While, from where I sit here in SoCal, a little over two-hours remain in 2009, the Genii Forum time stamp says its already 2010. So that means its time for me to post my Annual Genii Forum Review.
2009 was an odd yearand Im not referring to the uneven status of the integer more commonly referred to as 9.
Its also difficult to believe that we are already into the final year of the first decade of the 21st century. (Hence the reason you will not
find any references to the Trick, Book, or DVD of the Decade: There is still one more year left in this decade. For those who think Im wrong, hold up three fingers; now count them and tell me which one you assigned as zero. While I expect some of you will tell me, Its the middle one, Im still correct that one does not begin counting with zero nor do any calendars begin with zero. So there; neener, neener, neener.)
But no matter how we count it, time is our most precious commodity. Oliver Wendell Homes says it best:
Old Time, in whose banks we deposit our notes
Is a miser who always wants guineas for groats;
He keeps all his customers still in arrears
By lending them minutes and charging them years.
Please to enjoy a wrap-up of 2009:
Genii Cover: Wayne Dobson
New Years Day Shake Up at the Magic Castle:
The contract the Magic Food and Beverage Company had at the Magic Castle expired at the end of 2008. The Academy of Magic Arts took back control of all restaurant and bar operations at the venerable club resulting in some internal and external hubbub.
On an unrelated but, well, related note: The property remains unsold.
Mac Kings Show (Momentarily) Comes to a Stop:
Mac King brought his Comedy and Magic Show to the Magic Castle for a couple of charity performances. During his Thumb Tie routine, wherein he brings a lady to the stage, King says hell be performing the Houdini Challenge Naked Rope Escape. At this line, Robby McCabe, the 6 year-old son of Pete McCabe, saidloud enough for everyone in the room and on stage to hearOh I know this one. No one in the room laughed louder, longer, or harder than Mac King.
The Circus is Coming and its a Magic Show:
Jim Steinmeyer is the designer for the magic in the Ringling Brothers Zing Zang Zoom. Alex Ramon stars in the show.
Two and a Half Men and a Magic Guy:
John Carney made a brief appearance on the hit TV sitcom. The character Alan asked to have close-up magic at his 40th birthday party.
NPH on SNL:
Academy of Magic Arts board member Neil Patrick Harris hosts Saturday Night Live. No was no magic done during his appearance.
Disasters of Illusion:
The Gay Blackstone produced show Masters of Illusiona show that garners mixed reactions from the magic community (and those who appear on the show)begins its weekly run on the My Network (a FOX affiliate). The timeslot that follows MoI features the weekly episodes of Magics Biggest Secrets Revealed (the Masked Magician).
Its Just Your Basic List of Nobodies:
Dodd Vickers Magic Newswire Spirit of Magic Interviews ( http://www.linkingpage.com/
) continue, starting 2009 with Jim Steinmeyer. Other interviewees include (alphabetically):
Dorothy Dietrich & Dick Brooks
Neil Patrick Harris
And many others Im sure Im leaving out, but not on purpose (as far as they know).
Houdini Still Making Headlines:
On the front page of the New York Post
SKY 'HOUDINI' IS GROUNDED
Crooked Bizman Who Jumped From Airplane to Fake Death Lands in Custody
Its unclear to some how a guy who landed IN jail can be compared to the escapologist who made a career of getting OUT of jails, but thats todays media for you.
And Speaking of Houdini; sort of:
A two-day Tony Curtis event at the Magic Castle featured the legendary Hollywood star. The event included a screening of the film Houdini and a Q&A session.
And Speaking of Escape Artists:
Escape artist and magician Kristen Johnson had a close call when, during halftime festivities at an NBA game, had to be released from a sealed chamber of water.
The Pendragons Make the News (Part 1):
Jonathan Pendragon announces the release of the Pendragons excellent four-volume set of L&L produced DVDs on the Genii Forum. It wouldnt be the last news on the duo by years end.
Some Things Never Change:
The Los Angeles Police Department announced the arrest of a crew of conmen running a Three Shell Game ring. The crewmade up of about ten suspectshad been alleged to have victimized dozens of downtown area shoppers during the 2008 holiday shopping period. The alleged tosser (shell manipulator) of the crew was a 77-year old. The last name of the LAPD spokesman on the case: Vernon.
Using His Skills for Good, Not Evil:
A profile piece about Eric Mead appears in The Aspen Times
http://www.aspentimes.com/article/20090 ... 20him%20..
Genii Cover: Hiro Sakai
Magic Week #2:
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson has its second Magic Week featuring (with amusing introductionsas well as a plug for the AMA [Magic Castle] Awards which he hostedby Neil Patrick Harris):
Actress Kristen Bell is sawn in half by Ferguson (with an assist from AlonzoerrrMargarite in hiserrrher beautiful red gown)
Since a Few Seconds on a Sitcom Dont Quite Cut it:
John Carney mounts his one-man show, Carneys Wonders at Tony Clarks Studio of Magic in Studio City, California.
The Box is Really Nice:
After years ofwell, Im really not sure what it was years ofPaul Harris releases his long awaited project, True Astonishments. The 9-DVD set comes in a beautiful wood box with a multitude of props, a whole bunch of tricks, and even a little bit of PH.
Unoriginal and Cheap:
An employment advertisement for Steve Wyricks show in Las Vegas:
Steve Wyrick Real Magic is an ongoing production show located in the Steve Wyrick Theatre in Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood - the heart of the Las Vegas Strip. We have shows nightly (dark Fridays). The show embodies the exploration of magic through Steves life and ends with the appearance of his grandmother on stage. This is the emotional core of the show. The role is physical acting (must crouch down for about 5 minutes then stand up very quickly) and there are no lines. You will pantomine a re-enactment of a scene from Steves childhood as a part of the act. Grandma is onstage approximately 10 minutes. We pay $40 per show
[emphasis mine]. Please forward your photo and contact information to be considered. We want to fill this role as quickly as possible.
But There is No Truth to the Rumor that Wyrick Was Seen Scouting this Act for New Material:
Magics a Drag starring Cashetta, the Queen of Magic at the Harmon Theater, Las Vegas. Cashetta (Scott Weston) is one of the only female impersonator magicians in the world.
For Franz Harary, Drag Takes on a Different Meaning:
On the main highway between Los Angeles and Las Vegas (on his way to a meeting) Franz Harary experiences a serious auto accident in which his cara convertible with the top downflipped over several times. His first thought as the car went out of control: Im going to be late for this meeting. (He later admits that this was his second
thought.) He suffered only minor injuries.
Better News For Franz Fans:
An entire episode of VH1s reality series America's Best Dance Crew is dedicated to magic. The remaining crews are to integrate magic into their dance routines fro that shows competition. Each group is given a particular type of illusion to incorporate by Franz Harary who also worked with the teams.
And the Winner is:
During the Oscars telecast, Philippe Petit performs a French Drop coin vanish during the acceptance speech by the producers of the film Man On Wire (which won for Best Documentary, Feature). The French high-wire artist (no, the irony that he would do the French Drop is not lost on yours truly) then balanced the award upside down on his chin.
Genii Cover: Uri Geller
But Theres No Truth to the Rumor That John Lovick is Trying to Add It to His P&T Collection:
The Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas celebrates Penn & Tellers 35th anniversary with a 27,000 square foot billboard. (Can Mike Caveney tell us how many sheets that is?)
SARMOTI (Just One More Time):
(March 1 A Genii Forum Scoop by Craig Mitchell)
At a fundraiser for the Lou Ruvo Brain Institute, Roy Horn and Siegfried Fischbacher performed their farewell illusion.
The performance took place in the Bellagio Ballroom and was aired on ABCs 20/20 on March 6th.
Ed Alonzo Runs Away with the Circus:
Ed Alonzo goes on tour in the US and UK with Britney Spears. The tour, called Circus, features Alonzo performing illusions with the pop star. In other words: It was just your average, everyday, run-of-the-mill gig.
I am the Very Model of a Modern Backstage Manager:
Many people of note came to the defense of Steven Klinethe stage manager for the shows at the 2009 World Magic Seminar in Las Vegaswhen Jason Latimer publicly blamed Kline for a rash of technical issues suffered during his performance. It was determined that Mr. Kline was not calling cues during the performance; it was Latimers own crew.
And the Winner is (Take 2):
On March 8, the Academy of Magical Arts (the Magic Castle) held its 41st annual awards show at the Avalon Theater in Hollywood. The event was hosted and co-produced by Neil Patrick Harris. Winners were:
Magician of the Year: Guy Hollingworth
Masters Fellowship: Dominique
Lifetime Achievement: Bob Fitch
Performing Fellowship: Celeste Evans
Performing Fellowship: Howie Schwarzman
Literary Fellowhip: Louis Falanga
Special Fellowship: Eric Eswin
Junior Achievement: Farrah Siegal
Lecturer of the Year: Jeff McBride
Close-up Magician of the Year: Doc Eason
Parlour Magician of the Year: Shoot Ogawa
Stage Magician of the Year: Kevin James
Artifice Ruse and Subterfuge at the Card Table Probably Wouldnt Fit on the Poster:
Just crowned AMA Magician of the Year Guy Hollingworth mounts his one-man show, Expert at the Card Table during a special engagement at the Magic Castle.
Because I Can:
With no offense intended to everyone who celebrated a birthday during 2009most of you reading thisI will be recognizing only one birthday during this wrap-up. I do so only because, well, Im the one writing it. On March 17 Living Legend Patrick Page celebrated his 80th birthday.
Recession? We Aint Got No Stinkin Recession:
Steve Cohens $250 ticket:
Steve Cohen, The Millionaires Magician, mounts an ultra exclusive show titled Miracles at Midnight. Performed once a month at the Waldorf Towers, the show is limited to 20 guests at $250 per seat.
Once a Fan:
Former talk show host and avid magic fan Dick Cavett writes about Slydini on the New York Times website:
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/20 ... /?emc=eta1
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/20 ... ni-part-2/
Too Young to Die:
At just over 63 years and 3,296 issues, Goodliffes Abra
a weekly magic magazineceased publication.
A Quadruple Threat?
It is reported that actor, singer, and dancer Hugh Jackman is taking magic lessons for a possible portrayal of Harry Houdini in a new Broadway musical (tentative opening, early 2010).
Enough With Houdini Already!
As ifin my opinionthere isnt enough Hollywood fiction about Houdini out there, the Bill Kalush and Larry Sloman book on the escape artist (The Secret Life of Houdini
, Atria Books, 2006) has reportedly been optioned for film.
Genii Cover: Andy Nyman
Its No April Fools Joke:
On April 1, Rob Stiff (Magic Makers) acquired S.S. Adams, the venerable manufacturer of magic tricks and gag props that have been a staple in magic shops, novelty shops, and even many chain department stores for most of the 20th Century.
Its Gotta be Better Than The Secret Life of HoudiniMaybe:
Director Jake Kasdan (Orange Countya dandy little flick that captures my area of SoCal to a tee) has a new project in pre-production titled (depending on the source) either Burt Wonderstone or Burt Dickenson: The Most Powerful Magician on Earth. The plot summary from ComingSoon.net reads:
The comedy Burt Dickenson, Most Powerful Magician on the Planet Earth, follows a big-time Las Vegas illusionist whose preeminence is threatened by a younger extreme magician.
Four Down, One to Go:
Bruce Cervons Castle Notebooks Volume 4
is released by L&L Publishing.
Hes a Little Bit Country:
David Copperfield produced Taylor Swift using his Elevator Illusion on the Country Music Awards. By thanking Reba McEntire for the cowboy hat he wore during the turn, he subliminally blamed her for the fashion faux pas.
Ahh, Aint Dat Tweet:
Penn Jillette is on Twitter: http://twitter.com/pennjillette
So is Teller: http://twitter.com/MrTeller
If I understand it correctly, this Annual Review would have taken me almost 300 Tweets. Ill pass thanks.
More Movie Magic:
Sir Michael Caine plays a magician in Is Anybody There? (Dir. John Crowley).
Whatever That Is:
While I cannot verify it, it is reported that Lance Burton was to appear on Starz series Head Case. Whatever that is.
Tom Cruise Eat Your Heart Out (While HG Wells Spins and Spins and Spins):
C. Thomas Howell, the winner of last years Celebracadabra reality show has his film (director and lead actor) War of the Worlds 2: The Next Wave air on the SyFy Channel. The film has listed in its credits magicians Jonathan Levitt and Murray Sawchuck and reportedly had a cameo by David Regal. Apparently its a revenge thing.
The Man Behind the Curtain Gets a Headline:
You have to know that any article that starts with, In 1770, Wolfgang von Kempelen wheeled a wooden box into the Habsburg court in Vienna is about John Gaughan.
features a profile piece on illusion builder John Gaughan:
http://www.laweekly.com/2009-04-23/la-v ... -s-secret/
Ive Lost Count:
Because the man had so much damn stuff.
Another Jay Marshall auction took place on Sunday, April 26th at the Hyatt Regency in Schaumburg, Illinois. (The same weekend as the MCAs Collectors Weekend.)
David Corsaros site Time to be Awesome ( http://vaude.tv/category/time-to-be-awesome
) features video interviews with another one of your basic lists of nobodies:
Check the Printed Record: Are We Sure it Was Al Gore Who Invented the Internet?
L&L Releases a 6-disc DVD set of Bill Malone performing and explaining some of Ed Marlos best card magic in Malone Meets Marlo. Theres nothing on them of interest to card enthusiasts. Really, theres not. ZippoNadaNiente. Dont bother. Pretend I never mentioned it.
Genii Cover: Sir Michael Caine (Sir Michael Caine Digs Deep ... and Finds a Magician
Interviews by Richard Kaufman)
A Miserable Month of May, Part 1:
On May 1 the lifeless body of Danny Gans, one of the most popular entertainers in Las Vegas for the better part of the last 20-years was found in his bed. By all public reports, the 52 year-old singer/impersonator was in good health. By June, however, it was found that Mr. Gans had a heart condition that, along with a severe reaction to prescribed drugs, led to his untimely death.
And We All Thought He Just Took Photos While on Roller Skates (Part 1):
The May issue of GQ
magazine includes a piece on Jay Leno. If one looks closely at the photo of the comedian/talk show host taken in the Green Room of the Comedy and Magic Club (Hermosa Beach, California), it can be seen that Leno is next to a brick signed by The Amazing Peter (Pete Biro).
http://men.style.com/gq/features/landin ... ntent_8897
A Miserable Month of May, Part 2:
Comedic film and television actor, director, childrens book author, and cookbook author Dom DeLuise died at a Los Angeles hospital on May 4th at the age of 75. His character, the bumbling magician Dominick the Great, a regular on many television talk and variety shows, will be fondly remembered by countless magicians and non-magicians alike. Hold your applause please; save it for the end.
Peace Brokering in the World of Magic:
In what could have been one of those things that blemished magic and two great names in the business for years to come, Tom Stone instead brokered a deal that brought the estate of Tommy Wonder and Derk Losander back together.
No Gaffs Gaff:
A rumor that the US Playing Card Company (USPC) would cease printing all forms of gaffed playing cards gripped the magic world in a state of abject fear for a time.
A representative of the USPC made it clear that, in a move deemed necessary to protect their brand, only those gaffs where the backsparticularly of their Bicycle brandwhere printed differently from their protected pattern (an example being the Paul Harris effect Twilight Angels) would no longer be printed. Standard gaffs would remain available.
Lance Burton is forced to temporarily close his show at the Monte Carlo Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas after breaking a bone in his right foot while performing.
From One Circus to Another:
Ed Alonzo, who performed with Britney Spears on her Circus tour, signs on to create the magic for Michael Jacksons new tour.
At Least its Higher Than Mime...:
In an episode of the animated television comedy Family Guy, Stewies performing arts teacher ranks magic below ventriloquism, but above mime, in the hierarchy of theater.
So of Course it Gets a Movie:
A feature length documentary on ventriloquism titled Im No Dummy! made its premiere at the 35th Annual Seattle International Film Festival. Jay Johnson, Lynn Trefzger, and Tom Ladshawall featured in the filmattended the screening and the following Q&A along with their stage partners and the films director, Bryan Simon.
And No One Seemed to Care (Part 1):
The Las Vegas Sun
reports that Criss Angel is getting a wax statue at Madame Tussauds at the Venetian Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Tops, The New Tops, and Now The Newest Tops:
Abbotts Magic introduces an online version of its venerable magazine. Notable contributors include Steve Spill, Sandy Marshall, and Jeff Hobson.
Is His Courteous Staff Available 24/7 For All Our Paranormal Needs?
The New York Times
reports that Dan Aykroyd announced the release of Ataris new Ghostbusters videogame at the American Society for Psychical Research in New York.
Aykroyd and Ghostbusters film co-stars Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts, and Bill Murray all leant their faces and voices to the game. The piece references the Fox Sisters; the girls who started the Spiritualism movement in the US. Aykroyds great grandfathera dentist by tradereviewed the performances of the sisters as well as other paranormal attractions in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/31/arts/ ... ml?_r=1&hp
And He Enters the Legal Recreational Consumables Industry:
And if videogames arent enough, Aykroyd entered the legal recreational consumables industry with Crystal Head Vodka. The bottle may be of interest to magicians (this one thinks its very cool and wanted one for Christmas but instead got a Slap-Chop). Without a doubt the video accompanying the products sitein which Mr. Aykroyd references several aspects of the paranormal in his inimitable styleis worth the time it takes to watch it.
Genii Cover: Wayne Houchin
And We All Thought He Just Took Photos While on Roller Skates (Part 2):
A photo of Genii
staff photographer, retired racecar photographer, retired part-time magician, magic convention organizer, and former Genii
magazine columnist (The Reel Works) Pete Biro appeared in the June issue of AARP
magazine. There was no explanation as to why expect that he is apparently old enough to do so.
Susan Boyle and Mathew Buchinger: Twins of a Different Mother(?):
Ricky Jay penned an Op Ed piece in the New York Times
wherein he discusses the fame of Susan Boyle, the phenomenally talented (but perceived as unattractive by our fickle societys standards) singer discovered on Britains Got Talent and, by comparison, that garnered by Mathew Buchinger in his day.
It Turns Out June was Worse Than May (Part 1):
Actor and magic aficionado David Carradine was found dead in a Bangkok, Thailand hotel room under suspicious turned lurid circumstances. Carradine could be found at many Friday lunches at the Magic Castle.
And No One Seemed to Care (Part 2):
A New Criss Angel Store opened at the Circus Circus Hotel in Las Vegas. The 1,100 square foot store, which carries no Believe or Cirque du Soleil merchandise, does have at least 700 different Criss Angel and/or Mindfreak items available.
The Essential Lewis GansonerrrDai Vernon:
L&L Publishing released The Essential Dai Vernon
which is a collection of all the Vernon books penned by Lewis Ganson and originally published by Harry Stanley in the UK: Essential reading indeed. The single $125 volume includes:
The Dai Vernon Book of Magic
Inner Secrets of Card Magic
More Inner Secrets of Card Magic
Further Inner Secrets of Card Magic
Dai Vernons Ultimate Secrets of Card Magic
Dai Vernons Tribute to Nate Leipzig
Malini and His Magic
Dai Vernons Symphony of the Rings
As an enticement for those who already own the individual volumes, a previously unpublished Vernon Scrapbook, a 70-plus page collection of photos, correspondence, and memorabilia, is included in the collected volume.
The AMA Awards Were Just a Warm Up:
Neil Patrick Harris added Host of the 2009 Tony Awards to his resume.
Winner, Winner, Meatball Dinner:
Magician Charlie Caper wins Swedens Got Talent competition show.
The town of Cave Creek, Arizona decided a tied election for an empty council seat via a selection of playing cards. The deck was shuffled six times (which, I should add, is one fewer than recommended for complete randomization by Stanford Professor of Statistics Persi Diaconis) by the town judge before the selection. The incumbent lost with a Six of Hearts when his opponent drew the King of Hearts.
Because the Pay and Benefits Here are Just Too Good:
MagicTalk, the magic forum that spawned the likes ofwellme, made its return to the Internet. They have not successfully lured this writer back to the fold.
It Turns Out June was Worse Than May (Part 2):
Michael Jackson, the controversial but undeniably talented King of Pop dies from what is determined to be a lethal dose of an anesthetic used for surgery. It is alleged that the entertainer was having the drug administered as a sleep aid. Criminal proceedings in the case are still pending.
These Carnies Have All Their Teeth:
Kalin, Jinger, and Hobson remount their popular show, Carnival of Wonders for a highly successful summer run at the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City.
It Turns Out June was Worse Than May (Part 3):
Ed McMahonwho will be forever remembered as Johnny Carsons sidekick and for his jolly, guttural laughdied at the age of 86 in a Los Angeles hospital.
And No One Seemed to Care (Part 3):
Criss Angel was sued for unpaid royalties by Jacob Spinney who alleges that Angel failed to pay an agreed amount for products used in his Mindfreak show and DVDs.
Would Pierce Morgan Tell a Singer, We Hear That Song All the Time?
Several magicians make an appearance on Americas Got Talent, but only Drew Thomas makes it to the viewer voting. The illusionist was not helped by the panel judges who clearly have no understanding of the craft of magic (or any other variety art, orwellanything at all for that matter).
It Turns Out June was Worse Than May (Part 4):
Impressionist Fred Travalena passed away at the age of 66 from non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
But June Ended on a High Note for Magic:
After weeks of speculation, rumors, and leaks, Lance Burton extended his contract with the Monte Carlo Hotel and Casino to 2015.
Genii Cover: Alan Alan
This Time Someone Cared:
Reported in Norm Clarkes Las Vegas Review-Journal
Luxor headliner Criss Angel is courting controversy again, this time for a stunt that's likely to offend U.S. troops and their families.
Angel plans to open Season 5 of his Mindfreak on A&E by walking over numerous improvised explosive devices.
IEDs, often deployed as roadside bombs, have taken a large and deadly toll among U.S. forces in the Iraqi and Afghanistan wars.
The stunt has already come under fire from a Las Vegas-based blogger [Richard Abowitz] for the Los Angeles Times, who called it just plain tacky.
July Proves to be Not So Hot Either (Parts 1 and 2):
Karl Malden, Oscar winning actor, magic fan, and frequent presenter at the AMA awards, passes away at the age of 97.
And on the same day
Molly Sugden (Mrs Slocombe from the classic 1970s/80s BBC comedy Are You Being Served?) passed away at the age of 86.
I Tought I Taw a Puddy Tat? I DID! I Did Tee a Puddy Tat!:
Illusionist Rick Thomas reopens his illusion show, which features his white tigers, at the Sahara Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
How Smart Are You?
Heres a nifty little quiz on card magic (courtesy of Arnold McDonald). Im an Expert (having missed five):
http://www.arnoldmcdonald.org/en/code/i ... ?p=6190000
Because in Vegas, Naked Chicks on the Stage Equal Clothed Butts in the Seats (Or So Some Think):
Scarlett, the Princess of Magic, opened an illusion show at the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas that featured a bevy of nude (topless) assistants. There was no report about the actual magic (or if there was, no one noticed).
The Pendragons Make the News (Part 2):
Jonathan Pendragon is arrested for allegedly firing a bullet into the floor of his home during a dispute with his wife, Charlotte.
Indictment No. 08-09-2363-CCP:
Indicted along with three others on October 2, 2008 for Attempted Theft by Deception Second Degree, a crime which allegedly occurred on or about May 15, 2007, Steven Forte had all charges against him dropped by the Office of the Prosecutor of Atlantic County, New Jersey.
Made in China:
The 24th World Championships of Magic (aka FISM) took place in Beijing, China.
The Grand Prix winners were Shawn Farquhar for Close-Up and Soma for Stage Magic.
That Was Quick:
The Great Buck Howard, the Sean McGinly film staring John Malkovich, Colin Hanks, and with an appearance by Ricky Jay, is released on DVD a mere four months after its limited release in US theaters. (It premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.)
The Pendragons Make the News (Part 3):
Okay, its just one Pendragon: Charlotte Pendragon made her solo debut at the Chumach Casino in Santa Ynez, California.
Genii Cover: Franz Harary
This Was Not Your eBay Rare, This Was Actually Rare:
A Fourth Edition (1654) of Hocus Pocus Junior
(of which fewer than six copies are known to exist) sold at auction for 37,250 (about $60,000).
The Neener, Neener, Neener School of Convention Organization:
Blackpool convention organizer Derek Lever bans Craig Mitchella reviewer known for his outspoken style (whether positive or negative)for his Safety.
Hope You Didnt Blink:
A very short clip on the World Magic Seminar appeared on the Travel Channels Extreme Conventions. Among those seen in the segment were Derk Losander and Jeff McBride as well as some clips from the Teen Contest and the Dealers Room.
Stand Right Here; Over the Trap Door:
Lance Burton is reported to be sharing his theatre at the Monte Carlo Hotel and Casino with impressionist Frank Caliendo.
A long awaited biography of Doug Henning is published. Spellbound: The Wonder-Filled Life of Doug Henning
by John Harrison is a wonderfully written life storywarts and allof one of the most influential and important magicians of the 20th Century.
Are We Maybe Taking This Whole Vernon Emulation Thing a Little Too Far?
Joshua Jay broke both bones in his left arm as well as shattering the wrist in a boating accident while vacationing.
Money and Fame: The Gift That Keeps on Giving (Part 1):
The Associated Press reported that a 22-year-old Seattle, Washington woman is suing David Copperfield in Federal Court alleging that he sexually assaulted and threatened her while she was a guest on his private island in the Bahamas.
The alleged event, which occurred in 2007, originally led to a combined FBI and Seattle law enforcement investigation which resulted in no criminal charges being filed to date. The lawsuit was filed just short of the expiration of the statute of limitations for civil actions.
Copperfields lawyers, Angelo Calfo and Patty Eakes, say the lawsuit is extortion for money, plain and simple.
With the blessings of his lawyers, Copperfield released a very detailed denial of the allegations titled David Copperfield Sets the Record Straight (a very unusual move in such cases).
Well, Were Waiting:
On December 14, 2002, yours truly attended a book signing by Ricky Jay in Hollywood, California. Also present was a film crew shooting a documentary on the reticent performer, author, actor, raconteur, scholar, consultant, and student of magic and oddities.
The website of Louise Rosen Ltd., a firm specializing in the pre-sales and co-productions on behalf of independent documentary and non-fiction producers listed the Hopscotch Film production of Deceptive Practice: Ricky Jays Personal History of Magic as being in post production.
P&T on AGT:
With a nod to Richiardi, Penn & Teller perform and expose Sawing a Woman in Half on Americas Got Talent. The bit included entrails and an appropriate amount of blood.
Genii Cover: Neil Patrick Harris
The Tony Awards Were Just a Warm Up:
magazines September cover boy Neil Patrick Harris added Host of the Emmy Awards to his resume. Next stop: The Oscars (why not?).
Eric DeCamps is installed as the Dean of SAM Assembly #1 in New York.
A Miracle of Modern Technology: A Dead Guy Has a Blog:
Sid Lorrainewho no doubt would have been among the first to embrace such an idea had it existed in his timenow has a Blog.
David Ben, the Artistic Director of Magicana, acquired much of Mr. Lorraines magic collection from his wife, Rene Johnson. Among the collection was Lorraines handwritten memoirs. Julie Eng (or so it seems to this writer) is using this material to update the Magical Chatter Box Blog. The updates include rare photos and ephemera also found in the collection.
http://www.magicana.com/SidLorraine/Cha ... erbox.html
Apparently They Dont Have Enough on Their Plate:
Jim Steinmeyers Hahne Productions announce the release of a 4-DVD set of Roberto Giobbis Card College 1 & 2 (produced by Mr. Steinmeyers wife, Frankie Glass whoin case you need remindingis a successful television producer). (The DVDs began shipping in December.)
Nothing Clever to Say Here:
After being brutally attacked by home invaders, Keith Barrys grandfather Paddy died from his injuries.
Maybe Only NPH Has More Mentions Here Than These Guys: A Slew of P&T Tidbits:
Penn & Teller appear on Bravos Top Chef.
Tellers production of Macbeth is released on DVD.
Penn & Teller Get Killed is released on DVD.
Penn & Teller release an iPhone Application. (Im sorry, that was so un-hip. Make that an iPhone App.)
And finally, it is reported that Penn & Teller are in talks with ABC for an hour long show wherein they play themselves (though it is to be a scripted show versus a reality seriesgiven the following synopsis, one can only say thank goodness for that):
At night, they are Las Vegas magicians, during the day they are reluctant detectives.
Only the Name is Magical:
Levitate! is a new Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers release. The CD cover shows a man levitating woman, though the title songs lyrics have nothing to do with the illusion.
Verrrry Interesting: But Sad:
Comedic actor Henry Gibson of Laugh-In fame dies one week shy of his 74th birthday.
Genii Cover: The Jinx (Harry Anderson & Jon Racherbaumer special insert)
And Speaking of That Insert:
insert in the October issue of Genii
creates a fair amount of buzz. The list of contributors reads like a whos who of magic and mentalism past and present. While supplies last, new subscribers to Genii
can still get a copy of the 32-page insert.
Money and Fame: The Gift That Keeps on Giving (Part 2):
U.S. District Judge John Coughenour issued a six-month stay in the civil lawsuit filed by a former Miss Washington contestant who claims she was sexually assaulted by David Copperfield while at his private island in the Bahamas. The stay was issued at the request of Copperfields attorneys since the criminal investigation into the womans allegations by the U.S. Attorneys Office in Seattle is still ongoing.
Abbotts Goes Digital:
It is reported that Abbotts Magic Company, which published countless small magic books and manuscripts over the years, has turned the rights to these books over to another company in order that they be turned into instant downloads. (As of this date, only a few titles have actually been added to the site.)
The Internet: How Quaint:
MAGIC! - The Global Magicians Network was perhaps the first Bulletin Board System (BBS) dedicated to magic. Tabby Tabman Crabb (via the generosity of Gary Plants) has started uploading much of the historical material to a modern server so younger generations of magicians can read the goings on between folks like Max Maven, Michael Ammar, Evan Katz (later became producer of 24), Jim Sisti, Jeff Busby, Pete Biro, Geno Munari, Jerry Burton the Bizarre, Gary Plants, Manny Weltman, TA Waters, Geno Munari, Dante Larsen, Evan Katz, Scott Cram, David Lichtman, Charlie Randall, Pete Biro, Tabby Crabb, and many others well before the World Wide Web became so ubiquitous.
Taking a Load Off (Part 1):
It is announced that effective at the end of 2009, Max Maven resigned as the Director of Entertainment at the Magic Castle. Among his many accomplishments during his tenure was re-titling the position from its original Entertainment Director thus assuring that he, and those holding the position subsequent to him, would not be saddled with the abbreviation ED.
Number Five is in andOOPS!
The fifth and final volume of the Bruce Cervon Castle Notebooks
is released. Too bad this limited edition $200 book has a misprint.
Playing the Race Card:
During one of his segments on the The Daily Show with John Stewart, Larry Wilmore, a magic hobbyist who was profiled in the pages of Genii
, talked about playing the Race Card and illustrated his point while doing the Ambitious Card.
Taking a Load Off (Part 2):
In the August issue of Magicol
, the organ of the Magic Collectors Association, David Meyer announced his intention, along with his wife Anita who as acted as the Secretary of the MCA, to retire after the publication of the November 2009 issue.
Worry and speculation reigned until it was announced that David Ben and his staff at Magicana are poised to take over the MCA, which includes continuing to run the organizations annual convention and publishing Magicol.
Criss Angel Arrested in Mexico (Not!):
And no one seemed to care.
P&Ts New Show Already Has Competition:
NBC announces its new Magician-Sleuth program in the October 29 issue of Daily Variety
. According to the report, NBC is conjuring a drama series around a crime-solving magician in Las Vegas The untitled show centers on a master magician whose career is in ruins after he develops stage fright and agoraphobia. Then an elite law enforcement agency recruits him to take an unusual approach to cracking tough cases. In other words, it sounds like a bad cross between The Magician and Monk (my thoughts) or The Mentalist and Psych (Jim Maloneys).
The Magic Kingdom is Magical Again:
For many SoCal magicians, this one included, Disneylands Main Street Magic Shop was a special experience. During the 60s and 70s the demonstrators at the shop were skilled magicians as well as salespersons. However, for many years now, the shop has been a magic shop in name only and then stopped carrying magic altogether. That period has come to an end.
It was announced that Geno Munari (Houdinis Magic Shops) will take over operations at the Main Street Magic Shop, once again bringing real magic back to Disneyland.
But Hollywood Boulevard Goes Without:
Just weeks before Halloween, Hollywood Magic on Hollywood Boulevard in the heart of the famed city is closed due to a dispute within the family. (To date the shop remains shuttered.)
From a Local Rag to Almost Every Hotel Room Across the USA:
Eric Mead appeared in a USA Today
article titled Neuroscientists: Why is the brain deceived as if by magic?
http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/200 ... rain_N.htm
The Pendragons Make the News (Part 4):
The details of Jonathan Pendragons arrest are released by the local authorities to the press. An argument of whether or not it is news ensues. (Like it or not, its news.)
No More Pies in His Face and No One is Happy About It:
Radio and television comedian Soupy Sales, who influenced countless comedians (and I dare say magicianswhether they realize it or not), passed away in New York at the age of 83.
Genii Cover: Roberto Giobbi
Does It Come With a Truss?
A new coffee table book on the history of magic written for the public by Jim Steinmeyer and Mike Caveney titled Magic: 1400s 1950s
(Taschen Books) hits the marketplace and hits it hard. The enormous book, which comes in its own cardboard suitcase, weighs in at a whopping 17-pounds.
Calling All Snobs:
The 11th Los Angeles Conference on Magic History took place in North Hollywood, California and, as usual, was a complete sellout and success.
A Lot of Places Have Talent:
On South Africas Got Talent, teenage magicians Nkumbuzo & Siphiwe (from the College of Magic ran by founder David Gore and located in Cape Town) make the final 21 with their Soccer Mania act.
Happily The Authors Are Not in the Intelligence Gathering Business:
The Official CIA Manual of Trickery and Deception
(John Mulhollands CIA Manual) is published for the first time if you dont count the time Genii
published Michael Edwards work on it in 2001 and again in 2003 when an un-redacted copy was discovered in materials purchased at auction by Geno Munari.
Reading Minds in 3D(?):
Derren Brown mounted a 3D Magic Spectacular on Channel 4 in the UK (it was not availableeven via the Internetin the US).
But Not in 3D:
Cyril stared in a new TV special in Japan (it too was not availableeven via the Internetin the US).
But the USA Has Award Shows!
The 7th edition of the Gay Blackstone produced World Magic Awards aired on the My Network. The winners included Joseph Gabriel, Michael Finney, The Twins, Katalin, Marco Tempest, Tommy Wind, Barry & Stuart, Morgan, Ed Alonzo, Double Fantasy, Franz Harary, Greg Frewin, and Kyle Eschen.
Where Did He Ever Find the Time?
On November 19, Chris and Katie Kenner announced the birth of their daughter Zoe on his Facebook site.
The Nightmare Before Poker(?):
A pack of playing cards featuring many of Tim Burtons cute and creepy characters and a back pattern of skull and crossbones became available just in time to be a nice Christmas stocking stuffer for someones favorite card geek.
I got a Slap-Chop.
http://www.momastore.org/museum/moma/Pr ... 0001_62647
Magic Museum in Marshall, Michigan Makes Man its Main Man:
The American Museum of Magic in Marshall, Michigan hired Jeffrey Taylor as its first full-time salaried director.
Knights at the Net Table:
Dodd Vickers, the man behind the Magic Newswire, started a new project called This Week in Magic, a conversational show where guests discuss current events. The first round table discussion featured co-hosts Scott Wells and Cameron Ramsay with mystery guest Jim Callahan, the controversial paranormalist.
Okay, But Wheres the Jennings Book?
Our overworked Chief Genii announces the imminent release of his book for the public (you know, the kind that actually make
money), Knack Magic Tricks: A Step-by-Step Guide to Illusions, Sleight of Hand, and Amazing Feats
published by Knack: Make It Easy Books. David Copperfield wrote the Foreword.
He Was Just a Tad More Popular Than The Last Recipient:
David Copperfield was awarded The David Berglas International Magic Award for Services to Magic at the International Magic Convention in London. The illusionist accepted the award via a live video link from Las Vegas and also participated in a Q&A session.
Genii Cover: Jay and Sandy Marshall
2009 Magicana Contributors (Written by David Acer):
Matthew J. Dowden
Bro. John Hamman
Daniel J. Millstein
Joseph K. Schmidt
Dr. Giorgio Tarchini
Joe M. Turner
R. Paul Wilson
All those tricks and whole a bunch of great reading for less than the average cost of three one-trick DVDs: Yeah, you bet Im pimpin for the magazine.
His Planets Are Aligned In Some Stars House That Are RetroactiveOr Something Like That:
Jack Goldfinger (of Goldfinger and Dove fame) is announced by the Academy of Magical Arts as the new Director of Entertainment for the Magic Castle.
But What About the Topless Girls?
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that Scarlett, the Princess of Magic, was arrested after allegedly assaulting her sixty seven year-old boyfriend.
Wyrick Goes Dark:
Steve Wyricks illusion show at Planet Hollywoods Miracle Mile in Las Vegas closed without notice. The Las Vegas Sun
reported that his cast and crew were caught by surprise when they showed up for the evenings performanceand collect three weeks of back payonly to find a closed theater. Some of his dancers were reportedly seen crying. The Wyrick camp released a statement saying that the closure is only temporary.
It Should Have Been $69:
Before its official January 2010 issue date, a short run of Beating a Dead Horse: The Life and Times of Jay Marshall
by his son Alexander Sandy Marshall is published just in time for Christmas. Its the perfect gift for anyone who hasas noted on the books websitean interest in magic, vaudeville, puppetry, ventriloquism, early television, American popular culture, the business of show business, or living life to the fullest.
I got a Slap-Chop.
http://www.juntopublishing.com/Junto_Pu ... lcome.html
60-Hours Equals 15-Minutes:
On December 29, Israeli magician Hezi Din entered a giant block of ice in an attempt to break David Blaines 58-hour endurance record.
My Mom would be very proud. Paul Harris
on being awarded the 27th Louie Award from Tannens Magic (the award is named after Tannens founder, Lou Tannen).
Hes Good at His Art Too:
Clarence Clemonsone of the best rock & roll saxophonist today and longtime member of the E Street Bandadmits in his autobiography Big Man
(Grand Central Publishing, 2009) that he is a big fan of magic; good
magic to be specific.
Okay, One More Houdini Thing:
Houdini and Houdinis Ghost have been posting a lot at the Genii Forum recently, but there is no truth whatsoever
to the rumor that Kevin Connolly is confused.
S-S-S-Sixty-S-S-S-Six Hours L-L-LLater:
David Blaines 58-hour record for standing in a block of ice is broken by Hezi Din after a 66-hour stay.
Okay, ButYou KnowWheres the Jennings Book?
With less than twelve hours left in the year his copies of the book of magic he has written for the public is delivered to Richard Kaufman. Signed copies are available from him or one can purchase it from Amazon:
In The Wiki-Wiki-Wiki-Wiki-Wiki Room:
MagicPedia, the free online depository for magic information sponsored by Genii, The Conjurors Magazine
reaches 4,370 articles and 62,862 views. Join and contribute today:
And Still the Heavyweight Champion of the Genii Forum:
The Erdnase thread reaches 1,176 posts and 305,614 views. That is another 340 posts since the beginning of 2009 and a stunning 141% increase in views over last years total.
Remember friend as you read my name
As you are now I was once the same
As I am now you will surely be
So prepare thyself to follow me
Masao Atsukawa (76)
David Avadon (60)
Carl Ballantine (92)
Bobby Baxter (89)
Ali Bongo (79)
John Booth (97)
Terry Burgess (77)
Jim Cellini (69)
Harvey Cohen (57)
Bill Coomer (69)
Kevin Fox (67)
Lenny Greenfader (90)
Roy Huston (68)
Earl Presto Johnson (Agelessprobably in his 80s)
Rene Johnson (98) Sid Lorraines wife
Jimmy Krzak (65)
Neil Lester (Cards by Martin) (80)
Arlene Louie (68) Wife of De Yip Loo
Paul Merrill (64)
Martin A. Nash (76)
Seth Ossinsky (42)
Frank Fakini Radtke (69)
Carol Roy (79)
Don Spurrier (75)
Noel Stanton (71)
Mahka Tendo (49)
Phyllis Zarrow (79) Wife of Herb Zarrow
(Please forgive me if I left anyone off.)
I know that ending this recap with a list of those who left us over the last year is a bit of a downer, so instead Ill leave you with a reminder of how thrilled I was Christmas morning when I opened my Slap-Chop.
Thank you for reading, and I wish you all a
Happy, Healthy, and Peaceful New Year!
The Genii Forum