The Professor

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: The Professor

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 28th, 2008, 10:40 am

Why does everyone think that mentioning the details of someone's like is an attempt to "tear them down"?
An accumulation of details gives a picture of a person. Nothing more, nothing less.
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Re: The Professor

Postby David Alexander » June 28th, 2008, 12:27 pm

Vernon was not a hero. He was a clever man who followed his own obsessions and compulsions. He was an excellent technician, a fine silhouette artist, and a clever innovator in our odd little craft.

Having seen him work for the public several times it was clear he had a limited knowledge of stage craft.

He was a poor husband and father and did not always treat his friends and admirers as well as they deserved and may have played Jennings and Cervon against each other for little to no reason. He drank too much.

I never saw him as anything more than what he was, which can be summed up in a quote from Flags of Our Fathers (which may have originated with Tolstoy) ...we create heroes because we need them...there are no heroes, only men."

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Re: The Professor

Postby amp » June 28th, 2008, 12:36 pm

Well on the a positive note I think Vernon's wisdom: Part 1 and 2 in Roberto Giobbi's column The Genii Session was worth the price of subscription of Genii .Wisdom that he left for us.

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Re: The Professor

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 28th, 2008, 1:07 pm

Part Three of Vernon's wisdom is in our August issue, and Vernon is on the cover, and we have an article about Vernon and Erdnase by Karl Johnson, and I explain a bunch of Vernon's sleights that have never been properly and throughly explained before, and I publish some excerpts from my interview with him on Erdnase from 1983. All in the August issue.
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Re: The Professor

Postby Sebastien L. » June 28th, 2008, 1:57 pm

Ahh nuts, I guess I'll finally have to subscribe.

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Re: The Professor

Postby Bill Duncan » June 28th, 2008, 3:01 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:Those held in higher esteem, or who are public figures, are also scrutinized more closely.


And thats probably fair, and as it should be, as long as the scrutiny applies to the reason they are famous.

For historical accuracy, a good bio should not shy away from personal information which might inform the reader/student of the world view of the subject being analyzed. I wouldnt argue in favor of hiding the fact that the president was confined to a wheelchair for example, but spending a day talking about his disability seems to be missing whatever meaning the man was able to bring to his own life.

I guess is depends on what you are interested in. If youre interested in magic, Vernons lifes work is a very interesting study. If you are interested in womanizing there are folks who are way more interesting than Vernon.

It seems to me that public conversation, about a public figure, should probably focus on the things that made that person famous, and esteemed.

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Re: The Professor

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 28th, 2008, 5:02 pm

FDR was a great president, and a greatly admired man. Shall we, in writing about his life, ignore his many decades-long extra-marital affair? He was with his mistress when he died.
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Re: The Professor

Postby El Mystico » June 28th, 2008, 5:59 pm

When I read Richard's post about the August issue, I thought - it is true - we really do live in the best of all possible worlds. then I turned from my computer screen and thought 'oh, nuts'.



Now, David Alexander's post intrigued me. Hsving seen him work for the public? David - forgive me, because i know nothing about you. when did you see him work for the public? You see, I've only ever seen him on film, and, certainly,as an example, the cups and balls I've seen the old Vernon perform were too fast; however, the earliest film I've seen is the recently released Magic Factory film; which, to me, gives hints as to what he was like at his prime - and I've read reports of his prime which suggest he was very good.
Are you referring to the work he did when he was past his prime? Or are you saying that even at his best, he didn't understand stage craft?

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Re: The Professor

Postby Roger M. » June 28th, 2008, 6:17 pm

El Mystico wrote:Are you referring to the work he did when he was past his prime? Or are you saying that even at his best, he didn't understand stage craft?


It's hard to imagine a person not liking the stage spending any amount of time refining their understanding of stagecraft.

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Re: The Professor

Postby David Alexander » June 29th, 2008, 11:10 am

El Mystico(Dominic)

Fair enough.my credentials, if you will (and briefly) I was fortunate in having had lessons as a kid with Jay Ose, the first Resident Magician at the Magic Castle. I was also friends with, and had lessons from, Ozzie Malini (Maxs son) and Charlie Miller. Indeed, I recreated Malinis production of a block of ice one afternoon as a surprise for Charlie who wrote a nice note in my copy of Expert Card Technique testifying to that fact.

I did not hang around amateurs much, spending most of my formative years in magic with professionals such as Bill Chaudet, Kirk Kirkham, and Harry Mendoza. My real education came when Frakson chose me to be his apprentice. I spent over seven years with him, learning the ins and outs of advanced stage craft and the little, unpublished techniques of walking on a stage and successfully using magic as a medium for an entertaining personality. I learned all that in addition to Fraksons unpublished repertoire of effects that he had been refining for decades. (Jack Benny once told me that Frakson showed him how to walk on a stage.)

I also had the pleasure of being Fraksons guest at several lunches of old vaudeville performers who would occasionally offer advice and tips. It was a unique and invaluable education.

I was one of the first magicians to work a restaurant in Los Angeles, working for the Trader Vic Organization in the late 1960s at their Century City restaurant. (The pay was three times what the Castle was paying at the time.) I was there for almost three years and regularly entertained Hollywood royalty such as Norma Shearer, James Coburn, Danny Kaye, and others.

I was the first magician/entertainer hired by Princess Cruises when they started their business and later worked for Sitmar Cruises when they started their West Coast operations. I have upwards of half a million miles cruising. I opened the Windjammer Room of the Paraiso Marriott hotel in Acapulco and was there for almost a year. Ive worked in Japan, the Phillipines, Taiwan, and a host of other countries.

Ive worked dozens of night clubs in several countries and for decades I worked private parties and corporate events at high-end hotels and country clubs around Southern California. Simply put: beyond knowing how to execute sleights, I know how to walk on a stage and perform and entertainand Ive made good money doing it. I also learned early on that if one wanted an exclusive repertoire one did not seek out opportunities to perform for amateurs. Several experiences in my 20s made that clear, so, by design, few amateurs have ever seen me work.

I saw Vernon work for the public several times, both at the Magic Castle and on public stages. When he was in an intimate setting he was quite good and his technique was absolutely masterful (Ive never seen anyone do a better Top Change). However, the ability to execute sleights in a small setting (or produce creative work) does not automatically mean one knows how to walk on a stage and present an entertaining act.

When I saw Vernon work a large venue it was painfully clear that he had no idea how to walk on a stage and manage his props. This observation had nothing to do with his ability to execute the necessary sleights, which was still at a very high level even though he was probably in his early 70s when I saw him. It had to do with stage craft which is something that should have been learned early and never forgotten. To the old-time pros, it is like breathingdone automatically and without thinking. It was clear that Vernon had never learned this aspect of presenting magic.

One example may suffice: Vernon performed on the Its Magic show, introduced as The Teacher of Magicians. He walked out in One with a book and a cane. The cane became a table base and the book became the table top. There was no place to put the Linking Rings, so he bent down and leaned them against the cane. They slid to the stage. He bent down and straightened them and the rings slid down again. He did this three or four times, all the while the audience is waiting for his act to start.

He performed his Coins and Glass routine which is very pretty, but suitable for a parlor or small stage, not a venue that seats over 1200 people. The people in the first few rows doubtless enjoyed it. No one else in the theater could see what was going on. (By contrast, Frakson did the Misers Dream on the same stage and everyone knew what was happening. I will present another example of Vernons lack of stagecraft in an up-coming Genii article on Frakson that Im just finishing up.)

I saw Vernon in Santa Barbara completely screw up one of his signature pieces, the Cups and Balls. The ending was bobbled badly with the large balls suddenly appearing well before the end of the routine. After the show I asked him what happened. His instant response: I was drunk.

It should be pointed out that Vernon lived through the Golden Age of Magic when there were hundreds, if not thousands of magicians working professionally and semi-professionally at various levels - from two-a-day and five-a-day vaudeville to nightclubs and private engagements, from society parties to childrens birthday parties. Vernon chose to make the bulk of his income from cutting silhouettes rather than as a full-time working professional theatrical entertainer. He chose to become a magicians magician rather than a theatrical performer for a variety of reasons, one of which is that he did not have the discipline. That is not to fault him, as few have the necessary qualifications.

I have no argument that he was highly influential in amateur magic, but he was not, by any reasonable criteria, a theatrical performer and should not be looked upon as some sort of ultimate authority in all things magic as some would seem to want him to be.

As much as I loved Frakson (who was light years beyond Vernon as a theatrical magician and entertainer), I always saw him as a man, not a hero. I can do no less, and certainly no more, with regards to Vernon.

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Re: The Professor

Postby 000 » June 29th, 2008, 12:11 pm

Drunk on stage.....o well, just another human frailty I suppose.
Or utterly direspectful to your craft. Take your pick.

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Re: The Professor

Postby El Mystico » June 29th, 2008, 12:27 pm

David;
thank you for taking the time to share your memories of Vernon.

I don't question your memories of his performace at 70; but it should be seeen in the light of what he was doing in 1938, when Holden described his harlequin act as a "a most wonderful act" and "a sensation"; and the act was held over at Harrisberg. Reporting his act at the Rainbow room, the new York critic's were, apparently, effusive.
But - according to Ben's biography, the act failed at the larger Radio City; so you are right, that his act did not suit a large stage.
As for his fumbling; from the little I know of the man it is not inconceivable that he was drunk again.
I'd also add that a magician I used to hugely admire in his prime (as did many) is now, I'd guess, in his 70s. He drops his props, which he never did a few years ago.

I guess all I'm saying is that I don't know how much your experience of the man, drunk at 70, reflects on his abilities in his prime.

But I don't suppose anyone would disagree with the other comments you made in your 28th June posting.

he clearly wasn't perfect.

As for the rights and wrongs of discussing his imperfections; I find it comforting. If only because on the days when I regret that my second deal is so poor, i can console myself with the thought that at least I have been a good father....

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Re: The Professor

Postby DrDanny » June 29th, 2008, 12:36 pm

Well, I was on stage once with Vernon, holding one side of the net for the 3 ball trick. At the time, I was shocked by several things: how short he was, how much he reeked of cigar smoke and brandy, how nervous I was just to be standing near him, and how damned GOOD he was. From that vantage point -- sort of back stage -- I could see what he was doing, I knew the trick reasonably well, and he _still_ fooled me.

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Re: The Professor

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 29th, 2008, 12:47 pm

Anyone who spent some time in close quarters with Vernon, no matter how often he might drop the cards or miss something (after all, his left thumb was completely dead--he had no feeling in it at all and his hands were dry as a bone) he would turn around and do something perfectly, better than you had ever seen anyone else do it, and better than you could have imagined it could be done, and your world view of magic would shift at that moment. It was an amazing experience.
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Re: The Professor

Postby David Alexander » June 29th, 2008, 12:59 pm

El Mystico wrote:David;

As for the rights and wrongs of discussing his imperfections; I find it comforting. If only because on the days when I regret that my second deal is so poor, i can console myself with the thought that at least I have been a good father....



No need to console yourself, you have your priorities in proper order.

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Re: The Professor

Postby John Tudor » July 1st, 2008, 3:28 pm

Try reading the biographies of great men in other creative fields...Charlie Chaplin, Pablo Picasso, Edgar Allen Poe, whomever, etc. It's not uncommon that you find that their human/family/personal side seems surprisingly unsavory.
"Ars longa, vita brevis." (Life is short, the art so long to learn) -Hippocrates

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Re: The Professor

Postby Glenn Bishop » July 6th, 2008, 11:15 am

Sammy Jackson wrote:He was a great magician who single handedly revolutionised the art of close up magic especially with cards

Sorry I do not agree - Although Vernon did come up with a lot of stuff that influenced magic and magician's (that was published by other's I might add). There were other magicians that did as much and far more in the field of magic.

Paul LePaul, Nate Leipzig, Al Baker, Dr. Ross, Paul Rosini, Dr. Jaks, Matt Schulien, Lewis Zingone, TN Downs, Francis Carlyle and John Scarne, Harry Lorayne all moved magic forward and had a strong influence on close up magic.

And if I may add Don Alan to the list as most likely he "was" the most copied magician in modern magic.

The difference in my list and Dai Vernon is that everyone on my list was a "successful performing magician" that "worked" by doing shows. Vernon did perform but most of that was very early in his lifetime - he seemed to enjoy to session and lecture to magicians - more than perform in night clubs.

................
"single handedly revolutionised the art of close up magic especially with cards"?????

.................
Really????

In my opinion there were a lot of past masters that were "working" that did more for magic by performing.

Just my opinion.

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Re: The Professor

Postby El Mystico » July 6th, 2008, 12:10 pm

Interesting.
I've always thought you could tell a lot about magicians from how they rated Vernon.
It's interesting that Glenn thinks others did 'far more in the field of magic'.
Having seen a few of the videos on Glenn's site, I can understand his position better.

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Re: The Professor

Postby Bill Duncan » July 6th, 2008, 3:35 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:
FDR was a great president, and a greatly admired man. Shall we, in writing about his life, ignore his many decades-long extra-marital affair?

No. My second paragraph addressed that:

For historical accuracy, a good bio should not shy away from personal information which might inform the reader/student of the world view of the subject being analyzed.

But this is a MAGIC message board, and the thread seems to be turning into a National Enquirer article, rather than a meaningful discussion of an artist. Which is why my final paragraph suggested a return to meaningful discourse over gossip.
It seems to me that public conversation, about a public figure, should probably focus on the things that made that person famous, and esteemed.

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Re: The Professor

Postby Bill Duncan » July 6th, 2008, 3:43 pm

David Alexander wrote: I learned all that in addition to Fraksons unpublished repertoire of effects that he had been refining for decades. (Jack Benny once told me that Frakson showed him how to walk on a stage.)

Im puzzled by this. I saw Jack Benny many times in my youth and I recall a foolish swagger. The impression the esteemed Mr. Benny was projecting was of a pompous, self-satisfied jerk, and a cheapskate. Surely thats not what Frakson was going for?

El Mystico --- All you need to know about David Alexanders credentials can be found by watching him perform for laymen, here: http://www.pickpocketmagician.com/vid.html

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Re: The Professor

Postby T Baxter » July 6th, 2008, 4:07 pm

Mr. Alexander's audiences certainly seemed to love him and appreciate his performances, going by those videos. And I know that he was one of the only people who was granted permission to perform the routines by the originator.

Re: Jack Benny -- He was also loved and appreciated by his audiences. Part of what made him the enormously popular and successful entertainer that he was, was the walk, the timing, the gestures. Foolish?

- entity

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Re: The Professor

Postby David Alexander » July 6th, 2008, 5:24 pm

Check your history, Bill.

Long before Jack Benny worked on radio and television he did vaudeville with a far different performing persona. He was moderately successful with several different acts, but not a big star. In 1932 he went on the radio and became a hit, the character you're familiar with developing on the radio and later on early television.

In 1940 he used his radio popularity by taking a show out on the road. The Jack Benny Review consisted of Jack, Giselle Mackenzie, the Will Mastin Trio (Will Mastin, Sammy Davis, Sr, and Sammy Davis Jr.) and Frakson and a few other supporting acts.

The sound effects engineer on the Jack Benny radio show was, for a long time, my father-in-law.

Frakson would later be the supporting act for Giselle Mackenzie when she worked in Las Vegas in the early days. He also supported Tony Martin there, too.

And one other thing, Bill, if you gave the link to my website to call attention to my performance of the Kellar Rope Tie, you will be happy to know that I bought the routine directly from Blackstone, Senior who personally taught me the moves one evening at an SAM Assembly #22 meeting.

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Re: The Professor

Postby Glenn Bishop » July 6th, 2008, 7:28 pm

I would like to jump in here and add to my list - Bert Allerton, Jimmy Grippo, Jay Ose, Rolland Hamblen, Slydini, Max Malini, Jim Ryan.

In my opinion they also moved close up magic forward.

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Re: The Professor

Postby Jim Maloney » July 6th, 2008, 8:52 pm

About the whole "walking on stage" thing...

Knowing how to walk on stage is a completely different thing than walking "in character". Before being able to convey a character, you need to understand how to command the stage, how to walk across it, turn, etc. These are the basics; the character traits, such as a "foolsih swagger", are overlaid on these.

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Re: The Professor

Postby Bill Duncan » July 7th, 2008, 1:03 am

Sure Jim, but I doubt that's what Frakson taught Jack Benny. That's the sort of thing a high school drama teacher (or Magic and Showmanship) can teach you. I suspect Mr. Benny was speaking of something more subtle.

David, I think you mentioned that when you posted a link to that clip yourself a couple of years back. It never occured to me that you would perform an effect you weren't entitled to perform, but Entity seems to have read it that way as well.

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Re: The Professor

Postby El Mystico » July 7th, 2008, 2:41 am

Glenn - the issue you raised was about people who moved magic forward 'more than Vernon' - are you adding these names to this wonderful list fof yours?

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Re: The Professor

Postby 000 » July 7th, 2008, 2:49 am

Divine Brown ( Snr) has now focused her charms to a fake psychic, who is masquerading as a mentalist at the Castle for the week.
She expresses the desire to learn how to become a psychic.
'Now why would you want to do that?' he asks.
'So I can carry on screwing people when they are dead' she replies.
Next up; Dai does SOHO

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Re: The Professor

Postby Glenn Bishop » July 7th, 2008, 10:49 am

El Mystico wrote:Glenn - the issue you raised was about people who moved magic forward 'more than Vernon' - are you adding these names to this wonderful list fof yours?


What issue?

Are you trying to say that Vernon was the "only" magician that moved magic or close up magic forward?

Single handed?

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Re: The Professor

Postby El Mystico » July 7th, 2008, 11:11 am

I'm sorry Glenn; when I say 'the issue you raised was about people who moved magic forward 'more than Vernon'' I was referring to your post saying, "There were other magicians that did as much and far more in the field of magic."
I'm sorry if I confused you in some way.

If you want to start a new discussion about whether Vernon was the 'only' magician that moved magic or close up magic forward singe handed, I think it would be a bit silly. I don't see anyone arguing that.

My question was whether you meant, in all seriousness, that Bert Allerton, Jimmy Grippo, Jay Ose, Rolland Hamblen, Jim Ryan all moved magic forward more than Vernon.

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Re: The Professor

Postby Sammy Jackson » July 7th, 2008, 11:35 am

It appears that Mr Alexander is very good at giving it out but not terribly good at taking it. I am merely expressing my opinion about Dai Vernon as I am perfectly within my rights to do so. Of course certain people with enormous egos may take exception to this. I would advise such people that they should possibly take a course in anger management.

I am not quite sure what Mark Lewis has to do with the matter since he is not part of this conversation. Mr Alexander can visit Toronto until the cows come home as far as I am concerned since I don't live there anyway.

I understand that Mr Lewis is very much alive and is no pushover. Someone of his background wouldn't be. Mr Alexander's post could be construed as a death threat and in Canada even to utter such a threat empty or not is considered a criminal offence. And to make it a threat in writing is even more foolish since by now the post could be printed out and reported to the police.

Even icons like Vernon have their faults. Mr Alexander is a human being just like Vernon was and has just shown his weaknesses in the same way as Vernon did. He can hardly expect perfection in Vernon any more that he can in himself. Vernon was not a good father and family man and possibly drunk too much in his later years and may or may not have liked the company of hookers. David Alexander has a preening ego and threatens violence. So neither man is perfect.

It reminds me of a section of :Holy Willie's Prayer by Robert Burns. Since not everyone here speaks Scottish I shall translate it into English for the Americans among us.

"Oh you who are so good yourself
so pious and so holy
you've naught to do but mark and tell
your neighbour's faults and follies"

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Re: The Professor

Postby mrgoat » July 7th, 2008, 11:39 am

Oh Jesus.

a) Glenn. Learn to argue. El Mystico didn't once suggest Vernon was the only magician to advance the art of magic. Stop throwing such silly comments out.

b) Sammy Jackson - I also detect a hint of Lewis about your posts. But, really, when did stating you might visit a country equate to a death threat?

Can we start a new forum area called 'very stupid posts here please' and stop trying to de-rail decent threads?

alt.magic is crying out for the likes of Glenn and Sammy. Go and argue badly there. Ray Haddad will be waiting for you. If he is still alive.

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Re: The Professor

Postby 000 » July 7th, 2008, 12:25 pm

I have to agree with Mr Goat....In absolute no way can the words of David Alexander be seen as a death threat....ridiculous.
I also take it Mark Lewis is alive and kicking....hell he posted me his ( highly innovative) Svengali booklet not long ago.
By the way where is the Professor buried? Or was he cremated?

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Re: The Professor

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 7th, 2008, 12:50 pm

Sammy Jackson is no longer with us.

The urn with Vernon's ashes sits in The Magic Castle just outside the Parlour.
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Re: The Professor

Postby mrgoat » July 7th, 2008, 12:52 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:The urn with Vernon's ashes sits in The Magic Castle just outside the Parlour.


When I went on my first visit to the Castle, I got SUCH goosebumps seeing the urn with his ashes in. Later, I sat on His (sic) couch and performed one of His card routines for a member of the public that had just walked in and asked to see a trick.

Would seem utterly stupid to get excited and humbled by that experience to anyone that isn't a magician, but it made my day. :)

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Re: The Professor

Postby Dustin Stinett » July 7th, 2008, 1:49 pm

That urnwhich is a simple wood boxwas the center of a great, never to be repeated, gag by Rick Merrill (and though he had some trepidation about doing itthis is after all Vernons homeit was received with a tremendous laugh).

It took place when Rick was introduced for his lecture at the Castle, which was held in the Parlour. Rick walked in brushing what appeared to be dust from the top of his head. As he continued brushing he said (with impeccable timing);

I didnt believe the guy who told me the Professors ashes were out there


They are


Well, they were.

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Re: The Professor

Postby David Alexander » July 7th, 2008, 1:58 pm

By the second post it was clear that Sammy Jackson was Mark, up to his old tricks, so I decided to have some fun.

Of course it wasn't a "death threat," as any rational person who read it would understand, which is why Mark went off on one of his delusional posts. It's so easy to push his buttons and so easy to recognize him because he just can't control himself...and God knows, Richard has given him dozens of chances to post here and behave and he's pissed on himself every time.

The sad thing is, he does know a lot and his Svengali Pitch is quite good and worth the money. If only he had some way to control his problem and deal with people rationally, so many more doors would be open to him.

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Re: The Professor

Postby mrgoat » July 7th, 2008, 6:46 pm

Dustin Stinett wrote:That urnwhich is a simple wood boxwas the center of a great, never to be repeated, gag by Rick Merrill (and though he had some trepidation about doing itthis is after all Vernons homeit was received with a tremendous laugh).

It took place when Rick was introduced for his lecture at the Castle, which was held in the Parlour. Rick walked in brushing what appeared to be dust from the top of his head. As he continued brushing he said (with impeccable timing);

I didnt believe the guy who told me the Professors ashes were out there


They are


Well, they were.



Wonderful story! Thanks for sharing.

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Re: The Professor

Postby Glenn Bishop » July 7th, 2008, 7:51 pm

I remember watching Dai Vernon do the cups and balls on the Merv Griffin TV show. He did the cups and went into the final loads and produced the large balls.

Then something happened - three more balls fell on the floor and as they bounced around in front of the camera on TV. I remember Merv making a comment asking where they came from? And if that was part of the trick? What I think that happened was that Vernon was going for a six ball ending and had the extra three in his l-p. After producing the three he ended the trick.

As I remember he did not attempt to load the extra three. I remember talking about this with my Dad - we did not know if he forgot that he was going to do a six ball climax. Or half way through perhaps he decided not to do the six ball ending.

Three balls were produced from under the cups and then the three balls fell on the floor. The camera did not catch where they came from but the camera did catch them when they bounced in camera view.

After the cups Vernon did three card monte.

I still think that it was an interesting thing.

Just my opinion.

David Alexander
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Re: The Professor

Postby David Alexander » July 7th, 2008, 9:12 pm

A few observations: There is a difference in value between the opinion of an amateur and that of a professional for a variety of reasons.

If El Mystico (Dominic Twose) was able to support his wife and family, own a house and drive a nice car by performing magic, Id put more stock in his opinion, but, as best I can determine, Dominic has a civilian job and is an amateur. Thats fine and I bear him no ill will. Magic is a great hobby, but Glenn Bishop is a working professional who supports his family by performing magic and hypnosis. It is no small accomplishment.

Because of that and several other factors the simple comment was beneath you Dominic and un-called for. Glenn deserves your apology.

Earlier in this thread, Dominic/El Mystico said that I've always thought you could tell a lot about magicians from how they rated Vernon.

OK, heres a rating for you to consider. The writer said about Vernon, It seems that the fellow is a King Pin as a conjurers conjurer, but hopeless as an entertainer of the masses. I believe that he cuts silhouettes for his living. His variation of the Han Ping coin trick, to my perverse way of thinking, has unnecessary complication and thereby lacks the directness that should be the hallmark of good conjuring.

That was written by Stanley Collins, an English conjurer who also wrote, What a supreme artist Leipzig was: I feel thankful that I was privileged not only to know him personally but to have had the honour of deputizing for him at some private engagements. During my long life in conjuring I have seen only two real ARTISTS in conjuring, Leipzig and LHomme Masqu.

As Collins was good enough to substitute for Nate Leipzig on several occasions and had a long and successful career as an entertaining magician, I think his opinion carries some weight.

El Mystico
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Re: The Professor

Postby El Mystico » July 8th, 2008, 2:21 am

Hi David;

I thought I'd made it clear that I was not criticising Glenn for not sharing my high regard for Vernon - that would be dumb.
My issue was that Glenn said that other magicians had moved magic forward more than Vernon; when I questioned this, his reply was "Are you trying to say that Vernon was the "only" magician that moved magic or close up magic forward? Single handed?"
This was not what I said, not what I meant, not what I wrote on several occasions.
Of course Glenn is entitled to his opinion of Vernon.
My comment was on his ability to engage in discussion. I don't think I need to be a professional magician to do this.


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