The February 2012 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 advance look at what's "between the covers."
Our John Bannon cover story this month is one of those rare instances — only the third time in twenty years — in which the cover subject writes the story. But it's not really a story. It's a tutorial — a tutorial told in a story format. Confused? Don't be. "Mr. Fantasy" makes it all work. And Raj Madhok gives us a little peek at the author, himself.
Mark Nelson has, over the past five years, become one of our go-to writers, having his byline on forty feature stories, six of which were cover stories. To say he'll be missed in these pages is an enormous understatement, as will be the case at the Magic Castle, where he contributed so much. Still, Mark's ultimate legacy will be his personality, the warmth of his smile and the generosity of his heart. And that will be missed by an enormous number of friends. I am, and will always be, one of those.
Stories in MAGIC this month:
COVER: John Bannon — All In By John Bannon Rather than describe tricks merely in terms of effect and method, John Bannon has written instructions in the form of a story, with dialogue between an unnamed narrator and a magician named Bannon. Here we present four Bannon effects, plus a bit of info on the man himself.
Oh, The Payne! The Payne! By Rory Johnston The man who stepped out onstage at MAGIC Live last year looked like the jolly proprietor of Ye Olde Tavern. Plump, with a bushy white beard, he gave a twenty-minute talk titled "Magic: The Gift of Immortality," about the importance of magic magazines and their role in preserving the history of magic. Flashing through a Powerpoint plethora of illustrations, he presented a rare combination of humor and eloquence, creating peals of laughter from beginning to end and leaving the audience contemplating serious thoughts. He was, simply put, a huge hit. His name is Payne Fifield, but he goes by Master Payne. It may seem a bit presumptuous, but unlike many self-professed "master magicians," he's living up to the title. If presenting magic with a unique character in an original fashion were a martial art, this friendly man would be a black belt.
Kirk Kirkham: For the Love of Magic By Gary R. Frank By all accounts, Charles Wesley "Kirk" Kirkham was an extremely knowledgeable magician, well versed in all aspects of the art. A dynamic illusionist, builder, collector, and consultant for Hollywood productions, his life revolved around magic for the latter half of the 20th century.
Social Media For Magicians, Part 2 By Rachel Stoll Armstrong & Tiffany Hindman While creating Facebook and Twitter accounts is a great first step [January 2012], utilizing them to their full promotional potential requires creating interesting and unique content. This content is necessary to maintain your fans as well as allow future potential clients to understand who you are, see what differentiates you from other performers, and let them know what you can do for them. In Part Two of our series, we explore the main types of digital content, with tips and ideas for their creation, and how to share the content effectively across your Twitter account and Facebook fan page.
De Matos' Tour is Chaos Luis de Matos' Chaos show opened on December 3 at the Casino Estoril in Lisbon, with demand for tickets prompting the original month-long run to be extended through the end of January. The show is now in "gypsy mode," traveling around Portugal for the rest of this year, staying in larger cities for several days, and playing one-nighters in the smaller venues. It will likely tour Spain in 2013.
A Magical Reawakening By Sean Chaffin The close quarters are not perfect for a magic routine. The scene is a late-October flight home from Dubai, and poker pro Antonio Esfandiari is entertaining flight attendants and nearby passengers. His nimble fingers give a deck of cards a shuffle as he successfully locates an onlooker's card. Antonio has won millions of dollars and some of the biggest poker tournaments in the world. But what really makes him smile is entertaining people with magic, a skill he began cultivating as a teenager. The idea of being featured in an article for magicians garnered an enthusiastic response: "Oh, my people! I love the magic people. I'm in."
The Magicians The British television show pairing magicians from around the world with celebrity contestants has returned to the BCC for a second season. The series debuted last year with Luis de Matos (Portugal), Chris Korn (US), and Barry & Stuart (Scotland). The latter duo has returned for the 2012 season, this time with Jason Latimer (US) and Pete Firman (England). In the new season, one-third of each show will be presented live, making this the first live magic program to be broadcast on the BBC in over thirty years.
Vegas Magic Theatre Magic has another stage to call home in Las Vegas. On January 5, the Vegas Magic Theatre officially opened its doors at the Gold Coast Hotel & Casino after two months of previews. Under the guiding hand of producer Paul Stone, the show aims to bring a revolving cast of magicians and variety acts to the hotel's 225-seat showroom. The grand opening performance featured Ben Stone, Adam Flowers, Mike Douglas, Michael Goudeau, Jasmine Trias, and Murray Sawchuck.
A Moment With... David Bull Le Grand David and His Own Spectacular Magic Company is the longest-running magic show in the world, according to Guinness, and arguably the most unique. The production began in February 1977 in Beverly, Massachusetts, by what was then a small band of energetic and enthusiastic performers with a mutual dream — a dream that originated with and was overseen to fruition by Cesareo Pelaez. Very early on, Cesareo appointed David Bull as his costar. Bull, the "David" in Le Grand David, has been leading the performances ever since. On February 18, the troupe celebrates its 35th anniversary with a performance at the Cabot Street Theatre. David Bull shares his thoughts about the past 35 years.
Runaway Magician Returned Home Sixteen-year-old amateur magician Howard Ralph Kahn disappeared on February 8, 1948;MAGIC readers may have noticed an ad searching for him reprinted in our article on The Billboard [November 2011]. We are happy to report that Howard returned home — at the end of 1949. Now living in the Bay Area of Northern California, Howard Kahn turns eighty this month, on February 2.
Plus... A sad farewell to Mark Nelson.
Tricks and advice in MAGIC this month:
Talk About Tricks: Magicians and Muppets By Joshua Jay Chris Randall shares the strangest use for a double-backed card ever to see print, while we explore a technologically advanced way to perform one of the best-selling marketed effects of the last two decades. The rest of the issue contains four smart, useable card ideas, rounding out another informative installment of "Talk About Tricks."
Directions: #2. Structure By Joanie Spina So, you've made your grand entrance ["Directions," January 2012]. Now what? Your act may consist of several routines. A sound structure is important for each routine, as well as for your act or show. Assembling a routine with a beginning, middle, and an end provides a framework, a sense of build and closure or completion.
The Almighty Dollar: 24-Karat Fold By Gregory Wilson Origami figures made with dollar bills are novel and intrinsically interesting. When used in conjunction with a magical effect or routine, they are further enhanced in the minds of laypeople. The following is an impressive and memorable way to introduce the classic origami finger ring.
Loving Mentalism: No Juice Dupe By Ian Rowland This month's effect is pure and miraculous. Someone is chosen, at random, from the audience. She thinks of something to draw, and draws it under perfect conditions of secrecy. You genuinely can't see what she draws. You reproduce her drawing perfectly. The audience is impressed and so is she. That's what it looks like to the audience. This is a dual reality trick, but read the description again: the person who does the drawing is genuinely impressed by your abilities and is seen to be impressed. This is what makes the illusion convincing and throws off anyone who suspects any kind of collusion.
For What It's Worth: Nostalgia Isn't What It Used To Be By Mark Kornhauser Two important comedy/magic influences for me and for many other magicians were Jay Marshall and Karrell Fox. At the Desert Magic Seminar at the Tropicana Hotel somewhere in the mid-1990s, I was sitting next to Karrell Fox and we were watching Jay Marshall perform as the master of ceremonies. That day, Jay started to reminisce about a time some forty years ago, when he first performed on the Tropicana stage. He waxed nostalgic and appeared to be weepy. I thought maybe he was setting us up for a joke. I wasn't sure, so I turned to Karrell and asked, "Is he serious? Is he really crying?" Karrell said, "Oh yeah, he's crying. And it'll happen to you, too."
In the Marketplace this month:
Twenty products are reviewed this month by Michael Claxton, Farrell Dillon, Peter Duffie, Jason England, Gabe Fajuri, Brad Henderson, Will Houstoun, Alan Howard, Francis Menotti:
Utopia with Dani DaOrtiz Curtain Call by Barrie Richardson Quick Change Transformation: Part 1, Men's Suit Transformation and Part 2, Women's Dress Transformation by Sos & Victoria Petrosyan Stand Up Monte by Garrett Thomas More Power To You: The Very Best of David Acer by David Acer Tranz-Deck by Bob Solari The Ultimate Card Control Utility by Jeff Kaylor and Michael Ammar Speakeasy with Dan Harlan Latter Day Tricks by August Roterberg Our Mysteries Inside Job/Aperture by Cameron Francis Notion by Harry Monk Tommy Cooper's Secret Joke Files compiled by John Fisher Adelaide Herrmann Queen of Magic by Adelaide Herrmann The Trapdoor Vol. 2 edited by Steve Beam Sly News Tear with Tony Clark Web Test by Pete McCabe. Enigma by Paulino Gil. Fantastique Cards by Dan and Dave