Advice from Steve Cohen

In a recent post I was urging everyone to grab Steve Cohen’s Win the Crowd, while it is cheap and readily available. 

To whet your appetite for the kind of advice he offers, here are his Maxims of Magic:

  1. Be Bold
  2. Expect Success
  3. Don’t State—Suggest
  4. Practice, Practice, Practice
  5. Be Prepared

There’s nothing ground breaking or revolutionary here, quite obviously, but his approach and expansion of these ideas is eye opening. For instance, wait until you read his method on learning boldness. Quite clever.

Take my advice and run this book down.


Take care……… 


A recommended book

Steve Cohen’s Win the Crowd first went on sale 6/14/2005 and the publishers have already remaindered the final stock. They sure don’t wait long any more!

You can find new copies for less than $10, delivered, all over the web – half.com – ebay.com – bookcloseouts.com…..etc. I would imagine it’s also in the bargain bin at your local B&N.

Anyway, for those that are not aware of the book, here’s the publisher’s puff piece:

Would You Like to Become More Commanding, Convincing, And Charismatic?

In this book, Steve Cohen, master magician and star of the long-running Chamber Magic show in New York City, will reveal the secrets of all great showmen and magicians — how to persuade, influence, and charm, and ultimately accomplish the things you’ve always wanted to do. As Cohen writes, “You’ll discover how to take over a room, read people, and build anticipation to a feverish pitch so people are burning to hear what you have to say.”

Win the Crowd will teach you Steve Cohen’s Maxims of Magic, simple rules you can use to take charge of practically any situation, from on-the-job disagreements to dating to important cocktail parties. The Maxims of Magic will wash away insecurities and hesitations, and replace them with confidence, poise, and leadership. What’s more, Steve Cohen will show you:

  • How to Create a Magic Moment. Capturing people’s imaginations and attention so they listen carefully to every word you say.
  • How to Command a Room. Showing everyone in the room that you are speaking right to them, making them all feel unique — and completely focused on you.
  • How to Read People. Learning to sense what people are feeling and thinking as you speak, what they want from you, and how to make them feel like they are getting it.
  • Misdirection. The most important trick in all of magic — getting inside people’s heads, and directing what they are thinking at every minute.

When you strip away the sleight of hand tricks, magicians are essentially masters of attracting and holding attention and impressing audiences, exactly the psychological secrets you need to be successful in life and business.

It’s a good read. Admittedly Mr. Cohen (far be it from me to assume any familiarity) is a big fan, but you can’t deny his success. He’s shoving a whole bunch of pesos in his pockets these days. I haven’t finished reading it yet, but I’ve already found several pearls. I think most magicians will find this money well spent.

Take care………


Drivel & Drool

Remember – Use your magic only for good!

Did you ever wonder…..

Why does this hobby / business / profession / art….. attracts so many self aggrandizing, pompous and just plain mean jack asses? 


Take care……… 

Drivel & Drool


Yeah – me too.

How else?!


Many, many moons ago The Great Ballantine appeared to be breaking out of his magic buffoon act and performed a beautiful floating ball effect – complete with music, hoop and graceful movements. He received genuine and appreciative applause from the audience. Towards the end of the routine, he reached in his pocket – pulled out a pair of scissors and cut the string. Of course, the ball fell to the ground. Ballantine’s statement? How else!

You can read all about James Cheung’s ripoff of Richard Osterlind’s Psychic Control in a number of magic blogs. There seems to be little doubt that he was aware of Osterlind’s creation prior to the release of Moveo.

In all honesty, “how else” was exactly the reaction I had when I saw it performed on Mind Mysteries Too – Volume 5. It was no great mystery. At least I didn’t think so. Of course Osterlind managed to wring every bit of entertainment possible out of the routine and – SURPRISE – the L&L audience went into orgasmic palpatations.

My point? If Cheung wanted to rip something off, Osterlind has better stuff than this.

If you’re gonna pilfer, man, make it worth your time. All you got out of this was a bad reputation and a copy of a lame trick!

Take care………


Drivel & Drool

Software time:

I’m on the computer many hours a day and there are a few pieces of software that I find indispensable. One of these is Evernote. A random access note pad. I can’t imagine going to forums, participating in news groups and general browsing without having Evernote available. It sits quietly in the background and is ready to capture anything you like. Just right click and you send it there. Later you can classify the note in one or many ways. It’s a little hard to describe.

Drop by the site and check it out. It’s truly free. You won’t be disappointed.

I feel better

As I’ve said before, most of the magic blogs are pure crap – this one included. The only serious journalism has always come from John LeBlanc at Escamoteurettes. John’s articles are always well researched and intelligently written, unlike this spittle most of us spew with little thought.

Anyway, John’s blog had not been updated for quite a while and I was afraid he’d moved on to more intellectual pursuits. Thankfully, I was wrong. His latest article just hit and it’s a beauty.

John discusses Richard Osterlind’s allegations that James Cheung stole his Psychic Control and issued the ripoff as MoveO. From what I’ve read and seen, there can be little doubt about the parentage here, but read John’s article for the full story.

From my perspective, I can definitively say Cheung is an ass hole. All you have to do is read his reply on Osterlind’s blog where he refers to him as a delusional, insecure old man to see that. Dipping into the sewage and name calling that quickly, certainly solidifies my take on his character. Cheung shows his originality, by using the clever ROTFLMAO and then If you think I ’stole’ ‘your’ idea, sue me. FWIW (see I know Internet acronyms too) I think Cheung is an unoriginal and unimaginative buffoon, but I may be just another delusional old man.


Take care……… 

Drivel & Drool

A strange theory

I received a private email wondering why I persist in dumping on Mein Brooks at the Cafe’. It’s worth exploring, I guess.

When I was a sophomore in college, I was assigned an art major as a roommate for a semester. We had nothing in common, but got along OK.

The first thing he put up on the wall was a LARGE nude pin-up of Mama Cass Elliot – the lead singer and the sound of The Mamas and the Papas. For those that don’t know, Cass Elliot went about 3 bills. Very frankly, she was not one of those fat women that had a pretty face and would look good if the lost a couple hundred pounds. She was just butt ugly. Thank heavens she was on her stomach and it was just her large, flabby tattooed ass staring me in the face every morning. I guess it could have been worse. It was another semester before I could sexually function normally…. I still have periodic nightmares flashing back to that terrible visage.

Maybe this is where I developed my fear and loathing of large, ugly things. Possibly, but I don’t think so. I believe it is the morality passed from my father that causes me to fight self righteous jack asses that exhibit no sense of fairness in their dealings with others.

Who knows……

A good reason to go to the Cafe’

My general feelings about the Cafe’ are probably best expressed graphically: 



There was a time I checked into their hallowed hallways at least once a day, but over time I grew weary of that pompous ass Brooks (and that’s a LOT of pomposity) and the generally sour mood that permeated the groups. I now stop by on most weekends and browse a little, but that’s it. I no longer post – actually I can’t since I am banned – just read a few areas.

His attempt to create internal blogs, called The Buffet, has been, to put it kindly, a disaster. As I write this, Paul Chosse hasn’t posted since August, Brooks and Curtis Kam haven’t posted since early November. Even Bill Palmer hasn’t posted in over a week, which is a lifetime for him.

In January of this year Brooks added:

Magic Friday by Jamie D. Grant
Every Friday a trick will be taken out into the real world – Read here for a complete review.

I don’t know Jamie Grant, but I do know you’ll find some of the best reviews I’ve seen in a long time in his column. Not only are his reviews spot on, but his choice of material is excellent. Tricks like:

  • Ringer
  • Signed Torn and Restored Post-It Note
  • Torn and Restored Transpo
  • Hundy 500
  • Ultimate Three Card Monte

as well as others are covered and covered well.

Jamie, at least publicly, seems to have not caught the superiority virus that seems to afflict most of the staff. I hope that continues. It’s damn refreshing.

If you can stand the stench that is the Cafe’, I highly recommend this diamond in a pile of insufferable manure.

Take care………