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The Magic Memories (92)

Hello everyone!

Today’s topics are: Private Shows (Roland Heuer and his “Intimate Theatre of Magic Program”); “Coach & Dine with Roberto Giobbi”; “Card in Balloon”; Preview to Magialdia.

These are The Magic Memories 92, gone online Sunday, October 2nd, 2022, at 0:07h sharp.

One of the pleasures of running this NPB (non-profit blog) is that I receive quite a bit of feedback containing interesting ideas. I try to include them from time to time if I think it could be useful to some of you. And I’ll start today’s Magic Memories with one of them.

Private Shows

Roland Heuer from Stuttgart, Germany, whom I have mentioned before in my blogs and who is the only one to send a comment after EVERY Magic Memories (!) – he hasn’t yet missed one post – was inspired by an idea I had published in Secret Agenda, “July 6 – Invitations by Avalanche”, to solve the problem of having no performing opportunities during Corona time.

Below is a screenshot of the article for your convenience (BTW: Secret Agenda has been reprinted, but is also available as a practical PDF-ebook).


From: Giobbi, Secret Agenda (2010)

The fact remains that not having enough occasions to perform to many still is a problem, and it is an eternal problem for those who practice magic as a hobby.

Roland’s idea was to create a close-up show for just two to four spectators: He invites them to his home, in-between the guests get drinks and Sushi, and at some point he performs his show, sometimes in two parts. To this I should add that Roland’s wife Ikuko, originally from Japan, and an equally accomplished violinist as Roland, now both retired, is also an excellent chef who seduced the guests with drinks and Sushi.

As a musician as well as a magician he chose to call his performances “Kammerspiele der Zauberkunst – Programm Nr. 1” – you might translate this as “Intimate Theatre of Magic – Program no. 1”. Roland tells me that he gave this about a dozen times in the past months, and now starts a new program.

As Roland set it up this was not a commercial idea intended to generate money, as Roland and Ikuko are fortunately financially independent; it was simply meant as a great opportunity to perform in a time there were no performances.

However, I do not exclude that even on such a small scale this could be transformed into a business idea, certainly not a big one, but fun and covering the costs plus some extra.

It’s an open door…

Roland Heuer and guests

Roland opened with “The Program is Wild”, which you can find on my YouTube Channel and which I have discussed in The Magic Memories 39 and 40 (there is also a free PDF):

Roland doing “The Program is Wild”

Below you can see Roland with “Gipsy Thread” as detailed in my Penguin video The Close-up Act of Roberto Giobbi.

Amazing version of “Gipsy Thread”

Roland also reports great success with “Traveling Queens”, a short card routine with multiple effects by Pavel (to which I have added a few touches) – you’ll find it in The Magic Memories 69 of APR 24 that includes a free PDF of the original trick. To know whether this is a good trick or not you only have to look at the spontaneous reaction of the two spectators… it says it all.

Heuer with the Pavel-Giobbi “Traveling Queens”

Coach & Dine with Roberto Giobbi

Although this is not the same idea as Roland’s described above, it reminded me of something I had started before Corona time and have picked up lately.

I have offered an afternoon coaching, 3 to 4 hours from 2pm to 6 pm, followed by an aperitif at around 6pm, and then a full dinner for a visiting magician and his partner (the partner would join us at the aperitif and be visiting the attractive city of Basel in the afternoon), with me and Barbara as chefs and hosts (including wines from my international cellar, Swiss water, Italian coffee and Cuban cigars!). We’ve done this half a dozen times to great acclaim, but then Corona forced us to take a break…

I was surprised that somehow the exclusively male magicians (BTW: I did not receive one single answer from lady magicians reading these Magic Memories, as predicted in my last post), who seems to have forwarded the idea to their wifes, who in turn contacted me to give such a “Coach & Dine with Roberto Giobbi” to their husbands as a birthday gift!

As a bonus some friendly bonds were created as a result of this meeting – this I must say is the real magic of life.

I think it’s a lovely idea, and you have my blessings to use it if you teach magic.

BTW: I charged 500 Euro for this (all inclusive), and everyone so far said it by far exceeded their expectations. Seems like a good idea then.

Card In Balloon

I’ve touched to this subject before, i.e., items that did not make it into the books, always remembering one of the many aphorisms from Georg Christoph Lichtenberg’s Wastebooks (highly recommended): “Of some authors I’d be more interested to know what they decided to discard from their books than what they kept.” Whether the item below is à propos or not, it is an idea some one may want to pick up, as it is a good one. It did not go into Stand-up Card Magic as it is not entirely angle-proof, however, if you try it, you’ll see that with proper blocking you can do this at almost any venue.

Show an empty top hat (open if collapsible) and set it opening upward on the table – the hat has a needle protruding from the rim. As always, I suggest to introduce the presentational plot of the piece through a Prologue (“Prologue and Epilogue”, p. 88/89 in Sharing Secrets).
You could for example say, “What you are about to witness is a piece of classic card magic. In honor of my predecessors, who had this feat in their repertoire, I will use a top hat, for most magicians in former times performed wearing a top hat.” This is one of many ways to stage the use of an otherwise anachronistic prop.
Have a card selected and control it to the top. As you lower the deck into the hat and start to mix the cards around a bit, you have ample opportunity to get the selection into a right-hand back palm (lefties use their left hand, of course). Then hold the hat with both hands, covering the palming hand, approach a spectator, and ask him to further scramble the cards in the hat, which you move up and down to ostentatiously further mix them.
As your right hand is still holding the hat by its rim, with your left hand reach into your pocket, take out a ballon, give it to a spectator with the request to blow it up (why do all the nasty work yourself?).
The following choreography beautifully covers the back-palmed card from practically all angles except from behind: The left hand takes the ballon and holds it up as you approach a small table. The right hand places the hat on the table, and then immediately seizes the ballon, which you now hold with both hands.
Lower the ballon over the top hat, so that it burst, thereby producing the back-palmed card.

(inspired by an entry in: Duplicate Deceptions  by Billy Wells 1993)

I will remind newcomers that the content of Stand-up Card Magic has been almost entirely translated into a video in my first Penguin Live Lecture which lasts 5 hours and 25 minutes. I’m still holding the record for not only the longest but also best-selling Live Lecture 🙂 the Penguins tell me… You can get it as a download from Penguin Magic, or from me as a physical DVD (as long as they last – there are about 20 left, and they will never be reprinted again).

Next Week: Magialdia

I’ll have to postpone my report about the Magialdia convention in Vitoria, Spain, to next week, but below, as a teaser, the view from my hotel room, with the Cantabric Mountain Chain in the background behind which hides the world-famous Rioja wine region – now you can imagine the magic:

View from convention headquarter NH Hotel Canciler

Wish everyone an excellent week!

All the best,

Roberto Giobbi

2 thoughts on “The Magic Memories (92)

  1. With the exception of Jim Steinmeyer’s version of Cards to Pocket from his Conjuring Anthology book, I’ve never before read a card trick that utilized the back palm as a secret maneuver.

  2. Today I received the book Stand-up Card Magic from Roberto with a kind dedication. Thank you so much, dear Roberto!
    I am very happy, proud and relieved to be the owner of one of these last physical DVDs Penguin Live Lecture 1&2, as they will soon be out of print. And then, I am convinced, it will become a valuable collector’s item.

    Buying the DVDs an the book is the highlight of my new acquisitions this year. Its therefore deserve to be placed under the Christmas tree and to accompany me through the holidays into the new year. Hmm, can I wait that long…?

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