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Dorian Rhodell
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San Francisco, CA.
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Hey there, I learned palming from Michael Close's tape "the power of palming" which is IMHO one of the most valuable resources in this connection.
Yesterday, I watched Daryl's encyclopedia vol. 6 on palming and I was appalled by some of his techniques. True, 3 or 4 of his palming methods are great but another 3 or 4, especially the two handed top palm, are terrible. I learned quite a lot from these excellent tapes and expected and equally high quality from Daryl's palming work. This chapter does not even come close! Know what I mean?

In particular, I refer to Daryl's two handed top palm. Absolutely unnatural... everyone knows you should press down only the right front corner. Daryl uses the whole front side. Watch the tape... he palms the card numerous times in this way and it's awful.

Again for clarification purposes... I admire his card work a lot and learned a lot from his tapes. But the palming section ...

Personally, I like the one handed top palm, the side steal and the diagonal palm (two ways: after inserting the card from the front; after letting a spectator select a card by looking at the corners flipping by).

Paul's 1st response:


On 2002-11-03 15:32, RTShowmann wrote:
Also, we must try to look at others' work as though we are [only] laymen.

This seems to imply that, as magicians, we SEE things differently than the laymen. WHY? Do we have special eyes?

If I can see what someone is doing it is because they aren't doing it very well, or because the technique is flawed (which brings up questions about the performers' value judgement, choice of material, etc.) - NOT because I, as a magician, see things the "laymen" don't! In fact, my vision is not nearly what it used to be and I still see lots of "stuff" I shouldn't when magicians perform.

I am careful not to justify poor execution or selection of material by "of course you saw it, you're a magician" logic.

my point is that you should not SEE anything in the course of a performance. Even to backtrack based on various actions means that the performer has tells, or has established some cause and effect relationship that tips you off. Do you really think the "laymen" are so slow that they don't pick this up?

A short story: I was once in the company of Jack McMillen, a very savvy guy, and we watched someone do a trick in which a named card was produced from a Card Box. Seem like nothing? Well, we were so befuddled that Jack thought the card was there all along and that we had been psychologically forced. I was unable to refute this assertion, but was pretty sure it was not the case. Trust me when I tell you that this was as magical an experience as I have ever had. That is after 38 years in magic and close relationships and many sessions with the likes of Don Alan, Vernon, McMillen, Charlie Miller, Jennings, Bruce Cervon, Racherbaumer, Marlo, Klause, Mike Skinner, etal.

No, I wasn't just having a bad night!

What we saw was - NOTHING! What we MISSED was:

A false shuffle, a location, a check/peek, a top palm, a top palm replacement, and a false extraction!

This was definitely an example of fine conjuring and expert presentation, and the combination mystified one of the best card men of the 20th century - and me too!

It is not only possible, but essential to good conjuring, that your sleights be invisible, else there is little possibility of any magical effect being achieved - of course, if puzzles are your thing...

I can't reveal the mysterious performers' name, but his initials were - Ron Bauer!

Almost forgot - having known Daryl since 1976, when he still had two names, I have NOT seen him palm many cards (that's a joke, boy!). As far as this particular tape goes, I'm guessing the point is exposition, so I'm not surprised the palms don't look great - remember, it's hard to lead you down the garden path, or execute sleights invisibly, when your whole purpose is instruction!

Best, PSC
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