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Topic: Ray Grismer
Message: Posted by: shazzy (Mar 28, 2005 02:11PM)
I want to know more about this legend. Heard he's worked with likes of Vernon. Can anybody please tell me more about this magician?!!
Is he known for any effects? Theres not much I can find about him on the net.
Message: Posted by: RS1963 (Mar 28, 2005 02:20PM)
I have only met him one or two times. The first time I met him he was with Dai Vernon, I met him and Vernon in a casino in Henderson, Nevada. I don't remember what they were in town for. I know Ray has written a few books and some of his effects such as Shorty have been on the market.
Message: Posted by: Paul Chosse (Mar 28, 2005 03:53PM)
Ray Grismer is a GREAT guy! I don't know him very well, but I have met him on several occasions. He was Vernon's piano teacher for a while. I think the deal was that they swapped lessons. Ray's daughter, Vicki, married Jeff Busby. Ray lives in Wallace, Idaho. I guess his family is from there, and after spending years in California, Ray retired to Idaho, where he lives today. His daughter and her husband also live there, and Jeff's business is located in Wallace as well.

Ray has published some wonderful material over the years. In fact, he is responsible for the wave of Ring On/Off Rope effects that we have seen over the last two decades. Lots of his material appeared in Charlie Miller's Magicana column, including his Ring and Rope stuff that sparked the craze.

He applied an idea of Vernon's to a Short Change Routine called "Shorty" and revived interest in that venerable old effect, streamlining the handling and making great strides in presentation in the process.

Ray has developed some very straight-forward mentalism, including a diabolical application of an old principle, best known because of Paul Fox and his Miracle Gimmick. Ray applied the principle in an almost "impromptu " way that makes it accessible to everyone.

He published a great Bill in Lime ("Limey"), a Newspaper Prediction ("Handy"), and several other terrific effects.

Ray is a keen student of Erdnase, an excellent cardman. His daughter followed in his footsteps, doing things with cards that many so-called "cardmen" can only hope to someday learn.

On top of all this, Ray has a wonderful persona, easygoing, soft-spoken, charming... His work is superb, tell-free, and most importantly, entertaining! There was a bio done in one of the magazines a few years ago, and the info was more detailed that I can give you. I'm writing most of this from memory, so I may have a couple things wrong (trick names, stuff like that) but you get the idea. All-in-all Ray Grismer is a neat guy, a good magician, and very creative. Vernon thought highly of him, as did everyone I've ever spoken with. And my own impressions, superficial though they are, were of a real gentleman, who truly loves magic. Ray is also well rounded and interesting on levels beyond magic. He's the kind of guy I could talk to all night and never mention magic, and I'd be happy we spent the time.

Best, PSC
Message: Posted by: IanKendall (Mar 28, 2005 04:24PM)
Ray Grismer lectured in Glasgow several years ago, and came across (as Paul has said) as a true gentleman. I remember some very clever ideas - in fact this has spurred me to dig out his lecture notes again...

If you can, try to get hold of Ray's Ring and Rope Routines (it's a video). You'll be using many of the routines for years to come.

Take care, Ian
Message: Posted by: bishthemagish (Mar 28, 2005 04:37PM)
Didn't he wright the book called the Punch Letters? On the punch deal?
Message: Posted by: Scott F. Guinn (Mar 29, 2005 12:03AM)
Ray actually lives in Silverton, Idaho--very near Wallace. He is a good friend of mine and an amazing man. He used to live at "Magic Castle West" an apartment complex near the Castle where Ray, David Roth, Mike Skinner, Earl Nelson, Jeff Altman and several other legends all lived simultaneously!

Ray did, in fact, put out a booklet called "The Punch Letters." He also published a few lecture notes. He is best known for his finger ring and string routines and moves (many of which have been published on others' videos without his permission or credit), but he is wonderful with cards, mentalism, and other close up and platform genres. He is an outstanding pianist and plays with a trio all over the place. he exchanged lessons with the Professor; Vernon gave Ray magic lessons in exchange for Ray giving Dai piano lessons. Ray is the only man that Vernon ever said improved on Erdnase (The Grismer Cull).

Ray is also a true gentleman, and as Paul said, a wonderful performer. I have been bugging him to let me write a book of his material, and he is starting to soften. In the meantime, I have a compilation book coming out later this year with routines from my friends in magic, and it will contain some Grismer material.

Ray, by his own admission, lives like a hermit. He no longer submits material to magic magazines, etc., but he has been very prolific over the years, and all of his material is excellent! I will continue to press him about getting a book of his material on the market!
Message: Posted by: ddyment (Mar 29, 2005 12:05PM)
He's not entirely a hermit, being a pretty active Cribbage player (he's ranked by the American Cribbage Congress). And he occasionally escapes to a convention of fellow entertainers.

A gentleman to be sure, though.

... Doug
Message: Posted by: Scott F. Guinn (Mar 29, 2005 02:05PM)
Didn't mean he never got out. As I said, that's how he describes himself. He performs music regularly, etc. Doesn't take visitors for the most part--he has fairly small living quarters with LOTS of stuff everywhere! He is one of the best people I've ever met, and I am proud to know him.
Message: Posted by: bishthemagish (Mar 29, 2005 02:22PM)
Thanks Paul Chosse and Scott F. Guinn I have his book the punch letters and got them years ago from Busby. I couldn't remember his last name - I must be getting old! Thanks again.
Message: Posted by: Mike Powers (Mar 29, 2005 08:39PM)
I have several items put out by Ray. Limey, Spongey, Glaces, and Foxiest are 8.5x11 spiral bound items. They list Ray's address as Box 1, Silverton ID 83867. They aren't dated so I don't know when they came out. I also have Loopy and a few smaller manuscripts. I ordered a brass card puncher from Busby and it came with the Punch Letters manuscript. Good stuff all around. I'd love to see more.

Message: Posted by: John Pezzullo (Mar 30, 2005 06:52AM)
Check the website of International Magic in London:

[url=http://www.internationalmagic.com/acatalog/New_In_Stock_for_March_2005.html]International magic.com[/url]

They have just released a DVD titled "The Ray Grismer Lecture".
Message: Posted by: Scott F. Guinn (Mar 30, 2005 01:37PM)
The address Mike gave is still valid. There is a great video available called "Ray's Ring & Rope Routines." It's older, so the production values aren't what they used to be, but you will see a lot of stuff you haven't seen, and a lot of stuff you have seen (without credit) by the man who created it. Haven't seen the lecture DVD, but I have seen ray lecture a number of times, so I'm sure it'll be worth the saking price.

Talked to Ray for a couple of hours yesterday, and he said he will be lecturing at the PEA convention this year. He did say that he thought a lot of the attendees might not care for his lecture, because as far as the Psychic Entertainers Association, he believes the emphasis should be on the "entertainer" part, and he feels many place it on the "psychic,"--trying to pass themselves off as real psychics, which he disagrees with. But his mindreading effects are wonderful!

He is doing well, although he says he is getting old (78) and starting to feel it. It certainly has not affected his sharp wit or mental capacities. He's very busy with his music--he had five or six music gigs this week, and is thoroughly enjoying performing in that arena. Ray plays in a trio, with, I believe, a bass and guitar.

He also joined the Spokane magic club a while back, and is enjoying that. For those who don't know, Spokane is in Eastern Washington, and Silverton is near Coeur d'Alene in Northern Idaho, so Spokane is the closest town with a magic club. What's fun for Ray is that some of those guys had never heard of him and were not at all familiar with his material (thought he was just an older guy with a passing interest in magic), so they are absolutely blown away by his stuff! Of course, even those who HAVE heard of him are still very impressed!

BTW, Ray told me about the DVD mentioned above (which I've ordered and will let you know about). He had gone to the McMillan convention to lecture. He was the last lecture on the last night. Unfortunately, he had not slept well and had not eaten in while, and Ray is diabetic. His blood sugar dropped dangerously low and he bacame totally disoriented just as he went on to lecture--didn't know where he was or what was going on. he couldn't give the lecture. Ray said that everyone treated him wonderfully well and took good care of him, and they shot this DVD a day or tow later to make up for the missed lecture, so folks could still see his stuff.