I love learning and every time I buy a new effect I find wide and useful applications that improve my overall presentation. I read a lot of magic books and I watch a lot of educational videos, I have attended several master classes and lectures and always come away inspired. People ask me who my influences are so let me share a few. This is certainly not a comprehensive list. This page will grow and change often. Here are just some of the lights that come immediately to mind who have been my teachers and inspirations.
Andy Deemer - I saw Andy’s act in the cellar at the Magic Castle before he won best close up magician and before he went on Penn and Teller. He has a fun angle about mind control experiments and such - plus he has a very mad scientist look in his eye as he “shares” his inside knowledge. He bent spoons and was very entertaining but what really got me was his absolutely perfect ACAAN. That is “Any Card At Any Number”. For those who don’t know the rules of the perfect ACAAN are that the deck can be shuffled by a spectator and then not touched again by the magician. The spectator(s) name the value of the card and suit. They also choose the position in the deck. The spectator handles the cards and counts down to the location and the card is there. Deemer’s ACAAN was perfect. It did not violate any of the rules. I saw this with my own eyes. It inspired me to create my ECAAN (Every Card at any number) . I will share that with you in a video soon.
Asaad at 52 Kards - I learned Dary’s Hot shot from his videos, Dai Vernon’s Triumph, and many many basics of card handling. Asaad's teaching style is easygoing. He is very thorough and precise too. He breaks down every move.
Brent Geris - The Magic Apple - started with my purchase of Money Monte and discovery pack effects. These are master classes in and of themselves. I remember back in the day when I did mostly kids magic, self working magic and gimmicked tricks. I went in to find something new and Brent said, I needed to start watching videos and reading books on theory, He suggested I had already bought every gimmicked trick he had to offer and that if I wanted to grow I had to learn the “real magic” of sleights and misdirection. He probably doesn’t know who I am but he inspired me to take my magic to the next level.
Christian Painter’s Protoplasm. I bought this book after seeing his advertisement in MUM magazine. His innovative approach gave me two routines that I have adapted to my own scripts and style and use at almost every show years later.
Corinda - 13 Steps to Mentalism - A powerful read that teaches techniques as well as attitudes and posturing for the performer. I review this often. It is a wonderful friend of a book. It also reminds me I’m on the right track. I love “book test mentalism” routines and he has several in there that use any book. Love it!
Dai Vernon. Triumph! He influenced everyone I know and all the teachers I have learned from on their video courses.
Daryl - The Magician’s Magician. I purchased his two hour online masterclass video on the Cups and Balls. After that I purchased his two hour online master class video on the Linking rings and then a ring and rope magic video that opened my mind and act. I have replayed these videos countless times and continue to learn from this late great master. I also learned his top shot through watching Asaad as well as his prover for Dai Vernon’s triumph.
David Berglas just from watching his video appearances. His ACAAN is the holy grail of card magic and inspired all of us.
David Blaine - His street magic videos revitalized the art of magic and made it accessible to new generations. I do some Blaine card tricks in my close up and strolling. They never fail to wow. From Blaine I learned to take more risks in magic.
Doug Henning - I saw him on Broadway when I was a kid. It was all too much for me at that age. But I loved every minute of it.
Duffy Hudson as Houdini - For those of us who wished we were alive to experience Houdini, Duffy answers the call. He creates magic through his story telling but he is no slouch when it comes to actual magic. His daring escapes, his eating needles and his card work all scream master magician even though he considers himself an actor first and foremost - the king of the one man shows.
Ed Marlo - from other magicians. His work and Dai Vernon’s work seem to compete as the definitive guides for card guys. Love them both.
Frederick Braue - Royal Road to card magic - Read this! Then re-read it and practice! This is Card Magic 101. Instrumental.
Hannibal - Poetry. His card handling is impeccable and his stage presence is magnifique. He lives his art. He infuses his heart into his art. He shares his soul through his act. While many magicians practice concealing everything and every opportunity, he shares truth by performing deceptions.
Jay Sankey - One of the most innovative creators of magic in the history of the art. Want to learn magic? Start with Sankey. Also, his philosophy about performance is so refreshing and so about giving to the spectators - sharing our joy and passion. Sankey is a gem.
Jean Hugard - Royal Road to card magic - Read this! Then re-read it and practice! This is Card Magic 101. Instrumental.
Johnny Ace Palmer - Watched him in his early days when he would table hop for diners at Zach’s Italian restaurant on Ventura Blvd in Studio CIty. His signed card to ceiling routine! That ceiling was full of signed cards by very happy customers! Very inspiring.
Juan Tamariz - Read his works. That is all I will say. The warning is this: Once you go down this rabbit hole, you will never be the same. I thought I knew stuff and then I read Tamariz. Lifetime of studying ahead.
Karl Fulves - His book of self working card tricks is fantastic as well are his other works.
Kimoon Do. Columbini’s Twice Blank. WOW!!! Kimoon Do is the cleanest and most polished card handler I have seen in a very long time.
Kostya Kimlat - Purchased his Okito Coin routine. It rocks. Very clean, very precise and a miracle I use at most shows now.
Lennart Green - Watching videos andi sloppy shuffling, top shot and duct taping a paper bag around his head to prove he couldn’t peek - that is some fun magic!
Max Maven - B’wave. I have never met him but I did enjoy his act as part of the members’ Halloween party at the Magic Castle one year.! Serious. Mysterious. Wise. His “B’wave” packet trick is a pretty amazing and astonishing piece of theater. I recently performed this at a holiday party during a close up table hop and the spectator was blown away. “Who are you?” she inquired as if I was some other worldly being. Thanks Maestro!
Micah Cover - He is a master showman. He understands that magic is theater. He makes it look improvisational but he scripts every word. I performed in three of his Night of the Raven Shows in the Pellar theater at the Magic Castle and the time constraints forced me to trim the fat from my scripts and go for the kicker.
Michael Ammar - Found a fun routine of his in a book called “Magic for Dummies.” I did the trick for my castle audition and passed! I watched his segments on late night talk shows and love his “Let each effect land” approach. He doesn’t push. He trusts.
Mike Stillwell I was doing a private party murder mystery show in Palm Springs about ten years ago. He was hired by the client to do walk around magic during cocktail hour. He Did so many sleits in a five minute routine that there simply was no way to process or even venture to guess any methods. As soon as one kicker landed he was doing the next miracle. Head spinning and wonderful. What really struck me was his one handed shuffle. It was the first time I had experienced the beauty of this move and I became determined to learn it and master it. It took me months and almost ruined my thumb. It locked up and I was told surgery would be the only answer. I didn’t get surgery but instead, through sheer force of will, popped it back into use. Now I do the move several times in performance and it always impresses audiences.
Mr. Silly - Kids party performer “Mr. Silly” I performed many kids parties together over decades and his approach is…silly and fun…and precise. He is so disarming with his charm and humor that audiences universally find themselves sent down the garden path over and over again - a wonderful master of misdirection - incorporating pratfalls and dad jokes galore to win over his audiences again and again.
Nicholas Einhorn - Found his illustrated book and went to town! One effect I found in this great work I used in my Magic Castle Audition. I Passed the audition and became a member!
Penn and Teller. They have defined magic for decades and I have watched every Fool Us episode! They have done so much for the craft and remain my all time favorites. The perfected art of deception. I watched Penn do a nice in the hands faro shuffle on video and played it over and over until I could mimic the moves. Now I do a very nice faro! Teller? Okay the principles of magic routine he does while Penn narrates and plays bass? This is how you craft a piece of theatrical magic.
Peter Monticup - Peter makes magic fun! He runs magictricks.com and he does video demonstrations for every single trick he sells - countless tricks! I love this real life Willy Wonka.
Pop Haydn - I have yet to meet this giant of magic, except on facebook. The perfect example of a well crafted persona and character - he understands better than most that magic is theater. His interactive comedy routines with the linking rings are legendary along with his Passe Passe bottles. I purchased his master class on coins across using Morgan silver dollars. Clearly that took him decades to perfect. He is so skilled in sleight of hand and so masterful in misdirecting the audience with his comedy charm, his is truly one of the greatest acts in magic.
Ricky Jay - Luckily his work lives on through his videos. He did the impossible and did it with style and originality. His card throwing may be legendary but to me his finding the Queens routine is what sets him apart and above the rest.
Spidey - My Lucky Deuces card routine, My Full Deck Monte routine, Out of Sight, Out of Mind - thought of card effect, and my Odds or Evens card routine are all adaptations of tricks I learned from his videos. I write my own scripts and do alter a few moves to make these my own but his unique approach to mentalism with a deck of cards really speaks to me.
S.W. Erdnase - “Expert at the Card Table.” Aside from the brilliant moves you learn in this book, he teaches the very important lesson: “Don’t show off your expertise” and the magic will be more magical.
Trevor Duffy from his Minds in Focus trick. I purchased this trick from the Magic Apple years ago. It is no longer being produced. It is a beauty! The trick taught me essentials in making a meal out of simplicity. I adapted the trick to a script I called “Sharpo’s Compatibility Test.” I still do this in parlor shows when a couple is getting engaged or celebrating a big anniversary. It is funny and sweet and brings audiences together.
So that's a few for now. What comes to mind at the moment. I will be adding more as I reflect more on the wondrous art of magic. Thanks for reading