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By Rory Johnston

Many performers’ ultimate goal is to have a steady gig, a place to call home, a venue where one can move the props in, set the lighting and music, rehearse the cast and crew, and then simply gather together at a designated time on a regular basis and perform. It would be a rare entertainer indeed who would prefer, instead, to be on the road working in a new town and a new theater with new challenges every day. The Spencers, Kevin and Cindy, are just such entertainers. Their life on the road as a touring magic show is one that they wouldn’t trade. They have no desire to work in Las Vegas or Branson or any single theater. Theirs is not a fallback position; it’s a first choice. They consider their life on the road to be blessed — filled with wonderful magic and deep meaning. They are living the dream.

 

 




By Jamie D. Grant

For those in the know, Tim Trono can almost be described as the James Bond of the magic world — an international traveler, keeper of secrets, and the man with the ear of everyone and anyone in magic. Maybe you’ve heard his name floating around a convention, spoken at some meeting, or simply heard the statement that “You should talk to Trono.” Whether it’s online, on the phone, or in person, Tim is the guy who brings the majority of magic from the hands of the creators into the hands of us, the consumers. And as the sole agent for Murphy’s Magic Supplies, the largest wholesale magic distributor in the world, Tim has extraordinary entry behind the scenes of the magic community, not only in the role of buying products to sell, but in the development and design of many of the effects that we see and experience. MAGIC visited Tim at his home in Sacramento to find out what he really does for a living, the role he and Murphy’s play in the magic marketplace, and where will that marketplace be going in the future.

 

 

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By Jamie D. Grant

If you had told Dodd Vickers, back in 1996, that his Magic Newswire would one day hit the massive landmark of one million podcast downloads for a magic radio show, I’m not sure what he would have said. But the Magic Newswire isn’t a magic show on the radio, nor is it really a radio show about magic. Rather, the Magic Newswire is a show about people. People who happen to be magicians. And it’s those people, and Dodd’s uncanny ability to bring out stories that have never been told before, that make these interviews solid gold.

 

 

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By Alan Howard

Once a year, in the dead of winter, Midwestern magic enthusiasts brave the freezing weather and sometimes violent snowstorms to make their way to the city of Columbus, Ohio, in anticipation of getting together for a celebration of the magical arts. This past January, intrepid magicians braved some of the worst winter conditions that have swept across the nation in years to celebrate the eightieth annual gathering of the Magi-Fest, the oldest consecutive annual magic event in the United States.

 

 

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By Michael Perovich

In his description of the opening to J. Warren Keane’s vaudeville act, Dai Vernon would pause, stare into the mist, gently shake his head, and say, “Beautiful, just beautiful.” Vernon was such a fan that he placed Keane on his short list of favorite performers. Only Jarrow, Keane, Leipzig, and Malini — and sometimes Silent Mora and Wallace Galvin — made the grade. Of these, Keane is perhaps the least well known today, yet he was steadily employed for over a quarter-century during the golden age of magic, appearing in the finest vaudeville houses and variety theaters throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, Great Britain, and Europe.

 

 

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Before WWII, magicians who weren’t touring the continent with full-evening shows or jumping from town to town playing split weeks on the vaudeville circuit often developed special programs in order to play for the cream of society at top hotels across the nation. Now Ivan Amodei, who in 2005 took first place in Close-Up Magic at both the IBM and SAM competitions, continues that tradition with a new show called Intimate Illusions, a ninety-minute presentation of mystery, comedy, and magic. The show has settled in for an open-ended run at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, at the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Rodeo Drive in the heart of Beverly Hills.

 

 

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It was an event that fused the world of magic and the world of art. Visual artist Glenn Kaino [see “Believing is Art,” November 2010] joined with magician Derek DelGaudio to create a series of events bookending their performance of Sawing a Woman in Half at the LA><ART gallery in Los Angeles on February 6.

 

 

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On September 4, 2009, the final performance of Lance Burton: Master Magician took place at the Monte Carlo Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. Lance had performed more than 5,000 shows over thirteen years at the Monte Carlo, and for five years at the Hacienda before that, and nine years at the Tropicana before that. That’s almost thirty years of fulltime performing, and approximately 15,000 shows. And then — nothing. We thought it was time to check in and find out what he’s doing these days, what his plans for the future are, and what was that last night at the Monte Carlo was like.

 

 

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Coverage of Night of Magic in New York, Supermagic’s Infinito in Rome, David Blaine fatherhood, and sad farewells of Pavel, Tim Conover, Carazini, and Steve Dacri.

 

 

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Sixteen products are reviewed this month by Michael Claxton, Peter Duffie, Gabe Fajuri, Brad Henderson, Will Houston, and John Lovick:

Bulletproof by Andy Nyman 21
The Magic of David Corsaro
Magic SMS by Angelo Carbone
Mental Killer by Max Krause
Industrial Strength Link by Richard Osterlind
Ultimate CSB Magic by Jeremy Pei
Marvels of Mystery by John Booth
Early Vernon
Sugar High with Chris Randall
Lightning Box by Bob Kohler
Sub Zero by Spidey & Amir Latif.
Meandering Matchbox by Bob Solarii
Ink-Portation by Devin Knight
The PM Card Mark System Plus Assorted Miracles by Pete McCabe
Goebel: The Man with the Magical Mind by William Rauscher

 

 




Frank Fogg offers a fun effect in which Aces and Jacks transpose. On the transposition theme, Bobby Hasbun shares a great effect featuring a presentation about the popular game of Hold ’Em. Harapan Ong offers a specialized sleight that would assist technicians in other transpositions. Donny Orbit supplies us with a nifty broken-and-restored guitar pick. Finally, if you’re willing to put in the prep time, Mario Marchese offers a lovely transposition between a watch and a coin.

 

 




Augustus Rapp to Al Munroe
In 1944, Al Munroe discovered Gus Rapp managing a fleabag hotel in Nashville, Tennessee, and the two kindred souls immediately began a lengthy correspondence. Over the next five years, they exchanged nearly 200 letters, all of which now reside in Egyptian Hall Museum. It was Al’s insatiable interest in Gus’ career that convinced Gus (at age 88) to write his autobiography, the first edition of which was published as The Life and Times of Augustus Rapp in 1959 by the Ireland Magic Company. Gus’ first letter back to Munroe recorded memories from decades past, and he didn’t stop writing until five pages had been filled. 

 

 

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About Face
You cover an insulated coffee sleeve with a napkin and it magically turns inside out — while it’s still encircling your coffee cup!

You then state that it will go from inside-out back to outside-in. But instead, it’s only a play on words, as the entire sleeve goes from the outside of the cup to the inside of the cup, with the lid still firmly affixed!

 

 

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Norm Nielsen
Most anyone who has been involved with magic will recognize Norm Nielsen for his legendary act, his extensive magic poster collection, and his design and manufacturing of magical apparatus. His business is based in Las Vegas where he resides with his wife, Lupe, a close-up magician. Together they travel the world, performing and selling their merchandise. Norm has had great longevity and success as a performer. Joanie takes a look at what can be learned from his performance.

 

 




What To Do When Your Fly Is Down — and Other Useful Tips
When everything is going your way, it’s easy to look like a star. The real test of your talents comes when you realize you’ve forgotten to properly reset between shows, your assistant misses her cue because she’s talking on her cell phone, or the man in the front row whom you’ve chosen to help with the next trick actually turns out to be a woman. All of these situations have happened to Bruce Gold, and they have taught him a couple of important lessons

 

 

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The World Ended Yesterday. What Are You Doing Tomorrow?
Change is rarely clean, without consequence or victims. The Internet changed our industry forever. The hobbled economy helped it get there. The tried-and-true model of distribution and payment was under siege for years and has settled into a twisted version of itself. Torrent sites offer up comprehensive volumes of magic information without license or cost and will never go away no matter how many speeches we give or kids we scare into shutting down mischievous message boards. Yet many magicians have made the important realization that our new reality puts a premium on spectacle and a moment of wonder amongst the stream of data that encircles us all. Which just happens to be what magicians have done for the last few centuries.

 

 

 



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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]