This is a fun time for everyone at the MAGIC offices, as all the pieces toMAGIC Live are really starting to fall into place. The warehouse is filling up with displays, vendor merchandise, giveaway items, notes, etc. And there's certainly an air of excitement building. If you're anywhere near Las Vegas, August 14-17, you should find your way to The Orleans Hotel. Simply click here to register securely online.
If you simply can't make it live and in person, you can still stay up with what's going on at this unconventional convention. Each night at midnight, we'll be posting "Late Night Live," a fifteen-minute re-cap of events hosted by Jonathan Levit. The show will also feature behind-the-scenes interviews and special reports. We misprinted the time in the August issue, so please make note: "Late Night Live" will be available Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday — at midnight! Follow us on Twitter or subscribe to ourYouTube channel.
Meanwhile, here's the latest MAGIC Preview, offering a peek at what's inMAGIC Magazine for August. 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!
See you in August!
— Stan Allen
Stories in MAGIC this month:
COVER: The Storm Before the Calm By Mark Kornhauser The Carnival Magic embarked on its maiden voyage on May 1, 2011. The ship cost $740 million and has the capacity for 3,646 passengers and 1,367 crew. It is three football fields long and weighs 260 million pounds — that's twice the tonnage of the QE2 and almost three times the size of the Titanic. About two years ago, while the ship was being built in Italy, someone must have said "Hey, we should have a magic show on this ship." The next logical step was to ask Kevin Jeffrey and Gus Carrilo of Kevin & Caruso to co-produce the show with Carnival. Here's a backstage look at the making of a million-dollar magic show — a story of power, money, sex, and danger.
Believing in Rosabelle By Gregory Curtis It was a bright morning in May when my boss, Dr. Thomas F. Staley, director of the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin, called me into his office. He pointed proudly to a green steel box about two feet long and eighteen inches wide. Gold letters on the front read "The Estate of Harry Houdini." Houdini died on Halloween, 1926. This box was a recent gift to the Ransom Center from a lawyer who had worked on Houdini's estate so many years ago. I examined the contents over the next several days. With one exception, these papers were of only slight interest. But one brief note on a slip of paper had me running back to Tom Staley's office to show him this treasure. Could this yellowed piece of paper resolve one of the great controversies involving Houdini, a controversy that did not arise until almost three years after his death?
Breaking into the Church: A Day with Bill Abbott By Jamie D. Grant Despite being on a Ducati, we weren't actually going that fast. I was driving and Bill Abbott was on the seat behind me. Bill and I were cruising through the Canadian countryside along a winding road. He was in town for a gig, having been flown across the country to come perform in Victoria, which is on an island off the coast of Vancouver. This, of course, filled me with both admiration and horror. Admiration: A church was paying to have Bill come out from Toronto, which is on the other side of the country, and was paying him a good deal amount of money to do so. Horror: A church was paying to have Bill come out from Toronto, which is on the other side of the country, and was paying him a good deal amount of money to do so — while I live only thirty minutes away and am a performer myself.
Mastering Scientific Impossibilities By Mark Nelson In the 1960s, Mark Wilson drew huge crowds at trade shows with exactly what his company name promised: Magical Attractions. A Robot Girl, a Half Humanoid, and the Amazing Hand Machine cloaked illusions as science, and corporate messages as entertainment.
Nights of White Magic By Alan Howard The White Nights festival in Perm, Russia is really a festival of festivals. This year, one of the conventions making up the larger event was White Magic, "the first international magic convention on the border of Europe and Asia."
IBM 2011 Nearly 800 registrants attended the International Brotherhood of Magicians 83rd Annual Convention in Dallas, Texas. Co-Chairmen David Sandy and Roger Miller dubbed this a "reinvention convention" for the IBM.
Calvert in Manhattan Over the years, Fantasma Magic has hosted a series of tributes spotlighting some of magic's living legends. This year, in honor of his 100th birthday and the 50th anniversary of his marriage to his wife Tammy, John Calvert received his very own three-day-long gala tribute in New York City. This event was merged with the return of the Magic On Manhattan convention, aided by past MOM producer Steve Rodman.
EMC 2011 It was a return engagement for the Essential Magic Conference, originating from Portugal but really taking place on computers across the globe. Building on their success last year, organizers Luis de Matos, David Britland, and Marco Tempest again surmounted the insurmountable to bring together magicians both live and electronic, keeping conjurors in front of their computer screens July 7-9.
A Moment with... Luis de Matos MAGIC Magazine sat down with Luis in Portugal on the last morning of EMC to learn more about why they decided to produce an Internet convention, the difficulties they've run into, and what their plans are for the future.
Plus... Remembrances of Eugene Johnson, Bruce Bray, Sidney Radner, Jimmy Yoshida, and Hank Moorehouse.
And there's even more tricks and advice this month:
Talks About Tricks By Joshua Jay This issue contains five routines. Each one of them will make you say "Hey, I could use that in my next show!" These are audience-tested routines from working pros. Cameron Ramsay shares a signed bill to party popper, John Lovick has a new take on Confabulation, Aljaz Son offers a trick with a penny and a cell phone (both borrowed), and Fritz Alkamade presents us with two workable card effects.
Coffeehouse Conjuring: Short Sleeves By Gregory Wilson & David Gripenwaldt The performer picks up a spectator's marked and flattened coffee sleeve, holding it by its ends between both hands, and appears to "stretch" it. Afterward, he picks up his own coffee sleeve and holds it next to the stretched one to show that the marked one is indeed longer. The performer then appears to stretch the unmarked sleeve. Holding it next to the marked sleeve, he shows that the unmarked one is now longer. Next, he takes the supposedly "longer" sleeve and taps the end several times on the tabletop, ostensibly to normalize it. To prove that this is true, he slips it back onto his cup. A perfect fit. Finally, he taps the end of the remaining sleeve to make it even shorter. To prove that this is also true, he hands this sleeve to the spectator and watches him go crazy trying to slip it onto his cup with a not-so-perfect fit.
Classic Correspondence: Floyd Thayer to Howard Thurston By Mike Caveney Howard Thurston's quest to retain his lofty position as America's foremost magician meant that he was constantly searching for new effects that could be added to his ever-changing show. Friends and fellow magicians were forever on the lookout for new mysteries that could be sent Thurston's way. During the week of January 8, 1931, Chris Charlton appeared at the RKO Theatre in Los Angeles. He soon discovered that Floyd Thayer's workshop on San Pedro Street was within walking distance from the theater, so he made a point of visiting this well-known magic emporium. During one such visit, Floyd showed him a brand new illusion. Although it wasn't something Chris could use, he thought it might be of interest to Howard Thurston, whom he'd met during his travels across America — but the illusion had one big flaw.
Directions: One More Bow By Joanie Spina Marvyn Roy (Mr. Electric) & Carol had an illustrious and celebrated career in the world of magic and variety. They traveled the world for over fifty years, performing in such places as the London Palladium, the MGM Grand and Tropicana casinos in Las Vegas, and the Lido in Paris. The performance principles demonstrated in Marvyn and Carol's act are good examples from which to learn. The attitude, costume, and music styles may date back a bit, bit if you stripped away those elements and dressed up the act with more current styles, you would find Marvyn's solid routine structure still stands. The staging is sound and well-founded, and it shows off the magic to its best advantage.
For What it's Worth: Buddha Takes the Bus By Mark Kornhauser Many people have had this experience while performing: You've done your routine so many times, your mind just starts to wander. You realize you just had a thought about your grocery list. The audience provides a kind of steadiness to your quietly directed mind. You gently lead yourself back to your routine. All's well. People are still laughing. You are right back where you left off. You just briefly went on automatic pilot. Every so often, you sense that you are watching yourself. It's effortless, fun. You are a "witness" to your actions. And it would be fair to call this a "mystical" experience.
In the Marketplace this month:
Nineteen products are reviewed this month by Peter Duffie, Jason England, Gabe Fajuri, Greg Gleason, Brad Henderson, John Lovick, Francis Menotti, and Will Houstoun:
Handle with Carey by John Carey 365 by Chris Congreave The Heist by Lance Richardson Elements by Lance Pierce Postcards by Hernan Macagno Shootout by Adam Dadswell Tenkai Pennies & Milliken's Transpostition X-Tension by Alexander Kolle A Rhapsody in Silk by Ade Duval Impossible Card Magic & Impossible Close-Up Magic with Ray Kosby New York Coin Magic Seminar Volumes 14, 15 & 16 Twizted by Eric Jones The DarkSide Deck by Lucas Allen Coin Balloon-acy with Magic-Ian Out of this World Look No Hands by Wayne Dobson The Way of Shinobi by Emran Riaz The Trapdoor, Vol. 1 edited by Steve Beam Illuminate by Mike Hankins
The new issue of Reel Magic, Issue 23 is Now available for purchase. Eric DeCamps is the feature and there's a classic DeCamps effect included in this issue Plus a peek at Eric thoughts on creating a Magic Show.
A quick look At Russ Stevens and RSVP magic. Garrett Tomas is back with "Try this at Home" Plus 3 Killer effects and don't forget about the move monkeys!
Now if you're a current subscriber your Reel Magic will be arriving shortly in your mailbox. If you're not a current subscriber, Reel Magic is the best deal in magic today and this issue, issue 23 proves it so what are you waiting for?
This advertisement went up in front of Madame Tussauds explaining to tourists that they do not have to tip us. It took me a little research to figure out who was behind it but it appears the most of it is from the Hollywood Entertainment District which patrols and operates the Hollywood and Highland Mall and CVS/Fresh and Easy areas. They state "Hollywood Safe Sidewalks is an initiative put forward by the Hollywood Business Community and City Agencies". That would probably indicate that City money is being spent to prevent performers and other street entertainers from making money. It sounds like good money going after bad.
They continue with:
Hollywood Safe Sidewalks is an initiative put forward by the Hollywood Business Community and City Agencies to educate visitors as to what constitutes legal vending in Hollywood. As our guest we want to ensure that your visit is fun and memorable! Please note that street vendors along the Boulevard are in place under their own merit. Character actors, impersonators, performers, and CD vendors are not licensed or sanctioned by any City or Commercial entity along the Boulevard.
As a visitor to Hollywood you are welcome to take photos with these individuals for FREE. You may, if you so choose, give a donation for their products/or services, however you DO NOT HAVE TO.
If you are unsure as to what constitutes legal vending while visiting the area please feel free to visit the Visitor’s Center inside the Hollywood and Highland complex, or call (323) 463-6767 for more information. Thank you and please enjoy your visit to Hollywood!
Magic's in the air -- and will be online this summer, when "Believe" headliner Criss Angel debuts his new Internet magic site, www.themagicplace.com.
Angel describes the site as "a portal for everything magic," including a Magic Broadcast Network featuring 14 different weekly programs. The shows range from the Angel-hosted talk show, "Magic Jam," to "The Next Mindfreak," feature aspiring magicians competing to perform at Luxor.
"We have been shooting quite extensively around town," Angel says, not only at Luxor and at various locations but also at a new 30,000-square-foot studio, minutes from the Strip, that's "capable of doing state-of-the-art things."
"We're shooting, literally, every day, all the time," Angel explains. "The studio is running full time."
Among Angel's expected guests on his "Magic Jam" talk show: past Strip fixtures Siegfried & Roy and Lance Burton.
It's "definitely more intimate" than Angel's A&E series "Mindfreak," he acknowledges. But that reflects a change in TV -- and TV audiences.
"With the Internet, people don't watch TV the way they used to," he says. "For me, this is the future -- and the future is now."
Room to vroom: The annual cross-country madness known as "Bullrun" returns to Las Vegas this week, with both the Strip and downtown getting into the act.
MTV's set to air a series in the fall, devoted to the high-octane road rally featuring hot cars and a host of celebrities who'll be dodging state troopers and hitting the party circuit, which this year stretches from Las Vegas to Miami.
Planet Hollywood Resort serves as headquarters for drivers and their high-end rides Thursday through Saturday; the action moves to the Fremont Street Experience about 5 p.m. Saturday, when the cars will be on display, followed by a 6-8 p.m. start.
Vintage Vegas: The spirit of old Vegas informs the just-wrapped action thriller "Hole in the Desert," which recently filmed at a variety of downtown locations, including the old Atomic Lounge, reports producer Anthony Fankhauser .
Although the production shot interiors in Los Angeles , a Vegas location visit was a must, he notes.
"The script called for Vegas," Fankhauser says of the project, written and directed by Steven R. Monroe and featuring Jason Wiles and Las Vegas' own Cerina Vincent. After all, "Vegas is unique. It's a one-of-a-kind location."
Reality check: Spike's "The Ultimate Fighter" is expected to wrap its 14th season next week, reports supervising producer Jamie Campione. But that made-in-Vegas staple has plenty of company on location around town.
CMT's "Made," inspired by the Emmy-winning MTV series, focuses on 25- to 50-year-olds transforming their lives by pursuing their dreams -- and is expected on the Strip on Saturday. Ireland's "Late Late Show," planned a Vegas visit last weekend. Also last week, a TV pilot from EA Sports -- featuring Navy SEALS training NFL players in hostage extraction techniques -- was scheduled to shoot at a Boulder City gun club and an El Dorado Canyon mine.
Next week, the upcoming Travel Channel special "Vegas Knights" aims to take viewers behind the scenes at some of the Strip's most exclusive locations. Food Network's "Cupcake Wars" also is expected back in town next week. And "Kitchen Crashers" -- the latest from the same production company that brings you the DIY Network's "Yard Crashers," "House Crashers" and "Bath Crashers" -- is scheduled to crash a southwest Las Vegas residence next week.
With Independence Day upon us, we are only about six weeks away from another festive occasion: MAGIC Magazine's 20th Anniversary Celebration at MAGIC Live! Once again, we are breaking all the rules to bring you an experience like no other magic convention, and we look forward to sharing this time with all our magic friends.
A multitude of surprises await!
It Has Begun!
The process for selecting customized schedules has begun. Starting in order of registration date, we are now sending out selection forms via the Internet. If you haven't received yours yet, be patient, your name will come up in order and you will be sent an e-mail link in the next two weeks. In the meantime, talk to your friends and consider which two out of three of the Focus Session you'd like to attend daily.
Monday Stage magic with Johnny Thompson Business with Lou Serrano Close-up with Michael Ammar, Jason England, John Lovick, and Richard Sanders
Tuesday Direction with Joanie Spina Coffeehouse conjuring with Greg Wilson and David Gripenwaldt Family shows with Doug Scheer & Ken Scott
Wednesday Creativity with Mark Setteducati Restaurant magic with Johnny Ace Palmer Mentalism with Ian Rowland
These are just the Focus Sessions! Wait until you see what surprises await you in the General Sessions taking place in the showroom!
We're excited that the 2011 MAGIC Live is returning to its original home at The Orleans Hotel & Casino. We've reserved the entire floor of meeting room space, as well as the beautiful Orleans Showroom for all four days.
Everyone is talking about the incredible room rate of just $36. Even with tax and a $5 spa fee, that comes in at just $45.32 per night. And that's for double occupancy!
We have already oversold our block of rooms held at that rate, but don't panic; the hotel has extended us an additional 100 rooms. If you are planning on attending, however, and have not already made your hotel reservations, do not hesitate! Reserve your room now! Either click here to book online or call (800) 675-3267 and ask for your MAGIC Live rate.
Arrival / Departure
MAGIC Live will begin with registration at noon on Sunday, August 14th. The first event, however, will not begin until 7:30 p.m. that evening, so you really have all day Sunday to fly in and get settled.
Also, for those who can't wait to get started, there are a few magic shows playing on the Strip on Sunday afternoon: The Magic of Paris starring Stephane Vanel and Mark Kornhauser, 4 p.m. at the Paris. The Magic and Tigers of Rick Thomas, 3 p.m. at Planet Hollywood.
The last event at MAGIC Live will be our Finally Party on Wednesday, August 17th, running late into the night. This will include the awarding of prizes to the winners of the MAGIC Magazine Film Festival.
While some people book late flights out on Wednesday, we recommend that you enjoy the beautiful accommodations that evening and arrange your travel home for Thursday, August 18th.
Of course, many of our guests arrive a day or two early or stay over a couple extra nights to enjoy some of the wonderful "magic" of Las Vegas. For your convenience, we've arranged special rates with The Orleans from August 12th through the 21st.
Interpreter for the Deaf
We'd like to remind you that this year we are providing an interpreter for the deaf. If you will be using this service, please respond to this email immediately and let us know so we may help you find which performances will be interpreted.
It's Not Too Late
And, yes, there are still some last-minute registrations available. Tell your friends!
The Castle is closed today but check out whats going on this week. Eric Buss is there and he is awesome, you might have seen him on the TV. There is also Jason Andrews who won last years IBM stage competition.