Rosoff's Restaurant in New York is the meeting place for some of America's most accomplished amateur magicians.
SV Magician demonstrating rabbit out of burning cannister (commentary begins at 9 2.7 14)
SV Magicians round table demonstrating sleight-of-hand tricks (2 shots)
SV&CU Magician putting knife through jacket witout making hole
SV Joe Barnett performs disappearing salt trick
SV Joe Barnett speaks...(2 shots)
SV ZOOM INTO CU Magician producing card from pack
"There are some restaurants where that wouldn't be a bad trick to know... even if the platter did look a little under done. This is Rosoff's, just off Times Square where one corner has been reserved for what has become known as the Magic Table. Every day of the week for nearly forty years these men have been gathering for lunch and an informal seminar on sleight of hand.
"There are only a handful of professionals in the magic business. This group counts a doctor, a lawyer, an accountant, an advertising salesman, newspaper reporter, an office manager and a personnel specialist in its number ... but each is an accomplished amateur magician. To get an adjacent table is to get a front row seat for an hour and a half of dazzling display... and if the eye is quick, even a secret or two is revealed. The magicians learn from each other. We talked with Joe Barnett, one of the founders of the group:
BARNETT: "You can't ask a magician how it's done. He can offer if he wants. You don't ask a magician, 'how to you do it.'
He can give it to you if he wants."
REPORTER: "Is it true that the most difficult trick here is making the waiter appear?"
BARNETT: "No, the most difficult trick is to pay the check."
REPORTER: "Out of town magicians are always welcome and the impromptu show seems to need a constant supply of volunteers from other tables in the dining room to pick a card...any card."
Initials ET/2029 ET/2041
This film is serviced with a commentary by TVN reporter Andy Macmillan. A transcript appears overleaf.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Rosoff's Restaurant in New York is the meeting place for some of America's most accomplished amateur magicians. A special corner is reserved for the prestidigitators... who have been gathering at the restaurant, every day of the week for almost 40 years.
Often, diners are called in to assist in the impromptu dinner show, which usually lasts about an hour and a half.
The magicians, who come from all over the United States, use the nightly meeting as a testing ground for new tricks. They also learn the odd new trick from their associates.