BUSINESS INSIDER – Mikala Jones-Fielder and Joe Avella , Aug. 13, 2019, 2:28 PM
It’s not easy to get an invitation, but those who do are treated to dinner and a show as well as nonstop magic shows throughout the night.
Neil Patrick Harris, Steve Martin, and Johnny Carson are a few of the famous members who’ve performed there.
Joe Avella: The Magic Castle is an exclusive club run by the Academy of Magical Arts, but only their members and guests are allowed in. Founded in 1963, The Magic Castle looms over Hollywood. It’s pretty hard to miss. I’ve been curious about The Magic Castle since I moved here, and, doing research, turns out it’s incredibly exclusive. There’s really only two ways to get in: be a member or get an invite from a member.
Joe Furlow: We are a private club, very similar to a country club or yacht club, we just deal with the art of magic.
Joe Avella: I got an exclusive tour of The Castle, which, in addition to the many bars, magic theaters, and full dining area, it also features a séance room, a library filled with decades of secret magic tricks, and even ghosts. This is one of most exclusive clubs in Los Angeles, and they have been nice enough to let us in early to show us all the ins and outs of this really great place. For starters, to get into this place, you have to enter through a trick bookshelf.
Rmax Goodwin: So, you say to the owl, “Open, sesame.”
DR. RANDALL WOLF IS USED TO BLOWING PEOPLE’S MINDS. The cardiac surgeon at Houston Methodist Hospital’s DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center is a pioneer in the minimally invasive treatment of atrial fibrillation called the Wolf Mini-Maze, in which the surgeon makes small marks on the heart while it is still beating. It’s a procedure that requires the steadiest of hands and has saved thousands of lives. Again, mind-blowing.
But in this moment, in his office, it’s another incredible feat that has an observer reeling in amazement. “Hold this in your hand,” Wolf says, placing a miniature Rubik’s cube in his visitor’s palm. The goateed, bespectacled surgeon muses about the toy’s pretty colors for a distracting second, then slaps the cube. An explosion of colored M&Ms fills the astonished visitor’s hand. The cube is gone. “You can eat them,” he says with a grin. “They’re real.”
Wolf isn’t just a world-renowned heart doctor, he’s also a master magician. Read More…
By Jeff Balke.. for Houstonia
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!
SIGN UP FOR THE MAGIC ROADSHOW….
Remember.. signing up for the Magic Roadshow Journal of Magic is Totally FREE. There is NO obligation and your email is 100% safe. (I don’t even share it with my closes fellow magicians..) You will be notified periodically as new material publishes to the Magic Roadshow site and you can unsubscribe with one click.
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
Welcome to issue #199 of the Magic Roadshow. This is our next to last issue. As I’ve mentioned before, it won’t be the end, just a change in direction. I’ve not decided for sure how I will continue to share magic with you guys… but I will.
I hope everyone had a great holiday season. Carolyn and I had to postpone our holidays until January.. but that was OK considering the challenges we faced during December. Thanks to all for your thoughts and prayers..
Not much has happened to me, magic related. There were great conventions in other parts of the country, but work and family matters kept me planted in South Carolina. That actually gave me time to review some of the great items I had on hand, and watch a number of DVD’s I’ve put off watching for one excuse or another. ( Special Thanks to Murphy’s Magic for all the review material..)
I’ve got some great features for this issue. I’m blessed to have friends who are willing to share their work with me and give me the opportunity to share it with you. I’m not going to hold things up any longer… On with the (Road) Show…
Atavistic Matrix – A Coin Effect by Paul A. Lelekis
Triple Dice Routine – An Effect from Ed Marlo
Shoot The Works.. Complete copy.. by Trickshop.com
Custom Dice – Resource
Dogs Playing Poker: The Card Trick – By Christopher M. Reynolds
This Issues Free PDF – Full of Great Effects
Paul Wilson and Art of Magic – Free Video Tutorials
Paul Wilson’s Easy Aces – Video Tutorial on Youtube
PASSION – Bernard Bilis – A Review by R.Carruth
Guaranteed Win – Andy Smith – A Review by R.Carruth
Static Marker – Wonder Makers – A Review by Rick Carruth
Cutting Edge – David Jonathan – A Review by R.Carruth
Ben Ulin Magic Lecture – Video – 03-13-2017
Card at Random Number – Video Tutorial
The Amazing Allison Lectures on the Real Business of Mentalism
Perfect Mind-Reading Trick Explained – Video Tutorial
Rollover Card Control Tutorial – Video
Triple Knuckle Busting Card Tutorial (not for the weak of hand)
Want to ‘Break Your Own News’? – News Creator
Joe Bonamassa – Blues Deluxe – Live From The Borderline
Top Tracks – Joe Bonamassa – JoeBonamassaTV – 270 videos
Free Bonamassa Album (download)
Other Really Important Stuff…
“Opportunity doesn’t always knock; sometimes it stands by, waiting to be recognized..” Unk.
“Give me a stock clerk with a goal, and I’ll give you someone who’ll make history. On the other hand, give me someone without a goal, and I’ll give you a stock clerk.” J. C. Penney
ATAVISTIC MATRIX – A Coin Effect by Paul A. Lelekis
This is a nice two-part matrix routine with 4 coins and 2 cover cards.
EFFECT: The coins travel from their corners to the leader coin and then reverse back to their respective corners, one by one.
REQUIREMENTS: You will need five quarters or half dollars and two cover cards, such as two playing cards or two bills (covers), and a close-up mat.
SET-UP: If you are seated, have the 5 th coin on your lap. If standing have some kind of coin clip attached at the bottom right edge of your coat for easy retrieval of the 5 th coin with your right hand. The 5 th coin won’t be used until the Second Stage.
Place the four coins into a matrix position, one at each corner of the close-up mat and the two covers on top of each of the two right-most coins. Arrange the covers so that the short ends are towards and away from you.
WORKING & PRESENTATION: Begin by placing down the four coins, one at each corner of the mat. Then pick up hold the two covers by the long sides, one in each hand, thumbs on the bottom of each cover and fingers on top.
Begin by “demonstrating” how the two cards in your hands can only cover two
coins at any one time.
Cover various positions by placing each hand with its card and cover the outer
coins, the inner coins, the two coins on the left side and then the two coins on the right – but be sure that the right-hand cover is at the outer right corner and the left-hand cover is at the inner right corner.
“You can also cover only ONE coin with both covers!”
Place the left hand card on top of the right-hand card at the outer right position. As you do so, make sure your right thumb, beneath the card, grasps the coin at the outer right corner.
Slide the right-hand cover (with stolen coin) back to cover the coin at the inner right corner! The left-hand cover stays at the outer right corner so that no one can see that there is no coin beneath that cover.
Release both covers, and arrange them so that each of the long sides is
facing to your left and right. Leave the two covers on top of the right-most coins.
First Stage – Coins Gather
Step 1: Pick up the outer left coin with your right hand and perform a Retention of Vision coin pass into your left hand. The coin will actually remain in your right hand in fingertip rest position. Move the coin into finger palm.
Your left hand pretends to “squeeze” the nonexistent coin onto the cover at your inner right corner, which I will call “home base”…apparently the coin has vanished.
Now you lift the cover at home base using Paul Cummins’ Revolve Load, as follows:
The right hand, with coin at fingertip rest position, reaches to the outer short end of the cover (palm down, of course!) as the back of your left fingers “anchor” the cover down at the inner short end…the left hand is left open and palm up.
The right hand revolves the outer end of the cover counter-clockwise, (toward
your body) covering your stationary left hand.
However, as the cover goes past the vertical your relocate your right hand so that it also goes beneath the cover and on top of the coin in your, now, palm up right hand!
The cover will automatically hide the coin which still lies at your right fingertips.
The left hand moves away from under the cover and points to the coins which
now are seen at the inner right corner, or home base.
This “load” is actually quite easy to do since all eyes will be watching the spot
where the coin has just “appeared”.
Two coins will now be seen at home base! Move the two coins about ¾” to your left, placing one coin on top of the other so that they slightly overlap each other.
Place your right-hand cover down with its hidden coin, at the inner right corner, leaving the visible overlapping coins, partially exposed.
NOTE: Place the card down so that about ½ of the two overlapping coins can still be seen on the right, long side of the card. The third coin will remain hidden.
Step 2: Pick up the second exposed coin at the inner left corner and perform Marlo’s Spider Vanish as follows:
Hold the coin in your left hand fingertips as if performing the French Drop. Bring your right hand over to “take” the coin (same as with the French Drop) however, the coin is pushed up into right-hand Classic Palm with your left fingers and then your left hand closes in a way to make people think it dropped there.
Close up your right hand as if you hold the coin (you actually do!) and then
pretend to throw the coin at the “home base” card, with your palm facing the mat.
The coin stays in right-hand Classic Palm and remains hidden from view. All
eyes will turn back to your “suspicious-looking” left hand.
Both hands now move to “home base” and again, perform the Revolve Load.
The Revolve Load will differ here, only because the left hand opens as you place the back of your left fingers onto the inner short end!
All eyes will be focused on your suspicious-looking left hand because they think
that the coin is hidden there! They will be mildly surprised that the coin is not there!
As your palm-down right hand moves to the outer short end of the home base
cover, the classic palmed coin, drops into fingertip rest position just as your right fingers grasp the outer end of the cover.
Perform the Revolve Load as in Step 1 as you revolve the cover toward your
body, effectively covering the coin at your right fingertips! Don’t worry about the load passing by the spectators’ attention…it will!
Three coins will now be seen at home base! Your left hand then moves the
newly-arrived coin to your left so that it overlaps the other two coins.
Lay the cover in your right hand (and hidden coin!) back in place, again leaving about ½ of the three overlapping coins exposed.
Step 3: The 4 th coin is now hidden beneath the cover and will not “clink” with the other three coins.
For the last coin (remember – there is no coin is under the outer right cover!),
your left hand comes over and slightly lifts the edge of the cover at the outer right position.
Your right hand reaches under that outer right cover (make sure that no one can see under the card!) and pretends to take the “coin” from under the outer right cover as your left hand then lowers the cover back down into the same position. The above action should appear suspicious!
Next, pretend to place the coin into your left hand. Then “squeeze” your left hand over the home base cover and open it to show that the “coin” has vanished! Show both hands completely empty.
Perform the Revolve Load one more time to show all four coins have arrived at
home base! Lay both cover at the center of the matrix.
Now reach out to the outer right cover with your left hand and lift it up to show there is NO COIN! Drop that cover at the center with the other cover.
At the same time, secretly retrieve the 5 th coin (from your lap or from your coin clip) into right-hand finger palm.
Your actions subliminally “indicate” that the trick is over and everyone will relax.
Pick up both covers with your left hand and transfer them to your right hand, covering the 5 th coin hidden there.
Second Stage – The Reversal: Coins Disperse
With the hidden coin beneath the two covers in your right hand, bring your left hand over to take one of the covers – but also secretly take the hidden coin beneath that left-hand cover and then separate your hands with a cover in each hand.
The next set of sequences is to be performed quickly and without missing a beat. All four coins will apparently jump back to their respective corners.
Note: Hold the covers with your thumbs of each hand on the bottom of the cover and fingers on top. When you practice this sequence, you’ll see why this works more efficiently!
1) Place the left-hand cover and its hidden coin at the inner left corner and the right hand at the inner right corner (home base) – but DO NOT release the covers at any time during this sequence!
The left hand releases its coin and the right hand picks up one of the coins as both covers are lifted at the same time. Apparently a coin has jumped from the right corner to the left corner!
2) Immediately move the right hand and cover to the outer right corner and the left hand with its cover to inner right corner…again, home base. Both hands, again, lift up quickly! The left hand thumb takes a coin and the right hand leaves its coin. Another coin has jumped!
3) Immediately move your left hand (and hidden coin) to the outer left corner and the right hand back to home base. Always keep thumbs on the bottom of the covers.
The right hand thumb secretly picks up one of the two remaining coins and the left hand deposits its coin at the outer left corner.
Snap up the two covers, simultaneously, to show four coins, one at each corner of the matrix!
For the “clean up”, allow the hidden 5 th coin to fall into right-hand finger palm. Next, both hands pick up two coins each and then the left-hands coins are casually tossed into the right-hand with the three coins already there. Then all 5 coins are placed into your pocket – and you’re clean!
Paul’s magic has been featured in many periodicals and magic newsletters around the world. Paul has been honored with seven One-Man Parades in the Linking Ring magazine, 3 Mini-Parades, and he wrote and conducted a Ring Parade for ring 42 in Clearwater…and at the time, ring 42 was the third largest ring in the world with often 200 members in attendance. View all 50+ ebooks at:
Triple Dice Routine – An Effect from Ed Marlo
Republished From: Shoot The Works
This dice routine should be a welcome addition to any bar magician’s repertoire and at the same time it can be done close-up at a table. The effect in brief is that two dice are placed in the hand, a third is placed in the pocket, from where it appears in the hand.
This is the general effect, yet there are a series of surprises that will amuse and mystify those not in the know. The requirements are five white dice of average size and four small white dice, as obtained in novelty shops. Also a coin such as a half dollar, in the right trouser pocket.
Three white dice are displayed on the table. A fourth dice is palmed in the right hand. A fifth one has been secretly introduced into a spectator’s pocket. The dice of course are all of the same size.
Pick up one of the dice from the table and place in palm of left hand. Pick up second die and place it also in the left hand at the same time releasing the palmed dice. Immediately close the hand over the three dice. Pick up the last die off the table and place in the right coat pocket. Leave the die there with the four small dice.
Bring hand out empty and press left wrist with right forefinger. Open left hand and throw out the three dice.
Repeat by placing two dice in the left hand. This time really only two are in the left fist. Place the third one in the pocket and leave it there. Press the wrist as before, then toss out the dice. Naturally you are surprised when only two show up.
Turn to the spectator on whom you loaded the fifth die and accuse him of having it. While he is looking thru his pockets you palm out one of the small dice.
You will get a big laugh when spectator removes the fifth die from his person.
Pick up one at a time two of the large dice and place in the left fist, dropping in the small dice on the second throw.
Place the third die in the pocket and palm out another small die. Press the left writst as before and ask how many? No matter what they say, roll out the two large dice plus one small one.
Pick up a large die, place in the left hand. Place small die also in the left hand, same time releasing the palmed one. Place the large die in the pocket leaving it there, and then palm out a small die. Toss out two small dice and a large one from the left land.
Place the two small ones into the left hand, dropping in the concealed one as you place the second one in the left palm. Place the large die in the pocket, then palm out the fourth small die.
This time also roll out the dice. Then replace them into the left hand one at a time, displaying only three dice on the open palm of the left hand. Now apparently toss all three dice into the right hand but you palm one, releasing only two. However, when they join the one in the right hand it will look as if you had tossed three dice from the left hand into the right. This move is similar to the one used in “Dice Transposition”, a previous effect.
The right hand now openly replaces two of the small dice into the left fist and leaves the third one in the pocket. The left hand is opened and three dice again displayed for the last time. We say for the last time because the surprise finish comes in now.
Pick up one of the dice and place it in the right trouser pocket where you have the half dollar. Palm it out. Pick up the second dice, seem to place it in the left hand. However, the fingers retain the die and only the coin is dropped into the left hand.. which closes immediately.
Pick up the remaining die off the table and place it in the pocket, together with the palmed one. Hand comes out empty as you ask spectators how many in the left hand. No matter what they answer you say: “Well, seeing we played with the dice so long, it is only natural we made some money”. And as you say the word money, toss out the coin.
You will find audiences will appreciate the kind of chicanery and will give you credit for great skill with the galloping dominoes.
In place of the coin you can have a bunch of small colored dice, the tiniest obtainable. Have them in a square of soft tissue in the pocket so they will ot rattle. introduce them as the surprise, rolling them out in a rainbow of colors and you will be delighted with the ohs! and ahs!
Editors note… Although all this sounds complicated.. it’s not. Most of the moves are logical and the number of dice in your hand or pocket helps keep you on track. The audience is amazed by the constantly changing number and type of dice. The ending provides you the opportunity to produce ANY small object from the right pants pocket. Be creative.. and be entertaining.. (If you can pick up a small turtle from a pet store.. you’re in luck! Remember, dice are sometimes made from tortoise shells. Changing or producing dice-to-turtles is the premise of an interesting story.. me think.. )
Dogs Playing Poker: The Card Trick – An Effect
By Christopher M. Reynolds
Dogs Playing Poker by C.M. Coolidge is arguably one of the most popular (and thereby most recognizable) American paintings ever, putting it in the same lofty company of these artistic masterpieces; Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks, Grant Woods American Gothic, and Andy Warhol’s Campbell Soup Cans.
This series of eighteen oil paintings (collectively known as Dogs Playing Poker), made from 1894-1910, are etched into the global collective unconscious (even of those indifferent towards art history), through their incessant reproduction on all manner of ephemera; calendars, t-shirts, coffee mugs, mouse pads, shot glasses, and so on.
High-brow art critics see the comically absurd pictures of bourgeoisie canines- drinking whiskey and gambling into the wee hours of the morning, as being inspired by the works of Michelangelo Merisi De Caravaggio, Georges de La Tour, and Paul Cezanne, who all have their own depictions of gambling at cards–albeit with humans as the subjects, as opposed to dogs. Low-brow types (which is anyone who isn’t an art critic), just enjoy the pictures because their utterly hilarious.
This simple trick pays homage to that masterpiece of kitsch Americana, and will give the illusion that you’re a slick fingered card manipulator when, after a ridiculous story about a poker playing dog, you deal yourself a Royal Flush.
Beforehand you set the Ten, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace of Diamonds on top of the deck of cards, but not in that order. When you first start the trick, you can shuffle the deck provided you don’t disturb the top five cards.
Magician: A man walks into a bar and notices a poker game at the far table.
Shuffle all but the top part of the deck and hand it to someone; instruct them to deal out five hands of poker.
Magician: Upon closer look he sees a dog sitting at the table. This peaks his curiosity and he walks closer and sees cards and chips in front of the dog.
When the spectator has finished, pick up the first hand, turn it face up, and describe its possibilities. Turn it face down and go on to the next four hands, one by one, discussing the possibilities of each, and then turn the hand face down again, always leaving the diamond in the fifth position at the bottom. When all the hands have been shown, gather them up in any order-but not mixing the cards-and drop them back on top of the deck.
Magician: Then the next hand is dealt. But, this time, the dog is dealing the cards…and he’s cheating! Then the dog acts in turn with all the other players; calling, raising, discarding,-everything the other human players were doing.
Deal out five poker hands. This time only pick up the first four hands dealt, one at a time, and show the possibilities of each.
Magician: However, none of the other players seem to pay the least bit of attention to the fact that they were being fleeced by a dog. They just treated him like any other player. The man couldn’t hold his tongue any longer. Between hands he quietly said to one of the players,
“Did you know that dog has been cheating you at cards? Why, he must be the smartest dog in the world!”
The player smiled and said, “He’s not that smart. He may be able to cheat, but every time he’s dealt a good hand he wags his tail.”
When you get to your hand, you’ll have a Royal Flush in Diamonds.
All that happened, of course, was that the Diamonds became the fifth card of each hand when the spectator deals the first round. On the round you deal you get every fifth card, so you wind up with a Royal Flush.
This Issues Free PDF – Full of Great Effects
We’ve got almost 50 pages of effects from past issues. The Best of the Best, from some of the best magicians in the country.
The effects in this PDF are:
The Three Ace Trick
Double Vision – An Impromptu Effect
The Fantasy Jacks
Aldo Colombini’s ‘The Wichita Deal’
Out of This World
Rubber Band Quarantine
Magical Chatback- The Chicago Opener
Eww… Boogers! A Nasty Little Effect
Gestalt – A Special Card Effect
The Lost Peek
Time After Time
Auto-Magic – A Principle in Search of an Effect
Double Flash Change
Paul Wilson and Art of Magic – Free Video Tutorials
Paul Wilson is one of my favorite magicians in the whole wide world. He is the pride of Glasgow, Scotland… the hometown of my Carruth clan, and an expert at cards, sleights, and anything having to do with scams, pickpocketing, and similar cons.
“Paul Wilson supplements a vast and diverse knowledge of card magic with a superlative technique and exceptional grasp and application of misdirection. He is from Scotland and has learned well from Roy Walton and also has an excellent grounding in the works of John Ramsay.”
“Mr. Wilson has had a number of video projects featuring his own work, and all are highly recommended, however, his work on the Royal Road to Card Magic is of exceptional value. He also has a number of lecture notes and contributions to books and magazines that are well worth searching for, and we all look forward to the day when he puts out a large book of his thoughts and material, if large books do indeed bother to exist anymore.”
Paul’s LEARN MAGIC page features a number of his best effects that are purchasable as instant downloads for a small fee. Of importance to us is that a number of effects can be purchased for $0.00.. That’s right.. they are free to magicians. All you need to do is signup with your email and click on the effects you want… Some are:
Coin on Bottle
… and 16 more…
I found this on YouTube. This is a great effect and I’m sure all of you will thoroughly enjoy this..
PASSION – Bernard Bilis – A Review
Essential Magic Collection
To quote the Ad Copy:
BERNARD BILIS, France’s King of Cards, Teaches his Favorite Sleights, Techniques and Routines. 27 routines, including a full professional show, underground techniques and essential sleights. Top level magic from one of the World’s leading sleight of hand artists.
“Bernard is one of the best card men on the planet! A true highly skilled master and legend. You will love these DVDs!”
– BILL MALONE
“Bernard Bilis is one of the most creative, skillful, and entertaining card magicians in the world. I’m interested in anything he’s willing to share.”
– DARWIN ORTIZ
“A true master with the playing cards.”
– DAI VERNON
4 DVDs BOXED SET
PASSION is a masterwork. It’s more than a masterclass, as there are things within you will take with you for the rest of your career. There are things in here you may not be able to perform, more likely because you are not willing to devote the same time and effort as Mr. Bilis. He has made a life of magic, learning from the very best in the world, and now, cheerfully passing on to anyone willing to spend a pittance, all those essential sleights and effects that could well take your magic to a new level. It won’t do it overnight.. but it has the innate power to do it one step at a time.
My thoughts on this 4 DVD set are summed up in the first sentence. Everything I write, from here on, comes from this perspective. I’m going to try to explain the basics of each effect to give you a better idea of what you’re getting for your money.
Bernard has performed on TV in France for the past 19 years running. The son of a Russian actor and a mother who’s family are restaurateurs, Bernard began magic in his teens, quickly forming a lifelong friendship with another aspiring young magician.. Juan Tamarez. As you’ll learn throughout the DVD’s, he has also friended some of the most important names in the history of magic.
A portion of the first two DVD’s are of Bernard performing for a live audience at the Duecitanea Hotel in Penela, Portugal. You get to see each of the effects performed live before the explanation portion begins. This section is complete with subtitles, which isn’t a problem since all the explanations are taught by Bernard in English. Subtitles are available in English, French and Spanish.
Cut Card – Mike Caveney effect. First, create a gimmick. Everything is taught. Force a card with a second deal, This signed card is cut into in front of the spectator. The card is then restored..
Four Jokers – Three red Jokers and one blue Joker are used, along with one red and blue back gaff. Red Jokers change to blue. then red and blue, then all blue, then all red. Lastly, the spectator chooses one of the Jokers and it alone changes to blue. Very visual. also teaches a convincer move.
Rising Sun move.. A card is shown, inserted into the middle of the deck, and then reappears on top of the deck. If you can do a tenkai palm .. you can do this.
Go To See If I’m There… Quick effect. A chosen signed card changes places with a card on the table using the rising sun move.
Escapology Three chosen cards escape from a silk in an increasingly more difficult manner. uses a double facer, a black silk, and a tad of black art. Nice effect usually reserved for coin work converted to card magic. One of the more technical effects that utilizes signed cards and classic magic from the past in a modern presentation.
Visiting Card.. Uses a very slick gimmick to give the illusion a card has been torn. This is actually a prediction effect that uses very detailed thinking and even more detailed explanations.
Invisible Palm.. Inspired by Larry Jennings. Very beautiful effect with four Aces. Classic effect. Technically the most challenging but perhaps the most rewarding. Uses a couple of Marlo moves, well explained.
Impossible Center Deal.. A gambling demonstration for the lay audience.
Boxed Center Deal… Uses another slick gimmick to perform a quick visual. Well taught. A card placed in the center of the deck and then boxed is snatched out of the boxed deck.
Interview… Bernard is interviewed at the end of each DVD by the executive producer, Luis De Mateos. This interview covers his start in magic and early influences. All interviews are approx. 20 minutes and well worth a listen.
Spectator Cuts The Aces – Several fairly simple cuts brings the spectator to the four Aces. One of my favorite effects.
General Card – Ascanio inspired effect. Good follow-up to Spectator Cuts The Aces. Four Aces change to four Kings… and back to four Aces. One of the more simple methods I’ve found to perform this change.
Gangster Aces – Based on a Henry Christ effect. Again, the four Aces are used in one of the more complex effects on this DVD. They are ‘captured’ one at a time and ‘locked up’ in the box. Thanks to Larry Jennings, they manage to escape and leave the Inspector in the ‘jail’
Billy The Kids – Thought-of cards and thought-of numbers coincide in this magical story of famous outlaw Billy The Kid. Bernard also teaches the psychology behind some of the moves.
Ambitious Card – A Ambitious Card routine with a blank deck and a blanked signed card. The climax is totally unexpected, as the blank signed card transforms into a regular playing card inside a glass jar… complete with the spectator’s signature on the face. Very original.
Sponge Ball Routine – Bernard combines classic sponge ball moves into an original routine resembling real magic… in the hand of the spectator. You don’t need a hundred sponge balls to do this one.. only three lemon size balls and one grapefruit size ball.
Interview… Part Two covers many different questions, about his effects and influences, conducted by Luis de Mateos.
Disc 3 Fundamentals.
Palming – Not just demonstrations, but teaches how to palm properly, even if you are not comfortable with the basics. Tenkai palm, side steals, top steals, replacing palmed cards in or on the deck. Also teaches a cool effect featuring a palm, and moves involving a pass that allow you to segue into some really nice magic.
Pass – Bernard demonstrates in great detail all the moves necessary for a successful pass. For those of you who feel the pass is essential, this section is a must-see, full of the small details that make the larger ones work. This is my least favorite sleight in all of card magic… Way too much for the audience to see. Bernard teaches the Larry Jenning Pass too, which is, in my opinion, considerably better than the classic pass. Same for the Charlie Miller Pass, which is a pleasure to watch in the hands of Bernard. Watching a demonstration of a Marlo sleight helps the average magician understand the awesome skill level of Mr. Bilis.
Double Lift – This section if full of small wonders, including the “double lift from the center with one hand” and the “pirouette” move he and Tamarez learned as youth.
Strip Out – This is a double screen teaching of the Strip Out Shuffle. It uses a half-deck strip out combined with a convincing false shuffle. Nice.
Vernon Transfer – Very versatile move, as many advanced magicians already know. Bernard teaches the basics and variations, then uses the VT to perform the Ace Monte, a killer effect. I only wish in my dreams of dreams I could do this… He also performs the Poker Deal using the VT and demonstrates its power again. I am sooo jealous.
Bilis Switch – Imagine John Bannon’s Paint It Blank, except using a sleight. Same impact.. but can be done with a borrowed deck. This is exactly what Bernard says it is… a switch of one card for another right under the spectator’s eyes. Very good tutorial, plus the Envelope Switch prediction effect, which is a straightforward switch of any chosen card for a duplicate card of the card in the envelope. Red Black Aces switches different colored Aces in a quick ditty of a trick.
Every effect on this DVD is well-suited for an audience as well as fellow magicians… You’ll fool ’em all.
In the Disc 3 lecture, Bernard talks about magicians like Fred Kaps and Dai Vernon, and how they influenced him. What he doesn’t talk about is how he influenced them, which he obviously did. He admits to being very influenced by Marlo and Larry Jennings, and has interesting personal observations to tell.
Open Prediction – A predicted card can’t be found by the spectator.. then it’s found upside down in the deck. Classic Bilis, using a strip out, palm, and a fancy-do (but easy) add on to make everything work.
Voodoo – Slick.. Slick. A card named by the spectator is removed from the deck. Its mate is found to be upside down in the deck. The corner is torn on the selected card. Its mate in the deck is found to be missing its corner. Lastly, the selection is burnt.. and the card in the deck is found to be burnt in the same manner. One of the rare Bilis effects that requires a prepared deck… but worth it.
Triumph Spell – A spelling prediction effect with a Triumph theme. A little of this.. a little of that, and ultimately one upside down card in the deck reveals the location of a selected card. Great effect if you like Triumph with a kicker.
Acetimation – Based on a Marlo idea, I’m STILL not sure this effect actually works. Well.. I know it does, because Bernard makes it work, but the idea seems improbable.. if not impossible. Bernard calls this ‘luck’. I call it true magic. The four Aces are found in a highly unlikely manner, one at a time, with a kicker ending. Bernard provides an ‘extra’ video in case you need convincing…
Running Gag Aces – This is just plain showing out. Three cards selected by the audience are placed in different parts of the deck. One by one, each of the four Aces are revealed to be face up in the deck – and then lost in the deck. The three selected cards are then found face up, and together, in the deck. Lastly, the three selected cards are found individually between each of the Aces.. with an additional flourish or two for good measure.
Four of a Kind – The four Aces are put in the deck at four different locations. The deck is spread to show the four Aces have vanished. A number is named and the four cards matching the number are removed, shown, and placed on the table. Somehow, through sheer slick handling, Bernard makes the Aces replace the number cards.. and the number cards reappear inside the card box lying on the table. This is magic beyond my dreams. Absolutely NO hyperbole.
Three Card Monte – A Martin Lewis effect. Bernard performs this in front of an audience.. using jumbo gaffed cards in the hand. Since these are jumbo cards, and the effect is performed at a distance, I think you can create your own gaffs. A great effect for street performers.
Rope Routine – Something to show Mr. Bilis is not all about pasteboards. Performed again in front of an audience, this is a very well-taught routine that includes a linking ring type move that will even fool some magicians. Camera angles from above show all the essential stuff.
The last of the four lectures is a 45-minute talk about what should be important to you, how you should learn and the benefits of a teacher. All the lectures are in-depth thoughts from a master magician, and you should not EVEN consider skipping through the lectures to get to the next effect. Don’t just strive to understand the magic… strive to understand the man behind the magic. This lecture ends with Bernard and Luis doing something that’s very special to the Bilis family.. something that is magical beyond the magic we understand..
PASSION is deep stuff. This is NOT something you’ll breeze through, learn a move or two and maybe three or four effects.. and dutifully skip on to the next hot DVD. This is heady magic. This is magic beyond our present understanding, but not beyond our ability to learn. When discussing the Pass, Bernard casually mentions you will work about six months to develop a good one. Much of his magic follows the same premise. There is nothing ‘self-working’ here. Only magic from one of the very best magicians in the world.
This DVD set has my highest recommendation. It doesn’t get any better…
Production of these DVD’s is first class in every way. Essential Magic Collection always exceeds industry standards, in part because Luis De Matos is executive producer and David Britland is the magic consultant.. There are multiple camera angles, overhead cameras, and split screens. Total running time is over 8 hours.
Price: $150.00 Available from dealers carrying the Murphy’s Magic line..
Guaranteed Win is a visual packet effect with a really cool gambling theme.
IMPACT MOMENT ONE!
Four Jokers (The Wild Cards) transform to match a selected card!
IMPACT MOMENT TWO!
The duplicate cards visually change in to a Royal Flush in SPADES!
Andy has created the perfect multi-phase transformation effect that is not only easy to do and easy to follow, but has an instant performance hook and quick reset. With its gambling theme and the awesome visual changes, this will be a GUARANTEED winner in your close-up set.
Comes complete with:
Custom printed gimmicked card on Bicycle stock
*Just add your own ungimmicked cards
Brought to you by Alakazam Magic and Andy Smith, GUARANTEED WIN is a multi-phase packet trick that results in a guaranteed win poker hand, despite what your eyes tell you.
After a brief introduction, the magi shows a packet of four cards he’s holding to be all Jokers. The spectator is given one of the Jokers to examine as the magi gathers the other cards. The spectator is asked to select a card from the deck, assisted by the magi of course, and the selected card, a Ten of Spades, is added to the packet held by the magi. Despite having shown the packet as four Jokers.. the magi now shows the packet to consist of four Tens.
The magi places one of the Tens on the table, introduces a Guaranteed Joker and explains its significance to the spectator, and adds it to the three remaining cards in his hand. With no apparent handling, the magi shows the four cards in his hand have changed to the Jack of Spades, Queen of Spades, King of Spades, and Ace of Spades… all of which are placed with the Ten of Spades on the table to create a Royal Flush… A Guaranteed Win.
I encourage you to go to Murphy’s site, at the below link, and watch the video. You get a better idea of the visuals of this effect watching Andy perform it..
You’re supplied with a gaffed card that makes the magic possible.. that and good handling instructions by the creator. You honestly wouldn’t think the range of visual changes were possible with only one gaffed card. It is…
There are a couple of fairly unique handling ideas that took Andy several years of experimentation to perfect. He didn’t want the magi to hold a hand full of cards. He finally settled on a method that enables the performer to hold, at most, five cards at any moment. But, the fifth card is never visible thanks to the gimmicked card.
The only point where I might have a very minor disagreement is saying the effect is ‘easy to do and easy to follow’. It is NOT difficult, but it will take a little practice to remember the proper orientation of the cards. Remember though.. we’re only talking four or five cards here.. The total running time of the DVD is just over twenty minutes, and you’ll learn everything you need to know in that short a time.. so it can’t be very hard, now can it? All I’m saying is.. you’ll have a short time of watching the DVD with cards in hand as you learn the handling. It’s not self-working.. but it’s definitely not more than 30-40 minutes of work.
You’ll be taught a very basic flustration count and a simple card force. That, along with the gaff card, is all you need to perform Guaranteed Win. This effect WILL fool your audience. It’s well-suited for table hopping and walk around.. as long as you have a small surface on which to place a couple of cards. I recommend it to my friends and readers… Well worth the cost.
$19.99 at dealers who carry the Murphy’s Magic line of products..
Static Marker, by Wonder Makers, is an interesting addition to the magic market. It’s original, creative thinking, that opens a plethora of possibilities for any magician willing to use his head for something other than a hat rack. The ad copy reads as:
“Every magician dreams about owning a magic device that will be always in their pocket, ready to amaze people without any preparation. Do you really want to shock people? – This is Static Marker.
You will use this marker every day. We will teach you 7 incredible magic effects!
1. Shock: With this marker, your spectator will feel an electric shock, even though there are no electronics in the marker.
2. Balance: You can balance your marker in impossible way, defying gravity!
3. Card Ninja: With static electricity and your marker, you will find spectator’s card. The card itself flies out from the pack directly into your hand.
4. Freezing Time: You can stop time at any moment, and a ring will not fall from the marker.
5. Telekinesis: Using telekinesis, you can knock off different small objects from your marker at any time.
6. Mental Prediction: You will learn how to read your spectator’s mind. You will know, for certain, which city they will choose.
7. Magnetic: You can magnetize different small objects, enabling them to stick to your marker.
Instant reload. Your marker is always ready for your show. Easy to do. Even if you are a beginner, you will able to shock your audience immediately after our tutorial.
Video tutorial. You will receive a 30-minute video tutorial with many ideas in two languages: English and Russian. Shock your spectator with Static Marker by Wonder Makers NOW! ”
First, although the descriptions are descriptively correct.. not all are physically correct. I suppose what I’m saying is… you cannot physically perform some of the implied effects. You cannot physically ‘shock’ your spectator, but your spectator will ‘perceive; being shock, they will jump as being shocked, and they will go away believing they were shocked… although they weren’t.
Imagine touching an unlit match to a spectator’s hand. Imagine what they would feel if you somehow substituted a small piece of dry ice at the last moment. They would feel the unlit match somehow ‘burn’ them. It doesn’t.. but they will certainly believe they were.
Now, Static Marker doesn’t actually ‘shock’ anyone.. but they have devised a simple method to produce that illusion. Static Marker doesn’t ‘stop time’.. but it stops motion, thus appearing to stop time. You can use Static Marker as a utility device to assist with a mental prediction. The spectator will ‘assume’ the marker performed the magic.. although we can really give more credit to the magician. And, Static Marker is not actually ‘telekinetic’ or ‘magnetic’, but it does give the appearance of both.
Static Marker produces ‘illusions’ in much the same way black art produces illusions. Black art doesn’t vanish a single object, but in the right hands you’d swear it does. There’s no black art involved with Static Marker.. I’m just making a point.
In the right hands, you can lead your audience down a rabbit hole. It’s ideal for performing several quick effects simultaneously, confounding a small group. Although a setup is required, the necessary setup can be performed with a moment’s notice and right under their eyes.
Wonder Makers, assuming by the accents and second language option, are Russian. The video production is quite good, sound is good, camera work is good, and their English is good. There is nothing lacking. Actually, their packaging is first class, with the Marker coming in a magnetic hard case. You are provided a link to the tutorial and can learn all the effects in either English or Russian.
Static Marker is ready to use out the package. There is also a little ‘something’ provided to greatly extend the life of the marker, and several minutes of the video are devoted to making sure you have ‘full use’ of your marker for a long time.
Because Static Marker looks identical to a normal marker, and writes like a normal marker, you can replace your current marker and no one will know. Handling the marker will NOT reveal its secrets. You can give it out, allow a spectator to cap or uncap it, and they will be convinced Static Marker is the real deal.
Like many magic tools and props, those who benefit most from Static Marker are those who are enthusiastic about its possibilities. I recommend Static Markers to those who regularly use markers and those who like the security of a tool that provides them with several possibilities on a moments notice.
$29.95 .. At magic dealers who carry the Murphy’s Magic line of products..
David Jonathan, known for popular effects like Wrong Turn and Arbitrium, among others.. is the creator of Cutting Edge. Cutting Edge isn’t really an effect… it is three different effects, similar to an extent, but each with methodology different enough to give the performer a choice of difficulty. Each has a slightly different ending, varying in its level of impossibility.
I have published David’s ad copy below as a reference point. I’ve found I can tell much about a creator and his effects by his ad copy and its truthfulness…
DESTINED – Predict a freely isolated card with a stunning revelation!
The Jokers are taken out of a deck and a spectator is invited to select a card. Their selection is shuffled back into the deck, then the cards are spread face down. The spectator is now asked to freely insert the Jokers face up around any card, isolating it from the others. This mystery card is now turned over to reveal that, incredibly, the spectator has found their selected card! If the effect ended right here, it would already be great… but in a jaw-dropping finale, the Jokers are then turned over to show the spectator’s card was predicted on the backs of the Jokers, proving everything was inevitable!
A CUT ABOVE – The spectator stabs a cut card into the pack directly above their selection, with a twist!
A selected card is shuffled and lost into the deck. A casino cut card is now introduced and handed to the spectator to insert anywhere in the pack. Incredibly, the spectator’s card is found directly below the cut card! For a kicker climax, the cut card is then turned over to reveal a secret written prediction of the spectator’s card! This is the most logical and direct effect to use a casino cut card.
THE FINAL CUT – The spectator cuts to their signed card from a deck they shuffled under test conditions!
The spectator points to any card, signs it, and it is lost in the deck. A casino cut card (double blank card) is now introduced and set aside. The deck is spread on the table and given a wash shuffle (as fair and genuine as they do in casinos) – the spectator can even help mix the cards. The cards are gathered and then ribbon spread across the table. The spectator now inserts the cut card anywhere they like into the spread. With no funny moves, the deck is cut directly where the cut card was inserted. The card right below the cut card is now turned over and, amazingly, it is the spectator’s signed card!
Key Points: Both non-gimmicked and gaffed versions are taught on Cutting Edge. Multiple handlings are also included that are suitable for any skill level. All the effects can be performed In-The-Hands (no table required) and you can easily change the outcomes for each performance.
I spent a fair amount of time watching David’s videos. All three arrived in an email along with two PDF files. One was an overview of the three effects with a brief step-by-step of each of the moves – great to follow as you’re remembering the videos. And the second PDF contained the links to the Vimeo vids of each of the three effects. Although you can watch them online.. I downloaded the three videos to store them in the folder with the PDF’s and not have to revisit Vimeo to clarify a point.
The first effect, Destined, plays out exactly as described by David. The video quality is very good and the attention to details is all I would hope for.. No complaints at all.
This is the more difficult of the three effects, but the most rewarding. You’ll spend more time learning the timing of the moves, but most are basic. There is a point where a pass of one form or another is needed, but David has simplified the handling as much as possible. This isn’t a deal breaker.
Overall, Destined is a real fooler.. and one you can perform for both a lay audience and fellow magicians with equal aplomb. You will need to do a slight bit of simple artwork.. but it only requires a marker and two Jokers. Video length is 35 minutes.
A Cut Above is slightly easier version of Destined and uses a ‘cut card’ instead of two Jokers. ( Don’t have a cut card? Glue two cards face to face and you’ll have a cut card..) The effect ends with the spectator’s selected card directly below the cut card.. inserted into the deck by the spectator.. instead of between the two Jokers as in the previous effect. The handling is noticeably easier, but it still carries an impressive impact. Perform it for audiences -and- magic friends.
The Final Cut is the easiest of the three effects and, although similar in style to A Cut Above, uses a signed card as the locator card.
These two videos run 17 minutes and 16 minutes respectively…
I appreciate the time and effort David invested into this trilogy of effects. They work… and the end result is more than worth the effort. All three are very creditable methods of revealing a spectator’s chosen card. I’m convinced you’ll find a favorite and add it to your repertoire… maybe a couple even.
These effects are meticulously designed by a magician, for magicians, and I’m convinced you’ll appreciate CUTTING EDGE. It has my recommendation. ….. Price: $16.95
Rich Ferguson teaches an easy-to-do effect that has a freely selected card placed in one pile.. and a freely selected card in a second pile predicts the location of the first card. No sleight of hand required, and you’ll be performing this in minutes.
The Amazing Allison Lectures on the Real Business of Mentalism
Nice, informative lecture on the business of performing mentalism for commercial customers. Allison performs for corporate clients, and shares her experience. I do wish the sound was a tad better.. lots of echo.. but watchable. About 30 minutes.
Perfect Mind-Reading Trick Explained – Video Tutorial
One of my favorite Chris Ramsay effects.
Rollover Card Control Tutorial – Video
This is not a really easy sleight.. but it’s not nearly as difficult as it looks. I like it.. and I think you will too -if- you’ll take a couple of minutes and watch Xavior perform.
Triple Knuckle Busting Card Tutorial (not for the weak of hand)
A challenging card control from Xavior. I’ve worked on the Jerry Andrus move for some time.. and I respect anyone who can make it look easy…
“Another day another video. What’s up everyone I promised you guys a knuckle busting card magic tutorial and here it is. Just a warning this video is a bit more serious than the others but for good reason. I decided to give you more than just one explanation, much more. So as a thank you, you’re getting three tutorials.
1. The Panoramic Shift by Jerry Andrus
2. The Fan Steal by John Cornelius
3. Spin Clip Control by me =0)
These playing controls are not easy and will take practice and patience, but I decided to do it for you because of all the support you’ve given me so far. It means more than you can imagine.”
Want to ‘Break Your Own News’? – News Creator
Check this out… It lets you create your own official looling news screen. Easy to do and free. All you have to download is the finished product. Have a look at:
Joe Bonamassa – Blues Deluxe – Live From The Borderline
The song was taken from “Tour de Force – Live in London. Probably the best solo performance on a Stratocaster in the history of music. And my buddy, Anton, on drums. You can’t ask for more. I don’t have a Strat autographed by Joe… but I have a set of sticks autographed by Anton (Figg) ..! (Just me bragging..)
Top Tracks – Joe Bonamassa – JoeBonamassaTV – 270 videos
You read that correctly.. 270 videos of Joe on one site. Every important song he’s recorded, in many different formats. This is Youtube… nothing to download, unless you want to….
Free Bonamassa Album (download).
In exchange for giving Joe your email, he’ll give you a link to download a free 12 track album… and this is some of his best songs.. not outtakes.
Remember.. signing up for the Magic Roadshow Journal of Magic is Totally FREE. There is NO obligation and your email is 100% safe. (I don’t even share it with my closes fellow magicians..) You will be notified periodically as new material publishes to the Magic Roadshow site and you can unsubscribe with one click.
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