Come A Little Closer by John Derris

(c. 1998) (Submit Review) (Submit Update)

Details: This is a book that spans forty years of a unique friendship and a shared love of magic that take you from the halcyon days when eight young London magicians haunted the Magic Dealers, the Variety Theatres and street-corner cafes every Saturday, right up to the present day.

This youthful coterie of Cagliostros was the spawning ground of a style of magic that in those days was called “pocket tricks,” which led to enthusiasm for and development of some of the finest contemporary magic that is now deemed classic.

Some of the group became world names in the art while others retired from magic, and some later re-emerged in their twilight years to demonstrate a continuing passion.

It’s hard nowadays to visualize Jack Avis, Alex Elmsley, Roy Walton, Bobby Bernard, Ted Danson and John Derris sitting in cafes, making two cups of coffee last four hours while they demonstrated, argued and theorized on the pros and cons of close-up magic, having just read the latest magazines from the USA and meeting the parade of overseas magicians visiting London.

But from such youthful zeal emerged a thinking and styleof magic that was to withstand the years and make some of these men world-famous.

Who in magic does not use the Elmsley Count? Is there anyone who has not read and used one of Jack Avis’s five hundred published items, and surely there is no self-respecting card magician who today would not include Roy Walton’s “The Collectors” or “Card Warp” in his repertoire?

This book includes all the effects that were first described in 193 in a small publication called Come a Little Closer; effects that have stood the test of time and are still being presented today.But the contributors have also included many more routines that have been developed during the last forty years, a considerable number being published for the first time, and others that are currently in use by their originators such as John Derris’s “Staggering” and Ted Danson’s “Diary Trick.”

If you love close-up magic, you will find material between these covers that you can use—some requiring the basic skill needed by any practicing close-up worker, but all requiring presentation—the very essence of good magic.

The book is a tribute to the deep fellowship that often comes with the practice of magic, a fellowship that has lasted in this case since the ’50s. It is in this environment of a shared passion that fine magic is often evolved, and I am certain that you will sense this as you read the thinking, inventiveness and comments of a group of magicians who early on found their own serendipity.

Contents: (source – book, updated Feb 2016):

vii Foreword (Peter Warlock)

viii Introduction (John Derris)

1 Session One – Jack Avis
1 Cards of Pegasus
4 1956 IBM Convention, Hastings: two photos
5 The Siva Fold
7 Photo: B&W photo of Bobby Bernard, Charlie Edwards, Frances Ireland Marshall, Alan Alan, Jack Avis and Roy Walton
8 The Siva Folded Card to Wallet
12 True Grit: using salt as a card locator

14 Session Two – Bobby Bernard 
14 Jet Transportation: Coins transpose from one hand to the other, no gimmicks
16 BB Drops Them Again: coins through the table
16 – The Flat Palm
19 Photos: Bobby Bernard & Herb Zarrow
20 H-E-A-V-Y: sponge ball routine ending

23 Session Three – Ted Danson
23 The Séance Card Trick: performed tongue-in-cheek
25 Give Me a Ring: magician gets the only envelope with the real money in it
26 Photo: Two of Ted Danson, 1959 and 1997
27 It’s a Date: Ted’s original diary prediction

30 Session Four – John Derris 
30 Monte Cristo Ring: borrowed finger ring removed from wand; no duplicates!
32 Photo: John Derris
33 One in Three: opening card routine
34 Photo: John Derris 1997
35 Hockley’s Coin Vanish: with the aid of a wand
37 Photo: John Ramsay, Doris Avis, Beryl Avis, Roy Walton, Jack Avis, John Derris, Stan Simpson, Bobby Bernard
38 Staggering: a gimmicked ring and string routine
43 The Big Squeeze: coin through ring – not a folder!

47 Session Five – Alex Elmsley
47 Point of Departure: selection vanishes from between Two Aces
49 Colour Filter: four red cards are pulled through a handkerchief, leaving the black cards
52 Card Counting Rhyme: a bit of business
53 Photo: Alex Elmsley 1953
54 No-Calc: mathematical location
57 Photo: Arthur Holland, Ted Danson, Bobby Bernard, Tommy Vanderschmidt, Roy Walton, John Derris, Alex Elmsley, Jack Avis
58 Oyster Shells: special glasses supposedly help find the Aces
60 Photo: Alex Elmsley 1997

61 Session Six – Arthur Holland
61 Cut and Restored Cigarette
63 Photo: Arthur Holland, Tommy Vanderschmidt, Ted Danson, Alex Elmsley

64 Session Seven – High Scott
64 Biography: and photo
66 Fern Court Glide Bluff

69 Session Eight – Tommy Vanderschmidt
69 Repeat Card in Hat: card passes twice from pack to hat, then pack is in hat and selection is in hand

71 Session Nine – Roy Walton
71 Knifed: color changing knife routine – W/W, W/Y, W/G, W/R knives
73 Photo: a young Roy Walton
74 All Hands on Deck: Joker turns into two selections
76 Photo: Roy Walton
77 The Alternative Shift: Aces vanish from Kings and appear in deck
79 The Invisible Plan: performer’s thought of selection exchanges with spectator’s
81 Photo: Roy Walton

82 Session Ten
82 What’s Wrong with Magic

  • Publisher: L&L Publishing
  • Pages: 93
  • Location: Tahoma, CA, USA
  • Edited by: John Derris
  • Dimensions: 9
  • Date: 1998
  • Binding: hardbound

Contents: magicref.net – click for details

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Approx. Price: $24.00 (2005) ***

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