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Whos the best close up magician?

PostPosted: Dec 4th, '10, 22:02
by Jadoo

I'd like to ask everyone,

in their respective opinions...

who do they think is the best close up magician?

Personally I love Ricky Jay and Eugene Burger, as well as Fay Presto, Johnny Ace Palmer and Paul Daniels ( Has any one seen extracts from Paul Daniels The Magic of Max Malini? Its brilliant close-up.)

Its just that close up magicians are often relatively unknown, so I would love to get to know about some more giants of micromagic.

PostPosted: Dec 4th, '10, 22:12
by Lawrence
Rene Lavand

We could all learn something from this man. Seriously.

Ever seen a 6 card oil & water done better?
If so please show me!

PostPosted: Dec 4th, '10, 22:51
by Lee Smith
There are just so many great close up magicians out there (and many of them are better than the well known ones)

Laymen could probably only name three or four if you asked them, but there are many many great close up magicians.

And so many are great in different ways, I really think it would be hard to say who the best was?

I think everyone will have a favourite but maybe not the best.


PostPosted: Dec 4th, '10, 22:53
by Jordan C
It's another subjective question. Ambiguous with no right or wrong. Always good to see the different names come up though and compare them all :)

PostPosted: Dec 4th, '10, 23:58
by jim ferguson
Hi Jadoo. As others have mentioned theres no best as such, and each of our opinions will no doubt differ.
    Here are some magicians you may want to check out who, in my opinion, are worthy of note - Michael Vincent, Michael Ammar, Dean Dill, David Copperfield, Lance Burton, Paul Daniels, Whit Hayden and Guy Hollingworth. I have probably missed many but those are the ones who came to mind.
David Copperfield and Lance Burton may seem odd choices when were talking about close-up magic, but both have done some great close-up pieces as well as their usual illusions.
    Paul Daniels, while generally associated with illusions and comedy magic, is an exellent close-up magician. When I used to watch his shows as a kid the close-up sections were always my favourite. I remember most of the routines he did and theres one in particular that ive always wanted to do, called ''Healthy Wealthy and Wise''. Unfortunately ive never seen it for sale - it may have been a custom piece.

PostPosted: Dec 5th, '10, 15:28
by Jadoo
You're right about the subjective thing, although I feel good magic can always be spotted.

Has anyone ever seen the footage of Tony Slydini? I haven't read 'Strong Magic' yet, but I believe the writer offers an alterntive view on him,
maybe criticising him. I have always thought Slydini was wonderful when performing, so is this true?

About Guy Hollingworth, I love his card restoration, but do you know there is weird footage on youtube of Derren Brown taking the mick out of him? When did this happen? :?

Rene Lavand has only one hand, and yet he is fantastic. This is inspirational, he must have a brilliant mind to have come so far with an apparent disability. Do you know of where I can look at a biography of him?

Thanks guys, great points.

PostPosted: Dec 5th, '10, 18:27
by jim ferguson
Hi. There are a few clips of Slydini on you tube that ive seen, very enjoyable. I havent read Strong Magic either so i dont know what Darwins opinions are. I know a few people here have the book so perhaps one of them may know more on this.
    The Derren clip is just a joke, he and Guy have been friends for many years. He also takes the micky out of him in his books.
      Meir Yedid has a set of dvds on Rene Levand (4 or 5 i think) so perhaps there is some history in there.

Re: Whos the best close up magician?

PostPosted: Jun 26th, '15, 10:39
by Magicadz
Have to say that of performers seen Shoot Ogawa is just sensational. I took the time to learn his rope routine and it's served me well for years now. Have a soft spot for a gentleman called John Tremaine too as he was the author of my first close-up Magic book.

Re: Whos the best close up magician?

PostPosted: Jun 26th, '15, 11:13
by magicofthemind
I have Jon Tremaine's book too; it's rather good. He also has material in Thirteen Steps and you can see and hear him on L&L's Finger Ring DVD.

I didn't meet him once. He was the children's entertainer on a cruise many years ago, but under a different name; by the time I found out who he was it was too late to say hello.


Re: Whos the best close up magician?

PostPosted: Jun 26th, '15, 12:03
by Magicadz
Yes, his book is a belter. I borrowed it from my local library in the 1990's and had it for months. I've since bought it from eBay to add to my own magic library and can honestly say I know it page by page. I remember how excited I was making my first Acrobatic Matchbox from it. What a pity you didn't get to say hello to him.

I forgot that he was a contributor to 13 Steps, thanks for reminding me.

Re: Whos the best close up magician?

PostPosted: Jun 26th, '15, 22:30
by mark lewis
I knew Jon very well at one time. He told me that HE wrote 13 Steps to Mentalism. I am afraid Corinda was furious! I learned a great trick from him. Just from watching him about 55 years ago or so. Here it is:

Re: Whos the best close up magician?

PostPosted: Jul 2nd, '15, 15:20
by Magicadz
Yes I love that trick. It's been my favourite pocket trick since I learnt it back in the 90's from his book. The trick is entitled 'Superman' and is a reputation maker. I meet people years after performing for them and they always go on about my silver ball trick so thanks Mr Tremaine.

Re: Whos the best close up magician?

PostPosted: Jul 3rd, '15, 11:33
by mark lewis
The Ortiz criticism of Slydini as far as I remember was the challenge aspect of his work. He felt (and I generally agree) that a magician should avoid challenging his spectators. However, with Slydini this aspect of his work was so mild and even gentle I really don't think it mattered that much.

I really don't like to see performers criticised by name in books. On the internet is one thing because at least they or their supporters can defend themselves but books are permanent records and I think it disrespectful and not always justified. That is one reason I am turned off by the much lauded (but not by me) Ken Weber book, "Maximum Entertainment" Ortiz falls into the same trap on several occasions.

Having said that the Ortiz book is quite wonderful and I agree with virtually everything in it except for his advice on hecklers where I think there is a better approach that should be used. I think there is something missing in his performance style but I would never put that in a book about him.

I am not keen on any of the present crop of close up magicians. I think the best ones are dead and come to think of it, I don't feel that well myself.

Re: Whos the best close up magician?

PostPosted: Jan 9th, '22, 06:33
by AJ1
I love Slydini and Jon Tremaine, but I am really surprised that nobody mentioned Tommy Wonder or Fred Kapps. They were both fantastic. Tommy Wonder was a superb close-up, parlour and stage magician.

Re: Whos the best close up magician?

PostPosted: Jan 13th, '22, 04:41
by mark lewis
I wasn't kidding when I said the best ones are dead! My list of the best ones are in no particular order:

1Dai Vernon
2. Slydini
3. Albert Goshman
4 Don Alan
5.Johnny Paul

Two special categories.
1. Eddie Tullock working a trade show
2. Joe Stuthard pitching the svengali deck and the wonder mouse