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More than just a magician and comedian, Paul Daniels was an icon in British entertainment, leaving behind him a legacy of wonderment and laughter.
With the introduction of HR 642 to the US Congress this year, the craft of conjuring just might become legally acknowledged as “a rare and valuable art form.”
Chris Funk was in mid-trick when he heard and felt something terrible. His onstage injury resulted in a change not only his magic, but in his outlook on life.
The Yogi Magic Mart of Baltimore, with proprietor Phil Thomas in charge, was often hailed one of the most impressive magic shops in the country, especially in the 1970s.
Taking a break from his hidden-camera, hidden-magic TV program, The Carbonaro Effect, Michael Carbonaro hits the road to tour the country with his live theater show.
(* Available for subscribers only at M360)
Twenty-five products are reviewed this month by Michael Claxton, Peter Duffie, Gabe Fajuri, Jared Kopf, Francis Menotti, Peter Pitchford, John Wilson:
Figment by Tom Mullenger
400 Lux by Kyle Littleton
Abacus by Rus Andrews
Flashy by SansMinds
Alcardmy by Mike Liu
Steam 2.0 by Ali Nouira
Travel in Mind by Steve Cook,
Paul McCaig, and Luca Volpe
In Order to Amaze: A Collection
of Memorized-Deck Magic by Pit Hartling
A Thought Left Unsaid by Abhinav Bothra & AJ
Magic Pad by Robert Baxt and Brian Foshee
Torque by Chris Stevenson
Paul Daniels and the Story of Magic by John Fisher
Never There by Morgan Strebler
Magic & Madness by Sean Heydon
TAssembly by Creative Artists
Thought Wave Extreme by Gary Jones
Fall by Jay Grill
Mentallica by Ben Harris
Eclectica by John Carey
Test Conditions Prediction by Pablo Amira
Fobulous by Steve Shufton
The Experience by Peter Turner
Miracle Bingo by Doruk Ulgen
Kalanag: Magician of the Third Reich
by William Rauscher
Screen Test, Pocket Edition by Steve Dimmer
“Amazing-Sensational-Mysterious-Daring.” “The 10th Wonder of the World.” “The Most Spectacular Attraction in History.” These were just a few of the catchphrases used to describe Marvelo, a.k.a. Lester Lake — magician, inventor, showman, and daredevil performer of the Great Depression years. Born in 1904, this master illusionist from rural Indiana quickly became distinguished and celebrated among magicians of the 1930s — and is celebrated again in Julie A. Schlesselman’s new book, Buried Alive Every Afternoon, Burned Alive Every Evening: The Life of Lester Lake.
This month, we feature two exceptional items. First, imagine performing Henry Christ’s Fabulous Ace Routine, in which the four Aces are lost and found in progressively surprising ways, and at the very end you’re back in memorized deck order. We know, that’s an excellent Aronson approach. True. But, now imagine ending in Tamariz’s Mnemonica. Jim Turnpaugh provides a direct and trouble-free handling to get you there. Second, get out your Golden Touch and prepare for some heavy-duty sleights. This is one of the most technically challenging and surprising Collectors I’ve ever seen, and I did see this recently when Nathan Colwell and I had a session at the recent Motor City Convention. This will not be easy, but it’ll be worth the effort.
How have I never heard of Renard Fetzer? Here's a quick snapshot of his résumé from over eighty years (eighty years!) in magic: a regular columnist for Topsmagazine; created classic effects for Abbott’s, such as Dovan and Miracle Cage Vanish; appeared on television; and traveled the country performing as The Renes with his wife, Virginia. It has been my recent pleasure to meet Mr. Fetzer, and I would like to introduce you to this remarkable magician.
This month, I offer a colorful project that, while requiring a little time and care, will be well worth your effort to make. U-Pick-Em, my magical bingo game, is great fun and will appeal to young and old alike. The idea is to play the game with two guests. The first writes five numbers on a blank bingo ticket, and the second chooses five numbers at random from a deck of 75 bingo calling cards. The numbers match — a seventeen million to one coincidence! The magician then produces a bottle of champagne for the winner.
A spectator randomly deals some red and black cards into separate piles, yet the two piles are discovered to have a strange sympathetic property: the number of red cards in pile A exactly matches the number of black cards in pile B. He tries again and it still comes out the same way, even though he does all the dealing. It’s plainly a random process, and you don’t even touch the cards. It’s hands off, it’s baffling, and it even works when people vary the procedure to try to make it go wrong! This is an intriguing curiosity that you can perform with playing cards or any other type of cards that can be dealt into two groups.
Gentle Reader, this column isn’t about you. Of course not! This is about those other magicians. You know the ones, those magicians who just don’t get it. They go to someone else’s magic show and they act like — well, magicians. So perhaps you’re just reading this for a friend — yeah, that’s it, a friend. Well, the best way to help that “friend” is to start by recognizing the warning signs of OMS: Oblivious Magician Syndrome.
As it turns out, Trini Montes and I didn’t start the sensation, or change how information was shared with magicians around the world when we performed the first online lecture in 2001. It was a chance occurrence, owing to the fact that Trini worked at a company that was setting up business-to-business meetings online. In 2001, that was new stuff. Being a magician with vision, he thought, Why not do a lecture online? He called me up and asked if I was interested. Of course I was interested! Why wouldn’t I be? I mean — wait, what’s an online lecture? I recently found the VHS tape of the lecture and was able to digitize it. There are numerous things originally presented that I eventually published, but there was one item that I had forgotten about. This was a last-minute addition to my lecture set: the corner switch idea.
As much as we love magic — a love that is a lifelong love for almost every magician — we are more than just a magician. We have values. We have social viewpoints. We have humanitarian instincts. We have aspirations beyond knowing how Shin Lim gets the smoke in his mouth. Our obsession can seem so trivial. It’s hard sometimes to feel good about our place in society. We are self-indulgent kids who couldn’t get over a childhood hobby. How can we justify our constant dawdling with toys when we live in a brutal and unjust world? What meaningful value do we really provide? I think it’s only reasonable to have the occasional existential crisis. One of the most fundamental aspects of human nature is the search for meaning. We are all eventually confronted with the basic questions of our existence. And a lot of our understanding, our worldview, comes from our life as a magician.
Jared Kopf is a magician based out of Dallas. I saw him perform and was impressed. A friend asked me what the act was like. I struggled to describe it. The first thing that jumped out was that it was card heavy, but in a good way. Much like in the DelGaudio/GuimarãesNothing To Hide show, the effects used cards but weren’t about cards. The act felt like it was about something deeper and more interesting. I didn’t quite know what it was about, but there was a sense of something darker and more substantial behind the tricks, a person sharing hints of genuine human existential mystery through the lens of card locations and Ace transpositions.
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