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Mick Ayres
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In Dodd Vicker's interview with Jim Callahan on Magic Newswire, Jim mentioned that he was given a copy of Henning Nelms' book "Magic and Showmanship" when he was young and the book still influences his presentations today.

I can understand that. Nelms' book is one of the most dog-eared ones on my shelf and is always within easy reach. For me, "Magic and Showmanship" transformed me from a trickster into a theatrical conjuror. When I transitioned from magic to mentalism, it was the first book I went back and reviewed.

Here's what's interesting: Dodd said that in ALL the interviews he has done, Callahan's mention of Nelms' book is the FIRST TIME it has been brought up. If that is true, then it could be a telling statement about the current status of conjuring.

My question is: WHY? Of all the books to overlook, why would that one be at the back of the shelf...especially for working pros?

Mick
THE FIVE OBLIGATIONS OF CONJURING: Study. Practice. Script. Rehearse. Perform. Drop one and you're done.
IAIN
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I freely admit to never having read it (though I did put in an order last night) - I read the dr. wiseman one about the psychology of magic...but never this...always heard of henning nelms, just one of those books I just never got round to buying...i've always taken my influences from films and books though...not all obviously, but a good old chunk...

harlequin
medusa touch
magic

those three can teach you a lot about presentation and delivery...
Greg Arce
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That was one of my early books, along with The Amateur Magician's Handbook. I considered those books my first REAL books in magic. I read and reread them more times than I can count.

Greg
One of my favorite quotes: "A critic is a legless man who teaches running."
Steve Suss
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Great book. Changed my magic forever. It tought me to think out every detail in my performances. It should be required reading for any magician/mentalist.

Steve
magicnewswire
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I am always thrilled when someone brings up a name that hasn't come up before. Tarbell has come up quite a bit as has the Royal Road to Card Magic and various Mulholland pieces. The Henning Nelms book is great and I too am surprised that it had not yet been mentioned prior to that interview.
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Mick Ayres
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Greg, do you remember Kirk Stiles from our younger days in south Florida? Since you brought up Henry Hay's "Amateur Magician's Handbook" it reminded me that Kirk felt every conjuror should have to memorize the chapter called "The Magic State of Mind" and recite it to gain membership in any magic organization. Always thought that was wise.

Iain, thanks for the tip. I've never heard of your three recommendations either. Can you supply author's names?

Mick
THE FIVE OBLIGATIONS OF CONJURING: Study. Practice. Script. Rehearse. Perform. Drop one and you're done.
Greg Arce
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Of course, I remember Kirk. We had a club that was filled with some brilliant guys that have been forgotten in these days: Kirk Stiles, Ace Gorham, Morty Rudnick, Duke Stern... and Syd Bergson.

Greg
One of my favorite quotes: "A critic is a legless man who teaches running."
piraino
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Magic and Showmanship is an excellent book. When I was a kid I had over a half dozen magic books, and that's the only one I read cover to cover, every single word. Great teaching, and extremely well written.
mormonyoyoman
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Goodness, I never have forgotten Nelms! (That's "Smellin'" spelled sideways, sort of.) And his book is so inexpensive too - plus, it's easy to find!

Him, Tarbell, Hay (Mussey) -- with those three for a foundation, you cover most of magic and the skill of acting (insofar as magic).

*jeep!
--Grandpa Chet

(PS: Don't forget Hay's widow's book about Mussey, over at http://www.Lybrary.com with the Grandpa Chet epilogue.)
#ShareGoodness #ldsconf
Thomas Henry
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Hi All,

Quote:
On 2009-11-19 15:03, Mick Ayres wrote:
I can understand that. Nelms' book is one of the most dog-eared ones on my shelf and is always within easy reach.


Talk about dog-eared...

I'm an academic sort (college teacher by day, would-be carny the rest of the time) and always drill my students in whatever they're learning to "gloss" their text books. If you haven't heard the term, to gloss means to scribble marginalia in the book you are reading to explain obscure passages, provide intermediate steps in an argument, cross-reference to other sources, etc.

Anyway, my copy of Nelms has more glossing than text at this point---literally. In fact, for the past 12 years I've been working on an annotated Nelms, but am nowhere near the quarter point in the project.

I read this book when it first came out (I bought my copy at the Iowa State University bookstore in 1970 or thereabouts) and still consider it the most important tome in my mentalism library, with T. A. Waters not far behind for the same reason. In my estimation these two books stand out in mentalism for focusing on appearances, not methods.

Thomas Henry
Philemon Vanderbeck
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I constantly recommend this book to any performer.
Professor Philemon Vanderbeck
That Creepy Magician
"I use my sixth sense to create the illusion of possessing the other five."
IAIN
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Mick - the ones I mentioned were films my friend...

harlequin - robert powell, late 70s early 80s update of the Rasputin story...
medusa touch - richard Burton, author with powerful thoughts, enough to cause planes to crash and buildings to crumble...
magic - anthony hopkins, magician/vent act, but hides a secret...and has the best ever presentation of DO as I Do you'll ever see..bit intense...

watching those 3 actors have given me lots of pointers in how to hold a gaze, when to smile, when to build up the mystery...
Mick Ayres
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Iain, it's been a long time since I watched the film 'Magic'. I remember it being as creepy as the book. You're right, though...wonderful lessons there about presenting magic from an actor's point-of-view. I will certainly track down the latter two. Thanks for the lead.

Greg, I remember Ace, Syd and Morty and others. Lou Tannen and Fantasio were regulars, too. It felt like everyone who had contributed to Tarbell 7 had retired and moved to Miami. Those were halcyon days.

Best,
Mick
THE FIVE OBLIGATIONS OF CONJURING: Study. Practice. Script. Rehearse. Perform. Drop one and you're done.
Stuart Cumberland
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Flashback: I'm 14 years old in the Arcade Magic and Novelty Store in Toronto. Sophie Smith hands me the book and says, if you're serious about being a performer, you must have this book.

I didn't want it. I wanted tricks. But for any of you who ever went in her store, you'll understand it when I say that you couldn't just buy something in her store. If you wanted Linking Rings and you didn't know much about magic... she wouldn't sell them to you. I kid you not.

In hindsight, she did magic a big favor. I've benefited so much from that book, I'm grateful that she forced me to buy it. Smile

If you get the book, and study it, you'll become a much better performer.
Stuart Cumberland
Greg Arce
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Mick, Fantasio & Paul Diamond soon became my mentors. Fantasio lived about a mile or so from me and I spent many Sundays hanging out as his place. He is amazing.

Let's not forget that the legendary Millard Longman belonged to our ring too.

Greg
One of my favorite quotes: "A critic is a legless man who teaches running."
Bedford
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I still refer to this great book, which I bought 35 years ago for a whopping $3.95.
Slim King
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I also have it ... I actually read some too Smile
THE MAN THE SKEPTICS REFUSE TO TEST FOR ONE MILLION DOLLARS
JoeBlack
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Are there any other books out there like this one that people recommend?
Steve Suss
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Maximum Entertainment by Ken Weber
Strong Magic by Darwin Ortiz
Magic Incorporated by Chuck Hickock
Scripting Magic-McCabe(?)

Now days with the DVD generation you get much less theory. There is some theory discussed but the DVD's generally consist of many effects. With books there were chapters and even entire books devoted to theory. Once I started learning the theories behind my magic and mentalism my performances improved dramatically.

Steve
magicnewswire
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Quote:
On 2009-11-20 17:35, Greg Arce wrote:
Mick, Fantasio & Paul Diamond soon became my mentors. Fantasio lived about a mile or so from me and I spent many Sundays hanging out as his place. He is amazing.

Let's not forget that the legendary Millard Longman belonged to our ring too.

Greg


I knew that you looked familiar Greg. ;-)

Did you catch the chat that I did with Mr. Humble?
Dodd Vickers

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