Ken Krenzel Passes

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Jim Martin
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Re: Ken Krenzel Passes

Postby Jim Martin » February 12th, 2012, 8:01 pm

Thanks for that post Leonard - I need to find that release.
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erdnasephile
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Re: Ken Krenzel Passes

Postby erdnasephile » February 12th, 2012, 8:09 pm

It's a somewhat intimidating video tape--especially when Dr. Krenzel says: "It's impossible to learn the pass without being taught in person"

Then he proceeds to blow your mind with all these passes. Gary Ouellette (the host) is flabbergasted at the skill level displayed.

Still, I would love to have this in DVD format--I wonder who currently has the rights to it.

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Re: Ken Krenzel Passes

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 12th, 2012, 9:17 pm

The rights to all of the Videonics product are owned by L&L, who have released some of them. The Dai Vernon Revelations videos are by far the most well-known of the group.

As far as Ken's statement, "It's impossible to learn the pass without being taught in person," it might be true, or might not.

Since I was taught in person it would be impossible for me to judge the truthful aspect of his statement.

Of course, there was no video or film footage to learn from prior to 1982, so it's hard to judge Krenzel's statement in terms of other people since that time who have had the benefit of studying the various DVDs that have come out on the Pass, yet not met anyone else who did it really well.
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Re: Ken Krenzel Passes

Postby Ian Kendall » February 13th, 2012, 3:56 am

No one taught me the pass - I started from a basic description and worked on it from there. A couple of people did the move in front of me, just as a demonstration of what it should look like, but no formal instruction.

Like everything, it's a matter of the teaching material and how you apply yourself.

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Re: Ken Krenzel Passes

Postby Ryan Matney » February 13th, 2012, 3:08 pm

At my first convention, where I didn't know ANYONE, I saw Dr. Krenzel and after an evening building up my nerve I went to the dealer room and purchased his video on the pass which I think had just been re-released.

I approached Ken and politley asked him to sign my video. I'm sure he saw I was shy and nervous. As he signed the video, Howie Schwarzman appeared next to him and then Johnny Thompson stood behind me. This was a little much for me to deal with at my age then.

Ken then did the nicest thing that I will remember forever. He gave me more time with them. He asked for a deck of cards and he did 2-3 amazing things with my deck (I still have the deck). He performed just for me and Howie and Johnny as if I were part of that group.

And then, we got the announcement for dinner and the group broke up. I figured my time was over so I started to walk away and Ken put his hand on my shoulder and asked me to come down with him. And he let me walk to dinner with him and Johnny Thompson and listen to them talk.

Just before we entered the room, Ken stopped us and did one more trick. I think back and I realize he was doing this for my benifit so I got to spend a little more time with him and Thompson.

Later he called me at home and we talked about magic.

We have all been dissapointed after meeting heros or famous people. But Ken was truly generous and I see reading the posts here that he touched a lot of people.

I'll miss him.
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Re: Ken Krenzel Passes

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 13th, 2012, 3:10 pm

Yes, Ken was that way--always generous.
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Re: Ken Krenzel Passes

Postby Leonard Hevia » February 13th, 2012, 6:20 pm

Jim Martin wrote:Thanks for that post Leonard - I need to find that release.


You're welcome Jim. It's the fourth videotape of Ken Krenzel's magic. Amazing demonstrations of different Passes.
Hard to believe if you didn't see it with your own eyes. They're all real Passes too, not some poser with duplicate cards that we have seen before.

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Re: Ken Krenzel Passes

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 13th, 2012, 8:18 pm

L&L owns the rights. If enough people send them emails asking for the tape to be released on DVD, they might do it.
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Re: Ken Krenzel Passes

Postby Ruben Padilla » February 14th, 2012, 12:34 am

Ryan, thanks for that memory. I have a similar memory with Roger Klaus being equally nice to me in Las Vegas. It's nice to know that Ken was so generous. Appreciate your sharing...
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Re: Ken Krenzel Passes

Postby mrgoat » February 14th, 2012, 4:56 am

Ryan Matney wrote:At my first convention, where I didn't know ANYONE, I saw Dr. Krenzel and after an evening building up my nerve I went to the dealer room and purchased his video on the pass which I think had just been re-released.

I approached Ken and politley asked him to sign my video. I'm sure he saw I was shy and nervous. As he signed the video, Howie Schwarzman appeared next to him and then Johnny Thompson stood behind me. This was a little much for me to deal with at my age then.

Ken then did the nicest thing that I will remember forever. He gave me more time with them. He asked for a deck of cards and he did 2-3 amazing things with my deck (I still have the deck). He performed just for me and Howie and Johnny as if I were part of that group.

And then, we got the announcement for dinner and the group broke up. I figured my time was over so I started to walk away and Ken put his hand on my shoulder and asked me to come down with him. And he let me walk to dinner with him and Johnny Thompson and listen to them talk.

Just before we entered the room, Ken stopped us and did one more trick. I think back and I realize he was doing this for my benifit so I got to spend a little more time with him and Thompson.

Later he called me at home and we talked about magic.

We have all been dissapointed after meeting heros or famous people. But Ken was truly generous and I see reading the posts here that he touched a lot of people.

I'll miss him.


Wonderful story!

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Re: Ken Krenzel Passes

Postby topspin » February 19th, 2012, 5:52 pm

You dont have to have large hands to do the Mechanical Reverse invisibly. My hands are between small and medium (when I buy gloves, small is slightly too small and medium is slightly too big) but I found that you CAN do the MR without flashing.
I first learned the mechanical reverse in the mid 70s from one of the Karl Fulves publications. One of my favorite tricks at the time was "Instant Aces" using the move. I never quite understood why there was a fuss over flashing with the MR since it could easily be corrected after practicing in front of a mirror: you basically just swivel your right palm from facing down to facing left to cover the dip of the other finger/packet as you do the move. BUT after just reading now what all these card experts are saying about how difficult it is to avoid flashing, Im beginning to wonder whether we're talking about the same thing

I used to visit and chat with the infamous JB when I was living in the SF bay area. I first knew him from when he was still in high school. One time we talked about the MR and he said he never saw anyone who didnt flash when doing it. Without hesitation I told him thats because they were doing it wrong. When I think about it now, that was a pretty brazen statement on my part especially since before then I had never actually seen anyone else do it! Anyway, I took his deck and showed him. At first I flashed and he immediately told me so. Then I realized it was because I hadnt done the move in quite a while. So I was extra careful after that as I did the move over and over for him, probably at least a dozen times. After watching very intently, literally burning my hands as I was doing the move, he just changed the subject and talked about something else. I clearly remember finding it really amusing and annoying at the same time that he never said a single word to acknowledge what I did or what he saw, let alone a compliment! It was quite disconcerting, but I didn't pursue it. I said to myself Well, thats just like JB.

By the way, Ken Krenzels first book written by Lorayne is the only magic book that I remember reading from cover to cover, TWICE. Too bad I never got to meet him since he sounds like a nice person.

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Re: Ken Krenzel Passes

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 19th, 2012, 6:22 pm

topspin, I'd love to see the way you do the Mechanical Reverse.
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Re: Ken Krenzel Passes

Postby topspin » February 20th, 2012, 2:56 pm

I don't think theres anything new. The way I do the mechanical reverse is instead of the top packet not moving (and risk the dip being seen), I basically slide the top packet around the bottom packet so that the bottom packet doesnt move until near the end when the right little finger pivots the bottom packet 180 degree to coalesce the deck (Im talking right handed here). So theres no dip to see because there isnt any dip. I find the motions no different than those used to cover some versions of two handed passes.

It's probably invisible because Ive only used it one on one and never tried it for a group.

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Re: Ken Krenzel Passes

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 20th, 2012, 4:22 pm

topspin, I'm trying to do what you describe, but keep ending up with the halves of the deck back to back at center!
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Re: Ken Krenzel Passes

Postby topspin » February 21st, 2012, 12:16 am

When you're doing a mechanical reverse on a face down deck, isn't that what you're supposed to end up with?

The action I described is for after you flipped the deck over; i.e. you start with a left little finger break in middle of deck, then flip deck over with left thumb, then complete the MR by reversing the lower packet. The flash usually occurs as you reverse the lower packet under the stationary right hand. I'm saying don't keep the right hand stationary (as described in Lorayne's description of the move - see last sentence of page 207 continuing to page 208 and illustration 207 of Krenzel's book) but instead move it around the lower packet as the lower packet is being reversed.

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Re: Ken Krenzel Passes

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 21st, 2012, 10:16 am

topspin, you're right! I'm a dope! I like your way of handling the right-hand action.
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Re: Ken Krenzel Passes

Postby Jim Patton » February 22nd, 2012, 12:27 pm

That tip is the real work!

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Re: Ken Krenzel Passes

Postby Ryan Matney » February 22nd, 2012, 1:51 pm

Who is the infamous JB?
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Re: Ken Krenzel Passes

Postby erdnasephile » February 22nd, 2012, 8:27 pm

topspin wrote:When you're doing a mechanical reverse on a face down deck, isn't that what you're supposed to end up with?

The action I described is for after you flipped the deck over; i.e. you start with a left little finger break in middle of deck, then flip deck over with left thumb, then complete the MR by reversing the lower packet. The flash usually occurs as you reverse the lower packet under the stationary right hand. I'm saying don't keep the right hand stationary (as described in Lorayne's description of the move - see last sentence of page 207 continuing to page 208 and illustration 207 of Krenzel's book) but instead move it around the lower packet as the lower packet is being reversed.


Topspin: So, if I'm reading this correctly: it sounds like your right hand moves the top packet to the left (towards the left hand)--turning your right palm from facing the ground to the left, as the bottom packet turns over, right? Thanks!

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Re: Ken Krenzel Passes

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 22nd, 2012, 8:53 pm

In a sense, what topspin is doing sounds a little like Vernon's Kiss Pass (not sure which of the Inner trilogy, or Ultimate Card Secrets, it appears in). Because of the similarity to Vernon's handling of the Kiss Pass, Jennings always thought the Mechanical Reverse was also Vernon's.

Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong!

I like the idea of the right hand's movement.
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Re: Ken Krenzel Passes

Postby topspin » February 23rd, 2012, 1:51 am

Ok, Ill try to describe in more detail the way I do it: These actions are after the left thumb flips the deck over. The top packet moves to your right and slides around the right side of the lower packet. Thats the essence in hiding the dip. Or to put it in another way: theres actually no dip because your right hand is the one that dips. Another thing I do is, since my right little finger is already naturally at the top right corner, I simultaneously use the right little finger to push the upper right corner of the lower packet to the left as Im sliding the top packet around the lower packet. The little finger is in the same position and is almost identical in action as the start of the Fuente pass. You dont have to do it that way since thats not the way Ken does it (maybe because of his large hands). But I find that using the little finger that way gives me the feeling that it causes the two packets to efficiently collapse in a single step instead of a vague two step feel. Plus using the little finger helps to ensure you don't flash.

Done correctly I know the MR is invisible. But Ive never done it for a group, only one on one or one on two, assuming the two are not too far apart. Ive been at enough conventions and club meetings to see people using the pass for each other and its always obvious. So as a rule, I never do any type of passes for a group. I even wondered whether the pass was originally invented for use on just one on one.

Ive been using Loraynes description as a reference where he says you have to absolutely keep the right hand still. Hes probably describing the way Ken does it. I first learned it from a Fulves publication in the early to mid 70s. It's so long ago that I cant find it now so I dont know whether he describes the right hand action the same as Lorayne. So I may even be doing it the way Fulves describes it!

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Re: Ken Krenzel Passes

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 23rd, 2012, 10:38 am

No, that's not the way Fulves describes it. I understand your action now, which leads me to another question: are you keeping your hands otherwise still with the spectator looking downward, or are you turning to the left so the back of the right hand and the top of the moving upper half provide cover?
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Re: Ken Krenzel Passes

Postby topspin » February 23rd, 2012, 3:16 pm

Spectators are towards my right, so I turn to my left if I have to. And yes, the upper moving half provides cover. So theres really nothing original; nothing you cant modify on your own from practicing in front of a mirror or from the experience gained from practicing other passes. Once you flip the deck over then the move is almost instantly done as soon as you re-grab the deck.

I havent done the move in at least 25 maybe 30 years. The only trick I remember ever using it for was Jennings Instant Aces which I used to do quite often. But it bought back memories when you mentioned Kens Mechanical Reverse on this thread.

I dont remember reading about Vernons kiss pass. Ill have to look it up. Ironically and interestingly enough, my very first purchase from JB was the 3 Inner Secrets books! I think he was still in high school then. He had just bought the new hardback editions and wanted to get rid of his softback ones. Since the contents were identical I bought them from him. Who knows, I may have been his first ever customer!

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Re: Ken Krenzel Passes

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 23rd, 2012, 3:29 pm

Interesting. Have you seen Allan Ackerman's "take" on the Erdnase Open Shift? It's not unlike what you've described, though it's a Shift rather than a reverse.
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Re: Ken Krenzel Passes

Postby erdnasephile » February 23rd, 2012, 5:57 pm

Thanks, topspin! This tip has finally made this move practical for me--your sharing is really a fitting tribute to Dr. Krenzel and his generosity.

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Re: Ken Krenzel Passes

Postby Steve Bryant » February 26th, 2012, 9:56 am

Being less skilled than most, my favorite Krenzel book was Ken Krenzel's Ingenuities, which I reviewed way back when I was doing the Little Egypt Gazette. As I said then, the book contained "miracles requiring only such aids as a gaffed card case, double-faced cards, equivoques, gravity, stripper decks, and grammar school mathematics." The review, and especially the book, are worth another look . One of Ken's better tricks also appears in that issue.

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Re: Ken Krenzel Passes

Postby Ryan Matney » February 27th, 2012, 2:03 pm

I think I learned the mechanical reverse from a description that Richard wrote somewhere. Maybe Jennings 67.

I always jam the upper packet into the from of my left thumb and slightly bring back th elower packet toward my body.

However, the only time I really use this is with a small packet.

It does seem a bit much with a full deck to me. Plus I try to eliminate holding the deck with both hands as much as possible.
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Re: Ken Krenzel Passes

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 27th, 2012, 5:28 pm

I had a set of cards made up for Larry's original handling of "Pineapple Surprise" (it's in Jennings '67) and I practiced and practiced, but the Mechanical Reverse is keeping me from performing it. I can do the sleight with no problem, and have been able to for decades.

There's an incredible Ace Twisting Routine from Dingle/Skinner/Jennings that I published in MAGIC in its first year. It was a staple of Dingle's repertoire for nailing magicians--there was no way to follow it. In the middle he did a Mechanical Reverse followed immediately by a Through-the-Fist Flourish, and EVEN when Derek did it, it looked like some odd explosion had just gone off in his hands. Magicians were just boggle-eyed, not sure what happened. Great trick, though.
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Re: Ken Krenzel Passes

Postby erdnasephile » February 27th, 2012, 7:39 pm

For some reason, when practicing this, it seems natural to go directly into an all-around square up at the end of the reverse--it helps coalesce the packets and flows nicely. Does anyone else do this?

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Re: Ken Krenzel Passes

Postby Jonathan Townsend » February 28th, 2012, 9:45 am

Yes, once you start rotating the pack it's almost natural to go into the all around squaring action.

Is there a published credit on the strategy of placing ones forfingers bent with the tips on the top and bottom of the pack during these sleights to help keep the hands in proper covering position while appearing somewhat natural?
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Re: Ken Krenzel Passes

Postby JordanL » February 28th, 2012, 10:54 am

Richard,

The S.A.M. Parent Assembly will be holding a tribute night for our late Dean, Ken Krenzel this Friday Night March 2. We have been able to get some Tributes statements from many who knew Ken well, and I would appreciate if I could get a statement from Richard to be read at the tribute.

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Re: Ken Krenzel Passes

Postby Eric DeCamps » March 3rd, 2012, 8:27 am

[size:14pt]
Last night (3/2/12) PA # 1 membership and invited guests gathered to celebrate the life of the late Dr. Ken Krenzel. Unfortunately I could not personally attend but I asked George Schindler to read the following sentiments for me.

Personal Reflections on Dr. Ken Krenzel

I am very sorry that I could not be here tonight to deliver these words personally about Ken Krenzel.

One of the reasons why I joined the SAM over 30 years ago and have been such a staunch supporter of this assembly for so many years was because of past true compeers like Ed Levy, Lenny Greenfader, Mike Bornstein and Dr. Ken Krenzel. These were the old timers who took a shining to newcomers and welcomed younger people to the group and supported their magic.

At the time that I joined, our membership hovered at around 330 members and they realized that for this club to have a future they needed to nurture and support the younger membership, which they did in their special way but only if you passed the test. What was the test, you may ask? Well it wasnt just magic chops you had to have a real passion in your heart for the art.

I was very fortunate to work closely with Ken on several after meeting shows for the Parent Assembly in the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s. He was always very pleased with the results of those shows. In the last show that he produced back around 2001/2002 when PA # 1 was meeting at the Edison Hotel, he specifically requested that I perform my Spirit Box routine and he was elated with the response from the audience for that piece. His words that night still resonates in my memory, Eric that was truly a haunted house come to life it was simply magical. Thank you.

Ken may be gone to us but I prefer to think of it as he is reunited with his old PA # 1 friends Ed Levy, Lenny Greenfader, Mike Bornstein and the other people he admired such as Ed Marlo, Dr. Daley, John Scarne, Herb Zarrow and Dai Vernon. I can only imagine that they must be having one heck of a magic session in heaven right now. Especially with Ed Marlo and Dai Vernon sitting at the same table. ;-)

I would like to wish for Ken to rest in peace and to my fellow compeers in this room right now I ask that you all take - pause - and please look around the room and cherish your friendships here and now, because you never know what tomorrow may bring.

Sincerely,

Eric DeCamps


PA # 1 member Paul Hsiao posted the following photo album on his FB page chronicling the evenings event.

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set= ... 481&type=1[/size]

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Re: Ken Krenzel Passes

Postby Doc Dixon » March 3rd, 2012, 8:39 am

I think Dr. Krenzel would have been very pleased that this thread includes the tributes of friends and acquaintances and some sessioning on card magic. A good reflection of the man himself.

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Re: Ken Krenzel Passes

Postby AlessandroPangia » March 18th, 2012, 1:16 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:In a sense, what topspin is doing sounds a little like Vernon's Kiss Pass (not sure which of the Inner trilogy, or Ultimate Card Secrets, it appears in). Because of the similarity to Vernon's handling of the Kiss Pass, Jennings always thought the Mechanical Reverse was also Vernon's.

Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong!

I like the idea of the right hand's movement.


Ultimate Secrets Of Card Magic I believe, if my memory serves right. I think about the Mechanical Reverse as a "Three Quarters Kiss Pass", since it has some similarities.

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Re: Ken Krenzel Passes

Postby Matthew Field » September 8th, 2012, 5:08 am

Ken Krenzel was a very talented and very sharing magician who I was fortunate to know.

It might be mentioned that Al Schneider went to some lengths to state that the Pickup Move was his alone, not (as is often the case, as it is here) to be credited jointly to him and Derek Dingle.

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Re: Ken Krenzel Passes

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 8th, 2012, 11:47 am

Yes, the Pickup Move belongs entirely to Al Schneider. Derek did not invent it, but I think he certainly believed that he did. An odd bit of self delusion. I've apologized to Al about the crediting in Derek's book.
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Re: Ken Krenzel Passes

Postby Al Schneider » October 31st, 2012, 3:56 am

Thank you Mr. Kaufman for pointing that out.
Also, thank you for making this statement many times elsewhere.
Many times I have talked with magicians about this issue and often I am scoffed for saying the move is mine. Very disturbing. I met Mr. Dingle at a Columbus Magifest early in his career. I showed him Matrix, then called coins n cards. Warren Stephans was there. The following year at the Magifest, I met Mr. Dingle again. He showed me a trick that was Matrix as a trick he invented. Warren instantly said, "That's not yours." Well, the upshot was that Dingle said he would give me credit in his new book. When it came out, the book stated that I also came up with the idea along with him.

About the presentation by Ken. First, his move is brilliant. I like it a lot. There are a few small differences however. When I place the card on the coin, the card edge is immediately placed tangent to the edge of the coin. In this way, the card need not be moved to get the coin. This can look a bit odd but after 40 years of performing it, no one seems to notice. Another bit is that Dingle did not press the card to pop up the coin. At least not when he showed me his version. When he performed it, he dug under the card to press the coin against the card. This looked very odd.

One last bit. A half dollar can be seen under the card when picket up as Ken presents it. I solved this by snapping the card immediately so the card snapped into the mat.

Again, the move suggested by Ken is incredible.

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