October 2012 | Volume 22 | Number 2

COVER: David Copperfield, In Conversation

By Stan Allen

David Copperfield, In Conversation

He is forthcoming, candid, funny, thought-provoking, self-effacing, and entertaining. He is David Copperfield, and he was interviewed live in front of hundreds of magicians this past July at the Society of American Magicians national convention in Las Vegas.

Dunninger Rediscovered

By Joseph Atmore

Dunninger Rediscovered

Joseph Dunninger returned to the airwaves in the summer of 1955, after a six-year absence from television, to star in The Dunninger Show. The format was very similar to Dunninger's highly rated 1940s radio shows, which included audience readings, Brain Busters with celebrities and, on occasion, thought projections. Because it was a replacement series with a small number of episodes, little value was placed on preserving the original 16mm films or even the scripts. Only a few episodes of this series and the follow-up 1956 series remain in existence. However, by some incredible luck, and the generosity of Uri Geller, I can now bring you The Dunninger Show, August 6, 1955, with some possible explanations for how the star accomplished his mental miracles.

Marvin Berglas: Magician and Entrepreneur

By Alan Howard

Marvin Berglas

With the family name of Berglas, one could assume that at least one member of the next generation might become a magician. It seems almost a certainty when one learns that the first and middle names of Marvin Roy Berglas also came from a famed conjuror. And yet, Marvin's story is not one of following in his father's footsteps. It's about carving his own niche as a self-made entrepreneur — the creator of Marvin's Magic, which celebrates its 25th anniversary at the end of this month.

Knight Magic

By Jaq Greenspan

Knight Magic

Visiting Kyle and Mistie Knight at the office requires a federal documentation check and fleet approval, but it's worth it. Right now, the summer of 2012, that office is on board the Royal Caribbean International cruise liner Jewel of the Seas, which has been making its way around the Baltic Sea all summer. And Knight Magic, Kyle and Mistie's headlining magic show, has been one of the most talked-about pieces of shipboard entertainment. They just signed an almost unheard of year-long contract with Disney, which will see them doing more shows and yet allow them more time back in Las Vegas to settle into their new home.


By Rory Johnston


A secret gathering of the world's most famous magicians took place at the end of the 19th century. At least, that's the premise of the new theatrical magic show — featuring a group of eccentrics disemboweling, beheading, and chopping up people — now playing the 400-seat Friedrichsbau Varieté Theater in Stuttgart, Germany.

Magic Competition in Chicago

By Neil Tobin


With its polished wood floors, stained glass windows, and plantation-white walls framed by classical moldings, the Chicago Room of the Chicago History Museum seems transported from an elegant 19th century mansion. On a sunny afternoon in August, the room lent its air of dignity and importance to an unusual event in such a space: a contest among magicians.


Details on Hank Lee's sentencing, Jorge Blass' new "art of magic" show in Madrid, a New York eatery featuring a Three-Card Monte dessert, Fabrini's art exhibit in Germany, "Conventions at a Glance," and more.


Edited by Gabe Fajuri

iLogo Al Koran's Secrets

Sixteen products are reviewed this month by Michael Claxton, Farrell Dillon, Peter Duffie, Gabe Fajuri, Jared Brandon Kopf, Francis Menotti:

iLoGo by Craig Squires
The Show Doctor by Jeff McBride and Larry Hass
Al Koran's Secrets by Graham Jolley
Ethereal by Iñaki Zabaletta
Quarterly Returns by David Eldridge
Dual Edge by Rus Andrews
The Amazing Harry Kellar, Great American Magician by Gail Jarrow
Inside Comedy with Paul Kozak
50 Tricks You Can Do, You Will Do, Easy to Do by W.F. Rufus Steele
Leaves from Conjurers' Scrapbooks by H.J. Burlingame
Sanchez Fly by David Gabbay
Subterfuge Magic System by Kenneth Sanders
Wings by Matthew Mello
Chardshark by Daniel Chard
David Penn's Bottle Production
A Material with Allan Ackerman

Talk About Tricks

Joshua Jay

Talk About Tricks   The Atfor Dilemma

This month's "Talk About Tricks" features an array of card and non-card items, beginning with an exploration of how one professional street performer handles the classic Bill in Lemon. Bobby Hasbun and Stuart Lightbody provide fine card sequences, and Aljaz Son returns for a highly visual penetration effect using two borrowed coins and a glass. Jason Dean's Double Open Prediction is one of the finest card effects to appear in these pages, and then we end with Glenn Claxton's "angley" but lovely Peel Change.

The Almighty Dollar

Gregory Wilson

The Almighty Dollar Bang For Your Book

In the iconic paperback Think and Grow Rich, you show page 100. You then magically transform a $1 bill into a $100 bill while it's protruding from the book as a makeshift bookmark. Offering to go back where it started, you remove the $100 bill and fold it several times, but make a "mistake" by "accidentally" transforming it into page 100 — in the exact same size as the bill. The spectator turns to page 100 and finds the previously missing $1 bill and a torn out dollar-sized section of page 100!


Joanie Spina

Directions #9. Elements of Staging

Keep your staging direct, simple, and easy to follow. The actions should be motivated and connected. There is room for abstract material as long as it engages the audience's attention and holds their interest. Set up your scene, establish the story, the relationship, and the characters, and let it feed into and introduce the magic.

Loving Mentalism

Ian Rowland

Loving Mentalism Super Sight

The theme this month is 'heightened sensory acuity' or, in simpler terms, being able to develop super senses. Could you read the bottom line of an optician's eye chart from thirty feet away? Or the small ads in a newspaper from across the room? You could if you were able to grant yourself 'super-powered vision' at will. This is exactly what you claim you can do, and you prove it under test conditions!


Chris Philpott

Viewpoint Thoughts on An Evening with Guimarães & DelGaudio

The show, by FISM winner and Magic Castle Parlor Magician of the year Helder Guimarães and Magic Castle Close-Up Magician of the Year Derek DelGaudio, is stunning. It's one of those moments you can feel the slow, steady tectonic drift of the art of magic lurch forward and decimate a village, leaving homeless magicians wandering the streets in a daze, holding out their Egg Bags for hand-outs. It's so good that — if I may be honest — it's kind of irritating. It's envy good.


Allison Williams

Viewpoint Reality

Back at the hotel, showering out the hairspray and washing off the glitter, I wonder just how dumb this mistake will turn out to be, how many Americans this summer will see me and see a loser. But as I hang up costumes and plan the route to the next gig, and the next gig, and the one after that, it occurs to me that even standing up to boos and jeers and the caustic acid of three judges in the twilight of celebrity — their downward trajectory still a place higher than I will likely ever reach — is better than sitting around and waiting for opportunity to knock. Waiting for a life to begin. Waiting for a dream — any dream — to arrive.

For What It's Worth

Mark Kornhauser

For What Its Worth They Are Not Us

They are not us. We are not them. They have seen 3.2 live magic shows in their lifetime. We see hundreds. We enjoy watching the crafty nature of a thumb going into a nylon loop. They enjoy seeing a fluttering dove, a symbol of peace and love. They enjoy having the rug pulled out from under them. We no longer stand on the rug. The inexcusable crime of the magician is forgetting how a non-magician experiences magic.

Paynefully Obvious


Payne The Blind Spot

As children, we looked up at the blue summer sky and watched the clouds drift by, and we saw in them a menagerie of creatures — a cat followed by a lobster, being chased by a horribly disfigured clown. (Okay, I was a weird kid.) As adults, we look up at the blue summer sky and see the clouds float by, and we think: I could really use another margarita. Somewhere along the path of life, people start to settle for seeing things for what they are, not for what they could be.

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