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KenTheriot

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Reply with quote  #1 
In the last issue of the Penguin Magic Monthly, there was a section describing R Paul Wilson's coin trick, "A New Wave." I tried to understand it by the written descriptions, but I couldn't make heads or tails of it (no pun intended :-)). Even with the pictures, I just couldn't figure it out.

On the other hand, I just went through Gary Kurtz' "Trio" written by Richard Kaufman. Every line made sense and as complex as the routine is, it was logical and coordinated perfectly with the illustrations.

Clearly, there is a talent to being able to describe a routine in print that some people have and others don't. 

All that being said, does anyone know of a video with R Paul Wilson performing and describing his trick, A New Wave?

Thanks!


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KenTheriot

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OK, I just found the DVD it's on - in case others are interested. It's Extreme Possibilities, Vol. 2.
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Axel

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Reply with quote  #3 
Hi Ken,

time is rare at the moment but I have the DVD and will look it up ( could take a little time)..if noone is faster or knows it right away...

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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #4 
In essence, magic books are text books. Writing clear, understandable instructions is a skill. Few are truly good at it. Richard Kaufman is among the best. But look who he learned from!

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Harry Lorayne

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Reply with quote  #5 
         Many won't know who he learned from.
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Rudy Tinoco

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony Vinson
In essence, magic books are text books. Writing clear, understandable instructions is a skill. Few are truly good at it. Richard Kaufman is among the best. But look who he learned from!

Av


So true! That’s why I love Harry’s books.

I found this post at the Genii forum, where Richard Kaufman talks about it he importance of clarity in writing.

“The level of technical detail at which we now write, which I think can be traced pretty much to John Northern Hilliard, was lacking from most of the books written before the first half of the 20th century with the notable exceptions of those by Hilliard (The Art of Magic and Greater Magic), but most notably The Expert at the Card Table. This is one of the reasons why Erdnase is so important to modern literature. It's not that all the technical details are easy to understand from reading the text the first or second time, BUT THEY ARE THERE. That's one of the most important things I learned from talking with Vernon, was how to read text like Erdnase.

Ditto for both Ross Bertram books. The material is there, but you have to dig. Almost as if the author feels only those who are worthy enough to dig deserve to really understand the material.

And ditto for Expert Card Technique--a great book, but too much hidden between the lines for my taste.

What Minch and I (and certainly others, including Harry Lorayne before us) have done is to end the business of having to read between the lines. I hate that. It's hard enough to learn complex sleight of hand from a book without having to figure out stuff that is being hinted at but only indirectly explained. Screw that!

I like the LePaul book very much, however it is lacking in many technical details in the description of the sleights. Ditto for Lewis Ganson, a poor writer (in my opinion). Tarbell was certainly better, but tackled more elementary material.

I would argue that the major voices for describing complex sleight of hand in our period are not mine and Minch, but that of Fulves and Racherbaumer--their output far exceeds ours even though they've reached smaller audiences. And they describe complex sleight of hand. Both (and I'm sure Jon will pardon me for this) suffer from two things: 1) Poor proofreading and editing; 2) They often worked from either memory, audio cassettes, or phone calls.

It's only because I know Jennings' work so well, and spent so much time with him, that I am able to extract the correct methods from the 90 audio cassettes he left me. Working off audio cassettes in order to describe complex sleight of hand you've never seen is neigh onto impossible unless you are already thoroughly familiar with the subjects work and way of thinking.

In the case of Cliff Green's Professional Card Magic, I have been studying the book since age 14. Digging, digging, digging. It has yielded great results, which I'm certainly going to share when I rewrite the book.

One reason Minch and I have done so well in describing the material of others (which has been the great bulk of our work) is because we were able to meet and work directly with our subjects. The importance of that cannot be overstated.”

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Harry Lorayne

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Reply with quote  #7 
Nice article by Richard - although he kind of skips over me a bit.  He once wrote that he learned much more from me about writing (and other things) than he learned from all his college professors! He started to learn from me way back when he was 17 years old, or younger, and I hired him to do the illustrations for my book, Afterthoughts. (How easily we forget. Which is fine - that's what gave me a career!!)
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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Lorayne
         Many won't know who he learned from.


Suppose you're right, Harry. Should've been clearer. Sometimes I forget just how damn old I am!
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Harry Lorayne

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Reply with quote  #9 
   I'll bet that I've got you beat by a few years --- 92nd birthday in about 6 months.
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Michaelblue

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Reply with quote  #10 
Keep doing Kurtz' Trio, its a great routine
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KenTheriot

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Reply with quote  #11 
I will. I made a decision about a year ago to learn two routines and get them REALLY well. Trio was one and Geoff Latta's "A Trick With 3 Coins." I tried making a video o fthe latter one a few months ago and got so a lot of feedback on how far I have to go. I'm about ready to try that video again[smile]. Trio is going to take a little longer. Do you do it, Michael?
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Michaelblue

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Reply with quote  #12 
I do Trio, but i dont know the Latta routine. I found out early on that saying Kurtz' dialogue for that one makes me feel weird, so i had to change it, which isnt hard to do. 

Got to look into some more Latta stuff
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KenTheriot

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Reply with quote  #13 
I'm with you on the Kurtz' patter. It's one of those things where it would sound strange coming from most anyone but him. 

Latta's "A Trick With 3 Coins" is bit different, but also has a bit of length to it like Trio, which I like. So many coin tricks are about 15 seconds and they're done. 

I learned it from the New York Coin Magic Seminar DVD set. 
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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #14 
Yeah, Kurtz's quirky style was uniquely his, but man did it ever work for him! One of the best all-around close-up magicians I have seen.
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Jeremy Salow

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Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudy Tinoco
  I would argue that the major voices for describing complex sleight of hand in our period are not mine and Minch, but that of Fulves and Racherbaumer--their output far exceeds ours even though they've reached smaller audiences. And they describe complex sleight of hand. Both (and I'm sure Jon will pardon me for this) suffer from two things: 1) Poor proofreading and editing;


You can say that again. I'm a big fan of Racherbaumer, and he does a great job. But...for instance in Card Finesse II, the lack of proofreading and editing for such a lauded book is horrendous. Great descriptions, but in many cases hampered by mistakes (right when it should be left, left when it should be right, etc.) Still one of the best books of it's type I have ever read for card sleights, but editing seems nonexistent.
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KenTheriot

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Reply with quote  #16 
Yeah, when I write out a sequence on my own, I often mistake left for right and THAT is pretty darned crucial :-P.

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