Thurston

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Postby Philippe Noël » 12/09/01 07:17 AM

Hi,
Does anybody know in what consists the act of Howard Thurston?

Philippe Nol
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Postby Jon Elion » 12/09/01 08:49 AM

Philippe --

There is an excellent "behind the scenes" look at the entire Thurston show. It is based on the notebooks and photographs of Thurston himself, edited by Maurine Christopher, with additional material by Jim Steinmeyer, and published by Mike Caveney. "Howard THurston's Illusion Show Work Books" (volumes 1 and 2) lists the effects from the 1912 season, and also the effects (and all the patter) from the 1927 season. These books are out of print, and (as I found out the hard way), are hard to come by (but I did!).

I don't think it would be proper for me to reproduce the entire list here, as I would be lifting copyrighted material to do so. Here, however, is a very brief summary of SOME of his performance items:

* A series of quick mechanical effects to honor Magicians Past and Present
* Rising Cards
* Kellar's Levitation
* Fish Bowl Production
* Ducks (production)
* Vanishing Doves
* Siamese ("9 People") Cabinet (Jarrett's 9 Person Production Cabinet)
* Shadow People (production and disappearance of a number of people on a platform)
* Spirit Paintings
* Phantom Piano
* Lady and Lion

That should give you a rough idea. If you have a serious interest in learning more about Thurston's effects, you should try and locate copies of the Workbooks. David Booth may still have a copy of Volume 2 available (davidbooth243@netscapeonline.co.uk). Jim Steinmeyer's edition of Jarrett Magic (called "The Complete Jarrett", currently in print and easily available) would also be helpful. Lastly, would be the book on antoher great illusion designer/builder, "PT Selbit" by Warlock and Larsen; I have a copy back-ordered from Magic Books by Post -- they are expecting a new shipment soon.

Hope this helps!!

-Jon Elion
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Postby Philippe Noël » 12/09/01 09:33 AM

Thank you Jon for you kind answer.
In deed, I am more interested by the period preceding Kellar's succession, before 1908 I suppose. However, I think I am too demanding.
Thank you anyway,

Philippe Nol
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Postby Michael Edwards » 12/09/01 03:56 PM

Perhaps the two best sources for information on the Thurston Show prior to 1908 are Howard Thurston's own autobiography, My Life of Magic, and Robert E. Olson's two volume set, The Complete Life of Howard Thurston. In the period preceding the Kellar-Thurston joint tour, Thurston had been traveling the world with a full evening show. While the illusions did change from time to time, the basic program stayed rather intact. It consisted of his card manipulations, Pigeon Pie, The Mystic Flight of Time, The Appointment (also known as The Hoop Skirt Illusion), Mysterious Dice Die Box), A Bit of Fun (production of items for a spectator's coat), Princess Kiyo (later known as The Triple Mystery), Ducks (duck tub & tabouret), The Flying Balloons, The Floating Ball, The Electric Fountain, The Inexhausable Cocanut, The Fountain of Fire, and Amazement. On his way home from this global tour, Thurston leased a number of new illusions from Maskelyne and Devant. These include The New Page, The Barrel of Diogenes, Oriental Lanters, and The Mascot Moth.

I hope this helps.

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Postby Philippe Noël » 12/10/01 11:10 AM

Thank you Michael.
I am quite interested by the reference you gave: My Life Of Magic by Thurston.
It must be very interesting to read.
Regards,

Philippe Nol
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Location: Belgium(Liège)


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