BETWEEN THE LINES
GeMiNi Column Roger Klause April 1, 1997
"To understand the importance and monumental contribution to the advancement of sleight of hand with playing cards, one must read between the lines." … Dai Vernon re: THE EXPERT AT THE CARD TABLE –Erdnase
"It is just as important to consider the lack of annotations made by the Professor within his work REVELATIONS, as proof that the original material Is beyond improvements." –Ricky Jay
The above comments are not exact quotes. I have taken the liberty to paraphrase these two highly regarded experts by reading between the lines of their original statements. Statements that were made in my presence. In other words, no pun intended, it i s my own interpretation and understanding of what these gentlemen had to say about a subject most dear to me.
More that one person has pointed out that there is a vast difference between mere knowledge and true understanding. In a missive I received from Dai Vernon in 1958, which is reproduced in ROGER KLAUSE: IN CONCERT, the Professor warns me to …
"First, you must thoroughly understand what you aim to accomplish… then, you practice. Try to figure out the reason for every move. Otherwise, you will just be a monkey, and there are too many of them among the fraternity."
The Professor, certainly one to practice what he preached, took to heart the advice given by Erdnase concerning comprehension before practice. With these thoughts in mind, one must understand that there are no short-cuts to achieving the desired results from practice. However, the true experts have a great advantage when it comes to practice. Not only do they find practice enjoyable; they have the desire and most of all, the passion for perfection.
The late Charlie Miller was fond of saying … "It is amazing how well one can execute a difficult maneuver after having rehearsed it two thousand times." The legendary golfer, Ben Hogan once asked the now famous Gary Player how often he practiced hitting golf balls. Player replied, … "Constantly!" Hogan said, with conviction… "Double it! "
As stated above, passion drives the experts. Egos drive the monkeys. The one true ingredient which induces passion is a deep respect for the art and artists in this wonderful field of magic.
My suggestion is that we thoroughly understand our true goals and aspirations, commit them to paper and then, with an honest appraisal, read between the lines. In this way, we might reduce our appetite for bananas.