Royal road to card magic

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performer
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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » April 21st, 2017, 3:59 am

MagicbyAlfred wrote:I believe I can state that I know for a fact that Performer's assertion is correct: Harry was approached to annotate the Royal Road, and he had zero interest in doing so. Anyone who hopes that Harry may take on that project will surely do so only in vain. I don't believe that Harry has ever had anything even remotely approaching the appreciation and zest for the Royal Road that Performer has. Performer is the one to undertake the project. Harry is a great writer (and magical entertainer), but even if he was interested in annotating the Royal Road (which he is not), IMHO, no one on the planet could do a more magnificent job than Performer, and I am thrilled that he is doing it!


Harry will be given great praise and glory in my annotations anyway since there are several places where it will be relevant.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby magicfish » April 21st, 2017, 11:24 am

Today Im giving a pristine hardcover copy to
A young man I know who wants to learn cardmagic.
It is from my personal library so I will have to seek out a new/old copy.
It was tough to part with, but Im glad to be able to help a newcomer.

Chuck Romano
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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby Chuck Romano » May 4th, 2017, 11:15 am

A new edition with a Foreword by Steve Cohen is available in hardcover for just $5.72! See Barnes and Noble's website http://bit.ly/2pchhHS

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby I.M. Magician » May 4th, 2017, 12:46 pm

There is someone here on the Genii Forum offering brand new shrink wrapped standard Hardbound copies of the book with dust cover for only $12 including shipping to the US.

You can find it being offered in the post offering the book MY BEST.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » May 4th, 2017, 2:38 pm

I.M. Magician wrote:There is someone here on the Genii Forum offering brand new shrink wrapped standard Hardbound copies of the book with dust cover for only $12 including shipping to the US.

You can find it being offered in the post offering the book MY BEST.


In other words you! I have been and I have seen. Very sneaky! And most improper! I wish I had thought of that!

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby I.M. Magician » May 4th, 2017, 2:50 pm

:shock: :oops: :lol:

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby I.M. Magician » May 5th, 2017, 10:32 am

performer wrote:
I.M. Magician wrote:There is someone here on the Genii Forum offering brand new shrink wrapped standard Hardbound copies of the book with dust cover for only $12 including shipping to the US.

You can find it being offered in the post offering the book MY BEST.


In other words you! I have been and I have seen. Very sneaky! And most improper! I wish I had thought of that!


Not improper at all actually! Let's just say I was trying to be cute. :)

But seriously, it's a great deal for a brand new sealed copy of the "traditional" Hardbound copy of the book!

By the way, the Encyclopedia of Card Tricks book offer is over but, if you hurry, you can still get a brand new copy of MY BEST for $11 including shipping to the US.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » May 5th, 2017, 11:53 am

Very improper indeed. You are supposed to be posting in the correct section. You never see me mentioning that I have the most wondrous book on the svengali deck for sale at a mere$25. Or an entire DVD course on pitching magic for sale for a hundred bucks. Or my most wondrous memoirs,"The Lives of a Showman".

Oh, that reminds me. A word to Ryan Matney. I have sent everything off to you except the Showman book. My publisher requires a contact phone number for shipping purposes. As soon as let me have it I will process the sale immediately. It is printed and shipped within the United States.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby I.M. Magician » May 5th, 2017, 12:00 pm

Well, thanks to you, I suspect that I am on the royal road to being deleted. :cry:

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » May 5th, 2017, 5:34 pm

Nonsense! Several hours have gone by and you still seem to be there! And I bet my little intervention has got you lots of business!

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby I.M. Magician » May 5th, 2017, 8:30 pm

performer wrote:Nonsense! Several hours have gone by and you still seem to be there! And I bet my little intervention has got you lots of business!


Unfortunately, nothing, nada, zilch, the empty set, grand total of zero...not one book sold. :cry:

Let's try this! If anyone buys a book from me, they get to select any one of your books for free! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » May 5th, 2017, 9:16 pm

No money in that for me I am afraid. I am not a bloody philanthropic society you know! I think your problem is that they all own the Royal Road to Card Magic already! If they don't they are missing out on a wonderful book.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » November 10th, 2017, 8:30 pm

I promised that I would announce when the first chapter is written. Well it has been done. Somewhat later than I expect because of a combination of writer's procrastination and being very busy with other activities. Oh, and one other reason. It is surprisingly difficult to write up technical moves with sufficient clarity that people can understand what the hell you are talking about. Anyone who has ever written books describing sleight of hand will know what I mean. It is not an easy thing to do and the doing of it encourages writer's procrastination.

Anyway I think it is pretty good. But then I would, wouldn't I? Bias is the name of the game I suppose.

At my present pace it will be months before the second chapter is done. Or perhaps 10 minutes or so since I am not sure I have anything at all to say about the second chapter. I am finding it such an excellent book that it is quite often gives you nothing much to say as it has covered everything already! Still, I have described certain variations to the material I have discovered over the years and certain tips regarding basic moves etc;

I think it will be a good book when I have finished with it. I shall try to pick up the pace a trifle.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby MagicbyAlfred » November 11th, 2017, 4:04 pm

It has been said that Rome wasn't built in a day, and that all roads lead to Rome (which would include the Royal Road). I congratulate Performer on his progress, and will look forward to reading his work, which will undoubtedly be excellent.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » November 11th, 2017, 4:29 pm

The pace is slow because I have so many distractions. I have no idea how people can write three books at once as I have heard some actually do. Not a talent I possess. Or perhaps it is but I think it must take forever doing it that way. Mind you, it seems that it is taking forever for me too with just one book to write. And the original authors have written most of the book already.

Anyway, to whet your appetite here is my very first annotation straight from the preface. You will remember of course the famous story about Devant knowing 8 tricks and the hapless enthusiast knowing 300. Here I give the origin of the story after a bit of research. Thank God Devant did most of the annotation rather than me. I did contact him in the spirit world concerning the matter and am glad to say he didn't mind a bit.
..........................................................................................................................................................................................

The origin of this story is quite interesting. The young man in question was a fellow named Fred Culpitt who later became a very accomplished performer who delighted in telling this story against himself.
However, Devant himself describes the incident in his book (Lessons in Conjuring) published in 1922 thus:
“Some years ago, when I was performing at the old Egyptian Hall twice a day and was in the habit of receiving more offers of private engagements than I could possibly accept, a young conjurer called to see me. I asked him how many tricks he knew. He made a rapid calculation and replied” “About three hundred.” I told him that I knew eight tricks myself. He seemed to be very puzzled but he is puzzled no longer by that reply, for he has since learned wisdom and is now a very popular performer; he now appreciates the difference between knowing how a trick is done and knowing how to do it.

When I told this young conjurer that I knew eight tricks, I meant, of course, that I performed eight tricks. That was quite true. For some years my repertoire consisted of eight tricks, but I knew them thoroughly. I was always ready to show them at any time, at any place, under any conditions. Until a man knows a trick so well that he is always ready to do it when he is called upon for a trick, he does not really know it.
To the amateur who has a superficial knowledge of many tricks and an unfortunate habit of bungling even the simplest of them, my method of teaching will seem to be painfully slow. I must ask that young man to take my word for it that my method is sound. If he will take some of the tricks in this book and practice them according to my directions he will certainly know those tricks thoroughly. That knowledge will have some value, because in any assembly the man who can respond to the request: “Show us a trick” is usually very popular.”

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » November 11th, 2017, 4:47 pm

Incidentally I did get the above information from David Britland's excellent blog. Interestingly enough I gather that I was the very first magician that David ever set eyes on. I do hope he has recovered from the experience.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » November 13th, 2017, 9:23 am

performer wrote:At my present pace it will be months before the second chapter is done. Or perhaps 10 minutes or so since I am not sure I have anything at all to say about the second chapter. I am finding it such an excellent book that it is quite often gives you nothing much to say as it has covered everything already! Still, I have described certain variations to the material I have discovered over the years and certain tips regarding basic moves etc;

I think it will be a good book when I have finished with it. I shall try to pick up the pace a trifle.


It did not take months after all to do the second chapter. It took three days. Months and months to do the first chapter. Three days to do the second chapter. It is beginning to dawn on me that consistency is not a particular characteristic of my activities.

I will announce when the third chapter is written. It will be intriguing to see whether it takes three days, three months or three years. The chapter will be on flourishes. I have strong views on this particular subject which I have already written about in my most wondrous "Wit and Wisdom of Mark Lewis" e-book and so it is simply a matter of reproducing those remarks in the annotations. The rest of the guff regarding the individual flourishes will take somewhat longer.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » November 13th, 2017, 11:33 am

Incidentally, in regard to my research of Chapter Two I was greatly amused to discover that the Zarrow shuffle isn't really the Zarrow shuffle after all! I do find it incumbent upon me to inform the world of magic that Herb Zarrow was only around 8 years old when it was first published. Or perhaps he was a child prodigy.

It is quite amazing what you can find in old books. Not that anyone will ever take the slightest notice of what I just said................

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » November 13th, 2017, 1:19 pm

Oh, I forgot to mention that it is in Greater Magic on page 170 in all it's glory. The deck is held lengthwise instead of sideways but it is essentially the same thing. That must have been where Herb Zarrow learned it in the first place.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby Richard Kaufman » November 13th, 2017, 1:36 pm

The Zarrow Shuffle is not in Greater Magic. You are referring to an older shuffle (which also appears in Erdnase) where there is no cover.
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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » November 13th, 2017, 2:02 pm

It is OK. A know-all from Edinburgh has been trying elsewhere to correct me in this matter but on the principle that I am never wrong-even if I am -I shall continue to say that black is white. There IS cover though in the method I am talking about. And the release of the interlocking packets is the same. The only difference being the geographical location of the cards after the separation which is only a couple of centimetres or so. I am therefore going to continue to say that it is the Zarrow shuffle even if it isn't. Svengali pitchmen are used to telling lies as it is a job requirement.

However since the intervention from Scotland I have completely lost interest in the matter. However, it doesn't matter either way since my annotations of the Royal Road to Card Magic have been brought to the attention of all and sundry in my usual masterful way.

Incidentally it is the V inverted shuffle I am talking about not the one preceding it in the Greater Magic description.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby Jonathan Townsend » November 13th, 2017, 8:00 pm

performer wrote:Oh, I forgot to mention that it is in Greater Magic on page 170 in all it's glory. The deck is held lengthwise instead of sideways but it is essentially the same thing. ...


Item 2.b. page 170 shares some characteristics as regards corners and a need for cover - and admittedly figure 2 is suggestive - though that's in retrospect and the item as written does not get the card table deceptive full deck control. There are several other shuffle goodies in that book which offer stepping stones toward Zarrow's shuffle. I'm gonna stick with pointing folks to Riffle Shuffle Technique (1975) as a source citation on that for tonight till I get a chance to read The New Phoenix for the 1959 source.

Back to Greater Magic - found a torn corner monte item and reference to a cut of stripper cards that look like lots of fun. :)
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » November 13th, 2017, 8:35 pm

I have completely lost interest in Greater Magic, Herb Zarrow, Erdnase, and all who sail in here.

Instead you can all amuse yourself looking at this. Who says you can't mix magic with psychic work?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4dFiakyyA4

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby erdnasephile » November 14th, 2017, 9:59 am

Those interested in the history of the Zarrow Shuffle, may wish to see "After the Shuffle" in Zarrow - A Lifetime of Magic by David Ben (pg 430-459).

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby I.M. Magician » November 14th, 2017, 12:41 pm

In this day and age, after watching Mark do his Svengali deck routine, I can't imagine why everyone standing there wouldn't toss him a ten spot for a magic deck of cards and instructions for 25 tricks.

That's quite a bargain in 2017!

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » November 14th, 2017, 3:02 pm

I.M. Magician wrote:In this day and age, after watching Mark do his Svengali deck routine, I can't imagine why everyone standing there wouldn't toss him a ten spot for a magic deck of cards and instructions for 25 tricks.

That's quite a bargain in 2017!


It isn't actually! They usually put them in a drawer when they get home never to be seen again! Mind you, I usually give them a far bigger bargain for their ten dollars. They get the Dutch Looper trick, the wonder mouse, and a little magic book as well all thrown in for free. What we call "a lump up" in the business. However at psychic fairs it isn't necessary to do that.

However, the reason for the svengali deck is not to get me a lousy ten dollars anyway. It is to get me a not so lousy $80 instead which is what a psychic reading costs for say 20 minutes. The deck is the reason I am so busy at psychic fairs. Think about it. Around ten people are around me while the other psychics probably have nobody. The venue was half empty. Out of that ten people I am bound to get somebody interested in a reading. That is why I keep referring to my psychic services albeit it seems to be in jest (but it bloody well isn't), and notice I read someone's palm very briefly. There is a reason for that. I bet you can figure it out.

I think there are probably lessons to be learned in that video although I not sure what they are.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby MagicbyAlfred » November 14th, 2017, 4:07 pm

Having followed Performer for quite some time now, it seems to me that he is not just a grafter, author and entertaining magician, but a psychic who sincerely wants to be a positive force for people and give them hope. The common denominator is that grafter, author, magician, or psychic, one must pay the inevitable bills.

While Performer has recounted times when he has sold many decks within a few hours span, it is now clear that the psychic readings fetch far more farthings for far less time. He clearly has a significant advantage over the other psychics at the fairs by virtue of being able to cleverly attract a throng of people who watch his Svengali pitch. This enables him to subtly advertise his far more lucrative services as a psychic and to draw people in with a quick palm reading teaser. He has also entertained them and made them laugh with his Svengali pitch. This, I would imagine, endears the onlookers to him, and gives them an opportunity to feel like they know him, giving him an even further advantage over the other psychics who solemnly sit at their tables, and from whom the people haven't heard a word uttered.

Some of the most creative grafters of bygone days used methods unrelated to what ultimately got them the money in order to attract people into a position where they could be separated from their funds. For example, three card monte hustler, Ben Marks, came up with the idea of the "Dollar Store," which he opened in 1870 in Cheyenne Wyoming. It was apparently a store where people could get tremendous bargains. Once people were drawn inside, they would see that there was a lively and fun game going on at a table in the store. Of course, it was Ben and his shills, and the whole thing was theatrically orchestrated to ensure that the fools and their money were soon parted. This idea really caught on among hustlers, who never had to worry about selling items worth far more than a dollar for just a dollar, as the patrons rarely had a dime left to their name after being fleeced at the monte table.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » November 14th, 2017, 6:01 pm

Alfred is very astute in this matter but to be fair to the other psychics, some of the more aggressive ones don't just sit there and not utter a word. On the contrary they are right out there on the front table just like I am hustling their services. And many of them have what we call "front persons" who sit at the front table and do the hustling for them. A sort of secretary/salesperson. The competition can be very fierce indeed. However, my own system is to get 5 to 10 people in front of me rather than just one or two which is the norm for the other psychics. And I am a bit more humorous and irreverent about the psychic business than they might be and their interaction with me gets a certain rapport which brings me business either then or later on once they have looked around. And of course I sell a few decks of cards too although that is not my main object.

I become a hell of a lot more serious once they sit down for a reading though. They very often need my help and it is my ethical duty to serve them as best I can.


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