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As the proprietor of the Internet-based Scam Schoolseries, along with other continuing shows, Brian Brushwood uses his background in magic and sideshow stunts to educate people in various stunts and deceptions. His passion for teaching magic his certainly gained him attention.
In the manner of Scam School, Brian Brushwood teaches us a half dozen tricks, techniques, and bets, explaining stunts with numbers, cards, and more.
Gary Darwin has been immersed in the world of magic in Las Vegas for more than fifty years. The driving force behind the independent local magic club in town, he has been a performer, teacher, writer, collector, and constant advocate or magic.
A “Cajun conjuror” from Louisiana, Michael Dardant has gained international fame, praise, and awards for his work. Jamie D. Grant visited Michael in his natural habitat, a magic party in New Orleans.
(* Available for subscribers only at M360)
Twenty products are reviewed this month by Peter Duffie, Gabe Fajuri, Jared Kopf, Francis Menotti, Peter Pitchford, John Wilson:
Card Under Glass by Doc Eason
Early Dobson, Volume 1 by DTrik
The Business of Street Magic 2 by Will Stelfox
Out of Sight: Out of Your Mind by Gary Jones
Tab Test by Wayne Fox
Nick Trost’s Subtle Card Creations, Volume 5 by Nick Trost
Split Second by Nicholas Lawrence
Techint by Kitahara Yoshito
Touched by Morgan Strebler
Unboxing by Nicholas Lawrence
Cerberus Wallet by Daniel Meadows
Sherlockian by Ben Cardall
Fickle Nickel by John Cornelius
Cards N Logics by Nicolas Pierri
Solomon’s Secret Subtleties by David Solomon
Oracle by Titanas
Euphoria by Adrian Guerra
Destination by Rus Andrews
Encore! by Allen Zingg
Benz by Sean Fields
In his more than fifty years in the magic profession, Finn Jon has become known around the world for creating and performing all manner of novel and original effects. While the magic community has hailed him as an innovative creator of methods — with awards such as the Creative Fellowship from the Academy of Magical Arts in 1995 — his magic has remained focused on entertaining lay audiences. For the next six months, we will present a series of tricks from Finn Jon, excerpted from an upcoming comprehensive book of his many creations in magic. In this first installment, the performer shows five pieces of paper to be white on both sides. He blows smoke on them, and one piece of paper turns into a bill. He puts the bill together with the white pieces of paper and suddenly they all become bills, which are clearly presented on both sides. The performer prepares to throw one bill to a spectator, and the bill immediately returns to being a white piece of paper. Then all the other bills transform back to being white paper.
Over the years, ThomasBaxter has published a number of startling and innovative ways of creating mysteries with playing cards. These ideas have appeared in numerous magazines and books. His latest book, Not a Dianoetic Rage, compiles road-tested variations of Thomas’ favorite routines and techniques into a single collection, along with previously unpublished items from a lifetime of work and knowledge. In this excerpt, he teaches The Saltshaker Transposition, in which saltshaker is placed on top of a chosen card. A random card is placed on top of the saltshaker. The performer spins the card on top, which magically transforms into the chosen card that was previously placed under the saltshaker. The participant checks under the saltshaker and he finds a signed card from a previous effect.
James A. Ward has written comedy for television and radio, both in the UK and mainland Europe, as well as scripting gags and sketches for, among others, Freddie Starr, Roy Hudd, and June Whitfield. He has also performed standup comedy at the Edinburgh Fringe. A member of The Magic Circle and the Harrogate Society of Magicians, James has lectured and performed around the UK and as far away as India. He has performed mindreading magic on TV and radio, and created many original tricks that have been published in magazines and ebooks around the world. An after-dinner speaker, his range of topics includes memory techniques and his misadventures as both a former criminal lawyer and a magician. He holds a performance qualification from the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art, and an ice skating certificate for, at the age of twelve, having traveled ten yards in a straight line without falling over. The following tips on comedy writing are excerpted from James’ latest book,Sleightly Amusing: A Magical Compendium of Jokes, Patter, Bits of Business, and Handy Tips for the Aspiring Gag Writer.
This month, we focus on a special gaff devised by guest contributor Christopher Carey. It’s one of those pleasantly deceptive items in magic that is never seen even though you put it in full view of the audience. What does it do? Well, in the routine described this month, it enables you to carry off an audacious and inexplicable prediction that will leave audiences seriously baffled. In fact, it would probably fool most experienced magicians and mentalists! The gaff itself is easy to make and fun to play around with if you’re feeling creative.
In Tarbell volume 3, there is a wonderful little trick with a big name — Grant’s Slow Motion Bill Transposition. Developed by U.F. Grant, it’s a great little effect in which a one dollar bill changes places with a five dollar bill. The problem with this great trick is that, because of the numerous design changes in our currency, it doesn’t work with newer bills. Over the years, there have been many variations, most notably David Parr’s Slow-Motion Swindle, and Eugene’s Last Dollar by Eugene Burger and Patrick Thomas Murphy. My addition to the evolution of this great trick was developed about ten years ago and is called Easy Money. I hope you enjoy it. It allows you borrow both bills and show your hands empty, from any angle, throughout the routine. There’s no wax, and there are no magnets or tiny gimmicks that need to be added to the bills.
A friend of mine who is just as obsessed with Ace Assemblies as I am (in fact, more so) worked out a Backfire sequence that was thoroughly convincing. However, the main sequence, which featured the magical transportation of each Ace into the leader packet, had such a strong impact that the subsequent Backfire phase was received more as an anticlimax. I thought about this and remembered all the versions that I had studied over the years, trying to find a point along this effect’s technical timeline to search for a solution to this problem.
For as long as I’ve been writing “Classic Correspondence,” this is the saddest letter I have ever encountered. And while you might suspect that the sad story involves a person 99 percent of you have never heard of, it in fact concerns Okito, the writer of this letter and one of the most famous and revered individuals to ever practice our art. Few careers in magic can rival the achievements of Okito, born Tobias Bamberg on July 15, 1875, in Amsterdam, Holland.
We all ask for advice and critiques. But really we just want approval and praise. When I ask for someone’s opinion, I want that person to agree with me. Sometimes it’s useful to disregard all outside advice. I like to think this makes me a purist. Why does it matter what anyone thinks about anyone’s performance? Tastes vary. Opinions vary. People vary. Performing is all about self-discovery. We learn performing from performance. There is no substitute.
I learned more about magic from Chuck Fayne than from any other person. While our relationship wasn’t formal enough to call him a mentor, he is the one who influenced me the most in my early magic days. My first impressions of Chuck were that he was very experienced, very skilled, very sharp, very funny, and an asshole. I didn’t like him very much. He seemed brusque and unfriendly. As I got to know him better, I realized that his brusqueness stemmed from something that I hugely respected: he had a zero-tolerance policy for bullshit. In magic — an industry frequently dominated by false idols and insincere marketing — Chuck was always the guy willing to point out that the Emperor is A) not actually wearing any clothes, and B) also kind of an asshole.