Category: Latest Magic News

The very latest in magic news

Naked Magicians Coming to Washington

Washington-Center-for-the-Performing-Arts-The-Naked-Magicians-Backstage.jpgWe have an AI controlled software system that evaluates each article posted here on the often-read InsideMagic.com.

It checks for relevance to magic or the variety arts.  It then looks to see if the story has been posted elsewhere by another magic blog.  And finally, it goes through a very sophisticated algorithm to determine the Joke Per Paragraph (“JPP”) factor.  The JPP rating is one of the more important data points.

The computer looks up all of the potential jokes that can be made about the article from our personal database and assigns a number.  JPPs over 13 are considered excellent.  JPPs under 4 are immediately rejected.

We received a very high JPP for this post but none of the jokes (and these were from our own collection — not randomly selected from the web) were too adult for our intended family audience.

Nonetheless, the article is newsworthy and certainly relevant to magic and those who crave magical news.  So, we’ll offer it without any of the jokes suggested by the computer.  Like a pilot flying without instruments, this one is on our own and we hope to land safely.

Two Australian magicians will be taking to the stage in Olympia, Washington on February 8th at the beautifully appointed Washington Center for the Performing Arts. They will demonstrate their absence of secret pockets or hold-outs by being naked.

Their name fits the act perfectly:  The Naked Magicians, Mike Tyler and Christopher Wayne.  They told the Thurston Talk that “good magicians don’t need sleeves, and great magicians don’t need pants.”

The two have been together since 2014 and originally performed with clothes.

That changed at some point when they hit upon an idea that has apparently worked well around the world.  “We designed The Naked Magicians together as a crazy idea – something we came up with to premier the Brisbane Comedy Festival,” says Mr. Tyler.

They have performed in 250 cities, including theaters in London’s West End and even at the MGM Grand.

We’ve stayed many times at the MGM Grand and could not have maintained our perfectly sculpted Dad Bod due to the buffet and our lack of exercise and genetics and desire to stay in the casino till all hours in the night watching people while appearing to gamble and drinking high caloric fruit drinks with ice cream.  So, their run at the MGM is impressive.  As impressive as our cholesterol count but in the reverse.

Mr. Wayne said the duo loved being in Vegas.  “That was amazing. We both grew up watching and loving Copperfield. That was for me, probably the coolest part – performing under the same roof as the greatest magician/entertainer of all time.”

The show is rated R but apparently they don’t begin naked — like all situations except for birth.  They are dressed and then strip to their performing images.  “In the USA, we generally aren’t allowed to show our ‘magic wands’ so there’s normally props cleverly placed or held in front,” says Mr. Tyler, “but at times there’s just us standing on stage covering up with our hands.”

You can see them perform at Washington Center for the Performing Arts’ Center Mainstage, at 512 Washington Street SE, Olympia, Washington.  We realize we used the word “Washington” often in this post and that was detected by our algorithm.  It suggested a joke about our nation’s first president baring nothing but his wooden teeth.  We need to work on the software — no joke intended.

The Naked Magicians
Saturday, February 8, 2020, 7:30 p.m.
18-years-old and older – Includes male nudity, sexual references and coarse language.

Criss Angel’s Numerology Profile

Inside Magic Image of Criss AngelMagician Criss Angel attracts a ton of attention.

He just celebrated one-year at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino and he got his numerology profile done by someone unrelated to Planet Hollywood or Las Vegas.

The Tallahassee Scene website picked out Mr. Angel for their Astrology Profile today.  We wrote that it was a Numerology Profile because we think it is.  There is very little talk about his stars or where he fits in the orb(s) that surround us and presumably have an irresistible effect on determining our fate.

To be fair, and why wouldn’t we want to be that, the author says this is not scientifically verified and not to be taken too seriously but it seems sensible to us.  Check out the essential formula using today’s date and some other number:

First, for the month, we take the current month of 01 and add the digits together: 0 + 1 = 1 (super simple). Then do the day: from 07 we do 0 + 7 = 7. Now finally, the year of 2020: 2 + 0 + 2 + 0 = 4. Now we have our three numbers, which we can add together: 1 + 7 + 4 = 12. This still isn’t a single-digit number, so we will add its digits together again: 1 + 2 = 3. Now we have a single-digit number: 3 is the path number for 01/07/2020.

The practitioner then works out a single digit number and uses it with a Destiny Chart:

DESTINY NUMBER FOR Criss Angel: The destiny number will consider the sum of all the letters in a name. Each letter is assigned a number per the below chart.

We haven’t posted the Destiny Chart because somethings should be kept secret or at least only available at the original author’s post on a website.

We also haven’t given the final results of the process because we don’t want to convey conclusions that are not scientifically-based.

True, long-time readers of this site will recall that we used to read the bumps on the heads of those who sent in pictures to determine their intelligence and ability to avoid common colds.

And yes, this is the same site that was at one time just an advertisement page for psychics and mind-readers who claimed to tell fortunes for money sent by PayPal.

And of course, we got our start by predicting the outcomes of horse and dog racing in Central America horse and dog racing establishments.

But those days are gone.  We are no longer dependent on income derived from splitting the pot with horse and dog racing winners or psychics or bump-reading patients.

You can read the full analysis here.

You can check out Mr. Angel’s website here.

You can see our latest page where we read the bumps on dogs’ heads to determine their fortune in upcoming races here.

Can You Spread Germs with Playing Cards?

Inside Magic Image of Ask Alexander LogoOur field is magic not medicine or community health.

That being said, we were asked by a volunteer whether she could get germs from the playing cards we were using to perform what all agreed was an incredible performance of the seven column trick last exhibited by everyone’s uncle at a family gathering.

Our response was one of shock.  First we don’t believe in the germ theory generally.  We’ve never seen a germ without use of a microscope and even then, we couldn’t be sure if it was a germ or something round with little hairs stuck to the lens.

If we assumed that everything that was round with little hairs was a germ, we would never speak with two members of our immediate family.  (We don’t anyway but this would be an added reason).

Secondly, we had never been asked such an impertinent question.  We began our miracle by removing a deck from a sealed pack.  The only thing that add germs to the pasteboards would be our hands and since we always perform with non-latex surgical gloves, it seemed unlikely that germs could have taken up residence on the cards.

But we did some research on the subject and even sent a note to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta.  They haven’t responded yet but when they do, we’ll update this article to make it more click-baity — even though we don’t have advertisements on the site.

We found many resources on the web that seems to confirm that playing cards — like all paper — can be a home for germs.

We didn’t want that answer.

We wanted to find information that supported our conclusion that we were right and the volunteer was out of line to even question our sanitary approach to magic.  We drink hand sanitizer but that is only when we run out of cough medicine and only to silence the voices.

But, try as we might (and did), we found nary a single article supporting our theory.  It even knocked down our theory that paper cannot be anything but sterile.  Why else would Irish Fish-and-Chips sellers put their delicious meals in newspaper?  Why would ice cream cones have a paper wrapper around their base? Why would our submarine sandwiches be delivered in paper clearly touched and folded by human hands?

It turns out, paper is a possible home for germs but not a great home.  Our cards have a fine coating that we hope resists germs looking for a new abode.  We don’t know what germs like and perhaps plastic coating seems too “plastic” and artificial for them.  Maybe they would rather reside where the high class microbes live on things like raw chicken, out-dated cheese, or our eyebrows.  (The last location is bushy and unruly — ironically the name of our old partner act when we were on the dance hall circuit.  We were “Bushy” and our fellow performer was “Unruly.”   We cut-up with jokes about eyebrows and messed up hair generally.)

If you would like to do your own investigation into the question you can check out the following links.  But, if you choose to live in a blissful sense of ignorance, you can ignore the links, use new decks for each performance, wash your hands before every show, never put a card in your mouth for any reason — even a magical one, never lick a card to attach to your forehead, and certainly never cough or sneeze directly onto a card you want your spectator to select.  If you are not going to do a force, you probably should avoid coughing or sneezing on the deck itself.  If you are doing fans and productions, without a spectator’s selection, sneeze away.  It is rumored that some of the great card manipulators would sneeze directly on their decks before performing to give an extra “grip” to the deck.  That is a rumor we just started for the purposes of this post.

http://www.casinolifemagazine.com/article/gaming-health-germ-free-playing-cards

http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/cleaning/tips/a2528/playing-cards-cleaning-may03/

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/journal-plague-year-180965222/

http://www.silversneakers.com/blog/10-surprisingly-simple-ways-to-avoid-the-flu/

http://www.nch.org/news/news-article/top-10-cold-and-flu-myths-debunked

http://www.lrsus.com/blog/antimicrobial-pagers-used-minimize-spread-germs-bacteria-casinos/

spy.com/articles/lifestyle/entertainment/game-night-deck-playing-cards-196930/

We can’t and wouldn’t anyway, vouch for any of these publications or their content.  They are all links outside of InsideMagic.com so you should click at your own risk.

We do believe in internet viruses and so be careful where you go as you search for information on the passing of viruses and germs.

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.

 

Inside Magic Invention Challenge Now Open

Inside Magic Image of Favorite Melvin the MagicianA while back we had a regular feature where we would pose an idea for a trick and then ask readers for their ideas on how the trick could be accomplished.

It was a bad idea but a good idea at the same time.  Bad because it exposed magic secrets and good because it started a conversation about the types of techniques to accomplish the effect.

The concept was inspired (stolen) from the ACAAN challenge that has puzzled and inspired magicians for years.  We can’t claim that today’s challenge will cause such inspiration or education in the thinking and logistical planning needed to bring about such a revolution in card magic, but it couldn’t hurt.

The notion that something may  have no positive effect for anyone “but couldn’t hurt,” is ridiculous.  Many things don’t hurt but promote not a scintilla of social or even personal value.  Plus, the term “couldn’t hurt” doesn’t seem to mean anything more than physical pain.  What about the emotional  impact or economic devastation suffered by the proponent of this philosophy?  We throw this out for something to ponder.  It isn’t essential to the post but it couldn’t hurt.

Here’s the concept.  It will be non-changeable — just like the original ACAAN challenge.

Effect: A magician has a spectator (no stooges permitted) select a card from a deck of cards held in the magician’s hands.  The spectator is asked if she is satisfied with the selection or if there was any other card in the whole world she could have selected, what would that card be.  She names the alternative card.  The magician hands her the deck and it is turned over revealing that every card in the remaining pack is the card she would have rather selected.

Conditions:

  • The deck from which the first card is selected must appear to be the same deck used throughout the effect (this allows for a deck switch but under seemingly impossible conditions).
  • The deck must not be gimmicked in any manner.
  • The card selected must be different in image from the other faces of the cards shown.

Non-Conditions (Not Required):

  • The trick does not need to be repeatable for the same audience.
  • The trick does not need to require knuckle-busting moves.
  • The trick must not be a currently available effect.
  • The trick does not need to have a cutesy or vulgar name.

To keep secrecy, please send your thoughts and solutions and questions to mystery@insidemagic.com.  We will announce in 30 days whether there has been progress on the solution.  You, the inventor or innovator of the solution will get full credit and we claim no IP rights to any aspect of the effect.  We will be happy to provide endorsements of the trick if you decide to market it.

Send your solutions or questions now to mystery@insidemagic.com.  All submissions will be kept in the most confidential conditions.

 

Magician Changes Show Title After Concerns of Insensitivity

Box-Bottom The MarshMagician David Hirata has changed the name of his show, now playing in Berkeley, California, in response to objections from Japanese-Americans as reported on The Mercury website.  The show was originally called “The J*p Box” and is now called “A Box Without a Bottom.”

Mr. Hirata is a Japanese-American whose mother’s family was interned in a “segregation camp” during World War II.  He posted news of the new title on the theater’s website in an essay titled “A name change and an apology.”

“I deeply regret the pain that my choice has caused,” he wrote.

Mr. Hirata received complaints that his use of the term “normalized use of a slur” and was “harsh and degrading.”

His show will run through the first of December and features the story of the 19th-century Japanese magician, Namigoro Sumidagawa.  The original title reflected the mocking the magician received.  The new title references one of the magician’s effect,  Soko-nashi Bako (the “bottomless box”).  Mr. Hirata noted that American magic manufacturers appropriated the trick and sold it under the derogatory name.

Mr. Hirata said the show traces Japanese-American history, told through magic.  “We start with Namigoro Sumidagawa and his story and his interaction with Wellington Tobias, which says something about attitudes towards race in America, and weave that with my own personal history as a magician and my interest in the magic of these men. And my own identity as a Japanese-American then weaves in the fact of the internment as part of my family history.”

Mr. Hirata said that he “was extremely nervous when I considered the title.” He discussed the title with friends in San Diego as he premiered the show before bringing it to Berkeley.

In his post on the theater’s website he wrote  that“[t]he higher-profile run of the show here in the Bay Area exposed the show to a broader audience. Subsequent discussions with the Japanese-American community have led me to realize that I have simply underestimated the raw pain of the ‘J’ word. The title itself provides insufficient context to justify its use.

Though I have a real connection with the account of the Soko-nashi Bako, the raw pain of the ‘J word’ is not my story to tell.”

Read more about Mr. Hirata, his show and the decision he made on The Mercury’s website here.

Visit The Marsh Theater’s website and information about Mr. Hirata here.

Actress Accuses Magician Ex of Abuse

Inside Magic's Famous BunnyDiane Neal, a former  actress on “Law and Order: SVU” claims her magician ex-boyfriend physically and sexually abused her and her pets.   She accuses magician JB Benn of being a con artist as well as a “manipulative and maniacal fraudster,” according to  The Daily Mail.

The musician Moby posted his disbelief.  “I’ve seen JB do magic at least 250 times and each time I’m just as stunned as the last. Some of his magic shouldn’t be possible, and it makes my brain hurt in the best possible ways.’

According to The Daily Mail, the magician allegedly “defrauded her of millions” and “violently inflicted emotional distress” in a “campaign of isolation, terror and (physical and sexual) assault, and destroyed her reputation by doing so.”

According to Page Six, on Wednesday, Mr. Benn pleaded guilty to a disorderly conduct charge resulting in a $200.00 fine and a two-year protection plan for Ms. Neal.

 

As in any story of this ilk, there are terrible claims and accusations; including injury to their pet.  Most of which we won’t print here because they turn our stomach and makes us sad.

If you want to read more, see pictures of the couple and their home, you can read The Daily Mail‘s coverage.

Rapper Macklemore Now a Magician Too

Inside Magic Image of Ask Alexander LogoWe’re not big into the Rap scene.  Sure, there are a couple of Rap artists that we enjoyed but they hale from what now seems to be decades ago – because they do – like Sugar Hill Gang and . . . okay, so the Sugar Hill Gang really is our last real affection for the genre.  But to be fair, how could anyone top “Rapper’s Delight” with the memorable rap opening:

I said a hip hop
Hippie to the hippie
The hip, hip a hop, and you don’t stop, a rock it out
Bubba to the bang bang boogie, boobie to the boogie.

QED

But there is a rapper from Seattle who is hoping to steal our heart.  Macklemore posted on his Instagram page that he is releasing the “first ever Magic Rap album.”  We don’t have an Instagram page but we do have Twitter (@insidemagic) and that’s where we learned the news of this melange of magic and Rap.

It could be true that Mr. Macklemore (if “Macklemore” is his last name – we’re not sure) is releasing the first Rap and magic album but we aren’t sure.

We checked our always reliable Magic Guide book to see.  It is like Major League Baseball’s stat and history book but for magic.  It said Alexander (“the man who knows”) did an impromptu poem to ghostly hums during a performance in Detroit, Michigan.  The poem was about the dead (he was doing a “Dead or Alive” test effect at the time) and while it didn’t rhyme as well as modern rappers, it could be considered a Rap:

I ask who is dead
And who is alive
I’ll be able to discern this jive
Bubba to the bang bang boogie, paper notes to the Magi.

Apparently the last line is a traditional fourth line of any essential rap.  We didn’t know that until we checked Wikipedia.  The fourth line was obliterated by Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five’s groundbreaking work in the 1970’s with “The Message (It’s Nasty).”

Mr.  Macklemore wrote “I’ve been working hard on this magic s—.”  He told a hip hop site that  he’s “been doing magic for about 2.5 years now.”

“A lot of people are already calling me mid-pack David Blaine,” he said. “One afternoon in my magic shed, I was doing some rabbit work when the idea hit me — ‘What if I combined my natural ability of wizardry and used music to genre blend!?’ I ran it by the local magician community in Seattle and one out of two of them agreed — it was a great idea.”

We embrace his ambition even if we think 2.5 years and the opinion of “one out of two” magicians (we think that is close to 50% but we don’t know what that would be in metric for our European readers, sorry) share our embrace may indicate he has not yet mastered his skills.  That said, we likely would not book him yet for our birthday party but that is only because we have already booked two rappers from the 1920s to appear via hologram.

The Man Behind the Carbonaro Effect

Derrin Berger.pngSo, we were reading through the on-line version of The Poughkeepsie Journal and came across a great story about Derrin Berger, the man behind the wondrous magic performed some of the Carbonaro Effects.

In case you are not aware of the Carbonaro Effect, you need to get a television, stat.  It is one of our favorite shows  on cable television next to 90-Day Fiance but for different reasons.  Although both deal with deception and trickery but we are rather sure that Mr. Berger does not create the effects for 90-Day Fiance unless he practices in that very niche area of our art entitled “Catfishing Magic.”

Back to our story, though.

Mr. Berger has been interested in magic since he was just six and shared his joy of the art with his dad.  He performed for parties and attended a magic camp with his dad.

He decided as he grew in age to pursue magic full-time.  His father was supportive but very father-like in his questioning of the move.

“I asked him, ‘Are you sure you know what you’re doing?'” Marc Berger said, noting his son has a master’s degree in engineering and computer science. “He told me, ‘I’ve been doing magic all my life.’”

He is 40-years-old now and has performed in some of the greatest venues for a magician including The Magic Castle here in Hollywood and the Chicago Magic Lounge, in Chicago, we believe.

As if that was not enough — and by our standards it would be — he has also become a contributor and part of the consulting team for truTv’s “The Carbonaro Effect.”

He’s been with the team for five years which coincides with the five years Mr. Carbonaro’s show has been on the air.  He estimates he has created more than 700 effects.

“I tell people all the time, the 12-year-old me could not even comprehend doing what I’ve been doing,” Derrin Berger said. “When I was 12, TV magic was mostly David Copperfield, David Blaine and as a kid and teen, you think ‘I absolutely want to do that when I grow up.’ And, cut to 20 years later when I’m actually doing it, it’s pretty amazing.”

And his dad is a proud watcher of the show — he claim to have never missed a single episode.

“He knows so much magic and people will come to him to ask about tricks,” His father told the reporter. “He rattles the answers without thinking twice. He is more knowledgeable than I ever know.”

The #CarbonaroEffect begins its new season tomorrow (Thursday, November 7th) on truTV at 10 p.m. 

Make sure you check out the full interview and article at The Poughkeepsie Journal here

You can visit Mr. Berger’s website here.

Check out the Carbonaro Effect’s page 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.