COVER: Pit Hartling
By Richard Hatch
The Giersch Museum, on the south bank of the Main River in the heart of Frankfurt's museum district, is a renovated three-story neoclassical villa built in 1910. Its primary mission, since opening as an art museum in September 2000, has been to showcase artists with a connection to the region but whose importance transcends the region's boundaries. But recently the museum hosted the first of a planned series of performances showcasing another kind of artist: Frankfurt-based magician Pit Hartling. Richard Hatch was there and writes about the show, as well as the magician and the unusual characters that make Pit the "Vice World Champion of Magic and the Most Successful German Magician in His Weight Class."
By Pit Hartling
During a lively session of close-up magic, spectators occasionally suggest effects or conditions. While some of these suggestions are nothing more than little jokes ("Can you make my boss disappear?"), others are actual challenges meant to put the performer to the test. Getting challenged can be a problem. Of course, there's also the upside of the story: meeting a challenge usually generates reactions way out of proportion to the actual effect.
Four Decades of 4F
By Charlie Randall
Five close-up routines are showcased from the long-delayed book of magic from forty years of Fechter's Finger Flocking Frolics, plus a look at Mr. Fechter himself.
My So-Called Busking Career
By Rick Lax
Having been a magician for years, when Rick Lax learned that street performing had been declared legal on the Las Vegas Strip, he put out a hat, gave it a try, and lived to talk about it.
Welcome to Ron's
Words by Peter McLanachan
Photos by Arto Airaksinen
Ron MacMillan has passed on, and the event is longer than a day, but this year the International Magic Convention in London marked its 40th anniversary in grand style.
Michael Carbonaro: The Tonight Show's Magic Clerk
By Mark Nelson
Convenience store shoppers have experienced implausible happenings lately, thanks to the comedic magic of Michael Carbonaro and the Tonight Show's hidden cameras.
Social Media For Magicians, Part 1
By Rachel Stoll Armstrong & Tiffany Hindman
Magicians search for the latest in props, plots, and presentations; maybe they should do the same with their promotions and marketing. Since the current trend in getting your name out there is social media, we begin a three-part series on the subject with a look at what Facebook and Twitter can do for you.
A Magical Nutcracker
The Nutcracker is one of the world's most famous ballets, well known by audiences who return year after year to relive the holiday classic. This year, after staging a more standard production for the past decade, the Carolina Ballet company added something new: magic.
Marco Tempest, You're Next
Each week, CNN's new series The Next List aims to profile what it calls "innovators, visionaries, and agents of change." During the inaugural episode on November 13, 2011, host Sanjay Gupta introduced viewers to Marco Tempest, making him the first forward-thinker added to the list.
Gary Darwin Tribute
Since 2004, The Fantasma IBM Ring 257 of Las Vegas has been producing yearly events honoring magic stars. On December 5, 2011, the spotlight turned to longtime Vegas local Gary Darwin, who formed a Las Vegas magic club in 1968 and has been tirelessly promoting it and the art ever since.
Mother Goose and Doc
Readers of daily comic strips — be they in a newspaper or online nowadays — may have been a bit puzzled if they looked at the details in Mother Goose and Grimm on Friday, December 2. The title character, Mother Goose, is seen wearing a T-shirt that reads "Doc Eason"
A Moment With... Matt Field
Matt Field's name is most closely associated with the literature of our art. He has been the editor of countless magic books, many of them important contributions within the past few decades. In 2005, Field was approached by The Magic Circle in England to become the first American-born editor of their esteemed publication, The Magic Circular. Matt's last issue as editor will be this month. What was this experience like, and what did he learn?
Edited by Gabe Fajuri
Twenty-three products are reviewed this month by Michael Claxton, Farrell Dillon, Peter Duffie, Gabe Fajuri, Gregory Gleason, Brad Henderson, Will Houstoun, Francis Menotti, David Parr:
Transcendence by Leon Deo Scott
Noted by Gary Jones
Masters of Mystery: The Strange Friendship of Arthur Conan Doyle & Harry Houdini by Christopher Sandford
Panini by Lee Asher
Urban Illusions by J.C. Sum
If an Octopus Could Palm by David Buck
The No Way Bottle Production by Iñaki Zabaletta & Vernet Magic
The Ring Master by David Jay
The Psychic Mafia by M. Lamar Keene as told to Allen Spraggett
Magic Made Easy by Carl March
Behind the Illusions with J.C. Sum & Magic Babe Ning
The Lives of a Showman by Mark Lewis
INK by Mickael Chatelain
Sharp Impression by Richard James
How to Live to be a Hundred by John Calvert
Sweet! and Birthday Card by Diamond Jim Tyler
European Coin Magic Symposium Vols. 1 & 2
Miracle Signed Card in Envelope by Roger Curzon
Blood on the Tricks Vol. 1 by Roger Curzon
Talk About Tricks
Joshua JayBest of 2011
We kick off "Talk About Tricks" with an impromptu miracle called Rune Toss using just borrowed business cards and a prediction. The issue also features technical refinements with playing cards from Rob Gardner and Brandon Williams, and a great transformation of a playing card into a dollar bill by Adam Wilber.
The Almighty Dollar
Gregory WilsonOut for the Count
This first installment in a new trick series starts with a one-dollar bill, with many written numbers on it. Each time the bill is folded, different numbers are shown in ordinal fashion. You ask the audience to count out loud each number that they see, like a cue card. When "ten" is reached, the completely unfolded bill is shown to be a ten-spot. The process is repeated to end up with the one-dollar bill again.
Joanie Spina#1. Making an Entrance
Like live performances, this column continues to evolve. During 2012, "Directions" will cover twelve different aspects of stage performance. The accompanying videos, found at MAGIC's website, will offer the same information covered here, along with additional examples. Now, let's start at the very beginning. Some of the most difficult and important moments for performers are their entrances and exits. People usually remember the beginning and ending of an act (and, if you are good, the in-between). Don't discount the importance of the entrance. It is your first impression upon the audience.
For What It's Worth
Once upon a time, I was asked to perform on the spot at a bar in downtown Austin, Texas. I did what any crazy man would have done – I found a couple of rubber bands and passed them through each other, as if by magic. Soon after, one of the guys watching asked me the five-word question we’ve all been asked. "I can't tell you," I responded, "or they’ll come after me." He just shrugged his shoulders and pulled out his iPhone. In about a minute, he was watching a video explaining, in detail, exactly what I was doing. And he was watching it on YouTube. So, it may come as a surprise when I say that YouTube is one of the best things to happen to magic. How can this be?