Gordon Bruce – The Lecture 08/07/2010

Yesterday I returned from a magic pilgrimage in Sheffield to witness the legendary Gordon Bruce.  It was a fantastic night. The turnout was excellent and by the time I got there it was standing room only.

I’d never seen him before and had only heard from other magicians just how good he is and how brilliant he was at lecturing – I was not disappointed.

The lecture started with him performing a mutli-phase routine involving aces and kings  – several routines merged together. He explained afterwards that the routine was a lesson is what not to do in card magic – too much was happening – ask a spectator afterwards what happened and they have no clear idea of the effect. This is a great lesson and one that it definitely worth remembering – keep it simple and make sure the effect is easily understood.

The lecture continued with great funny stories involving Ed Marlo, some brilliant Okito box routines and some more amazing card stuff (versions of the travellers and riffle shuffle palms, card through handkerchief – all great stuff ). He continually fooled the room with his card on card case routine – it was genius. It was during the explanation of this routine that it hit me why this man is considered a living legend and how lucky I was to be there.

Days beforehand I’d been scouring through Pabular magazine and other books searching for his material and hoping to get the opportunity to ask a few questions about certain moves etc. Me and couple of other magic friends managed to speak to him briefly afterwards and he came across as genuinely nice guy who was happy to demonstrate a few things. He also completely fooled me with a great two card selection routine – just to cap off a great night.

The Duplicount

There are many many ways of showing a small packet of cards to consist of the same card – the most obvious being the flustration count. Gordon Bruce’s Duplicount is a little used move for this very purpose and it is incredibly deceptive.  All four cards are shown to be the same in a very fair manner. The sleight relies on a smooth rhythm to be deceptive and the illusion created is very similar to Jean Pierre Valarino’s Rhumba Count.

Published in the Gordon Bruce issue of Pabular – Vol 5 Issue 5.