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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The April 2004 entrée: Wesley James » » Enchantments by Wesley James » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

John McDonald
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Enchantments is a very well written book with a lot of excellent "tips" on handling and excellent routines.

I like the coversational tone that the book has and your tips on handling the basics like the double lift, passes and so on. Can I say that I have very much enjoyed beginning my journey into it.I am working on your edge pass. It is a real gem.

I was wondering, out of all the routines that are published in it could you pick out a routine that you were reluctant to include? A real favourite?
Best wishes John
Wesley James
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Hazlet, New Jersey
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Greetings John,
I'm glad you are finding Enchantments enjoyable and the style readable. It is always reassuring to know ones writing is well received. It is, perforce, an isolated pursuit, performed without feedback so one never knows until others read it.

There are at least four items in the book with which it was a bit painful to part. In no particular order: Hyper-Warp, I'll Put Money On It, Brownian Movement and Watch the Wild Ace. Each has created exceptionally strong reactions from audiences and the thought that I might now perform any of them for people whose reactions are muted by having seen someone else perform one of them previously is uncomfortable. The primary reason I was so guarded with my material for so many years was that I never wanted to look across a trade show aisle to see someone else performing my material. Nevertheless, as I am now retired from performing professionally and no one else can, or should try, to present them in quite the same way I do, I take consolation.

That said, others may find that any number of the items in the book are stronger for them; style is a critical factor in how well any effect will play for any given performer. I would suggest you try any of the items that appeal to you and listen to your audiences, they can tell you all you need to know about how to extract maximum impact. The key is learning how to listen and interpret their feedback.

Best of luck in your efforts,

Wesley James
John McDonald
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Manchester, England, UK
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Thank you. It is a real honour to have crossed paths briefly today. Hope to see you in the UK sometime soon. Get over to Blackpool if you can. It is a very large convention. We would give you a warm English welcome!!!
Best wishes John
Wesley James
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Hazlet, New Jersey
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John,
I've been considering a trip to your side of the pond for a while but my schedule has precluded it. I'm hoping it will happen within the next year or so and I'll almost certainly try to set up some lectures while I'm there. If you keep your ears open you may hear an announcement at some point. In any case, thanks for the invitation and encouragement.

Wesley James
John McDonald
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I hope you manage to get a "window" in your schedule this year and make it over for some British brewed beer. We have a very special one in Manchester called "Boddingtons" which is famous for having a creamy head. I will have one waiting for you at your lecture!

Thanks for releasing those routines. I noticed that you credited Peter Kane with starting the idea for "Watch the Wild ace." He was a Manchester man. How influential has Peter been on you?
Best wishes John
Wesley James
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Hazlet, New Jersey
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John,
I never had the pleasure of meeting Peter Kane, though I would have truly enjoyed the opportunity. Nevertheless, I held him in extremely high regard and eagerly read anything he offered. He was one of the very few creators in magic that reliably contributed truly ground-breaking plots, a far greater challenge than just another handling. At one time I had a publicity picture taken in which the pose was based on the position created at the end of one of Kane's effects. I was shaken to learn of his passing, almost as though I had known him. He was far too young to leave us.

As for visiting England, I doubt it will happen this year and I'm not much of a drinker--particularly not warm beer--but I have many acquaintances in the Isles and we almost speak the same language; I'm confident I'd enjoy the visit and the opportunity to meet some of those whose names I've been reading all my life that I haven't had the opportunity to meet. I would be particularly eager to meet Roy Walton, though I know he is in Scotland, and to rekindle my acquaintances with Alex Elmsley, Peter Duffie and Michael Vincent. I'll try to keep you posted on plans if they take fruition.

Wesley James
boblinds
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Allow me to wedge myself into the solitary relationship between you and your word processor and compliment you on the excellent writing style of "Enchantments."

Over the past 25 years, several employers and clients have paid me -- some might say "unaccountably" paid me -- to write and edit magazines, including EIC spots at a couple Ziff-Davis computer mags in the '80s and '90s. As a result, I have cashed paychecks that pass for authority on writing quality. Smile

This is all by way of adding some weight to my opinion that the clarity and elegance of the explanatory prose in "Enchantments" is among the best I've read in ANY technical book on ANY subject.

Plus, Mr. James, your ability to bring us inside your thought processes, your creative processes, and your evaluative processes is extraordinary. "Enchantments" is a darned good read. Among magic books, that is one of the greatest tricks of all -- and the one most rarely performed well.

I'm delighted to find out that there will be additional volumes. I look forward to them.
Wesley James
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Greetings Boblinds,
I too have cashed checks issued in payment for my writing but the challenges of writing a highly technical, sophisticated and yet personal volume of the size of Enchantments was beyond anything I had previously undertaken. Dauntless, I had no intention of letting anything deter me from completing the other volumes and, no doubt, some smaller books as well over the next few years. It is, nevertheless, encouraging to read the kinds of comments I've been reading here in the past few days. As you will understand from personal experience, writing is a solitary pursuit. As one is writing the reader is an imaginary target. I try to engage in a dialogue with my target reader but s/he is a mere figment of my imagination. It is only when ones writing reaches the public that one begins to learn whether that target reader really exists. Thus, it is with great relief and considerable joy that I get to interact with some of my readers, now flesh and blood. It is particularly gratifying to read that another writer finds it as readable and communicative as your post indicates you did. Thank you for sharing your reaction with me.

Wesley James
Richard Lucas
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Just ordered Enchantments and look forward to learning some great effects, I am sure that I will enjoy it.
"The only difference between a Card Cheat and a Magician is that the Magician shows off.".......... Jay Ose 1965



Dicklucas
Wesley James
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Hazlet, New Jersey
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Richard,
I certainly hope that you do. Read it with an open mind and I promise it will make you think about your magic in new ways. That alone may be worth the price you'll pay.

Wesley James
Pete Biro
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1933 - 2018
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Wesley... parting with material... why would it bother one? After all creating something wonderful, then having others like it enough to use it should be something that one would (should) be proud of.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
Wesley James
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Hazlet, New Jersey
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Greetings Pete,
Welcome to the pool. Why does a father feel a sense of loss when he marries off his daughter? Why do parents feel lonely when their children leave home? One feels these feelings because a change is occuring. Ones married daughter will not be the same daddy's-little-girl she was before she wed. Ones children will never be the same integral, day-to-day part of the household they have been for so many years. A bit of reluctance to relinquish the old ways is, I beleive, understandable. The question wasn't asked but I would add that I am occasionally made proud when I see someone else performing my material, though many are shy about doing so.

In sum, it is a bittersweet experience and one through which I always harbor some fear. I have seen many of my ideas destroyed through poor performance. Sometimes your daughter's marriage doesn't work out.

All the best,

Wesley James
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