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.

Friday
Jan272012

JONATHAN PENDRAGON AND THE SEARCH FOR THE GRAIL :: PART 10

Renaissance

In an earlier column, I mentioned the Vitruvian Man (the man in the square circle—the da Vinci drawing, not the trick). When I was in the third grade, my mother showed me a book of Renaissance art work, including this piece. I asked my mother who the artist was, and she told me “he was a Renaissance man, a man skilled at both art and science.” As it would happen, the very next week we had “Career Day”... in the third grade. For those who remember, this is the day when the teacher asks you “what do you want to be when you grow up?” Since this was the height of the Mercury Project, most of the boys said “astronaut.” There were also the assorted doctors, lawyers, firemen, etc. Since my real name begins with a “Y,” alphabetically I was the last to be asked. I promptly answered, “I want to be a Renaissance Man!” My teacher gave me a look, which could only be described as “Oh yeah, you little smart ass?”... though her actual words were “Tell us about it.” Which I did.

Several weeks later came Parent’s Night. When my teacher was introduced to my mother, she ratted me out. My mother responded, “That sounds like him. His greatest desire is parity with the universe.” I love my mother.

I have always been driven by my passions—not to live life, but rather to consume it. I never did anything with half a heart. You can pay an awful price for this approach, but the one price you’ll never pay is regret for things left untried. 

Once upon a time, I defined a “Renaissance” individual as one with a wide range of accomplishments. This I achieved. But in the rebuilding of my life, I’ve experienced a different form of Renaissance: a rebirth. And the catalyst for this rebirth was the Magic Castle. 

As circumstance would have it, the Castle, too, is in the process of rebirth. The “inferno” that nearly took her away from us has, instead, opened the door to great possibilities. It is my hope to return the favor in kind. This is why I am running for the Board of Trustees. I watched as those around me gave their all in rebuilding the physical walls—the material existence. I hope to help rebuild its soul, as I repair my own.

I have been a member for nearly 40 years, and have performed in every single room. I was there when Vernon and Charlie Miller held court nightly. Senator Crandal observed me with a wary eye... as he did everyone. Bill Larsen became a dear friend, and inspiration. This is where I learned my craft. I am a true child of the Magic Castle.

I love good magic. As I mentioned before, I find thoughtless magic painful. It is important to me that the next generation of magicians—stage, close-up, and parlor—have the same opportunities for learning and growth that I had. No one can replace Vernon—and I am not arrogant enough to think I can—but what I can offer is four decades of experience as a professional magician who traveled the world, and did his best to make his magic better. 

Monday
Jan232012

MNW #329 :: BILL GOODWIN

THE JENNINGS AUCTION AT POTTER & POTTER

Magic Castle librarian Bill Goodwin joins me on this edition of this podcast to tell us a bit about what has been happening at the Magic Castle since the fire and to talk about his friend Larry Jennings. Larry is widely recognized as one of Dai Vernon's greatest students and is known for developing some of the most difficult, yet rewarding effects with a deck of cards. On January 28th, Potter & Potter Auctions will be curating the sale of Jennings collection which contains Erdnasia, Vernon Memorbilia, books and much, much more.


LISTEN TO MY CHAT WITH BILL GOODWIN ::





OTHER WAYS TO LISTEN:

RSS :: GET IT AT ITUNES :: ZUNE :: MP3 DOWNLOAD

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Sunday
Jan222012

CHRIS KENNER TRIBUTE VIDEO

At The Session 2012, Chris Kenner was presented with a well deserved Lifetime achievement award. This is tribute video which was played at the ceremony. Congratulations Chris!

Sunday
Jan222012

DAVID BLAINE AT THE AT&T CENTER

Sunday
Jan222012

COHEN AT CARNEGIE HALL

We've reported on Steve Cohen's scheduled appearance at Carnegie Hall and now we have the complete story from the man himself. Congrats Steve! From Steve's own Chamber Magic Blog:

Throughout my career I’ve always believed that magic has the potential to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with other performing arts, such as ballet, opera and orchestral music. Magic can be more, much more, than a simple diversion. The artistry required to construct and stage a theatrical magic show is on par with the training, thought and creativity required to present other traditional art forms.

My personal goal in staging a magic show at Carnegie Hall was to prove that the art of magic is capable of accepting its due respect, if only we give it the chance. It was immensely satisfying to see that the public supported this belief; the entire theater was sold-out months in advance.

 

Saturday
Jan212012

THE WHIP :: BY HOMER LIWAG

My email box blew up this week with links to various sources sharing the story of "The Whip," an  engagement ring designed by Homer Liwag for his Indiana Jones loving fiance Aimee Reich. Homer tells how this amazing piece of art came to be below.

Congratulations to Homer and Aimee from the Magic Newswire!

Being a designer and artist, I felt I had to do something special. Since Aimee is a very enthusiastic Indiana Jones fan, the thought of a coiled whip as the ring seemed perfect. I did a few quick drawings and found a custom jeweler in Las Vegas. The “bag of sand” bought me some time to have the ring custom made. And with her favorite color yellow, I selected a fancy yellow diamond which also represents “The Idol”.

View More images of the ring a Homer's Facebook Page, BuzzFeed, on Imgur and in this blog post on The Mary Sue.

Saturday
Jan212012

PAUL DANIELS INJURED IN SAWING MISHAP

Famed UK Magician Paul Daniels was injured at his home in Berkshire while using a saw to create props for his act. Speaking with the Daily Mirror, who also obtained this photo of Paul just after his trip to the hospital, Paul said:

He said: “It’s my ring finger that’s gone. It’s still really tender and my arm’s in a sling. I can’t do very much or test it out yet and I am already having to make adjustments.”

Paul says he will still go ahead with his latest 26-date tour of the UK – due to begin in Southsea, Portsmouth, on February 22.

READ THE COMPLETE STORY HERE

Tuesday
Jan172012

MAC KING CELEBRATES FIG NEWTON DAY

Special thanks to Steve Bryant for making me aware of this holiday video from our friend Mac King. What holiday is that? Why, National Fig Newton Day of course!

 

Saturday
Jan142012

BURT WONDERSTONE SET PHOTOS

Friday
Jan132012

JAMES RANDI INTERVIEWED AT THE MAGIC CASTLE

Thanks to several of our friends from the Magic Castle who passed along this link to a very interesting conversation that James Randi had with Max Maven at the Castle: