Los Angeles Magic History Conference

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JohnCox
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Los Angeles Magic History Conference

Postby JohnCox » November 12th, 2011, 12:16 pm

The L.A. Magic History is going on now. Anyone have anything to share from it? I'm not among the invited and I'm dying to know what's going on. Spill! :)
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Re: Los Angeles Magic History Conference

Postby Richard Hatch » November 12th, 2011, 5:05 pm

Only major Houdini references so far that I can recall were in Gary Hunt's well researched presentation on the much married female escape artist Minerva last night. Well, the visit to the Skirball Cultural Center yesterday morning also had a Houdini component...
Highlights for me so far have been Steve Freeman's first hand report on a private debunking of psychic Suzy Cotrell (and a showing of her 17 minutes of fame on Carson's TONIGHT SHOW), Bill Taylor's report on the Diaconis/Vernon cups and Marty Demarest's report on his W. E. Sanders research last night. The visit to Brookledge this morning was lots of fun, despite the overcast skies threatening rain. Marvyn Roy reprised his boyhood role as Thayer demonstrator circa 1942 on the stage. Nothing scheduled today other than that, the dealer rooms, and the performances tonight, which should be excellent (starring, among others, vent superstar Jeff Dunham).

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Re: Los Angeles Magic History Conference

Postby JohnCox » November 12th, 2011, 7:24 pm

Ah, yes, I knew Gary was going to do the Minerva lecture. Would have loved to have seen that. I hear he uncovered some Minerva posters?

Did Gary voice his opinion on whether Houdini really did put lime in her barrel?
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Re: Los Angeles Magic History Conference

Postby Richard Hatch » November 12th, 2011, 10:42 pm

There were some Minerva posters shown (3?) and he did quote the Jarrett claim that Houdini's men had put some kind of acid in her barrel once in the UK, burning her, and endangering her eyesight (had she lowered her head into the water, which she didn't). He seemed to think something had happened, but wasn't convinced of the details of Jarrett's account, without offering an alternative version.

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Re: Los Angeles Magic History Conference

Postby JohnCox » November 13th, 2011, 11:37 am

Cool. Thank you, Richard.
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Re: Los Angeles Magic History Conference

Postby Pete Biro » November 13th, 2011, 1:51 pm

DOES THIS CONFIRM THAT BILL TAYLOR NOW OWNS THE SET OF VERNON'S CUPS THAT JENNINGS HAD?
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Re: Los Angeles Magic History Conference

Postby JohnCox » November 13th, 2011, 2:04 pm

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Re: Los Angeles Magic History Conference

Postby Richard Hatch » November 13th, 2011, 8:34 pm

Pete Biro wrote:DOES THIS CONFIRM THAT BILL TAYLOR NOW OWNS THE SET OF VERNON'S CUPS THAT JENNINGS HAD?

You are correct, sir.
His report gave the history of the cups (two sets smuggled in from Iran by George Karger of Stars of Magic photographs fame), one set ending up for sale in Karger's antique shop in NYC, being spotted by Francis Carlyle who passed the word onto Persi Diaconis who purchased them and later traded his pristine set for Vernon's much used set. It is the latter set that Vernon gave to Jennings and is now owned by Bill Taylor. He discussed the manufacture of cups in general, this cup in particular and even had the silver tested, from which he learned that the silver came from a mine in the Soviet Union (a fact revealed by the lead content of the silver cups). Really a well researched and delivered talk, with animation illustrating the the various manufacturing methods for cups.

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Re: Los Angeles Magic History Conference

Postby Dustin Stinett » November 13th, 2011, 8:52 pm

A full report of the Conference will appear in the January issue of Genii.

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Re: Los Angeles Magic History Conference

Postby Pete Biro » November 14th, 2011, 2:30 am

Did Taylor mention how Persi swapped cups with Vernon? Also I believe Karger didn't do the smuggling, that a friend of his in the Diplomatic corps brought them. Any hint of what Taylor paid for them?
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Re: Los Angeles Magic History Conference

Postby Richard Hatch » November 14th, 2011, 6:51 am

Pete Biro wrote:Did Taylor mention how Persi swapped cups with Vernon? Also I believe Karger didn't do the smuggling, that a friend of his in the Diplomatic corps brought them. Any hint of what Taylor paid for them?

Yes, correct, no. Someone said Persi paid $300 for the set he bought from Karger's antique shop, but I don't recall if that was in Bill Taylor's talk or post-lecture ocnversation. I had also heard (independent of the Conference) that the Karger set was in his shop display window as flower pots, not magic props, but that did not come up and may be an urban legend. $300 would have been a lot to pay for flower pots at the time!

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Re: Los Angeles Magic History Conference

Postby JohnCox » November 14th, 2011, 11:25 am

Dustin Stinett wrote:A full report of the Conference will appear in the January issue of Genii.

Ah, great to know. Thanks.
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Re: Los Angeles Magic History Conference

Postby Lisa Cousins » November 14th, 2011, 3:40 pm

Marty Demarest scored the biggest laugh of the event with a call-back to an earlier presentation which had debunked Bigfoot. To all of you who may have entertained the idea that Bigfoot is real, I'm afraid he's now been thoroughly - and I do mean thoroughly - debunked.

I won't speak to the taste of others, but debunking holds limited appeal for me. I'll always hold the guy who constructs the house of cards in greater esteem than the guy who kicks it down.

Anyhow, once Bigfoot had been definitively slain, Marty Demarest managed to resurrect him once again - this time as a candidate for Erdnase.

Truly a convention highlight.

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Re: Los Angeles Magic History Conference

Postby Brad Henderson » November 14th, 2011, 4:10 pm

While marty's jest was Both clever and appreciated, I think 'biggest laugh' of the event has to go to Jeff Dunham - repeatedly. Marty definitely takes the win for the amateur division, however.

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Re: Los Angeles Magic History Conference

Postby Richard Kaufman » November 14th, 2011, 4:56 pm

I didn't find Jeff Dunham to be tremendously funny. I had a few laughs from old Walter, but that was about it.
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Re: Los Angeles Magic History Conference

Postby Kevin Connolly » November 14th, 2011, 5:07 pm

Did he bring the Dead Terrorist? That is funny material.
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Re: Los Angeles Magic History Conference

Postby Brad Henderson » November 14th, 2011, 5:21 pm

I hate to spoil it for you, Richard, but Walter IS Jeff Dunham.

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Re: Los Angeles Magic History Conference

Postby Richard Kaufman » November 14th, 2011, 6:37 pm

No ... really?
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Re: Los Angeles Magic History Conference

Postby Brad Henderson » November 14th, 2011, 7:38 pm

Yes. If you look closely, you can see walter's lips move when Jeff speaks.

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Re: Los Angeles Magic History Conference

Postby Diego » November 15th, 2011, 1:06 am

An important lesson was the presentation of ALBERT CHING to the conference. Here was a performer most were not aware of, but had amazing credits: Ed Sullivan, long runs at The Palace in NYC, The Forbidden City club in San Francisco, and more...but had been running his sandwich stand in Pasadena for decades with nobody knowing who he was and what this Chavez graduate had accomplished during his performing career.

There are people out there, (and/or their surviving families) who have played important parts in magic history, but have been forgotten, moved on to other things, or not even aware that there are those like us who care about what they did, and want to hear the stories they have to tell.

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Re: Los Angeles Magic History Conference

Postby JohnCox » November 15th, 2011, 12:59 pm

That's interesting, Diego. Thanks for sharing that.

BTW, can anyone tell me how I can get myself on the list (or the list to get on the list) for 2013? I contacted Jim Steinmeyer several months back and he told me his wife handles the list. I believe I sent her an email...but I don't recall hearing back. Not sure if that means I'm on the waiting list or not.

Really killed me that I couldn't attend this year. Sounds like it was a wonderful time. And it seems like all my magic friends and Castle buddies were there.
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Re: Los Angeles Magic History Conference

Postby Richard Kaufman » November 15th, 2011, 4:29 pm

John, You need to contact Jim or Mike directly.
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Re: Los Angeles Magic History Conference

Postby JohnCox » November 15th, 2011, 9:42 pm

Thanks, Richard.
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Re: Los Angeles Magic History Conference

Postby magicam » November 17th, 2011, 5:13 am

John, as you may already know, attending the Conference is by invitation. I believe there's a waiting list, but don't know how long it is. That said, there were at least a couple first-timers this year.

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Re: Los Angeles Magic History Conference

Postby JohnCox » November 17th, 2011, 5:16 pm

Well, hopefully I'm on the list to get on the list that gets you on the list. :p

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Re: Los Angeles Magic History Conference

Postby Pete McCabe » November 18th, 2011, 1:27 pm

You need to talk to the guy behind the guy behind the guy.

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Re: Los Angeles Magic History Conference

Postby Diego » November 18th, 2011, 8:47 pm

Steve Freeman told his story very well, with no graphics, just telling his story as a first hand witness, with a preciseness that had us there with him.

Later showing Susy's appearance (17-19 Minutes long!) it was apparent SHE was in control and they were in HER world.
Later that night at The Conference, some attendees were debating if her last effect was a daring chance on her part or____?

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Re: Los Angeles Magic History Conference

Postby Dustin Stinett » November 18th, 2011, 9:39 pm

Steve's fantastic talk was the highlight for a lot of folks. And he did have one graphic; the marked card.

Dustin

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Re: Los Angeles Magic History Conference

Postby Jonathan Pendragon » November 20th, 2011, 7:27 am

Steve Freeman was the conference's highlight for me. His presentation was part zietgiest, part commentary on the ethics of mentalism, all in an essay that was masterfully constructed and performed. I still wonder about the Grippo "knock from behind the door" story.

When Philip Morris followed Steve's debunk with his own on BIg Foot, I turned to West and in jest enquired, "Whose next on the bill Penn Jelliette?"

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Re: Los Angeles Magic History Conference

Postby Gary Hunt » November 20th, 2011, 5:42 pm

I agree with everyone on the highlights of the conference. Though my favorite had to be visiting Brookledge and watching Marvyn Roy perform some of the effects he demonstrated back in the early 1940's when he worked for Thayers. He was having way to much fun and it was wonderful to watch. Can't wait to see what they come up with in two years.
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Re: Los Angeles Magic History Conference

Postby Lisa Cousins » November 20th, 2011, 8:12 pm

This was my sixth time attending this event, and one aspect that's been consistently outstanding at each and every one of them is the costume designs by Frankie Glass. They're always beyond-perfect or, to use the Nigel Tufnel formulation, they "go to eleven."

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Re: Los Angeles Magic History Conference

Postby Richard Kaufman » November 20th, 2011, 9:30 pm

Frankie is a woman of taste and class.
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Re: Los Angeles Magic History Conference

Postby Scotto » November 21st, 2011, 12:20 pm

Gary Hunt wrote:I agree with everyone on the highlights of the conference. Though my favorite had to be visiting Brookledge and watching Marvyn Roy perform some of the effects he demonstrated back in the early 1940's when he worked for Thayers. He was having way to much fun and it was wonderful to watch. Can't wait to see what they come up with in two years.


I agree 100%
If nothing else (and there was plenty else) watching Marvyn at Brookledge was worth the whole conference :grin:
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Re: Los Angeles Magic History Conference

Postby JFox » November 21st, 2011, 4:01 pm

Marvin's demo of Gwynne's "Sucker Rabbit Die Box" resulted in several audible comments from audience members asking: "Where'd the bunny go?!"

So old - its new again..and still a fooler.

(Abbott's also produced a combo Gwynne "sucker rabbit die box", which also incorporated the standard Gwynne flip-over feature, entitled "Here Rabbit, There Rabbit")

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Re: Los Angeles Magic History Conference

Postby Bill Mullins » December 28th, 2011, 2:04 am

John Davis gave a talk on posters and their restoration. He's posted it HERE along with nearly a hundred vintage poster images (mostly not magic, though, but still beautiful examples of the printer's art).

And HERE is some of their work on an 18-sheet Bancroft poster.


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