Royal road to card magic

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performer
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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » June 3rd, 2019, 5:27 pm

Oh, perhaps I misunderstood longtime lurker. If so I apologise. I thought he was referring to the Lives of a Showman.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » June 3rd, 2019, 5:48 pm

Ryan Matney wrote:The Egyptian Pocket is one of the tricks I used to fantasize about performing when I was a teenager. I'd love to hear from someone that has actually done it.


Now that I think about it I did do it as a teenager myself! But not the full extravaganza of the Royal Road/Hermann version. I would do it with just one person as a close up stunt. They would select a card which I would control to the top of the deck. They would place the deck in their pocket, reach in and produce the card themselves if I rushed them slightly. I expect a few of us did it that way at one time.

However, the fully fledged platform or stage version described in the Royal Road is nowhere to be seen performed on You Tube or anywhere else as far as I am aware. That is probably a good thing!

However, the last part of the routine reminds me of something I do already which has a vague similarity to the Egyptian Pocket. I shall describe that in the annotations. It is actually part of a simple pickpocket routine.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby MagicbyAlfred » June 3rd, 2019, 7:47 pm

performer wrote:Oh, perhaps I misunderstood longtime lurker. If so I apologise. I thought he was referring to the Lives of a Showman.



Just to clarify a bit further, when I said, "my friend" in the last post, I was referring to Performer. I don't know lurker or who he is...
But I would give him the benefit of the doubt until there is reason to believe otherwise.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » June 3rd, 2019, 10:02 pm

I jumped to conclusions too quickly. I thought he was attacking me saying that because I had no editor for the Lives of a Showman (and I didn't) nobody had read it. I think I misunderstood his response and if so I apologise.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby Joe Mckay » June 5th, 2019, 1:27 am

It is great to have Mark back. Welcome back Mark!

All those BS doctors telling you were gonna' die - sod them. They are idiots! I just hope you hang around long enough to write your second set of memoirs.
Last edited by Joe Mckay on June 5th, 2019, 1:31 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby Joe Mckay » June 5th, 2019, 1:30 am

Along with your annotations to the Royal Road To Card Magic series!

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » June 5th, 2019, 10:21 am

The doctors weren't idiots. Health care is superb in Canada and the price is right.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby Sebastian B » June 29th, 2019, 3:52 am

Mr Lewis,

I`am curious how the annotation of the Royal road is progressing?:)

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » June 29th, 2019, 4:01 am

I could finish it in a few days if I had the energy. Or at least finish the actual writing. Of course once that is done there are still other things to do like editing, illustrating and myriad other things involved in writing a book. I am up to the Cards to Pocket in the last chapter. Unfortunately I am bogged down trying to describe how to do a buckle count. I really dislike describing technical moves and I am irritated that Hugard and Braue didn't do it for me. I am trying to describe my own routine for the Cards to Pocket which only uses seven cards but doesn't really. It uses eleven. All my own invention.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » June 29th, 2019, 4:08 am

Here is a little sample of the annotations to Egyptian Pocket anyway:
....................................................................................................................................................................................................

I have to confess that I have never performed this so don’t really have much to say about it except that I do remember when much, much younger doing it with one person only and getting them to grab the selected card from their pocket as described above. However, I have never performed the full extravaganza as a stage or cabaret item and at this stage of my life probably never will!
Still, having said that the climax of the trick has a certain similarity to something I already do as part of a pickpocket routine. It is based on the work of Paul Potassy and I might as well describe it here. This is the bare bones presentation. If you want more detail I can recommend the book and DVDs that are on the market devoted to the material of Potassy.
First you need a spectator who is wearing a jacket with a pocket on each side. Stand to his right and ask him if he plays cards. While he is formulating an answer you take the opportunity to palm somewhere between 12 – 15 cards from the deck in your right hand. Tell him not to be alarmed but you are going to have to reach in under his jacket and go to his shoulder. You do so and leave all the palmed cards on his shoulder but remove one and show it to the audience saying, “You have one of my cards!” You then repeat the procedure, but showing the hand empty this time, removing another card saying with some mild exasperation, “You really shouldn’t do that you know!” You then offer to show how it is done. Say, “This is what you do-you show your hand empty, you wiggle your fingers, reach in and pull out a card!” As you say this you illustrate by doing the actions you describe, showing the empty hand, wiggling the fingers and finally go to the shoulder again and produce another card. Repeat the action again with a fourth card.
You now suggest to the spectator that he tries it out for himself. Instruct him to show his hand empty and wiggle his fingers. Congratulate him on his elegance and then instruct him to draw out all the cards he can find on his shoulder. This should get a good reaction from the audience.
Take the cards from him and hand the deck to another spectator saying, “ Do you have any more cards on you?” You pull open his jacket on his right side with your right hand as if to see if there are any more cards there. This gives you an opportunity to put your left hand into his right jacket pocket to do a bit of pickpocketing! Since the jacket is wide open and away from his body he will not feel a thing and neither will he see anything since the jacket will afford plenty of cover. Grab the contents of the pocket, remove them and place the items in your own left jacket pocket.
You then cross over to his other side, and with your left hand pull open the left side of the jacket this time under the pretext of looking for more cards. You now have access to his other pocket and you investigate that with your right hand. Secretly remove what you find and stash the contents in your right hand jacket pocket.
Express disappointment that you cannot find any more missing cards but suddenly brighten and say, “Oh, I know where the cards are!” You now address the other spectator that you asked to hold the deck temporarily, retrieve the deck and say “I think you have my cards in your right trouser pocket” As he looks in his pocket you have ample opportunity to palm off a bunch of cards. He finds nothing in his pocket and you say, “Oh wait, I made a mistake. They are not in your pocket. You have them behind your ear!” So saying you produce the palmed cards from behind his ear in a fan.
The situation now is that you have the complete deck in your hand and in both jacket pockets you have the purloined items from one of your volunteers. At this point you now do any other card trick you can think of to give a bit of time before producing the stolen items. After all you don’t want to bring them out too soon as the spectator will connect your previous actions to the pickpocketing. However, once you have finished this new trick start to bring out the items one at a time and return them to the astonished volunteer!

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby Sebastian B » June 29th, 2019, 4:20 am

Mr Lewis,

I can only imagine the work it takes to get all this done. I hope you can find the time and energy to finish the annotations. I believe that the annotated Royal road would be very interesting reading.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » June 29th, 2019, 4:31 am

It could have been done in three months or even shorter. It is the damn procrastination that delays these things. I am glad I am not trying to write the Encyclopedia Brittania.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » June 30th, 2019, 6:14 am

It just took me ten minutes to describe how to do the Buckle count and several weeks trying hard to avoid describing it in the first place. I am glad that's over! It might not be the best description in the world but I have seen worse. The rest of the description of my cards to pocket routine will now be very easy. I think the use of seven cards (I got the idea from Al Koran) streamlines the effect considerably I think.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » July 1st, 2019, 3:45 am

Sebastian B wrote:Mr Lewis,

I`am curious how the annotation of the Royal road is progressing?:)


I think it is fair to say that it is nearly finished. There are only two or three tricks left to be annotated and then that means the first draft will be completed. It is then just a matter of editing and proofreading the first draft and I don't anticipate too many changes. Then of course there will be the illustrations to sort out and other matters. Still, I do see light at the end of the tunnel now.

I think it is going to be a good book.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby MagicbyAlfred » July 1st, 2019, 1:29 pm

Performer Wrote: "I think it is going to be a good book." I would bet on it!

It's also been nice kind of following Performer's journey, as he proceeds down the Royal Road - not something that one ordinarily gets to do...

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » July 1st, 2019, 6:52 pm

I just finished doing the annotations to the Cards to Pocket. In the old days this was done with twelve cards, then it settled down to ten cards which seems to be the traditional way nowadays. However, I decided to bring it down to seven cards and I described my version in the annotations.

However, the Royal Road text points something out that I have never seen discussed or mentioned before. I don't think I necessarily agree with it and in fact I don't believe I have ever seen anyone do it in the way advocated but I may well be wrong.

First this is what the Royal Road says:
...................................................................................................................................................................................................
2. Approach a gentleman, hand him the pack, and extend your left hand. "Ten cards, please." If he removes some from the bottom or the middle, you say, "A card from the bottom, one. A card from the middle, two. One from the top, three," and so on to ten. You do that because one of the most important factors in making this trick incomprehensible is to convince your audience that you do not know which cards you will use in performing it. Never under any circumstances remove the cards from the pack yourself, for presently you will make these cards leave your left hand and appear in your right trouser pocket. You must not give the audience reason to think afterwards, "Ah, but he had duplicates of the cards in a secret pocket in his trousers. That's how he did it!"
.........................................................................................................................................................................................................

Then I made this short annotation thus.
......................................................................................................................................................................................................
I am not sure I agree with this but so be it. I think it slows up the presentation and any time I have seen a magician perform the trick they have indeed removed the cards from the pack themselves! Still, I will let the reader decide which is the best procedure.
........................................................................................................................................................................................................

So, which IS the best procedure?

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 1st, 2019, 7:29 pm

It's not. You can have a whole set of dupes in your pocket like Dingle's "Supersonic Spades to Pocket."
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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » July 1st, 2019, 7:49 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:It's not. You can have a whole set of dupes in your pocket like Dingle's "Supersonic Spades to Pocket."


Are you saying the Royal Road got it right or got it wrong?

Mention of Derek Dingle brings up something I have been wondering about for decades. This may be a strange question but I have a reason for asking it. Does anyone happen to know if his mother-in-law was ever a graphologist (Handwriting analysis)?

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 1st, 2019, 9:34 pm

I met his first wife, Wendy, but never her parents.

You must NOT remove the cards from the deck yourself.
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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby Jonathan Townsend » July 1st, 2019, 10:43 pm

So that's a vote for letting them handle the pack and give you the cards. Makes sense.
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » July 2nd, 2019, 3:30 am

I shall explain the Derek Dingle thing first and get it out of the way. Many, many years ago a friend of mine visited the Blackpool Pleasure Beach and there was a woman there who did handwriting analysis. You would give her a sample of your handwriting and she would write out a report in her own handwriting and sell it to you. My friend got it done and later on showed it to me. It was incredibly accurate so I wanted to get it done for myself. I couldn't get up to the Pleasure Beach so I asked him to do it for me. I gave him a sample of my handwriting and off he went to get it done. When he returned and handed me the results I was astonished at the accuracy of such. But this is where it gets interesting.

He told the lady that I was a magician (he was too) and she asked him if he had ever heard of Derek Dingle. He said, "of course" and she went on to inform him that she was Derek's mother-in-law. She went further and mentioned some family details to him which I forget now so many years later.

The only snag is that I am not sure if my friend was spinning me a story and that the whole thing was fiction. To this day I have no idea if the woman he met on the Pleasure Beach was indeed Dingle's mother-in-law. I hope it is true since it makes a nice story. However, my friend had a mischievous nature so I don't know the truth to this day. Whoever she was she was a fantastic graphologist anyway.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » July 2nd, 2019, 4:07 am

Jonathan Townsend wrote:So that's a vote for letting them handle the pack and give you the cards. Makes sense.


Sometimes things that make sense in print don't make sense in practice. I am on the fence over this matter with regard to platform or cabaret work although I tend to think it is not necessary. For impromptu close up work I certainly wouldn't bother since it is highly doubtful that people you meet casually or know already think you are walking around with secret pockets in your trousers.

With regard to platform work I have gone back and forth with this in my mind and have more or less come to the conclusion that the disappearance of cards in your left hand combined with the act of showing your pocket empty several times in the routine should be enough. In performance I seem to have gotten decent results without the fiddling about getting cards selected at random. Slow presentations tend to put me to sleep.

Most written explanations in print never mention this preliminary and indeed even the Vernon routine does without it. Of course it has to for technical reasons. Somewhere on You Tube there is a video of Vernon doing the trick. I will check it out when I get the chance but I don't remember him getting people to select cards for the trick. In the Stars of Magic for the Dr Daley method using a numerical stack naturally no cards are selected and since he is doing it to his shoulder rather than to his pocket so of course there is no way he can show his shoulder empty the way you can with your pocket.

I don't think the Patrick Page version has cards selected. Come to think of it I vaguely remember that he DOES have secret pockets in his version although I may be wrong. I will have to check his description in Routined Manipulation to verify one way or the other. I have checked other descriptions from Ross Bertram to John Booth and I see no mention of these preliminaries.

I doubt very much if laymen think you have duplicate cards in secret pockets but even if they do you can disprove it and in any event it gives them a false path to follow which is always a good thing.

No. On balance from a showmanship point of view I will stick to the philosophy of not boring people to death by getting someone to pick out cards. I detest unnecessary actions and even worse unnecessary patter when performing. Economy of actions and words are always a good thing. Still I would be interested in hearing other views on this subject. The Royal Road seems to be the only source which raises this point.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby MagicbyAlfred » July 2nd, 2019, 7:08 am

My personal view on the subject is that the spectator should be the one to remove the cards. First, this makes the procedure fair and above board. Second, it involves the spectator. Third, it is not that long and cumbersome a procedure for the spectator to remove 10 cards, or especially 7 cards as suggested by the annotation.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » July 2nd, 2019, 9:12 am

Where seven cards are concerned I have to remove the cards myself for technical reasons. With regard to involving a spectator I am always in favour of this but not so much when I am on a stage. It would certainly slow things to get them up on the stage to merely count a few cards and send them back after they have done so. And to do it by wandering into the audience is always a dangerous procedure since it is an excellent way of losing attention.

In a close up situation I know how long it takes to remove ten cards since this is what happens when I do tarot readings! It can take quite a while and I use this opportunity to silently tune in to the person I am reading. It can take an entire minute and a minute is a long time in magic. The other alternative I have seen suggested in written descriptions is to have the spectator shuffle and then deal the first ten cards onto your hand from the top of the deck which of course is supposed to prove a random selection. It is quicker but I don't think it proves very much as it doesn't sink in quite as much as getting them to randomly pick the cards from all over the place.

I think all this fiddling about is so unnecessary. I don't believe the audience will even remember you doing it when they discuss the trick afterwards.

Harry Lorayne once mentioned in a book that magicians worry too much about things a layman doesn't give a darn about. I think he was right. This is why you have to understand people to be a good magician.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby MagicbyAlfred » July 2nd, 2019, 12:14 pm

All good points. Also, I would add to Harry's admonition, that magicians worry too much about things a layman doesn't give a darn about, the corollary - that oftentimes, magicians don't worry about the things a layman does give a darn about.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » July 2nd, 2019, 12:27 pm

That is also true. And it further confirms what I have always said. The psychology of magic is very important indeed. You have to understand the PEOPLE even more than understanding the techniques. It isn't easy to figure out how people's minds work but it is essential to be able to do so if you want to get to a certain standard and achieve superior results.

Al Goshman famously said that YOU are the magic and of course he was quite right. However, THEY are the magic too. And you have to be able to figure them out!

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » July 3rd, 2019, 5:03 pm

I am now up to Three Cards Across in the annotations and after that there is only one more trick. I should be able to get through this annotation very quickly since this is one of my signature tricks that I have been doing for over 55 years in different countries at all sorts of venues from close up work to the circus ring (of all places!). The wonderful thing about writing this item is that I don't have to describe any sleight or talk about boring matters like which finger goes to which part of the pack and other horrors. That means there will nothing to procrastinate about.

This trick is an absolute stunner and has stood me in good stead for decades. It alone is worth the price of the book.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby chetday » August 8th, 2019, 10:37 am

Mark, I haven't seen you on the forum for over a month and am wondering if you've completed your annotations of The Royal Road to Card Magic?

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby Leo Garet » August 8th, 2019, 10:56 am

I've been wondering about Mark's absence myself. Illness? Or another semi-enforced "sabbatical".

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby Richard Kaufman » August 8th, 2019, 12:47 pm

I think I banned Mark again.
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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby PressureFan » August 8th, 2019, 8:19 pm

He was sold at a Psychic Fair.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » November 1st, 2019, 1:00 pm

He was not sold at a psychic fair. I know him personally and am therefore in a position to confirm this. I can also confirm that the annotated Royal Road to Card Magic has now been completed. Just a bit of proofreading and some illustrations to sort out.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby chetday » November 2nd, 2019, 2:17 pm

Mark, I'm looking forward to ordering a copy just as soon as the books are ready.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » November 2nd, 2019, 8:31 pm

I shall make an announcement at the appropriate time in my usual low profile manner.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » November 25th, 2019, 6:13 pm

I wish to inform the multitude that the book will now have colour photographs. I didn't know it was possible but I must have pressed the wrong button or something and it accidentally all happened as if by magic!. I was originally going to take photos and pay someone to draw illustrations from the photos but I won't have to do that now. I shall leave the original Royal Road pictures just as they are but my annotations and the appendix will have all these lovely photographs. I shall be contacting Hugard and Braue in the spirit world to see if they approve and I think they will. I must say that you are all very privileged to be informed about this historical matter. If you thought the book was good wait until you see it now!

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby I.M. Magician » November 25th, 2019, 6:52 pm

Mark...while you are in contact with Hugard and Braue, please ask them if they would please somehow sign my copy.

Many thanks!

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » November 25th, 2019, 7:14 pm

I already asked if they would sign mine. Alas they said I would have to join them in the spirit world first. The rate things are going they might have not that long to wait.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby I.M. Magician » November 25th, 2019, 7:57 pm

In that case, I’ll have an unsigned copy. That is, if you get to release it. Doesn’t sound very promising huh?

Here you go again with that goodbye cruel world stuff. If you really are ill, tell us what the problem is. Otherwise, CUT IT OUT!

You had some of us very concerned about you the last time you started that stuff. There are better ways to get attention you know!

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » November 25th, 2019, 9:47 pm

The last time was true. Now it is only half true.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » December 2nd, 2019, 8:49 am

The book is nearly finished. I am now looking for someone well known in the magic world to write the foreword in return for a free book. Of course I have always said that being famous in the world of magic is on a par with being well known in your apartment building but it seems that it might have some use after all.


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