Posted on 2 Comments

The Magic Memories (106)

Hello everyone!

Today’s topics are: Thank you; Cours de Cartomagie Moderne; Juan Tamariz in the NY Times; S & R in The Atlantic; On Card College 3&4 – Personal Instruction (Beaune);  Card on Forefinger .

These are The Magic Memories 106, gone online Sunday, January 8th, 2023, at 0:07h sharp.

All The Magic Memories from 2021, 2022, including the Magic Advent Calendar from 2020 can be found HERE.

And before anything else

Big THANK YOU to all who regularly or occasionally write in with kind words of support.

Please know that I read and appreciate all your messages, compliments, and good wishes, but please also understand and forgive that I do not answer them, preferring to use the time to bring to you the next The Magic Memories 🙂

Cours de Cartomagie Moderne

I just finished signing 100 business cards for the one hundred copies of the Collector’s Editions of Cours de Cartomagie Moderne (CMM), the French version of Card College.

Ludo Mignon and his Marchand de Trucs undertook it to reprint the French version of the books that had been out of print for years and were circulating in various pirated editions.

Volumes 1 and 2 have met with great success, as Ludo tells me, and volumes 3 & 4 are at the printers right now to be delivered soon.

So, if you want to practice your French, or are a native French speaker, or simply a collector, or want to simply support the project, place your order with Marchand de Trucs HERE.

…signing 100 business cards


Juan Tamariz in the New York Times

On Sunday, 8th January 2023, the New York Times, in its magazine supplement, will run an article portraying Juan Tamariz. All in the US should be able to get it, but don’t yet know if the magazine that contains the article is also available in the international edition sold outside of the US.

The author contacted me a while ago, and I spent about one hour on Skype to provide information and an insider’s point of view. Paul Wilson, who is preparing a documentary on the Maestro is mentioned several times…

A Spanish version of the article, provided by Ana Tamariz’s “Gran Escuela de Magia” is circulating on Internet HERE.

It is certainly nice when some of the “Greats” in our specialty get attention from an equally great publication.

Tamariz in the NY Times

S & R in The Atlantic

Talking about stories of famous magicians in famous outlets: Just ran across a looong article on Siegfried and Roy in the American magazine The Atlantic, titled “The Original Tiger Kings”.

Although written to appeal to a non-magic audience, as most such articles are, I found a few things I didn’t know, and therefore thought that some of you might want to read it HERE.

This reminds me of my only meeting with S&R, well, with the “S” part of the duo…

I must have been 21, or little more, of age, on my very first trip to the US, as part of a group-tour organized by Belgian’s (then) foremost illusionist (he bought Kalanag’s “show”), Klingsor, who took his name from Wagner’s opera Parsifal.

Together with his wife Solange – also his stage assistant for many years – once a year arranged for a group of about 20 “magicians” and their wives, mostly from France, a two-week “magical roundtrip”, usually going to one of the major conventions (IBM, SAM), with visits to the Magic Castle (my first one meeting Vernon!), Las Vegas etc.

I remember that Richard Vollmer and Francis Tabary were also part of the group, and we had a hell of a time doing card tricks to each other (almost) round the clock 🙂

I was still a student then and cannot remember how I could afford that, but afford it I did, and consider it, in retrospect, one of my many worthwhile investments into my private and magic-professional life. I remember at that time working quite a lot during university semester breaks for the Swiss train postal service, mostly on night-shifts and on week-ends, to get extra allowances. Along with my service in the Swiss Army, which is another story (…), it was the only “physical” work I’ve ever done in my life, and I’m glad I did it, as after that my work was mostly “white-collar” work.

Anyway, Klingsor’s trip took us to the IBM convention, which took place in July of 19??, and on board of the “Queen Mary” in Long Beach, California, at that time functioning as a hotel and with its theater facilities also as a convention center. At that time the experience seemed very “normal” to me, but today, looking back over 40 years, I think it was a stupendous experience, and I wish I had some photos to look at and show.

Coming back to “S” of “S & R”, as I entered one of the ship’s elevators that would take me to Karrell Fox’s lecture, imagine my surprise when an instant later Siegfried also entered, and it was he and me alone in this huge (my memory) elevator. I was speechless, of course, and can’t even remember if I mumbled something like a German “Guten Tag”. I wish I had then known what an “Elevator Pitch” is, then I might perhaps have talked him into booking me as a close-up magician in their Las Vegas Show… Maybe not… But that was my “S & R” without “R” experience 🙂

On Card College 3&4 – Personal Instruction

Just before the end of the year Barbara and I took two days off and met our friends Guillaume and Estelle Cerati in the beautiful city of Beaune, in the heart of Burgundy, site of the arguably world’s best wines. The short time only allowed me to taste a few bottles, though…

Guillaume is the man responsible for filming and editing the Card College 3&4 – Personal Instruction videos, so deserves a big portion of the credit for the success the product has seen. (If you haven’t yet read the review from Genii magazine, you can find it HERE.)

Guillaume Cerati and me sharing a “Secret”…

Card on Forefinger

There are some tricks in the Card College series that seem to have become “Classics”, in the sense that they found their way into the repertoire of many performers, be they amateurs or professionals.

As far as I could determine, “Homing Card Plus” from Card College 2, is the number one trick of the series, meaning the one most performed. I can’t believe how many have been telling me that they do the trick all the time, and many have found “improvements”…

But there seems to be a runner-up to it, one that goes back quite a bit in history: “The Lucky Coin” from Chapter 16 on the Top Change.

Although the idea seems obvious, it is not so obvious to track its origin. Checking my own text in Card College, and to my own surprise, neither I nor my editor-publisher Stephen Minch have added any historic information.  All I’ve been able to find is that Ron Wohl (Ravelli), in 1955 published the idea of having a miniature card appear under a matchbox in The Gen (Vol 11, No. 7, NOV 1955). Later, in 1958, in the Swiss magazine Hokus Pokus (1958, Nr. 1), he published another version with the seminal idea of having the matchbox dropped on an apparently freely chosen card (Ravelli forced it), revealing the miniature card underneath the box as an effect-gag, and then, as a sucker-climax, showing that the box had really been dropped on the previously selected card. That’s the structure of the effect as described in my Card College, only that I use a coin, an idea I believe I had read in an Italian magic book by Salvatore Cimò, but have not been able to locate, yet.

If anyone knows something, please write in, and I’ll let everyone else know.

Anyway, the idea has brought forth many variations, including commercial ones (some crediting me and Card College, some not…).

I myself have for many years substituted the coin with the card box of Fournier’s 505 cards, a brand I use to this day professionally. It has the great advantage of depicting a card on its back, so I don’t have to carry the gimmicked coin with me all the time, as it’s automatically there whenever the cards are there… obviously, the presentation has to be modified, si capisce

King of Hearts on the card case of Fournier 505

I have never published this idea, as  far as I can remember, but shown it in many private sessions and some lectures. Some have then used the idea in various ways, including having a card printed on the case of their personalized cards, for the sole purpose of performing “Lucky Coin”, such as done by my friend Gianfranco Preverino with his Sharper playing cards.

Sharper playing cards by Gianfranco Preverino

Recently I was perusing an older issue of the aforementioned Swiss magazine Hokus Pokus, and discovered the idea depicted in the photo below: A card is forced and lost in the deck, the cards of which are then scattered face down all over the table. The spectator takes the performer’s wrist and hovers over the cards to finally set it down on one card. Performer, “Would you be surprised if under my finger there was precisely your card?”

You bet he (and even she!) would.

The performer then slowly turns his hand palm up to reveal a miniature card duplicating the selection, stuck to the pad of his forefinger!

In the magazine the idea is attributed to Rolf Andra, and merely described as a gag, but it is not a giant step from the gag to a higher effect, similar to the one in my Card College

Interesting detail: The article is from Hokus Pokus Nr. 1, 1956, two years before Wohl’s entry, and Rolf Andra was Ron Wohl’s teacher. As Ron even at a very young age was very meticulous about crediting, this might be a case of Remember & Forget… Anyway, a great idea.

From the Swiss magic magazine “Hokus Pokus”

Wonder what you can come up with 🙂

Next Week’s The Magic Memories (107) Take  a Break

As announced in last week’s The Magic Memories, I’ll be attending The Session in London from January 13th to 15th, therefore won’t be able to be with you next Sunday, as I’ll try to learn a few new things at a lecture or else… Also look forward to see many friends I’ve missed due to the Pandemic Years.

I’ll be back for The Magic Memories 108, and will report about my doings there, plus a few more things, as usual a mix I myself would like to read 🙂

Have an excellent two weeks!

Yours faithfully,

Roberto Giobbi


2 thoughts on “The Magic Memories (106)

  1. Thank you Roberto. Interesting wording in the Hokus Pokus 1956. Have an excellent stay in London. Best wishes Martin

  2. Enjoy The Session and look forward to reading about your experience in the next newsletter!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.