2009 NMO Houdini Awards Announced

Discuss the latest news and rumors in the magic world.

Postby John B. Pyka » 09/14/09 05:16 PM

Here are the current nominations for the 1st annual New Magic Order Houdini Awards for Excellence in Magic and the Variety Arts.

You can still make nominations before Midnight Sept 14th by e-mailing them to johnpyka@johnpyka.com. Nominees will be reviewed and voted on by members of the New Magic Order. Winners will be annolunced at the Annual Music City Magic Halloween Houdini Tribute on Oct 31st in Nashville, TN.

Houdini Award Nominations


Close-up magic Eric DeCamps, Ray Adams, Eric Jones
Cabaret magic The Dymonds, Big Daddy Cool, Peter Pitchford
Comedy Magic Bizarro, Randi Rain, Smoothini, David Williamson, Michael Kent, David Kaplan
Stage Magic Shawn Farquhar, Jeff McBride, Drew Thomas
Escapology Kristen Johnson, Shedini,
Mentalism Jim Callahan, Dave Koenig, Angela Funovits, Paul Draper

Magician of The Year Peter Pitchford, Shawn Farquhar, Soma, Jeff McBride, Francis Menotti
Variety Artist of The Year Scott Cantrell, Playing by Air, Big Daddy Cool & The Swing Kittens, Dave Smith
Entertainer of the Year Shawn Farquhar, Big Daddy Cool, Kristen Johnson

Rising Star Rick Star, Devon Owens, Lonny Divine, Krista Chilton
Best Magic Revue The Dymonds Magic Revue, Music City Magic, Monday Night Magic, Carnival of Wonders
Best Variety Revue Juggleville, Inferno, The Magic Cabaret
Best Touring Stage Illusion Show The Spencers, Jason Michaels, Living Illusions
Best Narrative Magic Show Wohscigam, Swingin At The Roxy: The Club Roxy Revue
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Postby Zig Zagger » 09/15/09 03:35 PM

Wow, congratulations on three nominations for your own award (or the one you are promoting here)!

How many members does the New Magic Order assemble? Is it something like the IMS?

oh, just add about 15 more categories per year, and the IMS' Merlin Award may be history...

Good luck!!!
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Postby Brad Henderson » 09/15/09 04:07 PM

Interesting on the same night, the HENPRO awards for excellence in magic are being given.

Current nominations include:

Best magician: Brad Henderson, Arthur Swoznagle, Gacey the Clown

Best bald magician in a closeup set: John Hampton, Brad Henderson, Frank the Wizard

Most obvious self promotion lacking accountability, meaning or substance: Tony Hassini, John Pyka
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Postby Seuss » 09/15/09 04:17 PM

Based on this and other differences between the 2.0 and the original MagicTalk.com I was going to ask John to delete my account there as he is the owner(?)/admin. luckily the ability to delete your own account is a feature.

So long John and good luck with everything.
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Postby John B. Pyka » 09/17/09 02:39 PM

FYI - I did not nominate myself for anything. Others nominated me. Thank you very much!
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Postby John B. Pyka » 09/17/09 02:52 PM

Seuss wrote:Based on this and other differences between the 2.0 and the original MagicTalk.com I was going to ask John to delete my account there as he is the owner(?)/admin. luckily the ability to delete your own account is a feature.

So long John and good luck with everything.

Sorry to hear Suess. You will be missed. I know we didn't agree on politics, by that's no reason to quit magictalk.com. But I wish ya well, and I'll catch ya on the flipside!
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Postby Kenardo » 09/17/09 04:58 PM

Well said, Brad.
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Postby John B. Pyka » 09/17/09 05:02 PM

Zig Zagger wrote:Wow, congratulations on three nominations for your own award (or the one you are promoting here)!

How many members does the New Magic Order assemble? Is it something like the IMS?

oh, just add about 15 more categories per year, and the IMS' Merlin Award may be history...

Good luck!!!


to answer your questions Brad,
The NMO has about 30 members across the country, 10 who are very close and most active. So it is very much like a local ring, but more spread out. Some are members here. That's why this was posted here, at MagicTalk and by various members via their Facebook/myspace etc.

Yes, I started it and like minded magical performers joined me by invitation.

It is a shame that we can not recognize people we respect or even the accomplishments of our own members without being attacked for it. It is really not that different than a local club recognizing people.

All nominations were solicited over a month ago within the online community and these are results.

I hope that helps anyone with questions. I'm sure there will be more. Please feel free to ask.
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Postby Zig Zagger » 09/19/09 08:27 PM

Thanks for your answer, John.

However, I do not agree that this has anything to do with not respecting folks where respect is due.

Spreading the biiig news of the Houdini (!) Award nominations of a 30-something member club worldwide on this big internet forum to me has a lot to do with bragging, especially if the poster is nominated several times himself, if he is personally involved with the award and if there are almost as many awards available as it may take to satisfy most members' basic needs. I would also guess that "the" online community (if there is one) is much bigger than the number of mail replys you have received.

If you are such a big shot - respect and congratulations on that! But then you should probably move on to bigger awards. If it's just a PR thing for your and your friends' websites to call yourself multiple Houdini Award recipients - fine, but why bother us, and why hide those muddy facts in the first place?

THIS may rather be a case of disrespecting the magic community and our ability to think and to judge.

And that's why I personally like those HENPRO awards much better!

But again: Good luck, and may all winners shine and be truly annolunced!
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Postby John B. Pyka » 09/20/09 12:43 AM

Zig Zagger,
Believe what you want to believe.
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Postby John B. Pyka » 09/20/09 01:39 AM

On second thought...
Zig Zagger, wouldn't you agree that the magic community worldwide is a comparably small community? Most superstars in magic are performers the general public has never heard of.

So, when a new, but growing organization wants to recognize people where else would that organization publicize their recognitions? Only among their members? Either in print or on websites the community uses. Namely, magictalk.com, genii, facebook, myspace, twitter.

Wouldn't you agree that without publication of our own like larger organizations like the IBM, SAM or the Magic Circle, that the internet is the next best place?

And wouldn't you further agree that when a small but growing organization would like to bring attention to itself for the purpose of growing the organization that one of the best ways to do that is to engage in one of the basics of guerilla marketing. I mean surely you have read marketing books, and have read that creating an award is one of the best ways to draw attention to the company, group or individual for the purposes of selling a product or promoting a brand.

So what is the brand? The brand is a new but growing organization of magical entertainers and variety artists who are dedicated to the preservation and presentation of magic as a theaterical art with contemporary relevance. That encourages artists to engage in creativity without boundaries and with creative integrity.

Is that not a vision worth suporting? Is that not a vision worth telling people about? In 2009 we, the members of the NMO decided to nominate and give awards to the people we thought represented those ideals.

These awards are designed to accomplish two goals: 1) to bring awareness to a smnall but growing organization, and 2) to honor the people who represent the ideals that organization represents - some who are members and some who are not.

I feel sorry for those who have to attack and tear down others for a desire to recognize the accomplishments of others. But, because you have shown your disdain, I will refrain from posting the results here. Anyone who wishes to know that results can see them posted on Nov 1 at www.magictalk.com and www.facebook.com/newmagicorder. Also the video from the awards presentation itself will be posted on both sites.

Thanks and good night!
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Postby Bizzaro » 09/22/09 06:45 AM

First lemme clarify, I didn't know anything about this until the initial announcement and I have nothing to do with other than that.

Some friends and I were discussing this tonight. How do you think award stuff gets started? Someone says, "Hey, let's give someone a big heavy paperweight for something or another." I am pretty sure the Academy Awards were a bunch of film execs getting together and wanting to have the "Best Film" so they made up an award for it.

Just because it was started a long time ago, doesn't mean it started any different. (give or take)
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Postby John B. Pyka » 09/22/09 11:24 AM

Well said Bizaro.

Thanks.
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Postby Brad Henderson » 09/29/09 07:56 PM

Thing is - we all know what the academy awards are, how they are chosen, and what they have come to mean. And if we didn't - they tell us that. It is clear and established. We also know what it takes to get into the "Academy."

These Houdini awards are not, nor is this New World Order Magic group anything anyone has heard of. The nature of the "press release" paints them as some kind of international, industry established (or sanctioned) award. What we have come to learn is that they really are a mutual admiration society of a few friends who want to pat each other on the back via this Houdini nonsense.

No problem with that.

But I think you are either being coy or disingenuous to suggest that you AREN'T playing this off as a real industry wide award. Else, your post would read - "The Houdini Awards - This is in inaugural year of the Houdini Award, an honor given among a group of friends to other friends because we like what they do." Of course, if you had the balls, it would read, "The Houdini Award - an honor given among a group of friends intended to create the illusion of recognition and praise from an industry, but really a stab at cheap publicity founded on deception."

Hey, maybe this is a great magic trick after all.

To each their own.

Brad

(I edited out the mean stuff)
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Postby Bizzaro » 09/29/09 10:09 PM

Brad Henderson wrote:We also know what it takes to get into the "Academy."


Connections
Money
Scientology
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 09/30/09 08:39 AM

Sounds to me kind of like the Golden Globes. Everyone thinks it's a big fancy organization when in fact there are, what ... 75 foreign journalists who vote for them. And that gets a big fancy TV show with stars!

Shoot for the moon, baby ... everyone likes to give and get awards. But don't expect any respect to go along with the glitz.
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Postby David Alexander » 09/30/09 09:52 AM

Thirty-odd years ago the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's award program the Golden Globes was a joke in the business. Of the then 50 or so "foreign" correspondents who voted was one who parked cars at a restaurant on Sunsent Blvd.

The powers-that-be figured out that the Globes could be another vehicle to promote their products and in the early '80s Dick Clark Productions began producing the program. With national television exposure came "legitimacy" and the "seriousness" of the organization and its awards.

Now it's viewed as something of a prelude to the Oscars. So, from industry joke to high level gravitas in three decades or less...yet another part of the great celebrity hustle on already celebrity-saturated public.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 09/30/09 10:19 AM

Just announced that its recieved the 2009 Covet award for most prestigous new award show in its class by prestige awards inc.
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Postby Brian Glicker » 10/01/09 12:45 PM

As a past recipient of this award, (2007 Houdini Award for the best British Mentalist living in Sherman Oaks) I feel it is important to point out that the award, while wonderful and humbling in itself, was a stepping stone to greater things.

In the two years since receiving the honor I have been privileged to see Penn & Teller, something I couldn't have done if I didn't have the money to buy a ticket; I have spoken to Michael Weber (I said Hello and he looked in my direction); and I have been shouted at, often, by Handsome Jack.

None of this would have been possible without the acknowledgment from my peers which goes hand in hand with the NMO Houdini Award.

So thank you, even though it was two years ago the award proved that you like me - you really, really like me.
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Postby Smoothini » 10/15/09 12:46 AM

hehe I had some free time and was a bit drunk so I searched my name on the internet. Somethin I'm known to do because I never know what I might find. Go figure, I find this.

I say...... THANKS FOR HAVING ME NOMINATED!

All of you hating... oh well. You probably don't like me either. I'm actually surprised that I got voted.
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Postby Brad Henderson » 10/15/09 10:32 AM

Smoothini wrote:All of you hating... oh well. You probably don't like me either. I'm actually surprised that I got voted.


"Hating"?

How late nineties BET sitcom series spin off of you.

But seriously, how can I not like you when I've never even heard of you?

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Postby Steve Varro » 10/15/09 11:56 PM

John Pyka

I've known John Pyka for some time now. I like John and he has said he did not nominate himself. I'll take him at his word.

I would hope that if John is one of the judges, he would exercise a good measure of integrity and refrain from voting on the categories he is nominated in.

Good luck to all the nominees!

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Postby John B. Pyka » 10/16/09 12:45 PM

Thanks Steve!

The votes were tallied by Athena Johnson and Robert Pierson. I did recuse(sp) myself.

Voting has closed. The winners will be publicly announced on Oct 31, but we've posted the list of winners at www.magictalk.com for those who are curious.

What kills me is that something that started as a fun thing to do has turned me into a magic bad guy. Oh well, it's not the first time, and not the last. I'm sure the unspoken Nashville Magician will send me another e-mail telling me what a vile human being I am because of this.

Sheesh.
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Postby Brad Henderson » 10/16/09 02:42 PM

John,

Had you clearly stated from the outset what the scope of your awards were - i.e. a bunch of friends who wanted to recognize each other - then I don't think you would have been met with any opposition at all. Shame you weren't forthright from the beginning.

Maybe that explains what happened the other times, and will prevent it from happening again.

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Postby John B. Pyka » 10/16/09 02:53 PM

Well Brad, with all due respect (and I mean with all due respect)it just seems typical among magicians to engage in Hermit Crab Politics. Not that you would ever do that, but I am almost 100% sure that your attitude would be different if you had been one of those nominated.
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Postby Brad Henderson » 10/16/09 04:22 PM

John B. Pyka wrote:Well Brad, with all due respect (and I mean with all due respect)it just seems typical among magicians to engage in Hermit Crab Politics. Not that you would ever do that, but I am almost 100% sure that your attitude would be different if you had been one of those nominated.


So you're saying that those nominated don't care that a group of friends patting themselves on the back is being presented as an industry wide award of major consequence? What does that say about the people in your group of friends?

For what it's worth, during my years in magic I have won many awards. Like some, I could put "magician of the year" beside my name and try to pawn it off as something important, but really, it was just my turn. I know that, and personally feel to try to represent it for more than it is would be intellectually dishonest. You won't find mention of any of these awards in my promotional material.

So, your 100% prediction is probably a little far afield. But then again, you weren't nominated for the mentalism category, so we'll let it slide.

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Postby John Archer » 10/16/09 06:19 PM

I nominate Brad... remind me who you are again Brad? ;-)
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Postby Brad Henderson » 10/16/09 10:51 PM

Really?!? OMG, this is really a big deal, now. Disregard what I said early. This is super important!

Brad


thanks John! You well?
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Postby John B. Pyka » 10/20/09 01:10 PM

Just for the record, I don't know who Brad Henderson is. Should I? And why?

By the way a lot of people owe me an apology. I won't hold my breath - after all you are all a bunch of magicians - but you can find me at www.magictalk.com. See you there!
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Postby John B. Pyka » 10/22/09 10:56 AM

NEW! Magictalk.com is now an official co-sponsoir of these awards. You all know Magic Talk - THE ORIGINAL magic discussion forum!

For this point on, the award will be the New Magic Order/Magic Talk Houdini Award for Excellence in Magic and The Variety Arts.
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Postby Joe Pecore » 10/22/09 05:39 PM

John B. Pyka wrote:You all know Magic Talk - THE ORIGINAL magic discussion forum!

I always thought that was MAGIC! - The Global Magicians Network ;)
Share your knowledge on the MagicPedia wiki.
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Postby John B. Pyka » 10/23/09 10:51 AM

Just goes to show, that you can learn something new everyday. I had never heard of that forum. Back in the mid 1990s the only forums I remember is Magictalk and magic.alt. I'll have to check out the archives at the aforementioned website. Thanks Joe!
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Postby Smoothini » 11/24/09 03:28 AM

"Hating"?

How late nineties BET sitcom series spin off of you.

But seriously, how can I not like you when I've never even heard of you?

Brad



True.... true.

Just sort of used to it by now. Let me introduce myself to you. I'm Smoothini the Ghetto Houdini.

As for BET.... yeah:

Image

I worked on a BET series for a hip-hop influenced magic series that was based mostly on comedy and sleight-of-hand classical magic. The show ended up being stalled indefinitly when they took off Reggie Hudlin as the VP of Entertainment. :-(

I'm also a very foul-mouthed so-called comedian that make's believes he's a magician.

Because it pays more than comedy.

You can check out my website for more nonsense on me: www.smoothini.com

As for you, I know who you are.
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