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The Amazing Mr. H
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On 2011-09-06 18:51, J.Warrens wrote:
Chatterbox: I would say there is. The "Anything Deck" is worth the price of admission alone.

What I find real interesting is in examining the small number of effects that were left out of inclusion in the AOA books. That alone, is very revealing.

One thing I think is a real radical concept is Paul's thoughts on how to make a person disappear. It's like the old double-agent double-cross [squared]. Amazing insight into how the mind of Mr. Harris works.

So, despite the fact that I have the originals, I enjoyed them quite immensely.


Enlighten me, please. What is the differnce between originals and non-originals. Were the books reedited? What printing # marks the divide? Thanks!
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McSweeney
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Quote:
On 2011-09-06 20:01, The Amazing Mr. H wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-09-06 18:51, J.Warrens wrote:
Chatterbox: I would say there is. The "Anything Deck" is worth the price of admission alone.

What I find real interesting is in examining the small number of effects that were left out of inclusion in the AOA books. That alone, is very revealing.

One thing I think is a real radical concept is Paul's thoughts on how to make a person disappear. It's like the old double-agent double-cross [squared]. Amazing insight into how the mind of Mr. Harris works.

So, despite the fact that I have the originals, I enjoyed them quite immensely.


Enlighten me, please. What is the differnce between originals and non-originals. Were the books reedited? What printing # marks the divide? Thanks!


Things were omitted, things were added, descriptions were cleaned up. Full indexes can be found at various places.
pepka
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After Royal Road, these were my first SERIOUS magic books. They were just coming out as I was getting serious and I just had to have them. In retrospect, that may not have been the best purchase, as I didn't understand a lot then, but this collection is a TREASURE for the serious card/coin worker.
molsen
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Mr. H, just to clarify, the AOA books themselves were not revised, they are a collection of lots of other smaller publications. During that collection process some editing and sorting was done. Some effects were left out and some were added. Also many illustrations are new. I don't know exactly which as I do not own the smaller publications. Here is the editors note from AOA volume 1:

"Obviously, this set of books covers a huge amount of material written over a wide span of time. We have tried to maintain the flavor of Paul's writing as it evolved over the years, while keeping a cohesiveness to the overal project. Thus, you may notice changes in style, even changes in grammar."

In the "Phoot-in-mouth-note" Paul explains:

"Close to fifty effects have been cut from the previously-published material because either more elegant versions have evolved or because the original effect was genetically mediocre. How I ever had the nerve to publish some of that stuff is a source of constant inspiration to me. A select few of these dubious pieces have been included to promote the art of discernment and because they make me smile. Introductions and essays have been shortened, altered or deleted at my whim."

I just had the feeling that someone might get the idea that there were two versions of the AOA books, that is not the case.

I couldn't find a good index of the books online, so I quickly typed this up. These are the sections in each book (sans the actual effects/articles):

AOA Vol 1:
* New Stuff
* First Piece (1973)
* The Magic of Paul Harris (1976)
* Paul Harris Reveals Some of His Most Intimate Secrets (1976)
* Super Magic (1977)
* Las Vegas Close-Up (1978)
* Misc. Pieces of Paul (1985)
* Astonishing Friends
* Gregory Wilson
* Conversations From the Edge

AOA Vol 2:
* New Stuff
* Connections
* Close-Up Entertainer (1979)
* Close-Up Fantasies I & II (1980)
* Misc. Pieces of Paul
* Astonishing Friends
* Conversations From the Edge

AOA Vol 3:
* New Stuff
* Close-Up Fantasies Finale (1981)
* Close-Up Kinda Guy (1983)
* Brainstorm in the Bahamas (1983)
* Close-Up Seductions (1984)
* Magical Arts Journal (1987)
* Secrets of the Astonishing Executive (1991)
* Misc. Pieces of Paul
* Astonishing Friends
* Conversations from the Edge

Hope this helps some people Smile

Those who ordered AOA and is awaiting delivery, you are in for a real treat! Perhaps the anticipation makes it difficult, but get as much sleep as possible while waiting. Once the books arrive, you will be up into to the small hours of the morning reading Smile

Michael
J.Warrens
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Thanks guys for taking care of answering that for Mr. H in my absence.

Couldn't have done better myself! Smile

Cheers.
molsen
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LOL, you are welcome Smile

So, now it is "magicians helping magicians helping magicians"? Smile
The Amazing Mr. H
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Thank you, molson!

I've been looking into these. Last year, I received the VHS tape of AoA #1 as a free gift with some order that I placed from one of the online magic shops. I thought that Paul was a hoot on it. Right away, I made up my Bicycle card box and use a stub pencil instead of a Tic Tac for one trick. BTW, does anyone know who that guy is in the video with the glasses. He is in my J. C. Wagner DVD, too. He is the one that keeps pushing his glasses up on his forehead like goggles.
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Chatterbox41
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Thanks to all of you! I guess I'll have to break down and buy them just to complete my collection!

Gary
The Amazing Mr. H
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I just ordered the set. Let's see if I can make good.
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J.Warrens
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I usually don't offer people advice on which books or products to buy, because if they're not happy at the end, it can come back to bite you in the behind.

In the case of these books, it is one that I have no reservations in recommending. I have yet to meet a soul who wasn't thrilled with them - particularly if they have never been exposed to Paul's material.

Let me know how it works out for ya! Smile

Molsen: magicians helping magicians helping magicians for sure!
Blueroyalty
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Quote:
On 2011-09-06 18:51, J.Warrens wrote:
Chatterbox: I would say there is. The "Anything Deck" is worth the price of admission alone.


Definitely! I've absolutely amazed so many people with this deck. I didn't make it up until about 3 years after I got the set, and now have been using the same deck for about 8 years now...
Ximines
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Ok - forgive me, for I am about to state something that some may consider blasphemous: my first trip through Paul Harris' material left me cold. (I'm ducking now, for fear of being beaten about the head and neck with a broken milk pitcher)

Don't get me wrong, I thought Paul's writing was highly amusing, but I just couldn't imagine myself actually performing the material. I've been a serious hobbyist for over 30 years. Primarily a card-man, I currently perform effects culled from the published works of Lorayne, Bannon, Aronson, Vernon, Ammar, Curry, Dingle, Garcia, and many, many others. So I'd like to believe that I'm sufficiently experienced to appreciate good effects when I read them. It's just that I haven't found Paul's effects to be ... practical?

So... given that so many consider Paul Harris' material to be the 'be all/end all' of close up magic, esp. card magic, what am I missing? Where is my blind spot? How could I have committed such an awful act of apostacy in my odyssey of card-magic?? Should I even be allowed to live and call myself a magician at this point?

I admittedly Paul Harris' books many years ago - but I'm game to dive back in if y'all tell what to look for.

So - help out a sinner! And thanks in advance for your suggestions.

-David
BarryFernelius
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Hi David,

Have you ever had the chance to see Paul perform his stuff live?

-Barry
"I don't teach people stories about the coyote for them to tell. I AM the coyote. They tell stories about me."

-Pop Haydn
Dr. JK
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On 2011-09-08 15:15, Ximines wrote:
Ok - forgive me, for I am about to state something that some may consider blasphemous: my first trip through Paul Harris' material left me cold. (I'm ducking now, for fear of being beaten about the head and neck with a broken milk pitcher)

Don't get me wrong, I thought Paul's writing was highly amusing, but I just couldn't imagine myself actually performing the material. I've been a serious hobbyist for over 30 years. Primarily a card-man, I currently perform effects culled from the published works of Lorayne, Bannon, Aronson, Vernon, Ammar, Curry, Dingle, Garcia, and many, many others. So I'd like to believe that I'm sufficiently experienced to appreciate good effects when I read them. It's just that I haven't found Paul's effects to be ... practical?

So... given that so many consider Paul Harris' material to be the 'be all/end all' of close up magic, esp. card magic, what am I missing? Where is my blind spot? How could I have committed such an awful act of apostacy in my odyssey of card-magic?? Should I even be allowed to live and call myself a magician at this point?

I admittedly Paul Harris' books many years ago - but I'm game to dive back in if y'all tell what to look for.

So - help out a sinner! And thanks in advance for your suggestions.

-David


I for one am not upset with you! Try Overkill sometime (if you're into "easy", yet entertaining card tricks). It was my first effect from these books, and I still love it. Try it and see if you don't feel the same. There are plenty of other good ones, but thought I'd throw that out there first. Best of luck!
- Jeff
J.Warrens
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David: there's nothing wrong with your opinion. The only problem with expressing opinions is when one tries to force his or her opinion down the throat of another. Since you aren't doing that, I don't see any reason why anyone would want to throw a milk pitcher at your head - so you have nothing to fear! Smile

I don't think anybody here is trying to say that they are the "be all\end all" books in card magic, but rather, that the books are a good source of material that is widely liked.

If you have the AOA set, the section that is essentially Michael Ammar's "Magical Arts Journal" reprinted is most excellent for starters. The Version of "Tap Dancing Aces" there is a bit different than in the original publication and is much better than the original in my opinion. Then, there is Paul's "Real-World Invisible Palm." What card-man doesn't do a version of this Jennings classic?

"Whack your Pack" is totally fun for a lay audience - a great premise that can be set-up with a gameshow feel to it, and has lots of drama and suspense built in. Paul's Linking Card effect - "The Immaculate Connection" is simply excellent and was (when first created) a completely revolutionary routine that still holds up well today.

"Overkill" is a great routine that is still found in the repertoires of many today. "Re-Set" is another modern classic that has spawned numerous variations.

I could go on for a good deal more, but I believe that even this small selection presented here is a good representation of Paul's work.
Even so, you may still decide that it's not for you - and that's ok, because that's what makes you an individual.

And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Smile

Cheers.
Ximines
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Barry - I have not seen Paul perform live - do you think that will change my outlook on his material?

Jeff - thanks for the suggestion -- I will re-read Overkill (Close-up Fantasies, Book 1, right?). If I recall, it's a largely self-working prediction trick, with multiple 'reinforcers' which prove convincingly that you knew in advance what the spectator was going to pick. My reaction to this trick, with all due respect to Mr. Harris, is that it needs something *more*. Otherwise, to me it's just a fancy f**ce of a card, and it feels like I'm hitting the spectator over the head repeatedly, leaving them no other explanation than that I somehow f**ced their selection (which I in fact did). If I'm going to perform a trick which relies upon a card f**ce, I feel it needs additional window dressing to camouflage the method (or perhaps make the f**ce incidental to a sub-plot of the routine). Alternatively, if I'm going to perform a trick that leaves the audience with only 1 explanation, I want the f**ce to be ultra convincing (e.g., use a psychological-type f**ce, with multiple 'outs'. I guess you can tell by my response that "easy" card tricks aren't usually my bag. But I want to approach this with an open mind. What are your thoughts?
BarryFernelius
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On 2011-09-08 16:29, Ximines wrote:
Barry - I have not seen Paul perform live - do you think that will change my outlook on his material?


Michael Ammar put out an issue of the Magical Arts Journal devoted to Paul Harris's Act. To get a better feeling for what a Paul Harris performance might have looked like, the MAJ issue is a good place to start.

Most of the magicians who have an irrational love of Paul's material have seen Paul perform it live. (Irrational love is the best kind of love.) Paul's laid back performance persona was charming, whimsical and magical. Paul's character was a thoughtful shy person who was pretending to be confident in front of his audience. He was a huggable, lovable guy with an offbeat sense of humor.

I think that many magicians from 1970s and 1980s performed Paul's material because they secretly wanted to be Paul. (At one time, my friend Eric Mead could channel Paul. It was uncanny.)

Some of Paul's stuff is reasonably easy to adapt to your character. 'Whack Your Pack' can be a real showpiece in the right hands. I love Paul's 'Invisible Palm.' (Somewhere, Larry Jennings is spinning in his grave.) 'The Anything Deck' (and its variants) could be used to start a new religion, if you're so inclined. If you're interested in re-visiting Paul Harris material, I'd recommend starting with these representative pieces.
"I don't teach people stories about the coyote for them to tell. I AM the coyote. They tell stories about me."

-Pop Haydn
Justin W
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Quote:
On 2011-09-08 15:15, Ximines wrote:
Don't get me wrong, I thought Paul's writing was highly amusing, but I just couldn't imagine myself actually performing the material.


You're not alone. Paul's material is fun and amusing, but a recent revisitation of AoA with older eyes made me realize it wasn't the great masterstroke I felt it was when I was a kid. There's a chunk of some truly great, workable stuff, but the majority of it felt unfinished or unworkable or just plain bad.

Still love those books, though. Paul's quite a guy.
Chatterbox41
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I had seen "Reveals His Innermost Secrets" cover and never bothered to look beyond it. Then I walked into my local magic shop where there was a guy named Dan Garrett demonstrating behind the counter. He ran through a really dynamite routine of effects and had worked into the patter the names of all the effects and the books they came from. Was totally floored by the Paul Harris effect in the routine.

A couple years later I worked at a restaurant doing close-up along with several other area magicians. One night I took my then wife for dinner and Paul Sponaugle performed for us. Again, blown away by his handling of some Paul Harris effects.

I've been a believer ever since and bought the whole collection. Sadly the only time I've ever seen Paul live was at a lecture in the early 80's.

Gary
Ximines
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J. Warrens - thank you so much for your response, and your suggestions! I'm going to go back through the AoA books with your post in mind. I guess what I was trying to convey, albeit poorly, with my initial post, is that when it comes to Paul Harris' material, I feel like I just don't "get it". I love the 'ah ha!' moments I experience when I read Aronson, Ortiz, Bannon, Richardson, Lorayne, Carney, Regal, Maven and many other authors' material. I'm hit with a sense of awe at the disguised cleverness, practicality and elegance of effect. Not so much when I read Paul Harris' books. Accordingly, none of his effects have found their way into my repertoire. Yet so many people absolutely RAVE about Paul Harris! It leads me to believe that I've got a blind spot. He is no doubt a genious, but I'm having trouble appreciating his way of thinking. Not to get too philosophical, but - in your opinion (and anyone else's opinion who cares to chime in - what is it about Harris' material that sets him apart from others in the field?
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