Hooker Card Rise

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Postby Brandon Hall » 11/09/07 09:19 AM

Isn't anyone going to talk about what they saw?
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Postby Pete Biro » 11/09/07 10:45 AM

Final showing is Saturday and so far all that saw it last week said it was far better than their epectations.

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Postby Mike Rozek » 11/09/07 12:04 PM

In short, it was an awe-inspiring performance. I've written a couple of pages of notes that describe what my wife and I saw that night, and I've compared experiences with several folks who saw a performance last week. I'm intentionally not going into much detail, as I've had more than one request to "not say anything about it" by folks who are going to one of this Saturday's performances and don't want the experience spoiled.
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Postby Guest » 11/09/07 12:26 PM

Originally posted by Mike Rozek:
In short, it was an awe-inspiring performance. ...and don't want the experience spoiled.
Understood - and thanks for being considerate.

Would you be up for posting some about what you enjoyed in the performance you saw next week?

And maybe others who got to see the show as well?
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Postby Brandon Hall » 11/09/07 03:24 PM

That makes sense...lets talk about it later!
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Postby Guest » 11/09/07 04:45 PM

I've refrained from posting about the experience (except in extremely general terms) in order to keep everything a surprise for those seeing the performance during the Conference on Magic History. They're in for a treat!

At the Castle Friday evening after the showing of Dr. Hooker's Impossibilities, several of us were asked about it by people who were attending the Saturday evening performance. We refrained from describing any specifics and just basically reassured them that the tickets were well worth the asking price, and that they would not be disappointed in what they'd be witnessing.

I'd be very interesting in sharing experiences with others once the attendees of the Conference get to see this marvelous performance.

Jeremy
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 11/09/07 06:16 PM

Feel free to write all you want after 6pm Pacific Time on Saturday evening.
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Postby Guest » 11/09/07 10:01 PM

Dr. Bill and I attended Dr. Hookers card rise on Thursday Nov 1st. On the way over Dr. Bill said that he hoped we would not be disappointed because we had heard so much hype. I agreed. When we left we both were so blown away. It will fool ALL who sees it. John Gaughan did a great job of presenting it. Jim Steinmeyer was a wonderful host.

Years ago I had heard that it was a must see. I thought what more can you do with rising cards that hasn't already been done. Well.... put it on you wish list. And when I say wish, WISH that it will be shown again in the future.
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Postby Pete Biro » 11/10/07 06:50 PM

After seeing it, Ricky Jay and I sat down totally Stunned... No clue and we don't want to know.

It was either mass hypnosis or creative camera tricks :D
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Postby Guest » 11/10/07 07:35 PM

Mr. Biro, (or Maestro Dill) would you describe the atmosphere of the scene?

I'm going to go out on a limb, and admit I imagine it is difficult to fool Mr. Ricky Jay, et al, with a card trick.

It would be fun to hear more about the event!

When can we see the clip on YouTube? (rimshot)
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Postby Guest » 11/10/07 08:29 PM

Hey, I spoke to Alfonso after he saw it and he said it fooled him badly!!

I have only read the description in Greater Magic and Alfonsos' recount of it.

Can someone enlighten me more??
Is there video of it somewhere??

Scott
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Postby Pete Biro » 11/10/07 08:42 PM

NO VIDEO, NO STILL PHOTOS ALLOWED EITHER.
One of many effects. Borrowed deck, shuffled, put into houlette that was on a book, laying flat on glass pedestals. 3 cards NAMED each card rose on command.

THAT WASN'T EVEN ONE OF THE STRONG EFFECTS.

ANOTHER DECK BORROWED SPEC REVERSED ON CARD NEAR MIDDLE OF DECK. PUT INTO HOULETTTE AND THAT CARD ROSE.

Another deck shuffled put into houlette and four jacks, one at a time, JUMPED OUT OF THE DECK.

One card rose about a foot in space above deck.

too many variations for me to describe. BELIEVE ME, IT WAS LIKE WE WERE SEEING REAL MAGIC. NO CLUES..
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Postby Guest » 11/10/07 09:27 PM

Imagine if you would being transported back to a small room in brooklyn new york... it is 1914... you are looking at a worn stage 12 inches in height... on the stage some spindely tables,on one a disembodied teddy bear head, Miltiades ... a large glass dome on another... Out comes Dr Hooker who displays a small frame the size of a deck of cards a brass piece with glass sides and bottom... Miltiades and Dr Hooker enter into a conversation as he assists the doctor with different card rises... Any card shouted out by the audience is caused to rise on command from a tiny frame placed on a rickety table which appears to have barely enough support to stand on its own. Miltiades then proceeds to do some magic of his own including a very deceptive levitation ...of himself ...This is what happened at the conference. John Gaughan takes you for a little journey that is well worth the effort to get the chance to see as he transports you back to that brooklyn stage for some incredible magic... It is hard to imagine that this was originally thought out and assembled just a few years after we learned how to build a controllable airplane and television was barely a dream. I thank RK for his post which allowed me the opportunity to attend this wonderful event. I have seen a lot of magic over the years most unfortunately not worth the time but this was in the well worth it catagory . I also agree with RK's earlier posts it would not be the same on television or other media you have to be there for the true value to come across. As Dr. Hooker might say John slow down. Thanks SB
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Postby Guest » 11/10/07 11:28 PM

Well done, scottb. Thank you.

Someone HAS to ask: Does the method have anything to do with ghosts?
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Postby Guest » 11/11/07 02:20 PM

Yeah, thanks for that Scott.

Unfortunately other parts of life kept me from witnessing this once in a lifetime event BOTH times. Hopefully the powers that be will see to it to offer the experience again in the future.

It's stuff like this that makes it easy to see why some folks dedicate their whole life to this wonderful world we call magic.
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Postby Pete Biro » 11/12/07 10:00 AM

Methinks the lack of posts is for 2 reasons.

1: Nobody wants to admit they don't know how it works.

1: All that viewed it are still in shock and can't logically even describe what they saw.
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Postby Carlo Morpurgo » 11/12/07 10:08 AM

Originally posted by Pete Biro:
Methinks the lack of posts is for 2 reasons.

1: Nobody wants to admit they don't know how it works.

1: All that viewed it are still in shock and can't logically even describe what they saw.
I can think of another reason, which nicely complements what you propose....but I am not telling.

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Postby Guest » 11/12/07 10:20 AM

It's not Reason Number One for me, Pete. I'll cheerfully admit to one and all that I have almost no clue as to how any of it works. I have a bit of an idea what went on with my deck (Militades determining how far from the top of the deck my selection was located) but no idea as to the exact mechanics that were involved. Much of the rest of the performance was completely unfathomable.

And so, for me, even a week afterwards, I'm still quite in shock about it. There's so much hype in magic, and I know all of us have been repeatedly taken in by dealer ad claims that promised real miracles and delivered far, far less. Or the "must see!" performances that edged closer to the "must flee!" end of the spectrum.

But Dr. Hooker's Impossibilities lives up to and exceeds the legend. It's everything you read about, and more. One of the delights of the performance was the mass of original correspondence displayed on the rear wall of the room. It was delightful to read the reactions of some of the leading lights in magic at the turn of the last century and how utterly flummoxed they were at the creations of Dr. Hooker. And to know that I was in rarefied company in:

1) being able to witness the routine, and

2) knowing that these masters of the art were as clueless as I was about how these miracles were accomplished.

Just an amazing, amazing night...one I'll remember the rest of my life.

Jeremy
(still in shock)
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Postby Guest » 11/12/07 01:40 PM

No one at the conference hesitated to admit how completely fooled they were. I've written a description of the demonstration and the sequence of effects. I will probably post it here, but not for a month or so.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 11/12/07 03:51 PM

I was badly fooled and I am happier for the experience! It is the most astonishing magic performance I have ever seen. Whats more, I do not want to know how its done. I relish the idea that I will always have the experience of this mystery to recall.

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Postby Carlo Morpurgo » 11/12/07 04:09 PM

I was there too, on Friday. Flew over just for that one half hour, and truly enojoyed it. I must admit that for me it was more of an intellectual challenge than a mystical and magical experience, but what can I say. On one hand there was so much hype about this series of effects, on the other, I am not a magician... I think Dr. hooker as a scientist would appreciate my efforts in trying to make some sense out of what I 've seen.

Well, I have done that. I wrote a small article (8 pages) with my observations, and with some ideas on how it might be done. It could be all wrong, but I've tried. I've submitted it last saturday to the LA Conference of Magic History, and shared it with no one else, yet.

To be honest, I feel like we are in a bit of an impasse here. On one hand, Richard Kaufman says that we are free to write whatever we want, on the other, there are folks here who do not want to read or hear anything about it, and prefer to live the dream forever. I think it's pretty much up to Mr. Kaufman to decide whether or not to allow the real discussion in his forum.

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Postby Guest » 11/12/07 04:15 PM

After seeing the effect I have some fairly substantial theories on how it operates but that wasn't the point of the experience. The atmosphere of sitting in a room and seeing something that collectively was fooling a host of knowledgeable magicians and magical thinkers was an amazing event. When you've been in magic a long time you sometimes miss the joy of those first experiences when you were mystified so badly. The Hooker rising cards revived that joy for many of us.
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Postby Guest » 11/12/07 05:36 PM

My wife and I went to see it on November 2. It was everything I expected and more. My wife was a bit non-plussed, though. She told me that she couldn't appreciate it as much as I did. After all, magicians are SUPPOSED to be able to do those things!

But neither of us figured it out.

I, for one, don't think that it would be of any value to me to figure it out. It is Art. Dr. Hooker's point may have been to create the perfect rising card, and thereby raise the bar for the rest of us. He may have even wanted us to try to figure it out, knowing full well that we won't be able to do so.

For me, the point was to see it. And I did, along with a great view of the back of Dr. Albo's head!
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Postby Michael Edwards » 11/12/07 06:52 PM

It was a wonderful experience...not because it had not been seen in over a decade, not because it is unlikely to be seen again, and not because it mystified some of the finest thinkers in magic today. It was wonderful because for twenty-five minutes we were back in Dr. Hooker's little theater in Brooklyn Heights watching cards behave as if truly enchanted by magic. Enchanted is a good adjective to express my feelings as well.
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Postby Guest » 11/12/07 08:25 PM

I love hearing stories like this. It reminds me of when I was new to magic, and everything was amazing! It's cool that there's still things that can utterly baffle us, even after years in the field. Thanks for all the reviews!
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 11/12/07 09:05 PM

Anyone is free to post anything about The Hooker Card Rise here on the Forum. If you want to speculate on methods, feel free! I just wanted everyone to wait until after the last performance was over. Now have at it.
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Postby Guest » 11/13/07 09:18 AM

So, I did not attend, but have a few thousand questions. Why is this not being brought to the East Coast? Too big? Where exactly has it been written up? I know that there was a picture of Johnny on an earlier Magic Magazine, and if I also recall, there was either a lens flare, or a hole drilled into this big glass (covery thing) that wasn't air-brushed out. Can anyone recall what issue this was? I would like to go back and re-read the article...Why are the audiences limited, angles? How did Johnny decipher, or buy into this illusion? Where was he during the performance?
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Postby Pete Biro » 11/13/07 09:38 AM

Offer JOhn a huge check o bring it east?
The flare/glare in the MAGIC MAG photo was just that... NOTHING RETOUCHED.

JOhn walked all over during, someetimes standing near table sometimes in audience.

Believe me THERE WAS NOTHING TO BE SEEN. Room size dictated no. of audience. Could have done at Radio City music hall, but not many would b able to tell what value of cards (too far away0.

I also believe they wanted the room to rresemle the Hooker residence. Even had the original Hooker home drapes.

He got the apparatus from Dr. HOoker's grandson.

And as Ricky Jay said, "THE RIGHT PERSON OBTAINED IT."
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Postby Guest » 11/13/07 10:16 AM

The MAGIC magazine with John Gaughan and the Hooker Card Rise on the cover is the January 1994 issue. There is a very good article by Jim Steinmeyer, with a complete description of the effects.
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Postby Guest » 11/13/07 10:22 AM

I guess with the airlines losing so much luggage, the illusion would preferred to be driven cross country... I'm not too sure you could pay ME to drive cross country. What's with the teddy bear? Did this conceal any mechanics? How many people do you think it took to pull this off? How high did he levitate? Were any of the letters in the back from, say ten years ago?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 11/13/07 10:35 AM

Max, instead of asking a million questions, let some of the people who've been asking me privately whether they could write about this now do so.

As for the photo on the cover of MAGIC in the old article, yes of course it was retouched. It was taken by Bill Taylor and he retouches all his photos.

Unfortunately Pete is wrong, it could not be done at Radio City Music Hall. The routine was designed to be done for a small audience, and for a small audience it must be done. It has no commercial potential in current day theater.

It is also designed to be seen only once or twice by anyone, and then only years apart. So it will never be brought anywhere else, and it will likely never be performed again.
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Postby Brad Henderson » 11/13/07 11:16 AM

The problem I had was the battle between two minds. Not mine and Dr. Hooker's, but mine and myself.

If I had one magic wish it would be that I could have seen the Hooker rise twice, knowing I would be seeing it twice.

I don't care how much one wants to have a magical moment, there is always that little "how is this done" voice that creeps in. If course, that voice is necessary, without it we wouldn't experience the sensation of magic - it would just be something that happens.

But I found myself in an internal struggle: Part of me wanted to just let go and experience the wonder, but part of me kept asking 'how, where, and what?'

When that happens, I find it hard to get lost in the moment, which I so badly wanted to. Sure there were times when that happened, but the rational "magic dork" side of me would rear it's ugly head.

Having said that, it is probably the most deceptive piece of magic I have ever seen. And it is one of the most provocative. Everyone left the room and conversations spilled forth. But unlike most times when this happens in our little world, every single conversation was founded in a position of respect and ultimately praise. Sure we talked methods and possibilities, but in every single instance we were led to a feeling of greater respect for the man, his methods, and his magic.

There will never be another Hooker Rising Cards, but how wonderful would it be if each of us, in our own way, tried to engender that type of response with our own magic, for our own audiences, for our art. My own bar has been raised.

More than anything, that's what I walked away with.
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Postby Pete Biro » 11/13/07 11:37 AM

Richard: You missed my point about Radio City Music hall.. He could have set it up on the stage.. physically... but it would be too far from the audience to see it.

BTW: If Bill did retouch the photo it was likely a flaw in the photo (flash reflection or something) but there was NOTHING TO HIDE a we were sitting just a few feet away and saw nothing)

What happened to the Dec. cover art on the home page?
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Postby Carlo Morpurgo » 11/13/07 11:41 AM

Ok...let me break the ice here. As I said, I attended the Friday performance, not completely sure as to what to expect. Should I let myself be fooled, or should I not? I honestly did not know, but I soon found myself taking the opportunity to try to solve the mistery. I've let myself be fooled many other times....The upshot is that I actually relived the performance in my head for over a week, in trying to remember and understand what I had seen, and that was great....

I wrote something up, but it is mostly for those who have seen the performance, especially last Friday, or those who know more or less the effects. It's a theory, no more, no less. I am ready to take punches and toss it in the garbage!

You will find the file here:

http://tinyurl.com/242svm

If you have a weak stomach and do not like to see Hooker's Impossibilities sliced up, then do not open the link above.


Carlo

PS 1. I only focus on the card effects, and I do not have a detailed explanation of everything. I was hoping to at least nail the main principles behind the workings of the houlette.

PS 2. The document is the same one I sent to Jim Steinmeyer last Saturday, except some minor changes and a couple more footnotes.
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Postby Guest » 11/13/07 11:48 AM

Here is "Silent" Mora's brief explanation:
(transcribed from one of the letters on display at the Conference).

A varied quantity of iron (Don't know what form) in every card and every card a different amount.

Magnetic repulsion (if there is such a thing) terminating in the rising card table. The amount of current into the table is controlled off stage on a dimmer system and the more current, the higher the card rises.

53 or more dimmers, one for each card and one for each group of cards.

The Bear's Head (explanation????)

Wireless control of the jaw, eyes turning the head.

The Levitation of the bears head, THAT I DO NOT KNOW.
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Postby Michael Edwards » 11/13/07 12:19 PM

Carlo -- Have you ever tried to use a Neyhart houlette? Or ever found one that could work consistently...even with each of the 52 cards carefully idexed and in new condition...let alone with the precision that is required for some of the Hooker effects?
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Postby Carlo Morpurgo » 11/13/07 12:23 PM

Originally posted by Michael Edwards:
Carlo -- Have you ever tried to use a Neyhart houlette? Or ever found one that could work consistently...even with each of the 52 cards carefully idexed and in new condition...let alone with the precision that is required for some of the Hooker effects?
No, I have not. I have no clue as to what the mechanics of that houlette are. I am not claiming that Neyhart's houlette is the same as Hooker's.

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Postby Guest » 11/13/07 12:25 PM

Originally posted by John Lovick:
Here is "Silent" Mora's brief explanation:
(transcribed from one of the letters on display at the Conference).

A varied quantity of iron (Don't know what form) in every card and every card a different amount.

Magnetic repulsion (if there is such a thing) terminating in the rising card table. The amount of current into the table is controlled off stage on a dimmer system and the more current, the higher the card rises.

53 or more dimmers, one for each card and one for each group of cards. ...
That's great! Better than the "trained fleas" idea that someone sent via email.
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Postby Michael Edwards » 11/13/07 12:28 PM

Interesting that Jim has repeatedly noted that the secret lies in a principle of magic rather than one of science...if you believe him. :)

John...did you not see the fleas in Miltiades fur?
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Postby Guest » 11/13/07 12:52 PM

Originally posted by Michael Edwards:
...did you not see the fleas in Miltiades fur?
Oh geeze...anybody get one? Wonder if that means the rumor about using a trained spider...(maybe even the story inspiration for Charlotte's Web?)
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