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By Rory Johnston

Johnny Thompson is widely known as The Great Tomsoni, a bedeviled comic conjuror. Outside that persona, John Thompson is a highly respected “general practitioner” of all forms of magic and in great demand as a top-notch consultant with an encyclopedic command of illusion.

 

 




By Gabe Fajuri

The biennial gathering of the Los Angeles Conference on Magic History took place over three days in November, presenting tricks and lectures, and proving that everything old really can be new again.

 

 

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By Mark Nelson

From his recent appearances with a symphony orchestra, to staging illusions surrounded in a baseball diamond, to numerous public and private performances, Michael Grandinetti has successfully pursued his childhood dream of making magic.

 

 

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By Fergus Roy

While not known as a performer, Will Goldston knew and aided most of the prominent magicians of his day. Through his many books and magazines, he educated and inspired many more. And his private life was something of a mystery, as well.

 

 

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By Our Marketplace Reviewers

A holiday task was assigned to our “Marketplace” reviewers: compile a list of three products they’d be thrilled to receive as a gift this year, then tell us why. Their responses may inspire you to make sure these items are not overlooked by people who may be shopping for you this month.

 

 

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The theme for Halloween Week at the Magic Castle was “Inferno!” Members were advised through posters, flyers, and emails: “For the last week of October, the Magic Castle will be on fire with the spirit of Halloween!” The question of whether the tag line was truly a promotion or a prediction remains open, because at 12:35 p.m. on October 31, a fire ripped through the attic walls of the 102-year-old Rollin B. Lane Mansion that serves as the clubhouse for the Academy of Magical Arts.

 

 

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On the afternoon of Halloween, the unthinkable happened: the Magic Castle caught on fire. Erika Larsen, vice president of the Academy of Magical Arts, and the daughter and niece, respectively, of founders Bill and Milt Larsen, was on the scene moments after the fire had been put out, and began an exhaustive multi-hour vigil while overseeing the restoration efforts. Sitting at the Castle’s Owl Bar four days later, at the club’s “soft opening” for members only — with the sound of industrial drying units surrounding us — she talked about the experience.

 

 

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The 7th Shanghai International Magic Festival & Competition was held in Shanghai, China, November 2–8. The gathering, sponsored by the government, was themed around the development of the magical arts in China and around the world. About 300 young magicians gathered to hear lectures, see international stars of magic in the gala show, and compete in the stage contest.

 

 

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With a cast of characters reminiscent of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, The Illusionists brings to the stage a collection of conjurors, each displaying unique presentations and abilities, premiering a new collaborative production in the Concert Hall at the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia, January 12–18, 2012. Characters featured in the show include The Grand Illusionist (Brett Daniels), The Gentleman, (James Dimmare), The Trickster (Jeff Hobson) The Inventor (Kevin James), and The Anti-Conjuror (Dan Sperry). Two others, The Escape Artist and the Mentalist, will also be included in the cast.

 

 

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After Harry Houdini died in 1926, his final resting place became the Machpelah Cemetery in Queens, New York, where the centerpiece of the family burial plot was crowned with a bust of the famed magician. The gravesite has withstood the decades, with one exception: the three-dimensional visage of Harry overseeing the Weiss family.

The famous bust was destroyed by vandals in 1975. Aside from some temporary replacements used on special occasions, the bust has remained missing for the past 36 years — until now.

 

 

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The Museum of the Moving Image in New York City will host a special Magicians on Screen retrospective, taking place from December 10 through January 1. Guest curator JoAnn Hanley has selected a wide range of magic performances from film, kinescope, television, video, and computer animation, along with guest lectures and live performances, including Ben Robinson.

 

 

 




A sad farewell to John Daniel.

 

 

 




 

Fourteen products are reviewed this month by Farrell Dillon, Peter Duffie, Jason England, Gabe Fajuri Gregory Gleason, Brad Henderson, Will Houstoun, Francis Menotti:

A Book in English by Woody Aragón
The Ontology Project by Derek DelGaudio and Helder Guimaraes
Finding The Center by Antonio Zuccaro
The Usual Suspect with Tony Cabral
Magical Mathematics: The Mathematical Ideas that Animate Great Magic Tricks by Perci Diaconis and Ron Graham
Puncture 2.0 by Alex Linian
Timegate by Bob Klase
Jump with Frank Zheng
The Art of Card Manipulation with Jeff McBride
Dante: The Devil Himself by Phil Temple
The Regal Ring Chain by David Regal
Newsletter Tricks Project by Mathieu Bich
Pack Flat Illusions for Kids & Family Shows by J.C. Sum
Tool by David Stone

 

 




We round out the tenth year of Joshua Jay’s “Talk About Tricks” with an issue brimming with non-card miracles and people named Josh. We begin with Jeff Prace’s version of Ring Flight using an iPhone. Josh Janousky shares an alchemy-themed routine in which you change the metal on your ring, and Josh Weinstein shows you a humorous interlude with an unlit cigarette. David Solomon and Ken Niinuma provide excellent card routines, capping off a decade of trick talk.

 

 




Charles Carter to Cyril Yettmah
Charles Carter was well aware of Cyril Yettmah’s creative abilities, as well as the tragic fire that destroyed his warehouse full of original illusions. Seeing no reason why these ideas should go to waste, Carter offered to bring Yettmah back to America to work as a consultant. Early in their negotiations, and shortly after the fair opened, Carter faced his own catastrophe. His magnificent Temple of Mystery, the enterprise from which he hoped to “clean up a quarter of a million simoleons” was proving to be a commercial and financial disaster. He immediately shifted his efforts toward another world tour, and thus still pursued Yettmah’s ideas and illusions.

 

 

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Sleeveless in Seattle
Two flat Starbucks coffee sleeves are introduced. The magician inserts one of them inside the other in a perpendicular position. When the upright sleeve is pushed and pulled back and forth through the horizontally held sleeve, it turns repeatedly inside out and outside in. Your stunned coffee mate then removes the sleeve to find it permanently inside out, just like their sense of reality.

 

 

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New Year’s Predictions for the Coming Decade
In the spirit of New Year’s Eve predictions, I have carelessly synthesized macroeconomic forecasts, technological vulnerability factors, and an opinionated assessment of the state of the art. I offer “New Year’s Predictions for the Coming Decade: Who Will Live and Who Will Die” — by category.

 

 

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It Takes A Team
Successfully mixing magic with singing is a true challenge. The danger lies in the magic being lost in the song and lyrics. Lance Rich has taken on the process of how to balance the two elements in an entertaining fashion that is not at any cost to the magic. He loves to sing, he loves to do magic, so why not do both?

 

 

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MAGIC, The Magazine For Magicians (ISSN 1062-2845) is published monthly for $54 per year by Stagewrite Publishing, Inc., 6220 Stevenson Way, Las Vegas, NV 89120 USA. Periodical Postage Paid at Las Vegas, NV, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to MAGIC - Attn: Circulation Dept., 6220 Stevenson Way, Las Vegas, NV 89120 USA
© 2011 MAGIC Magazine [click to return to cover page]