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!