From The Editor
The October issue of MAGIC Magazine is now out, available both in print and on the iPad. If you haven't already received your copy, here's an advanced look at what's "between the covers."
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— Stan Allen
P.S. For extended coverage of MAGIC Live, including day-by-day slideshows and videos, visit MAGICmagazine.com/live.
Stories in MAGIC this month:
COVER: The Kid at the Table
By Jack Lovick
... Derek is a surprising choice for a magazine article. He has the biggest reputation, based on the littlest amount of information of anyone I know. At a recent convention, nearly every time I mentioned his name to someone who lives outside of Los Angeles, the response was a wide-eyed, "Oh, I've been hearing about him a lot." There is a buzz about him that has literally spread around the world. He has managed — I believe carefully, and on purpose —to create a compelling, almost legendary, mythos about himself. He's done this despite — or more likely because of — his youth and great aversion to publicity and self-promotion. He has published very little. He rarely lectures or performs at magic conventions. He's doesn't put much emphasis on inventing tricks, and doesn't sell any. He's never released any DVDs. He regularly turns down requests for interviews, magazine articles, and television appearances. For personal reasons, he has stopped performing at the Magic Castle and no longer accepts walk-around gigs. There is almost nothing about him on the Internet, no YouTube videos, no forum posts, no flashy webpage. Google "Derek DelGaudio" and the second link is a thread on a magic bulletin board entitled "Who is Derek DelGaudio?"
MAGIC Live! High Five
Words by Mark Nelson
Photos by David Linsell
For four memorable days, deep in the heart of Orleans (the Las Vegas resort-casino, not the birthplace of jazz), top magicians from around the planet gathered once again to share knowledge, talent, and camaraderie at the fifth MAGIC Live convention, this year celebrating the twentieth anniversary of MAGIC Magazine.
Ten years earlier, in 2001, publisher Stan Allen and staff put together a commemorative "one time only, never to be repeated" convention in honor of the periodical's tenth anniversary, but notwithstanding the original tag line, there were follow-up conventions in '04, '07, and '09. Upon closer examination of each convention, however, one will find that Stan and company kept their word. Each subsequent Live demonstrated additional creativity, maturity, and a sense of audacity that kept the magic community coming back for more. Although similar in format, subsequent MAGIC Live events have differed enough in tone, content, and novelty that it has become one of the few conventions that non-invited magic luminaries actually pay to attend, as evidenced by the more than 1,300 registrants at this year's conference.
The Power of Darkness
By Mike Caveney
As I stepped through the doorway, I couldn't see my hand in front of my face. If there hadn't been someone holding on to my arm and guiding my every step, I might still be stumbling around in the dark. The reason for my temporary blindness was that I was wearing a blindfold, as were about half the audience members who attended this unique show. The other half moved to their seats much more confidently, but only because they had spent their entire life negotiating their way through each day without the sense of sight. On this day, those of us bumping clumsily into chairs were the interlopers, for this was a magic show designed specifically for the blind.
By David Charvet
It all began May 20, 2011 on the Chicago "El." Mike Caveney, Bill Smith, and I were riding the train from the Magic Collectors' Weekend convention near O'Hare Airport to a White Sox versus Dodgers baseball game at US Cellular Field. During the trip, Mike and Bill looked at each other and then at me and said, "Blackstone!" That one word set in motion a string of events that culminated in my performance of Blackstone's Buzz Saw illusion at the recent MAGIC Live. It was one of the most challenging and exciting performances of my life.
Paul Romhany: Citizen of the World
By Jamie D. Grant
"So, do you actually perform walk-around magic in your Chaplin character?" while pouring way too much sugar into my coffee. And that's when he told me that he can do a two-hour walk-around gig without uttering a word. I can't even fathom that. With patter such an important part of close-up magic, Paul's ability to perform in that environment, without speaking, is a testament not only to his abilities but to his commitment to character — the character of Charlie Chaplin's Little Tramp.
Buss to Afghanistan
By Eric Buss
You never know when a phone call will change your life. I received one of these extra-special phone calls in late April. On the other end of the line was Chef Charles Carroll of the River Oaks Country Club in Houston, Texas. He asked me if I wanted to join team Operation HOT (Honoring Our Troops) in traveling to Afghanistan to perform. He hadn't even finished telling me about the trip and I started repeating the word "Yes!" It sounded like the opportunity of a lifetime. Chef Carroll and his assistant, Hilmi Ahmed, had both been working on this project for over a year. It was now in its final stages of preparation. The goal was to entertain the finest troops in the world and bring them "a taste of home" with a home-cooked Cajun meal and a show. After what seemed like hundreds of emails, phone calls, texts, and smoke signals between Hilmi, Charles, and myself, I was officially onboard. Now all that was left were blood tests, security checks, and terrorism training quizzes. "I passed! Let's go!"
Seventy-four Get-Togethers, and a Centenarian, Too
One of the longest-running conventions in the history of magic, The Abbott Magic Get-Together, celebrated its 74th anniversary with their annual four-day event in August. The real celebration was not for the convention itself but for John Calvert, who celebrated his 100th birthday on Friday, August 5th.
History of Magic in Europe
When was the first time that someone performed the Sawing in Half illusion? Who is the most prolific writer? Has the secret about Ionia been solved? These and many more questions were asked at the fourth European Magic History & Collections Congress in London.
A Belgian on American TV in France
Having become a relatively recent convert to the world of conjuring, television host Craig Ferguson has since shared his enthusiasm for the art by bringing magicians onto his Late Late Show. Earlier this summer, Ferguson left California to film a week of shows on the streets of Paris. On the August 2 program, Belgian magician Rafael became a surprise guest.
Visiting with Erdnase
The first Erdnaseum was held on Friday and Saturday, August 26-27, at the Sanders Bed & Breakfast in Helena, Montana — the boyhood home of mining engineer Wilbur Edgerton Sanders, David Alexander's candidate for the elusive author.
A Message for the Moon
The Steve Allen Theater on Hollywood Boulevard was packed with an SRO crowd on Tuesday, September 6. Dozens of name magicians were present, all eagerly anticipating the opening moments of the second edition of An Evening with Rob Zabrecky.
Tricks and advice in MAGICthis month:
TALK ABOUT TRICKS: Back to the Source
By Joshua Jay
Frequent contributor Brett Bishop offers an unusual transposition between a marked coin and Kool-Aid, while Chris Congreave's transposition, Signature Interlude, uses something more conventional: playing cards. Charles Karelis makes his "Talk About Tricks" debut with a business card effect, and Kris Nevling makes a familiar color change even better.
FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH: You Will Want to Kill Again
By Mark Kornhauser
The difference between a performer and an aspiring performer is that a performer finds a stage — whether it's a theater, a comedy club, or Sally's Pizza — just as surely as a schmecker finds his man. (I think that means a heroin addict finding his dealer.)
The type of venue in which you choose to develop your craft is quite critical. I say "choose" as if you have a choice. In the daily grind, it's often simply that one job paid fifty dollars more than the other.
COFFEEHOUSE CONJURING: My Cup Runneth Over
By Gregory Wilson & David Gripenwaldt
A cup of Starbucks coffee and a straw are introduced, but not formally. The magician picks up the straw and carefully removes the wrapper. The tiny piece of paper from the end is placed on top of the lid. Next, he waves the straw over the smidgen of paper and it magically adheres. He further demonstrates the wand's static power by waving it in front of the insulation sleeve/holder, causing it to quickly and mysteriously rise up the cup. Finally, he waves the wand over the cup, and the entire cup eerily slides backward, toward the magician.
CLASSIC CORRESPONDENCE: McDonald Birch to David Price
By Mike Caveney
The name George McDonald Birch is rarely mentioned in the same breath as Kellar, Thurston, Dante, or Blackstone, but a case can be made that if he wasn't part of this varsity team, he was certainly the first one off the bench.
DIRECTIONS: When the Shtick Hits The Fan
By Joanie Spina
For this year's Directions focus session at MAGIC Live, I worked with young, up-and-coming magician Chris Randall. Chris is a thirty-year-old, second-generation magician from Las Vegas. After rehearsing and implementing new ideas in his material, he performed the revised act at the MAGIC Live Directions session. This article may seem a little harsh, but Chris emerged on the other end with a new direction and "feeling good" about the changes.
In the Marketplace this month:
Seventeen products are reviewed this month by Michael Claxton, Farrell Dillon, Peter Duffie, Gabe Fajuri, Brad Henderson, Will Houstoun, and Francis Menotti:
by Doug BennettThe Davenport Story Volume 3: The Life and Times
of a Magical Family 1939-2010
by Fergus RoySecrets of Wild CardMes(s)merize
by Stefan OlschewskiMind Mysteries Guide Book Volume 7
by Richard OsterlindBullet Party
by John BannonMinimax Detector
by EdoMoney Matters
by Ed SolomonHoward Thurston's Card TricksChapeaugaphyRameses: The Forgotten Star
by Chris WoodwardMemoirs of an Elusive Moth
by Adele Friel RhindressThe Manual of Darkness
by Enrique de HérizIndustrial Revelation
by Jamie D. GrantThe Aleph Wallet
by Johnny MassPresentation Magic!
by Nick Fitzherbert