The January 2012 issue of MAGIC Magazine is now out, available both in print and on the iPad. If you haven't already picked up a copy, here's a look at what's "between the covers."
Over the coming year, we will be introducing a number of new columns and departments, a few of which start this month. "The Almighty Dollar" is Gregory Wilson's new series of tricks -- this time with paper money. Ian Rowland is passionate about mentalism, and he'll be sharing that passion each month in "Loving Mentalism." Joanie Spina gives her "Directions" column a new direction for 2012, walking us through the art of performance — first stop, "Making an Entrance."
And that's just the beginning. Stay tuned for an exciting year of MAGIC
More stories in MAGIC this month:
COVER: Pit Hartling By Richard Hatch The Giersch Museum, on the south bank of the Main River in the heart of Frankfurt's museum district, is a renovated three-story neoclassical villa built in 1910. Its primary mission, since opening as an art museum in September 2000, has been to showcase artists with a connection to the region but whose importance transcends the region's boundaries. But recently the museum hosted the first of a planned series of performances showcasing another kind of artist: Frankfurt-based magician Pit Hartling. Richard Hatch was there and writes about the show, as well as the magician and the unusual characters that make Pit the "Vice World Champion of Magic and the Most Successful German Magician in His Weight Class."
Inducing Challenges By Pit Hartling During a lively session of close-up magic, spectators occasionally suggest effects or conditions. While some of these suggestions are nothing more than little jokes ("Can you make my boss disappear?"), others are actual challenges meant to put the performer to the test. Getting challenged can be a problem. Of course, there's also the upside of the story: meeting a challenge usually generates reactions way out of proportion to the actual effect.
My So-Called Busking Career By Rick Lax Having been a magician for years, when Rick Lax learned that street performing had been declared legal on the Las Vegas Strip, he put out a hat, gave it a try, and lived to talk about it.
Four Decades of 4F By Charlie Randall Magic books often take much longer than planned to reach publication, but The FFFF Book has taken a really long time! The original book, what was to be the third in the "Magic from the Forks" series, was to have been published for the 20th anniversary of Fechter's Finger Flicking Frolic. And since the gathering this last April was the 41st anniversary — well, you can do the math! Now with the book coming out later this month, here are five tricks reflecting the diversity of the material, items that represent the variety of performers who have attended FFFF over the years. In addition, Dick Cook gives us a look at Eddie Fechter, the man who started it all.
Welcome to Ron's By Peter McLanachan The International Magic Convention has been running since 1972, and recently reached its fortieth anniversary. Magicians from far and wide gathered on November 18-20 at The Mermaid Theatre in The City of London to help celebrate this milestone. The MacMillan family, along with event coordinator and Gala Showemcee Noel Britten, put together a stellar lineup of acts, including Harry Anderson, Max Maven, Eugene Burger, Jason England, Larry Hass, Tom Stone, and David Williamson. PHOTO: ARTO AIRAKSINEN
Michael Carbonaro: The Tonight Show's Magic Clerk By Mark Nelson Michael Carbonaro, the self-described "performance bizarrist," has built a notable reputation, appearing at trendy underground clubs in delightful and off-center comic vignettes. Now, he has become the easygoing, mild-mannered convenience store clerk on the Tonight Show in sequences called "Hidden Camera Magician" or "Magic Clerk."
Social Media For Magicians, Part 1 By Rachel Stoll Armstrong & Tiffany Hindman Magicians search for the latest in props, plots, and presentations; maybe they should do the same with their promotions and marketing. Since the current trend in getting your name out there is social media, we begin a three-part series on the subject with a look at what Facebook and Twitter can do for you.
A Magical Nutcracker The Nutcracker is one of the world's most famous ballets, well known by audiences who return year after year to relive the holiday classic. This year, after staging a more standard production for the past decade, the Carolina Ballet company added something new: magic. PHOTO: LAUREN McCAY
Marco Tempest, You're Next Each week, CNN's new series The Next List aims to profile what it calls "innovators, visionaries, and agents of change." During the inaugural episode on November 13, 2011, host Sanjay Gupta introduced viewers to Marco Tempest, making him the first forward-thinker added to the list.
Gary Darwin Tribute Since 2004, The Fantasma IBM Ring 257 of Las Vegas has been producing yearly events honoring magic stars. On December 5, 2011, the spotlight turned to longtime Vegas local Gary Darwin, who formed a Las Vegas magic club in 1968 and has been tirelessly promoting it and the art ever since.
A Moment With... Matt Field Matt Field's name is most closely associated with the literature of our art. He has been the editor of countless magic books, many of them important contributions within the past few decades. In 2005, Field was approached by The Magic Circle in England to become the first American-born editor of their esteemed publication,The Magic Circular. Matt's last issue as editor will be this month. What was this experience like, and what did he learn?
Tricks and advice in MAGIC this month:
TALK ABOUT TRICKS: Best of 2011 By Joshua Jay We kick off "Talk About Tricks" with an impromptu miracle called Rune Toss using just borrowed business cards and a prediction. The issue also features technical refinements with playing cards from Rob Gardner and Brandon Williams, and a great transformation of a playing card into a dollar bill by Adam Wilber.
THE ALMIGHTY DOLLAR: Out for the Count By Gregory Wilson This first installment in a new trick series starts with a one-dollar bill, with many written numbers on it. Each time the bill is folded, different numbers are shown in ordinal fashion. You ask the audience to count out loud each number that they see, like a cue card. When "ten" is reached, the completely unfolded bill is shown to be a ten-spot. The process is repeated to end up with the one-dollar bill again.
LOVING MENTALISM: Frankenstein and Radium By Ian Rowland For his first column, Ian answers the question, "How can you seemingly harvest thoughts without the covert deployment of chips, batteries, and curly wires?" He prefers to use two other tools that are older, cheaper, and more effective than batteries. They are acting and lying.
DIRECTIONS: #1. Making an Entrance By Joanie Spina Like live performances, this column continues to evolve. During 2012, "Directions" will cover twelve different aspects of stage performance. The accompanying videos, found at MAGIC's website, will offer the same information covered here, along with additional examples. Now, let's start at the very beginning. Some of the most difficult and important moments for performers are their entrances and exits. People usually remember the beginning and ending of an act (and, if you are good, the in-between). Don't discount the importance of the entrance. It is your first impression upon the audience.
FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH: Welcome to the Underbelly By Mark Kornhauser In Las Vegas, everyone wants to produce a show. Well-meaning dancers, choreographers, magicians, real estate agents, all say something like: "I have a really cool idea for a show. I'd like to put it in a showroom somewhere. I just need an investor, that's all." That's all? Wake up and smell the Pop-Tarts! Las Vegas shows often lose money.
VIEWPOINT: YouTube By David Rowyn Once upon a time, David was asked to perform on the spot at a bar in downtown Austin, Texas. He did what any crazy man would have done: "I found a couple of rubber bands and passed them through each other, as if by magic. Soon after, one of the guys watching asked me the five-word question we've all been asked. 'I can't tell you.' I responded, 'or they'll come after me.'" The onlooker just shrugged his shoulders and pulled out his iPhone. In about a minute, he was watching a video explaining, in detail, exactly what David was doing, watching it on YouTube. So, it may come as a surprise when David says that YouTube is one of the best things to happen to magic. How can this be?
In the Marketplace this month:
Twenty-three products are reviewed this month by Michael Claxton, Farrell Dillon, Peter Duffie, Gabe Fajuri, Gregory Gleason, Brad Henderson, Will Houstoun, Francis Menotti, David Parr:
Transcendence by Leon Deo Scott Noted by Gary Jones Masters of Mystery: The Strange Friendship of Arthur Conan Doyle & Harry Houdini by Christopher Sandford Panini by Lee Asher Urban Illusions by J.C. Sum If an Octopus Could Palm by David Buck The No Way Bottle Production by Iñaki Zabaletta & Vernet Magic The Ring Master by David Jay The Psychic Mafia by M. Lamar Keene as told to Allen Spraggett Magic Made Easy by Carl March Behind the Illusions with J.C. Sum & Magic Babe Ning The Lives of a Showman by Mark Lewis INK by Mickael Chatelain Sharp Impression by Richard James How to Live to be a Hundred by John Calvert Sweet! and Birthday Card by Diamond Jim Tyler European Coin Magic Symposium Vols. 1 & 2 Miracle Signed Card in Envelope by Roger Curzon Blood on the Tricks Vol. 1 by Roger Curzon