Category: Magicians

Piff the Magic Dragon Wins Big!

The following is from a press release about one of our favorite magicians and entertainers.  His awards are well-deserved.  Congratulations to Piff and Mr. Piffles.

This weekend the Las Vegas Review-Journal handed out its annual Best of Las Vegas Awards and Piff the Magic Dragon was honored with three gold medals including “Best Comedian,” “Best Magician” and “Best Headliner.” To celebrate being the first to win all three awards, Piff along with his trusty sidekick Mr Piffles, The World’s Only Magic Performing Chihuahua, and Las Vegas Showgirl, Jade Simone, performed a special free show to thank fans for their support.

The celebration kicked off with a proclamation by Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom, who declared Oct. 13 “Piff the Magic Dragon Day.” Following the proclamation, the celebration continued with the show, featuring special congratulatory videos made by Piff’s good friends, Penn Jillette, Terry Fator, and John Bizarre, an unofficial award ceremony where Piff was presented three trophy’s to commemorate his win and a meet & greet with all those who attended.

This news follows the recent announcement of Piff being named one of the 10 Comics to Watch in 2019 by Variety. Recognized and respected throughout the world as the definitive voice of the entertainment industry, Variety’s unveiling of their annual “10 Comics to Watch” feature is considered one of the biggest events in the comedy world each year. With past honorees including Zach Galifianakis, Rebel Wilson, Patton Oswalt, Tiffany Haddish, Aziz Ansari, Amy Schumer and Donald Glover, Piff now joins the prominent list of stand-ups and comedy creatives.

For more information of Piff the Magic Dragon, visit www.piffthemagicdragon.com.

Magician Joshua Jay Profiled in Forbes

Award-winning magician and Inside Magic Favorite Joshua Jay is on the Forbes website today discussing . . . economics.  The article is an enlightening look at what to do to prepare for the next recession.  Mr. Jay would know as a businessman and magician.  He and Andi Gladwin began the very popular online magic store, Vanishing Inc. in 2009 and has done well.  According to Forbes, it is one of the largest such stores in the United States.

He doesn’t need magic powers to see that a recession may be on the way, “The things I observe happening now are things that happened before the last recession.”

Mr. Jay says you get a feeling for a tightening economy by how event planners work with you.  “Now the company event planners have to tell me as a magician, ‘I’m sorry we can’t have you this year,’ or, ‘Last year we had you do two shows and walk-around magic. This year, we only need you to do walk-around magic.'”

But also magic hobbyists and amateurs are slowing their spending.

“Secondly, we have seen a slowdown in magic sales because, for most of the amateurs and hobbyists that make up a large portion of the magic community, magic is purchased with disposable income. So we aren’t seeing a total overall slowdown in numbers, but we’re seeing ramped-up marketing efforts result in the same sales numbers. And to me, that spells, not doom, but certainly a potential slowdown.”

But Mr. Jay survived the 2008 recession by diversifying and exploring new avenues for his business.

“I had outlets that were under my control,” Mr. Jay said. “The guys that really suffered in the last recession were the guys that relied on calls from clients. They relied on work to come into their phone and their inbox, and those people really suffered because those things dried up.”

Check out the full article to get some very helpful hints and advice from someone of our ilk who has survived downturns and came out even better on the other side by visiting the Forbes site here.

Visit Vanishing Inc. here.

Check out Mr. Jay’s website here.

Marvyn’s Magic Theater Opens

There are certain names in Magic that immediately grab your attention.  Marvyn’s Magic is just one such name.   Now Marvyn’s Magic is the namesake for a newly launched Magic Theater in La Quinta, California. “From the moment you step inside expect to be dazzled by a magical experience.”

Jeff Hobson is the Producer and Director of Entertainment for Marvyn’s Magic Theater.

Who will you see at Marvyn’s Magic Theater?

How about Marvyn Roy,  “Mr. Electric.”  Now 94 years old and the draw that brought many of us into the world of Magic.  He is the reason the theater was named for him.

“Mr. Hobson is is own inimitable self as he emcees the show dedicated to be a place he would’ve wanted to perform in if he were still traveling on the road as a magician.

Mr. Dobson told the local news outlet, Channel 3, “I traveled around the world,” he said. “I Spent 14 years on the strip of Las Vegas and I didn’t know what my home looked like and I had a friend, a local resident, Gary Bueller say if you ever want to open a place let me know. I turned him down for 12 years and finally he showed me La Quinta, feel in love with it and I said okay, time to get off the road, time to settle down and open up my own place.”

It is not an ordinary place.

“At Marvyn’s Magic Theater we want you to be unsure of yourself,” he said. “This quaint theater seats 129 people and is only for those 21 and older.  There are mysteries to behold beyond the entertainment on stage.

Entertainers from Las Vegas, Broadway and all over the world will perform magic, grand illusion, escape magic, mentalism magic, close-up magic, hilarious comedy, prop comedy, joggling, ventriloquism and other kinds of performance art.

“You’ll never know what you’re going to get but it’s always going to be a great show,” Hobson said.

Showtimes are Wednesdays through Thursdays at 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m.

Tickets cost $65 on regular nights and $45 on Sundays. You can buy them online at marvynsmagictheater.com or their box office.

Marvyn’s is located in La Quinta at 46630 Washington St, La Quinta, CA 92253.

Ad for an Amazing Magician

We Have spent untold funds on Nick Lewin’s effects over the years.  His routines are tested before real audiences — he often shows performance videos — he sends a DVD and all the props you need to perform wonderful effects.  

But now we are psyched in the most psychic manner a young psychic can be psyched.

Mr. Lewin performs in a carefree and entertaining way with great humor and a relaxed manner that puts his audience at ease.  There are no bullet catches that we know of, not a single slamming your hand onto a cup that may or may not have a sharp (and likely tetanus teaming nail) through your magic hand or even crude asides at those who have gathered in the ship’s theater or on a Las Vegas stage.  To say that we are a fan-boy is accurate except we are no longer a boy — except at heart.  By the way, his Gypsy Yarn is the best ever.  It is not the Gypsy Thread of your grandparents or even the dental floss version we used to do.  No, it takes the game up to new heights.  Dizzying heights.  It is expensive but worth every farthing.

We have never been disappointed by Mr. Lewin‘s offerings — not once.  You know the feeling of disappointment and no doubt have a drawer full of tricks that looked great but once you tried them or even just read the instructions, you were disenchanted or even felt your good money hath gone to the darkside.  Not so with Mr. Lewin’s effects.

He has tried the pieces before real audiences for years.  They work.  And they are not difficult to learn — especially with his wonderful instruction.  Just check out this beauty.

By the way, we are receiving zip, nada, zilch for this endorsement.  It is written only out of appreciation.

Now he has agreed to release one of this best, time-tested psychic effects ever presented and we are honored that we were among his followers (in the cult sense) to receive the early notice of this offering.

Please click this link to see the offering.  The price is clearly too low.  At $25.00 you receive an act, not just a trick.  And it is a funny, wonderful act that packs very small and plays huge.  This is a steal but will not be available forever.  Click the link and have something that will never be in your magic drawer but in your magic case — ready to wow people who have never seen anything like it.

We have to go light candles at our altar for Mr. Lewin and his contribution to our great art.

Pop Haydn Coming to Town

How excited we were to see that Pop Haydn will be appearing at Magicopolis on October 4, 5, and 6.

It is our intention to be there for all shows.

We were walking down the streets of Santa Monica minding other peoples’ business when we ran right into the sign giving us the great news.  Inside Magic Favorite Pop Hadyn (nee Whit Haydn) will be appearing in the flesh (his own) at the start of Magic Month.

We took pictures using our Kodak Instamatic and just got them back from the one film center that still processes such images.  Oh boy were we impressed by our photography ability and the subject of the photographs.

We also took pictures to use up the roll — as one does or used to do — of a man with a snake or long hair — either way it looked dangerous.  We took pictures of the Santa Monica Pier and even some of the ground (it said we had 28 frames left in the camera but it was really 29).  The ground pictures were notable because you can see our new shoes that we bought a year ago and they still look like they did when we bought them used from a man on that very street in Santa Monica.  He was a kind man with kind eyes and a wide variety of great tennis shoes in different sizes and lace configurations.  We went with the Stan Smith and found a size into which we could fit on both feet.  Such luxury.  But usual, we digress.

Let’s talk about Pop Haydn.  There is no one better in entertaining a crowd and engaging them into his mysterious world.  His character is so complete and accurate that one cannot help but believe he is from another century.

His magic skills are among the best we have ever seen.  His  philosophy on entertaining is similarly inspiring.  To say he is our favorite would be an understatement.  Like saying buying used shoes is always a good idea or Santa Monica is a great place for people watching.  Or Lemonade that is “hard” should come with warnings.  All understatements and all equally true.

Pop’s color changing handkerchief alone makes us feel at once inadequate and entertained.  We all have the effect in our drawers at home but Pop performs it the way you imagined it could be performed when you bought it a convention or from Tannen’s a long time ago — perhaps in a different century.

If you are in Santa Monica or California or even western Arizona, come to see Pop perform.  He will inspire you to be a better magician and entertain you at the same time.  Pop is Top in our book.

Visit Pop’s website and store here.

Check out Magicopolis here.

 

Master Magician Lance Burton Brings it Closer to Home

Master Magician Lance Burton performed in Las Vegas for 31 years and yet looks to be no older than 30 — so there’s your first mystery.  The second is how this man who has performed more than 15,000 shows for more than five million people can make each show seem like it is all new and fresh.

We know the answer to neither of these two questions but suspect it has to do with good health care and talent.

He will be at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino this Saturday at 8:00 pm in Indio, California, performing his show for a no-doubt sold-out house.  Don’t get left behind or boxed out.  If  you are in the area (and we are) make the trip to Fantasy Springs for his show.  You will be glad you did and won’t regret it and will remember it for the rest of your natural life.

We have seen Mr. Burton perform more times than we can count — that’s due to the tremendous number of shows we have seen – not to our well-documented inability to count.

His show is what you (and by “you” we mean “anyone in the world”) would consider a real magic show.  He is funny, smooth without being hokey, and talented (his sleight of hand is the best we have ever seen — even better than the guys on YouTube that perform one part of an effect with questionable camera angles and techniques).

If you were to ask us who our favorite magician in the world is, we would have to say Mr. Burton.  He puts the “magic” in “magician.”

Check out the ticket availability to this weekend’s show here.  The tickets range from $29.00 to $49.00.  Even if he never appeared on stage but just showed his props, that would be a steal.

Check out Mr. Burton’s website here.

Mental Madness on Display August 24th

Garrett Thomas

Magicians Garrett Thomas, Kozmo and Joe Maxwell will be performing at the Coolidge Theatre in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania on August 24th.   This is a must-see show and not just because it is being shown in a “theatre” and not a “theater” but because of the line-up.

You have everything you could want in a magic show.  Illusions, great comedy and close-up magic to mess with your mind.

In fact, the messing with your mind part is covered in the title of the show.  Magic Beyond Imagination is presenting “The Mental Madness Show.”

We’re pretty sure you can’t say something is a “Mental Madness” show if it is not truly mental madness.  We think that’s the law.  And the cast will bring you incredible magic in addition to messing with your mental madness quotient.  Ours is currently 7 but has been as high as 12.

As a special treat, magic enthusiasts can pay extra for VIP tickets for a 45-minute meet-and-greet with these magicians, including an up close and personal magic session with cards and coins that begins at 6 p.m. VIPs will be admitted early to the theatre and be given their choice of seating.

Kozmo told reporters, “we consider it a work in progress. We are doing material we’ve been doing for 15 years but not in this configuration. We use cameras and screens so people in the audience can see all of the details of our magic.”

As magicians and magic fans know, Mr. Thomas is more than a great performer, he is a fantastic magic inventor.  He has created effects for David Blaine – including the high-profile feats of endurance that make us squirm.

(We do squirm normally so this is additional squirming over and above our natural snake-like involuntary movements we do when watching television magic whilst sitting in our antique bean-bag chair.  The guy on Antique Roadshow said it was worth $1,200 but then he re-examined it and determined it was likely not made for George Washington the first president but someone named George Washington and then he started to re-examine us on how we got it.  It was as if he was implying we stole it.  We didn’t but at that point we didn’t feel like explaining ourselves if the amount was going to drop from $1,200 to “a buck two-eighty.”   Plus the Mark Wahlberg that is the star of the Antique Roadshow isn’t even the real Mark Wahlberg).

Kozmo is a great magician who has taken his craft from Bourbon Street (New Orleans) to China (not New Orleans).  He is a joy to watch because he seems to enjoy what he is doing and he does it well.

We have not met Joe Maxwell but if he is hooked up with Kozmo and Mr. Garrett, he has chops by association.  He will be the master of ceremonies for the Mental Madness Show and, according to the newspaper “is one of the world’s most sought after drummers, having toured the world with Grammy-nominated recording artist, Moby.”

If you are anywhere near Wellsboro on the 24th of August, you have to see this show.  Outside of the Magic Castle, you will never have an opportunity to watch the performers who have entertained Johnny Depp, David Copperfield, Olivia Wilde, Willie Nelson, Scarlett Johansson, Seth Rogan, Jay Leno, Trace Atkins and others.

Purchasing tickets in advance is strongly recommended.  For tickets and more information, visit www.deanecenter.com or call 570-724-6220.

Read the article about the show in the Wellsboro Gazette.

Harry Houdini Exhibit at Bremen Museum

There are two things we cannot get enough of: Harry Houdini and anything related to Harry Houdini.

So, if you have an exhibit that features images of Harry Houdini and takes attendees through the life of Harry Houdini, you win the golden ticket in our book.

Just to be clear, we have neither golden tickets or a book in which to collect said tickets, but we will remember you fondly until the day we pass to join the great card table session in the heavens.  We’ll tell  Dai Vernon and Ed Marlo about you and your organization and they will both likely teach us moves that will take an eternity to perform – but that will be okay because we will have an eternity to learn.

The Breman Museum (William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum) is based in the Atlanta area (likely within a mile of a street with the word “peach” in it).  We see that Inside Magic Favorite Joe Turner is assisting in the presentation so you know it will be without flaw and have integrity.

The museum tells visitors that the world’s most famous magician and escape artist wasn’t born but invented by the talented mind of Erik Weisz (later translated into Erich Weiss when he and his family immigrated to the United States).

The exhibit it curated by magician David London and shares the story of how this immigrant, growing up in Wisconsin became Harry Houdini – the world’s first international superstar.

Continue reading “Harry Houdini Exhibit at Bremen Museum”

Trying to Like Magic Card Decks

We are warming to tattoos and body piercing (other than earrings) but we are having a hard time with deck collectors. 

Admittedly we have no place from which to speak on this topic.

People like different things.

We love The Ball and Vase and have bought maybe a hundred in this short shuffle up on the mortal coil from which we will all be called up one day to justify our choices, decisions and purchases.  We figure we can defend the first 20 Ball and Vase tricks.  We were young, we didn’t know, others were doing it, we were raised by doting parents that would indulge our every whim as long as it had to do with schoolwork or applications to go to another school to do school work.  We had thousands of pencils (mechanical and wood), pens a plenty (the name of our first writing instrument internet shoppe.

It failed due to a horrible spate of product liability suits brought allegedly due to springs that were too tight.  When you would open the container to refill the pen, the old refill would shoot from the pen body with the force of Titan rocket (first stage).  The good news, we sold very few of them and the even better news, we sold even fewer refills.  The bad news, enough people bought the pens to narrowly miss horrific physical injuries.  No one was injured or claimed to be.  We took the pen off the market and went broke.  Ironically, we wrote the bankruptcy papers with one of the killer pens.

But let us return to the subject at hand.  Card decks.

In our limited and noisy world (tinnitus is a pain and real.  We know, we sit next to someone who has it and they complain all day – they never shut up (© Run DMC)) we have two choices of decks with which we will perform – a red Bee deck and a blue Bee deck – both Jumbo Index.  That’s it.  No others make the cut.

“Hey, Tim,” you ask.  “How about that new deck made on USPC stock that has the clown from IT?

Nope.

“What about the ones that have the wacky numbering?

No can do.

“What about your conviction in 1969 on your way to Woodstock?”

Wasn’t me.  Wasn’t a conviction.  My judgment was practically expunged.  Plus I wasn’t born or I was too old at the time. Continue reading “Trying to Like Magic Card Decks”

Magicians Lance Burton and Bette Davis

Master Magician Lance Burton and All About Eve have one thing in common.  They are perfect.  We can watch either over-and-over without need for any breaks.  But this is a magic blog read by fives to tens of people every day.  We are not here to talk about Bette Davis incredible role in her Oscar® winning film, but the incredible magic of Lance Burton.

Watching Lance Burton is, in a word, wonderful. He has the sleight of hand skills to astound magicians, the professional illusionist chops to wow the crowd and he loves animals and is a very nice person.

We know magicians who love animals but fail at meeting the remaining criteria.  Lance Burton has it all and always has.  His sleight of hand act on Johnny Carson iced the deal for us.  He does things that can only be explained as magic.  We don’t look for secrets or flaws, we just drink it in like a gerbil immediately after his wheelwork.

We say all this because Lance Burton will be in Modesto August 18th and performing in the perfect environment to see him work.   The Mary Stuart Rogers Theater is a fantastic venue and reminds us of the Lance Burton Theater that once held his nightly show at the Monte Carlo in Las Vegas.  The sight-lines are great and the place is plush.

If you are anywhere near Modesto, you need to visit the theater and experience the true magic you will see by the Master Magician Lance Burton.

Visit the box office and get your tickets now.  They are going very quickly!

[UPDATED to include correct date for show]