Harry Lorayne

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Harry Lorayne

Postby JammyT » Dec 14th, '11, 15:10



Was quite surprised not to see an entry in the Hall of Fame for Harry

Harry Lorayne is an American card magician, author and memory training expert, he is renowned for his mnemonic demonstrations, has appeared on many (American) television shows. His card magic, especially his innovations in card sleights, is widely emulated by amateur and professional magicians all over the world.

Harry has written some best selling memory training books and some absolutely fantastic card magic books.



Born in 1926, Harry grew up on the streets of Lower East side New York, he gained an interest in magic at the early age of 8, by the time he was 12 he had learnt many tricks, sleights, moves and was already performing for money. At 18, he was asked to perform as a table magician at Billy Reed's Little Club at 70 E. 55th St. in New York.
In 1950 / 51 (age 25) Harry appeared on his own television show, ‘Professor Magic’ he then had to wait over ten years for his next TV appearance and in the meantime would release, How to Develop a Super Power Memory (1958), Harry Lorayne's Secrets of Mind Power (1961) and Close-Up Card Magic – 1962.
From 1963 to date Harry performed on many more live TV shows including, I've Got a Secret, where he demonstrated his ability to remember every audience member’s name, The Ed Sullivan Show, Jack Paar, The Merv Griffin Show, The Mike Douglas Show, The Regis Philbin Show, Good Morning America, The Today Show, That's Incredible, David Susskind. He was also a regular performer (23 times) on The Tonight Show, with Johnny Carson.

Amazing memory:

‘To demonstrate his memory, Harry Lorayne would stand beside the president of the club he was visiting and be introduced to each member. The number of members of a club could reach up to 1,500. After an hour and a half, Lorayne would speak about memory for about 20 minutes and then ask if anyone had a question. He promised that he would pay any questioner whose name he could not remember a thousand dollars. He always remembered the names of every member of the audience. Lorayne also made news by memorizing and recalling information from phone books with no errors. Did the above a few times, but on just about every personal appearance, he would meet all the people in the audience, then he would open his show by asking all the people he met to please stand. He'd ask them to sit down as, and if, he pointed to each person and said his or her name. He sat down everyone in the audience - always! He had a memory school in New York employing such instructors as Darwin Ortiz. His video course (MEMORY POWER) was used as part of the training of many top corporations.’ from wiki

Card Magic:

Harry may be a renowned memory training specialist and despite writing many books for a general audience (not magi) on memory (The Memory Book was a NY Times best seller), his personal first love is card magic, here is a list of his magic books he has written and published over the years:

• CLOSE-UP CARD MAGIC
• PERSONAL SECRETS
• MY FAVORITE CARD TRICKS
• DECK-STERITY
• BEST OF BILL-FOOLED
• THE HUNDRED DOLLAR BOOK
• DINGLE'S DECEPTIONS
• REPUTATION-MAKERS
• THE GREAT DIVIDE
• TARBELL #7
• RIM SHOTS
• AFTERTHOUGHTS
• THE EPITOME LOCATION
• THE MAGIC BOOK
• FINGER FANTASIES
• CARD ANIMATIONS
• THE CARD CLASSICS OF KEN KRENZEL
• QUANTUM LEAPS
• BEST OF FRIENDS, VOL. I
• BEST OF FRIENDS, VOL. II
• STAR QUALITY
• TREND SETTERS
• DOUG EDWARDS PACKS A WALLOP
• THE HIMBER WALLET BOOK
• PERSONAL COLLECTION
• THE CLASSIC COLLECTION, VOLUME 1
• THE CLASSIC COLLECTION, VOLUME 2
• THE CLASSIC COLLECTION, VOLUME 3
• SPECIAL EFFECTS

As well as writing some of the best card magic books there is, for 20 years 1978 - 1997 Harry also wrote and published a monthky magazine called 'Apocalypse' which would then be published in four volumes. Genii magazine are luck to have Harry on board as a columnist for them also.



to be continued ...

Last edited by JammyT on Dec 14th, '11, 18:10, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Harry Lorayne

Postby Craig Browning » Dec 14th, '11, 17:05

Harry's listed in several Who's Who lists and books. I can't believe anyone serious in magic would have left him out but then again, we live in a time when people believe David Copperfield is a great Mentalist. . . :roll:

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Re: Harry Lorayne

Postby JammyT » Dec 14th, '11, 18:03

Craig Browning wrote:Harry's listed in several Who's Who lists and books. I can't believe anyone serious in magic would have left him out but then again, we live in a time when people believe David Copperfield is a great Mentalist. . . :roll:


David Copperfield?

I thought he was Charles Dickens character forgive my sense of humour

Harry is a legend, I love his work especially his stuff connected with Poker, I find his patter, performance style and general mannerisms very entertaining, captivating and at times hilarious not to mention inspirational.

There is so much more to add to my first post hence the to be continued...

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Re: Harry Lorayne

Postby Lenoir » Dec 14th, '11, 19:17

Many people take issue with him due to his many inventions that coincidentally don't actually happen to be his. Combined with his constant advertising on the cafe and terribly aggressive attitude to other forum members, he has a some what marmite like online persona. People adore his work and manage to look past the dodgy crediting and supposed theft etc, some hate him.

I think he is a very good thinker and an excellent performer...not too sure about him as a person. Seems like a very hate filled old man.

"I want to do magic...but I don't want to be referred to as a magician." - A layman chatting to me about magic.
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Re: Harry Lorayne

Postby Craig Browning » Dec 15th, '11, 12:47

Lenoir wrote:Many people take issue with him due to his many inventions that coincidentally don't actually happen to be his. Combined with his constant advertising on the cafe and terribly aggressive attitude to other forum members, he has a some what marmite like online persona. People adore his work and manage to look past the dodgy crediting and supposed theft etc, some hate him.

I think he is a very good thinker and an excellent performer...not too sure about him as a person. Seems like a very hate filled old man.


Are you sure you're not confusing Harry with Osterlind?

I've never heard a bad word said about Mr. Lorrayne -- NONE! He's always been held in high regard by the people that know the biz. But then we are talking about the Cafe here, a facility that wouldn't know a legend if it was beating them over the head, just look at how they treated Steve Baker (Mr. Escape) let alone a good dozen others that got fed-up with the bogus politics, NAZI Censorship antics, and plethora of "dodgy" operators to be found there. The site being (at least for a number of years) a keystone when it comes to actual piracy (bulk theft; using other people's work as a kind of currency, etc.) not to mention Steve Brook's defense of well known bootleggers from within the big illusion market. . . All reasons why I can't for the life of me, understand the sites success. . . but hey, Rome proved you can B.S. the masses and get them to trust and follow you to the end of time. :twisted:

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Re: Harry Lorayne

Postby Heckler » Dec 15th, '11, 13:04

Craig, the experience I had of Harry was from another magic forum (not the Cafe) where he joined, everyone was very respectful and frankly quite chuffed to have such a legend posting there. He however used the opportunity to reply to every thread on the forum about him or refering to him, some going back nine years in order it seemed to a)vent his spleen and b) push his books. That done he disappeared, never to post again.

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Re: Harry Lorayne

Postby IanKendall » Dec 15th, '11, 13:06

I've had several run ins with Harry. His ranting emails - all in red type and often capitals - get passed around those who receive them because the comedy aspect is priceless, especially if you read them out loud in a New Yawk accent.

There are places on the interwebs, mostly in invitation only fora, when people can speak freely about Harry without getting into a slanging match with someone who seems to be incapable of rational discourse. These are major people in the magic world - who Craig might describe as 'knowing the biz'. Just because you are not part of the conversation does not mean it's not happening.

At one point it was mooted to invite Harry into the site, so that the first thing he would do was search for his name and then run into the threads. It was voted down.

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Re: Harry Lorayne

Postby JammyT » Dec 15th, '11, 13:49

I'm relatively new to this whole forum thing and before joining any, knew nothing about this apparent side of him.

I have exchanged a few emails with him and all I can say about that is that he's always been kind to me and I've never really had any problems with him.

I no longer visit the cafe (banned - long story but no loss of mine) but must admit if he were anyone else posting some of those rants he would have been banned a long time ago.

He doesn't strike me as the kind of guy that would knowingly rip some one off and I didn't want this HoF entry to be about his forum rants, apparent theft and massive ego but rather about his contribution to the art of magic, which in my eyes, even if he only actually came up with half of it, is a deserved entry.

In all honesty Harry WAS a bit of a hero of mine, sadly not all are heroes / idols are 'nice guys', sometimes you find they are quite the opposite.

I am a massive Liverpool Fan and was once lucky (hmm) enough to meet one of my footballing heroes, he knew full well that I was a fan and he was a complete and utter tw*t who has obviously forgotten that despite being paid shed loads of money for kicking a ball he's still a human being, slightly off topic but my point is that I can't take away what he has achieved in his career as a player for my club just because he was an ar*e and I guess the same goes for Harry.

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Re: Harry Lorayne

Postby Craig Browning » Dec 16th, '11, 12:54

I've not had any interaction with Mr. L in decades but what you are describing about his on-line persona isn't unique to him but is quite common to people of his former stature; think about it, this is a guy that was on top of the world when it comes to the type of things he demonstrated, for more than four decades. He's now OLD and clinging to what was vs. what is. I've seen this with other legend type personalities that were Mr. or Ms. BIG in the 60s and early 70s but unless you remember them from those times chances are you haven't a clue as to who they were.

This type of situation creates problems, especially with so many from that era being sent to the Internet as part of a socializing mode of therapy. . . this is something I can seriously relate to and I'm far from being as old as these guys; individuals that remember "when" and on many levels, still do. I realize most don't even attempt to understand this condition and thus, want to scream that there is "no excuse" for being a jerk, et al. My only counter-point to this is wait until you get old and find yourself reliving what was over and over again in your mind and how it becomes a sort of reality for you. . . and no, it's not always due to mental health issues, it's just something elderly and lonely people do.

I don't know Harry's situation but as I said, I know the scenario quite well by way of living it to some degree and likewise, watching others wilt wither. There is one other factor most will deny however; the generational sense of perspective and how someone of Harry's years expects the younger generations to act a certain way which, unfortunately, few in today's world host such decorum let alone acceptance of general etiquette . . . even to the point of painting it as being a thing for fools and idiots, but that's another story altogether.

I'm not excusing Harry's rudeness, just pointing out that no one seems to know what the over-all circumstances are let alone taking such things into consideration and simply biting your tongue over something your powerless over. . . just spend a month working in a nursing home and you'll get the gist of things. As they say, walk in his shoes for a year before you condemn him; if more people did that I think we'd all be amazed as to what kind of healing this world would come to know.

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Re: Harry Lorayne

Postby Ste Porterfield » Dec 16th, '11, 13:15

Jammy,

Who was the Liverpool footballer?

Ste

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Re: Harry Lorayne

Postby IanKendall » Dec 16th, '11, 13:23

Craig,

I've discussed this in some depth with people who have known Harry since the 60s, and in some cases before that. I know why he does what he does.

If you praise him, he will be sweetness and light. The _second_ you suggest that what he is saying might not be right, or even hold an opinion that is contrary to his own, you receive the brunt of his rage. His MO is fairly standard; he begins by stating that opinions, rather than being the subjective view of an individual, are only right if it is his - many emails state, emphatically, that any one else's is WRONG. If you offer empirical evidence to back up your opinion, he will ignore this and restate that you are WRONG. After a couple of these he begins on the ad hominem attacks, which are the last resort of someone who knows that they have lost the debate.

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Re: Harry Lorayne

Postby JammyT » Dec 16th, '11, 14:02

Ste Porterfield wrote:Jammy,

Who was the Liverpool footballer?

Ste


I PM'd you more info but it was Collymore

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Re: Harry Lorayne

Postby Craig Browning » Dec 17th, '11, 13:14

IanKendall wrote:Craig,

I've discussed this in some depth with people who have known Harry since the 60s, and in some cases before that. I know why he does what he does.

If you praise him, he will be sweetness and light. The _second_ you suggest that what he is saying might not be right, or even hold an opinion that is contrary to his own, you receive the brunt of his rage. His MO is fairly standard; he begins by stating that opinions, rather than being the subjective view of an individual, are only right if it is his - many emails state, emphatically, that any one else's is WRONG. If you offer empirical evidence to back up your opinion, he will ignore this and restate that you are WRONG. After a couple of these he begins on the ad hominem attacks, which are the last resort of someone who knows that they have lost the debate.

Ian


I don't doubt that in the least; unfortunately many people develop a "God" syndrome upon tasting short-term success and essentially it makes them an instant A**hole. I've seen it happen far too many times and even endured it on my end (took nearly a decade of therapy to loosen its grip). But as I said above, age seems to make this condition worse, what some call "Prize Fighter Complex" in that the elder form of the personality believes they can get back into the ring and do it all over again. . . you might say it's a Mid-Life Crises mode of one-time VIP types who are no longer in demand for whatever reason (usually due to their own assholiness. . . or so it was with my mentor).

I've seen guys like Osterlind do this same thing; in fact, Richard doesn't get the high praise from actual working personalities that have been around a while that he gets from his Magic Cafe Fan Club. I will state in defense of Mr. O, he has produced a couple of video projects that need to be on the Required Study lists when it comes to those wishing to move into Mentalism "Easy to Master Mental Mysteries" heading that list. Yet, you will have this clown rant like hell that this and that person have "stolen" his stuff; a prime example being Sebastian Black's Clearly Q&A system.

As one prematurely hitting Old Fart's Syndrome (I'm only 51 but have lots of cranial damage. . . me poor brain is battered & bruised) I can empathize with this condition. While I've not had any kind of interaction with Mr. L to speak of, I guess I'm holding to the image of the man I remember seeing on stage vs. what he may have been like off stage. I certainly know the difference that can make in people, including those we may have had on a pedestal at some point in time.

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Re: Harry Lorayne

Postby AA 14 » Dec 17th, '11, 16:38

I have seen those rants on the Cafe concerning Harry. Being new to these forums i could not understand why a man held in such high regard in 'magic circles' was subject to such abuse.
I do not actually own any of his work, mainly because his books are so expensive, but I have seen such great reviews about them I hope to buy one or two next year.
It does get rather tiresome however to see him constantly plugging his books with every post and he does come across as a grumpy old man.
However, we dont know him so maybe we should just be very grateful for his input into Magic for all these years and try to learn as much as he has!!!!

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Re: Harry Lorayne

Postby mark lewis » Dec 17th, '11, 17:03

I am a massive fan of Harry Lorayne and I can forgive him absolutely anything. The things that people say about his aggressiveness do tend to be accurate but the frequent accusations levelled against of him of pirating effects and not giving credit I deem to be unfair. Sure, I think there is an accidental slip up here and there, but none of it is malicious. I believe that when he gets it wrong he really does believe he thinks he got it right. Sometimes you can do a trick so long and it becomes such a big part of you that you start to imagine you invented it.

His contributions to magic, especially with cards, is immense. As are his wonderful books on memory. I consider him to be the greatest magical writer of the last century. His clarity of description is second to none.

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