Jack Birnman?

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Postby Sean Macfarlane » 10/28/02 10:20 AM

I was wondering if there were plans for a book on Jack Birnman's magic. I've heard great things about this man.

Just an aside, but I met a magician from France that has seen Bebel perform a number of times, I have heard his name here first and would like to ask about his book, When is it due out? Apparently Bebel doesn't speak much when he performs, his magic speaks for itself, very visual. He is strictly a street worker too, performs when he feels like it I guess. Sort of like Jeff Sheridan eh?
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Postby Steve Bryant » 10/28/02 10:45 AM

There is a fantastic trick by him in one of the issues of The Looking Glass.
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Postby Sean Macfarlane » 10/28/02 10:57 AM

Thanks for reminding me Steve. The Dyslexic Psychic is awesome
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Postby Guest » 10/28/02 12:08 PM

I believe Richard knows the scoop behind the Jack Birnman book.

Seeing Jack perform card magic was a treat for anyone that was fortunate enough to witness it. I focused on cards after watching him before a John Bannon lecture.
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Postby Guest » 10/28/02 02:30 PM

Other Bebel effects can be found in Channel One Magazine. I beleive there are a total of 3 effects in Volume 1 Issues 2 and 3.
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Postby Guest » 10/28/02 03:15 PM

There is a VERY huge book slated for publication on Jacks material...the book is actually written as we speak. Only time will tell though as to when ot will hit the magic bookshelves!

Mike
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Postby Sean Macfarlane » 10/29/02 10:04 AM

Yikes! that would be freakin terrible, I hope that's not the case.
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Postby Harvey Rosenthal » 10/29/02 12:12 PM

Jack Birman was a very dear friend. From the time I moved to Maryland in September, 1970, to a week before he died in May of 1997, Jack and I got together two or three times a week for marathon card sessions. I shared my material with him and he showed me every trick, sleight and idea that he came up with. Jack was exceedingly creative. The amount of Jack's card magic that I amassed during the countless sessions we had is mind-boggling. Jack only began to record his magic on computer during the last decade of his life. I have every item that he stored on his hard drive. As a matter of course,he gave me a hard copy of every trick and sleight as he added them to his computer data base. So,I have every item that Harry Levine is said to have. There was a great deal of material that was on Jack's computer. However, it represents but a very small fraction of Jack's material that I collected and recorded during the more than 26 years we regularly got together.

After Jack passed away, his widow allowed Harry Levine to walk off with Jack's huge magic library as prepayment for writing Jack's book. I visited her a week after the funeral and told her I wanted to get back the books I had lent Jack during the six months prior to his death. She refused to allow me to take them as she felt I should ask Levine for permission to do so. I was surprised, to say the least, as she was well aware that I had been bringing books to Jack when he was no longer able to get out. She also knew the closeness of our relationship. I was unable to reach Levine before he carted off Jack's library along with many of my books. I decided that I would rather get replacement copies than have to plead for the return of my property.

It is my understanding that Levine promised Jack's widow that he would get the book out quickly. As far as I know, Levine is enjoying Jack's library. As to his ever writing and publishing Jack's book, I would be exceedingly surprised if he ever does. Richard Kaufman and I were at Jack's funeral and discussed this very issue and came to the same conclusion.

As an aside, I made a Real Player performance movie of Jack's favorite trick, a trick that he blew away every cardmen who ever saw him do it. I titled the movie, "J Birnman's Favorite Trick."
A young, self-impressed cardman, formerly from Maryland and now living near the Magic Castle, complained to a number of people that I had no right to make a performance movie of that effect and post it on The Second Deal Bulletin Board. It came out that he did the trick often and didn't want it getting out. Apparently, he wanted it for his use alone.
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Postby Pete McCabe » 10/29/02 04:51 PM

Harvey:

Is "J Birnman's Favorite Trick" on your web site? I couldn't find it and would love to see it.
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Postby Guest » 10/29/02 08:31 PM

Harvey:
Is "J Birnman's Favorite Trick" on your web site? I couldn't find it and would love to see it.
Pete:
It's a great effect, and I know it's posted on TSD (among many other great videos by Harvey & others). If you have seen Bill Goodwin's Spectator Cuts the Aces, or Bernard Bilis's version on his International Magic lecture tape, you've seen the effect.

--Randy Campbell
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Postby Harvey Rosenthal » 10/29/02 11:04 PM

In his recent post, Pete McCabe asked if the movie I made of Jack Birnman's favorite trick, his superb handling of the "Spectator Cuts The Aces," is on my web site. No Pete, it is not. My web site only contains movies of my own tricks and sleights. As Randy Campbell correctly indicated, it is posted in the video section of TSD.

I would be more than happy to send a copy of the movie as an e-mail attachment to Pete and anyone else who might be interested in seeing Jack's masterpiece.

Hopefully, I can get a special dispensation to do this from the young cardmanexcuse me, cardboy, I mentioned in my earlier post who regarded my making the movie and contributing it to the video section of TSD, an egregious sin.

As I did not have a spectator to assist me when I made the movie, I carried out the cutting sequence myself. Other than that, I performed the trick exactly as Jack did.

When Jack visited Chicago, I arranged a meeting for him with Eddie Marlo, a man he greatly admired but had never met. Jack did his "Spectator Cuts The Aces" for Ed and fooled him badly. I learned this from Ed during a telephone conversation we had shortly after his meeting with Jack.
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Postby Guest » 10/30/02 03:31 PM

Harvey,

Harry did not get Jack's libray from Jack's widow, Harry sold it for her!!!

Mike
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Postby Guest » 10/30/02 03:33 PM

Also, I would like to add...Harry was payed the hefty sum of $1.00 for writing Jack's book!

Mike
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/30/02 05:27 PM

Mike, that's the funniest thing I ever heard. Harry was paid $1 for writing Jack's book? The entire manuscript for Jack's book was virtually complete upon his death. Who paid Harry Levine $1? Harry is supposed to be the publisher.
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Postby Guest » 10/30/02 07:49 PM

Mike, that's the funniest thing I ever heard. Harry was paid $1 for writing Jack's book? The entire manuscript for Jack's book was virtually complete upon his death. Who paid Harry Levine $1? Harry is supposed to be the publisher.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Richard,

Actually the book was written...Harry's Job was/is to get it illustrated, layed-out...and find a publisher...ya know, the normal things you book people do ;)

Mike
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/30/02 08:17 PM

Okay: who's the publisher?
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Postby Guest » 10/30/02 08:44 PM

Is it me or did a post from Lance Pierce disappear? I was following this thread at work but when i got home to see what was new, it was gone. Just wondering why
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Postby Guest » 10/30/02 08:45 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Okay: who's the publisher?

Ya got me there...you want the job ;) ?

Mike
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/30/02 08:59 PM

I didn't delete Lance's post: perhaps he deleted his own post?
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Postby Lance Pierce » 10/30/02 09:46 PM

I reserve the right to have second thoughts.

;)

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Postby Harvey Rosenthal » 10/31/02 01:03 AM

Hi Mike:

What I said in my first post about Harry Levine getting the library as pre-payment for writing Jack's book, came directly from Caroline Birnman, Jack's widow. That is exactly what she told me. I vividly remember her saying this, as it shocked me. It made absolutely no sense.

First of all, he received a finished manuscript ready to be illustrated and layed-out. I have a copy of the manuscript and all the tricks and sleights are clearly described.

Who told you he was paid a dollar to write the book? That's absurd. Why would he be paid anything to write a book that was already written?

Jack's library was rather large and no doubt worth quite a bit of money. I could not understand why she would give him the library when he had little to do to get the book ready for publication.

If in fact Caroline Birnman wanted the library sold, she knew that Al Cohen, a long-time close friend of Jack's, could sell it for her. I believe Al may have approached her about this. I know Richard Kaufman would have assisted her if she asked. I can't imagine in my wildest dreams why she would let Harry Levine, a guy Jack knew for a relatively short time (I know, I introduced them), sell it for her.

Mrs. Birnman told me she was promised the book would be published within a year. With little to do, that should not have been much of a problem.

It is now five and a half years since he got the finished manuscript. Where is the book? If he fulfilled his promise/obligation to Mrs. Birnman, it should have been out in 1998.
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Postby Guest » 10/31/02 02:38 PM

Harvey,
I have never seen you perform before and I just tried to watch your performance of this trick on TSD. You might want to have them check the video because it seems to be messed up. It keeps repeating words and getting stuck in the middle of sentences. It is actually quite painfull to watch. Just wanted to let you know.
Cheers,
DS
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Postby Guest » 10/31/02 02:47 PM

Who told you he was paid a dollar to write the book? That's absurd. Why would he be paid anything to write a book that was already written?

Harvey,

The contract that Jack and Harry had, said the payment that Harry was to receive was 1 dollar. Basically the dollar was to make the contract legally binding as Harry refused compensation. As to why Jack's widow said Harry got the library as part of a down payment is beyond me. All Harry did was inventory, pack and sell Jacks collection to one buyer...Caroline receved full payment for the collection from the buyer. I beleive Alan Nu helped Harry with this chore.

I really do not wish to discuss the politics here on an open board...I will only say this, as far as the book having been well over due is a shame, but het...we have several publishers here who can agree that when it comes to book publishing...well, [censored] happens!

Mike
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Postby Harvey Rosenthal » 10/31/02 05:58 PM

David Schools post stated:

"I have never seen you perform before and I just tried to watch your performance of this trick on TSD. You might want to have them check the video because it seems to be messed up. It keeps repeating words and getting stuck in the middle of sentences. It is actually quite painfull to watch. Just wanted to let you know."

After reading your post, I went to TSD and downloaded the movie. I played it three times all the way through. There was no problem at all...no repeating words and getting stuck in the middle of sentences, as you indicated. Did you download the movie to your hard drive or did you watch it as streaming video? If the latter is the case, that may be the problem. I have watched a number of the movies contributed by different people and often, the movies did not play all the way through. I had to wait for repeated buffering.

I assure you the movie is not flawed in any way that would account for the problems you mentioned. If you like, I would be happy to send you the movie as an e-mail attachment, something I have done since yesterday for a dozens of people who were on this thread and requested a copy of the movie. So far, I haven't received any word that anyone else had problems.

I happened to notice that your name was not on the TSD membership list. Are you a new member.?
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Postby Guest » 11/02/02 09:44 AM

mike gallo wrote:

>>The contract that Jack and Harry had, said the payment that Harry was to receive was 1 dollar. Basically the dollar was to make the contract legally binding as Harry refused compensation.>>

Im sorry if you are a friend of Harrys, as what Im going to say will not sound real good.

Of course Harry wanted the contract to be legally binding. It gave him more leverage in order stake claim on the Birnman library. I've known Jack since 1979, and it was never Jack's style to care about contracts or place monetary value on his possessions. In fact he didn't even sign the contract! The day after his death, Harry flew in and had Caroline sign the contract (imagine that!).

Harry made himself look good by saying that he did not want compensation for writing Jacks book, though I believe he was paid in his own way by parts of Jacks library which I strongly suspect that he didnt sell. It was nice of him to give Caroline the money that he gave her, but what she really wanted more than anything else was to see her husbands dream and vision put in print by (the man who told her husband that he would) before she herself passed on. My wife and I helped her move to Austin, TX after Jacks death, and we stayed in touch with her for about two years before loosing touch with her. I still have her phone number, and hope she is still alive.

>> As to why Jack's widow said Harry got the library as part of a down payment is beyond me. All Harry did was inventory, pack and sell Jacks collection to one buyer...Caroline received full payment for the collection from the buyer. I believe Alan Nu helped Harry with this chore. >>

I helped him as much as I could (back when I thought he would make good), but the library was too big and the magazines too unorganized to do it with what little time I have as a performer. Caroline told me that she had only received half the payment, but I know that she also had nothing to do placing value on Jacks collection. How could she know how much Jacks library was worth? I do not know much Harry gave her for the collection, but Ill bet it was far less than it was worth. The truth is, Caroline could care less about Jacks library. She wanted only to see Jacks book get published as thats what made sense to her. Harry took the library, paid Caroline a seemingly appropriate sum of money, and NEVER got on to publishing Jacks book. I would like to see that someone does.

On another note, I do have much of Jacks written but unpublished material at a friends house. It would be possible to publish Jacks lost works, but I was waiting for Harry to make good. I can say now, after five years, that it doesnt look good.

As far as politics, I dislike it as much as you, Mike. Also I apologize if Ive brought to light aspects of Harry Levine that are not very becoming, since I assume, he is a friend of yours. I would not have even responded to this message or joined this board at all, had I not been told that my name was used to support credibility to Harrys case on the Birnman book. I was too close to the center of this fiasco, and I saw aspects of Harry Levine that I would never would have wanted to see in a fellow who I initially respected.

Keepin' it real,

Alain Nu
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Postby Guest » 11/02/02 10:20 AM

Hi Alain,

You are welcomed to speak of anyone as you wish. But like others...you are only making assumptions. Had you read my post, I never used your name as part of the "book" context. All I said of you was that you (or at least to my understanding) helped Harry put Jacks library in order to help self it...a library rhat Harry got no books from! And the reason I had stated this was because there were false accusations that Harry was compensated the library as part of the book deal. there are lots of bones in the closet here which as I said in an earlier post that I do not wish to discuss. But Alain, be careful of assumtions that you make...they just aren't nice.

Mike
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Postby Guest » 11/02/02 12:02 PM

Mike, what is your email address, I have a question for you. Please email me at btl6380@aol.com.

Thank You :)
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Postby David Regal » 11/02/02 05:19 PM

Mike, please send me your e-mail address, too. I wrote to your old address about my Genii column, and the message was sent back undeliverable.

davidregal@earthlink.net
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Postby Guest » 11/02/02 06:39 PM

Oops, sorry guys...I competely forgot to update things (early senior moment I suppose). My new email address is: Gallopitch1@aol.com sorry about that.

Mike
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Postby Steve V » 11/02/02 07:18 PM

Did my emails finally get to you Mike? I knew your new one and still sent 'em wrong.
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Postby Guest » 11/03/02 01:03 AM

I'm sorry, Mike. I wasn't being nice, was I?

Anyway, I was as close to the Birnman ordeal as one could get besides Jack, Caroline, and Harry themselves. I even own a copy of the contract Caroline signed, and know more than you can assume I know or not know about that matter.

...but sorry for not being nice. I don't even know you outside of the beautiful coin work you've published over the years.

Alain

Alain
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Postby Guest » 11/03/02 07:41 AM

I even own a copy of the contract Caroline signed, and know more than you can assume I know or not know about that matter.

Hi Alain,

I am not assuming much of anything...I do know that you are fully aware of the events of this topic. This is one of the reasons why I did mention your name. there seems to be a big mis-understanding about Jacks collection...I only want to get that straightened out.

Also, eveyone is "ragging" on the time it is taking to get the book out. Well agreed...it would be great to get the book out. God only knows Jack deserves it. But unfortunately, 5 years for a magic book to come out doesn't seem like much time...there are books that have taken much longer than that.

Also, thanks forthe kind words about my coin magic as I am also a big fan of your material!

Mike
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Postby JHostler » 10/24/12 10:02 PM

Anonymous wrote:...it would be great to get the book out. God only knows Jack deserves it. But unfortunately, 5 years for a magic book to come out doesn't seem like much time...there are books that have taken much longer than that.


And now 15 years(!) Does anyone know if Levine is still alive?

What doesn't make sense to me is the $1 Harry was purportedly paid to write the book. I've seen no evidence that he actually purchased the copyright or publishing rights. If this is the case (???), it would seem the material is still controlled - to whatever legal extent possible - by Jack's family. As substantial content is apparently in the possession of Rosenthal, Kaufman, and others, I'm curious if the flagging market for books is the only thing holding this up...?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/24/12 10:49 PM

I have the manuscript for the book and intend to publish it.

I have been in touch with Jack's daughter regarding that.

I also read the supposed "contract" which Harry Levine had (signed not by Jack, but by his wife Caroline). It was not a legally valid contract for many reasons.
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Postby JHostler » 10/25/12 08:03 AM

I suspected as much with regard to the contract... good to hear this isn't a lost cause!
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Postby Tom Gilbert » 10/27/12 10:24 AM

At least with RK at the helm, you know it will be given the
treatment it deserves.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/27/12 11:23 AM

It's very tricky to proceed because the book wasn't finished. The tricks are all described, but the sleights are not. However, hopefully that issue can dealt with.
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