SM: It’s so hard for my brain to “see” the card much less do a trick with it.
Ray: Yeah. Have you ever heard of Punx? We were good friends. I think it was 1982 and I took a couple of decks that I marked. This was in Munich. I let him examine the cards and then he handed them back to me. Then as fast as I could turn them over I was naming the cards. He kept saying that’s impossible, impossible! These are not marked! How can you do such a thing? He asked me to show him how. I said that’s why I brought them, as a gift. He said it was the most beautiful marked deck he ever saw. Some years later I saw a certain deck on the market that was similar to it.
SM: So you think somebody borrowed your idea?
Ray: Yeah, it was something close, but more idiotic.
SM: That’s a very high compliment-people who only steal from the best.
Ray: Well, it’s a matter of being ripped off. Tell you what. You invent something and see how you feel when somebody else rips you off!
Night Writer – (Ray Piatt) – (Click the name of the product to visit the product page)
First chalkboard I have ever seen like this one! “Looks like Ray Piatt is up to his new tricks again! So innocent, clean and simple.” –Joe Stevens “Slates” may be old fashion – BUT – there is always room for a chalkboard that writes even better than a slate, with a piece of white chalk. It measures 1/4-inches thick by 6-inches by 9-inches. Cleans off very easily with just a cloth. Performance is quite easily accomplished with no awkward moves, etc. Plays for both large and small gatherings plus it fits in any psychic’s act. EFFECT: Others call out five items and you openly write them upon the board with white chalk. Someone is called upon to think and concentrate on one of the five items written on the board. Upon doing so she calls aloud the name she has been concentrating on and the mentalist turns the writing side of the chalkboard to show that he has also been concentrating on the same word as it is the exact word that he has already check marked with white chalk! What makes this chalkboard so fitting is that everything on the face of it is exactly as it should be thus the mystery is complete with others thinking and or saying, “How did he know that?” and not, “How did he do that?”
SM: Tell me more about Punx.
Ray: He was a real working magician. He did more one-man shows on Bavarian TV than anyone else in the history of magic.
SM: So how do you think that compares with say, Fred Kaps?
Ray: I know Fred is greatly respected, but in all honesty, I don’t know that much about him. But I did get to know Benny Hill and Tommy Cooper – this was through a mutual friend Clifford Davis.
SM: Wait, we’re talking about Benny Hill, the comedian?
Ray: I don’t know much about their currency over there, but Clifford told me he got a quid a weekend, back in those days.
SM: So are you saying that Benny Hill was a magician first?
Ray: First he was. Then he split with his partner and got into comedy.
SM: I would give anything to see Benny Hill do magic. Was it comedy magic?
Ray: Not at first. Towards the end it was. Tommy Cooper…Too bad you don’t know him. He was a guy they called the fez! He was noted for his fez. He was almost seven feet tall. Huge guy. He was in that Magic Circle over there in England. He was as popular as Benny Hill, but the more popular he became, the bigger his ego got and they banned him from the Magic Circle. I sent him a comedy routine, an effect, and he said he couldn’t accept it from me because of ASCAP. However, I did receive endorsed photos of all of them that I am very proud to own.
SM: What is that? Do you know?
Ray: I guess it’s like a guild, an actor’s guild.
Zee Switchers – (Click the name of the product to visit the product page)
Another Ray Piatt classic…A leather business card case for switching your business cards right under their noses! Easily and effortlessly switch one or as many as you carry in each pocket. This is not your typical Z wallet as the Z itself is actually built into the case making it a one-piece case. There are NO flaps to be flipped! The change practically performs itself. Each case is handmade by Ray and Lisa Piatt from fine sturdy black leather, lined and reinforced. Nothing like this exists in magic or mentalism. This clever switch case is a must have item! Purchase two of them and really “fry” them by lapping one of the cases!
SM: So, do you have a website, a catalog?
SM: You seem to be very well known. How do you approach a magic store?
Ray: I really don’t. I used to have four companies that I would wholesale to. One was Al Cohen in Washington. He’s great. You can’t beat him. There was a company in Belgium. Select Magic. They would order big. I would send them a wallet and they would call me back and say they wanted a hundred-fifty of them. Then they stopped ordering from me and I found out that all they had to do was find someone to make the item for them at a less cost.
SM: Let’s say you approach a place. What do you do? Do you talk to them and find out if they have integrity?
Ray: No, I find out from other people. I only wholesale to two people, Joe Stevens being one of them.
SM: I’m gathering from you that you feel you can trust Joe Stevens?
SM: That’s interesting stuff. You are selective then about whom you send products to?
SM: Have you ever met Paul Diamond?
Ray: I have a video of him.
SM: He had a garage full of magic, all for sale. I was in there a few times.
Ray: Yeah, that’s what a lot of them do.