The Magic Cafe

I am not the world’s biggest fan of ‘The Magic Cafe’. But – it is so vast that there are some useful aspects to the site.

Anyway – that has all changed since the search function went down on the cafe. I dunno’ why it is taking so long to fix – but in the meantime this site here is worth checking out: http://www.searchthemagiccafe.com/

[hat-tip: THE WEEKLY MAGIC FAILURE]

Hummer Card – Thai Style


I keep seeing magic on my trip where and when I least expect it. A beggar in Bangkok , the challenge being to draw a crowd so they’ll give him some money. No, he wasn’t attracting the crowd by singing or selling little souvenirs. Oh no – he was doing the Hummer Card. He did it quite well and even threw in the little convincers that try and eliminate suspicion to the method. I even saw him offering the card to a couple of people to examine it. I think he counted on the fact that they wouldn’t accept it otherwise he’d have to go hide somewhere and set up again. The really great thing was it was working and it was working really really well. He had a good crowd surrounding him and most of them were giving him some money. Good on him.


Vietnamese Monte

Just over a week ago I was in a boat off the west coast of Vietnam and in the evening was playing cards with some friends. It was a small boat with a crew of about 6 young Vietnamese guys who also live on board. Living on a boat doesn’t provide them with much to do in the evenings so they play a lot of cards. In fact this is something I found all through Vietnam – everywhere you look there are playing cards scattered in the street and it doesn’t take more than five minutes to find a group huddled around a table on the street playing cards.

Anyway, I was asked to do some card tricks for some people we’d just met and after a couple of minutes the Vietnamese guys began to crowd around. One of them asked for the cards and removed two black and one red spot card. He them proceeded to do the 3 Card Monte! He did it without the cards bent and just did one throwing phase. His friends were going crazy, literally screaming and clapping as loud as they could when they turned over what they thought was the red card only to discover it was in fact black.

They play cards every day of their lives but have no idea what other things can be done with them. Not only to they not know card tricks (I’m not sure who taught this one guy the monte throw) but they have no access to any information with which to learn any. I was gobsmacked when he started to do the monte. I showed him how bending the cards helps to pick them up off the table and then the little bit where you can show all the cards as black. Just a little nugget which this guy was incredibly grateful for.

 

A response…

This trick uses the same ‘principle’ as the one posted below by Kevin. Anyway – the following trick didn’t fool me – but it has fooled a few well posted magicians – so there could be something in it. I should add that it is a strange effect. Some people won’t register any effect at all – whilst others will be fooled…

So – just wanted to pass it along since it seems related to the post below. Also – I have read a few things by the creator – Ben Highway – and I think he is one to look out for in the future. He is a clever guy…

A couple of books…

I am still working through CARD MAGIC USA (compiled by Peter Duffie). It is a fantastic ebook. Easily the best ebook I have ever read. There is a ton of interesting stuff – but I am too lazy to give an overview. Still – I have already added on trick to my repetoire (which is something I rarely do). And you can read the table of contents HERE. I have never seen such an impressive line up of talent in a book…

The other book I am really enjoying is SECRET AGENDA by Roberto Giobbi. I seem to be exactly half-way through it at the moment. And it is just wonderful. I am really happy that a book like this is being published. I have always loved books such as THE DALEY NOTEBOOKS, THE JUDAH NOTEBOOKS, THE CASTLE NOTEBOOKS and THE HILLIARD NOTEBOOKS – where you can dive in and pull out the one idea which is worth a thousand dolars to you. And this book is reminiscent of those books (in spirit at least since the Giobbi book is much more detailed and wide-ranging). Anyway – I feel this book opens the door to a new genre of magic book. I mean – what could be better than an expert like Roberto sharing an interesting tip, trick, quotation or sleight each and every day for a year? It is like a magic blog from heaven or something…

Anyway – I hope more books in this genre are produced in the future since I find them incredibly useful. In fact – it is the type of book that I have always wished would be written since so many of the best ideas in magic are just small tips/thoughts that you pick up over the years. To see this sort of thing collated in one place is incredibly useful. Indeed – this is something that David Ben wrote about in his brilliant essay that I mentioned EARLIER. There is no better feeling than to stumble across that small idea which is gold to you, and which will probably be overlooked by others. On a similar note – Roberto Giobbi has an innovative product for sale at Lybrary.com which will be of interest for those who have enjoyed this book. Click HERE.

Also – you should all be aware that the best blogger around – Ruben – will be detailing his thoughts on the Giobbi book over the coming year. Like the book itself – the blog had my highest recommendation. Click HERE.

Wow – 2011 is shaping up well in terms of new magic books! Also – looking forward to the new Berglas book as well…

A Request…

Anybody know if there are any videos online of somebody performing STENCEL’S ACES? I have always wanted to watch a performance. I no longer have the book it was published in – and want to see if the book is worth tracking down again in order to learn the trick. So – if anybody knows of a video – or can post up a video (even if only for a short while) I would really appreciate it…

Anyway – the trick was originally published in the JUNE 1985 issue of ‘Richard’s Almanac’.

As always – any suggestions in the COMMENTS box below. Thanks!

On a related point. Here is an ace assembly by John Bannon which was inspired by Bob Stencel’s legendary effect…