Chan Canasta made an incredible impression on the public with his unusual and stunning card work on television. In A Miracle Discovery he reveals his practical system of card control that is capable of many variations. Knowledge of this system will enable you to discover freely selected cards under impossible conditions, without sleight of hand, and with borrowed cards… any time… anywhere… impromptu!
Canasta (real name Chananel Mifelew) was a pioneer of mentalism in the 1950s and 1960s. In 1951 he recorded his first television show for the BBC. Like many other magicians of my generation it was watching these shows that sparked my interest in mentalism. I was fascinated by the fact that he was clearly prepared to take risks when performing, and his occasional failures seemed only to strengthen his reputation as a mind reader and memory worker.
Derren Brown has cited Canasta as a prime influence, stating, “He was a real inspiration.”
Chan Canasta became TV’s first celebrity magician in the 1950s, making more than 350 television appearances, including the Ed Sullivan, Arlene Francis and Jack Paar shows. His last TV show was broadcast in March 1960, although he did make an appearance in 1971 on the BBC’s Parkinson Show.
Throughout his career Canasta was never billed as a magician, nor even a mentalist, but simply as “A Remarkable Man”, which is the title of David Britland’s excellent two volumes on Chan Canasta, his life and his work. These were published by Martin Breese in 2000, and are highly recommended if you can find them.
Chan Canasta: A Miracle Discovery, 4 pages, 21 x 13.5 cm, wire-stitched paperback.