What's coming up
10/09/2009 - Card Competition
This weeks meeting is the Card Competition and I hope to see you there. Many thanks to Andrew for the write up of Mike lecture, if you'd like to join in and document an event for us please feel free to help out.
24 September 2009
John Van Der Put Lecture*
Non menbers £5 pre-order, £10 on the night.
8 October 2009
22 October 2009
The Wisdom of Paul Gordon*
12 November 2009
Zane Dealer Dem
26 November 2009
John Carey Lecture*
10 December 2009
Pub Night Social night in the main bar.
See you soon
Mike Pettitt: The Magic of Edward Victor
I had been looking forward to this lecture for ages. Many of our newer members may not know much about Mike Pettitt, but those of us who have been around for a while, know just how fantastic a servant of the club Mike has been.
Since our move to Hassocks we have sadly seen less of Mike and Brenda as the journey time has become a little prohibitive.
Nevertheless, Mike brought a wealth of experience to our evening. For example, in 1887 Victor invented the trick known as EYE, which was the forerunner of the Elmsley Count.
Paddles, rope, cigarettes, expert sleight of hand. As Music Hall started to die off, he did Hand Shadows to bring audiences in. 1952 Regal Cinema in Hastings Mike first saw him. His first book was 'Magic of the Hands', and Mike demonstrated some effects from the books in the series. Mike discovered Ray Hammond's book, 'The Magic of Edward Victor's Hands'. Victor's full name was Edward Victor Neuschwander, as his father was Swiss. He met a magician who spoke no English in Switzerland, who in return for English lessons from Edward taught him some sleight of hand...
Edward Victor died 17.04.64 aged 76, so almost none of the SMC members will have seen him, so Mike was keen to paint a picture of a man that we had only read about. I did a bit of digging and was interested to read that he was also the first honorary life president of the prestigious Blackpool Magicians Club, so clearly a giant in magic terms in his day.
But on to the lecture. The first item Mike demonstrated was a coin routine with 4 coins penetrating a glass. Some good combinations of one-ahead and visual and auditory techniques. A quicky vanishing card case followed, which I could well imagine being sold as a dealer item for £10 or so! Next came a paddle trick with 3 chosen cards and a cricket bat ? very topical with England's recent Ashes win, for any magicians who wish to keep their magic current...
Keeping with the paddle theme Mike told a story ('The Mayor's Trowels') about the Mayor and Mayoress laying foundation stones with trowels. At last an interesting plot for the classic paddle trick!
The 3-in-1-deck followed, a version of Diminishing Cards, but it differed fundamentally from the usual methods. Typically ingenious, Mike had customised it to overcome a handling problem, using a bit of collar-stiffener!
The aforementioned E-Y-E was next. 3 large cards with, um, an E a Y and an E which changed places in various ways. I got lost during this one!
Mike reminded us that Victor was the first person to bring in the principle of a hidden extra short piece of rope. Complete with a whole range of comedy scissors Mike eventually got his volunteer to cut the rope in half, and you know the rest...('tight knot, taught to me by a Scotsman'). This was the original cut and restored rope routine with Edward Victor's 'false centre' move, but again Mike had added a smoother initial restoration.
The 11 card trick (guess why) ensued. A very humorous and clever counting trick involving a member of the audience. One of my favourites, and some clever thinking, as you are miles ahead, not just one ahead!
The second half kicked off with Edward Victor's thimble routine. Definitely one for the finger flingers, as it probably requires several hours of practice (as Dave Pattenden sportingly proved!).
A pretty transposition of red and black billiard balls was next up - I could imagine Victor himself doing it to music in an old theatre. The second phase with cards was very subtle - (even briefly baffling Mike himself!) before it all came to a successful conclusion!
Cards Across - a classic effect and Victor called this version the 'Easy Cards Across'. It still needs a palm and a steal but the move is natural and well-covered. Paul Gordon thought the move may have originated with Nate Leipzig - Mike agreed that was entirely possible.
Mike then showed us Edward Victor's lovely variation on the Ball Vase. Admittedly I have seen Mike do it before but I had forgotten how slick it was - a great trick for those who think they 'know that one'!
Ring on rope is another classic of magic, and the Victor version that Mike showed us was ingenious - it certainly caught me out Mike!
We were told that the next trick had been a prize winner for Victor, and as a mentalist having performed the trick on numerous occasions I had no idea that the trick had originated with Victor in 1954, and it was published in The Magic Wand Magazine, whence he won a prize (quite rightly!). It was known simply as 'A Card Problem'.
Another ring on cord trick but with a borrowed ring this time. It was a clever principle but I got lost again - probably typing furiously at the time!
I was interested to hear that the next item, a card trick, had been 'reinvented' by Michael Ammar - a very clean coincidence effect. Simple moves and no reset - a real worker, and Mike mentioned that it would be good to use at weddings. Another one of my favourites of the evening.
Colour-changing penknives was yet another classic that had received the Edward Victor treatment. It seems incredible that so many people perform this trick but will never have heard of its originator; all credit to Mike for righting this wrong with his lecture.
Edward Victor's Gravity Cards, a bit of fun, was the final item. 30 cards placed onto the palm to make a bowl shape. The hand can then be inverted as a surprise finale.
All in all an evening with more tricks than I can remember for quite a while, all delivered with Mike's gentle humour and enormous knowledge. We are lucky to have his experience in the club. I hope it will have encouraged others to study the old books that lie gathering dust on their shelves.
Which reminds me, where did I put that copy of Royal Road...
What's coming up
Items for sale
New & second user magic