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Jono Blythe's Hocus Focus | Ed Marlo, the Master of Card Magic

Welcome, fellow magic enthusiasts, to another exciting edition of "Hocus Focus" on my blog! Today, I am thrilled to share with you the incredible journey and impact of a close-up magician who has profoundly influenced my performance style and continues to inspire me every day—Ed Marlo, the legendary master of card magic.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, on October 10, 1913, Ed Marlo dedicated his life to the art of magic, specialising in the captivating realm of card tricks. Renowned for his creativity and innovation, Marlo left an indelible mark on the world of magic, introducing a vast repertoire of card sleights and techniques that have forever transformed the face of card magic.

By Edward Marlo - Riffle Shuffle Systems. Self-published, 1959., Public Domain,

Marlo was not just an ordinary close-up magician; he was a true pioneer who pushed the boundaries of what was thought possible with a deck of cards. With his unparalleled skill and unmatched ingenuity, he contributed over 2000 tricks to the field of card magic. His creations continue to inspire and amaze magicians around the globe.

One of Marlo's most significant contributions was the introduction of the term "cardician." He used this word to refer to himself and other talented card magicians, highlighting the specialised nature of their craft. As someone who also specialises in card tricks, I resonate deeply with this term and the dedication it represents.

Marlo's impact extended beyond his incredible magic repertoire. He was a devoted teacher and mentor, sharing his knowledge and techniques with aspiring magicians. One of his notable students was Bill Malone, who himself became a highly respected close-up magician. Marlo's influence on future generations of magicians cannot be overstated.

While Marlo was known for his exceptional card magic, it is also intriguing to note that he wore a toupee. This unique characteristic adds an element of curiosity to his persona, reminding us that true magic lies not only in the tricks themselves but also in the art of presentation and performance.

In addition to his magical endeavours, Marlo possessed another remarkable skill—he was a skilled machinist. During his time working in various shops, he made modifications to machines that allowed him to work more efficiently. The unsuspecting management, unaware of these modifications, paid Marlo a full working wage, giving him extra time to dedicate to his beloved practice of card magic.

Marlo's love for the art of magic extended beyond performing and teaching; he also authored numerous books and magazines. With over sixty books to his name, including notable titles like "The Cardician" and "Revolutionary Card Technique," he ensured that his knowledge and expertise would be passed down through generations of magicians.

Interestingly, Marlo had a favourite card—the seven of diamonds. This choice speaks to the personal connection he felt with the symbolism and mystery of this particular card. It resonates with me as well, and it has become a favourite of mine, inspired by Marlo's affinity for it.

Ed Marlo was an exceptional magician who revolutionised the world of card magic. His creative genius, dedication, and passion continue to inspire magicians worldwide, myself included. As I delve into his vast repertoire, performing variations of his effects, I am reminded of the rich legacy he left behind.

Thank you for joining me on this magical journey as we explore the life and contributions of Ed Marlo, the master of card magic. Stay tuned for more enchanting tales and captivating insights in the world of magic on "Hocus Focus"!

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