Who Are Your Major Magical influences?

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MagicbyAlfred
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Who Are Your Major Magical influences?

Postby MagicbyAlfred » February 23rd, 2020, 4:38 pm

I would guess that most of us have been inspired by certain individuals to embark upon our journey in magic, or once we were already on our way, there have been people by whom we've been significantly influenced in our thinking and approach, our presentation and repertoire, and even in the choice of what branches on the tree of magic we've chosen to specialize. In many cases, I would imagine that the major influence(s) are other magicians we've met or saw perform, or befriended, or who were our teachers, whether live, via their writings, or on video. Although, it might well be a layperson who has influenced or helped us most along in our magical travels, such as a parent, a spouse or a sibling. I'm gonna talk in some detail about my influences below, but you may not have the time or inclination to read my ramblings, so I'll ask it now:

Who are your major influences and inspirations in magic, and why?

For me, my first major influence was the demonstrator I saw at the magic store in Brooklyn when my mother took me there at age 6. Thanks Mom! My eyes popped out of my head, and I decided right then and there that I wanted to be a magician! Thereafter, it was my Uncle Alfred, a skilled and charismatic amateur magician, whom I met when he came to visit us from the Philippines, where he worked for many years. I was 9 at the time. He taught me the French drop, how to vanish a coin by rubbing it into my elbow, and some mystifying card tricks. I thought he was the coolest guy on the planet! A couple years later I met and started hanging around with my cousin, Gillie, for the first time when he and his family moved close by. At age 18, he was already an accomplished pro. In my early teens, when we lived in the Pocono mountains of Pennsylvania, my sister started dating the social director at a local honeymoon resort, named Bruce, who was a skilled amateur magician. He just exuded a love of magic, and was so much fun. Much to my sister's chagrin, I monopolized his time as much as I possibly could. He didn't seem to mind at all. He taught me a lot about the use of entertaining patter. Meanwhile, at about this same time, we lived literally across the street from a hotel called the Skyline Inn, which featured a magic show every Friday and Saturday night, with a magician named Jack Adams. He wore a top hat, white gloves and tails, and did wonderful illusions - my favorite trick was the white bunny he always produced from the "empty" top hat.

In my thirties and forties, I lived in South Florida. I constantly hung around at a local magic store in Coral Springs called Magical Moments. It was owned by an excellent magician named Corey Allen. I bought a lot of tricks there, and Corey taught me a lot. He was also the one who told me a guy named Bill Malone was performing regularly at Cafe 66 in Ft. Lauderdale. Corey described Bill as the best card magician in the world. I went down to see Bill, for the first of many times, and he came to my table and performed. And not just cards either - coins, silks, ropes, sponges, cups and balls, you name it. It literally changed my life. He would become my biggest influence and be the one who inspired me to work hard to become a full-time professional at that time - which I did. I ended up working at the bar Bill opened up at the Boca Raton Resort and Beach Club, Malone's Magic Bar. Shifts were from like 6 P.M until well after midnight. I could probably write a book just on what I learned through Bill's incredible generosity and patience teaching me. I worked with Corey Allen, Chad Long, and a host of other amazing and illustrious magicians at Malone's. It opened up a lot of doors, and the rest is history.

As for books - Scarne on Card Tricks, the Royal Road, Eugene's The Performance of Close up Magic, and Darwin's, Strong Magic, although there are certainly others too numerous to name. I learned a lot about presentation and some great tricks from Michael Ammar's Easy to Master Card Miracles video.

Kent Gunn
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Re: Who Are Your Major Magical influences?

Postby Kent Gunn » February 23rd, 2020, 5:05 pm

Alfred,
I get to hang out with Corey, quite regularly. He is a fantastic magician. Sounds like you've had some great inspirations.

It's too bad you've left Coral Springs there's a great magic crew that gets together there.

MagicbyAlfred
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Favorite Magician: Bill Malone
Location: Myrtle Beach, SC

Re: Who Are Your Major Magical influences?

Postby MagicbyAlfred » February 23rd, 2020, 5:12 pm

Kent Gunn wrote:Alfred,
I get to hang out with Corey, quite regularly. He is a fantastic magician. Sounds like you've had some great inspirations.

It's too bad you've left Coral Springs there's a great magic crew that gets together there.


Wow, Kent, thank you for that! Yes, I have been very fortunate. I haven't seen or talked to Corey in years. I lost track of where he is or how to contact him. He is not a household name in magic, but you are right, he is a fabulous magician and I admire him greatly. Wish I i could hang out with that crew in Coral Springs. Since I moved to Myrtle Beach from California, I haven't met any magicians to session with...

BTW your cups and balls routine is awesome!

Bob Farmer
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Re: Who Are Your Major Magical influences?

Postby Bob Farmer » February 23rd, 2020, 5:37 pm

I lumbered along for several years with books from the library by Walter Gibson, Blackstone and Greer Marechal, but then when I was about 12, I met some other magicians. They introduced me to the work of Hen Fetsch and U.F. Grant and those guys made me realize you could actually make up your own tricks and their tricks were just so clever. Then about two years later, I discovered music and gave up magic. Time passed and then I was really bored in first year law school and came across a copy of The Royal Road To Card Magic. That was it! I was back in and studied the Stars of Magic, Vernon and Bobo's Coin Magic. Then I ended up living in England for a year and discovered Roy Walton and Alex Elmsley. One Canadian magician who had a big influence on my style was Ottawa's Roy Cottee. He made everything amazing and he seemed to be as amazed at what was happening as the audience.

MagicbyAlfred
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Re: Who Are Your Major Magical influences?

Postby MagicbyAlfred » February 23rd, 2020, 6:50 pm

That's interesting, Bob, that you are also a musician. What instrument do you play, or perhaps you are a singer or composer? Or all the above. Do you ever perform music in conjunction with performing magic?

Kent Gunn
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Re: Who Are Your Major Magical influences?

Postby Kent Gunn » February 24th, 2020, 8:35 am

Alfred,

Bob's day job is pretty darned cool.

Influences, for me, were mostly books. My magical beginings were shaped by three real people though. Demonstrators at the magic shops I found

1. Marvin Lovestedt at The Fun Shop in Ogden, Utah.
2. Earl Nelson at Loftus in Salt Lake City.
3. Paul Chosse at Buma's House of Magic in SF.

What little progress I've made is due to the books I'd take to sea with me on whatever submarine was my home.

1. Coin Magic - this remains my favorite book. Some bushy-headed kid from NYC wrote it. The Dingle book is a close second.

2. Super Subtle and Million Dollar by Garcia. The copies sold to me by Earl fell to pieces on the USS Drum. Still full of great magic.

3. Stars of Magic. I've bought and given away multiple copies. Marvin loaned me his copy the day we met.

KG

Bob Farmer
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Re: Who Are Your Major Magical influences?

Postby Bob Farmer » February 24th, 2020, 8:55 am

Guitar and sax. Not at the same time.

performer
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Re: Who Are Your Major Magical influences?

Postby performer » February 24th, 2020, 12:38 pm

I never met a single magician for the first two years of my study of magic and I thank God every day for it. If I had met them I would have ended up as crap as they were. You can be influenced the wrong way if you are not careful. There were later on a tiny few superb performers who influenced me but nobody ever taught me a damn thing in person. I learned virtually everything I know from books.

MagicbyAlfred
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Re: Who Are Your Major Magical influences?

Postby MagicbyAlfred » February 24th, 2020, 6:39 pm

I believe that many members on here would wholeheartedly agree that books have been an invaluable influence. And I would count myself among those who feel that way. As far as "live" or personal feedback, while I have met magicians from whom I've learned a great deal, I have also been influenced profoundly by the laymen for whom I've performed. Particularly in bars, I have found there's no shortage of people more than willing to tell me - quite bluntly in many cases - their opinions, be they positive or negative.

performer
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Re: Who Are Your Major Magical influences?

Postby performer » February 24th, 2020, 7:33 pm

Yes. I will always listen to the opinions of laymen and generally ignore that of magicians. The laymen are generally correct and the magicians are usually wrong and full of bias. They don't react like normal human beings so I always take no notice of them. However, I have seen a few (VERY FEW) magicians who have influenced or inspired me although they have never given me advice (and I wouldn't take it anyway). I learned from watching them rather than listening to what they have to say.

Paco Nagata
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Re: Who Are Your Major Magical influences?

Postby Paco Nagata » February 25th, 2020, 5:23 pm

Another great thread, Alfred!

I have read your personal story and I'm glad to know more about you, specially your beginnings... very interesting.
So, your principal professional reference was Bill Malone. Nice! I like Malone's way of performing card magic, since it is similar to the way of my Idol: Juan Tamariz. Both are very funny and eloquent. And we have just arrived to my personal biggest influence in taking up card magic as a permanent hobby: Tamariz.
I have met him in person only twice, but hundreds of times on TV since my first time when I was 7. It was the first "magic" I saw (card magic), and I fell in love with it. Since then I couldn't stop experimenting with the deck of cards of my parents and discovering some elementary procedures.
My mother gifted me a children deck of 33 cards in my 9th birthday (Disney "Dumbo" pattern), being my first personal deck. I handled it so much that I got a certain elegance at shuffling and cutting as I imitated the magicians on TV.
During the summer I turned 10, an uncle of mine from Barcelona (amateur card magician), taught me some easy and useful sleights because he was quite surprised I already knew how to do some interesting card tricks. However he had to come back to his town when his holidays finished, so I lost an important person in my appreciated hobby. The thing is that nobody in my very big family were a magician neither professional nor amateur but him, so I felt quite alone with this hobby. Anyway, I went to Barcelona for holidays the next year and I did card magic for my relatives, for the first time out of my hometown.
I got my first book of magic at 11, so finally I could learn from books, but I can't talk much about my first books here since all of them were Spanish writers methods. Nevertheless, if I have to name some well known magicians that has shaped my card magic hobby through his books, apart from Tamariz, Ascanio and Pepe Carroll, it is Dai Vernon. The talent, ingenuity and originality of The Professor was the definitive reason for never drop out this hobby.
"The Passion of an Amateur Card Magician"
https://bit.ly/2lXdO2O
"La pasion de un cartómago aficionado"
https://bit.ly/2kkjpjn
Latest erratum corrections and improvements update, 6/12/2019.

MagicbyAlfred
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Joined: June 7th, 2015, 12:48 pm
Favorite Magician: Bill Malone
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Re: Who Are Your Major Magical influences?

Postby MagicbyAlfred » February 25th, 2020, 9:14 pm

Gracias Paco, la magia de las cartas es realmente una hermosa forma de arte.

Your passion for card magic is inspiring. It is amazing that with one deck of cards in our pocket, and nothing more, we can be prepared to give a whole magic show almost anywhere and any time.

Yes, Bill and Juan do have a lot in common. Both are hilarious, entertaining performers; both extraordinary magicians; and both are creative and brilliant magical thinkers. Most importantly, warm, sincere, and generous people. Juan's El Cochecito is a masterpiece, and one of my favorite card routines of all times. I really can't imagine anyone but him performing that routine. And what can you say about Bill doing Sam the BellHop?!?!? BTW, Have you ever seen the 3-phase routine Bill put together with the 21 Card Trick? Yes, the 21 Card Trick - it is a tour de force!

Paco Nagata
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Favorite Magician: Juan Tamariz

Re: Who Are Your Major Magical influences?

Postby Paco Nagata » February 26th, 2020, 8:39 am

MagicbyAlfred wrote:BTW, Have you ever seen the 3-phase routine Bill put together with the 21 Card Trick? Yes, the 21 Card Trick - it is a tour de force!

I have! (Thanks to YouTube though).
It was one of the first Malone's routine I watched and that made me think "this guy is great!"

I like a lot his Three Card Monte routine too:
"Let me know if I'm too fast..."
Very funny!

BTW, your Spanish if very good!
"The Passion of an Amateur Card Magician"
https://bit.ly/2lXdO2O
"La pasion de un cartómago aficionado"
https://bit.ly/2kkjpjn
Latest erratum corrections and improvements update, 6/12/2019.

webbmaster
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Re: Who Are Your Major Magical influences?

Postby webbmaster » March 3rd, 2020, 1:37 pm

My uncle, an amateur magician, showed me the back palm with one card and the very same night on TV I saw Channing Pollock. Game, set, match.

jdwatchboy
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Re: Who Are Your Major Magical influences?

Postby jdwatchboy » March 16th, 2020, 11:24 pm

Kreskin


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magicfish
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Re: Who Are Your Major Magical influences?

Postby magicfish » March 25th, 2020, 8:53 pm

Buddy Farnan changed my life with the miracles he performed on an early VHS with Billy Bishop. I mastered his thimble sequence at a young age. He was a real magician.
Bob McAllister inspired and enlightened me to the idea that a magician was a magician wherever he went. Everyday objects could be used to perform miracles.
Derek Dingle exposed me to real sleight of hand with cards. He turned me into a card freak and started me on my obsession with sleight of hand.
Harry Lorayne was my first author and as I practiced for hours on end alone in my bedroom I felt that he was giving me personal instruction- like he was there teaching me. He has been my number one card influence for 35 years.
I never missed an episode of the Paul Daniels Magic Show.
He was one of the best all around magicians who ever lived.
Herb Morrissey put up with me every day of every summer weekend from opening to close for years.
Eugene Burger spent a lot of time with me in Rochester in 1997. He fried me repeatedly with simple but devastating Closeup miracles.
I learned a lot from Gary Ouellet.
Jeff Pinsky is a great friend.
Richard Kaufmans writings and illustrations have presented me with much of the greatest closeup magic ever devised for decades.
I could go on.
Wonderful topic, thanks for getting me to remember journey.

Randy DiMarco
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Re: Who Are Your Major Magical influences?

Postby Randy DiMarco » March 27th, 2020, 11:10 pm

When I was younger I had the opportunity to spend quite a bit of time with many older magicians. I didn't appreciate them because they weren't doing the cool flibity-jibity stuff that I was into at the time. All these years later I can now see the influence they had on me despite myself.

A short list

Leo O'Leary
Karl Norman
Ed Newman
David Drake
Willis Kenney
Howie Schwarzman

There were many others that I don't recall at the moment.


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