Monday, July 26, 2010

Project 365 Two-Fer (220-221)

.:220/365: Hiding The Elephant:.

“Hiding The Elephant” is another book you should be reading if you’re interested in the history of magic, as it is Jim Steinmeyer’s very handy historical guide to magical illusions, from their origins to other aspects about them, and surprisingly, has never once raised the furor of other magicians, despite actually exposing certain secrets of the art form. The fact that Mr. Steinmeyer is actually not only an esteemed writer but more so one of the chief designers of magical illusions of his time tends to give the man a pass.

Interestingly enough, the title is based on the illusion that is performed by one Harry Houdini, who, despite his natural appeal in the realm of escapology, still felt compelled to perform classic magical acts, managed to actually do this amazing bit of magic in a circus tent. It was pretty much a disappearing elephant illusion, and it boggles the mind how something this amazing does not get a second look when people consider the illustrious career and times of Mr. Houdini.

Anyways, since I have a very big meeting coming up on Tuesday, let this two-for-one post suffice for the time being, as I wholeheartedly recommend both books, as I’ve actually read both of them already.

Speaking of these books, I borrowed them from my good friend, Elbert Or, who just so happens to have had his school blessing recently, as he opened an art school in Katipunan. Pretty awesome, and it was good to catch up with him and spend time after the blessing, just hearing how he’s doing and what’s up.

.:221/365: Carter Beats The Devil:.

“Carter Beats Devil” is the name of a very entertaining book written by Glen David Gold, that is a fictionalized depiction of a very key moment in magician Charles Joseph Carter’s magical career, where he performed an apparently death-defying bit of magic with US President Harding, where the president seemed to have been dismembered, killed, and even fed to a lion, then restored to full health afterwards.

Unfortunately, shortly after this, the president mysteriously died, and this results in a very awkward situation for Carter, who is now faced with the implication that he himself may have caused such a tragedy to happen.

Overall, this is a great book, and you really should check it out. I don’t want to spoil much of the book, and admittedly, Project 365 has been very difficult for me to maintain lately, but I really want to see it through and finish this whole thing, as I go and anticipate Filipino Magic Month in August, where I would talk about the luminaries in our humble industry.

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