Vernon St. Louis Lecture July 1987

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Bob Farmer
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Vernon St. Louis Lecture July 1987

Postby Bob Farmer » August 2nd, 2020, 8:51 am

I've spent the summer cleaning up my library and finding lots of things I'd forgotten about or which had fallen behind the bookshelves. Here is one of those things.

NOTES MADE BY BOB FARMER DURING DAI VERNON LECTURE: ST LOUIS, JULY, 1987

1. Tricks must have an emotional appeal. They must be personalized. For example, don't ask just for a number between 1 and 5, ask the spectator how many uncles she has. If the spectator takes a red card, tell her that means she'll be lucky in love.

2. Talk naturally and conversationally. You must love the audience and the interaction. Don't act conceited or high hat. Be humble.

3. A magician's purpose is to entertain the audience, not himself.

4. Leipzig never used "ornamental moves." He never fanned the deck. Twirls, fast moves, etc. are not good magic.

5. Vernon then explained a control. Have a card removed and replaced. Make a small fan for the return of the card. As the card is pushed in it will break the fan slightly. If you turn the deck around, you'll find the selection injogged if the deck is now squared.
The returned card does not act like the push through, rather its leading edge hits the front of a card in the fan and moves that card back.

6. When replacing a palmed card the card must be bowed out from the palm.

7. When doing a double lift use the thumb nail to hold the two cards together, not the thumb pad. The use of the nail overcomes friction.

8. When doing the diagonal palm shift, the left fingers must never move.

9. When you make a coin vanish never bring it back. This is more effective.

10. True magic is clean and simple: not flourishes.
The effect should be clean and uncluttered so that the audience can describe it (He found my card, he made the coin vanish).

11. Vernon had a motorcycle in his teens and would drive hundreds of miles to see a magician. He was captain of the hockey team and in the RCAF (this was about 1913).

12. Vernon's father was the chief of the Department of Agriculture. it dealt with copyright matters. Vernon does not recall seeing an edition of Erdnase with photos. I asked him this specifically.

13. Avoid confusion: too many acts are too confusing. A child should be able to describe the effect.

14. Gamblers call misdirection, "shade."

15. The Erdnase palm is the best palm. The one handed palm must be covered in some way. Make a move perhaps the hands cross over each other as part of a gesture.
When replacing palmed cards, be careful of where the thumb goes. It goes to the middle of the back of the deck: not across to the side.

16. Vernon then tells a great gambling story about how Babe Ruth was conned out of $40,000 in Cuba. He was dealt what he thought was a royal flush in spades. But the ten of spades was actually the ten of clubs with an odd kind of pip fluid. This pip fluid was a kind of disappearing ink that disappeared when fluid was applied to it. The cheats spilled a drink on the Babe's cards: this made the ink vanish and the Royal Flush became a worthless hand.

El Mystico
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Re: Vernon St. Louis Lecture July 1987

Postby El Mystico » August 2nd, 2020, 11:30 am

This is wonderful! Thank you; one of the few posts I'll be printing off.
'A child should be able to describe the effect' is priceless.

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Vernon St. Louis Lecture July 1987

Postby Richard Kaufman » August 2nd, 2020, 12:00 pm

Great stuff.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

Bob Farmer
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Re: Vernon St. Louis Lecture July 1987

Postby Bob Farmer » August 2nd, 2020, 1:19 pm

Richard: you may recall we had a great time at that convention. Do you recall the whale bone incident?

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Paco Nagata
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Favorite Magician: Juan Tamariz
Location: Madrid, Spain.

Re: Vernon St. Louis Lecture July 1987

Postby Paco Nagata » August 2nd, 2020, 2:17 pm

This is pure gold, Bob!
Specially because I'm a great fan of Vernon's works.
A million thanks!
I will copy and paste it on my computer...
"The Passion of an Amateur Card Magician"
https://bit.ly/2lXdO2O
"La pasion de un cartómago aficionado"
https://bit.ly/2kkjpjn
Latest erratum corrections and improvements update, 16/06/2020.


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