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By Mark Nelson

He may be one of the most famous magicians that you know very little about. In his more than fifty years of appearances — local television, club dates, shopping malls, amusement parks, cable and network television programs, top casino productions in Reno and Lake Tahoe, tradeshows, trans-Canada tours, and two decades of annual tours of New Zealand and Australia — Chuck Jones and his various Companies have probably appeared live in more individual performances than any illusionist of his generation. His entire career has been one of reinvention and transformation, adapting his magic and his presentations easily and rapidly to changing markets and audiences.



By Marvin Miller, Joshua Jay, Jason England

Author Martin Gardner was famed in many fields, not the least of which was magic. Looking back at his life and work, Marvin Miller talks of the man; Joshua Jay talks with the man; and Jason England talks about a few of the man’s tricks.




By Alan Howard

Outside Studio 33, Luis de Matos’ magic headquarters in Ansião, Portugal, there are yellow lines in the parking lot; one long line circles the entire area, about 10,000 square meters. When the weather is sunny and Luis needs a break from working indoors, he goes out to walk the yellow line. There, he can sort out ideas and discuss them with friends and colleagues who take the walk with him. One day in June 2009, when David Britland was visiting, Luis broached the subject of an Internet meeting of magic minds. Their discussions gradually evolved into what will become, on July 15–17, the Essential Magic Conference, the first conjuring cyber-convention.




By David Charvet

In the 1930s, an era of science fiction gizmos, Jimmy Stoppard premiered his Phantom Ray, a machine seemingly capable of floating an object with a beam of light. It intrigued magic audiences for decades. This year, David Charvet restored the original prop, and the Phantom Ray lives again.




By Rory Johnston

For five years at the beginning of this century, Shawn McMaster produced an email newsletter titled The Mandala, promising “frank discussions and no-punches-pulled reviews.” Now, after a five-year hiatus, McMaster is bringing it back, reformed as a bimonthly digital magazine.




Boom Town?
Las Vegas is a transient town; people come and go. And anyone who follows the entertainment industry knows that the same goes for shows. They appear, vanish, and shuffle around like a giant game of musical chairs in a hurricane. This year, we say goodbye to Lance Burton when his show at the Monte Carlo closes on September 4 after fourteen years. Steve Wyrick has declared bankruptcy and vanished from the scene [see “Steve Wyrick: Mind-blowing Magic”]. Siegfried & Roy are retired. Dirk Arthur recently vanished from the Tropicana. Does this indicate a declining interest in the magical arts in Vegas? Fear not, friends. Besides the long-running shows of Mac King, Nathan Burton, Amazing Jonathan, Penn & Teller, Rick Thomas, Criss Angel, and the increasingly present David Copperfield, there are a number of small shows that have either recently opened or are slated to premiere in the near future.
Photos: Richard Faverty / Beckett Studios

A Moment With… Rudy Coby
Rudy Coby was on the cover of MAGIC Magazine in March 1994. In the following two years, he was one of the hottest acts in magic, with two television specials and comic books featuring his Labman character. Suddenly, abruptly, he vanished. Then in 2009, like magic, he reappeared. Where in the world — or outside it — was the four-legged man?

Making Make Believe
The drama, the passion, the angst — all are not only part of being a teenager, but of entering a magic contest. When you combine teens and contests, you have the subject of Make Believe, a new documentary motion picture. Filmed primarily at and around the World Magic Seminar in 2009 — the crew was also in Las Vegas to do some filming at the 2010 event — Make Believe follows a half-dozen Teen Stage Competition contestants through their journey toward magic stardom.

Houdini: Art and Magic at the Jewish Museum in New York City, Jorge Blass in Shanghai, The Spy Magic Show in Washington, DC, and more.



Seventeen products are reviewed this month by Peter Duffie, Jason England, Gabe Fajuri, Brad Henderson, and John Lovick:

Rune’s World: The Magic of Rune Klan by Joshua Jay
Quantum Mechanics with Irving Quant
Roger Lovins Presents Out of Pocket by Bob Escher
Tin Opener by Mark Southworth
Freefall by Andrew Mayne
Come Together by Aldo Colombini
Stretch Nickels by Rich Maciejewski
Card Magic: A Practical Approach by Bob White
The Pandora System by Shane Black
The Devil’s Playthings by Roy Walton
Nightmare Alley by William Lindsay Gresham
Ambitious Classic
Intimiste by Dominique Duvivier
Sleeveless Sleeving with Johan Stahl
New York Coin Magic Seminar, Volumes 11, 12, & 13
Professional Opportunist, Volumes 1 & 2 by James Brown
The Tsunami Project


“Talk About Tricks” goes Canadian! This month’s installment features creators from our friendly neighbor to the north. With Chris Westfall, James Harrison, Glenn West, Ben Train, and Jeff Hinchliffe offering tricks involving chewing gum, cards, and moving holes, it’s an issue jam-packed with visual magic.



Working School Shows
Are you ready to go back to school? No, why would I want to do that? Because it will be one of the most rewarding experiences of your performing career. The school-show market, or as the author calls it, the education entertainment market, is a great way to make a living performing magic. And you are not limited to just schools. There is a wide variety of organizations that need educational entertainment — libraries, learning centers, after-school programs, science fairs, summer camps, and on and on.




A Case of the “Me-sells”
DEAR SHOW DOCTOR: I see that some of the best magicians in the business have managers. What does a manager do for you? I’m really not very good at selling myself and would prefer to have someone else handle this part for me. Should I look into getting an agent or a manager? Or else, how can I manage myself? — Adjie S.




Alexander Weyer to Harry Houdini
When I first saw this letter in the files of Egyptian Hall, the poor handwriting prevented me from deciphering the name of the recipient. It was only later, while perusing the archives at the University of Texas in Austin via the Ask Alexander database, that I stumbled upon a series of letters written in the same hand, which led to the surprising and delightful discovery that the letter in the Egyptian Hall files was addressed to Houdini.




It’s absolutely true: in watching other performers, we can see ourselves. We sometimes make the same mistakes or the same brilliant choices, but don’t recognize them until we observe them in someone else. Through this series of articles, enhanced by the accompanying videos you can find at, you can learn from watching other performers as I gently point out ways that their material can be improved, as well as the aspects of their acts that are working well. Although they refer directly to the video in question, these points also carry over as general principles of performing. There are many right ways of doing things, and these are a few options.



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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
© 2010 MAGIC Magazine [click to return to cover page]