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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Finger/stage manipulation » » When cigarettes were cool (17 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Bill Thompson
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Quote:
On Feb 14, 2015, Dick Oslund wrote:
Where did you go to high school? I might know who worked that area.


The school I attended at the time (late 70s and early 80s) was in Lambert, Mississippi about 70 miles or so south of Memphis. One of the staple school magicians of this area was, and still is last I checked, a guy calling himself Becko (or Bekko) the Magician, He played our school a couple of times that I can remember but it wasn't him. I was told that might have been Richard (Dick) Oakley from Memphis, but I don't think it was. I don't recall Dick Oakley ever doing any school shows. This guy looked like an old man to my young eyes. What I remember vividly was the cigarette manipulations... he vanished and appeared lit cigarettes. I know the memory does cheat but that is what remember most about this performer.
"To let understanding stop at what cannot be understood is a high attainment.
Those who cannot do it will be destroyed on the lathe of heaven." - Chuang Tse
Dick Oslund
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Sorry, but, I've never even heard of the two performers that you mention. I knew, or knew of, most of the magicians who worked the Lyceum circuits.

The late Roy Shrimplin from Alliance Ohio, did at least one tour, probably for the University of Wisconsin Lecture Bureau. He was an old timer, He did very little sleight of hand material. He was very funny, and I learned from him, how to get LAUGHS with Rice "picture silks".

Roy Mayer and his wife Bernice toured schools for all the major bureaus. Roy, when he started, formed his own bureau (Mayer Lyceums). The Mayers became my "second mother and father"! I knew them for almost 40 years.

Oh! Loring Campbell, who had done Chautauqua, filled out his later years with school shows. Another old timer was Louis "Roba" Collins. He had done circus and schools independently.

Wallace Lee, from North Carolina, I think, did a "standard" show of the times. He wrote a book called "X-Jargon" (how to do double talk) I met him once. He was funny!

"Coke" Cecil was another old timer. I never met or saw his program, but, he must have been good, as he was "around" for a long time

Fetaque Sanders,a black gentleman, because of the times, booked and played the Southern "separate, but equal" schools in the Southern U.S. I heard great things about him, but never met him.

Doug (I think) Couden, was a variety artist. He played accordion, Juggled, did Punch & Judy, Ventriloquism, Magic, and, I think, Chalk Talks. The Coudens booked independently, the southern schools. They were in the business many years. He wrote a book "Playing and Booking School Shows", in the late '40s or early '50s. I used his "system" in the early '50s, when I was breaking in the business.

I remember a young guy and his wife ("Ray" the magician). I saw him in Portsmouth, VA, in the early '50s. I doubt whether he did more than one tour. His wife was kept busy. backstage, cleaning up the "messy" tricks. (Lots of milk pitcher type tricks) I suspect that, at the end of the tour, she said, "No more!"

When I was "program consultant" (booker) for the School Assembly Service, Betty Carlson would have auditions for potential talent. We usually had at least three or four magicians (mostly young guys). Some of them, Jeff Bibik, Jeff Wawrzaszek, Jody Baran, Jeff Helding, Al Ulman, were very good, and got work. A few, who shall remain nameless, were really poor performers. They had no concept of the type of program that the market! wanted.

School assembly "bureaus" evolved from the Lyceum and Chautauqua of the 1800s.
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hugmagic
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Dick, maybe it was a typo but I thought it was Reba Collins. He wrote the column in Tops "Toots from the Calliope".
Richard
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
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Write direct as I will be turning off my PM's.
Dick Oslund
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Hi Richard! No, it was R O B A. I have no idea where "Roba" came from. Performers in a circus often got "tagged" with a nick name--and "it" stuck! I also have no idea about his performing.

He often "promoted" a dealer trick that would be practical for someone who worked sideshows. (In HIS day, circuses in the U.S. weren't using magic or illusions in the big top. (Most U.S. circuses then were "3 rings", even if the #2 and #3 rings were only used "occasionally".)

Roba, occasionally mentioned, in his "Toots" column that he was going on, or had just finished a "run" of schools. IIRC...Clarence Auskings would book him. They were probably short tours--a few weeks or months.

Many of those who did schools, used them to "fill in" open spots in their bookings.

And...I think that I have unintentionally derailed this thread!

P.S. Percy used TOPS as an advertising medium. The ONE DOLLAR subscription probably covered the postage! He didn't pay his columnists, in cash, he would pay them in props, and books,etc. TOPS was printed in the basement. I remember seeing the OLD LINOTYPE machine there.
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Bill Thompson
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To be fair... I think Becko (or Bekko, whatever) books himself and doesn't use an agency. I do know from a performer friend of mine that most of the schools and groups he (Becko) performs for will NOT hire anyone else, They like him and him only.

The old guy I am thinking of only performed one time for us when I was a kid... the cigarette magic may have been why (hee hee). Anyway fond memories Smile
"To let understanding stop at what cannot be understood is a high attainment.
Those who cannot do it will be destroyed on the lathe of heaven." - Chuang Tse
hugmagic
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Thanks for the clarifying my clarification. Everyone else is probably wondering what the heck we were talking about.

Richard
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
www.hughesmagic.com
email-hugmagic@raex.com
Write direct as I will be turning off my PM's.
Dick Oslund
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Becko must be doing something RIGHT! There are a lot of magicians "out there" that have never had their name in a magic magazine. They don't belong to any magic associations, and don't even associate with other magicians. But, they present a good solid magic program that pleases not only the audience, but also the person(s) who booked the program. They are keeping magic "alive" in those little villages where the "big names" don't go. They don't present the "latest" tricks advertised, but they know how to "create" a wonder-filled hour, and they entertain.

Tom Mullica's cigarette routine will not likely be ever seen again.
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Dick Oslund
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Quote:
On Jul 2, 2014, DallasFrank wrote:
The best cigarette manipulation act of all time

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhZ_DYGK6xY

Ps The cigarette through the quarter isn't the same without a cigarette and is the perfect transition from cigarettes to coins or vice versa

Frank


Without a doubt! and CARDINI was the most imitated performer, ever!!!
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Ferran Rizo
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The modern act with cigarettes was created by Spanish magician Florences Gili. Frakson who watch his act when was a 12 years old was fascined by it and developed his superb act before Cardini does. Frakson has a friend called FranKlint who was born in Cuba but his family was Spanish. He move to Spain and meet Frakson and worked with him helping him on his show. Franklint became magic Profesional and copied all the magic that Frakson done even his cigarette routine. Franklint meet Cardini in Australia and in England and he, Cardini, copied his act that was a copy of Frakson's. More later In 1927 Frakson and Cardini meet and Cardini wached Frakson acts for first time. Both became friends and both admired each other but Cardini was fustred because as he copied Frakson act he couldn't billed as agents prefers Frakson act. And here begging the Cardini rivality its against Frakson. I say Cardini rivality because he was angry with him and not Frakson with Cardini. Frakson always speak very well about Cardini and about his act. In an interview he was asked who was bes magic show and he replied Cardini's.

To me Cardini act is superb his card manipulation insuperable, but Frakson cigarette act is more magical because cigarettes appear from nowhere and watching him you have no idea were they came. Wel it is my modest opinion.
Dr.Bo
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Hi I'm a Magician from Demark/Scandinavia
I love Cigaret Magic
And here's a link http://youtu.be/lhUcKgbtdcE
Let it Roll Aprox 1:15
It's my first take and I have shortend it a bit now
So what you see is a rough uncut version
please respond and let me know what you Think
Regards and Thax
Dr.Bo
ps: the hole idea and routining is my own
No helpers ore directors in any Way
Well some book Reading and a mirror ;-)
paulapaul
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Several years ago, as smoking had become unacceptable, I did some cigarette productions as the "set up" for my CHEATING THE GALLOWS illusion. I was hanged for smoking. The whole thing was done to the music from "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly". It was a fun way to play the Gallows illusion, and it got a great chuckle from smokers and non smokers alike. The comedy made the Gallows ending only stronger. Besides giving me some good tongue in cheek moments, it was also nice to feature some sleight of hand in the illusion presentation. I find that audiences appreciate good, clean manips.
mtgoldstein
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For those who mix in unlit cigs into their manipulation, you can pick up some rubberized tubing at Home Depot that, cut to length, appears exactly as a cig would. BUT you can beat these things up, fold and crumple them and they spring right back toa "cig", and last for years.
Michael Baker
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Quote:
On Dec 2, 2015, mtgoldstein wrote:
For those who mix in unlit cigs into their manipulation, you can pick up some rubberized tubing at Home Depot that, cut to length, appears exactly as a cig would. BUT you can beat these things up, fold and crumple them and they spring right back toa "cig", and last for years.


This may be heat shrink tubing. Years ago, someone released a really cool T&R cigarette that was made from this stuff. I used this quite a bit.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
joseph
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.. Probably John Cornelius...
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." (Einstein)...
Michael Baker
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No, not John, although I can see why you'd say that. It was someone else. I just cannot recall the name of who marketed this.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Kyoki_Sanitys_Eclipse
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Ohh how the times have changed
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