Master 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.
This 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.
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!
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.
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.
Inside 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.
Inside 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!
Eugene 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.
This just in: Jeff McBride and Eugene Burger will be facilitating the Lance Burton Young Magicians Seminar at the 2014 Combined Convention in St. Louis, MO on June 29-30.
Jeff and Eugene have been facilitating Lance Burton’s young magician’s events since its inception in 2003. Along with Jeff and Eugene we are expecting participation from Kenrick “Ice” McDonald, David Oliver, Dr. Larry Hass, Kayla Drescher, Bryce Kuhlman and other surprise guests.
If you haven’t registered yet – don’t wait any longer – register today! To register go to http://ibmsam.com/registration/ TODAY! See you in St. Louis, where it is All About the Magic.
There are things in magic we love and hate.
If there is one thing we cannot stand, it is trite or cliché opening sentences to rambling essays about personal likes or dislikes by someone hiding behind an artificially inflated pronoun choice.
But that is just us.
Other things that bother us include the following:
- Older magicians telling younger magicians that they have no future in the business.
- Younger magicians refusing to listen to older magicians when they are telling them how it is.
- The meaningless objectification of women as mere props for male mutilation fantasies poorly set forth as some sort of “illusion set.”
- Magicians explicitly or implicitly demeaning their assistants or any audience member.
- All one-trick DVDs – even if the DVD is free. Write it down, make a photocopy of what you wrote and wrap it around the trick, bundled with a DVD if you must. We won’t watch the DVD unless it is absolutely necessary to do so – perhaps because we are reviewing the trick as sold. If you cannot write the trick, chances are you cannot teach it on a DVD or at least teach it in a cogent, organized way.
- Theft of another magician’s bit, trick, flourish or act. Sure, if we could do all the moves and flourishes necessary to duplicate Lance Burton or Dai Vernon’s best routines, we wouldn’t.
- Mentalists who claim they have real supernatural powers.
- Jugglers who claim they do not, that it all comes from practice and skill.
- Magicians who perform whilst attending another magician’s show. If you’re not on the bill, keep you tricks in your pockets.
- Balloon sculptors who use pre-inflated balloons.
- Anyone who still uses the line “This silk is imported, I got it from a broad.” It is the modern era – we can call them by their proper name, handkerchiefs or pocket squares Continue reading “Our Award Winning List of Magic Loves and Loathes”
The International Brotherhood of Magicians (“IBM”) Endowment and Development Fund provided funds for two scholarships to the Sorcerer’s Safari Magic Camp.
Two lucky teens, one male and one female, attending the IBM Lance Burton Teen Seminar will be selected to receive these awesome scholarships.
The McBride Magic & Mystery School will also select one Teen Magician to receive the McBride Magic & Mystery School Faculty Award.
Founded in 1991, the McBride Magic & Mystery School’s goal is to provide a safe, supportive, and inspiring place for magic enthusiast (both amateur and professional) to work on their magic. They work with students of all skill levels and interests.
At McBride Magic & Mystery School the unparalleled faculty are there to answer your questions, help you become a better magician and, most importantly, to have fun.
One lucky teen magician will receive the opportunity of a lifetime!
For additional information on the McBride Magic & Mystery School, go to their website: http://www.magicalwisdom.com/
The Sorcerer’s Safari Magic Camp will run from August 27th through September 1st at the beautiful Camp White Pine in Ontario, Canada. Continue reading “IBM Announces Sorcerer’s Safari Partnership for Youth Camp Scholarships”
Pete Reveen aka “The Impossibilist” passed away Monday morning at his Las Vegas home.
He was far more than just an outstanding magician, international star, Vegas icon and manager of Master Magician Lance Burton.
We will remember him as a considerate gentleman who loved magic and was willing to give a boost and kind word to a work-a-day magic news source located in a fictional midwestern town.
We have been ignored by lesser magicians and their public relations folk and so when someone of Mr. Reveen’s status takes the time to pass along a kind word and unsolicited encouragement, we become fans for life.
He was a true gentleman who cared deeply about his craft and our art.
Lance Burton knew Mr. Reveen well and benefited from his counsel and friendship over the years. Mr. Reveen negotiated the Master Magician’s record-breaking contract with the Monte Carlo Hotel in Vegas.
Mr. Burton issued a short statement to the press Monday afternoon.
Peter Reveen was a giant in the world of magic. His illusion shows were lavish and innovative. As a stage hypnotist, he had no peer; he was simply the best in the business. As my manager for 20 years, he was my most trusted adviser. Reveen was my very close friend for 30 years. I am sad today. I will miss him.
Mr. Reveen leaves behind his four sons and his wife, Coral.
We join the prayers of his family and friends and mourn his passing.