The Magic Menu

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.
Nathan Muir
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Re: The Magic Menu

Postby Nathan Muir » November 11th, 2009, 4:24 am

The fact that you have failed to convince me of your position does not make me a "stubborn ass". It simply means you have failed to convince me of your position.

Now if you've finished giving yourself the coup de grace, others may care to discuss the merits (or otherwise) of the Magic Menu.

opie
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Re: The Magic Menu

Postby opie » November 11th, 2009, 5:31 am

I just wanted to toss in a congratulations to Sisti and the guys for the MM revival. My copies of the old Menu volumes are within easy reach and are occasional educational reads.....

Terry
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Re: The Magic Menu

Postby Terry » November 11th, 2009, 7:26 am

I subscribed to the previous version and am a subscriber to the new version.

Like any new publication, the first issue shouldn't be the litmus test for the whole run.

The first issue introduces us to the columnists. Is that worth $10 for the issue? No, it isn't.

The first issue contained a few tricks. Is that worth $10 for the issue? Maybe, for some.

The first issue contained clear photographs to illustrate the tricks. Is that worth $10 for the issue? It adds to the value.

If there is one guarantee in magic - no book, magazine or trick hits it out of the park every time.

Maybe we should give Jim and the columnists the opportunity to get the magazine up and running for a couple of issues?

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: The Magic Menu

Postby Richard Kaufman » November 11th, 2009, 10:25 am

Mr. Lyle and Mr. Muir: SHUT UP. I don't want to see either one of you posting in this thread again.
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CraigOusterling
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Re: The Magic Menu

Postby CraigOusterling » November 11th, 2009, 1:11 pm

I subscribed to The Magic Menu yesterday before reading this thread. WOW. Glad I did BEFORE reading this thread. I would have second guessed myself a couple of oh nine or ten times.

I'm not sure if I should look forward to seeing it arrive in the post box or go hide in a closet and slit my wrists for spending 10 bucks an issue.

Come to think of it... I've spent more on a burger and beers for lunch than the subscription price of TMM. Reflecting on that I don't feel so bad any more. I Guess I can cancel that therapist appointment.

Congrats to Jim Sisti and company for producing a magic publication. Choices are good. It could turn out to be a great read or to be a total disappointment. I'm willing to take the chance.

[sarcasm](My guess is I'll get some good routines out of TMM then heaven forbid go THANK the author for printing the thing and encourage them to keep doing it.) [/sarcasm]

Silly Walter
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Re: The Magic Menu

Postby Silly Walter » November 11th, 2009, 2:11 pm

CraigOusterling wrote:I subscribed to The Magic Menu yesterday before reading this thread. WOW. Glad I did BEFORE reading this thread. I would have second guessed myself a couple of oh nine or ten times.

I'm not sure if I should look forward to seeing it arrive in the post box or go hide in a closet and slit my wrists for spending 10 bucks an issue.

Come to think of it... I've spent more on a burger and beers for lunch than the subscription price of TMM. Reflecting on that I don't feel so bad any more. I Guess I can cancel that therapist appointment.

Congrats to Jim Sisti and company for producing a magic publication. Choices are good. It could turn out to be a great read or to be a total disappointment. I'm willing to take the chance.

[sarcasm](My guess is I'll get some good routines out of TMM then heaven forbid go THANK the author for printing the thing and encourage them to keep doing it.) [/sarcasm]


Craig. Allow me to intervene in your wrist slitting attempt. Getting blood out of a color changing knife is easier said than done. All you will be able to do with it after the wrist cut is Did you drop a red knife? Look. Now its red.

I am certain that your money was well spent. Even though I always thought the older issues of the Magic Menu were hit or miss, there were enough hits for me to continue to receive it. Even though I havent read the first issue, I am now familiar with some of the contributors I initially had mocked.

Christopher Lyle is a seasoned pro and most likely his writings will generate controversy, however he is expressing points of view that he has obtained from his long magic career as a restaurant worker. You may love what he writes or you may dislike it, but at the very least, his style of writing is quite intriguing. I may not like his view point, but I like how he writes. Ultimately your mileage may vary. The good news is, if you disagree with something he wrote, you can send him a note or post the question on line and he will take time out of his busy schedule to address any concerns.

Paul Gordon is pretty well known amongst magicians as an author and lecturer but he also makes a living with cards for the layfolk. He has contributed a couple of effects in the issue you are about to receive and the tricks could be ones that you will love. Paul has contributed tricks to the Magic Menu as an "unpaid contributor", because he wants to benefit restaurant workers by passing on routines that have given him success.

Both Paul and Christopher could also write articles on creating a professional looking website for magicians. I thought Christophers website was excellent and then I looked at Pauls website and was just as amazed. These guys are professionals and as a client, I would be more likely to contact either one of these guys before I contacted someone on some of the sites that look like it was done by some 14 year old.

Speaking of card tricks in Magic Menu, there are some good and some that dont read so well, but if you can track down the Nov/Dec 1997 issue, you will see a card trick by Paul Green called The Odds Are With Me. It is his handling of the Vernon challenge trick. If I am not mistaken, this is the trick that landed Paul Green a number of gigs with Levis, Inc. If I had a routine that guaranteed me shows like that, I probably would have kept it to myself. Paul Green did the opposite and gave it away as a contributor to the Magic Menu to benefit the magic community. I still use this one. Thanks Paul !!

Scott Guinn is another contributor and is one of the nicest people you will ever meet online. He impresses me the most. Many magicians think that working in Las Vegas is the zenith of success, but lets face it. Anyone can get a job doing magic in Vegas (Chris Angels Believe ). Scott Guinn made his living doing magic in Idaho. As a matter of fact, Scott Guinn was the biggest attraction in Idaho until they relocated the worlds largest ball of string to the state. Seriously, he knows his stuff and is able to get his point across very kindly.

So once again, I think you made a wise decision even though I have not read the first issue and am technically not qualified to make a statement about whether or not it is good. What may appear as senseless drivel to me in some spots may be words of wisdom to your ears. It is a decision you will have to make.

But realistically, for $10 an issue, you are getting enough good advice from todays workers to justify that amount of spending.

Just my opinion.
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Paul Gordon
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Re: The Magic Menu

Postby Paul Gordon » November 11th, 2009, 2:32 pm

Thank you, Silly Walter, for the very kind words...and glad you like my website! All the best, Paul Gordon
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Silly Walter
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Re: The Magic Menu

Postby Silly Walter » November 11th, 2009, 3:59 pm

Paul Gordon wrote:Thank you, Silly Walter, for the very kind words...and glad you like my website! All the best, Paul Gordon


Mr. Gordon I do apologize for my earlier statement and for comparing you to Larry the Cable Guy. I did some research on Larry the Cable Guy and he is even more talented than I had first imagined. Others have recognized this talent and as a result the phrase "Git-R-done" is the battle cry for many American hillbillies.

I guess technically comparing you to Larry the cable guy is actually a compliment.

Glad to see you were selected to be a contributor. I am sure it is probably flattering when another magician comes to you and shows you their handling of one of YOUR routines you published - whether it is from one of your books or from a future issue. These future magicians will make changes to your routines to suit their handling and inspire future generations of magicians as well. A nice little evolutionary chain inspired by your work.

You may publish the next routine that lands a future restaurant performer his first gig or lands another worker multiple gigs with a Fortune 500 Company. That would certainly be worth the subscription.

Best of luck with the magazine Paul.
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Jim Sisti
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Re: The Magic Menu

Postby Jim Sisti » November 11th, 2009, 6:40 pm

For those who asked, we've now put up a short clip on The Magic Menu website showing what Daniel Greenwolf's Ghost Card move is supposed to look like. Daniel was nice enough to stop by this afternoon so we could shoot it. It's performance only but those who have the new issue will be able to see the hand and card positions necessary to get this to work. The clip is located here.

And, to those of you who had the courage of your convictions to post in this thread with your actual names, I will not be commenting any further other than to say that your input has been appreciated and noted.

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Jager
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Re: The Magic Menu

Postby Jager » November 11th, 2009, 8:32 pm

Jim Sisti wrote:The clip is located here.



I can't find the clip on this webpage.

I subscribed yesterday and I can't wait to see whats on the Menu.
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Scott F. Guinn
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Re: The Magic Menu

Postby Scott F. Guinn » November 12th, 2009, 1:03 am

Jager wrote:
Jim Sisti wrote:The clip is located here.



I can't find the clip on this webpage.

I subscribed yesterday and I can't wait to see whats on the Menu.


Hmmm... it was right there when I clicked on it. Maybe try a different browser?

Paul Gordon
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Re: The Magic Menu

Postby Paul Gordon » November 12th, 2009, 2:53 am

Dear All,

If you want to see me perform - for laymen - parts of both "Diminishing? Not Likely" and "Twister" from The Magic Menu issue 1, then watch my promo video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcWoPdj1geA OR here: http://paulgordon.net/promovideo.html

Diminishing? Not Likely! is the second trick in and Twister is the one you can see me perform on a bar top! Both tricks were first created and published by me in the mid 80's. I perform both at every function I do and have done so for years and years. The first trick in, btw, is Corner of Piccadilly which got a great review in Genii by David Regal.

I hope you like the clip...

Yours, Paul Gordon
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mrgoat
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Re: The Magic Menu

Postby mrgoat » November 12th, 2009, 6:51 am

Paul Gordon wrote:watch my promo video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcWoPdj1geA


I think it's brilliant Mr Scruff gave you permission to use his music in your reel. I love his stuff, and would like to also pay to use another of his tracks in my reel. Do you have a contact for him because Ninja Tunes are yet to reply to my email?

Many thanks

Damian

Glenn Bishop
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Re: The Magic Menu

Postby Glenn Bishop » November 12th, 2009, 8:49 am

I liked Paul Gordon's promo - I liked the way it showed the audience and the audience reactions - to the magic.

Paul Gordon
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Re: The Magic Menu

Postby Paul Gordon » November 12th, 2009, 10:40 am

Thank You Glenn! Appreciated...kind words! Paul
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Re: The Magic Menu

Postby Glenn Bishop » November 12th, 2009, 11:03 am

Oh yes and it was strong - good close up magic - by a great close up magician - that is what got those great audience reactions.

Well done Paul Gordon.

Mark.Lewis
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Re: The Magic Menu

Postby Mark.Lewis » November 12th, 2009, 3:09 pm

I can't tell if he is any good or not. I hate those clips that show a few seconds here and a few seconds there. How the hell can you judge someone in a matter of a few seconds?
I must say that the constant mentioning of the Magic Circle is a turn off for me. I remember them well. A real bunch of incompetents like magic clubs all over the world. Of course the public have no idea how crap they are so I suppose it is a good thing to have on the site since the British Public know them very well.

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: The Magic Menu

Postby Richard Kaufman » November 12th, 2009, 7:31 pm

Unlike Mark, I have spent many pleasant hours in The Magic Circle's clubroom, museum, and theatre. The Monday evening is a wonderful gathering and I only wish there was someplace like that in Washington DC.
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Re: The Magic Menu

Postby Mark.Lewis » November 12th, 2009, 7:46 pm

I HAVE spent countless hours in the Magic Circle clubroom and used to go there every Monday night so I am well aware of how useless the members all are except for the odd one or two.

Most of them are such bad magicians that they couldn't make the contents of an empty box disappear. I also remember them being very snobby indeed. And with boring personalities to match.

The trouble is that they don't know how to lie, cheat and steal. I was always far more at home with my fellow grafters. None of them could do a single trick but they all had more personality in their little fingers than most magicians have in their whole body. I must say that magicians the world over (not just the magic circle) are very colourless people and have the personalities of a dial tone.

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: The Magic Menu

Postby Richard Kaufman » November 12th, 2009, 9:48 pm

Mark, when was the last time you spent an evening in the Magic Circle?
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Mark.Lewis
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Re: The Magic Menu

Postby Mark.Lewis » November 12th, 2009, 10:20 pm

Oh, about 40 years ago. I think they banned me. I am proud to say that I have been banned from magic clubs the world over. Not in Canada though. Canadians are boring by nature so I think they get terribly excited by colourful characters like myself. They like the contrast.

Mind you I did visit the magic circle once or twice in the last 15 years or so. The members looked terribly old and decrepit and it was most depressing. The worst part of it was that they were exactly the same members as 40 years ago. I looked at them and thought that they were all horrendously bad 40 years ago so God alone knows how bad they are now.

I used to get depressed at all the bad magicians that you see in magic clubs. But then I read something that Al Goshman wrote and it made me come to terms with the awfulness. Goshman basically said that magic club magicians were supposed to be bad and there was nothing that could be done about it so you may as well accept it. He said that it has always been thus and it will continue to be thus.

90% of so called magicians are so absolutely horrendously bad that I can't bear watching them work. Hardly anyone impresses me. In fact I don't think I have seen for example, 10 good close up magicians in my entire life.

And none of them were in the bloody magic circle.

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Re: The Magic Menu

Postby Bill Duncan » November 12th, 2009, 10:37 pm

I have come to doubt that there is such a thing as good commercial magic. In more than twenty years as a consumer of magic performances what I have seen is that there are many, many, good commercial performances, but that even among the best magicians (doing their best tricks), a trick can fall flat. And Im not willing to blame the audience.

Ive been told for as long as I can remember that the Six Card Repeat is good commercial magic and yet in all the performances Ive seen over the years I have never seen it get as strong a response from an audience as I have been told it always does. As best I can tell, the trick sucks, but some folks can get a laugh with it. On a good day.

Anyone who reads any magic magazine in the hope that theyll learn a trick thats commercial will probably be disappointed. I think the best we can hope for is inspiration, ideas, and some guidance. I suspect the original Magic Menu succeeded because it provided some of all those things more often than not.

Hopefully this new version will provide similar value to its readers, and improve on the production values of the original. To that end, I would recommend the book Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace by Joseph M. Williams. There are 10 editions so it should be available for next to nothing from the local used book stop, or University book store.

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Re: The Magic Menu

Postby Paul Gordon » November 13th, 2009, 12:45 am

Mark, I've been a member of The Magic Circle for nearly 20 years. (AIMC.) When I visit, I'm often one of the older ones there and I'm in only in my late 40's!

It's a good clubroom (lovely museum/library/theatre etc), lots of good/great magic, nice people and worthy of much better comments than your negative ones.

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Mark.Lewis
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Re: The Magic Menu

Postby Mark.Lewis » November 13th, 2009, 7:39 am

Gordon old Chap. You don't look that old. You only look around 35 years old in your video. Still I have faith in you. Eventually you will look as decrepit as the rest of them.As for being a member for 20 years I would not consider that anything to be bragging about.

Still you are obviously very proud of being in the Magic Circle otherwise you wouldn't be promoting it so much.

As for "nice" people I am afraid I don't like "nice" people. "Nice" usually means snooty lawyers, accountants and worst of all doctors who are better at killing people than curing them. And they aren't nice anyway. Magicians are full of egotistical back stabbers and as for the notion of "good/great" magic such an event is so rare that there is more chance of being struck by lightning.

"Nice" means boring and it seems to come out in the magic. I far prefer the rogues and vagabonds that I have hung out with all my life. I don't like them either on the grounds that I don't like anyone but at least they are more colourful than all the drab twits that inhabit magic clubs.

No doubt it has a good clubroom but it had that 40 years ago too. It probably has all the old incompetents too or at least it did when I was there a few years ago.

As for being a member of the "inner" magic circle that means nothing to me either. They seem to be just as bad as anyone else.

Not you of course. I never judge anyone until I can see them properly a few times. Alas your video tells me nothing except that you speak with an English accent. Since I happen to be Scottish this is one point against you straight away. I did see your book in a magic shop the other day and looked at it cursorily. I think it might be a good book since it had nice pictures and at first glance easily written. I shall look at it more closely but I must warn you that if I find any references to the Magic Circle in it It will be a count against you.

I must now address Mr Duncan who doesn't seem to like the 6 Card Repeat trick. I have some sympathy with him even though I have been performing this trick for decades. Harry Stanley insisted I learn it and I resisted with great irritation. I told him that I hated the bloody trick and always had. I thought the standard patter was corny and I saw no great mystery about it. I was told that there was one fellow who made a sensation out of it (I think it was a comedian called Reggie Dennis but I could be wrong) doing it in different languages or something but I hadn't seen it so didn't know.

Nowadays you don't see the trick that often but in the old days the trick was overdone and known as "the six card repeat that is repeated too often."

Anyway I detested the trick but Harry forced me to learn it and actually coached me in his method of doing it. I found it to be a wonderful item after all. Not a great mystery but one of the best ways of opening an act especially if the crowd is a bit inattentive and rowdy. I remember working the Northern Clubs in England and nobody would pay any attention when I first came on.
As soon as I started with the 6 card repeat within a few seconds the noise quietened down. This had never happened before. I have no idea why the trick is so effective as an opener. I think it is the sheer monotony of the counting that does it. The audience keep hearing you say the same thing and even if they are inattentive they eventually pay attention to see why you are repeating yourself the whole time.

It is actually a better trick than it first seems. I have seen Julie Eng and Wayne Dobson do it and it seems to produce good results. I wouldn't dismiss it out of hand.

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Re: The Magic Menu

Postby Paul Gordon » November 13th, 2009, 9:46 am

Mark.Lewis wrote:Gordon old Chap. You don't look that old. You only look around 35 years old in your video.


Flattery will get you...everywhere! If I look 35, you need to get your eyes fixed! PG
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Mark.Lewis
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Re: The Magic Menu

Postby Mark.Lewis » November 13th, 2009, 10:16 am

I shall have another look. You certainly don't look as if you are in your late 40s though.

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Re: The Magic Menu

Postby Paul Gordon » November 13th, 2009, 10:29 am

Two marriages & alcohol abuse have kept me young! (I joined The Sussex Magic Circle back in 1976; when Francis Haxton, Peter Warlock & Jack Avis were regulars. Francis was presdident then.)

Paul
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Richard Kaufman
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Re: The Magic Menu

Postby Richard Kaufman » November 13th, 2009, 11:03 am

The Six Card Repeat is a staple of Michael Finney's act. He kills with it.
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Re: The Magic Menu

Postby Ian Kendall » November 13th, 2009, 2:24 pm

I remember my first visit to the Magic Circle in Cheynes Mews. I was 18 in 1986, and I was taken in and walked to the back left corner near the 'bar' where Francis White was sitting under his portrait. He muttered something about 'nice to meet the youngsters' and then I sat in a corner somewhere wondering what I was going to do (I had dropped the average age to a more respectable 67 by turning up).

On the plus side, John Gordon was lecturing that night and I learned something I'm still using today.

Shortly after this I was 'removed from the mailing list'. Or kicked out.

Take care, Ian

Edit: the first trick I saw Jerry Sadowitz do was the six card repeat (at a university gig in Embra). He get a very good reaction to it, but that probably had more to do with the patter line.
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Re: The Magic Menu

Postby Pete McCabe » November 13th, 2009, 3:17 pm

Mark.Lewis wrote:90% of so called magicians are so absolutely horrendously bad that I can't bear watching them work.


Sturgeon's Law: 90% of everything is crap.

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Re: The Magic Menu

Postby Bill Duncan » November 14th, 2009, 1:33 am

[mark lewis mode]
I seem to have failed to make my point as both the suave Mr. Lewis, and our esteemed host have missed it. I dont think the results achieved by Ms. Eng, nor Mr. Finney, are due to the Six Card Repeat.
[/mark lewis mode]

In laymans terms: it aint the trick, its the trickster.

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Re: The Magic Menu

Postby Paul Gordon » November 14th, 2009, 1:42 am

The best performance of SCR I've seen is by Peter Scarlett. Peter crams so much magic, fun and entertainment out of (or 'into') it!

PG
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Mark.Lewis
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Re: The Magic Menu

Postby Mark.Lewis » November 14th, 2009, 4:49 am

I must reluctantly agree with Mr Duncan. He is of course quite correct. But his astute observation applies to ANY trick. It is never the trick. A magician should never present magic. He should present HIMSELF doing magic. As I keep saying a trick is a mere peg to hang your personality on. Of course you have to have strong pegs-in other words good tricks. However what is a good trick in one person's hands may not be so wonderful in the hands of someone else. In other words the trick has to suit the performer and his style and personality.

And so endeth another lesson.

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Re: The Magic Menu

Postby Paul Gordon » November 14th, 2009, 5:04 am

Mark.Lewis wrote:I must reluctantly agree with Mr Duncan. He is of course quite correct. But his astute observation applies to ANY trick. It is never the trick. A magician should never present magic. He should present HIMSELF doing magic. As I keep saying a trick is a mere peg to hang your personality on. Of course you have to have strong pegs-in other words good tricks. However what is a good trick in one person's hands may not be so wonderful in the hands of someone else. In other words the trick has to suit the performer and his style and personality.

And so endeth another lesson.


At last! A post from Mark that I both like and totally agree with! Well said! :)

Paul
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Re: The Magic Menu

Postby Mark.Lewis » November 14th, 2009, 5:13 am

I say,Gordon old chap. Or should I say old chap that looks younger than he deserves to look.

What on earth do you mean "at last"? I have made many posts on this forum which show off my undoubted genius. You really must read more of them and see what you can learn.

Dearie me. Methinks you have been a member of the Magic Circle for far too long.

"at last" indeed.

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Re: The Magic Menu

Postby Paul Gordon » November 14th, 2009, 5:24 am

Calling me Gordon (as opposed to Paul) reminds me of 5 years of my prep school where I boarded! Five long years of spam fritters, powdered egg, cold baked beans and sardines on toast! As I wrote about in The Real Secrets of Card Magic (no plug intended), my headmaster wrote (1969), "Gordon seems happy to sit at the back of the class and vegetate with a pack of playing cards. He'll amount to nothing!" Well, he got something right!

Paul
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Re: The Magic Menu

Postby Mark.Lewis » November 14th, 2009, 5:40 am

That reminds me of a horrendously awful magician that used to book himself at a convention every year since he was in a position to do so. He was so bad that a well known professional used to leave before he came on and come back when he came off.
This awful chap used to perform like a headmaster giving out prizes at the end of term at a school assembly. Dreadfully posh and incompetent. Thankfully he is somewhat dead now and I shall not mention his name to spare his posthumous blushes.

Naturally he was a member of the Magic Circle.

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Re: The Magic Menu

Postby James Munton » November 14th, 2009, 10:23 am

Sounds like Roger. But I don't think he is dead.
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Mark.Lewis
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Re: The Magic Menu

Postby Mark.Lewis » November 14th, 2009, 10:27 am

Roger is indeed posh but never incompetent. Irritating yes. Incompetent no.
A very fine children's entertainer who appreciates the wonders of the choo choo trick.
Anyway you had better go away. You are not allowed to talk to me.

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Re: The Magic Menu

Postby James Munton » November 14th, 2009, 10:32 am

Okay, bye.
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