The Wit and Wisdom

Discussions of new films, books, television shows, and media indirectly related to magic and magicians. For example, there may be a book on mnemonics or theatrical technique we should know or at least know about.

Postby Guest » 03/14/07 09:33 AM

[censored]'s newest book has just been published as a downloadable e-book. Titled "The Wit and Wisdom of [censored]" it is a collection of Internet ramblings and essays on his views of magic, magicians (extensively annotated with footnotes),pitching, cold reading, and... well, you know Mark! It makes for very interesting reading.
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Postby Guest » 03/14/07 07:45 PM

I read a description that this tome consists mostly of his Internet posts.

Lewis snuck on this forum under dozens of screen names, was kicked off repeatedly until he was banned permanently. I've been reliably informed that he's done the same thing on the Magic Cafe with the same result: being permanently banned...and you want us to pay to read him?

Ya got BIG BRASS ONES, pal. BIG BRASS ONES!
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Postby Guest » 03/14/07 09:41 PM

No, I would never expect YOU to buy Mark's book. It's just for his friends, scoundrels, pitchmen, and people who share his British sense of humor. There are more of them than you might think.

There are many other magicians who have been quietly writing their memoires on forums like this for years and never realised that someone would want to collect them and publish them to share with the magic community. Fortunately Mark is the first to do so (as far as I know) and I hope other Treasured Magicians will do the same for future generations.

For the record, I do not sell Mark's book on my site, nor do I get a "cut" or percentage of sales or any kind of compensation from this except sharing in the knowledge and experience of a hard working professional, one of the FEW who ACTUALLY still makes a FULL TIME living from doing nothing but MAGIC.
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Postby Guest » 03/14/07 10:10 PM

Mark makes his living primarily as a fortune teller and a Svengali cards pitchman.

- entity
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Postby Keith Raygor » 03/15/07 06:19 AM

That's what he said, a magician.
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Postby Guest » 03/15/07 07:59 AM

Thomas, being from Toronto, you know well that Mark is a brilliant kid show performer and makes most of his living by performing magic. There's no need to try to put him down by calling him a fortune teller; you insult most of the real mentalists and psychic entertainers on this forum by that. Mark's book is not meant for YOU either, and I am sure he will not pressure you to buy one. These are Mark's Memoires and are published to offer advice to the younger generation of up and coming magicians.
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Postby Guest » 03/15/07 08:08 AM

Keith, Spellbinder: Apparently my definition of a Magic Professional differs somewhat from yours. Fair enough.

I do live in Toronto, and I've known Mark for at least 30 years. He is a very good kids show magician, but unfortunately,he only performs in that role sporadically. This week he has several small library shows for children because of the March School break. I suspect that these will be the first, and possibly the only children's shows Mark does this year.

Whatever he tells everyone else, Mark makes his living primarily as a fortune teller (not a Mentalist (again, my opinion)) and a Svengali card pitchman. Some might classify pitching Svegali's as a Magic performance, I suppose.

- entity
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Postby Keith Raygor » 03/15/07 12:41 PM

There are so many niches in magic. Some people find an interest in and even excel at the oddest things, and then go on to make money at it.

My only knowledge of svengali decks and fortune telling has been through magic. And knowing Mark is a magician, its difficult for me NOT to make the connection.
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Postby Guest » 03/15/07 02:33 PM

Thomas:
If you have a personal problem with Mark, since you know him and live so close, you should contact him and resolve your differences, not display them publicly in a forum like this. I don't need to be a cold reader to tell that you are upset for some reason that Mark has written a book, or perhaps gets more work as a magician than you do, otherwise you would not jump in with such a tone in your posting. E-mail him or e-mail me and deal with your issues privately.

So as not to waste a perfectly good post on private nonsense, here is the Table of Contents from Mark's Book, to give you an idea of what it contains and how it has been grouped and orgainzed by topics:

1. Foreword by Danny Hustle
2. Preface by [censored]
3. Magicians I Have Known
4. Svengali Pitch
5. Dealing With Hecklers
6. Nervousness
7. Flourishes
8. How to be a Character
9. Pitching In Vegas
10. Run Out (Jam Auction)
11. The Bongo Hat <<< Many insist this chapter alone is worth the price of the book
12. The Letter
13. Wallman Business
14. The Six Card Repeat
15. Defensive Resentment
16. Cold Reading
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Postby Guest » 03/15/07 02:57 PM

Spellbinder: I'm not in the least bothered that you've helped put out an ebook of Mark's internet posts. It strikes me as funny, in fact.

I was merely correcting the notion you expressed that Mark made his sole living as a full-time performing Magician. It's simply not true.

As for his performing more than I do? Well, if you consider it performing Magic, his doing 20-plus hours of reading fortunes this week at a psychic fair for a profit of $900 over three days (and that includes the Svegali packs he sold on the side between readings), then you may be right.

I've performed considerably less this week, only 3 Mentalism performances, but my profit is considerably more, and I like the work.

(NOTE: A friend has corrected me, in that Mark now says he made $1300 profit, after paying off his costs of $900. I apologize for misquoting him. 24 hours of readings for $60. per. over three days. $900. costs; $1300. profit. Interesting.)

- entity
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 03/15/07 03:04 PM

Im amused by the amount of rancor Mark can stir up without even showing up on the forum.

Im sure hes quite pleased with himself at the moment.

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Postby Guest » 03/15/07 05:29 PM

[censored] describes himself as follows in a posting on another forum:

As for my "Psychic atmosphere" I don't have one. It is a mistake to be something other than yourself. I am a con artist pitchman so that is exactly how I work.

And a bit later, he was a bit more precise (emphasis Marks):

I am a GRAFTER and grafters have to "steam in" if they want to make money.

A self-described "grafter" and "con artist pitchman" is hardly the person I would want to see advising the younger generation of up and coming magicians.
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Postby Guest » 03/17/07 04:50 PM

Well, I always enjoyed [censored]' brief visits on this and other forums where he is now banned. That's why I bought the e-book (even though I hate e-books).
If you enjoyed his postings then you'll enjoy the book. I certainly did.

Denis
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Postby Guest » 03/18/07 07:25 PM

Mark also does hypnosis shows and mentalisim shows. I know he gets over a thousand bucks a pop for his Hypnosis show and will knock out over 50 fairgrounds and colleges this year. That alone is better than a lot of full time professionals do in our field. Mark also rarely pitches decks anymore and in the summer often hires others to work his booth. Mark is a man who has his hands in many pies.

Like him or not, the guy has worked a lifetime in the entertainment industry. I find it quite amusing that the mere mention of his name can cause so many people to sound so condescending and arrogant.

Like the guys who roll their eyes when they find out I work kid shows in the winter.

I saw a draft of the book a few weeks ago and it was chock full of useful information and I liked it quite a bit. There is a little bit of everything in there and at $15 it is pretty hard to knock it.

Almost all of the negative posts I have seen here interestingly enough are personal attacks on Mark and say nothing about his abilities as an entertainer. I think that says a lot more about the posters and why they are posting than it does about Mark. It also takes a very brave person to attack someone they know doesn't have the ability to fight back. Nicely done. :)

It's a great little booklet, I recommend it highly.

Best,

Dan-
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Postby Guest » 03/18/07 08:15 PM

Utter nonsense.
- entity
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Postby Guest » 03/18/07 11:09 PM

This is my first post on this forum, and I would like to attempt to dispell a few myths about my friend [censored]. I have known Mark on and off for nearly forty years. We worked together many years ago pitching Svengalis for the late Ron MacMillan. We did many shows together, including the Spring Show in Dublin where I first met Quentin Reynolds. I have not yet read Mark's new ebook, but I hear it is excellent. Professor Spellbinder is also a good friend, with a great literary talent, so I am sure the book is of the high standard set by his other books which I have read.

Mark, like myself, may not be everyone's cup of tea. His humour is michevious, and he often says it like it is. This man is an icon in the world of magic and cyberspace. He is an extremely talented and creative performer, and is often misunderstood. He, like so many Brits, is a master at the great British wind-up. However, underneath it all, he is a harmless little fuzzball, with a talent that, at times, borders on genius. If you knock him, bash him, and put him down like some of you are doing here......shame on you! Jolly Roger
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Postby Guest » 03/19/07 06:28 AM

Sorry to disagree with you entity but my post is not "utter nonsense". I got my info straight from the horses mouth and not from some imaginary friend.

I am sure you will reply with a personal attack of some kind as that seems to be your method of choice. It doesn't change the fact that your facts are wrong.

Best,

Dan-
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Postby Guest » 03/19/07 08:50 AM

In this case the "horse's mouth" is a self-described con man. You are being conned, Danny.

- entity
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Postby Tom Stone » 03/19/07 11:33 AM

Denis Behr wrote:
If you enjoyed his postings then you'll enjoy the book.
I think Denis got it right.

I've always got the feeling that [censored] write on the forums as some odd kind of performance art - rather than attempting to communicate anything.
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Postby Guest » 03/19/07 01:40 PM

I don't really understand the disagreement between Entity and everyone here, but I just had a comment for David Alexander...

David, I'm not sure being banned from many magic forums is a good reason to ignore the guy. He posts over at the scoundrel forums, and is always outrageous, but I find the posts entertaining and laced with at least interesting thought. I don't know the man, personally, but I think people take him too seriously. In my opinion, it's just part of the act.

I saw Terry Seabrooke last night at the Castle. If he stayed in character for posts on the forums, he'd probably end up being banned just for non-sequitors and gibberish. He is entertaining however. That's my feeling on Mark...he simply doesn't come out of character when involving himself in the community (at least not on the forums.)

I don't think everything on these forums has to be taken extremely seriously. People seem to take [censored]'s posting ego at face value, and I just don't see it that way.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 03/19/07 02:06 PM

We've tried allowing [censored] back on here periodically, but he always does the same thing: hijacks a thread and eventually just goes nuts.

His Svengali pitch is great, but I wouldn't believe anything he said.
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Postby Guest » 03/19/07 02:37 PM

I tried to stay out of this, but I can't.
Mark's posts are not an act, are not performance art, are not a character. They are Mark, plain and simple.
[censored] is an arrogant ass on forums and off. He not only speaks of his greatness, he believes it and believes you should believe it.
As for the amount of work he get's, all I can say is for a man who makes so much money he sure is broke a lot.
As for how his act is, he is probably a Svengali pitchman without equal. He can do things with a Svengali deck that others can only dream about. I will admit that.
He is also a very talented close up card magician. He has stated that he knows everything in "Royal Road" and I don't doubt it. I will admit that.
His mentalism act is atrocious and boring.
And his remarkable ability to stab a friend in the back is without equal.
None of this changes the fact that he is an ass. Take the book "How to win friends and influence people" and reverse everything in it and you start to know [censored].
And no, I do not mind making a personal attack on this Gollum of a man. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

Gord
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Postby Guest » 03/19/07 03:29 PM

Gee, who would have thought Canadians are so vicious. [censored] has the wonderful ability to upset some people but others, myself included, find him to be very humorous. When he isn't out ticking off people, which I allow he does intentionally, he has put out some great ideas on the performance of magic as well as two great routines for kids shows (The Letter, Bongo Hat). Interestinly Danny Hustle, who is on this thread, also has some hidden gems out there. I may get a copy of the ebook because I admit I've been cutting and pasting into word Marks ideas for years.

Gord, I don't know you but I hope you can get over your anger with Mark. Even if you don't speak to him again it still is a waste of energy to be that ticked off.
Steve V
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Postby Guest » 03/19/07 04:26 PM

Actually, in re-reading my post I feel the need to clarify a few things.
First, the opinions expressed are mine and mine alone. Yes, other people despise Mark as well, but I do not want to seem like I am talking for them.
Second, my hatred of him is based on personal experience and I was speaking as such. How he affects the world in general is for the world in general to decide.
Lastly, I do think he is a great card magician and it amazes me that, as such, he feels the need to scam people at Psychic fairs.

There, I've said it and I can't take it back.

Gord
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Postby Guest » 03/19/07 05:05 PM

This whole thing astounds me! I am new to this forum, and I am indeed amazed at the hostility towards my friend Mark. Those who have met him, and know him well, see a very different Mark to the one that some of you are portraying here on this Forum. The Wit and Wisdom of [censored] is a great title. He is a very funny man, and is also very wise. We worked many shows together back in the 1960's and early seventies. I would advise those who do not know him as well as I do, to be careful how you judge this man. He is, indeed, at times a bit of a rascal. However, it is all in jest. He has opinions, and his opinions are often, though not always, the truth. The truth can hurt. He hates to see magic performed badly, and is a perfectionist in everything he does. This is the Mark I know. He also has plenty of money in his bank account! Jolly Roger
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Postby Guest » 03/19/07 06:36 PM

Pull the other one, Roger.

- entity
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Postby Guest » 03/19/07 06:56 PM

What on earth does that mean, Mr. Non-entity? I am telling the truth. I also know that Mark would never, ever stab a friend in the back, I can assure you. Now, if others were to stab him in the back, he might turn nasty. Would you blame him? JR
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Postby Guest » 03/19/07 07:20 PM

In any case, as David Alexander and some others have pointed out, Mark has himself told us what sort of person he is, time and time again. Wise people will take heed and treat anything that he says in that light.

On to things that matter.

- entity
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Postby Guest » 03/19/07 08:12 PM

Enity, why not admit it, you are [censored] IN DISGUISE! You post to draw attention to here so people will go to your site and buy this Ebook or The Long and Short of It or the new book on the mouse. You can't fool me.
Steve V
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 03/19/07 08:35 PM

Entity is not [censored]. This I know. He has shared his identity with us before.
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Postby Guest » 03/19/07 08:49 PM

But Jolly Roger probably is.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 03/19/07 09:10 PM

Jolly Roger is not [censored].

I think more than enough has been said. Time to lock this before the inevitable happens.

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