING THE CARD CASE! This is the kind of routine that gets more impossible with each phase and the closer they watch!
A master class in misdirection that is surprisingly easy to do!
James is a very well-known magician from the South of England. He has been awarded, among other things, The Magic Circle close-up magician of the year… which is quite the big deal. His style of magic is best described as a cross between close-up magic, hypnosis and pickpocketing, all presented in a humorous and casual manner.
I have not reviewed other effects by James for Murphy’s.. so I didn’t know for sure what to expect. I was very pleasantly surprised…
BOX CLEVER really is a type of master class on misdirection. After a card is selected by a spectator, it strangely appears under a card box in the spectator’s hand. Somehow, after being placed back in the deck, the card again appears under the card box. Then, it’s place BACK in the deck.. and this time it appears inside the card box. After one last go-around, the card is the (apparently) only card in the magicians hand.. and the rest of the deck is now revealed to be in the card box.
Everything is achieved through smart misdirection and a very clever one-ahead. There are NO gaffs or props. Everything is strictly above board and is a very, as the name implies, ‘clever’ use of misdirection. I had to watch the video a couple of times to see what I knew was happening.
There are a couple of sleights.. but nothing beyond the average magician. James does utilize a side steal to get a card to the top.. but you can achieve the same action by simply bringing a card to the top using your favorite method. Also, there’s a time or two when you present two cards as one. That’s basically it…. James details his side steal.. if you need it.. and explains everything in detail.
I encourage you to go to Murphy’s site and watch a four minute video of a live performance… a FULL performance with nothing left as an added surprise for the buyers. The video tutorial itself is well-filmed and runs about fourteen and a half minutes. Box Clever is available as an instant download, and you can start learning immediately.
This effect is well worth the cost.. particularly if you are a walk-around or table hopping guy (or lady). It’s VERY strong.. and something you WILL use, over and over, for years to come.
$10.00 .. Available from Murphy’s Magic and their Associates.
The audience will freak out when you allow them to examine before and after you perform Transit. They can watch closely… there’s nothing to catch.
Ron Salamangkero is proud to present his latest creation. A variant of the traveling hole illusion.
The magician punches holes in three corners of a playing card using a puncher. A ribbon is tied through one hole and the ends knotted together. The card now hangs from the ribbon. With no dodgy hand or finger movement, the magician moves the ribbon from one corner hole to another by sliding it through the space between the holes. He does it twice.
It’s visual magic that looks unbelievable even when seen up close!
The magician the hands everything to the spectator for examination.
Transit comes with a gimmick card and a step by step in-depth video instruction
Seems like I’ve reviewed a number of items recently that employ gimmicked cards. This is another such effect. Ron Salamangkero (Creator of The Answer & Face Off) has created a nice gimmick for guys and girls to use in close-up situations.
The basic handling is this.. The performer has a spectator select a card. The card is shown about, and the performer uses a hole punch to punch three holes in three different corners of the selection. A ribbon is tied through one of the holes.. and the magi guides the ribbon from this hole to the second hole.. and then to the third hole, appearing to defy the laws of solid objects. This is similar in appearance to a moving hole effect.. except the ribbon moves instead of the hole.
I’m going to offer up a few initial thoughts..
Thankfully, all the DIY has been performed by Ron. All you need to do is provide a hole punch. If you don’t have one, you can pick one up at most dollar stores. The gaffed card and the ribbon come with the effect.
A twelve minute instructional video has been posted online. Although the video quality is good, I think perhaps the script should have been practiced a time or two before being recorded. This is NOT a deal breaker.. just an observation. Everything you need to know is taught.
The gimmicked card itself CANNOT be passed out for examination. A card is freely selected beforehand.. and this is the card the audience will handle afterwards. For this reason, I am not sure this is an ideal effect for a beginner. Depends on your definition of ‘beginner’.. I suppose. You do need to be able to handle the initial selection, and switching in the gimmick. This is taught in the video.. but just be advised.
This effect should be performed with pace. It will not only look better.. but you will be less apt to ‘flash’ any component of the gimmick.
If you like the moving hole effects.. you’ll really like TRANSIT. This is a sharp gimmick that actually does most of the work for you.. although you WILL have to practice the moves. You’ll not perform this ideally straight out the package. Like most of the hole effects, finger placement is important.
I do wish TRANSIT were a bit less expensive. If you use it, I can see it being a very good investment. Perhaps the price-point could be justified if two or three gimmicked cards were included. As is, there is only one, and I can see it wearing out over time. Perhaps Ron will give you a deal on replacements.??
TRANSIT is made with Bicycle cards.. and is available as either Red or Blue backed gaffs.. your choice. As always, I encourage you to visit the Murphy’s link below and watch the demo. It gives you a great idea of the visual.
Magic Inside Out by Robert E. Neale & Lawrence Hass – A Review
Theory and Art of Magic Press
This is the Ad Copy:
ROBERT E. NEALE is an international treasure for magicians who enjoy mind-bending magic and powerful presentations.
Magic Inside Out collects fourteen of Bob’s astonishing routines-twelve of which appear here for the first time. In keeping with his trademark style, they employ a range of simple props and provocative themes to delightfully twist the perceptions of audiences.
Magic Inside Out also includes a major interview in which, for the first time, Bob tuns himself inside out, sharing the powerful story of his creative life and inspirations.
EUGENE BURGER: Bob Neale has created so many presentations that point us to life-our real lives with all their joy and sorrow, their confusion and clarity, their doubt and faith. Bob’s work is very powerful.
MARTIN GARDNER: Bob Neale is a wonder. How Neale manages to think of such things is a mystery hard to fathom.
JEFF MCBRIDE: Bob Neale is my hero. He takes on challenging topics like death, racism, religion, and other taboos. It astonishes me how he can transform even some of the darkest situations into light, humor, and inspiration.
BARRIE RICHARDSON: Bob Neale is a softhearted human being and a hardheaded philosopher of life. His brain is wired unlike anyone else I know. Bob’s insights make you shake your head with awe, wonder, and respect.
Hardcover; 176 pages. Release Date: January 15, 2021
Theory and Art of Magic Press
There are magicians.. and there are master manipulators. Robert (Bob) Neale, PH.D, is one of the latter. I could go on and on detailing his life and career in both magic and education.. but I don’t know what I could say that would make someone unfamiliar with Robert want to run out and buy this book.. and I don’t have to say anything to make those familiar with Bob instantly buy this book.
This is a gentleman who has co-authored books and DVD’s with Eugene Burger, David Parr, Michael Weber, Jeff McBride and Lawrence Hass. (co-author of this book). He is also the author of a number of extended essays related to magic, creativity, and magic and performance theory. Robert was a monthly columnist for THE LINKING RING, as well as a recipient of a Special Fellowship from The Academy of Magical Arts. Bob is also an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, and taught at Union Theological Seminary in New York as Professor of Psychiatry and Religion. Honestly, I could go on an on.. but I think I’ve made my point.
Lawrence (Larry) Hass, PH.D, aside from being a highly respected artistic magician and writer, is the Dean of the McBride Magic & Mystery School. Larry is a former Professor of Philosophy himself, and had his creative magic featured in or on publications like the New York Times, USAToday, and The Discovery Channel. Larry is one of a tiny few who has taught magic and the magical arts at the college level. In addition to serving as a co-author of MAGIC Inside Out, he is also the publisher of this book.
I think we can actually thank the pandemic for this masterful book. Larry and Bob corresponded throughout 2020, with Bob sending Larry effects.. one by one.. until the two decided it was time to publish. I’m so glad they did…
This is a collection of fourteen very different effects.. each one totally different and unique from the others. There are effects with paper, plastic, currency, cards, a cigarette lighter, a modified magic square, fortune cards, and of course.. a pair of underwear. Seriously…
Bob is not a ‘presenter’ of magic. He is a performer who not only presents magic, but brings it to life with well-crafted patter and intelligent handling. Reading this book, one of the first treats you notice is how he teaches readers to present his magic just as he himself would present it to an audience. He goes into great detail explaining to both the readers and his audience WHY a piece of magic is more than just a moment of amazement. He wants to create a memory his audience will take with them.. and he does exactly that.. with a wonderful combination of aplomb and modesty.
Bob is quite well-known for his Borromean Rings. One of my personal favorites in MAGIC Inside Out is an effect featuring the rings, his script, performance and complete routine. I am easily entranced by items like the Borromean Rings, and it didn’t take much to draw me in. As Bob and Larry write.. it is difficult to relay the mystery of the rings in print. This is one of those effects you need to see. So, they have published a video of the complete five phases of the Baffling Borromean Rings and include the url in the book. This effect is a more compact version of the original, but you get to see/read about both versions.
Another of my favorite is Dream Door.. which is a close up version of Trap Door. The handling of this small miracle is very well taught, along with all the psychological and emotional aspects. You will like this…
The Nun Who Saw Strangely is another personal favorite. This is a nine-square magic square.. that isn’t a magic square. It is a very poignant story of a group of nuns from many years ago.. and tells their tale of great loss and how a small square that isn’t what it seems to be.. is actually something much deeper and complex. The working isn’t complex.. but the story is quite a drama.
Other effects, including Vietnam Zippo and Private Underpants, are just as interesting. I think, I hope, I’ve created enough interest in MAGIC Inside Out you’ll hurry on over and reward yourself with a book you won’t be able to put down until you’ve read every word and every effect. This is magic you won’t find anywhere else…
The last 40 pages are reserved for an in-depth interview with Bob.. by Larry. It’s only fitting. You NEED to understand the mind behind the magic, the mind behind the creativity and presentational matters in Magic Inside Out. This is truly rarefied air.. and I don’t doubt for a moment you will enjoy this as much as I did.
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Subscribe Here.. https://magicroadshow.com
That does it for this issue. I hope you found something to help your magic along. Remember, if you have material you would like to see published on the Magic Roadshow site.. send it to: email@example.com (This is my personal email. Guard it with your life..)
This page may contain affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and make a purchase, I may earn a commission on the sale. The price that you pay should not be affected by buying through an affiliate link, and I never use affiliate links if I know they’ll result in a price increase.
Every effort has been made to ensure that the information in the Magic Roadshow is accurate. However, there is no guarantee that you will achieve any particular results using the information provided or any products referenced. Examples in this document are not to be interpreted as promises or guarantees of any particular results.
All information is for education and information purposes only. Seek the advice of a qualified professional before acting on such information. In using this document, you agree that the Magic Roadshow and its publisher, Rick Carruth, are not responsible for your success or failure as a result of purchases made through this site.
A New MAGIC ROADSHOW Journal of Magic.. Issue# 200
Welcome to the last ‘regular’ issue of the Magic Roadshow! I decided some time back that issue# 200 was my ultimate goal. You have no idea how close I came to stopping after issue# 100 because I saw that as my last issue. But, for whatever reason, it didn’t feel right. I felt like I still had a few issues left in me and I decided to just publish until I wanted to stop.
It’s not that I want to stop now.. but I want to be able to publish on MY schedu 200le and not on some perceived schedule I have in my head. I’m a stickler on ‘doing the right thing’, and don’t know when to take a break. I feel as if I’ll be letting someone down.. so I publish on a timetable.
Oh, I’ve had reader after reader tell me not to worry about a schedule, but I have just as many readers wanting to know if the next issue is around the corner. I try to keep everyone happy and I try to publish the best free newsletter money can buy. I cannot tell you the ‘thank you sir’ emails I’ve received from both here and abroad.. particularly from less fortunate countries where magic resources are hard to come by… and from young adults who cannot afford other publications. THAT is the source of my feelings of obligation.
(The photos?… The Carruth family. Carolyn and Zoey have patiently let me spend endless hours publishing the Roadshow..)
I am so thankful that friends like Paul Romhany now publish online magazines that exceed my imagination. If you don’t subscribe to VANISH, which is totally free, you aren’t serious about magic. ( http://www.vanishmagic.com/ )
I am still going to send out an issue when the mood strikes. I am still going to publish regular features and reviews to https://magicroadshow.com .. I’ll probably start to publish even more to the Magic Roadshow homepage since it’s so simple and quick. I’m just NOT going to publish issues on a regular schedule. Fourteen years nonstop, and never charged a single cent, is long enough.
So much has changed in the last 14 years. There was a time when I would receive 40 to 50 replies every time I published a new issue. It was such a pleasure to respond to the replies and get to actually know something about readers. Now.. I do good if I receive 4 or 5 replies. Times have changed.. the internet has changed.. people and their responses have changed.
I sorely miss the early years. I could get my newsletter to almost all subscribers.. spam filters weren’t a problem, and the Can Spam Act was only a notion in some Congressman’s mind. Now, I don’t know where the heck the Roadshow goes. Folks tell me they got it.. folks tell me they didn’t. Google changes it algorithm about as ofter as I change my socks. A little guy doesn’t stand a chance!
True story…. There was a time I bought an ebook off Ebay.. “David Blaine Secret’s Revealed”. I bought it for $3.99 and it came with ‘free resale rights’. What did I do? I created a little one page website.. wrote some sales copy.. created a Paypal ‘buy now’ button.. carefully worded the sales copy to include some good key words (which I knew how to do).. and put it on the web. I waited for the search engine ‘bots to index my site, and after about three
weeks it started showing up in their search results. I was making about $15 dollars a day for an ebook that the purchaser downloaded after making their payment. Three months after it was indexed, I was selling an ebook every 15 minutes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You do the math…
I would be embarrassed to tell you how much I generated in sales off affiliate ads in the first 100 issues. Think six figures. Then, a well-known figure in the magic community emailed me at 5.30 one morning to tell me all my affiliate ad links would be shut down at 7am. He resented that my ads were being indexed above his ads on Google. (Again, I knew how to maximize search engine results). If this guy had been smart, he would have paid me to drop my ads.. and work as a consultant for his company. He didn’t.. I didn’t.. and his company is now so far down the ladder it’s a non-factor. Oh well..
Now you know why I ‘almost’ quit after 100 issues.
That was also when I decided there was more to magic than making money. I cut almost all ads from the Roadshow, except a few Google Ads to help pay for hosting and mailing out the Roadshow. In recent years, I sometimes excluded them as well.
Eventually.. all that was important was telling the story….
Remember, this is not the last you’ll hear from the Roadshow. I will stay in touch and I’ll continue to find good stuff across the internet and pass it on. So, don’t be afraid to tell friends about us and don’t discourage anyone from signing up! Till next time…..
“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps” (Pr 16:9 NIV).
-Open Travelers – Larry Jennings and Paul Lelekis
-Sherlock Holmes And The Case Of The Lying Liar – Christopher M. Reynolds
-Royal Magic’s “Zig Zag Card” – Al Albers’ presentation and handling:
-The Patron Saint Of Magicians – Christopher M. Reynolds
-When Harry Met Howard: The Unknown Collaboration.. Christopher M. Reynolds
-The Sudden Flash of Genius That Made Magician Rocco Silano Rich – Article
-The Power of a Name – Two spelling effects by Werner Miller
-Our FREE PDF – Full of Effects from Past Issues – Effects
-The Previous Nine PDF’s – Effects
-4 EASY effects to perform with the Faro Shuffle – Video Tutorial – Shin Lim
-How To Perform Isolations – Cardistry Tutorial Feat. Anna DeGuzman
-Presentation and Showmanship Advice – Vinh Giang Ted Talk
-The Art of Cognitive Blindspots – Kyle Eschen – TEDxVienna
-Reading Minds Through Body Language – Lynne Franklin – TEDxNaperville
-The Magic of Chemistry – with Andrew Szydlo – Video Lecture
-Science or Magic? – Free PDF
-Cutting The Aces – Video Tutorial
-Bobo’s Modern Coin Magic – Free PDF
-Z Matrix.. (Impossible One Handed Matrix) – A Review – Rick Carruth
-Amazing Magic I – Paul Lelekis – A Review – Rick Carruth
-The Vault – Revolt by Geraint Clarke – A Review – Rick Carruth
-The Mysterious Puzzle of the Missing Dollar Bill – A Review – Rick Carruth
-All Tied Up – Chris Philpott – A Review – Rick Carruth
-How Young Magicians Are Learning to Cast a Spell on a Modern Audience – Article
-9 Yr. Old Guitar Prodigy Taj Farrant – Video
-Other Important Stuff….
( One of my favorite parts of each issue has been the Quotes section… little morsels of truth..)
“There is a real magic in enthusiasm. It spells the difference between mediocrity and accomplishment.” Norman Vincent Peale
“Disbelief in magic can force a poor soul into believing in government and business.” Tom Robbins
“Scientists have calculated that the chances of something so patently absurd actually existing are millions to one. But magicians have calculated that million-to-one chances crop up nine times out of ten.” – Terry Pratchett
“When you’re touched by magic, nothing’s ever quite the same again. What really makes me sad is all those people who never have the chance to know that touch. They’re too busy, or they just don’t hold with make-believe, so they shut the door without really knowing it was there to be opened in the first place.” – Charles De Lint
“Magic is not done, it’s not performed. Like any performance art, it withers away to nothing if it’s not presented in the grand style. Moving your feet around is not dancing, reading the lyrics is not singing, and pulling a rabbit out of a hat is not magic.” – John Cassidy & Michael Stroud
“Magic and all that is ascribed to it is a deep presentiment of the powers of science.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“I don’t want realism… I want magic!” – Tennessee Williams
OPEN TRAVELERS – Larry Jennings and Paul Lelekis
This is my version of Jennings’ classic effect. Many magicians shy away from this trick because they feel it is too easy to “get caught”!
If you follow the simple directions below, you will have a very convincing piece of theater that appears to be real magic – it is THAT good!
I have added a little-known “deceit” that will (when casually done) have a very powerful impact on your spectators. It has been around for a long time.
EFFECT: The four Aces travel from the performer’s hands to join the Ace of Spades on the table…the 4th Ace traveling from the deck, to the packet!
SET-UP: Arrange the 4 Aces, in the order, from the face…Ace of Spades, red Ace, red Ace, and Ace of Clubs – the Ace of Clubs will be on top of the face-down packet.
The Aces will be referred to as…AS, AH, AD, and AC from here on out.
METHOD: Hold the deck face up, in your left hand. Get a left pinkie break under the card at the face of the deck – whatever it might be.
Have the four Aces, face down on the table in the above order, use your left hand with deck, to scoop up the four Aces, adding the extra card (I’ll call it the “x” card) to the back of the face-up Aces – the Ace of Spades will be seen at the face.
Your left hand spreads the three Aces at the face, displaying all four Aces. The extra card is kept hidden behind the AC, held as a double. (See Bob Stencil Display)
Display: Bob Stencil Squiggle Move –
Hold the 5-card packet face up in your left hand. Push over the three Aces at the face, holding the AC and the extra card (the “x” card) as one.
Take the AS and red Ace into your right hand – the AC double and the other red Ace, spread in the left hand. Your thumbs move the cards around in a “squiggly fashion”, keeping the AC double, intact.
1st Ace Travels:
Place the right hand cards back onto the left hand cards, holding a left pinkie break beneath the AS and the red Ace beneath it.
Grasp the AS/indifferent card double, as one card in right hand Biddle grip, flipping the double, face down and re-taking it into Biddle grip.
You next mention that, “…the Aces will travel, one at a time, from the packet of Aces, to join the leader Ace of Spades.”
As you say the above line, ‘…packet of Aces…’, take the three cards remaining (the red Ace, AC, and an “x” card) in your left hand and spread them, face down, as you reach out and lay them down away from you, closer to your spectator(s).
At the same time that you place the supposed three Aces down, quietly lay the AS double, face down on the surface, close to you as one card.
NOTE: To keep the AS/”x” card double from “splitting”, keep the nail of your right index finger, pressed against the back of the double as you release your other fingers. Then lift your right hand, straight up, and away. This action will keep the double, perfect.
Don’t worry about the double card, AS/red Ace, at this point…the other “three Aces” will draw all attention away from the AS double – there’s NO reason for anyone to think that there is anything ‘funny’ with the AS…so relax!
Plus, remember the “rules of misdirection”…since your left hand with the three spread “Aces” moves first and fastest AND is placed out near the spectators, all attention will be brought there and NO ONE will even suspect the AS double.
Mention that one of the Aces will travel, invisibly, to join the Ace of Spades.
Pick up the ‘three Aces’ and perform a Rub-a-Dub vanish of the top card of the Ace packet. Rub it on the table top until it ‘vanishes’ – but pretend it is in your right-hand palm…but it’s invisible.
I’m not going to waste time explaining this sleight, but rest assured there is someone on YouTube, somewhere, explaining how it works.
Hold your right hand, with palm upward, and place this ‘invisible card’ onto the supposed AS by placing the edge of your right palm onto the right edge of the double.
Then as you turn your right hand, palm down, the fleshy edge of your right palm will make the double split by pulling the top card of the double to your right…but not until your right hand turns down, far enough to hide the ‘splitting’ movement.
This side-jogged “split” of the double (pretending to place an invisible card down with said card “reappearing” almost visibly!) needs to be practiced for best results.
However, when done properly, the spectators will audibly gasp! It is an amazing sleight and looks like real magic!
Now you will ‘show’ that one of the Aces has vanished from packet in your left hand! Turn the triple (supposedly only two cards), face up into your left hand.
Your left thumb then pushes over the red Ace, exposing the AC double card beneath – being sure to keep the double squared up.
Here is where the “choreography” continues…take note that this is a fairly original approach that I have been using for years and years:
First of all, use both hands to square up the two (actually three) cards in your left hand and turn those cards, face down, into your left hand.
Then your right hand takes the two Aces on the table (AS and red Ace) and turns them face up, tossing them gently, toward the middle of the table – away from you.
Now transfer the three cards in your left hand, to your right hand in Biddle grip, in readiness for the Kelly Bottom Placement Move/Ovette Master Move as follows:
As you toss the AS and red Ace outward, the right ring finger, pulls the red Ace (at the face of the face-down packet) over, angle-jogging it to your right, as your left hand reaches outward to the two face-up Aces, turns them face down, and brings them close to you and in front of you. The three cards are still in right hand Biddle grip.
Your left hand returns and grasps the two upper cards in your right hand by the left long side, left thumb on top. The left hand then takes only two cards, the AC and “x” card, instead of all three cards, and places them at the outer part of the table, away from you.
As the above happens, the red Ace is retained in the right hand due to its angle-jog, in a sort of Gambler’s Cop.
All eyes will follow the left hand and cards going to the table. This is similar to a Vernon Transfer Move…only the red Ace is more hidden beneath your right hand.
Then in one motion, the right hand and red Ace, drops down to the AS and the other red Ace below, adding the red Ace to them, as you drag the cards to the edge of the table, and into your left hand, squaring them up into both hands.
This choreography is undetectable if performed fluidly.
Situation Check: At the outer part of your working surface are two face down cards, supposedly the AC and the other red Ace. Actually they are the AC at the face and the “x” card on top of the AC.
The other cards (in your hands) are the AS, AH, and the AD. The spectators only believe there to be two cards in your hands, the AS and only one red Ace.
2nd Ace Travels:
Turn the three (supposedly only TWO cards) in your hands, face down. Hold them firmly in right hand Biddle grip.
Buckle the bottom card, the Ace of Spades, and pull it over to your left, holding the double above it firmly. Turn your right hand, palm up, to show, apparently, only two cards, the AS and a red Ace (actually a double card with a hidden red Ace).
Turn the double, (actually three cards!) face up with your right hand to show the AS and the red Ace double, side-jogged, for just a moment.
Turn the side-jogged cards, face down, and lay them on the table near your inner right. The double card (two red Aces) will be side-jogged to your right, and above the Ace of Spades – all face down – it will appear to be just two cards.
Make the supposed red Ace vanish!
Square the two cards up and hold them in your left hand, face down. With your right hand fingers on top and right thumb below, pick up the top “x” card a little to your right, and turn it clockwise until the “x” card is facing you…only you can see the face!
Then rotate the card so that the right long edge of the card is now pointing toward the ceiling and the other long side closest to the spectators is upon the outer edge of the AC below it. This is the Finely Tent Vanish position.
The “x” card will have its long side nearest your body and held up by the left thumb like a “Pup” Tent over the AC. The “open long side” of the card tent will be facing only you and is held up by the left thumb… only you can see the 3 of Diamonds.
Put your right hand in front of the leaning card and pretend to palm it off – but instead – allow the long side of the card to drop off of your left thumb and fall flush with the AC. Then pull away with your right hand as though you have the card palmed in that hand.
Turn your right hand palm up to show that the supposed AD appears to have become invisible!
Place your open hand over the AS pile, turn your hand down and pretend to place the invisible card down onto the AS pile, secretly moving the AD over to your right…again it will appear that the card has suddenly become visible!
Pick up the AS pile and toss them, face up to the middle of the table. There will now be three Aces at the main pile…the AS, AH, and AD!
3rd Ace Travels:
You will still be holding the AC/”x” card as one card…the Ace of Clubs. Again turn the Ace pile, face down, bring it, in a sloppy 3-card pile near to you and just a little to your right.
Now hold the AC double up, with the face of the Ace of Clubs toward the audience. You will now appear to be placing the AC, face down on the table.
A COOL SWITCH! (See video!)
You will now perform a switch that has been a favorite of mine for many years and I use it with several effects. I believe it to be reminiscent of a Marlo sleight.
What you will appear to do, is to display the Ace of Clubs (a double) and merely place it, face down, out in front of you on the table. You will then pick up the AS pile.
This switch and load is very deceptive! When you finally DO perform it, you will get that “warm feeling” of satisfaction!
Here’s what actually happens…
Hold the AC double with the face of the double, toward the audience. Your right hand index and middle fingers, contact the upper left non-indexed corner of the double and your right thumb, holding at that corner from behind.
Keep your right hand fingers from blocking the upper, right indexed corner by keeping them closer to the non-indexed left corner, at the upper short end of the double.
Be very casual at this point because you are “only displaying”, a supposedly single card…the Ace of Clubs!
Now you will casually grasp the double at the LOWER left corner with your left fingers, and in one smooth motion, pull the double card’s lower short end, backwards toward your body, in a circular motion.
When the double’s face is toward the floor (out of view) your right ring finger pulls the AC over to your right (the same as the Kelly Bottom Placement Move/Ovette Master Move described above) so that it will be in position to be “copped”.
Continue the circular motion (as you pull the hidden AC over) until the “x” card is now facing ONLY YOU! Your left hand will have invisibly switched in the “x” card – don’t let this card be seen! Place this “x” card, face down, at the outer part of your working surface.
AS YOUR LEFT HAND reaches forward with the “x” card (supposedly the AC!) and places it face down (still unseen) on the outer part of your working surface.
THEN the right hand comes down (with copped card) on top of the AS packet, secretly adding it to the top. Drag these cards towards yourself and square them up.
The choreography and misdirection of this move is compelling. I’ve performed it for very knowledgeable card guys and have never even raised an eyebrow!
3rd Ace Travels:
When you have secretly added the AC to the top of the AS pile, pick them up and square them.
Turn this 4-card packet (all four Aces!) face up into your left hand. The spectators will think that you only have 3 Aces at this point.
Push over the two face Aces (the AS and a red Ace), showing three Aces…the Ace of Clubs will be hidden behind the third red Ace from the face of the packet. Turn this side-jogged packet, spread packet, face down, and lay them onto the table.
Now pick up the supposed AC (“x” card) at the outer part of the table and place it on top of the deck.
Now take your right hand and pretend to palm this card off of the deck. Turn your right hand face up to show that the AC has turned invisible, and then pretend to lay it on the AS packet, spreading the AC to your right – just like the other two times!
Turn the AS packet face up to show all four Aces have arrived! Then turn the top few cards of the deck, face up, to show NO Ace of Clubs! This is a SUPERB effect and it is easier to do than you think!
** I would also like to thank Paul for all the great contributions he’s made to the Magic Roadshow through the years. Without his help I would not have made it to Issue 200. It was a relief knowing I could depend on Paul to provide me with a commercial effect and not have to write one of my own at a time when my time was stretched thin. Thanks again Paul !!
Sherlock Holmes And The Case Of The Lying Liar
By Christopher M. Reynolds
Sherlock Holmes. The name has now become synonymous worldwide with the concept of the super-sleuth; detective heroes with ungodly intellectual powers, a keen sense of rational observation, an uncanny ability for deductive reasoning, and highly educated in the applications of forensic science.
The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes, created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, has sold more copies(other than the works of William Shakespeare and the Holy Bible) than any other book in the English language. The fictional crime-solver also has the distinction of being the most portrayed movie character in cinema history, according to Guinness World Records. More than 70 actors have played the part of Holmes in over 200 hundred films, and many more in other media such as television, radio, and the stage; the latest adaptations being in role-playing and video games.
With this deceptive puzzle, you step into the role of the greatest detective ever written and follow in the footsteps of such acting greats as Basil Rathbone, Peter Cushing, Robert Downey Jr., and Benedict Cumberbatch. Using your methodical detective skills, you single-handedly solve the case of the lying liar.
If a magician is an actor playing the part of a magician, then in this trick you’ll be a magician playing the part of an actor, playing the part of Sherlock Holmes. Get into character-really ham it up. Get a pipe, magnifying glass, one of those silly looking deerstalker hats, and speak in a British accent. Just don’t take your method acting too far. Holmes was written as a depressed, anti-social opium addict. You don’t have to suffer for your art that much*.
You put a red ace and a black ace in front of you, and tell the two volunteers needed for the trick that you’ll be leaving the room. While your gone you want each of them to pick one of the cards on the table and put it in their pocket. They’re also to decide who is to tell the truth and who is to lie. Tell them that when you return you’ll ask one question. Which one of the two should you ask?
Once they decide who will answer the question, you leave the room. Each person picks up one of the cards and they decide who will lie and who will tell the truth. When you return, you ask one question and immediately tell who has the red card and who has the black card.
The question you ask when you return is, “Did the liar take the red ace?” The answer will tell you who does have the red ace and, consequently, who has the black ace. You look for the negative answer about the red ace. If, when you ask for it, the person answers no, then he has the red ace; if the answer is yes, then the other person has the red ace.
Place a red ace and a black ace on the table in front of you.
Magician: In a moment I’m going to leave the room. While I’m gone I want each of you to pick up one of these two cards and put it in you pocket. Also decide, while I’m gone, who is to lie and who is to tell the truth. When I come back I’ll ask one question of one of you. Whom should I ask?
You! Good, now I’ll leave, and you can each select a card and decide who will tell the truth and who will be the liar.
Leave. When you return, approach the person who is to answer your question.
Magician: Does the liar have the red ace?
If they answers yes:
Magician: That means you have the black ace and he has the red one.
If they answers no:
Magician: That means you have the red ace and he has the black one.
RULE #1 OF MAGIC: NEVER REPEAT A TRICK! With that said-if you want to repeat the trick, then ask for the black ace instead of the red ace. Also, you don’t have to use playing cards in order to accomplish this effect. Any two small objects will do. Regardless of what object you have asked for, always go to the negative answer. Try it and watch your audience believe that you just used sophisticated mental gymnastics to solve a complex problem of logic and deduction.
*A funny show biz story about the importance some thespians place on method acting; for Dustin Hoffman, method acting was a religion. In his collaboration on the film Marathon Man, with the classically trained Sir Laurence Olivier, the script called for a scene in which Hoffman’s character had been awake for 72 hours. Hoffman admitted that he too had stayed up 72 hours in order to reach artistic authenticity. “My dear boy,” Olivier retorted , “why don’t you just try acting”.
Royal Magic’s “Zig Zag Card” – Al Albers’ presentation and handling:
In my routine, “A Ghost in The Light” (The Magic Roadshow #198), I recommended the performer sign the ghost card before giving it to the spectator assistant, as a souvenir. Here’s another example of a “playing card souvenir handout” for your consideration.
Spoiler Alert. The secret behind Royal Magic’s Zig Zag Card is revealed on You Tube. (It’s unfortunate that some believe, or feel obligated, that it’s their right to divulge magic secrets.)
The above said, please read on.
As magicians, we know that surprise is the result of an unexpected event. For example: a coin visibly vanishes (think 3-Fly) from the magician’s fingertips. That action resulted in a violation of the rules of expectation. In simpler terms, it’s impossible that that could have occurred. The result: astonishment – a gap between our assumptions and expectations.
What You Need….
-Three-quarter-inch diameter, self-stick labels. (I use white labels, but if you opt to use color ones, use a light color such as yellow, light-green, orange or light-blue. The reason is that you’re going to have a spectator initial the label and you want their initials to stand out.
-Preferably, a fine-tip black ink sharpie.
-A one-way forcing deck that matches the gimmicked card embedded in the frame. (For these instructions, we’ll assume the card is the Jack of Spades.)
-A regular deck of Bicycle playing cards that match the one-way deck.
-Self-stick mailing labels; use a size that’ll neatly fit on the back of a playing card.
-Prepare the mailing labels with your personal information. Once you’ve printed out a full sheet, cut the sheet in half from top to bottom. Then accordion-fold the half sheet.
-If this effect will be the finale in your card routine, use your favorite method to get the Jack of Spades to the top of the deck before you display the card frame. If this is the only card trick in your set, have the Jack of Spades already on top of the deck.
-Place the card frame in your right jacket pocket.
-Place a mailing label half-sheet, and the deck, in your inside jacket pocket.
-In the left jacket pocket, place the sharpie pen and a sheet of the round labels.
With the Jack of Spades in forcing position, give the deck a few false cuts or shuffles. Then casually place the deck face-down on the table to your right.
Say, “Have you seen the illusion where a lady is placed into a box, cut into three pieces and her mid-section is moved two feet to the left?” Wait for a reply.
Continuing, say, “I’m going to try to replicate that illusion … but on a much smaller scale.” As you say this, reach into your pocket, remove the card frame and place it on the table to your left. And instead of a lady, I’m going to use a playing card.” Pick up the deck of cards and using your favorite method, force the Jack of Spades.
Say, “Please place the card you selected face-up on the table.”
Return the deck to your pocket. Next, bring out the sharpie pen, and the round label sheet. Hand these two items to the spectator and request he initial one of the labels.
Place the sharpie in your pocket. Have the spectator peel off the initialed label and firmly place it in the center of the face-up Jack of Spades. Retrieve the label sheet and place it in your pocket.
Pick up the card frame with your right hand, holding it so the single cutout window is to your left. Pick up the initialed card (keep the face toward the spectator) with your left hand and insert it into the frame’s slot. Then slide the card to the right so it’s visible through the top, middle and bottom cutout windows.
Pause and then pull the center of the card to the left, stopping when the initials fill the cutout window. Pause again, and then slide the center to the right. Remove the card from the frame and immediately hand it to the spectator.
Without hesitation, return the frame in your pocket. Bring out the accordion-folded mailing labels and carefully place one on the card’s back. Hand the card to the spectator as you thank him.
The first time I presented this effect, the spectator wrote his initials in broad strokes that were slightly off-center. He was astonished at the effect, which pleased me, but I instinctively knew that if it happened once, it could happen again. Hence the reason I immediately decided to use round labels. This ensured the spectator kept within the label’s border and it was placed where I wanted it: the center of the card. That said, the use of labels is your choice.
Remove a Jack of Spades from the one-way forcing deck and place it on top of the regular deck. You’re ready to perform the routine again.
The Patron Saint Of Magicians
By Christopher M. Reynolds
In the Catholic religion, a patron saint is a type of guardian angel. They watch over a variety of people, places, and things. Don’t worry. You name it; the Catholic Church has a patron saint that has it covered. Some examples are Doctors, nurses, beekeepers, beggars, teachers, sailors, and firefighters. Others are downright bizarre. Dysentery, hangovers, torture victims, clowns, jugglers, beer drinkers, arms dealers, and disappointing children. Up to and including butchers, bakers, and candlestick makers. Even ugly people get a saint to call their own. It’s only fair that something as implausible as magicians could get added to the list.
On first glance, the Catholic Church has as much in common with magic and illusion, that convicted dogfighter, Michael Vick, has in common with the S.P.C.A. Whether one is a devoted Catholic, Christian, agnostic, or atheist, a patron saint of magicians seems too far fetched to be true.
Don Bosco was a priest, and amateur conjurer, who was ordained a saint in 1934 by Pope Pious 11th. Every January 31, Don Bosco’s feast day on the Catholic liturgical calendar, magicians celebrate by performing free benefit shows for children. Performing for kids is immensely gratifying. It’s not hard to see why Don Bosco chose to spread his passion for God to them with his use of magic and illusion.
In January 2002, a raucous, carnival-like atmosphere swept Vatican City. On this day, hundreds of glitzy, costumed magicians, ventriloquist‘s, fire eaters, and jugglers, from around the globe, gathered to present a petition to his Holiness, Pope John Paul 2nd. Leading the crusade was Salesian Father Silvano Mantelli. He and his army of entertainers called upon the Pope to declare, St. John Bosco, as the patron saint of magicians.
For twenty-five years, Fr. Mantelli, has been the principal organizer of the Mass Of The Conjurers, a celebration held every January 15, in St. Boscos hometown of Becchi. Magicians from around the world are invited to attend the special Magicians Mass and perform for the congregation. He also stays active in the Italian magic community as president and founder of his non-profit organization, The Mago Sales Foundation. This charitable institution travels to third world countries to perform magic for planets poorest children.
Fr. Mantelli handed the eighty-one-year-old Pope a very special gift. A crystal box containing a polished teak wood wand from India. It was a symbolic gesture to encourage Pope John Paul 2nd to continue performing the great magic that the world needs. Vatican officials said it was the first time any Pope had received a magic wand. It was a present from a young boy whose father had been an itinerant street magician. The child had been raised in one of, Mother Teresa’s, Missionaries Of Charity orphanages. He stoically offered this cherished memento to, Fr. Mantelli, to give to His Holiness on this special occasion. The Pope responded to the gift by announcing to the gathered crowd, “We’ll need a lot of magic wands to change our world; let’s start with this one.” Was this the Catholic Churches unspoken, yet long-delayed, public apology to the many conjurers who were condemned to death centuries ago?
Sigmund Freud characterized hostile humor as disguised aggressiveness. He argued that antagonistic wisecracking releases psychological tension and stifles homicidal impulses. The vocabulary of stand-up comedy is notorious for using violent sounding words to describe success at making an audience roar with laughter: “I murdered them!” or ”I killed!”
In Elizabethan times, being accused of being a magician was no laughing matter. The victimized found it about as funny as dying of the Black Plague. Words like murder and kill, directed towards them, took on more sinister meanings. The Catholic Church of yesteryear was known for many things. Having a sense of humor about heresy isn’t one of them.
Morton Smiths 1978 book, Jesus The Magician; Son Of God Or Charlatan, laid down the theory that Jesus was a wandering sleight of hand magician. Smith claims the miracles he performed were nothing but basic conjuring tricks. Early Christian artists of 3rd and 4th centuries A.D., regularly depicted Jesus Christ performing miracles while holding a and in his hand.
During the first ten centuries of its existence, the fledgling religion was weak and few in numbers. By the eleventh century, the Church had become more powerful. Not seeing the irony of the situation, they launched a brutal campaign of terror against the practice of magic. The Ten Commandments were loose guidelines the clergy were expected to follow. What the Bible had to say about magicians and their ilk, wasn’t up for interpretation. Take, for example, this passage from the King James Bible:
Revelation 21;8-But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whore mongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone; which is the second death
The Papacy had a list of reasons to justify this persecution. Magicians denied the existence of God. They blasphemed. They committed incest, murder, and bestiality. They worshipped Satan and called him by name. They used their own children as human sacrifices to the devil. In their eyes, magicians were mindless, hedonistic slaves to Beelzebub’s sexy and sinful ways.
Rumors were good enough to prove a charge of heresy. The tiniest bit of gossip whispered into a blabbermouths ear, could set off a tragic chain of events. Even if the accusation was proved to be false, witch hunters dished out a suitable punishment regardless. Guilty or not guilty were differences without a distinction. This was done as a friendly reminder to stay on the path of God.
Among the innocents caught up in the deluge were a number of persons practicing the ancient art of sleight of hand. It was presumed that their entertaining deceptions were aided by evil spirits. Those who dared ply their trade were hunted down and persecuted with extreme prejudice.
The making of a saint dates back to the time of Charlemagne, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. The first public churches were built over the graves of Christian martyrs. Supply couldn’t keep up with demand. Soon, Christians began dedicating churches to other holy men and women. Having been crucified or beheaded, in the name of Jesus, wasn’t necessary anymore.
At first, becoming named a saint was a simple process (the equivalent of a high school popularity contest.) Things got out of hand fast. Overzealous parishioners started making up fictional exploits, even fictional martyrs, to get their guy or gal elected to sainthood. Church officials decided to intervene. Soon it became like The Academy Awards. The nomination process was taken out of the hands of the commoners. This left the voting procedure to members of an official governing body.
In 1983, Pope John Paul 2nd made radical changes to the canonization process. Local bishops would begin an investigation into the life of the nominated saint. In order to gain a historical perspective, this sometimes took years after their death. If they lived up to their holy virtues, these findings were brought before a panel of Vatican sponsored theologians. This group then gave the yes or no as to whether the beatification process could move forward. To the secular, beatification sounds like the title of a Jack Kerouac novel. To Vatican officials, it’s a term that means, Blessed. To be beatified, the planned saint needs to perform one miracle after their death. If they pass this crucial test, then they can officially be put on a pedestal by their devotees.
Performing one miracle is a rarity. Performing two is a miracle in itself. In order to be canonized a saint, the venerated must have two miracles under their belt. Once this is accomplished, the Pope can give the official thumbs up. The proposed saint is then awarded membership into the club. Being bestowed this honor tells us that person is in Heaven for leading a holy life. This highest honor is to be recognized by the Universal Church.
John Bosco ( Italian: Giovanni Melchiorre Bosco; 16, August 1815-31 January 1888) was born in the hillside village of Becchi. It’s a quaint and picturesque hamlet in northwest Italy, bordered by France and Switzerland. His father, Francesco Bosco, was a poor tenant farmer. He died two years after his youngest sons birth. His mother, Margerhita, was left to raise him and his two brothers-illiterate, unskilled, and alone.
Ninety days before giving birth to the future saint, French General Napoleon Bonaparte’s army was defeated at Waterloo. For three years prior, the Italian peasantry of the Piedmont region, which Becchi was a part of, had fought boldly against the French. Their resistance finally crumbled after Bonaparte had taken command of the invading forces. He ordered his regiment to lay siege to the rustic countryside village. They left little standing. The aftermath was dreadful. Hunger, drought and organized crime became unwelcomed parts of daily life.
In order to survive, young John Bosco found work as a shepherd, tending farm animals, picking fruit, and any other employment that a young boy could find. His mother may have been illiterate, but she made sure that the same handicap wouldn’t befall her youngest son. He was sent to the local parish for basic instruction in the four R’s: reading, writing, arithmetic, and religion.
Despite the hardships, life growing up wasn’t complete misery for John Bosco. In-between work and study, on market days, he would go to town with his mother. Live entertainment was a frequent attraction in the bustling marketplaces. Young John became enamored of the magicians, fire-eaters, acrobats, and jugglers who performed for the jostling crowds. He especially leaned towards the magicians. With a keen eye, he studiously observed their performances. Gradually he figured out how these seemingly impossible feats were carried out. What tricks he couldn’t figure out on his own, he begged and pleaded for the traveling showmen to teach him. Through sheer dedication, he was able to cobble together enough sleight of hand moves, plus juggling and acrobatic stunts, to put together a small act.
Lying, cheating, and stealing are three necessary skills in the performance of magic. Stage magicians consider themselves to be practitioners in the art of honest deception. Magician, escape artist, and psychic debunker James Randi has referred to the practice as, “Telling lies for fun and profit.” Even at such a young age, John Bosco knew that performing magic in a conventional way wouldn’t suit him. Instead, the adolescent showman replaced the fibs, hoaxes and tall tales normally associated with conjuring, with something more spiritually nourishing. In his young hands, gaudy tricks became stories and presentations that illustrated something more divine.
Free time for John Bosco was a luxury. What little was available he spent performing his routine. Prayer was the price of admission to his shows. The pious young entertainer began and ended his programs by leading the crowd in worship. His act consisted of magic tricks, juggling balls and plates, walking a tight rope, and other impressive feats of acrobatics. In-between tricks he taught scripture. Any village bullies who heckled him were promptly challenged to a contest of strength. He instantly earned their respect. Week after week, Bosco gave sermons to flocks of curious bystanders who had stopped to watch his feats of conjuring. These audiences were made up of some of the poorest children in his neighborhood. The experience stayed etched into his memory.
Mentalist Max Maven says, “Young boys somewhere between that ages of nine and twelve go through a phase of wanting to learn magic. The phase is usually abandoned just as quickly as it’s taken up, and they’re off to the next phase of their adolescent arch.” Young Bosco was one of those boys, only the typical phase was no typical phase at all. Magic, along with a love of reading, study, plus his intense religious devotion, stayed with him for the rest of his life. These passions set the tone for his future life as a priest.
The word, Don, in Italian, is a title of respect, meaning Sir or Mister. Italians used this term centuries before actor Marlon Brando portrayed Mafia boss, Don Corleone, in Francis Ford Coppola’s epic film, The Godfather. After his ordination in 1841, the newly christened, Don Bosco, was just another ordained priest serving parishioners in the capital city of Turin. He had made a commitment to work exclusively with poor children, the kind he had entertained with his magic tricks years prior.
After the devastation of the Napoleonic wars, suffering continued in the form of the industrial revolution. It caused more earthly misfortune than the human progress it claimed to represent. In Bosco’s eyes, it brought with it a lack of faith in God. To the poverty-stricken farmers, the mysteries of the Almighty lacked the basic appeal of the almighty dollar that factory jobs produced. Unable to properly support their loved ones, young men left the countryside in droves looking for work in cities. The grass seemed greener on the other side. Sadly, it was all an illusion. There wasn’t enough work to go around. Many of those same boys ended up homeless on the streets and took to lives of crime.
As any religiously minded parent knows, getting children interested in the church can be an uphill battle. Offering bribes and bait only seems to cheapen the benefits of attendance. It’s like a timeshare salesperson offering an all expenses paid trip; with the full knowledge that you’ll have to sit through a hard sell presentation by some conniving hustler. The charity was looked upon with the same suspicion as a member of the Mafia handing out offers you couldn’t refuse.
Don Bosco got past the skepticism and began working with these wayward children. He took them off the mean and squalid streets, taught them trades, and in the process, taught them to love God. The Salesian order grew out of these boys. They became dedicated, hardworking, and holy. They reached out to others like themselves. As they grew in numbers, other priests came to join them in their work.
Founded in 1859, The Salesians of Don Bosco, are part of an internationally consecrated religious community comprised of both brothers and priests. Their mission is to educate and spread the word of God to young people who are poor or headed for a life in prison. At the time of his death, the original group of seventeen men had grown to over 1,000, with fifty-seven foundations throughout Europe and South America. It’s now the third largest amongst Catholic men’s orders. The Salesian sisters, like their male counterparts, follow Don Bosco’s norms for education and character formation.
Their works have expanded to include trade, academic, and agricultural schools; seminaries; recreational centers and youth clubs; summer camps, and parishes in large cities. To this day, both orders help street kids involved in gangs throughout the world. This includes some of the most dangerous cities in the United States, South America, Asia, Europe, and Africa.
“Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original. Whereas if you simply try and tell the truth (without caring two-pence how often it’s been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without having even noticed it.” This quote by C.S. Lewis aptly describes how the juvenile, John Bosco, single-handedly created the underground sub-genre of conjuring known as “Gospel Magic“.
At trade shows and conventions in the United States, sales pitches lurk around every corner. Modern corporations employ magicians to perform at company booths. They pay top dollar to capture the hearts and minds of potential clients. The job of these hired magicians is to adapt their tricks to help promote and sell products, ideas, and services. It’s not easy work. What Don Bosco was doing with his magic wasn’t that much different. Instead of being a shill for some Fortune 500 company, Don Bosco was mesmerizing the crowds by selling the benefits of God.
It isn’t what you do, but how you do it. Therein lies the secret of performing magic. The effects used by gospel magicians are exactly the same as effects used by secular magicians. The difference lies in the presentation. Gospel magicians alter and tailor their routines to instruct children and adults on some aspects of Christianity. They demonstrate theological principles by weaving together themes such as Gods love and forgiveness, Christ’s parables, the immaculate conception, or the Holy Trinity.
The early followers of Christianity had to hide in the shadows, forever fearful of violent oppression. Modern-day gospel magicians have things a bit easier. Hurt feelings at the hands of snickering, humorless atheist’s is as bad as it gets. But, they are not alone. There are several groups that offer a community of like-minded Christian and Catholic magicians. The Fellowship Of Christian Magicians and the Catholic Magicians Guild are both popular in North America. According to The Christian Conjurer Magazine, both organizations combined operate in over thirty countries and six continents.
Fr. Mantelli sees Gospel Magic as an antidote to superstition. Others see it as a confusing contradiction. “In Italian, the word for magician-mago-is ambiguous,” explains Fr. Mantelli, “You can have good magicians and bad ones, just as you have white magic and black magic. We are on the side of white magic, you understand?” Unfortunately, everything old is new again. A small minority of fundamentalist Christians are going on the offensive against author J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series of books. They see the harmless tale of good vs. evil as a type of gateway drug that encourages innocent youth into practicing the occult.
Fortunately, the Catholic Church has mellowed with age and softened its views against magic as entertainment. Now their anger is directed towards frauds like psychic surgeons. These con-artists, who prey on the naive, operate in spiritually devout countries like the Philippines. They make bogus claims of using Gods powers to heal terminal diseases like cancer.
Magician, juggler, acrobat, tailor, writer, publisher, patron saint of apprentices, editors, publishers, and juvenile delinquents. St. John Bosco became all these things in order to bring children closer to God. He firmly believed, like Father Flanagan, the founder of Boys Town, that there are no bad children. There are only bad environments, bad training, bad example, and bad thinking.
He set out for the rest of his life to prove these convictions. The shepherd boy of Becchi, who performed magic to win souls for God, who became a priest, the founder of missions, the teacher of children, a beloved apostle of youth, and the architect of Gospel Magic, is, now and forever, is St. John Bosco: patron saint of magicians.
When Harry Met Howard: The Unknown Collaboration Of Harry Houdini And H.P. Lovecraft
By Christopher M. Reynolds
In April of 2016, a long lost thirty-one page manuscript by horror writer H.P. Lovecraft went on the auction block and sold for $33,600. The documents were just a sampling of a larger and more ambitious expose entitled, The Cancer Of Superstition, that was to be part of a book debunking the so-called religion of spiritualism. The treatise was to also explore everything from the dangers of such primitive beliefs as voodoo, witchcraft, psychic powers, and communicating with the dead. It’s heavy-handed and patronizing tone let readers know that belief in crass superstitions was an exercise in idiocy and a rejection of modern science. Lovecraft had been commissioned to write the piece by none other than the world famous anti-spiritualist crusader, Harry Houdini, who had declared war against slimy psychic grifters who preyed on the recently bereaved.
For almost seventy years a stack of papers belonging to Bess Houdini, Harry Houdini’s deceased wife, lay hidden in a medley of memorabilia in a now-defunct magic shop. The collection had bounced from owner to owner, like a journeyman baseball player bounces, trade after trade, from team to team. The papers were never cataloged, researched, or inventoried. In all those decades a historical gold mine was collecting dust; just waiting, like Houdini, to escape from the shackles of history.
Publisher, J.C. Henneberger, was at wit’s end. He was the proud father of the barely one-year-old fiction magazine Weird Tales. After only thirteen issues the infant fantasy publication was already on life support and forty-three thousand dollars in debt. He needed money desperately. Should he pull the plug on his sickly brainchild, or fight to keep it alive?
The name of the magazine says it all. It was a cheaply published periodical that devoted its pages to stories about ghouls, ghosts, werewolves, murderers, vampires, mad scientists, bloodthirsty barbarians and alien invaders from the far reaches of outer space. It boasted some of the crassest and highly imaginative artwork of any of the pulps. Tits, ass, and monsters were the typical subject matter splashed on the front covers. Pastel paintings, in loud and garish primary colors, depicted alluring, semi-nude women being ravaged and menaced by creatures from galaxies far, far away. That might have turned off some more discriminating readers. But, for others, it was the sole reason they bought the chintzy rag, to begin with.
Despite the lurid subject matter, the magazine managed to attract a roster of talent that included some famous, or soon to be famous, contributors: H.G. Welles (War Of The Worlds), Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451), Richard Matheson ( I Am Legend), Robert E. Howard (Conan The Barbarian), and Tennessee Williams (A Streetcar Named Desire).
It wasn’t the money that attracted such a steady flow of output from these and other unknown writers. At a penny a word or less, it was the lowest of the low-paying pulp magazines. That’s when they even paid at all. The magazine always had one foot in the grave, teetering back and forth between financial solvency and outright collapse. Poor sales, mismanagement, plus bankruptcy were only a few of the problems. Every day was a walk on the razor’s edge. Selling blood made more financial sense than churning out a constant supply of low-quality fiction for Weird Tales. For writers just getting their start, or writers whose output was more sensational, it was a Godsend. It was the only magazine on the newsstand for stories outside the bland and humdrum. It’s hard to envision the Saturday Evening Post publishing bottom-rung fiction filled with savage barbarians hacking and slashing off the torso, head, and limbs, of evil sorcerers or monstrous fiends conjured up from the depths of Hell.
Harry Houdini had a chip on his shoulder the size of a wooden railroad tie. He was a poor rabbi’s son, in the days before immigrant Jews had a firm foothold in American society. Houdini wanted nothing more than respect as a man and as a performance artist. More than a century before daredevils Evil Knievel and Jack Ass’ Johnny Knoxville, Harry Houdini laid the groundwork for a new genre of death-defying physical entertainment: escape artist. Despite show biz success, Houdini saw himself as an artistic failure.
An irreverent single panel cartoon from the 1980s, the kind made popular by Gary Larson’s The Far Side comic strip, showed a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat. The rabbit says to the magician, that most cliché of Hollywood clichés, “What I really want to do is direct.” Harry Houdini’s risky escape stunts had brought him fame and fortune, but what he wanted most was respectability. He considered himself just another dog & pony show on the vaudeville circuit. He wanted to be taken seriously as an artist. Not unlike the artistically frustrated cartoon rabbit, what Harry Houdini really wanted to do was write.
He was a competent wordsmith on subjects of magic and illusion, authoring several books independently and with ghostwriters. But, the work fell short of the literary ambitions that Houdini secretly coveted. Cranking out tawdry, sub-literate pornography would have gotten him more distinguished accolades. He and Tennessee Williams were both published in Weird Tales, but that didn’t make them artistic equals. Self-doubt gnawed at him. Writing about magic, or for an audience of magicians, wouldn’t be putting him on the road to a Pulitzer Prize.
The man was well-read and self-educated beyond his meager grammar school tutelage. He was an ardent book collector and his library was massive. His Bethel, New York home was engulfed in so many books that it could’ve been considered a fire hazard. From the bottom of the basement to the rafters of the attic, and every nook and cranny in-between, the house was packed air-tight with books on numerous subjects. Yet underneath the brilliance lied embarrassing, deep-rooted insecurities about his lack of formal schooling. He doubted his ability to be taken seriously by the highbrow authors making up up the New York literary establishment. One just can‘t imagine Houdini yucking it up with Dorothy Parker and her fellow wits at The Algonquin Round Table. He’d even considered leaving show business to pursue an English degree at Columbia University.
In 1923 his insecurities about his place (or lack of) in an elite high-society became justified. The editors of Who’s Who, a yearly reference almanac, on prominent people in modern day society, had rewritten the brief profile he had submitted for his entry. Houdini’s version listed himself as an actor, inventor, and author. Who’s Who knocked him down a peg. Their version listed a one-word, three syllable profile: magician.
Houdini had met, J.C. Henneberger, in 1921 through their lawyer, Bernard Ernst. The two had become close friends. Houdini championed his friend’s magazine from day one. He lent his name and support by submitting an expose of fraud mediums entitled, The Hoax Of The Spirit Lover. He also penned a column named, Ask Houdini. It was a type of Dear Abbey for the strange set. One night, Henneberger was invited to dine with the Houdini’s. In a rare moment of self- conscious uncertainty, Houdini pulled from his desk drawer a half completed novella. He’d been secretly working on it for months. The story revolved around an arch-villain skilled in the arts of magic and illusion. It was a pastiche of Harry’s favorite writer, Edgar Allen Poe. Unfortunately, his attempt at fiction writing was like his acting in silent films. Stiff and wooden to the point of rigor mortis.
Houdini confessed his secret at the right time, and to the right person. Henneberger was seized by a brilliant flash of inspiration. This lucky fluke was how he’d get his struggling magazine out of the red. He told Houdini that his latest literary discovery was going to be the next Edgar Allen Poe, maybe even bigger. How would Houdini like to collaborate with the fledgling author on his own supernatural short stories for Weird Tales? These stories, he assured Houdini, would be published monthly and get front cover billing. The name of that fledgling author was H.P. Lovecraft.
Houdini excepted the offer to have Lovecraft ghostwrite without ever having read any of his fiction. He made his decision after skimming through a poorly written letter Lovecraft had sent to Henneberger, politely turning down the job of editor for Weird Tales. The remainder of the letter went into boring detail his views on the creation of weird fiction. It went on to explain why the general public was too slow-witted and uneducated to appreciate it. Maybe Houdini thought the same of his largely illiterate fan base. Lovecraft held similarly unflattering views on spiritualism and the swindlers who performed it. Houdini seemed to have found a kindred spirit in the fight against the primitive belief in superstition.
More than any other contributing author, Lovecraft’s eccentric personality and writings helped put the WEIRD in Weird Tales. His writing style was awkward and clunky. But, his stories, steeped in doom, gloom, and paranoia, were tailor-made for the magazine. With the exception of one story published in a rival science-fiction pulp, Weird Tales was the only place to put his work into print.
The two men could not have been more different: Houdini was a 5’6’ Hungarian immigrant Jew; Lovecraft was a 5’10’ anti-semitic W.A.S.P. from Rhode Island. Houdini had worldwide fame and millions of adoring fans. Lovecraft was a recluse who had a fan base that barely reached a baker’s dozen. Abject poverty was his financial reward for his literary efforts. He died destitute and forgotten until his posthumous discovery in the mid-1960s.
Lovecraft claimed to have seen Houdini twice while he toured the vaudeville circuit through Rhode Island. He got a kick out of reading newspaper accounts of the magicians’ efforts to hunt down psychic charlatans and expose them as frauds. While the thought of writing for a Jew was distasteful to Lovecraft, poverty left an even more foul tang in his mouth. He was constantly without a dime in his pocket, barely ever having enough money to afford the cover price of the magazine in which he was published.
It is often said that there is ‘someone for everyone’. Even someone as eccentric as H.P. Lovecraft. The gangly hermit was engaged to be married. Broke and unknown was no way to start a new life as a devoted husband. This explains why he accepted the job. In 1924, the $100 he received for ghostwriting Houdini’s story was more money than he had ever seen in his life. In 1924, when you could buy a gallon of milk plus a loaf of bread for a nickel, $100 was Rockefeller money. And, it was paid in advance. Much to Lovecraft’s annoyance, he lost the manuscript at a train station while on his way to New York to get married. To his new wife’s dismay, he spent most of his honeymoon retyping the story by memory.
Houdini and Lovecraft’s first collaboration was the short story Imprisoned With The Pharaohs. Houdini told Lovecraft an outlandish tale about a voyage he had made to Egypt in 1910. He claimed to have been captured by sinister thugs and held prisoner. Not letting the facts get in the way of a good story, Lovecraft took poetic license with the raw material Houdini had supplied him. He rewrote the completely fabricated “true story” into something more Lovecraftian.
In this version of the story, Houdini is captured and becomes a human sacrifice to an ancient monster, held in captivity, in a tomb beneath the pyramids. Houdini frees himself (no surprise) from the clutches of the shady villains. When he reaches the surface he suddenly awakens from a sound slumber…only to find out it was all a dream, despite the mysterious bruises and cuts on his body. Henneberger lived up to his promise and, Imprisoned With The Pharaohs, was the cover story for the May-June-July extra- large triple issue. It was one of the magazines best-sellers.
Houdini loved the story. He contracted Lovecraft to collaborate on, The Cancer Of Superstition. It was, in his eyes, to be his crowning achievement. Lovecraft was thirty pages into the project when Houdini died of a ruptured appendix in 1926. A disheartened Bess Houdini immediately put a stop to the project and the papers were filed away…thought by magic scholars to be lost forever.
According to Gabe Faruji, owner of Potter & Potter Auction House (specializing in historic magic memorabilia), the hodge-podge of hocus-pocus bric-a-brac was bought from a private source. As the new owner began sifting through the glut of loose papers he stumbled upon the manuscript; a page here, a page there, until piece by piece the puzzle came into focus, revealing an important artifact of magic history that had been given near-mythical status by scholars and collectors for three-quarters of a century. To conjuring historians, it was as important a discovery as the 1946 finding of the Dead Sea Scrolls in Qumran caves was to archaeologists.
In the 2008 music documentary, The Wrecking Crew, the film exposed the real talents behind the scenes on some of the 1960s most well-known AM radio hits. Unknown, but infinitely more talented, session musicians actually played the instruments for band members in such famous groups as Sonny & Cher, The Mamas And The Papas, and The Monkees. For some people, it’s like finding out that there’s no Santa Claus. It’s as common an arrangement in the publishing world as it is in music.
The practice has a long and illustrious history. Some of the most famous artists, writers, and politicians have used the clandestine services of ghostwriters. They’ve been able to achieve literary fame and fortune without knowing the difference between a subject and a predicate. It’s a quid pro quo situation that continues to thrive in the shadows to this day.
The stories published in the pulp magazine Weird Tales lived up to their hype. But, the truth is stranger than fiction. The short-lived partnership between the man who invented Cthulhu and the man who escaped everything will be looked upon as one of the weirdest tales in the history of magic.
The Sudden Flash of Genius That Made Magician Rocco Silano Rich – Article
by Larry Getlen
When pediatric dentist Dr. Eyal Simchi posted a video of himself performing a magic trick for a patient last May, he was stunned to see it go viral, surpassing 10 million views in just three days and hitting 42 million by the time he pulled it from his Facebook page last November.
Dr. Simchi had experienced the Prisma Lites effect, an upshot of using the best-selling magic trick of all time.
The trick was invented in 1994 by magician Rocco Silano, who had a revelation as he played with a fake thumb.
“The fake thumb was already a [common] magic prop, and a battery and light was too. I combined the two,” said Silano. “It was like a chocolate and peanut butter, Reese’s kind of accident.”
The effect makes magicians appear as if they’re tossing a ball of light from one hand to the other. Called D’Lite at the time — Silano has since renamed it Prisma Lites and currently sells versions with and without sound — it became a true phenomenon with over 6 million units sold worldwide.
To mark the 200th issue of this journal: The Power of a Name
Two spelling effects by Werner Miller
From a poker deck, sort out the twelve court cards. Arrange Jack, Queens and Kings in three separate spreads, face up, in the same suit order. (Fig. 1)
Square each spread, assemble the three packets by placing them on top of each other, in any order (the spectator may decide), then turn the combined packet face down and have it completely cut by the spectator.
Deal the cards into three piles, singly and rotationally (Fig. 2). Automatically, in the positions marked * will be cards of the same suit, say Hearts. With crossed arms, openly switch the third packet and the second one, then similarly the second one (the former third packet) and the first one – see arrows. (Note the new positions of the Heart cards!)
Take the first packet, and spell “T-H-E”, with each letter shifting a card from top to bottom, then place the packet back. Take the second packet, and spell similarly “M-A-G-I-C” transferring five times a card down to the bottom. Finally, take the last packet and repeat this procedure, now using the word “R-O-A-D-S-H-O-W”. (Fig. 3)
Turn the top card of each packet face up: The suits match, i.e. the spelling located a royal family! (Fig. 4)
Remove these three cards, and place them together, still face up. Snap your fingers, then turn over the new top cards: another family (e.g., Spades), that goes next to the first one. Continue this way until all the cards are sorted into suits. (Fig. 5)
Note. The three cards of each suit don’t appear necessarily in J-Q-K order. If you care, you can adjust their order when placing them together for the final layout.
A standard ESP deck with 25 cards (5 symbol sets), cyclically stacked as usual.
The spectator cuts the deck completely, removes the final top card as his selection, and tables it, face down and unviewed. Let’s assume this card is showing a Circle (1).
Take the deck and shuffle the top four or nine cards down to the bottom so that the order of the top ten cards matches exactly the situation after the spectator’s cut (1-2-3-4-5-1-2-3-4-5).
Deal these ten cards into two piles, singly and alternately. One replica of the selection ends up on the bottom of the first pile, the other one in the exact middle of the second pile. (Fig. 1)
Take the first packet, spell “M-A-G-I-C” and transfer with each of the first four letters one card to the bottom (4, 2, 5, 3). The card falling on the last letter (1) turn over and place it back on top of the packet, face up. Set the packet down, take the other one, and spell similarly “R-O-A-D-S-H-O-W” shifting seven times a card from the top down (5, 3, 1, 4, 2, 5, 3) before you turn over the one falling on the last letter (1) and leave this card face up on top. Both cards matches!
Ask the spectator to turn his selection also face up: the very same symbol! (Fig. 2)
Remove the two replicas of the selection from your packets, and place them below the spectator’s card. Snap your fingers, and turn over the two new top cards: they match each other, too (4, 4). Remove them and table them below the last tabled pair, one card on the left, the other one on the right. Continue this way until the packets are exhausted. (Fig. 3)
** I owe a big debt of gratitude to Werner Miller and all his contributions to the Roadshow. It has been such a pleasure to publish so many of his effects. I am also in his debt for compiling all the PDF’s featuring effects from past issues of the Roadshow. Check out his publications on lybrary.com https://www.lybrary.com/werner-miller-m-7881.html
Do you know how an oyster makes a pearl? When a grain of sand gets into its shell and irritates it, the oyster wraps the sand in layers of beauty until a pearl is formed. An unknown poet wrote, “This tale has a moral, for isn’t it grand, what an oyster can do with a morsel of sand? What couldn’t I do if I’d only begin, with all of the things that get under my skin?”
Our FREE PDF – Full of Effects from Past Issues – Effects
Here’s 40 more pages of effects from past issues. This is the last of ten PDF’s compiled by Werner Miller of effects previously published in the Magic Roadshow. There’s something here for everyone.
-Chameleon – A Magic Effect for the Underdog
-The Amazing Number 9 – The Expunged Numeral
-Floating Lemon Slice – ( David Blaine meets Bill Nye..)
-It’s All About Words
-A Day-Time Nightmare
-The Gambler in Person
-Five Coins – An Effect
-Ed’s Impromptu Rainbow Deck Variation
-Aces By The Number
-The Floating Key Principle – and Faro Shuffling
-Flick Your (Telekinetic) Pen
-Sampler: Werner Miller – A Free Ebook Download
-An Easy Assembly
-Blood is Thicker than Water
-Five Digit Numbers
-Flying Colors (Again) – An Effect of Redemption
-Card To Wallet… Without The Wallet
-Do You Have ESP?
-The Puzzler Card Trick
How To Perform Isolations – Cardistry Tutorial Feat. Anna DeGuzman
What are Isolations? Well.. if you’re young enough, you know. If you’re NOT young enough, watch the video. They are a visual method of controlling cards, usually only one card actually, and can be mastered without months of practice, like some sheights.
Presentation and Showmanship Advice – Vinh Giang Ted Talk
“This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. With magic as his metaphor Vinh Giang will share with you an extremely powerful way to improve your presentation ability dramatically. A technique used by many magicians all over the world, it’s deceivingly simple yet very effective.”
The art of cognitive blindspots | Kyle Eschen | TEDxVienna
“Using two classics of magic, Kyle Eschen explores the psychological techniques that underlie theatrical deception. As people wander the world, they use assumptions and heuristics to filter out everything that they deem unimportant – Kyle gives a conjuror’s perspective on the brain’s predictable blind spots.”
“If the world smells like poop… it might be you” Unk.
Reading minds through body language | Lynne Franklin | TEDxNaperville
“Can you read someone’s mind by looking at them? Almost. Lynne Franklin teaches you how to connect with 3 types of people by understanding how their bodies communicate. After a boy threatened to kill her with a machete, Lynne Franklin decided to learn everything she could about persuasion. She became a neuroscience nerd, studying how the brain works and how to build rapport with people. She has since worked with organizations to use persuasive communication to increase their performance, productivity, and profit, and published a book about her personal research called Getting Others to Do What You Want. In addition to her marketing and consulting work, Lynne is a member of the National Speakers Association and President-elect of its Illinois chapter. After a boy threatened to kill her with a machete, Lynne Franklin decided to learn everything she could about persuasion. She became a neuroscience nerd, studying how the brain works and how to build rapport with people. She has since worked with organizations to use persuasive communication to increase their performance, productivity, and profit, and published a book about her personal research called Getting Others to Do What You Want.”
The Magic of Chemistry – with Andrew Szydlo – Video Lecture
If you were able to make a substance change colour, or turn from a solid to a liquid, would that be magic? In this Ri event from Wednesday 23 April 2014, Andrew Szydlo leads us through a world of magical molecules and enchanting elements. From a liquid that boils at room temperature to gases that are heavier than air, this family event is full of practical demonstrations of the magic of chemistry.
Jim has provided the Roadshow with so many great links through the years.. I salute you Pal !!
Science or Magic? – Free PDF
Thames & Kosmos produces a very nice magic and science kit for children. This is the PDF you would receive with the kit. It’s well drawn and full of chemical related magic that’s not only ideal for kids.. but ideal for adults who choose to entertain kids with educational magic..
“Thames & Kosmos was founded in 2001 by a science museum director and her son, who saw the great need and demand for better science education materials — resources for parents and their children that are more engaging, more effective, more relevant, and more fun.”
Two Scientists walked into a bar..
The first scientist said ” I’ll have a glass of H2O”
The second scientist said ” I’ll have a glass of H2O too..”
The second scientist died…
” Lets eat, Grandma..”
” Lets eat Grandma…”
Bobo’s Modern Coin Magic – Free PDF
Although I’ve provided links to this ebook a number of times in past issues, I felt it only right to provide a link in issue#200.
“The most complete treatise on sleight-of-hand coin conjuring, including best traditional methods and modern innovations. Guides you systematically from basic techniques, through integrated tricks to complete routined acts, 18 in all. 510 clear illustrations by Nelson C. Hahne. The best manual for amateurs, an encyclopedic source for professionals.”
Z Matrix.. (Impossible One Handed Matrix) – A Review
Effect by Ziv.. Review by Rick Carruth
If you are a fan of Matrix coin effects, this is for you. The ad copy says:
“A fast, easy to do, impossible matrix routine from Ziv. You’re not hiding the coins under any cards – in fact, there are no cards at all! Amazingly, this all occurs using only ONE hand and it happens FAST! Spectators won’t believe their eyes as the coins assemble and return to their positions.”
Includes bonus routine Z – SPELLBOUND, whereby coins impossibly vanish, reappear, and turn into other coins. Incredible!
I was not familiar with Ziv before watching this video. Actually, I was familiar with a couple of effects created and/or sold by Ziv that I did not realize were his effects ( CORNER, for one ). If you purchase this instant download from Murphy’s Magic, you’ll STILL not know a lot about Ziv, other than he is very, very good at what he does. In this case, a one-handed matrix and a second effect titled Z-Spellbound that uses a silver dollar size coin and a Chinese coin.
Now, as for the ad copy.. If you read the second line of the description, it says you are not hiding coins under cards. That’s partially correct. The first part of Z Matrix does use playing cards, three cards, to conceal coins. This in itself is a series of very magical moves, then.. the cards are discarded and the one handed matrix is displayed. It does not use cards. It IS fast.. and it is fairly easy to do. It is also one of those things you will be asked to ‘do again’, since the audience will not be sure they saw what they thought they saw.
I like Z Matrix. This is definitely something I would purchase as I could not stand not knowing the secret. I will tell you that the real secret, aside from some nice handling, is a gimmick. You are left to create your own gimmick, taught on the video, and you can create it in about a minute. This is one of the few DIY gimmicks I didn’t mind making.
Z Spellbound is a coin-in-hand routine that produces and vanishes both a Chinese coin and a dollar size coin. The handling is ideal for anyone who enjoys working with coins. You will have to practice a little.. it’s not self-working.. but I honestly think you’ll appreciate the time invested.
The quality of the video is very good. It was obviously created over a period of time and with care. The total video is silent, accompanied by background music, and a careful series of frames to show you exactly how to perform each aspect of both effects. Words really weren’t necessary, and I’m sure they realized that.. Magic knows no boundaries..
A quick note.. the video is a crisp 6 minutes long. This was long enough to teach everything needed to successfully perform the effects. I know this doesn’t sound long, but once you watch it, you’ll know all is well..
If you want to add a couple of strong, quick effects to your repertoire, I recommend Z Matrix. I am not a strong coin guy, but I would, (and did) fell confident tackling Ziv’s effects.
You can download Z Matrix instantly from Murphy’s Magic and their customers. $9.95
AMAZING MAGIC I – Paul Lelekis – A Review
This collection from Paul Lelekis continues the string of successful ebooks he has published on a very regular basis. Working from the repertoire of a very seasoned professional, Paul continually finds a mix of card and coin effects that are both worthy of publication and of interest to both beginning and intermediate magicians.
AMAZING MAGIC I includes seven effects, each requiring a different level of skill and each different in style and performance. Paul includes videos whenever he teaches something you may not be familiar with.. to clear up the learning curve and make each effect something you can perform in fairly short order.
A couple of effects are more mental magic than card magic, although they can be readily performed by either type performer. One effect uses a paper bag, one uses a coin, and one is a flat out showy production of four Aces. I can see one performer performing all seven, and I can see performers picking and choosing. It’s all a matter of style.
My point is… everything in this ebook is appropriate for someone who, as Paul does, works the tables.
The first line of each effect is the ad copy. The rest is my thoughts.
DIRECT COLLECTORS – Three selections travel in between the four Jacks and appear in a very unusual way!
This is a great effect for the intermediate performer. Paul teaches the Vernon Transfer Move by video.. This is a slick trick, and one you’ll use regularly.
TRIPLE MIRACLE – A blend of ESP with some remarkable card magic…this is killer!
Your three predictions match the spectators three predictions every time. Smart adaptation of a Mark Ellison effect that cuts out the gaffed cards. I also appreciate that Paul includes his patter, making a good trick even better.
APPARITION COIN – Someone asks you to do a trick…this is it!
Paul’s version of a Clyde Cairy effect. This is a legit quickie, giving you a chance to perform a coin trick before your spectator has a chance to catch their breath. I like surprising effects that give me the opportunity to catch my spectator off-balance.
SLCTETC – Want to do a “show-off” type of 4-card revelation, four times? This effect reveals a 4-of-a-kind in a very flashy manner…and yet it is very easy to do! No stupid knuckle-busters!
Produce all four Aces in four totally different ways. Paul includes a video of one of the methods, and explains the other three in great detail. This is NOT a knuckle-buster, but an effect that requires a little patience and practice. You can do this…
PAPER BAG BLINDFOLD – A brilliant ESP demonstration by one of the greatest showmen of all time…Kuda Bux!
Neat way to prepare a paper bag for a reveal. You can easily develop a ten minute routine around this effect. Particularly useful for mentalists, but easily modified to allow you to reveal cards.
YOU MUST BE PSYCHIC – An incredible method of performing ESP that will shake them up!
Paul modifies a classic technique to enable you to fool everyone… including fellow magicians. There are no sleights invloved other than a false shuffle. (check the videos )
A spectator removes five cards from the deck.. and you name ’em all. This is one of those effects you can build up and customize for use in either a card routine or a mentalism routine. Maybe my favorite…
SYMPATHETIC CARD MIRACLE – A brilliant card coincidence that fooled the hell out of Ed Marlo!
When played up properly, this may be the strongest effect in this ebook. I would consider this an intermediate effect as it uses a sleight taught with one of the enclosed videos. For some of you, it will require virtually no practice and for others.. a chance to learn one of the most popular sleights in all of magic.
Like almost all of Paul’s ebooks, this one sells for $10 from Lybrary.com and is one of the true bargains available in a world of overpriced, overhyped magic. This is straight up magic effects for guys who are serious about expanding their repertoire, but who are not willing to spend months working on one effect. Paul’s magic is for the masses.. of magicians.
The Vault – Revolt by Geraint Clarke – A Review
Geraint Clarke has produced a video of three cards effects. Each is similar in style, but very different by nature. Here is the ad copy:
“Welsh underground superstar, Geraint Clarke, offers three brilliant playing card divinations from a shuffled deck in use. But these are far from your standard ‘pick-a-card’ trick. Each effect is more impossible than the one before, with the magician revealing the chosen card though there was no way to for him to have any idea what the card was. Each effect is diabolical, practical and most of all, potent for a lay audience. This is Revolt. Here’s what you get:
Essential: A FREELY CHOSEN card is selected at random and the spectator is then able to shuffle the card into the deck, losing it completely. The magician is able to locate the card despite these test conditions. This effect relies on a very clever principle that, once mastered, will help you create miracles in this and countless other effects. Geraint offers several ways to get into and out of the effect, and offers advice on how to handle less than optimal conditions to create the strongest effect possible.
Alter Ego: A card is chosen at random and lost in the pack. The spectator can then shuffle the cards, losing the card legitimately. The magician is able to divine the name of the card without ever having to touch the deck. The method is genius, can be set up while interacting with the audience between tricks, and has the potential to create a real moment of astonishment.
Momentum: You’ll be using this one within moments of seeing this clever method. Again, a freely chosen card is selected and replaced in the pack and can be lost in the deck. Before the cards have been handed to the spectator to be shuffled, and without turning ANY cards face up, you will instantly know the name of the selection. Momentum allows you to take a very commonplace item, one that you carry with you daily, and turn it into an impromptu gaff. Get miles ahead in your card work, creating true miracles with pasteboards. ”
I know.. three card tricks on a video aren’t going to impress anyone – quantity wise. But, REVOLT has a couple of things going for it.. One, three good effects for $6.00 IS something to get excited about.. And Two, three good effects that are thoughtful, magician foolers, are more than I’ve gotten from some double dvd sets.
Although not self working, all three effects are easy enough that a beginner can learn them, and perform them, successfully in short order.
ESSENTIAL uses a borrowed, shuffled deck. There is no setup. You ask a spectator to select any card at random, and after the card is returned to the deck and the spectator allowed to shuffle the deck, you can tell the spectator the card he picked. I appreciated the various ideas and tips Geraint offered up. Sometimes there may be a slight bit of fishing, very slight, but the wording nullifies it. The audience is non-the-wiser.
ALTER EGO uses the same premise.. a card is selected, lost in the deck, the deck thoroughly shuffled by the spectator, and the magician can name the card afterwards without touching the deck. (Except during the selection). This is as close to self working as it gets without being actually self working. You do need to conduct a little subterfuge, but it’s a natural movement and will slide by the audience.
MOMENTUM is a thoroughly modern version of an early 1900’s card technique. The method is old as the hills, but the dirty work is accomplished with a very modern tool everyone carries. Practice your handling and this will be ‘maybe’ the killer of the three. Actually, Alter Ego may be my personal favorite, because of the lack of handling, but I’m not totally sure… duh…
For six dollars.. you can’t go wrong. The video is well recorded. Sound and lighting are good. And the total length is about 23 minutes. This probably ranks as one of the best deals for the money of all the videos I’ve reviewed for Murphy’s…. and that’s a LOT of videos.
The Mysterious Puzzle of the Missing Dollar Bill by Nick Einhorn – A Review
This is a classic puzzle first brought to life in magic circles by Daryl, who performed the first version in London. Known as A Puzzling Bill Vanish, It inspired Nick to create this version. Nick also discovered Gregory Wilson also performed a couple of similar effects. That said… here’s the Ad Copy from Murphy’s Magic….
“Three guys go out for lunch. They pay. Yet each time they count their change, there is a missing dollar bill. So, they try it again. Another dollar is found missing. Each time they count the total dollars, one always goes missing.
Nick Einhorn (winner of Penn & Teller: Fool Us) breathes life into a classic riddle that you have to see to believe. Count the dollars, one is missing. Count again, there goes another.
It’s a smashingly fun puzzle that you will show at dinner parties and gatherings, where they will scratch their heads in disbelief. Open and honest deception has never been so much fun.”
Works in all currencies
Easy to learn and perform
Carry it and perform it anywhere
Inspired by Daryl’s original routine ‘A Puzzling Bill Vanish’ and released with his blessing.
First, there is nothing in this description deceiving in any way. The puzzle is a fooler, the effect is a fooler, and it IS quite easy to learn and perform.
Let’s get this out the way… Like many magic effects.. it requires a gimmick. Most folks know i dislike DIY magic effects. I think magicians should give me what I need to perform the effect I’m purchasing. In this case, I can understand NOT supplying the necessary gimmick. There are way too many types of currency to provide everyone what they need. Fortunately, the gimmick for this effect can be created in a couple of minutes with the two notes you intend to use and a little glue and scissors. It’s so easy to create I’ll give it a pass, particularly considering the many countries and the many different type notes.
The riddle itself is confounding. If you give it a little thought you can figure it out, but probably not in the midst of battle. Even -if- you can solve the puzzle, you still have the gimmicked effect to contend with…
You will have to ‘learn’ a simple count that requires a bit of sleight.. but the visual that accompanies the sleight hides it nicely. Trust me.. it’s simple.
Aside from these necessities, I like The Mysterious Puzzle of the Missing Dollar Bill. It’s simple to perform and entertains the audience… the key word being ‘entertain’. Unlike many card effects that leave the audience perplexed and uncaring, this one leaves the audience with a true smile. They don’t ‘get’ it.. but they don’t care. They’ll think about it on the drive home. They’ll figure out the puzzle.. but not the effect. (Well, at least some will figure out the puzzle.)
For the cost.. you can’t beat it. It’s something you’ll actually add to your repertoire and carry with you for that moment when someone asks you to ‘..do something..’. It’s available as an instant download and total running time is about 21 minutes.
$7.98 – Instant download from Murphy’s Magic and dealers who carry their line of magic products.
All Tied Up – Chris Philpott – A Review
All Tied Up is a single trick download, optimized to create a mood and tell a story. The ad copy reads:
“One of the most powerful tricks you’ll ever do with a pack of cards.”
– Steve Valentine (four-time Magic Castle Award Winner)
All Tied Up begins as a psychological game, veers into an emotional exploration of your spectator, reveals itself as a card trick and then, in a powerful finale, becomes an act of empowerment that your spectator will remember for a long, long time.
The strength of the effect is all in its script, but Chris Philpott (with Steve Valentine) also go into details about the handling for both an impromptu version and one using a gimmicked deck (which you may already own). All the handlings are easy-to-do, so you can concentrate on performance.
Originally printed in Chris’s book, Intimate Mysteries (“A must buy!” – Mark Elsdon; “One of the best books I’ve EVER owned!” – Stephen Young; “A major contribution to our art!” – Neil Somerville), the effect in this video contains much more details on both handling and presentation.
“Of all the effects I’ve come up with, this is the one I do more than any other. I have fried a room full of knowledgeable magicians with it and done it for friends who became very emotional when it was performed for them. If I have time for just one effect, it’s All Tied Up.”
– Chris Philpott
The video features Chris Philpott and Steve Valentine, both teaching the intimate handling of All Tied Up.
This is NOT a complicated effect. In fact, you probably already perform it. ( I bet that got your attention..) I’ll say up front you’ll need a specific type deck to perform All Tied Up. Fortunately, almost all of us have one or two. It’s a magic standard. This is also NOT intended as a magician fooler.. they will recognize the deck… But I promise you your audience won’t. This isn’t just a ‘trick’.. it’s a personal experience.
The power of All Tied Up is in the presentation. It tells a powerful story that, according to Steve Valentine, even prompts some of his spectators to cry real tears. It’s a story your spectator will associate with personal feelings and psychological thresholds. Even so, it’s not worded to hurt someone’s feelings, but to free their feelings… so tears are a good thing.
It’s difficult to review All Tied Up without telling too much. Basically, it’s a series of questions that guide the spectator to a prediction. There are NO forces or manipulations on your part. Everything is geared to getting the spectator to select a card. They do not realize they’ve selected a card until you reveal their answers point to a specific card. That’s part of the complexity, as they realize their selection was totally free… and it was.
That’s when you use your special deck to show how you were somehow attune to their innermost feelings. Then, in an act of cathartic release, you give your spectator the opportunity to rid themselves of supressed feelings. I know.. it sounds a little far-fetched, but I can see this applying to certain folks – probably not a room full of crusty magicians, but definitely that cute, sensitive brunette behind the makup counter.
This is one of those effects that will leave a lasting impression on a segment of your spectators. It’s well worth the price because of its potential to really impress. Although created by Chris, Steve presents his own handling with a regular deck. Everything is explained in detail and the total length of the download is one hour and fifteen minutes. There is even a link to a special Facebook group devoted to All Tied Up, and you’ll have the opportunity to join a learn even more detailed handling and tips.
How Young Magicians Are Learning to Cast a Spell on a Modern Audience – Article
By Alex Wong: While the subculture is more popular than ever, those practicing the craft are having to figure out how everything works on the fly
Xavier Caffrey is here to show me a magic trick. With a slim frame, knowing grin and an organized mess of tangled curls atop his head, the 22-year-old pulls out a deck of cards.
Caffrey radiates positive energy. He is soft-spoken and even a bit shy, but when it’s time to perform, even to an audience of one outside a coffee shop in downtown Toronto, Caffrey assumes an entirely new persona. He suddenly wields a commanding presence, one that’s massively engaging and yet, genuinely personable. There remains a warmth to him as he carefully places a deck of 52 cards on the palm of my right hand and asks me to cover the cards with my left.
A professional magician, Caffrey immigrated from Lebanon to Canada at the age of 15. While other high-school students loitered in back alleys and caused headaches for nearby convenience-store owners, Caffrey hung out at the library, reading English books and learning the language. If he couldn’t pronounce a word on the page, he would scamper over to the nearest librarian for a quick lesson. “Once I get into something,” Caffrey says. “I have to do it all the time.”
It seems as though this type of obsessiveness lends itself well to the study of magic. From Harry Houdini escaping from a hanging straitjacket to David Copperfield walking through the Great Wall of China, the art of illusion is not something that comes naturally. It takes devotion and hard work — perhaps now more than ever. Read More…
Brilliant young guitarist from Australia. Some say he is reincarnate of Stevie Ray Vaughan. Others say it’s impossible for someone so young to feel the Blues.. as he obviously does.. Taj sometimes cries as he plays, being so moved by the music….
** Well.. after two hundred issues, these are my last two little features. Just a Taj may be the future of great guitarists, I HOPE that somewhere out there a young man, reading this issue perhaps, will be the future of magic and illusion. Hello Young Man!
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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