There are those who ask, “why isn’t there a gelato themed magic event?”
We don’t know these people but assume they exist otherwise how could one (maybe you or me) explain the upcoming Sideshow Gelato Spectacular? We love gelato and we love magic so we are sure we will love the Sideshow Gelato Spectacular — that’s simple math.
Matt Donnelly from Penn & Teller’s Fool Us and Penn’s Sunday School will be performing along with Professor Pinkerton’s Dead Man’s Carnival. The latter promising “Astonishing Feats! Incredible People!”
The event will be at [blnk]Haus Gallery on Armitage Avenue in Chicago, adjacent to where North Kedzie Avenue and Armitage intersect – down the street from Walgreens.
The event will be in two parts: First, a come and go General Admission that runs from 1pm to 6pm. Each ticket will include gelato tastings, sideshow, juggling and magic; Second, a peak into The Museum of the Transmundane, a dime museum of strange and unusual objects giving the history of the sideshow.
General admission tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for kids 12 and under.
The event is to introduce those who love (or have yet to taste the loveable) gelato. Sideshow Gelato, a gelato shop with sideshow theme is set to open in May of 2022.
From the event’s press release, “the shop will offer authentically made gelato in a carnival sideshow setting. The flavors range from the strange and unusual named after famous performers (ie. Koo Koo the Birdgirl – a Nutella gelato with pretzels and marshmallow Peeps) to standard flavors for the less adventurous (Chump Chocolate, Rube Vanilla).”
The store will include a dime museum featuring “oddities and gaffs as well as a history of the sideshow” and all proceeds from the museum will go to, entirely, to a different charity each month.
The shop has the backing of Penn Jillette, so you know it will be fun and very interesting.
Check out the event’s website for videos and more information here.
In an effort to launch InsideMagic.com to the top of the charts, we have tried to copy or serve an homage to those captains of industry in the internet world. We found the clickbait method of asking a question and then directing users to a page with answers seems to be working for some.
Here are some of the questions posed we have noticed:
Remember [Actress] in the 1980s? You should take a deep breath and see how she looks now.
Scientists won’t tell you when the end of the world is coming, here is the info they’ve been hiding.
How to spot a liar in one second – warning, this is a devastating power.
Remember [Thelma] from [Scoobie Doo]? Wait until you see her now, she’s beautiful.
Pain in your wrist? Learn the seven signs of [Illness] before it’s too late.
For each of these examples, we’ve corrected the spelling and omitted the real gross ones, like creatures that take up home in your body while you’re sleeping or how to tell if your child has rabies. No need for that type of extreme.
Here is our tentative list of clickbait questions to drive readers to InsideMagic.com.
[We realize we don’t have advertisers on InsideMagic.com but that is more a function of our choosiness. Daily, we receive offers to post ads from sources other than magicians or magic suppliers. Just this morning we received two: BlitzDate – Faster than Tinder! and, FungiGone – to permanently remove nail fungus forever. Both offered to pay us a percentage of the users derived from InsideMagic.com but we felt it would let our readers down.]
What Magicians don’t want you to know (Number 7 will make you rethink your moral compass!)
Magicians in Ancient Egypt – What did they know that can cure [Illness] even today! [Note: this will not include anything about fungi encrusted nails]
What Nostradamus Predicted about Mentalists Performing B Wave – You’ll be shocked!
How Magicians use Pheromones to Deceive Audiences with Smell – This explains so much!
The Classic Pass is Possible says Noted Magician – but will not help securing dates!
What David Copperfield, Criss Angel, David Blaine and Your Uncle All Have in Common – It’s not what you think!
Why Starbucks Won’t Let Magician’s in their Stores – Seems unfair but makes sense!
The Bullet Catch Trick – How Magicians practice this most dangerous trick without injury, usually.
Is the Bill in Lemon Trick a Violation of US Currency Laws? – The answer will surprise you!
Rabbits from Hats – You’ll be surprised at the type of animals pulled from hats over the last 200 years – Number four will have you gripped in fear.
Following the link to any of these bait lines would direct you to a microsite chocked full of ads for different approaches to: dating, fungus removal, disease detection, dating with an emphasis on finding the perfect magician match, colorized versions of war footage, colorized versions of fungal infections, and, IHop / Arbys. IHop would be shown in the morning and Arbys for the rest of the day.
One of the questions we get from those who would ask us questions is, “Why isn’t Inside Magic updated on an hourly, daily, weekly or even monthly basis?”
At first we deny that we are associated with the journal but there are images of us floating around the internet and people find us out.
For instance, we used to do a bunch of TikTok videos. They weren’t magic oriented, per se. We would show different comb-over techniques for men of our advanced age. We’d do the front to back, the side parts and even the split down the middle from ear to ear so that when people would whisper to us, they would be whispering into our nose.
We tried to integrate some magic into our TikToks with a vanishing card routine where the card would appear to dance to music and dance up stairs before turning around and dance down. It took 20 hours to film and necessitated the hiring of a crew of 15 people. Granted, the craft services table made things bearable and our director was a specialist in such videos. He was also 15 years old and his manager was a pain to deal with.
We tried to go it alone and filmed videos showing why men of our advanced age shouldn’t wear eye-make-up or not trim our eye-brows or forget to trim our nose hair. Those failed miserably.
We then did some research and learned the best TikTok response came from wearing different tennis shoes and making them magically change as one is dancing up and down stairs. We tripped often in the tennis shoes because they were borrowed from neighbors. Some were too large and looked clownish. One of our neighbors is a clown so that made for even more trips and falls. Some were too small and pretty beat-up. Those also led to falls.
We finished the shoe series and then released what we thought was a hysterical behind the scenes TikTok showing our attempts to dance up and down carpeted stairs. The behind the scenes video drew less than the original video and even that was in the low 6 or 7 views.
TikTok is a tough scene.
We then tried reading books in 15 second increments. We started with Moby Dick and viewership dropped off when we started doing the accents we imagined the characters would use. The entire book reading was submitted for a Mono Award for best video reading of a classic book. We didn’t win. We think the accents were not accepted by the judges. Whatever. Artists are always disrespected whilst they live. Just look at Picasso. While he was alive, his TikTok videos must have been so badly received that you can’t find a single one on the platform.
Then we hit upon a genius idea that we think will skyrocket us to fame among Tik-Tokkers. It was quite by accident. Being of our special heritage, we come from a long line of people with lousy teeth. In fact, the next time you meet with us, you can inspect them and we can challenge you to find the one real tooth left.
Anyway, we went to the dentist and got as much work as our insurance would allow. We finished up and went to our favorite soup restaurant here in WeHo. Our mouth was numb and our lips were too. Each spoonful of tomato soup thus divided neatly between some in our mouth and some pouring down our numb lips and on to our freshly pressed white t-shirt. We filmed it and put it up on the platform. The response was tremendous. For three days, we were in the top 900 videos. Then some others did their versions and we couldn’t keep up. They ate spaghetti with meat sauce, cheese pizzas, and a handful of chickpeas, and even smoothies of different colors.
The originator of the numb lips challenge was forgotten and we moved on with our life.
We just received news from the Academy of Magical Arts (“AMA”) that the world-famous home for all who love magic, The Magic Castle, will re-open on May 21st. It has been closed since the ides of March last year. We have been in audience withdrawals since.
According to the AMA, the very private club will initially operate at reduced capacity—open Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings—welcoming its members and their invited guests for fine dining and entertainment, strictly observing COVID-19 compliant guidelines. To allow members adequate opportunity to access the Magic Castle, guest passes will not be accepted during the initial phase of this reopening.
Magic shows will initially be broadcast in showrooms via recorded video broadcast, with plans to expand to live entertainment options outdoors and an eventual return to live entertainment indoors as quickly as COVID-19 guidelines permit.
The popular Dine & Delight to-go dining program—launched during pandemic restrictions—will continue to operate for the time being on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Orders may be placed at www.MagicCastle.com
Randy Sinnott, Jr., president of the AMA’s Board of Directors, said, “We are thrilled to take the initial step of re-opening our doors and welcoming our members back to their magical clubhouse. As COVID restrictions decrease in the coming weeks and months, the club will continue to carefully and responsibly expand operations to the extent possible and begin to accept guest passes as we bring magic back to the lives of Angelenos.”
During the pandemic, the AMA continued to strive to share its magic with its members and the community, hosting dozens of virtual shows, each attracting hundreds of viewers; offering attractively priced meals from Executive Chef Alex Arrietta thru the Dine & Delight program; hosting outdoor dinners for members; teaching magic classes online; sponsoring virtual lectures and events for members; and lending its parking lot for Magic Asphalt, in-car comedy performances/dining.
About the Academy of Magical Arts, Inc.
The Academy of Magical Arts (AMA) is a unique non-profit. The AMA’s membership – including the world’s most pre-eminent and celebrated magicians and illusionists – lives by the “Magic First” creed, devoted to the advancement of the art of magic and preserving its history. Its headquarters and private clubhouse, the Magic Castle, has been an internationally revered gathering place for the magic brotherhood since opening its doors in 1963. Located in historic Hollywood in an elegant, Victorian-era mansion, the Castle is an experience within itself—a remarkable meeting spot that captures a lost era and is timeless in its appeal, having hosted generations of magic enthusiasts from around the globe, as well as show biz elite from Cary Grant, Tony Curtis, Johnny Carson, Neil Patrick Harris and Jason Alexander (all performing members) to Katy Perry and Johnny Depp. The Magic Castle was founded by writer, actor, magician and entrepreneur Milt Larsen and his late brother, Bill Larsen, Jr. Visit us online at: www.MagicCastle.com
We received this great piece of news from the World Famous Academy of Magical Arts and The Magic Castle. A very special program for active military, veterans and their families on May 7th. Lance Burton, The Evansons, Suzanne, and Brandon Scott will appear. Any one of these acts would be more than enough. All four makes this a show not to be missed for any reason! We thank the Magic Castle for keeping us up-to-date on their breaking news and upcoming opportunities.
In honor of U.S. veterans across the country, the Academy of Magical Arts (AMA) and its world-famous clubhouse The Magic Castle is presenting a star-studded, virtual magic show, Saturday, May 7, 3 p.m. PT/6 p.m. ET in honor of members of the Armed Forces, veterans and their families.
NOTE: If Zoom registration is full, a live, streaming link will also be available at this site.
Said event organizer, magician Brandon Scott, also serving as Master of Ceremonies, “The mission of the non-profit Academy of Magical Arts is to advance and preserve the art of magic. As part of our community outreach, it is our honor to share the wonder of magic with veterans and others who serve our country and to organizations that serve children who are underprivileged, hospitalized or have special needs … Which meant going virtual during the pandemic, a time when people need a smile most.”
On the Marquee …
Lance Burton (from Kentucky) — A master magician,Burton has appeared on TheTonight Show and numerous TV specials. For The Lance Burton Show in Las Vegas, he won “Best Magician” for 11 years in a row from the Las Vegas Review-Journal and has performed15,000 shows over the past 30 years. The AMA has twice awarded him “Magician of the Year” and a Masters Fellowship “Hall of Fame.”
The Evasons (from Maryland) — One of very few couples in history who have mastered the rare and mysterious art of two-person telepathy, they have appeared in more than 40 countries and on such hit TV shows as Penn & Teller: Fool Us, Masters of Illusion and The World’s Greatest Magic. In their live, interactive, online display of Virtual Telepathy and Remote Viewing, The Evasons appear to reach through the screen and seize your thoughts.
Suzanne (from Minnesota) — You may have seen Suzanne on Penn & Teller Fool Us with an engaging style that makes the audience an essential participant in her performance that other magicians call “flawless” and “amazing.” She is a favorite at Hollywood’s famous Magic Castle and has been awarded “Close Up Magician of the Year” by the AMA.
Brandon Scott (from California) — Scott comes from a family of American Veterans and received two first-place medals as winner of the American Legion Oratory Contest on the American Constitution. He has appeared in numerous television shows, films and commercials, as well as live performances at such places as Caesars Palace-Las Vegas, The Hollywood Bowl, Disneyland and in Milt Larsen’s It’s Magic. He is a headliner magician at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire and has delighted corporate executives, international nobility, prominent political figures and some of the world’s most famous movie stars.
The Academy of Magical Arts (AMA) is a unique non-profit. The AMA’s membership—including the world’s most pre-eminent and celebrated magicians and illusionists—lives by the “Magic First” creed, devoted to the advancement of the art of magic and preserving its history. Its headquarters and private clubhouse, the Magic Castle, has been an internationally revered gathering place for the magic brotherhood since opening its doors in 1963. Located in historic Hollywood in an elegant, Victorian-era mansion, the Castle is an experience within itself—a remarkable meeting spot that captures a lost era and is timeless in its appeal, having hosted generations of magic enthusiasts from around the globe, as well as show biz elite from Cary Grant, Tony Curtis, Johnny Carson, Neil Patrick Harris and Jason Alexander (all performing members) to Katy Perry and Johnny Depp. The Magic Castle was founded by writer, actor, magician and entrepreneur Milt Larsen and his late brother, Bill Larsen, Jr. Visit us online at: www.MagicCastle.com.
Master Magician Lance Burton will be joined by the incredible Mac King, Jeff Hobson and Kevin James at this year’s Abbott’s Magic Get-Together.
Abbott’s owner, Greg Bordner, announced the good news in today’s Sturgis Journal.
But given the uncertainties in this time of a pandemic, nothing is certain.
“Probably the best quote you can put in the paper is, ‘we’re proceeding cautiously,’” Mr. Bordner said. “That’s how we’re approaching this and we’ll stay optimistic that we can go ahead and have the Get-Together this year.”
A big feature of the Get-Together are the big shows in the Colon High School gym but due to health and safety concerns, the seats available will be half of what they were in pre-pandemic times.
“It’s a different show every night, of course, but it’s the same people in the audience every night,” he said. “Where we used to sell tickets to any, some or all of the four different shows, this year we’re selling the tickets in four-night (packages).”
The price for the four nights is $300. Considering the line-up, this looks to be a real deal.
“The shows will be of serious quality and they always have been, but nobody is working right now, so we have a great lineup of headline magicians that are dying to perform,” Mr. Bordner said.
We have shared with so many in our wonderful magic community the passing of leaders and friends and role models and inspirations.
The passing of Bev Bergeron, his wife and Mark Wilson hit us so hard. These are people were knew and loved in TV (in the case of Mark Wilson) and live at the Diamond Horseshoe Review at Disney World and our first magic convention in Winter Park, Florida.
All were devoted to entertainment and encouraged our arts their entire lives. All will be missed for such a long time.
We are so blessed to have met and been encouraged by them. Truly a gift. May their memories be a blessing.
We mentioned on our magic oriented Twitter channel that the pandemic lockdown is both benefiting our practice of magic and seriously hurting our enjoyment of the Art.
We have had time to read, practice, watch videos, shop and practice. We practice a lot. We now have dealing seconds down better than we have ever hoped. We can push-off and strike the deal in alternating deals. We can one-hand deal seconds from the bottom of the deck. We can palm just about anything and are even trying to master a Matrix routine by following the videos of Shoot Ogawa san. (@shootogawa) Don’t get us wrong. We are no where close to his mastery. His level of mastery and our level of mastery are like a brick layer and a fine sculptor. We just want to get to the point where we can not make noise, show things and not hit our hands as we cross positions. Ogawa san is at the level where the magic takes place and there is no explanation for how things could possibly be accomplished.
We’ve read through The Expert at the Card Table and watched the Ackerman videos taking us through the sleights a couple of times now. As with our first encounter with the bible of card magic, we skip certain effects that we see as beyond our abilities but work on the ones that are just barely beyond what we think we can master. We are currently working with the Mexican Turn-Over. Once we get that down, life will be good.
But will it be good? We have no audience for whom to perform. It is worse than an empty theater. Our poor family is trapped into watching us endlessly dealing seconds, attempting bottom deals and responding to our questions, “How did that look?”
The Magic Castle was our favorite location because it allowed us to meet and mingle with the true pros in our Art, see great shows and to perform downstairs in the amateur rooms. Sometimes the rooms would get packed, sometimes there would be only a few folks. But at least it was an audience.
We have thought of Zoom shows and admire those who have taken to this publication method. We watch the acts (usually a single effect) and see inspired and accomplished performers as well as performers on their way up — still in need of additional practice but really making a great effort.
When all of this over and we have a chance to reflect on what positives we can take from the experience, we know it will be the time we would not have normally had to practice and learn as well as our immense appreciation for real live audiences.
This isn’t news but it does qualify as current events.
One of the many inconveniences of the current state of disease and our reaction to disease seems minimal compared with the devastating impact of the pandemic. But for those of us who perform for our income or even for enjoyment, the lack of access to a real-live audience is tough. It is not tough enough to seek opportunities to violate good public safety guidelines, but it is tough enough to make us miss the days of performing downstairs at the Magic Castle. We can imagine it is even worse for those of our profession who depend on appearance fees and meal allowances for their work at the greatest platform for our art we know.
We looked back at the way performers handled the lockdowns in the 1918 Spanish Flu. We should have guessed that John Cox would have covered Houdini’s involvement with the flu on his wonderful website, Wild About Harry. Link here.
Houdini actually contracted the flu but apparently was of sufficient strength or granted sufficient protection to survive the flu in 1918. Interestingly, that flu attacked those who were young, healthy and strong. It forced the immune system – usually stronger in young – to cause the immune system to over-react and kill the infected. John quotes information from a David Ben book that points out Houdini was at the time of the flu “middle aged” and thus part of a population that was actually safer from the flu.
We checked the medical journals reviewing entertainment’s response to the flu.
In an article titled “Lessons Learned from the 1918–1919 Influenza Pandemic in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota,” in the journal Public Health Reports in 2007. To save you the reading of the entire report, it is documented that the closing of theaters in November of 1918 was show to reduce the number of cases. The Minneapolis Tribune reported that when the closure of theaters was announced, patrons rushed to the venues for one last show, “Downtown theaters were packed last night with patrons who took advantage of their last chance to see a performance until the ban is lifted.” (“Influenza Lid Clamped Tight All Over City,” Minneapolis Tribune 1918 Oct 13).
There is a great summary of how show people handled the sudden closing of the theaters at Circus Talk. Contracts were cancelled “left and right” and so performers were tossed from the hotels and boarding houses where they were staying. Some looked for theaters that either were not affected by the shut-down or simply ignored the law and thus risked criminal sanctions. In those towns without laws or regulations, performers received poor reviews and small audiences.
We have much to learn from the past but the lessons are hard to abide.
We have seen some wonderful Zoom magic shows recently. We realized we only knew about them because friends (we’re not bragging but we have some outside our family) sent us links or we read about them on our Twitter timeline (@insidemagic).
So, we got to thinking. Hey, why not have a collection of Zoom (or any video presentation method) links right here on Inside Magic.
So, if you have a show coming up or know of a show coming up, let us know and we’ll announce it right here on these hallowed pages. If you have a video of a past performance, you can share it here as well.
We’ll review the submissions and get a menu set up on the site where links can be shared.
We’re excited about this service and hope you are as well.