Tag: Lance Burton

Letters to the Editor

Inside Magic EditorFrom time to time and when required by the standards of decency and regulations, we publish letters to the editor.  If you have something on your brain you would like to share, please send us a note at editor@insidemagic.com.  We won’t use your last name so ask anything  – related to magic.

Dear Inside Magic:

A long time ago or maybe last week you said you were going to do podcasts.  When will they start going?

  • Unnamed

Dear Unnamed:

We are going to be doing podcasts and have already had two guests who have volunteered to discuss the history of magic, some of the greats they’ve seen and from whom they learned much.  While we are very talented in the double-lift and second deal, we are still learning how to hook-up the electronics necessary for a podcast.  We have been researching everywhere.  We started reading Popular Electronics magazines from the 1960s – just because we still had them, holding up part of our dining room table, also from the 1960s by coincidence.  The table fell down and scared our 12 cats but we were determined to learn the technique of what the kids call “pod casting.”

Our research showed that the technique did not exist in the 1960s (from 1964 forward), the 1970s (the only “pod” reference dealt with the American space program and did involve microphones and receivers but seemed far too expensive to build), and the 1980s.  We figured we would just break down (not emotionally – that’s what the 12 cats prevent) and go to Radio Shack to get a ready-made kit.  But you know what?  There are no Radio Shacks any more.  They’ve gone the way of Good Humor trucks and regular milk delivery to your front door.

Undeterred, we went to the Internet (capitalized to meet the current style guide here at Inside Magic (pronounced, “IN – side mAGIC” – the .com is silent.  We found many things on the Internet but few things on pod casting until we figured out that we should search for something more specific.  We modified our search in the “search bar” to something other than “pod” OR “casting.”  Each word on its own brings up results that are unhelpful.  The latter brings up many results that are not safe for work but we work from home so all we had to worry about was offending the cats and they don’t do much during the day.

Bottom line: we think we know what we need to do and we will do it, by gollly.  We hope to tape our first one in the next two or three weeks and it should go live within a few days after.  Thank you so much for asking.

 

Dear Editor: 

What is the best way to become a master magician? Is there a course I can take?

  • William

Dear William:

The appellation “Master Magician” is given to only one magician at a time.  Currently Lance Burton holds the title after he was given the status by Lee Grabell.  It is, therefore, a very rare honor and one that many of us will never achieve.

On the other hand, you can try to master magic by practicing before a mirror over and over until you fool yourself, perform for a trick for an audience only once (never do it again no matter what they say), and NEVER reveal a secret.  If you keep these things in mind, you’ll go far.  It is a wonderful art and we admire your apparent desire to learn more about it.

We had written a 15 volume set on “How to Become a Master Magician” but it is no longer in print and was the subject of, in our view, needless litigation.  Sorry we don’t have an old set we can give you but it is holding up the other side of our table.

 

Dear Magic:

Why do some magicians change their names to just one name? Like Cher or Sammy?

  • Elaine

Dear Elaine:

If that is your real name.  (See what we did there?)  Usually a single name (usually the first name although Penn & Teller are an exception) is something one takes on when they reach a level of fame but in the magic world, it helps to get promoted and adds to the mystery.

Would you want to see “Timmy Quinlan” or “The Amazing Q”? We hope it is the second one because we just bought 1,000 business cards saying “The Amazing Q” from Vista Print one night when we saw a commercial about a special offer just for those watching at 3:30 in the morning.

They haven’t arrived yet and we have no idea how we will distribute them – especially because we forgot (we were tired and that cats were doing their nocturnal running the length of the trailer and then running back) to put our phone number on them.

That means, if you pick up one of our Amazing Q cards, you’ll need to come to our residence and knock on our door – thus scaring the cats and causing them to hide but not before bumping into each other like furry pinballs (our first album name, by the way) – or write us a letter by US Mail.  Our landlord will not accept FedEx packages on our behalf because she worries they could be bad things.

We’ve asked what kind of “bad things” could be in a standard envelope with a FedEx logo.  She responds out of the corner of her mouth not holding her cigarette, “you wouldn’t know, would you?”

Great question but the bottom line is folks will have to send letters.

We don’t know why ordinary letters wouldn’t carry the same “bad things” but apparently they don’t.

So when the cards come (by regular mail) we will write our phone number on the bottom of each.  We wish we had chosen Comic Sans as the font so that when we wrote our phone number on the card, it looked like we intentionally were writing poorly.  But you know what they say, “if wishes were dishes, someone would have to take them out of the dishwasher just once in this dang house, how hard could that be?  You can put them in, no problem, but you can’t take them out?”

If you have a question for our editor, you can use the contact link at the top of the page or just send an email to us at editor@insidemagic.com.

Lance Burton Nails It

Inside Magic Image of Lance Burton, Master MagicianWe just got back from Indio, California and boy are our arms tired.

That joke doesn’t work unless one has flown back from the location in the first part of the joke but it is applicable in this case because we could not stop applauding like one of those monkeys that crash cymbals together until their battery wears out.

Our battery didn’t wear out until we got to our valet to drop off the car at our spacious Beverly Hills residence.  The valet, known as Officer Mike, always helps us out of our car when we return because he thinks that protects the public in some way.  Perhaps he is right.  Also, perhaps he has the authority of the State of California to enforce his decisions and respect that authority.

Officer Mike said, “Stop clapping.”

We said, “Oh, are we still doing that?”

Officer Mike said, “Stop asking stupid rhetorical questions and get out of the car.”

Officer Mike was concerned because he felt it would be difficult to drive our vehicle while clapping so vociferously or at all.

In hindsight he was probably right.

We were clapping because we went to see the Lance Burton show.  It was fantastic.

But it wasn’t just Lance Burton; it was Lance Burton and Friends.  And what friends he has.  Fielding West and Keith West performed magic as well. They were incredible as one would expect (and we are the “one” in that sentence even though we speak in the third-person).

We have never seen Mr. Burton more relaxed in his presentation and work with the audience.  He is always great with kids and this show was over the top.  He asked for “four or five” kids to join him on stage for the Vanishing Birdcage and was soon sharing the platform with closer to twenty-five kids; many of whom helped to hold the soon to be disappearing bird cage right before their astonished eyes.

There are great magic show and then there are shows that one will never forget.  This was the latter.  As he travels with his friends, make the trip to see him.  You will thank yourself and perhaps think fondly of us for urging you to go.

Master Magician Lance Burton Brings it Closer to Home

Inside Magic Image of Lance Burton, Master MagicianMaster Magician Lance Burton performed in Las Vegas for 31 years and yet looks to be no older than 30 — so there’s your first mystery.  The second is how this man who has performed more than 15,000 shows for more than five million people can make each show seem like it is all new and fresh.

We know the answer to neither of these two questions but suspect it has to do with good health care and talent.

He will be at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino this Saturday at 8:00 pm in Indio, California, performing his show for a no-doubt sold-out house.  Don’t get left behind or boxed out.  If  you are in the area (and we are) make the trip to Fantasy Springs for his show.  You will be glad you did and won’t regret it and will remember it for the rest of your natural life.

We have seen Mr. Burton perform more times than we can count — that’s due to the tremendous number of shows we have seen – not to our well-documented inability to count.

His show is what you (and by “you” we mean “anyone in the world”) would consider a real magic show.  He is funny, smooth without being hokey, and talented (his sleight of hand is the best we have ever seen — even better than the guys on YouTube that perform one part of an effect with questionable camera angles and techniques).

If you were to ask us who our favorite magician in the world is, we would have to say Mr. Burton.  He puts the “magic” in “magician.”

Check out the ticket availability to this weekend’s show here.  The tickets range from $29.00 to $49.00.  Even if he never appeared on stage but just showed his props, that would be a steal.

Check out Mr. Burton’s website here.

Magicians Lance Burton and Bette Davis

Inside Magic Image of Lance Burton, Master MagicianMaster Magician Lance Burton and All About Eve have one thing in common.  They are perfect.  We can watch either over-and-over without need for any breaks.  But this is a magic blog read by fives to tens of people every day.  We are not here to talk about Bette Davis incredible role in her Oscar® winning film, but the incredible magic of Lance Burton.

Watching Lance Burton is, in a word, wonderful. He has the sleight of hand skills to astound magicians, the professional illusionist chops to wow the crowd and he loves animals and is a very nice person.

We know magicians who love animals but fail at meeting the remaining criteria.  Lance Burton has it all and always has.  His sleight of hand act on Johnny Carson iced the deal for us.  He does things that can only be explained as magic.  We don’t look for secrets or flaws, we just drink it in like a gerbil immediately after his wheelwork.

We say all this because Lance Burton will be in Modesto August 18th and performing in the perfect environment to see him work.   The Mary Stuart Rogers Theater is a fantastic venue and reminds us of the Lance Burton Theater that once held his nightly show at the Monte Carlo in Las Vegas.  The sight-lines are great and the place is plush.

If you are anywhere near Modesto, you need to visit the theater and experience the true magic you will see by the Master Magician Lance Burton.

Visit the box office and get your tickets now.  They are going very quickly!

[UPDATED to include correct date for show]

Lance Burton Recalls First Time on Tonight Show

Inside Magic Image of Lance Burton, Master MagicianMaster Magician Lance Burton gained national prominence with his appearance on the Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson in October 1982.  Mr. Carson was a magician of considerable ability who translated his talents into being the king late night television.  But he never forgot his magic roots or lost his enjoyment of our wonderful craft.

We bring this up because we just read that a new set of Tonight Show DVDs are being released by Time-Life.  The collection is called The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson: The Vault Series and part of that collection includes Lance Burton’s appearances on the iconic show.

The article promoting the DVDs has a great interview with Lance Burton.  He talks about how he appeared on Tonight just one week after moving to Los Angeles from Kentucky.  He went on to appear on the show 20 times (10 with Johnny Carson and 10 with Jay Leno).

“I grew up in Louisville and was doing magic shows all through school. When I was 20 in 1980, I entered a contest sponsored by the International Brotherhood of Magicians, won their Gold Medal contest and as a result was booked for two weeks in L.A. to do what’s known as The Magic Show in a theater there … And I somehow got picked after the talent coordinator came to our preview show on Oct. 28, 1981.

“The next day I’m standing next to the stage manager at “The Tonight Show,” and  I see a hand coming toward me. Instinctively, I turned to shake it and I found I was shaking  Johnny Carson’s hand. He was very nice and complimentary … They rearranged to put me on first, ahead of Dick Cavett. They both had interest in magic, and they talked about magic, and me and my act. It really was the greatest launching pad ever for a career in show business. Johnny worked as a magician as a young man, then did comedy and show hosting …  I realized that when Johnny saw me the first time, he saw himself in this Midwestern kid doing sleight of hand really well. I think that was the basis of our relationship: He saw himself.

“I wouldn’t have been able to do anything without Johnny intervening personally. I can trace 15,000 Vegas shows back to that first ‘Tonight Show.'”

Check out the full interview here.

Suzanne Joins the Lance Burton Teen Seminar Staff

IBM Jacksonville Convention LogoThis just in from the International Brotherhood of Magicians!

Just Announced!   Suzanne will join Shawn Farquhar and Oscar Munoz as a Special Guest Instructor at the 11th Lance Burton Teen Seminar to be held at the I.B.M. 87th Annual Convention in Jacksonville, FL. The Lance Burton Teen Seminar is THE #1 magic seminar for young magicians. Join Eugene Burger, Larry Hass, Suzanne, Shawn Farquhar and Oscar Munoz for a life changing experience.

WAIT – That’s not all!  The I.B.M. Endowment and Development Fund has agreed to fund TWO registrations to Sorcerer’s Safari Magic Camp to be given away to one boy and one girl attending the Lance Burton Teen Seminar.  Sorcerer’s Safari is the premier magic camp in Canada.  Take a look at this video to see some of the fun at the 2014 camp.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCDwmelVN20

WAIT –There is still more!  The McBride Magic and Mystery School will be selecting ONE Teen Magician at the Lance Burton Teen Seminar to receive the McBride Magic and Mystery School Faculty Award.  Founded in 1991, the McBride Magic an Mystery School’s goal is to provide a safe, supportive, and inspiring place for magic enthusiasts (both amateur and professional) to work on their magic.  They work with students of all skill levels and interests. At the McBride Magic and Mystery School the unparalleled faculty members are there to answer your questions, help you become a better magician and, most importantly, have fun.  One lucky teen magician will receive the opportunity of a lifetime!

So join us at the 11th Lance Burton Teen Seminar.  If you are between the ages of 13-19 AND registered to attend the I.B.M. Convention in Jacksonville, you can attend the Lance Burton Teen Seminar ABSOLUTELY FREE.  Dates for the Seminar are July 13-15, 2015. To register go to http://www.magician.org/convention/upcoming-convention TODAY!  Jacksonville HERE WE COME!

Images from Lance Burton’s New Film

In our effort to learn as much as we can about Billy Topit: Master Magician — Lance Burton’s recently wrapped film — we found a site established last year with some behind the scenes shots that may be of interest to like-minded magic lovers.

http://billytopit.dreamhosters.com/

We will keep you apprised on anything else we find as we obsessively dig through the internet for clues on release date and plot details.

 

Lance Burton Retweets and Favorites

Inside Magic Image of Avid Readers of Panther PrideInside Magic Favorite and Master Magician Lance Burton retweeted and favorited a tweet about our article this morning.

We wrote about his new film and expressed our unmitigated and real excitement about the movie.  Our joy was even less mitigated and excitement more real when we learned he so honored us and this humble, virtual rag.

We have taken screen prints of the Twitter notifications and are still doing our Snoopy “Happy Dance.”

It is distracting to the other passengers on bus but it was the only place we could find wifi in a pinch since they kicked us out of Starbucks for “borrowing” their wooden stirrers to practice a trick we saw on YouTube.

It is not our fault that we like to practice our tricks until we feel they are perfect and that each time we perform the “Broken and Restored Stirrer of Wood” we need two stirrers.

It is also not our fault that we don’t like coffee that much and have never bought a thing from our local Starbucks location as we sit in the air-conditioned comfort of their old leather chairs, stare out onto Santa Monica Boulevard and absently practice the illusion that will no doubt put us over the top.

Maybe they should think about stocking things that everyone likes — Diet Coke, Tang, Funyun and pork rinds.  We did find some beef jerky there this morning but it wasn’t for sale and we’re not sure it was beef jerky proper.  It may have been something other than beef jerky and because anything that looks like beef jerky but is not beef jerky is something you should not put into your own mouth, we passed up the opportunity.

Our stop is coming up now so we need to sign off.

Hey, what are the odds? We just saw more of something that looks like beef jerky on the seat next to us.

Thank you, Mr. Burton.  You have made our month, year and decade.

Master Magician Lance Burton Wraps New Film

Inside Magic Image of Lance Burton, Master MagicianInside Magic Favorite Lance Burton just put the finishing touches on his new film, Billy Topit: Master Magician and we cannot wait to see it.

It is a comedy about a magical love affair written by Mr. Burton and the incredibly funny and talented Michael Goudeau.  Mr. Goudeau performed his juggling act as a part of Mr. Burton’s long-running Las Vegas magic show and can be heard each week as part of Penn Jillette’s Penn’s Sunday School.

The plot seems straightforward and full of possibilities: Master Magician Billy Topit (inside joke for us magical types) is being pursued by unsavory organized crime members while he tries to convince his dream girl to be his assistant.

“It’s been lot of fun,” Mr. Burton told Norm Clarke of The Las Vegas Review-Journal.  “There’s a lot of magic in it and cool stuff.”

As we learn more about the film, its release date and publicity plan, we will let you know.  Billy Topit, classic!

Lance Burton Teen Seminar Set for Jacksonville Convention

IBM Jacksonville Convention LogoEugene Burger and Larry Hass will be facilitating the Lance Burton Teen Seminar at the 87th Annual I.B.M. Convention in Jacksonville, FL on July 13-15, 2015. The McBride Magic and Mystery School has been facilitating Lance Burton’s young magician’s events since its inception in 2003.

Along with Eugene and Larry we are expecting participation from I.B.M. International President, Shawn Farquhar and Oscar Munoz.  This event is being sponsored by the I.B.M. Endowment and Development Fund and is open to all magicians ages 13-19 that are registered for the I.B.M. Convention at NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE. Stay tuned for future announcements about the event!

If you haven’t registered yet – don’t wait any longer – register today!! Registration fees increase on March 1, 2015!!!

To register go to http://www.magician.org/convention/upcoming-convention.