Royal road to card magic

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » January 11th, 2018, 8:21 am

Aha! I see the Wilfrid Jonson reference has suddenly appeared by magic no doubt as a result of my remarks above. In that case I should give a little more information for those few of you who own "Mr Smith's Guide to Sleight of Hand". The trick in question is the "Six Coin Trick" and I think is an excellent climax to the Eddie Fechter coins across thing. It is described in Lesson Six of the book.

The paragraph is question states

"Some performers allow the spectator to open his hand and count the six coins himself, and this procedure has been suggested, if I remember correctly, in most previous descriptions of the trick. But it is a very ill advised thing to do and one which may easily lead the onlookers to realise the existence of the extra coin. It is attempting to make the climax too strong, a thing which can often weaken the whole structure of a trick. A good trick should always leave more than one solution to the imagination of the spectators"

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » January 11th, 2018, 9:11 am

Sometimes I wonder if it should be termed the "too obvious" theory!

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby lybrary » January 11th, 2018, 10:32 am

Perhaps it should be called the 'too divine' theory, because that is what Ted Annemann called it in the April 1935 issue of Jinx:
Having the spectator find the bill when performer has never been close is just too divine, and anyone with as much as one brain will be suspicious and be sure that it can't be the same bill.
From issue #7, the "Lemon and the Dollar". Annemann predates all the other sources.
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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » December 3rd, 2018, 10:44 am

The annotations to the Royal Road to Card Magic are nearly done. Or at least the writing is. I am on the last chapter now. Of course the writing is only the start. There is the editing and the illustrations to be done. But at least you know that we are well on the way.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby jkeyes1000 » December 3rd, 2018, 11:43 am

I haven't purchased a magic book in years, Mark, but I will buy this one. The mere re-issue of a classic would be of very little interest, but your annotations add enormously to the value.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » December 3rd, 2018, 12:12 pm

Well, I hope I can add value but I am a trifle intimidated by the attempt as I often think the book doesn't need much help from me. I do think it is the book itself rather than my additions that is the important thing. My uncharacteristic modesty has been triggered by the power, structure and most importantly snippets of wisdom that is scattered throughout the work. I could never match it. Still, I have kept every word of the book intact so that will always remain. Any useful (if they are useful) extras I have added consider it a mere bonus.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby MagicbyAlfred » December 4th, 2018, 11:08 am

After having acquired Scarne on Card Tricks (which I still enjoy and believe is a wonderful and useful book), I picked up the RRCM. Most of the shuffles and sleights (and some of the tricks) that i do to this day are from the RRCM. Although, I do not consider the double lift, as taught in the Royal Road, to be good. I generally use the strike DL, unless I feel I can naturally and undetectably do a get ready.

I feel that some of the patter in the tricks set forth in the RRCM is inappropriate or perhaps just dated (although, in fairness, Hugard and Braue do indicate that the given patter is only illustrative). For example, in the trick, "Design for Laughter," I would never dream of saying to a spectator, "Obviously you do not have much confidence in yourself." But the tricks are generally quite strong when neatly done. For instance, I have been performing "Poker Player's Picnic," for decades. However, while I always got a very good reaction for the trick, it took a quantum leap when I started p _ _ _ i_ g off the aces and having the spectator shuffle before beginning the routine.

In any event, I commend Performer for his ambitious undertaking and am confident his annotations will be a significant enhancement to a classic...

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » December 4th, 2018, 1:37 pm

I think the double lift in the Royal Road is awful and I said so in the annotations! As for the patter in Design for
Laughter I used something based on the Royal Road patter for years and it worked very well but for some reason which I cannot remember I completely changed it to what I say now and it still works well!

Harry Lorayne has virtually the same trick in Close Up Card Magic, the main difference is that he insists that the reader put a coin on each of the three cards. I did try it that way but it made no difference probably because I had been doing it without the coins for so long that I had the better timing for it. The Royal Road got there first! Sometimes you are better off not changing horses in mid stream even though the new method or presentation is better. That is because you now have the perfect timing and the effect is honed. If you change you might unhone it!

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » December 4th, 2018, 7:27 pm

With regard to Alfred's point about the double lift in the Royal Road this is what I wrote about it in the annotations:

There is a disease common among magicians known as “double lift indigestion”. In other words you can have too much of a good thing! I first came across the term in Lewis Ganson’s excellent book on the magic of Cy Endfield. You can actually overdo a sleight and too much of this can actually give the game away. As the late Ken Brooke would say, quoting his mentor Albert Verity, “Don’t flog a principle”
Perhaps this tendency to overdo the sleight thus giving away the secret had something to do with the very excellent and late lamented close up magician Eugene Burger agreeing with the late Stanley Collins that the Double Lift is “at its best it is a feeble device; at its worst it is an abomination”!!!

Of course the Double Lift was a comparatively new sleight when Stanley Collins was around so perhaps he wasn’t quite used to it. As for Eugene Burger I have always suspected he didn’t like it because he couldn’t do it! It is actually a difficult sleight to do deceptively and in fact Burger made this very point. He said “I find that most effects involving Double Lifts are pretty tedious because so few people can perform that sleight without telegraphing to the people outside that two cards are being shown”. However, I think he was overstating the case. I and hundreds of other card magicians have been doing the double lift for decades without detection and to great gasps of delight from our audiences at the results.

However, Burger was correct up to a point. It is indeed a difficult sleight to do deceptively if you go about learning it the wrong way. And when I first started I certainly went about it the wrong way! And sadly the double lift in the following description I believe to be the wrong way! The legendary magician Dai Vernon once stated words to the effect that a playing card was not a precious object to be handled with great care and deliberation but should be treated more casually. Alas in my considered opinion that does not apply to the following double lift! And to be frank, I used to get caught all the time doing it this way! Still, I have decided not to alter the original text of this book in any way so read it bearing in mind my caveat. But don’t despair! After the description I will give you two alternative methods which I think are far superior. Anyway, here is the original Royal Road to Card Magic method for what it is worth:

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby Richard Kaufman » December 4th, 2018, 9:42 pm

The Double Lift was in print hundreds of years before Stanley Collins was born.
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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » December 4th, 2018, 11:42 pm

I always assumed it was Alberti that invented it in the mid nineteenth century but it was hardly mentioned in the early part of the twentieth century. However, on researching the matter it seems that Ponsin mentioned it even earlier. Hardly hundreds of years ago though. And some guy in 1776 also said something about it. I suppose that could be hundreds of years ago. I have even heard people say Vernon invented it but I am quite sure he didn't!

Not that I particularly care one way or the other. My original statement is correct that it was new when Stanley Collins was about. Sure, it was an old move but nobody had ever heard much about it at that time. It wasn't mentioned in Erdnase or any of the standard books of the day. It showed up around the time that Collins said it was an "abomination". And it certainly is an abomination the way some people do it.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby MagicbyAlfred » December 5th, 2018, 8:10 am

Excellent annotation by Performer re the double lift!

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby The Burnaby Kid » December 5th, 2018, 10:46 am

performer wrote:[The double lift] wasn't mentioned in Erdnase or any of the standard books of the day.


It's in Erdnase. It's not mentioned by name but the technique is used.
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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby Richard Kaufman » December 5th, 2018, 11:14 am

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » December 5th, 2018, 4:02 pm

The Burnaby Kid wrote:
performer wrote:[The double lift] wasn't mentioned in Erdnase or any of the standard books of the day.


It's in Erdnase. It's not mentioned by name but the technique is used.


What page number?

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » December 5th, 2018, 4:06 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:1716. Look here: http://www.conjuringcredits.com/doku.ph ... ouble_lift


That link confirms what I said when I stated that the sleight was hardly mentioned until the early twentieth century. After all I know everything and am never wrong.

Not that it matters anyway. I don't bloody care when it first came out anyway as long as it was before 1954,

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby Bill Mullins » December 6th, 2018, 5:22 pm

The Burnaby Kid wrote:
performer wrote:[The double lift] wasn't mentioned in Erdnase or any of the standard books of the day.


It's in Erdnase. It's not mentioned by name but the technique is used.


Erdnase handles two cards as one in the Palm Change (p. 148).

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » December 6th, 2018, 11:39 pm

My edition of Erdnase only goes up to page 130! Somebody must have done a double lift with some of the pages!

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » December 6th, 2018, 11:44 pm

I just read the palm change. It isn't actually a double lift as it is not used in they way a double lift is commonly used. So it still wouldn't have been recognised as such in the early days of the twentieth century.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby Richard Kaufman » December 7th, 2018, 12:16 pm

You may have an answer, but it is an incorrect answer. The Double Lift also appears in Hofzinser's work c.1850.
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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » December 7th, 2018, 12:22 pm

It cannot possibly be an incorrect answer since I am never wrong. Besides I said it only showed up again much later in the twentieth century so that it was new again when Stanley Collins started complaining about it. As for Hofzinser I have examined his jibber jabber in the past. I am quite surprised at his lack of long windedness. He was very precise for his day. Some of the long winded chatterers of today could learn from him.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » January 1st, 2019, 6:48 pm

I have finally started on the final chapter of the Royal Road. The first trick is the Conus Aces and since I have never done the bloody trick in my entire life I couldn't figure out what to say about it. It is a great trick but for some reason I never got around to the damn thing. Anyway I forced myself to look at the damn thing and to my astonishment I realised that I use quite a bit of the patter therein in other areas of my work. I must have subconsciously stolen it from the Royal Road when I was young and forgotten where I had stolen it from.

In fact some of the patter therein evolved to a cherished part of my kid show. I think I am going to give the whole sequence away so even if you don't like card tricks this alone will be worth the price of the book (actually it won't be but I have always wanted to say that)

I have viewed the other tricks in this final chapter. I think I can have quite a bit to say about the Diminishing Cards, Cards to Pocket, Everywhere and Nowhere, and certainly my variations on Three Cards Across which I have been doing since I was a kid.

The main thing I have learned from writing this stuff is that I do not enjoy writing technical stuff like which finger goes where and suchlike. Of course it is necessary to do so when writing a book on card magic but it bores the crap out of me. And it is not an easy thing to do either.
I am sure we have all suffered from trying to figure out what an author is trying to explain in a written description. I have seen marvellous tricks in print ruined by awful descriptions. Clarity is a very hard thing to do in written descriptions of technical material. I have always thought Harry Lorayne was the best at this.

I am no genius at this but I have done my best and of course there will eventually be some illustrations to make things clearer. I will try and get this done before I drop dead which could be any day now the way things are going.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby Philippe Billot » January 2nd, 2019, 4:52 am

Considéring the year - 1910- There is a good description of the "double lift" in The Sphinx, Vol. 9, no. 8, page 163 by Slygo.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby Ryan Matney » January 5th, 2019, 2:05 pm

I got to spend very little time with Eugene Burger, especially compared to other members of this forum, but I can vouch that he could do a DL with no problem. He could also back palm cards which I saw him do myself. His thing was to always perform below your level of skill, and he did. In his early days of performing he often used a transposition with a dupe card.

Question for the historians here: Did Vernon originate the idea of turning the double over onto the deck? Before that, were double cards held as in Palm Changes and displayed?
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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby Philippe Billot » January 5th, 2019, 3:51 pm

The first who described the Double Card Turn-Over is Victor Farelli in his book Lend my Your Pack published in 1936 and Jean Hugard (as the Double Lift) in Card Manipulations No. 2, also in 1936

Here is what Farelli wrote :

IN spite of a good deal of research work, I have been unable to discover the name of the first magician to employ this most useful card sleight, but as the method is so basic in principle, it seems to me that it may have been invented by scores if not by hundreds— of card handlers.

And Hugard wrote :

No technical description of this sleight, which has come into such great favor of late, has appeared in print, so far as I know.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby Philippe Billot » January 5th, 2019, 5:15 pm

BUT in Conjuring Credits, we have this :

http://www.conjuringcredits.com/doku.ph ... e_turnover

Unfortunatly, I haven't this issue of Penumbra. So I haven't more informations.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 5th, 2019, 8:43 pm

The Double Turnover is either Vernon's or Findley's.
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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » January 5th, 2019, 9:07 pm

Although I mentioned previously that I have never done the Conus Ace trick in my life I have just discovered that I have indeed been doing it without knowing I have been doing it. I don't have the book to hand but there is an ace trick in the Paul Le Paul trick which is basically a sort of backwards bare bones Conus Ace trick. It is a hell of a lot easier than the Royal Road version and I have been doing it for ages.

As a result of a lot of fiddling about trying to marry the two versions it turns out that I have a hell of a lot more to say about this trick than I first thought. I don't normally like to write about things I have never performed myself but this will be an exception and I believe will be very useful indeed.

It is a damn good trick. I should never have ignored it.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby Philippe Billot » January 6th, 2019, 3:47 am

Richard Kaufman wrote:The Double Turnover is either Vernon's or Findley's.



In the twenty's, I presume ?

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » June 2nd, 2019, 7:27 pm

I am up to Egyptian Pocket now although I have no idea what the bloody hell it has to do with Egypt. And I have never done the trick in my life. What is more I have never seen anyone else do it. I do believe however that I shall find something to waffle about nevertheless.

The writing will soon be finished. I shall also add in as an appendix the 5 chapters I wrote about 40 years or so ago that has never seen print. I suspect this is going to be a very good book.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 2nd, 2019, 7:43 pm

Philippe Billot wrote:
Richard Kaufman wrote:The Double Turnover is either Vernon's or Findley's.



In the twenty's, I presume ?


Yes, and I believe someone has mentioned that it was Finley who had the idea.
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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 2nd, 2019, 7:44 pm

The Egyptian Pocket was said to be a favorite of Alexander Herrmann's.
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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » June 2nd, 2019, 10:27 pm

The Royal Road mentions that Alexander Hermann gave the trick its title.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby MagicbyAlfred » June 3rd, 2019, 9:08 am

This is a very ambitious project that Performer has undertaken, undoubtedly entailing a lot of analysis and hard work, and I congratulate him for it. Also, it is wonderful that his own writings will also be included - that they will finally have a chance to see the light of day and, I am sure, be a valuable resource to other magicians who take heed of them.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby Ryan Matney » June 3rd, 2019, 1:26 pm

The Egyptian Pocket is one of the tricks I used to fantasize about performing when I was a teenager. I'd love to hear from someone that has actually done it.
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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby Longtimelurker » June 3rd, 2019, 1:45 pm

MagicbyAlfred wrote:This is a very ambitious project that Performer has undertaken, undoubtedly entailing a lot of analysis and hard work, and I congratulate him for it. Also, it is wonderful that his own writings will also be included - that they will finally have a chance to see the light of day and, I am sure, be a valuable resource to other magicians who take heed of them.


Do he has an editor? If not, I'm afraid that like his last book, nobody will be able to see it. It seems a waste of what must be so much work.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby Longtimelurker » June 3rd, 2019, 1:45 pm

Longtimelurker wrote:
MagicbyAlfred wrote:This is a very ambitious project that Performer has undertaken, undoubtedly entailing a lot of analysis and hard work, and I congratulate him for it. Also, it is wonderful that his own writings will also be included - that they will finally have a chance to see the light of day and, I am sure, be a valuable resource to other magicians who take heed of them.


Do he has an publisher? If not, I'm afraid that like his last book, nobody will be able to see it. It seems a waste of what must be so much work.

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby performer » June 3rd, 2019, 4:52 pm

Longtimelurker wrote:
MagicbyAlfred wrote:This is a very ambitious project that Performer has undertaken, undoubtedly entailing a lot of analysis and hard work, and I congratulate him for it. Also, it is wonderful that his own writings will also be included - that they will finally have a chance to see the light of day and, I am sure, be a valuable resource to other magicians who take heed of them.


Do he has an editor? If not, I'm afraid that like his last book, nobody will be able to see it. It seems a waste of what must be so much work.


I do find it ironic that you ask if I have an editor by saying "Do he has an editor?" I rather think you need one yourself.

Still, to respond to you every single book I have written has had rave reviews so I assume that someone must have seen them. Here is my authors page on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Mark-Lewis/e/B00 ... scns_share

As for my "last book" that would be "The Lives of a Showman" which has had sterling reviews in Genii, MUM, Magic Magazine, Magicol etc;
Furthermore here is a review from Richard Webster who up to 2012 had sold TEN MILLION books of his own. Presumably he has sold a few million more since then. I think he at least has read it.

"Once I started reading it, I couldn't put "The Lives of a Showman" down. Mark Lewis has had a fascinating life, and tells it well. I laughed out loud at some of the stories, and almost cried at others. I've been fortunate enough to spend a bit of time with Mark, and had heard some of the stories before. Reading them brought those memories back, and I could hear Mark's voice as I read. This book contained a number of surprises, too. I didn't expect to read an extremely unusual and sad love story, for instance. It must have been hard for Mark to write about this, and it shows how kind and compassionate he is. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Richard Webster

You can also see more reviews right here: I imagine the reviewers "read" the book as have various members of this very forum.
http://marklewisentertainment.com/html/magicians.html

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Re: Royal road to card magic

Postby MagicbyAlfred » June 3rd, 2019, 5:15 pm

I'm pretty sure my friend knew what I was referring to specifically when I mentioned that it was wonderful that his own writings will finally have the chance to see the light of day. But just to clarify, I was specifically referring to his statement that "I shall also add in as an appendix the 5 chapters I wrote about 40 years or so ago that has never seen print." I am well aware that he is a published author of "Lives of a Showman" and other superb writings.


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