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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The April 2006 entrée: Michael Ammar » » My favorite Ammar stuff... » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Eddini_81976
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Okay below in " " is a bit of my Magical Background ONLY just so you get a feel for me and the type of Magic I do. Then below will be my specific comments and questions for you. Sorry it's a lot to read but I'm a "DEtailed"..lol, person by nature.

"A Biographical Sketch Of Me As A Magician.

Anyway, I've been into Magic, Mentalism, and Escapology, for 15
years. I do the ocassional show, but MOSTLY, I'm s "Street
Performer". I've done it 9 years now in the same spot, and got my
regulars. My specialties, are Cards, and Mentalism. In my younger
years, I read on Harry Houdini, (8 Bios), and that's what got me
into Magic at about 15 years of age. I was born & raised in Florida.
I was big into "Underwater Escapes" in pools 8 feet or deeper. I
moved up here in N.H. in 8/94 with my Dad passing away. My parents
divorced at age 10, so my Mom, was up here. I moved up here like 5
days shy of my 18th B-Day. I lived with her for 22 months. I was
always SAFE doing my Underwater Stuff, as I had two people who would
dive in if I wasn't up in two minutes. I had it taped once up here
and once down there. I haven't done that in like 9 years now. I've
ONLY done it 30 times without incident, but just 4 times since being
up here. I used to have security and police handcuff me, or have
people tie me up anyway they want with 100 feet of rope, to trees,
mummy style, to chairs, or benches. I'm also, into Cards. I love
GREAT CARD MAGIC. They say you shouldn't mix mentalism and cards. I
do though. I HIGHLY respect Richard Osterlind. He does the same type
of stuff. His goal is to create wonder, and "Mind Mysteries".

Some of my FAVORITE Card Men are, Michael Ammar, Bill Malone, Martin
Nash, Bill Malone, Jay Sankey, Paul Harris, Allan Ackerman, John
Bannon, David Regal, James Swain...Ect...Ect. Some of my
favorite "Card Effects" are:
1. Red Hot Mamma, (or a Card Turning into another card between the
palms of a spectator.
2. MacDonald's Aces
3. Ambitious Card, to Card to (Mullica) Wallet.
4. My Version of Remember and Forget, and Title Bout with people 10
cards.
5. In a Flash.
6. Brainwave.
7. De Tour De Force.
8. Mind Power Deck.
9. Mental Photography.
10. S.U.M. Deck
I could go on and on. I'd like to get into Strolling, and Table to
Table Magic / Mentalism. I have trouble with "Selling Myself". My
Self-Esteem, and Confidence could be higher. I usually wind up
charging too little. I'm always scared that I'll quote to high, and
then get turned down. Like I did, One Hour Luncheon for 60 people
(like 10 tables), at this very old / restored, Hotel (Wentworth By
The Sea), that's like **** (Four Stars) for Liberty Mutual. I
charged $150.00. I just do local stuff, as I've NEVER owned a Car.
Since 1998 I've been on Disability for Bipolar (Manic-Depressive),
and Panic Attack Disorder. I take my meds as I'm suppose to. My
dream is to be "Discovered", or something. I don't want HUGE fame,
or MILLIONS of Dollars. Just local fame (which I got some of) would
be good. Starting This July (2006) after paying over $500.00 Ill
have a nice Four-Lined add running under Magicians for 1 Year. For
Shows and Per Hour I charge anywhere from $150.00-$250.00, that's
pretty cheap too for Magicians in my area. Ill FINALLY be getting
TONS of gigs like 5-10 a month maybe more Im not sure.

. I've really gotten into Mentalism. It's about the ONLY type of
Magic that you can do that people can really believe in. I love Card
Mentalism, a little Cold Reading, Book Tests, and so on. I'm also
into Metal Bending. I do Psychokinetic Silverware, from Banachek. I
also like doing Key Bending (The Dennis Mark's Method off of
Banachek's PSI SERIES 4) Just so you know what books / videos I have
I'll list them just so you know what material I do know a little
about. I should say, I'm AGAINST, Stooges, (with T.V. I'm Against
Stooges, Editing, Pre-Show Work and Camera tricks), and Pre-Show
work, UNLESS like in a Osterlind (volume 4 of Mind Mysteries), you
tell the audience what happened. Anyway here if the stuff. DVD'S /
Videos.
1. Bob Cassidy's "Mental Miracles"
2. Banachek's "Psychokinetic Silverware".
3. Osterlind's "Mind Mysteries" all 4 volumes.
4. Banachek's "Psi Series", 1,2, and
4. 5. Max Maven's "Videomind" Phases, One & Two.
6. Ted Lesley's "Mentalism Video".
7. Larry Becker's "Mental Miracles".
8. John Tremaine's "Close-Up Mental Act". Again plus MORE.

The Books I got are :
1. 13 Steps to Mentalism (Which I like a little better ther Pratical
Mental Effects).
2. Practical Mental Effects.
3. Larry Becker's "World of Super Mentalism".
4. Theater of the Mind "Barry Richardson".
5. Paramiracles "Ted Lesley".
6. Karges Connection "Craig Karges".
7. Prism "Max Maven".
8. You TOO Can Read Minds II "George Anderson". (I didn't like the
book, too much with stooges).
9. Tarbel Courses 4 & 6.
10. T.A. Waters "Mind Myth & Magick" (I cannot praise this
INCREDIBLE Piece of WORK Enough)!!!
11. A couple of E-Books by Osterlind.
12. Richard Busch's "Peak Performances". So that's some of the stuff
I've read. I want to know if anyone has Banachek's "PSI Series 1"?
He has THE BEST Peak I use ALL THE TIME, that is easy, like 60%
Angle-Proof. He uses it in his Close-Up Picture Duplication. One of
my favorite routines if 4th Dimensional Telepathy. I do a book Test
with a Two Way (See Through) Change Bag, The Mind Power Deck...ect.
I have a few I like. One for Tricks, One for DVD's / VIDEOS, One for
BOOKS. Maybe some of you have some of the stuff I have. I just
listed more or less the more significant stuff in my ever-growing
collection". (Thanks again Mr. Ammar for your reading that.

Right now I have your ETMCM 1-9, Magic, Mastery & You, and Early Ammar tapes. I'll go through each one and name my favorite tricks out of each one.

(I have reviewed ALL these in the reviews sections 7-9 at least but I do believe I did all 9 BTW)

Magic Mastery & You, is just so great. I agree with your "Garden Path" approach. My "Scotch & Soda", I call the "Ultra Clean Version Of SCotch & Soda. I bring out the coins, and I show my hands completely empty and even allow my hands to be examined. I show the difference in coin size. I even make a "Magic Moment. MOst will say emtpy or show the coins. I actually ask for the big coin, and with that I wave it over the "Quarter" in the closed fist. That way they know the specific time it changed. AFter giving them the coins I show my hands empty. (Also my RULE is I always perform without sleaves. I even use a pocket watch). Anyway at the end the coins are examined..

1) Early Ammar Volume One - (BTW all your stuff is pretty much GOLDEN I'm just pointing out my faves).
A) Iceman Commeth
B) Billy Balloon.

2) Early Ammar Volume Two -
A) Yeast Card
B) Card On Ceiling
C) $2 Bill Into 2 Ones

3) Early Ammar Volume Three -
A) (I'll admit I'm not much of a coin guy) Black Hole
B) Coin In Bottle. My favorite coin in bottle is by Richard Osterlind though. Have you seen is?
C) Coin To Key
D) Pencil Through Quarter

4)Early Ammar Volume Four - (Ahhh Cards My FAVORITE...lol)
A) Bluefield Debut
B) Hindu Bottom Force. (I use this instead of flashing the bottom card method, That, The Under The Spread Cull Force and the SLip FOrce are the 3 I use 99% of the time).
C) Side Steal. (IT was from THIS TAPE and NOT the Marlo Book on the subject where most Master it, is where I learned the Side Steal. It's like my TOP TWO favorite control, Thanks).
D) Kosby (Or is it Kosky) Switch
E) Inversion, the Cardini Snap is the most visual of the three.
F) J.K. Pop-Out. I've ALWAYS loved this revelation, but no matter how much I practice I just can't get it.
G) Visually Yours.


1. ETMCM Volume One - (This was the first one I bought and had the most time with so it'll always be my favorite volume. BEfore buying this tape in 1998 I always picked the double OFF THE DECK. Now I do the Vernon Lift. This is the one move that I use the most and which has lifted my Magic higher).
A) Red Hot Mama, this is like one of my TOP 5 Signature Tricks. I do the hindu force as I said above. With the second Card I do it as mentalism and pull it out of my Top Hat, a Hot Girl's Shoe, Pocket...ECT. I also control the card for instant reset. I always keep a Red Hott Set-Up with me.
B) Triumph, I use the Sankey Slop Shuffle instead.
C) Further Than That. I don't think this trick is effective UNLESS you do a couple false shuffles and cuts though.
D) Cannible Cards, this has to be the most inreresting of plots and stories to me...lol.

2) ETMCM Volume Two -
A) Twisting The Aces
B) Daley's Last Trick
C) The Amitious Card (Then to Mullica Wallet)
D) MacDonald's Aces, This again is one of my Top 5 signature Tricks, and often use as a finale. I basically to your routine. However I'll put the leader pile with it's "Three Indifferent Cards" in a previously empty card case and they put it in their own pocket. So you have a STRONG transposition. I've never seen anyone else do it that way. The first card I do a DL, I do a Elmsley for the second, and for the third the card goes between the hands and chand. IT KILLS!!!

3) ETMCM Volume Three -
A) Haunted Pack
B) Between The Palms
C) Jazz Aces, Darwin Ortis "Is THe MAN" IMHO as far as cards and this effect ROCKS ON!!!
D) Color Changing Deck, though I like Doc Eason's version a little better (No Offence)

4) ETMCM Volume Four -
A) Your Signed Card, EXTREMELY Powerful
B) Reset
C) Untouched
D) Lazy Man's Card Trick
E) Card Through Table, this kills!!!
F) Dr. Daley's Gambler vs. Magician

5) ETMCM Volume Five -
A) Henry Christ's Ace Trick
B) Torn & Restored Card
C) Grasshopper, funny Patter.
D) Paramount, This is one on the best "Printing Effects" I've ever seen.

6) ETMCM Volume Six -
A) Close-Up Illusion, very visual
B) Play It Straight Triumph
C) Jumping Gemini, I wonder is Darwin is a Gemini. I'm into that. I wish I knew the "Signs" of LOTS of Magicians. I know you are a Cancer...lol. You never see Magicians Bios though really saying B-Days though. Sankey, Malone, Harris, and Regal I wish I knew their Signs / B-Dats. Like me though Daryl is a Leo...HaHaHa.
D) Impossible
F) Card on Forehead although O prefer Malone's Card on Hand by Kaps.

7) ETMCM Volume Seven -
A) 2 Shuffles Harry although for the life of me I can't do a Zarrow. I can do a puch-though okay.
B) Mind Reading Chicken
C) Future Deck, I really LOVE THIS!!!
D) $2,000 Transpo, I've always done the Sankey Method.

8) ETMCM Volume Eight - Out of the three this was my least favorite no offense.
A) Comedy Rising Card. This actually got me. I'd like to do it as a straight effect somehow though, as it's good.
B) Kard In Tie, very killer, it's just I woek EXTREMELY cose-up as a street worker and it would be impractical for me to do. I perform AT LEAST like 70% surrounded.
C) This is great again so Close-Up I'd be uncomfortable doing this.
D) Lewis's Rising Cards - As I LOVE THIS again it's impracticle for me to do.

9) ETMCM Volume Nine - (My Personal Favorite of these NEW THREE)
A) Open Production
B) The Visitor, Probable like my all-time favorite on these three as well as two shuffles Harry.
C) Vacuum Cleaner Cards, You GOT TO love the patter.
D) All The Nonconformists
E) Deception Percepion, what a STRONG TRICK.
F) The 110 lb Card Trick, Again GREAT PATTER.
G) Triple Prediction

Anyway Mike (OR do you like Mr. Ammar, or Michael?) Those are the highlights of what I PERSONALLY got out of your tapes. Your stuff is so great and I raved a lot here on my LOVE for your Magic, and you as a person, and a Magician. I loved your "Rollover Aces" too on the World's Greatest Magic. I get more from videos as I have trouble understanding what I read at times. Here are other volumes I've gotten lots from too. Please tell me what you think of them as I'm sure you've seen the series.

1) David Regals First 3 Volume Set
2) Bill Malones Set (I LOVE his stuff plus he has great laughs and energy).
3) The Very Best "Jay Sankey" (Again this guy is SO FUNNY and GREAT Stuff!!!)
4) Ackerman's Advanced Card Control Series, Volumes 3, 5, and 8.
5) Darwin Ortiz's "At The Table" (As I said Darwin is my favorite. He is great, with great presentations. Are you a big Ortiz Fan Michael?)
6) Darwin Ortiz's "Card Shark" I like this series a little better as it's more magic than "Gambling Routines".
7) Martin Nash's "Set". This guy is VERY GOOD. He is the MASTER of the Push Through.
8) John Bannon's "Two Videos", he's great and is Detour De Force really kills as each method cancels the other one out. He has some great stuff.
9) Osterlind's "Mind Series Tapes" Please BUY THEM if you haven't yet...lol.
10) Banachek's "PSI Series" again a MUST have even if you are not into mentalism
11) Max Maven's "Videomind Series" Again awesome stuff. Michael are you familiar with the Effct "The Mockingbird" and have you done it or like it?
12) Paul Harris (Close-Up Astonishmint Series Volume 4 & 7 so far). Again great stuff.

(Again as you are one of my TOP THREE Favorite Magicians, so there is SOOO MUCH I've wanted to ask you and tell you about myself, so sorry this is probably the LONGEST post you'll be answering. Anywhoo here are a few questions I want to ask you. I thank you SINCERELY in ADVANCE for your answers).

1) So can you tell me if you like those performers and thosae tapes if you have them. Also who are your OWN personal BIGGEST Magic influences?

2) Do you do Mentalism, including bending silverware and what Effects do you do, and (or) what are your favorite Mentalism Effects?

3) You ever get into Escapology?

4) What is your Criteria for BUying or coming up with Tricks?
(Mine Are...
1. You can perform it shirtless. (Without sleeves in other words) 2. You START, and END clean.
3. It is High Impact. One might argue that, that's the Magician's job. Not always so. Look at Hot Rod. Nice trick, but Scotch & Soda is MUCH more powerful....get what I mean? (This is the MOST important)
4. It's not too hard to perform, something of intermediate difficulty.
5. It can be examine AT LEAST at the end.
6. It is LEAST 60% Angle-Proof.
7. Great Audience Participation / Give-Aways like Anniversary Waltz another one of my Top 5 Signature Effects, and giving out Bent Forks. (When I originally wrote this I didn’t put this down though it’s important).

5. Now I read you wrote a Magician ONLY needs like a dozen tricks to Make a good living doing Magic. With me I can't do that. I CONSTANTLY have to learn and Buy new Effects, as I'm a "Street Magician", and I have regulars who expect something new every weekend. So with me I've learned lots of Effects but as I learn a New One I forget how to do a lder effect I've learned. Has that ever happen to you where you have to "ReLearn" a effect? What would you do in my shoes? (Oh yes FINALLY staring in July I got a 4-Line Add in the yellow pages...Yippeee!!!)

6. What is your view on Stooges? Myself I've COMPLETELY against them. The only exception is maybe having a friend examine gimmicked cuffs and say they're real when doing a Life-Threatening escape or Maybe in Stage Illusion as most illusionists do. In mentalism and in Close-Up...ECT I'm in the Osterlind School of thought and think it Cheapens Magic, Your Act...ECT.

7. How is Your Family? (Great I hope. I must say your wife is VERY PRETTY...lol, if I may be so BOLD to say so, and most of all she seems very sweet and has a great heart?

8. Now NOT performing style, and all of that but what EFFECT (again not presentation) do you absolutely dislike including plots.

Thanks that's it for now, if I have anymore questions, I'll ask. Again I'm star struck sorry this is so long.
Sincerely Yours, Ed, (Eddini ... Ooooowww) !!!
"Treat Others As You'd Want To Be Treated" - Jesus Christ
Eddini_81976
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I just wanted to say, Thanks for being here, and I thank you once again IN ADVANCE for reading and answering this Post, Your Friend, Ed, (Eddini).
"Treat Others As You'd Want To Be Treated" - Jesus Christ
NeoMagic
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Not that I'm putting any pressure on you or anything! Smile
See and download my latest free card-suits-themed desktop wallpaper | HERE
Eddini_81976
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No I wasn't really. I know my post is long...lol. It's as I said he's one of my Top Three Magicians AT LEAST...lol. He PMeD me and is getting to people in the order they wrote. I got no worries. Thanks, Ed, (Eddini).
"Treat Others As You'd Want To Be Treated" - Jesus Christ
Michael Ammar
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Wow -- I'm speechless.

Wouldn't it be funny to just end right there?

I won't do that because I appreciate the effort and thought that went into that. In particular, I liked hearing your take on so many of the individual titles I've done. I try to keep my eyes and thoughts on the next project, so I don't have much opportunity to look back at what I've done, so I enjoyed hearing your take on the material. I think you missed a few really great effects, but at the same time, the items you've listed constitute a really big performance repertoire, so it's not like you should feel pressure to add another half dozen items to your list of favorites.

As for your list of criteria for new material, I think it is a great idea to have a solid idea about the situations that you'll perform the material in. I am, in theory, with all the criteria you've listed, and at one time, my list was probably very close to yours.

But a few things have changed for me over the years, so I had to reconsider some of the items on that list. Before I get to that, here's a related thought -- have you noticed that in the beginning, the basic rules of magic all make good sense. Don't tell them what you are going to do. Never repeat an effect. Always end clean. That sort of thing.

But later on, you can make your magic much stronger when you break those rules. That telling people what is going to happen can make something even stronger, and that repeating an effect, as in the Ambitious Card or a Matrix with coins, is a wonderful theatrical device. And every once in a while, just ACTING like you are clean at the end instead of REALLY being clean can make your magic stronger.

I make this point because the criteria that makes sense for someone at a certain part of their career can get to a point where they should change. In the beginning, it makes sense to have a commando style of always ready material, so that you can perform over and over again if you need to.

But eventually, you should consider testing the upper limits of what you can charge for a given performance. If you do a good job with this, you will eventually earn enough for each performance to justify putting more time, money and effort into what you are doing.

This doesn't just mean you should buy illusions and start using assistants. There was a time when I didn't want to go to any extra, personalized effort for a particular client, but once I started charging a certain amount, I wanted to start doing things that showed the client I had put specific, personalized thought into that performance.

So while I agree with where you are coming from, at times I am simply willing to a bit more effort per performance than I did at one time. Otherwise, I don't do any escapes or mentalism at the moment. Someday I'll try a bit of mentalism, but I haven't really worked out all the ramifications that would result from having such powers, so I don't want to get into it. I think that for me, I would want to have a consistant thread connecting my back story with my powers, and that my demonstrations consistantly demonstrated those powers, and that I had a concise, believable explanation for why I'm revealing my powers at this time.

Otherwise, I'm not sure if I answered all your questions or not, but hopefully this gives you some idea where I'm coming from....
Eddini_81976
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Thanks you very much. I appreciate what you've written me, Your Pal, Ed, (Eddini).
"Treat Others As You'd Want To Be Treated" - Jesus Christ
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