Del Ray

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Jonathan Townsend
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Re: Del Ray

Postby Jonathan Townsend » November 5th, 2010, 11:35 am

David, to the theater, sciences and techincal arts much of magic is pickman's model. So much grotesque to be found burried under glamour along with some occasional useful tidbits showing insight. Our literature reflects where we are today. I vote for moving forward from the Tiger Beat glam star focus to the more instructive technical journal. As to myself serving as Pickman's model? Of what, an artist mulching the detritus of long impertinant ideas/works into something from which new and useful works might grow? A quiet reader whose findings offer a little solidity to the current foundation folks are building upon - where David Blaine invented the Two Card switch trick and hunderds who can't perform a card trick fret over why project Erdnase involved burning down the printing house? :D

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Re: Del Ray

Postby Kent Gunn » November 25th, 2010, 11:58 pm

My book dealer, Byron Walker ordered 15 of them. When I picked mine up last weekend he had one other left aside from the copy he was holding for me.

I read the biography portion already. It really is a grand story. Saw him once. I had no idea how he'd done most of his magic. I conjectured many things. His methods, alluded to in the bio section, are far more devious than anything I'd imagined.

It's a wonderful book. If you didn't get your copy yet, it appears you're too late.

Gary . . . thanks again for your part in bringing this great project to fruition.

KG

Richard Hatch
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Re: Del Ray

Postby Richard Hatch » November 26th, 2010, 1:48 am

I picked up a copy from Marshall Petersen of H & R last week when I was in Texas. According to the website, he still has some in stock:
http://www.magicbookshop.com/product_in ... s_id=15920
Looks like a great book, I'm looking forward to reading it carefully.

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Del Ray

Postby Richard Kaufman » November 26th, 2010, 3:24 pm

I don't see anyone crediting David Ben for all the research he did on this book before turning it over to John Moehring.
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Steve Bryant
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Re: Del Ray

Postby Steve Bryant » November 26th, 2010, 3:39 pm

Just an awesome book. Re the magic, new to me and fascinating was the blackjack deal.

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Del Ray

Postby Richard Kaufman » November 26th, 2010, 7:15 pm

Considering the amount of research he did, which he then turned over to John, I would think he deserved more credit than that. But I'm also puzzled by your role in the book. I've been told that your sole contribution was to write up the card routines, yet you write about the book as if you were somehow more involved in its creation and publication.
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The Magic Apple
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Re: Del Ray

Postby The Magic Apple » November 27th, 2010, 7:29 am

What a great book and an amazing DVD! Good job to everyone involved!
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Re: Del Ray

Postby Terry » November 27th, 2010, 10:10 am

Agree with everyone as it is a fantastic testament to the man and the magic he created.

All involved should be proud of their contributions to the project.

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Del Ray

Postby Richard Kaufman » November 27th, 2010, 11:40 am

Gary, since you're not a book publisher you wouldn't understand this, but a strong book helps the whole market.

And why would I be jealous? I'm very busy with my own book projects right now and could not have taken on the Del Ray book even if it had been offered to me.

I don't think my side of the exchange qualifies as a "pissing war" (to use your term).
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JR Russell
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Re: Del Ray

Postby JR Russell » November 27th, 2010, 12:53 pm

I just spent a very enjoyable hour watching the Del Ray close-up section of the DVD...pure entertainment and I have not even made it to the book yet! Great stuff
JR Russell
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Re: Del Ray

Postby The Magic Apple » November 30th, 2010, 10:17 am

I just got word that there wil be more available in Late Jan 2011 if anyone is interested.
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Re: Del Ray

Postby Tom Gilbert » November 30th, 2010, 10:43 pm

I have one on order, should be here tomorrow. I could not locate this thread last night even with a search. But years ago I signed up for two conventions that Del was supposed to be performing at, he had to cancel both, so I never got to see him.
Did he do lectures or just perform? Just wondering if he shared what he did or kept it to himself.

Tom

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Del Ray

Postby Richard Kaufman » November 30th, 2010, 11:36 pm

I never saw or heard of Del giving a lecture. He was an extremely shy person when not performing.
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Pete Biro
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Re: Del Ray

Postby Pete Biro » December 1st, 2010, 2:04 am

My copy arrived today, too late to read, but will do so beginning tomorrow. I saw Del many times and was totally amazed at his skills and HIS PRESENTATIONAL STYLE. He was one of those few I could watch over and over and over again, in the league with Kaps, Goshman and Vernon.
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Jackie Huang
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Re: Del Ray

Postby Jackie Huang » December 1st, 2010, 12:34 pm

Pete, would you put Slydini in the same league, just curious?

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Re: Del Ray

Postby Terry » December 1st, 2010, 5:58 pm

Jackie, you are trying to compare apples to oranges re Slydini & Del Ray.

They were both masters at their particular style of performing. Del Ray relied on a good bit of electronics to create his art while Slydini relied solely upon sleight of hand and misdirection.

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Pete Biro
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Re: Del Ray

Postby Pete Biro » December 1st, 2010, 9:46 pm

While totally different in effect/content, yes, both Del Ray and Slydini were incredible at DOING MAGIC... not tricks... just fooling you badly and presentationally outstanding.
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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Del Ray

Postby Richard Kaufman » December 1st, 2010, 10:12 pm

The first time I saw Slydini as a kid, giving a lecture at the local IBM (I was 14 or so), and he kicked my ass good. Truly magical.

The first time I saw Del Ray was as an adult, at the Mid-West Jubilee in St. Louis, and he kicked my ass good. Truly magical.

And your point is ...
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Jackie Huang
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Re: Del Ray

Postby Jackie Huang » December 4th, 2010, 4:07 pm

Del Ray had kicked a bigger ass!? :D

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Re: Del Ray

Postby Jackie Huang » December 4th, 2010, 4:15 pm

"Jackie, you are trying to compare apples to oranges re Slydini & Del Ray."

Terry, I wasn't trying to compare them (and I've only seen Del Ray in videos, not live) but only referred to Pete's "same league" comment. To me Vernon, Slydini, Goshman, Kaps are all magic Gods, if there is such a thing. :)

As for your comment that "Del Ray relied on a good bit of electronics to create his art", from what I read in the Del Ray book he was a master sleight-of-hand artist even before his electronics days. If he had impressed Blackstone....

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Re: Del Ray

Postby Terry » December 5th, 2010, 9:53 am

Jackie,

His stage act did include the real work + electronics, but the close up act was predominately electronics near the end.

I'm not knocking the material because in the layman's eyes, Del Ray was as close to real magic as one can hope to get.

What I meant by apples & oranges is that both performers/material were as different as night & day.

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NCMarsh
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Re: Del Ray

Postby NCMarsh » December 5th, 2010, 10:43 am

You want to know about "real work": Ask Denny Haney about Del Ray ending the close-up act at corporate shows by beating the best Rummy player in the company. He was legitimately cheating (how's that for an oxymoron), and Denny's story of the time Del was almost beaten is a great example of Del's tremendous technical skill, timing, misdirection and self-possesion.

So, yes, he used electronics in ways no one else considered and created original, commercial, charming, and impossible material with those methods. But he was also an accomplished technician who did "the real work" day-in and day-out for real people. Most importantly, he had genuine charm and could connect immediately to the people across the table.

He was the complete package creatively, technically, and presentationally. In my view (and in respect to the things I consider important) he was one of the 2 or 3 greatest magicians of the 20th Century...

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Del Ray

Postby Richard Kaufman » December 5th, 2010, 12:10 pm

Del Ray did some of the best sleight of hand with cards I've ever seen--totally invisible. You had no idea he was doing anything.

I never liked Del's stage act. It might have been interesting in the 1950s in a nightclub, but it just wasn't a patch on his close-up work, which remained vital and interesting to the end. "Silent" was not his best performance style; he spoke during close-up and that gave him a unique personality.

As a close-up magician, his "presentation" was among the best, if not the best. It's hard (and crazy) to compare people since they're all so different. But he was certainly the equal of Rene Lavand, Al Goshman, Slydini, Tamariz, and whomever you wish to name as being among the top close-up magicians in our lifetimes.
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Re: Del Ray

Postby Sr Agnes Fate » December 5th, 2010, 12:51 pm

I have seen him work. He was quite good.

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Re: Del Ray

Postby Max Maven » December 5th, 2010, 1:25 pm

Terry writes: "the close up act was predominately electronics near the end."

I beg to differ. All of the routines involving electronics also had significant amounts of sleight of hand and psychology. And, there were routines that stayed in his close-up repertoire that involved no electronics at all -- e.g., the Dice Cup, which had one of the strongest climaxes of any magic routine I've ever seen.

Richard, his stage act did include at least one talking sequence, but I gather he didn't always include it.

Simply put, Del was on a level all his own.

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Re: Del Ray

Postby byron walker » December 7th, 2010, 4:26 pm

Although the Del Ray book seems to be officially "sold out" I still have a few copies at the original price of $68. You can contact me:
Byron Walker
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San Leandro, CA 94578
(510)276-1854
byron.walker@comcast.net
Or, see it on my website:
byronwalkermagicbooks.com
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Terry
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Re: Del Ray

Postby Terry » December 7th, 2010, 5:00 pm

Max - "Simply put, Del was on a level all his own."

Agreed. I am a complete fan of Del Ray's close up work. Period. My posts were not meant to sound negative in any way.

I was at the Florida State Convention in the 90's where the stage act didn't go off. The hotel was across from Universal Orlando and it may have been the culprit. Dr. Escher told me that Del had called him afterward very upset.

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Re: Del Ray

Postby pixsmith » December 31st, 2010, 3:15 am

Just finished this book while visiting family in Las Vegas. Kudos to both John and Gary, and David Ben as well, for a beautifully researched, well-written, and compelling story of a man completely driven by magic.

The book is almost impossible to put down, and like all good biographies, makes me wish I had known the subject.

I think it's sad that some of the best magic books (the Milo and Roger story, the Del Ray book, the Marshall Brodien bio, Bamberg's Illusion Show, the Willard the Wizard book, the Alexander book, and so many more) go unnoticed by the masses because they don't divulge all the methods, or flash and zing with the latest and greatest trick du moment. Instead, these books speak of dedication, originality, hard work, practice, and commitment -- things that are, obviously, not important. Not in the least.

Well done to everyone involved. This is a great read, and a great look at an era and at moments in magic that we will never see again. I am very, very envious of those of you who saw Del Ray in person. What an experience.

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Re: Del Ray

Postby Tom Frame » December 31st, 2010, 9:11 am

This is a marvelous book and DVD about my favorite magician. I sat at that table when he performed at the Galion and Pittsburg conventions. I dropped those dice down the ladder and howled at the result. I filled my diaper when the card flipped over all by itself.

I attempted to perform a Cannibal Card effect for him, but I blew it, due to being crippled by anxiety. He smiled and said, in that voice, "That's okay kid, that happened to me once. Just once." Highest Recommendation
"There is more to consciousness than meets the mind's eye." - Frame

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Re: Del Ray

Postby hugmagic » January 1st, 2011, 9:42 pm

Thanks Tom,...I can hear Del saying those words.

He was so unique. To those of us who were fortunate to have seen him, this book brought so many memories. To those that did not see him, they can see just a small sample of the genius of this performer. While Del never wanted his methods tipped, John did a masterful job of weaving the story in a manner to show Del's genius yet not revealing too much of the secrets. Those in the know, could read between the lines.

He was truly a magician for his time and there will never be another like him.

Richard
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