Mike Caveney's new book

Discuss the latest news and rumors in the magic world.

Postby John Signa » 08/01/13 11:47 AM

erdnasephile wrote:Time for immigration reform! :D


I thought these were documented workers.
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Postby erdnasephile » 08/01/13 08:18 PM

John Signa wrote:
erdnasephile wrote:Time for immigration reform! :D


I thought these were documented workers.



Ha! That's great!
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Postby caveman » 08/06/13 01:51 AM

I've been suffering for 3 weeks while the shipment of my new books was held hostage in Customs, afraid that I wouldn't get them until after Magic Live ended. But alas, they arrived today, 9 tons on 16 pallets. I have to say, it is a bit over whelming. But now, let the fun begin. Only 5 more days of my super special postage deal. $15 shipped anywhere in the civilized world.
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Postby Antonio Iturra » 08/07/13 01:22 AM

Already ordered and looking forward to my signed copy!

I'm not becoming a nit wit as John said, fortunately :lol:
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Postby Jim Riser » 08/10/13 07:07 PM

My copy just arrived. WOW!!! This production will certainly jump start the "little gray cells". These two books are full of history and creative thoughts put into action. Mike, great job and thanks for making this material available. Folks, my suggestion - get this while it is still available. Deluxe all the way, quality, superb, heavy! You have paid more per pound for steak and this will last longer.
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Postby Larry Horowitz » 08/10/13 08:18 PM

My copy arrived yesterday.

Everything Jim just said and more!

This s a major work and more. It is a mistake not to buy a copy.
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Postby Magic Randy » 08/11/13 09:26 AM

Received mine as well. Wonderful books.
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Postby Matthew Field » 08/13/13 07:01 AM

My copy of Mike Caveney's huge new two-volume set arrived over here in England, and what a production it is! The books weight a ton, are beautifully produced and in a slipcase, and I can't wait to dive in.

It's typical of Mike's extraordinary focus on quality and customer care that the books are packed in a shipping carton with an image of Mike's famous tie. And it's amazing that he got it to me for $15 shipping overseas, which means I now owe him a dinner next time he's over here. Equally amazing is that the volumes arrived while he's still selling them at his booth at Magic Live.

Mike's love of magic and his contributions, as a performer, producer (of the L.A. Magic History Conference), author, publisher and collector, make him one of the people I'm proudest to call a friend.

I highly recommend you get this set while you can. And, yes, I'm an old retired guy on |Social security, but these books, along with the Gaetan Bloom set and Japan Ingenious are must-have for true lovers of magic.
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Postby Shazzbatt » 08/13/13 06:56 PM

Dammit, looks like I missed out on the shipping offer! I forgot to order in time! :(
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Postby Steve Bryant » 08/13/13 08:46 PM

The books arrived in Indiana today, and Indiana is very happy. Easily the most beautiful magic books I own.
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Postby erdnasephile » 08/13/13 11:20 PM

Steve Bryant wrote:The books arrived in Indiana today, and Indiana is very happy. Easily the most beautiful magic books I own.


Steve: I hope you'll please consider reviewing the books in the next issue of "Little Egypt Magic" (pretty, please? :) )
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 08/13/13 11:25 PM

The next (September) issue of Genii has a 15 page article on the books. I read the book (in galleys) and then spent an entire day with Mike talking about it. Eric Mead will be reviewing the book in his next end. But I can save you some time: Get them!

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Postby Jim Riser » 08/14/13 12:53 AM

erdnasephile wrote:
Steve Bryant wrote:The books arrived in Indiana today, and Indiana is very happy. Easily the most beautiful magic books I own.


Steve: I hope you'll please consider reviewing the books in the next issue of "Little Egypt Magic" (pretty, please? :) )


erdnasephile,
There is no need for a review. This set is worth getting by any serious magic student and performer. By the time you read a review, you could be studying the real thing. Just buy it! Reviews are not required. If you do not want to read all of the informative text based on performing experience, you can still enjoy all of the great pictures. And if that doesn't do it for you, use the books for weight lifting exercise.
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Postby erdnasephile » 08/14/13 10:31 PM

Jim Riser wrote:
erdnasephile wrote:
Steve Bryant wrote:The books arrived in Indiana today, and Indiana is very happy. Easily the most beautiful magic books I own.


Steve: I hope you'll please consider reviewing the books in the next issue of "Little Egypt Magic" (pretty, please? :) )


erdnasephile,
There is no need for a review. This set is worth getting by any serious magic student and performer. By the time you read a review, you could be studying the real thing. Just buy it! Reviews are not required. If you do not want to read all of the informative text based on performing experience, you can still enjoy all of the great pictures. And if that doesn't do it for you, use the books for weight lifting exercise.
Jim


Hi, Jim:
Actually, I ordered the book the first day it was available and it's sitting on my desk as we speak and I can't wait to get started studying it. :D
(I just really enjoy reading Steve's take on things in his newsletter.)
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Postby The Magic Apple » 08/15/13 10:02 AM

Mike will at The Magic Apple on August 24th at about 1pm for a BOOK SIGNING with his all new book! This is also our 10th Anniversary Party!

Come on down and grab this awesome new book! I bought a copy and it is amazing!

The Magic Apple is in Studio City at 11390 Ventura Blvd
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Postby caveman » 08/19/13 04:00 PM

I really appreciate the kind words everyone has posted regarding their first glimpse of my new set of books. But what I'm really looking forward to is further comments once everyone has had a chance to read the material. The two books are totally different beasts. Are you finding value in both or is the Conference book just a curiosity?
The release at Magic Live was amazing and upon returning home I was greeted with a growing pile of internet orders. I am shipping them out as fast as I can. Thanks for the support.
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Postby Steve Bryant » 08/19/13 07:51 PM

These books have moved to the top of my prized possessions list. I read Wonders and skimmed Illusions so far, in that order because you have been fooling us for years and I wanted to see how. What I learned was that I was fooled far worse than I realized, with no idea that a bunch of insane gadgets were at play behind the scenes. But illusions is great too and I look forward to a more in depth reading. I did not stumble upon whatever it was that would let you know if I had read the books thoroughly, so I look forward to reading both again. Further details at http://www.littleegyptmagic.com/magic.html ...
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Postby Bill Mullins » 08/19/13 09:02 PM

Steve's review on his Little Egypt Gazette is worth reading. But the Gazette is always worth reading . . . .

And I've been checking the PO Box daily, awaiting a large package. I'm worried the postal workers have opened it up and will start spinning coffee.
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Postby erdnasephile » 08/20/13 11:15 AM

Thanks, Steve--great review!
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Postby Antonio Iturra » 08/23/13 01:27 AM

Wow Mike, it's weird you say second volume might be seen as a curiosity when it was one of the reasons I wanted to get this on the first place :D

Second, Chilean Post Office is on strike right now (very low wages, barely the minimum), so I may have to wait a bit longer for them to arrive. I hope they solve their problems soon.

Good reading, y'all!
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Postby Travis » 08/23/13 11:00 AM

Thank you, thank you, thank you Mike for these gorgeous, amazing tomes. Among the finest in my meager collection. For me, too, 'The Conference Illusions' was one of the biggest draws, not a mere curiosity. I'd have loved to have seen them all performed. I was fortunate enough to see the Dante/Thurston Sawing, 'Well, I'm!' and 'The Drum That Can't Be Beaten' at the Castle's Magic History week.

And thank you, thank you, thank you Mike and Richard for the footage of the 'Million Dollar Mystery' in this month's digital issue. I have been wanting for years to see it. I'd have loved it if the cameraman had positioned himself slightly off-center so that the effect of the tube could be more appreciated, but it's wonderful to see in any form. Thank you again!
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 08/23/13 12:13 PM

Whether shot at the LA History Conference or the Magic Castle (and I think this is a Castle performance), the camera is mounted directly up the center aisle. It's the only available angle. You're just going to have to take my word for it: you can't see a dang thing from the side, even when you know where to look. It really is a marvel.

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Postby Travis » 08/23/13 12:59 PM

Oh, believe me I know you can't, Dustin! I just wanted to appreciate what I couldn't see! :)
And, also, it gives one a clearer picture of the space between backdrop and apparatus (which, of course, I'm already aware of via photos, diagrams and the like from both Mike's book and the previous Peter Warlock book on Walter Jeans).

It's simply brilliant to see. Absolutely made my day!
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Postby caveman » 08/28/13 11:56 AM

I love reading your comments so keep those cards and letters (posts) coming in. And thanks to Steve Bryant for the in-depth review in the Little Egypt Gazette.
It's true about the camera being positioned directly in front of the Million Dollar Mystery. The illusion looks much better when the camera is off to one side and you can really see that the cabinet is far away from the backdrop and there is nothing back there.
Since Magic Live I have spent most of my time shipping out books and as of yesterday, I am finally caught up. I pack each order myself (because I'm really picky) so it took a long, long time to get them all out. To those who have been waiting, thanks for your patience.
And thanks to Dustin for the great article in the current issue of Genii.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/28/13 12:05 PM

Million Dollar Mystery is an amazing thing to see live. I witnessed the performance at the History Conference and was amazed that I could stare directly at the enormous gimmick and see NOTHING.
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Postby John Carney » 08/28/13 02:00 PM

I remember at one of the LA Magic History Conferences, years before Mike performed the Million Dollar Mystery on stage, it was on display in the Exhibit room.

I was looking right at the box, up close, marveling at how beautiful it was ... after a while I finally noticed the tunnel ... I almost fell over! ... I wasn't looking for it, but there it was right behind the box. The fact that I wasn't looking for it, along with the busy background, made it disappear even though I was right on top of it!

And yes, if you want to know more about how to construct brilliant magic and routines, you must get Mike's new books! Few people in the world understand magic the way the Cave does.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/28/13 03:47 PM

Great books!
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Postby Frank Yuen » 08/29/13 09:19 AM

You can see the Million Dollar Mystery performed and explained on the EMC 2011 box set of dvds.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/29/13 11:05 AM

You can also see it performed on the digital edition of the September issue of Genii.
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Postby erdnasephile » 08/31/13 04:34 PM

Just found out about a special event for Castle Members:

There's going to be a Mike Caveney Book Signing and Q&A Wednesday, Sep 04, 2013 - 8:00PM to 10:00PM hosted by Rob Z in the Inner Circle.

Sounds cool!
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Postby caveman » 09/03/13 02:07 AM

I'm looking forward to the Magic Castle Perk on Wednesday evening at 8:00. Rob Zabrecky will be conducting the interview with hopefully some good questions from the audience too. I've prepared a Slide show of some of my favorite photos from the books. I'll have plenty of book sets on hand and a free Assassin of Gloom poster and Mike Caveney shoulder bag for each purchaser. Hope to see many of you there.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 09/05/13 03:17 AM

Just home from this perk. To read my comments, go to the Castle thread here: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=42960
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Postby caveman » 09/08/13 06:46 PM

Thanks all around. First to RIchard Kaufman for the great cover story in Genii and to Dustin Stinett for writing the story. Both were a pleasure to deal with and Liz did a wonderful job of laying it all out.
Thanks to Brent Geris over at The Magic Apple for inviting me to the 10th anniversary of his way cool magic shop. A good time was had by all.
Thanks to the Magic Castle for the evening devoted to my new books and to Rob Zabrecky for making it all happen and conducting a terrific interview. And now that I think of it, thanks Rob also for starting this thread on the Genii Forum that has now been looked at more than 7,000 times.
Can't wait to read Jason England's and Eric Mead's reviews in next month's issues of Magic and Genii.
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Postby caveman » 09/22/13 12:22 AM

To spend all those years working on a set of books and then read Eric Mead's Genii review of my effort in the current issue is very rewarding. I was pleased to see that he singled out many of the points that were most important to me. Like the journey is more important than the destination. How most books describe just the final version of a routine but this one takes the reader through the long, slow and sometimes painful process. That, yes, some of my routines are very complicated to construct but there are many others that are well within the reach of most performers. And that reading about magic's rich history can be educational as well as entertaining. Thanks Eric for a thoughtful review.
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Postby Jim Riser » 09/22/13 05:04 AM

Has no one else noticed the houndstooth check inside the slip cover? This alone hints at the sense of humor to be found in the routines described the the two books, as well as, the author's attention to the smallest details. There is much more than meets the eye in this set. There are the lessons for anyone who aspires to be a magical entertainer. Study these books. Do not merely read them. There is inspiration waiting to be found by a thinking performer.
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Postby NCMarsh » 11/15/13 02:19 AM

For me, the sign of a great act is if I'm up all night after seeing the show compulsively re-working my own material. Not to take the material, but because I'm walking out of the theater with a sharp sense of humility; you see where the standard is, you realize what a magic act can be, and you can't resist the need to revisit your material now. Your breathing changes, you are a little stunned, and you can't help but mainline caffeine to get through the next twelve hours of creative activity because nothing is more important than getting your work better now. It always hits me walking out of Penn & Teller or Mac King. Tonight it hit with the same sense of urgency, but from reading a write-up in a book.
I finished the description of Mike's Silverware and Chicken, and just had to close the book, put it back in the slip-case, back into the protective cardboard case he thoughtfully packed it in; and pull out my script and the red pen.
Everything in Mike's act fits. He has a crystal-clear understanding of what the audience sees when they look at him; it is hilarious, character driven, the magic kicks ass, and there isn't a wasted second. Not a second.
Having it documented in this detail is an incredible gift. It not only gives you the punch in the solar plexus to be better -- and not by shaming, just by setting the standard -- but it also lays out a clear path to the process and demonstrates the power of not getting comfortable and always continuing to ask the questions. I've always loved these kinds of descriptions -- Books of Wonder did this so well with the evolution of Tommy's nest of boxes and Jenning's '67 with the Invisible Palm -- because it is so easy for us to look at a master's work as a finished cathedral, and you need that realization that at some point they were looking at the same empty lot and had to haul the stones in one at a time.
We live in a golden age when it comes to books on stand-up magic -- Durham's Professional Secrets and Levent's Roy Benson by Starlight for instance -- this is definitely a work on the same level. Thank you for sharing, Mike. It is very much appreciated.

P.S. There's also one of the best ideas I've ever encountered for blindfold work...
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Postby Travis » 11/15/13 12:01 PM

Couldn't have said it better myself, Nathan. They are treasures.
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Postby NCMarsh » 11/16/13 11:22 PM

The one addition I would have greatly appreciated, especially with books of this size and beauty, would have been a tipped-in data DVD with a PDF copy of the book. This is the kind of information I'd love to be able to read on an iPad during a long flight, a day at the beach, or over a cup of coffee without being paranoid about ruining a beautiful, and expensive, set of books.

Without the digital, the form gets in the way of the function. They are so beautiful that they're less likely to be used -- you don't want art laying around open in your rehearsal studio, or in a workshop. It means the reader has to go through the extra step of xeroxing particular chapters (solely for personal use) in order to have a practical "working copy" that can take liner notes, coffee stains, and sawdust.

I LOVE the model of digital + physical Genii (and the integration of video and audio), I'd love to see that become a model for books, as well. Paper won't be obsolete; and some information deserves to be preserved in a physical, beautiful form. But let's also embrace the power of technology to allow the buyer access to the information in a for convenient for him.

Again, this is an outstanding set -- just interested to hear what both readers and publishers would think of an approach that allowed us to have our pretty, expensive books, and read them too...

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 11/17/13 12:33 AM

Publishers don't like to include pdfs of books because of the fear of piracy, which occurs anyway, but they feel "why make it easier for people to steal, and why give them a perfect copy to steal."

Considering the number of times Mike's acts has been filmed, it would have been nice if the book contained a DVD, unless that is a separate project under consideration.

DVDs cost 43 cents each to press when you run 1,000, so they cost next to nothing when added to the cost of a large book project. If you have the raw footage, there's really no reason not to include DVDs in books these days. For Japan Ingeniuous I didn't have any footage of most of the tricks, so a DVD was out of the question.

The Tenyo book(s) will have 3 DVDs.

Note sure about DeLand yet--there's no film footage of him since he entered the insane asylum while silent movies were still popular. But the Jennings and Cliff Green books, and the Tomo Maeda book, will all have DVDs--assuming that DVDs are still the common form of media delivery by then!
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Postby caveman » 11/17/13 02:46 AM

Just when I thought this thread was dead it springs back to life thanks to a thoughtful post by N.C Marsh. I didn't mean to give you a punch to the solar plexus. I was hoping it would be more like a tap on the shoulder. My hope was never that every buyer would add my silver ware and chicken routine to their act. But it was to make them pull out the script to their own act and account for every word and every move in it. To squeeze the air out of it. To make the magic as strong as possible and not just good enough. It would seem that in Nathan's case, I achieved my objective. And when you compared my books to Tommy Wonder's Books of Wonder, you made my day. Throughout the five years that I worked on these two books, whenever I needed inspiration to keep plugging, I pulled Tommy's books off the shelf and got my own punch to the solar plexus.
Now let me tell you about the DVDs mentioned by you and Richard. About a year ago Richard said I was crazy if I didn't include DVDs even if they were performance only. At the time, I agreed that he was right. Eventually I decided that my goal is not to produce an army of clones and video footage can do that. Even with all of the information I have given in these books, there is a lot of work ahead for the reader. He or she has to figure out how they can make these ideas work for themselves. My aim was to show that the path is long and arduous but well worth the effort.
And regarding an added PDF of the contents, Nathan and Richard are both right. It would be wonderful to have these kinds of books on your ipad but they would also get passed around like an old deck of cards. Being a card-carrying dinosaur, I am partial to the printed page. I learned all of my magic that way and am trying to continue that tradition for a little while longer.
Thank you all for the great comments.
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