Yesterday, Thanksgiving here in the U.S., we republished our first Inside Magic Celebrity Interview . Whit Haydn was the first of the Inside Magic Favorites and a great start to our on-line journal back in 2003.
Whit Haydn is one of the busiest in our craft and so we were honored that he would take time to help launch Inside Magic.
We have had some great interviews over the last seven years. We doubt professionals in other crafts are so willing to give access to the lesser media outlets; but magicians have almost uniformly been available for interviews, stories, gossip, and denial of gossip.
Coming up on Monday, November 30, we are honored to publish our latest Inside Magic Celebrity Interview with one of the hottest magicians working today.
Magic Babe Ning and J.C.Sum have been featured here and in more reputable journals around the world for their constant push to outdo their previous stunts. We asked Ning if she would consider being the subject of our Inside Magic Celebrity Interview and surprisingly, she said yes. We learned later that she was very sick and no doubt acceded to our plea in feverous delirium.
It is a classy person who sticks by her promises; even if the promises were made under duress. Ning is the definition of classy.
We were surprised by her willingness to answer even our more intrusive questions with enthusiastic sense of candor. We learned about her special connection with magician David Copperfield, her feelings about being a sex symbol, her willingness to try even the most dangerous stunts, and her relationship with J.C. Sum.
Look for the full interview on Monday. This is one you don’t want to miss. In fact, we think we’ll make a point of reading it as well. Plus we like the pictures she sent along – ok, so we are human, sue us.
He was chosen by Caesars Palace to be one of the acts to open the $60 million Magical Empire at the Las Vegas Resort. Whit performs regularly on the most prestigious cruise ships including the Queen Elizabeth II, the Norway and the Westerdam. He has opened for Jerry Seinfeld, Loretta Lynn and Gallagher. He consulted and contributed to the Discovery Channel’s documentary, “Houdini – They Came to See Him Die.”
Whit will also appear in a 30-part series on magic for the Canadian Discovery Channel called “Grand Illusions,” and in the PAX Television series “Masters of Illusion.” Speaking of television and film, he has consulted on David Copperfield’s television specials, was the chief magic consultant for the Norman Jewison film “Bogus,” starring Whoopie Goldberg, Gerard Depardieu and Haley Joel Osment.
You may also have enjoyed and learned from Whit’s lecture notes, videotapes and lectures. He is a featured performer and lecturer at conventions and seminars around the world. In his spare time, Whit teaches a popular ‘masters’ course known as the “School for Scoundrels” for magician members of the Magic Castle. This course concerns the famous street swindles the Shell Game, Three-Card Monte, and the Endless Chain—the subject of Whit’s forthcoming book, Unfair Advantage.
I first met Whit while my wife and I were vacationing on the last voyage of the Queen Odyssey. The ship had just been bought by Seaborn from Royal Cruise Lines and the cruise was the transition to the new company. Seaborn was trying to impress the loyal Royal Cruise Line passengers that the new owners could keep up the fine reputation the ship had earned. They hired Whit as the only non-musical act to appear in the main theater and obviously had great confidence in his abilities to impress the crowd they hoped to retain for future voyages. We attended his show and as luck would have it, my wife was invited to join him on stage to perform the Four Ring Routine.
I have seen Whit perform several times since that cruise and have always been impressed by his very natural approach to handling and sleights. When he holds a deck of cards, he holds it as if he is doing only that. He isn’t holding the deck to set up a bottom palm or a second deal. When he displays a knife in his fantastic “The Intricate Web of Distraction,” and explains the history of the term “pen knife,” he looks and acts as if he is doing only that – not setting up a vanish or a change.
Q: How did you get introduced to magic?
My first real experience with magic was watching a Methodist minister perform at a summer camp when I was very young, maybe seven or eight years old. He did standard magic like the rings, cut and restored rope, etc. At one point, he pushed a silk into a pink cone (Abbott’s Bang-Gone) with a wand. When the cone was popped open, the silk was gone.
The kids yelled that the silk was in the wand. After playing with the hecklers for a few moments, he snapped the wand in half and threw the broken dowel pieces to the audience. I was stunned. I would have given my eyeteeth, which were practically new, to own a magic wand, and he broke it just to show the kids were wrong.
I stayed up all night thinking about magic. I wondered what it would mean if you could do real magic, and also, knowing there was no such thing, tried to figure out how he did the tricks. It was probably the first time in my life that I had such a concentrated session of creative thinking. The next morning I awoke in love with all things magic.