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Page 36
Michael Close
Editor Emeritus
David Goodsell
Associate Editor
W.S. Duncan
Proofreader & Copy Editor
Lindsay Smith
Art Director
Lisa Close
Society of American Magicians,
18915 East Briargate Lane, #1F
Parker, CO 80134
Copyright 2014
Subscription is through membership
in the Society and annual dues of $65, of
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should be addressed to:
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Editorial contributions and correspondence
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4 M-U-M Magazine - SEPTEMBER 2014
M-U-M (ISSN 00475300 USPS 323580) is published monthly for $40 per year by The Society of American Magicians,
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Volume 104 Number 4
24 Nielsen Gallery by Tom Ewing
28 Tech Tricks by Bruce Kalver
30 Cheats and Deceptions by Antonio M. Cabral
32 Hit the Road by Scott Alexander
34 Not Just Kid Stuff by Jim Kleefeld
36 COVER STORY by David Corsaro
42 Combined Convention Photos
50 The High Road by Mick Ayres
52 Ebook Nook: The Life and Times of a Legend: Annemann
58 Informed Opinion New Product Reviews
66 Paranormal Happenings Charles Siebert M.D.
68 Salon de Magie by Ken Klosterman
69 Inside Straight by Norman Beck
70 The Deans Diary by George Schindler
70 Basil the Bafing by Alan Wassilak
Cover photo by Dale Farris
SEPTEMBER 2014 - M-U-M Magazine 5
6 From the Editors Desk
8 From the Presidents Desk
11 M-U-M Assembly News
20 New Members & Reinstatements
20 Good Cheer List
22 Broken Wands
26 Newsworthy
69 Our Advertisers
46 44
Editors Desk
The smiling face beaming out at you from this months cover
belongs to Obie OBrien, the Head Forker himself. At the 4F con-
vention last April, Eric DeCamps learned that Obie had never
been on the cover of M-U-M and pitched the idea of a cover story
to me. With his more than forty years of producing the Fechters
Finger Flicking Frolics, his dedication to promoting magic around
the world, and his interesting career in both education and sports,
Obie is a perfect cover story subject. David Corsaro wrote the
article, accompanied by tributes from some of the best magicians
on the planet. Congratulations, Obie; sorry it took so long.
In a few days, Lisa, Ava, and I will be heading up north toward
Halliburton, Ontario, to participate in the Sorcerers Safari Magic
Camp. When we visited camp for a few days three years ago, I
wasnt sure that I would like it. But I loved it, and each year the
three of us cant wait to go back.
I have a vivid memory of one moment during that frst visit.
Lee Asher asked me if I would discuss the faro shuffe with the
campers in his card class. I was happy to do so. I talked about the
shuffe and explained a method to learn how to do it. This turned
into a hands-on workshop as everyone tried the shuffe while I
offered suggestions and tag-team help.
After everyone had a chance to play with the shuffe, I asked if
there were any questions. Someone asked me about the tabled faro
shuffe, and I talked about that for a bit. (Mostly I just explained
that I dont do that shuffe, because I perform standing and I didnt
want to invest the necessary practice time, which is considerable,
on a move I would never use.)
Then someone asked me about the anti-faro. This remarkable
move was created by Christian Engblom. The cards are sprung
from hand to hand; when they hit the left hand, they alternate into
an in-jogged/out-jogged condition, looking just like a deck that
has been given a faro shuffe. Although I dont do this move (it
is really diffcult), I had a story about it, which I related to the
In 1997, I visited Finland and I met Christian Engblom at a con-
vention there. During the convention he took me aside and said,
Id like to show you something, but you cant tell anybody about
it. He then demonstrated the anti-faro, and I was astonished. I told
him I would never talk about it with anyone. And I didnt. I never
mentioned it to my friends (or anyone else), until sometime in the
early 2000s, when people started to tell me about it. I assumed that
Christian had decided to go public with the move, and it was no
longer a big secret.
When I fnished my story, a camper said to me, You never told
anyone? I replied that I had not. He said, But it was so cool!
Yes, I said, but keeping secrets is one of the most important
parts of magic especially keeping those secrets that someone has
trusted you with. This was a message no one had ever imparted
to this young man. He and I discussed it further during the time I
was at camp.
And thats why I love going to camp: I have the opportunity
to interact with these young magicians and offer viewpoints that
they are not getting from their other sources of information. And
in turn, they challenge my perceptions. (Incidentally, I spoke with
Christian Engblom about this at the combined convention. He
thanked me very much for keeping his secret.)
A large chunk of time at the combined I.B.M./S.A.M. con-
vention this summer was taken up by contests. The current trend
for the types of acts offered in stage and close-up concerns me.
Ive written a long article about this transformation of contest
close-up magic; you can fnd it in the blog on my website
( But I also want to discuss the stage
contests, and I can do that in fewer words.
In the past, I have written and spoken about the stage contes-
tants who turn the stage into a garbage dump during their acts.
Some contest acts at the combined convention seemed to take
this to extremes. In the past, the need to sweep the stage before
setting the next act has caused large lag times between acts. At
the combined convention it was decided that the way to alleviate
this problem was to tape down drop cloths before each act; the
thinking, I guess, was that the drop cloths would make clean-up
faster. Unfortunately, all the drop cloths did was to move the
lag time from after the act to before the act. And since the drop
cloths had to be taped down carefully (you cant have a performer
tripping over a loose edge), this procedure probably increased the
lag time.
Let me offer some reasons why I think treating the stage like a
trash can is an approach that should be discarded. 1) It shows a lack
of respect for the performance area and the stage crew. 2) It shows
a lack of respect for the audience. Lag times between acts drain
the energy and attentiveness from an audience. Even an expert
emcee is going to have problems maintaining their enthusiasm.
3) It shows a lack of respect for the other performers on the show.
If, because of the mess on the stage, the show lags and audience
energy drops, the next performer is going to suffer. A show should
build in intensity. This cant happen if each act has to start from
square one. 4) An act that trashes the stage will have a hard time
fnding a home in any revue show in the real world. I have spoken
to many friends who are professional stage and stand-up perform-
ers; none have told me that a booker would consider hiring an act
that left the stage a mess.
I think its time to admit that this has gone on long enough; the
solution is simple: change the rules of the contest. If an acts props
cant be struck and the foor cleaned in sixty seconds (or whatever
small, arbitrary amount of time you want to choose), there is a
penalty a penalty severe enough to affect the chances of winning
a prize.
The young magicians who are in the process of developing
stage contest acts look at the acts that have won for inspiration.
If a winning act trashes the stage, they will do the same. Instead
of perpetuating the mess, lets force them to think outside the
box and see what ingenious methods theyll come up with to
avoid the litter. If we give them the opportunity, I think theyll
surprise us.
6 M-U-M Magazine - SEPTEMBER 2014
Michael Close


Kenrick "ICE" McDonald
Presidents Desk
The S.A.M. family is incredible. We have suffered some
tragedies and some loss this season. When it comes to supporting
the members and their families in their time of loss, our S.A.M.
family goes beyond the call of duty to support these families. I
simply would like to say to all of you, thank you.
The Associate Member: To the associate members of the
Society, you are not forgotten. First, I would like to encourage
you to join an assembly in your area. If joining an assembly is not
possible, I want you to know that you are just as important to the
Society as any other member who does belong to an assembly.
Per the Presidents Desk article in the August M-U-M, the RVPs
will be looking for outstanding assembly members as well as
associate members to honor with a Presidential Certifcate for
their achievements.
In the past few weeks, there have been several magic programs
on television, in the press, and in social media. I want take the
magic from the screen and bring it to reality. We will celebrate
National Magic Week from October 26-31, 2014. I am asking
the S.A.M. membership to perform a minimum of one thousand
magical acts of kindness during the month of October. Many of
our members visit hospitals and perform for the sick and con-
valescent. Please take a moment to share the healing power of
magic with a charity or sick children during the month of October.
It doesnt have to be during the week proclaimed to be National
Magic Week; we just want to share this great art and its good will.
Also during National Magic Week, local assembly leadership
will be encouraged to reach out to their communities to promote
the art of magic. We encourage assemblies and S.A.M. members
everywhere to participate in A Magical Moment in Time. On
October 26, 2014, at 7:00 p.m. CST, magicians from Disneyworld
in Orlando to Central Park in New York City to the streets of
New Orleans to Six Flags in Dallas to the MGM Grand in Las
Vegas to the Magic Castle in Hollywood will perform a levitation
illusion at the same moment in time. You can levitate a card, a
coin, a paper rose, a silver ball, a table, a car, or another person.
It doesnt matter what you levitate, just as long as we all levitate
something at the same time. This one single event could highlight
and promote the art of magic to millions. Look for more informa-
tion to come from your RVPs, on our offcial Facebook members
page, and on the S.A.M. website.
Congratulations to Gay Blackstone, who was the recipient of
the frst ever Dual Presidential Citation given to her collectively
by S.A.M. and I.B.M. at the combined convention in St. Louis
(see photo on page 47). Also, Larry McMechan and Del Wilson
were recipients of an S.A.M. Presidential Citation.
Volunteering his talents to J.A.G. (Jobs For Americas
Jamahl Keyes, also known as The Magic Motivator, has
been sharing his wonderful talent of motivation and magic to
young adults for twenty years. He has traveled all over the world
using the art of magic and theatre to help young adults fnd The
Magic in Themselves. Jamahl is not only known for his greatness
in magic and theatre, but also for over ten years of life-chang-
ing volunteer work for the national organization J.A.G. (Jobs
For Americas Graduates), which is a state-based, national non-
proft organization dedicated to preventing dropouts among
young people who are most at risk. In more than three decades
of operation, J.A.G. has delivered consistent, compelling results
helping nearly three-quarters of a million young people stay in
school through graduation, pursue postsecondary education, and
secure quality entry-level jobs leading to career advancement op-
The Reed Sisters have amazed audiences throughout the
world. These young ladies, taught by their grandfather, Larry
McMechan, have been performing magic since the age of three.
They have been featured in numerous newspaper articles, tele-
vision specials, and magazines. They recently performed as
the headlining act in France. The Reed Sisters have also been
featured in a Japanese documentary that aired in Japan for several
years, as well as many television appearances here in the United
States. These three ladies have combined their award-winning
acts to form a show that has become known as The Sister Act. In
this high-energy show they combine illusions, comedy, drama,
and dance, creating fun for all ages. Their deep love of the stage,
high energy, charismatic onstage presence, and inherent need to
thrill their audiences shines through in all of their performances,
making their act one not to be missed.
8 M-U-M Magazine - SEPTEMBER 2014
S.A.M. National Offcers
Dean: George Schindler, 1735 East 26th St.,
Brooklyn, NY 11229, (718) 336-0605, Fax (718)
President: Kenrick ICE McDonald, P.O. Box
341034, Los Angeles, CA 90034,
(310) 559-8968,
President Elect: David Bowers,
(717) 414-7574,
First Vice President: Jeffrey Sikora, (402) 339-
Second Vice President: Richard Bowman, 719-
Secretary: Marlene Clark, 274 Church Street,
#6B, Guilford, CT 06437, (203) 689-5730,
Skype: marlene.clark,
Treasurer: Eric Lampert, (215) 939-5555,
Regional Vice Presidents
New England: CT MA RI NH ME VT
Thomas D. Gentile, 413-533-7653,
North Atlantic: NY NJ
Eric DeCamps, (718) 896-5861,
Mid Atlantic: PA DE MD VAWV DC
Arlen Z. Solomon, 215-443-7908,
South Atlantic: FL AL GA MS NC SC
James M. Driscoll, 770-603-9266,
Central Plains: KY TN OH IN MI
Steven A. Spence, (317) 722-0429
Shaun Rivera, (618) 781-8621
South Central States: TX AR OK NM LA
Michael Tallon, (210) 341-6959
Southwest: CA AZ NV HI
Ron Ishimaru, (808) 428-6019,
Northwest: WA OR UT ID CO AK WY MT
James Russell, (360) 682-6648
Canada: Lon F. Mandrake, 604-591-5839,
Society of Young Magicians Director:
Jann Wherry Goodsell, 329 West 1750 North,
Orem, Utah 84057 (801) 376-0353.
Living Past
National Presidents
Bradley M. Jacobs, Richard L. Gustafson, Roy A.
Snyder, Bruce W. Fletcher, James E.
Zachary, David R. Goodsell, 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, Vinny
Grosso, J. Christopher Bontjes, Dal Sanders
SEPTEMBER 2014 - M-U-M Magazine 9
Society of American Magicians Monthly News
SEPTEMBER 2014 Volume 104, Number 4
and use the easy submission form to fle your report
date and location of our July
meeting had to be changed, so
we had fewer members than
normal. However, those who
attended carried out the theme of
patriotic magic to the fullest red,
white, and blue fgured in every
trick that was shown.
Hippo Lau led off; he described
the frst American fag and drew
a sketch on a blank sheet of paper
with a black felt pen. He brought
it to reality when he put the paper
in a bag, which changed it into
a real American fag. Corky
LaVallee followed and had Walt
Johnson help. While Walt held
red, white, and blue silks Corky
took a fre cracker and put it into a
metal tube for protection. He then
took the silks and put them into a
box that promptly made the silks
disappear. When Walt opened
the metal tube and removed the
contents, it turned out to be an
American fag. The missing fre
cracker was then found hanging
on Walts back.
Stu Bacon used a Silk Cabby
to turn red, white, and blue silks
into an American fag. In making
the change he didnt have a
wand or pixie dust, so he uttered
a Latin phrase that made the
conversion. (The Latin phrase
was impressive but didnt have
any meaning.) Walt Johnson
preformed Daryls Patriotic Ropes
to a political theme, blue being
democrats, reds republicans, and
white moderates. They all started
as separate entities and Walt tied
them together in the hope that
all three groups could work as
one. When he displayed the fnal
single rope with all three colors it
proved that all three groups could
work together. We wished that
was really the case. Rob Shapiro
ended the evening by asking
Walt to hold a red shoelace in
one hand and a blue shoelace in
the other. Rob then made a white
shoelace disappear and then pulled
it from Walts ear.
While we enjoyed the cookies
that Corky brought, we were
surprised that no one did the tradi-
tional Mismade Flag! Maybe next
year. Stu Bacon
Assembly 2 meets the frst
Wednesday in the Community
Room of the Taraval Police
Station, 2345 24th Avenue, San
Francisco. Contact Corky LaValee (415)
648-1382 for more details.
meeting came on June 23, just
ahead of the I.B.M./S.A.M.
combined convention. The theme
was Works in Progress, to give
members a chance to present new
tricks or routines that are still
being smoothed out, and receive
constructive feedback from the
First, Most Illustrious Neil Tobin
presented a new card routine with
a vampire theme, hammering a
deck into a piece of wood. John
Sturk presented the Nemo Jumbo
Rising Cards, with the assistance
of Daniel Shutters, who recently
relocated to Chicago from Harris-
burg, Pennsylvania, and Assembly
Gordon Gluff presented his
routine of Coins to Glass utilizing
a small wooden box, and Bob
Syrup presented his take on
Further Than That, originally
published by Stewart James.
David Lyons showed us how to
make musical instruments from
balloons, Frank Glab showed his
new close-up coin routine utilizing
jade rings, and Daniel Shutters
explained Petals Around the Rose.
John Sturk
Assembly 3 meets at 7:30pm,
fourth Monday of the month at
Pilgrim Congregational Church,
460 W. Lake St, Oak Park,
IL Contact John Sturk john@ (773) 633-9219 for
more details.
we held our annual banquet, which
featured our very own Al Lloyd.
During the cocktail hour we were
treated to an array of music by
D.J. Kurt Garwood while Michael
Bonacci and Peter Cuddihy
rotated among the tables and
performed some amazing close-up
magic. Following a sumptuous
buffet dinner, S.A.M. National
Historian Tom Ewing handed out
the trophies to the winners of the
close-up and stage contests this
year before presenting the Dick
& Joan Gustafson award to James
Fiorentino, who is a gentleman in
every sense of the word. (A photo
of Jim holding his plaque will
appear in next months submis-
President Brian Hurlburt then
presented the Presidents Out-
standing Service Award in
honor of Jerry Remenicky (a.k.a.
Professor Rem) to Assembly 4
Secretary Arlen Solomon. A round
of applause was then given to
outgoing President Brian Hurlburt
for all of his hard work this year as
he passed the gavel and wand on to
incoming President Eric Johnson.
After the award ceremony, the
stage show began, featuring a
whirlwind of classics of magic
performed by our very own Al
Lloyd. Al started things off with
his award-winning, elegant dove
act, which culminated in the trans-
formation of several doves into a
large white rabbit and the produc-
tion of a large, rare, white bird
from the island of Crete, thereby
garnering a thunderous round of
applause. At the conclusion of his
dove act, Al enlisted the assistance
of the adorable Sidney Matthews
to perform his hysterical version
of the Misers Dream, during
which he pulled countless coins
from audience members while
walking through the crowd. After
amassing a bucket of coins, Al
pulled a jumbo coin from Sidneys
nose and had her blow her nose
into a handkerchief, revealing
a bunch of hundred dollar bills.
Al performed a number of great
illusions during the evening,
including the Card Sword and an
amazing effect during which his
wrists were bound together with
rope after which two audience
members tossed two metal
hoops at him which miraculous-
ly passed through the rope and
came to rest in each of his bent
elbows. Al presented us with an
amazing evening of magic that
we will always remember, thereby
capping off another excellent year
at Assembly 4. Peter Cuddihy
James Wobensmith Assembly 4
meets third Thursday 7:00 p.m. at
the Bustleton Memorial Post
810 (American Legion), 9151
Old Newtown Road. Contact
Information: for
more details.
was no theme for our July
meeting. Before we even got
started there was heavy-duty
sessioning taking place in the
front room, including a lively
discussion of the pros and cons
of the Criss-Cross force. After
a brief discussion of the magic
SEPTEMBER 2014 - M-U-M Magazine 11
Corky and Walt do the Ching
Soo Firecracker trick
Frank Glab, the Great
Frankini, shows his new coin
routine with Chinese jade rings
12 M-U-M Magazine - SEPTEMBER 2014
Assembly News
fea market we will hold on a
Saturday in September, it was on
to magic. Jared Raitzyk had a
spectator choose a card; he then
revealed its value (Jack of Spades)
in the shape of a heated wire. He
followed with an impromptu
keys-deck of cards-lighter predic-
tion. Joe Bruno debuted his two
latest creations. First, a selected
card appeared between two tabled
Jokers. He followed with an effect
using two red-backed and one
blue-backed decks of cards, the
blue ultimately disappearing and
ending up in the tabled, closed
card box. Joe tipped both effects
(soon to be published) and we
critiqued. Howard Katz suggested
a way to combine both effects into
a marketable item.
Andy London performed an inter-
esting card effect by Caleb Wiles
called Armchair Mind Reading,
and discussed the thinking behind
it. Mark Wolfre did a multi-phase
card routine themed on going on
vacation, complete with skycaps
and luggage (from John Guasta-
ferros Brainstorm). Eric Hoffman
performed Against All Odds, an
intriguing Aldo Colombini card
match effect. Mike Parkinson
turned away while his spectator
cut four piles, selected the highest
top card, and shuffed every-
thing. Somehow he was able to
divine the card. Howard Katz
had us scratching our heads
over a mysterious card reveal he
debuted. Called Augury The
Art of Divination, its his own
effect, just now being marketed
by Magic Warehouse. Sessioning
continued long after the meeting
ended, including Mikes tale of
woe of how he ended up with ten
thousand wrongly made business
cards! Eric Hoffman
The Kellar/Thurston Assembly
6 meets every frst Thursday at
8:00 pm at the Magic Warehouse,
11419 Cronridge Drive suite #10
in Owings Mills, Maryland. 410-
561-0777. Contact Andy London
at or www. for more
St. Louis, MO May 30, 2014,
was our installation banquet;
everyone was ready for food, fun,
and magic, and no one was disap-
pointed! President Randy Kalin
greeted the group of magicians,
family, and friends who gathered.
Our food was excellent, and we
thank the Appersons (David,
Virginia, and John) for that. The
deserts were divine, thanks to
MaryAnn Blowers!
Then came the magic, Columbus
Smith was ever the charming
mentalist. He executed several
mind reading effects with Joshua
Weidner, Dan Todd, Sandy
Weis, and Ron Jackson. Gregory
Green,is not green with his magic,
thats for sure. He performed faw-
lessly and entertained the whole
crowd with an in-the-audience
illusion foating a gentlemans
credit card, a fun Cups and Balls
routine on stage with a delighted
young man, and caused a drawn
card rise to the occasion.
The offcers and board were
installed, by PNP John Apperson:
President Randy Kalin, Vice
President Steve Barcellona,
Secretary/Treasurer Dick
Blowers, Sergeant of Arms Greg
Lewis, Chaplin PNP Harry
Monti, Board Members Harry
Monti, Sandy Weis, and Columbus
Then we had even more fun,
because Steve Barcellona along
with Randy created a great game
show for everyone to enjoy: Can
You Name the Prop? Everyone
went home with a smile and just
about everyone went home with a
June 26, 2014 was Improving
Your Performances night. After
a brief meeting we watched
Bardakas, Patrick Gable
Marinelli, Smoothini, a couple
of Carbonaro effects, and more.
George Van Dyke gave a review
and copies of Inside Straight by
Norman Beck (M-U-M August
2013, page 69) and Inside Out
by Jon Racherbaumer (M-U-M
May 2000 page 71). Harry Monti
performed a prediction of a
number and who would choose
that number; it was Larry Minth.
Randy spoke about how we can
all improve our performances
with scripting. Dan (the Great)
Todd got all emotional with Sandy
Weis and George Van Dyke while
performing an effect from Reel
Magic Magazine # 38 by Christian
Painter. A then-visitor/now-new-
member, Nicholas Sinamon,
treated us to a version of Card
Warp, which everyone enjoyed!
July 1-5 most of us attended the
S.A.M./I.B.M. convention, right
here in St. Louis. It was fantastic.
Dan Todd
Assembly 8 meets at Mount Tabor
United Church of Christ located
at 6520 Arsenal in Saint Louis,
Missouri 63139. Contact Dick
(213) 846-8468 http://Assembly8.
com for more details.
annual Summer Sizzler kicked off
this year with a gorgeous weather
forecast prediction of a beautiful
sunny summer day with light
humidity. Many attendees were
from four New England assem-
blies (127, 16, 17, and 21). We did
have chance at one from 26 and
several from 9, but it was not to be.
All we had to add was magic and
fun for all.
Many enjoyed the timely delivery
of a meal that our committee had
worked to supply for this years
menu of barbeque ribs, brisket
sandwiches, and chicken. We also
had corn on the cob with many
salads. A cake donated for dessert
and wonderful cold watermelon
toppedf the meal. We even had ice
cubes from Hawaii supplied by
Southwest RVP Ron Ishimaru.
This year we tried a Chinese
auction-style raffe and we also
tried Chinese auction style door
prizes. Many thanks to several
who donated to the raffe and door
prizes; among those mentioned
were members Ed Popielarczyks
donation of many books and a
generous gift certifcate from Rich
Pinsonnault, owner of the local
magic shop. Many went home
with some nice new effects to be
added to their magic drawer reper-
toire. Our treasury thanks all who
supported the event this year.
We were treated to many
who displayed their talents
for our members and guests.
Soll Levine revealed his expertise
of a card freely chosen and revealed
after a wardrobe change behind a
new fan that he had purchased at
this years St. Louis convention.
National Secretary Marlene Clark
was able to determine a fstful
of cards selected from several
shuffes and pile selections. Vice
President Leonard Nadeau was
able to work several miracles with
rope. Peter Lennis amazed many
at his table. Dean Tom Gentile was
able to draw upon the spirits to
help determine a number selected
among several cards with possibil-
ity of one to one hundred with the
help of his datebooks calculator
burning the results. President Rich
Gilbert amazed many with his
new acquisitions from his conven-
tion trip.
Many went home with full
stomachs, leftovers, and magic to
remember that they had come to
Springfelds assembly to Visit
for a Spell! Dean Tom Gentile
Dr. I. R. Calkins Assembly 17
Springfeld MA meets the frst
Friday of the month except for
July and August at Moto-X Bike
and Magic Shop, 69 East Street
Ludlow MA. 1-413-547-6500
Contact Rich Gilbert-President (413-
for more details.
held our long-delayed elections
in July and the S.A.M. and I.B.M.
offcers were reappointed. The
leadership of the CCMA remained
mostly unchanged, except for
placing Roger Cisowski in the
VP spot, to join President Dan
Sclare, Secretary Dana Ring, and
Treasurer Soll Levine.
The theme for the night was
Summertime and the Magic is
Easy, so there were no rules;
anything was allowed. Dave
Steele started us off with a set
of four rods with numbers on
all sides. Chris White arranged
them at random to form four rows
of four-digit numbers. Using a
calculator, he found their sum,
but before he fnished, Dave had
already written his own answer,
which matched. Chris shuffed a
deck and dealt two poker hands.
Dan Sclaress hand was a full
house, but Chris only had a pair of
Nines. However, one thumb-fick
and his hand changed to a royal
Henry Andrzejczyks niece
Samatha performed an effect
she learned from a Shari Lewis
video. She had a card selected
and returned to the deck, which
was then encased. The selected
card rose from the deck on her
command. Marlene Clark gave
packets of cards to four volun-
teers. One of the volunteers,
Rick St. Pierre, was chosen, and
Marlene established a mental link
Uncle (Con-Man) Larry
New RVP-NE Tom Gentile
SEPTEMBER 2014 - M-U-M Magazine 13
Assembly News
with him and was able to name,
one by one, all the cards in Ricks
Tom Gentile, our newly-elected
Regional Vice President for New
England, told us an amusing
story about how casinos recently
became legal in Massachusetts, il-
lustrated by a chart. As the story
continued the chart got simpler by
folding, until it became a picture of
a toilet! He also showed us a gag
by the late, great Aldo Colombini
concerning a science project to
cross-breed pheasants.
One of our guests, Brad Beady,
had a card selected and returned
to the deck. He then selected four
cards and displayed then one at a
time, looking for a tell from his
volunteer. He correctly guessed
the chosen card, and then showed
that the other three cards now
matched the chosen cards denom-
ination. Lastly, Dan showed three
little colored bolts with matching
nuts in a small container. When
shaken, the only bolt to un-thread
its nut matched the color of a pre-
selected card. Dana T. Ring
Assembly 21 meets the 2nd
Monday of every month (except
December) at Angelos on Main,
289 South Main Street, West
Hartford, CT Contact Dana T.
Ring (860)
5239888 for
more details.
Assembly 22 business meeting
of July 21, 2014, was short, but it
included a second reading, a vote,
and the unanimous election into
assembly membership for Jeremy
Williams. Congratulations,
The program for the evening was
a lecture by David Gabbay. David
was featured in the August
2013 issue of the MAGIC
magazine article, Magic at the
Fringe. David is one of a number
of very talented young profession-
al Los Angeles area performers.
Davids lecture consisted
generally of close-up effects and
included some very nice coin
tricks, including Coin Opener,
a production of silver dollar coins
from a small coin purse. Gabbay
also presented his version of
Ramsays Coins & Cylinder and
a three-fy effect called Sanchez
Fly. David also presented a
number of impressive card effects
that were made unique with his
presentations. Particularly im-
pressive were the unique reveals
of selected cards.
The lecture closed with a series
of effects accomplished with
small, strong magnets. Among
these were several unique Chop
Cup routines, one using a small
can that had contained mini-sau-
sages and another with a double-
ended cocktail jigger. A polo shirt
logo that could be slid anywhere
on the shirt closed his lecture.
David is a very personable
performer and lecturer, and his
presentation was most entertain-
ing. Most of the material, he
explained, would require some
level of skill with coins and cards
and a requisite amount of practice
handling all of the props. The
material he presented is straight
from his Magic Castle close-up
act, so its all practical and
audience tested to be entertain-
ing. A great set of lecture notes
was available in the form of a
perfect-bound book full of photos
on glossy paper. David also had
a few of his other special props
available. Another great night of
magic at the Southern California
Assembly. Steven L. Jennings
Southern California Assembly
22 meets the third Monday each
month at 8:00 PM, St. Thomas
More Parish Hall, 2510 South
Fremont Avenue, Alhambra,
California Contact Ed Thomas (213)
382-8504 for more details.
a discussion about upcoming
magic shows to be presented by
Assembly 32, John Jennings shared
some of the highlights from the
recent I.B.M./S.A.M. combined
national convention in St. Louis.
He was especially impressed with
the outstanding close-up talent on
display throughout the week. John
then on to present his own adapta-
tion of A Semiautomatic Ace Pro-
duction by Dani DaOrtiz that was
printed in the convention program.
The meeting theme for July
was Magic with a Stretch and
a Bounce. This could mean
rubber bands, rubber balls, elastic
cords, or anything else that could
remotely fall into the category and
assembly members had plenty to
offer. Carl Hoegerl started things
off with a nice handling of a sponge
ball routine that he is working
on. His son, John, was with him
attending his frst magic meeting.
We are guessing the magic
bug might bite at any moment.
Mike Kinnaird presented his
version of a ring on spring because
he was looking to refne his pre-
sentation. Mike then used rubber
bands to perform an excellent
handling of the Crazy Mans
Handcuffs. He was followed
by Bob Staton, who showed a
card routine in which he would
count fve cards, toss away
three, and still have fve cards.
Bob Wallin fnished the theme-
related magic with a wide assort-
ment of magical effects. These
included multiplying hot dogs and
a stretched hot dog in a bun. Bob
added a stretching rope effect with
appearing knots. He also demon-
strated that even wood could be
stretched by showing the wooden
boomerangs he had. He had
quickies with a bendable pencil and
jumbo size coin and he presented
a very nice linking head-bands
effect. He then shared a series of
visual magical effects with an as-
sortment of rubber band trickery.
Bob did a few other magical
things with stuff that would
stretch or bounce, but this scribe
had a choice at times to either
watch or write. If I tried to do
both, something would be missed.
I chose to watch and then try to
remember what I could. It was
quite apparent that Bob Wallin
has a quite large repertoire of
magic that he can bring into use at
anytime. Thus concluded a magic
flled evening in Lynchburg,
Virginia. John Jennings
The Hersy Basham Assembly 32
meets the third Tuesday at 7:00
p.m. at Tharp Funeral Home, 220
Breezewood Drive, Lynchburg,
VA. Contact John Jennings (434)
851-6240 for more details.
DENVER, CO The summer of
2014 is fying by here in the Mile
High City, with lots of magic hap-
penings and fun events all over the
beautiful state. The Mile High
Magicians society hosted a fun
summer picnic in the month of
June. It was put together by club
member Lewis Peacock; several
members enjoyed a hamburger or
two. John Luong and Treasurer
Dave Elstun both reported back
that a good time was had by
all. Our magic neighbors to the
north also put together a grand
picnic while our magic neighbors
to the south hosted a summer fea
market. In the month of July
President Matt Brandt and our
sergeant at arms put on a thank-you
show for the residents of the retire-
ment center that donates a meeting
room to us every month. This
has been a tradition for several
years. The least we can do is show
a little gratitude back in the form
of a magic performance.
Colorado is a very magic
state. We not only are home to
several working pros we are also
a magnet for street performers
from around the globe with such
venues as Boulder Colorados
Pearl Street Mall. Colorado is
also the home of the legends of
Bar Magic, Doc Eason and Eric
Mead, from the Aspen/Snowmass
area. And we possess a hidden
magic treasure. We are home to a
unique small magic theater owned
by past FISM winner, I.B.M. gold
cup winner, and consultant to the
stars, Joe Givan and the lovely
and talented lady magician Carol
Massie. The Theatre of Dreams
sits in the charming small town
of Castle Rock, Colorado. It
is proud to be celebrating its
eleventh year of bringing Magic
Castle-caliber talent to the Rocky
Mountains. They just hosted Mind
Games, with world-renowned
human expert Marc Salem all
the way from the East Coast. It
is diffcult to place Marc into
any one category. Holding three
separate Masters degrees he is not
a mind reader or magician; he is
just a very well educated expert
on the human psyche and very im-
pressive too.Connie Elstun
Assembly 37 meets at the
Riverpointe Senior Center in
Littleton Colorado Contact
Connie Elstun connie@
c o m e d y m a g i c b u n n y .
com (303) 933-4118 www. for more
absence of an actual July assembly
meeting, four members convened
at a popular sports pub for a
evening meal and an after dinner
jam session featuring cards, coins,
rubber bands, borrowed bills, and
an unplanned seminar on as much
magic theory as we could cover.
Before getting down to the
magical tasks at hand, there was
a brief support group session
that arose out of the perceived
need to convince the worrisome
Joe Givan, Carol Massie and
Marc Salem outside The
Theatre of Dreams
14 M-U-M Magazine - SEPTEMBER 2014
Assembly News
Don Becker that his car would
probably not be towed from the
off-site spot where hed parked it.
That attended to, Becker was asked
to do Daryls Double Dazzling
Triumph. There followed a sort
of teach-in on the effect, during
which he got moderately confused,
but was cheered on to a respect-
able conclusion. Thanks, guys.
Bob Goodin followed with his
own Aces Twisting effect which,
like all of Bobs material, was a
lesson in magic unto itself clean,
straight plot line, visually striking,
totally mystifying. Maybe there
is a correlation between being a
master musician (which Bob is)
and a master magician as well. No
proof, but its a working theory.
John Hicks, whose patter and
presentation are always the
perfect blend, was then the frst
to entertain our waitress with a
card trick in which she was his
assistant in a magic-performance
dream hed had. She was cheerful
and attentive throughout what
emerged as a crash course in
how to weather four magicians
vying for your attention. This
was only her second day at this
restaurant, and considering the
show to which she was treated,
it may well prove to be her best.
Teach-in number two evolved by
way of Shaun Riveras fawless
coin box work. I was wondrous
to watch, more so to be patiently
walked through it by the performer.
Thanks Shaun. Very nice work.
Then came Kayleigh and Jay,
a super nice young couple who
moved from their table to ours
expressly to see magic. They
ended up seeing quite a lot. They
clearly enjoyed it. No word on
how late the whole shebang lasted
because this reporter had to get
underway, leaving the others to
happily carry on. He was relieved
to fnd his car where he had left
it. No word yet as to whether
Kayleigh and Jay plan to join the
S.A.M. Don Becker
Assembly 38 meets at the Improv
Coffee House and Theater, 4010
Pennsylvania Avenue, Kansas
City, MO on the 3rd Tuesday of
every month. Contact Don Becker (816)
886-6780 for more details.
3 2014, Brother John Hamman
Assembly 52 held its monthly
meeting at LaMadeleine
Restaurant. President Ray Adams
called the meeting to order. Ray let
us know about The Magic Summit
to be held in Las Vegas November
14-16. Also, the Texas Association
of Magicians convention will hold
its annual convention Labor Day
weekend in Fort Worth, Texas.
Starting off the open
performances was Michael Tallon.
He was in St. Louis at the I.B.M./
S.A.M. combined convention, so he
phoned in his performance with a
fnd-a-card effect. Ray Adams did
a patriotic color changing fowers
and candle to music, followed by
Ed Solomons storytelling about
Simon Magus and a matching card
effect. Don Moravits entertained
with a prediction effect called
Spread Switch, and Paul Amerson
performed David Devlins Theta
Waves. Doug Gorman performed
an original effect he calls
Executive Decision, and Paul Mim
closed the open performances
with Card to Wallet by Pat Page.
Joe Libby was the featured
performer for the evening. He
gave us a wonderful talk on
positive thinking. His message
was interspersed among some
entertaining magic and some
great ventriloquism. He offered
us some important strategies:
make a choice to be positive,
surround yourself with positive
people, and be grateful for what
you have. Thanks, Joe, for an
inspiring presentation that will
beneft us all.
Brother John Hamman
Assembly 52 meets at 7:30 p.m.
on the frst 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,
Meeting was held at the home
of Compeer Jeff Porges. We
were joined by RVP Steven
Spence. During our business
meeting, we discussed the recent
I.B.M./S.A.M. combined conven-
tion and how club members The
Reed Sisters were selected to be
one of the acts to represent North
America and compete at FISM
in Italy next summer. We also
discussed how compeer Larry
McMechan received a Presidential
Citation for his many contributions
to the art of magic from National
President ICE McDonald. After
refreshments provided by Jeff,
we gathered for the performance
portion of our meeting. Our theme
was Walk-around Magic; we saw
presentations from Jeff Porges,
Fred Witwer, Millie Witwer,
Matthew David Stanley, Paul
Burnham, Scott Miller, and Steven
Spence. It was a fun meeting;
a good time was had by all.
Matthew David Stanley
Assembly 56 meets at various
locations contact Paul Burnham (937)
474-0647 for more details.
business meeting was omitted in
deference to our annual Anti-
Business Meeting, which is code
for a magic picnic! This years
event was hosted by Susan and
Jim Folkls on July 12. The club
provided the hot dogs and ham-
burgers with members bringing a
side dish to share.
We were blessed with beautiful
weather, great food, and, most
important, a terrifc magic show!
Secretary, Jim Folkl kicked things
off with a childrens comedy
routine featuring Lovey Ducky,
a rare childrens effect from the
Harry Stanleys Unique Magic
Studio. Lovey is chased around
her coop by Tomcat Tommy
until caught (?) and ultimately
reappears from a giant egg free
from the clutches of the wily feline
Our next performer was George
Mathis, who shared with the group
a magic routine in development.
The effect involved two colored
strings of beads (green and red)
that linked and unlinked before
our eyes. It was a clever act that is
being honed by George into a fnal
presentation routine. Randy Smith
demonstrated The Box of Destiny.
With the help of a spectator, a
playing card/destiny was chosen.
The box was opened revealing a
deck of cards. Upon their spread, it
was seen that the selected card was
reversed and of a different color
from the rest of the pack.
President Bill Brang closed the
show with a routine he will present
at the 2014 North American
Science Fiction Convention to be
held July 17-20 in Detroit. Bill
opened with a variation of Dr.
Jaks Supersonic Card Predic-
tion, divining a freely chosen card
from a feld of six displayed on an
elevated pedestal. Next, injecting
a bit of levity, Bill talked about de-
veloping advertising for a business
card. He recounted the phraseol-
ogy being considered and the need
to minimize the verbiage. Ulti-
mately the message read, Will
Work for Food. Bill fnished with
a version of Hippity-hop Rabbits
using Big Foot in lieu of hares, in
line with the theme of the conven-
tion, science fction.
Subsequent to the show, we
continued to talk magic; I took the
group on a tour of my man cave/
magic den. After a full stomach
and a full day of magic, we called
our picnic a success.
The much-anticipated Barry
Mitchell Lecture in September
kicks off our fall schedule,
followed by Assembly 88s world
famous magic fea market in
October. Jim Folkl
Assembly 88 meets the second
wednesday of each month, 7pm
at Faith Lutheran Church,1255
Assembly 38 - Shaun Rivera, Don Becker, John Hicks and Bob
Goodin hold forth at the local pub
Reed Sisters with Invitation
to compete at F.I.S.M. (Top)
Larry McMechan Presidential
Citation from Ice McDonald
President Bill Brang
SEPTEMBER 2014 - M-U-M Magazine 15
Assembly News
East Forest,Ypsilanti Michigan.
Contact Jim Folkl folkinimagic@ (248) 851-4839 for
more details.
Trevor and Lorena Watters from
Assembly 95 in Vancouver, BC,
were crowned the 2014 North
American FISM Stage Champions
at the combined IBM/SAM/FISM
North American Champion-
ships of Magic held in St. Louis,
Missouri, over the frst week of
July. With their polished, variety-
comedy dual stage act, they thor-
oughly impressed the judges in
the preliminaries to achieve the
highest overall score for North
American stage competitors. This
qualifed them for the fnals, in
which they were the only North
American act amongst other
stellar international acts. Their
fnal performance was just as im-
pressive to the sold-out audience
of about 1,400. In the end, Trevor
and Lorena were awarded the
top FISM North American 2014
prize, and will represent North
America at FISM in Italy in
2015. Congratulations Trevor &
Lorena from proud Assembly 95!
From all the media coverage that
they received when they got back
home, all of Vancouver, British
Columbia, and Canada are thrilled
and overwhelmed by their incred-
ible achievement. This coveted
championship could not go to a
more deserving young, fresh, and
adorable married magical couple!
Rod Chow
The Carl Hemeon Assembly No.
95 meets the frst Tuesday of
each month at members homes.
Contact Rod Chow rod@rodchow.
com (604) 669-7777 www.sam95.
com for more details.
With offcial Assembly
104 meetings at recess until
September, summer magical
activities continued behind
the scenes as July progressed.
Compeer Vince DeAngelis, proud
new owner of Diamonds Magic in
Peabody, Massachusetts, worked
through the month with former
owner Eddie Gardner to create a
smooth transition that will please
the local magic community. With
free coffee brewing and a new
stage to highlight S.Y.M. 124
members, things are truly shaping
up. Lecturers who have already
enjoyed the new Diamonds
include Tyler Twombly, teaching
beginners coin magic, and card
magician Jason Ladanye. Vince
reports he is thrilled with the
caliber of magicians on the way.
These include blind card whiz
Richard Tucker, on September
8, and Mr. Tango himself, on
December 8.
In addition to enjoying their
revamped performance area at
Diamonds, our S.Y.M. 124 kids
have kept busy elsewhere in July.
Three of them participated in
Tannens Magic Camp during
the week of July 12. Nate Nagem
joined 124 president Derek Dubois
(who took part in the competition)
and 124 vice president Michael
Ricciardi for an awesome week
of lectures and performances. Per-
formers included Eric Decamps,
Steve Cohen, and David Oliver
(who amazed everyone by per-
forming his dove act).
Camp Evergreen, in Andover,
Massachusetts, is currently being
prepared for the annual S.Y.M.
124/Assembly 104 competition,
fea market and barbecue event.
The S.Y.M. kids have had to make
do without their beloved teacher
Kayla Drescher, who has relocated
to Las Vegas. While dearly missed,
word from our attendees at the
joint S.A.M./I.B.M. convention
in St. Louis, Missouri, was that
Kayla performed her signature
bartender act well in competi-
tion. The St. Louis attendees
from Assembly 104 were few, but
enthusiastic. Among them were
Evan Buso-Jarnis, Doc Rogers,
and Vice President Eddie Gardner.
Ed was especially impressed with
the quality of the magic on both
German Night and Korean
After Returning to the Bay State,
SAMCON Producer Evan reported
the signing of our fnal headliners
for the November 15 SAMCON
convention at the Double Tree
Hotel in Danvers, Massachusetts:
Christian Painter and Katalina.
Those who attend will be treated
to an unforgettable Saturday,
flled with lectures by Jay Sankey,
Christian and Katalina, and Oscar
Munoz, and a night of enchanting
performances. There will even
be a limited seating Master Class
by Jay Sankey on the day after
SAMCON for dessert. For details
on Assembly 104 and SAMCON
please visit our website: www. Bob Forrest
Assembly 104 meets on the
frst Wednesday of each month,
September-June, at 7 p.m., at the
First Baptist Church of Salem,
292 Lafayette Street, Salem,
Massachusetts. Contact Bob
Forrest captainalbrightsq1@ (339) 227-0797 www. for more details.
meeting was a teach-in from Vice
President Dody-Jane Svetahor
on reel magic for both the S.Y.M.
members and the S.A.M. members.
It was a very informative meeting
that went well into the evening
with some good discussion.
Our July meeting was our annual
covered dish family picnic; we
had thirty-four people in atten-
dance, including our members. It
was held at our vice presidents
home and we appreciate her
and her husband allowing us to
use their place. We had quite an
array of food, including Houdini
Zucchini and Dante Deviled
Eggs. All members performed for
the family audience and there was
a lot of new, never-seen-before
magic, including a lot of comedy
and laughter. One family of a new
S.Y.M. member told us that they
a wonderful time and said that
they noticed how friendly, and
welcoming the club is.
We did fnd time to fnalize our
plans for our club show in October.
We always like to perform together
when we can. Dan Miller
The James Swoger Assembly 108
meets at 6:00 pm for SYM and
7:00 pm for SAM every third
Monday at Wheeler Bros Inc.
Contact Dan Miller millermagic@ (814) 733-4978 for
more details.
were six performers for the open
contest after our July meeting
open meaning that there was no
particular theme.
Lou Abbotiello was the frst
to perform. Showing six empty
Starbucks cups numbered one thru
six, Lou asked for the assistance of
a number of people to roll a die to
select a cup. Lou told us only after
the cups were mouth down, that
one cup contained a $10 bill while
the rest were truly empty. Cups
were chosen by the number on the
rolled die matching the number on
the cup until only one remained
the one with the money. Nice Lou.
Joe Noll brought us a Paul Harris
tweaked version of Cards Across
in which a mentally chosen card
travels from one packet of ten
cards to another packet of ten. The
card count in the packets adjusts to
nine and eleven.
Scott Corell showed us
something he purchased at the
S.A.M. convention, a toothpick!
Scott suspended the toothpick
across two parallel card boxes and
then removed one box. The pick
remained suspended. He handed
the pick to Troy who was unable
to get the pick to suspend. Very
Al Bienstock had a card chosen
and returned to the deck only to
have the card disappear. Where
did that fighty card go? Why
into Als left shoe of course. Very
smoothly done Al!
Our mental maven, John Sergott,
brought us something a little
different for him. It was a version
of Grants Million Dollar Poker
Deal. Using ten jumbo cards John
dealt poker hands and his helper
just could not get the winning
hand in this version of Pennsyl-
vania Dutch Poker. John brought
the cards to us in a new, plastic-
coated, decorative jumbo card
box being sold by member Billy
Diamond. Both the effect and the
box had a favorable impact.
Thom Naran was our fnal
performer of the evening, showing
his shuffed deck that, when
shuffed, more became more
unshuffed. Huh! Thats right!
Thom had a card selected and
then showed us on the edge of the
deck a pattern of dots and dashes.
With continued shuffes the marks
began to morph into a word, Un-
shuffed, and then into the name
of the chosen card. Another well
executed effect with a good pre-
sentation by Thom.
The non-performers chose
Thom Naran as the winner with
Al Bienstock as second and Scott
Correll as third.
Trevor and Lorena Watters
FISM 2014 North American
S.Y.M. 124s Vice President
Ricciardi and President Dubois
taking care of July business
16 M-U-M Magazine - SEPTEMBER 2014
Assembly News
Joe Homecheck, SAM Assembly
110 meets 2nd Thursdays, 7:00pm,
at Johns Diner 146 Sheraton
Drive, New Cumberland, PA
17070. Email: Secretary@sam110.
June meeting got underway with
Ric Ewing conducting the nights
workshop. Ric demonstrated
a mentalism effect in which he
wrote three separate predictions,
only to be so wrong each time
that he crumpled up his predic-
tions and tossed them aside. Or
was he? The audience opened
the tossed-aside predictions to
reveal that all three were actually
correct. This seeming miracle is
based on a principle used by many
of the great magicians and can be
quickly learned. Its all in the pre-
Guests for the evening included
Mel Kientz, a former assembly
VP and former national VP of
the I.B.M., Roger Carne, Chance
Acuna, and Jose Ramirez, a pro-
fessional magician from Mexico.
The frst performer tonight was
Zappo, who demonstrated his
abilities as a mentalist with two
separate effects. The frst, called
Free Will, he learned from the late
Bob Steiner. A sealed envelope
containing his prediction lies
on the table in full view. Three
identical poker chips are presented,
each with a different colored dot
on the bottom side. The spectator
chooses one to hold, one for
the magician, and one is placed
into an envelope. The predic-
tion envelope is opened to reveal
that the magician has correctly
predicted which chip would be
where. Zappos second effect was
a card prediction that included the
52-on-1-card gag to provide a little
It is a bit diffcult to describe
David Facers performance, as it
includes a lot of showmanship,
humor, and audience participa-
tion. Appearing as his alter-ego,
Jack Winter, he performed a
Russian Roulette-style effect
using a broken glass bottle inside
one of several mixed up paper
bags, which he smashes one at a
time with a bare hand. In the end,
only one remains the one with
the broken bottle.
Bill Marquardt was up next,
performing a version of Bro John
Hammans Final Aces. He was
followed by Mel Kientz, who en-
tertained with a full set of close-up
tricks, concluding with a bit he
calls the Hot Dog Card, in which
he apparently eats the chosen card
before it magically appears face up
in the tabled deck.
Bob Holdridge then presented
an original mind reading effect,
in which he correctly names an
animal chosen from a set of cards
with animal pictures.
Our meetings have something
for everybody with an interest in
magic. So, if youre in the area,
be sure to make it to the next one.
Bill Marquardt
Diablo Assembly 112 meets on the
third Wednesday of every month
at the VFW building in Pleasant
Hill, CA. Contact Larry Wright
Zappo@z appot he magi ci a n.
com (925) 685-5129 http://www. for more details.
Assembly 115s July meeting was
postponed one week due to the
I.B.M./S.A.M. convention in St.
Louis. Our July 11 meeting found
members gathered together to hear
about the great time David and
Nathan Clauss and Tom Olshefski
had at the convention. Members in
attendance were George Buckley,
Daniel Hall, Dan Rowen, Tom
Olshefski, and David and Nathan
Clauss. George reported that
Mark Davis is doing well.
George opened the business
portion of the meeting with a
report on Assembly 115 winning
the Mid-Atlantic Regional Growth
Competition. The Mid-Atlantic
Staff will be providing a free
lecture as the prize for winning
the competition. George reported
that they are currently trying
to set the lecture date for our
October meeting to kick off our
observance of National Magic
Week. George then reported on
the rest of the ongoing prepa-
rations for National Magic
Week. Preparations are getting
underway with the Hunter Holmes
McGuire VA Hospital to return for
our second Annual Magic Show
with possible dates of 29th or 31st
of October. Tim Carrier with
the Jefferson/Madison Regional
Library is making plans for magic
workshops and displays at some
of the area libraries to promote
National Magic Week. George
then polled members about the
effectiveness of the current news-
letter and the need for a club
website. George, Daniel and
Bethany Hall, and Nathan Clauss
will be looking into the require-
ments for the club website, with
the possible use of streaming the
meetings and providing an active
forum for members. David Clauss
gave the Treasurers report and the
business meeting was closed.
The magic theme for the month
was reports on the combined
convention in St. Louis. Tom
Olshefski and David Clauss
reported on the fabulous evening
shows, especially the ones by the
Germans and the awe inspiring
South Koreans. They described
the shows as innovative and
creative. And stated that the South
Koreans were the future direction
of magic. Tom reported that
he could not stop writing down
creative ideas that the convention
inspired. His numerous layovers
were put to good use. Nathan
Clauss reported on his wonderful
and memorable experiences at the
Lance Burton Young Magician
Seminar. He provided a wonder
slide show and a great video of Liz
Jennings and Shawn Farquhar per-
forming Topsy-Turvy bottles.
Tom then talked about Dai
Vernons Trick That Cant Be
Explained. That lead to a forty-
fve-minute exercise and dis-
cussion on Dan Halls Trick
With No Name and a revisit to
Jim Steinmeyers Nine Card
Trick. Amazing magic and joyful
laughter was enjoyed by all.
George Buckley
The Pepsi Cola Building at 1150
Pepsi Place, Charlottesville, Va
22901 Contact George Buckley (434)
SAMAssembly115 for more
record-setting short business,
Andy Dallas opened the magic
with a Floating Wand Tube based
on a design he came up with many
moons ago. He also demonstrated
and handed out a fexible Floating
Wand Tube he has recently
designed and begun selling. Chris
Bontjes showed us his version of
Sankys Rubber Band Through
Pencil. Professor Higgins stepped
up with his Quarter to Twenty
Dollar Bill and Million Dollar
Baby. Chris came forward again
and found a lost card. Andy
fnished out the magic with his
three-squeaker routine.
Discussion included the possi-
bility of a club show at the Villa
Grove Theater. We are also con-
sidering this as a venue for our
next Get-Together.
At our next meeting, we
discussed doing a club show at the
Villa Grove Theater with the pos-
sibility of taking the show to other
small town theaters later on. Dis-
cussion included marketing and
recording the show for use by per-
formers on their web pages.
Chris Bontjes is checking with
the VA to see if 11/9 is open
for our next club show for the
veterans. More info on that show
as it develops. Chris also showed
off the items included in the swag
bag from the combined convention
last month. Everyone who went
chimed in with thoughts on the
shows, lectures and other activi-
ties. It sounds like it was a lot of
fun and there was some great stuff
given away in the gift bags.
The topic for the evening was
Something you bought/learned at
a convention. Professor Higgins
wowed us with his visible rubber
band link. Mark Carlon produced
an origami crane made from a silk.
Andy Dallas passed a coin through
a miniature table. Chris Bontjes
produced three six-foot canes
from a coin purse and Professor
Higgins caused a selected card to
turn upside down in the middle of
a deck. See ya at the meeting.
Ken Barham
Assembly 120, The Andy Dallas
Assembly meets 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:
had a great business meeting, frst
Carole Yvonne Kula looks on
with alarm, not quite sure that
Jack Winter has crushed one of
the empty bags
Nathan with Lance Burton
SEPTEMBER 2014 - M-U-M Magazine 17
Assembly News
discussing the last few lectures.
Then we talked about our club
shows for the church where we
meet and another event for Make
a Wish. We fnalized our summer
library workshops for young
magic students. The best part of
the meeting was we voted in a new
member. Bill Hernandez is off-
cially a new member of Assembly
The theme of tonights magic
was I bought this but what does it
do? We had several people bring
items for us to fgure out; one was
a balloon tube and one was a pro-
duction box that was probably
missing the mirror inside. Another
item was a stacked deck but no
memory of what that stack was,
and David our president, refreshed
his memory. We had some magic,
too. A selected shirt ended up on
Sols shirt and one of our guests
showed us a cool change he made
to a Svengali deck, which indicated
what the card was the person was
taking. Finally, we had a long
discussion about vanishing an
object and not bringing it back,
and that brought us late into
the evening. Hope to see more
visitors throughout the summer!
Bill Hoagland
Assembly 127 meets the 3rd
Tuesday of every month at:
First United Methodist Church
(Downstairs) 941 Old Rock Hill
Road, Wallingford, CT Contact
Bill Hoagland whoagland@ (203) 877-0157 for more details.
DANBURY, CT Our evenings
lecture and workshops were on
Cups and Balls and The Profes-
sors Nightmare. Member Joe
Lantiere worked with members on
the Cups and Balls and Tony Spiro
instructed on The Professors
Nightmare. Magic Marty showed
a few coin effects he is currently
working on for his upcoming New
England lecture.
Russ performed a Profes-
sors Nightmare routine
with a personal story about
three daughters. It was cute,
original, and a great example
of how to make a classic effect
personal and unique. It ended with
a corny joke. Tonys presentation
was also right on, a classic perfor-
mance ala Dan Garrett. Our Des
Desmond performed Hen Fetchs
Professors Nightmare with a
surprise ending with one large
Walter B. performed a Pro-
fessors Nightmare effect
ala Ron Dayton, plus a triangle
rope effect. Joe Lantiere
performed additional rope varia-
tions, turning into one long rope.
Members discussed handling,
endings, comic lines etc. Cups
and Balls, with instructions by
professor Joe Lantiere, followed.
It was a great night for learning.
Magic Marty Steinberg
Assembly 131 meets at
the Methodist Church,
5 Clapboard Ridge Rd
Danbury, CT at Back of
Church Third Mon of Month
7:30 PM Contact Magic
(845) 797-8363 Danbury Top
Hatters FB for more details.
BEAVER, PA The Mystic
Magicians of Beaver Valley were
joined by Ring 13 for meeting
night. President Ray Lucas had
appointed Don Moody, Bob
Mullins, and Doug Ries to the
elections committee; they are
working on a list of offcers for
2014-2015. Reminder was made
that the GPMN picnic will be
Sunday, September 28, at Bradys
Run Park. It was decided that
a fea market will be held that
day. Doug Ries stated the S.A.M./
I.B.M. convention in St. Louis
was great! Everything was
topnotch, even Dougs area in the
dealers room. The new Regional
VP for our region, Harlan Specter,
has appointed Doug as a Deputy
for Western PA. He will be
attending the conference in Las
Vegas on growth and construction
of assemblies.
The Mystics ad in the program
was identifed, although it was
not all of what had been sent. Jim
Weyland announced he has
copied all the video tapes the club
has had and have been given to
DVDs. Judy Steed will update the
library list by next meeting. It was
decided to make any of the video-
tapes available to the members
and any who want them. There
will still be a small charge for
using the library to make certain
they get returned. Jack Greenberg
reported that the GPMN banquet
was a success. The proft from it
and the lectures will be distributed
between the three clubs.
Doug Ries emceed the perfor-
mances. Ray Lucas cut a deck
of cards, shuffed, and replaced
them after showing a card. He
went through the instructions and
it showed the chosen card. Jim
Tate had two cards: the Five
of Diamonds and the Queen of
Clubs. He showed how to do
a vortex with the two together,
separated them, and they were the
original cards. He also showed
an effect he found on YouTube.
You have a bottle of water with
a ketchup packet in it. Rub on
shirt to magnetize it. Can
make the packet go up and down.
Judy Steed
The Mystic Magicians meet at
the Towne Square Restaurant in
Beaver, PA the second Thursday
of every month. Contact Judy
(330) 525-5389 for more details.
me when I tell you that when the
fabulous Fourth of July freworks
fnally faded into the night sky,
the Donald E. Lea Assembly here
in Port St. Lucie, Florida, was just
getting started.
Although our regular meeting
wouldnt be for another week,
probably the largest gathering of
compeers, wives, kids, associates,
cousins, aunts, uncles, and second
cousins all took a road trip to Vero
Beach, about an hour up the road.
The attraction? Mrs. Macs Filling
Station, great food, and David
Kelley, table-hopping master of
legerdemain. (Thank you very
much...I just learned how to spell
that, I think?) Great time, great
magic, and great evening with
Assembly 172 (and its minions
even had a few Muggles in atten-
dance as well).
So that was the 17th of July.
Within days, yet another feld trip,
this time on Saturday the 19th all
the way up to Cocoa Beach with
Stanley, Harley, Al, and yours
truly (Dean). Our destination:
the Magic Dove Magic Shop
shopping, a magic show, compan-
ionship over dinner, and a short
ride home. Too much fun!
And then, at last, our regularly
scheduled meeting on the 22nd,
featuring a psychic workshop
with Al Chiaverini, who shared
the sneaky secrets to some
really mind-blowing effects. Al,
in effect, had everyone in the
audience asking themselves,
Why didnt I think of that?
The evenings performers led
off with James and his assistant
Harley in a quintessential lie
detector test with a deck of cards.
Al Chiaverini came back with a
prediction written on the back of a
sterling silver amulet he had been
wearing in plain sight all night.
Paul Hilko fnished the line-up
with a Man in the Moon piece
of business, Starkle, and a nice
Misers Dream variation. August
features a David Kelly lecture, so
till next time M-U-Ms the word.
Dean F. Devitt
Assembly 172 meets the fourth
Tuesday of every month (Except
December) at 7:00 pm at the Saint
Lucie Lanes on Route 1 in Port
St Lucie..Please come visit some
time.. Contact Dean F. Devitt (772)
332-8412 for more details.
been a special month for Assembly
181, with two meetings, a superstar
lecture, and a free buffet dinner.
This year, our assembly has added
a second monthly meeting, on the
fourth Thursday of the month at
Tommys Inn in Millstone, New
Jersey. This different venue,
which has a stage, allows us to
interact in different ways and
to have diverse events at our
Joshua Messado is developing
quite a reputation as a close-up
performer, but it was the watching
of Larry Andersons Jaw Droppers
videos, he admits, that brought
him into magic. Joshua has
always loved ring routines and he
has now taken his Messado Ring
routine to the streets. He performs
what some think is a classic stage
effect, and does it close up, inches
from a persons face, and in their
hands with mystifying results.
The rings just seem to link and
unlink in impossible ways.
After the buffet dinner, our
members were given a special
treat. Joshua Messado did his
frst lecture on the rings for our
assembly. Not only is he a con-
summate performer, he is quite
a good teacher, too. Messado has
been doing the rings and perfect-
ing his routine for over ffteen
Bill Hernandez our newest
Magic Marty at
Poughkeepsie SYM #82
18 M-U-M Magazine - SEPTEMBER 2014
Assembly News
years, and yet, and listen to this my
fellow magicians, he practices
every day.
During this lecture, he went
over the techniques in meticulous
detail. Joshua makes the rings, as
many are saying, cool again and
he inspires you as he teaches by
reminding you that it is important
to believe in yourself, more than
anything else. When you do
believe, others will believe in
you, too and If you dont, they
wont. Thank you, Joshua, for
that advice.
Adding additional entertain-
ment to the evening were Jeff,
Jay the Magician, and Rocco the
Mindbender. Jeff did a fantastic
mentalism effect, in which he
randomly spun the hands of a
watch until he was told to stop.
The time on the watch then match
a called out time from an audience
Jay the Magician brought along
a feathery friend and showed us
some of his dove act. Jay then
completed his short stage act with
an elaborate silk fountain. And
that concluded the nights enter-
Our next offcial assembly
meeting will be in September.
Hope you can join us then.
David Zboray
Assembly 181 of Hightstown
meets the frst Thursday of every
month, September thru June at the
First United Methodist Church ,
187 Stockton Street, Hightstown,
NJ 08520. Doors open at 7:00PM.
Contact Stephan Sloan lands10@ (732) 757-5337 for
more details.
Jacobs started off the magic with
an effect hes been improving
each month. Its his own creation
in which a bust inhabited by the
spirit of Houdini visibly escapes
from ropes, handcuffs, and other
shackles. Crazy. Roger Sylvester
blew our minds with a pack of
cards he bought at a magic con-
vention that said the thought of
card would be forty down from
the top. A spectator thought of any
card and when he counted down
forty,k it was there.
Jim Earnshaw, our resident coin
expert, showed us a very magical
wooden Okito Box and wand
routine, with coins appearing and
disappearing in mid air. Jim is
crazy good.
More mentalism was shared
by Larry Dimmit as he showed
how two minds could have one
thought, He showed a picture
with multiple celebrities and
both the spectator and Larrys
selections were the same. Mark
Paulson made us laugh with a
little mentalism humor in which
he and the spectator thought of the
very same thing. He also shocked
us by selecting three random
books from the library where we
meet and predicted a randomly
selected word on a freely selected
page of one of the books. Marks
mentalism could make you crazy
if you try to fgure it out.
John Cameron dug around in his
magic drawer to fnd a long lost
packet trick in which some cards
had purple circles and some had
purple backs. When a card was
chosen it was the only one with a
red circle and when a number was
chosen it was the only one with
a red back. Im sure it motivated
some of us to search through
our old magic to fnd a long lost
Since we met on Mercer Island
this month, Chuck Kleiner shared
a mentalism effect he created for
the local Mercer Island Farmers
Market. Chuck predicted which
letter in the Markets name would
be freely selected by a spectator.
Moving from mentalism back to
crazy, Tom Payne inhaled a rubber
band. He then showed us a card
effect with rubber bands in which
the chosen card escaped from
the bonds of two rubber bands.
Chuck Kleiner
The Emerald City Wizards meets
1st Thu. 7:00 PM each month at a
branch of the King County Library.
Check website for locations:
www.emeraldcit ywi
Contact Chuck Kleiner
c h u c k k l e i n e r @ y a h o o .
com (206) 236-0608 www. for more
Alexander Goldberg intro-
duced Book Night by showing
Illusions Illustrated by James
W. Baker and performed Alex-
anders favorite cut and restored
rope routine. Alexander likes this
routine because of the patter and
the mechanics, which involve a
layout separation.
Ron Grossman showed an effect
from 101 Easy to Do Magic Tricks
by Bill Tarr. Scott Fridinger
selected a card and returned it to
the deck. Alexander Goldberg
shuffed the deck; but when Ron
spread the deck, we saw that the
selected card was reversed in the
deck. Ron likes this book because
the effects are easy and the text is
well illustrated. Ron had identi-
fed the effect as Reverso, in which
the deck is mixed half face up and
half face down, yet all cards turn
face up.
Scott Fridinger held up a well
worn copy of Strong Magic by
Darwin Ortiz. He pointed out that
this book is about showmanship
and creativity; it is not a collec-
tion of effects and methods. Scott
had applied its teachings to several
effects. This night Scott showed
his version of A Card Named Fred,
or Bill, or Phil, or Oscar. Watt
Hyer selected a card. Scott
showed his prediction that the
card would be named, Lee. Scott
then showed that all the cards had
different names written on their
backs. Lee was written on the
back of Watts card. For his second
effect Scott asked Ron and Watt
to act as a married couple. Watt
chose a card and Scott showed it
to be the only red-backed card in
a blue-backed deck. Ron blew a
kiss, and a lipstick print appeared
on the card.
Watt had selected Stars of
Magic. Watt performed his
version of Malini-Bey Chink-a-
Chink by Mohammed Bey. Watt
used metal bottle caps in his per-
formance of this assembly routine.
Bill Babers book was Al
Schneider Magic. He performed
Sly Napkins, an impromptu routine
in which two balls formed from
a paper cocktail napkin, which
had been torn in half, jumped
from hand to hand, vanished and
appeared. Larry Lessner had
Peek Performances, by Richard
Busch. He asked Scott Fridinger
to think of a famous magician, to
write the name on the back of an
index card, and to show the name
on the card to others. The card was
folded to hide the writing; Larry
tore it into many pieces without
unfolding it. Larry then gradually
revealed Scotts chosen magician,
Larry Jennings, by stating infor-
mation about him before naming
him. Bill Baber
Assembly 226 meets the fourth
Wednesday of each month (except
for August and December) at the
Williamsburg Library, Room B,
515 Scotland Street, Williamsburg,
VA. Meetings start at 7:00PM.
Contact Michael Heckenberger (757)
site/samassembly226/Home for
more details.
LAKELAND, FL After the
usual high jinks of pancakes and
merriment at the I-Hop, the July
meeting was called to order by
secretary Al DAlfonso in the
absence of our other offcers.
We quickly caught up on our old
business and discussed ideas for
growing the assembly. Our focus
will be on growing our Facebook
presence and having our IT guru
Brad Breaux build a website. The
meeting was kicked off with a card
miracle by Dean Bob Macey in
which a selected card was revealed
in a mind-blowing manner. Ed
McGowan countered with a poker
deal effect in which the spectator
played the part of the card shark
and won under impossible odds.
Beverly Kenemuth offered a
seasonal effect in which she
produced all the fxings for a
Fourth of July picnic from a
magical drawing board. Next up,
Al shared a Steve Beam effect
that talked about Als frst magic
show. The group was able to guess
how much was in Als payment
Closing batter was Brad who
work-shopped his new take on
the newspaper tear. Combining a
coupon clipping patter with a new
gimmick, he was able to breathe
life into this classic. A spirited
discussion followed about how
this could springboard into com-
Eric, Mitch and Joshua
Assembly 226's Book Night!
SEPTEMBER 2014 - M-U-M Magazine 19
Assembly News
plementary tricks for a themed
Remember, no matter how hot
the weather, the magical wizards
of Lakeland can always raise the
temperature a few notches. Come
just for the heat! Al DAlfonso
Jim Zachary Assembly 266 meets
the second Monday of the month
at 7PM at the Lakeland I-HOP, I-4
& US 98 Contact Al DAlfonso
(321) 4373814 for more details.
Pocono Mountains Magic Club
welcomed back one of our
founding members, R.T. Showman
(Raymond Singson). Ray is
now out of the Marines and has
decided to call Philadelphia his
home. Since he is up visiting his
family for a bit, he decided to
come hang out with us this month.
After a discussion concerning
our two upcoming club activi-
ties and a review of our own S.
Patricks Mentalism for Kids
lecture that he delivered to the
Parsippany NJ Kidabra Chapter 10
a week prior, we jumped straight
into the magic!
The magic started with some
close-up performances, including
S. Patricks version of Howard
Adamss Cidentaquin, Jordan
Benoits Ambitious and Haunted
Deck, and Odes Odhner perform-
ing with his new toy, a Wellington
Magic Switchboard.
S. Patrick was our emcee for the
evenings platform performanc-
es. The theme of the evening was
Magic With Shapes. Our guys
did not disappoint.
S. Patrick was up frst with Lee
Earles Life Force Triangle, using
a triangle to calculate a spectators
life force number. S. did a bit of
predicting and cold reading all in
the same routine.
S. then made up for the last
couple of months of meetings
that we werent able to perform
due to outside forces. He used
a balloon, placed into an isos-
celes-trapezoid-shaped pagoda
box. When the balloon was
popped, a dove appeared. This
took care of balloon magic, as
well as animal magic, as well
as shape magic all in the same
Ryne Gade was up next with
his very well rehearsed version
of Francis Menottis Exdyslically
Shunuffed. Ryne has put some
major time and effort into perfect-
ing this one. Check out Franciss
online YouTube video to see him
doing this great routine.
Our fnal platform performer
was our own Odes Odhner,
who treated us to the routine he
created for a Red Cross Telethon
that we did a few years back. I
call it Hypnotized Lunch. Odes
cleverly combines an experiment
in hypnosis and the Out To Lunch
principle to hypnotize a spectator
to miss one of the shapes printed
on a card of various shapes. This
one always goes over well.
Please come and visit us if you
are anywhere near the area. Just
give us a call or visit the website
for all the details at (570) 242-6821
S. Patrick Toman
Assembly 277 meets Each 3rd
Friday at the Art Space Gallery
- 18 N. 7th St. Stroudsburg PA.
18360. Contact S. Patrick Toman (570)
for more details.
Saturday, July 19, 2014, we had our
ffth annual barbeque. We would
like to thank Carol and Stephen
for allowing our assembly to enjoy
the hospitality and attractions of
their beautiful home for this event.
With over seventy people in atten-
dance, we had our biggest turnout
to date. As an assembly, we have
grown. We welcomed our newest
member, Scott, during the event.
This year we again enjoyed the
wonderful potluck that everyone
brought along to compliment the
delectable tri-tip by our master
chef, Frank. There was more food
available than one could hope to
enjoy. This included a delectable
feast of tri-tip, burgers, hotdogs,
salads, Doriss famous baked
beans, homemade baked macaroni
and cheese, and other scrump-
tious items that everyone brought.
This was followed by a cake that
symbolized everything that our
assembly is about, magic!
The beginning of dessert started
our show. First, President Bill
honored some of our
members with ap-
preciation awards
for their contribu-
tions to the assembly.
This was followed
by an announce-
ment that Assembly
291 is the fasted
growing assembly as
of this year. After, our
personal professor,
Les Dumbledore,
emceed our variety
showcase that starred
our S.Y.M members,
and proceeded with our own
masters of magic. The evening
was long and fun for everyone
because no one wanted it to end.
After the barbeque, the real magic
happened a clean-up in thirty
minutes or less. Talk about a good
We are all looking forward to
our sixth annual barbeque. And
according to our mentalists, we
anticipate and will gladly welcome
Franks expert tri-tip, Doriss
famous and coveted baked beans,
a larger crowd, and a growth in our
membership. William Dow Jr.
Assembly 291 meets the second
Tuesday of every month at the
OPICA Adult Day Care Facility,
11759 Missouri Avenue, Los
Angeles, CA 90025. Contact Les
Cooper (310)
473-1820 www.westsidewizards.
org for more details.

meeting was our annual combined
picnic with our sister group,
I.B.M. Ring 250, the Presto-Dig-
itators of Fort Collins, Colorado.
But frst, its more than time to
acknowledge three members
who contribute regularly to these
reports. Ed Hurtubis is usually
both their editor and their main
resource, freely sharing his in-
credible knowledge of all things
magical. Whenever needed, James
Lopez does a spirited job writing
his detailed observations, and Dr.
Lloyd Worley shoots all the natu-
ral-light candid shots that add so
much. Many thanks to each of you.
For fve volunteers, the picnic
kicked off early at noon. James
Lopez, Andy Poulsen, Michael
Swayze, Lloyd Worley, and Doug
Zimmerman helped our host,
Lew Wymisner, go through his
vast collection of close-up and
parlor magic paraphernalia. Lew
performed and explained some of
the tricks, and he gave everyone
who helped an effect or two. The
only caveat was that the tricks
must be performed at the next
regular club meeting.
Picnic time! However, a damp
yard and very hot weather
prompted a gracious invitation
from Lew to move the whole
picnic inside his house. Since
nobody wanted to cook on the
grill anyway, we did a quick-
change routine from having an
outdoor barbeque to having an
indoor buffet and potluck. People
contributed an array of appetizers,
salads, drinks, and desserts, and
Lew ordered fried chicken, pizza,
and sandwiches.
Children enhance a picnic.
Andy and Kristi Poulsen brought
theirs, who were doubly welcome
because they were unusually nice
and well mannered. Conversa-
tions revolved around the great
outdoors, inexpensive comedy
gags, and magic techniques. Andy
Poulsen performed a card trick
using Queens and Kings (Good
Evening, Ladies and Gentlemen).
James Lopez did a handful of
sleight-of-hand card effects.
Michael Swayze performed
a thought-of-card prediction.
Both Tim Pendergast and Doug
Zimmerman showed sleights
on which they were working.
The picnic was a very pleasant day
of good fun, real fellowship, and
greatly enjoying the company of
one another. Ron Dutton
The Dr. Ronald P. Dutton
Assembly 292 usually meets at
Kennys Steak House, 3502 West
10th Street (corner of 35th Avenue)
at 11:00 A.M. (lunch optional), on
the second Saturday of the month.
Contact Jim Pope jlp1616@ (970) 339-3277 www. for more details.
To submit your
monthly assembly
report go to www.
and use the easy
submission form.
Fifth Annual Barbeque
Assembly 292- Lounging in Lews
living room
Good Cheer List
Please take a minute to spread a few words of cheer with a card or note to one of our less fortunate members. Send additions,
changes, or deletions to: Anthony Antonelly, Chairman, Sick and Convalescent Committee, (215) 820-3192 ext. 1512.
Daniel Cudennec
Dany Trick
225, Stang-ar-Veil-
dan-Traon, Mellac-29300,
Quimperle, France
Dan A. Dorsey
98 Woodvalley Dr.
Fayetteville, GA 30215
Charlie Gross
16745 Gertrude St.
Omaha, NE 60136-3023
Roy Horn
c/o Siegfried & Roy
1639 N Valley Dr.
Las Vegas, NV 89108
Bob King
304 Suburban Ct.
Rochester, NY 14620
Dick Kohlhafer
408 Century Vista Dr.
Arnold, MD 21012
Stanley R. Kramien
11205 SW Summerfeld 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 St.
Williamsport, PA 17701
James J. Morrisey
24 Grove St.
Wayland, MA 01788
Nahmen Nissen
PO Box 1856
Colfax, CA 95713-1856
Allen Okawa
2101 Nuuanu Ave., Tower 1,
Honolulu, HI 96817
Jim Relyea
241 W. Lakeshore
Rockaway, NJ 07866
Harry Riser
11755 N. Michigan Rd. #313
Zionsville, IN 46077
Pat Ryan
43 Fairbanks Rd.
Churchville, NY 14428
Matt Savin
P.O. Box 7693
Alhambra, CA 91802-7533
Jack White
4288 Arguello St.
San Diego, CA 92103
Jim Zachary
2801 South Creek Dr.
Mulberry, FL 33860
Adams Jr, Ray "Magic" - KY, USA
Begin, Randy -ME, USA
Besst, Maureen -FL, USA
Biro, Warren -CA, USA
Boyer, Jeff -MI, USA
Brown, Tommy -TN, USA
Browne, Ken -AZ, USA
Buchalter, Jack -OR, USA
Buckspan, Randy -TX, USA
Callender, Jamie -OH, USA
Capobianco, James -NJ, USA
Carignan, Samantha -KS, USA
Carothers, Robert Scott -CA, USA
Christensen, Theron -UT, USA
Consul, PC -AB, CANADA
Cook, Brian -WA, USA
Costantinou, Richard -CA, USA
Draper, Sam -MA, USA
George, Christopher -IL, USA
Gonnerman, Jeff -OK, USA
Graybeal, John -IL, USA
Grech, Jason -GA, USA
Largess, Joseph -MD, USA
Lawton, Theodore -AZ, USA
Lindsey, Amanda -MO, USA
Lodge, Mark -CA, USA
Lorenzo, Americo R -FL, USA
Massie, Carl -MI, USA
Mc Donnell, Bill -PA, USA
Mercy, Martin -IL, USA
Myers, David -NC, USA
Neely, Matthew -OH, USA
Neff, James -NC, USA
Nims, Frank -IL, USA
Oba, Shinsuke -, Japan
Only, Al The -HI, USA
Palacios, Larry -CA, USA
Parasich, Mike -AZ, USA
Pilmmer, Jorjan -WA, USA
Rabinowitz, Bruce -NY, USA
Rash, Rodney -TX, USA
Richardson, Mark -CA, USA
Rooke, Robert -NJ, USA
Schurz, Wolfgang -Steiermark, Austria
Sheppard, Bradley -AR, USA
Simic, Eli -, Switzerland
Simpson, Jason -OK, USA
Sinamon, Nicholas -MO, USA
Smith, Joe -TN, USA
Voron, Mitchell -PA, USA
Warren, Clark -NY, USA
Wilbanks, Michael -AZ, USA
Williams, David -TN, USA
Williams, Elijah -TN, USA
Zhang, Justen -AZ, USA
Zidel, Jon -WI, USA
Breaux, Brad - USA
Campbell, Lawrence - USA
Caris, John - USA
Chaffn-Simpson, Robert - USA
Dykema, David - USA
Forstrom Jr, Jerry D - USA
Fridinger, Scott - USA
Frye, Roy - USA
Godineze, Irene - USA
Heng, Eric - USA
Kahlow, Larry J - USA
Knight, Bryan - USA
Macerloy, James - USA
Maverick, John - USA
Mcclendon Jr, Richard W - USA
Neddo, Thomas - USA
Risher, Dr John C - USA
Twaddle, Harold L - USA
Wiberg, Donald E - USA
20 M-U-M Magazine - SEPTEMBER 2014
New Members and Reinstatements
(MAY 27, 1940 MAY 10, 2014)
Mike Schirmer, seventy-three,
of Baltimore, Maryland, died
on May 10, 2014. He held I.B.M.
#16098M and was a member of
the Order of Merlin Shield. He
was also a charter member of Ring
179 in Baltimore. He is a past-
president of Ring 179, Assembly
6, Magicians Alliance of Eastern
States (MAES), and the Maryland
Wizards, which he helped form. He was a member of the old
Yogi Magic Club and the frst editor of its Yogi-Gram.
He got started in magic when he was twelve years old
with a deck of Svengali cards he got at the Timonium State
Fair. He began to perform at birthday parties and then went
on to Scout shows, banquets, and close-up magic. He did
a silk-and-fower act to music, and then changed over to
comedy magic. He appeared at the Steel Pier in Atlantic City,
on television, at the Playboy and Gas Lamp clubs, at various
trade shows and conventions, and worked several Holiday
Inns and restaurants during their happy hours. He even
preformed at the White House for former President Jimmy
Carter. For twenty years he was the general chairman of The
Funhouse Big 3 Convention in Maryland and performed and
lectured at many of them. He wrote an article A Magicians
Approach to Advertising for The Linking Ring, for which he
won a Linking Ring award; it was later published as a booklet.
He taught a basic magic course at the Funhouse Magic Shop
for many years and in recent years at the Denny & Lee Magic
Studio. He enjoyed all types of magic.
Mike overcame many obstacles in his life time. He was
born a blue baby, with a congenital heart malformation that
robs the blood of oxygen. (This life-threatening condition
is often signaled by a bluish or cyanotic cast to the skin,
hence the term.) An innovative procedure attached an artery
leaving the heart to an artery leading to the lungs, in an
attempt to give the blood a second chance at oxygenation. It
was the frst blue baby operation and came to be known as
the Blalock-Taussig shunt. He had open heart surgery again
in 1966, performed by the founder of Shock Trauma Center,
R. Adam Cowley. Growing up was not easy for Mike; with
health restrictions and medications he was not able to do
things a normal boy did. He got into collecting coins and
stamps, and, of course, magic.
He was a typesetter for over thirty years for a local printing
company, Bromwell Press. When he retired from the printing
company, he went to work for Baltimore City Department of
Public Works as a plans coordinator in the permits depart-
ment. He also enjoyed photography and took photos at the
magic meetings, shows, banquets, and conventions.
His wife and assistant of thirty-four years, Bonnie, died of
cancer in October 2003. He is survived by his two daughters,
Tammy Bayer and Kathi Michael, a grandson, Matthew Bayer,
two granddaughters, Hope and Olivia Michael, and a brother
and sister-in-law, William and Cheryl Collier.
(JUNE 6, 1929 JUNE 9, 2014)
Marshall M. Johnson, eighty-fve,
died on June 9, 2014. He was born
on June 6, 1929, the son of the late
Kenneth and Grace Johnson of South
Orange, New Jersey. He is remem-
bered in South Orange as the center
on Columbia High Schools winning
basketball team.
In 1951 Marshall graduated from
Rutgers University. He received
varsity letters in soccer, basketball,
and tennis, and won the senior speech contest in extem-
poraneous public speaking. As an alumnus he served fve
years as class president and was class historian until his death.
He received the Rutgers Loyal Son Award. Marshall was
active with his fraternity, Delta Upsilon. He served on its
International Board of Directors and received the Meritori-
ous Service Award. He also served for thirty years on the
Rutgers Chapter Board of Directors.
After Rutgers, Marshall served as a lieutenant in the United
States Air Force. He served in Korea during the Korean
War and was awarded the Korean Service Medal with two
campaign stars, the United Nations Medal, the Republic of
Korea Presidential Unit Citation, and the National Defense
Service Medal. He was discharged with the rank of captain.
In 1954 Marshall received an M.S. degree in radio and
television from Syracuse University. This was followed by a
thirty-year career with the CBS Television Network in New
York City. He retired with the position of production super-
visor. In 1986 Marshall retired to Florida. He was very active
in tennis, including being captain of the Division 1 champion-
ship team in the Palm Beach Senior League and winning the
Delray Senior Games Singles Championship.
He was active in his hobby of magic. He belonged to
Parent Assembly 1 of The Society of American Magicians. In
Florida he belonged to Rings 117 and 274 of the International
Brotherhood of Magicians.
Marshall is survived by his long-time companion, Alfhild
Roff of Highland Beach, Florida, and a son, Gregory, from a
previous marriage. Marshall was an eleventh-generation de-
scendant of Captain Edward Johnson, who founded the City
of Woburn, Massachusetts, in 1634. He will be buried in the
Johnson family plot in Woburn.
(FEBRUARY 29, 1924 JULY 7, 2014)
Charles Cambra died July 7, 2014, at Apple Rehab
Coccomo in Meriden, Connecticut, after a brief illness. He
was ninety. Charles was predeceased by Marie (Terry), his
beloved wife of sixty years.
Charles was born on February 29, 1924, in Fall River, Mas-
sachusetts, where his loving aunt Mary Brazao raised him.
He worked for Suzio Construction Company in Meriden for
thirty-four years, driving a company truck and maintaining
Broken Wands
22 M-U-M Magazine - SEPTEMBER 2014
the grounds at
the quarry and
the Suzio home,
forming a lifelong
friendship before
retiring in 1985.
C h a r l e s
acquired all
that he pursued
through high
e x p e c t a t i on s
and an incred-
ible work ethic,
striving for perfection in all of his endeavors. His motto
for everything was, Practice, practice, practice. He loved
ceramics and even mastered classical guitar, fawlessly playing
such diffcult pieces as Leyenda and Malaguea.
But his frst love was magic, studying under the tutelage of
world-renowned magician Slydini. For more than sixty years,
Charles and Terry were a world-class magic act known as
Seor Carlos and Terry; he was featured on the cover of The
Linking Ring in November 2001. Charles was a life member
of The Society of American Magicians Assemblies 15 and
127, Order of Merlin, International Brotherhood of Magicians
Ring 59, and MIMC gold star member of the Magic Circle in
London. Charles also belonged to the Magic Collectors Asso-
ciation, the New England Magic Collectors Association, and
the New Magicians Club.
He is survived by two daughters, Lesley Lusteg and her
husband Walt, Jeanne Cosenza and her husband Christopher,
a son, Charles D. Cambra and his wife Colleen, a stepdaugh-
ter Shirley and her husband John, and stepson, Art George,
ffteen grandchildren, thirty-two great grandchildren, a great-
great grandson, and several nieces and nephews.
(SEPTEMBER 3, 1927 JULY 25, 2014)
Alan Greenberg does almost everything well: competitive
bridge, magic tricks, dog training, arbitrage all of the important
things in life. Warren Buffet
Alan Ace Greenberg
lived his life by three rules:
love what you do in your
career; when taking risks,
be right more times than
you are wrong; and give
back to those who have
given to you. For a man
who spent more than
ffty years on Wall Street
and who became one of
the most respected busi-
nessmen in the country,
those principles proved
very successful.
Mr. Greenberg was raised in an upper middle-class family
in Oklahoma City. His father owned a womans clothing
store. He was part of an extended family that operated
clothing stores in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri. Ace frst
attended the University of Oklahoma on a football scholar-
ship. After injuring his back, he transferred to the Univer-
sity of Missouri, receiving a B. A. in business in 1949. After
graduating, Alan decided to pursue a career on Wall Street,
which was diffcult given that he did not have an Ivy League
degree. The only offer he received was from Bear Stearns.
He accepted a position as a clerk.
Mr. Greenberg rose through the ranks of Bear Stearns,
eventually serving as its CEO from 1978 to 1993 and
Chairman of the Board from 1985 to 2001. Alan also served
as a non-executive director of Viacom. He was the author of
several books including, Memos from the Chairman, which is a
compilation of humorous memos he issued to the associates
of Bear Stearns during his tenure as CEO.
Greenberg was an avid bridge player and won the
Reisinger Board-a-Match Teams in 1977. In 1981, he won the
Maccabiah Games teams bridge tournament and was second
in the Reisinger later the same year.
One would be led to believe that at his age and with
his success, Ace Greenberg would have slowed down and
retired. This notion could not be further from the truth. Until
his passing, Ace was motivated more than ever. He routinely
amazed those one quarter of his age with his magic. He main-
tained his magic skills by connecting with the upper echelons
of the magic community at private magic dinners he hosted
at his beautiful home on Fifth Avenue. Through the years,
the guests at these dinners have been the whos who in the
world of legerdemain. Ace Greenberg was a serious magician;
nothing pleased Ace more than a well-executed magic piece.
Ace was an active member of The Society of American
Magicians for forty-three years. He was also responsible for
being the fnancier of the magic publishing company, Kaufman
and Greenberg. Through his twenty years of magic book
publication, he helped to produce many of the most highly
respected books in magic. Those books captured the sleight-
of-hand methods and magic from many of the worlds top
magicians and helped advance the art of magic to where it
is today.
Ace was also a philanthropist who gave of his time and
money to many worthy charitable causes, including Project
Sunshine, The New Public Library, and United Jewish Appeal.
He strongly believed that it was important to help those less
On a personal note, Ace was a dear friend who was a
very generous and supportive with me on both a personal
and professional level. General George S. Patton once said,
It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather
we should thank God that such men lived. I miss my friend
Ace, but will be forever grateful for his friendship. Eric
Broken Wands
Charles Cambra
photo by Steve Wronker
SEPTEMBER 2014 - M-U-M Magazine 23
24 M-U-M Magazine - SEPTEMBER 2014
The Nielsen Gallery
Dimensions: Half-sheet: 20" x 30" Lithographer: David Allen and Sons
Date: Circa 1905 Nielsen Rating: Rare
Maskelyne and Devant - "The Burmese Gong"
This subject of this months poster is a
playlet that the British magic impresarios
Maskelyne and Devant produced in the frst
decade of the twentieth century. It was the
astonishingly rapid and magical onstage
transposition of three people when a large
gong was struck. Interestingly, even though
the effect involved three separate illusion-
ary principles, it was the gong that probably
allowed the magic to occur.
John Nevil Maskelyne was in the London
theater business for forty-four years, thir-
ty-one of them at Egyptian Hall on Pic-
cadilly. In 1904, programs at the theater
began informing patrons that it was to be
demolished and that in the fall, Englands
new Home of Mystery would move to
St. Georges Hall, Langham Place. Many
famous magicians appeared on Maskelyne
stages, the best of whom was David Devant,
who frst appeared at Egyptian Hall in 1893.
A few months after the new theater opened
in 1905, and following the fnancial failure of Maskelynes magic
play The Coming Race, he entered into a partnership with Devant
and the theater became Maskelyne & Devants.
The pair kept up the popular approach of offering magical
dramas, specialty acts, and occasionally non-magic performers.
On April 24, 1905, David Devant appeared in a program called A
Feast of Magic, which featured The Golliwog Ball, The National
Colours, The Crystal Clock, The Phoenix, Paper Pictures, Mental
Magnetism, The Sylph, The Mystic Kettle, and the subject of the
poster, The Burmese Gong.
The Magician magazine praised it as a most astound-
ing illusion. As the curtain rose, the audience saw a beautiful
Burmese scene one seldom seen on stage and not easily
forgotten. At one side of the stage was a chair perched atop two
tables, alongside of which was a set of stairs. In the center of the
stage, somewhat toward the back, was a large trunk. To the right
of the stage and somewhat toward the front was a square cage
with iron bars, just large enough to hold one person and provided
with curtains that could be raised or dropped around it.
Three assistants were introduced, (a lady and two men). Devant
referred to them as Three Graces Faces. The young lady was
locked in the trunk and a wooden platform placed on top. The
frst man stepped up on that platform and Devant gave him a large
sheet. He opened it out and held it in front of himself. He was told
to wrap himself in the sheet and did so. Devant approached the
gong and upon striking it, the sheet dropped to reveal the lady;
the man was found locked within the box.
We know this today as the Metamorphosis
The man was once again put in the box
while the lady mounted the steps leading up
to the chair atop the two stacked tables; she
took her seat there. Devant covered her with
a sheet and then showed the audience the
Burmese cage, explained its working, and
lowered the blinds. The gong was struck
again and Devant mounted the steps and
whisked off the sheet; the lady had vanished.
The steps were rolled toward the back and
the man previously in the box was found in
the cage. The second man was found inside
the trunk. Once again the frst man was
closed up in the cage, the blinds lowered,
the gong struck, and the lady was found in
the cage. She was removed from the cage,
the blinds lowered again, and upon striking
the gong the frst man appeared back in the
cage. This illusion did not rely in any way
on doubles, but rather on clever illusionary principles and speed.
The chair was DeKoltas Vanishing Lady, which was
gimmicked in such a way that it allowed the seated person to slip
down through the chair into a trap. The steps were specially con-
structed to contain the vanished sitter. The Burmese Cage, which
was on a platform a foot off the stage, utilized a mirror to allow
people to change places and a three-sided blind that opened at the
The magical press of the time speculated that loud chime of the
gong perfectly masked any noise that might have arisen as people
changed places or raced about behind the scenery. The magazine
The Wizard said, The effects obtained in this most acceptable
item are positively startling and the acme of legitimate magic.
One historically interesting fact about this illusion must be
mentioned. Prior to this time, the exchange of a person within and
atop a trunk had been performed using a curtained cabinet. It was
an approach used by Harry and Bess Houdini. Devant discarded
the curtained enclosure and covered the exchange with a sheet
of cloth, an approach widely used in todays presentation of the
Tom Ewing
Sources for this column came from: St. Georges Hall by Anne
Davenport and John Salisse, The Linking Ring, Ellis Stanyons
Magic, The Sphinx, The Wizard, and Stan Allens MAGIC
The Mini-Convention of Magic, Inc.
The 50th Anniversary Celebration
By Danny Orleans
When Jay Marshall (the previous Dean of The Society
of American Magicians) died in 2005, most of the magic
pundits gave little hope to the survival of Magic, Inc.,
the magic shop that he and his wife Frances had run at
their Lincoln Avenue location since 1963. Fast forward
to present day, and despite dire predictions, Magic,
Inc. is not only still in business, but thanks to Jays
son Sandy Marshall, his wife Susan, the store manager
Pedro Nieves, and his staf, its fourishing enough to
hold a fftieth anniversary celebration three-day mini-
It started out with a heart-warming ceremony
in which Lincoln Avenue was named Honorary Jay
Marshall Way. Local press and the Chicago Alderman
attended, along with more than ffty magicians as the
festive atmosphere kicked of the convention. All were
thrilled to fnally see Jay Marshall fnally get his way
a reference to the song If I had My Way, which his vent
puppet, Lefty, sang in Jays vaudeville act.
The performances and lectures were all held in
Chicagos Wit Theater in Lakeview, a 100-seat space,
perfectly raked, in which every seat in the house had a
great view of the stage. Lectures and performances from
some of magics top names flled the three days as the
convention attendees from Chicago and as far away as
New York and Los Angeles were treated to some superb
magic and mentalism.
The convention was divided between lectures, shows,
and a special Wankers Night show, an adults-only
show rarely seen at a magic convention. Performers and
lecturers included Chicagos Luis Carreon (noted for
his metal-bending talents), Danny Rudnick, editor of
the new The Complete Al Leech, Tomas Medinas ofeat
comedic magic, and the inimitable Eugene Burger.
Producer Sandy Marshall also made this an extra
Anniversary Cake photo by Danny Orleans
Susan Marshall, Jack Clements, Sandy Marshall,
and Pedro Nieves. Photo by Simone Marron
The Gala cast
Photo by Danny Orleans
The Great Tomsoni reading minds.
Photo by Simone Marron
26 M-U-M Magazine - SEPTEMBER 2014
special event by convincing some of the top names from
the US and around the world to perform at the conven-
tion. We were thrilled to see performances and lectures
by the famed mind reader Max Maven, Germanys
creative Axel Hecklau, master card mechanic Richard
Turner, magical comedian Dave Cox, Boston mentalist
Jon Stetson, the highly original Dan Harlan, and The
Great Tomsoni and Co, who much to everyones surprise,
revived their recently retired comedy act just one more
Ten shows, ten lectures, a street naming, and perfect
Chicago weather made it all a magical treat one that
Chicago and anyone who attended wont soon forget. It
was a great way to celebrate the fftieth anniversary of
the oldest, continuously family-run, brick-and-mortar
magic shop in North America Magic, Inc.
Awards of Excellence Presented
Awards of Excellence
Presented to Compeers
Ronald Obie OBrien,
James Professor Rem
Remenicky, and Frank
This past April at the
forty-fourth annual 4F
convention, Compeer
Ronald Obie OBrien was
presented with the North
Atlantic Region Award of
Excellence in grateful ap-
preciation of his forty-six
years of service to The
Society of American
Magicians, his forty-four
years of producing the
most highly respected
close-up magic conven-
tion in the world, Fechters
Finger Flicking Frolic, and
for the advancement of
the art of magic through
his many years of support
to magicians and magic
organizations worldwide.
James Professor Rem
Remenicky was presented
the Award of Excellence
in grateful appreciation
of his thirty-eight years
of service to The Society
of American Magicians
and his many years of out-
standing commitment in
fostering and progressing
the art of magic as S.A.M.
Deputy in the state of New
After the opening Saturday night gala at the fortieth
Tannens Magic Camp, Compeer Frank Monaco was presented
with the North Atlantic Region Award of Excellence in
grateful appreciation of his seventeen years of extraordinary
duty and service to The Society of American Magicians and
Assembly 35 (Al Baker Assembly), The Poughkeepsie Magic
Community, and his twenty years of mentorship at Tannens
Magic Camp.
A recipient of the Award of Excellence must have demon-
strated, over a signifcant period of time, dedication and the
promotion of magic in our region, combined with a strong
sense of community obligation.
Award recipients include long-standing S.A.M. members
who year after year have given of themselves to enhance,
advance, elevate, preserve, and move the art of magic to the
forefront of artistic recognition in our North Atlantic Region.
Congratulations to Compeers OBrien, Remenicky, and
Monaco for exemplifying the S.A.M. mission statement and
spirit. [Photos by Dale Farris. Frank Monaco photo by Todd
Compeers Perform at Cycle of Life Event
By Rich Dooley
A group of magicians from Assembly 21 in Hartford,
Connecticut, Assembly 17 in Springfeld, Massachusetts,
and Assembly 16 in Worcester, Massachusetts, came
together on June 1, 2014, at the campus of St. Josephs
College in West Hartford, Connecticut, to support the
CT Childrens Medical Centers annual Cycle of Life
event to honor childhood cancer survivors and their
families. All the magicians volunteered their time on a
beautiful Sunday afternoon. The magicians had a small
tent under which there were two tables; they rotated
doing close-up magic and interacting with the survivors
and their families. Several performers also did walk-
around magic during the carnival-like event.
The performers are (from left): Life Membership Chairman
Dan Sclare, Steve Wronker, Dana Ring, Peter Lennis, Ed
Kazar, Leonard Nadeau, RVP New England Tom Gentile, Past
National President Rich Dooley.
Missing from the photo: John Knowles.
Eric DeCamps and Professor Rem
Eric DeCamps and Obie O'Brien
Eric DeCamps and Frank Monaco
SEPTEMBER 2014 - M-U-M Magazine 27
28 M-U-M Magazine - SEPTEMBER 2014
Back to the Future
I found a really good app that will keep
the spectators fummoxed for days. This
effect is from the minds that created Email
Wizard, an app acquired by David Copper-
Here is the effect of Ghost-Card: The
magician selects a card and holds it up in
front of the spectator so he can take a photo
of the spectator and the card. You do not
show the photo or the card at this time. The
spectator now selects a card; when you show
him the photo that was taken a few minutes before, it shows that
the card you chose earlier is his card!
This is a well thought-out app. First of all, there are lots of
settings to customize it for you. You can also email the photo
to the spectator as a souvenir. They will show that photo for
months. Take your time practicing this one. Although it is
pretty easy, there are some subtleties that help to sell the strong
magic that you are creating. This is a really good one and is now
on my front page. Ghost-Card is $14.99; you can fnd it in the
iTunes App Store.
Magic Shuffe
I wrote about Magic Shuffe when I frst
started this column. This app is the Invisible
Deck effect. Tenyo created this app and has
made it the easiest, most direct method to
accomplish the miracle. The app holds up
nicely, even though it was created way back
in 2010. I cant stress enough the clean and
easy way this app works.
I will tell you that this app got me a gig
as a living entity in a Rhode Island School
of Design art exhibit. I did this trick for four
hours straight and fooled scores of people. Magic Shuffe is in
the iTunes app store for $2.99
Revisiting the Apps
Apps are in a constant state of revision and improvement.
Smart programmers do listen to their customers. I thought it
was time to take a second look at some of my favorite apps.
Ask a person to select, or just name a card. You go into your
photos on your smart phone; the last photo taken shows that
selected card a quick and direct effect.
Guilherme Del Frate took the time to write very complete
directions. He even has a training mode to help you learn the
effect. He has also added a lock screen to keep people from
fnding out the secret. You can predict playing cards or numbers.
He also has a way for you to customize the trick to allow up to
129 different outcomes. You can also choose your favorite order
of suits.
If you have this app, give it another try. If you dont have
this app, it should defnitely be on your iPhone. Available in the
iTunes App Store for $4.99
Houdinis Last Magic Trick
Houdinis Last Magic Trick is more
like a magic history lesson. Its a complete
app telling the biography of Houdini as
well as displaying lots of posters and pho-
tographs. What I really like about this app
is the non magic trick look and presenta-
When you get to the photo section,
simply ask a spectator to name a playing
card. When the spectator says what his card
was, the magician shows that Houdinis brother is holding this
exact card in his hand in a photo taken a hundred years ago.
The instructions are well written; everything you need to
present this is all there. As a magician, when you are at a party
or meeting, Houdinis name will probably come up. Present this
effect and leave them with a mystery to remember. Houdinis
Last Magic Trick is available in the iTunes App Store as well
as at Androids Google Play for $5.
Tune Control
While performing at this years PCAM Convention, a fellow
performer asked what the mini remote control attached to my
trick was for; it controlled my music. A pet peeve of mine is
when a performer presses on his pocket to turn on his music or
shut it off. I found it much easier to attach the remote to my trick
or table for easy access. As I move the prop, I simply press the
button to turn the music on or off.
My remote of choice is the iJet iNAV Boss Lanyard
Wireless Remote. It works great with apps like Show Cues
(highly recommended) and is
small enough to be discrete. Its
water resistant and comes with a
receiver that fts on all iDevices
that use the 30-pin connector.
It will also work with iPhone 5
and iPad Air with a Lightning-
to-30-pin adapter available at the
Apple Store. I put a plastic bead on the play button to make it
easy to feel. iJet iNAV Boss V2 Lanyard Wireless Remote is
available at for around $30. Buy at least two
in case you lose one.
Bruce is always on the lookout for computer magic, iPhone/
iPad apps, Android apps, and tech toys that can be used in
magic applications. If you have any suggestions for future
columns, write him (
Last month, I talked about what I call
the triple-single. This month, I want to
talk about another related micro-tech-
nique lets call it the single-triple. Its
a similar approach for a different context.
Heres how it works: Suppose you want
to show the two black Aces and then switch
them out for two red Queens. Start with a
black Ace on top of the deck, followed by
the two red Queens, and then the other
black Ace. Cleanly turn over the top single
card to show a black Ace and take it in your
right hand. As youre displaying that card,
get a break under the top three cards. Then
do a triple turnover of the cards above the
break while still holding the Ace (Photo 1).
(The action of the turnover is the same as
if you werent holding a card in your right
hand.) Catch a little fnger break under
the triple as the cards fall face up onto the
deck. Youre now displaying two face-up
Aces (Photo 2). Place the single Ace side-
jogged on the face of the triple and turn
over everything (four cards) onto the deck
(Photo 3). Thumb off the top two cards;
youve now switched out the Aces for the
two Red queens.
As with the triple-single, theres a lot
more going on here than youd expect.
You start by cleanly turning over and
displaying a card. Then you perform a
triple turnover, but the card in your right
hand provides a ton of shade, hiding the
thickness of that multiple card. When you
turn the cards face down, the thickness
of the packet is not obvious, because you
are ostensibly turning over two cards at
the same time. Then you cleanly deal off
two single cards. Its the emphasis on the
singleness of the cards that makes this a
very deceptive switch. In that way, its a lot
like the Zarrow Block Addition (described
in The Vernon Chronicles Volume 3, page
30). However, theres also a nice moment
here where cleanly turning over that frst
card draws attention to it and gives the
sequence a very honest and genuine feel.
(Like Ascanio said, Theres nothing more
overwhelming than the truth.) Im by no
means claiming that this is better than the
Zarrow technique, but in the right context
its extremely effective.
Readers with long memories will
remember this concept from Be Honest,
Is it Blackjack? from my very frst column
(January 2014). In fact, in that trick I
combine the single-triple idea with the tri-
ple-single. I turn over the Jack of Spades,
and then do a quadruple turnover (again,
the single card helps hide the multiple
cards) to show the Ace of Spades. I turn the
whole thing face down, deal off two single
cards, and turn the next single card over to
show another card. I can vouch from expe-
rience that its a very deceptive sequence.
Like the triple-single, this technique
isnt original with me. Its in the original
Be Honest, What Is It? by Eddie Fechter.
But I didnt appreciate its effectiveness
until I applied the idea to a similar, earlier
classic: Passe-Passe Aces.
Passe-Passe Aces is one of the many,
many gems in the classic book Expert
Card Technique. Its a great effect for in-
troducing the four Aces into a program of
card material. The problem with it is that
it relies on continual triple lifts four in a
row, as a matter of fact. Even with a good
triple lift and a solid pinky count, its a real
pain in the butt to manage. Plus, in doing
it that many times in a row, youre essen-
tially daring your audience to see through
the technique. Check out the original (its
on page 250) and then give this alternative
approach a try.
Start with the four Aces on top of the
deck in this order: Ace of Spades, the two
red Aces, and the Ace of Clubs. Give the
cards an overhand jog shuffe to control
the top stock. In previous columns, Ive
advocated a lift shuffe. Here, though, is a
great place for a jog shuffe. You undercut
half the deck and shuffe off, in-jogging
the frst card. Take a break under the jog
and swivel cut at the break. Turn over the
top card to show the Ace of Spades and
cleanly deal it face up on the table. This in
itself will stop people inviting you to poker
Perform another jog shuffe and swivel
cut. Pick up the Ace of Spades as you get
a break under the top three cards. (You
have plenty of cover for a push-off, spread
push-off, or pinky count.) Comment, One
Ace is fne, but in Texas Hold Em, you
want a pair! and do a triple turnover while
still holding the Ace of Spades. Youre now
30 M-U-M Magazine - SEPTEMBER 2014
By Antonio M. Cabral
Cheats & Deceptions
(For Entertainment Purposes Only)
Photo 1
Photo 2
Photo 3
displaying the two black Aces. Get another
break under the face-up triple (or obtain
this break as you turn the triple face up),
place the Ace of Spades side-jogged onto
the Ace of Clubs, and turn the whole thing
face down on top of the deck. Deal off the
top two cards as you announce, Lets see
if I can fnd the two red ones. I hate to
break up a set! In fact, youve just dealt
the two red Aces onto the table.
Do another jog shuffe, but this time
run one card, in-jog the next card, and
shuffe off. Do another swivel cut, then
cleanly take the top card and raise it face
outward to show your audience. As you do
this, get another break under the top three
Im not sure; is this the Ace of Hearts
or the Ace of Diamonds? Youll be
politely informed that its neither. Turn the
card so you can see it, look surprised at
your apparent goof-up, and then turn the
triple over on the deck using the right-hand
card as shade as before. You are conveying
the idea that youre surprised you missed
the Ace, and youre checking to see if you
were off by one. Youre now showing
two random cards, and youre ready for the
big surprise.
Turn the cards down as before, deal
off the top two cards face down into
your hand, and look puzzled. I mustve
forgotten something somewhere Then,
realizing your mistake, say, Oh! I forgot
that I always get the two black Aces last
Then turn over the frst two cards and say,
the two red Aces come frst!
In comparing this handling to the
original, you can see that it has a much
better rhythm. Cutting the number of triple
lifts in half helps the whole sequence to
fow better. And if youre so inclined, you
can elaborate on the concept.
Start with this set-up on top of the
deck: a King, two Aces, two Kings, two
Aces, and the remaining King. False
shuffe, retaining the stock on top, then
do a jog shuffe to take the stock into the
middle of the deck. Get a break under the
jog and spread the cards between your
hands as you make some comment about
how fnding certain cards in the deck can,
in the right context, become a lucrative vo-
cational skill. Spread four cards past the
break, take a new break under those cards,
and close up the spread.
Do a swivel cut; turn over the top card
to reveal a King and deal it face up onto
the table. Now perform any kind of in-the-
hands false cut (again, the Flip-Flap Cut
from Card College 1 is as good as any).
Pick up the King as you get a break under
the top three cards, and turn over the triple
with the King in hand. One King is fne,
but in Texas Hold Em, you really want a
pair! Place the King in your hand onto
the face-up triple and turn all the cards
over onto the deck. Deal the top two cards
off and hand them to an audience partici-
pant, and then offer to fnd the remaining
two Kings.
Get a break above the four cards on
the bottom of the deck, and go into the lift
shuffe control from my previous columns.
This will bring the rest of your stock back
to the top. Follow through with another
jog shuffe and swivel cut. Display the top
single card (your third King) and get set
for a triple turnover. Turn over the triple
(using the face-up King as shade) onto the
deck to show the last King.
Place the King in your right hand on
top of the triple, turn everything face down
on top of the deck as before, and deal off
the top two cards. Have your participant
turn over the cards hes holding, and look
surprised that theyre now Aces.
Again, this is by no means new, but
you might fnd it useful to experiment with
and adapt to certain situations in tricks
you already do. At the very least, I hope
youll fnd the frst handling of Passe-Passe
Aces useful in introducing your favorite
four-Ace miracle.
Many of you have probably noticed that
Photo 4 in my last column shows a Queen
of Diamonds standing in for a Queen of
Hearts, and wondered if that actually fies
past an audience. The answer, sadly, is that
it was a mistake.
I ran afoul of something Ive come to
take for granted: the fact that Im left-hand-
ed. And the subtlety of Jack Carpenters
I was trying to explain is, in fact, a left-
handed card move. I shot a video clip for
my esteemed and patient editor, Michael
Close, to try to clarify things, but what I
failed to clarify was that the index of the
card should remain hidden. Consequently,
the grip of the right hand shown in Photos
3 and 4 is incorrect. When the face-down
card (which is thought to be the Seven, but
which is actually the other red Queen) is
placed onto the face-up Queen of Hearts,
the right hand should hold the cards at the
outer right corner as in Photo 4. As the
right hand turns over (under the cover of
the left hand) to apparently place the Seven
on the spectators hand, the right thumb
pulls and the fngers push, causing the two
cards to slide over each other. The result
is shown in Photo 5. The spectator can see
part of the design of a Queen (albeit the
other red Queen) and assumes she is being
given the Seven. As the right hand pulls
the lower card away, it quickly turns over,
turning the card face down. Proceed as in
the original instructions.
I apologize for the error. Much like in
performance, if my audience doesnt un-
derstand whats happening, thats on me
and not them.
If any M-U-M readers have any
questions or comments regarding anything
in this column, please feel free to contact
me at, and
Ill do my best to clarify, mollify, or
otherwise try to explain myself. I look
forward to answering your questions and
opening a dialogue or two.
SEPTEMBER 2014 - M-U-M Magazine 31
Photo 4
Photo 5
Murphys Law says that anything that
can go wrong will go wrong. No matter
how much you have rehearsed and no
matter how carefully you have packed
your show for transport, there is that in-
evitable chance that a key prop or gimmick
that you need for the show breaks. So
what do you do? The Scout motto of
Be Prepared can be the answer to any
mishaps you may encounter on the road.
By preparing a Justin Case, or what you
might call a fx-it kit, you can tackle
most minor problems you encounter with
broken equipment, scratched paint, or any
other small prop emergency. Get yourself
a small tool chest with a handle that can
accommodate the handful of items I am
about to describe, and bring it with you to
all of your gigs. Purchase one from Lowes
or Home Depot for less than forty dollars
and then stock it with the following items.
Gaffer Tape: The key to the universe,
or at least the magic universe, is gaffer
tape. If you do not know what gaffer tape
is, please allow me to rock your world. A
gaffer is the chief lighting technician who
deals with lighting for productions; this
tape is the tool of his trade. It is a won-
derfully strong, cloth-backed, super-sticky
tape that can be the perfect answer to many
minor repairs. It has synthetic petroleum-
based glue rather than a rubber adhesive so
it can be removed cleanly from any surface.
It has found a home in the theater for all
kinds of practical uses, and for magic it is
perfect. In fact, I know a handful of profes-
sional magicians whose acts are practical-
ly held together with gaffer tape. It can be
used to repair broken hinges on apparatus
magic for example. Lets say you drop
your Fraidy Cat Rabbit while unpacking
and bust off one of the hinges. Simply
make a new one out of gaffer tape. This
temporary hinge should be enough to get
you through your show until you can get
home and replace it.
Perhaps you are rolling in your Lefer
Suitcase Table to your bar mitzvah gig
and a helpful young man agrees to help
you load in. He pushes the suitcase table
at full speed into the door jam and tears a
big gash in the cloth covering. Simply tear
off a piece of gaffer tape and make a patch
to get you through the show.
I have even used gaffer tape to repair a
rip in my costume. Jenny and I were doing
our show at Caesars Magical Empire. I had
just gotten a new pair of pants and didnt
test them out with the illusions. The second
to closing number was the Metamor-
phosis. We followed that with a DeKolta
chair during which Jenny vanished and
appeared in the audience. The Metamor-
phosis was going along nicely until I made
my exit from the box. I was getting ready
to take my place for the exchange and I
heard a distinct ripping noise accompa-
nied by a cool, breezy feeling between my
legs. As I was coming up out of the box,
my new pants, which I failed to test with
the illusion, got a giant rip in the crotch.
I had to think fast or else risk exposing
something more than magic to the sold-out
audience. Normally, Jenny and I would
take a bow together and she would leave
the stage while I did a closing speech.
This time however, as we were walking
downstage to take our bow, I whispered
to Jenny, Do the closing speech; I gotta
go fx my pants. Like a trouper, she did
my dialogue as I ran offstage to gaffer
tape my crotch. The gaffer tape held my
pants together enough to get through the
DeKolta chair and we fnished the show.
As I said, gaffer tape is an invaluable tool
in any performers fx-it kit. You can pick
some up at
Super Glue: I prefer Super Glue in
a gel medium. The gel is easier to apply
because it doesnt run. You can apply it to
most plastic surfaces; after holding the two
items together for a minute they will bond.
This can be useful in repairing any broken
plastic or Plexiglas items. When Jenny
worked in her show at the Plaza in Las
Vegas, she used the Dave Powell Razor-
blade Stand. One night, the stand fell off
the table and cracked in half. She was able
to dive into the fx-it kit, grab some Super
Glue, and put the stand back together for
the performance.
E-6000: This is silicone-based glue
that remains fexible and that also makes
a watertight seal. This can be particu-
larly useful in repairing cracks in glasses
or rubber items. When performing Shoe
Business, I have been using the Comedy
Glass in Newspaper that Bazaar de Magia
puts out. One show, I dropped the glass
while unpacking and it got a hairline crack
up the side. If you are familiar with the
routine, then you know that a leaky glass
put into someones shoe will not produce
the desired result. I went into my Justin
Case, grabbed some E-6000 and glued
over the crack, rubbing it fat with my
fnger. After about ffteen minutes, I put
some liquid in and it held quite nicely,
getting me through the show.
Zip Ties: Having a few zip ties in
your kit can help for holding up backdrop
curtains that have ripped or making an
impromptu hinge for things that have
loose hinges or straps items like Bowl-
a-Rama or the Backstage Vanishing Milk
Trick. Almost anything that has a strap can
be temporarily rigged with a zip tie to get
you through the show. They can even be a
part of the show. Joe Monti has a very nice
Thumb Tie routine using nothing more
than a zip tie and a pair of scissors.
Sticky Back Velcro: I always carry
a few pieces of male and female Sticky
Backed Velcro. If you have any items that
use Velcro to hold on a small cover or a
curtain, there is always a chance that it
could rip. In a pinch you can repair it with
the sticky Velcro. It also comes in handy
to organize props in your table for easy
access and to keep them in position just
where you need them.
Safety Pins: Always have a few safety
pins handy. These can quickly repair any
fabric tears or, of course, any minor rips
in costumes. You never know what kind of
MacGyver situation you may fnd yourself
in when you are going to need a safety pin,
but when you need one and they are in
your fx-it kit, you will thank me.
Sharpie Markers: Colored Sharpies
can be used to quickly repair any scratches
on props. Simply color the scratch with
the marker to take off any show-through
of metal or wood due to scratched props.
32 M-U-M Magazine - SEPTEMBER 2014
With Scott Alexander, Puck,
Jenny Alexander, and Adam Ace
Hit The Road
Also, you never know when the Sharpie
you use for your Bill in Lemon might dry
out. It is always nice to have a few backups.
Tech Knife: When I was going to
college, my theatre professor would preach
the benefts of having a tech knife. A
tech knife is basically a Swiss Army knife.
The one I carry has two blades, tweezers,
toothpick, wine opener, fle, Philips-head
screwdriver, fat-head screwdriver, can
opener, and saw blade. This can be handy
for a myriad of assists with quick repairs.
Or if you want to step it up, you can carry
a Leatherman Tool. This is a tech knife on
steroids that also has the added feature of
becoming a pair of needle-nosed pliers.
This can come in quite handy.
These are only a few items that I
recommend you should carry, but there can
be many more. Go through your act and
try to anticipate any mechanical problems
you may encounter. Think about what
could happen while you are setting up or
loading in. Then, think ahead and try to
determine what you might need to make a
quick repair on any of the items in your act.
Also, think about any expendable products
you might use, such as snowstorm packets,
throw streamers, mouth coils, hat tears, or
any other refllable product you use. Throw
a few of those in the Justin Case, too. You
may leave the house in a rush and forget to
pack them, but you will always have extras
at the ready. Proper preparation is the key
to most things in life; anticipate what you
may need those are the things you want
to have in your Justin Case to guarantee
a successful show. Then you can use
your tech knife to open your celebratory
We Made Your Job a Little Easier
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SEPTEMBER 2014 - M-U-M Magazine 33
Not Just Kid Stuff
By Jim Kleefeld
Smooth transitions and inside informa-
tion are two methods that good writers use
to make television or flm scripts enjoyable.
You dont have to be Steven Spielberg or
J.J. Abrams to make use of them in your
magic show. Segues, or transitions, not
only solidify your act, they are particularly
helpful as an audience management tool
in kid shows. Callbacks, or the repeating
of inside jokes, are not just fun; they are
a great way to make your act memorable.
Each of these techniques probably deserves
its own platform, but I will discuss them
together because of their close connection
to each other and to good scripting.
Most of the childrens magic acts I have
seen have trouble with segues. Most acts
are presented as a series of tricks, one after
the other. I believe this stems from the way
many performers enter into the feld. We
see separate tricks that we like, buy them,
and stick them together to form a show.
Each trick comes to us as an isolated event.
Here is the box. Here are the instructions.
Do this with the box. Kids will laugh.
Most magicians began to perform by
collecting eight of these dealer items and
doing them one after the other. Presto its
a show. If you are a thinking performer,
you have probably gone past this level to
some degree. But professionalism requires
going way past that level. Segues can mean
all the difference in the world in a show.
Segues make a show fow smoothly. They
can keep you on track, help you remember
your show order, and give everyone in the
audience a reason to keep watching right
up until the end. Segues provide a way to
bring the audience along with you through-
out the entire show. Without them, kids lose
attention. They turn their attention away
from you. They talk to each other. They
miss a spot where they could be laughing
or applauding. And that makes your show
suffer. In a similar way, callbacks also help
keep kids focused, but more about that in
a moment.
Trevor Lewis recognized the transition
problem back in the 1970s and formulated
an interesting solution. He would present
disparate tricks, but would use the same
segue between every trick. Thats the
end of that trick, he would despondently
say after fnishing a routine. With a little
coaching, the kids would say Aww.
Then he would perk up with a smile and
say, But I have another trick! and the
kids would yell, Yea! Many kid show
performers still use this technique today.
It works, but to a limited degree. While
it is fun for the kids to get caught up in a
group chant, the message emphasizes the
disparity of the set. It reinforces the fact
that you simply brought eight disconnected
props to display.
It is time to examine your transitions
from one trick to the next and specif-
cally to provide meaningful ones. First,
look at which tricks you present and the
order you chose. In a good kid show there
should be some longer story tricks mixed
with some shorter visual tricks. Active and
quiet routines should both occur regularly.
When you have a good show sequence,
think about what features each trick has
that can lead into the next trick. Find a way
to link your props or your patter from one
routine to the next; create such a link, and
bingo, you have a segue. Do you produce
silks, and then put them away and take out
a rope trick? Maybe instead of that, you
could magically turn one of the silks into
a rope. Do you use a Change Bag, put it
away, and then take out Comedy Card in
Balloon? Why not use the Change Bag to
produce the cards and balloons you need
for your next trick? After your billiard ball
routine, you could set all but one of the
balls aside, and then transform the last ball
into a silk and go into a silk routine. At the
end of your mischievous vent bit, have your
puppet pull a bill out of your pocket. Put
the puppet away and start your bill routine.
Instead of using props as the connec-
tion, unconnected tricks can often be
linked verbally. Think about what happens
at the end of one trick. Next, think about
what happens at the beginning of the next
trick. Now make up a sentence that ties the
two events together. Patter tie-ins should
be as logical as possible and provide a rea-
sonable excuse for linking the two events.
In other words, do not simply say, Let me
put this cane away and get out my set of
steel rings. Suppose you have a trick in
which you show fve bottles of different-
colored liquids and predict which one a
child will choose. Suppose the trick you
perform after that is one in which you
make a giant ice-cream cone disappear.
Here is a verbal bridge to connect the
two: Great! We found the right color
bottle! Was it your favorite color? Thats
a lot of different answers, because people
have different favorites like ice cream,
for example. Not everyone likes the same
kind of ice cream. You have meshed the
colored bottles into ice cream by way of
the concept of favorites.
Suppose you present a routine in which
fve helpers come up front and hold
pictures. The next routine on your list is
the Growing and Shrinking Head. Here is
a verbal segue: Lets give those fve
helpers a big hand for coming up to help.
They did a fne job, but I feel bad that only
fve people got picked. I wish there was a
way to let everyone help. How about if I
show you an optical trick that everyone
can do? Would you like that? Dismissing
the fve helpers becomes an excuse for
using the audience participation trick.
Segues and transitions make for good
audience management, especially in kid
shows. Having good segues means that
you do not lose the kids attention. If they
see that every seven minutes you fnish a
trick, put it away, and dig around for the
props to another one, they quickly get the
idea that there are rest periods. They know
that there will be breaks in the show during
which they can turn and talk to their
friends. So they do. Any comment that a
child makes to a friend gets a reply. They
start a conversation. And you may be two
minutes into your next trick and past the
setup and exposition before they turn their
attention back to you and the show. Room
noise rises. Movement increases. You risk
losing them, or at best, you struggle to get
Figure 1
34 M-U-M Magazine - SEPTEMBER 2014
them back. Segues keep the focus on you
all through the show.
Callbacks, like segues, are a way of
providing a tighter and more memorable
act through your script. Technically, a
callback is when a comedian refers to a
joke he made earlier in the set. Callbacks
have a way of reminding the audience how
much they are enjoying the show. They
also provide a more personal association
with the performer. By using callbacks,
you are essentially setting up private
jokes between the audience members and
you. Good callbacks put spectators on a
personal plane with the performer. They
provide memorable you had to be there
Callbacks have to be specifcally
planned and written into your script,
because they deal with repeating cir-
cumstances. They are structured like an
extended joke: set-up frst, punch line later.
Its hard to ad lib a witty callback, espe-
cially if you never set it up. Callbacks are
not running gags. You dont just say the
same thing several times in your show. A
callback works best when the initial call
is funny. Then future references to that
joke increase the fun. Your goal is to try
to make them laugh, and then later remind
them of the fun they had when they did
Here is an example of how to build a
callback routine into your show. Early
in the show, use a production. It does
not matter what kind of production, just
so you present the magic of showing a sur-
prising appearance. Use a Square Circle or
a Gung Ho Box to make objects appear out
of nowhere. A Dove Pan with a foam cake
would work, as would an empty Change
Bag in which silks appear. Even the Multi-
plying Bananas trick could be adapted.
After you have concluded the
routine and magically produced the
objects, make one last production. Reach
into the now-empty container and pull
out a mushroom. A nicely painted sponge
mushroom would work. Make sure it is
large enough that your audience can clearly
discern what you are holding. It helps if
this is incongruous when compared with
the previous items, because you want to
segue into a laugh here. Using a Dove Pan
and pulling out various fruits and veg-
etables, and then producing the mushroom
last, is not funny. Pulling out several
large, colorful, patterned silks, and then
fnding a mushroom underneath is much
better. Producing a dozen sponge bananas
between your fngers and then fnally
ending up with a mushroom would also be
When you bring out the mushroom at
the end of the routine, act surprised. Then
address the audience: How did that get in
there? Hey, that reminds me of a joke. Why
did the mushroom go to the party? (Pause
for a beat, but not too long in case some
kids have heard this one before.) Because
he was a fun guy!
Dont wait for laughter; at a kid
show some of them will not get the joke.
Continue, because this is a two-part
joke: Why did the fungi leave the party?
Because there wasnt mush room.
Its a decent joke, particularly because
the second part is not as well known as the
frst part, and because all of the kids will
understand the play on the words much
room. But best of all, it sets you up for
later callbacks.
Continue with your usual routines,
but look for places you can use the joke
as a callback. Lets say you use a Change
Bag with a Mis-Made Flag. You hand a
volunteer three colored silks. Ask her to put
the frst one inside the bag. Then ask her to
put the second one inside the bag. Then ask
her to put the third one in, but swing the
bag and your attention away from her so
the silk falls to the foor. Produce the fag
with a missing color. Discover the dropped
silk. I guess that one never made it into
the bag. Do you know why? There wasnt
mush room.
Go into a trick with a big prop. After
the routine, lean over in order to put it
away under your table. Stop and look up
at the audience. Im going to have a hard
time putting this in my table. Do you know
why? (Pause for a beat.) Because there
isnt mush room.
Next, go into another production
routine with a prop. Lets suppose you
get a rabbit from a Bunny Box. After the
applause, pause and look knowingly at
the audience. Point to the box. I didnt
think there would be rabbit in there.
Do you know why? Because there isnt
mush room.
Bring several kids up to use as
volunteer helpers. Call them up one at a
time by looking carefully and pointing out
who is sitting quietly. Line them up across
the front of the stage. While other kids
are still raising their hands, tell them you
have enough volunteers and cannot bring
anyone else up front. Why? Because there
isnt mush room.
Normally, good scripting follows
the Rule of Three. But with a kid show
audience and this type of callback, it may
take two or three times before they latch
on to your deliberate use of the phrase.
So it wont hurt to say it fve or six times
in a show. Just keep the iterations spaced
reasonably apart, and try to script your
scenarios differently so the line comes as
a bit of a surprise the frst couple of times.
An attentive crowd will catch on and say
the line with you the last couple of times.
As with the rest of your show, your
callbacks should refect your onstage
persona. Dont lift funny lines from other
magicians or comics and toss them into
your act. Write material that fts you. Mac
King has some dandy callbacks, but they ft
his aw-shucks, homespun character. Max
Maven has a witty, slightly dry, and intel-
ligent persona and uses a great callback
in his stage show. Several times during
the show he quotes historical intellectu-
als like Nietzsche and Sartre, knowing
full well that most of his audience will
barely recognize the names, let alone be
familiar with their philosophies. After
a few instances of dropping names and
getting blank stares, he dryly tells the
seated theatergoers, You people should
get out less. Its a witty callback to the
times he has challenged their intellectual
knowledge. I cant get away with that line,
and most likely, unless you are Max Maven
neither can you. So choose something that
is funny to you and your audiences and
fnd a way to make that your signature line.
Callbacks are more than just funny
in the moment. They establish rapport
and produce a lasting sense of familiar-
ity within the audience. The audience
will feel like they know you and have
shared a private inside joke with just you.
Because of this, they will be more likely
to remember you as a performer, rather
than the magic show as an event. You want
your audience to remember you so when
they need a magician, they ask for you, not
just a magician. One way to help them
remember you is to write a quality script
that uses Segues and Callbacks.
SEPTEMBER 2014 - M-U-M Magazine 35
Figure 2
Do you believe in miracles?
The above sentence is synonymous
with one of the greatest moments in
the history of sports. It occurred in
1980 at the Olympic Games in Lake
Placid, New York. The United States
national hockey team, made up
mostly of amateur players, defeated
the Soviet Union national team,
which had won six gold medals in
recent Olympic games. When the
fnal seconds ticked off the clock
and the US team was about to raise
their hands in victory against Russia,
broadcaster Al Michaels, with more
energy and euphoria in his voice than
ever before, screamed into the micro-
phone, Do you believe in miracles?
Sports Illustrated named it the
top sports moment of the twentieth
century; a feature flm starring Kurt
Russell commemorated it. Many
people who watched it on TV called it one of the most
memorable moments of their lives. Can you imagine what it
must have been like to be sitting in that stadium during that
game? Now imagine what it must have been like to be sitting
a dozen feet away from the action, and not just as a spectator,
but as the offcial scorer to the game. Well, Obie OBrien
knows what it felt like. And, much like all of us during almost
any moment of our lives, if for some reason he had been called
on, he was ready to do magicjust in case.
It is almost impossible to wrap your head around the life
of Obie OBrien. The man has lived through so many iconic
moments in all areas (sports, personal, magic) that it is hard
to believe. He owns several college hockey records, both as
a player and as a coach. He travels the world promoting and
helping to elevate the art of magic. Oh, and one more tiny
thing, he is the driving force behind one of the most presti-
gious and respected magic conventions ever, Fechters Finger
Flicking Frolic. To understand Obie, you need to understand
how different areas of his life have come together to make him
who he is today. And perhaps understanding Obie will give
insight into a question that hundreds of magicians all over the
world are nervous as hell to hear the answer. But we will get
to that later.
Obie was born Ronald James
OBrien in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada,
in 1932. Ten years before Obie was
born, his father moved to Sudbury,
Ontario, Canada, to play hockey.
However, there was a rule that a
person needed to live in a town for
six months before he could play for
the team. Obies father solved that
problem in a way that would possibly
fuel Obies love of deception: he
created fake documents proving his
residency. Unfortunately, someone
reported the fake documents; his
father was suspended from playing
hockey for two years.
His father was a dedicated man,
provided well for his family, and
always exposed them to his love
of hockey. While a teenager, Obie
walked miles to any local rink to
practice hockey. This helped fuel not
only his talent on the rink but also his
dedicated work ethic. Obie eventually
played in the Junior Hockey A division, which is the highest
non-professional hockey league in Canada.
His skills in hockey
opened up many doors for
Obie, including a schol-
arship to St. Lawrence
University in Canton, New
York. In his very frst junior
varsity game at college,
Obie scored eight goals. He
went on to score at least one
goal in thirty-four consecu-
tive games and compiled a
total of ffty-eight goals in
a twenty-fve-game span
(destroying all previous
records at the time). To this
day, he holds the record
for most points scored in a
varsity game with fve. Not
surprisingly, a player of this
talent is not soon forgotten;
St. Lawrence University
by David Corsaro
Obie with his wife, Anne. Obie was
the guest of honor at 4F in 2010
36 M-U-M Magazine - SEPTEMBER 2014
inducted Obie into their Hall of Fame in 1993.
Obie held many jobs during his college career, including
morning radio DJ. So the idea of entertaining a crowd has
always been in his blood. But it was not until one of Obies
teammates, Bruce Moore, showed him some magic that
another bug besides hockey began to occupy his mind. In an
ironic twist, Bruce eventually gave up magic, but twenty-fve
years later was persuaded by Obie himself to get back into it.
It was also in college that he met the woman who would
soon become his wife, Anne Grace. They eloped in 1957 while
Obie was in his senior year. While most people are busy trying
to keep up with one or two activities in their lives, Obie was
working multiple jobs, playing hockey, practicing magic, and
becoming a husband. He became an American citizen in 1961
and then returned to school, going to New Mexico State Uni-
versity to attain his masters degree in mathematics. He and
Anne had two beautiful daughters, Karen and Kelly. Never
feeling comfortable in stopping his own education, Obie
enrolled in the University of Buffalo in 1970 to get his PhD in
mathematics. (He completed all but his dissertation.)
Obie held several different jobs after college, including
sales rep for an oil company and high school math teacher.
Canton College hired him to teach math at their school while
he formed and coached their hockey team. Since Obie does
not do anything half way, he put his heart and soul into that
hockey team; they went on to win two of the frst three national
championships they played. Eventually, his love of all sports
went beyond playing and coaching; he soon began refereeing,
not just hockey, but also soccer, lacrosse, and football.
His extensive experiences in all areas of hockey (from
coaching to playing to refereeing) led him to take the test to
be the offcial scorer for the 1980 Olympics. Only four people
were selected; Obie was thrilled to be told that he would be
there for the US/Russia game. Before the game began, Obie
was required to visit each teams locker room to talk to the
coaches. During this time, he learned that the Russian team
was warming up twenty-three players (the rules require each
team to only have twenty players available for the game).
When Obie alerted the Russian coach of this discrepancy,
the coach told him that he would submit his offcial list after
warm-ups were completed.
The game began and the excitement on the ice was high.
And as the clock ticked closer and closer to the end and it
became apparent that the mighty Russian hockey team was
about to lose to the amateur US team, tensions ran high.
Remember, this game occurred as the Cold War was heating
up; the last thing that Russia wanted to do was show weakness
(especially to the US). When the game was over and both
teams retired to their locker rooms, it was up to the offcial
scorer (our friend Obie) to get each coachs signature on the
scorers sheet. Obie had only twenty minutes to get both sig-
natures and fax the sheet to the ABC studios. Getting the US
coachs signature was easy. Obie described walking into the
US locker room as if stepping into a party. Everyone was
laughing and hugging each other. But that was only one of the
two required signatures.
Obie had to walk into the Russian locker room and get
their coach, who had just been humiliated, to sign the sheet.
Obie walked down the long, dark corridor towards the Russian
locker room. There he was met by twelve Russian troops, fully
armed, blocking him (and anyone) from entering. The US team
assistant coach saw the blockade, came down, and convinced
the troops that Obie was allowed in. When he walked into the
Russian locker room, Obie recalls the somber feeling that was
emanating from everyone. Nobody was yelling and nobody
was angry. The players were sitting with their heads down,
refecting on losing the biggest game of their careers and dis-
appointing their country. Obie got the signature he needed and
left immediately.
Despite his extremely high level of involvement in all
things hockey, Obie also had his love of magic to drive him.
In 1970, Obie was at the Niagara Falls NYCAN convention,
sitting at the bar with Derek Dingle, Eddie Fechter, Gene
Gordon, Mike Skinner, Lou Gallo, and Bill Okal. They were
discussing the lectures and shows they had seen during the
convention when Eddie Fechter said, There really should be
a convention only for close-up guys. The idea generated sig-
nifcant buzz among the men sitting there, and Obie was asked
Obie, Anne, Karen (top left), and Kelly
Obie and Brad Jacobs take a Gondola ride
SEPTEMBER 2014 - M-U-M Magazine 37
to organize such a conven-
tion. Eddie offered to house
the convention at his hotel/
bar (the Forks Hotel). Obie
came up with an initial list
of one hundred close-up
guys he felt were not only
skilled enough at close-up
but were also willing
to share and teach their
secrets with others who
were willing to learn. Obie
sent out a letter to the one
hundred names, inviting
them to what would even-
tually be named Fechters
Finger Flicking Frolic (the name
was not actually created until 1975).
The registration fee for the frst con-
vention was $10 to cover the cost of a
fsh fry and beer. Of the one hundred
letters that were sent out, thirty-fve
people accepted the invitation. On
the frst evening of the convention,
Eddie Fechter performed for an hour
and then the crowd broke for supper.
Each table at supper consisted of four
people and each person was required
to perform.
Each year after, Obie sent out
invitations to one hundred people,
but only thirty-fve to seventy-fve
people showed up. So they encour-
aged guests to bring other magicians
they felt would enjoy the convention
and follow the guidelines (attendees
must perform and must share).
However, the convention began to
grow very quickly, and by 1977 the
number of invited attendees (plus
people the attendees brought with
them) began out to
outgrow the capacity
of the hotel. So it
was decided that in
order to be added
to the offcial guest
list of 4F, you had
to be sponsored by
at least two current
This has been
the rule every year
since then, and, as
someone who has
been attending since
2007, I can tell you
that the sponsor-
ship process is an
interesting one. I
see some people
recommending their
friends, despite the
fact that they may not
be qualifed. When that
person gets up to perform
in front of a room of some
of the best magicians in
the world, the pressure
is great. Some of them
rise to the occasion and
the pressure brings out
the best in them. Others
simply do not have the
ability and are not invited
back. On a side note, Obie
recently began stating that
if you sponsor someone
to 4F and they do not get
invited back (either because of their
performance or because they were
rude, not willing to share, or they
did not follow the 4F unwritten code
of conduct), then that member is not
allowed to sponsor anyone else for
three years. I think this is a good
procedure because it makes you
evaluate your sponsorship selection
very carefully. This helps ensure that
only the best of the best attend 4F
each year; consequently, 4F means
something very special to those who
Each year, Obie travels the world
looking for those unique, up and
coming magicians that he feels are
worthy of 4F. Even when Obie fnds
someone he wants to bring to 4F,
he still follows the code and fnds
someone else at 4F to cosponsor
that person. Over the years, as the
procedure of putting the convention
together has grown, Obie decided to
put together a board of directors to help
with the process.
Dan Garrett, Mike
Hilburger, Phil
Willmarth, Meir
Yedid, Joan Caesar,
Glenn Brown, and
Jimmy Cieslin-
ski have all served,
in one way or
another, in helping
Obie organize the
four-day conven-
Each year, 4F
pays tribute to a
guest of honor,
someone Obie feels
has made a sig-
nifcant contribu-
tion to the magic
community. Over
the years, the guests
Satoshi, Obie, and Ton Onosaka
Obie 2014 SAM Award of Excellence
Harold Cataquet presents Obie O'Brien
with a digital portrait in 2010
38 M-U-M Magazine - SEPTEMBER 2014
of honor have included people like Lennart Green, Max
Maven, Juan Tamariz, Paul Daniels, and many others. When
I asked 2000 honoree Bill Malone to describe Obie and his
overall 4F experience, he said, Obie and I really hit it off
together in the very beginning. I remember how excited I was
when I got invited back year after year. He was responsible
for helping me get on the Paul Daniels show. If it wasnt for
4F, I would never have met Gary Ouellet, which ultimately
led to four primetime television specials.
My 4F Guest of Honor plaque still stands tall on my offce
shelf; whenever I look at it I get a special feeling of gratitude
in my heart. I could write a book on the many laughs we all
shared at 4F. (These stories are too crazy to tell.) Obie let me
get away with murder because I always made him laugh. Obie
OBrien treated me as a somebody when I was a nobody. This
I will always remember. I am proud to call him my friend.
Because he has been in magic for most of his life and
has traveled the world promoting the art of magic, Obie has
had a signifcant impact on many great magicians. Several
years ago, Obie was in the audience of a Jeff McBride show.
Near the end of the show, Jeff said, Ladies and gentlemen,
one of the frst effects that I performed tonight is called the
Zombie Ball; the man who taught it to me is in the crowd
this evening. Obie OBrien, please stand up. While touring
David Copperfelds Las Vegas warehouse with several other
people, David stopped the tour and said to Obie, I bet I know
more about you than you know about me. David went on to
explain that when Obie was demonstrating at Tannens Magic
Shop in New York City many years earlier, David was one of
the young kids who was in the shop; he watched Obie demo
trick after trick.
Carl Cloutier competed at FISM in 1991 and lost in the
Micro Magic category. Carl was devastated; it took the
constant push and encouragement from Obie for him to
compete again in Salt Lake City a year later. Carl won frst
place. Later, at the MacMillan convention, Carl won frst
place again. Next up was FISM in Yokohama, Japan, in 1994.
Shortly before the competition in Yokohama began, the tem-
perature hit 115 degrees. This was a big problem, because the
key method used for most of Carls act would be much more
diffcult if he was sweating. Carl approached Obie just before
the competition and told Obie of his concerns; Obie came up
with a unique solution. He found a walk-in freezer and stuck
Carl in it for ten minutes. This allowed Carl to be cool enough
to perform his sleights fawlessly, and he won frst place in the
Micro Magic category. Years later, when Carl got married, he
asked Obie to be his best man.
The irony of Obie OBrien is that he doesnt carry himself
as a force of nature (which many people say he is). Just
listening to the way the best magicians in the world today
describe Obie and 4F really gives the impression that it is his
friendship (more than any material help) that bonds people
with Obie.
While most people pursue one great passion in their lives,
Obie has found four. His love of sports, teaching, magic, and
his family drive him; it is astounding how he is able to juggle
all of them. When interviewing Obie for this article, I stopped
him at one point and said, How? How have you been able to
be such an infuence on so many different people, in so many
different areas? He laughed. I prodded, Do you ever stop
and think about how you have been able to do this so pas-
sionately? Do you ever sleep? He laughed again. Then there
was silence on the phone for a few seconds. Obie responded,
You know, Dave, I have never thought about it like that. I
am very lucky to have been surrounded by great people who
I believe in and who believe in me. Wow! Is that ever an
So how do I wrap up this article? How do I write a fnal
paragraph that gives the reader closure? I dont really know,
because when it comes to Obie, closure is not in his vocabu-
lary. Obie continues to be involved in hockey. Obie continues
to be involved in his family. Obie continues to be involved in
teaching (in one way or another). But since you are reading
this article, my guess is that you are hoping that the next
sentence will be, And Obie will continue to be involved in
4F. Each year, there is a huge concern that Obie will decide
that 4F is done that the family reunion (which is what I
consider 4F to be, not a convention) is fnished. When asked
about this, Obie tends to give a half-answer: Yeah, this is
probably going to be the last year. I think maybe one more
year and then that is it.
I can tell you this: We live in a magic community that is
full of secrets. Secrets are the core element on which we base
everything in magic. When I fnished my interview with Obie
for this article, I was deathly afraid to ask him, So what is
the future of 4F? I was afraid that I was going to hear an
answer that I would not like. Well, Obie told me a secret about
the future of 4F. And I am going to go against the 4F code of
conduct and not share that secret with you. But I will say this.
When Obie told me what the future of 4F will be...I smiled.
David Corsaro is the creator and
host of Time to be Awesome, a web
show that features interviews with
the biggest names in magic (www. He is also a
featured performer at Monday Night
Magic in New York City, and he has
received critical acclaim for his
lecture on marketing for magicians
Obie and his wife Anne in The Magic Lady
SEPTEMBER 2014 - M-U-M Magazine 39
Back in the 1970s, when I still lived on the East Coast, I was
able to attend the 4F convention every year. Since moving to the
West Coast, my attendance has been intermittent. But I value
those times Ive been able to be there. Thanks to Obies tireless
efforts, some of the fnest close-up magic Ive ever seen has
been at the Fechter gatherings. Max Maven
For the past forty-four
years, Obie has built
and maintained the play-
ground for the rest of us.
He took what was once a
small group of friends and
converted us to a large
family. 4F has moved from
local, to national, to inter-
national, all on his watch.
He has worked tirelessly to
keep 4F not just relevant,
but on the forefront of
whats happening in magic. It has never ceased to amaze me
that once a year he entices many of the best close-up magicians
from around to world to come to Batavia (root word = butt)
for free. They come to watch, show, share, and learn. And then,
of course, theres the free beer. Steve Beam
As the forty-ffth anniversary of Obies 4F convention ap-
proaches, I cant imagine anyone else being able to create
and produce it. Obie is the only one who is able to consis-
tently get many of the best in close-up magic to attend at their
own expense and to perform for free. It is because everyone
is treated equally, using the strict rules he has set up. The
rules keep the egos in check and weed out the magicians who
think they deserve special treatment. It took me three years of
begging before I got invited; I have cherished the annual expe-
rience ever since. Meir Yedid
I will never forget the frst time I met Obie in London eighteen
years ago. This meeting truly changed my life; I can say that
my career would not have been the same without him. Obie has
always helped me to perform all over the world and to reach
higher goals. Being invited to every single 4F convention since
then also gave me so much inspiration. The genesis of many
of my routines started at 4F. Many amazing moments and
meetings happened at 4F. And earning the title of guest of honor
a few years ago was defnitely one of the biggest achievements
of my magic life so far. It is all thanks to the trust that Obie
gave me and for that I will always be grateful to him. Today, I
feel blessed that Obie considers me as his adopted son, and I
am very proud to have such a wonderful adoptive dad. Merci,
Obie! Boris Wild
Since the fall of 2006 and the passing of my father, Obie has
become my magical dad. Yes, its true that he is consid-
ered the Godfather of Close-up Magic, but to me hes just
Dad. In fact, over the years, Obie has adopted several people,
including Carl Cloutier, Boris Wild, Henry Evans, Stephen
Bargatze, and me not a bad group of brothers to be associated
with. Obie has been a source of encouragement to me. Now,
as I become the president of
the I.B.M., I can once again
look to him for guidance,
because hes already been
the president and knows the
ropes. Theres not much that
Obie hasnt done; if you can
think of something he has
not done yet, it is defnitely
not because he cant. Its
more than likely because it
would have interfered with
magic or hockey! The 4F is
a testament to a man who loves magic with all his heart and
soul and his ability to attract good people and great magicians
to the middle of nowhere! Shawn Farquhar
To be honest, I had never
heard of 4F when Obie informed
me that I was being invited to
perform there. He told me it
was an honor and it would be
the most fun I have ever had
working a convention. When
I asked him how much does he
pay to work his convention, I can
still hear him laughing. I never
meet Eddie Fechter but getting
to know Obie and the guys
at 4F I feel part of his family
legacy. Obie started out as the guy to know, the guy who can
get things done for your career, but he has turned out to be a
great friend and mentor to me. When he talks I listen. I feel he
trusts me and will stand by me. And he has. Thanks, Obie.
Stephen Bargatze
Ive learned a lot from watching Obie OBrien over the years.
From watching him perform, Ive learned its probably not a
good idea to do back-to-back-to-back tricks with jumbo cards.
Fashion-wise, hes made the clear statement that one should
never wear a bright red vest with playing cards pictured on
it (unless, of course, youre actually going for that carni-
val-barker look). Finally, Ive learned what it looks like for
someone to be fully devoted to the growth of our wonderful
art. Obies passion, dedication, and tireless efforts towards
all things magic are to be admired. Hes judged more contests
than Simon Cowell, and has devoted countless hours to
many different magic organizations, helping them put on
great conventions. Im honored to call Obie my friend and I
continue to be inspired by his dedication to the art of magic.
Rick Merrill
Im so lucky to be old enough to say that my early years
at 4F were the real golden years. Eddie himself was there
my frst year, and so was Jim Ryan, two of the big three bar
magicians of all time (Ryan, Fechter, and Schulien). Obie
OBrien hosts one of the greatest gatherings of close-up
magicians anywhere! I met some of my best friends at
Fechters and I thank Obie for making that possible. Thanks
for your priceless contribution to the magic fraternity.
Tom Mullica
40 M-U-M Magazine - SEPTEMBER 2014
With Stephen Bargatze
With Shawn Farquhar
With Steve Beam
By Eric DeCamps
Obie and I have known each other for more
years than either of us may want to admit. We
frst met at one of the Tannens Magic Jubilees
back in the mid 1980s. Obie is one of those
no-nonsense individuals who can seem intim-
idating at frst. I can tell you that underneath
that faade is a bighearted and loyal friend.
I attended my frst 4F Convention in 1988;
it was amazing! I saw incredible magic, met
magic legends, and forged great friendships
with renowned magicians that last until this
day. What I loved about the experience was
that everyone was there to share and celebrate
the art of magic. Over the years, Obie has
refned measures and strategies that ensure
that the 4F attendees are willing to contrib-
ute to the convention experience and the ad-
vancement of our art.
In 2011, Obie was awarded the French Cultural Infuence
Gold Medal from La Renaissance Francaise. Its one of the
highest distinctions given by the French government to people
who have made signifcant achievements in the arts, literature,
science, and cultural heritage. Obie received this honor for
helping French magicians get started in the U.S.
At this years 4F convention I had the pleasure to present
Obie with the North Atlantic Regional Vice President Award
of Excellence. Afterwards, I discovered that he had never
appeared on the cover of M-U-M. I am so delighted that my
long-time friend, who has given so much to magic and its
practitioners, has received this well deserved recognition.
Congrats, Obie; I look forward to next years 4F!
SEPTEMBER 2014 - M-U-M Magazine 41
Day Three of the convention kicked off with the Korean College of Magic lecture. The lecture featured clever
ideas and original thinking from an area of the world whose infuence on magic is growing daily. There was
another round of stage contest performers, and then a lecture by the very talented Miguel Angel Gea. The day
wrapped up with the Show Me the Magic gala show at the lovely Peabody Theater. David Oliver opened the
show, delivering heartfelt thanks to everyone who has helped him through his enormous medical challenges.
He did only one trick, but it was a remarkable one: he blew up a balloon using someone elses lungs. Mike
Caveney was the capable emcee, and he introduced four well-established professionals: Xavier Mortimer (who
performs in Vegas in the Cirque du Soleil Michael Jackson show), Tina Lenert, Sylvester the Jester, and il-
lusionist Alex Ramon.
[Convention photos by Michael Messing unless otherwise noted.]
42 M-U-M Magazine - SEPTEMBER 2014
Photo by Dale Farris Photo by Dale Farris
Miquel Angel Gea
David Oliver
Mike Caveney
Zeki Yoo
Photo by Dale Farris
Slvester the Jester
SEPTEMBER 2014 - M-U-M Magazine 43
Photo by Dale Farris
Photo by Dale Farris
Tina Lenert
Alex Ramon
Xavier Mortimer
44 M-U-M Magazine - SEPTEMBER 2014
Day Four began with a real treat The 3D Kid Show and lecture, featuring Silly Billy, Danny Orleans, and
Doug Scheer. An audience of kids was bussed in for the occasion, allowing attendees the opportunity to see
these performers work in front of real people. The afternoon featured round three of the stage competi-
tion, followed by Christian Engbloms lecture. The gala show for the evening was The Magic of Germany,
which was designed as a complete theatre piece, rather than the traditional magic convention show. Xavier
Mortimers lecture wrapped up the evening.
[Convention Photos by Michael Messing unless otherwise noted]
Photo by Dale Farris
Photo by Dale Farris
Photo by Dale Farris
Doug Scheer
Danny Orleans
David Kaye
Martin Eisele
Sebastian Nicolas
Timo Marc
Timothy Trust & Diamond
Christian Engblom
46 M-U-M Magazine - SEPTEMBER 2014
FRIDAY, JULY 4, 2014
On Day Five, the conventioneers saw The Magic of
Germany lecture followed by the preliminary round of the
close-up contest and Steve Kleins Tech Sheet lecture. The
banquet in the evening (which featured a very good meal)
led to the stage contest fnals. The stage contest fnalists
are featured below.
[Convention Photos by Michael Messing
unless otherwise noted]
Steve Klein
Hun Lee
Po Chen Lai
Sheldon Wang
Natalie & Eli
Trevor & Lorena Watters
Cheol - Seong Choi
SEPTEMBER 2014 - M-U-M Magazine 47
Day Six, the fnal day of the convention began with the Fechters Finger Flicking Frolic lecture, with Henry
Evans, Shawn Farquhar, and David Stone offering some of their favorite routines. The afternoon featured
close-up magic the fnals of the close-up contest and a great lecture by Dani DaOrtiz. The convention
wrapped up with the dazzling Magic of Korea gala show and the presentation of awards back at the hotel.
(For a complete list of contest winners, see page 6 of the August 2014 M-U-M.)
[Convention Photos by Michael Messing unless otherwise noted]
Gay Blackstone receives frst-ever joint citation from
I.B.M. International President Shawn Farquhar and
S.A.M. National President Kenrick "ICE" McDonald.
Seol Park
Michael Dardant
Shin Lim
Hannibal Reuben Moreland
Martin Braessas
48 M-U-M Magazine - SEPTEMBER 2014
Do Ki-Moon
Ted Kim
Yu Ho-Jin Lukas One Gun
Duo Magic
(Zeki Yoo and E.K.)
You cant teach an old dogma new
tricks. Dorothy Parker
Anyone who has been a conjurer for
a respectable amount of time knows that
magicians fnd it diffcult to let go of some
things. Whether it is an outdated prop
design or a beat-into-the-ground joke,
there are magicians who cling to this sort
of stuff with white-knuckled grips. Unless
your performance character is a 1920s
wise guy in a pin-stripe suit, you can relax
and ditch that gold-fringed side table
along with any wooden-handled Change
Bags you own.
On one hand, this tendency is under-
standable. There is a solid dose of security
in performing an effect the way you have
always done it; this time familiarity
breeds contentment. On the other hand, we
live in a society whose interests and focus
has shifted into a state of constant fux. The
advances in technology alone are forcing
changes upon the world of conjuring; we
have no choice but to adapt. For example,
have you noticed that fewer people es-
pecially in the younger demographics
own wristwatches? Instead, they carry cell
phones that boldly display satellite-pre-
cision time. Conjurers who feature pick-
pocketing entertainment in their acts are
already adjusting to this change. Another
social change involves cigarettes. As the
restrictions against smoking in public
increase, the inconvenience of the habit
is causing many people to drop it. Will
magicians who spent years learning the
skilled manipulation of cigarettes eventu-
ally fnd themselves regulated to crayons
and golf pencils? You get the idea.
Change is always inconvenient, even
if it is a transition for the better. For this
reason, it is human nature to avoid any
unpleasantness that change forces upon
us. In our world, that unpleasantness can
take many forms. Improving our acts will
certainly require work that we really dont
want to do: rewriting a script, adapting
a more original character, or perhaps
learning a whole new skill set. It is easier
for a magician to keep performing an effect
the same way even though it hasnt aston-
ished anyone in a long time. It is easier
to keep using a line that no longer gets
laughs. In a real sense, it is like turning
up the car radio so you dont have to hear
the grinding coming from underneath the
hood. When conjurers tell themselves that
polite applause is better than no applause
at all or that its okay if no one responds
as expected then we have decided that
mediocrity is acceptable. In my world that
attitude is a guaranteed way to prevent
contract renewal. My family needs me to
be wise and professional with my career,
so I cannot afford to be dismissive about it.
The only known cure for an infection of
mediocrity in the entertainment business
is honesty no-holds-barred, brutal
honesty. The next time you perform, flm
your show. Just put a camera on a tripod
in the corner and let it run. Watch it later
with an open mind and a pen and paper in
hand. Write down everything that doesnt
get the reaction you want. Now show it to
a friend you can trust to speak the truth.
Compare notes and change everything
on the list, even if it means starting from
scratch. If you arent getting applause from
a good effect, then tweak the presenta-
tion, rewrite the script, adjust the timing,
rearrange the order, or change your tone of
voice or the cadence of your vocal rhythm;
just do something! Then flm your show
again and repeat the whole process until
the audience starts to respond the way you
want. Now, at least, you know you are on
the right track.
Be warned, if you put a lot of time
and skull sweat into coming up with your
scripts and presentations in the frst place,
then it is even more diffcult to remove or
change them. One entertainer is quoted
as saying, Pulling a joke out of my act is
like killing one of my own children. The-
atrical artists know this is change that is
personal and painful. However, all the best
acts have gone through it.
Finally, when you choose that truthful
friend, choose carefully. You need an
honest critic who wont pull punches. We
all have that relative who taught us, If you
cant say something nice, then say nothing
at all. Usually that is good social advice,
but not in this case. You require in-your-
face honesty and nothing less. It may be
tempting to get entertainment advice
from another magician, but it must be
one whose work you respect. Just making
a blanket request for advice at your next
club meeting will certainly get you plenty;
you will spend a lot of time separating the
wheat from the chaff. Magic meetings are
social events where feelings tend to be ap-
propriately coddled. It is far better to pull
a veteran performer aside and make your
proposal over coffee. As a rule, magicians
will take great steps to avoid criticizing
anothers act because they really dont
want it done in return. That being said,
most magicians will welcome an opportu-
nity to trade thoughts honestly, as long as
it can be kept private. Another good idea
is to balance your critics; that is, for every
magician who gives you advice, have a
non-magician helping out, too. You need
an outside perspective from one who can
see the forest despite all the trees.
In his book On Writing, the author
Stephen King discusses how words can be
used to create powerful emotion and un-
forgettable images. He gives this advice:
Writing at its most basic level is a learned
skill, but do we not agree that sometimes
the most basic skills can create things far
beyond our expectations? We are talking
about tools and carpentry, about words
and style but youd do well to remember
that we are also talking about magic. The
magic King speaks of is when the imagi-
nation takes over so completely that one
forgets he or she is reading a book. Best-
selling authors know a story is measured
by how much a reader cares about the char-
acters and how they handle their dilemmas.
Similarly, the best conjurers know a
show is measured by how much a guest
cares about a performer who allows them
to slip away from reality and enjoy an en-
tertaining glimpse into the world of the im-
possible. This is the conjurers goal then:
50 M-U-M Magazine - SEPTEMBER 2014
The High Road
script writing, character
development, and act construction
for the modern conjuror
By Mick Ayres
to carefully consider every aspect of ones
character, appearance, attitude, purpose,
voice, posture, movement, story, and
script, and to then assemble it precisely
with an honest hand and a critical eye for
Speaking of changes, I enjoy fnding
obscure tricks and redressing them. Here
I offer two effects that have been adapted
from The Tarbell Course in Magic.
This prediction effect was inspired
by The Conjurers Touch from Tarbell
Volume 2. To prepare, put any Ace, Two,
Four, and Eight (in that order) on top of the
deck with the Ace uppermost. Memorize
the ffth card from the top the card im-
mediately below the Eight and you are
ready to start.
Shuffe the deck while retaining the
small block of cards at the top. Say, In
a moment, Im going to have you select
a card, but not in the usual manner. As
you say this, spread the cards face down
between your hands and slightly in-jog the
fourth card from the top. Square the deck
and say, First, Im going to put a predic-
tion in my pocket. Lift up on the in-jogged
card and keep the top four cards neatly
squared as you casually drop them into
your shirt pocket. This makes it impossible
for the audience to know how many cards
went into your pocket.
Hold the deck face down and ask,
Please cut off a little more than half the
deck. This way I cannot know how many
cards you are using. Once the spectator
has done so, say, Please fan your cards
with the faces toward you and focus on one
card only. In fact, give me all the cards to
the right of your selection. Take the cards
from her and add them to the face-down
cards in your hand.
Continue by saying, Next, turn your
cards face down and give them one fair
cut, like this. Illustrate by giving your
portion of the deck a complete cut. When
she cuts her cards, shell be placing her
card directly on top of the key card you
had memorized earlier. Extend your hand
and have her drop her portion of the deck
on top of yours. This key card arrangement
is from Dai Vernons Emotional Reaction.
Say, It is impossible for me to know
your card. Spread the pack face up on
the table and say, And since I dont know
how many cards you took, it would be im-
possible for me to know where your card
is located. While you say these words,
quickly scan the deck. You will spot your
key card within the top ffteen cards. Her
selection is just above the key card. Rapidly
count the cards until you know how many
cards are above her selection. Once you
have this number, close the spread and
hand the deck to the spectator.
Once she agrees that you cannot know
where or what her card is, say, Thats why
I made a prediction earlier and put it in
my pocket. I used playing cards that will
give me some important information. The
Ace, Two, Four and Eight in your pocket
have a binary relationship. Basically, the
cards can be added together in various
ways to come up with any number from
one to ffteen:
For example, let us say you have deter-
mined the spectators card is eleven cards
from the top of the deck. You will reach
into your pocket and remove the Eight,
Two, and Ace. The Four is left behind. The
three prediction cards are placed face up
one at a time on the table. As each card is
revealed, the spectator adds them together
and deals down to the eleventh card to fnd
her selection.
This birthday entertainment was
inspired by The Yankee Doodle Card from
Tarbell Volume 4.
Borrow a deck; while looking for and
removing the Jokers, cull the four Queens
to the top. Turn the deck on its side in
preparation for an overhand shuffe. Run
twenty cards from the face of the deck
and in-jog the twentieth card. Throw the
balance of the deck onto the face of these
twenty cards and turn the deck face down
without squaring it.
Spread the pack between your hands
and have your birthday guest remove a
card from the lower half of the deck. As
you square the deck, your right thumb lifts
up on the jogged card; the deck is cut at
this point. Have your guest put his card on
top of the lower half. Place the upper half
on top and square the deck. His selection is
now the twenty-frst card in the deck and is
followed by the four Queens.
Say, If you folks will sing along with
me while I deal out the confetti, well give
Joe Schmoe the bestuh, only birthday
trick hes ever had. Lead off and sing as if
no one is listening. If you have an ounce of
personality, everyone will join in. As you
sing, toss off one card for each beat of the
age-old song into a face down pile:
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5
As you sing the last note, deal that
card face up on top of the pile. Pause for
a moment as people enjoy this unexpected
revelation of the spectators card. Then, by
yourself, sing the tag-line:
1 - 2 - 3 - 4
On these four beats, deal the four
Queens face up in a matrix square around
the scattered pile of cards. This makes a
nice display as you quip, Joe, the dancing
girls are on me. Take a bow.
At the Disney resort, I will often
perform Surprise Party for a birthday
guest using jumbo cards. Preset the deck
by pencil-dotting the twentieth card from
the top of the pack and arrange the four
Queens below the marked card. During
the performance, as the spectator returns
his card to the deck, simply split the pack
directly below the pencil-dotted card and
continue from there.
Its a piece of cake (pun intended).
Ahead of the Game and Surprise Party
were previously published in Cards & Curi-
osities (copyright 1998). Mick is a conjurer,
tunesmith, and tale-swapper. Reach him at:
1 = Ace
2 = Two
3 = Ace, Two
4 = Four
5 = Four, Ace
6 = Four, Two
7 = Four, Two, Ace
8 = Eight
9 = Eight, Ace
10 = Eight, Two
11 = Eight, Two, Ace
12 = Eight, Four
13 = Eight, Four, Ace
14 = Eight, Four, Two
15 = Eight, Four, Two, Ace
SEPTEMBER 2014 - M-U-M Magazine 51
52 M-U-M Magazine - SEPTEMBER 2014
Theodore Annemann is a giant in the
feld of mentalism and mental magic. The
frst issue of his magazine, The Jinx, was
published eighty years ago, and the journal
ceased publication in 1941, but it is still
considered a standard, classic reference
source. Annemann originated many of the
effects and methods that are used by con-
temporary mentalists.
The Life and Times of a Legend:
Annemann is a massive collection of
Annemanns material, compiled and
annotated by Max Abrams. In the Introduc-
tion, Abrams writes, This work attempts
(admittedly incompletely) to chronicle the
life and creations of a magical genius who,
in his own words, was crazy about magic.
Many persons can claim the same affic-
tion, but few can establish it by looking
back at just about twenty-fve years of con-
centrated activity dedicated solely to that
subject...Here, the reader will fnd every
trick created by Ted Annemann that has
been published (as well as some unpub-
lished ideas). Integrated with the tricks
are details of Annemanns life, informa-
tion about the tricks, occasional correc-
tions of working details (and hundreds of
typographical errors), related tricks, and,
to me one of the most interesting areas,
Annemanns relationships with other
magicians, for these relationships often
shaped Annemanns creativity. Here also
will be found at least one version of each
advertisement for Annemanns tricks,
literary masterpieces that often equaled
the ingenuity usually found in Annemanns
tricks. Some of the tricks are so scarce, in
my estimation (during the period 1926-
1933), that the average reader is unlikely
to ever fnd any text of the trick other than
in this book.
The Life and Times of a Legend:
Annemann is a daunting book; it is long,
dense with text that is only rarely inter-
rupted by illustrations, and, sadly, its
hodge-podge of typefaces and liberal use
of sentences in all caps makes it read like
a 600-page ransom note. But it is still
required reading for anyone with a serious
interest in mentalism.
I asked M-U-M columnist Christopher
Carter to select the effects to include in this
months Ebook Nook column. He wrote
back: Heres a short list of the three most
seminal Annemann effects, in my opinion:
Pseudo Psychometry, Fourth Dimensional
Telepathy, and The Telephone Drama.
Pseudo Psychometry is signifcant
because it has formed the backbone of
so many acts. Its easily one of the most
powerful effects in mentalism, but also
one of the most misunderstood. Most
people treat it as if the point is to return the
objects to their owners. The actual point
is to deliver a psychometric reading of
each object that is augmented by the fact
that you secretly know who each object
belongs to. Delivering the objects back to
their owners is meant to bolster the cred-
ibility of the reading.
Fourth Dimensional Telepathy is the
quintessential sealed-envelope routine.
It is as technically perfect as a routine of
this nature is capable of being, because the
routine theatrically justifes each technical
moment. Testimony to its power is the fact
that it has formed the centerpiece of the
acts of a great many legendary mentalists,
most notably Fogel and Cassidy.
The Telephone Drama is the second
effect in Annemanns Complete One-man
Mental and Psychic Routine. Its still one
of the greatest mentalism routines out
there, and it introduced modern billet tech-
niques to a generation of mentalists; these
techniques are still viable today.
To make the explanations of these
routines clear, Annemanns technique for
the billet switch is also included.
My thanks to L&L Publishing for
allowing these excerpts to appear in
M-U-M. Michael Close
This trick, to my mind, is one of the
greatest one-man psychic effects ever
conceived. It has all of the elements
necessary to make it your most talked
about effect, and any performer with but
a bit of showmanship cant help but make
a hit with it. If you are endowed with a
goodly share of showmanship, this effect
will create a sensation and can be built up
to be the feature attraction of your show.
Last, but not least, the effect needs very
little preparation and it can succeed under
most exacting conditions. In short, we have
before us an idea with unlimited scope.
Another of those rare secrets wherein the
method is nothing and the effect, from the
audience viewpoint, is everything. Your
audience will never tumble to the simple
detail that makes it possible. The enormity
of what the performer attempts completely
overshadows the means by which it is ac-
Effect: A packet of letter envelopes is
all that is needed. About a dozen of these
are passed out to different spectators and
the performer returns to the front. Re-
questing those with envelopes to pay strict
attention, he instructs them to put into their
envelopes some single article and personal
belonging that is on their person. It can be a
fountain pen, a tie clasp, a ribbon, a coin, a
hairpin, a button, a knife, a pencil, a hand-
kerchief, a card, a ring, or in fact anything
of a similar nature that can be sealed
inside the envelope. During this time the
performer may be turned around so that he
cannot possibly see what is being placed in
any of the envelopes. This looks important
but actually means nothing insofar as the
working of the trick is concerned.
Once the envelopes are ready, the
performer has them collected by a member
of the audience and brought forward to
him. This spectator mixes them and hands
them on to the performer. He deliberate-
ly tears off the end of one envelope and
dumps the contents into his hand. Turning
whatever it might be over and over in his
hands, he describes a person, giving the
sex, type, approximate age (if a man), and
a few details of the persons attire. He then
holds the article so all can see it and asks
the owner to acknowledge it. This person
stands, and he or she turns out to be the one
just described by the performer! Another
envelope is opened and the article once
more seemingly gives a clue regarding the
characteristics of the owner. This time,
however, the performer walks down into
the audience and suddenly returns the
article directly to its owner!
As each envelope is handed to him,
the performer successfully describes and
fnds the owner, or describes and merely
locates the owner of the property. The
patter is about psychometry. Mediums of
this type are supposed to have the ability to
see and locate people by touching some
personal belonging. In this case, instead of
revealing information about a dear one,
the performer is able, through the same
power, to describe and locate the owners
of the property he handles.
As I have said before, the audience
never realizes that the important detail
is right under their noses. They all try to
Excerpt From:
The Life and Times
of a Legend
Written By:
Max Abrams
Ebook, 636 pages
Available From:
SEPTEMBER 2014 - M-U-M Magazine 53
fathom how the performer is able to trace
the owner of the trinket each time, it being
obvious that he didnt see what any person
furnished, or knows in what order the
mixed envelopes might be collected and
given to him. And thus we have a test that
can be made big or small, fast or slow, as
Preparation and Routine: The secret
lies entirely in the envelope, and it is only
necessary to know to whom each envelope
My method of marking is to open the
envelope with the fap towards you, and
write a fgure lightly on the inside of side
which is nearest to you, about an inch from
the left end. Have these envelopes in order
from one to ten.
It is far from diffcult to remember who
gets these envelopes, as they are passed
out in numerical order from left to right.
By skipping a person between each, or
through some other system of layout, the
envelopes are spread over the crowd in an
order that you can trace. Those who have
learned memory principles will be able to
pass the envelopes at random and tie up
each spectator mentally with the envelope
given to him.
In tearing open an envelope, have the
fap side towards you. Tear off a half-inch
from the right end. Your left thumb and
fngers are at the bottom and the top
edges with the fap still turned towards
you, and the contents are tipped into your
right hand. The number is near the edge
on the inside looking up at you! Dog-ear
one envelope instead of marking the inside
of it. When you get to it, you know the
owner without having to open it. On this
one you apparently get a stronger impres-
sion, so you describe him, locate him and
return the envelope still sealed. It makes a
nice variation, and is just different enough
from the rest to be remembered by your
An excellent stage version for two
people is possible with this test. After
passing out the envelopes, the performer
introduces a medium and blindfolds her.
He then leaves the stage and takes up a
position behind the drop from where he
can see the audience and communicate
with the medium, by any one of several
well-known methods. She directs the
sealing and the collecting of the envelopes.
She sees the key number each time by
looking down under her blindfold, cues the
performer with a simple fnger code, and
he gives her a description of the owners
appearance, details about his clothing, etc.
This version is a stunner for publicity with
Lost and Found Departments!
In offering this to mystery workers at
large, I only ask that it be given a fair trial
after the routines have been thoroughly
learned. This type of work has proven
itself the most lucrative in the mystery
feld and everything depends upon the
showmanship and presentation used by
the performer. Through three years of
practically constant use, I have developed
this effect from a mere idea into a feature
number. It is now as perfect as I can make
it, and every move, every phase, and every
excuse is logical and accounted for. I have
removed possible sleights, out of sight
moves, and suspicious actions.
Throughout this writing, I have given
different methods that are possible of
being put to use. Conditions (especially
with this type of work) are always very
strict and are always different and varied.
Sometimes one way will be perfect, while
the very next performance it will need a
few changes. Then again, some operators
like one method better than another and
adhere to only that one. I give them for
completeness and because I am always
ready to use the one that suits me best for
the occasion.
I shall not go into a detailed effect
and waste time and space. It has already
been well covered in my Sphinx and
Linking Ring ads and the effect will be
easily realized through the reading of the
The frst method is one that is entirely
impromptu, using three unprepared drug
envelopes and three cards. The choice of
writing material may vary. I have used
letter envelopes and slips of paper that have
been folded alike. This is all borrowed
All of this is handed out to three people.
The frst is asked to draw a picture of any
type she wishes and then to seal the card
securely in the envelope. If she has a slip
of paper, she is told to refold it as it was
before and seal securely.
The second is asked to write a word
of any nature. For the best effect, the
performer limits him to ten letters and asks
that he print the word instead of writing it.
Taking the third piece of paper or
card, the performer asks the spectator to
whisper into his ear any three fgures;
upon hearing them, the performer writes
them on the card before the eyes of that
spectator. Passing to another one at a little
distance, she is asked to do the same. This
time, however, the performer starts writing
as he moves away; instead of writing the
numbers given, he writes fgures under the
frst row of three that will total nine with
the one above it. The performer returns
to party who has envelope and who gave
the frst row and asks him for another
set. The performer actually writes these
down under the frst two rows of fgures
and hands the spectator the card before
walking away. He tells him to add up
the three rows and to remember the total
after sealing up the paper or card. The
performer only remembers the last row
of three fgures that he wrote down. The
misdirection of this is perfect; because the
frst and third rows have been seen written
exactly as given to the performer, there is
no suspicion about the middle row. The
starting and fnishing of the numbers with
the initial spectator brings all attention to
bear at this point, when there is nothing
As matters now stand, three envelopes
are sealed and the performer is acquainted
with the total of the addition on the one
paper. How? Because of a simple bit of
rapid mathematics. He has remembered
the last row of three fgures written; when
ready to reveal the numbers of the answer
(always four fgures), he merely subtracts 1
from the last of the three fgures and places
it in front. For example, 347 would result
in 1346, and likewise 640 would result in
There are two distinctly different
methods of procedure from here on. In
one, the performer writes the names of
the spectators on the envelopes, and in the
other the names are written by the spec-
tators themselves. To start with, I shall
describe the frst method.
In this case, the performer knows the
name of a certain person in the audience
whom he will use in the test. This is the
person to whom the request for a picture
is given. We shall term the number as
frst, the word as second, and the picture
as third and last. The performer knows the
contents of the frst and the name of the
party holding the third.
Stepping to the frst party, the performer
asks his name as he takes the sealed
envelope. He states it, and with pencil in
hand, performer apparently writes it on
face of envelope as he moves toward next
party. He really writes though, the name of
the person (third) that he knows.
54 M-U-M Magazine - SEPTEMBER 2014
Taking the second envelope on top of
the frst, he asks this person her name and
apparently writes it as he goes to the third
party. He actually writes the name of the
frst person, which has just been told him.
On the third envelope, as before, he
writes the names of the second person;
with the three envelopes in hand, he steps
back to stage or front.
There are two methods of procedure
from here on. The three envelopes can be
tossed upon an empty table in full view
to be picked up as desired; or they can be
handed a volunteer to hold, he standing six
or eight feet to your side.
Starting with the frst person, the
performer asks his name again. Now the
performer either asks the volunteer to hold
that particular envelope in full view with
name outward or he does so himself. The
party in particular has seen you sign his
envelope with his name when he gave it to
you (?) and now sees the volunteer holding
it up in full view. However, it is really the
envelope and contents belonging to second
With a slate and chalk, or with a pencil
and a fairly large pad, the performer builds
up the effect as desired and depending
upon his showmanship. He writes the total
of four fgures on the pad or slate, but does
not show them yet. Taking the envelope
in hand, the performer tears it open and
apparently reads aloud the total of four
fgures from off the card or paper, but he is
really reading to himself the word that the
second party wrote! When this has been
read, the performer immediately calls
attention to slate or pad on which he wrote
something before anyone knew what frst
party had put down. Turning slate or
pad around, the performer shows that he
had divined the correct number with the
fgures in the exact order.
Every move as given above has its
own reason. The reading of the envelopes
contents and the subsequent showing of
what performer had written bring things
to a climax correctly and dramatically.
Verifcation of the envelope after the
showing of what performer had divined
would make an anti-climax and not have
any reason.
Thus the performer has divulged the
frst partys number and now knows the
second persons secret. When the frst
envelope was torn open and the card ap-
parently read from and attention called im-
mediately to the pad or slate, the card was
replaced on top of the envelope and both
were dropped into performers side coat
pocket on the left with the card nearest the
body. The following two times that this is
done the card and envelope each time is
placed in the pocket between those already
there and the body. After last is in place,
by moving only the card that is next to
the body to the other end of the stack, the
stack may be removed from pocket and
the envelopes and cards are now paired up
correctly so they can be carelessly tossed
out together.
It is incidentally obvious to the
seasoned performer what the remainder of
the routine is. While the second envelope
is being held in view, the information is
written down and when performer appar-
ently reads the contents of this envelope,
he sees the picture drawn by the third
party; when he has fnished the third or
the picture, he verifes and is now looking
at the addition card of the frst man. He,
however, describes what the picture is
and has the third man verify this descrip-
tion and then the performers drawing is
I have another method for this fnish
which is optional, but more effective.
In this method I do not return any of the
envelopes or cards, which is really not
at all necessary because of the various
elements of misdirection that do away
with all thoughts of trickery connected
with the material used. In this case two
slates are used, or perhaps two pads.
When the last envelope is held up, the
performer apparently changes his mind as
to the procedure and states that because a
small picture would take too long to hand
around so all could see it, he will ask the
person to redraw it on a pad or slate. So
saying, the performer carelessly takes the
envelope from volunteer, tears it to bits,
and drops it in the pocket as he hands out
the slates. After the spectator has taken
one pad and starts drawing, the performer
takes the other and draws also. When they
have fnished, both drawings are found to
be alike as near as possible!
Another point that should be obvious
is the fact that any number of envelopes
and cards can be used, because the system
of signing prevails throughout. However,
repetition is useless and boring, and three
tests are suffcient to make a really sensa-
tional test. If desired, the subject matter
may be varied as long as all three are
different. The performer may have one
write the name of a deceased friend or
relative instead of a word; they may write
a short test that the performer is to go
through with, etc.
I trust that my reader will put this
effect into operation and actually become
acquainted with it under fre as I have,
before casting any opinion upon its value
and worth.
I could say and write it a hundred times,
but it wouldnt mean any more than when
it was said or written as at frst, so take this
information to heart. If one is going to do
any of this billet work that depends upon
manual switches, he has to forget a lot of
his magic technique.
Magicians as a rule live by showing
their hands empty and then fnding
something, but in this case there should
never be in any way a word said about
the hands nor a move made to show that
there is nothing in them. I mean it, too, and
am not talking from theory. If you have a
paper fnger palmed, drop your hand to
your side, gesture with it while talking, or
just put your hand in your pocket. When
your hand does happen to be empty, dont
(for both your sake and my sake) show it
to be empty with an obvious gesture. If
you do, you are killing the whole thing and
might as well quit right then and there.
When you do this type of work, people
forget all about magic. They dont expect
you to do anything because you are practi-
cally telling them what is to be done before
you do it, and that alone goes against the
rules of magic. They can also see what is
being done, and, because most of it is done
by a spectator, they trust him and watch
him, because he is the active part of the
procedure. You, being a mind reader or
something or other, come in after the pre-
liminary work and stage the climax. By
that time you have secured your informa-
tion in an unassuming manner and practi-
cally under their noses.
There are two essential switches of
folded papers. The frst, or simple, method
is not new and is a simple exchange of
folded papers. The second, or folding
switch as I call it, is my own and consists
of reading a paper and in the action of
folding it to return an exchange is made for
the already fnger-palmed dummy, while
the one just read is retained.
The size of the paper should be 2 by
3 inches. Hands differ, however, and an
individual should try out sizes in propor-
tion with these dimensions until the right
size for his own hand is found. A printer
will cut up a bunch of these and pad them
about ffty sheets to a pad for a small
The folding of the slips is important.
Fold them once the long way and then once
SEPTEMBER 2014 - M-U-M Magazine 55
the other way and then once more the same
way, which results in a folded paper a little
narrower than the width of your second
fnger and just long enough to be held
easily yet frmly between the frst and last
joint of the fnger. Thus, with this fnger
slightly curled, the paper can be safely
held and is invisible from the front as long
as the hand is not turned directly around.
It is also invisible from the sides and back
as long as the hand isnt held too far (more
than eight or ten inches) from body.
With a slip in left hand between the
middle fnger and thumb, practice pulling
it back with the thumb into the fnger palm;
keep this up until you can push it out and
get it back easily and quickly.
Now take a second slip; with the frst
slip in palm position hold or take the
second slip between the middle fnger and
thumb (Figure 1). With the thumb slide
it back until it overlaps the one palmed;
with both the thumb and the middle fnger
helping, pull this one back (Figure 2) and
push the one underneath outward. This
will be found to work smoothly and easily
and it leaves the originally palmed paper
out in view while the paper just seen is
in position to be palmed. The right hand
at this point can take the in-view slip
(Figure 3); the left thumb holds the palmed
paper in place while fnger curls a little,
securing it.
I repeat that this must be practiced
until it can be done while never looking at
the hand in any way. During such a switch
the hand is not held still you are not
doing a trick to switch papers. Keep the
hand in motion, using it to gesture, and an
exchange can never be seen.
The second switch is a little harder but
quite useful and perfect. Finger palm a
folded billet in the left hand as previously
explained. Now take another folded billet
and open it at the fngertips of both hands,
just as would be done normally. Read it
and refold. On the last fold, let it come
right on top of the palmed slip and allow
the right thumb and forefnger to grasp
both. Take the two slips together as one
and hold them in full view for a second.
Even now dont obviously show your left
hand empty. However, you can act freer
than before until you reach the party who
is to receive the formerly palmed slip
instead of the one just read. At this point
the two slips are again taken by the left
thumb and middle fnger. The slip nearest
you (on which thumb now rests) is drawn
back into fnger palm as the left hand (with
its back upwards hands the visible (and
switched) slip to the owner.
Now you have two methods of
switching folded papers; they are all the
mechanics ever necessary to learn. The
rest is routine work and showmanship
as well as presentation, which all comes
under the same heading.
You will never get enough practice on
this work. You have to do it all without
looking at your hands. Never hold your
hands up in the air as though you were
catching something, but hold them
naturally in front of you at waist level.
When you read a slip and start to fold
it, dont look down again but look at the
writer while you apparently and naturally
refold the slip, switch it, and return it.
As I said before, I could pound out a
dozen more pages emphasizing these
points and moves, but you have it all here
and it is the best I can do. If this were all
theoretical I wouldnt be so emphatic, but
Ive used them all and have done them for
six years; I know what Im talking about
for once, at least.
(From Annemanns Complete One-man
Mental and Psychic Routine)
This telephone test is about the cleanest
and most interest-compelling method that
I have ever been able to concoct. It is
followed by a dead name test that, although
a separate number, is of great value in this
feat as will be seen.
A spectator, preferably a gentleman,
is asked to assist; he stands to the right
of the performer. He is asked to think of
someone he often calls on his telephone,
someone whose number he knows without
having to look at a book or list.
Handing him a slip of paper, the
performer asks him to write the name of
the person to be called; this name does not
necessarily have to be the full name, but a
nickname or frst name.
In short, he is to write whatever he
generally calls the person in question.
The spectator is to fold the paper and the
moment he has done so, the performer
takes it with his left hand while with the
right hand he gives spectator another slip
and asks him to write on this the telephone
number of the person in mind.
The moment this is done (and as he
takes the slip from the spectator), the
performer asks into which pocket the
spectator would like to keep the name.
Upon being told, the performer hands him
the name slip to be pocketed. Now the
spectator is asked where he would like to
keep the number slip, and this is also given
him to pocket.
At this time the audience has seen their
member write on two slips a name and a
number, followed by his pocketing both.
The performer now asks the spectator
to point out some lady or friend in the
audience for an additional test. Turning to
the person, the performer asks her to think
of someone who was very dear to her but
who is not living. She is to write down this
persons full name and hold the paper for
a while.
Turning back to man with the telephone
data on his person, the performer states
that he will enact a little drama in the
form of one act and one scene. He asks the
person to imagine himself in front of his
own telephone, ready to call the individual
of whom he is thinking.
The performer says, You are lifting
the receiver and central asks you for the
number, yes? If working in dial phone
territory, go through same procedure, but
tell him what he dials, number by number,
etc. Always work in quick, short state-
ments and get an acknowledgment on each
one; this is much more effective and con-
vincing to the audience.
Then, very deliberately, the performer
gives the telephone number, and receiving
an acknowledgment asks the spectator for
56 M-U-M Magazine - SEPTEMBER 2014
the number slip. The performer verifes
it and either hands it directly back to
the spectator or to a near member of the
Now the performer asks the spectator
to concentrate upon the person being
called, to visualize him or her answering
the phone on the other end of the wire.
The performer says, You hear the
ringing at the other end, dont you? The
answer is, of course, Yes.
Now someone picks up the receiver
and says, Hello. Its a mans (or womans)
voice, isnt it? And you, recognizing the
voice as your friend, say, Hello, Arthur!
Dont you? This is the climax; the paper
containing the name the spectator holds
is verifed and kept by himself or the
audience. The person is excused and the
program goes right into The Dead Name
Approaching the lady who is still
holding the dead name slip as we shall
call it, the performer asks for it and writes
on the outside the initials of the lady who
wrote the name of her dead friend or
relative. He hands it directly to a nearby
spectator to hold in full view. Stepping
back to the front, the performer takes a
pad of paper from his pocket, tears off a
page, and asks her to think intently of the
person as she knew them when alive. The
performer writes something on this paper
and, crumpling it up, hands it to another
person with the remark, Hold this for a
minute, please; it is what I have written.
Returning to the individual holding
the dead slip high, the performer takes it;
opening it up, he reads aloud the name of
the person being thought of. He turns to
the writer, How long ago did this man
pass away? Could I ever have known
him or could he have known me? Upon
receiving answers, the performer turns
and asks the spectator holding his own
paper to stand and read aloud what he
has written. The name is the same! And
the paper can be left in the audience to be
passed around.
That is the complete presentation and
working of the two effects; they blend
together and never fail to create a tremen-
dous interest and amount of comment. The
working of them runs around eight to ten
With the effect in front of you as
described and a working knowledge of
the billet-switching methods in use, you
will have no trouble in understanding the
following explanation.
In the performers left coat pocket is a
pad of paper and with it are four or fve
loose sheets. They have been folded tightly
to crease them and then unfolded and
are now lying against the pad. In the left
trouser pocket are two blank and folded
When the frst spectator stands on
performers right, he is handed a slip on
which to write the name. As he does this,
the performer holds the second slip in
right hand, while the left hand drops to the
pocket and secures one of the folded slips
in left fnger palm.
When spectator has fnished, the
performer takes the name paper back with
the left fngers and thumb (with the back of
hand upwards, of course), while the right
hand gives the paper on which to write the
During this time the name slip is
merely slid back and the dummy pushed
out for a switch. As the spectator fnishes
and folds the number paper, the performer
takes the dummy slip in the right hand
and takes the number slip from spectator,
again in the left fngers. Holding right
hand up, the performer asks the spectator
where he would like to keep the name slip;
it is pocketed. (Remember, this is really
the blank.) In the meantime, the left hand
has changed the slip just taken (contain-
ing the number) for the one containing
the name; the left hand then gives this slip
to the spectator to pocket, which he does,
thinking it is the number slip.
Now the performer asks him to point
out someone for the dead name test; as he
asks this, the left hand drops to trouser
pocket and brings out the second folded,
blank slip at the fngertips. As he starts
towards spectator, he switches the blank
slip for the one with the phone number.
The performer has fnger palmed a
blank slip, while in view is a slip that
actually contains the phone number. The
performer asks the person selected to think
of someone dead, and during this talk he
opens the paper in view. While telling
the spectator that she is to write the dead
name down in full, he reads the telephone
number. Then he tells her that when she is
fnished she is to fold the paper and hold it.
Suiting action to words, he folds the slip
and hands it to her for writing, but he uses
the folding switch, and she gets the blank
paper while he retains the now known
telephone number. The performer returns
to the front.
After the patter theme as described,
the performer reveals the number; the
spectator hands him what he believes to
be the number slip, but which is really
the name paper. Opening it to verify the
number, the performer reads the name,
and in folding it up uses the fold switch,
handing back the actual number paper,
which was fnger palmed.
Now the performer knows the name
and has the name slip in fnger palm. At
this time it is good policy to ask for the
name slip (which is really a blank slip)
in the spectators pocket. The performer
takes it in left fngers and holds it in view
while revealing the name. During this rev-
elation the slip is merely given the straight
switch; when the climax comes, the name
slip can be handed directly to the spectator
without opening it as he verifes the cor-
rectness of the test orally.
Thus the telephone test has reached a
conclusion and the performer is left with a
fnger-palmed blank slip; he proceeds with
the dead name test.
Taking the dead slip from the lady
and while asking her initials, the slip is
exchanged; the initialed blank slip is left
with another spectator. Reaching into his
coat pocket on way back to front, the dead
slip is opened against the pad and the pad
brought out, as the performer states that
he will try to receive an automatic impres-
sion of the person who is not now living.
He instantly reads the dead name, takes
the next paper, and pockets the pad and the
dead name slip.
The rest is clear I think. The performer
writes the name on his slip and another
person holds it. Taking the blank from
the spectator, the performer opens it and
apparently reads aloud the dead name
from it. Crumpling it up, he asks that his
own slip be read aloud and, of course, it
checks. The performer, having returned to
the front of the stage, does not have to go
into the crowd again, and the slip left with
them can be passed around. The original
slip is never missed, and of the two the
performers paper is of the most interest.
I have made these maneuvers as clear
as I possibly can. With papers in hand and
the two switches mastered for ease and
nonchalance, one should have no trouble
in getting the routine straightened out. It is
clean and to the point; from the audiences
point of view, there is nothing done that
would seem indirect or out of the way.
SEPTEMBER 2014 - M-U-M Magazine 57
Compiled and Edited by W. S. Duncan
Distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies
Price $56.85
There is a new breed of mentalists
working around the globe, including
such people as Peter Turner, Fraser
Parker, Dee Christopher, Pablo Amira,
and others. Some are hard workers with
fresh ideas who generate some serious
interest and are worthy of study. Others
are posers who are not novel thinkers
and simply do not seem to understand
the true nature of being a performer, and
yet they deem it wise to ask others to pay
them for their insights. I am very glad I
did not pay for True Mysteries II.
After I frst read through the whopping forty-eight pages
(replete with wide margins and lots of white space), I thought I
must have been subjected to a parody of a hypnosis manual. I
reread it and decided that the authors were serious. Fraser and his
gang (for there are apparently several outside contributors) purport
to convince readers that you can pretty much say anything to an
audience, wait for whatever reaction occurs, and then later tell
them a miracle happened.
True Mysteries II follows on Parkers earlier book-and-DVD
set True Mysteries; he says in the introduction to this volume that
one should have read and become familiar with the frst volume
in order to understand this second part. I have not. However, he
does summarize the concepts in True Mysteries and they seem
clear and straightforward. I understood what he was saying; I just
did not buy into it.
Let me try to explain what you are in for if you buy this.
The concept behind both books is that a performer can present
or arrange thoughts or actions within spectators that will be
perceived as hypnosis, although the performer does not use
hypnosis. Several specifc effects are described in the book, such
as causing a spectator to walk towards you and then stop, causing
a group of people to act as if they are stuck to the foor, or having
a spectator perceive that one object transforms into a different
object. As in most hypnosis acts and many mind-reading routines,
there are no actual objects or props, only the spectators imagina-
tions. If you read, study, and try to apply these effects or princi-
ples, you will be trying to create illusions of thought or perception
in the minds of either a single spectator or a group of watchers.

So if you do decide to employ these tricks, the frst thing you
have to ask yourself is, What kind of act would I be doing and
who would I be working for? You cannot really bill yourself as
a hypnotist, and certainly not as a magician. Perhaps you can go
after private house parties as a mentalist. In fact, Im not sure that
the authors have even decided what they want to present or to
whom. Often they discuss using verbal tricks to cause people to
perceive something as real, but at one point in the book they talk
about really fooling the audience. Are these effects meant to be
seen as real mind control or just parlor tricks? During one bit of
banter between Fraser and Gavin, they discuss using one of their
stunts at a hotel event. Only fourteen of the twenty-one people in
attendance followed along with their routine, and even the authors
admit that of those fourteen, their facial expressions revealed
they were confused. Confusion is not magic. Or mind reading.
I think most of the savvy readers of this magazine would
be hard pressed to fnd any venue where these ideas could be
employed or considered entertainment. I have to admit that I did
not try out any of the methods on a real audience. As near as I could
tell from reading through the book, though, in many instances, if
you used these experiments (with titles like Spatial Hallucina-
tion or Post Hypnotic Illusion) you would be hard pressed to
tell whether the audience liked them or not. I suggest that often
you would not even be able to tell if the spectators understood that
something had happened. Here is an example from the book; see
what you think. A group of people is standing around at a party.
You approach one spectator and quietly give him some instruc-
tions. You walk away from him and then turn to face him. He
walks towards you and then stops when you raise your hand in the
standard traffc offcer stop position. The rest of the audience
looks on. The end.
What just happened? Did you put a man into a hypnotic
trance? Did you cause him to obey your mental command? Did
you predict that he would move strangely? Did you place him
under an induced spell? If you were in that audience, what would
you think had just occurred? My frst reaction upon reading the
scenario is that from an audience members standpoint, absolutely
nothing had happened.
For me, the book was mostly full of psycho-babble. I under-
stand linguistic deception, and have admired much of Kenton
Kneppers and Peter Turners work. But I cannot see any possible
use for the effects that these people describe, even if they do
work. I suggest that you spend your time reading a real book
about the human mind, not one that purports to teach you quick
tricks that make use of ways to fool people into following your
commands. You can learn a lot more about the how people think
from studying Daniel Kahnemans Thinking, Fast and Slow
for example, than using this book to try to fool spectators into
believing that you made something happen.
Available from:
Price $30.00
If you are looking for a book on performing magic in restau-
rants, one that contains everything that you need to know on the
subject, the title of this book would seem to hold great promise.
However, in that sense you are sure to be disappointed. This paper-
58 M-U-M Magazine - SEPTEMBER 2014
backed title falls short of being a defni-
tive guide on the subject, but thats not to
say this book isnt good, or isnt helpful.
It is defnitely both. Although this book
isnt a large tome, with less than ninety
pages, it contains a lot of information.
Unfortunately, some of it is irrelevant.
This book appears to be self-pub-
lished by the author. Although it sports an
ISBN number and gives credit for proof-
reading and editing to Dr. Laura Cox, the
fact that the book doesnt come from a
known publisher is evident. Self-publish-
ing is becoming more and more available to anyone. And there
is a major faw with the book design: there are no page numbers.
Page numbers are in books for a reason. These are necessary to
reference certain sections, footnotes, quoted material not to
mention the table of contents. Oh, did I mention there was no table
of contents? There is no table of contents.
Lots of material is covered; most of it is covered only briefy.
There are sections, sometimes paragraphs, involving getting
hired by a restaurant, how to entertain in that type of venue,
and keeping the restaurant for a long-term commitment. These
sections are the most valuable parts, and include advice on promo-
tional materials. There is little doubt that the author has had a lot
of personal success in the U.K. as a restaurant worker. But many
things about this book puzzle me. For instance, the author lists
all the restaurants he has worked for and from which he obtained
many long-term contracts. Unless he is retiring from the business,
this would invite younger magical entrepreneurs to approach
these same businesses as competition. These listings are all in the
U.K., however.
There is a lot of information on running your magic business.
This is fne, but it would better belong in a college course in
business management. There are several pages devoted to flling
out a PLI form. What is this? It is Public Liability Insurance. I think
it is a work requirement in England. There are pages covering risk
assessment from things like security, maximum capacity of the
building, electrical equipment, falling objects, cuts from sharp
objects, poison, choke hazards, allergies, fre, projectiles, and ex-
plosives. He goes on to talk about fooding, suffocations, frearms,
and criminal records. Seriously?
After pages of this, the author then admits, Not all of this is
relevant to the close-up/restaurant magician At this point, you
are probably asking the same question I did. Why then include it
in this book?
I suppose it is important to evaluate all of your magic and
whether it fts the venue, but common sense will tell you not
to do a head chopper, or levitate your assistant, or perform the
bullet catch in a restaurant. This book may ft up-and-coming res-
taurant magicians in the U.K.; but if you live somewhere else, I
recommend you fnd other sources for your defnitive guide to
restaurant magic.
Available from:
Distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies
Price $38.25

Joseph Barry is back with a sequel to his previous DVD
offering, fttingly titled Inscrutable
II. As with the previous DVD, In-
scrutable, Inscrutable II offers
a selection of card magic
relying on psychology and
subtlety over heavy sleight-of-
hand. Its essentially more of
the same, and thats a good thing.
As I mentioned in my previous
review of Inscrutable, the hot new thing
in card magic is the good old self-working trick.
While card tricks that take minimal, or no, effort have always
been popular (for better or worse), theres a renewed interest in
properly presenting these routines such that you almost command
your audience to believe that what theyve seen is a miracle. Thats
a good thing. These kind of presentation skills the ability to
focus on all of the parts where the audience is in complete control
and ignoring the tiny thing you do that makes the trick actually
work are wholly transferable to any type of card trick. The smart
card worker (and many an Internet wag) knows that theres really
no such thing as a self-working card trick. Its just a question of
where you put in the effort.
As before, you can see the infuence of Dani DaOrtiz in much of
Barrys presentation style. Asides like She does what she wants!
or Whatever you want; Im not the boss of you, mate! abound
in these performances, almost to the point of being too aggressive
to actually be nonchalant. But by and large the results are very
successful. There were a number of times when I was impressed
by an effect in performance, and then watched the explanation
and thought, How the hell did I miss that? That shouldnt fool
anyone! That just goes to show that the proof of the pudding is
in the eating, and the proof of a card trick is in the performance.
This outing has been whittled down to one disc of about a
dozen tricks, but its the same mix of hands-off discoveries,
mental miracles, and card table-related tricks. The card table
material is particularly solid this time. A good example is 10
Cards for Levante, Barrys take on a very old draw poker demon-
stration. The notable work here is Barrys techniques for steering
the spectator to draw a specifc number of cards to fll his hand,
so that the performer can draw to fll a royal fush. It reminded me
of the old theater improv guideline of always saying, Yes, and
He wants four? Perfect! He gets four. He wants one or two?
Perfect! Whatever you want! And yet the number of the counting
shall be three. Thanks To Vernon is a clever and deceptive
method for apparently losing the four Aces in the deck in a loose
and sloppy manner, and yet being able to produce them in an
instant. Likewise, Freedom Stacking is an updated version of the
venerable (and deceptive) pick-up build, performed a la Lennart
Green. Pseudo-Hold Em is an easy-peasy quickie Texas Hold em
stack that will address the grievances of those who scoff at your
old-fashioned draw poker demos. Think is a mental card effect in
a gambling chicken suit: someone thinks of a card, the performer
deals a few hands of poker, and he not only deals himself the
thought-of card, he also builds a strong poker hand around it. The
only one I didnt care for was End Play, which is supposed to be
a sort of blackjack deal, but strays so far from regular procedure
even a casual blackjack player would say, Hey, wait a minute
Poker deals are easy to fudge because there are so many varia-
tions on the game; blackjack deals should match what you see in
the casino.
The other, more magical offerings are also good. Many of
them rely on the card forcing techniques Barry introduced on the
frst Inscrutable timing and rhythm forces that take a little ex-
SEPTEMBER 2014 - M-U-M Magazine 59
perience to get used to. But theres no denying their effectiveness,
particularly in a four-way coincidence effect like Eighth Son.
Another one I enjoyed is Simple Card at Number. This trick lies
somewhere between a proper Any Card at Any Number and a
routine like Blackstones Favorite; the method is almost ludicrous-
ly simple, but the result is weirdly effective. The one Ill likely be
putting in my repertoire is Psychic Spectator, although not in the
form presented. As performed here, the performer jokingly gets a
spectator to name a card and a number, goes off and does another
pick-a-card trick for someone else, returns to the frst person, and
then reveals the named card at the named number. Admittedly this
was one of the aforementioned this shouldnt fool anyone tricks,
but I see it being more effective with a proper unknown selection
instead of the named one.
It feels like Barry likes to include at least one or two serious
sleights on his DVDs, as if to say Dont be fooled by the self-
working stuff; I got chops! (Although at least one of the self-
working tricks requires a working bottom deal, which Barry does
very well.) Here, he offers up his Flip Double Lift, a very loose,
casual, and almost insanely delicate double lift done between the
tips of the frst and second fngers. Itll give you something to
fddle with when theres no one around to practice your timing
forces on. Good luck.
All said, this is another fne collection of effortless card
tricks and lessons in presenting them. Besides being a worthy
volume of its own, it has inspired me to go back and revisit the
frst volume of Inscrutable. Recommended.
Distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies
Price $29.95
Thanks to Google, I was able to
determine that the name of the DVD,
MS Magic Night 2014, refers to a
one-day magic conference that took
place in Paris on January 18, 2014.
This DVD features ten of the per-
formers at that event. All the perfor-
mances are shot in studio with just
the performer on camera. There is no
one to pick, or think, of a card. The
camerawork, sound, and editing are
frst rate. Many of the performers perform
silently to music for both their performance and their
explanation (aided by freeze frame and on-screen text that is well
executed). Those who dont work silently perform and explain in
First up is John Guastaferro, who shows an update of the
effect Club Sandwich from his Brainstorm DVD. Two cards
are selected and each is found in turn by the two Jokers. Its a
nice, clean handling. He also shows how to use the cards to do
a sequence from Dr. Daleys Last Trick with the two selections.
Yoann performs silently to music, and he shows several transpo-
sitions of two cards. His card handling is light and he has a deft
touch, but this routine will be out of reach for most beginning and
intermediate magicians.
Coins are up next as Arthur Chavaudret performs a very quick
and visual effect. A single coin visibly appears and then a second,
third and fourth, performed silently to music. The trick only takes
eleven seconds to perform but it is highly visual (and again out of
the league of most intermediate performers). Astone (you do not
see his face) presents a very short color change routine with two
coins that once again is very visual but the moves required will
be challenging to most coin performers (back clips and edge grips
are used).
The next effect is the classic Open Prediction presented by
Father Alex. A spectator shuffes the deck and the magician
places a card face up on the table as his prediction (the Four of
Diamonds). The spectator deals the cards face up, placing one
single card aside face down. The face down card is seen to be the
mate (Four of Hearts) of the prediction. One again, well done, and
once again the method is not for the faint of heart.
Noel Heath performs a sandwich effect that is quick, visual,
and performed silently. Would you be surprised if I said that the
moves are diffcult to do? Im not, as I have realized that this DVD
is not aimed at beginners, but for people looking to learn and do
some serious sleight of hand.
Pierre Marie performs an Oil and Water routine in English
(crediting Guy Hollingworth for the very visual ending). The
handling was a little cozy at times but very visual; I thought that
Guys fnish was a great way to end.
Eric Richardson performs in English, and shows an ACAAN
that uses a memorized deck (but no math) and a Joker. This is an
effect I perform all the time, and I dont think that Erics handling
is a step forward. The use of the Joker and the handling are a step
backward, but might gain favor from mathematically challenged
performers (although most people who do memdeck work are not
challenged by the simple math used in most of the effects).
A color change is taught in English by Bizau, and the move can
also be used for a production and a switch. His move allows you to
palm the second card from the top of the deck. This is a defnitely
a knacky kind of move, but if you put the time in you may be able
to learn it.
Alexandre Wilmes concludes the volume with a sandwich/
transposition type effect. It may be because this was shot studio
style, without spectators, but the method seemed evident during
the performance. I am sure that if performed live, with misdirec-
tion, the effect would play stronger, but I have to comment on
what I saw, not what I imagine. He performs in English and the
effect is strong but not easy to do.
Magic is a performing art and flming without the use of a
spectator is not the best way to go most of the time. I think some
of these effects would have played better with a live performance,
but you can get a good idea by watching the performances and
the very clear explanations. There is some heavy-duty sleight of
hand on display, so this may not be the best choice for beginners.
But serious students of sleight of hand will have a great time with
the material taught on this DVD and I can recommend it with that
Available from:
Distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies
Price $30.00

I like John Carey. I frst became familiar with the man through
his sharing his card material on a couple of private Internet forums
that we both frequent. To be frank, I thought it was decent stuff,
but methodologically a little too on-the-nose relying too much
60 M-U-M Magazine - SEPTEMBER 2014
on simplicity and subtlety where a move
or two would be more deceptive
and effective. Then I had the
pleasure of sessioning with
John during a visit to London.
I was immediately impressed
with many of the routines Id
previously read and fled away.
Part of it was overlooking how
effective the tricks could actually be,
and part of it was learning how charming
a performer John is.
All of that, and more, is in evidence on his latest DVD, Keep
Calm & Carey On. John, like me, road tests a lot of his material in
pubs; by the way he interacts with his lovely and very eager par-
ticipants in this video, you can tell hes used to dealing with real
live humans. On top of which, John clearly knows his Tamariz and
DaOrtiz, so he knows the ins and outs of selling his very simple
and yet very effective card tricks. An example that leaps to mind
is his take on the classic Out of Sight, Out of Mind, here offered as
Out of Sight Change Your Mind. From a method standpoint, you
might see that John has reduced the number of possible selections
from nine to just three, and think, Eh. But the presentational
ploy of giving your participant every chance to change her mind
brought a big smile to my face. Its almost a combination of the
Vernon trick and Hofzinsers Remember & Forget. Ill defnitely
be taking this one to my bar gig.
From whats on this DVD, Johns been putting in a lot of work
on the idea of having a participant merely think of a card. He
offers up a few strategies in a number of different tricks here.
Some you might call contextual forces. For example, in Its
The Thought That Counts you have a participant look through
the cards to fnd a card that would bring a hypothetical blackjack
hand to a winning total of twenty-one, and you divine that card.
In Thought Trapper, the performer calls out a handful of cards
and asks someone to think of one. On paper, these processes seem
contrived. In practice, they feel a lot closer to the ideal of just
think of any card than you might expect. If youre looking for
something closer still, John offers a rhythm/timing force in a Do
as I Do effect he calls Think A Think. John does this very effec-
tively; Im going to have to start road testing this to get it down,
because I can see it being a very effective tool.
On top of these techniques, Johns also very fond of spectator
shuffe techniques along the lines of the Jay Ose False Cut or Chad
Longs Shuffing Lesson. He uses them to very nice effect in a
number of these tricks, for me most notably in (the head-shak-
ingly named) Take Her Home And Poker! The effect is a one-off
style Ten Card Poker Deal; instead of the trick relying on repeti-
tion for its strength, you offer your participant every chance to
shuffe, mix, and cut, and yet somehow one of you still ends up
with a royal fush. This was another one that made me smile; I
plan to adopt it into my bar repertoire. And if youre looking for a
low-effort/high-impact closer, try Me and My Shadow. This one
really turned my head with its effect-to-effort ratio. If Roberto
Giobbi ever does a fourth volume in the Card College Light series,
I nominate this one for inclusion.
Theres a lot to like here. The best part about John Careys
work is that while its relatively low-impact in terms of skill
level, he knows how to construct and sell an effect for maximum
audience impact. In that way, hes a lot like John Bannon, or,
as Steve Mayhew pointed out, a modern-day Al Leech. Dont
buy this DVD because John Careys card material is easy. Buy it
because its good. Recommended.
Distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies
Price $25.00
This fve-effect DVD is an excellent
value. The gaffs and routines that are
taught here are all useful, and are easily
made and performed.
Premonition is a powerful business
card prediction using a deck of cards.
The performer writes a prediction on his
business card. The prediction is handed
face down to a spectator to hold. The
performer riffes the pack and stops where
the spectator requests; the business card
is inserted and buried in the pack. The
pack is cut once and spread face up, revealing the business card.
It is pulled out; the prediction on it clearly states the names of
the two cards the participant placed the business card between.
This is clear in plotline, and visual enough to be understood while
watching the effect with the sound off. The gaff is easy to make
and thoroughly explained.
The second routine is a drawing duplication. Under the pretext
of gathering information which will tell you something about the
person, you ask her to frst name a random animal, a color, and
a number, which you write down on a business card. You draw a
square below the information. You hand her the card and a pen
and ask her to draw a picture in the square, which is then handed
back to you so it can be buried back into the pack of business
cards. You are then able to divine the drawing and duplicate it.
The gaff is similar to ones you may already be familiar with, but
is still well designed and explained.
The construction and use of a very clever switching device is
also included. The routine itself does not have a natural fow, but
the switching device has some strong possibilities in application
to other routines and is worth making up. A magical sequence
involving a coin that frst bends and then switches places in a
spectators hand for an unbent one is an odd companion effect on
a mentalism DVD, but nevertheless will please some.
The highlight for me is the effect using your iPhone that allows
you to perform a potentially stunning effect. You frst have a card
selected, and then a random phone number is generated by a group
of people and typed into your phone. The number is dialed and the
number they created is clearly seen on the screen as the phone
rings. It is answered and you ask the person to name a playing
card, they do and it matches the one selected. This subtlety can
be used to put the fnal icing on Mr. Wizard-type card tricks and
looks as fair as you can get. The method is credited to a magician
from Greece whose name I could not hear clearly.
The material on Mentally Exposed ranges from good to very
strong. Recommended.
Available from:
Price $10.00
The sound and camerawork are good on this forty-minute
SEPTEMBER 2014 - M-U-M Magazine 61
download from Trcky that stars Jeff Prace. First up is Earfun, a
trick using a pair of ear buds that remain suspended (think of the
classic Stiff Rope trick and you will have an idea about how this
looks). Its over quickly but should get a good reaction (especially
from the younger crowd). This requires gaffng a cheap pair of ear
buds, but its not too diffcult and only has to be done once. After
the performance, the buds cannot be examined.
Sharing is Caring is another bit of situational magic, perfect
for the next time you are using a breath strip container and
someone asks you for one. Instead of taking it out the normal way,
you are able to magically pull one through the side of the plastic
container; fun, and easy to do.
Pb (the chemical symbol for lead) uses two identical mechani-
cal pencils. They are identical except that you fll one with lead.
The pencil with the lead rattles while the other pencil does not.
The lead from one pencil magically transfers from one pencil to
the other. This is an update of the Rattling Wands (a slum magic
item). Again, this is another bit of situational magic that is not
hard to do, or to make.
In Flavorless, you take a piece of chewed gum from your
mouth and tap it with the box; it visibly changes into a fresh, new
piece of gum. Jay Sankey was the frst to explore this plot and Jeff
has also developed several other versions of this plot. Its another
quickie that wont be a part of your formal show, but may be used
in a more informal setting. There is some one-time prep required.
So there you go four different kinds of effects: suspension,
penetration, transportation, and restoration. Jeff is a young guy
with a nice, loose style and I think these effects will appeal to
the younger magicians out there who are looking for magic that
seems impromptu (although all of these effects except for Sharing
is Caring require some kind of advance preparation). Its always a
pleasure to see something besides cards and coins. If this kind of
situational magic appeals to you, you cant go wrong getting four
tricks for ten bucks.
Available from:
Price $8.00
Doug Conn talks
about the art of magic
in the download for
his trick, Flush Brush.
(This appeared origi-
nally in Dougs book,
The Tricks of my Trade.)
In this offbeat effect
the deck is divided into
quarters, and each quarter is shuffed, with face-up cards being
mixed into face-down cards. But this is not a Triumph routine.
On the fnal shuffe the two half decks are shuffed into each other
with the cards left unsquared. Turning his close-up mat rubber
side up, Doug paints the four Aces one at a time onto the mat.
Then under the Ace of Spades, he paints the King, then the Queen
through the Ten, making a royal fush. Then he paints three more
royal fushes whose suits matching the other three Aces. This
looks great and is very visual. The routine is based on a Chris
Kenner idea; Doug has taken the original and made the handling
The card handling required is not too hard, and there is nothing
new or diffcult to learn. The trick does require a partial stack
but the effect is worth the set-up (making this trick even more
After the primary handling is discussed Doug teaches a second
handling of the effect before performing and explaining the
original Dai Vernon routine called Triumph (one of the all-time
classic card effects frst explained in Stars of Magic). This bonus
segment has Doug teaching his Tight Triumph Display (a take on
Daryls Triumph Display) as he explains in detail Vernons mas-
terpiece as well as his own Infated Deck display, which gives the
illusion that you can see the cards mixed and they visibly un-mix
as you watch the deck. This is a nice touch and adds another
dimension to the effect.
The camerawork and sound are up to par and you will have
no trouble learning this. Doug is a wonderful performer and an
excellent teacher. One more thing: this download was taken from
Dougs two-DVD set called Built to Last (flled with close to three
hours of great close-up magic); if you decide to purchase these
DVDs from, they will refund the eight bucks you spent
on the download.
This is a unique effect and will get a great reaction when
performed (and would look great on TV accompanied by music).
I think you will agree that magic can be Art.
Available from:
Distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies
Price $66.30

One of the smartest things you
can do on a professional gig
is perform a miracle that
incorporates your business
card. The good folks at
Alakazam have brought us
a very clever and devious
way to do just that with
The Business by Romanos.
Simply put, The Business
is a gaffed card case that you
can use to secretly peek at
writing. Its made from a
standard style of metal business card case, the kind you can easily
obtain at most stationery or offce supply stores, or from online
business card printing outfts like Vistaprint. What makes this
case such a devious tool is that the inner surface is made of some
special Mylar-like material. Seen from the inside in performance,
it looks like the shiny metal surface of the rest of the case. Seen
from behind, you can look right inside and read the full surface of
the back of a business card, and glean whatever information you
need from it.
The DVD explains these basics, and leaves it up to you to
fgure out just what youre going to do with this awesome power.
Thats fne, because this is designed to be a utility item, like a
card-to-wallet wallet. If youre spending this kind of money on a
utility item, you shouldnt need to be told what to do with it; you
should already have an application in mind (hopefully something
more subtle than just blurting out whatevers written on the card).
If you do need a suggestion, look no further than one of two
given here: applying the peek case to Magicians Graphology. If
62 M-U-M Magazine - SEPTEMBER 2014
youre unfamiliar with the trick, the performer hands out four
business cards for folks to write some kind of secret, meaning-
ful info on. Someone shuffes up the cards, and the performer
proceeds to divine who wrote what for the frst three participants,
and divines the unseen info for the fourth. The suggestion here is
to place the shuffed cards into the case, where theyre removed
one-at-a-time like playing cards from a dealers shoe. This makes
perfect sense; bring the cards out with the case and hide the cards
back in the case. You dont have to introduce another prop like
a wallet or an envelope. The problem with mentalism is always
the necessity of introducing props or the need to write things
down, when ideally you would be plucking thoughts directly from
peoples heads. Here, once youve justifed writing the info down
for whatever reason, everything is for lack of a better term
organic. Using your business cards and the case is a perfect way
to engage in some miracle mind reading whether youre working
in a professional performance setting (or any professional setting)
or just casually blowing peoples minds.
Thats the good news. The slightly problematic news is an
unfortunate byproduct of the material that makes the case work.
Like any one-way mirror, one side needs to be dark for it to refect
anything. That means that unless you place the case down on a
dark surface, people are going to see a big fat hole in the back
of the case and know exactly what you know: that you spent $66
on a special business card case and just blew the trick. With that
in mind, The Business comes with a little black velvety bag that
youre supposed to carry the business card case in, and that you
can place the case on in order to maintain the illusion. The trouble
with that is (as you probably immediately realized), you cant
name one person who carries their business card case in a little
cloth bag. That turns this perfectly ordinary personal item into a
special prop or worse, a magicians prop. And that ruins every-
thing that makes this a strong utility item.
Thankfully, if youre a working pro and work with a dark
close-up mat, youve already solved the problem. In fact, Ive dis-
covered that my casino green close-up mat works pretty well in
the right lighting. So now were back in better territory. But what
if youre the type that eschews a close-up mat, or wants to use this
in a more casual setting? Theres a suggestion on the DVD that I
think is the real way to go: have a black-backed business card, and
hold the cards underneath the case. Even if you dont use black
business cards, just color the back of one, and use it to cover the
dirty work. You can save the black velvety bag for the little plastic
wallet you carry your packet tricks in.
Theres one other thing that I think is worth mentioning that
isnt covered on the DVD. I said the case is a standard design, and
they provide a regular, ungaffed case of this type so you can have
one case to use regularly, and the gaffed one to switch in to work
your miracles. I carry my business cards in a case like this, except
mine has a typically gaudy Ace of Spades design on the lid. What
Ive discovered is that you can very easily remove the lid on this
kind of case, which means if you have a more distinctive version
of this case and can fnd another in the same design, you can swap
the lid out on the gaffed case and have one that matches your
regular everyday business card case. Now youre really living up
to that top hat and bunny design your spouse picked out.
This is a well-made gimmick, one that should serve the
working pro or serious amateur very well. Its not the kind of thing
the average person is going to make in their garage or basement,
so consider it money spent on good craftsmanship and to reward
a really clever idea. If youre already batting ideas around in your
head for it, you probably want to pick this up. Recommended for
the devious.
Available from:
Price $35.00
This is interesting, and likely useful. I
imagine that magicians have wanted
to really link two bands together
since about fve minutes after
they started performing with
rubber bands. This is not the frst
published method for achieving
that goal. As with many clever
things, the original solution traces
back to Michael Weber (Flash Link/
Linking Stanley, Richards Almanac
1983-1984 Winter Extra). Webers solution
involved altering regular rubber bands in a rather
delicate operation that left you with linked bands that could be
handled by the spectator, but you probably wouldnt let him take
them home. Next, magic dealers stepped in, offering pre-linked
rubber bands. As of this writing, Paul Harriss Souvenir Linking
Rubber Bands and Alan Wongs Souvenir Linking Loverbands
are both still available, and they were released several years ago.
(And there are likely others.)
So what does Bound have that the others dont? I cant confrm,
because Ive never owned either of the prior products, but Herman
(as in, Hey; its Herman from SansMinds.) says that Bound
offers two distinct advantages. First, Herman says that the bands
have been specially formulated to keep a more beautiful ap-
pearance when they are displayed with one band dangling from
the other. And these bands do, in fact, feel stiffer than the ones
usually used for rubber band magic. Compared to the promotional
photo of the linked Harris SLR bands, the Bound bands do appear
to hold a more circular shape when linked. Im not sure they offer
any advantages in this respect, however, over the heart-shaped
bands produced by Alan Wong. After all, the point of the Wong
bands is the shape, so I presume they are stiffer, as well.
Second, a routine is provided that is designed to exploit the
stiffer bands. The thing that makes this product different, Herman
says, is that the link is performed entirely by the spectator. Its a
simple routine in which a pile of bands are held on the performers
hand and the spectator is invited to choose two of them. These are
taken back from the spectator, the other bands are put away, and
then the spectator is asked to hold the two chosen bands at her
fngertips. From this position, she is told to rub the bands together,
and then release only one of the bands while she hangs on to the
other. Assuming shes able to perform this task (which is made
simpler by the stiffer bands) the result is one band hanging from
the other. There is nothing wrong with that effect, and since you
are provided with ffty gaffed pairs of bands, you could, if you
like, allow the spectator to keep the linked bands. Aside from a
little bit of extra rubber on a band here or there (and this is
easily removed prior to performance) there is nothing for the
critical spectator to fnd.
Is this in-the-spectators-hands routine unique? I cant say,
since I dont own the other products. However, Id be surprised if
thats the case, since an in-their-hands link seems to be an obvious
goal for anyone capable of producing linked bands. I can say that
this routine is very simple, and the fairly simple matters of prop
management are nicely covered. There is a switch that, while it
SEPTEMBER 2014 - M-U-M Magazine 63
doesnt come at the best moment, seems workable with a little
trial and error.
As for drawbacks or reservations, I suspect that the stiffer
bands will not be able to perform some of the other rubber band
magic that you already do, making it unlikely that you will be
able to work this link into your existing routine just by using the
ungaffed bands for the rest of the effects. However, its entirely
possible to carry an assortment of bands with you, including
these, and work the routine that way. Also, other reviewers have
noted that the set of bands they received did not quite match the
assortment promised on the DVD. They mention refll packs, but
I dont know what those are composed of. Finally, although there
is a Credits section on the DVD, no credits are given, not even
the cursory history that I rattled off at the top of this review. This
is not the frst time Ive said this about a SansMinds product.
Available from:
Price $90.00
Many magicians have taken the classic vaudeville gag that
confuses the word bandana with the word banana and
converted the gag into a comedy magic routine. Robert Baxt notes
that comedy character actor Cliff Norton performed this funny
routine on screen without using magic. Baxt also correctly credits
East Coast actor Tom Yarborough as being one of the frst to use
the gag in a magic context. I actually saw Yarborough perform
the routine at one of my very frst magic conventions in Atlanta
in 1972. He used the classic Square Circle production box and
read the printed instructions aloud. His persona, with costume
and makeup, was that of a country bumpkin trying to perform
his frst magic trick. In the intervening years the routine became
quite popular with magicians. Many have used a Change Bag.
Tom Ogden cleverly used a ladys purse in his routine. The routine
became very popular among magicians when David Copperfeld
performed a version of it on television.
But Baxt felt the big drawback to this idea was that an intel-
ligent and clever magician would certainly be able to distinguish
the words bandana/banana, making the traditional presentation
believable only for the Yarborough bumpkin character. So, Baxt
created a clever new gag: Red Bull with a Twist. Now, the old
comedy routine has a new, modern day presentation.
In context, the performer has purchased a new trick from
overseas. It arrived in the mail that very day and there was no
time to practice. But, he or she will perform it anyway. (Sadly, this
situation is all too true with real-life amateur conjurors.) So, with
a freshly-opened box of props and the help of a heavily-accent-
ed female voice audio download, a hilarious romp of comedy
ensues with a very magical fnish. The comedy stems from the
confusion between Red Bull, the energy drink, and a red bull
puppet. The soundtrack and props provide the comedy situations,
and your actions and expressions provide the rest.
The funny custom-made puppet is included. This is the critical
prop that really makes the routine work. All of the props needed
to perform are included. You can even use the box in which ev-
erything is shipped, or pick one up at your post offce. The only
thing you need to buy is the actual can of Red Bull. Baxt explains
the optimum size of the can you need, and they are readily found
in most grocery stores.
The big laughs come from the performers interaction with the
audio instructions, scripted by Robert and expertly performed by
Yumi, Roberts talented Japanese-born wife. Yumi speaks unac-
cented English rather well, but for the purposes of this routine, her
accent is greatly exaggerated.
The other thing you obviously need to do (besides practice
the routine, of course), is to have a system to play the audio
soundtrack. It comes on an audio CD, so you really only need a
CD player. I had no trouble putting the track into my iPhone and
playing it through a Bluetooth speaker.
Baxt explains everything in detail on a DVD, and you get to
see a studio performance as well as a performance in front of a
live audience. This will give you the best look at the timing and
laughter spots in the routine.
Although some handling and familiarity of the props is
required, there is no real technical skill needed. Where the practice
is most needed is for the pantomime and facial expressions. Some
will do this better than others, but just about any magician, re-
gardless of skill level, can perform Baxts routine and get plenty
of laughs and applause.
This review is for the English version, but Baxt also provides
versions in German and Italian, with a Spanish version soon to be
released. Visit the website for more information.
Recommended for comedy and family magicians.
Available from:
Distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies
Price $30.00
An entire deck of cards vanishes
in an instant, leaving behind just one
card. This is the basic effect of the
Traveling Deck 2.0. What makes this
version different from the frst version?
Well, you can also make a boxed pack
of cards vanish while leaving just
one card behind. The effect is visual,
quick, and startling.
Included with the DVD are
gimmicks for a deck and for a box of
cards. The gimmicks are made of the
same material as playing cards and
card boxes, so they look very good.
The effect featured in the promotional trailer is very good. A card
is selected and signed by a spectator. The magician shows two
Jokers and explains that they will help him fnd the selected card.
They are returned to the deck. The signed card is placed face up in
the middle of the pack. The pack is squeezed and the entire deck
vanishes with the exception of three cards two Jokers and the
selected card, which is between them.
You are supplied with two gimmicks, one for the vanishing
deck and one for the vanishing card box. The gimmicks should
last a long time, but they will become worn with use over time.
The gimmicks come in Bicycle design but can be changed to other
decks of card designs. In addition to the supplied routine, you are
also provided with eight routines/ideas using the gimmick. You
are also taught how to create a customized gimmick and to repair
your gimmick if needed.
First of all, the gimmick cannot be examined. Audience man-
64 M-U-M Magazine - SEPTEMBER 2014
agement will resolve this situation. You will also have to watch
your angles very carefully. The vanishing of the deck/box looks
great. Reset is quick and easy. The main routine removes any
desire for a spectator to want to examine the gimmick.
The vanish of the deck or box is excellent. The routine with the
two Jokers fnding a selected card is great. You will have to watch
your angles as stated above, but this situation is very manageable
for the experienced card worker. The gimmick is versatile if you
want to use different brands of cards, and should last a long time.
This trick is reasonably priced for the card worker who does not
mind using gimmicks.
Available from:
Distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies
Price $40.00
Lets be honest here. Most of you reading
this review will never perform this trick.
And when I say never, I mean never ever,
ever which is a pity, because its a truly
wonderful effect. Little else says magic
like a silver sphere foating effort-
lessly through the ether. And when
I say silver sphere, I dont mean a
cheesy Zombie ball fitting about
the stage under a tattered foulard
looking about as mystical as a wad
of aluminum foil stuck to the end of a
stick. No when I say foating ball, I mean
the full-on, no-holds-barred, Abbott\Okito-style of ball that foats
ever so mysteriously about the stage without the aid of a dragon-
decorated scarf or a coat hanger with a bit of cork on the end.
Of course, there are many reasons one seldom sees this classic
of magic performed these days. First and foremost was the fact
that it usually takes two or more people to operate the thread that
guided said sphere through its magical gyrations. Luis de Matos
has solved this conundrum by modifying the rigging in such a
way the ball is under the complete control of the performer at all
times, which is something that anyone who has seen this routine
will fnd hard to believe, because the ball seems to move indepen-
dently of the magician. It is a truly beautiful act to behold.
Sr. de Matos has also solved the issue of setting up the
necessary rigging. His system allows you to quickly and quietly
set up the trick behind the curtain while the emcee is introducing
you. This is an extremely valuable asset for the working variety
performer who often fnds himself in review shows.
The downside to this routine, the issue that will keep virtually
all of you from ever performing this trick, is the fact that it has to
be performed on a stage a stage with a proscenium, a main drape,
and a full range of theatrical lighting at ones disposal would be
preferable. One isnt going to be able to perform this in a banquet
room, village hall, or living room. Well you could perform it in
any of those locales. But you wont fool a soul, because everyone
will see exactly how it is done.
But dont let this keep you from purchasing this DVD. There
is a certain thrill just seeing how this thing is rigged and all the
wonderful possibilities one can do with it. It is unlikely that I will
ever be in a situation where I could perform this. Nonetheless, I
set up a couple of backdrop stands, dug up an old Zombie Ball,
set up the rig, and spent a delightful afternoon playing with it. It
almost made me want to build a full theater show so I could do
this in front of a real audience.
Nearly everyone who is going to buy this DVD will do so
simply to see how it works, for the sheer delight we share in big
time illusions. But for those of you who are seriously contem-
plating adding this to your stage show, here is what you need to
know. The DVD is from Essential Magic, so of course it is up to
their usual high quality. To say its nicely produced is understate-
ment. You get the DVD, a length of the special thread (which is
far from invisible), and the secret gimmick, which in reality is
something you can pick up at any fshing tackle shop. No ball is
provided, and there are no detailed instructions on how to build
your own. They recommend purchasing the Don Wayne Floating
Ball or obtaining their ball for a measly $1200 extra. There are
some items youll have to obtain from your local hardware store
as well. Fortunately these items wont run you very much at all.
The routine also requires that you wear a ring.
The rigging, setup, and moves are all clearly explained. They
even show you what type of knot to use to secure the ends of the
thread. A piece of royalty-free music is also provided. The history
of the Floating Ball is discussed and everything is attributed and
proper reference given to the creators. There is also a nice chat
with Gaetan Bloom on the disc as well.
The only defcit that I found, at least in my opinion, was that
there wasnt quite enough advice or instruction given on the
correct way to light the thread, which is the make-or-break factor
in any foating object routine that employs thread (or in this case
string). I think a little more information on what types of light
to use and how to use them would have made this a much more
informative and complete DVD. If you have a theater in which
to perform this, youll probably have time to experiment with
lighting as you rehearse. Apart from that minor complaint, every-
thing one needs to know about performing this exquisite routine
is here for your perusal.
If you wish to have your product reviewed,
please send it to:
Bill Duncan, P.O. Box 50562,
Bellevue, WA 98015-0562
SEPTEMBER 2014 - M-U-M Magazine 65
Have you ever bent over to pick up a
penny only to leave it when you saw it was
tails up? Or knock on wood after saying
something so as not to jinx yourself? How
about refusing to walk under a ladder or
open an umbrella indoors? If you do these
things you are not alone. A new CBS News
poll for Sunday Morning fnds more than
half of all Americans (ffty-one percent)
knock on wood to avoid bad luck; sixteen
percent wont open umbrellas indoors;
thirteen percent carry a good luck charm;
and one in ten (ten percent) avoids black
cats. However, when asked why they do
these things most people cannot give an
answer or simply dont want to tempt
Before we can delve deeper into under-
standing why we are superstitious, we frst
need to defne it. After all, not all rituals or
beliefs are superstitions. Stuart Vyse, PhD,
and the author of Believing in Magic: The
Psychology of Superstition, defnes su-
perstitions as one event causing another
without any natural process linking the two
events such as astrology, religion, omens,
witchcraft, prophecies, etc., that contra-
dicts natural science. The dividing line
is whether you give some kind of magical
signifcance to the ritual. For example,
if an athlete develops a ritual before a
game, something Vyse says many coaches
encourage, it may help to calm and focus
him or her like repeating a mantra. Thats
not superstitious, says Vyse. On the other
hand, he says if you think tapping the ball
a certain number of times makes you win
the game, youve entered superstitious
territory. Some of the more astute of you
out there might now be wondering why
are some of these repetitive behaviors not
just signs of OCD (obsessive compulsive
disorder)? People with OCD often have
compulsions to do rituals over and over
again, often interfering with everyday
life. Good question. The difference is that
people with anxiety disorder dont do their
behaviors for any sort of superstitious or
supernatural reasons; they do it irrational-
ly for no apparent reason.
So why do we believe? One reason
seems to be that superstitions are generally
vague enough that no particular case will
ever be clearly false. Many superstitions
involve getting good or bad luck. Since
we dont know what form that luck will
take, or what would have happened if we
didnt have the luck, there is no way to be
sure the prediction was false. Supersti-
tious people also are very good at fnding
excuses for why things didnt work out
as expected. They can easily imagine
other magical effects that might cancel
or modify the superstition. If the evil eye
didnt seem to bother them, maybe it was
because somebody said the right prayer or
some charm warded off the effect. Since
there usually isnt a time limit on when the
effects of a superstition will take place, we
can often assume that the effect just hasnt
happened yet. Eventually we will forget
that anything was supposed to happen.
Occasionally, however, there will be cases
where the expected effect of the supersti-
tion does come true. Somebody will be
carrying that rabbits foot when they win
at the casino, or some child will contract
a serious disease after some strangely
behaving woman might have cast a witchs
spell on him. Not only will this reinforce
the superstition for the people involved,
the story is likely to be passed around,
reinforcing it for many others. This is an
example of confrmation bias. Evidence
that supports the superstition tends to be
well circulated while evidence that denies
it tends to be unnoticed.
There are some benefts to superstitious
thinking, including a sense of security and
confdence we might feel while carrying a
lucky object or wearing a lucky shirt. This
placebo effect can be positive, because
there is a tremendous amount of power
in belief. It can also relieve some of the
anxiety you might feel before a particular
task by knowing you have your lucky
item with you.
However, this can also be detrimental
if you happen to lose your item or cant
do your usual routine, which can lead to
an increase of anxiety and poor perfor-
mance. Phobic (fearful) superstitions can
also interfere with our lives, causing a lot
of anxiety. For example, people who are
afraid of Friday the 13th might change
travel arrangements or skip an appoint-
ment because of unnecessary anxiety.
These types of superstitions offer no
beneft at all. Another problem is that our
willingness to embrace non-factual beliefs
makes us vulnerable to other people who
want to manipulate us, sometimes for their
own gain. ABC News reported in 2010
that Americans spend about two billion
dollars a year calling psychic telephone
hotlines, where they eagerly pay $3.99 a
minute to self-proclaimed clairvoyants
for a glimpse of their futures. But to a
large degree, psychics depend upon their
clients to fool themselves with confrma-
tion bias. Theyre already superstitious
theyre just looking for a so-called pro-
fessional to reinforce their superstition,
Vyse explains. Thats why a psychic can
stumble, but people dont seem to notice;
their brain has already discarded what it
doesnt want to hear.
So where does it all come from?
Jennifer Whitson at the University of
Texas in Austin says superstitions grow
out of our need to take charge of situa-
tions, and to reduce anxiety. We become
very anxious when we lack control. And
one of the ways, if we cant regain it objec-
tively, is to try and regain it perceptually.
Maybe I cant actually keep something bad
from happening to me. But if I knock on
wood, then Ive done something. Ive taken
action. And that can help someone feel less
anxious as a result.
Another theory relies on the hard wiring
of our brain. The premise is the brain is a
sophisticated pattern-recognizing system.
66 M-U-M Magazine - SEPTEMBER 2014
By Charles Siebert, MD
Paranormal happenings
We generate explanations to make sense of
the patterns that we discover in the world.
So when we see two events happening
in close proximity in time, the tendency
is to think that one causes the other. You
have a thought about someone that you
havent thought about for a long time, then
you get a phone call from them out of the
blue; the immediate assumption is that you
somehow have some psychic connection,
when in fact youve probably forgotten
every instance where youve been thinking
about someone and no one has contacted
you. So we pick up on what we perceive as
being signifcant events and we interpret
them in some sort of causal effect. Your
brain is so intent upon spotting patterns,
though, that it sometimes will see them
where none exists. Studies have shown
that if you present people with random in-
formation whether its visual noise or a
string of numbers theyll try to give it
a meaning and organize it into what they
think is a meaningful pattern.
The brain also is prone to utilizing
a shortcut called the priming effect, in
which it interprets stimuli based upon an
expected model. If youve been told for
years that Friday the 13th is unlucky, you
have an inclination to interpret things you
see and hear in a way that confrms that
belief. Psychologist, author, and paranor-
mal debunker Michael Shermer calls this
phenomenon patternicity. Its the same
process that nurtures superstitions, as
well as conspiracy theories and belief in
occult phenomena. Sometimes A really is
connected to B; sometimes it is not. When
it is, we have learned something valuable
about the environment from which we can
make predictions that aid in survival and
reproduction. We are the descendants of
those most successful at fnding patterns.
In an uncertain world, natural
selection can readily favor making all
kinds of associations, including many
incorrect ones, in order to make sure
that the really important associations are
made, says Dr. Kevin Foster of the Center
for Systems Biology, Harvard University.
He adds that humans are not alone in this;
many other creatures are superstitious,
too. Any decision-making organism faces
the same challenges of identifying causal
relations, that is, will event A mean that
event B is coming soon? In the case of a
prey species feeing from loud noises, it is
clearly advantageous to run from all sorts
of loud noises including many that are
not associated with predators to make
sure that when a predator comes, they are
in a burrow or other such safe place. The
results are clear: superstitions are a part of
adaptive behavior in all organisms as they
struggle to make sense of an uncertain
So while this may not stop you from
avoiding cracks in the sidewalk or carrying
that rabbits foot, it may make you think
about why you do it!
Illustrations by Charlie Frye
An Extra Large Medium
SEPTEMBER 2014 - M-U-M Magazine 67
By Ken Klosterman
This months treasure belonged to a magician who bespoke
elegance. Graceful was the word many used to describe his
work on stage. Success was his reward for the short time he
appeared before the public. Karl Germain was the name he used
in the theater. He was born in 1878 and made his debut as a stage
magician in 1898.
Born Karl Mattmueller Jr., Germain was raised in Cleveland,
Ohio, by frst-generation German immigrant parents. Like many
other magicians, a penchant for the conjuring arts developed at an
early age. His enthusiastic parents encouraged their young son to
pursue his passion for magic. Their support and Germains artistic
imagination led to his creating a unique brand of stage magic.
Each aspect of Germains performance was distinctly his; the
minutest details were attended to, each one as important as every
other in making an exquisite whole.
He was a wizard who created novel, intriguing playlets on stage
and who built simple, direct plots around truly wondrous themes.
Most of his props were built by his father, Charles Mattmueller, an
artisan who spent twenty-fve years manufacturing hand-carved,
beautifully crafted picture frames. His understanding of wood-
working and his sons visions made him the perfect builder.
The Salon de Magie contains many examples of Germains
magic, certainly a full evening shows worth, including his Asrah
levitation built by the Martinka brothers, his Flower Growth,
Butterfy, Clock Dial, Card Sword, and many others. The item for
this month is his Magical Mocha.
The trick was startling in Germains hands. It was similar
to an effect popularized and sold by many magic dealers, the
Coffee Vase Trick. Lesser magicians bought the dealer-made
props and made a feature of the effect in their programs. Germain
performed it as just a brief interlude, but as with every trick given
the Germain touch, Magical Mocha was something special.
The properties were a twelve-inch metal canister and a
cardboard cylinder to cover it. At the outset of the trick, both were
handed out to the audience for examination. Once returned to
him, Germain began stuffng the gleaming canister with cotton
batting. He offhandedly joked, The ordinary kind used in woolen
suits, as he pattered about the trick to his audience. He then set
fre to the cotton and covered the canister with the cardboard
When Germain lit the cotton, a puff of steam would escape
from the top of the cylinder. Spectators often swore that just before
the canister was covered, they saw the visible transformation of
the cotton to steaming hot coffee. Removing the cardboard tube
revealed the cylinder now full of exactly that: piping hot coffee.
When the coffee was revealed, an assistant immediately
moved to Germains table, flled cups with coffee, and served it to
interested parties in the audience as Germain proceeded directly
to the next trick, his intricate billiard ball manipulation routine.
All possibility of scrutinizing the apparatus used to accomplish
the coffee trick had been eliminated.
The ownership of Magical Mocha went from Germain to
Paul Fleming, who took over Germains show when blindness
prevented him from continuing to perform, to Flemings widow,
who sold it to Landis Smith and then to the Salon de Magie. For
more information on Germain, search for two booklets published
by Stuart Cramer, The Secrets of Karl Germain and Germain
the Wizard and His Legerdemain. Or, try and fnd a copy of the
sold-out book, Germain the Wizard by Todd Karr, an enlarged and
greatly enhanced story of his life.
68 M-U-M Magazine - SEPTEMBER 2014
Treasures from
the Salon de Magie
I got fowers today at the offce! No one died, I am
not getting married, and its not my birthday. The card
simply read, Glad you are feeling better. I have not a
clue who sent me this gift. I am not often at a loss for
words; am I never at a loss when it comes to fguring out
where something came from. But in this case, my inves-
tigative skills are out the window. Not counting the times
I was in the hospital, this is only the second time in my
life that I have ever received fowers. I am not a fowers
kind of guy. I was once asked what my favorite fower
was; I said, It would have to be Pillsbury Self-rising.
But I have to be honest: those fowers made my day.
I cant tell you why, other than the fact that some human
being, who didnt even want to be singled out, thought
enough about me to send me fowers that werent dead,
and for no apparent reason.
I am going to give you a way to make your day if you
dont have anyone you like well enough to send fowers
to. Go eat dinner at a Lubys Cafeteria (a very popular
restaurant chain in Texas) and go early. When you go, the
frst thing you should do is to sit so you can see the faces
of the people as they get to the cashier to pay the bill.
The second thing you should do is to give the cashier
a hundred-dollar bill and tell her that, until the money
runs out, she is to use that hundred to buy the dinner of
every single lady over sixty who is not with a man. The
cashier is not allowed to tip them off that it is you who
bought the meal. She is only allowed to say that her was
dinner was bought and paid for by someone who wanted
to pay it forward.
You simply get to sit and watch the looks on the
faces of the women when they get this information. I
have never paid for a therapy session; I would rather use
the money to buy strangers dinner and see how happy
it makes them. I have heard of people paying the toll
for the car behind them, but I want to see the look of
happiness when the person fnds out that dinner was on
me and they dont even know me.
Don Alan once told me that he performed magic just
for the looks on the spectators faces; his fee was only
for the time it took him to travel to and from the event.
I never forgot that, and I never tire of the looks that the
people give me when I perform. It is one thing when we
do something (or something happens to us) that might
warrant a gift, but when we get a gift for no reason, that
is a gift with a feel that is extra sweet.
As a side note, I want to mention that I went to the
Ricky Jay Congress of Wonders and had a great time. I
came away with fve thoughts. Thought number one was
how little I know about anything. Thought number two
was how nice all the people who were at the event were.
Thought number three was that it was nice not having a
dealers room. Thought number four was that it was nice
not seeing any boring card tricks. Thought number fve
was how often the talks made me think.
SEPTEMBER 2014 - M-U-M Magazine 69
B. Happie Entertainment 67
Bob Kohler Magic 21
Burgoon Magic 9
Genii Magazine 29
George Parker 57
Jim Kleefeld 33
Joe Mogar - Magic Stars 65
Kardwell International 4
LaRocks Fun & Magic Outlet 3
L&L Publishing 41
Magic Summit 71
MiX16 Apps by Gregor Krasevec 57
M-U-M Advertising 69
Paul Marchese 2
S.A.M. Convention 2015 72
S.A.M. Life Membership 7
S.A.M Twitter 9
Show-Biz Services 9
The Magic Bakery 49
Theory and Art of Magic Press 10
T. Myers 4
By George Schindler
I have never met an old magician! Even
at age 102, John Calvert was not old. His
body gave out, but his magic was still
there. We are fortunate that our fraternity
is made up of people who keep ourselves
young by learning and performing magic.
People like Gene Cowell, Loren Lind,
Jerry Oppenheimer, and Ed Fitchett are
all nonagenarians, and they still attend
meetings and lectures and come to con-
ventions. Jimmy Grippo was still active
at ninety-four. Sam Schwartz, who died at
age ninety-six, did card tricks until his last
days. Len Vintus, a founder of the I.B.M.,
was still writing letters to magicians until
his passing at age ninety-six.
And how about all my octogenarian
contemporaries? Ray Goulet has his magic
museum and Magic Arts shop in Mas-
sachusetts. Dick Gustafson has a magic
theater and still performs his illusions in
Philadelphia. Brad Jacobs, our Ambas-
sador of Magic, is still working closely
with the FISM committee and shows up
at conventions around the world. Howard
Schwarzman attends lectures and always
has a comment on how to do the move
a better way. Al Cohen sold his magic
shop, but he writes a magic column every
month. Bev Bergeron does the same.
Although he says he retired the act, Johnny
Thompson (whose eightieth birthday party
this summer was a spectacular occasion)
continues to consult with TV magicians.
Marvyn Roy is still working at the Magic
Castle, where Mark Wilson still teaches a
magic class.
Some of my not so old friends have
left us, but they were very much involved
with their magic into their eighties: Al
Flosso, Patrick Page, Leslie Guest, Frank
Daily, Billy McComb, Amedeo Vacca,
Parker Swan, Ronnie Reckseit, Jay
Marshall, George Sands, Ken Krenzel,
Jean Hugard, Ron Reckseit, Carl Ballan-
tine, Bobby Baxter, and Slydini.
I am so lucky that I had the chance to
meet all of the people mentioned in this
column. Every assembly should seek out
its older members and spend an evening
allowing them to reminisce about their
experiences, tricks, and the magicians
they met. Videotape these evenings; their
oral histories will enhance the highlights
that we see in the magazines. I remember
John Calverts advice on how to live to be
hundred: Get to be ninety-nine and then
be very careful. Stay positive. Our magic
fraternity will help you do that.
George with Ed Fitchett - 2012
Brad Jacobs
Amedeo Vacca
70 M-U-M Magazine - SEPTEMBER 2014
The Dean's Diary
SEPTEMBER 2014 - M-U-M Magazine 71

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