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A New Kind of Learning Experience

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Close-up Clinic
Class of 2004
Cincinnati, Ohio
March 14, 2004

  The night-before gathering was a private tour of Ken Klosterman's famed Salon de Magie. Here Jamy examines the contents of the "magic book" of the legendary Dr. Stanley Jaks

Jamy with Ken Klosterman, host of the remarkable Salon de Magie  

  Roberto and Jamy lead a joint session

Jamy performing at the Friday night public show  

  Roberto performs in the public show

We are all students when the guest "mystery" lecturer turns out to be legendary sleight-of-hand master, Harry Riser  

  Special guest lecturer Harry Riser performs his incredible Walnuts Trick on Saturday evening, where he also presented his distinctive versions of the Malini Egg Bag and the Linking Rings

Roberto Giobbi teaches a workshop  

  Card Clinic colleagues, Roberto Giobbi & Jamy Ian Swiss


        One of the greatest magical experiences I have ever had. Jamy Ian Swiss and Roberto Giobbi put on one hell of a show. We had a great group of people with a variety of skill levels, but the structure of this clinic is such that it appeals to all...that is, all that truly want to do something with their card magic other than copying the latest effect from the latest DVD. You can't ask for better teachers than Swiss and Giobbi. The thinking behind what they do is truly astounding. Lots of technical instruction for sure, and lots of late night sessions, but the real value that I came away with is the thinking behind their magic. I will never learn a new effect without incorporating what I learned during the last three days...and I've got a lot of old ones to redo.
        This is not like any convention or workshop I have ever attended. The hands-on work with Swiss and Giobbi over three days was THE experience. Didn't get much sleep, but sleep is overrated in this situation.
        Now for the obligatory cliches... I thought when I read other reports that it was a little overboard. "Change your life forever?" Come on! Did it? You BET it did! "Worth every penny?" ABSOLUTELY! I came away feeling that I got the better end of the deal by far.
        Value: Here's my take. OK, Jamy, I want you to meet me in Cincinnati and teach me for three days and I'll pay you $700. Oh, and out of that, I want you to tell Giobbi to fly over as well and teach me. Oh, and you have to pay him expenses and fees out of that $700 as well. Oh yeah, you have to pick up his hotel room. Oh, and one more thing...you have to take me out to dinner one night at a nice restaurant...no McDonald's. And I almost forgot, you have to call Harry Riser to come down as well, and pay his expenses and fees too. Oh, and you have to stay up as late as I want each night and help me with anything that comes to mind. Oh, and you and Roberto have to put on a formal show. DEAL???

Bill Evans
Springfield, Missouri

        The small group made it conducive to asking questions or having Jamy or Roberto come around and check your hand position while executing a certain move. On Friday there was a public show featuring Jamy and Roberto. The two styles of Mr. Swiss and Mr. Giobbi are quite different but make for a wonderful blend. They both performed amazingly and it was instructive to see some of the concepts talked about in the lecture - performed in front of a live audience.
        Every Card Clinic includes a guest lecturer. This year was Harry Riser, the man who was one of Charlie Miller's closest friends. The man that Dai Vernon said was of the best card men in the country. And boy, was he good! He started his lecture with his demo of Charlie Miller's second deal. At 75 years old, Mr. Riser did it damn near perfect. I was fortunate enough to be seated next to Mr. Riser for dinner and also for breakfast the next day. The stories he has of Miller, Vernon, Marlo, Schulien, Don Alan, were fascinating.
        There's also an opportunity for a student evaluation. If you want, you can perform a trick or routine and get valuable feedback from Jamy, Roberto and the group. Unlike other magic club evaluations, this was constructive and encouraging. I'm glad I took part.
        It goes without saying that one of the benefits of these get-togethers has to be the late night sessioning. Watching some seasoned professional and his finesse of a move, gaping in awe of some young buck doing knuckle busting moves. It's all good. I sat with Jamy for an hour and worked on my pass. An HOUR! Just he and I.
        If another Clinic is held, do your best to go. Anyone who cares about magic and cards in particular needs to be there. You hear it so often today, "Man, I wish I could have seen Vernon (or Marlo, or Miller, or Jennings, or Skinner, or whoever) perform." Well you can't because they're gone. I guarantee you that 40/50 years from now, people will be saying "Man, I wish I could have seen Swiss or Giobbi perform." Well I have and I've studied with them as well. And I truly believe my performance is better for it.

Jeff Eline
Finksburg, Maryland

        Card Clinic is an experience unlike any other. The Card Clinic slogan, "Three days that will change your magic... forever", is not advertising hype. Card Clinic is a true educational experience that will change your magic forever.
        Most magic instruction focuses only on the "how" of magic. Card Clinic also focuses on the "why" of magic. In baseball, you know an umpire is doing a good job when you don't notice him. You are there to watch the game, not the umpire. For an event like Card Clinic, you know it is well organized when you don't notice the logistical details. Everything went smoothly. That means a great deal of preparation and planning. Thanks for all the work that was required to make Card Clinic a successful event.
        An important benefit of Card Clinic is the camaraderie between the students. The small size of the group (limited to 20) creates an ideal environment. For the Cincinnati Card Clinic we had a great group of guys from all around the country. I hope to see them all again at future magic conventions.
        The most important ingredient to any educational experience is the teacher. Good teachers share their knowledge. Great teachers share their passion. Great teachers make you think. The influence of great teachers stays with you when the training is over. Jamy Ian Swiss and Roberto Giobbi are great teachers.
        Card Clinic exceeded my high expectations. Thanks to Jamy and Roberto, Card Clinic was a true educational experience that really has changed my magic forever. If you love card magic, you MUST attend Card Clinic. It should not matter where it is. In Cincinnati we had people from the North East, Mid-Atlantic, South, Midwest, and the West. Wherever the next Card Clinic is, get on a plane and go!

Joe Gallant
Somerville, Massachusetts

        Swiss and Giobbi are unbelievable! Card Clinic was a miraculous journey into the world of card magic. The staggering amount of knowledge transferred during the weekend was breathtaking. These guys really get it. Did it change my approach to magic? You bet it did! I would recommend this event to anyone and would attend again in a heartbeat. Throw away all that crap in your magic box and find out what real magic is all about.
        Giobbi is a true master. He fooled us time and time again. Roberto is a wonderful teacher with magnificent control and mastery over his magic. At one point I showed him a card force and he immediately repeated it back to me in his hands. He looked up and crinkled his nose and a little frown came over his mouth. Roberto looked me right in the eye and said, "It lacks clarity." He then explained why and offered several solutions that were, yes, better. The notion of clarity was a common theme through out the weekend. If you ever get a chance to see Roberto don't miss it. It is truly a wondrous experience.
        Swiss is the man. He tells it like it is. What else would you expect from Jamy. His passion for magic is extraordinary. Jamy is the type of steward magic needs. Magic is an art form, and it should demand from its performers the higher standards. Jamy is really a big teddy bear.
        Card Clinic is the real thing, period. Figure out how to attend. If you are passionate about your magic then these guys are the ticket. Jamy and Roberto, thank you so much for everything, I can't thank you enough.

Max Nelson
Charlotte, North Carolina

        What I liked best about Card Clinic is that nothing was held back. No matter what the question, it was answered honestly. It didn't matter whether the question was technical, conceptual, or theoretical. All information was shared freely. I was impressed that Roberto Giobbi was willing to share techniques that were not published anywhere. He could have held the information back. None of us would have faulted him, especially if it is part of his working repertoire. But he was willing to share. That is just a small example of the willingness to share that permeated the three days.
        What accolades can I say about Roberto and Jamy that have not already been said by those who attended? Their love of magic is both inspiring and infectious. It was really great to not only see their different styles of performing magic, but to see them practice the theories they preach. Roberto's style is that of a genteel, humorous man who will have you smiling throughout his performance. Jamy's style is faster, louder and hits you like a runaway subway train. Oh yeah, they are both masters of their craft and will fool you. Badly.
        To say we learned a lot at Card Clinic is an understatement. At times, I almost felt overwhelmed at the amount of excellent information being shared. But just as I felt my gray matter was reaching critical mass, it was time for a break. Maybe they saw the glazed look in my eyes. Or maybe it was the smoke coming from my pencil lead. Either way, the pacing of the clinic was excellent.
        Both Jamy and Roberto were approachable. I was not sure whether my skill level was appropriate for the event. Jamy assured me that it wasn't my skill level that was important, it was my passion for magic that mattered. It was that attitude, that openness to share the passion that made the difference.
        Good teachers not only teach, they inspire. They make you ask questions about not only yourself, but also of the status quo. Good teachers can instill their passion in you. They make you want to be a better. Thank you, Jamy and Roberto, for being good teachers.
        Card Clinic: Three days that will change your magic forever. Some might feel that is a very arrogant statement. In a genre based on deception, those are perhaps the most honest ten words in magic.

Christopher Moore
Chicago, Illinois

        Thank you again for all of your hard work on the Card Clinic in Cincinnati. The Clinic lectures and sessions were insightful and inspiring, providing a good balance between theory and technique. The social aspect of the Clinic was wonderful as well - the meals were superb and the company was delightful. It was also a thrill to meet Harry Riser, and to watch him perform some of his classic routines. Card Clinic certainly lives up to its promise: "Three days that will change your magic forever!"

Joe Hanosek
Columbus, Ohio

        The opportunity to spend quality time with two outstanding professional close-up artists was a real joy. Even though the two of you are quite different in many ways, your common love and respect for great magic is obvious and permeated the entire experience. For me, to be able to see fine magic performed, discussed and shared was perfect. I guess you really knew what you were talking about when you said "Three days that will change your magic forever." A great big sincere THANK-YOU to the two of you for your unselfish efforts to help me take my magic to a much higher level. You did your job well.

Jerry Levin
Cincinnati, Ohio

        The feature of Card Clinic that I liked the best was the variety of ways that the 3-day clinic kept its focus on cards. Too much of any one "style" could be lost on an individual, no matter how serious they are about the art. We were able to learn through tours, lectures, literature, guests, visuals, formal shows, impromptu shows, student shows, co-attendees sharing ideas, etc., etc. Over the few days after the clinic ended, I realized that I picked up valuable and practical card knowledge from virtually all of the forums.
        I think the balance between tricks, technique, performance tools and theory was great. I am pleased to tell you that there was not one component, or event, that I felt was overshadowing the others. There really was great balance.
        Card Clinic exceeded my expectations. In speaking with other attendees, it exceeded theirs as well. I wanted a focused serious and fun environment to learn more about card effects, theory, presentation and sleights. That's what I got. It was very educational for me to see the varying styles between Jamy and Roberto. You are both so polished and talented. Seeing the "ultimate end result" can only motivate a student to try and improve. I also learned much from the other students. Personally, I am not interested in the "mass" shows, conventions and gatherings. Your Clinic was right on the money for me. Thanks to you and Roberto for a memorable, and educational, time.

Michael Daniels
Potomac, Maryland