Balls of steel

I’m going to be in Eugene, OR today to see Paul Gertner’s magic lecture. Paul’s a very creative magician, most famous for his cups and balls routine performed with loud, clanking steel balls. It’s not an effect that translates all that well to TV, but if you’d like to take a look here’s a clip from one of the old World’s Greatest Magic specials. The ending still looks pretty slick:

One of his effects is also at play in this bit of political propagandizing. While I hate to see good magic put in the service of political fanboyism, there’s no denying it’s a neat display. (The video might be from Paul himself. I’m not sure.)


4 thoughts on “Balls of steel”

  1. One of the problems with magic on video is that you can rewind and pay special attention to different parts of the trick, to catch where exactly the sleight (sp? terminology?) is happening. Like on that last part of the ball video, you can totally see him drop his left hand to his pocket/lap and then toss out the largest ball with it. I didn’t catch it the first time, the second time I thought, “wait, why is his hand down there?” and the third time I had it figured out. In person, that would never have worked.

    Still, really cool stuff. And the card trick… nice.

  2. Yeah, exactly. In person, as a spectator your visual frame is more limited. It can be on the cups or his face or his hands, but not on all three at once. On TV everything is put into one tiny box, so misdirection doesn’t always work as well.

    And as you said, in real life you can’t rewind!

  3. Paul Gertner is a great performer and showman. Getting to see him perform in person is a real treat. He’s also willing to share his knowledge to those that are serious about working in the field. If you ever get a chance to catch him perform or lecture, don’t miss it!

  4. Paul has the experience and skills to entertain people in a way that most other magician should strive to attain. Not to mention that if you ever get the chance to meet him in person he is just a genuinely nice guy to talk to. Magician that are genuine and really like other people always seem to make the best entertainers.

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