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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Smooth as silk » » "Dick Gustafson's" cut and restored silk... (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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JNeal
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I put Dick's name in quotes because he would be the first to say this was not his original effect. However, for many magicians who grew up in the 60's or had a fine eye for magic subtlety, artistry, and sophistication...well, Dick was the go to guy ...or at least the one to see.

I first met Dick Gustafson shortly after I heard his name in magical circles. it would have been about 1970, although Dick made a very strong impact at the Philadelphia SAM (was it combined with the IBM?) convention in 1968- Philadelphia. In any case, I knew his name and whenever he was discussed it was in those hushed reverential tones reserved for the 'greats'.

A couple of the local magic guys in the New England area had invited me to Williard Smith's picnic. which was the big social event in Southern New England in the summer (outside of a formal convention)for magicians it was by invitation, but nearly everyone who wanted to could go. I particularly wanted to go when I was told that Dick Gustafson ....MAY show up!

It was a big cook out with much socializing, except for us younger guys who would just stare (gawk). Around late afternoon, it turned into a nonstop show if front of the garage. I learned quite a few things that afternoon from Dick Gustafson, mostly by example and a few from his comments. He performed the silk thru' rope one of his signature effects (and now one of mine).

He also demonstrated the trick that was to be the subject of this thread before I hi-jacked it from myself with self indulgent reminiscences. HE took a piece of black construction paper about 8 and a half by 11, folded it lengthwise into three or four fold (three I think) ad placed a red 18" silk in from one end. HE then very deliberately cut the paper and silk in half, showing the exposed silk emanating from each half of the paper.

With slow movements, he overlapped the two cut pieces by about one half inch and grabbed one of the exposed corners with thumb and forefinger and by pulling on that corner... removed the restored silk. What made it so powerful was the as he pulled one end out of the paper... the other end went in... at exactly the same speed and was fairly and cleanly restored. The paper was opened with no evidence of anything suspicious!

Now I've taken a long time to describe this because it remains one of the more magical things I've ever seen and his performance was flawless (like everything he did and does). I never forgot the effect and I should tell you now that it was invented by a man named Sakamoto from the TAMC (Tokyo Amateur Magicians Club. This was Japan's most prestigious magical organization in it's day).
The effect is in the silk encyclopedia exactly as Sakamoto did it, although Mr. Gustafson altered the handling to simplify the method. Either method is devastatingly powerful silk magic. Tenkai also performed the effect and many west coast magicians seem to think he invented it, but it's Sakamoto's.

About 5 yrs. ago, I decided to do the effect in my second show and came up with a simpler handling that eliminated a couple of potential problems and made re-setting a charm rather than a chore. Pack small, plays powerful. What 's not to like? As I mentioned in the candle thread on this forum, I had the nerve to lecture on this about 4 years ago in Yokohama and still, I've never seen anyone other than Mr. Gustafson and myself do the trick! But it's a good one. Look it up!
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hugmagic
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Is the same version that Stan Allen used to do?

Richard
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JNeal
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No. Stan Allen's (which he wrote up in one of the early NY Symposiums collections of tricks ) used what is euphemistically referred to as a TT for a short hand method. It lackted the visual beauty of Sakamoto's, Gustafson's or (perhaps immodestly) my own. I should say that mine is the same as Gustafson's except for some behind the scenes technical 'improvement' to make the method easier to reset and allows for a more robust handling.
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bojanbarisic
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I think it was in 2003 when you lectured in Yokohama on World Magic Symposium. Unfortunately there is no performance of that routine on Symposium DVD.
JNeal
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Bojanbarisic...you are remarkably well informed!I didn't recall that it was a world magic symposium in Japan, I just remember Shintaro and Ton bringing us over to do it. BTW-The Stan Allen version appeared in the 1983 NYC Symposium Book along with a silk cane 'thing' I came up with and a movable hole in a record trick I came up with too.

But you are exactly right, there is no video of that lecture, which as I recall was rather abbreviated to 45 or 60 minutes in length.I also did that lecture at the 1st (or 2nd) Asian version of FISM in Bangkok some year or so later.
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hugmagic
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Ok, so where can I get the write up on this effect. It is a good effect.

I still have the copies of your dye tube handling from Genii in the files. I think we last spoke in Kansas City at the last night party.

Richard
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JNeal
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Richard, I finally remembered what you were referring to as my dye tube technique! It was that bamboo mat silk production that I wrote up for Charlie Miller. You are right of course, that technique is really practical for a dye tube in paper. And it would function well for the way of loading the Dye- Version streamer for the final phase of my re working of the Mongolian silk mystery. Hint, hint...
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hugmagic
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It might even work at Havencrest.

Richard
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ClintonMagus
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I have an "ancient" set of Gustafson lecture notes that contains mostly silk routines. I'll have to see whether this one is included...
Things are more like they are today than they've ever been before...
JNeal
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Quote:
On 2009-06-15 20:48, hugmagic wrote:
It might even work at Havencrest.

Richard

Now Richard...(you devil!) what do you know about THAT?
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videoman
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Quote:
On 2009-06-15 01:41, JNeal wrote:

The effect is in the silk encyclopedia exactly as Sakamoto did it, although Mr. Gustafson altered the handling to simplify the method.


I presume you're referring to the Rice's Encyclopedia of Silk Magic?
hugmagic
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My wife's birthday last year was to visit Alan. We had a great time.

Richard
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
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JNeal
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Yes videoman, The Rice Silk encyclopedia. Avoid the methods that use a TT (why are we abbreviating that?)
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bojanbarisic
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I was quite sure that I have performance of this effect somewhere. FISM 1973 in Paris.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18MU6vSR230

Best,
Bojan Barisic
ClintonMagus
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Do you mean "Tumb Thip"? Smile
Things are more like they are today than they've ever been before...
JNeal
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Hey Bojanbarisic! Well done, although using the magazine sheets as he did made the paper a little unwieldy to handle. Still, the restoration was an interesting bit at the end. I would generally use a smaller paper which will tend to make it less significant, relative to the 'silk' employed. but I must say you are a well informed and resourced individual!
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Peter Cuddihy
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I have seen Dick perform this wonderful effect here at the SAM Assembly 4 in Philadelphia. It looks like a true miracle. He is as gracious as they come and always willing to share his handling of it with fellow magicians.

If you have the opportunity, you should try to get to the SAM Convention in Buffalo, New York this July where Dick and his lovely wife Joan will be performing an act they debuted on The Ed Sullivan Show over forty years ago that is as entertaining and as fresh as it was then entitled "Magic By Candlelight."
In my book, it is the classiest act in magic.
JNeal
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Peter, without a doubt the act is not only very classy, but they are two of the nicest and classiest people in our little craft. I have only the greatest admiration for Dick and Joanne and cherished the few times when we could visit. Sadly, the last time was probably around 2001 or so at Wizardz at Universal City Walk in Hollywood.

Although I won't be able to go to Buffalo, I would encourage anyone anywhere, to make the effort...to take the time to see one of the remaining examples of elegance in our little craft.
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Peter Cuddihy
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JNeal,

I must agree with you wholeheartedly. They are very nice people. If you live in or near the Philadelphia area, they will be performing their newest 2 hour illusion show entitled "The Amazing World of Magic" at the Bristol Riverside Theatre located at 120 Radcliffe Street in Bristol, P.A. on the following dates at the following times:

Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 1:00 p.m.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009 at 1:00 p.m.
Thursday, July 2, 2009 at 1:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Friday, July 3, 2009 at 1:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and
Sunday, July 5, 2009 at 1:00 p.m.

Tickets are $15.00 for adults and $8.00 for children.

As always, Dick and Joan greet everyone in the audience in the lobby after the show.

If any of you reading this post have never had the opportunity to see these wonderful performers, don't miss this unique opportunity to see then perform numerous illusions including the Asrah Levitation, Thin Sawing, Crystal Casket, Gingerbread House and Mini-Kube-Zag.

It will be time well spent.
videoman
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Peter,
Do you know of any dates in early August? I will be in Philly briefly for a few days and would love to catch their show.
Thanks,
Bill
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