Dai Vernon in Expert card Technique

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.
Mark.Lewis
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Re: Dai Vernon in Expert card Technique

Postby Mark.Lewis » December 2nd, 2009, 5:41 pm

Richard's ambitious card routine sounds horrific but I shall take his word for it when he says it is terribly wondrous. I will have to reserve judgement until I actually see with my own eyes that laymen are frothing at the mouth over it. I would also like to know the names of the people he alleges do the invisible pass in actual performance. I cannot believe these people use no misdirection and actually get away with it.

I am afraid that I shall have to take issue with the brilliant Harry Lorayne over his own trick (if it is indeed his own) on the grounds that I am equally brilliant. It is extremely daft to do that monstrosity of a mathematical thing that he described in his book as an out. Just do the pass and be done with it otherwise there is a danger that you may become as boring as certain deceased members of the magic circle.

I am a major admirer of Harry as I have stated many times but when he is wrong he is wrong. If any of you have read the description in his marvellous book you will realise what a horrendous out he advocates. The pass is the best method since it is the most direct one. I never use complicated sleight of hand unless it is the best method for that particular moment. And this is the best method for the moment.

As for getting a break I have already described how easy it is to do so. For those of you that missed my brilliant subtlety I can only suggest you read it again.

And to answer El Mystico's remark about Fred Robinson's invisible pass I DID see him do it on more than one occasion. It was bloody awful and you could see it flashing from down the street.

Magicians get so enamoured by technical finger flinging that they get carried away by it. They seem to be doing if for their own entertainment more than for the entertainment of their audiences.

Dariel Fitzkee pointed out the following many years ago:

"A demonstration of extraordinary skill is entirely lost upon an audience incapable of grasping the virtuosity employed. The man achieving the same general effect, using much less difficult methods, is considered fully the equal in skill by the same audience. This presupposes, of course, that their presentations have been equally entertaining. As a matter of fact, the lay audience might consider the second performer more skillful than the first. This audience might think so because he seems to accomplish his objectives with less trying, with less difficulty"

Harry Lorayne

Re: Dai Vernon in Expert card Technique

Postby Harry Lorayne » December 2nd, 2009, 6:17 pm

Some types of humor tend to get so damn boring. No?

Mark.Lewis
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Re: Dai Vernon in Expert card Technique

Postby Mark.Lewis » December 2nd, 2009, 6:29 pm

No more boring than counting cards back into the other hand when you don't have to.
Still I consider Harry to be the greatest writer of magic books of all time. I use his material all the time. And he explains technical stuff better than anyone else. I just don't like his awful out-that is all.
I am still wondering which trick in Close Up Card Magic was the bad one that Cardini mentioned. If I find out I will complain about that one too.
The trouble is that I have just had a horrible thought. I might be doing it already.

Glenn Bishop
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Re: Dai Vernon in Expert card Technique

Postby Glenn Bishop » December 2nd, 2009, 6:49 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:There is no appearance of technique or manipulation when I do this. It goes into the middle of the deck, I place the deck on the person's hand, and ask her to turn over the top card. BAM.

Sounds very strong. Thanks Richard.

If I may add that there are some magical tricks that use the pass and the pass is what makes them look magical. Like the Cavorting Aces out of the Stars of magic.

Just my opinion.

Mark.Lewis
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Re: Dai Vernon in Expert card Technique

Postby Mark.Lewis » December 2nd, 2009, 7:30 pm

The Cavorting Aces by Dr Daley (if that is the one we are talking about) does indeed use a kind of invisible pass-that is the Hermann Pass and it is indeed invisible but limited. It does fit well with the Cavorting Aces though.The unnatural handling is well covered in that particular trick.

Leonard Hevia
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Re: Dai Vernon in Expert card Technique

Postby Leonard Hevia » December 8th, 2009, 8:39 pm

Hi Justin--Vernon's material in ECT appears to be mostly the table riffle shuffle work and some palms. Vernon also mentioned that he recognized tricks that were his. If you go through the text, you can eliminate material that certainly wasn't Vernon's and speculate on the remainder.

The Double Lift get-ready at the beginning is also his.

Justin Wheatley
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Re: Dai Vernon in Expert card Technique

Postby Justin Wheatley » December 9th, 2009, 6:20 pm

Yeah, that's basically what I've done. It's fun to speculate. That's interesting about the get-ready...

Leonard Hevia
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Re: Dai Vernon in Expert card Technique

Postby Leonard Hevia » December 23rd, 2009, 8:23 pm

Over the past several weeks, I've come across some interesting information on E.C.T. without specifically looking for more information:

1. The third volume of the Vernon Chronicles contains a chapter on a fellow named Fred Black. Mr. Black was a cattle rancher from Thedford, Nebraska. Mr. Minch writes that the faro tables that appear in E.C.T. were created by Black. According to Stephen Minch, Mr. Black was a pioneer of riffle shuffle and faro work. Minch writes, "Mr. Vernon recalls that Mr. Black could execute perfect riffle shuffles without resorting to faro meshes. He would release the cards off his thumbs to form a perfect weave. This was admittedly done more slowly than would be a normal riffle shuffle, but the weave was more accurate. He used to practice controlled shuffles on the horn of his saddle, while watching the herds."
It should also be noted that Fred Black contributed a unique pass in Dai Vernon's Ultimate Secrets of Card Magic.

2.The Spring 1996 issue of The Looking Glass contains interesting information on E.C.T. In the introduction to Ed Marlo's "Nomadic Aces", Jon Racherbaumer writes "A card routine eventually called "The Nomadic Aces" is briefly described in the Braue Notebooks with this notation: "' Shown to me by Charlie Miller, 7/16/39; I believe he credited it to Dai Vernon.'"
Racherbaumer also notes "When this trick appeared in E.C.T., p.256, the opening sentence is: "' This ingenious version of the four ace classic is the invention (Racherbaumer's emphasis) of Charlie Miller, the brilliant California magician.'" Racherbaumer asks "What happened to Vernon?"
Racherbaumer also points out the fact that Vernon's "The Vernon Four Aces" from his Twenty Dollar Manuscript (1932) appeared seven years before Braue's entry in his notebook. Racherbaumer notes here that "This is clearly the precursor and inspiration for what Charlie Miller showed Fred Braue." Onward...(With apologies to Racherbaumer).

Bill Duncan
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Re: Dai Vernon in Expert card Technique

Postby Bill Duncan » December 23rd, 2009, 10:53 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:It should also be noted that Fred Black contributed a unique pass in Dai Vernon's Ultimate Secrets of Card Magic.


Not for nothin' but, Michael Close has a couple of very practical real world versions of the Black pass in Closely Guarded Secrets.

Leonard Hevia
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Re: Dai Vernon in Expert card Technique

Postby Leonard Hevia » December 28th, 2009, 12:29 pm

There's more. Here's what Harry Riser wrote in Secrets of an Escamoteur on E.C.T.:

Charlie Miller's name is linked more often to material in Expert Card Technique than any other. Those who knew Charlie well are aware that, although the material in Chapter 1 was not attributed to him, it was, nevertheless, his method for the double lift. I remember the first time I saw Charlie use this in an effect. I was stunned, because it was so natural--as was everything he did.
In the table of contents of Expert Card Technique, some effects and sleights are credited to various magicians, but the majority remain without attribution. For example, Hugard is credited with six items, Braue with four. Seven are attributed to Charlie's good friend Louis Zingone, and eleven to Charlie himself, making him the major acknowledged contributor to the book. Other names listed in the contents are Dai Vernon, Cliff Green, Jack McMillen, Paul Rosini, Bert Allerton, Gerald Kaufman, and comedian-movie star Harold Lloyd. Over the years, insiders have come to believe that much of the uncredited material was created by Charlie Miller. This supposition is certainly probable. The opening chapter, entitled "The Secret Lifts," contains nine pages of revolutionary approaches to double turnover sleights, which I can attest were originated by Charlie. I observed this from my own experiences with Charlie, and received corroboration of it from the late Dai Vernon, who was Charlie's friend and companion for many years. Strangely, Hugard and Braue linked no creator's name with any of this breakthrough material.

According to Harry Riser, the material in Chapter 1 is Charlie Miller's, and not Dai Vernon's as I had believed.

Leonard Hevia
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Re: Dai Vernon in Expert card Technique

Postby Leonard Hevia » December 28th, 2009, 1:20 pm

There's more. I always wondered if Vernon was the creator of "The Psychic Stop!" effect on page 330 of E.C.T. I found my answer in the fourth volume of the Vernon Chronicles: Dai Vernon A Magical Life. In the chapter titled "Great Tricks", Vernon says:

I was the first to do The Stop Trick. This seems to fall under the category of great tricks. The spectator tells you to stop dealing the cards anytime he likes and, somehow, he stops at the very card he selected...In my act, I would deal the cards on the table, look at my subject and say, "Now...I will deal these cards until I have enough on the table; stop me anytime you like.
I was phenomenally successful at this; just a keenness of perception in judging a person, knowing the type that would deal way down deep and the type that would stop you on the first couple of cards. Once a fellow actually went down to the second to the last card!"

The act Vernon mentions was his stint as a tableside/walkaround performer at the Madison Hotel in Manhattan around late December New Years 1934. Davis Ben notes in his biography of Vernon that the Stop Trick was among Vernon's performing repertoire at the Madison.

Hugard and Braue give us a clue that this effect belongs to Vernon. In the description of this effect they note "It has been, practically, the exclusive property of a small clique of advanced card conjurers for a number of years."

Vernon may not have invented the Stop Trick, but I believe he created pychological aspect of this effect where the spectator is subtley induced to stop at the seventh card.

David Britland
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Re: Dai Vernon in Expert card Technique

Postby David Britland » December 28th, 2009, 3:47 pm

Re the psychological force used in The Psychic Stop, there is a version of this in Hofzinser's Card Conjuring. It is in the very first trick, The Sympathetic Numbers. It described as a forcing procedure but is used to force the number of cards dealt as opposed to revealing a card at that specific number.

In the trick Hofzinser asks the spectator to call stop as he deals cards onto the table. For the purposes of this trick he requires the spectator to stop after ten cards have been dealt. The method is briefly described but is clearly psychological in nature the cards being dealt 'singly and consecutively on the table in one heap, fixing his gaze on the person addressed in such a manner that he forces her to say "Stop!" exactly at the tenth card.'

He then forces four ten spots on four spectators all in aid of proving that 'ten is the sympathetic number.'

The reason Hofzinser uses the number ten as opposed to seven is probably because it fits this trick better. He has an out, adding a card or two if the force falls short. If he'd used seven as the number the difference between the actual number of cards dealt (say five) and the number required (seven) might be too noticeable. At least that's my thinking.

He uses a similar force in another trick, Association of Thoughts, in which he predicts the spectator will call stop on the eleventh card.

I don't know if Hofzinser was the first to use this technique but he certainly seemed to be a master of it. Oddly Sharpe makes no comment about the strategy in his annotations.

Brandon Hall
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Re: Dai Vernon in Expert card Technique

Postby Brandon Hall » December 29th, 2009, 5:48 pm

Eugene Burger explained a similar force he used for a Haunted Deck routine. He places the Jokers at the senventh and ninth position in the deck then asks the spectator to stop him...he makes this requests AS he deals the first three cards (no more)...invariably the spectator stops at the seventh card. He points out that the spectator stopped at a joker (before revealing it) which should have been removed and tells the spectator to stop him one more time. Invariably, they stop him AGAIN after three cards to reveal the other joker. He eliminates the second joker and proceeds with the trick. The great thing is that if it doesn't work, no problem, it wasn't part of the trick anyway. BUT when it DOES work...!
"Hope I Die Before I Get Old"
P. Townshend

Leonard Hevia
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Re: Dai Vernon in Expert Card Technique

Postby Leonard Hevia » December 29th, 2009, 8:26 pm

Thanks for that insightful post David. I don't have that book. Since Vernon idolized Hofzinser, I'm certain he read that text and may have applied Hofzinser's forcing idea for the Stop Trick revelation.

In his book Card Control, Arthur Buckley claims to have invented the Stop Trick [independently?]. He calls it "The Triple Climax" because the small packet of dealt cards in your left hand is smacked on a three count and the selected card is on top. Buckley's trick requires lots of hand cupping and a Slap Shift.

Jonathan Townsend
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Re: Dai Vernon in Expert Card Technique

Postby Jonathan Townsend » December 29th, 2009, 10:38 pm

Vernon idolized Hofzinser?
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Dai Vernon in Expert Card Technique

Postby Richard Kaufman » December 29th, 2009, 10:46 pm

Of course: anyone who does card magic idolizes Hofzinser, whether they know it or not.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

Nathan Muir
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Re: Dai Vernon in Expert Card Technique

Postby Nathan Muir » December 30th, 2009, 4:17 am

Richard Kaufman wrote:Of course: anyone who does card magic idolizes Hofzinser, whether they know it or not.


I agree. Unfortunately most know his genius under different (more recent) names, being ignorant of its true origins.

Mark.Lewis
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Re: Dai Vernon in Expert Card Technique

Postby Mark.Lewis » December 30th, 2009, 8:19 am

I always get irritated when people talk about "MacDonald's Aces". It had nothing to do with Macdonald in the first place.
It is actually Hofzinser's trick. He called it the "Power of Faith".

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Barefoot Boy
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Re: Dai Vernon in Expert Card Technique

Postby Barefoot Boy » December 31st, 2009, 1:31 am

me doing.. Power of Faith below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Mh2XoMX7Rs
Outward sunshine; Inward joy,
Blessings on thee, Barefoot Boy.
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Mark.Lewis
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Re: Dai Vernon in Expert Card Technique

Postby Mark.Lewis » December 31st, 2009, 6:31 am

Paul. You are getting more like Roger everyday, posting videos of yourself at the first opportunity. I have had a complaint from Hofzinser about your presentation. Since you are also in touch with the spirit world as a psychic yourself he will be in touch with you directly about the matter. He informs me that he did not invent the trick to be done to music notwithstanding he admits you did it very well.

In my opinion Paul is easily Canada's finest mentalist but he can also do close up magic very well, as is proven by that clip. I do wish he would put his shoes on once in a while though.

He is one of my two best friends in magic. Both of them get highly embarrassed to be associated with me. I have no idea why.

Leonard Hevia
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Re: Dai Vernon in Expert Card Technique

Postby Leonard Hevia » January 1st, 2010, 1:00 pm

David Britland's connection of Vernon's Stop Trick to Hofzinser's Card Conjuring was on the money. In Dai Vernon: A Biography, David Ben writes:

"Inspired by the first English translation of the secrets of the great Austrian magician Hofzinser, for example, Vernon learned to control a spectator "by gaze." A person would select a card, return and shuffle it into the deck. The performer would start dealing cards to the table. Using his demeanor and expression, Vernon would unconsciously motivate the spectator to stop the dealing procedure at the exact moment the chosen card hit the tabletop. With considerable study and practice, Vernon became skilled at reading people and anticipating their every move or action. He had developed a deep understanding of the of the psychology of deception."

I'm convinced "Psychic Stop!" in E.C.T. should be attributed to Vernon.

Joe Mckay
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Re: Dai Vernon in Expert Card Technique

Postby Joe Mckay » January 1st, 2010, 8:51 pm

Another guy who may deserve credit for the Vernon STOP TRICK could be the legendary Moe Seidenstein. He published a book called MOE'S MIRACLES which featured an idea which is very similar. That book was published back in 1930. I don't have a copy of the original book and am only going by the details given in MOE AND HIS MIRACLES by William P. Miesel.

All the best,

Joe

David Britland
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Re: Dai Vernon in Expert Card Technique

Postby David Britland » January 2nd, 2010, 10:45 am

Hi Leonard

The description of Vernon achieving the trick 'by gaze' sounds like the one in Hofzinser.

It is possible that Hugard included the trick in Expert Card Technique because he had previously added it to the revised edition of Encyclopedia of Card Tricks. There it is called The Psychological Stop Trick. The target card is the tenth card down in that version but key point is that the patter is synchronised with the deal forcing the spectator to call stop on the right card.

In Encyclopedia of Card Tricks Hugard says: 'This effect is about 97% perfect. Paul Noffke a very clever card man works this effect and in his hands it is 100% perfect. Max Holden worked it for Tommy Downs and Eddie McLaughlin and had them completely stumped.' No mention of Vernon there which is possibly why he doesn't mention Vernon in Expert Card Technique.

I can't see that this trick is in the original Gravatt edition (unless I've missed it). So it seems to be an addition by Hugard.

In Hugard's Personal Files (at Ask Alexander) are what appear to be his translations of French articles describing in detail the approaches used by Max Reywils and Mayette. The title is 'To provoke the word Stop when desired.' The technique is similar to that in Expert Card Technique.

Hugard was aware that magicians had been inspired by the description of Hofzinser's tricks. His Personal Files at Ask Alexander also contain T Page Wright's The Sympathetic Couples routine (Sphinx, Sept 1925). Wright specifically credits Hofzinser. Maybe it is an oversight that Hugard didn't.

Leonard Hevia
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Re: Dai Vernon in Expert Card Technique

Postby Leonard Hevia » January 5th, 2010, 8:40 pm

Thanks for the great post David. I used to own a Dover edition of Hugard's Encyclopedia of Card Tricks but lost it somehow through a number of moves. The box didn't make it with me. I now understand Hofzinser was the progenitor of this effect.

I wonder how Paul Noffke learned this effect. Could he have possibly tweaked it from the Hofziner text? Was he a friend of Vernon? I know Max Holden was enthralled with Vernon during the mid-twenties and he probably learned this effect from him.

I also noted in this thread that Vernon idolized Hofzinser, and Jonothan Townsend wondered about that. The 4th edition of the Vernon Chronicles contains a chapter called "Hofzinser Another Of My Heroes." Vernon says:

"J.N. Hofzinser is a real hero of mine. I'd never even heard the the name until sometime in the 1920s when a British magical publication talked about this marvelous man...As a philosopher he developed beautiful plots for hid tricks. He was really a student of the art. That's why I was fascinated with him and tried to learn all about him."


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