Tommy Wonder's "Misdirection does not exist"

Discuss the latest news and rumors in the magic world.
User avatar
Tom Stone
Posts: 1244
Joined: January 18th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Contact:

Tommy Wonder's "Misdirection does not exist"

Postby Tom Stone » September 15th, 2017, 12:33 pm

Image

About 15 years ago, my friend Peter Rosengren and I were disillusioned with the than current Swedish magic scene. It had become more an arena for a consumer mentality, rather than artistic explorations. More passively watching videos and lecturers, than actually trying any of it out.
To fight that, we responded by bringing in good thinkers and practitioners to do week-long hands-on workshops with few participants.

In 2002 we managed to bring Tommy Wonder to Sweden, for a one-week workshop with eight participants. Very intense schedule, from early morning to late night. As a study aid, Tommy had assembled a manuscript with some of the more advanced writing on Misdirection from his books.
Every single theory were discussed and then tried out in practice in improvised magic routines.

With the kind permission of Tommy Wonder's estate (Frank Bemelman and Dick Koornwinder), I've just released that manuscript as an ebook at Warg Magic, with some annotations by myself.

38 pages, 15 illustrations.

It can be obtained here: Misdirection does not exist

performer
Posts: 2253
Joined: August 7th, 2015, 10:35 pm

Re: Tommy Wonder's "Misdirection does not exist"

Postby performer » September 15th, 2017, 12:50 pm

I actually purchased a book once owned by him. It was the "Magician Nitely" by Jerry Mentzer based on the work of Eddie Fechter. I bought it from a magic dealer in Haarlem near Amsterdam. It was second hand. I saw the handwritten inscription inside with the name and address of Josh Bemelman. It wasn't until years later that I realised that was Tommy Wonder's real name and the odds were high it was his handwriting in the book.

I did glance through one of his more substantial books once authored by himself and read his intellectual theories. Very profound indeed. However, I happen to know he worked the streets of Amsterdam with the worm taking money off all the punters in the way they richly deserved. I can guarantee you that he learned more about presenting magic from that activity than he ever did with his high falutin' theories. Not that I have a cynical nature of course.

User avatar
Tom Stone
Posts: 1244
Joined: January 18th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Contact:

Re: Tommy Wonder's "Misdirection does not exist"

Postby Tom Stone » September 15th, 2017, 1:07 pm

performer wrote: I happen to know he worked the streets of Amsterdam with the worm taking money off all the punters in the way they richly deserved. I can guarantee you that he learned more about presenting magic from that activity than he ever did with his high falutin' theories.

I'm fairly confident it went the other way; that the "high falutin'" theories was the result of what he had learned rather than a starting point.
Bound to have some merits. I mean, without "high falutin'" theories, how can you perform Wild Card while being assaulted? (5:10)


performer
Posts: 2253
Joined: August 7th, 2015, 10:35 pm

Re: Tommy Wonder's "Misdirection does not exist"

Postby performer » September 15th, 2017, 1:46 pm

Damn! I wish there were English subtitles so I could understand that! I can actually do the svengali deck in Dutch but I had no idea what the hell I was saying. The Dutch found it amusing though and THEY understood it! But alas I cannot speak Dutch and although I know a few words they were both speaking too quickly.

I did see that he had what grafters call a "nause" anyway. I really wish it was in English because that is actually a real life situation which happens all the time. And it probably did happen to him on the street so you have a point. Obnoxious TV hosts are an occupational hazard. I think the best way to handle them is to study them beforehand so as to know they are liable to be a "nause" in the first place. Then you at least go in forewarned and have plenty of time to prepare your strategy for when it happens.

The best person I have seen handle this kind of thing was a children's entertainer called John Styles. I have no idea if he is still around or not. He was being harassed by Bruce Forsyth a TV star of some magnitude. John merely said to him words to the effect of , "Bruce, we are not doing a double act here" in such a way to tell him politely to shut up.

I have been on TV doing magic and have been by and large lucky in the host department. I was quite apprehensive when I was on Crackerjack that this kind of thing might happen but the host Michael Aspel was a perfect gentleman and treated me properly saying I "was the most brilliant card sharp in the business" I was also on the Late Late show in Ireland and although my presence irritated all the jealous local magicians the host Gay Byrne treated me very well.

Still, there is no denying that there are no shortage of obnoxious TV presenters who just can't shut up for a moment and let the magician do their job. Letterman was one of them but I think he calmed it down in later appearances. This is showbusiness and you have to get used to it and prepare for it beforehand. This is the best policy.


Return to “Buzz”