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Jon Dorenbos
page 40

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M-U-M Volume 101 Number 3


From the Editors Desk

Chadwicks Magical Wisdom
From the Presidents Desk
M-U-M Assembly News
New Members and Reinstatements
Broken Wands
Good Cheer List
Our Advertisers




A Magician Prepares by Dennis Loomis
The Power of Bending Air by Tom Vorjohan & Daniel Herron
COVER STORY by Marc DeSouza
The Houdini Award by Julie Sobanski
Lucille Pierce by Tom Ewing
Quick Look Book Nook: Curtain Call


Tech Tricks by Bruce Kalver

Nielsen Gallery: Iasia by Tom Ewing
Basic Training: Cards to Wherever by Ian Kendall
I Left My Cards at Home by Steve Marshall
Under/Over by Joshua Jay
Pro Files by James Munton
Informed Opinion New Product Reviews
Theory & Art of Magic by Larry Hass
The Tax Magician by Steve Snyder
Ive Been Thinkin by Norman Beck
The Deans Diary by George Schindler
Basil the Baffling by Alan Wassilak
Confessions of a Paid Amateur by Rod Danilewicz



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


Michael Close
Editor Emeritus
David Goodsell
Associate Editor
W.S. Duncan
Proofreader & Copy Editor
Lindsay Smith
Art Director
Lisa Close

Society of American Magicians,

11086 S. Dartmoor Place
Parker, CO 80138
Copyright 2011
Subscription is through membership
in the Society and annual dues of $65, of
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AUGUST 2011 5



his column is the last

thing that gets written each month; this
is due not so much to procrastination (which Im very
good at), but rather to allow
the inclusion of any late-breaking news. The first week of
July had lots of news, and, unfortunately, it was all bad.
As Im sure most of you know by now, PNP Hank
Moorehouse died July 2, 2011, while traveling in China
with a touring close-up show he produced. At the national
convention in Pittsburgh (which, at the time of this writing,
is next week), Hank was to be the guest of honor. Hanks
memory will be honored with a celebration of his life.
George Schindler offers some thoughts on his friend in the
Deans Diary column on page 76. Im sure that there will be
some great Hank Moorehouse stories shared in Pittsburgh.
Heres one from Dennis Loomis:
Im still shocked at the news about my old pal Hank
Moorehouse. Hank was a big influence as I started my professional career. For the brief period that he ran the small
magic shop in Ann Arbor, I was his Saturday afternoon
counter demonstrator. I also traveled with him to many conventions to help him run the booth.
In his early years as a magician, Hank fell in love
with the vanishing cigarette in the handkerchief (thumb
tip version). He was a smoker, and seldom went out of the
house without a thumb tip and a handkerchief. When Hank,
Marcello Truzzi, and I founded Ring 210 in Ann Arbor, we
had an annual banquet with dinner and a show. To aid the
treasury, we sold tickets to lay people as well. At our first
banquet, Hank was the emcee. To warm up the audience, he
had decided to do the cigarette vanish. He lit a cigarette, took
out his pocket handkerchief, formed a cavity in the handkerchief with his thumb, and pushed the lit cigarette inside, as
he had donethousands oftimes before. As he withdrew his
thumb, for some unknown reason, the thumb tip did not stay
on, but flew up into the air and fell to the stage with a clatter.
None of us who knew him could believe it, and neither could
Hank. He looked down at that thumb tipsmoldering away
on the floor and said, Oh, s#*t!
The next week, Marcello and I went to a trophy shop
in town and bought a small trophy, glued a thumb tip on to
it, and had the plaque engraved with the words Oh, s#*t!
We presented it to him at our next meeting and we all had a
good laugh about it. Hank laughed the loudest, as we knew
he would.
He was a gem, and one of a small group of people who
really helped me to get my career going in the first few years.
Its hard to believe that hes gone.

6 M-U-M Magazine

Hank was the subject of the cover story by PNP Bradley

Jacobs in the June 2011 M-U-M. So long, Hank; you will be
To compound the sad news, the magic world lost several
other prominent people during the last week of June and the
first week of July. Tom Ewing writes, Houdini buffs and
magic history enthusiasts lost a real friend with the passing
of Sid Radner on June 25. Sid was a leading authority on
Houdini and frequently lectured at the annual Magic Collectors Association gatherings. At one time he owned
Houdinis original water torture cell, the oversized milk can
that preceded the cell, scrapbooks,handcuffs, locks, picks,
and other secret devices used by the escape king. He obtained
many of these directly from Hardeen, and later broadened
his collection significantly. Always interested in spreading
Houdinis name and fame, he was associated with the Houdini
Museum in Niagara Falls, the Outagamie Museum/Houdini
Historical Center in Appleton, Wisconsin, and other public
venues. This kind and gentle man will be missed.
My old friend Jimmy Yoshida died on July 3, 2011. Jimmy
was a kind and charming man, who always seemed to have
a twinkle in his eyes and a smile on his face. He was a great
host and a great ambassador for magic. Aloha, Jimmy.
You may not know who B.J. Jennings was, but she was
important in the lives of two of magics legendary greats,
Dai Vernon and her husband, Larry Jennings. For a while,
Vernon lived at the Jennings home. When Larrys health
declined, B.J.s ministrations kept him alive longer than
would have been expected. After Larrys death, B.J. moved
to Las Vegas, and Lisa and I got to know her there. She was
fiesty and always fun to be around, and she had great stories
of life with Larry and the Professor. B.J. died on July 4, 2011.
On an upbeat note, Warren J. Kaps, chairman of The
Society of American Magicians Magic Endowment Fund,
has announced that four young magicians have been
awarded scholarships to two magic camps this summer. As
part of the Endowment Fund program, one will attend the
Sorcerers Safari Camp in Toronto, Canada, and three will
go to Tannens Magic Camp in suburban Pennsylvania. Here
are their names:
Sorcerers Safari Winner: Mario Seki (age 13)
Tannens Magic Camp Winners: Sean Burke (age 14),
David Laid (age 13), and Yathundandh R.R. (age 13)
The Society of American Magicians Magic Endowment
Fund is proud of its achievement and growth, as well as
the expansion of its scholarship program, which enables
deserving youngsters from all over the world to attend
magic camps.

AUGUST 2011 7


Promises - When I ran
for second vice president, I
made a video campaign piece
outlining several goals I was
committed to accomplishing.
Thanks to the national presidents who preceded me, we
were able to get them all done before I even became president. The
final one happened this past June with the help of past presidents
Mike Miller and Mark Weidhaas, and RVP Jania Taylor.
The goal was to produce magic shows in theaters that featured
young magicians and promoted the S.A.M. and S.Y.M. There are
many people out there with a strong interest in magic, who have
the potential to be great members of our society and local assemblies. Unfortunately, they are not aware of our organization, but
they are aware of magic shows at their local theater.
So, when I had the opportunity to produce a family magic
show at Detroits Meadow Brook Music Festival, I capitalized
on it. The show went over well; we featured two young and very
talented magicians, TJ Ketchmark and Savannah Durocher. Its
too early to tell what impact this show will have on the Detroit
assembly, but all indications are that it was successful. We will
work to produce more of these shows and continue to fine tune
the program.
Membership Cards - When PNP Mike Miller met
Israeli deputy Yosi Notkovitz, our new style membership card
was born. Yosis suggestion was a hard plastic card similar to a
credit card or hotel key a card that doesnt wear out and one that
you can be proud to show off to someone. We didnt want to stop
there; we also decided that the card should reflect our rich history
and feature past members of historical significance to the S.A.M.
Each year, another member from our past would be highlighted,
making the membership card a collectors item. We wanted to
take it even further; we are magicians, so shouldnt our membership card be magical? Each year we will incorporate a new magic
effect into the card.
This year I decided to feature past national president and
former M-U-M editor Milbourne Christopher. Mr. Christopher
certainly did a lot for the S.A.M. and the art of magic, and his
legacy lives on through the Milbourne Christopher Foundation.
The MCF presents their prestigious awards at the banquet of our
national convention. This year, Maurine Christopher, wife of
the late Milbourne, was the guest of honor for the Life Member
gathering. This is where the new membership cards were unveiled.
I hope you enjoy your new membership card; youll receive
it when you renew your membership. I am very excited about
the new magic effect within the card. M-U-M columnist Steve
Marshall was the creative force behind it, and I think youll have
fun with it.
We also added a new feature to the life members cards gold!
If you want the gold version of the membership card, contact our
life member chairperson Clem Kinnicutt at lifemembers@aol.
com. Also, if youd like to learn more about Milbourne Christopher you can read the article John Moehring wrote about him in
M-U-M on either our Web site or via the magicSAM app for the

8 M-U-M Magazine

iPhone/iPad/iPod touch.
Something for Everyone - We recently released
the first Smartphone app for a magic organization, magicSAM.
The response has been amazing. In just the first month it has
been downloaded approximately seven hundred times in eight
countries and installed on a thousand devices. Its only going to
get better, because we are diligently working on the next version!
We are also exploring porting the app over to other devices
such as Android and Blackberry. Whenever we work on a project
in the S.A.M., we always have to ask ourselves, Is this a good
thing for our members? There is no single program or service
that we provide our members that is a perfect fit for everyone.
Thats why we try to offer as many unique benefits as we can, so
there truly is something for everyone.
With magicSAM, we wanted to lead the way with the first
Smartphone app for a magic organization; we knew we were
going to have to focus on one platform. We chose Apples iOS
platform because of its market reach. The number of downloads
and installs weve had the first month validates that decision.
Please send us your feedback on ways to improve the app, or let
us know of other platforms you would be interested in. I cant
promise well be able to do everything thats requested, but we
will continue to strive to offer something for everyone.
Travel Tips - I travel a lot, and I travel with people who
travel a lot. I have picked up many travel tips through the years,
and I will periodically share them with you here. One of my
favorites is from Brad Sherwood. Brad is an improv artist who
was regularly featured on Whose Line is It Anyway; he is perpetually on tour with his improv partner Colin Mochrie. Brad likes a
dark hotel room at night and was frustrated with the gap between
the curtains covering the window. His solution? Take a hanger
out of the closet, the one with clips for pants. Use the clips to join
together the two curtains. Presto! You can now sleep in darkness.
If you want to see more of Brads genius, check out Two Man
Group on Amazon.com; its a DVD of Colin and Brads improv
Summer of Conventions Friends - The summer
is in full swing and so are magic conventions. Magic conventions
are not just great for the magic they provide, theyre also a great
way to catch up with friends you havent seen in a while.
Is it just me, or do we all go through the following cycle as a
magician? As a young magician we go to our first convention and
we dont miss a single event. We practice newly learned effects
between lectures, buy all that we can from the dealers room, and
leave with enough new things for two shows. Its all about the
magic. Then, as we get older and we go to conventions, we end
up missing events because were too involved in a conversation
with an old friend. The line-up of acts performing and lecturing
becomes secondary to the friends who will be attending. Its all
about our friends in magic.
To use PNP Mark Weidhaass line: You have a friend in the
S.A.M. I hope to see you at one of the conventions!

Vinny Grosso

S.A.M. National Officers

Dean: George Schindler, 1735 East 26th St.,
Brooklyn, NY 11229, (718) 336-0605, Fax (718)
627-1397, showbiz10@aol.com
President: Vinny Grosso, 270 Mansion St.,
Coxsackie, NY 12051 (518) 756-1891
President Elect: J. Christopher Bontjes, 2313
Atwood Ct., Danville, IL 61834 (217)431-4791
First Vice President: Dal Sanders, 3316
Northaven Rd, Dallas, TX 75229 (214) 902-9200,
Secretary: Marlene Clark, 435 Main Street,
Durham, CT 06422, (860) 349-8149,
Skype: marlene.clark, afuntime@comcast.net
Treasurer: Mary Ann Blowers, 3 Christopher
Bluffs Court, St. Louis, MO 63129 (314) 846-8468
maryblowers@aol.com Skype: maryan.blowers

Regional Vice Presidents

New England: CT MA RI NH ME VT
Tucker B. Goodman, 7 Evans Road, #2,
Marblehead, MA 01945, (617) 901-5187,
North Atlantic: NY NJ
Pat Colby, samrvppat@gmail.com
Mid Atlantic: PA DE MD VAWV DC
David W. Bowers, 169 Tobin Dr., Chambersburg,
PA 17201(717) 414-7574,
South Atlantic: FL AL GA MS NC SC
Rick Hinze, (770)471-7558, r.hinze@earthlink.net
Central Plains: KY TN OH IN MI
Jania Taylor, (231)242-8242, magicjat@bright.net
Jeff Sikora, 13023 Crown Point Ave., Omaha, NE
68164 (402)-339-6726, jqmagic@cox.net
South Cental States: TX AR OK NM LA
Jeff Lanes, (713)850-1770, jeffie@texasfilm.net
Southwest: CA AZ NV HI
Kenrick Ice McDonald, PO Box 341034,
Los Angeles, CA 90034 (310)-559-8968,
Northwest: WA OR UT ID CO AK WY MT
Michael Roth, (503)493-8316,
Shawn Farquhar, (604)936-1234,
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, Frank W. Dailey, Cesareo Pelaez,
David R. Goodsell, William E. Andrews, Robert
A. Steiner, Fr. Cyprian Murray, Michael D.
Douglass, George Schindler, Dan Rodriguez,
Dan Garrett, Donald F. Oltz Jr., Craig Dickson,
Loren C. Lind, Gary D. Hughes, Harry Monti,
Jann Wherry Goodsell, Warren J. Kaps, Ed
Thomas, Jay Gorham, John Apperson, Richard
M. Dooley, Andy Dallas, Maria Ibez, Bruce
Kalver, Mike Miller, Mark Weidhaas.

AUGUST 2011 9

An Open Letter to
All Magicians:
Save money while youre saving the world! In continuing
efforts to support United States Armed Forces, The Society of
American Magicians has recently begun offering discounted
membership fees to active military personnel. Active military
personnel have the opportunity to join or renew their membership in the S.A.M. at the reduced rate of $35.00 at www.societyofamericanmagicians.memberlodge.org/memberappSAM. This
membership includes monthly issues of M-U-M online and other
member benefits.
I was recently appointed by S.A.M. President Mark Weidhaas
to the position of Military Member Liaison. To make the new
program effective, I will need the help of every magician who is
or has been in the military or who knows someone who is.
Additionally, we are making every effort to connect new
military members with the nearest assembly. We encourage those
assemblies to extend personal and financial courtesies to the
military members. Please let us know about any incentives your
assembly offers to encourage participation by military personnel.
Future issues of M-U-M will make special mention of these
men and women who protect and serve Americans. Please help
me with this endeavor by sending me contact information for any
member of your assembly who is connected to any of the Armed
Forces so that I can introduce myself to them personally.
I sincerely thank you for helping us promote
this worthwhile endeavor. I believe this program
offers a win-win-win situation. It benefits the
new members, the assemblies, and magic!
Scott Hollingsworth,Military Member Liaison

Convention in
One Night 2011
Is it possible to have a magic convention in one night? Absolutely! May 3, 2011, marked the Rhode Island Societies of
Magicians fifth Convention in One Night, and it was a great
success. Bruce Kalver did a fantastic job of organizing the event,
which included close-up and stage shows, as well as lectures and
a dealer area. Many guests were
in attendance, including S.A.M.
President Mark Weidhaas and
Eric Jones, who was recently
featured in an M-U-M cover
The night opened with some
great close-up magic from
Mark Weidhaas and Eric Jones.
Mark, looking very dapper,
performed an excellent set of
magic. His performance was
both baffling and entertaining.
Eric performed some nice card

10 M-U-M Magazine

Updates From Our

S.A.M. Members

magic, and demonstrated his

skill with coins, performing much of the magic in the
spectators hands.
A quick break gave the
crowd some time to shop.
Diamonds Magic was the
main attraction in the dealer
area, with a large assortment
of books, videos, effects, and
props. Tony Karpinski was
Eric Jones
also on hand, displaying his
beautiful hand-crafted effects. As folks shopped, the professional
performers mingled with the crowd. Eric Jones was kind enough
to offer advice on a book purchase, giving his seal of approval.
There was plenty to learn from the evenings three lecturers.
Mark Weidhaas taught the history and secrets behind his highly
successful character, Inspector Magic. Mark was completely
comfortable going in and
out of character, switching
between performing and
teaching. He touched upon
character development and
the importance of family
magic. Mark also offered
tips on using a common
thread throughout your performance.
With twenty-three years
Tony Gangi
of experience, Bob Carroll
presented a great lecture
on performing school magic. He explained the business side of
magic, as well as audience management and keeping the adults
interested. The final lecturer, Eric Jones, taught some fantastic
close-up magic, including the
Invisible Cigarette, a truly
amazing effect, and a great
three-coin routine using ungimmicked coins.
During the course of the
evening, Mark Weidhaas
Citations to Bob Carroll and
Bruce Kalver for their many
years of dedication to the art
Bob Carroll
of magic.
The night ended with a great stage show. Bob Carroll opened
with a hilarious ventriloquism routine, even bringing Bruce
Kalver into the act. Vinny Grosso took a more serious approach,
performing magic with cards and silks. Getting back to the
humorous side was Tony Gangi and his whacky sideshow.
Mark Weidhaas brought us back to more traditional magic,
performing magic with money and changing the color of 45-rpm
records. Alexanderia is one of the few female escape artists in the
world, and she was kind enough to take the stage as well. Eric
Jones closed the show with a polished set of magic.
Huge thanks to Bruce Kalver for organizing everything, and
to all of the guests and performers who made this a most enjoyable
convention. Chris Natale

Society of American Magicians Monthly News


Volume 101, Number 3

Send your reportS to:


Paul Hallas Eric DeCamps. Because we

Schneider have many new members,
Lecturer Meir gave a beautiful history
of this lecture and the man it
New York, NY A honors. At times it was quite
visitor to the Magic Table for touching, because it came
many years, Albert Callus of from the heart. He then introAssembly 168 was in from duced the lecturer, Paul Hallas.
New Jersey with Marco and One nice thing was that Pauls
Tim Fortune this month. Marco lecture was filled with effects
did a beautiful effect with a that were within the abilities
key. We had a great time with of any of the fifty people who
them. They joined the regulars, attended the lecture. It was a
PP Jerry Oppenheimer and his wonderful lecture and night at
wife Lee, myself, Secretary the PA 1.Tom Klem
Pat Colby, and board members Parent Assembly One Meets
Jordan Linker, Rene Clement, the first Friday 8 PM at Mt.
and Richard Bossong. The Sinai Medical Center, 1425
Table meets Fridays from 12:30 Madison Avenue (96th Street),
on for lunch at the Edison Hotel New York, New York.
Caf on 47th Street between
7th and 8th Avenue in Times
Our monthly meeting was
held on June at Mount Sinai. SAN FRANCISCO, CA
President Ken Ferst was A second May meeting was
absent, so First VP Margaret scheduled inorder to have
Steele started meeting at 7:30. Aldo and Rachel Colombini
The first order of business lecture as part of their Final
was our annual election of the Tour. It was well worth the adBoard of Directors. This went ditional meeting, because the
very smoothly. Admissions Colombinis not only are great
Chairman Bob Friedhoffer magicians, they also have a
announced that we had two wonderful sense of humor.
new members to swear in. They The repartee between Rachel
were Ed Checkett and Jared and Aldo kept us laughing
Molton. Sworn in they were, while they baffled us with
welcomed by the assembly. their magic. Rachel was very
Then First VP Margaret Steele, open about her recent major
producer of this years Salute, surgery and thanked us for our
gave signed posters from thoughts, prayers, and contriour Salute staring Thomas butions.
Our regular June meeting had
Solomon to all those who
worked so hard on this years an excellent teaching portion;
show. Bill Gleason was singled the subject was false shuffles
out with an award and a special and false cuts. Corky LeVallee
award was given to Thomas began with a number of false
Solomon to a nice round of shuffles that to the uninitiapplause. George Silverman ated looked like the real thing.
announced a special workshop. Similarly, the false cuts had the
Other committee reports were appearance of true deck cutting
given. The meeting was then but did nothing to rearrange
the cards. Rich Sequine added
ended with ritual.
The after-meeting event a few cuts to round out the
was The Willie Schneider teaching program.
The theme for the magic was
Memorial Lecture produced
by Meir Yedid. Meir Yedid twofold. Since we held an
was introduced by PA 1 Dean auction at the May meeting,

members could show tricks

that they bought atthe auction
or tricks purchased from the
Colombinis. Corky showed
Deans Box, Rob Shapiro
presented the Needle through
Balloon, and Hippo Lau did
a nice presentation of a giant
Three Card Monte. The Colombiniswere represented by Jack
Langdell doing Restless Cards,
Stu Bacon showing Mind
Reading Past and Present, and
Walt Johnson doing a nice
multiple cut and restored rope.
The others brought magic
of their choosing: Rich and
Bob Kuhn did great things
with cards, Bill Langell did a
mental effect with pennies, and
Tamaka made a card disappear
from a metal box and appear
in a previously shown empty
canister. The interesting aspect
of Tamakas presentation was
that the two pieces of apparatus
were well over seventy-five
years old and were recently
restored to working condition.
The evening was further
enhanced by cookies that
Corky brought. They disappeared without any false
shuffles, cuts, or other sleights.
Stu Bacon
Golden Gate Assembly 2 meets
the first Wednesday at 7:30
PM in the Community Room
of the Taravel Police Station,
2345 24th Ave. San Francisco.
Contact: Tamaka. 415 5319332,Tamaka3715@aol.com




In June, over one hundred

members and their guests
attended our annual banquet,
which featured an amazing
array of talent. Following the
cocktail hour, during which we
were treated to the keyboard
magic ofRalph Armstrong,
everyone enjoyed a sumptuous
buffet dinner. After dinner,
Assembly 4 Dean Professor

Rem handed out the trophies to

those individuals who placed
first, second, and third in the
close-up and stage contests
this year. He then presented the
prestigious Charles H. Hopkins
award to long-time Assembly
4 member Charles Murter a
gentleman in every sense of
the word. A round of applause
was then given to outgoing
President Ed Hanisco for all of
his hard work this year as he
passed the gavel and wand on
to incoming President Ralph

Stuart Rudnick,
our emcee for the evening

After the award ceremony, the

stage show began, for which
Stuart Rudnick ably served
as the masters of ceremonies.
The first act consisted of a
dazzling number of effects
performed in lightning fast
succession by surprise guests
Arlen Solomon, Eric Lampert,
PNP Dick Gustafson, Ed
Hanisco, Bob Little, Professor
Rem, Reba Strong, Jeff Carson,
Tom Ewing, Joe Mogar, and Al
Lloyd. Following this array
of talented performers, Sam
Sandler took to the stage and
performed a colorful, dazzling,
fast paced act involving the
production of silks, dyed dove,s
and streamers before ending
with a very funny mouth coil
production with the assistance

AUGUST 2011 11

of audience member Ed Cohen.
Matthews then performed a
beautiful silk act set to music,
which included the production
of multiple doves and culminated with their transformation
into an adorable white rabbit.
Next, George Hample wowed
the crowd with his very own
torn and restored M-U-M effect
followed by an amazing milk
vanish and reappearance inside
a lighted table lamp. Finally,
Jim Daly ended the show with
his signature comedy bill
in lemon effect, which had
everyone in hysterics. Without
question, the 2011banquet was
one of the best we have ever
had. Peter Cuddihy
James Wobensmith Assembly
4 meets third Thursday at 7:00
p.m. at the Bustleton Memorial
Post, 810 (American Legion)
9151 Old Newtown Road. Information: www.sam4.org/

of shiny stuff from her bag of

tricks. She was in the running
for the prize just by wearing
the right outfit! Each member
of the audience received a
Diamond Pin (a dime and pin).
Jeff Sikora brought Aaron
Pierce out of the audience and
was graced by a shiny hat and
scarf that Jeff used to baffle us.
Bruce Jacoby performed one of
the most amazing feats I have

Time to

Omaha, NE To open
the meeting President Larry
Brodahl started this years
series of Find a book in our
library/ perform the trick/
explain it/tell us what book its
in with an illusion from The
Amazing Book of Magic and
Card Tricks by Tremayne.
This month we had a contest
with a $50 prize. The theme
was Shiny, but this was left
to interpretation and was most
interesting to note how each of
ten performers interpreted the
The order was determined
by random drawing; first up
was Pete Petrashek with the
shiniest mirror Ive ever seen.
With his help a scarf and
ball de-materialized into and
behind the mirror. Tom Neddo
performed Waterfall, during
which his shiny cups kept the
water from falling on our Presidents head. Johnny Impossible
did a Coins Across routine with
shiny coins. Bob Buczkowski
entertained with a string and
(shiny) ring routine one of his
signature effects.
President Larry Brodahl
presented a larger (shiny) ring
and string routine. Denny
Rourke did a shiny cup and
water routine he called Aqua
Binaca and didnt wet the
rug. Roger Reese performed
Jackrobats, in which cards
turned into shiny mirrors.
Joyce Chleboun produced tons

12 M-U-M Magazine

Bruce Jacoby

ever witnessed! After setting

up his sound system, with the
push of one button the lights
went out in the entire building
(and the tornado sirens started
to wail). After the audience
first found a safe place, we
managed to reassemble and
talked Bruce into completing
his act. Is it no surprise that
he won the contest? If you
hire him for a performance,
you should ask him to perform
this effect. Better yet contact
Bruce and ask if he will sell
you the technique. He won $50.
Jerry Golmanavich
meets on the third Monday of
most months at the Southwest
Church of Christ, 124th St. and
W. Center Rd. - Across from



Cincinnati, OH The
June meeting of the Queen City
Mystics Assembly 11 was a joint
summer picnic with the I.B.M.
Ronald Haines Ring 71. It was
held at a lodge and picnic area
at Lake Isabella in Loveland,
Ohio, on a beautiful springlike day. It was afternoon of
games, fellowship, adults entertaining kids, kids entertaining adults, magic yard sale/flea
market, and raffle. A picnic
dinner was catered by Micki

Plyes and Betty Winzig. This

was followed by the evening
entertainment the War of
the Wizards a showdown
between S.A.M. and I.B.M.
First up was Chuck Arkin
(I.B.M.) who performed a
funny escape routine involving
a spectator and his wife, who
pleaded his case. He did successfully free himself from
the locked stocks. Don Hinton
(S.A.M.) performed a series
of effects, beginning with
appearing and disappearing
coins and silks, a card effect
with a prediction, and then a
three prediction effect using
random coins and a young
spectator in orange athletic
Frank Johnston (I.B.M.)
clever silk magic routine. It
included cane to silk, rose to
silk, disappearing black silk,
silk to candle, and disappearing candle. This was followed
by a change bag routine where
several colored silks turn into
a long, long and wide multicolored silk ribbon. Denny
Metz (S.A.M.) had two volunteers select a card and they
then transmitted their selection
to the other via a clothesline
attached to two plungers on top
of their heads a very funny
bit. He then has a spectator
select a card and the deck of
cards disappeared in the spectators hand, leaving him with
his chosen card.

D. Metz, F. Johnston, D. Hinton,

P. Delholt, C. Arkin,
P. Thermes

Paul Delholt (aka Presto Paul)

performed an Ambitious Card
routine with a blank deck of
cards, completely mystifying a
young spectator. He then had a
spectator randomly (by thirds)
cut a deck of cards and came up
with nine cards representing a
phone number of the spectators soul mate. The phone
number was Pauls!
Patrick Thermes (S.A.M.)
produced a coke bottle and

then vanished it in a paper

bag. He then performed a
card effect with a poker hand
changing from an Ace high to
a royal flush. Last he mystified
a young spectator with a
magically written message on a
chalkboard. The War was won
by I.B.M. Ring 71. Assembly
11 is eagerly awaiting next
years War!John Martini
Queen City Mystics, SAM
Assembly 11 generally meets
on the 2nd Friday of the month
at Haines House of Cards in
Cincinnati, Ohio.


David Hira
Lectures and

Dallas, TX David Hira

presented a lecture on the art of
being a master of ceremonies
(emcee), then demonstrated
these techniques by introducing the performers for the
night. The first performer of
the evening was Geoff Grimes.
Geoff performed his Chinese
Sticks routine, followed by an
anniversary-themed trick. Two
spectators were handed a stack
of large cards, with values
such as listen to each other.
Each spectator shuffled their
stack and set one card aside.
They then went through the
shuffled cards one at a time
to see how compatible their
values were. Unfortunately for
the newlyweds, only two of
the five sets matched. Fortunately, the cards set aside at the
beginning were emergency
cards, one reading Give her
your first paycheck and the
other and every one thereafter
The second performer was
Brad Ingle. Five card pairs
were selected. The two sets of
cards were shuffled, and Brad
then proceeded to spell out the
phrase Will the faces match?
by transferring cards from the
top to the bottom of the stack.
A spectatorwas allowed at any
time during the process to call
out SWITCH! causing Brad
to switch to the opposite stack
and continue spelling. At the
end of the phrase, the top cards
of each stack were set aside as
a pair. After all five pairs were
dealt out, each was displayed to
show that they were identical
The third performer was
Ian Richards. The Ten of
Diamonds was selected by a
spectator and replaced in the
deck. Multiple attempts to find

the card, including the assistance of a mouse, resulted in
selection of the Two of Hearts.
Ian eventually destroyed the
offending card, and asked
Nathan Himes to step up and
select another card from the
deck. Nathan, of course, found
the Ten of Diamonds! Ian then
asked Nathan to wave a wand
over the deck, and suddenly all
of the cards in the deck were
the Ten of Diamonds.
The final performer was
Daryl Sprout, the Magical
Daryl performed a number of
effects, all centered around
his favorite creatures snakes.
Effects included wand to
snake, balloon to snake, and
even launching a giant snake
into the audience. David Hira
wrapped the show, and then
held a question/answer session
about the night and about
emceeing in general.
Dallas Magic Club Assembly
13meets the third Tuesday
of each Month at 7 p.m.
Community Center www.dallasmagic.orgfor directions.
Check out the Dallas Magic
Club on Facebook!

All in all it was a great

evening of fun, friends, and
magic. Until we meet again
John Bryant
Sam 16 meets every first
Monday of the month at the
magic barn in Ashland, MA.
For more information contact
Ken Maynard at Maddjic195@


Card Magic
Never Gets Old



Jeff Prozyca started off the

night with a great card club
sandwich and then did a Jim
Pace version of Oil and Water.
Rich Gilberts use of doublebacked cards caused a King of
Clubs to switch to a King of
Hearts in the spectators hand.
He then showed us the new
Houdini vanish card escape.
Ed Kazar amazed us using Jim
Sistis Mixed Symbols ESP
routine. PJ Pinsonnault did a
nice Ace production, spelling
out the Ace of Clubs, and then
he showed us another card club
sandwich, only in slow motion.
Rich Pinsonault had four
Queens traveling with Larry
Jenningss Simple Stencil.
Conrad McIntyre made it look
Rachel & Aldo easy with a lazy man, any
Columbinis card, any number, using just
Farewell Tour the Two through Nine. Dave
Dimock performed the Third
Ashland, MA Mondays Choice by Corinda, and Tom
meeting was none other than Gentile finished up with Cody
were Fishers comedy card predictwenty-five members and tion, tearing up a card over and
guests present. We enjoyed over again.
Later in the month, Aldo
a wonderful meal provided
by Peter Lentros and then and Rachel Colombini came
proceeded to enjoy our to visit for a spell, stopping
evening with Rachel and Aldo by on their Farewell Tour. We
Columbini presenting their learned so many new and easy
farewell tour. They will still be tricks. Rachel impressed us
lecturing but not on a full-time all with her beautiful paper
basis. During their fantastic cup and ball routine and Aldo
magic lecture, they also shared kept us laughing with every
some details about Rachels trick. This was their third visit
heart surgery last year and to our assembly. We will miss
how amazing her recovery has them, because they always
brought us great magic, lots
The evening included, but was of fun, and wonderful stories.
not limited to, ESP predictions, Next month well be heading
rope routines, a new twist on out for our annual Summer
the ring and rope, the book test, Sizzler Picnic at Look Park.
card magic, and the spectacular Karen L. Gibson
disappearing thumb tip!
Dr. I.R. Caulkins Assembly #17
During intermission, we meets the first Friday of every
were treated with strawberry month at 7 pm at the Grand
shortcake provided by Peter Meadows Tennis Club, Dwight
Lentros. The rest of the evening Road, East Longmeadow, MA
was magical, as Rachel and www.assembly17.org
Aldo concluded their lecture
by sharing more magic and
Knowing Your
stories about their travels and



Houston, TX In June, so we could get right into

Phil Kampf presented an the evenings highlight the
overview of magical presenta- Farewell lecture by Aldo and
tion as the teach-in session. One Rachel Colombini! We were
of the top items Phil kept men- privileged to host their only
tioning was that you must
know your character. One
needs to know how he is
going to act and what his
response is going to be to
situations and questions.
Phil recommended that
taking a class in theater
at one of the working
theaters in town would be
very helpful. Phils many
years of working as a professional magician along
with his theater backJason Abate counts cards into Aldos
ground were very evident
palm. (Steve Wronker photo)
in his presentation. Bill
Palmer shared some very
valuable lessons learned as Connecticut appearance. They
he developed his Merlin the were quick to stress that they
Magician character over time. were not retiring from magic,
Bill of course perfected the just from touring.
Merlin character that was so
This was a wonderful talk,
widely known at the Texas starting with a champagne toast
Renaissance Festival. We had to Rachel. In between tricks we
lots of audience interaction and were told stories of their being
this topic went over very well. on the road, the details behind
Thanks Phil for sharing this in- Rachels successful surgery,
and a few gag tricks (for
The annual Memorial Day example, vanishing a thumb
BBQ at Dr. Rex Cragos home tip), and some giveaways.
was another hit with over The highlights of the lecture
sixty peope in attendance. In were: Zodiac Code, in which
addition to the fine food, there a color linked to a spectawas some great magical en- tors birthday is predicted; An
tertainment presented by Alex Empty Envelope, a gag preRangel and John Star, among diction effect; a cute cut-andothers.
restored rope routine that goes
Eric Evans stopped into by the prosaic name of Cutting
Houston on May 10 to present The Rope In Three; Five-Card
a fine lecture that was well Mystery, wherein a blank card
attended. If you get the chance vanishes among red cards;
to see him perform, you will not Ring On Rope, using, believe
want to pass it up. Please visit it or not, a scrunchy, to remove
houstonmagic.com to keep up a ring but leave the knot; A
with all the latest magical hap- Mental Trick, in which one card
penings in the Houston area.
chosen from a pile matches the
We wish to thank our prediction; Cidentaquin, which
magical performers for the uses ESP cards to find the four
June meeting. They were matches to a spectators chosen
Bill Palmer, John Star, Gene card; Stranger In Paradise,
Protas, David Hinken, Rick wherein a choice is revealed
Hebert, Phil Kampf, David as the only red in a blue deck;
Rangel, Sigmund Potocki, and Houdini Card, in which a card
escapes from two rubberAlex Rangel. Miles Root
SAM 19 meets the first bands and a square of tinfoil;
Monday of every month at the Three-Way Miracle Prediction,
IATSE Local 51 Meeting Hall, in which the final composition
3030 North Freeway, Houston, of three card piles is predicted;
TX. A teaching lecture begins Jumbo Prediction, a stunner in
at 7:30 pm with the meeting which a selected card matches
a jumbo card, but the deck
beginning at 8:00 pm.
proves to consists of duplicates
THE COLOMBINIS of an entirely different card;
IN CONNECTICUT Restless Colors, in which a
pack of duplicates change their
West Hartford, CT back colors, then become Aces;
The club decided to waive Tri-Color Cups and Balls, as
our regular business meeting performed by Rachel it uses


AUGUST 2011 13

no balls, just rolled-up colored
tissue, with a surprise ending.
Dana Ring
Bill Greenough Assembly #21
meets 2nd Monday (except
December) at Angelos on
Main in West Hartford, CT.

internationally. David also

performs magic in the classic
style. His top hat and cane
quickly became a table as
he did a short silk knotting
routine. Zerbel then performed
a ball manipulation and multiplying ball effect. His act
concluded with his own threeASSEMBLY 22 80 ring routine.
YEARS OLD Southern California Assembly
22 meets the 3rd Monday each
Los Angeles. CA The month at 8:00 P.M., St. Thomas
Southern California Assembly Moore Parish Hall, 2510 So.
22 celebrated its 80th anniver- Fremont Ave., Alhambra, CA
sary at its annual banquet on Information: 213/382-8504
June 12, 2011. It was again held
at Stevens Steak & Seafood in
Talent and
the City of Commerce, a few
miles southeast of downtown
Los Angeles. A fine meal was Providence, RI The
enjoyed by everyone after an warm weather has finally
early cocktail hour. After the arrived, and so has the annual
meal, toastmaster and show RISMs Got Talent contest.
emcee, John Engman, began Before the contest, Jeff Smith
the program with the installa- taught several Aldo Colombini
tion of the 2011-2012 assembly packet tricks. Jeff is always fun
officers and directors.
to watch, and a great instrucPNP Ed Thomas conducted tor to boot. And, he was nice
the ceremony to install our enough to donate the tricks to
new officers. Immediate Past the clubs monthly raffle.
President Bill Yamane gave a
With a quick break, it was
short valedictory address and time to start the talent show.
incoming President Jim Callen Round one of the contest pitted
presented a very amusing ac- Dan Cipolla against Jeff Smith,
ceptance speech as he begins Andrew Cipolla against Ed Hill,
what typically is a two-year and Cameron Ramsay against
term in office. Our assembly Sean Dale. Dans card and coin
has always been fortunate to to orange were two really nice
have competent and dedicated effects. Jeff performed a great
card routine using magic paint.
The 80th anniversary gala The routine is well thought out,
show opened with the colorful and flows nicely through each
and fast-moving act of Stoil & phase. Andrew inserted his cell
Ekatrina. Set to music, Stoil & phone into a balloon, and then
Ekatrina present a very unique made an amazing cell phone
act. Ted Suds Sudbrack was call. Eds entry was the most
our next performer and, as ambitious, performing magic
always, it was full of humor and with the Statue of Liberty.
fun. Suds is a long-time Los Cameron did some great rose/
Angeles area performer and napkin magic, while Sean enmagic
manufacturer/dealer. tertained the crowd with a great
Sudss paper tearing tricks rendition of Coins Across.
The judges voted, and only
have become classics. His
repeat Anderson Newspaper three contestants remained.
Tear was not only funny, it was Round two pitted Dan, Ed,
a baffler. The third performer, and Cameron in a three-way
David Benitez, aka Marsan, battle. Dan performed a rising
attired in a tuxedo and por- card poster, Ed selected magic
traying the image of a classic with an Egyptian theme, and
magician, opened with a card Cameron performed some ESP.
manipulation routine and card The judges were left with the
fan productions. Picking coins difficult task of eliminating
from the air, he then presented one contestant.
Round three gave us Dan
a nice Misers Dream coin production. Marsan finished his against Cameron, in a battle
act with a very smooth linking to the finish. Dans Not Knot
ring routine and the now seldom Silks was a real crowd pleaser,
seen Zombie floating ball. A but ultimately Cameron would
take the prize with a fantastic
class act in every respect.
Closing the show was David monster card production.
Thanks to Jeff Smith, the
Zerbel, another Los Angeles
magician who has performed judges, and all of the contes-



14 M-U-M Magazine

tants for making this a great

evening. Chris Natale
C. Foster Fenner, Assembly 26
meets first Tuesday each month
from September to June at 7
pm at the American Legion
Auburn Post 20, 7 Legion Way,
Cranston, RI.


Building a

program director, Debbie
Leifer, hosted the post-dinner
performance. Dan Garrett
was our first performer. He
mystified the audience with
linking rubber bands and torn
and restored rubber bands. We
are looking forward to his professional development session
on rubber bands next month.
Preston Turner, son of Joe
Turner, showed us his magical
rock that magnifies objects,
which he got at a science
museum. It was an interesting
piece and we were glad to have
Preston visiting with us.
Joe Turner could not afford a
Dean Dill box, so he used his
hands instead and made a red
and white rope link together.
He also had his deck of cards
do a trick for him by allowing
the spectator to perform all the
magic. Joe had a card chosen
for him and the spectator also
had a card chosen. Both cards
were found at the end.
Joe Morrison brought a light
board with various colored
lights and switches. The corresponding light would light with
the same color switch even
when the bulbs or switches
were mixed.
Jim Mangham had his wife set
up a trick with a red deck and a
blue deck. He had the red deck
cut several times until only one
card remained. When the blue
deck was opened, the matching
card had an X inscribed on it.
Daryl Berman presented a ring
and string effect by pulling the
ring from the string when it
was attached by a knot. He also
borrowed a flip phone; when
the string was inside the phone,
music would play.
Our Professional Development series continued with
John Miller presenting how
to routine your effects. He
presented one of his favorite
effects, Roy Waltons Cascade,
just as a trick, then presented
it again with a routine he
developed that suited his style
of presentation. John also
handed out suggestions for

building a routine, as well as

several references for those
who wished to pursue this
On Saturday, June 18, we held
an initiation for four of our
members, Jim Driscoll, Mal
Simpson, Martin Baratz, and
Rory Gullion. It was a very
meaningful ceremony, with refreshments afterward. Now, if
we can just get the goat back in
the cage. Carol Garrett
Atlanta Society of Magicians,
Julian V. Boehme/Walter S.
Bell Assembly #30 Meets
the second Thursday at
& North Druid Hills Rd.
For more info: Web site:



We were one of the lucky assemblies who were a stop on
Aldo and Rachel Colombinis
Farewell Tour. Thirty-five
attendees helped make this one
of our best-attended meetings
in quite some time. After a
brief summary of happenings
in Aldo and Rachels lives, we
were treated to several hours
of magic and fun. Rachels
performance of Zodiac Code
was wonderful. An Empty
Envelope was a great prediction effect by Aldo. The entire

Rachel and Aldo Colombini

entertain Assembly 35

night was filled with a lot of

between the duo. We enjoyed
card effects, rope tricks,
amazing feats of mentalism,
and so much more. Between
effects were treated to the
jokes you would expect when
Aldo and Rachel are performing. They have a wonderful

rapport and kept us laughing
all night long. If you have the
opportunity to see them on
their last lecture tour, put it on
your calendar you wont be
disappointed. Thank you Aldo
and Rachel for a terrific night
of magic. Assembly members,
be sure to check out the Web
site for more information on
our revised summer schedule.
Craig Kunaschk
Al Baker Assembly No. 35
(usually) meets at 7:30 p.m.
on the second Tuesday of the
month at the Milanese Italian
Restaurant, 115 Main Street,
Poughkeepsie, NY. Check out
our website at compumagic.
com/sam35 to confirm time
and meeting location.



Denver, CO A number
of children attended our June
special guests of the Mile High
Emcee and club president
Connie Elstun got things off to
a perfect start by introducing
us to members of the cast of her
Bunny and Birdie Magic Show.
We were particularly pleased
with participation by some new
members of our club, including
Lewis Peacock. Lewis thrilled
the audience by pouring
different colored liquids from
the same teapot. There was an
explanation, however, because
dry handkerchiefs the same
color as the liquid were pulled
from the teapot. Next up was
club member Inspector Magic,
aka PNP Mark Weidhaas.
Mark featured highlights from
his show, including something
that only the grandparents in
the audience knew about
records that changed colors.
Mark also featured a cool
trick with colored pom-poms
changing places and a card
trick that used a large number
of assistants.
New member Michele Lutz
also used a number of assistants to psychically find some
colored stones hidden in their
hands and to make a rod change
colors. The Amazing Dave
Elstun introduced members
of the audience to a stoplight
that creates mass confusion by
flashing the same color in all
directions. He finished with a
see-through egg storage bag
from which eggs appeared and
disappeared. Bringing it all to

Mark Weidhaas performing a

segment of his Inspector
Magic show

a hilarious finish was the team

of Jeff and Karen Wake. Jeff
took on the role of a princess
looking for an elusive dragon.
The dragon turned up on the
back of a child assistant playing
the part of a knight.
As if this wasnt enough,
Karen Wake then treated
everyone to her delicious
Connie hung several baby
pictures of Mile High members
on a board and everyone had
to guess who they were. Add
on face-painting and balloons
and it was a great evening.
We also raffled a ticket to the
Magic in the Rockies convention coming up in Fort Collins,
Colorado, the second weekend
of September. Dave Elstun
SAM Assembly 37 is The Mile
High Magicians Society and
meets on the 2nd Thursday
at 7:00 P.M. in the RiverPointe Senior Community,
5225 South Prince St. Denver,
CO 80123. Our Website is
w w w. m i le h ig h m a g ic i a n s .
com. Connie Elstun is the
President her E-mail address is


Watches, or

Ft. Lauderdale, FL The

themes for our June meeting
were Clocks/Watches/Cards,
or Blocks, or Mentalism, or
Science Magic.
President Billy Byron emceed
the proceedings. First up was
Mark Horowitz, who brought
some gaffed cards and wallets
from his collection. Anyone
who knows Mark knows of
his extensive magic collec-

tion. Peter Fox ate part of a

card and then spat it back on.
He then blew a hole in a card
and moved it around the card.
It was weird to see.
Gene Fein did a card control
in which a selected card became
the only one in the deck facing
the opposite direction; it then
changed into a different color
back. Mel Panzer did a four
card mental selection with the
cards also being the only ones
facing in the opposite direction
in the deck at the end. Sid
Marcus performed a mental
clock-setting stunt in which the
spectator set the dial on a clock
and it matched the predicted
clock setting previously set by
Sid on another clock.
Al Hernandez, a street
magician visitor, performed
several outstanding card flourishes with the four Aces, even
though they were mixed into
the deck by several spectators. Michael Easler brought
his friend Woody to do some
ventriloquism. Woody was
hilarious. Emcee Billy Byron
also brought a friend, Antonio
The Great, a puppet squirrel
who performed several tricks
for the crowd. All in all, it was
a fun night. Billy Byron
Assembly 49 meets second
Wednesday - 7:30 Margate
City community Center.


Magic Day

Nashville, TN Gene
Anderson and David Sandy
were the stars of our Magic
Day. It all started with a kick-off
lecture by Joe Turner from
Atlanta. Saturday began with a
lecture from Stephen Bargatze,
with lectures from David
Sandy, and Gene Anderson to
follow later in the day. There
was also a time during which
attendees were allowed to get
up and do a trick that they had
been working on and receive
tips from a panel made up of
the acts that were booked for
Magic Day as well as some of
the other attendees.Two who
participated were Tim Grant
of Memphis and Ed Riply of
Knoxville; both had really put
a lot of work into their acts and
in doing so got lots out of the
session. Thanks to them and
the others who took part.
Just over two hundred people
enjoyed a great Saturday night
show, performed by Gene
Anderson and friends. Lets be
honest, you just cant go wrong

when you have Gene Anderson

on the bill. Everyone loves
Gene that face, that look, that
talent, and he is still single, go
figure. He did his paper act, of
course; it is still great to watch
and has been updated with a
lot of new and good jokes that
all fit Gene perfectly. He also

Gene Anderson lecture

performed the preacher act,
and since we were meeting in
a church, it just seemed right.
David Sandy, after having two
performers do acts similar
to what he had planned, put
together a great set. He went
to the dealers table, good
for them, bought a couple
of classics and wowed the
audience, both the laymen and
the magicians who were there.
Joe Turner started the show,
Wayne Clemons did a great job
of emceeing the show and also
doing the award winning act
of Out Source with his life
partner Shank Kothare. Thanks
to Mike Pyle, Trix, Tim, Shank
, and Dick for all the hard work
they put in. Kevin King offered
prizes for anyone who could be
the first to yell out what animal
he was making with his unique
balloons arts; there were no
winners. Stephen Bargatze
Music City Mystics meets third
Tuesday at 7:00PM at the Its
Magic! Theater, Hermitage.


of Officers


2, 2011, Brother John Hamman
Assembly 52 held its annual Installation of Officers Banquet
at the Spaghetti Warehouse.
Moravits planned a great
evening of fun, food, and entertainment. Don welcomed
members and their guests as
they dined on Italian Cuisine.
A big thank you goes out
to Geoffrey and Tabitha
Sadowski for providing their

AUGUST 2011 15

the month at La
Madeleine Restaurant, located
at 722 N.W. Loop
410. The restaurant is inside Loop
410 on the access
Blanco Rd. and
San Pedro. For
From Left: Joe Libby-President, Geoffrey Sadowski-Vice President, Don Moravits-Outgoing
President, Doug Gorman-Secretary/Treasurer,
George Castillo-Sergeant-At-Arms.

famous strawberry cheesecake

for dessert, and to Doug and
Fran Gorman for setting up the
stage, sound, and lights. Don
Moravits conducted the Installation of Officers Ceremony.
Congratulations to our new
officers: Joe Libby President,
Geoffrey Sadowski Vice
President, Doug Gorman
Secretary/Treasurer, and
George Castillo Sergeant-atArms. Don then recognized
several members for their contribution to the assembly for this
year with certificates of appreciation: to David Hira, for entertaining Assembly 52 at this
banquet; to Dwayne Stanton
and Geoffrey Sadowski for
rejuvenating and leading the
S.Y.M.; to Doug Gorman and
Michael Tallon for assisting
Assembly 52 beyond the call of
duty; to Dahnene Moravits for
providing continuing support
to her husband; and to Fran
Gorman for publishing the
monthly newsletter. President
Joe Libby then presented Don
Moravits with a plaque of appreciation for his unselfish
service to Assembly 52.
Our entertainer for the
evening was David Hira from
Dallas. David is a world-class,
full-time professional, having
performed in such prestigious
locations as Caesars Palace,
The White House, and on
cruise ships on the Mediterranean Sea. He has also made
thirty-six television appearances. David provided an awesome
show for our assembly, filled
with magic and comedy.
Thanks, David, for a wonderful
Assembly 52 meets at 7:30
p.m. on the first Thursday of

16 M-U-M Magazine



Dayton, OH

It was a very busy

May for Assembly
56. First, the assembly took
a road trip up to Canton,
Ohio, for The International
Battle of Magicians! Twenty
compeers and two guests made
the trip. What a great turnout
for the assembly. Plus, it was a
fantastic convention! It was my
first time at The Battle and Im
planning on going back.
Then, two weeks later, we
had our regularly scheduled
meeting. The theme this
month was Card Magic Using
Apparatus. What a fun theme
by Oran Dent! All kinds of
great magic and history was
presented by Oran, Thurman
Smith, Marvin Griswold, Fred
Witwer, Barb Pfeifer, Paul
Burnham, Stan Goode, Scott
Miller, Matt Stanley, Dave
Davis, and guest John Love.
Stan also provided fantastic
refreshments. Fun was had by
all! Paul D. Burnham
Dayton, Ohio, Assembly 56
meets third Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Location varies, so call Barb
Pfeifer for information: (937)


Jay Sankey

MI Friendly, warm, and
down to earth, Jay Sankey
started by talking about the
importance of interacting
with people, to have fun with
people. His lecture consisted of
three forms of close-up magic:
traditional magic, mentalism,
and bending.
He started with a very funny
card trick, in which three
selected cards were mysteriously eaten by the four Queens.
Then came a mentalism trick
in which a card was picked;

Jay Sankey with

Marvin Mathena (Treasurer)

the prediction was a red card,

and then the chosen card ended
up with the volunteers name
written on it. For an example
of bending, Jay showed a
plastic spoon, turned it around
a couple of times, and showed
that the spoon had a twist in it.
Jay also had plenty of other
examples of his creative magic
a lot of it was his older stuff,
but updated, with a few things I
had never seen before. Overall,
it was a great lecture and a
great night for the AAMC!
Randy A. Smith
Hank Moorehouse Assembly
Wednesday 7pm Faith Lutheran
Church, 1255 E Forest Ave,
Ypsilanti, MI. Randy A. Smith,
or visit www.aamagic.org for
more details.



Vancouver, Canada

The June meeting was held

at the home of Ray Roch in
Tsawwassen, who fired up his
BBQ for a spouses welcome
patio cookout. While Ray was
in charge of the BBQ, his wife
Pat was pretty well in charge of
everything else, and together

they organized a fabulous

sumptuous club meal.
The magic theme for the
evening was Carnival Magic,
which reflects Rays involvement in the carnival in the past
with his classic Flim Flam
Foolery act. Up first, Lon
Mandrake portrayed himself as
a fortune teller in his presentation of Destiny Magic, in which
Linda Henriksen happened to
pick the only two red cards out
of an entire deck of blue cards.
Rod Chow presented a midway
game of chance with Linda
Mandrake; although she had
several opportunities to win
the big bucks, each time Linda
ended up with only ten cents.
Jens Henriksen had a word
selected from a number of
torn out pages of a book,
and that word matched a
word chosen in a dictionary
by another volunteer. Neale
Bacon confirmed that his
favorite part of a carnival is
the food, and showed various
food items commonly found at
carnivals. After Neale had Jens
eliminate the items one by one,
it turned out that Jens ended up
with the bill for all the food.
Dennis Hewson took everyone
to the carnival sideshow and
performed a Sword through
Neck routine. Dave Watters
demonstrated the effectiveness
of a squeaker device, and then
took an instant mini picture
of Lon Mandrakes thought-of
Michael Glenister showed
some attractive and fun color
changing light-sabers. Henry
Tom portrayed the carnival
conman with a Three Card
Monte routine. Rick Mearns
performed a lie detector test
and ended up matching Linda
Mandrakes card to his prediction. Lon closed the evening by
returning with a mini sideshow
illusion of the Finger Chopper,
with Trevor Watters risking his
finger. Rod Chow
The Carl Hemeon Assembly
No. 95 meets the first
Tuesday of each month at


Ray Roch hosts

pre-summer BBQ


yours truly won the attendance
award at our May meeting, we
immediately jumped into the
performance portion of the
meeting with Doug Kovacich

starting us off with a spiral
disk that seemed to make Rick
Allens get larger and then
smaller for those who gazed
at the disk. Immediately after,
Zappo (thats me) performed a
cut-and-restored rope routine
that included a sweet method
of constructing a set of ropes
to perform The Professors
Nightmare right in front of the
audience. Then Bob Holdridge
performed two prediction
routines with, as usual, his
well-crafted props
And Roy Porfido managed to
capture a wild white balloon
behind bars in a shoebox-sized
cage. With the help a fiveyear-old guest spectator, Roy
burst the balloon and turned it
visibly into a cute little version
of Pep Le Pew.
At that point, Jerry Barrilleaux penetrated a pencil
through both a dollar bill and
a lottery selection ticket in an
effort to find the lucky winning
numbers. It turned out the
dollar bill was completely
unharmed from the penetration
of the pencil.

Following a brief pizza break,

Jerry Barrilleaux explained
the Trick of the Month, during
which he provided us with
an exceptionally well made
set of sticks, made from
timbers from his grandfathers
diamond mine. Although both
sides of first one stick and later
another were shown blank, by
saying the magic word Jerry
was able to make diamonds
appear at will, jump back and
forth between the sticks, and
disappear just as fast as he
had initially produced them.
And, as usual with this feature,
members present received
these props for free.
During the mini-lecture that
ended the meeting, Zappo
(thats still me) had a discussion
about several aspects of performing the cut-and-restored
rope and a direct follow-up of
The Professors Nightmare.
Larry Wright
Diablo Assembly No. 112
meets third Wednesdays at the
Round Table Pizza in Concord.



Champaign, IL The

Roy Porfido has young helper

pop balloon

The person from whom Jerry

had obtained the miracle just
performed was Mike Della
Penna, the President of the
Oakland Magic Circle, who
followed with a dazzling act
that included an Okito coin-box
routine, a four-Ace routine, a
matrix routine, a giant-sized
coin production, and (with the
help of his blindfolded card
duck) the finding of a selected
Following that performance,
Jerry Barrilleaux demonstrated the Trick of the Month
(which he explained later in the
evening after the guests had
left). Chris Roe rounded out
the performance portion of the
night with a bold mind-reading

first item last month was

the possibility of Skyping
a meeting together with the
Kansas City, Missouri, group.
It was decided that this could
be a lot of fun and we should
give it a go.
Next up, we voted to keep the
business meetings to twenty
minutes with magic to follow.
The twenty minutes will not
include book/DVD reports
that are limited to two minutes.
Bruce Kalver has an iPad app
that includes contracts and
paper work for magicians to
use. It called Magic Gig Slips,
it sells for $4.99 and can be
found at the iTunes app store.
In Tales from the Trenches,
Justin Dudely told us of having
a multiplying wand hide from
him; it was then later thrown
at him during a show. He also
told of having his table fall
over with an egg inside it that
later cracked prematurely. Paul
Mercer described having the
person who hired him walk
up to him in the middle of his
show to pay him. Prof Higgins
described a number of outdoor
mishaps, which prompted ideas
on dealing with adverse situations from Andy Dallas.
Chris Bontjes gave our book
report on Aaron Fishers The

Paper Engine: Tension, Focus

and Design in Card Magic. The
Gary Kurtz book Leading with
Your Head was also discussed.
Prof Higgins shared his
thought on the DVD Silverado:
Advanced Coin Magic.
The program for the evening
was flower magic. Prof Higgins
opened by producing a large
wine glass, four bouquets, and
a double color-changing silk.
Jeff Harpring did a nice
version of Name that Card
followed by Pedro Hernandezs
rendition of a card sandwiched
between two Jokers.
Mark Clegg finished with a
nice presentation of Sequential
The next meeting will be
Wednesday, June 15, and the
topic will be Patriotic Magic
or Outside Magic. See ya at
the meeting, Ken Barham
Assembly 120, Champaign,
IL Andy Dallas Assembly,
3rd Wed. 7pm, (except Nov.
and Dec.) For location call
Chris at 217-431-4791 or Ken
Barham Sec, 2318 Winchester
Dr, Champaign, IL 61821
phone: 217-841-5616 email:


The Meeting
that Almost

Greensboro, NC The
April meeting almost wasnt
only one person showed up on
time, and, just as we were about
to give up and watch some
magic DVDS, a few trickled
in. Finally, we could see some
Eric Dobell led off with a
thought-reading effect using a
copy of Alice in Wonderland.
A page number was chosen
and James Alcon turned to
that page. Upon reading one
of the paragraphs, James was
to imagine the animal named
in that paragraph. Eric began
to read Jamess thoughts and
proceeded to draw the animal.
When finished, he had correctly
named and drawn a cat.
Noah Gray followed with a
card trick. The backs of his
cards all had smiley faces on
them. Noah discussed several
pictures that he had of different
assassins from the past. A card
was chosen from the deck and
shuffled back. Taking out a
gun (careful!), Noah shot at the
deck. When the chosen card
was found, the back of it had a
smiley face with a bullet hole

right between the eyes! (Im

guessing he doesnt use this for
his school shows.)
James Alcon performed a
penetration effect using a
large Lucite plate and a silk.
James then picked up a box of
Kleenex tissues and removed
four tissues. Commenting that
he had begun to try Origami,
he folded the tissues and
produced a live dove, while in
short sleeves! The dove was
then also pushed through the
center of the Lucite plate. He
ended his routine with a new
version of Out of This World.
Afterwards, we all discussed
how the effects were accomplished. Several had to
know how James managed to
produce the dove while not
wearing a jacket! Hope to see
everyone at the next meeting!
James Alcon
Alcons Gate City Wizards,
Assembly # 128 Greensboro,
NC Meets the last Tuesday
of the month.Location: 1207
Westminster Drive Greensboro, NC 7:30 PM Phone


Money Magic

Pensacola, FL The
June meeting started off with
Beau Broomall conducting a
teach-in of what he calls The
Calendar Card Trick; it is quite
amazing what you can do with
a deck of cards and a calendar.
President Nathan Nickerson
called the meeting to order
and touched base on events
that included: the Pensacola
Kids arthritis camp show,
where Beau Broomall, Nathan
Carrero performed and had
a great time; Al Grimms
surgery, which went well; a
secret project that Nathan is
working on; the upcoming
Sanders Beach show for the
Pensacola Parks; and the clubs
picnic. Info will be in the clubs
Members Perry Vath, Jeremy,
Billy Countryman and Charles
Moody played a round of the
alphabet game backwards. It
was hysterical.
We held our raffle with over
thirty items; thanks to Andy
Dallas and Dave Kloman
for their donations. Thanks
to Betty Broomall and Joan
Moody for setting up the refreshment table and to all who
brought the goodies. Thank

AUGUST 2011 17

you Isaac Brady for handling
the raffle ticket sales and for all
the work you do as the clubs
We also welcomed our two
guests, Julie and Jim, friends of
Charles Dunn, and our newest
member, Jeffrey Sobel.
Junes themes were inspirational magic and our annual
money magic contest. Nathan
Nickerson started it off by
sharing one of his inspirations
on the way he sees magic in art
The money magic contest
started off with Jeremy performing Richard Sanderss
Extreme Burn. Gene Burrell
did his take on Dan Sperrys
lifesaver trick using a coin
with a hole in it. Al Grimm
entertained us with a Coins
Across routine. Bill Metsch
BeSwitched. Beau Broomall
did a great version of Michael
Ammars Coin through Silk.
Perry Vath did a routine he
called Count your Blessings; he
then produced a coin from his
phone. While the votes were
counted we were entertained
by magic from Dave Kloman:
he produced a rose from a silk
then made it grow; turned a
green silk into a frog; produced
a long streamer; hammered
a nail in his nose; and made
some large money. Charles
Dunn ended the evening doing
his routine, This Little House
of Mine.
The winners of the contest
were Gene Burrell, Beau
Broomall, and Jeremy; they
each received a cash prize, a
mis-made bill, complements of
Nathan Nickerson.
The meeting was adjourned
with only minutes to leave
the building before it closed.
Bill Metsch
The Gulf Coast Magicians
Guild Assembly 129 meets the
3rd Thursday of the month at
the Bay View Senior Center,
Pensacola, Florida. At 6:45
pm. Contact: Secretary Bill
Metsch- metsch@gulftel.com


Magician of
the Year Contest

Tucson, AZ Monday,
June 6, 2011, was the Assembly
136 Stage Magician of the Year
contest at the Gaslight Theatre.
Not quite a sellout crowd, but
pretty close. John Shryock was
the emcee; contestants were:
Mike & Billie DeSchalit, Hiro

18 M-U-M Magazine

& Yuki, and Nelly Monroe &

John Coppin. Hiro & Yuki
were the first place winners
for 2011. Everyone else came
Stars of Magic performers
for 2011 are: Nelly Monroe,
Hiro & Yuki, George Franzen,
John & Mari Shryock, Chip
Romero, Jayson Schultz, Rod
& Kim Housley, Bill Black,
Mike & Billie DeSchalit, and
Norm Marini.
National Magic Week is the
last week in October. Mike
DeSchalit will attempt to get a
proclamation from the mayor
for Magic Week.
The Club will have an S.A.M.
initiation ceremony at our
October 3 meeting at the Z
Mansion. If you are a new
member or have never been to
an initiation, let us know. It is
kind of like Harry Potter, but
After many years of great
service from Tuller Trophys,
we will continue to purchase
our magic awards from them.
Elly Hundshamer (our newest
member) is in charge of selling
ad space on the Stars of Magic
program. Now we know what
you mean, Nelly, when you say,
My mother. Elly has possession of the Stars of Magic
A handful of magician went
to visit Joe DuPerry in a local
care facility. Randy Atha was
the organizer.
SAM Assembly 136 meetings
are first Monday of each month
at The Z Mansion 288 N.
Church Ave. www.zmansion.
com ALL lectures start at 7:00
PM and are held at Craycroft
Towers 1635 N. Craycroft Rd.
(On Lee Street, West side of
Craycroft Rd.).



Fort Worth, TX The

June 2011 meeting of the Fort
Worth Magicians Club featured
Past Presidents night. First were
our new member qualification
acts, during which we had three
new members perform. Steve
Medellin performed a Coins
Across routine. Ron Wilson
did his best Blackstone impression and then had six cards
chosen from a mixed deck; he
revealed all six cards and who
chose them in different unbelievable ways. Daryl Sprout,
who performs professionally all over the D/FW area,

treated us to a great balloon to

a real snake comedy routine.
Matt Martin gave a review of
the new IMX convention and
performed Random Choice, a
card routine by Hayashi.
Program Chairman Ash
Adams introduced the core
activity of the evening with
a video showing Lew Zafran
reading the charter of the Fort
Worth Magicians Club and
sharing stories about each
of the founding members.
Past president Rick Burcher
(84) shared some of his own
history with the club and with
the TAOM. Bruce Chadwick
(86, 09) showed us his Homer
Hudson table and performed
his very skillful bill switch.
Bob Utter (91) shared a knot
on a rope trick with lots of
jokes and gags. Van McGee
(92) shared a great Sidewalk
Shuffle-type routine with
large cards. Dan Scrivner (96)
performed a very original
pom-pom type trick made of
PVC pipe with faucets on the
end and plungers tied to string
running through the whole
contraption. John Hatzenbuhler (97, 09) had four volunteers come up. They all tore
up tissue paper and everyone,
including himself, put the torn
pieces in their mouths; at the
end he produced a mouth coil.
He also vanished a ring that
ended up tied to his shoelace.
Last, David Thomason (98)
did some crazy gags that left us
all speechless.
Ash Adams and others shared
a brief history of founding
member and first club president
Ren Clark (41). Last was
our new monthly works in
progress session during which
Richard Amon performed his
linking ring routine; everyone
shared ideas on what they
thought was good and what
could be enhanced. Al Fox
SAM Assembly 138 meets
on the first Thursday of
each month at 7:00 P.M.
College River Campus. See
org for more information.



ELMHURST, IL (Presidents note: We are happy to

have our club secretary, Fr. Kurt
Spengler back in our midst.
But before giving the good
father the floor, let me mention
that here at Assembly 148,

we always encourage performances by our members. This

time, our teenage sensation,
TJ Ketchmark, offered a
brand new act. TJ continues to
solidify his well deserved reputation for skill, style, and professionalism. Now let me turn
the rest of this column over to
Fr. Kurt in his own inimitable
Our long awaited yearly
magician exchange program
with the New Mazda Mystic
Ring, Elgin, Illinois, had
finally arrived. After a short
business meeting, it was on
with the show.
Big Bob Coleman, who
has to be the universes best
balloon man (over 250 figures
and still counting) got the ball
rolling. After a sucker card
prediction with the help of
Nicolette, using a smiley face
and flash paper, a card was
chosen by assistant Bob Syrup,
returned to the deck, and the
deck returned to its box. The
whole shebang (pardon the
pun) somehow got into an
inflated balloon, which blew
up to reveal the chosen card,
which somehow had managed
to get out of the card box.
Next up was the classic Gypsy
Thread, presented by Doc
Morrisy. Docs rhyming patter
is his own and has been professionally published for our
fraternity outstanding! He
proved to be a true ham and
scored with his own rendition
of Bank Night to finish his
set.Some guy named Kevin
Sarnwick (with the help of Mary
Ziemba and young magical
prodigy TJ Ketchmark) dealt
fifteen cards and got involved
with cards acrossoops! Well,
theres always next year.
It was time for the master of
mental mayhem, Bob Coluzzi
to take the floor cards on a
CD, laser card prediction on
the ceiling, torn card restored
to pocketcards, cards, cards!
Bob used to do a fire act years
ago. His mentalism proved to
be just as hot by completing the
evening with his own spin on
Al Korans Medallion.
Wait a minute! Hold the show!
I forgot Steve Mills. He passed
out clever illustrated instructions using mnemonics and
taught us to memorize the
alphabet backwards in a matter
of minutes. When I got home
I woke up my wife to show
off my new skill. Needless to
say, she was not impressed.
A fun time was had by all.

Fr. Kurt Spengler
Assembly 148 meets the third
Monday of Every month at the
Epiphany Lutheran Church,
on the corner of Spring and
Vallette, Elmhurst, IL


Plan Learn

us for dinner in our special

(but crowded) dining room.
President Doug Thornton
started our May meeting with
some short club announcements and the introduction of
our guest lecturer, Jim Sisti.
Jim has written for a number of
magic publications, including
his own Magic Menu, and has
worked on numerous videos for
L & L Publishing. Jim showed
us some of his favorite routines
and stressed the magic of presentation. He talked about his
childhood growing up in his
parents business and doing
magic tricks for people passing
through the restaurant. Jims
lecture was very interesting
and we learned how to be more
creative with our presentations.
I especially liked Jims four

Beaver, PA The Mystic

Magicians of Beaver Valley
(Assembly 157) announced
plans for the annual picnic
on June 12 and a fall picnic
in late September. The clubs
participation in the S.A.M.
convention in July is running
smoothly, including local
member buttons, a list of areas
of interest, transportation from
Performers were introduced
by Tom Chidester.
presented his Fifth
which a wand goes
interesting gyrations as it
passes through a
box. Rich Howard
performed a prediction effect with a
wand made of six
colored beads and
a can of beads. Eric
From left: Christopher J. Smith, Gene
Davis entertained
Soucek, Guru Subramanian, Bob Simek,
with some comedy
and Doug Thornton. Assembly 161
Chad Longs Now
Look Here.
Weyand performed Flight of phase presentation of the ring
the Phoenix, a presentation for on string.
Bizarre Twist. Ray Lucas did
Our June meeting, which is
a surprising prediction effect. our last meeting of the season,
Frank Kietzke presented the is when we have our Jim Hart
Twentieth Century Silks.
Excellence in Magic contest.
Doug Ries performed Michael This year we had eleven of our
Closes Pothole Trick. Trent member magicians join the
Rapp performed a prediction fun: Terry Landsman, Norman
trick that ended up being a Rosen, Joel Landsman, Bob
surprise birthday card (signed Simek, Doug Thornton, Greg
by all the club members) for Ferdinand, Jim Flood, K.
one of the members. Ed Bran- Bruce Harpster, Gene Soucek,
denstein brought a rabbit Christopher J. Smith, and Guru
standing next to a top hat prop. Subramanian. The judging
He had two cards chosen from for the contest consisted of
his deck, which he placed in all attending members in the
the hat. The bunny pulled out Magic Candle Room at the
the chosen cards. Judy Steed Stage House Restaurant. This
The Mystic Magicians of year the competition was very
Beaver Valley (Assembly 157) close. In fourth place we had
meet the second Thursday a tie between Doug Thornton
of every month at the Towne and Bob Simek; third place
Square Restaurant in Beaver, was captured by Gene Soucek;
second place went to Christopher J. Smith; and first place
Jim Sisti was earned by Guru SubramaLecture nian. Guru is a past Assembly
161 champion and returned
SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ Jim this year to regain his much
Sisti and his wife Sandy joined deserved crown. Guru gave


his presentation of a pencil

through a bill (Misled) and also
commanded the bill to float.
A special mention must be
made about our long-time
member Norm Rosen. Besides
being a fine magician and
genial guy, Norm organizes
visits to various childrens and
veterans hospitals in the area.
He recruits club members and
they meet to bring some joy
and wonder to the numerous
patients. Thank you, Norm, for
your endless volunteer work!
When we come back on
September 12 we will have a
lecture by Chris Capehart. Our
October 10 lecturer will be the
magical pitchman Al Callus.
Christopher J. Smith
If you are in the area please join
us, 6pm dinner, 8pm meeting.
David Copperfield Assembly
#161 meets the second
Monday; Stage House Restaurant 366 Park Avenue Scotch
Plains, NJ 07076 Assembly
Web Site: www.sam161.org.



Parsippany NJ The
June meeting was to be an
uplifting one, as our theme
was Levitation. Past President
Dave Scribner opened up our
meeting and younger guest
Riley Fortune became the
willing audience. Its always
nice to see friends return. The
evening began with Earl Hicks
opening with a coin vanish and
then doing a silk routine with a
Blendo, fountain, and streamer
effect all intertwined. Next up,
again completely ignoring the
theme, S. Patrick did an Aldo
Colombini card effect and
then did a variation of Harry
Loraynes Lazy Magician Card
Trick. Pitchman extraordinaire
Al Callus did a very strong
routine using John Kennedys
Flight Deck. He later followed
it up with an impromptu
Misers Dream type effect. The
only performer of the evening
to keep with the theme was
Chris Smith, who performed
a floating bill routine and then
gave a brief demonstration on
tying invisible elastic thread
in oval shapes, not loops.
Finally, President Tim Fortune
performed a monte-cap routine
from Dan Hauss Rattled.
The attendees then voted on
the best performance of the
evening and Earl took home
the awards and accolades of all.

Tim Fortune
Assembly 168 meets fouth
Wednesday 7:30 PM at
Methodist Church in Parsippany, NJ. www.sam168.org/


End of the
Magic Year

Hightstown, NH Our
end of the magic year meeting
was a pizza party held once
again at Brothers Pizzeria
in Hightstown. Everyone got
their fill of pizza and soda and
we all had a lot of fun doing
magic for the workers, the
customers, and for our fellow
magicians. Matt Schick was
home from college in Boston
and treated us to some of his
new card work. Matt is making
quite a name for himself. Hes
scheduled to appear at a local
Rock Festival, be the emcee at
Bob Littles Super Sunday, and
will emcee the Magic Alliance
of the Eastern States Convention in September. Some of the
guys got into a lively discussion about apps for the iPad.
Another discussion concerned
favorite card forces.
Our new officers for the
upcoming magic season are:
Dave Dzbory, Vice President;
Dennsis Govine, Treasurer;
and ERYX, Dean andActing
Secretary (until I can get
someone else to take over the
darnpaperwork, because the
Dean aint supposed to do
we hold our meetings had a
luncheon in June. Four of our
members performed walkaround magic at the luncheon.
We had a lot of fun and the
attendees were well entertained. Its our way to pay back
the church for letting us use a
meeting room for our monthly
meetings. Performers were:
Dazzling Dave Dzbory, Magic
Mike, ERYX, and Professor
I know that December is a
long way off, but we are tentatively planning a planning
meeting in August. (Somehow,
that sounds funny?) Other than
that, as Brian Hyland sang:
See you, in September. And,
if you can remember that,
youre likely as old as I am!
Assembly 181, the Richard
Gustafson Assembly, meets the
first Thursday of the month,

AUGUST 2011 19

September thru June at the
United Methodist Church, 187
Stockton Street, Hightstown,
NJ. However, for September
2011, our meeting will be on
8 September 2011 to avoid
conflict with the M.A.E.S.
Convention. Please see our web
site at: magicsam181.comfor a
possible start time adjustment
and other more timely information re: S.A.M. 181.



OREM, UT The June

meeting started a week late and
was conducted by President
Kerry Summers. The theme for
the evening was magic accompanied by a give-away item.
Brian South donated an
Anything is Possible bottle,
containing a sealed pack of
cards, as a prize for the best
magic effect of the evening.
Brian also switched Curtis
Hickmans $50 bill for a $1
bill and tried unsuccessfully to
give away the $1 in exchange
for the $50. Eventually Brian
gave new member Barrett
Haughton the Change Cap
Brian used in the trick.
Al Lampkin showed everyone
his new routine for libraries
using Als new Axtell puppet.
Both vent and library shows
are new for Al, but some think
he may make it in this business
yet. Walter Webb somehow
got Candy Brandon to sing to
us and then revealed he knew
all along what song she would

Curtis Hickmans hand.

The ever clever Steve Dawson
also figured out a way to get
Curtis $50 and ran it through
some kind of gimmick.
Steve also showed us his
wonderful collapsing table.
Dave Magical Johnson used
a Stress-O-Meter Doll to help
him discern the identity of a
chosen card.
Kerry Summers showed us
all the stuff he bought from
Abbotts when he was a kid.
He used a Card Box, a Card
Frame, miniature slates, Out
to Lunch, Glorpy, and a pack
of cards. Ben Jones made the
corner of a playing card vanish
only to appear inside the rest of
the card. We had to split open
the card to find the corner.
Candy Brandon made her
magical debut with a Stuart
Little book and a paddle. Bob
Christensen did a combination
Out to Lunch and poker chip
routine and then proceeded to
do an Ambitious Card routine
with a color change. Barrett
Haughton did a card reveal.
Curtis Hickman did a fun
routine pulling previously
chosen cards from an empty
coat pocket.
Winners of the contest were:
1st place: Curtis Hickman; 2nd
place: Ben Jones; and tied for
3rd place: Candy Brandon and
Al Lampkin.
The Assembly usually meets
every second Thursday at
7:00pm at The Courtyard
at Jamestown, 3352 North
100 East, Provo, Utah.
Guests welcome. For additional information contact
Kerry Summers at 801/3727776 or go to our website at


Al and Nigel
Ricky Brandon grossed us
out by hammering a nail up his
nose; he then asked Catherine
Johnson to pull it out. Yuck.
Mont Duston told us a camping
story and then somehow caused
a penny to go right through

20 M-U-M Magazine

The Aldo
& Rachel

Yonkers, NY Your
reporter has been to dozens of
lectures in his sixty-plus years
of performing magic and I cant
recall when I enjoyed a lecture
as much as the one we were
treated to on June 15. Aldo and
Rachel Colombini arrived right
on time with lots of goodies
and began their very well
planned lecture by providing
each one present with a cup
of champagne to toast us and
them as they drew near to the
end of their fifty-stop Farewell
Lecture Tour.

Their lecture was not only

very well programmed, each
of them taking turns in presenting and explainingthe
many effects they offered, but,
from time to time,they also
inserted commentaries on their
own lives and on their special
approach to creating and performing magic. Their personal
remarks lifted the whole
evening to a rarely achieved
level at which the tricks were
only a part of the evening. This
was no mere dealer demo,
but a sharing of some deep and
personal and funny observations on magic and on life.
Throughout the evening,
Aldo punctuated his presentations all expertly done
with his special brand of
humor, often illustrated with
quick sight gags. Space does
not allow the listing of every
effect, but of particular interest
(at least to me) were An Empty
Envelope,The HoudiniCard,
CuttingThe Rope In Three,
Cidentaquin (with ESP cards),
and Ring On Rope, all done
by Aldo.For her part,Rachel
presented Jumbo Prediction,
Baffling Book (a book test with
a non-gimmicked book),A
Mental Trick (based on a
Marconick idea), and an absolutely stunning presentation
of her unique Cups and Balls
Two final observations: 1)As
far as I could tell, though the
lectureran quite long, just
about everyone stayed to the
very end, and 2) not only
areAldo and Rachel two very
polished performers of entertainingmagic, but there is a
very visible and real magic
(often referred to as love)
between the two ofthem that
greatly enhanced their presentations and their ability to
connect with their audience.
Those who were present left
saying, What a wonderful
couple they are, and What
a most memorable night this
Assembly 194 meets every
third Wednesday (except July
& August) at 7:30 PM at the
Catholic Slovak Club at 49
Lockwood Ave., Yonkers,
NY. For further information contact Pres. Stranges
(magicjim1@optonli ne.net
or Secty, Fr. Dermot Brennan


Rubber Bands
and More!

SEATTLE, WA June was

rubber band magic, however
there were quite a few great
tricks performed as well that
didnt involve rubber bands.
J.R. Russell started out the
evening performing a recently
published trick (in Steve Marshalls I Left My Cards at Home
column) in which you use tin
foil to create an impression of
a coin and then after removing
the coin, another coin appears
inside. J.R. used gold foil of
gum and presented it as a nice
impromptu piece.
Jim Earnshaw performed a
three coin production/vanish/
production by Eric Mead.
Roger Sylwester performed
a great vanishing bird cage
bit that was very smooth.
Roger also showed the group
a beautiful Troublewit he had
made and a very funny routine
using it.
Bill Murray preformed a nice
cut to aces routine that got the
group discussing various ace
productions and false shuffles.
Hugh Castell performed a very
funny set of rubber band magic
that included a signed sticker
stuck to the band that jumps
from band to band.
Larry Dimmitt continued his
great mentalism and borrowed
a dollar from an audience
member and had him fold it
and place it into an envelope.
Larry was able to divine the
serial number of the dollar.
Mark Paulson preformed a
nice card revelation in which
two rubber bands knew the
card chosen was going to be the
Two of Hearts and the bands
ended up linking as hearts at
the end of the routine. Mark
also performed a nice silent/
music routine in which cards
were eliminated by spectators
only to have the last card left
match the predicted card.
Ralph Huntzinger performed
a nice four silver dollars
through the hand routine
framed around a teaching
lecture on how to routine
tricks. Ralph presented some
good information for everyone.
Jim Earnshaw
The Emerald City Wizards
Assembly 200 meets at 7
p.m. on the first Thursday
of each month at a King
County Library branch. Check
website for meeting locations:


is Show Time!

Rochester, MN During flight time for their favorite
the summer months of June effects; the club earned subthrough August, many as- stantial income from product
semblies suspend their regular sales; business contacts were
meeting schedules as vacations made; S.A.M. literature was
and other activities take their distributed and at least one
toll on attendance. To sustain prospective
enthusiasm over this busy solicited.
time, Assembly 205 uses sumOur thanks to National Admertime as the prime oppor- ministrator Manon Rodriguez,
tunity to recruit new members Midwest Regional VP Jeff
and replenish the treasury by Sikora, and Most Illustriparticipating in community ous National President Mark
Weidhaas for providing the
On June 11, the Rochester beautiful trial membership
Mystic 13 assembled in Pine postcards that are the focus of
Island, Minnesota, for a nine- our recruiting campaign.
ty-minute show during Pine
In all a very successIslands annual CheeseFest ful start to Summer 2011.
celebration. The 200-seat David J. Moitzheim
Olde Pine Theatre provided an Assembly 205, The Rochester
intimate venue for performers Mystic 13 meets the last
Cody Story, David Danzig, and Thursday of each month
Joe Swicklik. New member (barring holidays). Meetings
Tommy (Twister) Bradley are held at Comfort Inn, 5708
and veteran Brent (SinGee) Bandel Rd, Rochester, MN.
Coggins provided technical These meetings occur on the
support on lights and sound.
forth Thursday of each month
Thursday, June 23, marked the 5:30PM-8:30PM.More insecond event on our summer formation can be found at
calendar as the Rochester our website: www.mystic13.
Mystic 13 made an appear- com. Direct inquires to:
ance at the City of Roches- david@danzigthehypnotist.
ters Thursdays on First and com
Third street fair. Thursdays
on First and Third is a regular
Mac and
event in Rochester that occurs
Lance visit
every Thursday between June
and September. For the Mystic
13, it means an opportunity to Louisville,
perform street magic and run King Assembly 215 in Louisour pitch booth for up to 20,000 ville, Kentucky, was honored
to welcome home two of their
On this Thursday night, members for our month of May
overcast skies took a toll on meeting. Actually both Mac
attendance but those who King and Lance Burton came
did stop by enjoyed street to Louisville to help Patrick
magic by Isaiah Foster and Miller with a show held each
Joe Swicklik; juggling by year to benefit Kosair Children.
Ben Domask; balloon animals That, in itself, says a lot about
by Greg Chalmers and Joe their dedication and commitSwicklik; and Svengali pitch ment to helping others. These
work by David Danzig and Joe two Kentucky men agreed to
Swicklik. Joining us, and dis- stay over for a meeting of our
playing some amazing close-up magic club to be put to the test.
chops, was Joe Viner, a Mystic That test was a question and
13 prospect from LaCrosse, answer and discussion of beWisconsin.
In all, the Mystic
13 worked the
crowd non-stop
for nearly three
hours; afterward,
we unanimously
agreed that a
night of performing and pitching
cant be topped
by the best-run
Mac and Lance in Louisville


ginnings and how-to for our

President David Garrard took
the stage with Mac and Lance
to introduce them and help field
questions. These two, world-respected magicians talked about
their beginnings in our club,
about Tombstone junction, Las
Vegas, their most embarrassing moments, their favorite
routines, and gave much advice
to all in attendance. To paraphrase Uncle Toms Cabin, I
reckon these two are bout
the most respected men from
Kaintuck since Davey Crockett
and Daniel Boone It was so
much fun; thank you to all who
The question for us is, how
does our president, David
Garrard, top this meeting?
I do not know, but I do know
one thing: surrounded by
some of the most dedicated
who continue to support this
club, we will try! Visitors are
always welcome; you never
know what you will find here!
Tom Crecelius
Any person traveling through
Louisville, Kentucky and
wishing to attend a meeting
may contact us for more information. We are meeting at 7PM
various days of the month, but
usually on the second Tuesday,
location for our meetings
is the St. Matthews Baptist
Church. You can e-mail for
more information. contact:


Plans and



The May 18 meeting began

with a Broken Wand Ceremony
for our dear friend and magic
enthusiast Jim McGovern.
Jims love of magic was incredible. He truly loved to watch,
learn and perform magic and,
unlike many of us, Jim was not
shy when it came to performing
for strangers. Whether it was a
hospital or some other location
with lots of children, you could
count on Jim performing for
them and entertaining them.
During the business portion
of the meeting, Michael Heckenberger discussed planning
a professional magic show
in March/April 2012 to
be performed by the three
working professionals of the

details included: Kimball

Theater as the location; other
assembly members performing close-up magic in lobby
prior to the show; and selling
magic tricks in the lobby. In
other business Harold Wood
moved, with Tom Armentrout
seconding, that Watt Hyer
assume the vacant position of
Sergeant-at-Arms. Additionally, monthly programs for the
remainder of 2011 were fleshed

Watt Hyer performs with rings

For the entertainment portion

of the meeting Watt Hyer,
brought his DVD of Don Alans
Magic Ranch. There was an introduction by Eugene Burger to
the videos, which was very interesting. The videos were very
entertaining and well worth
watching. On Sunday, May 22,
several members attended Watt
Hyers Open House in Hanover,
VA. Watt has quite a place, not
least of which is a magic room
that will be the envy of every
magician in the area. Many of
the guests were his neighbors,
but there were also a number
of magicians in attendance
who took the opportunity to
perform for the guests. Watt
did a Ninja Ring routine, Professors Nightmare, and ring on
wand. All three were done very
well. In June, Michael Heckenberger will do a Linking Ring
workshop, and hopes that Watt
will take the opportunity to
perform his Ninja Ring routine.
Michael Heckenberger
Baker-Temple Assembly 226
meets at 7:00 p.m. on the 4th
Wednesday (except December
and January) room 009, in the
Church, 215 Richmond Road,
Williamsburg, VA 23185.
h t t p //s i t e s .g o o g l e .c o m /

AUGUST 2011 21




Lakeland, FL Our first

meeting of the summer started
off with a quick business
meeting chaired by our Prezextraordinary Ed McGowan.
We filled out our assemblys ballet for the upcoming
national election and reviewed
some lecture offers before
wrapping up the business
portion of things.
Ed introduced our visitors
from Tampa, Frank Velasco,
John Aime, and Franks
daughter Rachel, who had
popped in to remind us of their
one day convention coming
up. Our sister I.B.M. group
supports our events, so we like
to do the same. We also had
another guest and potential
new member, Jerry Kardos,
who joined us for the festivities.
The magic portion of the
night was preceded by our
card workshop, which had
Elmo Bennett and Ed working
together on a King and Queen
transposition effect. Some
good ideas came from the
For the performance portion
of the night, Dean Bob Macey
did a double feature of Nick
Trost effects in which he controlled the cards and Elmo
but using mathematical algorithms.
Following Bob, scribe Al
another Max Maven gem from
Multiplicity. Al gave Elmo the
gift of Luck, which allowed
Elmo to control a slot machine
into a winning pull.
Ed was back with a drinking
straw routine demonstrated to
Jerry before moving back to
cards with an encore presentation of a card transposition
from one deck to another that
wowed us just as badly as he
did last month.
Our cleanup batter this month
was Elmo, who had three cards
selected and then they all dis-

appeared and ended up in an

IHOP menu that was visible all
night long.
Another full night of magic to
kick off a magical summer. If
your vacation plans bring you
to Central Florida be sure to
save the second Monday of the
month for us.Al DAlfonso
Jim Zachary Assembly 266
meets the second Monday of the
month at 7PM at the Lakeland
I-HOP, I-4 & US 98. For more
info contact Al DAlfonso at



June 6, 2011, the Sam Schwartz
Assembly featured Money
Magic night. Appropriately,
our emcee was Mr. Money,
Phil Labush. Phil entertained
us with many of his numerous
effects that gained him the reputation as Mr. Money.
The show opened with Henry
Epstein, who performed the
effect 4 Quarters, a clever
version of the Mis-made Bill.
Next was Simon Carmel, fresh
from a convention in Helsinki,
Finland. Simon performed
including a non-gimmicked
pen throughbill and paper a
nice effect that he explained
to us. Bernie Kraus followed
showing how to change $5 bill
into $100. Marshall Johnson
used a wallet to create money.
Mel Panzer demonstrated
several outstanding effects.
They included a Matrix,
$5 bills into $20 bills, and a
very nice routine using three
different coins. Arnie Rosen
had a most unusual effect
involving a stack of coins.
Jerry Somerdin, creator of
many fine tricks, presented a
puzzle involving two different
solutions using pieces of
a dollar bill. Herb Cohen
vanished a coin and then
produced two coins.

routines and set him loose on

the world...and a magician is
Todd started off the evening
with his lotto decks. Five
numbered cards are randomly
selected from a blue-backed
deck and placed face down
on a table. Then the process
is repeated with a red-backed
deck and placed on top of the
blue cards, resulting in five
pairs of cards. When the pairs
are turned face up, the numbers
match. He was followed by Jay,
who demonstrated The Smiling
Assassin. A card is randomly
selected by an audience
member from a smiley-facebacked deck. Jay broke out his
gun app and shots the deck
with his phone. When the deck
is fanned face down, one card
reveals a dead smiley with
a bullet hole between its eyes.
The card is turned over and
revealed as the chosen card.
Jay continued by demonstrating false shuffles and forcing.
Janinedazzled us with her
unique stripper deck routine.
The deck is dramatically
dropped, leaving the selected
card in the performers hand,
June thus giving the routine a nice
Meeting dramatic flair. Excellent showmanship, Janine! She also
ATHENS, GA Our June performed a nicely handled
meeting was hosted by El card prediction. Then, Alan
Drussos Magic House at the Wheeler performed DevasDiscover Mills Mall in Law- tation and a card mentalism
renceville, GA. In attendance effect. Please join me in
were Jay Schanerman (Vice welcoming Alan to the club.
Todd took the stage again. He
President), Todd Herron (Past
President), Janine Aronson, stunned us with his lightning
Alan Wheeler, Dru Lozano, fast appearing flower from a lit
Giovanni, and Mark Hall candle routine. He continued
with his very own Three Little
While we were in the store, Pigs cup and ball routine. Then
before the meeting, a ten-year- Dru and Giovanni closed the
old boy named Joseph was evening with an impromptu
struggling over whether or not vanishing and reappearing
to buy a Svengali deck. This wand routine using my wand!
would be his first magic effect Contact
and Dru, being the awesome Mark
fellow he is, was offering it at a Assembly295@yahoo.com for
considerable discount. I helped meeting information.
Joseph with his decision by
buying the deck for him. Dru,
Janine, and I taught him our

several effects. Herb, master

of sleights, astounded us with
a coin stuck in his forehead.
When he removed the coin
it had a pin permanently
attached to the other side!
Vinnie Rosenbluth performed
a coin transposition a thing
of beauty. Next was Gene Fein
with his wry sense of humor.
He demonstrated how to count
a stack of bills with a different
total each time he counted
them. Regular Manny Riskin
showed us how to take a bite
out of a bill and then restore it.
Billy Byron usually closes our
show with his highly original
magic spiced with his unique
sense of humor. He performed
Throw-away Glasses, a puzzle,
the $49 dollar trick, and used
an alligator wallet to produce
money and then a check.
There was an encore effect
by Herb Arno, who showed
us how to link lifesavers.
Marshall Johnson
Assembly 274 meets at the
JCC in Boca Raton, FL the
first Monday of each month.
President, Mel Panzer (561)


Send your reportS to:

22 M-U-M Magazine


The following applications and reinstatements for Associate Memberships and Assembly Memberships have been received. For good cause shown, in
accordance with Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution of the Society of American Magicians, any member in good standing may object to the
acceptance of any new Associate Member (Assembly Memberships have already been approved by the Assembly to which they will be affiliated).
Any objection should be directed to the National Administrator.

Aldrich, Steve
Aurora, CO
Allen, Tiffany
Forest, VA
Alvarez, Jesse
Dallas, TX
Andreoli, Thomas Joseph
Hudson, NH
Aragon, Woody
Toledo, SPAIN
Birkan, Shlomo
Buffalo, NY
Blanco, Michael
Houston, TX
Brantner, Robert
West River, MD
Brumbalow, Jason
Belton, TX
Carver, Shawn
Mars Hill, NC
Colburn, Scott
Frisco, TX
Corcoran, Paul
South Dennis, MA
Cubelli, Jessica
Houston, TX
Da Silva, Frederic
Darwin, Max
New York, NY
Denham, James
Houston, TX
Duffy, Tom
New York, NY
Elliott, Devon
Fancher, John
Riverside, CA
Ferrante, Tony
Winder, GA
Fetzer, Benjamin
Covelo, CA
Ford, Charles
Washington, DC
Glaze, John
Sycamore, GA
Gobeo, Mark
Boca Raton, FL
Gore, David
Cape Town, SOUTH

Guthrie, Diane
Jefferson, GA
Hefter, Mathew
Glendale, AZ
Heinzl, Josh
Windham, NH
Hoelzel, Joseph Lyon
Minneapolis, MN
Inglis, Andrew
Concord, MA
Irwin, Bill
Arlington, TX
Kalinowski, Aaron
Indianapolis, IN
Lan, Hui Hsin
Taipei City, TAIWAN
Lessard, Yves
St-Joseph De Sorel, QC
Liston, Michael
Billings, MT
Maturen, Mike
Harrisville, MI
Mckenzie, Norman
Billings, MT
Mckinnon, Peter
Belton, TX
Mcniff, James
Clermont, FL
Mcnulty, Stephen J
Staten Island, NY
Mitchell, Craig
Cape Town, S. AFRICA
Moise, Rodiny
Malden, MA
Montalvo, Moises
Ogallala, NE
Murray, Sean
Chicago, IL
Newton, Lew
Louisville, KY
Norstrum, Andrew
Shepherd, MT
Olson, David
Tucson, AZ
Peckham, Michael
Watchung, NJ
Peekel, Art
Palatine, IL
Penstein, Richard
El Dorado Hills, CA
Perea, Maricarmen

Toledo, SPAIN
Ren Jenkins, David
Las Vegas, NV
Reyes, Hector Angel Mesa
Madrid, SPAIN
Salinas, Alfredo
Tucson, AZ
Saul, Howard
Cherry Hill, NJ
Saul, Michael
Cherry Hill, NJ
Segel, Joseph
Bryn Mawr, PA
Sergent, Craig
Jeffersonville, IN
Sloan, Stephan
Freehold, NJ
Terral, Elliott
West Monroe, LA
Thompson, Blaine
Memphis, TN
Trent, Andrew
Odenton, MD
Weiser, Daniel
Baltimore, MD
Yamamoto, Hlroshi
Toyonaka City, JAPAN
Zboray, David
Mercerville, NJ

Abbatiello, Lou
Lancaster, PA
Alday, Geoff
Spring Hill, TN
Alexander, Gale M
New Milford, CT
Alswager, Richard O
Milwaukee, WI
Baird, Joan L
Lancaster, MA
Bourgoin, Staphane
Saint-Hyacinthe, QC
Brandenstein, Edward J
Pgh, PA
Brooks, Brian
Tualatin, OR
Brown Jr, Larry J
Weatherford, TX
Buxton, Marc
Florence, SC

Christenberry Jr, Earle J

River Ridge, LA
Clarke, Andrew E
Beaver Falls, PA
Crosson, Phillip
Olyphant, PA
Davis, Jonathan R
Colorado Springs, CO
Fajuri, Gabe
Chicago, IL
Fernandez, Raul Antonio
Burbank, CA
Haney, Dennis John
Rosedale, MD
Hayes Jr, Charles
Port Jefferson Station, NY
Hipschman, Irving B
Palo Alto, CA
Ishikawa, Shinjiro
Kanagawa, JAPAN
Kaiser, Phillip
Saint Cloud, FL
Kim, Jae-Hee
Wabu-Eup, Deoksso-Ri,
Namyangju-Si, S. KOREA
Kothare, Shank
Franklin, TN
Kriss, Gary
Williamstown, MA
Kurzweil, Arthur
Great Neck, NY
Long, Tat-Chi
Macau, CHINA
Lopez, Christopher
Bakersfield, CA
Macione, Ryan
Salem, MA
Mahlburg, Steven
Tawas City, MI
Marchman, Laurie
Winder, GA
Martinez-Conde, S na
Phoenix, AZ
Meyer, Gordon
Chicago, IL
Miller, Donald E
Indianapolis, IN
Mogar Jr, Joseph
Deerfield, NJ
Molten, Jared
Astoria, NY
Mousch, David J
Shelton, CT

Mullins, Jeff
Aliquippa, PA
Mullins, Robert C
Aliquippa, PA
Peace, Jennie Rae
Evans, GA
Peace, Ledan E
Evans, GA
Pitts, Ruth
Fort Smith, AR
Reinbold, Damon
Santa Fe, NM
Sagotsky, Barry
Princeton, N J
Sanders, Cherie K
Houston, TX
Schrier, John
Scarsdale, NY
Snyder, Michael A
Lancaster, PA
Srinivasan, Vasisht
Rochester, NY
Stanton, Dwayne
San Antonio, TX
Stone, Jack
Philadelphia, PA
Taylor, Jason W
Havertown, PA
Tomaszewski, Gary L
Tallahassee, FL
Tougas, Frank S
Brooklyn Center, MN
Trillo, Arthur
Tucson, AZ
Tyo, John A
Massena, NY
Unbehauen, George L
South River, NJ
Walden, Christopher M
Cedar Park, TX
Watkins, Glen
Austin, TX
Weisgal, Leo L
San Antonio, FL
Wenker, Kevin
Peoria, AZ
Yakubek, Michael
Kennesaw, GA
Zawada, Mark
Staten Island, NY

AUGUST 2011 23

William E. (Bill) King
The magic world lost one of its premier collectors on May 12, 2011, when William
E. (Bill) King Jr., eighty-five, of Hagerstown, Maryland, passed on. Bill held membership
#4145 and had been a continuous member of The Society of American Magicians for
sixty-four years. He was also a member of the I.B.M. and the Magic Circle. He was a
co-founder of Ring #94, Hagerstown, a Ring that bears his name, King Magic Ring.
Bill led a long and productive life. He served his country during WWII in the
European Theater and was awarded the Bronze Star. He was a 1943 graduate of
Hagerstown High School, and was a graduate of the University of Maryland and the
Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University. He retired from Hagerstown Trust and Mid Atlantic Bancorp as President and CEO.
Bill King was not only a great contributor to the magic world, having written several
books on magic history, but his generosity was surpassed by no one. At least four times over the past five or six
years Bill prepared a grocery bag of magic from his collection for every member of Ring 94, making sure each
bag was filled with the particular type of magic each member was interested in.
Bill King will be missed by all who knew him, and especially by his family and members of the Hagerstown
Magic community. David W. Bowers

Leonard J. Elmer
Dr. Leonard J. Elmer Sr., retired dentist, born in Hammond, Louisiana, on May 8,
1917, and a native of New Orleans, died on June 6, 2011, after complications following
open heart surgery. His death was unexpected; he had anticipated taking trips to
Russia, Dallas, Orlando, and Las Vegas with his family this summer. His will to live life
to the fullest was exemplified in his daily activities and involvement in the community.
He was a graduate of Jesuit High School (1933) and Loyola University (1938). He
was a full-time instructor at the Loyola University Dental School from 1938-1942. He
was attending medical school prior to being pulled to teach dentistry full-time during
He devoted himself to his two children and his wife, Beverly (also a USAF officer)
and was the epitome of what a father should be. He was a life member of the New
Orleans, Louisiana, and American Dental Associations.
His life-long interest in conjuring kept him very active and engaged in magic. He was a member of The Society
of American Magicians and the International Brotherhood of Magicians. He has been awarded the Order of
Merlin Excelsior by the I.B.M. He also recently reunited with Ring 27 of New Orleans. He was known as an avid
photographer and has gone to great lengths to get the perfect shot.
He loved his wife dearly and her loss in 2007 affected him profoundly. Despite his loss, he continued to care
for his granddaughter, Sarah, with whom he lived and shared his wisdom and love for life and magic with her.
His loss cannot be measured and his contribution to his family is profound. His legacy of love, life, and gusto for
making every day count are remembered by his actions.

Kim M. Zimmerman
Kim M. Zimmerman, 56, of Orangeville, Illinois, passed away Tuesday, June 21, 2011,
at St. Anthony Medical Center in Rockford, Illinois. Kim was born February 10, 1955,
in Freeport, Illinois, to Raymond and Cheryl Zimmerman.
Kim attended National Technical Institute for the Deaf in Rochester, New York
from 1975 to 1978, studying architecture. He worked for a small architectural business
for five years. Kim then worked at OHare International Airport as a mailer handler
from 1984 until retiring in 2010. He loved his Dalmatians: Donnie, Max, and Angel,
who was deaf. Kim was interested in many things including reading, history, and travel.
Kim had been a member of the S.A.M. and the I.B.M. since 1976. He was a Life
Member of both organizations. He was member of the World Deaf Magicians had
participated in WDM Festivals in different countries since 1992. He founded the first
U.S. Canada Deaf Magicians Festival in Chicago in 1993. He loved to do his magic in
schools, churches, nursing homes, clubs, other festivals.

24 M-U-M Magazine

Henry L. (Hank) Moorehouse 1934 2011
Hank Moorehouse passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on Saturday, July 2, in
Beijing, China, while in the middle of a sixteen-city, twenty-five show tour of close-up
magic he was producing for the Chinese government.
Hank touched so many lives for so many years. And he did it selflessly. He never
asked for anything in return only that you do your best and become a credit to the
magic community.
As a magic dealer, he was impeccably ethical. As S.A.M. National President, he
initiated many steps that ultimately brought the organization onto the world stage.
And it was through his bonds of friendship within FISM, The Magic Circle, and magic
organizations around the world that the door opened for magicians in this country to
be recognized and perform abroad.
Hank may best be remembered as a master of his craft and a highly respected
magic show producer. Following sixteen years as S.A.M. show producer and an additional thirteen years as Abbotts show producer, he was named Artistic Director for the 2009 FISM World
Championship of Magic in Beijing.
The S.A.M. dedicated this years convention to Hank. As part of the celebration, the June issue of M-U-M
carried a cover story about Hank, and the 2011 convention program was a special Hank Moorehouse commemorative issue. It was decided that the tribute to Hank, originally scheduled at the convention for Saturday
should be moved to the start of the convention as a celebration of his life. A film, with material collected from
the Moorehouse family, was shown and is expected to be released on YouTube for public viewing.
Our hearts go out to Jackie Moorehouse, who made Hanks life worth living, and to his family members a
daughter, Kim, two sons, Buddy and David, and their collective nine grandchildren and one great grandchild all
of whom meant so much to Hank.
Hank passed away doing what he loved to do best producing magic shows at venues where the talent
he booked could dazzle audiences and bring credit to the art of magic. A memorial service and broken wand
ceremony is being planned for Hank sometime during the time of the Abbotts Get-Together. Bradley Jacobs


Please take a minute and spread a few words of cheer with a card or note to one of our less fortunate members.
William Bill Andrews
298 West Lane
Stamford, CT 06905

John Kermit Dickerson

10809 Balentine,
Denton, TX 76207

Robert D. Knigge
PO Box 5,
Jones Borough, TN 3765

Ben Benjalini Ankri

3111 Aurelia Ct.
Brooklyn, NY 11210

Dan A. Dorsey
98 Woodvalley Dr.
Fayetteville, GA 30215

Peter Anthony
5100 OBannon Dr. Apt 72
Las Vegas, NV 89146

Joe DuPerry
1947 North Soldier Trail
Tucson, AZ 85749

Stanley R. Kramien
11205 SW Summerfield Dr.
Apt 161
Tigard, OR 97224-3391

Roger Barr
883 B Leverpool Circle,
Manchester, NJ 08759

Joseph H. (Ben) Grant

400 Commonwealth Ave, Unit 9
Warwick, RI 02886

William H. Brewe
1698 Montrose
Cincinnati, OH 45214

Charlie Gross
16745 Gertrude Street,
Omaha, NE 60136-3023

John Clark
603 W Country Club Rd.
Egg Harbor City, NJ 08215

Roy Horn
c/o Siegfried & Roy
1639 N Valley Drive,
Las Vegas, NV 89108

Lawrence Clark
204 Hazelwood Ave
Buffalo, NY 14215
Daniel Cudennec
Dany Trick
225, Stang-ar-Veildan-Traon, Mellac-29300,
Quimperle, France

Cesareo Pelaez
The Cabot St. Theatre
286 Cabot St.
Beverly, MA 01918

Grant Schofield
(The Great Granzini)
9303 Quailbrook Ct.
Bakersfield, CA 93312

Larry Poague
34221 West 90 Circle
Desota, KS 66108

Sybill Simons
65 West 95 St. Apt 3A
New York, NY 10025

Richard Laneau
4020 55th St. N.
St. Petersburg, FL 33709

Jim Relyea
241 W. Lakeshore
Rockaway, NJ 07866

Sam Stecher
1000 Loring Ave Apt. C-23
Salem, MA 01970- 4253

George Gilbert Lott

1725 Great Hill Rd.
Guilford, CT 06437

Harry Riser
8505 Woodfield Crossing
The Forum
Indianapolis, IN 46240

Mario Susi
6 Bristol Rd.
W. Peabody, MA 01960

Frank J. McNaughton, Sr
1926 Apple Street,
Williamsport, PA 17701
James J. Morrisey
24 Grove St.
Wayland, MA 01788

Edward Kelly
224-15 64 Avenue,
Bayside, NY 11364

Anthony Murphy
11 Angel Rd.,
North Reading, MA 01864

Bob King
304 Suburban Court,
Rochester, NY 14620

Nahmen Nissen
PO Box 1856
Colfax, CA 95713-1856

Dale Rumsmoke
430 Perrymont Ave
Lynchburg, VA 24502
Pat Ryan
43 Fairbanks Rd.
Churchville, NY 14428

Larry Taverner
805 LaPaz Ct.
Bakersfield, CA 93312
Jack White
4288 Arguello St.
San Diego, CA 92103

Matt Savin
P.O. Box 7693
Alhambra, CA 91802-7533
Helene Schad
2440 Viginia Ave.
Bensalem, PA 19020

Send additions, changes, or deletions to: Anthony Antonelly, Chairman, Sick and Convalescent Committee,
(215) 820-3192 ext. 1512. Email: magicforfun60@aol.com

AUGUST 2011 25

A Magician Prepares...

by Dennis Loomis

The DeLo Cut

In his 1973 book Rim Shots, Harry Lorayne introduced an
excellent move to card magic the HaLo cut. (The name is formed
from the first two letters of Harrys first and last names.) While
that book is now out of print, it is available as part of Harrys
2008 book, The Classic Collection 2. In fact, Harry updated the
newer book and it contains more details and some new routines
and handlings for the HaLo cut.
While youll need to consult one of the Lorayne books
mentioned above to learn the HaLo cut, in this article Ill share my
own move, which combines a version of the Halo cut with a Kelly
bottom placement (also known as the Ovette Master Move) to
achieve a different purpose. The original HaLo cut appeared to be
a simple straight cut of the deck; it actually kept the bottom card
on the bottom. The DeLo cut also appears to be a straight cut of
the deck, but it keeps the two bottom cards on the bottom. It also
exchanges the positions of those two bottom cards. If you have
maneuvered a selected card to the bottom of the deck, and then do
the DeLo cut, the selection will now be the second card from the
bottom, thus allowing you to freely handle the deck, flashing the
bottom card (which is now an indifferent card). Later, you might
like to do another DeLo cut to return the selection to the bottom.
Well start with the assumption that the selected card is on
the bottom of the deck, although your spectators should not know
this. With the deck held in standard dealers position, the right
hand comes over and grips the deck in Biddle grip as in Photo 1.
As soon as the right hand takes this grip, the left hand switches its
position to the grip seen in Photo 2

Notice that the tip of

the left thumb presses
down on the top of the
deck in the upper left
corner, as the tips of the left
index and middle fingers push
upward on the bottom of the
deck immediately below the spot
where the thumb presses downward.
As soon as this grip is achieved, the right hand starts a swivel cut
of the deck at approximately the center of the deck. However, due
to the left hands grip, the bottom card of the deck will ride along
in alignment with the upper half, as seen in Photo 3.

As soon as the packets are completely separated, the packet in

the right hand, which was the bottom half of the deck, is raised
upward so that it can be placed on top of the cards in the left hand.
But as that is done, the right hands middle and ring fingers spring
the lower card downward in the typical Kelly bottom placement

position. As the two packets coalesce, the card slides to the bottom
of the lower packet, as seen in Photo 4. The deck is then replaced
into dealing position in the left hand; the selected card has been
moved to its new position second from the bottom. The deck can
now be handled very freely and the bottom card can be flashed.
Later, should you wish to bring the selection back to the bottom,
another complete DeLo cut can be performed.

26 M-U-M Magazine

How would you like to add balloons to your magic show

while not having to twist figures for each of the kids in the
audience? For our past few columns, weve been sharing ideas
that we use; in May we showed how to make a ball and use it
as an interactive pre-show warm-up; in June we showed how to
make a costume around a spectator. This months balloon is a
show-feature similar to the Lota Bowl, only with balloons and
no water to worry about.
In 1991, Tom Myers of T. Myers Magic out of Austin, Texas,
published his comb-bound notes Life on the Living Room
Circuit: A Magic Birthday Party Blueprint. Tom did a great job
combining magic and balloons, and one of his best routines in
those notes was a running gag in which he created each of the
different parts of a larger balloon sculpture between each trick;
at the end of the show he connected the pieces into the larger
sculpture. While Tom was not the first to do multiple-balloon
creations, this ongoing bit was a great idea.

The Running Gag Balloon Creation

You can do this! Almost any balloon creation that you make
that uses more than one balloon can be used for this showpiece.
You simply make each piece independently, and then put it all
together at the end of your show. By staggering this between
other parts of your magic show, it ties in the balloons throughout the show and gives the running gag a wonderful home.
However, as with any good magic routine, a lot of the entertainment value will come from your presentation. If anyone

can make a Lota Bowl entertaining, then this should be like

fireworks on the Fourth of July; this is almost automatic fun
compared to pouring water out of a suspicious looking jug!
Daniel started with T. Myerss idea of having a title (Myers
called his the Giant Tasmanian Man-eating Devil Balloon)
and the tag line that it would be made the first timeevery
time. Then he punched it up with his own antics and personality. We will share Daniels routine here, but you need to infuse it
with your own style and personality. The essence of this hinges
on the fact that it is nearly impossible to envision what the
completed model will look like when only the various parts are
seen individually; the kids think that you are more than a little
bit silly, since it doesnt happen the first time, every time.
In this routine you will be making a big duck (because it
is black, it is similar to a parody of Daffy Duck), but you call
it the Giant Tasmanian Purple People Eater. Since the color
(purple) is called out in the title, we have found that this drives
the kids crazy, because they immediately point out that it is not a
purple balloon. This sets up a very playful and fun conflict with
the audience for this gag. Some patter ideas will be included
in italics along with the twisting instructions. As always, give
this a try and have fun. It can be a very strong part of your childrens show and it is another excellent way to feature balloons
without having to make one for every child in the crowd. At the
end, this can be presented to the birthday child. Because of the
way that it is made during the show, we have never been asked
to make another one for someone else later. That is like magic
itself! If you have any questions or comments, contact us by
email at theballoonguys@hotmail.com.

Requirements: This is made with

260Q balloons. You need two onyxblacks, one white, one orange, and one
goldenrod. (If you dont have goldenrod,
another orange is fine, but you lose
the contrast between the feet and the

Giant Tasmanian
Purple People Eater

Step 1 The Body: Explain to the

audience what you are about to do: I
am going to make the Giant Tasmanian
Purple People Eaterfirst time, every
time! Pull out the black balloon and
inflate it, leaving about two inches uninflated. From the nozzle, come down
twelve inches to pinch and twist the first
bubble. Later this bubble will become

the top of the ducks head, the back of

the head, and his neckbut for now it
is just a twelve-inch bubble.
The remainder of the balloon will be
made into what is called a three-bubble push through with just two inches
left for the tail. You are going to twist
three bubbles that are all the same
size; start with a fourteen-inch bubble.
Remember, you must securely hold the
first twelve-inch bubble while doing this
or it will untwist (Photo 1).
Lay the remainder of the balloon next to
this fourteen-inch bubble to measure a
second fourteen-inch bubble, and twist

AUGUST 2011 27

it (Photo 2). Now lock these two bubbles together (Photo

3). The remainder of the balloon is again set next to these
two bubbles to measure and twist a third bubble. Ideally,
there should be about two to four inches remaining, which
will be the tail (Photo 4). With the third bubble lying on the
other two, you literally push or roll this bubble between
the other two to lock in a three-bubble body (Photos
5 and 6).
As you complete this portion, look puzzled at the odd
creation and say, Hey wait a minutethis isnt purple! Why
didnt you guys tell me? (Believe me, you wont have to say
it for the second section; they will all yell about it not being
purple as soon as you blow it up!) This obviously isnt the
Giant Tasmanian Purple People Eaterum, its aits a(and
the kids will start yelling things out, so go with whatever
they say such as) a coon skin cap? (Put it on your head.)
No, its not that! How about a shoe? (Lift one foot in the air
and hold the balloon next to your foot.) No, its not that!
I think its an old mans cane! Grab the shortest bubble,
hunch your back over like a rickety old man, and take a
few steps around the stage. Well, its obviously not the Giant
Tasmanian Purple People Eater Ill just get back to that later.
Set this balloon aside and get back to the magic show.
Step 2 The Eyes: Pull out the white 260Q and proudly
state, I am going to make the Giant Tasmanian Purple People
Eaterfirst time, every time! The kids should immediately
have an uproarious fit about the color of the balloon this

time, but politely dismiss them as you inflate the balloon

completely. You only need a few inches of the white
balloon, so make two bubbles that are three inches long
and lock them together by actually tying the nozzle into the
joint (Photo 7). Do not remove the remainder yet.
Look puzzled at this creation; scratch your head. The kids
will start yelling out ideas of what it is, so acknowledge
some of their ideas by repeating what they say. Yes! Its
a (whatever the kids say). After a couple of their ideas
are acted out, stop and say, No! Ive got it! Its a golf club!
(Swing it around like a pro and talk about the new flexible
shaft that helps your swing.) Well, its obviously not the Giant
Tasmanian Purple People Eater Ill just get back to that later.
Set this balloon aside and go back to the magic show.
Step 3 Beak: Inflate the orange balloon, leaving about
three-inches uninflated. I am going to make the Giant
Tasmanian Purple People Eaterfirst time, every time! Again,
the kids should shout about the color not being purple,
but just go on. Make two six-inch fold twists side by side,
by taking approximately six inches of balloon and folding it
back on itself; twist this fold together at the nozzle (Photo
8). Take the remainder of the balloon and make a big loop
out of it by taking the uninflated nipple and attaching it into
the joint of the two fold twists (Photos 9 and 10).
Ideas will come forward about it being a hair bow, a hat, or
a fish. Proudly announce that it is any of these objects, then


28 M-U-M Magazine











say, Well, its obviously not the Giant Tasmanian Purple People
Eater Ill just get back to that later. Set this balloon aside
and go back to the magic show.
Step 4 Legs: The legs are made from a single goldenrod
260Q (or orange if you dont have this color). Inflate it fully,
leaving about one inch uninflated. I am going to make the
Giant Tasmanian Purple People Eaterfirst time, every time!
By this point, the kids think you are nuts, but they are
laughing with you about the color of the balloon not being
purple. Make a half-inch bubble followed by three threeinch bubbles (Photo 11), and attach the three bubbles into a
triangle (Photo 12). Squeeze the balloon slightly to get the
air down into the uninflated portion and repeat the same
four bubbles at the other end. The result will be as shown
in Photo 13.
Look at this creation and then suggest what it could be. Its
a phone can you hear me now? Its an antenna for a bug. Its
a giant smile for a big smiley face. (Hold it up in front of your
face and smile!) Well, its obviously not the Giant Tasmanian
Purple People Eater Ill just get back to that later. Set this
balloon aside and go back to your magic show.

Step 5 Arms: Fully inflate the black 260Q, except for one
inch. To make a simple hand on each end, twist a two-inch
bubble followed by a five-inch fold twist (Photo 14). As
with the legs in Step 4, squeeze the air in the remainder
of the balloon down into the uninflated end, then repeat
making a two-inch bubble and a five-inch fold twist. It will
look like Photo 15.
Its alien antennaetake me to your leader! (Say this in a
funny alien voice.) Its a wiener dog without a head! Its
its Immediately go to the next step and bring the
creation together.
Step 6 Putting It Together: As you are staring at the
arms, you need to get excited and say, Wait, it is the Giant
Tasmanian Purple People Eateror at least part of it! Watch!
(Put the arms down and grab the body from Step 1.) If I take
the Old Mans Cane and attach the new flexi-shaft golf club
As you say this, you need to make another three-bubble
push through using the two white bubbles and a new black
bubble. Twist a one-inch bubble at the top of the twelveinch black bubble and then a three-inch bubble (Photo 16);
lay the two white bubbles on this black bubble and roll it

AUGUST 2011 29



between them (Photos 17 and 18). While this

is happening, you need to pop the long part of
the white balloon. You can make it look like a
mistake, but you dont need to. Save the white
piece if you can.
If I add the Alien Antennae Take the arms from
Step 5, and position the center at the base of the
twelve-inch bubble under the eyes (Photo 19)
and wrap the balloon around the neck making
a collar; pinch it together and twist to attach
(Photo 20).
Now all I need is the big smile... Grab the legs,
pinch in the center, and attach this joint to the
bottom of the body at the joint where the tail is
(Photo 21). and if I add the Fish Take the
orange balloon figure and push the joint of the
fold twists into the base of the eyes (Photos 22
and 23). To put some shape in the beak, gently
bend the end of the beak upward toward the
eyes (Photo 24). Tie the piece of scrap white
balloon around the neck (Photo 25) and position
the hands and feet forward its done! Now that
is one Giant Tasmanian Purple People Eater! Well,
maybe its just a really big duck! Draw on the eyes
as shown.
If you follow the pictures, you will see how
simple this actually is. The final product may
look intimidating, but its just another example
of the Power of Bending Air to make something
more than anyone had expected. Give it a try
and hopefully we have enticed you to add a new
running gag to your childrens shows.

30 M-U-M Magazine




We have lots of tech stuff to catch up on this month. I hope

you all read the article about the S.A.M.s very own iDevice app
called magicSAM. In just four weeks, the app was downloaded to over one thousand devices. If you havent downloaded it
yet, please give it a try. Its free and available at the iTunes app
store. If enough people continue to show an interest in it, we
will work to move it to other phone platforms.

Looks like Magic

Although Im not a watch
guy anymore (why wear one
just look at your phone
or ask someone the time),
a really cool tech watch
caught my eye. It evidently
catches other peoples eyes,
because everyone who sees
me wearing it asks me about
it. The LED watch looks like
a thick bracelet, but when you
hit the button, the numbers
show through. It comes with blue or red LED lights. Although
it appears expensive, you can get them for a whopping $10! Buy
one of each. Just troll around eBay and search for mens LED
watch. While working at the Magic Castle recently, a magician
of some note was talking to me about all the high priced shows
he was currently working. I glanced at his wrist and noticed
that he was wearing one of these $10 watches. Expensive, no.
Cool, yes.

Like Kreskin with His Paycheck

Are you a traveling
magician? Do you worry
about your luggage getting
lost? I received an email
from Ryan Oakes, who discovered a neat little gadget
while reading Inc. magazine.
Its called the GTU 10. Its
a waterproof GPS transmitter the size of a lighter. Ryan
thought it would be a great
way to track your props if
you often check them as
luggage on flights. Illusionists could put one in each case. Just
stick one in your show case, which sometimes gets lost on
flights and youll be able to tell the airlines where it is. An app

for your phone will track it wherever it is. You can also track the
device on your computer.
As a publicity stunt, I immediately thought of planting it in a
stuffed animal or in a secret compartment of a box; a celebrity
hides it somewhere in the city and you find it. You can read all
about the Garmin GTU 10 at www.garmin.com.

Revealing Wonders
The following two tricks are both
very clever. They take two different
approaches to the revelation of a card.
Both require no forcing of the card.
I really like Marvel Card. Before I go
any further, I will say in bold italics that
it is only for the iPhone with operating
system 4. It is not for the iPad or the
iPod Touch.
A card is freely selected and placed
face down on top of the iPhone. The
magician waves his hand over everything and the iPhone now
shows the selected card. It is that direct. I have to tell you that
this method has never been done before. As a developer, I have
to ask myself, Why didnt I think of that? Buy a deck of the
new S.A.M. cards and have fun with this app. Youll put it on
your front screen. Marvel Card is available at the iTunes app
store for $1.99.
The other app is called the Magic
X-Ray Card Scanner. A card is
selected and placed on the table. A
spectator places her hand over the
card. You explain that you have an
app that can take x-rays. Place the
iPhone over the back of the spectators hand, press the scan button,
and an x-ray of her hand appears
along with a picture of the selected
This app works with the iPhone
and iPod Touch. It will work with
the iPad, but youll have to keep the
app small on the screen. Once again, a force is not needed. The
app is slick, and although the method has been used before, it is
well executed. The Magic X-Ray Card Scanner can be downloaded from the iTunes app store for $0.99.
Bruce is always on the lookout for computer magic, iPhone/
iPod Touch apps, and tech toys that can be used in magic
applications. If you have any suggestions for future columns,
write to Bruce at SAMtalkBruce@cox.net.

AUGUST 2011 31

The Nielsen Gallery

Thurston Iasia Vanished in the Theatres Dome

Dimensions: One-sheet: 27 x 41 Lithographer: Otis Lithograph Co., Cleveland, Ohio

Date:1920s Nielsen Rating: Limited Availability

As the Roaring Twenties came to a close, Howard

Thurston desperately needed a new and exciting illusion
for his Wonder Show of the Universe. Imagine his excitement when a forty-five-year old Englishman told him he
could create an illusion in which a flesh and blood woman,
suspended from the dome of the theater, vanished over the
heads of the audience. That illusion, Iasia, is the subject of
this months poster.
The man who created Iasia was Cyril Yettmah, an
illusion builder for The Great Raymond and The Great
Lafayette, and who, from 1928 to 1930, perfected a wide
range of illusions for Thurston. In the program, Iasia was
described as, The unattainable attained. The impossible
realized. And for audiences, it must have seemed so.
Michael Edwards, writing in the December 1999 issue of
Genii, described the illusion:
The illusion began with a girl dressed in long flowing
robes entering a Hindu prayer cage in reality, an
upright, four-sided skeleton cabinet. Its framework was
open on all sides; the thinness of its bottom and the narrowness of its ornamental top were readily apparent. Slowly,
the cage with the girl standing inside was hoisted into the
air and pulled up and out over the heads of the spectators. Once above the footlights, there would be a pause in
its upward journey. At that moment Thurston would intone,
Salaam, Iasia swing forth the old Hindu prayer cage.
Again the cage would continue its ascent. The girl would
lower curtains on all four sides of the cabinet, proving she
was still inside.
As the cage traveled over the audience to the theaters
top, she would toss Thurston good-luck cards through
the slits in the curtains to the spectators below. When the
cabinet finally reached the ceiling, it would come to a halt,
suspended from the auditoriums dome with no visible means
of escape. Thurston, with pistol in hand, would command,
One, seven, Iasia, Garawallah go! A shot would ring out,
the curtains would drop, and the hinged bottom of the cage
would fall open. The girl had vanished.
She is gone, Thurston would announce. Those above
may look down on the top of the cage. Those below may look
through the bottom, which is open. She is gonejust gone
Every performance I stand here in amazement, wondering
where she has gone and if she will ever come back. Hed
pause and then add wryly, She always does come back
on payday.
To vanish a girl on stage is one thing. When a girl disappears in the dome of the theater directly above the heads of
the audience, its another matter. The illusion remained in
Thurstons repertoire for the rest of his life.
So, where did she go? She hid in the narrow, decorated
32 M-U-M Magazine

roof of the illusion. Heres how it happened. The illusion

contained a pull-down ladder that allowed the girl to climb
up into the roof. As she hid herself, the floor of the cage
slid upward assisted by counterweights concealed in the
hollow posts of the cage. When Thurston fired his pistol,
the curtains dropped, the bottom fell open, and the girl was
Thurston thought the illusion was so strong that for a
time he closed his show with it. However, the disappearance was so startling that the audience was frequently too
amazed to applaud. He later moved it to the penultimate
spot in the show and closed instead with The Mystery of the
Water Fountain.
Not only was this a dangerous illusion, dangling many
hundreds of pounds of wooden cage over the heads of the
audience, it was also very difficult to set. Herman Hanson,
who traveled with the show, recalled that this was the job of
George White, Thurstons number one assistant. It involved
him climbing the catwalks above the theater ceiling
searching for a girder with a painters hole beneath it from
which to secure the rigging. The life of the girl assistant
depended upon it, as well as that of the audience directly
below, as the cage traveled over their heads. Imagine what
would happen if the rigging gave way.
This happened, in fact, in Youngstown, Ohio, during a
test performance. The cage with a boy assistant inside fell
shortly after it swung out over the footlights, smashing the
orchestra railing and three chairs. The boy was not injured.
As is so frequently the case, this was not a comfortable illusion for the girl. At the end of the trick she had to
remain crouched inside the thin top until everyone in the
audience had left the theater. In fact, in Jim Steinmeyers
new biography of Thurston, The Last Greatest Magician in
the World, he writes that the girl who vanished was Thurstons stage manager George Townsend, who donned a wig
and oriental robe to play the role of the lovely Iasia.
The original Iasia cabinet was among the ruins of
Thurstons show that collectors and historians Mike
Caveney, Bill Self, and Robert Self found in Gerald Heaneys
Berlin, Wisconsin, barn in 1988. Heaney had acquired much
of Thurstons illusions, but after years of neglect the cage
was nothing more than a rusted steel frame.
Although quite pricey these days, Iasia posters could be
had cheaply at one time. In the early 1950s Claude D. Nobel
was offering readers of Genii, The Sphinx, and other magic
publications single copies of Iasia posters for one dollar,
two posters for two dollars; three posters or more, seventyfive cents each. The same deal was offered for seven other
now rare lithographs. Who wouldnt buy them today at that

33 M-U-M Magazine

Cards to Wherever
Welcome back to Basic Training. This month we are going to
be looking at a slightly more advanced technique with cards, one
that has the added benefit of using (for the most part) palming. If
you can already palm a playing card without too much trouble,
then this should be no problem for you; but if you are learning to
palm, or havent yet dipped the toe into this threatening (but very
worthwhile) pastime, then I have some tips and suggestions for
you as well. The end result is that we will be able to get a selected
card into our pocket or wallet quickly and efficiently. Once we
have the mechanics down we can talk about the blocking and
the attention direction we need to make the effect all that more
Before we look at the palming and loading of a card, lets have
a look at what we are trying to achieve. The plot of card to
impossible location is to the spectator at least very clear to
understand and usefully passes the one sentence test of clarity.
From our side of the deck, however, it gets a lot more complex:
What is the final location? How does it get there? How can I do
this without being seen? How can I prove it was the original card?
That last point is one of the more important ones, lest we
get caught out by the Too Perfect Theory we talked about a few
months back. Let us imagine a hypothetical effect from the point
of view of a spectator. A card is selected and remembered. It is
returned to the deck, and then the magician immediately shows
his hand empty and removes his wallet. Inside the wallet is a card
that matches the selection. While this effect is achievable (and
we will be looking at it later), there is one glaring problem with
the structure: the majority of people are most likely to jump to
the conclusion of duplicate cards. No amount of protestation by
the magician will have any effect to dispel this plausible solution.
If we cannot change their minds after the fact, lets change them
before. (And here comes a proclamation that is bound to get me
some flak.) Whenever you produce a card from an impossible
location, it has to be identifiable as the original selection. Most of
the time this will mean being signed on the face, but it can also
include the torn corner ploy. Having that level of confirmation
at the end of the effect will remove the its a duplicate solution
before it has a chance to be heard.


Of course, if we are going to produce a selection from a

pocket or wallet, there is one particular branch of sleight of hand
that we must tackle head on. (I know there are a few methods
for achieving this effect without palming, but none of them is as
strong as the palming versions. Trust me on that.) Before we talk

34 M-U-M Magazine

to those who can (and do) palm, a few words to those of you who
are just starting out on the road. Palming is one of the families
of techniques where a lot happens at the same time. Too often
the instruction for a palm will involve three actions happening at
once, and the student is expected to muddle through things on his
own. People who have been reading my column for a while will
know that this is not how I like to do things, and I would strongly
suggest finding a tutor who will break things down for you for
easy learning. Luckily, there are three such teachers out there (and
Im excluding myself from this list for reasons that will become
clear), any of whom would be an excellent choice.
First off, Editor Mike has a number of options; in Workers
Three there is a chapter called, simply, On Palming, which is the
first pedagogical approach to learning palming. A few years later
he produced a video called The Power of Palming, which is a great
study aid for the Workers lessons. More recently, there are the
first three volumes of The Work ebooks series, which expand on
the two former lessons, combining detailed text, photographs, and
clear video to help the student learn. (Three years ago, when I first
discussed this column with Mike, I said that I wouldnt be teaching
palming because I felt the perfect lessons already existed. These
are they.) The second recommended teacher is John Carney, who
many of you will know as a true master of sleight of hand. He has
a DVD on palming that can be obtained from his Web site. Finally,
there is Bob White, who also teaches his approach on a DVD that
is available from your local dealer.
Once you have chosen your course materials, you need to
spend some time actually learning to palm cards. Unfortunately,
this is not an overnight task we are talking weeks and months
(and more likely the latter). Dont worry, well still be here, so take
your time and go through the steps one by one.
The goal, despite not being strictly necessary, is to be able to
palm from the top of the deck with one hand. If you can palm
cards already, but havent had a go at the one-hand palm, then
this is worth the effort. The two-hand palm top or bottom
demands some type of motivation for you to come from an open
into a closed position. (Without that motivation you may be guilty
of squaring up a squared deck.) When you can palm one-handed, there are a multitude of justifications you can have for moving
the deck from hand to hand, and even a small gesture towards a
spectator with an empty left hand will give you ample time to
palm a card. One-hand palming is the way to go

Now What?

Okay, youve palmed a card, and are standing awkwardly,

hoping that no one is going to try to shake your hand. First off,
think back to the lessons on palming coins from last year. When
you have an object palmed in your hand, the hand must die as it
falls to your side. If you have a video camera (or even a Webcam
on your computer), take a two-minute video of yourself simply
standing still. When you watch it back, pay special attention to
how your arms hang; there is no tension there, and there should be
none when you are holding out. Guilt will kill you here, so make
sure that you have spent a good chunk of your learning-to-palm
time holding a card and being completely natural as you stand.
(Many years ago, in a lecture, Editor Mike said that you should
watch Patrick Stewart in Star Trek to see how a consummate actor
holds his arms and hands when delivering dialogue.)
The second thing to watch out for is The Hook. I hope you will
have dealt with this as part of your lessons, but Ill briefly touch
on it again. Look at your neutral video; especially observe your
hands. Look at how your thumb rests alongside your index finger;
this is how your hand should look as you palm a card. If your
thumb is sticking out at ninety degrees from the rest of your hand,
then you need to work on loosening up a bit. The Hook happens
for two main reasons. First, you are not relaxed and you have some
guilt about palming a card; this means that you are concentrating too much on the card in your palm, and not enough on being
natural. It takes tension to hold the thumb out at that angle, and
once you relax your mind you will find it a lot easier to relax your
thumb. The second reason is more physical. Its possible that your
pivot point is too far back, and the thumb is being pushed out
by corner of the card, making it uncomfortable to lay the thumb
against the side of the hand. If this is the case, you need to either
move the pivot point down, or learn to grin through the pain

Loading Into the Pocket

Lets look at the standard effect of producing a card from your

pants pocket. In many routines the load happens at exactly the
time it is produced, and this means we have to be extra vigilant
with our technique and attention management. Unfortunately, if
we simply stuff our hands into the pocket without any thought,
most semi-intelligent spectators will discern the ulterior motive
behind our actions. Luckily, we have a bottle of Eau de Gordon
Bruce, who has given me permission to teach his excellent pocket
loading technique. Gordon first published this move in Epilogue,
buried in a small corner for a couple of paragraphs. Despite this,
it caught on very quickly, and for many card men it became the
standard handling. Many years ago Gordon told me that it doesnt
work with jeans (you have to be wearing more formal clothes),
but as you will see in the photos, Ive had no problem with my
jeans, although they are probably a bit looser than those from the
Begin with your selection palmed in your right hand. If you
usually use the little finger to anchor the card you will have to
switch to the index finger just before you go for the load. As the
card reaches the mouth of the pocket, the lower right corner slides
in and the middle, ring, and little fingers remain outside, while the
index finger and thumb go in with the card. The card is pushed
down by the base of the thumb, while the fingers on the outside of
the pants provide all the cover needed. Photo 1 shows an exposed
view of this action. The hand continues down until the index
finger cannot go any further, at which point it releases the card

Photo 1

Photo 2
enough to slide up to the top edge, where it takes the card and lifts
it out of the pocket. The three outer fingers move out of the way as
much as possible so that the image the spectators see is of the card
being removed at the fingertips ostensibly there is no way that it
could have been in the palm in the first place (Photo 2). Everyone
say, Thank you, Gordon.

Francis Carlyles Homing Classic

One of the books that everyone who aspires to sleight of hand

should own is the blue bible, Stars of Magic. A collection of a
series of pamphlets that were put out in the Forties, it contains a
gold mine of workable, amazing magic. Meir Yedid has recently
republished the book with the original photographs (which are a
heck of a lot better than the ones in my copy!) and he has very
kindly allowed me to explain to you Francis Carlyles classic
Homing Card routine. Everyone say, Thank you, Meir.
This really is one of the classics. I used it in my Magic Castle
set in January, and its been a mainstay of my working repertoire for as long as I can remember. The effect is stunning: a card
travels to your pocket twice, and each time it is removed with an
empty hand. There is a very simple set up. You need an indifferent
card in your pocket to start, back out to the audience. Now, you
might think it would be a good idea to have the card loaded at the
start of your show, but experience has shown me that the heat of
the room, and your thigh, will put a warp in the card that could be

AUGUST 2011 35

a flag to an observant person. The best solution to this is to palm
a card while you are talking to your group and casually place it in
your pocket. If you do this without thinking, or noticing it, no one
else will. Now, have a card selected and signed, and then control it
to the top of the deck using whatever works for you.
Comment that you will make the card fly into your pocket; here
you can get creative. I usually explain that the card will fly around
the room umpteen times, following a more and more convoluted
path, but again, this is a personal choice. As the card finishes its
path around the room (which I follow intently), I tap the outside of
my pocket with my right fingers. This serves two purposes; it acts
as punctuation for the travel of the card, and (because I can feel
it though my pocket) it lets me check that I did, in fact, preload a
card. A couple of times, usually when I wasnt planning to do the
routine, I have forgotten to and had to go to plan B.
Assuming you are not as scatterbrained as I was back then,
you show your hand very empty and reach into your pocket with
your finger and thumb. Pull the card halfway out, peek down at
the index in a very obvious way, and announce, There it is, your
card! Photo 3. Push the card back into your pocket and look up
as if to expect a round of applause. You will get called on this,
and it is during this moment that you palm the selection from the
top of the deck and, feigning upset that anyone would doubt your

selection. Bury it in the deck and offer to repeat the effect. Since
the selection is already in the pocket, you can milk the production
for all you are worth!
I heard an apocryphal story about how Dai Vernon handled the
reload of the selection, but I dont know of an official source. Once
the selection had been produced, he said that he would explain
how it got there; he moved the card up his left arm, across his
chest, down his right side, and placed it into his pocket, where it
was switched. I must confess Ive never used this handling, preferring to load on the offbeat, but you might like to give it a try.

Plan B
If you havent loaded a card in advance, there is an alternative
that uses Gordons load straight off. Its not as elegant, but it does
serve the purpose. The idea is to load the card using attention
management, and theres no room for subtlety! The method I used
was this: I would describe the path of the card, ending with, And
it lands in your handbag, while pointing to a woman on my right.
I would then pause as if expecting her to look. After a short while,
aided by a raised eyebrow or two, she would look, and the whole
audience would turn to see. At this point I would load the card
into my pocket. Just as she looked I would exclaim, But it doesnt
stop there, and produce the card from my pocket. I have no idea
where I learned that presentation, but Im fairly sure its been done
that way for years.
There is an interesting story that goes with this. Years ago I
was preparing a Fringe show and I had some layperson help from
my friend Stuart. He knew this method for the card to pocket, and
saw the show a couple of times. On the third show I changed to
using the Carlyle method, and when I produced the card without
having gone to the pocket before, there was a collective Ooh
from the audience and a very loud Eh? from Stuart...

The Adlib Jacket Load

Photo 3
skill, you load and remove the card using Gordons method. Turn
it around slowly, to show that it really is the signed selection.
Done correctly, there is no way you will not get a good response
to this, and as you accept the applause, you place the selection
back into your pocket, again without drawing attention to it, and
remove the indifferent card, leaving the selection in your pocket.
(This is why we dont want a heat crimp in the card. Sometimes
the selection gets that banana look in half a second; if you get
a round of applause at this point you know something has gone
You are now holding the indifferent card in your right hand.
Glance at the face, without showing it, and miscall it as the

36 M-U-M Magazine

Occasionally, you will want to produce a card from your jacket

pocket without having to bother with loading it first. Here is a
method for doing just this. At the time, I was convinced I had

Photo 4

Cards to Wherever
Photo 5

Oh, there it is, so Ill take it out with my left hand. Id better hold
my jacket out to make it easier to get in.
Following the lead of that script, heres what happens. As you
look to your right chest, your left hand begins to move up towards
your jacket. Your right fingers curl over the front edge of the deck,
and as the right hand moves to hold your jacket open the thumb
lifts up the rear corner of the deck to separate the bottom card.
(This is the start of the Kelly-Ovette bottom placement, see Photo
4.) The selection is hooked behind the edge of the jacket as it is
held open, a few inches below the level of the inner pocket. Photo
5 shows an exposed view of this. Your left hand enters the jacket
horizontally, but as soon as it passes the wrist, it bends down and
the fingertips extend as far as you can to pinch the card, taking it
from the right fingers. The motion of the left hand is reversed, and
the card is removed from the jacket, several inches away from the
deck in the right hand (Photo 6).

Wallet Tales

Photo 6

One of the most enduring effects for working professionals is

the Card in Wallet. There are almost as many different types of
wallets as there are makes of playing cards, and whichever one
you choose will be another one of those personal choices. With the
majority of the wallets it is possible to quickly load the card as you
remove the wallet, but Ive always preferred to do things in two
stages. The card is half loaded into the wallet in the pretence of
removing something that is needed (a pen, wand or, more recently
for me, the Unbelievably Useful Comedy Prop). The routine
continues for a moment, and then the hand can be shown empty as
it goes to the pocket, completing the load and removing the wallet.
Heres another cautionary story. For many years I used the
same wallet for a burned note routine this involved loading with
my left hand into the right jacket pocket. Once, I put my wallet
into my left pocket for a close-up show, but put it in the wrong
way round, so that the loading slide was against my body. I went
to load the card, had a wee panic for a second until I realized
what was happening, and then I dropped the card into my pocket
to continue. Luckily, the folks at the table were not the most
observant group; I had time, while they were talking, to go to my
pocket, get the card and load it on the wrong side. The moral?
Always check your props; before any gig at which Im using the
wallet, I always do a dummy load before I start.

Final Thoughts
invented a masterpiece until I showed it to Roy Walton, who
simply said, Ah yes, Marlo. Foiled again.
Start by controlling the selection to the bottom of the deck. The
deck is held in an overhand grip in the right hand. Your internal
script goes a little like this: The card is in my right jacket pocket.

The Card to Pocket is a wonderful routine that will separate

the men from the boys (and the ladies from the girls, natch). If you
can learn to palm adroitly, its the perfect effect to use your new
skills, and is a good, achievable goal if you are starting out. Its
a multi-venue effect, working equally well close-up and on stage.
I hope you are all having a good summer; Ill see you again next

AUGUST 2011 37

i left my
cards at

Louie Foxx
Earlier this year, I was looking
around on the Internet for a bullwhip
that I needed for a western routine I was
working on. I came across bullwhips.org;
not only did the whips look nice, but the
maker of these whips seemed interesting
as well. I sent an email describing what I
wanted and then gave a call to the whip
maker, Louie Foxx.
To my surprise, one of the first things
Louie said to me was, Are you the same
Steve Marshall who writes for the M-U-M
magazine? This delighted me; I was
happy to find out that he is a magician,
hes a member of the S.A.M., and he reads
this column!
I have to say that after talking more
with Louie the term magician is a
little constricting for him, since he is
really a variety artist in the true sense
of the word; he uses not only magic, but
also juggling, shadowgraphy, silhouette
cutting, whip cracking, comedy and, well,
just about whatever it takes to entertain
his audiences.
He was born Isaac Louie, and still uses
this name when publishing his material,
such as his September 2008 and April
2011 Linking Ring parades. He grew up
in Seattle, Washington, and by the time
he was fourteen years old he was street
performing at Seattles famous Pike Place
Market, where he worked on a homemade

38 M-U-M Magazine


magic table that he had found the plans

for in the Mark Wilson Course in Magic.
While street performing, Louie
caught the eyes of Sheila Lyon and Darryl
Beckmann, the owners of the Market
Magic Shop at Pike Place Market; they
offered Louie a job working as a demonstrator in the shop. Over the years
working behind the counter at Market
Magic I learned so many pointers and
tips from Sheila and Darryl; I owe a ton
to them. Another great thing that Sheila
and Darryl did was to sponsor Louie to
go to the first Bob Fitch workshop up in
Canada when he was nineteen. Louie
got to spend nine days with Bob Fitch
studying not only magic but also theatrical techniques to make his performances
stronger. Or as Louie puts it, This was
one of the things that changed my life.
Another life changing experience
for Louie happened a few years earlier
when he was seventeen and he snuck into
a casino to see the juggling troupe The
Raspini Brothers perform. He credits
them for changing the way he looked at
show business. Up until that point all of
the magicians and variety artists I had
seen were 1980s-style performers who
used the same lines and did the same bits.
The Raspini Brothers were cool and hip
and had original material and lines. It
opened my eyes to writing my own stuff
and making it funny. So a lot of my style
came out of them as well.
Louie has gone on to become quite
successful in the magic and variety arts
fields. Today he can be found traveling and
doing everything from school shows and
summer camps for kids to comedy club
shows and casinos for adult audiences.
He builds a lot of his own props and
describes his character and his show as
a bunch of stuff I learned to do as a kid.
This theme forced Louie to build a lot of
his own props. As he puts it, If I have
a nice, slick-looking magic prop onstage
it looks out of place with my character.
With that thought in mind, nobody makes
props that look like junk, so I had to start
building them myself.
When asked about his thoughts on
creativity he said, Sometimes you have




to have a lot of bad ideas before you have

a good one. The important thing is to
keep trying stuff; dont listen to anyone
else if they tell you not to do something.
A lot of people told me I shouldnt do
shadowgraphy in a comedy club, but I
tried it anyway; today its my closer.
Some of Louies recent accomplishments are breaking the Guinness book
world record by bouncing a soap bubble
on his hand eighty-eight times, writing a
book on the Svengali deck that has sold
over 2,500 copies to date, getting his
stand-up comedian robot ROBO on
the TV show Americas Got Talent, and
becoming a rock star dad.
Actually, when I caught up with Louie
to do this interview he was on the road
for three days doing summer library
programs; he had his seven-year-old
daughter Ella with him performing. Ella
has probably done more shows at this
point than most adult amateur magicians.
She loves performing with me and is
constantly coming up with new and
funny bits for the show.
As a matter of fact, we had to
finish our conversation because it
was time for Ellas bedtime story.
A fringe benefit of working for Dad!

By Louie Foxx
Effect: You have eight objects on
the table and a prediction on the back of
your business card. With the help from
someone in the audience you narrow
down the eight items to one (for this
example, lets say its a watch). You turn
over your business card to show a barcode
and you do the classic gag invented
by Fumio Inagaki of Japan as you say,
Thats the barcode for a watch.
The barcode is then scanned by
someone in the audience with a Smartphone and it takes him to your Facebook
fan page where your most recent update
is: You will pick the watch. Of course,

while they are on your fan page you have

them click the like button.
Working: One of the cool things about
using a QR Barcode is that you can have
a barcode permanently printed on your
business card; by changing your status on
Facebook you can change the prediction.
Also, you get the bonus laugh by using
the barcode gag. To do this, simply have a
barcode that takes them to your Facebook
fan page printed on the back of your
business card. Heres the front and back
of my business card (Photo 1).
To make a QR Barcode simply visit:
http://www.mobile-barcodes.com/qrcode-generator/ and enter the URL of
your Facebook page.
Before the show, update your
Facebook fan page to predict whatever
item you are going to force using the
PATEO force. Show your prediction to be
a barcode, and have it scanned to reveal
your prediction!
If you dont know this force, its
simple. PATEO stands for Pick Any Two
Eliminate One. Start with eight items in a
row and have a person from the audience
help you. Have him point to any two items
in the row; you eliminate one of them.
Next you pick two and he eliminates one.
You continue alternating turns this way
until you have one item left. When you
are picking the two items, you never pick
the item you are going to force; when its
your turn to eliminate one, you never
eliminate the one you are going to force.
Notes: There are some advantages to
using a barcode over simply writing a

all you need is a business card and your

Smartphone, so youre set to do this
Id also suggest having the barcode
printed on the back of your business
card, and having the card printed by a
print shop. At www.gotprint.com you
can get 1,000 business cards with a fullcolor front and black-and-white backs
for under $15. Youll end up with a card
thats a higher quality and one on which
the barcode wont bleed or smear if it gets

Steves Stuff

prediction on the back of your business

1. Novelty: Its visually more
interesting than just writing watch on
the back of your card.
2. Production Value: Having the card
scanned, and having someone read your
status update will make it play larger.
3. Bonus Gag: You get the classic
barcode gag, which you cant do by just
writing on the back of your card.
4. Marketing: It gets someone directly
to your Facebook page, where you can
connect with him or her later.
5. You Dont Need a Pen: To do this

You will notice that this trick is very

similar to the trick that is printed on your
new S.A.M. membership card (if you
have received it already). I began working
with S.A.M. President Vinny Grosso on
the membership card effect at the end of
last year. When Louie sent me this trick in
April of this year I was really surprised to
see how similar it was to what Vinny and
I were working on. I really liked Louies
presentation and the use of Facebook
though, so I decided to use it here, the
month after the new membership cards
came out. Its a good lesson on how two
people on opposite sides of the world can
come up with basically the same idea with
a different presentation. Thanks for contributing this Louie, and thanks for your
understanding of why I had to hold it a
few months.

AUGUST 2011 39

Jon Dorenbos must be one of the luckiest guys in the

world. Hes the long snapper for the NFLs Philadelphia Eagles.
Hes a magician who performs at some of the best A-list charity
functions. He is a motivational speaker who presents programs
for varied groups from Fortune 500 companies to high schools
all over the country. He is a television personality, often hosting
feature segments on a number of different shows. Hes a partner
in a successful framing business. He has a lovely and talented
wife. Hes got it allbut it wasnt always like this. Jon has a
unique story to tell about his life and how he got to this point.
He was born in Humble, Texas, in 1980. His family moved
around a lot when he was a kid, finally ending up in Woodinville, Washington, just outside of Seattle, when Jon was six
years old. His dad worked for Microsoft, but he later moved over
to a new startup company called Oracle. His family was like
the Brady Bunch. His mom was a housewife who did volunteer
work and ran the book club at Cottage Lake Elementary. Jon has
a sister who is three years older than him and a brother who is
six years older. Everyone in the neighborhood knew and liked
the Dorenbos family. Jon was really into sports, and as a kid he
played baseball, basketball, soccer, and football.
On August 2, 1992, at the age of twelve, he was playing
40 M-U-M Magazine

football across the street from his house. The dinner bell rang
and he went home. His dad told him that his mom went for
a walk with a friend. They ate dinner, hung out, and played
chess for a while. The next morning, when Jon went to baseball
camp, his dad told him that his mom had gone to the sports
club to swim. That afternoon, friends of the family arrived at
the baseball camp and told Jon that there had been an accident
and he needed to go with them to the police station. He arrived
at the police station, but they wouldnt tell him what happened.
An officer who knew him through the DARE program at his
school asked them to let him be the one who broke the news.
When he arrived, he told Jon that his mom and dad had had
an argument, he pushed her down the stairs, and she died. His
dad was being held in jail for questioning. His father pleaded
temporary insanity and eventually was convicted of seconddegree murder and sentenced to thirteen and a half years in
After his fathers trial, Jon and his sister moved in with
Kathy and Don Robson, who became their temporary foster
parents. His brother was eighteen and chose not to go with them.
Jon and his sister were sent to therapy. The therapist decided to
use experiential therapy and confront the entire situation head

on. As a part of the process, their therapist thought it would be

beneficial for them to view their mothers autopsy photos. He
went as far as getting a court order allowing the private viewing
of the photos. Jon and his sister drove into Seattle with their
therapist and were faced with the decision of whether or not
to view the photos. The therapist told them they didnt have
to, but if they did, they would know the truth about what their
father had done. During the trial it was revealed that his mother
hadnt been pushed down stairs; she was beaten to death by
their father. Knowing this, Jon and his sister opened the folder
that contained the pictures. Afterwards, the therapist drove
them out to Puget Sound and Jon stood on the edge of a cliff
and screamed for forty-five minutes. Jon was actually asked
to testify against his father in court. He remembers telling the
District Attorney that if it would help end the trial he would.
Their mothers sister, Susan, fought for custody of Jon and
his sister and they eventually moved in with her in Southern California a year later. Jon had made the little league all-star team
before he moved to Southern California, so he quickly returned
to Woodinville to play baseball. He stayed with the coachs
family and it was there that he saw magic for the first time.
One of their neighbors was sixteen-year-old magician Michael
Groves. He did a show for Jon and performed coins across, a
matrix routine, Roths Portable Hole, and a sponge ball routine.
Jon was blown away and thought it was the coolest thing he
had ever experienced. Michael saw how happy the tricks made
him and taught Jon a sponge ball routine. Impressed with how
quickly he learned the routine, and seeing Jons excitement, he
took him to a local magic shop in Seattle and bought him a copy
of Modern Coin Magic by J.B. Bobo. Jon studied every word,
and the more he studied, the more he fell in love with magic.
Jons aunt also saw how Jon loved magic and introduced him
to the ex-boyfriend of one of her friends, a magician named Ken
Sands. Jon and Ken bonded quickly, developing a relationship
that went beyond mentoring: almost a father-son relationship.
Ken would show Jon magic, but not explain the methods until

Performing the Floating Rose

Jon had a chance to work them out. He made Jon work for the
secrets. More important, Jon picked up on Kens style of performance and learned at a very early age that magic was just
a vehicle for communicating with people. This is the hallmark
of Jons performing style to this day. Thats not to say he didnt
have other influences. Like many other budding magicians, he
would videotape magicians on TV and try to emulate them. He
was uncomfortable speaking on stage, so he worked to music.
When he was thirteen, he performed Kevin Jamess Floating
Rose in a school show. He was initially perplexed when there
was no reaction at the end of the routine. He didnt realize the
audience was just stunned by what they had seen. A few seconds
later they burst into thunderous applause. That encouraged him
to work on another routine for the next year. He virtually copied
Lance Burtons Candle routine. He got a great reaction, but Ken
told him that he couldnt keep doing other peoples material or
he wouldnt grow as a performer. He had to come up with his
own routines.
Jon got the message and began creating talking routines
for stand-up performances. At the same time, he started
doing strolling magic for an agency that Ken referred him to.
Although he was only fifteen, he was a big kid and could easily
pass for eighteen or nineteen. He did magic for corporate clients
as well as private parties. One of the things that helped him get
referrals was that he might be hired for one hour, but hed stay
for three hours. All of this performing brought him to the realization that you can never mess up. The audience doesnt know
what ultimately is supposed to happen. Its all about having fun
with your magic and making people love it. As his mentor told
him, Dont become what you do; be who you are. Ken Sands
owns a magic shop in Orange County and has continued to be
Jons biggest influence in magic and one of the biggest influences in his life.
While living in Seattle, and during all of this involvement
with magic, Jon was even more involved with sports, playing
soccer, basketball, and baseball. He particularly excelled in

Dorenbos snapping a football

AUGUST 2011 41

Performing Card to Mouth for the Cowboys

TE Jason Witten at Pro Bowl in Miami

baseball. He was also a big Seattle Mariners fan. When he went

to the games, he would hang out by the players entrance before
and after the game. He was not an autograph seeker, but just
liked watching the players drive in and out. One day, Mariner
right fielder Jay Buhner came up to talk to him. That gave him
a thrill he would never forget.
When he moved to Southern California he continued to play
basketball and baseball. Once he hit high school, he played
varsity baseball and football as a freshman. This was due not
only to his athletic abilities, but also his size. He was one of
the biggest kids at his school, but at age sixteen he stopped
growing, and all-of-sudden, he wasnt the biggest kid anymore.
In his senior year he still played both sports, but thought he
might become a professional baseball player.
Upon graduation from high school, he entered Golden West
Junior College in Huntington Beach, California. He chose G.W.
after talking with his high school coach, Bill Simpson, about
pursuing football at the collegiate level. Simpson said, Never
stop playing; go where you can play, and someone will spot
you. Since Golden West had a 0-and-30 record, he knew hed
play right away there. Due to the low number of players on the
team, he played multiple positions: quick side defensive end,
outside linebacker and fullback. He decided to transfer out after
his freshman year.
A friend at the University of Texas at El Paso told him they
were looking for a long snapper. Being that Jon wasnt a long
snapper, he had to get creative with the film that he sent UTEP.
Jon had good speed; his buddy Nick Heinle was known for his
hard hits, and Tim Thurman was the teams six-foot-six tight end
and long snapper. Jon combined the highlights of him and Nick,
added Tims long-snapping highlights, and made the ultimate
highlight tape. He sent that tape to the University of Texas El
Paso claiming it was all him; after watching it, they offered him
a full scholarship to be their long snapper. Though he wasnt
a long snapper and only six feet tall, he quickly learned the
position and found he had a real knack for it. When people ask
Jon what his favorite magic trick is, he replies, Getting into
He played for UTEP for three years but was under the radar
for most of those years. No one had really heard of him until
right before the NFL draft. A friend who was already playing
in the NFL recommended him to his agent. The agent took
a look at Jon and liked what he saw. He had to participate in
Pro Day: the day the team scouts go to all the schools to look

42 M-U-M Magazine

With Rascal Flatts on their tour bus

over potential draft picks. Jon had a slight problem. He had had
surgery when he was a kid, and scar tissue continued to form in
his groin area. He started feeling pain. He actually had a double
hernia, but due to the scar tissue, it was misdiagnosed. On Pro
Day, he could barely move. He had been injecting the tendons
in his groin with cortisone, but it wasnt healing the injury. He
got two more cortisone injections before his schools Pro Day.
Although he was unable to even jog, Jon passed the lifting test
with ease, bench-pressing 225 pounds twenty times. But it was
the forty-yard dash that he was dreading. As Jon lined up to
run, the head scout yelled out, Jon, you are not fast, nor will
you make it in this league because of your speed. All the scouts
want is to see you snap. By some miracle he didnt have to
run for the scouts. The Buffalo Bills signed Jon as a free agent
in 2003. When asked what his second favorite magic trick is,
Jon replies, Making it all the way to the NFL and never being
timed in the forty-yard dash, the signature test of all players.
He reported to Buffalo on the assigned day and checked
into the hotel room they had reserved for him. Within a few
minutes, he got a phone call from Jim Kelly, the former Bills
quarterback, now a Hall of Famer. Kelly introduced himself and
told Jon that he had heard of his reputation as a magician. He
explained that he was hosting a charity event the next day and
asked if Jon would come out and do some strolling magic. Jon
nearly jumped out of his skin at the opportunity. The next day
he was picked up at his hotel by a limousine. Kelly got out and
told him how stoked he was to meet him. When he got in, he
saw that the other occupants were Dan Marino, Joe Montana,
Drew Bledsoe, Bruce Smith, and Thurman Thomas. One of
them said, The Magic Man is here. The party starts now! Jon
thought he had died and gone to heaven. He was a hit; since that
function, he has been on the A-list of requested guests at many
other such functions.
During the draft, Sports Illustrated asked St. Louis Rams
coach Bobby April for his opinion of Jon. April said he
reminded him of their own snapper and made some suggestions of things Jon should work on. Coach April later joined the
Buffalo Bills and coached Jon his second season in the NFL. He
really learned the position as he went along. Even so, Jon feels
he struggled for two years at Buffalo, partly because he never
felt so cold in his life. During this time, he did get to hang out
with several prominent local magicians like Vic Trabucco, Dan
Block, Mike Gallo, and Paul Richards. He also met a man who
would change the rest of his life, a motivational speaker named

With Dean Dill

Kevin Elko.
Elko heard about Jon and his way with people. He approached him in the Bills weight room and offered him $500
to talk for ten minutes at an engagement for a group of bankers
that was happening at the facility forty-five minutes later. He
asked him to tell his story and do one trick. When he finished
he got a tremendous hand. Elko told him that he was in the
wrong business and offered to groom him to become a speaker.
When Jon received nearly a hundred letters from those bankers
thanking him for telling them his story, he realized that Elko
might be right. The trick he did that day was Timothy Wenks
Misled, the pencil through bill effect that he saw David Copperfield perform on TV when he was a kid. Since then, he has
performed that piece in every talk he has given. Elko groomed
him to become an accomplished speaker and continues to work
with him.
Jon was released by Buffalo after two years. He considered
leaving football, and went back to California. He talked with
some friends, who convinced him that he should go into the
film industry with them. He was about to do that when he got
a call from his agent; the Tennessee Titans long snapper was
injured. At this time, Jon had missed half of the 2005 season.
Could he get on a plane and be ready to play on Sunday? He
caught a jet late that night. The first he saw of his teammates
was in the locker room that Sunday. He also met Jeff Fisher, the
head coach, whom he immediately took a liking to. He loved
playing for Fisher. He also loved the ambiance of the town.
Music stars Rascal Flatts and Dierks Bentley became friends,
and he became more involved with Garth Brookss Teammates
for Kids Foundation. Garth said Jon is one of, if not the best,
card magician hes ever seen. Anytime Jon meets up with
Rascal Flatts the first thing they want is a trick.
The Titans released Jon after the 05 season. He didnt get
picked up by another team, so Jon spent more time speaking to
companies and performing at charity events. Eight weeks into
the 2006 season he got another call from the Titans. The same
snapper got injured again. He flew in and played with the team
for two weeks, but was released when the snapper returned.
He then got a call from the Philadelphia Eagles. Their snapper,
Mike Bartram, broke his neck. One of Jons old coaches had
given Eagles head coach Andy Reid a big break early in his
career. When he heard about Bartram, he called Reid and told
him Jon Dorenbos was his man. Jon had to compete against two
other players for the position, but his old coachs recommenda-

With Sheets, Finney, and Bargatze at Kicks for Kids

tion gave Jon the edge. He got the job and has been playing in
Philly since 2006. He made the Pro Bowl in 2010 and the Eagles
hired Bobby April before the 2011 season, reuniting the two
once again.
It wasnt long after Jons arrival in Philly that he met
S.A.M. PNP Mike Miller (who has a passing interest in sports)
at a sports show. They really hit it off and have become great
friends. Through Mike, Jon has gotten together with a number
of other local magicians and occasionally attends local conventions and events as his schedule allows. He has also spent time
with another Philly sports figure, Pat Croce, former owner of
the Philadelphia 76ers. Pat is a major magic enthusiast, Houdini
collector, entrepreneur, and motivational speaker. One of Jons
favorite memories is sitting in Houdinis desk chair, reading
Houdinis personal scrapbook at Pats house.
In all of his time in the NFL, Jon constantly did magic in the
locker rooms and hotel lobbies wherever he went. He became
known as The Magic Man of the NFL. His magical exploits
have been featured on a number of sports related TV shows,
and he is very popular among his own teams players as well as
visiting opponents. He became a regular on a show called Inside
the Eagles. On this show he interacts with players in the locker
room, talking, doing magic, or playing locker room baseball
and golf. They even visited The Magic Castle on one episode.
Jon won the Mid-Atlantic Emmy for hosting.
Jon has continued to be very involved with a number of
charities. He participates in Garth Brookss Teammates for
Kids annual event, The Moyer Foundation, and David Akerss
Kicks for Kids. David Akers is the placekicker for the Eagles;
he started a charity focused on children, after his own daughter
needed extensive surgery at Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia. Teaming up with Mike Miller, they organized a fundraising event, An Evening of Comedy and Magic, to benefit this
worthy organization. For the last two years, these have been
mounted in major performance venues in the city and have
featured performers like Michael Finney, Stephen Bargatze,
Bob Sheets, John Cassidy, Denny Haney, and others.
Jon said that meeting his wife, Julie, is the best thing that
ever happened to him. Their meeting came as a result of his
relationship with Kevin Elko. Elko booked him to speak at a
corporate function for ING. Julie was in the crowd; afterward
she told her mother what a great speaker he was. Her mother
encouraged her to contact Jon via email. She did and he replied
quickly. He asked her if she was spontaneous; she said yes. He

AUGUST 2011 43

asked her to dinner. She said yes. Then Jon explained that he
was in California. She still said yes, but not yet. They emailed
back and forth, and then started talking on the phone, frequently, and for long periods of time. Finally, they started dating and
yes, Julie did fly to California to have dinner with Jon. Julie has
a degree in finance and is currently forming her own company.
Having met Julie on a few occasions, I can tell you that she and
Jon are ideally suited for each other. They married last year and
currently split their time between residences in California and
Philadelphia. Jon travels to California frequently; he is working
with a major television production firm developing new shows.
So what kind of magic does Jon perform today? He performs
on the corporate circuit and at charity events; he performs
strolling magic and stand-up magic. When you see Jon perform,
you will see a high energy individual who gets people involved
and excited about magic. He is instantly likeable and bigger
than life, but very friendly. He doesnt set himself out to be the
performer, but more of the kind of guy you just want to hang
out and have a beer with. He can just as easily relate to a roomful
of CEOs or to a street gang. Jon says that he never wanted magic
to be a fulltime job. He sees magic as a way to develop relationships with people, either individually or in crowds. He usually
doesnt put messages into his effects, but uses magic to grab the
attention of audiences. It evens the playing field and makes him
approachable. It is this approachability that makes people take
what he says to heart. Jon has always viewed magic as an outlet;
he sees magic as being symbolic of life.
His close-up work is focused on card magic that is very
direct. He has excellent technical skills and is really in the
moment when he performs. He incorporates a lot of jazzing
in his work, taking advantage of situations as they arise. He
learned several techniques to get out of any situation. These
tools include a very good second deal, a side steal, and a top
change. The only gaffed deck he has ever used is an Invisible
Deck. He prefers to do magic with a normal deck of cards so
he can perform any of his effects anytime, with anyones deck.
However, the magic is really secondary, because he prefers to

With his wife Julie

44 M-U-M Magazine

focus on the people, making them excited participants in the

He also does a lot of motivational speaking. He talks about
his life and all of the challenges he overcame to get to where he
is today. When asked what he hopes people take from his talks,
Jon replied, Clear your head of all the negative thoughts and
remove the cluttered. Believe in the magic of vision. The only
person who can stop you is you. He uses the magic to gain
and hold the attention of the audience, keeping them involved.
He often speaks at corporate events for major Fortune 500
companies, but he frequently speaks at high schools all over
the country.
It took a number of years for him to develop his performance
character, but at this point he can look at an effect and know
whether or not it will work for him. His show packs into a
backpack and can play in a room for twenty people or an arena
full of people. Jon said that the expectations an audience has for
an athlete doing a presentation tend to be not the highest, so
if you are decent, you will be very well received. If you really
know what youre doing, youll get standing ovations. Jon gets
standing ovations. This has also allowed him to loosen up as a
presenter. He comes across as a corporate performer who isnt
corporate no PowerPoint presentation and no shirt and tie. If
he is asked to wear a tie for an engagement, he starts his show
with a trick he calls the disappearing tie.
Jon says that he cant write comedy. His comedy is based on
situations that arise when working with the audience and the
material that they feed him. He depends on their actions and
reactions to create his humor. He is not one to come out and do
a few self-working effects. His standard opener is the Tabary
rope routine, which he presents in a very comedic manner.
It is obvious that he doesnt take himself seriously, but he
establishes great chops quickly. He usually performs Martin
Lewiss Cardiographic, the linking finger rings, and his own
version of Scott Alexanders Shattered. He will take advantage
of video projection and present Misled and Bill Malones
handling of Sam the Bellhop. He will also incorporate some

With Julie at Lincoln Financial field

special effects for certain occasions. On the last Kicks for

Kids show, Jon performed Bobby Mottas Lethal and his own
routine for Postcards from Home to close the show.
The messages Jon delivers are what make him stand out
as a speaker. Here are a few things that Jon said during our
interview that I thought were really worth quoting verbatim:
My first game in Buffalo, I got out of my car and the
crowd started cheering. I was so pumped that I threw up the
deuce. Then I realized that Drew Bledsoe was driving by and
waving to the crowd. The guard said, Thats not for you, and
I said, Thanks, dude. But there was one kid I noticed against
a barricade. That same kid was there in the same spot after
the game, so I went over to talk to him. That was like my life
flashing in front of me. In my mind I was Jay Buhner. He didnt
care who I was; I was a Buffalo Bill. It wasnt until later that I
found out that he was terminally ill.
The only thing I learned in high school AP European
history class came from a movie our teacher showed us. It was
Swing Time, starring Fred Astaire. In that movie, he sang a
song called Pick Yourself Up. It had such great lyrics and the
chorus became a motto for my life: Pick yourself up, dust
yourself off, and start all over again.
I think everyone is a legend. I looked up to Drew Bledsoe
when I was a kid. When I signed with Buffalo his locker was
three down from mine. When we were in there, all he wanted
to do was to watch me do magic. One day he came up to me
and told me he vaguely remembered my fathers trial. He said,
Whatever you need, you come to me. Ive got your back. He
became my hero. Not long after that, I saw how I had become a
hero in the eyes of some terminally ill kids that I had spent time

with in Buffalo. It didnt matter who I was, but to those kids I

was Drew Bledsoe. Everybody is a hero, but you never know to
whom, so you always have to be it. Opportunities will come.
Doors will open. Your influence is way more powerful than you
know. You can be that guy. People need you to be that guy. With
great respect comes great responsibility.
When I speak at high schools, I tell my story to say here
is who I am. I want to be a great father some day. I want to be
a great husband and a great friend. I view what happened to my
family as a textbook of what not to do in life and that has given
me a great head start. Every day, we have a choice. Do you
want to make the sacrifices necessary to attain what you want
in life? Be someone people can count on. When you look in the
mirror, know that you can count on yourself. Dont be afraid to
be on teams. Make yourself so valuable that when you are gone,
people will mourn. They will remember you forever and your
contributions to helping them achieve their goals.
The best advice I ever got was in my freshman year of
college from Coach Rowe. He said, This game is not about
winning. It never was; it never will be. The reason you play this
game is for the respect of your opponent, the respect of your
peers. This is so true; and the same goes for the game of life
as well.
There are some great pieces of advice there; some things
that make you think about how you and your talents can really
impact people in many walks of life. It was a tough road for
Jon, but he has landed in a great place. Hes a caring person
who generates excitement wherever he goes. He is a great
spokesman for football, for magic, and for life.

AUGUST 2011 45

Do I Handle

You cant please all of the people all of the time, and last night
all those people were at my show. Mitch Hedberg
Being young makes you more susceptible to hecklers.
Obnoxious people are less intimidated by a young magician
because they cant separate your skill level from your age.
Shes young and shes doing magic; she cant be very
But when a magician asks me how I handle hecklers, my
first reaction is to tell that magician that its not the right
question. Even as a young magician, if people are interrupting the flow of your show on a regular basis, it is likely due to
something you are doing. Lets see if we can pinpoint some
donts to help eliminate those pesky hecklers.
Dont be rude to your audience or perform tricks where
you challenge spectators. Comments like Youre not paying
attention, or Wrong, the ball is under this cup, or See if you
can catch me on this one, are lines I hope will die out with the
old magicians who use them.
Dont perform in situations where your audience doesnt
want to see you. If someone asks to see an effect over dinner
but its clear that everyone else at the table couldnt care less,
then save the trick for another time.
Dont encourage negative feedback. Hecklers feed on
the attention you give them, so dont give them any.

Where is the Line?

Weve talked about how important it is for your magic to
reflect your life. And its critical that you be yourself onstage.
Its a natural outgrowth, then, to push the boundaries
of what you can get away with. And since dating is on
your mind and the f-bomb is on the tip of your tongue, its
tempting to do off-color magic. Resist this temptation.
I remember seeing the Amazing Johnathan slay an
audience with dirty magic; every time he said a four-letter
word, the crowd cheered. Johnathan is a comedic genius,
to be sure, but I had to realize that I wasnt the Amazing
Johnathan, and I dont perform in a Las Vegas Lounge.
Suggestive material is offensive when it comes from
a younger performer. Some people like crude humor,
but nobody wants to hear it from a minor. Heres the rule:
if the trick would get you into trouble at the dinner table,

46 M-U-M Magazine

by Joshua Jay

dont do it!
I even discovered certain words that affected the impact
of my magic. Particularly with kids, there are certain words
that suggest a harsh or negative emotion; they arent bad
words but they sound bad. Even if youre describing a prop
or action, you should substitute stupid, dumb, and ugly
for words like silly or crazy.
Im not suggesting you dont tell dirty jokes or use fourletter words it wasnt so long ago that I was fifteen years
old. But I am suggesting you reserve that material for the
locker room, and keep it clean onstage.

Magic is about managing egos yours, your audiences
and how both your ego and your audiences egos are
affected by your magic. Im not speaking exclusively about
your getting a big head (though lets not go that route). Im
talking about the larger problem that results from being
young and good, which is this: people will project a big ego
onto you.
Whether from a group of jealous friends or older
magicians, the very sight of you doing magic (and doing it
artfully) at a young age is threatening to sensitive egos. And
since magic requires more than a little self-confidence in
both the way you present your effects and yourself, this is
easily misinterpreted as cocky.
What can we do to curb this bitter jealousy? Not much.
The only ego you have control over is your own. So, be extra
polite during your shows, dont show off, and stay far away
from material that challenges the audience.
Youll still hear things and get the occasional hostile
comment, but heres a secret you can take comfort in: all
that jealousy is about how good you are. Its a compliment in
disguise! Just dont let that go to your head.

David Oliver on
Watching Magic Shows
Never sit in an audience shuffling, or practicing with a
deck of cards (or any other prop). And dont whisper during
the show to explain your thoughts on methods, routining,
etc. Talk after the show or at home where theres no chance of
non-magicians hearing you and learning any magic secrets.
Also, dont forget to act just like every other audience
member. Dont take notes during a performance and definitely applaud, laugh, and smile. Never try to force the
magician to pick you as a volunteer over a non-magician

An Inside Guide for Young Magicians and their Parents

audience member. Its better for the magician to have an
unsuspecting volunteer, rather than someone like you, who
may not react to the surprises. Sit in the back, relax, and watch
how the magician handles real people and learn from it.
Respect his or her experience.
To meet the magician, wait until the show is finished, and all
of the other audience members have left. Dont assume that its
okay to go backstage without permission. Be careful how you
introduce yourself. Wait off to the side, away from any ongoing
conversation. When the magician is not busy, approach and
introduce yourself. Ask if they have time for a conversation and
say that you are someone whos learning to be a magician. Technically, you are still a magician in training, because there are
no Professional Magicians at your age (sorry egos). Remember,
respect equals respect.

events with him. If your child is female, be cautious; remember

that magic conventions are hundreds and hundreds of guys
who do card tricks. Theyre nice guys, but still
Conventions typically provide a spousal rate for
non-magicians and many even have youth rates. Check your
local conventions for details.
Magic conventions particularly your first are memories
magicians cherish forever. My mom and I went to Las Vegas when
I was young, and everything about that trip was an adventure;
I look back on it as one of my fondest memories with her.

Are there
that can help?

Almost certainly. Magic camp is a week where campers

practice, perform, eat, live, and breathe magic. There are several
magic camps across the United States, but two reputable
organizations lead the pack. Each camp is one week in duration
and offers just one session each summer.
There are lots of concerns for parents sending young kids
to another state alone, often by plane. These concerns are legitimate. Dont make any decisions until you talk to the camp
directors. Theyll provide information on airport pickup, safety,
diet or medical restrictions. I know the directors at both camps
personally, and Im sure each of them would be willing to talk
to you.

Yes, there are two large magic fraternities: The Society of

American Magicians and the International Brotherhood of
Magicians. These organizations have clubs that meet in cities all
over the world. Youll have to look into which group meets in
your area.
The real value in these organizations is the face-to-face
contact your child will get with other local magicians. There is
no substitute for personal instruction, and once a month your
child will have a chance to perform and watch others perform.
Local clubs sponsor lectures, fundraisers, charity events, and
banquets. Clubs are an excellent connection for shows and
a good networking opportunity. If your child is serious about
magic, he or she needs to be involved on a local level.

My Child Wants to Go
to a Magic Convention.
Should I Let Him
Miss School?
Thats your call, but my parents allowed me. My grades were
good and I was serious about magic; other kids missed school
for their interests (sports tournaments, family vacations), and by
comparison a magic convention doesnt seem so unreasonable.
Magic conventions are clinics on magic, where your child
will see, learn, compete, and buy magic. But conventions are
also social affairs, and he or she is sure to make friends and get
priceless hands-on instruction. If your child is under eighteen,
plan to go with him; if he is under fourteen, plan to attend all

Would My Child
Like Magic Camp?

Tannens Magic Camp

When I was younger, there was really only one magic camp:
Tannens. I attended two consecutive summers and I reflect back
on those two weeks as seminal in my magical development. Now
in its thirty-fifth year, Tannens offers in-depth classes taught by
capable instructors.
The camp takes place at a beautiful college campus outside
Philadelphia. There are dorm-style sleeping arrangements, the
food is served in a cafeteria, and the classes are taught in real
Campers take morning classes based on ability (beginner,
intermediate, and advanced). There are elective courses taught
in the afternoon on subjects like cards, stage manipulation,
linking rings, and ballooning. There are shows every evening
and stage and close-up competitions with trophy prizes.
Because of its close proximity to New York City, the
counselors and instructors are made up of the best, busiest
pros in the business. David Blaine attended as a child and David
Copperfield showed up unannounced a few years ago.
The classes at Tannens are intense and the week is spent
almost exclusively indoors.

Sorcerers Summer Safari

Imagine a magic clinic in a real camp setting: this is Sorcerers

AUGUST 2011 47

Summer Safari.
This camp was formed ten years ago, long after I was eligible
to attend as a camper. However, I was invited to be the guest of
honor in 2002 and I have returned several times in subsequent
years. I have a good feel for this camp, as well.
This camp is set two and a half hours north of Toronto,
Ontario, Canada, at Camp White Pines (where they filmed
Meatballs). The venue is an actual campground, complete with
forest, cabins, and a private lake; the scenery is beautiful.
The feel of this camp is much more traditional. In addition
to magic courses, electives, tutorials, and shows, Sorcerers
Summer Safari offers campers free time for swimming, hiking,
playing volleyball or basketball, or jumping on the trampoline.
The instructors at this camp are particularly good with
children and provide excellent teaching for both the beginner
and advanced student.
The instructor to camper ratio here is best, and many campers
graduate into a Counselor in Training program, returning the
following year as staff. Throughout the week, each camper
receives lots of personal instruction and help. The electives
are more specific here, offering workshops on individual tricks
like Zombie or Linking Rings (I taught one on Ambitious Card).
Star power at Sorcerers Safari is also strong: last year two of the
biggest names in magic headlined.
The sense of community is strong at this camp, and
founders Mike and Jen Segal also offer a spring break reunion.
They have an email list that provides year-round pictures
and updates.

48 M-U-M Magazine

By Joshua Jay

Mike Segal on Sorcerers

Summer Safari
Magic Mike Segal runs Sorcerers Summer Safari and has
mentored numerous young magicians. Hes also a busy professional in the Toronto area. And hes the perfect person to help
define what sets magic camp apart.
What does magic camp offer that a convention doesnt?
Magic Mike: When Sorcerers Safari started, I honestly didnt
know what the differences would be. In the ten years we have
been running I have discovered many unique features.
Interaction is a huge part of the camp experience. The counselors and magic personalities are not hired to do a show and
then spend the rest of the time in their room. Camp is a social
affair, and each camper gets many opportunities to eat, jam, and
perform with the magicians they read about or watch on DVDs.
All meals, cabin activities, swimming, etc. are done together, as
a full camp. No one at camp is passive, and we pull together,
campers and staff alike, to make it work.
Camp is longer than a convention, and that gives kids
and their counselors a chance to form close bonds. Lifelong
connections are made, and were proud to spark friendships
among campers that carry over long after camp is over.
And, it goes without saying that the camp is an intensive
magic training clinic. We all work together to make the next
generation appreciate and add to the art of magic.

AUGUST 2011 49

The Houdini Award

By Julie Sobanski

agic clubs have come and gone, but not many have
endured year after year. The Houdini Club of Wisconsin
will be celebrating its seventy-third annual convention this year
in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on Labor Day weekend, September
2-4, 2011. Its a convention that, throughout the years, has
attracted many of the greatest magicians of our time.
The beginnings of the club can be traced back to 1915 and
Oshkosh. For many years, magicians in Wisconsin had talked
about organizing a statewide club dedicated to magic. Five
magicians started the Houdini Club, named to honor that great
native son of Wisconsin, Harry Houdini. The name Houdini
Club is not original, because many other towns, including
Minneapolis, Philadelphia, and others cities, also had that
name. The Wisconsin meetings were informal, and the membership small. The club flourished for several years, but soon
fell to the wayside. In 1928, two magicians tried to resurrect
the group, but this club also fizzled within a few years from
lack of interest and support.

Club of Wisconsin and the convention coming to Oshkosh

can be found in the Oshkosh Northwestern. Headlines
included Girl to Lose Her Head at Convention and Creator
of Famed Charlie McCarthy is at Convention Here. (This
referred to Chicagos Frank Marshall, the man who created
the famous ventriloquist dummy used by Edgar Bergen.) The
funny article stated, Frank was the one who carved Charlie
McCarthy out of a hunk of wood. Another newsworthy article
mentioned with the bold headline, Magician Dies at Convention. While it seems like impressive news, its not exactly what
happened. Michael Lauersen, fifty-five, of Kenosha, became
ill at the banquet and was taken to the hospital, where he had
a cerebral hemorrhage and died the next day. The report notes
that those around him were unaware of his illness.

Ben Bergor

Program of the first Houdini trophy

M.F. Zens, Dr. R.C. Finkle, Frank W. Carter, and Joe Walter
built on the failed clubs to form the new Houdini Club of
Wisconsin. It was organized on May 28, 1938, with Joe Walter
as president, M.F. Zens as vice-president, Frank W. Carter as
secretary, and Dr. R.C. Finkle as treasurer. At first, the club
only accepted membership from residents of Wisconsin,
Chicago, and Upper Michigan, but soon the by-laws were
amended to take in any eligible magician anywhere in the
U.S.A. The timing must have been right because the membership swelled to a record fifty members. The four men built
upon the success of the club and organized Wisconsins first
magic convention, which took place in Oshkosh in 1938.
Quite a bit of newspaper press mentioning the Houdini

50 M-U-M Magazine

Art, Ben, and Bess

The growing membership and the success of the first
convention had the club hosting another statewide magic
gathering the next year. Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, was picked
to host the third convention in 1940. The membership swelled
to over two hundred, and a contest of escape acts was added.
On February 8, 1940, Bess Houdini presented to the Houdini
Club of Wisconsin a beautiful hand-tooled, engraved-leather
traveling trophy. It was designed by Edward Saint, the founder
of National Magic Day. It was a bound photo book that

included photos of Houdini and a letter personally written to

the club by Bess.
Bess expressed her deep affection and high regard for
the magic organization named for her late husband, Harry
Houdini. This award was not as unique as it might sound. Bess
donated many Houdini Awards to other Houdini Clubs.
Both Bess and Harrys brother Hardeen were made honorary
members of the club. It was decided by the membership that
the trophy would be awarded for one year to the member presenting the best escape act. Bess stipulated that if it should be
won by a contestant three times, it would become his property.
The inaugural event was held in the afternoon, outside
at the Taylor Park band shell. The conventioneers as well as
the public were invited to attend this free show. The judges
were the Fond du Lac city commissioner, the chief of police,
the sheriff, the circuit court judge, and a reporter from the
newspaper. The participants in the contest were Art Suicide
Hanson of Green Bay, who did a chain escape; Ann Mahendra,
wife of Doc Mahendra, who did an upside-down straitjacket
escape while suspended from a cable; and Ben Bergor and his
wife Alvina from Madison, who did a combination trunk and
straitjacket substitution. After much deliberation, Ben Bergor
was declared the winner. The pages of the trophy were leather,
and the words 1940 Bergors Original Combination Trunk
and Straitjacket Escape and Substitution were embossed in
gold letters.
The fourth convention was held in Appleton, Wisconsin,
in 1941; the big draw was the attendance of Bess Houdini and
her business manager, Dr. Edward Saint. The escape contest
was won for the second consecutive year by Ben Bergor. The
leather page of the trophy read, 1941 Bergors Improved
Original Combination Trunk and Straitjacket Escape and
Substitution. The presentation was made in person by Mrs.
1942 brought the convention to Whitewater. Two contestants vied for the Houdini Trophy: Art Suicide Hanson
and Ben Bergor. The judges were the mayor of Whitewater,
the chief of police, and the county sheriff. Hanson presented
a torture belt effect. It took four-and-a-half minutes to chain
and rope him, but less than two minutes for him to make his
escape. Bergor improved upon his trick of previous years by
having his wife Alvina tightly strapped in a straitjacket and
then placed in a trunk that was securely locked and roped.
Bergor stood on the top of the trunk and held up a curtain
covering the trunk and himself. On the count of two, Alvina
appeared standing on top of the trunk and immediately
dropped the curtain. The trunk was un-roped and unlocked to

Bergor and Alvina

find Bergor tightly strapped in the straitjacket.
The judges were unanimous and voted Bergor the thrice
winner. The leather page of the Houdini Trophy says, 1942
By virtue of being adjudged to have the greatest escape act in
three consecutive open free-for-all contests, Ben Bergor has
won permanent possession of the Houdini Trophy.
Ben continued to be quite active with the Houdini Club
of Wisconsin; he was made an honorary life member. Right
before his death in 1981, Ben donated a new trophy to the
club, the Ben Bergor Escape Trophy. It would be awarded to a
member who competed and won the Escape Contest.
The leather bound trophy that Ben cherished stayed in his
possession until his death in 1981. His family later donated it
and other artifacts to the Wisconsin Historical Society, where
it resides and (upon special request in Madison) is available
to view by historians. The escape trunk, a guillotine, and
a signboard of Bens show are on display in the Wisconsin
Historical Museum in an exhibit called Odd Wisconsin.
For more information about the Houdini Club convention
visit our Web site at www.houdiniclubofwisconsin.com.
[A special thank you to Dr. Richard O. Mossey, Ellie Bergor, the
Houdini Club of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Historical Society, and
the Conjuring Arts Research Center for research assistance.]

AUGUST 2011 51

Lucille Pierce
and the Sorcerers
By Tom Ewing

Digital Photo Restoration by Gene Voshell

s all fraternal magic organizations know,

a promising future depends on the ability
to attract and retain young people to the
hobby. Currently, the S.A.M.s Society
of Young Magicians (S.Y.M.) is a shining
Over the years, there have been many efforts aimed at helping
young people develop in the art; several have arisen from magic
shop owners. Take for example the personalized approach of
Baltimore magic shop owner Phil Thomas, who offered personalized tips, suggestions, thoughts, and guidance in lengthy correspondence he conducted with budding magicians.
In the Midwest in the early 1930s there was Vernon Lux,
first president and founder of the International Society of Junior
Magicians. Some of the young magicians he helped develop
and who later became famous in the magic world include Harry
Riser, Jimmy Grippo, and Neil Foster. Later clubs included the
American Magical Society, Lads of Legerdemain, Magic Youths
International, Young Magicians of America, and others.
In the 1940s in Philadelphia, the person who shepherd-

52 M-U-M Magazine

ed young magicians was Lucille Saxon. She was a talented

magician, puppeteer, and manager of the Philadelphia branch of
Holdens Magic Company. The group she formed and supported
was appropriately named, The Sorcerers Apprentices.
Saxon was born Lucille Pierce in Boston, and graduated from
Briar Cliff College and Columbia University with a major in
chemistry. After graduation, she gave up scientific pursuits and
in 1928 joined up as an assistant for Harry Blackstone Sr. She
was married to another Blackstone cast member, Frank Luckner,
who served as prop master and onstage assistant for the show.
During their time with the show, Lucille and Frank had three
children, Todd, Pamela, and Judy; they divorced in 1935.
Frank continued on with Blackstone until 1939, when he married
another cast member, Bernadotta Bunny Smith, who was the
levitated Princess Karnac, and left to pursue his own magic
career. Lucille had already struck out on her own. Their children
eventually went to
live with Luckners
parents in Corning,
New York. In 1943,
Lucille landed the job
managing Holdens
Magic Shop in Philadelphia, a position she
held until just after
World War II.
Perhaps it was
the fresh supply of
youngsters hanging
around the Holdens
shop at 117 South
maybe she missed
her children, but
soon founded the
Apprentices. The club was
created for aspiring
Holdens Catalog
fourteen to eighteen,
ages at which they
were too young to join the local S.A.M. or I.B.M. clubs. Of
course, there were also exclusive adult groups in the city
like The Houdini Club and The Yogi Club, but again, not for
Not surprisingly, members of her club benefited greatly from
her operation of Holdens and her connections in magic. The
group initially met at the Y.M.C.A. at Broad and Arch Streets in
downtown Philadelphia, and later at the Sylvania Hotel, across
the street from her shop. In its later years it met in an office
building on Arch Street. The club was open to all interested
youngsters, but the first demand she made of her students was
commitment. Members could miss a meeting for personal or
emergency reasons, but miss two in a row and they were out.
While other clubs for young magicians focused on learning
and swapping tricks, Saxon also offered her members wellgrounded instruction on such things as making a nice appearance, interacting with and managing your audience, getting
applause, and the art of stage presentation. Magic tricks were
certainly taught and learned, but Saxon believed performing
magic required the development of well-rounded entertainers.
She was also connected with the stars of magic and personal
friends with Dell ODell, Jack Gwynne, Tommy Windsor, Al

Holdens Magic Shop 1944

Baker, John Mulholland, and many others. When these entertainers came to town, they frequently stopped in Holdens to
visit Lucille; since many of them were performing nightclub
shows, they took the opportunity of attending early evening
meetings of the Sorcerers Apprentices. It was for this reason
that the young men had the opportunity to meet Senor Mardo,
Cantu, and others.
Each year the Sorcerers Apprentices presented an annual
show at the New Century Club, an exclusive womens organization at 1520 Chestnut Street. The organization formed shortly
after the close of Philadelphias 1876 Centennial Exposition and
served as a place where women could meet, socialize, have guest
speakers and entertainers, and learn. They also had an elegant
stage in the drawing room of their mansion.
During the fourth annual show in 1949, member Jacob
Needleman recalls that the elegant stage almost burned down
when member David Ross magically produced a bowl of fire that
set the curtains ablaze. Club members formed a bucket brigade
that doused both the fire and the first few rows of the audience.
Needleman, a noted author and professor of philosophy at
San Francisco State University, wrote a fictional novel based
on the club called Sorcerers. Many of the characters are loosely
based on members of the club, including Lucille, who, in the
novel, is the enigmatic and beautiful Irene Angel, a mentor of
the young magicians. Needleman never met Lucille, but he still
recalls a beautiful professional portrait of her doing the linking
rings that hung on the wall of Holdens Magic Shop.
Other members of the club included at one time: Walt Hudson
the noted magician, sideshow authority and author Rod Ware,
Henry Perkinson, Dave Rosenbaum, Don Mechlin, Chuck Sovel,
Jack Key, George Copes, Howard Rice, Paul Voight, Billy Bishop,
Dick Hagy, Ben Brenner, and Bill Yeager, who billed himself as
Pep Williams. Williams was a designer for Westinghouse and
served as treasurer of Assembly 4 in the mid 1940s.
Over the years some thirty different boys were members of
the club. Her compatriot in running the club was a local magician
named Jim Kilip, who performed in Chinese costume and billed
himself as Chang Kuo Lao. Kilip used magic to promote health
and good nutrition in Philadelphia public schools.
When not helping young magicians develop, Lucille appeared
both locally and nationally as an accomplished sleight-of-hand
artist, being one of the few persons who could execute a triple

cut with both hands at the same time. During World War II she
performed for wounded soldiers in area hospitals. She was an
accomplished artist and puppeteer and designed outfits for her
characters. Lucille also appeared frequently on the local annual
I.B.M. and S.A.M. stage shows and throughout the 1940s served
as secretary of both local chapters.
In September 1944, Saxon appeared at the annual Abbotts
Get-Together. The Sphinx carried a review of the show and
featured a photo of Saxon on stage. Always with a sense
of humor, she used to advertise herself by distributing a
giveaway in the
form of a small
What Men Know
Upon opening it,
the reader discovered it was filled
with blank pages.
She also married
a local magician
named Rudy Saxon
who, in addition to
doing regular magic
and ambidextrous
writing on a large
chalk board, went
on to become one of
the nations leading
mentalists in the
Jim Killip
1950s and 1960s.
Saxon had also been
an assistant on the Blackstone Sr. show during the same time
Lucille was on the show. She also kept in frequent touch with
her children, especially her youngest, Judy, to whom she sent
detailed letters emblazoned with hand-drawn fairies and princesses and fanciful artwork. Judy still treasures a sketch book of
doll clothing designs her mother drew.
Although she left Holdens in 1945, Lucille continued to
operate her Sorcerers Apprentices group; the April 1946 Linking
Ring mentions that she and her boys attended the third annual
picnic of the Allentown Society of Magicians/Ring 32 at Dorney
Eventually Lucille left Philadelphia and returned to Corning,
New York, where she became increasingly ill. A lifetime smoker,
she succumbed to lung cancer and died on November 10, 1948.
Magic publications of the time carried her obituary and mourned
the loss of a talented magician and mentor.
Today, the care and development of young magicians in the
Philadelphia area lies with Arlen Solomon and the leaders of Bob
Little S.Y.M. Assembly 96. Begun in November 1991, the club
currently boasts twenty-five members and over the years has introduced magic to more than 150 youngsters and their parents.
They have also been assisted by members of Assembly 4, who
have generously volunteered, lectured, and donated magazines,
books, andpropsfor these budding magicians.
Although few of Lucilles students remain today, those who
do recall a warm and wonderful woman who cared deeply for
both the young magicians she trained and the art of magic. At
a time when magic clubs were exclusive, hers was inclusive.
No doubt, when she looked in the bright eyes of her students,
she saw the future of magic. So do we today at every S.Y.M.

AUGUST 2011 53

James shares an entertaining tale from the performing lives of professional magicians.
These stories illustrate various tricky situations that working pros have found
themselves in and how they handled them.

The inimitable Turley the Magician!

When Washington, D.C.s Turley the Magician is not entertaining audiences, he enjoys reading philosophy and exploring
the meaning of truth. A student of Aristotle and Aquinas, he
admits that he is not a fan of popular culture; he steers clear
of the celebrity-obsessed tabloid media. Turley is erudite and
thoughtful, with no interest in the superficial. As you will read
in a moment, he was the perfect man for the job.
I have an arrangement with concierges at several major
hotels around town, Turley explains. If a hotel has a VIP
guest who requires a childrens entertainer, I get a call. Theres
an unspoken understanding that I never ask who the guest is,
and they almost never tell me.
Turley is an egalitarian. He offers the same great show at
the same price no matter who the audience is. The rich and
famous receive no different treatment from him. Whether the

54 M-U-M Magazine

kid is living in the inner city, in the suburbs, or in a royal palace,

he or she will have the same Turley experience. In most ways,
however, the lives of the privileged bear no resemblance to
those most of us lead. Turley remembers once performing for
three children who were outnumbered by bodyguards five to
one. An entire hotel floor had been rented out for their stay. He
had no information about the family, but the person who booked
him for the show later informed him that the kids were Osama
bin Ladens grandchildren. This was in 1993, long before bin
Laden became the most infamous household name in the U.S.
The booker also related to Turley how the children were taken
to Toys R Us for a shopping spree like no other. The store was
closed for their privacy and they were given free rein to buy
whatever they desired. As the entourage left the store, one of the
children saw a homeless man nearby. He asked his bodyguard
if he could give the man some money. The bodyguard said he
could. The child went over to the homeless man and gave him
$800 in cash.
One day, Turley received a call from a concierge at a luxury
hotel who asked if he could come down and put on a show
for some special guests. There would be approximately half a
dozen children. Turley agreed and turned up at the hotel. As
usual, he had no advance notice of whom the audience would
be. He knew they were extremely wealthy because they had
rented out the entire hotel floor. When Turley was shown into
the room, he saw that there were indeed six children of varying
ages. There were also several adults milling around.
There were four people who appeared to be nannies. Two
of them were holding infants in their arms. The other two were
watching the older kids. There was one guy who looked like
security. There was a man sitting on the floor with the children.
I thought he must be the father. Then there was a woman with a
camera taking photos whom I assumed was the mother.
As Turley began performing, he had to adapt his show to the
small space of the hotel room, performing routines on the floor
with the kids when necessary. The children responded with
laughs and delight, as did the father. Throughout the act, the
camerawoman kept snapping away.
When Turley performs at kids parties, the birthday child
receives a number of gifts, including a handmade cape identical
to the one he wears, along with a top hat and funny round
glasses, all of which transform the child into a mini-Turley. In

this case, he had brought a cape for each child. After the
show ended, the kids scrambled into their Turley wear. The
father, too, insisted on his own gear, donning the top hat and
glasses and posing for pictures along with the kids and the
magician. Turley had also brought along copies of Woodrow
the White House Mouse, a childrens book that features a
character based on him
performing at a White
House party.
None of the people in
the room were familiar
to Turley. Nothing about
the circumstances or the
faces rang a bell. What
he did know was that
his audience enjoyed
the show thoroughly
and had a fun afternoon.
Mission accomplished.
When he arrived
back home, Turleys
naturally curious about
the mystery guests. So
who were they? she
Turley in Woodrow the White
Well, I dont know,
House Mouse
said Turley. He recalled
the scene. There were
six kids. They looked like they came from all over the
world. There were two Asian boys, a little girl who looked
Ethiopian, a little Caucasian girl, and two babies. The dad
had a goatee. And there was a dark-haired woman taking
Makiko was incredulous. That was Brad Pitt and
Angelina Jolie!
The next time Turley was in a grocery store, a quick
glance at the magazine display confirmed that the large and
diverse family he had met was the globe-trotting Jolie-Pitt
Of course, the Jolie-Pitts couldnt know that Turley had
no idea who they were, but it must have been refreshing to
be around someone who treated them as though they were
ordinary parents, who did not act obsequious or obnoxious
or star struck. In what surely must have been a first for the
family, Turley performed his entire act and left the hotel
without any evidence of his time with Brad and Angelina
not one photo, not one autograph, no endorsements or references.
His brush with celebrity superstardom hasnt changed
Turley. His intellectual and spiritual pursuits continue.
He is currently reading the works of Thomas Merton, a
Trappist monk known for his ruminations on social justice
and pacifism. Although he prides himself in not following
the herd and is proud of the fact that he didnt recognize
Brangelina, Turley does now make a point of perusing
tabloids in the checkout line just to keep up.
Do you have an interesting story for the Pro Files? Send me
an email at james@jamesmunton.com.

AUGUST 2011 55


Excerpt From:
Curtain Call
Author: Barrie Richardson
Description: Hardbound
with dust jacket, 251 pages
Available From:
Barrie Richardson has established an enviable reputation
as one of magics finest creators of mental effects. His first two
books for Hermetic Press (Theater of the Mind and Act Two)
were highly praised. Mr. Richardson completes his trilogy
with Curtain Call, which features the full details of his entire
professional act, dozens of wonderful tricks, routines, and tools
for the mentalist, and concludes with a unique piece that always
brings a strong emotional response and a spontaneous ovation
from his audiences.
As the following two routines aptly demonstrate, Mr.
Richardson is a master at achieving memorable mysteries by
simple means. My thanks to Stephen Minch and Hermetic Press
for allowing M-U-M to publish these excerpts. Michael Close

Mesmers Pencil
In Theater of the Mind, I presented an effect in which a woman
could not lift an ordinary wooden pencil (Pencil Pusher, p. 71).
This was a demonstration not of hypnosis but of the power of suggestion. Over the past decade, this effect has been presented by
notable mentalists in North America and in Europe. I have added
two additional phases to this routine, either of which can be done
alone or in combination. I have also changed the script and, lastly,
I have given more specific details on how to tie the threads.
This is one of those rare pieces that can be done for a single
person or on stage in a large theater. There is no preparation, and
all that is required is a sharp pencil, a small invisible gimmick,
a cooperative helper and a significant amount of stage management. It is imperative that the performer establish a friendly yet
authoritative relationship. There should be the feeling that this is
an experiment in which failure is a possibility and that success
is largely dependent on the special abilities of the volunteer. The
volunteers reactions are what make the demonstration so believable, and this requires guidance and frequent public affirmation
of the helpers success.

Effect and Presentation:

Phase I
Have you ever heard of Anton Mesmer? Mesmer was born
and educated in Switzerland, and he set up his medical practice
in Paris in the latter part of the eighteenth century. He believed
that a psychic ether pervades all space and that this energy flows

56 M-U-M Magazine

through all bodies.

He further asserted that sickness and body pain were caused
by a blockage of this natural flow, and he developed several
remedies using magnets and hands-on massage to reduce pain
and promote healing.
His spectacular cures became the talk of society, and King
Louis XVI offered him a life-time pension to keep him in France.
Mesmers patients were mostly wealthy, attractive women
who had what we might now call psychosomatic illnesses and
repressed sexual anxieties.
Like a modern stage hypnotist, Mesmer discovered the value
of not accepting all patients. Only those who could supposedly
control the flow of energy with their own body were accepted as
Anton Mesmer would have the prospective patient undergo
tests such as the ones we will try.
I need a volunteer. Ideally I would like to have a woman who
has had natural childbirth training. If not, I would like a woman
who has a vivid imagination. The experiment will be enjoyable,
and the helper will receive a special gift.
An attractive woman, Carol, comes forward.
Lets assume you are a prospective patient and I am Dr.
Mesmer. The performer freely shows a common yellow wooden
pencil. He places it on his open left hand, with the point resting on
the middle finger and the eraser on his palm.
Please open your right hand and relax. The performer
takes the womans right wrist and holds her open hand five inches
above the pencil.
Now I want you to feel that you have the power, due to the
animal magnetism that flows through your body, to adjust the
dormant energy in this pencil.
He slowly moves her open hand three or four times over the
Then...the eraser-end of the pencil starts to rise.
Strange. Stay focused.
A few more strokes and the pencil pivots upward two or three
There are obviously no threads or magnets.
Now reverse the flow. The performer slowly moves Carols
open hand backward over the raised pencil, reversing the flow.
Ever so slowly the pencil lowers back onto the palm where it
Will you please lift the pencil off my hand?
Carol does so without the performer making any motions or

Phase II
Carol, you are doing a wonderful job. Would you like to try
another experiment?
She nods affirmatively.
Please ignore the audience. Forget they are here. Follow my
instructions and concentrate on the images I will give you in a
The performer places the pencil on his open left hand, with the
eraser pointing to his right. Carol is standing at his right.
With your left hand, grip the pencil between your thumb and
first finger. Good! Now relax and shut your eyes.
Relax. Listen to my instructions. Carol, I want you to be successful. Use your immense creativity to imagine the pencil you
are gripping is not a pencil. Imagine it is a metal bar. The metal is

from another planet. It is a hundred times more dense than iron.

The pencil you are holding must weigh thirty pounds, not one
ounce. Can you imagine that? Dont open your eyes. Keep the
image in your mind.
Try now to lift the thirty pound object. [Dramatically] You
cant lift it. It is too dense. Your mind sees it, senses it. It is getting
even heavier. Try a little harder! You cant lift it. Keep your eyes
closed. Say out loud to the audience, I cant lift the pencil.
She says with emotion, I cant lift the pencil.
Relax. The others arent sure whats happening. Since your
eyes are closed, you may think Im stopping the pencil in some
way. Try! Remember, you believe it is thirty pounds. Now open
your eyes.
She does. Her hand may be shaking. The pencil is there,
resting on the performers hand. There is nothing constraining it.
Her face shows wonder.
Please close your eyes again. Lets change the image. The
pencil is now not thirty pounds; instead, its as light as a butterfly.
Use your mind. Release the weight. There is a butterfly weight in
your hand. Lift. She does.
Higher! Make it float up like a butterfly. She does.
Open your eyes and take a bow.

Phase III
Lets try the most difficult test.
Saying this, the performer removes a small envelope from his
breast pocket. He opens it and removes a three-inch feather. He
blows on it.
He once more places the pencil on his open left hand.
Carol, forget the audience. Concentrate on my instructions.
This feather will gain weight when I put it on my palm. It will
weigh thirty pounds. You must create this image.
The feather is placed across the center of the pencil.
Carol, this time you will use both hands, but the feather will
be dense and so heavy it virtually locks the pencil down. You will
not be able to lift the pencil.
Now grasp the pencil with the thumb and first finger of your
left hand, near one end, and grasp the other end in the same way
with your right hand.
Thats perfect. Now close your eyes.
Use your immense imagination. Direct your mind to making
the pencil immovable. Try, gently, to lift the pencil. Now try
Her face shows a mixture of astonishment and self-congratulation.
Open your eyes.
She shakes her head in wonderment.
Relax your grip. The feather is now as light as a...as a feather.
Gently lift the feather with your right hand and blow on it.
Now, with your left hand, lift the pencil into the air and take a
She does, and the audience applauds.
Mesmer would want you as a patient, and just as Dr. Mesmer
did, I invite you to keep the feather and the pencil as reminders of
the invisible forces in the universe and most important in you.

Phase I The Rise
The solution to this perplexing demonstration is a hidden loop
of invisible thread on the first joint of your left middle finger.

I originally used the

common invisible thread
sold in fabric shops. It is
made of strong nylon; and as
you will soon see, I still use
this in the second and third
phases of this routine. This
works fine, and I wear one
tight loop on my left hand.
I have recently discovered an even thinner nylon
thread, which you may wish
to try. Also a sewing thread,
it is called Wonder Invisible
Thread and is made by the YLI
Corporation in Rock Hill, SC.
This clear thread is listed as size
.004 and comes on a spool holding
1,500 yards. There are, no doubt,
other similar threads available. Any
invisible nylon monofilament sewing thread
should work.
After trying many options, I have found
the simplest way to tie the loop is the best.
Cut off about eighteen inches of thread,
double it and tie a single over-hand knot in it,
forming a one-inch loop in the middle. Slip your
left middle finger into the loop and pull the single
knot fairly tight at the crease of the outer joint.
Because the thread is nylon, even though there
is only a single knot, it will hold. (If you doubt
this, there is little harm in tying a square
knot instead, although this knot is slightly
more visible.)
The loop should fit your finger
like a snug ring, without being
harmful. When you turn your
hand over, you may see
a mark where the loop
circles the knuckle.

Finally, snip off the ends

as close to the knot as
possible. The nylon
loop is permanent.
You wear it day and
night, so you are
always ready for this
The pencil is ordinary
but must be sharp. The
point will squeeze just
under the tight loop. You
want only the tip the
smallest length you can dependably use engaged.
To cause the eraser-end of
the pencil to rise, very slightly
straighten the middle finger.
Properly done, this action is
After you lower the pencil

AUGUST 2011 57


Phase III The Feather Test

back to its original rest position on your palm, a slight movement

of the middle finger toward the palm will release the point and
allow the pencil to be freely lifted away. This is a surprisingly
simple action, which is done openly.

Phase II The Heavy Pencil

This demonstration uses another loop of thread. This is a loop
of the standard clear nylon sewing thread. Some magicians have
told me they use one-and-a-half-pound fishing
line, which is also very light.
Tie the loop in the same manner
taught above. Once again, the thread
must be snug on your finger, without
constricting blood flow. This
loop goes at the crease of the
inner joint of your left middle
finger; and like the first loop,
you will wear it always. When
preparing for the heavy-pencil
test, you squeeze the pencil
under this hidden loop, and let it
lie in a perfectly normal position
on your hand, with the eraser end
pointing to your right.
The loop may rest a few inches past
the point
of the pencil.
This works.
However, you may also place the
pencil across your open palm, with
the loop engaged near the center
of the pencil. Turn the pencil so
that the printing on the pencil
faces upward. The print helps to
hide the thread. Even a careful
observer cannot perceive it. But
there is no careful observer in
this routine.
If the woman holds the
eraser end between her thumb
and first finger, the pencil will remain
secure and unliftable. It will take a little
practice to learn how to position it. You
may have to move the eraser end forward
an inch or so to get a secure hold.
When you remove the pencil, do not pull
it rightward to free it from the loop. Rather, use your right fingers
to grasp it, hold it steady and, as you patter, move your left hand
sideways. This cleanly releases the pencil. Its a small thing, but it
adds to the appearance of total fairness.

58 M-U-M Magazine

A few years back, I got a phone call from Chuck Smith, a

brilliant professional magician. He has a reputation for fooling
everyone, even the most knowledgeable magicians.
Chuck asked if I would give him my permission to use the
heavy pencil test in his program.
Of course, I said. It is published and therefore available for
use. I thanked him for the courtesy of his call. He then asked
for my address, as he wished to send me some of his material.
How gracious, I thought. Before he hung up, he told me how he
used a small feather to add weight. This did two things. First, it
completely covered the loop; and it made everyone focus on the
feather. What a clever man Mr. Smith is.
The third phase is much like the second. However, I raise
my left hand to the height of the womans shoulders. Her lifting
motion is made more visible to the audience, and it is diminished.
This prevents her tugging strongly upward, since she is forced to
lift with the fingers of both hands, rather than with her arms.
There you have it. It isnt a spectacular illusion, but it holds
the attention of audiences and directs attention to the unexpected
mesmeric talent of your helper. Best of all, it doesnt seem like a
P.S. The hidden loop of thread used for the rising pencil can
also be used to make an ordinary fork rise. This can be done
in a restaurant without any preparation. The thread, though, is
more likely to break, due to the greater weight of the fork and the
thickness of its tines. On the positive side, the fork rises higher
than the pencil, thanks to its curvature, and it does look very
The Magician Summer 2007

Symbologic Revisited
This routine is one in which the participant is successful in
intuiting the colors of unseen objects. The experiment is done
first with three choices and then repeated with five. The second
matching is the more dramatic and, if desired, can be performed
without doing the first phase.
Effect and Presentation: The performer opens a small purse
and dumps ten quarters from it onto the table. There are round
stickers on the tails sides of all ten coins. These stickers are
colored to make two corresponding sets of coins, each set consisting of a red, a white, a blue, a green and a yellow coin.
Marked coins like these are used in statistics courses to demonstrate how most of us incorrectly estimate the probability of
events. Let me show you an experiment. The performer pushes
three of the coins to a woman sitting opposite. Assume they are
red, white and blue. He picks up the three matching coins and
hides them from view in his left hand. He next removes one and
places it colored-side down on the table, so that no one can discern
the color.
Your job is to use your intuition and try to guess the color
on this coin. Simply push one of yours forward to declare your
The woman pushes one across the table; say, the white one.
The performer sets it, colored-side down, on top of his quarter.
This procedure is repeated twice, accompanied by some
urging that the woman follow her intuition as she tries to match
the unknown color of each of his coins with one of hers.
The three pairs of coins are neatly stacked, each on the last,

into a single pile.

What is the probability that all your selections have been
correct? Well, this is how it works. The first choice the white
coin was one chance in three, right? Holding the stack in his
hand, the performer removes the two bottom coins and sets them
on the table, with their colored sides still down.
For the second guess, you only had two choices, remember?
The next pair of coins is removed from the stack and similarly
Now here is the point most people miss. He sets down the
remaining two coins. The probability of getting all three right is
what one out of twenty? One out of fifteen? No, it is one out of
six. Lets see how you did on your first try.
The first two coins are turned over. Their colors match. Good
guess! Look, the second pair also matches. That means the last
two have to match!
When this has sunk in, and the situation has been appreciated,
the performer continues. Lets try to raise the bar. Well use all
five pairs of coins. He picks up one set of five and places them
colored-side down in his hand. He then lays the remaining set
colored-side up in a row in front of his intuitive helper.
After some hesitation, the performer places one of his quarters,
colored-side down, on the table. The woman pushes a colored
coin of her choice forward as her guess. As in the first test, the
performer turns this coin colored-side down and stacks it with its
target coin. This is repeated twice.
The performer sets a fourth coin colored-side down on the
table. Please place your guess colored-side down on this one.
As she is making her decision, the performer neatly and fairly
assembles the previous three pairs of coins into a stack.
By this point, the woman has elected her fourth choice. You
did that one with more certainty. Now put your coin on top of mine
and place those two onto these. In concert with his instructions, he points to indicate she should place the fourth pair onto
the stack of six previous coins.
And now put your last coin on mine. The performer places
his final coin colored-side down on top of the pile, and the woman
does the same.
How well did you do? Two out of five is average.
The performer picks off the top two coins and sets them to his
right. He places the next pair beside these, then the next and the
next, forming a row of five pairs. These, and all actions, are scrupulously fair and open.
Now help me. I dont want to disturb any of these pairs.
Please turn over the top coin of each.
She does so, showing her five colors. These are in the order she
dispersed them, as they should be, though this isnt mentioned.
Turn this one over, the performer says, indicating the first of
his coins. It matches.
And this one. Another match.
And this one. Again, a match.
This is repeated, and all five pairs are seen to match. The result
is astonishing, and there can be no trickery. All the coins are left
on the table, as all are innocent.
Method: Hen Fetschs wonderful trick, Symbologic, was
released in 1954. It is still an amazing trick. But there are some
things that, in my opinion, make the treatment of Symbologic
Ive just described even more amazing. First, using coins seems
somehow inherently less tricky than using playing or ESP cards.
The coins also make a tall stack, which appears to prevent sleightof-hand. And there is the sound made as the quarters are slid and
turned over, which somehow adds an extra dimension of honesty

and conviction.
Initially, I marked the faces of the coins, so that all of them
could be placed colored-sides down during the pairing phases.
This, though, often created difficulties caused by my poor vision
and circumstances of lighting. Ive found that leaving the helpers
coins colored-sides up does not weaken the effect. In fact, it has
the advantage of stimulating the onlookers interest. In addition,
the correct sequence of the selected colors is noted by close
observers. And as the coins are unmarked, there is nothing suspicious to find.
The basis of the method is an expanded quarter shell, head side
intact, and the ancient one-behind strategy.

Phase I Three Matches

The first phase doesnt use the shell, so you keep it safely
hidden for the time being. An easy and practical way of concealing it is simply to nest it over one of the quarters that is not used in
this phase. Alternatively, you can keep it on your lap.
The particulars of the handling are based on those taught in
Douglas Dyments Bobs Your Uncle (see his Mindsights, p. 28),
which in turn is a variation of a Charles Pecor idea (Bobs ESP
Demonstration in Pecors Sinister Variations, p. 5).
In your hand, you hold three coins with colors matching those
given your assistant. To start things off, you place one of your
coins down with the color hidden on the underside. Assume it is
the white coin, although it could be any one you like. Take care
that no one sees the color as you remove the coin from your closed
hand. If your helper pushes her white coin forward to join yours,
think to yourself, Match. If not, think, No match.
For now, I will proceed on the assumption that the colors of
this first pair of coins do match. Well discuss later what happens
when they do not.
Cleanly turn your helpers coin colored-side down and set it
onto your coin. Next put down a second coin; lets assume it is the
blue one. If you are very lucky, and the participant pushes forward
her matching blue one, the effect is an automatic success, since
the third pair of coins must match.
Suppose that either the first pair of coins or the second do not
match. Think, No match to yourself. As soon as you get a No
match, follow the one-behind rule, choosing for your next coin
that which matches the previous color your helper has pushed
When your helper pushes out her next coin, it cannot match
yours, so you continue the one-behind strategy to the end.
While your helper makes each new decision, you turn the coin
she previously picked colored-side down onto its target coin, the
one your helper hopes to match. This eventually creates three
piles of two quarters, all colored-sides down.
Gather them into a single stack, placing the center pair onto
the first, then the coins last paired onto the four just stacked.
As mentioned earlier, sometimes the matching happens
honestly. The rest of the time you will have to resort to a little
simple sleight of hand. The key move is a version of the glide,
adapted to coins.
Grip the stack at the fingertips of your palm-down left hand.
Suppose you know that the bottom two coins match. In that case,
you simply slide them one-by-one off the bottom of the stack and
place them on the table. If, however, they do not match, your right
fingers secretly push back the bottom one about a quarter of an
inch. Pull out the two coins above it, one at a time, and place
them together, colored-sides still downward, on the table. You

AUGUST 2011 59


will have to do this twice if none of the three pairs match. The
third pair always matches, once any necessary adjustments have
been carried out with the first and second pairs, so these last two
coins are simply set down.
If this explanation seems complicated, please go through the
procedure two or three times and you will discover how easy it is.
All that is required of you is that you do the glide whenever you
think, No Match.

Phase II Five Matches

The second phase translates Hen Fetschs method for ESP
cards to an equivalent one for coins. Instead of a hidden extra
card, we use a shell to perform the same secret function. Pick up
one set of five differently colored coins, including the one wearing
the shell.
First place one of the coins colored-side down on the table
then apparently change your mind. Pick it up, allowing it to be
seen on both sides without mentioning the color. Replace it in
your hand and set the shell on the table instead. The innocence of
the first coin is transferred psychologically to the shell.
You will again rely on the one-behind principle. For example,
if your helper pushes her blue coin forward for her first selection,
you set your blue coin out, colored-side down, as your second
target. If your helper then pushes forward her red coin, you lay out
your red coin for the third target. Lets assume she pairs this with
her green coin. As she considers and makes each of her choices,
you turn her previously chosen coin colored-side down and stack
it with your target coin.
While this procedure seems
identical to that used in the first
test, there is a small modification that seems inconsequential
if it is noticed at all. As you
stack the first pair, you set your
coin (the shell) over hers, rather
than the reverse. In addition,
when you set the shell onto her
coin, dont let it nest; rather, let it
rest on the coin, overlapping it while
one edge stays in contact with the table.
Stack the other two sets of coins as you have
before, hers on top of yours. You may leave these pairs arranged
similarly to the first. The important thing is that your actions look
entirely fair and casual.
Set out your green coin (as her last choice was green) for the
fourth target. While your helper is making her fourth decision,

60 M-U-M Magazine

casually assemble the previous three pairs of coins, as you did in

the first test. As you stack the second pair onto the first, squaring
the coins, the shell automatically slides over the bottom one,
covering it. No one ever notices there is one coin less in the pile
than there should be. Then set the third pair onto the others.
By this time your helper will have set down her fourth coin.
Ask her to turn it colored-side down, put it onto your fourth coin
and place the pair on top of the stack.
Everyone believes you have only one coin left in your hand.
In fact, you have two. As you focus your attention, and everyone
elses, on your helpers stacking of the coins, slip one of your
remaining two into right-hand thumb palm. You can then casually
flash the silver side of the remaining coin in your left hand.
The womans actions provide exceptionally strong misdirection, during which you place the coin in your left hand either
under or over the thumb-palmed one. The order of these last two
coins is determined by the color of your helpers last coin. The
top coin of the two you are holding out of sight must match this
color. Immediately but casually set both coins onto the stack, as if
they were one. When you do this, slide the top coin slightly out of
register with the rest, making it look as if youve set just it on top.
This furthers the impression that youve deposited only one coin,
although there should be no suspicion of anything else.
Ask your helper to place her final coin on top of the others.
Now remove the top two coins as a unit and place them well to
the right on the table. Take off the next pair and set them slightly
to the left of the first pair. Continue to remove the coins in pairs
from the stack, forming a row. The final pair, the bottom coin of
which wears the shell, is not moved. Arrange matters so that the
others form a straight line with this pair. Now ask your helper to
turn over the top coin of each set and place it in front of its mate.
When the coin over the shell has been taken off, casually place
your left fingers on top of the shell for a moment. Simultaneously,
place your right fingers similarly on the corresponding coin at the
right end of the row.
Slide both coins forward an inch or so, while pressing your left
fingertips down firmly on the shell. It should look as if you are
tidying up the display.
When you raise your left hand, the shell will stick momentarily to your fingers and is secretly stolen away. This works perfectly
if your fingertips are slightly moist. Move the shell into classic

palm before it can fall, or simply curl the fingers loosely, letting
the shell rest on their tips.
You are now ready for a dramatic revelation, after which everything can be examined.
The Magician August/September 2006

Latest Product Reviews
Compiled and Edited by W. S. Duncan

Unspeakable Acts Book

By Jim Magus with Terry Nosek and Neil Tobin
Available from Jim Magus through PayPal to
Price $75.00 plus $8.00 shipping in the USA
Review by Joshua Kane
Unspeakable Acts is this years
guilty pleasure read. It is a witty and
salacious roller coaster ride through
the life of one of magics most complicated and creative individuals; a man
whose legacy has left three distinct
identities for historians and friends
alike to contend with, be confused by,
and miss seeing at the bar or hospitality suite. The man, the myth, and the
magic are inseparable in the tripartite
subject of this volume. Three of the
most creative and impactful performers, whose work I frequently bought
from Magic, Inc. in my teens, were
Tom Palmer, Tony Andruzzi, and Masklyn Ye Mage. Imagine
my surprise later in life when I learned that all three people were
actually one person, whom I came to hold in high regard and
knew from late night phone conversations.
Over the years, it has become clear to me that almost everyone
I have met in magic either knew Tony Andruzzi or had a story
about him. Tony was one of those performers whose name you
could have used for a round of six degrees of Kevin Bacon, if
the Bacon game had been played with magicians. His fingerprints
are all over contemporary magic history.
Andruzzi was the undisputed godfather and public representative of bizarre magick. Despite Tony Raven being the actual
creator of Invocation magazine, it is Andruzzi who is most
often identified with the monthly journal that united shamanistic
performers and Lovecraftian writers. Prior to this, as Tom Palmer,
he was involved in the early days of televised magic and worked
with such luminaries as Mark Wilson. As Masklyn Ye Mage, he
was an early member of the Psychic Entertainers Association and
was just as famous for effects that did not work as he was for
ones that did. He was happily infamous for his ability to terrorize
hotel staff with his portable Satanic altars and rituals. His Invocational conventions were famous in their time; being able to claim
attendance at them is still a status symbol equal to being able to
claim that one saw the original NYC production of Harold Pinters
The Birthday Party. And like that event, which would still be
running today if as many people had actually seen it as claimed to
have, Madison Square Garden would have been required to seat
all those who claim to have played with Tony and his gang.
If there ever was a performer whose life was stranger than
fiction and suited for a mad bio-pic, it was Tony. If it were not for
the careful documentation of newspaper articles and references

to primary sources included in the volume, no one would believe

even half of the tales that have been collected and published. Tony
even knew Jack Ruby, the nightclub owner who shot Lee Harvey
Oswald after President Kennedys assassination. Tonys testimony
to the Warren Commission is included in the detailed appendix.
Jim Magus, Terry Nosek, and Neil Tobin (the star of Chicago
Supernatural) are to be commended and thanked for compiling
and editing so much material into a volume whose momentum
and page-turning energy never flags. The book is hardbound, 533
pages, and is lavishly illustrated with line drawings, photographs,
and reproductions of articles, ads, and ephemera. I thoroughly
enjoyed the read and know that I will return to it often.
Because no effects are taught in the book, and because the
community who most passionately remembers and reveres Tony
is a self-selecting one, I feel that the publisher could sell ten times
as many copies as a $35 paperback. At that price it would be a
no-brainer. At the hardbound price, some folks may be scared off.
I recommend that every collector, magic club, and assembly order
at least one copy for their library.

Danger in Paradise/Malay Woman Book

By Sid Fleischman
Available from Stark House Press
Price $20.00
Review by Jim Kleefeld
Just when you get ready to waste some
free time and think theres nothing in
escapist literature around, along comes
a pair of saucy stories about adventure
in exotic lands. Stark House Press has
gained some renown by republishing
pulp fiction of the 40s and 50s. About
five years ago I picked up a book with
two stories by Fleischman,Look Behind
You, Lady andThe Venetian Blonde.
Both were about magicians caught up in
crime and turmoil. I thoroughly enjoyed
both stories for what they were light
reading with a bit of nostalgia thrown in.
This new Stark republication contains another pair by the
same author. Two short stories,Danger in ParadiseandMalay
Womanare combined in one 276-page book. Written in the early
1950s, they both contain great gobs of post-war pulp escapism.
Hard-boiled mugs duke it out with foreign bums and miscreants,
while dames with great gams and ulterior motives entice them
with feminine wiles. Its all very Dashielle Hammet and Ellery
Queen, with a touch of Fu Manchu.
Fleischman spent the war years in Indonesia and the Far East,
so he learned the ins and outs of tropical settings. He uses his
travels (and a great deal of research) to make Malay, Bali, Kuala
Lumpur, and Singapore come to life in these stories. Steamships,
ports, seedy bars, and rubber plantations provide the backdrop for

AUGUST 2011 61

a beautiful but mysterious Russian woman to who tries to smuggle

gun-running information, an on-the-run overseer who awoke to
find his wife murdered, and a local control war between native
terrorists and the Red Army. And then there is the enigmatic
Asian who carries a tiny deadly bird in his bare hands.
I reviewed a prepublication edition the actual book will be
available in August but there is little to suggest the final product
will not be exactly the same as my copy. And aside from a typo
or two, there is little to change: in one volume, two short stories,
written and sold to pulp magazines back in 1953 and 1954. There
are exotic ports of call, mysterious women, danger around every
corner, and several well-plotted twists in the tales. I loved the
intrigue, the mystery, the romance, and the nostalgic look at
what used to pass for common literature. But then, Im a Maltese
Falcon kind of guy.
You probably already know whether you like pulp fiction or
not, but if you have never read the genre, this is a great place to
start. The characters are well-defined and things move quickly.
Surprises and adventures pop up as quickly as in an Indiana Jones
film. People are shot and stabbed in the back. Jocks best friend
leaves town and his wife tries to seduce Jock. Gun-runners stage a
gun battle against island natives. A widow who inherited a plantation drives around in an armored car. There is a rich American in
a white suit who kills everyone that gets in his way. Jeff falls in
love quickly, discovers his lover is deceitful, and falls in love with
someone else.
The Fleischman stories would make great beach reading. Or
save them for a lonesome winter night by the fire. Which almost
brings me to closing, except for a possible mystery of our own.
Why is M-U-M, the magazine for magicians, reviewing a book of
fiction with no magician characters or magic settings? Well, if by
now you have not recognized the name of the author and his connection with our world, maybe you should buy this to find out. Sid
Fleischman, besides being a terrific magician and writer of great
magic books, both fiction and non-fiction, is a great writer, period.
If you have to have magicians in your reading, then the fine introduction about Fleischmans life and writing provides a concise
biography of the man and his magic. Or, look up the great 2006
book with the two stories mentioned in the opening paragraph.
For a great read and a fine example of a particular genre, this is a
fine publication by a fine writer. As for Danger in Paradise and
Malay Woman, there is no magician in these stories, but there is

Pockets Full of Miracles DVD

By Diamond Jim Tyler

Distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies

Retail Price $34.95
Review by Jamie Salinas
This DVD contains close-up routines from Diamond Jim
Tylers repertoire. Jim is an accomplished performer who provides
you with many effects that he has created or varied. The routines
are easy to follow and easy to master. There is a ton of material
on this DVD.
The first effect is called Baseball Diamond. A deck of playing
cards with baseball players on the faces is shuffled. A spectator
selects a card at random and Jim explains that he has a prediction card in the box that was lying on the table from the very
beginning. The box is tipped down and out of the box falls a fullsized baseball. The selected card is shown to have Juan Gonzales
on the face, and the baseball is signed by Juan Gonzales.

62 M-U-M Magazine

Next up are Nimble Thimbles and Three Burnt Matches. The

routine starts out with two corks on a table. Using just two fingers
like a pair of scissors, Jim lifts the corks that are side by side
and turns them over three times. A
spectator is offered a chance to
try to repeat the effect. The
spectator fails. Jim offers
a dollar if a spectator
can do it and lets him
try again. In the performance, one spectator
is able to duplicate the
stunt and wins the dollar.
Jim offers another stunt
to win his dollar back. Three
paper matches are removed
from a match book; they are lit
and extinguished. Jim explains that the
spectator is to respond three burnt matches to
a series of three questions. The spectator fails and Jim gets his
dollar back. These are bar stunts as opposed to magic, but in the
correct venue they are interesting and are a nice interlude between
magical effects.
Following this interlude is the FBI Trick, a classic thumb cuff
escape. Jim demonstrates the thumb cuffs by placing them on an
audience member. Jim is then cuffed and a handkerchief is used
to cover his hands; he is able to quickly make his escape. There is
some nice byplay with the audience as he is able to escape with a
surprise finish. There is nothing new here in the escape but Jims
surprise finish is a nice touch to a classic.
Soaring Straw is the next effect using a straw that seems to
move on its own and levitate. This is a very quick, visual routine.
Following the straw effect is Invisible Thumbscrews. This is an
old classic stunt with a spectator using nothing more than his
clasped hands and extended forefingers. The Animated Card Box
is Jims adaptation of the animated match box using a card box.
The box rotates, stands up, and opens. It looks very good and at
the end, the box can be examined. Following the animated card
box is a routine with cards called One-armed Aces. The premise
of this effect is that using only one hand, Jim is able to produce the
first three Aces with a series of one-handed cuts. The last Ace is
missed; the card produced is a Joker. The Joker is turned into the
final Ace. This looks great and it demonstrates your dexterity with
a pack of cards. This routine is for the intermediate to advanced
card worker.
The first coin routine is called Trapdoor Coins. Three coins
are passed through the solid table one at a time. The effect is short
and straight to the point, using just three coins. There is nothing
new here, but it is a nice routine. Returning to cards, Jim presents
Diamond Dazzler. A spectator selects a card at random. The card
is approximately near the middle of the deck as the cards are held
face down. The deck is opened by Jim from the front as he lifts
approximately half of the pack, and the selected card shoots out of
the pack. This is a nice production of a selected card.
In Cat and Mouse a spectator selects a card to represent a
mouse. The mouse card is shuffled back into the pack and a mouse
trap is brought out and set. The cards are removed from the top of
the pack one by one and held near the trap. After several cards go
by, the trap catches one card. The card is the selected mouse-card.
The trap is turned over and on the bottom is a message that has
a warning about the selected card. The trap creates tension in the
routine and is a novel card revelation. Thankfully, Jim includes
tips to present the routine safely.

At this point in the DVD, we have not yet reached the half way
mark! The marathon continues with Gun Slinger. Jim draws a
cowboy on the back of a spectators card. The card is bent vertically and placed on the card box so that it is standing up. Jim
makes a gun shape with his hand and pretends to fire the weapon
at the outlaw. The card falls over as a loud bang sound is heard
and a hole is now found through the card. This routine has a nice
Wild West theme. The appearing hole in the card is a nice touch
to round out this routine.
Breaking away from card magic, Jim borrows a bill, folds it
into a small packet, waves a hole-puncher around the bill, and
when the bill is unfolded, many punched out pieces fall to the
table; the bill is now seen to have the words Happy B-day
punched in it. The bill is handed back as a souvenir. This is definitely something different from your standard effects with money
and is my favorite item on the DVD.
We are next treated to a classic Ring and String routine using
a borrowed ring and a leather lace. There is nothing new here, but
it is a nice routine. Continuing with the classics, Jim performs a
Coins Across routine using five coins and a glass. Jim concludes
the routine with the production of two large coins and one jumbo
coin. Again, there is nothing new here, but it is a well-routined
version of a classic of magic.
As I was watching Jim perform the next routine, Fire Ball, I
could not help thinking I had seen this before. A piece of tissue
paper is torn into four pieces and rolled into a ball. The ball is
pierced with a large needle and held over the flame from a lighter.
The paper busts into a flash of fire. As the fire subsides, the ball of
paper remains in a ball. The paper ball is removed from the large
needle and opened up. The paper is found to be restored to one
single piece. I remember this effect, in a smaller scale, as John
Bannons trick Shriek of the Mutilated. During the explanation
of the effect, Jim credits John Bannon. Jim has a slight variation
of the handling that is designed for the larger tissue paper. This is
very visual magic. I loved the effect when I first read about it from
Bannon and I really like how Jim has made this effect play bigger.
Jim presents another quick effect called New Age Spellbound.
This routine uses a small black stone that is turned into a diamond
(clear stone) and back to a black stone several times. This one is
really quick and is great for walk-around magic. In Mathamagic a
spectator selects a small block of cards and is asked to count them
in a special manner. Before the spectator finishes counting the
cards, Jim has the spectator guess how many cards he has. In this
case, the spectator guesses eighteen and Jim guesses twenty-one.
The spectator continues counting and finds that he has eleven.
The cards are handed to a second spectator to count the cards;
he counts fifteen. The cards are handed to a third spectator for
counting and he gets twenty-one cards. The first count is a little
fishy but the second and third counting sequence is very straightforward. Jims inspiration for the routine comes from a Paul
Harris effect. This is a very different effect with a pack of cards.
There are twenty-three effects, routines, and bits of business
covered on this DVD. For the most part, the sleights needed to
perform the material are not very difficult and the material can
be performed by the beginning-to-intermediate performer. Jim is
obviously a veteran and everything is well thought out and honed
through many hours of performance in front of live audiences.
He is a very good teacher of the routines presented. For the
most part, there is nothing new here, but there is a lot of
very solid magic and a couple of gems that are great for the
working professional or the casual performer. Boost your
close-up magic repertoire with a dose of twenty-three
effects for only $34.95.

The Minotaur Final Issue 2-DVD set

By Dan Harlan and Marv Leventhal
Available from: www.danharlanmagic.com
Distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies
Price $60.00
Review by Michael Close
Sadly, one of my small pleasures in life has been taken
away from me. For many years, whenever I happened to be at
the same magic convention as Marv Leventhal, I took great
delight in shouting at him (preferably at a distance), Wheres
my Minotaur?! Marv and his partner (in the publishing sense
of the word) Dan Harlan put out a very nice magazine in the
1990s, called Minotaur (half magic, half bull). The magazine was
published quarterly and ran for eight volumes. The frustrating
thing for subscribers was that the final issue, Volume 8, Number
4, never appeared. At the various conventions, after I had stopped
shouting, Marv always offered
apologies to me, but the world
(as it is want to do) moved
on, and the final issue never
showed up.
Until now. The boys
Minotaur Final Issue, a
two-DVD set that fulfills
their commitment to subscribers (and if you were
a subscriber you should
contact Dan through his Web
site) and allows those who never subscribed to get a feel for the kind of magic that
made the Minotaur such a great magazine.
There are twenty-five effects on the first disc, which is labeled
the Feature Presentation. These effects are a mix of close-up and
stand-up effects, magic and mentalism, with a variety of props.
Not everything appealed to me (nor should it), but there were
several items I liked very much, including Harlans Cupside Down
(a full cup of coffee is placed in a small bag and inverted no
coffee is spilled) and Royal Plushy (a full-deck stack that delivers
a winning poker hand to the dealer regardless of the number of
hands requested). Im sure youll find several things that will
appeal to you. Interwoven between the tricks is a storyline
concerning a Dan Harlan look-alike robot. To be honest, I fastforwarded through all of those.
The second disc contains eight bonus effects, one from each
of the eight volumes of Minotaur. Again, youll find a variety of
effects, and one or two are sure to appeal to you. The second disc
also contains several files of interest and usefulness: three indexes
covering all eight volumes (by issue, by the name of the trick, and
by the creator), some photographs taken during the video shoot,
and files that are needed for a few of the tricks.
I have only one gripe about this product, and it is not really
a legitimate criticism; I cant complain about what a product
isnt, anymore than someone could complain that pigs dont have
wings. Things are what they are. But, for those of us who would
have liked to have put our file of Minotaur to rest, it would have
been nice to at least have prepared a PDF file of the final issue
of the magazine. This would have allowed collectors to print out
the final issue and bind it up with the rest of the volumes. But,
unfortunately, that wasnt done, so there you are.
If you are familiar with the kind of material the Minotaur

AUGUST 2011 63

featured, or if you are a fan of Dan Harlan, you are sure to enjoy
The Minotaur Final Issue DVDs. If you arent familiar with the
Minotaur, the product is worth the money; the discs offer fine
examples of the type of material that was featured within its many
pages. You may even be inspired to try to track down the back
issues. As happy as I am that the Minotaur has been put to bed,
Im bummed that Ill have to figure out something else to yell at
Marv the next time I see him.

Tenkai Pennies and Millikens Transposition DVD

Available from: www.llpub.com
Distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies
Price $20.00

halves in the right hand and two quarters in the left. After the first
transposition, you have one of each in each hand. At the end, you
have quarters in the right hand and halves in the left hand. Its
dead simple, but you end dirty. Pairing it with the Tenkai Pennies
allows you to dump the something extra when you put away the
halves to make things simpler for the audience to follow.
Combined, the two effects create a nice mini-act with coins
that can be performed with quarters and penniesnothing more
than pocket change. How many twenty dollar investments will
give you a solid multi-phase routine that you can perform anytime
you can break a dollar at the corner store? More than worth the
money and the time invested.

Review by W.S. Duncan

Tea Leaf Reading and More 2-DVD Set

By Dean Montalbano

If youve been reading this magazine for a couple of years,

you may have noticed that if I review a DVD from the Worlds
Greatest Magic series, its likely to be a recommended buy.
From the first DVD of this series, which I
reviewed when I was a staff writer
and Dick Hatch was editing
this column, to the arrival of
the latest volumes, one thing
has remained constant: if the
subject matter of the DVD
is of interest to you, then the
twenty bucks is money well
Daryl, classicist that he is, does
something Ive never seen before.
He does the Tenkai Pennies with pennies.
And while Ive done the trick with quarters,
halves, and even dollar coins (using the method from
Ponta the Smiths DVD Sick), I have never tried it with pennies.
Turns out, the trick is just as strong with the tiny coins, perhaps
even better, and much easier to perform. Daryl teaches the original
method, which, if you call yourself a magician, you should know.
Its one of the true classics of close-up and not as demanding as
it seems. Or maybe its just that Daryl is an excellent teacher.
No matter. Buy the DVD, learn this, and you have received your
twenty bucks worth.
After learning the original, you can advance to Steve Drauns
handling, which uses a different, and more advanced, back
clipping method. Drauns version doesnt alter the effect, but does
allow you to work with larger coins without the angle problems
raised by the original method when using half dollars.
There is also a short home movie clip of Ross Bertram, in
full kimono, doing the effect with English pennies. There is an
unfortunate cut to show a close-up that occurs before showing
the effect. It makes it appear that the camera edit is the method.
Fans of magic history may be happy to see the legend do some
coin magic, but kids will probably wonder what all the fuss was
about. If you are one of those kids, let me assure you that you do
get to see Bertram do the move, although you may not think so
upon first viewing.
Following Bertram is David Roth teaching his Deep Palm
version of the effect, another method that allows for larger coins.
David then returns to introduce (Harry) Millikens Transposition.
This routine uses two pairs of differently sized coins (in Roths
demonstration halves and quarters are used, and in Daryls presentation, which follows, halves and copper subway tokens).
In Millikens Transposition, you show (for example) two

Review by Joshua Kane

In several world cultures, serving tea is a ceremony invested

with meaning and involves significant ritual. The observation of
teatime deepens communal bonds and can instill a serene sense
of order. It is a centering process, and allows one to be deeply
present. The antithesis of coffee in a cardboard cup, it encourages
self-reflection and conversation. It can usurp anger and offers
people a face-saving opportunity to reconnect when a day has
been falling apart. It is, in effect, a mini Sabbath; and as such, it
offers the opportunity for participants to create new beginnings.
It also puts people in a receptive state
to be entertained and diverted.
Despite most Americans having
only experienced tea in a bag,
the idea of someone reading
meaning from the dregs of a
cup of tea made with loose
tea is firmly imprinted in
our culture. Even in the
Harry Potter novels, the first
lesson in clairvoyance taught
by Professor Trelawney is the
reading of tea leaves.
We are meaning-making creatures. In
addition to the snap judgments that are initiated by our primitive
survival instincts, we also have the ability, when relaxed, to
daydream a bit and find meaning and images in the most unlikely
places. Which of us has not laid on our backs on a summer day and
looked up at the clouds, discovering bunnies and faces floating
by? Reading tea leaves is largely based on the same principle,
known as pareidolia. (Now theres a neat Scrabble word!) Pareidolia is the psychological phenomenon that encourages us to see
bunnies in clouds and images of religious figures on the toasted
bread of a grilled cheese sandwich. For those of you who possess
apareidolicnature, tea leaf reading will be a quick-to-learn and
fun-to-implement divination system.
Montalbano teaches a thorough introductory course on
the system of reading tea leaves. The instruction is lucid and
engaging. As with his Tarot instruction set, we are once again
treated to a combination of animations and live footage. There are
also printed materials in a DVD-ROM section of the second disc.
There is more than enough information to put you on the road of
learning the basics over a weekend. Recommendations for print
book sources for further education are also provided. In addition

64 M-U-M Magazine

Distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies

Price $75.00

to tea leaf reading, Montalbano has expanded upon the theme of

utilizing apareidolicskill set to include Blei Giessen, (a German
divination system used at the New Year that involves the melting
of lead figures and dropping them into water so the that the reconstructed shapes can be interpreted to reveal meaning for the
coming year), wax splatter readings, dry tea and herb readings,
and finally lipstick print readings, which are sure to be popular at
singles events and other parties. Unlike the Tarot DVD set, there
are no subtitles with this set. Instruction on the ethics of reading
and a business model on how to get bookings doing such readings
are once again supplied and are worth the second exposure. Demonstrations of sample readings are also provided. Altogether,
I found this to be an enjoyable set and am looking forward to
adding tea leaf readings to my own social repertoire.

The Classic Force DVD

By Phil Jay

Available from JB Magic and Mark Mason

Distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies
Price $30.00
Review by Norman Beck
I had never heard of Phil Jay, but
then I dont get out much, and Phil
Jay is not a magic dealer/lecturer
kind of guy. Phil Jay is a worker
and one of the tools he uses, and
uses a bunch, is the classic force.
I think it is one thing to learn a
sleight from a guy who makes his
living selling things to magicians and
another thing to learn from a guy who
makes his living doing magic for the real
world and getting paid to entertain. That is why
you have never heard of Phil Jay.
He works, and when you work you get good at your craft. The
DVD teaches you how to do a classic force and a touch force, and
offers tips that only come from doing them over and over again.
The DVD has a fair amount of actual footage of Mr. Jay doing it
for real people in the real world. I think this is really good money
spent for one of the most important moves one can learn in card

Rizer DVD
By B. Smith and Eric Ross

Distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies

Price $30.00
Review by Antonio M. Cabral
Rizer takes dead aim at the street magic
crowd, and, with any luck, itll succeed.
Martin Lewiss Cardiographic is undoubtedly a classic. Now imagine
being able to do it without the
pad. Imagine being able to do it
on your own bare skin, without
surgery. Thats Rizer.
B. Smith and Eric Ross came up
with the idea independently, and then
got their heads together to come up
with this ultra-accessible, killer piece of

street close-up. In the basic version, after the obligatory card is

selected, you roll up your sleeve and draw a picture of a playing
card on your forearm with a Sharpie in an attempt to divine the
selection. Its the wrong card, but you save the day by announcing the drawing is actually a deck of cards and the selected card
is somewhere in the middle. You then grab your forearm, give it a
shake or two, and the drawing animates to show the selected card
rising up out of the middle of the deck in ink. Youre left with
the complete image indelibly scribbled on your flesh. If you want
to end as in the Martin Lewis original, you can tear the skin with
the drawing on it off your forearm and give it to the spectator as a
souvenir. Okay, you cant. Rather, you shouldnt, but Ill bet David
Blaine or Dan Sperry figure out how.
This is a great idea. Its a strong idea, and its a diabolical
idea. The method comes straight out of another classic effect if
I said which, Id give the game away. Its good enough that Im
actually a little disappointed I cant do it. Not cant as in skill
(although Im betting my skin would give me trouble trying to
perform this), but cant the same way Woody Allen never casts
Arnold Schwarzenegger as the lead in his films. I wear suit jackets
and ties. I have no tattoos. If I want to draw a picture or write
something down, I carry paper or index cards. Barring developing Memento-like problems with my memory, Im not going to
roll up my sleeve and start scrawling on myself in Sharpie in front
of people. Penn & Teller could do this in suits. I cant. And given
how good this idea is, thats a bit of a shame.
The instructions on this DVD are crystal-clear. Nothing is
supplied (save a pill fob keychain to carry the secret stuff), but
a quick trip to your corner drug store and youre all set. Theres
the basic version I described, and another where you have two
cards selected and get an extra pop by getting the first divination right. The necessary basic card moves are taught for both
versions. But who cares? The card rises up on your skin! Plus
they give some very helpful tips for being able to repeat the effect
if needed, and ultimately how to get all that permanent ink off
your flesh. The only other problem some might have is that the
height of the rise is only about the width of a Sharpie itself.
The effect, however, is so startling and flat-out cool that it really
doesnt matter. Heck, it might not even matter if you get the card
The one suggestion Im surprised no one mentioned anywhere
on Rizer (probably for legal and demographic reasons) is the one
way I could conceive performing this effect for myself: actually
get the image tattooed on your arm. You lose the immediacy of
apparently creating the drawing right in front of the audience,
but imagine rolling up your sleeve to reveal an actual, permanent
inked-in-the-flesh tattoo, and making a card rise up out of that.
Whether or not you follow up with a belly-dancing mermaid or a
chorus or three of Lydia the Tattooed Lady is up to you. I cant
recommend this trick to everyone, but holy cow, is it ever a great
idea. Kudos, gentlemen.

Laws of Attraction DVD

By Shoot Ogawa

Distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies

Price $35.00
Review by Antonio M. Cabral

The trick explained on Shoot Ogawas Laws of Attraction is an interesting example of how an effect can be widely
open to interpretation. When I first saw the DVD box copy that
discussed how Shoots technique will allow you to magnetize

AUGUST 2011 65

any object, I expected a suspension-type effect along the lines of

the Magnetized Cards. Laws of Attraction isnt that kind of effect.
Shoot Ogawas techniques will allow you
to create a very nice illusion of
various objects being attracted
to each other as if magnetized.
However, to present this as a
showpiece of its own would
be like forgoing Cigarette
Thru Quarter in favor of the
old Cups and Balls business in
which you penetrate the bottom
of the cup with the wand.
The technique at work is a combination of some clever sleight of hand, the
use of sound, and good old-fashioned mime. In
many places, this looks very good. In a couple of places, it looks
amazing in a few others, not so much. The DVD is an hour long,
and Shoot covers myriad possibilities for making things stick to
other things and then pulling them apart. The explanations are
very thorough perhaps more than they need be in some places.
And after an hour, you might start to feel like you get the drift
already. Thats a good thing to keep in mind.
Ive never seen Shoot Ogawa perform this in person, but the
DVD gives the impression that you could perform a whole routine
of these demonstrations amidst claims of magnetism. In my
opinion, that would be a mistake. Theres no build or escalation;
you just keep sticking things together and pulling them apart.
Not only does the repetition wear thin, but someones bound to
ask you to leave the two things stuck together without holding
them together. You know, like a suspension. And with these techniques, you cant. One solution is to not sell the effect very hard,
or not so hard that it cant support the weight of its own claims.
On the other hand, if you do some kind of suspension effect with
an invisible thread or something like Gary Plantss beautiful Magnetized Cards, and you throw in some of these bits in or around
one of those tricks ah, then you have something. Or you could
use these techniques to support a spurious claim of using trick
magnetic coins before going into a Coins Across routine to
explain how the coins jump to be next to each other. Maybe. (I
wouldnt recommend it if you actually use magnetic coins in your
coin work.) But by itself, the illusion while again its very good
doesnt hold up (hah!).
Which brings me to yet another observation on the onetrick DVD phenomenon: is it worth spending $35 on what is in
essence a gag? Im not calling it a gag derogatorily, either. Its
a very good, magical-looking gag. Its a useful gag, very worth
doing. But its still a gag, like the aforementioned Cups and Balls
business of making the cups penetrate one another or making the
wand penetrate the cups. Theres a difference between those types
of illusions and the kind that drive their point home hard, leaving
an undeniable feeling of having seen something that shouldnt be.
If you can get anyone to buy hook, line, and sinker that these bits
on their own add up to magnetism, you might want to book
them into the act, because at that point theyre the entertainment.
Im not sure what the answer is. Some performers will think
that the bits and techniques on this DVD are worth the price, and
find all sorts of places to use them. Others, like me at the beginning,
will be expecting a suspension effect and be disappointed. I cant
heavily endorse Laws of Attraction because it falls short of my
expectations. But I cant condemn it just because its not a suspension effect; that feels like saying Dont buy this sandwich, its not
a car! Let the buyer, at the very least, be informed.

66 M-U-M Magazine

V2F 2.0 DVD

By G

Distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies

Price $30.00
Review by Antonio M. Cabral
V2F 2.0 makes a very interesting claim in its ad copy: While
everyone else is still doing card to wallet with their expensive
gaffed wallet, you can advance to the next level with V2F 2.0. The
cost of this DVD is $30. My card-to-wallet wallet, a Tony Miller
Hipshot Wallet, costs $40. I suppose in this economy ten dollars
can make all the difference (ignoring the
fact that youre spending money on
card tricks at all), but this claim
still raises my eyebrows
particularly so in light
of what the next level
appears to be.
V2F 2.0 (the V2F
stands for Visual Vanish
Fantasy) makes a lot of simultaneous claims. On the one
hand, it claims to be an amazing
visual vanish of a playing card. On
the other, it claims to be an amazing
signed card to any impossible location you
can think of. Which is it? Well, its an amazing visual
vanish, if by that you mean pretty good color change. And its
an amazing signed card to any impossible location, if by that you
mean card fold, after which, with the card securely in finger
palm, you can load it wherever you like. And it is, in fact, both of
those things at the same time.
The video quality is very good on this DVD, but the instructions follow what I fear is becoming a trend in magic DVDs: the
hands demonstrate while the instructions appear as captions along
the bottom of the screen. If this goes any further, I half expect
to have to follow a bouncing ball to learn the next hot move; the
upside, I suppose, will be that no one will be able to complain that
the DVD crowd doesnt read. Ill also point out that if youre going
to produce a DVD on the cheap, using a standard iMovie/iDVD/
iWhatever menu screen is a dead giveaway. But you should have
no problem learning the technique from this DVD.
G, the creator of V2F 2.0, makes the vanish look very pretty.
And when it is performed that well, its a very disarming
vanish it almost looks like youre erasing the card from one of
those magnetic drawing toys. Unfortunately, the move is built
backwards: it starts off looking very open and ends cozier than
Id like. A better picture of the card vanishing completely would
end with the hand doing the erasing to be open and obviously
empty, which could happen here with a little more development,
but doesnt as is.
The problem with any extremely direct method like this one
is that the secret workings of the trick follow the same path as
the audiences attention. Youre doing everything directly in front
of their eyes and hoping no one puts two and two together. And
while there are other similar under your nose vanishes/changes,
the best ones are quicker and more startling. V2F 2.0 is a very
deliberate, slow visual effect that invites the audience to stare at it.
When you invite your audience to stare and wonder for a long time,
unless youre doing a really thorough job of covering your tracks,
dont be surprised if someone comes up with an answer. Thats not
to say it can never work, but a more standard color change would

offer a cleaner vanish, and after theyre really convinced the card
has disappeared, while youre directing attention to their shoe or
wherever, a standard card fold would take care of the rest. Strong
misdirection might seem boring from a mechanical standpoint,
but theres no denying how well it works.
While V2F 2.0 might have its problems as a vanish, it makes
for a very effective appearance of a card, an idea offered here as
V2Ambitious, an ending for an Ambitious Card routine. This idea
has some very clever extra thinking involved, and is arguably the
real use for the move. The other routines offered are good but
unremarkable, because once youve got the card folded, whether
or not you load the card in a shoe or a wallet or a ham sandwich is
almost academic. Gs Card under Wallet routine is a good one, but
again unremarkable given all the really strong card-under-the-box
routines already in print.
Despite all my reservations about the technique, the audience
footage shows some very satisfying reactions to the V2F 2.0 used
as a vanish. And again, done well its very pretty. If youre a card
nut into color changes, its worth playing around with. Im not
convinced its worth $30, though.

Ultra Telethought Wallet II Prop

By Chris Kenworthy
Distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies
Price $65.00

Review by Danny Archer

This an updated version of a peek

wallet that Chris Kenworthy had on
the market a few years ago. The
basic effect is that a card is removed
from the wallet and an assisting
spectator writes something down
on it (symbol, drawing, word, etc.),
after which the spectator inserts
the face-down card into an outside
pocket on the wallet. The performer
opens the wallet to remove another
card and he/she successfully duplicates the thought-of information.
The wallet is nicely made in
leather with brass corners and
can certainly pass for a standard
business card case. It also comes with some blank card stock
and some cards printed with the words ESP Laboratory. These
included cards are slightly wider than a standard business card.
What makes this wallet different from the standard peek wallet is
how the peek is gained. Without giving away too much, there is
a special surface that appears to be a blank surface, but through
which the performer can secretly see the written info. This is very
On the Internet boards, there is talk about using the wallet in
a different fashion than is explained in the two pages of text and
photos that accompany the wallet, to gain the glimpse without
having to open the wallet. I can see that this can be accomplished
easily by folding the wallet in a different direction than it comes
in the package.
As with any peek wallet, thought must be given to how and why
the information needs to be written down in the first place. There
is no real presentation or routine included with the wallet; the instructions cover the handling of the wallet and the all important
glimpse. This is a fun utility device, and is a must-have for any

fans of peek wallets (you know who you are), or for someone
looking for an entre into the fascinating world of mentalism.

Devastation Trick with DVD and props

By Wayne Dobson
Available from: www.jbtvusa.com
Distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies
Retail Price $40.00
Review by Jamie Salinas
For some strange reason, I am
drawn to leather magic wallets. I
have owned many different ones,
but I only keep a few. Devastation
is a named-card to wallet effect that
has been created by one of our most
respected and creative performers,
Wayne Dobson. Is this one a keeper
for me? Keep reading.
The routine begins with the
magician recounting a dream that
featured the spectator. In the dream,
the spectator named a card, so the
helper is asked to name a card. The
magician exclaims that was the same card named in the dream.
The magician then shows a pack of cards that are double-backed
cards. The magician removes two double-backed cards, calling
them Jokers, in spite of it being very clear that the two cards are
double-backed cards. The two Jokers are placed in a wallet.
The double-backed deck then instantly changes into a deck of
regular (and different) cards, in new-deck order. As the magician
points out that all of the cards are in order, it is seen that the named
card is missing. The two double-backed cards that were referred
to as Jokers are removed from the wallet and they are found to
have Joker faces on each card. In addition to the two (now real)
Jokers, there is an extra card in the wallet. The card is removed
and shown to be the named card that is missing from the pack.
The effect is very straightforward and is fairly simple to
perform. You are supplied with the specially printed cards and the
special wallet that allow you to perform this miracle. Mark Mason
provides the demonstration as well as the explanation portion of
the video. Mark does a very good job in both the performance and
instructional segments. The trick resets in ten seconds. Mark also
includes his handling for the wallet.
The wallet is well made and very thin, with a simple design
in black leather. The quick reset makes this a very good trick for
the strolling magician. The magical effect of having a deck of
double-backed cards transforming into regular cards and having
the named card in the wallet is very strong. Finger flickers will be
disappointed, as there is none of that here. The routine is great for
the beginning magician as well as the seasoned pro.
So will I add this wallet to my collection of keepers? If you
have not already figured it out yet, this wallet, as well as the
routine, is a keeper. Priced at $40 including the leather wallet,
special gaffed cards, and instructional DVD, this a very good buy!

Double Back Trick with DVD

By Jon Allen

Distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies

Price $18.00
Review by Norman Beck

AUGUST 2011 67

This is a packet trick that is

a transposition. The performer
shows four cards, for example
two Fives and two Kings.
The two pairs change places
after the fashion of The Last
Trick of Dr. Jacob Daley. The
key word here is clean. You start
and end dirty, but it looks clean
very, very clean. Dean Dill says it is
his favorite packet trick, as does another top
performer in the Philly area, who does it at every walkaround gig. The trick is easy to learn and the DVD instructions
are very clear. It comes with the necessary gaffed cards. At this
price it is well worth the money.

PLF ESP Collection Set Book and ESP Cards


Available exclusively in the USA from: www.Tannens.com

Price $64.95
Review by Joshua Kane
When I first started performing
mentalism, I bought several sets of the
actual ESP/Zener testing cards used by
Dr. Rhine of Duke University. They were
about the size of bridge-size playing
cards and had a one-way back design that
was composed of a field of white stars on
a blue background. While the scientists
may have been serious, the cards looked
as if they were designed for a kids magic
set. They were also finished and sized in
such a way as to permit them to be used
like regular playing cards, which, unfortunately, tempted many performers into doing card tricks with an
ESP testing deck. The cards used to be packaged in a little blue
box that actually had an image of Duke Universitys testing lab
on the cover. This added an air of authenticity. Over time, the
studies were abandoned, the cards and case went out of print, and
when the cards were reissued just for magicians, the box was gone
and the backs either retained the star pattern or were given clarity
as magic shop props as they were printed with backs to match
regular playing cards. I dropped ESP card routines from my repertoire and boxed up the related books.
Recently, Tannens magic shop in NYC has become the
exclusive distributor in the USA for a series of well crafted
mentalism products produced by a company in Germany that
values secrets. They clearly want to make these cards available
to performers while at the same time taking great pains to keep
them secret from the public. The question is: can magicians keep
the secret? So long as the actual name of the product is not posted
in reviews that are stored electronically or on Internet forums that
can be Googled, the secret should remain intact. This is why I
refer to the company as PLF. I request that you do the same.
The first product of theirs I picked up is a new version of the
classic ESP cards. You receive two packets of twenty-five cards.
One set has blue backs with white print that clearly states the actual
PLF company name and the phrase testing cards. The second
set has white backs and blue print. Each set has the standard five
designs printed on the front of the cards along with a set of five additional gaffed cards. The markings on the back can bear scrutiny,

68 M-U-M Magazine

but can be quickly read by the performer. The look of the cards is
a wonderful departure from playing cards, and the stock is thick
and deliberately lacks the air cushion finish of standard playing
card decks. The cards are cased in a white cardboard box with the
PLF testing cards phrase and a very official company logo. This
box is packaged inside of a plastic box of its own, which can be
used separately or in conjunction with the cardboard container.
The packaging reminded me of testing kits that I have seen being
used by psychologists who test children.
PLF has even gone to the effort of creating a Web site for
their imaginary testing company. This means that if a spectator
Googles the name on the back of the cards, they will be taken to
an official-looking Web site that will further confirm the cards as
scientific tools. Mentalism and magic literature has produced a
wealth of effects that can be effectively exploited with these cards.
A book is included with the PLF ESP Collection set and is also
sold separately for $35. In addition to several strong effects, the
book contains the necessary psychology and vocabulary needed
to portray the effects as experiments and not tricks. It is well
written, clearly illustrated, and required reading for those who
want to ratchet up their believability. I recommend you buy the set
and an extra deck while they are available. And sshhh... remember
to keep the secret.

Personal FX DVD and Gimmick

By Wayne Dobson and Mark Mason
Available from Mark Mason Magic
Distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies
Price $25.00
Review by Norman Beck
I will give full disclosure here: I am friends with
both Mark and Wayne, and
I like them both very much
as magicians and dealers.
Personal FX is a mental
effect in which you remove
a card case and place three
of your business cards
on the table. An assisting
spectator places his cell
phone on one card and his
keys on another. The last
card goes back in the case.
When the cards are turned over, all three match the choices made
by the spectator. The instructional DVD is well done, and the
routine is easy to learn.I like this very much. This is a good buy
at $25.

Postcards Trick with DVD and gimmick

By Hernan Macagno
Available from: www.tangomagic.com
Distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies
Price $45.00
Review by Payne
I recently attended a lecture by Doc Eason during which he
wisely advised that one should never start a set with a card trick
a sentiment I wholeheartedly agreed with. Nothing is as potentially off-putting as walking up to someone, cards in hand, to ask

if theyd like to see a trick. Even though you could be the greatest
entertainer in the world, you can all too easily end up looking like
their weird Uncle Charlie who foists unwanted card tricks upon
them at holiday gatherings. Deserved or not, there is a certain
social stigma associated with the purveyors of card tricks.
There are of course, as there always are, dissenters to this
theory. The loudest of these are, of course, the weird Uncle Charlie
types who enjoy inflicting
the latest card trick theyve
extracted from the periodicals on the unsuspecting.
But other voices that can
be heard in the cacophony
of protest: those magicians
who only have card tricks
in their repertoire. This
puts them into a bit of a
quandary. If one shouldnt
open with a card trick, but
the only tricks you know
how to do are with cards,
then what is one to do?
There is a simple way to
reconcile Docs advice with
the all cards repertoire. Make the first trick you do a vehicle
to produce the deck of cards you are going to use for your performance. There have, over the years, been many novel ways to
accomplish this feat. One of the more interesting ways was found
in an early Paul Harris book. It was called Dehydrated Deck.
The basic effect was to magically remove a deck of cards from a
previously folded-up card box. More recently, David Regal came
up with Sudden Deck. This involved producing a deck of cards
from a previously shown empty and dismantled card case. This
had the advantage of being a lot easier to do than Dehydrated
Deck, because no difficult sleight of hand was required. But it
had the weaknesses of not being examinable (you could hand out
the folded up Dehydrated Deck at the beginning of the effect) and
containing a topological incongruity at one point of the routine:
the box is shown to have an extra, third side during one of the
Hernan Macagnos Postcards from Tango Magic is the latest
foray into the concept of extracting a deck of cards from a previously folded up or flattened box. And its a pretty good one to
boot. Its very much akin to Eugene Burgers Shotglass Surprise,
because the envelope containing the flattened card box can be
freely passed around before the effect. The envelope is opened
and the card box removed. It can be shown on both sides and very
freely handled by the performer. The envelope is then discarded,
the card box folded up, and a complete deck of cards is then
removed from the box.
The box can be set on the table as it will retain its shape and
pass a cursory visual inspection. However it cannot be passed out
for perusal. Unless you want your audience to know how the trick
is done. But there is really no need for it to be examined. After all,
the spectators have just held the envelope containing the box and
they saw for themselves that it in no way could conceal a deck of
The angles are no worse than Sudden Deck, and multiple
handlings are taught on the DVD. It is best performed at a table but
there are a couple of stand-up variants shown as well. However,
most of the stand-up variations require a jacket and the ability
to secretly get a deck of cards out of your pocket and into play.
A method where you simply walk on stage holding the envelope

or take it out of your performing case at the start of the effect is

demonstrated. The reset for this trick is quite quick and can easily
be done in a matter of seconds, making this a good little opener
for the table-hoppers out there. All in all, I think this is a clever
prop that lots of performers will have a fun time using. My only
complaint is that the card box should have been laminated to help
it stand up to the wear and tear its going to get.

Starlight Trick
By Kreis-magic.com

Distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies

Price $20.00
Review by Norman Beck
The basic idea behind Starlight
is that you can, for lack of a better
term, make a spectator into an
instant stooge. A card is selected and
returned to the deck, after which a
second card is handed to a spectator,
who is then able to figure out what
card was selected by spectator
number one. The trick card looks
normal from a distance, but the
second spectator will know the card
selected by the first spectator when
he holds the card up to the light.
I have a couple of problems with
this. First, the assisting spectator
doesnt know what he is looking for, which makes the gimmick
less than perfect, and second, there are lots of better, cheaper ways
to give the information to the spectator. Not recommended.

Dont Blink Trick with DVD

By Salvador Sufrate

Distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies

Price $40.00
Review by Norman Beck

The basic effect is

simple, you show one
card and it changes in
your hands with no
funny moves; or, you
can place the card in
your mouth, turn away
from the audience, and
when you turn back the
card has changed. The
video looks great, but
(and the but is quite
large) you need to know
several things about this
project before you buy
it. My problem is that telling you what the problems are would
give away the secret. Let me just say that I do not think you can
do this up close, and you have restrictions on what you wear when
performing it. You also stand a good chance of being caught after
the fact. I will say it looks great on video. I wont tip the method,
but lets just say that you have to dress like Max Maven. I fear that
this will be of limited utility.

AUGUST 2011 69

Mental Epic Trick

Available from your favorite dealer
Distributed by D. Robbins
Price $22.00
Review by Payne
All I can say
about this prop
is that you get what
you pay for, which
in this case isnt
much at all. For
a start, a proper
Mental Epic is
supposed to look
like a chalkboard
or a more contemporary
white board. This prop, to use the term loosely, more
closely resembles a cafeteria tray than it does the previously mentioned two items. To say it is shoddily put
together is to insult all other things that are shoddily put
together. The frame is constructed out of miserably thin
vacu-formed plastic reinforced with shiny black tape.
The areas given to you to write in are painfully small,
about two and a half inches square. This combined with
the fact that they are also recessed about a half an inch
makes writing anything in them cumbersome.
There are three doors to cover the performers predictions, which on the outset look handy. But the way they
are constructed (tape hinges) keeps them from staying
open on their own when you do the final reveals at the
end of the trick. So youre left showing that prediction
one matches and then closing the door; then moving on
to prediction two, and then again closing that door before
moving on to revealing prediction three. This makes for
a less than impressive final display of all three matching
predictions at the conclusion of the effect. The visual
image that the audience is left with is that you got one
prediction correct. Add about thirty-five bucks to what
youd typically pay for this thing and you can pick up
Paul Romhanys excellent book The Mental Epic Compendium (reviewed in the July issue), which has many
variations on this effect. All of which look a hundred
times better than this prop. The only positive thing I
can mention about this piece of apparatus is that it does
come with an erasable whiteboard pen that you can use
for something else. Avoid this poorly made prop like the

If you wish to have your product

reviewed please send it to:
Bill Duncan
P.O. Box 50562
Bellevue, WA 98015-0562
70 M-U-M Magazine

Joining Forces
By Debbie Leifer

S.A.M. Veterans Entertainment Chair

Joining Forces Taking Action To Serve
Americas Military Families is the powerful initiative spearheaded by First Lady Michelle Obama
and Dr. Jill Biden to support and honor Americas
service members and their families. The initiative
focuses on employment, education, and wellness,
while engaging in a comprehensive effort to raise
awareness about the service, sacrifice, and needs of
military families.
Im sure all magicians will agree that the relaxation, humor, and entertainment derived from
our art is a joy to engage in while recovering from
injury, illness, or trauma. Imagine how appreciative
an audience of men and women who have served
our nation would be to receive the gift of a magical
performance while confined to a Veterans Hospital
or Veterans Nursing Home. When you attend your
next assembly meeting, please consider making
the suggestion that your members get together
to donate a performance at your local/regional
Veterans Hospital!
Our Veterans Entertainment program, also
known as Operation Hocus Pocus, is described
in great detail on the Web at www.magicsam.
com/VHSP-home.asp. Youll find pages on How
To Volunteer, Tips and Guidelines, and a list of VA
Hospitals across the U.S. that your assembly can
contact to donate performances.
Youll also see an image of the impressive
Veterans Program Lapel Pin youll be sent to
celebrate the performance youve so generously
donated. Many of our members and officers wear
that pin with pride.
Weve got good company! Major League
Baseball, Sesame Street, AOL, The American Heart
Association, McGraw-Hill Publishing, YMCA, Best
Buy, Intel, Wal-Mart, and the U.S. Tennis Association are among the diverse corporations and organizations supporting veterans and the Joining
Forces program this year. So, borrowing a phrase
from one of those popular organizations, lets all
step up to the plate and hit a home run this year
by donating our time and talents to entertain our
veterans confined to hospitals and nursing homes
across America.

Spotlight On... Neil Tobin

Neil is President of Assembly 3. He has instituted a fund-raising sance each October and
acts as the Necromancer who performs the sance. He sets
up the room, does the blackout, and requests club volunteers to help.
Neil started an annual magic competition held at
Chicagos Navy Pier. This free show was created
to bring magic to the attention of the general
public, and up to twenty area magicians take part.
The first-, second-, and third-place winners each
receive a specially made wand. The first-place
winner receives a show contract. Neil publicizes
the show, lines up community judges, requests
club volunteers, and emcees the competition.
Darlene Bull

AUGUST 2011 71



What Are Your Venues?

ne of the things philosophers

do is pay close attention to words
and concepts. We do this because
it is easy for ways of thinking and talking
to lead us astray. And if those misleading
terms become a habit of thought, then we
have a problem on our hands: we end up
missing the true complexities of things,
which often leads to flawed or confused
It is in this spirit that I want to
consider the common way magicians talk
about their venues and styles. If you ask
magicians today what kind of magic they
perform, you are likely to hear, Oh, I
perform close-up magic, or I perform
mostly stand-up magic, but some stage
magic, too. Indeed, close-up, stand-up,
and stage have become the fairly standard
ways magicians describe their venues and
But is this adequate? One obvious
problem is that it is essentially gibberish to
clients who arent magicians; you always
have to add two or three sentences to
explain what close-up and stand-up
magic are. The bigger problem is that this
classification is so general and abstract it
isnt even true.
The fact is that there are at least seven
different venue-styles of magic and each
one of them has its own distinct character,
conditions, and challenges. If we dont see
this clearly, if we dont understand each
of them precisely, it is easy to select the
wrong material and easy for our performances to be weak and unsuccessful.
My goal this month is to briefly discuss
what I see as seven main venues for live
magic. The fact is I could write a whole
column about each of them, and there are
certainly more than seven. But I want to
get the conversation going and start to
show how many vitally important details
our current three-tier system ignores.
1. Greeting Magic. This venue happens
on the fly. You are attending a party or

72 M-U-M Magazine

shopping and someone you meet says,

You are a magician? So what are you
going to perform? Remember, it comes up
by surprise and your performance needs to
happen fast and it has to be fast; it is too
slow to take out a pack of cards and start
shuffling. You need something direct and
fun, something that makes friends rather
than shows off or puts off. I never leave
the house without one or two rock-solid
pieces of greeting magic in my pockets
with coins or bills, or small objects I can
give away as gifts.
2. Walk-Around Magic. When you
are engaged to perform walk-around at a
cocktail party or reception, your performance needs to be more formal: a series
of mini-shows each one with some kind
of beginning, middle, and end. You need
strategies for breaking in to groups and
bailing out if one is unruly or unresponsive. Reset is crucial. Flash is excellent.
Getting people involved, talking, and
laughing is outstanding.
Quick aside: Do you see how different
walk-around is from greeting magic? Do
you see how the general category closeup ignores these crucial differences? Do
you see how having only greeting magic
for a walk-around gig would limit your
success? The needs and goals are different;
you would fall short of what the venue
3. After-dinner Table Magic. At a
dinner party or restaurant with non-magicians, the entre has been eaten, dessert
has been served, and things are winding
down. So what are you going to do to
bring down the house? What is required
here is a very particular kind of magic.
It has to be incredibly strong, not hack,
lame, or gimmicky. It is probably one
piece, not two. It has to feel informal and
impromptu, even if it is not. It is excellent
to use playing cards or common objects
that are lying around. All night long people
have been thinking about the fact you are
a magician; this is the big moment. Think
Eugene Burger, Juan Tamariz, Eddie
Fields, Johnny Thompson masters of the
4. Formal Close-up. Here you have
some distance, so it is time for servantes,
loads, switches, and lapping. You might
stand up for part of it. You may have some
lighting; you might play music. But the
heart of it is you need a real show, not a

collection of tricks one that is carefully

composed for flow, texture, build, and
closure. Think the close-up room at the
Magic Castle. Think the maestro Ren
Lavand or Al Goshman. Time to read
5. Stand-up. Whether you call it
stand-up, parlor, or cabaret, this
venue requires that you stand and deliver
for up to about eighty people. Visibility may be an issue, so the magic should
happen vertically and at chest level, not on
a tabletop. Because you are so close and
there is no moat, you should break the
fourth wall early and often. Also, audience
members will join you up front and need
to be managed. Some permutations may
feel casual and loose, but unless you are
part of an ensemble, you need a formal
show. Typically, you will need to adapt to
existing light sources and bring your own
music. Think John Carney.
6. Platform Magic. Over about eighty
people, stand-up magic becomes platform
magic. That is, you are (or should be) on
an elevated platform and your magic has
to play much larger. (For example, the use
of playing cards is highly limited in this
venue.) Audience interaction becomes
more difficult because of stairs, distance,
and visibility. You may have lights and
sound, but you are unlikely to have an
assistant or wings so the whole show
needs to be set before you start. This is
unquestionably a formal show and needs a
strong opener and killer closer. Think Paul
Potassy and Jay Marshall.
7. Stage Magic. The whole smear:
lights and sound, wings and assistants,
technology and the staff to run it. I could
go on, but you get the idea and know the
There you go: seven venues of magic,
not three. And I havent even gotten into
TV, radio, or street magic. But already
with this more detailed thinking in place,
we can get some good work done. Ask
yourself: in which of these venues do you
have real expertise? For which ones do you
need new material and better presentations? Is there one or more that you want to
become better at? What specific course of
study and skill development do you need
to take the next steps?
In magic and life more precise thinking
brings better action!

The Ta x Magic ian

by St e ve Snyde r

B us i n e s s a n d Ta x A dvi c e fo r t h e S e l f-E mp l o y e d E n t e r t a i n e r

Which of My Convention
Expenses is Deductible?
Last month I wrote about the joys of going to a convention. I hope you went, or are still planning to go to
one. I cant say it enough times its worth the trip.
This month, Id like to discuss your expenses going
to and during your convention experience. As always,
good recordkeeping now will avoid the headaches later.
Lets begin with your registration. Your registration
fees are one hundred percent deductible. Ill discuss the
deductibility of family members you may be bringing
with you at the end of this article.
Next comes your trip. How did you get to the convention? Did you fly or drive? If you flew, all your expenses
are deductible: the trip to the airport, the flight, getting
from the airport to the hotel. How did you get to the
airport? Taxi? Thats deductible, including the tip. Did
a friend drive you? You can claim the mileage and
reimburse your friend later. Did you drive yourself and
leave your car in long-term parking? You can deduct
that expense, too.
Perhaps you live close enough to drive to the convention. If you drove your own vehicle you are limited to the
mileage allowance or your actual expenses, depending
on which method you use for your tax return. As of July
1, the allowance is 55 cents per mile.
Maybe you drove a long distance, spending a night
or two in a motel. The motel expenses are deductible,
too. Ill discuss meals later.
Now that youve arrived, we can deal with your hotel
bill. Your hotel bill is completely deductible. However,
keep away from the snack bar. Not only is it expensive,
but meals are limited. However, using the snack bar
would be included on your hotel bill. So if you must
use it, try not to get caught if you decide to deduct it.
Better yet, stop at a local Wal-Mart type store and buy
whatever snacks you need for your room. Hey, the ice
is free!
While at the convention you just happen to wander
into the dealers room. Who could blame you? All those
effects are calling your name, a temptation much too
hard to resist. Anything you purchase should be deductible as supplies or equipment. If its a big-ticket
item, you may want to deduct it under Section 125.
I dont believe in depreciating my assets if I can write
them off. After all, I had to pay for them all at once;
why not deduct them all at once?
Lets talk about meals. Some hotels provide a free

continental breakfast. Nothing to deduct there its

free. When Liz and I go to conventions, the free continental breakfast is actually our preferred method of
breakfast. And while were at it, we also pick up a
few pieces of fruit or granola bars to snack on later.
But other hotels do not provide such amenities and
you are on your own. Or you may prefer to eat at the
hotel and charge the meals to your room. Meals are a
tricky deduction. Generally, meals are limited to a 50%
deduction. The thought being that you could have
eaten at home. Not likely since youre many miles away.
I usually deduct the full cost of my breakfast on those
occasions when I have to purchase it. Not legal, but
worth the risk. Lunch is always available at the hotel
somehow. But if you do need to go out, keep in mind
the 50% rule. Dinner is usually eaten with friends from
the convention, or with my wife. We usually choose
something a bit nicer than a local fast food place. So,
here I follow the 50% rule.
Lets talk about family members. As I mention earlier,
my wife Liz usually accompanies me. Although she
does not perform with me, she is my consultant. She
know better than anyone else, what effects are me,
and which ones I need to avoid no matter how much I
whine, beg, or plead. As my consultant, her part of the
trip is also deductible.
All our children are grown and gone, so we never
have to deal with them. You, on the other hand, may
be bringing other family members depending on the
convention location and what other stuff there is for
your family to do. Their expenses are not deductible.
None of them! You cannot claim your ten-year-old son
as a consultant. However, if your children are truly a
part of your act, performing with you as a regular part
of your show, then you may deduct their expenses as
indicated above.
That about covers all the expenses I can think of in
conjunction with what I hope was an experience of
a lifetime. If I left anything out, or if you still have a
question or two, write to me, call me, or if you see me
at a convention, just come up and ask me.
Whatever you do, whatever you bought, wherever
you ate; keep all your receipts.
Steve Snyder has a BS in Accounting and an
MBA. Let him put his knowledge to work for
you. Send business or tax questions to him at:
thetaxmagician@centurylink.net. Please put M-U-M
question in the subject line. Steve is also the
author of several books, all of which are available at:

AUGUST 2011 73



couple of things to talk about

this month. I just read Michael Closes
review ofThe Berglas Effects in the
June issue of M-U-M, and a quote from
Berglas caught my eye: The order of
importance in doing magic is personality,
presentation, effect, and method. The big
mistake that many magicians make is that
they work on their magic and spend little or
no time on their personality.
I travel to Vegas a great deal; theidea
of personality rings true in that city. You
would never just say, I saw a magic show
in Vegas.The more common statement
would be, I saw Mac King, or I saw
Penn & Teller. The achievement of these
performers has less to do with tricks and
methods and more to do with personality.
Many magicians who can do great
sleight of hand cannot carry on a conversation about anything that doesnt involve
magic. Their time is spent working on
tricks and methods. The price they pay is
too great and the amount of money they
make is too small. The only way to develop
an interesting personality is to do things
and learn things that have nothing to do
with magic.
The fact of the matter is that you cant
make it as a performer without a strong
personality. When someone tells me that
he saw a magician at a party, and I ask
what his name was and he says, Oh, I
dont remember his name, but he was real
good, it makes me sad. I once spoke to a
very good magic booker who told me that
he hires guys whom the CEO would want
to have come to the house and hang out
with all afternoon.
Unfortunately, on this subject Im
probably (as Michael Close said in his
review) preaching to the choir. So, lets
move on to something else.
I like to dig in the dirt. By dig in the
have a

74 M-U-M Magazine

dirt, I dont mean literally, but rather figuratively; it is amazing what you can find
sometimes. My favorite digging spots are
pawnshops, thrift stores, flea markets,
swap meets, estate sales, and used book
stores. Used book stores have that smell
of dust and old paper that makes me want
to see what I can find. Powells Books in
Portland is a city block in size. Last week
I was in Rochester, New York, and I found
The House of Guitars, a used music store.
I have a big passion for music and books. I
find many crossovers between the two.
In digging around, I found a CD on
comedy that those in the magic world
may find of interest. Topics included
comedy magic, writing jokes, the entertainer, likeability, ad-libbing, technique,
joke construction, acceptance, persona,
ego, rapport, and the list goes on and on.
The person who was giving the advice
was some guy named Carson. You can
probably find it; the title is Johnny Carson
on Comedy and it is from 1968. I thought
that it was a very good find for eight bucks,
but it wasnt my best find of the day.
You have to understand that I travel a
great deal, and I read a lot; on this trip the
books I brought had not lasted as long as
I hoped. I needed something for the trip
home. I saw a used paperback with a bad
title. I sometimes will judge a book by its
cover or its title, and The Music Lesson:
A Spiritual Search for Growth through
Music did not seem like the type of book
that would be much fun to read. The author
was some guy named Victor Wooten. The
bio on the back cover told me he was a
three-time Grammy award winning bass
player and that he plays with Bela Fleck
and the Flecktones.
As I put the book down, I noticed that
on the first page, in big red letters, were the
words: Warning! Everything in this book
may be wrong, but if so, its all right! I
still had no idea what the book was about.
I wanted to put it down, to move on down
to other books on the shelf, but that one
sentence made me turn the page. I found:
Truth? What is truth? And by the way, if
I always tell you the truth, you might start

to believe me. I was finding it harder and

harder to put the book down, and I didnt
even know how much it was. I turned to
the back cover and looked at the people
who had said nice things about it and read:
Dont let the title fool youIts not just
about music. Victors book blended beautifully with my vocationin fact, it applies
to everything we do in life. Shano Pable,
Master Garden Designer.
Okay, I bought the book and Ive read
it. My quote would be: Every close-up
magician who has ever wanted to perform
in the real world must read this book. I
would put it in my must-read stack and,
more important, Id put it in my must-reread
group. I have one bookcase that contains
my treasurers; Wootens book goes in that
case. The book is sort of a novel, but it is
really about how to entertain with music.
Watch a YouTube clip of Mr. Wooten and
you will understand; words just wont do
it. I was hooked; he had explained more
about being an entertainer in thirty-five
short pages than I have seen written in
all the magic books I have read, and he
never once talked about magic. I have
since learned that he is also a magician; an
article was written about him in Genii.
Let me quote some advice from the
You should never lose the groove in
order to find a note.
Your problem is this: You have been
trying to tell your story with a bass guitar
instead of through it.
The foundation of any building has to
be the strongest part; the life of a true bass
guitarist is the same.
I will close with what Wooten says on
page 64: Many musicians get caught up,
way too caught up, in the technique, when
it could benefit them to get caught up in
the music. Some of them measure their
accomplishments on whether they can do
a certain technique or not. You can take
this book and swap the word music for
the word magic and the advice will still
work. I think of Don Alan in this regard;
he didnt have a ton of technique, but when
he performed he produced a lot of magic.

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AUGUST 2011 75



Farewell Hank
When I became president of Parent
Assembly 1, I was called upon to
perform a Broken Wand ceremony for
a departed member. I had known him
as a fun performer, but never really got
to know the man, behind his tricks.
Since that time I have performed the
ceremony far too many times. As my
years with the Society add up, I have
gotten to know many of the magicians
who have left us, and each year the
ritual gets harder to perform. I can
recite the words by heart.
In July, I suddenly heard and felt
the words in my heart and not on my
lips. One we talked with yesterday
is silent today. Hank Moorehouse,
who walked with us, has gone on
without us.
Our friendship lasted many years.
Each and every one of us around the globe
has been touched by the real magic of this
man. His unselfish giving and straightforward manner endeared him to us all. His
even temper never got out of hand. He
and Jackie have always been great hosts

76 M-U-M Magazine

to magicians from around the planet.

Although he spoke no foreign languages,
he was a world traveler who did business
as a magic dealer and a consultant; he
never missed a trip to his favorite place,
Sindelfingen in Germany. His generosity
extended beyond all limits. Hank opened
doors for me, introducing me to foreign

Photo by Dale Farris

dealers and negotiating deals for me. Years
ago, when I was producing shows, he could
always be counted on to recommend great
In his travels he found acts for his

sixteen years as producer of the S.A.M.

convention shows; he also booked talent
for the FFFF convention and the Abbotts
Get-Together. Hank, Brad Jacobs, David
Goodsell, and I spent many conventions
together as magic widowers, while our
wives took over the registration desks as
the Unholy Four.
While you are reading this, I will
be at the Abbotts Get-Together, where
Hank really shone. He never asked us
to have dinner with him each evening
before the shows. He just said, Look
it! Meet me at the showroom at 5
oclock; we are eating at the Lakeside.
On our way to visit our kids in
Chicago, the Moorehouse home in
White Pigeon was the open house
place to stop, have a Manhattan with
Hank, and visit with Jackie. Hank was
a good cook. Occasionally wed stay
over in the guest room, where more
magicians than there are cards in a
deck have slept! We are not sure about
George Washington.
There are too many wonderful
memories to share in this small space.
At the Pittsburgh convention (which,
as I write this, is a week away) there
will surely be a great sharing of
Hank Moorehouse stories. He touched
many, many lives. No greater tribute can
be paid to any man than this; to say that
he lives on in the hearts of his friends.
Hank Moorehouse will live forever in our



his month we finish our inventory

section in the binder. Weve organized our tricks, but we carry a lot
more than that to each performance. Some
of us use a PA system or a backdrop curtain. A few of us have our own lighting
system or a portable stage. You should
have a separate list for all of the accessories
you take to each show.
I have several tables, each designed for a
specific purpose. Ill use my suitcase table
as an example. My permanent suitcase
table inventory includes a servante tray,
a close-up pad, and a folding lint brush
to keep it fresh. I carry rechargeable LED
lights with charger to illuminate the inside
of the case.
I have a tool kit that includes nail
clippers. Did you ever break a nail while
setting up? Those rubber squares that go
under table legs are handy for blocking
your wheels. Some outdoor stages are
not on level ground. One of those large
gag cellphone magnets goes to every
show, because that has become a common
I always carry one of those oldfashioned movie clapboards as a
permanent out. Mine says: Polish Wiserd
Magic Act, take 137. When you cant
think of a comeback, it always works.
Making fun of yourself keeps the audience
on your side when something goes wrong.
Not only are each of my tables inventoried in a similar manner in my master
binder, a copy of the inventory is on an
index card in each table. I refer to it both
when packing for the show and when
breaking down after the performance.
There is room on the card for notes, such
as put fresh batteries in the system.
This is work the audience never sees,
but it is necessary if you want to convey
the image of a professional entertainer.
It will enable you to concentrate on your
presentation instead of worrying if you
remembered to load your rabbit in the
Square Circle. Being organized buys
you time, a commodity that is generally
unavailable at any price.

78 M-U-M Magazine

Finally, we get to the magic. The reason

we cleaned house in phase one can be attributed to a statement Jamy Ian Swiss
includes in his lectures. He says, If you
have been involved with magic for at least
five years, you do not need more tricks.
You will do better as a magician to perfect
the performance of a few effects that are
suitable for your stage personality. Hes
I fell into the same trap we all do at
the beginning, Im always working for
hometown folks. I needed new stuff for
every show. That gets expensive, and you
end up doing three hundred tricks poorly
instead of becoming an accomplished
entertainer. It took me almost six years
before I applied the brakes. Why is there
no twelve-step program for recovering
When I had completed all of the steps
described over the past few months, I
finally had a sense of direction. I now was
aware of what type of magician I could
become based on tricks I had kept that
were enjoyable to me. I had created a solid
foundation on which to build.
On the surface it appeared I had a
larger problem. I was still performing for
the same people, but now I had fewer tricks
to share with them. I solved the problem by
creating different shows with the materials
I had. Because I do mostly childrens
shows, I decided to create three different
shows for kids.
A page for each went into the inventory
section of the binder. I do a lot of repeat
shows, so I have three years of new
material. In year four you can repeat show
number one. Most organizations have an
age cut off for attendees, so your audience
does change.
I did the same with shows for adults
suitable for stage or parlor. I have two
walk-around shows and one mentalism
show, which is not done seriously. I dont
feel comfortable having people come up
after a show for a private reading concerning their upcoming heart surgery. I have
spoken with mentalists who have had that
I have close-up shows, table magic
shows, and even an inventory for
impromptu performances. I have fourteen
different shows I can do for local audiences
before I have to repeat a performance
verbatim. This was accomplished after
reducing my inventory to just fifty tricks.

This is work the

audience never sees,
but it is necessary if
you want to convey the
image of a professional
entertainer. Being
organized buys you
time, a commodity that
is generally unavailable
at any price.
All instantly resettable card and coin
tricks have a separate inventory page.
Finally, I have a page for filler material
such as Tricks for Food or Grave Mistake.
Add pages as needed for things you do that
I dont, such as large illusions or balloon
I have a personal problem with
magicians who are always on. In the April
issue of M-U-M, Bruce Chadwick said,
A good magician always has a trick in
his pocket. In his 1951 book Scarnes
Magic Tricks, John Scarne stated, As a
magician you must always be on stage. I
see the value in being able to do something
on the spot that might result in a booking,
but pulling sponge balls out of your pocket
seems a bit contrived.
My list of impromptu magic is
composed of everyday items for example,
rubber bands or coins. Even doing a prediction using the PATEO force with items
on the table can be effective. There are a
few innocent magic items you could ring
in such as a Pen through Anything. I think
the magic is stronger when youre put on
the spot and can perform while seemingly
Next month we finally get to the actual
tricks. We are, however, still a long way
from building a show that has entertainment value. Its time you began thinking
about performing magic from your
customers point of view.
Email me at polishwiserd@sbcglobal.net