The International Magicians Society honored Arab performer Dr. Montaser Al Mansouri a second Merlin Award for Magic. The award makes the Emirati magician the first Arab to receive two Merlin Awards. A fellow Emirati performer told reporters he turned down the award last year when he learned he would have “to pay” to receive it.
Dr. Al Mansouri told the English-Language news site The National, “The Merlin is like the Oscars of magic,” he said. “I’m happy to get the Merlin Award and it’s big for a magician, the UAE and for Arabs.”
Dr. Al Mansouri gained notoriety and the International Magicians Society’s notice after giving 70,000 performances over 25 years. (Our math may be off, but that averages 2,800 performances a year or more than 7-1/2 shows a day every day for each of the 25 years – that is a ton of shows).
But it is not mere quantity, the International Magicians Society also looks for the qualitative attributes award worthy magicians possess. The Society’s Chairman Tony Hassini told reporters, “We look for showmanship, skills and talent and so it’s an award that the magician has to work hard for. The idea is to be persistent and stay with it and get it.”
The Emirates Zoo flew Mr. Hassini to Abu Dhabi to present the award. The zoo, you say. Why would Dr. Al Mansouri be honored in a zoo?
Mr. Hassini explains, “some of the greatest magicians who received this award worked in adventure parks. This is where the audiences are. They do five to six shows a day to mass audiences like Disneyland.”
The International Magicians Society (“IMS”) named Turkish magician, screenwriter and professor, Kubilay “QB” Tunçer their 2009 Merlin Award winner.
This is hot news. How hot? We learned about it from the on-line outlet for Hurriyet Daily News of Istanbul but found no other outlets carrying the story, yet.
The IMS has not yet updated their web site to announce the 2009 Merlin winner.
Mr. Tunçer is a man of many skills. In addition to his award-winning magic, he writes critically acclaimed plays, television scripts, and films. If that is not enough, he is an accomplished actor and starred with the beautiful Lale Mansur in the 2002 play Ordinary Miracles during its run in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. But wait, there’s more. He is also a professor at the prestigious Bilgi University in Istanbul; plus, consults with major corporations like Hyundai and Pfizer. He vanished a new vehicle for the former and used his magic ingenuity to launch the latter’s new drug.
Mr. Tunçer’s world tour took him through the States last year. He performed with Jeff McBride in Magical Wonderground in Vegas in October 2008. According to the Hurriyet Daily News, he was the first Turkish magician to appear in Las Vegas.