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Dai Vernon

The Professor, Dai Vernon, is the single most important figure in the entire universe to ever exist in all of eternity, or at least very close. Not only did he present us with a vast number of innovations in technique, effect, theory, etc., he lived to be 98 years old meeting and interacting with nearly every other great magician and was able to pass on many of their great lessons and teaching to subsequent generations. For example, due to his association with Dr. Elliott, he learned, amongst other things, the great piece of advice, “Be natural and use your head.” He took this phrase and applied it to a lot of magic, improving it immensely, and also, passed it along to his students and had it in his writings. This is just one example of many, and we owe the Professor a great deal for all he has added to the art.

Although the Dai Vernon kept many of his secrets sub rosa for much of his life, the Professor changed his mind later on and, with the help of Lewis Ganson and Faucett Ross, among others, allowed many of his creations to be published in his various books. These include the Dai Vernon Book of Magic, the Inner Card Secrets books, the Vernon Chronicles, and, one of the crown jewels, Revelation, his study of Erdnase’s the Expert at the Card Table.

The fourth volume of the Vernon Chronicles included many of his reminiscences, and David Ben has written the first volume of an excellent biography for those that wish to learn more. Also, you should definitely study The Vernon Touch, a collection of his column in Genii magazine, and The Vernon Chronicles video series. They are about as close as you can get to spending time with this extraordinary gentleman.

4 Responses to Dai Vernon

  1. Unfortunately, in spite of his long life, Vernon was so secretive that his sleight of hand was not recorded on film, in any definitive manner, when he was at his peak. We have footage of Slydini and John Scarne, for instance, that gives us a good idea of their timing and technique, but there is very little for Vernon. How I would like to see footage of Vernon doing “Twisting the Aces” or “Triumph”!

  2. I would like to see more video of the professor in his prime via before his magic castle days. I know there is a lot of footage out there. The SAM video library has many videos with Vernon. More so than what has been downloaded on YouTube. Since he is considered the master of masters, it would really be nice to see Vernon before he was ancient and still able to preform up to his own standards. He was pretty hard on himself when he got to old to preform his material well, however even at his worst he was still better than a lot of people best.

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