Latest News for February 25, 2004

Happy Ash Wednesday

We have the words “Hustle,” “Adult Ventriloquism,” and “Multiplying Lemons” in the Latest News Today. Some how they all come together but not in one discrete article. I also expose my ego and take you on a trip back to 1974 when I had my one big win.

You will note that there is no discussion of tricks or magicians using meat in today’s edition.

If that’s not enough, we have the very latest on Siegfried and Roy’s cartoon.

Florida Magicians Association Convention Sets a Date

Maria Ibenez sends word that the Florida Magicians Association has set a time and date for their 39th annual convention for this Memorial Day Weekend,

May 28th, 29th, 30th at the beautiful Bonaventure Resort, in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Talent coordination will be supervised and managed by Rick del Vecchio, who produces Magic on the Beach annually, produced a most successful Florida Magicians and Convention – Magic in the Glades.

The fees are $99 for magician, $50 for significant other and $49
for juniors (17 and under). There will be CASH prizes for the contests — no gift certificates — no prizes to be claimed elsewhere…contact the Contest Chairman, Jay at for details. Ask about the People’s Choice awards. If you’re a dealer looking to get a booth at this wildly popular convention contacts Oliver Codorniu at for details.

As a personal note: this is my favorite convention of all time. In 1974, I won the Close-Up contest with my now buried Multiplying Lemons and X-Ray Deck. Believe me, it was a pure fluke. The judging has gotten much better since then.


For more information about the convention, click here.

Hypnotist Jonathan Royle Goes For Record in Escape

Jonathan Royle has attempted to enter the Guiness Book of World Records by escaping from locks and chains while submerged in an industrial bin filled with water.The total escape took just 38 seconds.

Claimed Mr. Royle in the Manchester Online article that: “Lots of people have got out of chains in the past but apart from Houdini, no one’s ever done it in water.” Some escape artists currently working may take issue with the claim but that is beside the point. The Hypnotist by trade was restrained by a neck iron, a huge chain which was wrapped around his body and padlocked, two sets of handcuffs and leg irons, which were secured around his upper arms. He had the locks checked one more time before dropping into 200 gallons of ice-cold water supplied by sponsor Simply Pure Water.

After emerging from the water, Mr. Royle commented, “At this moment in time, I do not think I’ll ever do this again.”

So why do it? He told the press that he is optimistic that “new-found fame will also help him sell a six-part magic and comedy television programme he has got himself heavily in debt to make. Anyone can do a David Blaine and sit in a box for 40 days, but I hope somebody gives me a television show now.”

Check out Mr. Royle’s incredible website, here.

Read an article from the Talk About Health Network concerning Mr. Royle’s perspective on hypnotism for entertainment as well as a medical tool here.

Father of the Pride Still Green-Lighted

The Hollywood Reporter says in today’s edition that the Siegfried and Roy inspired animated show, Father of the Pride, is still on-target to replace “Friends” on NBC. The show features the interaction between lions used in a Las Vegas magic act. The cartoon’s future had been in question after Roy was attacked on October 3, 2003 but according to NBC, both Roy and Siegfried support the project and hope to see it air.

Read the full article here.

Ventriloquist in town this weekend

Norma McKnight

The South Peace News (Alberta, Canada) features a story about Norma McKnight, a ventriloquist, offering a different kind of show. “This is not a family show,” warns Colleen Greer, who scouted McKnight for High Prairie Players. “It’s not conducive for children.” This is not a show for those under 16 years old. “It’s a real light comedy,” says Greer. “There are lots of laughs. Come out and have a few belly-laughs.”

Check out her show this weekend, February 28th.

Read the full article here.

Read about Ms. McKnight through her agents’ websites here and here.

New British Television Show Features Con-Artists and Magicians

Jamie Murray from BBC

Calling it a winner, the UK Student Direct hails Hustle as “essential viewing.” The six episode series features a gang of con-artists with nice cars and clever attitudes who outwit or out run the local police as they pull of their scams.

The star of the show, Mickey Bricks Stone (Adrian Lester), claims to have learned a new skill that might keep him in good stead after the series wraps:

?I was taught all the tricks of the trade; From card shuffling to stealing watches. I?d always keep some playing cards in my pocket during filming and every time I wasn?t need on set, I?d get them out and practise. I might start my own magic show; I could be the new David Blaine.?

Read the full article in the Student Direct here.

To read the review by the Scotsman, click here.

To read the very cool BBC One website on the show, click here.

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