Adventures in Magical Evolution

by Tony Brook



Magic Mall


"It is the mark of an educated mind to entertain a thought without accepting it" - Aristotle

A New Feature

The last thing I had in mind was to start a section reviewing magical videos, CDs, books and the like.. …… but in much the same way that some folk have greatness thrust upon them, I had this section thrust upon me. Let me make one thing clear, I did not have anyone point a wand at me and force me to do this or threaten me with endless double-lifts. Like most of Life's good things it just fell into place. Must have something to do with all the good Karma that the magicwebchannel is spreading.

I'll be the first to admit that there is nothing very new or original about a review section but this one is a little different for two main reasons, firstly, because I'm only going to write about the items that please me and secondly because it is my contribution to the evolution of magic. I passionately believe that for magic to evolve it is necessary to share thoughts and concepts. The idea came about as a result of an email I received from my good friend Jon Racherbaumer in which he wrote, " I see you are still spreading the good karma". Then another email from Walter Blaney in which he wrote about the friends we had in common that that our magical world was a wonderful friendly one …. so I began to think about the friends I have in magic and how all have them have been kind to me .

Very many of them have, totally unsolicited, sent me various ideas, thoughts, projects and effects they are working on or have produced. Many just want to share these with me in the true spirit of friendship, others seek my advice, others want to brainstorm, others ask me for ideas for effects and so on… I some cases I am even contacted by magicians I have never met because a mutual friend has passed on my contact. It really is a wonderful magical world if you are willing to share. So in the spirit of sharing I want to pass on to you some of the items that have recently come my way. If some of it reads like a blatant plug then so be it - it just means that I liked it …a lot. TOP

My purpose is to pass on and share with you the things that pleased me and to widen the ring of magical friendship. Aaron Smith was a student of the late Brother John Hamman. Enough said! Aaron also writes and writes well. His work has appeared in very special places. He is probably best known for his excellent article on Brother John Hamman in the February 2001 issue of The Linking Ring. Aaron is also responsible for a publication called 'Mr.Gadfly. Details available on Aaron sent me his ' Left-Handed Gun' effect. It is a neat trick with a story line that incorporates the legend of Billy the Kid. Brother John Hamman is quoted as saying, " Wild Bill Hickock, Jesse James and Billy the Kid are people who make great card tricks". Guess what? Aaron Smith has made a great trick out of Billy The Kid. Aaron contacted me last year and we became friends. He sent me his Left-Handed Gun. I'm not a card man and as I have publicly stated, both verbally and in print, I can't backpalm, do a half-way decent double lift, or force a card to save my life, but I am, nevertheless a great lover of good card effects. Well, as the old cliché goes ' You don't have to lay eggs to appreciate a good omelet. ' I can categorically state that I know a good card effect when I see one.

Hugard, Braue, Elmsley, Jordan, Marlo, etc are not alien concepts to me. If you are into really interesting patter that fits right in with some amazing magic you might want to seek this one out. Jay Scott Berry is that rare one of a kind magician. He has created a form of magic, which he refers to as the Science of Illusion. From the moment, we first met we became firm friends and I have a standing invitation to visit him at his home in Germany. Slight problem!!! He's never there! Jay must hold the record for traveling the world lecturing. Last year he covered Europe, Canada, the USA and New Zealand. This year, more of the same - including Australia. This is one busy magician. Check out and you'll see what I mean. Recently Jay sent me two multi-media CDs in which he wrote the music, performed and directed. I had the pleasure of watching him perform some of this material live and then at a lecture. Jaw-dropping material. He's tipped the works on these two CDs. I'm not sure but I believe these are available only at his lectures. They are simple to use. Just play them on the media player of your PC and the screen runs the images - just like a video.

CD 1 - The Cloaking Device This covers the basic handling and no less than seven stunning effects. Even when you watch the explanation on screen it takes some believing! Every conceivable angle is covered - literally! It is so well directed and filmed that you get to see it from every angle so that you can really learn the handling. This is instructional magic at its very best. If you don't know what a cloaking device is I suggest you ask around. I don't think it would be ethical for me to reveal its workings here. Suffice to say it is a Sanada with a special something. TOP

CD2 - Symphony on The Ring and Ribbon This covers six different ring and ribbon effects. A ring that comes off the ribbon in a spectator's hand? Yes! You have to see this at least three or four times and play the workings a few more times to believe this!!! This is much more than a bunch of ring and ribbon effects. I was particularly impressed with Jay's thinking and ease of handling. I was truly blown away with the effective use that he makes of an everyday office stationary item! This is a complete cabaret or close-up act that is truly baffling as it is entertaining.

Joe Cole - was the joint winner of the SAM 2001 Close-Up Contest in New Orleans. The judges include myself and my good friends Jon Racherbaumer and Scott Wells together with Bruce Trigg and Ron Geofferies. It was not an easy contest to judge, as the standards were extremely high. Joe hails from Omaha, Nebraska and is President of the Sam Assembly there. He has kept in touch with me since New Orleans. He has been a pro for over 10 years and works mainly restaurants and kid's parties. I recently found out that he has put his experience to good use and come up with some fine effects which he has put together in a very nicely laid out set of lecture notes. Clear instructions coupled with precise photography that explains each effect in step-by-step detail. I was very impressed with his ideas and even more so by the gentlemanly way in which he credits others. Clearly Joe Cole loves magic and is part of that group of magicians like myself, who believe that entertainment in magic is more important than just technical skill. He is hoping to take his lecture entitled ' Table Hopping Tonics ' on the road.

Joe Cole is 30 years old with a very pleasant personality, an excellent Entertainer and a very likeable person. If you are looking for an interesting and different lecture and want to support the evolution of good magic then it just be useful if you contacted Joe on: - [email protected]


At the start of this piece you may have noticed that I threw in a quote by Aristotle. I think it is highly appropriate it because it would do us all good to remember that none of us has the monopoly on anything. No matter how much we know, or think we know, it is not a bad thing to entertain a thought or two from someone else without necessarily agreeing with it. For magic to evolve we must learn, not only, to think laterally but also, learn to understand that, despite the paradoxes, both real and imaginary, our magical art thrives not because of its secrecy but in spite of it. We are all, each and every one of us, hidden in plain sight.

Take a walk between the raindrops.

Tony Brook




elm - shows - school - mall - books - organizations - contact us - hall of fame - news