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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Books, Pamphlets & Lecture Notes » » Magic of Paul Potassy (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Mitch Schneiter
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This book is finally available, just got an e-mail from H&R Books saying my copy has been shipped. If you aren't familiar with Paul Potassy you have certainly missed out on a outstanding magician and showman. I was fortunate to have seen his act a couple times in the early 70's while living in the Philippines. Even more fortunate and memorable was his visit to our home where he talked magic and shared advice with a 13 year old aspiring magician. I can't wait for the book to arrive...and to finally learn how he ate all those razorblades!
Parcifal
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I have a simple comment.
GET THIS BOOK!
Though I not yet have gotten my copy,I do have all the other earlier books in a foreign language that where published re the work of paul potassy,I do have his video,captures from TV appearances and I have seen him working live many times.
Apart from his magic routines,mainly the sensational razorblades,there is one thing not explained in any of the earlier books and that is his pickpocket 'act'.One can se it on his official vid(a very old one)but it was never described.A friend of mine once said that Paul Potassy has the best pickpocket routine he has ever seen and he is correct.i too have seen not only Borra sen. Borra jun,Gentleman Jack(Tommy Ifversen) and a LOT of others,what they all do is confusing their helping spec(s) and fumbling with their helpers clothes.they ALL do it!Not Potassy,his handling is not only pure elegance but he never fumbles with the specs cloth, he made pickpocketing a work of art and in the new potassy book it is stated that his handling is explained.I,for one,look forward to it,not because of a need,the video does show it all as good as at all possible,but I would love to read more about it.Trust me,you are in for a treat and believe it or not,he actually used undulled,sharp razorblades and put them in his mouth the last one even vertically between his lips!!!!!honestly,and the way he got rid of them at the end has puzzled many fellow magicians.that guy toured the world with a smal bagfull of trix and did them over and over again,a lifetime,that guy could do the old trick where a selected card was catched/encircled by a rope lowered down into a hat (in his case champagne container) and made a masterpiece out of it even fellow magicians enjoyed to watch.that guy once was in a TV competition with fred kaps and when asking laypeople the next day which one of the 2 did impress them the most they mentioned potassy.
Reading about the lifework of an earlier fulltime working professional that toured the world is a MUST.Not since Albert Goshman (close-up magic)published his lifework,no other book could compete,here finally is a such!
GET IT!
Mitch Schneiter
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The Potassy book just arrived and after a quick look through it I would have to bet that this book will end up as one of the best books of 2006, if not the best. I don't know what the original was like but this translated version by H&R books is just beautiful. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some reading to do...
Parcifal
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@Mitch Schneider
JFYI,I just had a peak at the shelf re the 2 Potassy books I mentioned.
Both are written in german language and one of them is done by Schenk and Sondermeyer and the cover is the exact same as in the add from H&R.
I now suppose the englisch version you just got is simply a translation into englisch of that very same book.
Nothing wrong with that,this book is outstanding and tells it all,apart from the pickpocketroutine, where it is mentioned it would be too spaceconsuming to describe in details (and the 'real' secret is within these details).
I just contacted the original publisher re this pickpocket-issue,got an instant feedback where he told me,that the english version DOES contain a more detailed description of his pickpocket act as well as other additions, so my order for it is still valid.
The other book on the shelf is a great one too,written by Alfred Czernewitz and titled: 'Paul Potassy, the world class entertainer'.
Now this book deals more with the life and times of Paul Potassy describing is 'forming' as an artist/entertainer, his time during the war, descriping episodes of experiences at all the places he worked, where he lives now and talks about all the incidents and happenings during his performing live.it almost doesn't contain any tricks or routines,but to me is as interesting as the afore mentioned book.both of these 2 books combined would have been an outstanding task but we have to be happy the first one got made available to the englishspeaking readers,it still is worth to own and a MUST,especially as his pickpocketroutine is added!The video I mentioned earlier is also produced by Alfred Czernewitz and is not only a selection of PPs various TV-appearances but also some additional shots at special magic conventions where he was the guest of honour,aso.all these 2 books and the vid gives an insight in the life of an oustanding artist and entertainer.
Richard Hatch
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Mitch, glad to hear your copy of the book arrived. I would appreciate hearing your candid thoughts on it once you have finished reading it.
Here is some information on the differences between the American edition, THE MAGIC OF PAUL POTASSY, and the original 1997 German version, DIE PAUL-POTASSY-SHOW:
The original began with a lengthy interview with Paul by the authors and Felix Farrell. I decided to take the technical information in that interview and move it to the relevant tricks under discussion and used the biographical information in a new section that was added to the book describing Paul Potassy's incredible life and career. That 23 page section was made possible by the earlier biography by Alfred Czernewitz as well as information from Paul himself. We did add additional information to the trick sections as needed, to clarify and correct the original text. His Cards Across routine, used for many years as part of his pickpocket segment, is included in our edition, but not in the original. We also added clarifying illustrations to his Newspaper Tear and Bill Switch (his favorite close up routine). Paul is a perfectionist and checked each chapter, adding many corrections and tips along the way. Finally, Jean Merlin added a new foreword and John Fisher wrote a wonderful "Appreciation." Those are the primary differences. Honestly, if you have the excellent German edition, you probably have 90% or more of what is in this book, especially if you have the Czernewitz book. But if you are a "dyed in the wool" Potassy fan, you'll probably want both!
Regarding the pickpocket section, I should point out that it does NOT include technical information on the steals, i.e., how to remove the watch, wallets, etc. That information is widely available elsewhere (the books by Paul Butler, Pierre Jacques, and Eddie Joseph, for example). What it does include is invaluable information on timing the steals in the context of a magic routine--the choreographic structure of such an act--information that is, to my knowledge, not available elsewhere. Potassy has excellent advice, born from his long experience, on how to structure such a performance, particularly the all important "reveals" at the climax of the act. For many, I suspect, this section will be "worth the price of the book." But there is much else of value for anyone interested in commercial stand up magic. Max Maven has written an exceptional review of the book which will be published in the February issue of M-U-M. Other reviews will likely follow in March. Meanwhile, Mitch, let us know your impressions!
Richard Hatch
www.HatchAcademy.com
Parcifal
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@Richard Hatch
Thanx for the info,actually I keept the order of the book going,even after getting to know that the main part matches the original german version.I hope you forgive me,I didn't order it -in this specific case- in the States, but here in Europe.
The Pickpocketact is one of the highlights of Paul Potassys show re entertainment and my original desire was not to get details re how to steal a watch, wallet or anything else,but the thoughts behind the coreographic structure, which as you already mentioend is dealt with in detail.It's the ease and elegance Potassy does use,contrary to the 'brutal' way most even well known pickpockets work.The fact PP does it under cover of removing cards/cardfans from a specs breastpocket and so loading the specs shoulder with more cards aso. all these finer points aren't detailed in the german edition.Also-as I have seen lots of diff. performances of his on vid- I noticed how he ALWAYS does certain things the same way, exactly the same way, the way he touches the specs arm, the way he removes the card from the same side aso., that's what makes his works so deceptive, each move is carefully analyzed.Each time I watch the vid I enjoy seing his pickpocketact.Sure the razorblades are sensational, but the pickpocketing gives more spec involvement and so ads a lot to the entertainment value and interaction.I'm looking forward to enjoying the book Smile
As a well informed friend of mine said many times, "the best pickpocket he ever saw, wasn't even a pickpocket, it was a magician, Paul Potassy".Note,Potassy learned all this the hard way,I recall he already does snatch a specs wristwatch -and one doesn't 'se' him doing it, as it is done on the off beat and not by confusion as usually used by all the combatants!-when helping him on stage for another trick and that he simply 'learned by doing',the hard way.His pickpocketing is a pure joy to watch and none of the well known pickpockets can compete,sorry,but this is a fact and as you mentioned it is also his way of revealing the snatched articles,the way of a real gentleman.Once again,to anybody interested in the field of entertainment,GET THIS BOOK,it describes a world class act and not the work of a desktoppublisher but the work of a man travelling the world with his bag of tricks, the very same ones, and that guy has been allover the world,it's a pleasure and joy to read his book.

Off topic:This was my post no.49 and as I earlier promised my final post here at the Café,I don't want to pass the 50 mark Smile thanx for reading my comments to all that showed interest.
PapaG
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If you want to learn the pickpocket moves to compliment the routine choreography in this book, what is the best resource to learn from?
Parcifal
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The *firework* production of the objects snatched from a spec when Paul Potassy works,is very much like the capture of Al Flosso when he does the misers dream,very very much alike,that's the way Paul Potassy does reveal and produce the stolen objects!
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/searc......=4415152
50 mark by mistake achieved but not passed,punktum,finale, finish!
Lou Hilario
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I consider myself a die hard fan of Paul Potassy. Indeed, he is a world class magician and a true friend. I am lucky that he lives in the Philippines and I am so happy when he watches my shows. Aside from his book, he is currently making a dvd of all his performances. Wow, that's a great treasure! He is now 82 and still going strong. He has never aged. He is a great inspiration for me and many magicians. Yes, he still performs. His book is one of the BEST books you'll ever own.
Magic, Illusions, Juggling, Puppet & Parrot Show ^0^
http://www.louhilario.net
Tony Iacoviello
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Has anyone received this book yet? (The HR version)
I've had it on order for over a month but have not hide nor hair.

Tony
Richard Hatch
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Tony, did you order if from us (H & R Magic Books)? We received our copies from the printer on Friday, January 6th and processed most back orders the same day, sending domestic copies via priority mail. Mitch Schneiter, who started this thread, received his copy on Monday, January 9th. If you did order it from us, you should have received by email both a copy of the invoice and the shipping record. If you did not receive those (and did order from us), then apparently we did not properly track your back-order (it happens) and I apologize if that is the case. Please email or phone and we'll ship out a copy via priority mail once we have all the order details. If you ordered copies elsewhere, please check with that dealer on status. I notice you are in Boston and Hank Lee should have copies in stock.
For our overseas customers, we have received reports that copies we have sent to the UK, Germany, France and Australia have been received. Paul Potassy is still awaiting his author's copies to arrive in the Phillipines, however, so please be patient if you ordered a signed copy from Paul at the Magic Circle Centenary last summer. He has not forgotten you, but is at the mercy of the local post office and customs bureaucracy!
Richard Hatch
www.HatchAcademy.com
Mitch Schneiter
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If you haven't bought this book yet you are really missing out. It is really terrific. Not only does it cover his life it also details his professional repertoire which he performed for decades in nite clubs around the world. Many lessons can be learned from the effects he performed,how and why he performed them (including all his nuances for each effect),and how he put his act together along with how it evolved over the years. A big thank you goes to Paul for sharing this wealth of information and to Mr. Hatch for making it available in English.
Lou Hilario
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I had lunch with Paul Potassy today. He gave me a signed copy of his book. I asked him why he revealed all his favorite routines. He said he wanted to share everything he knew to the younger generation and it was a legacy to do so.

I really wished that he just kept it to a few. But he didn't. He shared his more than 50 years of knowledge and experience in this book. If I only had this book when I started my career as a magician, life would be easier. I did copy most of his acts by watching his shows way back in 1978 while he was performing in Hilton Hotel in Manila, Philippines.

All of the props required in the book are very minimal and the gimmicks are so easy to make. Most are available in any home. No thumbtips, and nothing fancy at all. Just an ordinary deck of cards and a stripper deck is required for most card effects. I love the razor blades, bill in potato and sing sing. Even the patter for every effect is written down. This is really "spoon feeding" the magicians who will be reading the book.

Paul will also be releasing a DVD in all the effects in the book. What a bonus for all the book owners. He told me he is asking Richard Hatch to preview the DVD and decide how to market it for him. I have the DVD and all the effects are performed with a live audience. What more can you ask for. The performances are on DVD and the explanations are in the book. He has painstakingly added subtitles from German language to English.

Whether you are a close up or a stage or platform magician, there is something for everyone here. I still wish this book should only be for a chosen few.
Magic, Illusions, Juggling, Puppet & Parrot Show ^0^
http://www.louhilario.net
PapaG
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Great book.

Like the Kort book, the razor blades routine makes me wince every time I read it.
Mitch Schneiter
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For another review of this great book look in the new March issue of Genii magazine and see what Jamy Ian Swiss has to say about it.
Harry Murphy
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Lou, When is the DVD going to be released? Does Paul have copies at home to sell? I'm waiting patiently to get one. The book is one of the best I've bought recently.
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Rudy Sanchez
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The DVD is out. I heard they were selling them at FISM. I purchased one recently and hope to have it soon.

Rudy
www.cesaral.com
Sales Manager for Cesaral Magic
Mitch Schneiter
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A while back Paul sent me a copy of a dvd containing a number of his TV appearances through the years. While the picture quality was not the best it is certainly clear enough and the content is great. From the numerous routines performed you clearly see Paul's style and great interaction with audience members. It was quite a thrill to see Paul in action again. Of course if you have his book this dvd makes a great companion piece as you can actually see him perform the material from the book.
I don't know if the dvd Paul sent me is the same one that is reportedly for sale now. I'm sure that what ever is on it you'll certainly see what a great magician and entertainer Paul is. As I've said before I feel very lucky to have seen his night club show in the early 70's. Watching him eat razor blades back then was a mind blower. I had no idea how he did it and didn't know till I read his book 30 plus years later. Watching the clip of him eating the blades still looks as clean and amazing as it did all those many years ago. I strongly recommend buying the dvd.
Sergeant
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A fantastic book. A nice look at the thinking that goes into a routine to make it bullet proof. I enjoyed the thinking and in depth explanations of the routines. What makes this book stand out from others is the fact that it really goes into detail about how and why the tricks work.

As I read it I was thinking, Wow, I wish I could see his work on DVD. Now, I read that there might be one out... Where do I find this. It would be a fantastic addition to the book

Sergeant
Mitch Schneiter
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Okay, I just did a google search and came across some information on Max Maven's website. It states that Max was recently at the L&L studio in Lake Tahoe to participate in the taping of DVDs by the superb Paul Potassy, slated for release at the end of the year. I know something I'm getting for Christmas.
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