Old Magician’s Notebooks

Someone was selling a stack of old magician’s hand written notebooks. These are things I’m fascinated by, I’m very curious what’s going through magicians heads. When the notebooks showed up, they weren’t what I was expecting, they weren’t really notebooks of ideas, but notes of the Abbott’s Magic Magic Get Togethers from the late 1960’s to the early 1980’s!

They have set list that are pretty cryptic, like what Don Alan performed in 1980:

Don Alan at the Abbott's Magic Get Together

Then there’s more detailed acts like this that’s simply labeled “best act” from 1977:

Another interesting find was a description of Al Schneider’s Matrix trick. This notebook was from 1982, and Al didn’t publish Matrix until 1983. Schneider wasn’t listed as a performer at any Abbott’s Magic Get Together, so I’m guessing he was just attending that year, or it could have been something that was moving around the “underground” and someone else showed it that year.

Al Schneider matrix

These notebooks are a really interesting look into what was performed 40+ years ago and I’m glad I got to read them!


Nut Production…

Ever since I was a teenager I’ve been fascinated Don Alan doing his giant nut production. What’s cool about a giant nut, is that it’s a simple object, there’s not much to it. It’s basically a big chunk of metal that you make appear.

Here’s Don doing the nut production:

Now let’s fast forward to a few days ago, a non magician friend of mine posted a picture of a couple of giant nuts he saw at his parent’s antique shop. I gave them a call, made a deal, then drove 90 mins each way to pick them up!

Giant nut production magic

These things are massive! They also need some love, so today I started cleaning them up. Here’s a side by side comparison of one that that’s in the process of being cleaned and the other that hasn’t:

Don alan nut production

I’ve got an idea for the routine that I will do. It’s going to be a transposition of different colored metal nuts from under a hat. Then a walnut will appear and inside that walnut will be a signed silk (that was used earlier in the show) and end with the production of the giant nut. We’ll see if that works out, but it’s my idea for now.

The Trick I Can’t Do…

There’s one trick that I’ve been fascinated by for decades and it’s the Himber Pail. Here’s a video of Richard Himber doing it on Don Alan’s Magic Ranch:

I love this trick, the effect is good and it’s got a ton of suprises and hits all of the beats! The problem is that the are hard to find and when the pop up at auctions, somehow I always miss bidding on them.

Then a few years ago, I set out to make a version of the trick. Here’s what I came up with:

The technical end of how it works is completely different than Himber’s method, but the effect is the same. Himber’s method is way more practical than mine. Also my method wasn’t 100% where his is.

This is a trick I revisit very now and then, and still have yet to come up with a practical way to do it. Himber’s method doesn’t scale down to a cup size very well. Eventually I’ll come up with a way…