peter-galinskas

Peter Galinskas Discusses His Magic Secrets

A Talk with Peter Galinskas

Today on a special edition of the CC Podcast we present a conversation between Aaron Fisher and one of his earliest mentors, Baltimore magic legend Peter Galinskas who sadly passed away earlier this year. This wide ranging conversation was recorded in 2010.

 

Peter Galinskas Interview (Transcript Below)

Aaron Fisher:

Hi there. This is Aaron Fisher, and I am with you again here in Baltimore for a very special podcast with one of my oldest friends and the man who taught me much of what I know about card magic and UR days in particular. My good friend, Peter, Golinski say hi, Pete. Hi. Peter, we are here today because you agreed to tell us a little bit about my grandfather since you taught me quite a bit. I feel sometimes like you were my card magic dad at some point. Yes. And and a lot of those times I spend hearing about your dad and how it was in the old days. And that’s a lot of what we’re trying to sort of bring that same energy to these new days. Sure. And so I thought it might be fun if we could have a chat today with you about how you got into card magic or magic and card magic in particular and where it went from there. So we’re talking about how you met and studied with one of the greatest card handling magicians of all time. Mr. Frank Thompson. Now a lot of you don’t know very much about Frank Thompson because someone once told me he was like Edward Marlow, but with nothing in print he has a few items in print that you may be familiar with. Yes. What were they?

Peter Galinskas:

Well, it’s the cold deck, of

Aaron Fisher:

Course, the cold deck manuscript,

Peter Galinskas:

The cold deck manuscript and the Thompson pass.

Aaron Fisher:

And these were both by reggae and the magical arts there up in, up in Boston mm-hmm <affirmative> but you didn’t know all that when you were a young man,

Peter Galinskas:

They, well, no. The the Thompson pass didn’t come out to 1981. Frank had long passed and the col deck came out the very same year that Frank Frank did pass, which was a 1976.

Aaron Fisher:

So how did you first come into contact or hear about Frank Thompson?

Peter Galinskas:

Well, that PR pretty much. Okay. Pretty much. I, I talked dad and mama did going out to get me a magic book. I seen some magicians on TV, seen some at school and I wanted to learn magic. So we got the Henry hay encyclopedia of magic. I studied it for two months. I said to dad, Hey, I wanna go to a magic store. He took me down to Phil’s odd enough. He, he knew a lot of the guys there never found out how or why dad knew a lot of these guys

Aaron Fisher:

Just to catch everybody up. Phils was the Yogi magic model, which in a recent podcast we were talking about with Denny Haney. Yes. Which was the hub of magic

Peter Galinskas:

AB Mecca of

Aaron Fisher:

Magicians. I would say the entire Mid-Atlantic right? Yes. Right. So up to New York, that

Peter Galinskas:

Was it. You had, you had tans. Okay. Then. And you had cans in in, in PA and here you had Phil Thomas’s and down in DC, you had yeah. ALS.

Aaron Fisher:

Okay. So you didn’t know how your parents knew or what, but what

Peter Galinskas:

Happened? No. Well, I was taken in and introduced to Phil by my dad. And so it was very impressed with all the knowledge that I knew from the cyclopedia of magic and sold me. My very first trick was a Daniel dollar box from Owens. And

Aaron Fisher:

That was back when you can get something from Owens for a dollar, but we don’t have to get into that.

Peter Galinskas:

Yes, yes. And I, I didn’t want to do card tricks. I wanted to do billiard balls and this guy behind the counter named bill. He did a lot of very interesting card tricks. He talked me into I was like 13. He talked me into Royal road card magic. It was my very first card book. And two months later, Phil said he sat down with me and he wanted me to do the Royal road card magic. What do I, what did I learn? And I showed him everything I could do. And he said, I’ll sell you another book. And this is the time where information was tightly controlled. You had to prove yourself before you could get another book.

Aaron Fisher:

Wait, you mean that you eed into a magic store and this Phil Thomas Guy, this magic store owner would decide what you were allowed to

Peter Galinskas:

Purchase. Yes, yes, yes. What went further than that? And I didn’t even know it I’m just 13. Right? So I’m 13. He sells me my second book, which was expert at the cart table. <Inaudible>

Aaron Fisher:

That was your second book,

Peter Galinskas:

My second book.

Aaron Fisher:

So that was the book that whoever suggested

Peter Galinskas:

Phil Thomas,

Aaron Fisher:

Right?

Peter Galinskas:

Yes. And, and I, I went home and studied that and two months later he says, what do you think? And I said, this is better than Royal road. Oh my God.

Aaron Fisher:

And it began to nod at you. Yeah.

Peter Galinskas:

Yeah. Well he, no, no. He said, well, I can’t start people out on that. It’s too hard. Don’t you think? And I said, yeah, it, it is. And I did a few things from it and he asked a few questions. He said, I’ve got the third book for you. I said, well, what’s that? And he says, hug and brow expert card technique. And those were the three books on cart magic that I, that I had. And pretty much that was what you were allowed to have UN unless you spoke personally to Frank Thompson, Cy Keller, or very rarely how he Schwartzman back in those days. And I, I met Cy Keller first. I was introduced to Frank Thompson and then how he wondered him one day and I, I met him.

Aaron Fisher:

And of course, just for the record, again, of, of all of these three men, these three wise men, yes. The only one that can ever be seen drawing breath these days out and about is how Schwartzman it’s Howard Schwartzman. Yeah. But and of course by the time I was around, before I met you, I knew who, how Schwartzman was. I saw how he do his top Palm when I was just a, you know, a few years before that. And so I knew at that point he was an expert and he was just really, this was a time when giants walked the earth.

Peter Galinskas:

Huh? Oh, yes, yes. And now there was also something that, that Phil had that was very unique is called the back room and the back room you couldn’t go back there without Phil’s permission. It had antique magic antique books. And it was also Phil’s personal collection. Collections were back there and it had a table with three shares

Aaron Fisher:

Where his friends were when he was working

Peter Galinskas:

Out for. And yeah. And, and while back there generally was a guy named George Motz and George would sit back there with a cigar. Dad knew him well, and he would cut stripper decks. He would cut the Bengali deck for Phil. And he did one of the damnedest tine soaks. You could possibly imagine, this is the day before there was microscopic Fred. This was real where, where the real thread like black thread hundred, hundred thousand times thick. And you could see it unless you control the lighting. And George Motz. He was an old bilion. He did really good magic in this aspect, but no cards and per se. And I was very interested in cards, but I wanted to learn pass, and I wanted to learn the bottom deal

Aaron Fisher:

And, and who can blame a young man for wanting to learn to pass

Peter Galinskas:

Bottom deals. But, and Phil was like, no, I can’t sell you more information than you have. You know, that’s it. And I was in the back room one day. And at this point, Frank Thompson would do nothing. And SI was the guy doing, you know, side steels and things like this wonders thing.

Aaron Fisher:

They were actually named after SI. That’s why they were called the size steel size steels. And

Peter Galinskas:

One day they came to the back

Aaron Fisher:

Room. That almost sounds like he was not ethical. We didn’t mean to say size steels. No, no, no. We just wanna be clear about that

Peter Galinskas:

Would be side stolen. So he Frank sat down at the table and size, sat down the table. I was hanging in, in that I was the fly on the wall, you know, I didn’t say word. I was about 15. So I’ve been doing this a couple years and you know, one with the other guys, you know, like Phish, you know, the three of us used to hang around together in the past. And then there was Lee, there was Kenny, there was Don, there was Mickey. We all wanted more information, but we didn’t know who to go to. They were trying to let us, I was being,

Aaron Fisher:

Oh, you being hanging out with your old friends, right?

Peter Galinskas:

Yes. Yes. And I was, I was trying not to be a kid show for

Aaron Fisher:

You were trying to distinguish yourself from those other fellows, perhaps.

Peter Galinskas:

Yes. Yes. They, they were doing kid shows. They were doing mentalism. I didn’t want to perform, I just wanted to do cards, but I seen Frank and side do something I never seen before they pulled out cards. All of a sudden everything changed. I assume Frank shuffle and it was distinct. And he, he was from Boston. So he had this very thick Boish cant slang talk and he had a big,

Aaron Fisher:

Like selfie,

Peter Galinskas:

A big smelly cigar. Yeah. And Cy teller, you know, had a big smelly cigar. And they were talking about UASE, but it was at a level that was like way beyond what I I’d read it four times. Come on. I, I knew the book, but I didn’t know it, like, they knew it.

Aaron Fisher:

They knew about the illustrations. They,

Peter Galinskas:

They knew about everything. Right. And, and,

Aaron Fisher:

And how many times certain word would appear, appear?

Peter Galinskas:

Yes.

Aaron Fisher:

On what page?

Peter Galinskas:

Well, not just that they both knew Vernon, so they, they were talking in the aspects of Vernon.

Aaron Fisher:

And did, and how’d they feel about Vernon? Was he their professor?

Peter Galinskas:

Well,

Aaron Fisher:

Or was he a talented guy that, that

Peter Galinskas:

They knew? I would, I would say, well, Frank was very Frank knew Vernon personally. And he was very fond of dive Vernon. He was very, very fond of dive

Aaron Fisher:

Vernon. Good card guy,

Peter Galinskas:

Good card guy. Right? Good card guard technician.

Aaron Fisher:

He used to tell me that he was very fond of the way Vernon did executed moves in and of themselves. He thought he moves. Perfect.

Peter Galinskas:

Yeah. Yes. Yes. Very, very slight. Yes. Very, very perfect. And so I knew there was something there. These guys had it. So I made up my mind wherever I knew where, so like, if you listen, you’ll hear stuff. So I listened. They would be a such and such lecture. I went to that

Aaron Fisher:

Lecture and they never asked you to leave. No. Right?

Peter Galinskas:

No, because it was so heavy and intense that you would leave. My other buddies would leave. I’m like, why are you leaving?

Aaron Fisher:

This is they’re, they’re letting it out.

Peter Galinskas:

They they’re talking. Right. And I would follow them to lectures. They would say, Frank, I’m going to such and such lecture and go, okay, boom. They’re there. And then Dante well, Dini men, you never, probably ever heard of. I, I might have talked about it very rarely. He was Harry Houdini’s assistant in the 1924 Houdini illusion show. He was like, our Gandolph, you know, he was whizzed. He had this long gray hair, this long gray beard. And he was an old Valion and he sat down with me one day I’m 16. And he says that’s all you’re gonna do. Is it? And I said, yeah, he says, you don’t wanna perform you. I said, no. He says, you’re not gonna go any further. I said, what do you, what do you mean Vince?

Aaron Fisher:

I’m at the end, bro. He,

Peter Galinskas:

He says, he says, you need a teacher. He says, you don’t get a teacher. You’ll never, I says, I don’t care. How many books you read. You’re never going to go further. You need a teacher. And I said, okay. And he says, I would teach you, but you don’t wanna perform. And I only want to teach you if you wanna perform. And then he thought he put his, he did this, he put his, his finger for finger up to his nose. And he says, there is somebody here, but he hasn’t taught in 10 years. It’s not my place to say. And,

Aaron Fisher:

But let me look into the matter for you.

Peter Galinskas:

And, and then he looked back at me and, and he says, I’m sure you’ll find him. And that was all

Aaron Fisher:

He said, that was all he said,

Peter Galinskas:

I went down 50 miles from here to ALS magic shop. I was hanging down there about oh four times a year, something like that. And I went down there and I asked about a teacher and they said, well, why should we teach you? When do you have Frank Thompson?

Aaron Fisher:

That’s what they set it out on out.

Peter Galinskas:

They said, why should we teach? You got Frank. I said, Frank teaches. They said, well, he has it taught in 10

Aaron Fisher:

Years. And you went

Peter Galinskas:

AHHA and, and I, okay. So I gotta talk

Aaron Fisher:

To Frank. Did you figure out that they’d were talking about the same guy or did, or did you already this whole time really

Peter Galinskas:

Know? No, no, no. I had no idea. So, I mean, look, Frank Thompson at this point, I I’ve never seen him do anything substantial except that one time.

Aaron Fisher:

But you did know when he shuffled those cards that it was distinct.

Peter Galinskas:

He was starting to do ACE tricks in front of me. He was starting to do ACE assemblies in front of me. I was starting to see his variations of what I would later learn as the gum move and, and you know, I would see the cards popping out. I would see all of this stuff. I didn’t know

Aaron Fisher:

What it was. The gum move.

Peter Galinskas:

Yeah. The Gumbar, the Gumbar move.

Aaron Fisher:

We okay.

Peter Galinskas:

Okay. Yeah. You know, that’s where the card reverses and the deck from the pitch.

Aaron Fisher:

Sure, sure, sure.

Peter Galinskas:

Okay. By James

Aaron Fisher:

Gum, I’ve seen a lot of variance of it in Herman shifts and various Chicago style manuscripts. Yes. Sure, sure.

Peter Galinskas:

Melo had some stuff on that.

Aaron Fisher:

In any

Peter Galinskas:

Case, in, in any case, I started seeing that didn’t realize what I was seeing finally I, I called Frank up

Aaron Fisher:

On

Peter Galinskas:

The telephone and, and well, see, we don’t have enough time to go onto how I dared myself to the old

Aaron Fisher:

Man, but it is fair to say that you applied him with all sorts of 

Peter Galinskas:

Well I’m 16. And at 16, I had already had a secret that I’d seen in the back room. I kept it to myself. I practiced it by myself. And Frank and I talked about it and the, but the words were not to show it to anyone.

Aaron Fisher:

And they did tell you

Peter Galinskas:

Don’t show this to anyone because you don’t

Aaron Fisher:

Show, this are really careful, you know, to give a child an apprentice yes. Or perspective apprentice perspective, a a little secret, you know, to see because they can’t keep it to themselves for long. You know? And especially in these days over the internet, if you give someone a little trust, yes, yes. They won’t be able to help themselves.

Peter Galinskas:

But, and in being given that trust, then you prove yourself by keeping the trust. Right. So I, I called him up and I said, you know, I’m, I’m, I’m Peter. And he goes, I know who you are. I, I said, well, you know about lessons. He says, he says, sure, I’ll teach you. I said, really? And he goes, yeah. And then he told me it was $250.

Aaron Fisher:

How much money would you say that was?

Peter Galinskas:

It’s a th yeah. A thousand dollars nowadays. Right. But he didn’t say how many lessons. He just said $250. I said, I don’t have that kind of money. He says, will you call me when you do hung the phone up? Now I would still see him at to club meetings. I would still, I would still

Aaron Fisher:

Hang around and would he behave in the same way? And

Peter Galinskas:

It was no difference in change. And in fact, we didn’t talk about anything, but I stopped buying everything. I started saving my money. It took me a year and a half to save $250 up. I did chores. I did almost anything I could possibly do to earn 50 cents here. 75 cents here, $5 here. I finally had all the money together and I called Frank up and I said, I’ve got the money. And he says, good, let’s start. And

Aaron Fisher:

That’s a start.

Peter Galinskas:

Let you, we start. That’s how we start.

Aaron Fisher:

Or did he say that’s a start or let’s start, that’s

Peter Galinskas:

Start. All right. Okay. That’s start. And I had my very first lesson. It was in August and of 1972. I’d already known Frank since around 19 67, 19 68. And

Aaron Fisher:

So you’re already six years older. You’re already an older adolescent. You’re

Peter Galinskas:

Nearly 18 years old. I’m I’m like 18. Okay. And I’m at the time for me to register for the draft. And at the time you registered for the draft, you went to Vietnam. So that was the, the time period that we’re looking at here. And I, Frank never even told me it’s 10 lessons. He, he didn’t say anything. And the lessons were as long as like hours, you know, hours and hours long.

Aaron Fisher:

So it was a curricula.

Peter Galinskas:

He had it

Aaron Fisher:

Planned. He knew the beginning and the ending,

Peter Galinskas:

He knew the beginning. He knew where he wanted to take me. But before this, Phil said, I noticed you’ve been not buying anything. I said, yeah, I’m saving for lessons. He goes, really? He says, that’s a good thing. You really need lessons. He said, who, who are you gonna have as your teacher? I said, Frank Thompson. And he, his face, his mouth dropped his eyes open. He said he hasn’t taught in 10 years. And, and of course

Aaron Fisher:

Sounding a little bit like a Clint Eastwood movie, the latter era, Clint Eastwood movie,

Peter Galinskas:

You know,

Aaron Fisher:

That’s very much very samurai movie.

Peter Galinskas:

And, and and part of this of course is because of the shared secret that, that I had with Frank, that perhaps we might go into at another time, but it was because I’d earned his respect. I earned his respect, my God, that he decided I would be the one in ten first time in

Aaron Fisher:

To bring him out of retirement. 10.

Peter Galinskas:

Yes. Yes, exactly. So consequentially, I took the lessons.

Aaron Fisher:

Would it be fair to say you became at that point at some point, I mean, you went through this, you were a student, you learned a great deal about magic, but at some point I think your relationship deepened,

Peter Galinskas:

Well, Frank found out almost a month after I’d took lessons that he was dying

Aaron Fisher:

A month after you started.

Peter Galinskas:

Yes. Well, no, no. After you completed, I finished, I break finished. I finished around October. He found out in November that he was dying from Harry leukemia and it was in December. He, he said, I want you to bring your mom over to the house. Cuz I took all the lessons at Frank’s house. And he said he talked to my mom and he said, you know, I I’m sure you’re worried about your son. Aren’t you worried about your son? And she goes, yeah. She, she says, I’m worried that he might hang out with those guys at the corner and you know, getting the bad things he says, yeah, you could hang with the wrong people. He says, I’ll tell you what

Aaron Fisher:

The wrong crowd,

Peter Galinskas:

The wrong crowd. He says, me and the boys, okay. Would, would look out for him and make sure he doesn’t hang with the wrong people. If he’d make me, you know, his guardian unofficially, you know, make me look his,

Aaron Fisher:

He would daycare. Look after you, after the

Peter Galinskas:

School, I would become Frank Thompson’s ward.

Aaron Fisher:

So if you were out, she knew where you were.

Peter Galinskas:

I was with Frank. Okay. I was with Frank and consequentially. From there, Frank became impressed with my note taking skills, my memory, which I like to get into in a little bit of Frank Thompson’s memory. And it was just a short skip and a hop within a year’s time. All of a sudden we go from spending two days a week together to I’m hanging with Frank, literally 10 hours, almost every single school day. My schoolwork was always done. And

Aaron Fisher:

Is it fair for me to say at this point that it took me bit by surprise the first day we hung out and I need you to talk about card tricks. Yes. And I’ll still remember. Yes. I’d never done this before. No. Yeah. I was at a McDonald’s. Yes.

Remember this. And and it’s fair to say, Pete didn’t show me any magic. Yes. But which confounded me because I never met a person who knew so much about magic that didn’t want to do any. Yes. And, and at that age, such a thing was completely far into me. And and I sessioned with you at that McDonald’s yeah. You watched me do stuff. Dun

Peter Galinskas:

Dog avenue

Aaron Fisher:

For eight hours, 10 hours might be 10. It was a long day time, one time. So, and that’s where you started. That’s where you got thick in with Frank that way every, and that’s when the real learning downloading the, the Socratic. Yes. Every minute. Yes. Of questioning him, training your mind to think like a magician, you know, you have to get deep.

Peter Galinskas:

Well, let me Frank didn’t consider himself a magician and I don’t consider myself a magician. So I said to, I said to Frank, one day I’m two years into this now, and I’m an apprentice, but I made it Frank actually would start introducing me as his Protegen. So it went quickly from being an apprenticeship, into being a prototype where I’m, I’m being totally handled by Frank. And in that I said, Frank, what, what, what should we call ourselves? We’re not magicians. And he says, you’re right. He says, what you should call yourself is what I call myself. We’re press to designators. We’re slight of hand guys. Cause we do slight of hand. Right. And I said, yes, we do. And

Aaron Fisher:

That was that.

Peter Galinskas:

And that was that. So we were press,

Aaron Fisher:

But you know, they say Frank also had quite an astounding memory.

Peter Galinskas:

Well, you know, that is something that I, I was hoping to, to cover in that Frank Thompson was also very well known for his memorized deck.

Aaron Fisher:

And from about what year would you say that was? Oh,

Peter Galinskas:

Middle of the 1950s. I’d say 19 55, 19 56, 19 57. He was working on what he would call his Magnus Opus in the memorized deck work would be the master deck.

Aaron Fisher:

And you know, when I finally became aware of the Maestro Tamariz yes. Finest card magician in the universe. This is very

Peter Galinskas:

Good.

Aaron Fisher:

I definitely, when M came out, yes. Having been familiar with all of that early, early stuff a little bit, I was very interested to find out how many of those, you know, concepts appeared in monic. And what really always struck me about it was how widely different it all was. Juan’s material, wasn’t the same material. This was a whole different universe of material,

Peter Galinskas:

Universe, different universe. And, but,

Aaron Fisher:

Which is just important for the folks to be

Peter Galinskas:

Contextually, but, but contextually also structure. Right. Okay. Juan’s I seen, I’ve looked at harmonic and I’ll say, it’s beautiful. It’s a glorious thing. But it, it reminds me in, in the same context of Frank’s in that it was it’s heavily structured, but highly flexible. So, you know, Frank’s master deck, which by the way, I, I would hear Frank say, well, it’s 85 hours, 47 minutes and 37 seconds long. And he would say this over and over again. And I finally, one day I said, I said, Frank, this is a load of bull shy. I think, come on. How could it be? He says, he says, well, it was timed. I said, how could it be timed? I said, you know, he not gonna be Thai. I said, he said, well, I went to a convention. It was so frigging boring that I decided to set up a card

Aaron Fisher:

Table ties haven’t changed.

Peter Galinskas:

And <laugh>, he says it was so boring. I set up a card table in the room. He says, and I started doing the master deck and I did it until the convention was over. And it was 85 hours, 47 minutes and 37 seconds. And, and he says, I, he says, I was hoping the convention was longer because I had more materially set. So I questioned this. I’m like, I’m like calm one. I seen him do little pieces of it. And one of the first things I remember him doing at the Yogi meetings these were you know, 10 meetings during the year, never during the summer, they went home for hours. I would get there at 10 o’clock. You wouldn’t leave until around midnight. And then you would go hang out in the restaurants, in the bars. And it was at all. It was like almost a 24 hour Smule of magic for, you know, every month and the guys would bring your wives, they’d bring your kids.

Peter Galinskas:

It was a big social event. There was food. People would take turns at, at the food. Frank would be there and do nothing. And finally, one day, first time I ever seen Frank do anything ever. I said, Mr. Thompson, he goes, yeah, yeah, kid. I said, would, would you please do a, a trick for me? And I goes, oh, sure. He took out the stack of cards and he says, name any card in the deck. I said, king of hearts. He says, all right, safe stop. And I said, stop. It was the king of hearts. And then he proceeded to cut to the other Kings, all standing up no table. And he says, name another card, two diamonds. These are the cards I named. I remember this. And then he started cutting to that. Then he took the deck, put it away and he says, that’s it just walked away from it. That was the master deck. Now in, in the, the master deck.

Aaron Fisher:

Certainly that was the master deck

Peter Galinskas:

Routine. Yeah. The opening part of the routine, which could go a half an hour long. He did effects with addition, subtraction and multiplication. Yes. I mean, he used the numbers to do addition tricks and subtraction tricks. He

Aaron Fisher:

Did name one name. Another one. If I add, I multiplied band, there’s

Peter Galinskas:

The one you’re thinking of in band band. No, no, no, not even. It was, it was math humor,

Aaron Fisher:

Right? The slide rule

Peter Galinskas:

Bits. Yeah, yeah, yeah. He did slide ruler bits. He did lag rhythms in this. He did differential equations in this and he did calculus as well as algebra chicks. And I’ll tell you who I thought founded the funniest is during, I think it was the 1975 session with Elms Lee

Aaron Fisher:

During the da act

Peter Galinskas:

I was present. I was

Aaron Fisher:

Present. Next time we talk, we’ll ask you to tell your Elms Lee story,

Peter Galinskas:

But I was present at that session and Elms Lee actually chuckled during the math. Right. But that’s all he, that’s what Frank was known for the master deck. And this stuff was what he was known for. So

Aaron Fisher:

To be really interested in this kind of stuff, all for its own self, you’d have to have an incredible interest in cards. Yes. Slight of hand. Yes. Magic. Yes. And mathematics and a fair amount of memory.

Peter Galinskas:

And well, let me give you a clue about the memory. If any of you say get a download on the Cincinnati kit Steve, Steve McQueen, Steve McQueen does a real cute trick in there where he ribbon spreads the cards on the table, flips them over and a guy pulls a card and he tells him what the card is. Frank Thompson could do that from a shuffle deck. For real. I’ve seen him do it hundreds of times, he, his memory, which is called flash memory, it was an Insta. He, part of it was genetic. It was born. But then Frank studied every single memory system. There was that all predate, Harry Lorraine and consequentially. He augmented this huge natural memory he had along with the memory system that he called flash. And, and literally he, he would, he would gag guys at conventions. You know, how guys would do tricks with oh, key cards and they have to run through the deck. You have to find, find, you know, where the, and as they’re doing that, his memorizing the cards,

Aaron Fisher:

Right. So they’d be looking for their key cards. They’re looking 26

Peter Galinskas:

Memorized his memorized, 52 cards, the

Aaron Fisher:

Whole deck, assuming that they were getting the

Peter Galinskas:

Card, the end of the deck. Yes. But he says, you gotta pick your suckers.

Aaron Fisher:

Of course you do.

Peter Galinskas:

Okay. You pick the pigeon. So, so and then, then you have the entire deck and all you have to do is say, Hey, Harry, you, after they finished it. Yeah. Yeah. Frank, can, can I have that car, that deck for a minute? Yeah, sure. And now Frank will do a couple slight of hand things and then his launch into the memorized deck stuff, which he couldn’t possibly have done is from a shuffle deck. It get key card stuff.

Aaron Fisher:

Well, and, and at that point it does start to feel a little bit like hanging out with Juan. I will tell you when you start to get into some of that stuff, mm-hmm <affirmative> of course you’re gonna be heading into the main avenues yes. Of, of where the serious wonderful things happen. Yes, yes. But and I know because we’ve done it for years. You and I, that we could literally tell Frank Thompson stories. I could listen to them for another 20 years. Hopefully we’ll get some good responses from this for starters, because I would, that would be nice. I would like to hear what people are interested, what they found interesting about this, what what’s upsetting, what’s inspiring. What are the questions I’d be so curious. And of course you guys might have guessed. You can ask all the questions you want of old Pete, but he likes to choose the one he answers beforehand.

Peter Galinskas:

I’m an extremely secretive person.

Aaron Fisher:

Yeah, there it is. So if we were gonna leave these folks with something, for them to be thinking about moving forward, it might be about what you learned from Frank about the process of learning magic, studying magic, what it’s like to be an apprentice to a real master in magic. What can you tell us?

Peter Galinskas:

Well, Frank was extremely, I’m gonna tell you a story that happened. It was right after the Alex Hunley lecture and I was

Aaron Fisher:

Able to, this is the dazzle lecture. This was the dazzle lecture. You guys can look that up if you’re ready.

Peter Galinskas:

And, and, and we went there with how Schwartzman, it was another student and myself, and we all went now after it was all over after it was all said and done, couple days later, I went over to Frank’s and we sessioned. And now at this point, I’m already a Protegen and Frank talked obsessively about umms. Lee’s thinking it wasn’t, Hey, how can we vary this? Or how can we improve this? Nothing like that was, was being discussed. It was the, the thinking umms Lee has behind us, Frank was very interested in the thought behi, very Marlow que in the aspects of what’s the thought that went into this, how was the thought of the thought that came up to the process of creating?

Aaron Fisher:

What was the problem? What, what were the problems, how did he go about solving them? Why did he solve them in that way? Yes, very

Peter Galinskas:

Much a puzzle man. Very much the 

Aaron Fisher:

And I will say for the, for the rest of you kids who are more like me, perhaps that you’re interested in these things, but especially from the standpoint of how they can influence and inform your magic method does inform effect. Yes. Conditions can count. Yes. Now it’s true with a lot of problems that someone like Marlow may have wanted to solve mechanically. Yes, we can in performance, solve with performance and with all those wonderful other abilities that performance and real audience members give us in terms of misdirection focus and the effect itself. Yes. But the extent to which your understanding of construction all by itself is, is highly evolved.

Peter Galinskas:

Yes.

Aaron Fisher:

The more value you can get out of each and every one of these concepts, because your, your concepts alone, the very structure of your effects, mechanically mm-hmm <affirmative> is sound and perfect. Yes. And can allow you there to begin to ladle all these other wonderful techniques on top

Peter Galinskas:

It’s very well

Aaron Fisher:

Play. And so, as an apprentice, you learned how to think

Peter Galinskas:

I was being showed in a structured fashion, how Frank Thompson thought mm-hmm <affirmative>. And with the, with the hopes of course, that as things progress that I would have at least a structure that I could depend on, that I could compare things to it’s like mathematics, if you’re heavily into mathematics, you’re heavily into structure.

Aaron Fisher:

Mm-Hmm <affirmative>. But, you know, and I will say, I got to spend a few years with you. Yes. And we still chat quite a bit sometimes. Well, you know how it is when you’re a grown fellow working and traveling around whenever I know, but whenever I’m home and hanging out in the evenings, we do like to catch up. And mm-hmm, <affirmative>, it’s interesting to hear what a, a fellow from your time and you, yourself thinks of all the internet circus happening out there. And I know how many times you’ve lamented to me that you worry that the kids on the internet yes. Are getting lost in, in, in all that information. Yes. And how important it is. We’ve talked about for people to pay attention and look for the authenticity. Look for those few voices, because it really just still is, it’s been a few voices

Peter Galinskas:

Crying out in the wilderness,

Aaron Fisher:

But the good news is the internet makes it possible for you to find them.

Peter Galinskas:

Yes.

Aaron Fisher:

So the idea is to find mentor yes, or mentors who can help you begin to learn how that structure works so that you can have a real taste. What I like to call, what they taught me in the art school is a taste for good magic. Cause that unless you can recognize that you’ll never be able to make any, well,

Peter Galinskas:

Let me try to expose the, in this juxtaposition of thought. I understand exactly what you say. Sure. I agree with you. Totally. However, let me use an acknowledge of star wars, FY a

Aaron Fisher:

Excellent very quickly. I think some of our students and friends may appreciate that analogy.

Peter Galinskas:

Yeah. Well, I, I love star wars. I’ll star Trek. So I might be a bit old for

Aaron Fisher:

Some, well, you were the one that put me onto Joseph Campbell when I was a

Peter Galinskas:

Student. Oh, Joseph Campbell.

Aaron Fisher:

It’s another little reading list number for those

Peter Galinskas:

Perhaps. And, and you know, per, per, perhaps. So in, in the aspects of my day, yeah, there were no mentors. We, we didn’t call it mentorship. Right? You, you, didn’t a mentor today is not what we would’ve

Aaron Fisher:

No a mentor, someone at work who answers your questions sometimes,

Peter Galinskas:

You know, back in my day. Yeah. When I was a child, there were masters and there were apprentices much like in star wars, you have the master and you have the apprentice and you may not have more than that. They, the master might have more students, but he might only have one or two actual apprentices. And that, that was it. That’s what I, that’s the way I think that’s right. What I’m used to.

Aaron Fisher:

And so I guess what we can infer from that, as we say goodbye. Yes. Is that you need to cultivate a real relationship.

Peter Galinskas:

Yes. You do.

Aaron Fisher:

And the internet can in fact, really empower you to do so, but it won’t do it for you. You still have to call your shots. Yes, sure. Like the babe, yes. You still have to find out where, so, and so is gonna be at such and such an hour. Oh yeah. And you still have to contrive to connive to make a connection. Yes. Because at the end of the day there are secrets. Yes. And they are old and it’s amazing how many pages of books and DVDs can be filled with things that don’t necessarily address SUD secrets. Yeah. And the only way you can get them is in the old fashioned way, whether or not you use new fangled tools yes. To get there.

Peter Galinskas:

They’re just tools.

Aaron Fisher:

Wow. Well, I’ve learned a lot today and I’m sure want to thank you for, I mean, cuz look, maybe folks listening to this will never have any idea how hard it was to make this little story happen. But I, myself and thrilled that my friends and listeners got a chance to hear you. And I talk about magic. It’s a little bit of what it was like to be in your living room all those years ago. Yes. When I used to learn about <inaudible> from you and so send us a send us a question, send us a comment at Aaron Fisher card on Twitter, facebook.com/ Aaron Fisher. Of course you can always email me@aaronataaronfishermagic.com. And if you don’t have the double lift download that I put out, it’s pretty fun to listen to Pete laughing at me while I do my little plug here. You can go sign up for my mailing list at Aaron Fisher magic and you’ll get the free download lesson on the double lift. Drop us a question. Hopefully we can impress upon Pete how much we would enjoy to hear him. Tell us some more about Frank Thompson the next time. That’s it. Thanks a lot.

 

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