About a year ago, I received a call from Gina Soliz, a senior publicist at Warner Bros. She told me about a movie in production starring Steve Carell as a magician, and she asked what it would take to get a feature article in MAGIC and possibly even a cover. Next thing I know, my son and I are visiting the set in Los Angeles. Warner Bros. was generous in supplying us with some exclusive photographs and access to the filmmakers. At press time, however, the movie is still not ready for viewing, so I guess we'll all see this together. Maybe you could email me your (short) review.
Meanwhile, enjoy Shawn McMaster's behind-the-scenes story in the March 2013 issue, is now out in print, as well as on both the iPad and the Kindle Fire. If you haven't already received your copy, here's a look at what else is "between the covers."
MAGIC Live Intern Program
We are looking for young magicians, age 15-19, to participate in our intern program during MAGIC Live, August 11-14. This is a unique opportunity to work with the MAGIC Magazine team in all areas of the convention: registration, set-up, hosting, backstage, and more. You will also join in teen lunches with special magic guests, giving you an opportunity to mingle with, and learn from, some of the best. It's hard work, but a truly amazing, one-of-a-kind experience! If interested, please email Rory Johnston (rory@MAGICmagazine.com), explaining why you'd like to be an intern, along with your bio and where we can see footage of you performing.
More stories in MAGIC this month:
COVER: Looking at Magic with a Magic Eye By Shawn McMaster Magicians are the focus of Steve Carell's latest comedy, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, which opens in theaters this month. Shawn McMaster discovered that the folks behind the film have something of a history with magic, and a love for it that allows them to both honor and parody the art.
Mark Mason: Major League Pitcher By Alan Howard He's a performer, dealer, manufacturer, lecturer, and creator of magic. But Mark Mason is first and foremost a pitchman. Countless hours running carny games and extolling the virtues of household products have honed his spiel and audience psychology — useful assets in the magic business.
Taking Advantage of the Opportunity By Jaq Greenspon Doug McKenzie is a magician with an international upbringing and a technological bent. This combination of background, skills, and interests serves him well as a performer and as a consultant to several high-profile conjurors around the world.
That's How It All Began By Mark Kalin If a magician is fortunate, he or she might become known for a signature piece — an act that is immediately associated with a particular person. How do these career-defining routines come about? There is no one answer, but Mark Kalin asked half a dozen magicians "how it all began."
Plus Updates on…
Jorge Blass debuting his new Spanish television series with Luis de Matos, Juan Tamariz, Sos & Victoria, Yunke, and Dani DaOrtiz.
Twenty-five of the United States' finest professional close-up magicians — and one from England — entertaining Medal of Honor recipients at an Inaugural Ball.
Two successful fundraisers in Massachusetts to benefit David Oliver.
A reunion of some of the more than 2,000 graduates of the Magic Castle Junior program.
MAGIC Magazine's listing of "Conventions at a Glance."
Reports on La Grande Magia competition in Italy and Magic Outlaws on the Travel Channel, plus remembrances of Imam Hossain and Kees Schoonenberg.
More products reviewed this month:
Eighteen products are reviewed this month by Michael Claxton, Peter Duffie, Jared Brandon Kopf, Francis Menotti, Arthur Trace:
Woodyland by Woody Aragon Pack Small, Play Big: The Tradeshow with Dan Harlan Quadrant by Brandon David and Chris Turchi The Ultimate Control from Happie Amp Wayne Dobson & Friends by Wayne Dobson A Baxt, a Boy, and a Bucket with Robert Baxt Angel by Chris Knudsen Modern Intricacies by Yoann The Dance with Brain Platt Profile and Skewer by Garrett Thomas iProject with Alan Rorrison The Evolution Deck by Bob Solari Milbourne Christopher: The Man and His Magic by William V. Rauscher Lotto Square by Leo Smetsers Seeking the Bridge by John Born The Multiple Revelation Project by Andi Gladwin and Rob James Dunninger's Complete Encyclopedia of Magic by Joseph Dunninger. Out of print. Shirt Pulling Trick from Abbott's Magic Co.
Tricks and advice in MAGIC this month:
Talk About Tricks: Discipline By Joshua Jay This month, we explore a fabulous interlude with ESP symbols, suitable for close-up or stage, as well as Curtis Kam's new take on a prop you probably haven't used since you first started in magic: the Ball & Vase. J.K. Hartman, Jesse Rijpkema, and Zane Kinkade round out the issue with powerful card routines.
Loving Mentalism: The Psychic Gift By Ian Rowland This month's slice of mentalism is simple, direct, and lots of fun. A spectator is given over two dozen sealed greeting cards. Inside each card is a message promising a gift of some kind. With the cards in her own hands, the spectator freely chooses whichever card she wants. The cards she did not choose are opened and read out, and all the gifts they mention are absurd or humorously unpleasant! When the spectator opens the card she selected, she sees that you predicted she would choose that card, and she wins the nice box of chocolates that has been on your prop table all along.
Bent on Deception: Let's Not Make a Big Production Out of This By Mike Bent I don't have a lot of use for the "now it's empty, now it's full of silks" kind of production, but I still love the gadgetry! I also have a longstanding obsession with the most entry-level "packs flat, plays big" production prop: U.F. Grant's Temple Screen. I have come up with several routines for it, none of which involve silks. I also haven't given up entirely on productions, but they need to make sense and have an element of surprise and humor behind them. I think this month's offering fits the bill.
50 Years at the Castle: Nobody's Pirfict! Fun and Follies By Milt Larsen My late brother, Bill Larsen Jr., always called me "Mrs. Winchester." After inheriting the Winchester rifle fortune, Sarah Winchester was told by a spirit medium that she should build a home for the spirits of all the people killed by Winchester guns — and that she would join the spirits if she ever stopped building the home. For 38 years, the round-the-clock sawing, sanding, and hammering at her San Jose mansion never ceased. I guess Bill's comparison was well founded. In the fifty years of the Magic Castle, we have never stopped sawing, sanding, and hammering.
Viewpoint: YouTube Exposé: A Different Perspective By Lee Asher The most significant benefit the Internet provides us is the ability to get back to mentor-student relationships.
For What It's Worth: Who Do You Think You Are and What's the Big Idea? By Mark Kornhauser Whatever type of magician you are, no matter how "real" and believable your personality, when you are onstage you are not a real person. You are a theatrical character. Your theatrical character can be a realistic character, but it is a character nonetheless.
Paynefully Obvious: Just a Theory By Payne "I know how you did that," the spectator exclaims upon seeing the magician cause a coin to vanish. "It went up your sleeve." The magician mentally carves another notch in his magic wand and counts this performance as a victory. The spectator has been fooled. The coin didn't go up the magician's sleeve; he used a hook coin. The half dollar is safely hidden behind his lapel. He succeeded in deceiving the spectator. How could anyone see it any other way?
#LaxOnline: Shut Up Already About How Magic Shops are Dead By Rick Lax Old Guard magicians spent the last decade lamenting the creeping extinction of the brick-and-mortar magic shop. Well, I have some news. The magic shop lives. It moved. It's online now.