Thompson versus Roth

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Postby Jon Racherbaumer » 01/31/02 04:38 PM

Comparing magicians is usually a tricky business. Comparing PHILOSOPHIES of magicians is a bit easier. Comparing skill levels and mastery is easier yet; however, comparing "performing styles" takes us back full circle.

I had the pleasure of spending lots of quality time with the elusive and quirky Mr. Thompson, who, like Marlo, smoked lots of noxious cigars and was fully obssessive about certain themes and playing incessantly with certain magic properties...such as playing cards and Okito coin boxes. During one memorable 48-hour session (with no sleep whatsoever) with Mr. Thompson, he showed me more things were possible with an Okito coin box than Marlo ever showed me with four Aces and Assemblies On Our Minds. And much of what Thompson did was seamless integrated into his personality, performing style, and idiosyncratic body-language.

In my parochial view, Thompson and Roth represent different styles and pedigree. Roth has his own idiosyncratic style. So did Thompson. Their thinking and approaches were different. Thompson was "apples;" Roth is "oranges." (Howie S. BTW is a Kebler cookie.<g> )

Stories about Thompson abound. His notes--if they exist and were penned and saved by others--remain buried, lost, or far from any data-stream. Scotty York witnessed lots of stuff. So did Jeff Altman and Cy Keller. Harvey Rosenthal, as he attests, shared and saw lots, as well. Howie S. was an early secret-share and sharer of secrets.

Whether any of the Thompson material ever surfaces remains to be seen. The keeper of the flame is Peter Glasinski (sp?)...and he's farther underground than Hofzinser.

Onward...
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/31/02 10:03 PM

I think Thompson's student's name is Peter Galinskis. Possibly.
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Postby Cugel » 02/01/02 01:47 AM

Maybe this should be in the gossip section: a very well know West coast magician told me that he loaned some of Thompson's notes to a very well known East coast magician (and sleaze ball) who now denies he ever had them.

I related this story to yet another well-known East coast magician who said it wasn't a loss as Thompson wrote "hundreds of notes" and, in fact, he had a crate with a few dozen in his basement...

Stay tuned.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 02/01/02 08:51 AM

At least part of Frank Thompson's notes are in the possession of Scotty York. I believe they suffered water damage in his basement.
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Postby Cugel » 02/01/02 01:31 PM

Thanks - I hadn't heard that. ...And that's a fourth guy who's had copies of Thompson's notes, proving yet again that he was highly prolific.

I had also heard that one of his students was putting together a book on his work but there had been all sorts of delays.
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Postby Guest » 02/01/02 06:07 PM

Perhaps in several decades these mysteries will be resolved and Emma Kaufman will publish "The Lost Notebooks of Frank Thompson."
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