Sharing a sentiment of many magicians, Alexander Magu, tells the Indian newspaper The Pioneer that if it weren’t for magic, he would be working on Russian Railroads.
He saw a trick at the age of 17 and became hooked. Now he is performing around the globe and will be in India for a series of shows. It is his second tour in India.
“It isn’t a profession very highly preferred or chosen. It’s all about ideas, imagination and a story-telling capacity to hold the audience,” he told The Pioneer. The initial years were a struggle for Magu whose parents were reluctant about his career choice. Had it not been for magic, he would “have been working in the Russian Railways.”
He credits Derren Brown, David Blaine and “of course, David Copperfield” as inspiration. He loves his work in our beloved art. He gets to travel and “explore the human mind and its numerous possibilities. The beauty of the human mind is that no matter how fearless it might condition itself to be, it is as fearful, unbelievable yet believable. It’s amazing how certain things can amaze the mind.”
His show includes mind-reading, telekinesis, levitation and gravitational illusions and the article is clear that he is performing “illusions” and not “magic.” “An illusionist might leave your eyes wide open and make your jaw drop but a magician can make miracles happen. That’s magic.”
He will be performing in the beautifully appointed Upstage, Roseate House, Aerocity every night at 9 pm from today through November 25th.
We won’t give away the secret but the compilation at The Silver List surprised us. And we are not easily surprised. We figured for sure we could correctly identify all persons on the list but we were wrong. We beat ourselves up when we make a mistake so this was crushing for us.
We thought for sure there would be some mention of Inside Magic editor-in-chief and magician person Tim Quinlan but nary a comment. We don’t like to brag but between the ad revenue for Inside Magic and our professional appearances, we’re rolling in the dough – plus we’re making a lot of money. But we spend it on dough to roll in and we like a high-quality dough, not some Pillsbury fake dough that doesn’t give the comfort one expects when one is rolling. We were going to put up a YouTube video of us rolling but a woman beat us and she does a much better rolling that we could ever hope to accomplish.
You can see just one of her many dough rolling episodes here. The video shows her rolling in baked dough but she does real, unbaked dough as well. We cannot compete.
Similarly, we are unable to keep up with the magicians who make millions of dollars every year for performing their magic. We admire them but don’t envy them. Envy is or should be one of the deadly sins and does not leave the person feeling the sense of envy in a good place. It is like when you have a fight with your Uber driver about whether we should worry about fluoride or chem trails and he/she dumps you in a bad neighborhood. That’s a physical bad place to be but as a metaphor it works. Envy leaves you wondering what happened to the last few hours and why you can’t remember why you even worried about the success of others.
Check out the list and see if you agree with the rankings. But do it with an open mind and heart. Embrace the success of others and the willingness of others to work very hard at what we all do.
We do find some pleasure (guilty, no doubt) that Inside Magic arch-nemesis Tony Spain is not listed. He claims millions per year from his itinerant magic travels around the world, but apparently he didn’t make the list.
There are stories that we just must cover. They are so compelling, so moving that we would do our reader (or on a good week, readers) real harm if we failed to report.
This is not one of those stories. This is the type of story that we cover because we are either paid to include it in our global news syndicate or urged to cover by some of the younger staff members working for minimum wage and discounted access to the vending machines in our headquarter double-wide structure located in the high desert of California.
So this article is for young Natasha; our newest unpaid intern (an “untern”). Tasha received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri at Columbia and has previously written for major publications found on magazine racks throughout the English-speaking world. She was nominated for the prestigious Mena Non-Fiction Writing Award in 2015 and is currently completing her master’s thesis on the syntactical structure of modern languages.
She works here at Inside Magic for the invaluable exposure to real journalism. We think she lives near the Inside Magic double-wide and claims to not be bothered by the exhausting hours, poor air circulation, incessant emotional berating and inappropriate overtures by our senior staff. She is either a very dedicated cub reporter looking to learn or setting us up for some sort of employment lawsuit.
But this was her story suggestion.
TV Guide Reports: David Blaine Looks Like Criminal Minds’ Star, Adam Rodriguez.
The latest edition of The TV Guide reports that Criminal Minds featured performer Adam Rodriguez “has been mistaken for [magician David Blaine] more than once, like the time when he was at a Yankee game and someone asked Rodriguez to take a photo — and then threw in a lame joke for good measure.
“The guy I’m taking the picture with is going, ‘Hey, don’t disappear on me or anything,’ and I’m like, ‘Alright, I won’t,'” Rodriguez tells TVGuide.com. “And then he said something else alluding to magic and I go, ‘Who do you think I am?’ And he goes, ‘You’re the magician guy! David Blaine!’ And I’m like, ‘No!’ And his friends are going, ‘No! He’s on that show CSI: Miami!'”
David Blaine: Magician, Stunt Performer, Bullet Catcher and now family counselor for the stars. News reports tell us that Magician David Blaine has been called to help Madonna’s relationship with her son.
Young Rocco Ritchie has been hanging with his pop, filmmaker Guy Ritchie in London, England. Young Master Ritchie has been living with dad since his two very famous parents buried the hatchet and settled the custody battle that took off in earnest when the son refused to return to live with his mom after winter break in the U.K.
Madonna shared an image of her brood including her son and Magician David Blaine in beautiful Gstaad, Switzerland.
She captioned the image “Swiss Family Robinson !!”
The gossip pages say “Blaine, who is close with Rocco and Madonna, has been helping mother and son repair their relationship.”
Perhaps Mr. Blaine will bring a sense of maturity to the proceedings. We learned last year, Madonna previously voiced feelings via image by posting a picture of herself wearing a black hooded jacket. A crown and the word “B**tch” were drawn on top of the snap in red ink and Madonna added the caption: “Because sometimes soccer Moms need to be a…” In a second photo, the word “B**tch” had been swapped for “Queen” and she added: “And be treated like a…”
Magician David Blaine’s latest special was indeed special.
We avoid venturing into controversial waters like Trump v. Clinton, Brexit, Paper v. Plastic, or roughing fluid versus spray. So, it would make sense that we would avoid jumping into the metaphorical above-ground pool of debate surrounding the issues related to Mr. Blaine’s latest special. There is nothing to be gained by our belly-flop into the tepid, three-foot deep waters of that construct. And like the real, temporary, plastic and poorly constructed entertainment device that typifies most above-ground pools, the debate will likely lead to heartbreak, a soaked lawn, unsightly bruising and possible e-coli infection.
Nonetheless, we feel obligated to say something.
Inside Magic places the safety of magicians and their audiences above almost all – except for profit from questionable “dating” website advertisements that make up our monthly cash-flow. We were concerned by Mr. Blaine’s demonstration of the Bullet Catch trick and his regurgitation of frogs.
We were concerned for his own safety, obviously. Catching a 22 caliber bullet in your mouth is dangerous – even if you are surrounded by technical and medical experts. But we were even more concerned by the thought of viewers who either couldn’t or didn’t read his disclaimer, attempting to perform the same effect sans preparation, safety teams or sobriety.
Depending on the count and who is counting, a dozen or more well-practiced magicians have died performing the illusion of the Bullet Catch. We do not know if there is a way of counting how many magician or lay folks have died or been injured attempting to do the real thing. If it is a number greater than or equal to one, it is too many for us.
We fully agree that Mr. Blaine cannot be held responsible for the actions of the unprepared audience member who tries to duplicate or better his stunt. But still, why put the idea in the heads of the very small percentage of our global community who have access to a gun, a mouth guard and video camera?
It made for great television and we were on the edge of our seats – our cat has a hairball issue and we refuse to sit back fully in any chair in the mobile home unless there is sufficient light to see that the coast is clear. Even though we were watching a recorded event being replayed through our TiVo, we were still anxious.
We thought the show was produced with aplomb and slick as all get-out. Even though there was a great reliance on camera and editing, it still entertained us to the point that the mobile home now smells of burnt microwave popcorn because we could not leave our TV set – and we don’t even have a microwave or popcorn.
Mr. Blaine told Australian reporters that his performance was to counter “America’s dangerous obsession with guns.” He said he hoped “the risky feat might ‘demotivate’ his countrymen to think twice about turning weapons on each other.”
He wanted to bring the reality of gun violence home. “I’d like this to be something for people, when they watch it, they really experience how dangerous and how scary it actually is and maybe in some strange way it would demotivate people from firing guns on other people,” Mr. Blaine said, adding with a laugh, “hopefully, they won’t think I’m invincible and just shoot me when I’m not ready.”
As for bringing frogs up from his stomach, we suppose that is not as big a risk for copy-cat performers. It was an interesting effect and not one yet available on the internet magic stores. If folks try to duplicate or outdo Mr. Blaine by swallowing amphibians and puking them up into rich people’s champagne flutes, we probably don’t mind. PETA may have concerns for the frogs and the rich people might not want their fine goblets converted into aquariums but those are two constituencies that fail to read Inside Magic that regularly; so we don’t mind offending them.
We wish Mr. Blaine continued success but hope his viewers heed his warnings and intended message – a gun fired into your mouth can kill you.
The Mirror newspaper asked UK Magician Damien O’Brien about his influences and he responded, without irony, “Give me old skool David Blaine any day of the week.”
Mr. O’Brien is one of the stars on BBC Three’s new magic-oriented show Killer Magic.
The six-part series begins tonight at sports a new theme each week. The young magicians then try to make new effects and impress their colleagues and celebrities.
Mr. O’Brien described himself for The Mirror, “I’m a little bit flashy, a little bit cocky. I like to do visual magic. I like to put magic in people’s hands. I want people to be the stars of the trick. I don’t like to give them any suspicions that let people think that I’m cheating… which I am.”
He describes David Blaine as being one of his major influences. “I grew up watching David Blaine. I loved his approach doing it close up with regular items. I like the idea of doing things close up and any time with anything.”
We probably will not be able to see the show until it is released on DVD or on the internet but look forward to checking it out.
Resh Gohel owns an Indian restaurant in Blackburn (UK) but dreams of becoming a professional magician. He is going to take a step towards making the dream reality by closing his eatery at the end of March and hitting the road.
“I have been doing magic on the side and I want to pursue my career as a magician,” Mr. Gohel said. “The restaurant will be shutting down and I will be handing the keys back to the landlord.”
He admits it is a big risk but he has been encouraged by magicians who would know.
“I have met the likes of David Blaine and Derren Brown and they have said you have to follow your dream,” he said. “They all said they had to work wherever before they got to where they are now.”
It isn’t that the restaurant failed and he had no other option. “My target was to get the restaurant to number one on Trip Advisor and to get my name out there and I have done that. But I have reached the point where I have lost interest in the hospitality industry now.”
He has his first show scheduled for just ten days after the doors close.
We wish him the best of luck. We have been similarly advised by many in the magic business to seek employment in a restaurant so we’re kind of similar in that regard except the opposite.
Known for his endurance stunts, many of them televised, David Blaine will open the spring season of LIVE From the New York Public Library. This event will be more on the open-air side of things, unlike a previous outing in which he was buried alive for a week. He will be joined in conversation by Paul Holdengräber, director of this series. At 7 p.m., Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, New York Public.
Check out the details here: nypl.org/locations/schwarzman.
According to press reports, the entire pop band One Direction asked UK Magician Troy Von Scheibner a very valid question, “What is wrong with you, why have you eaten a balloon?”
We realized as we wrote this sentence that if we failed to mention that Mr. Von Scheibner is a magician, the teen-fave super-group’s question would likely not have garnered such prominent placement in a major metropolitan daily. It would be just another group of musicians combined for purposes of hitting the top of the charts and asking questions about the eating habits of young people. Like when the Beatles famously asked 19-year-old Mobile, Alabama car wash cashier Harriet Williamson, “Why do you only eat the tops of muffins?” or the Asian Touring Edition of Les Miserables inquired of Japanese supermodel Nozomi Sasaki, “Why do you eat so little in the way of green vegetables.”
But because Mr. Von Scheibner is a magician, the question reveals that he performed a trick for the loveable lads that make up One Direction. He did not really eat a balloon – we think. He just did a trick that gave the impression that a balloon was eaten.
It is a well-respected journalistic technique employed by Susannah Butter, the smitten writer for The London Evening Standard.
Ms. Butter is impressed with the young performer and star of his own television show, Troy. She admits she is frustrated by his skills and her inability to uncover his secrets but she clearly fancies him.
Troy Von Scheibner is the closest thing to a superhero London has. He uses his powers to help others. “I was outside a party with Thandie Newton,” the magician tells me. “She asked for a lighter. I didn’t have one but I made one appear. She kissed me on the cheek and I thought, ‘I’ll never wash my face again’.”
We do not know Thandie Newton but she must be very attractive or famous or both to cause someone to risk acne and general scruffiness from a single, tobacco-smoke infused kiss. For you younger magicians, remember that audiences will judge you on your appearance and hygiene so make good choices and form good habits. Mr. Von Scheibner notes later in the article that he was kidding about not washing. “Presentation is part of the job done so I’ve always made sure I look the part – nails clean, hair done.”
And as for smoking, as someone once said, “cigarettes and kittens are wonderful and safe until you pop one in your mouth and light it on fire.”
Mr. Von Scheibner seems to have a good head on his shoulders and is unlikely to have it turned by the fawning of amorous media types or smoking damsels in distress. He became intrigued with magic after watching David Blaine and clearly enjoys the attention our craft brings him.
At school he was known as “Magic Boy”, and if anyone teased him about it he won’t admit it. “I stopped performing for people at university because when you are known as the magic man everyone wants you to do tricks all the time. Sometimes I just want to chill so I kept it on the low.” Does it impress women? “It does. Girls are like: ‘You must be so good with your hands’. I don’t deny it.”
Ms. Butter ends her article with a purr: “Von Scheibner, I salute you – next time I need a cigarette lighter I will try my hardest to conjure you up.”
Editor’s note: we normally would have an image of Mr. Von Scheibner accompanying this article but were unable to find any available for editorial use.
The Session is billed as the UK’s only close-up magic convention; it is “a conference for serious close-up magicians.” This year the two-day fete was held in Cheltenham.
We have never been to Cheltenham but it sounds wonderful. According to the internet, the town “has no fewer than five festivals, devoted to Literature, Music, Science, Jazz and, perhaps most famously, National Hunt racing.”
We are not sure what category close-up magic would occupy although probably not “National Hunt racing.”
The town was made famous by its spas or the ‘waters.’ Visitors to the waters have included Queen Victoria, the Duke of Wellington, Jane Austen and Lord Byron. We have heard of each of these people and therefore are very impressed.
We were even more impressed by the line-up of magicians in Cheltenham this weekend. Promoters listed Juan Tamariz, Asi Wind, Michael Weber, Peter Clifford, Luke Jermay, Andi Gladwin, Joshua Jay, Boris Wild, Roberto Giobbi and Daniel Madison.
But we have it on good authority – YouTube and Twitter – that David Blaine and Dynamo were also in the area.
According to the social media authorities, Derren Brown, Dynamo and Mr. Blaine went to Kukui, a nightclub on Bath Road. Danny Valentine is the manager of that establishment and told local media that the “punters” were stunned by Mr. Blaine’s magic. “He was really great and did tricks for people in his private booth. He was really nice and polite and let one of the customers play with his pack of cards.”
Just below the article about these icons of magic descending on this historic town was a link to an article that may or may not have been related to this weekend’s celebration: “Walter the dog is confused by his squeaky toy – VIDEO.”
It sounds like there was a lot of surprise and fun confusion happening. We wish we could have been there.