It’s that time of year again!

A few weeks ago we were all making our New Year magical resolutions… to finish work on the new act (or the old act, come to that)… to read those books we bought in a fit of enthusiasm and are still sitting on the shelf, pristine and unopened… to learn those new tricks which looked great on the pretty packet or the rapid-cut, effects-heavy video with really exciting music…

We’ve all been there. But now January is drawing to a turgid close and the cold, damp weather has brought with it a dose of cold, damp reality. Let’s face it, you’re not going to use half of that stuff you’ve bought. In fact I bet that tattooed hairy/bald (delete where inapplicable) trendy hipster in the promo video probably doesn’t use them any more either. If he’s working at all he’ll be doing the ambitious card, flying ring and card on ceiling like everybody else.

Fret no more… the Sheffield Circle is here to help! Parcel up those once-desired and now unwanted tricks, books and DVDs and bring them down to the Sheffield Circle Magical Auction Night here at the Lounge on Thursday 1 February. You know it makes sense.

Be prompt; lots will be sold in arrival order. All items must be in working order with instructions where appropriate.

And don’t forget to bring your wallet so you can snap up some bargains. They need a kind and loving home.

Doors open at 7:00. And I’ll be taking bids from 7:30 onwards. If you’re bring items for auction we strongly suggest that you bring a list. Ten percent of the proceeds go to Circle funds.

Admission is free to SCM members. Visiting magicians £4. I’m looking forward to seeing rows of eager, smiling faces as usual. And your wallets.

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Released a few weeks ago and now almost sold out, Devil in Disguise 2 is limited to 250 copies worldwide. I have managed to obtain a very limited supply of the remaining copies. These are available now at £160, post free.

“This is the project that I’ve always wanted to capture and I am happy to say that I have! It took more than twelve months but we got there in the end. I’ve been very quiet on the details so apologies for the radio silence to all that have messaged me about this project.” – Peter Turner

WHAT IS “DEVIL IN DISGUISE 2?”

Devil in Disguise 2 is a hand-engraved memory stick, with a wax stamped and signed tag, on the reverse of which is inscribed a password which allows you to access the video content.

On the stick, you will get sixteen solid routines and brand new principles, in-depth discussions and explanations with guest appearances from Michael Murray, Fraser Parker, Mark Chandaue and Steve Wood. All material is filmed in crisp HD (no regional issues), with added security to protect your investment.

A PEEK AT SOME OF THE CONTENTS…

A Kick to the Teeth: You place a prediction on display ahead of time. Four participants (can be more or less) think of a random word as a team. The prediction is shown to match 100%… And the kicker? It just so happens the participants played a bigger role than they could ever have known. When you take the first letter of each of their names it spells the exact word they thought of!

Unnamed: You start with a simple display of thought reading using cards but end up diving too deeply into the participant’s mind revealing ANY merely thought of piece of information (drawing/name, etc.). No one-ahead and no strange process – this is psycomechanical (you’ll understand why it’s called that when you see this).

Try to Hypnotise Me: You place a piece of card with a number on it face down and tell the audience that the card will be important in a moment. A participant thinks of a random four-digit number — there is no way that the number could match the one that you wrote before the participant ever thought of a number… But that doesn’t matter; you talk about mind control and how you can replace ANY thought to match yours.

You start by erasing the numbers from the participant’s mind. After a few seconds the participant cannot say or remember the numbers! Then you show the group what was written at the start (without the participant seeing) and propose to implant those numbers into the participant’s mind, proving that you can replace any given thought. After talking to the participant openly for a second (not whispered or covertly) you ask the participant what numbers are in their head — much to the surprise of everyone the participant says the numbers that were written long before the performance.

Variant #2: A voodoo variation (with a doll) of the above presentation where you literally control the participant’s actions. Another “Psychomechanical” piece of chicanery,

To Name a Place: Peter’s take on the classic name/place routine with his updated handling of the one-ahead principle, bringing touches and techniques that take it to a new level. Oh, and the participant never writes anything down, making it slick and streamlined. And as a kicker, you can also reveal what the participant changed their mind from (without one-ahead)!

Time for a Date? Another classic technique presented in a way that is new fresh and interesting. This will make you smile like crazy. This enables you to reveal a participant’s date of birth, playing card, any object or item from a list, pin code. Imagine being sat at dinner and asking someone to open the menu, think of any meal on there and being able to reveal it in seconds. And guess what – YOU ASK THE PARTICIPANT NO QUESTIONS. This is mechanical.

Pigs on Steroids: A principle to take “Piggybacking” to new levels. Subtleties, touches and performance ideas with two routines that are simple, quick but extremely powerful.

Countdown/Phantom Book Test (Plus): The participant thinks of a word from an imaginary dictionary and you have predicted it in advance. No obscure process and the method is over in one sentence – meaning that you are free to present this the way that you choose. Alternative presentations with an in-depth discussion of a clever multiple out system most of you will have on your person as you are reading this.

Missing in Action (Plus): Four participants each think of a random single digit to generate, as a group, a random pin code. You can reveal the pin code with no fishing!

Variant #2: You ask the participant to think of random digits from their bank card (without ever removing it) and you are able to reveal them.

At the time of writing I have just two copies left. Let me know if you’d like one.

Here are the answers to the Sheffield Circle of Magicians 2017 Christmas Quiz. How many did you get?

1. What magic word was formerly inscribed on pendants worn around the neck as protection from illness and evil.

Answer: Abracadabra.

2. Who invented the Zig Zag Girl?

Answer: Robert Harbin. (Real name Ned Williams.)

3. Who was the Canadian ‘professor’ who was often billed as “The Man Who Fooled Houdini”.

Answer: Dai Vernon. The title came about after the two met and Houdini challenged Vernon, claiming that he could figure out any card trick if he saw someone perform it three times in a row. Dai Vernon proceeded to perform a card trick over seven times without Houdini being able to work out how he did it.

4. What is the connection between Charles Dickens and the disappearance of the Statue of Liberty?

Answer: Magician David Copperfield (real name David Kotkin) performed this illusion on one of his early tv specials.

5. One of Harry Houdini’s most popular escapes involved him hanging upside down from a rope while bound in a Straitjacket. Which Sheffield magician invented this presentation.

Answer: Randini. Real name Randolph Osborne Douglas. The idea was born on one of Houdini’s visits to the Douglas family home when he was playing The Empire Theatre in Sheffield. According to his stepmother, Douglas demonstrated the idea of being suspended upside down in locks, chains and a straitjacket.

6. Balducci, and Asrah are both types of which commonly seen magic effect?

Answer: Levitation.

7. For whom did Thomas Edison design and build the famous “Floating Light Bulb” illusion?

Answer: Harry Blackstone. After Blackstone’s death in 1965, his son (Harry Blackstone, Jr.) donated the actual light bulb to the Smithsonian. The illusion was later licensed to Dutch magician Hans Klok and American illusionist Darren Romeo, a student of Siegfried & Roy.

8. In card magic, what does ATFUS stand for?

Answer: The Anytime Face Up Switch, credited to Edward Marlo.

9. In this illusion the magician makes his assistant vanish from a four-compartment box after apparently penetrating her with several large blades. Clue: Its name references an early American civilisation.

Answer: The Aztec Lady. An assistant steps into a large box. The magician inserts various panels or blades into slots that separate the box into four sections. He then folds the sections apart. The box is then put together again and the front opened to reveal the assistant alive and well. (If you’d like one, I have one for sale…)

10. Once part of a magic duo, The Eldanis, with an act set to rock ’n’ roll music in which they both dressed in lurex, this magician went on to find fame as a solo artist.

Answer: Paul Daniels.

New stock now in: Pantheon by Chris Philpott. An incredible package of classic mentalism supercharged with The 100th Monkey Principle!

24 Effects, 3 DVDs, 12 Postcards, 9 full performances, over 500 JPGs and a 220-page eBook! Effects for close-up and stage performance – most are easy-to-perform miracles!

“I love this! The new directions in which Chris has taken the 100th Monkey principle are brilliant. This is very strong, easy-to-do mentalism that allows the performer to concentrate on performance. While Chris respects the classic plots of mentalism, he pushes the limits and methods farther, adding another layer of mystery and making them cleaner and more direct. This is a valuable addition to any mentalist’s arsenal.” – Banachek

“Like a breath of fresh air, this principle’s application to many of our classics makes everything new again.” – Paul Vigil

“Chris Philpott has taken some classic mentalism plots and made them even better. Not only in method, but in the effect they have on your audiences.” – Jon Armstrong

“This is incredible! You are crazy insane putting out all these ideas. So good…” – Ran Pink

“Chris Philpott created a whole new area of mentalism with the 100th Monkey and he owns it! Chris lives for his wonderful new principle and he is always creating new effects and ideas that are straightforward and mind-boggling. Pantheon is the latest, biggest, and best to date. You will find endless ideas that have been carefully developed for all areas of classic mentalism. (The Mental Epic idea is one of my favorites!). There are gimmicks for close-up and stage and for any type of mentalism you may perform. Because the 100th Monkey principle is so well hidden within these clever routines, you never have to worry about someone discovering the general principle. This is top-notch stuff for professional workers. You can’t go wrong with this mammoth package. Get this!” – Richard Osterlind

Effects include:

Mental Epic
Twelve different versions featuring classic plots like Let’s Make a Movie, Dream Vacation, and Dream Date. But in these versions, there is no need for suspicious-looking boards – the predictions are written on ungimmicked paper or white boards and covered with clearly-labeled cards. Once you place them down, you never touch them again – a spectator handles them after that – the cards switch themselves!

Drawing Duplication
Five different, super-clean versions of this classic mentalist effect. In one, you show them a poster with 44 different objects to draw and they think of any one – and yet you know exactly what they will draw!

Bank Night
You display envelopes clearly labeled 1 to 5 – and yet you can force each of five spectators to choose any envelope you want! An invaluable utility that can be used for many other effects.

The Chair Test
Three separate 100th Monkey gimmicks that can be used in any Chair Test you do now, plus a full show-stopping routine (which solves the sight-line issues with the effect).

Billets
After a spectator secretly writes down a first name, you not only name the person they are thinking of, but reveal detailed information about who they are!

Monkeys Ahoy
Based on Luke Jermay‘s Touching on Hoy, three spectators think of two spices, sports and shapes – and you are able to divine each thought accurately with no questions and nothing written down!

The Celebrity Baby Gag
You show a spectator a poster with dozens of celebrities and they think of any one – and you know exactly which celebrity they are thinking of! No pre-show or stooges.

Memory Erasure
Five different effects where you take away someone’s memory. Create a perfect assassin who has no recollection of the murder he has committed! Wipe away a person’s anxiety with a calming spell. There is even a version for the corporate magician in which a spectator misinterprets customer feedback.

Book Tests
This includes effects that make it possible for one spectator to read another’s mind by seeing a word in a word-find puzzle.

Psychological Forces
Makes popular psychological forces seem fairer and more impossible.

Plus, much more!

Updates, extra cards and bonus effects for those who register, including:

Q and A
Musical Mind Reading Force Poster
Headline Prediction

Thanks to Steve Valentine, Aiden Sinclair, Rob Gould, Christine Barger, Michael Rangel, Joe Skilton and Leeman Parker for performing in this video and to The Magic Castle for allowing us to film there.

Thanks also to Max Maven, Finn Jon, Luke Jermay and Millard Longman for allowing me to use their methods and effects on this release.

“The first time I saw Chris Philpott’s 100 monkeys I didn’t believe it – it’s such a strong effect. But after I tried for a few times in front of real people, it became something that I use in every show that I do. The new DVD has so many variations and effects that are very clever and workable. This is an A1 product. I am very excited!” – Lior Manor

“It is VERY rare when we add any marketed effect to our shows. These new uses for this amazing principle are so great and wide open to creative presentations that I’m having a hard time deciding what MIRACLES I’m going to create next. I say that in plural because the ideas flow faster than I can write them down; there are at least 1000 Monkeys here! A tool beyond compare for the professional Wonder-Maker!” – Joe Givan, FISM Champion

“If Chris Philpott was digging in the ground, by now he’d be more than halfway to China. Fortunately, he’s been digging further into the 100th Monkey principle, with bountiful results. So, he gets to stay home, and we get to enjoy the results. In short: You’ll dig this!” – Max Maven

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Very best wishes for a jolly good 2018 from all at Magick.

Turkey induced post-prandial somnolence? Here’s a little something to help you engage your brain if you’re feeling the effects of Christmas over-indulgence. Yes, it’s the annual Sheffield Circle of Magicians Christmas Quiz, presented as usual during the SCM Christmas Social earlier this month.

Congratulations to Chris Clarke who won the Magick book voucher with seven perfectly correct answers out of ten. Can you beat his score? Now’s your chance to try. (No reference books or Google, please.)

1. What magic word was formerly inscribed on pendants worn around the neck as protection from illness and evil?

2. Who invented the Zig Zag Girl?

3. Who was the Canadian ‘professor’ who was often billed as “The Man Who Fooled Houdini”.

4. What is the connection between Charles Dickens and the disappearance of the Statue of Liberty?

5. One of Harry Houdini’s most popular escapes involved him hanging upside down from a rope while bound in a straitjacket. Which Sheffield magician invented this presentation?

6. Balducci, and Asrah are both types of which commonly seen magic effect?

7. For whom did Thomas Edison design and build the famous “Floating Light Bulb” illusion?

8. In card magic, what does ATFUS stand for?

9. In this illusion the magician makes his assistant vanish from a four-compartment box after apparently penetrating her with several large blades. Clue: Its name references an early American civilisation.

10. Once part of a magic duo, The Eldanis, with an act set to rock ’n’ roll music in which they both dressed in lurex, this magician went on to find fame as a solo artist.

Answers after Christmas.

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Two deliveries today: six large boxes containing some great books, plus some fine items in carved wood, copper and brass. Pictures will follow, And there are two more boxes of books due tomorrow!

If you could see you way to calling in and making a few purchases as soon as possible that would be great. June is complaining that we’re running out of space.