Piatt Part 7

One On One Mentalism (Book) – (Click the name of the product to visit the product page)

Another gem from C. L. Boarde, brought to us through our good friend Paul Alberstat. This soft cover book provides page after page of excellent material, effects, routines, ideas and details that are solid to any performing mentalist (or someone interested in learning more about mentalism). After an absence of many years, Boarded is back with a manuscript on mentalism with business cards. Includes a chapter on Ray Piatt’s Caper-Case 2000. Besides the routines, you’ll find Boarde’s often controversial maunderings, reminiscences and opinions. Comb bound, 106 pages. Paul Alberstat is a working professional mentalist turned me onto to C. L. Board and Jack Dean and I’ve been grateful ever since. This books is powerful enough on it’s own merit, but for those of you that purchased the Capper Case (and item we sell at Stevens Magic), made by Ray Piatt – you will also get a tremendous value from the purchase of this book which has an entire chapter on this clever and effective device. The book was printed in 1997 and in additional to educating or refreshing you working pro’s it will do wonders for stoking the fires of your imagination and enhance creative thinking relative to new routines and concepts never before thought of.


Ray: Yeah! Yeah! That was him, you’re right! I think he’s still around, too.

SM: He was under the Doug Henning spell. You know, long hair, rainbows, that sort of performer. I think he’s not as much of a wise guy now. A lot of those young guys didn’t understand that magic is not a form of martial art. They just want to humiliate people. I got a lot of knowledge from those guys. It was hard to break in to the group but I did some things that they hadn’t seen and they wanted to trade. Then I knew I was in. You have to fool them and then you’re in.

Ray: Yeah, I was turned off and I never went back.

SM: If you read Tarbell, the first thing he says is magic is not to show how smart and clever you are, but it’s meant to entertain. I treat the spectator with kid gloves.

Ray: Well in those days I was known as Magic Makers. I actually contacted a lawyer in Allentown to do a worldwide search and the closest he came to it was Magic Marker.

SM: No danger there.

Ray: So then he made the name legal for us and we got an artist. She came up with a fantastic logo for us. It was a genie coming out of a bottle. That was my logo for the next twenty some years and then I find out there was a guy in Canada making full size stage props. I wrote him a nice letter and explained that he must not have done a search of the name Magic Makers. So I said if you want to use the name, go right ahead. What he did was he changed the name to Magic Makers Inc. He’s still around making these things.

SM: When you started in your profession, did you read a lot of books?

Bogey Wallet – (Click the name of the product to visit the product page)

A wonderful trick from Ray and Lisa Piatt. Predict the sum total of three, 3-digit numbers merely thought of by three different members of the audience. Duplicate an object drawn by a volunteer. Reveal the one word out of 30,000 randomly selected by a spectator from an 800-page dictionary. This is a mentalist’s “dream come true” wallet! There has never been a pocket secretary that works like the Bogey. A magnetic switching device that can be repeatedly opened and closed and handled freely by the audience. Anything written on the pad in the wallet can be switched imperceptibly with only one natural “move.” Beautifully crafted of fine, thin lambskin leather as only the Piatt’s can. Complete with wallet, pen, written instructions, additional routines and tips by professional performer Allen Zingg and 40-minute instructional video by Larry Becker. “When Larry Becker and Ray Piatt team up, the result is always a mystifying, entertaining, top quality product!” –Joe Stevens


Ray: What happened was this. You probably don’t remember but there was a cartoon strip. I was nine years old. It was in the funny papers–Mandrake the Magician. Somebody robbed a bank and is speeding away in a car and the caption would say, “Mandrake gestures hypnotically!” and the car turns upside down. It would be written backwards, the command he would be giving out like, “Flippta, booda, booda,” and I would hold it up to a mirror and there it was. I just broke Mandrake’s code! All you had to do was reverse the letters. I went into my sister’s bedroom and I was in there with a pencil and I laid the pencil on the bed-the bed was all made up. I kept saying something like “Lixa burbsen.” Which meant pencil raise up or something. I kept saying that over and over again but the pencil didn’t move. And then my mother came in and said, Raymond, what are you doing in your sister’s room? I said, I’m doing magic, Mom, look. I couldn’t understand why it didn’t work. What was I doing wrong? She said, Raymond, that pencil will never rise unless you learn to do magic. I said why not, I’m doing magic. She said, no you’re not. You can read all about magic, all you want, and it will be free. You just go to the town library. So I got myself a card and read a lot of magic books.

SM: We wanted to know if you had a well-rounded magic education but that kind of answers that question. You went and got it yourself, reading everything you could get your hands on just like I did. It sounds like you were really influenced by the Dunninger show. Most kids are first hooked by a straight magic show. We also wanted to know, why mentalism?

Ray: Prior to that it was just, you know, mind reading. At that time Kreskin-that wasn’t his name then, and he was known for doing card tricks. He wasn’t known for mentalism at the time. Oh, one quick story… He did weddings and so forth. He did a wedding outside Allentown and there was a couple there and they were dressed very wildly. He did a trick and it flopped but that’s not the story. He was on the bill and these wildly dressed couples got up and sang and guess whom they were? It was Sonny and Cher.

SM: No kidding.

Ray: How about that. Sonny and Sher in Allentown, PA and they were doing a gig! Now you mentioned Doug Henning before. Magic was at a standstill before him. But that little guy-ran around the stage like a rabbit. He brought magic back. After him came Copperfield. Henning died a few years back. He had been working on a magic theme part with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. I don’t know how that did.

ESP-4 (R1) (CL) – (Click the name of the product to visit the product page)

A great Ray Piatt item! A strong effect that is simple to perform allowing you to concentrate completely on the routine and storyline. The mentalist makes a prediction, and then asks a spectator to freely select a number between one and five. The number is used to count to a special ESP card, and when the performer reveals his prediction, it matches the spectator’s chosen symbol! This item features a vinyl card carrier so the unit is all self-contained, easy to transport and protect!


SM: I went to see his show in New York and it was fabulous. It changed every few months and you wouldn’t see the same show twice. Fast paced and the magic was top flight. They did miss-made girl. The show opened with the dancing hank in a bottle, then it jumped out and the cork went flying and it zapped around the stage.

Ray: And he had the personality. Half of his act was his personality. When he was smiling, doing a trick, he was smiling for real. He would sit on the edge of the stage and talk to the kids. He was great. Who got David Copperfield started?

SM: Don’t know.

Ray: Ed Mishell! They way I understand it is like this: They were from Jersey and his parents would go to New York City to see a show and they would drop young David at Ed Mishell’s house. Well, the best place to be dropped off when you were young was old Ed Mishell’s house. The first professional name he used was Davino. You might not remember that. He was out in Chicago doing a bird act. He came back and went to Ed and said, I’m not getting anywhere. Ed told him he had to go to Juliard and learn to dance. Copperfield said why would I want to dance, I want to be a magician. Ed said, yeah, but there’s no footwork with you. You have to be able to move around the stage gracefully. Go to that school and learn dancing. Well, against his will, he did. Now he’s graceful as a ballerina.