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The Magic Memories (38)

Hi everyone!

It is SUN, 19th September 2021, as the 38th edition of The Magic Memories goes online at 0:07…

Like the previous post (37), you are receiving this one thanks to the automation function of WordPress. Because, yes, I am right now on the road back from the Magialdia Magic Festival in Vitoria, another 1’200 kilometers, about 750 miles, in two days. On the way back I plan on visiting my good friend Marc Serin, an ophthalmologist by profession, but also an inspired amateur magician, living in Carcassone, in the midst of beautiful South of France.

The plan is for me to tell you a few things about the convention, which is possibly Europe’s (the world’s ?) oldest magic festival, and my travels and the people I met, in the next post, ie., The Magic Memories (39). Nowadays they do this real-time with all those fantastic (?) “social media”, and they do it at the same time they are watching a magic lecture or performance, or while they are eating or even talking to someone. Since I’m still “old school” I do all the aforementioned individually , enjoying them fully, and later I’ll let you know about it. Hope that’s OK 🙂

As for this week’s little gift to you, I just decided to take it “light”, as in the Card College Light series, and make it “just” a photo. Obviously, being a person who loves sophistication, like yourself, my dear reader, it won’t be just any photo, but a “special” one. For those who know, no explanation is necessary, for those who don’t, no explanation will suffice.

Hope to meet you back here next Sunday – and meanwhile have a great week!

Roberto Giobbi

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The Magic Memories (37)

Hello everyone!

Recently someone on the Internet posted this quote of mine, which I had completely forgotten about, but thought it would make a nice intro to today’s The Magic Memories #37, gone online on SUN, 12th September 2021, as always at exactly 0:07 o’clock. And here’s the quote:

“An artist is an inspired individual who has found his vocation. Through his work he not only gives a meaning to his own life, growing as he practices his art, but he also contributes to the world and the life of others. Art is passion communicated with inspired talent.” (Roberto Giobbi)
Magic Apple Zoom Lecture (4)
This week’s gift to you is the fourth episode of the Zoom Lecture I gave for the friends of Brent Geris’ Magic Apple in Hollywood on the 18th July 2021, and it deals with the second “special card” included in the Card College Playing Cards deck, namely the double-backer; there are actually two, one with the same back color on both sides, one red-blue. Both offer, of course, endless possibilities, but you should like the ideas I touch upon in this 12-minute part of the lecture. With the means of research offered nowadays (Denis Behr’s Magic Archives, Bill Kalush’s CARC etc.) you can really spend a lot of time to chase after some excellent ideas, which are hidden in the magazines and books by simply searching for “double-backer” and variations of the term. Mentioning sources: Remember to check “Hofzinser’s Triple Prediction” (p. 178) from Stand-up Card Magic which is a truly ingenious use of the double-backer, how else, coming from Hofzinser, the genius! Anyway, you may consider today’s clip simply an open door to a land that can still be explored…
To watch the video CLICK HERE.
I wish you an enjoyable week!
Roberto Giobbi
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The Magic Memories (36)

Hi everyone!

Here we go with nr. 36 of The Magic Memories, gone online on SUN, 5th September 2021, at, yes, of course, 0:07!

This week’s offering is another excerpt from the Zoom-lecture I did for The Magic Apple on SUN, 18th July 2021, and it features “The Guarantee Joker”, that albeit a minor trick, harbors some interesting technical, presentational and conceptional ideas useable in many other tricks. This polyvalence is in my opinion the true value of this and similar tricks. In all of my books and lectures I aspire to these qualities. Because then you do not just get a “new trick”, which you might or might not like, and even if you like it, you might not do, but you get to know new tools that you can use to shape your own creations, or reshape and improve your old ones. That’s the idea.

As most of the other clips from the lecture I’ve uploaded up to now, this one deals with a particular characteristic of my Card College Playing Cards, namely the Joker. The deck has two Jokers, a “big Joker” and a “small Joker”, the latter being at the same time the “Guarantee Card”. Years ago it occurred to me to use Bicycle’s “small Joker”, which also has a guarantee text from the manufacturer on it, as a presentational idea: I would misread (artistic license) the text as saying the manufacturer guarantees that all magicians using their decks would never miss a trick performed with them. This led to a few interesting pieces that I’m using to this day, e.g., “Card Call” from Stand-up Card Magic.

In the Card College Playing Cards deck, though, I’ve created a specific text that you can see in the illustration of the Joker below. This allows for some novel presentations, or just as a gag. As I’ve mentioned in my previous blogs that dealt with the characteristics of my deck, you can of course do almost all with other decks, too, just “use your head”, to quote Dai Vernon, and you’ll find how.

And before we leave, here is a little bonus idea: Place a second “big Joker” in the deck you use. You will hen have three Jokers, two identical ones and one Guarantee Joker. With the two identical Jokers you ca do some veeeery interesting things, but we’ll leave that as a koan (and a new note in your notebook that might read: “Duplicate Joker – Things to do with it…”).

To watch the video CLICK HERE. I hope you like it.

Wish you a healthy and inspired week!

Roberto Giobbi

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The Magic Memories (35)

Hi everyone!

As we go online with The Magic Memories #35, it is SUN, 29th August, 0:07 o’clock.

It is a hot day today, as it probably is in many parts of the world, the cards stick to the hands, the stacked pile of coins held in Classic Palm cannot be released reliably, therefore we need to cool down from inside. What better way of doing so than with an ice-cold soup. However, not any soup, of course, but a Watermelon Gazpacho. Anyone who will take 15 minutes of his or her time will be able to make this up and impress your partner, kids, guests, well, anyone whom you care to invite to your table.

Magic and Gastronomy have many things in common, last but by no means least, the moment when you sit with your guests and share a unique moment that will never come back in exactly this way, a moment where you present your passion, and then experience it together with your fellow human beings. The English, when they invite guests over for dinner, say, “We entertain them.” Very much like magic 🙂

To watch the video and start preparing the delicious Watermelon Gazpacho CLICK HERE.

Next week-end I’ll be back with some “real magic” :-), well, the way you probably expect it from me…

Have a great week!

Roberto Giobbi

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The Magic Memories (34)

Hi everyone!

As this goes online it is SUN, 22nd August 2021, 0:07 o’clock, and it is The Magic Memories #34.

Thanks to all who wrote in to say nice things about the last few posts, which featured clips from my Magic Apple Lecture and what you can do with the Card College Playing Cards, or with any other deck for that matter. Before I upload yet another episode of that epic talk to discuss more of the peculiarities of the deck, I thought we should take a break and look at some completely distinctive things. As probably many among you have done and are still doing – the pandemic is not over, yet, and forces most of us to stay home more than we would like to – I have been looking through my old notebooks. Needless to say that I’ve found hiundreds of ideas I had completely forgotten, but which should make an interesting little topic for today’s blog.

Buried Agenda, sort of…

Here they are, in no particular order, three items that will hopefully captivate your imagination, and if they do, keep you busy until next week’s meeting 🙂

Himber Napkin: In  Secret Agenda I published a first idea of how to convert an everyday wallet into a “Himber Wallet” (see the entry of September 5 – “Any Wallet a Himber Wallet”). Another method I’ve explained at many of my live lectures (at the times there was such a thing…), in the context of my TTTCBE. Here is yet another idea which occurred to me years ago: Take any paper or cloth napkin, fold it in half, and then fold it in three. In the photo below I’ve pulled the top layer a bit to the right, to expose the three-part partition. Open up the napkin from left to right and place any flat object in it, then close it again. A little later open the napkin from right to left – nobody except Monk will notice the discrepancy – and display the apparently same object (which you have obviously placed there beforehand). This is very practical and will fool anyone not in the know, and it can be used with a coin, a bill, a playing card, a small envelope (which might have various compartments itself…). Naturally, you will need to motivate the use and placement of the napkin, so you’ll nee to “do a little think”.  If performing after dinner, the napkin has a logical raison d’être, or you can use it to later wrap a deck which you then stab to find one or two cards, or you could write something on it (which can be switched!), etc. The sky is the limit.

Very Best of…: Using any scan app that can be downloaded on your smartphone, you can create a “Very-best-of-PDF” for your archive and later reference. When you read a book, a set of lecture notes, a magazine, or any printed publication for that matter, mark the items you like best, e.g., with those post-it-type self-sticking flags. Once you’ve read it all, go back and with the scan app take a photo of each item, one after the other. You will end up with a single PDF that contains all your favorite entries of that particular publication. I have an iPhone and use an app called “Scanner Pro” from Readdle, but any other app for any other type of smartphone will do. The important thing is NOT to make jpg-photos but scan-photos, as only this will yield a single document. You want to avoid having a folder with 35 individual photos, as this is of very limited use. Also, every good scan app has an OCR-function, i.e., the text will be transformed in searchable units, so later you can find whatever you’re looking for by simply entering a key word you remember. And if you transfer the PDF into an electronic note app, such as Evernote, well, you can also tag it, but that we leave for some other time (I know, I know…). And because it is a hot day today, and I had a wonderful Ossobuco with Porcini mushroom, and so many of you are so kind, I will make you a little gift in form of a little PDF that has a few of my own favorites from my Secret Agenda – to read and/or download it CLICK HERE. (And, yes, the Himber Wallet idea mentioned in the previous item is there, too 🙂

Although Hidden Agenda  is currently out of print and doesn’t even exist as an e-book (ask the guys at Vanishing Inc. why…), except for pirated versions on the Internet, Secret Agenda is back in print: You can order a signed copy from me, or get it from your favorite dealer, and for those who prefer, there is a low-budget e-version of the book, which you can get immediately by CLICKING HERE. Secret Agenda is just perfect to read on a tablet, and with a good PDF-app you can then extract your “favorites” (I use “PDF Expert”, again from Readdle).

BTW: This idea of a “Very-best-PDF” will save you a lot of money, because after doing this for ten years, you can stop spending money on buying new tricks, books, DVDs and what have you: Simply go back to your “archive” and you’ll have enough material to meaningfully spend your magic-time until the end of the world. Send 10% of what you saved to a good cause, me 🙂

Card on Umbrella: I can still remember how many years ago I looked at my library, which at that time was already well-fitted, and thought how strange it is that I only have three biographies (I believe these were the ones by Robert-Houdin, Fu Manchu – the two best biographies anyway – and possibly Busby’s book on Erdnase). Today I have almost two-hundred books, plus two dozen documentaries, on the lives of famous and not-so-famous magicians! All of them are of interest to me, although only a few have that introspective quality that I research in this type of book. One of them is by William Rauscher about Silent Mora, and it is still available. Here is an idea from Mora’s Notebooks, included in the biography, called “Card on Umbrella”. I’ve never done it, I must admit, but it went into my own notebook as an item to do… sometime.

The idea is simple: Have a card, e.g., the 2H in the folds of an automatic umbrella. From a deck of cards force its 2H, then spring the cards into the air, and at the same time, with the other hand, open the umbrella that hits against the cards cascading down. It only remains to show the 2H, which you then detach and hand to the spectator as a souvenir she can keep. If you get the book, you’ll find the idea on p. 192.

Well, that’s it folks for today. Wish all of you a great week!

Roberto Giobbi

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The Magic Memories (33)

Hi everyone!

Here we are, at the 33rd edition of The Magic Memories, gone online SUN, 15th AUG 2021, at exactly 0:07.

I had some nice feedback on last week’s post about the Card College Playing Cards and what you can do with them, so, thank you to all who sent comments! Please understand that I don’t answer, but rest assured that all incoming mail is read, and your friendly comments are greatly appreciated.  For those among you who have lengthy questions, or would like to discuss more complex issues, I remind you that you can take 75-minute long Coaching Sessions with me over Skype; in case you are interested, get in touch with me over the “Contact” function of the webshop, or simply CLICK HERE.

Penguin Podcast

Before we proceed to today’s topic, let me mention that Penguin’s Erik Tait did an interesting two-part interview with me for the Penguin Magic Podcast, and you get there by CLICKING HERE. In the first and this second “Years of the Pandemic” (I guess we need a name for these unique times), I have given quite a few interviews, video and audio, and you might already have seen or listened to one or two. Obviously, some topics keep coming up and are thus repeated, but some others are fresh and bring new information. So, it’s up to you to decide if you want to spend some time on it and deep-sea-fish 🙂

Introduction to Card Magic

For the benefit of the occasional beginner in magic, who joins us on these posts, but also for all of you who do a little (or big!) teaching of magic in magic clubs, schools etc., I remind you of a publication of mine that teaches the basics of card magic, sort of Pre-Card-College, called Introduction to Card Magic. The good thing is that it is a multi-media course, with text, photos and video clips, that is best studied on a tablet or a laptop (but I’m sure eagle-eyed youngsters can do so on their mobile, too). Some have expressed the wish of preferring a printed edition. You can easily make this yourself for little money: send the PDF you receive to a printer and have it spiral bound, the best binding for such a “work book”; this will cost you less than $ 20, and it will be cheaper than if I printed and shipped it to you, considering nowadays prohibitive shipping costs (and it will get worse…). The price of € 8.95 is of course a joke, as it is worth ten times as much, but I keep it at this low price because I wan’t everyone to be able to afford it, and it is less than a donation one should send if he or she got it for free! You find an excellent review of it by the enigmatic EndersGame if you CLICK HERE.

More Card College Playing Cards

On to today’s topic: Since so many seemed to like the excerpt from my Magic Apple Lecture,  well, here is the next sequel. In The Magic Memories (30), July 25th 2021, I gave you a PDF with the description of a trick using the Guarantee Joker of the Card College Playing Cards deck I named “TTT -Turn Over, Transform & Travel”. You might want to quickly refer back for context, or go to the PDF by CLICKING HERE (you may download it, but don’t send it around, send your friends to www.robertogiobbi.com).

And need I really mention that you can of course use any other deck and its Guarantee Joker, or if your deck hasn’t got one, take the Guarantee Card that comes with almost any deck, and if all this fails, simply take the normal Joker and adapt the presentation to that. As Garrick Spencer once told Dai Vernon, “Use your head.” This was what Vernon then kept repeating in his lectures and books, along with two other wisdoms by Dr. Elliott, i.e., “Be Natural” and “Be Yourself”. BTW: New York corporation attorney Garrick Spencer, a student and patron of Vernon’s, and a fanatical lover of magic, sponsored his famous Harlequin Act, among other things, and he also organized a small group consisting of some of the finest magicians of the day. He called them The Academy of the Art of Magic. Its 12 members were:

  • Dai Vernon
  • Nate Leipzig
  • Cardini
  • Al Baker
  • Max Malini
  • Charlie Miller
  • Arthur Finley
  • Paul Fox
  • Sam Leo Horowitz
  • G. W. Hunter
  • J. Warren Keane
  • Garrick Spencer

Back to the trick: Several asked about details of handling, so I decided that this week I would give you that part of the recording where I perform and discuss the trick. Actually, due to the situation, this being done via Zoom and without an audience or interaction, it is more of a demonstration than a performance, but it should do for teaching purposes – I hope you agree 🙂

For the benefit of those who haven’t got the Card College Playing Cards (why not?), the photo below shows it and the text: That’s the idea.

As always, to watch the video, CLICK HERE.

Enjoy – and have a successful week!

Roberto Giobbi

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The Magic Memories (32)

Hi everyone!

Welcome to The Magic Memories no. 32, gone online on SUN, 8th August 2021, at 0:07 o’clock.

Some of you have asked how I keep coming up with ideas and contents for this blog. Well, this is not so difficult if you consider that magic has been with me sind 1973, when I began practicing magic as a 14-year-old teenager. Yes, that was a bit late in life, or as Vernon would have put it, “I wasted the first fourteen years of my life!” But I believe I have compensated for the late start by dedicating every free minute to studying magic, and that were many hours each day! And then, in 1988, I decided to devote my life to the study, performing and teaching of magic, almost religiously, which means that I think, drink, eat, love and live magic all day, every day. As a result I find and come up with so many ideas that I could do such  a blog every day, and still would need to discard a lot 🙂 One day, which I’ll probably not live to see, there will be a University or a Foundation, or similar institution, that hires people like me to do just that in a systematic and detailed manner. And that brings us to today’s offering.

The Magic Apple Zoom Lecture – Episode I

As I have mentioned in the last edition of The Magic Memories,  I recently gave a 3-hour lecture over Zoom for Brent Geris’ Magic Apple in Hollywood, California. All participants had received a deck of my Card College Playing Cards, and in the second part of the lecture – almost 2 hours long – I discuss how my Chinese publisher TCC and I created them, several applications of the deck’s visible and hidden features, such as the one-way back design, the use of the included double-backed card, the various prints on the box, the Special Guarantee Joker, and as an added bonus several tricks, of course. In this clip you’ll see Dai Vernon’s “Staring him in the Face”. There is lots of information here that should make your day 🙂

As for “Staring Him in the Face” demonstrated and explained in the video , I remind you that in The Art of Switching Decks, my book on deck switches, on page 146, you’ll find my idea of how to imperceptibly switch the deck in use for a cold deck at the end of the trick. The chapter, in which this is described, titled “It’s Not a Deck Switch, But…” contains a lot of food for thought. If you don’t have that book you can get it from penguinmagic.com, and if you care for a personal dedication and my signature, you can get it directly from me by CLICKING HERE (I have a promotion on it until TUE, 10th AUG, 2021, midnight CET).

Although in my discussions I refer to the Card College Playing Cards, you can do almost all of the items I mention with any other deck. Should you now feel the urge to get at least a set of these decks, you should be able to get them through your favorite dealer (if they don’t carry them, ask them to do so), or you can as always decide to support your favorite, altruistic and friendly author (me!) and buy them from his webshop www.robertogiobbi.com.

As a thank you for your loyalty I just decided to have a special promotion on one brick (contains 6 red and 6 blue decks), to take advantage of it, CLICK HERE. Again, this will only be until TUE, 10th AUG, 2021, midnight CET and only valid for ONE BRICK. You may order more bricks at the same promotional price, but I will then send you an email and ask you to pay something extra for additional shipping (unfortunately, as a very small business, I do not have the shipping rates like Amazon and the big magic dealers have – I appreciate your understanding).

Coming to a close of today’s ramblings, I should mention that at the end of the video sequence you’ll see, I briefly discuss what in my opinion and in my professional experience of many decades is perhaps the most practical and safest control of a selected card to the bottom of the deck; I won’t say more 🙂 To watch the video CLICK HERE.

Enjoy, and have a good week!

Roberto Giobbi

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The Magic Memories (31)

Hi everyone!

Today is the 1st of August, 2021, and these thirty-first The Magic Memories are going online at exactly 0:07, as usual.

Again, I should take off and leave my ramblings out for a week, for today is Switzerland’s National Day: The date is inspired by the date of the Federal Charter of 1291, Pacte du Rütli, placed in “early August”, when “three Alpine cantons swore the oath of confederation” (Schwyz, Uri and Unterwalden), an action which later came to be regarded as the founding of Switzerland. Today, Switzerland has 26 cantons and a population of about 8 million. In a recent statistic Switzerland was listed as number 2 of the world’s richest nations, based on the GDP per capita, and number 3 in the list of the World Happiness Report. Unfortunately, the Corona virus doesn’t care about this, as the situation here is similar to most other countries. And whenever I think of statistics my dear friend Lennart Green comes to mind, who has some hilarious examples to make fun of statistics. A short one is this: if you put your head in the hot oven and your feet in the deep-freezer, in the statistical average you feel very good! Ah, Lennart, he deserves a book, a huge book…

Giobbi teaches Green how to eat Swiss Cheese Fondue

Green teaches Giobbi a natural card move

 

Interdisciplinarity

The other day I watched, for the n-th time, the movie Who is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe, a comedy inspired by the screwball comedies of the Forties, with Jacqueline Bisset, George Segal and Robert Morley. In Secret Agenda, entry for SEP 2, I briefly describe my five favorite films, and there I wrote about the plot: “Europe’s most famous chefs are killed in ways that parallel how they prepare their own specialties. Crime fiction and black humor work here in a delicious combination. The main theme of this film, gastronomy, is the basis of all art. Why? Gastronomy is about eating. If you don’t eat you die. And if you’re dead you can’t be an artist. Therefore, gastronomy is the basis of all art. Any questions?”

The DVD I have, contains among the extras a superb interview with director Ted Kotcheff (*1931), made 30 years after the film’s release (1979)! In this candid conversation it becomes clear how many things filming and magic, but also gastronomy, have in common. Briefly: You are sharing a passion in real-time with other people you like. Kotcheff, who directed and produced hundreds of films/series for film/TV, when asked what he thought is the most difficult genre in movies, responded, “Action movies are easiest,” – he directed Rambo First Blood – “comedy is the most difficult.” I believe this is very similar to magic, where comedy magic acts are indeed very difficult. I remember I noticed this already in 1979, when I went to my very first FISM convention mIn Brussels and watched the World Championship Competition: the acts in the “Comedy” section were the worst, and only very few managed to walk the fine line between comedy and magic, without destroying one, the other or both. BTW: Swiss comedy magician “Erino” came second in “Comedy”, a very funny act… and man.

To come back to the movie: Who is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe masterfully manages to balance the crime fiction plot with the comedy, so that they complement each other, and the result is truly more than the sum of its parts. When asked how to do a good movie, Kotcheff pragmatically answers, “Oh, that’s easy. All you need is an excellent story, excellent script, excellent crew and excellent cast!” This reminds me of star chef Thomas Keller, who in the preface of his book Bouchon writes about the secret of great cuisine: “Excellent products, plus excellent preparation, equals excellent meals!” And in magic? Well, excellent trick, plus excellent execution, equals excellent performance! As you can see, the world’s a Chaos, and like fractals one discipline reflects the other, with small differences in content.

Speaking of interdisciplinarity, and how to apply the insights gained from one to another, Dai Vernon was a great model. He keenly studied other fields of interest, chief among them the techniques and strategies of the cheats, and applied what he saw and heard to magic. If I was a Professor at a University of Magic, I would conduct a study on the subject of which operational concepts in magic, specifically card magic, have been influenced and in which way by gambling and cheating at gambling. I’m convinced this would lead to a better understanding and interpretation of many sleights we are using nowadays, and to the invention of new and better ones.

To come back to Vernon: He also very intelligently cross-bred concepts within magic. As an example he was very fond of Jack McMillan’s finding of the “Plunger Principle”. The fact that cards, which were interlaced and jogged one towards the other, could produce unseen movements, fascinate him. At least two major inventions were the result of it. One, his “Triumph Shuffle”, which was the operational basis of what to me is without doubt one of the Top Ten card tricks, “Triumph”, as described in Stars of Magic. You find a detailed description in Card College Volume 3, pp. 642, “The Triumph Shuffle”, and if you’re a visual person, you should go to my Card Magic Masterclass video series, and there on Disc Three – False Shuffles and Cuts you’ll find a very detailed discussion of the technique at 1:22:40, which will enable you to learn it in a few minutes, provided you can already do a proper normal Riffle Shuffle.  (Card Magic Masterclass is no longer available as a DVD set, but you can download the five lessons individually or as a package deal from vanishingincmagic.com.)

The second thing that the Plunger Move inspired in Vernon was his Multiple Shift – one of the first descriptions, if not the first, can be found in The Tarbell Course of Magic, but I also discuss it on Disc One – Controls of the above-mentioned Card Magic Masterclass, with ideas that have never been published before (you’ll find it at 1:18:55).

So, my friends, that’s it for today. As always I hope that something has caught your fancy and triggered your imagination.

Have an excellent week!

Roberto Giobbi

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The Magic Memories (30)

Hi everyone!

Here we are, at number 30 of The Magic Memories, gone online SUN, 25th July 2021, at…, yesss, 0:07 h!

On Sunday, 18th July 2021 I gave a virtual all-new Zoom lecture for the “Magic Apple Shop”, located in Hollywood, Los Angeles, one of the few remaining brick-and-mortar magic shops (although their online-business is huge, of course). The owner, Brent Geris, is a likable and generous man. Imagine that for a fee of $ 30 the 47 participants each received a parcel containing a deck of the first edition Card College Playing Cards deck, 8 special cards to follow hands-on some of the items taught during the lecture, plus the lecture itself, obviously, that ran 3 hours, plus another hour for a few who stayed for more Q&A and chat. The lecture was recorded, and the plan was to sell it for $ 10 to each participant, same as when you attend a lecture and afterwards buy the lecture notes. To me, this makes sense. But Brent, in his boundless generosity, decided to give it away for free to all participants! Wow – who am I to argue… especially because I keep saying that money is not important (but it is, unfortunately, necessary). So, if you are one of the lucky 47, I hope you have got your copy and revised it, for there are hundreds of small bits in it – besides the main content (!) – that are not just mere “tips”, as some fools call them, but doors to infinite galaxies… I do not exclude that at some point I’ll put it up for all to download for peanuts, or I’ll extract a few items to use in these posts. We’ll see…

The second part of the lecture focused on the unique characteristics of the Card College Playing Cards. If you’re new to The Magic Memories, or have a lousy memory as I have, you can refer back to The Magic Advent Calendar of December 22, 2020, or go to the product description, which says it all, by CLICKING HERE. At this point I would like to remind you that you can access all past posts of The Magic Advent Calendar as well as The Magic Memories for free, and for a nominal fee you can purchase the complete posts of the Magic Advent Calendar as a single PDF, enabling you to access all links, film clips etc. in one place, which is really very convenient (CLICK HERE to get the PDF).

The Guarantee Joker

This brings us to today’s offering. The Card College Playing Cards have, among another dozen features, two specially designed Jokers. Before sending in your criticism about them, know that these Jokers are the only thing in the deck and case I am not completely happy with. I spare you the story of how these came into being after an exhausting email-correspondence with the publisher, who otherwise did a marvelous job, in my opinion. One thing, however, is still very good and useful, namely the text which I concocted and which went onto the “Guarantee Joker”. You can do several trick with it. I’ll mention just three here:

  • “Card Call” from Stand-up Card Magic
  • “Guaranteed!” from Confidences
  • “The Fine Print”, also from Confidences

If you do “a little think”, as Einstein used to say, you’ll find that you can use it in several other tricks you already know, and thereby add a new twist to the presentation. For all note-takers among you I should mention that this is the moment you could open a note in your physical or (better) virtual notebook, titled “Tricks & More With a Guarantee Card”, and then start researching and thinking, and discussing with others… As an aside I’ll mention that if you enter “Guarantee Card” into Behr’s Archives, you get seven hits – well, that’s a start, isn’t it?

Below are the two Jokers of the Card College Playing Cards deck, in all their splendor…

The two Jokers from the Card College Playing Cards deck

The Guarantee Joker

And here is, finally, a trick called “TTT -Turn Over, Transform & Travel” that uses precisely this Guarantee Joker. To read, study and practice itCLICK HERE.

Enjoy the magic, and have a successful week!

Roberto Giobbi

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The Magic Memories (29)

Hi everyone!

Welcome to the 29th edition of The Magic Memories, gone online on SUN, 18th July 2021, at 0:07 h.

Gerd Maron and Dagmar

In 1991 I had an idea for a TV series: 8 programs of 40 minutes, each having as a subject magic that would happen in a beautiful and fascinating city. The list contained, Paris, Marrakesh, Budapest etc. Together with a friend who ran a successful advertising agency and who had a background in filming, we decided to finance a pilot – actually I did the financing – that we would then try to sell to any TV station that had an interest in it. We choose Venice as our first destination, and together with Barbara and her sister, a camera man, one for the sound and my friend as the director (editor, cutter, promoter etc.) we went to la Serenissima… and spent almost a week recording some great material.

This episode of my life would certainly make for an interesting and entertaining chapter in a biography, but I’ll spare you all this for some other time (perhaps).

Anyway, part of the concept was to have a guest performer, and since Venice is so famous for their doves, a dove act was a logical choice. Obviously, our budget was limited, but, for some lucky circumstances, I was able to convince Gerd Maron (1923 – 1996) and his wife Dagmar to be part of our project with their act that had taken them to the Lido in Paris, the Stardust in Las Vegas and many of the world’s top Cabarets and Nights Clubs. Frankly, I have no recollection of how I managed to do that, but am certainly glad I did. Although the TV series never came to be – and that’s yet another story – I now have one of the very few recordings of his complete act before he retired.

The TV audience should think that the act was being performed at the Teatro Marco Polo in Venice, while in reality it took place on the “Baseldytschi Bihni”, a small t theatre in my home town Basel, Switzerland – this was done as post-production, like some other scenes, when we came back home. As you’ll be able to (hopefully) appreciate, the style and music is of course that of the Sixties and Seventies, so you have to think “retro” when you watch this. However, as connoisseurs you will be pleasantly surprised at the originality and deceptiveness of some illusions. His dove work was impeccable, and I find the vanish of the doves from the cage more logical than vanishing the complete cage, as most would do it. And the method is excellent. However, his pièce de résistance was his “Dog that comes to life”. Not only was this a very practical illusion that could be performed surrounded even in the most delicate situations, I also challenge anyone to find out the working, even after watching it several times. The psychological and technical construction of this production is absolutely brilliant. In my opinion it is the best small illusion I’ve ever seen. Once you find out (after at least five viewings), please refrain from talking about the solution on the Internet, thank you.

When Gerd was in Basel, I had the chance to spend an evening with him chatting about magic and life, and I remember him as a humble and wise man. He was a deep humanist, and I remember him mentioning how he and his wife Dagmar would bake their own bread and exposed ideas about living a healthy lifestyle when this was not yet a subject as popular as today. I retrospect I wish I had spent more time with him as he was such a wonderful man and artist.

To watch Gerd’s and Dagmar’s delightful show, CLICK HERE.

Have a great week!

Yours sincerely,

Roberto Giobbi