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The Magic Memories (177)

Hello everyone!

Today’s topics are: Sunday Magic at Zauberring Basel; Jack McMillen Book; Shimpei And NHK On Magialdia Festival; More On Muttenz-Chicago Opener; Interview of Richard Vollmer by Yoan Tanuji of Magic Dream Paris; Méliès And Magialdia; Lest I Forget…; Final Wisdom

These are The Magic Memories 177, gone online Sunday, May 19, 2024, at 0:07h sharp.

All The Magic Memories from 2021, 2022, and 2023, including the Magic Advent Calendar from 2020, can be found HERE.

Sunday Magic at Zauberring Basel

Every last Sunday of the month my magic club, the Zauberring Basel (ZRB), under the direction of club member Kevin Stieger, stages a two-hour event in the small theatre  that is our meeting location.

The idea is that of an “opens stage”, where members of the club, plus one or two invited guests from other Swiss clubs, or magicians who happen to be on their way through Basel, perform one or two short sets, most of it being “work in progress”.

We usually have an eager audience of thirty people, who get in for free, but are given the option of leaving an obolus in a top hat (where else…). The event is held from 4 to 6 pm, which has proven to be great timing.

Team of Sunday Magic April 28th, 2024

On this particular occasion Kevin had asked me to take care of the entire second part of the “show”, so I did a forty-minute spot, which seemed to please the crowd, as nobody left, and no-one neither threw tomatoes nor eggs 🙂

I am mentioning this for two reasons:

First, if you are member of a magic club, you may do as we do, and you will not only have happier club members, but also create a nice showcase for magic.

Second, on this particular afternoon, I suggested to have an all-close-up show. The performers at Sunday Magic usually work on a small stage, which for this occasion we sort of inverted: We placed one row of chairs on the stage, and a second row of bar stools, higher than the chairs, right behind this row, resulting in two rows on the stage itself.

In front of the stage we put another two rows of chairs.

So now we had four rows, the first two in a communicative semi-circle around the close-up table you can see on the photograph above. This provided excellent viewing conditions to all thirty spectators. (See the sub-chapter “The Parlor” in Stand-up Card Magic, p. 4,  for thoughts on how to seat an audience. BTW: The book is also available in German, French and Italian.)

Jack McMillen Book

I have mentioned Michael Landes’ book on the magic of Jack McMillen several times in this blog and other writings (e.g., see “On McMillen’s Card Control” in Confidences, p. 90).

Up to now it was only available as an e-book, but now Chris Wasshuber tells me that you can order a hardbound edition from him – CLICK HERE.

Jack McMillen by Michael Landes

Chris also tells me that if you have already bought the e-book (and you should have!), you will get the book discounted by $20 (!) – this will automatically be applied upon check-out, which is quite a feat in itself… at least to me.

Shimpei And NHK On Magialdia Festival

On the occasion of the recent Magialdia Magic Festival (see The Magic Memories 146) the best convention-organizer of them all, my friend José Ángel Suarez, had re-booked Shimpei Katsuragawa from Japan.

Shimpei’s act “La Campanella” is to my taste one of the most beautiful in the world of formal close-up card magic.

Not only did he bring his lovely family to the convention in Vitoria, in the Basque country, but also a team of NHK TV, and the result was a an hour-long documentary – you can watch a clip below which comes courtesy of José Ángel Suarez (you can see him in the little window on the upper left in the screen capture below).

More On Muttenz-Chicago Opener

In The Magic Memories 173 I proposed a personal version of Al Leech’s card trick that later became know under the name of “Chicago Opener” (also “Chicago Style Opener”) in Frank Garcia’s books. I named my version “Muttenz-Chicago Opener”, and received several positive feedbacks.

Marty Jacobs in particular discussed the trick in his blog, and you will get some interesting information HERE.

He has made quite a study on the plot of the Chicago Opener, and you can read all about it HERE.

If you understand French, or want to practice it, or both, here is a great chance to do so on the occasion of a very rare appearance of Richard Vollmer on video.

In France he has reached legendary status as a translator of important works of magic, especially a long series of books titled The Very Bet of... that features the magic of Vernon, Marlo, Aronson, Trost, Bannon, to mention just a few. He was also the first to translate my Card College books from the original German to French, and lately he adapted my Sharing Secrets to Voltaire’s tongue.

To the English speaking magic world he should be well-known from his numerous contributions to Harry Lorayne’s Apocalypse. To watch and listen CLICK HERE.

Richard Vollmer interviewed by Yoan Tanuji of Magic Dream, Paris

Méliès And Magialdia

The above items are all related to my recent visit to Paris, where I was rejoined by my friend José Ángel Suarez of Magialdia fame.

Besides treating us to the NHK-clip above, he also graciously let me share with you a very special event which was televised in Spain, where some of George Méliès’ most “,magical” short films where presented to a live audience and accompanied live by the Municipal Orchestra of Vitoria-Gasteiz.

This is truly an extraordinary piece and should appeal to all of you who have an interest beyond magic, although it clearly does relate to magic, of course.

Here are José Angel’s introductory words:

Today, with new technologies, anything incredible can be normal, we know it’s due to special effects, but none of this would have been possible without the discoveries and work of Méliès. Perhaps, these films that we are going to see below seem poor, crude and even childish, but we must understand that before Méliès no one had seen anything like it. He was the pioneer.

So, let’s sit in our seats at the end of the nineteenth century, watch these films as if we had never seen cinema before, and delight in the performances of the Municipal Band that will be an important part of this time immersion.

Let’s enjoy the magic of Méliès, because MAGIC CREATED CINEMA.

Lest I Forget…

I was going to tell you about my time in Paris and Lorient, Brittany, but realize that if you only watched one of today’s clips, and read up to here, your tolerance time for The Magic Memories must have been exhausted by far… so, I shall postpone the interesting news I have for you from my French Voyage to next week: Look out for the announcement of the incredible videos Christian Fechner made in the late Seventies of Toni Slydini – I can assure you that this is one of the epic publications of this century – more in The Magic Memories 178

Final Wisdom

“A trick that doesn’t consider the psychological construction of a trick, and only its technical and dramatic construction, may be surprising, even entertaining, but will never be magical in the sense of evoking the emotion of wonder.” (Roberto Giobbi)

The only book that deals exclusively with this subject is Sharing Secrets – if you are reading these The Magic Memories and do not have that book, please order it HERE.

Wish you all a successful and happy week,

Roberto Giobb

1 thought on “The Magic Memories (177)

  1. Just a technical question. For some reason, I no longer received the emails announcing a new edition of the Magic Memories. I re-subscribed to the Giobbi newsletter, but that doesn’t stem to help.

    What could be the problem? (Yes, I checked spam folders).

    Thank you (and a belated happy anniversary! We are both from 1959, so last friday in the Algarve, I bought my first entrance ticket with senior reduction…)


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