Norman Beck is one of the most interesting guys you probably haven't heard of...unless you are into underground card magic...or an international bridge player. And add to that, he is a survivor of a brain tumor.
Norman Beck should be familiar to those who are regular readers of M.U.M. (the monthly journal of the S.A.M.). Or if you are a world class bridge player and rub shoulders with the likes of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, then you might have seen Norm. You might have met Norm if you have looked for some company to underwrite some high stakes game/event like a billion dollar hole-in-one contest. Or maybe you are a follower of "underground" magicians in the U.S. and recognize the name. But more than likely, you have never met nor even know the name and the sharp mind of the person behind it. A few short years ago, Norman had a brain tumor removed that was the size of a baseball, but he is still sharp and his speech is steadily improving.
For the most part, Norman keeps a pretty low profile and doesn't attend many magic conventions nor associate very much with magicians and he rarely lectures. It was on one of those rare occasions that Norman traveled through Houston to lecture and stay as a guest in my home.
Before the lecture we visited John Moehring who is in advanced stages of Parkinson's Disease. Although we didn't audio record our visit, I can say that it was delightful with lots of ideas shared as Norm showed John a couple new twists on some old classic card tricks (like Fred Kapps' "Homing Card") and I discussed posters and books. Although John's speech is greatly impaired, his mind is still sharp and we wish him the best.
If you want to drop John Moehring a message or note of encouragement, then please email him at: John@JohnMoehring.com or you can send traditional cards and letters to him at: Brookdale Shadowlake, 2835 Shadowlake Road, #2208, Houston, TX 77077
Thanks to Gary Plants, this video was made for John Moehring when he was the Guest of Honor at The 2014 Secret Session in Dallas, TX. By the way, TESS stands for "The Ed Sullivan Show".
In this podcast, Norm tells us lots of stories and he talks about some of the bizarre events that his company has underwritten; working in restaurants as a table-hopping magician and how he approached tables as well as his philosophy on taking tips; playing bridge with some of the most influential people in the world and what kind of card tricks fools bridge players...and which ones don't; his upcoming article in the June 2016 issue of MAGIC Magazine that has nothing to do with magic except how to be a successful performer as tipped to him by "Whispering" Bill Anderson, a country western singer; and along the way he delights us with lots of entertaining stories.
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Time stamps for trick reviews:
00:59:00 - "Canic" by Nicholas Lawrence - A soda can is one of the most commonly seen objects around the world. Imagine grabbing any unprepared soda can off any one and then ripping the tab off. You place the tab on your spectator's open palm, take the can, and tap it to the sitting tab in your spectator's hand. The tab instantly seals back on the can.
01:01:48 - "Blaze" by Tony and Jordan, Les French Twins - Create an amazing souvenir with the spectator's signed card.that is burned and singed.
01:06:49 - "The Magic of Suzanne" - The Castle Act , 2 DVD Set - Volume 1: Filmed live at The Magic Castle, you'll be captivated by the same show that consistently earns Suzanne standing ovations, and ultimately won her the prestigious award. Volume 2: Go behind the scenes with Suzanne and guest host, Matt Marcy, as they explain step-by-step how to perform some of the tricks from her award winning act.