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Archive for September, 2011



1. How many magicians does it take to change a light bulb?  One hundred, one to screw in the bulb and ninety-nine to say they originated it.


Card Tricks Make a Comeback


Like any other type of magic, card tricks have gone in and out of popular favor. I love card tricks, but as a distributor of magic, I am constantly pitched new products. By 2002, I had seen enough card tricks and was looking for just about anything else.

It wasn’t that I was burned out on card tricks already published, it was that card magicians really weren’t making epic strides like they were in the nineties. Plus, the market wasn’t buying card tricks. I would get calls at the office, “What’s new? And isn’t a card trick?”

Today, however, cards are starting to make a comeback. Card magicians have taken advantage of new technology and reduced modern printing costs, cranking up the gears of innovation once again, producing top-quality card magic. And the best part of all, card tricks are selling!

Still, with all the leaps and bounds forward, one of my favorite card tricks is an oldie – the “Dunbury Delusion by Charlie Miller.”

Few magicians are familiar with the plot, and those who have seen it, probably have no idea where Charlie published it originally. I learned it from a remarkable little booklet called “Show Stoppers by Hugard and Braue.”

The book is very good – filled with so many amazing card tricks – I just had to have a copy for myself. It was long out of print though, so I purchased the rights and brought it back to life for the next generation of card magicians. You can own it now in hard copy or digital format.

The reason I like the “Dunbury Delusion” is both because of Charlie Miller’s streamlined handling (easy for beginners, but strong enough for pros), and the impact of the final revelation. It’s one of those tricks that makes a wonderful performance piece at parties, high-class shows, or even a money-making bar bet. In other words, you can perform for your friend, your date, or the president!

Another thing I like about “Show Stoppers” is it has Frederick Braue’s original handling of his infamous “Homing Card.” Fred Kaps performed Braue’s “Homing Card” so often, he is often credited for inventing it. In fact, Kaps performed it on black and white TV, making it one of the first card tricks ever performed on television.

If you would like to add a couple Show Stoppers to your act, get the book!Click Here…

Flickr Chart

Best Camera: The one you have with you

I have always said, the best camera is the one you have with you when you need it – the one you carry with you every day. For most of us, that is our camera phone or smart phone.

And at least one major online photo-sharing website agrees with me. According to Flicker, the number one used camera is the iPhone 4. Here is their complete list of the most used cameras


Flickr Chart

iPhone 4 is the number one camera on Flickr


While a modern smartphone’s 5-megapixel image resolution isn’t the best on the market, it is a remarkable improvement over camera phones released just a few years ago. Since the iPhone is the number one selling phone on the market today, the vast majority of the population who carries a phone also has a damn-good camera in their pocket.

Up until recently, I owned one of those big handheld monster camcorders and a digital point and shoot. When my camcorder broke, I thought to myself – my wife and I both have iPhones and my son has a Flip camera – do we really need to replace the old bulky single-purpose camcorder?

Soon after, my point and shoot digital still camera died. It was a nice camera, but I had the same thought – why replace it when my iPhone’s camera does a good job and is always in my pocket?

As technology gets smaller and continues to combine features, it is only logical that a device like the iPhone 4 would the number-one camera on Flickr. By this time next year, the iPhone 4 will probably fall from the number one spot; bumped by none other than the iPhone 5.

So what does Flickr and iPhone have to do with magic?  Well, go grab your smartphone and I will tell you…

iPhone Photo Trick: One of my favorite tricks is the iPhone Cracked Screen. Search for the term “iPhone cracked screen” in Google Images, and you should be able to find a photo that works on your phone. If you are on your iPhone, click the picture you want and save it to your camera roll.  Here are a couple examples:


cracked screen

cracked screen

To perform Cracked Screen, take someone’s photo. Snap the shot and say, “well, I have heard the old joke that you broke my camera with your face, but you really did it!”

Call them over to see it, and as you show them the picture, click the little square at the bottom of the photo screen (on the iPhone), it will take you to your camera roll and display the last picture – swipe past it to the cracked screen just in time to show your spectator. They broke your phone!

There is a trick in my “Magic with the iPhone II DVD,” where you can do some amazing photo magic – including a version of Cracked Screen that shows the actual photo of the spectator, cracked!

Smartphones create an ideal atmosphere for organic, impromptu magic. Similar to how our opportunity to capture precious moments on video and in photos has increased with the convenience of a camera in every pocket, so has the opportunity to perform extraordinary magic on the spot. All thanks to the best camera, the one you have with you!

Checkout all three volumes of my “Magic with the iPhone” DVDs, Magic City best sellers!

Check out: Magic With the iPhone

Magic With the iPhone



Have you ever noticed how the ceiling follows you around until you get out side?


I’ll Name Your Card

Bob Solari recently contacted me here at Magic City about an item we produce, called “I’ll Name Your Card.” According to Bob, it mirrors his own effect, “Name That Card,” released back in 1994.

Bob was under the impression we were selling a knock-off of his trick and apparently conveyed this information to magic shops while making inquires. Bob is a creative guy and a fantastic magician, but Magic City first published “I’ll Name Your Card” in 1973, many years before Bob’s version hit the market.

In the late sixties, early seventies, Aldini and Nick Trost collaborated on an effect that later became, “I’ll Name Your Card.” Magic City printed the instructions and California Card Company manufactured the special deck. “I’ll Name Your Card” has since become a staple in many magic shops around the world.

I’ll Name Your Card is available from your favorite dealer, or you can read the effect here

There are other tricks on the market similar to “I’ll Name Your Card” and “Name That Card,” such as Trevor Duffy’s take on Phil Goldstein’s “The Phil Trick,” if memory serves, released in the mid to late 90′s.

I’m not sure when Goldstein first released his version or the exact lineage of the published record regarding this plot, but I wanted to clarify the situation between Bob’s “Name That Card” and Magic City’s “I’ll Name Your Card.”

Thank You!

- Gerald Kirchner

I'll Name Your Card!