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Magic and Illusion/Why is CAAN a big deal?


Dear Mr. Gordon,
I have been an IBM member since 1976. I have seen some very beautiful, entertaining, and extraordinary magic. It is possible to see some incredible magic performed from all over the world on you tube.

Mentalist Robert Cassidy has stated a mentalist has never won a FISM award .(So much for Derren Brown)

Why is this card at any number trick such a big deal?

Chris Kenworthey's Mastermind (Any Card at Any Number) has been featured by Kreskin on both "The David Letterman Show" and "Live with Regis and Kathy Lee." Many top performers such as Wayne Houchin, Kreskin, etc. have stunned audiences using this powerful weapon in their daily work. Mastermind is now finally available in Bicycle Playing Cards produced by the US Playing Card Company.

Is it because the the general public is not aware of the beauty skillful and talented magicians can create?

Ryan Hayashi's Ultimate Cups and Balls

Ryan Hayashi's Ultimate Coin Matrix

Korean Magic []

Please reply soon,

Charlie (and Sandra) Turek

Hello Charlie and Sandra

Thanks for your question. I'll do my best to answer it but cannot go into any detail that touches upon methods as you have elected to ask this in public mode.

I've also been involved in magic since the 70s. As you say ... there is a lot of brilliant magic all over the world, and as part of a magic community we are able to see them live at various conventions. What the public see is only a tiny portion, and not necessarily the best either!

To be honest, I don't know a lot about the details of FSIM but would imagine that any 'true' mentalist would want to be associated with it. People in that arena, like Derren Brown and Uri Geller shun a magic connection. Appearing on a Magic Show on UK TV damaged Uri's credibility for a while.

I'd say that different people have different reasons why they feel ACAAN is termed The Holy Grain of Mentalism. It IS a powerful effect. I am a friend of David Berglas and have seen him perform it live perhaps 30 times. My guess as to the reason is because other magicians are trying to come up with the cleanest, perfect method. It IS a concept that allows for experimentation, hence the hundreds that already exist, with many more to follow. It also has a massive impossibility factor. A simple, very simple plot to follow, but the odds of it occurring must be millions to one.

All this creates the mystique so many want to perform.

I don't think The Mastermind Deck you quote is strictly an ACAAN effect. The card is NOT freely chosen or named. BTW that was previously released and available as The Monte Cristo Deck!

Of course the public are not aware of the massive variety of acts that exist the world over. Unless they go searching themselves or watch TV from around the world, they can have no idea. I love to see magic from other countries where their history and traditions have created magic of very different styles. I recall seeing acts from Russia when the Iron Curtain came down ... they were (still are) truly amazing. Because of their strong circus tradition, they were very different from what I normally saw. British acts, on the other hand, grew from variety (burlesque) theatre shows or working men's clubs ... and were more comedic, patter based acts.

European Club acts were usually silent and visual because of they travelled for work and had to be able to cross language barriers.

Thankfully TV and now YouTube has made some of these available to many.

That's my views. Thanks for the question.


BTW I didn't really like the Cups & Balls act by Ryan. Although he won FISM with it .... I prefer the beauty of the more classical routines.

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John Gordon - Master Magician


I am a professional performer, and attained status of Gold Star Member of The Inner Magic Circle and, over and above this highest degree, I am only one of about a dozen performers alive who has been awarded their coveted 'Silver Wand'. I perform at the highest level as well as train and coach both beginners and experts in learning a few tricks to creating a brand new award winning act. I ran The Summer School at The Magic Circle for many years as well as booked performers for the monthly public shows. I run a company called `MagicWorks` which provides magic for adult private and corporate events, television, film and theatre productions. I also hold training workshops and seminars, teleconferences and online training on using magic in business, performing at Trade Shows, Magic for Presenters etc and provide after dinner or conference talks and speeches all on the subject of business and personnel development. This includes creativity, presentation, online and offline marketing etc.


Whilst I have been a performer for many years I now spend an increasing amount of time as a personal and business coach, using magic as a metaphor in my teaching and training sessions. I have several Internet Businesses that include Coaching and Mentoring entertainers in the whole business of self Branding, Promotion, Marketing and filling their diaries with bookings.

I have been mentored by the leading magicians in the world and achieved top status at The Magic Circle. This means I became Gold Star Member Of The INNER Magic Circle! Also .... I am a trained coach.

Awards and Honors
I achieved Gold Star Member of The Inner Magic Circle I was awarded The Silver Wand by The Magic Circle for services to magic and TMC I was bestowed with Lifelong Membership of MOB - The Magicians Of Basingstoke

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