Steve Valentine: His Magic, His Mentors,
and His Rediscovery of the Real Secrets of Magic
By Chris Philpott
Steve Valentine once described himself as "an actor and a magician, playing the part of a magician as an actor, playing a magician as an actor acting as a magician." Lay audiences know him for his many television roles, while magicians know him as a close-up performer who studies and honors the masters and mysteries of the past.
V.I.P. Card Through Handkerchief
By Steve Valentine
Here are two impromptu variations of a classic effect, adapted by Steve Valentine from the work of past masters of magic Paul Rosini and Edward Victor.
The Most Watched Magic Event in History
By Rory Johnston
Twenty-five years ago, Dan Witkowski presented a halftime show that may have changed the way such Super Bowl events have been done ever since. He did it with innovation, nerve, and magic.
Paul Gleeson, Behind the Scenes
By Jamie D. Grant
Paul Gleeson, known onstage as Rua, is one of the latest magicians to have his own television series — and he is the first and only magician to do so in Ireland, presented entirely in the Irish language.
The Remarkable Johnny Eck
By Mark Walker
He was one of the most unusual secrets in magic, the truly baffling star of an illusion that is still whispered about today. Sideshow performer Johnny Eck was also a magician in his own right, a painter, and so much more — while being so much less.
Plus Updates on…
- Voronin's show, The Count's Ball, plays Berlin
- Wayne Alan revives an old theater in Virginia
- Danny & Stacey Cole produce magic in Albuquerque
- Donations roll in for the Brookledge Follies
- Remembrances of Karl Norman and Rod "The Hop" Dee
Bonus Content in MAGIC Plus…
- Steve Valentine teaching the V.I.P. trick
- Vintage footage of Dick Turpin performing Cards to Pocket
- An excerpt from Rua's magic series on Irish television
- Highlights of the 1989 Super Bowl halftime show
- Jason England explaining some of the finer points of tricks from Mayhew
- PDF of "In His Words: Steve Valentine" from December 2007
- Convention Podcast: Abbott's Close-up Convention
Edited by Gabe Fajuri
Sixteen products are reviewed this month by Peter Duffie, Jason England, Greg Gleason, Jared Brandon Kopf, Francis Menotti, Arthur Trace:
Too Hot for the Devil by Matt Field and Tom Gagnon
Undiluted Hocus-Pocus by Martin Gardner
Numbers, Cards, and Time! By Carlos Vinuesa
The Messado Rings by Joshua Messado
Techno Pop by Jack Carpenter
Illusion Paradigm by Paul Osborne & Friends
Fractalicious with John Bannon and Liam Montier
Reflex by Patrick Kun
Secrets of My Magic by David Devant
The Secrets of Packet Tricks,
Vols. 1-3 by L&L Publishing
Tips on Comedy for Magicians: Vol. 1 with Robert Baxt
The Red Envelope with David Sousa
Do Not Disturb! by Thomas Heine and Rainer Mees
Alien Concepts, Vols. 1 & 2 by Anthony Asimov
Snow Blind and Color Blast Cards by Bob Solari
Stephen Minch writes: "If you live in the Tacoma-Seattle area of Washington, or if you keep your fingers pressed firmly to the pulse of card magic barely overground, you know who Steve Mayhew is, and you will be excited to learn that, after more than ten years of intense and unceasing labor, a slender volume of nearly all his magic is being released. Steve Mayhew is, without question, the greatest exponent and innovator of card magic to have lived since J.N. Hofzinser. Now, I'm delighted to say, thanks to the long labors of John Lovick, we submit the following [three effects] in evidence."
Ian RowlandThe Purple Cow
A grand illusion is on offer this month in "Loving Mentalism." It's an illusion in which a cow transforms into a horse right before a spectator's eyes! Well, maybe "grand illusion" is taking things a little too far. It's all done with a simple card containing a few questions, and the illusion only takes place in the spectator's mind rather than on a Las Vegas stage. Nonetheless, it's a simple and deceptive little mystery that shows you're a master of persuasion and mind manipulation.
Bent on Deception
Mike BentThe Mysterious Case of the Missing Matching Mitten
This routine uses two ideas from Billy McComb. You invite a helper onstage, then show five different cards, each printed with a different-colored mitten. After you place the five cards aside, you ask your helper to turn around. Then you show the audience an envelope with a window cut out. The envelope contains a single card. You explain to the audience that the card is your prediction, and show a picture of a red mitten that your helper needs to match. Next, you take the prediction card out of the envelope and place it aside, face down. You spread the stack of face-down cards in front of your helper and ask her to choose a card that she thinks will match the prediction you showed earlier. She turns over her card to show a yellow mitten! You act disappointed. You say "Sorry, it's not a match" as you turn over the prediction card to reveal — a yellow mitten! Your helper did get it right! But what happened to the red mitten? As you turn around to look for it, a cutout of a red mitten is stuck on your backside!
Classic Correspondence from Egyptian Hall Museum
Mike CaveneyR.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. to Stephen Patrick
"It's Fun to be Fooled — It's More Fun to Know." To the magicians it must have felt like a tsunami. One moment everything was fine, and then suddenly you couldn't turn around without having the secret to a magic trick rubbed in your face. Over 1,200 daily newspapers ran black-and-white comics that used magic principles as a way to sell nicotine. On Sundays, the ads got even bigger and appeared in full color. The most popular magazines of the day all carried Camel ads that exposed our precious secrets to the masses. Not surprisingly, the response from the magic world was immediate and decisive.
For What It's Worth
Mark KornhauserMy Fake Love
A long time ago, Chipper Lowell and I were in a show together in Lake Tahoe and we noticed how audiences always fall for the fake "poignant moment." Entertainers easily recognize this artificial plea for sympathy and roll their eyes at the obvious ruse. Most everyone else, however, gets out the Kleenex. We thought, If it's that easy to create poignancy, then why shouldn't we incorporate it in an equally fake way? As it turned out, blatantly insincere as we were, our "poignant" moments were often taken at face value.
Simon CoronelSeventeen Chairs and a Fringe Festival
Back in 2004, during my final year at university, I produced a one-man show in the Melbourne Fringe Festival. I had been learning magic for four years at that point and wanted to unleash my brilliance on the world. If you've ever been involved in a Fringe Festival, you will know that they can be harsh mistresses. The efforts involved in producing your own one-hour show are pretty intimidating, particularly for a first-timer.