Rick Carruth’sThe Magic Roadshow is must reading for anyone interested in magic. Collectors, performers, groupies, hangers-on and recent converts will all find satisfaction in the virtual pages of this well-edited magic journal.
You will understand our panic, therefore, when we did not receive the latest issue when we expected.
The latest edition arrived on Tuesday and we were embarrassed to read that Mr. Carruth had a very good reason for the delayed distribution.
He suffered a heart attack and while The Magic Roadshow is important, it is less important than personal health and safety. We are prepared to give Mr. Carruth a pass on this interruption in our ridiculously anal-retentive routine.
Mr. Carruth writes:
I spent all of last week in the hospital. Seems I had a heart attack and some totally clogged arteries. Bummer. I’ll get over it and back on track. My public service message of the month is this… If you have a little heartburn, and even if Tums helps, go to the hospital if there are any other occurrences outside the ordinary. My heartburn lasted about 30 minutes, but I had a rapid heart rate for two more days. Doc says he wished I had come earlier… (I told him I was convinced it was the Baha salad, pico de gallo, spicy jalapeno dressing, and cup of chili I had before going to bed the night before…)
The latest edition is chocked-full of great effects and links to download some of the classics of magic. You will find a great math magic trick that will surely please even those snobs or cowards who normally fear math magic, amazing self-working effects, and links to videos teaching important sleight of hand moves. Continue reading “Magic Roadshow Back on Track”→
Our rule of thumb is a model of clarity: we like those who like us.
That means we have few friends but those we do have, are fun to be around.
Rick Carruth has stood with Inside Magic since the late 1940s, right after the war and America was getting back to work, turning the mighty magic industrial engines from war-time goods to magic effects and props.
One of the Mystic Hollow Iron Works plants (we think it was the old Thurston Road facility — now the site of the Iron Works Mall) dedicated three shifts a day to producing bombardier windows and gun barrels. After the war, the factory returned to cranking out TV Card Frames and Flash and Bang Wands.
We made the transition as well. We felt confident that Magic was about to enter its heyday. Inside Magic began as an insert found in specially marked packages of Argos Cigarettes. This was back when everyone smoked and if they didn’t, they were around people who did smoke so it really didn’t matter that they didn’t.
Argos Cigarettes was a premium brand from the makers of some of Europe’s finest cigarette and cigars, Vespa. (After the war, they added motor scooters to their product mix and eventually sold off the tobacco lines in favor of the transportation market). Little known is that Vespa’s second largest shareholder was Prince William van der Byce better known to magic historians as “Byce the Magician.”
The prince insisted the Argos cigarettes have a special filter attached to assist magicians performing manipulation routines. The filter was sturdy and when moistened, would adhere to almost any surface. Lit or unlit, the Argos brand was hands down the choice of magicians. In fact, that is where the expression, “Tip your hat” comes from. Magicians would often “lick and load” a pack or two individual cigarettes on to the back of their top hats and with a gentle tip forward, a cigarette would roll nicely into place along the outer rim of the hat. It became common for magicians to tip their hats when greeting men or women to get their cigarette loads ready. The lay audiences took the gesture to be one of respect and magicians never said otherwise.
Rick Carruth does not sleep. He has never owned a pillow or an alarm clock. He has only seen others yawn but has never had the experience. He is to energy what energy is to an energy drink – the vital, special element that makes the latter possible – and without the jitters or irritability.
If we never slept, we would be in prison. Of course, if we were in prison, we would likely never sleep either.
But Mr. Carruth uses his superhuman abilities for good. He works through the night on as many as 15 different projects. He perfectly achieves his goals and shares the results with the Magic Community.
We cannot compare to Mr. Carruth. Some recall the Inside Magic newsletter “Magic in Your Mouth” produced with backing from the American Dental Association. As loyal readers know, MYM lasted about six months before circulation dropped below the single digits; at almost the exact same time we ran out of effects utilizing dental dams or Novocain.
Yes, we still get requests for reprints for our original mentalist routine, The Numb Tongue Tells All but we attribute its fame to David Blaine’s inclusion on his recent cable-only show “David Blaine and the Hot Sauce of Hell.”
It was not a big part of the show, and technically, David did not perform it but had a “volunteer” (really a dental hygienist) offer her tongue for numbing and subsequent clairvoyant activity. It is a sad comment on the state of television magic but true they shot the bit seven or eight times before the volunteer’s tongue correctly revealed the prediction on the mouth-sized Ouija board.
And yes, the Ouija board the show used is different than the one that comes with the set we sell. The regular Oral Ouija Board does not have a “spit sluice” or the special bridge work to hold the board in place if the “volunteer” starts to gag or choke before spelling out the prediction.
Our Numb Tongue routine was just one of the several bits he performed leading up to the live finale; the controversial gargling of the certified hottest of the hot sauce whilst sitting on a block of ice. Would the ice cube melt, causing David Blaine to fall onto the stage and possibly injuring his coccyx? Would the hot sauce meld his tongue to his enflamed gums or nearly translucent cheeks? It was quite a cliff-hanger.
But we digress. The point was something similar to the maxim, “it is hard to do something good for a long time.”
Surprisingly, English is our native language.
The wise folks at LifeTips.com selected the overly qualified and caffeinated Mr. Carruth as Magic Editor.
They could not have selected a better person for the job. We, on the other hand, just learned we were not selected as the Magic Editor at PassiveAggressive.com. We are okay with losing out, though. We never really wanted the position; and it is a stupid site anyway.
We will make the tricks slated for PassiveAggressive.com available for sale soon. Our favorite is Headline Prediction or Not.