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Newsletter: 10
June 2005

Printable version.

Magic of the Mind Competition (10th March 2004)

Felix opened the evening with an original and interesting act. After a slow and measured beginning while he left the room - a couple of spectators noting their thoughts and sealing them in separate envelopes - the performance gently built to a clever and dramatic conclusion. He demonstrated his ability to control the speed of his pulse, slowing it down until it stopped for a few seconds. This ?flatline? experience increased his telepathic powers and he was able to interpret the spectators? thoughts, and reveal the previously noted word and picture.

Andrew Jeffrey seems to have a natural flair for classic mentalism. He began by having three postcard pictures chosen from a selection of cards. He correctly divined two of the pictures before determining the ISBN number of the third. He then had two thoughts written down, the name of a celebrity and the name of a place. Very fairly and deliberately, he read these thoughts. This routine had purity and directness, and was flavoured with Andrew?s genuinely dynamic presence.

Fairground ?Ronnie? Barker took to the stage and introduced - all the way from Bratislava - Psychic Sue! They offered a change of pace and style. Some quick juggling and music before Psychic Sue intuited the date of a coin and gave a comedy palm reading. Then there was a routine revolving around ?Breakfast at Tiffany?s?. A volunteer thought of a film and she tried to read his mind. It seemed her psychic powers improved when she put on her glasses, and she pointed out "12 Angry Men" in the audience. She successfully divined a horoscope, and then she had Stuart gaze into her crystal ball, and he made out the image of a previously selected card.

I believe it was Steve Mayhew?s first performance at the club, which is always worthy of sincere congratulations, and he opened with a version of ?Kurotsuke? with two carrier bags and five pieces of Lego (four white and one black). He suffered a little setback but bravely ploughed on, correctly locating the black piece. He then went on to successfully predict a freely chosen E.S.P card, and concluded with a letter by letter divination of a freely thought of country.

Mike Pettitt talked about the transmogrification of thoughts between people, and proceeded with a coincidence routine. Mike and Stuart selected the same card from two separate decks. Stuart then chose one envelope from four, and it too contained the same card - the other three containing ?5, ?10 and ?20 notes. Secondly, a three-way prediction with coloured pieces of paper, which came good in the end. And finally, a book test with a twist. A book and a page were chosen, and some words were looked at. A card was selected and placed in an envelope and Mike showed that he had correctly predicted these events. Then, a magical ?flash of light?! And now, the page from the book was sealed in the envelope and the selected card had morphed into the page of the book. Wonderfully visual magic.

In his politely engaging manner, Matthew Parr continued through his seemingly inexhaustible supply of new material. Tonight, he was mindfully performing ?effects? as opposed to ?tricks?. He began by divining five cards in a fair and open manner. Following this was a very direct prediction of a thought of card. Finally, a card was selected, the cards were shuffled and cut, and dealt down, and Matthew dramatically stopped at the selected card. Another entertaining and fooling routine.

Andrew won the competition for a fourth successive year.
Michael, our Portuguese friend has sadly moved to France, but his ?52 card repeat? gag will surely live long in the memory.
Thanks to Dave and Della for providing the refreshments.
Apologies to Giles and others as I forgot to include this in the March / April newsletter.

Close up magic Convention In Sussex 14th May 2005

This was Paul Gordon and myself?s first time at organising a convention. It took a lot of planning but proved to be a remarkable day from our point of view.

It took place at the Clare Hall, in Haywards Heath and was sold out. Around 200 people turned up pre-booked and saw, Mark Mason and Stephen Tucker Lecture, a full professional Close Up show featuring the above, Mark Shortland, Andrew Murray the Magic Circle Close Up magician Of the Year, Paul and myself. They also got 4 hours to mix in the dealers hall among some well known magic dealers such as Card Collection, Alakazam, Merchant of Magic, Magic Mart, Brighton Online Magic Store and even Trevor Duffy from South Africa to name but a few. The whole day was filmed by MVC, Bob Hamilton, including the lectures and the show projected onto the big screens. We are compiling a DVD of the day, which will go on sale shortly.

Sadly only a few members of the club attended but I am sure those that went will tell you themselves what you missed. We have already booked the venue for next year, 13th May 2006 and have started to take pre bookings straight away. If you visit you can read the reviews and see some photos together registering details for next year so you do not miss out. My daughter Claire placed a notice on my stand and attracted three new potential members to the SMC from the convention as well.

An Evening With Ian Keable

Ian is an experienced performer of both close-up and cabaret, and his experience was clearly in evidence. His material was all effective and performable, and though not to every taste it was easy to see how he had moulded each routine to his personality. In fact, when I was pressed to ?do another trick ? at a gig only two days later, I performed Ian?s clever revelation and switch of two chosen cards and it had a terrific effect on a sceptical spectator. I was glad to be able to share this with him at Klub Magic only a week later, as I assume it must be gratifying to know that someone has actually tried something you have taught.

Ian?s approach to a table is fast and furious. Again, it was not to every taste, but he was right to stress the importance of the first few seconds. His opening trick, the thumb tip bill switch, was immaculate, and has made me look carefully at my own handling which is somewhat slower than his!

Ian also shared what he described as his entire ?commando? close-up routine in detail, and it was clear that he had performed and honed this material many, many times. He included card, rope wand and ring material, and had some interesting ideas about spectator management. Indeed, one of the most interesting segments of the lecture was Ian?s response to the question of hecklers. He has clearly worked in some tough venues, and he had some good advice to anyone who is concerned about hecklers, some of which is not suitable for publication here!

Ian?s cabaret section centred around his broken and restored watch in stocking routine. This is an effective piece, complete with patter, misdirection and comedy as well as good magic. Ian has stripped the routine down to its bare essentials so that it will work in any circumstances. For me, the best part was his clever effect of the restored watch reading a different time, as selected by a random audience member. I was even disappointed when he revealed how it was done, as I had visions of him playing with the winder in his pocket. He fooled me badly with that one!

So, if you took nothing else at all from the lecture, remember this single fact which Ian clearly understands to a tee: the effect is everything; the method is incidental.

Being A Professional Amateur - The Andrew Jeffrey Lecture

Our President put a lecture together because he was asked by another magic club to provide an evening of entertainment some time ago. His dilemma was whether to entertain with a show or a talk or both or perhaps a lecture, which he had never done. He chose to lecture and thank goodness he did.

Andy is someone I have got to know very well since his regular appearances at the Komedia entertaining the audiences as a warm up and during the interval. I have also worked with him on many private events as well and I can honestly say for a full time teacher is a great magician. His thought behind and into effects is matched by his delivery. Andy cares about his magic and himself as a presenter of magic and it shows.

He showed us six tricks which were all available in his lecture notes /book which was also accompanied by his personal thoughts on magic, the psychology and the reasons we should do certain moves and say certain things. Uniquely he also offers a CD Rom, which has everything in the notes together with video demonstrations of the effects. Each trick had a break down and explanation in good clear detail starting with Flash Coin, now his trademark effect of producing a chocolate coin from empty hands and a cigarette paper which bursts into flames.

Then into Junk Mail, my favourite as it transcends Close Up into cabaret, a great thing for a trick to do. Basically five winning certificates are shown and a helper is asked for a number between one and five, five being the number of certificates. The cards are mixed by the spectator then counted from top to bottom with every card at the chosen number reversed until only one card is remaining. All the cards reversed are read out to show what could have been won and last is of course a booby prize, although it read An evening with a Famous Magician. That might be true one day!

His third effect was The One Ring, a take on Lord of the rings where a predicted word on a freely chosen page of a freely chosen book from one of the trilogy of Lord Of The Rings was seen to be correct. A good principle with a strong impact.

For the fourth effect we were treated to Blast Off, a trick which he uses when confronted with a spectator who wants to be taught a trick. A card is chosen and then found by a count down of cards where the magician pushes an out jogged block of cards in and out of the pack showing the faces of the in and out cards which read 4-3-2-1 and the final face to be seen being the chosen card. A pretty effect, which I am sure works well in the situation Andy described its use for.

The Fifth effect was Andy?s own presentation of Brainwave. Andy did not concentrate on the trick but more on the reasoning behind it and why he does it the way he does. He stressed that this was the first trick he saw at the Sussex Magic Circle when he joined and it made such an impression on him that he wanted to do magic the way the trick made him feel. Indeed he stressed that the magic you perform needs to be amazing and it needs to look like the first time you saw the piece of magic that so enthralled you. If you can carry those thoughts at all times into your performance then you will create magic for the audience too.

Lastly was his Lazy Mentalist effect of a freely chosen card from an untouched deck magically appearing in a previously empty envelope? The magician at no times holds any of the props and does not know the card. For a lay audience I imagine this would blow them away. Looking round the room, some in the audience were perplexed it was easy to tell.

I don?t like to critic a friend but it is easy with Andy. He is a nice man, with good principles a sound faith and supportive family. He loves magic and likes people. Liking people is what makes him likeable as well. It is just such a shame that not more of the club members turned out to see our President deliver what meant an awful lot to him. As he said, the Club has given much so him, he wanted to give something back and that is exactly what he did.


The date is confirmed as Bank Holiday Monday, the 29th August 2005.
The event will be held at my home, The Blenheims, Keymer Road, Burgess Hill. If you need directions, just ask!
You can arrive from 2.00p.m. when the pool will be open, the trampoline will be available for bouncing and the garden available to explore. Please bring your own chairs or picnic blanket, your own drink and glasses.
Food is provided and will be served at 5.00p.m.
This is a family event open to magicians from ACES, SMC and Southdown clubs
Tickets are ?5.00 per adult or ?10.00 per family and are on sale now.
In order to cater effectively, all places must be booked in advance.
Please mark the date in your diary and support this new event by booking your place NOW! (01444 230409)
It?s a relaxed family fun day BBQ with a bit of Magic as well!
Although this is intended to be a non-profit making venture, any surplus made on the day will be donated to the IBM Benevolent Fund.

Complied by: Gordon Burtenshaw