When Was The Last Time You Were Fooled Badly?

I’ve been selling tricks at Perfect Magic for over 35 years. I’ve been writing them up in the catalogue and now edit them for the internet. I’ve been to many magic conventions and seen many magicians perform and usually if I don’t know how the trick is done I have an idea of how it could be done.

There have only been a few that had me completely stumped that I can think of at the moment. One is one our own, which the Camirand Academy now produces, which is Silver Sanctums. I remember Phil demonstrating it for Ed Mishell who did the illustrations for Tannen’s Catalog way back when, and he also had a column, “Tricks of the Trade”,  in Genii Magazine where he reviewed the new tricks.  We got 5 stars for Silver Sanctums. We managed to fool him completely.

Another one I couldn’t get was by Patrick Reymond, Jean Boucher and Gary Ouellet, called Ceremony of the Immortals. I wouldn’t allow myself to read the instructions for a year trying to figure it out and when I finally gave in I and read them I was even more impressed. I sell a lot of those and the feedback I get is that it is the best card trick in their repertoire.

Most of our customer would agree that I don’t push magic or my opinions on any one (I can hear my kids laughing at the the last part of that statement), as I know everyone has their own likes, dislikes and limitations  regarding capability and budget. I try to find out what these are and will offer suggestions in that range, but I do push Ceremony of the Immortals because its  great, not expensive and I always get thanks for it on the next visit.

Exact Change is  the latest effect to intrigue me. I love it when that happens. It makes me believe in magic. Do you have any favorites that had you completely baffled? Care to share? Leave it in the comments.


Filed under Magic

6 responses to “When Was The Last Time You Were Fooled Badly?

  1. TheMag1cian

    Robert Smith’s “Psypher” had me. Sanders’ “Ultra Gum” also did a number on my cognitive processes. “Tagged”, “Branded” and Sankey’s “Killer Key” were also worthy of mention. I musn’t forget one of my strongest workers, “CHOP” by Craig Petty! Oh, and I never leave Jamie’s “Industrial Revelation” at home. This is one of the most carefully engineered gimmicks Ive ever seen and completely examinable at the conclusion.


  2. I find this article interesting. But the question should have better been ‘When was the last time you were entertained badly by a magician?’ Dealers effect are made to fool the magicians in order for them to buy these. While existing alternate, gimmick free methods exist to accomplish something like Ceremony of The Immortal, the entertainment value remains is 0 if the performer doesn’t his soul into his presentation. I love and I expect to be fooled by a Dealer Item. Although I will not put my awe and admiration into a magician performing fooling dealer tricks. I would rather put it into a magician that makes me have the best time of my life with tricks I understand. If he can manage to fool me on the way, the better. Because if I am having the best time of my life, little importance is given to the methods. I wish I could be a lay man when I go and see a magic show because most of the time, lately, the entertainment value is null, disapointing and I understand the methods. I would rather at least be fooled, you know.

    Tarbell once said there’s a big difference between a magician and one man who does tricks. Someone can give medicine to a friend but that doesn’t make him a doctor. I fully agree with this. . One must be trained to diagnose, treat and be ready in emergencies. It takes years to make a physician.

    What will make your audience sit spellbound for an hour?
    You. Not the tricks, even the most baffling ones can fall flat as earth.

    Before getting the new hot item from your dealer, I strongly suggest you put your soul into what you already have, take it and make it personal; foolproof.


    • I agree with you wholeheartedly that it is always the magician that makes the trick worth watching. People come into the shop and ask what the best trick in the shop is. I tell them a trick is just a trick. Its you that makes it good or bad. My son Brian, when he managed Perfect Magic in Vancouver used to put a sponge ball on the counter and say, “its only a sponge ball, it just lies there and does nothing, and then he would do miracles with it. When I write this blog, I’m writing for magicians and take it for granted they know that the trick is only a prop, and it is they that make it magic or a magical experience. That being said, once in a while something comes up that baffles me completely and I enjoy it.

      And by the way, if the trick fools the magicians, imagine what it would do for the layman.


  3. Michel Asselin

    Eons ago, at the New York Magic Symposium, a short, young, gum chewing punk kid came up front to do his set. Before starting, he pulled the Bazooka wrapping out his his pocket and took the gum out of his mouth. He placed the gum in the wrapper and threw the wrapper and gum upwards. What I still vividly remember was astonishing, even if I knew it to be impossible. I saw the wrapper fold itself in mid-air; and I saw the package land back in his palm. Folded. Sealed. Pristine. Now I knew that was not possible – and I immediately recognised the principle used – but it is still one of he most astonishing things I had ever seen. Jay Shankey did other amazing stuff during his set, but that opener was amazing. The rest of his set was good, but I barely remember it.

    Dr Sawa was there, performing as well; so were Jeff McBride in his prime, Max Maven, Tom Mullicca but nothing came close to that particular moment provided by Mr Shankey.


  4. Thanks for your input, Michel. I have to check that one out too. Do you do it?


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