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The Professional Touch
by Billy McComb


(4 customer ratings) ★★★★★

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The Professional Touch by Billy McComb

My oh my is this a great ebook! If you intend to earn a living doing magic or if you simply want to make your performances more professional then do yourself a favor and read and study this ebook. There are decades of experience bottled up in its wisdom. And on top of this it is fun to read.

The ebook starts with a superb introduction by Kirk Charles reproduced with kind permission of the Linking Ring. The ebook is edited and illustrated by David Britland with extra illustrations by JAT. And Martin Breese was the publisher. It was also Martin who recorded on tape Billy's recollections from which this book was largely created.

Billy McComb was one of the world's top cabaret magicians. He has worked all kinds of venues and performed all kinds of magic and in this ebook he shares some of his many experiences, thoughts and routines and describes how you too can give the professional touch to your act. Being a professional means thinking about your act in a commercial way. Here Billy deals with such points as misdirection, patter, close-up, opening effects, cabaret - in fact a wealth of information gained during his many years as a professional entertainer.

Billy touches on so many varied and interesting subjects connected with show business that it is impossible to list them here. We can promise you that reading about them will be an entertaining and educational experience. In addition to the tricks and routines explained in this ebook, Billy has also included complete descriptions of three cabaret routines used by him for many years. Every nuance of the performance is explained. Not just how you do it but, more importantly, why you do it.

A study of these three routines and their construction should pay dividends when applied to your own act. This is professional magic by one of our most entertaining professionals. Amongst the routines and effects described you will find The Nap Hand routine, the Ring on Stick and Billy's Bill in Lemon.

1st edition 1987; revised in 2003; digital edition 2010; 100 pages.

Table of Contents

  1. Contents
  2. Foreword
  3. Introduction

    William's Words of Wisdom

  4. What Are You Going to Wear?
  5. A Beginner's Tricks

    McComb on Patter

  6. Where the Patter Comes From
  7. Tape Recorders
  8. Timing and Pointing
  9. Keep It Clean
  10. Learning Your Patter
  11. Repetitive Gags
  12. Pinching Patter

    McComb on Misdirection

    McComb and the Professional Touch

  13. What Went Wrong?
  14. Signs of the Amateur
  15. Knowledge is the Key
  16. Working Out a Presentation
  17. The Rice Bowls
  18. William's Torn and Restored Newspaper
  19. William's Presentation Wand
  20. William's Fantastic Fez
  21. William's Hot Book
  22. William's Square Dancing
  23. William's Fizzling Firework
  24. The Eggs and Glasses Inertia Trick

    McComb on Close-Up

  25. Introduction
  26. Cigarette Through Handkerchief
  27. The Shrinking Napkin
  28. Challenge Silk Vanish
  29. Oliver Mackenzie's Drink Trick
  30. George Blake's Recurring Card
  31. Thought on the Pea Can
  32. The End

    McComb on Cruising

    McComb on Opening Effects

  33. The Six Card Repeat
  34. Golf Ball Through Handkerchief
  35. The Torn and Restored Airmail Letter
  36. Pat Page's Easy Money
  37. Leopard Silk
  38. Just Chance
  39. The Professor's Nightmare
  40. Invisible Card Trick
  41. Red and White Ropes

    McComb on Cabaret

  42. Be Bookable
  43. Dealing With Your Audience
  44. Humour
  45. Cleanliness
  46. Your Trademark Trick
  47. The Role of the Compère
  48. Get Organised
  49. Learn From Everyone
  50. Be Bold
  51. Cabaret Defined
  52. Contracts
  53. Travel Light
  54. Nerves
  55. Get Them to Relax
  56. Be Sneaky
  57. Salesmanship
  58. Heckler-Stoppers
  59. Please the Ladies
  60. What Is Right?
  61. Comments and Suggestions

    The Professional Nap Hand

  62. Requirements
  63. Preparation
  64. Presentation
  65. Playing the Hands
  66. Final Comments
  67. References for Further Reading

    The Professional Ring on Stick

  68. The Effect
  69. Introduction
  70. What You Need
  71. Preparation
  72. Presentation

    The Professional Bill in the Lemon

  73. The Effect
  74. Method
  75. Requirements
  76. Preparation
  77. Forcing the Lemon
  78. Switching the Bills
  79. Vanishing the Bill
  80. Cutting the Lemon
  81. Revealing the Bill
  82. Where Everything Is Placed
  83. Presentation
  84. Patter
  85. Conclusion

word count: 49221 which is equivalent to 196 standard pages of text