Tag: derren brown

Russian Magician, Magu Takes on India

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.

Check out the full article in The Pioneer here.

Visit his expertly constructed website here.

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List of the Richest Magicians in the World

Who is the richest magician in the world?

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.

You can check out the list here.

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.

Restaurant Owner Closes Doors to Follow Magic Dream

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.

Read more at The Blackburn Citizen’s website here.

Magic Waters and Confused Animals in Cheltenham

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.

Read more about the event and Walter’s confusion here.

Mirror Online Asks Readers to Choose Best TV Magician

The Mirror Online (UK), looking to build excitement for the launch of the fourth series of Dynamo: Mission Impossible, is asking readers to vote for their favorite TV magician.

You should head over to the site and make your choice from:
Darcy Oake
David Blaine
Derren Brown
David Copperfield
Dynamo
Paul Daniels
Penn & Teller
Tommy Cooper
Troy

There is no space for a write-in vote but they do have clips from the nominees – including our inspiration, Tommy Cooper. (Unfortunately, the sound goes out near the end of the clip but it is still a joy to watch).

Click here to link to the poling site. We don’t know if it will allow you to vote more than once but perhaps that is a concern for us Chicago natives. The rest of the world likely never considers stuffing the ballot box.

Penn & Teller Dish from London

Penn & Teller are in London and the toast of the town with great press. We read this morning’s Telegraph for a nice interview with the duo. They express their admiration for Derren Brown, “He’s one of the best live performers I’ve ever seen. He really puts a lot of intelligence and thought into it. He’s an artist,” said Teller.

They profess only luke-warm enthusiasm for Dynamo, “Teller says that while they admire his skills, ‘we know people like Johnny Thompson who’s 78 – and by comparison with whom [Dynamo’s] skills are somewhat… minimal. Compared with some of the old masters of this stuff.’”

They respect David Copperfield’s incredible work-ethic but bemoan the otherwise dormant magic scene.

“[Copperfield] does really good tricks, and he’s always doing new ones. But there aren’t many [magicians], you know?” Penn says heavily. Yes, there’s Siegfried and Roy, “but since Roy got his head bit off by a tiger, that slows him down somewhat. David Blaine doesn’t really do anything now. Why not? I don’t know. I don’t think he made that much money.”

We note that this is the latest in their 40 years of giving interviews where they fail to mention Inside Magic. Perhaps they are saving their effusive praise for our dogged coverage for a big presser once they return to Las Vegas. Yes, that is most certainly it. After all, tens of readers over the course of twenty years adds up to a statistical probability that they have heard of us.

We are most fascinated by behind the scenes stuff. We love logistics. So, for us, the key nuggets came at the end of the article wherein we learn the two get together on Tuesdays each week to brainstorm new tricks. That is the kind of geeky, inside information that makes us giddy. We would love to be present during one of those sessions. We wouldn’t say a word or even give some sort of indication of our existence – sort of as if we were a fly or insect in the room – we would just listen and relish the moment.

We learned that they have been working on a new effect that sounds pretty interesting. They are looking for a way to perform the Vanishing Elephant but with a live cow dressed as an elephant. We don’t know why that sounds cool but it does. We cannot imagine it is easy to work with cows and note that very few magicians have used cows in their acts in the last twenty years.

We knew of a former husband and wife act (former because they divorced) in which the husband referred to his wife as a cow on stage but that does not count. She didn’t vanish but did get a lawyer. He is doing close-up now and has “returned to ‘real magic’” with just a deck of cards and a few coins.” We suspect his new emphasis on cards and coins had something to do with the results of his divorce settlement.

Penn & Teller, like David Copperfield, seem to be asked the same questions by all interviewers. They do their best to give interesting answers and some reporters follow-up with interesting questions that lead to new information. Not often, though. That is not their fault. The Telegraph article is one of the better interview pieces we have read and worth your consideration.

Luke Jermay and Champions of Magic in Hastings

The Champions of Magic comes to Hastings’ White Rock Theatre next week, April 12th.

The theatre (apparently the metric spelling of “theater”) is billing the evening as a chance to encounter an “award winning team of liars, swindlers and cheats for a spectacular night of trickery you’ll be trying to work out for a long time to come.”

What a great craft we practice.  There are few professions where an audience could be asked to pay to see “liars, swindlers and cheats.”   Strangely, we work in two of those crafts: the law and magic.  Perhaps it says something about us or perhaps we should avoid introspection because it leads to the spiraling agony of regret and shame.  Either way.

The Champions Of Magic features four of our best doing what they do better than any of us.  

Three veterans of our art will perform: Luke Jermay is well-known to audiences and magicians on both sides of the Atlantic ocean and was most recently headlining in Las Vegas, was the inspiration for the American television series The Mentalist and consults with Derren Brown to produce some of the most stunning effects seen by modern audiences.   

Ali Cook is the star of Sky One’s Secret World Of MagicMonkey Magic and Dirty Tricks.  

Fay Presto, is distinguished member of The Magic Circle, has been personally requested to perform for Queen Elizabeth six times, is a favorite of JK Rowling and appeared on the ITV’s  Heroes Of Magic.

 They are joined by the 2012 Magic Circle Close-up Magician of the Year Edward Hilsum — billed as one of the world’s top young magicians and has received great praise from Derren Brown.

Promoters promise  a combination of elegant classics and cutting edge alternative magic resulting in “a mastery of card manipulation, death defying stunts, sleight of hand and spectacular illusions.”

We wish we had a way of getting to Hastings to attend this amazing collection of amazing talent and can only hope it will be exported to our shores like the other great UK products: fish and chips, The Office, table manners, The Beatles, some seasons of Doctor Who, statistics-based epidemiological public health, the ruler (not the “Ruler”), Benny Hill, English Muffins, Canadian Bacon (indirectly) and the ability to identify non-toxic mushrooms in the wild.

UK Magician Ev Boothby Impresses the Pros

Magician Ev Boothby a/k/a “Mister E Magic” has yet to turn 21 but has already experienced more in his young life than most.

He fell in love with our divine Art at the age six and was devotee of Inside Magic Favorite Tommy Cooper.

Due to family problems, Mr. Boothby spent much of his life transitioning to and from foster families before eventually living with his sister.

“I used magic as a way of coping with things,” he said. “It was hard as I always wanted to be at home with my mum, but you don’t really have a voice at that age.”

He dedicated much of his time in high school studying not his coursework but magic.  At the age of 14, Mr. Boothby won a local talent show and later began work performing for kids’ parties and charity events.

Mr. Boothby is now 20-years-old and told the reporter for Eastern Daily Press (UK), “Things weren’t easy. But if there’s something that you like doing, whether it is football, dancing or magic, then I think that, with hard work, anyone can make something of themselves.”  The bookings have picked up and he is busy most weekends performing at weddings, kid shows and corporate events.

If that was the end of the story, it would be a good one.  A young man faced with a tragic home situation uses magic to find appreciative audiences for his passionate performances.

But Mr. Boothby’s story continues.  In his spare time (and we do not know how that is possible with his schedule) the young magician established  The West End of Walsham, “an amateur dramatics group whose members range from eight to 80.”

The troupe put together a variety show and will tour in April.  Proceeds will benefit Ryan White, a pediatric patient battling neuroblastoma, a virulent form of brain cancer. Continue reading “UK Magician Ev Boothby Impresses the Pros”

MagicWeek: Derren Brown Wins David Berglas Award

Reading is one of our favorite things to do.  We read constantly.  Our job (the real one where we make gobs of cash easily converted into gobs worth of magic tricks and books) is all about reading and during our breaks, we read.

We used our advance skills to learn about the goings on over in the United Kingdom.  You may be able to read this faster, it is tough for us to sound out words in a British accent and virtually impossible to focus on not  moving our lips as we work through each word plus try to derive meaning.  Duncan Trillo’s MagicWeek.co.uk web site is on our weekly must read list.  This weekend we learned the British Magical Society awarded the David Berglass Award to Inside Magic Favorite Derren Brown.

The presentation took place during Annual Awards Dinner of the BMS in Coldfield, Birmingham.

Derren Brown is currently touring with a new show “Svengali” and was therefore well-equipped to document the presentation by his own private film crew.

We will have to do some more reading to learn more about his new show, Svengali.  It sounds fascinating and is just the type of thing young magicians in this country need to see.

The Svengali Deck has fallen on tough times in the States.  Perhaps its ubiquity from the TV Magic Card campaign scorched the earth but if Derren Brown can do an entire two hour evening show with nothing more than a Svengali Deck, that’s proof that the old trick still has some life yet.

We imagine with his big budget, he can use a different deck for each show and decrease the chances of being found out by audience members who see the show more than once.

Read the full article here: MagicWeek – Magic News in the UK – Magic Shop, Magic Tricks, Magic Convention.

Derren Brown’s Pure Effect – Changed Our Life!

Reading Derren Brown reminded us, honestly, of the Biblical Prophet Isaiah.


“What care I for the number of your sacrifices? says the LORD.


“I have had enough of whole-burnt rams and fat of fatlings; In the blood of calves, lambs and goats I find no pleasure.


“When you come in to visit me, who asks these things of you?


“Trample my courts no more! Bring no more worthless offerings; your incense is loathsome to me.”

We thought of Isaiah not because Mr. Brown’s book is spiritual.

Nope. There are parts and pieces of Mr. Brown’s book that make you feel as if he is decidedly anti-Christian.


He mocks Christianity – or perhaps we misread that which is meant to be serious as sarcastic.


So, if he is not biblically spiritual, he is nonetheless inspiring enough to read and re-read.

Consider the Isaiah-like pronouncement Mr. Brown makes:

“Aaahhh, my loves, and so we come to the end of a wonderful journey: we have
dipped our toelets in the the shimmering pool of secret wonder and
emerged triumphant.


I wonder if this book will affect your performance of magic or mentalism.


Let us roll up our collective sleeve of integrity and reach down deep into
the raw, foetid effluence of dull, unconvincing effects: past the
steaming turds that are billet switches; past the faecal nuggest that
are sealed envelopes and ‘gaps left for a nail writer;’ and deep belowy
that dead otter – that single stinking stool of immense proportions
that is the standard book test, or the ‘sealed predicition.”

In Bob Cassidy’s work, including his extraordinary Mental Miracles DVD, he argues that we should avoid the typical “card trick” or the use of cards to in your own mental miracle.

Like Kierkegaard in the world of (later) non-Christian Existentialists, the point is that once you have an understanding of your world, you are free to do as you need to live as you should for He who you know.


Use cards, Mr. Brown argues, use them if you need to or want to if it has anything to do with the effect you want your audience to feel.

Do not use cards because you are comfortable with them or because you know a neat trick.

Mr. Brown describes an epiphany when he sat at a table and imagined what it would be like to be a typical diner being approached by one of us, a table-hopper.

Continue reading “Derren Brown’s Pure Effect – Changed Our Life!”