From The Editor
On February 6, Bill Smith and I flew to Miami to spend a couple of days on board the brand new Norwegian Getaway. He was there to tweak a few of the three or four dozen special effects he's built into theIllusionarium showroom. I was there to interview the creators of the show and take it all in. I saw two performances of The Illusionarium, and I have to say I was impressed. From the minute you step up to the entrance, then walk down the hallway and enter the showroom, you are completely immersed in the experience. The design, the décor, even the wardrobe — all beautifully executed. Then a fine dinner and five world-class magicians whose performances are woven into just enough of a storyline. Read all about it in the March 2014 issue of MAGIC Magazine, which is now out. If you haven't already received your copy, here's a look at what's coming your way.
Thanks for your continuing support…
Stories in MAGIC this month:
By Rory Johnston & Stan Allen
Norwegian Cruise Lines' newest ship, the Getaway, features magic's newest showplace: The Illusionarium. Working with Jeff Hobson, NCL created an otherworldly multimillion-dollar venue where "the world's greatest magicians" do battle twice nightly.
Wittus Witt: It's All About the Art
By Marcus Zink
Magician, collector, historian, author, publisher, photographer, and opinionated artist — Wittus Witt holds a unique place in the world of magic, not only in his native Germany, but around the world.
A Conversation on Character, Part I
The Magic Castle recently hosted a panel discussion on various aspects of creating and performing magic in character. Rob Zabrecky moderated the evening, interviewing Ed Alonzo, Tina Lenert, John Lovick, and Woody Pittman — all of whom did not necessarily have similar opinions on the subjects.
Healing Medicine Through Magic
By Rory Johnston & Lawrence Hass
At Northwestern University in Chicago, Dr. Ricardo Rosenkranz teaches medical students to be better doctors — by teaching them magic. His popular Magic & Medicine classes open students' eyes to the importance of relating to their patients as magicians do to their audiences.
Plus Updates on…
- Nothing on Earth, the new play about Houdini, Conan Doyle, and Margery
- Auctioning off the history of the Le Grand David show
- The 2014 convention of the Blackpool Magicians' Club
- Remembrances of Aldo Colombini, David M. Baldwin, and Jeff Busby
Bonus Content for the April Issue…
- Wittus Witt Thumb Tie video
- Comedy magic act of Wittus Witt and Roy Gardner
- Dr. Ricardo Rosenkranz, Magic & Meaning, 2013
- Terrence Choy at Magic Chicago
- Jason England explaining some of the finer points from The Heinous Collection
- Convention Podcasts: Magic-Con and Florida State Magic Convention
Products reviewed this month:
Nineteen products are reviewed this month by Peter Duffie, Gabe Fajuri, Jared Brandon Kopf, Francis Menotti, Arthur Trace:
Amazing JoeJoe's Web Spinner
by Amazing JoeJoeThe Artful Mentalism of Bob Cassidy, Volume 2:
by Bob CassidyThe Core
by Pit HartlingDecoy
by Eoin O'HareDemon Wonder BoxGift of the Magi
by David Acer & Marchand De Trucs Her Majesty's Spell
by Dani DaOrtizIncredideck
by Bob SolariInnercircle
by Yigal MesikaMental Deceptions, Vols. 1 & 2
by Rick MaueOCD Deck
by SansMindsOnce Upon a Time
by Wayne DobsonPit Boss Junior
by Alan WongPorthole
by Darryl VanamburgSansMinds Sharpie
by SansMindsThe Silencer
by Jeff PraceSix 2.0
by Mickael ChatelainUnwritten
by Lyndon JugalbotThe Wowlett
by RSVP Magic
Tricks and advice this month:
First Look: The Heinous Collection
Karl Hein is well known for his amazing card handling abilities and his naturally disarming performance style. At 36, he has made his living for the past fifteen years performing close-up magic and stand-up shows for private and corporate events. In the magic world, he has presented over 100 lectures in 15 countries and released a number of tutorial DVDs; The Heinous Collection is his latest DVD set.MAGIC Magazine readers can take a "First Look" at Collecting Camaro — a Triumph routine that packs a really big punch — and learn Karl's famous yet practical Heinous Shuffle, as well as some of Karl's thoughts on choosing the right shuffle for the right situation.
Loving Mentalism: Three Prizes
A simple close-up item you can perform at the drop of a hat is this month's "Loving Mentalism" offering. It's a good one to know if you're feeling lazy, since it's entirely "hands off all the way. You don't do anything, touch anything, or decide anything. It's all about a little game in which your spectator friend can win a thousand dollars. The spectator does all the work, makes all the decisions, and is in control from start to finish, yet somehow fails to win your money. It's simple, but there are a few little subtleties you might like.
Bent on Deception: The Glass is Half Empty
Which came first, the gimmick or the trick? I always feel a little guilty when a prop inspires a trick or a joke. My gut tells me it's always better the other way around: you think of an idea and then find or build the prop to make that idea a reality. But sometimes you just find or think of something so unusual that you end up with a great prop in search of a great routine. And that's exactly what I'm offering this month — a utility prop that must have a million uses. I have some ideas on what they might be, but I'm going to leave the rest up to you.
Classic Correspondence: Stuart Cramer to John McKinven
Late one night, George Kirkendall scared the daylights out of some wide-eyed magicians with his masterful performance of Karl Germain's Spirit Lock. The tale was told of the magician Faust who had been imprisoned in a dungeon "by this very lock," and the sudden opening of the lock was startling. Charles Bertram had this lock made in England during the 1890s. During the next century, ownership of the lock passed from Bertram, to Edward Maro, to Karl Germain, to Stuart Cramer, to George Kirkendall, and finally to Tim Moore. The author of this letter was the fourth owner, Stuart Cramer. As luck would have it, Stuart grew up in Cleveland and became lifelong friends with that city's most famous magician, Karl Germain. During the decades of their friendship, Stuart acquired a great deal of Germain's magic and ephemera.
For What It's Worth: Star Track, The New Frontier: Interstitial Space
Big is the next big thing. Big magic and variety shows are touring the world just like the good old days — whenever that was. This is the year of the Big Multi-Act Magic Show. These shows have been performed for hundreds of thousands of people and collectively employ more than 35 top-tier magicians. That's enough to positively impact the fragile balance of supply and demand in our magic micro-economy. Stringing magic acts together can be an effective presentation. But it is not long before the temptation to "add" comes into play. The question is: is the whole greater than the sum of the parts?
Walkabout Soup: Projecting Professionalism
Close-up magic projected onto big screens is becoming more and more common. We're seeing it everywhere, from magic conventions and competitions, to charity galas, solo shows, and everything in between. When done effectively, using a camera and projector to magnify a small trick for a big audience can be incredibly powerful. However, when used badly, it can really mess up a show. Over the past several years, I've had a huge amount of time performing projector-magnified tricks for large audiences, and I've noticed that there are a few simple things that can make all the difference between brilliant and terrible projector work.
Viewpoint: Why Don't Magic Get No Respect?
Max Howard & Diane Bray
The question before us, ladies and gentlemen, is this: "Why don't magic get no respect?" Or more literately stated, "Why isn't magic respected as an equal among the theater arts?" We understand that there are many answers to this question but we offer only two, a Long one and a Short one. You'll get both. Further, we assume that you agree with our proposition that, among the theater arts, magic does not receive the respect that it deserves and that it would be useful to know why. So we begin with this quote from Sir Winston Churchill who said, "All generalizations aren't worth a damn — including this one." You have been warned.
Real-World Methods: A New School Show Paradigm
The world of school shows is very different from the simple times of our youth. This past month, while performing at an elementary school, an announcement over the public address system stated that the school was going into a lockdown status. We were told to lock the classroom door and lower a screen to cover the glass window in the door. In addition, the blinds were lowered and the lights of the classroom were turned off. We were told to find cover away from the windows and door. The foremost thought in my mind was, "Thank God this is just a drill." In addition, I realized that the whole issue of security in elementary schools had changed dramatically. As a school show presenter, I needed to re-examine the subject.