Sunday, April 23, 2006

Magic on the Menu -- the Lecture!

There was a legendary magic magazine, which was published especially for the close-up magician. The Magic Menu was its name, and when it vanished, everyone mourned.

But, hark! We have something which appears to be a lost issue of the Magic Menu! "Tips & Tricks for the Professional & Aspiring Restaurant Magician" it's subtitled, and it's available only if you get Jim Sisti to come to your town to lecture.

Well if you have a magic club, an IBM Ring, or an SAM Assembly -- do it! Get Jim to your area, and do buy this book.

Because Jim leads the first half of this book with twelve essays that cover how to get an audition, how to get the job (two separate things), advice on tips (I only slightly disagree with him, but he does have years more experience at this than I), material, problem customers, what types of magic should meet your needs, making sure you keep the job and prosper, and so many more things. This is good advice -- no, this is great advice. And your career will be greater if you heed it.

That's not all. He follows these essays with seven effects which are ideal for walkaround, and geared especially for restaurant settings. Seven all-star creators of these effects: Jim himself, Tom Ladshaw, David Acer, Al the Only, Bert Allerton, Chris Hurlbert, and Tom Mullica. You'd expect great magic from these fellows; you won't be disappointed. The effects aren't complicated, they reset easily, and you'll have no problem with people examining them.

"Transmutation" is changing the volunteered (!) bill from a higher denomination to a lower. And then having the original appear in a coin purse which has been on the table away from your hands all the time.

"Signature Transpo" has your signature and your volunteer's switch from one business card to another - and leaves them with your business card (always a good idea).

"Forget Me Not" is when you sign your Voodoo Business Card -- and your signature flies to a playing card which your volunteer has been holding.

"The Happy Birthday Card Trick" tells us that it "is not a powerful illusion; it is a cutesy trick." When everyone sings "Happy Birthday," you deal the cards to the beat of the song. You land on their chosen card. You flip over the cards you've dealt and there, with a single letter on the back of each card, is spelled out "Happy Birthday!"

"The Two-Card Trick" has two cards mischiveously switching places back and forth between your pocket and the volunteer. But that's OK, because you're going to show them how it works.

"The Flushing Joker," like "Happy Birthday," will require a bit of room. You manage to deal yourself a Royal Flush in spades, but can't find the volunteer's card. No problem. A snap of the fingers and you flip the cards over -- to reveal their card's name spelled out on the backs of the cards.

"Torn" is a nice, simple, you-can-do-it-at-the-next-table torn and restored card effect.

Any one of these would be a nice complement to the essays. As it is, you might just have an entire night's act with this. Certainly, you have the makings of a career by following the advice in the essays.

The only thing I'd improve about this book, is I'd like it to come with Jim, demonstrating the effects therein. I've got to move somewhere that he lectures!


Anonymous Dan Gifford said...

Yeah, the Magic Menu is a great magazine full of practical advice and routines. I recommend buying the books, they are a great rsource.

Does Jim Stisi ever come to the UK?


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