Richard Kaufman at Collectors Weekend

Discuss the historical aspects of magic, including memories, or favorite stories.

Postby Frank Dudgeon » 05/07/07 10:33 AM

For those unable to attend the just completed Magic Collectors' Weekend In Schaumburg, Illinois, you should know that Richard Kaufman gave a marvelous talk, "Greater Magic Revisited: The Making of an American Classic." It was full of history and great quotes, and I would have happily snapped up lecture notes if there had been any. Any chance of a printed version of the talk?

It was one of many highlights for me, including, of course, the Jay Marshall auction. Made two bids, which were quickly outclassed, but had a great time and it was a pleasure just to be there.

Congrats to Gabe Fajuri and all those who worked so hard to provide us a with a grand time.

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 05/07/07 12:38 PM

Frank, very kind of you. Thanks.
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Postby Guest » 05/07/07 02:38 PM

Thanks for attending, Frank, and for your kind words.
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Postby Kevin Connolly » 05/07/07 02:54 PM

Gabe,

Quick question. When will you post the prices realized?

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Postby Guest » 05/08/07 07:22 AM

Kevin,

Prices realized will be posted late this week or early next week on my website, www.squashpublishing.com.

Best,

Gabe
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Postby Charles McCall » 05/09/07 02:44 PM

I agree with everything said in the opening post. I was particularly taken by the wonderful Hilliard quotation Mr. Kaufman used to conclude his presentation. Is it currently in print?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 05/09/07 04:14 PM

Yes, it's the Epilogue in "More Greater Magic," which is the 400 pages I added to the original book.
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Postby Guest » 05/09/07 04:15 PM

I would also like to thank Gabe for hosting this wonderful event. I really enjoyed it and I met some great people.

Richard your talk on Greater Magic was very interesting. I would also love to have a printed version of your talk.

Other highlights for me included meeting and chatting with Adele Friel Rhindress. She was an assistant with the Blackstone show from 1947 to 1950. I also enjoyed David Parr's talk and Bob Higa's performance.

I look forward to attending next years event.
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Postby Bob Farmer » 05/09/07 05:18 PM

Richard--will you publish your talk on GM? It would make a nice addition to my GM collection.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 05/09/07 06:02 PM

Ditto.

I wonder if mine's bigger than yours?
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Postby Bob Farmer » 05/09/07 09:45 PM

I don't know whether RK addressed this in his lecture, but the story of the negotiations between RK and the Jones family leading up to the reprint, would make a book in itself -- and RK is the only person in magic who could have pulled it off.
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Postby Bob Farmer » 05/09/07 09:46 PM

Note to Dustin: everybody's is bigger than yours.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 05/10/07 03:14 PM

Yeah: Thats the story of my life. :rolleyes: What I leave out, you know, on display, measures 27 inches. However, I do have a few surprises that I take out on special occasions.
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Postby Guest » 05/10/07 04:22 PM

Dustin, my advice is that you keep yours slipcased when not gathering dust...
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Postby Guest » 05/11/07 07:41 AM

And only bring out what you must in order to accomplish the task at hand. So to speak.
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Postby Guest » 05/11/07 12:46 PM

This was my first Collectors' and I really enjoyed it. Dan already mentioned one of my highlights, Parr's talk about reconnecting to your magical past, but I also enjoyed meeting many folks who I'd previously only known online.

Richard, it's hard to find a copy of your Greater Magic edition, and I thought the story you told was quite interesting. Add me as another person who would enjoy a printed version of your talk.
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Postby Lisa Cousins » 05/11/07 06:02 PM

Those who were not in attendance would probably be surprised and perplexed to learn that John Carney opened his presentation on Friday night with the words "We got a Disco Inferno in here!"

Why on earth would a group of magic collectors, gathered to hear some scholarly lectures, have a disco inferno in there? It's a fair question, I would think.

The answer is that it was not actually our disco inferno, but a disco inferno belonging to the "Thunderbirds" group holding their dance right on the other side of our wall. Of course I can't speak for others, but for myself, I only got swept up in the music and lost my place in the lecture for one song. Not bad. The rest of it seemed like a soundtrack, and I did not find it particularly distracting.

John's presentations at conferences are always outstanding, due to the fact that he performs the effects he discusses, which really brings the ideas to life! He presented three tricks for us, and his selection of "Do The Hustle!" as musical accompaniment was, I felt, excellent. (Oh, wait - I'm not sure that the selection was made by him, now that I think of it.)

As mentioned above, the point of David Parr's talk (that you can go home again, and in fact "you should go home again) was well-appreciated by me, especially since I also owned a copy of Spooky Tricks (his first magic book) when I was a child. He and Gordon Meyer and I discussed bringing out a compilation of our own individual variations on "Look At This Gross Dead Finger That I Found" - but we ended up agreeing that the effect was much too vital a part of our personal repertoires to tip these important subtleties.

I very much enjoyed Michael Claxton's survey of the way magicians have been portrayed in Punch magazine (through 1916, anyhow), especially since (with the notable exception of a big slug at birthday party magicians) most of the satire was directed at politicians who were trying to be magicians. Politicians, not magicians, are usually the bad guys. I can live with that.

David Charvet had a dramatic story to tell about his newly expanded edition of Alexander: The Man Who Knows. After the release of the original version, the elderly son of Alexander came forward with scrapbooks and new information - so much of it, that a major revision was clearly in order. The book was duly prepared, and arrived from the printer on March 31. On April 1, author Charvet and publisher Caveney phoned the assisted care facility where the fellow resided in order to arrange a time to deliver a copy to him - only to learn that he'd died that morning, at age 90. I see this as a form of the old adage "Half of art is knowing when to stop," merely replacing "art" with "life" and "stop" with "die."

It may well (and fairly) seem that attempting to deliver a magic lecture over an intrusive disco beat might constitute the worst possible performance conditions for a magician, but I know for a fact that this is not true. Richard Hatch described a recent performance, where he had been asked to entertain at a small dinner party honoring an author. He even went out and bought some of the author's books in order to feature them in a trick. However, the night of the dinner party coincided with a championship basketball game, and several of the party couldn't bear to miss any of the game, even for the sake of seeing a magician magically honoring their Honored Guest. The host's solution was to turn on the game with the sound down, and have Richard perform in front of a gigantic television! He said that he was unable to tell if the audience reactions were about his magic, or about the game.

Ouch! Give me "Burn, Baby, Burn" over that, any day of the week!
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Postby Guest » 05/12/07 10:31 PM

One very interesting variation on the "dead finger trick" is Van Cleve's "Curse of the Rancid Dwarf."
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Postby Lisa Cousins » 05/13/07 11:48 AM

I saw a real dead finger, which purportedly belonged to Galileo, on display at the History of Science Museum in Florence, Italy.

Isn't that great? Give a genius a hellish life, and then display his finger in a glass case after he's dead.

I can only hope that it was the middle one.
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