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Topic: Levent on the "Sympathetic Silks"
Message: Posted by: Levent (Mar 27, 2009 06:46PM)
Hello All:

After the recent “Masters of Illusion” telecast in which I performed the “Sympathetic Silks” trick, I had received some emails from magicians asking about the origins of my routine.

In lieu of sending these gentlemen a private message, I thought it would be best to tell my story on an open forum, such as “The Magic Café”.

One small note, to some extent much of what I have to say on the trick was already published in “MAGIC” magazine (March 2002) in an article about me titled: “Levent – Method Behind Madness” by Alan Howard.

For the most part, I work on cruise ships and I am required to bring about 60 minutes of material. About 9 years ago, I was booked to work on a very deluxe ship in which the passengers paid on average about $1000 per person per day. The booking was scheduled to be a year away and on that vessel they required three different shows, which came out to about 105 minutes of material in total.

Because of my pacing I calculated that this would be a total of 50 magic tricks and a ton of gags and patter. Being that I had a year to build up to much material, I took it as a challenge and began to expand my act.

Since I don’t like to do common magic tricks unless I can find a special hook that will make a trick mine. I utilized my collection of magic books to find some old magic tricks that have slipped off the radar that could be brought back to life.

As a magic/vaudeville historian I had noticed that in the lists of routines from old magic acts, it seems that almost one in ten magicians did some form of a trick called the “Sympathetic Silks”. In fact the trick was regularly a part of the Howard Thurston and Horace Goldin shows and even Houdini did it on his last tour.

Furthermore in the “Genii” magazine survey conducted by Robert Orben in the 1950s, it is reported that on the list of the 20 most commonly performed magic tricks, the “Sympathetic Silks” came in at number 12!

Yet for some reason this is now a pretty rare trick. I think you could probably count the top pros doing this effect on one hand. Perhaps this is because the old performers that featured the trick had died and there were few young magicians to pick up the helm, opting instead for newer effects.

In any case, seeing this effect on the lists of popular tricks of the past acted as a “red flag” and made me curious about the possibility of bringing it back with an original handling of my own.

So I decided to give the trick a try and began my research.

The earliest reference I found was in the classic 1910 book “Magicians Tricks and How They Are Done” by Henry Hatton and Adrian Plate. After that book, there seems to be enormous interest in the trick and so many published ways of doing it. In fact in my library I found versions of the “Sympathetic Silks” described in more than 35 old books and I scanned all the references and created a PDF file for the trick that was nearly 300 pages long!

There seems to be two basic ways of presenting the effect.

One way is that two silks are shown untied and placed aside. Another pair of silks are shown and tied together. The first pair of silks is then shown to have magically tied together in “Sympathy” with the other, thus this effect was called the “Sympathetic Silks”.

The other way is a plot in which knots are magically shown to transfer from one group of silks to another. This could be called the “Traveling Knots” premise.

Both the “Sympathetic Silks” and “Traveling Knots” are essentially the same trick. It is just the premise that differs slightly.

Among the first routines I learned was the Charlie Miller’s routine called “Knot Control”. I tested it before a live audience of about 1000 people and it got a surprisingly good reaction.

So I began a headlong project to create an original presentation of the trick. But I did not want to do a version that was too simple as I believed that there was much more mystery in doing a multiphase presentation. This was the path followed in the book “Edward Proudlock’s Version of the Sympathetic Silks” published in England in 1936. Another great multiphase version that I studied was the Paul Potassy routine from a 1997 German language book called “Die Paul Potassy Show” by Uwe Schenks & Michael Sondermeyers, which was given to me as a gift from my dear friend the late Ted Lesley. Luckily my wife speaks German, so she translated the silk chapter for me. Of course today that would not be necessary because the Potassy book has now been translated into English by Richard Hatch. I also spent quite a bit of time studying the work on the trick by Harold Rice, Will Ayling and Tony Slydini.

Once the basic structure of my routine was complete, I set about fixing what I believed to be the three big flaws of a multi-phase “Sympathetic Silks” routine.

Problem number one was the methodology of secretly untying the silks. I was really unhappy with the earlier methods. At least to my eyes, I did not like the wrapping of the silks or in some methods the use of misdirection during the crucial moments. So, I spent a few months creating two different completely original methods for this that could be done instantly right in front of people’s eyes without detection. This was a bear to accomplish and perform! I practiced this thousands of times and completely wore out a set of heavy duty scarves until I figured it out.

Problem number two was the confusion of the audience as to which group of silks were tied and untied. With the simple version of the effect where the knots travel once, this is not a problem. But with a complex version where the knots travel back and forth several times, audiences will have a tough time keeping track of which pile of silks is supposed to be loose or tied. So, I wrote patter that centered around a simple “play on words” and made cardboard signs with the “Knot” or “Not” written on them. By transferring the letter “K” the spectators are led to believe that the placement of the “K” makes the magic happen. More importantly the “K” helps the audience in a very large theater easily keep track of what is going on. Incidentally I recently performed this routine on a TV special in Seoul, Korea and for the show I made special “Not” signs that combined English and Korean Hangol characters.

And finally problem number three which is that when doing a complex multiphase “Sympathetic Silks” routine the effect commonly lacks a good finale. Charlie Miller himself wrote about this, positing that if you make the knots travel from one place to another several times the typical finale of making all the silks tie together at the end is just more of the same. Because of this Mr. Miller only did a simple version of the effect. While working on the routine, I discussed it often with John Thompson on the telephone. John told me that he used to do the trick in the early 1960s and closed with a production from the silks at the end. This is a GOOD idea. Then in passing John mentioned that maybe I could combine the trick with the so-called “This” production. I immediately knew that was a GREAT idea.

Now if you don’t know what “This” is, it is an effect that was the invention of the late South American wizard Max Londono. When Max was working in nightclubs in his native Cartagena, Columbia in the 1960s, he would open his act by coming out on stage holding three large silks of various colors in his left hand. Max would show each silk empty with his right hand and then from the combined silks he produced a large fantail pigeon.

Personally, I do NOT like the “This” trick, because it typically starts with holding the silks in the hand. To my way of thinking it just does not pass the smell test. But if the silks could be used individually beforehand, thus implying that they are empty and then afterwards you can secretly load up the silks and use the “This” ruse then you would have a mystery. Needless to say, this created some enormous technical obstacles. But I kept working on it and as you can see on the “Masters of Illusion” TV show I solved these problems. If you look closely you will notice that there’s a lot of technical secrets hidden in this routine. I have only revealed them to a couple of close friends. Perhaps in the coming years I will publish the routine, but for now I am keeping it for myself.

So after I figured out how the trick would work, I discarded the store bought scarves that I had originally used and made my own set. From the fabric store I chose a burgundy red, dark blue and a slate gray fabric and got busy on the sewing machine. This was a major pain in the neck and it literally took me three days to properly hem the fabric and make all the secret gimmicks.

At some point I was deeply conflicted about some of my methodology as I had several versions of the secret moves and could not decide which were the best. This sometimes happens to magicians as they are too close to an effect and they cannot see it from the spectator’s eyes. To solve this I did the trick for Lupe and Norm Nielsen in their living room and afterward Norm helped me decide on the best handling for maximum deception.

I am proud to say that about a year later I was in Las Vegas and I performed the entire routine for John Thompson (& Martin A. Nash) in John’s kitchen and fooled them with it!

Not long after, I was headlining the Comedy Club at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas and Jeff McBride and his wife came to see my show and Jeffrey commented on how much he liked the fact that my scarves looked like real scarves and not magician’s silks.

Later I would become close friends with Paul Potassy and Paul told me the colors of my scarves looked a bit murky to him. This caused me to replace the slate gray scarf with a pure white fabric and this is the set that I use today.

When I did the effect on that cruise ship, which required me to do three different shows, I used this routine to close my third performance. How I staged it was at the finale I walked into the audience holding the three silks in my right hand. I showed each silk empty by drawing it through the hands of a spectator seated in the audience. I then produced a real bottle of champagne and gave it to the astonished spectator as a gift.

Eventually I wrote an original piece of music for the trick, using a computer and a keyboard synthesizer. This was a simple musical vamp, with a four-chord progression in which the root note of the chords followed the chromatic scale. Each reveal of the silks had a musical accent and the tempo was kept by a fast bass line punctuated by a polyrhythmic drum track. For some reason the original soundtrack was not used during the “Masters of Illusion” broadcast.

One more interesting note: When I perform the routine today, the first bottle has a Martini label and the second bottle has a “Tide” detergent label on it. This allows me to make a bad pun about the scarves being “Tied” at the end. Before I flew to Los Angeles to shoot “Masters of Illusion” I was concerned about having an actual product label on a TV show. Thinking that this could be a problem with the sponsors during the broadcast, I altered the labels on the bottles and changed the Martini label to say the words “Booze”. And I created a completely fake detergent label for the orange bottle. But if you listen to what I say I let the words “Tide” slip accidentally from my mouth, but in the context of the trick the audience thinks I am commenting on the fact that the silks were “Tied”, so no harm was done.

Best regards,
Message: Posted by: Darkwing (Mar 28, 2009 01:28AM)

Your routine and method for "Sympathetic Silks" is simply brilliant. Lots of lessons for us to learn here; knowledge of magic history, technical knowledge, working toward a goal, patience, surrounding yourself with other magical minds, creating something that is entertaining and developing routines in front of live audiences. Plus, you have shown that it takes a great deal of hard work to develop routines and that good magic is just not out of the box. I have personally benefited from this post (and from the DVD I bought from you).

Very inspiring.

Well Done!

Thank you,
David Williams
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Mar 28, 2009 08:52PM)
Thanks for sharing. I like how you think.

Message: Posted by: Levent (Mar 29, 2009 12:16PM)
Thank You David and Richard!

Best regards,
Levent (Flying home from a long road trip!)
Message: Posted by: accolombel (Mar 31, 2009 11:25PM)
I saw the routine on "Masters of Illusion" and thought it was fantastic. Thank you for sharing your development of the routine. This is more information on developing a routine than one can get in most venues. Information that many would pay for.
Again, thank you for sharing.

Message: Posted by: Autumn Morning Star (Apr 1, 2009 10:55AM)
Thank you so very much for sharing the development of your fantastic routine! So many magicians think you just "open the box, do a bit of practice, and you have a fabulous routine". Levent, you have taken "thinking outside the box" to a whole new level. Your dedication to the Art of Magic is remarkable. I look forward to hearing many more of your inspiring stories!
Message: Posted by: Levent (Apr 1, 2009 03:43PM)
Thanks Craig and Autumn.

I always like to think about magic in terms that would normally apply to the world of music.

Some people can write songs. Others are better at playing songs written by others. Some are songwriters and performers who only play original tunes that they created themselves. Some are people who can neither write songs, nor play songs well, but they play music because it makes them happy to do so.

In magic there are people who fit in similar categories and each one is perfectly fine as long as no one his hurt by exposure or bad business practices.

In the previous essay, I laid out my work process. It is the way I like to create material and I am happy that others would find this information enlightening.

There are others ways to put together a magic routine and I believe they all offer a valid path to creation.

Best regards,
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Apr 1, 2009 08:10PM)

That is fantastic! Thank you.

I hope we see you often here on The Magic Café.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: puppeterry (Apr 2, 2009 02:22PM)
Then there are jazz artists who can take somebody else's melody and turn it into something new and exciting.
Jazzy, Levent.

Message: Posted by: Levent (Apr 2, 2009 08:48PM)
Thanks Bob & TVM,

I try to visit the Magic Café as often as I can and post something. Usually I can only do this when I am home or on a job on land.

Unfortunately, when I am away on a cruise ship at sea, the satellite internet costs me 55 cents per minute and the connection is slower than dial-up. So during a those times I only check my e-mail and avoid surfing the web in general.

Best regards,
Message: Posted by: David Bilan (Apr 3, 2009 05:53PM)

An excellent essay on the evolution of an effect! Alliteration aside, this should be mandatory reading for anyone seeking to be a true success.

Thank you for sharing.

Message: Posted by: dmueller (Apr 4, 2009 09:47PM)
As a relative newcomer to the art, I must say this was very insightful as to what goes on behind the scenes in the creation of a routine. Life has kept me fairly busy lately so I have been Tivoing MOI and catching up when I get a chance. I actually just watched that episode the other day and was floored. Absolute genius.

The routine was definitely a breath of fresh air. I think if I see one more variation of "lovely assistant goes into box then box is pulled apart/stabbed/all sorts of other mean and nasty things" I will puke. Even to my lay people friends it is getting repetitive. While I certainly don't mind the lovely assistants, it is nice to see a routine with some spirit.

Keep up the good work. I can't wait to see more.
Message: Posted by: Tim Hannig (Apr 9, 2009 12:52AM)

I really enjoyed the essay, especially after seeing the routine on MOI.

Your hard work is an inspiration.
Message: Posted by: Alikzam (Apr 10, 2009 04:56AM)
I love hearing you talk about method. When I watched your performance, I watched the performance and I never even thought about how it was done, or could be done. Your character/persona is so well done.

If you're like that in real life, you must be a very tired man. ;)

PS: I look forward to following you on twitter.
Message: Posted by: Foxbiz (Apr 11, 2009 03:39PM)
Levent.... Having seen your perfomance live at our club banquet (thank you for performing) I noticed that you had a unique way of upsetting the knots and a great premise (follow the K).

It is obvious that you have honed so much of your material that just passes by while enjoying your show. Your rope routine and misers dream were superb.

I hope to learn even a little from you in the near future. Thanks for contrubuting here as well as in other articles and books.

Your neighbor....
Lynn Fox
Message: Posted by: sherifmayika (Apr 13, 2009 09:29PM)
I have seen a hyllrious routin on sympathetic silk. Allthough which did not have climax like yours. The magician repeats the transpostion three times each time with diffrent type of knots, Any idia?
Message: Posted by: Levent (Apr 14, 2009 10:58AM)
David, Dmueller, Tim & Alikzam:


Lynn Fox:

About my Miser Dream and Rope routine, money routine, straight jacket, neutron card trick, etc...

I really wish we had more time at the taping of Masters of Illusion. I was all set to do my rope routine, but the producers asked me to cut some material, because on the last day of shooting we ran out of time. As a result I'm sorry to say I couldn't do my rope routine. So on "Master's of Illusion" you might have noticed that I do NO audience participation tricks (which are usually the bread and butter of most comedy magicians).

Hopefully, I'll get another chance to do these kinds of routines on TV in the future.


I am not sure about the routine you have seen. Is it perhaps my dear friend, Paul Potassy?

Best regards to all,
Levent currently on tour
Message: Posted by: dsalley13 (Apr 14, 2009 04:23PM)
M. Levent,

I saw your Sympathetic Silks routine last night (I missed it the first time it played). It was magnificent!!! You were the star of the entire show in my eyes.

I laughed until I almost died when you had the "K" walk across the floor from one chair to another. That was priceless!!!

Give Mr. Rabbit a hug from me. :o)

Message: Posted by: sherifmayika (Apr 30, 2009 11:30PM)
You are correct, the sympathetic silk I mentioned is of Grand master magician Paul Potassy. When you told me his name, I simply googled and bought his video. A great thanks to you.

His sympathetic silk was in my mind for years and now comes yours as another legendary routine.
Message: Posted by: Levent (May 4, 2009 09:36PM)

Yes, Mr. Potassy is a wonderful magician and I am happy to say that he is also a good friend of mine. In addition to the silks, there are many excellent routines in his book and DVD set.

Best regards,
Message: Posted by: feifei (May 15, 2009 11:18AM)
Levent, I definitely enjoyed reading your article about the history and how you came about with your routine. Thanks for sharing it as it was a long one to write.
I also loved very much your performances on Masters of Illusion! Wonderful!!!
Message: Posted by: Stucky (May 18, 2009 03:23AM)
I got a magic (VHS) video as a kid and they taught simple effects but did performance only of others. SS was one of them and I thought, "Screw this rubber and quarter trick, I wanna learn the silks effect!"

I have always loved this and even used it on and off for years. Mind you, your routine blows any others that might be done nowadays out of the water so...
Message: Posted by: HerbS (Apr 25, 2010 10:26AM)
Like others, I very much enjoyed reading about how you developed your Sympathetic Silks routine. I've returned to serious study of magic recently after a long period, and have benefited from your materials, particularly your amazing Miser's Dream DVDs.

But that's another story. In the meantime, I decided to work on Sympathetic Silks and while collecting various references came across your routine on YouTube (which is fabulous, by the way).

My main question here is about the silks that you use. Would you be willing to provide any more detail about the type of fabric you bought and how the silks were hemmed? I really like the way those silks look. I purchased six 24" silks from a magic shop and while they probably are fine for my purposes, at least while I'm learning the routine, I have a feeling that something more durable might be better in the end. Also, then I could choose the specific color shades I wanted. I don't have a sewing machine, so would probably end up enlisting the services of a friend or hiring someone to cut the fabric and hem the silks.

I've seen other discussions on the board about silk weight. So, I assume that silk fabric of specific weight can be bought in most good fabric shops, yes?

Thanks for any advice.

Message: Posted by: Levent (Apr 27, 2010 10:16AM)
Hi I just saw this post.

First a message to Stucky: A belated Thanks!!!

Second a message to Herb: When I first developed the routine, I purchased the trick called "Charlie Miller's Knot Control" from Magic Inc. in Chicago. Basically it was a few pages of instructions and six woman's headscarves. I believe the scarves that came with the trick were purchased in a large quantity from a wholesaler by either Jay Marshall or Charlie Miller. The scarves were very strong and slick, slippery and had a kind of water repellent quality to them. I wish I knew more about the material, but I don't. Sadly, the printed patterns and colors on these scarves were in my opinion, extremely ugly. So, I felt that I needed better looking scarves.

I did however practice a lot with those Magic Inc. scarves and it is with them I invented my original techniques for the trick. I went to a fabric store and found material that closest matched the feel of the Magic Inc. scarves. I think the best way to describe the material is the say that they feel like the fabric that is used on a umbrella.

Someone told me that Magic Inc. no longer has those scarves (that were probably purchased 30 or 40 years ago) in stock, but you could check yourself.

I am definitely not the best person with a needle and thread, but I will tell you exactly how I hemmed the silks. I used a hot steam Iron and made a crease along the edge of the fabric. I used a sewing machine to make a seam by making a straight stitch very close to the edge. With scissors I cut off the excess material. I folded the seam over on itself and ironed it down. Then I sewed the seam down with a very small Zig-Zag stitch. I don't know if what I am saying makes sense, because I don't know enough about sewing or its nomenclature. But the scarves in my show have held up for about 7 years now, so I guess I did something right.

Good Luck,

Check out my new podcast at http://www.MagicQandA.com
Message: Posted by: JNeal (Apr 27, 2010 12:28PM)
Levent (and others) ,
I believe those scarves were Nylon that Magic Inc. sold and it does have a natural water repelancy (which is why it is often used as umbrella cover material). So I think you did well with the material choice.

Rather than a Zig zag stitch though, I would recommend just a regular flat stitch which will give even less resistance when the knots are slipped or slided.
BTW- This is just the sort of question that could be answered in more detail (although not so speedily) on Levent's Podcast. More questions please!

Regards to all-
Message: Posted by: HerbS (Apr 28, 2010 04:56AM)
Hey-Levent and JNeal, thanks very much for your advice (JNeal, I saw your post on the other thread). I guess next step for me is to the fabric store. While I thought some day I might learn how to make a fashionable shirt or something, I never really thought it would be silks for magic that would inspire me to learn how to sew! But that seems as good a reason as any. Magic Inc., in fact no longer sells the silks with Knot Control, although they do still sell the manuscript for $10. I will check out the podcast. Sounds great.
Message: Posted by: revmike (May 2, 2010 02:52PM)
Recently I was on vacation and had the distinct pleasure of seeing Levent perform on the Cruise ship we were on including his version of the Sympathetic Silks - I also wish to add that I sent a note to his cabin, and he had never met me before but he called me the next day and agreed to meet with me and we spent about 45 to 50 minutes just chatting about magic including the Sympathetic Silks and the Linking Rings.

He was a true gentleman and a great entertainer.

Message: Posted by: Jef Eaton (May 2, 2010 05:34PM)
My wife saw him last week on a cruise for her sister'e birthday and said he was excellent!
She told him he was a credit to the profession.
I agreee. His thinking and depth of routining are amazing.
I have to get one of his DVD's.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (May 2, 2010 07:27PM)
I also purchased the original Charlie Miller Knot Control from Magic Inc. This material was ,as I see it, just 100% nylon shiny material. Not very large, but okay for the job, I remember thinking if this is correct, as all the claims at that time were, that in order to do the Sympathetic Silks correctly, you had to have very small hems.

Levent is correct in his explanation of hemming the silks, although on my machine, there is an attachment that can be attached to make a French hem, this folds over the material's edge onto itself as it stitches.

Singer sewing machine publishes a great book on sewing with pictures for a reasonable price for beginners. I suggest all who visit a fabric store that sells sewing machines and pick up a beginners book on sewing by hand and machine. You can learn a lot in a very short time.
Message: Posted by: JamesinLA (May 4, 2010 01:34AM)
When I hem silks, I just sew it twice. Once to create the first fold/crease, and then a second time to fold over the unfinished edge. I only do it this way because I don't the attachment, which I think creats what is called a "rolled edge."

Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (May 4, 2010 05:35AM)
No James it is called a French Seam. It may just be larger then it should be, as standard seams are from 1/4" to 5/8" for cloths. In magic they should be 1/16", but if you get an 1/8" most magicians can live with that.
Message: Posted by: Levent (May 13, 2010 05:45PM)
On 2010-05-02 15:52, revmike wrote:
Recently I was on vacation and had the distinct pleasure of seeing Levent perform on the Cruise ship we were on including his version of the Sympathetic Silks - I also wish to add that I sent a note to his cabin, and he had never met me before but he called me the next day and agreed to meet with me and we spent about 45 to 50 minutes just chatting about magic including the Sympathetic Silks and the Linking Rings.

He was a true gentleman and a great entertainer.



Hi Rev MIke and Jef Eaton:

I just saw your posts! Thanks for the nice comments!!

As far as the seams on the Silks. Clearly when it comes to sewing I am clueless, but I kind of faked it with the machine and made it work. Whhegbli is right about getting a book on sewing. The next time I do something like this, I'll take his advice.

Best regards to all,
Message: Posted by: Matman (Apr 21, 2011 11:00AM)
Sorry to revive this post, but...

My wife and I saw Levent on a cruise last week. We both loved your performance. You had us laughing through your show. My wife loved the bunny. I told it was not real :) You did the Sympathetic silks and it was wonderful. I really enjoyed the 'not' and the 'knot' signs with the 1 K run between the two. I was certainly entertained. Thank you for such a great show. Now as an aside ... Levent did one show on the 5 day cruise, what did you do for the rest of the time on the ship? ( I know, probably a silly question)

Message: Posted by: Levent (Apr 26, 2011 07:30AM)
Hi Matt:

I'm glad to hear that you and your wife enjoyed my show. The rabbit may not be real, but I suspect that he thinks that he is alive. =:)

In answer to your query, there is certainly a social aspect to ship life and for many years it was essentially a big party. But with the advent of the laptop computer the majority of my free time is consumed by research on various magic and literary projects as well as photography.

Best regards,
Levent (on my way home from a convention in Finland)
P.S. If you ever are on a ship again with a magician, please make an effort to contact the performer. Most cruise ship magicians I know, love to meet other magicians while at sea!
Message: Posted by: AndrewJ (May 23, 2011 09:44PM)
On 2009-03-27 19:46, Levent wrote:
The earliest reference I found was in the classic 1910 book “Magicians Tricks and How They Are Done” by Henry Hatton and Adrian Plate. After that book, there seems to be enormous interest in the trick and so many published ways of doing it. In fact in my library I found versions of the “Sympathetic Silks” described in more than 35 old books and I scanned all the references and created a PDF file for the trick that was nearly 300 pages long! [/quote]I loved reading your process, and this part really stuck out to me. People have liked calling me "researcher" over the past couple of years. I recently found some of this to be personally very helpful -- and want to say "thank you."

I really did enjoy seeing someone do something that different with a silk routine. My oldest son - then five - demanded to watch it with me every week. He laughed very hard at some of the ways the "K"/knot would travel.
Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (May 28, 2011 05:17AM)

I loved the routine! I also love to read about how a routine comes into being - not necessarily the method, but the process. This kind of description really stimulates others, so that they can create original material.
Message: Posted by: Levent (May 30, 2011 04:37AM)
Thanks AndrewJ and Alan Munro:

I personally find the process of research to be a lot of fun. In a way it is like a treasure hunt for ideas and since this stuff is from long ago, your not stepping on anyones toes when you use these old ideas. The way I see it you are honoring the past performers by bringing their ideas back to life.

Message: Posted by: wally (Nov 13, 2014 03:08AM)
I am thinking of adding the sympathetic silks, I saw Alexander de covas dvd last week, it got me searching, now just watched Paul potassy, must get his dvd. is there one any better. thank you.
Message: Posted by: wally (Nov 18, 2014 10:34AM)
Wish I could fing Levents clip of SS, it will not play on youtube here in UK. is anyone using p. potassy ss, what size silks work best.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Nov 18, 2014 11:30AM)
[quote]On Nov 18, 2014, wally wrote:
Wish I could fing Levents clip of SS, it will not play on youtube here in UK. is anyone using p. potassy ss, what size silks work best. [/quote]

In Paul Potassy's book, it is mentioned he made them to be 75 cm. The hem is hand rolled and hand sewn. He made them out of normal silk fabric found at most high quality fabric stores. But if you are on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, you may discover them at the same place Paul Postssy found them. The material is manufactured in Lyon, France.

There is an L&L DVD on the Silk Magic Vol. 2 topic with Paul Potassy's routine and explanation. It is also available for instant download at http://llepub.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=0&products_id=473
Message: Posted by: inhumaninferno (Nov 18, 2014 11:51AM)
Great info Bill...once again!
Message: Posted by: wally (Nov 20, 2014 05:41AM)
Just bought the paul potassy dvds, start looking for the silks now, and look forward to see Levents SS, I cant watch the clip here in uk, youtube will not allow for some reason.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Nov 20, 2014 11:58AM)
[quote]On Nov 20, 2014, wally wrote:
Just bought the paul potassy dvds, start looking for the silks now, and look forward to see Levents SS, I cant watch the clip here in uk, youtube will not allow for some reason. [/quote]

Wally, have to tried to download it, with RealPlayer? Go to www.real.com and download the free Real Player. Then you can download the file on YouTube to your computer and save. Real Player on your computer can then play it ,or Real Player can convert it to Windows Media Center, then you can play it.
Message: Posted by: JNeal (Nov 20, 2014 12:55PM)
I will be selling two sets of LIGHTLY used 24" 8 momme (fairly heavy) Pure silk scarves, suitable for the Sympathetic Silks.

I made them myself. One set is 6 scarves each 24" in Turquoise (blue-green). the other set is in a Purple.

I used them for one week each at the Magic Castle, so they are still in EXCELLENT condition.

I don't include instructions for doing the Symp. silks routine, but it is readily available.

Either set will $50.00 and shipping is included in the USA.

PM me if interested!
Message: Posted by: Levent (Dec 29, 2014 06:41AM)
For a long time I've been planning or shoot another in my series of instructional videos. The next one will be "The Ultimate Guide to the Sympathetic Silks." Hopefully it will be shot by the end of January 2015
Message: Posted by: Magicol-1 (Dec 30, 2014 09:43AM)
I will be one of the first in line.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Dec 30, 2014 06:44PM)
Short, no way, there is all the one from Rice in their little booklet, then Keith Clarks fabulous routine. Don't forget Charlie Miller with his version with 4 hankies. I know I am mostly forgetting some, but I am sure you will research it like you did in your previous works in depth works.

JNeal, makes some great heavy weight silks that would go perfect with the DVD. His work is as good as Rice workmanship, 1/16 inch French hem and all.
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Dec 30, 2014 07:44PM)
I made some up for a gentleman in Mexico if I remember correctly, using a 10mm silk. It is important that the seams are not only small but they are properly made. They must be double turned and hemmed to hold up to all the tying and such.
Levent, so glad you are going to do the work on the Sympathic Silks. You showed me your knot handling because only Charles Reynolds knew and to put it your words "if I get hit by a plane, it will be lost. Someone else should know it" Well, you showed me and I told you that I would not remember it all. I was true to my word so it is good to have it recorded.
I will look through my files and see what I have I can forward onto you that might add to your research.
Message: Posted by: Levent (Dec 31, 2014 06:04AM)
Hi Richard: My research PDF on the trick runs about 250 pages. I think I have all the major literary sources. That said, I certainly could have missed something. So if you see something, send me an email to Hypnohare@aol.com and I let you know if I already have it! Thanks in advance. When I begin shooting the video I'm thinking of live blogging it here on the Café, like I did with the previous videos. Anyone interested in seeing that?
Message: Posted by: Magicol-1 (Dec 31, 2014 06:47AM)
Absolutely, I found it fascinating.
Message: Posted by: JNeal (Dec 31, 2014 12:12PM)
I am delighted to hear that my friend Levent will be doing his DVD and sharing his exhaustive research with the magic community.

Because I posted earlier about having some silks for sale, I want to clarify that my silk making and other manufacturing pursuits is something I do as a sideline to my performing career. Yes, occasionally I have extras to sell of things that I made for myself....

But in no way is it intended to compete with the FULL TIME PRO makers such as Richard Hughes (and others) who specialize in creating silk items. They do GREAT work!!

Happy New Year to all!
Message: Posted by: JNeal (Jan 8, 2015 05:07PM)
I did end up selling all those sets of silks...thanks everybody!

Message: Posted by: wally (Jan 12, 2015 02:28AM)
Put me on the list Levent, please inform me when DVDs is ready, cheers,
Message: Posted by: Tom the Enchanter (Feb 14, 2015 03:57PM)
I am sooo excited to hear Levent is doing a DVD on Sympathetic Silks! Levent is by far my favorite stage performer, and his take on this trick is amazing. Plus he is a top notch teacher.
Message: Posted by: conjurormatt (Aug 12, 2015 01:05AM)
I know your schedule delayed the production, Levent, but any news on moving forward?

Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Aug 24, 2015 08:12PM)
Levent was on Penn & Teller Fooled tonight on television the CW network. He presented his Sympathetic Silks routine. It was the best presentation I have ever seen him do on stage. The others I have seen was on YouTube.

Surprisingly, he was not all hyper as in the other presentations. He was very good and did not rush through it. I really liked his act. Of course he did not win the Vegas appearance with Penn & Teller, as they did know this old classic.

On the introduction, they said he is working for David Copperfield and performing. Who knew!

Great job Levent. Perfect presentation, bar none.
Message: Posted by: Rice (Aug 25, 2015 09:27AM)
Hi Bill!

Thanks for this information! Great presentation of a wonderful, classic
silk effect.

It was just posted on youtube:

Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Aug 25, 2015 12:09PM)
Thanks Ruth.

Penn & Teller Fool Us

Message: Posted by: conjurormatt (Aug 25, 2015 03:34PM)
In Other News, Levent has posted a link on his website for you to get info when he pre-releases his DVD set on the Sympathetic Silks: http://www.leventmagic.com

Huzzah! :dancing:
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Sep 8, 2015 01:21PM)
Don't know what happened to the last YouTube link, but here is again.

Levent's Sympathetic Silks Routine on Penn and Teller Fool Us television show.

Message: Posted by: mtpascoe (Sep 21, 2015 11:56AM)
The Levent episode on Fool Penn and Teller just aired in LA last weekend. I just happen to turn it on not expecting because I thought he was already on the show. Good work as always.

I don't like Penn and Teller's explanation of the trick. Of course sleight of hand was done. Simply saying that sleight of hand was done doesn't mean you know the trick. But, I think Levent knows that Penn and Teller was aware of what method he used and didn't press it.
Message: Posted by: wally (Feb 24, 2016 05:32AM)
Just watched Paul potassy s/s again. If I could find some decent silks for this I would start practicing, His spotted ones looked great, But not as big. please contact me if you know where I can buy some. thank you. magicwalsh@gmail.com
Message: Posted by: JNeal (Feb 25, 2016 12:34PM)
Wally, what size silks are you looking for ? 24", 30", 32", or 36"?
Message: Posted by: wally (Feb 26, 2016 06:30AM)
Maybe 24" for paul potassy S/S.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Feb 29, 2016 04:55AM)
I just lover polka dot material, I don't know why, but I think it is very appealing.
Message: Posted by: JNeal (Feb 29, 2016 09:23AM)
Funny that you should write that Bill! I feel exactly the same way about polka dots!
I remember seeing Pavel perform live in Boston around 1973 and he did a series of silk productions that used polka dot silks.
I have since forgotten the exact effects, but I strongly recall how much I wanted a set of those silks!

BTW- according to Alan Flusser, who is a recognized expert and author on Classic Menswear.... Polka dots were the original first pattern used on men's neckties... So there must be something to it all!
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Feb 29, 2016 12:30PM)
Yes, and Julia Roberts looked exceptionally good in that brown and white Polka Dot dress in Pretty Woman.
Message: Posted by: magicmatt (Sep 15, 2017 11:13AM)
It's been a while and was wondering if there was any update on the Ultimate Guide to the Sympathetic Silks?
Message: Posted by: wally (Dec 1, 2017 04:12PM)
Wish I could find polka dot silks like Paul pottassy silks
Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Dec 4, 2017 07:49AM)
Wally, Paul Pottassy didn't use silks or at least magician silks. He used Nylon scarves bought from a woman's fashion store. If you search polka dot, head scarves you'll find a number of selections available.

You can also go to a well stocked fabric store and find a polka dot print you like and have squares made from it.

Finally you can simply buy silks (magician silks) of the size and background color and take them to a silk-screen artist and have them custom silk-screened in the colors you want.

Keep checking eBay for vintage head scarves and you might just find what you are looking for.
Message: Posted by: wally (Dec 4, 2017 08:18AM)
Thank you Harry, I have seen some on Alexpress, from china, cheers.
Message: Posted by: wally (Dec 4, 2017 08:22AM)
These look ideal.https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Luxury-Brand-100-Twill-Silk-Square-Polka-dot-Scarf-Paris-Scarf-Design-Print-Kerchief-Woman-Neck/32812109277.html?spm=2114.search0204.3.28.JoxKrK&ws_ab_test=searchweb0_0,searchweb201602_4_10152_10065_10151_10344_10068_10130_10345_10324_10342_10547_10325_10343_10340_10341_10548_10192_10541_10190_10084_10083_10307_10301_10303_5060020_10539_5130020_10312_10059_10313_10314_10184_10534_5000020_100031_10604_10603_10103_10605_10594_10596_10142_10107_5080020,searchweb201603_33,ppcSwitch_5_ppcChannel&algo_expid=e631de53-9ccd-4f4d-aaff-9dd1b527d7b0-3&algo_pvid=e631de53-9ccd-4f4d-aaff-9dd1b527d7b0&rmStoreLevelAB=2
Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Dec 4, 2017 09:42AM)
Those do look nice. Good find!
Message: Posted by: Lester (Nov 22, 2018 03:23AM)
Greetings Fellow Magi,
Can you help me with this one? Is it possible to purchase the Levent Sympathetic Silks routine. Many thanks.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Nov 22, 2018 05:54AM)
Lester, Levent has not produced his DVD on the Sympathetic Silks as of yet. He is busy performing and taking care of David Copperfield collection of magic in his warehouse, and who knows what else he is working on in magic. He keeps himself very busy.
Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Nov 24, 2018 07:01AM)
Lester, go to Leven't website and sign up for an email which will tell you when the DVD is released.

Message: Posted by: Lester (Dec 9, 2018 03:13PM)
Many thanks Bill and Harry.
Message: Posted by: DonB! (Sep 23, 2019 08:19PM)
Levent has released his Sympathetic Silks routine. Go to his site and pay; it will ship in about a month.

Message: Posted by: DonB! (Dec 3, 2019 09:55PM)
Just received notice that Levent sent my set out today.

Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Dec 5, 2019 02:57PM)
The ad for the trick, says there is a plastic gimmick, nothing like taking a step backwards. I thought this DVD was suppose to be a accumulation of many versions of the Sympathetic Silks routine. I realize that most routines really have very little differences, maybe that is why Levent took this route instead.
Message: Posted by: JNeal (Dec 5, 2019 03:54PM)
I think Levent decided NOT to put in the nearly exhaustive effort of explaining all the various methods and techniques in a comprehensive DVD set.

Rather, he opted for just explaining the method and routine that he has been doing successfully for a few years.

Now that Levent has 'published' his method as a DVD or download... (and hopefully derived a well deserved profit from it),

I feel free to share some of my thoughts on the effect with readers of Genii in next month's (January) issue.

It will include what I think are some clarifying ideas as to the plot and a better resolution at the end. This is material that until now, was part of my lecture notes.
Message: Posted by: SteveFromSpokane (Dec 6, 2019 05:58PM)
Got my Levent's Ultimate Guide to the Sympathetic Silks today.

Received the DVD along with a very useful plastic prop and other little prop parts.

Have not watched the entire video yet but so far I am so happy.

Happy it doesn't start with a street or alley scene. Doesn't have the kaleidoscope of various spectators' reactions.

It is just Levent going over the history of the Sympathetic Silks and what others have contributed to get to this stage we are at.

He demonstrates other's workings. The video is done very well with excellent close ups so you know exactly what his moves are.

I appreciate he has done all the research on the Sympathetic Silks and presents it to me in such a clear and understandable DVD.
Message: Posted by: JNeal (Dec 6, 2019 07:37PM)
Sounds great!!!

Levent doesn't do anything... if he hasn't done thorough research for it. His efforts are always a welcome contribution to the craft
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Dec 7, 2019 06:12PM)
[b]Correction to JNeal and Harry Murphy.[/b]

As a Christmas present to myself I found the Paul Potassy DVD set at a very good price on sale at Magic Warehouse.

On the DVD Paul Potassy said, the [b]"scarves are heavy weight silk"[/b], that he found in Paris, France.

Paul Potassy, act is very entertaining, and he gets lots of laughs throughout the act. So happy I got a chance to see his magic and method for presenting it.
Message: Posted by: JNeal (Dec 7, 2019 09:40PM)
Heavy weight silk is ideal for the Symp Silks.

They are not too difficult to find but in pure silk, but pre-made, they can be a bit pricey. Also, fashion scarves made for wearing, usually have a hand rolled edge... not so good for silk knots.

If you have access to a silk merchant or fabric store , ask for pure Habotai silk in a 10 or 12 momme.

Then have someone with sewing skills put a flat seam edge around them. They will be much less expensive, and equally good and long lasting.
Message: Posted by: ajb6864 (Mar 18, 2020 03:20AM)
Hi Jonathan,

I'm excited to see that you have released your thoughts on The Sympathetic Silks, I'm sure it will be a worthy read.

I'll try and track down a copy of Genii when (if) I manage to get back to the UK, as our April flights are already cancelled. We are currently in 'lockdown' here in Corfu, as are many other people around the globe, but at least it has encouraged me to get all the house painting done!

The silks that I purchased from you, quite a few years ago, are still going strong and getting regular use btw.

Best wishes Jonathan and all fellow magicians at this difficult time.

Message: Posted by: JNeal (Mar 18, 2020 08:30PM)
Glad to hear you are managing with the 'world situation'. Also pleased to hear that the silks are holding up.
I sent you a PM