Tag: Murray Sawchuck

Winter Magic Festival in Full Fete Mode

With Magician Stars (and Inside Magic Faves) Murray SawChuck, Gazzo, Steve Daly, Michael Kent and Kevin Burke performing, this week’s Winter Magic Festival promises to be your best bang for your magic dollar.  Shows begin tonight at 7:00 pm (Thursday) at the Indy Fringe event in, coincidentally, Indianapolis, Indiana.

The performers bring their fantastic comedy and magic to the heartland for four days only.  There is no excuse if you live within the seven states and regions surrounding Indy and fail to attend.

Mr. SawChuck is more than a television and YouTube star, he is a great magician who pushes the limits with his boundless energy and able engagement of the audience.  We have seen him in Vegas and The Magic Castle and been astounded – that’s tough for us.  We don’t astound all that easily.  His credits include a Hollywood F.A.M.E. award for Career Achievement in The Magical Arts, the Best Comedy Variety Show of the Year from the Los Angeles Comedy Festival, and Comedy Show of the Year by the Fans Entertainment Hall of Fame.

Mr. Gazzo (we’re not sure if we should say “Mr. Gazzo” or “Gazzo” and so opt for the more formal over the casual term) does one of the very best Cups and Balls ever.  That is not an overstatement to encourage you to see him at the festival.  It is verifiably true and has been evaluated by NASA scientists.  When someone brings up the topic of Cups and Balls, we immediately think of Mr. Gazzo.  He is funny, disarming and works a crowd evidencing his years as a busker in the UK.  Teller said of him, “When you are watching Gazzo you feel like you are watching a show biz Legend.”  We cannot disagree and wouldn’t even if we could.  We’ve seen Mr. Gazzo many, many times and always walk away feeling inadequate with our cups and balls routine (note small caps to underscore our inadequacy) performed in the very same way we did when we were a 12-year-old demonstrating the $1.25 version of the effect in a mall that no longer exists.

Steve Daly (link to his YouTube Sizzle Reel) has been featured on Inside Magic many times and has more than 10,000 appearances in Las Vegas (Nevada).  His act is hilarious and Mr. Daly is one of our favorite people in our art.  He began on the streets of  San Francisco and moved to being one of the leads of Amusement Park Entertainment Companies where he helped design and performing in theme parks across the our big country (USA).   From there he moved to Vegas and was, in our opinion, the true star of the Magic Revue Show called “Showgirls of Magic.”

Continue reading “Winter Magic Festival in Full Fete Mode”

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Murray SawChuck Wins Twice in One Night

We learned over the weekend that Murray SawChuck was awarded Career Achievement in the Magic Arts at the beautiful Avalon Theater in Hollywood, California.

Not that everyone visiting Hollywood needs to check in with us.

Inside Magic has never been like some sort of police department where magicians and variety artists need to register before taking up residence (however temporary) here in Hollywood.

Gosh knows we are busy enough listening all night to the various police scanners and searching the ‘net for the latest in magic news.

Still, it would have been nice if we had known.

We would have gone by the Avalon Theater and waived knowingly – even if they would let us in.  Then we would have run back to our spacious studio apartment next to the dog food bakery to listen to the police scanner to hear if anyone noticed.

Nonetheless, Murray did receive the Career Achievement in the Magic Arts award right here in Hollywood.  His lovely wife, Chloe Crawford, joined him at the LA Music Awards and Hollywood FAME Awards.

But as if that was not enough, he was also named the Best Comedy Variety Act for 2014 by LA Comedy Awards for his show at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Mr. SawChuck was gracious in victory, telling reporters “This has been a fun week! I announced my new hotel I’ll be moving my show to and received two new awards to add to my wall, not a bad week for a guy that does magic tricks for a living!”

Word, brother.

Mr. SawChuck’s show MURRAY Celebrity Magician is moving from The Tropicana (or “Trop” in Sinatra-lingo) to The Sin City Comedy Theater at Planet Hollywood Hotel & Casino.  His is a wonderful, high-energy show with Ms. Crawford and sleight-of-hand artist Douglas “Lefty” Leferovich that makes you proud to be a magician.  He will open at his new digs on December 10, 2014.

Congratulations to a hard-working performer with mad skills.

Read more about Mr. SawChuck’s work and life on his website here.

Was Murray SawChuck Ripped Off?

Las Vegas Magician Murray SawChuck is justifiably peeved to learn his spectacular Steam Train effect has been appropriated by The Illusionists.

You recall the Steam Train Illusion, right?  Mr. SawChuck performed it on national television a few years back.  It was pretty cool and perhaps that is why it is featured in The Illusionists’ act.

Mr. SawChuck told Vegas News, “You will also notice the train is an exact copy of MY steam train illusion I designed and invented in 2010 for America’s Got Talent Semi-Finals being seen by more than 22 million viewers.”

We have no information that would cause us to doubt Mr. SawChuck.  But to be fair, we have not heard The Illusionists’ side of the story.

Mr. SawChuck said, “Most of the The Illusionist cast is from Las Vegas and they are well aware that the Steam Train Illusion is my idea yet I didn’t receive ONE phone call from anyone giving me the heads up or a nod that they wanted his idea of a steam train locomotive on stage.

“It’s a fact there has never been an illusion with a steam train locomotive inside a theater before I created mine for America’s Got Talent in 2010.  In this business you can’t patent an idea so it’s very easy to have your brand or idea ripped off without any credit!”

Actually, one can never patent an idea but we get his point.  A patent protects only new, nonobvious and useful item.  A great idea is a great idea but unworthy of a patent until it is utilized in an invention.

That being said, Mr. SawChuck could have applied for a patent for the trick and if we were wearing only our Intellectual Property Attorney hat (it is a nice bowler-style with a dark blue feather stuck in the band) we would have said he could pursue it.

But if we wear our magician hat (a collapsible fez – sort of a cross between Cardini and Tommy Cooper), we would tell him to not apply for a patent.

A patent allows its owner to exclude others from selling or using the invention.  That’s great but to receive this time-limited protection, the application needs to specify the method and construction of the device in excruciating detail.

Good news: no one else can use the device.  Bad news: everyone knows how to build the device.  As we say around the office, you can take a secret to your grave, but not to the Patent Office.

Mr. SawChuck really had no way – short of depending on the good intentions of his colleagues in our wondrous art – to keep others from performing the exact same effect.

A wise judge once told us, “the thinnest piece of bacon has two sides.”  We thought he was talking about the rather miserly portions available to prosecutors in the courthouse café, but it turns out he was advising us to always get both sides of any story before making up our mind.  We have not heard from The Illusionists yet but when we do, we will update this story.

Mr. SawChuck will be headlining his own show at The Tropicana in Las Vegas this spring.  You can check out his home page here.

Magic on Pawn Stars

Murry Sawchuck is more than a great magician and star of the Las Vegas tribe of performers.  He is a television legend — at least to our well-hacked TiVo.

We enjoy watching television — it’s like our special friend.  We watch infomercials, C-SPAN and the Weather Channel exclusively.  If it doesn’t involve getting blown down in a torrential rain, voted down in an unanticipated filibuster or proclaimed to be the best of its kind and available for three easy payments, chances are we have not seen it.

The exception to this rule is anything related to magic.

If the content has anything to do with magic, magicians, illusion, illusionists, escapes, escape artists or Japanese gravure idol Nozomi Sasaki, our specially modified TiVo captures it for us.  Yes, hacking a TiVo is an inexact science and we have wasted gigabytes of space on shows using our key words but in a non-magic way.  (We have a seven hour debate from the Senate on whether Magic Markers should constitute an inhalant for the purpose of federal anti-huffing law.  It was ultimately tabled and that issue remains in limbo.)

But when it catches a show, we are giddy with delight.  Our eyes widen as we see the special on-screen message we hacked, “Oh Mr. Magic, I have something for you to see.”

Fortunately, we never have company and live alone in what is practically a double-wide trailer here on the outskirts of Mystic Hollow, Michigan, so there is little chance we will ever be embarrassed by the message coming on screen and being misinterpreted.  It is our little secret.

(By the way, the International Standards Organization defines a “double-wide” trailer home as being one which 20 feet across and at least 90 feet long.   We got the Magico Rancho at a scratch and dent FEMA auction in between hurricanes for almost nothing.  It was only when we measured to install some lightly used mauve carpeting that we learned it fell short of the width requirement by 2-1/2 feet.

The good news, we had enough extra carpeting for our luxury automobile, “The Mysterny Machine.”  The bad news, we did not qualify for the class action lawsuit filed on behalf of double-wide owners against the manufacturers for some defect or smell or something.

Speaking of lawsuits, we had to change the name of our ride to “The Mysterny Machine” because we were threatened by the production company of a certain cartoon dog, his beatnik owner and their ghost-chasing friends.  We won’t tell you the name of the show but it rhymes with Doobie Scoo.)

But of course we digress.  Of course, we digress from a story about hacking a TiVo so it may have been a welcome change of topic.

The History Channel has a great show called “Pawn Stars” and our TiVo picked up a couple of episodes.  Several episodes included Las Vegas Magician Murray Sawchuk, the shop’s Magic Historian.  Houdini’s Handcuffs. [Internet]. 2013. The History Channel website. Available from: http://www.history.com/shows/pawn-stars/episodes/season-2 [Accessed 12 Mar 2013].

This weekend, we were treated to a special moment of wonder when a customer / seller brought in handcuffs and leg shackles he alleged came from Harry Houdini. Continue reading “Magic on Pawn Stars”