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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magicians of old » » Lectures on 5 Great Magicians (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

james prince
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I find myself having to give 5 talks on great Magicians

I stress this is to a lay audience

My thoughts so far are -

Houdini

Robert-Houdin

Chung Ling Soo

Which magicians would you all suggest?

Can you add resources to your list where possible
Pete Biro
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Malini, Vernon, Thurston, Blackstone.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
Michael Baker
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While I typically would go the historical route, as with all the above names, I might also consider a magician from modern times that a lay audience could more easily hang their hat on. David Copperfield, Doug Henning, and Siegfried & Roy's show have all been highly visible game changers.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Anatole
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I would put Cardini on the list. Vernon considered Cardini's act to be the most perfect act in magic. When Vernon was in Norfolk, Virginia on his Farewell Lecture Tour, he was interviewed on audio tape by my friend Roger Sherman. On July 9, 2010, I posted a transcript of the interview on the Magic Café. Vernon is quoted as having said:
-----begin quote-----
"Cardini had the best act when he was young and at the height of his fame... He had the finest, most perfect act that was ever created. Nobody ever approached him."
-----end quote-----

I think magicians feel about Cardini the way Baryshnikov felt about Fred Astaire when he said, "I have been invited to say something about how dancers feel about Fred Astaire. It's no secret. We hate him... He gives us complexes, because he's too perfect. His perfection is an absurdity that's hard to face... You know, you give your own performance and receive applause and you think maybe, just maybe, it was successful, and you go home ... and turn on the television to relax and there he is. Making you feel nervous all over again. You remember the remark by Ilie Nastase about Bjorn Borg: 'We are playing tennis, he is playing something else.' It's the same with Fred Astaire -- we are dancing, but he is doing something else."

I think a lot of magicians would say something similar about Cardini: "We are performing magic, but he is doing something else."

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
----- Sonny Narvaez
Anatole
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There is another Cardini anecdote I remember reading in a magic book written for the general public. I can't remember the title of the book or the author, but maybe someone in the "Magicians of Old" group can cite it. I think Will Dexter might have written it, but I can't be sure. During one of the World Wars, a soldier in the trenches (in a context I can't quite remember; but likely complimenting one of his fellow soldiers) shouted "Way to go, Cardini!" Does that anecdote ring any bells with anyone? The author of the book commented that of all the magicians the soldier could have used to praise a comrade's performance, he chose Cardini! Not Houdini, not Thurston, not Devant--but Cardini.

BTW--Happy Veteran's Day!

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
----- Sonny Narvaez
JNeal
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Quote:
On 2011-11-11 07:56, Anatole wrote:
There is another Cardini anecdote I remember reading in a magic book written for the general public. I can't remember the title of the book or the author, but maybe someone in the "Magicians of Old" group can cite it. I think Will Dexter might have written it, but I can't be sure. During one of the World Wars, a soldier in the trenches (in a context I can't quite remember; but likely complimenting one of his fellow soldiers) shouted "Way to go, Cardini!" Does that anecdote ring any bells with anyone? The author of the book commented that of all the magicians the soldier could have used to praise a comrade's performance, he chose Cardini! Not Houdini, not Thurston, not Devant--but Cardini.

BTW--Happy Veteran's Day!


I thought it was in an article in the Sphinx....

BTW- the Astaire analogy is remarkably apt....

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
visit me @ JNealShow.com
james prince
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Thanks for all the replies to date
Iris Caraway
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Quote:
On 2011-11-10 13:01, Michael Baker wrote:
While I typically would go the historical route, as with all the above names, I might also consider a magician from modern times that a lay audience could more easily hang their hat on. David Copperfield, Doug Henning, and Siegfried & Roy's show have all been highly visible game changers.


I definitely think this is a good idea. With a modern act, you could show your audience where the art finds itself to-day. You could talk about the contrasts in style over the ages -- even, now that I think about it, how the pace was so much different in Houdini's day than in P.T. Selbit's than in Copperfield's. Also, I think you're right that the audience would be able to connect more with the modern act.
Marshall Thornside
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I've done lectures on my father as a way to organize my book project.

In it I touch on his mentorships and friendships with specific magicians
in particular:

Mainly:
Blackstone, Sr.
Dante
Jay Marshall
George Johnstone
Jack Gwynne
Okito
Marshall Brodien

as well touch on:
Harlan Tarbell
Mark Wilson
Harry Blackstone, Jr
Doug Henning
and a few others

I've gotten extremely well received feedback about it because
it was something new and it relates to connection to the past and present.

I think something that can peak the interest of someone you can't
just get a book or information on helps people find interest in
learning about the past and keep the future of magic alive.

the fact I grew up with many of these people as close family friends
helps me connect with many my generation of magic.
you will remember my name

World's Youngest Illusionista
7th greatest pianist in the world
Go Red For Women and Stroke Ambassador
www.mai-ling.net
Gerry Walkowski
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James,

I'm assuming you're giving this talk in the UK. If that's the case, I would think you would want to talk about John Nevil Maskelyne, David Devant and Robert Harbin. I'm sure there would be resources at the Magic Circle.

Gerry
panlives
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Al Flosso...so much color!
"Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?"
"To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."
"The dog did nothing in the night-time."
"That was the curious incident," remarked Sherlock Holmes.
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