Cy Endfield-From “Zulu” to “Entertaining Card Magic”

My first mentor in card magic was the acclaimed movie director Cy Endfield.  Some of you my remember Cy Endfield from the film he directed, “Zulu”, which stared a very young Michael Cain.

How Cy Endfield came into my life is quite interesting, I first me him curtsey of Alan Alan.  I first met Alan Alan when I walked into his magic shop, “The Magic Spot”. This was in early 1978, which at that time was situated on Southampton Row in Holborn.  It was here that I purchased Cy  Endfield’s only book on card magic, appropriately titled, “Cy Endfield’s Entertaining Card Magic”.  At that time, I had no idea who he was out side of the world of magic, but I thought the world of his book.  It is one of the finest books ever written on the subject on card magic period.

Alan Alan would close his shop on a Saturday afternoon around 2 pm and together we would walk down to Valerie’s Patisserie in Old Compton Street.  It was here that I was first introduced to Cy Endfield.  Considering our huge age difference, (I was 14 years  old) I liked him immediately and we became friends right up to his death in 1995.

“Cy Endfield’s Entertaining Card Magic” is a book which receives very little attention in today’s world of card magic.  This book is right up there with “Close-up Card Magic” and “Dai Vernon’s Inner Secrets of Card Magic”.  This is the book that inspired me to learn The Side Steal and The Diagonal Palm Shift, not to mention many outstanding card routines.  Cy Endfield was famous for his story telling abilities and what sets his book apart from many others is the scripted presentations supplied with most of the tricks explained.  Cy Endfield inspired me to develop my presentations for card magic as much as the technical mastery required.  One of his great masterpieces is a wonderful routine known as “The Aces for Connoisseurs”.  This routine looks like trick photography, for those of you who have my DVD, “The Classic Magic of Michael Vincent” Volume 1 will see my performance under the title “Vincent ‘s Aces”.  However, the first routine I developed based on Cy Endfield’s routine was called “The Many Faces of a Woman.  The video performance below was shot live at The Magic Castle in 2003.

Cy Endfield was one of the great masters of card magic, he was friends with Bill Simon, Frank Simon, Dai Vernon, Lewis Ganson and Alan Alan.  His legacy and contribution to the craft of elegant card magic is solid and complete.  I am deeply indebted to his spirit of generosity, kindness and humanity.

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