My introduction this month might seem like a commercial for our "unconventional convention," MAGIC Live! And that's only because it is a commercial for MAGIC Live!Even though registration is running six percent ahead of our last event, we now have a convention model that allows close to 1,500 people to attend. And that raises the question: Is bigger really better? Here are the pros and cons.
The pros are numbers. First, the more registrants, the larger budget you have to do great things with. Second, the greater the number of attendees, the greater chance of seeing the people you really want to see.
The only real con is also numbers. The problem is not the number of registrants, but how well you organize for that number. And that's what we've been working on for months. Yes, there will be two seatings of our General Sessions, but we've found ways for you to know which of your friends are in attendance, and we've created more time for you to spend with them.
So, come and meet your friends — old friends, and friends yet to be — or better yet, bring a friend with you! It's August 11–14, 2013, at The Orleans in Las Vegas. Please visit the MAGIC Live pages on our website for more information, including video highlights and photo slideshows of 2011. And if you would like to receive convention updates, email a request to live@MAGICmagazine.com.
And now, back to your regularly scheduled programming — the April 2013 issue, which 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's "between the covers."
More stories in MAGIC this month:
Denis Behr: In Person, In Performance, In Practice By Pit Hartling and Thomas Fraps German magician Denis Behr became the go-to guy for demonstrating difficult card sleights online. He also created the "Behr Files," an Internet resource cataloging hundreds of magic books. Here, two of his fellow countrymen have undertaken the task of describing Behr's current life and work — plus Behr provides a trick of his own.
The American Museum of Magic at Thirty-five By Gabe Fajuri The small town of Marshall, Michigan holds one of the world's great repositories of magic history — a collection originally built by Bob Lund, and now a museum taking some new directions with easier access and outreach to the general public.
The Wizard Behind the Wizard By Rory Johnston Looking for advice on showing a future wizard as a common carnival magician, the producers of Oz The Great and Powerful — the newWizard of Oz prequel — turned to a modern wizard in the classical mode: Lance Burrton. Here, Lance tells the behind-the-scenes tales of his experiences on the film.
Magic Mob! By Rick Maue In recent years, pop culture has produced "flash mobs," seemingly random groups of people coming together in public for a surprise, unified event, then dispersing. Now consider the "cash mob," in which friends gather to support and encourage a local business — such as a magic shop.
Robert Lund on Collecting Magic By Robert Lund When Bob Lund spoke to the Magic Collectors' Association in 1991, he was not always complimentary about the avocation of collecting, but reaffirmed his love of magic and the people who were equally enthusiastic about the art.
Plus Updates on…
Theatrical clowns Bill Irwin and David Shiner play a husband-and-wife magic team in one sketch in their new show Old Hats.
Hollywood's El Capitan Theatre offering two magicians — James Franco onscreen and Greg Wilson live onstage — throughout the month of March.
Martin Camiña's latest full-evening show, Corcheas, Semifusas e Ilusións (Quavers, Semi-quavers and Illusions), playing throughout Spain this year.
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone — a review!
MAGIC Magazine's listing of "Conventions at a Glance."
A remembrance of Maurine Christopher.
More products reviewed this month:
Nineteen products are reviewed this month by Peter Duffie, Jared Brandon Kopf, Francis Menotti, Arthur Trace, Mark Walker:
Confidences by Roberto Giobbi Al Schneider: Linking Rings Micro Card Rise by Bob Solari The Art of Presenting Magic to Children with Danny Orleans Silver Lining by The Miracle Factory The Great Alex Weyer by Véronique Faber Thindex from The Miracle Factory Ultra-Cervon by Bruce Cervon and Stephen Minch Poker to Win: Exposé of Advantage Poker Play by Al Smith Array by Baz Taylor The Prodigal by Atlas Brookings The Morphew One-Hand Top Palm The Triskadequadra Principle: The Naked Mole Rat of Mathemagical Tools by John Hostler Tossed-Out Book Test by Chris Philpott Mail-Order Mysteries by Kirk Demaris Closure by Robert Smith and Peter Eggink Ambideckstrous by Jonathan Pickard Babel by Vincent Hedan In My Mind 2 with Luca Volpe
And there's even more tricks and advice this month:
Talk About Tricks: Magi-Fest 2013 By Joshua Jay We begin with an offbeat method to vanish a pack of cards by Michael Boden, and then explore clever card creations from Kyle MacNeill, J.K. Hartman, and Andrew Hillcoat. Finally, Philip Bynorth delivers a solid Expertalk piece on a useful false cutting sequence.
Loving Mentalism: Soundless Music By Ian Rowland Dr. Arthur Lintgen from Philadelphia can identify a vinyl LP just by studying the pattern of the grooves on the record. This remarkable and perfectly genuine talent provides the inspiration for this month's routine, except the effect is brought a little more up to date with the use of CDs. Three spectators freely choose CDs from a wide selection spanning many different artists and genres. You identify the chosen albums, including the specific artist and title, without seeing them. Or touching them. Or going anywhere near them. A simple secret, but an enduring mystery.
Bent on Deception: It's All Geek to Me, or The Not-So-Daring, Incredibly Stupid Spring Trap By Mike Bent My one and only attempt at sideshow magic is the Daring Spring Trap. I ordered one, but when it arrived I was scared to death of the thing — it wasn't a magic prop, it was a real animal trap! I read the brief instructions, and while my mind completely understood the physics of it, my inner fraidy-cat couldn't be persuaded to actually try it out. When I eventually did give it a try, I did so wearing an oven mitt. I knew it had to be in the show, but the question was: How do I make it funny? The answer was obvious. I had just spent 45 minutes acting like a big baby stupid idiot. So that's what I decided to do onstage.
50 Years at the Castle: …And 45 Years of Banquets and Shows By Milt Larsen In thinking about these articles concerning the first fifty years of the Magic Castle, I have tried to come up with some stories that haven't been covered in our books and other articles. Since this is the April issue, and the 45th Academy of Magical Arts Awards take place at this time of the year, I thought I'd cover a bit of the background of the award concept.
Our Magic Stories: Lucille and the Ma-ma-magic Egg By Larry Singer For as long as I can remember, I have been a stutterer, cursed with the inability to speak without embarrassing myself. Even saying my own name takes too many staccato syllables, each machine-gun utterance adding to my shame. I am fourteen. I can feel the sweat welling up in my sideburns, starting to trickle down my reddening face. Lucille is introducing me. She smiles and gestures in my direction, inviting me onstage as she exits. I walk to center stage, gripping a red cloth bag. Much as I'd like to, it's too late to turn back now.
For What It's Worth: The Sex Issue By Mark Kornhauser When a young boy starts to do magic and gains the admiration of his peers, he doesn't just go home and learn new magic tricks. He adopts a new identity. As soon as you learn to do the Ball & Vase trick, you consider yourself a magician. It's pretty easy for a young boy to feel a part of the fraternal ranks of the magic world. I'm sure it's more difficult for young girls to feel part of that same gang. Therein ends my understanding of young girls, and women in general.
Paynefully Obvious: It's Not Bizarre To Me By Payne When one hears the term "bizarre magic," it brings to mind the image of a candlelit, incense-infused room where Andruzzian robed mages circle around a black-velvet draped card table, gutturally mumbling Cthulhuic incantations in a histrionic attempt to summon forth the Old Ones so they can reveal that the selected card was, in fact, the Five of Spades. This is a pity, because bizarre magic is so much more than that.
Creative Play: Scamper By Tracy Atteberry & David Parr In most cases, the creative process is described as less of a quantum leap, and more of a gradual series of small but significant refinements. One method that can help produce new improvements on old ideas is the checklist. We might be accustomed to thinking of checklists as mundane reminders of tasks to do or items to obtain, but a well-written checklist can be a powerful catalyst for creative thinking. Perhaps the most well-known example of this is Alex Osborn's list of 73 Idea-Spurring Questions. This month's creative game is based on a simplified version of Osborn's checklist, a version known as SCAMPER.
MAGIC Live Teen Intern Program
We are looking for young magicians, age 15–19, to participate in our intern program during MAGIC Live, August 11–14, in Las Vegas. 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.