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Topic: SUB ROSA by Ariel Frailich
Message: Posted by: Quentin (Feb 12, 2019 02:24PM)
SUB ROSA by Ariel Frailich

If you are familiar with any Ariel Frailich’s published work you will know that his main focus is on presentation. His book 'Card Stories' being a perfect example.

He sees beyond moves and sleights as he explores the possibilities of the routines that can bring those hidden techniques to life and engage an audience.

Although his sleight-of-hand skills are considerable, here in Sub Rosa, he takes a simple technique known by most magicians - even though no one seems to know what it is called and hardly anyone does it - explores it in detail before teaching how it can be used in many different performing situations.

He calls it Sub Rosa: “The rose as a symbol of secrecy dates back to at least ancient Greece. In Medieval Europe, a rose suspended from the ceiling of council chambers, or sometimes carved into the ceiling, pledged all present to secrecy, thus sub rosa, ‘beneath the rose’, came to symbolize secrecy.”

The technique is simple to grasp and understand. With a few minutes practice, it’s not just undetectable, but there is not the slightest suspicion anything has taken place. It is one of the most natural moves ever developed and it won’t surprise you to know it’s often used by swindlers and con men.

Once you’ve got the basic handling, you will learn the many ways it can be used in both close-up and stage performing environments. 

You’ll then explore the sixty different presentations for tricks and routines, where the technique will improve the handling.

There’s sections on both magic and mentalism, along with exploring added secret devices that can be used alongside the technique.

When Ariel asked me to look over this (at the moment an ePub ebook) manuscript, I expected something about thirty pages. In fact there are 180 pages, very well written with ample photos where needed. Ariel is a very good teacher and in this exhaustive treatise you will find - at the very least - one routine you will use. But of even greater value it will get you thinking about using this technique in effects you already perform and that is something we all need more of.

Sub Rosa by Ariel Frailich 180 pages, properly typeset, well laid out, most definitely recommended. £20 sterling, $25 U.S. from www.IsawThat.com
Message: Posted by: arielf (Feb 14, 2019 12:51PM)
Sub Rosa is now available in a hardcover edition as well.

Message: Posted by: arielf (Mar 25, 2019 01:12PM)
The versatility of Sub Rosa never ceases to amaze me. Months after I finished writing, editing and publishing the book, I'm still getting ideas for new applications regularly—without even trying. Here's one I had last week.

Wild Coins

You bring out a small cloth bag and dump out its contents: a few silver coins. These can be passed around. You collect them and put them back in the bag; you give it to a spectator to hold. (You can optionally leave one coin on the table, to be used in a moment.)

Now you show a small lump of gold, or perhaps a small, unusual looking pebble. If you left a silver coin on the table, you pick it up, tap the lump/pebble against it, and it changes to gold. You can pass it around as well.

Next, you drop the lump into the bag that the spectator is still holding. The spectator shakes the bag and dumps out the coins. They're all gold now.

That's it. Simple, direct, elegant, easy to do. If you omit the visible change, then there's no sleight-of-hand involved and you end clean (as is the case in virtually all effects in the book).

If you already have the book, you already know how to do this. If not, you can get it from my site or YFMD.
Message: Posted by: arielf (Apr 1, 2019 09:46AM)
“I give Sub Rosa a very enthusiastic five-star rating.”
—Nick Lewin, Vanish, April 2019

Thank you, Nick!
Message: Posted by: mindmagic (Apr 2, 2019 03:21AM)
I've just ordered a copy from a UK book dealer on the strength of Nick's review. My comments will follow!

Message: Posted by: arielf (Apr 2, 2019 07:00AM)
Wonderful! Thank you, and looking forward to hearing them!
Message: Posted by: mindmagic (Apr 14, 2019 03:57AM)
The hardback version of the book arrived and I've had a quick read through it. It's amazing and I'm surprised that there hasn't been more comment here.

I consider myself to be fairly well read as far as the classic magic texts are concerned, but I hadn't come across this technique (it's not really a "move") before. Reading the first couple of pages, I tried it out with a couple of items on my desk and my first thought was "This won't fool anyone". Then I read on, to the section where Ariel gives some subtleties to make it more convincing, and my next thought was "Why didn't I think of that?".

Apart from short impromptu close-up effects, I rarely perform, so I don't think there is much in the book that I'm likely to use, but there's an enormous number of useful ideas in the book for anyone who does longer routines. I'm mainly interested in mentalism and there's lots I can potentially use if I do get an opportunity to perform. If there's one thing that particularly stands out for me from the book (apart from Sub Rosa and variations) it's that you can read one of the many given routines, think "That's not for me", and then at the end of the routine find a whole lot of suggestions for changing the premise or doing it a different way. If you counted all these suggestions as different effects, which they are, the total number of ideas in the book is far higher than sixty. There really is something in here for everyone.

I should say that, while the technique (not a move!) is really easy, it's not going to work on its own. It really needs to be used as part of a routine with some misdirection. In fact, you're probably going to want to incorporate it into any routines you're already using. And even if you never use the technique, there are plenty of routines and ideas given here which will work with other methods.

Highly recommended. (If you're in the UK, get the hardback from Book Depository rather than a magic dealer.)

Message: Posted by: arielf (Apr 16, 2019 01:31PM)
Wow, what a lovely review! Thank you very much, Barry. I'm glad you like it!

Although it's true that Sub Rosa needs a 'context' for it to work, it's sometimes relatively easy to set one up, even in impromptu situations. I'm thinking, for example, of the sitting-room version of the Book Test on p. 59, as well as the WIld Coins idea I posted above, which can easily be adapted to an impromptu transformation effect using a handkerchief or cloth napkin instead of a bag. For what it's worth.

I'm glad that you mentioned 'other methods'. In all my work (other books, articles, etc.), I've always pushed the idea of interesting plots and presentations, so if Sub Rosa helps inspire something new, I'm happy!

I had a look at Book Depository. They charge GBP 31.02; on my site, I charge GBP 30.50, shipping to the UK included. Odd. On the other hand, WH Smith sells it for GBP 27.50, apparently with free shipping. Caveat emptor! :)
Message: Posted by: mindmagic (Apr 19, 2019 03:45AM)
Thanks, Ariel!

Maybe you're looking at a different version of the Book Depository site, but from where I am they are still charging the price I paid, £27.50, with free world-wide shipping (if a bit slow).

Message: Posted by: arielf (Apr 19, 2019 09:03AM)
Very welcome, Barry! :)

I had another look at Book Depository and it's all clear now. (If you're interested: it's set up as an international site, so you get the UK price, whereas I get the UK price converted to Canadian dollars. When I ask for the price in Sterling, it converts it back, instead of giving me the actual UK price. WH Smith, on the other hand, is set up as a UK-only site, so it shows UK prices only.)

All the best!
Message: Posted by: mindmagic (Apr 20, 2019 03:57AM)
Saves confusion ... !
Message: Posted by: Waters. (May 12, 2019 06:40AM)
I recently purchased this in hardback, so I have not read this yet. I was extremely surprised at the heft and amount of material in this. I thought I was ordering a booklet and received a densely filled work on a technique that is within the grasp of any of us. I look forward to reporting back on the treasures I uncover.
Message: Posted by: arielf (Jun 13, 2019 11:28AM)
Hello, Waters!

I just saw your post. I'm glad it exceeded your expectations even before you opened it! :) Have you found anything of interest in it? I'd love to hear your opinion!

All the best!
Message: Posted by: arielf (Jun 13, 2019 02:50PM)
A recent review and testimonial for Sub Rosa.

From Rolando Santos in the June 2019 Linking Ring:

"… absurdly easy to learn… The subtlety of the method is what sets it apart. Frailich does an exceptional job of explaining the nuances of the technique and offering dozens of routines and concepts incorporating it. The magic effects alone are worth having Sub Rosa in your library."

Matthew Field, author, editor of over 75 magic books for Richard Kaufman and others, former editor of the Magic Circular, and former video reviewer for Genii, wrote on Facebook:

“An unbelievably rich collection of plots, routines and stories to accompany a clever switch. Well done, Ariel!”

Thank you so much, Rolando and Matthew! :)
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Jul 2, 2019 06:06AM)
Isn't this the osterlind/cassidy lighter switch?
Message: Posted by: arielf (Jul 2, 2019 10:04AM)
Strictly speaking, no. This is the original, which is over 100 years old.

Although the Osterlind/Cassidy (and Thompson) switch is very similar to the original in one way, it's different in another, so they have different applications.