P.C. Sorcar Story on BBC Website

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Matthew Field
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P.C. Sorcar Story on BBC Website

Postby Matthew Field » June 3rd, 2018, 5:11 am

There's a story about P.C. Sorcar Sr. on the BBC website here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-44316854.

Unfortunately, the "expert" author cites Sammy Smith as the editor of Genii, rather than The Linking Ring.


Matt Field

performer
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Re: P.C. Sorcar Story on BBC Website

Postby performer » June 3rd, 2018, 9:03 am

I never saw Sorcar work although he used to bombard me with magic posters and publicity about his show in the mail. I could never figure out why he would send them to me but I suppose he would send this stuff out to all and sundry if they happened to be in the magic business.

I did see his son performing in the UK though and it was a terrific show and far superior to that of John Calvert who was touring the UK at the same time in competition with him. I met Calvert who growled at how awful the Sorcar Jr show was in comparison to his own and how this awful Indian was affecting his business by burning up the venues before he got to them. Still, the Sorcar Jr show was much slicker, more colourful and less prone to mistakes and amateurism particularly with untrained and unprofessional assistants.

I warmed to Sorcar Jr when I heard he would refuse to meet magicians backstage and I remember Edwin (I think) and a whole bunch of local magic club worthies being turned away when they tried to meet him backstage. They were in such a huff about it that I remember they wrote an irritated letter of protest about it in a magic magazine. I was absolutely delighted when I heard that! Mind you, I do know his father was far friendlier to magicians who would visit him.

Edward Pungot
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Re: P.C. Sorcar Story on BBC Website

Postby Edward Pungot » June 3rd, 2018, 9:36 am

I read the Net of Magic by Prof. Lee Siegel last summer along with the Death and Resurrection Show by Rogan Taylor.
Highly recommended.

observer
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Re: P.C. Sorcar Story on BBC Website

Postby observer » June 3rd, 2018, 3:26 pm

performer wrote:I never saw Sorcar work although he used to bombard me with magic posters and publicity about his show in the mail. I could never figure out why he would send them to me but I suppose he would send this stuff out to all and sundry if they happened to be in the magic business.



Sorcar was indeed known for that, the general commentary/news roundup sections of Hugard's and Genii et al. of the time are full of items like " … another trunkload of publicity from Sorcar arrived the other day … "

performer
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Re: P.C. Sorcar Story on BBC Website

Postby performer » June 3rd, 2018, 8:32 pm

P.C. Sorcar sounds like he was a real showman. However, all I really know about him was a very rude remark about him from the late John Salisse at a lecture for the London Society of Magicians Junior Section. I was a teenage magician then but I always remembered the words of Salisse and in fact there is a great lesson to be learned from them. And that lesson is that an act can be built up too much. In other words an MC can go over the top when introducing an entertainer.

Salisse mentioned that there was some circus or other where Sorcar was appearing and there was a great hoo haa before he made his appearance as the THE WORLD'S GREATEST MAGICIAN (or so the announcement said) along with great bursts of smoke and Indian music etc; and then according to Salisse after all the massive build up a little man came on and did the 6 card repeat! Salisse thought that was a bit of a let down! Now I wasn't there so I have no idea if the criticism was valid but over the years I have seen this scenario in action many times to the detriment of the performer.

I have seen a hypnotist with a fantastic voice over introduction come on stage with a very unprepossessing appearance and high pitched squeaky voice not quite compatible with the radio announcer type voice on the voice over introduction. It was not a bad act once he got going but the introduction over sold him to his detriment. If he had gotten a more modest intro he would have done far better.

I have seen other acts introduced as the greatest thing since sliced bread but when they appear on stage you know within a fraction of a second just by looking at them that they have been oversold.

I even remember it happened to me once. I showed the MC some card tricks in the dressing room and he got so excited about them that he went overboard and introduced me to a somewhat rowdy audience as the greatest magician he had ever seen in his life. Naturally the cabaret act wasn't of the same standard as the close up work and his overly enthusiastic intro killed the act stone dead.

Along the same lines, albeit in a different form, is the practice that many magicians indulge in of starting off their acts silently to music then after a while they stop the music and start talking. A very common practice and to my mind a great mistake. That is because the silent bit is always pretty good for some reason and you start to think the act has possibilities but then the magician TALKS! And it is always a let down. The talking is never in the same class as the silent work for some reason I have not yet figured out. The guy has a squeaky or unimpressive voice or his presentational abilities when chattering do not match his effectiveness when performing silently and it is always a let down. I have seen this dozens and dozens of times with unfortunate results with only one exception.

Oh, back to Sorcar I suppose. It appears that I have gone off topic but it is Sorcar's fault for doing six card repeat in the circus ring after a massive build up of puffs of smoke and Indian music and over the top announcements. I have also done the six card repeat in the circus ring which was equally unimpressive. I had to contend with a trampoline being taken down behind me but at least there were no puffs of smoke and Indian music so I did get by reasonably well.


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