The Saint of Sin City
By Max Maven
Fifteen years ago, The Mac King Comedy Magic Show took up residence at Harrah’s casino in Las Vegas. At the time, no one knew this was the start of one the longest-running magic shows in town, or that Mac would become nearly as well known for his offstage contributions to the local community.
The Magic Summit
By Rory Johnston
The question seemed simple: How could magicians transform and improve their local magic clubs? The Magic Summit brought people from across the country to come up with answers, to keep asking more questions, and to spur excitement and involvement.
A Picture is Worth Two Thousand Words
By Jamie D. Grant
His photos and videos have transformed how magic props are branded and sold. Peter McKinnon is pleased to reside in two worlds: taking photos of magic and making magic with his photos.
The Illusionists on Broadway
By Peter Samelson
Having successfully played around the world, the international seven-magician cast of The Illusionists landed on Broadway for a six-week holiday run with their latest incarnation, Witness the Impossible.
Plus Updates on…
- Opening night reviews for The Illusionists on Broadway
- The International Magic Convention in London
- The World Deaf Magicians Festival in Chicago
- A mindreading pizza menu that knows what you want before you do
- Remembrance of Bobby Bernard
Bonus Content in the January Issue…
- An excerpt from The Mac King Comedy Magic Show.
- Two earlier articles by Max Maven on Mac King from MAGIC Magazine: “Howdy — He’s Mac King” (November 1992) and “Big Mac” (April 2008).
- Three Peter McKinnon videos: Madison Dealer, Artifice, and Republic.
Bonus Content in the M360…
- New tutorial videos from Chris Capehart, Jonathan Friedman, Lennart Green, Chris Korn, and Jeff Prace.
- 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.
- “Martin Gardner’s Corner” ran intermittently in MAGIC Magazine from 1994 to 2004. Martin would have turned 100 years old on October 21, 2014. To celebrate, we’re posting 52 of his “Corners,” one per week for the next year. Each has been selected and annotated by Jason England and illustrated by Tom Jorgenson.
Eighteen products are reviewed this month by Michael Claxton, Peter Duffie, Gabe Fajuri, Francis Menotti, Peter Pitchford, John Wilson:
Pop Haydn’s Four Ring Routine by Pop Haydn
Ahead of the Game by Jonathan Levit
Kidtrix by Paul Osborne
Drop by Lyndon Jugalbot
Secret Twitter by Roberto Giobbi
Skyline by Danny Weiser
Octopalm by Jim Bodine
Heirloom Deluxe, Emily’s Revenge
by Colin Miller and Jamie Badman
The Complete Al Leech by Al Leech,
edited by Danny Rudnick
Victory Carton Illusions by U.F. Grant
Big Magic for Little Hands by Joshua Jay
Bill Flash Reverse by Mickael Chatelain
Sparks by JC James
The Art of Play by Terry Ward
Evolution of Card Manipulation by Lee Ang Hsuan
The Magic Graveyard by Al the Only
Jon RacherbaumerInside Out
This “Flashback” shows how columns service the various members of our diverse tribe. Marcelo Contento’s Noose-Thru is quick and easy. Entry-level magicians will quickly understand and master it. At first blush, Mark Jenest’s presentation of The Classic Farce may seem long and complicated. Don’t be too quick to judge it. It is easy and very entertaining. In fact, it was part of Mark’s working repertoire and was not designed to fool only magicians. Doug Conn’s Doubly Daring Revelation is another matter. It requires practice. Nevertheless, it is visually startling and quite magical-looking. As Harry Lorayne is wont to say, “It’s a reputation-maker.”
Fielding WestStage Control
Is it just me, or are we not taking the time to teach the essential techniques of good and proper public speaking to our aspiring magicians? Performers of all ages are spending hours and hours working on the craft of magic and manipulation, but no time on their verbal presentation or the art of communication. How many of you think a bigger and better box trick or illusion will make you a better performer? How many of you think, All I need is a beautiful girl or boy — depending on your preference — to make my act look better? Maybe I should get a white tiger or a bunch of doves. Okay, let’s cut the crap and address what the real issues are when it comes to stage performance. Learn to talk to your audience! It’s your first line of communication.
The Monk’s Way
Steve ReynoldsC&B Uploaded, Phase 1
In this month’s installment, we continue to explore the idea of the “ghost prop.” Our focus here is on understanding how the audience interprets the state of affairs before a routine begins, and how the performer can maintain that interpretation throughout the sequence. Our goals are to streamline and edit our action procedures, allowing the audience’s assumptions to replace the heavy workload of a more sleight-driven method, and still reach the same results. Let’s see how we can apply this to the classic Cups & Balls.
Ian RowlandEspresso ESP
John Pellatt from Canada is this month’s guest contributor. He has created an ingenious and baffling piece of mindreading that you can perform just about anywhere. For example, imagine that you are in a coffee shop with a few friends. Someone makes a simple drawing and places it where you genuinely cannot see it. At this stage, you truly have no idea what the person drew. After a little bit of concentration, using your profound mental gifts, you are able to reproduce the drawing as accurately as you like! There are no stooges, switches, or impression devices, and the routine is also a lot of fun to perform!
Bent on Deception
Mike BentElla the Extremely Efficient Elf
I know; everyone is recovering from holiday shows, so what better time is there to start planning for next year’s show? Huh? Anyone? Okay, so maybe I got my months mixed up, but even though the routine in this month’s column is for Christmas shows, the prop discussed — Practical Magic’s New Style Magic Painting — is a versatile tool you can use year-round, and maybe it will inspire you to look at your old props in a new way. So, from that perspective, it’s a great New Year’s column, right? (Nice save, Mike.)
Mike CaveneyGeorge Boston to Larry Carter
During Charles Carter’s abbreviated run at the Chicago World’s Fair, Charles taught his son Larry the basics of the family business. Larry accompanied the show on its final world tour. When Charles suffered a heart attack in India, Larry stepped into the role of Carter the Great, although Larry’s plan for a West Coast tour with a more streamlined show never materialized. His friendship with George Boston had blossomed during the Chicago World’s Fair run, and Larry happily welcomed George to Carter manor overlooking San Francisco Bay. About a week after returning to work in the Windy City, George rolled a sheet of National Magic Company stationery into the typewriter and described for Larry the highlights of his trip home.
For What It's Worth
In a recent issue of MAGIC Magazine, I questioned the degree of dishonesty that the television industry finds acceptable in “reality TV,” and the willingness of magicians to rationalize dishonesty in the name of “deception.” I suggested that it is not unreasonable to question the fuzzy rules of reality TV. Nor is it unreasonable to further question whether those rules serve commerce rather than art. And then I was mugged — on Facebook. Unsurprisingly, someone took offense to my admittedly harsh critique and posted a lengthy, excoriating rant on my timeline.
Simon CoronelSticky Situations
More than anything else, this column so far has been about doing unconventional and sometimes ludicrous things in the pursuit of good magic — things like taking steroids to improve palming skills, anonymously rigging a $1,300 spotlight to the ceiling in The Magic Castle, filling a car with folding chairs, and trying to enter China via technically legal but still dubious medical drug use. While all of these things may prove how dedicated (or crazy) I am, they all have something else in common: they only happened once. But this month’s article is about something that keeps happening. For reasons that always seem to make sense at the time, I have a tendency to gaff-tape things to my body.