Charlie Miller

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Charlie Miller

Postby Christopher1979 » January 30th, 2017, 6:20 pm

I get the impression that Charlie Miller held all or most of his secrets close to his chest but was any of his work and routines put into print. I think i am aware of a book titled "An Evening with Charlie Miller" and of course being the editor of Magicana a series in Genii magazine but is there anything else out there?. Also did he contribute actual effect in the series Magicana?

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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby Leonard Hevia » January 30th, 2017, 7:51 pm

Miller put out two tapes, now DVDs, for Stevens Magic in addition to teaming up with Johnny Thompson on discussions about the Malini egg bag and the cups and balls on other Stevens tapes. There are also his recorded performances at the Canadian Magic Palace:

http://www.magicana.com/video/charlie-m ... lose-magic

http://www.magicana.com/video/charlie-m ... l-classics

http://www.magicana.com/video/charlie-m ... king-money

http://www.magicana.com/video/charlie-m ... -interests

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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 30th, 2017, 7:52 pm

The bulk of Charlie Miller's magical creations were published in "Magicana." There are other unpublished items.

I possess notebooks with gambling related material which has not been published, but the notes are not clear whether these items are original with Miller or he was recording things he had seen others do.
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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby Christopher1979 » January 30th, 2017, 9:22 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:The bulk of Charlie Miller's magical creations were published in "Magicana." There are other unpublished items.

I possess notebooks with gambling related material which has not been published, but the notes are not clear whether these items are original with Miller or he was recording things he had seen others do.


Have you ever got to thinking about publishing magicana in book form Richard?


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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby performer » January 30th, 2017, 11:08 pm

I saw Charlie Miller on television once and I had no idea who I was watching until the credits came up at the end. He was doing the rice bowls and whistling while doing it. He was quite pleasant to watch.

I did hear some tale some decades ago that he died a death at a Magic Circle lecture. It seemed he lectured on all the practical stuff he used to make a living with and the members were disappointed because they expected all the intricate card stuff he was known for. They expected to see the stuff credited to him in Expert Card Technique but instead they got things like the Rice Bowls instead. Apparently there were great rumblings of disappointment after the lecture.

I suppose this reflects the difference in taste between amateurs and professionals.

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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby Christopher1979 » January 30th, 2017, 11:30 pm

performer wrote:I saw Charlie Miller on television once and I had no idea who I was watching until the credits came up at the end. He was doing the rice bowls and whistling while doing it. He was quite pleasant to watch.

I did hear some tale some decades ago that he died a death at a Magic Circle lecture. It seemed he lectured on all the practical stuff he used to make a living with and the members were disappointed because they expected all the intricate card stuff he was known for. They expected to see the stuff credited to him in Expert Card Technique but instead they got things like the Rice Bowls instead. Apparently there were great rumblings of disappointment after the lecture.

I suppose this reflects the difference in taste between amateurs and professionals.


Fascinating story, I wonder how many people got to see the inner workings of Millers card routines apart from Ricky Jay and maybe a few others. The money I would pay to see that I tell you!


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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby performer » January 30th, 2017, 11:57 pm

Bobby Bernard was a big fan of Charlie Miller and he told me that Charlie could be very prickly with magicians who wanted to see him work. He told me some tale of a card enthusiast approaching Charlie and asking him to show something. It seems that Charlie deliberately did some very badly executed second dealing on purpose and sent the guy away disappointed. When he had gone he resumed dealing seconds but this time perfectly!

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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby erdnasephile » January 31st, 2017, 1:57 am

Harry Riser on Charlie Miller:



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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby Christopher1979 » January 31st, 2017, 2:11 am

erdnasephile wrote:Harry Riser on Charlie Miller:




How interesting!... eating corks hey!


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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby erdnasephile » January 31st, 2017, 3:44 am

Caleb Wiles has a bunch of Harry Riser videos on the same channel that the first video is from--they are all great and worth watching.

Here is a second video where Mr. Riser mentions Mr. Miller. However, for me, the highlight is Mr. Riser telling two favorite Harry Riser/Dai Vernon stories near the end of this video. (One about cups and balls and the other about Twisting the Aces) So classic!



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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby Tom Gilbert » January 31st, 2017, 5:03 am

Bob White and Johnny Thompson could probably tell tons of stories about Charlie.

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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby erdnasephile » January 31st, 2017, 5:10 am

Tom Gilbert wrote:Bob White and Johnny Thompson could probably tell tons of stories about Charlie.


Yep: http://www.linkingpage.com/magicnewsfee ... iller.html

:D

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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby Joe Mckay » January 31st, 2017, 8:40 am

Didn't Charlie get burned out by cards towards the end of his life?

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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 31st, 2017, 12:19 pm

One evening I saw Charlie do most of the sleights from The Expert at the Card Table. It was an amazing display of skill, particularly from an older man with arthritis in his hands. He taught me his Second Deal and his Push-Through Shuffle. I would rate him as probably the most skilled sleight of hand expert with cards I've ever seen.
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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby Christopher1979 » January 31st, 2017, 12:42 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:One evening I saw Charlie do most of the sleights from The Expert at the Card Table. It was an amazing display of skill, particularly from an older man with arthritis in his hands. He taught me his Second Deal and his Push-Through Shuffle. I would rate him as probably the most skilled sleight of hand expert with cards I've ever seen.


That is a bold statement but totally believe it. With Ricky Jay having teaching from both Miller and Vernon although somewhat lesser from Miller no wonder why he is at the top of his game. How lucky to be immersed with two of the best card men in history as a young man.


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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby Q. Kumber » January 31st, 2017, 12:46 pm

Perhaps someone in the know can verify if this is true.

I've heard that one close friend of Charlie Miller wanted to put his material in a book, but two other close friends who have much of the advanced and unpublished material between them have refused to release it.

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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby Joe Mckay » January 31st, 2017, 12:51 pm

I wonder if Charlie Miller is to blame for Ricky Jay's attempt at the Zarrow shuffle? :-)

https://youtu.be/UWvRorX0KhQ?t=2m20s

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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby Christopher1979 » January 31st, 2017, 1:03 pm

Joe Mckay wrote:I wonder if Charlie Miller is to blame for his attempt at the Zarrow shuffle? :-)

https://youtu.be/UWvRorX0KhQ?t=2m20s


I somewhat doubt that :) The subtleties of many sleights are always going to be argued!

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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 31st, 2017, 2:01 pm

Bruce Cervon tried to do a Charlie Miller book through L&L Publishing and the parties to whom Charlie left the rights to his material put a stop to it. While Charlie published a great deal of material in Magicana, he kept a larger amount to himself and had no desire to publish it.
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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 31st, 2017, 2:03 pm

When Ricky Jay was at the top of his game (regarding sleight of hand) he wasn't an idiot: if he chose to do the Zarrow Shuffle that way he must have done so for a reason.
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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby Christopher1979 » January 31st, 2017, 2:09 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:When Ricky Jay was at the top of his game (regarding sleight of hand) he wasn't an idiot: if he chose to do the Zarrow Shuffle that way he must have done so for a reason.


I agree with you, Ricky is no "slouch" when it comes to sleight of hand so it would of been for other reasons

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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby Christopher1979 » January 31st, 2017, 2:37 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJMhyr5zSTo

Just Beautiful, wish the quality of the filming was better.

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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby Joe Mckay » January 31st, 2017, 2:58 pm

Here is Charlie Miller making a mess of the Erdnase change:

https://youtu.be/rJMhyr5zSTo?t=1m1s

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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby performer » January 31st, 2017, 3:16 pm

I wouldn't say it was a mess but there is a better way of doing it which I figured out many decades ago. Virtually everybody I see do the move makes me cringe. It is so obvious to a perceptive layman that the card is being pushed forward and back no matter who does it. I recognised this problem many, many years ago and did something about it.

However, with regard to the very first video posted on this thread (zarrow shuffle) the exposure comments underneath make me ill. I have never been an anti-exposure fanatic but the bloody internet is forcing me that way.

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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 31st, 2017, 3:40 pm

Joe, don't be obnoxious: Charlie is not "making a mess" of the Erdnase Color Change. He is simply doing it as explained in Expert.
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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby MagicbyAlfred » January 31st, 2017, 3:42 pm

performer wrote:I wouldn't say it was a mess but there is a better way of doing it which I figured out many decades ago. Virtually everybody I see do the move makes me cringe. It is so obvious to a perceptive layman that the card is being pushed forward and back no matter who does it. I recognised this problem many, many years ago and did something about it.

However, with regard to the very first video posted on this thread (zarrow shuffle) the exposure comments underneath make me ill. I have never been an anti-exposure fanatic but the bloody internet is forcing me that way.


Speaking from the point of view of an unknown, unpublished, (non) card man, IMHO, the Erdnase change can be made deceptive if it is done in what the great Roger Klause referred to as "half moves." As applied to the Erdnase change, that would mean first independently securing the card underneath the card to be "changed" and pulling it back into position under the pretext of calling attention to, and pattering about the card to be changed for some reason unrelated to the imminent change. (the first half move).

What to now say at this juncture is limited only by the imagination, but one example, among many, might be: "You see, this is a wild card, which gives it peculiar properties." The patter and the substantial pause and suspension of any movement by the hand that has secured the card underneath then provides critical time misdirection. Then, in a subsequent separate and independent motion, the hand can come forward depositing the card (the second half move), but almost simultaneously making a magical waving motion to the side (more misdirection), and as the card is shown to have changed, perhaps making the comment, "Isn't that wild?"

In this manner, they will not have the obvious context of seeing the hand covering the deck, backing up, and then immediately coming forward; i.e., they won't be enabled, as it were, to put two and two together, as they otherwise might.

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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby Christopher1979 » January 31st, 2017, 4:12 pm

Peoples mentalities have really changed these days in the YouTube era, so easy to criticise and be disrespectful. In turn that type of mentality has effected the art of magic itself. Magic has now become more of " I know what sleights your doing and i am going to let you know that I KNOW what sleights your doing so i appear better".... What happened to just loving the craft and letting the magic just happen... Sorry... maybe im am crossing over the line by saying that but it really does make me mad.

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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby performer » January 31st, 2017, 4:17 pm

Indeed. I have often thought that "magicians" are really laymen who know how the tricks are done.

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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 31st, 2017, 4:58 pm

There are many good touches on the Houdini/Erdnase change to decrease the amount of in and out movement.

First is Vernon's idea of cupping the hand and then straightening the fingers as the hand is turned palm down over the card. This eliminates the outward movement completely. Only the flesh of the pinky's pad touches and pushes the card.

Second is Jennings' idea of using the left first finger to shove the cards under the face card inward, which greatly decreases the inward movement.
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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby Joe Mckay » January 31st, 2017, 5:46 pm

No disrespect intended. I am just being obtuse for the hell of it!

This is a good place to learn more about Ricky Jay. And it touches on his relationship with Charlie Miller:

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1993/04/05/secrets-of-the-magus

And here is a nice article on Charlie Miller:

http://chrisdeleomagic.com/2016/05/27/charlie-mad-dog-miller/

I can't remember who it was. But I remember a magician discussing those Charlie Miller lectures. The British magicians got mad because no "inner circle" card secrets were taught. Instead - Charlie taught them platform magic tricks instead. However - what the magicians in attendance overlooked was that Miller had some great work on these tricks. Small touches that greatly improved the effects. So in fact he really was teaching "inner circle" caliber material. Just not to do with cards. If I had to guess - I would say it was Harry Riser who wrote about this.

Sadly they were too annoyed (or uneducated in platform magic) to appreciate the lessons Charlie was trying to impart. I don't think Charlie was "holding out" as such since he seemed a bit sick of card magic by the end of his life. According to what he used to write in Magicana. He said he wouldn't cross the road to watch a card trick and would rather be shot dead than watch a trick using a faro shuffle. If you look at the Magicana columns it is not as "card heavy" as you might expect from a column ran by such a legendary card guy.

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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby performer » January 31st, 2017, 5:47 pm

Like Vernon I also use the little finger tip. However, my improvement is based on an optical illusion. I can't be bothered trying to describe it and besides it is about time I kept something to myself.

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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby performer » January 31st, 2017, 5:51 pm

Well, I read somewhere that Charlie's knowledge of platform magic was just as extensive as his knowledge of close up card magic. And I bet it earned him a whole lot more money.

It reminds me of the fact that I can do a terrific back palm which I practiced for hours. However, that never earned me any money either. However, the front of palms has earned me a bloody fortune!

Other people's palms mind you...............................

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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 31st, 2017, 6:11 pm

Charlie often held out. When asked to demonstrate a Second Deal, he would do the Snowshoe Second.
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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby Christopher1979 » January 31st, 2017, 6:30 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:Charlie often held out. When asked to demonstrate a Second Deal, he would do the Snowshoe Second.


A Sticky thumb is always good for that one :lol:

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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby erdnasephile » January 31st, 2017, 6:40 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:There are many good touches on the Houdini/Erdnase change to decrease the amount of in and out movement.

First is Vernon's idea of cupping the hand and then straightening the fingers as the hand is turned palm down over the card. This eliminates the outward movement completely. Only the flesh of the pinky's pad touches and pushes the card.

Second is Jennings' idea of using the left first finger to shove the cards under the face card inward, which greatly decreases the inward movement.


Ben Earl has some nice work on this (See: Past Midnight)

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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby erdnasephile » January 31st, 2017, 6:45 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:Charlie often held out. When asked to demonstrate a Second Deal, he would do the Snowshoe Second.


My impression of Mr. Miller that he (like Harry Riser) probably got burned more than once by investing time with people who weren't serious. I suspect that if you had the passion, the chops, and somebody he respected to vouch for you, you could probably earn a chance to earn his respect.

I really hate to admit this, but as much as I strongly admire Mr. Miller's contributions to magic, his whistling presentation for the rice bowls just leaves me cold for some reason. He did it remarkably well and it fit him to a tee. However, I guess it's just a matter of personal taste--I'm probably the Philistine in the room.

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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby Christopher1979 » January 31st, 2017, 6:58 pm

erdnasephile wrote:
Richard Kaufman wrote:Charlie often held out. When asked to demonstrate a Second Deal, he would do the Snowshoe Second.


My impression of Mr. Miller that he (like Harry Riser) probably got burned more than once by investing time with people who weren't serious. I suspect that if you had the passion, the chops, and somebody he respected to vouch for you, you could probably earn a chance to earn his respect.

I really hate to admit this, but as much as I strongly admire Mr. Miller's contributions to magic, his whistling presentation for the rice bowls just leaves me cold for some reason. He did it remarkably well and it fit him to a tee. However, I guess it's just a matter of personal taste--I'm probably the Philistine in the room.


Personal taste is completely correct, There are many Magicians that i highly respect and love there work but not their showmanship or style

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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby performer » February 1st, 2017, 7:29 pm

I saw Charlie Miller years and years ago on The Magic Palace tv show doing the whistling thing with the Rice Bowls and I found it quite pleasant. I rather liked him and his smiling personality. However that was the only time I had ever seen him work. Until 5 minutes ago or so, that is. I just watched him on the Magicana site where there are several videos of him at work on the same TV show that I saw a few decades ago. I had never seen him perform close up magic which he was really knowm for. I found it disappointing and I couldn't figure out what the hell the fuss was about. I suspect he was far better at platform magic than he was at close up magic. I did like his one word card trick presentation but that was about it.

Maybe he was just getting old but I found him somewhat uninspiring. More or less performing like just some old magic club guy. Vernon seemed to be far more charismatic. Still, I won't judge him until I see his other videos.

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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby MagicbyAlfred » February 2nd, 2017, 4:11 pm

I think that "name recognition" influences perception in the realm of magic as much as it does in advertising products. Magic is such a broad field that has room for a lot of sub-disciplines: Inventors/creators, writers, editors and publishers, illustrators, lecturers, hobbyists, collectors, performing pros, and often various combinations of the foregoing. Being a well known figure in the magic world, even one who has been an innovator and long adulated by magicians, does not necessarily translate into being an entertaining performer.
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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby performer » February 2nd, 2017, 4:15 pm

Yes. Name recognition has a lot to do with it. Some of the best magicians I have ever seen are people you have never heard of.


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