Thursday, June 30, 2011

Warner Brothers to produce movie about Carter the Great


There have been several attempts to adapt Gold's "Carter Beats the Devil" to the big screen, all of which vanished before coming close to reality. Now, the LA Times reports that Warner Brothers has green lit the project and selected Johnny Depp to play the title role.

The world of magic is ripe for drama, what with its fierce rivalries and convincing in-movie performances (in a film, any illusion can look real). That world is also lucrative, as both "The Prestige" and "The Illusionist" proved in 2006. And far more than more than making rabbits disappear, Hollywood loves making green things appear.


Magic Magazine Preview For July 2011

MAGIC Magazine July 2011 CoverMAGIC Magazine July 2011From The Magic Magazine Editor

Here's the latest MAGIC Preview, offering a peek at what's in MAGIC Magazine for July. I hope you enjoy it!

If you're not, a subscriber, please give us a try. Check out our risk-free, one-month-at-a-time subscription plan at the bottom of this email. Of course, we still offer our annual subscriptions as well.

MAGIC is also available for your iPad in the App Store. The cost is $3.99 and it arrives within a few minutes. Best of all, you only buy it once, then you own it forever and can enjoy it wherever you want — Internet connection not required!

There's a little over a week between the IBM Convention in Dallas (now through July 2) and the SAM Convention in Pittsburgh (July 13-16). That's just enough time to check the mail, do a little laundry, and take part in an amazing three-day event — right at home. It's the second annual Essential Magic Conference from Portugal, and it's coming to an Internet connection near you. The dates are July 7-9. The price is only $90, and you can experience 16 hours of video streamed live with 33 incredible speakers. (Okay, make that 32 incredible speakers and one magazine editor!) You also receive one year of access to the EMC website and video library, and a boxed set of DVDs with the entire conference and more professionally produced. This is a screamin' deal! Click here to find out more.

And remember, MAGIC Live is just around the corner. The dates are August 14-17, 2011. The place is Las Vegas, Nevada. The registration is $335, and the hotel rooms are only $36 per night. It's the bargain of the summer! Simply click here to register securely online.

See you in August!

– Stan Allen

Stories in MAGIC this month:

Creative from Beginning to EndCOVER: They're Going Out of Business, So Why are They Smiling?
By David Goodsell
I pull my car up to an address in Payson, Utah, a small town about sixty miles south of Salt Lake City. This residence is the unlikely headquarters of one of magic's most dynamic manufacturers. I have arrived at the home of Brian Daniel South and his wife, Rebekah, the founders and proprietors of Creative Magic. Everywhere I look, there are mailing boxes and long, sausage-shaped Styrofoam tubes, wooden dowels, black-and-white cloth sleeves, instruction pamphlets, and embroidered cloth bags. The garage and basement are packed with merchandise, and I'm told that even more product is stored offsite.
"It looks like you two are doing great!"
"We are," says Brian. "We were confident that Creative Magic would be successful, but we have exceeded our wildest expectations."
"I guess you need a bigger house."
Brian laughs. Then he stuns me with his reply: "No, we're getting this one back. We're going out of business!"
For a moment, I'm not sure I've heard him correctly.
"I know people will think we're crazy," Brian says, "but on June 24, 2011, Creative Magic will cease manufacturing and begin to liquidate its inventory."
My response: "You've got to be nuts!"

1001 Wonders — Firsthand
Adele Friel RhindressBy Adele Friel Rhindress
By 1947, after over four decades entertaining the public, Harry Blackstone was unquestionably one of America's greatest and best-known magicians. It was in that year that seventeen-year-old Adele Friel was swept into Blackstone's world of magic, making the transition from solo song-and-dance act to one of "Mr. B's gorgeous girls" in the blink of an eye. For the next three seasons, she trouped with Blackstone, playing an integral role in his show, both onstage and backstage. What follows are excerpts from Adele's forthcoming book, Memoirs of an Elusive Moth. In it, she offers a rare glimpse behind the scenes of Blackstone's company, what is was like to work and perform in his illusion show, and tells her tales in a way no one else can: from a first person, "I lived it" perspective.

Farrell DillonFearless Farrell Dillon: Manic Manip
By Mark Nelson
Principally self-taught, Farrell Dillon first began learning to make playing cards obey his every command at the age of twelve. Most magicians perform their manipulation segments to music, impressing audiences with knuckle-busting moves that take years to master and earning well-deserved applause. But when Farrell appears before an audience, in addition to timely ovations, you hear a sound not usually heard during such magical exhibitions of skill: the sound of riotous laughter — not to mention Farrell's own running commentary.

Grand MagicGrand Magic in North Korea
By Dale Salwak
It was a show created to both entertain and unite the people of North Korea. The monumental Grand Magic production was mounted in a 150,000-seat stadium earlier this year, with massive illusions playing out before — and above — the crowds.

Grand MagicClaude Rix: More than Pearls and Tomatoes
By Richard Hatch
When his name comes up in conversation, it is most often in reference to his complete mastery of two classics of magic. These are by no means the only effects he does, but for more than fifty years Claude Rix of France has been known in international magic circles as "that fellow with the pearls" or "the man with the tomatoes." Though his reputation for definitive performances of both those effects is justified, he is — as we shall see — a man of many parts. Claude still performs and lectures, and in this issue provides two routines from his close-up repertoire, excerpted from the forthcoming Conjuring and Correspondence by Claude Rix and Hervé Pigny.

The International Magic Experience (IMX) took place at The Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas, May 23-25. This was the premiere convention for South African producer Craig Mitchell, and the reported attendance was over 400 for this lecture-driven event.

Collectors Collect in Chicago
The Magic Collectors Weekend, under the auspices David Ben's Magicana for the second year in a row, transpired at the Westin Hotel in Chicago, May 19--1. It was the 42nd such convening of scholarly talks and learned fellowship.

David CopperfieldCopperfield in Paris
An exhibition focusing on the career of David Copperfield is currently on display at the Musée de la Magie in Paris, France. French writer Benoit Grenier, who previously authored a biography of Copperfield and worked on the museum project, says "The exhibition shows various aspects of David's life and career; it features programs, posters, memorabilia, previously unseen photos, and original costumes and props."

Guy Hollingworth brings his one-man show, The Expert at the Card Table, to Southern California for a month-long run; and a trio of singing magicians — Desimo, Helge Thun, and Topas — performSing Sala Bim.

Tricks and advice in MAGIC this month:

Talk About TricksCoffeehouse ConjuringClassic CorrespondenceDirectionsTALK ABOUT TRICKS
By Joshua Jay
John Lovick delivers a complex but powerful card routine suitable for large audiences. Curtis Kam offers a fruit production that could be the opener to your next close-up engagement. "Talk About Tricks" newcomers Ollie Meaning and Jonathan Davidson bring us some card ideas, and Jeff Prace returns with an Expertalk on Tilt.

FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH: Oh, My Wild-Eyed Pie in the Sky
By Mark Kornhauser
People tell me their wild-eyed, pie-in-the-sky ideas all the time.
"I'm thinking of having a horn surgically implanted in my forehead."
"Hmmm, kind of a unicorn routine?"
"Yeah. Maybe a Card Stab or something."
"People would remember me."
"Yeah. Maybe."
Everyone thinks their wild-eyed, pie-in-the-sky idea is great — if only they had the money and the resources. But there have been lots of shows with wild-eyed, pie-in-the-sky promises that spent plenty of money to get nowhere.

By Gregory Wilson & David Gripenwaldt
After making a prediction on a napkin, you spill a few drops of coffee on the table and soak it up with a napkin. An irregular-shaped stain emerges through the napkin, which looks like Rorschach inkblot. Someone describes what the coffee stain looks like -- a bat or a butterfly or a break-dancing amoeba, maybe. You turn over the prediction-napkin to show the inked outline of a shape that accurately matches the randomly formed coffee stain.

CLASSIC CORRESPONDENCE: J.B. Hargett to Adelaide Herrmann
By Mike Caveney
The letter that is the focal point of this article is a bit of a departure from items featured here previously, in as much as the writer, J.B. Hargett, was not a magician. He was an expert at chirognomy — the art of character reading based on the shape and features of the hand. Upon hearing the news of Alexander Herrmann's death, Hargett immediately contacted Adelaide and requested permission to make an inked impression of her husband's hand. Perhaps sensing that this slightly creepy procedure would ensure her husband's place among the most famous names of the time, she acquiesced.

In March 2011, Stephane Vanel had an opportunity to showcase at the Paris Hotel. They decided to give him a chance, and the show was set to open June 1. Stephane had two months to put together an hour-long show. That sounds like a lot of time, but it was a real challenge.

In the Marketplace this month:

Fifteen products are reviewed this month by Peter Duffie, Jason England, Gabe Fajuri, Brad Henderson, John Lovick, Francis Menotti, and Will Houstoun:

The Berglas Effects by Richard Kaufman Marketplace
The Lost Symbol by Max Gordon
Shoe Business by Scott Alexander & Puck
Love Cards with Craig Petty and Russell Leeds
Deception Vol.1 by Dave Forrest
Newsflash 2.0 Universal by Axel Heckau
The Complete Jarrett by Jim Steinmeyer
Handcrafted Card Magic Vol. 2 by Denis Behr
Cagliostro's Wand by Allen Zingg & Blaine Harris
The Open Prediction Project by Tom Baxter
Kings Crossing by Nicolas Gignac
Psi-Poker by Ben Harris
Crafty Power by Kreis & I-Magic
TeleThought Wallet II by Chris Kenworthy & Tony Curtis
Sandwiches by Tony Chang

Click here to see the entire list of what's coming in the October issue of MAGIC Magazine.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Street entertainers must be insured in Key West

This story is from last week but is a interesting read

City will start enforcing new liability rules on Monday

The clock is ticking for those making a buck on the streets of Key West to comply with a new law requiring all street performers and artists to have insurance. Saturday marks the end of a 60-day grace period, and entertainers must have a minimum of $300,000 of liability insurance by then.

The law was designed to bring street entertainers in line with other groups, such as taxis, pedicabs and street food vendors, all of whom are required to have similar liability policies, said Jim Young, the city's Code Compliance manager.

"We probably won't start enforcement until Monday, since the deadline falls on Saturday," Young said.

Violators initially will receive a courtesy notice giving them 10 days to comply; after that they will be issued a notice to appear at a hearing before a special magistrate, he said.

"He could grant a compliance period, but it's all up to him," Young said of the magistrate. "If anyone chooses not to obtain the insurance following that, then a daily fine could be levied for every day they are noncompliant, up to $250 a day."

Byron Gronvold, an account executive with Porter Allen Insurance Co. in Key West, said he has issued several policies, which he is offering for about $320 annually.

"I believe the premiums that they are being quoted are reasonable," said Assistant City Attorney Ron Ramsingh, who authored the ordinance, then amended it after street performers complained no one would cover them because of a clause that required insurers to pay all claims without exclusions.

Now that the language of the ordinance has been clarified, getting the insurance is attainable -- technically.

"There are some in the (street entertainment) community that simply can't afford the insurance," Patrick Specher, head of the Key West Artists and Street Performers Association, said Thursday. "I've spent a lot of time and money working all of this out myself."

On Wednesday, Specher bought coverage through Gronvold from Porter Allen. On Thursday, Specher received a call from Gronvold stating that the owner of Porter Allen, David Freeman, is declining to insure any street entertainers, include those who already purchased coverage.

"He doesn't feel comfortable with the ordinance as it stands. He was never really championing this in the first place," Gronvold said Thursday. "In his defense, I was the one who spearheaded this through. But he's the owner and he can do what he wants. He feels I've overstepped my bounds."

That matters little to Specher, who was under the impression that he was insured.

"I'm furious that the owner is trying to do this," Specher said. "If he continues with the idea that they are going to drop us after we've already signed up and paid, we'll sue him."

Gronvold couldn't cite a specific number of clients signed up under this type of policy, but he said it was fewer than 10.

"We're not going to let anyone suffer out there," Gronvold said. "We'll return any and all monies to them."

Specher shuttled back and forth with the mayor, city attorney and insurer on the issue over the last week and a half, trying to get everything worked out, he said.

Young said there are five insurers nationwide who have coverage policies for entities such as street performers and artists. One is based in Key West: Island Insurance Agency.

Many in the street-entertainment community thought the ulterior motive of the original ordinance was to oust them, which city officials have denied.

"There is no conspiracy theory, no collusion," Young said. "A lot of concessions have been made to accommodate them. But the city has to protect itself. We're not here to put anyone out of business."

City officials say they just want to protect everyone involved when there is an incident, like when a tourist complained that a street performer's lemur bit her in the face last month. Stock Island resident Kurt Tomecek lets Batman pose on people's shoulders for a $20 photo.

Cherish A. Giannetta, a resident of Egg Harbour Township, N.J., complained to Code Compliance, but the city had no jurisdiction because Tomecek was on private property on Duval Street.

"Had the lemur situation happened on the city right of way is a prime example of why the insurance component is so important to this ordinance -- to protect the city, the permit holder (street entertainers) and the public," Ramsingh said.

Monday, June 27, 2011

This Week at the Magic Castle

It's another awesome week at the Magic Castle. Many of my friends are going to be there. For instance, David Gabbay who is the creater of Stitch, will be in late close-up gallery. Joel Ward, Joe Skillton and Dave Cox have been on TV in the Worlds Greatest Magic. There is so much magic this week, it should be a don't miss event.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Play Dead is closing, why?

What Killed Play Dead?


According to Crain’s New York Business Journal, an odd trend is to blame for Play Dead’s closing on July 24th. Producer Cheryl Wiesenfeld says the quirky, spooky magic experience simply couldn’t compete with musicals that made their reputation on Broadway moving to Off Broadway venues like the one PD was housed in. ED. NOTE: The link requires a subscription.

Avenue Q, Rent and Million Dollar Quartet all of whom had profitable runs on the Great White Way have already or will soon open up Off Broadway, which worries some producers that more experimental shows like Play Dead might have an even harder time of succeeding in the future.

“The Broadway musicals that are opening up off-Broadway now are already established brands,” said Cheryl Wiesenfeld, producer of Play Dead. “It is hard for us to compete with them.”

We eagerly await news of what comes next for Play Dead.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Masters of Illusion Live in Cerritos

Nice to see this is coming back, I was wondering about it's health.
Masters of Illusion


Friday, September 16, 2011

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Monday, June 20, 2011

This Week at the Magic Castle

It's an amazing week at the Magic Castle. Not only is there a special engagement starring Milt Larsen but there is also the spectacular Dan Harlan. There are so many people you have seen on TV as well including: Hillel, Tony Clark, Jonathan Levit, Johnny Ace Palmer, Matt Marcy, Farrell Dillon and more...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Congratulations To Dan Sperry, Genii Magazine’s July Cover

Dan Sperry is the next Magician on the cover of Genii Magazine. Dan has managed to shine with his great character and I will be looking forward to this issue.
Dan Sperry (1).jpg

Sunday, June 12, 2011

This Week at the Magic Castle

It's very exciting to see Tom Frank back at the Castle. Also you have Chris Korn from the BBC show Penn and Teller "Fool Us". My good friend Patrick Heitkam will be presenting some great magic in the Hat and Hare too. It's all very promising.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Smells like another David Blaine moment

Dan White “The Supernaturalist” To Air On Discovery

Dan White will travel the world demonstrating magic in his new Discovery Channel series “The Supernaturalist” on June 29 at 10 p.m. By the clips posted by Discovery, the show will see White take to various international locales and determine just how supernatural various supernatural local customs are along with his fair share of street magic vignettes.

Dan has always been a friend to iTricks and we are very, very excited to see this project make the air. Congrats Dan!

Check AFTER THE JUMP to Dan explain a snake charmer and bust a few street tricks.

Monday, June 6, 2011

This Week at the Magic Castle

There are super performers this week. You have the artistry of Michael Carbonaro, FISM Champion Simon Coronel, the charming Pop Haydn, cowboy hat wearing Phil Van Tee and guess what? I am performing too. Don't miss this weekend.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Penn & Teller Receive Key To Las Vegas

Yesterday, Penn & Teller were presented with the key to the city of Las Vegas by Mayor Oscar Goodman.

According to Robin Leach in Strip Scribbles:

In one of his last official ceremonies before next week’s mayoral election, Merry Mayor of Mirth Oscar Goodman this morning presented Rio headliners Penn & Teller with a key to the city. Oscar wanted to recognize the magicians’ dedication to the community and unwavering commitment to helping Aid for AIDS of Nevada fight HIV/AIDS.