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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Flavors from the past... » » Zanadu Magic Course (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Frank Tougas
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Inner circle
Minneapolis, MN
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I was looking through some old boxes and came upon a bunch of Magic Magazines. Not the Stan Allen MAGIC but the magazine that was produced for mass marketing at the regular newsstands almost 30 years ago.

A prominent advertiser was Mark Wilson who’s newly written Course in Magic was publicized widely. I noticed that Zanadu, was in direct competition with the Wilson Course, which back then was produced more like a correspondence course than the nice slick book we see today.

Zanadu also had a correspondence course promising to make you a professional magician. I was wondering if anyone at the Café purchased that course and has it become a sought after collectable or just another flash in the pan.
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
WolfgangWollet
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I actually bought the production rights to Zanadu Items after ARt Kahn passed away. I am not sure if all lessons were ever produced but I do have the first five or 6 of them.
It would be interesting for me to if somebody had a complete set.
Frank Tougas
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Minneapolis, MN
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I check back here every once in a while to see if someone responds. Thanks very much. I am facinated, how would you say they compare to the competition Mark Wilson or the original Tarbell? PM me if you'd rather - This topic doesn't seem of much interest to most.

Frank
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
WolfgangWollet
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Art Kahn usually wrote very good instructions, however some of the lesson seem to be put together in quite a hurry. No comparison to the original Tarbell and I could not comment on the Wilson as I have not seen it.
Bob Sanders
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Grammar Supervisor
Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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Frank,

Do you remember that all the instructions for Zanadu items were on yellow (golden rod) paper?

Here in the South that carried a very negative connotation. During political elections black organizations passed out yellow sheets at all their politically active churches to “professional voters” who rode in vans all day long traveling from polling place to polling place voting all day long as “different” voters. The yellow sheets had pictures of what to do in the voter’s booth. It has only been in the last few years that voters in the South could be required to show any form of identification to vote. It’s still a joke. They bring utility bills with the voters’ names on them. (Wow! What a positive ID! If magic were just that easy!)

I still have tons of Zanadu stuff with the original instructions. (If I could just read! I went to public school in Alabama. Elections determined our educational leadership. Oops! I should’ve been a cowboy! Oh! I was! No wonder I became a magician.)

Bob
Magic By Sander
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz

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okito25
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Victoria BC Canada
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Interesting enough .. it was a toss up between Mark wilsons course and Zanadu.. when I was all of 12( I had the bug at 8) .. however Mark was making a splash on the Scene .. and Nani Darnell was every boys ideal assistant(little Gregory Wilson was just annoying Smile) .. so I opted for Wilsons Course ,I had a paper route and could afford it . I even fell for a young gal magicienne.. named Amy Kamin( wonder if she is still doing Magish) ) .. I think after a layout in the magic magaziene. WOW I haven't thought about that in 30 years ! Funny how something will trigger memories , Me and a half dozen Friends all geared up to be the next Big star would Ride our bikes to the palace news and pick that magaziene up .. on the 1st tuesday of the month.. and in three weeks it was dog eared wrinkled and crinkled .. and many many ads for free magic cut Out.. and every new slight mastered .. Homework not done but Slights mastered, much to our parents distraction , Funny how that works .. out of all those pals .. I am the only one still working it ... Hmm thanks for the memories .. I will stop my babble now
Keet
Frank Tougas
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Minneapolis, MN
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Wish I had opted for the Zanadu course, it would be a real collectable. Mark Wilsons course won out and while I don't have it in the original course form, I have the book as do many of us and it is an invaluable resource.
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
Spellbinder
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The Holy City of East Orange, NJ
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Art Kahn and Zanadu... how the memories flow.
“In Xanadu did Kublai Khan a stately pleasure dome decree,
Where Alph, the sacred river ran,
Through caverns measureless to man,
Down to a sunless sea.”
SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE – Kublai Khan

Art's store was certainly a sunless place; a little cubby hole in Jersey City crammed with his original magic, his lecture notes and books, his correspondance course papers... but travel with him behind the counter, through secret doors, down caverns measureless to man and you arrived at his workshop and manufacturing facility in the basement... watch your head! But then, my memory is that it opened up into a cavernous room filled with wonders he was manufacturing at the time. He would keep up a running banter full of his wry wit, while handing you props he had just completed one after the other with no clue as to what they were good for or how they could be used, but he liked to get opinions on the quality of the materials he was using.

I hope Art has finally discovered his stately pleasure dome beside the calm river of time.
Professor Spellbinder

Professor Emeritus at the Turkey Buzzard Academy of Magik, Witchcraft and Wizardry

http://www.magicnook.com

Publisher of The Wizards' Journals
Rindfleisch
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New Jersey
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Art Kaun was a great man and helped me a lot with my magic. We didn't always see eye to eye on things but I think that was a good thing. I think the biggest thing art did for me is let me follow along with him on the weekends when he went out and did his shows he was a great entertainer and very professional. I Still do his watch steal. which is to put the watch on behind your back while your asking them questions.
I miss him.

Joe Rindfleisch
check me out on facebook #MAGICTOTD
Rennie
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I think I have about
1552 Posts

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Quote:
On 2005-01-21 12:44, Frank Tougas wrote:
Wish I had opted for the Zanadu course, it would be a real collectable. Mark Wilsons course won out and while I don't have it in the original course form, I have the book as do many of us and it is an invaluable resource.

Frank,
I also debated between the Mark Wilson course and Zanadu, Mark as you stated won out and that was the one I went with. I did however buy the original which is bound so it lays flat, much nicer than the book, which I also have. I would like to purchase the Zanadu course if anyone has it just to add to my collection.
Rennie
The effect is the important thing, how you achieve it is not.......
magicians
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Teacher and Legend
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Art was a great character, we spent many a day in that creepy basement. If I remember right, wasn't there a White castle restaurant next door?
Anyway, Art used a Commodore 64 computer and EasyScript 64 to do his instruction sheets. He kept the finished instruction in an open wall file in the back of the shop. evereyone keeps talking about a magic kit, but I only remember the magic lessons which were merely attempts to emulate the now everpresent booklets. Zanadu's idea was to sell it cheap and in bulk, wheras Wilson went for splash and presentation.
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I gave him the rights to make mylar mouth coils (cause he had a great "punch press" knife blade which cuts the mylar without "plastic dust" (today ithey are being made by India..who sold them the rights?). Anyway Art was a central figure in lots of the acts out today, Rocco, Coby, McBride (thats who I originally made the mouth coils for).
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Art used to dye his rainbow ropes in the back yard.. a freaky site to see these ropes on a line. He also made every single item by hand himself. I learned a lot from him, and we traveled to many a convention together.
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His boyhood pals in Jersey were Roy Fromer, Horowitz, Paul Fried (D. Robbins), Jose De La Torre, and he had many others in France as well who I don't remember.
Illusionist, Illusionist consulting, product development, stage consultant, seasoned performer for over 35 years. Specializing in original effects. Highly opinionated, usually correct, and not afraid of jealous critics. I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pawn and a King. Free lance gynecologist.
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