Richard Wiseman – Experimental
By David Britland
He’s the man behind the magic show without a magician. Richard Wiseman is a psychologist, best-selling author, magician, and noted television and YouTube personality – and he combines these careers in fascinating, entertaining ways.
Stars of Magic – A Dramatic History
By Rory Johnston
It is one of the best, most influential magic books of all time. Stars of Magic started as a series of manuscripts in the 1940s. Collected in a book, they have endured for seventy years, most recently being turned into a documentary show at MAGIC Live
Wes Barker: Stunt Magician
By Jamie D. Grant
Turning down a well-paying career was just what he needed. Now billing himself as a “stunt magician,” Wes Barker does magic, comedy, and sideshows feats. Read about this “inappropriate for all ages” performer, and learn his Bill to Light Bulb effect here.
Billy Topit: Master Magician
By Rory Johnston
Five years after retiring from the stage, Lance Burton is back in a theater – this time onscreen as the star, director, and co-writer of Billy Topit: Master Magician. A pet project for Lance and his friends, the movie finally premiered in Las Vegas this September.
Plus Updates on…
- Justin Flom’s arena-size close-up.
- SuperStars of Magic 4 in Malaysia.
- Peter Marvey’s latest international shows.
- The 2015 Genii Convention.
- Fifty years of “The Chicago Session.”
- MAGIC Magazine “Conventions at a Glance.”
- Scenes from Billy Topit: Master Magician.
- Performance and tutorial video of Tom Elderfield’s Gum Warp from Influx.
- All eighteen of the products reviewed in the November issue, plus 504 reviews from previous issues, are all now available at the fully searchable “Marketplace” section of M360.
Eighteen products are reviewed this month by Peter Duffie, Gabe Fajuri, Alan Howard, Jared Kopf, Francis Menotti, Peter Pitchford, John Wilson:
The Experts at the Card Table by David Ben & E.S. Andrews
The Examiner by John Graham
Mail Shot by Chris Congreave and Magic Tao
Slicer by Rizki Nanda
Kids Show Masterplan by Danny Orleans
The Opongo Box by Juan Luis Rubiales
Thumb Fun by Sid Lorraine and Devin Knight
Bring It by Will Fern
The Bound Deck by Juan Luis Rubiales
Rich by S Magic
Quick Change Transformation, Part 3 by Sos & Victoria Petrosyan
Switch Up by Danny Weiser.
Awesome Self-Working Card Tricks by Big Blind Media
The Other Stories by Leo Behnke
Wonderbox by SansMinds
Gambler versus Gambler by Peter Woerde
Tour De Force by Michael O’Brien
First Look: An Essay on Magic
Robert E. Neale
Robert E. Neale is a prolific creator of magic effects and presentations, and a leading philosopher of magic. These two effects are excerpted from Neale’s new book, An Essay on Magic: Managing Mommy, using colored cards to represent caskets, and Pentagram, in which black and white stars point in surprising directions.
First Look: Influx
Tom Elderfield is an eighteen-year-old magician from Buckinghamshire, UK, who was awarded the 2014 Young Close-up Magician of the Year trophy from The Magic Circle. Gum Warp is a trick excerpted from Tom’s new DVD of close-up material, Influx. The effect is similar to Roy Walton’s Card Warp – when a package of gum is pushed through the gum box, it appears to turn over in transit. It reverses itself again when being pulled back out, and the gum and box are all examinable at the finish.
Loving Mentalism: I Chant Now
This month’s item affords plenty of scope for you to have fun and get a few laughs. Someone thinks of a famous movie, and you try to read her mind. You employ some rather unusual mindreading techniques, including meditation and chanting, but to no avail. It seems your attempts have failed. However, at the end of all the lighthearted proceedings, you present your audience with a richly satisfying mystery in which you prove you had anticipated the spectator’s thoughts in a most unusual and surprising way.
Bent on Deception: The Eyes Have It
By the time you read this, Halloween 2015 may be a thing of the past. But why not do what I do, and keep Halloween in your heart the whole year through? Kids do. They love and need monsters all year round. Just look at the television shows and movies they watch, the toys they play with, and the books they read – plenty of monsters and spooky stuff there. This month’s routine is geared to preschool and kindergarten-age kids. It was designed to acknowledge the natural fears kids have and to give them a tool to help overcome them – to let them use their own imaginations, to control their imaginations. It’s my variation on the Spot Card, a classic of magic. This routine makes the card a character that is – you guessed it – a monster, and a furry one at that. And the spots have become eyes. Lots of eyes.
The Monk’s Way: Topsy-Turvy Failure Surprise
“Card problems” get my blood flowing and my creativity focused. Whenever I session with a card worker, I enthusiastically ask, “Got a card problem?” I asked this of my friend Bill once and he replied, “The last thing you need, Steve, is another problem.” Touché. A few years ago, I set a challenge for myself: Perform Marlo’s “Push-Through Failure” with four Aces and then repeat it, but have the Aces appear in separate parts to then go into a Poker Deal, with the dealer receiving the Aces. It took me five years, and some inspiration from a Nick Trost routine, to think of a workable solution. Not only do I have this solution, I have a full routine that resets and leads to numerous possibilities for working professionals and late-night crazies. For now, I’ll detail the basic form, which is perfect for short, punchy performances. Call it Topsy-Turvy Failure Surprise. (Maybe my next problem should be coming up with a better title!)
Classic Correspondence: Stephen Davenport to Henry R. Evans
This letter by Stephen Davenport is not particularly interesting, but Henry Ridgley Evans’ response is extraordinary. Evans was America’s foremost magic historian one hundred years ago. When Stephen Davenport had questions about the history of magic, it is not surprising that he turned to Henry Ridgley Evans for answers. The ever-cordial Dr. Evans wrote his response right on Mr. Davenport’s typed letter. And rather than just answer all of Davenport’s questions, Evans provided a detailed road map that would lead him to all of the information that was known at the time about the mysterious L’Homme Masqué. In a way, Evans was testing his inquisitive student. If young Mr. Davenport really wanted to study the life of this elusive mystery man, then here are all the clues he would need.
For What It’s Worth: The Light That Matters
One of the many fun and interesting people I met at MAGIC Live was Brad Montgomery, a motivational speaker from Denver. I thought, Hey, I want to be a motivational speaker too! Brad was kind enough to give me some solid advice; and when I came home, I started to write my motivational lecture. The problem was – I just wasn’t motivated. I was burnt out. I had nothing to say. This could be good, I thought. Because if I can figure out how to motivate myself, then clearly that will qualify me to spread my motivational mojo to others. So what motivates anyone anyway? What do I really want? And so I dreamed a little dream.
Walkabout Soup: The Institute of Layman Studies
Every creative decision I make in terms of performing magic is based on layman feedback. They’re the ones that matter. Magicians and other performers (or writers, directors, and other performance/production professionals) will be able to give you better advice on how to improve the show, but they’re not your target audience, and they can never truly judge it through layman eyes. Every chance I get, I ask people questions after a performance. Then I listen carefully to their responses, try to read between the lines, and ask follow-up questions to dig deeper into what they’re really thinking.
Viewpoint: How to Magically Connect with Anyone
Magicians have a unique dilemma: the magician is the only person who cannot see the magic, because we know how the tricks work. And that knowledge of the secret is a limiting perspective. So the magician must completely take on the point of view of the audience. We do this night after night, no matter who’s out there, in order to create illusions. This is a technique called “perspective taking.” Perspective taking is the ability to see the world from the point of view of another person. It sounds simple in theory, but in practice it can be incredibly difficult to do.