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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magicians of old » » Fu Manchu alias David Bamberg (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

wkitwizard
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If you haven't read "Illusion Show" by David Bamberg, you're missing a terrific story of a performing stage magician that toured Mexico and South America for an entire career-with all the backstage
details, only a seasoned pro could describe. He describes Houdini as a childhood mentor, and many of the greats who'd stop by to visit his dad, Okito. I've read it twice and will do so again in the future. Amazing stories!
Nothing is truer than the incomprehensible, because the sum total of our knowledge consists of the fact that we know nothing. Our reality is an illusion. Thus illusion is reality-Punx
mtpascoe
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I've read and re-read that book so many times, the cover has come off of it. I love this book it's very entertaining for magicians. It really gives insight into the private lives of the famous magicians that we never knew about before.
wkitwizard
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I love the fact that David went off on his own, and didn't try and do what his dad had accomplished in the States. Instead, he took the knowledge and experience he'd gained from stage magic his dad had produced and took it on the road in Mexico and South America-where he learned to speak the language and the cultural nuances necessary to connect to those audiences. It shows that magic is universal and thrilled theater packed venues way before television and the digital age.
Nothing is truer than the incomprehensible, because the sum total of our knowledge consists of the fact that we know nothing. Our reality is an illusion. Thus illusion is reality-Punx
Marshall Thornside
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I've not read the book.
but would be interested in doing so.
I did see a lecture about david at last
years MCA weekend. it was very interesting.
the photos and videos and information was
very awesome.

I know some about david and met lola when i
was a very small little girl when we toured
S.A. and my father was very close friends with
Theo...
you will remember my name

World's Youngest Illusionista
7th greatest pianist in the world
Go Red For Women and Stroke Ambassador
www.mai-ling.net
wkitwizard
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You won't be sorry to get your hands on this book. Worth reading over and over...
Nothing is truer than the incomprehensible, because the sum total of our knowledge consists of the fact that we know nothing. Our reality is an illusion. Thus illusion is reality-Punx
magiquarian
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Met Mr Bamberg many times in Argentina and many of the never seen pics reproduced in the Art of Illusion, which I still own, were given to me by him personally(erroneously credited in the book to Le Grand David Magic Co). He was a mentor in my childhood days in Cuba, a genius and the most creative and Magic showman I have ever seen or met in Magic, a real gentleman and a true scholar as the saying goes.

Does anyone know that he NEVER proof read the Art of Illusion? He typed everything ONCE and that was it! His voice was "magical" and his wordly manners always showed, even when he fell from rags to riches when he moved to Argentina in the 1950's and converted his fortune to local currency. The Argentine peso took a one of their most substantial devaluations ever, that left David Bamberg with nothing but a small magic shop in Buenos Aires and an arrays of local and other countries admirers and friends that visited him daily in his shop.

When I first visited his shop in Buenso Aires and gave him the details of his show at La Caridad Theater in my hometown Cuba in 1948, he was honored and humbled when I mentioned this to him and the most impressive part of his show,the Spook Show with the flying skeletons and that most importantly, that HE triggered my interest in Magic (not the proverbial Magic set). His Spanish was flawless and of of course so was his English, Dutch and Yiddish. I am still surrounded by his programs, playbills and posters that I have collected over the years. The most significant, the one he GAVE ME personally of the image of his father in orinetal garb, but lettered "FUMANCHU". It occupies a place of honor in my living room today. Not only was he a great writer,but of course a fabulous Magician,Illusionist, Shadowist, inventor, ACTOR and showman. The ONLY Magician to have been in 4 full, succesful, length movies. He was, and still is, the greatest magic showman in Magic, ever!
mtpascoe
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Does anyone know what happened to his props?
wkitwizard
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Magicquarian, thanks for the memories! He was a special "breed" of performers who don't exist anymore...
Nothing is truer than the incomprehensible, because the sum total of our knowledge consists of the fact that we know nothing. Our reality is an illusion. Thus illusion is reality-Punx
magiquarian
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Most of his props were sold to performing magicians in Argentina over the years (and many still in their hands); many were left behind in trunks and destroyed, others were purposely thrown out; his fantastic Chinese gowns were acquired by a local collector for a misery sum and kept the same way they acquired. They were later resold to a local dealer and collector.
Marshall Thornside
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I understood from Dr. Albo that the David's costumes were not
of the same quality nor in good shape.
you will remember my name

World's Youngest Illusionista
7th greatest pianist in the world
Go Red For Women and Stroke Ambassador
www.mai-ling.net
magiquarian
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Doc might have had that impression but he never saw them. I did
hugmagic
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I seem to recall in the Illusion Show book that once when he was a little low on funds he still managed to buy an entire oriental costume set from a theatrical costume shop in LA. He said that he was sure he had all the costumes from the movie "55 days in Peking", including the empresses. I am sure that he had many, many fine pieces of costuming. And I am equally sure that some where more worn than others.

Richard
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
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Write direct as I will be turning off my PM's.
magiquarian
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Including a a Chinese Theater Compnay that went bankrupt in Havana in the 1940's! Fu's performing "trademark" was to change his robe every couple of minutes!
hugmagic
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I did not know that. Thanks Mario.

He may also done that to let a little heat escape as those robes are very heavy and warm.

We have a 5 millon plus worl calss fashion museum at Kent State. Shannon Rodgers told me the reason the robes were often long and dragged on the floor was to prevent the updraft on the chilly stone floors.


Richard
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
www.hughesmagic.com
email-hugmagic@raex.com
Write direct as I will be turning off my PM's.
magicwolverine
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Just to reiterate what has been said here, this is one of the most wonderful books in magic. A fabulous story told in a most engaging way.

I recently read it again for the third time throughout the years. Never have done that with any other book.
JNeal
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The book is the best written biography in Magic (and probably the most fascinating).

On a related note: I have copies of the letters that David Bamberg sent to Charlie Miller in the early 1960's. During the back and forth they discuss all the personalities in Magic and dissect the handling of Hermann's destroyed and restored handkerchief. And I do mean dissect. Charlie had written his version in the Magic Inc. booklet : "An Evening with Charlie Miller" and David Bamberg invites Charlie (via correspondence) to put it together for Bamberg's Magic Lecture for Laymen.

The details they go to, the warm and personal tone of Bamberg, and the insight they have after their respective lifetimes in magic are invaluable!
visit me @ JNealShow.com
Leo H
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Vernon considered Bamberg's show in the 1940s the best stage illusion show he had ever witnessed.
Dick Oslund
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I remember as a teen ager, doing a show for a mens' club in a local church. An eldely gentleman asked if I knew about the book "Greater Magic". I said that I knew of it, but had not seen it. He had a copy! and graciously loaned it. I read it. (Well, I skimmed the card tricks!) but David Bamberg wrote an essay about staging, and I learned a "few things", that have influenced my whole life as a performer.

Mr. Bamberg's essay about modern staging compared to the "Victorian era" was a real lesson!
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