Stewart James

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Joe Mckay
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Re: Stewart James

Postby Joe Mckay » July 8th, 2018, 4:55 pm

At the start of The James File - Allan Slaight describes how he started up a correspondence with Stewart James. His opening letter to Stewart James mentions a trick that Allan had heard described at the local magic shop. It is the same trick that Mark Lewis refers to (a stripped down version of The Trick That Cannot Be Explained). The trick was never formally published. But you can learn it in the chapter detailing how Allan Slaight started up his friendship with Stewart James.

Check out the ACCESS GRANTED chapter at the start of The James File.

[The above is from memory - so apologies if I got a couple of details wrong. But it is all there at the start of The James File]

Leonard Hevia
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Re: Stewart James

Postby Leonard Hevia » July 8th, 2018, 9:03 pm

Thanks Joe!

Edward Pungot
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Re: Stewart James

Postby Edward Pungot » July 8th, 2018, 9:38 pm

I just recently purchased this mammoth of a book from a second hand store and this thread has sure given me the courage to actually cracking the book covers open.
Thanks for the encouraging preface and the hope that I come out at the end with my sanity still in tact.

performer
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Re: Stewart James

Postby performer » July 14th, 2018, 3:49 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:
performer wrote:On the rare cases it didn't I devised an out which I am selfishly not going to tell you about. I can't do everything for you, you know. Anyway the point of this post is to posthumously commend Stewart James for that wonderful way of forcing a card. I recommend checking it out.


Is this force published in First 50 Years or the James File?


To be honest I can't remember and I haven't the energy to go and search out the book and find the title. It would take me forever and organisation is not one of my fortes. It was some book or other that David Ben in a fit of generosity gave me as a present. It is a damn good idea--I do know that.

And with reference to Joe Mckay's remarks I swear I read something like that in Harry Lorayne's "My Favourite Card Tricks" although I may well be wrong. Something to do with criss crossing reds and blacks. Oh, and I have never read any kind of "Trick that Cannot be Explained" by Stewart James. I invented my own method of which the James force is a key ingredient but not the entire meal.

Leonard Hevia
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Re: Stewart James

Postby Leonard Hevia » July 14th, 2018, 7:32 pm

performer wrote:To be honest I can't remember and I haven't the energy to go and search out the book and find the title. It would take me forever and organisation is not one of my fortes. It was some book or other that David Ben in a fit of generosity gave me as a present. It is a damn good idea--I do know that.


Do you remember if the James book Ben gifted you was very heavy? Was it almost too big to lift?

Joe Mckay
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Re: Stewart James

Postby Joe Mckay » July 14th, 2018, 8:37 pm

I wonder if Mark Lewis has the Moving Pencil force in mind?

You ribbon spread a face-up deck of cards on the table and you have a force card towards the end of the spread.

You hold a pencil about 18 inches above the table.

You pass the pencil over the deck as you ask the spectator to call stop.

When he calls stop - you stop moving the pencil and lower it towards the deck of cards spread on the table.

You lower your hand at a slight angle - so that the pencil (in fact the rubber tip of the pencil) - lands on the card you want to force.

It is an excellent force. David Regal is a big fan of it. And recently I have seen it put to good use in a published trick by Wayne Dobson.

I am unsure if it is a Stewart James idea. It doesn't ring any bells with me. But I am not 100% sure.

And Mark is correct about Harry Lorayne publishing his version (without credit) of the George Sands trick. There was some controversy surrounding this at one point.

performer
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Re: Stewart James

Postby performer » July 14th, 2018, 10:10 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:
performer wrote:To be honest I can't remember and I haven't the energy to go and search out the book and find the title. It would take me forever and organisation is not one of my fortes. It was some book or other that David Ben in a fit of generosity gave me as a present. It is a damn good idea--I do know that.


Do you remember if the James book Ben gifted you was very heavy? Was it almost too big to lift?


No. It was nowhere near that heavy. I seem to remember a black cover.

performer
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Re: Stewart James

Postby performer » July 14th, 2018, 10:16 pm

Joe Mckay wrote:I wonder if Mark Lewis has the Moving Pencil force in mind?

You ribbon spread a face-up deck of cards on the table and you have a force card towards the end of the spread.

You hold a pencil about 18 inches above the table.

You pass the pencil over the deck as you ask the spectator to call stop.

When he calls stop - you stop moving the pencil and lower it towards the deck of cards spread on the table.

You lower your hand at a slight angle - so that the pencil (in fact the rubber tip of the pencil) - lands on the card you want to force.

It is an excellent force. David Regal is a big fan of it. And recently I have seen it put to good use in a published trick by Wayne Dobson.

I am unsure if it is a Stewart James idea. It doesn't ring any bells with me. But I am not 100% sure.

And Mark is correct about Harry Lorayne publishing his version (without credit) of the George Sands trick. There was some controversy surrounding this at one point.


Joe. I don't think you read my description of MY version of the Trick That Cannot Be Explained. I call it the The Trick that CAN be explained. The full description is on this thread. I reference the moving pencil force in that description but only as an out if the Stewart James force fails.

As for the George Sands controversy I don't know anything about it and this is the first time I have heard of it. I was merely mentioning in passing that I recently read Harry's description of something similar recently. I don't know neither do I particularly care where it originally came from.

Leonard Hevia
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Re: Stewart James

Postby Leonard Hevia » July 15th, 2018, 12:13 pm

Image

Mark--was this the book that Ben gave you?

performer
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Re: Stewart James

Postby performer » July 15th, 2018, 3:39 pm

Probably. It looks familiar. I suppose I had better exert myself now to check. Bloody nuisance.

Leonard Hevia
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Re: Stewart James

Postby Leonard Hevia » July 15th, 2018, 3:48 pm

performer wrote:Probably. It looks familiar. I suppose I had better exert myself now to check. Bloody nuisance.


Quit grumbling and check!

performer
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Re: Stewart James

Postby performer » July 15th, 2018, 4:06 pm

I have now forced myself to find the book in question. It has quite tired me out. It is indeed the Essential One. I wish it was a bit more essential so I could study it more. The trouble is that I lost my interest in magic quite some time ago. Or at least my intense enthusiasm. One of my relatives is a well known singer/songwriter and she once asked me if I felt the same passion for magic I did when I was younger. I sadly told her "no" but then turned the tables on her and asked her if she felt the same passion about music as she once did. She smiled and said, "No. But that's life isn't it?"

But to get back to the subject at hand I have further exerted myself to find the force in question. I am ashamed to admit it is the only damn thing I have read in the book. I am glad I did though. It is quite excellent and is indeed written up in a "trick that cannot be explained" context. Face Up Prediction on page 24. It does say that if the force doesn't work "you must quickly devise a fair seeming method to count or spell, or somehow logically use the indicated card to reach the predicted card"

The second part of that sentence is better than the first bit. Counting and spelling can bore people to death and make things convoluted and tend to weaken the effect. I therefore think "finding a logical method " part of the sentence to be a better option. I am not necessarily a fan of the theory that everything in magic has to be "logical" and I was delighted to find that Vernon actually agreed with me about this. There is nothing logical about magic in the first place when you start to think about it. So in the case of the force failing I use an illogical out which works fantastically well. I consider this to be a stroke of genius for which I should be given several accolades for which I am getting a psychic vibe will not be forthcoming.

I use the failed card as if it was a pencil as described by Harry Lorayne in his Moving Pencil trick. It is very, very rare that I miss on this and if I do then I have an out that I can't be bothered explaining. Anything to avoid that spelling and counting silliness. I don't want the trick to end up like that Any Card At Any Number Trick that always puts me to sleep.

performer
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Re: Stewart James

Postby performer » July 15th, 2018, 4:10 pm

Oh, on rereading the book it seems that Martin Gardner came up with the force instead of Stewart James. It doesn't say where Gardner stole it from mind you. Not that I give a stuff of course-I shall leave that to the scholarly nitpickers who care about these things

Leonard Hevia
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Re: Stewart James

Postby Leonard Hevia » July 15th, 2018, 11:22 pm

Thanks for looking that up Mark. Here is some interesting historical info on Stewart's Face Up Prediction:

http://stewartjames.magicana.com/1939.html


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