From The Editor
The January 2013 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 a look at what's "between the covers."
But before you jump into the January issue, I want to mention that in my "From the Editor" column last month, I wrote about how impressed I was with Alan Shaxon [1933-2012], both onstage and off. In particular, I cited his Hydrostatic Glass routine, and how simple and effective it was. As the December issue was going to press, I was reminded that Alan gave us permission to print this routine as part of our March 2004 cover story on him. With the permission of the original publishers at Davenports, we have added the instructions, illustrations, and routine to MAGIC Plus for December. So, grab your December copy of the magazine, log into Plus, and learn what I consider to be possibly the best ending to a talking magic act I've ever seen.
Then jump to the January MAGIC Plus and see the complete collection of Danny Cole's Internet videos, including a behind-the-scenes reveal of his most recent installment — only available to MAGIC Magazine readers!
And that's just the beginning of another exciting year of MAGIC.
Stories in MAGIC this month:
COVER: Danny Cole — He Gets It!
By Tod Gerard
He started gaining attention as a teenage magician from Southern California, but today, Danny Cole performs all over the world. And he has turned his talents toward creating unique magic effects for Internet viewers. To date, he's released ten of these short videos — and we've got 'em all on MAGIC Plus. Danny has also given us an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at his most recent head-scratcher!
An Evening with Harry
By Joe Givan & Carol Massie-Givan
Magic. Mayhem. Mystery. Murder? Maybe. Maybe not. One thing's for sure: somebody's dead, and the art of magic may have something to do with it.
The scene is the Trocadero Vaudevilles theater at the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago. Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. has hired Harry Robenstein to perform his magic in a variety show, alongside a number of other acts. Things get hairy for Harry when another magician barges onstage and cuts the wire Harry uses to raise his Hindu Rope in the air. The interloper is the young Erik Weisz. He exposes Harry's method, claiming that he, Erik, will be the greatest magician in the world. Robenstein is enraged that this young man not only exposes his magic, but that Erik wants his spot in the show! And he gets it, replacing Harry with his own magic and escape act. What follows is an interesting and hilarious battle of two magicians trying to make it in the world of showbiz.
Alana: The Girl Just Wants to Have Fun
By Jaq Greenspon
It's a magician's nightmare. You're set to go onstage at FISM for your competition slot. Standing in the wings with your act loaded, you psych yourself up to go out there and wow the crowd. You see your name on the screen, you hear the microphone turn on, and you take a deep breath. This is it. And then the announcer says that there will be a half hour intermission, and before you can even register your shock and surprise, the house is half empty and you're left with thirty minutes in which to psych yourself back up again. That's exactly what happened to Alana Moehlmann, one of the German participants at last year's FISM in Blackpool, England. And yet, a half hour later, she took the stage and wowed the crowd.
Taking Another Look at Houdini's Movies
By Chris Philpott
Houdini's movies are a fascinating but neglected part of his legacy. The conventional wisdom about these movies is that the stories were just excuses for his escapes and that he was a very weak actor. Story-wise, why is it a problem that the films are excuses for escapes? We don't complain that action movies are just excuses for action scenes. The question is, are they a good excuse? A film like The Dark Knight is. Unfortunately, most of Houdini's movies are not. As for Houdini's acting, yes, it's awful in spots, but most of it is fairly good and there are moments of emotional honesty, power, and charisma that hint that maybe, if things had gone a little differently, Houdini might have become a real movie star.
I Hereby Resolve…
January is traditionally a time to look forward while at the same time looking back. This month, MAGIC Magazine does the same, with more than two dozen noted magicians — Kevin James, Eugene Burger, Cyril, Michael Weber, Topas, Mac King, John Bannon, Armando Lucero, Derek Hughes, and more — sharing their resolutions for 2013.
Magician Burned on TV Show
Wayne Houchin suffered first-degree burns on his scalp, face, and right arm while taping a television program in the Dominican Republic on Monday, November 26. The injuries came at the hands of the host of the show, who doused Houchin with a flaming liquid.
Criminal Kid Shows?
In February 2000, Robert E. Markwood was found guilty of the second-degree felony of indecency with a child, stemming from an incident with a boy in January 1999. He was released from prison last February, having served the full twelve-year sentence. Bob Markwood, now 67, showed up in the media recently, when the Inside Edition television show did a segment on registered sex offenders who are still working as children's entertainers.
Steve Truglia's The Card Shark Show debuts at the Mayfair Theatre in London, over 50 invited magicians from 22 countries took part in the first International Magic Carnival in Beijing, Wittus Witt realizes his dream of presenting public exhibitions of his private collection, and Fantasma Toys opens its Houdini Museum of New York.
From the Marketplace this month
Twenty products are reviewed this month by Peter Duffie, Jason England, Gabe Fajuri, Alan Howard, Jared Brandon Kopf, Francis Menotti, Arthur Trace:
by Wayne Dobson Essence
with Miguel Angel GeaThe Trapdoor Vol. 3
edited by Steve BeamMac King's Magic in a Minute Mysteries
by Mac King and R.G. WyattThe Card Puzzle
by Woody AragónThe Inception
by Chris RandallOne
by Matthew UnderhillLet's Go Dutch
by Fritz AlkemadeCounts Cuts Moves and Subtlety
by Jerry MentzerAn Evening with Charlie Miller
by Robert Parrish Fantasio's Color Changing Lighter Ultimate Self Working Card Tricks
by BigBlindMediaMagic with a Christmas Theme
by Marc DibowskiSpectrum
by Wayne DobsonDevious
by Brandon David and Chris TurchiGrowing Ring
by Dan HaussThe Cardwarp Tour
by Jeff PierceFilter
by Rick LaxCard Shark's AlphaWave Deck BOOM!
by Mick Valenti
Tricks and advice in MAGIC this month:
Talk About Tricks: New Tricks for a New Year
By Joshua Jay
An all-card issue, with two impossible locations: Pete McCabe's The Watchman is an impossible location that requires a special "something extra," while Trapper Keeper achieves a similar result with a regular pack. Josh Janousky gives us One Card Monte, an interesting take on a card change, and Ernesto Melero and Christian Grenier share pet moves to add to your toolkit.
Loving Mentalism: Singer Zinger
By Ian Rowland
A seemingly impossible piece of direct mindreading is featured in this month's "Loving Mentalism." Under test conditions, a spectator concentrates on one photograph chosen from eight possibilities. You then tell him exactly which image he is thinking of. You can do this from across the stage, without even looking in the spectator's direction and with none of the usual methods in play — no force, no ambiguity, no electronics, and no preshow. The powerfully deceptive principle is extremely subtle and highly versatile.
Directions: #12. Take a Bow!
By Joanie Spina
The closing of your act or show should be clean and well structured. The show should be riding a steadily increasing momentum that builds to a crescendo and leaves the audience wildly excited and enthusiastic about you. But the show is not over until you exit the stage. The same care that is given to planning your act should go into crafting your bow, as well.
Bent on Deception: Wooly Bully, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Accept the Clown
By Mike Bent
Do you remember Play-Doh, Etch-a-Sketch, X-ray Specs, Sea Monkeys, and the game Clue? These are more than toys; they are art, as important as the simple Campbell's soup can that Andy Warhol immortalized. When an audience sees one of these objets d'art, which have never been out of production since they were created, there's an instant emotional hook, a bonding with the performer.
By Rick Lax
Type "magic trick" into YouTube's search bar and see what comes up on the first page. You'll find videos of Paul Annett performing a packet trick called This'n'That (17,913,555 views) and Oren Sashalom performing an interactive Princess Card trick (18,098,117 views). Which brings up an important question: Who the hell are Paul Annett and Oren Shalom?
50 Years at the Castle: And We're Off!
By Milt Larsen
When Stan Allen and I first talked about my writing a twelve-part series celebrating the golden anniversary of the Magic Castle, we agreed it shouldn't be a chronological account of events, but rather a collection of stories about the movers, do-ers, and finger-flippers who somehow worked together to make the Castle and the Academy of Magical Arts a unique success in the world of magic. So let's turn back the clock to the morning of January 2, 1963. We had announced that the Magic Castle would open its doors to members and guests at 6 p.m. Were we ready? Hell no!
Real-World Methods… Protecting Your Assets
By Cory Haines
Theft is a horrible thing. I remember an instance from my childhood, when my brand new bicycle was stolen by one of the "big kids." At the time, that bicycle was my most treasured possession. I felt victimized, helpless, and angry. For most of the magicians I know, the magic routines they have created are among their most treasured possessions, so the theft of these routines by other performers can leave them with similar feelings of helplessness, anger, and mistrust. The good news is that the law can provide some protection for our creations.
For What It's Worth: On the Road Again
By Mark Kornhauser
In order to gain a greater appreciation of magicians who don't live in Los Angeles or Las Vegas (I'm told there are many), I piled my two dogs — Zsa Zsa and Goulash — into the car and headed out on an 8,000-mile road trip. I'm no stranger to the road. I pride myself on expert packing, but the first night, I couldn't find my cell phone charger and tore apart everything in my SUV looking for it. And so it begins. The first rule of travel: there will be problems.
Paynefully Obvious: The Myth of Mentoring
A couple of years ago, a documentary was released that IMDb.com describes as "a coming of age journey set in the quirky subculture of magic." Make Believefollowed six young magicians who competed in the Teen World Championships, held in conjunction with the 2009 World Magic Seminar in Las Vegas. It is an excellent film that shows what it takes to make it in the dog-eat-dog — or perhaps rabbit-eat-rabbit — world of high-level magic competitions. It is also a film that encapsulates some of the problems I see in the world of magic today.