People ask me on a constant basis if I went to the Cape Town College of Magic when I was younger. The plain answer is: No. I did not. “So how did you learn all your tricks?” (editor’s note: I hate it when people call my magic “tricks”). I learned from books and DVDs. BUT I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for the help of three people and I’m going to focus on one person in particular: Jared Lipsitz, Alan Cohen, and Darren Srot zt”l.
These three gentlemen took me under their wings when I was the mere age of fourteen to help me plan my first kids show, my first balloon modelling class and some magic effects that I still perform to this very day.
The effect below is called McDonald’s Aces/ McDonald’s $100 Routine, named after the song Ol McDonald… I’m kidding. It really is not. It is a four ace assembly where you place four aces in a diamond shape (North, East, South, West) and three indifferent cards are placed over each ace. Magically the aces disappear and reappear in an impossible location with the fourth ace. I have been doing this effect ever since I was sixteen years old. I usually do it to close a set of effects (much better word than “tricks” don’t you think?) or to close a show, because it is just THAT powerful. I hope you enjoy
This effect was first shown to me by a dear friend of mine, Darren Srot, in my room on my carpet floor. I remember like it was yesterday. Watching each ace disappear under seemingly impossible conditions led to a burning desire to learn this effect. I went to the college a few days later to the shop and bought the secret. R100. Best buy ever.
I showed the effect to Darren and I remember him saying that I did it better than him and I must keep practising. Imagine a mentor saying that to you – your face beams. My face beamed. Darren was a brilliant magician. He won the close up Junior championships at the College of Magic and could have won many more. But as they say: Man makes plans and God laughs – God had another plan for Darren and decided his mission in life was fulfilled and on 14 September 2008 he passed away suddenly leaving this world to join the Almighty in Heaven. I remember when I would go to shul, Darren and I would jam and we would teach each other sleight of hand and magic. We went to the same camp and often we would chill in the dining room and show magic to the girls, and then we would teach each other how the effects were done. He was a dear friend who shared with me so much. To this day there is a triumph routine that I do that he taught me and I always share with my spectators what a wonderful human being he was.
Magic is not just about the secret. It is the connection that you make with the person as they are trusting you to guard their secret and to do the effect justice. Darren trusted me with a lot of effects and I will forever treat them as sacred. ————————————–
Whoever you are, whatever you are doing, as you read this, stop for one minute, just ONE minute and think about a person who gave you so much and who is no longer with us.
Thank you Darren for everything and I wish you were here to jam again.