Self-Working Card Magic

Self-Working Card Magic, by Karl Fulves

Karl Fulves' Self-Working Card Tricks, 72 foolproof card miracles for the amateur magician, with 42 illustrations by Joseph K. Schmidt

Karl Fulves’ Self-Working Card Tricks, 72 foolproof card miracles for the amateur magician, with 42 illustrations by Joseph K. Schmidt

buy-from-amazon I’ve been a fan of Karl Fulves’ self-working series, and Self-Working Card Magic is no exception. In short, it’s a collection of card tricks that don’t require technical skill – they rely on using techniques that don’t require manual dexterity.

This is not, in itself, a bad thing — it allows you to focus on presentation, and results. Self-Working Card Magic includes:

Table of Contents for Self-Working Card Magic

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The Royal Road to Card Magic

The Royal Road to Card Magic, by by Jean Hugard and Frederick Braué

The Royal Road to Card Magicbuy-from-amazon In short, The Royal Road to Card Magic is the foremost book in the world for learning card magic.

It is a step by step introduction, first introducing a card sleight, then several card tricks to use that sleight. It is no understatement to say that, anyone who wishes to learn card magic should begin here.

Editorial review of The Royal Road to Card Magic, courtesy of

With this book, anyone can develop a versatile repertoire of first rate card tricks. The authors, both noted authorities on magic, present complete, easy to understand explanations of basic techniques and over 100 complete tricks. More than 120 line cuts make explanations easy to follow, so that even beginners can develop professional-level skill. 121 figures. Read More…

Now You See It, Now You Don’t

Now You See It, Now You Don’t : Lessons in Sleight of Hand — by Bill Tarr, Barry Ross (Illustrator)

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Now You See It, Now You Don't - lessons in sleight of hand by Bill TarrThere are basically two types of magicians — gadgeteers and finger-flingers. Please note, this is not meant to insult either group. A gadgeteer tends toward self-working magic — things that are set up, and effectively work by themselves. This frees the magician to focus on presentation and entertainment, and not as much on the mechanics of the trick or illusion. Finger-flingers, on the other hand, tend toward actual sleight of hand, relying on their own skill to perform the seemingly impossible. This takes longer to master, but gives greater confidence, as well as the ability to perform anywhere, with whatever is at hand. This book is for those who want to be finger-flingers, or who want to look at that side of the aisle.

Bill Tarr has created a wonderful resource. It’s incredibly well-illustrated, showing both the magician’s & the audience’s view, for each trick or sleight. He also grades the individual tricks based on its’ difficulty. Read More…

Jacob Philadelphia

Jacob Philadelphia (August 14, 1735 – 1795)

Jacob Philadelphia is notable as the first American-born magician to achieve fame — although he primarily performed abroad. Jacob Meyer was born on August 14, 1735.  Dr. Christopher Witt, the associate of Johannes Kelpius, was chiefly responsible for his education. Meyer’s patron in England was Prince Henry, Duke of Cumberland and Strathearn.

When he converted to Christianity, Jacob Meyer took the name of Jacob Philadelphia in homage to the home city of the American scientist and statesman Benjamin Franklin. He was also performed by the names Meyer Philadelphia and Philadelphus Philadelphia. Read More…

Are dogs fooled by sleight of hand?

The answer appears to be … yes!

Escape artist cat?

Marshmellow the French escape artist catFor a moment of levity — if Houdini had owned a cat, would it have looked like Marshmallow? Read More…

Dark Legacy

Thriller - Dark Legacy - bullet catch trickOn Boris Karloff’s TV show, Thriller, one episode was titled Dark Legacy — about a dying warlock who is also a great stage magician, who leaves his book of secrets to his nephew, a struggling stage magician.  Unfortunately, the nephew follows in his uncle’s occult footsteps, with fatal consequences.

The episode shows some examples of some classic magic, including: Read More…

Aldo Colombini has suffered a stroke

Sad news – Aldo Colombini has suffered a stroke, according to his wife.

Prayers will be appreciated, I’m sure. Read More…

Self-Working paper magic

Self-Working paper magic—81 foolproof tricks by Karl Fulves

Self-Working Paper Magic, by Karl Fulvesbuy-from-amazon

I’m a fan of Karl Fulves “self-working” series, and Self-Working Paper Magic is no exception.  It’s a collection of 81 “tricks” that would work for any clown, magician, kid’s church worker, children’s pastor, etc.  It’s a collection of different “tricks” ranging from paper hats, a paper tree, simple origami (the dollar ring, etc.), some classic magic tricks, etc.

The descriptions are clear and straightforward, and the illustrations are simple and clear.  It’s highly recommended, and I rate it 4 clowns out of a possible 5. Read More…

Magic change bag


Professional Change Bag - A Magic Performer's EssentialThe magic change bag is a very versatile prop, that is used to make a small item disappear, or to change one small item into another.  One of its’ strengths is that the bag can be pulled inside-out to ‘prove’ that it’s empty—when it’s not, of course.  It can be used as a straight magic trick, but it lends itself to clown magic as well. Read More…