Book for a Year – Secret Agenda by Roberto Giobbi

This forum is an ongoing, and evolving, discussion. Genii Forum members discuss opinions and trade notes on current and past magic books.

Postby Bill Mullins » 01/03/12 01:57 PM

Dustin Stinett wrote:Jan 2

Well, I cannot explain the work here (and besides, it takes Giobbi two pages to do so) but the premise is that there are six people (one hand plus the thumb of another) but only five rooms in a hotel. Through a bit of verbal and visual work, you can make it appear as if all six people get their own room in the hotel.

It's a great book Bill: You should consider getting it!

Dustin


Oh yes, I know. It's in the list to buy. After I get it, it will go in the stack to read (which is precariously tall, right now).
Bill Mullins
 
Posts: 2868
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Huntsville, AL

Postby Dustin Stinett » 01/04/12 01:38 AM

January 3

Mr. Giobbi has a very nice system for keeping his special decks organized. Compare it to mine and decide which works best for you.
User avatar
Dustin Stinett
 
Posts: 5734
Joined: 07/22/01 12:00 PM
Location: Southern California

Postby Evan Shuster » 01/04/12 01:49 AM

LOL!! Yours looks a lot like mine, but I think I may invest some time converting over to Roberto's suggested Behnke method. Today's entry encouraged me to investigate the Behnke book, which I wound up purchasing today, as a result.

I am finding that the footnotes are as valuable as the daily entries. Another example is the Curry trick referenced in a footnote to yesterday's entry.
Evan Shuster
 
Posts: 711
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Seattle

Postby F.Amílcar » 01/04/12 05:59 PM

LOL Dustin.

You are a disaster. Maybe you can visit Swizterland sometime in your life and know him personally.

Truly yours,

F. Amlcar Riega.
www.amilkar.com
http://amilkar-cursosdemagia.blogspot.com
User avatar
F.Amílcar
 
Posts: 77
Joined: 12/30/10 03:24 PM
Location: Barcelona-Spain

Postby Dustin Stinett » 01/05/12 04:09 AM

January 5

Since I use only one deck, I personally have never worried about changing decks in mid performance (overtly anyway), so such justifications have never been an issue for me. But this entry made me think of the late Derek Dingle. (It must be noted that Dingle only did this sort of thing in front of magicians.) He didnt worry about justifying changing decks either. Hed come out to the tablecomplain about how early it was (no matter what the time was)and put down a small pile of stacked decks. Hed open one, do a trick, and put the deck away. Hed open the next one, do the trick that one was set up for, and put it away. And so it went. There was a certain brilliance to it that still makes me laugh.
User avatar
Dustin Stinett
 
Posts: 5734
Joined: 07/22/01 12:00 PM
Location: Southern California

Postby Denis Behr » 01/05/12 05:11 AM

Dustin Stinett wrote:January 5

Hed come out to the tablecomplain about how early it was (no matter what the time was)and put down a small pile of stacked decks. Hed open one, do a trick, and put the deck away. Hed open the next one, do the trick that one was set up for, and put it away. And so it went. There was a certain brilliance to it that still makes me laugh.


I don't get it. Where's the brilliance? Was it done humorously?
Denis Behr
 
Posts: 276
Joined: 01/18/08 01:00 PM
Location: Munich

Postby DrDanny » 01/05/12 09:13 AM

"Brilliant" in the same sense as his (in)famous Cockroach Pass.
He knew that you knew that he knew, so why pretend?
DrDanny
 
Posts: 293
Joined: 01/22/08 01:00 PM
Location: Sunnyvale CA

Postby Denis Behr » 01/05/12 09:20 AM

I see, thanks.
Denis Behr
 
Posts: 276
Joined: 01/18/08 01:00 PM
Location: Munich

Postby Dustin Stinett » 01/07/12 01:35 AM

January 6

I absolutely love this puzzle. The moment I read it last year, I added it to my repertoire. Not my magic repertoire, my business repertoire. I use it as an example of how bullet points (in this case the instructions to the game) can lead even the smartest people to make the wrong choices because they do not impart all the pertinent information.
User avatar
Dustin Stinett
 
Posts: 5734
Joined: 07/22/01 12:00 PM
Location: Southern California

Postby Q. Kumber » 01/08/12 09:34 AM

January 7

Clever ideas on a pellet switch, one of which Fred Kaps thought "Worth its weight in gold." Also worth checking out Eugene Burger's published works on spirit effects with pellets.
User avatar
Q. Kumber
 
Posts: 910
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Manchester, England

Postby Dustin Stinett » 01/09/12 01:07 AM

January 8

This Rubber Band Gag is the kind of thing that we should all know for those times when people say teach me something. It has a magical moment for the person, and learning it will give them a sense of being in the know.
User avatar
Dustin Stinett
 
Posts: 5734
Joined: 07/22/01 12:00 PM
Location: Southern California

Postby Richard Hatch » 01/09/12 02:16 AM

Dustin Stinett wrote:January 8

This Rubber Band Gag is the kind of thing that we should all know for those times when people say teach me something. It has a magical moment for the person, and learning it will give them a sense of being in the know.

I like this and think a good follow up would be the rubber band stunt where the rubber band escapes from your finger while the finger tip is being held by the spectator, as is the case here. It is a topological effect related to "fast and loose". Pretty sure it is in either Gardner's MATHEMATICS, MAGIC AND MYSTERY or his ENCYCLOPEDIA OF IMPROMPTU MAGIC or both. Alas, I don't have either handy to give a reference.
User avatar
Richard Hatch
 
Posts: 1584
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Logan, Utah

Postby Dustin Stinett » 01/10/12 02:15 AM

January 9

Mr. Giobbis Flash Technique is not unlike visualization commonly used by athletes. I liken it too to Einsteins Thought Experiments where he thought about a problem/theory long before he worked on it physically. Its a good practice to get into for many aspects of life, not just magic, sports, and science. In an interview some years ago, Ricky Jay noted that he doesnt practice as much as he did in his youth. He said that these days, I find myself thinking more about my magic.
User avatar
Dustin Stinett
 
Posts: 5734
Joined: 07/22/01 12:00 PM
Location: Southern California

Postby Dustin Stinett » 01/11/12 12:40 AM

January 10

I recall being amused when I first read this because at the end, Mr. Giobbi notes that the presentation given for the trick solves the problem of confusion with transposition effects. I was amused because I was confused about the effect! I had to read it again. Im glad I did. This little piece, a Doc Daley creation, is a now part of my impromptu collection of effects. That is, those little jazz pieces that can be done just about anywhere, anytime, with almost any deck. As Mr. Giobbi says, it is exquisite.
User avatar
Dustin Stinett
 
Posts: 5734
Joined: 07/22/01 12:00 PM
Location: Southern California

Postby Dustin Stinett » 01/12/12 02:54 AM

January 11

Im a great believer in scripting. Knowing what you are going to sayand when youre going to say itis as important as knowing what moves or procedures youre going to doand when youre going to do them. Having that script as a foundation instills confidence. That it is there allows you to wander off the page if the opportunity arises comfortable in the knowledge that its there for you to go back to if the trail proves troublesome. There is a another danger though; talking at your audience versus talking to and/or with them. But thats where acting comes into the mix. And thats another days conversation.
User avatar
Dustin Stinett
 
Posts: 5734
Joined: 07/22/01 12:00 PM
Location: Southern California

Postby Q. Kumber » 01/12/12 11:16 AM

January 11

One point that seems to get totally overlooked in using a script is the "back reference".

Over the years a performance piece will change and adapt. Little details will be added or dropped, as with lines and bits of business.

I've often rediscovered something, once a regular part of my act, that were it not written in my notebooks or part of the written script, would be forever lost.

Scripts are not just for the words but the performance details. And for the most part they are not a finished product but works in progress.
User avatar
Q. Kumber
 
Posts: 910
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Manchester, England

Postby Dustin Stinett » 01/14/12 01:00 AM

January 13

There are countless double lifts and turnovers out there. Many are very good. There are flourish style double lifts and straight-forward double lifts. The lift described herefrom Cliff Greens classic book Professional Card Magicis straight forward.

From the top of the deck, I do only one double lift (actually its a multiple lift since its mechanics allow for as many cards as one might wantbut I never do more than three). My multiple liftand it is minelooks exactly the same as my single lift because I lift a single card the same way I lift two or three (as one). This is a lesson I learned from Dai Vernon. If one cannot make the move look exactly like the real thing, make the real thing look like the move. This is the essence of naturalness: Its what is natural for you. And anything that looks differentan unusual way of lifting of a playing card from the top of the deck after having done it another way beforewill stand out and invite suspicion. Thats not a good thing. Find one double/multiple lift/turnover and use its mechanics all the time; even when you are lifting one card.
User avatar
Dustin Stinett
 
Posts: 5734
Joined: 07/22/01 12:00 PM
Location: Southern California

Postby Dustin Stinett » 01/20/12 02:38 AM

January 19

This date is not about the Lift Shuffle, though the move is the example for a Study of the Polyvalence of a Sleight.

I started using the Lift Shuffle a long time ago when Martin Lewis killed a room full of magicians with a force based on the move and reminded us all that its in Royal Road. I use it primarily to control a top stock with a single overhand shuffle. Its better than the Jog Shuffle, since that requires two (or a follow-up cut or two). Mr. Giobbi lists this and several other uses for the technique (including the aforementioned force).

But today is not about the Lift Shuffle.

How many other standardor non-standardmoves can be used for different purposes? Like many, I use a pass as a color change/revelation. Once, while watching a DVD for review, I saw a change described that had nothing to do with an effect Ive been doing for years but with a part Ive never been completely happy with. While watching the DVD, I instantly realized that I could use that overt change to accomplish a covert switch. I am very happy now with my routine.

Generally speaking, tools are designed to do only one thing. One should never hammer something with a wrench. In magic, were very lucky: many of our tools can be multipurpose. We just have to think about it.
User avatar
Dustin Stinett
 
Posts: 5734
Joined: 07/22/01 12:00 PM
Location: Southern California

Postby Denis Behr » 01/20/12 05:49 AM

Dustin Stinett wrote:January 19

Its better than the Jog Shuffle, since that requires two [shuffles] (or a follow-up cut or two).

Let's make this: Its different than the Jog Shuffle, since that requires two shuffles (or a follow-up cut or two).
Denis Behr
 
Posts: 276
Joined: 01/18/08 01:00 PM
Location: Munich

Postby F.Amílcar » 01/20/12 09:26 AM

Dear Dustin,
I'm completely agree with Mr. Behr that is different and for some purposes different too. You can stacking purposes or force or include palming but is different only.

Truly yours,

F. Amlcar Riega i Bello.
www.amilkar.com
http://amilkar-cursosdemagia.blogspot.com
User avatar
F.Amílcar
 
Posts: 77
Joined: 12/30/10 03:24 PM
Location: Barcelona-Spain

Postby Dustin Stinett » 01/20/12 12:31 PM

January 19

A point very well made by Denis and F. Amilcar! "Different" is indeed correct. Considering I still use the valuableand very versatileJog Shuffle in many cases myself, I should have known better.

Thanks gentlemen!
User avatar
Dustin Stinett
 
Posts: 5734
Joined: 07/22/01 12:00 PM
Location: Southern California

Postby Dustin Stinett » 01/23/12 02:46 AM

January 22

Gestalt Theory?

Sometimes I just like to do card tricks.
User avatar
Dustin Stinett
 
Posts: 5734
Joined: 07/22/01 12:00 PM
Location: Southern California

Postby F.Amílcar » 01/24/12 01:32 PM

Dustin,

If you have read the theory part of Spanish school you can understand the Ascanio's thoughts and his influence constructivist in the magic based especially in timing nowadays.
Of course, Roberto did it and his conception of the magic is like this.

Truly yours,

F. Amlcar Riega i Bello.
www.amilkar.com
http://amilkar-cursosdemagia.blogspot.com
User avatar
F.Amílcar
 
Posts: 77
Joined: 12/30/10 03:24 PM
Location: Barcelona-Spain

Postby Dustin Stinett » 01/29/12 01:59 AM

January 28

Very few will have the opportunity to perform magic on television. But everyone can learn a lot about good magic from reading this days wisdom courtesy of Juan Tamariz.
User avatar
Dustin Stinett
 
Posts: 5734
Joined: 07/22/01 12:00 PM
Location: Southern California

Postby Dustin Stinett » 02/04/12 04:56 AM

February 2

(Okay, so Im a little tardy with this post: sorry about that. Hopefully youll believe its worth it.)

Mr. Giobbis notion of keeping the deck out of your hands as much as possible reminds me of something that plagued me for a long time, even though I didnt realize it. And I know that it plagues many card magicians out there because I see it all the time; even with working pros. Its the dreaded thumb riffle for no reason up the back of the deck with the right hand (for those who hold the deck in the left hand).

I was made aware of this affliction by the late Barry Price way back in the 1980s. He called it my fibrillation of the deck. (Barry loved to toss out words like that; it was part of his charm.) So I became aware of it and I practiced at not doing itwhile I practiced. But when I performed, I kept doing it though I was completely unaware of that fact. It wasnt until I made a video for a compilation set for another site back in the late 90s or early 2000s that I saw a video of me in a performance situation; not just a practice situation.

The incessant riffling is cringe worthy! When I saw it, I wanted to cut my thumb off! It is no different than when a public speaker says, umm

In fact, in a way its worse. Its very distracting and, if you want to do the kind of magic where the audience believes you did nothing with the deckthe point of Mr. Giobbis February 2nd entrythe constant riffling works against that goal.

Riffling the deck for no reason is a nervous habit that, like umm, takes hard work to get past. But I believe its worth the work.

Dustin
User avatar
Dustin Stinett
 
Posts: 5734
Joined: 07/22/01 12:00 PM
Location: Southern California

Postby Ryan Matney » 02/05/12 01:46 AM

I've seen very big names riffle the deck constantly. It is very annoying.

I thought about my own riffling when I attended my fist convention and a young man did a trick for me and he would pause to be dramtic but riffle the deck 3-4 times during every pause. He must have riffled the deck 12-16 times during one trick that should have been very quick and direct.

I don't think I've done it again.
Ryan Matney
 
Posts: 737
Joined: 01/18/08 01:00 PM
Location: Hurley, Va

Postby Dustin Stinett » 02/09/12 01:12 AM

February 8

This idea for noting a banknotes serial number is terrific and one of those things that I have filed away for possible future needs. And I see it as something that could be fun to practice when, for example, you get some change. Though I have never tried it, I think it might also make for a good exercise in improvisation.
User avatar
Dustin Stinett
 
Posts: 5734
Joined: 07/22/01 12:00 PM
Location: Southern California

Postby Dustin Stinett » 02/14/12 04:03 AM

February 13

Im pretty certain that I have read this lovely procedure somewhere before (a Lorayne, Mentzer, or Garcia book, or in a magazine maybe). Its quite good and something that can be shown to people who are beginners and ready to move up to the concept of breaks but still need a key card for a control. But its certainly not just for the beginner!
User avatar
Dustin Stinett
 
Posts: 5734
Joined: 07/22/01 12:00 PM
Location: Southern California

Postby Denis Behr » 02/15/12 03:42 AM

This key card placement with a running cut to the table is described in Marlo's Control Systems (1952, p.71), not surprisingly with variations.
Denis Behr
 
Posts: 276
Joined: 01/18/08 01:00 PM
Location: Munich

Postby Dustin Stinett » 02/15/12 03:48 PM

Thanks Denis! I knew I could count on somebody recalling where this is.
User avatar
Dustin Stinett
 
Posts: 5734
Joined: 07/22/01 12:00 PM
Location: Southern California

Postby Dustin Stinett » 02/15/12 03:51 PM

February 14

(Better late than never)

I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Giobbi on this list of books with but one exception: Sonata. And thats only because I have not been able to get a copy!
User avatar
Dustin Stinett
 
Posts: 5734
Joined: 07/22/01 12:00 PM
Location: Southern California

Postby Dustin Stinett » 02/17/12 03:27 AM

February 16

Two book lists in three days: Mr. Giobbi is a man after my own heart. This list is of biographies, which is my favorite type of book, and they need not be magic related. But this is on magic bios, so well stick to that. I have not read the last two on the list (being in German is a good reason for one particular book).

His list is also almost in the same order Id put them as far as favorites go. The main difference is that I place the Milo & Roger autobiography at the top.

I would also addin no particular orderthe Jay Marshall (Marshall), Servais LeRoy (Caveney/Rauscher), Charles Carter (Caveney), Germain (Stewart), de Kolta (Warlock),Thurston (Steinmeyer), Flosso (Brown), Mr. Electric (Roy), and Kodell (Kodell) biographies to my must read list (and there are more).

Did I mention that I like biographies?
User avatar
Dustin Stinett
 
Posts: 5734
Joined: 07/22/01 12:00 PM
Location: Southern California

Postby Dustin Stinett » 02/23/12 02:41 AM

February 22

You gotta love it when a collection of quotes on card magic is anchored by one from Steven Wright.
(And you gotta love a writer who includes it.)
User avatar
Dustin Stinett
 
Posts: 5734
Joined: 07/22/01 12:00 PM
Location: Southern California

Postby Dustin Stinett » 02/26/12 04:13 AM

February 23, 24, & 26

I am combining these because these entries all share a common thread: card control. And that leads to a pet peeve of mine that I see many well-posted card magicians do. They stare at their hands when shuffling the cards when they are controlling a card or a stock of cards. But when they are just shuffling the cards to actually shuffle them, guess what? They dont look at their hands at all! (And this is true whether the shuffle is a tabled riffle shuffle or an in-the-hands shuffle of any type.) This goes directly to naturalness as taught by Dai Vernon.

Stop watching your own sleight of hand and your audience will stop watching it too. And you will hear more comments like, But he didnt do anything!

Thats music to the ears.
User avatar
Dustin Stinett
 
Posts: 5734
Joined: 07/22/01 12:00 PM
Location: Southern California

Postby Dustin Stinett » 03/08/12 07:43 PM

March 6 & 7

The two pieces on how to get an audience to remember shuffling the deck makes me think back to when I had the great privilege of appearing on stage to assist Juan Tamariz and his wife. I have a clear recollection of shuffling the deck for her (she was the one doing the trick, Tamariz was directing the action). I know I did because he shouted shuffle, shuffle, shuffle!

More importantly, my recollection is that she never touched the deck until after I selected a card and shuffled it into the deck. This is NOT what happened, but its what I remember. Its not a coincidence.
User avatar
Dustin Stinett
 
Posts: 5734
Joined: 07/22/01 12:00 PM
Location: Southern California

Postby Dustin Stinett » 03/16/12 02:59 PM

March 15

(I know; a day late and way more than a dollar short)

So, is it a pass/shift or not?

The nifty little move described here is not what I would consider a pass or shift per se since its procedure is overt. But it certainly gets the job done, just the same as a covert shift does. But if this is a pass, then so is a Double Undercut (at least to my way of thinking).

So am I wrong? Is invisibility (whether through technique, misdirection, or both) a requirement for a move to be a pass?
User avatar
Dustin Stinett
 
Posts: 5734
Joined: 07/22/01 12:00 PM
Location: Southern California

Postby Dustin Stinett » 03/20/12 01:43 AM

OkayDisappointed! (Movie reference.)

I was hoping that the card folks would answer my question above, but nooooo!!! (So I guess Im right!)

March 19

Procedure, procedure, procedure.

Does good magic have to have as little procedure as possible? What has this got to do with the trick offered in todays entry in Secret Agenda? A lot.

The broader lessonI thinkin Mr. Giobbis trick offering is that procedure needs to have something interesting to go along with it to take the heat off the procedure.

So many dealing, counting, cutting, and shuffling tricks are exhibited in such a way that the procedure appears to be there just for the sake of the process; which of course is the case. Thats not good magic.

Excessive procedure should be eliminated whenever possible. But what is left needs to be covered with something interesting for the audiences mind to consider. Todays trick is a fine example of how to do that.
User avatar
Dustin Stinett
 
Posts: 5734
Joined: 07/22/01 12:00 PM
Location: Southern California

Postby Dustin Stinett » 03/24/12 04:47 AM

March 23

Did anyone else notice that todays entry is practically a mirror image of February 13s?
User avatar
Dustin Stinett
 
Posts: 5734
Joined: 07/22/01 12:00 PM
Location: Southern California

Postby Dustin Stinett » 04/11/12 11:31 PM

April 10

Without a sincere love for magic there is no criticism. R. Giobbi

I really, really love magic. D. Stinett

April 11

I wish I had heard or read Mr. Giobbis words today 30+ years ago. It took me a very long time to learn this simple truth about the presentation of magic on my own. Do not underestimate its value.
User avatar
Dustin Stinett
 
Posts: 5734
Joined: 07/22/01 12:00 PM
Location: Southern California

Postby Dustin Stinett » 04/16/12 01:44 AM

April 16

Commerce versus Art is the subject on this day in Secret Agenda.

I agree with just about everything Mr. Giobbi writes; about art. His definition of commerce, however, is seriously flawed. I respectfully suggest that it is incomplete:

Commerce is about taking. You take more money, more market shares, more work, more customers, more frequent turnover; more profit, more power, etc. [emphasis as in original]


Commerce is about value for value. When one takes money (or barters) in a commercial way, they had better be giving something in return: Whether goods, services, or entertainment. Artists who make a living through their art are giving as well as taking. Someone who simply takes, well, recent events in magic have shown us that just taking is theft, not commerce.
User avatar
Dustin Stinett
 
Posts: 5734
Joined: 07/22/01 12:00 PM
Location: Southern California

Next

Return to Book of The Month Club