September 2013 | Volume 23 | Number 1

Johan Ståhl

By Jaq Greenspon

Johan Ståhl

Swedish magician Johan StÃ¥hl has plenty up his sleeve — figuratively and maybe literally. Turning setbacks into opportunities to push himself farther, Ståhl's creativity and technique have earned him awards at FISM and elsewhere. And his successes have also pushed him to work even harder at his craft.

Win Star!

By Rory Johnston

Win Star!

David Magee is the star, and he's onstage to let people win. Entertaining huge crowds at a casino in Oklahoma, Magee adds magic to themed game shows, where everyone in the audience has earned a chance to win cash and prizes.

Magic at the Fringe: Part Two

By Chris Philpott

Magic at the Fringe: Part Two

Fringe festivals are not on the theatrical fringes as they once were. Many cities now hold extended festivals with dozens, or even hundreds, of shows. Continuing his interviews from last month, Chris Philpott learns how magicians can make a fringe show work for them, and how it might work against them.

Davenport's Magic Kingdom

By Fergus Roy

Davenport's Magic Kingdom

Lewis Davenport began dealing in magic 115 years ago. Since that time, the family has amassed literally tons of equipment and ephemera, acquiring individual items and whole collections. Last July, a dream was finally realized when the Davenports opened a museum to preserve and display many of their treasures.

Plus Updates on…

  • The 2013 SAM convention in Washington DC.
  • The 2013 IBM convention in Phoenix.
  • Magic on display, now or upcoming, in Louisville, Lake Tahoe, and Dublin.
  • MAGIC Magazine "Conventions at a Glance."
  • Remembrances of Albert Ching and Bart Whaley.

Bonus Content for the September issue…

  • Johan Ståhl performance video.
  • "Walk About Tricks" videos with Jason England.
  • Convention Podcasts: TAOM and Daytona Festival of Magic.


Edited by Gabe Fajuri

Creative Magic The Artful Remote Viewer

Twenty products are reviewed this month by Peter Duffie, Jared Brandon Kopf, Francis Menotti, Arthur Trace:

Creative Magic by Adam Wilber
Hug by Nefesch
The Grumble Glim by Nathan Kranzo
Hide & Seek by James Brown
Bitten by Bob Solari
True Mysteries by Fraser Parker
Magic in Mind edited by Joshua Jay
The World's Greatest Magic by Hyla Clark
Henri Robin, Expositor of Science and Magic by Edwin A. Dawes
The Artful Remote Viewer by Bob Cassidy
Ultimate CD Prediction Kit by Will Tsai
The Fortune Teller's Prediction by Magical Tales
Birthday Surprise In Las Vegas by Magical Tales
Chaotic by Kieron Johnson
East Meets West by Ken Niinuma
(W)Hole Deck by Marc Arthur
CAANDY by Chris Mayhew
Welcome to My World by John Stessel
Inscrutable by Joseph Barry
Pretty Fly with Michael Eaton

Talk About Tricks

Joshua Jay

Talk About Tricks Outro

This month, we explore four sensational routines from longtime "Talk About Tricks" contributors. Andi Gladwin shows us his take on a very old routine. This routine requires a specially printed gaff, and we're pleased to announce that this gaff is tipped into every issue, as a free gift! Joel Givens' Cheating Suite may be the perfect, quick gambling expo to add to your repertoire, and Joshua Jay himself rounds out the issue with one of his prized parlor effects: Hitchcock.

Les Amis

Gaëtan Bloom & Kevin James

Les Amis Fishy Game

This is a simple game with a slight con effect. You ask two spectators to assist you, then set a kind of rotating plate on the table. On this plate you have six transparent boxes, each with a tiny foil-wrapped gift inside. Each box is closed with two rubber bands and has a metal hook fixed on the lid. You give each of the spectators a child's fishing rod, ending with a simple "lasso" loop. When you start rotating the plate, the volunteers have to try to fish out as many gifts as possible, the last one being left for you. They do so, and the results at this point vary. Maybe one person is the winner, or maybe both end up fishing out the same amount of gifts. At the end, they discover what is in their respective boxes. They all have candies. Then you open the remaining box — your box — and this one is full of bank notes. Lucky you!

Loving Mentalism

Ian Rowland

Loving Mentalism Uno Por Delante

Jorge "The Jack" Garcia from Buenos Aires provides this month's "Loving Mentalism" routine. When I tell you it's a one-ahead routine, you might groan. But this one is more convincing than most. It looks impossibly fair and free from chicanery. Everything is checked and verified at every stage, and it really does deliver the inescapable conclusion that you can read minds. Best of all, it's easy to do and requires very little preparation.

Bent on Deception

Mike Bent

Bent on Deception You Can Teach an Old Bag New Tricks

Magicians show things empty all the time, but the minute we do, the audience knows we're going to produce something from the "empty" container. So, from the spectators' point of view, is the magician just showing something that looks empty? We all learn to get over the stilted patter of our childhood: "Here I have an empty hat…" But do we get over the need to show the damn hat empty?

50 Years at the Castle

Milt Larsen

50 Years at the Castle Hollywood Loved Stars, and the Stars Loved Magic!

In a recent newsletter, Joe Furlow, the Academy of Magical Arts general manager, wrote about the many celebrities who have been involved with the Magic Castle over the years. It's quite a list. I thought it might be interesting to consider some of the famous Hollywood personalities who were involved with magic in days gone by. Some of the names I'll mention might not be familiar to our younger readers. But when Bill and I were growing up, these folks were very active in magic. In a sense, they probably created the foundation for the Magic Castle to become known as a magnet for the Hollywood stars.

Real-World Methods

Mike Straka

Our Magic Stories Million-Dollar School Shows

Can you make a million dollars doing school shows? This isn't a trick question. I don't mean can you make a million dollars over a lifetime of school shows. I mean can you make a million dollars a year doing school shows. I'll let you in on the secret. Yes, you can!

For What It's Worth

Mark Kornhauser

For What It's Worth Humiliation 101

I have always believed that if you have command of your material, you should be able to perform admirably even if there are no laughs. I guess it was the blank stares that got to me. They hated me immediately and then it got worse. When it was over, I found a quiet place and screamed. What went wrong?

Paynefully Obvious


Paynefully Obvious The Cost of Magic

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. This third law of motion was basically Newton's way of saying "There's no free lunch." We magicians might think we're immune to this because we can seemingly bend the laws of nature. The rules that govern the physical universe are for other people. And perhaps they are. But is there a cost for being a magician?

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