Revista en inglés.
Making Magic: The Grail
This is my stage version of the Berglas Effect, designed for lay audiences. I play fast and loose with the actual effect and use dual reality, sleight of hand, and a neat little prop to accomplish it. An oddity about the Any Card at Any Number plot is that while it fascinates magicians, it doesn’t appeal to laypeople so much. My presentation uses this to create audience interest by giving them a look at what interests magicians. It also features a lovely dramatic moment that really drives the effect home.
Loving Mentalism: Tossed Out Darts
Guest contributor Patrik Kuffs submitted this month’s item, which blends the familiar Tossed Out Deck plot with divination via darts! It’s a fun, versatile, and creative piece of mental magic that plays well just about anywhere. If you don’t want to use cards, you don’t have to. You can adapt the routine so there aren’t any playing cards involved. But what if you’re not very good at throwing darts? Relax. Patrik has all the angles covered, and he shows you how to bring the routine to a successful conclusion even if you miss the intended target.
Bent on Deception: The Point of No Return
When you are performing magic for kids – or anyone, for that matter – you need to put yourself into the helper’s shoes and anticipate any problems that can occur with a routine. And because it’s impossible to anticipate every problem, you need to learn from your mistakes and realize that they are just that – your mistakes. Occasionally a volunteer can just be difficult, but those occasions are rare and, again, partially your fault – you picked them. We can also learn to avoid tricks that flirt with The Point of No Return – tricks that once you start, you have to finish.
The Monk’s Way: Finally Final Aces
I was on the phone with Jon Racherbaumer in the mid ’90s, and our conversation moved to Hamman’s Final Aces. Jon confided that his mentor had a version that could be done with no gimmicks, no duplicates, with a borrowed deck, and performed surrounded. I’ve never seen that version of Final Aces, but the idea of it stuck with me. Eventually, I had a eureka moment when working through Marlo’s Trilogy in Blue. This Technicolor version had multiple phases and took full advantage of the assumptions of the audience. Specifically, the audience assumes that the Aces have blue backs, and the twelve indifferent cards are red. If the spectators see the face-up Aces, they assume that the four cards have blue backs. By the same token, if they see four blue backs, they assume that the cards are Aces. Marlo’s approach spurred this month’s offering in “The Monk’s Way,” which uses a different strategy to strengthen the assumptions.
Classic Correspondence: Kellar to Thurston
This marks the 72nd letter that has appeared under the “Classic Correspondence from Egyptian Hall Museum” banner. After many months of writing about little-known or completely unknown magicians, I have chosen to finish off this group of letters with two towering figures in American magic. It would be difficult to imagine two more important names from the Golden Age of Magic than Harry Kellar and Howard Thurston. Kellar became the uncontested master of American magic, a role that he filled magnificently until his retirement in 1908, naming Howard Thurston as his successor. Kellar stayed in touch with his young protégé, wanting to know how his crowds were, suggesting new material for his show, and passing along the latest gossip. His chatty letters from this period were always handwritten on custom-printed notecards that folded in half.
For What It’s Worth: Clap For Me
Forced applause is the scourge of the entertainment world. Forced applause takes away the meaning from genuinely appreciative applause. Forced applause means the entertainer cares more about the appearance of success than the experience of a genuine connection. Even though natural appreciation is a more gratifying experience for the audience, clap-addict performers insist that the audience must continually demonstrate its approval. Standing ovations, also, are often shrewdly manufactured. I’ve known a few magicians who do not feel it beneath them to employ time-honored techniques to encourage a “Standing O.”
Walkabout Soup: A7 Flyers: The Guerrilla Marketing Secret Weapon
One of the best pieces of advice I was ever given for promoting a show was to give a flyer to every human being you interact with. Buying coffee? Give the barista flyer. Someone asks you for the time? Tell them, then give them a flyer. You never know who will turn out to have a big group of friends itching for a show to see. However, to do this, it helps to have flyers on you at all times. Conventional postcard-sized flyers or postcards make this tricky unless you’re carrying a bag, and even then there will be moments when you’re bag-free and flyerless. The best flyer approach I’ve found is to design your flyers in A7 size.