The Lost Cheesy Notebooks: Volumes One And Two by Chad Long

Reviewed by Jamy Ian Swiss (originally published in Genii September, 2005)

From time to time one attends a convention, and a new name begins to circulate among the cognoscenti. "Did you see this kid, whatisname? Did you see that new move/routine? You gotta see this guy." Conversations of this nature were frequently exchanged at the third World Magic Summit early this summer (no, it wasn't in Africa). The name attached to those murmurings was that of Chad Long.

Chad Long is a young man from Daytona Beach, Florida, who does some wickedly good sleight of hand, and is a clever and original thinker as well. These two lecture manuscripts are, typical of the form, short on production but, atypically, long on value and content. Each contains nine items, plus about a page of general advice and thoughts. Volume One includes "Back & Forth," a clever and perhaps distant variant of Eddie Fechter's "I've Got a Surprise For You," utilizing specially printed cards with some surprising writing on them (the special cards are currently available from Doc Eason's Rocky Mountain Magic, @ 970 927 3197). While I'm not personally fond of cards with specially printed messages on them, I confess that this is a fast and funny sequence that's full of entertaining surprises (ignore the simplified version; do the real work or forget it. Or better yet, check out Scotty York's handling, which may soon be available from Eason.). Also in Volume One: a repeat Card Under Drink idea in which after an initial selection is left to remain beneath the glass, a second selection appears beneath the previous one; a fast and startling kicker for a coins across routine; two offbeat card control ideas; an impromptu bit with a wooden match that lights when merely touched to a matchbox; a nice routine in which an imaginary finger ring becomes visible on the performer's finger (recently reprinted in Magic magazine); and a very good sequence with a marking pen that any performer who asks spectators to sign playing cards could put to good use. Volume Two contains the vanish of a coin in a ball of fire; a four-card transformation technique; a funny and practical idea in which a rubber dart from a toy dart gun is shot at a tossed deck of cards, only to be found stuck to the selection (using a method vaguely reminiscent of "The Tong Wars" from a set of collaborative lecture notes I wrote in 1988 for Scott York and myself); a card revelation utilizing a close-up mat; an excellent and remarkably easy three-selection version of David Williamson's "Torn and Restored Transposition" (which in turn was an inadvertent variant of Bob Stencel's "Twice Torn: Once Restored") in which the third selection is located and then torn to pieces, which change into the (still torn) second selection, and are then restored into the third selection; a version of the John Cornelius Pen Through Anything in which the pen vanishes following the penetration of a paper napkin; and a cup-and-ball routine with a can of Play-Doh and Play-Doh balls. The material is worthwhile and in some cases downright spiffy, and no doubt only the first we will be hearing from Mr. Long.

8-1/2" x 7" saddle stitched; each volume has 20 pages; minimally illustrated with line drawings; 1994 and 1995, respectively; Published by Chad Long