Tell us, Teller

Great profile of Teller in Esquire. His first name used to be Raymond but that’s been legally dropped. Reading quotes from him is weird because I’ve never heard his voice. I think I posted about Teller’s lawsuit before, and he’s got a copyright on the trick in question. But I didn’t know Houdini used to write his tricks into one act plays so they could be protected. And here’s this on the magic of restraint.

It’s actually Penn who best explains the power of magical restraint in his autobiography, God, No! Penn was once a student at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College in Florida. There, he learned a way to distinguish professional clowns from amateurs: the red makeup around their mouth. A professional clown stops his makeup at his top lip. He won’t paint where his mustache might be, because he knows that too much makeup actually obscures his expression rather than enhances it. Amateur clowns assume that more makeup equals more expression, and they paint from the bottom of their nose to the point of their chin. Professional clowns refer to this phenomenon as the “busted asshole.”

On the case? It hasn’t gotten going yet.

But then Bakardy pulled a pretty nifty trick that was all his own. A lawsuit like Teller’s has to be served to the defendant; a physical copy must be put in his hands. And over the last several months, a server has tried and failed to deliver those papers to Bakardy at addresses across Spain and Belgium. On May 8, Bakardy uploaded a video to YouTube that featured only blaring accordion music, gaudy text, and a photo of a rose in a Coke bottle. It promises a great reveal, the true story — as well as “The better than in Las Vegas trick… . ” He also sent a short, cryptic e-mail declining to be interviewed for this story. (“Not now. Soon you’ll see why.”) That’s all anybody has seen or heard of him in the months since Teller’s lawsuit became public. Gerard Bakardy has vanished.

Tell us, Teller

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