Recent Stories:
Wonder Thunder

Episode #1 : Why saw a woman in half? What is the connection between a deck of cards & the calendar. Remote card location.

Episode #2: Espionage, jealousy & murder among magicians. Adam calls his arch nemesis Richard Vegas.

Episode #3:The first aircraft pilot down under was a magician and a live random number challenge via phone.

Episode #4: Bar stunts, Alice Cooper as a magician and magic used in pop concerts.

Wednesday
Apr232008

CELEBRACADABRA :: INTERVIEWS

MAX MAVEN On this Special Edition of the Magic Newswire, we spend some time with a  legend in the magic community, Max Maven. Max is a renowned  author, creator, performer, lecturer and teacher of the magical  arts. In addition to his role in arranging acts for the Magic Castle, Max is one of the judges in the new VH1 Magic Themed Reality  show which will premier on Sunday (April 27th) at 9PM. (Photo Credit : Damon Webster)   Click the PLAY button below to listen to our interview with Max Maven.     JEFF MCBRIDE As we continue along the path leading us to the premier of the VH1 Celebrity Magic Series "Celebracadabra," we grab some time with internationally recognized magician and teacher Jeff McBride. Over the course of his career, Jeff has been honored by the Magic Castle and the Academy of Magical Arts as Magician of the year. He has been  featured on televisions shows around the world and is a well  respected teacher of magic having founded the Mystery School, a teaching retreat for magical performers, and the Master Class which he hosts with Eugene Burger. Readers might also be interested in a written interview with Jeff at Matt Stevens' Wand Online discussing the show.   Click the PLAY button below to listen to our interview with Jeff McBride.   JONATHAN LEVIT In our Second Interview, we sit down with Magician and Host   Jonathan Levit. Jonathan is in a unique position as the only judge that was on set daily while the celebrities were learning their routines in that he saw them progress from conception to the finished product. Jonathan appeared on the television show "The  X Files" with Ricky Jay and is a regular performer at the Magic Castle.      Click the PLAY button below to listen to our interview with Jonathan Levit.    CHRIS MARTIN In the first of our multi part series of interviews, we feature Magic  Castle member and Celebra Cadabra Executive Producer Chris Martin. Chris was the initial producer to pitch the idea of a celebrity reality show focused around the art of magic and illusion. In this interview, he'll take us through the complete magical journey from inspiration to execution.      Click the PLAY button below to listen to our interview with Chris Martin.   (Subcribe to the "Magic Newswire" via iTunes HERE.)  
Tuesday
Apr222008

Blaine to Try Again

In May of 2005, David Blaine failed in his attempt to hold his breath underwater for nine minutes as he staged his "Drowned Alive" stunt, but did manage seven minutes and eight seconds. From the NY Times, and an email from our friend Justin at iTricks.com, we learn that he'll try again on the Oprah show when he'll attempt sixteen minutes without breathing in front of a panel of observers from the Guinness Book of World Records. The article also mentions that David, as a part of his training regimen, has been sleeping in a Hypoxic Tent in his NY Apartment. This was previously mentioned in an article from the New York Magazine profiling Blaine's roommate, Director Harmony Korine. In recent training with Dr. Potkin, known for training free divers in this skill, he is said to have lasted for sixteen minutes and nine seconds, five seconds short of the current Guinness World Record. In a related column from the Science section of the NY Times, John Tierney relates his experience in attempting the feat after observing Blaine in Training. 
Monday
Apr212008

Celebracadabra Premier!

Watch the first episode a full week before the launch on April 27th! Read the complete Press Release Here. video.vh1.com
Monday
Apr212008

An Evening With James Randi & Friends

From the Londonist, we are treated to an article bearing the above title reporting on the recent appearance of James Randi at Conway Hall which opens with the statement, "The day after mediums marched on Downing Street, to protest against their possible ruination by legislation, it seemed apt that some of the finest proponents of scientific scepticism held their own gathering." Randi spoke at the event for more than an hour during which time he showed clips on the exposure of Psychic Surgeons”, discussed the work of the James Randi Education Trust, and talked about his $1 million challenge. (Photo by Andy Ihnatko)
Sunday
Apr202008

UPDATE :: Magicians 2, Pirates 0 !

As posted on April 16thJames L Clark, the founder of Black's Magic Group & Street Magic Magazine has decided to launch a personal war on anyone prating magic and making it freely available in an unauthorized manner.  In a detailed post at the Genii Forums, Clark responded to the thread with an update on his efforts and an outline of his purpose and motivation. In the post, James says, "After turning my interest on another site, I was able to negotiate a win/win solution where some 18,000 members will be cut off from a forum that collectively (which is far more egregious than say a torrent site where individuals must search for what they want rather than having it served up to them) has worked together to pirate thousands of titles from Richard's books (yes, they scan them from front to back and post them as PDFs) to DVDs produced with gimmicks, wherein the latter was diagrammed and details for manufacturing have been provided. The site owner and I actually get along well, and in this case, he's not a college student who already knows everything, but rather a grown man who has similar interests to my own. We were able to agree on many things, and that resulted in us looking for a solution together, which I'm happy to report is moving forward. Two down."
Friday
Apr182008

First Look! David Blaine Lions

The gang from Theory 11 are back with another "anticipation" marketing plan. This time they are promoting a new David Blaine "Splt Spades" deck, aka "The Lions," to be released tonight at 11 pm. Stay tuned to their website for details they say... but ... well.. I am getting a bit tired. Hell, I rarely use anything other than a traditional Rider or Bee deck when I am doing an effect. I love flourishes and beautiful card designs, but outside of  our community, few have ever seen them. I continue to be one of those traditionalists that say to themselves, "If it doesn't look like a common object, people will likely think it's gimmicked." Will I buy one..? Probably. But it is more likely to find a nice cozy home on my shelf next to Vernons's 80th Birthday cards, Mullica Tom Foolery's, my Magic Castle Cards, my other Blaine, Ricky Jay, Ghost, Centurions and Tiger decks where they will remain in pristine condition. Never to be used to perform but rather as interesting sidenotes in the history of playing card design. Today, most people are comfortably familiar with Bee, Bycicle and the varied promotional cards that most magicians would be ashamed to be seen with bearing the logo of their favorite libation or cute little kittens. As much as I may love the look of such "traditional" playing cards as the Bicycle Holiday, League (aka Propeller,) Angel Backs, Squeezers, Tally Ho Circles, and Aristocats, I am equally unlikely ever to bee see performing an effect with a deck of such design unless somone pulls them out of a drawer and hands them to me  saying, "Show me something." I feel much the same about beautiful and complex card flourishes, but will spare you the pain of that sermon until another time.  
Thursday
Apr172008

Add a Little Rock & Roll to Some Grapes & You Get Magic!

Given my personal appreciation for a nice glass of wine, I was particularly appreciative after receiving an email from Robert in Atlanta. In his message, he made me aware of a new way to enjoy one of my passions during dinner, without being asked to pick a card.  At first glance, the story that was sent to me would seem that a passion for the art of magic had inspired someone to create a winery, but the  actual roots are found in the spirit of Rock & Roll.  "Sleight of Hand Winery" was inspired by the Pearl Jam song of the same name. Like the dreamer that is the subject of the ballad, Trey Busch, formerly of Dunham Cellars and Basel Cellars in Walla Walla, has started to belnd a bit of magic with some Rock & Roll. According to the article sent to me by Robert, Busch was also found inspriation for the winery's image on the web. "I found this great Web site of vintage magic posters and thought 'those would make great labels, so I hired a concert poster designer I knew in Seattle to make us our label using the older vintage magic posters as inspiration." Embracing the Bordeaux tradition of "vin de garage," the Walla Wall based winery is has updated their website to conform with their magical roots. Our first vintage with the Gewürztraminer (Magician) and the red table wine (Spellbinder) are négociant projects," Busch explained. "I put the blends together on both of these wines using multiple lots of wines from several other wineries to really make a 'style' of wine that I thought would appeal to a lot of people. Both wines are food wines - low oak profile, low alcohol, and both wines are fruit forward with super soft tannins."   
Thursday
Apr172008

Houdini Returns to Broadway

"Houdini Musical, by Elfman, Yazbek and Andersen, Coming in 2010" say Broadway.com. "Houdini" will present the story of the magician's inability to satisfy his obsessive quest to challenge the limitations of being human,Houdini deals with the human yearning for astonishment and miracles and the quest to defy death. The show will be produced by David Rockwell & Scott Sanders with Sanders (The Color Purple) doing the set design.  Jack O'Brien will direct. Oscar nominated composer Danny Elfman  is set to develop the score for the musical with the goal of opening in early Spring of 2010. Other articles discussing this production can be found at Theater Mania and Broadway World.
Thursday
Apr172008

Believe in BELIEVE!

It's official! As Robin Leach let slip in an article that we previously blogged about, the new Circque de Soleil show at the Luxor will be called,  "Criss Angel, Believe." We'll let you get the complete story from Criss himself:   Read the complete Press Release. Read an article on the show from the Las Vegas Sun.
Thursday
Apr172008

Nathan Burton Moving Up

Magician Nathan Burton is slowly moving towards the evening time slot in the Flamingo Theater as he moves from the 3 pm time at the V. "New set, more neon; He’s Flamingo ready" quotes Flamingo President Don Marrandino as saying, “He has a track record of drawing good crowds. I don’t think it will be long before he’s a nighttime headliner. It could happen sooner than you think." Nathan couldn't be happier. “I was talking to my mom about that and she said, ‘Did you ever think when you were growing up in Fort Smith and performing shows for kids that you would end up on a 30,000-square-foot billboard on the Flamingo on the Strip in Las Vegas?’ ”