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
Aug292012

SKULL AND BONES

I just received this info from my friend Bill Kalush of the Conjuring Arts Research Center. For your ske, I hope that you are a member! If not, JOIN NOW!

Conjuring Arts is quite pleased to finally be able to release our newest design the Skull and Bones deck! As might be expected we didn’t create this deck out of whole cloth but in fact found an amazing single card dating more than 100 years ago. To our knowledge this is the only card like this that is known to exist and we don’t think any other collector has another single card, let alone a whole deck of them! We found the subject matter fun and up to date for today’s tastes so we had the art redrawn by hand and printed at USPCC. Imagine all of the additional presentations and drama added to your routines with a deck or even a couple of these cards for a surprise finish!

As per our custom we used their larger press and their thicker Casino stock to print this deck. We have done a few things differently though. We have printed two colors, Black and Blood red simultaneously and we also managed to do a very interesting hybrid of these colors which is boxed in a special all black tuck case and is not for sale. This special deck is extremely limited and only 700 decks will be circulated. To get one you must buy a solid brick of either Red Air-Cushion, Red Ivory, Black Air-Cushion or Black Ivory. As with our last promotion if you buy a brick you will get one special deck as our gift to you.

Act now as these will sell out very quickly. They are offered at a special discounted rate for members only!

Wednesday
Aug292012

HAS DYNAMO FREAKED CRISS ANGEL?

Last night, Criss Angel posted the following statement on his official Facebook Page:

I was disappointed and disgusted by this video that popped up. Someone in the UK is blatantly ripping me off and I need your help to spread the word. Post comments on the actual YouTube video to show your support and let your voice be heard. Love you all! XC http://youtu.be/B9uOXuZqlw0

The video link that he shared hs since been taken offline after an apparent copyright claim by UK Channel Management and UK Gold Services LTD, but was entitled "Dynamo Exposed! A Criss Angel Wannabe."

The clip was taken from Dynamo's UK series Magician Impossible which debuted in 2011. The show was renewed for a second season which began airing in July of this year.

Monday
Aug272012

BLAINE INSPIRED "MAGIC WITH MEANING"

Photo by Jason BellVanity Fair profiles Drummond Money-Coutts, a young British magician inspired by David Blaine. According to the article:

Now 26, D.M.C. (as he likes to be known) has heftier ambitions than purely entertaining at parties. Having devoured everything produced by David Blaine, he is planning his own physically challenging stunt in London this autumn. He has already created a portfolio of short films, and with his easy charm and astonishing looks he’s an ideal host for a much-talked-about TV show—“about magic with meaning”—in development. But in the meantime Drummond continues to hone his craft. “Being able to elicit the feeling of the unfathomable in intelligent adults is like falling in love.”

Read the complete article.

Monday
Aug272012

ANDY NYMAN AS KICK ASS VILLAIN

HitFix.com is reporting that British magician and actor Andy Nyman has been cast to play a villian in the upcoming sequel to "Kick Ass." His character, Tumour, is a member of Red Mist's gang of super villians "The Toxic Mega Cunts." Filming is scheduled to begin next week. 

As a magician, andy performs as The Tabletop Grifter, wrote the sell out book "Bullet Proof" and is one of the co-writers and creators of the TV shows Derren Brown - Mind Control & Trick of the Mind. He recently co wrote and co directed 'Derren Brown – Live', 'Derren Brown – Something Wicked This Way Comes', Derren Brown - An Evening of Wonders and the current live show, 'Derren Brown - Enigma'. All four of the shows have enjoyed sell-out UK tours and West End runs.

Sunday
Aug262012

MNW336 :: CHARLIE MILLER

Image Courtesy of Genii Magazine in which Charlie appeared on the cover of the November 1964 IssueSeconds, bottoms, the pass, Malini, Vernon and so much more. Charlie Miller is one of those names that are often mentioned in the context of modern card magic. In that same context, he is one of those technicians that I think that many of us know too little about. I hope that this conversation with some of his closest friends does something to rectify that. In this episode of the Magic Newswire's "Spirit of Magic" podcast, our good friend Johnny Thompson is joined by two other legends in magic, Harry Riser and Bob White. Enjoy and learn!

LISTEN TO THE CHARLIE MILLER DISCUSSION ::




OTHER WAYS TO LISTEN: ITUNES ::    MP3

HTML 5 PLAYER ::

Saturday
Aug252012

DECEPTIVE PRACTICES PREMIER IN NYC

One of the films premiering at the upcoming New York Film Festival is the Ricky Jay documentary "Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay."  The film by Molly Bernstein and Alan Edelstein will premier on October 4th at 6:30 and bears the following description:

Few lives seem to have been as preordained as that of Ricky Jay. At the tender age of four he was already learning sleight-of-hand from his beloved grandfather, Max, an amateur magician. By seven, he was performing before audiences, and as he grew up he received lessons, advice and encouragement from many of the true giants of magic: Al Flosso, Slydini, Cardini, Francis Carlyle, and Roy Benson. So it’s little wonder that, now in his sixties, Ricky Jay is widely considered the world’s greatest magician, a performer whose one-man shows draw rave reviews and sold-out houses. Molly Bernstein and Alan Edelstein’s warm and fascinating portrait of Jay offers a rare glimpse into the very private world of professional magicians, an entertainment tradition that stretches back hundreds of years and yet continues to delight and astonish contemporary audiences around the world.

Since we can't see that one in general release, here's another documentary on Ricky from the 1990's entitled "Hustlers, Hoaxsters, Pranksters, Jokesters and Ricky Jay."
Sunday
Aug192012

IS HUGO AUTHOR'S "HOUDINI BOX" COMING TO THE BIG SCREEN?

Maybe. This just in from InsideMovies.com:

Chernin Entertainment has snatched up the feature rights to Brian Selznick’s 1991 book The Houdini Box, a representative for Chernin has confirmed to EW.com. The young adult novel is about a boy, Victor, who aspires to be a magician and meets famed illusionist Houdini. He later receives a locked box of secrets from his hero.

Selznick scribed the book The Invention of Hugo Cabret, which Martin Scorsese adapted into his award-winning kids adventure film Hugo.

Thursday
Aug162012

MNW335 :: RICHARD TURNER 2

In July of 2008 I was thrilled to have the chance to record an interview with Richard "The Cheat" Turner. While updating the links to the entire podcast archive, I realized that I had never posted the promised second part of that conversation. Fortunately, I had it in my backup and I am able to rectify that error by posting Part 2 of my Interview with the amazing Richard Turner! Enjoy!

RICHARD TURNER PART 2 ::




OTHER WAYS TO LISTEN: ITUNES ::    MP3

HTML 5 PLAYER ::

RICHARD TURNER PART 1:




OTHER WAYS TO LISTEN: ITUNES :: MP3

HTML 5 PLAYER ::

Wednesday
Aug152012

BLAINE GOES FOR THE GOLD

The David Blaine Youtube channel has just posted a video of David Blaine performing for Multi Gold medalist Michael Phelps:


Wednesday
Aug152012

FISM 2012 :: BY JONATHAN PENDRAGON

For better or worse, FISM 2012 is over and the deconstruction can really begin--a difficult task considering the fact that all FISMs exist in an alternative reality. I wasn’t there, so my observations have been formed in the elastic space between the membranes, where rational thought is the slave of perspective. Here, historical footnotes carry a disproportionate weight of importance. A new book can warp the public’s awareness of the "art" via verisimilitude, and a location whose charm seems impenetrable to anyone not British the way haggis is unpalatable to anyone not Scottish (although I like haggis) conveys an aura of foreboding.

In this reality, FISM is called the "Olympics of Magic." The comparison is absurd in the extreme. Throughout high school and college I competed in springboard diving. I was a good diver surrounded by greatness simply because I lived in Southern California, the diving capital of the world. Because of this happy accident of location, I often dove with Olympic Gold Medalists, including Air Force Captain Micki King. In the 1968 Olympics she broke her left arm on her second to last dive on the three meter board. She bandaged the break as best she could and completed the competition! The dedication is 24/7, the skill required puts you in the .01 percent class and the courage against pain is an Oxy addict’s nightmare.

In this reality, a win at FISM can bring you fame and fortune. Not really. Great champions like Fred Kaps, Richard Ross and Lance Burton have done more to establish the award then the award ever did to establish them. It’s true that there is an exposure perk that new performers can benefit from, and that makes the competition a worthwhile endeavor, but consider the list of famous magicians who never competed in FISM if you want to fully appreciate the real world impact of the award.

In this reality, FISM is about furthering the cause of magic and ego and politics are never involved.... "I am shocked! shocked to find out that gambling is going on in here!"

In this reality, the Gala shows feature the best that magic can offer. Actually, I have seen several great galas at FISM. One of the best was at the 1988 FISM in Den Hague. Max Maven MC’d a show that magicians still talk about. A strong line-up of talent spent the show in the wings wishing they could have seen the show from the front. But, what made the show great was a chance Richard Ross took on a magician who came from the Soviet Union and arrived too late to compete. Richard saw him work and told Max to put him in the show: Standing O. Now the reports of croneyism and bizarre shock booking imply a greater reliance on the draw of the competition to fill seats, an expedience that gambles with the convention fee.

I once wrote that great acts can make a good convention and good friends can make a great convention. Great magic conventions are the result of good organization and a blessing from the gods. Often an act no one expected, or the making of a new friend, defines the experience. The “Wow” factor fades with the lights, and the smell of poor taste lingers like a newly dead bad cigar.

Conventions are mindless giants that are mostly harmless. In “Fooling Houdini,” Mr. Stone’s need to invent an antagonist worthy of his quixotic quest to sally forth and conquer, complete with a figurative Mambrino helmet forged by the Lord of Lemurs (self-proclaimed), demonstrates the gap between reality and the public perception of magic. I am truly pained by the fact that this farce forced a talent as unique and wonderful as Ricky Jay’s into defending the heritage of magic. My mother, a retired college professor, clipped out Ricky’s review of Mr. Stones book when it was reprinted in a local newspaper. When I visited her she produced the clipping and asked me if I knew the man. I told her I wasn’t familiar with Alex Stone and she quickly interrupted me, “No not him, the reviewer Ricky Jay, what a wonderful writer.” I told her that yes I know Ricky and he is all that and more. The first time I ever saw Ricky perform was on the tape of 1973 FISM in Paris. I was astonished by his performance and that memory lives on in my mind as a real and tangible force that inspires, long after the conventions have merged into a background radiation with no particular identity.

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