The Lives of a Showman

Discuss general aspects of Genii.

Postby Adam Dennis » 11/23/10 09:22 AM

My name is Adam Dennis of Pegasus Publications. We are the publisher of the upcoming memoirs of [censored]. This book has been described on this site on previous occasions. We expect the book to be printed and for general sale sometime in the next two weeks.

If any of you have any questions concerning the book let me know.
Adam Dennis
 
Posts: 18
Joined: 11/23/10 09:13 AM

Postby Richard Kaufman » 11/23/10 11:37 AM

People who want to purchase the book might want to know how much it costs and where to buy it!
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 21028
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Adam Dennis » 11/23/10 12:08 PM

You are of course quite correct. I am sorry to be so vague on the matter but the price has not yet been determined. Hopefully I can advise on that once I get word on it. Sometime soon I hope.

As for availability I expect you will be able to purchase it quite easily. Alas, however I will have to give more details later.

In the meantime here is a list of the chapter headings.

Foreword by David Ben

Introduction
A few words from my friends

Chapter One
The Early Years: How I Became a Magician

Chapter Two
The Later Early Years: Making a Living

Chapter Three
I become a Professional Magician

Chapter Four
No Business Like Show Business

Chapter Five
On the Road in Showbusiness

Chapter Six
The University of Evil

Chapter Seven
More Evil at the University

Chapter Eight
The Emerald Isle

Chapter Nine
Auntie Annie

Chapter Ten
How I Became Psychic

Chapter Eleven
Canada and the Psychic Fairs

Chapter Twelve
The Showman and the Shaman

Chapter Thirteen
The Showman and the Shaman-Part Two

Chapter Fourteen
The Final Word
Adam Dennis
 
Posts: 18
Joined: 11/23/10 09:13 AM

Postby AJM » 11/23/10 04:22 PM

I'm assuming the Introduction will be quite brief then...
User avatar
AJM
 
Posts: 761
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Scotland

Postby Adam Dennis » 11/23/10 04:36 PM

The introduction is several pages with references from various friends of the author.

Here is one of them:

Ive known [censored] for over 12 years now. I first met him as a
quiet, shy, fourteen-year-old whod fallen in love with magic (Im neither quiet or shy anymore, according to Mark). Im glad to say
we became friends. Ive worked for Mark in a variety of environments,
from pitching Svengali packs, to working his booth at a
Psychic Fair, to assisting him on stage during his Hypnosis show.
Ive gained a lot of confidence and experience working for Mark.
His knowledge of magic and things related is immense. I dont
know what he saw in me, but Im glad he saw it. His patience and
advice over the years have always been helpful and appreciated.
xiii
We all have memories from when we first began taking magic seriously.
One of the most vivid memories I have is thanks to Mark. I
was fifteen, and Id just written an essay on magic. It was written
in response to various professionals telling me that the most important
part of ones performance was for the audience to be entertained.
Of course, I noticed this approach was often being espoused
by the pros who were somewhat lacking in technical ability
(these same pros would often also wholly discount the need for
technical wizardry). Being a move-monkey at the time, I was sceptical
of this viewpoint and decided to think more about it. My essay
ended up suggesting that there wasnt any one thing that was
most important. Rather, technical ability, a sense of mystery, and
entertainment value were all equally important. You needed to
have chops, you needed to fool them, and you needed to entertain
them for there to be magic.
I shared my essay with a few people around The Browsers Den
of Magic (the local magic shop where I first met Mark) including
Mark. After reading the paper, Mark asked me to sit down at the
table. He told me he enjoyed the essay. He told me he thought it
was good. He pointed out a few grammatical errors I had made
(Mark prides himself on his British Education). Then he took out
a pen. He turned the essay over, and on the back he wrote something,
something which Ive never forgotten. He wrote the word
TRICKS and then 1% next to it. Underneath the word TRICKS he
wrote YOU and then 99% next to it. He explained to me that the
most important part of your performance is you. Everything else
is secondary, and everything else stems from you, who you are.
That moment Mark gave me something important, something
which has changed the way I approach magic, and something I
will have for the rest of my life.
Mark, thank you.
Jeff Hinchliffe
Adam Dennis
 
Posts: 18
Joined: 11/23/10 09:13 AM

Postby Adam Dennis » 11/23/10 04:42 PM

And here is another from respected musician Tony Moore


I first met Ronnie McLeod (as I knew him) in the early 70's when I was about 12 or 13. I had just stumbled on the ability to spring cards from hand to hand when my parents took me to the Bristol Ideal Homes exhibition, I saw Ronnie sat at a booth with a big sign saying " Magic Demonstrations". After seeing him also springing the cards, I precociously went up to him and said I could do that! Thus began a long working relationship with Ronnie, learning magic and selling svengalis. I did two summer seasons in Blackpool and even went to Toronto with him for 3 months when I was nineteen years old.

Those days taught me so much about life AND gave me an income that I used to buy expensive keyboards and equipment ready to start my life as a professional musician. I always look back fondly on my time spent with him. To many he appeared mean and moody, but to me he was the most generous of souls and a man of honour and passion, a real friend. I eventually stopped working for him to go and play in a band that no one had ever heard of, a band called Iron Maiden...but that's another story.

Tony Moore - London - 2010

Incidentally here is a videoclip of Mr Moore receiving an award for his services to the music industry.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_89EDLSjSk
Adam Dennis
 
Posts: 18
Joined: 11/23/10 09:13 AM

Postby Jolly Roger » 11/23/10 06:03 PM

Hello Adam,

Delighted to hear that the [censored] epic will soon be available. I have heard wonderful things about it from a friend who was given the manuscript to read prior to publication. I understand that I am mentioned in the book on two occasions, and I would be grateful if you could let me know which pages I am on, as I know some will naturally want to turn straight to those pages before delving into the rest of the book. JR(Roger Blakiston)
www.ComicMagician.com
www.Magician.US.com
www.BestAssemblies.com
www.SpiritualStage.com
User avatar
Jolly Roger
 
Posts: 298
Joined: 03/19/08 05:29 PM
Location: Phoenix, Arizona

Postby Adam Dennis » 11/23/10 06:34 PM

I do thank you for your interest, Mr Blakiston. You are indeed mentioned twice in the book. Once in the introductory section where you made a contribution and once in the main body of the book. Here is your contribution in the "Few Words From My Friends" section:

It was in the early sixties that I attended the Boys and Girls exhibition
at Bingley Hall in Birmingham, England. I was a teenager,
and the prime purpose of the visit was to see a live performance by
the pop group Freddie and the Dreamers. On entering the Hall,
I was witness to a large crowd gathering around one of the counters.
Surely this was not Freddie Garrity signing autographs? I
headed towards the crowd to investigate, and came in earshot of a
loud rasping Scottish voice saying such things as Take your time
but hurry up I like children. I had one for breakfast this morning
Heres pack number one, heres pack number two, heres pack
number three.which pack shall we use? If you move your
legs forward, your body will follow automatically.its called
walking! On walking closer as instructed, I witnessed a slight
gentleman with black hair and glasses, and a devious yet likeable
demeanor. He was performing magic tricks and flourishes with a
trick pack of playing cards. At the end of the demonstration, many
folk in the crowd were reaching for their wallets with intent on
purchasing these cards. This was my first encounter with the great
[censored]! Who would have known that this was the start of a
friendship lasting for over four decades?
x
It was a few years later after I left drama school in London, and
was seeking temporary employment as a resting actor, that our
paths crossed again. This time we were working together selling
these same trick cards known as the Svengali Deck at The Ideal
Homes Exhibition at Olympia. We were working for a gentleman
called Ron MacMillan, who was, in his younger days, one of the
top night club acts in Europe. His dexterity involved the manipulation
of billiard balls. We were at opposite ends of the counter,
but both managed to draw huge crowds as each of us had extremely
loud voices! We teamed up on a number of occasions over the
years at Exhibitions like the Festival of Mind, Body and Spirit in
London and The Spring show in Dublin. In the early nineties, we
both independently decided to leave the UK. Mark immigrated
to Canada and me to the USA. Since the advent of the internet,
we have been active members of various magicians forums. Each
of us regularly gets banned from some of these for speaking our
minds! Isnt it odd how so often others dont like to hear the truth?
Mark is one of the truly interesting characters in the world of
showbusiness. He has a brilliant yet wicked sense of humour, and
is often misunderstood by his peers. As someone who has known
him for much of his life, I consider him to be a man of incredible
talent as both a performer and grafter (demonstrator). He is extremely
resourceful, and is a walking encyclopedia when it comes
to magic and other branches of entertainment. His life is truly one
of mystery and intrigue, and he is a wonderful raconteur as will
be seen in the pages of this masterpiece. I would consider Mark to
be a true showman, and his personality is indeed multi-faceted. I
know you will love reading The Lives of a Showman
Roger Blakiston (Jolly Roger)
Arizona 2010
Adam Dennis
 
Posts: 18
Joined: 11/23/10 09:13 AM

Postby Adam Dennis » 11/23/10 06:44 PM

I suppose now that we have gone this far we may as well enclose one more contribution from the introductory section. Here it is:

What thoughts enter my mind when I hear the name [censored]?
I presume that for many who have met him a collage of images enter their thoughts. Images that include pitchman, hypnotist, closeup magician, childrens entertainer, and psychic. Combine those images with his personality and you have the unforgettable [censored].

I operate a magic shop in Toronto, Canada and I have known this
character for about 16 years. Over those years I have had countless dinners and conversations with him. I have also done business with him. I consider Mark a very good friend and I am very thankful that he asked me to write something for his book.
He is so talented in many areas but at least for me I most enjoy his close-up magic; or perhaps I should write close-up experience?

I have seen him do close-up magic for laymen and magicians
hundreds of times. There are very few others who perform closeup
magic who would want to follow this master performer. For
real people it is more than just watching [censored] - it is an
EXPERIENCE! An experience they will not soon forget. And that
is Marks goal. He has told me and others countless times that although he certainly wants his magic to be strong, it is HE, that he wants laymen to walk away remembering; and they do!

For those of us in the magic community and for others with whom
he has had more than just fleeting moments, [censored] is a
character. And I am certain that I will never meet in my life another [censored].

I talk with him more than almost anyone else in my life.
I do so because whether he likes me writing this or not, I care for him deeply. I know that he is not perfect but deep down he is a wonderful person.

So what thoughts enter my mind when I hear the name Mark
Lewis? For me all of the above but predominantly the most unforgettable person I have ever met.

[censored] loves the book Royal Road to Card Magic. Mark can
literally do 95% of the tricks in that book. He would probably correct me and say 100% and hes most likely correct.
So I hope, dear reader that you enjoy the royal road of Marks book as he takes you up and down and sideways through his life; most definitely a life worth reading about.

Jeff Pinsky, Browsers Den of Magic
Toronto, Canada
July 21, 2010
Adam Dennis
 
Posts: 18
Joined: 11/23/10 09:13 AM

Postby AJM » 11/23/10 07:02 PM

I'll pass....
User avatar
AJM
 
Posts: 761
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Scotland

Postby Jolly Roger » 11/23/10 10:48 PM

Well thank you Adam! I had actually forgotton that I had written that introduction, and I am delighted to have the opportunity to read it again. I have a sneaky feeling that this book is likely to go flying off the shelves when it is published, as Mark is a terrific writer, and has a great sense of humour! I also believe that after reading it many of you will have a very different perspective of the real [censored]! JR JR
www.ComicMagician.com
www.Magician.US.com
www.BestAssemblies.com
www.SpiritualStage.com
User avatar
Jolly Roger
 
Posts: 298
Joined: 03/19/08 05:29 PM
Location: Phoenix, Arizona

Postby Adam Dennis » 11/24/10 05:05 PM

The photographs have now been done and various corrections made. All that remains is a suitable design for the cover. And then we go to press.

Six copies of the book have already been sold at a special pre-order price in England at the author's recent seminar for International Magic in London. I understand that noted comedian/magician Jerry Sadowitz was the first customer.

The book will be sold simultaneously in the UK and in North America. British magic dealers who wish to order this book should note that they will not have to pay the normal expensive shipping rates from North America since the book will be printed and shipped from the UK as well as from the USA.

We ourselves will not be taking any further pre-orders. However, the author may consider it since he will have a limited stock of his own. Contact should be made with the author direct regarding this.
Adam Dennis
 
Posts: 18
Joined: 11/23/10 09:13 AM

Postby Adam Dennis » 11/25/10 10:37 AM

I am alarmed to hear that there is a book with a similar title. Can you tell me the name of the author and the publisher? And what kind of book is it? Is it a biography or a book of fiction?
Adam Dennis
 
Posts: 18
Joined: 11/23/10 09:13 AM

Postby Jolly Roger » 11/25/10 11:16 AM

I think that whoever Carl is, he is pulling your leg. The fact that he is a new member with only one post, makes me a trifle suspicious. I have searched the internet, and can find no such title. I also have a feeling that David Ben originally came up with the name, and surely he would have checked his facts. Feel free to prove me wrong. JR
www.ComicMagician.com
www.Magician.US.com
www.BestAssemblies.com
www.SpiritualStage.com
User avatar
Jolly Roger
 
Posts: 298
Joined: 03/19/08 05:29 PM
Location: Phoenix, Arizona

Postby David Ben » 11/25/10 11:33 AM

I did come up with the name as a homage to Thomas Frost's "The Lives of the Conjurors", published in 1876, but in this case - given Mark's background and many careers - magician, grafter, psychic, etc - "The Lives of a Showman" (singular), the showman being Mark.
David Ben
 
Posts: 180
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: New York

Postby Jolly Roger » 11/25/10 05:26 PM

Thank you David. I think it is a great title. JR
www.ComicMagician.com
www.Magician.US.com
www.BestAssemblies.com
www.SpiritualStage.com
User avatar
Jolly Roger
 
Posts: 298
Joined: 03/19/08 05:29 PM
Location: Phoenix, Arizona

Postby Sr Agnes Fate » 11/26/10 12:07 AM

Did Mr Lewis ever perform for the Royals?

I think I recall someone of that name on a command performance.
Sr Agnes Fate
 
Posts: 14
Joined: 01/24/10 12:05 AM

Postby Jolly Roger » 11/26/10 12:27 AM

As far as I know, he performed a card trick once for H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh. JR
User avatar
Jolly Roger
 
Posts: 298
Joined: 03/19/08 05:29 PM
Location: Phoenix, Arizona

Postby Sr Agnes Fate » 11/27/10 04:46 AM

It seems I was wrong. It seems that he performed
a card trick for Prince Phillip when he was 16 years old when his Royal Highness toured a Jewish youth club.

Hardly a command performance after all.

Is this in the book?
Sr Agnes Fate
 
Posts: 14
Joined: 01/24/10 12:05 AM

Postby Jolly Roger » 11/27/10 10:54 AM

I wonder if he did his Svengali pitch for His Royal Highness, and then sold him the pack!! JR
www.ComicMagician.com
www.Magician.US.com
www.BestAssemblies.com
www.SpiritualStage.com
User avatar
Jolly Roger
 
Posts: 298
Joined: 03/19/08 05:29 PM
Location: Phoenix, Arizona

Postby Adam Dennis » 11/30/10 11:02 AM

I have investigated the matter and alas, I am sorry to say there is indeed a similar title on the market. This is by a different author and published in 1855. The title is actually "The Life of a Showman" which is a little too close for comfort. The name of the author is David Prince Miller.

As for Mr Ben "checking his facts" as another poster mentioned he can hardly be blamed for not realising the similarity in names as this other book is a little obscure.

We will now have to decide what we wish to do concerning the title. I am still inclined to keep to the original title devised by David Ben as the first book was published in the 19th Century and the title is slightly different. Still we shall see. I have yet to discuss the matter with the author.
Adam Dennis
 
Posts: 18
Joined: 11/23/10 09:13 AM

Postby Adam Dennis » 12/06/10 01:07 PM

We are indeed continuing with the title "The Lives of a Showman". We are also very excited that the book is now on the verge of being printed. The final version has to be proofread by the author but once a few minor typos and mistakes are ironed out we will be ready to go.
There are several photographs included which really make the book come alive. All that really remains to be done is the cover and the basic design has been decided and our Mr Frailich will put his individual take on it.
Adam Dennis
 
Posts: 18
Joined: 11/23/10 09:13 AM

Postby Sr Agnes Fate » 12/06/10 06:00 PM

On the other thread which was locked there seemed to be some confusion as to who [censored] really is. I wonder if he is a real person? Has anyone here actually met him in person? Is he the same in person as he is online? And is he as good as he says he is? Does he even exist? And has he ever been to Australia?
Sr Agnes Fate
 
Posts: 14
Joined: 01/24/10 12:05 AM

Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/06/10 06:09 PM

Oh, please. Stop it Agnes before I "out" you.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 21028
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Sr Agnes Fate » 12/06/10 07:49 PM

That is no way to talk to a lady. I am mortally offended. I shall be returning to the buskers forum forthwith.
Sr Agnes Fate
 
Posts: 14
Joined: 01/24/10 12:05 AM

Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/06/10 08:37 PM

Ah, now you do sound like [censored], which means you are logging in from your publisher's computer!
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 21028
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Jonathan Townsend » 12/06/10 08:51 PM

You can almost hear the reaction formation.
But the sound of that penny dropping is satisfying.
Mundus vult decipi
Jonathan Townsend
 
Posts: 6782
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Westchester, NY

Postby James Munton » 12/06/10 09:00 PM

He is definitely a real person. He used to be a member here. There was a vote on whether he should be banned. There was a large turnout and the vote was overwhelmingly in his favor. Then Richard banned him anyway which I thought was hilarious and made Richard one of my all-time favorite dictators.

I have read Mark's manuscript and it is a fascinating book. I honestly think it will be the first magic book to be turned into a Hollywood movie. I am not exaggerating.

Best,
James
--
James Munton
www.jamesmunton.com
James Munton
 
Posts: 133
Joined: 05/30/08 10:27 AM
Location: Dallas, TX

Postby Jolly Roger » 12/06/10 09:13 PM

I have read bits of it, and I must admit it is Jolly good. What seems very odd, however, is that we have been hearing about this book for so long, but we still don't have a publishing date. JR
www.ComicMagician.com
www.Magician.US.com
www.BestAssemblies.com
www.SpiritualStage.com
User avatar
Jolly Roger
 
Posts: 298
Joined: 03/19/08 05:29 PM
Location: Phoenix, Arizona

Postby Jonathan Townsend » 12/06/10 09:16 PM

This seance has been interesting.
Same time next year then?

Looking forward to the book when it happens.

-J
Jonathan Townsend
 
Posts: 6782
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Westchester, NY

Postby Dustin Stinett » 12/07/10 12:41 AM

No doubt that you will find it in the Fiction section.
User avatar
Dustin Stinett
 
Posts: 6015
Joined: 07/22/01 12:00 PM
Location: Southern California

Postby Adam Dennis » 12/07/10 09:06 AM

We can assure Mr Stinett that every word in this book is true and is based on actual happenings in the author's life. We hardly think that the original publisher, Mr David Ben would countenance publishing a work of purported fact when in truth the book was fiction.

We thank Mr Munton for his comments and yes, an approach was indeed made to us of the nature he explains, albeit on a much more limited scale than he describes. However, the discussions did not lead to anything conclusive and the project was shelved.

To answer Mr Blakiston the publication date is coming up very soon indeed and will be announced in due course.
Adam Dennis
 
Posts: 18
Joined: 11/23/10 09:13 AM

Postby AJM » 12/07/10 09:46 AM

"We hardly think that the original publisher, Mr David Ben would countenance publishing a work of purported fact when in truth the book was fiction."

If I may be candid, the biggest mystery to me is why Mr Ben would have countenanced being associated with this project at all - although I'm sure he must have had his reasons.

Regards

Andrew
User avatar
AJM
 
Posts: 761
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Scotland

Postby Adam Dennis » 12/07/10 10:02 AM

I understand that not only did Mr Ben countenance the project he was the one who came up with the idea in the first place. The book would not now be in existence if it weren't for David Ben. Presumably he thought the subject would be of some interest.

I rather think that judgement should be suspended until the book has actually been read and digested properly. Of course, if people don't want to purchase the book that is their prerogative and entirely up to them. We do believe, however, that those who do read the book will find it fascinating.
Adam Dennis
 
Posts: 18
Joined: 11/23/10 09:13 AM

Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/07/10 11:36 AM

Bringing David Ben's name into the conversation only begs the question of why he dumped the project.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 21028
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Adam Dennis » 12/07/10 11:55 AM

I rather think this has been satisfactorily explained here by Mr Lewis in a previous thread:

"We have made an amicable parting. David is terribly busy on other projects and it is hard for him to focus his energies properly on all the other things that he has to deal with and promote my book at the same time.

Besides I will make far more money if I don't have to share the profits. I am a grafter after all."
Adam Dennis
 
Posts: 18
Joined: 11/23/10 09:13 AM

Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/07/10 12:44 PM

So, you expect us to believe [censored]? Ha!
That gives me a chuckle.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 21028
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Adam Dennis » 12/07/10 01:07 PM

I think Mr Kaufman knows very well how busy Mr Ben is. My understanding is that he writes several books simultaneously as well as has to attend to all his other activities. As a book publisher himself Mr Kaufman must be well aware of the difficulties inherent in this.

As for the veracity of the book itself there are many, many witnesses to the events described therein.
Adam Dennis
 
Posts: 18
Joined: 11/23/10 09:13 AM

Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/07/10 01:23 PM

You are REALLY making me laugh now.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 21028
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby AJM » 12/07/10 02:07 PM

"The book would not now be in existence if it weren't for David Ben."

So let me get this straight - the book, which currently doesn't exist, wouldn't have not existed if it weren't for David Ben. Thanks for clearing that up.

On a separate note, I see that Pegasus Publications' expertise is in the field (pun intended) of gardening publications - therefore I take my hat off to you for having the courage to branch out (sorry) into other, albeit niche, markets. It is always pleasing when one wishes to cultivate (stop it - Ed) one's business. Although some might say that Mr Mewis should have been put out to grass (ok, ok) many years ago.

Incidentally Mr Dennis, I don't see you mentioned as one of the key contacts on Pegasus' website - or perhaps I'm confusing you with another Canadian publisher of gardening literature?

Cheers

Andrew
User avatar
AJM
 
Posts: 761
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Scotland

Next

Return to General