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Re: DelGaudio Sez

Posted: December 5th, 2015, 9:27 pm
by performer
I left Ireland in 1992. I probably arrived there as a resident around 1982. Before that I was in and out all the time. I used to call it my "big green piggy bank" as I found it to be a goldmine. The reason I went there on a more permanent basis was to mine the gold to it's full advantage.

I did indeed do the Late Late show in Ireland. It was May 1979. I was as unsuccessful in getting copies from their archives as I was getting copies from the Crackerjack archives. The Late Late show was (and may still be for all I know) the Irish equivalent of the David Letterman show. Actually in those days the equivalent of Johnny Carson's show in America. A damn good show come to think of it by a very professional host with the name of Gay Byrne. I think it would have been the show with the highest TV ratings in Ireland.

I was advised to do it on my visit to Ireland by Jimmy Cricket the well known Irish comedian who used to sell svengali decks for me in Belfast. He didn't run off with the money like Henry did but he might as well have done for all the money he took in. And the bloody department store I put him in used to phone and complain to me all the time about him. Later he went on to pitch some kind of polish and I think did a lot better than he did with the svengali deck.

However, I wasn't actually living in Ireland during that time. I was just in and out of the country depriving the natives of their money in as efficient a manner as I could possibly manage.

In actual fact my favourite media appearance in Ireland was a wonderful interview on the radio by Liam Nolan, a famous Irish broadcaster concerning my psychic work. A really, really skilled interviewer.

However, to get back to the subject at hand I certainly remember working in Gateshead. It was in an indoor market as I recall and not a very busy one either. I was there either in the late seventies or very early eighties. Maybe Joe is older than he is pretending!

Re: DelGaudio Sez

Posted: December 5th, 2015, 10:01 pm
by Joe Mckay
We discussed this before.

It was at the Metro Centre which is in Gateshead - but right next to Newcastle.

It was at a part of the indoor shopping centre that had a brick floor to make it look like an indoor market. I think it is called The Lanes. Near at shop called 'Windows' - which is a music store. And still there.

Twas' definitely you. Must have been around 1988-1990. It was Europe's largest shopping centre at the time - so I am sure that attracted your interest.

I was such a dumb kid that I could not grasp the 'long and short' principle. That Svengali deck felt like real magic to me.

I enjoyed your booklet on the topic as well. I found it interesting when you said it is the strongest card trick in magic.

The interesting thing I remember about your pitch style is the way you are not exactly friendly to the people you are selling to. You sort of speak to them like they are children in a classroom.

Interesting psychology.

Re: DelGaudio Sez

Posted: December 5th, 2015, 10:33 pm
by performer
I have explained the psychology in the past. You have to have an entirely different psychology as a grafter. Thurston used to say before coming out on stage, "I love my audience". In fact he would jump and down saying this repeatedly. It put him in the proper mood to meet his public.

A grafter has to have a different mindset. He has to jump up and own before he starts work and say to himself,"I hate these dirty bastards who are walking around with my money in their pocket. I really must do my best to get it back from them and transfer it from their pockets into mine"

There. I do hope things are a mite clarified for you. And it couldn't have been in 1988. I was in Ireland doing psychic readings at the time. It was in 1988 I did a psychic reading for Michael Jackson and I have the newspaper article to prove it. I was not doing psychic readings when I was working in Gateshead. Still, your description of the venue is very accurate so it certainly must have been me that took your mother's money.

Re: DelGaudio Sez

Posted: December 5th, 2015, 10:55 pm
by Joe Mckay
Well the shopping centre opened in 1986.

So - it must have been some time between '86 and maybe '91?

Although 86 seems a bit too early for me. I would only have being 4 at the time.

I remember once seeing those dancing cardboard toys (which use invisible thread and a motor which is hidden away) being pitched in town.

I always thought that was an interesting graft. The graft being a lot like what happens in magic shops.

A stunning effect - but when you take it home you realise it is hopelessly impractical.

Re: DelGaudio Sez

Posted: December 6th, 2015, 4:33 am
by performer
Well now I am completely baffled. If the shopping centre opened in 1986 I must have done a bit of time travelling. But then the market may possibly have opened before then since the market wasn't technically the shopping centre. I was living in Whitley Bay at the time I worked Gateshead which was around that area. I can't swear to it but I think I showed up in Ireland to live around 1982 so you must have seen me around the time you were born. I know I hardly left Ireland to work in the UK once I got there. I worked Gateshead around 1982 at the very latest.

I had a very big stand in Gateshead and in fact it was far too big for me. I intended to eventually fill it with other merchandise but I never did.

I won't worry about this chronology any more. It is a mystery which will not be solved. I am quite sure nobody else sold svengalis in that market after I left but who knows? Are you SURE it was me? My voice is very distinctive so I suppose you would have remembered it. And I did indeed treat the customers like dirt when I demonstrated. Oh well, it must have been time travelling or something.

As for the other product you are talking about that is the dancing doll. I never worked it but there was a famous grafter called Windbag Joe on account he worked a famous scam of some kind using windbags (whatever on earth Windbags are). The windbag thing was some kind of three shell game but not really. It used purses and it was some kind of competition. I don't know much about it. It was an old grafters thing from long ago before my time.

Anyway Windbag Joe also used to work the Dancing Doll and there was a whole story about how he had a partner who stole his dancing doll mould and skipped out on his hotel leaving Joe to pay the bill. His partner was from the evil town of Blackpool where I got my education in wickedness and some of the dancing dolls ended up in Cyril Critchlow's theatrical museum in Blackpool. Cyril was a well known member of the Blackpool magicians club.

Anyway Joe advised me to give up the svengali deck and do the dancing doll instead. He offered to teach me how to do it and said I would make an absolute fortune which would far outstrip that of the svengali deck. However, I never took him up on it as it involved a whole palaver of a demonstration involving a two way mirror, recorded music and a secret assistant. I know that whenever you see it nowadays it is just a silly thing operated by one person usually in the street and is nothing like the elaborate extravaganza that Joe worked in his day.

He told me that I would get "execution pitches" doing it. I suppose I had better translate this for the less worldly wise. And ninety percent of magicians are not worldly wise. First you should know that in the UK "pitch" does not mean "sell" as it does in North America. It means either the location you work or it is another word for the crowd itself. If you just get a normal size crowd in front of you of up to 30 people at the most that is just a regular size pitch. Grafters use the term "pull a pitch" which means "draw a crowd". An "execution pitch" is a much larger crowd of say somewhere between 50 to 100 people or even more. It comes from the days of public executions when massive crowds of people would come to visit executions for entertainment.

You will see some trade show magicians like Joel Bauer when he was active drawing "execution pitches" at trade shows which annoy all the neighbouring exhibitors whereas you got people like Eddie Tullock who although drawing large crowds were not big enough to be termed an "execution pitch". When I worked svengali decks I did not draw "execution pitches" although they were often quite large.

I have a strong suspicion that "execution pitches" at trade shows don't get companies any more business that smaller more selective crowds but the companies don't know that but that is a whole other story.

Re: DelGaudio Sez

Posted: December 6th, 2015, 9:18 am
by Leo Garet
performer wrote:A grafter has to have a different mindset. He has to jump up and own before he starts work and say to himself,"I hate these dirty bastards who are walking around with my money in their pocket. I really must do my best to get it back from them and transfer it from their pockets into mine"

Sounds like some convention magic dealers I've encountered over the weeks and months. :)

Re: DelGaudio Sez

Posted: December 6th, 2015, 9:45 am
by performer
A tiny, tiny few of them started out as gtafters. And it is no coincidence that these are the ones who take in the most money.