"When I want something new, I read an old book"

Discuss the historical aspects of magic, including memories, or favorite stories.

Postby magicam » 12/15/09 11:11 AM

Or maybe it was, "When I want a new trick, I read an old book."

Who originated this thought?
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 12/15/09 11:16 AM

There's a Ken Brooke line about that (... a professional walks into a shop and asks for what's old) and also a Ramsayism along those lines.
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Postby Mark.Lewis » 12/16/09 09:03 AM

Herb Morrissey once said, "I can invent 8 new tricks before I go to bed tonight" When asked how he could possibly do that he explained that all he had to do was to reference some old books (no doubt published before 1954) and work the tricks out from there but altering them slightly. For example instead of a rope he would use a shoelace or instead of using the ace of diamonds he would use the 6 of clubs. He then said he could market them as new tricks.

He also used to complain about people who came into his shop, "They always ask me 'what's new?' They don't even know what's old yet"

Herb could be a trifle eccentric sometimes. I well remember seeing a little manuscript on a shelf by Ken De Courcy describing how to do Everwhere and Nowhere with a svengali deck. Since I have virtually married the bloody svengali deck and since I like Everywhere and Nowhere very much I decided to buy this little book. The trouble was that I could find no price marked anywhere on it. There was just a little red spot sticker on it.

I took the book over to Herb and said, "I would like to buy this. I don't see a price on it. How much is it?" Herb astonished me by angrily snatching the book, stuffing it in a bag, opening the cash register and in a very irritated manner handed me 50 cents from the till along with the book. He then slammed the cash register door closed with great violence.

My jaw dropped in confusion and I in a state of great bafflement stammered, "I don't understand!"

He then replied, "It had a red dot." I still had no idea what he was talking about and said "What does a red dot mean?" He snarled, "A red dot means that tbe book sells so badly that I have to pay you 50 cents to get rid of it!"
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Postby Richard Perrin » 12/17/09 02:44 AM

That's funny! I'm laughing!
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Postby Chris Henderson » 01/18/10 11:06 PM

That reminds me of the old saying that goes along the lines of, "If you want to keep an effect secret, publish it"!
"I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief"

--Gerry Spence
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