Favorite Magician of All Time

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Postby Guest » 01/12/07 05:47 PM

Who are your favorite performers. Who are the people that you looked up to as you were just starting and still look to for inspiration. I know that my favorites are Cardini, Downs, Shoot Ogawa, and Jeff McBride. These are my favorites for different reasons. I know that I love Cardini's general performing character. Downs is a certian one because of the origanal Miser's Dream. Ogawa has a style that I enjoy watching. Jeff McBride's masks and card act is one that I am trying to adapt for my own stage act.

Postby Terry » 01/13/07 06:21 AM

If you are taking opinions, please do not do anything that resembles Jeff's mask act.

There have been other who have tried to steal it and have failed miserably.

There is nothing better than the original.
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Postby Guest » 01/13/07 06:34 AM

I am not going to try an reproduce it but he gave me the idea to use masks. I want to make a mask appear as I am transitioning into a seperate phase or the routine like going from cards to a coin segment or Vise-versa. If you saw his performance on Mindfreak, he used a segment where he produced a wand and then put it through the eye holes. I liked this segment but that would be the only thing I might recreate

Postby Guest » 01/13/07 09:37 AM

In the late 70's I had the good fortune of sitting at the table as Del Ray performed his close-up act. To this day, it is the most amazing, inspired magic performance that I have ever experienced.

I hope that someone gets around to writing the definitive book on Del's life and his mind-blowing magic.


Postby Terry » 01/15/07 05:47 PM


I also had the good fortune to have witnessed Del Ray's beautiful magic.

Both times literally drew tears of appreciation for his artistry.
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Postby Guest » 01/16/07 08:36 AM

Another vote for Del Ray. Easily the best close up act I ever personally witnessed. Funny, amazing, perfectly paced. Flawless.

Postby Pete Biro » 01/16/07 10:19 AM

In no particular order: (seen live)

Close up? Goshman, Del Ray, Jonathan Levit, Ricky Jay, Fred Kaps, Tony Georgio, Steve Valentine, Armando Lucero, Bob Read, Michael Weber, Michael Close, John Carney and Dean Dill.

Stage? Blackstone Sr., Channing Pollock, Jeff McBride, Lance Burton, Juliana Chen, Fred Kaps, Robert Harbin, Paul Daniels, Phoa Yan Tiong, Johnny Thompson, Al Flosso, Jay Marshall, Carl Ballantine, Roy Benson and Terry Seabrooke.

Sessioning? Persi Diaconis, Fred Kaps, Larry Jennings, Pat Page, R. Paul Wilson, Harry Riser.

There are others but my brain works slow in the cold weather.

Those I never saw live that I wish I had? Robert-Houdin, Leroy-Talma-Bosco, Cefalo (he was Kaps' inspiration) Malini, Cardini, Frank Van Hoven.

I'd also like to have seen Dariel Fitzkee to see if he was as bad as I feel he might have been, based on his writing and comments from those that did see him.

Main Mentors: Bill Anderson (got me started), Jay Marshall, Fred Kaps and Ken Brooke.
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Postby NCMarsh » 01/16/07 11:11 AM

My own list: Del Ray, Tommy Wonder, Roy Benson, Robert-Houdin, Hofzinser, Vernon, Stencel, Michael Weber, David Ben, David Devant, Penn and Teller, Derren Brown
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Postby Guest » 01/17/07 05:14 AM

Fu Manchu
Siegfried and Roy
John Calvert
David Copperfield
Carlo and Meta Tornedo
Fred Kaps

Postby Brian Marks » 01/17/07 02:26 PM

Brian Marks ;) , Teller, David Ben, Sol Stone, David Oliver, Jon Stenson, James Randi, Johnny Carson(not for magic), Jeremy Medows, Banacheck, Simon Lovel, David Roth, David Williamson, Magik, Max Maven, Eugene Burger, Derren Brown
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 01/17/07 07:29 PM

Who are your favorite performers. Who are the people that you looked up to as you were just starting and still look to for inspiration.
Ive always believed that this is impossible to do, so I set out to prove it. At first I just wanted to list them in the order that they popped out of my brain, but it got so long that I thought it best to alphabetize them; it just seems fair. The reasons all these folks are on my list is too varied to list. But for one reason or another, they have inspired me or taught me, or both; either directly (personal contact) or indirectly (observation and/or via study), or both. So here is my list, and since Im going via brain power here, I fear Ive missed someone. But hey, I tried (even though I think its impossible to do). And, in case you are wondering, there are 127 of them on this list:

David Acer
Don Alan
Jason Alexander (The TV one)
Ed Alonzo
Michael Ammar
Harry Anderson
Jon Armstrong
Pete Biro
Bill Bixby
Harry Blackstone, Jr.
Rich Bloch
Steve Bryant
Eugene Burger
Lance Burton
John Carney
Johnny Carson
Mike Caveney
Bruce Cervon
Mike Close
Steve Cohen
David Copperfield
Paul Cummins
Dana Daniels
Derek Dingle
T. Nelson Downs
Alexandra Duvivier
Doc Eason
Tim Ellis
Alex Elmsley
Chuck Fayne
Eddie Fechter
Michael Finney
Charlie Frye
Karl Germain
Paul Gertner
Tony Giorgio
Andrew Goldenhersh
Albert Goshman
Paul Green
Paul Harris
Whit Haydn
Doug Henning
Jeff Hobson
J.N. Hofzinser
Guy Hollingworth
Handsome Jack
Bob Jardine
Ricky Jay
Larry Jennings
Mark Kalin & Jinger
Fred Kaps
Richard Kaufman
Chris Kenner
Kostya Kimlat
Mac King
Roger Klause
Bob Kohler
Chris Korn
Mark Kornhauser
Geoff Latta
Tina Lenert
Jules Lenier
Servais LeRoy
Jonathan Levit
Martin Lewis
Chad Long
Harry Lorayne
Simon Lovell
Terry Lunceford
David Malek
Max Malini
Jay Marshall
Steve Martin
Max Maven
Reed McClintock
Billy McComb
Eric Mead
Rick Merrill
Charlie Miller
Milo & Roger
Manuel Muerte
Tom Mullica
Martin A. Nash
Earl Nelson
Tom Ogden
Darwin Ortiz
Pat Page
Johnny Ace Palmer
Jim Patton
Jon Racherbaumer
John Ramsey
Bob Read
David Regal
Mike Rogers
Richard Ross
David Roth
Jay Sankey
J.J. Sanvert
Al Schneider
Terry Seabrooke
Bob Sheets
Siegfried & Roy
Michael Skinner
Steve Spill
Jim Steinmeyer
Hyram Straight
Jamy Ian Swiss
Mercedes Talma
Rick Thomas
Arthur Trace
Richard Turner
Dai Vernon
J.C. Wagner
T.A. Waters
Michael Weber
Orson Welles
Bob White
David Williamson
Gregory Wilson
Mark Wilson
R. Paul Wilson
Ron Wilson
Tommy Wonder
Scotty York
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Postby Pete Biro » 01/17/07 07:55 PM

That's a nice list. Thanks. Hee hee... :eek:
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Postby Guest » 01/17/07 08:48 PM


Thank you for that great list....Now, just for us young guys, could you tell us what are their favorite tricks?.......hahaha


Postby Guest » 01/17/07 10:07 PM

My newest goal is to someday make Dustin's list.

It is long because of his wide-ranging tastes.

To crack that list, one has to be damned good.

[You will note the seriousness of my post by the entire lack of emoticons.]

Postby Dustin Stinett » 01/17/07 11:55 PM

Rest assured Dave, you have made one of my lists!


(Thanks for the kind comments.)
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Postby Guest » 01/18/07 02:23 AM

Man, now you got me all paranoid. :eek:

Postby Matthew Field » 01/18/07 05:26 AM

Dustin -- you misspelled my name on the list. It's "Matt", not "Max". And it's "Field", not "Maven".

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Postby Pete Biro » 01/18/07 09:51 AM

You have just moved into the lead for "Pete's favorite post of the year".
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Postby Guest » 01/18/07 01:34 PM

Congrats on making the list.

Maybe we should meet some time.

Until we appear again,
Kipp Sherry

Postby Dustin Stinett » 01/18/07 02:33 PM

Pete is, without a doubt, the best magician who ever performed on skates.
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Postby Guest » 01/18/07 03:34 PM

Here's a few more notables who have had a fair amount of influence.

Johnny Thompson
Kevin James
Harry Houdini
the Pendragons
Franz Harary
Norm Neilson
John Moehring
Carl Ballantine
George Schindler
Channing Pollock
Amazing Johnathan
Gary Ouellette
Danny Sylvester
Peter Reveen
and Paul Daniels

Postby Guest » 03/08/07 07:47 AM

I'm not a performer, but magicians inspire me...

Michael Ammar
(perfect soh, and so entertaining)
David Copperfield
(stunning range, unbelievable visit)
Scott Hitchcock
(second dealing, rope volunteering)
Ricky Jay
(historical inspiration, poetic performer)
Jeff McBride (power and art)
Dick Newton (whom I've never seen!)
Robert Olson
James Randi
Peter Samelson

Each is my favorite.
And so many more.
Choosing so few was so difficult!


Postby John McDonald » 03/08/07 02:24 PM

David Williamson - for sheer entertainment -

Greg Frewin - for doves -

Juan Tamariz - for cards -

Norbert Ferre -for sheer personality and skill -
Best John
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Postby Guest » 03/08/07 03:08 PM

David Williamson, Bill Goldman, Bill Malone, Banacheck, Derren Brown, Criss Angel, David Malek, Eric DeCamps, Simon Lovell, Ricky Jay, Bob White, Mathieu Bich, Daniel Madison, Keith Barry, me?, and the list goes on...

Postby Guest » 03/10/07 05:25 AM

Ricky Jay,
Rene Levand,
Fred Kaps,
Darwin Ortiz,
Michael Vincent,
Bill Malone,
David Roth,
Geoffrey Durham,
David Nixon,
Paul Daniels,
Bill Malone,
Derren Brown,
Max Maven
Eugene Burger
James Dimmare

With Ricky Jay at the top, and the rest in no particular order. All of which are surpassed by my 21 card trick with Dippy Duck big finish (additional fee). :)

Postby Guest » 03/12/07 02:56 PM

Several magicians have made an impact on me, and I consider them favorites.

David Ben
Persi Diaconis
Dai Vernon
Ross Bertram
Stewart James
Ricky Jay
Derek Dingle
Lee Asher

Postby Guest » 03/14/07 08:03 PM

I grew up in Michigan and attended so many Abbott Get Togethers so I'd add:
Werner Dornfield
Monk Watson
Bob Downey
Bob Lewis
Karrell Fox
Duke Stern
and, of course... without a doubt... the top two:
Jay Marshall and NEIL FOSTER.

Postby Guest » 03/15/07 07:21 AM

My favorites are:

Darwin Ortiz
Michael Skinner
Tommy Wonder
Martin Lewis
David Roth
Paul Gertner
Rene Lavand
Juan Tamariz
Al Cohen
Larry Davidson
Garret Thomas

There may be more...

Postby Guest » 03/16/07 07:06 AM

I will try to keep the list short and to people that I have seen perform. The first list is magicians that are no longer with us.

Billy Bishop, John Shirley, Don Alan, Ed Marlo, Dai Vernon, Jack Pyle, Jay Marshall, Blackstone Jr., Jack Gwynne, Tony Marks, Jim Ryan,

Magicians That are still with us.

Bill Malone, Ricky Jay, Tom Ogden, Rich Cowley, Vinny (The Godfather), Rannie Raymundo, Tony Picaso, Jimmy "Cards" Molinari, Alan Ackerman, Al Schnider, Terry Vecky, Bill Weimer, Bob Rath, Bev Bergeron, Mark Willson, Andre Kole, David Roth, Glenn Haywood, Buddy Farnan, Harry Loryane, Jonny Thompson, Stan Kremine, David Charvet, Marshall Brodien,

Magicians that inspired me through the printed words and publishing.

Charlie Miller, Erdnase, Cy Endfield, Dai Vernon, John Scarne, Frank Garcia, Ed Marlo, Harry Loryane,

Magicians I wish I met.

Okito, Fu Manchu, Robert-Houdin, Rolland Hamblen, Charlie Miller, Erdnase, Jay Ose, Paul LePaul, Bert Allerton, Carmon DeAmico, Cy Endfield, John Scarne, Frank Garcia,

Postby Guest » 04/01/07 12:46 PM

I have been influenced by Chan Canasta, Maurice Fogel, Dunninger, Uri Geller, Bob Cassidy, Lee Earle, Tim Conover and James Randi to some extent.
My greatest influence has been (and probably always WILL be) Kreskin! :)

Postby Guest » 04/01/07 07:48 PM

Is there any footage of Del Ray available? I've often heard how amazing he was, but haven't ever had the chance to see any of his work.

Postby Richard Kaufman » 04/01/07 08:40 PM

There is no legitimate footage of Del Ray available, just some bootlegs floating around.
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Postby Guest » 04/01/07 08:51 PM


If by legitimate, you mean commercial (able to be purchased), you are correct. However, Del ALLOWED himself to be video taped several times by some of his close friends at different conventions. I don't know if "bootleg" is the right term to use for those dvds or tapes, several of which are readily circulating.

Postby Guest » 04/02/07 11:59 AM

Several years ago, Tom Craven sold me two DVD's of Del Ray performing both close-up (terrific) and on stage (not so terrific). These were copied from old "home movies", so the production values are low. But I couldn't care less. I still treasure them. Give Tom a holler and see if he has any left for sale.


Postby Marc Rehula » 04/03/07 10:10 AM

Whoa, whoa, whoa, slow down people. The title of this post is 'favorite magician of all time', not favorite magicianSSSS of all time.

Anyone can make a long list.

The point is to choose ONE!
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 04/03/07 10:18 AM

That's not at all the case. Try actually reading the opening post versus just the subject.
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Postby Guest » 04/03/07 12:04 PM

Russ Delmar
Derek Dingle
Al Faria
Al Flosso
John Mueller
Presto (Earl Johnson)
David Roth
Jeff Sheridan
Lou Tannen
I was very fortunate to have these friends when I was 13 yrs. old.

Postby Guest » 04/03/07 12:46 PM

If I listed everyone who had influenced me or inspired me the list would approach Dustin's in length.

But there are only four names on my short list:
Tina Lenert
Micheal Close
Tommy Wonder
Darwin Ortiz

Postby Guest » 04/03/07 01:05 PM

A very short and incomplete list:

For creative genius:

Larry Jennings
Brother John Hamman
Dai Vernon

For performance ability:

David Williamson
Ricky Jay
John Carney

For writing some of my favorite books:

Richard Kaufman
Eugene Burger
Darwin Ortiz

Postby Marc Rehula » 04/04/07 08:41 AM

I know the head of the post says plural, but what attracted me to this was the title: singular -- magician. I was disappointed to read long lists. Long lists are nice, but what's the fun of comprehensive lists?

No one's willing to try getting it down to one magician? What one magician would you want to be mentored by? What single magician captures your imagination?
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