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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magicians of old » » Who is your hero? (6 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

adrianrbf
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Switzerland
91 Posts

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I'm not looking for "the greatest magician of all time", rather I would like to know: Who is your personal hero, and why? (This may include not-so-old magician, if you so wish.)
Dr. Delusion
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Eugene, Oregon.
728 Posts

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Mine is Harry Blackstone Jr. Back in School I was very shy. I saw him on a HBO special along with Carl Ballentine and several others. He was simply Amazing, his magic, voice, jokes, everything. Growing up we never had much money, but that next Christmas Mom and Dad were able to buy me a huge beginners magic set. I practiced day and night and talked a buddy into becoming an assistant for me. We started out by performing for free at nursing homes. I was scared stiff at first, but eventually became more at ease in front of folks. 45 years later I still do get nervous before some of the shows, but I love it! Thank you Harry!
Andy Gemini
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England
116 Posts

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Mine is Paul Daniels, as he had a regular TV show here in UK when I was growing up. Saw him live too - absolutely brilliant!
TomB
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215 Posts

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My current favorite magician is Tommy Wonder. I love his theory and his calculated misdirection. I love that he explains each little move he did. I love how he improves tricks to make them better. I love his passion for perfection. I am grateful for his videos and written material that he has shared. Truly, a polished diamond that can help diamonds in the rough become shiny. He is greatly missed. Thanks Tommy!
Thomas Henry
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Hello Adrian,

That's an easy question for me to answer: Dunninger.

Back in 1965, I was a member of his audience committee on stage at the KRNT Theater in Des Moines, Iowa (USA). He had been brought in especially to highlight the gala public show sponsored by the IBM convention. I was aged 13 and had been interested in magic for some seven years by that point.

His presentation was magisterial, and I think everyone (very large audience, by the way) knew we were seeing the best that had ever come in mentalism. And a fair amount of us also knew that we were witnessing a link to the past, Dunninger being an essential part of the Houdini era. To answer the second part of your question, it's simply that for sixty minutes, he made thought reading seem absolutely real. And I got see him close-up on stage, and look out at the very audience he was commanding!

But, I'll also go on to say that for forty-some years thereafter I never thought I would see his equal again. And then I witnessed Banachek who to my mind is the direct continuation of that lineage.

Best wishes,

Thomas Henry
Omne ignotum pro magnifico.
foolsnobody
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Buffalo, NY
841 Posts

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Clarke "The Senator" Crandall. He was very kind to me when I, an unkempt hippie, was visiting the Magic Castle for the first time. He showed me where the library was, and introduced me to various well-known magicians, such as Bruce Cervon, Francis Carlyle, and Vernon. I got to witness his now legendary "X-Rated" midnight show. I consider him the Mark Twain of magic presentation, and his repartee in general was unbeatable. He was kind to me, and he didn't know me from Adam. I'll never forget him.
gallagher
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Nate Leipzig.

It's obvious,
I never saw him.
I've only read how others described him,
his Act, his Effects, his manorisms.
I've read his description of his life,..
some of his thoughts, on Magic.

He motivates me:
1.) I like all of his effects.
,...many,...original.
And his methods(!).
Very sneaky. Very 'do-ible'. Very depend-ible.

2.) I like his attitude and philosophy about 'fooling people'.
,..and the way he went about doing it.

3.) He practised 17 years(!),
before he nervously(!...!),
albeit successfully,
mounted 'the Stage'.
WoW!

4.) He wrote nice things about other Magicians and people,...
without coming across as,..'slimmey'.
Never negative...
He seemed to have a,...'human class'.
This really inspires me.
,....i wish I could keep it in mind(!), more often!

Nate Leipzig.
In the lid of my 'prop case',
I have his photo,...cut from Dai Vernon's tribute book,..to Mr. Leipzig.
"Calm. Patience. Style."
Thanks Nate!
gallagher
critter
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Spokane, WA
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Ricky Jay because he transcended eras. He took age old effects and did them better than anyone ever had. He created a personal mythology. He brought gravitas to an art debased by clowns and camera trickery (no offense to clowns, clown college sounds rough) all without losing his own humor. And he shed light on forgotten entertainers.
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
boxjumper
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360 Posts

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Doug Henning. A true artist whose enthusiasm for the magic he performed was clearly so genuine.

BJ
Kjellstrom
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Sweden, Scandinavia, Europe
4950 Posts

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Fred Kaps. A legend, sure.
Gerald Blankenship
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Lake O The Pines Texas
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Dean Dill may he rest in peace. What a wonderful performer and creator of some very popular effects.
I don't understand all I know about this
docdazzal
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San Tan Valley, AZ
339 Posts

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For me...The Great Mark Wilson. The Magic Land of Allakazam, was a never missed Saturday morning ritual for me. I began watching it in 1961 and never missed a show. It's still important to me to this day.
Dr. Dan
Psychic & Paranormal Entertainment
www.drdanandco.com
rhettbryson
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Greenville, SC Not ashamed of his
534 Posts

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I have a special place in my magic heart for the incomparable Del Ray. He elevated the use of electronic magic to an absolute art and his hilarious presentational style made you forget about any methods and become transfixed bu the performance. Absolutely a one of a kind! (I had a special pleasure to see him live on a number of occasions and he is the most entertaining - and fooling - magicians I ever saw (well, maybe Tom Mullica as well!))
Russo
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Ken Griffin ( & Bert)- Wife and I traveled with them as assistants and as a featured Vent. act - traveling - one night stands is a great way to learn - everything -we also had a picture in their book "Illusion Show Know-how". you did learn. Ralph (russo) Rousseau
Steve Anderson
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Texas
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I would say my magic hero is "Shimada" I think he is very charismatic, confident and one of the nicest men I have ever met.
Merc Man
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Nuneaton, Warwickshire
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Joe Riding.

The man who taught me to be an entertainer, basically by:

- Giving up on practising countless card moves (Second/Bottom Dealing, Tenkai Palm, etc.) that I'd never find myself performing in the real world.
- How to look at nearly any effect and duplicate it - without superfluous gaffs and gimmicks.
- How to get maximum entertainment during close-up; with the absolute minimum of props.
- What to put together for a stand-up/cabaret act - again, with the minimum of props so that you have a visual act; that can work under any conditions; and that you can 'set and strike' in a couple of minutes.
- How to approach agents and venues to get work.
- How to deliver a string of one-liners.......and more importantly, get the timing right.
- For convincing me that even if I became one of the World's greatest magicians technically, I'd still never perform (particularly for Women) anything that equalled bloody palm-reading!

Not forgetting Harry Lorayne - for providing enough superb material with borrowed items within The Magic Book, to last me a lifetime. His other books also continue to be inspirational - years after they were read; and the incredible material contained within being duly digested, practised and performed.

Also, a big thank you for Harry - for outlining so clearly (within The Magic Book) how effects need to be routined. This was such important advice for a 14 year old in 1978 - who just wanted to learn everything at once - and would have probably have subsequently forgotten so much.

I hold both of these men in such high esteem; and will always be eternally grateful. To my mind, they are my true Legends of Magic. Both have given me more during my lifetime, than they've ever known.
Barry Allen

Joe Riding
20th May 1932 - 23rd April 2005

Thank you for making me an entertainer. I still miss ya mate.
Stevethomas
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Southern U.S.A.
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Dick Williams.
Macphail
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My father, Ralph MacPhail, Jr. who was at one time a semi-professional (though never famous) comedy magician, and who can still fool me with moves and secrets I already know.
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