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The Magic Memories (25)

Hi everyone!

Here we are with the 25th installment of The Magic Memories, gone online SUN 20th June 2021, as usual at exactly 0:07; so, we’re nearing mid-point, but more on that in the next post.

Segundo de Chomón and Georges Méliès

In my  Magic Advent Calendar, entry of December 10th, I wrote about French magician and father of artistic filmmaking Georges Méliès. You’ll find that it in the archive section of this website, or you can get all 24 contributions with all relevant links in one single PDF for a ludicrous price HERE. Alternatively, to get directly to the Méliès clip, CLICK HERE.

When Méliès success declined, Spain’s Segundo de Chomón (1871 – 1929) star started to rise. Rather than me telling you his story, those who are interested in the subject will find good information in several languages on Wikipedia by CLICKING HERE.

For years I started my presentations, especially my seminars and masterclasses, with the clip by Méliès (see above) or the following short video to break the ice and get into the subject in an unusual way. So, today’s offering is a charming short clip that shows just one of the many works of Segundo de Chomón, considered by film experts as the most significant Spanish silent film director. Although de Chomón was not a magician like Méliès, this clip shows not only his affinity for magic, but also quite an excellent understanding of it, or at least he had worked with someone who had an insight into magic. To watch the clip CLICK HERE.

Card College Playing Cards

I’ve finally managed to put my own Card College Playing Cards Regular Edition on the webshop, so you can order them, if you wish: Simply CLICK HERE. If you live in Europe, this is probably your best deal, if you live in the rest of the world, you might want to try your favorite dealer first, but they are out of stock everywhere I checked, and it might take some time before Murphy’s gets the next supply to distribute: Although the cards were printed by USPCC on their premium stock, the publisher is TCC, who also produces my books in China. It took a while until these cards were accepted, but now the dwindling stock shows an increased interest inside this crazy and unpredictable market, which is that of playing cards. But the thing with the Card College Playing Cards is really simple: they are very good cards, work out-of-the-box and the deck and its case have features I’ve never seen in other decks (the description of these features is HERE).

Besides, they faro top-down, as a counter-movement to those now called “traditional cut”, which faro from bottom up, and are only useful to those who want to practice their Table Faros in their free time, I guess as a sort of Zen Ersatz… However, nobody who is in his right mind would use a tabled Faro in a payed performance (you can count those who could on the fingers of one hand), as it is much safer to do an In-the-hands Faro, from top down, of course, because most faro applications are Partial Faros, and they are used to obtain a stack or to permute a card, and 90% of these applications go from the top. Now, since the mistakes in a Faro almost always occur at the end and not at the beginning of the Faro, the Top-down Faro is superior for anyone who wants to perform before real people. Needless to say, that exactly that method, the best I know, is taught in Card College Volume 3, pp. 681. You can learn the Partial Faro, which is sufficient for many applications, in five (!) minutes… provided you have the correct cards 🙂

I should mention that EndersGame, who wrote the review of the Card College Playing Cards linked in the webshop (CLICK HERE), is also the author of tons of learned and informative articles about playing cards and their history, as well as how they connect to magic. If this is your cup of tea, you’ll be spoilt for choice by CLICKING HERE. Remember, playing cards are not just “props”, they are the instrument through which the cardician expresses himself (“cardicienne” would be a well-sounding feminine form, provided it is pronounced with the proper French accent, bien sûre…). And as an artist specializing in a particular instrument, you should have at least basic knowledge of that instrument. See also my essay “A Brief History of Playing Cards” on p. 5 of Card College Volume 1, which is really the minimum you need to know (HERE IT IS for your convenience, in an updated form from my Genii Session column in December 2007). EndersGame – I will reveal his real name only under torture or if you send a bottle of Bollinger Grande Année 2012 (James Bond’s favorite) – also has some very informative magic reviews, and you’ll FIND THEM HERE.


Sharing Secrets

It seems that almost everyone who has pre-ordered and pre-paid the book from me directly has received his or her copy. If you haven’t yet, let me know and I’ll send you the tracking. I have now less than a dozen left in my private stock, so if you want a signed copy, please order it now. The book has sold much better than I had assumed, fortunately, as I need to sell 300 just to pay for the printing. From now on I’m on a profit, to pay for my and Barbara’s work over one year. How much would you pay yourself for a year’s work? Well, I can assure you, it’s going to be below that (unless a sponsor, donator or a patron of the arts decides to send some cash instead of the usual diploma). As for the books, you can still find copies at several European dealers right now, and from ca. end July order from, or your favorite dealer.

I’m glad to say that so far everyone seems to be pleased with the book, and some have even praised it to the skies – I’m embarrassed to say that, but of course very happy 🙂 Here is Michael Close’s review from his monthly Newsletter June 2021: To read CLICK HERE.

Have a great week!

Yours sincerely,

Roberto Giobbi

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