Rub 'N Tug

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Tyler Wilson » 10/07/04 10:29 PM

Hey Guys,
In this month's Magic Magazine, Joshua Jay did a superb job of writing up a move of mine called Rub 'N Tug (it's a face-up Rub-A-Dub vanish). However, I just received word (from the man himself) that Ken Krenzel has an almost identical move which is unpublished.

The great news is that he's in the process of putting out a new book fairly soon which will contain this move and many of its applications (not to mention a plethora of other material). The routines he has for this move are nothing short of brilliant, and I strongly urge you to pick up this book when it comes out.

So to set the record straight, please credit this move to Ken Krenzel and Tyler Wilson.

Thanks for your time!

Tyler Wilson
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Postby Justin Fraser » 10/07/04 10:54 PM

Maybe my mind's a little cloudy, but i think Jay Sankey had a handling of the face up rub a dub. Just can't remember in the pleathora of Sankey material published.
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Postby Justin Fraser » 10/07/04 11:25 PM

Sankey published his handling for the face up rub a dub I believe for the first time in Stephen Minch's book Spectacle back in 1990.
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Postby Tyler Wilson » 10/07/04 11:29 PM

Hey Justin,
Yes, Jay Sankey has a face-up Rub-A-Dub vanish which Minch published in Spectacle. He also put it out on one of his many, many, many, many, many videos. I was not aware of this move when I developed Rub 'N Tug.

The difference between his move and Mr. Krezel's / My move, is that Sankey's move is done with the entire deck face-up where as Rub 'N Tug is done with one face-up card on top of a face-down deck.

Oh yeah, and the mechanics are completely different. (which is, admittedly, not nearly as important as how it looks to the audience)

The only other face-up Rub-A-Dub move I've seen is Allan Ackerman's (which I only found out about a few months ago). It's called Ultra Rub-A-Dub and you can probably guess the M.O. from the name of the move.

Thanks again Justin!

Tyler Wilson
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Postby Tyler Wilson » 10/07/04 11:31 PM

Hey Justin,
Whoops, you beat me to the Spectacle reference.

Thanks again!

Tyler Wilson
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Postby Justin Fraser » 10/07/04 11:38 PM

Well I look forward to see your handling in this months issue. All the best.
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Postby David Ben » 10/08/04 06:19 AM

Ross Bertram performed the "Rub-A Dub" with a face up card, while the deck was face down, in the early 1960s. He performs it with other Rub A Dub variations in one of his films.
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Postby Tyler Wilson » 10/08/04 11:28 PM

Hey Mr. Ben,
Thanks a lot for the reference, I'll be sure to track down some of his videos. I'm a fan of his (published) work, but I have yet to see him in action. Whether or not the videos I find will contain his Rub-A-Dub material, I'm sure I'll be in for a treat.

Thanks again!

Tyler Wilson
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Postby Pete Biro » 10/09/04 09:21 AM

Devil's Advocate here... I would venture to say that nearly all new card and/or coin moves that are invented, have either been invented before or are being invented almost simultaneously by dozens of magicians, owing to the large number of them fiddling with cards and coins.

This is not to say that is bad, but that there are so many folks out there working on things it is only natural that this will happen.

One cannot read all that has gone before.
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Postby Pete Biro » 10/09/04 09:25 AM

Example: I am working on something new that was inspired by a prop I found in a store. I had seen a SIMILAR prop used in an advertised effect some time ago but it is no longer available.

There is a popular magician using a similar item, but what I have come up with is in no way the same, only the type of prop is similar.

I picked up the item and developed two completely original ideas with it. Those that are knowledgable around me have never seen or heard of the two things I worked out. One of which actually allows you do to multiple new moves.

And best of all it is easy to do, has a totally new PHASE (it is a variation of a classic close up item) that fools and is entertaining.

The good news? Joe Porper is making the hardware.

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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 10/09/04 09:34 AM

Originally posted by Pete Biro:
Devil's Advocate here... I would venture to say that nearly all new card and/or coin moves that are invented, have either been invented before or are being invented almost simultaneously by dozens of magicians, owing to the large number of them fiddling with cards and coins...
Tell that to Mickey Silver about his vanish. lol
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Postby Pete Biro » 10/09/04 10:40 AM

Just got his newest DVD and he has a new one... 300 Fly :)
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Postby Pete Biro » 10/09/04 10:40 AM

I just found out Mickey Silver is really a PIXAR creation!!!
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Postby David Ben » 10/09/04 11:36 AM

I think both Mr.Biro and Mr. Townsend make valid points. There ARE many more people playing around with cards and coins than ever before. It is not surprising that moves are reinvented and it is no discredit to the reinventor to reinvent the material if it was created out of act of exploration or discovery. That is one of the real joys of playing with material - the process of experimentation.

I also agree with Mr. Townsend when he intimates that new effects and techniques can be created. I, for one, do not believe that it has all be done before.

Finally, Mr. Wilson, I hope you enjoy the Bertram videos. I'm sure that the material will inspire you as it has me. I envy this, your first glance.
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Postby Guest » 10/09/04 12:13 PM

Mr. Ben, if you are who I believe you are (I am still rather new to the Genii site and have not become familiar with the members as of yet) then you are indeed a lucky individual when we speak of Bertram.

I too have not seen any of Mr. Bertram's work, at least not as performed by him. I have been told that said films are not the easiest to locate. As the material is that which should be treasured this is probably a good thing.

I have yet to read his published works as well as the Den has been sold out every time I am there. This has been credited to the assisted pushing of the material by a young Nick and Shane.

I am hoping to get my hands on at least one of his books in the near future. I do not get down to the Den to often, but now I am really off on a tangent and should keep this on topic.

I am not sure which topic that is now. The Rub a Dub vanish or the re-inventing the wheel.

My personal opinion is that there are only so many 'magical' effects that can be observed by a spectator. They can be expanded and twists added, but in the end the spectator remembers that you put a card through a window, and not how you put a card through a window.

Not to say that the every thing has been done. It most certainly has not.

However, in many cases that which is being 'invented' is, as I see it, often a variation which serves a purpose. It is often to either improve the practicality or appearance of the effect.

I have seen many a variations that seem to only serve the purpose of being just that, a variation.
The effect is the same as that which has come before it, with little or no altering. It is the method which is 'new.' There is nothing wrong with this either, I have just found that there is no need for the method to be adapted the way it has.

Certain effects seem to only have a new method for the sake of having a new method. Often this method is made to be more cumbersome then that which has come before it and yet has no added benefits.

I am for the use of more complicated handlings if they serve a purpose in the appearance of the effect, or perhaps are for the fun of it. This is why I enjoy the work of Mr. Hollingworth.

I am yet again rambling. I apologize as I tend to over work a point.

I am actually not too apposed to these unnecessary handlings as they are often the steps to more applicable alternatives.

Please feel free to let me know if I appear to be talking out of my backside.
Again, I use too much to say so little.

Glenn
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 10/09/04 12:42 PM

First, I'm glad to see Ross Bertram getting the credit for the premise and a working method.

Originally posted by Glenn West:
1) ...My personal opinion is that there are only so many 'magical' effects that can be observed by a spectator....Not to say that the every thing has been done. It most certainly has not.

2) However, in many cases that which is being 'invented' is, as I see it, often a variation which serves a purpose. It is often to either improve the practicality or appearance of the effect.
As regards item one (1) I disagree, and hold what we call magic to be very much context dependent.

Item two (2) is sticky for many folks in this craft. Getting ego involved with what amounts to custom fitting a borrowed suit of clothes is not the healthiest of traits. Of course the student is expected to find a combination of earlier works and personal habit to solve the basic problem of how to customize a trick to suit themselves. Such is expected as a proof that they have in fact learned the trick. That these 'variations' are published is unfortunate, and that they are treated as more than homework assignments posted on the walls or refrigerator is a sad reflection of our state of affairs.

In mathematics, one refers to the collection of knowledge and all logical consequences of those statements in one lump. In conjuring, one can do the same with the basic premise, the applied sleights and the basic presentation framework.

Taking something like 'Twisting the Aces' as a known work, the student can be expected to use Elmsley's count, multiple card lifts and turnovers and some additional resources to create something they can enjoy performing. How far they go from the basic premise, mechanics and procedure to achieve some result, and how well that process and result impress an audience are good measures of the student's applied efforts. This makes for a comfortable approach to reviewing a work, which hilites the presentation, process and mechanics in the work.

That said, it becomes difficult to offer praise to published works which offer little in the way of truly novel method, presentation or basic look/feel for a trick.
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time
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Postby Guest » 10/09/04 01:10 PM

Actually I agree with you entirely.

As for my first point, I was referring more so the idea that one can cause an object to vanish, appear, defy gravity, transpose its position, read a mind, ext . . .

It is, as you said the context in which we present these 'effects' that makes them unique and appreciated by the observer.

It is also the approach which makes it ones own.

As for the Twisting the Aces example, this is perhaps the perfect observation point. If we observe those who have taken the appearance of the effect to a new level, such as Waving the Aces, we have something that is a valued contribution to the art. Where as there are the individuals who will only take what is printed on the page and not bother to make their performance their own, even if it is just in the patter.
On the other end there are those who add their own touch to almost the same method, but then treat it as if it is something completely new.

Not to say that they did not develop something that can also be a valued development, but it is more so the issue with how they go about it perhaps.

I do believe that you did word it far better then I had in my lengthy ramblings. Your last statement sums it up nicely;
Originally posted by Jonathan Townsend:
That said, it becomes difficult to offer praise to published works which offer little in the way of truly novel method, presentation or basic look/feel for a trick.
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Postby Frank Starsinic » 10/09/04 10:05 PM

Originally posted by Pete Biro:
Just got his newest DVD and he has a new one... 300 Fly :)
Me too!!! I couldn't believe how many coins were involved in the slot machine. I did not have the privilege to see it in person so the DVD was a treat.
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Postby David Ben » 10/10/04 09:30 AM

Ross' face up Rub-A-Dub (repeated twice) is in "My 52 Friends", Ross Bertram's Legendary Magic, Volume Two, L & L Publishing. Ross performs the entire sequence - as well as many other wonderful card effects - while genuinely blindfolded.
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Postby Guest » 10/10/04 10:12 AM

As for the actual matter, Mr. Ben, I am curious as to the number of works that Mr. Bertram has published. The only other one which I am aware of is 'Bertram on Sleight of Hand.'

Thank you.
Glenn
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Postby David Ben » 10/10/04 07:27 PM

The two Ross Bertram books are "Magic and Methods of Ross Bertram" and "Bertram On Sleight of Hand". I believe both books are in print. Both are excellent but I suggest "Magic and Methods" first as it is both less expensive and the material is more accessible. (Not necessarily better, just more accessible.) There is, of course, his contribution to the "Stars of Magic", but that material is included in "Magic and Methods of Ross Bertram." Ross also released some special props and gimmicks such as the coin pail, brainwave case, welcome mat, card in wallet and various coin clips. The videos of his work (which I referred to in a previous post) were released after his death by L & L Magic. I believe that they are still available from L & L and that they are the only real visual record of Ross at work. (Although the films are terrific and most of the material is not explained, he was even better live.)

There are a few published Bertram items scattered here and there that did not make it into the aforementioned books.

I also assembled a great deal of Ross' unpublished material and touches for an issue of Genii a year or two ago. You will learn a great deal about Ross and his mode of creating if you obtain that issue. You should still be able to obtain it from the Chief Genii.

Finally, one day I will get around to writing up much of his other unpublished material. There is a lot of information and routines - both close up and stage - that could be published. Fortunately, or unfortunately, I am committed to completing several other projects first.
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Postby Guest » 10/11/04 09:11 AM

Sorry.
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Postby John Pezzullo » 10/12/04 04:58 AM

I recently acquired a copy of "Bertram on Sleight of Hand". It's one of the best magic books that I've ever read.

In the book's introduction, Father Cyprian described Ross Bertram as 'a craftsman, artist, philosopher, psychologist, gentleman'. This description of Ross Bertram's character is strongly captured and conveyed throughout the book's content.

I'm looking forward to the publication of David Ben's book on the unpublished work of Ross Bertram. I think that this will be a 'classic' of the future.
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Postby Guest » 10/13/04 07:19 PM

I just saw a video of this on another site and it looked pretty good. It has gotten me curious about the other variations as well.

I worked on some face up vanishes for a faceup Invisible Palm routine I did a while ago and these are getting me curious again.

Glenn
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Postby Justin Fraser » 10/15/04 11:53 PM

Just picked up my copy of MAGIC and I like what i see. I too would love to see some applications to the move. Good job Tyler!
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