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Steve Cohen
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M-U-M Volume 101 Number 6

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From the Editors Desk From the Presidents Desk Copperfield Honored M-U-M Assembly News Good Cheer List Broken Wands Our Advertisers


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The Power of Bending Air by Tom Vorjohan and Daniel Herron A Magician Prepares by Dennis Loomis Blast from the Past COVER STORY by Antonio M. Cabral Shop to Stage by Paul Osborne James Munton: A Con Pro by Jelita McLeod Quick Look Book Nook: The Con Bruce Chadwicks Magical Wisdom Nielsen Gallery: Fu-Manchu by Lupe Nielsen Basic Training: Adaptability by Ian Kendall Under/Over by Joshua Jay Informed Opinion New Product Reviews Tech Tricks by Bruce Kalver Mental Breakdown by Christian Painter Unlimited Possibilites by Roger Blakiston Anytime, Anyplace Any Deck by Aldo Colombini Theory & Art of Magic by Larry Hass The Kran-Zone by Nathan Kranzo The Deans Diary by George Schindler Basil the Baffling by Alan Wassilak Confessions of a Paid Amateur by Rod Danilewicz
Cover Photo by Clay Patrick McBride



Photo by Billy Farrell/


M-U-M (ISSN 00475300 USPS 323580) is published monthly for $40 per year by The Society of American Magicians, 11086 S. Dartmoor Place, Parker, CO 80138 . Periodical postage paid at Parker, CO and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to M-U-M, c/o Manon Rodriguez, P.O. Box 505, Parker, CO 80138.

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Editor Michael Close Editor Emeritus David Goodsell Associate Editor W.S. Duncan Proofreader & Copy Editor Lindsay Smith Art Director Lisa Close
Society of American Magicians, 11086 S. Dartmoor Place Parker, CO 80138 Copyright 2011
Subscription is through membership in the Society and annual dues of $65, of which $40 is for 12 issues of M-U-M. All inquiries concerning membership, change of address, and missing or replacement issues should be addressed to: Manon Rodriguez, National Administrator P.O. Box 505, Parker, CO 80134 Skype: manonadmin Phone: 303-362-0575 Fax: 303-362-0424 Send assembly reports to: For advertising information, reservations, and placement contact: Mona S. Morrison, M-U-M Advertising Manager 645 Darien Court, Hoffman Estates, IL 60169 Email: Telephone/fax: (847) 519-9201 Editorial contributions and correspondence concerning all content and advertising should be addressed to the editor: Michael Close - Email: Phone: 317-456-7234 Fax: 866-591-7392


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months cover subject, has achieved remarkable success through strategic branding, shrewd marketing, and consistently delivering a top-notch, professional entertainment experience. In January, Steve makes a move into a prestigious performance venue, Carnegie Hall. Youll read how Steve prepared for that show (and much more) in Tony Cabrals story on page 40. (Tony, whose artwork has appeared before in M-U-M, painted the portrait on page 44.) As we near the end of the year, several columns will end their runs here in M-U-M. The first of these (Ill discuss the others next month) is the serialization of Joshua Jays Under/Over, which began in January of this year. These articles have offered a unique perspective for young magicians and their parents. I hope they have been of value to you. My thanks to Josh for allowing Under/ Over to appear here. There was an incorrect photo credit in the September 2011 M-U-M. The photo of Suzanne, her husband Louis, and her son Ian at the Magic Castle awards was taken by Hal G. Scheie. Mr. Scheie has been the Internet event photographer for the Magic Castle for many years; we apologize for the mistake. I received the following news from compeer John Pellatt: There is now a tribute online to the late, great Canadian childrens magician, Johnny Giordmaine (1898-1974). He was the first magician to ever appear on Canadian TV. He was also the magic mentor to hundreds and hundreds of young magicians, many of whom are still working professionally around the world today. Read about all this and more, and discover why he is still considered by those who remember him as Canadas most beloved childrens magician at The following just arrived from Dean George Schindler: Mike Miller, producer of the S.A.M. convention shows, has announced that three more exciting acts have been added to the great roster of talent to appear at the Society of American Magicians annual convention in Las Vegas, July 23-26, 2012: Sarlot and Eyed is the impressive young magic team you read about in the October M-U-M. Their Tucson show has been a hit in Arizona for many years. They will be on our opening show with Christian and Katalina, another young and talented team of magicians you may remember from their short comedy stint at our banquet last year. This time youll see their whole hilariously funny act. John Cassidy, a balloonist nut from Pennsylvania who always tears the house apart with his energetic talent, will also be on the line-up. For more information, see the convention ad on page 71. Speaking of Christian Painter, be sure to read his Mental Breakdown column this month. The topic is etiquette, and what Christian has to say about the way magicians conduct themselves will certainly be fodder for stimulating conversation at your next assembly meeting. I agree with Christians viewpoint, even to this extent: I was recently at a magic show in Las Vegas and a member of the staff asked me to perform for some VIPs while we waited for the show to start. I declined, explaining that it was very bad




form to perform at someone elses magic show. Even with a legitimate invitation, I wont do it. Its a matter of respect. Last month, compeer Barry Fingerhut wrote about restoring the Houdini gravesite after some vandals had defaced it. The following information came in a few weeks later: Missing since 1975 when vandals destroyed the original bust that marked the Houdini grave site at the Machpelah Cemetery in Queens, New York, a new, exact replica has been installed through the courtesy of the Houdini Museum of Scranton, Pennsylvania. Since the original loss of the bust, several copies have been replaced by the Society of American Magicians, but these were subsequently destroyed or stolen. The new bust is made of heavy concrete and has been placed on the grave by the museum co-directors Dorothy Dietrich and Dick Brookz. Both are members of the Society of American Magicians, which has maintained the site for many years. They were assisted by escape artist Steve Moore. The replacement was sanctioned by the surviving members of the Houdini family and the manager of the cemetery. Im sad to report on the passing of three very creative, important people in past thirty days. My old friend Earle Oakes, who was an artist and illustrator with a passion for magic tricks, died of a stroke Sunday, September 18, 2011, at the age of eighty-eight. For forty years, Earle and his two brothers produced architectural renderings of most of the major building projects in Philadelphia. Working from an architects plans, he would create a depiction that enabled clients to visualize what the finished building would look like so they could make decisions about exterior treatments. Earle became interested in magic as a boy, having purchased a copy of Greater Magic from Jack Chanin. He was fascinated by the book and began practicing diligently; he soon was creating and performing his own routines. In the early 1990s, after he retired, Earle applied his artistic skills to illustrating magic books; most recently he has been the primary illustrator for Genii magazine. He was also skillful in origami and drew illustrations of various origami designs as well. Earle was a gracious and gentle man. He will be missed. This in from Lupe Nielsen: Norm and I are very saddened by the loss of our friend, Burton Sperber, who passed away on September 30, 2011. We knew him through magic and his contributions to the field. He published several books, and had an incredible collection of magic books and ephemera. He was an expert card man and a talented mentalist. When I found out that in real life he was a landscaper and horticulturist, I really thought that was so cool. He owned the largest landscaping company in the US. He made the world around him more beautiful and what a precious gift that is! An excerpt from Sperbers Miracles of My Friends II appeared in the October 2011 M-U-M. As I write this column, the world is reacting to the news of the death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. While he wasnt involved in the world of magic or magicians, there is no denying that his products transformed contemporary life. (And unintentionally, those products gave magicians a new tool to use in their impromptu performances. If you doubt this, just take a look at the Tech Tricks columns.) Aloha, Steve. You left us way too soon.

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David Copperfield
Im sure youve heard by now that I had the privilege of presenting David Copperfield with the proclamation of Magician of the Century and King of Magic. The presentation was at Copperfields New York City penthouse this past September. David was celebrating his fifty-fifth birthday, a spread in the fashion magazine Fantastic Man, and the award from the S.A.M. The party was attended by celebrities, people from the fashion industry, and the press. David was a very gracious host and gave guests a tour of his penthouse, explaining the history behind so many of his collectables. Any one of these would be the prize possession of most peoples collection and the house was full of them! I really enjoyed the evening and David was very appreciative of the honor. He told me stories of magicians from Parent Assembly 1 who were so helpful to him in his youth. What many people are not aware of is Davids efforts to help the youth in magic. He continuously employs several young magicians on his show. He also reaches out to many others, providing support and encouragement. Since that evening I have been approached by many members regarding the proclamation. The response has been overwhelmingly positive. We all have our own taste and preferences when it comes to magicians and performances, but looking at every magicians body of work over the past century it is easy to agree that David Copperfield has had the most prolific career. He recently reached three billion dollars in ticket sales, making him the highest grossing solo artist (not just magician) in history. Some people have been confused by the title King of Magic, wondering when the S.A.M. became a monarchy and what powers have now been granted to David Copperfield. To clarify, Elvis Presley was proclaimed the King of Rock, Michael Jackson the King of Pop, and Howard Stern the King of All Media. These artists reached the pinnacle of their craft and the King title is a way to salute them, just as the S.A.M. salutes David Copperfield. on motions. So if youd like to participate, seek to become the delegate for your assembly and join us at our next national council meeting. We hold three national council meetings a year, in the fall, spring, and summer (at our national convention). While only officers and delegates have the ability to vote, all S.A.M. members are entitled to and encouraged to attend. One of the most important parts of the S.A.M. is its committees. Committee chairs are appointed annually by the national president but must be approved by the national council. Committees are charged with getting work done in a particular area. They will often seek national council approval for projects and activities of significance. If you cannot attend a national council meeting and would like to learn about what went on, read the Blue Book. The Blue Book is published before each national council meeting by the national secretary. It contains the minutes from the previous meeting and activity reports from all of the officers and committee chairs. It received its name because it was originally published with a blue cover; it is available now on our Web site as a PDF document.

Magic Center
I had the pleasure of visiting the Magic Center in Parker, Colorado (just outside Denver), this past September. The Magic Center was a project started several years ago by PNP Jay Gorham. It had a temporary home in Austin, Texas, and has now made the move to Colorado, where it occupies a room in a building that it will eventually take over. It is off to a great start in Parker with the leadership of PNP Dan Rodriguez and foundation president Phil Milstead. So many people have been generously donating pieces from their collections along with money to further fund the project. On November 19, I will join PNPs Mark Weidhaas and Mike Miller in performing a fund-raising show at the center. We will also feature a couple of S.Y.M. magicians from the Denver area. Hope to see you there!

Travel Tips
How often do you check into a hotel, ask if they have WiFi, and learn that while they do, it will cost you $15 a day? This is one of my biggest pet peeves while traveling. My first line of defense is choosing my hotel wisely. I try to book hotels like the Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn Express, etc., that I know offer free WiFi. Unfortunately, choosing a specific hotel is not always an option. As a general rule, the fancier the hotel, the more likely they will charge for WiFi. If the hotel is a chain with a rewards program, they will usually have a promotion code for their preferred customers. In these instances, I ask for the promotion code. Speak with confidence and youll be surprised how often they just give you the code. It also helps to be friendly and cordial. That should go without saying, but you would be surprised how many guests are rude to the front desk attendants. If you want to explore how accommodating the people at the front desk can be, I recommend reading Aye Jayes book The Golden Rule of Schmoozing.

The National Council

This month we have a national council meeting in New Orleans. As I spend time with fellow S.A.M. members at conventions and assembly meetings, it is clear that the majority of our members do not know what the national council is. To put it simply, the national council is the governing body of the S.A.M. So whos a part of the national council and how can you become a part of it? The national council is comprised of the elected officers (President, President-Elect, 1st Vice President, 2nd Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Regional Vice-Presidents), Past National Presidents, and active assemblies. Each officer and each assembly has a vote. Assemblies greater than fifty members have two votes and assemblies greater than one hundred members have three votes (sort of like the Electoral College). Assemblies appoint a delegate to represent them. Officers and delegates have the ability to make, second, and vote

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S.A.M. National Officers

Dean: George Schindler, 1735 East 26th St., Brooklyn, NY 11229, (718) 336-0605, Fax (718) 627-1397, President: Vinny Grosso, 270 Mansion St., Coxsackie, NY 12051 (518) 756-1891 President Elect: J. Christopher Bontjes, 2313 Atwood Ct., Danville, IL 61834 (217)431-4791 First Vice President: Dal Sanders, 3316 Northaven Rd, Dallas, TX 75229 (214) 902-9200, Second Vice President: Kenrick ICE McDonald, P.O. Box 341034, Los Angeles, CA 90034, (310) 559-8968 Secretary: Marlene Clark, 435 Main Street, Durham, CT 06422, (860) 349-8149, Skype: marlene.clark, Treasurer: Mary Ann Blowers, 3 Christopher Bluffs Court, St. Louis, MO 63129 (314) 846-8468 Skype: maryan.blowers

Regional Vice Presidents

New England: CT MA RI NH ME VT Joseph Caulfield (603) 579-9700, North Atlantic: NY NJ Pat Colby, Mid Atlantic: PA DE MD VAWV DC David W. Bowers, 169 Tobin Dr., Chambersburg, PA 17201(717) 414-7574, South Atlantic: FL AL GA MS NC SC Debbie Leifer (404) 630-1120 Central Plains: KY TN OH IN MI Jania Taylor, (231)242-8242, Midwest: IL MN WI MO ND NE KS SD IA Jeff Sikora, 13023 Crown Point Ave., Omaha, NE 68164 (402)-339-6726, South Cental States: TX AR OK NM LA Jeff Lanes, (713)850-1770, Southwest: CA AZ NV HI John Shryock III (520) 885-7999 Northwest: WA OR UT ID CO AK WY MT Michael Roth, (503)493-8316, Canada Rod Chow (604) 669-7777 Society of Young Magicians Director Jann Wherry Goodsell, 329 West 1750 North, Orem, Utah 84057 (801) 376-0353.


Be sure to check the polybag your M-U-M was mailed in to see if its time to renew. A prompt renewal saves the S.A.M. time and money. Renew at

Living Past National Presidents

Bradley M. Jacobs, Richard L. Gustafson, Roy A. Snyder, Bruce W. Fletcher, James E. Zachary, Frank W. Dailey, Cesareo Pelaez, David R. Goodsell, Robert A. Steiner, Fr. Cyprian Murray, Michael D. Douglass, George Schindler, Dan Rodriguez, Dan Garrett, Donald F. Oltz Jr., Craig Dickson, Loren C. Lind, Gary D. Hughes, Harry Monti, Jann Wherry Goodsell, Warren J. Kaps, Ed Thomas, Jay Gorham, John Apperson, Richard M. Dooley, Andy Dallas, Maria Ibez, Bruce Kalver, Mike Miller, Mark Weidhaas.


The S.A.M. Honors David Copperfield

On September 14, 2011, The Society of American Magicians awarded illusionist David Copperfield their highest honor, Magician of the Century, and named him theKing of Magic, an award that has never before been given by the association. The S.A.M. recognized Copperfield for his efforts to preserve, promote, and enhance the art of magic throughout his legendary career. National president Vinny Grosso says that Copperfield has, accomplished more than anyone else in the field of Photo by Billy Farrell/ magic today. Among his many Vinny Grosso and David Copperfield achievements, the S.A.M. highlighted Copperfields dedication to excellence, which has earned him the Living Legend Award from The Library of Congress, the first Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame awarded to a living magician, a knighthood by the French government, eleven Guinness World Records, and twenty-one Emmy awards. He has sold more tickets than any other solo artist in history and recently crossed $3 billion in ticket sales worldwide. In 1982, Copperfield created Project Magic, which teaches sleight-of-hand magic to those with disabilities as a method of physical and occupationaltherapy. In addition, Copperfield is the creator and curator of the International Museum and Library of Conjuring Arts, which holds the worlds largest collection of historical magical artifacts, including Houdinis Water Torture Celland Orson Welless Buzz Saw Illusion. Copperfield said, Im humbled by the honor and grateful to be recognized by this greatorganization.

operation hocus pocus

The S.A.M. Veterans Program is gaining momentum around the country. As more members learn about the opportunities and benefits of sharing their magic with veterans and military groups, the idea gains strength with every performance. Assemblies in Illinois, New Jersey, Ohio, and Texas have recently performed for VA hospitals and submitted after-action reports on the S.A.M. Veterans Program Web page. Check it out at One group, organized by Assembly 56 in Fairborn, Ohio, even incorporated a magic show for military personnel and their families into the Jokers Gone Wild annual convention. Here is an excerpt from an article submitted by the convention organizer , retired Air Force officer Scott Miller: The Third Annual Jokers Gone Wild magicians convention dedicated an evening of magic to honor the families and troops deployed overseas from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. Nearly eighty military family members and twenty-two magicians participated in this entertaining event. The show started with magicians entertaining people with close-up strolling magic as they arrived. Then they were then treated to an hour-long banquet room show featuring professional magicians from around the country. Jokers Gone Wild is an annual gathering of magicians from around the country who get together in Fairborn to perform and share their magic. Many of the Jokers are veterans; they are proud to honor and thank the men, women, and families of Wright-Patterson and our nations other servicemen and women for their dedication and sacrifice, which secures this great nation and allows us the freedom to share our Jokers Gone Wild convention attendees magic with others. Sharing your magic with veterans and members of the U.S. military forces has a built-in feel-good, win-win benefit that cant be described in mere words. Show your patriotism by wearing the lapel pin you earn for performing at a VA Hospital! Be sure to fill out an after-action report on the S.A.M. Veterans Program Web page. I will thank you, veterans will thank you, and your fellow magicians will thank you. Scott Hollingsworth, Veterans Program Chairman

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Society of American Magicians Monthly News
NOVEMBER 2011 Volume 101, Number 6

GO TO: and use the easy submission form to file your report

out newspapers for members to learn the procedure while Ed demonstrated it. Brian Quan told about his youth when his father emphasized reusing and recycling everything possible. At the conclusion of the story, Brian produce fresh chewing gum that we could all use and reuse as often as we wanted. Inspired by Jim Steinmeyers The Tuzot Sensu Mystery (Genii August 2011), Stu Bacon related a tale of twins who are able to communicate with each other telepathically and so find each other. Of course, Stu matched all the pairs of cards. Bob Kuhn amazed us with two card effects. First he found the selected card, which had been returned to the deck, in his trouser pocket. Even after he showed the move several times, we were still mystified. Then he displayed an intriguing version of three-card monte. The Ace, placed between a Deuce and a Trey, continually moved to the top of the packet and then back to the middle. Again, we were all astounded. Enacting another matching effect, Corky LaVallee used ESP cards to confirm Bobs psychic powers. Bob correctly matched his five ESP cards with five others hidden in a plastic holder. Rich Seguine surprised us by producing a new deck of cards for everyone at the meeting. This was a onetime event. Hippo Lau narrated a spy story with more suspense than James Bond ever had. Three spies, three Jacks, went forth on a mission and became engaged in so many adventures with villains that they were lost. Yet with clever maneuvering they returned safely to home base and their leader, the Jack of Spades. John Caris, with Jack Langdell assisting, performed Howard Adamss classic and elegant ESP card routine Cidentaquin. Tamaka, Walt Johnson, and Rob Shapiro enjoyed the evenings entertainment and of course


NEW YORK, NY The first well attended meeting of the season was a success, and the $250 prize of magic effects won by the Parent Assembly (Houdini Growth Membership award) was voted to be donated to the NY S.Y.M Assembly 69. After installing new members Adam Blumenthal and Anthony Guido, discussing Magic Week and the upcoming Steve Marshall lecture, 1st VP Brett Schulman closed the business meeting. The after-meeting show on September 7 began with the cracking of a bullwhip as Bob Friedhoffer presented excerpts from his science magic show. Demonstrating the speed of sound, he explained the principle, and with a slash of the whip tore a newspaper, bravely held by spectator Pat Colby. Bob treated us to effects involving the memory of materials (Circle to Square), the existence of the black hole (Zone Zero), the theory of relativity (Twin Paradox), centripetal force and inertia (see photo), and a unique balloon in bottle effect controlling air pressure. Bobs laid back, matter of fact presentation was well received. The feature act was presented by Throwdini (Dr. David Adamonvich) who, as the name implies, thrilled the audience with his knife-throwing abilities. Targets included his assistant Lexi in an array of near-miss effects, a number of balloons, and a courageous blindfolded spectator (Eric De Camps). Throwdinis young assistant was placed on a large circular wooden board that was then covered by a large sheet of paper. As the board rotated, sharp knives were thrown at the spinning target. To thunderous applause, the paper was removed and Lexi,

assisted in vanishing the cookies. John Caris Golden Gate Assembly 2 meets first Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at Community Room of Taraval Police Station, 2345 24th Ave., San Francisco. Tamaka Tamaka3715@ (415) 531-9332

Feiedhoffer demonstrates Inertia unharmed, took her final bow with the doctor, who presented her with a well deserved bouquet of flowers. (See the photos at www. Visitors are encouraged to meet us for lunch any Fridays between 12:30 -2 pm at Caf Edison- on 47th Street between 7th and 8th avenue in Times Square. George Schindler Assembly 1 meets the first Friday of each month at 7:15 PM at the Mt Sinai Campus in the Goldwurm Auditorium, 1425 Madison Avenue- NYC Pat Colby

PHILADELPHIA, PA Our September meeting featured an excellent lecture by the brilliant Steve Marshall. Steves lecture featured a wonderful assortment of very practical effects culled from his Asian Astonishments column that ran for three years in M-U-M. Every effect taught was a gem that could easily be performed within minutes of practice. Before performing and explaining each effect, Steve gave a brief biography of the Japanese originator of each trick.



Steve Marshall presenting Nobuyuki Nojimas Colorbands Steve started things off with Nobuyuki Nojimas Colorbands a slick transposition effect utilizing blue and yellow rubber bands. He then proceeded to perform and explain a powerful Triumph effect created by Nojima utilizing only nine cards called Small Triumph. Next, Steve wowed everyone with a fantastic mentalism effect by the Magic Napoleons called All Mixed Up in which he correctly

SAN FRANCISCO, CA A night of mystery it was. Beguiling tales and strange happenings enchanted the gathering this September evening. Ed Arce gave a teach-in of the torn and restored newspaper with a version that does not require any advance preparation. A newspaper can be taken from a newsstand and the routine performed immediately. After presenting the routine, Ed gave

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divined a spectators selected, folded, paper-clipped card among many cards that had been mixed in a brown paper bag. Steve then taught an amazing effect utilizing a calculator called Crazy Calculations, which had to be seen to be believed. Following a brief intermission, Steve continued to perform and teach a number of fine effects including an impressive four-Ace trick by Alan Wong called Diamond Twist. Steve then fooled everyone with a great effect by Wong entitled Wong Guess in which a three-digit prediction written on a dry erase board intended to mirror the suits of three freely selected cards went awry after which the correct selections were made to appear on the board with the aid of an eraser. Finally, Steve ended the evening on a high note by performing Dr. Shigeru Tashiros Lemon Prediction in which he unfolded a large flat piece of paper with the word lemon written on it in Japanese characters and proceeded to produce what seemed to be an endless supply of real lemons. Steve was so entertaining and such a pleasure to watch that we highly recommend him to any assembly looking for an excellent lecture. Peter Cuddihy James Wobensmith Assembly 4 meets third Thursday at 7:00 p.m. at the Bustleton Memorial Post, 810 (American Legion) 9151 Old Newtown Road. bar inside. He also did a teach-atrick using a Starbucks paper bag and coffee stirrer. Dont forget to visit our new Web site, Rudy Jackson Kellar-Thurston Assembly #6 is always looking for new members and visitors in the greater Baltimore area. We meet every first Thursday @ 8:00pm. Held at the Magic Warehouse,11419 Cronridge Drive, suite #10 Owings Mills, Maryland 21117 (410-5610777). of Christ,124th Street and West Center Road - across from Hooters. Jerry Golmanavich golubki@ (402) 3909834 us also on Facebook at http://www. LINkING RINGs NIGhT





BalTiMORE, MD President Jeff Eline, Howard Katz, and his son, Sean Katz, attended the MAGIC live convention. This was held in Las Vegas, Nevada, in August. Howard was alsotheMagic Warehouse dealer there. All three reported attending great magic shows and lectures. The headliners were Mark Kalin and Jinger. At our meeting we discussed doing a Christmas show at the Reisterstown adult senior center. Starting out with magic tonight was Tony Anastasi doing some wonderful rope magic routines. Joe Bruno did an impromptu three cards across. He also repeated this routine with no envelopes. Howard Katz performedusing alottery ticket with matched prediction routine. Closing out the meeting was Jeff Eline doing a stand-up three-card monte. He also did a sympathetic matchbox routine. Jeff dida dinner knife through card box with solid metal

OMaha, NE This evening mentalism was the highlight and the presentations were accurately predicted by Omaha Magical Society magicians Dan Rasmussen and our Dean, Walter Graham. Dan led off the evening with a book test that revealed birth dates by reading the minds of several in the audience. He continued by showing a calculator that was still in the blister pack. After opening the package he asked three spectators to enter numbers to produce a number revelation. This was followed by showing us six numbered paper sacks. One secret sack contained something valuable. Assistants were asked to roll a die and reveal the contents of the matching sack a playing card in each. The final sack now belonged to our mentalist, who found a billfold with American money in it! Dan is known for his expertise in mentalism and now our spectators knew why. Walter Graham carried the show from there with effects taken from past magazines: Hawbeckers Projected Thought (M-U-M 1/55 anyone else have this one?), Cody Fishers X-Card (M-U-M 8/01), and Harris Solomons Trap Slate (M-U-M 1/55 again). He also performed Bert Allertons Directoscope Concentrator (Linking Ring 3/45), and The Worlds Tour (Linking Ring 2/44). Next, he presented some standards: Tanners Classic Prediction, and Billy McCombs McComical Deck. From the Tarbell books he extracted Ghost Card, and then concluded with a Magic Square idea. Walter is a seventy-year member of the S.A.M. and continues to spread his magic and humor throughout Omaha at numerous social events. Perhaps we all could have predicted two masterful performances. Jerry Golmanavich Omaha Magical Society meets on the third Monday of most months at the Southwest Church

BOSTON, MA Assembly 9 opened its 2011-2012 season with the first of a series of workshops organized by veteran member Gil Stubbs, whose goal is to foster the teaching of classic effects to newer members. Gil himself taught the first workshop, using the famous Dai Vernon card routine Twisting the Aces to illustrate the usefulness of the Elmsley count. (For the record, Twisting the Aces was first brought to the attention of the magic world in 1960 in the book Dai Vernons Inner Secrets of Card Magic, written by Lewis Ganson.) Following Gils instructive performance and commentary, Assembly 9 held a meeting that, among other business, voted in a new member, Matt Schick. Matt is already an accomplished magician, having learned from compeer David Oliver during his membership in the John Calvert Assembly 29 of the Society of Young Magicians (sym29.webs. com). The evenings main event was a lecture/demonstration by Assembly 9s own David Cresey (, who began by entertaining us with a series of deftly executed false cuts. He then demonstrated an effect that consisted of tearing a chosen and signed card into quarters along with five other cards, mixing the fragments of all cards together in a paper bag, then blindly retrieving from the bag all four pieces of the chosen card. Next, David showed how a rose shaped from a table napkin could be incorporated into an effect that included tearing and restoring the paper rose. At the urging of members familiar with Davids dexterity, he closed with an amazing display of coin manipulation involving several impressive vanishes. As usual, Ray Goulet hosted the meeting in his Magic Art Studio and offered a few pithy comments to put the demonstrated effects into a historical context.Jim Ellison Herman Hanson Boston Assembly No. 9 meets the second Wednesday of the month except December, July, and August, at 7:30 PM at The Magic Art Studio, 137 Spring St., Watertown, MA 02472. Look for

CincinnaTi, OH President elect Leland Pennington opened the meeting with a discussion of the importance of 2012, which is the ninetieth year for Queen City Mystics Assembly 11. The assembly is planning an anniversary show for August 2012. The board also made Betty and Bill Winzig lifetime members to recognize their continuous generous support of Assembly 11. The theme for the magician of the month was linking rings or workin-progress. First up was Larry Payne, who presented his new routine involving telekinesis and Skelly the puppet. A spectator secretly selected one of four colored cards (red, blue, green, and yellow). Skelly the skeleton puppet did a dance routine to the music of Putting on the Ritz. Larry then showed the spectator four colored ribbons on a stand that matched the colors of the four cards. Magically, three ribbons popped off the stand and the color of the card the spectator had selected remained on the stand. Dr. Fred Smart then performed his work-in-progress: amystic rope routine. A knot dissolves and a square knot is not. The clever banter was entertaining. Don Hinton then showedus his work in progress which was a clever selection routine. Don had five envelopes and four spectators selected four of the five envelopes. When each spectator opened their envelope they each found a large bill, such as a pelicans large bill or a hat with a large bill, etc. Don who had the last of the five envelopes did have the large bill a twenty-dollar bill. Patrick Thermes then performed a memorable linking ring routine accompanied by a beautiful arrangement of What a Wonderful Life. The judges selected Larry Payne as the magician of the month. Queen City Mystics, SAM Assembly 11 generally meets on the 2nd Friday of the month at Haines House of Cards in Cincinnati, Ohio. John Martini



Dallas, TX After brief business and a raffle, the formal stage show began, hosted by Prama Kumar. The first performer was Mark Jensen. Mark handed

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out four cards to each member of the audience. The cards were torn in half, and one of the halves was saved (unseen) by each audience member. After shuffling, discarding, and passing around the other halves, eventually each spectator had one half of a card left in their hand perfectly matching the half they saved. Aaron Maynard began with a balloon mime act. Aaron followed this act by producing popcorn from an empty popcorn box while promoting popcorn sales for the Boy Scouts.

with a mentalism experiment. Jeff stared at a picture of Marilyn Monroe, while Mike Squires projected a different image into Jeffs mind. When Jeff was asked to identify the person on the image, Jeff answered Albert Einstein, the person that Mike was thinking of! James Munton wrapped up the evening by discussing one of the most famous con games of all time the three-shell game. Dallas Magic Club Assembly #13 meets the third Tuesday of each Month at 7 p.m. Crosspointe Church and CommunityCenter for directions Check out the Dallas Magic Club on Facebook!


FAll BACk TO MAGIC the other cards and dealt onto the board. Rick wielded the knife and stabbed the correct card. Soll Levine brought the Book Of Magic. Opening it, he drew a picture of a dove on a blank page. He closed, and then opened the book revealing a 3-D foam dove. Brian Miller performed No. 2 Pencil.

Joann Maynard and James Munton Ted Gillum concluded the show with a mentalism routine. Four spectators were asked to select both an envelope and a chair on stage. When the envelopes were opened, they each contained a prediction that matched the chair the same spectator had chosen. The spectators were then asked to randomly move to different seats, and Ted revealed another prediction with the second seating order. After the formal show, Mike Squires planned to teach a trick only using five red cards. Unfortunately, the cards kept changing one-by-one into black cards! Eventually Mike gave up when he showed that all of the cards were now black. Paul Seigel invited three spectators to make three specific choices, eventually narrowing down the selection of a famous person to Eleanor Roosevelt. Paul then reached into an envelope, revealing an image of none other than Eleanor Roosevelt, albeit a baby picture of her! Richard Schmidt displayed three bottles of colored liquid red, yellow, and blue. One by one, Richard poured each of the liquids into a metal bucket, thus mixing the contents together. Richard then reached into the bucket with a plastic cup and removed only one colored liquid. He then separated out the other two, showing an empty bucket in the end. Brian ONeill selected Jeff Hallberg and Mike Squires to help


WORcEsTER, MA After a long hiatus over the summer we finally got together for our first meeting. It was great to see old friends and new faces. The meeting was called to order by vice president Dennis Pimenta at 7:15 p.m. There were ten members and guests present. The assembly welcomed its two newest members, Jerry Schiowitz and Paul Kafig. After a short business meeting, we then proceeded to the festivities of the evening. Each member was to perform a magic effect and teach it to the rest of the club. John Chumsae did three wonderful card tricks. John Cain performed the cut and restored handkerchief as well as a rope effect. John Kelly amazed us with several routines including his selfcoloring picture effect. One new member Jerry Schiowitz, did a silk production while our other new member, Paul Kafig, performed a Chop Cup routine and a great card effect. George Lawton did a very nice version of Starkle. Dennis Pimenta did the torn and restored newspaper effect. We also had a silent auction from some of the items that belonged to our dearest broken wand Al Russo. Nine out of the twelve items sold. The evening ended with some delicious strawberry shortcake provided by Peter Lentros. As usual another great evening of magic and camaraderie was had by all in attendance at the Magic Barn. Until we meet again John Bryant Assembly 16 meets first Monday of each month at 7PM at the Magic Barn in Ashland MA (except July and Augustt). Dennis Pimenta (508) 883 3575

SpRinGfiEld, MA Vacation time is over and its time to show all the great magic we bought and learned over the summer. Ed Kazar started us off with his funny No Knot routine. He said its all in the way you move the ends: a very nice color changing circle from which three white ones slowly turn to all pink ones. Its called Omedetaiwa. Rich Gilbert presented SloMotion, causing a Life Saver to spin on a coffee stirrer thru his psychokinetic energy. Afterwards, he made a Krackle and Mr.Goodbar switch places with Sugar Rush. Conrad MacIntre did a signed and restored card tear by David Stone called Tool. He had a spectator sign a blank card and hold onto it. A Two of Hearts was then randomly picked from the deck and the picture card was transferred to their hand, called Color Deception. Tom Gentile brought out an old coin tray and presented Pennies from Heaven, by making three pennies double in value. He later had us laughing with a rabbit/duck silk. We thought it was a rabbit but he turned it around to a duck (a lame duck for sure). Joe amazed us with his Color Deception disks. Michael Wald had us all guessing with Bill Goldmans Invisible Deck routine. A spectator chose a card from the make-believe deck and Mike picked from the real one. It was the Four of Diamonds. He then continued with a Dai Vernon face-up or face-down card trick. Joe Bednar ended the night with his mission statement, by changing a Chinese coin to American coin and then back again. The pizza was all eaten and the raffle was won. Some magic was sold and some magic was given. Now time to go home and relive all our fun, only to come back and do it again. Karen Gibson Dr. I.R. Caulkins Assembly #17 meets the first Friday of every month at 7 pm at the Grande Meadows Tennis Club, Dwight Road, East Longmeadow, MA Tom Gentile tdgmagic@ (413) 533-7653

St. Pierre prepares his classroom Dana Ring performed a trick he found on the Internet that was invented by former Assembly 21 member Fitch Cheney. Five cards were chosen by a spectator. Danas assistant Steve Wronker handed him four of the cards and Dana was able to name the fifth. Dana and Steve then taught the trick to everyone. Dan Sclare revisited his rope trick from last month wherein he was able to link two ropes while his back was turned. This time, however, he was able to un-link them behind his back as well. Finally, Pat Guida showed a group of cards to Dan, who mentally picked one. Pat then had Dan silently spell the name of the card while dealing. Pat read Dans mind and was able to name the card. Plus, the card itself was the next card in the deck. Dana Ring Assembly 21 meets at Angelos On Main 289 South Main Street West Hartford, CT Dana Ring (860) 5239888





HaRTfORd, CT The theme was magic with back-to-school supplies. Rick St. Pierre showed different colored highlighters plus blank cards, a board, and a large knife. One card was marked with a marker and shuffled into

LOs AnGElEs, CA Competition for the assembly close-up trophy was the program for the September 19 meeting of the Southern California Assembly. This Assembly has a long history of awarding a variety of trophies at the annual awards and installation banquet to those members who have excelled in various performance categories. Before the show began, assembly president

NOVEMBER 2011 13

Jim Callen conducted a short business meeting to take care of those matters that needed to be attended to. Recent member James Wilson received his new member package. Michael Perovich was the producer of the close-up program/ show. Mike also emceed the show and managed witty, clever and truly funny introductions for each performer. The first performer was John Engman, who used a bright green shoelace to perform a nice knot tying routine and a ring and string routine. Matt Savin was next, reminiscing about early Magic Castle days and being taught a four Ace trick by Dai Vernon. Matt performed the effect nicely, using Kings instead of Aces. The third performer, Henry Springer, cleverly tied together a series of card and coin effects into a smoothly performed routine. Doug Slater, a frequent Magic Castle performer, was next. Doug did a card packet effect, X Marks the Spot, with an X on a card becoming a round spot. Doug also did a matrix effect with dice and concluded with a Chop Cup effect using a crushed dollar bill and a bright red cup. At this point, an intermission was scheduled for all to enjoy the buffet of foods, treats and beverages provided by hospitality chairwoman Corrine Murphy. being divined using a special disk adorned with Chinese characters. The evening concluded with the auction of a very nice magic performance table built by member Dick Shafer and donated by him to the assembly. Henry Springer was the high bidder and lucky winner of this nicely made table. Southern California Assembly 22 meets the 3rd Monday each month at 8:00 P.M., St. Thomas Moore Parish Hall, 2510 So. Fremont Ave., Alhambra, CA Information: 213/382-8504 scripts go into various presentations, the best of which was by Mohamed Bey. Street magicians often use a nickel plated version from Supreme Magic. It is good for ring and string penetration. Carol Garrett Atlanta Society of Magicians, Julian V. Boehme/Walter S. Bell Assembly #30 meets the second Thursday at Picadilly Cafeteria, I-85 & North Druid Hills Rd. Web site: magic so compelling to magicians. Many of those attending noted what originally attracted them to cards. There was also dialog regarding the three moves most essential in card magic. The consensus was the double lift, the break, and the false cut. An important observation made by Dee Saul is that card magic is like playing a guitar. It is easy to play it poorly, but is very difficult and takes much practice to play it well. The other magicians who performed included Sean Hull, David Lee, Jay Newby, Joe Scott, Don Miller, and Barry Rice. Dale Benson SAM #31 meets the first Monday of the month at 7:00 pm unless there is a conflict with a holiday weekend. Unless otherwise announced the meeting location is the Irvington United Methodist Church, 10 Audubon Road on the east side of the city. See our website for details: www.sam31. com. Steve Spence sspence@ mediationalternative. com (317) 507-4534


WhAT EllIs?



Leifer introduced our first performer of the evening, Dan Garrett. Dan performed the new effect, SloMotion [reviewed by Dan in this months Informed Opinion]. All were astonished. Joe Turner followed up that brilliant display with a variation of Elmsleys Between Your Palms, moving playing cards back in time. Lets do the Time Warp again! Mal Simpson performed an exercise in empathy. Using two decks of cards, he matched three selections made by a spectator. Jim Mangham showed us an Aldo Colombini rope trick with jumping knots and a knot that changed color, becoming a part of the rope. Jim passed out sample ropes and taught the trick to the assembly. Gene Hendrix performed cups and balls with paper cups and wadded dollar bills as the balls. At the end he displayed his cardboard sign proclaiming that he would perform cups and balls for tips. Merritt Ambrose performed magic with a glass and a walnut. He put Bill Yamane, Michael Mezmer, Henry the glass under an English Springer, Michael Perovich, Doug Slater, pea can, tapped it with Matt Savin, John Engman, his magic spoon, and the and John Richmond walnut appeared in the covered glass. Rick Hinze performed a three The show resumed with Bill Yamane performing several card card monte by propping the cards effects and concluded with Marc against ketchup bottles (what else DeSouzas Die of Destiny. John in a cafeteria). I think Rick was Richmond then demonstrated a channeling Juan Tamariz during series of simple tabletop puzzlers. his performance. John Miller had Closing the show was Michael a card selected then performed Mezmer, one of our professional psychochronotelekenesis who performers, in oriental style attire knows? Anyway, the card on the and using The Mysteries of the table changed colors and turned Orient as a theme for his props over of its own accord. Our Professional Development and his performance. Michael did a grandmothers necklace was presented by Rick Hinze. type effect using chopsticks Rick introduced us to the Jardine and tassel cords and concluded Ellis ring, which is a brass ring with a mentally selected number with a shell. Several old manu-

ATlanTa, GA MC Debbie

IndianapOlis, IN More than twenty magicians of all ages made it to the combined S.A.M. Assembly 31 and IBM Ring 10 September meeting, which was held at The Forum retirement center so that Harry Riser could be in attendance. The theme was favorite card tricks. As you can imagine, nearly everyone had a favorite card routine except for a few hard and fast coin guys! Ten magicians performed and we saw everything from the classic Currys Out of This World presented by George Nataros to a Stinky Card Trick created by Taylor Martin. Dee Saul did a variation of Larry Jenningss Invisible Palm, but added coins to the card effect. Significantly, out of the ten card routines, there was only one pick a card trick.



Harry Riser (far right) enjoys a card routine performed by Joe Scott and Barry Rice A highlight of the evening was Harry Riser, our clubs namesake, teaching us several one-handed routines. Harry is recovering from his stroke and is still working on regaining function in his left arm and hand. Thus, he has developed right-handed routines. He taught us the right thumb break and demonstrated other lessons in smooth card handling. As always, Harrys teaching was clear, to the point, and interspersed with interesting and relevant stories from his magic career. There was enlightening discussion regarding what makes card

POUGhKEEpsiE, NY Our September meeting began with Joe Quitoni leading a Broken Wand Ceremony for Peter White, owner of P&A Silks. Over the years, Peter attended many of our meetings, lectured on several occasions, and gave advice to many of our assembly members, past and present. After discussing a number of upcoming local shows, we were dazzled by our guest lecturer, Joshua Jay, who gave us two hours of incredible effects. Joshua began the meeting with Hitchcock, a wonderful effect with the torn corners of cards ending up in unlikely places. Able assistants Ariel Stein, Terry Morgan, Derrin Berger, and Kevin Manning helped with this knock-out effect. Joshua stunned us with his handling of Troy Hoosiers Charming Chinese Challenge. Ariel assisted again with a devious watch prediction effect. Derrin and Frank Monaco found a dollar transported to Joel Zaritskys wallet in Bill to Anywhere. Kevin helped again with Transporter. We were amazed all over again by Any Card at Any Number. Joshua finished up the evening with an amazing threecoin effect. We all learned a very effective coin vanish provided you remembered to bring a coin from home. If you have the opportunity to see Joshua lecture, its

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King Trick, and Paul Amerson wowed us with the Hollywood Squares. Drake Stanton did his awarding-winning act, the Multiplying Coca Cola Bottles, and Doug Gorman performed Mutanz by Bob Farmer and Roy Walton. Dwayne Stanton donned his Superman Cape and entertained us with Lucky Dip by Wayne Dobson, and Don Moravits did a card effect called Quadruple Coincidence. At the conclusion of the performances, door prize winners were Doug Gorman and Drake Stanton. Brother John Hamman Assembly 52 meets at 7:30 p.m. on the first Thursday of the month at La Madeleine Restaurant, located at 722 N.W. Loop 410. The restaurant is inside Loop 410 on the access road between Blanco Rd. and San Pedro. For more information, contact Benson Bowl Routine. Until next time, Sayonara! See you at the diner. Lou Johnson L.I. Mystics Assembly 77 meets at 7:30PM on the second Monday of the month at The Community United Methodist Church. For more information, check held a very special contest at our September meeting. The challenge was to perform an act, a routine, an effect, or a set that lasted five minutes. The only judge was the timer the person coming closest to five minutes was declared the winner. Joe Caffalls rope routine included the Hunter Bow Knot and a Cut and Restored Rope, along with a few laughs. Hugh McDonald performed The SpiderMan Elastic Five-Minute Card Miracle, which included a variety of effects. Sy Hoff had a spectator selected at random and asked him to think of any card. After some Q&A leading to a word joke, he used a jumbo deck to reveal his prediction of the chosen card. Alan Leeds showed us a rope routine with some very nice moves and the Silk To Egg effect. John Jones performed a coin routine in which a silver coin and a copper coin went through several changes and transpositions. Hugh, at 5:02 was the winner, with Joe a very close second. To start the regular performance part of the meeting, Arthur Hastings had a card selected and shown around. The card was returned to a small packet. Arthur asked series of questions, and the spectator could lie or tell the truth, as Arthur spelled the answer to each in order to eliminate some cards. In this way he eliminated all the cards except the one selected. The four packets of eliminated cards each had one of the four Aces. Ken Gielow also had a card selected and shown around, then returned to the deck. After failing to find the card by sleight of hand, he put the deck on the floor and magically caused it to cut itself to the selected card. Hugh McDonald stepped up again and asked if anyone had any spare chains (funny because it sounded like change when he said it). He did some linking of the links (based on a Jay Sankey effect). Claiming to be the last alchemist, he then produced a gold ball. Then the ball got bigger, became transparent, and vanished. Joe Caffall, Secretary Assembly 94 meets at 7:30 PM on the second Monday of each month. At this time, our meeting location varies from month to month. Email jocaff@pacbell. net for current info. Meetings are normally preceded by a Learners Workshop at 6:30pm.

Joshua Jay Performs time well spent. Thanks to Joshua Jay for once again visiting our club and inspiring us to be our best. Craig Kunaschk Al Baker Assembly No. 35 (usually) meets at 7:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month at the Milanese Italian Restaurant, 115 Main Street, Poughkeepsie, NY.







SAN ANTONIO, TX September 8, 2011, Brother John Hamman Assembly 52 held its monthly meeting at Hung Fong Chinese Restaurant. President Joe Libby called the meeting to order. We had eighteen people in attendance, including members, wives, and guests. Welcome tothe Garcia Family: Nick, Erika, Nickoll, Brayan, and Sharon. This meeting was moved to a new date and location, for this month only, due to the recent TAOM Convention. Paul Mims, Dealer Chairman of the TAOM 2011, thanked those present who volunteered their time at the TAOM convention, and he recognized those local magicians who performed and competed at the convention: Drake Stanton, Tori Stanton, Mark Travis, and Jim Cox, who competed in the close-up contest; Joe Libby, Cody Sanders, and Patty Winkler, who competed in the Stage Competition; Don Moravits, who performed a Gospel Church Service; and Ed Solomon, who performed and was honored in the Bizarre Show. Congratulations toS.Y.M. member Drake Stanton for taking 1st place in the Jr. Close-Up competition with his Multiplying Coca Cola Bottles. Tonights theme was Science Fiction Magic, and starting off the performances was Joe Libby, who revealed a thought-of card with the help from his cell phone. Ray Adams provided us a choice of which two effects we liked best, Pen Through Tongue or Head Twister. Michael Tallon did a nice card effect that he called the Four

LOnG Island, NY The Long Island Mystics kicked off our new season with not one but two lectures in our first meeting for 2011-2012. Up first was some close-up magic for all levels by magician and author Joshua Jay. From his opening line with a triple whammy called Hitchcock, he held us spellbound. Timeless just made our jaws drop...twice, once for the presentation and once for the method. He closed with some of his time-tested repertoire before the dealer break. His offerings were slim...and powerful! The second half was blazing with Voodoo followed by his version of Card at Any Number. Josh even segued to handle the question, What if things go wrong? Jays response, If you know about it and they dont, you are in control. When Joshua made three coins vanished leaving his hands empty, our hands became full of applause (and tricks to talk about!) Fast forward to the following Monday, our doors opened for another lecture. We said, Konnichiwa to our magic liaison of Japan and columnist, Steve Marshall. What tricks did he teach? They were all from his Asian Astonishments column in M-U-M. Dig out those back issues for some goodies with rubber bands, playing cards, (Diamond Twist was the favorite of the night), and lemons. Lots of lemons. His table of goodies from Japan was eyecatching and different and most of the items have never been offered in the US. If you ask nicely, hell perform his Asian influenced

Ann ARbOR/YpsilanTi, MI Aldo and Rachel Colombini gave a fantastic lecture! Aldo, with his rough, funny, Italian accent and Rachel, with her softer, smooth English accent, make an excellent comedy team. Their magic routines were fairly simple, yet very effective. This was their last lecture tour, though they will still do magic and lectures at different conventions around the world. Rachel is in need of rest from the heart surgery she had backin November and Aldo just isnt staying as young as hed like. Their love of magic is obvious, as Rachel stated at the close of the lecture: When you do magic, for a few minutes or sometimes a half hour, you can

Aldo and Rachel Colombini transport them to a world where they can forget about all their cares and all their troubles, and for a few moments youll have them in the palm of your hand. She also said its not about the method, its about the effect, that and done in combination with enthusiasm will produce the best magic! Randy A. Smith Hank Moorehouse Assembly 88 meets 2nd WEDNESDAY 7PM Faith Lutheran Church, 1255 E Forest Ave, Ypsilanti, MI. Randy A. Smith, Phone:313-562-3875 Email randy.remarkable@gmail. comor visit for more details.



Following a suggestion from Eugene Burger, Assembly 94






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favorite Joshua Jay. To say he was fantastic would be an understatement. Joshua introduced new effects, including a knockout stopped watch trick that took everyone by surprise and a clever bill to spectators wallet. He also demonstrated refreshed handlings of some of his more classic effects, including his three-coin vanish. Joshua will always be a highly recommended visitor on the lecture circuit. This years SAMCON will be held at a new location: The Peabody Marriott, 8A Centennial Drive, Peabody, Massachusetts, Pom-Pom Pole, and a prediction involving a tongue twister. Bob Holdridge was the first person to perform during our evening Comedy Magic show. He successfully predicted that the Jack of Hearts would be selected using a Jumbo Comic Prediction card inside of a flashy envelope. Scott Alcalay followed with a comedy Torn-and-Restored-Napkin effect. Magical Nathaniel then performed his original effect using Rubiks Cube. Roy Porfido helped him by having him move the cube from its solved state twenty-seven times. Using some Rubiks Cube trading cards, the seemingly random format that Roy determined for the cube actually matched the exact pattern on each of the six cards, one side at a time. Ric Ewing was next. Using Rudy Adameks cell phone, Ric explained that even though cell phones and cameras all seem to be digital these days, it is still possible to use film to amaze an audience. He somehow used a blank piece of film to superimpose a selected card onto a digital picture of Rudy Adamek on Rudys iPhone. And Jerry Barrilleaux, receiving a helping hand from Kara Ewing, transported a jar of peanut butter from Karas hand to Jerrys table and then back again before turning the peanut butter into a jar of jelly. Rod McFadden then proceeded to demonstrate what he called his Dervous Nixlexia with a series of tongue twisters that ended up with the bawdy naming of a selected card. Next, Zappo demonstrated a Card Warp routine. Bob Holdridge returned to the stage, and Kara was pressed into service as the volunteer yet again. As Kara thought of the Queen of Clubs, it mysteriously faded out inside a large envelope into a blank card leaving the other three Queens without their sister. The evening ended on a high point. Jerry Barrilleaux did an absolutely splendid workshop on ventriloquism. He did a complete lecture on the subject, even showing his vent figures inner workings. Larry Wright Diablo Assembly 112 meets third Wednesdays at the Round Table Pizza in Concord, California Doug Kovacich DouglasstheMagicman@hotmail. com (925) 435-4824 http:// MAGIC by MEMbErs Markus Clegg is running the CIMA Facebook page and keeping it nice and lively with posts and discussions on a number of topics. Markus Clegg is working through Tarbell Volume I on YouTube. You can find him there at Magic By Markus. He has some really nice videos up. Chris Bontjes gave us our book review with How To Live To Be 100 by John Calvert. He even got it signed by Mr. Calvert on his 100th birthday. How cool is that? JR opened the magic for the evening with his Rope To Flag, Mouth Coils, Change Bags, Multiplying Candy Box, and Candy Bars Across. Professor Higgins shared his Sprites for Dinner routine. Chris Bontjes performed Three Chinese Coin Trick similar to a copper/silver/ brass effect. Andy Dallas showed us his Ghost Card and an Empty Box that sounds like something is in it when shaken. Markus did his rendition of 3 Fly and Jim Percy ended the evening with his Triple Impact. Ken Barham Assembly 120, Champaign, IL Andy Dallas Assembly meets the third Wed. 7pm, (except Nov. and Dec.) For location call Jim Percy at 217-494-2222 or Ken Barham Sec, 2318 Winchester Dr, Champaign, IL 61821 Phone: 217-841-5616 Email:

Shawn Farquhar amazes club members. Congratulations to Assembly 95s FISM Grand Prix World Champion Shawn Farquhar on fooling Penn and Teller on their TV show, Fool Us. Shawn stunned volunteer Penn and the London audience with his FISM awardwinning signed card to sealed deck card act. Shawn was the first act on and the first to fool Penn & Teller that episode. The September 2011 meeting was held at the home of Jens Henriksen in Crescent Beach. Starting off the evening of levitations was Ray Roch with his Moola Money Maker presentation ending with a levitation of a $5.00 bill. Rod Chow performed Dick Barrys Energizer Bunny Electric Straw levitation. Lon Mandrake successfully attempted a Balducci Levitation. Dennis Hewson did a card levitation. Henry Tom showed us an impromptu rising card. Shawn Farquhar showed us a prototype of his new hotel key card routine, and finished with a demonstration of a yet another beautiful card routine themed to music. Rod Chow The Carl Hemeon Assembly No. 95 meets the first Tuesday of each month at members homes. Rod Chow (604) 669-7777

Joshua Jay wakes up the crowd. with all invited to the annual Open House the following day at Diamonds Magic, in Peabody. Its an unforgettable treat. Information on SAMCON and on Witch City SAM Assembly 104 can be found at Bob Forrest Witch City Assembly 104 meets the first Wednesday of each month, 7 p.m., at the First Baptist Church of Salem, 292 Lafayette Street, Salem, Massachusetts. Secretary, Bob Forrest captainalbrightsq1@ (339) 227-0797







SalEM, MA The new season and the fun began early, as always, with our beloved Len Lazar conducting the pre-meeting Bill Towne School of Magic. Among other effects Len offered a killer, impromptu card rise. The meeting that followed included former member John McLaughlins return to Assembly 104 and the valiant induction of new member Eric Robitaille by injured President Bill Jensen. Exciting progress on our Saturday, November 5, SAMCON convention was reported on by our producer, Steve Doc Rogers. Doc confirmed the roster of Shawn Farquhar, David Regal, Ken Scott, and Royal Sorell. Our lecturer was returning

COncORd, CA After Kara Ewing won the attendance reward drawing, Bob Steiner did the Trick of the Month. Bob succinctly explained what makes magic tricks magic and demonstrated the principles in his mini-lecture by performing the Stroop Effect, Paper Balls Over the Head, the


Jerry Barrilleaux shows inner workings of Reggie, his vent.

ChaMpaiGn, IL Bob Kirby is looking into setting up a PACE benefit show for us.

WallinGfORT, CT The September meeting was short because, everyone was eager to start the lecture. The September 20th meeting was called to order by President Chick Kelman at 7:10 p.m. in Wallingford, CT. A short NEMCON report was given by Bill Hoagland and he said we have booked Nathan Kranzo, Banachek, and David Acer for NEMCON 2012, with a few more surprises to come. We didnt have performers this month; we had a lecture from Steven Marshall. Steve writes a column in M-U-M that is non-card magic. His lecture was from things he has put in that M-U-M column, and a few of his own items. We learned how he got to Japan, where he lives now. He started out working for Disney and moved to Disney in Japan when the position was available. We basically learned some very good magic that we could make ourselves, or he had some of it to purchase that night. It was a fun night; on top of all of that he had a film crew there, and they were filming a documentary for him about his life and

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a sword thru the neck. Hunter volunteered to be his victim. After some great by-play, the trick worked as planned and no one was hurt. James Alcon followed with an explanation of the Bermuda Triangle. Showing a quantity of pennies, they were assembled into a triangle with thirteen coins in each leg. When a coin was added to any stack, the total in each line still remained at thirteen. James had a card chosen and placed the deck into a paper bag and mixed. Blowing up a balloon dog, the dog went into the bag and came out with it between his legs. James followed with a quick Chop Cup routine. James Alcon Alcons Gate City Wizards, Assembly # 128 meets the last Tuesday of the monthat 1207 Westminster Drive, Greensboro, NC 7:30 pm phone 852-4596 BArry MITChEll LECTurE the Fort Worth Magicians Club featured the Allied Arts and TagA-Magic. Various members gave reviews of the recent TAOM convention in San Antonio. We held officer elections results will be posted on our Web site. We then began the first theme of the evening the Allied Arts. Doug Wilson shared his passion for wood carving and showed us a cane that he carved. Doug also carves beautiful wands. Libby Sharpe shared one of her marionettes and juggling with dragon sticks. David Thomason showed us a book of his photography, focusing on clowns and magic themes. Geoff Grimes showed us an example of his interest in video production. Rick Burcher played the harmonica and brought his Stradivarius musical saw for us to look at. Christopher Lyle is a very skilled balloon artist and twisted up a great balloon hat. Next we played Tag-A-Magic, in which one person starts by performing a trick and then tags another person to get up and perform. President Bill Irwin started off with an amusing magic square and a haunted key routine. His magic square routine was a comedy gift that kept on giving throughout the rest of the evening! Geoff Grimes showed us his color changing knives trick. John Hatzenbuhler performed an amusing little trick with a paper stick man being shot out of a straw canon. Bob Utter shared an interesting number trick in which a seemingly random number was chosen and he revealed a prediction that matched the number. Larry Heil performed the very mysterious Claw of Destiny tarot card trick. Ash Adams performed his rope of mystery routine and an interesting bar bet. The other Ash in the club shared a card trick. Mike Rubino performed a pick-a-card trick in which the chosen card became a burned image on his arm after doing Smoke by Alan Rorrison. Al Fox performed a card calling routine. Mark Miertschin shared his ring on chain routine. Nathan Himes ended a fast paced and fun evening with the Grey Elephants in Denmark math/mind trick with some interesting verbal equivoque. Al Fox Meets on the first Thursday of each month at 7:00 P.M. at the Tarrant County College River Campus. for t wor th magiciansclub@

Steve Marshalll with a perfect prediction. adventures in Japan and the U.S. William Hoagland Assembly 127 meetings are held third Tuesday of the month. We meet at Libero Pensiero Society in Wallingford, CT.



GREEnsbORO, NC We had a good turnout at the August meeting. Allen Elster led off the evenings magic talking about subliminal messaging. Showing eight blue-backed cards, he had a spectator choose one and think of it. When Noah revealed the chosen card, Allen showed that he had forced Noah to choose that cardonly that card had a red back. All the other cards were shown to have blue backs! Tony Econ followed with some of his expert card magic. He had Marrisa Peacock take two cards, the King of Hearts and the King of Diamonds and while she held one, it turned into an indifferent card. Tony showed the Kings were in his pocketnot in either his or her hands! Tony also showed four Aces and placed them onto the table face-down. When turned face-up, they had changed into the four Kings. Visitor Hunter Sandlin was in attendance for the second month and showed his expertise with coins. Showing four silver dollars, he counted them one-at-a-time into his other hand. One coin traveled invisibly to his previously shown empty pocket. Then the others joined the first coin. We even heard one of the coins drop when it arrived! Erik Dobell followed by borrowing a twentydollar bill, folded it, and placed it into a coin envelope. Mixing several other envelopes with the first, he commented that all had a piece of paper in them so they all felt the same when handled. He had envelopes eliminated one-at-a-time until only one was left. Handing the envelope out, the twenty was removed and Erik mentally divined the serial number on the bill. Noah Gray tried his hand with


PEnsacOla, FL The Gulf Coast Magicians Guilds September meeting was called to order at 6:30 p.m., fifteen minutes earlier than our regular meeting time so we could host the Berry Mitchell lecture. President Nathan Nickerson conducted a brief business meeting; topics were on our upcoming events a public show and our awards banquet. Info can be found in upcoming newsletters and on our new blog. Special Thanks to Betty Broomall and Joan Moody for taking care of the refreshment table and to all who brought all the goodies, Isaac Brady for handling the raffle ticket sales, Nathan Nickerson and Dale Bosarge for conducting the raffle, and to all who continue to support the club. The Barry Mitchell lecture was a huge success; all who attended came away with some valuable info and some cool new toys! Thanks Barry for sharing your ideas with us. For those of you that could not make it, I am sorry! It is a must see lecture. Bill Metsch The Gulf Coast Magicians Guild Assembly 129 meets the 3rd Thursday of the month at the Bay View Senior Center, Pensacola, Florida. At 6:45 pm. Nathan Nickerson nate@nathannickerson. com

BEavER, PA The Mystic Magicians of Beaver Valley, Assembly 157, elected the officers for 2011-2012 and swore them in. There are to be several lectures in the area that several members are planning on attending. John Hromada placed first in close-up and stage at a competition he recently attended in Kentucky. Amber Liggett won first place in the regional competition in June for National Business Entrepreneurial Competition for Youth and is now competing in the National in October. Plans were made for an auction/flea market for November. Tom Chidester emceed the performances. Don Moody did Chameleon Block, which he made from plans in an old magic magazine. It uses a block with different colors on each side and a tube. Colors on the block change magically when covered with the tube. Jim Weyand showed a blue and a yellow rubber band that he wove around his thumb. When he took hold of one color, it came off intact. Eric Davis entertained with some shoehorn comedy. He then did two card tricks. Ray Lucas had a participant choose a card and place it back in the deck, which was shuffled. Ray picked the wrong card several times and pulled a hanky from pocket. It had the chosen card printed on it. Rich Howard performed the Burmese Swinging Bells; when the color above a bell was chosen, that bell started to swing. Merlin Oldham performed his second trick for membership. He did patter about grandkids, ADD, and how a belt worked instead of drugs. He presented four cards, three Threes and a Queen. He then tied in his first patter in with picking the Queen. No matter how the cards were arranged, it always turned up a Three. Jim Tate performed a rope trick with a story about Harry Houdini and the mystery of the long and short rope.Trent Rapp did some comedy one-liners. He showed his watch and that it was running. He turned the stem and showed it stopped at 9:25, and then showed it again and the hands were gone. Judy Steed Assembly 157 Mystics meet the second Thursday of every month at the Towne Square Restaurant in Beaver, PA.


AllIED ArTs & TAG-A-MAGIC 2011




The meeting of





SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ September starts our year of lectures and magic. After a two

NOVEMBER 2011 17

month vacation our magicians met in the dining room of the Stage House Restaurant for dinner and catching up. Our President Doug Thornton started the meeting with announcements and presenting the awards to our 2011 competition winners: 1st Place Guru Subramanian, 2nd Place Christopher Smith, 3rd Place Gene Soucek, Fourth Place (tie) Bob Simek and his famous three-ring routine - it was astonishing. If you have the opportunity to have master magician Chris Capehart lecture for your assembly you will be treated to detailed instruction and performance theory, which is guaranteed to inspire you for years to come! We invite you to join us for next lecture, when the magical pitchman Al Callus will visit. Christopher J. Smith David Copperfield Assembly #161 meets the second Monday ; Stage House Restaurant 366 Park Avenue Scotch Plains, NJ 07076 Assembly Web Site: & rings, the nine-penny trick, and a wine cork trick. Each came out smoothly, went back into its own ticket pocket, leaving the real pocket empty for normal use. He then proceeded to test drive his new Stocking Stuffer effect (also produced by Larry) in which seven volunteers with stockings on their fingers are eliminated via the PATEO (Point At Two, Eliminate One) force to find the one stocking with a present. The others had chocolate coal. It worked deliciously. Ideas were shared and learned and gave us all new tricks for the holidays. SAM Assembly 170 is the Pikes Peak Prestidigitators and meets 4th Tuesday monthly at Sand Creek Police Dept Community Room - 4125 Center. Park Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80916 Richard Gustafson, the namesake of our assembly had suggested that we concentrate more on teaching each other magic at our meetings; were off to a good start. We had about eighteen attendees at our September meeting, which is more than our total paid membership last year. In addition, sixteen people paid their dues at this first meeting! This has never happened in the history of this assembly! I think that were in for a good year, because there are still a few people that we hope to bring back into the fold. One member was not able to attend. Professor REM had a stroke/stomach blockage and has been in the hospital for over a month. We all send our best wishes for a strong recovery. ERYX SAM Assembly 181 of Hightstown, NJ meets the first Thursday of the month at the United Methodist Church, 187 Stockton Street, Hightstown, NJ (Thats NJTPK EXIT 8) Check our web site at: magicsam181.comfor more info.

Chris Capehart Doug Thornton. Norm Rosen then spoke about the great work our members do by performing magic at local hospitals for various patients and veterans. A number of certificates of recognition were presented. Next the President talked about his trip to Magic Live in Las Vegas and the opportunity to spend a little time with our very own David Copperfield (recently named King of Magicby the national S.A.M.). Doug was an honored guest at Davids museum and magical warehouse. Doug shared his experience with us along with a nice collection of photos. My favorite picture has David Copperfield levitating Doug about three feet off the ground. After all of this very exciting information, our lecturer, award winning Chris Capehart was introduced to a hearty round of applause. Chris spoke to us about his life experiences as a street performer, close-up, and stage magician. He taught us the importance of crowd control, and how to keep everyones attention. He also gave us some of his personal secrets on how to fill your hat to the brim with each performance. Thirty-five years in magic has also given him some quick comeback verbal skills that had us laughing at his comedic magical presentations. Chriss handling of the Misers Dream was one of the many highlights of our night together. Everyone enjoyed his coin effects, coins across, continuous coins, one in the hand two in the pocket, and the total vanish. Chris talked about and showed us


COlORadO SpRinGs, CO Jubilant PNP Mark Weidhaas gave a quick report on the national convention in Pittsburg and handed out associated posters and pins. Well send Dick Bowman to represent us at New Orleans and will plan to attend the 2012 Las Vegas Convention. An October magic show will support the proposed SAM National Magic Center in Parker Colorado. An existing facility is available for a song and we are singing that tune in support. Marks Inspector Magic led off the holiday magic theme with his Halloween Frankly Fun show. Mark demonstrated the Mr. Bones that rearranges the skeleton blocks in a closet. For Christmas, this effect was changed to a homemade Santa in a Chimney effect. Herkameres Prediction is Larry Mahans innovative product in which his favorite elf successfully predicts a volunteers free choice of Christmas symbols. Larry noted other holidays could also use this colorful three-way out system. New member Larry Scott bravely performed a silks routine at his first meeting. Dick Bowman showed his Heads or Tails coin trick in which he predicts which coin each of two volunteers will be holding. Dave Wintermute reported hes started experimenting with Doc Easons concept of pocket management. Doc suggested additional ticket pockets in the pants helped him produce several different tricks smoothly. Dave gave his first experimental demonstration by pulling out a card trick, the1 to 5 coin trick, the Devils Hank, Thumb & Silk, the Siberian Chain Escape, the magnetic thumb



HiGhTsTOWn, NJ We started another magic year at Assembly 181 with a workshop conducted by our new president Stephan Sloan. The subject was magic with organic objects. This is further defined to be props that dont look like magic props, but instead look like things a person might have with him in his pockets, wallet, briefcase, etc. Steve displayed a plethora of products and demonstrated a few of them. He performed Sugar Rush and Photo Synthesis, a couple of currently hot products. He also showed us a change bag that he had fabricated out of a couple of Starburst bags. He had also printed up a deck of lottery cards that were extremely well crafted and were an update of an Annemann effect. Steve is a salesman of auto body supplies and often performs the quick pocket effects for his customers. A number of other members performed effects they use. We all got a full routine of the Color Changing Knives by Bruce Langrock. Bruce carries his knife set and always has some magic to show to whomever he meets. This year our meetings will be loosely themed around our ten workshop topics. Members are asked to flesh out the theme by contributing an effect or two of their own choosing.



YOnKERs, NY At our September Meeting (our first since June), a gathering of over fifteen members and guests were treated to an unusual lecture by Al Kallus, The Magical Pitchman. As good as his magic was, his story line was even better. Al started performing magic as a kid, but reality set in as a young adult so he founded and ran his own ad agency for forty-eight years. After he retired he returned to magic and resurrected his pitchman act and was invited by Bill Wisch to perform it at a Metro Magic gathering. The act provides an entertaining sales

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pitch that also includes magic to illustrate whatever is being sold, in this case Dr. Killums U-Sic-Um. In addition, Al is now doing close-up and walk-around at conventions and corporate functions. Following this background, he then provided a most interesting inside look at the life and techniques of the pitchman (now seen more on television commercials than on the streets) as they had worked for years in city centers, carnivals, and boardwalks. He explained the lingo they used, the way they gathered and then held a crowd, the devious practices that gave them an edge over the smartest observers, and illustrated some of this by showing several approaches to how the Svengali deck was demonstrated and sold. If you are interested in a very entertaining and informative lecture on a fascinating part of the history of magic, then I encourage you to invite Al Kallus, The Pitchman to your club. Our next meeting will be a grand annual auction, then another lecture in November, followed by our holiday party featuring Bill Wisch. Fr. Dermot Brennan Come and join us at the Catholic Slovak Club on Lockwood Avenue in Yonkers NY at 7:30 PM on the third Wednesday of each month, September through June. Jim Stranges, Pres. magicjim1@ (914) 478-1473 different card. Dan Kennedy presented a nice oil and water card routine in which cards were mixed and when dealt out on the table they were back in original order. Chuck Kleiner performed a very clean matrix effect and taught the group the workings behind the effect. Bruce Meyers performed a great multiple silver dollar production from a folded bill, ending with a giant coin production. Jim Earnshaw presented a quick coin through hand trick using a spectators hand. Reymarx Gerda finished the evening with a multicard revelation in which he was able to divine the color of a dozen cards from a shuffled deck. Jim Earnshaw Emerald City Wizards meets the 1st Thursday, 7:00pm at a King County Library branch, WA Jim Earnshaw jimearnshaw@ (206) 2256715 juggling three very long knives. She got help from new member Rob Tarry in her unicycle act. Rob kept her afloat on the unicycle in a very funny bit. Eddie Boswell followed with a nice Chop Cup routine. Kent Cummins came on after the intermission and juggled a variety of items, opening with three scarves that he pulled from a bag that changed patterns and colors many times. By the end of his act, Kent had juggled everything from balls to chickens. He then gave us his version of tips on getting tips. John Maverick, a long time street performer, closed the evening with a routine to music that included one effect after the other. He began by flipping spinning cards into a top hat and finished by tearing a sheet of paper and producing a long mouth coil. Each of the presenters took questions after his or her act. Ron Cartlidge Austin, Texas Assembly 206 meets thethird Monday at the Omni Hotel Southpark Southwest corner IH 35 & 290/71 West. He received a standing ovation. The feature act of the evening was The Action Brothers John and Max, assisted by the lovely Miss Direction. In real life, we know this trio as Craig Sergent, Lew Newton, and Jacqueline Heinzen. Their set began with a version of the sub trunk that exchanged Miss D for John. When the trick was over, they just closed her back in the box and pushed it off! This was followed by magic with rings, card effects, a pantomime piece that involved several members of the audience, a series of tricks with a spectator that was done twice (once in slow motion), and finally, a comedy levitation with a surprise ending. The Action Brothers were very creative and showed excellent use of music! Jim Harris and Steve Haffner did a great job putting this wonderful evening together and a good time was had by all. Tom Crecelius Anyone wishing information about our club meetings, which are held at the St. Matthews Baptist Church in Louisville. Contact:





SEaTTlE, WA J.R. Russell started the evening off with a nice dollar bill production from a blank piece of paper. J.R. also provided each member with a photocopy to perform the effect. George Zuk performed a very nice coin paradox in which he kept adding a coin to a set of coins, after which the number of coins remained the same. John Cameron presented a routine that can only be described as further. A simple pick a card trick turned into one magical effect after another, after another, after another. . . Roger Sylwester performed a nice version of Michael Closes Erma card trick built around a story about Martin Luther and the Lutheran church. Hugh Castell performed the trick that is pretty darn hard to explain in which a selected card is lost in the deck, a hole in punched in an indifferent card, a tag is placed through the hole, and the card is inserted back in the deck. When the person pulls back out the tag the chosen card is connected to it instead of the in-

AUsTin, TX Assembly 206 welcomed around fortyfive members and guests for its September meeting on busking magic. Ron Cartlidge introduced new member Angel Bravo from Killeen,Texas,and Will Mannis introduced new member Rob Tarry from New York. Mike Gold announced that Ring 60 had offered a successful bid at T.A.O.M. to host the 2015 convention. Peter the Adequate was back from Branson, Missouri, and will again make Austin his home base. Paul Mims thanked members of the assembly who attended and helped out at this years T.A.O.M. in San Antonio. Dan Page gave the group information on this weekends Doc Seaton Magic Sideshow, which will be presented by the assembly at the Pecan Street Fall Festival on 6th Street. Many of our members, about seventy, will either be performing (almosttwenty-four)or working as volunteers at the event. Trinity Street will be named Magic Street for the day and the city council will present a proclamation this Thursday to honor the event. This will be a two-day event, September 24 and September 25, for one of Austins biggest magic events of the year. Chairman Dan Page and his wife Lee have done a superb job of putting this event together. Both are members of the assembly. Connie Leavy opened the night on busking magic with a comedy performance that included




LOUisvillE, KY On September 10, 2011, LMC members and friends gathered at Sherrell Nunnellys home on the Ohio river for our annual picnic. Sherrell lives right on the water and the view is simply breathtaking! The afternoon began with our traditional flea market, highlighted this year by the sale of longtime LMC member Jack Wilsons equipment. Jacks health is declining and he wanted to share his things with fellow magi. Bob Escher and Pete Miller had organized all of Jacks stuff and sales were brisk all around! There was also lots of action around the open close-up table that was set up under a big oak tree. Ray Smerling served as our master of ceremonies and kicked things off with some magic of his own. Ray produces a cabaret show that you will be hearing more about in the future. First up was Spencer Korcz. Decked out in his bright blue suit, Spencer produced his friend and fellow LMC member, Cody Comet Clark and then entertained with cards, silks and sponge balls. His act included a patriotic piece in honor of 9/11. Spencer was followed by Sherrell Nunnelley, our host and dean of the Louisville Magic Club. Sherrell performed Brainwave, a torn and restored bill trick and a monte-style card effect.


WilliaMsbURG, VA At 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, we were honored by the presence of John W. Jennings, Virginia Deputy to David W. Bowers, Regional Vice President for the Mid-Atlantic region. He has been a member of S.A.M since 1969 and hopes to visit all Virginia Assemblies in his first term. As he said in his brief address, Its always nice to put a face with a name. Thank you so much for coming to see us. The rest of the meeting was devoted to an auction of magic items of longtime members Jerry Blount and Jim Baker. Ninety percent of the money earned from Jerrys items will be sent to him; ten percent goes to the club. All income from Jims effects was donated to the club. We thank Elaine Baker for her generosity. We thank Harold Wood, once again, for his role as master auc-

Harold Wood, auctioneer, displays items up for auction.

NOVEMBER 2011 19

tioneer. The bulk of Jerrys treasures is books and were not included in the auction. His auction items ranged from a pop-out snake to a ribbon production to a lock box. Among Jims items were a bunch of trick cards, a break-away wand and other wands, oversize cards, and a Hindu basket of snakes. It was not only an evening of fellowship and magic but also an evening touched with sadness and nostalgia for two honored and beloved members who are no longer with us. We miss them very much. Eleven members were in attendance by the end of the evening. Phil Thorp Meetings are generally held at 7pm on the 4th Wednesday of each month are in room 009 (basement) of the Williamsburg Presbyterian Church at 215 Richmond Road, Williamsburg 23185. Phil Thorp assembly226@ (757) 229-2329 h t t p: //s it e s .g o og l e .c o m /s it e / samassembly226/ Home\ Nightmare is a dream. Keith demonstrated the count and the added tugs that assist in the illusion and hide a very important move from the audience by its natural appearance. It will fool even the most hardened magician who does not know this technique. After the meeting, Keith held a small workshop to help others learn Cys method. Scott McDonald took to the stage in his usual flamboyant fashion and gave his report on Dunningers Complete Encyclopedia of Magic. Scott discovered one of the very early descriptions of what has now




James Marshall confounds with cards. become known as the Topsy Turvy Bottles or the Crazy Crayons, which on page 280 of the Encyclopedia is listed as The Mystic Bottle. Scott demonstrated the original premise and then showed how when researching magic, you may get the basic idea for an illusion, but by thinking outside the book, you can always come up with ways to take the magic to the next level. Former Assembly 252 member James Marshall (visiting all the way from Charlotte, NC) demonstrated some new card tricks that he has in production for a new DVD being produced by Barrys Magic shop in Rockville, MD. His demonstrations included new handling for Directors Cut. Watch for his DVD in the spring of 2012. Scott E. McDonald NOVA S.A.M. Assembly 252 meets each month at the Knights of Columbus Hall behind St. Leos Catholic Church, 3700 Old Lee Highway, Fairfax, VA 22030 Scot E. McDonald scotty_ (703) 491-7989


FaiRfax, VA Summertime is over and its back to school. To start off the new school season at Assembly 252, Book Reports were due and presented to the class. The theme book reports can take on different connotations as was evident at the September gathering of the Assembly. Alan Wheeler took the stage first. He had read two books over the summer vacation and regaled the class with his report on Diamond Jim Tylers book Close-up Magic Secrets and Al Schneiders book Al Schneiders Magic. From the latter, Alan demonstrated Als handling of the Bobo coin switch to the delight of the assembly. His handling was smooth, naturallooking, and very effective. Keith Pass dug through his library and admitted that, in addition to the regular collection of books, his collection of lecture notes was overflowing. One in particular was from a lecture many years ago conducted by the late Cy Keller. Cys handling of The Professors

LaKEland, FL With both our president and vice president away, the meeting helm fell to yours truly, who blasted us past the business hijinks so we could get to the magic. New member Robert Hilferding was welcomed and inducted by Dean Bob Macey to our merry group of magi. After that, Bob kept Robert on stage and manipulated his mind by controlling his every move in a card selection. Bob knew all along what Robert was going to do. Bob next got Elmo Bennett to be his assistant for Barrie Richardsons version of any card at any number, a routine that had us all baffled. The acting president put down his quill to tell a story of how he started in magic and the legacy that his mentor gave him. His memories were well received by the room. Elmo was up next with a card effect that he performed for Joyce and Jim Zachary, which kept the room in stitches. Before closing up shop for the night, Al showed a phone app in which president Obama revealed the chosen card to the amused group. Another magical meeting from the Lakeland wizardscome visit us when youre in central Florida. A good time is guaranteed for all. Al DAlfonso Jim Zachary Assembly 266 meets the second Monday of the month at 7PM at the Lakeland I-HOP, I-4 & US 98. Al DAlfonso (321) 437-3814.



BOCA RATON, FL On September 12th we had a fascinating magical evening with Simon Carmel as our emcee. Our members were only allowed to present Restaurant Magic tricks using the thirty listed items that Simon said could be found in any restaurant. Arnold Rosens trick tied two plastic straws into a few knots and then immediately pulled them apart. He also

balanced a fork and spoon interlocked together from a matchstick hanging only from the edge of a glass. Then Simon Carmel had a member pick one of five coins on a table when he wasnt looking and had another member put that coin under a cup and take away all the other coins. Simon turned around and correctly said which coin was under the cup. Simon also did a disappearing coin under a napkin trick and various others. Mel Panzer surprised everyone with a matchbook trick in which he lit all the matches inside at once and at the end, one match remained unlit still attached to the matchbook. Mel also did routines with various dollar bills changing the total dollar amounts in his hand and a spectacular coin trick with six coins. Manny Riskin switched one small coin into a larger one while in his hand. He also took a sugar packet and moved it back and forth with a make-believe thread. Herb Arno did a disappearing saltshaker trick and then made eight coins appear one at a time from one hand to the other. The talented and funny Billy Byron did his version of a Torn and Restored napkin and ended up with two restored napkins. Billy presented an amazing New Math trick by having a member pick a number and the amount of cash in his pocket and at the end, was able to predict these same two numbers using this new math. Barry Rubin and Phil Labush both made a beautiful rose out of a paper napkin. Bernie Kraus did a great trick using a cloth napkin and a toothpick that was broken in half and restored. Simon Carmel did a fabulous restaurant magic trick using a paper bag to catch an invisible ball being tossed by a member. Peter Fox did a fantastic bending fork routine and then showed how the edge of a zip-lock bag becomes a great moving trick for children. Arnold L. Rosen Assembly 274 meets at the JCC in Boca Raton, FL the first Monday of each month. Contact President, Mel Panzer (561) 304-7091


and use the easy submission form to file your report.
20 M-U-M Magazine


Please take a minute and spread a few words of cheer with a card or note to one of our less fortunate members.
Ben Benjalini Ankri 3111 Aurelia Ct. Brooklyn, NY 11210 Peter Anthony 5100 OBannon Dr. Apt 72 Las Vegas, NV 89146 Roger Barr 883 B Leverpool Circle, Manchester, NJ 08759 William H. Brewe 1698 Montrose Cincinnati, OH 45214 John Clark 603 W Country Club Rd. Egg Harbor City, NJ 08215 Lawrence Clark 204 Hazelwood Ave Buffalo, NY 14215 Daniel Cudennec Dany Trick 225, Stang-ar-Veildan-Traon, Mellac-29300, Quimperle, France Dan A. Dorsey 98 Woodvalley Dr. Fayetteville, GA 30215 Joe DuPerry 1947 North Soldier Trail Tucson, AZ 85749 Joseph H. (Ben) Grant 400 Commonwealth Ave, Unit 9 Warwick, RI 02886 Charlie Gross 16745 Gertrude Street, Omaha, NE 60136-3023 Roy Horn c/o Siegfried & Roy 1639 N Valley Drive, Las Vegas, NV 89108 Edward Kelly 224-15 64 Avenue, Bayside, NY 11364 Bob King 304 Suburban Court, Rochester, NY 14620 Robert D. Knigge PO Box 5, Jones Borough, TN 3765 Stanley R. Kramien 11205 SW Summerfield Dr. Apt 161 Tigard, OR 97224-3391 Richard Laneau 4020 55th St. N. St. Petersburg, FL 33709 George Gilbert Lott 1725 Great Hill Rd. Guilford, CT 06437 Frank J. McNaughton, Sr 1926 Apple Street, Williamsport, PA 17701 James J. Morrisey 24 Grove St. Wayland, MA 01788 Anthony Murphy 11 Angel Rd., North Reading, MA 01864 Nahmen Nissen PO Box 1856 Colfax, CA 95713-1856 Cesareo Pelaez The Cabot St. Theatre 286 Cabot St. Beverly, MA 01918 Larry Poague 34221 West 90 Circle Desota, KS 66108 Jim Relyea 241 W. Lakeshore Rockaway, NJ 07866 Harry Riser 8505 Woodfield Crossing The Forum Indianapolis, IN 46240 Dale Rumsmoke 430 Perrymont Ave Lynchburg, VA 24502 Pat Ryan 43 Fairbanks Rd. Churchville, NY 14428 Matt Savin P.O. Box 7693 Alhambra, CA 91802-7533 Helene Schad 2440 Viginia Ave. Bensalem, PA 19020 Grant Schofield (The Great Granzini) 9303 Quailbrook Ct. Bakersfield, CA 93312 Sybill Simons 65 West 95 St. Apt 3A New York, NY 10025 Sam Stecher 1000 Loring Ave Apt. C-23 Salem, MA 01970- 4253 Mario Susi 6 Bristol Rd. W. Peabody, MA 01960 Larry Taverner 805 LaPaz Ct. Bakersfield, CA 93312 Jack White 4288 Arguello St. San Diego, CA 92103

Send additions, changes, or deletions to: Anthony Antonelly, Chairman, Sick and Convalescent Committee, (215) 820-3192 ext. 1512. Email:

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NOVEMBER 2011 21

Peter W. White
Peter W. White, 63, of Germantown, New York, died Friday, August 19, 2011, after a long battle with cancer. Peter was a long time member of both the I.B.M. and the S.A.M. Peter was a music teacher and accomplished jazz percussionist, and played many instruments including the Hammond B-3 he had at his studio. He also co-owned P&A Silks along with his partner and wife Cynthia, in Germantown, where they manufactured silks for magicians. He lectured and performed magic throughout the US, Canada, and Europe. A Broken Wand Ceremony and celebration of his life was held on August 24, 2011, in Germantown with a packed house. Peters unrivaled passion for silks and silk magic put him in a class all by himself. His belief in producing a quality and perfect product gave the magic community a collection of the highest quality silk-screened silk handkerchiefs made individually by hand in his own factory. He is survived by his wife Cynthia, whom he married December 9, 1990, in Somers, New York.

John Kermit Dickerson

John Kermit Dickerson was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and bid farewell to his magical life on September 15, 2011, in Denton, Texas. Kermit mastered many feats in his life but was unable to overcome the challenges of Parkinsons disease. Kermit graduated from DePaul University in Chicago and worked for Atlantic Richfield Company for thirty-two years. He worked for the company in several cities, but one of the most exciting was Alaska, where he was an auditor on the pipeline project. After retirement in 1985, Kermit was a partner in Kermits Cinnamon Roll Shop in Redondo Beach, California. In 1988, he sold his share of the business and moved to Walnut Creek, California, where he pursued his second career as a substitute teacher. Elementary school children in California, Nevada, and Arizona were amazed by the magical substitute teacher, Mr. Dickerson. In 1997 Kermit and his wife, Mary, built a new home in the forest of northern Nevada and lived there until they moved to Denton, Texas, in 2006. Kermit loved to travel, and he and Mary did so to over thirty countries. He was a man of many one-liners oh how I wish I had written them down. He had a generous spirit and loved to make people laugh. As talented as he was as a magician, one wonders how much of it was just an excuse to share some of his brilliant, original one-line zingers. A couple of his proudest moments were having his bits of humor published in Readers Digest or aired on TV He was always ready to perform at our club meetings, and he had some incredible routines. We are sorry to see him pass, but his life these last few years was very difficult. Chuck Lehr Dean of Assembly 13, Dallas, Texas

Vinny Moccia

It is with deep regret I inform you of the passing of Vinny Moccia, past president of S.A.M. Assembly 77, The Long Island Mystics, on September 20, 2011. Vinny was a friend and was a member of multiple magic clubs. He loved magic and helped new magicians get started. Vinny was an inspiration to many magicians. We will miss Vinny. Bill Gleason

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This summer, our SIG (Special Interest Group) lectures at the I.B.M. convention in Dallas, Texas, were filled with energy and fun! We created some new balloon enthusiasts and we believe we converted some experienced twisters to the point of view that bigger balloons are easier and much more impressive. When a group of fifty card-carrying magicians audibly ooh and smile when we finish a balloon, we feel like we are doing something right. One balloon that we showed at the lecture was a big and easy hat. This month we are going to take this to the next level and teach you the boy balloon that will make you a star actually, you will be a super hero! By following this template, you can make five different balloons that are immediately recognizable and incredibly popular. You will make a perfect super hero without doing any drawing on the balloon. The hardest and most time consuming part of this creation is blowing up the balloons and tying them; the twisting is nearly insignificant! How would you like to be able to twist the Incredible Hulk, Spiderman, Iron Man, Wolverine, and an Area 51 alien? If you work for children at all, these five hats should make you smile! Remember the first balloons you learned years ago? They were the wiener dog, the giraffe, and the bunny basically all the

same sculpture except that the proportions were changed: a long body, a long neck, or two long ears. With this, you dont have to change anything except the color! This will be the most versatile balloon in your repertoire. If you are a street performer, you can make these all day long and expect to get two to five dollars for each one. If you are a birthday party performer and the mother tells you that she is planning a super hero party, then you are going to be the highlight of the day. Either way, this translates into money in your pocket. But there is a drawback. You need to contact your favorite balloon supplier (several are regular M-U-M advertisers) and order a couple colors of the 260Q balloons as well as a bag of the five-inch round Marvel Hero assortment (which includes the Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, and Wolverine), or the five-inch round lime green Alien Heads, or the five-inch round Spiderman head. For what this will be worth, these are small inconveniences. Our goal is to never have you twist a dog again! This hat brings us very, very close to realizing that goal. Enjoy, and as always, send us your thoughts and comments to

Super Hero or Alien Hat

Incredible Hulk: purple 260Q for the hat base and lime green 260Q for the arms Iron Man: red 260Q for the hat base and yellow 260Q for the arms Wolverine: black 260Q for the hat base and yellow 260Q for the arms Spiderman: dark blue 260Q for the hat base and red 260Q for the arms Alien: two lime green 260Q balloons for both the hat base and the arms Step 1: The base of this hat is the standard helmet. Fully inflate the appropriate hat base color for whatever character you are making. For these pictures, we will assume it is the Incredible Hulk, so it is purple. Measure the balloon around the persons head (Photo 1) by holding the nozzle and wrapping the remainder around the head to see where the balloon comes back in contact with the nozzle (Photo 2). Hold this point and remove the balloon from the persons head.

Youll Need: For each different super hero, you need different colors. Since this is simply a parody of the character, colors are critical. Although there is an assortment bag for the Alien Head balloons, we prefer the lime green. Combine the appropriate head with each of the following color schemes:

NOVEMBER 2011 23

Step 2: You now know how big the head is. Lay the nozzle overlapping the place where you are holding for the size (Photo 3). There will be about one inch of balloon overlapping as shown. Gently squeeze the two balloons together at this point with your finger and thumb (Photo 4), and then twist the loop a couple of times to lock this into place (Photo 5). Step 3: The remainder of the balloon will go across the balloon and attach on the opposite side of the loop. To do this, essentially repeat Step 2 by laying the remainder of the balloon across and onto the loop with about one inch overlapping (Photo 6). Squeeze and pinch at this joint (Photo 7) and wrap the one-inch bubble that has been formed around base a couple times to lock it into place (Photo 8). This completes the helmet portion, so set it aside or slide it onto your arm as you continue with the next balloon. Step 4: Inflate the balloon for the arms, leaving about two inches uninflated. For the Hulk, this is the lime green balloon. On the nozzle end, you are going to make a bubble followed by a six-inch fold twist. This is done in one motion, as follows. From the nozzle, grab the balloon about seven inches from the nozzle and bend the nozzle toward this spot so that about one inch of the balloon overlaps (Photo 9). Pinch at this position (Photo 10), and twist the folded loop to lock it into place (Photo 11). This is the first hand. Step 5: Most of the air should have moved to fill the uninflated portion of the balloon, but gently squeeze the balloon to soften the arms so you can make another hand at the other end. Repeat the process from Step 4, where you grab the balloon about seven inches from the end

and bend the balloon toward this spot so that about one inch of the balloon overlaps (again, Photo 9). Pinch at this position (again, Photo 10), and twist the folded loop to lock it into place (again, Photo 11). This is the second hand; the arms should now look like Photo 12. Step 6: To put the arms onto the hat, estimate the center point of the arched balloon going up over the helmet, and pinch it lightly with your left forefinger and thumb. Simultaneously pinch the arms in the approximate center with the right forefinger and thumb (as seen in Photo 12). Bring the two balloons together and transfer the pinching to your left forefinger and thumb only (Photo 13). Now wrap one side of the arm around this joint a couple of times to secure (Photo 14). Step 7: Dont leave the arms sticking straight out! Gently bend each arm in your hands to give them a little shape and position them on the hat (Photo 15). All that is missing is the head. Blow up the appropriate five-inch round head (for the Hulk in this case), and pull the knot into the four-way joint where the arms are connected (Photo 16). Position the head so that the character is looking forward, and put the hat on the persons head. For the dedicated reader who stayed with us through this description, you will agree that there is virtually no twisting involved in this creation. We are including pictures of all five of the final balloons (Photo 17); they are all made exactly the same way. Two balloons plus a pre-printed head, and you have an awesome-looking hat. Entertainers who work with children are already flipping the pages in this issue to find a supplier to get the necessary balloons. While we like the super heroes, the Alien Hat is always one of the most popular. Have fun with this.

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NOVEMBER 2011 25

A Magician Prepares...
A Visit with Richard Himber
In May of 1961, I visited New York City with my high school graduating class. My classmates were probably looking forward to seeing the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty. I was excited about visiting Tannens and Himbers. You see, I had mistakenly assumed, because of his numerous full-page ads in Genii magazine, that Richard Himber ran a big magic shop. At the tender age of seventeen, I had no idea that he was a celebrity: a well-known bandleader. And so, when I arrived, I was surprised to find no listing for Himber in the Yellow Pages under magic suppliers. When I looked in the white pages, I did find an R. Himber. When I called, Himber answered the phone himself. I explained that I was a visiting magician from out of town and would like to buy some of his magic. I didnt tell him how young I was, but I imagine he had a good idea. I asked if I could come over to his shop and see some of his creations in person. He briefly said yes, we set up a time, and he gave me the address of 160 Central Park South. I still thought I was going to a magic shop.

by Dennis Loomis
a completely different side of the man. He was kind and generous, and every bit the gentleman. When I got to his apartment, he had the door propped open. I called his name and suddenly there he was, the face I knew so well from all of the pictures in his ads in Genii. He got me a soft drink, and asked me some questions about myself. When I told him I played the piano and drums, he lit up. When I asked him if he played an instrument, he sort of dismissed the question, mumbling something about the violin. Then he got out some coins and showed me some coin work with pure sleight of hand. I was very impressed, and he kindly tried to teach me a couple of coin moves. I had done very little coin magic and was hard pressed to stumble through what he showed me. I told him I was interested in a couple of his effects. In truth, I wanted to see demonstrations of all the wonderful items Id read about in Genii. And, for the next two-and-a-half hours, he did just about that. Id mention something, and he would run to a drawer or cupboard, dig around, and come out with the prop. Many of the effects he demonstrated completely, and most of them fooled me very badly. One in particular that blew me away was a book test, but done with the current issue of a popular magazine that was sitting on his coffee table. This was May of 1961, and he used the May 1961 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. He also demonstrated the forcing dictionary he sold under the name For Professionals Only. That also knocked me for a loop. I asked about the Staggering and Towering effects, and he explained that to perform those you needed a bigger audience. However, he got out one of the gaffed rings and showed it to me. He opened and closed it, and outlined the routine. He did two or three of his bottle effects, a cut and restored ribbon that totally fried me, and a card prediction effect using a leather wallet. He had not yet marketed the now famous Himber Wallet, but he had two or three prototypes. The one he used was totally different from the now common wallet that bears his name, which is based on the Jacobs Ladder principle. The wallet he showed me was open at first and a pad of writing paper was in view. Nothing was written on the top sheet. He closed the wallet and handed it to me to hold. He then had me pick a card. (I was pleased that I recognized the slip cut force he used.) He then had me open the wallet myself, and written on the top sheet of the pad was the name of the card. This wallet actually locked and would withstand brief examination. (The only way to discover its secret was to pull very hard on the leather frame around the note pad.) He also did a coin in bottle effect in which I signed the coin! (To be exact, I signed a sticker affixed to the coin.) When the coin was in the bottle, I could still see my signature. When he removed the coin from the bottle, he handed me the coin with the sticker and my signature still on it. Again, I was dumbfounded. All the while, he was a perfect gentleman. He never tried very hard to sell me anything, and didnt seem to care whether I spent any money or not. Finally, I had to get back to the hotel. I bought the forcing dictionary, one of the rings, and the coin in bottle. He quickly showed me the gaff on the dictionary, and mentioned that the coin in bottle was well explained on the instructions. Then, he asked me where

When I got there, it was the Essex House apartments. The doorman saw that I looked confused, but as soon as I said the name Himber, he directed me to the great mans apartment. I found out later all about Himbers reputation as the Pecks Bad Boy of magic: how he played harsh practical jokes on his friends, and how egocentric he was. But, as a seventeen-year-old amateur magician from a small town in upstate Michigan, I saw

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I was going. When I told him, he suggested that we share a cab. I had planned on walking, because I had just spent a goodly share of the money I had brought along. But, I also wanted to spend a few more minutes with him. We shared the cab ride, and he did some card tricks for me as we rode. We got to his destination first. He jumped out, spoke briefly to the cab driver, and gave him some money. Himber never said goodbye; he just flashed me a big smile and waved as we pulled away from the curb. The driver took me to my hotel, and I asked him what I owed him. Nothing, he said. Mr. Himber took care of it. I dont think that Himber told him his name. He was, after all, pretty well known in New York, and the driver had picked us up at the Essex House. (His band was known, at one time, as the Essex House Orchestra.) That was the only time I saw him in person. But here are two or three follow-ups to the story. The very next day, at a magazine stand, I spotted a stack of the May 1961 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. I picked up one and glanced through, again following Himbers instructions of the day before. In the introductory paragraph for each of the stories, the word whether appeared. Sometimes it was spelled weather. If you took the page number and counted that many words into the story, you landed on whether or weather. It had been coincidence that I happened to be in New York at that time! I celebrated the fortunate happenstance by buying a dozen copies. Over the years, I gave them away to close friends in magic. I have one or two left today. When I got home, I played with Staggering, and came up with what I thought was a different and decent handling for it. Photo 8 to Himber and was very pleased to get a very brief I sent a note memo back. He complimented me on the idea and thanked me for

sharing it with him. In the fall, I went to the University of Michigan as a freshman. While there, I put together an act for fraternities featuring a lot of mentalism. I used Himbers dictionary in those shows. I dropped Himber a note about it and told him how effective the dictionary test was. This time I did not hear back from him. I was destined to hear from him just once more. By this time I had been spending a lot of Saturday afternoons at Roy Kissells Fox Fun n Magic shop in Detroit. I told Roy about my visit with Himber; he told me about Himbers dark side. In particular, he told me about Himbers propensity for practical jokes. A few weeks later, I had an idea. I had purchased the Coin in the Bottle effect from Himber. It was a folding coin with a matching shell. When the coin was pushed into the shell it locked and formed a solid coin. If you looked closely, you could see the cuts. But Himber came up with the idea of the sticker or press apply dot to get around that. With the shell finger palmed, you displayed the coin, and placed it into your hand on top of the shell. (Not in the shell, but on the outside of it.) You put the sticker on the coin and got a spectator to initial it. You could still fold up the coin after a fashion and stick it into the bottle. At the end of the trick, you shook it out in the usual manner; usually the sticker allowed this. (Sometimes it was a big struggle.) Then, youd just allow the coin to go into the shell and squeeze it to lock it home. Then you could hand it out for examination. When Himber had shown it to me, it worked beautifully. But, I often had big problems getting the coin out cleanly and into the shell. I dont think I ever performed it. Incidentally, he made these up with English Pennies. I have no idea why. My idea hit me when I was walking down the corridors of the University of Michigan Chemistry building. In one room, a glassblower was working on lab equipment. I wandered in and struck up a conversation, and even did a couple of card tricks for the guy. The next day I came back and told him what I wanted done. My idea was to take a regular English penny and have him actually put it into a Coke bottle. I would send it to Himber with a little note saying that his locking folding coin had locked while in the bottle. And Id demand a refund. Unfortunately, the glassblower told me that this was impossible. If you heated a Coke bottle, it would shatter. It wasnt the right kind of glass. I was disappointed and started to leave when he called me back. He said that he had an idea. If we could make a Coke bottle out of Pyrex glass, then he could probably get a coin inside. He told me to bring him a regular Coke bottle of the right size and a few of the coins. The next day I did. He told me to come back in a week. He made a cast of the Coke bottle and then blew Pyrex glass into the cast. When it had cooled, he removed it from the cast, reheated it, and was able to put a coin inside. The truth is that it was not particularly good. The coin was discolored a lot from the process, and the place where the bottle had been opened and resealed was pretty obvious. And, of course, the Pyrex glass did not have the typical green cast of a Coke bottle. Still, it was a real coin in a real bottle. The next day I sent it off to Himber, with a note as I outlined, and a demand for a refund. A little over a week later, I got a late evening call at my dormitory from Himber. He pretended to be furious and ranted and raved a bit. Tame stuff, hells and damns, but nothing stronger. Then, he broke into laughter, and said, That was a good one. Someday Ill get even. The line went dead, and I never heard from him again. The call only lasted five minutes, but it was worth it. Im still waiting for Himber to get even.

NOVEMBER 2011 27

Blast from the Past

I made the acquaintance of PNP Forrest Sample in the early 1970s. He was a nice man, and he lent me a huge stack of back issues of M-U-M to look through. I made notes on many of the tricks I read in that collection of magazines, including the two that follow, which appeared in Mike Rogerss Table Time column in 1965. The Paddlewheel Shuffle has been in my (very small) collection of card flourishes ever since then. It is also described in Jerry Mentzers Card Cavalcade 1 and in my ebook Closely Guarded Secrets, where it is used in The Shuffles Routine. The shuffle is relatively easy to do (especially with the bit of clarification youll find at the end of this article) and always seems to impress laymen. The Matches through Table routine seems to have faded from the memories of most magicians, but it is also easy to do and has a surprise ending. Ive also provided some added thoughts for this routine. Michael Close result will give the appearance of a river boat paddlewheel. And, in the event you are doing an effect with a set-up deck, it doesnt change the order of the cards.

Matches through Table

Actually, the next effect is appearing rather late in a magic magazine since I have done it for years at various conventions and magic clubs; therefore, it could no longer be classified as new. For some colleagues it already ranks among their favorites, perhaps because of its ease of operation and capability of being done under almost any conditions at any time. Effect: You display a book of matches and strike one, commenting about the number of matches in a book. The book is closed and driven through the table a la coins through the table; however, only the matches go, leaving an empty book above the table, thus creating a startling and humorous effect.

The Paddlewheel Shuffle

Here is a flourish with a pack of cards that will almost always catch the eye of the keen observer. Its not too difficult to learn and can be inserted into your card routines any time you desire to display a feat of dexterity.
Photo 1

1. From two matchbooks tear out all of the matches and have them loose in your lap along with a closed empty matchbook with a cover identical to the full book on the table. 2. Open the full book, remove a match, and strike it while mentioning the number of matches in a book. Without actually saying so, you have called attention to the fact that the book is full. Nothing more than a casual comment should be made, because you dont want to tip off the spectator as to what is going to happen. 3. Place the full book down and hold the burning match in your left hand. During the time that you blow out the burning match, steal the empty book from your lap and hold it in finger palm position. 4. Blow out the match and toss it to one side, then pick up the full book with the left hand. Using the action shown in Figures 1, 2, and 3, change the full book for the empty one and drop the full book in your lap as the right hand moves back to the edge of the table. 5. During the change you suggest that you will drive the matches through the table. The right hand goes under the table and the left hand commences to drive the matches through as in the Coins through Table effect.

1. Hold the pack in the left hand with the right hand gripping the end as if getting ready to do the Hindu shuffle (Figure 1). 2. With your left hand, pull a small stock of cards from the top of the deck. Pull thePhoto 2 remainder of the pack to the right, but dont allow it to clear the left hand stock (Figure 2). 3. With the right-hand packet push the left-hand stock up and revolve it in a 180-degree semicircle (Figure 3). 4. At the completion of the semicircle, the right-hand packet will be in position to repeat the move, while at the same time the left hand retains a grip on the top stock that was just revolved (Figure 4). 5. Repeat moves one through four until the entire pack has been revolved into the left hand (Figure 5). 6. This flourish is one continuous move without a pause. The

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6. In frustration, make two or three attempts to drive the book through; each time lift your hand showing that you are having little success. After two or three tries (and with a disgusted look) bring your right hand out from under the table and allow the loose matches to sift from your hand. I always use about forty matches because the twenty from a single book is exhausted much too quickly in the sifting action. You need more matches to give the spectator time for this to sink in. 7. The final step is to open the book now on table, clearly showing no matches; make a comment about your tricks always failing, etc.

Another approach would be to switch the matchbooks under the cover of a natural action, and this would be my preferred course of action. As it turns out, I created such a switch for a routine of mine called The Unreality Machine [Workers 5]. It works perfectly in the context of the Rogers routine.

Close Matchbook Switch

The left hand comes out with a real matchbook, while the right hand palms the empty matchbook in the grip shown in Figure 1. The right hand aids the left hand in opening the matchbook. The left hand holds the matchbook by the cover, so the entire inside of the matchbook is displayed. The left hand transfers the real matchbook over to the right hand. It places the matchbook right on top of the palmed one (Figure 2). The back of the hand is toward the spectators, so all they see is the top of the cover poking out over the hand. The left hand rips out a match, drops it on the table, and then the two hands close the cover of the matchbook. The left hand steadies both matchbooks as the right thumb bends down the cover and closes it. The closing is done by pushing with the right middle finger. At this moment, the two matchbooks look like Figure 3 (the left hand has been omitted.) The left hand immediately takes the lower matchbook and brings it into view, holding it at the fingertips. The real matchbook is gripped by the right middle finger. The right hand picks up the match and lights it

Second Method:
Walt Rollins [Editor of M-U-M at the time this routine was published] once suggested that another method would be to remove the staple from the book, allowing the matches to slide free into the finger palm position, thus eliminating the need for two books. Perhaps this easier method of handling will be more to your liking; also, an impromptu method would be to start with only one match in the book and the remainder loose in the lap. Of course, when doing this be sure to not make the usual comment about the number of matches in a book.

Addenda from Michael Close

The above matchbook routine would be an offbeat, impromptu surprise to add to your repertoire. Id suggest carrying the extra matches in a small pill vial, which makes it convenient to carry in your pocket. The props can easily be arranged in your lap. The switch of the matchbooks as described by Mike Rogers is the only dodgy part of the routine, and, unfortunately, the illustrations do not make the actions clear at all. (The illustrations of the Paddlewheel Shuffle suffer, as well. If you take a close look at Figure 4 in that description, youll notice that the face-up packet is somehow suspended in space. In fact, the way to do the sleight is to pull off the packets with the left thumb and second finger; the first finger curls beneath the revolved packet, which keeps it horizontal. But I digress.) In practice, the switch of the two matchbooks resembles the switch of coins in the Dai Vernon Spellbound routine from Stars of Magic. The mistake is in Figure 3, which shows the matchbook held between the right thumb and third finger. Actually, the matchbook is taken away by the right hand in a thumb palm position. (This is implied by the hand positions of Figure 2.) This is an easy switch and it can be done quickly. The bigger problem, however, is that there is no motivation at all for the two hands coming together and for the right fingers to cover the matchbook. This could, perhaps, be covered by patter, as follows. In a moment, Im going to rub this matchbook on the tabletop, and it will pass right though the wood. The right hand (with the empty matchbook in finger palm) gently rubs the full book as the previous sentence is spoken. The switch is performed. The left hand tables the empty matchbook as the right hand moves to the table edge, lapping the full matchbook. Instead of slapping the matchbook onto the table to effect the penetration (as suggested in the Mike Rogers presentation, the left hand rubs the matchbook on the table.

(Figure 4). When this action has been completed, the left hand tosses the empty matchbook on the table. As it does this, the right hand moves to the table edge and laps the full matchbook.

NOVEMBER 2011 29

The Nielsen Gallery

Fu Manchu - Hands
Dimensions: 1-sheet: 28 x 39 Lithographer: Unknown Date: 1940s Nielsen Rating: Uncommon On October 9, 1909, a pretentious, nervous five-yearold performed a card trick before members of The Society of American Magicians in New York City. He asked for a volunteer, and Harry Houdini arose from the audience to assist. Little could anyone have known that from this inauspicious beginning, the young magician would eventually tour the world with his own big illusion show, taking a name that remains in the pantheon of great magicians Fu Manchu! Fu Manchus real name was David Tobias Bamberg; he was born in Derby, England, on February 19, 1904. He was the sixth and final generation of the renowned Dutch family of magicians whose careers spanned the full development of modern conjuring in the Western world. His father, Theodore, was professionally known as Okito; he headlined in European variety theaters and was acknowledged as one of the most creative and artistic magicians in the field. In fact, when very small, David served as the final production item in one of Okitos effects. Dressed in oriental robes, Okito showed a large shawl on both sides. He lowered it to the stage and whisked it aside, revealing a brimming bowl of water. There was another display of the shawl, and, when it was lifted, there stood David in Asian make-up and clothes. When a bit older he traveled with his father as part of Thurstons troupe, playing the role of a volunteer from the audience. The magician produced large quantities of eggs that he handed to the volunteer who accidently started dropping them, causing great laughter among the audience. At age thirteen he worked with Zancig the most famous mindreader of the day; later he worked with a professor Seward, a boardwalk astrologer in Atlantic City. He continued to perform magic and eventually during the 1920s traveled with one of P.T. Selbits Divided Woman illusions playing in vaudeville. The course of Davids life changed in 1928 while he was performing in Argentina and he witnessed the show of Dante the Magician. It was the largest, most colorful, and exciting illusion show hed ever seen and he was convinced he could present just such a show. With the financial backing of Walter Gaulke, the head of a film distribution company in that country, the show was built. Bamberg took the stage name of Fu Manchu and the rest was history. The show was a great success in Argentina and went on to play throughout South and Central America, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, and elsewhere. He even appeared briefly in New York in 1937. This is what John Mulholland, editor of The Sphinx, said about the show: Fu Manchu has been giving his show in New York. Jack 30 M-U-M Magazine Gwynne, as an illusionist, Dai Vernon, as a sleight-of-hand performer, and Dr. (Milton) Bridges, as a particularly wellinformed amateur, have each said that it is the most beautiful show of magic that they had ever seen. These three names are mentioned merely as representing the opinion of various groups of magicians. Everyone who has seen the show raves about how good it is. To me, the whole show was the realization of the dream of what a magic show should be...For the first time in my life, I have seen magicians so impressed that they talk only about the beauty and skill of the presentation, instead of the mechanics of the tricks. In case you ever hear of anyone who doubts that magic is an art, send him to see David Bamberg. Space does not allow us to describe his entire show, but here is one example of his creativity; while other magicians were all doing the Buzz-saw illusion in the same manner, Bamberg called his the Pendulum Illusion and based it upon Poes tale of mystery, The Pit and the Pendulum. The whirling saw swung back and forth across the stage gradually, descending until it cut cleanly through the body of the girl strapped to the table below it. In one production done in black-light, luminous skeletons emerged from a coffin and danced around while their heads, arms, and legs became detached and floated around the stage, finally reuniting with the skeleton bodies. The show set records everywhere. By April 1950, Fu Manchu had given his 1001st performance in Buenos Aires at the Teatro Casino, a house record for any kind of show. By 1952 that number had climbed to 2,800 performances. David Price wrote, For many years this beautifully costumed, handsomely mounted magic review played major cities in South and Central America. Despite political upheavals and the loss of his savings after the Peron government was overthrown in Argentina, Fu Manchu kept the best magic show in South America, running until March 19, 1966, when he gave his last full-evening program in Buenos Aires at the age of sixty-one. Bamberg opened his own magic shop and theater called Centro Magico and covered the walls with life-size paintings of Robert-Houdin, de Kolta, Thurston, Golden, Dante, Houdini, Okito, Chang, and himself, of course. He died in Buenos Aires on August 19, 1974, ending a dynasty of the greatest family of magicians ever known to history. For further information on David Bamberg and his role in that dynastic family of magicians, pick up a copy of the 1991 book Illusion Show by David Bamberg, published by Meyerbooks of Glenwood, Illinois.

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AdaPTabiliTy and OTHer LonG WordS
Hello again and welcome to the penultimate lesson in Basic Training (and a big hello to everyone last month who either knew, or looked up, what antepenultimate meant). This time I want to discuss the pros and cons of adapting your repertoire to different situations, and then well look at two handlings for basically the same effect, but designed for very different conditions. We have all spent a long time developing our little coterie of effects, those ten to twenty routines that we know inside and out and that form the core of our shows (or, in Mike Skinners case, the seven hundred and thirty-two effects). Many of us spend most of our time performing in the same type of venue or situation, be it strolling, kids shows or grand illusion. We are comfortable with those routines, and they dont change all that much. Problems arise, however, when we are faced with a change in the weather, and we find ourselves in a new environment; how do we alter the method, or the effect, to take these new conditions into account? Heres an example; you are a hardcore card magician (not you, that other guy over there) who can run up hands like a demon, deal from any position in the deck, and who considers Ernest Earick to be a lightweight when it comes to the knuckle-busting stuff. The problem is, you need a table (preferably covered in flawless baize) or at the very least a good quality close-up mat that is two feet across. What do you do when there is no table around and you are pressed to perform? You could bow out, and run the risk of losing face, or you could alter what you do a bit and still wow the crowd. Okay, that last example was a tad facetious, and I apologize. However, the point does still stand. One very good example is the classic Wild Card routine. Whether you go to the original Peter Kane routine, the somewhat borrowed Garcia version, or any of the seventy-two other routines that are in print, the one common theme is the need for a table upon which to lay out the cards. The question, for a long time, was how do we take this routine off the table and into the hands? There have been three notable offerings that have solved this conundrum: the best known is probably Tommy Wonders version, which was described in The Books of Wonder, or Tom Dobrowolskis handling that came out on DVD a couple of years ago. My preference is for the least known version, by Steven Hamilton, but its harder to find than hens teeth. All three, though, take what was before a difficult routine to perform in real, working environments and make it into workable pieces. (And before anyone mails me to say that they do Wild Card at every table, Ill say Ive never seen a restaurant or function that had enough table space for the full layout. And thats ignoring the whole doing things at crotch level argument.) Going the other way, how many times have you seen a magician who worked seated at a table but still performed his sleights as if he was standing? Probably the most common offender here is the humble gambling demonstrator; this is the one time when magicians who have spent five hours a day for the last twenty years learning their trade actually get to show this skill instead of hiding it under a blanket of artifice and subterfuge. The problem shows up when the need for a perfect faro shuffle arises. The performer who, up until now, has been following what passes for table procedure, picks up the deck and wedges the short ends together as a shuffle. Its what Larry Hass referred to as the ripple in the lake effect last year something that is incongruous with what has gone before. The sad thing is that a tabled faro shuffle, or even better, a perfect riffle shuffle is not that hard to learn, and its a heck of a lot easier than a deceptive center deal or a one-shuffle stack. Even if youve mastered the in-the-hands faro, its a good idea to work on the tabled version as well, even if its just for the warm pink and fluffy feeling you get when you hit it a few times in a row.

Some Actual Advice

Okay, so we know what the problem is, how do we solve it? First, we need to make a list of the sleights that we use in everyday performance: controls, lifts, palms, shuffles, and the like. Grab a piece of paper and a pencil and make two columns, headed Hands on the left and Table on the right. Write down your moves, one on each line, in either of the columns, but try to keep the types of move in a group. When you have finished, sit back and have a read through. I imagine that you will have some gaps in each column, probably more in one than another. The goal now is to fill in those blanks with suitable techniques, but you dont have to go mad. Lets say you have three in-the-hands controls and one tabled control, then you probably dont need to sweat blood learning another two or three tabled moves; your single one will suffice in most situations. However, if you do not have a tabled control in your list, then you might want to consider learning one. Over the course of these lessons Ive tried to provide you with alternatives, so theres a good chance youll find what you need in a back issue of M-U-M. Now that you have your list of sleights for every occasion, we need to see how these can slot into the routines we already know. This bit takes a while longer, but its worth it just to cement in your mind what you can do. Get another piece of paper and write down all the routines in your core repertoire. Next to them, write down the sleights that are needed for that routine. For example, in a Cards to Pocket routine you might need a control, a palm, and a load; write down those three moves. When you have done that, take the routines one at a time and see if you can substitute your normal sleight for another one from your list. Keeping with our Card to Pocket example, where you might have used a classic pass

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to control the card when standing, you might want to hop a cut or use something like Ron Bauers multiple table cut when seated. (I taught Rons move in the May 2009 column before I knew that Ron had developed it for use on early TV.) Palming when seated is also different than standing, but in a good way, and well have a look at that in the next section. Finally, you wont want to load a card into your trouser pocket, so you would be loading into a jacket or shirt pocket. Run through your list, and then spend an enjoyable couple of months working in these new routines. In the meantime, Ill show one way that I tackled this problem for a card reversal trick.

First, the Tabled Version

This is something daft that I started doing a few years ago in informal situations, mainly because most of the time I do not use a table for close-up work. The effect is simple. A card is selected and probably signed (if I have a Sharpie on me, which doesnt always happen). The deck is ribbon spread across the table face up so that the spectators can see that every card is different (and subconsciously, that they are all face up). The spread is closed and then immediately spread again to show that one card is now face down; it is the selection. Luckily, the routine is easy to do. There are really only two sleights: a control and a palm. You will need some table space enough to spread the cards in a ribbon where all the indices show (usually about eighteen inches). Begin by having a card selected and signed; on its return control it to the top of the deck. The deck is held in left-hand dealing grip, as you casually discuss the weather and whether invading Switzerland is really a good idea. Getting back to the performance (I find that in casual situations people are more lenient towards little tangents, and in Scotland the weather is always the first topic of conversation) you notice that there is something on the table that is in the way of your spreadto-be. Most of the time this is the card box, which I have left in the way deliberately, but failing that, Ill brush off some imaginary crumbs onto the floor, or move someones plate. The problem is that I have a deck of cards in my left hand, so I pass the cards over to the right hand, which takes the deck in a position for a one-hand top palm. As the newly empty left hand does what it has to do in order to clear up the performance space, the right hand palms the card. When seated at the table, the one-hand top palm becomes an order of magnitude easier than its standing cousin, because we can use the table to our advantage. The right long edge of the deck rests on the table, as does the edge of your right hand. In this position when you push forward, or in, or whatever you do with your little finger to lever the card into the palm, the card cannot overshoot the edge of your hand because the table acts as a stop. Try it and see; its a bit of a revelation. Plus, all of your attention (and that of the spectators) is on your left hand, which is clearing up the mess; the palm goes unnoticed every time. Now you need to ribbon spread the cards. If you were to do this with your right hand (which is, after all, holding the deck) the cards would spread from your left to right, and the indices would be upside down for your audience. This is a bad thing, so you need to take the cards again with your left hand. We are going to spread face up, so the left hand comes in underneath the deck and rotates it so that it is face up, a couple of inches in front of the right hand. The right hand now drops to the edge of the table, lying flat with the thumb just under the edge, and the card held in place at the tables edge. This is an old gamblers hold-out position, and because the hand is not actually holding the card in place, its a bit

like the open position for table work. (If you want to see this move in action, search out YouTube for Mike Skinner on the Tonight Show 1974 youll see the hold-out, and the Bauer cut for good measure. Note that for this effect, you dont want to slide back quite that far with the card.) The left hand casually waves towards the cards and you mumble something about the spectators card being in the deck somewhere, but you dont know where. You really dont want to dilly dally at this point, so that the more eagleeyed spectator wont notice that the card is, in fact, not there. You are now going to close the spread, and theres a coordinated action that has to happen. Your left hand goes to the left of the spread and contacts the table to the left of the top card. Because of the way the cards overlap, you cannot lift the leftmost card to close the spread; you have to do that from the right end. But this cant happen because the right hand has a card palmed. So, your right thumb clips the inner left corner of the palmed card at its base and lifts up by a quarter of an inch; the rest of the hand stays on the table. At the same time that the left hand gets into its position, the right hand makes the small journey to the right end of the spread, but does so in a small curved path out to the right and back. The thumb lifts the left edge of the palmed card up just enough so that it can be slid onto the face-up cards at the end. During this the little finger does not leave the table. (Photo 1 shows the position with the right hand removed.) Without stopping, the hands push together to close up the spread, the left hand moving about two to three times more than the right. The right hand stays almost where it is, the little finger acting as a block to stop the cards from escaping past the right edge of the hand. The index finger keeps pressing down on the selection so that it does not end up on the top of the deck. As the left hand mushes its cards into the pack, the selection will feed into them, somewhere. It really doesnt matter where, as long as its not the top; practice and playtime will tell you the correct pressure you will need to get it there. When the cards are

about halfway under the right hand their edges will hit your right ring finger and you wont be able to complete closing the spread without some awkward and unnatural movement, so well square the 2 deck in another action. Unfortunately, we cannot lift the right hand, since the selection is sticking out of the side of the messy packet. Photo 2 shows this, again with the hand removed. The clean up is easier than you might think. The right hand drags the cards off the edge of the table, the thumb going under-

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neath to support them as they clear the surface. The left hand now comes in from underneath, pulls everything square, and immediately spreads the cards again, exactly as before. One card will be face down, and it is shown to be the selection. card is now hidden by the spread of cards (Photo 3). Get the widest spread of the cards you can, holding your fingers out underneath, and dont try to be too perfect; a little variation to the spread is fine here. Pause to show that all the cards are face down, and then begin to close the spread. If you keep your right index finger on

Thoughts on the Final Revelation

The fun thing about this routine is that you dont know exactly where the card will end up, so theres an element of surprise for you as well. Sometimes Ill work this into the presentation, but more often than not Ill be lazy and just say, Ooh, look at that! Theres also a large debate as to how the card should be revealed. To be fair, this debate usually concerns the Slop Shuffle effect, but I think its valid here. Whenever possible, I try to show that the cards are all face up, and then show that the face-down card is the selection. I really do believe that if you show that all the cards are face down and the selection is face up (certainly in Triumphtype routines) then you are mixing the climaxes: the righting of the cards is one effect, the selection being isolated is the other. Although there is no righting of the cards in this effect, Im sticking with the face-down revelation.

What, No Table?
The above routine is fun to do, and the effect-to-work ratio is pleasingly low. However, its not really suitable for your average strolling gig, so I went about finding substitutions for the various moves. The obvious hurdles are holding out the selection, and the spreading of the cards. Heres what I came up with: Begin as before, with your signed selection controlled to the top of the deck. Palm the card at your leisure and, if you really want, hand the deck out to be shuffled with your left hand (although I almost never bother with this). Your right hand, with the palmed selection, comes up to a bit above waist height, but still turned so that the back of the hand is towards the audience, shading the card from view. Your left thumb begins to push off a few cards from the top of the deck, and these are placed into the crotch of the right thumb, about a quarter of an inch from the front of the card. You can now rotate your hands palm up, since the palmed

the right edge of the cards and the right corner of the selection at the pivot point at the base of your thumb, as you close the cards up the leftmost corner of the selection will feed into the pack and contact somewhere at the base of your left index finger. Continue to close your hands together, and the card will pivot clockwise so that it is in the same orientation as the rest of the deck. The right hand, without leaving the deck, comes over to help the left fingers square everything up. In a continuing motion, the deck is flipped over so it is face up; spread again in the same manner to show that one of the cards is face down. End as before.

Final Thoughts
Give these two routines a shot; I think youll be surprised at how effective they are for the amount of work required. If nothing else, they should give you an idea of how you can take a routine that was designed for seated performance and make it work, albeit in a slightly changed form, for strolling work. Next month well have a recap of the lessons so far, and a bit of a chat about what might have happened. Until then, have fun and dont forget to make some lists.

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NOVEMBER 2011 35

The magician offers to recreate a trick he saw by a Brazilian magician. The Brazilian magician used reais instead of dollars, but the magician offers to present the trick in American currency. He presents a dollar bill and asks to borrow a five-dollar note from the spectator. Both bills are examined, folded into eighths, and placed inside the spectators fist. The magician removes his dollar bill and then changes it into the spectators five-dollar bill half of a transposition. But when the spectator opens her hand, instead of the magicians dollar bill, she discovers the exact real note the Brazilian magician used. I developed this routine by accident. I studied several handlings of U.F. Grants marketed Slow Motion Bill Change (Tarbell Course in Magic Volume 3, 1927). For a time I used Eugene Burgers Slow Motion Bill Change (The Craft of Magic, 1984). Then I learned David Parrs Slow Motion Swindle (Brain Food, 1998) and then Roger Klauses Ultimate Slow Motion Bill Transposition. Every version I liked involved prepared notes. In time I developed a version that used only a duplicate, folded dollar bill. I felt it accomplished the same effect as other versions and even allowed for some interesting displays. I used the handling often because it only required two of the same note, which I had in my wallet virtually all the time. I once intended to perform the trick but found I didnt have two of the same denomination I hadnt yet broken a hundred-dollar bill. On a whim, I used it anyway, loading the hundred-dollar bill in the spectators hand instead of a duplicate single. The reaction was stronger because the effect now contained the important element of the transposition (the first half ) and a satisfying surprise. I realize that its not always possible or desirable to carry a hundred-dollar bill with you, especially when youre young. So, I eventually changed the surprise bill to a foreign note. Brazilian money is particularly colorful and durable, but any foreign bill will work. You can obtain colorful foreign money in any coin shop, and often the notes are quite cheap. The effect pivots around a strange Z fold I devised, which I later learned was created by Dr. Raymond L. Beebe (Hugards Magic Monthly, March, 1963). He prepared the folded bills ahead of time in his Paper Money Switch and was the first to eliminate the need for gaffed currency during a bill transposition. The strange effect of a transposition plus surprise ending certainly isnt new. I can think of several card effects that employ this type of thinking. With money, Francis Carlyle was a pioneer who devised a handling for the silver-dollar sized

by Joshua Jay

penny, a novelty popular in the late 1960s. In that effect, he would place a penny and a silver dollar in the spectators fist. He removed the penny and changed it to a silver dollar. The spectator, who expected to find a penny in her hand, discovered quite a surprise: a penny the size of a silver dollar. This is simply that premise adapted to borrowed bills.

Youll need a dollar bill and a surprise bill. The third bill, which can be of any denomination, is borrowed. Pre-fold both bills in the following way. Hold the bill with the face toward you, and fold it in eighths as follows (all folds will be away from you). Fold the right half to the left (Photo 1), then fold the right half to the left again (Photo 2). Finally, fold the bottom half of the bill up (Photo 3). Repeat this sequence with both bills. The setup for the trick is quite easy and can be done on the fly. You can also store the folded bills in your wallet so youre ready at a moments notice. Begin with the Brazilian note folded as described and tucked inside the one-dollar bill, which is folded only in half (Photo 4).

People ask me about the greatest magic trick Ive ever seen. Ill tell you about it. A Brazilian magician did it for me. I dont know his name or how he did the trick. All I remember is that it was incredible. Ive recreated it as best I can. He used reais, the currency in Brazil, but Ill use dollars. Remove the single from your pocket. You can show all sides of the single as long as it remains folded. The folded real will remain concealed in the fold. He borrowed a bill from someone else, so can I borrow a bill? Ask to borrow a bill from the spectator. While 5 she removes a bill from her wallet, open the single, pinning the real to the back of the bill with the right thumb (Photo 5). Lets assume she produces a five. The Brazilian

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An Inside Guide for Young Magicians and their Parents

magician allowed me to fold his bill and he folded mine. This 6 way, I knew everything was legit. Take the spectators bill in your left hand, taking care that you grip the bill so the presidents face is toward you. Extend your right second finger and insert the spectators bill between the first and second fingers of the right hand (Photo 6). It is now an easy matter for the left hand to grip the single and slide it from between the right fingers. The hidden real will automatically shift against the spectators bill. Hand the left hands single to the spectator and ask her to fold it as per your instructions. 7 Now youll fold her bill as you folded yours. That is, youll fold the bill in half, folding the left end away from you. During this process the foreign note is concealed behind the bill. Now youll fold the left side to the right again (Photo 7). As 8 this happens the right thumb must shift the real behind the left fingers. Youll notice in the photograph that the bill overlaps onto the left fingers considerably. This allows for a pristine, thin edge along the right side of the spectators 9 bill. Verbally guide the spectator through the simple folding process (into fourths), taking care that she folds the bill with the presidents face on the outside. Shift the spectators 10 bill back to your right hand, secretly shifting the concealed real so that it overlaps the bill onto the right fingers (Photo 8). Take the single from the spectator and situate it in front of the borrowed bill, down-jogged for exactly half its length 11 (Photo 9). As this happens, make sure the indices face you. Take this time to situate the real squarely behind the other bills (Photo 10). The packets thickness isnt so critical here because there are two bills. Youll now execute a sort of Z fold I devised that renders two bills double-sided (so that one side shows a single and the other side displays a five). The actions are bold, but the fold doesnt look peculiar. I have found it goes unnoticed by even skeptical audience members. Simply fold the spectators bill forward and down, overlapping the single (Photo 11). Then fold the single forward and up, over the upper portion of the spectators bill (Photo 12). Two V folds are now inserted into each other 12 while the folded real remains concealed behind. Ask the spectator to extend her right hand, palm up. Place all the bills onto her fingers. Its important that the bills are placed onto the fingers and not the palm. Pin the bills to her fingers with your right hand, placing the real against her fingers where it will remain out of view. Ask her to close her hand, but keep your fingers against her palm as she closes. This automatically turns the packet of bills over it happens in the natural action of closing the fingers against the palm. Remove your fingers from her hand and ask her to turn her wrist palm down. This rotates the packet of bills again so the real is lowermost. The Brazilian magician reached into my hand and removed his bill. So saying, reach into her closed fist and gently remove both the single and the five. The fold allows both bills to be removed together, and they will look like just one bill. Since the spectator still feels a folded note inside her fist she will not suspect you are removing two bills. Hold the packet between the fingers and thumb at chest height. Shake the hand in an up and down motion, rotating the packet over while shaking right hand. The turnover should be concealed in the blur of motion. The spectators bill will now be visible to the audience. The bills have changed places! If I have your billwhat bill must be in your hand? As you talk youll unfold the spectators bill. Since the focus reverts back to the spectators hand (and not on the changed bill in your hand) there is no undue heat on the 13 unfolding process. To unfold the spectators bill, grip your single between the thumb and left fingers. Rotate the spectators bill ninety degrees counterclockwise and insert the right fingers into the opening along 14 the right side (Photo 13). The one-dollar bill slides under the right thumb and unfolds into fourths as the spectators bill is unfolded completely (Photo 14). The single remains concealed behind the

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spectators bill. The spectator is instructed to open her hand. Instead of a transposition, she discovers the Brazilian real note. Ask her to unfold it. Wait! Thats exactly the bill the Brazilian magician used when he showed the trick to me! Take the foreign note back and insert it between the right first and second fingers. Youll slip the concealed single behind the real as you remove the spectators bill from the right hand using exactly the same method described at the beginning of the trick. Pocket the real note (and the folded single) to conclude. more authentic if you recycle old ones from past presentations or speeches. On the blank side of each card, draw a picture of a playing card. The drawings should be unrealistic the more homemade, the better. Draw a different card on each note card. The playing card will be the force card. Suppose its the Six of Hearts. Remove any note card (except the Six of Hearts note card) and trim the outer right corner of the card slightly 4 with scissors (Photo 4). You have just created a short note card. Remove the Six of Hearts note card and place it on top of the short note card, and then place both of these cards, together, in the middle of the stack. When you riffle the outer right corner from the bottom to the top, it will be an easy matter to stop at the short card. The very next note card is the Six of Heartswhich youll force. The final preparation is to set the real Six of Hearts second from the bottom, face down. Wrap a rubber band around the stack to keep everything together (and to keep the playing card from falling out).

Let me tell you about how I got a detention for doing magic, says the young magician. My school has lots of rules, and one of them is that playing cards are forbidden. To get around this, I drew my own deck of cards, cleverly disguised on the other side of these note cards. 2 So saying, the magician presents a stack of lined note cards (Photo 1). Speeches, notes, and highlighted vocabulary fill out the fronts of the cards, but the back of each note card has a picture of a different playing card (Photo 2). I used to do tricks with 3 my homemade deck of cards for kids in school like this. Let me show you one I used to do in school all the time. Please call stop as I riffle through the note cards. The spectator complies and remembers the stopped-at card. The magician instructs the spectator to close her right hand into a fist. The magician inserts note cards one by one between the spectators clenched thumb and first finger. About twenty cards are inserted in a haphazard fashion (Photo 3). Im going to try and hit the stack of cards and cause the one you chose to fall from your hand, the magician proclaims. He strikes the note cards in the spectators hands. Surprisingly, all the note cards fall from her hand. More surprisingly, a real playing card is left in her hand, still clenched between the fingersher selected card. But as I told you, there are no playing cards in school, and thats why I got a detention!

Let me tell you about how I got a detention for doing magic, you begin. My school has lots of rules, and one of them is that playing cards are forbidden. To get 5 around this, I drew my own deck of cards, cleverly disguised on the other side of these note cards. Remove the rubber band from your stack and spread over the top few note cards, turning each one over to display different cards. 6 I used to do tricks with my homemade deck of cards for kids in schoollike this. Let me show you one I used to do in school all the time. Please call stop as I riffle through the note cards. Square the cards in your left hand and regrip them by pinching the inner left corner between the left thumb and fingers (Photo 5). Run your right first finger along the outer right corner of the deck, moving from the face to the back. As the spectator calls stop, continue riffling until you feel a click. The click

Youll need fifty-two note cards, one playing card, and a rubber band. While you can use new note cards, it will appear

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By Joshua Jay
Take the bottom note card from your left hand with your right fingers, taking care not to expose the Six of Hearts. This leaves one note card in your left hand with the Six beneath it. Insert the cards in each hand under the spectators thumb at the same time, but do it like this: the right hand inserts its note card on top of the stack as the left hand inserts the note card and the Six, as one card, under all the other note cards. The spectator wont feel two cards because of all the other cards she is holding. You must make sure that the Six of Hearts is the lowermost card in her hand (Photo 8). Say, Im going to try to hit the stack of cards and cause the one you chose to fall from your hand. Now firmly slap the cards in the spectators hand (Photo 9). Your hand should be palm down and your fingers spread. Upon impact, all the note cards will fall from the spectators hands, leaving only a face-down playing card protruding from her fist. Wait a minute! Thats a real playing card. What was the name of the card you selected? The Six of Hearts? Turn it over The spectator will be impressed at both the appearance of a card and that you found her selection. But as I told you, there are no playing cards allowed in school, and thats why I got a detention!


These past eleven columns in M-U-M have been about making your age work for you rather than against you, but this is a temporary issue. You will eventually get older. But just because you arent young doesnt mean you cant think youthfully. Your inquisitive mind is an asset; dont ever lose it. Quick story: I performed magic in Ecuador for a group of young magicians who dont have access to DVDs or books or even decent teachers. One boy had a thumb tip but clearly nobody had showed him how to use it. And without instructions to limit his imagination, the boy had constructed an entire routine wherein he vanished and manipulated his fingers. I was astounded! This was a totally original routine with a prop I was sure had been fully explored. But he turned the secret gimmick on its head and used it in plain sight to great effect. He was thinking youthfully, and it was inspiring. I work with young magicians like you a lot and I get as much from it as you do (writing these articles, for example, has been quite a learning experience). The reason I get so much from working with young magicians is because you have a fresh way of looking at things that older magicians dont often possess. Perhaps they did when they were young, but it faded as they got older. You live in a world without constraints or limits I remember what that felt like. Whenever I work on new material I try to tap into the mindset that you are fortunate enough to exist in all the time. So as you progress in magic and cross from Under to Over, keep your head in the clouds. Joshua Jay

is your short card. This force takes timing but isnt difficult. You must learn to simply ignore the spectator and always stop on the short card. Break the pack at this point by pulling back with the right first finger, allowing the spectator to see the Six of Hearts drawing (Photo 6). Keep hold of this packet with your left fingers. Once the spectator has noted her card, remove the right first finger, allowing all the cards to coalesce. If you like, you can add a false shuffle or cut at this point. Please make a fist with your hands. Gesture with your own right hand by curling the fingers into a fist, taking care that the thumb remains extended on top of the right first finger (Photo 7). Now cut off about forty note cards from the stack and place them on the table or in your pocket, commenting that you wont need the whole pack for the trick. Tuck each of the remaining cards under the spectators thumb pad. You should make a disorganized fan of cards, letting some protrude from the right and left, placing cards under, over, and between the others. Stop when you have exactly two note cards left in your hand (and the real Six of Hearts between them).

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How Steve Cohen Got To Carnegie Hall

By Antonio M. Cabral

Photo by Clay Patrick McBride

What is a true secret? Something that is there for everybody to see and one recognizes it, the other doesnt. Lao-tse

Magicians and secrets have a funny relationship.

The normal people who comprise our audiences watch us perform miracles and cannot begin to imagine how a person might learn the requisite techniques and other arcane knowledge to accomplish the impossible. Magicians, on the other hand, know all about the vast oceans of literature (in print and on video), obsessively detailing and documenting the history and lineage of all these bizarre, clever, and wonderful ideas. They know you can walk into a magic shop and buy whatever you like without having to fight a dragon or some other kind of mystic wizards trial. They worry that their audiences will run home after watching a performance and look for the explanations on YouTube. The secrets are out there, if you care enough and know where to look. And yet, magicians and laymen can look at the same miracle and both be mystified if for different reasons. For example, many close-up magicians know the story of Max Malinis famous production of a brick or a block of ice from under a hat as recounted by Dai Vernon in Stars of Magic. Vernon

was tasked with watching Malini over the course of an evenings dinner performance to try to pin down the little mans sleight-ofhand secrets in particular the block-of-ice-under-the-hat trick. Throughout the full evenings meal, Malini never left the table. Malini then proceeded to perform the trick and when Malini lifted the hat, a block of ice the size of four fists lay in the center of the table...Vernon swears to this day that The little bugger had no time to load up. While the regular audience members wondered how the ice got under the hat, Vernon was dumbfounded as to how the ice got to the table at all. A bribe to the waiter proved unsuccessful; they never found out from where Malini had procured the ice. On the other hand, whenever Steve Cohen performs the trick as the opener of his exclusive Miracles at Midnight show, the source of the block of ice is somewhat less of a mystery. The show is his second as part of his residence at the ber-opulent Waldorf-Astoria in Manhattan. The kitchen at the Waldorf-Astoria is located on the second floor and takes up the area of a full city block. They have a huge walk-in freezer, and theyve let me have a whole shelf in there just for the blocks of ice for this trick. I used to go down myself to fetch the ice, but it gets very cold in that freezer; our

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arrangement now is that I simply ring down to the kitchen and they run one upstairs for me at the beginning of each show. Of course. Everythings easy once you know the secret. But while Steves audiences like Malinis are astounded at the appearance of the ice under the hat, magicians marvel at something else. They dont marvel at how the ice appeared under the hat or how the ice got to the table, but at how Steve Cohen himself has managed to magically appear in residence at the Waldorf-Astoria with not one, but two elegant, high-end magic shows, one of which costs $250 per person. For close-up magic! And coming this January, Steve will be premiering a stage show at a local Manhattan venue named Carnegie Hall. Compared to those miracles, blocks of ice and bricks under hats might as well be the old stretching-yourthumb trick that your uncle does. I remember once hearing one of my younger brothers telling his girlfriend my story...I was born, I was talented, I got into piano, I had this neat place, and I worked with Miles Davis. He left out this giant part which was the struggle! Keith Jarrett Steve Cohens success is unparalleled. His client list reads like a listing from Forbes in large part, because it is. Then theres his residence at the Waldorf-Astoria, where he performs two elegant and exquisite evening shows of classical parlor conjuring. Chamber Magic is his now well known, eleven-year-running weekend parlor show; since 2010 hes added Miracles at Midnight, a $250-ahead evening of close-up performed only once a month and billed as The Worlds Most Exclusive Magic Show. And like many of magics great secrets, the secret to Steves success is hidden in print. Hes detailed much of the story of his journey from young birthday party magician to The Millionaires Magician in his 2008 Genii magazine cover feature, his interviews with The Magic Newswire Web site, and his own book for the lay public, Win The Crowd. And Steve still receives enough emails from eager magicians wanting to set up residence performing at swanky hotels (because it worked for that guy!) that last year he put up a very frank post on his Chamber Magic Blog addressing these emails in general. Its titled, How not to start your own one-man show. In it, he explains some of the secrets to his success. Put in magicians terms, Steves success at the Waldorf-Astoria boils down to a lot of pre-show work. While his identity as The

Millionaires Magician is a relatively recent creation, he got his very first experience performing for the upper crust at age seventeen, performing for the Rockefeller family on their estate. His connections made from attending Cornell led to him performing weekly at the five-star Park Hyatt Tokyo during his four years in Japan. He was already an experienced and successful performer when he decided, with the help of his creative partner Mark Levy, to reinvent himself and his repertoire as The Millionaires Magician. He already had an act when he decided to put together his first Chamber Magic shows. Hed already been performing his Chamber Magic show every week for many months in other venues before approaching the Waldorf-Astoria. Also, by his own admission, it took two years of self-support and losing money on the show and three or four years proving that the show could be successful before the hotel began to help promote him. So, in the same way a mentalist can point to any random audience member and appear to instantly pluck their secrets from their mind, Steve Cohen is an overnight sensation. Its easy when you know the secret. No one can simply waltz into the Waldorf-Astoria and put on a magic show, anymore than one can really pluck thoughts from peoples brains.

And Steves not the only one tipping his mitt on the Internet. Marketing guru Seth Godin, on his own blog, put together a succinct-yet-insightful five-point list of how Steve has achieved the success he has. Points One, Two, and Four are savvy marketing

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skills. Number Five on that list is Hes very good at his craft. Dont overlook this point. And while Chamber Magic and Steves existence as The Millionaires Magician are very much the result of intelligent and focused marketing efforts, when all is said and done

Photo by Clay Patrick McBride

sustaining that image involves being a consummate performer. When you watch Steve perform, its impossible to overlook the fact that hes very good at his craft. He ought to be by this point: hes been performing magic professionally since the age of ten, he is a veteran of Tannens Magic Camp, and he has performed his Chamber Magic show over three thousand times. If you watch closely, you can see that experience manifest itself in his three shows: Chamber Magic, Miracles at Midnight, and the brand-new, upcoming Theater of Wonder.

Chamber Magic
When Steve set about creating Chamber Magic, hed already had to reinvent his repertoire to fit his image as The Millionaires Magician. Tricks hed been performing successfully for years got retired as Steve now focused on tricks that spoke to wealth and affluence tricks with real diamonds, $100 bills, goldyour standard, everyday household items. When the time came to create Chamber Magic, he knew he wanted to create an evening of elegant, refined magic that harkened back to the Viennese salons a stylistic choice that was a good fit in the venues he aspired to and spoke as much to the lifestyles of the rich and famous as any choice of props. More important, though, Steve knew what kind of show he

didnt want to do. Around the time Steve conceived Chamber Magic, his friends told him about the great success Ricky Jay was having with his evening show Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants, an evening of nothing but card tricks. Without even seeing the show, Steve immediately knew that trying to launch a similar evening of only card tricks would invite inevitable comparisons apples to apples and Steve wanted to offer something exclusive and unique. While Chamber Magic does open with a selection of flourishy sleight of hand with cards, once hes established his skill Steve deliberately moves away from sleight of hand. While 52 Assistants wears its sleight of hand on its sleeve, Steve wanted a show of close-up and parlor magic seemingly devoid of any sleight of hand whatsoever. On the other side of that coin, while Chamber Magic features some very powerful mental magic, Steve didnt want a full evening of mentalism, either. Hes not a mentalist; hes a magician who can read minds. So the show would ultimately be a fine-tuned mix of prestidigitation (like the opening card tricks and the Malini Ice under the Hat) and more inexplicable mysteries (linking wedding bands, an astounding presentation of the Rising Cards, and the aforementioned feats of mind reading). The program states that the show begins with precision technique that has no equal and ends with an enigma of the highest order. A well-crafted crescendo of effect to be sure but it doesnt stop there. Point Number Three on Seth Godins list is He intentionally creates an experience that is remarkable and likely to spread. Thanks to Steves decades of experience as a performer, Chamber Magic was designed with that idea firmly in mind. Steve recalls a conversation with Jeff McBride about what an audience wants to take away from a performance of magic. His answer was they want to be able to say, It happened to me! In Chamber Magic, Steve manages to squeeze every drop of audience involvement out of his act not just

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participation, but involvement. Take for example one of the opening effects, a bit of mind-reading with cards. Steve has someone from the audience remove a handful of cards from a shuffled deck and proceeds to divine each and every card one-at-a-time as the audience concentrates on them. Where most performers would perform this with a single person while the rest of the audience looks on, Steve has the first person focus on a card, divines it, then has that person pass the cards to another member of the audience. This continues until all the cards have been divined. While the normal audience marvels at how he could possibly know what card theyre each thinking of, the real trick is getting each audience member to think, I could be next! Even the initial shuffling is done not by one, but by several members of the audience. Magicians like to refer to their audience members as spectators. Steve recognizes the importance of not allowing his audiences to simply spectate. This thinking permeates the entire evenings performance. For his signature performance of Think-a-Drink, each and every member of the audience writes down his or her favorite drink. Even though only five or six drinks are eventually poured, the entire audience of fifty or more people feels like their drink of choice could have been next. In a recent performance on tour at the Beverly Wilshire hotel in 2010, Jason Segel (of How I Met Your Mother, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and The Muppets) assisted Steve with Think-a-Drink. He was offered any choice of drink, with every opportunity to change his mind, and when Steve began pouring the chosen drinks, the six-foot-four comedians reactions were as loud and boisterous as any hes delivered on TV or in film and genuine. And thats the whole idea: to make the audience feel like they could have dictated the outcome that they could have affected the show. Another key factor to the way audiences experience Chamber Magic is laughter. Steves rule of thumb is that every couple of minutes (if not once-a-minute) there needs to be a laugh of some kind. Not knock-down, fall-over-yourself comedy, because thats not Steve. But Steve finds that some kind of laugh or joke along the way

helps everyone to relax and enjoy the experience with each other. By the time he gets to the end of a performance and is into the finale (his version of Juan Tamarizs Total Coincidence), he asks the audience, Should I stop, or continue? In the performance I attended, everyone laughed and shouted together, Continue! It really brought the whole audience together. Even the strict dress code is in place to enhance the experience. When people have to get dressed up for an evening out, it makes them feel like theyre experiencing something special. Even the trip through the Waldorf-Astoria to the suite where I perform gives the feeling of something unique. Everyone feels like theyre sharing something important. Its this kind of thinking that has allowed Chamber Magic to enjoy a very successful eleven-year run, one that Steve plans to extend to twenty, at which time hell retire the show. Hes only mentioned that part of the plan in a few places, but it has been in place from the beginning a forward piece of thinking that will no doubt leave a few folks disappointed in nine years.

Miracles at Midnight
What more could any magician ask for beyond a show as distinctive and successful as Chamber Magic? Where does one go beyond the penthouse? Enter Miracles at Midnight. In 2009, David Kaye (aka Silly Billy) went to see Steves Chamber Magic show. After viewing Steves performance, Davids business sense for all things magic kicked in, and he made the suggestion that Steve ought to have a luxury show to offer his clients. After the high-end experience of Chamber Magic, what could possibly count as a luxury show? This was in the middle of a recession! But Steve liked the idea, and the result was Miracles at Midnight. Performed only once a month in the Waldorf Towers, Miracles at Midnight is an exclusive, expensive, and late evening of intimate miracles. Where Chamber Magic is a parlor-style performance for a typical audience of forty to fifty people, Miracles at Midnight allows Steve to indulge in his love for close-up magic for an audience of no more than twenty. Because of the high price [$250 a ticket], the size of the audience is smaller than Chamber Magic, so I get to do the kind of close-up tricks I love but that dont quite fit into Chamber Magic. This includes items familiar to most magicians like Coins Across, and the Newspaper Tear. Speaking about the Newspaper Tear, Steve was initially reluctant to include the routine because of its popularity with other performers (again, avoiding the apples to apples comparisons), but the reactions it gets are too strong! Its such a powerful trick. Steve combines these more intimate tricks with some favorites

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eightieth birthday in attendance. Whenever people bring up the late start time of the show, Steve tells them that an eighty-yearold man came and stayed awake through the whole night and enjoyed himself.

Theater of Wonder
Where does one go beyond the penthouse? In January 2012, Steve will debut Theater of Wonder at Carnegie Hall. The story behind the inception of this new show is in many ways a textbook example of the world Steve has created for himself, although again, as a secret theres not much to it. One of Steves clients, patrons, and good friends is the renowned classical violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter. The September 2008 Genii magazine cover feature on Steve recounts how, at a private performance in Switzerland, Steve followed his staple performance of the Himber Linking Finger Rings by linking a violin bow onto the strings of a violin and presenting the object to Ms. Mutter as a souvenir. This is how fast friendships are made. In 2010, the two were having lunch and Ms. Mutter stated that she firmly believed that, as someone she considers a world-class artist, Steve should have a much wider audience. She pointed out to him that while he could certainly stick to his twenty-year plan and continue to enjoy success, it wouldnt allow him to grow as an artist. Her advice: Think big! And Painting by Tony Cabral by way of example, she pointed out, Look at me; Im playing Carnegie Hall tomorrow night. Rather than wonder what he could accomplish that would be as big as playing Carnegie Hall, Steve took her literally. I called my creative partner Mark Levy and said, I want to play Carnegie Hall. Are you in? He said, Absolutely. (Steve is actually no stranger to Carnegie Hall. Hes performed there several times before backstage. Whenever Anne-Sophie Mutter has played there, shes invited Steve to perform for her guests upstairs in the Maestros Suite after the concert.) Of course, no one simply walks into Carnegie Hall and starts performing magic, any more than they can simply walk into the Waldorf-Astoria and put on a magic show. Luckily, through his performances, Steve had a contact at Carnegie Hall who arranged a tour of the facility to get a feel for the venue. The first step was to head to the main stage the Perelman Stage in the Stern Auditorium. This is the stage people picture when they picture Carnegie Hall, open since 1891 and seating 2,804 people. Mark walked out into the center of the house and Steve walked to center stage. Once in place, Steve held up a playing card. It looked like a postage stamp. It became readily apparent that the sheer size of the hall

from Chamber Magic. And like Chamber Magic, the key to justifying the $250 per ticket for Miracles at Midnight is creating a unique experience for all involved. To that end, another feature of this show not found in Chamber Magic is a segment in which the audience is invited to bring up their own belongings and personal items, whereupon Steve performs miracles with those very items. Of course, to really improvise would risk doing something less-thanspectacular, and Steve will not let that happen. It has the feeling of improvisation, like Im making up the tricks on the spot. Of course, certain objects trigger certain tricks for me, in the same way a jazz musician follows the chords and has certain licks and can always come back to the form of the song. But for the audience its like Im creating something for the first time, right in front of their eyes. Steve also notes that most audiences tend to offer up the same objects (keys, jewelry, etc.), so he never has to worry about being confronted with anything particularly bizarre or unusual. This is not to say that spontaneity doesnt rear its head on occasion. On one such occasion, one of Steves guests was Dr. Ruth Westheimer. For the improvisational part of the show she offered a tube of lipstick. Steve proceeded with a trick similar to the Ashes on the Palm that he does whenever someone offers lipstick. With a twinkle in his eye, Steve asked the noted sex therapist, Dr. Ruth, Id like to perform something called a penetration effect. Would you like to see that? This, of course, delighted both Dr. Ruth and the rest of the audience no end. Far from being prohibitive, the price tag and exclusive nature of Miracles at Midnight have attracted an equally high-end audience. Noted conductor and pianist Andr Previn celebrated his

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Performing for Warren Buffet (top) and David Letterman (bottom).

With Anne-Sophie Mutter (left) and Jason Segal (right).

would present significant problems for a performer used to working in more intimate venues. Moreover, Carnegie Hall wont allow any performer to hang projection monitors to aid visibility, killing the possibilities for any kind of close-up material. Carnegie Hall also has strict regulations governing what performers are allowed to do on stage. Nothing can be done with fire, nothing with livestock, which would kill ninety percent of most large Vegas-style illusion shows. Most restrictive for Steve: nothing with liquid was allowed. That means that while Steve could have a bottle of water with him onstage, his signature performance of Think-a-Drink would get left behind in the suite at the Waldorf. If all this sounds like an opportunity to dust off the Zig-Zag and the Substitution Trunk and hire some of the Rockettes to get sawn in half, consider that any and all onstage assistants would need to be provided by the union, which would drive the cost of the show up by nearly $400,000. Thats a vastly expensive difference for a man whos made his world-class reputation as a one-man show.

It would be tempting for any performer to reconsider, give up, and to try to find another venue more accommodating to the magicians repertoire. However, any other venue isnt Carnegie Hall. In truth, Steve did reconsider and find another venue, and that venue wasCarnegie Hall. Carnegie Hall features three stages: the aforementioned Perelman Stage, the more recently-built Zankel Hall, and the Weill Recital Hall. The Zankel Hall was constructed in 2003 and seats 600, a more manageable size, but built in a modern, austere shoebox style. Its a beautiful hall for a modern jazz performance, but it doesnt say Chamber Magic. The Weill Recital Hall, on the other hand, seats 300 while looking like a miniature version of the Stern Auditorium. With gilt-accented columns, ornate drapery, and crystal wall sconces, not only is it exactly the sort of backdrop Steve is accustomed to, at 300 seats its also an audience size hes performed for many times before. Suddenly, the daunting expanse of Carnegie Hall becomes an almost perfect fit for Steves brand of Victorian-flavored, classical conjuring. (Note: If youre interested in touring the various spaces for yourself, offers virtual 360 panoramic views of each of the three different spaces that allow you to scroll around as if you were standing right in the middle of the halls.) Now that he was comfortable in the space, what would Steve put into this new show? Steve is understandably reticent about the contents of the new show, but one thing it definitely will be is entirely new. Hes still contractually subject to the same performance restrictions, so Think-a-Drink is still out. There will be some mindreading (a strong way to play to a large audience), but Steve does not want to mount a full-evenings performance of mentalism. So for the first time in a number of years, he gets to create a wholly new show. With eleven years of performing Chamber Magic, though, Steve feels he has a terrific advantage in envisioning the shape, rhythm, and flow of a successful show. In fact, hes managed to devise a unique framework for Theater of Wonders, running from the beginning moments of the show, providing a connecting thread for all the effects, and culminating in a truly grand finale. On top of which, the show draws from all aspects of Steves experience, resulting in a very personal presentation. Steve told me that when the idea came to him and he fleshed it out, he was so excited by it that he actually jumped up and down. For now, though, until Theater of Wonders debuts in January, the details remaina secret. But not for long after, because with a 300-seat capacity and a 30,000-person mailing list, Steve fully expects the show to be sold out by the time this article sees publication. But the plan afterward, if the show proves successful, is for Steve to tour with the show, cross-promoting the stage show with performances of Chamber Magic in suitable venues in different cities. The secrets of Steve Cohens success arent all that secret. Then again, theyre not all that easy. Like the most difficult sleight of hand, the answer may be simple, but only after years of experience, dedication, and attention to detail. Theres a joke that has likely been in the mind of every reader since they started reading this article. Its a joke about Carnegie Hall that scientists have proven to be older than the hall itself: A man gets into a cab in New York City and asks the driver, How do I get to Carnegie Hall? The cab driver replies, Practice! It shouldnt surprise anyone that after years of success, Steve will find himself onstage at Carnegie Hall. And he should do well. After all, hes had plenty of practice.

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t h e effect. A spectator is selected and asked to put his hand in this strange looking contraption. The blade rests above the spectators wrist. Suddenly the magician thrusts the blade down, apparently passing through the spectators wrist! It can be seen going down through the side openings in the prop. The spectator removes his hand and, lo and behold, no harm has been done. The improved Disecto that you can purchase from Abbotts today can do one thing this cant. The new Disecto enables you to actually cut through a carrot or celery stalk. This version will not allow that, and you will soon find out why. This version, of course, features a trick blade, but as you can see in our drawing it does not slide out of the way. Instead, it pivots up out of the way of the wrist while the stubs remain in place to give the appearance of the blade passing through the wrist. The extending tip of the blade is also a stub that does not move, but is attached to the wood handle. This pivoting blade rests in front of the stubs and is held up in

This is your fathers Disecto! The word from Ron Allesi is that this is an early Abbotts Disecto made in the 1950s; it came in a specially built wood box. It has been in my collection for some time. The interesting thing is that its working is different than the Disecto you can buy today. The effect is the same, however. Like its modern brother it cant be viewed from behind and it stands taller than the new version. As you can see, the design is somewhat bizarre: not many green props were available back in the 50s. I am sure you know

place only when a small pin is slid over in the back of the prop. I am including a photo that shows the back of this Disecto with the false blade pivoted up. If you look carefully you will see the pin that (when slid over) holds the blade in the uppermost space. That pin is hidden in the black painted circle. Note in the bottom left sketch of our drawing that the pivoting blade is notched into the wood handle to keep it in line. Like the current Disecto, this version packs flat with feet that turn, either aligning with the prop or allowing the prop to stand upright. Copyright 2011 Paul Osborne

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By Jelita McLeod

No one thinks it can happen to them, but Americans are forty times more likely to be defrauded than to have their cars stolen or their homes burgled.

James Munton delivers this startling statistic to a packed audience in Dallas as part of his popular presentation on scams and con artists. Simultaneously alarming and entertaining, the performance offers up a mix of magic, storytelling, and solid advice on how to recognize and avoid cons. A professional magician and speaker, Munton is the author of The Con: How Scams Work, Why Youre Vulnerable, and How to Protect Yourself (Rowman Littlefield, September 2011). The book delves into the murky world of cons, recounting the stories of ordinary people from all walks of life targeted by scams. The stories bring to life the very real pain and misery con artists inflict, and aims to educate readers on how they can develop an instinctive scam sense. Munton traces his interest in deception back to his childhood in London, England. While other children played soccer in the park, he watched local hustlers performing classic street cons such as the three-card monte and the shell game. Luckily, a local magician helped to steer his talents in a more honest direction. After moving to the U.S. in 2007, Munton became a successful magician, performing in such illustrious locations as the White House and for the likes of Dick Cheney and Hillary Clinton. But when two close relatives became the victims of identity theft, he realized he could combine his professional expertise with personal experience to help people in a different way. He is now an in-demand speaker on the subjects of fraud and identity theft. The way he sees it, magic and scams are flip sides of the same coin. As a magician, I am already very familiar with the elements of deception and the psychology that goes into creating an illusion.

The difference is that I use my skills for entertainment, not to fleece people. The tradition of magicians exposing phonies is a long and illustrious one. In Victorian England, magician John Maskelyne recreated and exposed the spirit cabinet act performed by the Davenport Brothers. The great Harry Houdini waged a lifelong war on fake psychics, most notably the famous medium Margery. The Amazing Randi is a well-known skeptic and debunker of pseudoscience and the paranormal. Inside knowledge gives magicians a unique perspective. Munton recalls receiving an invitation to participate in a panel discussion organized by a leading defense contractor. The firm wanted to explore issues of deception as part of its research into developing a terrorist tracking system. Not knowing what to expect, he imagined an informal conversation with a handful of employees. Instead, he found himself alongside two fellow panelists a zoologist and a biologist speaking to a room filled with two hundred top scientists. They were interested in understanding how people deceive and are deceived. The zoologist and biologist talked about forms of deception that occur in nature and the biological implications. I did a magic trick and explained the elements of deception without giving away any secrets. It went over well. The experience taught me that having studied magic for so long, I knew more about the topic than I thought I did. Munton also saw that his performing ability allowed him to connect and communicate with an audience in a way that was both entertaining and informative. He read everything he could on scams, cons, and identity theft, and developed a presentation. When clients called to book him for an event, he would mention his fraud lecture and started building his career as a speaker. Munton concedes there are challenges in tackling the subject

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one audience member to remark, I thought of scams. Everybody thinks it cant he was the con man. The distinction is not happen to them, so one of the first things lost on Munton. I have to do is show them how easy it is to Although con artists and magicians be scammed. I tell people that a scam is share some tricks of the trade such as mistheft with a twist, stealing with a storyline. direction, sleight of hand, and illusion, he The book is full of stories we read about has no tolerance for those who prey on the Nancy, the army mother who receives a innocent. dreaded late-night phone call. We find Magic relies on a degree of deception, out how a 25th high school reunion can but the audience is in on it. There is an go horribly wrong. Theres the lawyer unspoken agreement between them and the trying to save money for his wedding, performer. No one will be harmed. Everyone the woman who receives a unique offer will have a good time. Con artists, by in the grocery store, the college student contrast, are parasites. What is especially who cant rent an apartment. These are sad is that victims often blame themselves everyday people caught up in horrifying for falling for a scam. circumstances. The message is, if you The Cons cover shows The Conjurer, think it cant happen to you, think again. by 15th-century Dutch painter Hieronymus The same message is imparted in front of a live audience. Its not difficult for Bosch. Munton chose the painting for the a magician to demonstrate how people books cover because he is fond of it a James Munton and Jelita McLeod are fooled, but Munton is careful to have print also hangs in his office and because the magic support and enhance his presenit depicts the elements of a con in a striking tation without taking over. He aims for a balance of eighty percent way. In the painting, a magician is performing the classic cups content, twenty percent magic. For example, he talks about how and balls in front of a small gathering. In the front is one particucon artists will lure in victims by taking advantage of basic human larly captivated spectator. While his attention is focused on the emotions, most commonly fear, greed, or compassion. magician, an accomplice carefully picks the mans pocket. To illustrate his point, he brings up two spectators and hands On stage, Munton demonstrates his own pickpocketing routine, each one a wallet with five $1 bills, which they count out into his which ends in a completely unexpected way, leaving the audience hand and return to their wallets. As he explains how scammers in hysterics. He always allows plenty of time for audience appeal to our emotions, he mimes a fishing pole reeling in the questions, another novelty. victim. Magicians tend to discourage questions, because theyre often The con artist uses three types of bait to hook you. One is to intended to undermine the magic trick or to overanalyze every appeal to your greed. Youve won the lottery! You can save big move the magician makes. Theyre rarely helpful in a straightmoney! A second type of bait involves fear fear of a loved one forward magic routine. You want your spectators to comply, not being hurt, fear of getting in trouble with the law. Third, scams can question. In this case, I welcome questions. I have a limited perappeal to your compassion and kindness. Help needy children! formance time, so the Q and A session is where a lot of additional Donate to hurricane relief! information comes up. It also gives the presentation a personal He then turns to the spectators and has them take their money touch. People share their own experiences and concerns and I am out and count it again. Three bills have mysteriously transferred able to give them customized advice. from one wallet to another, leaving one person with only $2 and As if on cue, a member of the audience approaches him after one with a total of $8. The trick, a visual representation of how con the talk is over. The woman didnt want to share her story with artists are able to pocket their victims money, is a hit. the whole audience, but has a serious question. She received a Munton displays an ease with his audience that comes from letter offering her a great discount on cruise packages. Thinking it being a seasoned performer. He is in his element during the was a good deal, she sent off payment of $800. She never heard magical portions of his talk, but admits that speaking without anything back. Worried, she called Royal Caribbean a legitimate props or patter was something new to him. To help hone his public cruise line, whose name was mentioned in the letter and was speaking skills, he joined a local Toastmasters group. Members told they offered no such discount. When she tried the contact are required to deliver speeches and in return receive feedback number included in the letter, she was unable to reach anyone. and tips on delivery. What should she do? During his speech, Munton reads an excerpt from the book, and Munton spoke with the woman at length, advising her to alert the audience reaction is palpable people shake their heads, gasp, her bank and tell them that she had been a victim of fraud. Several and sigh. At this point, the strength of the storytelling technique days later, she phoned him to say that she had followed his advice becomes clear. A magic trick creates suspense by taking specta- and that she was working with the bank to resolve the disputed tors step by step to an unbelievable outcome. Similarly, the story charges. Munton says this is an example of how rewarding his of a scam draws in readers (or in this case, listeners), introducing work can be. them to the players and leading to an inevitable conclusion. They She told me that she had her first good nights sleep in weeks. know the scam is coming, but must read on to see how it plays I was thrilled to have been able to help her. out. Like magic, the scam is more of a howdunit than a whodunit. Unlike a traditional lecture, the structure of his presentation Jelita McLeod is an award-winning writer and has worked in allows Munton flexibility to interact with the audience and improvise education and public relations for more than ten years. Jelitas work when the circumstances allow. The feel is very different from a has appeared in numerous publications, including The Washingtypical corporate delivery no podiums, no PowerPoint. Nattily ton Post, The Baltimore Sun, International Educator, Community dressed, with his British accent, Muntons appearance prompted College Times, and Vital Speeches of the Day.

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Excerpt From: The Con: How Scams Work, Why Youre Vulnerable, and How to Protect Yourself Authors: James Munton and Jelita McLeod Description: Hardbound, 190 pages. Available From: Chapter 8
over to her teenage daughter. My daughter, she does everything online, so she went and looked on the lottery site to get the form and address. She decided to double-check the number to make sure we had got the amount right. Thats when she discovered that the ticket we had was not a winning ticket. Well, no, I shouldnt say that. There was one number on it that matched. So it was a $2 winner. If the chances of you winning the lottery yourself are slim, the chances of a real winner choosing you to split his winnings are absolutely zero. In this scam, there is always some reason why the person cannot cash the ticket on his or her own. Immigration status is a common excuse. Another is a lack of money to pay the claim fee (there isnt one). Sometimes perpetrators will say they have an outstanding traffic violation or some other legal complication that prevents them from claiming the prize money. Those who are unable to get money out of the victims have been known to accept other forms of payment, such as watches, jewelry, or any other valuable items the victim can easily produce on the spot. I didnt understand, says Marisol, because we had called to check the numbers. My daughter said, Who did you call? I said it was the lottery office. She asked me who made the call, and I said it was Eduardo. She said, Mom, he probably just called a friend of his. But he was looking at the ticket when he dialed the number, like he was reading it off the ticket. Every little thing was so convincing.

Out and About: Sidestepping Street Swindles Ticket to Ride

Marisol was doing her weekly shopping at the grocery store when a man approached her and asked if she spoke Spanish. He looked like my younger brother. He was clean cut, presentable. I answered him in Spanish. He said his name was Eduardo. Eduardo needed help. He showed Marisol a Mega Millions ticket and said he believed it was a winner. He spoke no English. Could she call the lottery hotline number and check for him? I said sure. He dialed the number on his cell phone and gave the phone to me. I read out the numbers to the person who answered. She congratulated me and said that the ticket was one of thirty-seven tickets to win $10,000. Marisol gave the good news to Eduardo, who was happy, but subdued. I told him it wasnt the big jackpot, but hey, it was still a lot of money. Eduardo told her that he was an undocumented alien and there was no way he could collect his winnings. He didnt want to be exposed and risk arrest. Marisol asked if there was anything she could do to help. Eduardos face brightened. He wanted me to buy the ticket from him. At first, I refused. That was his money. I didnt want to take advantage of him that way. But Eduardo was insistent. He had to get back to El Salvador. His wife was expecting their first baby and he had promised to be there for the birth. He offered to sell the ticket to Marisol for $1,000, one-tenth of its value. He assured her that she would be doing him a favor. I said I didnt walk around with that kind of money. But there was a branch of my bank right there in the grocery store. He showed me a photo of his wife on his phone. He asked me to think about how far a thousand bucks will go in El Salvador. So I said I would do it. Marisol withdrew the money from her savings account and gave it to Eduardo. He was very thankful. He kept saying, God will bless you. And then he left. To claim her prize, Marisol discovered she would have to fill out a claim form and send it in with the ticket. She handed the job

Rocks in a Box
Owen had been helping a friend move to a new apartment. As he went in and out of the building with boxes, he noticed a young man standing next to a parked white van. The man was smoking a cigarette, looking around, but doing nothing in particular. He caught Owens eye, nodded, and offered his cigarette pack. Owen, who didnt smoke, declined. Then the guy walked over to Owen. He asked, Hey man, are you moving in? Owen replied no, that he was just helping a friend. Oh. How about a housewarming present for your friend? The man pointed toward his van. Housewarming present? Or maybe just something for yourself. Come take a look. Curious, Owen followed the man to his van. Inside were several boxes of name-brand electronics, including video cameras, digital cameras, and laptops. These are all new, the van owner said. Excess inventory. Owen was wary. Excess inventory from where? The goods were acquired from a department store where his cousin worked, the man said. They were for sale at a substantial discount. It sounded dubious, but Owen didnt probe further. Owen had been looking to buy a video camera. Hed had an idea percolating in his head to put together a video for his dads seventieth birthday. In order to do so, hed need a good-quality camcorder, and that had always seemed like an unnecessary luxury item. Still, there was no harm asking, he thought. He pointed to a Sony high-definition camcorder and asked the price. That is a prize item, my friend, said the man. Full retail price is $500. You can have it for $200. In his research on cameras, Owen had not seen that particular model on sale for anything less than $480. Even given the ques-

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tionable origins of the camera, the price was astounding. The only problem was, he didnt have anywhere near that kind of money on him, and he told the seller so. The seller pointed helpfully to an ATM across the street. Owen said he had left his wallet at home and was carrying only a little bit of cash. How much cash, the seller wanted to know. Just $75. No way, the seller said. I cant give it away. What about your friend over there? Owens friend came up with an additional $40, bringing the total to $115. He made the offer to the van owner. He was completely disgusted, even spat on the ground, said Owen. But in the end, he took the money. A small sale is better than no sale, I figured. There was one open camcorder box with a camera that Owen had been able to inspect and fiddle with. The rest of the boxes were sealed. Owen took a sealed box and put it aside in his friends apartment until they were done moving. When he finally arrived home later that evening, he sat down with the box in eager anticipation. It looked completely new. The box was sealed securely, with no signs of tampering. Inside, the original packaging was intact. As Owen carefully began stripping away the different layers, he came to the cushioning insulation and lifted that off. There, nestled inside, was a colorful object. At first, he thought hed bought a special edition camera with some sort of novelty design on it. Then he picked it up and realized it was something completely different. It was in fact a cleverly constructed papier-mch replica of a camcorder filled with a lead weight. This scam is known as rocks in a box. Victims think theyre getting a great bargain and find theyve purchased a box of rocks or something equally worthless instead. Owen was furious and felt like a fool. At the same time, he respected the ingenuity of the person whod packed the box. Theyd clearly taken care with it. Nevertheless, hed lost $115 of his and his friends money, and he was still nowhere closer to owning a video camera. Making purchases at established retail outlets doesnt always guarantee that you will get what you pay for, but at least then you have a receipt. You can take the item back. If buying something on the street conjures up images of a man in a trench coat lined with stolen watches, youre on the right track. Flea markets are one thing, but generally speaking, genuine deals are not found on the sidewalk. Big-ticket items like electronic equipment and gadgets are popular for the rocks in a box swindle because these products usually retail for hundreds or even thousands of dollars, and they are offered at prices that are hard to resist. Victims across the globe have been fleeced by offers of new laptops at deep discounts. In California, con artists convinced their targets that the boxes couldnt be opened for inspection because to do so would violate the warranty. Another victim got home to discover that the laptop bag contained not a top-end computer but potatoes. If the purchasers do not have cash on them, scammers will wait for them to return from the ATM or even accompany them to the bank. If it occurs to you, as it did to Owen, that someone selling laptops out of a van most likely stole them, then it might not seem so strange that he or she wants to unload them for a low price. This is part of the rocks in a box scam leading you to believe that youre getting a good deal. Even if it was true and the bag contained a real laptop instead of potatoes, you would still be involving yourself in a criminal enterprise. Purchasing goods you believe or know to be stolen is illegal.

Fortunetelling Flimflam
Fortunetellers are the Starbucks of scams. There seems to be one on every corner. Those neon signs promising a glimpse into your future are seductive. Although they advertise $5 palm readings for walk-in clients, victims can end up spending thousands of dollars to ensure their good fortune. Her name was Nadia. My friend Lynn had gone to her and said she was amazing. Monique is forty-two. A mother of three, she is twice divorced and works as an assistant manager at a grocery store. During a night out with girlfriends, she heard Lynn rave about Nadias psychic powers. We were having a good time; wed had a few drinks, so I said, If shes so good, lets see what shes got to say about me. Thats how it started. It was all in fun. Monique made an appointment with Nadia the following weekend. She came to my house. Nadia said it would work better if she was surrounded by my things in my environment. It made sense. Nadia was younger than Monique had expected, and more businesslike. I had to pay her up front, $20. She walked through the house once and then we sat down at the kitchen table. The whole time she was deep in thought. I had expected something a little more lighthearted. Anyway, she took my hands, looked at them for a while on both sides. Then she took out a purple velvet scarf and laid it on the table, took out a deck of tarot cards, dealt five of them on the table. Then she shook her head, shuffled the cards, and dealt them out again. She still hadnt told me anything, and I was curious. After dealing the second hand of cards, Nadia pulled her things together and said, You are in great danger. The way she said it sent chills down my spine. Here I am thinking shes going to say something like, Youll meet a tall, dark stranger. Instead, she said there was someone in my family who was very ill. That was true; my mother was suffering from breast cancer. Nadia said that evil forces were also trying to hurt my family. She asked if I had any enemies. Well, Im not on good terms with either of my ex-husbands, so I mentioned them, but only jokingly. Nadia said something or someone was filling the house with destructive energy. If Monique did nothing, she or her children would come to harm. She explained that someone had placed a curse on us. I said, A curse? Come on. But she was deadly serious. She said it was like someone had released a rattlesnake into our house. It was dangerous and hidden and would eventually harm someone. If I had a rattlesnake in the house, wouldnt I want it removed? It was the same with the curse. And she could remove it for us. Monique was doubtful, especially after Nadia quoted a curse removal fee of up to $1,000, depending on the strength of the curse. I told her Id have to think about it. It was a lot to take in all at once, and it wasnt a small amount of money. Nadia told Monique she was making a mistake, and that with every passing day, the curse would grow in strength. She told me to watch out for bad omens and said shed call in three days to check on me. Then things did get weird. The first day, I found a dead bird on the lawn. The second day, I locked my keys inside my car. And the third day, my son, whos eleven, was injured in a soccer game. I couldnt say for sure, but all three of those things seemed to qualify as bad omens. Nadias call came right after Monique returned home from the

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emergency room with her son. I said she was right; there was something strange going on. I asked her to come out to the house. Nadia returned. She told Monique she would charge $120 to read the house and determine the extent of the curse. Then she would be able to quote a price for the actual removal. She took out the same purple scarf shed had the first time and put it over her head. She lit some incense, which she said was to enhance her abilities. Then she walked around the house for about ten minutes, came back to the kitchen, and told me it would be $750 to remove the curse. By that time, I was feeling completely creeped out. Monique agreed to have Nadia remove the curse. Nadia told her she and her family had to be out of the house in order for the ritual to work. They left, with instructions to return two hours later. When we got back, Nadia said she had performed the removal ceremony and the house was cleansed of evil, but we would need regular monthly blessings in order to keep it that way. Having already paid a hefty fee to have her house exorcised, Monique decided prevention was better than a cure and went ahead with the monthly blessings, at $150 each. But Nadia wasnt done with her yet. Two months later, Moniques mother went into decline and had to enter a hospice. Not long afterward, she died. On the one-month anniversary of the death, Nadia showed up at Moniques house and said she sensed a restlessness of spirit that she attributed to Moniques mothers passing. She asked me if my mother had left anything to me, like mementos or money. I said shed left it all, the house, all her possessions, everything. Nadia said she had a bad feeling. She asked Monique for an egg and then a bowl. Monique complied. Nadia tapped the egg on the side of the table and cracked it open into the bowl. Out came the egg white, yolk, and what looked like a feather and a fragment of bone. There was also a drop of something resembling blood. I screamed and jumped out of my chair, says Monique. It was disgusting. Nadia said it was a warning from the other side, from my mother. She said the bad spirits that had been in my home had infiltrated my mothers house and things. To remove them permanently, Nadia would need $100 for each year of my mothers life. Only then could my mothers soul rest in peace. Monique, who had been very close to her mother, was alarmed. It probably sounds crazy to any outsider, but I was in a bad way. Id been having trouble sleeping since my mother died. I thought it might be related to these bad spirits Nadia was talking about. My mother suffered a lot at the end of her life, and the idea that she wasnt at peace even in death weighed heavily on me. So I paid. My mother died at seventy-eight, so it was $7,800. In the end, Monique was rescued from Nadias clutches not by a concerned friend or relative but by a development that took Monique completely by surprise. I was watching the local news one evening and there was a story about a fortuneteller who had been arrested for conning an old lady out of her lifes savings. I looked up at the TV and there was a shot of Nadia, being hauled away in cuffs. I was stunned, totally blindsided. The story sounded familiar. She had befriended this older woman and convinced her she had been cursed. Over a period of months, the woman gave Nadia money that Nadia was supposed to purify and return to her. Eventually the womans daughter caught on and asked her mom why her bank accounts were so low. The mother couldnt remember how much money shed given Nadia, but the daughter figured it was about $150,000. Hearing that made me realize Id probably gotten off lucky. She would have kept going until shed taken everything I had. As far as psychics go, good news doesnt pay as well as bad news. Claiming the victim or her family is under some kind of curse that only the fortuneteller can remove is a very common scheme. Removal of the curse will invariably involve money, and lots of it. Another tactic is to tell you that someone you know is going to fall ill or have an accident if you dont pay up. Now the fate of another person is in your hands. If victims are short on cash, fortunetellers will take credit cards, jewelry, or whatever valuable items are available. One psychic even had a victim clean her house in lieu of payment. Self-proclaimed seers are some of the most pernicious con artists around. They specialize in preying on the weak and vulnerable: the elderly, the unhappy, the unemployed, even the terminally ill. People who seek out fortunetellers in a serious way are generally looking for some way to improve their lives. What they get instead is someone who will bleed them dry. Psychics will use props to frighten their victims and up the ante. The egg ritual Monique experienced is a favorite. An egg is cracked, and blood, hair, or some other foreign substance is found inside. This supposedly signifies that an evil presence is at work. In reality, it is nothing more than a simple magic trick using sleight of hand and misdirection. Special anti-curse candles are also popular and, of course, expensive.

The Street Beat

Devon and Brianne have run a number of street scams, including the pigeon drop, rocks in a box, and the lottery ticket swindle. They are young, able bodied, and clearly possess some skills, but it has never occurred to them to seek out a more honest line of work. They deny that they are thieves, insisting that they are more akin to hustlers, trying to live by their wits. Look, says Devon, I can turn on the TV any day of the week and see people playing poker. They bluff, they misrepresent, and they take your money. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Its all in the game. Life is a gamble. Brianne agrees. You think its easy, what we do? It aint easy. Were good at it. The couples favorite scam is lost and found, a variation on the pigeon drop that involves a found item, in their case, a piece of jewelry. Usually carried out at restaurants, gas stations, or rest stops, the scam begins with Brianne entering the establishment. I come in all upset, looking around. I tell the cashier or hostess that Ive lost my engagement ring and ask if anybodys found it. She checks the lost and found and says no. I start crying and say that its a one-carat diamond, its really valuable, my fianc is going to give me hell. I have to find it. I give her a phone number and ask her to call me if it turns up. Im offering $500 as a reward. So right away she knows it must be worth way more than that. A little while later, I come in, says Devon. I buy a soda or look at the menu or whatever. Then I pretend to discover a ring on the ground. Its actually hidden in my pocket. I take it to the cashier and tell her I found the ring. She will usually tell me that someone was looking for it earlier. Then I say theres probably a reward. The cashier has already heard from Brianne that the ring is expensive. The cashier has Briannes phone number, but Im the

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one who found the ring, so I say, How about we call the owner and split the reward? The only thing is, Im on my way to work and I cant hang around long. Nine times out of ten, the cashier will offer to buy me out of my share of the reward. Its not unusual for them to offer me a hundred bucks. Theyre thinking one of two things. Either theyre going to call Brianne and tell her they found the ring, or theyre planning on selling the ring. Either way, they think theyll make a nice profit. Except that the phone number Brianne provided is a phony, the ring turns out to be worthless, and theyve just given Devon $100. Many times, if its a cashier, theyll just reach into the cash register and pull out the money. I guess thatll cause some problems down the line if they cant make it right with the boss. Once, a hostess in a restaurant went around collecting money from her co-workers until she had enough. Brianne and Devon keep a box of imitation rings handy for this purpose. Do they feel bad at all? About what? Brianne laughs. This blatant amorality makes it possible for people like Devon and Brianne to operate freely without any pangs of conscience. Con artists, at least those who make a lifestyle of it, have no concern for other peoples losses or suffering. It simply doesnt factor into their thinking. Its difficult for anyone with a conscience to understand, which can make it even easier for conners to operate. Marisol, the unlucky lottery scam victim, was bewildered as to why anyone would choose to make money by cheating others. As it was happening, the only thing that didnt feel right was

that I was taking his lottery ticket. I never thought he might be fooling me, because how can you look someone in the eye and do that to them? I just hope that he really did have a wife and baby in El Salvador. Maybe that much was true. Maybe he was just desperate to make some money and get back to them. Otherwise, its just plain evil. While Marisol tries to extract some small consolation from her ordeal, the fact is that rather than heading home, the man who swindled her was probably on to the next store and the next victim within the hour. Brianne finds the street work provides her with a rush of adrenalin. Its kinda touch and go, because there are cops on the street. You have to be careful. There have been times when weve had to run for it, literally. Its a challenge every time. Will the person fall for it? Theres a moment there when you can almost see them weighing the options in their mind. Then you see them decide one way or the other. If they go for it, youve succeeded, and theres a satisfaction to it. If not, its definitely a letdown. Not to mention a waste of time. Street cons can be difficult to dodge because the perpetrators are literally in your face. There is also an ambush-like quality that takes people by surprise. Firmness, vigilance, caution, and an awareness of the characteristics of a street con are essential to defending yourself. Con artists who interact personally with the public need to engage their targets quickly, assess their vulnerability, and implement their plan.

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Latest Product Reviews Compiled and Edited by W. S. Duncan
This month we have a bit of duplication. Tony Cabral reviews John Bannons latest book, Bullet Party, which is also the title of Mr. Bannons latest video. They are not, however the same offering. At least, not entirely. There are a couple of items in the book that do not appear in this set, and the DVDs demonstrate and explain effects from previous publications. Missing from the DVD are Question Zero, Flipside Assembly, and the Flytrap False Cut, which you can read about in Tonys review. The two-DVD set (also titled Bullet Party) augments the material from the book with Mega Wave (from the booklet of the same name) and Riverboat Poker from Mr. Bannons booklet Six. Impossible. Things. as well as a clever sandwiched transposition called Wicked and a packet trick called Fractal Re-Call. Also included is Final Verdict from the excellent book Dear Mr. Fantasy. Im frankly puzzled by the whole marketing concept of using the same name for two different (yet similar) products. At best it seems that this could segment the market into readers and visual learners and we already have too much of that idiocy going on for my taste. As long as the writer is a good writer, and the performer is a good teacher, books and videos are equally valid means to the end of learning magic. Bannon is both a good writer and a good teacher, so ignoring one of the Bullet Party products because you have segregated yourself into one category or the other will not benefit you (or Mr. Bannons pocketbook). In either case you might miss out on some good material. I am disappointed that the trick I was most interested in, after reading Tonys review, is missing from the DVDs. Market confusion aside, Bullet Party (the DVD) is of the quality weve come to expect from Big Blind Media: excellent video, sound, and editing, with high quality titles and music, and odd little sets. The material is mostly very easy. Its not clear if thats a decision that reflects a change in Mr. Bannons approach to card magic in general, or what sells best, but you wont be challenged technically by most of whats in here, that is, if you can do a convincing Elmsley count or a drop switch. The DVDs also come with the special cards needed for the packet tricks Bullet Party and Mega Wave. Actually the cards are, with the exception of a blank-faced card, not tricky in any way, but youd have break up four decks to make up the sets, so its darn nice of BBM to provide them. This is a solid value if you are a fan of Bannons work, which is most of us I suspect, and a good way to see a mix of his material if you are not. You can view some of the effects and compare the contents of both offerings at


Available from and other booksellers Price $29.95 RevIew bY MIchael ClOse Every now and then, I encounter something in my life that really surprises me. Years ago, out of the blue, I was surprised when I received a hand-addressed small package and letter from Alex Elmsley. Recently, I was surprised and astonished when I read that some obviously mischievous neutrinos managed to move slightly faster than the speed of light. (If you attended the Pittsburgh convention, youll understand why my daughter Ava was also delighted to hear that news.) But nothing in recent memory has surprised me as much as learning that the very secretive Persi Diaconis was releasing a general public book on magic and mathematics. The mathematics part didnt surprise me. Dr. Diaconis is a highly regarded professor of mathematics and statistics at Stanford University and an expert magician. His co-author, Dr. Ron Graham, is a professor of mathematics and computer science

at the University of California, San Diego. He is also an ex-president of the International Jugglers Association. (One of his juggling students, Steve Mills, is known for a juggling sequence called the Mills Mess.) Both gentlemen have offered classes combining magic and mathematics. What surprised me was that Magical Mathematics: The Mathematical Ideas that Animate Great Magic Tricks tips some very good magic tricks, many of which were previously unpublished. Knowing Persis penchant for the keeping of secrets, I would not have expected this. However, there is an underlying bit of sneakiness going on here, and Ill let you know what that is at the end of the review. The authors purpose is stated at the beginning of Chapter 1, which features variations on Charles Hudsons Baby Hummer (based on an effect of Bob Hummer). They write, Most mathematical tricks make for poor magic and in fact have very little mathematics in them. The phrase mathematical card trick conjures up visions of endless dealing into piles and audience members wondering how long they will have to sit politely. Our charge is to present entertaining tricks that are easy to perform and yet have interesting mathematics inside them. Diaconis and Graham have accomplished this goal in an elegant and entertaining way. Since M-U-M is a magazine for magicians, the primary question is what magic is explained? As I mentioned above, Chapter 1 covers the cut and turn two over principle Hummer released in his 1942 manuscript Face-up/Face-down Mysteries. As a bonus, Steve Freeman (another gentleman who holds his secrets tightly) contributes his effect Royal Hummer (including

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his preferred method for setting up for the trick). Chapters 2, 3, and 4 use an effect of Charles T. Jordan as their springboard and cover de Bruijn sequences. (Those of you who are familiar with Karl Fulvess publications have encountered de Bruijn sequences, although they were mistakenly referred to as Grey Codes.) Ron Wohl contributes some excellent material to these chapters. Further chapters cover the Gilbreath principle, various shuffling procedures (faro, Australian, Monge, and Klondike), the Miracle Divination from Greater Magic, magic using the I Ching (Book of Changes), and the mathematics of juggling. Chapter 10, titled Stars of Mathematical Magic (and Some of the Best Tricks in the Book), will be of particular interest to magicians. Seven creators are profiled: Alex Elmsley, Bob Neale, Henry Christ, Stewart James, Charles T. Jordan, Bob Hummer, and Martin Gardner. If you are unfamiliar with any of these gentlemen, this chapter makes a great introduction. And even if you know a lot about them (as I do) you may discover some tidbits of information that are new to you (as I did). And the magic in this chapter is just great. Chapter 11 offers further resources (on mathematics, magic, and juggling) that the motivated reader can pursue. The book concludes with a very interesting chapter titled On Secrets, which discusses secrecy in mathematics (how do you convince someone that you can prove a theorem without giving any hints as to how the proof goes) and magic (especially the rise of the Internet and the blatant proffering of the work by anyone who owns a deck of cards and a Web camera). The situation is not a particularly happy one, but the authors offer three optimistic thoughts: First, with the huge sea of information, it is hard to tell the good from the bad...the secret becomes knowing where to look, and what to believe...Second, perhaps the exposure of standard methods will drive the magic community to invent new ones...Finally, maybe the exposure will allow a performance style where skill, technique, and presentation carry the day. We can all hope so. I mentioned at the beginning of this review that there was some underlying sneakiness going on concerning the dissemination of magic secrets in this book. Here it is: This is a serious book about some fascinating topics in mathematics. Intertwined with the math are some really good tricks, but the reader is not spoon-fed that information. Understanding both the math and the magic will require some concerted effort, but it is through that effort that the beauty of both is revealed. This is a book meant to inspire enthusiasts, not dilettantes. Magical Mathematics is a terrific book that will pay dividends with repeated readings. I enjoyed it very much and highly recommend it.


Available from: Price $40.00 RevIew bY AntOnIO M. Cabral Jamy Ian Swiss is one of those writers I always seek out. That doesnt mean I always agree with or even enjoy what he has to say, or how he tries to say it. But he makes me think. Hes probably my favorite invisible debate partner. His latest collection of essays, Devious Standards, features some fond memories, some solid truths, some interesting debate fodder, and one waste of space. Three of the essays pay tribute to lost friends and idols: Martin Nash, Derek Dingle, Bob Read, and Billy McComb. These are equal parts remembrance, examination, and love letter, and

theyre just fine. Theres always room for deeper connection to past (and passed) masters as far as Im concerned. In between these paeans to friends theres some heavy theoretical discussion delivered with the kind of aplomb that piques your curiosity with an inviting aphorism and then ropes you in as you plunge headlong into Swisss quantum dissection of the idea. For someone who complains in no uncertain terms about writers who lay down laws, Swiss sure does make some emphatic suggestions. In his previous collection, Shattering Illusions, he recalls an incident of some young, green magician butchering David Roths Hanging Coins in front of him, such that Swisss response was to snatch the coins from his hands and demonstrate the right way to do it. Im not denying a right and wrong approach to anything, but in many places that seems to be Swiss tack: ask a question, invite an answer, then snatch the thought out of your head and pound it into the right one. This would be more of a complaint if I thought he was talking rubbish. For the most part, he isnt. He might take the scenic route to get to his points (as Im wont to do myself), but the topics Swiss engages in are important ones. Indeed, Discovering Importance covers a good deal of ground in relatively few pages, addressing magicians tendencies to over-prove, over-explain, and overwhelm their magic and their scripts. He goes into more detail in The Method Is Not the Trick and Empathy. The first essay expounds on magicians tendency to think like laymen in a bad way, mistaking mechanics for the way its done; the second essay focuses on the importance of thinking like laymen in the right way. As he quotes Jim Steinmeyer at the end of the Method essay, When magicians are good at their jobs, it is because they anticipate the way the audience thinks. I couldnt agree more; how laymen think is the most important subject in magic (to quote yet another thinker, Darwin Ortiz). I wouldnt necessarily call it empathy myself, but I wont deny its importance. Later in the book, he tears down and builds back up The JS Rules of Magic, many of the platitudes that get chucked about like paper airplanes when magicians get bored and heady. And then theres the astounding Dissertation on The Double Lift, a thirty-five-page attempt at a master class in the not-so-basic backbone of modern card magic. Whether its everything youd ever need on the subject is open to debate, but its certainly a thorough attempt. And he skips a base or two rounding into home: Brother John Hammans approach to the double lift is mentioned as existing, but thats it. And his thoughts on the pinky count say nothing of the merit of the move, only that its bad when done badly. Anything is bad when done badly. Ah well. Any exhaustive approach is by definition exhausting. One could forgive him on the sheer effort alone. As for the aforementioned waste of space, the fairy tale of The Last Layman might have some kind of point to make, but I couldnt get past the cloying attempt at crafting some kind of parable. The tone is patronizing and borderline insulting, and what I could make of the moral of the story is simplistic enough to contradict the earlier essays. He starts with a joke of Don Alans about a magic-savvy plumber and runs down the field with it. In a Sherman tank. He imagines a world where everyone knows a little something about magic (thanks to YouTube or something) and the one remaining clueless layman is preserved in a cage like

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an endangered panda until the day someone clumsily drops a thumb tip in front of him, out of context of any magic trick, And magic died. Leaving alone the fact that most grown adults react badly to being told a lesson in the guise of a bedtime story, I dont buy the premise, I dont buy the setup, and I dont buy the punch line. While its not my place as a reviewer to try to rebut the essay, Ill suffice to say I thought the method is not the trick. Does that mean I dont recommend Devious Standards? On the contrary, I was eager to get my hands on it, and its going to get read and reread, like its predecessor Shattering Illusions. Jamy Swiss is a writer I always seek out. I dont always agree with him, but I enjoy the challenge. As Roberto Giobbi writes in his introduction, The first and maybe most important thing [Jamy Swiss] not only to point his finger at some tricky issues, but to keep poking at them until we cannot fail to notice them. If in doing so, he gets more magicians thinking about the important stuff, I can only applaud.

RevIew bY PaYne KISS, of course, stands for Keep It Simple, Stupid. This is a principle that Mr. Derris claims has gotten him bookings in Athens, Copenhagen, Istanbul, Marbella, Osaka, Paris, Rabat, St. Petersburg, and Buckingham Palace. At least thats what it says on the cover of his book. It also states in big red letters that this volume will show you 31 ways to better magic, better bookings, and bigger fees. This combined with the promise of How to apply a proven business strategy that will help you reevaluate your magic presentation, will lead you to a much higher level of performance, greater magic creativity, and greatly improved earning power that is inscribed on the frontispiece of this slim volume gives one the impression that this a work devoted to marketing and promotion. After all, the author worked for a small but successful advertising agency in London for thirty years. Indeed, the book starts us down that path. But soon we find ourselves off that trail and on a winding footpath that meanders through a sparse land populated with anecdotes and name dropping. Unfortunately, Mr. Derris has chosen to follow his own advice and has kept it simple. He fails to expand on any of the ideas he puts forth in the book. He tells us to simplify our patter and edit out the use of any extraneous words or moves. Yet he fails to put forth any examples of how this might be done. He simply advises us to watch the works of Channing Pollack, Paul Daniels, and Roy Benson. His approach to marketing is equally as vague. He provides us with the story of how he helped one elderly magician secure more bookings. He advised him to modernize his business cards and to go out and perform as many free shows as possible. Following this stellar advice, our senior sorcerer was able to secure two or three paid gigs a month. Not exactly what I would call the Better Bookings and Bigger Fees the big red letters promised. One is left with the impression that the real road to marketing success is to work for an advertising agency for thirty years and then use the contacts you have made to build your clientele list. This is an option that, while it seemed to work out well for Mr. Derris, is not really applicable for most of us. Anyone picking this volume up looking for a clever bit of marketing or a promotional angle they might not have ever considered before is going to be sorely disappointed, because there just arent any in there. He simply advises us to practice often, perform with confidence, and keep it simple. Not exactly earth-shattering advice. The book concludes with eight tricks from Mr. Derriss repertoire. They are mostly his variations and handlings of other magicians effects: a production of a goldfish bowl from a briefcase ala Howard Flint, Don Alans Appearing Coat Hanger, a routine for the Magnetic Ring on Shoelace, a curious linking finger ring effect (it uses your own rings), a pretty standard coin in bottle routine, a version of ring flight, the authors handling of the Devano rising cards, and a Pen Through Pocket Mirror using the original Cornelius Pen Through Anything gimmick. While there is nothing particularly new to be found in this collection of tricks, there are a couple of bits that might be of use. If youre looking for a book of anecdotes, stories, and a few tricks from the repertoire of a guy who set off on a career in magic after retiring from an advertising agency, then this is the book


Available from: Price $90 RevIew bY MIchael ClOse Steve Beam has released the second bound volume of The Trapdoor, which covers issues 26-50 (1989-1993). Several effects from this volume were featured in last months Quick Look Book Nook column. I hope you took the time to try them out. One aspect of The Trapdoor that makes it such an appealing collection is the variety of magic offered: commercial routines to entertain laymen, magician-foolers to bamboozle your buddies at the magic club, semi-automatic tricks that will give your fingers a rest, and some serious knuckle-busters that will challenge your work ethic. And woven through it all is Mr. Beams marvelously dry wit, which makes reading The Trapdoor a delight. Contributors include Jerry Andrus, Jack Birnman, Marc DeSouza (his Shape Shifter change is in this volume), Dan Garrett (Dans great Lateral Palm Transformation is here), Guy Hollingworth, Chris Kenner, Ken Krenzel, Harry Levine (who contributes many of the knuckle-busters), Gary Plants, Harvey Rosenthal, Hiro Sakai, Allan Slaight, Dave Solomon, and many more. As with the previous bound volume, Steve adds updated commentary on each issue, plus three different, useful indices, which makes it easy to track down a specific trick or a specific creator. Im a big fan of The Trapdoor, and I think you will be, too. Anyone who purchased Volume 1 will certainly want Volume 2, and all of us will eagerly await the appearance of Volume 3, which will be published in 2012. These are books you will go back to often, and each time you do youll find great material. Highly recommended.


Available from: Price $40.00

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for you. But if youre looking for a serious tome on marketing, promotion, and truly improving your magic, then keep looking.


Distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies Price $20.00 RevIew bY DavId GOOdsell Wayne Dobsons effects are noted for simplicity and subtlety. Such is the case for the six items in his eleven-page, 6 x 8-inch booklet titled Six Masterpieces. All six are delightful, indeed. In Best Friends, two spectators pretend that they are best friends (in fact, they could be). Five coins of different value are used, and with the spectators taking turns eliminating one coin at a time, a prediction of the final two coins and who will have which one is found to be true. This uses an old method that will fool those who think they know. Amnesia, inspired by a David Regal effect, uses a blank-face deck. A spectator signs the face of one of the cards and it is cut face up into the face-down deck. The deck is spread and the spectator places his finger on his face-down card. The performer signs a card, as well. The cards change places in an ingenious manner. Next is a trick called Only Joking, which is similar to Phil Goldsteins BWave. With four cards face down on the table (which the performer calls the four Queens), the performer shows a fifth card to be a separate Queen of Clubs. He suggests that a spectator try to guess which of the four is the matching Queen of Clubs. The spectator is correct. The kicker is that the other three face-down cards are now shown to be Jokers. The trick titled Every Time takes a bit of courage, but as Dobson says, at the right time it can be a killer. The performer writes something on a business card, folds it twice, and places it under the spectators watch (on the spectators wrist). The spectator is asked to think of any hour from one to twelve. The folded prediction is found to be correct. There is quite a bit of unseen business required to pull this off, but it is, indeed, clever. In Perspiration, three coins of different colors are removed from a small coin purse (or coin envelope). As the performer holds the purse and turns his head, the spectator places one coin into that purse and snaps it shut. He then holds the other two coins, one in each hand. Turning back to the spectator, the performer discerns the colors of the coins held in both hands and, therefore, the color of the one in the purse. As a kicker, the purse is turned over and a colored sticker matching that coin is seen to have been there from the beginning. There is a bit of a dodge in this routine in naming the coins in the hands, should the performer appear to be wrong naming the first coin, but Dobson has routined it so that it seems reasonable. Finally, Once Upon A Time, inspired by Simon Aronsons trick Shuffle-bored, is a humorous prediction that should play very well. Two spectators each take half the deck of cards and, following the performers instructions, appear to mix the cards very thoroughly, even exchanging cards as part of the mixing. A small 2 x 3 inch paper booklet that has been on the table from the start is slowly opened. Not one, not two, not three, but four predictions are found to be correct. This is very strong. Several

of these routines require gimmicked cards or props that can be easily found or made. The small booklet used in the last effect is included in the instruction booklet. Simply cut it out and fold it up. These routines are up to Wayne Dobsons usual high standards, and the instruction booklet is nicely printed with a color cover. Recommended.


Distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies Price $20.00 RevIew bY AntOnIO M. Cabral One of my favorite things about John Bannon is his subtly confrontational approach to card magic. His recent Mega Wave was an offering of packet tricks in defiance of the common sense that says everyone hates packet tricks. Now, in his new book Bullet Party, the centerpiece is a series of Ace assemblies to be performed one after the other this in direct defiance of the common sense that only magicians care about Ace assemblies. This isnt even the first time hes foisted something like this on the literature. In his earlier book Dear Mr. Fantasy, he gave us Bullet Train, three Ace assemblies designed to be performed as a set. Here, its Four Shadow Aces, a traditional all-at-once assembly (and a very good one); Flipside Assembly, a Steve Reynolds-inspired oddity in which the indifferent cards magically assemble in one pile while the Aces assemble in the other; and Big Fat Bluff Aces, another Reynolds-inspired item in which the Aces disappear, the Kings appear in their place, and then the Aces backfire into their original piles (what?). Comparing the two sets of assemblies, I like Bullet Train better because it makes more sense. Part of it is the very thing that makes the Bullet Train assemblies interesting their offbeat timing is what makes them logical candidates for repeats. On top of which, each of those assemblies can be performed on their own if you choose, because the effect is always crystal-clear. Bannon (by his own admission) never does Flipside Assembly by itself (it requires your audience to know what an Ace assembly is supposed to look like in the first place) and Big Fat Bluff Aces, while it contains a lot of nice ideas, would also seem to make more sense if your audience expected the traditional outcome. In other words, because of their oddball nature, the Flipside and Big Fat Bluff assemblies are less the kind of assemblies lay audiences would appreciate and more the kind magicians would appreciate and magicians dont appreciate assemblies because they think only magicians appreciate them. More simply, I dont think Flipside or Big Fat Bluff Aces will win the venerable Ace assembly any new fans, and I say that as a performer who loves a good Ace assembly. Luckily, the rest of the collection is better fare, the kind of simple-yet-effective thinking Bannon fans have come to expect. The title trick, Bullet Party, is a four-Ace packet trick that may bore the pants off the packet trick haters, but it is very good and I think a very easy sell. Bullet Catcher and Drop Target Aces are a production and a lose em and find em routine that might find homes in a few repertoires. The rest is a mlange of different tricks and moves, some of which weve seen before. Poker Pairadox

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Redux is worth comparing to the same item from Mega Wave as Fat City Revisited is to its predecessor. There are a couple of easy-peasy yet flashy in-the-hands false cuts, and, as usual with Bannon, one item thats worth the price of the book for me. In this case its Question Zero, a simple-yet-powerful thought-of card revelation that is apparently a taste of whats to come. If this teaser is any indication of the quality of his hinted-at collection of mental magic down the road, Im already on board. I was hoping to like the assemblies more, because Im a fan of assemblies and a fan of John Bannons thinking. But as usual, I admire Johns approach to construction, and Im envious of his ability to get there without any daunting sleight-of-hand. And the good ideas outweigh the bad. File Bullet Train under the category One for the Card Trick Fans.

sions. If I was running a book of the month club for Mystery Entertainers, Osterlinds The Principles of Mentalism would be this months selection.





Available from: Price $40.00 RevIew bY DavId GOOdsell The billet, that small piece of paper or card, sometimes folded, sometimes simply left writing-side down, sometimes switched, and sometimes used with a center tear, has long been a staple of the mentalist. The problem is that in our hip, sophisticated world, the folded paper billet looks old fashioned and odd. Why would the performer use such a small piece of paper? Still, as Bob Cassidy points out in his recent CD, The Invisible Billet and Other Inner Secrets of Mentalism, when thoughtfully used, the billet can really stun an audience. The invisibility part has to do with Bobs idea that the use of a small piece of paper or card to try an experiment in thought transference should appear extemporaneous, using whatever paper is at hand. The fact that trickery is involved is invisible. About a third of the text provides ideas on using cardboard torn from matchbook covers as billets, including the use of a card index to hold different types of matchbook covers. The downside of this today is that with the decrease of cigarette smoking in public places, matchbooks, a common form of advertising in bygone days, are not as common. Create a use for the matches first, as in the Frixion pen routine included in this book, and the matches become natural. Bob includes his version of Ted Annemanns center tear trick using a small square of paper torn from a newspaper or magazine, which, I suppose, is a form of billet. Thats the billet part of the book; the rest is about the other inner secrets of mentalism. As all mentalists know, an impression device is a way to capture a physical impression of something that a spectator has written. In this book Bob provides instructions for the construction of such a device using Post-it notes. As he explains, when the mentalist uses materials recognizable as common commercial products, even to showing the commercial logo, they defy suspicion. This is good thinking, and the device is well worth making. A half dozen excellent effects are discussed in the book, including Bobs evolution of his version of Syl Reillys book test Brain Echo, and an eerie prediction of a word or number using a Frixion pen (the writing of which, as most know, disappears when exposed to heat). A unique offering is his idea of using the Doctor Seuss book Green Eggs and Ham for a book test. Bob explains the unique nature of this book that sets up great possibilities. No routine is given for this, and the reader must devise the effect; but the concept is excellent. Bob shares instructions for making up a Memory Deck. The working of the Memory Deck routine is not included, and you must be familiar with it to benefit from the deck described herein. Also, in the last portion of the book, are instructions for making


Distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies Price $25.00 RevIew bY JOshUa Kane When I was a lad and just entering the world of mystery entertainment, I would take a train ride into NYC, spend several hours at the local magic shop, and then head off to Howard Johnsons with my elders and betters for lunch and an education that todays young folk will be hard put to find. Experienced pros and well informed amateurs alike took the beginners under their wings and helped us learn discretion and taste in choosing and performing material. I remember both Ned Rutledge and Frank Garcia encouraging me to look beyond acquiring new tricks and to instead seek out the kind of books that would inspire me to deeply and intimately hone material to a professional degree. Most of the brick-and-mortar shops are now shut, and when magi gather, finger-flinging and demonstrations of the newest techno toys too often dilute and denigrate dialogue. The level of mentoring that was freely available from human interaction has been ineffectively replaced today by Internet chat rooms; up and coming performers are virtually hamstrung by an overabundance of DVDs and hot tricks of the week. Too much choice can be worse than none. We all seek the Holy Grail of effects, that one routine that can be described as simultaneously entertaining, commercial, and undeniably mystifying. Cogent discussions on how to choose material, judge it, and make it fly are few and far between. Fitzkees Trilogy is still the standard to turn to for sage advice, but what to do when time is limited and one needs a quicker fix? Richard Osterlinds The Principles of Mentalism is one answer. This work may be Osterlinds greatest contribution to the important discussion of what makes good mentalism and magic. It is this years must-read volume for those looking to ratchet up the caliber of their performances. The book is full of digestible and useful advice, plucked from experience. If I was to use a highlighter to mark what was worth rereading in the text, the book would be a glowing, fluorescent yellow. This would have made a fabulous lecture or keynote for a conference. Buy it and reread it often. Quote it to your friends at your magic club and use it as the fuel for substantive arguments and discus-

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a Nicola card crib, a crib using a Bic pen, and a pocket writer that Bob once marketed. He has given considerable thought to the pocket writer over the years, and this section summarizes the development and use of this device, including the best way to accomplish this without being detected. Along with the twenty-nine-page ebook, The Invisible Billet, the CD also contains an mp3 recording by Bob that provides additional commentary and explanation to the book. This combination of text and audio commentary is a boon to magic instruction. There is a bit of frustration in reading about the Memory Deck and one or two other smaller points that require previous knowledge of commercial items. However, most know that Bob Cassidy is a master of mentalism and mental magic; it is hard to go wrong when buying his work.


Available from: Price $60.00 RevIew bY PaYne Imagine walking up to someone, asking them for the loan of their ring, and then vanishing said ring. Then, to the amazement of one and all, you find the ring in an impossible location: on a chain that has been around your neck the entire time. Sound impossible? Well its impossible no more (well, at least at this price point) thanks to the ingenuity of David Regal, because he has just released this exact effect as The Regal Ring Chain. The effect is as described. A borrowed ring, after being vanished, inexplicably ends up on a substantial and rather masculine stainless steel chain that youve been wearing around your neck. Well, mostly. There are, of course, a few provisos, but arent there always? You get the chain and a DVD of very clear and concise directions explaining the operation and handling of the chain as well as several methods to vanish a ring. First, the chain in no way can be examined. It can, however, be fairly freely handled and thus should raise no overt suspicions, because everyone can plainly see that its just a chain. The angles are fairly good. The only people who could see what is going on are those standing behind you. And why would you perform with people standing in such a location? For the most part you cant cleanly show both hands empty before they go behind your neck to unfasten the chain. You can give the impression of showing both hands empty. But out of necessity one of them will be hiding the ring. So if you suffer from magicians guilt or you cant look natural palming a ring while casually reaching behind your neck to unfasten the clasp on a neck chain, then perhaps this is not the effect for you. This feat will work with most casual attire. It can be done in a T-shirt alone. Or better yet in a T-shirt with an open over shirt. I havent tried it, because I dont own one, but it can probably be done in a hoodie, which is good news for all you practitioners of guerilla magic. It can even be done in a dress shirt as long as the top couple of buttons are not buttoned. A tux and tie, or turtleneck shirt wont work. Reset is instant, and almost a snap. You can even reset in front of the spectators, because it looks like youre just putting your chain back on. It is entirely self-contained, so there are no extraneous bits to worry about. It can be comfortably worn all day, making it the perfect bit of impromptu magic you can have on you at all time. And it doesnt take up any valuable pocket space to boot. As with everything there are a few drawbacks. First, I personally dont think it looks as natural as it could when you remove the chain. Even my wife felt the motions telegraphed what was happening. So before you buy this you might want to give the performance video at Mr. Regals site a perusal to see if you feel the same way. You should also reconsider purchasing this if you have long hair because it can (at least mine did) get caught in the gimmick or be a hindrance in operating same. Also, the effective length of this chain is twenty-seven inches. For most folk, this is not an issue. However for men of size like me, the chain is more of


Distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies Price $30.00 RevIew bY JOshUa Kane This companion to the DVD Mind Mysteries Too Vol. 6 is the penultimate volume of the guide books that Richard Osterlind has penned to accompany the Mind Mysteries DVD sets that he taped for L&L several years ago. The books serve in place of an actual commentary track and allow Osterlind to flesh out material that was presented and to express frustration with the limitations of his control regarding the shooting and final editing of the discs. At times, it seems that Osterlind is concerned that the DVDs might be the final impression that the magic world might have of his work, and this clearly does not please him. He is quick to point out where the flaws are and the reasons for them. I can understand his frustration. The DVDs, though performed in sets, are not actually performances in the traditional sense, and the polished transitions of Osterlinds actual performances, as well as dramatic show order, are absent. This is reasonable and to be expected. After all, these are teaching tools in which the performer demonstrates more than he performs. As usual, the most valuable content is not the further explanation of the tricks taught, but the voice of the experienced performer. About halfway through the book Osterlind tips one of the cleanest strategies for dealing with the situation of the artist imposed upon in a social situation. The book may deepen appreciation for effects that the buyer of the DVD might have skipped over and does give one the excuse to use both the book and the DVD as a source for study. As with the previous volume, the book is not a substitute for the DVD and no effects, methods, or routines from the DVD are fully presented within its pages. There is, however, as with the other volumes, a bonus section where effects independent from the DVD are taught. To glean the full impact of the volume, you must also have the DVD. However, the inverse is not the case: you do not have to own the book to benefit from the DVD. If you have been collecting the previous guide books, you will undoubtedly be pleased with this volume.

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a choker than it is a necklace. This makes the effect a little more difficult to perform and pretty much means that one could only do the T-shirt method (a method that presents a few more challenges than the open dress shirt version does). The chain is nicely built, a professional piece of apparatus, and should provide years of dependable service. Since it demands more casual attire to perform it, this isnt suited for formal performance venues where one is expected to don a tie. So if youre thinking of this for walk-around or restaurant work youll need to evaluate your wardrobe requirements. But for those of you working or living in a more casual world this might very well become a favorite, always-ready effect for you to perform.

As of this writing there are no tips on the site, but some interesting ideas are promised in the near future. The biggest downside is the cost. I found this a bit too pricey (for my tastes) for what you get. However, it is not misrepresented in any way. Printing Coins is clever and practical, and brings good coin magic into the hands of the beginner. The effect grabs the interest of most audiences of any age. I like this.


Distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies Price $30.00 RevIew bY AntOnIO M. Cabral Daryls Ambitious Card Omnibus lists the three strongest endings for an Ambitious Card routine as: the Pop-Up Card (generally attributed to Fred Braue), the card-towallet and Daryls own Ultimate Ambitious (in which the deck is wrapped in a hank of rope). The Pop-Up Card alone was strong enough for David Blaine, but that doesnt stop the never-ending search for the ultimate ending for an Ambitious Card routine whatever that may be. To that end, Peter Eggink offers up High Flyer. The High Flyer effect is as follows: After a number of Ambitious Card sequences, the performer adds another condition by initialing the back of the already-signed selection. After he inserts the card into the middle of the deck, the performer holds the deck with one hand and the card visibly materializes on top of the deck (indicated by the appearance of the performers initials). Then the performer places the deck in the participants hand with the selection face up on top, and the selection continues its upward journey by floating up from the top of the deck to the performers fingertips. In practice, the idea feels almost, but not quite. The more striking of the two moments in the effect as I watched it performed was when the performers initials materialized on top of the deck. When the selection levitates off the top of the deck, it feels like an afterthought. It may be that when the initials appear, its in keeping with the overall effect of an Ambitious Card: the selection starts in the middle and magically appears on top of the deck. In the levitation, the card starts on top and floats. It feels like an afterthought effect. Through presentation you can make the connection, but in truth you can make any excuse for any disparate effect you like in an Ambitious Card routine (Look, its not only ambitious, its bashful! See? The back turned red from embarrassment!) Just because you can, though, doesnt mean that you should. On top of which, the card only levitates about an inch-and-a-half. Thats not showing a whole lot of ambition when theres nowhere to go but up. The method isnt cumbersome one gaff card does all the work, and its easy to handle. Unfortunately, if youre really interested in making a card levitate, its not an improvement over, say, an invisible thread reel. Sure, the audience participant can hold the deck while the card rises, but once it levitates you have to immediately take the deck back to clean up. You cant even cleanly remove the card and hand it out at that point. The only advantage over using an invisible thread is that you get to say no threads in your ad copy. As for making the initials appear, both Ascanio and


Available from: Price $60.00 RevIew bY Dan Garrett The effect is simple and immediately engaging to the audience. You place your coin (a U.S. half dollar, two Euro coin, or any coin of similar size, which can even be borrowed) on a table, tear out a page from a small notebook, and cover the coin. Taking a dark pencil with a soft lead, you rub over the coin and create a rubbing (image) of it on the paper. This is something most of us have done as children. The coin is repositioned a few times under the paper and new rubbings are made. When you remove the paper, new real coins have appeared underneath each rubbing. This is a good opening effect, because you can go into your favorite coin routines from this. You can produce regular coins, coins with shells, or other gimmicked coins. Of course, you can create this effect using sleight of hand, but the gimmick provided makes the production of the coins very efficient and clean. It eliminates any palming, sleights, lapping, sleeving, or holding out, and it can be performed seated or standing. A table with a soft surface (close-up pad or tablecloth) is required. What you wear is immaterial (no pun intended). The DVD provided is in Spanish and English. If you choose the English menu option, you get an overdubbed translation during which you still hear the Spanish (at a very low volume) in the background. I didnt find this a terrible distraction. The video is short and succinct. You get all the info you need without too much fluff or endless (and often time-wasting) special effects. The clever gimmick fits into a small spiral note pad (included), and is easily placed (when needed) into a new pad by spending a few minutes at your craft table. You will need to supply your own coins and soft lead pencil. The latest word in ongoing customer support has been also adopted by Bazar de Magia (as have several other magic sales outlets on the Internet). You receive access to a sub-domain Web site with tips and tricks for this effect, including a password and Q-R code on the packaging. In my view, this adds extra value to the item when properly implemented. The site can be upgraded as new ideas and routines with Printing Coins come about through magicians/customers using the item and sharing their thoughts.

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Alex Elmsley have odd-backed Ambitious Card routines in print that offer sequences that could easily be adapted to that purpose if thats your idea of a good time. High Flyer is a very creative solution to what may be a nonexistent problem. Yes, Ambitious Card routines have a tendency to spiral on forever, and a strong finish is certainly desirable if only so you have some place to stop. I dont think High Flyer is it, though.


Available: Distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies Price $25.00 RevIew bY DannY Archer The pictures, sound, and disc navigation are all fine, as we have come to expect from a release from Big Blind Media. (Full disclosure: I have filmed an unreleased DVD with BBM.) Everything is clear and easily understood. On this one-hour DVD, Ollie Mealing teaches you his original move called the Skip Switch. The Skip Switch is a utility move that allows you to switch a face-down card that has been sandwiched between two cards that are out-jogged in the middle of the deck. As the threecard packet is removed from the deck, the selection has been swapped for another card. The Skip Switch looks very fair and should be within the skill range of almost any magician. After the packet has been removed, the cards are counted back onto the top of the deck. Sandwich type effects are popular in card magic and having the ability to secretly switch a sandwiched card is a very valuable tool to have in your arsenal. In addition to teaching you the Skip Switch, Ollie also teaches you thirteen effects. As you may surmise, all of the routines use the switch and most have some kind of sandwich element. I will detail my two favorites. In Thirteen, a card is selected and turned face up in the deck. The selection and the two cards on either side are removed and displayed. The selection is left on top of the pack and the other two cards are placed inside the card box. The selection is then placed on top of the box. The selection is flicked; two cards turn face up and are seen to be the cards that were placed inside the box. The selection is now inside. I love the visual nature of the single card turning into the two other cards. The effect called Hyenas has a card selected (for example, the Queen of Clubs) and then lost in the pack. The Jokers are placed face up in the middle of the deck. With a snap, a face-down card is seen sandwiched between the Jokers. Unfortunately its the wrong card (the Ace of Clubs). The Jokers are placed aside face down and the Ace of Clubs is inserted and left out-jogged in the pack by the spectator in the hope of finding the selection. The out-jogged card is turned face up and shown to be the Queen of Clubs; the cards on either side are the Jokers. When the two Jokers, are turned face up they are seen to be the other three Queens. There are eleven more effects that will give you a lot to choose from. I liked the Skip Switch and I think if you get the chance to learn and play with this move that you will like it, too.


Available from: Price $39.95 RevIew bY Dan Garrett Bob Little once told me that if a trick fools you, its a thread or a magnet. Well, this is neither, but it will fool the majority of your audience members, magicians and Muggles alike. Imagine taking a wooden coffee stirrer from a popular coffee shop chain and threading a common breath mint with a hole in the middle (Life Saver mint or Polo mint, depending on where you reside) onto the center. Holding the ends of the stick, you stare at the mint and it begins to rotate on the stick! You command it to stop and then to rotate in the other direction, which it does. You allow a spectator to command the mint, and it follows. You leave the stick and the mint in the hands of the audience to keep. They can eat the mint if they wish. I like what you get in the package: a DVD with simple and easy instructions by the inventor, a nice little bag that holds a wrapped breath mint, a wooden stirring stick, and the special something that makes the trick work. There is also an extra refill, a term used loosely. You can go out and do the trick right out of the box. The effect has gotten a lot of recent buzz in online forums. The ad specs are fairly amazing: Trick can be repeated. All items fully examinable. Hands shown empty at any time. No sleeves required. Instant reset. No set-up. Easy to perform. Works automatically. All of that is fairly accurate. Physics is your friend, combined with a principle of magic that makes the modus operandi practically undetectable. You can perform in any attire or costume; the method is independent of what you wear. The only angle problems are caused by insecurity or the inexperience of the performer. You will see that refills are sold on the Web site. Dont let this bother you. Ive performed SloMotion dozens of times without needing to rely on the refill that is included in the package. You can buy these refills from many sources besides the magic shop. Go to the store and buy a bag or two of the individually-wrapped mints and go to Starbucks and pick up a handful of the wooden stirrers. (Dont everyone go at once; the folks there could get suspicious.) Some users reported a noise issue. I also felt it a little noisy at first, and worried about performing it in a silent setting. But after a few alterations in my handling, the noise was completely eliminated. I could perform it in a library now. In order to make this play more like magic/psychokinesis and less like a puzzle, youll need to develop a good presentation. For instance, I have a script describing Russian experiments with psychics during the Cold War. SloMotion works as advertised and is fun to perform. I recommend this one. The better your presentational skills, the better the reaction youll receive. Science meets magic in a clever way. Arthur C. Clarke was right.


Distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies Price $35.00 RevIew bY JamIe SalInas Al Bakers The Pack that Cuts Itself is a classic of card magic. There have been many variations of the effect in which a desk of

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cards cuts itself as if haunted. I love the effect; one of the many variations is part of my repertoire. Scared is a variation that is touted as being impromptu. The DVD begins with a demonstration of the effect being performed for a spectator in a magic shop. A card is selected and returned to the pack. The pack is placed on a table and, using two fingers, the magician lightly touches the pack at the corners of one of the short ends of the deck. The magician makes a magical pass with his free hand and the deck cuts itself without any visible movement from the hand touching the pack. The card that is cut to is shown to be the selected card. Although I prefer a hands-off version of the effect, this looks pretty good. This is not new in principle, but is new in how the gimmick is made. And while you will have to make your own gimmick, it literally takes just a couple of seconds to prepare. Mr. Daws includes a method for making the gimmick during the performance of another effect. Several options are provided for variations of the construction of the gimmick. The handling is covered very well in step-by-step instructions and is easy to master. Several additional variations of the effect are included as well. Although I was initially disappointed in the hands on approach to this classic effect, I must admit that I got very strong reactions to the effect from the general public. Once you learn the mechanics and construction of the gimmick, you can prepare a standard deck of cards at a moments notice. The retail price for the DVD is a little high for a one-trick DVD, but if you wanted to perform a simple yet strong version of the haunted pack, then this is worth a look.

the method, showing the hole in the egg and the two hankies. The performer then offers to coach an audience member through it. A volunteer is brought to the stage and they both perform the effect. At the end of it, the performer explains that he is actually doing an advanced version and he removes the hole, which is really a silk-covered sticker. He then cracks the egg into a glass proving it is a real egg. The magician instructs the volunteer to do the same. Miraculously, the volunteer does peel off the sticker and cracks the egg into the glass, to her own amazement. This kicks a classic up a whole bunch of notches. There are things you will need to purchase to properly perform this routine, most of which are available in real stores, or you may already have them lying around. The only magic store props you need are two Silk to Egg gimmicks (Hollow Eggs) and five silks. I would estimate that your total investment will be around $100, but you will have a very solid, funny, and baffling commercial routine. There are some issues of pocket management, but Cody guides you through that very well. I would make some minor modifications, but I think every performer would also choose to personalize it. I highly recommend this to any performer who is looking to add a new routine to their corporate or family shows.


Available from: Price $39.95 RevIew bY PaYne Curiously, this is the third Mental Epic item to cross my desk for review in the last few months. It would appear that there is something of a revival going on for this venerable prop. Like Paul Romhanys recent compendium on the subject of the Mental Epic and the one-head method, Mark Oberons Mental Epic Pad is well worth a look. Unlike your classic black or white board versions of the trick this one uses an artists pad of paper. You still have the 2 x 3 grid into which one writes the necessary notations. But unlike the previously mentioned black or white versions of the boards with their thick wood or plastic lines of demarcation, the Mental Epic Pads lines are literally drawn on with a large marker. Unfortunately, you cant draw the grid on the paper in front of the audience. This is a minor inconvenience that I am sure your audience will overlook. Regardless, the effect and methodology is exactly the same as your standard Mental Epic prop. This is a DIY project. The DVD contains all the necessary info on the construction and presentation of the effect. It even includes a good book force to use to get that all important third prediction. You are shown in great detail, step by step, how to build the prop. No special tools are needed, and it should be within the ability of almost anyone to put this prop together. You are provided with the required gimmicks. However, you will need to supply the paper, felt pen, tape, and foam core yourself. All of these supplies are readily available from your local office supply store, so you shouldnt have a problem in securing them for your project. I have yet to assemble mine, but after viewing the DVD I dont see this taking more than an hour to cobble together. I like the fact that you can make this pretty much any size youd feel comfortable using, from a full size artists sketch pad to an 8 x 11 inch notepad, or


Available from: Price $40.00 RevIew bY Marc DeSOUZa The first thing many of you would say is, Forty dollars is a lot to pay for a twenty-five-page booklet that teaches one trick! Boy, would you be wrong. This is a professional routine that comes right from a working pros own repertoire. You would work long and hard to come up with this routine and polish it to the point where it is a solid performance piece. Cody has done all of this for you and forty bucks is a small price to pay. You are not paying for a glitzy manuscript that will look great on your bookshelf, either. The production quality of this booklet is more than adequate to do the job, and it is well written and photo illustrated. Most of all, it is extremely detailed and gives you all of the information you need to perform this successfully. The effect? It begins with the classic Sucker Silk to Egg. The magician pokes a silk handkerchief into his fist and it turns into an egg, then the hanky is removed from the pocket. He then exposes

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even smaller if you so desire. You should be aware however that the traditional sliding panel on this version doesnt slide on its own. You have to manually pull it from one side to the other. This motion can be covered in a number of ways so as not to raise suspicion. I just thought that in the interest of full disclosure you should be made aware of this difference. Another drawback is that you will need to make a new grid and re-cover the gimmick every time you perform this trick. If youre doing multiple shows in a short period of time this might be a concern. However, if you are looking for something to do while sitting in your dressing room waiting to go on or in your hotel room after a performance, this might be just the time-killer youre looking for. If youre one of those performers who dislikes the proppyness of the classic Mental Epic Board but you still have a soft spot in your heart for the trick, you might seriously give this version a try. Youre probably already using a pad of paper in your show, so this should fit right in.

version is far superior to the basic version and is worth the extra trouble to do it. Experienced performers will have no trouble convincing their audience that the prediction was on the table from the very beginning. If you like gambling effects, this one is well worth purchasing. Recommended.


Available from: Price $30.00 RevIew bY MIchael ClOse The idea of a Rainbow deck a deck made up of fifty-two different back designs has been around for a while. The idea is generally credited to Clarke the Senator Crandall. Most early commercially available Rainbow decks were bridge-sized, because decks for bridge can be found in a wide variety of back designs. The problem with bridge-sized cards, however, is that most of them do not have white borders, which makes it difficult to conceal the true condition of the deck in a color-changing deck routine. A few years ago, Randy Wakeman released a poker-sized Rainbow deck with white borders; I bought several. Now, Joshua Jays Prism Deck is on the market, and it has many features that will appeal to close-up magicians. Josh offers a variety of routines that are possible with the Prism Deck, the centerpiece of which is a multi-phase routine that culminates in a red-backed deck changing into a Rainbow deck. This routine is very cleverly constructed so that the spectators have the impression of seeing many red backs during the course of it. This makes the color-change (which happens without the need for a deck switch) all the more amazing. The routine takes up very little table space (and can be done completely in the hands if one phase is omitted) and is within the abilities of the intermediate card magician. Easier alternatives are also discussed. To do the routine youll also need a deck of Phoenix cards, which are manufactured by Card Shark. In addition to the fifty-two cards that are used as a Rainbow deck, other cards are included that allow you to do other tricks. All of these are explained on the DVD. Another feature of the Prism Deck is that the cards are marked. Josh effectively uses this feature in one phase of the color-changing deck routine. The Prism Deck is manufactured by Card Shark, a company that makes fine quality cards. I have used their cards for a while, and I like the way they handle. The Prism Deck (plus the DVD) sells for $30 and it is a good value for the money. Using a Rainbow deck in a color-changing deck routine (I used to do Derek Dingles routine all the time) raises the effect to a whole different level in the minds of the spectators. Whether or not you choose to use Joshs routine (and you should, because its a good one), youll find the Prism Deck to be a useful prop. Recommended.


Available from: Distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies Price $20.00 RevIew bY Marc DeSOUZa Here is the latest release from the evercontroversial Ben Harris. Lets put aside everything that has been discussed in the forums about his previous releases and focus on this booklet. The advertising is fairly accurate: it is a triple prediction requiring no skill or gaffs. Although there is no skill (as in sleight of hand), there is a certain amount of mind skill needed, but nothing tremendously taxing. The basic effect is a prediction of three things that will happen during the deal of a hand of Texas Hold em. An envelope, which contains the prediction, is placed on the table. The deck can be shuffled by the performer (if you know a convincing false shuffle). The deck can be cut multiple times by a spectator, but the performer must check that the spectator has cut to a spot in the deck where the trick will work. This is not very difficult and the spectators cut will work the first time over fifty percent of the time. The spectator can deal the cards one hand for the performer and one for himself and he then deals the Flop, the Turn, and the River. There is no clear winner, but the prediction is opened to reveal who will win the game and how, that the spectator will almost get a straight, and that the card needed to fill the straight is on top of the deck. With a little more work, you can also predict the card that will fill the straight. Although a little expensive for a card trick, I like the effect and feel that it is very commercial, especially given the popularity of Texas Hold em. You will require a stacked deck, but it is a simple and common stack, and it need not be memorized. Mr. Harris discovered some interesting properties of the stack that make the effect work. It wont take too long for the average magician to get up to speed on this one. There are lots of hints and tips, as well as some cribs to help you do so. The booklet is well written and produced, typical of all of Bens releases. I believe the advanced

If you wish to have your product reviewed please send it to: BiLL DUNCAN, P.O. BoX 50562 BELLEVUE, WA 98015-0562

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TravelIng TrIcks
Many of us are traveling magicians. Whether it is an overnight trip or a road tour, there are some nifty apps to help us out in our travels, no matter where were heading. Here are my top four favorite apps for the traveling magician.

It happens to me all the time. Im at a conference and I realize that I forgot a file on my home computer. Using my laptop or iPad, I can look at my home computer and control it. Heres a story of how I used it. I was at the Buffalo Convention looking over the tribute film that I made for Norm Nielsen when I noticed that someones name was spelled incorrectly in the film. I turned on LogMeIn and accessed my iMac at home, where the master of the film was stored. I opened Final Cut on the home computer and re-edited the film. After it was completed I emailed it to myself. LogMeIn allowed me to work with my home computer from far away. There are iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and desktop versions of the program. I used the free version from my laptop, but iDevice versions have a fee and add extra features. You can check it all out at

Youre driving in your car and its getting late. You need to find a hotel to stay overnight. Your budget is important, so you take out your trusty iPhone and press HotelPal. The screen shows a Google map of where you are and points out hotels in your area. Each hotel has a little white sign showing its price for the night. Click on the price you like and you will get photos, a description of the property, the address, phone number, and a button to make a reservation. This app is a lifesaver for the frequent traveler. The best part, its free! Look for HotelPal in the iTunes App Store.

If you have to fly somewhere and the usual sites like Orbitz, CheapTickets, and Kayak are not pleasing you, download the app Hipmunk and give it a try. This app searches the usual places as well as a few more. Its visual timeline lays out your options in an easy-to-view screen. People like Ashton Kutcher invested in this startup company and it is gaining wide appeal. If you dont have an iDevice, you can also check out their Web site at The cool app is available for free in the iTunes App Store.

Old MagIc ClassIc GOes DIgItal

Programmer Rob Faiella took a classic trick and gave it a cool modus operandi. A card is selected from a deck of cards. You take out your iPhone and turn on the app Card Elimination, which visually shows cards. The program guides you through eliminating cards and ultimately you end up with the selected card. The effect has a couple of different methods to accomplish this. The coolest method is the one for the iPhone. Its so clever that you have to keep from smiling while you do the secret stuff. I will warn you that this is not an out-of-the box app. You will need to practice this, but the effort will be worth it. Rob always thinks out of the box and did a great job programming the MagicSAM app for our organization. Card Elimination works best on the iPhone, although a much less effective method works on the iPad. Well worth the $0.99 at the iTunes App Store.

Gas prices are usually high when you get off that exit on the highway. It seems that whenever I go to one of those guzzling pumps and then drive a half mile down the road, I always find a better price. GasBuddy eliminates the guessing. Hit the Find Gas Near Me button and the app lists the lowest prices in your area. You can also look by city, state, or zip code. The app works thanks to the help of people like you who send in prices through the app. The more you send in, the more points you get towards receiving free gas coupons. GasBuddy also has a Web site at, but the app is handy to have on your iPhone. GasBuddy is free and available in the iTunes App Store.

A RemInder
If you are a member, be sure to download the Society of American Magicians app MagicSAM. Its free at the iTunes App Store. Updates will be coming soon and we are working on a special iPad edition. Bruce is always on the lookout for computer magic, iPhone/ iPod Touch apps, and tech toys that can be used in magic applications. If you have any suggestions for future columns, write to Bruce at

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the show, unless you have been paid or have been given permission to do so. Again, this is not your show. In fact, dont even bring your props. Why would you? You are there to watch the show not to perform. After the show, do not come up to the performer and tell him how to improve his show. This is not the time to critique a show and most likely you are not qualified to critique the performer anyway. Would you want someone to come up after your show, while audience members are congratulating you, and say, I saw your billet switch. You should use the Baker switch instead. If a performer wants feedback on his performance, he will ask. If he doesnt ask you, keep your mouth shut. I have been stunned at the sheer number of times I have seen unsolicited advice given to performers at inappropriate times. I dont care if you saw every move, knew every trick, and know better lines. Your unwelcomed assessment underlines your title of Jerk! Heres an idea: work on getting your own show, instead of telling others how to improve theirs. Wouldnt you ingratiate yourself to a performer more if you complimented them on what they did well? Perhaps you could cultivate a rewarding relationship that would be of benefit if you would help them enjoy their accomplishment rather than being a show-off. Camera Phones/Flip Cams: Do not videotape a performance or lecture if you have not received permission from the performer. Period. Double period. Want to know what a professional is thinking when he sees someone with a cell phone camera pointed at them? They think, I wonder who that jerk is trying to steal my show. And Oh boy, another non-creative, copycat magician who is too lazy to create his own show so he feels entitled to steal mine. Why else would another magician record someones show without permission? Put the cell phone cameras away and enjoy the show. If you see someone with a cell phone camera, simply ask him if he has permission to record the show. Perhaps by just asking the question, he will realize his folly and put the phone away. Along that same line, dont take notes either. Its not ethical to borrow another performers lines or routines unless that performer has sold them on a DVD or in his lecture notes. Recently, Katalina and I had a performer sit in the audience at one of our public shows and take notes. After the performance, Katalina asked him why he was taking notes. He replied that he needed new material for his show! This is not ethical at all. Katalina explained to him that this was not right, not acceptable, and not okay. Another performer shared with me that during a corporate gig, he observed a gentleman setting up a video camera complete with tripod. Wondering why, the performer asked what he was going to record. The gentleman replied, Your show. When the entertainer told him that he could not videotape it, the gentleman responded, Its all right, Im a magician. Actually no, you are not a magician you are a thief. This behavior is unacceptable. Just because youre a magician does not give you the right to record someone elses show. Professionals work their entire lives creating and honing a show. It is their show, their material, and their talent. Not yours. They do not do this to give it away to someone with a video camera, a lack of creativity, and no work ethic. Working Gigs: It is not proper to contact the clients of other entertainers in an attempt to steal their business. I have always believed that theres plenty of work out there; you just have to find it or create it. However, there are those unethical individuals who will wait in the bushes to see what other performers are doing and then rush out to try to steal that same work. I am not against free enterprise. There are plenty of markets where many entertainers work to attract the eye of the same buyer, such as the college market, the comedy club market, or the performing arts market. What Im talking about are those unscrupulous folks who will target a specific client when they find out another magician is already working with them and try to steal a gig right from under the performer who has worked hard to get it. Case in point 1: A professional magician friend of mine had contracted a theater for a summer run. During the four-month run of his show, no less than a dozen other magicians sent their materials to the owner of the theater trying to steal the show most of them promising that their show was better and that they would perform for less money. The theater owner, having been in the business for some time, had a great relationship with the current

Etiquette and Ethics

ET REAdY; what you are about to read is half rant and half admonishment to those out there who are guilty of the things Im about to say. To be fair, perhaps no one has ever explained the proper way that people should conduct themselves during magic shows or in club meetings. Maybe no one has explained professional ethics and how it affects our art. My wife also suggested that (since, perhaps, this information has not been taught) I should use my column to educate everyone on ethics. So, here goes. Lectures: Do not practice your own magic during a lecture. One goes to a lecture to learn and honor the performer by listening politely and taking in the information. This is not the time to work on your riffle pass, coin rolls, or card moves. Put your props away and listen. I recently watched one magician during a lecture manipulate his deck of cards to such an extent that it was as if he was competing for attention with the lecturer. Really? Do you need attention that badly? About ten years ago, I watched a magician stop in the middle of his lecture and with a stern look on his face ask a participant to put away his cards. The offender gave a perturbed look and shoved the deck into his pocket. The audience applauded the action taken by the lecturer. We all get tired of the audience show-offs. Before a lecture all clubs can and should announce to the audience to put away their props. And then, of course, the clubs must enforce that rule. Additionally, I have witnessed during a break in the lecture, a magic club member who quickly produced his magic props and began performing for those around him. Again, this is not the time. This is the lecturers time. Yes, even during the break. Give it a rest and show some class. Stop being a jerk. Magic/Mentalism Shows: Do not perform in the lobby of another magicians show. Do not perform for those attending

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magician, identified these individuals as unethical, and forwarded all the unsolicited material to the magician he had hired. Case in point 2: A mentalist has created a unique performing opportunity within a resort town. He had worked diligently for a year setting up all of the business connections and opportunities to generate a profit-producing show. During the following twelve months he received calls from countless other mentalists/performers (whom he didnt even know personally) asking him to share his entire bank of knowledge and business plan. Ask yourself, why would he do that? How does

that benefit him to share all of his hard work with someone who didnt even take the time to get to know him or foster any kind of relationship first? Finally, lets talk about restaurants. There are plenty of restaurants in town. Yet, over and over again Ive seen magicians try to steal each others restaurant work. Why? I guess its easier to try to steal a restaurant from a working magician than to try to find one through your own hard work. This creates two problems. One, it makes the supposed stealer look like a jerk, thus making all magicians/ mentalists look like jerks. And two, it

lowers the value of magic to the buyers. This attitude/practice helped destroy the close-up magic work in Las Vegas. If you have been guilty of any of the things I have talked about in this article, shame on you. But, now you have been educated. So, if anyone sees you violating these rules in the future, dont complain if youre called out on being a jerk. You have been warned! Please send any questions or comments to

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shields and they could become knights. Then sit them around a table perhaps Losanders. You become Merlin and the table magically begins to levitate. Next, you float King Arthur (the birthday child) on a plank of wood (chair suspension). As a grand finale, you ask each of the knights to remove the sword of Excalibur from the stone. Of course, each knight tries without success. The last person to try is King Arthur (the birthday child) and he succeeds (remove the locking pin before his turn).


Were Off to See the Wizard!

Magicians and wizards have existed in world cultures and have been documented (as fact or fantasy) since the beginning of recorded history. When I perform as Jolly Roger the Wizard, I often ask the children what the difference is between a Magician and a Wizard. The number one answer I get is, a wizard does real magic. Wikipedia describes a wizard as a person in fantasy or mythology who has studied and practices magic. I tell the children that a magician does tricks, whereas a wizard weaves spells. Over the years I have performed many of my shows in a wizard costume and it is always popular. In recent years, since the introduction of Harry Potter, I have had even more requests for my wizard magic show. The homes I perform in have been decorated with everything from candles suspended from the ceiling to facades of Diagon Alley. I entertained at one house where the entire interior of the house had castle walls! In a way, we are magicians. We are alchemists, sorcerers and wizards. We are a very strange bunch. But there is great fun in being a wizard. ~ Billy Joel ~ Children love fantasy, myth, legends, and folklore in which dinosaurs are dragons, fortresses are castles, and magic for good always wins out in the end. Entertaining as a wizard can be a potent offering to a client: one that every childrens entertainer can include in his or her repertoire. I recommend you try it. Offering a wizard magic show can also increase your bookings and add a USP (unique selling point). As with many of my M-U-M columns, I invite you to step out of the box, stretch your imagination, and become more creative. Can you imagine doing a whole routine around King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table? You could dress the children in helmets, swords, and

If you ask a group of children to mention the most famous wizard of all time, the older children are likely to say Harry Potter or Merlin, whereas the younger children will probably say the Wizard of Oz. For legal contractual reasons, magic dealers are not allowed to sell some of these characters as part of a magic trick, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with you making up your own routine with wizards that are available online or in the stores and incorporating them into your show. Children love anything to do with wizards, and when Halloween comes

around, a wizard character is often the first costume of choice. If you Google the word wizard and browse through the online stores, you will be amazed at how many wizard-themed costumes and accessories are available. There are also a multitude of ideas for wizard-themed parties, like games, food, and prizes, which you could share with the client. Here are some ideas to help steer you toward thinking creatively. It is easy to convert a wizard hat from a costume shop into a change bag. Simply sew a piece of cloth along the inside of the center seam. You could then use the hat for a variety of magic effects. For instance, a child could help you change coal into diamonds! Wizards wands tend to be a little different from the standard magicians wand, which, of course, is black with white tips. Check out the toy stores and you may be surprised at the treasures you can find. There are many toys that are not sold as wands, but would suit a wizard perfectly. They may be sticks or batons that glow, glitter, or change color. There are also some great wizard puppets out there that you can use as part of a routine or as a stand-alone item. Some of these have moving mouths, which is great if you have a talent for ventriloquism. If you are going all out on a wizard theme, you will need a costume. There are a number of standard wizard costumes available online and in the party shops. You will find these in great abundance around Halloween, which is just about when this publication should arrive in your mail box. This is also a great time to buy wizard material from your local fabric store, and if you are any good at sewing, a simple wizard one-of-a-kind costume is very easy to make. I have made many for myself over the years. A basic wizard costume is very easy to put on, and can

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slip straight over your Muggle clothes. The advantage of this is that you do not have to drive to the venue in your costume. Just adorn your regalia on arrival so that you can enter a birthday party in full costume. Some of you may be familiar with a routine that I market called Jolly Rogers Ridiculous Routine. It would be perfect for your wizard-themed show. This routine involves animal finger puppets, a giant magic wand, a rising wand, spring snakes, wizards hats, a child changing into a rabbit, and a certificate for the child helper (young apprentice). Check it out on the products page of my Web site Ive always taken The Wizard of Oz very seriously, you know. I believe in the idea of the rainbow. And Ive spent my entire life trying to get over it. ~ Judy Garland ~ I am going to share a trick based on part of this routine that you can inexpensively make for yourself. If you search the Internet, you will see many Web sites that carry the characters from The Wizard of Oz. I actually use a set that I bought from a shop at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas a number of years ago. Some of character sets on the market are puppets, some are porcelain, and some are stuffed fabric. I suggest you buy a set made of stuffed fabric. In my set, each character is about three inches tall. You will actually need to purchase two sets because you will need duplicates. You only need five characters from each set. I use the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, Dorothy, the Cowardly Lion, and the Wicked Witch of the West. You will also need a stand to display them on. This could be made of wood or cardboard, and if you like you could even paint it yellow and call it the Yellow Brick Road.

Take a duplicate of one of the characters and put it in a small box, paper bag, or any kind of small opaque container. You could use an Emerald City replica if you can find

one. I use a small ornate cloth zip bag I purchased in Peru. You can change out the duplicate character for repeat shows. You will also need two wizard hats: a small one to fit a childs head and an adult-size hat with a set of rabbit ears stuffed in it. Put the five characters inside the small hat and you are all set. Invite a child to help you. Say you need someone who always wanted to be a wizard. The hands will shoot up! Give the child the yellow stand to hold, and take each character out of the small wizard hat one at a time. Ask the children to shout out who each of the characters is. They will usually give you the correct answers, although there have been occasions when they call the Tin Man the Tin Can, and Dorothy Alice in Wonderland. This always amuses the adults! Place each character on the stand. Once the hat is empty, place it on the childs head. Put the large hat with the rabbit ears hidden inside on your own head, being cautious that the audience does not see the load. Take the stand with the characters on it from the child, and give her the bag containing the duplicate. You ask the child if she believes in magic. She usually says yes, but if she says no, you tell her that she will in a minute! You now use the PATEO force, allowing the remaining character to match the duplicate. For example, let us say you are forcing the Scarecrow. Ask her to name two characters. You then choose which one you throw away. If one of them she names is the Scarecrow, simply throw away the other one. Then you name two (but do not include the Scarecrow in the choice) and ask her to throw one away. You are left with three. Ask her to name two, and whatever she says, make sure the Scarecrow is left behind. You are down to two. Ask her which of the pair she likes best. If she says the Scarecrow, tell her to hold onto it as it is her favorite. If she says the other character, simply throw that character away, leaving the Scarecrow. This whole force is very effective and appears quite innocent. Ask her to open up the bag and pull out the character, and, naturally, everyone will be amazed that the same character appears from the bag. You will often get gasps from the audience. Tell the child that now that she can do magic, you would like her to try another magic trick to see if she can change you into a rabbit. Give her a magic wand; ask her to jump up and down while waving it, and to say some magic words. Remove your hat to reveal the rabbit ears; this always gets a good laugh! You could even do a wizard hat paper tear, giving the hat to the child as a thank you for helping. An

alternative to using the rabbit ears is to have two different colored wizards hats inside each other that you put on your head. Tell the child to jump up and down waving the wand, and your hat will change color. You remove your hat, look at it, and express concern that the hat has not changed color. Naturally, the kids will shout out and tell you there is a different colored hat on your head! So next time you are out shopping, try looking for items that could fit into a wizard magic show. There are so many things out there. You will find them if you go with the mindset that you are a wizard who casts spells and not a magician who does tricks. Look at crystal balls, ornate walking sticks, unusual boxes decorated with mystic symbols, rings, jewels, stones, scarves, and spell books. Once you see a prop of this nature in a store, my advice is that if you like it, buy it, even if you do not know exactly how you are going to incorporate it into your show. That will come to you once you get home and let the inspiration and creativity set in while you are contemplating in your magic den. It would be wise if you decide to partake in this adventure to study wizards. You dont want the child to know more than you do about them! Read books and watch movies about wizards. Think like a wizard, and the magic will come to you. In a childs eye, a wizard is the ultimate purveyor of magic: because, because, because, because, because because of the wonderful things he does! Please continue to email your comments, questions, and suggestions to me at

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holding a packet of four cards; the top card is the only Queen. The audience believes you are holding four Queens. These may be four witches, but one of them is a good witch, like Glinda from The Wizard of Oz. I want you to point her out. Which do you think is the good witch? As you say the above patter, casually slip the top card of the packet to the secondfrom-top position and fan the four cards out. You will now use an Alex Elmsley idea from Elmsleys Ghost (The Collected Works of Alex Elmsley, p. 46) to force the only Queen in the packet. The outs are as follows: Hold the packet in a mini-fan at the fingertips of your right hand. Ask the spectator to touch the back of any of the four cards. He has a free choice. You proceed as follows. A) If the back of the top card is touched, simply square up the packet and perform a double turnover to display the Queen. B) If the back of the second card is touched, this is the best possible outcome. You will find this option happens quite often. Keep the cards fanned and have him remove the card he has touched. He turns the card over in his own hands to display the Queen. Have the Queen placed aside face up and reveal the other three cards as the three Sixes to conclude the routine. C) If the back of the third card is touched, the right hand takes the top card of the fan, and then takes the second card on top of it. The third card is taken on top of the previous two as you say, You dont want these two, you want the third one. Square up the packet and perform a double turnover to display the Queen. D) If the back of the fourth card is touched, the right hand takes the top card and then takes the second and third cards together onto the first card. Finally, the fourth card is placed on top of all and the packet is squared. Perform a double turnover to display the queen. You are in position with a Queen face up on the packet. Say, Great! This is the good witch. But the others are very clever as well as very evil and before you can single out the good witch from the bad, they alter their appearance in an attempt to trick you. Turn the double card face down onto the packet and deal the top card to the table. You now perform a sequence created by J.K. Hartman to show the three cards in your hand as duplicates of the selected Queen. Snap your fingers over the packet and turn over the top card onto the packet, displaying a duplicate of the Queen you just placed on the table. Turn this card face-down onto the packet and place the top two cards as one to the bottom of the packet. Perform a double turnover to display a second duplicate Queen. Turn the double down and place the top single card to the bottom of the packet. Finally, turn over another single card to show a third Queen. Turn this card face-down onto the packet and leave it on top. Now, all the Queens look alike, how on earth will you know which is the good witch? Drop the three cards you hold onto the tabled Queen. I believe we can determine the good witch by an ancient sorting ritual. Pick up the packet and take the top card and place it to the bottom saying, Good. Deal the next card to the table saying, Evil. Place the next card to the bottom of the packet again saying, Good. Deal the next card to the table saying, Evil. Continue in this manner until one card remains in your hands. You will end on the word Good, thanks to the Matsuyama principle. This card will also be the Queen. Turn it over and show it to the audience. Yes, this is the good witch; she only ever used her magic for good. How do I know? Well, look, these others are so evil, they are marked! Turn over the remaining three cards one at a time and in a row to reveal the Sixes (666).


Ryan Matney shares a strong routine that should provoke many variations. Give it a try.

By Ryan Matney This is an improved version of a couple of Ryans earlier effects and ideas from his manuscript The Midnight Oil. Im sure you have heard of the Salem witch trials. A lot of people were unfairly accused of witchcraft and burned at the stake. Id like to try a little experiment and see if we can determine which witch is the good witch in this deck. Spread through the deck with the faces toward you and remove the four Queens, tabling them face down. As you do this, you also cull any three Sixes to the top of the deck. Turn the deck face down and get a break under the top three cards. Pick up the Queens and turn them face up onto the deck, immediately picking up all seven cards above the break. You now perform the standard Braue add-on sequence as you show the Queens: Peel the first Queen off the packet and flip it face down onto the deck. Peel off the second Queen also flipping it face down onto the deck. Repeat this with the third Queen, and finally drop the fourth Queen (and the cards hidden under it) square onto the deck; flip the fourth Queen face down singly onto the deck. As you display the Queens say, These are the four witches. Thumb off the top four cards and place the deck aside as it is no longer needed. You are now

The Conqueror Worm

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At best, this kind of stage or close-up space will feel unclear or murky to your audience, but more often it will register as garish or messy. I have been teaching aesthetics for twenty-five years, so trust me when I say this is not simply a matter of subjective taste, so the heck with it. There is overwhelming evidence that people subconsciously respond strongly and warmly to beautiful things, to colors that match or complement, to different objects that share certain features (such as having side tables that are all round), to the repetition of patterns throughout a scene or tableau. Nothing marks you more as a person of taste than attention to these details. Contrary to popular opinion, taste is something that can be learned, and it is worth learning because wealthy, educated people like to hire people of taste. Abuse. If attention to the aesthetics of our props is subtle, the third variation of neglect is not: it is the abuse that some performers seem intent to inflict upon their tools. It is fairly common to see illusionists cavalierly kick their boxes around the stage, close-up magicians toss their props around (sometimes dropping them), and stage performers crumple their silks to stuff them in a pocket. At one of our Master Classes in Las Vegas, one student performed a nice sequence of large prop productions, but threw each one on the floor so he could produce the next one. Stop and think about the picture these behaviors create: they shatter the moment and suggest that you think of your tools as trash. And if you think your tools are trash, why would the audience think any differently? Also, this approach communicates either inexperience or arrogance. However you slice it, abuse is bad for business. Having said that, I have a hunch that no one consciously chooses this approach. I suspect that most prop abuse is simply bad habit or performers unconsciously trying to convey that the props are nothing to me I dont need them at all. But the truth is that we do need the props for many reasons: production value, color, visual interest; they are the instruments upon which we play our magic. Dont think about how Pete Townsend of the Who treated his guitar that was back in the 1960s anyway. Check out how B.B. King handles Lucille. Like a sacred object. Like a beautiful woman. 3. Displacement: The third and final mala-propism is best conveyed by a story. One night I went to an ensemble magic show with a good friend of mine who has been a professional actor for the length of his long career. He had familiarity with magic and there were some big names on the bill, but from time to time he would let out a quiet little groan next to me. Thinking he was ill, immediately after the show, I asked him what was wrong. Sputtering with frustration, he said, My God! They are all hiding behind their props! I will tell you, I have thought long and hard about this crystalline, sharp critique from someone with a lifetime in the theatre. His claim wasnt the more familiar observation that the performers were being upstaged because their props were so flashy (although that kind of thing certainly happens). Rather, his distress was caused by the fact that the props were at the front and center of everything: out come the rings, out come the silks, out come the newspapers, and this erected a subtle barrier between the audience and the performers. It has been said countless times by many lifers in our field, It is not about the tricks; it is about you. This is easy to say, and it is easy to believe we understand the message, but after all those hours and years of practice, after all the work to perform that double lift, crash link, or secret steal, after all the years of loading in and setting up, it is apparently far easier to let our props be front and center while our character recedes into the background, where it may even vanish. I believe this is one of the greatest challenges for magical performers, to really embrace the fact that the audience will remember you, or find you forgettable, long before they will remember your tricks and props. As an alternative, think about Penn & Teller. Think about Ricky Jay or David Copperfield. Think about Mac King or the young rising star, Paul Vigil. They are never displaced by their props. So please be careful of any and all mala-propisms! The results of your attention will be much better magic and much stronger reactions.

Mala-Propisms, Part Two

s I dIscUssEd

last month, I do not accept the widespread assumption in contemporary magic that the fewer props, the better the more artistic, the more magical, the more believable. On the contrary, I suggested the primary problem surrounding props in magic is not the fact that we use them, but rather how we use them, the different ways props are used and abused that compromise the excellence of our performances. Last month I discussed the first of these mala-propisms, the subtle problem of disconnection. I continue.... 2. Neglect: As I look around the stages and close-up tables of contemporary magic I see many neglected props, starving for attention. And your audiences see them, too. I am starting to believe that nothing more marks a performer as an amateur or dabbler than the varieties of neglect, of which there are three. Wear. How many times have you watched a performance in which the cards are sticky, the card boxes are tattered, the coins are dull, the rings dont shine, the little and big boxes need paint, the glass objects have fingerprints, the silks are crumpled, the close-up pads have frayed edges, the rope is dirty, and the side tables are shaky? In my experience, way, way too many. Sometimes this neglect happens because money is tight or because ones schedule is relentless. But we cant let this happen. Consider the performances of Bill Malone, Eugene Burger, Michael Vincent, or Richard Osterlind: everything is fresh, sharp, and clean. This is part of how they get hired and hired back, and it will work for you, too. But it doesnt happen automatically; it requires disciplined vigilance and a certain relentless spirit to throw stuff away before anyone notices. Aesthetics. Another common, but subtler, form of neglect is when things dont match, or they look thrown together.

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how I work. I usually start with a premise. For example, everywhere you go people are talking about how overweight Americans are. What would it be like if I came on stage weighing 350 pounds, and instantly, visibly, I lost 200 pounds? And it looked magical, without any apparent props or accessories. Now I have what could be an interesting effect. From there I would make a few sketches, jot down some joke ideas. It can also work the other way. Maybe I discover a cool method and create a trick for it. It works both ways. During my daily activities funny things occur to me: ideas for tricks, jokes, and premises. I write them down. Here are three important adjuncts to that. Dont be afraid to fail; Im always thinking of things that suck. Do as many shows as you can. Dont give up. Please tell me about making the leap to presenting a bigger scale show with illusions. The best thing about doing a two-hour show in my own theater is that I can do what I want to do, and most of the people are coming to see me, or at least theyre coming to see magic. Magicopolis started back in 1998, and even though it comes with the price of big responsibility and time demands outside the realm of performing, these have been my best performing years ever. Im not ungrateful for the work I had in previous years because Ive felt lucky my entire life, but even the best of my former gigs were, to some degree, compromises in terms of performing. I was a sacrificial lamb warming up crowds for celebrities, filling slots in tits-and-feathers revue shows, doing clubs where theyre counting laughs per minute, corporate gigs, cruises. I was always fitting into someone elses agenda. But those things allowed me the freedom I have today. Id say my entire life is squeezed into Magicopolis and its the realization of a lifelong dream. I do the show with my wife, Bozena, who is an accomplished actress (or one of her three understudies when shes elsewhere). We do stand-up comedy magic together and separately, sketches, drama, danger, and mindreading; the entire show has an autobiographical thread through it. Even the big illusions like the Table of Terror, Sawing, and the others all have a very personal stamp on them. The Levitation takes place in the context of a psychiatrist office scene; the de Kolta Chair is part of a sance. Unlike much of my previous work where to a degree I was hiding behind the tricks, in this show I feel like I open myself up in front of the audience. Besides the comedy and magic that draws people in, there are big doses of heart, soul, intimacy, and intelligence, which is why I think this show has a greater multi-generational appeal than anything Ive ever done in the past. In the past few years youve released some of your classic routines. The big one was the Mind Reading Goose. Recently you released the Blood from Stone, which is a fantastic visual gag that Penn and Teller loved and even paid you for its use. Blood from Stone started as a visual gag, but I put it my show recently, worked on it diligently, and now its become a fullblown routine with about a dozen huge belly laughs. When I did it way back when, it made a memorable funny impression. Now its an absolute blockbuster! Have you been working on anything new? Whats next for Steve Spill? Im always working on something new. If I thought I had done what there was to be done, for me as an individual, a lot of things would be over for me instead of just beginning. Im still the fool who believes that tomorrows the first day of the rest of my life. And tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my thinking too. Right now, Im about thirty percent in on creating a one hundred percent new one-man show to run on Wednesdays and Thursdays at Magicopolis. Its a memoir about my journey in magic from a child to age twenty-one. Ive created a number of new bits for this and Ive dusted off and revamped some oldies but goodies. Each week Im audience testing new hunks; my goal is to launch the new show in about six months. What is your favorite effect you have ever created? My favorite is always the next thing Im working on.

Cactching up with Steve Spill

[Editors Note: Steve Spill is the creator of Magicopolis, the performance venue in Santa Monica. Steve was the cover subject of the November 2009 M-U-M. Check out that issue for more information on him.] When I first heard about you it was from the effect Grab and Stab. Its great magic/mentalism with a huge dose of dark humor. Dark humor seems to be a theme in a lot of my favorite Steve Spill effects. Is this something that came out more when you started doing comedy clubs? It probably goes back to my childhood love of films like The Mummy, Frankenstein, Dracula, and Creature from the Black Lagoon. I subscribed to Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine; I used to read all the Stephen King stuff. As a young comedy club worker I didnt have that much life experience to talk about, so when it came to things to do with my magic, macabre routines like Grab & Stab, Blood from Stone, the Needles, or Voodoo Doll, gave some character to my performances. I also did a lot of silly stuff like my Mindreading Goose and my Cloroxo character. But Ive grown and changed since then. Nowadays both the silly and the macabre play only small roles in my shows. There are a ton of guys who would love to be funny and to be able to work comedy into their act and create original material like you. What advice would you give to a young guy who wanted to do that? Being funny and creating original tricks are two different things, and theres plenty of opportunity to make a career at either or both. The most important piece of advice I can give is not to take anybodys advice. Somehow, someway, that individual will find himself. Hell see it, hell learn it, and hell do it if he has the capacity for it. That said, I can share a little bit about

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re-captured; the rest, unfortunately, were never to return. Susan and Jim eventually sold the goats, but the B&B is still more than a pleasant farm. There is a four-bedroom Mill house that sits atop a waterfall and overlooks the lake where you can fish, swim, or canoe There is plenty of acreage through which to hike, including an old railroad track across from the Mill where there is located a historic Sheffields Farms Creamery, which Jim someday hopes to turn into a magic and entertainment center. There is a fireplace in the lower sitting room where you will watch both Jims magic (as advertised) and enjoy the magic of Susans fabulous gourmet breakfasts. The upstairs screened porch overlooks the lake and is a great place for guests to gather to try to figure out how the invisible deck turned their card over. Where else can you see magic at a B&B? In New Orleans! The Avenue Inn Bed and Breakfast is operated by Joe Rabhan (Assembly 36) and his wife Bebe. Rabhan has been a hotelier for a long time. He was manager at the Hilton when I first met him many years ago, so he certainly knows how to treat his happy guests. The inn, built in 1891, is a lovely old Queen Anne-style mansion in the Garden District within easy reach of Jackson Square and the Trolley; it is minutes from the French Quarter and other points of interest. The Avenue Inn has the amenities of a hotel and the ambiance of the grand New Orleans estate it was one hundred and twenty years ago. If Joe is at the desk at check-in time, you will most likely see some of his classic coin tricks. His favorite, a Sun and Moon effect, is a must-see. Walk-around magic is an added feature at the sumptuous continental breakfast, as is the magic show in the parlor. Joe considers his lodging career as a sideline to his magic; he has been the New Orleans Assembly 36 Magician of the Year twice.

Bed and Breakfast

pheasants at Susans Pleasant Pheasant Farm. Once, Parent Assembly President Jim Kelly incubated three hundred pheasant eggs so that he and Susan could boast about all the pheasants at their B&B in Halcottsville, New York. Once upon a time they also had goats, whose milk they used for pancakes, making unique breakfasts. And then came the day when the happy family (who were guests from Brooklyn) was getting ready to leave, and their wonderful children, aged nine and ten, went to the farm area to say goodbye to the pheasants. It was sad for the children to leave them, but it was even sadder still when the gates were left open and the birds made a mad rush for the forest. Only forty of the birds were

The Avenue Inn

Nina and I have enjoyed staying at many B&Bs in our travels, from the quaint to the old, from the new, the musty (just ask Clem Kinnicutt ), and the lovely. We are delighted to have come across the magical ones. I hope this column doesnt sound like a sales pitch, but I love both the places Ive described and the magic charms they offer. If you own or perform at a magical B&B, please let me know. Check out Susans Pleasant Pheasant Farm and the Avenue Inn Bed and Breakfast on Google. [Note: This article was written just beforehurricane Irenehit upstate New York. We regret to report that the Pleasant Pheasant Farm suffered considerable damage and flooding and will be unable to operate until further notice.]

Photo by Scott Morris

Pleasant Pheasant Farm

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go on. Hank would have understood and he would have approved. The last song played before his funeral service began was Send in the Clowns. Emory Williams, of Tucson, came through town with his mobile magic store. He really does carry six thousand different items. I thought his inventory would be five thousand thumb tips and a thousand Svengali decks, but its not. If he visits your area it would be well worth your while to stop by. Paul Hilko, who writes several times a year, had an excellent suggestion. When you clean house, its a good time to reevaluate those effects that might have become difficult to perform as age catches up with you. Makes sense. Continuing to do Professor Cheers Comedy Rope Trick if you now wear a catheter could be embarrassing. Dr. Larry Mueller commented about my views of magicians who are always on. I agree with him. There is a difference between always being on and being prepared if the proper situation presents itself. He shared some great lines for his bill switch routine, which I cannot divulge due to my code of ethics. That doesnt mean I wont steal them, I just wont share them. Frank Kovach shared his list of favorite books. He also prefers the printed word to electronic media. I hesitate to send him a copy of a Hungarian cookbook I have because every recipe begins with the same sentence: go out and steal a chicken. Richard Hodes and Bonzo the MagiClown also expressed their preference for books. Stu Bacon feels that many authors inject too much of themselves into their writings, making it difficult for the reader to separate the workable material from the authors personality. Steve Dawson became one of the early Internet casualties when his California magic shop succumbed in 1988. David Goldberg says his Phoenix magic shop is still hanging on thanks to the personal service you can only find in a brick-andmortar store. Robert Johnstone of Montreal would like to see the working pros offer some insight on character development. I also thank Jim Ottmer for writing and I apologize to J.R. of Champaign, Illinois, who chased me down the street in Colon last August. I thought he was someone I

AcH YEAR, I look forward to Novembers column. In it, I acknowledge those readers who took the time to respond throughout the year. They shared personal experiences related to specific columns that often then become the basis for a future article. The most difficult letter to answer came from Andrew Gressett who was at the national convention in July. He commented on the tribute to Hank Moorehouse and the ad I submitted for the program, which many of you saw. Hank ended his shows with the line, You are my favorite audience. He had that attitude when he met you one-on-one as well. When he engaged you in earnest conversation in a room full of magicians, you really believed he came into the room just to seek you out. Along with countless others, I considered Hank a good friend and a mentor. In the publishing world contributions must be submitted well in advance of the date they appear in print. What seemed funny in March became terribly out of place in July when it was too late to pull my ad. I couldnt stop the presses, but I had run the ad past Hanks wife Jackie earlier in the year and she felt Hank would find it funny. I sent it in with the thought in mind that Hank, himself, would be reading it. I spoke with Jackie at Hanks funeral and offered her a full column should she wish to convey anything to the magic community at large. In retrospect, if I had any constructive criticism to offer Hank, I would have suggested that he work on his timing before making his exit. Mr. Gressett also felt the tribute took on the atmosphere of a roast. That, sir, is the unique gift given to magicians to share with the world: the ability to suspend belief when the pain of reality becomes too hard to bear. Sometimes, it can be as simple as making sponge balls appear for a child in the hospital. At other times, when the pain becomes too personal, its not so simple. We have to find a way to suppress our own feelings because the show must

I have several books to get me through the Indiana winter. I rarely concern myself with tricks these days. I am more interested in the authors attitude towards magic and the reasons behind why he presents his tricks as he does.
owed money to. I have several books to get me through the Indiana winter. I rarely concern myself with tricks these days. I am more interested in the authors attitude towards magic and the reasons behind why he presents his tricks as he does. Jon Racherbaumers book about Don Alan, In a Class by Himself, changed my performing style. I no longer just present a series of tricks. I involve the audience and make them part of the show. Does this further complicate the controversy about which is more important, the trick or the presentation? Ive come to believe the most important part of the equation is the audience. Ill bore you with that theory beginning in January. With Thanksgiving this month, I want to thank everyone who responded throughout the year. In todays world, only those people who really believe their point of view is important take the time to sit down and write a letter. I realize this, and I read every email. I try to answer most personally. I select those that have comments that I feel would benefit the readers and share them each November. Writing a column is not unlike doing a show. Its all about the audience. Without you Id be reduced to communicating on YouTube. Email me at

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