Blog Archives

Pop Haydn — The Ambitious Card

Pop Haydn performs the Ambitious Card in the W. C. Fields Bar at the Magic Castle in Hollywood. September 8, 2013. Pop Haydn was named “W. C. Fields Bar – Magician of the Year” in 2005.

Richard Turner at the Magic Castle this week:

Richard Turner

My friend, Richard Turner is working this week at the Magic Castle. He is the foremost card expert in the world today, even though he is legally blind. His discipline and perfection is stunning. These photos show him in 1986 when he received his first black belt, and then in 2012 when he is 58 years old. There is only four ounces difference in his weight.

As a measure of the type of skill Richard displays in his work, let me quote Jon Raucherbaumer, an internationally recognized expert who is writing a biography of Richard Turner:

“The action of perfectly alternating playing cards, 26 and 26, is not easily named if the goal is accuracy. Even the noun “shuffle” seems inexact because it suggests clumsy randomness and asymmetrical mixing. Sure, the relative positions of the cards change, but the changes are cyclically predictable and in this regard, perfect…

“…But there are two types of this kind of Interlace: The Faro Shuffle and what can be called a Volitional Faro Shuffle. The physics of the Volitional Faro Shuffle in terms of what happens with and to the cards is identical, but the means of making this happen is different. The Faro Shuffle is semi-automatic because the two 26-card sections are butted together in precise ways and the cards will then automatically alternate. The Volitional Faro Shuffle depends on the operator’s volition. He must will his thumbs to precisely and alternately release cards until all 52 of them are interlaced. This is not automatic. It is a matter of pure dexterity and unerring timing.

“Richard’s high-lift, soft interlace table Faro Shuffles are done in less than one second. Formerly a fantasy in MacDouggal’s mind, Richard can execute a Volitional Faro Shuffle in 8.1 seconds.  

“If you think this is easy, try making love while standing up in a hammock and juggling seven ice-cream cones.”

Richard Turner, my good friend Johnny Ace Palmer and I were all named in the comic book the Spirit as magic teachers to the Spirit. It was very cool to be included in such incredible company:

Richard Turner is performing in the Close-Up Gallery at the Magic Castle in Hollywood until Sunday.  It is worth your time to make an effort to see this incredible and unique talent.

Revamped Pop Haydn’s YouTube Channel

Check out my revamped YouTube Channel:

Pop Haydn’s YouTube Channel


Pop Haydn in the Close-Up Gallery

Suzanne the Magician

Suzanne the Magician

Suzanne the Magician

My dear friend Suzanne the Magician is back in town. She did a performance in San Diego, last night, and is now here in Los Angeles to star in the early Close-Up Gallery beginning tonight through Sunday.

Suzanne is a wonderful performer, and an all-around splendid lady. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband Louis, and son Ian. She is a full-time magician, and a busy one at that. Her mentor is a great magician and magical creator, Al Schneider.

The members of Hollywood’s world-famous Magic Castle and the Academy of Magical Arts have honored Suzanne by choosing her as Close-Up Magician of the Year for 2010.  The award ceremony was held on April 10, 2011 at the Avalon Theater in Hollywood. Suzanne is the first woman magician ever to be nominated for this award, and also the first to win it.

She has recently been on the cover of two international magic magazines.


Suzanne the Magician
Suzanne on the cover of Genii

Suzanne’s website is:

You can see video of Suzanne’s magic here:

School for Scoundrels at the Magic Castle:

Pop Haydn

Pop Haydn

School for Scoundrels at the Magic Castle in Hollywood will begin on Sunday, November 6, and continue on Nov 13, 20, 27, and also on Mondays, November 7, 14, 21, 28. School for Scoundrels is a course taught at the Magic Castle every November since 1996.

Pop Haydn and Chef Anton (two-time national trick-shot champion at pool), teach the class together.

The course attracts lawyers and law-enforcement personnel, as well as magicians, students of gambling and history, and many who just find the subject fascinating–you don’t need to be a member of the Magic Castle to sign up for this course, and no previous knowledge or skills are required.

The course is $160 for the eight hours–two hours a night, once a week, for four weeks.

You can switch nights from Monday to Sunday or vice-versa–each week the same lesson is taught on both Sun and Mon at 7:00 pm.

This course teaches the basic sleight of hand, psychology, history and importance to magic of the three basic street swindles: Three-Card Monte, the Shell Game, and the various games of Fast and Loose.

We believe that the street hustler makes a better role-model for the modern close-up magician than the card cheat which has been the model since the turn of the century.

We believe that street hustlers have much to teach that is of huge benefit to magicians, especially those who work corporate walk around, trade-shows, or private parties where they need to gather a crowd, hold their attention, control their thinking, and get them to do what they want them to do.

Contact Magic University, and talk to Mark or Nani Wilson at (800) 367-8749 to sign up for the course. $160 for all four nights.

Cards to Pocket:

This is from a performance in the Close-Up Gallery at the Magic Castle in 2007. This is my Cards to Pocket routine, a card trick I have been doing since about 1985. The ending was inspired by a magic move of Johnny Paul’s, where he vanishes the deck and then pulls it out of his waistband, fanned.


Air Force Magic Surprise:

I found this video of one of my published routines, The Chicago Surprise, being performed by an Airforce Staff Sergeant.

I thought he did a great job, and I complimented him on it. Here is his reply:

“My name is Wilder Rua I’m 31 years old. I have been loving magic since I was 12 and started practicing when I was 17 and found a magic shop in my home town in New Jersey. I mainly enjoy close up to small parlour style of magic. I joined the air force in 2001 have been married twice and am still married.

“Plans are to start to do close up walkaround  professionally while still on active orders and continue full time when I retire the military.

“I started off with simple color Monte and easy to do effects and then I moved on to more advance books and vhs tapes. Art of astonishment was a big influence early in my life them moved on to more performance style books like Eugene burger.

“Some influences have been Paul Harris, Derek Dingle,  Larry Jennings, Pop Haydn, Doc Eason.

“Where a lot of magician tend to start with children magic, I have tried my best to avoid it. I find myself to be more of an adult performer kind of like Rich Morotta. I don’t have a character per se when I perform and find that it plays well for me to just be myself the magician. I have always gotten compliments for being that way. I have been told that it gives me better rapport with my audience. Ah, its a good thing in some ways and maybe hinder me in others cause I can’t do certain effects that rely a lot on being a specific type of person. Ie Ted Lesley or Rick Mauer where their bizzare magic and mentalism takes a specific style of performing.

“I have been in the Air Force since 2001 and have been stationed in Wyoming, Iceland, Montana and Texas.

“I reside in Texas as of right now and even though I am a military police officer by trade right now I work as a combat arms instructor.

“Magic has made of possible for me to speak to large crowds and has helped me relate to people. I use magic in my classes and pretty much any time I can.

“I hope to visit the Magic Castle one day just to see where many like yourself and other icons have performed.”

–Wilder Rua

Thanks for your service, Staff Sergeant Rua, and for doing such a nice job with my routine. Cheers!

A warning from Berlin Police:

Shell Game with Matchboxes. Barcelona

This is an interesting warning for tourists in several languages and cartoons about the dangers of playing the shell game:

Shell Game Berlin Police


The Intelligent Gambler:

“An intelligent man gambles because this is a means of surrendering himself and his fortunes to the fates before tasting his wits and nerve. He does this because it improves the flavor of living. Unless he can do this happily, and with grace, he is a loser whether he leaves the game a richer man or a poorer. Unless he can do this, he should not gamble at all.”

–Nick “The Greek” Dandalos

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