Mr. X presents … is a series of manuscripts covering advanced card magic, coin magic, and mentalism (as well as some topics unrelated to magic).  Each manuscript will be available either for free or for a small fee ($2, $4, or $8), and can be purchased for download using PayPal.  For each manuscript, there will be a “public” version that can be downloaded for free.  The public versions will include enough of the text to get a sense of the contents, but all the secret information will be redacted.

For each sleight, effect, or routine described, I will cite the source or sources that influenced me, but the series will not go into detail on material otherwise found in fundamental sources.

In many cases, after developing a particular item, I have learned that it (or something essentially the same) was independently developed by someone else—sometimes before me, sometimes after me.  In such cases, I will cite those independent sources to ensure full credit is given to all creators.  And if you see something you have seen elsewhere that I have not credited, please let me know so I can update these materials accordingly.

In some books and videos, a magician will reference, but not explain, one or more of the building blocks for the technique, effect, or routine they are explaining when the building block is a previously published or marketed item. In some cases, the magician may explain the prior item, but only if they first obtained permission from the creator or publisher. I recognize and applaud this practice, but it also constrains the development of the magical arts. In particular, I am sure there are many individuals who have developed items over the years, including items that are variations, combinations, or simplifications of previously published techniques or effects of others, but who have refrained from publishing their material because they have insufficient time to do a complete write up, including obtaining permissions from others, and because an incomplete write up (i.e., that provides only the details of their precise variation, combination, or simplification) would seem of too limited interest to justify the use of the little free time they have.

Indeed, I have developed many items over the past years that I would like to contribute, but given other responsibilities, I have had little time to write them up, let alone seek and obtain permissions from others. That said, even for those with limited time, it makes sense as an ethical matter to avoid revealing the workings of another creator’s published item, at least while the item is relatively new and easily available.  In other cases, however, previously published items are neither new nor easily available. When such cases arise, I will attempt to briefly describe those items which are building blocks to my own variations, combinations, or simplifications, so that my contributions can at least make sense on their own.  Even then, however, I will cite the underlying source material and encourage you to track it down to have a complete understanding of the item in question.


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