What about best card magician you have ever seen?

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Guest » 09/30/01 07:41 AM

Hi all.

The previous thread about best coin magician seemed to get alot of attention. So lets now try with the best card magician you have ever seen! Well who is it??
It is sometimes difficult with these kinds of question, because some of the best card and coin magicians may not be the best to intertain laypeople, and vice versa. So maybe the question should be who is the best card handler you have ever seen?? Well, here is my list:
Earl Nelson - smooth as silk!
Chad Long - Is outstanding in every aspect of close-up magic.
John Carney - Also handles booth cards and coins with a soft touch.
Jim Swain - Also vey soft with cards, but seemed a little bit boring on his videos though.

What does your list look like?
best,
Daniel
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Postby Richard James » 09/30/01 02:54 PM

Sorry, no list. Just two little words -

Steve & Forte
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 09/30/01 04:11 PM

Richard,
I would agree with you about Steve Forte except for one thing, Daniel's post is "the best card magician" you've ever seen. Steve is not really a magician. That aside, he is one of the best card handlers I've ever seen (and I've had the good fortune to sit across the table from him).
The best card MAGICIANS from my experience, would have to be Rene Lavand, Juan Tamariz, Derek Dingle and Larry Jennings. I would put Dai Vernon right at the top, too, however by the time I met him in his mid eighties he didn't perform tricks very often, mostly just demonstrating moves which he did remarkably well.
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Postby Bill Duncan » 09/30/01 07:21 PM

Originally posted by Daniel Thomsen:
... maybe the question should be who is the best card handler you have ever seen??


The best technician I've ever seen (in person) is Steve Dobson of Tacoma, WA. I've never caught a flash, seen a get ready or been able to tell when he's classic forcing or not...

By way of comparision I've seen Mike Skinner, John Carney, Michael Ammar, Mike Close and Daryl all on more than one occasion and Dobson tons of times and yet I've noticed "something" with all the others except Daryl and Dobson.

Daryl is the most entertaining person I've ever seen do card magic and his technique has been (whenever I've seen him anyway) flawless.

So here's my list:
1. Daryl
2. Steve Dobson
3. Max Maven (aka Phil Goldstein - who deserves a place on the list for "Sans Fronds" alone)

[ September 30, 2001: Message edited by: Bill Duncan ]
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Postby Richard James » 10/01/01 03:13 PM

Hi Richard,

Fair comment, but Daniel does say in his post that, "maybe the question should be who is the best card handler you have ever seen??" hence my original reply.

However, apart from Forte, I would say Guy Hollingworth and Lennart Green are among the best Card MAGICIANS that I have seen.

Of course, we could all argue about this one forever and we'd ALL be correct!

After all, we are all stating OPINIONS!!!
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Postby Tom Dobrowolski » 10/01/01 03:46 PM

By far the most entertaining card handler I have seen was Jim Ryan. The smoothest Daryl.The cards seem to float and dance with no discernable effort from Daryl. Truly the "poetry of magic".
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Postby Carl Mercurio » 10/01/01 06:17 PM

Ricky Jay is the best I've seen in person; and I loved his work for years before I ever saw him in person. Frank Garcia was also right up there. I saw Garcia in his prime and he did things flawlessly and knew how to entertain. Slydini never gets much credit for cards, but his helicopter card was a thing of beauty--talk about blowing a spectator away. More contemporary favorites are Simon Lovell (my favorie entertainer with a pack of cards), Juan Tamariz, Lennert Green, Derek Dingle. Being a bar guy, I only wish I had seen Heba Haba, Eddie Fechter and Don Alan in person. The Randy Wakeman footage of Heba Haba is worth it's weight in gold (check out the work on the classic force). I never saw Marlo in person either...
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Postby Paul Mellan » 06/21/08 12:00 AM

I'm surprized no one mentioned Bill Malone yet! He is the most enertaining and skillfull card magician I have seen in a long time. Of couse he studied under Ed Marlo, another incrdible card magician!
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Postby castawaydave » 06/21/08 12:09 AM

Tie: Daryl and Michael Weber.

Runners up: Derek Dingle and Ricky Jay.
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Postby Smartini » 06/21/08 02:11 AM

For me the most entertaining card magician has to be Juan Tamariz.
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Postby Rachel Milano » 06/21/08 04:12 PM

Ricky Jay probably...Forte is amzing too.
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Postby Gerald Deutsch » 06/22/08 10:21 AM

I've always felt that the main purpose of magic is to entertain. For that reason I think Harry Lorayne is one of the best card magicians.
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Postby Ricky Difeo » 06/23/08 09:41 PM

Hi!

I think what Larry Jennings and Bill Malone in card magic. Good handling and presentations.-
For news ways in card magic in presentations I like John Bannon.-

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Postby George Olson » 06/24/08 12:47 PM

Ed Marlo and Steve Dobson and Matt Schulien

GO
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Postby Jenna Kissel » 06/24/08 01:30 PM

Ricky Difeo wrote:
For news ways in card magic in presentations I like John Bannon.-

Ricardo Difeo


I think John Bannon is brilliant, if I could, I would be his groupie!
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Postby Glenn Bishop » 06/24/08 03:54 PM

Best three card magicians I have seen do a show with nothing but a deck of cards and card tricks would be Jack Pyle, Harry Lorayne and Jim Molinari. I got to see them perform card magic for the lay audience and they - wowed the lay audience that they were working for at the time. Great with a deck and "entertaining".

Magicians that did cards as a feature and did other magic too would be Buddy Farnan, Heba Habba Al, Don Alan, Jim Ryan and Bill Malone. They were all great entertainers with a deck of cards and they did other magic just as well.

The best magician I ever saw work a bar was of course Heba Habba Al.

The best technical magician with a deck of cards that I have seen would be Ed Marlo. The best technical magician that did cards and other magic just as well that I have seen would be Dai Vernon.

The best entertainers that were magician's I would say it was a toss up between Jay Marshall and my Dad Billy Bishop.

The best stage act doing a classical stage magic act for the lay audience would be Tony Marks.

The best illusionist - Jack Gwynne and family.

There are more magicians but I limited it to just magicians that I have seen and knew -

Just my opinion.
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Postby Mats Kjellstrom » 06/24/08 05:03 PM

Allan Ackerman = GOD 1
Darwin Ortiz = GOD 2
Martin Nash = GOD 3

and the rest its just a bunch of pasteboard crumplers.
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Postby Harry Lorayne » 06/24/08 05:40 PM

Gee, thanks, Mats. Never been called a "crumpler" before. But, hey, I don't argue with those who really KNOW. hl
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Postby Brandon Hall » 06/24/08 06:04 PM

Rafael Benatar.
One of the better "new guys" has got to be Denis Behr, from Germany. Very clever and entertaining.
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Postby Pete Biro » 06/24/08 06:22 PM

Too bad none of you have ever seen Persi Diaconis live. Mr. Lorayne, where to do you rank Persi?
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Postby Mats Kjellstrom » 06/25/08 05:35 AM

Harry Lorayne wrote: Gee, thanks, Mats. Never been called a "crumpler" before. But, hey, I don't argue with those who really KNOW. hl


Harry, Im only aware about your books, and, they are true classics in the world of card magic, sure. But, I have no experience with your performing talent.
I can imagine that you have the guts and skill to perform like a devil. I look forward to see yo in action, some day.
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Postby Harry Lorayne » 06/25/08 10:36 AM

No problem, Mats, except since you admit you've never seen me work, why put me in the "crumplers" class? (I'm not saying that I'm NOT a crumpler, just saying that you wouldn't know either way, would you? You can easily solve that problem - the not seeing me work problem - just get hold of my 4-volume DVD set. No, it's not the same as me working for a lay audience, but you will be able to decide whether or not I'm a "crumpler." What an easy solution.)

Pete: Haven't seen or heard from Persi in decades. He'd certainly be among the top ten. In the mathematics area, among the top five. My opinions, only. Best - HARRY L.
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Postby Glenn Bishop » 06/25/08 11:09 AM

Mats Kjellstrom wrote:Allan Ackerman = GOD 1
Darwin Ortiz = GOD 2
Martin Nash = GOD 3

and the rest its just a bunch of pasteboard crumplers.


Having "seen" all three of these people lecture and perform it is my opinion that as a skilled magicians with a deck of cards and as an entertainer - Harry Lorayne is a better entertainer with a deck of cards.

I have seen Harry Lorayne entertain a lay audience as well as lecture - and I have seen him wow a magicians audience doing an "all" day teach in.

The man is an outstanding entertainer with a deck of cards.

If they all four did a show together for the lay audience in my opinion Harry Lorayne would be the "strongest" entertainer. The reason is that he is great - and wrote the books - and has years and years of experience performing all kinds of shows.

And that is why his books are great and his card magic in the books are so commercial - he has years and years of performing experience that he has gotten from doing magic at shows!

Just my opinion.
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Postby Harry Lorayne » 06/25/08 11:19 AM

Glenn: I blush! Best - HARRY LORAYNE. (May I quote you?!)
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/25/08 11:39 AM

I saw Persi do some stuff when I was a kid. He was very good 35 years ago. Who knows if he's been practicing since then.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/25/08 11:41 AM

I think we should remember that Mats' list is a subjective one.

One person on the list has zero ability at presentation and another person on the list is entirely an entertainer whose technique isn't (wasn't) great.

I don't think anyone in our field should be considered a god except perhaps Robert-Houdin, Hofzinser, and Vernon. And they're all dead. So god(s) is dead.
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Postby magicalt » 06/25/08 11:48 AM

Larry Jenning
Mike Skinner
Mike Close
Baltazar Fuentez
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Postby Glenn Bishop » 06/25/08 11:57 AM

Harry Lorayne wrote: Glenn: I blush! Best - HARRY LORAYNE. (May I quote you?!)

Sure Harry - and we met a few times - at the teach in and at Magic Inc. In Chicago once or twice. I remember you did about an eight hour teach in - you got up on a table and did card magic for eight hours.

You walked the room and personally showed people how to do the tricks in your books and how to do the moves and took time with everyone.

Then I saw you about an hour later at Magic Inc. You had a group of young magicians around you and you were - after eight hours of teaching - performing magic - you were still teaching and performing magic.

I don't know if you remember my Dad the late Billy Bishop - I remember when your teach in came to town - the advertising for it. My dad told me that I should go - I had all your books and was wondering if I should go - he said "GO"!

He told me to watch the man - because in his opinion you were one of the greatest entertainers he ever saw. I would learn a lot about entertaining just watching you work the room.

In my opinion my Dad was right!

Your one of the greatest entertainers I have seen in my lifetime and I have seen a lot of magic in my lifetime. And your books are a great investment in learning commercial card magic,

Just my opinion.
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Postby Harry Lorayne » 06/25/08 01:54 PM

"Them were the good old days:, Glenn, when I had energy to spare. Don't know if I could do the same today - I think perhaps only five hours! Yes, I do remember Billy Bishop. Thanks for the kind words, Glenn - as I always say, "It's nice to receive bouquets while one is still around to smell 'em." Best - HARRY L.
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Postby Richard Green » 06/26/08 03:24 AM

Rather than calling them the "best", I'd just say my "personal favorites": Rene' Lavand, Juan Tamariz, Harry Lorayne, Ricky Jay, Bill Malone, Larry Jennings, and the list could go on....


Harry, I had to mention you in this list because first time I ever saw your 'Magician vs. Gambler' routine, I was smoked! Unbelievable stuff! You are truly a maestro of the craft.
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Postby Cugel » 06/26/08 05:45 AM

Glenn Bishop wrote:
Just my opinion.


Correct.
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Postby Cugel » 06/26/08 05:47 AM

Mats Kjellstrom wrote:Allan Ackerman = GOD 1
Darwin Ortiz = GOD 2
Martin Nash = GOD 3

and the rest its just a bunch of pasteboard crumplers.


This reminds me: does anyone know how Martin's battle with cancer is progressing?
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Postby Frank Yuen » 06/26/08 09:04 AM

Martin is apparently doing well, see:

http://www.geniimagazine.com/forums/ubb ... Post168099

Second to last post.
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Postby Mats Kjellstrom » 06/26/08 02:15 PM

Richard Kaufman wrote:I saw Persi do some stuff when I was a kid. He was very good 35 years ago. Who knows if he's been practicing since then.


Watch a tiny clip with Persi: http://gmvlog.blogspot.com/2006/05/persi-diaconis.html
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Postby Q. Kumber » 06/27/08 04:28 AM

While any nominations to this list are purely subjective, I'm going to nominate someone most of you will have never heard of.

He died in 1975 and spent much of his performing life touring Ireland with fairs, carnivals and in the winter months rural town halls and schools.

He was of the old school and could entertain an audience for an hour with just a pack of cards. I'm talking stand up shows here, not close-up.

As far as I'm aware he only used the classic force, the pass and the bottom change.

I was lucky to see him perform a few times and he lectured at the first convention I ever attended. His lecture notes were full of his techniques and gambits for doing the classic force.

According to Dan Foley his real name was John Fitzpatrick but I knew him as Johnny Hoffman.
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Postby Kent Gunn » 06/27/08 03:21 PM

Mr. Lorayne,

Please let me preface this with some words that I hope will assuage your ego.

I carried a copy of CUCM aboard a nuclear submarine for twenty years. The initial slew of good card magic I learned was from two sources, Stars of Magic and CUCM. I own every book you've written on card magic. (Ok all but two volumes they're just too expensive on eBay this week, but I'm looking.)

I don't think anyone compares to you in the sheer quantity of great magic you've authored. Some publisher that runs a magic magazine website may approach you, but that's it.

I am one of your biggest fans. No one speaks ill of Harry Lorayne in my presence because, for me, you were the biggest influence on the card magic I learned thirty-five years ago. My working bag-o-card tricks is still very heavily dependant on your writings. I have seen you work, in person and on video. I'd rather go to your lecture than any other card worker, because I think you're a great lecturer.

Now, for what it is worth, my list of the greatest card magicians, that I've seen work.

#1 Allan Ackerman. Hands down, he has the finest, most diverse techniques I've ever seen. I think his knowledge is encyclopedic and he will fool the living snot out of anyone he chooses to fool, with a card effect. I have heard really foolish, arrogant people who may not have seen Allan perform recently, make disparaging comments about his ability to present. If this were another forum, I'd profanely disagree. He is a modern marvel of raw card finesse coupled with totally disarming and flawless presentation skills.

#2 Rene Levand - I was a very young sailor and had the duty. One of my shipmates came running into the maneuvering area, where I was on watch. He said, in a flurry of words, "Ohmygod . . .Kenttheresamagician intown you gottagoseehim, I relieve you! I was spirited away to a club.
I got there just in time for the show to start. I didn't understand the language the nice man was speaking, but I could follow. He did an oil and water routine that fooled me. He did a small version of the cups and balls that floored me, but . . . halfway through the show, I said under my breath, "That guy only has one arm!!!" Nothing in my life will ever top that single magical event. Plus I got out of duty!!!

#3 Ed Marlo - I got to hang out at some restaurant in Chicago in 1978. I spoke seven words to him and stayed as invisible as I could in my dress blues. He did things with a deck of cards that were not of this earth.

The numbers are not in order of significance.

Harry you are a great magician. Compared to the three above . . .

You're a crumpler.
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Postby Harry Lorayne » 06/27/08 03:44 PM

Hi Kent: Tnanks - I think. Best - HARRY L.
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Postby Harry Lorayne » 06/27/08 03:51 PM

I was just told that Close-Up Card Magic is on eBay for, at this moment, $130.00. How ridiculous. You can get that entire book, re-written and updated, etc., along with four other books, and new stuff, all in one volume (THE CLASSIC COLLECTION, Vol. 1) for about $89.95 plus pstg/hndling. From me, "the crumpler," HARRY LORAYNE.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 06/27/08 04:04 PM

That's a real tough question. Dingle was amazing. Darwin Ortiz is also phenomenal. Then we get folks with a lighter style like Armando Lucero who are working today and have yet to publish.

As mentioned above - perhaps Hofzinser at the top of the list even if all we had to work from was the stilted interpretation and translation via the Fischer book and some cleanup from Sharpe and Hilliard. Tommy Wonder seemed from that school of exploring what's possible from a parlor/platform perspective too.

The last guy whose published card work was a must get for me... Bruo Copin. Something about animations and effects which put an emphasis on the magic rather than the conditions. Anyway let's add him to the list as impressive.

And an honorable mention to Michael Giles for his contortionist.
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Postby Darryl Harris » 06/27/08 04:51 PM

In front of real people, Dingle was hard to beat, and Harry lectured for our Round Table once, many years ago, and people who were there still talk about it. Jennings and Skinner are also on my list. But, one of the best I've ever seen was Geoff Latta. He has a sweet, very light touch with a deck, and everything seems effortless in his hands. Magic just... happens. He picks up a deck, and those who know start smiling.
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