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Seance book - Scott Davis
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The book SEANCE is the re-printed complete collection of all twelve SEANCE quarterly magazines devoted to spirit magic.
Here is an excerpt from the book's introduction, written by Eugene Burger:
Seance first appeared in 1988. As each new issue arrived, I was surprised at the amount of good material that was being contributed. Single effects, entire routines, plot ideas, old methodologies revisited (I loved the piece on the Nelson Enterprises' "Ghost Gun"), thoughts on theory and practice, and much more. The pages of Seance magazine are a gold mine filled with thought-provoking ideas for anyone interested in a magical engagement with ghosts and spirits.
... since 1991, barely a month has gone by without some magician asking about Seance magazine - and where copies might be found. They are extremely hard to find, and a complete file now sells for $200 and up! It was a great source of pleasure to me, therefore, when I learned that Richard Kaufman had acquired the rights to Seance magazine for republication. It is a wonderful journal filled with some magical treasures and I am happy that it will again see the light of day.
SEANCE, the book, has been re-printed and is now exclusively distributed by Murphy's Magic Supplies.
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A Wonderful Resource Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on October 10th, 2012
Seance is a collection of 12 magazines that were published between 1988 and 1991. In this book all 12 issues are reprinted and offered together without edit or modification.
There is a lot of information contained in those 12 issues. Not everything will be to your liking, and not all of it suited my style, but you will find ideas for effects (with methods), you will get articles related to history (for example: a wonderful article on the origin of the "Dr. Q Spirit Slates"), you will get tips on developing your routines and presentation, advise on handling spectators and more. Every aspect of performing a theatrical seance is touched on by various authors in one way or another. I can't imagine not finding something of value, no matter your personal style and taste.
If I try REALLY hard I can find maybe two things to critique, but they come down to my personal subjective taste. For example, there was way too much to do about Houdini and Houdini-themed seances. By the end I was thinking "If I read the name Houdini one more time I'm going to scream!" But that's just because my taste is obviously for something different, "presentation-ally" speaking. And even those articles always had something I could take from them. Another critique is that because the 12 magazines are reprinted without modification, the pages are numbered as such. For example, page 214 in the book might be numbered page 7 because it's issue #9, page 7 etc. That's a small inconvenience that really doesn't affect the experience. I just bring it up because I'm trying to find something to critique, which goes to say how good the book is.
Given how much I did find to interest me throughout the 12 magazines I can't give this book anything less than 5 stars. It was just chalk full of great information and ideas. If you're considering performing theatrical seances then this book will definitely have something that you will find of value: be it various ways to gimmick a candle, or how to build your own gimmicked spirit slates on a budget (and even more than one way to produce spirit slate effects with un-gimmicked slates), or how to deal with spectators, or history lessons etc. I can't imagine anyone being disappointed in this book.
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