Charlie Miller

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Leonard Hevia
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Favorite Magician: Dai Vernon, Frank Garcia, Slydini, Houdini,
Location: Gaithersburg, Md.

Re: Charlie Miller

Postby Leonard Hevia » February 2nd, 2017, 8:56 pm

performer wrote:Maybe he was just getting old but I found him somewhat uninspiring. More or less performing like just some old magic club guy.


Really? I found him quite entertaining with the left handed knot, ring on wand, and that stab card effect. Miller worked cruise ships in the 1960s. That is a testament to his performing skills.

performer
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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby performer » February 3rd, 2017, 12:35 am

Yes. I did think he was a good performer on cruises since he would have been doing stage/platform magic which I was indeed impressed with. I was merely a bit surprised at the ordinariness of the close up magic. Sure it was passable enough but no better than anyone else. He didn't seem to have that pleasant jollity described in Expert Card Technique or the time I saw him do the rice bowls. Nothing wrong with his tricks mind you, he just didn't seem to be enjoying himself that much. However, I only saw the one video--I will watch some of the others and see if I change my mind. I will also watch this one again.

Mind you, I do have to say that it takes a hell of a lot to entertain me with magic. I just plain don't like watching it the way other magicians do. I have seen too much of it I suppose and I don't have the fascination with it the same way I had when I was a kid. Quite frankly most magicians bore me stiff. If they don't get me in the first 30 seconds I am no longer interested. Very few excite me. And alas Charlie Miller wasn't one of them.

Daniel Z
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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby Daniel Z » February 3rd, 2017, 2:36 pm

On the subject of Charlie Miller an incident that maybe of interest, though it is only my memory of an event that occurred in the late 90s (I’d have to check my production diary to know the exact date). I was with David Ben in LA filming, “Dai Vernon the spirit of magic”. One evening after we had finished our shoot we were at the Castle and someone asked David about some particular card effect (I don’t recall the details of what it was). While he was performing, Johnny Thompson came into the room and stood watching him. After David was finished Johnny (who I don’t believe had ever met him before) came over took his hands, kissed him on the cheek, and obviously moved, said something like, “I haven't seen hands like that since Charlie”. I hope that I’m not embarrassing my friend David with this story, I’m not sure it’s one that he would want shared, but it was in a sort of public space, and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one to witness it.

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erdnasephile
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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby erdnasephile » February 3rd, 2017, 7:14 pm

What a great honor! (and a great story--thank you for sharing this.)

magicfish
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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby magicfish » February 5th, 2017, 3:09 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.

Not necessarily so. John Carney uses and has published his handling using the Vernon subtleties Richard alluded to and the Klause Half Move concept .
The way he finishes the transformation also adds to its deception and helps to psychologically mask any back and forth movement.
Im also fond of the way Marlo finished the change.

performer
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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby performer » February 5th, 2017, 8:39 pm

magicfish wrote:
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.

Not necessarily so. John Carney uses and has published his handling using the Vernon subtleties Richard alluded to and the Klause Half Move concept .
The way he finishes the transformation also adds to its deception and helps to psychologically mask any back and forth movement.
Im also fond of the way Marlo finished the change.


If I say it is so I can assure you it is so. Anything I say is gospel and I can assure you I am the expert in these matters. Now please read my post again. I said "virtually everybody I see". I haven't SEEN John Carney do the move or the Klause move. As for the Vernon subtleties I already do them and I thought of them quite independently as befits my genius in these matters. Now they may well have published variations and alleged improvements. However as these have been put together after 1954 I have no particular interest in them and will not have read them.

magicfish
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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby magicfish » February 5th, 2017, 10:39 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.

I second this. John Carney does it this way as well and it is very deceptive. He also breaks the move into two parts a la Roger Klause.
I mentioned this earlier but it disappeared.
Anyway, this move is done very deceptively by some.
I also always liked the way Marlo finished the move.

magicfish
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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby magicfish » February 5th, 2017, 10:40 pm

Woops, sorry for the repeat fellas.

magicfish
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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby magicfish » February 5th, 2017, 10:44 pm

performer wrote:
magicfish wrote:
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.

Not necessarily so. John Carney uses and has published his handling using the Vernon subtleties Richard alluded to and the Klause Half Move concept .
The way he finishes the transformation also adds to its deception and helps to psychologically mask any back and forth movement.
Im also fond of the way Marlo finished the change.


If I say it is so I can assure you it is so. Anything I say is gospel and I can assure you I am the expert in these matters. Now please read my post again. I said "virtually everybody I see". I haven't SEEN John Carney do the move or the Klause move. As for the Vernon subtleties I already do them and I thought of them quite independently as befits my genius in these matters. Now they may well have published variations and alleged improvements. However as these have been put together after 1954 I have no particular interest in them and will not have read them.

Actually, you said:

"It is so obvious to a perceptive layman that the card is being pushed forward and back no matter who does it."

I have to disagree. When Carney does it, as well as many other fine performers, it fools to the utmost, and any forward and backward movements are negated.

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erdnasephile
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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby erdnasephile » February 5th, 2017, 11:18 pm


magicfish
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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby magicfish » February 5th, 2017, 11:54 pm

erdnasephile wrote:Carney on the Erdnase Color Change:

https://www.artofmagic.com/products/color-change-erdnase

Not too bad. I've seen him do it even better.
The camera is stationary.
In performance he uses a body turn and his arms and hands move in tune with the narrative of the effect. Thanks for sharing that link however.

MagicbyAlfred
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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby MagicbyAlfred » February 6th, 2017, 4:35 am

John is a very fine and clever magician. I noticed he does two (2) different color changes from Erdnase. The first is immaculate. The technique on the second one (the one at issue on this thread) is good, but the patter line may invite suspicion. As he places his hand on the top card in preparation to push it forward, he says, "we cover it..." But to a spectator, there is no reason to "cover" the card, so why actually point out that you're doing it?

The motivation (if any is to be offered) for the covering of that top card must be justified. I am far from an expert on the change, but I have worked out patter that suits me and I believe adds the necessary motivation. When I cover the card to be changed with my hand, I playfully ask: "Did you see anything happen?" When they say, "no," I then say, "That's because it didn't happen yet" as I move my hand back, stealing the (second) card in the process, and showing that nothing in fact has happened - that the top card is still there. They always seem to laugh at that line and also to relax. I, of course, am now halfway home, and the change is then made on the offbeat, accompanied by the words, "But just a little wave of the hand...".

In other words, to "change" the card, I like to make a magical waving motion, describing a counterclockwise arc with my hand, as opposed to bringing the hand upward or sliding it backward to reveal the change, which IMHO, are not very magical gestures. I feel that when the change is made, it should look as close to how it would look if you could do real magic. The waving motion has the additional and pragmatic advantage of misdirecting the spectator(s) away from the fact that the hand moved forward just prior to the change.

performer
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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby performer » February 6th, 2017, 6:07 am

magicfish wrote:
performer wrote:
magicfish wrote:

I have to disagree. When Carney does it, as well as many other fine performers, it fools to the utmost, and any forward and backward movements are negated.


You can disagree as much as you like, old chap but that does not negate the fact that I am always right. However, I shall exert myself to view the Carney personage's video and I can assure you that my verdict on the matter will be gospel. I don't like the sound of the Jennings variation as it sounds dreadfully clumsy. However, I will admit that I am biased and may change my mind when I actually see it. As a performer Jennings used to put me to sleep so no doubt that has biased me against him. However, I will attempt to be objective and reserve judgement on the matter for now.

performer
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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby performer » February 6th, 2017, 6:12 am

I have now watched the Carney video. The first colour change is absolutely beautiful. The second one is bloody awful and supports my contention that I have never seen it done in a non suspicious manner. You can see the card moving from half a mile away.

magicfish
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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby magicfish » February 6th, 2017, 8:03 am

MagicbyAlfred wrote:John is a very fine and clever magician. I noticed he does two (2) different color changes from Erdnase. The first is immaculate. The technique on the second one (the one at issue on this thread) is good, but the patter line may invite suspicion. As he places his hand on the top card in preparation to push it forward, he says, "we cover it..." But to a spectator, there is no reason to "cover" the card, so why actually point out that you're doing it?

The motivation (if any is to be offered) for the covering of that top card must be justified. I am far from an expert on the change, but I have worked out patter that suits me and I believe adds the necessary motivation. When I cover the card to be changed with my hand, I playfully ask: "Did you see anything happen?" When they say, "no," I then say, "That's because it didn't happen yet" as I move my hand back, stealing the (second) card in the process, and showing that nothing in fact has happened - that the top card is still there. They always seem to laugh at that line and also to relax. I, of course, am now halfway home, and the change is then made on the offbeat, accompanied by the words, "But just a little wave of the hand...".

In other words, to "change" the card, I like to make a magical waving motion, describing a counterclockwise arc with my hand, as opposed to bringing the hand upward or sliding it backward to reveal the change, which IMHO, are not very magical gestures. I feel that when the change is made, it should look as close to how it would look if you could do real magic. The waving motion has the additional and pragmatic advantage of misdirecting the spectator(s) away from the fact that the hand moved forward just prior to the change.

I agree Alfred. Ive seen Carney do this in person and he actually used a circular waving action as described in Carneycopia. There was very little if any back a forth movement and he didnt raise his hand straight up as in this clip.
Also, there is no context or audience interaction here. The clip doesn't do it justice unfortunately. C'est la vie.

performer
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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby performer » February 6th, 2017, 12:23 pm

I do a colour change sequence consisting of several changes. I start off with my favourite which is the French Drop Colour Change described in one of the Vernon card books. I follow it with my masterly improvement on the Erdnase Change, then I do the Leipzig colour change and finish up with a simple double lift and get the spectator to wave the card in front of him or her saying "quack, quack" and then abuse the poor soul for being so daft. I stole the Quack, Quack thing from that old blaggard Johnny Neptune who like me has ripped off thousands of people selling spooky pencils. Mind you I am more innocent than Johnny was. I only sold hundreds of them. He sold thousands of them.

Mind you he couldn't do the Erdnase Change. Not that very many can do either from what I see on this thread.

Rick Franceschin
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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby Rick Franceschin » February 6th, 2017, 7:44 pm

Setting the everpresent controversies aside, there's plenty of Charlie Miller material in Expert Card Technique. Charie Miller Aces, Predestined Choice (a really great no gaff Brainwave piece,) Mental Selectivity, and Danbury Deviler (fools everybody!) are among other wonderful pieces. Sometimes we get hung up on the stuff we can't have and ignore the treasures we can. I think that between Magicana (Genii and David Ben site), lecture notes (Lybrary.com,) Expert Card Technique, and the Stevens Videos (3 if you count the Cups and Balls Tape) there is enough information to glean some perspective into the man's thinking and considerable contribution to magic.

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erdnasephile
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Re: Charlie Miller

Postby erdnasephile » February 6th, 2017, 10:06 pm

Another place where there is a hoard of Charlie Miller material is Harry Riser's second book. (There are also a couple of Miller gems buried in a few of the last of Mr. Riser's MUM columns.)

Also, this: http://www.magicinc.net/malinieggbagbookmiller.aspx is a must for anyone wishing to study Mr. MIller.


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