We just returned from the first night of the Magic of Scotland week at the Magic Castle.
The week got off to a great and early start with a lecture by Ian Kendall yesterday. Mr. Kendall is well-known not only as an accomplished performer but also an incredible instructor of magic. His Basic Training column, each month in MUM, set a standard for excellence in writing and writing in a way that could be understood by those of us trying to learn the basic sleight-of-hand techniques necessary for our craft.
Mr. Kendall is a tall man with a wonderful, sonorous voice but not the least bit imposing or overbearing. To watch him lecture was entertaining to watch him perform before a real audience is nothing short of awe-inspiring.
He calls upon his vast experience as a street magician and former in the world famous Edinburgh fringe Festival to work with his audience so seamlessly that the interaction almost seems scripted. He effectively works with everything the audience provides. He does so with a humble but energetic approach that endears him easily.
His skill set is top notch. He began his routine this evening about producing a half-dollar from a perspiration. As he noted during his lecture on Sunday, virtually every magician has a purse frame in a drawer but it is a prop must lay audiences have not seen. And, just because some in our craft may overlook its potential, there is no reason to leave it hidden.
His point was proven in spades this evening when he produced the half-dollar from the first frame to an audible gasp from a female audience member. We spoke with the audience member later that evening and she was still astounded by the effect. Mr. Kendall’s handling of the coin production and subsequent coin through handkerchief routine was flawless and played so perfectly for an overflow crowd in the Parlor of Prestidigitation.
We met Mr. Kendall later in the evening and found him to be gracious and genuinely humble. It is so nice to find that the people one admires are worthy of your admiration.
We own the original magazines in which Mr. Kendall’s Basic Training articles were published but bought his CD compilation of the series as well. It should be required reading for all magicians; not just neophytes. In fact, the articles would make for a fine curriculum for magic classes.
We will keep you apprised of events as the Magic of Scotland week continues at the Magic Castle. Tonight’s installment portends greatness.