The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The April 2006 entrée: Michael Ammar » » Charlie Miller... » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Paul Chosse
View Profile
V.I.P.
1955 - 2010
2389 Posts

Profile of Paul Chosse
Hi Michael!

Nice to see you here!

You spent a LOT of time with The Professor, and a lot of time at the Castle. Dai and Charlie Miller were friends for decades, but Charlie seemed to live in Vernon's shadow. I have an idea about that, but I wonder, what do you think? Where do you think Charlie fits in the world of magic? And DID Vernon overshadow one of the greatest magicians of the 20th century?

Best, PSC
"You can't steal a gift..." Dizzy Gillespie
Michael Ammar
View Profile
Creative Spotlight Guest
83 Posts

Profile of Michael Ammar
Hi Paul!

Wow. What to say here...

Charlie was an interesting guy. It's one thing to not want to teach what you know to other people, but Charlie didn't even want people to know that he knew it, much less know what it was. Does that make sense? There were things that he didn't even want you to know existed, much less know that he could perform them so well.

As for what qualities make a person well known or admired, well, that's probably a complex formula of qualities, abilities, and achievements, so I don't know that it is fair to say that Charlie lived in Vernon's shadow. Maybe, just maybe, Vernon actually helped Charlie shine more than he would've otherwise?

It sounds to me like you actually knew the Charlie Miller that I only heard rumors about. Stories from Michael Skinner and Johnny Thompson about how Charlie was the best, but I never got to see the real stuff. I got to see Charlie perform at the PCAM back in, I believe, 1985? Then maybe a couple of other times, but like I said, I never saw the real work.
Paul Chosse
View Profile
V.I.P.
1955 - 2010
2389 Posts

Profile of Paul Chosse
Hi again Michael!

Thanks for your thoughtful answer to this. I have to say, I am a bit biased. And now that I think about it, you're right, Dai DID help Charlie's image quite a bit. By the way, I didn't mean to insinuate that Vernon ever did anything to purposely overshadow Charlie, just that his presence was so powerful that Charlie wasn't seen as much. Vernon was one of Charlie's biggest boosters, as I think about it.

Charlie was a shadowy figure in some ways. He drifted between the magic world and the gambling world, the real gambling world, and I think the secretive side of Charlie was due to his involvement with hustlers. One of his proteges in later years asked Charlie about a rumor, and Charlie told him he couldn't discuss it, that "people get their legs broken for talking about those things..." What a peculiar thing to say, don't you think?

I did get a chance to spend some time with Charlie, and he did do some wonderful things. I wouldn't have seen them though, if it weren't for my relationship with Jack McMillen. Jack was one of my mentors, and ultimately, one of my best friends. He and Charlie were friends for over 60 years, so being with Jack opened all kinds of doors for me with Charlie.

Once, when we were having lunch, Jack turned the conversation to Erdnase, and the first thing Charlie asked me to do for him was the DPS. Then, he asked me to do it with multiple cards. Fortunately, I was practiced up on that at the time. Charlie could do just about everything in Erdnase that was worth doing. And, he had some strong opinions about what wasn't worth doing from that book. I know, that sounds like blasphemy, but Charlie really thought that some of Erdnase was a waste of time, and he used Erdnase' own words to support the view. Specifically, he was talking about the passes/shifts. Although the ones Erdnase published are fun to toy with, by his own admission he'd never found one that was satifactory at the card table.

I think Charlie's favorite was the Erdnase One-Handed Shift. He had some "work" on it that is common knowledge today, but was very hush-hush when he showed it to me. Mostly it was the timing, and the idea of squaring the deck by tapping it on its' end, as shade. Also, how to pick up the break in preparation for the shift, since the Erdnase description doesn't give you that information.

All of this is stuff that Charlie WAS secretive about, you're right again. And there's much more. Nowadays lots of gambling afficienados know what a bean-shooter is, but I wonder how many of them know that Charlie Miller designed/invented the device? Or that he was one of the targets of a Senate sub-committee investigation on interstate gambling? (Senator Estes Kefauver headed that committee, in the fifties...). Someone recently related a story about Vernon setting them up with Charlie, by sending the guy to Charlie to ask about "the table story", or something like that. It is another of the gambling jams that Charlie got himself into, and he was very touchy about it.

Anyway, thanks for making me think about Charlie and Dai and the relationship they had in a slightly different way. Sometimes we get too close to something and a new perspective is all it takes to put things in the right light...

Best, PSC
"You can't steal a gift..." Dizzy Gillespie
Michael Ammar
View Profile
Creative Spotlight Guest
83 Posts

Profile of Michael Ammar
Hi Paul,

I'm glad you took it in the way that it was intended. Sometimes people can be very touchy about people they were close to, and I didn't want to imply in any way that Charlie didn't deserve to be highly respected. It's just hard to know where to place someone when they hide their skills under a basket! Sure makes me wish I had a chance to see some of the stuff Johnny talks about that Charlis could do!
Eddini_81976
View Profile
Inner circle
2185 Posts

Profile of Eddini_81976
If I could interject, I think Charlie Miller was one of THE BEST cardmen around, though I'm not too familiar with his stuff. Glen Bishop has a great 5 minute clip of him. If you go through my posts, I asked about him and others using chaeting for profit. Someone said "He May Have", and related a story. I guess he was to be a "Dealer" in a game, but he arrived like 10 minutes late or something and he found dead people in the place he was to deal. AGAIN LOOK UP MY POSTS ON THAT, to see who wrote it and what exactly was written, as I hate rumors. This person though seems to know what he was talking about. Anyway Mr. Millers works on the Pull-Through in the Hugard book was great. I just don't get the fasination with Erdnase I guess. While I'll admit I've just skimmed the book, I think the Hugard and Braue book is better. It's thicker for one and seems to teach a lot more. The other book seems to be more Gambling related. I'll still get it, but I really like Hugard & Braue's "Expert at the Card Table". Anyway I'm NOT saying Vernon was over-rated not at all. I just think Miller was TOO Under-Rated especially for his great technique. Like I said all I know is what I've read on him, that 5 minute clip on Glen Bishop's site (WATCH IT if you haven't already), and stories here that people say. Mr. Vernon, Marlo...ECT was great but it seems all you hear is mostly about them 2 and hardly anything on Charlie Miller. It's just a little sad is all. Again about above look at my posts on "The Card greats and Cheating" or something of that nature. Thanks just my 2 cents, Ed, (Eddini).

Okay I went back, here is the link.

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......;forum=2
"Treat Others As You'd Want To Be Treated" - Jesus Christ
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The April 2006 entrée: Michael Ammar » » Charlie Miller... » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes)
<<< Previous Topic Next Topic >>>
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001- 2014 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.095876 seconds, requiring 24 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

[1] [0] [6] [6] [5] [3] [9] [8] [8] [8]