A Loaded Question for the Readers of Genii

Discuss the tricks and sleights which appear in Genii.
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Dustin Stinett
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Re: A Loaded Question for the Readers of Genii

Postby Dustin Stinett » June 25th, 2002, 10:58 pm

Originally posted by Michael Vincent:
If possible, I would like to learn a little more about Ricky Jay.
To date the most comprehensive work on the elusive Ricky Jay is the 18-page piece by Mark Singer in the April 5, 1993 issue of The New Yorker (also later published in Life Stories: Profiles From the New Yorker [2000]). Virtually everything else can best be described as “fluff.”

It's too bad that he is so reticent. He really is a star of some compelling magnitude (Broadway, books and film – only TV is left), and that reticence actually fuels the maniacal hunger for Jay memorabilia that he, apparently, disdains. When I first started collecting Jay material it was virtually free and easy. Now I wonder how much I could fetch for a playing card he signed back in the 70s (pre-calligraphy I might add). His reserve also feeds the fires of desire for more personal and professional news. It's just a matter of time before there is more fiction available than fact.

Stars of such magnitude can take a lesson from golfer Arnold Palmer. He will sign anything and everything (there was a joke that went around that said that Arnold would stay at the course looking for people who had not yet asked for his autograph) and he grants all interviews, whether he is up or down. The result of all this is a reasonable market for Palmer memorabilia with very little forgery, fraud and misinformation. And, perhaps most importantly, when he asks for privacy, he is so respected that it is quickly granted, because everyone, fans and the press, knows just how much he has already given, and is willing to give. When Curtis Strange won his second consecutive U.S. Open, he received a box of trading cards with the request that he sign and return them. Furious, he called and asked Arnold what he would do: “Sign "em” was his simple reply.

As for Ricky Jay changing his ways, I'm not going to hold my breath – but I will hold on to hope.

Dustin

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Re: A Loaded Question for the Readers of Genii

Postby Guest » June 26th, 2002, 11:24 am

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
It will be difficult to learn more about Ricky Jay because he doesn't want anything known. His friends keep quiet. Read a few interviews and you'll see that he spends more time evading questions than answering them.
I thought the interview in "The New Yorker" said a lot about him. However, although I'd love to know more, I feel that being a public performer shouldn't mean rhat your private life should be public property as well. Perhaps Richard could persuade him to give his thoughts on how he views the current magic scene against the past masters?

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Re: A Loaded Question for the Readers of Genii

Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » June 26th, 2002, 11:33 am

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
I would like to hear from as many of you as possible, HUNDREDS of you if possible, exactly what kind of magic magic you would like to see in "Magicana" in the future. And, please tell me the columnists in "Magicana" you like.
Personally, I'd like to see effects that people are using in the real world - the things they use everyday (assuming, of course, you can get people to give up those effects).

If you include the "Intermission" columns in this, I have to say that Eugene Burger's column is the first thing I read on the months when it appears.

-Jim

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Re: A Loaded Question for the Readers of Genii

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 26th, 2002, 11:41 am

I sent a message to Ricky Jay about a possible interview for the story we are doing about his current show. He had the courtesy to call me back, but he declined the interview. He simply has no desire whatsoever to say anything to the society of magicians at large.
The piece in "The New Yorker" can in no way be thought of as investigative journalism, because the author did no digging to find out anything about Ricky that Ricky didn't want printed, such as his real last name. It was a well-detail puff piece designed entirely to enhance Ricky's image and the mystique which he has created. In that sense it succeeded beautifully.
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Re: A Loaded Question for the Readers of Genii

Postby Jon Racherbaumer » June 26th, 2002, 10:27 pm

Sometimes magicians are transported to "worlds" due to planned and fortuitous turns in their career track; and often times these are insular, encapsulated, far-flung "worlds" very much apart from our quaint world of magicdom. As magicians, regardless of our skills, reputation, or station, we want ALL magicians to be our mates, our kindred spirits. But success brings some to levels where such fraternization is unlikely and impossible.

Why would David Copperfield want to hang out and chat with the "boys"? Soon DAvid Blaine will be entirely inaccessible. Uri Geller is....where?
Many are simply busy....working....

Ricky Jay now runs in much different circles and has different interests and a limited amount of free time. He obviously still loves magic...but the magic world that is our domain is not connected to his, nor should it be. He chooses to express his love of magic, theater, and so on through his Work...and he chooses to talk shop with talented, dedicated people from OTHER arts and crafts and businesses...This is not elitism or snobbishness. It is what provides his ferment and future growth...

The same thing has happened to others. Persi Diaconis, for example, moved into a wholly different realm many years ago. He was in New Orleans not long ago to deliver a lecture on mathematics at Tulane. We spent a pleasant afternoon together, shared a meal, and never talked about magic, card tricks, or anything related to magic...

This is what happens when we move on...or past the sweet domain we call magicdom...

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Re: A Loaded Question for the Readers of Genii

Postby Robert Kane » June 27th, 2002, 8:49 am

I think another reason for Jay's reticence to be associated with the "magic community" results from the lower status that magic and its practitioners hold in the eye of the entertainment industry and general public.

In my experience on the entertainment side of the cruise industry, magicians were largely seen as hacks, except for a few reliable players. They often were the last or avoided choice when making hiring decisions. Much more mileage could be gotten from singers, dancers, pianists, comedians, etc.

My sense is that it is a similar situation in the popular entertainment business. Magicians are rarely the first pick options except for high-end power players, but on an occasional basis only.

Jay has associated himself with highbrow artists like David Mamet which has in turn, helped Jay develop a sophisticated image that is respected and very commercial on Broadway and high-end television (a la HBO).

Jim Swain discusses a similar concept in a recent interview published in Magic when he talks about how he was discouraged from referring to his magical talent in the dust jacket biography of his second mystery novel (Funny Money).

Swain said, "The fact is, over the last year, I have dropped using the word 'magician' in everything I do. My publisher is dropping it as well...I love magic, it's a part of my soul, but in the real world, magician has a negative connotation."

The reality is that most of us in the "magic community" are pretty geeky (myself included) and are also decidedly non-commercial.

Swain also points out that we have a nasty reputation for making our spectators look foolish as opposed to entertaining them. Indeed some folks fear magicians and magic for this reason. "Please don't pick me, please don't pick me...maybe if I look the other way he won't pick me."

As much as it saddens me to say, I can easily see why Jay does not want to cavort with the "magic community." It would be bad for business.

Maybe we could all work to change that image? :(

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Re: A Loaded Question for the Readers of Genii

Postby Pete Biro » June 28th, 2002, 7:26 pm

Let's put Williamson, Tamariz and Michael Weber in a room for 48 hours and keep a video going.

Now that would be something.

I would like to see more stand up parlour type material... and more "impromptu" looking stuff, like cups and balls with tea cups, etc.

Tricks with ordinary objects.

Tricks of bar magicians (solid, fast, direct stuff).

:D :cool: :p
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Re: A Loaded Question for the Readers of Genii

Postby Pete Biro » June 28th, 2002, 7:29 pm

Actually, a concept I had for a convention was the following.

The convention committee rents three suite type rooms and puts two top close up guys in each one.

Audiences can come and go and they work in real hospitality suite/session conditions. They could do a set that lasted four hours if they wanted to. some of the audience members could to a bit too.

I still think worked right this could be amazing. None of the politicos at the IBM understood the concept and I could never get it into the schedule.

Oh well.... :eek: :( :mad:
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Re: A Loaded Question for the Readers of Genii

Postby Ruben Padilla » June 30th, 2002, 7:29 pm

I've already posted my Magicana preferences earlier in this thread, but the Ricky Jay tangent poses a question -

Are there any plans to tape his new show and air it on HBO like the first one?
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Re: A Loaded Question for the Readers of Genii

Postby Rick Maue » July 3rd, 2002, 11:23 pm

Originally posted by David Eldridge:
I would like to see practical Bizarre stuff from people like Rick Maue, Gene Poinc, Tony Andruzzi, and others.
Greetings,

First of all, thanks for the nice thoughts David. (I would have responded sooner but things have been far too busy around here over the last few months.)

I too would love to see some practical bizarre items every so often. This is not my way of trying to push my material in the column, but instead, more a desire to see some new blood in one of my areas of interest.

Keep the change,
Rick Maue
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Re: A Loaded Question for the Readers of Genii

Postby ADG » July 4th, 2002, 7:27 pm

In response to Richard Kaufman's original request for the Magicana column....I personally think that the only professional magician who can follow in Charlie Miller's footsteps for the Magicana column should be Earl Nelson. Everything he does is pure magic. He is very knowledgeable and he certainly has my vote!
Alex

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Re: A Loaded Question for the Readers of Genii

Postby Guest » July 4th, 2002, 10:25 pm

Fewer card tricks (its seem that all things now in books or video are related to cards)

How about this challenge for a upcoming Magicana

I would like to see what kind of original tricks would perform the columnist (would love to see Mac king)
If he would enter a restaurant with nothing more then a pen on him.

Made in Pete

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Re: A Loaded Question for the Readers of Genii

Postby Guest » July 11th, 2002, 10:54 am

Recetly I saw Magic Magazine send a simple card gaff with one of their issues. This might be an interesting thing to do as a special issue.

Also, you could try a special extra large Magicana in honor of National magic week in October.

I also enjoyed seeing the first isuue of Magicana.
Maybe you could show issue #2, or other originals.

Keep up the good work

-Dan

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Re: A Loaded Question for the Readers of Genii

Postby Guest » July 12th, 2002, 1:40 pm

I, too, would like to see more parlor/standup material.

Taking a page from the Speaking Volumes article, perhaps there could be an article by a professional magician discussing material he identified in an old book or magazine and updated for use in his own act (the Sacks dice routine springs to mind, as well as the Fast and Loose material of recent vintage but lets try to get ahead of the wave and identify material that is not being done by a huge number of people).

I also think that I would like to see more of what I regard as the real work not sleights and methods, but subtleties. Several years ago, Jamy Ian Swiss was gracious enough to post on an electronic bulletin board an extended discussion of how he taught the French drop. That was powerful material and the real work as far as I was concerned. He taught when to pause, how to hold your hand, how to break at the wrist, where to look, how to look, the whole works. I would love to see more material on this line. Al Schneiders material is of this type wonderful.

I also miss Jim Steinmeyers Conjuring column. I was a big fan of Jim and that column.

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Re: A Loaded Question for the Readers of Genii

Postby Joe Pecore » July 15th, 2002, 10:50 am

I would be willing to help with scanning. I have the computer, scanner, and OCR. I just don't have all the magazines!

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
-snip-
One of the big problems is time. I spend all of mine getting Genii out on time every month.
Anyone out there willing to take on the task of scanning all the text from Magiciana onto computer?
Share your knowledge on the MagicPedia wiki.

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Re: A Loaded Question for the Readers of Genii

Postby Guest » July 15th, 2002, 2:09 pm

Stand up stage stuff

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Re: A Loaded Question for the Readers of Genii

Postby John Smetana » July 15th, 2002, 7:00 pm

I would like to second Jim's motion, especially re: David Regals "Speaking Volumes". I thought it was great and would like to see more like it.

Best thoughts,
John Smetana

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Re: A Loaded Question for the Readers of Genii

Postby Gary Brown » July 19th, 2002, 10:14 pm

In terms of performance magic, I've probably used some of Genii's mentalism pieces more than anything else, so please keep them coming.

But I've also been looking for an opportunity to comment on "Speaking Volumes," which, in my opinion, was the best piece to appear in any magic magazine in many years. It would be terrific if this could become a regular or semi-regular feature, and could even be extended to other branches of the art (say, for example, have magicians and scholars comment on their favorite biographies, histories, non-magic books used in magic, etc.)

In a similar vein, perhaps you could consider publishing some pieces that offer new ways to use equipment or effects that many of us already own -- variations or updates of classic magic effects, novel ways to use existing equipment, etc.

And keep up the good work!
Gary Brown

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Re: A Loaded Question for the Readers of Genii

Postby Guest » August 10th, 2002, 6:07 am

I really enjoyed David's column. As for the magic it's ok. People aren't going to give out book or video material, so it's to be expected.
Most to me just seem like minor variations on other effects.
I'd like to see someone write that's been around the block, knows magic inside out, and have known many of the legends. Like a new Professor. Like Johnny Thompson.

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Re: A Loaded Question for the Readers of Genii

Postby David Acer » August 12th, 2002, 11:05 am

Originally posted by David Acer:
I feel very strongly (perhaps more strongly than I've ever felt before) that David Regal's "Speaking Volumes" should become a regular column. And if David's not willing to write it, then perhaps someone else with a propensity for reading could step up to the plate (what's Valentino doing?)
In addition to this, I would love to see other countries better represented in the mix. What hidden treasures lie in British, German, Japanese and French books, for example, the contents of which we in North America would be less familiar with.
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Re: A Loaded Question for the Readers of Genii

Postby Matthew Field » August 13th, 2002, 7:28 am

Originally posted by David Acer:
Originally posted by David Acer:
[qb] I would love to see other countries better represented in the mix. What hidden treasures lie in British, German, Japanese and French books, for example
No problemo, David.

British -- "Magic For Dummies" by Ian Adair
German -- "Ja, Dat's Mine Card!" by Der Fricken Fingers
Japanese -- "Not So Fast, Max" by Ton Onosaka
French -- "Card in Escargot" by Gotno Bloomers

Anything else I can help you with?

Matthew Field

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Re: A Loaded Question for the Readers of Genii

Postby Jim Riser » August 13th, 2002, 10:54 am

Originally posted by David Acer:
Originally posted by David Acer:
I would love to see other countries better represented in the mix. What hidden treasures lie in British, German, Japanese and French books, for example, the contents of which we in North America would be less familiar with.
David, to add a very nice historical type book (in German) to Matt Field's short but interesting list.....may I suggest - a real book:

Kleines Becherspiel Kompendium by Joro

This is a small but beautiful book on the cups and balls with excellent color photos, several routines, and an incredible bibliography listing all of the cups and balls references the author could locate. This list is amazing!

My thanks to Genii Forum member HANNO RHOMBERG for acquainting me with this wonderful book.

Jim

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Re: A Loaded Question for the Readers of Genii

Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » August 13th, 2002, 11:10 am

Originally posted by Matthew Field:
British -- "Magic For Dummies" by Ian Adair
German -- "Ja, Dat's Mine Card!" by Der Fricken Fingers
Japanese -- "Not So Fast, Max" by Ton Onosaka
French -- "Card in Escargot" by Gotno Bloomers
LOL -- that's hilarious!

-Jim

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Re: A Loaded Question for the Readers of Genii

Postby Curtis Kam » August 13th, 2002, 1:31 pm

Richard,

A couple of ideas, the first speaks to the call for more stand up/parlor material. I remember two features from the Jinx that might be revived. One was the "Programs of Famous magicians" and the other was the "Complete Acts" listings, wherein Anneman would assemble a complete act for say, parlor use, from the material that had previously appeared. It was truly an education to see what he thought would play, and the impact and pacing decisions he made as he put the acts together.

The "Programs" feature might be a little more problemic, what with the blatant copying going on already. But it would be interesting to see a listing of the tricks done in each of the major contest-winning acts of the past five years. (I doubt anyone would be silly enough to copy an award-winning act and re-enter it into competition. Okay, I don't doubt it, but I don't think they'd get too far.)

Secondly, what about a series of articles with a longer attention span than the one-shot article? For instance, Magicana gives a good effect to five top magicians. We check in with them three times during the year, getting their initial handling, then the handling they ended up using the most when they were doing it, then the final working, including all the lessons of living with the effect for a year.

Finally, let me say (without calling too much fanfare to it, since I want it buried in print) Tod Rosengren's (sorry about the spelling) chop cup routine was one of the best things I've seen in print, video, or otherwise, in quite a long time. Thanks very much to you and to him.

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Re: A Loaded Question for the Readers of Genii

Postby Pete Biro » August 18th, 2002, 3:53 pm

Scanning, page layout... that's what I do for a living... also another GREAT BOOK, which Irene told me to do before the sale... "The Complete Reel Works" -- let's talk via email Ricardo! :genii: :cool:
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Re: A Loaded Question for the Readers of Genii

Postby Pete Biro » August 18th, 2002, 3:56 pm

Off subject:

Talking of Magicana and Woodfield... the staff list on the FIRST issues showed "Emile Clifton as staff artist"

Emile was my main mentor in the early days.

Few knew Emile outside of the San Francisco area.

He was black, a member of the famed Tuskeegee Airmen in WWII, winner of the Distinguished Flying Cross and thrown out of an IBM convention once because "we don't allow YOUR KIND at our conventions."

I recently posted a BRIEF description of his MacDonald Ace laydown, which is genius. He also had a fabulous Malini type egg bag routine with a golf ball premise.

If anyone has any more of his material, I'd like to know and gather.

:genii:
Stay tooned.

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Re: A Loaded Question for the Readers of Genii

Postby Pete Biro » August 18th, 2002, 3:58 pm

Back on subject:

I would like what has been referred to a "Two Meter Magic" or parlour type, which Charlie Miller Charlie Miller Charlie Miller was best at (aside from his card/gambling stuff).

There are more than 2,947,493 card tricks in print so we don't need no more of those.

More practical, usable stand up type close up.

And funny presentations.
Stay tooned.

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Re: A Loaded Question for the Readers of Genii

Postby Guest » August 19th, 2002, 2:06 pm

Amen, Pete. Amen.

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Re: A Loaded Question for the Readers of Genii

Postby Jon Racherbaumer » August 20th, 2002, 5:26 pm

This is tangential to this thread; however, I've always wondered why some people are attracted to what I (for lack of a better term) call THEME COMEDY. If I were a comic or comedian, my source of material would be HUMAN LIFE IN THE WORLD-AT-LARGE and would not be restricted to types, motifs, or specific characters. With few exceptions, I've always thought that COMEDY MENTALISM and COMEDY MAGIC were, at best, a narrow focus. At the worst, it was a style where average comedians who were also average magicians hoped to raise their performance quotient by combining two insufficiencies. There have been notable exceptions (such as Carl Ballantine, Tommy Cooper, Roy Benson...), but most of the other duffers and wannabees are dim lights in the firmament.

Of the younger guys (not THAT young,really), I think that David Acer, Jay Sankey, Bill Malone, and Bob Sheets (to name four off the top of my pointed head)are funny WITHOUT THE TRAPPINGS OF MAGIC STUFF...This of course is a different issue.

In any case, perhaps this subject deserves a different, more articulate, and more enduring thread?

Any thoughts, guys and gals?

Onward...

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Re: A Loaded Question for the Readers of Genii

Postby magicbar » August 23rd, 2002, 7:18 am

I have always liked Magicana not necessarily for the "tricks" (I really don't like that word) but for the angle it took which was 'a magazine within a magazine'.

It lended a certain schitzophrenic appeal. It would be the diverse rants of Charlie Miller or the truth according to Tony Giorio to the 'shut up, I'm trying to sell some magazines here' campaign of Bill Larsen. It was angst from wisdom versus pop knowledge. I truly wonder what Charlie would have written about "big publishing" of today. But as far as "tricks" go, I would say that I prefer magic for the lay person rather than another subtle touch aimed at others in the field.

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Re: A Loaded Question for the Readers of Genii

Postby Richard Kaufman » August 23rd, 2002, 7:38 am

I want to thank everyone who has replied to this thread so far, PLEASE KEEP YOUR RESPONSES COMING!!!
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Re: A Loaded Question for the Readers of Genii

Postby Jon Racherbaumer » August 23rd, 2002, 1:52 pm

I heartily second RK's message regarding your valuable responses and input.

Unfortunately, the current environment of magicdom is characterized by "vagrant, unpredictable winds" and wild whimsy. Publishers would love to be mind-readers, but unless we hear lots of feedback, we are guesstimating and extrapolating...

In the golden days of Genii, there was a situation where acclaimed legends of magic (who seldom were accessible to the masses) were all stationed in and around the Magic Castle. This was unprecendented! When Charlie Miller took over Magicana, he had not written much or opined about the "magic scene." Neither had Vernon. The writing of their material was done by others (Ganson, Parrish...) Therefore, when they started contributing to Genii in this vital way, it had a special allure and power. Readers also felt they were being taken "behind the scenes," that they were inside... Also, back then there were fewer ideas, sleights, and tricks being released...certainly nothing like the current Glut.

Today there is a shortage of Vernons and Millers, Hugards and Hilliards. And there are fewer genuine legends, if any. Furthermore, many of the celebrities (in magic) are now able to DIRECTLY service their fans and consumers. They then publish their own books and release their own videos, saving their "good stuff" to release on their own rather than freely give them to magic magazines.

This is also why special issues (of Genii) such as the ones devoted to stars such as Dai Vernon, Michael Skinner, Brother John Hamman, and most recently, Martin Lewis, are so special. (At least they are special to me, but then I'm biased!)

Frankly, I wish there was a larger pool of good writers--REALLY GOOD writers-- out there in magicdom. There is so much great material that has not yet been tapped, but there are fewer and fewer magicians willing and ABLE to do the work.

In the meantime, RK and I will continue trying to create issues that readers will want to save and savor rather than skim and discard. Needless to say, you readers are an essential, indispensible part of the engine that drives this enterprise.

So...
Keep the messages coming...

Thanks.

Onward...

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Re: A Loaded Question for the Readers of Genii

Postby Philippe Noël » August 24th, 2002, 1:27 am

Richard,
Do you really want to make us happy?
Make a special issue on Jennings.
Biography, Bibliography, memories of friends and tricks of course.
Thanks in advance.

Philippe Nol

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Re: A Loaded Question for the Readers of Genii

Postby Terry » August 24th, 2002, 5:47 am

Agree with Phillipe about the Jennings issue except for one thing. There is enough Jennings material in print with the exception of the rumored new book being published (something about taking it easy?). I would like to see a tribute issue with his friends and their favorite memories.

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Re: A Loaded Question for the Readers of Genii

Postby Jackie Huang » August 24th, 2002, 6:20 am

Originally posted by Philippe Nol:
Make a special issue on Jennings.
Biography, Bibliography, memories of friends and tricks of course.
Just curious - Was there ever a Charlie Miller issue? And John Scarne?

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Re: A Loaded Question for the Readers of Genii

Postby David Acer » August 30th, 2002, 5:10 pm

How about a thick, juicy issue on Daryl. He must have a fair bit of new material since his last book (Secrets of a Puerto Rican Gambler, circa 1981).
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Re: A Loaded Question for the Readers of Genii

Postby Jeff Haas » August 31st, 2002, 1:31 pm

David, you're forgetting Daryl's book on the Ambitious Card (circa 1987).

Jeff

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Re: A Loaded Question for the Readers of Genii

Postby Guest » September 3rd, 2002, 9:51 pm

Here's an idea, Richard. Have some of the top guys in magic (Malone, Williamson, Acer, et al) come up with modernized versions of some obscure classics. In other words (just for an example), Malone's version of Lady's Looking Glass by Hofzinser..or Williamson's version of a Robert-Houdin piece...or Acer's handling of Charles Bertram's Cards in the Pocket.
Just an idea...

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Re: A Loaded Question for the Readers of Genii

Postby Guest » September 3rd, 2002, 9:57 pm

An addendum to my previous post:
This just popped in my head as I entered the last. Why not have an issue in which guys like me (not necessarily me, just guys like me...you know..guys that don't have a name in magic at large yet...God, now I'm depressed. 'click' bang!

Just kidding!

Oh, where was I...yeah guys like me who haven't made a name for ourselves yet, what have WE been able to do with some of the stuff that's out there? I mentioned in another topic that I have a version of David's "Cheap Labor" that I call "Johnny Angel".
I'm not saying use that, but I'm just going on that idea of what have we "magicians-at-large" done with what publishers have put out?

sorry that was so long..
Rick

Guest

Re: A Loaded Question for the Readers of Genii

Postby Guest » September 10th, 2002, 1:22 am

The Paris issue
The Spain issue
The Tel Aviv issue

Dori


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