The Professor

Discuss the latest feature articles in Genii.
000
Posts: 563
Joined: April 16th, 2008, 10:01 am

Re: The Professor

Postby 000 » July 8th, 2008, 5:06 am

If you think Venon had his faults, try Tommy Cooper.Close up worker Peter Jest from the UK has a great read on his website

www.close-upmagic.info/tommycooperinfo.html

Heavy duty drunk, legendary meanness, wife beater to boot.
And voted worlds sixth best comdian ever by his peers!

El Mystico
Posts: 972
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Leamington Spa
Contact:

Re: The Professor

Postby El Mystico » July 8th, 2008, 6:57 am

The John Fisher biography of Cooper, quoted here, is great.

Barbara Balducci
Posts: 11
Joined: May 13th, 2008, 4:52 am

Re: The Professor

Postby Barbara Balducci » July 8th, 2008, 7:51 am

He suffered from stagefright I understand


That's true, Vernon used to say he suffered from stage fright.

Jonathan Townsend
Posts: 7678
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Westchester, NY
Contact:

Re: The Professor

Postby Jonathan Townsend » July 8th, 2008, 8:05 am

Yes, thanks, we sometimes forget that our icons are just statues made of clay - modeled from the selected best memories and stories about a person.

Perhaps someday we'll know enough about Nate Leipzig to appreciate who he was and how he treated audiences as well.

In the mean time - keep in mind that the nature of ones icons also describes much about the nature of ones values and worldview - and as we put our icons out to revere they also serve notice to our incomming members and visitors to announce what we treat as most important.

Jim Maloney
Posts: 708
Joined: July 23rd, 2001, 12:00 pm
Location: Central New Jersey
Contact:

Re: The Professor

Postby Jim Maloney » July 8th, 2008, 8:30 am

Jonathan Townsend wrote:Perhaps someday we'll know enough about Nate Leipzig to appreciate who he was and how he treated audiences as well.


...I'm working on it.

:)

-Jim
Books and Magazines for sale -- more than 200 items (Last updated January 10th, 2014. Link goes to public Google Doc.)

David Alexander
Posts: 1550
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Aurora IL

Re: The Professor

Postby David Alexander » July 8th, 2008, 8:44 am

As I understand the story, Leipzig made his living in his later years in probably the most difficult of all markets at the time: society entertainment. The wealthy of his day demanded the very best. That Leipzig had a successful career at extremely good money is strong evidence that he delivered a high level of quality entertainment.

Jim Maloney has dedicated his research time to telling Leipzig's story. I look forward to reading the results of his long labor.

El Mystico
Posts: 972
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Leamington Spa
Contact:

Re: The Professor

Postby El Mystico » July 8th, 2008, 10:18 am

I too look forward to it.
Meanwhile, while we wait - Leipzig's autobiography is available on line here, thanks to the Miracle Factory

http://www.miraclefactory.net/mpt/view. ... les&id=129

Based in England, I've always been envious of a show at the Magic Circle at the beginning of the last century, when both Leipzig and Malini were on stage.

Glenn Bishop
Posts: 650
Joined: March 14th, 2008, 10:52 am

Re: The Professor

Postby Glenn Bishop » July 8th, 2008, 11:15 am

El Mystico wrote: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.

Oh I see - that is your answer to the silly comment about me and Mark Lewis!

El Mystico wrote:
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?"


I don't understand why my opinion would be an issue.

El Mystico wrote:"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.

Yes - I asked this question that you have not answered yet.
El Mystico wrote:Of course Glenn is entitled to his opinion of Vernon.

So other's can take issue with it?
El Mystico wrote:My comment was on his ability to engage in discussion. I don't think I need to be a professional magician to do this.

Sorry I don't agree - argument and fighting is not a discussion. Adding little silly comments that are off topic like your little comment about me and Mark Lewis - or your comment about my web site and the video of magicians that "was" there is not part of the topic.

However since you need an answer to get through your day I will answer your question "as if" you answered my question that is - Yes Vernon and only Vernon single handed moved close up magic forward.

The question you did not answer.

Vernon in my opinion was influenced by the magicians that he saw at a young age. Silent Mora, Nate Leipzig and Max Malini are the "performing magicians" that come to mind.

In the Dai Vernon Book Of magic the text talks about this and that Vernon respected and was influenced by these great magicians.

That should answer your question that in my opinion there were performing magicians out there "performing" that came before Vernon and influenced magic before Vernon influenced magic.

And in my opinion influenced magic as a "performance art" much more than Vernon.

Just my opinion.

000
Posts: 563
Joined: April 16th, 2008, 10:01 am

Re: The Professor

Postby 000 » July 8th, 2008, 11:55 am

Icons may be icons, but, if one, like Tommy Cooper, resorts to wife beating, then youve 'crossed the line' as far as Im concerned, and youre just an [censored]. Strange how the demon drink often has a role to play.

El Mystico
Posts: 972
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Leamington Spa
Contact:

Re: The Professor

Postby El Mystico » July 8th, 2008, 12:23 pm

Glenn Bishop wrote:
El Mystico wrote:
El Mystico wrote:"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.

Yes - I asked this question that you have not answered yet.


Perfect, thanks Glenn.

User avatar
mrgoat
Posts: 4257
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Brighton, UK
Contact:

Re: The Professor

Postby mrgoat » July 8th, 2008, 12:39 pm

000 wrote:Icons may be icons, but, if one, like Tommy Cooper, resorts to wife beating, then youve 'crossed the line' as far as Im concerned, and youre just an [censored]. Strange how the demon drink often has a role to play.


I agree that anyone that thinks it acceptable to hit anyone else is an [censored], does that automatically remove them from being iconic?

000
Posts: 563
Joined: April 16th, 2008, 10:01 am

Re: The Professor

Postby 000 » July 8th, 2008, 2:02 pm

Did the professor perform the invisible deck often? (or did he prefer sleight of hand)

Jonathan Townsend
Posts: 7678
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Westchester, NY
Contact:

Re: The Professor

Postby Jonathan Townsend » July 8th, 2008, 2:15 pm

000 wrote:Did the professor perform the invisible deck often? (or did he prefer sleight of hand)


Rumor has it he preferred strippers - but that's more ironic than iconic if you ask me.
Last edited by Jonathan Townsend on July 8th, 2008, 2:18 pm, edited 0 times in total.
Reason: it's also moronic, but intentionally so.

El Mystico
Posts: 972
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Leamington Spa
Contact:

Re: The Professor

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

I don't know about often...but in "Programmes of Famous Magicians", Holden describes Vernon's act in 1931 as a private entertainer in New york.
He performs cups and balls, sponge balls, torn and restored cigarette paper, ring on stick, Brainwave, a five card selection, then, as a Chinese man, the rings.
So - it was one of the few card tricks he did at least on this occasion.
(Holden says "I consider Vernon the greatest man with a pack of cards of the present day". - Interesting in the light of the debate on these pages)

Glenn Bishop
Posts: 650
Joined: March 14th, 2008, 10:52 am

Re: The Professor

Postby Glenn Bishop » July 8th, 2008, 2:27 pm

El Mystico wrote:(Holden says "I consider Vernon the greatest man with a pack of cards of the present day". - Interesting in the light of the debate on these pages)

I wouldn't say "greatest performer". One might list Leipzig as the greatest performer of that day with a deck of cards.

Just my opinion.

User avatar
Dustin Stinett
Posts: 6749
Joined: July 22nd, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Sometimes
Location: Southern California
Contact:

Re: The Professor

Postby Dustin Stinett » July 8th, 2008, 3:56 pm

Wasn't it Leipzig's wife who was convinced that Vernon hung around him just to get "My Nate's tricks"?

El Mystico
Posts: 972
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Leamington Spa
Contact:

Re: The Professor

Postby El Mystico » July 8th, 2008, 4:03 pm

yes - she really didnt like him.

Glenn Bishop
Posts: 650
Joined: March 14th, 2008, 10:52 am

Re: The Professor

Postby Glenn Bishop » July 8th, 2008, 5:09 pm

If I may add that there were some magicians that did not like Vernon and there were some magicians that Vernon did not like. Or did not care for. In the writings Vernon talks of what he thought of Houdini and his skill.

However having seen footage of Houdini on film doing some of his escapes outside stunts to draw a crowd and publicity. Houdini did great and drew large crowds.

As can be seen in the 3 DVD set Houdini the movie star.

Jack and Anne Gwynne who knew Houdini and saw Houdini do card magic told me that Houdini was a great magician with a deck of cards and could easily entertain with a deck.

The Gwynne family (Jack and Anne as they told me) were not big fans of Dai Vernon. They admired his "skill or technical ability" but were never impressed with his performing ability.

In magic we all seem to have our favorite magicians and our own reasons why we all choose them to be our favorite magicians.

Just my opinion.

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 23820
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: The Professor

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 8th, 2008, 5:24 pm

Houdini's skill with a deck of cards was mainly as a stage manipulator. However, he supposedly did a pretty decent Pass (though with how much body language to cover we don't know) and he is also credited (first) with the color Change generally known as the Erdnase First Transformation. Other than that, I have seen little that would convince me he was a greatly skilled close-up magician. Vernon thought Houdini was an arrogant jerk, and a great escape artist, but a lousy magician. He stated this many times.

Frankly, it is of little concern to us today whether Vernon was a skillful stage or close-up performer in terms of presentation. What does concern us, and will forever be important to anyone who picks up a deck of cards as a magician, is how deeply embedded his thinking is in the essential nature of the way all of us handle playing cards.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

Disparity1
Posts: 61
Joined: March 20th, 2008, 4:45 pm

Re: The Professor

Postby Disparity1 » July 8th, 2008, 10:32 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote: Vernon thought Houdini was an arrogant jerk, and a great escape artist, but a lousy magician. He stated this many times.


Well, the word Vernon used over and over was "mediocre," but he also wrote that he very much admired Houdini for the manner in which he treated Bess and his mother. He was rather glowing in his praise of this quality in Houdini.


...What does concern us, and will forever be important to anyone who picks up a deck of cards as a magician, is how deeply embedded his thinking is in the essential nature of the way all of us handle playing cards.


::sigh:: And rings. And handkerchiefs. And cups. and coins. And balls. And wands. And rope. And cones. And wine glasses. And dice. And...

User avatar
Cugel
Posts: 441
Joined: January 26th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Overworld

Re: The Professor

Postby Cugel » July 9th, 2008, 5:38 am

Richard Kaufman wrote:Frankly, it is of little concern to us today whether Vernon was a skillful stage or close-up performer in terms of presentation. What does concern us, and will forever be important to anyone who picks up a deck of cards as a magician, is how deeply embedded his thinking is in the essential nature of the way all of us handle playing cards.


I think it's important to acknowledge that the concept of naturalness he promoted had its origins in his study of Erdnase. That isn't to diminish Vernon's role in popularising a concept that influenced much of modern magic. For Erdnase it was an observation that (it seems) appeared obvious to him but was lacking in popular magic, and was worth mentioning. Vernon made it his leitmotif.

El Mystico
Posts: 972
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Leamington Spa
Contact:

Re: The Professor

Postby El Mystico » July 9th, 2008, 9:01 am

What did reviewers say about Vernon's performances when he was at his peak?

Robert Reinhart wrote in 1937 "Vernon is working on an act which has been booked unseen on his reputation...if he ever produces it it will be the best magic around and entirely original in its presentation."

Holden wrote in 1938 "he has built up a most wonderful act of magic that is a sensation"

Hugard wrote in 1938 "He has an artistry that tingles at his fingertips."

Holden in 1938 on the Harlequin act; Vernon "Repeated his success...as usual he stopped the show"

Bess Houdini said Vernon was the greatest genius with cards she had ever seen

Holden in 1941 on the Dai Yen act: "Vernon...stopped the show with his two effects"

Holden 1941 "Dai recently followed Charlie Chaplin at an event, and of course he came thru with flying colors."

Only their opinions; but they did have the benefit of seeing Vernon at his prime

El Mystico
Posts: 972
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Leamington Spa
Contact:

Re: The Professor

Postby El Mystico » July 9th, 2008, 9:05 am

As for the concept of naturalness; while clearly he was influenced by Erdnase, he also says in the Vernon Touch "Dr James William Elliott...said to me many times, "The secret is so simple. Be natural.""

Jim Maloney
Posts: 708
Joined: July 23rd, 2001, 12:00 pm
Location: Central New Jersey
Contact:

Re: The Professor

Postby Jim Maloney » July 9th, 2008, 9:40 am

Naturalness was also a hallmark of Leipzig's work. So much so, in fact, that when S.H. Sharpe defined his five "Styles of Magical Presentation" in the late 70's, he used Leipzig as the exemplar for the "Naturalistic Style".

Sharpe also gave an excellent description of what it means to "be natural" (with some assistance from a 1913 article by Servais LeRoy on the subject).

-Jim
Books and Magazines for sale -- more than 200 items (Last updated January 10th, 2014. Link goes to public Google Doc.)

Glenn Bishop
Posts: 650
Joined: March 14th, 2008, 10:52 am

Re: The Professor

Postby Glenn Bishop » July 9th, 2008, 9:42 am

El Mystico wrote:What did reviewers say about Vernon's performances when he was at his peak?

Robert Reinhart wrote in 1937 "Vernon is working on an act which has been booked unseen on his reputation...if he ever produces it it will be the best magic around and entirely original in its presentation."

Holden wrote in 1938 "he has built up a most wonderful act of magic that is a sensation"

Hugard wrote in 1938 "He has an artistry that tingles at his fingertips."

Holden in 1938 on the Harlequin act; Vernon "Repeated his success...as usual he stopped the show"

Bess Houdini said Vernon was the greatest genius with cards she had ever seen

Holden in 1941 on the Dai Yen act: "Vernon...stopped the show with his two effects"

Holden 1941 "Dai recently followed Charlie Chaplin at an event, and of course he came thru with flying colors."

Only their opinions; but they did have the benefit of seeing vernon at his prime

Yes - like Jack Gwynne who was a "working" magician at that time. A Vaudeville HEADLINER and an inventor of many magic tricks that have become standard props in magic shops. And one of the most copied magicians of his day. And if I may add built props that were used by both Houdini and Hardeen.

I read that Paul Rosini thought highly of Vernon's skill and often wondered why someone that was that good "wasn't working".

To some in magic doing shows isn't fun it is work. It was a hard business back when show business was in it's golden age. Doing two or four a day vaudeville or the night club work that came later. Could really cut into the social time that magicians seem to enjoy more than working.

It is hard to be chained to a theater doing two perhaps four shows a day - day in and day out. Six days a week and making the jumps to the next city and doing it all over again week after week - year after year. Many magicians like Houdini were often to busy to have that magicians social life. And the skills needed for promotion were often thought of by others in magic as being egotistical.

I can imagine how hard it was when a working magician that was booked into a theater - worked hard with the theater to promote their show at the theater. Then some local magician gets upset because they want attention at "the wrong time" or comes backstage without an invitation - and complains that they have no time to talk magic with them.

I don't think that hobby magic does a very good job recording magic history.

Just my opinion.

Glenn Bishop
Posts: 650
Joined: March 14th, 2008, 10:52 am

Re: The Professor

Postby Glenn Bishop » July 9th, 2008, 10:11 am

Richard Kaufman wrote:Houdini's skill with a deck of cards was mainly as a stage manipulator.


Perhaps Houdini is often "remembered" being a stage manipulator with cards because of his "King of cards" poster. And some of the things written about him by others.

However both Jack and Anne Gwynne have told me that Houdini used his close up card skill - to entertain the police and the press at times with setting up an outside stunt. Or for other reasons that were associated with "show business".

In my opinion Houdini was most likely a good close up magician as well as close up with cards skilled for "his" time. He was also very knowledgeable about the methods used by con men and according to the book "The Odds Against Me" knew and influenced John Scarne in promotion.

And again "Houdini" was a "working" magician.

Just my opinion.

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 23820
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: The Professor

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 9th, 2008, 10:51 am

Like most stage performers, Houdini probably had a small group of close-up tricks he could do if necessary to impress folks. However I've seen no evidence that he could do enough close-up work to be called anything other than a stage manipulator.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

Glenn Bishop
Posts: 650
Joined: March 14th, 2008, 10:52 am

Re: The Professor

Postby Glenn Bishop » July 9th, 2008, 10:58 am

I don't seem to need evidence and I just accept Jack Gwynne's word and memory of people he knew. And that included people like Vernon and Houdini.

Jonathan Townsend
Posts: 7678
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Westchester, NY
Contact:

Re: The Professor

Postby Jonathan Townsend » July 9th, 2008, 11:18 am

Glenn Bishop wrote:...I don't think that hobby magic does a very good job recording magic history.

Just my opinion.


That's why historians use newspapers and flyers to check out what was advertised and how well it was reviewed by the critics and writers at the time.

Any word on Vernon?

User avatar
Dustin Stinett
Posts: 6749
Joined: July 22nd, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Sometimes
Location: Southern California
Contact:

Re: The Professor

Postby Dustin Stinett » July 9th, 2008, 12:25 pm

Its one thing for Vernon to get positive reviews from other magicians who, it can be argued, are biased (or blinded according to some) by their respect for him. But what about journalists from the general press: What did they have to say about this mere amateur magician? Here are a few examples from my files:

From George Tucker Man About Manhattan (Times Mirror syndicated columnist) Week of December 15, 1941, reporting about Vernons near fatal fall (emphasis mine; ellipses as per original):

This is liable to hold Dai back a spell He's a finger man He works with his hands card tricks, Turkish rings, disappearing coins, thimbles, cards The success of these tricks depends on nimbleness, confidence, and a quick running wit Dai had these. He will have to guard those arms carefully to get back in shape.

(Note the past tense: Most were convinced that Vernon was permanently disabled.)

A 1936 AP piece on magic in general included the following caption to a photo showing Vernonsplendidly attired in tuxedoperforming the Cups and Balls:

Dai Vernon, shown entertaining a New York night club crowd with sleight-of-hand, typifies the new school of sophisticated magic makers who puzzle America without the aid of elaborate stage setting.

The piece included names such as Blackstone, Duval, Cardini, Leipzig, and Keating.

Max Stinnett (AP Staff Writer) had this to say in a piece that appeared in several papers in the fall of 1938 (accompanying photo is of Vernon performing the Linking Rings wearing his Harlequin costume):

Dai Vernon mystifies the customers at the Rainbow Grill. It took no more than Vernon's first trick to mystify me. Flipping the folds of his cape back over his shoulders, he peels off his white gloves, 'folds' them, once and tosses them into the air. The gloves take wing and turn into a white dove. The night I was investigating, the dove described a half arc around the dance floor and alighted on the finger of a guest. "Hi, Toots," said the guest. The dove didn't reply. Dai (short for David) Vernon is known to the conjuring fraternity as "the magician's magician." He gives credit for the apparent revival of public Interest in magic to the fact that the art has been streamlined. The old cumbersome apparatus tricks have been replaced by greater skill and speed and a higher development of what he calls "the psychology of misdirection."

Not too bad for an amateur.

I have nothing more to add, nor do I need to.

Dustin
(Hobby Historian)

El Mystico
Posts: 972
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Leamington Spa
Contact:

Re: The Professor

Postby El Mystico » July 9th, 2008, 1:15 pm

For fairness, I should also add these:

Hugard said in 1939 "Vernon has spent his life attaining technical perfection in sleight of hand and totally neglected the art of presentation...as a stage artist he doesn't know the first points."

(I think Vernon and Hugard were probably in dispute around now, over the publication in ECT of many of Vernon's techniques without his permission))

Fred Keating said "As a magician, he is like an actor who, regardless of his technical skills, is unable to convey to his audience the meaning of his role in relation to the play"

So, I guess then, as now, no one could agree on what consituted a great act!

Richard Hatch
Posts: 1850
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Providence, Utah
Contact:

Re: The Professor

Postby Richard Hatch » July 9th, 2008, 1:59 pm

El Mystico wrote:For fairness, I should also add these:

(I think Vernon and Hugard were probably in dispute around now, over the publication in ECT of many of Vernon's techniques without his permission))


The first edition of ECT was late 1940 (Foreword is dated November 14, 1940), so it the quote is dated accurately, it would predate that dispute.

Richard Hatch
Posts: 1850
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Providence, Utah
Contact:

Re: The Professor

Postby Richard Hatch » July 9th, 2008, 1:59 pm

Richard Hatch wrote:
El Mystico wrote:For fairness, I should also add these:

(I think Vernon and Hugard were probably in dispute around now, over the publication in ECT of many of Vernon's techniques without his permission))


The first edition of ECT was late 1940 (Foreword is dated November 14, 1940), so if the quote is dated accurately, it would predate that dispute.

El Mystico
Posts: 972
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Leamington Spa
Contact:

Re: The Professor

Postby El Mystico » July 9th, 2008, 2:37 pm

Thanks for the correction - i think my date is accurate.

Glenn Bishop
Posts: 650
Joined: March 14th, 2008, 10:52 am

Re: The Professor

Postby Glenn Bishop » July 9th, 2008, 2:44 pm

Dustin Stinett wrote:Its one thing for Vernon to get positive reviews from other magicians who, it can be argued, are biased (or blinded according to some) by their respect for him. But what about journalists from the general press: What did they have to say about this mere amateur magician?

Max Stinnett (AP Staff Writer) had this to say in a piece that appeared in several papers in the fall of 1938 (accompanying photo is of Vernon performing the Linking Rings wearing his Harlequin costume):

Dai Vernon mystifies the customers at the Rainbow Grill. It took no more than Vernon's first trick to mystify me. Flipping the folds of his cape back over his shoulders, he peels off his white gloves, 'folds' them, once and tosses them into the air. The gloves take wing and turn into a white dove. The night I was investigating, the dove described a half arc around the dance floor and alighted on the finger of a guest. "Hi, Toots," said the guest. The dove didn't reply. Dai (short for David) Vernon is known to the conjuring fraternity as "the magician's magician." He gives credit for the apparent revival of public Interest in magic to the fact that the art has been streamlined. The old cumbersome apparatus tricks have been replaced by greater skill and speed and a higher development of what he calls "the psychology of misdirection."

Not too bad for an amateur.

I have nothing more to add, nor do I need to.

Dustin
(Hobby Historian)

If my memory is correct Max Stinnett was a "fan" of magic and knew several magicians. Billboard I believe had also had writers that were "fans" of magic and magicians.

However Varriety was a lot harder on the reviews of magicians.

In the SAM at that time Sam Margules (Ramee Sami) was a great pusher for publicity of the SAM shows and a close friend of Dai Vernon. In my opinion he was one of the important contacts that Vernon had at the time.

It would be interesting to know who wrote up the press release for the story of Vernon and his broken arms for the press and why.

I think that it was Sam Margules helped a lot of magicians get press in those days as he helped people with their acts. (Including Vernon) However I still feel that hobby magic has not done a very good job at recording magic history - and that would include the medium newspaper news.

Just my opinion.

User avatar
Joe Pecore
Posts: 1909
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Paul Harris
Location: Northern Virginia

Re: The Professor

Postby Joe Pecore » July 9th, 2008, 2:44 pm

Would Vernon already have known what was going to be in the book before it was published?
Share your knowledge on the MagicPedia wiki.

El Mystico
Posts: 972
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Leamington Spa
Contact:

Re: The Professor

Postby El Mystico » July 9th, 2008, 4:41 pm

I believe he was surprised when he saw what was in it

User avatar
Dustin Stinett
Posts: 6749
Joined: July 22nd, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Sometimes
Location: Southern California
Contact:

Re: The Professor

Postby Dustin Stinett » July 9th, 2008, 5:34 pm

So, Glenn (just to be clear), is it your opinion that all the work that Dr. Edwin Dawesan amateur magicianon the history of magic is at best suspect and at worst invalid? (Obviously you already believe that the work I have done on the history of magic is suspect or invalid, but I thought I would just check on how you feel about all the other magic historianspast and presentthat also happen to be amateur magicians.)

Dustin

Bill Mullins
Posts: 4444
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: The Professor

Postby Bill Mullins » July 9th, 2008, 5:52 pm

Dustin Stinett wrote: Max Stinnett (AP Staff Writer) had this to say in a piece that appeared in several papers in the fall of 1938 (accompanying photo is of Vernon performing the Linking Rings wearing his Harlequin costume):

Dai Vernon mystifies the customers at the Rainbow Grill. It took no more than Vernon's first trick to mystify me. Flipping the folds of his cape back over his shoulders, he peels off his white gloves, 'folds' them, once and tosses them into the air. The gloves take wing and turn into a white dove. The night I was investigating, the dove described a half arc around the dance floor and alighted on the finger of a guest. "Hi, Toots," said the guest. The dove didn't reply. Dai (short for David) Vernon is known to the conjuring fraternity as "the magician's magician." He gives credit for the apparent revival of public Interest in magic to the fact that the art has been streamlined. The old cumbersome apparatus tricks have been replaced by greater skill and speed and a higher development of what he calls "the psychology of misdirection."


From the same article:
Vernon once traveled over the midwest searching for a Mississippi gambler named Kennedy who, he had heard, did a "center deal" - dealing from the center of a deck of cards after it had been cut, while appearing to deal from the top.

"One of the big' moments of my life came when I first saw Kennedy do his center deal," Vernon says. "The man had devoted 10 years to perfecting that trick and had made a fortune with it. It was beautiful, awe-inspiring - like the discovery of a new world."


This article, from Aug of 1938, is the first mention in print I've ever seen of the Allen Kennedy story. The first mention in the Magic press I've been able to find was a little later, in the Oct 1938 issue of Jinx (#49).

User avatar
Cugel
Posts: 441
Joined: January 26th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Overworld

Re: The Professor

Postby Cugel » July 9th, 2008, 6:03 pm

El Mystico wrote:As for the concept of naturalness; while clearly he was influenced by Erdnase, he also says in the Vernon Touch "Dr James William Elliott...said to me many times, "The secret is so simple. Be natural.""


Jim Maloney wrote:Naturalness was also a hallmark of Leipzig's work. So much so, in fact, that when S.H. Sharpe defined his five "Styles of Magical Presentation" in the late 70's, he used Leipzig as the exemplar for the "Naturalistic Style".

Sharpe also gave an excellent description of what it means to "be natural" (with some assistance from a 1913 article by Servais LeRoy on the subject).

-Jim


Yes, all good points and I think Leipzig and Elliott would have been huge influences on Vernon. But the fact is, he read Erdnase well before he left his home town and it is acknowledged as being the defining influence on, and an obsession for, Vernon.


Return to “Feature Articles”