Michael Carbonaro: Hiding in Plain Sight
By Derrin Berger
The Carbonaro Effect is a hit on the truTV network, with twice as many new shows ordered as originally planned. Michael Carbonaro and his team spend their days creating magic that doesn’t look like magic, and capturing people’s reactions on hidden cameras.
Rethinking Dell O’Dell
By Michael Claxton
She was one of the busiest professionals in magic for nearly thirty years, taking command of whatever style of venue she chose to play. Dell O’Dell and her husband, juggler Charlie Carrer, seem to have been liked by everyone — despite her much maligned rhyming patter.
By Chris Philpott
In September, Mat Franco accomplished what was previously thought to be highly unlikely: winning a season of America’s Got Talent with a magic act. He did it through a combination of tricks both old and new, charm, and an innate ability to adapt to the game.
You Never Know!
By Rory Johnston
How did Bill Malone, who has never acted before, land a guest-starring role on one of the most popular shows on television? Simply by being himself and being a magician — and being seen by a producer who wrote the non-magic role with one of his favorite magicians in mind.
Plus Updates on…
- Magic at Disneyland’s Halloween Carnival
- Allan Dickens’ Magnifica in France
- Steve Santini on TV in Escape From
- Remembrances of Bud Dietrich and Phil Wilmarth
Bonus Content for the November Issue…
- Links to four of the magical moments from Michael Carbonaro’s television show, The Carbonaro Effect.
- Two new excerpts from Murphy’s At The Table Lecture Series: Dan Hauss teaches a nifty penetration with a coin, a sugar packet, and a needle. Triple Impact is a pocket-to-pocket prediction effect from Mark Elsdon.*
- A “First Look” excerpt from Jonathan Levit’s new DVD set, Jonathan Levit: Ahead of the Game, on which he teaches his work on Any Card at Any Number.*
- Audio recordings of Dell O’Dell’s rhyming patter for some of her favorite routines, plus Dell cutting up with friends at the 1940 IBM Convention in Davenport, Iowa. While the sound quality is not the best, these recordings have not been heard publicly in over sixty years.*
- A flashback to our January 2002 interview with joke writer and presidential speechwriter Robert Orben.*
- Continuing weekly installments of Joanie Spina’s “Directions,” a home study course in showmanship and stagecraft — each presented in a one-paragraph summary, the entire article in an easy to read format, and on video with examples.*
- Convention Podcasts: The Magic Summit and MacMillan International Magic
(* Available for subscribers only at M360)
Nineteen products are reviewed this month by Peter Duffie, Gabe Fajuri, Greg Gleason, Jared Kopf, Francis Menotti, Peter Pitchford, and John Wilson:
The Hollingworth Collection by Guy Hollingworth and Dan and Dave Buck
Domino Effect by Alex Pandrea
The Casino Con by Steve Gore and Gregory Wilson
Lightspeed by Perseus Arkomanis
Cootie Catcher Magic by Jason Michaels
Flatline by Jay Sankey
At the Table Live Lecture Series by Murphy’s Magic
3 Secrets by Ken Niinuma
The Answer by Ron Salamangkero
Duo by Rian Lehman
The Skinner Tapes by Kaufman & Co.
Equilateral 3 by JC Sum
Spider Girl Illusion
E-rase by Julien Arlandis
The Wallet Transformer by Cameron Francis
Spontaneous Combustion by Granell
Unveil by Hyun Joon Kim
Card Magic Course by Steve Faulkner
Pop Haydn’s The Mongolian Pop Knot
Robert E. NealeThe Sense of Wonder
Robert E. Neale is considered to be a leading philosopher of magic and an innovator of magic effects and presentations. His new book, The Sense of Wonder, published last month sets out to expand our understanding of the human capacity to wonder beyond our limited notions of it, so magicians can create more and better wonders for their audiences. In these excerpts, The Tortured Bill explains an “impossible” fold, and Only a Paper Doll presents a torn-and-restored routine.
The Monk’s Way
Steve ReynoldsDiscrepancy Find
I remember the moment when the Monk emerged, the moment when my imagined audience became my conspirators. The year was 1999 and I was on the phone from Philly to New Orleans with my friend Mark Aspiazu. I was explaining a new version of Marlo’s Ace-x-Ace and I had hit a snag. The final display was hitting inconsistently and I had no answers. Then a glaring problem was evident: this was not the right time for a maneuver. This is when the audience is focused and aware. What are they focused on? What is important to them at this moment? This question brought in the light. No more move; no more audience as viewer.
This month’s “Loving Mentalism” item, from guest contributor Daniel Young, is all about strange, obscure, and amusing words. From hundreds of such words, a spectator merely looks at one and concentrates on it. You try to read her mind, and you fail! She names the word she is thinking of, and when you open your sealed, printed prediction that has been in view the whole time, it matches perfectly! The routine is neatly deceptive, easy to perform, and provides plenty of scope for fun. After all, how many mentalism routines do you know that involve words like “sausage” and “snollygoster”?
Bent on Deception
Mike BentAdvice Column
When Horace Greeley gave the nation his famous advice to “Go West, young man,” it was probably great advice for some — and horrible advice for others. I’m sure that some of those who took his advice stepped off the covered wagon, full of hope, and were immediately shot to death. I’m pretty sure it was also Greeley who coined the phrase “My bad!” (Also, Go West is one of the worst Marx Brothers movies.) Every day, we get advice from friends, family, fortune cookies, news stories, talk shows, and Facebook memes. We are even given advice that contradicts other advice we’ve been given. We’re told “Look before you leap” and “He who hesitates is lost.” With so much advice pelting us, we need to learn to take it with a grain of salt. We need to pick and choose what advice we listen to and what advice to ignore. In entertainment, this is really essential. Let me tell you a story.
Mike CaveneySenator Crandall to Harry Mendoza
On February 23, 1966, millions of people across America tuned in to The Beverly Hillbillies and watched dimwitted Jethro assist “Marvo the Magnificent” and “accidentally” expose the P&L Vanishing Bowl of Water and the Modern Cabinet. All in good fun, of course, but not all magicians were amused. One unamused viewer was Howard Adams, who felt compelled to send a letter to Bill Larsen Jr., editor of Genii magazine. Howard complained that he was forced to take the Vanishing Bowl of Water out of his act and that the magic on this TV program “could have been handled by a ten year old.” Magician Harry Mendoza, the technical advisor for the show, was quick to respond. His rebuttal filled more than a full page in Genii and stated that Adams had insulted his intelligence. Editor Bill Larsen capped it all off by suggesting that any further discussion on this topic should be addressed directly to the parties involved. Sitting in his Chicago apartment, Clarke “The Senator” Crandall rolled a sheet of his simple stationery into the typewriter, pushed down the “caps lock” key, and started typing.
For What It's Worth
Mark KornhauserDon’t Drink the Kool-Aid
After watching Masters of Illusion, Wizard Wars, Houdini part one, YouTube clips from America’s Got Talent and a few more “Got Talents,” and other self-proclaimed masters of magic, I couldn’t help but focus on a single word. A word that, at one time, the magic community embraced as having special meaning. A word that magicians used as a beacon for truth and reason, intended to shed light on dishonest practices and ideas. What was that word? Bull. If honesty and integrity and creativity have anything to do with a good magic performance, you won’t see much of that on television these days.
Simon CoronelA Milkshake or a Zombie Apocalypse
I woke up on a bus with no idea where I was or how I’d gotten there. I groggily blinked and looked around. The bus wasn’t moving. Also, I was the only person on it. I was alone on an empty bus in — let’s look out the window — the middle of the desert. What? I tried to think back to the last thing I could remember. Nothing immediately came to mind. This didn’t worry me — at least not yet. Anyone who has done much traveling knows the few seconds of disorientation and existential doubt you can get when waking up in an unfamiliar location. However, that usually happens in a hotel room. Not on an empty bus in the middle of a desert.