William Osser Xavier Cook was a Canadian professional ice hockey right winger who played for the Saskatoon Crescents of the Western Canada Hockey League and the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League. A prolific scorer, Cook led the WCHL in goals twice and the NHL three times. He was named an all-star seven times between the two leagues. Known as "The Original Ranger", Cook was the first captain of the New York Rangers, scored the first goal in franchise history and led the team to two Stanley Cup championships. Turning to coaching following his playing career, Cook led the Cleveland Barons to two Calder Cup championships and the Minneapolis Millers to a United States Hockey League championship. He coached the New York Rangers during the 1951–52 NHL season until his retirement in 1953. Cook was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1952 and Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 1975.
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Hi there! I'm Bill Cook, and I'm a Professional Magician from Chicago. I was recently on the hit tv-show Penn & Teller Fool Us. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j13rXiNnpME&feature=youtu.be
I have performed all across the United States, been seen on every major television network in America, been on Italian TV, performed on stage in China, and have even performed for the blind.
Yes, this is my job. Yes, I get paid for it. Yes, I absolutely love everything about it.
Anything you've ever wanted to ask a magician, I am here to answer.
Go ahead, AMA!
Follow me on social media:
Edit: deleted link, he added video him self.
Thanks for doing this, you guys are always fun.
my question, I think you did the trick by having 4 stacks of cards divided by suit hidden on your person, than when they said the suit you know what spot to go to, then when they said the number you just count by feel to the card, and palm it to get ready for the reveal... I am correct, or close? The way Penn made it sound was like you had a plant, but that seems to easy... or is it?
Second question if I may, and this might sound mean, but I don't intend it to be that way. going into this did you expect to fool them, or was it mostly just for the exposure?
You are close... The method I used was streamlined, and thankfully, didn't require 4 suits. I can't comment on the rest of what you said due to magic secrets, and blah blah... ;-) But I will say you're pretty darn close.
As for Barbara... We are asked if we need volunteers, and if we do, we are given the option to either pick our own, or have one selected for us. I opted to pick my own helper.
15 minutes before we were to start filming, the producer and I stood behind the upstage right cameras, and he asked me "who do you want to pick?" I said "the lady who is kind of behind Teller." He said "In the dress?" I said "no, the one next to her. The one in the dress looks like she WANTS to be on TV, and that's not the kind of person I need to bring up." (lovely lady in the red dress, if you're reading this, I meant no offense by that, but.... I hope you understand...)
The show begins, I came out, looked around at the audience, greeted Penn and Teller, and commented on Penn's dramatic weight loss. That part was clearly edited out. Time to pick my volunteer... I actually picked Barbara twice. The first time, she came all the way up on to the stage, and we had to stop. The crew had to mic her. So, for continuity, they asked her to be re-seated (in full view of the audience), and I was asked to start again from "Folks, I do need the assistance of somebody in the audience...." And the rest is history.
I hope that doesn't ruin the slight veil of "tv-magic," but I can assure and promise you that I did not know Barbara before she stepped on stage with me.
I submitted 5 pieces to perform. This was the piece they selected. I don't know what P&T know, but I wasn't expecting to fool them. If you go in expecting one thing, you're going to be disappointed. I was thrilled with how it all came out though!
your spot was very enjoyable, Should of said this before but it was good, I like seeing feats of prestidigitation(I wanted to use that word) that are not just good tricks, but a good show, I think even if I was right, or knew how it was done before hand I would still like to see you preform, so kudos to you sir, some of the tricks I see baffle me, but just aren't entertaining.
the show over all makes me try to figure them out my self, some of the hints they give make it obvious, the ones that don't I try to not look up, because I think part of the fun is trying to figure it out. I think a lot of times I might think of a way it could be done, but not necessarily the way it was done.
If I can sneak in another question(s) here, do you study other performers tricks and try to figure them out? do you watch a lot of magic shows your self? one more, did you get any time to actually talk with Penn and teller, or did they just push you out for the performance then off the stage to never be seen again? ok, one last last question, and I understand if you can't answer all i'm asking, who is your favorite performer of magic?
Occam's Razor... All things being equal, the simplest explanation is usually the correct explanation.
I generally watch other performers in awe. I love magic. I love my art. I understand it, but can also turn off the little voice that screams "I know how that's done!"
I go to as many shows (magic or otherwise) as possible. I love watching performers interact with crowds. I try to learn what works, and what doesn't. I am a believer in pre-show stuff. I want to be the one to open the doors and let the people in. They're there to see me, after all. I want to welcome them into my world! I want to be the goofball taking selfies in the crowd, or clowning around. A lot of other performers frown on that because it ruins the "mystique" of the performer.
I say BS.
I still have not actually met Penn and/or Teller. The show all happened so fast, that there was no time. One day...
My favorite current performer is Mac King, Jeff McBride, David Copperfield, or Michael Carbonaro. Four very distinct performers, but four VERY talented individuals.
I know you! Have you ever revealed a trick to anyone or will you take your secrets to the grave?
To my close-circles, I have revealed stuff, but.... I try not to. It goes against the first two rules of Fight Club... I mean "Magic Club."
Now, if you hang out around a magician long enough, you may figure some stuff out.
What's your favorite trick that another magician performs?
How about your favorite to perform?
I'm a sucker for a good levitation. Also, if you can manipulate something, I appreciate the time and effort you've put into it.
My favorite piece of all time is probably turning dollars into hundred dollar bills. It ALWAYS gets a reaction.
what's your favorite pair of shoes you own?
I wear boots... They fit my fat feet. I prefer Ariat or Justins. Currently rockin Ariats.
Did you fool them?
I should have put the link in the description.... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j13rXiNnpME&feature=youtu.be
I did not, but Damn was it a cool experience!
nice. you got style.
Thanks! I just bought a pair of brown something-something from H&M, and I'm regretting it... Blisters.
Why do you think Teller's face is on the JTRIG slide 'Conjuring with information'??
Possibly due to his friendship with James Randi who is a known skeptic? Also, Teller is know to be the more magical-minded of Penn & Teller (not to say Penn isn't a genius in his own right). Perhaps that his knowledge of legerdemain is something that the British Government wants to keep an eye on?
For the record, I had to look up what you meant.
Still working demo at PJ's? Been quite a while since I've been in. Many fond memories of what was inside the unlabeled brown paper bag hanging on the wall behind the counter.
I'll be there tomorrow for a little bit in the morning.
You would like the little brown paper bag. ;-)
haha. Good times. Sadly it's a bit of a drive for me to get there these days. See you at MagiFest this year?
If I can make it, I'll be there!
You are obviously very good at slight of hand!
When you start getting good, do you have specific people you try your tricks on who give you pointers? Or do you just practice until you feel confident to go all out in front of people? Or something different?
Well, thank you! :-D
My first line of attempts is on my family. Once I try it on them (they're semi-educated muggles), I try it at the magic club. Once I get feedback from the magic club, I try it out (usually pre-show) at one of my shows.
All the while I'm filming on my iPhone.
Once I've gotten it well worn in, I slide it into my show in-between two solid pieces. This is known as hammocking. A hammock is held up by two solid trees. This way, if it flops, I had a solid piece leading into it, and a solid piece after.
Damn you sure fooled me! What awesome expirence
Glad you liked it!
Interesting. Though I find Randi is only selectively skeptical. I'm convinced that Teller is providing training to GCHQ and JTRIG on how to play dirty tricks on people. I see both he and teller as so much nazi scum.
I dunno. Teller is pretty darn busy. Between P&T, and his production of Shakespeare's The Tempest touring across the USA... I doubt he has any time to train governments.