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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The February 2009 entrée: Bob Sheets » » Bob's Homing Card » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

John Sturk
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I first saw you perform the Homing Card at Abbott's Close-Up Convention several years back. I remember laughing so hard it hurt.

Could you tell us a little bit about the effect, why you decided to pick it up, and your process in constructing your routine?

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Well. I was a big fan of Fred Kaps. And being a total magic teen geek when the Beetles went on Ed Sullivan I could of cared less because Fred Kaps was on. He did his famous version of the Homing Card. He had monster hands and held the card on the ends and did glides with the cards. I think his version was from some Lewis Ganson book or something. Someone out there knows which version. He was such a great actor and the routine was terrific. The ending was a single card change with two cards at the end. It was an ending but the weakest part of the trick. I don’t think he was ever that happy with the ending.

I saw him 15 years later at the Joe Stevens Convention in Wichita. Anyone who went to those conventions knows what a treat they were. All the famous big name national and international magic stars were there. Magicians loved his “Homing Card”, and he always graciously performed it. Exactly the same routine with of course 15 years of experience added. Unforgettable. Flip, another Dutch magician came another year and showed a visible card change.

10 years later I got turned on to Trevor Lewis’s handling. Trevor and Fred were bosom buddies. Many don’t know this but Trevor was a first place FISM winner in cards. He had a great handling for the “Homing Card.” I altered his handling, only slightly and added a visible change of the last card using a Flip Halema move and viola it was now the routine it should have been. When those jumbo cards from Sweden came out I started doing it was those and the rest is history. I got to show it to Trevor at the IBM convention in LA and he slapped his head and said, “Why didn’t I think of that.” A very gratifying moment for me.

Thanks for asking. bob.
Mark Phillips
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Bob asked me to add my two cents to some of these, so here's another. Bob's homing card is a perfect extension of his performance character. He starts out a little brash on this one, scolding other magicians for not knowing their material perfectly, then he tries to remember something he's working on to show us. He didn't bring the music, but fortunately, he has more or less memorized the first four measures of one of Vivaldi's Four Seasons, and he'll just sing that. All of this makes perfect sense to his character. His very skewed point of view would be hard for most magicians to copy.
Another great thing about Bob's routine is that he never uses descriptive narration; he just thinks out loud as he does the trick. "Okay, that didn't work, the black card showed up again; if I just. OK. "Nah nah nah nah nah nah nah naaah..." And he starts again.
There is never any fake, goofy mugging or indicating "Oh, I'm in trouble now." You genuinely believe the trick is falling apart, and that he's dying; but it is so funny to see him just keep trying to get it to work. Every time he starts over, singing the theme, it is just too funny.
Bob has scripted it all out, including his own reactions to the "mistakes" in the trick. I could say more, but I'm hoping Bob will instead. I know this is a routine you "fitched" out, any breakthroughs you can share that really moved it forward? Who's idea was the music anyway?
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The musical accompaniment is the vocal exercise taught at the Fitch workshop to warm up. Rate, pitch, and volume are all played with to achieve different effects like whispering, yelling, talking fast, talking very slow, etc.

I tried the real music and that’s different and funny as well. Verbally is just gets more laughs.

I know at some time I am going to use all of my workshop skill sets to develop or perform a routine.

Thank you Bob Fitch.

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