How to draw a crowd

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Postby Mark.Lewis » 10/26/09 06:39 AM

I am not really sure which section to post this but I suppose here is the best bet.

Magicians seem to be fascinated with the world of the svengali pitchman (grafter is the British word for this). I have never understood this fascination since it is the most horrendous occupation on God's green earth and anyone who does this for too long a period eventually goes insane. Look what happened to me.

Since this odd fascination exists I suppose I should say something about it. If anyone would like to know how grafters draw a crowd then all you have to do is ask. If nobody asks I won't bother.
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Postby mrgoat » 10/26/09 06:51 AM

I used to pitch svengali decks as a student. I knew nothing about it, didn't even know 'pitchmen' existed.

I would have loved to have your book back then.

So, for anyone else unfortunate enough to be stuck shifting them in the cold this winter, what are your tips on drawing a crowd Mr Lewis?
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Postby Mark.Lewis » 10/26/09 07:56 AM

My first tip is indeed regarding winter work.Here it is.
Work indoors.
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Postby Jolly Roger » 10/26/09 08:49 AM

As Mark has mentioned on another thread, I used to be a svengali pitchman. Mark was actually one of my mentors, and I bought a pack from him when I was a teenager. Mark is quite a bit older than me, as you will realise.

I rarely work the svengali these days, although I sometimes use it in a trade show. Here is a video of me doing just that:

http://comicmagician.com/page_trade_shows.html

Those of you who have read Mark's excellent book "The long and the short of it" will recognise that I use some of his routine. JR
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Postby Mark.Lewis » 10/26/09 09:11 AM

My prediction of Roger using this thread to promote himself has indeed come true. I am indeed truly psychic. And he is actually only 5 years younger than me, if even that.

I do find his statement about using the svengali deck in a trade show interesting though. I loved the idea of doing trade shows because I thought that it would an ideal opportunity to escape the dreaded svengali deck which I have hated all my life for rather obvious reasons.

And yet I soon found that I couldn't escape it after all. It is the greatest trick for a trade show magician ever conceived providing you happen to be a svengali pitchman. For tie ins to company products it is almost as if God made the deck for that purpose. And the crowd body language changes before my very eyes at a trade show when I do the svengali deck. It is the weirdest thing imaginable. It always creeps me out when I observe it.

I do the usual rubbish like sponge balls and card tricks with a regular deck and it goes over very well. But then I finish off with the svengali deck and all the years of torture with deck pay off. The crowd almost freezes as if in a trance. Nobody moves a muscle, scratches an ear, or adjusts their tie like they may do with the other material. They laugh and react of course but the body language is completely different. They move when I want them to move, they speak when I want them to speak and they react when I want them to react. This doesn't happen with the other material. I only wish I could explain it better. You would really have to see it for yourself.
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Postby Mark.Lewis » 10/26/09 06:28 PM

Only Mr Goat seems to want any information about drawing a crowd. I am not sure that is enough enthusiasm for me to reveal my cherished secrets.

I had better investigate other threads. David Ben sent me on a mission this morning. He said I should arrange things so that I appear on every thread on the Genii Forum. I am not sure if he was serious or not.
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Postby Pete McCabe » 10/26/09 07:19 PM

I'm not that interested in drawing a crowd, but I'd love to hear more about what David Ben said.
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Postby Mark.Lewis » 10/26/09 07:26 PM

I see that he is looking in as we speak so I had better be quiet.
I am only posting information because I am bored out of my mind because all my old enemies (except you I notice) have disappeared. Ihave nobody to fight with any more. I suppose they are waiting for me to be banned again before they return. It shouldn't be long now because I have been saying rude things about Greeks and bouncing cheques. I shall therefore move on.

Here is how you draw a crowd. I will explain in my next post.
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Postby Mark.Lewis » 10/26/09 07:48 PM

HOW TO DRAW A CROWD

Here is a good point to explain the word flash. This is grafters lingo for the display material you have on your booth or stand. While I am at it I shall give you another grafters word. Your booth or working space is known as a joint. To go off at a tangent I should mention that grafters in North America and Britain have a different slang. The two words I have mentioned here, however are the same in both America and the UK. From now on though I am going to use only UK grafter terms rather than American ones.

Now your flash will have a strong influence in bringing people to your joint. There is an old saying that goes, Flash is cash and it is very true. I remember once working the svengali deck in a Blackpool department store and the sales were reasonable. Then one day the display department of the store put up some attractive signs above the demonstration counter and the sales went up considerably.

This might be a good point to mention that the size of your table or demonstration counter is very important. You really need a minimum of 4 feet in length and even this is too small. If I have a choice I prefer 6 to 8 feet. In a department store, however, you are sometimes given a counter only 4 feet long and you have to make do with it. It is workable but not ideal. 6 foot is better. The reason it is better is that you can draw a bigger crowd close to the table. Grafters prefer to have their audiences come right up close to the table and this is far more likely to happen with a 6 foot table rather than a four foot one. People will feel more comfortable coming close to a bigger table. And of course more people can fit around a 6 foot table than a four foot one.

Dont let this put you off a four foot counter if you have to use one. I was selling two hundred decks a day in Eatons department store in Toronto and the counter I had to work from was only 4 foot. Any less than four foot frontage, however will be an invitation to disaster. I remember the first time I tried to sell svengali decks on a street market and all I had was a two foot in length table. It was a disaster.
Incidentally the depth of the table should be about two to three feet. Any more than that and the punters are too far away from you. Any less than that and they will be too scared to come near you. I shall explain some of these terms as I go along rather than have a separate glossary for them. punters simply means customers.

But back to drawing a crowd. You only need a couple of people in front of you and before you know it once you start the demonstration the crowd will grow and gather out of nowhere. Sometimes I will even break off in the middle of a demonstration to pull likely looking people over by saying, come and have a look

Your main problem will be drawing those one or two people over in the first place to start your crowd off. You could just stand there and let your flash draw them over. I dont recommend this but I used to have a brilliant female demonstrator work for me and this is basically all she did. She would never call people over but just wait for them to come over to the counter. It was a bit like a spider waiting for a fly.

She would lay out a massive display of colour with the squirmle product and that would bring people over and then she would work to them. She also had a similar technique with the svengali deck. She would flip the cards back and forth, whistle and spin a coin in the air but never ask people to come over and watch. Somehow this approach worked for her, possibly because the people that did come over were pre-qualified as marketing people say. They were more interested by virtue of the fact that they came over of their own accord rather than because of the blandishments of the grafter. I dont, however recommend doing things this way. I personally would go nuts just standing there watching people walk by.

If you are working the squirmle you have an automatic pitch puller (crowd gatherer). All you have to do is make it move between your fingers and in and out of a glass and people will come over of their own accord especially if you start talking. The squirmle is far better suited to this than the wonder mouse since it is more visual, colourful and spectacular. The spooky pencil described in an earlier chapter is not bad for pulling a pitch and famed Scottish grafter Johnny Neptune would draw good crowds over with this item.

With the svengali deck this is the way I draw people over. I wait until likely punters walk by and I then spread the cards and turn them over domino fashion as described in my most wondrous svengali deck book. As I do this I say have you seen the magic cards? It is very important to time the card flourish to the question. If people just hear the question without seeing the flourish they are very liable to continue walking. Once they see the cards moving, however, they will be intrigued and come in to watch. Once I get the first one or two people I dont just leave it there though. I look around for more and beckon them over if I can. I will often say, come and have a look-you dont have to buy anything-nobody else does! This gets a laugh and even more people come over.

All you have to do now is start demonstrating and more people will come out of the woodwork particularly if it is a busy location.

If it is a quiet location you can pick people off in ones and twos. Grafters call this blagging. To blag people means to work to individuals rather than a large crowd. It is suprising how much money can be taken blagging since the punters feel more obliged to purchase than if they were part of a larger crowd. In a large crowd they can slink away a lot easier. If they are the only ones in front of you it is much harder for them to resist the sales pressure.

I had better stop otherwise this post will be as long as the Encyclopedia Britannia.
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Postby mai-ling » 10/26/09 08:38 PM

I remember growing up as a little girl working fair dates
and we would have to draw a crowd to do some strolling
once in a while.

Dad would draw a crowd by banging a bamboo stick
that he used with the lazy magician and the red can
he used for the die box. and he yelled he was doing
a chinese magic show and everyone should gather
around.

he yelled extremely loud.

they came.

they stayed.

more came.

they laughed.

they applauded.

they loved us.

so i guess the moral of that story is to bang on a can and yell
to get peoples attention.

maybe this doesn't even belong here.
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Postby Mark.Lewis » 10/26/09 09:31 PM

Who was your dad? Just curious.
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Postby Jolly Roger » 10/27/09 01:12 AM

I have always found that one of the best ways to draw a crowd is to use the pop-up tie. That....combined with a theatrical voice, never fails in my experience! JR
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Postby mai-ling » 10/27/09 09:44 AM

yes being loud is always a positive.
whether you are on stage or off stage.

at least that is what i remember about my dad.
even today he is like that off stage that is.
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Postby Glenn Bishop » 10/27/09 11:21 AM

Mark.Lewis wrote:Who was your dad? Just curious.


Mai-ling's dad was DeYip Loo. Well known in Chicago as one of the great Chicago magic acts. Mai-ling was his assistant in her dads act at a very young age. DeYip Loo (who also built his own props) built a zig zag that was no taller than I think 4 feet high. Mai-Ling got into it as the kid assistant in her dads act.

DeYip Loo did a Chinese magic act. Had great looking props and a lot of flash. Lots of stuff happened like the Jack Gwynne act. I think that DeYip Loo helped Jack Gwynne when Jack was performing with the Shrine Circus. I think that story is recorded in the Gwynne book by David Charvet.

If I remember right he also built the Blackstone light bulb illusion for Harry Blackstone Jr. And also built or repaird some props for Jack Gwynne when Jack was older.

Mai-Ling is quite a piano player and knows magic and show business as she grew up in the business and around grew up around Magic Inc. Last time I saw her play the piano was at one of Jay and Fran Marshalls Christmas parties.

She is a highly skilled entertainer.

I hope this helps.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/27/09 11:40 AM

Not "was" DeYip Loo, IS DeYip Loo.
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Postby Glenn Bishop » 10/27/09 11:46 AM

There is some neat video of DeYip Loo at Mai-lings web site.

I hope this helps.
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Postby Mark.Lewis » 10/27/09 03:57 PM

I am loud as is Roger but you don't have to be. A large crowd can be gathered by quieter workers just as well as loudmouths like me and Roger.

Of course Mai-Ling's dad was drawing a crowd in a different situation than the one I am talking about. And the way a street busker draws a crowd is also different from the way a svengali pitchman draws a crowd.

However the way a pitchman draws a crowd is very applicable to trade show situations. I can draw a crowd very quickly at a trade show no matter how quiet the venue. This comes from my work with a svengali deck.

In a pitch situation I have a special technique that I use when traffic is low. I have never used it in a trade show and it may work there.However it probably won't because it is a little too brash and you have to be me since it suits my style. I don't think it would suit anyone else but you never know. It is in my wondrous "Wit and Wisdom of [censored]" e-book which was reviewed by David Ben on this site some time ago.

It is quite loud and obnoxious but it brings people from all corners of a very large hall. One advantage of a low traffic exhibition (although I haven't done this at a trade show I have certainly done it many times at consumer shows) is that very often the atmosphere is very quiet because there are no people about. My voice can be very penetrating when I want it to be and people can hear it from the other end of the hall because of the quiet atmosphere.

Incidentally I never use a microphone. Roger will confirm that in the UK use of a microphone when grafting is considered to be the mark of an amateur or a mere American. We British don't go in for that sort of thing. It is not how we won the empire. Of course it may be possibly why we lost it but that is another story.
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Postby Jolly Roger » 10/27/09 05:29 PM

Mark.Lewis wrote:Incidentally I never use a microphone. Roger will confirm that in the UK use of a microphone when grafting is considered to be the mark of an amateur or a mere American. We British don't go in for that sort of thing. It is not how we won the empire. Of course it may be possibly why we lost it but that is another story.


I was shocked when I visited Las Vegas, and saw Geno Munari's grafters using microphones. As Ronnie says, only an amateur grafter would use a mic in the UK. However, when it comes to birthday parties, I always use a mic...even if there are only 10 kids. Averaging over 300 birthday parties a year for the past 25 years, I would have no voice left if I had not used a mic. JR
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Postby Mark.Lewis » 10/27/09 05:49 PM

Roger. You are quite right about Geno. I was also in Vegas and saw the idiotic microphone system that was used in his shops. It actually frightened people away rather than drew them in. Sales would have doubled if the microphone was thrown away. We British grafters ( I hate the silly word "Pitchman") know that automatically)

But even worse was when I went to Vegas a few years ago to visit she who cannot be named in case my dreaded name ruins her reputation by association. I saw those awful Magic Masters people shouting and screaming like lunatics into a microphone. It was horrendous and I am not surprised they went out of business and Geno took over.

One advantage of getting rid of the microphone is that you can work all day. If you are using a microphone then the demonstrator has to stop frequently because the noise would affect sales in the main shop. I saw Geno's chaps work for 10 minutes and take 10 minutes off or even longer. Bloody awful.

You and I know that if you work it correctly the pitch table can take in nearly as much money as the whole bloody shop. You work continuously with no more than one or two items and you "come to the bat properly". In other words ask for the money. Those young twits just stood there like lemons when they finished and didn't ask for the money. They didn't even utter the little phrase "would you like one" Nobody purchased anything because nobody asked them to.

So you work continuously without a microphone and that won't disturb the people selling in the shop. If you work continuosly it isn't rocket science that you will take in far more money than if you work for ten minutes and then take a break. Good grafters have the energy to work non-stop and not in the silly mamby-pamby American manner of taking a bloody break every ten minutes.

And it is a very simple matter during the demonstration to turn the crowd into the shop either by just directing them in with your patter or even better telling them to take the deck to the cash register which is located inside the store. Sure you will lose or two to theft that way but very few (say three or four decks a day) but it will be more than balanced out by more sales from people being brought into the shop.

I have a good mind to send Geno a bill for all this advice. We British have been scamming the public for rather a long time and it is part of our glorious heritage.
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Postby Jolly Roger » 10/27/09 11:54 PM

Excellent post Ronnie! The other matter I find a little curious is that all Geno's grafters wear Dinner Jackets(Tuxedos for the Americans). I happen to know the reason for this. I am a good friend of Paul Stone, who some of you may know. Paul used to run and supply the Lance Burton Magic shop at the Monte Carlo. Paul had the idea to dress the demonstrator of Lance's products in a Tux. That was an excellent idea in that particular venue, because Lance himself comes across as classy and sophisticated. However, I do not believe that Geno should have the same image in his shops. If he dressed his grafters more casually, and took away the mic's, I believe his sales would increase dramatically. My suggestion is that Geno flies myself and [censored] to Vegas for a week, at a salary and commission to be negotiated, and we could run the Houdini Magic Shop at New York New York for seven days. I believe we would quadruple the sales during that time. JR
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Postby Mark.Lewis » 10/28/09 12:17 AM

What an extremely daft idea! Tuxedos indeed. Taking advice from Paul Stone on running a magic shop is like asking Ted Bundy to be on the council for the association for the advancement of women. Paul Stone lost his shirt years ago trying to run a magic shop in London. Johnny Neptune who seemed to know everyone's business told me how much money he lost. It was an astonishing amount. I will not say how much because everyone knows I do not have a loose tongue and tendency to gossip.

Geno didn't have to fly me to Vegas and neither did he have to pay me. I was bored out of my mind in Vegas and it is nowhere near as exciting as Blackpool. I was so bored that I phoned him and volunteered to do it for nothing. He didn't return my call since I suppose he wasn't used to lunatics calling him claiming to be the best svengali pitchman in the world.

Besides she who cannot be named would not allow me to do any business in Vegas on the grounds that she was terrified word would get out that she knew me. She did take me to that awful magic club in a dismal depressing bar and it was the worst magic club I have ever been in my life.It even made the Hat and Rabbit club in Toronto look good. I think the place needed Derek Lever in charge to liven it up even if the members did have to give him 15% of their earnings to do so.

Incidentally I never saw any of Geno's workers wearing tuxedos. He must have given up that daft idea and very wise too.Grafters are there to rip off the public not to dress up like tailors dummies.
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Postby Jolly Roger » 10/28/09 12:58 AM

I may be wrong, Ronnie, but I believe Geno's grafters do still wear Tuxedos. You may not have been to sin city for some years. I presume that the magic club you are referring to was Pat's Chinese......overseen predominantely by Gary Darwin. It is even more seedy than The Redditch Mystical society, which noone on here will have heard of, including you. I first attended there fifty years. My mother, who you have met and is nearly 97 years old, was shocked that her son should be a member of a club whose members were all working class, and spoke with a black country(Birmingham) accent! However, they gave me my start in magic. JR
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Postby Mark.Lewis » 10/28/09 07:09 AM

I remember your mother. I showed her some card tricks as I recall. I also remember saying to her, "Roger is much better organised than I am" and she snorted "ROGER? ORGANISED? What a lot of rot!"

I do vaguely remember one of Geno's older employees perhaps wearing a tuxedo but am not sure. You may well be correct. I shall have to ask she who cannot be named who actually worked for him for a time. I sent her down there to my great regret when I saw Geno's advertisement. I showed it to her like a muggins and when she showed me her application my heart sank as I knew she would get the job and move to Vegas.

Thomas Baxter said to me "she will be back within a year" Fine mentalist he was. She has been down there for years and years and years and years and years. Not for long though I get a vibe.
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Postby Jolly Roger » 11/04/09 08:27 PM

I actually worked for Geno once for 20 minutes. It was when he had his first shop in the theme park at the MGM. I walked in there, and did my Svengali pitch. He filmed it, and I heard later that he had used it as part of the training programme for some of his dems. He offered me $10 an hour to work there, but I declined. Geno is a nice bloke. I have met him on two or three occasions since, and he is always very generous. Is he a member here? Maybe he can comment on the tuxedo talking point. JR
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Postby Mark.Lewis » 11/04/09 08:33 PM

Geno is indeed very generous. He offered you far more than you were worth. And since you did 20 minutes for him did he pay you the $3.33 cents he owed you for it?

And yes. He IS a member here. I am sure he is reading every word we say. We are both going to be in trouble.
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Postby Jolly Roger » 11/05/09 01:46 AM

Mark.Lewis wrote:Geno is indeed very generous. He offered you far more than you were worth. And since you did 20 minutes for him did he pay you the $3.33 cents he owed you for it?

And yes. He IS a member here. I am sure he is reading every word we say. We are both going to be in trouble.


From recollection, after I grafted svengalis for 20 minutes, he told me I could have anything I wanted in the shop as compensation. I will not tell you what I took, but it was much appreciated. Thanks Geno! I will NOT be in trouble, but I suspect that you may be!! JR
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Postby Mark.Lewis » 11/05/09 07:18 AM

Oh, I am well used to that.
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Postby Harry Lorayne » 11/07/09 07:15 PM

There's talk here about the importance of the size of your counter when pitching Svengalis. Interesting. When I was into that for a while, way back in 1949(!) the expression was "Tripes and Kiester." "Tripes" meant tripods, but "kiester" is the slang expression for ass. Why? Because those who couldn't afford a "space" worked in pairs. One guy bent over and the other guy DID THE SVENGALI PITCH/DEMONSTATION ON THE HIS BACK, NEAR HIS "KIESTER"!
S. David Walker and I did the pitches way back then. We had no money at all. So, at the place, the Farmer's Auction, or whatever, where you had to pay for your space right away, one of us would show the manager some card tricks while the other did a quick pitch JUST TO MAKE ENOUGH TO PAY FOR THE DAMN SPACE!
One way I got a tip (crowd) - ready for this classy piece? Okay - "TELL YOU WHAT I'M GONNA DO, FOLKS. GONNA, TAKE OFF MY RIGHT SHOE AND SOCK. THEN I'M GONNA UNSCREW THIS LIGHTBULB AS I PUT MY NAKED TOES INTO THIS PUDDLE OF WATER. THEN I'LL STICK MY FINGER INTO THIS ELECTRIC SOCKET - THAT'S RIGHT, GONNA ELECTROCUTE MYSELF RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW, FOR YOU. BUT FIRST - PICK A CARD!! It got the crowd.
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Postby shirtlesskirk » 11/07/09 09:49 PM

Im curious did you have a particular routine you did when you pitched the svengali?
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Postby Mark.Lewis » 11/08/09 12:12 AM

The US pitchmen always use the same routine. It is the one that Harry used and is the one that American pitchmen used before him. It really is nowhere near as good as the British version which is far, far superior.

We British do not talk rot about "magnetic finishes" and neither do we stand on platforms above the rabble that we deprive of their money. We get right down among the vermin so we can get to their pockets better.

As for DAvid Walker I have met him and he is a wonderful man and he remembers Harry fondly.

I shall shortly post a link to the greatest svengali routine of all time. I know the author of such personally.
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Postby Harry Lorayne » 11/08/09 12:37 AM

Don't know if Mark is kidding, but - David Walker and I made up the pitch we did all those years ago. I don't remember ever seeing a Svengali pitch before we did. I doubt if I remember the entire pitch now (its been over 60 years!!!) I'm sure that if I just started it, it'd all come back, which I'm not about to do! HL. (PS: David and I also developed our own way of making the decks. We'd buy, I don't know, 24 decks and probably make 32 Svengalis, or something like that, out of them. No, I don't remember how we did it.)
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Postby Mark.Lewis » 11/08/09 12:44 AM

David learned the pitch from Mickey Mc'Dougall but shortened it a fair bit. I can quite understand that Harry would forget the pitch. I can recommend a superb book on memory for him. It is called "How to develop a super power memory" I forget the name of the author though which proves that I didn't get the full benefit of the training therein.

Anyway here is the proper way to do the svengali deck.
http://www.marklewisentertainment.com/h ... eshow.html

Go to near the bottom of the page and there will be a real player clip of the routine in all its wonderful glory.
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Postby Mark.Lewis » 11/08/09 08:33 AM

Since Harry seems to have lost his super power memory I shall remind him of the sort of thing he used to say 60 years ago. Here is a small excerpt to make him nostalgic for his long lost youth.

"If you folks will all come in so you can see the backs of these two cards, I'll show you the construction. Come right on in. Just move your feet, your body will follow. It works that way, it's famous. At the factory we have taken the trick card, the seven of spades, stamped it out in a die that makes that card 1/64th of an inch shorter than every other card in the deck. Now the human eye can't see that difference, when the cards are held apart. But if I put them together and tap them down so they'r even at the bottom, you notice across the top, the seven is shorter. See how my finger catches the tall card. Gamblers or magicians call that a shaved or a trimmed card. You may hav heard the expression, a shaved deck. Well that's half the secret. There's the other half.Every card in this deck is treated on the face and back with what the company calls a magnetic finish. See, one card attracts the other. It's like when you run a comb through your hair and it picks up paper. Static electricity. Now the combination of the die cut and the magnetic finish makes the deck work like this and here's why you always get a seven"
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Postby Harry Lorayne » 11/08/09 11:34 AM

Mark - your memory stopped back in 1956, since you keep mentioning that one book of mine which was published that year. I've written 20 on the subject since then - THE MEMORY BOOK being the only book on the subject to ever be on the NY TIMES bestseller list. And etc. REMEMBERING PEOPLE also was on the bestseller lists. Get with it, buddy. Also, don't know where you got all those words - I may have touched on the idea - BUT I SURE AS HELL NEVER USED THOSE WORDS.
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Postby Mark.Lewis » 11/08/09 11:31 PM

Harry. There is no need to be sensitive. I am actually one of your greatest fans and have been for a long time. If you check another thread you will see that I have praised you to the sky somewhere else. I think it was on the "bored stiff" thread. I am well aware of your other memory books and I probably own a big chunk of them. I still think the Super Power Memory was the best of the lot although of course they were all good.

You may not have used those words but I know sure as hell David Walker did. And so has every bloody American svengali pitchman under the sun. If you check all the literature from Dave Walker to Tommy Windsor, to Don Drake to Don Boles to Uncle Tom Cobley and all you will see that the American pitch is virtually identical and if you see some svengali pitchman in the US even nowadays they will still use the above script almost word for word. If you didn't use it then all power to you. I am suprised that you don't remember Dave Walker using them though.

Here is another standard line. I bet you used this one: (And I also bet you will deny it)
"YOU BUY THIS DECK, YOU'LL BE THE HIT OF THE PARTY. THEY'LL HIT YOU WITH TABLES, CHAIRS, PIZZA PANS, BEER BOTTLES, ANYTHING HANDY"

Anyway I have been using your day for any date thing about three and a half million times this weekend in a way you never envisaged. You would be proud of me.

If you are interested I shall tell you how. And to make you feel better I am quite happy to announce to the world that the method in the Super Power memory book is FAR more effective than the silly method in the 13 Steps to Mentalism.

And I STILL think the Super Power Memory book was the best of the lot. So there. You may not have made the same money from it as you did from your other books but it least it launched your career. Be happy and be proud. It is indeed a fantastic book.
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Postby Harry Lorayne » 11/09/09 12:49 AM

Thanks for the kind words, Mark. To each his own. I'm sure as hell not going to knock my own books. And, it has nothing to do with sensitivity, it has to do with not stating untruths. I don't care what David told you HE says; I sure as hell didn't say it. And, HE sure as hell didn't say it when we were pitching together all those years ago. And, take my word for it, Mark - I NEVER, EVER, SAID ANYTHING ABOUT THE "LIFE OF THE PARTY" THAT YOU QUOTE ABOVE. I turned my tips pretty well without those words. To me, they're silly; but if they worked for others, that's fine. Just interested in truth here; that's all. And I know you're a fan, Mark, which I appreciate - I can use all the fans I can get. But, I NEVER SAID THE WORDS YOU SAY I DID. Nothing against 'em, but I never said 'em. Best - HARRY L.
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Postby Harry Lorayne » 11/09/09 12:51 AM

PS: That doesn't mean that some of the things I said weren't silly - at least they sure do seem silly to me now. I remember saying, as I was coming to the "turn" (getting the money), after saying some of the things that could be done with the deck, I'd say, "If it could cook, I'd marry it!" Talk about silly. HL.
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Postby Mark.Lewis » 11/09/09 09:43 AM

David DID say those words although maybe when you were working with him he didn't. And he has said those words all his life. And I DON'T think the lines you have quoted (which I admit I have never heard before) are "silly". I think they are GREAT!

My friend Paul Pacific was in raptures about your patter regarding toes and lightbulbs but then he has an odd sense of humour.

Besides "silly" is great when you are a pitchman. It lightens up the crowd and puts them in a good mood. And when they are in a good mood they get the money out.

I shall tell you now how I do the day for any date thing. All weekend I have been doing psychic readings at a psychic fair. I always do something called Chinese Numerology and in order to do so I have to ask the person for their date of birth. And then I give them the reading.

Just as they tell me the date, however, and before I launch into the reading, I pause as if I am trying to tune into something. This gives me time to do the calculation. I then look slightly puzzled and say "I am getting a vibe of a Tuesday for some reason" If they know the day they were born they usually freak out at this but I just brush it off as nothing. If they don't know the date I tell them to check it out and I know that when they do my reputation as a holy psychic reverend will be enhanced.

Nowadays they have all sorts of fancy ways of checking out the date by computers and suchlike. However I often get a laugh by saying "Ask your mother. She was there at the time"

Now before you entered this conversation I was talking about you on another thread. It is such a long thread that it would take you too long to locate it so here is what I said:
....................................................................

the third is Harry Lorayne of whom I have been a lifetime fan. I have only seen him do one card trick on a video clip and it was indeed good. However I have seen him do memory work on television and it was utterly fantastic. And I consider him to be the best magical writer of them all. His clarity is unbelievable.

Perhaps I shouldn't really include Harry in my list of three since to be fair seeing one card trick is not enough. The memory work and excellent writing doesn't really count as the category under discussion. Some people tell me that he works in too fast a manner but that wasn't apparent in that one trick I saw him do.
I would have to see more before I can make a final judgement. I am sure my inbuilt bias in his favour will say that he can do no wrong.
................................................................

Of course praise from me may be a mixed blessing. It is like getting approval from Satan himself and you may well think you can do without it. Still, I believe every word of it so I am afraid you will have to put up with it.

Incidentally to irritate you further the rather excellent item in your book titled "The Lazy Man's Card Trick" is in the Royal Road to Card Magic which was published years before you put your own book out.

Bet you didn't know. Nobody I mention it to ever does..............

Still your description and Koran's presentation was better.
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Postby Harry Lorayne » 11/09/09 11:38 AM

Okay, Mark. Fine. You're probably correct in that David may say those words now, or did after he and I stopped working together - he definitely didn't say them when we did work together. I think he sort of started to imitate me a bit. You can check it out with him.

One thing - the presentation of The Lazy Man's Card Trick (and the title) is mine. Al originally performed the basic effect for me - has to be over FIFTY YEARS AGO, in Dick Himber's apartment at the Essex Hotel, here in NYC. Fooled me, but I was bored by his presentation, which was sort of non-existent; he just did the effect.

I tried it on friends that same evening (I tried every effect ever contributed to me), and the presentation I used for the next fifty years, still use it, simply "came out." I hadn't planned it or thought about it; it just fit the circumstances, and it worked. I credited the entire thing to Al when I wrote it because I didn't want to take away from what I thought at the time was his original idea. After the book came out, and I've written about this a few times, Jack Miller told me that the basic idea was HIS! So it goes.

Hey, Mark, a good way to see me do MORE THAN ONE CARD EFFECT is to somehow steal my 4-volume "Best Ever" DVD set. I don't feel like counting right now, but I perform/teach HUNDREDS of effects therein. Best - HARRY L.
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Postby Harry Lorayne » 11/09/09 11:54 AM

PS: To the very few who think I "work in too fast a manner" I can only suggest and have to assume that they "follow" too slowly!

Out of the thousands who've watched and studied my DVDs those who complained about me "working too fast" can be counted on the fingers of one hand, and my answer to them is obvious - HIT THE DAMN PAUSE BUTTON! And you can always re-wind. (My books don't fall into that "problem," of course, since you can read and re-read, etc., as slowly as you like.)

Of course, if I slowed down, I couldn't perform/teach as much as I do on each DVD; much more, I'm told, than anyone else. And many have told me that my DVDs are the only ones that they can sit through WITHOUT BEING BORED (or falling asleep, one or two have said!). And I'm willing to bet that if I slowed down those who do complain about me working too fast would then complain that I don't teach enough stuff, etc. Complainers will be complainers. Fortunately, they are the very rare exceptions in my case, and that's gratifying. HARRY L.
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