From The Editor
The March 2014 issue of MAGIC Magazineis now out. If you haven't already received your copy, here's a look at what's coming your way.
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Stories in MAGIC this month:
Solving the Puzzle of Ryan Oakes
By Tom Wallace
Acclaimed by his peers even as a youngster, Ryan Oakes has forged a successful career in magic, somehow keeping a low profile while being involved in highly visible projects. Corporate shows, a television series, and a magic set branded with his name keep Ryan busy, in New York City — and far beyond.
Tempered Glass Phenomena
By William E. Spooner
Call them Prince Rupert's Drops or the Devil's Tears. No matter the name, the curious properties of tempered glass products have intrigued and entertained scientists and magicians for centuries.
Sirens at Sea
By Rory Johnston
A magic production show starring a female magician is still unusual, especially when the producer is also a woman. But having one woman create and produce three such shows, running concurrently on different cruise ships, and star in one herself is truly unique. Yet that is what Connie Boyd has achieved.
The Rameses Royal Centenary
By Chris Woodward
March 1914 saw the first Royal Variety Performance for the King and Queen of England at the London Palladium. And it was a magician, Rameses the Necromancer, who was chosen to close the show.
By Alan Howard
Pair up four magicians, give them some random items, and see what magic they can create. That's the premise behind Wizard Wars, a pilot for a new television show on Syfy cable network.
Correction: As the March issue went to print, the pilot episode ofWizard Wars was scheduled to premiere on Tuesday, March 4. It has since been pulled from that time slot, with no new airdate available.
Plus Updates on…
- The 2014 edition of the Columbus Magi-Fest
- Extreme Vegas, a hybrid magic/dance/circus production
- The Winter Festival of Magic in Indianapolis
- Derek Hughes' Insomnia
- Remembrances of Scott Lewis, Dave Madden, and Brian McCullagh
Bonus Content for the March Issue…
- The original test competition that led to the pilot episode of Wizard Wars
- Jason England explaining some of the finer points of tricks from Close Culls
- Convention Podcast: Florida State Magic Convention
Products reviewed this month:
Fifteen products are reviewed this month by Peter Duffie, Jason England, Gabe Fajuri, Jared Brandon Kopf, Francis Menotti, Arthur Trace:
by Mathieu Bich Cruise Magic 101
by Nick LewinPsy-Colony
by Gary BrownClick 2
by Valdemar GesturTwisted Queens
by SansMindsInstant Fortune Teller
by McTaggart and Hall Allegro
by Miguel PugaEP
by Valdemar GesturSoundzAmazing
by Chris WebbHeinstein's Dream
by Karl HeinBuilt to Last
with Doug ConnShowmanship for Magicians
by Dariel FitzkeeAlluminati
by Chris OberleMAYHEW: What Women Want
by John Lovick
And there's even more tricks and advice this month:
First Look: Close Culls
Readers of MAGIC Magazine will recognize the name Harapan Ong, as he has previously shared several moves and routines in Joshua Jay's "Talk About Tricks" column. Of his native Singapore, Harapan says, "We don't get much outside influence from other magicians, but I believe this has been a blessing in disguise. It has given me the potential to explore magic without preconceived limits or constraints." Most of Harapan's material deals with the spread cull, a sleight he has dissected and enhanced in several intriguing ways, as you will see in these four effects excerpted from his new booklet, Close Culls.
Loving Mentalism: Gorilla Mentalism
This month's "Loving Mentalism" comes with an apology. There are already so many mentalism routines featuring gorillas, and I'm sure readers will be bored by the very idea of trudging through yet another. Alas, in a shameful display of barren creativity, that's exactly what's on offer this month — one more gorilla mentalism routine to add to the pile. What's it about? Well, attention blindness is the theme, and it's about putting a picture of a 300-pound gorilla right in front of people and yet, due to a quirk of the mind, they never even notice it's there.
Bent on Deception: Get Smart: Control vs. Chaos
A lot of children's entertainers are at the extreme ends of the control vs. chaos seesaw. Some are control freaks who don't allow for any spontaneity and make the kids almost afraid to laugh or respond. Others are the wacky uncle who comes for a visit, gets the kids all hyper and sugared up, and then leaves right before the inevitable meltdown. I've learned that, for me, the answer isn't just a balance between the two, because when you're working with kids, things can easily tip out of balance. The answer is much easier than that and can be broken down into six easy steps.
Classic Correspondence from Egyptian Hall Museum: Percy Naldrett to Reg Wishart
Everyone who knew Percy Naldrett said he was a character. By the time of his death in 1973 at age 88, he had become a grand old man of magic, having witnessed so much of what the British magic scene had to offer during the 20th century. Naldrett was an inveterate letter-writer and his missives were filled with news, gossip, advice, and opinions. This letter to a magician named Reginald Wishart described, among other topics, Amac's illusion called Find the Lady.
For What It's Worth: Pulitzer Prize for Kornhauser?
Although I have always had a preference for the Nobel Peace Prize, who could turn down a Pulitzer? Unfortunately, it costs fifty dollars just to submit an application to the nominating committee. And who knows, I might not even qualify. But simply having the name "Kornhauser" and "Pulitzer" in the title makes it more likely that there will be some status benefit for me. It's just the way Google and humans work. I'm simply applying the widely accepted self-aggrandizing ethos of the day. I have broken no laws and I manage to draw attention to myself. Thanks for listening. Like me on Facebook.
Walkabout Soup: Expensive Illumination
There was this card sandwich routine that I used to do, one of those "Jacks-as-detectives trap the chosen card between them" type of effects. I'd given it a deliberately melodramatic presentation. Part of the script went: "This is going to be a film noir piece. Imagine that we're doing this in a dark room with an overhead spotlight and a Henry Mancini track playing. We didn't have the production budget to do it for real, so use your imagination." Given that I usually performed the routine in restaurants, this was obviously a joke. But then I thought, What about actually doing it? Actually getting an overhead spotlight, killing the lights, and doing the trick to dramatic music. Particularly in the Magic Castle's Close-up Gallery, that would look awesome…
Real-World Methods: One Thing
Cocky. That is what the famous Dutch magician Peter Pit used to call me. Back when I was a Junior at the Magic Castle, maybe seventeen or eighteen years old, I didn't get along so well with Peter, maybe because he often called me "cocky" or maybe because I was just too self-assertive. But even though we didn't form a close bond of friendship — or even a mutual respect, for that matter — Peter Pit gave me, as a young man, the most important advice I have ever received: "In order to become a real success in magic, you should focus on one thing and master it. Take that one thing and make it yours."