Posted on 2 Comments

The Magic Memories (154)

Hello everyone!

Today’s topics are: What Will Not Go Into the Unexpected Agenda; The Advent Calendar of Good Ideas Addendum; Pol Pollux Ninetieth Birthday; A Quick Trick; The missing link (Pepe Carroll FISM 1888 card act)

These are The Magic Memories 154, gone online Sunday, December 10th, 2023, at 0:07h sharp.

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

What Will Not Go Into the Unexpected Agenda

As I’m looking through the thousands of notes I have made in the past almost fifty years in order to extract the very best for the upcoming Unexpected Agenda, I stumbled over this little anecdote from my very first performance at the Magic Castle in Hollywood at the end of the Eighties.

I was performing at the Close-up Gallery. I remember very well that at that time the fee for one week’s work, i.e., 21 shows on seven days, was $ 500, plus you got $ 200 for doing two shows at Friday Lunch, plus $ 300 for the lecture on Sunday in the Parlor of Prestidigitation. That was a total of $ 800, but I had to pay for my intercontinental flight, the hotel and most of the food. I leave the math to you… Still, it was an experience not to be missed (but I had to pay the price).

Now, under new management, the conditions have greatly improved, and even if you come from abroad and still have to pay your own travel, you can expect to bring home a little something. Times have changed 🙂

Anyway, here is the story:

I was working the Close-up room with a “card act” of about twenty minutes plus. Part of it was a piece that you can find in Card College 5, titled «All’s Wells That Ends Wells» (not a typo, but an allusion to H. G. Wells’ novel The Time Machine). My trick is based on Larry Jennings’ “Morlock’s Revenge” from one of the Symposium books.

When I did this trick within a card routine in the Close-up room of the Magic Castle many years ago, Larry Jennings came to watch me three times (!), and afterwards he asked me why I had changed his routine around – he liked my version better than his! As you can imagine, this was quite a compliment for Young Giobbi.

Vernon was not in that week. Jennings said that if he had been in, they would have named me «Close-up Magician of the Year».

I have no idea if this is true, and if Vernon was so influential in giving that title, but the story is true, and I like to remember it.

Giobbi, Paviato, Carney, Vernon, Jennings at Magic Castle bar

The Advent Calendar of Good Ideas Addendum

Thank you to all who wrote in to say they like The Advent Calendar of Good Ideas, to appear daily in your mailbox until December 24th, provided you have put your email in the subscription field of the newsletter on the webshop.

Some came a few days late and are asking if they can receive the ones they missed.

Briefly: Not now, but on DEC 25th you can.

Explanation: Due to the way this is automated I cannot install a function that sends back items (at least I have no idea how to do that…).

BUT: On December 25th, I plan to give you the entire 24 Calendar entries in one PDF, so you have all together, can review them, and maybe extract your favorites to reread from time to time.

Pol Pollux Ninetieth Birthday

Pol Pollux, the “World’s Only Card Juggler”, as he billed himself in the decades of his successful professional life, turned ninety on November 28th, 2023.

early photo of Pol Pollux (ca. 1955)

I’ve known Pollux, whose real name is Rudolf Hägler, for many years now, and we are both members of the Zauberring Basel (ZRB), the magic club of Basel (Switzerland).

When I became a member in 1977, Pollux was already an established professional magician working internationally.

On rare occasions, when he came back to Basel, were he keeps an apartment to this very day, he would visit the club and tell about his many travels around the world, in an era when there were still top class nightclubs booking artists. I always listened in awe, never imagining that one day I would myself embark on a professional career in magic!

Pollux was always very supportive of my efforts, and kept saying to others about me: “He’s our best man!” Never mind its truthfulness, it was balm on the soul of Young Giobbi. Pollux is one of the people I owe a great debt to for having encouraged and believed in me: Danggschöön viilmool, Pollux (Baseldytsch Swiss German for “many thanks”).

Again, I hope to tell you more about this man, who very early in his life made his dream come true by turning professional, at a time when in Switzerland there were only very few who dared doing this.

Anyway, Pollux has become a dear friend over the years, especially now as he has retired and we see each other more often, and I congratulate him to his fantastic birthday and wish him well for the next ten years, when we will celebrate his hundredth birthday!

There is a lovely post by one Judge Brown, with details about Pollux’s career, complemented by a rich iconography. To see and read CLICK HERE.

And for all those who understand Swiss German, or just would like to hear how it sounds, well, Kevin Stieger and Lorenz Schär put together a nicely made video with friends congratulating Pollux on his ninetieth birthday: To watch or just quickly look into CLICK HERE.

A Quick Trick

Here is a quick trick you can use for any situation really, but which I created to open a Close-up Gala at a Magic Convention.

The deck can be fully stacked, with just a blank-faced card 2nd from the top in the face down deck.

“Good evening, I’ve been told I only have ten minutes, so I need to hurry up. A deck of 52 cards… (fan), … you can count them: 1, 17, 52… (Dribble Waterfall Gag)… and this is your card!”

Produce the top card in a flourishy manner, and let the balance of the deck fall into left hand Dealing Position, as the right hand displays the top x-card. Look expectantly at spectator “The X of Y – was this the card you took?”

He will (hopefully) say, “I didn’t take any card.”

Top change x-card in hand for the blank-faced card resting on top of balance. Look at its face yourself, without showing it for the moment, asking back, “You didn’t take any card?”

After three seconds of hesitation show the blank card, “Correct!”

As the audience reacts, do the Jinx Switch: The right hand puts the blank card back on top of the deck, takes all minus the bottom card, the latter remaining face down in the left hand, and places the balance of the deck on the table. Look at the supposed blank card, really a duplicate of, e.g., the 5D. Put aside, or in breast pocket, still visible to all, back to the audience, naturellement. They think it’s the blank card.

Continue (optional): Force the regular 5D from the deck, make sure everyone sees it (!), and then lose it in the deck.

Say that you will find the card. Look through the deck, but pretend not to find it. Say that all cards are there, so one must be his… do a Dribble Flourish, apparently counting the cards, “1, 2, 3… 51! Oh, one card is missing?!”

Look at card initially put aside, supposed to be blank: It is the 5D, the selection!

If done in a stand-up situation, don’t even bother stealing the duplicate 5D out of the deck.

Can also be used simply as a quick opening gag: After the blank card is shown, simply put it away, and then start performance.

The Missing Link

This week’s link will take you to the card act Pepe Carroll from Spain performed in 1988 in The Hague at the FISM convention. For this he was deservedly awarded the First Prize.

It will amuse you to know that I also entered the same competition and became second, as one of the judges afterwards told me with 0,9 points on 100 behind Pepe 🙂

Pepe was a very good friend, and we both had Juan Tamariz as our mentor, often meeting when I came to Spain visiting Tamariz. I’m determined to tell you more of my personal get-togethers with him as he was without doubt one of the most extraordinary cardicians I’ve ever met in my life – I hope to do so in the near future.

Meanwhile, to enjoy Pepe’s FISM act CLICK HERE.

Wish you all an excellent week!

Roberto Giobbi

2 thoughts on “The Magic Memories (154)

  1. Bonjour Roberto,

    merci pour ce bon moment de lecture
    bon dimanche


  2. OMG! I love this trick BUT even more, I went back to look at the Magic Advent Calendar…which on 19 Dec, lead me to the Secret Twitter and I started reading some to the tweets…which should be named treats! Even though I had read them before, I was astounded that I gained even MORE re-reading them!

Leave a Reply

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