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A MAGAZINE OF INNOVATION EDITED BY

WILLIAM P. MIESBL

PUBLISHED BY

unikorn magik


P R E C U R S O R

XLI

This is PRECURSOR XLI and is published in August 1993. The editorial offices are at 2215 Myrtle Street, Erie, Pennsylvania 16502. PRECURSOR will be published more that three times a year, and it will be sold for $16.00 (U.S.) for three issues. Outside the United States, Canada, and Mexico, three issues are sent Air Mail for $19.00 (U.S.). It is just a little over two years ago that we gave you one of the best issues we ever did. That was the "One-Man Phil Goldstein Issue". It is with a great deal of pleasure that we now present the "Second One-Man Phil Goldstein Issue" for your magical enjoyment. The material in this issue is a bit different from what was offered in the last one, but it is equally as effective. Here is a rundown of what you will find in this issue. "Steprint" is an intriguing effect that uses a regular deck and a small packet. The reason that I found this so interesting is that it would seem that the small packet would have to contain more cards than it is supposed to due to the numerous changes, but it actually contains less. I got quite a kick out of "Juxt In Time". are used proved quite surprising to me.

The way that the blank-backed cards

"Espelling" would be a very effective prediction that won't fail to go over well in table work or to impress a client over dinner. "Wild Sandwich" makes wild use of a little known principle of Victor Farelli that should make for a stunning effect. Both Phil Goldstein and Stewart James love tricks based on Anagrams, and "SelfContained" is one of these tricks with a cute prediction style presentation, and it is very easy to handle. "Hand-Out" is an interesting handling of a double-faced card with a real twist for a climax. This issue ends with a "Timely Variation" of John Bannon's "Timely Departure" from SMOKE AND MIRRORS. For completeness, a brief description of "Timely Departure" is included, but if you like the ideas presented here, please check the original source for the full details. Thank you very much, Max, for providing this fine material of Phil Goldstein's. I hope you all take full advantage of trying these tricks out - I am sure you will find something you like. William P. Miesel

IT WAS FUN Last weekend was a lot of fun. I travelled north to Courtright for the Annual Stewart James Get Together. It is a somewhat discouraging trip, because I have to drive 350 miles to go about 80 miles, but Lake Erie is in my way, and I have to go around it. After driving four hours, I am almost back where I started


after driving around the lake. I always go a day early because of the long drive. When I got to Stewart's house, Allan Slaight was there, and the three of us had a great visit and dinner in the late afternoon and evening hours. When I got up Friday morning, the first person I saw was Mike Rogers. Mike and I were great friends even though we have only met in person no more than a half a dozen times. While Mike was in the Navy throughout the sixties and into the seventies, we exchanged letters three or four times a month, and we really became close friends. The first time that we actually met was at Knoxville in 1963 - we were both at Cleveland the year before, but I don't believe our paths crossed. Mike really impressed me with his Cup and Ball routine with giant seashells, stacking thimbles ala dice, and especially, the impromptu Card Castle. This was all magic for magicians which we were both into at that time - I still am. After Mike got out of the service, we gradually drifted apart as he became more involved with commercial card magic and started a career as a Trade Show performer. At Courtright, Mike performed his standard Trade Show Act and a Gambling Demonstration that he uses often. I was as impressed with his current work as I was with his close-up act at Knoxville thirty years ago. There was virtually no card handling, but oh, how he could handle an audience. A Classic Force, a Top Change, and a Palm, but pure artistry. I was especially pleased to see his gambling routine. About ten or twelve years ago in one of the infrequent letters that we exchanged in recent years, Mike mentioned that he was doing a very effective routine using a memorized deck. He wanted me to keep this to myself, because he didn't want magicians to know what he was doing at that time. Recently he has performed and explained this routine to a few magicians, and I have heard about it a few times over the last couple of years. It's great; if you ever get the opportunity to see him perform this demonstration, don't pass it by - it's well worthwhile. David Ben was the other main entertainer, and again, he is one of my favorite magicians. He performed a number of very effective routines right out of his commercial act that went over well, including the local people in the audience. I was especially pleased to see him perform the "Psychometry" routine explained in PRECURSOR XL. It is quite different to see an actual performance than to just hear a description of the effect and method. A little tip: David is starting the routine differently. The books of matches are carried in a brandy snifter. Except for the six gimmicked ones, they are all tied together loosely with fishing line. The tied-up packet of matches is squeezed into the snifter, and a pocket is made in the middle of them to hold the six gimmicked books right on top and in the middle so you can't miss them. These are just a few of the highlights; it was great seeing so many old friends and making some new ones. Of course, we had a PRECURSOR Suite, and it really felt good to have Ron Zollweg there to help me co-host. He was still somewhat weak but seemed to be coming along. Hopefully, by Rochester he will be back to normal. William P. Miesel June 3, 1993


Natterings William left me two pages to fill before we get to the Phil Goldstein material. I thought for a minute that I would do what was done in the early computer manuals and just leave the two pages blank except for the note in the center which read, "This page intentionally left blank." But then I thought that since you're going to be getting such good card material, I might just as well let you have something in contrast ... poor word material! I recall a number of occasions when I would stand, watching Phil demo packet tricks at Hank Lee's emporium at magic conventions. I'd get the general idea of the trick, and then I'd go off by myself to see if I could think of an original idea for presentation. This usually took the form of making up special cards for my patter story. When I'd gotten the idea and thought it was pretty good, I'd go back and buy the trick from Phil. He knew what I was doing and usually wanted to know what crazy premise I'd come up with. I feel my best concoctions came from "Eight Ball", which became my "Little Red Beaver", "Pointer", which became my "Spaceship", and another trick which I can't remember ($14, perhaps), but that one ended up in well over a half-dozen variations which were very adaptable to advertising or to special functions. Those were the innovative years for me, thanks in large part to my polyonymous friend, Phil. A question which may occur to some who put together Phil's effect "Steprint", is this. Is the blank-backed card a blank blue back or a blank red back? In Phil's "Espelling", he speaks of a Siamese billet. What a clever use for the old two-bill gag which all of us, at one time or another, have played with. My dictionary lists "billet-doux" which is defined as a love letter. By using this type of action, one might think he could carry on two affairs at once. ... No, I don't think so. In "Wild Prediction", Phil speaks of a "faux prediction". In the example, this is actually a five prediction. Sorry about that, Phil, but you know how my mind sometimes works. The National Bureau of Standards (NBS) had developed an atomic clock (NBS-6) which was claimed to be accurate to one second in 300,000 years. Then the NBS changed its name to The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). No longer was NBS-6 accurate enough, so NIST-7 was developed. This new clock is reported to be accurate to one second in three million years. But the output of this clock will not be used directly as the U.S. time standard. Coordinated Universal Time comes from Paris, and it is an average of time data from atomic clocks in many nations. So, for the many cardicians who pride themselves on the quickness of their passes, here's a new measurement tool. In a new Johnson Smith catalog, I note that they offer "Magic Taper Cards". I assume these are the same as strippers. ... Well, not stripper strippers, but stripper cards, ... No, not cards with pictures of strippers on them. Now, they could be more popular than baseball cards to the right clientele. The catalog also offers a "Vanishing Egg Bag". Why not put the bag on a pull and have a real vanishing egg bag. To a true cardician, magic's "F-word" is "Force"! In a recent PRECURSOR, I discussed the new book, MAX MAVEN'S BOOK OF FORTUNETELLING. I was looking at my car the other day, and I figured out that birds had been looking for it, and they had spotted it. This brought to mind the divining

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