It's Monday and you know what that means... Monday Mail Call! Each Monday (give or take), I use this feature to highlight a few of the things that have made their way in over the past week or so. Packages, purchases, and emails -- oh my!
This past week was a big one for deliveries, especially because it's the beginning of the month too. Whoa, October already! I have to say, Autumn's my favorite season. Right up there with Winter, Spring and Summer (^_^)
Normally I would pick the top 3 things that came in and highlight them here, but I'm in a good mood so I'm going to share everything! Since there's so much, I'll break it all down by category and will be slightly less verbose. Slightly.
Latest Additions to the Library
A few weeks ago, Vanishing Inc. sent out an email announcing that they found a box of books tucked away in the back of their warehouse. What book was it, you ask? Why it was Counthesaurus, by Jon Racherbaumer!
I've had my eye on this book for quite a while, but it's never been available anywhere. If you're not familiar with it, it's described as "the ultimate go-to reference for false counts and displays." It's an encyclopedic collection with everything from the Ascanio Spread to the Biddle Count, Elmsley Count, Mirage Count, and everything in-between. I know that I have most of the original books that teach the different sleights, but I don't have all of them. And, with Jon's explanations and the large number of photos included, it's a great addition to the collection.
The next new book to join the shelf is Try the Impossible by Simon Aronson. I have Bound to Please by Aronson and I haven't gotten nearly through half of it yet, but I really like his work. When I watched Matt Baker's Masterclass, he had referenced Try the Impossible so I paused the video and went to try and find it. It wasn't that hard -- it's available here on Vanishing Inc!
I don't have the Aronson stack memorized yet -- ah, spoiler alert, this book has a full chapter of memdeck magic -- but it's something I want to have down by the end of this year. I think that Try the Impossible will be a good way to springboard that effort into some great performances =]
Gaffs & Gimmicks
Lloyd Barnes (@lloydbarnes), if you're not familiar, posts some really neat, and very informative, tutorials on YouTube about how to make different gaffs and gimmicks, and often shows full routines using them too. One video he uploaded back in June just appeared in my feed a week or two ago and I really love the premise:
The big secret here, besides minimal sleight of hand, is magnets! Super thin magnets, that is.
I tried finding them on Amazon, but the thin ones just couldn't be found. I did some more research and found a shop online (first4magnets.com) that had exactly what I was looking for. Disc magnets with a 10mm diameter that are 0.4mm thick. I'm going to build the gimmick in the video above first and play with them a bit, but I've already started having other fun ideas. I'll likely only use this kind of thing for online videos and not real-life performances, but if it's simple and fun enough, who knows.
Another thing I got in this past week was a One-Way Forcing Deck. What is a one-way forcing deck, you ask? It's a deck of 52 identical cards!
I've always wanted to have one and now I do. For some reason, my first thought is to record an ambitious card routine using it. Actually, perform every sleight and continue to control the real card each time, but then at the end show that the deck's all the same. It will look impossible, and then at the very end any lay person would be like "hah, I knew it" and magicians would be "whoa."
Silly, I know. But hey, it's fun, nonetheless. If you're interested in one too, check out the Bicycle One-Way Forcing Deck -- I think that this is one of those fun decks to always have around (and I'm glad I finally have it myself).
Monthly Magic Magazines
Fresh off the press, or, rather straight into the inbox this weekend came this month's issue of both The Hermit and Love Letters.
This month's issue of The Hermit features 8 effects by 7 different magicians. There's card magic, thumb magic, and a cool visual reveal with a Frixion pen! The challenge of the month is a crossword puzzle, the first to solve it will get a shout-out in next month's issue. It looks like a fun idea -- I doubt I'll have the time to play with it, but I might give it a whirl.
What's really interesting is the casting call in the issue.
I have a personality, and I can easily obtain pork chops. I might reach out to see what's up!
Love Letters kicks off with a note to Matt Baker about his Masterclass. I'm telling you folks, it's worth a watch (read my review here).
After that, it goes on to review OTT, a utility move that has, well, different utilities and then Hologram, a multi-phase visual effect that takes place on a card. Three reviews in this month's newsletter, but the reviews do beyond just "it's good" or "it's bad", they each talk about ways to utilize the specific thing being reviewed. I like that -- more magic products should have in-depth reviews like this and not just paid hype.
Subscribers to Genii recently received an email letting us know that the October and November issues are going to be combined into a single issue, published in late October. This was due to a death in the family (assuming the Genii family), and extensive FISM coverage. I didn't get my September issue until late-September anyways, so the delay's not a huge problem. Plus, it will give me time to catch up on the others.
So, there you have it folks! A lot came in and now I have my hands full. I can't wait to see what kind of neat things I get into with all of it.
Stay tuned for the next iteration of Monday Mail Call, there's a lot more to come!
Oh also, if you'd like to offer suggestions for books, tricks, decks or if you have questions about magic (performing, routines, sleights, etc.), just reach out here.