Category: Magicians

Passing of Magicians Due to the Virus

Inside Magic's First LogoWe are in a tough era of life and magic.  One of the benefits magicians offer to society is a respite from tragedy or daily anxiety caused by war, strife, natural disasters and economic troughs.  Unfortunately, there is remarkable difference in this time of world concern, the individuals looked to for entertainment and distraction are not immune to the virus and economic devastation.

This article started out as a focus on several magicians around the United States and the world who have passed away due to the virus.  These were men and women of ages from early thirties to the late seventies.  They lived in different sized towns, large and small.  They entertained different audiences in different venues of varying sizes.  But all of them had fans, if only their families and close friends.

We realized that we could not chronicle each magician’s passing.  The official publications of the Society of American Magicians and the International Brotherhood of Magicians have added extra space to cover their lives and too early deaths.

On top of the virus, we have social strife over something as basic as human rights and equality for all men and women.  Black lives matter.  This shouldn’t be a new concept.  It is one set forth in the 13th and 14th amendments to our constitution but wouldn’t be fulfilled through reconstruction, Jim Crow, the civil rights movement of the 1960s and even today.

Magic has had a good, not perfect, but good reputation of treating magicians of all races equally.  In some cases, the equality was seen only on the stage but behind the curtains, those very same performers were discriminated against in lodging, travel and basic human commerce.

We are the type who see the glass half-full always.  We have been proven wrong by those on the margin of our society who would like nothing more than to push back on the hard-fought progress made thus far but in no way complete.  Still we agree with Martin Luther King, Jr. that the arc of the moral universe will inevitably bend toward justice.  It may take time but we agree and find great hope in the inevitable endpoint of work and struggle.

We realize this post is unlike any post we have ever made in this modest web publication but we felt moved by the deaths and struggle we see on television, our love for our fellow man, our hope for a cure for both the medical issues surrounding the virus as well as the societal illness that would ever deny equality to any man or woman based on the color of their skin, their beliefs, their disabilities, their social standing, who they love, or where they were born.

As noted in the Broken Wand section of the International Brotherhood of Magicians’ publication, The Linking Ring, “any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.”

The New Face of Magic

Ace Hotel.jpgYou know the Ace Hotel New York even if you have never been there.  Check out their website to see the iconic building with tons of history and literary connections.  If we are not mistaken (and their is a very good chance we are), our very favorite short story writer, O. Henry lived in one of the rooms of the building way back in the day.

Zach Alexander, Michael Karas and RJ The Magician will be appearing in their show The New Face of Magic tomorrow, December 14th in Liberty Hall at Ace Hotel New York.

So there is a fine mixture of the past and future awaiting  you.  Once you are seated and watching the show, it will then be the past, present and future.  We suppose that goes without saying and so . . .

The title of the show is fitting for performances by new magicians that push the art of the craft forward.

Mr. Alexander has been featured on ABC Morning News and is a member of our art’s very secret society, The International Brotherhood of Magicians.

New Face.jpgJoining Mr. Alexander will be RJ the Magician.  He truly is part of the coming generation of magicians.  His objective is not only to entertain but also “prove that magic and civic engagement can help contribute to modern society.”  He is a member of the International Association of Black Magical Artists; and was the winner of their 2018 “Rising Star” Award.

Mr. Karas is an international award-winning juggler.  He has toured the world for more than a decade with his very unique and comedic juggling routine.

If we were in New York, we’d stay at the Ace Hotel if only for the history and O. Henry’s legacy (assuming we’re correct about his residence there) but if we had a choice of nights to stay, it would be tonight and tomorrow to catch The New Face of Magic show.

If you are anywhere in the vicinity of New York city, you should check out the show and see these three amazing performers.

You can read more about the show and the performers here.

 

Magician’s Equipment Gets Swiped But You Can Help Him

Tall Paul and Vern the Bird.jpegAlbuquerque’s KOB-TV reports that magician Paul Cochrell a/k/a “Tall Paul” has been in the birthday party biz for more than 20 years.  Usually the birthday party is a cause for celebration and fun.  Nice people hiring magicians for a nice gift for a son or daughter.  We never performed for an angry crowd at birthday parties.

Mr. Cochrell saw  the other side of humanity when someone broke into his car and swiped his props.

“It’d be nice if people weren’t terrible. I mean I guess the weirdest part is they don’t know what they took,” Cochrell said. “Yeah there’s some puppets and some sound equipment they may recognize but the rest of it—they don’t know what to do with.”

The good news is that he has found the car and replaced the window shattered in the break-in but was not able to recover the stolen items.

He particularly misses his puppet, Vern the Bird. “He’s like family. I’ve been using him for over 20 years,” he said.

He hasn’t given up on people though.  He sees this incident as an aberration rather than the rule.

“Bad things happen, but people are good so you know I haven’t lost faith in humanity,” he said. “Just bad things happen occasionally so just gotta pick yourself up and keep moving forward.”

Mr. Cochrell set up a Go Fund Me page to seek help from fellow magicians and fans and anyone who cares about helping with the victim of crime.  You can visit the page here.

You’ll even have a chance to see Vern the Bird right at the top of the page.  He has a goal of $3,400 and has already raised close to $2,000.

There really are good people amongst us – even non-magicians.

You can read the full article on Mr. Cochrell and even see a video of him performing on the KOB Channel 4 website here.

And be sure to visit Mr. Cochrell’s website here.

Piff the Magic Dragon Wins Big!

Inside Magic Image of Piff the Magic Dragon doing a One-Handed Card SpringThe 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

Joshua Jay - Magician, Author, and Good GuyAward-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

Marvin LeRoy.jpgThere 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

unnamed(2)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

magicopolis-small_orig.pngHow 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

Inside Magic Image of Lance Burton, Master MagicianMaster 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
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.