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Mike Caveney - The Conference Illusions

Mike Caveney - The Conference Illusions

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Mike Caveney - The Conference Illusions

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For the past five years I have been working on a set of books that document basically everything I have performed during my career. When I started I had no idea that the finished product would fill 700 pages over two volumes. As a long time collector of books and because this will be my legacy, I decided to make the finished product as nice as I possibly could. And now that they are finished I can honestly say that they are everything I had hoped for.

I knew that I could write up the methods, theories, history and funny stories about each routine but I also knew that illustrating them would be a problem. I am no artist. That’s when my long time friend and Hollywood special effects man, Bill Taylor, came to the rescue. Bill turned my basement into a photo studio and for fourteen months we shot pictures. Many hundreds of them made it into the finished books and they are the clearest explanatory photos I have ever seen in a magic book. Because both of these books are printed in full color, each tiny detail is visible.

Volume II is called The Conference Illusions and it is a completely different type of book. During the past twenty-two years I have recreated a number of long-forgotten tricks and illusions for the Los Angeles Conference on Magic History and each one posed its own unique challenges. In some instances I had the original apparatus that once belonged to Howard Thurston or Charles Carter and other times the equipment had to be built from scratch. The book chronicles the research into the history of the illusion, the original routines, how we attempted to improve the mechanics of the apparatus, re-think the presentation and design a routine that was suitable for a modern audience. After their debut performance at the History Conference a number of these effects were presented dozens of times for lay audiences at the Magic Castle and were found to be highly effective a hundred or more years after their creation. Each chapter includes vintage photographs and posters from the files of Egyptian Hall Museum as well as behind-the-scenes and action photos or the performances. Few readers will add any of these mysteries to their acts but there is much to be learned from studying ideas that were created by the greatest minds from magic’s Golden Age.

contents
Foreword 9
Introduction 13
Magic’s Golden Age 15
1993 Dante’s Sawing a Lady in Half 27
1999 Selbit’s Bricks 43
1999 Through the Eye of a Needle 55
2001 The Million Dollar Mystery 69
2003 OH! Chair 101
2005 Del Adelphia Egg Bag 123
2007 The Astral Hand 165
2009 The Drum That Can’t Be Beaten 181
2009 Well I’m! 193
2011 The Orson Welles Act 221
2013 The Spirit Cabinet 247

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