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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magicians of old » » Was Vernon 'Really' anything special (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Bill Palmer
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On 2008-10-28 13:10, chrusa wrote:
It is nice there is a SAM in Stamford and I am joining as soon as I get a new car. There is a IBM in Norwalk but on their website it says "Meeting Schedule Unknown contact Walter Borughs" With no number! I google him and the number I get doesn't answer. I should have a long time ago but kind of faded away from magic due to my ex girlfriend wanting me to stop because she thought it was childish and I needed to grow up and adults don't do tricks (What a !@#$%) and anyways the magic bug just bit me.

As far as conventions there is Nem Con and Hank Lees Cape Cod Conclave

If anyone from the board is going please let me know I would be glad to meet some people.


If you are in Stamford, you might consider going over to New Rochelle, NY to meet at the Frank Garcia ring.
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Lawrence O
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On 2008-11-01 00:35, Bill Palmer wrote:
Quote:
On 2008-10-27 19:39, Lawrence O wrote:
Vernon probably was to the XXth century what Robert Houdin or Hofzinser were to the XIXth century: his personality changed our art.
It's the chapel keepers who read their thinking verbatim like religious fanatics that do the greatest dammage to such geniuses.


Absolutely right! These magicians were not only magicians, but they were people. I'm sure Hofzinser enjoyed a good cup of Kaffee mit Schlagobers like any Viennese. I've heart Smile that Vernon occasionally liked to have a drink.

Sometimes you can learn as much from one of these people by talking to them about everything besides magic.

One case regarding Robert-Houdin in which the chapel keepers may have missed the point is discussed here:
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......um=171&0


I agree with Bill: as Sigmund Freud used to say "sometimes a good cigar is just a good cigar".

We are lucky enough to be able to have "Revelations" on DVD and it's interesting to understand the Professor thinking further than behind the words or the interpretation by Gary Ouellet or Michael Ammar or Steve Freeman. His thoughts are also reachable in Lewis Ganson or Bruce Cervon's writings

Robert Houdin wrote his memoirs in detail over several books encompassing both technical advice and circumstances. It is therefore easy to have the same quality of perception than the one we can get on the Professor

Unfortunately the sources are not as large on Hofzinser. He clearly was way ahead of his time but it's harder to really get direct information. This is what makes Richard Hatch's book particularly valuable.
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critter
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Other than what I have read about him, I've seen his performances only on video recordings. I find them very entertaining, and have watched them with laypeople who find them very entertaining.
So I think he was a very good entertainer.
On the skill side, I mean, come on! It's hardly possible to get more dextrous.
And it wasn't all flash either. Vernon developed some really brilliant and subtle moves too. As a coin guy, I will point out his "A coin vanish" as one of my favorites, as well as the incomperable "Spellbound."
And I've heard he was even better with cards;)
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
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Jimeh
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On 2008-11-02 17:01, critter wrote:
And I've heard he was even better with cards;)


Just a little bit... Smile
Bill Palmer
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I think that we have now established that Vernon was good...for an old guy. Smile
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Lawrence O
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Bill I find your tribute too timid. I think we have established that, even when old, Dai Vernon was exceptional.

It would take a deeper analysis of his casual and "natural" (or "naturalistic" as underlined by Darwin Ortiz) approach to movement and to what he calls "magic management" to fully render him justice.

A book has to be made just on that: I feel so strong about it that I'm doing it. Not so much on Dai Vernon as a person but on the approach to magic that he pioneered in the XXth century and which is the ground on which all the XXIst century masters are basing their magic. However, as I said in an earlier post, The Professor brought to an extreme degree into the XXth century a philosophy of magic that was launched by Jean Eugène Robert Houdin in the XIXth.

The fact that a flowing casual elegance is the trademark and the misdirection of such a magic very often makes it unnoticed, and it should remain so for the audience. So what makes its quality also makes it hidden to the fools: isn't that a great trick in itself?

Dai Vernon is not an exceptional magician, he is a monument. Not one to revere, but to visit again and again... and again, to really get the feel of this giant's way of thinking.
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Bill Palmer
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Of course, I was kidding. I'm sure you know that.

One of the amazing things about Vernon was the way he could change a person's way of thinking.

When I was still trying to find myself, magically speaking, I attended the first of what was later to become the Desert Magic Seminar and the World Magic Seminar in the Arlington, Texas area.

One of the things he said was "Be natural, be yourself. You can work very hard at being another Doug Henning or another Mark Wilson, but you will never be as good at being Doug Henning as Doug is, or as good at being Mark Wilson as Mark is. And THEY WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO BE AS GOOD AT BEING YOU AS YOU CAN BE!"

Cal Emmett gave me a big start in prop management. He really understood it. One thing that both of these men had in common was that they had done their material so often that everything was like breathing. They didn't have to think about what was going to happen next. It just happened.
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popcalinda
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It is strange that when you some of the people who are not in magic what magicians do they know you will heard almost same answers: Houdini, D.Copperfield, D.Blaine, C.Angel...but man I never heard Dai Vernon.
I respect Vernon work very much and all I can say that he was one kind of the man.
Magicians know who was Mr.Vernon!
Lawrence O
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Commercial ability is nice and often only works for people with some form of talent.
Popularity is not really equal to quality, fame maybe a little more.
If you look at magicians who got fame when seeking quality of magic more than ego boosting, your list will be shorter and other names would appear

David Copperfield is way more concerned with Quality of Magic than David Blaine who is more concerned with people in the street, even if I really like them both.

Because you group famous magicians, it seems they should be categorized together: I don't thingk they do belong to the same groups. In statistics we learn that coincidence doesn't mean necessarily community of causes: there are even mathematical models to calculate this.

I'd rather be respected by two geniuses than by 50'000 ... laypeople.

Nobody apart Hofzinser and Robert Houdin ever earned as much respect as Dai Vernon

I bow to them and I just feel very grateful that I am amongst the happy (relatively) few human beings (since you rightfully stated that Dai Vernon is known basically by magicians) knowing who The Professor is and what he really represents without having known him personally. For success in business, I've probably done better than any of the ones you name (maybe better than all the ones you quote put together, who cares) but I'm still a dwarf in comparison to these three geniuses who shine in the sky of magic.
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Bill Palmer
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Well said!
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
jtb
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I was able to see both Vernon and Slydini at the Magic Castle in 1969-1970. I saw about thirty magicians during that time and those two were easily the most impressive. Vernon was going through a period where his hands were shaking but he still did the most memorable close-up routine I have ever seen.

He did a killer three-card monte and the shaking hands made it seem completely impossible. I remember talking to Doug Henning about Vernon and he felt that Vernon was the greatest influence in Doug's magic apprenticeship.
mtpascoe
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This is true. You can see it even in his illusions.
Jimeh
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Those are wonderful memories to have...
mtpascoe
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Yes, I miss Doug. Can't believe he died so young. Wish there was more on youtube.
lynnef
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There's a book about a section of Vernon's life, 'The Magician and the Card Shark' (I think that's the title). He is on an obsessional quest to find a legendary card cheat and the perfect center deal. the book gives you an insight into the sincere dedication that Vernon had for the art of magic.
mtpascoe
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That's a great book.
Lawrence O
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Quote:
On 2008-10-13 11:25, Elliott Hodges wrote:
Hi gang,

in my opinion, Vernon was NOT a good magician. it's pretty obvious that he did not know how to communicate with people...
...
I imagine that I'll get a roasting for asking this question but I'm interested to know.

thanks

Yes get a roasting for asking this question. It only shows the arrogance of an egomaniac ignorant who hopes to establish himself as high enough to judge. Can a dwarf criticize a giants' head?

Apart from being a pupil of Fred Robinson, I've been a pupil of Tony Slydini, and I can tell you, like other Slydini pupils could, that he had a very moderate taste for lay people.

Judging or simply trying to compare the talent of geniuses is meaningless (it would suppose you really absorbed it deep enough): let's just learn as much as our respective intelligences can from them... and from Sam Leo Horowitz, and from Max Malini, and from Fred Kaps, Tommy Wonder, Bob Read, Laurie Ireland, Pete Biro, Arturo Ascanio, Bill Palmer, Juan Tamariz, David Roth, Al Schneider, David Williamson, Shoot Ogawa...

Yes get a roasting for asking this question.

We don't need to be too humble, we are not that important.
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MikeyM71
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I'm so glad I caught this topic. I love reading anything about Vernon. I wish I had got the chance to meet him or at least see him perform.
<BR>Mikey M.
Jimeh
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I remember years ago my buddy and I were only in magic a few years and we would mail playing cards to magicians to get them signed.
We both sent a playing card to Dai Vernon and a week or so later we heard the news; he had passed. Smile

I've always taken pride in the fact that he was from Canada; my hometown to be exact! (Ottawa) He's had a fascinating history without a doubt.
He was VERY special...
JRob
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Lawrence, your response is pretty much what I was thinking, only much kinder.
By the time I stopped miss-spending my years and acted on being bitten by the bug, Vernon had already passed and could only be viewed by me as "legendary". Every clip I ever saw of him, especially those filmed at advanced age, left me in awe of the man. Of all the adjectives I would use to describe even the second-hand knowledge I have of him, "overrated" never even enters for consideration.
"...NOT[sic] a good magician"? You are going to have to give more to support that conclusion than you have offered thus far.
"Jim Roberts, AKA: Professor Jay Rob "<br>
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