Ten things every magician should know


(And then some!)

This page is devoted to miscellaneous knowledge that I have gleaned over the years and could not seem to place anywhere else in I.C.O.M. Check out what is here regularly, I will be adding material as it becomes available. You never know what you will find!

Thing #1
Every Magician Should Know This “Out”

Audience Challenge Explanation Example For Multiple Step Routines
Bobby J. Gallo

Many times audiences will become suspicious when a trick (especially mathematical ones) contain too many steps to make them seem magical. Here is an explanation why as a magician, you have to do these things!

Many of you may be wondering why this experiment has so many steps. You may be thinking, if can read minds, why doesn’t he just do it? The reason is this, lets take car for an example. You cannot run a car on gas alone. You also need oil, transmission fluid, a battery, sparks plugs, anti-freeze, etc. So is it with magic, in order for me to get the proper psychic vibrations, these steps are necessary. So provide me with your cooperation and you will be rewarded with a feat of magic that you will remember for a long time. It works!

Thing #2
Every Magician Should Know The Timeless Truths!

An International Conservatory of Magic Online
“Timeless Truth

The audience may “think” they know how a trick is done, but that doesn’t mean they do!

An International Conservatory of Magic Online
“Timeless Truth

The audience may know how a trick is done, but that doesn’t mean they know how to do the trick…

An International Conservatory of Magic Online
“Timeless Truth

When is comes to actual effect “Less is more”

Thing #3
Every Magician Should Know This Bit Of Magical History

The “Little Known” History of the Magic Wand

Even more so than “pulling a rabbit out of a hat”, the magic wand is the universal symbol of magic. The classic elongated black object with white tips has been seen whenever and wherever the word “magic” is used. But what are the origins of this most ancient symbol of our beloved art? Here in the ICOM library, you may find some answers to this question that very few magicians know.

There have been speculations as to the exact beginnings of the usages of the wand. It would be safe to assume that the wand has been around since ancient shaman used their walking staffs as tools in which to summon spirits. We know however that such usages are at least 6000 years old since we read the famous biblical account of Moses and the court magician turning the rods into serpents in front of the Egyptian King. This account shows us that the magic wand was not only in use at that time, but would logically indicate that its use was ancient even at that time.

Another probable conclusion is that the wand was used as a stirring device by the ancient Alchemists. These ancient practitioners of the magical arts were an unlikely combination of scientist, magic practiser (the real thing, not illusions) and mathematicians. Throw in a few other titles in some cases as well. Many of these old time magicians wore black robes to hide their identities to keep form being labeled as heretics. This is where it is said that the wands color combination originated. The black was supposed to symbolize all in the world that was unknown, belonging to another plane of existence or was mysterious. The white tips of the wand are the deposit of knowledge proven by science and human achievement. It is interesting to note how much smaller mankinds knowledge is when compared to the vast expanse the the black section! The white tips are placed on the ends of the wand in an effort to lock in the unknown by sealing the ends of the wand which are the only exits to this plane of existence. This may have been an effort to control these forces even though they remain a mystery.

Throughout the ages, the magic wand has also been associated with walking sticks or staffs used by those who depend upon them as a means of physical support. It is evident that an old “wise” man’s staff after death would be thought to have possessed some of his/her magical prowess since this object was so closely tied to that person for so long a period of time. Thus, they became a much sought after talisman.

In modern day magic, wands have exceptional uses to the magician beyond that of being mere symbols of the magical arts. Palming techniques, misdirection and even magical effects themselves can be developed using the wand. In “Sachs Sleight of Hand”, the author deals with the uses of the magic wand. It is suggested reading.

Look for complete lessons for the use of the magic wand in the ICOM Beginners Study in the near future. Till then, impress your local club members with your new found knowledge, spice up your presentations and tell everyone you found it here in the ICOM Library!

Thing #4
Every Magician Should Know The Best Books To Read

Suggested Reading List
The ICOM “Yard Long” Bookshelf

Here they are. What we here at ICOM feel to be the finest magical texts ever written. It must be observed that in the world of magic there is a great deal of repetition when it comes to magic books. So many moves as well as entire routines are written, re-written again and again in book after book. Those with large libraries will attest that a good 50% of their shelves are lined with tomes that are in many ways identical to others by entirely different authors! All clamoring to be the industry standard.

The books in following list are important for the reasons stated beneath each. If this collection is amassed. The reader will have nearly every resource necessary to become a successful magician a their fingertips! While we will add to this list in the future, we will take care not to make it too large. That is why we call it out yard long bookshelf! They are all you need, for in truth, you could never master all of the magic contained in the following list should you live to be as old as Merlin himself!

1.The Amateur Magician’s Handbook-Henry Hay
This small book has become the standard beginners textbook by which all others are judged. It is comprehensive in scope and covers most all basic sleights, tricks, moves, and concepts.

2.The Magical World of Slydini-Karl Fulves
Most likely the greatest book on close-up magic ever written. The material, while being of an advanced nature, relies heavily on technique and misdirection. This makes it a must for every serious student.

3.The Best of Slydini-Karl Fulves
This book completes the set started with the one above. Material developed by the greatest close-up magician who has ever lived.

4.Sleight of Hand-Sachs
At one time this book was proclaimed by the era’s most famous magicians as the standard textbook for becoming a magician. Most of the theory is as sound today as it was almost a hundred years ago when it was originally written. Most of the magical effects are the same ones used today with little or no differences!

5.Our Magic-Maskelyne & Devant
This book on theory has never been equalled. The REAL secrets for becoming a magician are contained here. A must for every magic bookshelf.

6.Bobo’s Modern Coin Magic-Bobo
The Bible of coin magic. The basis for nearly every bit of coin magic over the past century is contained in this book.

7.The Encyclopedia of Impromptu Magic-Martin Gardner
This collection of magic that can be done at a moments notice is staggering. Thousands of tricks and stunts are contained here. Some that can not be found anywhere else. A literal gold mine of material.

8.Magic Without Apparatus-Gaultier
This ancient text is the forerunner of all texts on pure sleight of hand. It is very technical and has few illustrations. However, we have found that learning from this book gives the student a better overall picture of what the magic intends to accomplish. Huge is scope, it has all the basics dealing with cards, coins, balls and thimbles.

9.Handkerchief Magic-Hugard
For a small booklet, this publication give the student nearly all the basic moves, sleights, and advise on handling silks. A much less costly alternative to Rice’s Encyclopedia of Silk Magic (3 volumes).

10.Thirteen Steps To Mentalism-Corinda
THE book on mental magic. An outstanding, thorough, and massive compilation of mentalism that includes everything from impromptu stunts to full blown stage presentations. Everything you will ever need when it comes to psychic type magic.

Thing #5
Every Magician Should know these handy dandy tips by Ron Dayton
You can cut white sponge foam into cubes and paint dots on them with dimensional craft paint to form your own production dice for pennies.

You can use three sets of the Block and Penny trick for a shell and pea type presentation.  To show the penny, block is slid to one side rather than lifted.

You can shuffle a Sevengali Deck in the usual manner and still force a card as outlined in the instructions.

Secretly load a box full of crayons ( all the same color )  into a youngsters cap. Do a crayon catch, ala cigarette catcher,  and pretend to toss them into the cap. For the finale’, produce full box of crayons as the hat is returned.

10. Suggestions & Info.:  You can hand spring a Brain Wave deck, and nothing will show.

Author: Bobby J. Gallo


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.