Fool US

Discuss the latest news and rumors in the magic world.
Chris Randal2
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Fool US

Postby Chris Randal2 » July 7th, 2020, 9:53 pm

I heard fool us is taping early is this true and who is the contact for this ? Thanks in advance

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Re: Fool US

Postby Michael Close » July 8th, 2020, 9:48 am

Fool Us has been renewed for an eighth season.

Audition videos should be sent to fooluscasting@gmail.com. Routines should be five minutes or less.

No date for recording season eight has been posted.

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Re: Fool US

Postby Tom Frame » July 8th, 2020, 2:46 pm

D.K.'s performance was a thing of beauty.

Wes Iseli entertained and amazed the entire crowd with a coin and a piece of paper! I have no idea how he did it.

Great stuff.
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Re: Fool US

Postby MagicbyAlfred » July 8th, 2020, 6:15 pm

Tom Frame wrote:D.K.'s performance was a thing of beauty.

Wes Iseli entertained and amazed the entire crowd with a coin and a piece of paper! I have no idea how he did it.

Great stuff.


I couldn't agree more! That is the ultimate example of packing small and playing big, and of involving the audience!

It fooled the pants off me, and I am going to be racking my brain over this one. The one thing that logic would inescapably seem to dictate is that he sized up the audience and earmarked the spectator who won the "grand prize" as the winner before he made his prediction. But how he managed to have the coin invariably come up heads when that spectator chose heads, and tails when he chose tails, is baffling. I was thinking that he might have altered the coin so that he could tell by feel, after he flipped it and caught it, which side was heads and which was tails. It would not be hard to place it on the back of the hand whichever way you wanted it facing if you already knew which side was which. But when P & T asked whether he was using a gaffed coin, he denied it. When Penn Challenged him at the end, and he told Penn in advance that he was going to be "wrong" whichever side of the coin he chose, that sort of proves that he can always control the outcome of each flip to be exactly what he wants it to be. Well, actually, I guess the performance itself proved that...

In any event, an exceedingly unique, clever, and entertaining routine, and he deserves a ton of credit. I think the idea of offering a prize is a fantastic one, which adds interest, intrigue, and an emotional hook, and the giveaway was a lovely ending. I would love to have a piece like that in my repertoire! I was equally, if not more amazed, when it came to light that he does like 400 shows a year -- and his delightful wife and cute little daughter travel and perform with him.

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Re: Fool US

Postby Travis » July 9th, 2020, 12:00 am

A gaffed coin is not required to do this.

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Re: Fool US

Postby Michael Close » July 9th, 2020, 1:51 pm

Penn really loved Wes Iseli's routine.

The "bust" was one of my favorites of all the seasons I've worked on.

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Re: Fool US

Postby MagicbyAlfred » July 9th, 2020, 3:50 pm

Michael Close wrote:Penn really loved Wes Iseli's routine


I sure can see why. It has been a very long time since I have seen a routine that appealed to me as much as that one. The handling, the presentation, the assuredness with which he performed, and his audience management, were all impeccable. If I could marry a routine, it would be that one. As Tom Frame commented, Wes was able to amaze that huge crowd (not to mention millions of TV viewers) with just a coin and a piece of paper! Does anyone know if this trick or similar is in print?

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Re: Fool US

Postby Tom Stone » July 10th, 2020, 9:05 am

MagicbyAlfred wrote:Does anyone know if this trick or similar is in print?

He's selling it on his website: http://wesiseli.com/magician/magic/

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Re: Fool US

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 10th, 2020, 11:05 am

Everything else that I saw on his website is $3 and $5. Big disparity.
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Re: Fool US

Postby Yehuda » July 10th, 2020, 11:17 am

I don't think we should be getting into exposure of methods, because that doesn't seem appropriate . . .

As far as I know, the plot/presentation of having everyone in the audience stand up, having them signal heads or tails, and progressively eliminating them based on a coin is Ken Dyne's. As far as the ruse used to predetermine the outcome, Wes used a different one than Ken does. I'm not sure at the moment where it originated, but it must be a pretty old technique.

I should mention that Ken's method does have an added element in that the spectator is more in control of the coin flip each time; however, there technically is room for error, but that is easily dealt with. Wes's method is foolproof.

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Re: Fool US

Postby MagicbyAlfred » July 10th, 2020, 2:31 pm

Tom Stone wrote:
MagicbyAlfred wrote:Does anyone know if this trick or similar is in print?

He's selling it on his website: http://wesiseli.com/magician/magic/


Thank you Tom, I will check it out.

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Tom Stone
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Re: Fool US

Postby Tom Stone » July 11th, 2020, 1:21 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:Everything else that I saw on his website is $3 and $5. Big disparity.

I think the price was $23 when he first released it in February. The price increased the same week his segment aired.

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Re: Fool US

Postby erdnasephile » July 11th, 2020, 3:30 pm

Kudos to Mr. Iseli for being a Fooler--I hope he makes a ton of money off his success!

However, my favorite performer of that episode was D.K. I think Penn nailed it--beautiful without being precious or pretentious. He had several moments that caught me out.

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Re: Fool US

Postby Tom Frame » July 12th, 2020, 11:04 am

Yesterday, during our standard Saturday session, I mentioned Wes Iseli’s effect to Jeff Prace. I began jumping up and down, frothing at the mouth, singing Iseli’s praises and tearing out clumps of receding hair because I couldn’t unravel the method.

Jeff jeered, scorned, ridiculed, derided, scoffed, mocked and taunted me. He pointed and laughed at me. “That fooled you? I can’t believe it fooled P&T! The method is soooo obvious. I immediately knew what he was doing. Because of the 'test conditions', there is only one possible method, you clueless coot!”

I handed the callow cur a half dollar. With his left hand, he flipped the coin and I called it while it was airborne. He caught the coin in his left hand, pointed to me and asked me to name heads or tails. Then he slapped the coin onto the back of his right hand. He slowly raised his left hand, revealing the coin.

If I called heads, the coin showed tails and vice versa. He kicked my ass three times in a row.

I released just enough hand pressure on his throat to allow him to weakly croak, “Okay,” to my polite request for an explanation.

He used three words to describe the method. He taught it to me in less than five minutes.

After practicing the method for five minutes, I successfully perpetrated it against Prace, three times in a row.

This simple, intuitive, no doubt old technique has many potential applications apart from Iseli’s wonderful effect. I will use it for the rest of my life.

Thanks Jeff. Your new turtleneck shirt looks great.

Jeff says that he was able to immediately unravel the method because the trick was Too Perfect. I’m quite familiar with Johnsson’s Too Perfect Theory and all of the arguments supporting and rejecting it. Despite that awareness, I still couldn’t see the (now) obvious, only possible method.
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Re: Fool US

Postby Brad Henderson » July 12th, 2020, 12:07 pm

Controlling the flip of a coin goes back at least 100 years. I learned about it from Chuck Smith who said he learned it from a traveling gambler. (He believes that may have been Norfleet.). There are at least two methods I have seen in print.

One can also control an un gaffed coin by spinning It on a table. I learned this in the late 90’s and have not seen it in print. Though one can always use a beveled coin for this.

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Re: Fool US

Postby Tom Frame » July 12th, 2020, 12:36 pm

He isn't controlling the flip. A participant can flip the coin.
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Re: Fool US

Postby Jack Shalom » July 12th, 2020, 12:51 pm

Magic For Dummies. Really. Great book.

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Re: Fool US

Postby Jack Shalom » July 12th, 2020, 1:16 pm

erdnasephile wrote:
However, my favorite performer of that episode was D.K. I think Penn nailed it--beautiful without being precious or pretentious. He had several moments that caught me out.


One of my favorite magicians on Fool Us yet. I really enjoyed his reactions to his own "experiments." Fully committed to his investigations.
Such a refreshing break from the endless supply of interchangeable "comedy" magicians.

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Re: Fool US

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 12th, 2020, 1:55 pm

I published a method by Jennings for doing this in MAGIC magazine. Normal coin. You can make the coin come up heads or tails no matter how it lands.
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Re: Fool US

Postby Jon Elion » July 12th, 2020, 5:24 pm

The Jennings coin toss is in Richard's Almanac. But based on what is published there and what was said during Penn & Teller's attempt at an explanation, Wes did not use Jennings' method.

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Re: Fool US

Postby Brad Henderson » July 12th, 2020, 5:35 pm

When I moved to austin a couple of well heeled business owners told me of a man who would flip them for high dollar bets. They used their coin. They flipped. Coin would land on the ground. They could even drop a box on it to prevent any possible manipulation.

Nevertheless the con man won cars and Rolex’s from them.

I figured they were leaving something out. It was too impossible. Then I met that man. And he could do that and much more!

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Re: Fool US

Postby Jack Shalom » July 12th, 2020, 5:44 pm

Jon Elion wrote:The Jennings coin toss is in Richard's Almanac. But based on what is published there and what was said during Penn & Teller's attempt at an explanation, Wes did not use Jennings' method.


Don't know about the Jennings method, but based on p.64 of Magic For Dummies, quite do-able, and as far as I can tell, exactly what Wes was doing.

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Re: Fool US

Postby Chris Randal2 » July 16th, 2020, 7:06 am

I personally enjoyed Eric Leclair hope I spelled that correctly. His act fool me bad plus his performance and energy was spot on. I started watching him and Wes Barker on YouTube and have really enjoyed their videos and YouTube channels. More fun stuff to watch in lock down.

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Re: Fool US

Postby MagicbyAlfred » July 16th, 2020, 8:39 am

I agree with Chris. It was a phenomenal performance and a real fooler!

I will now cast a magic "spell" on the name "Leclair" and change it into "L-e-c-l-e-r-c."

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Brad Jeffers
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Re: Fool US

Postby Brad Jeffers » July 16th, 2020, 8:37 pm

I just watched the most recent episode entitled Teller Talks!!!
Any opinions about Teller's teaching of the French Drop?

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Re: Fool US

Postby Tom Stone » July 16th, 2020, 10:44 pm

Brad Jeffers wrote:I just watched the most recent episode entitled Teller Talks!!!
Any opinions about Teller's teaching of the French Drop?

I think he did a fairly good job. A tad 'old-school' here and there, and the gaze was completely ignored, but all in all, a short and good lesson, with an amusing twist (that was well foreshadowed) at the end.

Chris Randal2
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Re: Fool US

Postby Chris Randal2 » July 17th, 2020, 5:07 am

MagicbyAlfred wrote:I agree with Chris. It was a phenomenal performance and a real fooler!

I will now cast a magic "spell" on the name "Leclair" and change it into "L-e-c-l-e-r-c."





Sorry sir my spelling and grammar sucks so I get scared on these boards. I’m kind of a dummy

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Re: Fool US

Postby Chris Randal2 » July 17th, 2020, 5:11 am

As a magic fan can we just say Tom Stone rocks and his performance rocked. I saw it on tv and at Magic Castle and both times I was star struck. Mr Stone I was in the Palace the week after you one of my castle runs and I was so scared to talk to you after your show so I didn’t. I went to the Nirvana slept and prepped for my show on Monday all k owing I got to see Benson Burner live. I was a kid in a candy store

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Re: Fool US

Postby MagicbyAlfred » July 17th, 2020, 8:07 am

Chris Randal2 wrote:
MagicbyAlfred wrote:I agree with Chris. It was a phenomenal performance and a real fooler!

I will now cast a magic "spell" on the name "Leclair" and change it into "L-e-c-l-e-r-c."





Sorry sir my spelling and grammar sucks so I get scared on these boards. I’m kind of a dummy



You are not a dummy, and I hope my jaded humor did not imply that in any way! And if it did, I apologize. You are a very talented and successful magician and entertainer, whom I admire.

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Re: Fool US

Postby Chris Randal2 » July 23rd, 2020, 9:17 pm

I’m not very good at grammar and spelling but I openly admit it. But thank you you for the kind words

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Re: Fool US

Postby erdnasephile » July 25th, 2020, 8:48 am

Brad Jeffers wrote:I just watched the most recent episode entitled Teller Talks!!!
Any opinions about Teller's teaching of the French Drop?


OK, kind of hangry this morning, so I'll bite. ;)

It was an artistic choice and fit their characters perfectly. Since I suspect that the vast majority of people that watch Fool Us are probably into magic at least on some level, I didn't have a problem with it.

Then again, I just reread the interview with Ken Krenzel in Genii (April, 2007) where he strongly takes an entirely different view. As an example, he specifically goes after Vernon's pseudoexplanation portion of his seminal Cups and Balls routine. Dr. Krenzel says (and this is best read in context of Krenzel's stated great admiration for Vernon): "Okay, now anytime he (Vernon) does magic again, he's introduced the factor of doubt. 'Hey, did he really put that coin in his hand or not?' It doesn't stay with that effect. You've taught them. You've raised their level of awareness."

As someone who is in the middle of studying the Vernon C & B routine, I'm a little torn. I personally think the loading sequence is amazingly brilliant to this day, but the sequence is not nearly as effective IMHO without the psychology of the pseudoexplanation. However, prompting the audience to think about methods also doesn't fit my personal definition of magic that I'm striving for, so perhaps this ploy is not for me.

Or perhaps the tack to take is to give the audience credit for already having a level of awareness where they are already thinking about methods no matter what. However, does that set up kind of a "sucker" dynamic (no matter how gentle) with the audience? That also conflicts with what I'm personally shooting for. Ugh, I obviously need to think this through more!

My personal bottom line: I don't feel there is a right or wrong, as long as it is a conscious, thoughtful choice on the part of the performer.

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Re: Fool US

Postby Joe Lyons » July 25th, 2020, 9:51 am

Brad Jeffers wrote:I just watched the most recent episode entitled Teller Talks!!!
Any opinions about Teller's teaching of the French Drop?


I’m against it.
I’m against exposure in general and this qualifies.
Penn and Teller were entertaining, but they always are.
It’s not a perfect analogy, but it’s akin to using profanity in comedy. It can be really funny, but it’s not necessary and you can be just as funny or funnier without it and have a broader audience.

Besides, I’ve fooled my family and coworkers for years with that simple sleight.

erdnasephile wrote:Since I suspect that the vast majority of people that watch Fool Us are probably into magic at least on some level, I didn't have a problem with it.

I respectfully disagree.
I don’t have the numbers but I would wager that a show whose viewership was primarily magicians wouldn’t survive for seven plus seasons.

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Re: Fool US

Postby erdnasephile » July 25th, 2020, 9:28 pm

erdnasephile wrote:Since I suspect that the vast majority of people that watch Fool Us are probably into magic at least on some level, I didn't have a problem with it.

Joe Lyons wrote:I respectfully disagree.
I don’t have the numbers but I would wager that a show whose viewership was primarily magicians wouldn’t survive for seven plus seasons.


You may well be right. I was just speculating if someone is going to tune in and sit through that whole explanation, they might already be interested in magic. (I don't think they are all magicians--just perhaps people interested in magic on some level.)

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Re: Fool US

Postby Joe Lyons » July 25th, 2020, 10:14 pm

erdnasephile wrote: (I don't think they are all magicians--just perhaps people interested in magic on some level.)


I understand.

I just define them as spectators.

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Re: Fool US

Postby MagicbyAlfred » July 26th, 2020, 6:17 am

Brad Jeffers wrote:I just watched the most recent episode entitled Teller Talks!!!
Any opinions about Teller's teaching of the French Drop?


I was upset by it. It was unnecessary, gratuitous exposure, to millions of people, of one of the most important sleights in magic - putting them on a par with the Masked Magician. I felt no less the same way when they did it with the TT years ago. And, IMHO, any attempt to justify what they did based on the viewing audience being interested in magic, is akin to telling children there's no Santa Claus because kids love Christmas. I perform for a lot of people who are interested in magic, but I don't then expose the trick. And even if I did, in most cases, they would be disappointed. Magic is unique, and differs from other art forms in a number of respects, not the least of which is that the secret is the air in the "balloon" of magic.

Erdnasephile, trust me, the loading sequence is not one iota less effective without Vernon's fake explanation (and, arguably, the fake explanation even diminishes the impact of the routine).

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Re: Fool US

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 26th, 2020, 11:07 am

Considering that Professor Hoffmann explained The French Drop in detail in Modern Magic in 1868, a book written for the public of which a huge number have been sold or given as gifts in more than a century, and the world didn't end, I don't mind.

And neither did Dai Vernon, either, since he exposed the French Drop every time he did the Cups and Balls.

There are much better ways to vanish a coin than the French Drop. MANY other better ways. Use those.
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Re: Fool US

Postby Joe Lyons » July 26th, 2020, 11:36 am

Again, I respectfully disagree.
Richard Kaufman wrote:Considering that Professor Hoffmann explained The French Drop in detail in Modern Magic in 1868, a book written for the public of which a huge number have been sold or given as gifts in more than a century, and the world didn't end, I don't mind.

Hoffmann explained many other effects still being used today. Between that and the other books written for the public on magic one could excuse any exposure.

It takes effort to seek out, purchase and learn from books. It takes none to passively watch a performance.

Richard Kaufman wrote:There are much better ways to vanish a coin than the French Drop. MANY other better ways. Use those.


Again, that philosophy would excuse exposure for every method of performance of a particular effect except one. And who is to be the arbiter to decide which methods remain unexposed.

I am not set ablaze by this. I just disagree.

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Re: Fool US

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 26th, 2020, 11:57 am

It's the French Drop--by our standards a sleight best not used by anyone.
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Re: Fool US

Postby MagicbyAlfred » July 26th, 2020, 12:12 pm

Joe Lyons wrote:Again, I respectfully disagree.
Richard Kaufman wrote:Considering that Professor Hoffmann explained The French Drop in detail in Modern Magic in 1868, a book written for the public of which a huge number have been sold or given as gifts in more than a century, and the world didn't end, I don't mind.

Hoffmann explained many other effects still being used today. Between that and the other books written for the public on magic one could excuse any exposure.

It takes effort to seek out, purchase and learn from books. It takes none to passively watch a performance.

Richard Kaufman wrote:There are much better ways to vanish a coin than the French Drop. MANY other better ways. Use those.


Again, that philosophy would excuse exposure for every method of performance of a particular effect except one. And who is to be the arbiter to decide which methods remain unexposed.

I am not set ablaze by this. I just disagree.


And I respectfully agree with Joe, 100%. The French Drop, by the way, is a fantastic sleight, used by many fine magicians. How many of the millions of people to whom the French Drop was exposed on National TV have read Professor Hoffman, or even heard of him? How many have seen Dai Vernon or any Vernon emulator expose the French Drop by the fake explanation? (And they they should not be doing the $%#@*!@*% fake explanation in the first place, IMO). And is that really a justification for P & T's rampant and irresponsible exposure -- again to millions, who didn't even ask? I find it quite ironic (i'll refrain from using a stronger word) that they pretend to have respect for methods and secrets by using code to indicate they might know how it was done, and then affirmatively expose to the world a wonderful tool of the magician's trade. I do use other methods for a vanish,in addition to the FD, but I also love this classic sleight, which happens to be highly deceptive when done properly. When they inevitably expose the double lift, are we to just passively take the attitude that there are other ways to accomplish the effect (e.g. top change - until they expose that too) and just "use those." Well, I imagine we may have to someday...

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Re: Fool US

Postby Sebastian B » July 26th, 2020, 4:30 pm

To be honest I don’t see a problem with P & T teaching the French drop, it is thought in basically every beginner book in magic. Is it a bad technique? Certainly not, it depends on the way you are doing it.


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