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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » What happened, was this... » » Al Schneider Rambling (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Al Schneider
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Not sure where to start.
Also not sure where this will go.

Early on when I got into magic I hung around the Fox Fun-n-Magic shop. Owned by Karrell Fox and Roy Kissel. This was late 60’s. All the guys went out to lunch on Saturday so I got to see Karrell in action a lot. One day Karrell brought in a big box of magic books and dropped them on a counter. He said anyone want to buy some of these. I started to look into the box and some guy pushed me aside and dove into the box. His name was Larry Jennings. We got to talking and he invited me over to his house. He was a boiler operator. We talked about him babysitting a boiler and practicing coins through the table. At his house we went into the basemet where he had kind of a study. He asked me what I liked on a sandwhich and I told him. He then yelled up the stairs to his wife, “He eats like me honey, could you make us some sandwiches.”

I visited him often. One day he disappeared. He went out to LA and hung around the castle. I guess he became somebody.

I bumped into him at an IBM convention in Milwaukee quite a few years later. For some reason we talked about a coin trick I was doing. He said it should be in Genii magazine. One evening he dragged me up to the guy that owned the Magic Castle in LA and published Genii magazine. He took polorid pictures of me doing the trick, gave them to me and said write up instructions to go with the trick. Two things happened. First, I changed the trick to use the Schneider Pickup two times. Till then, I only used it once. The other things was he asked me what the name of the trick was. Karrell was around and he suggested Al-terntating Coins. I decided to go with Matrix.

Larry and I happened to be staying at the same motel. One evening we walked back to the motel. When we walked into the door the cute lady behind the counger seemed to recognize Larry. He said he had promised to show her a trick. He did a 4 ace trick I think called The Travelers. I think a double ace is placed on the table and one is palmed and one is apparently magically joins the one on the table. She said, “There were two there.” Larry got a bit upset and sez to me, “You show her a trick.” I did ring and pencil for here. It blew here away..Larry said, “Good night,” and went to his room.

The next night found us in Larson’s with a bunch of other magicians drinking and talking. I was tired and really tired of seeing card tricks by this time. Larry had to show me a bunch of stuff. He was non-stop with the stuff. He was kneeling down by a chair using the chair as a table for his card work. I could not see any magic and the cards seemed to be blurry. I wanted to just go away. Anyway, he was doing something with cards on this chair. As he was in a crouch position one of his knees was point at me. I put my finger under his knee and pressed up. Larry flipped backwards and fell sprawled out on his back.

He got POED. He put his cards away and put them in his pocket. He went over by a window, corssed his arms and looked out the widnow. I went over to the bar and got a pop. I watched him wondering what he was going to do. He calmed down. Then he seemed to look into space as if thinking. Then he got his cards out and started playing with them. This lasted for a few minutes. Then he walked over to me with cards extended them and said, “Look at this.”

Sometime during the convention, Larry told be the Matrix was good but I should have more material. He was operating on the idea that I could become someone in magic. This never occurred to me. His suggestion was that I make Matrix a bigger routine. I could not see that as an option. However, due to his suggestion, I started working on a coins across routine.

That was the last I saw of Larry. I miss him.

Al Schneider
Magic Al. Say it fast and it is magical.
Zombie Magic
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Smile Smile Smile

Al, THANK YOU for sharing that. I happen to feel these first hand accounts are important ( I also find them fascinating ).
snape
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Thanks, Al. Love to hear more as well.
Magic.J.Manuel
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Thanks Al. Your contributions are very appreciated. And I will buy another of your books!
Nothing would get done at all, if man waited so long that no one could find fault with it.
spatlind
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A good read, more please!
Actions lie louder than words - Carolyn Wells

I believe in God, only I spell it Nature - Frank Lloyd Wright.
Ray Haining
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Great insight into Larry's personality.
Al Schneider
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Here is a bit more. I have got to do a bit of a sales pitch before I do. Would you please take a bit of time and visit Amazon dot com and look at my books. Search on Al Schneider Magic and you will bring them all up. I am not asking you to buy one. Just stop by and take a look. However, if you want to really get to know me, buy the book titled, New Age Quantum Physics, read it, and tell me what you think. I have spent much more time with theoretical physics than magic. It is dear to my heart.

About Vernon.

Maybe this is great insight into my personality.

Someplace along the way I saw him do the cups and balls. I was stunned. However, I have a hard time explaining why. I think it was because he was so natural and the magic happened anyway. On the forum here all kinds of people do really good stuff. I am often fooled. But often, I do not care. I see a move that looks good, but I see fingers jam something in a palm. They the guy shows the hand a moment later empty. But I saw a whole bunch of stuff that just does not look normal. I think the kid has some kind of a weird nerve disease. Vernon, though, does none of that. His hands always move in a natural way and the magic happens.

Sometime later I went to a convention where Vernon was a headliner. He performed a wine glass and coin routine. He got up to perform and dropped the glass. It broke. A number of people got up and hovered around him like mother hens. He was old at the time. Everyone felt bad. Someone got another glass. Then he did the routine. It was stunning. I could not imagine how he performed the routine. Later I got instructions for the routine. It was incredibly basic. The moves were very simple. I could not believe that was the routine he had done. Yet as I went over the moves the write up matched exactly what he had done.

As mentioned elsewhere, I eventually performed at the castle in LA. As mentioned I asked about him. I was told that he and Kudda Bux played cards upstairs in the library. I was also told they fought and argued over the cards like cats and dogs. A day later I decided to go up the library and see what I could see. As I entered the upstairs area standing near the top of the stairs and peeked through the door to the library, I saw someone lying on the library floor sleeping. I backed down the stairs and decided to come back some other time.

The next day I ventured to the library again. Halfway up the stairs I heard Vernon’s and Bux’s voices. “That’s my card, I put it there and that makes my hand.” “No you didn’t, you put that there, and I put that there.” That seemed to go on and on.

I backed down the stairs and decided not to venture up there again.

Months later I moved out to LA and became a member. I hung around the castle a lot. I did not talk to Vernon. I saw a lot of him. The easy chair by the main bar seemed to be his favorite haunt. He was always surrounded by people talking to him. I was never part of the group. Whenever there was a young lady nearby, he would pull her into his lap for a little chat.

One day the easy chair in the main bar was empty. I sat there playing with my cards. A well dressed oriental gentleman came over, sat in the chair opposite from me and struck up a conversation. He said he played cards with several people and wondered how difficult it was to cheat. When I realized what he was talking about I went through my deck and out jogged the four aces. He continued talking about how he played poker with these guys. I palmed the aces off and set the deck on the low table that was between us. When he paused, I said I would show him. I asked him to pick up the cards and shuffle them and put them back onto the table. He did so. Then I pushed the cards toward him a bit. In so doing I dropped the aces on top of the deck. Then I turned up the four aces one at a time. This guys head sunk. He closed his eyes in great disgust, said thanks, got up, and walked away. Oh well.

Having lived in the area and visiting the Hollywood magic shop I had made a few friends. One was Earl Nelson. One day we were standing in the middle of the main bar talking stuff. As always, I had a deck of cards that I was continuously shuffling. Vernon happed to be leaning against the end of the bar. While talking I noticed that Vernon was glancing at my cards. It also appeared that his mind was concentrating on something. Then he walked over to us, took the cards out of my hands saying in his squeaky voice, “Did you ever see this?” Then he did some kind of mind boggling move which was beyond me. Then he gave me back the cards and went back to leaning on the bar.

I continued to talk to Earl. But Vernon still had that concentrated look on his face. Eventually, he came over again and showed Earl and I some fancy move. I responded with an appropriate wow, he gave me the cards back to me and returned to the bar.

Now, I am not proud to tell you what I did. I hope you do not think terribly ill of me for this. When he gave me the cards back, I crunched the bottom card of the deck and continued shuffling them.

Eventually, Vernon came over to show Earl and I some other gem. He took the cards from me and did another fancy move. He did not notice the crumpled card. I did not understand why. After he did the move, his eyes suddenly got big. Apparently he found the crunched card. He held it up by one corner as if displaying evidence and said like a child that just got discovered, “I didn’t do that.” Then I felt like a piece of you know what.

I said that I did it for a little experiment I was working on. He gave me the deck and wandered back to the bar. I can’t remember what happened after that. I don’t think Earl was aware of what I had done.

Well, that’s mostly what I had in mind about Vernon stories. I don’t think most people know what he is about. The logic he used in magic was one thing. I think his most outstanding capability was the ease with which he performed. I don’t think that is something that can be captured in writing or even described. I was fortunate to see him perform.
Magic Al. Say it fast and it is magical.
Ray Haining
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In your first story about Vernon, you said that he was showing a new trick to some folks when he turned to you and asked, "what do you think?" You replied, "I invented it." What trick was that?

Also, any stories about Marlo?
Al Schneider
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To clarify.
He and I were sitting at a table alone with each other in the hall between two theaters.
The trick was Hugs and Kisses sold by Sterling Magic.
He spent a lot of time telling me about Hugs and Kisses.
As I recollect, I was sitting at the table for two when he joined me to talk about the trick.
I assume he knew who I was though I rarely spoke to him.
Got one story about Marlo. Not really great later.
Magic Al. Say it fast and it is magical.
Zombie Magic
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Quote:
On 2013-04-23 03:35, Al Schneider wrote:

....Now, I am not proud to tell you what I did. I hope you do not think terribly ill of me for this. When he gave me the cards back, I crunched the bottom card of the deck and continued shuffling them.




Harry Anderson used to play cards with Vernon upstairs at the Castle and Harry...would cheat. So, Al, don't feel bad.

Al's Amazon book: http://www.amazon.com/New-Age-Quantum-Ph......67938009
Al Schneider
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Zombie
Thanks for the plug.

Started writing a bit about Marlo.
Presently investing a lot of energy in developing ability to put books into Kindle.
Kind of difficult to get around right now. Hit hard with arthiritis.
I found an interesting feature of Kindle. You can embed video clips into the books.
Imagine, reading a book on a sleight and then seeing it done right in the book.
Not sure what to do with it.
By the by, is anyone interested in a book on close up troublewit.
It teaches how to make a troublewit with with a sheet of 8.5 X 5 paper.
One can be made in about 20 minutes.

Al Schneider
Magic Al. Say it fast and it is magical.
Al Schneider
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Well, I mastered the art of making a Kindle book. Now I need to write software to make it all automatic.

About Marlo

Sometime long ago, about 1971, I attended a small convention put on by Magic Inc. in Chicago. I was fortunate to be hired as one of the close up performers. I was doing this coin routine in which the last coin vanish used a totally clean method. Several clips of younger guys doing such a move has been shown on this forum. One excellent one consisted of a young man doing a visual retention vanish, pressing the coin into a classic palm and using the muscle pass to shoot the coin backwards. Mine was a bit different. It did not use all that muscle contortion stuff to get the coin to go away. A light pass of the hand and the coin was gone.

The reason I bring this up is because it led to a meeting with Marlo.

The day was very hot and I worried about the coins slipping out of my hands during the shows. Another of the performers was Milt Kort, from Detroit. He was really complaining about the heat and moist hands. I performed several sets and at one Marlo and a few of his friends was in the audience. They observed from some distance. After I performed my routine I noticed he and his friends having an animated conversation some distance from my table. They followed me from table to table.

As the day wore on, one of Marlo’s friends, I think it was Rachabaumer walked up to me and asked if I would be willing to talk to Marlo. I said yes and he said we could get together later that day. He said he would talk to me again.

I went abut my normal business. At some point I was sitting at a table in some restaurant talking with a fellow magician. I have no idea who it was, just one of the regular guys. Then Marlo’s messenger friend came up to the table and said something about getting together with Marlo. The guy sitting at my table assumed we both were being invited to talk to Marlo. He looked really excited. We both stood up to follow the messenger. We three were chatting as we walked along to our destination. My new friend was very excited. As we were walking along, someone walked up to my new friend and asked him a question. My friend stopped to answer the question. I and the messenger continued walking. I realized that I had just witnessed a set up to cut off the person that was not invited to the party. I found this most interesting.

We walked into another room and Marlo was sitting at a table. I do not know what we talked about. We certainly went over the way I vanished the coins. Marlo thought that was extraordinary. He is certainly more than a card guy. We played with some things. During our conversations one of the other guys at the table did a double lift. When he displayed it, he bent the card a but and it clicked. Very nice. However, Marlo looks at the guy sternly and said something about not revealing private material. This is strange because the little move is so good I have used it the rest of my life.

We chatted for awhile, shook hands and parted.

I found him to be a very gentle person, focused, and highly intelligent.

Some time later I attempted to bring together several magicians for a teach-in. I had also been talking with Paul Harris. I wrote to both Harris and Marlo to see if they would be willing to participate. Both responded positively. Then I mentioned to Marlo in a letter that Paul would be participating also. I got back a burning letter from Ed about conning him into helping me hawk my books and so on.

The event never occurred. I am just not that good a promoter. I attempted several of these things that just resulted in me being embarrassed. Life goes on.

Sometime later I heard that Ed did participate in some kind of event. I paid little attention.

That kind of finishes my stories. Hope you enjoyed them.

Al Schneider
Magic Al. Say it fast and it is magical.
L Trunk
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Hi Al,
Good to hear you have gone ahead with releasing your stuff as ebooks again. I prefer the digital format for most types of books. I waited a few months before ordering the print edition of 'Theory and Practice' just in case you'd do a Kindle edition. Should have waited a little bit longer!

I enjoyed the stories, thanks for sharing.
Ray Haining
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I think at least the first two Card College ebooks are like that--have embedded video clips.
Al Schneider
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L Trunk
Doing the magic theory book in kindle is not in my immmediate future.
Chances are getting the book now is wise if you really want it.
I tend to work on new stuff and put of redoing old, marketing, sales, cleaning my room, etc.
I have no idea how well kindle books sell.
Anyone have any advice?
Al Schneider
Magic Al. Say it fast and it is magical.
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Mr Schneider, no kindle for me.
Please keep printing your work in hard copies.
I am thoroughly enjoying your book on Theory, it's the Greatest.
Thanks for your work. I have been really studying your work, and
learning some of your material.
Stargate is awesome. Cone and Coin sweet stuff, and Matrix, the Best.
L Trunk
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Quote:
On 2013-04-30 10:13, Al Schneider wrote:
L Trunk
Doing the magic theory book in kindle is not in my immmediate future.
Chances are getting the book now is wise if you really want it.
I tend to work on new stuff and put of redoing old, marketing, sales, cleaning my room, etc.
I have no idea how well kindle books sell.
Anyone have any advice?
Al Schneider


Hi Al,

Apart from books on things like visual arts, I will always buy the ebook version over the print version. I have thousands of books in my house which take up a whole lot of space. If they were digital they would fit on a tiny flash drive. More and more people in my social circle are switching to ebooks. I don't know if this is a general trend but these people are not 'early adopters' by any stretch.

I'd already ordered the theory book and it arrived a few days after my previous post. The content of the book is great -- I'm glad I finally got the book after first seeing your take on magic theory in your first L&L videos.

What I'm really impressed with (beyond the content of the book) is the print quality. I've bought several print-on-demand books in the past and the quality of the printing, binding etc was always noticeably worse than a book with a regular print run. This is really nice. The binding is tight. The text is clear and sharp, and the margins are even all the way through.

I'm thinking of preparing a book related to my day job career. What you're doing with Amazon seems like a good way to go. If you could share your insights into how to prepare a book to offer it on Amazon via print-on-demand/Kindle that would give me a headstart.

Cheers
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Al, I always appreciate your sharing.
TH

Occupy Your Dream
Kyoki_Sanitys_Eclipse
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Thank you for sharing those stories. Hearing of others experiences is one of my favorite past times. I'll pit in my vote for hard copies
donny
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Illuminating!
It's not their senses that mislead, it's their assumptions.
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