Just saw this on Alan Watson's e-zine:
2. Charlotte Pendragon And Illusions For Sale?
Message by John R. Browne III (US)
Message published in full
August 5, 2010
To: Alan Watson
From: Jack Browne
I hope this finds you and Michele well. Jan and I enjoyed seeing
you when you were in San Francisco last year. Happily the I.B.M.'s
legal affairs have been in good shape for a number of years now.
There is nothing for me to pass along to you in this regard.
I write you now on my own, and not in my capacity as I.B.M. Legal
Advisor. "CHIN-CHIN" (aka Gregory Chin) is a young, successful
and very colorful (bright red hair) San Francisco stage show
performer who brings a lot of energy and dedication to the Art of
I became acquainted with Chin-Chin several years ago, when he
needed information about the I.B.M.'s stage contests. I have
followed his career in magic since that time. Chin-Chin's San
Francisco Bay Area's performance venues are continually
expanding. His unique brand of stage and illusion presentations
is getting him better and better engagements. Still, being
devoted full time to a magic career and with no "day job" to help
pay the bills, Chin-Chin has to watch his pennies.
Chin-Chin has wanted to perform John Gaughan's Origami Illusion
since he was 12 years old. Through magician friend Jason Latimer,
Chin-Chin learned that some months ago CHARLOTTE PENDRAGON put
out the word that ORIGAMI was for sale. Chin-Chin contacted
Charlotte, who agreed to sell him ORIGAMI for $5,000. Since
February of this year, Chin-Chin has scraped enough money
together to pay Charlotte a total of $4700.
Eagerly anticipating shipment of ORIGAMI upon paying the final
$300 to Charlotte, Chin-Chin contacted her recently to arrange
for delivery. Shockingly, Chin-Chin was told by Charlotte that
ORIGAMI is in Trinidad, and that there will be a storage charge
of at least $10,000 to retrieve it from storage! Chin-Chin has
now contacted me for help, as a friend in magic. Because I feel
badly for Chin-Chin, I have offered to help him obtain ORIGAMI
without payment of any fees for my legal services.
I began my quest yesterday by calling John Gaughan, who built
ORIGAMI, to ascertain performance rights to the illusion. John
confirmed that the original purchasers, THE PENDRAGONS, bought
the performance rights along with the illusion, and that such
rights pass to subsequent purchasers.
I then called JONATHAN PENDRAGON, who was in Boise, Idaho, where
he is presently performing. Jonathan was nice enough to talk with
me. Although Jonathan is not in personal contact with Charlotte
because of a court order, Jonathan knows from speaking with
Chin-Chin that Charlotte "sold" ORIGAMI to Chin-Chin without
disclosing that the illusion was in Trinidad and subject to a
costly storage lien.
Jonathan then told me that Chip Romero of Lake Charles,
Louisiana, has also recently "purchased" illusions from
Charlotte, which are also in Trinidad and are under the same
storage conditions as ORIGAMI. Mr. Romero confirmed today on the
phone that he sent Charlotte an $11,000 check last October for
Fire Cage and Sword Suspension, and that Charlotte promised him
she would drop these illusions off in Lake Charles some months
ago on her way to perform at a convention in Daytona Beach,
Florida, not disclosing that such illusions are also in Trinidad,
along with ORIGAMI. Mr. Romero told me he has retained an
Jonathan clarified that he was not aware of Charlotte's actions
until months after the fact, and that he played no part in them.
He said he was never informed that she was selling their
illusions and that she had left them in Trinidad.
Jonathan said that Charlotte had handled the logistics of their
shows, that in June of 2009 she told him she had arranged to
bring their props back, and that he didn't learn until May of
2010 that she had not done so.
Jonathan told me he has not received one penny from Charlotte's
illusion sales, which include those he invented such as Clearly
Impossible, as well as the illusions Charlotte sold to Chip
Romero; i.e., Fire Cage and the unique Sword (broom) Suspension
harness which Jonathan said he designed and helped build.
Nevertheless, Jonathan says that he will do all he can to try and
see that Chin-Chin and Chip Romero get the illusions they have
Although my investigation and any action I may take thereon on
behalf of Chin-Chin is far from finished, I thought it would be
appropriate to "put the word out" to the magic community about
what I have learned so far, and also for another reason:
Jonathan Pendragon is very passionate about maintaining his
rights to a deceptive "doll house" (little theatre) illusion
designed by Jim Steinmeyer and built by John Gaughan. So I wanted
to put the word out to fellow magi that neither Charlotte
Pendragon nor anyone else has rights to "sell" this illusion.
Your readers should please feel free to send any information they
may have about these matters to me at email@example.com